Berwyn Community Divided About Video Game Poker

By Natalie Rodriguez


Advertisement for video poker

Years after video game poker was approved, Berwyn residents are still conflicted about the machines. Steve Wallon, longtime homeowner in Berwyn believes that video game poker damages the community.

“This hurts a community’s image, especially for Berwyn, by attracting a certain crowd that is not desirable to young families or new home buyers,” says Wallon.

Alderman Ted Polashek, who is currently running for mayor against incumbent Robert Lovero, said he feels the same way. According to Polashek, although there are ordinances for the signs, their presence still affects the community’s image.

“You’re selling Berwyn as a great community for your family and as you’re driving down you got some gambling casinos are really right next to each other,” said Polashek. “You got one down a hundred feet from another one, or two hundred feet from another one and they got neon signs in there blinking and it’s like Pottersville in some areas of town.” Continue reading

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Remembering Berwyn Resident Peter Fabbri


Pictured: Peter Michael Fabbri, 54. Photo courtesy of Facebook.

By Melissa Rohman

Berwyn resident Peter Fabbri was more than just another crime statistic to his family and friends. He was born on December 18, 1961. He was a family man and a hard worker. He was the father to two adult daughters.

“Stand up, loving, caring; he’d always do anything to be there for you,” said Joe Fabbri, 47, to describe his oldest brother Peter. “He’s always been there, he’s always been a worker. He worked all his life.”

Peter Fabbri, 54, was shot dead at the northeast corner of East Monroe St. and South Michigan Ave. near Millennium Park at about 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 24 by gang member Paul Pagan, 32, after an argument that occurred between Pagan and Fabbri, the Chicago police department reported. Continue reading

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Morton West Graduate Competes in International Singing Competition

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By Marty Carlino

Inspired by a post-concert meet and greet with pop star Mike Posner, Berwyn native Adam Martinez headed straight to his own studio.

Martinez, sporting his usual black Sennheiser headphones, tossed his black acoustic guitar to the side and used nothing but his powerful vocals to record his latest cover.

Martinez does nearly all of his work in his bedroom, which also serves as his recording studio. The space is equipped with his personal collection of recording software and instruments. Continue reading

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Berwyn welcomes increase of out and proud community members


Richard Mondragon (bottom row, center), BDC Board President, poses for a photo with fellow Berwyn residents as Northalsted Market Days. Photo courtesy of the BDC.

By Jocelyn Cano

Over the last seven years the city of Berwyn has become a popular neighborhood among members of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) community.

This growth is due to a marketing push starting in 2009, when the Berwyn Development Corporation (BDC) started the “Why Berwyn?”  campaign. Advertisements were placed in multiple Chicago neighborhoods such as Andersonville and Lakeview. In 2016 alone, the city spent $70,000 on this marketing campaign.

Recently, Williams Institute of UCLA named Berwyn  “#3 in suburbs for same-sex couples” in the Chicagoland area, just behind Oak Park and Evanston.

According to a US Census reported by UCLA from 2000 to 2010, Berwyn had a 41 percent increase in households reporting same-sex couples. Continue reading

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Berwyn South School District 100 Welcomes Transgender Policies


By Emily Lapinski

In cooperation with the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance, Berwyn South School District 100 leaders have now openly committed to creating an inclusive environment for students, families and staff regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.

The implementation of this policy started this past August after a summer of preparation and planning. According to the District 100 website taking on this policy was in response to students in both the middle and elementary schools in the district coming out as transgender.

Berwyn’s South School District is a racially, ethnically and socioeconomically diverse community, and it is nice to see it join the nationwide push for inclusion in schools.The North Berwyn district has yet to officially implement this policy and Morton High School District 201 has a variation of the policy in place. Continue reading

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Morton Soccer Flying High

By Chris Sich

Friends and family settled in and took their seats on the frigid bleachers of Morton West Stadium as the J. Sterling Morton men’s soccer team took the field Tuesday of last week. There is a buzz in the air. The lights and sounds from Harlem Ave. passively filter into the stadium; brakes screech and car engines rumble as traffic stops and goes. Players’ warm-up and coaches discuss tactics, as they prepare to kickoff against the Willowbrook Warriors. A win would add to the Mustangs already stellar season.


Mortons Baltazar Duran goes for the ball.

According to Max Preps rankings, the Morton men’s soccer team is ranked first in the nation and has a 19-0-1 record. With a convincing 4-2 win over the Warriors and only a couple of games left in the season, the team has its sights set on finishing strong.

“I think we have been successful this year because of our teamwork on the field, and the skill of our players,” said Head Coach Mike Caruso. “One of our main strengths of our team is that we have players that can play several different positions, which gives us a lot of versatility for the different styles of teams we face. “ Continue reading

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Next Stop: Depot District Redevelopment

By Melinda Czifrak


Current commercial areas in the Depot District; Photo courtesy of the Berwyn Development Corporation

In the dreams of Berwyn’s planners, crowds fill the busy streets of the Depot District, with shoppers and retailers mingling inside quaint shops as others enjoy a meal in one of the area’s many restaurants. Outside, cars drive by, the final touch to an otherwise perfect picture of retail bliss.

The Depot District’s reality, however, looks a little bit different.

In recent years, the city of Berwyn has attempted to bolster its retail offerings and develop a destination dinning corridor. Continue reading

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Republican Andy Kirchoff Challenges Lisa Hernandez in the 24th District

24thmap             kirchoff

Pictures: Map of the 24th District (left) and Republican candidate Andy Kirchoff (right).

By Rich Bodee

Political season is upon us and in a few weeks we will be electing our newest batch of representatives from each political district.

Two candidates are Republican Andy Kirchoff, who is running against Democrat Elizabeth “Lisa” Hernandez for the Illinois 24th District House seat.

Typically, an Illinois state representative will represent around 108,000 residents in their district. The 24th District encompasses much of Berwyn and Cicero, as well as parts of Riverside and Brookfield. Continue reading

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Berwyn Residents Frustrated by Parking Availability


Parents of Piper Elementary School students and the schools’ neighbors have been competing for a scarce Berwyn commodity – on-street parking.

At certain times of the day, particularly around school dismissal, residents can’t find parking near their houses on the 2400 block of Kenilworth.

Third Ward Alderman Marge Paul brought the issue to the South Berwyn (District 100) School Board recently.

“The principal at Piper Elementary School has tried to alleviate some of the parking issued raised by the residents,” she said. “Residents found it hard to find street parking in front of their homes during the week.”

Neighbor David Minch was a little more direct in his criticism in an interview this week.

Parking has always been issue, especially in the case of the block’s elderly residents, block spokesman David Minch stated.

“Parents are waiting for two hours prior to dismissal,” he said. “There have been incidents of complete disrespect where parkers are littering, tossing coffee cups and dropping McDonald’s out the window.”

Sometimes encounters became hostile according to Minch.

“When some parkers were asked to move, for example, once a reaction was ‘F*** you, I don’t have to do anything’ when they were only asked to move up,” he said. “Some parents move up, but not all the parents, there are a few bad apples.”

“Residents sometimes have to park a block away from their homes. There have been a few robberies and for our elderly residents that’s a safety issue. Residents are frustrated,” Minch said.

To improve the situation, the principal has worked with the city to designate 25th Street for staff parking during the day, which Paul says, helped out a bit.

Minch mentioned that the designated parking on 25th Street has “helped alleviate teachers taking up parking spots. They got the memo, but some faculty, staff, substitute teachers and non-teaching staff still park in front of resident’s homes.”

Dismissal creates a serious issue to the residents of that community and they eagerly want this issue taken care of.

In additional to the jam around dismissal times, the city of Berwyn scheduled Adult Volleyball at Piper Elementary during the evenings from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. A new and pressing issue has developed with a parking crunch five days of the week until 9 p.m.

The elderly residents are “easy targets when parking away from home and walking late at night” Minch said.

“There have been some improvements, but what could work is limited waiting time for dismissal,”

“I believe working together to designate parking and with a few more corrections we can alleviate parking issues. For the Adult Volleyball, they could designate staff parking as Adult Volleyball parking to make it easier” Minch stated.

Paul brought this up as well in the meeting, asking them to not host the Adult Volleyball during these times.

Paul will bring up the matter with the city’s Parking and Traffic Committee on Oct. 19.

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Outta Space hosts “Snack Shop Circus”

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Houby Day Celebration

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48th Annual Houby Day Parade

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Berwyn’s “Snack Shop Circus”

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7th Annual Fairy Tale Ball at the Berwyn Public Library

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Fun and games at Berwyn’s Oktoberfest!

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by | September 20, 2016 · 12:27 pm

Berwyn Oktoberfest


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by | September 19, 2016 · 10:41 pm

Berwyn’s Oktoberfest – A Community Event

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by | September 19, 2016 · 9:49 pm

Classic rock band ARRA entertains Berwyn’s Oktoberfest 2016

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by | September 19, 2016 · 9:46 pm

Country Music of Oktoberfest

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by | September 19, 2016 · 9:32 pm

Kids of Oktoberfest

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by | September 19, 2016 · 8:01 pm