A new group of journalism students will be covering Berwyn this fall. Start looking for fresh news and features about your town in mid-October.
On Sunday, July 10, 2016, the City of Berwyn held it’s bi-weekly farmers market at Lesak Park. There were 14 vendors in total, not including a food truck selling lemonade and Italian ice and a live band.
Though it seems that Berwyn’s Farmer’s Market may have strayed from the original intention of the event. Only four out of the fourteen vendors were selling food products and only one out of the four was selling organically grown fruits and vegetables.
The other vendors displayed a wide array of soy candles, homemade apparel and jewelry, and accessories for dogs.
The purpose of a Farmer’s Market is for residents to buy, and farmers to sell, locally grown produce. The website for Berwyn’s Farmer’s Market lists 13 vendors, all of which advertise some sort of local food.
Only four of the vendors on the list were present at this Famer’s Market. This may have caused the lack of attendance, as there were only a handful of people. The majority of the attendants were gathered around a build-your-own playground demonstration in which their children were able to move around foam blocks to create structures.
The lack of attendance could also be due to the fact that Berwyn is not a food desert. Since there are many grocery stores readily available to residents, there is perhaps less motivation to buy local produce, as produce from a chain grocery store is usually more cost effective.
Either way, the Berwyn Farmer’s Market seems like less of an opportunity for local farmer’s and more of an opportunity for local businesses and entrepreneurs to sell their goods. Though the City of Berwyn has displayed other vendors at this market on their website, it seems that regular participation from all vendors on one date is unlikely.
By Joannah Rivera
Residents of the City of Berwyn gathered together on June 14, 2016 for the city council meeting to discuss parking issues, the Auxiliary Review Board and budget proposals.
The meeting was called to order at 8:00 p.m. Two residents, Marry Ann Parker and Mary Quail presented their item for the open forum portion of the meeting.
Parker and Quail were stating their concerns about parking zones on the 3400 block of Wesley, claiming that the majority of the parking in this area was taken up by guests, therefore leaving little room for resident parking.
Several budgetary issues were discussed, among them was the proposal submitted by the Director of Public Works regarding the replacement of the sewer system and roadway resurfacing projects. The council approved the budget of $707,000.
Possibly the most notable portion of the meeting was Richard Toman being recognized for all his devotion to the city of Berwyn and being appointed as a member of the Auxiliary Review Board, advisers to the mayor. The assembly rose and congratulated Toman for his achievement.
Alderman Nona N. Chapman announced several upcoming events that would be taking place in Berwyn, including a candlelight vigil in remembrance of the victims of the recent Orlando shooting. Also, notable was the announcement of final voting for “Berwyn’s Favorite Fire Hydrant”, part of the “Paint the Plugs” project taking place on Roosevelt Road in which artists painted the fire hydrants.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:23 p.m.
By Joannah Rivera
There were several budgetary approvals, appointments and events notices presented at the Berwyn City Council Meeting on May 24.
The meeting was called into order at 8:00 pm and began with the open forum portion.
Alderman Nona N. Chapman announced that the Berwyn Farmer’s Markets were starting on June 12 as well as Cruise Nights on Tuesdays throughout the summer months.
The Mayor then announced several appointments of Berwyn Residents including the appointment of Araceli Garza to the Historic Preservation Commission and James Swicionis to the Police Pension Fund Board.
The Library Director submitted a proposal to hire a Library Page, an entry-level position that performs administrative tasks, which was then approved by the council.
Finally, budgets for the Luminaire project, in which the high-pressure sodium street lights in various locations throughout the city would be replaced with energy-efficient LED lighting, were proposed and approved to not exceed $194,524.00.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:17 pm.
As you can tell, we haven’t posted much lately. The Berwyn News has been taking a break, but will return at the beginning of the fall semester, in September 2016.
by Danielle Golab
Alderman Ted Polashek of the 6th ward in Berwyn released a new proposal that would grant free vehicle stickers to veterans.
Polashek thinks that this proposal will make a positive statement in Berwyn. He believes that this proposal will show gratitude for veterans as well as their families.
“I feel that if you are a veteran than you deserve a vehicle sticker. You cannot put a price on their service. It is a small gratitude to show them our appreciation” he says.
Senior citizens already get free stickers so if the proposal were to be approved then veterans would just have to show proof of their service in order to obtain a free sticker.
Polashek says that he has gotten some criticisms but he has also gotten a lot of support and appreciation from the community as well.
By Lauren Pinkston
Berwyn parks are losing close to $800,000 in grants due to budget cuts made by Gov. Bruce Rauner. Park districts across the state are affected by grant suspensions, including the Berwyn Park District and North Berwyn Park District.
Jeffrey Janda, executive director of the Berwyn Park District, explained the Berwyn Park District is loosing two grants. One for $87,500 that was intended to be used for land acquisition for a new park. The second was for $306,600 to renovate and redevelopment existing parks, especially their water drainage systems
The North Berwyn Park District is also reported to be losing about $400,000 in grants. Joseph Vallez, executive director of North Berwyn Park District, was unavailable for comment.
Janda explained the suspension could not only make these projects unattainable, they will affect potential job opportunities, storm water management, and currently existing programs. Continue reading
by Danielle Golab and Alejandro Cortez
Voters in South Berwyn split their tickets in Tuesday’s elections, choosing school board members from both slates of candidates competing for four seats in District 100.
Lisa Clemente, Jennifer Mitchell and Mark Titzer had run on one slate; Elizabeth Jimenez had run on a competing slate.
District 100 was the only contested race for Berwyn election. Candidates for the Berwyn School Board, Morton School Board and North Berwyn Park board all ran unopposed.
Turnout was less than 9 percent, with only 1,402 of the city’s 16,709 registers voters casting a ballot, according to the Cook County Clerk’s Office.
Clemente led the election with 748 votes, followed by Jimenez, who is the first Hispanic woman elected to the school board, with 747 votes. Third in line was Mitchell with 744 votes. The fourth place was taken by Titzer with 730 votes.
According to Jimenez, district 100 has a population of 81.6% Latinos. Jimenez says that this sends a message of how huge an impact it makes when most of the population is Latino as a support for her campaign.
“I am proud and at the same time humbled to have the opportunity to serve the Berwyn Community,” she said after the election.
Photo courtesy of BDC
By Lauren Pinkston
Paisan’s Pizzeria and Bar, 6226 W. Ogden Ave, won the Berwyn Development Corporation’s promotional “Berwyn’s Best Pizza” competition last month. Paisan’s Supreme Pizza, topped with tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, green peppers, and onions, came up the winner..
Waldo Cooney’s Pizza, Bubba’s Place, Benny’s Pizza and Nonno’s Pizza also competed for the award, determined by a public poll and blind taste test by local foodies and public figures, including Brendan O’Connor of Big Guys Sausage Stand, Brian Pabst of the City of Berwyn, Alma Ortiz of BMO Harris Bank, Jamie Kucera of Pav YMCA, John Aranza of Autre Monde Café & Spirits, and Nancy Vesecky of Vesecky’s Bakery.
According to Stacy Stott, General Manager, Paisan’s Pizzeria set itself apart from the competition.
“We use super premium ingredients and everything is made from scratch daily,” said Stott, “It’s a very cool place with excellent service.”
Paisan’s Pizzeria also offers new specialty pizzas every Friday and is planning to open a new location in Lisle.
By Lauren Pinkston
Friendly Tap patrons now have a place for coffee and conversation in the morning, as well as stronger beverages at night, with the Roosevelt Road bar adding an Internet lounge.
Customers had been asking for , “a place in Berwyn to hang out and have coffee in a social environment,” said owner Rob Pierce. So he opened the lounge last May
Pierce made some renovations to create a warm, lounge vibe, inspired by artistic coffee houses found in New York City’s Greenwich Village in the 1960s. In addition to coffee, the lounge serves flavored sodas, mimosas, bloody marys, muffins, bagels, and other simple breakfast foods.
“People really enjoy it,” Pierce said. “It’s a really easy place to hang out and it’s one of the more social coffee house environments I’ve ever experienced.”
The Friendly Lounge is at 6733 W. Roosevelt Rd. and is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m..