by Cory Lesniak
Berwyn residents are in the midst of a year of testing for lead in their water after high levels of toxic lead had appeared in their water lines for the second time in four years.
According to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) the City of Berwyn has exceeded lead in 1992, 2011 and most recently in 2014. After the last round of tests by the city Some Berwyn water customers received a flyer explaining the problem in November, according to Kim Biggs, a spokeswoman for the IEPA said.
The IEPA has given Berwyn until Oct. 1 to identify the lead service lines and remove 7 percent of the lines they own. Berwyn’s water comes from the City of Chicago but the pipes the water flows through is to blame.
“Many of the service lines may be owned by homeowners, so the city would not be responsible for removing those lines,” said Dave McMilan, manager of the Division of Public Water Supply at the IEPA.
Additionally, Berwyn has to take and test 60 waters samples for lead and copper in the first six months of 2015 according to the IEPA.
Berwyn officials say they’ve already been doing the testing.
“The program absolutely exists, we’re full blown into it. We do the advance sampling (30 to 60) samples. Anyone with a water tap or a water meter by law must receive one of these mailers (pamphlets),” said Kristofer Hasman, Water Plant Operator for City of Berwyn said.
The City of Berwyn has always added a chemical called orthophosphate to the water. Berwyn pumps this chemical into the water system to limit lead and copper, which is normal according to the IEPA. Continue reading
by Danielle Golab
It’s business as usual at the Waggin’ Tails animal shelter in Cicero, despite reports of neglect and ongoing protests among both Berwyn and Cicero residents.
In November, Chicago television station WFLD aired pictures of dead and abused animals. The photos were taken by people who said they were volunteers at the shelter. Cicero President Larry Dominick attacked the report as false and the volunteers as liars. Berwyn Mayor Robert Lovero also has spoken out against the critics.
Recently, a Facebook-based petition drive has gathered 500 signatures calling for an investigation of the animal shelter, review of the employees, publication of health and death records, the hiring of an independent veterinarian to evaluate all animals at the shelter, a public apology from Dominick and the reinstatement of the volunteer program.
The petition organizers plan a rally at Cicero City Hall at 1 p.m. March 8.
Another group, Animal Welfare Advocates for Rescue Excellence, also known as AWARE has met with Cicero spokesperson, Ray Hanania, to discuss changes in the shelter. AWARE will be putting together a proposal for the Cicero town board. One of the topics discussed on the proposal will be concerning the volunteer program.
Some Berwyn residents are also concerned because stray animals in Berwyn go to Cicero’s Waggin’ Tails since the two cities signed an intergovernmental agreement for animal control since March of 2010.
But Dominick’s attacks has not slowed down the critics in Berwyn and Cicero.
by Danielle Golab
Berwyn health officials are confident that the city’s children will be safe from measles, which is spreading in other parts of the country because of some parents’ resistance to vaccinations.
Nurse Tina Kloess at the Berwyn Health Department said that Berwyn is “not taking extra precautions at this point in time because there have been no outbreaks in the area”.
Students are required to provide records of vaccinations to their schools. Many vaccinations are needed in order for a student to be enrolled in school.
Kloess said that there are many different vaccinations that children need by a certain age. By kindergarten every child must have five — DTaP, polio, measles, mumps and rubella vaccinations.
By sixth grade children must have a hepatitis, Tdap and meningitis vaccine. Influenza vaccines are optional.
Kloess said that every school year nurses go over students’ records and see if they are vaccinated or not. If they are not they are put on a susceptible list and are not allowed to return to school until they show proof of vaccinations to the school. And
Oct. 15 is an exclusion day for children who have not been vaccinated. They are not allowed back in school until they show proof of vaccination.
by Alejandro Cortez
Neighbors of Turano Bakery have won a legal victory as a judge has halted the demolition of homes and construction of parking lots behind the Roosevelt Road factory.
At a Feb. 10 hearing, Cook County Judge Kathleen Kennedy ordered the bakery and the city of Berwyn to comply with the city ordinances and receive a zoning permit for the work on the parking spaces.
Since then, Turano has stopped all demolition until it gets its paperwork in order. Neighbors had initially stopped demolition when Judge Kennedy gave them a temporary restraining order against Turano in late January.
“The TRO (temporary restraining order) has been dismissed and Turano is currently in the process of doing the application for a zoning permit but it has not been presented yet,” Berwyn Mayor Robert Lovero said last Friday.
A November n explosion and fire at Turano’s parking garage, across Roosevelt Road in Oak Park, put the bakery in a jam. It needed a place to park its delivery trucks.
Later, Berwyn’s 8th District Alderman Nora Laureto wrote a letter to Lovero and the City council stating,
“I am asking for City Council approval to allow Turano to move forward as quickly as possible for demolition and graveling of the area.”
Ask Berwyn’s eighth-grade students what they would do if they were mayor for a day, and you might be surprised by their answer. The majority of students in the running for the Best of Berwyn Program answered that they would push for recycling in their city.
And that is why the youth is keeping recycling in Berwyn alive, according to Joe Vallez.
Vallez, director of North Berwyn’s Park District also heads the Think Green Campaign. That program was createdto increase proper recycling practices all throughout Berwyn.
“Think Green,” now in its fourth year, has a strong presence in Berwyn. The park district sends about 21,000 booklets to Berwyn homes, with detailed instructions both in English and Spanish, on how to recycle. The program also runs volunteer projects such as community clean-ups. The biggest clean-up events take place on Earth Day, which last year had a turnout of more than 400 volunteers, Vallez said.
According to Vallez, the bulk of these volunteers included teens and younger children.
Filed under Culture, Schools