Month: September 2015

Business Spotlight: Maple Tree Child Learning Center

Maple Tree

A classroom inside Maple Tree Child Learning Center in Maywood, where Gladys Freelon (below left), has long been instrumental. | Photo: Michael Romain

Gladys FreelonWednesday, September 30, 2015 || By Michael Romain 

Gladys Freelon, a longtime Maywood resident and retired schoolteacher (she worked at Irving Middle School when it was still Irving Elementary), may be a step or two slower, but she’s still on a mission.

“When I retired I worked here for about 11 years full-time and during that time, we always kept at least 100 students,” she said of the Maple Tree Child Learning Center, 246 S. 13th Ave.

“Just to see things work well for our children, and providing the best of care and education for them, that gives me a lot of joy,” said Freelon, the wife of former Maywood Mayor Joe Freelon, Sr.

Both are still heavily involved on the childcare center’s board, although Freelon said she’s not as active as she was in her post-retirement days. But age isn’t stopping them from working to increase the school’s enrollment and bolster its program offerings.

The center, which was founded by Rev. Wallace W. Sykes in 2002, and is an entity of Second Baptist Church, where he pastors, was established “to provide a loving and nurturing environment for children whose parents work all day,” said Freelon.

The kindergarten school, which was something of a precursor to the daycare center and was located down the street, next to the church, closed down several years ago.

Currently, Freelon said between 15 and 17 infants and toddlers, (they range from several weeks old to 3-4 years old), are enrolled at the center. Maple Tree is open five days a week from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., with the same summer hours. The center closes for two weeks in August. Enrollment is on an open, rolling basis.

“We have three qualified director teachers and a certified nurse, and each teacher has her own curriculum for each age group,” Freelon said. “There’s a licensed food server, four meals a day, breakfast, a morning snack, lunch and an afternoon snack.”

When asked how Maple Tree is different from the dozens of other childcare providers in the area, Freelon said the center has the same commitment to improvement and professionalism that she exhibited in the classroom.

“We try to keep up with latest, positive trends in the educational world and make sure we’re on top of best practices,” she said. “We’re always looking to implement the best.”

For more information on Maple Tree Child Learning Center, call (708) 338-0619. VFP


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LLOC Meeting Tonight, Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2015, 7 PM (Agenda Packet Inside)

Maywood Flag

Wednesday, September 30, 2015 || By COMMUNITY EDITOR 

A Legal, License and Ordinance Committee (LLOC) meeting is scheduled to take place tonight, Wednesday, Sept. 30, 7 PM, at 125 S. 5th Avenue. Among items to be discussed, include (for the full agenda, click here):

1) The appointment of Cheryl Ealey-Cross to the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners to replace Readith Ester.
Cheryl A. Ealey-Cross Application Applying for Board of Fire and Police Commission.pdf
2) Presentation from Ms. Bridget Lewis and Mr. Bobby Hayden concerning bringing a grocery store, businesses and manufacturing to the Village of Maywood.
B. Village Manager’s Reports
1) Discussion and consideration regarding Maywood Housing Authority (MHA) Board of Commissioners entering into an Intergovernmental Agreement for legal services with the Village of Maywood.
Maywood Housing Authority Re Intergovernmental Agreement for Legal Services.pdf
2) Discussion and consideration of an Independent Contractor Agreement regarding professional services for Assistant Secretary of the Board of Fire and Police Commission Alexzondrea Taylor, (“the Contractor”) and copy of Contract for services rendered to the Village of Maywood (“the Client”) for approval by the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners.
This item was discussed at the September 9, 2015 Legal, License and Ordinance Committee Meeting.  Mr. Norfleet recommended tabling this item for receipt of communication from the Chairman of the Fire and Police Commission.
Independent Contractor Agreement for Asst. Secretary Position of the Board of Fire and Police Commission.pdf
Contract for Services Rendered to the Village of Maywood – Alexzondrea Taylor.pdf
3) Discussion and consideration pursuant to the current draft of a Redevelopment Agreement between the Village of Maywood and Rush Freight Systems, Inc. relative to the sale and development of 1001 St. Charles Road with the last Preliminary Site Plan received from Rush Freight and a cover memorandum dated September 22, 2015 from Klein, Thorpe and Jenkins. Ltd.
This agenda item was discussed at the September 9, 2015 Legal, License and Ordinance Committee Meeting.  Community Development is to make final presentation pursuant to the Redevelopment Agreement, Site Plan and Resolution.
Redevelopment Agreement for 1001 St. Charles – Rush Freight Systems, Inc..pdf
1001 W. St. Charles Status Report.pdf
4) Discussion and consideration regarding Maywood Police Department purchase of used squad cars, Proposal No. 11.
Maywood Police Department Proposal No. 11 Re Purchase of Used Squad Cars.pdf
5) Discussion and consideration regarding Village of Maywood – U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Treasury Equitable Sharing Agreement for State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies for Maywood Police Department.
U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Treasury Equitable Sharing Agreement.pdf
6) Discussion and consideration regarding The Maywood Police Department request to have Current Technologies provide a Sky Camera Report for the month of September, 2015.
Current Technologies Sky Camera Report.pdf
7) Consideration for submission to allow the Maywood Police Department College Intern to make presentation regarding completed project on Ethics for Summer, Spring and Fall academic terms.
MPD Request1 Re Intern Presentation.pdf
8) Consideration Approving an Ordinance for an Accessory Structure Height Variation for a storage building on the property located at 1505 So. 1st Avenue, Maywood, IL – Commonwealth Edison.
PCZBA#15-005 1505 S 1st Ave Regular Board meeting.pdf
Ordinance Approving Height Variation for ComEd Accessory Storage – 1505 So. 1st Ave.pdf
9) Consideration to execute an Intergovernmental Agreement with Cook County Department of Public Health for the provision of Environmental Health Inspections Services for the period of December 1, 2015 through November 30, 2016.
Agenda Item – Cook County Health Department 09.30.2015.docx
Intergovernment Agreement for the Provision of Environmental Health Inspection Services.pdf
10) Consideration to approve a Tax Reactivation Sale for Village Owned Property located at 1818 St. Charles Road, Maywood, IL
Tax Reactivation Sale for 1818 St. Charles.pdf
11) Discussion and consideration for the Village of Maywood to enter into an Inter-Local Agreement with the Maywood Park District to lease the Maywood Multi Purpose Building located at 200 South 5th Ave., Maywood, IL to PAEC School (Proviso Area for Exceptional Children).
Multi Purpose Bldg. Rental – PAEC School.pdf
Maywood Park District- PAEC.doc
12) An Ordinance Amending Section 51.02 (Rates for Water and Sewerage Service) of Chapter 51 (Water and Sewer Service) of Title V (Public Works) of the Maywood Village Code relative to water service rate for 2016, with a cover Memo dated September 21, 2015 from Klein, Thorpe and Jenkins, Ltd.
Water Rate Adjustment Due to City of Chicago Water Rate Increase.pdf
13) An Ordinance Amending Chapter 50 (Garbage and Waste), Section 50.05 (Fees), of the Maywood Village Code relative to the schedule of fees for waste collection and a cover memorandum dated September 23, 2015 from Klein, Thorpe and Jenkins, Ltd.
Schedule of Fees for Waste Collection for Year 2016 and Waste Transfer Station Fee.pdf

For more info, click here. VFP

Proviso East Class of 1975’s 40th Reunion, October 9 – 11, 2015

Register-Now-Proviso-East-300x300Tuesday, September 29, 2015 || By COMMUNITY EDITOR 

The Proviso East Class of 1975 will celebrate its 40th Reunion this October.  All Proviso East Class of 1975 Classmates are encouraged to register early.

Maywood, IL — The Proviso East Class of 1975 will celebrate its 40th Reunion on Oct. 9 through Oct. 11, at the Chicago Marriott Oakbrook.

The reunion committee has been meeting monthly for over a year. The chairman of the reunion committee is Gregory Badger. The event spans three days of activities, with a final Brunch planned for Sunday morning. To date, over 100 classmates have registered on the reunion website and intend to participate in the event.

All Events (except Saturday High School Tour) will be held at Chicago Marriott Oakbrook, 1401 West 22nd Street, Oak Brook, IL 60523.

Proviso East Class of 1975 40th Reunion Schedule

Friday, October 9, 2015

7 PM || Casual, Reunion Meet & Greet at the Hotel Lobby Bar for classmates and guests.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

10 AM || Down Memory Lane High School Tour for classmates and guests.  Proviso East High School 807 South First Avenue, Maywood, IL 60153.

Celebration Event Details: Suggested Reunion Attire – Dressy Casual

6:30 PM || Registration and Cash Bar

7:30 PM || Presentation and Recognitions

8:00 PM || Food Stations, Hors d’oeuvres, Dinner Buffett, and Dessert Table.

9 PM to 12 midnight || Mingling and Reminiscing.

Sunday October 11, 2015

11 AM || Reunion Farewell Brunch

To register, contact: Varsity Reunion Services: (314) 647-6565, or email Register online at Cost to attend the Reunion is $96 before October 5 and $106 afterward.

Follow the event on Facebook: 1975 Class Reunion Proviso East: Information. VFP

At the Corner of 19th Ave. and St. Charles, an Urban Ministry is Changing the Built Environment and Battling Perceptions

Bishop Saffo Prayer II

Bishop Reginald Saffo directing a prayer gathering he facilitated last Saturday, Sept. 26, in Maywood. Below: Participants in the communal prayer at the corner of 19th Ave. and St. Charles. || Photo: Michael Romain 

Bishop Saffo Prayer IIIITuesday, September 29, 2015 || By Michael Romain 

MAYWOOD | Bishop Reginald Saffo is used to the hype about this corner of town, 19th Ave. and St. Charles Rd., where a liquor store and several blighted buildings dominate the landscape. But the corner’s whole, he says, isn’t the sum of its parts. Consider his place of worship — United Faith Missionary Baptist Church, 40 S. 19th Ave.

Before the church opened here roughly seven years ago, the landscape looked a lot different. The sidewalks weren’t paved and about the only greenery that stood out were the weeds growing from concrete along the garbage-strewn curbside.

Along with pastoring his church, Saffo, who is the chairman of the Proviso Township Ministerial Alliance Network, also heads the United Faith Christian Institute and Bible College. The school, which is a charter member of the Urban Association of Accredited Christian Colleges, is a big proponent of Christianity practiced in a city environment. 

A few years ago, Saffo and some of his students successfully acquired grants to execute a landscaping project that’s changed the area’s sight lines. It was completed last year and has resulted in a space that’s greener, more open and less blighted.

“The grants were already secured by the village,” Saffo said. “All we did was propose the idea. It was part of the students’ practical project.”

As an exercise of this emphasis on urban evangelizing, Saffo walked outside of the walls of his church last Saturday with a group of about a dozen congregants and students of his school. They stood at each corner of the intersection of 19th Ave. and St. Charles, took turns bowing their heads in prayer, sang old Gospel hymns and released balloons.

“You see these trees, we were behind this landscape and this transformation, but when we did that, we understood that the litter didn’t stop, the destruction didn’t stop, I said, ‘Lord, we have to change the consciousness of the people,’” Saffo said.

Bishop Saffo Prayer VI

“This is something we do with our prayer institute each year, because we believe the church has to have an impact. We’re just believe God to change the people and when you change the people, you change the community,” he said. 

Saffo noted the communal prayer was both symbolic and signal.

“We want to let people know we have a presence, we’re here praying and putting those other elements on notice, with love, that there’s another way,” he said. “It’s about coming out these walls and trying to make a difference.” VFP


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FREE Mammograms; First Congregational’s Rummage Sale to Pop Up; Resource Fair; MFA’s Pumpkin Patch Parade Draws Near; Library Events; More

First Cong

Participants at a rummage sale that First Congregational church held in the past. The church will be hosting its annual event next Saturday, Oct. 3. | Photo provided courtesy First Congregational Church of Maywood. 

Saturday, September 26, 2015 || By COMMUNITY EDITOR 

First Congregational’s Annual Rummage Sale takes place on Saturday, Oct. 3, 9 AM to 2 PM, on the front lawn of the church, which is located at 400 N. 5th Ave., Maywood (corner of 5th and Erie). 

It’s what members of First Congregational Church of Maywood call a sort of “pop-up sale” and it’s done a bit differently than most church rummage sales.

“The problem with these sales is that they can quickly get too complicated and overwhelming,” said the First Congregational’s pastor Elliot Wimbush. “We had a number of members with items they wanted to sell. So, we give folks a few weeks’ notice to get their items cleaned and priced-to-sell. Nothing’s brought to church ahead of time and nothing remains.”

Volunteers set up tables outside on the church’s front and side lawns and get to work organizing the already priced items on tables.

“We price items to sell, because at the end of the sale, pastor packs it all up and takes what is left to Goodwill,” said congregant Karin Skinner.

She said the distribution of labor takes the burden off of the committee of church members who might otherwise have to collect, store, clean and organize for many weeks. It keeps the event fun and manageable both for the committee members and for buyers, she said. And fun is what it’s all about.

“We love being outside on the corner meeting shoppers, greeting them and sharing our good wishes,” Skinner said. “First Congregational produces several fundraisers throughout the year and these are integral to sustain our ministry.”

“It’s a run-and-gun, down-and-dirty sale, and it’s fun that way! We drink coffee, laugh, chat with neighbours, listen to great music … and make a little money for the church,” added Rev. Wimbush.

“What could be better? So, we invite the community to come by the corner of Fifth and Erie Avenues to ‘rummage’ through all the goodies and find a treasure or two,” he said.

C O M M I S S I O N E R ‘ S  B O Y K I N ‘ S  S E C O N D  

C H A N C E  R E S O U R C E  F A I R || Oct. 2

Rep. Welch Job Fair VII

Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin (1st) will host his first annual Second Chance Resource Fair Friday, Oct. 2, 10 AM to 2 PM, at Another Chance Assembly Church, 5138 W. Division, Chicago.

“This is a great opportunity for those seeking jobs to get another chance,” Boykin said, adding that participants will be provided employment opportunities, housing opportunities, the opportunity to get their state ID’s and licenses, and resume workshops.

Among potential employers and/or community organizations that will be present: Inspiration Kitchen, City Colleges of Chicago, Habilitative Systems Inc. Felony Franks, DCFS, Oak Street Health, Department of Corrections, Larry’s Barber College, Breakthrough Ministries, Windy City Harvest, Maywood Workforce Net, Safer Foundation, Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership, St. Leonard Ministries, PLCCA, Illinois Treasurers Office, WestSide Health Authority, Erskine Reeves Barber Academy, Christy Webber Landscapes, CTA, Uncle Remus, McArthurs Rest & Greater West Town

M A Y W O O D  F I N E  A R T S  P U M P K I N  P A T C H  

P A R A D E  H E R E  A G A I N  || Oct. 10

Maywood Fine Arts I

Maywood, IL—Maywood Fine Arts (MFA) will host its annual Pumpkin Patch Parade on October 10th, 2015 with a community celebration at 25 N. 5th Ave from 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.  This year’s theme is “Raising the Barre.”  With the expectation of breaking ground for the brand new dance studio in early 2016, founder Lois Baumann will have a big announcement for all Maywood Fine Arts supporters.

There will be performances all day by our Stairway of the Stars dancers, Mr. Ernie’s Flip Flop & Fly Tumblers, and The Flying High Competition Team as well as family activities, a pumpkin bounce, a photo booth, and families can win awards such as “Best Dressed Family.” The day’s main event, a walk for the arts, kicks off at 11:00 a.m. at 5th and Lake St in Maywood. Upon returning from the walk, winners of our Giant Raffle will be announced, and everyone will get a free hot dog lunch.

Come support MFA and its mission to provide affordable, quality arts and fitness education that will enrich the lives of children in Maywood and surrounding communities! For more information please contact Spooner Baumann at 630-336-4777 or at

U P C O M I N G  L I B R A R Y  E V E N T S

Maywood Library IIOct. 6 || Healthy Eating

Whitney A. Henderson, Nurse Practitioner and Clinical Manager of the Loyola University of Chicago and of the School-Based Health Center at Proviso East High School, will visit the Maywood Public Library District on Tuesday, October 6, at 4:00 pm, to instruct people on healthy eating habits. Henderson states that practicing healthy eating habits can help people feel good about themselves, while giving them the energy they need for their daily activities.  It can also help people maintain a healthy weight, while preventing diseases like diabetes and heart disease.  Old habits may have to be changed, but eating well may be a lot easier than one realizes.

Oct. 6 || Triton College: Access to Literacy

Access to Literacy will visit the Maywood Public Library District on Tuesday, October 6, from 3:30-5:00 pm.  They will discuss what their program offers, and how they help adults improve their skills in reading and comprehension.

Oct. 13 || Medicare: Information Session (Humana)

On Tuesday, October 13th, from 2:30-3:30 pm in room 201, there will be an information session on Medicare at the Maywood Public Library District.

Oct. 14 || Loyola Health Screenings

Loyola medical students will visit the Maywood Public Library District to perform health screenings for the community between5:00 pm and 6:30 pm on Wednesdays, October 14, 28, and November 11. This will include blood pressure checks, nutrition counseling, advice on how to quit or cut down on smoking, and chronic diseases. These events are free to the public.

Oct. 22 || Flu Shots

On Thursday, October 22, at 4:00 pm, nurses from the Loyola University Medical Center will give flu shots in room 201 of the Maywood Public Library District. These shots will be free.

Each Tuesday || Quilting: Step-By-Step Instruction

Making a sampler quilt is a great way to learn or practice different piercing and quilting skills.  If you are interested in learning how to construct quilts, please leave your information for Mildred A. Green at the Library by calling 708-343-1847, and ask for Information Services. The Quilting class meets at the Maywood Public Library District on every Tuesday from 12:00 noon until 2:30 pm in Room 201.

Each Thursday || Instructions in Sewing

People who are interested in learning some of the basic skills involved in constructing clothing will want to take this free class in room 201 of the Maywood Public Library District on Thursdays from 12:00 noon until 2:30 pm.  Space is limited. In order to begin taking classes, please leave your information for Mildred A. Green at 708-343-1847.

W e s t l a k e  H o s p i t a l  W e l l n e s s 


Sept. 30 & Oct. 3 || FREE Prostate Cancer Discussion and Screening

Westlake Hospital, 1225 Lake St., Melrose Park || Men’s Health Night || Topic and Screenings: Prostrate Cancer || For more info, call (708) 938-7585, or email

Oct. 1 || FREE Mammogram Appointments 

Appointments for FREE mammograms begins Oct. 1 and will end when all appointment spaces are filled.

J A Z Z  A T  T & J J’s || Oct. 30

Jazz II

D’Erania, the saxophonist, performs Oct. 30 at T&JJ’s, 718 S. 5th Ave., for an event which is part of a citywide Billy Strayhorn Centennial celebration that Chicago will host that month.

The Strayhorn celebration will be similar to, although much smaller than, the citywide Miles Davis Festival in 2011. Davis had a strong Chicago connection. Strayhorn has Chicago roots, too. Strayhorn’s niece and the president of Billy Strayhorn Songs, Inc., lives in the Chicago area. Reich notes that Alice Claerbaut has been fighting for her uncle’s place in the pantheon of American music for years. VFP

Horse Races At Bankrupt Maywood Park Face Cancellation — Wall Street Journal

Maywood ParkSaturday, September 26, 2015 || Originally Published: Wall Street Journal || 9/23/15 || By Katy Stech

An advocacy group within Illinois’s horse-racing industry is fighting to save live racing at the financially struggling Maywood Park track (pictured left) for the rest of the year.

The Illinois Harness Horseman’s Association is fighting a court battle against racetrack officials, who are proposing to cancel harness horse races after Oct. 3, arguing that the closure would unfairly force “an immediate eviction” on more than 100 horses and about 50 people who live in dorms at the track in Chicago’s Melrose Park suburb.

In court papers, Maywood Park officials told a bankruptcy judge that closing early would save $165,000 in track maintenance costs, manure removal, security and other operating costs. Displaced horsemen and their families, they added, could move to anearby sister race track, Balmoral Racing Club, which has stables for more than 1,000 horses.

Balmoral Racing’s one-mile track is more profitable and allows more horses to compete in a race, yet both tracks cost about the same amount of money to maintain, officials said in documents filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Chicago.

Maywood’s half-mile track has hosted harness races for 68 seasons in a row, which is the longest streak in state history, according to court papers. Together, the racetracks employ about 240 people.

Judge Donald R. Cassling, who has been asked to approve the early closure, has yet to rule on the matter.

Racetrack officials said they are trying to get Maywood Park and Balmoral Park, which are in bankruptcy, in better financial shape to win 2016 race dates from the state’s racing board, whose members consider whether a racetrack has the financial power to stay in business throughout the year. Both tracks are also up for sale.

The racetracks have gradually slimmed down their racing schedule as competition for gambling dollars grows from riverboat casinos, video lottery terminals and combined racing-casino facilities. These days, Maywood Park and Balmoral Park take in roughly 85% of their profits during Friday and Saturday racing, according to court papers.

“The [horseman’s association] has been keenly aware of the inevitability of reduced race dates at Maywood for years,” the racetracks’ lawyers said in court papers.

On top of growing competition, the racetracks lost an $82 million battle with riverboat casino operators over an alleged bribery scheme involving disgraced ex-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. The tracks filed for bankruptcy in December to prevent the casinos from trying to collect that money.

The riverboat casinos had filed a lawsuit that accused the racetracks’ owners of illegally promising to contribute money to Mr. Blagojevich’s campaign if he renewed a 3% tax on the riverboat casinos. That deal was captured on wiretaps during the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s five-year investigation into public corruption in Illinois, according to the federal lawsuit that the riverboat casinos filed in 2009.

The lawsuit said that Mr. Blagojevich’s campaign committee got $125,000 in donations from Balmoral-related entities and was scheduled to take in another $100,000 around the time that he was arrested in late 2008 on federal corruption charges. (In 2012, he began serving a 14-year prison sentence.)

After a week-long trial in December, a jury decided in favor of the riverboat casinos, leading to the multimillion-dollar judgment.

In earlier court papers, Balmoral Park’s lawyers called the allegations of extortion “nonsense” and fought the lawsuit.

Money from the riverboat tax, which was created in 2006, has flowed to horsemen and horse-racing track improvements to help make up for the financial hardship that hit Illinois’s horse-racing industry after riverboat gambling was legalized in the 1990s. VFP


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BREAKING: Drug Raid Conducted on Maywood Building This Morning, Sept. 23; Police Investigating Monday Night Shooting


The 1000 block of South 5th Ave. Google Maps.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015 || By Michael Romain 

A major raid was conducted on a building at 1004 S. 5th Ave. this morning, Wednesday, Sept. 23, according to Maywood Police Chief Valdimir Talley.

Talley said the raid was carried out by a Cook County drug task force, of which a Maywood police officer is a member.

Talley said several, so far unidentified, individuals living in the building were arrested. They were suspected of dealing narcotics from the location.

Authorities reportedly seized weapons, drugs and money from the address. The exact amount of seized items is still being calculated, said Talley, who noted that the County hasn’t yet turned over all of the details from the raid.

More as this story develops.

Monday night shooting under investigation

Maywood police are investigating what they suspect could have been a drive-by shooting on the 200 block of S. 14th Ave.

Several residents on the blocks reported hearing numerous rounds, with one reporting that his the window of his car was shot out.

Chief Talley said that there may have been injuries related to the shooting, but didn’t disclose further details. He said the shooting is currently under investigation. VFP


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