By Bob McParland
Eisenhower High School this year added significantly to its legacy of students winning top prizes in art competitions. Senior Jocelyn Lopez won Best of Show at the Moraine Valley Community College High School Art Exhibit. Judges chose Lopez’s winning piece as the best of the hundreds of submissions from all the MVCC district schools. Senior Cherith Clottey won Best of Show in Painting at the South Suburban Conference exhibit at Trinity Christian College.
Lopez became the third Eisenhower student in the past four years to win Pair of Eisenhower students win Best of Show of Show -- the piece judges select as the finest of all entries -- at MVCC. Ben Aguilar won in 2015 and Alexis Sanchez won in 2017. Eisenhower art instructor Jim Hart taught all of them.
I see Tom Hawley's note every week about picking up litter around town. I frequently take a bag or two with me when I walk up town - one for the way there, and one for the way back. Not every time, but often.
Litter in the sewers... As we are all well aware, the region's aging sewers frequently get backed up and flood residents' basements during storm events. Part of the problem is the lack of capacity in the sewer system to handle the combined sewer and surface run-off. But from what I have been reading, debris (leaves, trash, litter, grease) in the sewer systems can both reduce the capacity and block the flow, essentially creating a massive clogged sewer drain. The cost to upgrade our sewer and storm water systems is beyond what we as individuals or an individual municipality is able to deliver, but we can do a good deal to reduce the amount of debris that gets washed into our sewers. Pick up the litter!
Picking up litter and preventing litter will help make Blue Island a more attractive city. Litter-free streets, lots and yards will make Blue Island more attractive to potential homeowners and businesses. More homeowners and businesses mean increased revenue through both property and sales taxes. Increased revenues mean more money available to repair our roads and fund vital city services, including schools, the library, parks, police and fire protection.
Clean, litter-free streets will encourage residents and visitors alike to shop and dine more often in Blue Island. And we, the residents and property taxpayers will benefit, because the local portion of sales taxes stays in Blue Island, reducing the burden on property taxes to fund our necessary city services. In addition, prosperous businesses mean increased local employment opportunities.
Clean, litter-free neighborhoods and shopping areas, good schools and roads, and prosperous businesses are all factors that positively affect home values. Dirty, pot-holed streets, empty storefronts, flooded streets and basements, and underfunded schools all negatively affect home values.
Could it all come down to something as simple as picking up the litter? Perhaps it could.
January 24 Issue Deadline January 15
February 21 Issue Deadline February 12
March 21 Issue Deadline March 12
April 18 Issue Deadline April 9
May 23 Issue Deadline May 14
June 20 Issue Deadline June 11
July 18 Issue Deadline July 9
August 22 Issue Deadline August 13
September 19 Issue Deadline September 10
October 17 Issue Deadline October 8
November 14 Issue deadline November 5
December 12 Issue Deadline December 3
Download a PDF of the new issue.