Alex Whitehead wants Bridgeview residents to be allowed to keep chickens in their yards. (Photo by Steve Metsch)
Bridgeview resident wants to keep chickens in yard
By Steve Metsch
Bridgeview has been home to the Fire, the Red Stars and thousands of Parrot Heads. Who’s ready for some chickens?
Alex Whitehead, a six-year resident of Bridgeview, has proposed that residents be permitted to raise chickens in their yards.
“I think we can make a case for chickens being allowed,” she told the village board at its Sept. 15 meeting.
“I don’t want a rooster,” she said. “I want fresh eggs from chickens to provide for my family.”
Whitehead, who lives in the 7200 block of 74th Street, noted that Chicago and Countryside allow residents to raise chickens.
“I’m already a gardener. I have the perfect place for them behind the garage,” Whitehead said. “Chickens and eggs are going up in price a lot.”
Mayor Steve Landek said village staff would consult with Countryside to see how that’s working out in that community.
“Our hesitancy is there are responsible people who will keep their chickens clean,” Landek said. “But there are others who won’t.”
Trustee Claudette Struzik did not like Whitehead’s idea.
“The rats are going to come to eat the feed,” Struzik said. “And then they will eat the chickens. Then you have racoons. Once you have feed on the ground, it’s a problem.”
“I can understand what she’s trying to do,” Struzik said. “But she’s one person. Then the person next door says, ‘Oh, we can do that? Then we can do something else. We’ll bring in ducks’.”
“I don’t know,” she added. “Countryside may have a handle on it.”
Whitehead, who grew up on farm in a rural area outside Kankakee, remains confident: “I’m here to battle.”
Landek noted that other towns have made it work, adding “we’ll look at the issue.”
“Some (chicken coops) are beautiful, like little apartment buildings,” Landek said. “But chickens are a mess.”
Village Clerk John Altar said a neighbor a few blocks from his home has a rooster. Altar said it doesn’t bother him too much.
“It doesn’t wake me up, but I’ll hear ‘cockadoodledo’,” said Altar, who fondly recalled spending summers on a downstate farm as a boy.
Whitehead also suggested it may be better for the environment if more residents replace their grass lawns with moss or something else that doesn’t use as much water.
Landek said “it just can’t be paved” because paving yards limits the amount of rainwater that can permeate into the ground.
“You want to have a rock garden? That’s okay,” Landek said.
Whitehead also asked if residents are allowed to have rain barrels to collect water from their downspouts. They are permitted, officials said.
Trustee James Cecott told her to contact the MWRD, which has a rain barrel program.
Whitehead thanked the village for installing a speed bump on Octavia Avenue just north of 74th Street near her home.
“It’s helped so much,” said Whitehead, whose children are 12 and 5 years old. “People were just flying through when traffic backs up on Harlem.”
In other business, the board approved spending $225,000 for new sod at SeatGeek Stadium. The sod will cover the entire field, Landek said.
Landek said the new sod was not a surprise and had been budgeted for.
“It’s been eight years since we replaced the turf,” Landek said.
“Turf is only good eight to 10 years,” he said. “The first time we went nine or 10 years. Sooner or later, it needs to be changed.”
A street repaving project in the village has been delayed about 10 weeks, but bids are expected by Sept. 27 with work to begin soon after.
“It’s long overdue,” Landek said.
The board also approved the emergency hiring of firefighter/paramedic Frank Loeza.
His hiring was to fill an unexpected vacancy on the fire department, Trustee Patricia Higginson said.
The board also approved a recommendation from the Zoning, Planning and Development Commission to grant a special use permit for the operation of an automobile repair shop at 8754-56 S. 78th Ave.
The shop will not be allowed to park vehicles outside overnight, and will have room for eight vehicles indoors, according to the application.
The board next meets at 7 p.m. Oct. 6.
Summit Dental Smiles now open in Summit
By Carol McGowan Summit Dental Smiles is now open at 7557 W. 63rd St. in Summit. It’s in a newly remodeled building that was formerly a law office, and medical office many years prior to that. If you visited the building in the past, you wouldn’t recognize it now. It sat vacant for years, and…
Bridgeview woman soars with Honor Flight
By Steve Metsch After spending more than three years in the Army, Emily Croucher was treated to one unforgettable day. She was one of 93 women on an Honor Flight Chicago Operation HerStory to and from Washington, D.C. Given to armed forces veterans for years, this was the first Honor Flight from Chicago that was…
Overnight closures for Roberts Road and 87th Street
Overnight road closures on Roberts Road and 87th Street with posted detours are scheduled to begin this weekend to accommodate mainline bridge removal work for the Central Tri-State Tollway (I-294) Project. The overnight closures of the local roads are necessary to safely accommodate the removal of the I-294 mainline bridge deck and beams over Roberts Road and 87th Street.…
High School Football: Jake Maziarka runs for 4 TDs in Sandburg’s win over Stagg
By Jason Maholy Sports Editor During the week heading into Sandburg’s matchup with Stagg, Eagles coach Troy McAllister’s message to his players was to not take the winless Chargers for granted. The Eagles were coming off the program’s most significant victory since at least 2015, a 30-27 triumph over powerful Lincoln-Way East in a game…
High School Football: JCA beats Rice in battle of top-rated teams
By Jeff Vorva Correspondent Brother Rice quarterback Jack Lausch has put up some impressive running and passing numbers in both wins and losses this year. The Crusaders, who were ranked No. 1 in the state by the sportswriters in the Associated Press poll heading into Friday’s action, had a 49-46 setback to Class 8A No.…
College Football: Olivet tops Saint Xavier in offensive showdown
By Jeff Vorva Correspondent The number 13 was not lucky the second time. For the second time in as many home games, St. Xavier University faced the 13th-ranked team in the nation in NAIA play according to the coaches polls. While they stunned 13th-ranked St. Francis, Indiana, 38-0, on Sept. 25, the 18th-ranked Cougars had…
High School Boys Soccer: Argo and Reavis draw in rivalry match at SeatGeek
By Steve Millar Correspondent Neither team got the chance to lift the trophy that was supposed go to the winner, but Argo and Reavis players left with some special memories from a game played last week at SeatGeek Stadium. The Argonauts and Rams played to a 2-2 tie in a fun atmosphere in Bridgeview on…
Pro Soccer Report: House wins first game at home; Milazzo scores first pro goal
By Jeff Vorva Correspondent It was a weekend of firsts when it came to the area’s professional soccer teams. The Chicago House won its historic first home game Saturday at SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview with a 1-0 triumph over San Diego 1904 FC. Sunday night, Orland Park’s Tatumn Milazzo, a defender who doesn’t get many…
Midnight Terror is bigger, better, uglier and scarier
By Jeff Vorva Justin Cerniuk, of Oak Lawn, is 31 but his philosophy is the same at it was when he was 10 years old and started a horror show in his front yard. “I’ve always had the same goals since I was 10 and that’s to have fun with a group of friends building…
SD230 joins discussion on special needs field in Orland
By Jeff Vorva The Village of Orland Park is not the only government body exploring the possibility of erecting a special-needs baseball/softball field in the village. Consolidated High School District 230 Assistant Supt. for Business Services John Lavelle brought up the possibility of tag-teaming with Orland School District 135 to provide a field for special-need…
Report: Nursing homes in crisis with staff shortages
By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – A new report released Wednesday says staffing shortages at nursing homes in Illinois have reached crisis proportions and that people of color are most at risk of suffering the consequences. That’s because those individuals are more likely to live in understaffed facilities or in “ward” rooms…
Springfield transportation hub to relieve rail congestion
By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – A railway improvement project intended to greatly improve traffic congestion between St. Louis and Chicago reached a milestone Tuesday as work began on a multimodal transportation hub in the capital city. Gov. JB Pritzker was joined at a groundbreaking ceremony by U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin and…
CAPITOL RECAP: Congressional redistricting hearings begin
By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD – The process of redrawing congressional district maps in Illinois got off to a slow start Thursday when only one person showed up to testify at the first legislative public hearing, which was held in Chicago. Ryan Tolley, policy director for the advocacy group CHANGE Illinois, urged the House Redistricting…
Task force considers changes to qualified immunity for Illinois law enforcement officers
By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – A new state task force continued discussions Thursday as to what changes could be made to the way state law approaches qualified immunity for law enforcement officers. Qualified immunity is a court doctrine granting protection for law enforcement officers and other government officials from certain civil…
Only one testifies at first congressional redistricting hearing
By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The process of redrawing congressional district maps in Illinois got off to a slow start Thursday when only one person showed up to testify at the first legislative public hearing, which was held in Chicago. Ryan Tolley, policy director for the advocacy group CHANGE Illinois, urged…
Plaintiffs: New legislative maps dilute Latino vote
By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Plaintiffs in two lawsuits challenging the state’s legislative redistricting plan have filed new complaints in federal court charging that the district maps that lawmakers approved in August dilute Latino voting power and thus violate the U.S. Constitution and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The Mexican…
Officials outline progress in Cairo river port development
By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – A proposed river port development in the southern Illinois town of Cairo is drawing much attention and interest from companies that believe it could open up greater access to international markets, officials behind the project said Tuesday. The Alexander-Cairo Port District project has been on the…
Report details disparities faced by aging LGBTQ Illinoisans
By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Many aging LGBTQ Illinoisans face barriers to health care and financial security and fear discrimination in senior communities, according to a combined report from senior and LGBTQ advocacy groups released Tuesday. The Disrupting Disparities: Challenges and Solutions for 50+ LGBTQ Illinoisans report by the senior advocacy…
Law enforcement steps up efforts to fight online child exploitation
By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – State Attorney General Kwame Raoul joined local and federal prosecutors Monday to announce new efforts to combat a rise in online child exploitation in Illinois. The efforts include greater outreach and education for parents and teachers, and a new mobile computer forensics unit that will…
Pritzker order aims to end subminimum wage for disabled people in state contracts
By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker signed an executive order Monday that would prevent companies contracting with the state from paying disabled workers at less than the minimum wage. Pritzker took the action in what he said was a broader effort to try to push federal lawmakers to change…