News and stuff about Lake Forest and Lake Bluff

Need A Ride? Lake Forest Has Zipcar Car Sharing Service

Submitted by City of Lake Forest

Zipcar, the world’s leading car sharing company that offers wheels by the hour or by the day, is now serving the Lake Forest community with two cars available for use at the East Lake Forest Train Station. Two Zipcars, a Mazda 3 named “Fresh” and a Jeep Compass named “Colcord”, are now conveniently located in the lot just north of Deerpath in the southeast corner.

“Green initiatives were strongly emphasized in the City’s Strategic Plan and I’m happy that Lake Forest is achieving these goals through the introduction of car sharing. Additionally, Zipcar will be a great asset for students, residents and visitors to the community,” comments Mayor Don Schoenheider.

“Cost-savings, convenience, reduced demand for parking are just some of the benefits that we are confident the Lake Forest community will experience by offering Zipcar as a transportation alternative,” said Charles Stephens, Zipcar Chicago general manager. “Since each car shared takes approximately 15 privately owned vehicles off the road, Zipcar can also help reduce the community’s overall carbon footprint and impact on the environment.”

Those interested in becoming a Zipcar member can find more information and apply online in just a few minutes at Approved members will be mailed their “Zipcard”, which is the key to the Zipcars in Lake Forest and the entire fleet of over 10,000 Zipcar vehicles globally. Members can then make reservations on nearby vehicles via Zipcar’s mobile apps for iPhone and Android, online or over the phone. To gain access to the reserved car, members simply place the Zipcard against a small scanner located on the windshield of the car, and the doors automatically unlock. The keys are located inside the vehicle near the ignition. At the end of the reservation, Zipcars are returned to their designated parking location where they were picked up.

The Zipcar application fee is $25 (a one-time fee) and annual Zipcar memberships are $60 for a full year of membership or $6 per month. A Zipcar reservation includes gas, insurance, a reserved parking spot and up to 180 miles per day. There is a gas card inside the car which Zipcar members can use to add fuel. Drivers must be age 21 years or older, and rates on the Lake Forest vehicles will start at $8.50 an hour and $74 a day.

For further information from the City, please contact Matt Havlik at or 847.810.3677. For more information on Zipcar, please contact CJ Himberg at or 617.336.4537.

Lake Bluff: A Favorite Place To Rest And Nest for American Woodcocks

Lake Bluff Open Lands Association's Woodcock Walk; photo from LBOLA's Facebook page.

Lake Bluff Open Lands Association’s Woodcock Walk; photo from LBOLA’s Facebook page.

By Adrienne Fawcett

Lake Bluff real estate received top billing from American Woodcocks in Lake and Cook Counties, according to a recent birding survey.

Members of Illinois Audubon Society’s Lake/Cook Chapter conducted the survey at the request of the University of Arkansas, which is studying American Woodcock migration. Lake Cook Audubon President Rena Cohen said her organization covered 35 sites in Lake and Cook Counties and that birders counted 12 woodcocks in one night in Lake Bluff’s 35-acre Skokie River Land & Water Reserve, the highest number recorded by the group. The surveys were completed by April 9 because the University calculated that birds staying beyond that date are here to nest, not just migrate through the area.

More recently, on April 19, Lake Bluff Open Lands Association held its annual Woodcock Walk in the same area, and the Woodcocks didn’t disappoint.

So … What’s an American Woodcock and why should we care? describes American Woodcocks as “plump, short-legged shorebirds with very long, straight bills.” (Click here to listen to the woodcock’s peent call, flight and wing sounds and growling challenge call.)

For images of this interesting bird, please click here.

Lake Bluff’s David Barkhausen ventured out at dusk on Thursday evening, April 17, to see if Woodcocks were in town, and he heard at least three or four from the middle of the Skokie Preserve, which is located south of Route 176, west of Green Bay, and east of the Skokie River a quarter mile east of Route 41. He heard several Woodcocks and had a decent look at one circling overhead and then landing a few times. He also got very close to a Woodcock dancing in circles on the ground while uttering its every-few-seconds loud “peent” cricket-like call.

“After doing this for a minute or more, the male Woodcock takes off high in the air and circles rapidly at around 100-200 feet,” said Barkhausen. “He then descends suddenly, and you hear the whistling flutter of his wings and can often see the bird drop down just before he hits the ground and resumes the ‘peenting’ sound. The bird I was near was in some fairly tall brush, so I could not see him or his dance on the ground even though I was within 50 feet of him.”

Intrigued, he followed up his birding exploration with an email to Lake/Cook Audubon’s Rena Cohen. Here’s a Q&A between the two (published on GazeboNews with their permission).

Barkhausen: Do birdwatchers in search of Woodcocks sometimes use flashlights to try to spot the birds on the ground, or will that scare them off too readily or stop them from doing their “peenting?”

Cohen: Flashlights are discouraged but I can’t tell you for sure if the light will distract the birds in any way.

Barkhausen: How long are they apt to stick around? Do they nest here, or are they migrating? I gather this springtime activity is a mating ritual. How long might it last?

Cohen: Woodcocks do nest here but some just stop here and continue on their way during migration.

A few factoids – these birds arrive early (in late March) because they eat worms and don’t need insects like most spring migrants do. Their beaks have a flexible tip that helps them dig up worms, and their “dance” (Google it if you haven’t seen it) is believed to help them locate worms under the ground. They typically make a 360-degree turn as they peent so it frequently sounds as if they’re moving away even if they aren’t. Also, the sound they make when they fly up in the air to display is made by air passing through three very thin wing feathers that are noticeably thinner than the rest .

Barkhausen: Another question is how long is the mating ritual dance apt to continue? You did say that some of them stay and indicated that if they’re still here (after April 9th), they’re likely to make this home. Would that be until late fall?

Cohen: Hmm, good question! I don’t know when they stop displaying, but the literature says they continue to display long after most females have laid eggs. That can happen as early as March, but I can tell you that one of them at Heller Nature Center was still displaying on Wednesday, and they’re certainly still active now.

Their mating habits are also interesting. Some males display at several singing grounds and mate with multiple females. The female often visits four or more singing grounds before nesting, and she may keep up these visits even while she cares for her young. The male gives no parental care. I guess that’s why he has the energy to keep on doing his courtship flight – which has given him the nickname “sky dancer.”

Agenda: Lake Bluff Park District, April 21

Submitted by the Lake Bluff Park District


PUBLIC NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Board of Park Commissioners of the Lake Bluff Park District, Lake County, Illinois (the “Park Board”) will hold a Regular Board Meeting of the Park Board on the 21st day of April 2014, at 6:30 o’clock P.M., at the Recreation Center, 355 W. Washington Avenue, Lake Bluff, Illinois.

The Agenda for the Meeting is as follows:


A. Call to Order
B. RollCall
C. Approval of Agenda
D. Statement of Visitors


A. Approve Minutes of March 17, 2014 Regular Board Meeting
B. Approve Minutes of April 7, 2014 Committee of the Whole Meeting
C. Approve Minutes of April 11, 2014 Special Meeting


A. Approve Invoice Schedule for the period ending April 1, 2014
B. Approve Invoice Schedule for the period ending April 21, 2014


A. 2014 March and Year to Date Financials B. PurchaseCards–Ratification


A. Property and Public Land Use Advisory Committee – Appointments – Approval
B. Ordinance 2014-D – Declaration of Surplus Personal Property and Authorization for Disposal – Approval
C. Sunrise Park and Beach – Policies – Approval
D. 2011-14 Strategic Plan – 1st Quarter – Update


A. CommunityComments B. Correspondence


A. Staff
B. Finance, Administration and Future Planning Committee
C. Beach and Parks Committee
D. Facilities and Programs Committee
E. Tri-Board/Intergovernmental Committee
F. Friends of Lake Bluff Parks
G. Joint Task Force
H. Property and Public Land Use Advisory Committee
I. Commissioner Comments
J. President’s Report


A. Discussion of the meetings lawfully closed under the Open Meetings Act, whether for purposes of approval by the District of the minutes or semi-annual review of the minutes as mandated by Section 2.06 per 5 ILCS 120/2(c)(21).




Any person with a disability requiring reasonable accommodation to participate in this meeting should notify Ron Salski, Executive Director, Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Park District Administrative Office, 355 W. Washington Avenue, Lake Bluff, IL 60044-0095; Fax: (847) 234-7275; email; or telephone (847) 234-4150×18. Notice should be given at least 48 hours prior to the meeting. Any request for a qualified interpreter generally requires 5 days notice in advance.

Ron Salski
Secretary, Board of Commissioners
Lake Bluff Park District, Lake County, IL

‘Tenth Dems’ Political Group Seeks Applicants for Internships

Submitted by the Illinois Tenth Congressional District Democrats organization

The Illinois Tenth Congressional District Democrats (Tenth Dems), a grassroots political organization that helps mobilize voters and interest groups in one of the most widely watched and intensely contested congressional districts in the country, is now accepting applications for its summer 2014 internship program.

The internship is a substantive program designed for high school, college and graduate students seeking an opportunity to become deeply engaged in the political process. This is the perfect time to complete a political internship as Democrats prepare for the critical 2014 midterm elections. General assignments include staffing of events and issue forums, door-to-door canvassing with candidates, working in campaign offices and conducting research.

In the past, Tenth Dems interns have staffed events featuring then-state senator and now-President Barack Obama; the late George McGovern, South Dakota Senator and 1972 presidential candidate; Vermont Governor and presidential candidate Howard Dean; U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota; Russ Feingold of Wisconsin; Mark Begich of Alaska; and our own Dick Durbin, as well as numerous other Illinois state and local elected officials. Tenth Dems has also held events featuring frequent MSNBC contributor John Nichols, and that network’s Karen Finney, host of the weekend TV show Disrupt.

Interns may also choose to complete specialized assignments in new media, IT management and political outreach.

Internships are unpaid, educational positions. However, course credit is available from some high schools and colleges.

“This is an opportunity to learn about a grassroots political organization and to develop important skills,” said former State Representative Lauren Beth Gash, a Tenth Dems leader. “Many of our interns have gone on to law school, worked in Springfield or Washington or gotten jobs with national non-profit organizations.”

Acceptance into the program is selective, competitive and contingent upon an interview. Applicants need not reside in the 10th District, but they must have an interest in electing Democrats and be able to travel to our offices and devote a minimum of 16 hours per week to the internship.

Applicants should submit a brief paragraph explaining why they would like to be part of the program, along with a resume summarizing their educational background and activities. Neither need be formal. To apply or request more information, contact Matthew Bondy, Internship Coordinator, or Lauren Beth Gash by email at

Renowned Expressionist Diane Thodos Opens Exhibit at Re-invent Gallery

Sponsored post by Re-invent Gallery in Lake Forest:

Re-Invent Gallery invites the community to an opening night celebration of its newest exhibit, Diane Thodos: Forces of Life: Lyricism and Requiem, which opens Good Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. and runs through May 31 at 202 E. Wisconsin Ave, Lake Forest.

Painter and printmaker Diane Thodos has always felt drawn to the expressionist art movements of the Modernist era – most specifically to Abstract Expressionism from the 1940’s – 1950’s and German Expressionism from 1906 – 1924. Her paintings and prints embody two different aspects – a drive towards the lyrical, and an opposite one towards the tragic. For her, figure and abstraction create a fertile ground for ever-new compositional and emotionally expressive possibilities.

Earning her MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York City in 1989, Thodos was mentored early on by Donald Kuspit, an iconic New York art critic and intellectual who inspired her to delve deeply into the world of Expressionism. She was further inspired by the powerful graphic techniques of the German Expressionists after a fateful meeting with owners of an immense private collection of such works in 1992. Over the course of two decades, she has been granted access to the collection for self-study, and her paintings and woodblock prints reflect both style and technical techniques of bygone Expressionist masters. Like many noted American Abstract Expressionists of our time Thodos also studied with Stanley William Hayter who revealed the importance of subconscious imagery through the use of automatic gesture or automatism.

Diane Thodos

Diane Thodos


Of her new one-woman exhibit at Re-invent, Thodos states, “I feel that our current culture is undergoing a period of both upheaval and uncertainty. This is why the tragic aspect of my work attempts to distill states of feeling that are essential and direct in their expression. My lyrical work represents an equal and opposing life force…In this exhibit, you will see the opposite poles of life and death, lyricism and tragedy, abstraction and figure.”

Re-invent gallery co-owner Cecilia Lanyon said, “Diane is a significant artist among American Abstract Expressionists today, who has exhibited nationally and internationally. We are honored to showcase her works through this exhibit, from her life-infused paintings to her most intricate woodblock prints.”

The show’s Opening Night Celebration is Good Friday, April 18, 6-9 p.m.. Visit or call 224-544-5961

Lake Forest Open Lands Hosts Event To Get Kids Outdoors

Location: Mellody Farm, 350 North Waukegan Road Lake Forest, IL USA 60045
Event Title: “The Play Out”€ –

Lake Forest Open Lands is hosting “€œThe Play Out”€ to encourage youth to spend time in nature on April 27, 2014 from 1 pm – 4 pm at Mellody Farm Nature Preserve. €”The Play Out”€, sparked by Chicago Wilderness’€™ Leave No Child Inside initiative and District 67 Earth Day celebration, encourages families to get outside and enjoy a variety of activities promoting creativity and exploration in nature.

The event will offer activities for a variety of ages and interests. The Care of Trees will host a tree climbing station and a natural obstacle course. DK Organics is hosting Mud City where children became mud engineers. Older attendees will search for hidden garden gnomes and build shelters out of natural materials. Other activity stations focus on metamorphosis, pond netting, insects, music, drawing and bird watching. Before leaving, participants will plant in the Earth Day garden.

An integral part of the event is “€œThe Play Out Pledge,”€ a signed commitment by students to spend two hours outside during Earth Day weekend. A growing body of research indicates that time spent outdoors in nature is critical to children’€™s physical, social and emotional development. Research also shows that unstructured play in nature (child-centered, exploratory, imaginative play) fosters creativity, emotional well-being, independent learning and problem solving. And it lets kids connect with the place in which they live and the larger environment on which we all depend. Lake Forest Open Lands is grateful to the many volunteers, partners and sponsors who work on “€œThe Play Out”€. Particular thanks goes to District 67 and 115, Abbott, North Shore Gas and The Care of Trees for event sponsorship. Other partners include Whole Foods – Deerfield, DK Organics, and Chicago Wilderness.

Lake Forest Open Lands Association is an independently funded conservation and educational organization devoted to the acquisition and stewardship of our natural landscapes, and to ensuring all generations have a meaningful, lasting connection to nature and our land. Lake Forest Open Lands Association is the first land trust in Illinois to receive national accreditation with the Land Trust Alliance (LTA).

In addition, the organization is an active member of Chicago Wilderness. Since its establishment in 1967, Lake Forest Open Lands has acquired, preserved, restored and maintained over 800 acres and 12 miles of walking trails encompassing native landscapes, prairies, savannas, woodlands, and wetlands for the benefit and enjoyment of local communities. For more information visit, please visit

Vietnam Veteran Presents ‘Stories of War Brought to Life’

Submitted by Lake County Health Department

Caesar Soto, a Vietnam veteran, will speak about his war experiences at a free event at Warren-Newport Public Library, 224 N. O’Plaine Road in Gurnee on Monday, April 21 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. His presentation is part of the series “The Stories of War from those Who Have Been There” coordinated by the Lake-McHenry Veterans and Family Services program affiliated with the Lake County Health Department.

Founded in 2012, the program is designed to engage veterans who are often reluctant to seek help on issues ranging from job and benefit issues to emotional stress caused by deployment, reintegration, and family issues. Currently, there are approximately 40,000 veterans in Lake County alone, according to the Lake County Veterans Assistance Commission. Of those veterans, 20 to 25 percent struggle with mental health issues.

The series is designed to honor veterans and promote conversation among veterans, their loved ones and the public about the long-term effects of military experiences. Soto was 20 when he returned from Vietnam in 1969. Although 45 years have passed since he survived combat, post traumatic stress still haunts him today, just as it still impacts the lives of many veterans. The Lake-McHenry Veterans and Family Services program assists veterans, whether they served in Vietnam or more present day conflicts, and their families, face challenges before, during and after deployments.

The program is free and open to the public. Reservations are unnecessary. For more information, Call: (847) 377-8386.

Lost Dog: Have You Seen Figgy?

A GazeboNews reader asked us to post the following:

lost dog shih tzu
Figgy no collar
last seen tue April 15 6pm
Near Barat College

Pls contact Lake Forest Police




Friendship Force Celebrates 30 Years in Northern Illinois

Submitted by Friendship Force of Northern Illinois

The Friendship Force of Northern Illinois (FFNI) is celebrating the 30th anniversary of its founding. The club will meet at the Magnolia Inn at Lambs Farm on May 4, 2014. FFNI is a local chapter of Friendship Force International, a citizen diplomacy organization founded in 1977 by the late Wayne Smith, a Presbyterian minister and co-founded by President Jimmy Carter. The mission of Friendship Force is to promote global understanding by connecting the world one friend at a time.

The aim is to create a world of friends that becomes a world of peace. State Governors were asked to assist in promoting Friendship Force activity in their state. FFNI was one of the earliest clubs established in the Midwest. Today, Friendship Force International has 377 chartered local clubs in 60 countries on 6 continents with more than 18,000 members worldwide.

Friendship Force members pursue our mission by welcoming visitors from other countries into our homes for week-long stays. These visits, known as “exchanges” occur 250 – 300 times each year around the world.  Sharing meals and conversation enables people to understand our common humanity and see beyond governments and borders.

Friendship Force of Northern Illinois is a local Friendship Force chapter, founded in 1984.  The club currently has 51 members, residing mostly in Lake, Mc Henry and Cook counties.

To make a reservation to attend the event please email:

For information about Friendship Force International please visit:
For information about Friendship Force of Northern Illinois please visit:

Lecture Series: ‘Here’s to Your Health’ — Food + Fun = Healthy Inspiration

Updated April 17: This event is on  April 29, from 6:00 – 8:00 pm

Submitted by the Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Chamber of Commerce:

Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science will be discussing how healthy eating and active living can be fun and beneficial to living a long happy life. Along with warmer weather, one of the best things about spring is the increase in physical activity and the anticipation of in-season fruits and vegetables. Eating well can help you stay healthy and independent — and look and feel great! Whatever your age, you can start making positive lifestyle changes today.

“Here’s To Your Health” Lecture Series, co-sponsored by Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science and the Lake Forest/Lake Bluff Chamber of Commerce, on Tuesday, April 29, from 6 to 8  p.m. at Gorton Community Center, Lake Forest. Admission is free.

Guest speakers from Rosalind Franklin:

  • Lynn Janas, PhD Assistant Professor and Chair, Department of Nutrition Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science
  • Hope T Bilyk, MS, RDN, LDN Asst Professor Dept of Nutrition, College of Health Professions at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science Asst Professor Dept of Medicine, Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science

Complimentary food and beverages provided by The Fresh Market. Registration for this free event is open to the public. Call 847-234-4282 or register at