News and stuff about Lake Forest and Lake Bluff

Firefighters Beat Blaze on Illinois Road in Lake Forest

From a press release and an email exchange with the LFFD:

No one was injured in a fire on the 700 block of Illinois Road in Lake Forest on Tuesday evening, April 22.

The Lake Forest Fire Department responded to the fire after getting a call from an alarm company. When they arrived on the scene, firefighters found smoke coming from the exterior roof area in the rear of the home and fire inside on the first floor, according to a press release from the LFFD.

The house is being renovated and was unoccupied at the time of the incident, Battalion Chief of Operations Eric Montellano told GazeboNews.

Four engines, one truck, three MICUS and three other vehicles responded to the incident. Firefighters used a one-and-three-quarters hand line to extinguish the fire, which was contained to the roof and ceiling area of involvement.

Fire companies from Knollwood and Lake Bluff assisted, with COQ from Mundelein and Wheeling. (Montellano said COQ means Change of Quarters, i.e.: those units didn’t report to the scene but stood by at the LF fire station to handle potential calls.)

The estimated loss is $45,000. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

West Siders Form New Co-Ed Softball Team in Lake Bluff

Submitted by the West Terrorists softball team:

John Rubin and Jim Lachner, both Lake Bluff residents from the West Terrace neighborhood, have formed a co-ed softball team called the “West Terrorists.” This new team will compete in the Lake Bluff Park District Summer Softball League on Tuesday and Thursdays from June through August.

The “West Terrorists” will field a team of local West Terrace neighbors who were at an Oscar Event Party this year, as a get-to-know-your-neighbor party, and one thing led to another, and as the evening progressed the Team was formed. As a first year team in this fun league, there will be many laughs and memories for friends and family..

The League has eight teams from the Lake Bluff and Lake Forest area. Each team has five guys and five gals on the field and guys have to bat opposite their power unless they are over 50 years of age. Very humbling, by the way, for the guys to bat that way, and a lot of fun to play and watch. John and Jim, both 10+ veterans of the League, are looking forward to bringing their own brand of softball to the field this year, both have been key members of Championship Teams in the last three years in the league.

Lynch Construction won the league in 2013 and is the preseason favorite once again. Games start the second week of June, are played at Rosenthal Field in Lake Bluff and run through the end of August, most under the lights.

Lake Bluff Police Blotter Now Online

By Adrienne Fawcett

The Lake Bluff Police Department has begun posting is police blotter online, a practice that new Police Chief David Belmonte said is the first step in the LBPD’s community outreach efforts.

“One of the goals we want to accomplish in the department is greater transparency,” he said. “One of the simplest ways to accomplish this is to make the information on our calls for service more accessible. Placing the police blotter on the web site is the easiest way to do that.”

The LBPD worked with Brandon Stanick, the Assistant to the Village Administrator, to create a policy and format for the online blotter, which will be updated weekly. Blotter details will include calls the police department responds to but will privacy and will not release the identity of anyone online, Chief Belmonte said.

GazeboNews has a Blotter link on the navigation bar at the top of the GN home page, which connects our readers to the Lake Forest Police Blotter, which has been online for several years. We’ve added a link to the Lake Bluff Police Blotter.


You can also visit the City of Lake Forest and Village of Lake Bluff web sites to read the blotters.

Gorton Community Center Plans First-Ever Dog Day Parade

Submitted by Gorton Community Center

Getting ready for the parade. Photo courtesy of Larry Ross Photography

Getting ready for the parade. Photo courtesy of Larry Ross Photography

Lake Forest, IL — Every dog has his day, and this year for local dogs that day is Saturday, May 10, as Gorton Community Center hosts the 1st annual Gorton Dog Day Parade.

Gorton’s Dog Day will celebrate our canine friends and families with food, music, dog experts and more. The bark of the town is of course the costumed dog parade, which will step off from Gorton at 9:30 a.m., promenade through town, around Market Square and back to Gorton. Parade Marshall and Dog Day sponsor Michael Schreiber of L3 Capital, LLC said, “Gorton reflects this community’s camaraderie and energy, which all of our merchants in Market Square hold dear. We are proud to support what is sure to become one of the town’s best-loved events.”

Once the tail-wagging processional returns to Gorton, ribbons will be awarded to one small, one medium and one large dog in each of the categories of Best Costume and Best Owner/Dog Look-a-like. Parade goers will determine the most coveted prize, Top Dog, with the help of the Woof-o-Meter, custom made by Altounian Construction, Inc.

Co-Chairs Susan Weninger and Sarah Georgi agree that Gorton’s Dog Day Parade is a great way kick up our paws and get outdoors.

“I think the parade is a fun way to reach out to the community – especially after the winter we’ve had,” said Weninger. “I have fond memories of doing theater productions at Gorton as a child, and Gorton’s Dog Day parade is a wonderful way for my children to experience what a vibrant town we live in.”

Merchants around town have joined the fun with dogged determination to vie for the “Best Doggone Shop Window.”

From left,  John Dick holding Weezie Carrabine and Cece Gottman holding Lucy Gottman. Photo courtesy of Larry Ross Photography

From left, John Dick holding Weezie Carrabine and Cece Gottman holding Lucy Gottman. Photo courtesy of Larry Ross Photography

The winner, announced on May 3, will receive the blue ribbon and barking rights for the year. The celebration, located in Gorton’s west parking lot, will feature live music courtesy of stage sponsors and long-time dog enthusiasts Scotty Searle and Sue Dixon. Catering by Kenny will serve hot dogs and more.
Pet rescues and adoption groups will be on hand, as will a variety of pet experts to discuss wellness, training and more. Brenda Belmonte, of Two Paws Up Dog Training and Gorton’s resident dog trainer will set up a fun agility course featuring a pause table, weave poles, a tunnel and K9 fitness equipment.

“I am thrilled to be a part of Gorton’s Dog Day Parade, said Belmonte. “It’s a great opportunity to help educate owners on responsible ownership, the importance of training, and how to build a relationship with their dog based on trust and mutual respect, not force, intimidation or fear.”

To register for the parade, go to or sign up parade day at Gorton, 9 a.m. Fees $5 per dog; Humans are free. All dogs in attendance must have proof of vaccination and must be leashed at all times. For more information, call Lisa Gilcrest at (847) 810-4102.

Gorton Community Center is a privately-funded, not-for-profit 501c3 organization which operates in partnership with volunteers and the City of Lake Forest to enrich the lives of its residents through cultural arts, education and charitable service. Gorton relies on the generosity of residents and businesses to help fund programs, services and building improvements offered in the historic building owned by the city. The gathering place in the heart of our community where people connect, converse, learn, listen, play & perform.

Lake Bluff To Celebrate ‘Tree City’ Status on Friday, April 25

Submitted by the Village of Lake Bluff:

For the 18th consecutive year, Lake Bluff has been named a Tree City USA community by the Arbor Day Foundation honoring the Village’s commitment to outstanding community forestry practices.

As part of a family of over 3,400 communities that have received this designation, Lake Bluff has met the following four standards required to become a Tree City USA:

(i) the operation of a forestry department,
(ii) the protection of trees through a tree preservation ordinance,
(iii) the implementation of a comprehensive community forestry program, and
(iv) a proclamation observing Arbor Day.

In accomplishing one of the standards for Tree City USA status, the Village Board designated Friday, April 25th as Arbor Day in Lake Bluff. This celebration will happen throughout the day in programs at schools and, in particular, in the planting of a tree at Washington Park, located at the intersection of E. Washington Ave. and Sheridan Road, at 10:00 a.m.

The benefits of being a Tree City USA are many and are well known to the 135 million Americans living in a Tree City USA. The standards used by the Arbor Day Foundation that distinguish these communities from others help create a framework for an urban or community forestry program. By retaining the Tree City USA designation the Village continues to successfully fulfill one of the goals outlined in the 2016 Strategic Plan, enhancing public and private open spaces, which seeks to achieve the community’s vision of Environmental stewardship enhances the natural beauty of the community.

When asked about the environmentally friendly award, Public Works Superintendent Jake Terlap says, “Being recognized as a Tree City USA year after year says that Lake Bluff enjoys a quality of life better than most other places and ensures its commitment to its natural environment continues.”

The Tree City USA program is sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation in cooperation with the National Association of State Foresters and the USDA Forest Service.

For additional information on the Village’s Tree City USA designation, contact Jake Terlap, Public Works Superintendent, at 847-735-2310, or email at

Ravinia Garden Club To Host Plant Sale

Submitted by the Ravinia Garden Club

The Ravinia Garden Club will hosts its annual Garden Fair on Saturday, May 17, from 8:30 a.m. to noon at Jens Jensen Park, Ravinia.

Ravinia Garden Club
Annual Garden Fair
Saturday, May 17th
8:30 to Noon
Jens Jensen Park, Ravinia

The plants available for sale have been growing in club members’ gardens for years and have become acclimated to this climate. You will find perennials of superior quality that have proven to do well in this area. The Ravinia Garden Club was established in 1927 and is one of the oldest garden clubs on the North Shore. We educate and serve the community.

Lake Forest College Welcomes New Trustee

From Lake Forest College

Wendy Dietze

Wendy Dietze

Katherine E. “Wendy” Dietze will serve the Board of Trustees as a member of the Development and Alumni Relations Committee and the Post-Graduate Outcomes Committee through 2018.

Ms. Dietze, a resident of New York, brings to the board nearly 20 years of experience in distinct directorships. She is corporate director for Liberty Property Trust, Matthews International Corporation, and Cowen & Co., and she previously served as corporate director for Northeast Optic Network, CTC Communications, and Light Path Technologies. Her work also extends to these nonprofits: Foreign Policy Association, City-Meals-On-Wheels, and the New York State Council of Humanities.

Ms. Dietze was Brown University’s Senior Advancement Director from 2005-2007, where she was responsible for establishing and managing a New York City development office and working with the President and members of the Brown Corporation. Previously, she held management positions at Credit Suisse First Boston and Salomon Brothers.

Ms. Dietze graduated with her BA in comparative literature from Brown University in 1979 and with her MBA from Columbia University in 1984.

“Wendy Dietze will be an outstanding trustee, and the College is very fortunate to have her join our board,” said President Stephen D. Schutt. “Her broad, valuable experience in the financial world, as a corporate director, and in higher education will serve the College exceptionally well, and I look forward to working closely with her.”

The Bride Price in Uganda: 12 Goats, One Blanket and a Hoe

Editor’s note: Allison Godwin Neumeister travels from Lake Forest to Uganda twice annually to distribute aid and partner with organizations that support the health and education of children in Uganda. Allison shares her stories with GazeboNews in a series of personal letters about her time in Uganda.

By Allison Godwin Neumeister

I went to an Introduction Ceremony recently, a lively event where a bride introduces her future husband to her parents, seeking permission to marry.

At dawn, 20 of us packed into a matatu (i.e.: minibus), carrying with us two live chickens that would soon make their way to the buffet table. On my lap, I held two adorable boys who were experiencing their first car ride and visit to a city. Like eager puppies, they leaned out the window to catch the wind and scenery.

As we drew close to our destination, the scene transformed from old women in African kitenge laboring in the fields to young women stylishly dressed in brightly colored gomesi, with carefully plaited hair and sequins affixed to their cheeks. The colors of Africa are spectacular, and Introduction ceremonies blend all the elements together creating a beautiful canvas of color.

Bridesmaids; photos by Allison Godwin Neumeister

Bridesmaids; photos by Allison Godwin Neumeister

Woman carrying produce.

Woman carrying produce.

The Introduction

An Introduction Ceremony has two critical elements: The meeting between families and a transaction known as the “bride price,” both of which are central to African marriage and society.

The introduction provides families of the groom and bride the opportunity to formally meet and establish a bond. This bond generally extends beyond the family to the clan and the community.

The groom with his groomsmen.

The groom with his groomsmen.

Today, the formal introduction and bride price transaction took place behind closed doors (or thatch hut), and guests were very patient. While the in-laws did the customary meet and greet, the rest of us sat patiently in the heat with stomachs growling.

Finally, when the groomsmen walked past me with a hoe, blanket, goats and several cases of soda, I knew that formalities were drawing to a close and soon we’d sit down to a celebration of goat and mashed plantain (matoke).

Bride Price

Bride price is a bit of a misnomer because the bride isn’t actually appraised in value — thank goodness. Generally, the term refers to the payment made in exchange for the bride’s family’s loss of her labor or education fees. The custom varies between tribes.

Among the Bagisu, the customary bride price is four cows, four goats and some cash while among the Bakonzo tribe, it’s one hoe, one blanket, 12 goats and 12 jerry cans of local brew. Actually, the deal can be sealed with as little as a single hoe or bag of sugar. Customary law establishes that once the gift is physically accepted by the elders, the transaction is final. Unlike most African purchases, however, this purchase is 100% refundable.

A groomsman with goat

Offering a goat for the bride price

So here’s the interesting stuff…

When a bride is “purchased,” she generally becomes the property of her new husband and whoever else contributed to the bride price, typically the clan or extended family. Therefore, if she “misbehaves,” her husband can seek damages and recover the bride price.

Further, since the clan also has a stake in the outcome of the marriage, the bride is, for all intents and purposes, considered property of the clan and community. An unfaithful wife will not only face a beating by her husband, but also the wrath and ostracism of the clan.

Generally, African women view marriage as a sacred contract and follow their traditional roles — a life of servitude and obedience to their husbands, somewhat reminiscent of America’s pre-feminist days. Many African women take great pride in serving their husbands and consider it an important function to “protect” them.


The groom and bride

The groom and bride

While village women stay close to home to attend to domestic duties, men enjoy their freedom in the trading centers or in distant homes where they may keep another wife or two. (The brother of my host has five wives.)


Polygamy (technically polygyny) is practiced widely in Uganda and many parts of Africa, particularly in rural settings. Its origins range from ensuring population growth to securing bonds between clans. It’s a hotly debated topic, and Kenya recently passed a bill legalizing it, bringing civil law in line with customary law. Legal or not, the vast majority of Kenyan and Ugandan men have multiple partners.

I can’t yet determine why educated women knowingly enter into a co-wife or polygamous arrangement, but it’s very common. Perhaps the fear of being alone is too great. Better to marry in a co-wife arrangement than to marry no one. (Remaining single is not an option in the village.) My sympathy really goes to the first wife, who often marries her true love, unaware that within a few years, her status may downgrade from “wife” to “first wife.”

The Downside of Polygamy

Most of my male African acquaintances maintain multiple relationships outside their first marriage. It’s an aspect of the culture that I shouldn’t judge, but I’m critical of the practice.

Sanctioned extramarital activity, as its practiced in sub-Saharan Africa casts a wide sexual net that accelerates the spread of sexually transmitted infections. At the health clinic, we see women repeatedly infected with syphilis due to their philandering husbands. It takes a strong woman to turn down her husband’s sexual advances, and many women are beaten if they refuse. Even if her partner is HIV+, it’s culturally unacceptable for a woman to turn him away. Needless to say, extramarital sex is a major contributor to the spread of HIV in SSA.

There are many reasons I object to polygamy as I see it practiced in Africa today, but the most obvious argument is that polygamy doesn’t respect the principle of equality between men and women. It demeans women. Further, it’s heartbreaking to see women abandoned without the legal option to divorce or remarry. Estranged wives are terribly lonely and often left with few resources to care for their children.

Generally I see many men enter into a marriage with intentions to remain monogamous. Eventually, however, they get sidetracked, get a girl pregnant and then rationalize polygamy. One could argue that by marrying their pregnant mistresses, they are acting responsibly.

The bride taking a break with a friend.

The bride taking a break with a friend.

Allison with children from the village.

Allison with children from the village.

Agenda: Lake Bluff School District 65

Lake Bluff School District 65 Board of Education Regular Meeting
April 22, 2014
6:00 PM
Village Hall, 40 E. Center Lake Bluff, IL 60044 AGENDA

Board Members:
Mark Barry, President
John Marozsan, Vice-President
Christine Letchinger, Secretary
Leigh Ann Charlot
Julie Gottshall
Richard Hegg
Susan Rider

CLOSED SESSION MOTION: Moved that the Board of Education enter into Closed Session to discuss the appointment, employment, compensation, discipline, performance, or dismissal of specific employees of the public body or legal counsel for the public body, including hearing testimony on a complaint lodged against an employee of the public body or against legal counsel for the public body to determine its validity; and the purchase or lease of real property for the use of the school board, including meetings held for the purpose of discussing whether a particular parcel should be acquired; and, collective negotiating matters between the school board and its employees or their representatives, or deliberations concerning salary schedules for one or more classes of employees.

A. Amended Budget for 2013-2014

3. 7:00 P.M. – REGULAR MEETING Determination of Quorum and Call to Order



6. PUBLIC COMMENT – Mark Barry
(We welcome comments from our staff, parents, and constituents. The Board President will determine the format and ground rules for comments in the best interests of the audience and the Agenda.)

A. PTO Report
B. LBES Principal Report
C. LBMS Principal Report
D. President Report
E. Superintendent Report


A. Approval of Amended Budget for 2013-2014
B. Approval of Contract Extension with Olson Transportation for 2014-2015
C. Approval of Bid for Custodial Services
D. LBTC – Ratification of Contract
E. Approval of Amended Calendar/Last Day of School 2013-2014
F. Approval of Field Trip – 5th Grade Outdoor Education
G. Approval of Field Trip – 6th Grade Springfield
H. Approval of Field Trip – 7th Grade Outdoor Education
I. Approval of Field Trip – 8th Grade Washington, D.C.
J. Approval of Settlement Agreement – Lake Bluff Park District
K. Approval of Superintendent’s Contract and Goals
L. Approval to Reemploy Administrators (Blackmer, Roehrick, Rubenstein)
M. Approval of Jay Kahn’s Contract (title change only)
N. Approval of Amendment I to 2013-2014 Dr. Rubenstein Contract O. Approval of Amendment II to 2012-2016 Dr. Sophie Contract
P. Approval of Policy Second Read
1. 7:340 Student Records
Q. Approval of Personnel Report R. Approval of Consent Agenda
1. Regular Meeting Minutes, March 18, 2014
2. Closed Session Meeting Minutes, March 18, 2014
3. Special Meeting of the Board of Education, April 8, 2014 4. Closed Session Meeting Minutes, April 8, 2014
5. Approval of PCard Report

6. Approval of Bills Payable

7. Approval of Treasurer’s Report

8. Approval of Activity Reports

(We welcome comments from our staff, parents, and constituents. The Board President will determine the format and ground rules for comments in the best interests of the audience and the Agenda.)


Agenda: Lake Forest School District 67

Board of Education Meeting
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Lake Forest High School West Campus
5:30 p.m.
(The school district will not conduct Regular Business until 7:00 PM)


Discussion of matters related to the appointment, employment, compensation, performance, or dismissal of specific employees of the public body.
5 ILCS 120/2(c)(1)
Litigation, when an action against, affecting or on behalf of the particular public body has been filed and is pending before a court or administrative tribunal, or when the public body finds that an action is probable or imminent.
5 ILCS 120/2(c) (11)
Personnel – Reduction in Force Pending Litigation
Imminent Litigation






Mission/Vision/Goals Report
World Language Programming Report

A. Board Education Committee – Lesley Fisher, Jeff Folker, Beth Clemmensen
B. Board Finance & Operations Committee – Rick Schuler, Rob Lemke, Mike Borkowski
C. Policy Committee – Mike Borkowski, Jeff Folker
D. Compensation Committee – Rob Lemke

A. North Suburban Special Education District – Mike Borkowski
B. Illinois Association of School Boards/ED-RED – Bill Andersen
C. Curriculum Coordinating Committee – Lesley Fisher
D. Spirit of 67 Foundation – Lesley Fisher
E. APT Meeting – Lesley Fisher
F. Other
A. Approval of Policy 4:20 Update –1st Reading
B. Approval of Olson Transportation Renewal
C. Approval of Postage Machine RFP
D. Approval of Student Fee Schedule
E. Approval of Everett Tile Abatement Project
F. Approval of Deer Path Locker Replacement Bid
G. Approval of 2013-2014 Final Calendar
H. Approval of Proposed Board Meeting Dates 2014-2015
I. Approval of Mission, Vision, Goals – First Reading
J. Approval of World Language Proposal
K. Approval of Resolution Authorizing Honorable Dismissal of Teachers
L. Approval of Resolution Authorizing Honorable Dismissal of Part-Time, Non-tenured teachers
M. Approval of Resolution Authorizing non-reemployment of Full-time, First, Second and Third
Year, Non-tenured teachers
N. Approval of Resolution Authorizing non-reemployment of Part-time, Non-tenured teacher
O. Approval of Assistant Superintendent of Growth, Talent Development and Human Relations
Multi Year Contract
P. Approval of Human Resources Items
Family and Medical Leave Absence Change in Status

A. Approval of Disbursements, Payrolls & Financial Statements March 2014
B. Minutes of A Regular Meeting, March 18, 2014
C. Minutes of An Executive Session, March 18, 2014
D. Minutes of A Board Workshop, April 1, 2014
E. Disposal of audio recordings: July 24, August 20 and August 27, 2012
*Any item may be removed from the consent agenda at the request of a Board Member.



Lennie Jarratt, Education Matters
ANNOUNCEMENTS Friday, May 23, 2014 Monday, May 26, 2014 Tuesday, May 27, 2014
School Improvement Day – 1⁄2 Day Memorial Day – No School
Board of Education Meeting – 7:00 p.m. LFHS West Campus, Board Room
ef – Board of Education Meeting Agenda 4.22.14