News and stuff about Lake Forest and Lake Bluff

Lake Forest Preservation Foundation Hosts Garden Tour

Submitted by the Lake Forest Lake Bluff Preservation Foundation

Join the Lake Forest Preservation Foundation for a delightful late afternoon gathering around the Mathis Garden created by renowned landscape designer, Dorothy Hebert. Dortothy will be present to speak about her work in this beautiful, peaceful location. Light refreshments will be served.

The Lake Forest Preservation Foundation awarded this home an Historic Preservation Infill Award in 2000.
Tickets for the event will be $20 for members and $30 for non-members. Tickets may be purchased three ways:

1. on line at
2. by check mailed to Lake Forest Preservation Foundation, 400 E. Illinois, Lake Forest, IL., 6004
3. by calling the LFPF office at 847-234-1230. Tickets are limited.

Reservations are limited.

Please remember to like us on Facebook!

Evening Barbecue Ignites Home on Longwood Road in Lake Forest

Submitted by the Lake Forest Fire Department

A fire began in a barbeque grill and expanded to the rear side of a private home on the 900 block of Longwood Road in Lake Forest on Saturday evening, Aug. 16, causing an estimated $25,000 in damages, according to Chris Garrison, deputy chief of the Lake Forest Fire Department.

The homes occupants had exited the building when firefighters arrived at approximately 7 p.m. At that time, flames were visible in the rear of the house, and it took about two hours to get the fire under control. Apparatus included two engines, one truck, one MICU and two other emergency vehicles. Mutual aid was provided by Lake Bluff, North Chicago, Highwood and Deerfield fire teams.

Firefighters contained the fire to the rear of the home, extinguishing the blaze with one 1¾” hand line. The LFFD estimates the effort saved $750,000 from potential destruction.

Lake Bluff Plans Public Hearing For Stonebridge Development

Submitted by the Village of Lake Bluff admin office:

On August 20, 2014 the Joint Plan Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals (PCZBA) will commence a Public Hearing at 7:00 p.m. in the Board Room of Village Hall (40 E. Center Avenue) to consider a petition, filed by The Roanoke Group, LLC (Petitioner), for approval of a preliminary development plan for a Planned Residential Development (PRD) on the approximately 47 acre property located at 136 Green Bay Road.

Proposed PRD – Preliminary Development Plan
This property is commonly known as the Stonebridge Planned Residential Development. The preliminary development plan, that would ultimately amend the Stonebridge PRD Plan to allow the following:

  • a total of 98 residential units, including with 94 detached single-family residences, 2 existing detached single-family residences and 2 existing attached single-family residences;
  • restoration and preservation of the existing Manor House as a community clubhouse with limited public access;
  • demolition of the existing Carriage House;
  • various landscape features, parks and bicycle and pedestrian trails;
  • on-street traffic circulation and access to home site with a two-way loop road (Jensen Road) as it currently exists, “Street A” and “Street B” that serve the “Pocket Neighborhood” and minor street “Street C” serving Lots 40 to 53;
  • on-street parking spaces (not required) added at select locations along one side of Jensen Lane for residents and visitors, as well as the required minimum of two off-street parking spaces per unit is provided; and
  • a stormwater management plan with three detention basins.
  • PRD Application Process – Preliminary Plan
  • Consideration of a PRD is a two-step process that includes separate public hearings and Village Board consideration for: i) a preliminary development; and ii) a final development plan, which would go before the PCZBA at a new public hearing if the preliminary development plan is approved by the Village Board.

It is anticipated that most or all of the August 20, 2014 portion of the Public Hearing will consist of the Petitioner’s initial presentation, and that the PCZBA will then continue the Public Hearing to a subsequent date for public comment. You are welcome to appear at the Public Hearing beginning at the time and place specified above. A copy of the application seeking this action and additional information will be available for inspection on or after the Friday before the scheduled meeting date at the front counter in the Lake Bluff Village Hall (40 East Center Avenue).

Please visit the Village of Lake Bluff’s website for more information, attachments and links regarding the Stonebridge public meeting.

Hospira In The News

Lake Forest-based Hospira Inc. is making headlines. Crain’s reports that the company, which provides injectable drugs and infusion technologies, is a potential buyer of the medical nutrition unit of French consumer products maker Danone.

Here are links to articles about this issue:

Shark? Sturgeon? Salmon? Surfboard?

Lake Bluff's Mikhal Furmanek was shooting the sunrise at Fort Sheridan when his camera captured a surprising image in the distance ...

Lake Bluff’s Michal Furmanek was shooting the sunrise at Fort Sheridan when his camera captured an unexpected image in the distance …

By Adrienne Fawcett

Since GazboNews ran the story “What Is This Thing In The Lake?” on Aug. 12 we’ve heard many hypotheses from people in the community and experts in the field who said they think the fin photographed by Michal Furmanek about 300 yards offshore at Fort Sheridan beach is most likely from a sturgeon, very large salmon or some sort of floating debris. We’re not hearing much support for it being a bull shark, although many people strangely have said it is fun to think about that.

Rob Elliott, a fish biologist for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service in Greenbay, Wisconsin, said sturgeon is a strong possibility (but he also said the image could be a child’s toy or floating debris.)

If it is a sturgeon, that is good news for his agency and others that have been working for several years on a sturgeon restocking program.

“There are probably more sturgeon in the lake than most people are aware of, and their numbers are increasing every year,” he said. “It’s sort of a good news story about helping bring back this historic fish. In fact, there are thousands currently being reared and stocked each year into several Lake Michigan rivers including the Milwaukee River just north of (Fort Sheridan). It would also be pretty common for adult sturgeon to swim long distances around the lake, so finding a large sturgeon in southern Lake Michigan that came from a river hundreds of miles away is not that uncommon.“

Thanks to the restocking program, there are about 10,000 adult sturgeon in Lake Michigan, which Elliott said is not a lot in fish numbers but is evidence that the program is working. He shared this photo of a sturgeon, which looks a lot like a shark (and most swimmers are probably hoping they don’t bump into one of these anytime soon):

Sturgeon fins; photo from Rob Elliott of U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service's Greenbay, Wisconsin, office.

Sturgeon fins; photo from Rob Elliott of U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s Greenbay, Wisconsin, office.

Furmanek, the Lake Bluff resident who shot the Fort Sheridan photos, said the object’s pattern of movement was very lifelike; he is confident it was not a surfboard, toy or other floating debris. “The shape from both the side and up front looks like a dorsal fin. What’s even more puzzling, it behaved like a living creature – within the two minutes between the first (front view) and the third (the best view of the fin) photo, it not only traveled through almost the whole frame of the picture from the right to the left side of it, but it also turned around (!) and it submerged deeper into the water (you can not see the whole fin in the 2nd picture but you can in the 3rd with its characteristic bent shape.”

Mark Holey, project leader of the Greenbay Fish & Wildlife Service, said of the Fort Sheridan picture: “It’s tough to say. I doubt that it’s a shark, even a fresh water shark. Certainly a big fin could be attributed to the tail fin of a sturgeon. It could also be a big salmon that for whatever reason is only showing the top part of his fin.”

He added that lake sturgeons are a historic creature that have been around since the dinosaur era. A six-foot long sturgeon would be about 15 or 20 years old and can live 100 years or more. Oh, and they don’t have bones – just cartilage.

This poster provides a lot of information about the sturgeon program being managed by U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Michigan Department of Natural Resources:


Here is a link to information about this effort:

Katy Perry Delivers Early B-Day Present To Lake Forest Girl, Art Institute

9-year-old Lake Forester Redding Worth captures a dream in a selfie with singer Katy Perry

9-year-old Lake Forester Redding Worth captures a dream in a selfie with singer Katy Perry


Lake Forest’s Redding Worth got an after-hours visit to the Art Institute of Chicago on Tuesday, but that’s not the most interesting thing that happened to her that night; she also got to meet singer Katy Perry.

Redding’s mom, Dustin O’Regan, is president of the Auxiliary Board of the Art Institute of Chicago (she’s also editor-at-large of JWC Media’s Sheridan Road magazine). After reading in People magazine that Perry loves museums, O’Regan and the Art Institute’s marketing team put a plan in motion to invite the performer to a private tour of the Art Institute. To the delight of the museum staff, Perry said yes.

The private tour resulted in a social media bonanza for the Art Institute as Perry posted photos on Instagram of Magritte and a selfie with American Gothic. The museum picked up nearly 4,000 new Instagram followers within 18 hours of Perry’s visit (@artinstitutechi), and 1.2 million of Perry’s own followers took action to say that Katy, Magritte and American Gothic are cool. And that’s just Instagram — Facebook, Twitter and other social-media sites also are humming with activity.

Traditional media covered the event, too — here are some links:

Lake Bluff Plans Annual Public Safety Day

Submitted by the Village of Lake Bluff

Lake Bluff invites residents and visitors to attend the Village’s Public Safety Day Open House on August 23, 2014, from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., at the Public Safety Building (45 E. Center Avenue).

All are encouraged to come out and witness a showcase of vehicles from each of the Fire, Police and Public Works Departments, as well as various emergency demonstrations that save lives and execute essential public services on a daily basis. An added benefit and a must see experience for all is the landing of the Flight for Life helicopter at Artesian Park.

In addition, the Fire Department will have a live fire demonstration, hands-on auto extrication demonstration, a children’s fire pole and obstacle course and will have fire prevention materials available for members of all ages. The Police Department will have a booth offering finger printing and a squad car on display. The Public Works Department will also have service vehicles on display. The helicopter landing, as well as food and refreshments, will be provided by the Metropolitan Emergency Support Service, a volunteer run organization that provides support to on-scene emergency personnel. Additional information is available by calling Nancy Gusterine, Fire Department Executive Assistant, at 847-234-5158.

Update: What Is This In The Lake … ?

Editor’s note: This story was updated on Aug. 14 with information from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

By Adrienne Fawcett

Michal Furmanek has seen many unusual and surprising things in his 25 years of bird watching and shooting nature photography, but a bull shark in Lake Michigan? Is that even possible?

Perhaps readers of GazeboNews can help figure this out.

On July 11 Furmanek was shooting photos of the sunrise at Fort Sheridan beach, one of his favorite places to take long walks while watching for raptors and other birds. It was a windless day with a clear sky and calm lake. He took dozens and dozens of shots, including these:


Pretty sunrise … but what's that dark object? Photos by Mikhal Furmanek

Pretty sunrise … but what’s that dark object? Photos by Michal Furmanek


While at the beach he didn’t think much of the dark thing sticking out of the water about 300 yards off shore, assuming it was just a piece of driftwood. But two weeks later he took a closer look as he sorted the photos on his computer at home.






And as he zoomed in on the dark thing, the shape became sharper, more familiar looking. Like … could it be the dorsal fin of a bull shark? It would be rare, but bull sharks can survive in fresh water. According National Geographic, bull sharks frequent freshwater rivers and have traveled as far north as Illinois along the Mississippi River. That doesn’t explain how one might possibly have been swimming along the Lake Michigan shoreline on July 11. But reports that bull sharks have been seen, albeit vary rarely, in the Illinois River up to Lake Michigan.




Last August, FOX 32 News Chicago reported that fishermen in southern Maryland pulled a shark from the Potomac River

Many Lake Michigan fish have dorsal fins. The website for a charter boat operator in Waukegan harbor, Relentless Charter, shows images of several including Coho Salmon, Lake Trout, Brown Trout, Steelhead and Yellow Perch. But their fins don’t look much like Furmanek’s photos.

GazeboNews shared the photos with Lake County biologist Michael Adam, who said he has no idea what it is but feels certain it is not a shark.

When you Google “dorsal fin in Lake Michigan,” lots of images and videos come up — but none conclusively answer just what the images are showing. Comments on one Youtube video from 2012 of a dorsal fin in a North Carolina fresh water lake suggest grass carp, trout, catfish, freshwater sawfish or possibly a bull shark.

A few weeks ago, a YouTube video purportedly showing a shark in Lake Ontario received 658,170 views and lots of media attention until it was found to be nothing more than a marketing stunt for a cable TV program.

Furmanek vows his images are not a hoax. He shot the photos with a Canon 60D, using a Canon 100-400 mm zoom lens set to 230mm to capture the sunset photos. He lives in Lake Bluff and frequently visits Fort Sheridan, which is owned by the Lake County Forest Preserve District. It is one of his favorite spots for bird watching, especially for raptors – he is a frequent contributor to the Fort Sheridan Hawkwatch Facebook group and has seen and photographed many types of raptors, including in the past week alone a Peregrine Falcon, Red Tail Hawk and juvenile Broad-Winged Hawk.

He said he realizes the photos may be nothing more driftwood, but he shared them with GazeboNews so that others can take a look and offer opinions and feedback.


GazeboNews has talked to and emailed with many people about the sunrise photos from Fort Sheridan that show a strange thing in the water. Many have said they think it could be a sturgeon or very large salmon. We’re not hearing a lot of support for it being a bull shark.

“Yes, bull sharks can tolerate fresh water. They have been found as far upstream in the Mississippi River as the confluence of the IL River. … But it is very doubtful to nearly impossible that a bull shark could make it into Lake Michigan,” said
Dan Stephenson, assistant chief of fisheries for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. “There are a series of three electric barriers in the Chicago Sanitary and Shipping Canal in Romeoville that have proven to be very effective in keeping fish from moving upstream from the Illinois river into the lake (a fourth is being constructed now). Nothing can pass those barriers. There is a connection through the Great Lakes and up the St. Lawrence River but that too would be an incredible journey of thousands of miles.”

He said the image in the Fort Sheridan photos could be floating debris such as an upside down surf board.

Mark Holey, project leader in the Greenbay, WI, office of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, said: “Looking at the picture, it’s tough to say. I doubt that it’s a shark, even a fresh water shark. Certainly a big fin could be attributed to the tail fin of a sturgeon. It could also be a big salmon that for whatever reason is only showing the top part of his fin.”

He added that lake sturgeons are a historic creature that have been around since the dinosaur era. A six-foot long sturgeon would be about 15 or 20 years old and can live 100 years or more.

Oh, and they don’t have bones – just cartilage.

U.S. Fish & Wildlife, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Michigan Department of Natural Resources and other organizations have been working on a sturgeon restocking program for several years. Here are some links to information about this effort:

What do you think?

Whole Foods Still In Play In Lake Forest

Editor’s note: This Reader Forum article was submitted by Rommy Lopat of Lake Forest and was originally submitted as a comment on a previous GazeboNews article. Reader Forum articles represent the writers’ opinions and not necessarily those of GazeboNews. We encourage you to comment on this article, but please include your full name per the GazeboNews comments policy.

Also, GazeboNews checked with Community Development Director Catherine Czerniak, who confirmed that Whole Foods is indeed still a possibility in Lake Forest; the city has not received a written withdrawal from the Shiner Group.



GazeboNews Reader Forum


By Rommy Lopat of Lake Forest

An update to the Whole Foods issue in Lake Forest: At the July 31 Lake Forest Plan Commission meeting, Community Development Director Cathy Czerniak stated that the “Conway Market/Whole Foods” shopping center is an “active petition” for two reasons: one, the City Council only proffered advice to the developer but did not vote and 2) the developer has not officially withdrawn. In fact, Czerniak said the developer is “in discussions”. She did not say with whom.

Having watched this process over many months, I continue to regret the City’s handling of the situation. Allowing any developer or property owner to contemplate the demolition of a landmarked house and clear cutting of 400 trees is unconscionable, not to mention cramming so much building onto a way too small space. (Imagine a Whole Foods, four single-story 6000 sq ft homes, and a 350 car parking lot in a space the exact size of Forest Park!).

The planning process is woefully inadequate. The Route 60 Corridor’s Comprehensive Plan needs updating, and the City Council needs to be apprised of what is in the plan. All of our “gateways” look sorrowful (thistles, weeds, buckthorn, construction debris) and need attention, but this one is arguably the most important to preserve in its greenness.

The Special Use that allowed an office building on the Whole Foods site should have been revoked long ago. (imagine if you got a permit to build a new house and garage. You build the house but not the garage, then sell the property, all of which happens years after the permit was granted. The new homeowner would have to get a new permit to build the garage, but in this case, the landowner apparently does not have to start from scratch. Why?) The problem is that the traffic and other studies compare the shopping center to an office center rather than to existing conditions, skewing the results significantly.

And needless to say, having two Plan Commissioners recuse themselves, making a quorum tougher to obtain, for the duration of the process is not fair to developer or public: a full panel of opinions is needed. And the Plan Commission has no one on it that is familiar with landscape or sustainability techniques (which would include keeping all stormwater on site as per LEED building standards).

Much needs to be and can be improved before this petition sees the light of day. Again.

Fox Nation Recruiting Indian Guides & Princesses

Submitted by the Fox Nation

Join us at this casual family event to learn more about the Lake Forest/Lake Bluff Indian Guides and Princesses program.  Meet the Chiefs for the 2014/2015 year, mingle with existing and new members, and learn more about the regular and special tribe events – and ask any questions of course!  All families welcome!  Bring your friends & join a tribe together!

Sunday, August 24, 2014
3:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Elawa Farm Park
1401 Middlefork Dr, Lake Forest, IL 60045
Food, games, information, community
Questions?  Contact Corby Lamb at 847-682-5035 or Jeff Savage at 773-793-0510

What is Fox Nation?  The Fox Nation is a compilation of tribes across eastern Lake County, comprised of fathers and their sons (guides) or daughters (princesses).  Tribes range in age from K-6 and consist of Lake Forest and Lake Bluff father/child groups.  Each tribe meets on a monthly basis for events hosted by various father/child families.  Monthly meetings consist of various activities of the host’s choice such as crafts, sporting activities, community service, team building etc.   In addition, there are also various all-Nation events throughout the year.  The Nation also hosts three campouts per year (fall, winter, spring) which are always a highlight for all members.

Indian Guides and Princesses is a great opportunity for dads to spend quality time with their children and support a father’s vital role as teacher, counselor and friend to his child(ren).  The Fox Nation has played an important role in the lives of North Shore families since 1961. The program’s rich history dates back to 1926 and is based on the strong characteristics of American Indian culture: dignity, patience, endurance, spirituality, connectedness to the earth and concern for family and community.