Jazz event a great success
On a balmy summer evening last Thursday, the sound of jazz was in the air, when the local Brookfield Jazz and Blues Appreciation Society moved its regular weekly session across the railroad tracks from their regular home at the village hall, to the Cottage in Irish Times Restaurant. The occasion was the society’s first ever live gig, and the Grant Strombeck Trio was selected to provide the music. Along with drum virtuoso Grant, were Ron Brown on string bass and Jim Sellers at the piano.

Locals turned out in force for the event, and the Cottage was soon filled to capacity, with an overflow of people talking advantage of both the sounds and the weather in the adjacent beer garden. There was electricity in the air right from the start, with the band playing a selection of superb jazz, including the Charlie Parker bop anthem “Now’s the Time” and Dave Brubeck’s “In your Own Sweet Way.”

Things really got cooking in the second set, with the trio laying down some excellent sounds. Just as it was thought that things could get no better, pianist and WDCB radio presenter Marshall Vente temporarily took over the keyboard role, while vocalist extraordinaire Summer Kwai added her voice to what became an impromptu jam session.

The appreciative audience were treated to some great improvised music, including “Wave” and “Corcovado,” a couple of jazz standards from the pen of Antonio Carlos Jobim. For the rest of the session, Jim and Marshall alternated at the piano, and the wonderful sounds continued way past the scheduled time. To use an overworked cliche, a wonderful time was had by all.

Don’t worry if you missed this great gig, the Brookfield Jazz and Blues Society has more live music lined up for the Irish Times Cottage soon. The Marshall Vente/Eldee Young Trio will be playing on Thursday, Oct. 6, while the Sue Pasquale Band will be appearing on Thursday, Nov. 10. You can check out all the society’s events on their website at http://www.brookfieldjazz.org/schedule.

Ian Tiele

No need to bail out The Paw/Cyberdog
The students and parents involved in Riverside-Brookfield High School’s Paw and Cyberdog Cafe restaurants shouldn’t be looking to the school board for a financial bailout. These student-run businesses were launched to give students a lesson in creating and operating a small business. What better lesson than going broke and shutting down?

For all the small-business success stories we might encounter, there are vastly more horror stories involving failed dreams, lost savings and family upheaval. Every strip mall vacancy is a reminder that American enterprise suffers casualties. The Paw/Cyberdog experience may have failed financially, but if RB’s students walk away with a better understanding of business risk, the program has delivered a valuable lesson.

Ralph McDarmont
LaGrange Park

Cyclists should stop breaking laws
I don’t know if Mr. Jack Crowe’s article (“Quane and the cyclist’s mindset,” Opinion, Aug. 31) is trying to say the death of Trish Quane was a mistake or a tragic accident. He mentions cyclists making snap-second decisions, up to 20 on every ride.

This was not a mistake, and the two stationary trains had obstructed her vision. The fact is and remains the gate was down. This means you do not go around the gates that are down. This was not a snap-second decision. It was blatant breaking the law.

Mr. Crowe seems to justify breaking the law by coasting through stop signs when no other traffic is present, or because he may have made eye contact with the motorist and mistakenly thought the cyclist had the right of way.

These snap decisions are no more than plain breaking the law, and he admits it by saying spandex-wearing cyclists will have to “cool it a bit.” How about obey the law? Cyclists are considered motor vehicles and subject to following the Rules of Road as are motorists. …

Mr. Crowe is bemused by riders who do
not wear a helmet for whatever reason.
I am horrified.

You see a family out for a ride, the children wearing their helmets but not the parents. What kind of message is this?

You see then riding on the sidewalks, wrong way on the street, blocking an entire lane of traffic, not walking their bikes across intersections, over rail crossings, no lights at night, not even a reflector.

It’s time for cyclists to step up and follow the Rules of the Road. This goes for motorists also.

Frank C. Vlazny

PEP balances budget on backs of employees
The PEP-dominated Brookfield village board has approved a 2005-06 budget which is balanced on the back of village employees.

According to their calculations, they have to lay off village employees to accomplish their goals. Many of these goals are dubious at best and, given the light of day, outright suspicious.

The claims that the village is in financial strife don’t make sense when you study the approved 2005-06 budget. It is padded to reflect a shortfall. The campaign promises about fiscal responsibility are as hollow as the lies they told about the VIP Party when they misled the citizens of Brookfield in the April 2005 election.

This is the first year of their return to power; their motto should be “Back to the Bad Old Days.” The new budget has $0 for residential street rehab.

Leanne M. Digan