Jazz Society does Brookfield proud
Although I have always considered myself to be a rock n’ roller at heart, thanks to Ian Tiele and the Brookfield Jazz Society, I am now a “music lover.” In the last year since Ian started the society, local businesses have begun to promote these venues in their establishments, and we now see nearby suburban businesses advertising their own jazz venues in Brookfield papers.

Each week there is at least one new person who attends meetings due to positive promoting by members and friends of the society as well as loyal media coverage.

The jazz society has had to move from its initial home in village hall to The Cottage at Irish Times to accommodate growth of membership. On live jazz nights held by the society, people of all ages come together to enjoy a variety of jazz, blues and “other” music.

People adhere to a no smoking policy. No one gets drunk or disorderly, and recent nights have been standing-room only. People come from as far south as Champaign, as far west as Rockford, as far north as Lake Bluff and as far east as the lakefront to attend the meetings and jazz events.

Ian and regular members work tirelessly (and on a volunteer basis) to provide the public with a quality organization and entertainment at no cost to members and the public, although donations are welcome but not required.

Some local businesses and private residents in Brookfield, Riverside, Berwyn and LaGrange, seeing the merit of this organization, have made donations that have included gift certificates, music, books, meeting space and, most of all, support in order to keep it rolling.

Performers and record producers donate their talent for the sake of their art and because the society members are really that great of a group to perform in front of.

Congratulations on your first year anniversary Ian Tiele, the Brookfield Jazz Society and all who support you for providing Brookfield with a truly great organization. You have made Brookfield proud! You have made me proud to be part of it.
Stacey A. Tiele

Political grandstanding just tiresome
Last July, I moved to Brookfield from Chicago not truly knowing what the political and community atmosphere of the Village was. I was hoping to find out that Brookfield residents are active in local government and passionate about their village.

From reading the various entries printed in The Landmark’s editorial section from last July to the present, I have come to deduce two things:

1. My hopes of strong community involvement are realized; and

2. Former Brookfield President Bill Russ is a whiner.

Please understand: I’m not a PEP member or a VIP member. I don’t even know what those acronyms mean. I wasn’t a resident during the last election, and I’m not aware of the pre-election campaign events that transpired.

I’ve never met or spoken with any of the former or current village board members or appointed personnel. However, Mr. Russ’ letters to the editor have rankled me, and I wanted to make some observations based strictly on those letters.

It seems every other Landmark issue has a letter from Mr. Russ or one of his cronies attacking current President Michael Garvey?”how he has downsized staff, how he has hired associates of his, how the village manager and assistant manager have inflated salaries, how he will be tearing down trees along Prairie Ave., etc.

But guess what? Russ lost, so his right to captain the ship has been revoked. (Sidebar: I agree that the village manager’s and assistant manager’s salaries seem a bit excessive. And I would have loved to save some of those trees on Prairie, but it seems many of them would not survive the street improvement, and if they have to go in order for Brookfield to get the funding, then we’ll just have to plant new trees after the improvement is complete.)

It seems Mr. Russ still is angry over losing the election, and he has not yet come to grips with it. But instead of offering new or constructive ideas with his letters, Russ usually resorts to attacking Garvey with malicious allegations and to tooting his own horn (see Landmark, Feb 8, 2006). That makes it obvious to me that Russ is simply a power-hungry wannabe politician, and that’s something the village doesn’t need (perhaps that is why he was voted out?).

In the process of this grandstanding through the media, Russ does the people of Brookfield a disservice by constantly trying to discredit the Garvey administration and trying to divide the community with partisan politics. Yes, I believe in freedom of choice and freedom of speech, but this is a small village that cannot afford partisanship on the level in which Russ is attempting to bring it to.

In addition, through his political posturing and Garvey defamation campaign, it is evident to me that Mr. Russ believes we all are gullible idiots ignorant of the political game. …

I’m not claiming to be right about Russ. Perhaps my perception of Russ is misguided. Maybe I’m reading him wrong?”after all, I don’t know the man or what he’s done for the village other than helping to guide the Master Plan. I guess his constant griping has gotten to me.

What I do know is that the people of Brookfield chose Garvey last election. He may turn out to be a great leader, he may turn out to be a bust, but he won the right to be where he is so let’s drop the small-town party shenanigans and get down to the business of improving the village. …
Matthew Tennicott

People who use things should foot the bill

First I would like to address this issue of paving the alleys in Brookfield and how it will benefit everyone.

I am all for paving alleys if the homeowners who need to use the alleys eat all of the costs. The town doesn’t offset the costs of those who need to pay for repairing or paving their driveways do they?

Second, all I hear about is money for the schools. We need money for parking, take a bus. We need money to fix the pool. Well, the school doesn’t fund the ice hockey program and there is no ice rink built. Parents pay and the kids fundraise. It is only fair to give equal money to all the teams. Use the YMCA.

I am very concerned that all I hear about is money for the athletic facilities and parking at this school.

My biggest concern is that everyone breaks out the party hats when they hear that 50 percent of the student body achieves honors status. Maybe the school isn’t challenging enough. A “C” student is average. Shouldn’t a large portion of the students be in this range? Colleges do look at ranking among peers and grade point average. The school doesn’t appear very difficult if you are ranked 50 out of 100 students and you are considered an honors student.
Matt Huson

Riverside losing its special appeal

I have never written to a newspaper before, but the sadness I am feeling about what is happening in Riverside is overwhelming.

I lived in Riverside for 18 years (now I reside in Berwyn). I still work in Riverside for the past 12 years. I have seen changes in this town all in the name of progress. Riverside is losing its ambiance that made it unique and appealing.

Small shops, wonderful scenery, warm friendly people, it was a place out of the past, somewhere you could be proud to raise a family.

In recent years, I have witnessed a change that has brought the town to look and feel like every other town, sort of a cookie-cutter town of condos and empty store fronts. All in the name of progress.

Little shops with friendly owners that made you feel like family are forced to leave due to progress. Not just the stores, but the people in them, made you feel welcomed. They would remember your name, a birthday, send you a card if you were sick, knew your children by name, celebrated families’ victories or held out a hand in tragedy, with heart-felt care that only this town had.

We see decades-long antique stores leaving, restaurants that were not chain store-type atmosphere?”that corner cafe that you could bring your family to share some ice cream and small talk, a cup of coffee with a neighbor.

I’m not against progress. But why should we lose a precious community that made us Riverside? This country has enough strip malls and big chain stores, where you are known only as a bar code. We need our friendly owned businesses that made this town special, that put us on the map. Somewhere to come back and visit again. Or even live in. The town who knows how to treat people like town folk, not a number or just for a buck.

I’m sorry to see all of this fade away in the name of progress.

Kimberly Palka