Thanks for making holiday events a hit

On behalf of the entire Brookfield Chamber of Commerce, I want to thank all of the sponsors, the entire Chamber of Commerce, the village of Brookfield, the Recreation Department and the VFW for their support and cooperation for this year’s Holiday Walk.

We had another successful year and hope everyone enjoyed seeing Santa and Mrs. Claus on Dec. 5. Hundreds came to visit Santa and enjoy the entertainment throughout the business community. Many others joined us to light the tree and visit some of Santa’s reindeer. We hope you all enjoyed the start to a wonderful holiday season.

The event was a great time, and we hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday season.

Mike McNeily, vice president
Brookfield Chamber of Commerce

Thanks for making holiday events a hit

Despite frigid temperatures residents ventured out to attend the 2009 Riverside Holiday Stroll. As in the past, the Riverside Holiday Stroll was a huge success.

An event of this magnitude would not be possible without the support of our community. On behalf of the Riverside Chamber of Commerce, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the many businesses, community groups and volunteers for their time and financial support that contributed to the success of the 35th Annual Riverside Holiday Stroll.

I would like to extend a special thanks to the village of Riverside and its staff, the Riverside Township supervisor and staff, Riversode police, the Riverside auxiliary police, the Riverside Explorers, Riverside Fire Department and the public works department for their continued support of the event. Thes eindividuals commit their time and energy year after year, and without this support, the Stroll would not be possible.

Brian C. Brennan, chairman
Riverside Holiday Stroll

Get back to local school concept

District 96 needs to return to neighborhood schools where the parents are responsible for the success of their school. For the second year in a row, District 96 has failed to have one school in the Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times top-50 ranking.

Young couples are forgoing Riverside for LaGrange and Western Springs, thus putting additional strain on our already depressed real estate market. High taxes demand excellent schools and excellent teachers. I believe District 96 has excellent teachers. We need to continue our spending on teachers and never on buses.

Children must attend that school closest to their home, and parents must be responsible for the success of their school.

Residents own the schools and until our schools regain their top status, I don’t see any additional tax revenue being approved by voters.

Bob Kosner

Return the dog

Saturday morning, Nov. 28, our spayed female German shepherd somehow escaped from our fenced and locked backyard. Thinking she had run off and became lost, we searched the area diligently, but to no avail.

We have since put up “lost” posters and fliers all over the surrounding area and have done all normal notifications, and then some. A neighbor said he saw someone with a German shepherd that morning, but he just thought it was their dog.

Hearing this, especially because she was wearing tags and is microchipped, we assumed a good Samaritan was going to turn her into the police or nearest animal shelter or vet’s office.

It’s been over a week now and another neighbor has since told us she saw a younger couple in a reddish-colored older model vehicle stop and put her into their car. With this additional information, we have come to the realization they were not good Samaritans and our beloved pet is not lost, but has been stolen.

Knowing this, and with the information provided with the description of the vehicle and its occupants, we have filed a theft report with the Riverside police.

We implore the people who took our dog to please call us at 708-447-3742 or 708-214-9359 or the Riverside Police Department or Berwyn VCA Animal Hospital to arrange for a no-questions-asked return, or if anyone knows these people to do the right thing and contact us.

Surely someone most know a couple that just acquired a new adult female German shepherd. There is a reward offered which could come in handy for Christmas, and her safe return would make it a great Christmas for my wife and me.

Please do the right thing and help bring our dog home.

Frank C. Vlazny

Laptop initiative a sound program

I applaud the decision of District 96 to pilot a one-to-one laptop program for students and encourage our community to consider its advantages.

A one-to-one laptop program motivates teachers and students to make learning relevant and diminishes the likelihood of teacher-centered classrooms that contradict our participatory culture.

The one-to-one ratio more easily provides for differentiated instruction so that students with varying levels of ability, including those with special needs, can participate more fully in the curriculum.

By integrating technology as necessary to learning, teachers and students engage in dynamic reading, writing and research instead of static and manufactured classroom experiences that may appease our nostalgia, but do little to deliver authentic education to children in the 21st century.

Finally, we should not make this initiative a scapegoat for a host of economic ills. All too often, adults have shirked their responsibility to prepare children for the reality of an omnipresent technology that we so absently slip into our pockets and take for granted. Even privileged and sophisticated students require explicit instruction to keep them safe and productive in a wi-fi world.

Helen Gallagher