Letters to the Editor from 4-24-14

Mental health screenings needed in military
Dear Editor:
  On April 9, the Medical Evaluation Parity for Servicemembers (MEPS) Act was introduced by U.S Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Jay Rockefeller (D-W). 
  A companion bill was proposed by U.S. Representatives Glen Thompson(R-PA) and Tim Ryan (D-OH., on March 27,a week before the tragedy at Fort Hood occurred.
  This legislation would require the military to conduct a mental health assessment prior to joining the service. Why does it take an Act of Congress to address this problem? 
  If Law Enforcement applicants must pass a battery of psychological tests, than why hasn’t the military included mental health screenings as part of the recruitment process?  Whether in the street or on the battlefield, both face stressful, life and death situations.
  What happened Tuesday, April 2, 2014 on a Army base outside Killeen Tex, shouldn’t of taken an Act of Congress to address, or the loss of four lives.
Gayle Bukowski
Johnson-Phelps VFW Ladies Auxiliary
Oak Lawn, IL

Gala a success
  I would like to take a moment to gratefully thank all those who contributed to the wonderful success that was Chicago Ridge’s Centennial Gala on April 12th.
  First, I need to thank and congratulate the great group of Ridge residents who have been working tirelessly for months planning our event. Leg with contagious enthusiasm by Gala Committee Chair Denise Ridley, along with the excellent assistance of my fantastic secretary Judy King, these volunteers all went above and beyond in their combined efforts, bringing an army of skills and abilities to the talk. My sincere gratitude goes out to Denise and Judy, as well as to Rich Blackwell, Cindy Koschetz, Lisa Lenz, John Mrozck, Rita McQuaid, Stacy Reichard, Jamie Bisiules, Lori Witt, and Grace Muszynski. I cannot say enough about how well these individuals came together as a team to pull off “Party of the Century.”
  I also need to acknowledge the generous sponsorship of the many individuals and businesses who contributed to our success. Special thanks goes out to our four major sponsors, Village Engineer Christopher Burke, Village Attorney George Witous, Labor Attorney Nick Cetwinski, and Hearing Officer Cary Cosentino, without whose exceptional contributions the Gala would not have been possible.

  I’d also like to thank all those individuals, business people, residents and friends of Chicago Ridge, who came out to the Gala and supported our event. Our original goal was for 300 attendees and we ended up with a packed house of 420. Their enthusiastic participation in our silent auction, gift basket raffle and especially our live auction allowed the Gal to raise over $20,000, which will be used to help pay for upcoming Centennial events.
  With the gracious hospitality of Glendora Banquets, transformed by Lisa Lenz into an elegant black and gold dining room wit historic photos lining the walls, the music of the City Lights Orchestra and the great menu from caterer Tomas Psaltakis, the evening could not have been better.

  Finally, I don want to acknowledge the assistance of our wonderful Master of Ceremonics, NBC Meteorologist Andy Avalos, who came out with his family and did an incredible job, especially so during our live auction as our fast-talking auctioneer.
  Commemorative glasses are on sale at the Village Hall, and keep an eye out for our many upcoming Centennial events by checking the Village’s website at
Charles E. Tokar
Mayor, Chicago Ridge