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In The Rear View: Orland Park Board Hopefuls Sound Off and Surviving the Japan Tsunami

We look back at a week where Orland Park Village Board candidates faced off, an Orland Hills man described his experience in Japan during the earthquake and tsunami and moms contemplated on bullying.

Monday

U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R) and U.S. Rep. Judy Biggert (R-Hinsdale) visited Orland Park for a town hall meeting at Carl Sandburg High School, where they made their cases to fix the rising national debt. Kirk also pointed out some unsettling aspects of Illinois’ finances compared to other states and countries, before area resident either praised or chided the politicians.

Tuesday

Orland Park doesn’t want the state to meddle with their Tax Increment Finance district managing. The Illinois General Assembly is contemplating legislation that would give them more control over TIFs in individual towns, cities and villages, and Orland Park wants no part of it.

Wednesday

This week our Moms Council offered thoughts on approaching children about bullying, whether they are the perp or on the receiving end. Children should be protected, but they also need to be self-reliant at some point in life, so where is the line?

Thursday

Police said John Keefe gave workers at Orland Square Mall grief for “stealing American jobs,” before he refused to leave the mall and was Tased in the process. He was charged with breach of peace, criminal trespass and resisting arrest.

The Orland Fire Protection District voted to give back tax money for the third consecutive year. But vocal district critic Paul Cervenka took issue with the public comments portion of the meeting.

Friday

Candidates vying for Orland Park Village Board offered their takes on the Main Street Triangle and other money issues during a forum hosted by Orland Township. In an interesting twist from most forums, candidates got to put each other to task during a Q and A portion where they asked each other questions.

Orland Hills resident Nick Nowak survived the Japan earthquake, and sat down with Oak Forest Editor Lauren Traut to talk about the harrowing experience.

"I was definitely thinking this could be my last night alive,” Nowak said. “We stayed at that school and basically just prayed for our lives. That night was probably one of the worst nights of my life. I felt like a sitting duck the whole time."

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