Trustee Wants Basketball Hoops Removed from All Oak Lawn Parks

Oak Lawn Trustee Carol Quinlan thinks removing basketball hoops and courts would improve safety in village parks.

An Oak Lawn trustee appeared before the park district board on Monday and asked that basketball hoops be removed from all village parks.

The request stemmed from an incident last month where black and white youths clashed at Wolfe Wildlife Refuge at 105th Street and Laramie Avenue, resulting in several teens being injured and two arrests.

Tr. Carol Quinlan (Dist. 5) explained that neighborhood families and young children no longer use Wolfe Wildlife or Little Wolfe Park, because it has been taken over by young adults and older teens from outside of Oak Lawn coming to play basketball.

“Unfortunately over the last years we’ve seen a big change in what’s happening at Wolfe,” Quinlan said, who lives a few houses away from Little Wolfe at 107th Street and Laramie Avenue. “It’s young adults and older teens that are there and they’re not from the area. I can tell because all the cars from people driving in have Chicago city stickers.”

Backed by 35 of her constituents, Quinlan voiced their concerns about foul language emanating from the basketball courts in Little Wolfe, noise after dark and litter around the park.

Quinlan said that neighborhood residents are now too intimidated to walk their dogs on the nature paths, let alone allowing their young children to play at Little Wolfe playground unsupervised.

“I’m getting daily complaints from residents around Wolfe, especially after the incident last month,” the village trustee said. “People aren’t feeling safe. I believe that by taking down the hoops … it would remove some of that outside element.”

Oak Lawn Police Chief Michael Murray told the park board that police patrols have been increased at Wolfe Wildlife and Little Wolfe Park since the Aug. 14 skirmish between black and white male juveniles.

Two older black teens were charged as adults on misdemeanor assault and battery charges. The black youths claim the skirmish started when white youths used racial slurs.

Oak Lawn Parks Commissioner Gary Callahan reminded the village trustee that the August incident did not start on the basketball court.

“[Parks commissioners] all go through the neighborhood to see what’s going at these parks,” Callahan said. “It breaks my heart that some of these people who aren’t residents come here because they feel safe.”

Quinlan said the problems with foul language and the most recent spate of violence weren’t limited to Little Wolfe, but other parks village-wide.

“I say remove the hoops in all of Oak Lawn,” the village trustee said to audience applause.  “It’s not easy for me as a village trustee either to remove something from a park, but we are paying taxes and it’s our money going toward the park district. I quite frankly don’t care about people outside of Oak Lawn.”

Quinlan proposed replacing the basketball court at Little Wolfe with an outdoor sand volleyball court. She also suggested taking down the hoops and nets but leaving the poles and backboards up to see if it improves if park safety on a trial basis.

Oak Lawn parks commissioners said they would discuss removing the basketball court at Little Wolfe, but would not vote on it that evening because they did not have a full board.

Parks Commissioner Donna McAuley said that Oak Lawn parks are renovated based on residents’ input.

“Safety is a concern for all of us,” McAuley said. “My hope is that if the board chooses to take the basketball courts down, that we don’t take away recreation that our residents want now and in the future.”

After the meeting, Quinlan said she didn’t get a good vibe from the park board. She suggested that neighbors start documenting suspicious activity.

“Maybe they just need to talk about it,” Quinlan said of the park board. “I don’t care that Chicago people have a safe place to come and play hoops. It should be our residents and our young kids up there playing hoops.”

The Oak Lawn Park District board meets at 7 p.m. on the second Monday of the month at the Oak View Center, 4625 W. 110th St. Meetings are open to the public. 

Should the Oak Lawn Park District consider removing basketball hoops and courts from village parks? Tell us in the comments.

U.N. Owen September 19, 2013 at 02:19 AM
Phree September 19, 2013 at 10:08 AM
UN Owen - "when was the last time a white guy committed a crime here in Oak Lawn? Go ahead name 1!!”... Hmmmmmm... What about the 2 fake cops that stole a unsuspected drivers money, or the teen caught in a residents backyard attempting to break in their vehicle with numerous stolen items in his backpack, or OL resident Patrick R. Carroll that got caught running drugs blocks away from parks and schools, or good ol' Vorberg that got caught masturbating in front of a school, or how about the crazy guy from Chicago that was going insane in front of Sward Elementary , or the Orland Hills man with the "F**K the Police" neck tattoo that got an aggravated assault for spitting on an officer, or Boy Scout pedophile Thomas Hacker, maybe the hi speed chase from good ol' OL resident Stephanie Hale, what about the retired Village of Oak Lawn employee that choked a 14 year old girl and let’s not forget about the numerous DUI's from your fellow Caucasian residents. There is much more to blame for OUR community’s demise than basketball, we pay a substantial amount in taxes and we need a better police presence and have to become accountable for our own community and till then shit will continue to happen, white black brown or purple.
Just saying September 19, 2013 at 09:18 PM
Ok, how about you come and sit on my back porch some beautiful night and listen to these kids call each other n&?!@r and mother f'er ALL night. almost everynight. Of the summer at least. We'll see what happens now. Kids can't even sit out there without being subjected to all this crap. Unless you live here, next to or behind this park you frankly don't really know what its like. I will not let my kids go on the trails any longer because I am afraid they will run into these a holes. I for one applaud Tr. Quinlan for trying something while everyone sits on their hands. You don't like the job she is doing I suggest you run for Trustee.
m.m. September 20, 2013 at 10:21 AM
Just saying is right. I live across the street. 20 years ago kids came to play basketball. Blacks played there then and came by car. I can't remember a single problem. This is a different element and although they use the courts to play or goof around, they are not there solely for playing and competition. It is a gathering spot. The nets at Wolfe need to go. The police will not dedicate the manpower to keep things in check. Why keep arguing over this. It is for the best that they come down at this park and evaluate the situation after that. No need for racist remarks, just take action and be done with it. Bottom line is we all want a safer community.
fred September 20, 2013 at 02:24 PM
MM...when you call for the nets to come down, the white liberals as well as the jesse jacksons would say that that is a racist position. However, when you compare one gang of well behaved black kids from 20 years ago, to another gang of not so well behaved black kids as in recent days, then actions have gone from normal to bad, and should thereby render racism as not a serious allegation. But just playing the race card again. Well stated and from experience.
OakLawnBill September 20, 2013 at 02:50 PM
The fact of the matter is Oak Lawn's violent crime has gone down every year since 1999. Don't feed me that better in the old days crap. Oak Lawn's overall crime rate is way below the national average. I like to use the basketball courts. If there is a problem don't bend over. Remove the problem. We can cut way back on all crime if we stop and frisk everyone driving through the neighborhood.
OakLawnGuy September 20, 2013 at 03:00 PM
Violent crime has fluctuated. Not really gone down at all. <http://www.city-data.com/crime/crime-Oak-Lawn-Illinois.html>
OakLawnBill September 20, 2013 at 03:17 PM
You are correct Guy. I was looking at US stats. Violent crime rate in 2011 Oak Lawn: 66.8 U.S. Average: 213.6 Violent crime rate in 2010 Oak Lawn: 98.0 U.S. Average: 223.2 Violent crime rate in 2009 Oak Lawn: 65.3 U.S. Average: 238.0 Violent crime rate in 2008 Oak Lawn: 45.4 U.S. Average: 252.4 Violent crime rate in 2007 Oak Lawn: 55.9 U.S. Average: 259.7 Violent crime rate in 2006 Oak Lawn: 56.6 U.S. Average: 264.1 Violent crime rate in 2005 Oak Lawn: 49.6 U.S. Average: 258.9 Violent crime rate in 2004 Oak Lawn: 51.6 U.S. Average: 256.0 Violent crime rate in 2003 Oak Lawn: 56.1 U.S. Average: 262.6 Violent crime rate in 2002 Oak Lawn: 56.3 U.S. Average: 272.2 Violent crime rate in 2000 Oak Lawn: 41.0 U.S. Average: 277.6
OakLawnGuy September 20, 2013 at 06:43 PM
Would like to see stats on crime related to gang activity, or perpetrated by known gang members. I would think that THAT is on the rise.
J September 21, 2013 at 09:02 AM
Why come to Oak Lawn to play basketball? Play in Chicago & you might get shot. But don't worry folks. The violence won't follow here. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-multiple-people-including-3yearold-shot-in-south-side-attack-20130919,0,352520.story
Tommy Paine September 22, 2013 at 07:20 PM
I love pugs, your BS articles are nothing more than BS written by liberal hacks. They are as worthless as your delusional comments. First of all before there was "white flight" there was black flight. They left the trash in their own neighborhoods first instead of staying there and fixing it. Show me a neighborhood that went from white to black and the crime rate went down. You can't because it doesn't happen! Why don't you and the rest of the white apologists suffering from white guilt put your money where your big fat mouths are and move to a black neighborhood?
Joe Kocur September 22, 2013 at 09:40 PM
Tommy I don't know how these liberals survive in the real world. It's unbelievable the way they think and live! Then again that's why liberals are so do dependent on the government. Welfare, sect. 8, food stamps, bill assistance, Obama care, Obama phones etc. they even think mike madigan is great for Illinois! And if you think that you have rocks in your coconut
Judy Royer September 23, 2013 at 12:36 PM
We had curfews in our days. Curfews should be installed by parents not police or villiages. Parents are too busy to supervise their children now a days. Where are they, who are they with, be home at 10 no later or else. Oh yea the government will say parents have no rights. Please install respect in your children.
m.m. September 23, 2013 at 01:40 PM
@judy..Well that is true about curfews and parents supervising their children. However, that is not the issue here. Children were attacked while alone by older kids--some which were not even from the neighborhood. The issue is whether or not removing the nets at Wolfe will alleviate future problems. The answer is yes. The village will not/can not provide the extra police resources to keep the park safe on an ongoing basis. It's a no-brainer...keep them down for a year or so and revisit the issue later.
Trish Brennan Bergquist September 24, 2013 at 08:05 PM
I don't care what color anyone is, if there are good people, they are good people. If they are thugs, they are thugs. I am not a liberal, as if it is a bad word, but I do believe in giving everyone a chance. If you insist upon having the mindset of hate, I can guarantee that you will be able to find something about the person as an individual rather than what they look like. All Catholics aren't pedophiles are they? Just because quite a few priests have turned out to be scum doesn't mean that all Catholics are scum too. Also, don't forget many of us have descended from Irish lines who were denied jobs, housing and good medicinal care at one time too. Also, it will be getting colder soon, so the problem will solve itself. But again, I live near the park and walk there at different times of the day and have never had any problems besides idiot dog owners who feel they can ignore the Illinois leash law. All have been white by the way.
Natalie Potter Nalepa October 02, 2013 at 01:18 AM
Some of the comments make me sick and sad. Shame on you. I am white and I work with a lot of black people AND hang out with them. I'm young and it's you ignorant old people that are starting problems. Your generation is messed up. Your parents taught you hateful things because they were taught that. What about Drew Peterson, Adam Lanza, and all these other white people that committed mass murders? I know a lot of black people that are living in Oak Lawn causing NO trouble. They came here to escape the BULLSHIT of the city because they want to raise their families in a safe environment without fear of being shot every time they walk out the door. Other than that, the Oak Lawn police are mostly consistent of arrogant pieces of garbage, overpaid like the teachers, which is why our property taxes are so high that hundreds of people have to foreclose on their homes. I'm gonna pay $48000 in real estate taxes so the OLPL (who are garbage anyway) can drive around in a Hummer?
Natalie Potter Nalepa October 02, 2013 at 01:18 AM
Joe Kocur October 02, 2013 at 05:28 AM
It's liberals like you that create the problem. Blame the police, blame old folks, anybody but the colored people. It's whites fault that there's shooting each other. Why did your friend move to OL ? Did you ever see the news or watch cops when they arrest a black person? Almost everyone of them say" I ain't did nuffins"? Blacks don't know the difference between right and wrong they blame somebody else. All the rats at 102 nd Pulaski also escaped to a better life! Yeah right . Their little chitlins are roaming everywhere over there. In supervised.
STM October 02, 2013 at 07:30 AM
Natalie Potter Nalepa, Wow, I wish I paid that much in property taxes. Mine are nearly double that. Few years ago I was paying $4800.
Dan October 02, 2013 at 07:42 AM
Joe ,natalie is has white guilt. she thinks if she hangs around with some black people god will give her a front row seat or something,and the black living in oak lawn(section 8) once more ,and more move in there goes the village. hey natalie, did you drop your health insurance yesterday,and try to sing up with obamacare? bet not. if you really care about the low rent people ,you would want to be like them. wear your pants down over your azz, blast rap (crap) over your stereo, liter, don't understand why white people are not proud of who they are. these white libs think it's easier to bow down ,and just except black culture, thats crap,and you know it. or maybe you want to date or marry one. hope you like beat downs,cause thats what your in for. joe i'm with you,and tommy paine. hey natalie,why don't you go hang out around 63rd. and ashland,then tell me blacks are all good. NATALIE HAS WHITE GUILT. !!!!!!!!!!
Phree October 02, 2013 at 10:25 AM
You all are still yapping about this bullshit while area businesses are being robbed at GUN point by both black and white males. This is fucking ridiculous, if you dont want diversity move your ass to Mokena or Richton Park, there are practically no opposite races there. Until then, shut the hell up. You can't do a damn thing about Section 8 or trailer parks or apartment buildings or rental houses/condos but you can pack you shit up and move.
m.m. October 02, 2013 at 10:49 AM
Phree, You will probably be the first to go and will give some other bs reason for doing so. I don't have a problem with diversity. The real issue here is what is being done to control the crime and other incidents here. Sorry but the hoops at Little Wolfe need to go. Whether or not the incident there was instigated or not the day before, the victims were young children walking alone back there. There is no excuse for that. The patrols back there and stationed squad have long disappeared. I am not saying all the hoops need to go but I would recommend Wolfe and Oak Meadows--the two that seem to draw trouble to the neighborhood. The village does not have and will not commit to additional security, and like it or not more resources are always going to be put toward local businesses and income generating tasks like ticketing. So what do you propose? Seems to me you are doing a whole lotta yacking yourself and suggesting nothing.
m.m. October 02, 2013 at 10:53 AM
And...I would like to believe that most of the residents here are not racist. Like me, I think most people who have worked hard to own homes here do not want to have to move. We are invested in our homes, schools and the neighborhood. Most people want to stay here, they just want the area to be safe.
Dan October 02, 2013 at 11:05 AM
phree= white guilt,or is section 8. (phree wrote move to mokena or richton park) richton park has been dark for a very long time dummyand m.m. taking down the basketball nets is a start,or put a movable basketball pole,and net in front of your house,and see who shows up. their like roaches when it comes to basketball. you'll have 20-30 welfare people blocking the street and robbing your garage,and cars,and dating your daughter.
Dan October 02, 2013 at 11:08 AM
trish wrote = idon't care care what color anyone is? hmmmm sounds like trish is dating section 8.
Phree October 02, 2013 at 11:16 AM
m.m..... Will the removal of the hoops stop area businesses from being robbed at gunpoint? I am in favor of losing the hoops for a trial period and increasing police presence during summer at all parks. I am also in favor of adults in our community watching over each others property and young and protecting our own community in the event OLPD is too busy writing speeding tickets. And yes, I am definitely contemplating moving my young growing family out of Oak Lawn for a host of reasons, better amentities, the desire to live around younger families, better safety and a better school system with a more diverse demographic.
m.m. October 02, 2013 at 11:48 AM
@Phree..I wholeheartedly agree with your comment above about what steps need to be done to make the community safer. But, as I expected to hear...you are contemplating moving your family. But your reasons are crap. Oak Lawn has an unmatched Park District System. The schools are good and so are the amenities here for the most part. There are also a ton of young families. It may be hard to find all of the qualities you are looking for on top of the more diverse demographic you seek. Lets just be honest, you have no intention of "going down with the ship". I am not a racist but I am not a fool either and I just want my investment protected. If this village is not willing to step up and keep this a desirable place to live, I, too will go.
Dan October 02, 2013 at 12:45 PM
the liberal comes out in phree. using words like that. maybe your mom or wife or daughter is sleeping with black men. Hence ,the anger.
Phree October 02, 2013 at 04:37 PM
Come on Dan, no anger just asking a simple question. I'm just as glad as you are that your husband gets divided between several men at your expense, he really has some nerve, you two had a bright future.
U.N. Owen October 16, 2013 at 03:08 PM
@Phree, half of those people you mentioned are not even a part of, live in, or the crime didn't even happen in Oak Lawn. Second, I would name all the black and hispanic crimes that have been committed here but frankly I just don't have the time to do so. But I'll just take a shot in the dark here...Tyrhone, Darius, Devonte, Jose, Paco, Pablo, Juan, and Romero. Those names alone should fit the description for about 75% of this states crimes in the past year!


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