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What’s Up in Oak Park and River Forest?

Local news at a glance.

Here's the lowdown on what's happening in Oak Park and River Forest.

River Forest to Honor Historic Preservation

Applications are now being taken for the 2012 River Forest Historic Preservation awards.

Honors will be given in the categories of restoration, streetscape compatibility, adaptive reuse, architectural details and award of merit.

All work must have been completed after Jan. 1, 2007. The nominated structure don’t have to be in an historic district and may be a residential (single family or multiple unit), commercial, public/institutional or religious structure.

The deadline for submissions is March 31. Winners will be announced at the May 28 village board meeting.

Applications can be downloaded from the Village website. For more information call historic preservation commissioner Judy Deogracias, at 708-488-8834.

Silver Award is Winner for OP Green Leaders

Gary and Erica Cuneen have received the first Illinois Home Performance with Energy Star Silver Certificate awarded in Oak Park - and only the second such certificate handed out in Illinois.

The honor, given out by Green Energy Improvement, an Oak Park home performance improvement company, was presented to the couple last month.

To receive the award, the Cuneens commissioned work on their two-flat from Green Energy Improvement. The improvements will save them an estimated $2,408 annually on their utility bills and reduce their energy usage by 35%, all while making the building more safe, comfortable, and energy efficient.

Gary Cuneen is the founder and executive director of Oak Park-based , a company focusing on community development, and has been active in area green efforts for years.

Peace Corps Vet reflects on work in Pakistan

Leslie Noyes Mass, who served in the Peace Corps in 1962 and returned 50 years later to see how the country has changed, will speak about her experiences at 7 p.m. March 21 at the , 834 Lake St.

Mass will share stories and photos from her book, Back to Pakistan: A Fifty-Year Journey.

A recent college graduate when she first went to Pakistan, Mass was in a small Muslim village where she was the only Westerner and Peace Corps volunteer. She returned in 2009 as a volunteer helping to train female teachers for a Pakistani non-governmental institution. She spoke about her experiences on Public Radio International's program The World.

Her talk is cosponsored by the Oak Park Council on International Affairs. Other returned Peace Corps volunteers are welcome to come meet Ms. Mass and share their experiences informally.

For more information on the program, contact Susan McClelland, Adult and Teen Services at 708-452-3462 or e-mail her at smcclelland@oppl.org.

LWV Program Focuses on Upcoming Election

The upcoming primary, the impact of voter suppression nationwide and how it's being countered are on tap at a forum March 13 sponsored by the Oak Park/River Forest League of Women Voters.

The program will be from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the 19th Century Charitable Association, 178 Forest Ave.

Other highlights include how judicial candidates are judged and how election judges are recruited and trained.

Non-League members are welcome. For more information, contact the League at 708-802-0697.

And don't forget -

Early voting for the March 20 primary election closes Thursday, March 15.

Ballots can be cast between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. at , 123 Madison St.

You don't need a reason to vote early. But you do need a government-issued photo ID with the current registered address. A driver’s license, state ID or passport is ideal.

For more information, call (708) 358-5760 or e-mail clerk@oak-park.us.

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