Thursday, December 31, 2009

Joel's favorite 2009 pictures for Skokie

Annually Pioneer Press' photographers are asked to selects some of their favorite picture of the year for a year-in-review section. Here's some of Joel Lerner's picks from the Skokie Review.

Max Holtz, a kindergartener at Madison School, won a trip to the school on a Skokie fire truck. His parents, Scott and Felicia Holtz, calm Max's nerves as Skokie firefighters Kevin Carver (left) and Steve Jagman patiently wait in May.

In October, Joel spent time with Richard Fallucca, owner and chief mechanic at Antique Engine Rebuilding, the shop at Louise and LaCrosse. Fallucca has been rebuilding engines since 1975, but now primarily rebuilds Model A Ford engines. Here he's preparing Model A engine block to have its cylinders honed.

Arie Crown Herbrew Day School's Link into Reading Program had students make paper links for each book they read. Third grader Yisroel Plswang holds down his yamaka as he runs with some of the reading links in June.

Urban Beat Dance's Shannon Murray leads a group of UBD students down Oakton St. during Skokie's July 4th Parade.

Joe Clemens (left) of the CTA and Skokie resident Paula Harris use the map of the proposed CTA Yellow Line Extension to explain their very different viewpoints during the open house portion of the community meeting held at Oakton Park in September. Harris lives two blocks from the proposed elevated tracks and has concerns about the influence on Niles North High School.

Libertyville H.S. science teacher Sherri Rukes holds up a string of stuffed animal lemurs--all named Paul E. Mer--to demonstrate how polymers string together to attain different properties. Niles West H.S. hosted the Girls Empowered by Math and Science Conference for the third year in November 2009.

Niles West's Danny Lohan clears 6'4" to win the high jump at the Dan Phillips Relays at Evanston Township H.S. in March.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Santa's Express rides the Skokie Swift

I caught these images while covering Santa's Express train action on the CTA's Yellow line Wednesday, December 23, 2009. Joel Lerner posted his take on Pioneer Press' site.

Skokie's Irene London makes a snapshot of her granddaughter Jada Thomson with Santa.

While Santa rode a sleigh on the other CTA lines, on the Yellow line, he walk through the cars, up close and personal.

Niles' Tiffany Brooks poses with Santa.

Naughty or Nice?: Niles North alum Allie Rothchild picks naughty when Santa asked.

The Yellow line was the last of the CTA routes to host Santa's Express for the year. It was a unique ride. Not only did Santa ride inside with passengers rather than outside in his sleigh, the train was divided into three trains with one leaving the Howard St and Skokie Swift stations every 10 minutes. Each train had its own Santa. Rumor had it that the cars that make up Santa's Express actually run all year long and get transformed just before it is time to host Santa and families again.

Stacey Weckstein (left) with Kim Moldofsky at the Skokie Swift Starbucks. Kim organized a kid-friendly tweet-up at the Starbucks, which included taking a ride on the Santa Train.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Two Chicago Diners

by Eliette Soler

Edgebrook Coffee Shop

The lemonade was very good, but sour. If you go to the Edgebrook Coffee Shop and you don't like sour stuff, don't get the lemonade. The pancakes were very tasty. The chef made my five silver dollar pancakes into a pancake guy with M&M eyes (red) and M&M mouth (orange)! It was good! Oliver (my brother) got the Tropical Belgium Waffle. It had pecans, bananas, toasted coconut and a light caramel drizzle, all on top of two waffles. The placed was filled with old, old posters. It was cool!

Pat's Place
It's yellow and as nice as a tulip. I got three chocolate chip pancakes, bacon and toast. To drink I had hot chocolate with whipped cream (a lot of whipped cream and it has red and green sprinkles for Christmas!). I just tasted my hot cocoa and it was good. In a minute I will tell you how my pancakes pancakes are really good. They have whipped cream too, with rainbow colored sprinkles. This place is pretty. It is yellow and believe it or not, even the blinds are yellow. It is hard to say which place is better but... Pat's Place wins! Wait! She just gave me an extra bowl of whipped cream just for me. Yeah, Pat wins.

P.S. I like food!!!

In the photo: That's my brother Oliver not sharing the Tropical Belgium Waffle with me.

Eliette Soler is a 4th grader at Marquette Elementary, in Madison, WI, where lives with her mom and brother and longs for a dog.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Skokie Photographic Society features Joel Lerner Dec 17

Skokie Review photographer Joel Lerner will discuss his and his colleagues work on Pioneer Press' "Day in the Life of" series at a meeting of the Skokie Photographic Society Thursday, December 17 at 7:30 p.m. at Skokie's Village Hall, 5127 Oakton in Skokie.

Joel Lerner has been making photos of people’s important and everyday moments since buying his first camera with his bar mitzvah money. Previous to joining Pioneer Press' staff in 1993, he shot sport regularly for the Chicago Sun-Times. Occasionally Joel's work appears in Sports Illustrated and ESPN magazine.

He co-owns, an internet-based company photographing young athletics in action, with a fellow ETHS alum. I'm partners with Joel in Kring Lerner Group, an agency specializing in photography, journalism and other media projects and campaigns

His labors of love include photographing the Transplant Games, coaching young photographers through PICTURE THIS Projects and supervising the judging of the Illinois Press Photographers Association's Best of Photojournalism annual contest.

Above: Photo by Joel Lerner: Parkview School sixth graders Erynn Modena (center) and Nicole Camburn listen as Northwestern senior Jessica Swenson, a member of the Society of Woman Engineers, quizzes them on the fuction of VHS tape parts in a class exploring engineering and manufacturing. Niles West hosted the Girls Empowered by Math and Science conference in November.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

A bit about Cook County judges' races

The judges' races rarely make headlines, because, by design, they rarely include the controversy that the other elections do. This puts the responsibility back on the voters to work a little harder to seek out information about who is running for a seat on the bench.

Skokie residents are included in Cook County's 9th subcircuit. We will be voting for judges to fill two open seats. Candidates from Skokie include Scott Bagnall and Jeffrey Dov Greenspan. Others include Michael Ian Bender, Steve Bernstein, William Joseph Luby, Mary S. Trew, Dennis Michael Fleming, Geary W. Kull, Yehuda Lebovits and Abbey Fishman Romanek.

We only have until Tuesday, Feb 2, 2010 at the latest to do our homework and make our decisions, because that is primary election day, the last day to vote for judges. Early voting runs from January 11-28. To be eligible to vote, one must be registered by Tuesday, Jan 5. The Cook Country Clerk's office provides registration information, polling locations and election details.

Websites offer a certain amount of information, but nothing is better than meeting a candidate in person and asking your own questions. Check out candidates' websites for information about public events the candidates will be participating in.

For those interested in learning more about what judges do to become judges, this election and one candidate in particular, I'm hosting a coffee featuring Abbey Fishman Romanek.

When: Monday, December 28, 7:30-9 p.m.
Where: Community Room of the Metropolitan in downtown Skokie, 4953 Oakton, Skokie
Cost: Free
Refreshments: Desserts by Sweet Galit and Sweety Pies will be served, as well as tea, coffee and probably hot chocolate.

If you can come, please RSVP me at