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Matteson Star Newspaper Archives Dec 19 1999, Page 5

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Matteson Star (Newspaper) - December 19, 1999, Matteson, Illinois Solstice continued from Page a-1 dures a a it a basically operations As usual said Chicago Heights police chief Gerry Billups. Two jeeps with four wheel drive can navigate impassable roads. Emergency management at City Hall coordinates plans for emergency shelter at the police department squad room and the City a senior Center he said. Lansing fire chief Ralph Schauer said a a you re always prepared for emergency service schauers department adds training in ice Rescue technique similar in some ways to water Rescue. New Lenox fire department members also practice ice Rescue drills said Deputy chief Jim Pitcairn. Members Don rubberized suits before hitting the water. The suits Are universally referred to As a cum by suits after the cartoon character and help keep out the cold. In Lansing Schauer said a we carry extra blankets and fuel Oil Blower Type Heaters in Case we get someone who is trapped in a vehicle. We just kind of build a shield around them for the Pitcairn said the new Lenox fire department installed heat Shields on its trucks using engine exhaust to keep water pumps from freezing. The use of additives in especially cold weather will keep diesel fuel from gelling. Firefighter preparation also Means putting on enough clothes to begin with. A if they dress themselves properly and put their turnout gear on properly nothing but the face should be exposed a Pitcairn said. Some firefighters and paramedics responding to accidents Wear ski masks to protect their faces from the cold. However Pitcairn said the masks Arentt worn at a fire a they re not made to resist High temperatures and flames. They also cannot be worn under the masks of self contained breathing apparatus. Pitcairn said a we Tell our people you re no Good to us if after 5 or to minutes on the scene you re cold. When you leave the House you can plan on being out about one to two if its less that a Edmund Rooney has logged his share of hours at cold weather emergencies. Rooney Public information officer for Mokena emergency services disaster Agency echoed the a always ready theme. Esda responds to accidents House fires downed Power lines or Trees blocking a Road. The Agency provides traffic control cleanup search and Rescue and Mutual Aid to will county and other towns. Preparedness at Esda includes vehicles with full Gas tanks Good radios cots in the station two four wheel drive vehicles batteries first Aid kits Salt and a plow. A backup Generator is hooked up to propane. A if people have a ton of Snow and can to get out we can get to them a Rooney said. Making sure people can get around is Peter Casey a Job. Casey director of Public works for the Village of Orland Park started Winter preparation in late August. Casey ordered Road Salt determining the amount from past usage a 3,500 to 6,000 tons he said. He said plow equipment and spreaders were examined and overhauled Hydraulic connections checked and maintenance performed. Any private contractors were lined up and their equipment inspected. Drivers received route maps and drove the route to look for problem spots. Meetings featured driving videos and the safety aspects of blowing Snow he said. Casey advises Drivers against driving too fast for conditions. Done to follow a Salt truck the Salt Spray May obscure your View. Watch for Black ice that near invisible layer of moisture that forms even though the Street is Clear Down to the pavement. Be careful driving on Hills. A Norland Park does have sections of it Hill especially on Side streets. We try to get to them fast especially to prevent accidents but you can to get to every place right away a Casey said. Even Parks and libraries ready Sandra Chevalier does no to have to worry about an entire town just her department. Chevalier superintendent of recreation at the Tinley Park Park District said the districts comprehensive crisis management policy covers All seasons. The districts Center has been used As a Cooling House in the summer. A we work with the Village and if people lose Power and we have it wed probably open the Center for them a she said. Park District employees have winterized the mini Golf course and other equipment put mulch around Trees and erected lights at Mccarthy Park for an outdoor ice rink. Park District programs Are often seasonal Chevalier said pointing to basketball in the Winter and track in the summer. Programs such As guitar instruction Are not offered in the summer she said because a a we re competing with vacation and activities during the although Library activities for kids Are often tied to vacations and holidays attendance is fairly consistent All year. Cynthia Dittrich adult services librarian at South Holland Public Library said she does no to plan special Winter programming for adults. Attendance is determined not by the time of year Dittrich said but by Patron preferences. A once a month every thursday we have a film. Mostly seniors show up for that a she said. A january program a who gets grandmas yellow pie plate a will explain How to Divide ones personal estate. A program on cake decorating is on february a Calendar. At the Frankfort Public Library reference librarian Linda Schehl called the Post Holiday period an appropriate time for an upcoming program on organizing a photo album. Frankfort Library staff members Are ready for Winter. Assistant administrator Marian Glunz said the Frankfort Square Park District is paid to plow the Library lot on an As needed basis. She called the arrangement a top notch intergovernmental if the Library will not open because of bad weather Glunz said employees implement a a Telephone a weather radio at the Library sounds weather alerts. Bags Courtesy of a local Bank keep books dry. Salt is stocked and Birdseed is on hand for the feathered friends visible through the Library a courtyard windows. Attention is also Given to the a Library on Emily Lowe Frankfort a assistant Bookmobile coordinator said the Bookmobile receives preventive maintenance and is equipped with a Heater and a two Way radio. Employees carry Salt and a shovel. The Bookmobile makes weekly visits to the retired Sisters at St. Francis Woods. It visits neighbourhoods in the summer and schools during the rest of the year. The Bookmobiles selection depends on which Holiday is approaching. Patrons probably wont see gardening books again until Spring. Lowe prepares for her Day by dressing in layers with heavy socks and boots. A we have two doors. The kids Are in and out a she said. No gloves though. Lowe said it does no to get that cold. Lois Morrison is concerned with buses not Bookmobiles. She is the administrative assistant at Eastern will county senior services in Monee. The Agency serves Monee Peotone Beecher Crete Steger University Park and Green Garden township. A we cover 256 Square Miles with transportation a she said. The Agency is responsible for the readiness of four Pace vehicles a pop top Van and a station Wagon. Morrison said Pace rules specify that Drivers do not go into driveways but pick up passengers at the curb. While that May work in the suburbs a some of these farm lanes Are a Quarter mile Long. You can to expect someone in a wheelchair to sit out next to the Road in the she added that a Pace representative once Rode the route to see the situation firsthand. About 15 people come to the Agency a congregate Center for meals. Morrison also deals with meals on wheels. In Winter she has to coordinate volunteers. Drivers have trouble getting in and out. A weather prediction so will we be knee deep in Snow for the next few months or will Winter be mild this year Jim Allsopp warning coordination meteorologist with the National weather service in Romeoville predicts the Chicago area will see slightly above Normal temperatures and near Normal precipitation this Winter. A a we re still in the la Nina pattern we were in last Winter a he said. Refresh our memories please. Allsopp explained a typically there is cold water in the East Pacific off the coast of South America and warmer water in the Western Pacific near in a la Nina pattern its colder than Normal in the East Pacific. The Al Nino pattern every three to seven years causes it to be warmer Over South America and colder near Indonesia. La Nina brings big swings in weather patterns with warmer drier weather in the South Stormie weather in the Pacific Northwest and lower temperatures in the Northern Plains. Allsopp said Al Nino and la Nina have a pretty pronounced effects on Winter in the Northern hemisphere but not As much on there is no direct correlation Between la Nina and the hurricanes and flooding which hit the East coast this year he said. A periodic Phenomena will occur however with this years Winter solstice. And exactly what is a solstice time for a Quick astronomy lesson from astronomer Phyllis Pitluga of Chicago Sadler planetarium and astronomy museum and Microsoft a cd rom encyclopedia Encarta world maps show three imaginary lines the Equator separating the Northern and Southern hemispheres the Tropic of cancer Between the Equator and the North pole and the Tropic of Capricorn Between the Equator and the South pole. The Earth Saxis is tilted with respect to the plane of the Earth a orbit around the Sun. If the Earth Saxis were not tilted each Day and night everywhere on Earth would always be 12 hours Long and there would be no seasons. Seasons in our Northern hemisphere Are the opposite of those in the Southern hemisphere a in Sao Paulo Brazil for instance. When both hemispheres Are the same distance from the Sun the Sun is at an Equinox and appears to be directly Over the Earth a Equator. At the Vernal Equinox around March 22, its Spring in Chicago and autumn in Sao Paulo. When Chicago sees the autumnal Equinox around sept. 22, its Spring in Sao Paulo. Solstices Are that Point in time Halfway Between each Equinox. The word a a solstice Means a Sun stands our summer solstice is about june 22. At the Tropic of cancer the Noonday Sun appears directly overhead. During our Winter solstice the Sun is at its lowest Point in our hemisphere but at the highest Point at the Tropic of Capricorn. So Sao Paulo has summer. Can you see a solstice Pitluga said a what Well see is that the noontime Sun will be Only a Quarter Way up in the sky whereas in the summertime the noon Sun is about three quarters of the Way up. Its a big the Farmers almanac says not Only is there a Winter solstice but also a full Moon and a lunar Perigee pair in Jee. A lunar what once a month the Moon is at its Perigee Point closest Point to the Earth. Sometimes the Moon is a Crescent at the Perigee sometimes its a Quarter Moon. Enter the periodic Phenomena. A a what a unusual Quot said Pitluga a is that closest to us its a full Moon and the night of the solstice. People May notice the Moon is a Little bit bigger and a Little bit sounds like an appropriate Way to begin Winter and end a continued from Page a-1 symbolically wiccan believe the a son god is reborn of the a Mother goddess at Yule time explains South suburban resident morn Geiger a wicca devotee. A this is a time to Welcome Back the Sun into your life a Geiger says. A we see the solstice As a Way to remain connected to the Earth Geiger says wiccan believe in bringing a balance of male and female Energy to the concept of god. A in some ways it is a reaction to the patriarchy of traditional religion a she says. A wicca is a feminist wicca honors the three Ages of woman a Maiden Mother and Crone. The term a Crone a Geiger explains does not have the common connotation of an unattractive old woman. A we believe the third stage of a woman a life is the time to take something Back after a lifetime of giving to others a she says. The traditional Christmas colors red and Green have their origins in the ancient beliefs according to Geiger. Green symbolizes the feminine Mother goddess and red symbolizes the masculine a son a whose rebirth is celebrated she notes. A decorated Trees candles in the window Holly swags and Mistletoe Are actually ancient Pagan symbols of the Winter solstice a she says. Instead of the usual Holiday gift giving wiccan give presents that Are connected to the Earth. A you might decorate a tree in the Yard with something for the animals a Geiger says. In her own Yule celebrations Geiger focuses on ancient rituals including the lighting of red and Green candles. This years Winter solstice on dec. 22 will coincide with a full Moon a combination that happens Only every three decades or so. Geiger plans to facilitate a Yule sabbat ritual Celebration from 7 to 9 . On dec. 22 at Earth amp beyond metaphysical store in Tinley Park. 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