Daily archives: September 16th, 2010

Holiday Star Theater Operator Duped Park Forest, Officials Say

More on the mess in Park Forest due to a lapse at Matanky Realty (why, exactly, did they not perform a credit check on this man????):

A man who served 18 years in prison for fraud duped the village of Park Forest into letting him run The Holiday Star Theater by giving them a phony name, village officials said.

Kenneth Arron, of Lombard, was charged Thursday with felony forgery and fraud. He had operated the theater under the name Kenneth Yochelson for six months, village officials said.

Arron’s world allegedly unraveled during a traffic stop Monday morning. Police recognized him as the theater operator, but he “quickly admitted his legal name was not Kenny Yochelson,’’ village officials said in a written statement.

Arron admitted he used the Yochelson name because he feared his criminal background would keep him from doing business in the area, officials said.


And Double-Yoy.

As Pittsburgh’s Myron Cope would’ve said.

Yes, Mayor Daley Is Right to Move 200 Cops to the Streets

Mayor Daley

Look: Yes, crime is a problem in Chicago.

No, it is not the fault of Mayor Daley.

No politician should have to deal with this much madness.

It is the fault of Chicago’s gangs.

So, I don’t quite understand the "controversy" in this story from the Chicago Sun-Times:

Mayor Daley said Thursday he wants to take the police out of community policing to put 200 more officers on the street.

Daley said Chicago’s Alternative Policing Strategy, known as CAPS, was conceived as a civilian-run program in the 1990s but now involves many more uniformed officers than was originally intended.

“Over 200 police officers or more were assigned to CAPS over years — lieutenants and sergeants and patrolmen. In some districts, they had 8 to 10 or 12 people assigned to CAPS. . . . All the sudden, a civilian thing  . . . went to a Police Department [program]. That was not the concept,” the mayor said.

The decision to yank the officers out of community policing comes three months after Daley asked Ron Holt, the police officer father of a 16-year-old gunned down on a CTA bus, to breathe new life into the CAPS program.

“When Ron took it over, he couldn’t believe how many police officers were assigned and transferred over many years into it. It became a huge amount of police officers,” the mayor said.

Good for "Da Mayor." This is a good move on his part.

Park Forest Theater Operator Was No Harold Hill

Kenneth Arron
Kenneth Arron addresses the Park Forest Village Board as “Kenny Yochelson.” (Photo: ENEWSPF)

First, the sad news from ENEWSPF:

In the 1957 musical The Music Man, Professor Harold Hill arrives by train in River City Iowa and begins to work his a scam convincing parents he can teach their children music. At the end of the comedy when Hill’s fraud is exposed, parents and the town forgive Hill when they hear their children attempt to play Beethoven’s Minuet in G.

Officials in Park Forest are not laughing, however, at the fraud allegedly committed by Kenneth Arron, who represented himself to the community as Kenny Yochelson.

According to a press release from the Village of Park Forest, criminal charges were filed today against the operator of Holiday Star Theater in Park Forest.

Kenny Arron, who had presented himself as Kenny Yochelson since first approaching Park Forest officials in January about taking over the then?Eagle Theater, was arrested Monday, the release said.

Park Forest is a town that has struggled to regain a local business foothold for years. At one time the “Centre” of businesses in the south suburbs, Park Forest watched as businesses left for Matteson, IL, and then migrated north of Interstate 80. Many businesses have returned to Matteson, due, in no small part to the work of Park Forest’s current Director of Economic Development and Planning Hildy Kingma, who Park Forest wooed from Matteson where she worked in a similar capacity. Kingma was largely responsible for populating the plaza at the northwest corner of Cicero and Rt. 30 (Panera Bread, Borders, etc.).

However, current Matteson Village officials deserves credit too. Mayor Ashmore has worked hard to move Matteson from the red, and it looks like he will succeed. Matteson suffered much during the Great Bush Recession, drastically understimating the impact the Great Recession would have on its sales tax revenue.

All of that having been said, back to our topic.

Village Officials in Park Forest were “had” by a professional con-man. Kenneth Arron, a.k.a. “Kenny Yochelson,” represented himself as the answer to all of Park Forest’s woes. Declaring that Park Forest Village officials had their “heads up their ass,” Yochelson was actually contemplating a run for Village Trustee in Park Forest, according to a group on Facebook.

The problem?

Kenny Yochelson‘ does not exist.

His real name is Kenny Arron, and he is no Harold Hill.

Professor Harold Hill eventually discovered his conscience.

Kenneth Arron never did.

How sad for this man. According to the press release from Park Forest, he has spent 18 years, most of his adult life, behind bars.

How sad.

Park Forest deserves better.

I hope the Holiday Star Theater survives.

Park Forest deserves better.