Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Readers Who Count


By Joan Hadac

Editor and Publisher

and Tim Hadac
Managing Editor


Southwest Chicago Post

 
Almost exactly three years ago, 97 days after launching our Southwest Side neighborhood news service, we expressed a lot of surprise when we glanced at the hit counter on our website (swchicagopost.com) and saw this:



 
That was about 19,000 more than we had anticipated.

Three years after that day in 2012, the positive response to the Southwest Chicago Post continues to be a pleasant surprise that has exceeded all expectations.

When we glanced at our website this evening, we saw this:


...and then we blinked our eyes and saw this:


That's right. We reached and crossed another milestone. Three quarters of a million hits since 2012, on our way to a million.

Who said numbers couldn't be fun, right?

Anyway, back in 2012, we began this new online news service---locally owned and operated---with absolutely no fanfare, no advertising.

We started quietly---"soft-launching" this news service so we could work the kinks out before we got up to speed. Kind of like how, years ago, people who bought new cars would go easy on them for the first few hundred miles or so.

Our plan was---and still is---to proceed deliberately. Step by step. Just simple, straightforward, neighborhood news reporting with no shortcuts to success.

In that regard and in terms of our business model, we are not the hare. We are the tortoise.

And proud of it.

So trust us---we're not about to high-five each other or run out to Weber's to buy a cake or to Archer Liquors to buy a bottle of champagne.

Instead, we thank our friends and neighbors on the Southwest Side---that's you!---for giving your vote of confidence to a Southwest Side-owned and operated online news service.

These way-better-than-anticipated numbers tell us we're on the right track. Your response tells us to keep doing what we're doing and trusting our instincts---not just as journalists, but more important as lifelong Southwest Siders who basically want and work for the same thing we all do: clean, safe neighborhoods in which to live, work, play, study, worship, shop, and more.

Neighborhoods where we can raise our families and grow old in peace and comfort.

Neighborhoods where---especially for our children and grandchildren---"the good old days" are now, because we made it that way by working together.

And we hasten to add this about our website's hit count: while it's definitely exciting to get three quarters of a million hits--750,000--when you thought you'd get about 7,500 at this point--we prefer to measure quality over quantity.

That is to say this: we primarily serve the five city neighborhoods that border Midway Airport, as well as the Scottsdale neighborhood directly south of that. An area of about 175,000 people. But know we'll never have 175,000 regular readers, or 100,000 or even 50,000.

And that's entirely OK with us, because we believe in the old newspaper saying: "Far more important than counting your readers, is having readers who count."

Rest assured, we don't need to reach every single person directly---and we don't plan to.

We don't want the Southwest Chicago Post to be an unread, rolled-up newspaper on every porch (or soggy and in the bushes). Not us. Not ever.

We want to be a 24/7 online news service for Southwest Siders who are smart, savvy, and skeptical---but not cynical.

Southwest Siders plugged into the Internet and who use social media tools to connect and communicate.

Southwest Siders who are registered to vote---and vote.

Southwest Siders who---whether they know it or not---are leaders.

Leaders, not because they're some local big shot or political windbag. Southwest Siders who are leaders, simply because they are ordinary men and women with common sense---and who care enough to take the time to inform themselves on issues and have solid opinions. And then, deliberately or not, influence other people (and therefore help shape the direction of our neighborhoods) as they share their opinions with neighbors on the block, at their church or local school, in their civic association or neighborhood watch group or CAPS meeting.

In other words, you.

Readers who count.

Thanks again.



# # #

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Letters to the Editor

Editor's note: We respect your opinion and are privileged to share it via this website. All letters to the editor will
be reviewed before being posted. We do allow anonymous comments, yet we will not allow the Southwest Chicago Post to serve as a forum for bigotry of any kind. We also will not allow personal attacks against anyone, including elected officials and other public figures. On this site, all of us need to keep our tone respectful and our criticisms constructive. That's important as we work together to build better Southwest Side neighborhoods for all. So please join the conversation by sending your letter to editor@swchicagopost.com.



* * *

Editor:

It's great when one in the field of journalism gets to cover good news for a change, and you've done an excellent job in chronicling our community's proper, orderly and lawful jubilance in celebrating the Blackhawks' Stanley Cup win. 
 
Also, in consideration of the meteorological conditions of the evening, "Fans Flood Archer Avenue......"  was a most appropriate headline. In recognition, we're nominating the Southwest Chicago Post for a Pulitzer Prize in the category of headlines.
 
Thanx.
 
John T. "Red" Ryan
Garfield Ridge



* * *

Editor,

I saw how heavily you promoted the St. Joe's parish carnival, but I saw almost nothing about the St. Daniel the Prophet Summerfest. That's my parish. Why are you playing favorites?

Anonymous

Editor's reply: You're right about us promoting the St. Joseph carnival. We wrote and published a news story about it in advance, posted a calendar listing, and then for four days in a row, we promoted the next day's attractions on our Facebook page. With St. Dan's, we did a calendar listing and a single Facebook post to let folks know about it.

Not playing favorites at all, however. Here's the difference: St. Joe's asked us to help promote their carnival, St. Dan's did not. We will cheerfully help any church, school or other local not-for-profit that asks (as we have for more than three years now), but we will never force ourselves on anyone.

So if you, as a St. Dan's parishioner, want the Southwest Chicago Post to help promote any of the many good things going on at St. Dan's, please let parish leaders know we're ready when they are.

* * *

Editor:
 
What's going on with all the catalytic converter thefts in the neighborhood? I don't see you reporting on them.


Bob Czekaj
Garfield Ridge

Editor's reply: It's often a struggle for us to get all the crime reports we'd like from CPD 8. That said, it also happens when someone will go on Facebook, etc. and report a crime, but then we follow up with police and find out that the victim never filed a police report.

* * *

Dear Editor:

Thank you for reporting the truth of what that Cook County Sheriff's policeman said at the Garfield Ridge Neighborhood Watch meeting.

I was at the meeting, I have friends in Central Stickney, and I couldn't believe what he was saying about Central Stickney being relatively crime free. It isn't, and the people living there say when they call 911, it takes Tom Dart's people forever to respond. Now we know why. Sheriff's police who are supposed to be patrolling Central Stickney are instead over at 63rd and Halsted, helping plug gaps for the undermanned Chicago Police Department--in what I can only conclude is some sort of a political deal between Dart and Rahm.

I'm glad you were there, because I looked in the other newspapers to read about the meeting. One didn't cover the meeting at all, and the other watered down what the Sheriff's officer said. Thanks for giving us the straight story.

Teresa Cruz
Garfield Ridge

# # #

Friday, June 26, 2015

Burglars Hit Archer Heights; Stay Aware, Call 911 to Report Anything Unusual

Just released to the press by CPD at 2:28 p.m. Friday, June 26:



Bureau of Detectives – Area Central
   
Community Alert


Burglary
008th District ( Chicago Lawn)


About the Crime:
This alert gives notice to citizens residing in the 008th District (Chicago Lawn) of burglary incidents which have occurred during the month of June.  In these incidents, offender(s) gain entry into a residence through a rear door and take property from therein.  These incidents have occurred in the geographical locations listed below:


Incident times and locations:
4600 Block of S. Karlov Ave on 08 June 2015 at approximately 2:30 P.M.
4500 Block of S. Kedvale Ave on 18 June 2015 at approximately 8:30 P.M.
4600 Block of W. Karlov Ave on 25 June 2015 at approximately 6:45 P.M


What you can do:
  • Keep the perimeter of your property well lit
  • Report suspicious activity immediately
  • Keep doors and windows secured
  • Immediately repair any broken windows, doors or locks
  • If video surveillance is available, save and make a copy of the incident for investigating detectives. 
  • Make an agreement with your neighbors to watch each other's homes for suspicious activity.
  • If you are a victim do not touch anything, call police immediately
  • If approached by a witness to the incident, request contact information
If you have any information Contact the Bureau of Detectives – Area Central
(312) 747-8382
HY292986, HY306902 &HY315893
(Reference : PATTERN # P15-1-149)

# # #

History Walking Tour Set for July 4th at Chicago Portage Site at 48th and Harlem

All are invited to a free "nature walk" through the Chicago Portage National Historic Site, 4800 South Harlem, set for 10:00 a.m. Saturday, July 4.

Statue depicting early explorers at the Chicago Portage.
Veteran tour guide Gary Mechanic will lead the walk. Attendees will learn about the “birth Story of Chicago,” from the geological beginnings of the Portage to how it is still functioning in Chicago today.
 

The tour is approximately a half mile in length on a gravel path through the woods. It will take about two hours. Those taking part are advised to wear long pants and walking shoes or boots. The tour will be held rain or shine.

One of only two national historic sites in Illinois, the Chicago Portage National Historic site is said to be the only place where people today can stand on the same ground walked by all the early explorers, early settlers and creators of Chicago.

The late Chicago Tribune columnist John Husar, after touring the site, called it “Our sacred ground."

For more information call Gary Mechanic at 773-590-0710 or visit  www.chicagoportage.org.

Friends of the Chicago Portage promotes the historic interpretation, ecological restoration and appropriate development of the Chicago Portage National Historic Site through volunteer advocacy, public events and other projects that raise public awareness of the site’s history and significance.

# # #

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Southwest Side Neighborhood Calendar


Thursday, June 25th-Sunday, June 28 St. Dan's Summerfest

Four days of fun at St. Daniel the Prophet Church, 53rd and Natoma.Traditional
carnival fun, plus bingo, food booths, big raffle with a $10,000 grand prize, live entertainment. Click the flyer for fest hours and more!

Tuesday, June 30th Honor Flight Chicago
Held in the evening at the first-floor baggage claim area of Midway Airport, 57th and

Cicero. Want to join hundreds of other people to applaud, cheer, whistle and shout your thanks to World War II veterans returning from a day in Washington, D.C.? Well, please do! Patriotic, pep rally-like atmosphere. The vets usually arrive at about 9-9:30 p.m., but to get a good spot in the cheering throng, you should arrive at about 7-7:30 p.m., Entire event hosted by the Honor Flight Chicago organization, which gives Chicago-area military veterans (primarily World War II) free round-trip air transportation (as well as VIP treatment) to Washington, D.C. to tour the National World War II Memorial. Chick here to read a story about an Honor Flight Chicago participant. Can't make this event. Several more Honor Flights coming up: July 29, and September 2 and 30.

Wednesday, July 1st CAPS Beat 815/821 Meeting
Starts at 7:00 p.m. at St. Bruno School (south entrance), 4839 South Harding. Monthly meeting. Open to the public. Want to work directly with Chicago Police to prevent crime in your neighborhood? If you live in Beat 815 or 821 (see map), attend this meeting! Hear updates on crime in your neighborhood and learn how you can work with neighbors and police to make the community safer and better for all.

Thursday, July 2nd CAPS Beat 834 Meeting
Starts at 7:00 p.m. at Bogan High School, 3939 West 79th Street. Monthly meeting. Open to the public. Want to work directly with Chicago Police to prevent crime in your neighborhood? If you live in Beat 834 (see map), attend this meeting! Hear updates on crime in your neighborhood and learn how you can work with neighbors and police to make the community safer and better for all.

Thursday, July 2nd Patriot's Day Parade
Steps off at 7 p.m. near Archer and Central and runs west on Archer to Wentworth Park. Sponsored by Congressman Dan Lipinski, Alderman Mike Zalewski, and the 23rd Ward Democratic Organization. Refreshments and hot dogs will be served at Wentworth Park, compliments of the elected officials. At the park, the movie "Back to the Future" will be shown at dusk at no charge, sponsored by the Chicago Park District. For details or to join the parade, contact Frank at (312) 886-0481.


Wednesday, July 8th CAPS Beat 812 Meeting
Starts at 7:00 p.m. at the Clearing Branch Library, 6423 West 63rd Place. Monthly meeting. Open to the public. Want to work directly with Chicago Police to prevent crime in your neighborhood? If you live in Beat 812 (see map), attend this meeting! Hear updates on crime in your neighborhood and learn how you can work with neighbors and police to make the community safer and better for all.


Thursday, July 9th CAPS Beat 814 Meeting
Starts at 7:00 p.m. at Vittum Park, 5010 West 50th Street. Monthly meeting. Open to the public. Want to work directly with Chicago Police to prevent crime in your neighborhood? If you live in Beat 814 (see map), attend this meeting! Hear updates on crime in your neighborhood and learn how you can work with neighbors and police to make the community safer and better for all.


Monday, July 20th Garfield Ridge Neighborhood Watch
Starts at 7:00 p.m. at Normandy Park, 6660 West 52nd Street.
Monthly meeting. Open to the public. One of Chicago's most active and effective citizen-led crime fighting groups. If you live or own a business in central or western Garfield Ridge (anything west of Central Avenue), this is the group to join!

Tuesday, July 21st CAPS Beat 811 Meeting
Starts at 7:00 p.m. at Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church, 5550 South Merrimac. Monthly meeting. Open to the public. Want to work directly with Chicago Police to prevent crime in your neighborhood? If you live in Beat 811 (see map), attend this meeting! Hear updates on crime in your neighborhood and learn how you can work with neighbors and police to make the community safer and better for all.


Tuesday, July 28th CAPS Beat 813/833 Meeting
 Starts at 7:00 p.m. at West Lawn Park, 4233 West 65th Street. Monthly meeting. Open to the public. Want to work directly with Chicago Police to prevent crime in your neighborhood? If you live in Beat 813 or 833 (see map), attend this meeting! Hear updates on crime in your neighborhood and learn how you can work with neighbors and police to make the community safer and better for all.

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Wednesday, July 29th Midway Garden Society
Starts at 6:00 p.m. at the Clearing Branch Library, 6423 West 63rd Place. Runs until
8:00 p.m. Monthly meeting. The Society hosts guest speakers and also conducts plant exchanges, stages an annual Urban Garden Walk every summer, and works to make the Midway area a more beautiful and peaceful place by encouraging gardening among people of all ages. Check them out!

Saturday, September 12th St. Sym's 5K Family Fun Run
Starts at 9:00 a.m. in front of St. Symphorosa Church, 6135 South Austin. Big fun to support St. Symphorosa School! Click the flyer for details.


Saturday, September 19th Sell-A-Bration at Kennedy HS
Runs from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in the Kennedy High School parking lot just south of 56th and Narragansett. (Rain date: September 20.) Hosted by the women and men of the Garfield Ridge Neighborhood Watch. A great day to find bargains and see some unique items, as Garfield Ridge residents empty their closets, attics, basements and garages at this cool one-day sale. Proceeds, as always, will poured right back into the community, funding GRNW projects that aid neighbors in need.

# # #

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Central Stickney a 'Country Club'? Sheriff's Police Official Says Yes

By Tim Hadac
Managing Editor
Southwest Chicago Post

Crime in unincorporated Central Stickney is down so much in the past couple of years, that it is part of a Cook County Sheriff’s Police district known as “the country club,” a prominent law enforcement official said Monday night.

Commander Tabb
“We used to have a lot of issues with a few of the gang members over in our unincorporated area over in Central Stickney, but a lot of our gang teams and our patrol units dealt with a lot of cases and took a lot of the gang members off the streets, and they’re actually in the penitentiary now,” said Terrence L. Tabb, patrol commander of the Sheriff’s Police’s Bridgeview District, one of four districts across the county.

He made his observations as an invited guest of the Garfield Ridge Neighborhood Watch, a citizen-led crime prevention organization that serves central and western Garfield Ridge (everything west of Central Avenue), at a meeting at Kennedy High School, 56th and Narragansett. About 50 Garfield Ridge residents—neighbors of Central Stickney--attended the meeting and applauded his remarks.

“It’s pretty much crime free over here,” Tabb said. “We really don’t have too many complaints over here. We get a little bit of graffiti every now and then, but nothing major over this way. Everything’s pretty good over this way.”

Tabb did not offer any statistics to back up his assertions.


While the power of Sheriff’s Police includes everything in Cook County, the force’s primary mission is to patrol unincorporated areas of the county—areas like Central Stickney (essentially from 47th to 51st Streets, Laramie to Central) and Nottingham Park (the several-block area south of 71st Street and east of Harlem).

“It’s rare that you will see our gang teams over here now, because we are focusing more on a lot of different things in [Chicago] now,” Tabb added. “[Sheriff Tom Dart] has an initiative that we do right now, that we do every Tuesday and Wednesday of the summer…we just started it last year, so what we do now is, we get all our gang teams, our warrant teams, canine units and patrol officers, and we try to hit all the hot spots in the city. So we’ve been bouncing around to a bunch of different places. Starting tomorrow night, we will be in Englewood.”

Tabb said that the actions in high-crime neighborhoods in the city do not mean less Sheriff’s Police in unincorporated areas like Central Stickney, because “a lot of extra officers” are on duty on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

GRNW President Al Cacciottolo thanked Tabb for what he said was Sheriff’s Police successful efforts to rid Archer Avenue of drag racing and other speeding on Garfield Ridge’s main street.

In response to a question, Tabb added that Garfield Ridge residents who see a crime in progress in Central Stickney should call 911 immediately and that the call will be routed to the appropriate dispatch unit.

Non-emergency police calls relating to Central Stickney should be directed to (847) 635-1188, 24 hours a day. The line should also be used to report graffiti in Central Stickney, Nottingham Park or any other unincorporated area.

The next GRNW meeting is set for 7 p.m. Monday, July 20 at Normandy Park, 6660 W. 52nd Street.

(Editor's note: More coverage of the GRNW meeting coming in the days ahead.)

# # #

Friday, June 19, 2015

CPD Alert: Burglary Crew Working Scottsdale; Stay Alert, Aware, Call 911

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Looks like a burglary crew is working the north end of the Scottsdale neighborhood.

Let's all keep our eyes and eras open and call 911 promptly to report any suspicious activity to the police!

Information below released by CPD to the press at 11:55 a.m. Friday.

~ ~ ~

Bureau of Detectives – Area Central

Community Alert
Burglary
8th District (Chicago Lawn)

This alert gives notice to citizens residing in the 8th District (Chicago Lawn) of
burglary incidents which have occurred during the month of June.

In these incidents, offender(s) gain entry into a residence through a side door and take
property from therein.

These incidents have occurred in the geographical locations listed below:

Incident times and locations:

7800 Block of South Kilpatrick at approximately 3:10 p.m. Monday, June 1.
7700 Block of South Knox at approximately 2:20 p.m. Tuesday, June 2.
7700 Block of South Keating at approximately 4:45 p.m. Sunday, June 14.

What you can do:

• Keep the perimeter of your property well lit
• Report suspicious activity immediately
• Keep doors and windows secured
• Immediately repair any broken windows, doors or locks
• If video surveillance is available, save and make a copy of the incident for
investigating detectives.
• Make an agreement with your neighbors to watch each other's homes for suspicious
activity.
• If you are a victim do not touch anything, call police immediately
• If approached by a witness to the incident, request contact information

If you have any information Contact the Bureau of Detectives – Area Central
at (312) 747-8382.

Mention case numbers HY283700, HY285314 and HY301030.

(Reference: PATTERN # P15-1-132)