Thursday, November 15, 2018

See You in Court, Rainbow Motel Says

Meeting Ends With Threat to Sue City Hall

By Tim Hadac
Managing Editor
Southwest Chicago Post

A month and a day after the Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection declared the Rainbow Motel to be a “public nuisance,” the motel’s attorney announced that the Rainbow plans to fight City Hall with a lawsuit.

The revelation came in a Tuesday afternoon meeting at City Hall, the third in three months between city government, Rainbow owners and managers, two Southwest Side aldermen, Chicago Lawn (8th) District police and a handful of Garfield Ridge Neighborhood Watch members.

In a move that began last summer, several hundred Southwest Side residents have signed a petition urging City Hall to bring a “nuisance case” against the Rainbow Motel, 7050 W. Archer.

The petition drive was organized initially by 13th Ward Ald.
Marty Quinn, but was quickly handed off to new 23rd Ward Ald. Silvana Tabares. The motel is in the 23rd Ward.

Some Garfield Ridge residents—many with the Garfield Ridge Neighborhood Watch crime fighting group—have claimed that the motel is a haven for misdemeanor crimes like prostitution, drug abuse, public urination and defecation, harassment of local school children and more.

As further evidence illustrating their concerns, GRNW members mentioned an October 26 incident at the motel, in which a woman claimed she was robbed and sexually assaulted in one of the rooms--which GRNW members and police said appeared to have been used as an overnight party room by a handful of West Side residents.

Police said there were no arrests made during the incident, but noted that several windows had been smashed--apparently by the victim's friends and relatives, who came to the motel after they heard her claims. 

A nuisance case can be a first step towards revocation of a business license.


The three meetings, according to BACP attorney Marianne Rieger, are part of a process designed to bring together businesses and neighbors with concerns. She has said that the tactic is successful a majority of the time.

The process failed Tuesday.

The meeting, scheduled to last an hour, was stopped 32 minutes after it started when Rieger declared the meeting to be unsuccessful and adjourned it—moments after Rainbow’s attorney, Adeena J. Weiss-Ortiz announced the planned lawsuit.

Most in the room appeared to agree that Rainbow management has made significant progress on a list of suggested improvements handed to them by BACP in September: upgraded security and maintenance measures, as well as improved outreach to the community.

But the sticking point between BACP and the Rainbow is short-term stays. The Rainbow rents its rooms for as little as four hours, and Weiss-Ortiz pointed out that the law allows them to do that.

Rieger countered that BACP has the administrative authority to request that the Rainbow not offer short stays—if doing so causes problems or concerns among nearby residents.

Some neighbors have said that short stays are an invitation for the Rainbow to be used by prostitutes and johns, as well as people buying and selling drugs.

Weiss-Ortiz disputed the aldermen’s contention that activity at and around the Rainbow has resulted in 44 calls for police service to date this year. In response, new Eighth District Commander Brian McDermott checked statistics he brought with him and confirmed the number.

Weiss-Ortiz claimed that BACP and the aldermen are unfairly targeting the Rainbow, and she claimed that the nearby Walgreens at Archer and Harlem generates more 911 calls, as does a comparable motel—the Skylark, near Archer and Cicero.

Nonetheless, Rainbow officials proposed a compromise: that they would only offer short stays on Fridays, Saturday and Sundays—rather than seven days a week.

The idea was rejected by Rieger, which prompted Weiss-Ortiz to announce the lawsuit.

It remains to be seen if BACP will now move to revoke the Rainbow’s business license.

Background

The Rainbow Motel has been around since 1954. Its tall sign was reportedly erected in the early 1960s so that motorists on the new Southwest Expressway (which opened in in 1964 and was later renamed the Stevenson) could see it easily.

The Rainbow expanded in the 1970s when it absorbed what had been a fast-food restaurant, according to a WBEZ-FM report last year that quoted manager Sagar Patel.

Over the years, its imaginative and occasionally outlandish “theme rooms” have included a pink palace, a space-walk room, Valentine’s suite, a Las Vegas room, a “night in Paris” room and more.

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Sunday, November 11, 2018

Crime News Update

Editor's note: The crime news reported by the Southwest Chicago Post---taken directly from Chicago Police Department incident reports---is not by any means an exhaustive catalogue of all crime reported in the Chicago Lawn (8th) District. For example, it typically does not include news of crimes committed in the eastern and southern sectors of the district---because the Southwest Chicago Post's coverage area is primarily the neighborhoods that border Midway Airport and secondarily because including the relatively large volume of crime news from elsewhere in the district would be a logistical challenge. We make this note to offer a little helpful perspective and remind everyone that while crime is definitely a concern in all parts of the district (as it always has been), crime remains relatively low overall in the western section of the district. May all of us work together diligently to keep it that way. May all of us also remember that a person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.


* * *

Teen shot in shoulder in West Lawn
A 17-year-old boy was shot in the left shoulder as he walked down a sidewalk in the 7100 block of South Central Park at 11:20 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1. The victim told police he heard gunshots and felt pain. He was transported to Advocate Christ Hospital, where he was listed in stable condition. It was unclear if the victim is the target. No one is in custody.

Cops bust convicted felon who allegedly beat 90-year-old grandma
A 39-year-old West Elsdon man was charged with aggravated battery after he allegedly hit
Michael McInerney
his 90-year-old grandmother.


Michael J. McInerney was arrested at 9:50 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 30 at the Saratoga Motel, 7701 S. Cicero, by members of the CPD Fugitive Apprehension Unit.

According to CPD officers speaking at a CAPS Beat 815/821 last week, the crime reportedly occurred on Tuesday, Oct. 23 in a home in the 5400 block of South Kenneth.

Described as a "dirtbag" by an officer at the meeting, McInerney is currently held without bond and is scheduled to appear in court on Monday, November 19.

According to public records, McInerney was arrested near 55th and Paulina in January 2016 and charged with possession of cocaine and heroin. Later that year he was sentenced to four years in prison. He was paroled earlier this year.

In 2010, McInerney was sentenced to 7 1/2 years in prison for possession of a stolen vehicle. In 2007 he was convicted of residential burglary. In 2005 he was convicted of attempted burglary. In 2003 he was convicted of aiding the sale or possession of a stolen vehicle. In 1997 McInerney was convicted on two counts of armed robbery.



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Want to work directly with Chicago Police to prevent crime in your neighborhood? If you live in Beat 812 (see map), come to St. Symphorosa School, 6135 S. Austin, at 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, November 14 and attend your monthly CAPS 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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Charge man with DUI on Archer
Ranulfo Cabrera


A 66-year-old Near West Side man was charged with DUI and swerving over the center line into oncoming traffic after he was arrested at 8:42 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26 in front of 6142 S. Archer.


Ranulfo Cabrera, of the 2400 block of West Polk, “was also positively identified as the offender of a hit and run that just occurred minutes prior within the area of arrest,” said a CPD spokesman without elaborating.








Burglars hit home on Kolin
Burglars pried open the back door of a home in the 4800 block of South Kolin and two TVs, a video game console and controller, eight video games, a car title and two jewelry boxes containing jewels. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 43-year-old man, at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 31.




Charge Canaryville man with theft at Jewel
Joseph Dorman


A 40-year-old Canaryville man was charged with retail theft after he allegedly stole merchandise from the Jewel-Osco at 6107 S. Archer at 4:37 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26.

Joseph A. Dorman, of the 4000 block of South Wallace, was apprehended after he reportedly was spotted putting merchandise in a duffel bag and then leaving the store. 

Police refused to say what the merchandise was. He is due in court on Jan. 2.

According to public records, Dorman has been arrested four times by CPD since 2015, on such charges as assault and possession of a controlled substance.





Armed bandit makes off with Foot Locker merchandise
An armed bandit robbed the Foot Locker store at 5125 S. Pulaski at 6:20 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 30, making off with an estimated $1,200 worth of merchandise. A 19-year-old store clerk told police that the man walked in and grabbed about five sweaters and pairs of pants from a rack. When the clerk approached him, the man said, “Get away from me” and displayed the butt of a pistol. The robber then ran away, with the stolen merchandise, north on Pulaski. He was described as a black man age 45-49, about 6-foot-1 and 190 pounds, with brown eyes, black hair in dreadlocks and a dark complexion. He wore a black baseball cap, a black hoody and light blue jeans.






Camera, cash stolen from business
Burglars used a large rock to smash the front-door glass of Las Cerezas, 6659 S. Cicero, enter and steal a camera and about $700 cash. The crime was reported to police at 8 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 4. According to the store’s video surveillance, the crime occurred at 3:06 a.m. Two masked men wearing gloves committed the offense. They appeared to be about 18-25 years old, about 5-foot-8 and 140 pounds.




Say woman was panhandling, blocking traffic
Dorota Mucha


A 39-year-old Garfield Ridge woman was charged with obstruction of traffic by a non-motorist after she was arrested at 3:11 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 30, on the street in front of 7141 W. Archer.

Dorota Mucha, of the 5800 block of South Harlem, “was placed into custody after officers on patrol observed the offender standing on the roadway while construction was occurring, begging for money,” a CPD spokesman said.

According to public records, Mucha has been arrested eight times by CPD since 2014, on such charges as possession of a controlled substance and solicitation of a ride on a roadway by a pedestrian.



garfieldridgenw.com


Burglars steal computers and more
Burglars pried open the front door of an apartment in the 4000 block of West 87th Street and stole two laptop computers, two pair of designer eyeglasses, a designer purse, a book bag, $25 cash and assorted jewelry. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 30-year-old woman, at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 30.





Unlocked garage hit by burglars
Burglars entered an unlocked garage in the 4700 block of South Lavergne and stole a bicycle and a garage door opener. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 36-year-old man, at 8 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 1.

Windows smashed, handgun swiped in burglary
Burglars broke into a house in the 5200 block of South Kilpatrick and stole a pistol. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 30-year-old woman, when she came home at about 3 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 31. A number of windows in the home had been smashed, the victim reported.




Unlocked apartment is scene of burglary
Burglars entered an unlocked apartment in the 5100 block of South Kildare and stole a TV, two laptop computers and a pair of designer sunglasses. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 51-year-old woman, at about 1:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26.

Five purses, jewelry, cash, computer taken
Burglars pried open the rear door of a basement apartment in the 4300 block of West Marquette Road and stole a laptop computer, five purses, assorted jewelry and $1,500 cash. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 63-year-old woman, at about 1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4.





Charge man with possession of drug paraphernalia
Jeremy Ian Kall


A 23-year-old Garfield Ridge man was charged one count of misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia after he was arrested at 5:40 p.m. Monday, Oct. 22.

Jeremy Ian Kall, of the 5100 block of South Moody, was arrested in the 5400 block of South Nordica, police said. They offered no other details.

According to public records, Kall was arrested twice before by CPD since 2015—once for misdemeanor assault and once for aggravated fleeing.


Air Jordans delivered, but stolen from porch
A 22-year-old Brighton Park man reported that someone apparently stole a FedEx package off his from porch, in the 4500 block of South Drake, between the hours of 1:50 and 11 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2. The package contained a pair of Nike Air Jordan athletic shoes—valued at $340—that he had purchased on eBay. FedEx confirmed the delivery, but the package was nowhere to be found, the victim told police.








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Friday, November 9, 2018

Taking a Breather from Political Ads

Opinion by John T. "Red" Ryan

WELL NOW, SPORTS fans, we can all take a breather from our constant bombardment with political ads on our TVs, Radios (AM and FM), internet, cellphones and our newspapers. Finally, after what was seemingly an eternity, the midterm elections (2018 edition) are now an entry into our history books. Whatever one's political affiliation or sympathies are, the turnouts across the nation were record breaking. But of course, we're mainly concerned with what has transpired right here in the Land of Lincoln, our own Prairie State of Illinois.  

BY NOW, IT is no news that the Democratic Party was most successful in sweeping the top state offices; that being from
governor (J.B. Pritzker ), secretary of state (Jesse White), attorney general (Kwame Raoul), comptroller (Susanna Mendoza) and treasurer (Mike Frerichs). In our local Congressional 3rd District, Dan Lipinski was returned to Washington, D.C. by the voters. There were no surprises that we can see.

THE OUTCOME MEANT that reform Governor Bruce Rauner (R), was now a one-term state chief executive; being replaced, in turn, by reformer and fellow rookie office holder J.B. Pritzker (D). This phenomenon appears to be the commonplace norm of the future; as it was Rauner's ascent to the Executive Mansion in Springfield that led to his one term. As a matter of fact, all of the previous Illinois governors dating back to Jim Edgar's two terms (1991-99) were one termers: George Ryan (R) 1999-2003, Rod Blagojevich D) 2003-09, Pat Quinn (D) 2009-15. (NOTE: Both Blago and Quinn served 6 years, splitting what would have been Rod's 2nd full term, cut short by his impeachment, indictment and conviction by the feds.)

ALL OF THIS leads us up to the same old situation for we Illinoisans. In short, we are "up that creek without a paddle." The time has come for those in office, regardless of party or any other designations as liberal or conservative, have to sit down, take a long look in the mirror and admit that they are responsible for our situation. This means that it now falls upon Governor-elect Pritzker, Illinois Senate President John Cullerton (D) and Speaker of the Illinois House Mike Madigan (D) to lead by example and "bite the bullet" where it comes to our state's finances. The size as well as the co$t of Illinois government must be drastically reduced. We have no other choice. Otherwise, we'll have to hang out some "Going Out of Business" signs!         

SO IN CLOSING, we remind all voters to take five, set a spell
and relax. The political ads are gone for now. But for those of us residing right inside the city limits, we have the 2019 mayoral election scheduled for February 26. As of this time of writing. we have no less than 18 candidates who've thrown their hats in the ring! So brace yourself for the next great wave of "Vote for Me" ads; scheduled to begin their barrage right around the 1st of the New Year !


~ ~ ~

    John "Red" Ryan is a Garfield Ridge resident, retired Chicago Police officer and a man who dislikes the barrage of Vote for Me ads as much as you do.



Monday, November 5, 2018

Crime News Update

Editor's note: The crime news reported by the Southwest Chicago Post---taken directly from Chicago Police Department incident reports---is not by any means an exhaustive catalogue of all crime reported in the Chicago Lawn (8th) District. For example, it typically does not include news of crimes committed in the eastern and southern sectors of the district---because the Southwest Chicago Post's coverage area is primarily the neighborhoods that border Midway Airport and secondarily because including the relatively large volume of crime news from elsewhere in the district would be a logistical challenge. We make this note to offer a little helpful perspective and remind everyone that while crime is definitely a concern in all parts of the district (as it always has been), crime remains relatively low overall in the western section of the district. May all of us work together diligently to keep it that way. May all of us also remember that a person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.


* * *

Kansas City man says he was cut in Clearing bar 
A 40-year-old Kansas City man was treated and released from Advocate Christ Medical Center after he suffered cuts to his face during an incident that reportedly occurred at 2:10 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 28 in a Clearing bar. The victim told police that he was in Duffy’s Place, 6355 S. Central, when someone blind-sided him and hit him with a beer bottle. The victim’s wife drove him back to the Hampton Inn at 65th and Cicero, where they were staying. They called Bedford Park police. There was no significant description of the offender.


* * *


Want to work directly with Chicago Police to prevent crime in your neighborhood? If you live in Beats 815 or 821 (see map), come to St. Bruno School (south entrance), 4839 S. Harding, at 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, November 7 and attend your monthly CAPS 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.



* * *

Threatened me with a knife, girlfriend says
A 26-year-old Archer Heights woman told police that her boyfriend threatened her with a knife during an argument in her home in the 5000 block of South Kilpatrick at 8:20 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27. The boyfriend, who lives in the Gage Park neighborhood, fled the residence and was not apprehended.





Teen robbed on sidewalk
An 18-year-old Ashburn man was robbed as he walked down a sidewalk in the 7700 block of South Sawyer at about 1 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 23. The victim told police that two men walked up to him, with one poking him in the back with what felt like a gun. The other said, “Empty your pockets” and then took a cellphone from the victim’s pocket. Both me then fled. The robbers were described only as black men wearing black clothes.





Robbers make race an issue
A 22-year-old Auburn Gresham man was robbed of $10 cash as he waited for a northbound CTA bus at 79th and Western at 6:21 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27. The victim told police that three men walked up to him and one asked, “What you doing in a black neighborhood, white boy? Give me anything valuable you have.” The three then ran away north on Western. They were described as black men age 20-30, about 5-foot-7 with dark complexion. All three wore black clothing, the victim added.






Lights go on, robber runs out
A 44-year-old West Lawn man scared off a home invader at his apartment in the 3900 block of West 60th Street at 7:34 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 28. The victim told police that he heard a long banging at the rear door. When he went to investigate, he noticed that the home invader was in a back bedroom. When the victim, flipped on a light switch, the invader fled. The victim pursued but was not unable to keep up. Nothing appeared to be stolen. The invader was described as a Hispanic man age 25-30, about 5-foot-9 with brown hair in a ponytail and a light complexion. He wore a dark blue hoody.






Burglars swipe electronics from unlocked church
Burglars entered the Sonido de Alabanza Church, 5098 S. Archer, and stole four speakers, three mixers and three microphones. The crime was reported to police at 11:35 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 27—about 48 hours after it occurred. Police noticed that a rear window has been left unlocked.



garfieldridgenw.com


Unlocked apartment hit by burglars
Burglars entered an unlocked apartment in the 5100 block of South Kildare and stole a TV, two laptop computers and a pair of designer sunglasses. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 51-year-old woman, at about 1:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26.





No dice for burglars trying to break into home
Burglars tried but failed to break into a home in the 6000 block of South Parkside. The crime occurred at about 11 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 23 and was reported to police the following morning by the victim, a 69-year-old woman. She noticed that a basement window screen had been cut, but no entry was made into the home.





Burglary loot found in backyard
Burglars forced open the basement door of a home in the 4500 block of South Knox and stole an iPhone. The crime was discovered by the son of the victims when he came home from school at about 4 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 24. The crime was apparently interrupted, because the son noted that his father’s welding equipment had been moved from the basement to the backyard, but was left behind.






Home invader barricades elderly woman in bedroom
A home invader kicked in the rear door of a house in the 6600 block of South Knox and stole a TV, an iPhone and assorted jewelry. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 48-year-old man, when he came home at about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 24. The victim’s 72-year-old mother-in-law was home when the crime occurred. She said that when she was in her bedroom, she heard a noise and mistakenly assumed that it was her son-in-law arriving home. A short time later, a home invader peeked into her bedroom and then quickly closed the door—holding it shut by propping a chair against it.

Nothing missing in Kildare burglary
Burglars forced open the bedroom window of an apartment in the 5200 block of South Kildare and ransacked the premises, but nothing appeared to be stolen. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 36-year-old woman, at 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 24.


Burglar may have worn blue hoody
A burglar broke into a home in the 5600 block of South Tripp, but apparently failed to steal anything. Police responding to a burglar alarm at 10:35 a.m. Monday, Oct. 22 waited for the owner—a 48-year-old man--to arrive and then walked through the premises with him. They noted a broken curtain rod by a bathroom window. A neighbor interviewed by police said she saw a young man with a dark blue hoody walking in the alley nearby, just after the alarm sounded.


No sign of forced entry in Kolin burglary
Burglars entered a house in the 6400 block of South Kolin and stole about $2,000 cash, assorted jewelry and an iPhone. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 32-year-old woman, at 3:20 p.m. Monday, Oct. 22. There was no sign of forced entry.





Claim man threw flaming dog poop on porch
Rafael DeLuna

A 21-year-old Clearing man was charged with reckless conduct after he allegedly put a bag of flaming dog feces on a Garfield Ridge porch.

Rafael DeLuna, of the 6200 block of West 60th Street, was arrested in the 5600 block of West 55th Street at 11:10 p.m. Monday, Oct. 29, minutes after he allegedly threw the bag on a porch in the 5600 block of South Natchez and then sped away in a vehicle.

The victim, a 36-year-old man, told police that he followed the vehicle to 55th and Central, where officers arrived and apprehended DeLuna, who also was charged with driving on a suspended license.




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