Saturday, December 3, 2016

Garfield Ridge Chamber of Commerce Hosts Snack With Santa and Mrs. Claus

By Joan Hadac
Editor and Publisher
Southwest Chicago Post

Thanks once again to everyone at the Garfield Ridge
Chamber of Commerce for bringing some Christmas cheer to Archer Avenue.

The Chamber's annual Snack with Santa and Mrs. Claus
event, held at Mayfield Banquets on Saturday, December 3, was its usual smashing success--with boys and girls stopping by to whisper a few wishes to the Jolly Old Elf, receive a free toy from Santa's helpers, eat a few goodies and enjoy live musical entertainment and a puppet show.


Among those rolling up their sleeves to make the event a reality were current Chamber President James Kash, 2017 President Mary Ellen Brown, and other officers and members.

Past President Mary Ann Dybala, the driving force behind the cheerful event since it was founded more than 30 years ago, also was on hand to serve goodies and greet moms and dads, grandmas and grandpas. She noted that about 800 children were expected to attend the popular celebration. Easy to understand, since the line wound through the Mayfield and even went out the door into the parking lot for at least the first hour.

Among other things, the annual event was a reminder that
Garfield Ridge is home to many public-spirited business owners who care about the well-being of the neighborhood.

Let's return the favor by shopping at Chamber members' stores and other businesses, using their professional services, and so forth. Visit http://garfieldridgecc.com/directory for a list of Chamber members.

Shop local, shop smart!

Here are a few photos we took with local children and Santa and Mrs. Claus. Enjoy!





























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Friday, December 2, 2016

Clear-Ridge Historical Society Leads Effort to Remember, Honor Wentworth

A piece of history in the Garfield Ridge neighborhood was
remembered and honored on Friday, December 2, as the Clear-Ridge Historical Society led an unveiling and blessing of a plaque affixed to the northwest corner of Banquets at The Mayor's Mansion, 5445 South Harlem--situated on what once was a large farm owned by Long John Wentworth, a two-term Chicago mayor and a six-term Member of Congress.



Sixteen minutes of video below. Thanks to the CRHS and everyone who attended the ceremony.



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Thursday, December 1, 2016

CPD Alert: Luring in Scottsdale

Chicago Police are sounding a note of caution after a "luring"
incident reportedly occurred in the Scottsdale neighborhood.

According to a CPD alert sent out to the press on Wednesday, November 30, a "juvenile female" walking in the 4500 block of West 81st Street was approached by two men riding in a black, 1989 Chevy Caprice at about 5 p.m. Monday, November 28.

The man in the passenger seat reportedly looked at the girl and said, "Come over here and get in the car."

Police did not say what the girl did in response.

The passenger who called to the girl was described as a black man age 20-25, with dark skin and short hair in an afro style.

There was no description given of the driver.

The Caprice had tinted windows and a chrome stripe, the girl said.

Police offered no other details about the crime.

They offered this advice:

• Be aware of this situation and alert your neighbors.
• Call 911 to report any suspicious person, vehicles or activity in your neighborhood.
• Do not let children walk or play alone. Identify safe havens along your child's route to school and home, such as businesses or trusted neighbors.
• Always be aware of your surroundings. 
  
Those with useful information to share about the crime are encouraged to call CPD Area Central Detectives at (312) 747-8380 and refer to case number HZ 532299.


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Friday, November 18, 2016

UPS Hiring Fair Set for Daley College

City officials have announced that UPS is looking to fill more
than 3,800 part-time and seasonal jobs in the Chicago area to prepare for the upcoming holiday season. To help fill the positions, the company is partnering with the City Colleges of Chicago to host three hiring fairs, one on the Southwest Side.

Hiring fairs will be hosted at:

• Malcolm X College, 1900 W. Jackson, from 4 to 8 p.m. Monday, November 21; and

• Richard J. Daley College, 7500 S. Pulaski, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, November 22.

The third was held Friday, November 18 at Olive-Harvey College on the South Side.
 
UPS is planning to hire more than 3,200 part-time and seasonal positions at locations in Chicago, Palatine, Northbrook, Franklin Park, Bedford Park and Addison. The company is hiring an additional 600 permanent positions at the company’s regional facility in Hodgkins.

The openings are for delivery drivers, as well as entry-level package handlers and driver helpers. Many seasonal employees will have the opportunity for advancements into permanent positions following the holiday season.

Pre-registration for the hiring fairs is not necessary. Candidates are required to bring two forms of identification. The most common forms are a driver’s license or state ID and a birth certificate or social security card. Forms of ID must be originals (no copies) and cannot be expired. Passports will also be accepted, and free parking is available at all locations. The Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership will also be on site to offer additional employment services to job seekers.

For more information, visit ccc.edu/upsjobs.

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Thursday, November 17, 2016

Hero's name, SFC Robert J. Richardson, will grace new school in West Lawn

A war hero who lived in Clearing for a number of years until
SFC Robert J. Richardson
his death in 2015 will be remembered for decades to come, now that a new school in West Lawn bears his name.


SFC Robert J. Richardson, known by many as Sarge, is the namesake of the new middle school at 60th and Karlov, built to alleviate overcrowding at nearby Peck and Pasteur schools. The three-story building will accommodate as many as 1,500 students—almost all of whom will transfer from Peck and Pasteur when Richardson opens in early January.

The announcement about the new school’s name was made last week at a ceremony attended by Illinois House Speaker Michael J. Madigan (D-22nd), Mayor Rahm Emanuel, 13th Ward Ald. Marty Quinn, 23rd Ward Ald. Michael R. Zalewski, Chicago Public Schools representatives, school parents and students, and dozens of members of Richardson’s extended family—including his 98-year-old sister, Eleanore Chambers.

“We are overjoyed that our uncle will be a permanent part of
the community that we have spent so much of our lives in,” said Richardson’s grand-niece, Kelly Salzburg, a Southwest Side resident who spoke for the family at the ceremony. “Today and every day, Sarge will be a hero to his family, his students and his comrades. I have never met a man more proud to serve his country or more proud to serve the youth of Chicago.”

Born in 1930, Richardson joined the Army in 1948 and served in Korea, Vietnam and elsewhere in a 25-year military career as a paratrooper and combat infantryman that saw him earn the Purple Heart, three Bronze Stars and many other medals and citations.

In Korea, he was credited with saving the life of a badly wounded fellow soldier, getting him to safety while under heavy enemy fire in battle.

His Army career cut short by medical necessity in 1973,
Richardson returned to Chicago and served for more than 25 years in high schools in the city, teaching JROTC to a new generation of military recruits—most notably at Lincoln Park High School.

In 1998, when failing health forced him to retire, Salzburg moved him to the Clearing area “so we could help him out,” she said. “For the next 17 years my children and I were his caregivers. He was a faithful parishioner at St. Symphorosa and could be found in the front pew nearly every day for many years until he could not drive any more.”

Richardson lived his final two years in assisted care at Autumn Green near 67th and Cicero. He died in April 2015 at age 85. He was preceded in death by his wife, Hildegarda (nee Kassas), and daughter, Kimberly.

“We all need a little bit of Sarge in our lives and hope that his legacy of being the best you can be and instilling that upon others, and being a positive person despite the curveballs life throws you will carry on forever; and his love, patience and never-ending support for Chicago’s students will surround the teachers and children who are within the walls of the Robert J. Richardson School,” Salzburg said at the ceremony.

(Editor’s note: Kelly Salzburg’s complete comments pasted below.)

Good afternoon. My name is Kelly Salzburg and I am the great niece of Robert J. Richardson. On behalf of his family, we would like to thank everyone who made today a reality.

Robert J. Richardson (who we called “Sarge”) was born in 1930 and was the youngest of six children. His dream was to be a soldier and follow in his brothers footsteps. In 1948 he achieved that dream and enlisted in the U.S. Army, where he would go on to have a 25-year career. While stationed in Germany, he met and married his soulmate and best friend, Hildegarda. They had a short but happy life together and were blessed with a baby girl to make their life complete.

Sarge suffered unimaginable heartbreak in his life; he watched comrades die, and buried his wife and daughter, but he always remained strong, devoted to his faith and embraced the love his family and friends offered. He focused on the positive aspects of his life, whistling away and maintaining his sense of humor. The strong, brave soldier we loved and admired became weak and fragile and passed in 2015. 

He always aspired to be the best soldier he could be and spent two years in Korea and two one-year tours in Vietnam. He told stories of marching for days with wet boots and jungle rot and of the mosquitos and intestinal bugs. We heard stories of the enemies attacks and surprise ambushes on our U.S. soldiers. He told of the friends he lost, and the suffering of those that were wounded under heavy fire. A soldier never hesitates to sacrifice their own life to save their fallen comrades. No soldier’s life is worth any less than your own, YOU are worth no more than the comrade at your side he told us – “it’s just what you do."  It’s a brotherhood.  Many times he was certain he was going to die, but somehow, some way, he was spared.

Sarge was a Senior Parachutist, Combat Infantryman and was proud to serve with the 82nd and 101st Airborne during his career. As a Sergeant First Class he expected nothing of his men that he wouldn’t do himself.  His lengthy list of awards is testament to the soldier he was:
(1) Purple Heart
(2) Bronze Stars
(2) Army Commendation Medals
Air Medal
(3) Vietnam Cross of Gallantry (Unit Citation)

And the list goes on with numerous other awards and letters of commendation.

After Sarge passed away, I received a phone call from the son of our uncle's friend, Sgt. Major Rovano. He had been our uncle's friend for as long as I could remember and only knew they were in the service together.

Brian told me in Korea his dad had been severely wounded and was bleeding out from the head and torso. Sarge came upon him while they were under heavy fire and didn’t hesitate to get him to safety. No man is left behind. Brian told me his father would not be here today if not for the bravery and actions of our uncle. Sarge never told this story to us – as he was simply doing his job and “did what a soldier was supposed to do." They had a 65-year friendship from that moment on.

When Sarge retired from the military, he jumped at the chance to teach JROTC at Chicago Public Schools. He worked at many high schools in Chicago over 25 years, but most notable for him was Lincoln Park High School, where he retired from. He took those students under his wing and was a mentor and hero to them.  

We had no idea of the impact Sarge had made on so many students' lives. Many former students attended his services and sent letters of support for the school naming. They told stories of how he commanded respect but was still “human” to them.

Failure was not an option for his students, and they were expected to succeed. Their personal successes at school, at home, and at drill competitions were his successes. Sarge was their champion and always stood by them no matter what – always encouraging them to strive for more and be the best they could be. He BELIEVED in them – something that many of his students had never experienced before.

His students wrote: “only once in a lifetime does a man of such high integrity, love and concern for others come into your life and makes such a positive impact, a permanent mark; not only for a moment but for a lifetime." Sarge instilled in them that “integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is watching." He was never late, never absent, never angry and always had a smile. He was truly happy teaching these students no matter how hard they made it for him. 

Today and every day Sarge will be a hero to his family, his students and his comrades. I have never met a man more proud to serve his country or more proud to serve the youth of Chicago.  His years as a soldier were matched equally with teaching JROTC as the fondest memories of his life.

To all the 82nd and 101st Airborne, to all the service men and women of our country; we share this honor with you – your sacrifices and dedication to this country have not gone unnoticed. To the teachers who go above and beyond and dedicate their lives to making a difference; we share this honor with you – your never ending efforts to mold children's lives and encourage them to succeed have not gone unnoticed.

Hubbard Field is a familiar place to many of Sarge's family members. Many of us have roots in this community. We are overjoyed our uncle will be a permanent part of the community that we have spent so much of our lives in. 

We all need a little bit of “Sarge” in our lives and hope that his legacy of being the best you can be and instilling that upon others, and being a positive person despite the curve balls life throws you will carry on forever; and his love, patience and never-ending support for Chicago’s students will surround the teachers and children who are within the walls of the Robert J. Richardson School.

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Saturday, November 12, 2016

Kennedy HS to Stage 'The Outsiders'

The Kennedy High School Drama Club will present the play
"The Outsiders" for a three-night run: Wednesday, Nov. 16 through Friday, Nov. 18 at the school, 56th and Narragansett

The play is about young people who try to remain hopeful in the midst of struggle. It is a stage adaptation of S.E. Hinton's famous novel of the same name.

It is seen through the eyes of young Ponyboy, a greaser on the wrong side of life, caught up in territorial battles between the have-it-made rich kids—the Socs—and her tough, underprivileged "greaser" family and friends. While the Socs appear to have everything, the only thing a Greaser has is his/her friends. As these young people try to find themselves and each other, the sadness of their challenging lives begins to reach them, and their battles and relationships reach a sorrowful resolution.

Through it all, Ponyboy struggles to remain strong, in part due to the advice of her friends, "When you're a kid everything's new, dawn. It's just when you get used to everything that it's day. Like the way you dig sunsets, Pony. That's gold. Keep it that way. It's a good way to be."

The production depicts scenes of violence and is suitable for an audience age 12 and up.

Tickets are $7 at the door, $5 in advance. Tickets may be purchased by emailing kennedydramallamas@gmail.com.


Friday, November 11, 2016

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 Sector 1. 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.

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Cops chase, catch 2--charge them with criminal trespass
Two men are set to appear in Cook County Circuit Court at 51st and Wentworth on
December 13, charged with misdemeanor criminal trespass to land after they were chased and captured by police just after 10 a.m. Friday, October 21.

Donald D. Woods, 27, of the 7500 block of South Eggleston, and Akeem Gardner, 26, of the 8400 block of South Kenneth, were allegedly seen by police inside a home in the 5200 block of South Mobile. When they saw police, they ran away, police said, and were caught at 54th and Mulligan. Police said they were alerted to the situation by a witness who flagged them down to report two suspicious men in a gangway. Both Woods and Gardner are documented gang members, police added.
Donald D. Woods
Akeem Gardner

Man shot to death in his car
A 36-year-old West Elsdon man was shot to death as he sat in his vehicle, parked near his home in the 5600 block of South Kolmar at 12:29 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 6.

Luis O. Villa was found slumped over the front center console of his vehicle, shot three times in the left torso. He was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

A 28-year-old Chicago Lawn woman in the car with Villa told police they had just pulled up after buying gas at a Bedford Park station at 65th and Narragansett. She said she heard four gunshots as Villa told her he was shot and slumped towards her. There was no description of the gunman.

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Want to work directly with Chicago Police to prevent crime in your neighborhood? If you live in Beat 811 (see map), come to Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, November 15 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.



Tow truck driver shot near Dunkin’ Donuts
A 36-year-old Chicago Ridge man was shot in the stomach as he stood in a parking lot in front of the Dunkin’ Donuts at 5448 S. Pulaski at 2:44 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 6. The victim, a tow truck driver, told police he was standing in the lot, talking with three other tow truck drivers, when shots rang out from the alley immediately west. All four men dove for cover. The victim was the only one hit. He was transported via CFD ambulance to Advocate Christ Medical Center, where he was listed in stable condition. Police recovered shell casings from the alley. There was no description of the shooter. Police said the victim is a gang member.

Man accused of trying to rob McDonald’s
A man listed in a police report only as John Doe was taken into custody by police after he allegedly tried to rob the McDonald’s at 5253 S. Pulaski at 5:58 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 1. A 36-year-old cashier told police that the man walked up to the counter and said, “Give me all your money. I’m not playing.” She responded with a refusal, saying, “No, I’m calling the police.” The man then left the restaurant. A short time later, a man matching the description of the robber—Doe—was taken into custody at 55th and Pulaski. He was brought back to McDonald’s, where he was positively identified by the cashier. He is set to appear in court at 51st and Wentworth at Dec. 16.

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Suburban man robbed on Pulaski
A 30-year-old Palos Heights man told police he was robbed at gunpoint as he and a friend—a 36-year-old Alsip man—stood at a CTA bus stop at 7912 S. Pulaski at 11:20 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 1. The victim told police that a light gray Buick sedan pulled up. Two of the four men inside got out, and one flashed a chrome pistol, asking, “What you got?” The victim said he surrendered $70 cash, and the robbers sped away east on 79th Street. The four suspects were described as black men age 20-30.

Carjacker had an AK-47, victim says
A 23-year-old West Lawn man was robbed and carjacked at gunpoint just before he got into his car at 65th and Hamlin at 1:10 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 2. The victim told police that a bandit armed with what appeared to be an AK-47 jumped out of a black car and ordered him to drop his car keys and wallet. The victim complied, and the bandit jumped in his 2012 Nissan Altima and sped away. The gunman was described as a black man about 5-foot-11 and 190 pounds. Descriptions of the two accomplices were more vague.


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Want to work directly with Chicago Police to prevent crime in your neighborhood? If you live in Beats 823 or 825 (see map), come to the Eighth District Police Station at 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, November 16 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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Carjacker had assault rifle, victim says
A 24-year-old Scottsdale man was robbed and carjacked at gunpoint as he pulled up at his home in the 8500 block of South Karlov at 2:27 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 2. The victim told police that two men walked up to his vehicle, with one brandishing what appeared to be an assault rifle and ordering him out of the car. The victim complied and handed over his wallet and cell phone. The robbers took $20 cash from the wallet and then threw it to the ground. They also threw back his phone, saying, “You can have your sh~tty phone back.” One robber encouraged the other to shoot the victim on the spot, but the two instead jumped in the victim’s car, a 2015 Ford Focus, and sped away north on Karlov. The victim’s vehicle contained a Craftsman bag filled with tools, work clothes and boots. The robbers were described only as black man. One hid his face with a white plastic ski mask.

Reputed gang member stole tires, police say
A 39-year-old Chicago Lawn man was charged with burglary after he and an
Ulises Moreno
accomplice allegedly entered a garage in the 3900 block of West 83rd Street at 2:44 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 2 and stole two tires. Ulises Moreno, of the 3200 block of West 63rd Place, was apprehended several blocks north of the garage, near Hayford and Lawndale after police chased his pickup truck and then pursued him on foot after he bailed out, according to the police report. The other man in the truck eluded police. Moreno is a gang member, police added.





Burglars steal $1,300 from restaurant
Burglars pried open the back door of the Camaron Vaquaro restaurant, 6242 S. Pulaski, and stole about $1,300 cash. The crime was discovered by an employee, a 37-year-old woman, who arrived on site at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 1. She told police that the restaurant had been locked at 10 p.m. the previous night.

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No loot for restaurant burglar
A burglar left a fast-food restaurant empty handed after he smashed open a cash register, only to find no money inside. The crime occurred at about 12:15 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 2 at Krispy’s Seafood & Chicken, 8255 S. Kedzie. Video surveillance footage showed that the burglar entered the premises by smashing the front-door-glass. The burglar was described as a black man age 25-35, 5-foot-9 and 180 pounds, with brown eyes, black hair and a medium complexion.

Burger King hit by burglar with BK cap
A burglar walked through the front entrance of the Burger King at Southwest Highway and Kedzie and stole more than $950 cash. The crime was discovered by an employee—a 47-year-old Chicago Lawn woman—when she arrived to open up for the day at 5 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 2. She found the front doors unlocked, and then locked them and called a manager, who called 911. Video surveillance footage showed that the crime occurred at 3:40 a.m. The burglar walked through front doors that appeared unlocked and ransacked the premises. He was described as a black man wearing a black Burger King baseball cap, a dark blue jacket and black pants.

Jewelry, cash swiped from home on Kolin
Burglars forced their way into a home in the 4800 block of South Kolin and stole assorted gold jewelry and about $100 cash. The crime was discovered by the 54-year-old victims, a husband and wife, at 10:20 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5.

Bloody boot print at burglarized pro shop
Burglars smashed the front window of the golf pro shop at Marquette Park, 6700 S. Kedzie, and entered—although an employee told police it was initially unclear what, if anything, had been stolen. The burglar cut himself while smashing the glass, a bloody boot print was found inside the shop.




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