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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
* * *
I would like to take this time to thank all community members who I have crossed paths with during my tenure as the 8th District CAPS Sergeant. It has been my privilege over the last two years serving as your intermediary between the community and the police department. I have met some truly remarkable people. The last two years have been the most rewarding years of my 22-year career, which I attribute solely to you, the fine, caring, and devoted citizens of the 8th District.
I left the police department with a heavy heart, yet with visions toward the future. I have moved my family west to Arizona, where I have started a new career as the Manager of Global Security for the West Coast Division of Edward Jones Financial.
I will never forget the times I spent in CAPS, the 8th District, or the police department in general. Chicago will always be my true home! Stay safe and remain strong as a community.
* * *
Thank you for posting that nice video you did of the local Christmas decorations last year. Are you doing another one this year?
Editor's reply: Just as we did in 2012, we were out late on Christmas Eve of 2013, shooting some great local decorations. We finished just before midnight and then edited it in the wee hours of Christmas Day. And then the computer we were using crashed. So we hope to post it in the days ahead, when the computer is back from the repair shop.
* * *
Over the last year or so, I noticed that you occasionally seem to take joy in dinging the other local newspapers for being under the thumb of the local politicians.
I agree with you on that, but why have you not said anything yet about Steve Landek buying the Southwest News-Herald, or did I miss it? There's something to criticize. Politicians buying newspapers. No more independence.
Editor's reply: Thanks, John. Several thoughts. First, politicians have every right to own and operate newspapers, just as we all do.
Second, we wouldn't worry about the News-Herald's independence being compromised. To a large degree, it already was serving as a bulletin board for politicians' press releases and photos. So in that regard at least, it had nowhere to go but up, in our opinion. Chances are, it will.
Third, we have no bone to pick with Steve Landek. While he has his share of fans and foes, there's no denying he's a man of action. A do-er in a world of ditherers. State senator, Lyons Township Democratic committeeman, mayor of Bridgeview, and more. Speaking from our Southwest Side perspective, we only wish he were mayor of Bedford Park, rather than Bridgeview---because that way, Toyota Park would have been built at 65th and Central, and Landek would have built the Central Avenue Overpass and underpasses at 63rd and 65th and Neva. Really.
Finally, we encourage everyone to judge Steve Landek and the rest of the new ownership team at the Southwest News-Herald by their actions, not words. Give them a chance. The design changes they've already made make the paper easier on the eyes. We definitely wish them well, as we do all local newspapers, and hope they prosper in 2014.
* * *
It's sad that your website serves as a mouthpiece for [23rd Ward Alderman Michael R.] Zalewski. You let him go on and on in the video at Normandy Park, beating his chest about all his so-called achievements. Sad.
Editor's reply: Thanks for the feedback. Regarding the video from Normandy Park, we shot, edited and posted it C-SPAN style, meaning we just let our cameras roll, mostly from start to finish, and post it as is, for two reasons: to let people unable to attend an event see the whole thing, as if they were there, and to let people make up their own minds about what's being said.
Regarding Alderman Zalewski, rest assured that we have as many criticisms of his job performance as we do other elected officials. Among them are a poor record on local economic development, streets often in poor repair, a fairly static aldermanic website that appears not to have been updated in several months, no social media tools for people to interact with the alderman quickly and efficiently, and a few other things. He needs to add to staff or shuffle existing staff, do something to ratchet things up before the aldermanic primary in 2015. With re-districting seeing the 23rd Ward lose so many Garfield Ridge precincts to the 13th and 14th Wards (another criticism that can be leveled at Zalewski) and gain so many new ones east of the airport, Zalewski may find himself in a political battle for survival. The time for him to act is now. Will he? And will it be enough? Time will tell.
* * *
I just want to say that I thoroughly enjoy the crime reports that you publish. It gives me a glimpse into things that I don't get anywhere else, even our neighborhood meetings. Please keep it coming.
# # #