Saturday, August 15, 2015

Great time at GRREAT Cruise Night

Hundreds of car-loving men, women and children turned out Friday night, August 14 along Archer Avenue in Garfield Ridge for the second "Cruise Night" auto show sponsored by the Garfield Ridge Retail Entertainment and Amusement Team (GRREAT), an organization dedicated to the economic revitalization of the Garfield Ridge neighborhood.

We at the Southwest Chicago Post are pleased to share some images captured by news photographer Steve Neuhaus.

A great event in one of Chicago's best neighborhoods!

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Thursday, August 13, 2015

Chicago Glass Blocks: Proven Protection From Floods for Homes and Businesses

Sudden summer storms seem to cause serious flooding in the Chicago area every few years or so.

With sewers overloaded by torrential rain, storm water has no
place to go but in yards and basements.

“When I moved to Burbank 25 years ago, I thought we’d never flood, because the real estate agent told us the neighborhood was on a ridge and that the Deep Tunnel project just about guaranteed no flooding,” said homeowner Tom O’Shea.

“What we learned—the hard way—is that a lot of this area is lowland that was marshes and swamps a hundred years ago,” he added.

O’Shea added that his basement flooded in a summer storm in 1996, which he thought was a fluke. Nonetheless, he spent a good deal of money on a flood control system to ensure that his basement would never again fill with sewer backup.

“But then a few years later, it happened again,” he added. “I didn’t get any sewer water, but the rain water outside was so high that it was coming in my old (single-pane glass) basement windows. I thought, ‘That’s it. Time for glass block windows.’ So I had them installed two weeks later, and no problems since.”

Endorsed by both the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, glass block windows offer a smart and simple strategy to fight flooding and protect property—both for homeowners and businesses.

In addition to protection from the elements, glass block windows offer many other benefits.

“The right glass blocks can add a whole new dimension of beauty on the outside and soft natural light on the inside,” says Carol Basic, a Southwest Side resident and owner of Chicago Glass Blocks, headquartered near Midway Airport. “Plus they add value to your home, and they are generally maintenance free.”

Chicago Glass Blocks creates and installs custom-made windows using top-quality Pittsburgh Corning glass block, the only glass block manufactured in the U.S. The company is the only Pittsburgh Corning distributor in the Chicago area.

The company also is known for using superior mortar mixed to manufacturer's specs, a high-quality blend of Type I Portland cement and lime. This, Basic says, is unlike the big-box, discount home improvement stores, where the glass blocks are stuck together with merely a fraction of an inch of caulk.

Celebrating its 28th anniversary this year, Chicago Glass Blocks is locally owned and managed by a family with decades of experience in masonry and masonry restoration for homes and businesses. Well known and highly respected in the Chicago-area construction industry, the Basic Family has a deep understanding of local construction methods and materials, enabling them to quickly and accurately assess your home or business needs. Their highly trained technicians--mostly family members and all area residents--who will come to your home are fully insured and leave your home in better shape than they found it.

To learn more about Chicago Glass Blocks, call (773) 581-5081 for a free energy consultation from a friendly, experienced expert.

Chicago Glass Blocks owner Carol Basic (left) and her daughter, Michelle Basic, assist customers at the family business that is celebrating its 28th anniversary. For more information, call (773) 581-5081.

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Thursday, August 6, 2015

Four big days of family fun set to roll at St. Richard Family Fest & Carnival

Boys, girls, moms, dads and everyone else young at heart
who enjoys summertime fun are invited to the St. Richard Family Fest and Carnival, set for Thursday, August 13 through Sunday, August 16 on parish grounds, 5030 S. Kostner, conveniently located just one block north of Archer.

The popular annual event will feature carnival rides, games of skill and chance, a beer garden, food from local restaurants, an entertainment stage, visits by pro sports mascots and more.

Event hours are 6:00 to 11:00 p.m. Thursday, August 13, 6:00 p.m. to midnight, Friday, August 14, 5:00 p.m. to midnight, Saturday, August 15, and 3:00 to 10:00 p.m. Sunday, August 16.

Wristbands specials are available, including a four-day, “unlimited rides” wristband priced at $50 in advance, $60 starting August 13. A four-hour wristband good only on Thursday, August 13 is priced at $20. Wristbands must be purchased with cash, at the parish rectory. For more information, call (773) 585-1221.

Bingo will be played all four days, with Sunday's action featuring a $2,250 total payout. Bingo doors open at 3 p.m. Sunday, with games starting at 4:00 p.m. Sunday bingo admission is $20 in advance.

Pull tabs and jar games also will be available, offering everyone even more chances to win.

Chicago sports mascots will be on hand to pose for photographs. So bring your cameras and get ready to pose and shoot! The lineup:

Thursday, August 13:

6:30 to 7:30 p.m. The Chicago Fire's Sparky

7:30 to 8:15 p.m. The Chicago Blackhawks' Tommy Hawk

Friday, August 14:

7:00 to 8:00 p.m. The Chicago White Sox' Southpaw

Sunday, August 16:

3:00 to 4:00 p.m. The Chicago Cubs' Clark the Cub

The entertainment lineup features a variety of acts designed to keep the big tent jumping and thumping with fun.

Thursday, August 13:

Rod Tuffcurls and The Bench Press takes the stage at 8
p.m. and holds on for three solid hours. Described by some as "a cover band that's never seen a cover band," the group describes itself as a band that "combines excellent musicianship, bone-crushing three-part harmonies and a contagious stage energy that will keep you dancing!"

Since 2008, the band has been wowing crowds with a repertoire includes "hits ranging from Hall & Oates to Taylor Swift, Queen to The Beatles, and Wilson Phillips to Elton John! You may even hear some of our off-the-wall choices from Les Miserables, The Golden Girls, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and classic Disney movies!"

Friday, August 14:

Maggie Speaks--one of the most popular
and eclectic cover bands in Chicago history--will own the stage, starting at 9:00 p.m. and running 'til midnight.

The band is famous for its "unstoppable medleys, seamless transitions, and note-perfect performances that leave audiences begging for more," according to a reviewer, and plays "that '80s song you love to hear to songs played at concerts in Chicago reaching back to the '50s to Top 40 hits released just last week."

Saturday, August 15:

The Ampol-Aires Polka Band will bring its toe
tapping, foot-stomping favorites to the stage from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Polkas, waltzes, old favorites and maybe a few new surprises are in store. Check them out!

Cover band Reckless storms the stage at 9:00 p.m. for three solid hours of hard-driving guitars, awesome keys and a rhythm section that will get your heart pounding!

Reckless describes itself as "a high-powered, high-energy,

rock cover band with loads of talent that brings you a great party rock show from beginning to end. Reckless is made up of six multi-talented musicians led by a powerful female vocalist, which allows this band to cover some of the most loved female artists from Heart and Pat Benatar to No Doubt, Katy Perry and many, many more! And that's just the start of it! Along with this comes the bands awesome male vocalists allowing the band to cover the latest hits from Foo Fighters and Maroon 5 to the classics of Led Zeppelin and everything in between!"

Sunday, August 16:

The Holy Cross/IHN Marimba Ensemble will perform from
3:00 to 4:30 p.m.

The group says that its "lush sounds of marimbas and Latin American Percussion creates an instant fiesta, with a repertoire ranging from traditional Mexican and Caribbean folk melodies to intricate classical pieces."

Closing out the entertainment lineup is a string of some of the
best DJs in the Chicago area.

For updates on the St. Richard Family Fest & Carnival, check in with and with

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National Night Out Against Crime 2015

We at the Southwest Chicago Post are fortunate and privileged to showcase the work of veteran news photographer Steve Neuhaus, who covered National Night Out Against Crime observances in the Eighth Police District on Tuesday evening, August 4.

Here are select photos from two observances: one in Clearing and one in West Lawn.

The event in Clearing was sponsored by the Clearing Night Force neighborhood watch group and began with a prayer vigil at 62nd and Melvina, at a memorial to two local girls killed in a gang-related shooting in 1995.

The district-wide observance at West Lawn Park is one of the most popular in the city. Hundreds of men, women and children take part each year at the festival-like event, which includes food, music, prize drawings and more.

Both events are focused on citizens re-dedicating themselves to working together to fight crime and building a safer and better community.

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Tuesday, August 4, 2015

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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With a kitchen knife held to his throat, a 36-year-old West Lawn man refused two thugs’ demands to surrender his belongings as he stood on a sidewalk in front of 6001 S. Pulaski at 11 p.m. Wednesday, July 29.

After he refused, the criminal holding the knife pressed it against his throat, cutting it. At that point a 27-year-old West Lawn woman walking with the victim screamed, prompting the offenders to flee empty handed.

The thugs were described as Hispanic men age 30-35, 5-foot-5 to 5-foot-10 and 155 pounds, with black hair and light complexions, wearing black T-shirts and blue jeans. The victim’s companion drove him to MacNeal Hospital, where he was treated and released.

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Want to work directly with Chicago Police to prevent crime in your neighborhood? If you live in Beat 815or 821 (see map), come to St. Bruno School (south entrance) at 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, August 5. 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.

A 20-year-old Clearing man and a 16-year-old Garfield Ridge boy were charged with aggravated assault after they allegedly jumped out of a car and used baseball bats to threaten a 38-year-old man as he stood in front of his home near 52nd and Luna at 9 p.m. Tuesday, July 28.

Zachary R. Frontczak of the 6500 block of West 60th Street is set to answer the charge in court on August 18. The police report gave no indication about any further action involving the 16-year-old.

The victim told police that the pair threatened him and drove off, saying they would be back later. When police responded to investigate, Frontczak and the youth did return, leading to their apprehension, police said.


A 67-year-old man told police that burglars entered the back window of his home near 51st and Millard and stole $10,000 cash, two computers, assorted jewelry, an iPad, a video game console and 10 video games. He said he discovered the crime when he returned from Milwaukee at 9 p.m. Sunday, July 26.

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Burglars broke through the front and rear doors of an apartment near 58th and Karlov and stole a conventional oven and an iPod. The crime was discovered by the landlady, a 51-year-old woman, at 10 a.m. Sunday, August 2. She told police she suspects a previous tenant committed the crime.

Burglars kicked in the back door of a home near 59th and Oak Park and stole assorted jewelry. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 55-year-old woman, when she came home from work at noon Friday, July 31.

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Burglars entered the rear window of an apartment near 64th Place and Menard and stole a TV set. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 24-year-old man, when he returned from vacation at 12:15 p.m. Thursday, July 30.

Get this free window sign and show your support for our 8th District Police! 
  Head over to Archer BP, Archer and Oak Park, for yours!

Burglars entered a house near 60th and Komensky and stole assorted jewelry, a TV, a BB gun and a leaf blower. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 56-year-old woman, at 7 p.m. Monday, July 20. Police said they saw no sign of forced entry.

A 28-year-old West Lawn man told police that a burglar entered the back window of his home near 62nd and Tripp at 7:15 a.m. Wednesday, July 22. The victim and his wife woke up when the burglar opened their bedroom door. Upon seeing them, the suspect fled on foot. Nothing appeared to be stolen, the victim told police. The offender was described as a Hispanic man age 21-28, 6-foot-1 and 190 pounds, wearing a blue hoody and red jeans.

Burglars entered an unlocked garage near 57th Place and Lawndale and stole assorted tools. The crime was discovered by the 22-year-old daughter of the victim, a 44-year-old man, at 1:45 a.m. Tuesday, July 21. The woman told police she saw two offenders speed away in a black four-door Cadillac sedan. The burglars were described only as white men age 35-45, one 6-foot-1 and the other 5-foot-8.

A 53-year-old West Elsdon man told police that burglars forced open the back door of his apartment near 56th and Kolmar and stole a TV, a video game console and a cell phone. He discovered the crime when he came home from work at 12:45 p.m. Wednesday, July 22.

A 34-year-old Burbank man was charged with aggravated assault after he allegedly swung his fists at police officers during an incident near 56th and New England at 1:22 a.m. Tuesday, July 21. Justin M. Gonzalez was tasered by police after he allegedly tried punching them. Police responding to a 911 call of a man lying in the grass in front of 5554 S. New England said they found Gonzalez asleep. He allegedly told them, "F~ck off" when they tried to wake him up and then reportedly became belligerent when they persisted. He was taken into custody, and the CPD incident report did not contain a court date.

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Monday, August 3, 2015

National Night Out Against Crime Events Ready to Roll at 3 Sites in 8th District

Want to join your neighbors in a public show of strength against crime? Take part in the National Night Out Against Crime, which is set for Tuesday, August 4.

There will be three observances in the Eighth District:
Three clergymen at the 2012 event in Clearing.

** a district-wide one starting at 6:00 p.m. at West Lawn Park, and

** one for residents of CPD Beat 811 (Garfield Ridge, west of Central), featuring a citizen motorcade that will roll away from Gloria Dei Lutheran Church and run through the streets of 811. If you want to be a part of it, bring your vehicle to the church at 5:30 and line up behind the fire truck. Everyone else in Beat 811 is invited to stand of their front porches and wave in support of efforts to fight crime.

** one for the Clearing neighborhood at Hale School and Park (with a prayer vigil starting at 6:30 p.m. and a neighborhood motorcade starting at 7:00 p.m.)

The event in Clearing is sponsored by the Clearing Night Force neighborhood watch group. The prayer vigil will take
place at 62nd and Melvina, at a memorial to two local girls killed in a gang-related shooting in 1995.

After the motorcade in Clearing, the CNF will serve refreshments in the Hale Park field house.

Clearing residents unable to participate directly are asked by the CNF to "turn on the porch lights and join their neighbors outside to talk about their block and introduce themselves to a new neighbor."

The district-wide observance at West Lawn Park is one of the most popular in the city. Each year, hundreds of men, women and children take part.

The event typically starts with a short march around the park, 65th
The event at West Lawn Park is popular.
and Keeler, with senior citizens and others with mobility limitations riding in an antique fire truck.

Several elected officials and other community leaders are expected to be on hand to rally the crowd against crime and help build camaraderie among neighbors.

Neighbors across the district are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and enjoy an evening of good fellowship.

For more information on the district-wide observance at West Lawn Park, call the CPD Eighth District CAPS Office at (312) 747-8724. 

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