Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Curie singers' Cinderella story ends; eliminated on America's Got Talent

By Tim Hadac
Managing Editor
Southwest Chicago Post

Musicality crashed into reality this week, as the 17-member singing group from Curie High School fell short in its bid to win fame and fortune on America’s Got Talent.

Up against strong competition that included other singers, a stand-up comedian, a magician, a 12-year-old songwriter/ukulele player, dancers, a child who sings like an opera diva, a mime named Tape Face and even a knife thrower, the Southwest Side teens sang their hearts out on live TV Tuesday night and then crossed their fingers. They hoped to attract the number of viewer votes needed to advance to the final round of the competition, watched by millions on NBC stations across the nation and even around the world.

On the AGT "results" episode that aired live Wednesday night, Musicality was one of six acts axed by lack of viewer support. Five acts advanced to the AGT finals.

Tuesday’s performance was Musicality’s cover of “Born This Way,” a smash hit for Lady Gaga in 2011—a song that celebrates individuality, personal empowerment and which has become an anthem of sorts for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender teens, as well as others cast as square pegs in a round-hole world.

While viewers decide who makes the final cut, AGT’s four celebrity judges doubtless have the ability to influence opinions. One of those judges, former Spice Girl Mel B, offered an uncharacteristically harsh take on Musicality Tuesday night, calling their singing little more than “a well-rehearsed school performance….that wasn’t good enough for me tonight.”

Her words were greeted with jeers by some of the audience members at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

AGT’s pre-performance video about Musicality was consistent
A goofy-face Musicality selfie helps break the tension of the competition.
with the show’s ongoing portrayal of the group as a kind of against-the-odds vocal ensemble trying to survive in an underfunded public school system in a dangerous and crime-infested part of Chicago—a characterization that has rankled some at the school and in the surrounding Archer Heights neighborhood.

“I don’t like that the show’s producers are pushing this ‘ghetto kids who can sing’ narrative,” said Curie alumni mom Sheryl Whittaker at a local viewing party Tuesday night. “These kids should be judged on their own merit. They have the God-given talent to win this contest. Just let them be themselves.”

Brighton Park resident Jaime EncarnaciĆ³n said he was OK with the characterization. “Look, I like where I live, but if one these kids says, ‘I’m afraid to walk to school in the morning,’ who are we to deny their fear? This is Curie High School, not New Trier, not Hinsdale.”

Musicality founder/director Michael E. Gibson, an acclaimed music educator, vocalist, composer, arranger, director and producer, has taught at Curie for 11 years--first as a piano instructor and later as chorus director and music director for the school's plays.

While the group is known for its exuberance and life-affirming style, it is also an organized, disciplined group of vocal artists. Their work is available for purchase online at

In the wake of Musicality’s brush with international fame, the student ensemble will come home from Los Angeles and perform at the next meeting of the Archer Heights Civic Association, set for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 14 in the Curie High School auditorium. Card-carrying AHCA members who are up-to-date with their membership dues will have access to reserved seating. Remaining seats will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

# # #

Garfield Ridge Man Busted, Charged with Robbing Walgreens at Knifepoint

A 41-year-old Garfield Ridge man was charged with robbery
Michael Toledo
after he allegedly used a knife to rob the Walgreens pharmacy at 7150 W. Archer at 9:20 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 25. 

Michael Toledo, 41, of the 5200 block of South Nottingham, allegedly walked up to the pharmacy counter, brandished a knife and tapped it on the counter, saying, “I need a bottle of Tramadol or I’m gonna start stabbing you,” a 22-year-old pharmacy employee told police.

A 59-year-old pharmacist on duty said he heard the exchange and gave Toledo a sealed bottle of Tramadol, a prescription-strength painkiller.

Toledo then reportedly walked out of the store. Police responding to a 911 call said they spotted Toledo in front of his home and took him into custody.

A pat-down showed he had a bottle of Tramadol on him, according to police, who added that he had ditched his knife in a yard behind 5310 S. Nottingham. Toledo was positively identified by Walgreens staff, police said.

Bond was set at $50,000, and Toledo is due in court on Thursday, September 1 at 51st and Wentworth.

# # #

Monday, August 29, 2016

Curie High School Vocalists Need Your Help to Win on 'America's Got Talent'

A group of Curie High School students that earlier this summer wowed a national audience in two triumphant performances on "America's Got Talent" is still in the hunt for the show's top prize.

The Curie group--named Musicality--will appear live on the AGT semifinals, set for broadcast at 7 p.m. Tuesday, August 30 on NBC-TV stations across the nation.

Those watching the show will be given instructions on how to vote online and/or via cellphone for their favorite acts, such as Musicality. Please tune in and give them your vote(s), will you?

Thus far, while other acts have been eliminated from the competition, Musicality has appeared to knock the socks off the four-member panel of celebrity judges, one of whom appeared to be brought to tears by the nuanced intricacy of the vocal arrangement and the smooth yet profound harmony the young men and women brought to the stage.

The show's pre-performance video about Musicality portrayed the group as a kind of against-the-odds vocal group trying to survive in an underfunded public school system. Footage included them practicing in a school stairwell.

In their on-stage introduction, Musicality founder/director Michael E. Gibson said that Curie "is in a rough neighborhood, but we have kids like this here who are dedicating themselves every day...and try to perfect our craft."

According to Musicality's Facebook page, members include Violetta Chyc, Sara Bautista, Zindy Macias, Diana Cruz, Jane Perez, Michelle Crawhorn, Anna Huang, Roxanne Andrade, Amanda Villagomez, Ephraim Andrewin, Philip Xu, Victor Valdez, Norberto Chavez, Tytrick Miller, Axel Sandoval, Reggie Woods, Ulises "Zazz" Rincon, Ernesto Martinez and Rey Camacho.

Gibson, an acclaimed music educator, vocalist, composer, arranger, director and producer, has taught at Curie for 11 years--first as a piano instructor and later as chorus director and music director for the school's plays.

While the group is known for its exuberance and life-affirming style, it is also an organized, disciplined group of vocal artists. Their work is available for purchase online at Here's their fun and fast cover of "I Want You Back."

# # #

South Side Man Chased, Caught, Charged in Garfield Ridge Burglary

An 18-year-old Auburn Gresham man was charged with
burglary after he allegedly entered an unlocked home near 56th and Nagle at about 4 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 23 and stole a money clip, $49 cash and a set of keys.

Deonta Copening, 18, of 78th and Winchester, was reportedly spotted entering and exiting the home by a neighbor--an off-duty law enforcement officer--who called 911 to report the incident.

The neighbor said that when he called to Copening and ordered him to stop, Copening ran away through nearby yards and injured his knee on a fence at 5310 S. Mulligan. He was apprehended by police in a yard at 5315 S. Narragansett and arrested.

The burglary victim, a 67-year-old man, told police he slept through the incident. Police said the items missing from the home were found when they patted down Copening, and were returned to the victim.

Additionally, police said that because Copening matched the description of a man wanted in an earlier case of groping a woman at Little Caesar’s Pizza, 5601 S. Harlem, they took him there, where he was positively identified by the victim, according to the police report.

Bond was set at $50,000 and Copening is due in Cook County Circuit Court on Tuesday, Aug. 30 at 51st and Wentworth, according to the Cook County Department of Corrections.

# # #

Sunday, August 28, 2016

West Lawn native named 2018 baseball head coach at Saint Rita High School

St. Rita High School has named John Nee to the position of
John Nee
head baseball coach--effective in the 2018 season.

Nee currently serves as the associate head baseball coach, alongside head coach Mike Zunica, who will complete his 21st and final season at the helm of the program in 2017. 

Nee will continue as an assistant varsity football coach and English teacher.

Zunica will retain the responsibilities of president, athletic director and chief advancement officer. Zunica also retires as the most winning baseball coach in St. Rita history, with more than 600 wins, including three summer state titles and three state champion runner-up finishes.

Nee, who grew up in West Lawn, is a 1989 graduate of Queen of the Universe School and starred in baseball with West Lawn Little League.

He went on to St. Rita, where in addition to being a football standout, Nee was a three-year member of the varsity Mustangs baseball team. He helped lead the Mustangs to a 1991 regional championship, a 1993 number-one state-ranking and a 1993 Catholic League championship. He graduated in 1993.

Nee then attended the University of St. Francis to play baseball and football. He honed his baseball skills at the collegiate level under legendary coach Gordie Gillespie. After graduation from college, Nee served the St. Rita baseball program for more than 19 years, including the last eight years as associate head baseball coach.

Zunica said, “I know John is the best man to lead the Mustang baseball program in the next era. His skill set is unique because he combines an amazing baseball knowledge with an exceptional ability to motivate his players. He also understands the St. Rita philosophy. He’s always prepared when he comes to the diamond. I am happy to pass the torch to John and look forward to seeing him succeed as the 13th head coach in St. Rita history.”

Nee said, “I am unbelievably humbled by and thankful for this great opportunity to continue the tradition that is St. Rita baseball. Working under Mike Zunica over the past 19 years has been a tremendous experience, and I will forever be in debt to him for all that he has taught me on and off the baseball field.”

The 109-year old St. Rita baseball program is known as one of the most storied athletic programs in the state.

# # #

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Readers Who Count

By Joan Hadac
Editor and Publisher

and Tim Hadac
Managing Editor
Southwest Chicago Post

Late in the evening on Tuesday, August 23, we glanced at the Southwest Chicago Post's hit counter and saw this:

A couple of hours later, at 1:43 a.m. Wednesday, August 24, we glanced again and saw this:

That's right.

A million cumulative page hits--the thing we would never have dreamed of when we started the Southwest Chicago Post in 2012. It has happened.

Without a doubt, we are humbled by this. So much so that both of us--two people whose business it is to find the right words to describe things--are at a loss for words. Really.

So we are going to revisit what we wrote in December 2012 (pasted below), when the Southwest Chicago Post was still a new venture in its infancy.

It still describes us and our news organization well.

Enjoy. And thanks.

# # #

(Opinion piece below is from the Southwest Chicago Post, December 28, 2012)

Readers Who Count

By Joan Hadac
Editor and Publisher

and Tim Hadac
Managing Editor

Southwest Chicago Post

We both grew up on the Southwest Side. We attended school here. We met, fell in love, got married, bought a house and raised our children here. Our hearts are here, as are yours.

When we launched the Southwest Chicago Post back in March, we did so simply as two unpaid volunteers working to make our neighborhoods a safer and better place---the same type of effort that hundreds of Southwest Side men, women and even children make every day, in many different ways utilizing their many different abilities. Just like you do.

As longtime local news reporters/editors, we figured we'd do what we know best: gather local news and other useful information and share it in a timely manner with people who simply want to be informed, who want to know what's going on in the neighborhood.

We never intended (and still don't) for our online news service to compete with established neighborhood papers. Quite the opposite, in fact. We regularly offer our content to them as a collaborative gesture of good will, and we wish them well.

Our hope for the Southwest Chicago Post was modest, in terms of numbers. As you do, we understand that even a small number of dedicated, civic-minded people, armed with reliable information, can change a block, a neighborhood, a city for the better. So we thought that if we could attract a small number of public-spirited readers---perhaps a few dozen or even 50---we could make a positive impact on our neighborhoods.

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 with all that in mind---if you had asked us back in mid-March, how many readers and how many "hits" (page visits) the Southwest Chicago Post website would receive by the end of 2012, we would have said perhaps 50 regular readers and 5,000 hits.

But we were off.

Nine months after launch, the Southwest Chicago Post has over 900 regular readers and over 100,000 hits. Rapid growth beyond our dreams, that's for sure.

But trust us---we're not about to high-five each other or run out to Weber's to buy a cake or to Miska's 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 100,000 hits when you thought you'd get 5,000----we prefer to measure quality over quantity.

That is to say this: we primarily serve the five city neighborhoods that border Midway Airport. An area of about 150,000 people. But we know we'll never have 150,000 readers.

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. But not because they're some local big shot or 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.

# # #

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.

* * *

Shots fired at tow truck driver
A 26-year-old tow truck driver reported that gangbangers flashed gang signs at him and then fired at him and his truck as he left the 7-Eleven at 55th and Kostner at 4:15 a.m. Sunday. Aug. 21. The driver was not shot, although he was cut from broken glass, police said. He refused medical care. The shooter was described as a Hispanic man age 20-25, wearing a black shirt and dark blue jeans. He was with others in a gray, four-door BMW.

Forgot to turn on alarm, home burglarized

Burglars forced open the basement window of a home near 86th and Kolmar and stole $20,000 in cash and coins, as well as a silver tiffany necklace, according to the victim, a 43-year-old man. The victim said he discovered the crime when he came home at 9:50 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 21. He added that he had forgotten to turn on his burglar alarm system before he left.

* * *

Want to work directly with Chicago Police to prevent crime in your neighborhood? If you live in Beat 834 (see map), come to Bogan High School at 7:00 p.m. Thursday, September 1 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.

Wood trimmer taken from garage
Burglars forced open the service door of a garage near 62nd and Monitor and stole a wood trimmer. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 60-year-old man, at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 17.

Woman discovers garage burglary
Burglars broke into a garage near 67th Place and Lawndale and stole a lawn mower, a car jack, a drill set and two lawn tables. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 42-year-old woman, at 6 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 17.

Stone statues and more missing from garage
Burglars forced open the service door of a garage near 68th and Kedvale and stole assorted power tools, lawn tools, a bicycle and two stone statues. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 33-year-old woman, at 8 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 17.

A dozen purses and more taken by burglars

Burglars forced open the back door of a home near 51st and Kilpatrick and stole a TV, four tablet computers, 12 designer purses and $1,300 cash. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 40-year-old woman, at noon Tuesday, Aug. 16.


Cash taken in home burglary
Burglars forced open the back door of a home near 47th and Kenneth and stole $500 cash. The crime was discovered by the victim, a 43-year-old woman, at 12:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 20.

DJ gear missing from garage

A 38-year-old West Elsdon told police on Thursday, Aug. 18 that someone burglarized his garage near 58th and Karlov on July 24 and stole nearly $15,000 worth of disc jockey equipment, including speakers, amplifiers and a mix table. The victim said he decided to report the crime after he saw a TV news report about several men wanted for burglaries in the area.

# # #

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Knights of Columbus, Boy Scouts Will Serve Pancakes, Raise $$$ for Cop Vests

A pancake breakfast to raise funds to purchase protective
vests for police officers is set for 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, September 11 in Brennan Hall at St. Daniel the Prophet Church, 54th and Natoma.

The event is hosted by the Knights of Columbus Padre Pio Council 12926 and Boy Scout Troop 475.

Admission is $7 per person, $4 for children age 12 and under. Breakfast will include pancakes, sausages, eggs, juice and a beverage (coffee or milk).

Proceeds will be donated to the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation's "Get Behind theVest" campaign.

According to a CPMF statement, "A vest isn’t bulletproof forever. It wears out. It breaks down. It needs to be replaced every five years. And just one bullet permanently damages a vest, making it unusable. Chicago police officers are responsible for replacing their own vests. At $500 or more per vest, in addition to other equipment and uniform expenses, the costs can quickly add up. That’s why we need your help. Your donation ensures that every officer out there protecting you is protected. Our goal is to raise $4 million to replace the 8,000 outdated vests in use by Chicago police officers."

# # #

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Chicago Police Memorial Foundation Chief Praises Garfield Ridge Community

By Joan Hadac
Editor and Publisher
Southwest Chicago Post

A top police official heaped praise upon the Garfield Ridge neighborhood recently, calling its work to prevent crime and promote safety extremely important.

Leading that work is the Garfield Ridge Neighborhood Watch,
CPMF founder and executive director Phil Cline (right).
said retired CPD Supt. Phil Cline, himself a former Garfield Ridge resident. He made his observations at the GRNW’s August meeting, held Monday, August 15 night in the gym at Byrne Elementary School. About 90 people attended, with folding chairs hastily unfolded to accommodate the larger-than-usual crowd.

“What you’re doing in this community—with your signs, your support—means a lot to cops. Cops don’t get that a lot,” Cline said. “So when they see these signs--blue lives matter, we support our police, our police are gr8--that makes them feel good that they’re working in this community. It really does. It makes a big, big difference, so please continue to do that.”

He added citizen support for law enforcement comes at a critical time, when police officers and their families feel a heightened sense of anxiety in what many see as an anti-police mood among some communities, including much of the larger news media organizations in the city and across the country.

On the more general topic of crime prevention, Cline said that “a lot of people talk about keeping their neighborhood safe, but not everyone turns that thought into action. Those who think that keeping a block, a neighborhood, a community or an entire city safe is solely the job of the police are just wrong. It takes everyone working together to solve problems; but more important, it takes everyone working together to anticipate problems so that they can be addressed before they happen.

“When I was a police officer working a beat—and I was a Chicago cop for 37 years—we always knew what neighborhoods or blocks involved neighborhood watches,” the retired top cop continued. “You knew that when people were invested in the safety of their own homes and communities, that you could trust them and work with them to address crime and public safety.”

Crime prevention is more than working with police, Cline added. “It’s about communicating with each other. Telling your neighbors that you left your garage door open, taking in a package that has been sitting on a neighbor’s front porch, keeping an eye on a neighbor’s house when they’re on vacation, making sure that all the kids on the block are safe and making good choices. That’s the kind of neighborhood we all strive for, and that’s what Garfield Ridge is, thanks to you.”

Cline founded and directs the Chicago Police Memorial
Foundation, a non-profit established in 2004 to “honor the lives of our fallen heroes. The Foundation provides support and assistance to the families of Chicago police officers who are killed or catastrophically injured in the line of duty,” according to a description on its website.

He urged everyone at the meeting to consider participating in the CPMF’s candlelight vigil, set to start at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 13 at Gold Star Families Memorial and Park, 1410 S. Museum Campus Drive. Those interested in attending also will have the opportunity to read the names of fallen officers. For more information, visit

Also at the GRNW meeting, the group saluted the world champion Clear Ridge Senior League baseball team. Most were there in uniform, along with manager Mark Robinson, CRLL Vice President Ryan Aderman and others. The audience gave the boys a prolonged standing ovation.

The team later led the audience in a standing ovation for nine-year-old Isabella Marusarz, a St. Symphorosa student who raised $100 for police by drawing pictures of police officers and then selling them to relatives at a family party.

Arlene Norton-White introduces Isabella Maursarz and her proud parents.

GRNW President Al Cacciottolo noted that a number of the group’s members plan to serve as a volunteer court advocates for a day on Wednesday, Aug. 24 and attend a court hearing for several Little Village residents charged with stabbing and robbing a 36-year-old Garfield Ridge woman on Saturday, June 4 in the 6900 block of West Archer. Those interested in joining the GRNW as silent witnesses supporting the victim and demanding justice are encouraged to contact the GRNW at

GRNW officers also thanked Byrne Principal Chantel Angeletti for her leadership in getting the school’s youngest students to make thank-you cards for police officers—which are now displayed in the lobby of Eighth District headquarters, 3420 W. 63rd St.

“It was a good experience,” Angeletti said. “Eight police officers—six of whom are fathers of students here—came to the school and spent time with the kids.”

Angeletti also said that Byrne will host an open house on Thursday, Sept. 8—with a fundraiser following at the Potbelly sandwich shop at 57th and Harlem. Potbelly will donate a portion of all sales from 5 to 8 p.m. that evening to Byrne.

The last such fundraiser netted $600 for school, she noted.

Finally, GRNW board member Arlene Norton-White noted that the group plans to host its fall Sell-a-Bration event on Sept. 24 in the Kennedy High School parking lot at 56th and Narragansett. Donations of empty wicker baskets and gift items to fill them are needed. Those interested should email the group at

# # #

Monday, August 15, 2016

City Will Spray Insecticide in Parts of the Southwest Side on Wednesday Night

Crews hired by the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) will spray insecticide throughout part of the Southwest Side on Wednesday, August 17, in the evening.

The insecticide is designed to kill mosquitoes that may be carrying the West Nile Virus. Areas targeted are those where infected mosquitoes have been found in recent days.

Weather permitting, the spraying will begin at dusk and continue through the night until approximately 1 a.m., with licensed mosquito-abatement technicians in trucks dispensing an ultra-low-volume insecticide spray.

On the Southwest Side, the area to be sprayed includes all of Chicago Lawn and the eastern section of West Lawn. The boundaries zig and zag, and go as far east as the railroad tracks just east of Bell, as far west as Pulaski, as far north as 59th Street, as far south as the railroad tracks along 75th Street, Here is the map provided by CDPH:

Here is a link to a larger version of the map:

On Tuesday, August 16, spraying will occur in parts of Dunning, Jefferson Park, Norwood Park and Portage Park communities on the Northwest Side.

Also on Wednesday, August 17, spraying will occur in parts of East Garfield Park, Humboldt Park and West Garfield Park on the West Side.

"When our mosquito traps indicate that the West Nile virus may pose health risks in a community, we take action quickly," said CDPH Commissioner Julie Morita, M.D. "But spraying is just one step to protect our city, residents must also take appropriate steps to protect themselves."

CDPH reminds residents to take precautions against mosquitoes that may carry the virus, including:

• Use insect repellent that contains DEET, Picaridin or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus.
• Eliminate standing water. This includes emptying water from flowerpots, gutters, pool  covers, pet water dishes and birdbaths regularly.
• Keep grass and weeds short to eliminate hiding places for adult mosquitoes.
• When outside between dusk and dawn, wear loose-fitting, light colored clothing including long pants, long sleeve shirts, socks and shoes.
• Check that all screens, windows and doors are tight-fitting and free of holes and tears
• Check on neighbors regularly who may need additional assistance, including the elderly.

Each year, CDPH conducts a mosquito surveillance, prevention and control program to protect residents from West Nile virus and other diseases spread by mosquitoes.

Though mosquitoes found to carry the Zika virus are not native to Chicago, CDPH has launched a recent campaign, #StopZika, to educate residents traveling to Zika-infested regions how to protect themselves. The campaign also reminds residents how the department is working to prevent mosquito-borne viruses that are endemic to Chicago, including West Nile virus.

In addition to spraying, CDPH's mosquito abatement program includes dropping larvacide in catch basins, which helps limit the number of mosquitoes that can carry the virus, and regularly testing mosquitoes caught in traps throughout the city.

The material being used to control the adult mosquitoes, Zenivex™, is approved for use by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and has been widely applied to control mosquitoes in outdoor residential and recreational areas across the city. The spray will be applied by licensed mosquito abatement technicians from Vector Disease Control International, described by CDPH officials as a leader in the mosquito control industry. Guiding the crews through the streets will be supervisors from the Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation. 

While the spray is not believed to be harmful to people or pets and is routinely sprayed in residential areas across the nation, residents of targeted neighborhoods may choose to stay indoors and close their windows while spraying is underway, as an extra precaution. CDPH staff are leaving door hangers in parts of the affected areas to notify residents that the spraying will occur.

"Spraying to kill adult mosquitoes is an effective component of an integrated pest management program," added CDPH Environmental Health Medical Director Cort Lohff, M.D. "It is our expectation that this effort will further limit the mosquito population and prevent cases of human illness in Chicago."

As part of ongoing response efforts, CDPH will continue to collect mosquitoes from traps located throughout the city and test these mosquitoes for West Nile virus. Using results of these tests, CDPH will determine the appropriate steps to be taken in order to best protect Chicago residents. On August 2, CDPH sprayed in the Auburn Gresham, Chatham and Washington Heights neighborhoods. 

West Nile virus cannot be transmitted from person-to-person. Instead, it is transmitted strictly through mosquitoes.

# # #

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Why Clear Ridge is OUR Team

By Joan Hadac
Editor and Publisher
Tim Hadac
Managing Editor
Southwest Chicago Post

There’s a lot to like about the Clear Ridge Little League’s 2016 Senior League world champions.

But before we get to that, we urge everyone to remember these names:

Jake Gerloski
Tom Doyle
Julian Lopez
Gage Olszak
Zach Verta
Mel Morario
Tim Molloy
Bob Palenik
Paolo Zavala
Mike Rios
Jake Duerr
Noah Miller
Dave Navarro
Gary Donahue
Joe Trezek
Mike Skoraczewski,
Manager Mark Robinson
Coach Will Trezek
Coach Ray Verta

They battled their way into the history books, and they will have a place of honor there always.

OK, so here’s what’s best about this team: they truly are our team.


First, they are the face of the Southwest Side. Look at their
last names and you’ll see a mixed bag. They look like a typical block in Clearing or Garfield Ridge—and like their parents and grandparents, they know what it is to set aside ethnic differences, grab the same rope, pull in the same direction and achieve a goal.

Second, their work ethic mirrors what we find all across Southwest Side neighborhoods. These 16-year-olds have in their brains and brawn the same blue-collar “get it done” ways of their parents and grandparents. They’re strong, steady, hard working, persistent and dedicated to excellence. They are battle-tested when it comes to facing and overcoming adversity, as well as bouncing back from defeat, as they did when they faced a tough Burbank team weeks ago.

Third, like their parents and grandparents, they are not
braggarts or showboats. That was wonderfully clear in their post-game press conference in Bangor, after they won the title—as well as their TV station appearances here in Chicago, earlier this week.

Simply put, the Clear Ridge players and coaches were just regular joes—but refreshingly so, in our opinion. No Dizzy Dean-style tall tales for news reporters. No Muhammad Ali-style putdowns of opponents. No Broadway Joe Namath-style predictions of future greatness.

No bursts of superlatives, colorful adjectives or curse words.
Just a steady stream of aw-shucks modesty from a group of kids and their coaches from Southwest Side neighborhoods where actions always speaker louder than words, where folks roll their eyes at loudmouths, where a man is what a man does.

The same Southwest Side neighborhoods where the CRLL players were hailed as conquering heroes on Saturday afternoon—but within an hour or so they were back home, cutting the backyard grass, watering the lawn, picking up after the family dog, taking out the garbage and getting ready for church and then work on Sunday, as one team mom told us.

Speaking of team moms, they—and team dads—are among
the unsung heroes in all this, supporting their sons in so many ways, large and small. But they’re OK with being unsung. “We’re the strongest ones in all this, in some ways,” one mom told us. “But hey, this is what a mom does, what a dad does. We lead by example, quietly. It’s no big deal. Save your praise for the boys.”

And that’s why this team is our team. They are us.

Well done, Clear Ridge, well done.

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