Friday, September 30, 2016

The Straight Story on 'Stop and Frisk'

Opinion by John T. "Red" Ryan

WE HAVE RECENTLY heard the term "Stop and Frisk" used
in reference to Law Enforcement in New York City as if it were an exclusive program for that municipality. The references were made as the term became a major discussion point concerning the most recent civil disturbances in Charlotte, N.C.; as well as the previous incidents in Ferguson, Mo., Baltimore, Md. and Staten Island, N.Y.   

IN REALITY, THE term is one that has been around in usage in both judicial and law enforcement circles for well over 50 years now. The term is a reference to the authority of the state and, in particular to the authority and powers of its police; primarily, front and center in these powers is that of arrest.

WHEN WE HEAR of "arrest," our thoughts automatically picture someone being taken into physical custody, being charged with some violation of state statutes or local ordinance, being printed  and photographed and having to post bail. Most of this that we've just described is actually the booking process. The "arrest" part is really limited to the original stop made by the cops on individual(s). Much in the same way that arrest is used in the medical parlance as "full cardiac arrest"when one's ticker has stopped, so arrest in the area of police work means those instances where a field stop is executed.

IT IS IN the gray area of police work that "Stop and Frisk" owes its origin. The principle provides a sort of rule to follow for the cop on the beat as an investigative tool. As defined briefly, this police power is the application of good judgement when the officers are confronted with what the courts have described as "suspicious conduct" by one or more persons. For example, a group of youths emerging from an alley at 2:00 a.m. This would certainly require a look-see and an investigation. Questions in need of answering would include: Are they under aged  (curfew violation), do they have any business there, have they been engaged in any other illicit activity?

UNDER THIS DOCTRINE, officers conducting such a field interrogation would do a preliminary search (pat down, 'frisk') of the individuals in question to insure that they possess no dangerous weapons. It is a matter of safety for the police. Inasmuch as there has been no criminal conduct one might question if the pat down and weapons search was legal.

WELL, OVER THE years, all courts (until some recent litigation in NYC) have consistently upheld the legality of the "stop and frisk" tenet of law enforcement. One federal judge went so far as to declare the this rule of conduct is, if not so stated, is implied by the very unpredictable situations that are typical of police work.

THIS SORT OF patrol activity is not only preferred by the police departments; but is encouraged, even required to do our job properly. The various administrations of the CPD all have encouraged vigorous application of the Stop and Frisk as a fundamental activity of patrol. But rallying the "troops" to enthusiastically embrace the activity has often been less than highly successful, save for one occasion in our memory.

THE YEAR WAS 1972, and  it was in October. That was some eight or nine years before Chicago cops had a labor contract and prior to the Fraternal Order of Police being chosen as the bargaining agent (union). The militant "Young Turks" on the job were a part of the Confederation of Police (or C.O.P. for short). The membership of C.O.P. voted to have a job action prior to the city budget's being finalized. What they chose was a "ticket blitz" which consisted of writing every traffic ticket to as many people as possible. This was essentially causing many, many more street stops than was the norm, by far.  After a few days, Deputy Superintendent James Rochford admonished the men in the press as if they were doing something wrong.

BUT THE DARK secret that the city administration never acknowledged was that there were some really positive results from this "take no prisoners" style of traffic enforcement. What we, the public were never told was that this stepped up enforcement led to a significantly lower accident rate in Chicago. Not only that, but there was a sudden spike in the number of stolen auto arrests, illegal guns, narcotics and warrant  arrests; all due to all of those traffic stops.  The irony of this being that the police organization did so well what all of the big bosses failed to do.

ONCE AGAIN WE remind all that the courts have upheld the doctrine of "stop and frisk" as being legally permissible. Hell, man, it should not be just allowed; but rather compulsory! (Just think of all of those garage burglaries and auto break-ins that we experience on the Southwest Side that could be prevented!)
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John T. “Red” Ryan is a retired Chicago police officer and Garfield Ridge resident.
                    

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Razpachos Celebrates its Second Anniversary; You're Invited to the Party!

By Joan Hadac
Editor and Publisher
Southwest Chicago Post

A second anniversary celebration is coming this Saturday,
October 1 at Razpachos, 5611 S. Pulaski. You're invited!

bright, cheerful, comfortable storefront paletería, Razpachos features unique, custom-made, delicious frozen treats and much more--including no fewer than 40 (yes, 40!) different varieties of paletas (frozen treats on a stick).


The celebration runs from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. Saturday, October 1. Five different treats will be available for just $2 each--about half price.

Those five treats are Gazpacho Moreliano, yogurt with fresh fruit, strawberries and cream, corn in a cup and la Escamocha.

There also will be music and raffles at the festive celebration of culinary success.

What sets Razpachos apart is its quality, customer service
Manuel Bucio
and ambiance, according to Manuel Bucio, an information technology and marketing professional who is one of Razpachos' owners.


But really, what's an I.T. guy doing running a paletería?

It has to do with cherished childhood memories.

"All these products we're selling, I remember eating as a kid in Mexico," he recalls.

Bucio grew up (from age 5 to 15) in Morelia, the capital city of Michoacán.


Strawberry paletas
"In the 1940s, paletas were essentially re-invented in Michoacán," he notes with a bit of pride. "Making paletas there is done by hand--it is considered an artisanal process. That's what we do here at Razpachos. Our paletas are not made by an industrial process. We really put ourselves, our creativity, into this. I really believe it's an art form."

That's the kind of thing that's missing from so many
Oreo paletas, a customer favorite
other 
paletería and neverías on the Southwest Side, he believes.

"When I moved to West Elsdon 15 years ago, there was only one place around here, but it was over on Kedzie--and they did a good job," he recalls. "Then in recent years, all these other places started popping up, but they all had one thing in common: they didn't have quality, and they weren't using authentic recipes."


Lime, a cool treat any time of day or evening
"That's what I think Razpachos brings to the table," he continues. "We only use the best and freshest fruit, cream and other ingredients. We use authentic recipes, yet we also are flexible enough to listen closely to what our customers tell us and adapt to their tastes. Several of our paletas that we sell regularly started off as customer requests."

"So I know I can improve the product, I can improve the taste, I can improve the experience," Bucio adds. "I think that's what helps set us apart from other places. It's not about just going and buying something. You come in here, we'll make it right in front of you, chop the fresh fruit, add fresh cream and so forth. This is an environment where people can sit down, relax and enjoy." 

It's also a place for families to make happy memories.
Razpachos is much more than desserts. Freshly made tortas and more!


"When we first opened, a couple of our customers were pregnant women with cravings for something sweet," Bucio says. "Well, they had their babies and today, their children come in with them. It is my hope that we'll get to see those little boys and girls grow up here, coming back again and again as they start school. Who knows? Years from now, they could be working here," he adds with a smile.

Offering top quality in everything means that prices at Razpachos are just a little higher than what you will find elsewhere.


Razpachos even offers freshly-squeezed orange juice!
"But we will not compromise on that--only the best for our customers," Bucio says. "For us, that has been a good recipe for success because we have earned a reputation where you know you will receive the best quality--and if that means you pay a little bit more--well, OK.

Razpachos is open seven days a week, 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.--year-round, even on holidays.

Razpachos currently has a staff of seven, and is looking to hire bright, cheerful people.

See you on Saturday?



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Southwest Side Neighborhood Calendar


Saturday, October 1st Nathan Hale Class of 1976 Reunion
Runs from 6:30 to 10:30 at Joe's Saloon in Brookfield. Details at: http://www.swchicagopost.com/2016/09/hale-schools-1976-grads-plan-reunion.html

Wednesday, October 5th CAPS Beat 815/821 Meeting
Starts at 7:00 p.m. at St. Bruno School (south entrance), 4839 South Harding. Monthly meeting. Open to the public. Want to work directly with Chicago Police to prevent crime in your neighborhood? If you live in Beat 815 or 821 (see map), attend this 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.



Thursday, October 6th CAPS Beat 834 Meeting
Starts at 7:00 p.m. at Bogan High School, 3939 West 79th Street. Monthly meeting. Open to the public. Want to work directly with Chicago Police to prevent crime in your neighborhood? If you live in Beat 834 (see map), attend this 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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Wednesday, October 12th CAPS Beat 812 Meeting
Starts at 7:00 p.m. at the Clearing Branch Library, 6423 W. 63rd Place. Monthly meeting. Open to the public. Want to work directly with Chicago Police to prevent crime in your neighborhood? If you live in Beat 812 (see map), attend this 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.

Wednesday, October 12th Archer Heights Civic Association
Starts at 7:30 p.m. at the UNO Veterans Memorial Campus, 47th and Kildare. One of Chicago's oldest and most effective neighborhood organizations--more than 75 years of fighting for a better neighborhood! If you live in and/or own a business in Archer Heights, this is the group to join and get active with. Hear updates on a wide range of community concerns and learn how you can help build a better Archer Heights for everyone. This month's focus: candidates night. Hear from several invited office seekers as they make their case on why they deserve the votes of people in Archer Heights,


Thursday, October 13th CAPS Beat 814 Meeting
Starts at 7:00 p.m. at Vittum Park, 5010 West 50th Street. Monthly meeting. Open to the public. Want to work directly with Chicago Police to prevent crime in your neighborhood? If you live in Beat 814 (see map), attend this 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.

Monday, October 17th Garfield Ridge Neighborhood Watch
Starts at 7:00 p.m. at St. Jane de Chantal Parish's Ward Hall, 52nd and McVickerMonthly meeting. Open to the public. One of Chicago's most active and effective citizen-led crime fighting groups. If you live or own a business in central or western Garfield Ridge (anything west of Central Avenue), this is the group to join! This month's featured speaker is expected to be Chicago Lawn (8th) District Police Commander Ronald Pontecore.


Tuesday, October 18th CAPS Beat 811 Meeting
Starts at 7:00 p.m. at Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church, 5550 South Merrimac. Monthly meeting. Open to the public. Want to work directly with Chicago Police to prevent crime in your neighborhood? If you live in Beat 811 (see map), attend this 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.

Wednesday, October 19th Garfield Ridge Civic League
Starts at 7:00 p.m. at TCF Bank, 6141 S. Archer. If you live in Garfield Ridge and want to get involved in the neighborhood by helping revitalize a community organization that needs it, this is a good opportunity. Coffee, cookies and snacks available will be served. GRCL membership dues are just $5 per family per year. For more information, visit GarfieldRidgeCivicLeague.org.


Tuesday, October 25th CAPS Beat 813/833 Meeting
Starts at 7:00 p.m. at West Lawn Park, 4233 West 65th Street. Monthly meeting. Open to the public. Want to work directly with Chicago Police to prevent crime in your neighborhood? If you live in Beat 813 or 833 (see map), attend this 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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Wednesday, October 26th Midway Garden Society
Starts at 6:00 p.m. at the Clearing Branch Library, 6423 West 63rd Place. Runs until 8:00 p.m. Monthly meeting. The Society hosts guest speakers and also conducts plant exchanges, stages an annual Urban Garden Walk every summer, and works to make the Midway area a more beautiful and peaceful place by encouraging gardening among people of all ages. Prospective members welcome. Check them out!


Wednesday, November 16th Garfield Ridge Civic League
Starts at 7:00 p.m. at Risen Savior Assembly Church, 6059 S. Archer. If you live in Garfield Ridge and want to get involved in the neighborhood by helping revitalize a community organization that needs it, this is a good opportunity. Coffee, cookies and snacks available will be served. GRCL membership dues are just $5 per family per year. For more information, visit GarfieldRidgeCivicLeague.org.

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Pets welcome at St. Sym's blessing


Pet owners are welcome to bring their dogs, cats, rabbits,
turtles, birds, ferrets, fish and other critters to receive a blessing at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1 in the parking lot of St. Symphorosa Church, 62nd and Austin.

The blessing will be part of a three-hour pet event that starts at noon, featuring adoptable pets from the Animal Welfare League, a food truck for dogs, a concession stand for people, and more.


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Sunday, September 25, 2016

A Sweet Little Girl Needs Your Help

Has it really been three years since we first reported the news about Alexandra Toma?

These kids grow up so quickly, right?

Well, here is an important update from Alexandra's mom, Bridgett:

"We have taken things a step further and have established our foundation, an official 501(c)(3) Non Profit organization, Alexandra's Ambition Foundation. The mission of our foundation is to assist children with Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita in obtaining the medical and therapeutic care they need to enhance their quality of life. We will be hosting our 1st Annual Race to Walk in October.

"We, the Toma family--Alexandra and her family (mom, dad, sisters, Abby and Audrey, and brother, Aiden)--now live in Kenosha, Wisconsin.  Mom, Bridgett and dad, Tim, were born and raised and lived in Clearing on the Southwest Side until Tim's job took us to Kenosha. All of our family and friends remain on the Southwest Side, which is where our hearts and most of our doings remain. Our foundation, Alexandra's Ambition Foundation, is based on the Southwest Side of Chicago.

"Alexandra has continued to thrive over the past three years.
She is now 3 1/2 years old and started school in the special education program last October. She loves school and is doing well. Alexandra still faces many physical challenges related to her condition, Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita (AMC) but has learned to adapt in an effort to accomplish her activities of daily living. Although Alex's legs still don't work at this point, we remain hopeful that with continued therapy and the right tools, she will be up on her feet one day. Despite the obstacles Alexandra faces everyday, she is a happy, life-loving little girl who strives to get all she possibly can out of life. We thank all for their continued support."

Remember, folks, even if you can't make it to the 5k on October 2, you can still make a donation. More details at alexandrasambition.org.

# # #


Original Southwest Chicago post story from FRIDAY, AUGUST 23, 2013:



A Sweet Little Girl Needs Your Help

Passing along information about an important fundraiser for a sweet little girl whose parents are originally from the Southwest Side.

Alexandra's mom attended St. Rene and St. Symphorosa schools, and then went on to Mt. Assisi Academy. Dad attended Hale School and went on to St. Rita High School.

Please help if you are able. Thanks!



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Friday, September 23, 2016

"Jurassic Park' Coming to St. Sym's

Dinosaurs coming to Clearing? Yes, at least on the outdoor
screen at St. Symphorosa Church, 62nd and Mason.

The award-winning thriller "Jurassic Park" will run at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, September 24.

No admission charge.

Event will be held rain or shine. (If it rains, the film will be shown inside.)

Pet-friendly event, assuming your pet is friendly. Bring the family dog, if you want.

Bring a picnic basket if you'd like. There also will be a concession stand with hot dogs, nachos, cotton candy, etc.

This family-fun event is sponsored by the St. Symphorosa Parish Transformation Team.

See you there?

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Thursday, September 22, 2016

Annual Pumpkin Parade Set for Oct. 29

The 2016 Pumpkin Jamboree Parade is set for Saturday,
October 29.

The parade will step off at 11 a.m. at Archer and Nordica, travel east on Archer to 55th Street, then continue east to Merrimac, then turn south and end at Wentworth Park.

The annual event is hosted by U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-3rd) and 23rd Ward Alderman Michael R. Zalewski. 

The parade will feature entries from local businesses, fire departments, police departments, Scout troops, civic organizations and marching bands.

At the parade's end, the fun will continue costume judging, free hot dogs, refreshments and treats.

Any organization interested in participating in this year’s
Pumpkin Jamboree Parade should contact Frank Salerno at Lipinski’s office at (773) 948-6223.

Here's a bit of Throwback Thursday: to check out a few images from the 2012 Pumpkin Parade on Archer, click here: http://www.swchicagopost.com/2012/10/kids-line-archer-to-see-pumpkin-parade.html

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Updates on Archer Business Concerns

By Joan Hadac
Editor and Publisher
Southwest Chicago Post

An impromptu update of a handful of concerns in Garfield Ridge was offered at the September meeting of the Garfield Ridge Civic League, by business owner Al Cacciottolo.

The meeting was held at the TCF Bank branch at Archer and Austin. About three dozen people attended.

Perhaps the most visible of the handful of stagnant properties in the neighborhood is the old Garfield Ridge Trust & Savings Bank, 6353 W. 55th St., long an eyesore at the southeast corner of Archer and Narragansett.

“Here’s the problem with that building, and I’ll tell you why,” Cacciottolo told the GRCL audience. “The gentleman that owns that building paid a lot of money for it…$2.5 million. That building is now for sale for $1.9 million. That building is a total wreck inside. They’ve had major damage. I was in there about a month ago. It’s really bad inside. They had 20 feet of water in the basement, so there are mold issues. It’s going to take a lot of money to refurbish that building. I would rather see it just knocked down and something brand-new go up.”

Without revealing specifics, he said that several suitors—including a not-for-profit--have been looking at the 50-year-old building, and something could happen soon.

Cacciottolo said one thing that hampers commercial growth in the community is “the same old problem: everybody who owns property on Archer thinks it’s worth a million dollars. It’s hard to open a new business on Archer when you have to pay a million dollars for a piece of property and then put in another million in repairs.

“I tell you--I know if I had two million dollars, I’d be on a beach somewhere,” he joked, drawing chuckles and “Me, too” from a number of people.

Cacciottolo praised 23rd Ward Ald. Michael R. Zalewski and 13th Ward Ald. Marty Quinn for what he called their diligence in pressuring several property owners to get moving on developing their properties or sell to someone who will.

Several people at the meeting noted signs of hope on Cicero Avenue, especially near 65th Street, after years of stagnation.

“When it came to Cicero Avenue, nobody wanted to be a pioneer,” Cacciottolo said. “Everybody was waiting, waiting, waiting. So then development exploded in Bedford Park (on the west side of 65th and Cicero). And now that the City of Chicago has loosened some of its reins on its regulations, things are starting to happen on the other side of the street. So now there’s going to a hotel on the east side of Cicero, at about 65th Street—and then a hotel at 53rd and Cicero. A Lou Malnati’s [pizzeria] is near 66th and Cicero.

“You watch,” he continued. “Now that these things are starting to happen on Cicero Avenue, everyone and his brother are going to want to get in on it. There will be businesses flocking to Cicero Avenue.”

Cacciottolo reiterated what 23rd Ward Ald. Michael R. Zalewski said publicly earlier this year—that an ALDI concept store will be coming to the southeast corner of Archer and Harlem sometime in 2017.

He said that the recently-shuttered Joe & Frank’s Market building will be razed, along with two other buildings immediately south on Harlem Avenue, as well as “a couple of [nearby] homes” that have been purchased.

The result will be an L-shaped parcel that includes a “brand-new ALDI concept store, similar to the one at 132nd and LaGrange Road,” Cacciottolo said, “It’s going to be nice, it’s going to be clean, set back with plenty of parking. It will be a good addition to the neighborhood.”

He also said that the traditional warehouse-style store operated by ALDI at 5775 S. Archer (near Archer and Lorel) will be closed when the new one is open.

In response to a request for comment, ALDI Valparaiso Division Vice President Matt Thon ended months of silence on the issue and wrote, "We are committed to opening an ALDI store in Chicago at Archer Avenue and Harlem Avenue, with construction currently planned to begin in spring 2017 and an anticipated opening by the end of 2017.

"People have always known ALDI for its great quality at low prices and simple, efficient shopping experience. That hasn’t changed, but we have listened to our customers to provide even more of the products they feel good about. We offer an incredible variety of fresh produce, delivered daily to our Chicagoland stores, as well as USDA Choice meats, the liveGfree gluten-free product line, the SimplyNature line of products free from over 125 artificial ingredients and preservatives and our Never Any! line free from antibiotics, added hormones and animal by-products.

"We feel good about helping our customers save up to 50 percent on their grocery bills, and we look forward to continuing to serve the Chicago community."

Other news
“At Archer and Cicero, where Brandy’s [restaurant] used to be is going to be a Starbucks and a Corner Bakery,” Cacciottolo said, as the audience broke into smiles and nods of approval.

In response to a question Cacciottolo said that the shuttered Danny’s Pizza, 6021 S. Archer, will re-open later this year or possibly in the spring as a pizzeria owned and operated by its former competitor, Villa Rosa Pizza, 5786 S. Archer.

The shuttered Tina’s Pizza, 5440 S. Narragansett, should re-open within weeks as a restaurant/bar, he added. The husband/wife owners are local: “He’s a fireman and she’s a phenomenal Italian cook. They’ve gutted the whole inside, and it’s really going to be nice.”

The next GRCL meeting is set for 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 19 in the community room at the TCF Bank branch at Archer and Austin. All Garfield Ridge residents and business owners are invited to attend.


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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

False Alarm: CPD Cancels Warning About Two Men Luring Schoolgirl

Update from CPD at 9:10 a.m. Wednesday, September 21:

"It was discovered that the victim and two individuals are friends. The victim and the two individuals often travel home from school together and were attempting to call the victim over to offer her a ride home. The two individuals thought it would be humorous to wear the masks."
* * *

Original story (below) from Thursday, September 15:

CPD Warns of Two Men Trying to Lure Schoolgirl Near 62nd and Narragansett

Chicago Police sounded a note of caution today (Thursday,
September 15) about two men who tried to lure an adolescent girl into their minivan near 62nd and Narragansett.

Police said that at 2:51 p.m. Tuesday, September 13, the victim was walking home from school when a light-blue Dodge minivan drove alongside her and stopped on the 6400 block of West 62nd Street. The passenger stated, "Come here!" The victim then ran home to safety, as the offenders followed in their vehicle.

The offenders were described as:

●Offender #1 (driver) – Believed to be a male 35- to 45-years-of-age, wearing a black bandana over his face.

●Offender #2 (passenger) - Believed to be a male 35- to 45-years-of-age, wearing a tan Halloween mask from the movie "The Purge" with dark clothing.


An image of the suspects' minivan, released to the press by CPD.

In the wake of the crime, police offered the following advice:

●Be aware of this situation and alert your neighbors.
●Call 911 to report any suspicious persons, 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 the CPD Area Central Detectives at (312) 747-8380 and refer to case HZ-43446.


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