Thursday, July 28, 2011

Foreclosure Workshop, Block Party, Expungement Seminar

Manny Flores
        PUBLIC WORKSHOP: Are you being threaten with property foreclosure? Come to the Foreclosure Workshop being held this Saturday, July 30, 2011 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Little Village Community Council, 3610 W. 26th St. The workshop will be bilingual; in Spanish and English.
           DIRECTOR Manny Flores, of the Division of Banking for the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, will conduct the workshop and Mario Pantoja, Director of Consumer Services in the Illinois Dept. of Financial & Professional Regulation, will be at the workshop to help homeowner’s with issues on foreclosure. The Division of Banking regulates mortgages, pawnshops and banks.
               HOMEOWNERS ARE ENCOURAGED to bring any documents regarding foreclosure status. Representatives from the ICC, HUD, FHA and attorneys will be on hand for consultation. There will be a power point presentation and a question and answer period. Complaints will be taken from homeowners who have been scammed by private institutions or attorneys for the purpose of low modifications on property. Little Village H.O.P.E. is a co-sponsor of the event.

                BLOCK PARTY: The ponies, sponsored by Midwest Generation, are coming to the 5th Annual Community “Back To School” Block Party. The Little Village Community Council, official sponsor of the event, will host the Block Party on Saturday, August 6, 2011. The party begins at 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.; blocking 26th St. to 25th St. & Central Park Ave., in Little Village.
                         FREE HOT dogs, pop, popcorn, ice cream and school supplies will be given to the children in Little Village. There will be a jumping jack, piñata, face painting and a clown. This is a community block party to bring a day of fun to the children of Little Village before returning to school.
                    Registration to the Block Party will begin at 9 a.m. The LV Community Council welcomes sponsors, please call 312/286-3405.

                 LSC LEADER: Luz Zavala serves as President of the Title 1 NCLB Parent Advisory Council, a Parent Representative on the Local School Council at Maria Saucedo Scholastic Academy, 2850 W. 24th St., Chicago [renamed from the Carter H. Harrison High School], and as a volunteer.
Luz Zavala
                 AT THE May 24, 2011 Chicago Board of Education meeting Luz addressed the Board members. The address was about serious concerns of the LSC’s and the NCLB Parent Advisory Council regarding the Chicago Public Schools Department Office of Local School Councils and Title 1 NCLB.
                 LUZ TOLD the board members that, “Facilitators have verbally promised training but have never delivered it. We attend parent meetings at the parent center and are told to contact our facilitators, and they in turn tell us to come to the NCLB meetings, only to be redirected to yet another person with no real answer. The lack of proper understanding and lack of training from CPS on parent involvement funds to include the process and expenditure process is a total disaster. Please check the log in the office to see how long it takes to process payment of a vendor. We are held hostage by your employees who don’t understand our time constraints in a school,” Luz said.
                 “THIS CPS department has failed the taxpayers of the City of Chicago and CPS parents by their failure to deliver what the NCLB Act was designed to do, involve parents with meaningful consultation, under the terms of Section 1118 of the NCLB Act,” Luz said.
                 “OUR ENTIRE school system needs help from competent professional CPS employees from the Central Office. We need a professional with a thorough knowledge and understanding of the budget for parent programs in order for us to align them with our SIPAAA.
Maria Saucedo Scholastic Academy
         LUZ CONTINUED: “Employees are well paid to render services for parents. However, CPS employees have done a lousy job the past couple of years under the direction of Jose Alvarez, Carol Wood, and now Willie Montes de Oca and NCLB Valerie Watkins-Pendergrass. The incompetence and ineptness of employees is unprofessional and disgraceful to this great City of Chicago. At a time that we are cutting budgets in education, I ask board members to investigate and review the performance, management, and work out-put of  employees, especially those with extremely high salaries”, [furthermore].
                 “LSC NEEDS expert help, not someone who yells at us as if we are children, when we ask for assistance. We cannot go to the parent center at 521 East 35th Street when the NCLB staff hides; they have been totally ineffective and non-productive for parents.

                 “WE CAN no longer tolerate the unethical and dishonest way of protecting CPS employees who are paid from public tax dollars to be slackers and loafers. The reward for non-performance is either getting moved to another department to hide them or promote them at a much higher salary within the Central Office. Apparently, the rules do not apply to Central Office employees like they apply to employees at the local school.” 
                  “YOUR EMPLOYEES do not answer telephone calls, but they all have private telephone lines which only their personal friends have access to. Why aren’t the direct telephone lines given to the public? The layers of bureaucracy start with secretaries who are to forward calls to facilitators, who we can never locate, or managers who always pass the buck to another person. This is frustrating to us as parents.”
                 “STARTING WITH Mr. Montes de Oca who cannot, will not, or doesn’t know how to supervise this staff and Director of NCLB for District 299 Ms. Valarie Watkins-Pendergrass who is responsible to oversee our NCLB programs and supervise the persons [Ms. Anita Lau and Diantha James] who are yet another obstacle to approve our parent involvement money expenditures”.
                 “THE CONSTANT hurdles, rejection of all our purchase order requests all year have not been met because they reject everything and no one seems to help, assist or guide us through a comprehensive manner to ensure we spend our federal funds in a timely manner”, stated Luz.
                 “THANK YOU [CPS Board members], we look forward to your intervention, investigation and help for parents to spend the Title I, 1% percent money, which we have a right to use on effective parent programs and presenters at our schools or risk losing our money again. We expect and deserve the best from the Chicago Public Schools,” concluded Luz Zavala.
We commend Luz Zavala for her courage to speak out and her hard work for the betterment of LSC’s and NCLB goals.

                 EXPUNGEMENT SEMINAR: The Little Village Community Council and HOPE in conjunction with attorney Jorge Montes, former chairman of the Illinois Prisoner Review Board, will be hosting a bilingual adult and juvenile Expungement Seminar on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2011. The seminar’s aim is to help ex-offenders in removing obstacles that prevent them from getting work, finding housing, avoid deportation and rejoining our community.  Borra tu record criminal.
Front row: Ana Calderon, Blanca Jara
Standing: August Sallas, Jorge Montes,
Baltazar Enriquez
           LEARN HOW to expunge and/or clean-up your criminal record. Bring a copy of your “rap” sheet and disposition of your case to the seminar. These can be obtained at your local police station for a fee.
            VOLUNTEER ATTORNEYS will help adults and juveniles, seeking to have their records cleared, understand the necessary paperwork needed, sealing of records, clemency and/or pardon.
            PRISONER REVIEW BOARD will be available to screen potential clemency petitions and provide information regarding the preparation of petitions.                
            IN ADDITION to free clemency orientation, participants will obtain information on employment, job training, health care, housing and other services for ex-offenders. The location will be announced at a future date.              
            ATTORNEY JORGE MONTES served sixteen years as chairman of the Illinois Parole Board and his expertise is his wealth of experience and knowledge of the expungement process.
            SERVING ON the committee for the Expungement Seminar is yours truly, Attorney Jorge Montes, Baltazar Enriquez, Ana Calderon and Blanca E. Jara. If you want to retain his services, Attorney Montes’ phone number is 312/850-9844.

“Back to School” Community
Rock Party
Friday, July 29, 2011
3218 W. Cermak Road
8:00 p.m. till Midnight
“Luna Zeppia”  “Skam”
“Victims of the Night”
“Dimension Cuatro”
“Tone Zone”
Donation: $10
Latin American Motorcycle Association [LAMA]

Thursday, July 21, 2011

State Rep. Hernandez visits Little Village, CDOT Resurfacing Streets, Panhandlers, Hispanics in the News

Rep. Elizabeth Hernandez
puts her arm around the
hair designer giving a
 haircut to a child. 

              A NEW REP: State Representative Elizabeth [Lisa] Hernandez [D-24ST District] will be the new State Representative for the Little Village community in the new redistricting map for the State of Illinois. Rep. Hernandez visited the Little Village Community Council office Saturday, July 16, 2011 to greet some of her new constituents. The LV Community Council was again sponsoring free haircuts and manicures for families in Little Village.
              TWELVE STUDENTS from the America’s Career Institute gave free haircuts and manicures to more the 61 residents of Little Village Saturday. The students were under the supervision and direction of Patti Caraballo, President of America’s Career Institute in Berwyn.
              “I REALLY feel at home here because I grew up and went to school here in Little Village,” said Hernandez as she shook hands with everyone in the room.
              REP. HERNANDEZ is a full-time state legislator. She is a former Senior Policy Advisor to Lt. Governor Patrick Quinn; administrator in Cicero public schools for 17 years; community volunteer and current member of Children’s Center of Cicero and Berwyn, Cicero Youth Services, and Pilsen-Little Village Mental Health Agency.
              SHE HAS an AA in Liberal Arts, Morton College (2001), coursework in public administration, Governors State University and is a member of Labor Council for Latin America Advancement; former UFCW member. She is married to Charles Hernandez, the Democratic Committeeman, Town of Cicero and mother of two daughters and one son.
              REP. HERNDNAEZ committee assignments are Consumer Protection; Labor; Appropriation-Elementary & Secondary Education, Disability Services; Health & Healthcare Disparities; 8th District Education Oversight Sub-Committee of the Whole.
              HERNANDEZ’s DISTRICT office is located at 2137 S. Lombard, Suite 205, Cicero, IL 60804. Phone: 708/222-5240. Springfield office: 264-S Stratton Office Bldg., Springfield, IL 62706. Phone: 217/782-8173.  Welcome back to Little Village, Rep. Hernandez and many thanks to America’s Career Institute.

              RESURFACING: Many streets in the Little Village neighborhood are being resurfaced due to the many potholes in the streets. For years, the City was  refilling the potholes to no avail; a job which was both a waste of time and taxpayer’s dollars.
              THE RESURFACING project is under the supervision of the Chicago Department of Transportation [CDOT]. CDOT started resurfacing the streets in the Little Village in June. Some of those streets being resurfaced are 25th & Spaulding Ave., 25th St. & Christiana Ave., 25th St. & Trumbull Ave., 26th St. & Homan Ave., 27th St. and 28th St. from Pulaski Road east to Drake Ave., 28th St. & Kolin Ave., 26th St. & Ridgeway Ave. and others. This project was long overdue. Thank you CDOT!

              THERE OUGHTA BE A LAW: We need an ordinance to make it illegal for panhandlers and peddlers from standing in the middle of traffic selling their wares. Panhandlers can be seen all over the city selling newspapers, pop, peanuts, water, candy, socks, flowers, collecting donations, windshield washers and even dancers performing in the middle of traffic asking motorist for donations. Legitimate organizations can be exempt.
              THIS HAS become a safety issue. A person standing in the middle of traffic, between cars, is a dangerous and unsafe situation. Motorists should not have to always be on the lookout for peddlers, and “dodging” these human obstacles. I almost hit a peddler once standing in the middle of the street at night. Luckily, I was able to swerve away from him. For the sake of the peddlers, we need a law to keep them out of “harm’s way”. And, if a motorist hits a peddler, ironically, it’s the fault of the motorist because the motorist was not driving safely!  

              NEW JOB:  Carlos Ponce, 61, was named interim CEO at the Chicago Housing Authority. Mr. Ponce is a former chief of staff at the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, which runs McCormick Place; he previously served as CEO of Resonance Management and Technology Solutions Inc, a Chicago-based management consulting firm and was Chief Human Resources officer at the Chicago Public Schools.
              ON JULY 9, 2003, Mayor Richard M. Daley appointed Carlos Ponce as Commissioner of the Chicago Housing Authority. He also served four years as commissioner of Chicago's Department of General Services, as well as Executive Director of the Hispanic American Construction Industry Assn. and the Spanish Coalition for Jobs, Inc.
              COMMISSIONER Ponce has over 20 years of experience in general and human resources management in public, non-profit and private organizations. He has held senior management positions with the Norwegian-American and Lincoln West hospitals along with the City of Chicago’s Department of Health. Ponce’s trademark is his bow tie.
              We wish him well in his new position.

              JUDGESHIPS: In 2012 next year’s judicial election, the following Hispanics judges are potential candidates to file for a Circuit Court judgeship: Raul Vega, Edmund Ponce de Leon, David Delgado and Gloria Chevere. Appointee to the Appellate Court Rodolfo [Rudy] Garcia will be seeking election in this appointed position.

                A TRIBUTE: Eva Longoria and George Lopez will co-host the one-hour primetime special 2011 NCLR (National Council of La Raza) ALMA Awards on Friday, September 16 from 8:00 to 9:00 p.m. in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month.
              SINCE 1995 The ALMA ceremony has celebrated the nation’s Latino performers who promote accurate and positive images of Hispanics in entertainment by honoring outstanding Latino artistic achievements in television, film, and music.  This show is an integral part of NCLR’s mission to open doors and creates greater opportunities for Latino’s in the U.S.
              MORE OPPORTUNITIES should be given to Latino[a] and/or Mexican entertainers to appear in movies, TV or on stage. There is a lot of talent in our culture. Congrats to La Raza for their work.

              RECOMMENDED: My friend boxer Sean Curtin with J. J. Johnston are the authors of the Images of Sports book titled “Chicago Amateur Boxing.” The book is a pictorial rich history of the Chicago Golden Gloves and Catholic Youth Organization [CYO] amateur boxing.
              TWO AMATEUR boxers that fought in the Chicago Golden Gloves tournaments were world title holders. They are Joe Louis [1937], and Ernie Terrell [1957]. Curtin was a CYO champion in the late 1950s and now he is a respected referee who has served as chief of the Illinois Boxing Commission. In 2005, Curtin was inducted into the National Golden Gloves Hall of Fame. 
              JOHNSTON WAS also a Chicago amateur boxer and is now a nationally known stage and screen actor. Both Curtin and Johnston are boxing historians. Cost of the book: $19.99. 


10 A.M. TO 5 P.M.
26TH St. & Central Park Ave.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Pawnshop update, Free haircuts

                 PAWNSHOP UPDATE: Over 80 Little Village residents and businesspeople travelled to City Hall by bus and car to attend the Zoning Committee meeting on Tuesday, July 12, 2011.
                 THE ZONING COMMITTE agenda was a request for a zoning change by Texas RMD I, LLC, owners of EZPAWN Shop.
Businessman Emi Gutierrez and supporters
stands in front of the EZPAWN
location near 26th St. & Pulaski Rd.
On the window is the Public Notice
for a zoning change date.
                 THE CHANGE is a B1-3 Neighborhood Shopping District to a B3-3 Community Shopping District. This change would allow EZPAWN to establish a pawn shop at 3959 W. 26th St.
            TESTIFYING AGAINST the zoning change and EZPAWN, speaking in Spanish, were Rev. Guillermo Hincapie from Ill. State LULAC, LV businesswomen Rebeca Vega, Lourdes Casas and Maria Gutierrez. The translator was Julie A. Contreras LULAC Midwest Commissioner and coordinator of the rally to City Hall. Testifying in English were Hill Torres, Eduardo Gutierrez, 10 years old; Emi Gutierrez Jr., Alejandro Castro, President and Nilda Esparza, Executive Director for the Little Village Chamber of Commerce and Abraham Duenas, owner of Catedral Café.  
                 CASAS SAID: “Pawnshops do not promote our values, culture or identity.”  “Ald. Munoz is creating insecurity in the community,” said Maria Gutierrez.
Rebeca Vega, Nilda Esparza, Abraham Duenas

                 A LETTER by City Clerk Susana Mendoza against the EZPAWN was read by Alex Castro and it was mentioned that State Representative Elizabeth Hernandez also was against the zoning change. A letter was sent to Mayor Rahm Emanuel about the LV community position. More than 750 signatures are on a petition opposing the zoning change and EZPAWN.
Ald. Ricardo Munoz
                 ALL OF THE Little Village speakers made excellent and deeply moving arguments regarding the negative impact of pawnshops on the businesses and residential community of Little Village. Presently there are three pawnshops in Little Village and two other shops in close proximity. “We don’t need another Pawn shop,” said Emi Jr.
                 ALDERMAN RICARDO MUNOZ [22nd Ward] addressed the Zoning Committee by saying: “I urge a favorable consideration of the Committee for the Zoning change.” The Zoning Committee chair Ald. Howard B. Brookins Jr. [21st Ward] called for a vote. Ald. Brookins Jr. announced that the motion for changing the zoning passed.
                 ANGERED AND with disbelief by Ald. Munoz going against his constituents’ concerns for the future of the Little Village; the residents immediately walked out of the Chamber. Businessman Emi Gutierrez said: “We will not give up this fight”!


Patti Caraballo & Hair Designers
America’s Career Institute
Patti Caraballo & Hair Designers
America’s Career Institute
10 A.M. TO 3 P.M.
3610 W. 26TH ST.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Peter Nero, Dream Act, Block Party, Little Villas Community Council

Peter N. Pero
           HISTORY BUFFS: Meet author Peter Nicholas Pero at 2:00 p.m. this Saturday, July 9, 2011 at Barbara’s Bookstore, 1218 S. Halsted Street (at Roosevelt Rd. near UIC). Peter wrote two books: Chicago’s Pilsen Neighborhood and Chicago Italians at Work. Come hear the author and view more than 50 classic photos from the books and enjoy a power point slide show. Admission is free and so are the autographs.
             PETER PERO is a history teacher and author living in the Little Italy neighborhood of Chicago. He has traveled extensively to Europe, Asia and Latin America in an effort to do field-based research. He has taught for the Chicago Public Schools, National-Louis University and the Tokyo Language College.  When he is not writing or teaching, Peter photographs urban architecture, and is available for visitors who wish to take a walking tour of Chicago.
            PETE BEGAN his research of American people and places as a student at Elizabethtown College in the Amish country of Pennsylvania.  By 1980, Pero shifted his interest to urban and ethnic studies while earning a master’s degree at the University of Illinois in Chicago. He focused his research on Czechs, Italians, Mexicans and other groups who lived on Chicago’s Near Westside.  Pero’s discoveries are at the heart of his books.
         “I WRITE BOOKS for the history and enjoyment of it. I don’t make a lot of money publishing them, said Pero, I just enjoy writing history”. Both of Peter’s books celebrate the history of the neighborhood with archival photographs and stories from the past that shape the character of the communities today. For nearly 150 years, Pilsen has been a “port of entry” for thousands of immigrants. Mexicans, Czechs, Poles, Lithuanians, Croatians, and Germans are some of the ethnic groups who passed through this "Ellis Island" on Chicago's Near Westside.
The first photographic history of the Pilsen community Chicago’s Pilsen Neighborhood is now in bookstores across Chicago and independent retailers or phone (773) 972 - 2057. 

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin
           ACTION NOW: U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), original sponsor of the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM), and senior Senator from Illinois presided over the first-ever U.S. Senate hearing Tuesday, June 28, 2011 on this bill. It has been ten years since the DREAM Act was introduced.
THE DREAM Act has received bipartisan support in the Senate, gaining the majority of votes; but failing to meet the 60 vote threshold to surpass a filibuster. The Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA) applauded Senator Durbin for his decade-long dedication to give a voice to promising youth whom aspire to become full participants in the country they have known as their home.  
CABINET HEADS of the Department of Education and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) presented testimony before the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security, underscoring the social and economic value of granting a path to citizenship for young undocumented immigrants. 
Hector E. Sanchez
           DREAM Act eligible youths are individuals who entered the U.S. as children and must meet strict requirements in order to obtain conditional permanent residency. The conditional status would be removed after completion of two years in either honorable service in the U.S. armed forces or in a bachelor’s program or higher degree. 
           “WE WELCOME this hearing as an opportunity to present the merits of the DREAM Act before Congress and the nation. But we would be remiss to ignore the fact that President Obama has the authority to provide administrative relief that would prevent DREAM Act eligible youths from being caught in the middle of immigration enforcement efforts targeting those who are a threat to public safety and national security,” said Hector E. Sanchez, LCLAA’s Executive Director.  “Hundreds of thousands of DREAMers are among us, legally in the shadows but ever-present in various sectors of our society, fearing deportation and hoping that America will one day embrace them and recognize that they can help us win the future,” Sanchez concluded.
Arne Duncan
U.S. Secretary
of Education
           THE LABOR Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA) is a national Latino organization representing the interests of over 2 million Latino(a) trade unionists throughout the United States and the Common Wealth of Puerto Rico.
           ARNE SAYS:  “The DREAM Act is a common-sense piece of legislation that is in keeping with core American values. By creating opportunities for these bright and talented young people to attend college, not only will they have a chance to realize the American dream, but they will be able to strengthen the American economy and make our workforce stronger.
           “THE STUDENTS of the DREAM Act are some of the country’s best and brightest, and it’s important to note that the process for legalization is by no means automatic. The DREAM Act would cover those young people who meet a number of high standards that demonstrate academic achievement and personal integrity. The DREAM Act would unleash the full potential of young people who live out values that all Americans cherish—a strong work ethic, service to others, and a deep loyalty to our country.
           I FEEL very passionately about the need to pass the DREAM Act because of the opportunities it provides promising young people”, Duncan said.
           I applaud both U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin and Secretary Arne Duncan for their support of the Dream Act.

Pony rides
         THE PONIES ARE COMING: The 5th Annual Community “Back To School” Block Party, sponsored by the Little Village Community Council, will be held on Saturday, August 6, 2011. The party will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; blocking 26th St. to 25th St. & Central Park Ave. in Little Village.
           FREE HOT dogs, pop, popcorn, ice cream and school supplies will be given to the children in Little Village. There will be a jumping jack, piñata, face painting, and a clown. Pony rides will be available for a $5 donation.
           THIS IS a community block party bringing a day of fun for the children of Little Village before they return to school.

            The LV Community Council welcomes sponsors, please call 312/286-3405. “El DREAM Act es una ley de sentido común que cumple con los valores fundamentales de Estados Unidos. Cuando le damos la oportunidad de asistir a la universidad a estos brillantes y talentosos jóvenes, no sólo tendrán la oportunidad de realizar el sueño americano, sino que también podrán fortalecer la economía y la fuerza laboral de nuestro país.
“Los estudiantes acogidos por el DREAM Act son algunos de los mejores y más brillantes de nuestro país, y es importante tener en cuenta que el proceso de legalización no es de ninguna manera automático. El DREAM Act acoge a jóvenes que reúnen una serie de estrictos requisitos que demuestran éxito académico e integridad, y que cumplen un riguroso proceso que dura varios años. El DREAM Act libera todo el potencial de los jóvenes que ejemplifican los valores que todo estadounidense aprecia –una fuerte ética de trabajo, servicio al prójimo, y profunda lealtad a nuestro país.
“El camino a la prosperidad mediante la educación superior es particularmente importante para nuestro criterio de igualdad –la noción de que cualquier persona, independiente de su origen o quiénes son sus padres, puede prosperar con fuerte dedicación al trabajo. Me siento muy apasionado sobre la necesidad de aprobar el DREAM Act, porque ofrece grandes oportunidades a los jóvenes prometedores. Pero esta legislación es también crucial para alcanzar nuestros objetivos nacionales y nuestras futuras necesidades de mano de obra. La ley DREAM Act nos dará una nueva generación de graduados universitarios que ayudarán a fortalecer nuestra economía y añadirá futuros contribuyentes que contribuirán mucho más al erario público como graduados universitarios de lo que jamás hubiera sido posible como trabajadores marginados. Estos jóvenes ayudarán a construir la economía del siglo 21”.

           OPEN MEETING: The next public meeting of the Little Village Special Service Area #25 will be held at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, July 19, 2011 in the Little Village Chamber of Commerce office: 3610 W. 26th St., 2nd floor. Your ideas, input and opinions are most welcome. 

Patti Caraballo & Hair Designers
America’s Career Institute

Patti Caraballo & Hair Designers
America’s Career Institute
10 A.M. TO 3 P.M.
3610 W. 26TH ST.