Thursday, August 18, 2011

Mexico's funnyman, Outrageous parking, pet vaccinations, WOW, Captain America movie review, and Friday Night Boxing

                 MEXICO’S FUNNYMAN: Hispanically Speaking news outlet reports that Mexico is celebrating and observing the 100 years of “Cantinflas”. It reports that Charlie Chaplin once said that his Mexican counterpart, Cantinflas, was the funniest comedian alive.
Mario Moreno
                 FORTINO MARIO Alfonso Moreno Reyes [1911-1993] professionally known as “Cantinflas” was the eldest child of  Pedro Moreno Esquivel, a mail carrier, and María de la Soledad Reyes Guizar. The Michoacán couple had eight children. After unsuccessfully taking stabs at boxing, and bullfighting it was the voice of Mario Moreno, his clever speech, that ridiculously funny mustache, his humble demeanor, enormous heart, quick wit, rope belt, silly hat, which created  Cantinflas. Moreno died at the age of 81 on April 20, 1993.
                 CANTINFLAS’ the “tramp” character, or “peladito” became an icon and the voice of the so many unprivileged Mexicans. As a comedian, stage and film charactor his image, both in cartoons and photos, are immortalized in 50 different films.  Today, in celebration of his hundredth birthday, México has turned everywhere 100% Cantinflas; in many ways Cantinflas is México.
                 INCLUDING, Mexico City’s metro, a system that moves some 6 million people every day, is playing audio clips of Cantinflas convoluted dialogue, the comedian’s most recognizable trait.
                 “CANTINFLEAR,” is the art of speaking a stream of words, without actually saying anything at all; a verb actually recognized by the Royal Academy of Spanish Language a year before the actor’s death, and defined as “speaking in a random way, incongruently and not saying anything.” Cantinflas was honored with a star in the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
                 GOOGLE Cantinflas’s bio to learn more about his life and watch clips on YouTube to be “Cantinfleando”. To observe a hundred years of Cantinflas.
                 As Mexicanos, we pay homage to a great Mexican entertainer, Cantinflas!

                 OUTRAGEOUS: Parking a car in a downtown Chicago parking lot is insane. What I mean by “insane” is the ridiculous high cost of parking your car in a lot. Two weeks ago I drove to City Hall on business, parked my car at the Theater Parking Lot [self-park] on Dearborn St. & Randolph St. and paid $24.00 for 1 hour and 8 minutes!  Another time, I paid as high as $32 to park in a Chicago parking lot. If you drive to downtown Chicago you have no choice but to park in a lot.
                 THERE ARE several cheaper lots outside of the loop area, but you would have to walk several blocks to get to your destination and to be in the central business area. I believe Chicago businesses are losing business because of the high cost of parking. Chicagoans would rather go shopping in the suburbs just for the free parking in the malls.
                 Mayor Emanuel must think “outside-of-the-box” on how to provide “free” parking, or lower the cost of parking on special days, for Chicagoans and suburbanites who want to shop downtown. Free parking would generate an increase of business for Chicago. Yes, public transportation is a good option, but some of us need our cars to go elsewhere.

DOG & CAT VACCINATION: The City of Chicago Commission on Animal Care and Control [ACC] is hosting a Low Cost Vaccine Clinic for pets of residents of Chicago. Starting at 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 Noon Saturday, August 20, 2011 to Sunday, September 11, 2011 at 2741 S. Western Ave., Chicago.  

  • An appointment is required. Please call 312/747-1406.
  • Only open to City of Chicago Residents.
  • ALL Dogs MUST be on  leash or in a carrier.
  • ALL Cats MUST be in a carrier.
  • If your pet requires a muzzle during vaccinations or around other animals, you MUST have exact change [ACC payment machine does not provide change.] ACC accepts credit/debit cards and personal checks.
             DA2PPL…………….$7 each vaccination.
             FVRCP……………...$7 each vaccination.
             Rabies…………….…$15 each vaccination.
             Microship………..…..$15 each.
             Dog License….……..$5 neutered dog. Un-neutered $50.

            SUGGESTION: If it’s impossible to make an appointment using the 312/747-1406 phone number, call 311. Or, you might have to visit the Animal Care office, 2741 S. Western Ave. in person to make your appointment.

                 BUSINESS OF THE WEEK: Today, I would like to introduce you to a relatively new business in Little Village called “WOW! Internet Café” located at 2700 S. Ridgeway Ave. Phone: 773/823-7280. The owners are Sergio Morfin and Jose Rodriguez. “WOW doesn’t stand for anything, it’s just a name,” said Jose Rodriguez.
                 THE “WOW Internet Café has been in business three years and provides the following services: Internet Service $3 per hour for students doing homework; computer repair, build and repair laptops, paying of utilities bills, jumping jacks, rentals of tables, tents and chairs, pre-pay cellular service, dish network/satellite retailers, fax and copy services.
                 WOW ALSO RENTS out six new different “jumpers” as the Jumping Jacks are called. The Spaceship, Castle, Patriot Castle, Princess Castle, Doll Party and Sports Arena. The jumpers are available for Block Parties, private party, birthday parties, and fiestas and for all occasions at a reasonable cost which includes delivery and pick-up. Se Habla Espanol. “Ofrecemos mesas, stillas y carpas y mucho mas,” said Morfin. WOW’s hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day.  Check them out.

                 MOVIE REVIEW: The movie “Captain America” starts out slow and boring for the first half of the movie. But there’s a lot of action in the second half. Captain America is about a young weakling who is transformed into a muscular strongman and he becomes a hero by rescuing and saving the lives of American soldiers with his famous life saving shield. I give it ½  star.   

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Back to School Block Party, Little Joe, Fire Hydrants, Dr. Hogan, Expungement Workshop

                 MANY THANKS: As President of the Little Village Community Council, I wish to publicly thank all of our supporters, contributors and volunteers who helped in making our 5th Annual “Back To School” Block Party a “blast” and a huge success.
                 IN ATTENDANCE: 700 residents with 400 children registered received free back packs filled with school supplies. Everyone enjoyed the free hot dogs, pop and popcorn, while children were thrilled with the petting farm, jumping jack, and a clown who made animal balloons. The biggest hit with the kids were the pony rides. The party began at 10 a.m. and ended at 4 p.m.; all the school supplies and refreshments were exhausted. Due to limited donations it was impossible to give everyone at the party school supplies.
                 THE LV COMMUNITY Council deeply appreciated the generosity from the following contributors to the block party: Walgreens, Zemsky Store, Midwest Generation, State Rep. Elizabeth Hernandez, DJ Jesse Barraza, Azteca Mall, State Farm Insurance, La Chiquita Supermercados, Polar Ice Co., Cretors Popcorn Co., Little Village Chamber of Commerce, Orions Mind, Latin American Motorcycle Club/Cicero, Farragut Career Academy Jason Sigellak, Judge Rodolfo Garcia, Meyer Steel Drum Inc., State Sen. Tony Munoz, Wal-Mart, El Milagro Tortillas, Lawndale News, Emi & Sons Joyeria, Ambrosio Medrano, Sam’s Club, Leo Burnett, Calli Arch-Tech Inc., Charlie Hernandez, Democratic Committeeman of the Town of Cicero, Violetas Permit & Business License LLC, Cermak Foods, Strategic Storage, Ald. Ricardo Munoz, Cuahutemoc “Temo” Morfin, Federico Valencia Morfin, Francisco Nieves, Supermercados Torres in Cicero and Michael Ramos.
                 DOWNSIDE: In our Little Village neighborhood we have eight banks: Second Federal & Savings, TCF, Fifth Third-5/3, Popular Community Bank, Metropolitan Bank, Citibank, Chase and two Bank of America. I sent a letter to each bank manager seeking support for our children’s “Back to School” event. Only one bank indicated support, but in the end, not a single bank in Little Village supported our “Back to School” block party.
                 HOWEVER, TCF did support our 2010 Halloween Party.

                 A MUSICAL LEGEND: Guitarist “Little Joe”, a four time Grammy Award winner, will be in Chicago with his show “A Man & His Music” Thursday, August 25, 2011 at Joe’s Bar, 940 W. Weed Street. Door opens at 7 p.m., show begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. For more information call [312] 666-8960.

Little Joe
                 PROFESSIONALLY, singer Jose Maria De León Hernández, is known as Little Joe. Jose is a Mexican-American Tejano performer with a rich and colorful musical history. His band is called La Familia and is one of the most popular Tex-Mex bands in the music industry.
                 LITTLE JOE was born in a one room dirt floor shack in Temple, Texas on a cold and stormy night on October 17, 1940. He was the seventh child of thirteen. Joe learned to play the guitar and in 1955 he played his first paying performance in Cameron, Texas for $5 at a high school Sock Hop. He was excited and realized that picking a guitar beats picking cotton.
                 HIS CAREER as a guitarist led him to work for Terrero Records in Corpus Christi, Texas in 1958. In 1959, Joe took over his cousin’s band and renamed it the “Little Joe & The Latinaires.” In the 60’s, Joe signed his first record deal with Corona Records in San Antonio, next Valmon Records later Zarape Records in Dallas.
                 IN 1968, Joe started his own independent record company “Buena Suerte Records” for his Spanish recordings and “Good Luck Records” for his English recordings. Following would be Leona Records with a distribution deal with Freddy Records in Corpus Christ, Texas. It kept Joe independent through the 70’s and early 80’s.
                 IN 1992, the album 16 de Septiembre earned La Familia the Grammy Award for Best Mexican-American Performance. In 2008, Little Joe once again won a Grammy for Best Tejano Album of the Year for “Before the Next Teardrop Falls”. Other Grammy nominated albums include: 1988’s Timeless, 1993's Que Paso, 1999's Little Joe Y La Familia 2000, and 2003's Celebration of Life.
                 IN FIFTY YEARS, Little Joe has produced over sixty albums and has been described as the “King of the Brown Sound.” He continues touring the world, trailblazing, looking for new challenges, breaking down cultural and musical barriers and innovating his musical style. Joe always strives to bring people together to make a more peaceful and harmonious world.
                 LOOK UP also go to Latin Music usa/preview/pbsYouTube to learn more about Little Joe’s musical career.

UNBELIEVABLE: This is the second weekend in which the fire hydrant between 25th St. & 26th St. and Christiana Ave. has been pouring out water flooding the street continuously for THREE days. Can you imagine how much water has been wasted in three days and at what cost? Just guessing, water running 24 hours a day for three days must be about $100,000!
HYDRANTS, when illegally opened by adults and young people during these hot summer days, wastes thousands of gallons of water, every home in the area loses water pressure and the continued pouring of water damages un-surfaced streets, causing deeper potholes. Residents must understand that illegally opening hydrants endangers the houses in the area in case of a fire. If there is fire, an open hydrant makes it difficult for firemen to fight the fire because of low water pressure.
CITY ORDINACE 11-12-070: ‘No person shall take water from any fire plug, hydrant, valve, faucet, pipe or any other opening connected with the Chicago Waterworks System, nor shall any person open any such fire plug, hydrant, valve or faucet for the purpose of taking water, or for any purpose…’
“ANY PERSON who shall violate any of the provisions of this section shall, for the first offense, be fined not less than $500 nor more than $1,000 or imprisoned for not more than 20 days or both; and for such subsequent offense shall be fined $1,500 or imprisoned for not to exceed 30 days or both. Community service may be imposed in lieu of, or in addition to, the monetary fines and imprisonment provided by this section”.
I remember hearing Gov. Pat Quinn saying, “We drink whiskey, but we fight for water!”

IRISH/MEXICAN HISTORY: Dr. Michael Hogan will be here in Chicago at the Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 North Knox Ave. on Sunday, September 11, 2011 to discuss his book, The Irish Soldiers of Mexico from 3 p.m.-7 p.m. Donation at the door is $10.
Michael Hogan
         THE PROGRAM includes a screening of the video documentary, St. Patrick's Battalion, with an introduction and post film Q&A with Dr. Hogan. He will discuss, sign and sell his book before and after the film. This multimedia presentation on the San Patricios is about the Irish soldiers that deserted the U.S. Army to fight on the side of Mexico in the Mexican-American War of 1846 to 1848.

                 THE SAINT Patrick's Battalion [Batallón de San Patricio] led by Capt. John Riley, a unit of more than 500 immigrant soldiers, mostly Irish, deserted the U.S. Army and joined forces with Mexico.
                 AFTER THE video and discussion, Mexican and Irish food will be available for purchase in the Fifth Province. Mexican and Irish traditional music will also be played for the enjoyment of the visitors and guests. Mexicanos learn about your history and Irish connection. See you there


SATURDAY, SEPT. 17, 2011

Learn from experts about how to apply for
clemency and expungement

Registration at 8:30 a.m. - doors close at 6 p.m.
2657 S. Lawndale Ave.
Chicago, IL 60623
Bringing Services to the Community

Information on employment, job training, health care
and other services for ex-offenders will be available.

Sponsored by Little Village Community Council
In conjunction with Attorney Jorge Montes

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Politics, curfew law, “Back to School” community block party, Leslie Orear, WOW Internet Cafe

President Obama
                 MY OPINION: There is a misguided political message whirling around our Chicago Latino communities by some community activists. Here is what they are saying: “That the Mexican/Latino voter should hold’ their presidential vote from President Obama in 2012”. Politically, this message is counter-productive. Why? Because we should be encouraging our community to VOTE, not discouraging! Ironically, the majority of our registered voters don’t vote! There are approximately 14,000 registered voters in the 22nd Ward and only 4,000 vote. Our Chicago Latino communities are already ‘holding’ their vote.
                 YES, PRESIDENT Obama did not keep his first term promise to our community by not giving us a comprehensive immigration reform law. Yes, there has been more deportation under his presidential watch. These raids are being aggressively conducted by ICE [U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement].  If Obama interferes with ICE’s job, Obama would look as if he does not support the law of the land or the immigration policies of the United States.   
            STOPPING THE RAIDS will not give us a comprehensive immigration law. The reality in Washington is that President Obama does not have the votes to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill. If he had the votes in Congress, I believe we would have a comprehensive immigration law today. Obama needs our political help now more than ever. Victory comes by our numbers at the ballot box.
            IN ALL the years that I’ve been in politics, I’ve never heard of such a ridiculous political strategy as “holding” votes. You either VOTE or you don’t vote! What would be the alternative if we don’t vote to re-elect President Obama; voting for a Republican candidate?
            THE REPUBLICAN PARTY members are blocking compressive immigration reform. Also, a majority of Republican governors have been pushing laws in their State to destroy our Mexican communities in America; fourteen Republican controlled States want to deny citizenship to children of undocumented immigrants. Arizona Sen. Russell Pearce [R] said “This is a battle of epic proportions.” Sen. Pearce is the author of Arizona’s new police-state immigration law. Mexicanos, we are in a political war. Estamos en una guerra politica. 
            THE BEST chance of getting a comprehensive immigration law in the future IS with President Barack Obama. The best thing we can do to help undocumented immigrants is to VOTE, overwhelmingly, to get President Obama re-elected. Let’s use our time wisely and politically by hosting citizenship workshops, registering new voters and to work hard to get-out-the-vote on Election Day! Politicians only listen to one thing---VOTES. It is the currency of politics!

CURFEW LAW: The City of Chicago adopted a curfew ordinance July 28, 2011 that applies to children ages 16 years and younger, as follows:
Weekday curfew for minors 12 through 16 years of age is 10:00 pm.
Weekday curfew for minors 12 and younger is 8:30 p.m.
Weekend curfew for minors 12 through 16 years of age is 11:00 p.m.
Weekend curfew for minors 12 years and younger is 9:00 p.m.
CURFEW VIOLATORS are subject to a fine of up to $500 or community service. Three offenses in a twelve-month period shall be subject to up to $1,500 in addition to community service.   
MAYOR RAHM EMANUEL applauded Ald. Toni L. Foulkes [15th Ward], Ald. Michelle Harris [8th Ward] and Ald. Lona Lane [18th Ward] for working to provide an enhanced curfew ordinance that will help better protect the children of Chicago
“EARLIER CURFEW for younger kids can only help protect them. Anything we can do to get kids off the street can assist us in reducing violence,’ said Alderman Foulkes. Enforcement is the key to all laws.

      DON’T MISS: The 5th Annual “Back to School” community block party sponsored by the Little Village Community Council  is this Saturday, August 6, 2011. The party begins at 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. at 26th St. to 25th St. & Central Park Ave., in Little Village. FREE school supplies, hot dogs, pop, popcorn, ice cream for the children in Little Village. Also pony rides for a donation of $3.
              THERE WILL BE two jumping jacks, piñata, face painting, a clown and DJ music by Jesse Barraza. Contributors to the block party are Zemsky Store, Midwest Generation, State Rep. Elizabeth Hernandez, Azteca Mall, State Farm Insurance, La Chiquita Supermercados, Pete’s Market, Little Village Chamber of Commerce,  Latin American Motorcycle Club, Farragut Career Academy, Judge Rodolfo Garcia, Meyer Steel Drum Inc., State Sen. Tony Munoz, Wal-Mart, El Milagro Tortillas, Lawndale News, Emi & Sons Joyeria, Ambrosio Medrano, Calli Arch-Tech Inc., Violetas Permit & Business License LLC,  Cermak Foods and Blue Bunny Ice Cream.
                 THIS IS a community block party to bring a day of fun to the children of Little Village before returning to the classroom. Registration to the Block Party will begin at 9 a.m. The LV Community Council welcomes sponsors, please call 312/286-3405.

Leslie Orear
                 LABOR LEADER: A trade unionist and organizer Leslie F. Orear, 100 years old, is still active in the labor movement. Les was the founder and President of the Illinois Labor History Society organized in 1969. He entered the labor force early in the Great Depression.  A college dropout, when both cash and credit ran dry, Les got a job in Chicago’s meat packing industry. He worked on the production line in the cured meat shipping department of Armour & Company.  His pay was 32.5 cents an hour!
             WHEN THE Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) burst upon the scene in 1936, he was among the first in the Chicago stockyards area to sign an authorization card to be represented by the Packinghouse Workers Organizing Committee.  Before long, Les became editor of the national union’s newspaper. 
                 AFTER A few years, he was reassigned to the organizing staff in Kansas, and later returned to the national headquarters as assistant to the vice-president in charge of organization.
                 IN 1952, he moved back to his old duties as Editor of The Packinghouse Worker until 1968 when the union merged with the Amalgamated Meat Cutters.  He remained with the Meat Cutters in its national headquarters as an aide to Pat Gorman, its principal officer, until his retirement in 1977 after 40 years of service to his union.
            WITH GORMAN’S encouragement, Les joined forces with several other staffers of Chicago area unions to set up the Illinois Labor History Society in 1969.  Elected president of the new group at its organizational meeting, Les Orear continued in that capacity until 2006 when he became President Emeritus of the society. Now at the age of 100 Les only asks, “What’s next?” 
           IN 1973, Les Orear as the President of the Illinois Labor History Society and I was the President of the Latin American Advisory Council of Blue Island; also an honorary member of the Illinois Labor History Society. It was President Orear’s leadership that helped LAAC to successfully receive an Illinois Arts Council grant to paint a Mexican labor mural on a wall in Blue Island. 

                 THE PAINTING of the mural in the City of Blue Island became highly controversial and hotly contested by the city officials at that time. City officials did not understand our culture and threaten to stop the painting and arrest anyone involved. They called the mural “advertising” because the mural had a “Black Eagle,” the Union flag of the United Farm Workers Union, which would require a permit. We called it free public art and a mural. The threat and action by the city only gave the project national publicity in the newspapers.
                 TINA DUARTE, owner of Tina’s Restaurant, Broadway & Western Ave. gave us permission to paint the mural on the north end of the wall. Three muralists, Ray Patlan, Vincente Mendoza and Jose Nario, were hired to sketch and paint the mural. Our muralist did an outstanding job; the mural became a shrine and a tourist attraction for years.
                 THE MURAL DEPICTED the evolution of the Mexican workers from laboring in the fields, steel mills, packing houses to becoming lawyers and doctors. The image of Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Black Aztec eagle flag of the United Farm Workers Union was in the mural. We named it “The Forbidden Mexican Mural of Blue Island.”
            WE ORGANIZED a rally in support of the mural. Les Orear, labor leader Francisco Montalvo and Congressman Marty Russo joined more than 50 people waving American flags at the rally. Fear and tension was in the air; we were threatened to be arrested if we painted the mural. A priest from St. Benedict’s Church led us in prayer and we all touched the wall, as a gesture of our support. The muralist didn’t know what to do, under the threat of being arrested, I told them, “Start painting.” We expected the police to come and start arresting us but much to our surprise the City officials backed-off and let us be. Our historic mural was painted. It was a beautiful with bright colors. As years past on, a new owner of the building white-washed the wall and the mural and its story was lost forever. It was a victory for the Mexican community in Blue Island. Thank you Les Orear for the support you gave our Mexican community. Viva Orear!