Thursday, January 5, 2012

Happy New Year, LVCC Report, Chicago Magazine, Opinion, Eusebio Razo, Valenzuela, Movie Review, In Passing 2011

          HAPPY NEW YEAR to everyone. Every New Year marks a new beginning, a chance to make new plans, and accomplish goals which have not been reached because of obstacles, odds and drawbacks of the previous year. With a new year we can all look forward to meeting challenges, creating ideas and making new friends. A fresh start gives us all an opportunity to be effective. I say let's be positive and let's work hard in succeeding in making our communities, our country and our world a better place to live in 2012.
          COMMUNITY REPORT: As President of the Little Village Community Council, I would like to report that in 2011 the Little Village Community Council met several community service goals for needy residents of Little Village. LVCC gave away free food, from its Food Pantry, and free clothing, every Saturday. The Council also sponsored the following events and projects, namely on:  
  • Foreclosure Workshop, Sat., June 11.  Attended by 56 people.
  • Free Haircuts & manicures, Sat., July 16.   Attended by 157 residents.
  • "Back To School" block party, Sat., August 6. Attended by 800 people. Backpacks with school supplies given free to 400 children. Free hot dogs, pop and popcorn.
  • Expungement Workshop, Sat., Sept. 17. Attended by 300 people.
  • Halloween Party & Haunted House.  Mon., Oct. 31.  Attended by 1,000.
  • Holiday Giveaway; Free food baskets & turkeys.  Tues., Nov. 22.  20 recipients.
  • Flu Clinic. Free flu immunization shots.  Sat., Dec. 10.  107  recipients.
          ON BEHALF of the Little Village Community Council, we thank all of our sponsors and supporters. We hope to expand these events and projects in 2012.
          CHICAGO MAG: For political junkies, I'm recommending the Chicago Magazine, January issue 2012 featured story titled, "Lawmakers & Lawbreakers." The article, by David Bernstein and Noah Isackson, is an in depth investigation of the relationship between Chicago politicians and gang members. The authors interviewed  more than 100 elected officials, gang leaders, police officials and prosecutors making for a revealing and shocking read.
          FEATURED in the article are Ald. Ricardo Munoz [22nd Ward], former Alderman Helen Schiller [46th Ward], former Ald. Arenda Troutman [20th Ward] and many other elected officials. Little Village community resident Raul Montes Jr., 37, states in the article [he] suspects that Ald. Munoz has "intentionally kept [police blue-light] cameras out [of Little Village] to help protect the gangs--a position shared by several law enforcement sources and Munoz's various political opponents." Montes also says, "Why does [Munoz] oppose cameras so much?" In the article, "Munoz says 26th Street doesn't need taxpayer-funded cameras: 'The business strip should fend for themselves.' " Buy the Chicago Magazine today and read more about Chicago politicians and their relationship the gang leaders.
President Obama
          MY OPINION: Republican Party leaders and their candidates think American people are going to be fooled by their political spin of blaming President Obama for the high unemployment and the down spin of the economy. Americans know the unemployment of American workers is due to the fact that American corporations and manufacturers are outsourcing their goods and services to foreign countries. It is obvious that the Republican leaders in Congress are compounding unemployment by blocking President Obama's Jobs plan which was created to help put Americans back to work. Americans also know the economy went bust because of the unscrupulous practices of  banks,Wall Street traders and lenders left unregulated.  And, again, its the Republicans who do not want millionaires and billionaires to pay their share of taxes.
          FOR EXAMPLE: Last month I went shopping at a large department store to buy a pair of shoes, winter leather gloves and two pairs of pants. For years I have been buying Florsheim shoes because they were made in Chicago by union labor. In the store the clerk showed me a pair of Florsheim shoes and I immediately looked to see were they were made; they were made in China by non-union Chinese workers. I asked the clerk if the store had any shoes made in the U.S.A. His response was, "No, all the shoes in the store were made in China!" I wasn't happy, however, I did buy the Florsheim shoes.
          THE TWO pair of pants I bought were "Dockers". One pair was made by Nicaragua workers and the other pair by Bangladesh workers. The black leather gloves, "Isotoner", were made by workers in India.
The American consumer does not benefit from cheap foreign labor on goods;  American corporations and manufacturers benefit. They are reaping the increased profits from cheap foreign labor. In fact, foreign made products sometimes cost higher. Its been said that "American businesses will not sacrifice profit for patriotism." Who is to blame for unemployment and the outsourcing of American jobs overseas? President Obama? I think not.
Eusebio Razo
          CPD RETIREMENT: My friend Police Officer Eusebio "Chevo" Razo, from my old neighborhood of South Chicago, will retire this month from his job at City Hall. Chevo was born at Mercy Hospital in Chicago on Oct. 31, 1956. His parents were ranchers who came to Chicago in 1952 from Pueblo Nuevo, Guanajuato Mexico.
          CHEVO, raised in South Chicago, graduated from St. Michael's in 1970 and Bowen High School in 1974. He attended St. Edward's University in Austin, Texas from 1974-1978 and graduated with a BA in Criminal Justice. Chevo was hired as a Deputy Sheriff Cook County Correctional Officer in 1978 and was promoted to Sgt. on June 16, 1986. In 1989, he was assigned to Mayor Richard M. Daley's security detail when Daley was elected in 1989.
          IN APRIL 2004, Chevo returned to school and earned a Masters in Education from DePaul University in August, 2007. He is certified to teach elementary from K-8 in the State of Illinois. When Mayor Daley retired on May 16, 2011, Chevo returned to the patrol division and was assigned to 001 Police District on July 10, 2011. He will be retiring from the Chicago Police Department [CPD] on January 16, 2012 and will pursue a teacher career. We congratulate Chevo on his service to the citizens of Chicago and wish him well in his new career.    
Fernando Valenzuela
          BASEBALL HERO: The documentary "Fernando Nation", directed by Cruz Angeles, will be featured at the Little Village Community Council, 3610 W. 26th St. on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2011 at 1 p.m. Free admission. It is a story about a Mexican baseball player named Fernando Valenzuela, 20; a captivating pitcher for the Dodgers.
          IN 1962, when Dodgers Stadium was being built in Los Angeles the construction of the stadium uprooted  Mexicans from their homes. The Mexican community reacted by boycotting Dodgers games. The boycott forced Dodgers owners to send their scouts to Mexico to discover a Mexican baseball player in order attract Mexicans to their games. The Dodgers scouts found a young pitcher, Fernando Valenzuela, nicknamed "El Toro" by his fans. Valenzuela, overnight, became a hero to millions of Mexican baseball fans with his pitching, especially his killer screwballs. The video jacket reads: "Director Cruz Angeles relives Valenzuela's impact on the Los Angeles Mexican community". Don't miss seeing this historical event in baseball. It's a four star video.
          MOVIE REVIEW: Over the long holiday break I saw 3 movies but none of them impressed me. First, "Sherlock Holmes, A Game of Shadows" storyline was confusing and the ending was long and boring. However, I like both actors, Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law.  I give it one star.  "Mission Impossible", was entertaining, had a lot of action and Tom Cruise did impressive daring stunts. But, I give it one star. "War Horse" began slow and story line was interesting; a love story between a young man and his horse. The War Horse's name was "Joey" and he did an outstanding job of acting. Joey was great in the World War I battle scenes. In a Youtube interview, Steven Spielberg said that four million horses were killed, maimed or died of starvation in World War I. I give War Horse 3 stars.
          IN PASSING 2011: Here are some members of the Mexican community who passed away in 2011. All of them made a contribution to our community and will be missed. Juan Ruvalcava [businessman], Marshal Villanova [Community activist], Tina Medrano [businesswoman], Phil Corderno [businessman & community activist], Edward "Eddie" Rodriguez [Community activist].