Thursday, January 19, 2012

Chinatown, Tonya Hammaker, Chevo Razo, LAPA, Cynthia Ramirez, Fernando Valenzuela

Tony Shu, Esq.
          CHINATOWN: U.S. Senator Richard Durbin was the keynote speaker at the Chinatown Business Luncheon held Thursday, January 12, 2012. The luncheon, hosted by Tony Shu, Esq., president of the Chicago Chinatown Chamber of Commerce, was held at the Triple Crown Restaurant in Chinatown and attended by more than 150 people. Ald. Danny Solis [25th Ward] was introduced and gave the opening remarks. Sonia Avalos, Agency Recruiter for State Farm Insurance also made brief remarks. President Shu introduced Sen. Durbin, an eloquent speaker, who touched upon several interesting topics: travelling to China, his Lithuanian mother, sales tax and the internet, for-profit colleges and finally the postal system.
          DURBIN SAID he enjoyed a two week "jaw-breaking" experience in China last year. He reported that in the next five years China will be building fifty [50] new airports to accommodate all types of Boeing aircraft.
Dick Durbin
          DURBIN IS A FIRST generation American. He said his mother immigrated to America from Lithuanian. She left everything behind to come to the United States. "This is the story of many immigrants," said Durbin.
          "ILLINOIS IS LOSING a lot revenue by not receiving sales tax from internet sales," said Durbin. Ten years ago Congress did not want to pass a law requiring sales tax when purchasing through the internet; this was based on the idea that internet sales would remain small. Consumers were expected to pay a sales tax voluntarily. Today millions of people are making internet purchases without paying a sales tax. This system is unfair to businesses on the main streets of America who are required to collect sales taxes. Internet businesses have an unfair advantage because no sales tax is required on items such as CD's, books, shoes, etc.
          FOR-PROFIT COLLEGES: Sen. Durbin told the audience how, for the first time in history, student loans are higher than credit card loans. "Colleges and universities are charging too much for students to receive an education", said Durbin. He told a story of a young woman, studying law enforcement, who unknowingly attended a non-accredited college for five years. After completing her education at the college she applied for jobs at a police department and sheriff's department. She was told her "credits" from the past five years were not acceptable because the college she attended was not an accredited school. The young woman was 28 years old, wasted 5 years on an education that carries no weight in the real world and in serious debt. Durbin said something must be done to weed out these for-profit colleges.
Dick Durbin and Temoc Morfin
          "AMERICA HAS THE BEST POSTAL system than anywhere else in the world. You can send a letter anywhere in America for less than 50 cents," said Durbin. Texting and e-mails has caused our U.S. postal system to lose revenue.
          DURING THE Q & A period, Cuahutemac Morfin, a 25th Ward 30-year resident in Pilsen, took the floor thanking Sen. Durbin for his support of the Dream Act. Morfin asked why Congress has not done more to help homeowners from losing their homes. Durbin responded by saying he has spoken to President Obama about foreclosures but at this time he couldn't give an answer. Durbin received a resounding applause for his remarks. The Chicago Chinatown Chamber of Commerce business luncheon was a success. Sponsors of the event were State Farm, Citibank, and AT&T. The Chinatown Chamber is celebrating its 100 year anniversary [1912-2012]
          INTERIM PRINCIPAL: Tonya Hammaker has been appointed the interim principal at Farragut Career Academy, 2345 S. Christiana Ave. in Little Village. She received the full support of the Farragut Local School Council members. LSC members will be following a hiring process for a new full time principal.
Tonya Hammaker
          MS. HAMMAKER is no stranger to Farragut. At Farragut she was a social studies teacher from 2004-2006 and worked as Dean of Curriculum and Instruction from 2006-2010. In the fall of 2011 Tonya accepted an assistant principal position at Austin Polytechnical Academy. At Austin, as assistant principal, Ms. Hammaker worked closely with the principal in transforming Austin from a Level III to a Level II. Her experience at Austin gave her an in-depth understanding of what it takes to drive a school toward a higher level of achievement. After her time at Austin she accepted a position at O'Keefe Elementary as assistant principal gaining experience in the curriculum and learning about the environment  students are exposed to at the elementary level.
          ORIGINALLY from Iowa, Ms. Hammaker received her BA in Psychology at the University of Iowa. She  has a Masters of Art in Teaching and a Masters of Education in Educational Leadership.  For the past 12 years Hammaker has worked on the West Side of Chicago.
          "MY VISION for Farragut is to provide all students with the means to become responsible and productive citizens with strong critical thinking skills. I believe this can only be accomplished with the support of family, community and staff. The bottom line--I would like to see my students have a successful future in the career of their choice and I would like Farragut to be part of the support system that helped them gain the skills for success. I look forward to working again with students, parents, staff and community at Farragut. I believe Farragut is on the right track to improving student achievement and I am glad to be back," said Interim Principal Hammaker.
Eloise & Chevo Razo
          RETIREMENT PARTY: Former police officer, Eusebio "Chevo" Razo's, retirement party was held at the American Legion Hall, 10508 S. Ewing Ave., Sat., Jan. 14, 2012. More than 150 family, friends, policemen, educators, public officials and city workers attended the party. Chevo, dressed in a tuxedo, thanked all of his guests for attending his retirement party. At City Hall, Chevo had worked as executive security [personal body guard] for Mayor Richard M. Daley. Guests enjoyed dinner, refreshments and live music by George Garcia's band, Past Life; a very popular band in the '70's, '80's, and '90's in South Chicago. Comedian Joey Villagomez cracked jokes during the band's intermission. Chevo is now moving on with his life in the teaching field. We wish Chevo well.
          LAPA ENDORSEMENTS: The Latin American Police Association announced the following endorsements for the 2012 Primary Election stating: "After careful consideration the Latin American Police Association [LAPA] is proud to announce their support and endorsement for the following candidates on the March 20, 2012 Primary Election ballot.

  • Cuahutemac Morfin, State Representative, 2nd District.
  • Jesse G. Reyes, Judge Illinois Appellate Court.
  • Joy V. Cunningham, Judge Cook County Circuit Court.
  • Diann K. Marsalek, Judge Cook County Circuit Court.
  • Maritza Martinez, Judge Cook County Circuit Court.
  • Cynthia Ramirez, Judge Cook County Circuit Court
  • William B. Raines, Alternate Candidate for Judge. 
          LAPA SAYS, "The above candidates have been endorsed because LAPA believes they will best represent the citizens of the City of Chicago, County of Cook and State of Illinois. LAPA knows they will address the tough issues that affect our neighborhoods, Police Department and our city."
          FUND RAISER: You are cordially invited to attend a fundraiser honoring Democratic candidate Cynthia Ramirez for Cook County Circuit Court Judge Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2012 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. The event is hosted by Dykema at 10 S. Wacker Dr., Suite 2300, Chicago.
          SUGGESTED donation: $50; Sponsorship friend $250 and Supporter: $500. To RSVP or for more information, contact Rosa Tumialan at 312/627-2139 or RTumialan Kindly make your check payable to Ramirez for Judge. Ramirez is endorsed by the Cook County Democratic Party.  
Fernando Valenzuela

          MATINEE MOVIE: "Fernando Nation" a story about Mexican baseball player Fernando Valenzuela will be presented this Saturday, Jan. 21, 2012 at the Little Village Community Council, 3610 W. 26th St. Free admission and popcorn. Valenzuela captivated the Mexican community in Los Angeles with his pitching. He became an overnight sensation by "proving with his signature look to the heavens and killer screwball that the American dream was not reserved for those born on U.S. soil." Director Cruz Angeles says, "20 years later, 'Fernandomania' still lives." This is a documentary about Valenzuela, a baseball hero, and the struggle of a Mexican community who were uprooted by the building of Dodger Stadium in L.A. I give it four stars.