Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Early Voting, "Noche De Los Muertos" Mara Castillo, Movie Review "Argo" Tony Mendez, ASCE Award Frank Avila, OHMS Local 134 Candlelight Bowl, Diabetes Screening, St. Agnes School Fundraiser, Operating Engineers Corned Beef & Cabbage Dinner


          Deadline to vote early is Nov. 3, 2012. You can vote early Monday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in all of the 50 wards. All you need to show the election judge is a photo ID. The General Election is Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012. Questions? Call 312/269-7900 or log on to for more information. 

Mara Castillo
       REFLECTION: A walkathon “Noche De Los Muertos” [Night of the Dead] will begin at 5 p.m.  Friday, Nov. 2, 2012 from the Little Village High School, 31st St. & Kostner Ave. to the Manuel Perez Jr. Memorial Plaza, 26th St. & Kolin Ave.
     AT 7:00 p.m. a group of parents and students, dressed in white shirts and carrying candles, will begin walking to a public altar at the plaza; where there will be a moment of silence. The Altar, decorated by students with “flores de mueto en papel” [paper flowers for the dead], will be on public display for two days. The walkathon, sponsored by the Chicago Youth Network of Little Village, is extending an invitation to the public to attend this event. The event is free.
       GUEST SPEAKERS at the “Noche de Los Muertos” are State Representative Lisa Hernandez, Manuel Perez Post 1017 Commander Joe Ramirez, Enlace Mike Rodriguez, Rev. Jose Maria G. Maldonado, LV Community Council President August Sallas, Pastor Dr. Guillermo Mendez and Maria Alvarez, Canta-Autor.
          ORGANIZING the walkathon is Mara Castillo, a CPS Community Representative and Jessica Suarez, an advocate and UIC student. “We are celebrating life with reflection of the deaths of those who have died from a shooting or by violence,” said Castillo. Castillo continued, “There were 700 shootings in Chicago with 504 murders. In Little Village there were 29 homicides in 2012, an increase from last year.” The walkathon is to bring violence awareness for our youth to remember the 29 people who passed away in Little Village. The theme of the walkathon is “Di No A La Violencia y Si A La Paz!” [No more violence and Yes to Peace].
        SPECIAL THANKS is given to the Manuel Perez Jr. Post 1017 for free hot dogs, Little Village Chamber of Commerce, CPS, CTU, Mirame, Oxala Fine Art and Dafme Tamales.  
          CHICAGO YOUTH Network is working with students by giving them service learning hours for their involvement in the community. “At the same time the students are learning about issues,” said Jessica Suarez. For more information call 312/371-7890
Tony Mendez                          Ben Affleck
          MOVIE REVIEW: Tony Mendez, Mexican-American, is the real CIA agent behind the real “Argo” movie which stars Ben Affleck, playing as Mendez.
           THE MOVIE “Argo” is a true story. It was a ruse to rescue six American diplomats who were “house guests” of the Canadian Embassy during the Iran hostage crisis when Jimmy Carter was president in 1979-81. It is intense, gripping with suspense as a thriller. The storyline is unbelievable with full of risks by CIA agent Mendez.
I give the movie three stars.
          ANTONIO JOSEPH Mendez is a retired CIA intelligence officer, an author and an artist. He lives with his family and works in his studios and gallery on his forty acre farm in rural Washington County Maryland.
          IN JANUARY 1980 Mendez was awarded the Intelligence Star for Valor for single-handedly engineering and conducting the rescue of six U.S. diplomats from Iran during the hostage crisis. The rescue operation involved creating a fake Hollywood film production company, complete with personnel, scripts, publicity and real estate. The caper worked to help the six American diplomats escape from Iran with Canadian passports.
          MENDEZ retired in 1990. He was promoted to SIS-2, the equivalent of a two star General in the military. He earned the CIA's Intelligence Medal of Merit, Intelligence Star and two Certificates of Distinction. He also was awarded the Trailblazer Medallion in September 1997 on the fiftieth Anniversary of the CIA, he was one of fifty officers, chosen from the tens of thousands who had worked at CIA over the years. In October 2000, Mendez was awarded the Order of the Sphinx which is the Interallied Distinguished Service Cross for serving the Allied cause for freedom behind enemy lines. 
(L-R) Jackie Avila, Quinn Avila, Sherry Avila,
Commissioner Frank Avila, and Audrey Avila

          ASCE AWARD: Frank Avila, Commissioner with the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago [MWRD], was named the “2012 Citizen Engineer of the Year” by the American Society of Civil Engineers of Illinois [ASCE]. Avila was presented his award during the ASCE dinner meeting on October 10, 2012 at the Union League Club in Chicago. 
          AVILA RECEIVED the award for his contribution and advancement to the science and profession of civil engineering. Leo X. Morand, Chairman of the Illinois Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers Awards Committee, said: “It is with great enthusiasm that we honor Commissioner Avila this year. He has embodied the engineering profession in a public agency that provides a vital service throughout Cook County. We are proud he has served in an admirable fashion and is a credit to our profession.”
          COMMISSIONER AVILA expressed his gratitude for the recognition. “I am deeply honored by the tribute. I hope my work has contributed to the improvement of water quality, aquatic life and the lives of everyone living in Cook County.” 
          COMMISSIONER AVILA was elected to the Board of Commissioners of the MWRD in 2002 and re-elected in 2008. He is Chairman of the Engineering Committee and the Committee of Maintenance and Operations. He works to protect the health and safety of the public and protect the quality of water in the Chicago area waterways. Avila’s top priorities include cost-effective wastewater treatment, flood prevention, the regulation of waste disposal to protect our waterways including eliminating toxic chemicals from the source to prevent endocrine disruption. Congrats Commissioner. 
          A FUND-RAISER: The OHMS Club of the IBEW Local 134 is hosting a Candlelight Bowling event on Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012. The event will be held at the Grand Palace Bowl, 5330 W. 35th St., Cicero, Illinois 60804. Three games, shoe rental, food and raffles and cash bar. Dinner is at 8 p.m. and bowling at 9 p.m. Tickets are $35 per person.  For tickets contact Ruben Almendarez at 708/269-1512. Or, email [anytime] for more information or confirmation. If unable to attend the event, and would like to make a contribution towards a raffle prize, or just a donation, feel free to call Ruben.
          DIABETES SCREENING: St. Anthony Hospital will host diabetic screening on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Little Village Community Council, 3610 W. 26th St. No appointment necessary. For more info call 312/286-3405.

          SANTOS 2012: St. Agnes of Bohemia School, 2643 S. Central Park Ave., will host their annual fund-raiser celebrating their school. The event will be held at St. Ignatius College Prep, 1076 W. Roosevelt Road, Chicago on Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.   
          THIS GALA event will be an evening of music, dinner and cultural dances by school students. The traditional Mexican dance, known as folkorico, is in its second year at St. Agnes. Children from first through fourth grade will perform the traditional Mexican dance. The children have a great sense of pride in their heritage when they dance, and are able to learn about their Mexican culture.
          THE SAINT Agnes of Bohemia Catholic School serves the Little Village community in which the average household income is $29,000. Support for the school ensures that all children have the opportunity to attend Saint Agnes School regardless of their family’s financial situation. Proceeds from the event will go to Saint Agnes of Bohemia Scholarship Fund. Tickets are $80. Make check payable to St. Agnes of Bohemia School. For more information call 773/522-0143 or email  

          FUND-RAISER: The International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 143-143B of Chicago Public School Engineers and Central Office Payroll- Financial Services announced their Annual Corned Beef and Cabbage dinner will be held Friday, Nov. 9, 2012 at 6 p.m. Plumber’s Hall, 1340 W. Washington Blvd., Chicago.
          DONATION/Tickets $50 each. Tickets must be purchased by Oct. 29, 2012. Tickets will not be sold at the door. No one under the age of 21 will be admitted. Tickets may be purchased from Chairman Richard Perez, Robert Caccioppo 773/534-4073, Bill Goebig 773/534-3448.