Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Santa Claus, LVCC Toys for Tots, Marty Castro, Cristo Rey Helpers, Rotary Club of Little Village, Flu Shots, Feliz Navidad, Merry Christmas

          SANTA’S VISIT: Santa Claus made his way to the Little Village community Sunday, Dec. 15,
Santa Claus aka Tony Ayala
2013 to visit and give presents to more than 350 children. The holiday annual event was held at the Little Village Community Council office, 3610 W. 26th St. from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. LVCC adopted the Toys for Tots Chicagoland Motorcycle Clubs motto of “Every child deserves a toy at Christmas time.”
 
          SANTA GREETED everyone with a “Ho Ho Ho’; speaking to the children and parents in English and Spanish, and wishing them all a Feliz Navidad. Every child in the room was excited and happy to see Santa Claus. A four-year-old boy was so excited when he saw Santa he immediately raised his hand and shouted “Hi Santa! Hi Santa!” of course Santa, with a huge smile, said “Hello there!” Several parents took photographs of their child on top of Santa’s lap.
Anxiously wanting his gift.
August Sallas, Santa, Marty Castro
           THERE WERE only two small tots who cried when they saw Santa Claus. Christmas music played in the background; making the mood festive, while parents, with their children, waited patiently in line for their turn with Santa Claus. Everyone there felt special and knew there were plenty of presents for everyone. Santa gave presents to the parents of homebound handicapped children to take home and by 5 p.m. presents were unwrapped and enjoyed by the children of Little Village. 
Adrian Nevarez, 3; Santa, Licet Navarez 4
            
Santa's helpers Cristo Rey Jesuit students. 
          SANTA COULD
not have done it without his helpers, the wonderful students from Cristo Rey Jesuit High School. Special guest, Attorney Martin “Marty” Castro, and his family, wife Amalia Rioja and two sons Nez Castro-Rioja and Maximo Castro-Rioja came to LVCC’s toy-give-away with wrapped gifts for the children of Little Village. The two Castro boys even gave Santa a hand with passing out presents.
 
          TOY DONATIONS: Dean Sher, El Milagro Tortilleria, Toys for Tots Motorcycle Clubs, Uno Uno Uno Mexican Grill, Little Village Rotary Club and Attorney Martin Castro. 
L to R: Ernest Espinoza, Santa, Rosa E. Ibarra, Nilda Esparza
                   LV ROTARY CLUB: The Little Village Rotary Club held its’ First Seasonal Christmas Party this past Friday, Dec. 13, 2013. The event was held at La Justicia Restaurant, 3901 W. 26th St. Rotarians and their guests brought donated toys and then enjoyed a very entertaining and festive evening. Santa Claus made an appearance at the Rotary Club Christmas party and took time out of his busy schedule to visit with Rotarians. Jolly old St. Nick greeted everyone with his signature, “Ho Ho Ho” and took time to take photographs with everyone.  
          ROTARY CLUB President Rosa E. Ibarra introduced the Mistress of Ceremonies’, Honorary Member Nilda Esparza, who shared with guests the many accomplishments of the Rotary Club. The donated toys were given to the Little Village Community Council and LVCC President, August Sallas, thanked the Rotary Club officers and members for their toy contribution. The evening's entertainment was a performance by Matli Dance Academy, a dance group of young girls and the Dynamic a break-dancing group of teen-agers.   
          ROTARY OFFICERS are: President Rosa E. Ibarra, President-elect is Ernest Espinoza, Treasurer Manuel Martinez, Executive Secretary Sheila Ryan-Henry, Secretary Lydia E. Pecina, Sargeant at Arms Bonifacio Iniguez, Members are: Diane Casas, Dean Eberhardt, Guillermo Jimenez, Rick Guerrero, Juan Medonza Wheat, Eulalia Guzman, Roberto Paniagua, Manuel Medina Abundio Zaragoza, Anthony Peterson, Jaime Valdez, Gonzalo Gradilla, Francisco Barrera, Leonardo Rios, Miguel Jimenez, James N. Settles Sr. Rotarians motto is: "Service Above Self."
          
        Mario Lopez, Office Manager, for State Rep.
Silvana Tabares received his flu shot.
                                FLU VACCINES: Last Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013, fifty-four Little Village residents came to the Little Village Community Council for a free flu shot. Administering the flu vaccines were the staff members Begsa Calvache, Angela Rodriguez, Renata Costa, Concepcion Escobar, Celilia M. Aillon. of the Department of Public Health. Coordinator of the Flu Shot clinic was Melissa Ponce from Ever Thrive Illinois. "Everyone six months of age and older should get a flu shot every year. Go to your medical provider or call 311 for more information," said Melissa Ponce. For more info: Melissa Ponce mponce@everthrive.org

               
 FELIZ NAVIDAD
    MERRY CHRISTMAS 
TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY
M

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Christmas Gifts, Santa Claus, Christmas Donors, Chicagoland MotorcycleToys for Tots, Business of the Week, Manny Martinez, Rotary Club, Community Meetings

          CHRISTMAS PRESENTS: Santa Claus will be making a stop at the Little Village Community Council, 3610 W. 26th St., this Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. He will be GIVING toys to the children, ages 3 to 13, of Little Village. Parents must accompany their child in order for the child to receive a present. Photographs with Santa will be permitted, please bring your camera.
          APPRECIATION AND THANKS goes out to our Christmas present donors: Dean Sher, El Milagro Tortilleria, Toys for Tots Motorcycle Clubs, Uno Uno Uno Mexican Grill, Little Village Rotary Club and Attorney Martin Castro. The motto of the Toys for Tots Chicagoland Motorcycle Clubs is “Every child deserves a toy at Christmas time.”
          EVERY YEAR, on the first Sunday of December, the Chicagoland Motorcycle clubs sponsor a colorful Christmas parade. The parade starts at the Dan Ryan Woods, 87th St. & Western Ave., goes north and ends at the Lane Tech High School parking lot, Western
Meet the Chicagoland Toys for Tots Motorcycle Parade Board of Directors
Front Row, Left to Right: Parade Coordinator Joy Black, Treasurer Sandy Scheel, President Lester Fortier, Vice President Tom Dertz, Secretary Petty Estes. Standing, Left to Right: Sergeant at Arms Mike Miglieri, Product Coordinator Ray Miller, Northside Coordinator Maynard Marsh, By-Laws/Historian Joe Ziman.
and Belmont Ave. More than 20,000 motorcyclists dress-up their motorcycles with Christmas decorations and carry toys to the drop off point, the Lane Tech parking lot. At the parking lot the United States Marine Corps receives many of the toys. The motorcycle clubs donates toys to several non-profit organizations; every year the parade is a huge success. “It doesn’t matter how many bikers were in the parade. It's the thousands toys we collect for the kids,” said Robert “Cooch” Kuczera.
          SANTA’s HELPERS: a.k.a. the Cristo Rey Jesuit High School students helped wrap all the Christmas presents at the Little Village Council all day Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013.
           
Manuel Martinez
BUSINESS OF THE WEEK: Manuel Martinez, 50, is the owner and Funeral Director of Martinez Funeral, 2534 S. Pulaski Road, formerly Marik Funeral Home, in Little Village. Manny, called by his friends, has been a funeral director for twenty-five years and bought the funeral home in 2009. “I grew up in Little Village, attended Robert Burns Elementary School and attended Farragut High School for one year,” said Manny. He attended Christian School in Hammond, Ind. and graduated in 1981. Manny received an Associates of Science from Daley College and attended the Chicago Fire Dept. Paramedic Academy through the City Colleges of Chicago. He enrolled at Chicago State University and took classes in business and attended the Worshem College for Mortuary Science in DesPlaines, IL, graduating in 1989.  He has been a funeral director since 1989.
          MANNY WAS BORN in Rancho El Charco, GTO (Guanajuato, officially Free and Sovereign State of Guanajuato, is one of the 31 states which, with the Federal District, comprise the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico) is a small town with no running water or electricity in Guanajuato, Mexico. “At the age of 7, I heard and understood the concept of the American dream and I wanted it. I goal was to reach the American dream by graduating from High School, college, and one day own my own business,” said Manny. 
          AT THE YOUNG age of 10 years old, Manny was delivering the Little Village Community Reporter newspaper for a penny a paper. “I would get 200 papers and received $2.00, said Manny.  By 12-years-old Manny delivered the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper for $15 a week and saved the money he earned. To pay his way through college and for paramedic classes with the Chicago Fire Dept. for 2 ½ years, he did factory work.
           MANNY SAID, “I think I got my drive from my grandfather who was an outgoing, charismatic person who loved to socialize and worked hard. He would load up his three donkeys with vegetables [onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, and cabbage] and sell them, going from one village to the next. “For my grandfather, during those years there were no roads, he could only get around on foot or by donkey,” said Manny.   

   
      MANNY IS A MEMBER of the newly organized Little Village Rotary Club who held its’ Charter Night in July, 2013. The Rotary Club sponsors a garage sale, donated 5,000 dictionaries to children in the local schools, and hosted a Career Day with speakers who spoke with students at the UIC College Prep High School. The Rotary Club’s motto is “Service Above Self”
Rosa Ibarra
          THE ROTARY Club meets every second and fourth Wednesday of the month at 2nd Federal Savings, 26th & Pulaski Rd. [conference room] at 8:30 a.m. Rosa Ibarra is the President of the Little Village Rotary Club. Manny also works with the “Gift of Hope” to raise awareness for more Hispanics to become organ donors. For more information, call Manny Martinez at 773/521-3972.

    ATTEND LITTLE VILLAGE COMMUNITY                                                  MEETINGS
   BE INFORMED,  BE INVOLVED
                                                CALL 773/522-2552

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

LV Community Meeting, Ald. George Cardenas [12th Ward], Farragut ROTC Cadets, New Park in Little Village, Veterans Day, Benito Morales, Movie Trailer Cesar Chavez, Happy Thanksgiving

         
          COMMUNITY MEETING: The Little Village Community Council and the Helping Others Progress Economically (H.O.P.E.) organizations are hosting a Little Village community meeting. The meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, December 10, 2013 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Good Shepherd Church, 2735 S. Kolin Ave. for the purpose of hearing from Ald. Ricardo Munoz [22nd Ward].  Ald. Munoz has been invited to speak with residents and business owners on the housing project at 26th St. & Kostner Ave. Residents have several unanswered questions regarding the project in Little Village and it is our hope to get those questions answered. The residents of the Little Village community have a right to know what is happening in their Ward; and Ald. Munoz is obligated to share his ideas and plans with residents. Residents of Little Village mark your calendar and tell your neighbors.
           
Ald. George Cardenas [12th Ward] surrounded by ROTC
Cadets from Farragut Career Academy in Little Village
          FUND-RAISER:
Aldermen George Cardenas [12th Ward] held a fund-raiser at John Barleycorn Restaurant in downtown Chicago on Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013. Special guests were ROTC cadets from Farragut Career Academy, who recently won a contest on a good green environmental product. “We want these young students to understand the value of a good and safe environment,” said Ald. Cardenas. Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Gov. Pat Quinn were invited guests. The event was festive with plenty of food and refreshments. 
          NEW PARK:  Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Ald. George Cardenas held a “Groundbreaking” ceremony on Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013 for a new Little Village Park at 31st St. & Albany Ave.
          THE PARK, located on the east side of Little Village in the 12th Ward, features a baseball and soccer field, a skate park, a basketball court and other amenities.
          UNDER THE leadership of Ald. Cardenas and Little Village Environmental Justice Organization's former Executive Director Kimberly Wasserman, were instrumental in making the new park a reality in Little Village. Chicago Park District spokeswomen Michele Lemons said the plans were shaped after “extensive” outreach; and the community had already given the current plan its “stamp of approval.” 
         
Benito Morales, WWII Veteran
          VETERAN DAY: Members of the Manuel Perez Jr. American Legion Post 1017 held its annual Veteran’s Day ceremony Monday, Nov. 11, 2013 at the Manuel Perez Jr. Memorial Plaza, 26th St. & Kolin Ave. The rainy day didn’t stop the veterans or guests from paying homage to fallen comrades. Each year veterans gather to salute on 11-11-11 [November, the 11th month of the year; on the 11th Day of the month and at 11:00 o’clock a.m. on Veteran's  day] to face east, at attention, and salute while army taps are playing.
           POST COMMANDER Joe Ramirez made brief remarks and presented awards to special guests.  State Rep. Lisa Hernandez was the only public official at the ceremony. Recognition was given to Benito Morales, 90, an Army World War II veteran. After the ceremony the veterans and guests enjoyed tamales and refreshments at the America Legion Post Headquarters, 27th St. & Hamlin Ave.

Cesar E. Chavez




                                                          
          MOVIE TRAILER: Watch the Cesar Chavez; An American Hero movie trailer, scheduled to be released 2014, on YouTube. Actor Michael Pena, 37, portrays Cesar Chavez as an unrelenting union organizer for the farm workers. It was Chavez and Dolores Huerta’s leadership that organized the United Farm Workers Union of America. Actor Pena was born in Chicago and graduated from Hubbard High School. Pena’s father was from Villa Purificacion, Jalisco and his mother was from Charcas, San Luis Potosi, Mexico. I highly recommend seeing this movie next year. 


                            HAPPY THANKSGIVING DAY!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Secret Meetings, Public Housing Project, No Public Announcements, Mexican Neighborhood, Arch in Little Village



          SECRET MEETINGS: As President of the Little Village Community Council, I have been asked by many residents, homeowners and local business people in Little Village about a rumor. The rumor is that a public housing project is proposed on the northwest corner at 26th St. & Kostner Ave. in Little Village. The question is why hasn’t Alderman, Ricardo Munoz [22nd], informed the community?
          MY INITIAL RESPONSE was I have not been contacted by Ald. Munoz or anyone involved with this project. I am unaware of it and, more importantly, there have not been any public announcements about the project.
          AS OF THIS DATE, Alderman, Ricardo Munoz [22nd], has not held any public meetings to inform the community about this housing project proposal.
           WHAT I’ve heard is that meetings are being held in Little Village with a select group of people; and the owners of the property are Mercy Housing Inc., based in Denver, Colorado. Also, Linda Brace, Mercy Housing VP of Real Estate Development, has been meeting with members of Enlace, Erie House organizations and others. They are non-residents, non-homeowners and non-business people who are meeting with Brace to gain support for Mercy’s housing project.
          AGAIN, I emphasize, there has not been any public announcements about these meetings by Ald. Munoz, Mercy Housing, Enlace or Erie House; nothing in the Latino newspapers or media. The Little Village Community Council, LV 26TH St. Chamber of Commerce, Manuel Perez Jr. American Legion Post 1017, the Universidad Popular organizations have not been invited to participate in any of these discussions. The Little Village Environmental Justice Organization has expressed some concerns regarding asbestos in the old buildings located on 26th St. & Kostner Ave. property and contamination of the grounds. This location is considered a Brown field site and the correct clean-up is required.
          LIVING in Little Village are predominantly Mexicans. This is a fact, and it cannot be disputed. Little Village is the largest Mexican neighborhood in Chicago and in the Midwest. It is also a fact that Little Village has a viable commercial business strip down 26th Street. Thriving Mexican businesses stretch from Sacramento Ave. west to Kostner Ave. on 26th St. and overflowing onto surrounding streets. Mexicans have an entrepreneurial spirit. The concern of the residents and businesses is the preservation of our Mexican culture.
 
Historic Mexican Arch in Little Village
          ON WEDNESDAY, Nov. 6, 2013, Alderman Munoz was scheduled be at a Little Village Community Council meeting for the purpose of reporting the housing project to the residents. Munoz never made it to the meeting; a meeting he had committed himself to a week earlier. An hour before the meeting Munoz called me and said he might not be able to attend. He told me he was at an immigration rally downtown and would probably be arrested. I asked him if he was arrested, Munoz said, “Yes, but I will call you back within a half-hour”. He did not call back. Later I found out he was not arrested.
           THE 25 people who anxiously waited for Ald. Munoz at Wednesday’s evening meeting were Little Village residents, business owners, homeowners and others. They all wanted to hear about the Little Village housing project. Even without Munoz’s presence, people expressed their concerns about safety, property value, residency and crime. At the meeting, I read a letter I sent to Linda Brace informing her the position of LVCC; LVCC advocates home ownership.
           PRESENTLY, Little Village residents continue to be in the dark. I heard Ald. Munoz is saying that this issue is “political?!” In reality, this issue is about information and the lack of it. Every homeowner and every business owner in Little Village must always protect their property and investment                 POLITICALLY. As the Alderman, Munoz has an obligation to inform his constituency about this huge project. A project he proposed for the ward. He must not keep this project a secret, but be honest and tell Little Village residents everything he knows about it.
          THE LITTLE Village Community Council wants to host a Public Forum in order for Ald. Munoz to report on the housing project to all of the residents of Little Village. We await Munoz’s reply.

          TO contact Ald. Ricardo Munoz call 773/762-1771. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

AT&T, Hackers, Little Village Street Market: La Garra Sat., July 20th, Movie Review, Free Haircuts & Manicures

          BACK ON TRACK: I had to take a break from writing the Sallas’ Column because I was overwhelmed and exhausted with family obligations and community involvement. I’ve missed informing, educating and entertaining my readers.
          WORDS OF CAUTION. Never, ever give your password to anyone, this includes AT&T or Yahoo! Recently my computer was hacked into and the hackers took control of my emails. They sent out a false and disturbing email to all of my contacts. The email said I was in the Philippines, robbed, and lost all of my papers and I needed $1,200 to get back home. Luckily, several of my friends knew I was here in Chicago. Fortunately many of them called me immediately to tell me they believed my computer was hijacked.
          A WEEK BEFORE my contacts received this bogus email I received a notice from AT&T and Yahoo with a message requesting my email address confirmation and passwords. The notices were in a threatening “WARNING” message stating I would lose my email service if I did not “confirm” or “comply. Hackers are so clever because the message looked “official”. The message looked authentic and displayed the AT&T and Yahoo logos, color, and professional language. But it was bogus! I became a victim of a phishing scam. Phishing is the criminally fraudulent process of attempting to acquire sensitive information by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication.  Do not become a victim of phishing, if you receive a suspicious email, especially if your being asked for your password, birth date, or social security number, click “spam” on these bogus messages and your electronic carrier representative will investigate.
          I AM NOT happy with the internet service I’m receiving from AT&T. In trying to remedy the hacker situation I had to talk to AT&T representatives and technicians from Southeast Asia, Texas, California, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Florida.  Each of them put my on “hold” for several minutes only to transfer to another technician.  AT&T, from this experience, must be outsourcing technician service with foreign representatives. These representatives are hard to understand and the problem gets lost in translation. I was so frustrated that I finally requested to speak with only an American AT&T service representative. Unfortunately I lost two weeks of emails which can never be retrieved but this issue has been resolved and I am able to receive all my emails.

     LA GARRA: The 2nd Annual Street Market “LaGarra” of Little Village will be held on Saturday, July 20, 2013 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 26th St. to 25th St. & Central Park Avenue. Featuring clothing, household items, food, refreshments, pony rides and a horse for adults to have a photo opportunity. Sponsored by the Little Village Community Council. Wanted: Vendors, call 312/286-3405 for more information.

Fernando Morfin on his horse "Casanova"
                                                    MOVIE REVIEW: "The Lone Ranger" starring Johnny Depp as Tonto and Arnie Hammer as the Lone Ranger is a wild western thriller with lots of action packed scenes. Young kids will enjoy seeing this movie with an explosive ending. It's good entertainment. However, the movie is not receiving good reviews. I give it two stars.
           FREE HAIRCUTS: On Saturday, July 27, 2013, the students from America's Career Institute, Inc. will be giving free haircuts and manicures at the Little Village Community Council, 3610 W. 26th St. from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. No appointment necessary.


Thursday, May 9, 2013

Latino Stars, St. Xavier University, The Bronze Screen: 100 Years of the Latino Image in Hollywood", In Memory: Pastora San Juan Cafferty, Happy Mother's Day


                  LATINO STARS: Saint Xavier University, 3700 W. 103rd St., Latino/Latin American Studies Program featured a free screening Thursday, April 25, 2013 of the film, “The Bronze Screen: 100 Years of the Latino Image in Hollywood.”
  
          THE FILM “The Bronze Screen” is a documentary that examines, analyzes and critiques the portrayal of the Latino image in Hollywood in the past 100 years.  The film explores the silent movies to urban gang films stereotypes like the ‘Greaser’, the ‘Lazy Mexican’, the ‘Latin Lover’ and the ‘Dark Lady’. Silent movie clips are notorious for portraying Mexicans as banditos. The rare and extensive film footage traces the progression of these distorted screen images of Latinos all the way to the increased prominence of today’s dignified Latino actors, writer and directors.
          THE FEATURED INTERVIEWS and stories in the film detail the struggles of the Latino actors' quest for meaningful movie roles in Hollywood. All of the interviews with the Latino actors and actresses were interesting and revealing. Some Latina actresses had to change their name and the color of the hair to get movie roles.
          LATINO ACTORS featured:  Anthony Quinn, Rita Hayworth, Rita Moreno, Raquel Welch, Benicio Del Toro, Antonio Banderas, Desi Arnaz, Salma Hayek, John Leguizamo, Jennifer Lopez, Jimmy Smits, Raul Julia, Cesar Romero, Carmen Miranda, Dolores del Rio, Edward James Olmos, Lupe Velez, Ricardo Montalban, Jose Ferrer, Cheech Marin to name a few. 
              Cesar Ramero                             Carmen Miranda                     Delores del Rio 
          MOVIES WITH Latino actors: “Viva Zapata” [Anthony Quinn 1952], “The Wild Bunch” [Jaime Sanchez and Emilo Fernandez 1969], “Ben-Hur” [Ramon Novarro 1925], “The Mask of Zorro” [Antonio Banderas 2005], “America Me”  1992 and “Zoot Suit” 1981 Edward James Olmos, “Week-End in Havana” [Carmen Moranda 1941], “Selena” [Jennifer Lopez  1997], “Mexican    Spitfire” [Lupe Velez 1940] and more. After the showing of “The Bronze Screen”, the audience critiqued the movie.
Ricardo Montalban               Jose Ferrer               Cheech Marin
John Leguizamo      Jennifer Lopez    Jimmy Smits     Raul Julia
Anthony Quinn      Rita Hayworth       Rita Moreno     Raquel Welch
       
Benicio Del Toro Antonio Banderas      Desi Arnaz        Selma Hayek
          IN MEMORY: A friend, Pastora San Juan Cafferty, 72, died Tuesday, April 16, 2013 of
Pastora San Juan
Cafferty [1940-2013]
Hodgkin’s lymphoma. She grew up in Cienfuegos, Cuba and came to America with her parents before the revolution when she was just 8 years old. Pastora was a respected University of Chicago professor since 1971. She was widowed twice.

          I MET Pastora in Chicago’s political circles. In 1980, I coordinated an “Amigos for Daley” reception for Richard M. Daley, a candidate for Cook County State’s Attorney. At my invitation, she attended the reception held in Pilsen. She was very supportive of Daley. We discussed Hispanic politics in Chicago. She authored and edited many books on Hispanics. Adios, my friend.




             

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A Tribute To A Fallen Soldier: Street Dedication Omar E. Torres Way, Ald. Ariel Reboyras [30th Ward], Latin American Chamber of Commerce Breakfast Meeting, Boy Scout 306 Pancake Breakfast


         
PFC. Omar E. Torres
          A TRIBUTE TO A FALLEN SOLDIER:
On April 2, 2013 an Honorary street dedication was held at the 4600 block of South Keeler Avenue as the Omar E. Torres Way. U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski (IL-3) was joined by Chicago Ald. Ed Burke (14th), neighborhood leaders and the family of Private First Class Omar E. Torres. 

          ARMY Pfc. Omar E. Torres, 20, of Chicago died August 22, 2007. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas. Pvt. Torres was killed from wounds sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated hitting his unit during combat operations while patrolling Baghdad in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
          REP. LIPINSKI said “I am deeply honored to participate in dedicating the street where Pvt. Torres was raised and to see how much this means to his family, friends, and former neighbors”. “TORRES TRULY was a hero who made a difference in his community and continues to make an impact to this day. I will always remember the outpouring from the community at Omar’s wake at St. Richard. Now, when people see the signs for Omar E. Torres Way, they will be reminded of him, his bravery, and his selfless service to his country. We will never forget his sacrifice and we are forever indebted to him, as well as to all of the men and women who serve in our armed forces,” concluded Lipinski.
          TORRES grew up on the Keeler block and played football at De La Salle High School before earning a full scholarship to Ohio State University and joining the U.S. Army Reserves.  In 2007, Rep. Lipinski read a statement on the House floor honoring Torres for his accomplishments and sacrifice, noting his interest in politics and strong desire to work for positive change in his country. In addition to the street designation, the UNO charter school at 4248 W. 47th St. is named the PFC Omar E. Torres School. Children from the school attended the dedication ceremony and read poetry honoring Pvt. Torres.         
Ariel Reboyras
           30th WARD:  Ald. Ariel E. Reboyras was sworn in for the first term as Alderman of the 30th Ward on May 7, 2003. He is a native of New York City and at the age of twelve relocated with his parents to Chicago. While attending the University of Illinois at Chicago, Ariel majored in Education and was Co-Captain for the UIC “Flames” baseball team. He began his career as a teacher with Chicago Public Schools at Roberto Clemente High School. At Clemente, Ariel was an Assistant Coach for the sport of football and wrestling. Ending his tenure as a teacher, Ariel became a city worker.
          ARIEL BEGAN his career with the City of Chicago by driving a truck for the City, worked as an Equipment Dispatcher, headed up an Underground Storage Tank Remediation Program for Fleet Management, became an Equipment Coordinator for the Water Department, and assisted with design specifications for the Fleet Management Division. 
          RECOGNIZING his dedication to public service, he was promoted by Mayor Richard M. Daley to Deputy Commissioner for the Department of General Services.          
L. to R.: D. Lorenzo Padron, Chairman & CEO, Latin American Chamber
of Commerce; Ald. Reboyras, Marianne O'Brien Markowitz, Regional Administrator,
U.S. Small Business Administration and Bennett Santana, President of LACC at a
LACC Breakfast Meeting held Thursday, April 18, 2013. 
          ALDERMAN Ariel has volunteered his services to various parks and non-profit organizations, which includes little league baseball and youth football programs. He is also the co-founder of the Northwest Youth Basketball Association and the “Maraton San-Juan,” an 8K Road Race in collaboration with the Chicago Puerto Rican Parade. Ariel is a member of the Healthy Streets Campaign Drive, a member of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO), and serves on the Pace Citizen Advisory Board.

          ALD. REBOYRAS is a member of: Budget & Government Operations Committees, Rules & Ethics, Finance, Housing & Real Estate, Public Safety, Transportation, Vice-Chairman of Aviation, Vice-Chairman of License and Consumer Protection. Currently Reboyras is serving his third term as Alderman; having been an alderman since 2006. He is also the Democratic Committeeman of the 30th Ward.
Scout Alex Monarrez & Ricardo Leyte

     TROOP 306: The St. Agnes Church Boy Scout Troop 306 has ten members, starting from 11 years old up to 18 years old; and 25 Cub Scouts, 1st Grade to 5th Grade. The Boy Scouts sponsored a Pancake Breakfast fund-raiser Sunday, April 21, 2013 in St. Agnes’ Social Room in Little Village. More than 200 people attended the breakfast. 
Scouts Maximus Rodriguez, Donny
Simpson, Bryant Hernandez
TOM VLACH is Scout Master of Troop 306, Arlene Zriny is the Boy Scout Committee Member and Thomas P. Zriny is the District Boy Scout Commissioner and formerly the Scout Master of Troop 306. The Cub Scouts meet weekly, on Friday, at St. Agnes Church at 5 p.m. and the Boy Scouts meet at 7 p.m.http://action.ufw.org/page/o/3bed9c9e/1454faf3/47f928bf/2b475462/3992790149/open.gifTroop 306 has been in existence since 1938.

          THE SCOUTS sponsor two Pancake breakfast fund-raisers each year and a popcorn sale in the fall. Proceeds help pay for the scout’s summer camping trip. For more information on scouting call the St. Agnes Rectory at 773/522-0142.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Movie: "Cinco de Mayo--La Batalla", Gen. Ignacio Zaragoza, Pepe Vargas, Rafa Lara, Kimberly Wasserman, LVEJO, Kid's ID & Senior Medical ID's


         
General Ignacio Zaragoza and the battle of Cinco de Mayo
          LA BATALLA:
Excitement was in the air for the 450 attendees who came for the viewing of the historical epic “Cinco de Mayo-La Batalla” [May 5th-- The Battle]. The Opening Night Gala of 29th Chicago Latino Film Festival, a Tribute to Mexico, was Thursday, April 11, 2013
at the AMC Loews Theater downtown Chicago.
         
Pepe Vargas
THE INTERNATIONAL Latino Cultural Center of Chicago hosted the Latino Film Festival’s featured film, “Cinco de Mayo--La Batalla”. Before the movie was shown, Pepe Vargas, founder of the Latino Film Festival, took the stage and introduced the director of the film Rafa Lara who shared the inspiration behind his breathtaking historical epic. Afterwards Lara introduced Kuno Becker the actor who played Gen. Ignacio Zaragoza and J. C. Montes Roldan the French actor who portrayed the French General.  
          ON MAY 5th, 1862, a few thousand Mexican soldiers put their lives on the line against the world’s largest and most powerful army in one legendary battle for freedom for México. Cinco de Mayo: La Batalla chronicles the story of Mexico’s Battle of Puebla, the most important battle in Mexico’s history. When the unbeatable French army invades Mexico to set up a monarchy, General Ignacio Zaragoza must defend the city of Puebla, commanding a poorly armed and outnumbered troop of men.
         
Rafa Lara
THIS EPIC
movie depicts the celebration of a victory by an inexperienced Mexican army defeating Napoleon III’s invading French forces. In the movie, a young Mexican solider finds love in the chaos of war. The Cinco de Mayo battle scene in the movie lasted 25 minutes; a fierce and bloody battle. The bravery of the Mexican soldiers and peasants is pushed to the limit, fighting for their nation, their families and their pride. Cast: Kuno Becker, Angelica Aragon, William Miller, Liz Gallardo and Christian Vazquez.
          AFTER THE MOVIE, a reception was held at the River East Arts Center. Chicago Consul General of Mexico Eduardo Arnal Palomera and Alderman George Cardenas [12th Ward] were in attendance. Cardenas was the only elected Chicago official at the gala. I give "Cinco de Mayo – La Batalla" 3 stars.
          GOLDMAN PRIZE: Kimberly Wasserman, Executive Director of the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization [LVEJO], 2856 S. Millard Ave., Chicago is the recipient of the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize. It is for her leadership in protecting the environment in her neighborhood. 

Kimberly Wasserman
          KIM, the USA winner of the Goldman Environmental Prize is one of six international prize winners. The other 2013 prize recipients are from Colombia, Indonesia, Iraq, Italy and South Africa, for their achievements in marshland restoration, solid waste management, fighting fracking and marble mining.
          UNDER WASSERMAN’S leadership, LVEJO led local residents in a successful campaign to shut down two of the country’s oldest and dirtiest coal plants — and is now transforming Chicago’s old industrial sites into parks and multi-use spaces.
          EXECUTIVE Director Kim lives and works in the Little Village neighborhood of Chicago where she grew up. She became a community activist through the example of her parents who were involved in social activism and in the awareness of social justice issues. Kim loved spending time outdoors and witnessed the systematic destruction of the environment happening in and around the Pilsen and Little Village communities on the southwest side of Chicago. Destruction of the environment led her to a career in the environmental field.
          WASSERMAN began as a volunteer, then as a part time LVEJO organizer, and as a full time LVEJO coordinator before becoming the Executive Director. As Executive Director Wasserman is responsible for coordinating all LVEJO campaigns. Her three children are active members in the LVEJO organization, taking advantage of the flexibility of the organization and to allow and encourage parents to bring their children to work in organizing campaigns.
          KIM WASSERMAN has been able to empower community members. However, not all LVEJO campaigns have been as successful as she would have liked. She cites this as the most difficult aspect of her job.
          OUR CONGRATULATIONS TO KIM WASSERMAN AND LVEJO! 

          CITY SERVICE: City Clerk Susanna Mendoza’s staff will be doing free Kid’s ID and Senior Medical ID cards at the Little Village Community Council, 3610 W. 26th St., on Saturday, April 27, 2013 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. No appointment necessary.
            TROOP 306: St. Agnes Church Boy Scouts Troop 306 is sponsoring a Pancake Breakfast [Desayuno de panckakes] from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sunday, April 21, 2013 in the School Social Room, 2643 S. Central Park Ave. All the pancakes you can eat, includes sausage, juice, coffee or milk. Tickets are available at the door. Donation: $5.
         SUPPORT our scouts and help them go to Summer Camp in July 2013. Nuestros boy scouts estaran recaudando fondos para poder ir a su campamento de verano en julio de 2013. 






          

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

U.S. Sen. Richard J. Durbin, Cuba Embargo, City Clerk Susana Mendoza, Kids ID, Senior Medical ID Cards, Calendar of Events


         
U.S. Sen. Richard J. Durbin
          CUBA: While in Havana, Cuba this past January as a guest of the Lambda Alpha International organization, I sent both President Barack Obama and U.S. Senator Richard J. Durbin post cards from Havana, Cuba. Upon my return home I sent both letters expressing my opinion on America’s 51 year economic embargo against Cuba. The embargo just does not make sense and should be lifted; my trip to Cuba convinced me.

         
August Sallas "playing" the maracas with
 Cuban musicians at El Aljibe restaurant in Havana. 
          THE AVERAGE
Cuban struggles to make a living but their ingenuity in making a living impressed me.  Cubans, in native dress, were willing to pose for tourist taking photographs,  they sold paintings depicting old Chevy’s, and peddlers were everywhere selling trinkets, jewelry, cigars and street entertainers. Lifting the boycott would create a lot of jobs for Cubans, and Americans, especially in the tourist industry. Cuba is ten times bigger than Puerto Rico and a beautiful country to visit; I found Cuban’s friendly, courteous and helpful. 

          IF AMERICA TRADES and gives economic support to countries ruled by dictators like China, Vietnam and other foreign countries why do we continue to boycott Cuba? Canada, Japan, Russia, China all trade with Cuba; except America.  The Cuban people are the ones who suffer from the boycott. It’s time for America to lift the economic embargo against Cuba and embrace Cuba now! Cuba is a neighbor and only 90 miles from the coastline of Florida.           
          U.S. SENATOR DURBIN responded to my letter regarding America’s 51 years economic embargo against Cuba. He writes in his letter to me dated March 11, 2013: “I have strongly supported efforts to lift current restrictions on the sale of humanitarian goods to Cuba. We should not maintain policies that hurt the most vulnerable people in Cuba. Our disagreement is with Cuba’s dictatorship, not with the Cuban people, and their essential items should not be used as weapons in that struggle.
          WITH NEW leadership and a series of minor economic and political reforms, the Cuban people have an opportunity to envision a different future. Americans like you can encourage that thinking through our interactions with them.
          I WILL KEEP your views in mind when the Senate considers legislation about Cuba and continue to support a diplomatic approach to establishing stronger relationships and better understanding between the United States and Cuba.
          THANK YOU again for taking the time to contact me. Please feel free to stay in touch. 
          Sincerely, Richard J. Durbin/s/ United State Senator.”.... I will write President Obama and Sen. Durbin again.
Susana Mendoza
          CITY CLERK’S OFFICE: Office of the City Clerk Susana Mendoza has partnered with the Little Village Community Council, 3610 W. 26th St., Chicago to make available to residents FREE Kids ID Cards and Senior Medical ID cards. The event will be held on Saturday, April 27, 2013 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m  
          FOR KIDS ID CARD:
  • Applications will be available at the event.
  • The child’s digital fingerprint and picture will be taken.
  • Card will be available the same day.
FOR SENIOR MEDICAL ID CARD:
  • Applications will be available at the event.
  • ID Card includes emergency contact, medical condition and allergies, doctor’s contact information and any insurance provider details. 
  • Card will be available the same day. 
          NO APPOINTMENT NECESSARY. The event is bilingual. Doors will be opened at 9:00 a.m. 

   
Mayor Barrett Pedersen holds up a broom
 for a clean sweep in Franklin Park
           A VICTORY:
In the Village of Franklin Park Mayor Barrett Pedersen claimed: “It’s a clean sweep!” It was a victory for his re-election and all of his candidates: Tommy Thomson for Clerk, John Johnson, Andy Ybarra and Karen Special for Trustee. Trustee-elect Ybarra is the first Latino to hold public office in Franklin Park. The Village of Franklin Park has a population of 18,415 with a Latino population of 44%. The Election was April 9, 2013. Congrats to all.


CALENDAR OF EVENTS
          SATURDAY, April 13: St. Francis Order of Wildcats organization is celebrating their 75th Anniversary with its Annual Dinner Dance Scholarship and Award banquet, at the Lexington House, 7717 W. 95th St., Hickory Hills, IL. Ticket cost: $65.00.  For more info call Al Martinez 773/896-7733.
         SATURDAY, April 20: SENIOR MEETING: 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Little Village Community Council, 3610 W. 26th St.  Teresa Nieto, authorized agent, will host a meeting for seniors with both Medicare card “A” and “B”. Seniors will learn about the advantages of the medical and disabilities benefits. This workshop is for Seniors 65 or under 62 with disabilities, or low income who may qualify for assistance. For more info call Teresa Nieto 847/967-7358. 
         
          SUNDAY, May 5: AMVETS & MAVA will be celebrating their 21st Annual “Cinco de Mayo”. They will be hosting a fundraising banquet at the Polonia Banquet Hall, 4604 S. Archer Ave., Chicago from 5 .m. to 9:30 p.m. Donation: $30 per ticket. Cash bar. Reception at 5 p.m. – 6 p.m. Dinner 6:30 p.m. Music 7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. For tickets contact Commander Bill Luna 773/551-4750 Dr. Hector P. Garcia AMVETS Post 326 or the Mexican American Veteran Association [MAVA] Abundio Zaragoza 773/354-5275.