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
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
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.

          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.
  • 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.

          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.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Cristo Rey Students, Raul Aguirre Jr., Teresa Nieto, Fraternal Order of St. Francis Wildcats Banquet, Daniel Gutierrez, Condolences Miriam Cruz

Cristo Rey Jesuit High School sophomores [left to right] Maria Ocampo,
Sandra Marceleno, Kenia Marcias, Jennika Jimenez
Many students from the Cristo Rey Jesuit High School, 1852 W. 22nd Place, Chicago have been fulfilling their community service hours at the Little Village Community Council, 3610 W. 26th St., Chicago.

          EACH STUDENT must complete 20 hours of community service hours each year of high school. Over the past four years more than 250 students have been volunteering since their freshmen year at the Little Village Community Council.         
Left to right: Cristo Rey Jesuit H.S. Sophomores: Christopher
Hernandez, Carlos Hernandez, Abdon Solis and
Arthur Sandoval

           STUDENTS HELP with the variety of free services LVCC offers:  Saturday’s free food pantry, free clothing, free haircut and manicures, and the free health fair. They participate with community events: Voter registration; “Back to School” block party for elementary students by making and giving out free popcorn, soda, and hot dogs; Halloween candy distribution; and decorating the community council for the Christmas holiday season. When special occasions are over the students participate in street clean-up campaigns, computer, office and maintenance work. In the winter months they have shoveled snow for senior residents.
          ALL CRISTO REY Jesuit students do their service hours enthusiastically. “We like coming to the Little Village to help clean up the neighborhood,” said a student. The boys do the heavy lifting of boxes, tables, chairs, the popcorn machine and food boxes. “They are all good students and we appreciate their service in Little Village,” said August Sallas, President of LV Community Council.
          ALL THE students are proud to have a Jesuit in Pope Francis. “We are all excited about Pope Francis,” said Arthur Sandoval.
           CRISTO REY Jesuit High School principal is Patricia Garrity and student body of 550 students.

Raul Aguirre Jr.

        ENDORSED: Raul Aguirre Jr. is an endorsed Democratic candidate for Stickney Township Assessor. Aguirre was formerly an administrative assistant for Commissioner Larry Rogers, Jr. at the Cook County Board of Review. Based on his experience, Aguirre is well qualified to hold office as Stickney Township Assessor. He is a certified Illinois Assessing officer; State licensed Real Estate broker; former State Licensed Real Estate Appraiser. The Stickney Township Regular Democratic Organization’s Committeeman Michael Looney has endorsed Aguirre.
           AGUIRRE WAS the former Chairman of Burbank Zoning, Planning and Development Commission; graduate of the Realtors’ Institute, former Board of Review Administrative assistant.
           HE HAS HELPED taxpayers with commercial, industrial, mix use, apartment buildings, vacant land and single family residential homes; and conducted Tax Appeal seminars in Stickney Township. Cities in Stickney Township are 40% Latino.
           AGUIRRE proudly served in the United States Army with the 101st Airborne Division and awarded the Bronze Star while in Vietnam. Election is April 9, 2013. 
            FUNDRAISER: The Committee to Elect Raul Aguirre, Jr. and Latinos of Berwyn are hosting a fundraiser at Cicero Social Center, 6033 W. Roosevelt Road, Cicero from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. this Saturday, April 6, 2013. Donation: $25 per person. To contact Raul Aguirre, Jr. call 708/846-3300.          

Teresa Nieto
          SENIOR MEETING: Teresa Nieto, authorized agent, will host a meeting for seniors with both Medicare card “A” and “B” on Saturday, April 20, 2013. The meeting will start at 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Little Village Community Council, 3610 W. 26th St.  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. 

           MEDICARE "A" is for hospital cost and Medicare "B" is for visits to the doctor. Included in the program will be information on medicine cost. Seniors are encouraged to attend this workshop. Admission is free and refreshments will be served. Nieto may be reached at 847/967-7358 or at 773/558-9631 for more information. Or, Email: teresanieto41@yahoo.com 
           ST. FRANCIS Wildcats organization is celebrating their 75th Anniversary with their Annual Dinner Dance Scholarship and Award banquet, Saturday, April 13, 2013 at the Lexington House, 7717 W. 95th St., Hickory Hills, IL. Ticket cost: $65.00. 
          THE WILDCATS will be honoring their “Person of the Year”, Daniel Gutierrez. Gutierrez is the owner of the Restaurant Nuevo Leon in the Pilsen community for the past 51 years. Gutierrez graduated from Notre Dame Grammar School and graduated from Cathedral High School in 1965. 
          GUTIERREZ was drafted into the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War and stationed in Yuma, Arizona serving as a medic. In 1968, Danny married his high school sweetheart, Maria Aguirre. They are the parents of four children: Lety, Daniel Jr., Marissa and Cynthia. 
           DANIEL GUTIERREZ is being honored by the Wildcats as a family man, businessman and generous humanitarian.
 Miriam Cruz
          CONDOLENCES: Miriam Cruz, sister of Rev. Ruben Cruz, Becky, Noemi and Dorcas, died Tuesday, April 2, 2013 in Puerto Rico. Miriam was Assistant for Hispanic Affairs to Mayor Richard J. Daley. She was highly respected by the Latino community in Chicago.