Peggy Zabicki

Peggy Zabicki

A bright community with a dark problem

Spread the love

By Peggy Zabicki

Your correspondent in West Lawn

3633 W. 60th Place •  (773) 504-9327

West Lawn is a great neighborhood. Now that everything is finally open once again, we can find a little something for everyone. There’s dining, shopping, convenient transportation, places to take your kids, places of worship and a great local library.

What keeps us from enjoying all that our neighborhood has to offer? There is a dark cloud that hangs over West Lawn and all of the South Side. The problem is a lack of our own personal safety. Often, we have to take precautions just to visit a neighbor.

PeggyZabicki

Peggy Zabicki

I was visiting my good friend, Jennifer, and her wonderful kids, Layla and Tommy. She lives only three blocks away. I love walking, yet I had to drive to her house because I feel unsafe in my own neighborhood.

Recently, I was driving home from Jennifer’s house. When I got to Pulaski, I saw the blue flashing lights of several police cars. There was a car crash at 63rd Street due to drag racers. The safety of innocent drivers and pedestrians was put at risk. The day before that I had to detour around a shooting that took place in West Lawn. I could easily list many more accidents and crimes like carjackings, assault and robberies.

What is the cause of the enormous increase in crime in what was once a very safe neighborhood? Matt Rosenberg–journalist, former Yellow Cab driver and resident of Chicago for more than 30 years–has a lot to say about it. “It’s time to stop making excuses,” he said.

Rosenberg interviewed 15th Ward Ald. Raymond Lopez, who said, “The borderline collapse of the family unit in many of our neighborhoods” and the effects of “generational gang life” are the roots of the problem. Criminals and lawbreakers don’t seem to have any sense of right or wrong.

Our political leaders need to stop walking on eggshells. They need to work with the police and not against them. We need to stop releasing criminals charged with violent crimes, only to commit more crimes against residents who only want to live safely and enjoy what our neighborhood has to offer.

In my very first column I said that West Lawn is a hidden treasure. It still can be.

I’m thankful for the West Lawn Neighborhood Watch group. They still drive and walk around West Lawn every day, watching for crime and helping people.

There is no CAPS meeting scheduled for Beat 823 this month, but there is one scheduled for Beats 813 and 833 at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 26. You can register for this online meeting by emailing Barb Zieglar at b.g.zieglar@comcast.net.

Envision Community Services, 4324 W. 63rd St., is a positive light in our community. Their goal is to create a safe environment by reaching out to all residents and encouraging them to become involved in our neighborhood.

Envision recently held their first market day. They had 40 vendors selling their homemade crafts, jewelry, baked goods and much more. Market day is now going to be a regular event on the first Saturday of every month. The next one is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, May 7 at St. Mary Star of the Sea Parish Center, 4620 W. 63rd St. If you are a vender and would like to participate, send an email to jennifer@envisions.org.

St. Mary Star of the Sea is having their annual spring plant sale from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, May 6 at the rectory garage, 6435 S. Kilbourn. There will be lots of flowers and veggies for sale at very reasonable prices. Pre-orders are encouraged but not required. Call Barb at (708) 269-8833 for more information.

Midway Baseball and Softball Association will be starting their 2022 season on Saturday, April 30. Their games are played at Madigan Park, 4701 W. Marquette Road. There are still a few openings for 7- and 8-year-olds.

Call Elsa at (773) 575-9361 for more information on the teams and the summer schedule. You can also send Midway Baseball an email at midwaybaseballsoftball@gmail.com.

I hope to attend a game or two this summer. Madigan Park is really terrific. The field is nicely maintained, and there’s plenty of room to sit at the bleachers. The ball games are free to attend, and there are tasty snacks for sale at their refreshment stand.

Finally, I’d like to wish a very happy birthday to my dear neighbor, Gladys. You are a bright and shining light in West Lawn, Gladys. I hope your birthday is filled with fun!

Local News

Richards’ A.J. Plawecki leaps into setting the ball during a match against Brother Rice at the Crusaders’ Smack Attack tournament held April 19-20. Photo by Xavier Sanchez

Boys Volleyball | Richards weathering struggles after run of success

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Xavier Sanchez Correspondent After a tough weekend at the Smack Attack tournament, Richards got back into the win column with a two-set victory over Eisenhower in a South Suburban Red match. The Bulldogs made quick work of the Cardinals, winning 25-16, 25-15 on April 23 in Oak Lawn to snap a five-match…

Evergreen Park’s Patrick Maroney blocks a kill attempt during a match against T.F. United on April 18. Photo by Xavier Sanchez

Year of growth | Evergreen Park enjoying inaugural boys volleyball season

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Xavier Sanchez Correspondent After almost 70 years of existence as a high school, Evergreen Park finally has a boys volleyball team. The Mustangs are playing their inaugural season with a junior varsity squad, with some matches being played at the varsity level. Head coach Brian Zofkie is leading this group with assistant…

GSWNH_SnellingPressConf_042624

‘Brazen and cowardly’: Police, community outraged by officer’s slaying

Spread the love

Spread the love.  By Tim Hadac Police and others across the Southwest Side reacted with outrage this week over the slaying of a Chicago Police officer in the early morning hours on Sunday. Officer Luis M. Huesca was shot to death on the street in the 3100 block of West 56th Street at 2:53 a.m.…

Brother Rice junior Gavin Arnold forces the ball over the net during a match against Richards on April 19. Photo by Xavier Sanchez

Boys Volleyball | Brother Rice falls to Glenbard West and York, takes 4th at Smack Attack

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Xavier Sanchez Correspondent It was a busy weekend in the area for boys volleyball as Brother Rice hosted its 14th annual Smack Attack tournament. The 24-team event played April 19-20 featured area teams Brother Rice, Marist and Richards, along with defending Class 4A champion Glenbard West and two highly rated teams from…

Swanson scores, assists in Red Stars’ win over Reign

Spread the love

Spread the loveThe Red Stars improved to 3-1-1 by beating the Seattle Reign, 2-1, on the road on April 21. Mallory Swanson had an assist on an Ali Schlegel goal in the fourth minute and added a goal of her own in the 31st minute. Swanson missed last season after sustaining a knee injury on…

Tatumn Milazzo, shown at media day before the season started, was amused by winning a Save of the Week award. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Red Stars’ Tatumn Milazzo has top Save of the Week

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent Tatumn Milazzo called her achievement “funny.” The Chicago Red Stars defender and Orland Park native was awarded the NWSL’s Save of the Week after chasing down a ball in a loss to Angel City on April 13. The Save of the Week usually goes to a goalie. Milazzo laughed…

A lone white volleyball sitting on a wooden floor

Men’s College Volleyball | Saint Xavier captures fifth straight conference tourney title

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent The SXU men’s volleyball team won its fifth straight Chicagoland Christian Athletic Conference tournament championship after a 25-16, 25-17, 25-22 sweep of Calumet College of St. Joseph on April 20 at the Shannon Center. Jan Lopuch had 10 kills and nine digs for the Cougars. With the win, the…

Baseball in a mitt with a black bat low angle selective focus view on a baseball field

College Baseball | Saint Xavier upsets Eastern Illinois

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent The Saint Xavier baseball team picked up a win that its players are going to remember for a long time. The Cougars stunned Eastern Illinois, 4-2, on April 17 in Charleston. It was the Cougars’ first win over the Panthers, a Division I program, since 2005. Lyons grad Troy…

A lone white volleyball sitting on a wooden floor

Boys Volleyball | Glenbard West tops Marist to stay unbeaten

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent The Marist boys volleyball team, ranked fifth in the nation by USA Today/American Volleyball Coaches, lost to Glenbard West, 25-23, 25-21, in the championship match at the Brother Rice Smack Attack on April 20 in Chicago. Glenbard West (19-0) is the two-time defending state champion and is ranked third…

Alliyah Flores and her St. Laurence teammates earned academic honors by the IBCA. Photo by Jeff Vorva

St. Laurence hoops teams top honor roll

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent Area basketball teams proved to be strong on the court and in the classroom this season, and St. Laurence was the leader of the pack. The Illinois Basketball Coaches Association compiled a list of the top academic teams, and the area did well. In Division 3 girls, St. Laurence…

Neighbors

Bears pitch $3.2B stadium plan, but Pritzker still ‘skeptical’ despite team’s $2B pledge

Bears pitch $3.2B stadium plan, but Pritzker still ‘skeptical’ despite team’s $2B pledge

By DILPREET RAJU & JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois news@capitolnewsillinois.com The Chicago Bears laid out a $3.2 billion plan for a new domed stadium on Chicago’s lakefront on Wednesday afternoon, painting pictures of future Super Bowls and other major public events while pinning their hopes on yet-to-be-had conversations with the governor and lawmakers.  The Bears…

Regulators weigh future of gas industry in Illinois, while clamping down on Chicago utility

Regulators weigh future of gas industry in Illinois, while clamping down on Chicago utility

By ANDREW ADAMS Capitol News Illinois aadams@capitolnewsillinois.com CHICAGO – Natural gas is fueling a fight between consumer advocates, a powerful utility company and the state. Amid competing advertising campaigns, accusations of mismanagement and state decarbonization efforts, the Illinois Commerce Commission is starting a process that will shape how the state regulates the increasingly controversial industry. …

Komatsu mining truck named 2024 ‘coolest thing made in Illinois’

Komatsu mining truck named 2024 ‘coolest thing made in Illinois’

By COLE LONGCOR Capitol News Illinois Clongcor@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – A mining truck manufactured by Komatsu was crowned the winner of the 2024 “Makers Madness” contest, earning the title of “the coolest thing made in Illinois” at the Governor’s Mansion Wednesday.  The truck was one of more than 200 entries in the 5th annual contest hosted…

Giannoulias calls for disclosure of lobbyist contracts

Giannoulias calls for disclosure of lobbyist contracts

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois phancock@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – For decades, lobbyists in the Illinois Statehouse have been required to report how much they spend wining, dining and entertaining lawmakers. Currently, though, there is no law requiring lobbyists to disclose how much they are paid by corporations, industry groups or other special interest organizations. That…

Illinois Senate advances changes to state’s biometric privacy law after business groups split

Illinois Senate advances changes to state’s biometric privacy law after business groups split

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois hmeisel@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – It’s been more than a year since the Illinois Supreme Court “respectfully suggest(ed)” state lawmakers clarify a law that’s led to several multi-million-dollar settlements with tech companies over the collection of Illinoisans’ biometric data. On Thursday, a bipartisan majority in the Illinois Senate did just that,…

Illinoisans can now get documents notarized online

Illinoisans can now get documents notarized online

By ALEX ABBEDUTO   Capitol News Illinois  abbeduto@capitolnewsillinois.com  Illinoisans who need a notary public can now access those services online through a new “E-Notary” portal launched by the secretary of state’s office. This process is one of the latest initiatives of Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias’ ongoing effort to modernize the office and its services.  Notaries…

Prairie Band Potawatomi becomes 1st federally recognized tribe in Illinois

Prairie Band Potawatomi becomes 1st federally recognized tribe in Illinois

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois hmeisel@capitolnewsillinois.com Nearly 200 years after Native Americans were forced out of Illinois, the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation has become the first federally recognized tribal nation in the state after a decision from the U.S. Department of the Interior last week. The move represents the first victory in the tribe’s…

Remembering Lee Milner

Remembering Lee Milner

NEWS TEAM Capitol News Illinois news@capitolnewsillinois.com On Wednesday, April 17, the Springfield, Illinois Capitol and journalism communities lost a devoted friend and advocate when Lee Milner passed away. As Dean Olsen wrote in his piece in the Illinois Times earlier this month, “Readers of Illinois Times often have seen Milner’s work as a freelance photojournalist. But…

Capitol Briefs: Expansion of postpartum coverage, ban on kangaroos among hundreds of measures to pass House

Capitol Briefs: Expansion of postpartum coverage, ban on kangaroos among hundreds of measures to pass House

By ALEX ABBEDUTO & COLE LONGCOR Capitol News Illinois news@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – Illinois kangaroo owners are one step closer to being forced to surrender their marsupials this week after the House passed a bill criminalizing their possession. That was one of more than 300 bills to pass the House ahead of a Friday procedural deadline.…

Pritzker says state ‘obviously’ needs to change 2010 law that shrunk pension benefits

Pritzker says state ‘obviously’ needs to change 2010 law that shrunk pension benefits

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois hmeisel@capitolnewsillinois.com With a month-and-a-half left in the General Assembly’s spring session, Gov. JB Pritzker’s administration is readying its proposal to address Illinois’ chronically underfunded pension system. But the governor this week also acknowledged in the strongest terms yet that any plans to finally get the state on track toward…