Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania

30 years isn’t too late to start

Spread the love

(This column was first published in The Regional News on Nov. 12, 2014.)

By Ray Hanania

It took 30 years, but I finally made it to the Regional News.

I’ve covered Chicagoland since 1975, but it was in 1985 when I ended my eight years at the Daily Southtown and almost started work at the Regional News.

I left the Southtown to become lead columnist for the Joliet Herald. I also spoke with Charles Richards about writing a column for the Regional, with Joliet Herald approval.

The Richards were excited and laid-out a front page announcing I had been hired. I worked closely with Virginia Richards to bring my column, “The Grapevine,” to a larger Chicagoland audience. But the best laid plans, as they say, went awry.

RayHanania

Ray Hanania

The City Council gave me an enthusiastic farewell, introduced by Chicago Ald. Edward M. Burke (14th Ward). A brilliant orator, Burke poked fun at me for getting under the skin of every mayor including Mike Bilandic, Jane Byrne and Harold Washington. Washington chided me, too

The meeting was the first for new Alderman Dorothy Tillman, a public housing activist. Tillman refused to remove her traditional large brimmed hat during the meeting causing a fight which made news. During the battle, Tillman gave me a rose from a dozen she received from supporters and my friend and mentor at the Chicago Sun-Times, Harry Golden Jr., mentioned it in his story.

That story and event prompted Chicago Sun-Times Editor Ken Towers to urge me to head up the newspaper’s new Page Ten column as the political writer. How could I refuse a salary that was double what the Herald and Regional News offered together at the time?

The Richards were gracious and understanding. Being a political writer for the Chicago Sun-Times was, back then, a big deal.

The Regional News is one of the best community newspapers serving the Southwest Suburbs. I am proud to bring my writing talent (four Lisagor Awards, one Sigma Delta Chi award, and other national awards), as well as my controversy (as editor Jeff Vorva so graciously noted last week).

Journalism ink is in my blood. After leaving the Sun-Times, I launched the Villager Newspapers in 1993. In 2004, I started writing for the Southwest News-Herald and recently for the Desplaines Valley News.

Here’s a salute to the Richards dynasty, and to all the community publishers I knew, including Bruce Sagan at the Southtown, Walter Lysen at the Messenger Press, Ed Vondrak at the Southwest News-Herald, too, and now, Mark Hornung.

I promise to continue fighting to give Chicagoland’s Southwest region the recognition it deserves.

THE GRAPEVINE: The fact that Congressman Bobby Rush doesn’t care about the west end of his district is a disgrace, which explains why he lost the suburban vote to his challenger Jimmy Lee Tillman, who deserved to win … Bruce Rauner’s victory over Gov. Pat Quinn, thanks to the swing votes of Reagan Democrats in the suburbs, sets up a certain battle in 2018 that will probably see Lisa Madigan finally step up to the plate … The big push in the Spring will be to oust Mayor Rahm Emanuel and replace him with someone who appreciates, not offends, Chicago’s diversity. Rumors abound that Liz Gorman will be given a Cabinet post in the Rauner Government for her support … So fun to watch the mainstream news media which shamefully slammed Rauner before the election now climbing over itself to curry his favor … Pause to thank our Veterans this week for their service to America.

(Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter and columnist. Reach him at rghanania@gmail.com.)

Local News

Two-time national wrestling champion Austin O'Connor, a St. Rita graduate, won his MMA debut on June 9 in Texas. North Carolina photo

Don’t sleep on grappling great | St. Rita grad Austin O’Connor starts MMA career with a win

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent The “Irish Nightmare” was not about to be put to sleep. Austin O’Connor, a four-time IHSA state wrestling champion during his years at St. Rita, made his professional MMA debut on June 9; and despite some pre-match taunting from opponent Camden Fontenot — who claimed he would put O’Connor…

Lyons Township Assessor Patrick Hynes at his office in Countryside. (Photo by Carol McGowan)

Lyons Township Assessor saves taxpayers big money

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Carol McGowan Property taxes. Just the mention of them can fire up a conversation quicker than you can start a nice one in a fire pit on a cool night. Many understand them, but some have no idea where their money is going. A lot of people think that the town, village…

reporter 2-2-24 oak lawn police logo

Oak Lawn police seize drugs, cash in raid on home

Spread the love

Spread the loveFrom staff reports Oak Lawn Police Department tactical detectives last week raided a home and recovered drugs and cash. At 8 a.m. on May 29, detectives executed a search warrant at 8825 S. Austin, assisted by the department’s Special Response Team. Detectives recovered more than 17 pounds of cannabis bagged for sale and…

Kathy Headley

Few cicadas to bug us in Chicago Lawn

Spread the love

Spread the love. Kathy Headley Your correspondent in Chicago Lawn and Marquette Manor 6610 S. Francisco • (773) 776-7778 . Well, it looks like we escaped the big cicada invasion in Chicago Lawn. I know enough folks in other areas that did not, and it was almost unbelievable to see them all on the trees…

GSWNH_BFEDMfinalshow_060724

Celebrating culture with smiles

Spread the love

Spread the love Four young dancers share smiles backstage at Hubbard High School last weekend, just before they performed onstage as part of the season-ending performance of Ballet Folklórico Estrella Del Mar. The West Lawn-based youth group celebrates traditional Mexican culture through song and dance. – Greater Southwest News-Herald photo by Kelly White

Mary Stanek

Today is a day to fly Old Glory

Spread the love

Spread the love. By Mary Stanek Your correspondent in Archer Heights and West Elsdon 3808 W. 57th Place •  (773) 517-7796 . Fly the American flag proudly on Flag Day—Friday, June 14. This holiday commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States. Happy Father’s Day to all the men in the community on…

Peggy Zabicki

School’s out, but learning is still in

Spread the love

Spread the love. By Peggy Zabicki Your correspondent in West Lawn 3633 W. 60th Place •  (773) 504-9327 . School is out for the summer, but this does not mean that our youngsters have been idle. The Los Youth Organization will be unveiling their mural located at the West Lawn Branch Library, 4020 W. 63rd…

Hills Chamber of Commerce members, Art Golden and Phyllis Majka on opening day of the Hills Farmers Market in 2023. (File photo)

Hills Farmers Market to open at 8 a.m. Friday

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Nuha Abdessalam The Hills Farmers Market is bringing more and offering unique experiences this year. The Hills Chamber of Commerce and the City of Hickory Hills have joined forces this year, pooling their resources and ideas to create an annual farmers market at 8653 W. 95th Street. The market will be held…

Owner Rosa Prieto prepares to cut the ribbon and is encouraged by co-owner and husband, Jaime Prieto, to her left, for the Healthy and Delicious Smoothie Spot grand opening in Oak Lawn on May 29. They are joined by Oak Lawn Chamber of Commerce members and in back (from left) Steve Loulousis, president of the Oak Lawn Parks Foundation; Mayor Terry Vorderer, and behind Rosa, Natasha Miller Williams, president of the chamber. (Photos by Joe Boyle)

Comings & Goings: New business offers fresh and healthy smoothies

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Joe Boyle Rosa Prieto had been considering opening a business that provides refreshing drinks and food but was waiting for the right time. For Rosa and her husband, Jaime Prieto, that time has arrived. The Healthy and Delicious Smoothie Spot, 10408 S. Cicero Ave., Oak Lawn, officially opened on March 10. Since…

Jennifer Doede

Stagg Athletic Director earns advanced certification 

Spread the love

Spread the loveFrom staff reports Amos Alonzo Stagg High School Athletic Director Jennifer Doede has been recognized by the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association as a Certified Master Athletic Administrator. To earn this distinction, Doede has demonstrated exemplary knowledge, contributions, and on-going professional development in the field of interscholastic athletic administration. The voluntary certification process…

Neighbors

Shepard basketball coach Corey Wolf draws up a play during the Astros game against Argo June 14 at the Stagg Shootout. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Corey Wolf ‘living the dream’ as new Shepard hoops coach

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent For Corey Wolf, obtaining the ultimate high school basketball prize started in the summer of 2007. Wolf was playing for a Richards team that had showed much promise, having gone 26-3 and winning a regional title the previous season. Then-Bulldogs coach John Chappetto let his players know when summer…

Mallory Swanson of the Chicago Red Stars had a goal and assist in a 2-2 draw with Kansas City. IMAGN photo

Staab header helps Red Stars forge draw with KC

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent Heading into the weekend, only Kansas City and Orlando were unbeaten among NWSL teams. The teams were tied atop the league standings, with each sporting 8-0-4 records. They now share another common denominator: Both have forged draws with the Red Stars. Red Stars defender Sam Stabb’s header in the…

NWSL ball

Red Stars unhappy with Riot Fest conflict

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent Among the bands that will headline the newly minted Riot Fest music festival are Chicago-area natives Fall Out Boy. The annual concert featuring an eclectic mix of musical acts will be held in Bridgeview Sept. 20-22 — and boy, oh boy, there is a lot of fallout from the…

Sandburg sophomore Daniel Morakinyo is looking forward to the 35-second shot clock, which will be used for the first time in Illinois high school basketball when he is a senior. Photo by Jeff Vorva

It’s about time | Illinois high school hoops gets 35-second shot clock beginning with 2026-27 season

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent Count Sandburg sophomore Daniel Morakinyo as someone who can’t wait for the 2026-2027 basketball season. The rising guard/forward will be a senior that year, and he will embrace the IHSA’s implementation of a 35-second shot clock for varsity boys and girls basketball. “It’s a good feature,” Morakinyo said after…

Mayor Terry Vorderer presents a plaque to Michael Reising for earning Eagle Scout recognition. The award was presented during the Oak Lawn Village Board meeting June 11 night. (Photo by Joe Boyle)

Oak Lawn police target drivers who ignore stop signs

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Joe Boyle Oak Lawn police are going to crack down on reckless drivers who repeatedly blow stop signs throughout the village. And police will begin enforcing those measures within the next two weeks. The subject was brought up during the Oak Lawn Village Board meeting June 11. Village Manager Tom Phelan said…

Student volunteers from Brother Rice, St. Rita and St. Laurence assist in the
burial of 160 indigents  last week at Mount Olivet Cemetery. (Photos by Nuha Abdessalam)

Volunteers from Brother Rice, St. Rita and St. Laurence help indigent on their final journey

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Nuha Abdessalam Father Larry Sullivan, a director of Catholic Cemeteries of the Archdiocese of Chicago and pastor of Christ the King Parish, joined County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and spoke words of love, respect, and God at the 35th annual committal service at Mount Olivet Cemetery. The service on June 6 at…

dvn 6-14-24 riot fest lineup

Riot Fest abandons Chicago park for SeatGeek Stadium

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Bob Bong Last year, Lyrical Lemonade moved its Summer Smash hip-hop music festival from Chicago’s Douglass Park to Bridgeview’s SeatGeek Stadium. Thousands of fans poured into the stadium at 7100 S. Harlem Ave. over the course of three days and, by most accounts, enjoyed the experience. Summer Smash returned to SeatGeek this…

Alyssa Blomberg of the group Ramzi and the Loafers, sings during a performance last year at Orland Park’s inaugural SummerFest. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)

Comings & Goings: Orland Park Summerfest returns this weekend

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Bob Bong Back for a second go round this weekend is the Orland Park Area Chamber of Commerce’s Summerfest. The event combines a carnival, live music, an array of dining options and a car show, at the 153rd Street Metra Station location in Orland Park and will run from Friday, June 14,…

dvn 6-13-24 township repair cafe for 6-15

Repair Cafe this Saturday at Township of Lyons HQ

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Steve Metsch Repair cafes have become quite the thing for the Township of Lyons. So much so that another repair cafe will be offered from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. this Saturday, June 15, at the township office, 6404 Joliet Road in Countryside. A repair café held in May was a smashing…

Father’s Day will be especially hard for Jonathan and Kayla, children of the late Arturo Cantu, one of his sisters said. (Supplied photo)

‘They didn’t have to kill my brother’ – sister of slain Bridgeview man

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Steve Metsch Arturo Cantu should be celebrating two big events this weekend. He would have celebrated his 40th birthday on June 14. And, a sister said, he would have enjoyed Father’s Day on Sunday, spending time with family and his two young children. Instead, 10 family members and friends gathered in a…