Peggy Zabicki

Peggy Zabicki

Campaigns over, time to lead

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By Peggy Zabicki

Your correspondent in West Lawn

3633 W. 60th Place •  (773) 504-9327

Now that the aldermanic part of the city elections is over, it’s time for aldermen to let go of campaigning and get down to the business of being aldermen. We have all seen enough photo ops of politicians posing with policemen, with seniors at a bingo hall and at prayer vigils. It’s time to fulfill campaign promises and get back to work.

I get calls and texts every day from residents of the 13th and 23rd Wards. Lately, many readers of my column have asked about Ford City. One young gal even asked if it was still open. I told her it is still open.

I also shared a tip from my neighbor, Gladys. If you are shopping and want to bring your purchases to your car and then go back into the mall and continue shopping, you should get in your car and park in a different parking lot location. This is because many thieves will watch as you load up your car and walk back into the mall. Once they see you are inside the mall they will break into your car and steal your packages. If they are able, they will steal your car, too.

PeggyZabicki

Peggy Zabicki

Ford City is no longer a busy, store-filled shopping center. It is bleak and almost empty of both shoppers and stores. There are several places to eat. As one neighbor said, eating is the only thing to do in a dying mall.

Our neighborhood mall has been bought and sold several times by investors trying to make a success of it. The main reason for the failure is customer concern about crime. There have been shootings and robberies. This is an issue that local politicians should be involved with.

The next CAPS Beat 813/833 meeting will take place at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 28 at West Lawn Park, 4233 W. 65th St. This meeting will give all West Lawn residents as well as residents of other wards who shop at or used to shop at Ford City mall a chance to voice their concerns. I hope our local politicians will attend as well.

Neighborhood activist Eddie Guillen organized a West Lawn Park clean up a couple of weeks ago. Several residents joined him and worked hard to clean up the garbage in our park. Eddie will be doing clean-ups every Saturday in various neighborhood locations. He said, “I’m trying to make a difference.”

Thank you, Eddie, and all the volunteers. You are definitely making a difference.

As you read in last week’s edition of the Greater Southwest News-Herald, the old Kmart location at 71st and Pulaski, once considered for a possible housing site for newly arrived migrants, will not be used for that purpose.

I called State Rep. Guerrero-Cuellar’s office about this over a month ago because of all the calls I received from neighbors. I was told that someone would get back to me, but I never heard from anyone. My thanks to my neighbor, Dawn Ferrarini, who shared the news on her Facebook page.

In my opinion, a better location for housing immigrants would be an empty Chicago Public School building. There are a number of them just sitting unused. These buildings already have adequate plumbing, lots of individual rooms, industrial heating and air conditioning, gymnasiums and more.

I hope the old Kmart site can once again be a large retail or grocery store because of the tax revenue it would provide for our neighborhood.

The Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture, 6500 S. Pulaski, is an important place in our neighborhood. They offer arts and crafts classes, workshops, lectures and musical programs, in addition to the opportunity to see their extensive collection of artifacts and historical documents.

Balzekas Museum is also a great place to shop for gifts, jewelry and one of a kind items like their Grateful Dead 1996 Lithuanian Olympic basketball t-shirts. All sizes are available from small to 3XL. The museum is open every day until 4 p.m. Call them at 773-582-6500. You can also shop online at balzekasmuseum.myshopify.com.

Have you shopped recently at Tony’s Fresh Market, 7770 S. Cicero, Burbank? This grocery store continues to have the largest produce department imaginable. It is very top notch. Their deli and meat departments offer very nice, quality foods as well.

The store is open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Call them at 708-733-7337. Tony’s is accepting online job applications for general employment at this time.  Go tonysfreshmarket.com.

Thank you to all who texted and called this past week. I do love hearing from all my neighbors and friends.

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