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7 Wonders of The Southwest Region

It was satisfying to see so many people respond to last week’s column defending Midway Airport and the often-ignored assets we have right under our noses.

It’s a disturbing problem. Midway is taken for granted and the great things we have, like Toyota Park, are often ignored or slammed by outsiders who want to see our Southwestland Region undermined.

Here are some of the dozens of emails I received. {{more}}

RAYÉ My mom and dad were born in Chicago ended up in Rockford in 1940 and became the proud parents of five kids of which I am the youngest. I have the most wonderful memories of riding along with a driver in the late ’50s and early ’60s taking my parents to Midway from Rockford to catch a flight.

I believe Chicago has in place a great air system with O’Hare as the main airport surrounded by Midway, Milwaukee and of Course The Chicago Rockford International Airport (RFD) which is one of the state’s greatest and most underutilized assets. Passenger traffic continues to grow at the rate of 12 percent to 15 percent annually at RFD. The FAA has just approved funds for a terminal expansion which isn’t happening in a lot of places in the U.S. I’m a Rockford South Sider by birth and a White Sox fan by baptism. I really enjoyed and agreed with your column. Best, MD, ROCKFORD

RAYÉ Thanks for the column every week. We enjoy it. Until the people of the Southwest Side start caring about themselves, that’s when outsiders will start thinking about our interests. Right now, no one cares about us because our neighborhoods and leadership are dysfunctional and apathetic. No one cares. Mike P. Oak Lawn

MR. HANANIAÉ I have been reading your columns since City Hall and Jane Byrne. You touched on an important topic. It’s not just about Midway but about the Southwest Side and suburbs. No one champions our rights. A.C. Chicago

RAYÉ When are you going to be back on Radio? R.J. Bridgeview

RAYÉ With all due respect, The only wonder with (Toyota) park is why É the park has never made a profit nor come close. It is a drain on the residents to pay off the big outstanding loans by increasing taxes while the politically connected feed at the trough. Some wonder. Report the facts, don’t be a cheerleader. Have a great day! Randy

RAYÉ1st – I think you are a terrific writer and I’ve enjoyed your honest if not aggressive editorials. Thank you. I saw your article on 8/16 re: ‘Midway Airport Is not Given Its Due’ and I couldn’t agree more! In that article you asked for ideas/thoughts on the ‘7-wonders’ of the Southwest side; Only problem, I couldn’t stop at 7!

Here are my thoughts:

1. Chicago Midway Airport (note: Midway is sponsoring a 5K run on the airfield Sept. 15)

2. Chicago Portage National Historic site (a little Joliet and Marquette history)

3. Site of the Òoriginal” Argonne National Laboratory, Red Gate Woods (glowing historical site)

4. FOOD: Weber Bakery, 3-Sons, Patio Ribs, El Faro Burritos (ha ha), real Chicago style pizza, and many more (more than 7))

5. Manufacturing Ñ birthplace of the Tucker, WW II aircraft engines, Dodge, more

6. Resurrection Cemetery/Resurrection Mary

7. Miami Bowl

Honorable mentions: Archer Avenue; Marquette Park; Fleetwood Roller Rink; I&M Canal; Deep Tunnel Pumping Station; MWRD Stickney Sanitary District/Sewage Treatment (largest in the world). Thanks G.P.

(Ray Hanania is an award winning columnist. You may reach him at http://www.TheMediaOasis.com and follow him on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/RayHanania.)

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