SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Protesters want Chicago Ridge AWL shelter board members removed

By Dermot Connolly

Activists unsatisfied with the removal of the executive director blamed for problems at the Animal Welfare League shelter in Chicago Ridge have held two protests over the past week seeking the removal of the entire board of directors.

A grassroots organization called Reform AWL Chicago Ridge held one protest and march outside the shelter at 10305 Southwest Highway on July 17. Another one was scheduled for last night (Wednesday, July 25). The one yesterday was billed on the group’s Facebook page as the “6-Month Reform-iversary,” marking the exact date in January that the generally peaceful protests began.

An outbreak of canine flu in December, which led to a months-long suspension of animal adoptions and surrenders at the shelter, was the impetus for the original protests. A total of 12 or 13 protests have been held since January, typically attended by about 100 people each time.

The animal rights activists, including many former employees and volunteers, said the flu outbreak was just a symptom of larger problems at the shelter, which they blamed on longtime executive director and president Linda Estrada. The shelter serves 54 communities and houses hundreds of dogs, cats and other animals, but Estrada was accused of running it badly, housing animals in unclean conditions, threatening staff and providing substandard medical care to animals, causing the deaths of many.

The Illinois Department of Agriculture oversees shelters, and Estrada always maintained that the shelter passed its inspections. But when the issue came to a head and Chicago Ridge officials conducted their own inspections. Trustee Ed Kowalski said many problems were found and blamed the Department of Agriculture for not catching them.

In a statement issued May 2, around the time the quarantine was lifted, the board of directors said, “Linda Estrada is no longer employed “with the Animal Welfare League, effective immediately.” Diane Spyrka, manager of the Animal Welfare League’s other location, at 6224 S. Wabash Ave., in Chicago, was appointed to replace her as interim executive director of the Chicago Ridge facility.

The board said “additional steps to move the Animal Welfare League forward” were planned, and many observers assumed that everything was getting back to normal.

But the activists assert that problems remain at the shelter, and the entire board of directors must go. That would include president Chris Higens; vice president Emily Raimondo; treasurer Michael Byrnes; secretary Mary Jo Muse; and members
Christine Bennett, Kristine Christensen, Dr. Lloyd Blakeman and Gail Kinzie.

Attempts to reach Higens and a representative of the activists were unsuccessful this week.

Local News

Orland Township hosted its 10th annual Pet-Palooza on September 24 on the Orland Township grounds, 14807 S. Ravinia Ave., Orland Park. (Photos by Kelly White)

Orland Township’s Pet-Palooza caters to our furry friends

By Kelly White Pet owners united at Orland Township’s Pet-Palooza. The township hosted the 10th annual event on Saturday, September 24, on the Orland Township grounds, 14807 S. Ravinia Ave., Orland Park. With plenty of local vendors, residents were invited out to a day of family friendly, fun-filled activities. Pet-Palooza featured more than 60 local…

Worth Mayor Mary Werner and Worth Police Chief Tim Denton expressed concerns over the impending no-cash bail provision of the SAFE-T Act. (File photo)

Some Worth officials are concerned about SAFE-T Act

By Joe Boyle A controversial criminal justice law that goes into effect on Jan. 1 has some Worth public officials apprehensive and believe it will actually cause an increase in crime. Worth resident Jack McGrath said that varying opinions about the Illinois Safety, Accountability, Fairness and Equity-Today Act, or the SAFE-T Act, have arrived in mailings at…

up in smoke license

Worth revokes second business license for selling illegal cigarettes

By Joe Boyle For the second time in less than a month, the Worth Village Board has voted to revoke the license of a business in which illegal cigarettes were being sold. The board accepted the recommendation of the Worth Police Department, which called for the license of Blowing Smoke II Inc., which did business as Up in Smoke, 11015 S. Harlem Ave., to be revoked.…

Pizza Castle will be moving from its longtime home in Chicago's Gage Park neighborhood to new digs in Hickory Hills.

Pizza Castle moving from Gage Park to Hickory Hills

By Bob Bong Pizza Castle has had a long run at its Gage Park neighborhood home on the Southwest Side. But after almost 50 years, the Jensen family is pulling up the roots on the family business and moving to the suburbs. The pizzeria, which was founded in 1973, will be moving to 7737 W.…

market by macy's logo

Macy’s grand opening Friday in Evergreen Park

By Bob Bong The new Market by Macy’s and Macy’s Backstage stores will hold their grand openings this weekend at Evergreen Plaza in Evergreen Park. The new stores will open in the former Carson’s at 9700 S. Western Ave. Market by Macy’s will occupy the first floor and Macy’s Backstage outlet store will take over…

Palos Heights Alderman Michael McGrogan said Tuesday that the council should come up with a solution to the proposed parking lot controversy that would satisfy businesses and residents. (Photo by Jeff Vorva )

Parking lot nixed in Palos Heights but issue not dead yet

By Jeff Vorva The controversial parking lot proposal in Palos Heights was not approved Tuesday night but the issue is not dead. The city council needed a super-majority 6-2 vote for a zoning change from residential to business and granting a special-use permit for a municipal parking lot at 12303 S. 71st Court in the…

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Clear-Ridge Reporter and NewsHound October 5, 2022

Peggy Zabicki

Senior Center has re-opened

By Peggy Zabicki Your correspondent in West Lawn 3633 W. 60th Place • (773) 504-9327 I hope everyone has been able to enjoy the beautiful autumn weather we’ve been blessed with. I visited the Southwest Regional Senior Center, 6117 S. Kedzie, recently. They are open once again, and everything looks very nice. New floors were installed and there are freshly painted…

Mary Stanek

Tabares’ shred day was a fun event

By Mary Stanek Your correspondent in Archer Heights and West Elsdon 3808 W. 57th Place • (773) 284-7394 Happy National Pizza Month! Don’t we live in a great neighborhood for pizza? There are so many pizza parlors to choose from. There are the big chains and the mom-and-pop establishments. I volunteered on last week at…

Kathy Headley

Kids visit gas station with a purpose

By Kathy Headley Your correspondent in Chicago Lawn and Marquette Manor 6610 S. Francisco • (773) 776-7778 Last Thursday, third graders from McKay School visited the new Roux Gas Station at 7051 S. Western. The station was recently built on the vacant lot where Napleton Buick and its predecessor, Van Male Buick, once stood. Now…

Neighbors

DVN JCs Restoration House Ad
Orland Township hosted its 10th annual Pet-Palooza on September 24 on the Orland Township grounds, 14807 S. Ravinia Ave., Orland Park. (Photos by Kelly White)

Orland Township’s Pet-Palooza caters to our furry friends

By Kelly White Pet owners united at Orland Township’s Pet-Palooza. The township hosted the 10th annual event on Saturday, September 24, on the Orland Township grounds, 14807 S. Ravinia Ave., Orland Park. With plenty of local vendors, residents were invited out to a day of family friendly, fun-filled activities. Pet-Palooza featured more than 60 local…

Worth Mayor Mary Werner and Worth Police Chief Tim Denton expressed concerns over the impending no-cash bail provision of the SAFE-T Act. (File photo)

Some Worth officials are concerned about SAFE-T Act

By Joe Boyle A controversial criminal justice law that goes into effect on Jan. 1 has some Worth public officials apprehensive and believe it will actually cause an increase in crime. Worth resident Jack McGrath said that varying opinions about the Illinois Safety, Accountability, Fairness and Equity-Today Act, or the SAFE-T Act, have arrived in mailings at…

up in smoke license

Worth revokes second business license for selling illegal cigarettes

By Joe Boyle For the second time in less than a month, the Worth Village Board has voted to revoke the license of a business in which illegal cigarettes were being sold. The board accepted the recommendation of the Worth Police Department, which called for the license of Blowing Smoke II Inc., which did business as Up in Smoke, 11015 S. Harlem Ave., to be revoked.…

Pizza Castle will be moving from its longtime home in Chicago's Gage Park neighborhood to new digs in Hickory Hills.

Pizza Castle moving from Gage Park to Hickory Hills

By Bob Bong Pizza Castle has had a long run at its Gage Park neighborhood home on the Southwest Side. But after almost 50 years, the Jensen family is pulling up the roots on the family business and moving to the suburbs. The pizzeria, which was founded in 1973, will be moving to 7737 W.…

market by macy's logo

Macy’s grand opening Friday in Evergreen Park

By Bob Bong The new Market by Macy’s and Macy’s Backstage stores will hold their grand openings this weekend at Evergreen Plaza in Evergreen Park. The new stores will open in the former Carson’s at 9700 S. Western Ave. Market by Macy’s will occupy the first floor and Macy’s Backstage outlet store will take over…

Palos Heights Alderman Michael McGrogan said Tuesday that the council should come up with a solution to the proposed parking lot controversy that would satisfy businesses and residents. (Photo by Jeff Vorva )

Parking lot nixed in Palos Heights but issue not dead yet

By Jeff Vorva The controversial parking lot proposal in Palos Heights was not approved Tuesday night but the issue is not dead. The city council needed a super-majority 6-2 vote for a zoning change from residential to business and granting a special-use permit for a municipal parking lot at 12303 S. 71st Court in the…

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Clear-Ridge Reporter and NewsHound October 5, 2022

Peggy Zabicki

Senior Center has re-opened

By Peggy Zabicki Your correspondent in West Lawn 3633 W. 60th Place • (773) 504-9327 I hope everyone has been able to enjoy the beautiful autumn weather we’ve been blessed with. I visited the Southwest Regional Senior Center, 6117 S. Kedzie, recently. They are open once again, and everything looks very nice. New floors were installed and there are freshly painted…

Mary Stanek

Tabares’ shred day was a fun event

By Mary Stanek Your correspondent in Archer Heights and West Elsdon 3808 W. 57th Place • (773) 284-7394 Happy National Pizza Month! Don’t we live in a great neighborhood for pizza? There are so many pizza parlors to choose from. There are the big chains and the mom-and-pop establishments. I volunteered on last week at…

Kathy Headley

Kids visit gas station with a purpose

By Kathy Headley Your correspondent in Chicago Lawn and Marquette Manor 6610 S. Francisco • (773) 776-7778 Last Thursday, third graders from McKay School visited the new Roux Gas Station at 7051 S. Western. The station was recently built on the vacant lot where Napleton Buick and its predecessor, Van Male Buick, once stood. Now…

CRR NH Evergreen Window Door House Ad
Regional CC Asphalt House Ad