Peggy Zabicki

Peggy Zabicki

U.S. unity starts with neighborhood unity

By Peggy Zabicki

Your correspondent in West Lawn

3633 W. 60th Place • (773) 504-9327

I was a Girl Scout for more than 10 years. One of the many great experiences I had was marching in parades with my troop. Wearing my green uniform, sash and hat I felt so proud and happy, as people watched and waved.

We carried the flag. Men took off their hats, and hands were placed on hearts. Everyone was unified. It seems so long ago, almost like a dream.

What happened to that unified feeling? I was hoping it would come back last week, on Sept. 11. Our country remains divided. It wasn’t always like this, and I continue to hang onto the hope of the return of feeling unified with all the people of our country. The different backgrounds, religions and political affiliations only made us stronger simply because we all loved our country. Now there is so much hate and fear.

PeggyZabicki

Peggy Zabicki

I recently watched the movie Oliver Twist. The main character, Oliver, sang a song called, “Where is Love?” He longs for the love of his mother or any mother, really. It made me think that we are all longing for the unconditional love of a mother country—a country that loves all its citizens and has our best interests in mind. I sure don’t feel that love these days.

This is what is missing today: the love from those who govern our country and the love of our citizens for this country. This is what brings that unified feeling. We don’t have it because everyone is so divided. We don’t have that one thing in common anymore. We aren’t unified. Where is love?

We can start by being unified as a neighborhood. I get a lot of calls about the increase in crime. Lately, many neighbors have been hearing loud, racing cars at night. The drivers of these cars have been driving up and down Pulaski, violating speed laws and noise ordinances.

These drivers are making our neighborhood worse. They congregate in parts of Ford City Mall, the old Kmart store and parking lot at 71st and Pulaski, and now at the Super Mall parking lot near 52nd and Pulaski. Recently, there was a shooting at that location.

I encourage everyone to call the police to report these loud, racing cars. I also encourage neighbors to call their aldermen. Thirteenth Ward Ald. Marty Quinn can be reached at (773) 581-1313. Twenty-third Ward Ald. Silvana Tabares is at (773) 582-4444. Reporting crime is a way to make a positive contribution to our neighborhood.

I got a call from long-time West Lawn resident Bernie. He asked about the old Kmart space at 71st and Pulaski. Why is this gigantic space still empty? I called Ald. Quinn’s office and was told that Marty Quinn has been actively seeking new businesses for this site. He has sent letters to potential businesses like Mariano’s grocery store. He also told the business next door, Grace Company, that he wouldn’t approve their request to expand onto this site.

A representative from Quinn’s office stated, “It wouldn’t be in the best interest of the people.” I’m thankful for all the efforts from Ald. Quinn, and I’m hoping a new business will open soon.

The West Lawn Branch Library is still closed for building improvements. I got in touch with a librarian and was told that the district chief said that Oct. 1 is the tentative date for reopening. I sure do miss our neighborhood library.

In the meantime, we can go to neighboring libraries like the Chicago Lawn Branch, 6120 S. Kedzie; the Archer Heights Branch, 5055 S. Archer; and the Clearing Branch, 6423 W. 63rd Place.

Here’s some fun news. There is a brand new West Lawn Community Soccer Team. They meet at West Lawn Park, 4233 W. 65th St. This adult team will be playing against the Scottsdale Community Soccer Team next month. As soon as I get more details, I will share them.

Are you ready for fall? The new season brings opportunities to clean up summer vegetation, spread some grass seed and do some fall planting. This is a good time to plant flower bulbs. It is also a good time to plant various shrubs and trees.

Did you know you can get free oak saplings from the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District? You can pick them up in person at 6001 W. Pershing, Stickney, from 9 a.m. to noon Wednesdays. You can also get free milkweed seeds from this location. Milkweed is a flower that attracts butterflies. We can help our environment and beautify our neighborhood at the same time.

Here’s a happy reminder: the next lunch and bingo event of the Calvary Lutheran Church Seniors, 6149 S. Kenneth, will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 21 at noon. All are invited to join the fun. Call Elaine for more information at (773) 424-3031.

As always, I invite everyone to call and leave a message or text me with your thoughts and news.

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