University of Chicago Medicine Breast Cancer June 2022
Peggy Zabicki

Peggy Zabicki

A bright community with a dark problem

By Peggy Zabicki

Your correspondent in West Lawn

3633 W. 60th Place • (773) 504-9327

West Lawn is a great neighborhood. Now that everything is finally open once again, we can find a little something for everyone. There’s dining, shopping, convenient transportation, places to take your kids, places of worship and a great local library.

What keeps us from enjoying all that our neighborhood has to offer? There is a dark cloud that hangs over West Lawn and all of the South Side. The problem is a lack of our own personal safety. Often, we have to take precautions just to visit a neighbor.

PeggyZabicki

Peggy Zabicki

I was visiting my good friend, Jennifer, and her wonderful kids, Layla and Tommy. She lives only three blocks away. I love walking, yet I had to drive to her house because I feel unsafe in my own neighborhood.

Recently, I was driving home from Jennifer’s house. When I got to Pulaski, I saw the blue flashing lights of several police cars. There was a car crash at 63rd Street due to drag racers. The safety of innocent drivers and pedestrians was put at risk. The day before that I had to detour around a shooting that took place in West Lawn. I could easily list many more accidents and crimes like carjackings, assault and robberies.

What is the cause of the enormous increase in crime in what was once a very safe neighborhood? Matt Rosenberg–journalist, former Yellow Cab driver and resident of Chicago for more than 30 years–has a lot to say about it. “It’s time to stop making excuses,” he said.

Rosenberg interviewed 15th Ward Ald. Raymond Lopez, who said, “The borderline collapse of the family unit in many of our neighborhoods” and the effects of “generational gang life” are the roots of the problem. Criminals and lawbreakers don’t seem to have any sense of right or wrong.

Our political leaders need to stop walking on eggshells. They need to work with the police and not against them. We need to stop releasing criminals charged with violent crimes, only to commit more crimes against residents who only want to live safely and enjoy what our neighborhood has to offer.

In my very first column I said that West Lawn is a hidden treasure. It still can be.

I’m thankful for the West Lawn Neighborhood Watch group. They still drive and walk around West Lawn every day, watching for crime and helping people.

There is no CAPS meeting scheduled for Beat 823 this month, but there is one scheduled for Beats 813 and 833 at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 26. You can register for this online meeting by emailing Barb Zieglar at [email protected]

Envision Community Services, 4324 W. 63rd St., is a positive light in our community. Their goal is to create a safe environment by reaching out to all residents and encouraging them to become involved in our neighborhood.

Envision recently held their first market day. They had 40 vendors selling their homemade crafts, jewelry, baked goods and much more. Market day is now going to be a regular event on the first Saturday of every month. The next one is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, May 7 at St. Mary Star of the Sea Parish Center, 4620 W. 63rd St. If you are a vender and would like to participate, send an email to [email protected]

St. Mary Star of the Sea is having their annual spring plant sale from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, May 6 at the rectory garage, 6435 S. Kilbourn. There will be lots of flowers and veggies for sale at very reasonable prices. Pre-orders are encouraged but not required. Call Barb at (708) 269-8833 for more information.

Midway Baseball and Softball Association will be starting their 2022 season on Saturday, April 30. Their games are played at Madigan Park, 4701 W. Marquette Road. There are still a few openings for 7- and 8-year-olds.

Call Elsa at (773) 575-9361 for more information on the teams and the summer schedule. You can also send Midway Baseball an email at [email protected]

I hope to attend a game or two this summer. Madigan Park is really terrific. The field is nicely maintained, and there’s plenty of room to sit at the bleachers. The ball games are free to attend, and there are tasty snacks for sale at their refreshment stand.

Finally, I’d like to wish a very happy birthday to my dear neighbor, Gladys. You are a bright and shining light in West Lawn, Gladys. I hope your birthday is filled with fun!

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