Thursday, April 15, 2010

Resolution honoring St George Church in Cicero and the Weeping Icon of the Virgin Mary, 16th Anniversary

Bookmark and Share

Approved at Board meeting April 13, 2010

WHERE AS St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church was officially re-located in to the Town of Cicero on May 1, 1984 after having been founded in 1966 in Oak Park and is one of the region’s leading Antiochian Orthodox Christian Churches with a congregation that boasts more than 1,500 families

WHERE AS St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church is the gathering point for many of the region’s American Arabs from Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Palestine Egypt and Iraq, but also provides religious services to all peoples of all ethnicities, races and nationalities including Greeks, Serbians, and Russians

WHERE AS St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church is headed by The Very Reverend Father Nicholas Dahdal who originates from the Holy Land in a Christian Village called Taybeh in Palestine

WHERE AS on April 22, 1994, parishioners discovered that The Icon of the Theotokos, The Virgin Mary, which was displayed on the church’s Iconostasis began to shed “tears.” Officials of the Orthodox Church came from around the world to witness and examine this miracle and the church was declared a miracle in honor of the weeping icon which was officially named “The Miraculous Icon of Our Lady of Cicero”

WHERE AS in December of 1997, tragedy struck the Church when an electrically-sparked fire seriously damaged the church and for 18 months, parishioners held church services at a school gymnasium across the street, and later at a renovated warehouse, which had just been purchased by the Parish as part of its long term expansion plans. The Church was renovated and re-opened in 1999

AND, WHERE AS more than 1 million Christian faithful have come to Cicero since the date of the miracle to view “The Miraculous Icon of Our Lady of Cicero” at St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the Town President of Cicero Larry Dominick and the Town Board that the citizens of Cicero and the Town officials offer their congratulations to the parishioners of St. George Anthiochian Church and to the Very Rev. Father Nicholas Dahdal on the celebration of the 16th Year of the Anniversary of “The Miraculous Icon of Our Lady of Cicero.”

# # #

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Hanania Column: Ordinance allowing trustees to issue tickets is good for Cicero community

Bookmark and Share

Plan to allow trustees to ticket saves money
By Ray Hanania
Cicero Town Spokesman

Cicero Town Collector Fran Reitz and President Larry Dominick came up with a great idea recently to allow the town’s seven trustees to write tickets for some parking and traffic violations.

With a population of nearly 110,000, Cicero has only seven parking enforcement officers. The plan doubles that number without raising costs to taxpayers.

Will trustees be able to chase down speeders? No. The ordinance is intended to allow trustees in the town to write citations for violations that include: parking in a handicapped zone; parking at intersections; parking in front of fire hydrants; and, parking in No Parking zones.

Not targeted is the town’s merged street sweeping and snow removal plan; residents must move their cars one day each week to permit either sweeping or snow removal.

The ticketing plan is a good plan intended to improve safety. But, of course, some mainstream downtown media don’t like it. They asserted the ticketing plan is intended to “increase towing collections.”

Of course, that’s ridiculous. The town didn’t expand towing when they merged the seasonal street cleaning programs. Instead, they reduced towing to only those cars that receiving four parking violations. That’s a 400 percent reduction in towing.

But that’s not what some mainstream media wrote. Why? Well, they like to bash the Town of Cicero.

One paper quoted a college professor claiming it was a “bad idea.” Why? The professor didn’t have to explain. Just saying it was a “bad idea” is good enough when it comes to the Town of Cicero.

I returned to Cicero late last year because in the 13 years since I have been gone – I worked here as Town Spokesman in the early 1990s – this town has improved dramatically from what it was.

President Dominick is a former police officer who dedicated his life to the town and he easily won election in 2005. That margin of voter support increased when he ran again in 2009. Why? Because voters like his ideas and his commitment to their interests. He also has taken politics out of government.

President Dominick will not fire someone because they ran against him, worked for a political opponent or criticized his government. That’s what all the past town presidents have done. Instead, President Dominick insists everyone just do their jobs, jobs paid for by taxpayers.

Why does the mainstream downtown media bash Cicero? Well, it’s easier to pick on Cicero than it other suburban communities. They do it because it is about money. They want to sell newspapers and they want to sell advertising. Wealthier communities purchase loads of advertising and those communities can do exactly what Cicero does and they are praised.

In fact, I will bet that if one of those other “preferred” suburban communities instituted a plan to let trustees write tickets to protect seniors and enhance safety, the downtown media would have praised it to high heaven.

But that’s fine. I know, and the residents of Cicero know, that the Dominick government is doing the best job it to serve all its residents.

Cicero, like many other suburban communities, also has tragedy, like the Valentine’s Day fire that took the lives of seven young people, aged 20 to 3 days old. The Cicero police and fire investigators did not relent in their pursuit of the truth. They compiled the proof that the building owner and maintenance man intentionally started the fire to collect on an insurance policy.

As Town Spokesman, it is my job to help the public better understand what President Dominick and the town board are trying to do. I feel very comfortable in doing that because I respect all of the town’s elected officials.

In this column, I’ll explore issues the town’s residents face and help provide some balance so that you can decide for yourself what is right and what is wrong.

I still write opinion columns for many newspapers, including the Jerusalem Post and some regional papers in the U.S. and, every morning I host a talk 8 show on WJJG 1530 AM Radio at 8 am every morning. I hope you will tune in and join me.

(Ray Hanania is the recipient of three Society of Professional Journalism Lisagor Awards, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize by the Chicago Sun-Times in 1990 and was named Best Ethnic Columnist in America by the New America Media. He can be reached at