Saturday, June 23, 2018

Pride Cleaners has a new owner

You might have seen this over at Concerned Citizens of Chatham. Remember that the business and the architecturally significant landmark was on sale in 2016 and now has a new owner. That post from Concerned Citizen is below.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Healthy Homes Thursday, June 28, 2018

Saw this in an e-mail blast from the office of 6th Ward Ald. Roderick Sawyer. This event will take place on June 28 at Whole Foods Market Englewood at 832 W. 63rd Street. Refer to flyer below

Thursday, June 21, 2018

#TBT: A streetcar named retire

Since we talked about streetcars (well a fatal accident involving a streetcar) on Wednesday, let's talk about the last time a streetcar ran in Chicago on this day in 1958. Today's post from CTA's official instagram account shows a streetcar with a sign "Last streetcar to run in Chicago". The caption mentions the 22 Clark making it's last run on Vincennes, presumably the the diagonal Vincennes south of 69th Street.

As it happens by 1958, the route along Wentworth & Vincennes became known as the 22A according to In 1976 the 22A going down Wentworth & Vincennes from downtown Chicago is now known as the 24 Wentworth. The 22 Clark was converted to buses in Sept. 1957.

Here's CTA ig post from today:

Capitol Fax: Lawmakers eviscerate CPS for sexual abuse of students at hands of teachers, staff

These hearings took place yesterday, read about it at the CapFax blog

CNN: Starbucks says it will close 150 stores next year

I share this because there are a couple of Starbucks stores in South Shore on 71st/Stony Island and Chatham on 87th/Dan Ryan. If those stores are performing then hopefully they're in no danger of closing. 
Starbucks will close 150 poorly performing company-operated stores next year, about three times as many as it typically closes.

The affected stores are located in mostly urban areas that are densely populated with Starbucks locations.

The company told investors late Tuesday that it expects same-store sales to grow just 1% for the quarter that begins next month, lowering its previous guidance. The stock slumped 3.5% in after-hours trading.
What especially mentioned in this CNN article:
Starbucks closed 8,000 stores on the afternoon of May 29 to offer about 175,000 employees mandatory anti-bias training after two black men were arrested at a store in Philadelphia while waiting for a friend. Outgoing chairman Howard Schultz said the training cost Starbucks "tens of millions" of dollars. The training also delayed the launch of Starbucks' spring and summer marketing campaign by about two weeks.
Which also prompts this headline from a "right-wing" news site: Starbucks burned by social-justice appeasement as growth stalls, stock plunges

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

What happened at 63rd/State in May 1950?

This post may be a bit outside of the scope of this blog. Over 68 years ago a bad accident involved a CTA streetcar and a gasoline tanker truck. Many of you may have heard about this unfortunate accident at 63rd & State Streets over the years, especially if you're an old-timer who might have been old enough to see this in the news when it happened.

I'll let J.R. Schmidt tell the story and he provides some of the period photographs from back in May 1950. If you're young Chicago no longer have streetcars - or what might referred to in other cities these days as light rail (the L would be considered heavy rail or rapid transit) - they streetcars were taken out of service and replaced by buses in 1958. Many of these bus route numbers we know today originated from the many routes of streetcars of the past.

Here's one shot of that intersection fairly recently shot by the local historian Schmidt.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Chicago Reader: Roseland’s transformation captured in 1970 student film

I tweeted about this last week and unfortunately it doesn't say about when this film will see the light of day. Roseland - like say Englewood - had seen better days though residents of both communities I'm sure want to see better days returns. And certainly Englewood is working to make their community better.

On the other hand Roseland is looking for a jumpstart which could be the red line extension whenever CTA gets the necessary funding to start the project. However, that future project will be one development among many to bring Roseland back to what it used to be 50+ years ago.

Read this article from the Chicago Reader also there is a podcast where these students two men who shot this film in the 1970s were interviewed talking about this film. Give it a listen.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

City stickers sale on June 18, 2018 #Ward09

City stickers are on sale at the office of 9th Ward Alderman Anthony Beale. No only city stickers, also parking zone stickers and parking visitor passes. Here's the where and when:

  •  Monday, June 18, 2018
    From 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM
  • 9th Ward Service Office
    34 E. 112th Place

Want more information give the service office a call at (773) 785-1100

Refer to flyer below.Refer to flyer below. Also visit the city clerk website to buy your city sticker online via EZ>Buy

Chicago Reporter: Instead of extending the Red Line, some see promise in the Metra Electric

Red Line Extension
The future of the greater Roseland area will be affected by the future CTA red line extension. It's something that I'm very excited for and evidently the debate continues over whether or not this is the transit project the far south side of Chicago needs right now.

Another part of this debate - especially with the uncertainty of funding for this project which is only expected to be built during the course of the next decade - includes improvement of the Metra Electric line. Better yet should the Metra Electric (or IC for you old timers) be converted to a rapid transit line operated instead by CTA.
In January, the city announced the final alignment for the 5.3 mile extension to 130th Street. That’s key for the CTA to secure $1 billion in federal funding needed for the project that wouldn’t see construction start until 2022. Though the city has proposed using transit TIFs (tax increment financing) to fund part of the extension, some transit advocates contend that wouldn’t be nearly enough to make a dent in the cost. And others question whether the Trump administration would give the city $1 billion for a project of this scope.

Some transit advocates say there is a quicker and less costly way to improve transit on the South Side by converting the Metra Electric District (MED) main line into rapid transit. Retrofitting Metra’s existing rail infrastructure to accommodate rapid transit, they say, could be completed in less time than it would take to build the extension and without displacing privately owned properties, as the Red Line extension would.

But putting the Red Line extension on the backburner where it has sat for decades would be a disservice to the Far South Side, community members say. Mayor Richard J. Daley promised to extend it beyond its 95th Street terminus when he cut the ribbon on the transit line nearly 50 years ago.
A former candidate for 9th ward alderman - well not identified as such in the article - was quoted in this piece:

South Side resident Michael LaFargue says extending the Red Line south is all about equity – transit equity, economic equity and environmental equity. The loss of manufacturing jobs, he said has devastated the Roseland community economically while lack of rapid transit has made access to jobs and opportunities even more difficult.

The 111th Street station, LaFargue added, could be branded as Greater Roseland Hospital Medical District similar to the Blue Line’s Illinois Medical District. The Michigan Avenue station could reinvigorate that mile-long business corridor, making it the ‘Magnificent Mile South,’ he said.

“This is a catalyst for economic development and branding,” said LaFargue, president of the Red Line Extension Coalition, a community-based group.
And what's the difference in cost?
Policy analyst Daniel Kay Hertz of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability says both projects are important and would have significant impact. He estimated a cost of $27 million per mile to convert the Metra Electric’s South Chicago branch into rapid transit. Hertz based that figure off a 2012 Chicago Department of Transportation report  which puts the cost of converting MED’s South Chicago branch to Millennium Station — not the entire line — at $350 million. Hertz said there’s no reason the per-mile costs would differ substantially to convert the entire MED line. In comparison, the Red Line extension would cost about $434 million a mile.

“It is basically logistical stuff that they need to do as opposed to the physical engineering and  construction of several miles worth of new rail lines and stations,” Hertz said.
Finally a brief history of the Metra Electric and the advocacy for it's conversion to a CTA rapid transit line:
The MED originally ran as rapid transit and the line’s South Chicago branch ran every 10 minutes during the 1940s under its then-operator, Illinois Central. That frequency reduced when it became part of the Regional Transit Authority. Now the line has frequent service during peak evening and morning hours but runs every one to two hours during the mid-day.

The idea to convert the commuter-rail into CTA-style “L” service resurfaced again when transit advocate Mike Payne touted the plan as the Gray Line in the 1990s. It has gained traction in recent years thanks to advocacy groups like Coalition for a Modern Metra Electric and Active Transportation Alliance who want the MED to run every 10-15 minutes. Last year Metra increased mid-day frequency on the line to every 20 minutes between Hyde Park and Millennium Station.

But Metra’s fare structure could create a burden for low-income riders. Metra’s fares are distance-based where CTA charges a flat fee. And since there is no fare integration between Metra and CTA, riders would have to pay two full fares. There’s no fare discount to transfer from one transit system to the other.
What do you all think? Metra Electric (especially serving segments within the city) converted to the "grey line" operated by CTA  or the red line extension which certainly could benefit residents south of 95th through to Altgeld Gardens or perhaps there is a way to make both happen?

Found this article via

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Tribune editorial: US Senators give Emanuel a pass on CPS scandal

Found this editorial on the sex assault scandal within CPS via Newsalert:
Days after the Chicago Tribune began publishing stories of alarming and unreported sexual abuse and assault within Chicago Public Schools, Illinois’ two U.S. senators fired off letters demanding accountability and transparency.

But something — or rather someone — was missing from their missives. No mention of Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Must have been an oversight.

Instead of directing their concern at the person who actually oversees CPS, U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth sent letters to U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and Illinois schools Superintendent Tony Smith expressing their alarm and requesting more data collection at federal and state levels. By threading the needle carefully, they honed in on narrow aspects of the Tribune’s investigation that touched on state and federal data collection and transparency, not CPS’ failures.

Interesting indeed! Read the whole thing.



Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Capitol Fax: Suddenly, the mayor’s race looks very different

I tweeted this yesterday Rich Miller of the CapFax talks about the recent stories regarding the sexual abuse of Chicago Public School students. The question we have to ask now is whether or not voters will remember this when they vote for mayor next February.
Bear in mind we noted this scandal in passing last week as the Chicago Tribune published a story with a number of allegations against CPS personnel who victimized CPS students. A question from that post is whether or not this "outrage will result in political change?

Again there is a long way between now and February 2019. Those who noticed the Tribune story will be outraged - and we should be if public school students are being abused by their teachers, coaches, etc. Then again how upset will voters be once they're in the voting booths?

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Political Forum discusses Black county court judges

[VIDEO] Dartesia Pitts - she introduces herself as the outgoing President of the Cook County Bar Association - hosted this recent special edition of CAN-TV's Political Forum with guest attorney Erica Kirkwood introduced as a past president of the Black Woman's Lawyer Association of Greater Chicago. They discuss the fact that no Black lawyers were elected associate judges by county circuit court judges.

I shared this article last month about this fact which will allow you to read up on this subject. Give it a quick read.
You might have seen a regram of this on our ig feed. Ms. Pitts certainly helped to put word out about her CAN-TV program on her ig. I'm sorry I didn't share this with you before it aired so that you could turn in and ask your own questions. Political Forum is normall a live call-in program.

City stickers sale on June 12, 2018 #6WardChicago

City stickers will be on sale at the office of 6th Ward Alderman Roderick T. Sawyer. No only city stickers, also parking zone stickers and parking visitor passes. Here's the where and when:

  • Tuesday, June 12, 2018
    From 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
  • 6th Ward Service Office
    706 East 79th Street

Want more information give the service office a call at (773) 635-0006

Refer to flyer below. Also visit the city clerk website to buy your city sticker online via EZ>Buy.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Chicago Dept. of Aviation Community Career Fair June 13, 2018

Chicago Dept. of Aviation Community Career Fair. The city's Dept. of Aviation will host a community career fair to meet representatives from those companies looking to hire people to work at O'Hare and Midway Airports.

  • Wednesday, June 13, 2018
    9:00 AM to 1:00 PM

  • Kennedy-King College - Gymnasium
    6301 S. Halsted Street

Refer to the flyer below to see what areas those companies are seeking to hire in.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Capitol Fax: Quinn says “mighty” effort needed to get mayoral term limits question on ballot

I know Rahm Emanuel is unpopular as mayor, however, is mayoral term limits an idea whose time has come? Why stop at mayor why not direct term limits to other city elected officials especially aldermen? Why is our former governor just targeting term limits for mayors?

Of course this isn't new as well in addition to advocated for mayoral term limits in Chicago, he's also calling for an elected consumer advocate position. I hope he'll reveal more about that and what the duties for this proposed office entails.

Read on over at

Will Outrage Lead to Political Change in Chicago?

If you followed our twitter feed over the weekend we shared a number of tweets with regards to an emerging sexual abuse scandal at Chicago Public Schools. I think one of those tweets has reports an incident that took place at nearby Simeon High School involving a track coach.

This tweet found at the Newsalert blog yesterday is from Dan Proft who offered his comments.
The title for this post comes from the Newsalert blog and Steve Bartin added this simple statement "Don't bet on it". And I'm more in line with Dan Proft - who for those of you who don't know is a long-time Republican activist - neither of us knows the answer to that question.

It's very serious to talk about sexual abuse of public school students. And let's go further we're learning more and more about sexual harassment in state government. Just yesterday news broke of allegations of sexual harrassment towards state house speaker Madigan's chief of staff Tom Mapes which sparked Mr. Mapes to resign. Regardless who knows if this will result in long term political changes.

Operation: Help-A-Hero #6WardChicago

I'm sorry I didn't trot this out on Memorial Day which is one of those holidays that we celebrate the sacrifices of America's military personnel & veterans. If you have an item to donate to homeless - or transitioning from homeless - military veterans you can do so at any Aldermanic office, any Jewel-Osco store or select Chicago Park district locations. A complete list is available at

If you've subscribed to either Ald. Sawyer's or Ald. Beale's e-mail distribution lists you will see variations of the flyer below. If you want more information call your Alderman's office. This flyer contains the contact information for Ald. Sawyer.

Refer to the flyer below to see what items to donate.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

17th District Resource Fair

The flyer below you might have seen in an e-mail blast however more details are contained on state senator Elgie Sims' official webpage. On the agenda according to a flyer you'd see on his webpage are resources that includes youth employment & summer programming, senior & veteran services, wellness checks, property ownership, job readiness and more.

  • Thursday June 7, 2018
    6:00 PM to 8:30 PM
  • South Central Community Services
    1021 East 83rd Street
Call Elgie Sims' office in Chicago @ 773.933.7715 or his Springfield office @ 217.782.3201. Flyer for this event is below