Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Have you seen the lastest Chicago Reader cover?

I didn't share anything about this over the weekend, however, it's time to do it this morning. Now I don't want to beat the dead horse over the revelation of gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker's long ago comments with regards to referring to two well know Black state politicos as crass or safe. This is established and like I said this was just about 10 years ago on wiretaps of Pritzker and disgraced former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

In the ensuing few days after the Tribune shared those long ago wiretaps Pritzker has done everything he possibly could to apologies for those remarks with Blago. He's sense gone on to editorial board meetings and some debates. One of his supporters 6th ward Ald. Roderick Sawyer continues to back him and as you see in the video below defends him. [VIDEO]

 The video above took place not longer after the Alderman's speech at the City Club of Chicago.

Pouring gasoline on the fire, what is the Alderman talking about? Here ya go!

Monday, February 19, 2018

Remember that bust of President Lincoln

Speaking of Englewood remember that Lincoln bust that was in Englewood that made national attention last year. Even shared a segment to Tucker Carlson Tonight on FOX News which I will also show here. [VIDEO]
Locally Ald. Raymond Lopez (Ward 15) brought the apparent vandalism of that Lincoln bust to the world's attention last year formerly located at the corner of 69th & Wolcott and lamented this act. Back in 2009, I had shared a basic history of this bust which at one point was near a business specifically a gas station. Though now, there isn't a business on that corner that could protect and care for this landmark.

Lately, the Chicago Tribune has an update on this bust which after the vandalism was removed by the city for safekeeping.
Here’s what happened: The bust of Lincoln was removed last August by the Chicago Department of Transportation, at the request of Ald. Ray Lopez of the 15th Ward. Though the statue is located in the 17th Ward, Lopez said he stepped in “only after it became obvious that nobody but myself was concerned about the health of this statue.” (The 17th Ward alderman, David Moore, did not respond to multiple requests for comment.)

Lopez contacted the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, which contacted CDOT for removal. He said he became concerned after the statue was vandalized twice last August: A resident called to say the statue was painted black; soon after, it was set on fire. (Lopez said the vandals used tar and roofing paper.) “It was around the time of the Charlottesville (Va. white nationalist) marches. A lot of hate-filled things were said, and I’ll be the first to admit this statue had seen a lot of wear and tear — of youthful indiscretions — but two acts to happen about that same time? It just felt like something else happening.”

He offered no evidence of who might have vandalized the statue, and though no one has since been arrested for the vandalism, or claimed responsibility, Lopez noted that nearby Marquette Park had been a stronghold for Illinois Nazis. He wasn’t comfortable leaving the statue on 69th, vulnerable to more attacks. He told the Chicago Sun-Times in August that President Donald Trump’s (widely condemned) response to the violence in Charlottesville had emboldened white supremacists; Lopez sent a letter to Department of Cultural Affairs Commissioner Mark Kelly, concerned that, as left-leaning groups called for the removal of Confederate statues, right-leaning groups could seek revenge on monuments to the Great Emancipator. Soon after, the bust at the corner of 69th and Wolcott was removed, without ceremony or a timeline for when or if it might be returned.
This is a pretty good and long article. It further discusses the history and who placed this bust on 69th Street. It also illustrated the changes in the neighborhood over the years with "white flight" to it's current status today. If anyone is expecting the bust to come back to its original location got some bad news for you.
The statue will never return to 69th and Wolcott.

Its eventual home is the West Englewood Library.

Should you care to remember Philip Bloomquist’s legacy the way it was, before its eyes were blackened and body scarred, visit 69th and Wolcott on Google Maps. An old street-view image is still there, the bust cracked and ghostly. “This doesn’t need to be a loss,” said Vergara. “Maybe what comes out of everything is a new memorial. Let the neighborhood replace its Lincoln, with something that lends an identity, and gives that corner a new meaning. Then the story continues, and Lincoln was never lost at all.”
Lincoln will remain in the Englewood community as for that now vacant spot where his bust now stood, there's an opportunity. If the community want another work of art at that location what should it be. Could be reflective of the people who live there or their historic figures? Better yet perhaps we can create a sculpture of Black Panther and strive to make that area a real life version of Wakanda.

Here's a street view of the bust where it once stood.

Documentary on violence in Englewood

[VIDEO] For Victor Maggio who continued his series of the top 10 violent neighborhoods (or really community areas) with Englewood at #4. As per his other video he generally will give a history of each neighborhood especially ethnic history and then of course he discusses how these areas became crime ridden and violent.

BTW, if you don't want to watch this 24 minute video he does mention the "murder castle" of H.H. Holmes that formerly stood at 63rd & Wallace. This piece of trivia was a bit controversial when we shared the neighborhood brand for Englewood where this piece of history was used as a background image. Of course as well all know there are activists who are looking to shed Englewood of its violent and crime ridden reputation.

Like with the Roseland video, Marathon Pundit shares this and expresses his family connection with Engelwood noting not only the shopping district of 63rd & Halsted but the late Southtown Theater.

Finally this video is controversial as there are some who are aware of Maggio's political leanings. Bear in mind that he offers his opinions on what he sees as the start of an anti-police narrative. One incident he documents happened not long after the police shooting of one Laquan McDonald. Of course he notes in this video other incidents were people came out to protest police.

Also I recognize that what he covers involved inner city violence and there are people who have been touched by this vicious cycle. What I expect in Maggio sharing his stories of Chicago violence is that he wants a solution to this tragedy. We all want a solution to this violence.

For the record Maggio gets his stats from HeyJackass.com

Also related

Saturday, February 17, 2018

@formyblock: Shoveling for Seniors #twill

[VIDEO] Major kudos to Jahmal Cole who spent some time during last weekend's snowfall doing snow removal on those blocks that could use it the most. Especially those blocks with a relatively large senior population. He definitely was using instagram to get the word out for volunteers and in no small feat got people to come out from all over the city.

I  don't want to blow hot air but great things are happening for Mr. Cole. Thankfully the snow from last weekend is melting but  wouldn't mind volunteering with him during the next winter snowstorm. Get a good shovel, some salt, and perhaps even a portable snowblower. There's nothing wrong with helping Chicagoans in need!

Also he got some significant media attention during last weekend's snowfall. I shared a story from NBC 5 though that wasn't the only news coverage he got!

Friday, February 16, 2018

So Ald. Sawyer appeared at the City Club of Chicago on Thursday

[VIDEO] You know what this means you're going to be able to see him speak here, all 35 minutes of his speech at the City Club. Of course in addition to being Alderman of Chicago's 6th ward he's currently the chairman of the city council Black caucus. I do wish to have shared the livestream which means you can watch him speak live while you read this blog. :P

Crain's: Urban Partnership Bank for sale

Steve Daniels who wrote a number of reports regarding the woes of the former Seaway National Bank, writes about Urban Partnership Bank now seeking a buyer.
Urban Partnership Bank, formed to carry on the mission of ShoreBank following that high-profile community lender's 2010 collapse, is seeking a buyer.

Chicago-based UPB has hired investment bank Sandler O'Neill & Partners to gauge interest as the bank determines whether it should remain a small, independent bank or join forces with a larger player, Chairman David Vitale said in an interview.

UPB was profitable in 2017 for the first time since its inception. It posted earnings of $7.4 million, but that was only after booking $10.6 million held in loan-loss reserves as the quality of the bank's loan portfolio has improved. UPB has shrunk dramatically as it's finally completed the mammoth task of working through thousands of troubled loans made by the old ShoreBank. At year-end its assets were $472 million, less than half its $982 million at the end of 2013. Its workforce of 113 compares with 260 it employed back then.

But, while the bank is far smaller than the old ShoreBank, which had more than $2 billion in assets at its peak, UPB remains an active business lender in its South and West side neighborhoods and holds symbolic importance. The Great Recession claimed all but one of Chicago's black-owned banks, including Seaway Bank & Trust, for decades the largest and most prominent minority bank in town.

UPB isn't black-owned, but it's officially designated a minority bank by virtue of a board with more than half minority representation.
I see an opportunity to bring a Black-owned lender back to our community who says that Liberty Bank on the west side or Illinois Service Federal in Chatham & Bronzeville have to be the only players in our city. Of course while Chairman Vitale would like to see a Black ownership group purchase UPB according this article, that's not the only path to a sale.
But UPB is conducting a broad search for a buyer and will consider becoming part of a far larger, conventional bank, too.

UPB doesn't need the capital, he said. The bank arguably is too small and might be better off as a unit of a better capitalized institution, he said.

"We're supposed to be a billion dollar bank. Now we're a $500 million bank," he said.

Remaining independent is an option, Vitale said. He believes he will know by the spring what course the bank will take.

Vitale said the decision to seek a buyer wasn't due to pressure from investors, most of which are large financial institutions like JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and Northern Trust. UPB was initially capitalized with more than $140 million those companies provided at the behest of Sheila Bair, then the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.'s chair, who initially was trying to save ShoreBank.
What will the future hold for UPB? Time will tell and looking forward to finding out.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

When was the last time we've heard from Russ Stewart

In his latest column Stewart looks at two contests. To start he gives us his take on the chances of billionaire Democrat gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker, especially after some comments made on a long ago wiretap hit the news within the past week.
As has been blared all over the media, Pritzker termed Jones on the wiretap as "crass," Jackson "a nightmare," and White the "least offensive." Pritzker promptly apologized, but Jones, who is supporting Chris Kennedy for governor, went on record as saying that Pritzker considers him to be an "uppity" black.

Jones reportedly was quoted in the Chicago Sun Times as saying, "What he meant by 'crass' is that I'm an uppity black. I fight for my people and, sometimes, that ruffles feathers. What he was saying in comparing me to Jesse White is that Jesse White is a safe black. Jesse White is not going to do what Emil Jones does. Dr. King was a crass black. Harold Washington was a crass black. It was said in a derogatory manner." As I said in this column's first paragraph, stick a fork in J.B.

The billionaire's excuse is that when talking to Blagojevich he was not his "best self" and "should have pushed back" against the governor's comments. Sure. We can really expect him to "push back" against Mike Madigan. As Jones said of Pritzker: "He likes acceptable blacks who are meek and won't say anything."

Polling thus far in the 6-candidate Democratic primary, which includes Pritzker, Kennedy, state Senator Dan Biss (D-9) and three others, has shown Pritzker the leader, which is wholly attributable to Pritzker's willingness to spend his own wealth, which is estimated to be around $7 billion. Democratic politicians, including Speaker Mike Madigan, want Pritzker on their ticket because he can match Bruce Rauner (R) dollar-for-dollar, thus freeing-up money from their base - which is unions and trial lawyers - for other contests. Pritzker was the slated party candidate in Cook County, and the expectation between Democratic ward and township committeemen was that there would be a lot of trickle-down cash. With Pritzker atop the ticket, a lot of committeemen were (and still are) expecting an infusion of $50,000-plus. In Chicago and Cook County, never let it be said that money can't buy happiness.

Stewart also takes on the 2019 race for mayor especially for Emanuel's former Chicago Police chief Garry McCarthy.
The 2019 contest, said McCarthy, will be about "performance," noting that the mayor has not done so. McCarthy told me that his early polling pegs the mayor's "approval" at less than 40 percent and that, in a McCarthy-Emanuel race, they are both just under 40 percent. The candidacy of Paul Vallas barely causes a ripple. There are two keys to the contest.

First, Emanuel's West Coast and Clinton Era contacts will enable him to raise at least $25 million to win a third term. McCarthy's theme is "Get in the Game," and the game in 2019 is to get into the runoff, which means McCarthy must finish second in the February primary and have a one-on-one with Emanuel in the April runoff. In 2015, the non-Emanuel voters broke heavily for the mayor in the runoff. "Next time (in 2019)," said a McCarthy campaign strategist, "they won't," noting that polls show McCarthy with up to 25 percent of the black vote and that white middle-class voters will go overwhelmingly for McCarthy over Emanuel. "He (Emanuel) has no base," said the McCarthy source. "Nobody really wants him for another term, so to win he has to go negative" on his opponent.

And second, that is exactly what will happen, and the Laquan McDonald case will be writ large all over TV, with Emanuel trying to hang it on McCarthy, who was police superintendent at the time of the shooting, during 2014. But it is common knowledge that Emanuel suppressed the video release until after his re-election. The mayor may be in trouble.
So right now at least one year apart, we have two interesting elections to follow. We have to get through the gubernatorial election this year. Then in 2019 time to decided if Emanuel should get another term as mayor.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Save the Date: 6th Ward Quarterly Meeting

Save the Date: 6th Ward Quarterly Meeting
Saturday, February 24, 2018
Crerar Memorial Church
8100 S Calumet

For more information go to 6ward.com or call 773.635.0006

Here's a post from Concerned Citizens of Chatham displaying a flyer

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Ice dams

[VIDEO] This story is for those of you who are concerned about those icicles around your housing hanging from roofs and gutters. Found this story interesting as I'm concerned about the icicles. Of course at the end of the story a reminder that it'll warm up this week and the ice and snow around your home will begin to thaw.

And just remember according to an ig post from ABC 7 we'll a little over a month away from spring. Less snow and we're closer to the warm temps of summer!
A post shared by ABC 7 Chicago (@abc7chicago) on

Three Englewood high schools to be phased out instead of closed at end of school year

[VIDEO] I would say this is good news for those concerned parents who send their children to the four Englewood high schools that are slated to close at the end of the school year. Why close those four schools and then send them to schools outside of the neighborhood to say Hyde Park or Bogan for example.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Reminder: Public meeting for CTA Red Line extension

Click for larger resolution
CTA has selected a Preferred Alignment for the Red Line Extension Project

You are invited to a Public Open House to learn more

CTA is proposing to extend the Red Line 5.3 miles from 95th Street to 130th Street.

Click here to learn more about the project.
When and Where?

Please enter through Door 8. Parking available in rear of the building. Parking lot entrance via King Drive.

This location is served by CTA Bus #111, 4, 34, 111A, 115, and 119; and Metra Electric 111th Street (Pullman) Station. The facility is accessible to people with disabilities.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

NBC 5 Chicago: Shovelers Help Out in Community After Storm

[VIDEO] You might have seen some ig posts from Jahmal Cole who often asks for volunteers to help senior citizens shovel snow in various south side neighborhoods. Remember in March '17 after a snow storm, Cole and volunteers helped seniors shovel their snow in Pill Hill.

With the heavy snow coming that fell on Friday, this is certainly needed. Especially in those areas where seniors reside and they may not be as able to clear snow from their porches and sidewalks.

Kudos to Mr. Jahmal Cole of My Block My Hood My City. Follow him on ig via @formyblock.

Friday, February 9, 2018

More Pritzker damage control

Today the CapFax has another round-up on the racial remarks made by Democrat gubernatorial hopefully J.B. Pritzker. Clearly his comments regarding Emil Jones Jr. and Jesse White or even Jesse Jackson Jr. and using the term crass or safe to refer to certain Black politicos aren't going away. Let me remind you those comments were made on long ago wiretaps in 2008 with then governor Rod Blagojevich.

Refer to tweet below and head over the Capitol Fax
Meanwhile the man whom Pritzker hopes to face in November Gov. Bruce Rauner has released another ad. It doesn't refer to those crass or safe Blacks. It doesn't even have Pritzker's voice on it as the earlier ads. However, one reason Blago is in prison today is because he attempted to auction off President Obama's old US Senate seat.

Apparently Blago claimed that Pritzker wanted to be appointed to Obama's senate seat. The asking price is raising $10 or $15 million dollars for Blagojevich! I wish I knew with whom the former Governor was thinking speaking out loud with. The ad is below. [VIDEO]
h/t to ad from Illinois Review.

And through this ad there's a website for other wiretaps pritzkerblago.com. It's clear that Rauner in order to increase the odds of his re-election as Governor, wants to muddy the waters around Pritzker who is as wealthy as Rauner.


Capitol Fax: Pritzker hit from all sides

J.B. Pritzker was caught on long ago wiretaps with former Governor Rod Blagojevich - for those of you that don't remember he had been arrested while governor and then removed from office trying to sell President Obama's old US Senate seat to the highest bidder - you may have heard some of them. These wiretaps were used in ads by our current Governor Bruce Rauner.

The 2008 wiretaps there weren't used in the ad had been released by the Tribune has caused controversy. The problem - JB Pritzker was talking about "safe" Blacks or "crass" Blacks. Unfortunately those long ago comments has engendered a strong reaction by many Black politicos in Chicago.

Pritzker is a wealthy man - his family got rich off of a hotel chain perhaps you heard of them Hyatt. He was poised to be the front runner to run against another wealthy man who just so happens to be the current governor until this current drama starting hitting the news. Here's the latest round-up that you will find on the Capitol Fax via this tweet:
All the same, it's safe to say Pritzker is on damage control said to be calling as many prominent Blacks as possible to apologize for these long ago comments. 6th Ward Ald. Roderick Sawyer was even forced to make a statement regarding these disappoint comments though it's safe to say for now that Ald. Sawyer will remain behind Pritzker.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Sun Times: 2 CPD officers among 4 hurt in Chatham blaze

Piggybacking off of JP's breaking news regarding a fire on 79th Street this morning which blocked traffic from Cottage Grove to St. Lawrence, the Sun-Times offers an update.
Four people were injured, including two Chicago Police officers, in a residential fire Thursday morning in the Chatham neighborhood on the South Side.

Firefighters and a warming bus responded at 5:12 a.m. to the three-story building in the 600 block of East 79th Street, according to Chicago Police.

About 6:10 a.m. the fire was upgraded from a still and box fire to a two alarm fire, the Chicago Fire Department said. The flames were being fought defensively with three hose lines.

Two officers and two other people were taken to hospitals, police said. The officers were treated and released, but conditions for the two other people were not immediately available.
Thankfully there were no fatalities!

Here's a pic from the Chicago Fire Dept. on twitter:
They also found a cause:

Artistmac on the politics of snow

[VIDEO] While I didn't want to post another artistmac video so soon after I already posted one on Monday, perhaps it's appropriate this time. Especially since more snow is in the forecast for Thursday - well actually today.

I'm trying not to forget that Spring is next month and we're almost there. Just keep our eye on warmer weather and more sun. Of course less snow at least through March and into April. Of course let's not forget about baseball season one tell tale sign that spring is here and summer is around the corner.

Meanwhile, the last video by artistmac was really about complaining about a ridge or snow in his backyard this time he tells us about the politics of snow. I had no idea the city never plowed the side streets until after we' 1979. And the city isn't supposed to plow private property or the alleys.

Artistmac seems kind of saavy and he tells you what to do upon seeing the city doing something they're not supposed to be doing. Need not report this - especially with photography or videography from your cell phone for example - to city government. Find a way to send it to the media, especially since we're in sweeps period!

For your weather needs check the WGN Weather page.

Community hiring event for Whitney Young library project

Two sessions by the Public Building Commission to apply for jobs on the Whitney Young Library addition and renovation

Chatham Business Association
800 E. 78th St.
Chicago, IL
Phone: (773) 994-5006

You can also contact the PBC direction via phone (312) 744-3090 or through pbcchicago.org.

BTW, I'm glad I corrected that phone number I googled the phone number at CBA with the area code for Chicago and came up lucky. Someone needs to proofread these flyers before they come out. I have no idea what region the 733 area code represents.

Any for who go to these events on February 25 & 26, 2018. Refer to the aforementioned flyer below posted to Concerned Citizens of Chatham. And I meant no offense with the comments in the above paragraph.

79th street BLOCKED from Cottage grove to St. Lawrence!!!

Location: 700 E 79th St, Chicago, IL 60619, USA

If you are hearing the 3 helicopters, it is due to a major fire on 79th between Cottage Grove and St. Lawrence. Streets are blocked off between them. There are SEVERAL emergency vehicles (fire trucks, ambulance and police cars). A passerby said that everyone made it out.

You can check TV news later today for more details, but if you are going down 79th, make sure you avoid that part of 79th.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

From Self-Help - Seaway Bank: A Legacy of Empowerment

[VIDEO] Believe it or not, it has been over one year since Seaway National Bank (aka Seaway Bank & Trust Company) failed and was purchased originally by State Bank of Texas in an FDIC orchestrated auction. Thankfully the new owners Self-Help FCU honors the legacy of the former Black-owned lender in this video.

The above Self-Help video also shows the various people who were a major part of Seaway's History. Moses Profit, Ernest T. Collins, Jacoby Dickens, George Jones, Dr. James Buckner. There's also an appearance by one of the former owners of Milwaukee's Legacy Bank - Margaret J. Henningsen. Legacy Bank was also taken over by Seaway Bank in 2011 via an FDIC orchestrated auction.

Also we see interviews with Josephine Wade of Captain Hardtimes restaurant, Joseph Caldwell of Tailorite, Eli Washington of Chesterfield, Ed Calahan of Calahan Funeral Home, and Victor Love community activist. All of those names are either Seaway Bank customers or had served on a Seaway board - if not on the board of directors of Seaway Bancshares which had been the holding company.

Of course the story ends ultimately with Seaway being bought by State Bank of Texas and then - in an effort to preserve the history and legacy of Seaway Bank - branches and customer deposits were purchased by Self-Help. Great documentary of at one point a very significant financial institution.

BTW, I got wind of this via an ig post from Self-Help and through a Google search found the video you see above. You can find more of our posts about Seaway Bank here. You can also see more of Self-Help stories from their vault here.