Saturday, January 31, 2009

First black priest ordained in Chicago dies

There's an interesting neighborhood component to this story about Rollins E. Lambert, a Catholic priest who died at 86 on January 25. Read the whole article, but let me highlight the neighborhood component...
In 1968, he was named pastor of St. Dorothy Parish on the South Side, becoming the center of a controversy that led him to brand Cardinal John Cody an "unconscious racist."
Born in Chicago of African-American and Cherokee Indian heritage, Father Lambert graduated from Mundelein Seminary and was ordained by Cardinal Samuel Stritch. He first served at St. Malachy Parish on the West Side, then as assistant pastor at St. Dorothy. He also spent seven years at the University of Chicago's Calvert House.

He was named pastor of St. Dorothy Church in 1968, touching off protests from supporters of the Rev. George Clements, the civil rights activist who was assistant pastor of the all-black church at 78th and Vernon. Protesters said Father Lambert was picked to bypass the more controversial Clements.

"He had a tough time of it then," said the Rev. Eugene F. Hemrick of Catholic University in Washington, who was a friend. "He called Cardinal Cody a racist, and the African Americans turned on him and called him an 'Uncle Tom.' He was getting it from both sides."

Clements said he and Father Lambert knew each other long before their paths crossed at St. Dorothy.

"I would not be a priest today if it were not for Fr. Lambert," Clements said. "We go way back to when I was a seminarian, and he was the only black priest in the diocese. He took me under his wing. He was a trailblazer, and I followed in his path."

During the St. Dorothy controversy, "There was never any distance between us at all," Clements said. "He said he would resign if I did not become a pastor. That's when the cardinal named me to Holy Angels Parish."

Two years later, Father Lambert asked for a transfer and was assigned again to the Calvert House. Before his second posting at St. Dorothy, he was at St. James Parish on South Wabash.

Another school with a listed crime report

This time from an address that corresponds to Parker Community Academy.

6800 block S. Normal Blvd Theft: $300 and under
Place: School, public building. Reported at 11:40 a.m. on January 21, 2009.

Parker is an elementary school. You know I wonder who exactly are committing these crimes near or no school properties. Are they students, CPS employees, or just random people off the streets?

Friday, January 30, 2009

What's going on at Harlan?

More reports from EveryBlock Chicago about Harlan Community Academy High School.
  • Battery
    • 9600 block S. Michigan Ave Simple battery: Simple Place: School, public building. Reported at 12:30 p.m. on January 20, 2009.

  • Theft
    • 9600 block S. Michigan Ave Theft: From building Place: School, public building. Reported at noon on January 20, 2009.
  • Battery
    • 9600 block S. Michigan Ave Simple battery: Simple Place: School, public building. Reported at 2:55 p.m. on January 13, 2009.
Previous post about the crime reports from Harlan here.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Pat Quinn, Governor

Today, Illinois has a new Governor.

The old one, Rod Blagojevich made a grand speech in the State Senate. After a last ditch effort to save his job. And they responded by voting 59-0 in favor of both removing from the Governorship and barring Blagojevich from any further office in Illinois!

At about 5:42 PM, Pat Quinn was sworn in as the 41st Governor of Illinois. You can also check out the statement made by former Governor Blagojevich upon learning his fate in the vote by the state Senate.

Below is Quinn being sworn in!

Here are some other links of interest today!

Gone, Gone, Gone! - Broken Heart of Roger's Park

Patrick Quinn is Illinois' governor - Marathon Pundit

The Football - ArchPundit

EXTRA: Whose vote was deciding factor in first removal of an Illinois gov? - Chicago Argus

Quinn sucks up to Springfield -

Gov. Pat Quinn orders state website home pages to be stripped of Blagojevich name and images by noon Friday - Lynn Sweet

Even Sen. Burris slapping around Blago - Greg Hinz

Sen. Frank Watson Classes Up the Joint - Mechanics

Blagojevich Convicted - Senator Says "It's Bleeping Golden"; Obama's Former Colleagues Say Everybody Knew About Corruption, And No One Did Anything - Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion

OK, I'm thru! Enough linking. I suggest listening to Sen. Frank Watson. I'm sure there were people who offered glee, Watson offered tears. Perhaps tears of regret more than anything and then forcing himself to make the right call!

6th Ward Police Districts

3rd District - Grand Crossing

Alternate site to visit

5th District - Calumet

Alternate site to visit

6th District - Gresham

Alternate site to visit

I would like to post some maps, but that should come later. The next step, however, is to procure information on CAPS beat meetings and such. If anyone has any information to offer on this, don't hesitate to either leave a comment or drop an e-mail.

There must be two websites for the Chicago Police Department. Not sure which one is supposed to be current.

Here's their site over at the City of Chicago website and here's the CPD Clear Path website.

Daley ally wants Weis to discuss teen cop

Heh! Fallout from recent stories about a 14-year-old boy who's had some success posing as a cop:
Ald. Isaac Carothers (29th), the chairman of the City Council's Police and Fire Committee, wants Police Supt. Jody Weis to appear at a meeting of his committee on Feb. 6 to answer questions about the incident.

"The citizens of Chicago want to know what happened," Carothers said in a statement. "Someone has to account for the fact that no sworn member of the department caught him before it reached this level."

Weis scheduled a news conference for Thursday morning to address the issue.
This story has been blowing up the 6th's EveryBlock feed. The main reason why is because this recently happened at the Grand Crossing Police District HQ.

If you've yet to hear this story here's an article from The SouthTown:
A 14-year-old boy, dressed from head to toe in a regulation uniform, fooled Chicago Police into assigning him to traffic duty Saturday -- his true identity only discovered toward the end of the shift.

This isn’t the first time the teen, whom authorities didn’t identify because he’s a juvenile, allegedly impersonated a cop, said a police source who declined to elaborate.

Embarrassed police brass said at a Sunday news conference that while the teen meant no harm and wasn’t carrying a gun, he had nonetheless discovered a breach in security, and an internal investigation is under way.

About 1:30 p.m. Saturday, the teen, dressed in a sweater, skull cap with the Chicago Police Department logo, blue cargo pants, a blue uniform shirt, a dickey, a black vest and black boots, walked into the Grand Crossing District station at 7040 S. Cottage Grove Ave., “to report for duty,” Assistant Police Supt. James Jackson said.

The teen was paired with a veteran police officer, and they went on traffic patrol for the next five hours.

“The senior officer was in full control of squad car at all times,” Jackson said, noting the teen never interacted with the public and did not write traffic citations.

When they retuned to the precinct, a sergeant noticed the teen wasn’t wearing a “star” or badge, and the interrogation began. “The subject fabricated stories and could not answer why he did not have his star,” Jackson said. The teen was arrested and charged with a misdemeanor count of impersonating a police officer.
The article goes on to say that this young man was apart of a Police Explorers program. It allowed teens between 12-17 to have first-hand experiences interact with the community and the police. This young man thus began to develop a strong desire to become a police officer. This young man may just need to stay out of trouble or he'll never take the oath to be an officer.

Also Chicago Argus asks, Did he blow his dream this weekend? about this very subject.

Just who is Pat Quinn?

It's likely that by the end of this week, Illinois will be under Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn. Whenever the state Senate chooses to vote to remove Gov. Blagojevich, and optimists expect this vote to come either today or on Friday, it will be Quinn who will become Governor. Also note that today is when the Governor will close his case. The Governor basically missed the first three days of his trial going to New York on a media blitz.

Anyway check out this AP article on, I suppose, the future Governor of Illinois:
As the third day of Ill. Gov. Rod Blagojevich's (D) impeachment trial continued in Springfield Wednesday, insiders say the only part of the outcome still in doubt is when they'll vote to impeach, not if.

As for Gov. Blagojevich and his national media blitz?

"I think he's making a fool of himself," Ill. Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn (D) told The Chicago Tribune Tuesday.

If the state's Senate votes to impeach, Quinn told the Tribune that he's ready to immediately step into the position, going so far as to say he's planning to move into the Executive Mansion in Springfield, Illinois.

Gov. Blagojevich has kept his family's residence in Chicago during his tenure, a decision that went over like a lead balloon across much of the state.

Quinn also said Tuesday that he's planning to quickly tackle the state's floundering economy.

"When we find out what the facts are, we will tell the people of Illinois and we will come up with a rescue plan," Quinn told the Tribune. "It may involve sacrifice from all of us, but that's what Illinois is about."

With Quinn's future seemingly certain, public interest in Blagojevich's potential replacement is surely set to skyrocket, especially with the Illinois corruption scandals playing out in the national media.
What may the next roughly two years bring with a Gov. Quinn instead of Gov. Blagojevich?

You know when Blagojevich got re-elected just over two years ago, people were really voting for Quinn to become Governor. Kinda interesting when you think about it. People knew that this was one possible result. It could've been impeachment, indictment, or conviction.

Items on Huberman's appointment as CPS Chief

If you have anymore links please share via comments or e-mail

Video: Group protests school closings, Huberman appointment - WBBM-TV

Huberman, Chicago Public Schools board, get an earful - Chi-Town Daily News

Crowd boos new Chicago schools chief - Tribune

Daley standing by school chief choice - Tribune

CTA Board to name an acting chief - Greg Hinz

Mr. Right for CPS - Clout City

Unsolicited Advice For The New CPS Chief - Chicago Schools Blog

Huberman Coverage & Commentary (Day 2) - Chicago Schools Blog

Ron Huberman in over his head - The Bench

Why Daley is wrong to move Huberman - Chicago Carless

Help wanted: Job "dimensions" for CTA president position - CTA Tattler

Experience Not Necessary - The Broken Heart of Roger's Park

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Blagojevich headed to Senate impeachment trial


Well it's probably a little late for Blagojevich to question witnesses or what not, but it's great to see that he'll be able to speak to the state Senate and offer a closing statement. Perhaps he's stuck his nose in at exactly the right time. Still, why engage in this media blitz in New York in the first place?

Huberman the wrong guy to run Chicago schools

Greg Hinz doesn't think that Huberman is the right fit at CPS:
In shifting Mr. Huberman, Mayor Daley candidly admitted he believes that educating kids is more important than getting people to jobs.

"The most imporant aspect of life is a quality education," he replied when I asked him if having both good schools and good transit wasn't important. "Education is the answer to all the ills."

Actually, sir, it's not.  And even if it were so, is Mr. Huberman the man to continue reform of Chicago public schools?

Yes, he's a talented administrator and will bring an outsider's perspective to the job.  But while his previous posts running the CTA and city's emergency-management operation leveraged Mr. Huberman's tech bent -- he's the guy who, more than anyone else, is responsible for all those police cameras on polls at key street intersections -- education is different.  It's a people business.

   Yes, it's true that Mr. Daley's prior two school chiefs, Paul Vallas and Arne Duncan, had little if any background as an educator. Mr. Huberman has none.  (Mr. Duncan now is U.S. education secretary.) But that was then.  Ultimately, for a school system to work it has to be run by someone who knows something about how to teach and not just how to manage.
Then there's a counter point. The Tribune says that Huberman is a good choice for the Public Schools.
He acknowledges that he doesn't have a background in public education. But he does have an MBA and another advanced degree from the University of Chicago. He brings a track record of effective management. He generates ideas.

He brings almost as much working knowledge of public education as Vallas and Duncan did when they walked in the door.

They were fast learners. He is too. All the better—they are fresh thinkers.

It's also a good sign that Barbara Eason-Watkins, the chief education officer at CPS, plans to stay even though she was not given the top job. She does have a deep background in education, and she has earned a great deal of respect in Chicago. She is needed at CPS.

And so, the third revolution in Chicago public education begins. Ron Huberman is a great choice to lead it.
I still think his tenure at CTA ended too soon though.

Do blacks and Hispanics support Blagojevich more than whites?

Dawn Turner Trice:
Last night, on WTTW’s “Chicago Tonight” show, a state legislator said that Gov. Rod Blagojevich still enjoys a sizeable amount of support in Chicago’s African American and Hispanic communities. She said that was true because the governor has instituted programs, such as allowing seniors to ride public transit for free, that seem to have a significant impact on minority communities.

It certainly appears that the governor has a lot of support among minorities when you consider some of the people surrounding him of late. Shortly after the governor’s Dec. 9th arrest, a group of black ministers convened at his home to pray for him. Minutes after Blagojevich’s impeachment earlier this month, he was joined on stage by a number of minority constituents.

But does the governor still enjoy a lot of support in the black and Hispanic communities? Or has the governor orchestrated these moments to appear this way?

The Illinois Campaign for Political Reform conducted a state poll that found that blacks and whites aren’t too far apart when it comes to how they view state politics. (The campaign didn’t address Hispanics specifically.)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Blagojevich tapes heard for the first time

Most likely heavily edited, but this is probably going to be the basis of the evidence to impeach Gov. Blagojevich. The trial is expected to wrap up by Thursday and Blagojevich could be removed at the beginning of the month. Anyway I missed this scene and at least WBBM-TV has the scene from the state Senate chambers.

Also here's some audio files & transcripts.

The State Senate will be back in session tomorrow at 9:30AM!

Huberman's CPS

Heh, I forgot to publish this. It puts the previous post in perspective.

It looks like he's on his way to head the Chicago Public Schools according to this Tribune article:
CTA President Ron Huberman, who has earned a reputation as a strong administrator but has no professional experience as an educator, will be tapped by Mayor Richard Daley on Tuesday to head the Chicago Public Schools, sources said.

Huberman, 37, will replace Arne Duncan, who last week was confirmed as President Barack Obama's secretary of education.

Over the weekend, the Tribune first reported that Huberman, a longtime Daley loyalist, was being considered for the top schools job.

Huberman has run the CTA since May 2007 after for about two years as Daley's chief of staff. He also has headed the city's Office of Emergency Management and Communications and was a Chicago police officer, rising to the rank of assistant deputy superintendent.
Of course for fun what would CPS be under Ron Huberman. A hilarious take by The Beachwood Reporter!

School closure protest could draw hundreds, organizers say

Chi-Town Daily News:
A protest at the Chicago Public Schools board meeting tomorrow over plans to close about 20 public schools could draw several hundred people, organizers say.

After the meeting, CPS will kick off a several weeks of hearings on proposed closures and other changes, leading up to a vote on the issue next month.

The protest is organized by the Grassroots Education Movement, which includes more than a dozen advocacy and educational groups, including the Chicago Teachers Union, Teachers for Social Justice, Blocks Together and Designs for Change.

The group says the CPS Renaisssance 2010 program does a poor job of including parents, teachers and students in decisions on school closings and turnarounds.

“The experience of our membership is that there’s no space for them in Ren 2010,” says Cecile Carroll, the education organizer with Blocks Together, a West Humboldt Park advocacy group. “They’re not a part of the closings, they’re not a part of the openings, they’re not a part of the turnaround.”
Perhaps Mr. Huberman will have his hands full at the CPS.

Roland Burris cartoon!

Take a look here via Chicago News Bench.

Really it's old news The Bench posted this cartoon there on January 12th. Probably around the time when he finally took his US Senate oath. The satire is hilarious although I'm sure there are some Burris supporters who won't like it.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Cold exposure a factor in man's death

An autopsy today showed that a 74-year-old South Side man died Sunday of a heart attack and exposure to the cold weather, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office.

Troy Coleman, of the 7900 block of South St. Lawrence Avenue, was found unresponsive at a bus stop on Sunday in the 1500 block of East 79th Street. He was pronounced dead shortly after 6:30 p.m. at Jackson Park Hospital and Medical Center, the medical examiner's office said.
If you know anyone who may be vulnerable, please check on them.

There were several stories about this via the 6th's EveryBlock feed.

ArchPundit's Daily Dolt Today

That man is Roland Burris today justified by this Sun-Times article:
Speaking this morning at a Martin Luther King Jr. breakfast, the state’s new junior U.S. senator, Roland Burris said that without Burris’ own trailblazing, Barack Obama never would have been elected president.

“If there was no Martin Luther King Jr. and no Roland Burris, there would be no Barack Obama in the White House today,” Burris said to cheers at a Rainbow PUSH Coalition breakfast in Chicago. “We must recognize, friends, that we all stand on each other's shoulders.”

Burris had left elective office in Illinois before Obama was ever elected, though they did know each other. Burris was never a major presence in Obama’s campaigns for state or U.S. senate or for the presidency. When Blagojevich appointed Burris senator, Obama said Burris shoud decline the appointment, though Obama said he had respect for Burris. Like other Democratic leaders, Obama ultimately relented and said he looked forward to working with Burris.

“We must lift each other up,” Burris told the Rainbow PUSH gathering in Chicago today. “We must set an example for our young black children and the other children in our country. We must take care of young black males. There’s no reason why they should be committing all these crimes across the country. There’s no reason why they should be 40 or 50 percent of the prison population.”

Chicago-area home sales down 26% last year

Crain's Real Estate Daily:
Home sales tumbled almost 26% last year in the Chicago area, according to the Illinois Assn. of Realtors.

The Chicago-area median price fell 5.5% in 2008, the Realtors’ group said in a release Monday.
Sales fell by similar percentages last year in the city of Chicago and the state.

In the nine-county Chicago region, 68,676 single-family homes and condominiums were sold last year, a decline of 25.9% compared with 92,657 in 2007, the Realtors’ release said.

In the city of Chicago, sales fell 25.1% in 2008, to 20,589 compared with 27,503 in 2007.

Battle brewing over Illinois pensions

The State of Illinois has the most underfunded public pension plans in the nation, with a funding gap that is now approaching $50 billion. The low balances in the state's pension accounts have been made worse by the stock market crash, which has also hit Chicago's and Cook County's employee pension plans.

Here's a look at the dire situation for the retirement plans of state workers ranging from police to judges to university professors to members of the Illinois General Assembly. All are counting on generous state pensions, but may soon wake up to a brutal reality.

A financial war is brewing -- and it's likely to pit these public employees against Illinois taxpayers who are responsible for paying those generous pension promises. There simply isn't enough money in all these retirement plans (see box) to send out the promised checks. If you think Bernie Madoff had a Ponzi scheme going, wait until the wave of boomer retirement hits the reality of pension underfunding.

The state pension plans have been underfunded for a long time. But the problem is going critical because of the stock market crash. Unless you're willing to bet on a major bull market appearing in the next few years, there are only three solutions: raise taxes, increase employee contributions, or cut pension benefits.

And yet a con-con would threaten these pensions.

Via Instapundit!

Impeachment trial starts today

At Noon in Springfield, IL in the state Senate chambers of the Illinois State Capitol. There will be live coverage, head over towards the Illinois Channel for that.

The Governor choosing not to take part in his own impeachment trail is embarking on a media blitz. It largely started in Chicago on Friday. I noted that he came to the neighborhood to visit with Cliff Kelly at WVON-AM.

On Sunday he's made a national appearance on the Today Show. This morning you should have been able to see him on Good Morning America and The View.

BTW, check out Rich Miller's syndicated column this morning. It may offer an indication of how he's run his administration. The conclusion being that he's difficult to control, especially if anyone on his staff or apparently his lawyers doesn't entirely agree with him.

Also read this very scathing blog over at Chicago Carless about the Governor's media blitz. There are links there to editorials around the state about the Governor's call for editorial board support for his rights at the impeachment trial. Hmm, because of what he tried to do with the Tribune as outlined in his criminal complaint or even his boorish behavior towards certain editorial boards outside of Chicago, he's not going to get those types of editorials.

Also over at Illinoize, I blogged about a New York Times article comparing the Senate appointment process of both Blagojevich and NY Gov. David Patterson.

Finally Marathon Pundit takes a look at those reports that seeks to explain the Governor's mental health condition.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Huberman on the way to CPS?

Seen first on the CTA Tattler. Apparently there is confirmation that Daley has talked to current CTA President Ron Huberman on taking over for Arne Duncan at the Chicago Public Schools.
Mayor Richard Daley on Saturday acknowledged he has spoken with CTA President Ron Huberman about succeeding Arne Duncan as public schools chief, but Daley declined to say if he has offered the post to Huberman, Daley's onetime chief of staff.

"There are a number of people I've talked to in regards to the superintendent of the public schools," Daley said at news conference after speaking at a store grand opening on the Southwest Side. "I've interviewed many people. I've talked to people and I've listened to their comments. I've asked them for their suggestions, their ideas, about the management and what we can do differently."

Sources familiar with the selection process told the Tribune on Friday that Daley is considering Huberman to succeed Duncan, who became U.S. education secretary Wednesday.

Huberman has declined to comment. Like Duncan, Huberman does not have a teaching background. He became Chicago Transit Authority president in 2007 after heading the city's Office of Emergency Management and Communications and working in the Police Department.

In addition to Huberman, Daley has confirmed that he is considering Barbara Eason-Watkins, the schools' chief education officer, to be school superintendent. Daley could make his selection as early as this week.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Chatham's ties that bind

An overview of one of the Sixth Ward's neighborhood, Chatham. Read the article but I'll highlight the lowdown here:
Since the 1950s, Chatham has been attracting middle-class families looking for attractive homes, parks and convenient retail in a close-knit community that values civic participation. Home prices offer enough of a range that starter families and established professionals can find what they're looking for.

Upside: This South Side community has an eclectic housing mix, from older bungalows, Tudors, Georgians, Victorians and ranches, to newer town homes and custom-built houses. There are also some apartment buildings. Several parks offer outdoor recreation and South Central Community Services supplies some indoor activities. Mather's--More than a Café provides seniors with computer access and exercise programs and serves breakfast and lunch. The community's Whitney Young Library will likely be rebuilt and expanded in the next few years. The Loop is a convenient drive from Chatham via the Dan Ryan Expressway or by several CTA buses or the Red Line train, which has a stop on 87th Street.

Downside: For decades this was a safe neighborhood, though with recent turnovers in population crime has increased. Indoor recreation and entertainment are scarce, though the Chatham Avalon Park Community Council hopes to fund a community center in the future. Parking is a challenge in the commercial areas, especially along 79th Street. Parts of the retail districts have a gritty, urban feel.
Here's something that I would like to see though...
The Chatham Avalon Park Community Council, a non-profit organization made up of a 15-member volunteer board and multiple block clubs that deal with quality of life issues, is trying to help maintain a safe and healthy community by encouraging families to be involved in civic activities.

"I just think we have to encourage people to give back to the community," said Maryellen Drake, a lifelong resident and executive vice president of the council. "There's no monetary benefit, but the benefit is you get to continue to live in a beautiful community."

The council is also hoping residents and business leaders will help fund construction of a community center at 82nd and King Drive. Such a center would keep youth off the street and offer recreation and classes to residents of all ages.

"It just helps when you have safe zones where the kids can go, in addition to the parks and schools in the area," said Keith Tate, president of the council.
Now see this is a great idea! A community center. Read the whole thing though!

Free Tax Preparation Help For Low-Income Families

From the EveryBlock 6th Ward feed an article from WBBM-TV and an address in the ward where you can utilize this service.
One out of every five people who qualify for the earned income tax credit never claim it. Now, the city is offering help to make sure they do.

In Illinois, 170,000 taxpayers failed to apply for the tax credit. The average refund is nearly $5,000.

This year, the city is operating 30 places for low-income families to get their tax returns prepared for free.
Location and address: St. Columbanus The Glasshouse, 331 E. 71st St.

The Governor was in the neighborhood again!!!

Actually he was at the WVON-AM studios with Mike Parker of WBBM-TV outside the studios to offer his report of his radio appearance there on Friday.

Friday was a busy day. He was already on WLS and he had a press conference in the afternoon. Then not too long after that he found his was to 87th Street to rap with Cliff Kelly on WVON-AM. Of course the significance of this appearance is the WVON is a black-owned radio station with a sizeable black audience. Most of the calls during the Governor's segment were generally in support of him.

You want to see about his earlier press conference go here to the CapFax.

Also Ed Genson who largely represented the Governor during last month's impeachment hearings in the state House has cut ties to the Governor. In ending his professional relationship with the Governor he said that the Governor wouldn't listen to Genson's advice.

Tag the blogger

Thanks to Tom Mannis at The Bench, well Chicago News Bench, this blog got caught up in a chain. A very unforseeable event here at The Sixth, but nonetheless it could be fun. I'm choosing to get involved because I'm sure some of you want to know about me. JP can partake if he wants and post links to some of his own favorite blogs.

1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself.
4. Tag six random people with a link. (Well a toughie but do-able)

Here goes:

1) Often if I'm watching TV, I'm also on the internet.

2) This could be a habit or a quirk, but I'm big on people watching.

3) I like to be complete in spreading condiments on bread. Like mayonaize or peanut butter/jelly.

4) I'm a Chicago Blackhawks fan rekindled by the recent Winter Classic

5) I'm a fan of such classic TV-series as Hawaii Five-0. I like to say that they don't make TV like they used to.

6) Politics has been an interest of mine since I was in the 8th Grade.

Who's next:
Bill Baar's West Side
Belmont Heights
I Hate My Developer
Prof. Darius Williams

Friday, January 23, 2009

Blago: I'm being railroaded so the bad guys can raise taxes!

According to Eric Zorn:
Gov. Rod Blagojevich's public relations strategy for his upcoming impeachment trial became clear during a 40-minute interview this morning on WLS-AM.

It's to portray the proceedings as an unfair fight between a latter-day Frank Capra hero (him) and the cynical members of the political/industrial complex in Springfield who want to oust him simply so they can raise income, sales and gasoline taxes.

If his lawyers fail in a long-shot attempt to have the courts block the start of Monday's trial (the governor vaguely foreshadowed such an effort when he said "We’re going to do something a little bit later today"),  Blagojevich hopes the public will rise up and shame members of the Illinois Senate into voting against his removal from office.

Integral to that effort will be his "empty chair" defense.
In normal times I could say this is something I can be with the Governor on, not raising taxes. The state is in the red, however and he seems to have a knack for proposing big programs. All Kids or a general health care expansion, a state stimulus package for the people of Illinois, or even free rides for senior citizens. All those cost money and he's trying to do it without making a hard choice not to raise taxes. You can only borrow or hit user fees only so much.

Also this argument seems to avoid why there is a move to impeach and remove him now. He did some corrupt stuff that got him arrested. I highly doubt that they're going after him only because he refuses to raise taxes or because he was getting things done by the people. It may just be that he's simply not playing very well wit hthe people he has to work with.

I was listening to the radio and I understand that he was on WLS this morning. I also understand that WLS offered him a job if he resigns. You can see coverage of that at the Capitol Fax.

While this mornings broadcast is available here with a Part 1, Part 2, & Part 3. You can also tune in to WLS at about 6:30 tonight to hear is on the radio as well.

BTW, Capitol Fax also addresses some of his bogus charges as well here & here.

Obama's words lift audience at a troubled school

Chi-Town Daily News:
“I truly believe that all students should be watching it,” said Stansberry Butler.

One Harper student actually traveled to Washington to attend the inauguration, along with a few teachers.

At around 10:30, the rest of the school community traveled to the auditorium and the cafeteria to witness history together.

Inside the lunchroom, packed tables of teenagers acted, well, like kids in a lunchroom.

They joked, laughed and talked together loudly.

Soon, however, a sense of wonder began to creep into the room.

It started when the two Obama girls, beaming, took their seats on the platform in front of the U.S. Capitol.

Once Michelle Obama appeared, the room fell largely silent.

Kids watched as President George W. Bush entered to “Hail to the Chief” for the last time.

Then, a roar, as Barack Obama’s tall visage approached the top of the Capitol steps. The room erupted again as Obama was introduced and a third time as he placed his hand on Lincoln’s inaugural bible, took his oath, and became the country's 44th president.

The crowd at Harper grew quiet as Obama began his address.

"This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed -- why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent Mall, and why a man whose father less than 60 years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath."

As the President spoke these words near the end of his address, Natasha Champion, clad in a red Harper t-shirt and a black apron, nodded her head.

“There’s no words that can express how happy I am,” said Champion, who works the school’s lunch line.

She said she was sure her mother was watching on TV at home, most likely with tears rolling down her cheeks.

 “Took us a long time to get here. And I’m glad we’re finally here. This is just the beginning, though.”
Harper High School seems a bit bleak though:
Many at Harper, a struggling school that enrolls more than 1,000 students, do not continue on to college. Only a third of freshmen are on track to graduate in five years and just four percent of Harper students meet or exceed state standards.

These and other longstanding struggles moved Chicago Public Schools to launch an ambitious plan last year to overhaul the school.

Harper is what’s known in Chicago these days as a turnaround school.

Among other things, there’s more support from the Board of Education, including efforts to strengthen the curriculum and an emphasis on creating a culture of discipline and responsibility.
I can only hope that if Obama's election might help these students realize their potential!

What's going on at Harlan?

Using the EveryBlock Chicago feed for the 6th Ward I see the following crimes that eminate from about Harlan's address:

o 9600 block S. Michigan Ave Simple battery: Simple
Place: School, public building. Reported at 2:55 p.m. on January 12, 2009.

o 9600 block S. Michigan Ave Theft: From building
Place: School, public building. Reported at 8:35 a.m. on January 9, 2009.

o 9600 block S. Michigan Ave Narcotics: Possession of cannabis, 30 grams or less
Place: School, public grounds. Reported at 8:05 a.m. on January 8, 2009.

o 9600 block S. Michigan Ave Simple battery: Simple
Place: School, public building. Reported at 10:20 a.m. on January 7, 2009.

o 9600 block S. Michigan Ave Theft: From building
Place: School, public building. Reported at 2:57 p.m. on January 6, 2009.

o 9600 block S. Michigan Ave Simple battery: Simple
Place: School, public building. Reported at noon on December 17, 2008.

o 9600 block S. Michigan Ave Simple battery: Simple
Place: School, public building. Reported at 11:05 a.m. on December 16, 2008.

Criminal trespass
o 9600 block S. Michigan Ave Criminal trespass: To state sup land
Place: School, public building. Reported at 11:45 a.m. on December 16, 2008.

o 9600 block S. Michigan Ave Narcotics: Possession of cannabis, 30 grams or less
Place: School, public building. Reported at 1:30 p.m. on December 15, 2008.

o 9600 block S. Michigan Ave Simple assault: Pro. emp.: hands, no/minor injury
Place: School, public building. Reported at 1:30 p.m. on December 12, 2008.

o 9600 block S. Michigan Ave Narcotics: Possession of cannabis, 30 grams or less
Place: School, public building. Reported at 11:30 a.m. on December 12, 2008.

Obama 44

Did you know that there is an Obama store in the neighborhood. That's according to this report from the NBC5StreetTeam.

The store is located on 738 E. 83rd Street just a block west of Cottage Grove.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Cook County foreclosure cases up 36% last year

The number of foreclosure cases filed last year in Cook County climbed 36%, a slower pace than in 2007, when the residential mortgage crisis was seemingly at full throttle.

Almost 44,000 foreclosure suits were filed in Cook County Circuit Court in 2008, according to office of Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown. In 2007, the number of cases rose about 71%, to nearly 32,300, compared to 2006.

The current statistics stand in dramatic contrast to 1999, when nearly 13,000 foreclosure cases were filed, the earliest year for in which figures are readily available. The numbers include residential and commercial filings.

Perhaps the Governor isn't going to sit quietly

The Capitol Fax blog discusses news that his defense teams isn't going to challenge the upcoming impeachment trial in court. This isn't making a lot of sense especially since he continues to proclaim his innocence. This also seems to contradict his pledge to fight these charges against him!

Added a new link under local businesses

Really more of a charity, but worth a mention anyway. Also it's really located outside the ward at 1000 E. 87th, but there isn't hard rule that businesses linked here has to be located withint the 6th Ward. The rule is ideally suited to include links to businesses in neighboring wards.

Black on Black Love and here's a history:
The Black on Black Love Campaign (BOBL) was founded in January 1983 by Edward Gardner, former co-chair and founder of Soft Sheen Products. Inc., after a Black female employee was shot in a senseless and random act of violence perpetrated by a criminally motivated Black male. Always concerned with Black on Black violence Mr. Gardner knew he had to take a stand and work to make a difference.

Known for being a caring employer Mr. Gardner reasoned that as a resident of the inner city and as an entrepreneur whose business was in the heart of the urban area, it was vital that he address the pernicious problem of crime. It was clear that the community could no longer afford to regard such incidents as typical.

Gardner reacted to the incident by taking out several full-page ads in major media, appealing to the Black community to end Black on Black Crime and replace it with Black on Black Love.

Responses to those ads were overwhelming. The result of Gardner's action was the birth of a social movement that quickly spread from the grassroots level in the Black community into the boardrooms of some major corporations. Marketers of products to Black consumers quickly realized that the concept of Black on Black Love was an issue that was important to the socioeconomic health of the Black community. A trade association of minority manufacturers, the American Health & Beauty Aids Institute (ABBAI) became the campaign's national sponsor, and began spawning local chapters in other cities.

Always sensitive to the ever-changing dynamics that foster crime, BOBL has, over time, created adjunct programs that address theses evolving dimensions.

By capitalizing on their expertise at marketing to Black consumers, Soft Sheen and the other AHBAI member companies enabled BOBL to begin packaging and selling the concepts of Love, Respect, and Self-Discipline to the Black community under the umbrella of the Black on Black Love programs.

Collectively, the BOBL programs are designed to help break the cycles of crime in the Black community. Each program attempts to focus on the causes of crime, and offers positive alternatives to potential perpetrators of crime. The programs are administered in a spirit of sharing, caring and unparalleled commitment. 

If you know of any other business or organization worth nothing on this blog send us an e-mail. Look for the address in the contact section in the second sidebar. If there is a link for this business or organization please note that as well!

The Governor isn't sitting back quietly...

Yesterday he also failed to request subpoenas in his impeachment trial. Hat-tip CapFax!

Still even though his attorneys won't participate in the trial they will try to attempt to block it:
The governor's impeachment trial is set to start Monday, but Wednesday night, there are efforts to stop it. CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine reports that the governor's attorneys, having virtually given up trying to win the case, are now leaning toward going to court, to try to block the trial.

But Senate President John Cullerton, in an exclusive interview, says he doubts they'll be successful.

"If they want to go to a court and have a court tell us to stop, that's up to them. But I cannot envision any court interfering with this process because we are following the constitution," Cullerton said.

Blagojevich attorneys Ed Genson and Sam Adam Jr. pulled out of the trial last Friday in protest to the rules approved by the Senate, which will hear evidence, decide issues of law and then render a verdict.

Cullerton says the rules are patterned after the Clinton impeachment in the U.S. Senate. And says the trial has to start on time or else.

"We have a legislative session that would otherwise begin on February 3rd," Cullerton said. "We have to pass a budget. We don't have enough money to pay the bills, and knowing who the governor is going to be is critical to the process."

Illinois Channel Coverage of the Obama Inaugural

Well I'm at least a couple of days late on it.

Check out this page from the Illinois Channel and their dedicated blog to the big event on Tuesday! They've even utilized Flickr as well. :)

Give em a look for more Illinois-centric based coverage.

BTW, I still would like to hear your thoughts and observations regarding Obama's inaugural!

There's even link to his actual inaugural address here!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Post inaugural goals

I didn't post this on New Years Day and since we're in a new era, the Obama administration, this post will honor that although we'll keep this ward centric. I did have some goals that are for our ward neighborhoods in general. Perhaps some goals are in order for this blog.

I would like to thank those of you who have subscribed thru our live feeds and via e-mail. Even if you have only bookmarked us whether or not you use Internet Explorer, FireFox, Delicious or Digg. Even if you have linked to this blog on your own blog or website.

Some New Year's Resolutions for the blog:

- JP resolves to try and blog about something other than gas prices.

- Could you resolve to post a comment on the board? We love the comments that have come in so far, and hope to generate more discussion from residents and friends of our ward!

- One other request -- if you have something you'd like to see featured, such as a favorite restaurant, business or church, please submit it to us...whether a whole description, a photo, whatever. We want you to resolve to grow in your relationship to this blog

- I still need help in generating news around the ward. In addition to anything you'd like featured we would like news that occurs on your block or street on the very grassroots level. It would also help if the blog was shared with your neighbors. Word of mouth is always great, but fliers would be more ideal.

- Perhaps finding unconventional ways to share content. The blog is set up with e-mail subscriptions, but it couldn't hurt if these e-mails were published and distributed like newsletters. Or perhaps if you run a neighborhood newsletter you could print something you found on this blog into your newsletter.

Anyway some 2009 goals for this blog!

Obama comment!

Our very special reader writes to the blog...
What can we do as 6th Warders to be the citizens President Obama wants us to be? Who needs some help in the ward? Let’s get to work. No job is too big or small. We cannot fail him. He is not asking much of us. Can the alderman start up some kind of clearinghouse?
Previous post: Going to the inauguration?

Look forward to more!

Asphalt the winner for most Illinois roads

A pothole repair may rupture in less than a day, requiring crews to return to the same locations again and again. An asphalt road that is resurfaced lasts eight to 15 years on average before major repairs are needed, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation.

The Illinois State Toll Highway Authority is more conservative, estimating the normal life of an asphalt overlay at five to eight years.

Officials at both agencies agree that the time frame is shorter on roads that get a lot of traffic and, especially, a lot of trucks, which describes most areas in the Chicago area.

Building roads with concrete, a practice mostly limited in Illinois to expressways and toll highways, yields at least 30 years of use before requiring a major rehabilitation, authorities said.
The decision of whether to use asphalt over a concrete base or all concrete—and determining the thickness of the layers—primarily comes down to cost and the amount of vehicle traffic on a roadway. The track record in Illinois has been to spend less money upfront when a road is first built, yet exponentially more dollars over time on upkeep.

The cost to construct one lane mile of an asphalt-topped arterial street averages about $200,000, according to IDOT.

The cost to build one lane mile of a concrete expressway ranges from $285,000 to $400,000, IDOT said.

Costs in both categories vary depending on numerous factors, including the local price of materials near the work site, officials said.

Last year, IDOT spent more than $27 million patching and resurfacing roads in the Chicago area. The Illinois tollway spends about $5 million on average annually patching pavement that has not been recently rebuilt.
Posting this because of how bad the winter has been on the city's streets this year. Is it economically feasbile to use concrete on the city's major streets instead of asphalt? I wonder especially if it seems that concrete might be better in the long term than asphalt.

While Obama was inaugurated!!!

Governor Blagojevich needed to go back to the city's Federal buildings to once again get fingerprinted:
The governor, charged with political corruption, was fingerprinted again because the quality of the first set of prints taken last month was not considered good enough, sources said.

The fingerprinting inside the federal courthouse came on a Blagojevich visit to pretrial services that his attorneys characterized as routine. The governor's attorneys noted that the governor is required to appear at the offices whenever directed. His lead lawyer, Edward Genson, was not present.
The Governor also didn't file a motion to dismiss his impeachment charges with the State Senate. His attorneys have already pledged not to participate in his impeachment trial:
Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich remains silent on formal answers to impeachment charges with a Senate trial over his possible ouster just six days away.

The second-term Democrat, whose criminal lawyers quit his impeachment defense in protest last week, missed a second deadline Tuesday to file responses to a charge he abused his power as governor. The House voted 117 to 1 on Jan. 14 to impeach him.

As a result of his inaction, the Senate will presume the governor pleads not guilty to the charge and will move toward opening the historic trial Monday, said Toby Trimmer, spokesman for Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago).
The 4 p.m. deadline Tuesday was to file a request to dismiss the charge and kill the Senate proceeding. Senators, sitting as judges in the trial, would have voted on whether to grant the request. But there was no word from the governor or anyone representing him, Trimmer said.

It was the second trial-related deadline established by the Senate that the governor missed. Blagojevich had until Saturday to file a document answering charges in the case. Neither he nor a representative submitted anything Saturday or Monday, Trimmer said.
Doesn't seem like he's going to "fight, fight, fight" until he takes his last breath.

The impeachment trial is on with or without him.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Monday, January 19, 2009

Going to the inauguration?

If you don't mind please share your experiences and observations with this blog. Surely many of you are very excited to watch the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States. Please share your thoughts by either posting a comment or leaving an e-mail

If you have any business with the US Government this is the picture you will likely see of our new President.

Sunrise over Chatham

I could be wrong but this looks a lot like 83rd Street (it might be 87th as well) and it's breath taking. Photo credit goes to Jazzman24!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Let's Watch Each Other's Back

Craig Gernhardt offers some great advice as the city of Chicago is suffering some frigid weather. Let's stay safe out there and make sure others are as well. I did write a post on warming centers so keep that in mind as well.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Cook County's official "bird"?

Oh how classy. Story from the Sun-Times:
Call it a Mike Ditka moment.

Cook County Chief Financial Officer Donna Dunnings made an obscene gesture -- displaying her middle finger -- to the Sheriff's Department's budget director during a meeting in the County Board room this week.

Dunnings, who is President Todd Stroger's cousin, was walking to the dais during budget amendment discussions Thursday when she paused to flip off Alexis Herrera, who had previously worked for Dunnings.

"It was a joke," Dunnings said. "I was teasing with a former employee. We tease all the time. If someone thinks it's more than that, f--- 'em."

Herrera refused to comment publicly -- but apparently she wasn't amused.
I'm thinking joke or not, this isn't very appropriate behavior for a very important public official. Most people would put that type of behavior away when after leaving high school. And usually if one does that, then it may not be seen as a joke, it'll be seen as very offensive.

Via Capitol Fax!

16 Chicago schools to be closed, consolidated or relocated

There are actually a couple of stories on this in the 6th's EveryBlock Feed, but I found this Trib article via Newsalert:
Thousands of city students could be attending new public schools this fall under a district plan to close, consolidate or relocate 16 schools because of declining enrollment or subpar buildings, district officials said today.

As part of the proposal, six other schools—including one high school—will become turnaround schools, a status that requires teachers, administrators and others to reapply for their jobs. Four of those six schools are expected to be run by private groups.

The district is in the second year of a five-year program to deal with dwindling enrollment in the city's schools. Last year, the district closed, phased out or turned around 18 schools.

The school board must approve the plan and could as early as Feb. 25, after public hearings. If approved, the changes would take effect before the start of the 2009-2010 school year.
I haven't entirely figured out which of these schools are in the 6th, but I hope that I can finally run across this info soon. Had to refer to this list provided by a commenter back in 2007.

Looking at EveryBlock the school that is being attached to closing in the 6th is Yale at 7025 S. Princeton Ave.

It should also be noted and it was noted by Newsalert right in the post title...
Departing district CEO Arne Duncan has said that up to 50 schools may be shuttered at the end of the five years. Since 2001, enrollment has dropped by more than 40,000 students as gentrification in many neighborhoods pushed families out of the city and into nearby suburbs.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Another photo of Burris' swearing in

This looks like this was in the old US Senate chamber at the US Capitol. I read that any ceremony that takes place in the old chamber is merely for a photo-op. All the same this is a better image.

Via The Political Realm!

An idea on CTA alerts feeds

 Perhaps you noticed in the sidebar that there is a feed for CTA Red Line alerts. At the very bottom of this blog is the CTA Bus Tracker. Of course you can also check Bus Tracker here and Red Line alerts here.

I was thinking about offering feeds for the local bus routes. There are just to numerous to post here and the focus won't likely be on local stops in the ward, but on stops throughout the particular routes. Almost like the Red Line where you'll mostly see alerts between downtown and the northside. Very rarely will you see alerts between 69th and 95th.

Anyway I wish that their bus alerts could be compiled in a way where I can get local bus routes in one swoop. The CTA should operate similiarly to EveryBlock in that we should be able to combine local routes into one feed. I sincerely hope that someone at CTA reads this blog and will take this idea into account.

Smart' bank card could be ticket to ride Metra, CTA, Pace

Metra, CTA and Pace riders could skip buying tickets and instead use a “smart” bank or credit card to pay for fares on all three transit systems, under a concept being examined by the Regional Transit Authority.

“This would be the way we integrate the three service boards,” said RTA Chair Jim Reilly. Reilly said this technology would cut costs for transit agencies, by eliminating the need for employees to handle cash and sell tickets.

The card would contain a computer chip that allows the user to pay for rides. The card could also be used for other purchases, like groceries.

The CTA is already exploring the idea of using cards like this to pay for bus and L fares.

“It’s all still in the early stages. We’re in the process of soliciting proposals for this type of technology,” said Wanda Taylor, CTA spokeswoman.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Daley: Too cold to fill potholes

Clout Street:
Joking about the emergence of "Grand Canyon" situations on Chicago's streets, Mayor Richard Daley said today it's become too cold for city crews to effectively fill the growing crop of potholes.

City Hall's 21 pothole repair crews have been dispatched across the city, filling an average of 3,700 potholes a day over the first eight days of the year. But Daley said hundreds of new reports come in each day and thousands of potholes remain unplugged.

"When snow and ice are packed in the street, it's nearly impossible for crew to make any pothole repairs," the mayor said. "It is difficult to work with high-performance, cold patch material in sub-zero temperatures. It pops up … It's frozen when you put it down."

Burris has been sworn in

The video from CBS2Chicago has been posted almost an hour ago of Roland Burris' swearing in as a US Senator by outgoing Vice President Dick Cheney to suceed President-elect Barack Obama who previously held this seat.

Really? Silence? Does any alderman have a backbone?

Well I missed this article, but it's worth noting. Sent to this blog by a very special reader. From the Tribune:
Without a single word of debate, aldermen voted Tuesday to use new property tax revenue for Chicago's 2016 Olympics bid and guaranteed the city would cover additional police patrols, street cleaning and other services for the Summer Games.

Before the vote, Ald. Edward Burke (14th) expressed surprise that none of his council colleagues wished to add their input on the topic."Like the good old Peggy Lee song, Is that all there is?" Burke said.

The measure commits the city to using an unspecified amount of tax-increment financing dollars to subsidize infrastructure improvements at the Near South Side site of what would be the Olympic Village. It reaffirms a $500 million promise to cover any operating deficit for the event.

Olympics bid committee officials have said they are almost certain the city would not be called upon to cover the $500 million guarantee and that taxes on ticket sales would offset the costs of providing city services, estimated at $45 million.

Chicago is one of four finalists for the 2016 Games, competing with Madrid, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo.
I'm really an agnostic on whether or not Chicago should get the Olympics, but there should have been more debate as to where this money is going. Perhaps even discussion over how this expenditure would benefit the city!

Burris Saga Ends Today

Illinois will get a second U.S. senator Thursday. After a prolonged fight for the job, Roland Burris will be sworn in to the Senate this afternoon.

Since Burris was appointed to the seat by scandal-scarred Governor Rod Blagojevich last month, he and his lawyers have repeatedly called him the...

MONTAGE: Junior senator from Illinois...Senator Roland Burris...I am the junior senator according to every law book in the nation...have to consult with Senator Burris and then...the senator will stay in Washington until...junior senator from the state of Illinois.

It wasn't quite true, but soon will be. Burris' status will become official Thursday when he's sworn-in by Vice President Dick Cheney. It's the culmination of about two weeks of defiant statements, legal wrangling, and political back-tracking that's haunted politicians from Springfield to Washington.
Via Capitol Fax morning shorts!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Toni Preckwinkle to run against Todd Stroger???

This is something to look forward to. Many aren't happy with Stroger's stewardship of Cook County government. I'm sure quite a few aren't happy with how he came to become County Board President. Either way 2010 might be somewhat exciting as hopefully we'll elect a County Board President, but also a new Governor as well.

Perhaps as time moves forward, there will be more material. Perhaps after the inauguration there will be more to say about Tony Preckwinkle.

Mather's needs to borrow a larger TV/projector

We have previously bloggd about Mather's...on their behalf, we'd like to make a request:

If anyone can provide a projector or big screen TV to show the Inauguration, they would appreciate it.

My family ate there this past Saturday, and the atmosphere was as open & welcoming as usual. I asked about the theater showing the Inauguration, and they told me the theater was booked.

Mather?s?More Than a Café
33 E. 83rd Street
Chicago, IL
(773) 488-2801

Beedie Jones --> BJones (AT) MatherLifeWays (DOT) com
Stuart Greenblatt --> sgreenblatt (AT) matherlifeways (DOT) com

Impeachement and appoinment news!

What goes on in Springfield today? Well the 96th Illinois General Assembly will be inaugurated. After the new state House of Reps gets inaugurated they'll vote again on articles of impeachment for Gov. Blagojevich.

The more awkward moment for today is in the state Senate. Gov. Blagojevich will preside and take nominations for Senate President, however, he will not swear Senators into their respective offices. He will preside over the roll call vote for Senate President. Then the Senate President will address the chamber.

The Senate will also approve rules over the coming session, but also look at rules for the Governor's impeachment. Chief Justice Thomas Fitzgerald of the state Supreme Court will be sworn in to preside over the Governor's impeachment trial in the Senate. The Senators will also be sworn in as jurors for the coming impeachment trial.

Also Senator-designate Roland Burris will be sworn in as a US Senator this week. Burris is known to be a resident of the Sixth Ward and was acknowledged in the Alderman's latest newsletter. Anyway whatever credentials he had was finally in order so he can be seated and inaugurated.

Burris also paid a visit to the City Council on Tuesday.

Also yesterday the CapFax looks at Sen. Dick Durbin's role in this whole appointment controversy.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Another real estate link

Check out the foreclosures in your neighborhood according to zip code. Not just foreclosures to be sure, but also home values and trends.

Here are foreclosures for two ward zipcodes 60619 and 60628. Let us know what you find in your zipcode both in the ward or in your neck of the woods.

How about a message from the Alderman's newsletter about the neighborhoods of the Sixth...
It’s another month in another year of living and working in the wonderful 6th Ward. For those who may not be aware, the 6th Ward currently contains the communities of east Englewood, Park Manor, Greater Grand Crossing, Chatham, Chesterfield, West Chesterfield and Roseland Heights. I say currently because long time residents know that the boundaries have changed considerably. It is also worth mentioning that within the next 3 years, the boundaries will change again, due to the decennial census and the remapping of the Wards. But I digress.

The 6th Ward has been a mixed income community for more than 50 years. We have had and continue to have communities with residents of considerable wealth.We have had and continue to have communities that are  somewhere in the middle class and those who are desperately poor. Because of the change in the  make-up of the Black family; the loss of good manufacturing jobs; the transformation of the steel belt (Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, etc.) from making things (manufacturing) to serving people (retail, computer repair, etc.) the numbers of those in the middle and upper income levels is shrinking compared to those at the lower end of the spectrum. But we’re still here and we still have a middle class community when you average it out.

So what does that mean, you ask? It means that despite the break-ins that have plagued some of us; despite the gunshots you now hear when you lived here for 40 years and only heard them on New Year’s Eve; and despite the fact that the kids you see are 300% different than your children, we still are a community of choice. We have some of the best schools in the City in this Ward; beautiful and accessible Parks, fantastic housing stock, a variety of majestic Churches, an institution of higher learning, a new library on the way, a reliable (although problematic) transportation system, access to area expressways, a fair (not good) amount of retail and great neighbors. We’re a little short on medical care, but you can still raise and educate your children here, shop here, learn here, worship here, and be memorialized all within your community. So let’s start the year thanking the Creator for letting us see another year and allowing us to live in a community that remains vibrant, alive and thriving. Yes we have problems, but so does everybody else. The suburbs have crime and much higher property taxes. The North Side has crime and much higher property taxes. It’s not utopia and to be frank it wasn’t 40 years ago. But it is a great community to live in because each of you at my monthly meetings is dedicated to making it that way. We are here, we are going to remain here and we are going to keep working to make it a place your grandchildren can live in and raise their children, too.
May we continue to work hard to keep this ward a nice place to live, work, play and do business!

If you're under foreclosure and you need some help this is also contained in the Aldermanic newsletter. You should subscribe, because there is a lot of beneficial information contained therein:
Free Legal Services…The Poverty Law Project of the Legal Aid Bureau of Metropolitan Family Services can provide free legal services to low income clients in the following area: Housing-mortgage foreclosures, landlord/tenant disputes, Housing Choice Voucher Program, etc.; Consumer Law-repossession, collector’s actions, public utilities, etc.; Public Benefits-Advice and referrals for applications, etc. For more information and to register for Free Legal Services, call 773.371.3697.
Stay warm out there!

Reminder: Watch The Inauguration for Free

Join fellow 6th Ward residents (and other South Siders) at ICE Theaters on
Inauguration Day to see it live --for FREE.

For more info:
ICE Theaters Chatham
West 87th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60620

This was mentioned on CBS2 news on January 6th blogged here on the same date!

UPDATE: Talking with some people at Mather's More Than A Cafe, they said the theater has been booked for Inaugration day! If someone can verify, please reply with a comment.

10,000 free Radon detetction kits available...

Click here to get your free Radon detetction kit from the state of Illinois.

This is from your state government (note the .gov website)

South Side losing gas wars again?

Since the week of Christmas, it seems like the Northern Suburbs have regained their lead over Chatham's gas stations.

This evening, Deerfield had prices of $1.93- $1.95. The cheapest in Chatham is $1.99, starting with the BP at 76th & State for a while, but other stationshave dropped their prices as well.

This comes after a brief roller coaster time of price changes.

It's too bad -- i liked filling up in the neighborhood!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Side street get attention during snowstorm! part 2

Well after I shoveled outside of my home Saturday afternoon I decided to brave the elements to walk around the block. I live on a main street and I decided to check out the sidestreets behind me and they looked not much different than the alleys. Lots of tire tracks with some people using shovels to dig out their parking spaces.

Fast forward to Sunday evening driving down this side street, I see that it is clear all the way to the street no snow packed down by passing automobiles. Now I'm not sure if it happened Sat. night or Sun. morning, however it is great to see that the side streets are getting more attention than they did last month.

I'm sure enough noise was made where the city reverse course and decided they'd better clear the side streets. If you want any further forecasts for snow look no further than the Accuweather widget in the second sidebar to the right. It's somewhere under the e-mail information. Of course you can also visit for any weather info.

Barack Obama on Check, Please!

Barack Obama made an appearance as a State Senator on this WTTW program check please back in August 2001. I understand that this particular episode he appeared never aired because it was thought that it wasn't considered a very good one. All the sudden the program sees the light of day and it will air on January 16th, at least 4 days before his Presidential inauguration.

I am subscribed to WTTW videos on YouTube and found on their account only a promo. This video I'm posting comes from Check Please's YouTube account. I understand that Obama was cheerleading for his neighborhood, Hyde Park in this clip, I only heard about it before I decided to start looking and I found that particular clip.

Now to relate this back to the 6th, who might be the one who could represent our neighborhood and promote this part of town?

Senate expects to seat Burris later this week

It looks like Roland Burris will take President-elect Barack Obama's Senate seat later this week.

Senate Democratic leaders say they expect to swear in the former Illinois attorney general in the coming days, barring objections from Republicans.

Senators Harry Reid and Dick Durbin made the statement after Burris' lawyer met with Senate officials, who say his formal paperwork is in order.

Blagojevich to seat Senate that'll try him

From the Kafka files: Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich will swear in the state Senate, whose first order of business is whether to remove him from office.

The swearing-in ceremony is scheduled for Wednesday, then senators will consider whether to try Blagojevich on articles of impeachment approved by the House last week, the Chicago Tribune reported Monday.

The 59 senators -- 37 Democrats and 22 Republicans -- will act as the jury in the first impeachment trial of an Illinois governor. State Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas Fitzgerald will preside, while a special prosecutor will present the House's evidence. Blagojevich's defense team is likely to be led by criminal attorney Ed Genson. And, it will be televised.

"It's different from a criminal trial -- dramatically different," incoming state Senate President John Cullerton said. "You don't have the same protections, if you will, for a governor as a defendant as you do if there is a criminal charge."
Reports are that the Governor is confident that he might be acquitted by the state Senate, especially since the state Supreme Court Chief Justice will preside over the trial.

Of course there are those who feel differently about that. Just check out Rich Miller's syndicated column.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Burris on SNL and other items

Remember Kenan Thompson he played Roland Burris. He used to be a mainstay on Nickelodeon on Kenan & Kel and All That. Even had a role on The Steve Harvey Show.

Away from the trangression, Illinois is once again a laughing stock!

Also the Capitol Fax blogged yesterday that there might be more movement in getting Roland Burris seated in the US Senate.

Side street get attention during snowstorm!

Check out this video report from WBBM-TV about the difference between city's decision to service the side streets during the recent snowstorm. Has the city been down any of your sidestreets?

Major Chicago Police Corruption Alleged By Former Officer

From this cable access TV program Issue Forum. Here's a description:
Frank Avila Jr. interviews former Chicago Police Officer and Author Juan Antonio Juarez. Brotherhood of Corruption: A Cop Breaks the Silence on Police Abuse, Brutality, and Racial Profiling. A former Chicago cop exposes shocking truths about the abuses of power within the city’s police department in this memoir of violence, drugs, and men with badges. Juarez becomes a police officer because he wants to make a difference in gang-infested neighborhoods; but, as this book reveals, he ends up a corrupt member of the most powerful gang of all—the Chicago police force. Juarez shares the horrific indiscretions he witnessed during his seven years of service, from the sexually predatory officer, X, who routinely stops beautiful women for made-up traffic offenses and flirts with domestic violence victims, to sadistic Locallo, known on the streets as Locoman, who routinely stops gang members and beats them senseless. Working as a narcotics officer, Juarez begins to join his fellow officers in crossing the line between cop and criminal, as he takes advantage of his position and also becomes a participant in a system of racial profiling legitimized by the war on drugs. Ultimately, as Juarez discusses, his conscience gets the better of him and he tries to reform, only to be brought down by his own excesses. From the perspective of an insider, he tells of widespread abuses of power, random acts of brutality, and the code of silence that keeps law enforcers untouchable. Juan Antonio Juarez was a Chicago police officer for seven years, has written for the Chicago Reader, and is now a middle school teacher working with at-risk students.
Via Newsalert!

Joe Zekas R.I.P.

 Joe Zekas ran the real estate news website YoChicago . If you have been following that site and their social media channels i.e. YouTube o...