Wednesday, September 30, 2009
A Chicago bank has filed to foreclose on a shuttered South Side theater owned by Regina Evans, the Country Club Hills police chief better known for overseeing a probe into the recent suicide of a former confidant to indicted Gov. Rod Blagojevich.For more info on this theater check out Cinema Treasures!
Citizens Bank & Trust Co. alleges that a group led by Ms. Evans defaulted on a $2.1-million loan to finance the New Regal Theater, a shuttered landmark at 1641 E. 79th St. that the venture bought for $2.4 million in March 2008.
Formerly known as the Avalon, the 2,300-seat theater opened in 1927 and is known for its Middle Eastern design. The New Regal opened in 1987 in the building and drew acts such as Patti LaBelle and Smokey Robinson, according to a 1991 piece in the Chicago Sun-Times.
The building was designated a Chicago landmark in 1992, but the New Regal closed in 2003. Its sale to Ms. Evans’ group last year was viewed as key to a revival of the neighborhood.
Ms. Evans, a former Chicago police lieutenant, had planned to revive the theater with live entertainment, helped by the city’s decision to forgive $1.9 million in city loans and grants tied to the property. But she stopped making interest payments on the loan starting in May, according to the foreclosure suit, filed earlier this month in Cook County Circuit Court. The loan, which matures in 2011, carries an 8.25% interest rate.
Or how about a joining a Christmas Club and using cash for Christmas? Stores like Sears pay as much as 3 percent interest, but don't forget to read the small print.Ways to be sure that you'll either shop smart of have some money for Christmas presents!
"You can't have an early withdrawal. If you do, they're going to hit you with a penalty," said Attorney Robert Semrad, Debt Stoppers USA.
So follow the lead of William McHenry. The retired sheriff's officer opened up a Christmas Club account at Seaway bank.
"It helps because it automatically goes into the club savings account," McHenry said.
The automatic transfer keeps McHenry from spending the money.
"This way it's there for that purpose and it'll be there when the time arrives to use it," he said.
It's not too late to open up a bank or store Christmas Club account, but most will send you a check in mid-November, just in time for the Black Friday sales after Thanksgiving.
Go here to find out more about Seaway's Christmas Club account.
The state of Illinois has partnered with Ameren Illinois Utilities to offer recycling bins for compact flourescent light blubs.This program is being utilized in downstate cities, but it would be nice to see ComEd create such a program here in Chicago!
The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and Ameren announced the program Tuesday. The utility says it will use a $50,000 grant from the department to place nearly 100 recycling containers in its service area.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, CFL bulbs use one-third the energy of traditional incandescent bulbs, last up to 10 times longer and save $30 or more in energy costs over their lifetime.
Their website is anusstore.com , but it looks like just a place holder for now...GoDaddy is exploiting that by having questionable links on the placeholder site.
The strange thing is, Canik's Conevnience store recently closed a couple of doors down. And Chatham Food Market is just down the street (literally). So is a conevnience store really needed? One that provides ethnic food (such as from nations in West Africa) would be unique. But are we at a point where it would be frequented by customers?
At the left is a graphic of the flyer announcing the store -- i happened to find it on the ground.
At the bottom of this entry is a photo of the building , from the Cook County Assessor Website's property search. Unfortunately, it doesn't have the front view of the storefront. But it gives you an idea where it is.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Check out this column by Mark Brown. I suggest you read the whole this, you'll see he talks about Albert and the incident that claimed his young life, however I will excerpt what he learned during his experience at a south side high school at about dismissal time:
Last spring, I was invited down to the old Bowen High School campus in South Chicago, now split into four smaller high schools, to see how students and staff were trying to maintain a safe setting following earlier incidents of violence in the neighborhood.I would agree with that point that I placed in bold. If only there were answers that could in some way keep our young people safe. Indeed if only there was a way to keep the peace and keep these young people from fighting or otherwise causing general trouble.
The experience gave me a sliver of insight into some of the same issues that apparently were involved at Fenger: the role played by gang members who don't attend the schools and the problems of accessing public transportation that can require crossing unfriendly gang turf.
Bowen is just across the street from Bessemer Park, a lovely setting by all appearances. But I was warned the park was also a magnet for local gang members.
Sure enough, just as dismissal time approached, a large group of gang members emerged en masse from the park to move into position outside the school.
It was explained to me that they were mainly there to protect their own members who attend the school, although you can well imagine how their mere presence could lead to conflicts. You can also better understand how students might find it in their own self-interests to affiliate at least loosely with a gang for protection.
At Bowen, school officials had wisely taken steps to solve one of the greatest dangers to their students: getting jumped on the way to the CTA bus stop. The solution was remarkably simple. They arranged for the bus to stop directly outside the school, where it could be loaded under the watchful eye of security guards.
It's that sort of coordinated approach of city agencies that is too often missing from the city's anti-violence efforts. For all the hand-wringing we do about youth violence in this city, those who work with the problem believe much more could be accomplished if we could just get all the public agencies working together.
Something else I was told on my visit to Bowen is that students usually know when there is going to be trouble after school. The grapevine is still mightier than a computer network. In Derrion's death, the fact there had been a shooting earlier in the day at Fenger would have been a giant red flag that more clashes could be coming after school.
VIA CapFax morning shorts!
Former Chicago Housing Authority chief Terry Peterson, who has emerged as one of Mayor Daley's closest political confidantes, is the mayor's choice to replace departing CTA Board Chairwoman Carole Brown, City Hall sources said Monday.QUESTION: Is this a good move or bad move? Do you think of this as Daley shifting his people around?
Peterson, 50, described himself as a "roll-up-my-sleeves, work hard, get-it-done-kind-of-guy" who would bring the same "consensus-building" skills to the CTA's financial crisis that he used to tackle the CHA's $1.6 billion Plan for
The CTA avoided fare hikes and service cuts this year, only after shifting capital funds to operations, receiving an influx of federal stimulus funds and ordering another round of budget cuts. Next year's shortfall is expected to approach $300 million.
"What the CTA is facing is no different than what other cities are facing. Revenues are falling. It's the toughest economy in our lifetime. In spite of that, we still have to provide service to hardworking men and women who depend on CTA for their livelihood," Peterson said Monday.
"I am mindful of the fact that working families are stretching their dollars to make ends meet. I take that mind-set with me to the CTA. We've got to look internally at how we address this" before raising fares or cutting service.
As for the burden the CTA would inherit if Chicago wins the 2016 Olympic sweepstakes, he said, "It definitely presents an opportunity for us to get more money. That's been done in other cities. But whether we get the Olympics or not, we still need to make an investment in our transit infrastructure."
Monday, September 28, 2009
Highland Community Bank, one of three African-American-owned banks in Chicago, has been hit with a regulatory order that will require it to raise nearly $2 million in new capital and perhaps more, depending on how the bank’s third-quarter results reflect a recent regulatory exam.Located on West 87th Street a block or two past Ashland. This article notes that takeover rumors have been out for most of this decade for Highland. In fact Seaway Bank was angling to buy the bank but the deal was never done.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and Illinois Division of Banking entered the “cease and desist” order on Sept. 15 against Highland, which has $119 million in assets and three South Side branches. The regulators accused the bank of improper lending activities, including not obtaining adequate collateral from borrowers, not establishing and enforcing loan repayment programs and operating with too many poor-performing loans.
As of June 30, Highland’s capital levels were within bank regulatory guidelines for being considered “well-capitalized.” But the regulators in the order demanded that Highland’s capital be at an even higher level, requiring its highest-quality capital to be increased from $10 million to nearly $12 million.
The order requires the bank to bolster its reserves for losses from bad loans and identify problem loans on its books that regulators found in their examination of Highland, dated Aug. 4. The bank’s most recent financial results, for the period ended June 30, included a fairly modest amount of delinquent loans, but that report likely won’t have reflected the regulators’ Aug. 4 exam.
Date/Time: Thursday October 8, 2009 @ 6:30 PM
Location: 7800 S. Indiana Ave @ Greater Institutional AME Church
I will refer you to the schedule for future meetings by sending you to this past blog post. If anything changes expect to see it on the blog!
BTW, Sept. Aldermanic newsletter. I could've posted it earlier but I needed an excuse and this is it. Here in case you never got a chance to see it for this month.
The last day is on September 30th, a Wednesday between 9AM to 2PM located at the southeast corner of 87th & Langley. If you want more info call (773) 602-4865 or go to Seaway's website @ www.seawaybank.us.
I will also refer you the Chicago Farmer's Market website @ www.chicagofarmersmarkets.us
These scans are from the brochure that you may find about city farmer's markets in the lobby at Seaway Bank. You can get printable copies of the scans here!
Besides getting $1.2 million in state health department money for HIV and AIDS prevention, the Let's Talk, Let's Test Foundation has also gotten $500,000 from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to buy and rehabilitate a nine-unit apartment building on the South Side.Here's an approximate location via Google Street View!
Let's Talk, Let's Test paid $379,000 in July 2007 to buy the building at 7948 S. Evans.
The foundation had planned to use the remaining money from the commerce department for renovations so it could then rent out the building and use the income for future HIV-testing and AIDS-awareness activities.
But the rehab project cost more than planned, and the foundation ran out of money to finish it, according to Lloyd Kelly, the foundation's executive director.
So, more than two years after the foundation bought the building, it remains vacant. In July, city building inspectors declared it "vacant and open," which could lead to demolition proceedings.
View Larger Map
Four years ago, the Let's Talk, Let's Test Foundation helped persuade Illinois legislators to spend $3 million a year to fight the spread of AIDS in African-American communities.
The Chicago not-for-profit organization -- founded by state Rep. Connie Howard (D-Chicago) -- went on to get $1.2 million in taxpayer money from that program, called the African American HIV/AIDS Response Fund.
Now, state health department officials are questioning $523,545 in spending by Let's Talk, Let's Test. The expenses being scrutinized range from the purchase of a skybox at a college football game at Soldier Field to five-figure "bonus" payments to two staffers, state records show.
Federal authorities also are looking into the foundation. "As of today, we can confirm that the U.S. attorney's office is investigating the LTLT matter," Kelly Jakubek, communications manager for the Illinois Department of Public Health, said Friday.
An FBI agent had attended an Aug. 25 state hearing looking into the expenses.
Federal authorities declined to comment.
The August 2005 passage of the African American HIV/AIDS Response Fund law, which Howard co-sponsored, laid the groundwork for Let's Talk, Let's Test to see a big boost in its state funding. State health officials picked the group to "develop a statewide African-American HIV prevention plan" and to coordinate HIV testing efforts in black communities. It was chosen based on its three years of experience raising awareness about HIV on Chicago's South and West sides.
The foundation also had a who's-who of leaders in Chicago's black community as unpaid board members. They included Howard, a South Side state representative; U.S. Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.), now a candidate for Cook County Board president; Ald. Freddrenna Lyle (6th), and former Cook County Commissioner Bobbie Steele.
But the agency's finances have tanked since 2007. The foundation is now $950,000 in debt, according to its executive director, Lloyd Kelly. In April, the Illinois attorney general's office revoked the foundation's ability to solicit donations because it had failed to file a report on its 2008 finances, as state law requires.
Kelly and Howard blame state health officials for the group's problems, noting that the health department scrapped plans to give it another $1.2 million last year. And they say no money has been misspent.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Nicole Towns was reportedly last seen (last Tuesday) in the area of East 76th Street and South Calumet Avenue on September 22, according to a news release from the Chicago Police Department.
Towns is a student at Deneen Elementary School.
Police said the girl is 5-foot-6 and weighs 165 pounds. She has brown eyes, black hair and a medium complexion, the release said.
If anyone has information regarding her disappearance, please call the Calumet Area detectives at (312) 747-8274.
Here's the story from Chicago Breaking News :
The worried family of a 57-year-old father-of-five who mysteriously disappeared from his South Side home eight days ago has urged the public to help find him.
Retired postal worker Stephen Covin was last seen in the yard outside his home, 7714 South Martin Luther King Drive, at 6:30 a.m. on Sept. 18, according to his wife, Lisa Covin.
"My father saw him coming from the alley toward the house, but he never came back in," Lisa Covin said. "It's completely unlike him -- he didn't take his car and Steve does not like to walk."
Covin had his keys and his wallet, but not his phone, she said.
The couple have been together for 11 years but only married this February, she said. His wife said he had no history of mental health problems.
They hadn't argued and "there's no reason that makes any sense why he didn't come back," she added. "Unless his mind isn't working properly, he'd have called."
When he was last seen, Covin was wearing a black baseball cap, possibly with a White Sox logo, a white T-shirt, black cargo shorts, sandal-style shoes and white socks.
He has a dragon tattoo on his left shoulder, she said.
Chicago Police are looking for Covin, who is 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighs around 190 pounds, she added.
Anyone with information can call Calumet Area detectives at 312-747-8274.
-- Kim Janssen
Saturday, September 26, 2009
CAMPAIGN LEAFLET: Kari K. Steele for Commissioner of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago
This is not an endorsement, but I would like to wish Ms. Steele the best of luck in her endeavor to win election to the Water Reclamation district. She was probably amongst the first in the community to reach out to this blog so certainly I'm very appreciative of that.
Many who read this blog may not be very familiar with this political body so I'll offer a previous post and a direct link to the Water Reclamation District just so that you may familiarize yourself with what exactly they do.
Ride with us aboard "PC1"
The official website of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District @ http://www.mwrd.org/
You can also read the Wikipedia entry!
While it seems CAPCC just seems to continue to ask about it, why is it they don't offer an update on it like what was seen in a status message at the Concerned Citizens of Chatham from September 22nd?
Concerned Citizens of Chatham: The city of Chicago has aquired the majority of the land for the new library to be located at 79th King Drive to 79th Vernon. There is one business holding out. Should the community continue to support that business that is holding up the construction?Hey I would like to see updates like this at the CAPCC blog.
Anyway the CAPCC blog has had the drumbeat for a new library for a while now and the expection of what this new library will bring will hopefully make it a true asset. I hope it happens!
You can also read this previous post written about that new library here!
CAPCC wants a new library building
Friday, September 25, 2009
About two weeks ago an off-duty cop shot and killed a 17-year-old near 69th and King. As is often the case in police-involved shootings, the officer said the teen had a gun; witnesses and the youth's family said he was unarmed.Go there and read the whole thing!
The Independent Police Review Authority is investigating, as it does all police shootings. But the incident wasn't the only recent outbreak of violence in that area: in the last month, police have received reports of 27 batteries, 8 robberies, and4 weapons violations.
Last night, when I went down to the area for its monthly community policing meeting, lots of people around there seemed to be on edge.
Ten residents showed up for the CAPS meeting in the basement hall of a church near 71st and King, but by the scheduled start time of 7PM no police officers had arrived. The residents said usually at least Officer Hutchinson, the community liaison, was early.
I'm not too impressed, for several reasons.
The flyer said it was open on Wednesday, but when i went in at 12:55pm,there was a sign sayign it would open at 2pm. That caused an unnecessary delay in my schedule.
i wound up going the next day (Thursday).
The shelves were definitely full. But it felt more like a gas station convenience store than a food mart. The selection was limited, and the prices were OK, I guess (Milk, eggs & bread were good tewasers, but how long will that price last?).
The cashiers were behind (bulletproof?) glass windows. It was a little more open during the day. There was a lobby area which i assume will be the only place people can stay if they come in during the late hours. (I.e. they will probably lock up the store, and get the items you want, if you come in late at night).
The only other store that seems to be opening is a Maxwell's restaurant...yes, more burgers & such. Nothing unique (like Asian, African or Latino food). The restaurant wasn'topen yet, but I am betting it will be mostly, if not exclusive, take out. That would probably replace Pizza King formerly across the street.
Looking at the bigger picture...does this neighborhood REALLY need another convenience store? OK, it's open 24 hours. That replaces a void from Chatham Grocery (maybe).
It's not necessarily the developers responsibility to get "ideal" businesses...but it begs the question: what business do we NEED to ADD to Chatham? And then -- who do we ask to make it happen?
Earlier this month I walked along Cottage Grove and saw the new AutoZone. I must say the parking lot looks very nice with some good landscaping. Probably more important it's definitely something new in the community.
While there may be a long ways to go with improving the corridor, strolling down the street (can I call it The Grove) I came to one conclusion. There are BBQ or soul food restaurants on the street and I think Cottage could be great for some outdoor dining like what can be seen in Hyde Park, South Loop, or even Lincoln Park.
Just something to consider.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
I was near 97th Street at this point and I decided let's see what I can see although I didn't get any closer to the action. A police car appeared to have stopped at 96th Street and I decided to walk back down Michigan. The crowd seemed to have calmed down and dispersed from near one of the baseball diamonds in Abbott Park adjacent to the school.
I keep checking back on the action at the school and I see that the police pulled up to a van. I can't say if anyone was pulled out of the van, however, I did see that the police were checking that van out and had the doors open.
BTW, I can't prove there was a fight near Harlan as I didn't see it. Perhaps I was going by what happened in my day (years ago) when if a fight was breaking out students would run to it. Who knows it was probably the most exciting thing to see, unfortunately.
Outside of Harlan, in the surrounding neighborhood, it's not something I would want to see. Especially if I want to think positively about our young people.
In any case if you saw what happened sometime after 3 PM on Thursday near Harlan Community Academy please leave a comment or send an e-mail. Let's see if we can create a more complete story than I have presented by my own eyewitness account.
Home sales in the city of Chicago were down 7.2 percent in August, with the median home price plunging 22.9 percent from a year ago, a realtors' group reported today.The Tribune notes that home sales are on the rise in the area, however:
The median home price in the city stood at $229,476 versus the year ago's $297,500, according to the Illinois Association of Realtors.
Year-over-year sales of existing homes in the Chicago market rose in August for the second consecutive month, as a federal tax credit and low interest rates continued to drive first-time home buyers into the marketplace.Crain's further notes:
But the gain, while a positive sign, was only 1.3 percent and was limited to single-family homes. Condominium sales, particularly within the city of Chicago, continue to suffer mightily.
In the nine-county Chicago region, 7,009 homes were sold August, up 1.3% from 6,917 sales in August 2008, the Realtors group said in a release Thursday. Before last month, when local sales rose 0.3%, the Chicago area hadn’t seen a year-over-year monthly increase since March 2006.Well, I suppose no one wants to buy a home in the city right now.
In the city itself, sales still fell, with 1,928 in August, down 7.2% from August 2008.
In the city, the median price was $229,476 in August, down 22.9% from last year.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
CTA Board Chairwoman Carole Brown and her co-hort, Vice Chair Susan Leonis, resigned today, creating a leadership vacuum at the chronically-troubled mass transit agency.Tribune has Brown's comments:
The tandem resignations leave former Aviation Commissioner Richard Rodriguez — newly-appointed CTA president with no mass transit experience — to face the financial crisis without the CTA board’s most savvy members.
Brown, 45, is a former senior vice-president for now-defunct Lehman Brothers who used the municipal finance expertise she gained at Harvard and Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management to put together the bond deal that helped the CTA solve its pension crisis.
She was appointed by Mayor Daley in September, 2003, and re-appointed to a term that expires in 2013. Leonis, a close friend of first lady Maggie Daley, was appointed to the CTA board by Gov. Edgar in 1996.
Sources said the demise of Lehman Brothers played a role in Brown’s exit.
After a brief stint at Mesirow Financial, Brown landed at Siebert Brandford Shank LLC, a municipal finance firm that demands more of her time.
“Ever since she started, the CTA has had one crisis after another. There’s no money. It took years to a get a bail-out through Springfield. She spends a lot of time at the CTA,” said a source familiar with the explanation Brown gave to Daley Tuesday.
“Lehman Brothers was a huge multi-national firm with tens of thousands of employees. This is a much smaller firm. She just doesn’t have that kind of time anymore.”
"I think six years of service is a good amount of time and provides an opportunity for a change in leadership," Brown said. The CTA is facing "major challenges and will benefit from a fresh perspective."So who might foot the bill to fill Brown's shoes?
Brown said she has had "a pretty rough year with [her former employer] Lehman Brothers going bankrupt."
The departure of Ron Huberman as the transit agency's president had no impact on her decision to leave, she said.
But Brown added that "Ron and I had a simpatico that I missed" when Richard Rodriguez took over as CTA president.
The transit agency's anticipated financial problems next year also aren't a factor in her departure, said Brown, noting she had been through several tough financial years during her time as CTA board president. And the city's bid for the 2016 Olympics played no role in her decision to leave, she said.
UPDATE 8:52 PM Greg Hinz offers one answer to the next CTA Chair:
There was no immediate word on a replacement for Ms. Brown, though some sources speculated the post will be offered to former alderman and Chicago Housing Authority Board Chairman Terry Peterson if he is interested.Mayor Daley really does just shift people around!
Also looking at the comments at Tribune or in the Hinz blog post, it seems no one is the least bit interested in this piece of news. They either don't care or they say that she doesn't even ride public transit!
BTW, also check out the comments at the Sun-Times as well!
If you see anything from this video worth mentioning please leave a comment.
A video similar to this is probably something this blog should do at some point as well. Although we can't go backwards in time and see how Chatham looks now can we.
The Chicago Transit Authority is launching a new effort to give companies owned by women or minorities a better chance of doing business with the agency.
Contractors and vendors are sometimes shut out from competing for millions of dollars in CTA contracts -- not always because they cannot do the work, but rather they lack the proper bonding or insurance, among other reasons, officials said.
The CTA will hold monthly workshops, beginning Sept. 30 and running through May, to help vendors understand the procurement process and become certified to do business with the agency.
Also, participants at the sessions will learn what projects are out for bid and get a forecast of future projects that will be put up for bid.
Minority- or female-owned small businesses will be able to apply for Disadvantaged Business Enterprise status to improve their chances of being selected, officials said.
Monday, September 21, 2009
An off-duty police officer fired a weapon at a suspect during a possible robbery attempt Monday morning in the Chatham neighborhood according to police.I hope this perp is found!
At about 12:42 a.m. in the 8000 block of South Prairie Avenue an unknown offender was attempting a robbery. An off-duty police officer saw the offender and fired but did not strike the offender, according to Chicago Police News Affairs Officer Amina Greer.
The offender fled the scene and no one was in custody as of 5 a.m., Greer said.
Wal-Mart's plans to build a second store in Chicago remain bottled up in the Chicago City Council. The store that Wal-Mart would like to build on the South Side at 83rd Street and Stewart Avenue, is going nowhere because the aldermen live in fear of organized labor and organized labor despises Wal-Mart.
We know organized labor wants to keep Wal-Mart from expanding in Chicago. But what do the aldermen's constituents want?
The answer is clear: They want the opportunity to work or shop at Wal-Mart.
A new Tribune/WGN poll found that 68 percent of city residents would like to see a new Wal-Mart store in Chicago, and 72 percent say Wal-Mart would be good for the community. The support is even higher with African-Americans, who stand to gain the most economic benefit from the proposed South Side store. The poll found 72 percent of African-Americans want Wal-Mart in the city and 81 percent say it would be good for the community.
But the aldermen aren't listening to their constituents. The unions provide money and troops at election time. Apparently the aldermen have decided that keeping the labor bosses happy is more critical than following the wishes of their citizens.
Politically, that might be a savvy calculation, if they figure voters don't feel too strongly about this. They figure they won't suffer any consequences for blocking 200 construction jobs and up to 500 retail sales jobs.
Don't be so sure about that. The chamber poll asked: "Has Chicago's City Council succeeded or failed to bring job growth and economic development to Chicago?" The answer: 66 percent said the council has failed. Just 12 percent said it has succeeded.
Aldermen, you're not fooling anybody.
Friday, September 18, 2009
Chicago’s Green City Market was among a group of nationwide farmers markets that received a total of $4.5 million in federal funds to promote the growth and sale of local produce.Now if we can get in on some of this action!
The year-round farmers market in Lincoln Park was awarded a grant of $76,300 as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s “Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food” program. Among the 86 programs in 37 states to get funds, Green City Market was the only recipient in Illinois.
“This will certainly change the face of Green City Market,” Executive Director Lyle Allen said of the grant, the largest his organization has ever received. It equals 20% of Green City Market’s 2009 budget.
Mr. Allen said most of the grant will be used to create a scholarship program to help farmers gain certified sustainable or organic status. Green City Market will require all vendors to be certified as sustainable or organic in 2012. Some of the funds will also help low-income individuals buy fresh produce through a federal government assistance program.
This newsletter covers:
- The issue regarding the zoning of Harlan and Abbott Park.
- BTW Abbott Park is having a 60 year open house on October 2, 2009 between 5:30 PM and 7 PM
- CAPS meeting at Rosehaven Manor @ 10220 S. Michigan Ave
- Finally the Chicago State Police expanding their patrol boundaries, loitering, fake car accidents, and plants being taken from community gardens on Indiana at 98th & 99th Streets.
In any case, at 6:30 (that was around the time I arrived for the LSC meeting) apparently there was already a Parental Advisory Council (PAC) meeting in progress. That was when I should have know there was to be no LSC meeting, but I could never imagine what would take up some of that time. BTW, as for the PAC I should check the schools current events calendar more often!
There was an impromptu tour of the school with Principal Evans. Well I had to get over how different the school looks. I never had a chance to go upstairs, but I see that the school has a few more computer labs than the ones I knew about at school in my day.
In addition to that there were some bathrooms that in my day were sealed. Who knows why they were sealed back then. It could have been security, it could have cost money to maintain, or it could be that they didn't work anymore. The principal said that those bathrooms haven't worked for close to four years and today they work just fine.
Where there were the former shop rooms, there are now computer labs on the south end of the school. These labs serve both the new magnet engineering program and science students. The principal said that the engineering program wasn't large enough yet hence the engineering program had to share their labs.
Another room that contained shops is now a counseling office. I wonder what they did with the old counseling offices upstairs!
Oh yeah one of the old science classrooms now has a computer lab and the principal is seeking some white boards. I'm going to assume those are the type of boards that allow you to write on the board with an electronic marker and it comes out as type assuming that it's connected to an overhead projector with a PC. Or it could just be a white board with which you can only use an actual marker.
When the parents left the social room they actually went to the gym, however, I had no idea there was a tour so I didn't go immediately. I found everyone in what used to be the lady's locker room although I didn't see what's in there now. When they left the gyms, I didn't follow the group I went back to the social room to see about the LSC meeting.
When I saw the group head towards the science classrooms that's when I joined them again. Followed them all the way back to the social room.
The school is definitely ready for the 21st century. The Harlan I knew was stuck between the 1950s and the 1990s. That would not be the problem, the disappointing part is that students still have to walk thru metal detectors even now. It's disappointing but still understandable, there are some young people who may attempt to bring a weapon to school with them. Although I would like to think today's Harlan student wouldn't bother with such an exercise, just sayin.
Bottom line is that the school hasn't look this good in years. Perhaps we should plan another outing to the Harlan LSC in the near future. I hope they do a tour as well!
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Last month, joblessness edged lower, to 10.0% from 10.4% in July, according to the Illinois Department of Employment Security. A year ago, Illinois’ unemployment rate stood at 6.7%.
"These numbers likely reflect the fluctuation that happens in every recession," IDES Director Maureen O'Donnell said in a statement. “For months, we have encouraged people to be optimistic and realistic.”
Over the last 12 months, companies have cut 306,100 jobs. Since the onset of the recession in December 2007, the state is down 342,800 jobs.
GCA members and neighbors:You can find the original flier here!
Below is an e-mail that Carl Lewis received today from Lisette Livingston who is the Managing Editor for the
He had invited her last month to come to our meeting as a Guest Speaker. Well, today, he got her response (see e-mail below). She will appear at our September meeting.
This is an extraordinary opportunity for us to speak to a representative from the Citizens Newspaper: share your concerns, ask questions and extend kudos if you want to.
We hope we will get a good turn-out to meet with one of the decision-making editors on this eminent, community newspaper in our area. Hope to see you there.
GCA Corresponding Secretary
Attendance figures released by Chicago Public Schools may be misleading. CPS is touting a record high attendance rate for the first day of school. But they’re counting kids who’ve been in class for weeks.Also in CPS news the Principal of Whitney Young Magnet High School testifies in probe over clout admissions to her school:
The district ran a citywide back-to school campaign this year, as it has in the past. And it says over 94 percent of its students showed up to school on September 8.
But spokeswoman Monique Bond admits that count includes 80,000 students in year-round schools who’ve been in class since early August. And the attendance figure leaves out kids still trickling into the system.
The principal of a school that's part of a federal probe into admissions practices at the city's elite public high schools said Wednesday that she has testified before a grand jury.Both stories via CapFax morning shorts!
Whitney Young Principal Joyce Kenner declined to provide details of her two-hour testimony last week before the federal panel.
"I have been assured that I am not the target of this investigation," Kenner told parents during a regularly scheduled meeting of Whitney Young's local school council. "And I have been assured that Whitney Young is not the center of this investigation."
Federal authorities would not comment on Wednesday night about Kenner's statements.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
It was brought up here on this blog bouncing off of several posts made at the CAPCC blog about what they wish to have on the site of the old Rhodes Theater which is a health/fitness club. This site has been vacant for almost 20 years since this old movie theater was demolished in 1990. Let's look at what's there now though I regret not taking more pics of this lot.
Worlee made a comment in that post that was linked earlier in this post that mentioned the CAPCC blogger's post mentioning what they'd like to see on this site:
The owner of the land the Rhodes theater sit on has wanted to build there for years but CAPCC does not agree with his choice of business to occupy(laundramat).I have no problem with a community indicating their wishes as far as what businesses they may need in their own community. For example, Chesterfield Community Council seems to take issue with a dollar store in the community where once upon a time there was a neighborhood owned grocery store.
The problem as indicated here it seems is when the community opposes a plan that could get this lot built, but in the midst of opposition nothing gets built. On top of that this lot doesn't appear to be very well taken care of. Of vacant lots my view is that something positive should be taking place here whether or not a structure is erected here or this is just plain turned into a little park area!
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
A South Side commercial strip is suffering from a city works project that may put owners permanently out of business.Lem's is on 75th Street I wonder how they are doing!
A new sewer pipe is going along 75th Street. The street blockage and debris are hurting several businesses in the Chatham neighborhood.
COATS: I’m not making any money.
Charlotte Coats owns a shoe store by the same name. In 30 days she may go out of business.
COATS: After seven years of being here, this is how they do us, how they treat us. We gotta go.
In this article it is noted that this project is scheduled for completion in November and that overtime is not likely to be granted to speed up this process. Also the Alderman was said to be searching for business grants to help business owners along "Renaissance Row".
Their quest for the vacant U.S. Senate seat of President Barack Obama has landed Sen. Roland Burris and U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. on a watchdog group’s annual list of the “15 most corrupt members of Congress.”All about Blago!!!
“It’s all about the Blagojevich matter,” said Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.
The group named the Illinois Democrats to its “most corrupt” list for the first time, based on disclosures stemming from the wiretap investigation and arrest of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich last year for his alleged attempts to sell the Senate seat.
West of the Dan Ryan. Sort of a welcome sign to the Grand Crossing neighborhood.
East of the Ryan. Sort of a welcome to the Park Manor Community.
These are some nice street art both very different and in no way similar. Park Manor sign has leaves and the Grand Crossing sign seems to have some African style art going for it.
EDIT: I just noticed there are also some doves on the Park Manor sign (well sculpture is probably more accurate) in addition to the leaves.
Monday, September 14, 2009
I got this in an e-mail from the Roseland Heights Community Council, but there isn't much details on when this meeting might be held all I know is where which is at the Woodson Library on 95th & Halsted.
The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) is proposing to make transportation improvements by extending the Red Line from 95th Street Station to the vicinity of 130th Street.
They want to hear from you. This public scoping meeting will help you learn more about the project and provide feedback on the proposed alternative,the need for the project and the environmental / community impacts.
You can evaluate the Project
Your input will help define the environmental studies.In addition to comments received at the meeting (cards for comments will be passed out at meeting), written comments will be accepted until October 27, 2009. Comment by e-mail to:
Jeffrey Busby, General Manager, Strategic Planning Chicago Transit Authority
E-mail: RedExtension [AT] transitchicago [DOT] com
Do you want a park & ride area at 95?
What do you want in the new station? How do you want new station to look?
What about new bus routes?
They want to hear from you- so be there!
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Here are some posts of interest:
8300 block of King Drive
Taste of Park Manor - Bitter? Sour?
Helen C. Maybell Anglin was Chicago's self-proclaimed "Soul Queen," whose South Side restaurants fed entertainers, politicians and regular folks drawn for decades by fried chicken and short ribs, fresh greens and sweet potato pie -- and a little conversation with their regal hostess.Check out this brief list of luminaries!
Mrs. Maybell Anglin, 80, died of multiple organ failure on Tuesday, Sept. 8, at her daughter D-Ella Pyrzynski's home in Lansing, said another daughter, Gina Gibson-Devine. She had lived in Chicago's Chatham neighborhood since 1963.
An Alabama native, Mrs. Maybell Anglin got into the restaurant business in the late 1940s with her first husband, Hubert Maybell. The H&H Cafe at 125 E. 51st St. opened with three stools, expanded to seven and eventually boasted 10 stools and a booth, Gibson-Devine said.
Two years after her divorce in 1969, she opened the Soul Queen restaurant at 22nd Street and Michigan Avenue. Four years later she opened a second Soul Queen at 9031 S. Stony Island Ave. in the Calumet Heights neighborhood, which remained in operation until earlier this year.
She introduced herself as the "main dishwasher" and indeed wasn't above handling any chore that needed doing. Knowing consistency was key to a successful restaurant, she wrote down detailed recipes and procedures for her staff.
"When you walk in this restaurant, the food should taste the same on the day shift as it does on the night shift," she would say, according to her daughter.
From her earliest days in business, Mrs. Maybell Anglin supported the civil rights movement and Chicago's African-American community, investing early in black-owned banks and businesses, including Johnson Publications' Ebony and Jet magazines, her daughter said. Civil rights marchers could get a meal at her place, and she donated food to local soup kitchens.I was at Soul Queen earlier this summer. Perhaps they were open in May came back the next month and found that the restaurant was closed. Looks like it may never re-open. :(
Neighborhood folks dined with the high and mighty at the Soul Queen. Visitors to her restaurants over the years included boxers Joe Louis and Muhammad Ali, entertainers Count Basie and Mahalia Jackson, and many politicians. All were welcomed by the Soul Queen.
May she rest in peace!
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
(8100 S. Calumet: 81st & Calumet, just east of King Drive)
The Alderman will be joined by the Chicago Metropolitation Agency for Planning and will host a go to 2040 "Invent the Future" Workshop (according to her Facebook update)
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Chicago police were surrounding a South Side building in the 7400 block of South Vernon Avenue this afternoon following reports that an armed individual was holed up inside.UPDATE 7:26 PM From Chgo Breaking News:
Police could not say whether anyone else was inside the building but said there were no reports of injuries.
Officers stationed themselves around the Park Manor neighborhood building about 2:30 p.m.
Police were able to contact the man and convince him to surrender peacefully at about 5:05 p.m., said Chicago Police News Affairs Officer John Mirabelli.Great news!
No shots were fired and no one was injured. Information about potential charges was not immediately available because authorities were still talking to the man, Mirabelli said.
He could not provide identification information for the man, except to confirm he was an adult male.
The City Council’s Finance Committee today set the stage to remove the single-biggest impediment to Chicago’s 2016 Olympic bid — by authorizing Mayor Daley to sign a host-city contract that amounts to an open-ended guarantee from Chicago taxpayers.How do you feel about the Olympics coming to Chicago in 2016?
Chicago’s reluctance to match the blank-check promise to cover Olympic losses made by Madrid, Tokyo and Rio de Janeiro was the major criticism cited by the International Olympic Committee in an evaulation report issued last week.
Today’s Finance Committee vote signals the removal of that road-block. If, as expected, the full Council signs off on Wednesday, the about-face will be communicated directly to IOC members — through letters, phone calls and in-person — before the IOC’s Oct. 2 vote.
The ordinance guarantees that aldermen will have, what Corporation Counsel Mara Georges called “tremendous oversight” over Olympic spending and operations, as the Civic Federation has recommended.
Finance Committee Chairman Edward M. Burke (14th) and Budget Committee Chairman Carrie Austin (34th) will be ex-officio members of the Olympic Organizing Committee set to replace Chicago 2016 if the IOC chooses Chicago.
UPDATE 7:23 PM Ald. Lyle figures in this excerpt from Clout Street.
The same may vs. shall dynamic played out in another provision to allow--but not require---public interest organizations to analyze the Olympics for the council.UPDATE 7:44 PM More from Crain's
Georges said alderman had requested "discretion" on the issue, explaining the reason for using the word "may."
Alds. Bernard Stone (50th), Freddrenna Lyle (6th) and Helen Shiller (46th) spoke in favor of maintaining council "discretion." Mandating outside oversight would amount to "ceding our authority," Shiller said.
Ald. Joe Moore (49th) disagreed, saying that without outside oversight "the City Council would take on the role of a clerk."
The contract guarantees that Chicago will spend whatever is necessary to put on the Olympics as well as absorb any operating losses. Such losses are seen as unlikely, but the City Council, which previously had authorized a maximum backstop of $500 million, balked at a blanket guarantee.
“We’ve come a long way from where we started,” said Ald. Manuel Flores, (1st), who pushed Mr. Daley for more disclosure of the financial risks and safeguards for taxpayers. “Now we have to ensure what we wrote in the ordinance is actually put to work.”
The council’s willingness to authorize the guarantee seemed in doubt in June, when Mr. Daley announced he would have to sign the blanket commitment when he arrived in Lausanne, Switzerland, for a presentation to the IOC.
The City Council and the 2016 bid committee reached a deal after the Chicago bid committee agreed to provide detailed quarterly financial reports on the process and information about who gets Olympic contracts. The project has an estimated budget of $4.8 billion.
Schools CEO Ron Huberman says you go into some schools, and there’s a climate of respect and hard work. In others, there’s disorder.Did you know today was the first day of school? What do you think of these initiatives?
HUBERMAN: The culture of calm is wholly not dependent on neighborhood, demographics, socioeconomics, race. It’s about the adults in the building setting the tone.
Huberman wants successful principals to mentor struggling colleagues. He says school climate affects academic performance, the ability to attract quality teachers, and also student safety outside of schools. Thirty-four CPS students were killed last school year in.
The district wants to re-train security guards and bus students across gang lines—even if that’s just a few blocks. But none of the strategies will be in place today. A district spokesperson says the initiatives will roll out through the fall.
BTW, I still want to do this LSC meeting at Harlan on the 17th!
UPDATE 11:04 AM What's new this year at CPS - Sun-Times
Renaissance 2010: Mayor Daley's goal of creating 100 new schools by 2010 -- including some failing ones "turned around" by outsiders -- reaches the 92 mark, with 19 new or rejuvenated schools opening Tuesday. Another five newly constructed schools also open.
•More layoffs: After more than 1,000 job cuts, a third round of cuts -- including layoffs that could hit schools -- will take place sometime after school opens to help save $61 million and plug the biggest deficit in more than a decade.
•Fighting the violence: 1,200 high school students identified by a "probability model" as most at risk of being shot will each get the help of an advocate and a social worker -- as well as a paying job -- as part of a $30 million anti-violence effort.
•Universal breakfasts: Free breakfasts will be offered in all schools, to all kids, regardless of family income.
•Grading schools: By the end of the school year, CPS hopes to issue a "grade'' to every school -- either a letter, ranging from A to F, or a one- to five-star rating -- so parents can choose among them more easily.
•"Data-integrity:" Every school will be audited at least once to double-check grades and attendance.
•"Performance management": New $4.7 million unit with 33 employees pushes performance outcomes, from schools all the way up to central office.
A community league baseball coach shot in an altercation with a player he had pulled from a game was released from the hospital Monday despite having two bullets still lodged in his body, a league official said.And the young man who took the shots well you see in this excerpt that he hasn't been caught. At this moment that's not so good! Interestingly enough the victim appears to be concerned for this young man. Let's hope this troubled young man is found!
Glynn Hall, 44, was "in good spirits," said J.C. McDowell, president of a Chicago chapter of the National Adult Baseball Association.
McDowell said Hall apologized to him for the confrontation that led to the shooting and even expressed concern for the suspect, who remained at large Monday evening.
"He asked how the shooter was doing," McDowell said. "He's got no ill-will toward him."
UPDATE 10:54 AM Suspect was found!
A suspect was charged Tuesday morning in the weekend shooting of a coach by one of his own players.Someone still had to throw in Abbott Park's relationship with Harlan Community Academy:
Deangelo Williams, 21, of the 10400 block of South State Street, is charged with attempted first-degree murder in the Sunday shooting.
Witnesses say the pitcher went to his car, got a gun, then came back to the ball field. He chased Hall, firing into him again and again, witnesses said.
Williams is set to appear in Bond Court later Wednesday.
At about 2:20 p.m. Sunday, witnesses said a man shot his baseball coach in the arm and back at a baseball diamond near 95th Street and Michigan Avenue, according to police. The baseball diamond is steps away from Harlan Community Academy.It's great news that this young man was finally found!
I hope you had a great summer, with all kinds of fun! Community meetings will start back Sept. 23rd, at 7:00pm. I 'll give you an update before the next meeting. There will be a park advisory meeting at Abbott Park, 6:00pm Sept. 8, 2009. The park advisory Council still needs officers and members. For more information call Ms. Morgan [contact info redacted] or email me.There is also a Park region budget hearing September 10, 2009. We need to go to make public comments about our concerns for Abbott. I plan to be there. If we say nothing we get nothing! I will give more information on meetings later. Remember what Barack Obama said, "We are the change that we seek". Seek change and have a good day.The issue of rezoning Harlan on the lot of Abbott Park has been an important issue to the Roseland Heights community. All one has to do is refer to this link on the Roseland Heights Neighborhood Link site!
BTW, another e-mail lists the requests of both 2008 and 2009 from Roseland Heights:
Last September South Area Manager Gloria Beard sent, then new, Abbott Park Supervisor Ms Morgan to the RHCA meeting with answers to questions and requests from our Parks Committee. Manager Beard, in writing, promised to fulfill committee's requests. There was also a June 2009 meeting with RHCA committee, park supervisor, and region manager. Region Manager Millan had park supervisor submit new requests to Ms Beard. Requests were submitted again to Ms. Beard at budget meeting July 17, 2009.Of the requests made summer 2008, June 3, 2009 and July 17, 2009 to date Ms Beard has not met one request!Well I like to hear from people who serve on LSCs but now I would like to hear from anyone who served on Park Advisory Committees. Let's hear about the work that you do!
2008 requests: promised but not fulfilled
*Post signs which reflect new closing time 10:00pm. Note: a NEW 11:00pm sign has been posted.
*Swing gates are not locked at night when park is closed.
*Bollards were not positioned along areas of 96th & 97th Michigan and 98th State to stop cars from driving/parking on grass.
*Required non-permit activities/groups to be stopped immediately- has not been done
*Still issues permits to disruptive groups and activities too large for this park
June 2009 meeting requests that have not been fulfilled:
*Repair all rotted benches, all broken water fountains and broken track bleachers.
*Replace plastic fence in front of field house with metal fence and replace faded signs.
*Put temporary fences at 96/97, & 98 Streets until bollards are in place and put car stops to keep cars from driving out of small parking onto grass.
Sunday, September 6, 2009
A baseball coach was shot, apparently by one of his players, at a park in the Far South Side's Roseland neighborhood this afternoon, officials said, citing preliminary information.The player who shot the coach is a 19 year 0ld and the police are looking for him right now! Hey the comments are getting nasty here. If you got something to say please go there and let your voices be heard!
The incident occurred at about 2:20 p.m. near 95th Street and Michigan Avenue, police said. That location is Abbott Park.
The coach was taken from the scene in serious-to-critical condition to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn. Police said he suffered multiple gunshot wounds.
UPDATE 8:23 PM Video on this story from WGN
UPDATE 9/7/209 @ 11:07 AM: ABC7 has this story as well!
A family member says Coach Glynn Hall is in fair condition. She said the player became upset because Hall wouldn't let him play. The relative also told ABC7 Chicago that the player shot Hall four times, once in each arm and twice in the back.
Police have not made any arrests.
there's this story about it on the Gay Liberation Network! In any event I'm sure you've clicked on the link in the first paragraph to find more information on this story.
A group marched on 79th Street around the time of Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday to highlight the issues faced by black gays and lesbians in the areas of health care, criminal justice, employment, and social services. They even discussed an unsolved three-year-old murder that occurred at 79th and Woodlawn of two gay males.
I know I'm very late on bringing this to your attention I was Googling one day (actually I found this in late March).
Also I want to show you this link posted over at the Concerned Citizens of Chatham page:
Do Gays Belong in Black Neighborhoods
I saved this for a very slow day. The point of making this post was only to inform and certainly not to make a value judgement of any particular lifestyle although I'm sure many have an opinion on this subject.
- Referring to that document about Lorraine Hansbury would you accept a homosexual as your neighbor? Especially if they prove to be good neighbors?
- Does anyone know about the aforementioned murder on 79th & Woodlawn three years ago?
Chicago-area transit riders can save more than $930 a month by relying more on public transportation.
At least that's the finding of a new report from the American Public Transportation Association.
The report looks at how an individual in a two-person household can save money by taking public transportation and living with one less car. The savings are partly based on average costs of parking and gas.
Chicago ended the summer months on a slightly more peaceful note.
Police say the number of violent crimes in August dropped 4.5 percent from the same time last year, and overall crime was down 9.6 percent.
Shootings were also down from July of this year.
Deputy Superintendent Daniel Dugan attributes that to community involvement.
DUGAN: Communities have to say, we're not going to take this any more, and enough of it. And once that happens, people start cooperating.
Dugan also points out the department has reassigned many officers, which has put more cops on the streets.
Only robberies and burglaries saw an uptick during August, albeit a slight one.
This event was held in Humboldt Park on the city's northwest side. Not sure if it's merely a back to school event or an event to recieve free school supplies. All I would say for this is that there should be a back to school send off out this way as well.
Shared via AddThis
Friday, September 4, 2009
Highlights from this edition dated Summer/Fall 2009 include
- News about Ceasefire and an organized march in Roseland with Sen. Roland Burris and 9th Ward Ald. Anthony Beale taking part in said march. Funding for Ceasefire was cut but were said to be restored in March of this year. Sen. Burris promised to work with his fellow legislators to gain more funding for ceasefire.
- News of development at 115th and Michigan on a new shopping center that will include an AJ Wright, CVS, and an Aldi. Groundbreaking is expected in December of this year!
- Also mention of the freeing up of property from Ryerson Steel and Sherwin-Williams plants in the Pullman neighborhood for development in the near future. It wasn't mentioned here, but Wal-Mart was interested (or so it has been reported in the past) in building a future store at the Ryerson Steel site. At Ryerson, there is interest in residental, recreational, and retail development. At Sherwin-Williams, Beale envisions a mix of hospitality and retail businesses.
- Expansion and renovations at Gwendolyn College Prep. with a new library, auditorium, and additional physical education facilities with an Olympic size pool, weight lifting, and health classrooms. Ald. Beale is said to be in regular attendance at school sporting and other school events.
- A story about federal stimulus funds being spent in his ward
- Finally, a brief story on Special Service Areas (SSAs) within the 9th. In addition to keeping the designated areas clean on Michigan between 102nd & 116th and on 103rd between Yale & Corliss. This SSA utilizes security officers who have detained suspects for the Chicago Police.