Wednesday, June 30, 2010

City council approves Pullman Wal-Mart

Clout St:
The City Council unanimously voted today to let Wal-Mart build a second store in Chicago, ending six years of political gridlock that prevented the giant retailer from expanding inside city limits.

"Today's vote sets the stage for a strong, long-term relationship with Wal-Mart in neighborhoods all across the city," Mayor Richard Daley said. "If it can happen in a suburban area, why not here? As simple as that."

The vote allows construction to begin on the 270-acre Pullman Park development on the South Side that will be anchored by a Super Wal-Mart. It is a project long championed by Ald. Anthony Beale, 9th, who said the new store will bring badly needed jobs in a hard-hit area suffering from a dearth of grocery stores.

The council’s action, Beale said, signaled “a better day and a better opportunity for our communities. . . . This was about the people, and we finally — in this body — finally put people first, in front of politics.”

The vote gave Wal-Mart a key victory in its effort to build dozens of new city stores, large and small, while also ending a years-long political battle that pitted Wal-Mart, Mayor Richard Daley and the city’s business community against the unions and aldermen who supported them.
Next stops? Chatham and Englewood? What do you think about this development!

UPDATE 3:40 PM A statement from Wal-Mart via e-mail:
“Today is a victory for the residents of the South Side. The Mayor, Alderman Beale and the Council are to be commended for representing the will of the people of Chicago.

But there is more to do. To that end, we have already started to identify additional opportunities across the City that will help more Chicagoans save money and live better.

Over the next several months, we look forward to working with the City to help ensure our stores are part of the solution in terms of creating jobs, stimulating economic development and eradicating food deserts here.

With each new store that opens here and every new job created, Chicago moves one step closer towards returning the City to better economic times while also serving as a successful model for other cities across the country that face similar challenges.”

"Right to Carry" rally permit denied by Chicago officials

Illinois Review picks up the story that I saw first from Mick Dumke at Clout City. Earlier this morning in the comments for the original post here was an update. This pro-gun meeting will be held at Chicago State University tonight!
  • Wed. June 30, 2010
    7:00pm – 9:00pm
    Chicago State University
    Williams Science Center - Rm. 116

    99th and King Dr. Chicago, Il. 60619 
If you plan to attend this meeting I would like for you to offer a brief write-up for this event. Post a comment here or send an e-mail and it will be published here!

Clerk’s Office Extends City Sticker Deadline To July 30th

The Expired Meter:
Normally today, June 30th, is the day your old Chicago city vehicle sticker expires and must be replaced on your car’s windshield with the 2010/2011 sticker.

Of course, the city traditionally gives stragglers a two week grace period to purchase and affix their $75 decal, making July 15th the ultimate deadline before drivers risk a $120 ticket for “failure to display” their city sticker.

But this year, because of an un-sticky situation, the Chicago City Clerk’s office has announced an unprecedented 15-day extension of the city sticker grace period extending the deadline for until July 30th.

This break from tradition is due to quality control issues the Chicago City Clerk’s office has been facing with this year’s stickers.

As reported last week, small batches of the first shipment of defective city stickers did not have enough adhesive to keep them affixed effectively to windshields. While complaints in the very first days of June alerted the Clerk’s office to the problem, and forced them to take quick action in tossing out what remained of the first shipment of 125,000 stickers, enough of the defective decals were mailed to drivers to make it an issue.
Please note that on July 13, 2010 the Ald. Lyle's service office @ 406 East 75th Street will conduct vehicle sticker and parking permit sales from 10 AM to 6 PM.

City council expected to debate Wal-Mart today

As I write this I'm actually watching the city council proceedings online at the city clerk website.

Video above via ABC7

Another item to share is this video from CBS2 highlighting the positive about the city's only Wal-Mart in the Austin community.

 That Wal-Mart is expected to be 24 hrs in the near future and average wages there is $11.77. One business owner says that this area is now considered safer because he operated his business during days when it was more crime ridden.

Found that second video via Carpe Diem!

UPDATE 1:06 PM The City Council appears to be discussing Wal-Mart right now! Also here's a link from Illinois Review about the Wal-Mart issue. This issue once again is being discussed in terms of the state race for Governor.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Chatham avalon Park Sub Area IV meeting on THURSDAY

A reminder from resident Elgie Sims -- the Chatham Avalon Park Community Council Sub-Area IV has a meeting on Thursday, July 1, from 6pm - 7:30pm at Whitney Young library, 79th and King Dr.

For more information, contact them by PHONE 1-866-272-1215 or VOICE MAIL 1-773-488-3952

Monday, June 28, 2010

Its Time for Chatham to demand the stores that they want!

Now that Pullman will get their Walmart and pay higher prices than Evergreen Park and Englewood now putting their bid in for 63rd Halsted. Do we really need a Walmart at 83rd and Holland?

Several years ago developers started acquiring land at 77th-79th Stony Island east to South Chicago for a rumored Super K-Mart. Should we now ask Alderman Lyle and Alderman Harris to open talks to Meijer's, Costco or Woodman's, etc?

Supreme Court extends gun rights in Chicago case

The US Supreme Court has ruled on Chicago's gun ban!
The Supreme Court reversed a ruling upholding Chicago's ban today and extended the reach of the 2nd Amendment as a nationwide protection against laws that infringe the "right to keep and bear arms."

The 5-4 decision appears to void the 1982 ordinance, one of the nation's strictest, which barred city residents from having handguns for their own use, even at home.

Gun-rights advocates have been closely following the Chicago case. They said a victory for the 2nd Amendment would clear the way for constitutional challenges to restrictions on firearms to be heard in federal courts nationwide.

The ruling against Chicago's ban had been widely anticipated.

The City Council could consider new gun-control measures as soon as Wednesday, Mayor Richard Daley said last week.
I would like to refer you to Ald. Lyle's comments in a post from the weekend on a related matter:
Regardless of the outcome of the Supreme Court's deliberations, there will be limits on handgun ownership in Chicago. As to the right to carry a concealed weapon, that debate will continue for some time.
Well, I'm OK with limits on handgun ownership, but let there be a debate on concealed carry in this city. Not sold on it necessarily, but it's something we will have to decide at some point.

UPDATE 11:50 AM Perhaps a hint of what the city has in mind in response to this Supreme Court ruling:
As a result of this morning’s expected ruling, the Police Committee of the Chicago City Council began meeting at 10:30 a.m. to consider a replacement ordinance introduced directly to the committee by Mayor Daley. The meeting was soon adjourned until Tuesday, though, with committee chairman Anthony Beale (9th) saying he needed time to review the more than 100-page Supreme Court ruling.

Chicago gun owners could be required to take a training course, register their firearms, allow police to perform ballistics tests and even purchase liability insurance.

Daley hasn’t tipped his hand on all of the specifics as he awaited the court ruling. But he has said to protect first-responders, he’s prepared to go above and beyond the replacement model crafted by Washington D.C. after its handgun ban bit the dust.
As a result of this morning’s expected ruling, the Police Committee of the Chicago City Council began meeting at 10:30 a.m. to consider a replacement ordinance introduced directly to the committee by Mayor Daley. The meeting was soon adjourned until Tuesday, though, with committee chairman Anthony Beale (9th) saying he needed time to review the more than 100-page Supreme Court ruling.

Chicago gun owners could be required to take a training course, register their firearms, allow police to perform ballistics tests and even purchase liability insurance.

Daley hasn’t tipped his hand on all of the specifics as he awaited the court ruling. But he has said to protect first-responders, he’s prepared to go above and beyond the replacement model crafted by Washington D.C. after its handgun ban bit the dust.
When Ald. Howard Brookins ran for State's Attorney last year he was on record (that record being Public Affairs with Jeff Berkowitz) as saying he believes responsible people should be allowed to own guns. One of his opponents in that Democratic Primary Ald. Tom Allen is quoted in this article as saying the gun ban was largely ineffective:
Northwest Side Ald. Tom Allen (38th) said the ban has done nothing to stop the bloodbath on Chicago streets as evidenced by the 26 people shot this weekend.

Asked whether Chicago would be more or less safe without the ban, he said, “It’s a wash. The bad guys are gonna have their guns and the good people who are responsible citizens — they will also have their guns. But they’ll do it in a responsible way in their home to protect their family or in their place of business to protect them from armed robbers.”

Daley has talked about requiring gun owners to take a training course, register their firearms, allow police to perform ballistics tests and even purchase liability insurance.

But Allen said there’s no guarantee that those measures will be any more effective than the ban itself, which was roundly ignored.

“We can make some legislation. We can add insurance as a component. And I’m hoping they will comply better than they do with mandatory auto insurance. Because one out of three people on the street doesn’t have insurance,” he said.
And of all people Ald. Ed Burke has this to say about the gun ban!
Chicago’s 1982 handgun freeze — and a companion requirement that existing gun owners re-register their weapons every year — have been likened to Prohibition and denounced as a widely ignored charade.

Last week, Finance Committee Chairman Edward M. Burke (14th) acknowledged as much.

“There’s widespread disobedience of the law. There’s widespread flaunting of the law by people who strongly believe that they should have a weapon in their house,” Burke said.

“Just in the last 60 days, we’ve seen three instances where law-abiding citizens who had possession of a weapon in their home shot and/or killed violent offenders in their home or in the vicinity of their home. It’s noteworthy that no one has prosecuted those law-abiding citizens. Probably, we oughta pass a city ordinance and give ‘em each a medal.”

In that sense, Burke argued that a city registration implemented to replace the ban might be an improvement.

“Nobody can register it, so the city doesn’t know. Is it not better that the city knows who has a gun?” the alderman said.
Hmmmm, I wonder how many more people on the City Council are thinking exactly the way Burke and Allen are thinking. I hope they may offer alternate legislation.

Via Capitol Fax!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

OPEN BLOG: What about the Chatham Wal-Mart?

UPDATE: According to JP Paulus, Ald. Brookins was on the radio talking about the possibility that the Chatham Market Wal-Mart may see some movement this year.

Since that Pullman Wal-Mart Supercenter appears to be moving forward and there is a plan in place to allow for the construction of more Wal-Marts in the city of Chicago, it's time to re-examine the Chatham Wal-Mart. We haven't heard much about the Chatham Market store since this Pullman development was proposed in recent months.

BTW, I'm stealing this question first from Worlee Glover on his Concerned Citizens of Chatham Facebook page who asked if Chatham residents would support a smaller scale Wal-Mart store since one is likely to go up in Pullman. The CAPCC blog also asked about a Wal-Mart store in Chatham.

QUESTION: Would you support a smaller scale Wal-Mart store in Chatham? Are there other similar retail chains you would prefer to open up shop in Chatham? Leave a tweet, send an e-mail or comment on this post.

Brookins: Wal-Mart opening late next year

I was just listening to V103 (102.7 FM - WVAZ) and Alderman Howard Brookins said that if the Wal-Mart vote goes well this week, the Wal-Mart project could get out of committee.

Alderman Brookins said that depending on the weather, ground could be broken by this year, and the Chatham store could be open by late next year.

We can check the news for official statements, but that's the news off of the radio.

It's a confusing situation, as the Chatham Wal-Mart was stuck due to Ed Burke and the Finance Committee.

However, the Pullman store had to go through the Zoning Committee, which it did.

After that, Ald. Burke made comments that can lead one to believe that the Chatham store would be "released" from limbo.

We should know by the end of the week where the situation stands.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Clout City: Park District Balks at Gun-Rights Group Meeting

You know in the past week (perhaps even the past month) or so I've have taken a look at any story that focuses on what the city plans to do if the US Supreme Courts strikes down the city's gun control ordinance. It seems for the most part the Daley administration seems to have no plans to allow citizens in Chicago to own a gun at all. In a recent city council police & fire committee hearing it appears that the committee was loathe to hear anyone in favor of allowing city residents to own handguns.

Not long after the death of Officer Thomas Wortham there was a story about Chatham residents expressing their wish to own a handgun at home. Of course who knows if this is a passing trend or a call for allowing individual citizens a right to own a handgun for their self-defense.

Well recently there would have been a meeting in our community to discuss at the very least concealed carry as mentioned in this post from Clout City. Read the comments because the one who attempted to get a permit to host said meeting at our own Tuley Park (Gerald Vernon) believed that Ald. Lyle may have found an excuse to scuttle this meet. Her comments were posted in the article as Mick Dumke made contact with her:
UPDATE: I first heard about the planned town hall meeting when Sixth Ward alderman Freddrenna Lyle groaned about it during a City Council hearing. But when I followed up with her Friday, she said she had nothing to do with the decision to yank the permit. "I have never spoken to anyone about this," she says.

Tuley Park is in Lyle's ward. Lyle is a strong backer of gun control but said Illinois Carry should be allowed to hold its meeting. "They want to go into a community touched by the violence because it's an easier sell," she says. "But those people have a right to meet and it's up to us who disagree with them to show up and make another argument."
But the crux of this story involves the lotheness of may in our city especially the mayor and many on the city council to allow individual citizens to own handguns with the belief that banning them would solve the issue of violence that we've had in this city since the weather warmed up. I've been reading a lot of posts written by Dumke on this issue and he's right we need to re-examine whether or not the gun ban is truly effective. Surely there are other means to keep a criminal from committing a gun crime.

Either way let's hope that if the Supreme Court rules that Chicago's gun ban ordinance is unconstitutional that we can actually have a debate on whether or not it's been effective. Hopefully no one will get shut out of this debate either.

Also Ald. Lyle is right. We want to hear not only from people who are opposed to gun control, but also from those who are in favor of gun control. So let Mr. Vernon have his meeting at a venue of his choosing and the same for those who are in favor of gun control.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Prayer on 79th Street -- THIS Saturday at Noon!

From JP Paulus...

I apologize for this last minute post. But i wanted to make sure people who were interested at least had an opportunity to make plans to be there, or have someone there. I am going to try to connect with New Life Covenant Oakwood (who is organizing this event), to create a better network so interested people can organize and/or attend.. (New Life Covenant Oakwood is led by Pastor John Hannah, who is also the morning DJ at Inspiration 1390 AM).

Basically, New Life is having people line up on 79th, starting at Greenwood, and making their way West to State street (or beyond, if we need to). I was a part of the prayer circle at Ruggles on May 28 (THANKS to those who came!!!), but this will be much bigger..not sure how it will work...but let's get out there  & see how God uses us!

I should be there at 79th & Calumet, in front of Creative Floral and Gifts. Please feel free to e-mail me here at jp (at) to connect!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Zoning committee approves Pullman Wal-Mart

Chicago News Co-operative:
The City Council’s Zoning Committee today voted unanimously to give preliminary approval to the Pullman Park project and its Wal-Mart store, which will be the second in Chicago.

The full council is expected to give final approval to the plan Wednesday.

After receiving the favorable vote, a spokesman for Wal-Mart said the company had made no agreement to do anything out of its ordinary practices at the new store on the South Side.

Although he acknowledged meetings with labor leaders, Wal-Mart official Steve Restivo told reporters outside the council chambers that the only deal the company had made was with the residents of the South Side.

“There were not any negotiations. There were not any proposals. There were no deals,” Restivo said.

With the opening of the city’s second store set for 2012, Restivo said any raises for employees there would be based on performance.
For some more reading let's see Greg Hinz says about this Wal-Mart deal:
 Chicago labor chiefs bragged Thursday about winning "additional concessions" from Wal-Mart in exchange for allowing the discount retailer to expand in Chicago.

   But the company insists it made no new concessions. And one labor leader later candidly conceded, "You've got to know when to fold 'em."

   The fact is, in the midst of a terrible recession, facing a split in its own ranks and an issue that was polarizing along racial lines, labor didn't have much choice but to take the best deal it could get.

   Labor could have gone to war again, just like it did in City Council elections 3 1/2 years ago. But the terrain has changed since then. And the stakes — Wal-Mart offered to pay a minimum of $8.75 an hour, labor demanded $9.25 — just weren't worth it.
Equally meaningful is who is going to get most of those jobs: minority folks. That's because most of the dozens of new stores Wal-Mart now intends to build will go in inner-city neighborhoods, many starved for grocery, clothing and other retail options.

   The image of a bunch of mostly white labor guys denying jobs and good shopping to minority neighborhoods that lack both was untenable — a loser. Labor got outflanked.
I won't excerpt but you should also read this other post by Greg Hinz on why the city council should "open its eyes, hold its nose and vote for Wal-Mart". Especially read the reasons why Greg Hinz thinks this should be a done deal. It makes a lot of sense than to just force Wal-Mart to pay this arbitrary raise because many thinks they don't pay enough money.

All the same it looks like the second Wal-Mart in this city is moving forward, but this time it will occur in Pullman and it will very likely be a Super Wal-Mart. Perhaps more to come in the future.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wal-Mart on the gubernatorial campaign trail

Bill Brady, the Republican nominee for governor, was in Pullman today with his state Senate colleague Rev. James Meeks in support of building a Wal-Mart in that neighborhood. Back in October, Brady also made a campaign appearance at the Wal-Mart site at 83rd and Steward to discuss his thoughts regarding this issue. This quote is via a press release from Brady's campaign:
Republican Gubernatorial candidate Bill Brady today stood with Reverend Senator James Meeks (D-Chicago) and Pastor Larry Roberts, Sr. to support an agreement to build a new Wal-Mart in the Pullman neighborhood.  Brady said the agreement would result in thousands of new jobs, more consumer choices, and boost much needed tax revenues for Illinois.

Brady last year introduced legislation that would prevent municipalities from blocking the construction of such stores, and previously visited with local officials in the Chatham neighborhood in support for a new Wal-Mart there.

“I’ve supported this proposal from day one because it means thousands of both union and non-union jobs for communities that desperately need them – and for consumers who deserve them,” Brady said.

“Estimates show this proposal could result in almost 10,000 new jobs, and $500 million in sales and property tax revenues for Illinois.  I was encouraged to hear Mayor Daley yesterday voice his strong support for this proposal, and join everyone here today in urging the zoning board to approve it,” Brady said.

“With record high unemployment, state government should be doing every single thing it can to promote job growth. I don’t believe our Governor is fighting hard enough for this community, and for other food deserts.”

“That’s one of the greatest differences between myself and Governor Quinn – I believe Illinois needs real and permanent jobs – not just temporary jobs that go away when federal funds dry up.  If it weren’t for the Mayor, and for leaders like those here today, this proposal would never have gotten off the ground.”
I really got wind of this visit by Brady via Capitol Fax which posted an earlier press release and Rich Miller also found an article that expresses Gov. Pat Quinn's feelings on the deal to bring more Wal-Marts to the city:
Quinn said Tuesday that he is happy to see so many jobs potentially coming to Chicago. He tried to downplay the politically sticky issue that many of those jobs will not be union jobs, and will pay less than the demanded "living wage."

Quinn instead focused his comments on the need Wal-Mart could fill in providing supermarkets to Chicago-area residents.

"It's a municipal issue for the city of Chicago…It puts people to work, gets grocery stores where they need to be located in every neighborhood, and at the same time helps our economy go forward."
"I've said all along that I believe…[in getting] a good wage for employees who work in the stores and for those who build the store," said Quinn.

And the governor hopes that point can smooth over any election year bitterness from labor groups who may be unhappy with a final Wal-Mart deal.

"The person I'm running against, Sen. Brady, he had a home building business that didn't hire union labor that didn't have union contractors. I believe that when we build something in Chicago we build it the right way."

But Quinn said he has not actively taken part in any negotiations. He instead will leave the deal-making to the Chicago City council.
Wait, only union labor and union contractors is the right way to build anything?

Anyway yesterday there was a rally outside of the Daley Center with protestors playing their vuvuzelas (horns that have been made famous by the 2010 World Cup soccer tournament in South Africa). You can read this write-up or watch the video below.

Finally there is another rally scheduled outside of the Thompson Center tomorrow morning:
Jobs Rally

Aldermen and Community to Rally Before Zoning Vote

WHAT: Ald. Anthony Beale (9th), Ald. Howard Brookins (21st), Ald. Emma Mitts (37th), City Council colleagues, Community & Ministerial leaders, Rhymefest

Thursday, June 24

WHERE: State of Illinois Plaza
BTW, if you would like to know more about this rally which I have recieved via e-mail there is some contact information in the e-mail. If you would like to see that information I would be happy to e-mail it to you.

UPDATE 4:45 PM I've got one more link for you to read from Clout Street regarding today's appearance of State Sen. Bill Brady with Rev. James Meeks outside of a vacant Pullman building:
But Meeks, who in the past threatened to run for governor only to be bluffed out by then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich, stopped short of endorsing Brady, a Senate colleague from Bloomington, or Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn. Asked by reporters if a Brady endorsement was possible, Meeks, who also is pastor of Salem Baptist Church, responded: “All things are possible. That’s what the scriptures teach us.”

Though Brady and Meeks sought to promote job growth ahead of a critical City Council Zoning Committee vote on Wal-Mart’s future that could take place as early as Thursday, the political picture was one of a prominent city African-American lawmaker standing side-by-side with a downstate white Republican who is vehemently opposed to the Democrats’ fiscal and social agendas.

Brady and Meeks differ vastly on tax policy. Meeks has long championed higher income taxes for schools while Brady is campaigning on a theme of opposing and cutting taxes. Still, both men have worked together on efforts to launch a school voucher program for disadvantaged children.

“I’m not making a commitment or an endorsement at this time of either candidate,” Meeks said. “I support many of the initiatives of Gov. Quinn. Gov. Quinn and I both support a tax increase. Sen. Brady does not. Gov. Quinn and I both support many initiatives. So we’re together on many things.”

"Docs & Dialogue"

So Fresh Saturdays


"Docs & Dialogue"

@ The P.E. A.C.E Center

6455 South Peoria Ave.

Saturday, June 26th


Featured Documentary

"A War for Your Soul"

Strong Language: Parental Advisory Warning

Youth ages 12-19 are strongly encouraged to attend!

Adults: Bring your youth groups, students, pre-teens & teenagers!

We want to hear their voices!

Complimentary popcorn, chips and refreshments served!


For more information, please check out:
Note: this event is being organized by Asiaha Butler, who is also a part of Black Star Project's Deborah movement.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Recap of Grand Crossing Park Playground Building Days

Friends of the Park

More than 100 volunteers helped construct Grand Crossing Park's new playground on Friday and Saturday, June 18th and 19th. This was the first community-playground-build project in nearly a decade!

Playground partners included Friends of the Parks, Kohl's Department Stores, Children's Memorial Hospital, Grand Crossing Park Advisory Council and the Chicago Park District.

Below are pictures of volunteers building the playground.

Chicago ranks third in getting mortgage help

The region accounts for 5.1 percent of activity nationwide in the Obama administration's Home Affordable Modification Program, or HAMP, said the report from the U.S. Treasury Department.

The program started in response to record home foreclosures amid the economic crisis, high unemployment and mortgage scams. The federal government gives incentives to lenders to change the existing mortgage by reducing the monthly payments. Banks usually change the mortgage by lowering interest rates or extending the loan term, but few have offered to reduce or eliminate home-equity loans or lines of credit.

The Chicago area's activity ranking is below the 6.4 percent in the L.A. area and 6.1 percent in the New York area, and just ahead of Riverside, Calif.'s, 5 percent. In total numbers, 17,428 Chicago-area homeowners won permanent loan modifications, an increase of 17 percent from 14,890 in April, the report stated.
Via CapFax morning shorts!

Megan Cottrell: When ‘They’ Move Into Your Neighborhood…

Cottrell discusses the new residents moving to her neighborhood, Lincoln Square. Also she mentions that some rental units are ready for new CHA transplants. What is of focus in this article are the bad habit some of these new residents bring with them such as for instance standing around hanging out shooting dice. She mentioned that she was excited because her mostly white neighborhood is seemingly more diverse now with Hispanic and Black families moving in.

Now if you read her piece, does what she says seem familiar to you? We may say the same about new residents moving to this community and we may also come to the same conclusion that she had about who "they" are and where "they" came from.

Where is the Chatham Community Garden?

The pictures here are from the 65th Woodlawn Community Garden. The land is owed by First Presbyterian Church and 10 x 10 lots are leased to residents for $35 a year. To decrease poaching they have planted various vegetable plants on the outside that are Free to the public.

Can't we do this?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Walmart reaches deal for 'dozens' of new Chicago stores

Greg Hinz:
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and a group of Chicago aldermen late Monday announced a deal under which the discount retailer would open dozens of new stores in the city, contribute $20 million to local charities and pay workers a minimum of $8.75 an hour.

   The pact, announced by South Side Ald. Anthony Beale (9th) and others, does not appear to have the support of organized labor, at least not now.

   But given what the deal would bring Chicago, union backing may not be needed.

   At a City Hall press conference, Hank Mullany, president of Walmart's northern U.S. vision outlined a goody-filled package that the retailer clearly hopes will win the backing of a majority of aldermen, who earlier had blocked much smaller expansion plans.
You know I do believe I got a press release in the e-mail from PR reps of Wal-Mart. I won't excerpt the whole thing but some of it is of note:
  • Open several dozen stores across the City of varying size and format. This will not only address Chicago’s double-digit commercial vacancy rate but, more importantly, provide customers with more convenient access to affordable groceries, especially those 600,000 residents living within Chicago’s three, self-identified food deserts;
  • Create approximately 10,000 associate positions and 2,000 unionized construction jobs, helping to offset the City’s 11.4-percent unemployment rate;
  • Generate more than $500 million in sales and property taxes, providing a much-needed revenue boost to a wide range of City and county services;
  • Pay competitive wages at all levels, for Walmart associates across Chicagoland;
  • Develop charitable partnerships in Chicago worth $20 million that work to eradicate hunger, curb youth violence and help all Chicago residents live better.
It approximated what was already seen in Greg Hinz' blog post. There's one more item to look at from Clout City, also from there note this Community Benefits Memo (PDF) from Wal-Mart regarding the future Pullman store.
Ninth Ward alderman Anthony Beale says it’s “very likely” his plan for a new Walmart in Pullman will come before the City Council's zoning committee this Thursday, and he says he’s optimistic he has the votes to advance it, partly because of a "community benefits agreement" that Walmart officials have put together to try to appease critics of the pay and benefits it offers workers.

But the agreement so far includes little beyond general promises Beale made to the Chicago Plan Commission when it approved the development in April.

Beale insists the company is strengthening its commitment to paying above-market wages. “This makes it more concrete,” Beale says. “It’s a legal document.”
It includes a lot of vague language, such as a pledge to “encourage” the site’s contractor to employ more minority-owned businesses than it has to legally. The agreement also states that Walmart will “recommend” that the general contractor work with unions to build the new store, and it says the big-box retailer “will work with local community groups and the mayor’s Office of Workforce Development to source candidates who are interested, qualified and eligible.”

Noticeably absent from the agreement is any mention of a “living wage” of $11.03, which some union-friendly aldermen have been demanding. The memo does include a “Wages & Benefits” section, but it only states that Walmart offers “competitive market salaries” and a “comprehensive benefits package” to its associates.
“This is a community benefits agreement,” Beale says. “This is not a union community benefits agreement.”

Beale says the Pullman agreement was compiled from similar documents that were created for the city's one existing Walmart, on the west side, and another proposed for Chatham. Beale says it also takes into account community feedback he received during 60 community meetings that were held to discuss the retailer's expansion into Pullman.

The odds of this one getting approved not only by the zoning committee of the city council but by the full city council seems to have always been better than Ald. Brookins attempt to build a Wal-Mart near 83rd & Stewart. Is it merely a matter of time or we'll see an even bigger fight for this store I wish I can say for certain!

Clout City: City Council Hearing Turns Into Rally For Handgun Ban

Photo from Chicago Reader by Sam Adams
This post from Clout City had been posted last Friday. It was about a city council hearing held by the police and fire committee with regards to the Chicago gun ban being challenged by the US Supreme Court. BTW, that ruling is expected today!

Ald. Lyle is noted in this piece, but if you're concerned about the gun ban this piece by Mick Dumke is worth a good read when you get the first opportunity. Also note Mick Dumke was the reporter whom Mayor Daley went off on last month when he dared to ask the Mayor whether or not this gun ban had actually been effective.
But from its opening moments, the hearing became a platform for city officials, gun control advocates, and community activists to argue that the city needs to continue to find ways to keep Chicagoans from legally acquiring guns. In nearly two hours of testimony, not one witness raised questions about the utility of the gun ban or other gun restrictions, nor did anyone discuss other potential causes of violence—even though Chicago averages several shootings a day even with the ban in place.

Police committee chairman Anthony Beale, alderman of the Ninth Ward, said there was no need to hear from opponents of the ban, or even skeptics. “I think anybody who’s fighting common-sense gun legislation will be considered the bad guy,” he said. “We’re trying to make our streets safer.”
Still, you didn’t have to be a card-carrying member of the NRA to find the discussion strangely lopsided.
“I was waiting to hear from someone from the other side that I could argue with,” Sixth Ward alderman Freddrenna Lyle said afterward.

That’s not to say that those who did speak didn’t make compelling points.

Robyn Thomas, executive director of the San Francisco-based Legal Community Against Violence, told the handful of aldermen present—the number in attendance varied from nine to two—that even if the ban is struck down later this month, the council could enact ordinances requiring more stringent training and registration requirements. Harvard University economist David Hemenway summarized a number of studies linking legal access to guns with higher rates of accidental deaths, suicides, and even robberies and burglaries.

And it was impossible not to be moved by the appeals of several parents whose children have been killed by guns in the last few years. “I’m asking that, if the gun ban is lifted, that we put a strict law in place requiring that the guns have to be locked up in people’s homes,” said Pamela Montgomery-Bosley, whose 18-year-old son Terrell was slain in 2006.

But the origins and point of the hearing—aside from promoting the city's anti-violence strategy—remain unclear.
When I asked her if the gun ban is really doing anything about violence, she sighed. Lyle’s ward has been the site of some of the most horrifying gun incidents of the last few months, including the killing of a police officer in May. She actually agreed with much of what [Richard Pearson executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association] argued—that the murders are the result of a “perfect storm” of things, including gang disputes, a crumbling economy, high dropout rates, family instability, and government welfare policies.

“People are looking for short answers but there is no short answer,” she said. “So in the short run all we can do is talk to people about how to stay safe, and one way is to try to keep guns off the street.”
Well, whenever we know the Supreme Court ruling on this issue we shall see what the city will come up with.

Recap of Chatham Foods Fathers day BBQ

The Annual Fathers Day Cookout had a great turnout, music was playing ,neighbors were talking and employees were mingling with customers. The most important part was the FOOD. Locally owned Reggio's Pizza was out giving out samples and Chatham Foods was grilling hot dogs, hamburgers, and other goodies.

Speaking with the owner, the next cookout will be July 3, 2010. and will bigger and better.

Recap of GCA June Meeting

The Greater Chatham Alliance(GCA) June monthly meeting was held at St. Marks. Lutheran Church. The organization interim officers gave their reports with the Crime and Safety chairperson report being of most interest. The organization has started a safety patrol covering from 79th State to 87th over to King Drive. They currently have 23 volunteers who patrol a 2 block area and are suppose to call the police department and report and suspicious activity. It was noted they are not police and do not have arrest authority. The organization is looking to expand past King Drive but currently have no members or volunteers.

Also, the membership chair Arthur Turnbull Jr. stated that he was having trouble verifying the group's actually membership total. Per Mr. Turnbull they did not receive an accurate total from the previous administration. They stated that they have records indicating 55-64 members but can only verify 7 paid memberships. They asked those in attendance to indicate if they had paid a membership fee.

The main reason most were in attendance was because the guest speaker was Janice Stewart, Executive Director of Housing Choice Programs (section 8) for the Chicago Housing Authority(CHA). Mrs. Stewart was very personable and gave some background information on CHA and Housing Choice as well as had one her assistant Mr. Bailey state that he was working with 6th district police to identify if any of CHA or voucher holders had or have been arrested. The President of GCA decided that she would moderate the questions. When questions came up concerning details on the number of housing vouchers issued, currently being used, where are they being used, she stated that she could not disclose that information because of privacy laws. This was the response to the majority of questions asked. The question was asked about steering and housing discrimination and she dismissed the question as a joke and started to talk about redlining. Overall the presentation was disappointing and some left before she finished. The only information she gave was if a resident had a complaint was to call a 800 number and leave a message with a voice mail and they would investigate the situation.

I do not understand why it was so hard to say that the 5th ward has a larger concentration of section 8 voucher holders than anywhere on the southside. Also, why they do not want residents to use a paper inspection form that is used outside the city limits as well as lie to us and tell us that CHA employees are not engageing in steering and encouraging housing discrinimation (ask our Alderman). It appears that we in Chatham are going to have to have our federally elected officials hold hearings and hold CHA feet to the fire because the patronizing of our community by CHA must stop.

BTW, they all seem to get a little irritated when Alderman Lyle's name was used. Hmmm?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Question - Where am I...?

This is a building i saw while walking through the neighborhood a few weeks back.

It's a mansion I never would have imagined was nestled in this area. They have a two car garage which is in the basement section of the building (see the windows on the lower left corner), plus a drive way which passes the front steps.

In addition to answering where this building is, can anyone give us some informaiton on the history of it, such as previous owners, how they interacted with the community, etc?

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Tree down in the middle of King Drive

i didn't think that the storm on Friday, while some high winds, were so storng to cause a lot of destruction (our couple's bible study was canceled because of it -- which i didn't understand at the time).
But, it did indeed.

An entire tree was uprooted and fell on King Drive north of 82nd street, blocking the southbound lane. These photos were taken at noon on Saturday (today). A police vehicle was stationed at 81st, blocking that traffic. Northbound vehicles could pass (barely).

(My wife mentioned that clean up crews arrived around 1pm)

So it took at least 12 hours for anyone to notice a tree in the middle of a MAJOR road??!

Now, i understand that some roads may have even higher priority, and certainly those that cause bodily or vehicular damage come first.
But King Drive has to wait at least 12 hours to get help?!?!

Can a study be done to see which areas got first priority when it came to clean up? Was it the richer/whiter areas? Did places that have high traffic, but not as "desirable" or "influential" get put on the wait list?

The city takes photos when they repair they have photos of tree clean up? i would be interested to see if things were done fairly, or politically.

Also, were there any other major incidents like this in the neighborhood?

ShoreBank tops capital target; federal bailout funds still in question

The South Side lender, which will fail without hundreds of millions in fresh capital, obtained commitments for about $150 million, well above its $125-million target and previously reported sums.

But the $2-billion-asset bank, which gained a national reputation for lending in low-income city neighborhoods that other banks avoid, needs a $75-million companion infusion from the recently reworked Troubled Asset Relief Program in order to comply with regulatory capital requirements.

A June 15 deadline for an answer from the Treasury Department, which administers TARP, came and went, so the private consortium that made the $150-million commitment agreed to a one-week extension.

Sources say the Federal Reserve appears to have taken the lead from Treasury on whether to back the TARP request, as reported first by the Chicago Tribune’s Web site.

“It’s not going as quickly as we’d like, but we’re working through it,” a ShoreBank spokesman said.
The ShoreBank bailout has turned into a political hot potato.

It ran into a buzzsaw late last month on Capitol Hill, with top Republicans on the House Financial Services Committee requesting information from the White House on any communications regarding ShoreBank’s predicament amid speculation that Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Citigroup Inc. and the other banking giants that came to the little bank’s aid were doing so at the behest of the Obama administration.
On June 9th,  there was a "tea party" outside of a downtown office for ShoreBank. Got wind of it through Marathon Pundit and you can read an accounting of it from there as well.

As you can see there are those who are concerned about this bailout from whether or not ShoreBank can survive or from whether "clout" has played a role in it's survival or in the bank recieving government bailout funds.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Salvation Army community center for West Pullman

The Chicago Plan Commission approved a Salvation Army community center and athletic facilities for West Pullman on Thursday.

The $64 million development is funded by a $109 million donation to the Salvation Army by Joan Kroc, late widow of McDonald's founder Ray Kroc. The additional money will be applied to an endowment for operating funds and scholarships, said Maj. David Harvey of the charitable group.

Harvey said the group still needs to raise $6 million for the endowment and that it already has raised about $18 million from other sources.

It will be built on 32 acres near 118th and Racine. The land is on the edge of an industrial area and has been vacant for years.

The Salvation Army began raising funds for the West Pullman site in 2007, after former Ald. Dorothy Tillman (3rd) objected to the group's desire to build in Bronzeville.
One neighborhood's loss is another's gain. What could this center offer to Well Pullman? This is nothing less than positive.

Via CapFax morning shorts!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Loitering at 7846 S. Michigan

The house at 7846 S. Michigan is currently unoccupied, and has been a haven for young (ealry 20's, it seems) loiterers who are there just hanging out and drinking.

They were also next door at 7842 S. Michigan. It's unknown if anyone lives there, and if they are aware of the loitering and drinking.

This is behind the parking lot of Taylor Funeral home and down the alley from Carter Temple Church.

i didn't take a picture with the loiterers because they have seen my face too many times for them to just let me do it. The last picture is the interior of the rear guest house, which has the back door open.

In talking with a neighbor, she has mentioned that neighbors have called about the house several times, but that police don't do anything about it. Also, she said no one has lived there for years.

According to the Cook County Recorder of Deeds, in searching the PIN 20-27-319-026-0000 the last action was in 2005 (not including a notice form the city in 2008). Allegedy it was up for auction in Ocotber 2009. But evidently, no one claimed it. Certainly no activity (such as new ownership) has been listed there for the past few months

The property seems like a good one for a church. Other urban churches have mission groups who stay in the community. This would be a great property for that.

Perhaps they can work on the back building first and then use the guest house in back for some volunteers who can have a hand in cleaning and repairing the front.

So what can we do to prevent this from being a haven for loiterers, alcoholics & gangbangers?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Friends of the Parks has set up a Thomas Wortham IV Playground Fund

Friends of the Parks has set up a Thomas Wortham IV Playground Fund. In partnership with the Wortham family, the Chicago Park District, the Chicago Police Department and the community, a new children’s playground will be constructed in Cole Park at 85th Street and Martin Luther King Drive across the street from his parents’ house. The new playground will be named the Thomas Wortham IV Playground.

Thomas Wortham IV was the President of the Cole Park Advisory Council and was active on a city-wide Park Advisory Council Network. Thomas committed his time, energy and vision to improving Cole Park. As President of the advisory council, Thomas worked on expanding recreation programs for youth, improving the children’s playground and the running track. At 30 years of age Thomas Wortham IV was a dedicated and respected community advocate who was a model for his community and all of Chicago. His loss on May 19th was devastating to all Chicagoans.

The Thomas Wortham IV Playground will be designed and constructed in Cole Park. The playground will be accessible to children of all abilities. The goal is to build the Thomas Wortham IV playground in the fall of 2010 during a two-day community-build event with volunteers from the Police Department, his family and friends and Friends of the Parks. The cost of the playground is expected to be $225,000. Contributions can be made to the Thomas Wortham IV Playground Fund in c/o Friends of the Parks, 17 N. State Street, Suite 1450, Chicago, IL 60602 or at

Volunteers Needed for Grand Crossing Park Playground Building

From Friends of the Park

Volunteers from the community, Kohl’s Department Stores, Children’s Memorial Hospital and from Friends of the Parks will build the new, accessible playground in Grand Crossing Park, 7655 South Ingleside, over a two-day period in June. Starting early in the morning at 8:00 a.m. and working through the days and under the supervision of a construction management team, the volunteers will be instructed on how to install new slides, climbing equipment, bridges, swings and tunnels. Once the equipment is installed, the volunteers will be trained to install the new safe rubber-mat surface material. The playground build project will take two days to complete.

The total cost of the playground is $220,000. State Representative Marlow Colvin secured $100,000 from the State of Illinois and Kohl’s Department Stores donated $120,000 through Children’s Memorial Hospital.

The community-build days are set for Friday June 18 and Saturday, June 19, 2010, from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Sixty volunteers on each of the two days have signed up to construct the playground.

Partners include the Grand Crossing Park Advisory Council, the Chatham Avalon Community Council, the Chicago Park District, Children’s Memorial Hospital, Kohl’s Department Stores, State Representative Marlow Colvin and Alderman Michelle Harris.

For more information contact Amy Donatell at

June 2010 6th ward Newsletter

June Newsletter 2010-2

Chicago State loss is Depaul's gain

He's swapping one iconic black heroine for another. Haki Madhubuti, the founder
and director emeritus of the Gwendolyn Brooks Center at Chicago State University,
has been named DePaul University's new Ida B. Wells-Barnett university professor.
This fall he will teach two classes, lecture and conduct faculty workshops on race
at DePaul.

The Brooks and Wells-Barnett legacies are precious cargo. Brooks succeeded the
poet Carl Sandburg as Illinois' poet laureate. In 1950 she became the first African
American to win a Pulitzer Prize, for her book Annie Allen.

Wells-Barnett was a fearless firebrand, a journalist-activist who deployed investigative
reporting to expose the scourge of lynching in the American South.

These ladies did not play.

Madhubuti knows. The career poet, publisher, editor and educator was a mentee and
member of Brooks' "extended family." Before her death in 2000, Brooks entrusted
Madhubuti with her literary memory.

Madhubuti is departing his longtime stint at Chicago State in the wake of fierce controversy.
He was pushed out after 26 years after he criticized the appointment of Wayne Watson
as the new president at the beleaguered and struggling South Side school.

Madhubuti is moving on, but his voice was edged with bitterness over the battle with Watson.
"The president was making it uncomfortable for me," he said last week over the phone.
"I've done what I can do."

If there's one thing you'll do at DePaul, I asked, what would it be?

"To make clear that even though we have elected a black president, race is still the untold
issue and metaphor in this country, and at some point we have to deal with it."

More than a century ago, Ida B. Wells was dealing with it. Born in 1872 to former slaves
in Holly Springs, Miss., she rose to become a black educator-turned-journalist-turned-women's
suffragist-turned-supreme agitator.

One of my favorite Wells quotes still resonates today: "The appeal to the white man's pocket
has ever been more effectual than all the appeals ever made to his conscience."

Wells spearheaded more causes than I can count. She teamed up with Susan B. Anthony
and Jane Addams to push for women's suffrage. She was a co-founder of the NAACP (much
to the chagrin of her male competitors). Her keynote skill was brilliantly biting investigative
reporting that exposed the trumped-up lynchings of hundreds of black men. She published
her prolific chronicles of the racist bloodletting in a pamphlet, aptly named "A Red Record."
Her reporting on the barbarism led to the establishment of anti-lynching laws.

And she was so Chicago. Wells moved here and launched a crusade to open up the
1893 World's Columbian Exposition to black participation.

She married Frederick Barnett in her adopted city, had four children and continued her
activism from her Bronzeville home until she died in 1931 at 68.

I am especially keen on Madhubuti's new gig, since I was honored to hold the Wells-Barnett
chair from 2003 to 2009. While at DePaul, I strived to elevate and emulate Wells' fight
for racial justice. It wasn't easy.

Tragically, most know Wells-Barnett only for her namesake -- the Ida B. Wells Homes
on Chicago's South Side. The public housing development opened in 1941 as a vessel
of hope -- to provide decent homes for thousands of low-income black families transitioning
from poverty to sustainability. But the development and its families eventually spiraled
into disgrace, the victims of official neglect, rampant crime and abject poverty.
It was demolished several years ago.

Wells-Barnett's memory must stand. African-American legacies are fragile, but priceless.
Good luck to Madhubuti. Kudos to DePaul for continuing the professorship.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Recap of 6th Ward June Aldermandic Meeting

The 6th ward aldermandic meeting was full of information with a number of city of chicago departments present. The department of neighbor affairs, purchasing and consumer services were present and encouraged residents to inquire about opportunities to do business with the city and if there are businesses that are presenting a nuisance to file a complaint.

Also, Governor Pat Quinn field representative stopped in and encouraged residents to vote in the upcoming November election and why it is important to vote for Governor Quinn.

One of the featured speakers was Tammy Collins from the City of Chicago Department of Community Development and 6th ward resident. She came to the meeting to speak about the 67th Street tax increment financing (TIF) district. A TIF district is a designated area where a portion of the real estate taxes paid by commercial property owners go into a pool that can be used to make improvements, create job training programs, etc. The TIF district is being created to ensure that the area surrounding the old Kennedy King College receives some benefits from the redevelopment of the that site. The district will run approximately from 67th Ashland to Cottage Grove and south to 79th with the same east and west coordinates. No details were given about what is going to be built on the Kennedy King site. Several questions were raised regarding crime in that area which were answered that the money generated by the TIF can be used to get additional law enforcement presence.

The second featured speaker was Ervin Currin who is the Director of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services(DCFS)and 6th ward resident. Mr. Currin gave some facts about DCFS interaction in the 6th Ward. Mr. Currin stated the following:

375 investigations
14 removals
79 foster parents
113 foster children

Mr. Currin stated that mission of DCFS is to strengthen families and not take kids out of homes and place them in the foster care system. he did state that they are having problems placing older children and are creating group homes that teach these young people independent living skills because most will leave the system at age 18. he gave two websites that discuss several initiatives the department is involved in.

Lastly, the alderman asked residents to volunteer to become block liaisons. These liaisons would be responsible to disseminate information to their neighbors. it was stressed that these individuals would not be paid and are not precinct captains. Also, the alderman asked for volunteers to help with the various programs sponsored by her office.

Walgreen's to text when prescriptions are ready

Drugstore operator Walgreen Co. said Tuesday it will begin using text messages to tell customers when their prescriptions are ready.

Walgreen will also offer details on coupons and other deals to customers who sign up at its website. The company said it is also relaunching its iPhone app and mobile site. Walgreen's mobile phone application was launched in fall 2009.
How many of you are going to take advantage of this new service from Walgreen's?

REMINDERfor THIS Saturday: THINK ABOUT IT anti-violence campaign

A reminder from a previous post

(Apologies for the ALL CAPS)






For more information, contact event sponsor Rawls and Son Funeral Home

Samuel B. Rawls

Monday, June 14, 2010

The 6th Ward Leadership Academy Summer Program

The 6th Ward Leadership Academy is designed to engage 6th Ward youth (ages 10-15) in an inspiring, engaging and intellectually stimulating environment. This program will build leadership, interpersonal and communication skills while providing cultural and career exposure to the youth. Some of the program components are community service projects, gang and drug prevention, entrepreneurship and organized sports in collaboration with World Sport Chicago. We believe it is paramount to provide a safe and productive atmosphere during the summer months when children are most vulnerable to violence.

The 6th Ward Leadership Academy is free for the first fifty (50) participants and is sponsored by Lyle for Kids and Diversified Behavioral Comprehensive Care.

To Apply:
Complete and sign the participant application, which can be picked up at the 6th Ward office or at any 6th Ward school.
Completed applications may be returned via:
•Scan and email (signature required):
•Fax: (773) 846-0503 (Attn: The 6th Ward Leadership Academy)
•Hand Deliver: return forms to the 6th Ward office or Lyle for Kids headquarters at 7318 S. Cottage Grove.

Academy Information:
This is a seven-week program (June 28-August 13) that runs Monday through Friday from 10am- 4pm. The program will be run from Paul Robeson High School located at 6835 S Normal Blvd.

Parents or guardians are responsible for providing daily transportation to and from the location. Lyle for Kids will provide a bus to transport youth on all field trips.

Dress and Attire:
All youth will be given a camp t-shirt that they are expected to wear.

If you are interested in volunteering with the Leadership Academy, please contact the Program Director directly by calling (773) 756-8061

Questions or Concerns?
Please contact the Lyle For Kids at or by calling (773) 756-8061.

Mayor Daley runs up big debts building his global city; what about the rest of Chicago?

This video above and the article from which I shall excerpt is well worth your time:
To see how Chicago has changed under Mayor Richard M. Daley, walk through the Near South Side.

What two decades ago was an urban desert, best known for its Skid Row, now is a place of glittering condo towers, bustling stores and restaurants. The population — including Rich and Maggie Daley — has tripled since 1990 while income has more than quadrupled.

Just four miles south, in Washington Park, where Mr. Daley hoped to host the 2016 Olympics, population is down, jobs and stores are scarce, and incomes are a tiny fraction of those in the South Loop.

In 1989, the year Mr. Daley was first elected mayor, Chicago was widely considered the buckle on the Rust Belt
In 1989, the year Mr. Daley was first elected mayor, Chicago was widely considered the buckle on the Rust Belt. Getty Images photo
As Mr. Daley, 68, prepares a presumed run for an unprecedented seventh term, economic data examined by Crain's show his success over the past 21 years in remaking Chicago's business center and nearby neighborhoods into a "global city," where incomes and education levels are high and amenities are world-class.

But big parts of Chicago have been left behind. And the city is stuck with the debts Mr. Daley has piled up on infrastructure-rebuilding and gentrification, including the cost of projects such as the Olympics bid, Millennium Park, theater districts, median planters — not to mention underfinanced city pensions and the tax-increment financing subsidies doled out to downtown developers.

"If this was a business, I'd frankly question how long you can keep doing this before the (bond) markets freeze you out," says former Cook County CFO Woods Bowman, now at DePaul University.

Bonded debt and long-term leases have risen much faster than the city's property-tax base under Mr. Daley and now amount to about $5,600 for each Chicagoan. Then there's billions in unfunded pension liabilities — another $5,000 per Chicagoan — and one of the deepest municipal budget holes in the country.

That budget gap, called "unsustainable" by Chicago's Civic Federation, will hamstring Mr. Daley if he wins another term. The question is whether he is the right person to lead the city out of a fiscal morass created in large part by his drive to make Chicago a mecca for wealthy professionals and international corporations.
Do you think Mayor Daley's initiatives have benefited other neighborhoods around the city?

Via Newsalert!

GCA Meeting This Saturday

Formerly the W.I.M. Block Association

JUNE 2010 Meeting
Saturday, June 19
11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
St. James Lutheran Church
8000 S. Michigan

Now accepting GCA $30 yearly member dues per family for 2010.
One vote per membership

773.635.6500 for more info

Formerly the W.I.M. Block Association

JUNE 2010 Meeting
Saturday, June 19
11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
St. James Lutheran Church
8000 S. Michigan

Now accepting GCA $30 yearly member dues per family for 2010.
One vote per membership

773.635.6500 for more info

Sunday, June 13, 2010

OPEN BLOG: Movie and a meal meet-up

Last month we talked about whether or not there was any interest in doing a meet-up at the Chatham 14. We brought up the possibility of doing a dinner and a movie. At the same time my first idea was to just catch a show.

If this was to happen we may have to decide if we should either do a matinee show and eat lunch first or do an evening show and eat dinner afterwards. Either way we should discuss how we want to do a movie and then visit one of our local restaurants for this meet-up.

Either way I want to note that Ald. Lyle in that last open blog wants to do a "dinner and a movie" type of event.

QUESTION: What local restaurant would you like to eat at for our Chatham 14 meet-up?

Friday, June 11, 2010

= What happened to the new Park Manor Christian Church...?

Early last year, Pastor James Demus presented at a 6th ward meeting the plans for a new building for Park Manor Christian Church, to be located at 84th & King Drive.

Their earlier work was destroyed, but seemed on the road to rebuilding, with a sign noting the church.

Walking home from the Wortham prayer vigil 3 weeks ago , i noticed that the sign was removed.

Anyone know what's going on (or not going on)? Is this project going to happen? Or do they need to sell the land to someone else?

Also -- will they have another "Taste of Park Manor"? If so, I hope they check out our review and suggestions for this upcoming year.

Please let us know...

Thursday, June 10, 2010

June 2010 Monthly Meeting

For Ald. Lyle previously advertised in another blog post. As soon I can upload the flyer then you will see it on the blog. The flyer contains the people who are expected to speak at this meeting:
  • DCFS Director, Erwin McEwen
  • A representative from the 67th & Wentworth TIF
This meeting will take place at St. Columbanus at 331 E. 71st Street this Saturday at 10 AM.

Rival Chains Secretly Fund Opposition to Wal-Mart- Is it fair?

Robert Brownson long believed that his proposed development here, with its 200,000-square-foot Wal-Mart Supercenter, was being held hostage by nearby homeowners.

He had seen them protesting at city hall, and they had filed a lawsuit to stop the project.

What he didn't know was that the locals were getting a lot of help. A grocery chain with nine stores in the area had hired Saint Consulting Group to secretly run the antidevelopment campaign. Saint is a specialist at fighting proposed Wal-Marts, and it uses tactics it describes as "black arts."

View Full Image

Philip Scott Andrews for the Wall Street Journal

P. Michael Saint, left, is founder of Saint Consulting Group, which specializes in using political-campaign tactics to build support for or against developments. Many of its efforts to block projects are clandestine.
.As Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has grown into the largest grocery seller in the U.S., similar battles have played out in hundreds of towns like Mundelein. Local activists and union groups have been the public face of much of the resistance. But in scores of cases, large supermarket chains including Supervalu Inc., Safeway Inc. and Ahold NV have retained Saint Consulting to block Wal-Mart, according to hundreds of pages of Saint documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal and interviews with former employees.

Saint has jokingly called its staff the "Wal-Mart killers." P. Michael Saint, the company's founder, declines to discuss specific clients or campaigns. When read a partial list of the company's supermarket clients, he responds that "if those names are true, I would say I was proud that some of the largest, most sophisticated companies were so pleased with our success and discretion that they hired us over the years."

Read the entire story at

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

6th Ward meeting this Saturday

Saturday, June 12
10:00 a.m.
St. Columbanus Church
331 E. 71st St.

For further information about any of these events, call the 6th Ward Service Office at (773) 846-7006 or e-mail at

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Chesterfield Community Council and St. Mark Lutheran Church Outreach
Ministry will host a special money saving event on Saturday,
June 12, 10:00 a.m. at the church located on the corner of 88th
& Langley. Dorothy Mack aka "The Coupon Queen" will give a special
presentation on utilizing coupons on your next grocery bill.

This event is FREE and open to the public. Space is limited.

Please RSVP by June 9 by calling 773-651-3958
or via e-mail at

Join Team Sleet with the Chicago Cares Serve-a-thon

From one of our local residents, Brian Sleet

The Chicago Cares Serve-a-thon is both the largest day of community service in Chicago and the largest fundraiser for Chicago Cares. Join thousands of volunteers from companies, churches, alumni groups, fraternities, block clubs, neighborhoods and families to paint a brighter future for Chicago children. It is now in its 17th year.

We'll help students succeed as we beautify Chicago school classrooms, libraries and playgrounds! In just one day, Serve-a-thon volunteers transform schools into wonderful, vibrant places to learn and grow. The Serve-a-thon is also the largest fundraiser for Chicago Cares, and money raised through this event makes it possible for us to create, manage and lead 215 volunteer projects every month.

Sixth Ward and Chatham resident Brian Sleet has started his team, "Team Sleet" to help out. You can join or donate to Team Sleet or any Chicago Cares Team at

Bets wishes for Team Sleet!

We encourage others to send us your good news by e-mailing us at thesixthward (at)

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...