Monday, August 30, 2010

19-year-old woman shot in Chatham on Saturday

From a CBS 2 report with regards to a number of violent incidents from over the weekend:
At 6:41 p.m. Saturday, a 19-year-old woman was talking with a friend in the 700 block of East 80th Street when she was shot in the left foot, police said.

Chatham/Avalon Park Community Council: Blog Question

The CAPCC got the scoop on us:
Chatham/Avalon Park Community Council: Blog Question: "At a recent CAPCC Monthly Meeting it was announced that a hotel will not be built on a site in Sub-Area I. What do you think should be built? Another hotel proposal? "
What are your suggestions?

Sunday, August 29, 2010 Filling Up Prisons Without Fighting Crime

Something to consider if you want to look at an answer for the crime problem. We want to discourage criminals from committing their crimes, however, how can we reduce crime without increasing the prison population?
UCLA Professor of Public Affairs Mark Kleiman is "angry about having too much crime and an intolerable number of people behind bars." The United States is home to five percent of the world's population and 25 percent of the world's prisoners, yet, says Kleiman, our high incarceration rate isn't making us safer.

In his book, "When Brute Force Fails," Kleiman explains that, when it comes to punishment, there is a trade-off between severity and swiftness. For too long the U.S. has erred heavily on the side of severity, but if we concentrate enforcement and provide immediate consequences for law-breakers, Kleiman says we can both reduce the crime rate and put fewer people in prison.
The duration of this video is roughly 7 minutes!

Hat-tip Instapundit!

Classic Car Show at Chicago State

For more information contact

Michael LaFargue
ZipRealty, Inc.
Licensed in IL
Toll Free: 1.800 CALL ZIP x3347
Cell: 773.251.0760
Fax: 866.399.6996
My Profile:

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Chicago State Jazz on the Grazz- Roxanne Stevenson & CSU Jazz Band

Chicago State Movies on the Grazz- School Daze

Urban Partnership Bank, formerly ShoreBank, names new directors

Urban Partnership Bank, which rose out of the ashes last week of failed ShoreBank, has created a board of directors that has five members so far.

In addition to the two top bank managers of David Vitale and William Farrow, the board currently includes Eileen Kennedy, Daniel Lupiani and Jerome Szott, according to a Friday report on the Chicago Tribune's Web site.

An Urban Partnership Bank spokesman said Friday that the final size of the board has not yet been determined.
Ms. Kennedy and Mr. Lupiani are former First Chicago executives and Mr. Szott a former employee of National Bank of Detroit, the Tribune reported.
Vitale of course is the executive chairman of the bank. Farrow is the President and CEO.

Also drove by the Chatham branch and the main branch of the former ShoreBank. Usually the bank brand is changed immediately. What gives this time around?

Friday, August 27, 2010

ABC7 on the new Quench Fresh Family Foods on 95th street

This store has been getting some media outside of this blog of course. Crains and ABC7 has done stories on this store. I posted the story from Crain's here yesterday.
Entrepreneur Quentin Love, founder of the popular Quench chain restaurants, has partnered with other entrepreneurs to open a grocery store alternative. Residents say the store is badly needed in their neighborhood.

"I think it's's like a French grocery store," said Lenore Juarez, Chatham resident.

The store is the brain child of Chicago restaurateur Quentin Love and co-owner Dianna Wiley who teamed up with LaDonna Redmond, a longtime advocate of healthy food choices in minority communities.

"In our community there is a shortage of fresh produce. So the most important thing with Fresh Family Foods was to create the fresh produce market," said Love.

He brought in other entrepreneurs to open a grocery store that offers can goods, staples, a juice and coffee bar, brown sugar bakery goods, buttered, cheese and caramel Poptime popcorn, a butcher shop along with prepared meals.
Now this quote should ring true in other communities around the city:
The owners say they hope to open other fresh food stores in the future.They want to encourage other African Americans to open up businesses in their communities that will provide services that are desperately needed and to create jobs for residents.
Yeah, I hope there are other Fresh Family Food stores in the future. I often like to refer to the old Food Basket on 87th and King Drive that is now home to a Family Dollar. Perhaps one day Mr. Quentin Love can move into that location. There's also an empty grocery store on 83rd & Stony Island. There's another empty grocery store still just on 103rd & Eberhart. Just a short drive along King Drive from from the current location.

Chicago State Welcome Back Carnival

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Chicago State Welcome Back Week Events

Crain's: Quench owner grows into grocer with new South Side cafe-boutique

A little more about the new grocery store that opened on 95th Street this week:
Quentin Love, owner of the Quench chain of six healthy fast-food restaurants on the South and West sides, opened the grocery store and cafe across from Chicago State University in the Chatham neighborhood on Thursday.

Mr. Love bought a two-year-old shop, Fresh Family Foods, at 336 E. 95th St., earlier this year and closed it for a two-month renovation.

The new 2,500-square-foot store sells produce and includes a butcher counter, a juice and smoothie bar, and a small café serving Quench's menu of fish and chicken entrees and baked goods from Brown Sugar Bakery, another of Mr. Love's businesses.

In keeping with his focus on healthy food, the store does not sell cigarettes or alcohol, he said.

“I like going to Whole Foods and Trader Joe's,” Mr. Love, 37, said, “so we decided to bring the concept of a quaint, urban grocery boutique to the South Side.”

Fresh Family Foods opens amid concerns about urban food deserts, areas — predominantly in Chicago's South and West side neighborhoods — that lack fresh food choices. In this case, there's a Jewel about a mile and a half away. Still, grocers in the neighborhood are far outnumbered by convenience stores, which tend to charge higher prices for packaged foods without offering much in the way of produce.

And there's no place, Mr. Love said, that offers the sense of community he hopes Fresh Family Foods will bring.

“It's going to be a co-op environment that will be shopper-friendly,” he said. “It's one-stop shopping.”

According to Mr. Love, Fresh Family Foods is the only African American-owned grocery store in the state. Another such grocery, Farmers Best Market, opened in the Back of the Yards neighborhood in October 2008 but closed less than a year later.
The neighborhood is incorrectly referred to as Chatham. Not sure if this neighborhood would be referred to as Chesterfield since I'm not entirely certain how far south Chesterfield goes. And it isn't correct to refer to this area as West Chesterfield.

All the same, Chesterfield should talk to Mr. Love about taking over the former Food Basket location on 87th Street and King Drive.

Also it's great to know that the only Black-owned grocery store in Illinois is located in the 6th Ward once again. Let's hope Love is successful in this venture.

Chatham: A 24-hour neighborhood

I want to think outside of the box for a minute.

Last week, I read Lee Bey's post at Vocalo that featured pictures of downtown Chicago at night. He talked about how the city has spent a lot of money turning downtown into more of a 24/7 destination. Bey recalled those days when downtown died after Rush Hour.

So let's look toward the neighborhood. Who says the areas around downtown Chicago or perhaps certain places on the north side should be a 24/7 destination.

One idea here is to attract younger residents to this neighborhood. Now granted we would like those younger residents with careers to consider putting down roots in this neighborhood. Especially if they're married with children.

Another idea is to add some vitality to this community. Perhaps 79th Street or 75th Street could use some activity both during the day and at night. Perhaps some retail for people to shop at during the day or perhaps a place to buy a coffee before workers begin their daytime commutes to work or school. At night perhaps a comedy club, restaurant or even a bar for entertainment.

While I may be addressing the retail strips around the neighborhood, I also understand that there is a residential component to consider. In a typically quiet neighborhood like Chatham, a 24-hour neighborhood may seem like an unsettling idea. Certainly it's something we should consider if we can make Chatham a desirable community to live.

Crain's Reviews Chatham's Yassa Restaurant

Check, Please! on Yassa

Barbara Kensey, CEO of Kensey & Kensey Communications, enjoys Yassa African
Restaurant for its delicious tilapia and lamb chops and its authentic West
African ambiance — it's like having dinner in a home in a foreign country.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Can the 6th Ward stay Independent

Last week the Chicago Reader ran a story that the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce had hired political lobbyist to identify candidates to run against seated Alderman who opposed Walmart. Per the story the Walmart forces were willing to spend up to $700,000 per candidate to unseat currently seated Alderman. One target of these lobbyist was Alderman Lyle.
Along with Walmart the video gambling and gun lobby are working in the background attempting to garner support. Lastly, the labor unions, and City Hall are working in the community and will be supporting candidates.
No time in the last 20 years have I seen this much interest from outside "special interest" attempting to takeover a local community. They have all decided that this is their ward and they will place the candidate they want. The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce has created groups such as "Choose Chatham" (supported Walmart) and "Put Illinois Back to Work" (supports Video gambling) to confuse people. We hear about this on the state and federal level but never on the local level.
With this much money floating around can we get a candidate who will do what is right for community over what special interest wants? Can the community wade through the onslaught of propaganda we will see over the next couple of months and make informed decisions?

Clout St: Chicago taxpayers can sound off on budget next month

If you would like to sound off on the Mayor's budget which is expected to be announced in October you can go to the South Shore Cultural Center (7059 South South Shore Drive) on Sept. 9th. Of course this is the only hearing to be scheduled on the south side as there are others to be held at Westinghouse High School and North Grand High School located on the north and west sides. City finance officials have said that there is a $655 million budget shortfall, but Mayor Daley has yet to say how he plans to plug it. Read more @ Clout Street.

Quench: Fresh Family Foods now open

I took this picture yesterday with a nice welcome banner across the store window. Looked inside to see a prominent produce section. Looks like I'll have to actually go inside and check them out in the near future.

They're located at 336 E. 95th St.

We now have a REAL race for Alderman of the 6th Ward

Now that Alderman Fredrenna Lyle has officially entered the race for 6th Ward Alderman it appears that we have some serious candidates running. Along with current Alderman Lyle, Roderick Sawyer local attorney and life long resident and Brian Sleet a former aide to Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. and long term resident.

All three candidates possess the necessary educational, professional and civic qualifications necessary to become not only Alderman but Ambassador of the 6th Ward. I feel we will see a very upbeat and positive campaign with candidates talking about issues important to the residents of the sixth ward because they have a historical perspective to draw upon.

With the exception of a couple of other qualified candidates, both who I understand are not interested in running, I hope we do not have any other "also running" candidates out here splitting the vote.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Local bus route changes

Photo taken near 95th & King Drive Tuesday night
This is late I know because this change should have taken effect on Monday according to this service alert from the CTA, both the Nos. 3 & 4 routes will terminate at Chicago State University (CSU). It was the original route before CSU terminated a lease to allow CTA to terminate buses on their campus over three years ago. Since they've recently changed it back it makes me wonder why it was changed in the first place.

Before August 23rd the No. 3 would terminate at 95th Street and would head down 95th to Michigan then circle to State then back to 95th. Then finally return to the southern terminus at 95th/King Drive.

Monday, August 23, 2010

32nd District Fair on August 28, 2010

Hosted by state Rep. Andre Thapedi located at Marquette Park (6700 S. California). Not only will you be able to talk to the different state agencies there, but there will also be some activities for the children.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Summer of Innovation - NASA Sponsored Educational Opportunity

Tuesday -Friday
August 24-27, 2010
10am- 3pm
Trinity UCC
400 W 95th
Chicago, IL

If you are the parent or guardian of a 5th through 8th grade student this is a NASA sponsored education program designed to engage and intrigue studends as they explore science and math. Teaches with explain various concepts of nature and provide them with an opportunity to elaborate on what they have learned.

Designed to be fund and informative this FREE program will have lasting benefits for all who participate. Please contact Rev. Michael Jacobs for more information at 773-962-5650.

City of Chicago Health Survey

The Chicago Partnership for Public Health is interested in learning about health and quality of life in Chicago communities and wants to know what YOU think!

Please take our 10-15 minute online survey to share your thoughts. It is completely anonymous and you do not have to answer any question that you do not wish to answer. Your feedback will be used as one part of a community needs assessment being conducted for the City of Chicago, which will help the Chicago Partnership to identify priority areas to focus its efforts.

To take the survey in English:

Saturday, August 21, 2010

ShoreBank failure video on demand

EDIT: Also read the press release from the new Urban Partnership Bank that Worlee posted this morning!

Not to beat a deadhorse here, but I think it's necessary to find some video of this significant south side event. The failure of a well-known community bank that served those underserved neighborhoods. This is significant to this community because ShoreBank bought out the former Independence Bank in the 1990s. ShoreBank survives as Urban Partnership Bank.

First video is from ABC7

This second video is from CBS2. With this quote:
It brought some to tears; it was a community bank.
That story had people who said they were about to cry. It was more than just a bank to them.

This last video is from FOX Chicago with footage from the former HQ of the former Independence Bank at 7936 South Cottage Grove Avenue. There were plenty of shots of the surrounding community on Cottage Grove, especially of the boarded up buildings around that Chatham branch.

Hat-tip CAPCC blog!

Quench: Fresh Family Foods will open Aug. 26th

I was on my way to the 6th Ward picnic last month when I took this picture of this storefront near 95th & King Drive. Thanks to this brief from the Sun-Times I know a little bit more:
Quentin Love, creator of the "no beef, no pork" Quench chain of restaurants, will open Fresh Family Foods, a boutique-style grocery store, on Aug. 26 at 336 E. 95th St. in Chicago. The grocery, across from Chicago State University, will sell fresh produce and freshly prepared hot meals, and will include a juice and coffee bar, according to a press release. Love and co-owner Dianna Wiley are teaming on the concept with healthy food advocate LaDonna Redmond.
If this is a success they can hopefully move into some of the former grocery store location in the community such as the former Food Basket on 87th & King Drive.

Also I chronicled this storefront on at least two occasions. The last occasion I see that the store was named Fresh Family Foods when it opened in that very storefront over two years ago. I wonder if the original owners came to some type of agreement with Quench.

Urban Partnership Bank Press Release

Urban Partnership Bank Press Release

It's great to see that the initial mission of Independence Bank will not disappear. With individuals like Mr. Mckeever involved with the bank I think we will see a major turnaround.

NOTE: If this document doesn't load click on the available link at the top. Thanks!

Friday, August 20, 2010

ShoreBank becomes the 15th bank in this state to fail!

While this story from Breaking News is only an update to an earlier story today look for ShoreBank to re-emerge under a new brand, Urban Partnership Bank. Management of the former ShoreBank is expected to bid on the bank's assets.

ShoreBank execs ready to relaunch lender with new name

ShoreBank management have presented a bid to federal regulators for some of the performing loans and deposits of the failing Chicago lender that could lead later today to the creation of a bank with a new name that would continue lending in ShoreBank's South and West Side markets, as well as Cleveland and Detroit, according to people familiar with the matter.

While the ShoreBank name is expected to go away, it couldn't be learned what exactly the new moniker will be. One source said it was likely to include the word “Urban.”
Management of ShoreBank, led by former First Chicago Corp. senior executive David Vitale, has lined up most of the Wall Street and other investors that had committed $150 million in the spring to try to save the bank from failure to back a bid for some of ShoreBank's assets and deposits, according to people familiar with the matter. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. is expected to seize the bank later today.

If no other surprise bidders have emerged, the management team is expected to acquire some of the bank's deposits and good loans in order to continue ShoreBank's mission of lending in low-income urban neighborhoods avoided by other banks. Mr. Vitale, who agreed to try to save ShoreBank in the spring and is executive chairman, will continue to run the lender.

If the bid is successful, the bank will be limited to its Chicago branches and its smaller operations in Cleveland and Detroit, according to a source.
There you have it, ShoreBank is expected to be seized by the FDIC today. Although in some minor way this bank will survive, but not in the same form that we have known it.

Ald. Lyle annnounces her re-election bid on Tuesday, August 24

From the Facebook event page.
On August 24, 2010 I, Alderman Freddrenna M. Lyle will once again celebrate the wonderful communities of the 6th Ward at an Open House in the beautiful Perry Mansion.

Stop by for tea at tea time or light refreshments after work. Join me as I announce my campaign for re-election in a house that exemplifies the power of vision, the value of experience and the strength of leadership. You are cordially invited to come out and join!...
For more information contact 773.994.5747
The Committee to Re- Elect 6th Ward Alderman Freddrenna M. Lyle
404 E. 75th Street – Chicago, Illinois 60619

EDIT: Perry Mansion has been mentioned on this blog on at least two other occasions (here's one post about the cultural center). The building is located @ 7042 S. Perry Avenue.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

DUI Strike Force

The Chicago Police Department will conduct a DUI Strike Force Patrol in the Gresham (006th) District beginning at 7:00 p.m., Friday, August 20, 2010 and ending at 3:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 21, 2010.

The purpose of this program is to saturate a pre-designated area with roving police officers that continually monitor vehicular traffic for signs of impaired driving. Patrols also place emphasis on speed, alcohol-related and safety belt violations. Police vehicles equipped for speed detection are deployed to apprehend speeding violators.

In addition, the Breath Alcohol Testing (BAT) Mobile Unit may also be deployed to allow officers to expedite the process of charging a person with Driving under the Influence (DUI)prior to transporting an alleged into the nearest lockup for bonding. The mobile unit also allows for Individual Recognizance Bonds (I-Bonds) to be issued at the site of the DUI Strike Force Patrol.

For full details, go to

Long-term solution: Attracting a new generation of middle class

When I posted a link to the FB page regarding JP's post on Captain Hardtime's suffering through difficult times in this economy this comment from one of our commenters was posted there:
I have always been adament about supporting people I know in business or buying locally whenever possible. Unfortunately many do not. Captain Hard Times is a nice establishment. I visited Yonnis after the Pancake House moved to 183rd and ...the service and food were not good. The first thing most restaurants do in difficult times is to cut quality to save. Quality Food is the last thing which should be cut at a restaurant. I spoke with someone there who explained the financial woes. Some solutions - Long term residents have to realize the community is changing, The population is aging, their children moved to the South Suburbs, my generation of the black middle class who have chosen urban living will not stay if our homes continue to be burglarized and do not have to deal with the elitism at some community groups, the subsidized housing holders moving to Chatham will become the new Chatham and may be the only market if an influx of middle class does not move in. Attracting more middle class residents is a long term solution. Perhaps delivering and broadening the customer base will help.
She sees a neighborhood in transition and she still wasn't done:
Another possible solution for the transitioning neighborhood dilema - Our Seniors have a wealth of experience and humility due to more humbled beginnings - they are the group troubled youth - many of whom have been raised by Grandparents ...and behind all of the devilment have a core instilled by those Grandparents. Those of the Civil Rights era who are now Grandparents are a generation who were called for many things, but we need you once again for our troubled youth. I believe they will listen. Sometimes the teacher needs to appear as the student - Something as simple as a tech day - youth teaching seniors facebook will create an opportunity to bond.
JP likes to mention that at Mather's on 83rd Street they will have computer literacy classes there. In fact in the two times that I have been there right next to the dining room there is a computer lab where we have seen classes commence during the day. Perhaps we can supplement that in our neighborhood schools as well, perhaps for community service credits our students can conduct them. Even if they're not intending to go into the technology fields.

A lot of our young people know how to use the various tools that we find on the internet these days. Whether we're talking about Twitter, YouTube, Blogger, or even Facebook.

As for the neighborhood in transition, well we have lot of work to do on that. Wait for post on one idea to do this. It's only an idea, but something that would give Chatham a certain vitality. At that one idea to bring in younger residents and hopefully they won't consider the suburbs an option.

Violence is not the Way-Community hearing on violence

State Rep. Constance A. Howard(34th District) and Senator Donne
E. Trotter (17th District)will join over a dozen community based
organizations in hosting a community hearing on violence prevention
in Illinois Schools on Saturday, August 21,10:00 a.m. at Tuley
Park Field House, 90th & King Drive.

This event, title "Violence is not the Way", is designed to explore
solutions in the prevention of violence with school age children
between the ages 7 and 17 years. During this two-hour session,
community members and professionals trained in conflict resolution
will have the opportunity to present testimony on ways to eradicate
some of the violence in various communities.

This event is co-sponsored by the American Majestic Eagles, Black
Star Project, Chatham Avalon Park Community Council, Chesterfield
Community Council, Concerned Citizens of Burnside, Cottage Grove
Heights Community Coalition, Greater Chatham Alliance, Park Manor
Neighbors, Princeton Park Homeowners Association, Pullman Civic
Association, Roseland Heights Community Organization, Tuley Park
Advisory Council, Vernon Park Civic Association and West Chesterfield
Community Association.

For more information: 773-783-8800 (34th District Office) or
773-651-3958 (Chesterfield Community Council)

Alderman Lyle's Green Initiative Part I- Aquaponics at Chicago State University

Chicago State University recently announced the completion of its new aquaponics system that will provide research and educational opportunities, as well as address environmental and urban challenges facing Chicago’s South Side.

CSU’s aquaponics facility features four 750-gallon tanks, six grow beds with traversing lights and a three-acre site for outdoor plots for sustainable fuel research and gardens. This innovative program will be unveiled to CSU students, faculty and local business and community leaders on Tuesday, August 17 at the Aquaponics Facility, which is located at 9601 S. Cottage Grove Avenue.

Aquaponics is an integrative process that combines aquaculture (fish farming) and hydroponics (raising plants in water instead of soil). Plants and fish cultivate in a recirculation environment in which nutrients-enriched effluent, or water from the fish, is used as fertilizer for the plants within the facility. As the plants take in the nutrients to fuel their own rapid growth, the water’s toxicity for the fish is reduced or eliminated. Clean, nutrient free water is then returned to the fish environment, and the cycle continues supporting the growth of both fish and plants. The relationship between the fish and the plants creates a waste-less environment; nearly every part of the project is self-sustaining and thus environmentally friendly.

More on the program at

Alderman Lyle and outgoing Alderman Shiller worked diligently on bringing this to our community. Per Alderman Lyle she will give us more details on this project and future projects.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

CTA Tattler: Red Line trains stack up for evening rush due to track problem

Looks like I beat this delay just barely. I arrive at 95th Street not long before this problem with the tracks developed just north of 79th Street. A 30-minute wait for a train and who knows how travel was affected at trains were forced to share a single track north and south. The post notes that at 8PM repairs were still ongoing but who knows if they're finally completed by now. If you know leave a comment here!

Trend in ACT scores shows growing racial gap

Well the trend this year for Illinois' high school seniors are low in general. It's only decreased by one-tenth (.1), so this small number may not be that big of a deal. An expert was quoted in the article as saying: "This year's decline, though small, is "statistically significant,'' but given Illinois' slow but steady increase since 2006, 'I don't think that's a drop that I would be concerned about yet,' said ACT spokesman Ed Colby."

At the same time this ought to be a concern:
While white Illinois seniors saw their average ACT scores rise from 22.0 five years ago to 22.4 in both 2009 and 2010, the state's African-American students saw their scores go in the opposite direction.

The average African-American Illinois senior scored 16.9 in 2006, compared to 16.8 in 2009 and 16.7 in 2010, new data released today showed.

Illinois' Hispanic scores dipped from 18.2 last year to 18.0 this year, but were up slightly from five years ago, when Illinois Hispanics averaged a score of 17.9.
The growing gap comes even though the No Child Left Behind Law has stepped up pressure on schools to close such gaps on state tests, which in Illinois includes the ACT.

African-American students stand to benefit if Illinois wins its bid for $400 million in Federal Race to the Top funds, Fergus said, because part of the money would bankroll the "turnaround" of low-scoring schools, many of which serve minority students.
Well let's be sure some of our black high school seniors, will score well enough on the ACTs to be able to get into college. Or at the very least let's be sure they are ready for college.

Driver Position


We are seeking 30 outgoing Individuals to drive 10-passenger vans.

Candidates will be transporting passengers from the Airports to Downtown hotels and vice versa.

No CDL required.

Candidates would have set routes, so it is not like a cab service; passengers are based on reservations which are normally set in advance.

During Peak Seasons: you will work 40 hours plus/week.

There is a 1 to 2 week, paid training class (Mon-Fri from 8am-4:30pm).

Upon graduation you will be on a rotating shift, mostly working 2nd shift (anywhere from 3pm-midnight).

Days off would be during the week and they would vary.

Pay: Hourly + tips.
CASH Tips average from $25-$75 a day depending on your knowledge of the city and your personality.

Hourly Pay: $8.25 per hour for first 3 months, then UNCAPPED earnings potential based on commissions only.

Base Location (where you would report to for training and every working day) is near 35th & Ashland.

If you are interested, please read the requirements and follow instructions that follow.

„X For insurance purposes, you MUST be at least 25 years old
„X You must have had a valid Illinois Drivers License for the last three consecutive years without any lapse for suspensions or any other reasons
„X You must NOT have any DUI's or have been caught driving with a suspended license
„X You must NOT have any problems lifting up to 50 lbs of carry-on luggage throughout the day
„X You must NOT have ever had any felonies or misdemeanors
„X You must be able to pass random drug tests
„X You must be familiar with Downtown Streets

Then we would like to invite you to apply at our office (no appointment necessary) Monday 08/16/2010 through Friday 08/20/2010 between the hours of 9:00 am and 4:00 pm:
Crown Services, Inc.
5417 West 79th Street
Burbank, Illinois 60459
(Located in the Burbank Plaza directly next to JR's Hotdogs)

Illinois Driver's License
Social Security Card (or Birth Certificate)
MVR (Motor Vehicle Report) - You can obtain this from your local DMV for $12.00. MUST BE MARKED FOR COURT PURPOSES. MVR MUST BE NEWER THAN 08/01/10.

IMPORTANT: Since we are a staffing agency with many different accounts, when calling or applying in person you MUST mention that you are interested in the DRIVERS position.
This position does not require a CDL license.
Please no phone calls.

Location: 35th & Racine in Chicago
Compensation: $11-17 per hour ( This includes $8.25 per hour plus tips)

Park Manor businesses featured on NextTV

The Chicago Urban League's NExtTV featured two of our businesses in a story about Carol Mosley Braun.

The former IL Senator is starting her own brand of healthy food products, called Ambassador Organics.

The Urban league showed businesses on 75th street to contrast "food deserts" with junk food vs. healthy food choices. Visuals of Big Sam were use as an example of "bad food" while SOul Vegetarian East/Eternity Juice Bar, with their outside fruit & vegetable displays, were considered examples of "good food" that is desired by many African Americans, who might otherwise travel to the suburbs (Something Ambassador Brown noticed)

(Neither store was mentioned by name, but anyone who passes by that street would instantly recognize the businesses)

What do you think? Unfair use of visuals? Or creative way to illustrate differences?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Four shot in related drive-by shootings on South Side

Found this story via our Blotter:
A 21-year-old man sustained a gunshot wound to his stomach about 10:15 p.m. near the intersection of 95th Street and South State Street, according to police News Affairs Officer Ronald Gaines. He was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn in good condition,

A short time later near the intersection of East 95th Street and South Michigan Avenue, two men and a woman were also shot, Gaines said.

An 18-year-old man was shot in the left leg, a 19-year-old man was shot in the left thigh and a 19-year-old woman was shot in the right foot, according to a News Affairs release.

All are in good condition and they apparently drove themselves to Advocate Trinity Hospital, Gaines said.
This is a little too close to home! I hope we find out who was doing the shooting. I also hope they're actually caught and convicted!

Captain Hard Times Dining falling on hard times?

Just saw a sign in front of Captain's Hard Times dining, with the city threatening to cut off the water due to an unpaid bill of nearly $1900.

Captain's has a cafe style side, but also has a ballroom that would make a perfect site for a banquet or wedding reception.

If Captain's closed, it would be a horrible loss to our community.

Yonni's Chicken & Waffles (occupying the former Chatham Pancake House) also closed due to finances.

How can we help our businesses survive?

Are there any businesses we should focus on to help them survive or even thrive?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Community Day at Chatham 14

8th Annual Community Day
Thursday, August 19,2010
10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
210 W. 87th St.
Health and resource fair covering health and fitness, education, business, banking, safety, housing, transportation and more, raffles, games, entertainment, $1 movies,
Local businesses and organizations encouraged to participate

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Effectiveness of block clubs against crime...

From Mick Dumke of the Chicago News Cooperative:
Even before the violence flared around Chicago this summer — long before someone was shot to death at the end of their block in July — Robert Brown and Michelle Lee-Sebastian saw signs of trouble.

Concerned about the young men loitering at the end of their street, Mr. Brown and Ms. Lee-Sebastian, next-door neighbors, decided to take the advice of the police and organize a block club with other residents of the 8100 and 8200 blocks of South Winchester Avenue.

The idea was that through phone trees, monthly meetings and heightened visibility, residents could keep one another abreast of what was happening and send a message to gangs and drug dealers that they were not about to hand over their block.
But Mr. Brown and Ms. Lee-Sebastian said they could not fight gangs or keep the neighborhood together on their own. And they said they were left wondering when, or if, the city would give them the backup they need: repairs to streets and curbs, better oversight of empty buildings and, especially, a greater police presence.

“We’ve taken care of our part of the bargain. And in return we keep hearing, ‘We don’t have the resources,’ ” said Mr. Brown, 50, a corrections officer at the Cook County jail who has lived on South Winchester for 13 years. “I realize the police are stretched to the limit, but there’s got to be a better way.”
Since Mr. Brown and Ms. Lee-Sebastian formed their block club two years ago, about 10 other residents have been active members. They started by talking with the police about the loiterers at the end of the street and by making a point of walking regularly past the problem corner. They cut the grass outside vacant houses and trimmed the shrubs.
This article is worth your time.

Is anyone reading this blog involved with a block club? Are they having issues with regards to attracting attention from either their Aldermen or the city bureaucracy? 

New Search For Evidence In Chicago Cop's Murder

This story is two days old and would you believe that the reward is at $140,000 right now! Still no takers unfortunately:
Nearly 60 members of the Chicago Police Department Training Academy walked through tall grass and weeds on Friday hoping to find a clue that might help catch a killer.

Chicago Police Lt. John McMurray said, "If there is anything in these vines and bushes or anything we should be able to see it."

The police recruits were hoping to find evidence that might lead them to the person or people who murdered Bailey last month.
"We're out here doing a grid search based on info we have that the offender ran up this embankment and across the Skyway and down through that rail yard," McMurray said.

But the search ended a few hours after it started, with no significant discoveries.
Bailey's killer was last seen running from the scene south on the 7400 block of South Evans Avenue. Police believe he cut across an abandoned lot before making his way to the Skyway area they were searching on Friday.
I'm disappointed that there was no video provided with this article from CBS2Chicago.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Precinct7: More Crime and Politics

From ABC7's political reporter Charles Thomas. Simple question when you read this post. Is crime really down in the city or is the police department really attempting to "cook the books" with regards to crime statistics?

Friday, August 13, 2010

MSNBC to Feature UEI/Ebony Education Roundtable on Sunday, August 15,2010

Sunday, AUGUST 15
11-1 CST/12-2 EST

MSNBC to Feature UEI/Ebony Education Roundtable on Sunday, August 15

On August 11, UEI and Ebony Magazine joined forces to spread the word on important education issues facing our communities. Over 400 individuals filled the hall at the International House on the University of Chicago campus to listen to leading education thinkers, including UEI's Shayne Evans, director of the University of Chicago Charter School Woodlawn Secondary Campus, and Elaine Allensworth, director of research at the Consortium on Chicago School Research. More about the event.

This Sunday, August 15, the discussion will continue on MSNBC from 11-1 CST/12-2 EST. During "Making the Grade," Tamron Hall will explore what can be done to fix our education system. Coverage of the education roundtable and interviews with the panelists will be included. Tune in!

Video and coverage of the roundtable will be available on the UEI website early next week.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Clergy comes out to support ShoreBank

ABC reports
Clergy members and community leaders on Chicago's South Side are calling for a moratorium on the closing of community banks.

They say the federal government should do more to save small institutions like the troubled ShoreBank.

State Representative Marlow Colvin says, as a former community organizer, President Obama should understand the importance of small banks to their communities.

"It is who the president is, so we are not asking him to become something he is not, we're asking him to be what we always believed him to be, and that is concerned about these communities," said Marlow.

People attending Thursday's event say, when small banks fail, neighborhoods suffer.

The Wall Street Journal reports that ShoreBank has asked for $75 million from the federal tarp program.

We have talked about ShoreBank and their history that closely tied to Chatham's history as they are the successors to Independence Bank.

Should ShoreBank be bailed out?

Alert: The Choking Game

Chicago Police have become aware of a potentially deadly game children are playing that may result in death or near-death experiences. In the "choking game," participants attempt to experience a euphoric feeling by temporarily depriving the brain of oxygen by applying pressure to the neck until they pass out. Parents may seek information about risks associated with the choking game to help prevent children from playing the game.

• Strange bruising or red marks around the neck
• Bloodshot eyes
• Bed sheets, belts, T-shirts, ties, or ropes tied in strange knots and/or found in unusual places
• Visiting Web sites or chat rooms mentioning asphyxiation or the choking game
• Curiosity about asphyxiation (asking questions like “how does it feel?” or “what happens if?”)
• Disorientation and/or grogginess after being alone
• Locked or blocked bedroom or bathroom doors
• Frequent, often severe headaches
• Changes in attitude; becoming more aggressive
• Wear marks on furniture (bunk beds or closet rods)

If parents believe a child is playing the choking game, speak with the young person about the life-threatening dangers associated with the game and seek additional help if necessary.

If you have any questions about the "Choking Game," call Area 5 Detectives at

For full details, go to

Chatham to be designated a Special Service Area

This article was from the August 11th edition of The Citizen. If approved by the city council and the state legislature this district could be created by January 2011. According to this article 40 other areas have been designated as a Special Service Area (SSA).

Do you want to know more about SSAs? Here is a page from the City of Chicago.

Do you think an SSA would be beneficial to the Chatham neighborhood? Surely there are other neighborhoods with an SSA to point to as an example.

Ald. Lyle a target for pro Wal-Mart forces

Looks like Ald. Lyle is the target of a political consulting couple who also run an investment firm. They were hired by the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce to help install pro Wal-Mart alderman onto the city council:
"Obviously, what we would do is think about the type of help that [candidates] need in an election, and it isn't just throwing money at any particular person, but the type of feet on the ground that they need," he says.

Roper won't reveal which wards the chamber has in its sights. "We'll have to wait and see the evaluation, see who's going to declare, who's going to run, who's not going to run, and then make that decision," he says. But he did say the chamber's political action committee will meet next month to begin planning for the aldermanic races.

Mini wouldn't say whether Walmart is represented on that committee. "That's not something we typically make public," says Mini. "They obviously make sensitive decisions."

The Freeman folks, however, have specified wards they think are ripe for the picking. At the candidates' seminar, Delgado presented an "at-risk" list of incumbents who'd won with less than 54 percent of the vote in 2007 and were sitting on smaller war chests.

Among the targets: Sixth Ward alderman Freddrenna Lyle, who introduced a new living-wage ordinance in April; 24th Ward alderman Sharon Dixon, who signed onto Lyle's living-wage ordinance; 25th Ward alderman and zoning committee chair Daniel Solis; 32nd Ward alderman Scott Waguespack, who's mulling a run for mayor; 46th Ward alderman Helen Shiller, who has since announced she won't run for re-election; Moore, who voted against the Chatman Walmart last month and signed onto Lyle's living-wage ordinance; and 50th Ward alderman Bernard Stone, who supported Lyle's living-wage ordinance while also supporting the Pullman Walmart.

While the City Council was debating the Pullman Walmart, Lyle says, Beale and former mayoral aide turned Walmart flack Gyata Kimmons tried to get her to back off the living-wage stuff. "I was basically warned that Walmart was going to put up $700,000 against the anti-Walmart aldermen. I said, 'OK, thank you very much.'"

Like Roper, Caldero says which wards the Freeman Institute actually does go into will be based on who's running. She insists the Freeman Institute isn't looking for just "pro-business" candidates like the chamber, but she told me the institute would like to continue working with the chamber in the future.
If 2007 was about labor asserting itself. It appears 2011 may well be about Wal-Mart, although I would imagine that since two Wal-Marts have been approved by the City Council, that wouldn't be a huge issue. Unless, the next election was about further Wal-Mart expansion in the city.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Do you know how much your child's teacher makes per year?

The Chicago Lampoon

Yesterday, the U.S. Congress interrupted its summer recess to rush thru a $26 billion bailout for cash strapped state governments. According to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the measure was necessary to save some 160,000 teacher's jobs. President Obama immediately signed the bill into law.

But just why are state and local governments so incapable of meeting their teachers payroll?

Could it be because an astonishingly high number of area teachers are making more than 6 figures a year?

Chicago's grand champion for hauling down taxpayer's cash for a teaching job is one Timothy Bouman, a high school teacher at Noble St. Charter School in Chicago who boasts an annual salary of -- get this -- $632,000.

Read the entire story at

Look up Teacher/Principals salaries

With ShoreBank on the ropes, two possible scenarios emerge

Looks like ShoreBank will be taken over by the FDIC at some point:
The hour of reckoning is fast approaching for ShoreBank.

All signs now point to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. seizing the South Side lender within the next few weeks.

As unlikely as it seems, though, it's still possible that a bank named "ShoreBank" will emerge from the failure with a mission similar to the one it has pursued for more than three decades — lending in low-income urban neighborhoods — beginning in Chicago's South Shore neighborhood in the 1970s.
OK there are two scenarios right. Here they are!
One is a straight liquidation, in which the FDIC would reimburse insured depositors, close the branches and dispose of the assets later. In that scenario, ShoreBank would be consigned to history.

The other is a management-led buyout, most likely funded in large part by some of the investors who committed $150 million to save ShoreBank but whose investment was predicated on an accompanying $75-million federal bailout that now is not forthcoming because of regulators' concerns that it won't be enough to keep the bank solvent.

In that case, the investors would acquire the branches, deposits and some of the good loans — essentially rebooting ShoreBank with a more cautious lending approach — while the FDIC would take on the bad loans for later disposal. Unclear is how much capital would be needed to back this effort, something presumably that management, investors and regulators will grapple with over the coming days.

That second scenario would be the “good bank, bad bank” approach that Fox News first reported earlier this week.

Ordinarily, when the FDIC begins an auction process for a bank that's failing, it takes four to six weeks to sort through the bids and prepare to seize the bank. But ShoreBank already went through that process earlier this year, averting failure at the time after putting together the $150-million rescue package.

As a result, sources say, the FDIC could seize ShoreBank anytime.

To be sure, an eleventh-hour bid with the FDIC by a bank or qualified investment group can't be ruled out, but there aren't any signs of that at the moment.
Now if our local black-owned banks were willing to take up some of those assets from ShoreBank or at least some of those local branches located in black neighborhoods this could be a good thing.

Are Police Cameras Stopping Crime

Story at GapersBlock
Millions of federal dollars have been invested in miles of fiber optics in Chicago and more than 1,000 surveillance cameras to create one of America's most sophisticated crime-fighting networks. There is, however, a problem: No one knows how well it actually works.

Nancy La Vigne, the director of the Criminal Justice Policy Center at the Urban Institute, and her team of researchers want to rectify this.

Their conclusion, which has yet to be publicly released, seems unique among the small number of similar studies conducted in other U.S. cities.

"The use of cameras is cost beneficial," La Vigne said.

To reach their conclusion, researchers compared the number and types of crimes in Humboldt Park and West Garfield Park to other neighborhoods that were statistically similar but without cameras. They discovered that for every $1 spent on cameras, the city saves $2 by preventing crimes, she said. By reducing the burden on the legal system society saves money, La Vigne said.

"There weren't many rigorous studies of the cameras impact in the U.S., and even now they are a bit piecemeal, so we wanted to do something more comprehensive," she said, adding that two basic questions need answering: Have these cameras changed the city's crime levels for the better? Is it cost effective to use the cameras?

Other studies in the United States have tackled the question of the cameras' crime-fighting capabilities. Jen King, a researcher at the University of California Berkeley, contributed to a study of San Francisco's police camera network that found the cameras were effective at deterring property crimes and when combined with other policing tactics.

But most have yet to address whether or not cameras are cost effective because it's a complicated public policy question, King said.

Not only do many teams studying cameras lack a public policy expert, but counting the number of crimes cameras actually deter and putting a price on each crime prevented requires a lot of estimating, she explained.

Though the public hasn't seen the study, it already has critics. Popular Chicago bloggers Second City Cop posted a scathing entry after the first news stories started to emerge from ABC Chicago. In it, Second City Cop argues that the neighborhoods studied aren't appropriate candidates for drawing conclusions from
"A comparison of West Garfield and Humboldt Parks is a study in opposites. And claiming POD [Police Observational Devices or the surveillance cameras] had anything to do with it [reducing crime] is to ignore the realities on the ground," Second City Cop wrote.

La Vigne said Humboldt Park saw a dramatic drop in crime, specifically violent crimes and property crimes, after the cameras were installed, but West Garfield Park didn't. While she didn't know why crime fell in one area and not in the other, La Vigne is convinced that camera saturation played a role.

Second City Cop claims the reason is that Humboldt Park gentrified while West Garfield Park remained a "disaster zone." They haven't responded to requests for further comment.

"I don't believe that impact was fully due to gentrification," she said. La Vigne added that while it's possible other factors could have influenced crime, the cameras in those neighborhoods were used in conjunction with policing tactics that can increase their effectiveness.

Community members align more closely with La Vigne in some respects.

"I don't think gentrification has had an effect on crime," said Alicia Ivy, a block club president and resident of West Humboldt Park.

Parts of Humboldt and West Humboldt Parks are gentrifying but crime is still a problem for the area despite the cameras, Ivy said. She pulled out a document of crime statistics citing a steady flow of drug and violent crimes over the last 10 years in the 11th Police District, which includes Humboldt Park, West Humboldt Park, and West Garfield Park.

Documents available at the Chicago Police Department's website paint the same picture. Murders so far this year in the 11th district, 26 in all, are the highest of any police district in 2010. Violent crimes and thefts for this year and 2009 are also among the highest of of any police district in the city.

The Chicago Police Department has not responded to requests for an interview.

Police installed cameras on certain corners that were crime infested in West Humboldt Park after receiving requests from residents and the alderman, but not all stopped have the drug dealing or violence, she said.

"I can tell you personally, although the cameras may have been effective in some areas, the amount of gang and drug activity has increased in others," Ivy said.

The saturation of cameras in these neighborhoods is far less than in some other areas in the city. Chicago's Loop has the most, with at least 123 cameras, while Humboldt Park has a minimum of 47 and West Garfield Park has at least 16, according to an analysis of police documents obtained in April through a Freedom of Information Act Request.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois has called into question the usefulness of the cameras.

"There may well be a role for the systems in solving crimes," said Ed Yohnka, the director of communications for the ACLU of Illinois. "But I don't think anyone has figured out how to grapple with it yet."

Yohnka points to studies conducted in the U.K., where cameras have been in place long enough to be properly studied, that found the cameras don't have "much of a [crime] deterrent effect anywhere." The cameras may displace crime, but there are limitations with the technology and how effective the cameras can actually be, he said.

The Institute is aiming to release the study at the end of the year. Presently, the study will go through a peer review process to ensure to the integrity of its findings, she said.

Some would have liked to see the Institute study more areas to have more firm conclusions about the ability of cameras to reduce crime.

"If they studied 10 areas in the city then it [the differences] could be balanced out by other areas," said Rajiv Shah, an adjunct professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Shah studies surveillance technology and keeps tabs on issues surrounding cameras on his blog, Smart Cameras.

Determining the reason for the difference in the crime levels of both neighborhoods will be difficult because of the number of variables that can affect crime. Changes in the local economic conditions, the aggressiveness of police in the area, and even the layout of the buildings in the area can all impact crime, Shah said.

Because cameras are seemingly everywhere in Chicago, finding neighborhoods to observe where a demographically similar neighborhood without cameras existed was a challenge, La Vigne said. To come to a conclusion about the cameras, La Vigne feels researchers need control areas that are the same in every way except for the variable under scrutiny, which were few and far between for this study.

Read the entire story at

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

CPS hotline for students signed into law...

By Gov. Pat Quinn yesterday:
Chicago Public School students will be able to tip police off about after-school fights and other violence anonymously via a new hotline, signed into law by Gov. Quinn today.

Backers hope the hotline, due to be set up by January, will encourage students to break the code of silence protecting gang members and help prevent shootings and fights like those that claimed the lives of Fenger High School student Derrion Albert in September last year and 13-year-old Robert Freeman on July 29.

“We want the violence to stop and the silence about the violence to stop,” the governor said before touring the troubled Roseland community — where Freeman was shot as many as 22 times — with Rev. Jesse Jackson and other ministers.

State Rep. Monique Davis, who sponsored the bill, said “a lot of kids knew what was going to happen” the day Albert was killed, adding, “they didn’t know it was going to be Derrion Albert, but they knew there was going to be a big fight.”

The hotline could help in situations like that, she said. It will be answered by Chicago Police officers and all calls will be recorded, she added.

The police department already has anonymous tip hotlines for gun law enforcement, bombs & arson, drugs, gangs, and a superintendent’s hotline, also for reporting drug offenses.
Here's another approach to this issue but seemingly unrelated from CBS2:
Tilden High School Principal Marcey Sorenson's BlackBerry will keep her in communication with 30 others from the Tilden family -- security guards, administrators, teachers, police officers, parents and community leaders.

"We're all in communication," she said. "So, if there's a fight at 51st and Marshfield, we're notified. It's just to keep the communications loop so that students are safe."

Passing out cellphones to the community is a first for CPS. It's part of the district's Safe Passage Plan.

Adults are placed around the neighborhood to keep an eye on students as they travel to and from school. The advantage, say teachers, is nipping a potential conflict in the bud.

"Say if we found out there might be a fight," explains Sylvia Maayteh, a Tilden teacher. "We might be able to put them in a peace circle ... where they sit around and discuss the problem before it becomes a bigger problem."
Looks like there are plans in place to deal with the issue of violence by public schools students. Let's hope there are some cool headed and thoughtful students who will utilize the hotline. Also let's hope the communication amongst the adults in a given neighborhood can prevent a problem from becoming a serious one as well.

City Colleges mulling tougher admissions, chancellor says

Check out this Sun-Times article. I have mixed feelings about this. I can sympathize with the need to do away with remedial courses, but as for removing the open door policy that could be bad news. Let's agree that even for community college work students should otherwise be ready for college although I would also say if they were ready for college they would attend a university. Community college however is as great a start as any. We just need to look at what should one get with a community college education. Via CapFax!

A nice sign of the neighborhood

We've read about signs in the community some people really hate.

Here's a sign i think most agree is a good one. I snapped this photo at 81st & Vernon on Saturday (I saw another on at 81st neat St. Lawrence, across the street from Chatham Fields Lutheran Church).

There is a bible reference to James 2:8 (from the New International Version)

If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, "Love your neighbor as yourself,"[a] you are doing right.

Anyone know who posted the signs, and where we could get more?

Monday, August 9, 2010

Would you like text messages on street sweeping?

I recieve an e-mail advertising Anti-Tow a service where you could recieve text notices on street sweeping. Currently it's only available in the 1st Ward, but who says they have to have all the fun. For example if you there is a page for the 1st Ward with a map of the available street sweeping areas.

You can check out the Anti-Tow website @, but you can also check out this post from the Parking Ticket Geek at his blog:
First ward Chicago alderman Proco Joe Moreno may have been in office only four months, but he’s already ahead of his aldermanic colleagues when it comes to technology.

Just a few days ago, Moreno’s office debuted a new text alert system to warn constituents when street cleaning is scheduled for their block, so they can remember to move their cars and avoid tickets.

Residents of the 1st Ward can use their cell phone to sign up for this free service by texting a specific code number that reflects their geographic position on a map. The night before and the morning before street sweepers hit your street, you’ll get a text message reminding you to move your car.

The idea came out of the frustration of the typical complaint of parking tickets for street cleaning that constantly flow into aldermanic ward offices all across the city.
Sounds good doesn't it?

That reminds me there was a comment in a post about a shooting near Harlan in 2009 about e-mail blasts with regards to criminal activities, especially any shooting that may occur in any given area. I hope that enough people will consider that necessary instead of knowing about potentially dangerous situations hours after the fact. Hopefully we can cut that down to minutes or seconds after the fact.

In light of this idea let's return to that idea. And you can request Anti-Tow services for the 6th Ward using this form @ And let them know that not only you want text messages for sweet sweeping, but for any other major situation that may develop in our neighborhoods.

Its Hoops Time- The Cole Park Classic

Cole Park Classic
Basketball Clinic & Tournament
Registration: Aug. 2–6, 6pm-8pm
Basketball Clinic: Aug 9-20, Times TBA
Play Offs: Aug. 23-27, Times TBA
Tournament: Aug. 28 & 29, Noon-6pm

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Brian Sleet is running for Alderman of the 6th Ward

Brian Sleet is announcing his candidacy for the position of 6th ward alderman.

A quick look at did not show a committee formed as of June 30, and thus, no funds (officially) raised by that date.

From an e-mail sent from the campaign of:
You are cordially invited to attend the kick off reception for the Sleet for Alderman campaign. Learn more about SLEET’s plan to bring real change to the city of Chicago and what you can do to help. Join us to work for the hard working middle class families in the 6th Ward and throughout Chicago.

Tuesday, 8/10/10


351 W. Hubbard

6 PM - 8 PM

Minimum Suggested Donation : $50

Please make checks payable to :

Friends of Brian E. Sleet

PO Box 19322

Chicago, Illinois 60619

Questions? Email :

Link to Facebook Invite

FB Page of Flyer :

Will Dixon be ready tomorrow?

Just walked past Dixon school yesterday, and saw that they are still working on construction, such as installing new windows. The facade was completed earlier this summer.

School starts for Track E schools, such as Dixon, on Monday, August 9. i know that's a short amount of time for all the work that needed to be done.

Will Dixon be ready?

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Teen shot during robbery on South Side

A 16-year-old boy was shot in the leg during a robbery Friday night in the Chatham neighborhood on the South Side.

The teen was shot while he was being robbed about 9p.m. in the 600 block of East 85th Street, according to police News Affairs. He sustained a gunshot wound to his leg.

He was listed in good condition at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn early Saturday, police said.

The suspect fled the scene.
You know there was a Sun-Times story on why they won't stop shooting. It appears that unless there was a murder, there is rarely a conviction in shootings like this!

I just had to include a Google street view of the 600 block of East 85th St. It's right across from Cole Park Brown Memorial Park. On this same block is John T. Pirie Elementary School! One wouldn't expect this act there would they?

Friday, August 6, 2010

ShoreBank facing failure?

Courtesy of Chicago Business Today with regards to yesterday's news that ShoreBank may not receive any federal bailout funds. In this video host Lisa Leiter speaks with Crain's reporter Steve Daniels. Duration is just over four minutes.

UPDATE 12:31 PM Greater Chatham Alliance send out a link to this Sun-Times article about ShoreBank's impending failure:
The clock is ticking closer to midnight for Chicago's ShoreBank Corp.

The South Shore-based lender, renowned nationally for its support of low-income borrowers, could be closed within days by federal regulators. It has failed to secure a $75 million federal bailout as a follow-up to $145 million it raised in May from Wall Street's biggest players.

A source said ShoreBank has control of the private capital only until today, but may announce a deal for a short-term extension of the commitment. The extension could allow the bank a few more days to hunt for additional equity.

ShoreBank has been trying to raise at least $200 million. The federal bailout was a crucial piece, but banking industry experts said the Federal Reserve has been put off by continued declines in the institution's financial condition.

The bank lost $39.6 million the first six months of the year, according to a report it submitted to regulators. In 2009, it lost $119 million.

The report showed ShoreBank being hammered by bad loans to apartment buildings with five or more units. It said it had $103 million in loans to such properties on which no payments are being made.
Chathamites might care somewhat because ShoreBank's earlier incarnation bought out the old Independence Bank @ 7936 South Cottage Grove Avenue which is now a branch of ShoreBank today.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Stellar Student Campaign by NBC5

We are launching a campaign called Stellar Students.

Please send me a photo and descriptive paragraph on your kids/relatives/friends/friends kids,
who are doing great things in school, home, church, athletics and/or in their communities.
List any and all accomplishments, awards and honors.

Email it to me as soon as possible at:


All of the above should be in the body of your paragraph.

BTW- there is no limit on the number of Stellar Students you recommend.
The only requirement is that they be "Stellar"...

Thanks so much.
Yours in the spirit of community,

Deb Deborah Olivia Brown
Director of Station Relations NBC5 Chicago
454 N. Columbus Drive Chicago, IL 60611
312-836-5611 o
312-520-5627 c
312-527-9072 f

ADA swing at Grand Crossing Playground has been stolen

Last week, we got an e-mail about a stolen ADA accessible swing at Grand Crossing Park. The photo seen above was taken yesterday. Also the photographer and e-mailer, Maria Stone of Friends of the Parks offered a press release for a dedication at this park on Monday August 9th. That document is below.
Grand Crossing Dedication Press Release

She also hopes to raise funds for a new playground at Cole Park @ 361 E. 85th St in October. I hope that someone out there would like to see that happen!

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...