Sunday, December 30, 2012

Looking back and looking forward...

It's New Year's and now it's time to look at where we've been in 2012 and where we'll be in 2013. A lot of events and circumstances happened this year that was of great significance.

This year the 6th Ward was drawn very differently with some residents going to either the 8th Ward or the 9th Ward. Also, the 6th will have a greater chunk of Englewood. In fact while no one is entirely certain when the remap will come into force many of these residents have in fact voted in precincts in different wards.

This leads to the future concerned of whether or not this blog can continue to cover those communities in new wards, and that lead to my "State of Mind" post last month. Another future concern if this blog needs to change names. Time will tell but no changes as far as that goes.

Also crime became a continuing concern. Our city has recorded 500 murders in 2012. Of course while we may not have seen most of them, there is still a concern over violent crime and other criminal acts. And with that in mind a group of citizens have opted to start their own citizen's safety patrol. Also note Ald. Sawyer's attempt at reaching out to find a solution to the violence that occurs in our communities.

Also it seems Chatham will gain some businesses. Eventually we will have an independent coffee shop and a bar. Hopefully a long time neighborhood restaurant will re-open under a new name. Our neighborhood movie house experienced a "hostile takeover" and remains in business.

Here's one thing to look forward to in 2013, Englewood on the rise in 2013.

Are there any other events of note that occurred in our communities this year? What are you looking forward to in the new year? Who else will be on the rise in 2013?

Saturday, December 29, 2012

AP: Trotter cites legal trouble in ending US House run

We posted about what the sources said yesterday, Sen. Donne Trotter made it official this morning:
Trotter announced Saturday he will not seek the 2nd congressional district seat, which includes parts of Chicago's South Side and nearby suburbs.

"Today I formally announce my intention to end my candidacy for that position," he told an audience of district constituents, local officials and journalists in suburban Lynwood. "The people of the second Congressional district have critical needs that must be met."

For weeks after his arrest, Trotter insisted he would still seek the seat and touted his achievements during 24 years in state politics, even as his attorney, Thomas Durkin, acknowledged that the charges left a "cloud hanging over his head." Trotter maintained the backing of an influential suburban township leader, but missed out on the Cook County Democratic Party's endorsement, as its slating committee opted for an open primary among the dozen or so Democratic candidates.

On Saturday, Trotter said he'd had a change of heart, noting that the district faces big challenges in creating jobs, improving education and reversing a home foreclosure rate that he said was the highest of the state's congressional districts.

"The stakes are too high and the debate is too important," he said. "... Nothing must be allowed to eclipse this debate. My commitment to these and other quality-of-life issues runs too deep to allow myself or my situation to detract from what needs to be front and center."

Trotter said he would not endorse any of the other candidates.
As many already speculate, Trotter does cite his arrest earlier this month as one reason why he will not continue his race for Congress.

Friday, December 28, 2012

What's One Thing You Learned about the 6th Ward in 2012

A question from Redeye Chicago @redeyechicago caught my eye

What's one thing you learned about Chicago or your neighborhood in 2012? So I want to change it around and ask what was one thing you learned about your neighborhood or the 6th Ward in 2012? What would you like to learn in 2013?

NBC Chicago: Trotter's out?

Key word in this news is sources. From Ward Room:
State Sen. Donne Trotter, once considered the front-runner in the race to replace Jesse Jackson Jr., has decided not to run for the seat, sources tell NBC Chicago.

Trotter has released his pollster and begun notifying supporters of his decision, sources say.

Calls to Trotter's office and to his attorney, Thomas Durkin, for comment on Thursday were unsuccessful.
Soooo, is he out because of his unfortunate arrest earlier this month for possessing a gun at O'Hare Airport? Or are there other factors at play here?

He was supposed to be the favorite in this race, and he had some support among Cook County Committeemen when they held a slating session. However, the committeemen decided not to endorse anyone in the race for the 2nd Congressional District.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Where are the new generation of Black political leaders?

This article was written last month in the Sun-Times and in the wake of the resignation of Congressman Jackson from his seat. This may well be a continuing question not just on the federal level but locally as well even though there are plenty of young people locally who are poised to be the fresh faces of Black leadership in this state:
As federal investigators dug into his conduct, Jackson resigned from Congress on Wednesday. The end of his once-promising career left Chicago’s black political scene with a void: Who can claim not only the fallen reformer’s spot in Washington, but also become the avatar for a new generation and style of African-American leadership here?

Jackson’s demise means virtually all of the highest-ranking black politicians are senior citizens. The 48-year-old Jackson was one of three black congressmen in the Illinois delegation, but by far the youngest: Danny Davis is 71 and Bobby Rush is 66.

The most powerful African-American in local government, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, is 65, while Secretary of State Jesse White — the only black state-wide office holder — is 78.

The younger Jackson’s resignation, combined with the aging of many other African-American elected officials, is hastening the search for fresh faces who might restore or even enhance the community’s clout. Younger African-American leaders in lower-level positions said they believe a new generation is ready to come of age.

“I think you’ll see something new,” said Kwame Raoul, 48, who replaced Barack Obama in the Illinois Senate after Obama became a U.S. senator eight years ago. “You will begin to see, as a result of the rapid rise of Obama, more and more African-American candidates who have crossover appeal and come from different professional backgrounds than we’ve historically seen.”
Please read the whole thing, but you may need to register with the Sun-Times to see the whole article.

WBEZ: Fed up South Side residents form community patrols

Deborah Foster-Bonner is part of a Chatham community patrol. 
(WBEZ/Natalie Moore)
This has been seen whether at Worlee's Concerned Citizens of Chatham FB page or on Joe Lake's Chicago Chatham Connection FB group. Time to share it here at The Sixth Ward:
Deborah Foster-Bonner stops in front of a boarded-up corner store near 83rd and Eberhart. It’s shut down now, in part, because of pressure from the community patrol she’s a part of.

It’s a gray, dreary, rainy Saturday morning. But a patrol of six trudges along with their umbrellas. They wear neon yellow security vests and whistles around their necks. They do wellness checks on neighbors they haven’t seen in days. They monitor apartment buildings that have caused havoc in their Chatham community. They follow up with absentee landlords. They are a presence.

"We’re trying to do something that a block club can’t. There’s 12 blocks that are coming together. By that, we’ve got numbers. We’re seeking issues that will affect our lives across the lines of individual block clubs," Foster-Bonner said.

This neighborhood, long an oasis of the middle class, has seen its share of an uptick in crime across Chicago. And this year, in the 6th District, murders and theft are up from last year. Narcotic sales top the list of recorded community concerns. These residents are fed up.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Chatham: Alleged Rape of 15 Year Old

Last week I wrote a blog post on safety and hoped that we would have a safe holiday season in Chatham. Unfortunately, it was not to be. ABC 7 is reporting an alleged abduction and rape of a 15 year old near 83rd  King Drive as she was taking out the garbage,

Please practice safe travel procedures and avoid such practices as walking alone, walking through alleys, and walking with headphones. Also, here are a few other tips as well.
As we come closer to the actually holidays, the season has officially begun. While the season puts most of us in a good mood, it also makes some of us careless and brings out those who do not have good intentions.

Here are a few tips to help you enjoy the holiday season
  1. Use a Tracking Service for Expected Packages
The holiday season is the the busiest season for package delivery and its a pain when you miss your delivery and disheartening if someone steals your package from your property. Now that UPS has closed the Avalon Park station, you have to either go to the South Holland or Roosevelt Street station. You can avoid this frustration by signing up for  UPS My Choice.
 The service is FREE and alerts you by either phone,text or email when your package is close to delivery. You choose the method and when a package is enroute, you will get a delivery date and an expected delivery window. Won't be home? Have them reschedule the delivery or hold at the station. There are other options but they come at a cost. US Postal Service has a similar service and FEDEX is working on one. Have your shipper give you the tracking number and you can track them on your own.

  2.  Creating a Routine
 It’s long been known that burglars scoping out a neighborhood will look for victims who tend to not pay attention to things. In other words, they are looking for carelessness. Signs of a careless homeowner include an unkempt lawn, overgrown bushes and children’s toys scattered around the yard.When a burglar spots a house possibly inhabited by a careless homeowner he will watch that house to see what the typical daily behavior is. If he’s really good he may observe a homeowner rushing out the door without setting alarm system. In such a case that home is just as vulnerable as one with no security system installed.In most cases setting a routine is not good from a security standpoint. But in terms of remembering to set your alarm system before you leave your home, a routine is a good thing. Creating a routine you can follow every day will make it less likely you’ll forget to set your alarm.Consider gathering your things for work the last part of your morning routine. Hang a hook for your keys right next to your control center, forcing yourself to see it them as you head out the door. It acts as a constant reminder to arm your system on your way out.

3.     Don’t Advertise Holiday Plans Homeowners and businesses should never advertise holiday plans using social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Today’s criminals are very media savvy and have taken to trolling such sites to find out when properties will be unoccupied. Keep your plans to yourself.
4.    Ask Someone to Watch Your HomeAsk someone to watch your home while you’re away. If you can find a friend or family member willing to actually occupy your house in your absence, that’s the best option. If not, at least find someone willing to get your mail and newspaper, open and close your draperies and take out your garbage. This makes it harder for burglars to decide whether or not you’re away.

5.   Carbon Monoxide is Something Not To Be Played WithCarbon monoxide is a naturally occurring gas that is both manufactured and utilized by the human body. For this reason, many people don’t understand how dangerous it can be in excessive amounts. Trust us when we say it can be deadly.As a tasteless and odorless gas, carbon monoxide could be present in your home without anyone knowing. It is also lighter than air so it tends to move to the lowest places of a home, including the ground floor or the basement. If carbon monoxide makes it to the upper floors it’s already at high enough levels to be fatal.When humans inhale carbon monoxide it binds with hemoglobin, thus interfering with how well the hemoglobin functions. One of the main tasks of hemoglobin is to carry oxygen cells to various parts of the body. When it’s bound with carbon monoxide it can no longer perform that function. In essence, excessive levels of carbon monoxide in the blood can literally suffocate a person from the inside out.Carbon monoxide is not something that should be taken lightly. If your home is equipped with a gas or oil furnace, a gas or oil-fired water heater, or gas appliances in the kitchen, the potential exists for carbon monoxide poisoning. It’s imperative you have your appliances carbon monoxide detector and heating/water systems checked on a regular basis to make sure they are function properly.These tips along with your normal safety regiment should ensure a safe and happy holiday season.

6. Don't Let Your Garbage Speak Christmas time is a time when many homes are purchasing high end electronics. Do not place the boxes out behind your garbage. The day after Christmas the scavengers and criminals will be trolling the alleys to see what they can find. Breakdown large boxes or cut them down in strips and if possible wait until recycle pickup day to place in alley.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Dumke: Foe of Cook County state's attorney won't let 60 Minutes comments die

[VIDEO] Earlier this month 60 Minutes did a story about false - well I prefer coerced - confessions out of Chicago. It seems they are more prevelent out of Chicago than any other US locale. A number of Black males were interviewing claiming that they were forced to confess to crimes they didn't commit.

For her part, Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez gave a "stand out" performance in her appearance in this piece. In the wake of this story she was criticized by such talking heads as Rich Miller of the Capitol Fax and Eric Zorn of the Chicago Tribune. Many view her performance as akin to "political suicide".

Much more recently Mick Dumke of the Chicago Reader writes how Alvarez' interview continues to make a lasting impression. As a matter of fact he interviews one of her rivals Alderman Howard Brookins (21) on this subject. Well rival is a relative term as Ald. Brookins ran against her for the State's Attorney job in 2008. Also remember that Alvarez was re-elected to her office just last month.
"Necrophilia!" Brookins says when we sit down for an interview. "I don't think they forced you into saying that. It's where your mindset is, and it's one of the reasons we have a credibility gap in the community. Or were they beating you with a rubber hose?"

Brookins has been a foe of Alvarez's since 2008, when he was one of five men who lost to her in the Democratic primary for state's attorney.

Alvarez likes to point out that since winning the seat she's set up neighborhood offices, earned national recognition for fighting human trafficking and prostitution, and launched a "deferred prosecution" program that's helped a handful of nonviolent offenders avoid felony charges and prison time.

You could say Brookins hasn't been impressed. "Who would have known she would end up being unlikable and doing nothing for the African-American community?"

Like other critics, Brookins blasts Alvarez for failing to diversify her staff, investigating student journalists who examined wrongful convictions, and doing little to seek justice in what looks like a cover-up of a 2004 death involving a nephew of former mayor Richard M. Daley. After relentless reporting by the Sun-Times, a special prosecutor was appointed to the case, and the Daley nephew, R.J. Vanecko, was charged with involuntary manslaughter.
The article concludes with Brookins starting to talk about alternatives to Alvarez, assuming that she will run for re-election again in 2016. In fact might Brookins be interesting in the slot four years from now?

It was also noted that Alvarez faced no opposition in the Democratic primary in '12 and she won re-election with 77% of the voter against her Republican opponent Lori Yokoyama. That causes Brookins to quip, "Where are good Republicans when you need them?" LOL! Really?

I do hope you watch the story that's posted here. Had been wanting to post it here, but had a hard time justifying it until I read Dumke's piece about Ald. Brookins.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Career Readiness Workshop

The Higher Education Ministry of St. Mark UMC invite all college students, and anyone interested in expanding their career options to attend  its Career Readiness Workshop
December 30, 2012
12:30-3:00 pm
St. Mark UMC
8441 S. St. Lawrence
RSVP Required

Find the latest trends and online job search strategies to find the right job in 2013, Information and
registration, email or call 773-793-7296

Kickstarting an Englewood "community cafe"

[VIDEO] A link to this page for the Kusanya Cafe to be located at 830 W. 69th St. was posted to Curbed Chicago recently. This is basically a fundraising page where by Jan 21, 2013 this project will get funding if $25,000 is raised.

Also, we noted an event that took place in Englewood to generate support for this cafe. I hope the people who wholeheartedly support this cafe will succeed in their effort!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Want to connect with Reunite Chatham...

We mentioned Reunite Chatham in a blog post last month entitled "Direction: communication & cooperation". Also Worlee had provided more information about this organization in another post over at Concerned Citizens of Chatham.

Today it was discovered that they have both a Twitter and FB page. So for those of you who are interested there is more information out there for them and indeed ways to connect with them on social networking.

Also note that Reunite Chatham is a not-for-profit organization with a 501c3 status pending. According to another image found on the FB page.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The former Chicago Teacher's College

Found this photo via Culture of Black Chicago FB page. This building housed the former Chicago Teacher's College that was once located in Englewood. This institution is now known as Chicago State University located at 9501 S. King Drive.

The comments for this picture doesn't seem to identify where it was once located and would like to open it up to you. Some of the comments seem to think it's Parker School located at 6800 S. Stewart. And looking at the history page for Chicago State that turns out to be correct.

Capitol Fax: McCarthy wants a record of the loss, sale, or transfer of guns

Photo by James Brigham
It was hinted this past summer when McCarthy attended a Q & A with the Greater Chatham Alliance. He mentioned that there was a gun used in a shooting of a police office and this gun was first purchased in the early 1970s, but no one was sure what happened to the gun since that time. It seems reasonable to know where a gun has been before being utilized in an incident. I would still say it seems sensible to make this a state law as reported over at CapFax. What do you think?

Slate: Nextdoor, the social network that promises to introduce you to the people on your block.

Sometimes I like sharing the most interesting things and how it could relate to our communities. Imagine this, a social network that introduces people to their neighbors.
According to some recent survey results, Americans have become rather unneighborly. A mere 30 percent of us socialize with our neighbors more than once a month (down from 44 percent in the mid-1970s). And a shocking 28 percent of us know none of our neighbors by name. We may keep in touch with faraway friends on Facebook, but when it comes to hanging out in our own communities we are bowling alone.

Tech entrepreneur Nirav Tolia noticed that we increasingly seem to prefer rubbing elbows online—instead of in real places where real elbows might really rub—and saw a business opportunity. In late 2010, he created a service called Nextdoor. It's a social network that attempts to webify the original social network: the neighborhood. There are now Nextdoor sites in more than 6,500 communities in 49 states (not clear what's up with those anti-communitarian South Dakotans). All of them were launched by regular folks who sought a way to connect with their neighbors, but didn't want to ring doorbells or make small talk in the elevator.

To start a Nextdoor site for your own 'hood, you first define the physical boundaries of neighbordom. Who do you consider your fellow villagers? They could be spread out over a vast open realm if you live in a rural area where the houses are far apart; or might mingle around a few leafy blocks if you inhabit an inner-ring suburb; or could be smooshed together within a single high-rise building if you're a city dweller. Nextdoor prefers that each of its neighborhoods contain at least 75 households. So far the median number hovers somewhere around 200 to 300.
Well perhaps nothing could replace going over to your next door neighbor and introducing yourself or generating interest in a block club. I could imagine this would be just a new school way of being able to connect with neighbors and ultimately connecting on common concerns?

Via Instapundit!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Concerned Citizens of Chatham: The corner grocery 2.0

Worlee writes about Louis Groceries which opened this morning - according to the Ald. Sawyer's office - at their location 7604 S. Cottage Grove. He himself paid a visit to this location before they officially opened and even took pictures of the interior and the staff.

WBEZ: New report makes case for CTA Red Line extension

Does this mean the extension is much closer to a reality?
Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning completed a report that says an extension would improve the liveability for nearby residents.

Currently, the Chicago Transit Authority stops at 95th Street; an extension would go to 130th Street. Highlights from the report say expanding the Red Line would: provide more transportation choices, shorten commutes and create local jobs.

Randy Blankenhorn, executive director of CMAP, said it wasn’t enough for the agency to just say the extension was needed.

“It’s incumbent on us to keep moving this forward and keep putting pressure on not only the federal government but our state and local resources as ways to fund this project,” Blankenhorn said.

CMAP has also invested $1 million in engineering on the project. CTA is working on an environmental study. The Red Line extension would cost $1.5 billion.
BTW, you can listen to the audio version here [AUDIO]

Monday, December 17, 2012

Concerned Citizens of Chatham: New Year and New Business

Worlee writes about businesses that are expected to open in the near future. Hopefully the start of some very new and positive developments in the Chatham neighborhood. May there be more!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

A dispatch: bougie & uppity

This past Monday, I attended a meeting of the Chatham Avalon Park Community Council. It was an interesting meeting as members discussed issues with representatives of the Chicago Housing Authority. Also three of our local politicians spoke from Ald. Roderick Sawyer 6th Ward to State Sen. Donne Trotter to finally State Rep. Elgie Sims. Finally before they served some food a presentation from representatives of Seaway Bank & Trust Co.

What I did want to discuss was some of the comments made from one of the CAPCC leaders. This is the first meeting I have ever attended of this significant neighborhood organization in Chatham. It's great to see the residents here passionate about their community.

What caught my ear was the statement of one of the members in fact a Vice President of the CAPCC during the discussion with representatives of the CHA. She outright said that the recent residents of that community has significantly diminished the quality of life in the Chatham neighborhood. Is it safe to say she's referring to section 8 tenants?

That is low-income people who may or may not have come from the many housing projects around the city who still need somewhere to live. Therefore they utilize a voucher in order to make their rent wherever they may be able to lease some housing.

They have often been a controversial issue in Chatham and have been blamed for some of the crime issues that occur in those communities that doesn't normally have serious issues with crime. The issue of section 8 renters was discussed at the CAPCC especially as a matter of contrasting the difference in culture of these renters and the neighbors that they'd have to live with. Indeed examples have been offered at this meeting that shows how bridge those difference and indeed one of the CHA reps offered his own example.

Still at the end of the meeting the lady above revisited the subject and made sure to note that people may call residents of the Chatham community "bougie" or "uppity". I recognize she's only saying things like this in her desire to maintain the community that she has known. The narrative is that many have worked hard to create the community that Chatham is currently known for.

In fact every community has the right to fight for the community that either they desire or wish to maintain. Since this is my first experience what was said in relation the CHA discussion would be considered very rough. One could call this very alienating to those who may wish to become active in Chatham?

Chatham does have many issues to address at this current point in time. The question here is to ask if it's wise to point the finger at a certain segment of the community as the cause of all problems and then expect this to be the solution to those problems.

Two Holiday Celebrations at Chatham Food Market

Click logo to visit their website

This information was forward to us on Saturday.

Annual Christmas Coat Drive

Chatham Food and Featherfist, a not-for-profit, organization (with a mission to eliminate homelessness) are co-sponsoring the Chatham Food Market's annual Holiday Coat Drive through December 31st.

They're asking everyone in our community to rummage through your closest and donate clean, good condition coats whether they are for men, women, children or infants.

If you have the extra cash, wouldn't it be nice this holiday to just buy a new coat on sale at one of the discount stores to donate?

Remember, winter is especially tough when you're homeless.

The V103 Radio & Chatham Food Market Holiday Promotion

Okay, guys, we can't give you all of the secret details on this special Christmas promotion.

But we can tell you this much. So pay attention!
  1. Judge Greg Mathis will be there!
  2. Several grocery shopping sprees are involved--- and
  3. You need to listen to the radio station first thing on Monday, December 17th to participate.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

What's new in West Chesterfield...

It's good to know that our local schools get visits from local leaders!

The pic above shows Michael LaFaruge President of the West Chesterfield Community Association, Dr. Michelle Willis Principal of Gillespie Elementary, and Toni Preckwinkle Cook County Board President posing for a pic at Gillespie.
Seasons Greetings!

Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle brought Holiday Greetings to Gillespie Elementary School at 9301 S State St., on Friday, December 14. During a surprise visit, at West Chesterfield's invite, the president congratulated the school on this year's academic improvement.

West Chesterfield brought Holiday Cheers to the Roseland Community Hospital with its delivery of bundles of Children's gifts to the Hospital on Thursday, December 13.

West Chesterfield's Alonzo Anderson and Michael LaFargue delivered one hundred (100) toys and gifts divided between Gillespie (Tech) Elementary School and the Roseland Community Hospital. West Chesterfield hosts Holiday Toy Drives annually.

Side Note:

Gillespie's relationship is budding with the West Chesterfield Community Association. In November Gillespie and WCCA agreed to collaborate on community garden development in 2013 with the assistance of West Chesterfield's Dr. Jobe Payne.

Michael LaFargue
WCCA President
The pic below is of LaFargue on the left and other West Chesterfield residents flanking Roseland Hospital Vice President of Legislative Affairs Sharon Thurman. Roseland Hospital is located at 45 W. 111th St.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Concerned Citizens of Chatham: Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholarship

If you're a graduating senior out of high school  who is a minority planning to attend a four year university in the US, this is a scholarship you should consider. The scholarship is up to $24,000 for four years. Click here to read more details.

As stated all minority graduating high school seniors are encourages to apply although I hope students from Harlan High School will check this information out!

See you tonight for the Hobbit!

Just a reminder about tonight!

Join The Sixth Ward blog as we celebrate the birthdays of Levois and JP! The Hobbit's opening night is actually on our birthdays (December 14), and we want to see it at Chatham 14 , at 87th & the Dan Ryan (210 W. 87th)

We will make a special presentation 15 minutes before the movie starts.  So buy tickets for the show at the box office, but make sure you are at the theater 1/2 hour before show time!

We will have a table where we will will share info on the blog. Please stop by BEFORE the show and say hi! We would love to meet our readers (not just from the area, but our blog colleagues such as Uptown Update and others)

The price of the ticket is the same as normal, $9.50. 

Chatham 14 does NOT do online ticketing...however you can buy tickets at the box office up to 1 week before showtime!

To summarize:
  1. Be at Chatham 14 no later than 6:30 pm
  2. Buy a ticket for the 7:00 show 
  3. Stop by our table to say hi
  4. Be in the actual theater by 6:45pm, where we'll make some short announcements before they show the trailers..

If this goes well, we'll plan another event for when the new Star Trek movie opens May 2013.

We hope to see you there!

e-mail us at blog (at) to let us know you are coming, before 3pm.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Leap Frog vows to donate $3000 to help 3rd grade student in toy drive

This was forwarded to us by Chinta Strausberg an update on the Beasley School 3rd Grader who wants to send toys to children affected by hurricane Sandy.
On Anderson Cooper’s show, Leap Frog vows to donate $3,000 to help Third grade Beasley School Center student launches toy drive for Hurricane Sandy children

Sam Love, a 9-year-old third grade student at Beasley Elementary Magnet Academic Center, 5255 S. State Street, Thursday appeared on the Anderson Cooper show along with his father, Victor Love.

Anderson surprised Samuel by announcing that Leap Frog heard about his toy drive to help Hurricane Sandy victims and will donate $3,000 towards his project.

So touched by the ravages of Hurricane Sandy, Samuel is holding a Christmas party Saturday, December 15, 2012, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at his father’s restaurant, Josephine’s Cooking (aka Captain Hardtimes), 436 E. 79th St.. where Love is asking the public to bring toys for the children in New York.

After watching news reporters showing the devastation Hurricane Sandy has caused, Love sent a note to his principal, Dr. Kim Brasfield, asking for her support in his holding a toy drive for the children who is facing a bleak Christmas. “Since I get so much for Christmas, I think these children should get some toys, too,” said Love.

"When a child places socially responsibility on his or her shoulders to care for others in the world, it is inspiring,” said Brasfield.

School officials agreed to support his toy drive if he would cover the cost of mailing the toys to New York. “I agreed to do that,” said Love who is the grandson of Josephine Wade, who along with her son, Victor Love, Samuel’s father, owns the Josephine Cooking (aka Captain Hardtimes) Restaurant, 436 E. 79th St. in Chicago.

Samuel’s father said, “I am so proud of my son, and I am hoping that the public will support this very worthy cause.”

Admission to Samuel Love’s toy drive is free with a toy or $10.00 if you have no toy.

Concerned Citizens of Chatham: Will the Independence Bank building survive?

7936 S. Cottage Grove -photo by Eric Allix Rogers
Worlee wrote yesterday about the coming takeover by Urban Partnership Bank of the former branch of Northern Trust Bank located at 7801 S State St.:
The corner of 79th Cottage Grove is currently experiencing challenges because of several large outdated structures. These structures attract nefarious activity and leaves a lot to be desired. Also, east on 79th street,is what is considered the worst beat in the City of Chicago by the Chicago Police Department. So the question that many in the Chatham community are asking will Urban Partnership abandon the Independence Bank Building for the old Northern Trust Clock Tower Building. Calls to Urban Partnership have gone unanswered, so we will have to wait and see what will happen.
What will happen to this nice building once Urban Partnership sets up shop at their new digs on State Street?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

See you THIS Friday to see the Hobbit at Chatham 14!


Join The Sixth Ward blog as we celebrate the birthdays of Levois and JP! The Hobbit's opening night is actually on our birthdays (December 14), and we want to see it at Chatham 14 , at 87th & the Dan Ryan (210 W. 87th)

We will make a special presentation 15 minutes before the movie starts.  So buy tickets for the show at the box office, but make sure you are at the theater 1/2 hour before show time!

We will have a table where we will will share info on the blog. Please stop by BEFORE the show and say hi! We would love to meet our readers (not just from the area, but our blog colleagues such as Uptown Update and others)

The price of the ticket is the same as normal, $9.50. 

Chatham 14 does NOT do online ticketing...however you can buy tickets at the box office up to 1 week before showtime!

To summarize:

  1. Be at Chatham 14 no later than 6:30 pm
  2. Buy a ticket for the 7:00 show 
  3. Stop by our table to say hi
  4. Be in the actual theater by 6:45pm, where we'll make some short announcements before they show the trailers..

If this goes well, we'll plan another event for when the new Star Trek movie opens May 2013.

We hope to see you there!

e-mail us at blog (at) to let us know you are coming

CTA Holiday Train - Join us NEXT Saturday!

* Join JP and his family NEXT Saturday to ride the Holiday Train. Meet us at the 95th street platform at 2pm.  Send an e-mail to blog (at) TheSixthWard (dot) us  for details.  See the following for other times & details to ride the train).

The Chicago Transit Authority has now announced their schedule for the Holiday Train, featuring a special car for Santa Claus, with specific stop times.
I have taken my daughter previous years to the Holiday Train, and it was fun. For just the cost of an El Ride, we were able to get to Belmont and take some photos.

The Holiday schedule will be posted here.

This Saturday, families can take photos from 1:45pm - 2:30pm at the 95th street station.

Some suggestions for those considering doing it this year:
  1. Go to the beginning of the trip (whether it's Howard or 95th). Even just 2 stops into the "tour", at 79th, the train was quite crowded already.
  2. Plan to be there at least 15 minutes ahead of schedule. It will be a lot less stressful.
  3. There is a time to get a photo taken next to Santa and in front of the trains. This includes at the very beginning, but also at 1 or 2 major stops, like Belmont. But note-- it's only about 4 minutes to do so. So take your photos and hop back on! (we wound up missing it after the photos)
The dates, times and directions for the 69th, 79th, 87th and 95th el stops:

(Dec 12 Wed - Northbound)
  • 95th = 4:16pm
  • 87th = 4:19pm
  • 79th = 4:22pm
  • 69th = 4:25pm

(Dec 14 Fri - Northbound)

  • 95th = 4:48pm
  • 87th = 4:51pm
  • 79th = 4:54pm
  • 69th = 4:57pm
(Dec 15 Sat - Northbound)
photos with Santa: 2pm -2:50pm
  • 95th = 3:01pm and 7:26pm
  • 87th = 3:04pm and 7:29pm
  • 79th = 3:07pm and 7:32pm
  • 69th = 3:10pm and 7:35pm
(Dec 18  Tue- Northbound)

  • 95th = 5:19pm???
  • 87th = 5:22pm???
  • 79th = 5:25pm???
  • 69th = 5:28pm???
(Dec 22  Sat- Northbound)  <---- i="i">When we'll go!

  • 95th = 3pm???
  • 87th = 3:04pm???
  • 79th = 3:07pm???
  • 69th = 3:10pm???
Any families want to meet up this year?  E-mail us at blog (at) TheSixthWard (dot) us

Alderman Brookins on the ruling to carry a gun in public

Our neighboring Alderman of the 21st Ward to the west comments on a ruling today in a federal appellate court that rendered any ban on carrying a gun in public in this state as unconstitutional:
Ald. Howard Brookins, 21st, chairman of the City Council black caucus, welcomed the decision, saying allowing Chicagoans to carry concealed weapons would help level the playing field in neighborhoods where law-abiding citizens feel like they need firearms to protect themselves.

"Certain people will have a sense of safety and peace of mind in the ability to do it," Brookins said of conceal-carry. "I know that even people, for example, just trying to see that their loved ones get homes safely are in technical violation of all sorts of weapons violations. If you just walk out to your garage and see that your wife is coming in the house safely, and you happen to have your gun on you, you're in technical violation of our ordinance. So I would hope all these ordinances would be consolidated so there's one set of rules and people would know where the bright line is to what they can and cannot do with respect to carrying a weapon."

Brookins said he's not worried doing away with the state ban would lead to an increase in gun violence as more people walk the streets with weapons. "I think those people have a gun now, they've just been made criminals because they can't legally have it," Brookins said. "And I think the gangbangers and thugs are going to have a gun regardless."
If you were to ask me, Brookins is correct. Sadly we will continue to have those who believe in gun control who still fear that our streets will turn into the wild west. He's also correct in stating those who want guns law-abiding citizens or not currently possess guns. Banning guns isn't necessarily an answer, but what do we do about those who are intent on using a handgun to commit a crime?

Via Newsalert!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Suspicions about ADT representatives...

Information via the Children of Chatham, Chicago FB group. Perhaps we can see if there is any criminal activity involved here:
To all concerned citizens of Chatham...Please be aware that there is a team of people currently in the area of Chatham, that are dressed in uniformed clothing: ie: Jackets and hats with the ADT logos on them. If you suspect that these persons are NOT ADT representatives notify the local authority immediately. I spoke with the ADT staff at the OakBrook headquarters and was instucted to do so as well. These door to door representatives are not to return to your homes day to day without a scheduled appointment. You can also ask this "representative" for identification. The ID's must bear their name and photo along with the ADT logo. Once the name is provided you can also call 800-ADT-ASAP, this number can provide a full physical description of said "representatives", it will also confirm if in fact he/she is an ADT employee. Again, if you believe that the area is being canvased call 911. Be Safe everyone!

So is Ald. Sandi Jackson resigning?

[VIDEO] Yesterday some friends of her said she was and is planning to leave Chicago to move back to DC. Today, Sandi herself says she has no plans to resign. In fact here's some of what was said in the vid above:
"My constituents are people who depends on me to be there for them. And I'm going to continue to work hard on their behalf," Ald. Jackson said. "Whoever these people are who purport to speak for me should stop."
This is what she had said in the Tribune about whether or not she intends to finish out her aldermanic term:
"I will finish my term. I intend to finish my term," Jackson added. "Unless something catastrophic happens -- I could step outside and get hit by a bus today."

Asked whether her husband getting sent to prison would constitute "something catastrophic," Jackson said she would not discuss that.

"I'm not going to entertain questions like that, I really am not," she said.
It has been noted that there are charges that she isn't living full-time in the 7th Ward. In fact you might have seem reader comments here on this blog charging exactly that. She did discuss that as well:
Jackson said she has not yet decided whether to move back to Chicago full time from Washington D.C., where she said her husband is currently staying with the couple's children while he continues to see his doctors regularly.
Well, all the same it was noted that her attendance to city council meetings and city council committee hearings haven't been very good. I'm sure that's where these rumors started but lets remember that both her and her husband are public figures even if Jesse Jr. is no longer a sitting Congressman.

I also recognize that in light of federal investigation into his involvement with Rod Blagojevich or any investigation into Jackson's campaign funds has caused some stress for that family. Indeed it may have contributed to the mental health of the former Congressman. So most of us recognize that this is a trying time for Ald. Jackson's family and being in public life doesn't help surely.

All the same thanks to her attendance issues on the City Council Joe Lake has started an online petition that requests that she resign her city council seat. I'm only curious how many people from the 7th Ward would call for that and they're the most important people Jackson has to consider. People citywide can have their opinions, but what about the constituents of the 7th!

BTW, Jackson is also the Democratic committeewoman of the 7th Ward and stated in the Tribune that she hasn't decided who to support in next year's special election for the 2nd congressional district. What we do know right now is that she isn't going to consider getting into that race.

South Side Third-Grader Launches Toy Drive for Hurricane Sandy Victims - Chicago

Unlike most children his age, Samuel Love is not spending too much time thinking about all the gifts he might get for Christmas.

Instead, the 9-year-old is busy organizing a local toy drive to benefit New York children affected by Hurricane Sandy.

“Christmas is a time of giving and sharing. Not many kids my age think about that, but I do, and that’s why I want to make sure kids in New York have a good Christmas,” the third-grader said.

The student at Beasley Elementary School, 5255 S. State St., lives in the Pill Hill neighborhood on the South Side. He said he thought of holding a toy drive after watching footage of the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy on TV.

“That’s when I started thinking about how those kids might not get any gifts this year because their parents can’t afford it,” Samuel said.
Some more info if you want to help this young man out!
He is asking the public to drop off new, unwrapped toys all this week at his school or at Josephine’s Cooking, 436 E. 79th St., a soul-food restaurant in Chatham owned by his grandmother Josephine Wade.

On Saturday, Samuel is hosting a Christmas party at Josephine’s Cooking from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. There is a $10 donation required to get in the door, but “if you bring a toy admission, is free,” he said.

He has set a goal of collecting 3,000 toys to distribute to needy kids in New York. Those who attend the Christmas party will be treated to a free buffet lunch. There will also be a Santa Claus on hand to take photos with children for $10. All monies raised will be used to purchase new toys and then shipped to either a military base or a children’s charity in New York for distribution, according to Samuel’s father, Victor Love.
Let's help the young man out and give other children a Christmas this year!

Trail Prospect: Rail Viaduct in Englewood

Recently Bill Barr on his blog linked to a post at Community Beat about making some of Englewood's abandoned railroad embankments into trails. Then I realized there are some plans being made for exactly that. Hopefully these plans will come to reality in the near future!

BTW, Baar specifically mentioned the Bloomingdale line on the northwest side of town that there is also a wish to turn into some trails.

Monday, December 10, 2012

FOX 32 exclusive: Sandi Jackson expected to resign from City Council

Ald. Sandi Jackson
Friends of Alderman Sandi Jackson tell Fox 32 News she is preparing to resign from the City Council. They said she's unlikely to complete her current term and could be gone from Chicago next year.

One said Mrs. Jackson would "have no choice but to quit the Council" if her husband, Jesse Jackson, Junior, goes to prison. His lawyers are currently bargaining with federal prosecutors over a possible guilty plea. "If he ends up in prison, of course she'll quit to care for the children," one friend said.

No matter what happens, friends said Mrs. Jackson plans to continue raising her two children in Washington, D.C. Referring to daughter Jessica and son Jesse Jackson III, a friend reported, "Jess and Trey each like their private school. And the family can be much more anonymous in D.C. than in Chicago."
Unbelievable! Then again I realize she's in an extraordinary situation so what can really be said. If she does resign from the city council then Mayor Emanuel will get the change to appoint his own candidate to represent the 7th ward.

This is definitely the other side to possibly considering a run for her husband's old congressional seat in next year's special election which also had been reported today as well. It looks like she wants to quit politics altogether.

Chicago Citizen looking for reporter

From thQuentis Bernard Garth Facebook page:
JOB OPENING! - The Chicago Citizen Newspaper has an immediate opening for a full-time Reporter’s position.

Job Description:

Collects and analyzes information about newsworthy events to construct compelling stories for publication.

Receives assignments from the Managing Editor or evaluates news leads and news tips to develop story ideas.

Gathers and verifies factual information regarding stories through interviews, observation, and research.

Organizes material, determines slant or emphasis, and writes stories according to the Chicago Citizen Newspaper’s prescribed editorial style and format standards.

May be required to take photographs to illustrate stories.

Excellent writing and communication skills are a must.

Must be very proficient in Microsoft Word.

Proficiency in the entire Microsoft Office suite a huge plus.

Candidates must have at least 3 years worth of experience in news reporting. A Bachelor’s degree in Journalism, Public Relations or a related discipline is preferred but not required. Competitive benefit package offered.

Email resumes to Larissa M. Tyler, Managing Editor, Chicago Citizen Newspaper: lmtyler @ .

Mail to Chicago Citizen Newspaper, 806 E. 78th St., Chicago IL 60619, Attn: Larissa M. Tyler, Managing Editor.

No phone calls please.

Anyone interested? And if you get the job, we at The Sixth Ward would love to connect with you so we can help

Sunday, December 9, 2012

The former Williams Clinic

What you see above is a Google Streetview of the former Williams Clinic located at 408 E. Marquette Road. It was operated by a family of Black doctors and it seemed they offered a number of services at this clinic including a dentist and a pharmacy. In fact here's an obituary for one of the Williams brothers who originally founded the clinic.

Recently I drove by and it hits me that the clinic is close to the motel near Marquette Road & King Drive that had been recently demolished thanks to the activism of a local minster Corey Brooks - who incidentally was interested in succeeding Jesse Jackson Jr. for the 2nd congressional district seat. In driving by, on that motel property was a rendition of how the new community center Brooks hope to build would look.

Then it also hit me, I wonder if Brooks might find a way to thrown in some health care services at his future community center. Indeed perhaps he could find a way to take over the Williams Clinic property which is currently a church.

I do wish to know what happened to Williams Clinic. My dad used to patronize their practice back in the day and continued to do so until it appears that the Williams family were no longer involved in that business. I'm not entirely certain when they closed but surely someone could fill in some details.

BTW, this post is going into some unfamiliar territory as far as a particular issue such as health care. Medical services are necessary no matter your income level and this area around the former clinic is considered low-income. The question to ask here is whether or not it's possible for an independent clinic such as this could exist today. Would the economics of health care today keep independent medical professionals from operating?

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Your Chicago: Chatham

[VIDEO] CBS 2 Chicago takes a trip to the Chatham neighborhood with their anchor Jim Williams who himself was a "child of Chatham":
At one time, Chicago’s Chatham neighborhood was one of the best neighborhoods on the South Side — home to many famous Chicagoans, including Mahalia Jackson.

It has seen some changes — some good, some bad. But those that live there now are proud of where they call home, CBS 2’s Kate Sullivan reports.

In 1958, CBS 2 reporter Jim Williams moved into a small, but brand-new home in Chatham.

“Twenty thousand dollars my folks paid for this house, and we moved in 50 years ago,” he tells Sullivan on a tour.

With a policeman father and a teacher for a mother, Williams and his brother rode bikes down the street. Times have changed, but his love for where he grew up hasn’t.

“Well, I mean just look at this, look at how well-manicured these lawns are. Look how they take care of their property. People have a lot of pride here. They’ve always had it and they still have it today,” Williams says.
It seems Chatham is still getting interest in the mainstream press. BTW, Seaway wasn't the first ever Black-owned bank. ;)

Do you think of Chatham as a self-contained community? Do you think the best is yet to come for Chatham?

Black middle class demographics

Over at we see a number of stats and commentary about the Black middle class. I wonder where the Chicago area ranks in that area. So far all I see are Queens in New York and Dekalb County in Georgia. Of course they also address how the Black middle class is in danger.

BTW, remember this post we had entitled "Can the Black Middle Class Survive: Obama Is in the Oval Office but the Black Bourgeoisie is Foundering"? The author - Steven Gray - of the article that provided the basis of that post was interviewed on NPR back in September to talk about his article. You can hear the [AUDIO] below or click the link in the brackets.

EDIT: Messed up on one link and forgot to add another. Sorry.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Join The Sixth Ward Blog to see The Hobbit!


Join The Sixth Ward blog as we celebrate the birthdays of Levois and JP! The Hobbit's opening night is actually on our birthdays (December 14).

We will make a special presentation 15 minutes before the movie starts.  So buy tickets for the show at the box office, but make sure you are at the theater 1/2 hour before show time!

We will have a table where we will will share info on the blog. Please stop by BEFORE the show and say hi!

The price of the ticket is the same as normal, $9.50. 

Chatham 14 does NOT do online ticketing...however you can buy tickets at the box office up to 1 week before showtime!

We hope to see you there!

e-mail us at blog (at) to let us know you are coming

See Potential at Kusanya Cafe

Coming up this weekend!
Join the board of the Kusanya Cafe and others as we partner with See Potential for a special beautification project in Englewood! See Potential installs large-scale documentary photographs onto blighted buildings to visualize the development plans of community leaders, organizations, and local entrepreneurs in Chicago's South Side. See attached flier or details below!
  • See Potential @ Kusanya Cafe
    Sunday, December 9th
    At the offices of Imagine Englewood If - 730 W. 69th St.
With your support we hope to open Kusanya Cafe by the spring/summer of 2013, so stay tuned...
The cafe is expected to open at 830 W. 69th Street. The flyer is below:

2nd Congressional District round-up

Donne Trotter isn't deterred by his recent arrest this week as far as his bid to replace Jesse Jackson Jr.

If you're wondering a Republican has declared for this race. Lenny McCallister has thrown his hat into this ring. Time will only tell if he has a chance to win this race. McCallister who's billed as a "working man's conservative" is a media political commentator and had recently moved from the Chicago area.

Also last Friday at the Capitol Fax, we took a look at weighted votes among Chicago and Cook County Democratic committeemen to determine who to slate for the special primary election. This was before Trotter's arrest so who knows where the votes will go for slating.

Also this past Sunday, the prospective candidates for this seat had a debate on FOX Chicago Sunday. Sen. Trotter appeared on the program along with Sen. Toi Hutchison and Ald. Anthony Beale. Beale mentioned the Red Line extension on the program:
Beale, the 9th Ward alderman, boasted that he brought a Wal-Mart to the Far South Side, and predicted he could bring the Red Line there by 2016 or 2017. Beale’s ward includes the Altgeld Gardens housing project, which is a 90-minute bus and train ride from downtown, on a good day. The extension will require hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding.
“Old Man Daley was talking about the Red Line 30-40 years ago,” Beale said. “It’s going to happen. We’re in Step 4 of 7 -- 7 is funding.”
Other declared candidates such as former US Rep. Debbie Halvorson and former state treasurer candidate & Cook County Chief Administrative Officer Robin Kelly declined invitations to appear on the program.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Mitchell: Where is Sandi Jackson?

In talking about the race for the 2nd congressional district and in the wake of state Sen. Donne Trotter getting arrested for having a gun at O'Hare (he's in that 2nd district race himself) we forgot about Jesse Jackson Jr's wife Sandi . She's an alderman of the 7th ward and Mary Mitchell wonders where is Sandi? 

OK so basically there was a shooting in her ward and it happened four blocks away from her. BTW, you may need to register at the Sun-Times to read the whole article. To start:
The spot where five people were wounded by gunfire outside a currency exchange Monday night is just four blocks from Ald. Sandi Jackson’s 7th Ward office.

It is bad enough that the shots were fired at one of the busiest intersections in the South Shore neighborhood, but the shooter didn’t even have respect for the office holder.

Indeed, this shooter was so cold-hearted, he didn’t care that mothers and children were waiting at the bus stop or that senior citizens were being cared for at a nursing home directly across the street.

And he certainly didn’t care that diners in a nearby restaurant, Metra commuters, and patrons at a liquor-food mart had a plain view of the carnage.

This mayhem didn’t happen in one of the neighborhoods we often describe as low-income, struggling or troubled. This happened in a neighborhood that is home to some of the city’s most prominent African Americans.
 And then, the rest of the story and where Ald. Jackson fits:
While there was a lot of consternation about when former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. would return from medical leave and resume his duties in Congress, far too little has been said about Ald. Sandi Jackson’s disappearing act.

When five people are shot on the street, you expect the alderman to take some kind of action ­— lead a peace rally, hold a news conference or let citizens rant at a town hall meeting — anything that would demonstrate outrage over an intolerable situation.

I called Jackson’s office on Wednesday, two days after the shooting, and got no response.

I understand that the alderman is dealing with some tough personal issues, and I sympathize with her plight.

But it could have been me coming out of the restaurant or getting off the Metra the night bullets were flying.

This certainly could lead a certain amount of credibility to the charge that she doesn't live in the 7th Ward full-time and instead resides in Washington, DC. Although to be sure, she no longer has business in DC since her husband is no longer a member of Congress.

Certainly she's experiencing a tough time personally but her people in the 7th Ward need her as well!

State Senator Donne Trotter free from jail - but not criticism

from Prairie State Report
* Thanks to Facebook Friend Joe Lake for these links and updates on the 2nd Congressional District and their candidates. Joe has several Facebook groups, including Chicago's Chatham Connection and and ILCD 2nd District

Several news reports have noted that Donne Trotter is free on $25,000 bail. According to reports, such as the Tribune's Chicago Breaking News, Trotter still had the clothes on that he was arrested in.

DNAinfo also reported that a) the gun was not registered in Sen. Trotter's name, b) the FOID lists his Springfield office address, not his home in Chicago and c) that Allpoints declines to confirm or deny Trotter's employment.

However, despite being free form jail, Sen. Trotter is not free from criticism.

For example, The Prairie State Report, a conservative IL blog, claims that Donne Trotter does not  actually work for Allpoints Security, as Trotter claimed, and gives reasoning why that is so.

(to learn more about The Prairie State Report, from their website)

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...