|Abbott Park - 49 E 95th St|
The pic above is of Abbott Park after the recent thaw last Saturday, but the ice formed again in the fields.
|Abbott Park - 49 E 95th St|
|9351 S. Michigan Ave|
The West Chesterfield Community Association encourages communities to get to know their Black Histories as a sense of pride it may instill in neighbors and our youth. We applaud Chatham, Pullman, Riverdale and other communities that are doing this.The picture to the left is of the West Chesterfield Cultural Center. The last paragraph at the bottom of the image below shows a history of this bungalow where the neighborhood association hold their monthly neighborhood meetings.
The West Chesterfield Neighborhood occupies the area from 87th to 95th State Street to Dr. Martin Luther King Drive. North West Chesterfield occupies census track 4406. The area north of the B&O rail tracks is in the Chatham Community.
Do you know the enclave of West Chesterfield south of the 91st Street and B&O rail tracks occupying Roseland’s census track 4903 is a historically black area?. This is the primary area of our association.
|By Studio Gang Architects via DNA Info|
A Whole Foods executive said Tuesday its Hyde Park location won't be open until at least June 2016.Furthermore as to further developing the store when it's built:
“These things are always fluctuating somewhat,” said Scott Saulsberry, vice president of Midwest operations for the upscale grocer, conceding the opening could be pushed back to September 2016.
Whole Foods will occupy 30,000 of the 110,000 square feet of retail space in the City Hyde Park development, a $114 million shopping center and apartment building designed by Studio Gang Architects.
Saulsberry said the grocer was trying to stagger its openings in the city, with the four former Dominick's locations opening next in 2015.
Allison Phelps, a spokeswoman for Whole Foods, said the opening date was based on the construction schedule worked out with the developer.
The Whole Foods spokeswoman said it normally takes the grocer 12 to 15 months to complete the interior work and product selection for a new store. She said amenities like a juice or wine bar have not yet been set for the Hyde Park location.
This is Rev. Robbin W. Skyles III, who founded St. James Lutheran Church, the first African-American Lutheran Congregation in the State of Illinois.
He was 29yrs old when he founded St. James, and can you guess where... I serve as pastor at the age of 29.
ST JAMES LUTHERAN!
Happy to be apart of Black History.
ST JAMES LUTHERAN!
Happy to be apart of Black History.
|Click for larger resolution|
Mayor Emanuel has pledged to open supermarkets in so-called food deserts. Are you involved with that effort?We've been keeping an eye on the Bronzeville Mariano's for a while - at least since 2008 - although it's a long way from this part of town.
We’ve been working [with the mayor’s office] for a long time. We have a store in Jefferson Park, which, believe it or not, was a partial food desert for a long time. We’re working on a [Bronzeville] location at 39th and Martin Luther King Drive. [But] Jewel, Whole Foods, independent stores—we all do business in the city. Each needs to step up.
What’s the status of the Bronzeville store?
Because it’s [on Chicago Housing Authority land], there are things that CHA and the city have to do to free the site up. I hope that by this time next year we’re through the regulatory phase and ready to start. We had an architectural competition with four minority-owned architecture firms, because this is a very special location. We wanted the building to be reflective and respectful of the existing architecture.
|Photo via Chicago Dibs|
Dibs isn’t dead in Chicago, but it’s about to take a break after one last weekend.
On Monday, the Department of Streets and Sanitation will begin a job nearly as painstaking as side-street snow removal: carting away the lawn chairs, beat-up couches and discarded toys that have helped Chicagoans stake claim to cherished parking spaces they have cleared of snow.
Chicagoans were urged to spend the weekend removing their space-saving items or risk having city crews do it for them.
The time is right to declare a final weekend of dibs, the controversial but time-honored tradition that City Hall has condoned with a wink and a nod.
In a winter that has featured a relentless barrage of snow and cold and the fifth-highest snow totals in Chicago history, there appears to be a break in the action. There are cold temperatures but no major snowstorms in the forecast until March 2.
That gives Streets and San crews that have been piling up overtime a rare chance to clear the streets so they don’t look quite so tacky.
“As is the case with each winter season, crews remove items from city streets near the end of the winter season,” Streets and Sanitation spokeswoman Molly Poppe said Friday.
“With weather conditions improving and the snow melting, Streets and Sanitation crew will begin to remove the ‘dibs’ debris and other obstructions from the public way, beginning next week.”
|Kensington/115th Metra Station by Strannik45/flickr|
Follow the money. In the 1970s, legislation that resuscitated various dying commuter rail and bus lines in northern Illinois mandated that nearly all transportation taxes collected within Chicago limits go to the Chicago Transit Authority, which was in dire straits even back then.Last year I wrote about the isolated Metra Electric stop at 95th/Cottage Grove. The pic above is the 115th/Kensington Station in Roseland further south. It is considered one of the busiest stations on the Metra Electric line
The CTA, of course, runs the city’s buses and el trains. By contrast, Metra makes its money from suburban tax dollars (more than half of transportation taxes in the suburbs go to Metra; the rest is split between the CTA and Pace). As a result, says Chicago geographer and historian Dennis McClendon, “Metra doesn’t have much of a constituency to cater to in the city.” A Metra spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.
Which isn’t to say that Metra ignores city commuters completely. It is currently overhauling the Ravenswood station, with Edgewater and Auburn Park stations soon to follow.
Let us know if you have any problems with floodingStatus UpdateBy Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater ChicagoWinter flooding alert!
Because the frozen ground can't absorb water and snow, run-off immediately flows to the sewers. In addition, ice can block storm drains and streams. Flooding may occur when the sewer system becomes overwhelmed from the combination of normal sewage flow, rain water and snow melt.
The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) is preparing for the additional flow. To help minimize flooding, the MWRD is lowering water levels in the Chicago Area Waterway System to make room for runoff, and our Tunnel and Reservoir Plan (TARP) tunnels are ready to hold over two billion gallons of water.
The public can help plan for and minimize flooding by reducing water use. Postponing high water consumption activities such as bathing or showering, running dishwashers or washing clothes will help provide maximum capacity in the local and intercepting sewer systems.
There are some other activities that can help minimize flooding:
• Make sure storm drains are clear and not buried under snow drifts.
• Keep areas around streams free of floatable debris.
• If your home has a backwater valve installed on the sewer, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning to ensure that it is functioning properly.
• Check your sump pump to make sure it is working properly.
• If your home or area is prone to flooding you may want to remove valuable items from basement floors.
• Keep your gutters clear. When they are blocked, water will pour over the edges, landing on the ground next to your home. If you have cracks in the concrete wall of your basement, this water could enter your home.
If you see flooding, report it to your municipality; in Chicago, call 311.
Our water environment: Take it personally.
|Photo of Chatham 14 by Wendell Hutson|
A charity serving children with disabilities will benefit this year from an Oscar-viewing party being held for the first time at the Chatham 14 Theaters.UPDATED 2/20/2014 12:08 AM Let me add that Worlee over at Concerned Citizens of Chatham has also promoted an event on Thursday at the Chatham 14 for Black World Cinema, a sci-fi film starring and produced by Harry Belafonte entitled The World, The Flesh, & The Devil. Check Worlee's post for more information and hopefully you will plan to attend.
The party will raise money for the nonprofit Variety the Children’s Charity of Illinois. The private organization partnered this year with Studio Movie Grill, which owns the Chatham 14 Theaters, for the event.
The viewing party starts at 6 p.m. March 2 at the South Side theater, 210 W. 87th St. Tickets are $40 per person or $70 for couples.
The 86th annual Academy Awards will be shown on one movie screen and 150 seats are available, said Venisha White-Johnson, director of operations and community relations for the theater.
"You will feel like you are at the Oscars with the red carpet treatment you will get. And who knows, there may be a few celebrities on hand, too," Johnson-White said.
Tickets must be bought online by Feb. 25.
|8701 S Cottage Grove by Wendell Hutson/DNA Info|
A vacant auto repair shop in Chatham is being redeveloped into a new title loan store, generating mixed reactions about its value to the community.Noted in the article there are nearby bank branches to this Speedy Cash. Seaway has a drive-in branch and their HQ is nearby. Also PNC is nearby on the southwest corner of 87th/Cottage Grove. In addition in the shopping center anchored by Target in the northwest corner is a branch of Chase Bank. Furthermore to Ald. Harris' comments:
The store at the corner of 87th Street and Cottage Grove Avenue is set to open in April and will be the first Chicago store by Speedy Cash, a national lender headquartered in Wichita, Ks.
Ald. Michelle Harris (8th), whose ward includes the store, said it would become the fourth short-term loan store in her ward.
"I would have rather had anything else built there that would have been a fit in for the community," Harris said. "I feel like I don't have a choice [in the matter]. I don't control the process."
She added that she has not had a lot of complaints from her constituents about the loan store.
"Traditional banks hold a process for people that have great credit," Harris said. "But what about the population of people that have nowhere to go? What are they going to do?"In other words, there are people who need money and they wouldn't be approved by a bank. OK, so there is a need whether we may like it or not. What would the community rather see come into the neighborhood if they don't approve of a loan store:
And for that reason Roosevelt Vonil, president of the nonprofit Greater Chatham Alliance, said he is opposed to title and payday loan stores.Well what do you think? You think there's a need for a loan store? If you don't approve of a loan store, what would you rather see come into the area?
"They ... [put] people in a bad position," Vonil said. "What we need around here is a community credit union that has easy lending terms."
"We don't need any more title loans or places selling lottery tickets," said [Ann] Gore, 57, who has lived in Chatham for seven years. "I would have preferred a job training center or something to help people find jobs. That's what is missing in Chatham."
Tues., Feb. 18 is Deadline to Register to Vote
The Chicago Election Board’s special hours for last-minute voter registration at
69 W. Washington St. in Chicago:
Tues., Feb. 18 is the deadline to register to vote in Illinois’ March 18 Primary
- Sun., Feb. 16 – 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Mon., Feb. 17 – Presidents Day – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Tues., Feb. 18 – 9 a.m. to Midnight
Election. The Chicago Election Board will be open at 69 W. Washington St. until midnight
on Tues., Feb. 18 to accept registrations from new voters and those who need to update
their address records.
“For the first time in Illinois history, voter registration is open to most 17-year-olds.
Under a new state law, U.S. citizens who were born on or before Nov. 4, 1996 are eligible
to register and cast ballots in the March 18 Primary, even if they are still 17 on Election
Day,” said Langdon D. Neal, Chairman of the Chicago Election Board. “We hope to see
many young voters make history at this election.”
Those who already are registered need not act. Chicagoans may check their voter
status at chicagoelections.com.
However, those registering for the first time and those who need to update their
name or address records should visit the Election Board or submit a mail-in form
postmarked by Feb. 18. The mail-in form is available at chicagoelections.com.
To register to vote, a person must be: a U.S. citizen; at least 18 years of age by
Nov. 4, 2014; and a resident of the precinct at least 30 days before the election.
From Feb. 19 through March 15, Chicagoans may still register or update their
records through the “Grace Period” program. But during the “Grace Period,” voters must
register in person at the Election Board and vote during the same visit. “Grace Period”
voters cannot cast ballots in their home precincts on Election Day.
|Boarded up building 59th & Eggleston by Steve Bogira|
There are many ways to assess cities. I judge them on the scope and depth of their poverty. By that measure, Chicago has needed revamping for ages—and still does.
In 2000, nearly one in five Chicagoans—19.6 percent, or more than 556,000 people—were living in poverty. That's not a statistic any major city could be proud of. A decade later, our poverty rate has increased, to 22.1 percent. (The poverty line for a single adult younger than 65 is $11,344.)
In 2000, 10.1 percent of Chicagoans were living in extreme poverty—their incomes were below half of the poverty line. Today, in revamped Chicago, the proportion of residents in extreme poverty is—still 10.1 percent.
Those figures are from a new report by the Social IMPACT Research Center of the Heartland Alliance. Each year, the center analyzes census numbers and tabulates the socioeconomic status of Chicago's 77 community areas. The citywide poverty numbers aren't new, but the figures on the community areas are—and they show that the city that’s "obviously" getting things done isn't getting them done in the neighborhoods desperate for help.Read the whole thing!
Ten community areas have poverty rates of at least 40 percent: Englewood, West Englewood, Washington Park, Oakland, Fuller Park, Burnside, and Riverdale on the south side, and West Garfield Park, East Garfield Park, and North Lawndale on the west side. You might expect that a revamped Chicago would no longer be hypersegregated—but these ten communities are 92 to 99 percent African-American.
Seven of these ten communities also lead the city in extreme poverty, with at least 20 percent of their residents below half the poverty line. That's an extraordinary rate, given that people in extreme poverty are often living in shelters or squatting in abandoned buildings.
|President Barack Obama|
There are also two potential bids on the Far South Side, one led by Chicago State University and the other by a group promoting the historic Pullman neighborhood. It was in those areas that Obama established his earliest roots in the city as a community organizer in the mid-1980s, setting up job training programs and defending the rights of public housing tenants.So far the main competitors are:
The Far South Side is a longshot given its distance from downtown, lack of transportation options and the gang violence that persists there.
And presidential libraries aren't guaranteed to lift the local economy.
The main point of tension is between the University of Chicago, where Obama spent 12 years as a constitutional law professor until his 2004 election to the U.S. Senate, and a group advocating for Bronzeville, the city's historic center of black culture, business and politics.We already know that Mayor Emanuel wants to submit only a unified bid for Obama's Presidential Library so the various groups need to come up with a good bid. And bear in mind one point of this article, "presidential libraries aren't guaranteed to life the local economy". That being said the library could easily either go to Hawaii where Presient Obama was born or to New York so time will only tell if Chicago will eventually succeed in its bid.
"They think that they can get whatever they want," Bronzeville organizer Harold Lucas said of the university. "If you compare the cranes in the sky and that opulent growth of this university to the surrounding, predominantly African-American community, it's a travesty. It's a clear tale of two cities."
Lucas and other critics of the university's bid say the school has been secretly working its White House connections at the expense of a plan that would benefit more of the city and honor the black community's role in electing the nation's first black president.
For its part, the university says it wants to work with neighbors on a plan to build the library off-campus in a part of the South Side where it can spur development. A university spokesman declined to comment beyond the school's previous statements.
Tracy Miller noticed something about Chicago when she moved here nine years ago. “I meet many people who say they are native Chicagoans,” she says. “It seems like there are more natives still residing here than in other cities I have lived in.”You may want to listen to this segment below [AUDIO]
Miller came here from Austin, Texas. Before that, she’d lived in Dallas and Los Angeles. In all of those cities, she says, “Everybody is from somewhere else.” But Chicago seemed different. That prompted her to ask Curious City:
“How many people live here who were born here, and what about the previous generations? There seems to be many generational families that call Chicago home.”
It’s a simple question, but the answer is complicated — and hard to pin down. We’ll confess upfront that we haven’t been able to come up with a statistic that precisely answers Tracy’s question. But the U.S. Census Bureau does collect some data that gets us close to an answer. Those census statistics suggest that the presence of local natives varies quite a bit across Chicago's neighborhoods and racial groups — while the city, as a whole, has a "native" profile close to the national average.
|Terrence Antonio James / Chicago Tribune / December 19, 2013|
An entry-level CTA jobs program designed to offer a second chance to hard-to-employ individuals is itself getting a second chance, officials announced today.
Reinstating the program, while providing employment for 65 people, might also help lead to cleaner CTA rail cars, which has been a challenge for the CTA this winter.
The CTA reached an agreement with its rail union, represented by the Amalgamated Transit Union, to reinstate the rail car servicer apprentice program, which employs ex-offenders, individuals completing drug-abuse programs, victims of domestic violence and others.
The program was scrapped at the end of 2013 in a dispute between CTA management and ATU Local 308. The rail union's president, Robert Kelly, said he was protecting union jobs by dissolving the apprentice program. He said the CTA was cutting back on jobs that pay full wages and benefits and hiring people in lower-paying positions. The CTA rejected Kelly's contention.
Reinstatement of the rail car servicer program, combined with 200 bus servicer apprenticeships introduced last year, expands the CTA’s apprentice program to 265 total positions, officials said.
|A Sun-Times photo|
Chicago has already plowed through $25 million in snow removal spending — $4.5 million over a budget that was supposed to cover this winter and the start of next — exacerbating the city’s financial crisis.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel has dipped into a $6 million motor fuel tax fund surplus to cover the extra spending, leaving only $1.5 million in the fund that has served as the mayor’s security blanket during the relentless barrage of snow and cold.
Normally, the motor fuel tax fund is used to pave streets and fill the explosion of potholes caused by heavy moisture and dramatic temperature swings. Emanuel has been “working to improve” the fund “with the purpose of creating a snow reserve,” sources said.
Once the surplus is exhausted, the mayor may have no choice but to ask the City Council to approve a supplemental appropriation to cover snow removal costs.
“This is the snowiest winter in 35 years — worst since the blizzard of 1979 — and is the seventh-snowiest in history,” Kelley Quinn, a spokesperson for the city’s Office of Budget and Management, said Wednesday.
|Ministers meet with Mayor Emanuel photo by Wendell Huston/DNA Info|
Mayor Rahm Emanuel met behind closed doors Monday with a group of about 15 pastors who voiced concerns about everything from a lack of jobs in their communities to the future of shuttered school buildings across the city.Read the whole thing. You'd be interested in who attended and the issues noted especially what to do with these vacant school buildings that dot many Black communities.
The 1-1/2-hour meeting at Josephine's Cooking, a soul-food restaurant at 436 E. 79th St., was off-limits to the press and public. But afterwards, the pastors said progress was made on a number of issues.
"The meeting was very informative and one that I am sure will bring more jobs to our community," the Rev. Simon Gordon, pastor of Tristone Full Gospel Baptist Church in Beverly, said afterwards. "The meeting came about from some of the ministers who had concerns about the communities they serve. I thought the mayor was very receptive to our concerns."
|Rending of new 95/Dan Ryan terminal|
The public bidding process for closed Chicago Public Schools buildings will start this spring.The article also lists the members of the advisory committee which includes Ald. Latasha Thomas (17th Ward). She represents a piece of Englewood and they're interested in the repurposing of these many vacant school buildings. R.A.G.E. has even written a "white-paper" on the subject.
A committee appointed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel has released a report advising the district on what to do with its dozens of shuttered buildings. There are 43 empty school buildings because of last year’s sweeping round of closures. The report didn’t come up with a plan for each school. Instead it set parameters for the district to repurpose the buildings.
The committee says possible building uses include churches, urban farms, housing and community centers.
“One of the key pieces here is community involvement in an active role. Many proposals will be encouraged to really get the community behind their proposal before actually making the proposal,” said committee chair Wilbur Milhouse, who owns an engineering and construction company.
Many of the buildings are in troubled neighborhoods that have high foreclosure rates and vacant land. Milhouse said some schools will be easier to sell than others but all the sales will go into one fund. The money would help facilitate finding purchasers for those properties.
|2101 E. 71st St. by DNA Info's Quinn Ford|
|Concept of the new SMG Chatham 14 via SMG.com|