Friday, October 13, 2017

#NEXTGEN Youth Summit at Simeon Career Academy

 Just got this in via e-mail today.
  • 21st Ward Alderman Howard B. Brookins, Jr. to Host 
    2017 #NEXTGEN Youth Summit in the South Side of Chicago

    2017 Youth Summit at Simeon Career Academy

    Chicago – On October 14, Alderman Howard B. Brookins, Jr. teams up with various organizations, schools, and community leaders to host the 2017 #NEXTGEN Youth Summit. The Youth Summit will take place at Simeon Career Academy located at 8147 S. Vincennes starting at 9:00am and ending at 4:00pm.

    This is the first year that Alderman Brookins will be hosting a Youth Summit in the 21st Ward. “I think it is extremely important that we as leaders and adults develop opportunities for young people to learn and get inspired to become positive productive citizens of our ward and the city,” stated 21st Ward Alderman Howard B. Brookins, Jr., Chairman of the Committee on Education and Child Development.

    The Youth Summit will be filled with keynote speakers, live entertainment, and workshops on career development, college readiness, health and nutrition, STEM, entrepreneurship, public speaking and art. In addition, the Youth Summit will have two panel discussions – one will focus on Government and Politics and its Effect on Young People and the other will focus on Violence in Chicago. Lastly, there will be an area where various organizations will disseminate information to all of the participants. 

    For additional information please contact the 21st Ward Office at 773-881-9300.
Flyer posted to our ig page.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Applying for a CPS school

There is a streamlined process for parents & students to apply for Chicago Public Schools and programs. Whether for elementary or high school students or non-selective enrollment programs or selective enrollment programs.
  • Visit go.cps.edu
  • Also watch the video below regarding usage of this site [VIDEO

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Annual summit: State of education in our community


My apologies if this is entirely last minute as this event occurs today! Not sure why I didn't allow myself an opportunity to post this when I first got the email for it, but here we are.
  • Let's Talk About What's Happening at the Schools in Our Communities!

    THE WEST CHESTERFIELD COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION PRESENTS

    An Annual Summit on  "THE STATE OF EDUCATION  IN OUR COMMUNITY"

    Invited Guests:

    Dr. Michelle Willis, Principal
    Gillespie Technology Magnet Cluster Elementary School

    Mrs. Ramona Fannings-Outlaw, Principal
    Harlan Community Academy High School
    Mr. Jeffery Dase, Network Chief
    Network 12 (confirmed)

    Mrs. LaTanya McDade
    Chief of Teaching and Learning

    Dr. Janice Jackson
    Chief Educational Officer

    Dr. Rachel Lindsey (confirmed)
    Interim President, Chicago State University

    Guest Speaker

    Mr. Troy LaRaviere, President of the Chicago Principals and Administrators Association will be our guest speaker. Mr. LaRaviere has been a regular critic of CPS, however, he provides very illuminating facts as to the state of education throughout the city of Chicago and the comparison with the charter schools, as well as the State of Illinois.

    What?

    Prepare for the conversation with CPS officials regarding the continuing tenuous status of the Harlan H.S. Local School Council.

    Where?

    Looking forward to seeing you at the Community Center on Saturday, 9351 S. Michigan,Chicago, IL. Remember, Michigan Ave. has permit parking; please park on the east-west streets.
Also: 
  • If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Sharon Banks-Pincham, WCCA Education Chair at [redacted] (cell) or respond to this email address sherry8750 @ yahoo.com.


Tuesday, October 3, 2017

It seems a former owner of ICE Theaters is back with a proposed theater development

I had been a bit hard of Ms. Alisa Starks during this past summer. Back in 2015 Starks - who with her late husband Donzell Starks owned ICE Theaters - proposed a theater, restaurant, and retail to be located at the former main branch of Urban Partnership Bank. Incidentally that branch also contained the facade of the former Jeffrey Theater.

In any case there was nothing but questions with regards to her plan such as whether or not ICE Theaters was involved - since sometime that year that company had filed for bankruptcy. Then recently more news on bringing a development to 71st & Jeffrey:
Alisa Starks, who developed movie theaters in Chatham and Lawndale, said at Tuesday night’s 5th Ward meeting that she plans to demolish the former Urban Partnership Bank at 7054 S. Jeffery Blvd. and build an entertainment center

Starks, who lives in the Jackson Park Highlands area of South Shore, bought the building in 2015 for an estimated $307,500, according to county property records, and she originally planned to maintain the building and build a movie theater and bowling alley.

“When the architects got in they said we couldn’t use the building as is, so we’re going to demolish it,” Starks said.
While I'm disappointed that they won't use the building as is, the proposed new building looks great.
Going further:
The three-story building will be topped with an events venue designed by 555 International, the Chicago firm that designed Girl and the Goat and GT Fish and Oyster. The first two stories of the building will be focused on the theater, which will serve food and beer and wine, and the restaurant, which Starks said already is developing a Creole menu.

If it seems early to be thinking about the menu before any work has begun, it’s a sign of the aggressive pace Starks said she wants to hit after two years of planning the project.

Starks said she wants to open next summer. The next step will be to get zoning approval from the city. If there is a mild winter, demolition will begin sooner, Starks said.
Here's hoping that this concept does get off the ground!

Friday, September 29, 2017

The one-year mark for Whole Foods Market Englewood #teamwfm

On the heels of Whole Foods Market Englewood one year mark the Tribune had published an article written during the course of the past week. In fact, if you bought a paper from this past Sunday you might have read this article. The question to ask is how the store is doing since it opened a year ago?

Well I won't provide the answer to that question, however, as far as year two or future years this is the expectation as far as that store's success:
“Englewood is the biggest challenge we’ve ever undertaken as a company trying to serve a community. It’s been the most challenging, and not necessarily in a bad way. But it’s only one year in,” said Walter Robb, former co-CEO of Whole Foods who is now chairman of Whole Cities Foundation, an affiliated nonprofit that’s also active in Englewood.

Bashaw said he didn’t expect Amazon’s ownership of the company to have any bearing on the Englewood store.

More businesses moving in nearby could help bring more foot traffic to Englewood Square, which also includes a Starbucks and a Chipotle Mexican Grill. Negotiations are ongoing for the development of the seven city-owned acres adjacent to Englewood Square, said Deputy Mayor Andrea Zopp, who declined to provide further details.

“We have a lot of work to do (in Englewood) and we’re not done yet,” Zopp said. “One of the things we push back on all the time is people want these neighborhoods flipped overnight. They didn’t get this way overnight. But we are committed.”

Also let's add the comments of the Resident Association of Greater Englewood's Asiaha Butler. As documented over the years of this blog has advocated for a Whole Foods store in Englewood. The dream came true!
Both Whole Foods executives and Englewood community leaders emphasize that the store is just one component of a larger movement to improve quality of life in Englewood. Asiaha Butler, president of the Resident Association of Greater Englewood, said Whole Foods has raised awareness of healthy living in a community that sorely needs it.

“I think it can work, but it’s a slow process,” Butler said. “I do think they’re here to stay.”
Read the whole thing!

Old pic of the Red Line station at 79th & State

Been sharing a number of south side ig posts lately from the official Chicago Transit Authority profile. Today we see a scene from the then newly opened Dan Ryan line at the 79th Street stop taken in 1970. We see a north bound train a then new 2200 series train arriving at the station. Hard to believe this was taken about 47 years ago and a nice touch here is a sign for a transfer stamp and other signage.
From our historical photo collection: The 2200-series Budd cars and the Dan Ryan portion of the Lake-Dan Ryan Line were both about old when this photo was taken of a train arriving northbound at 79th in 1970. When through-service began, a Loop shuttle was established to help customers reach stations on the Wells and Van Buren Street sides of the Loop that were no longer served by Lake Street trains. It ran for eight years. ‘A’–‘B’ skip-stop service , which began for Lake Street trains in 1948, continued on Lake-Dan Ryan service until 1990. As part of a realignment in 1993, Lake was connected with Englewood-Jackson Park service (creating today's Green Line route pattern), and a State Street subway extension provided Howard trains a direct connection to Dan Ryan service (creating today's Red Line route pattern). #cta #cta70 #chicagohistory #ctahistory #rapidtransit #publictransit #ctaredline #ctagreenline #publictransport #trains #cars #expressways #freeways #highways
A post shared by Chicago Transit Authority (@chicagocta) on

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Whole Foods Englewood turns one on Thursday #teamwfm

Site of the Whole Foods Englewood farmer's market
A flyer was shared on our ig account about a week ago regard a one-year anniversary farmer's market starting at 10 AM on Thursday at the Whole Foods Market Englewood - 832 W. 63rd. Street. The farmer's market is free and supplies are limited.

Tonight they were setting up in the side parking lot outside of the store for tomorrow's farmer's market. Should be interesting. That's the photo you see above. Another version of the flyer posted on the ig profile for the Resident Association of Greater Englewood - R.A.G.E. - is shown below.

Should there be punishment for police officers who #takeaknee

Two police officers were shown kneeling with a community activist to show their support for the recent protests against the national anthem by NFL athletes. It's the post you see below:
Capitol Fax talks about the reprimand those police officers face although there is some uncertainty about whatever regulation these offices broke that prompted the reprimand. The actual portion of the code refers to partisan politcal campaign or activity. Now clearly this is a political statement being made as it had been since the take the knee protest started with free agent NFL quarterback Colin Capernick. The question is were these officers wrong for doing it in uniform or on duty?

Monday, September 25, 2017

9th ward meeting with Ald. Beale on Tuesday

This meeting for ward 9 residents is tomorrow Sept. 26, 2017 from 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM to be located at

Pullman Presbyterian Church
550 E. 103rd St.
Chicago, IL 60628

Of course if you want more info call Ald. Beale's office at 773.785.1100

Also refer to flyer below.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Who has heard of the CTA Normal Park branch?

This is the last station on the former Normal Park branch located at 69th/Parnell.  The Normal Park L was closed and demolished in 1954. Almost 1/2 mile east of this location is the current CTA Red Line station at 69th/State.
Today marks the 110th anniversary of the opening of the former Normal Park branch of the South Side 'L'. This photo shows the terminal at 69th with its Greek Revival-style stationhouse with Doric columns and a streetcar in service on the 67th-69th-71st line (predecessor to today's Rt. 67 67th-69th-71st). This part of the 'L' was actually a branch of a branch--it started just west of the Harvard station on the Englewood Branch of the South Side 'L' (now known as the Ashland branch of the Green Line), and continued on south to 69th/Normal. An important destination served by this former branch was the Chicago Normal School (later the Chicago Teachers' College, Chicago State College and now Chicago State University), which was located near the end of the line. (It's since moved to 95th/King Drive, a few blocks east of the end of the Red Line.) This humble branch had just three stops--65th, 67th (Marquette Rd) and 69th. Trains on the line through most of its life would be little one- or two-car trains which would meet with trains from the Englewood branch's former Loomis terminal west of the Harvard station and couple together to continue on to the Loop and back or through to the North Side ('L' routings to/through downtown have varied greatly over the years). Today, you can catch the 'L' near where this branch once ran via Red Line stops just a bit east at 63rd or 69th, or the Green Line a few blocks west at Halsted. #cta #cta70 #ctahistory #ctaredline #ctagreenline #englewood #trains #transit #trolley #streetcars #publictransit #publictransport #railways #chicago #chicagohistory
A post shared by Chicago Transit Authority (@chicagocta) on

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Tiny houses for the homeless

Perhaps an idea whose time has come and the city council is talking about it:
The City Council held a hearing about tiny houses after powerful Southwest Side Ald. Edward Burke, 14th, introduced a resolution for the city to consider them. The homes measure about 160 square feet, and builders say they can be completed in less than two weeks.

Catholic Charities would like to put up seven tiny homes for homeless veterans on a couple of lots near 78th Street and Emerald Avenue in the Gresham neighborhood, said Eileen Higgins, a vice president for the organization.

The houses would be put up near an existing Catholic Charities campus with services for veterans. Higgins said building tiny houses is less expensive in most cases than renovating an existing house, and she added that veterans often prefer a much smaller place to live without the upkeep of bigger residences.

So far the development is just a proposal, and Higgins said the organization is looking into zoning issues at the site.

Anthony Simpkins, of the city planning department, said the city is also in the preliminary stages of considering whether it should build lots of little houses to increase affordable housing around Chicago.

"Can it be publicly financed? Should it be publicly financed?" Simpkins said. "Is it on city land? Is it not? What are the design elements? Are there wraparound services involved? We're sort of looking at all that stuff right now."
Now if you want to see what these tiny houses could involved, check out the video below by Reason. This was more done by an individual instead of the city and unfortunately there was some controversy that included taking away the houses because they were in city streets & sidewalks. I'm glad the city is looking into this and better still will place these houses in lots instead of on city streets and sidewalks. [VIDEO]

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Tomorrow is the last day for the #SeawayBank farmer's market

Division of Self-Help FCU
It was started back up early last month and on Wednesday that's it for the year! Here's hoping they return with fresh produce for local residents next year!

Capitol Fax: Decline of Black Chicago

Well actually I added the title, a recurring theme on this blog as of late.

Either way Rich Miller discusses this on his blog yesterday. It's been in the news that that latino population of Chicago has overtaken the population of Blacks. It's already been documented that over the past decaded Blacks have been leaving Chicago. Blacks are either heading to the suburbs or they're leaving the state entirely.

What say you on this?

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Blogmaster updates

Yesterday I finally was able to correct issues with our domain which at one point was through BlueHost and they are better for doing more than as a registrar for domains. BlueHost is more for websites and web storage than it might be for any domains.

Besides The Sixth Ward blog is a website or a blog that seeks a registrar for a domain. So as a result of the episode of the past few days where the blog was redirected to its original url http://thesixthward.blogspot.com it was necessary to change registrars to that of GoDaddy. It seems fairly common for websites to utilize that service.

As a result of this change, guess what? Now the comments widget is back. How long has it been since we saw the latest comments in the sidebar to the right on this blog?
 This blog has always been about dialogue - especially since we respect and observe the 1st amendment. Regardless always bear in mind we do have a moderation policy. We DO NOT discourage anoymous comments although we will ask you to give yourself a handle or name so that we can easily identify you if we choose to reply. Of course always be respectful and refrain from using any profanity!

Again apologies for any inconvenience these changes may have caused. And now you can always visit this blog at www.sixthward.us.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Had a brief interuption with sixthward.us domain

With the domain at http://www.sixthward.us. Well the domain is back up and running. As always of course you can always access this blog via http://www.thesixthward.us or http://thesixthward.blogspot.com. Those addresses will redirect you to sixthward.us.

Sorry about any inconvenience the domain disruption may have been as I - the "blogmaster" at The Sixth Ward blog - attempted to settle this issue.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Another historic CTA photo in Englewood

Another missed post from the CTA instagram from back in July the former Englewood branch station at 63rd/Loomis. This station was closed in 1969 after the opening of the current terminal of the CTA Green Line at 63rd/Ashland.

BTW, if you want to know more about the history of Chicago L-trains feel free to visit Chicago-L.org with more information on the operations of Chicago's rapid transit network.
The Englewood Branch, in its early years, had been built out to Loomis/63rd and ended there for much of it's life (before being extended to Ashland/63rd in 1969, now part of the Green Line). As you can see in this south-facing view from just north of 63rd Street, the tracks ended unceremoniously over the street. The location was a busy interchange for Englewood residents (as the Ashland/63rd terminal is today). An 'L' train is visible in the terminal and a "Blue Goose" streetcar is in the foreground. The paint scheme on this particular car is atypical for these cars, as it's one of several that received experimental livery modifications for better visibility on the road. #cta #ctahistory #chicago #chicagohistory #ctaredline #ctagreenline #englewood #westenglewood #transit #publictransit #rapidtransit #streetcars #elevatedtrains #trains #railway #railroad #1940s
A post shared by Chicago Transit Authority (@chicagocta) on

Thursday, September 14, 2017

#SeawayBank failure was self-inflicted

Now owned by Self-Help FCU

Steve Daniels is back discussing further what happened with the former Seaway National Bank. Perhaps nothing new is to be found in a recent FDIC report on Seaway's failure, however, this article brings to light some things that were interesting.

To start I did a post where I gave four bullet point reasons why Seaway died. This article shed some light on some unexplained issues such as for example the shuffle in the "c-suite" why Seaway couldn't attract any executives who could handle the bank's pressing problems.
In 2014, she fired long-time CEO Walter Grady. But the new CEO, Darrell Jackson, formerly of Northern Trust, didn't work out either. He was fired in the fall of 2015 after Dickens and the board decided he didn't have the experience to fix things, the report said. After that, Dickens herself served as interim CEO. "Seaway's board and management were largely ineffective from 2013 through its failure," the report stated.

In much of that period, high-priced consultants ran much of the day-to-day operations. The costs sent Seaway's overhead skyrocketing, ultimately hitting 11 percent of assets in 2016, the report said. Peer banks' overhead costs average 2.8 percent.

In a statement to Crain's, Veranda Dickens wrote: "Seaway Bank's board ... replaced the entire management team that caused the vast majority of problems that eventually led to the failure of the bank. ... The management team did the best we could to continue operating so we could serve our community under trying and difficult circumstances."
Also mentioned on this blog recently:
It also was unable to attract qualified executives. That led to a decision in November 2015, a little over a year before Seaway failed, to bid on $65 million of South Side mortgages offered by Urban Partnership Bank. Bizarrely, Seaway submitted the bid before informing regulators, even though the bank was under a regulatory consent order, according to the report. "Upon learning of the transaction, (regulators) informed Seaway that it may not have had sufficient capital to execute the deal," the report said.

As it turned out, Seaway pulled the plug anyway over a dispute with UPB, but it had made a $6.5 million deposit that UPB held until Seaway's failure. That deposit now is the subject of litigation between UPB and the FDIC.
As I've already seen in various reports regarding this unfortunate and shocking failure it was a combination of issues that forced regulators to shut Seaway down. It was some missteps as far as managing the portfolios of two failed banks, the changing of the guard as far as ownership - i.e. Jacoby Dickens and then his wife Veranda, then the executive management shuffle, then a mention of the board of directors, and then those consultants. With all the changes, Seaway was bleeding and no one can stop it.

As a result Seaway which had been independently owned for 52 years is now a subsidiary of Self-Help FCU.

BTW, attached to the article is the FDIC report that Mr. Daniels used to write his article. Give it a look if you're so inclined. 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Capitol Fax: Maze Jackson forms new PAC #WIIFTBP

Maze Jackson you might have heard from WVON radio. He's starting a new political action committee read the info over at the Capitol Fax. CapFax also shares a fb post showing a cookout at the Dan Ryan Woods 87th & Western on Sunday. Check them out and lets us know how it went.
EDIT 12:14 PM - BTW, just noticed in the comments they're mentioning Kari Steele who's currently a commissioner on the Chicago Water Reclamation District.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

From inside the now Amazon owned Whole Foods Market Englewood #teamwfm

You may find this shot posted to ig on Friday via Bruce Montgomery. Very nice shot that's worth sharing on this blog.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Update on the planning for CTA Red Line extension

CTA Red Line extension
Recently got an update with regards to where the Chicago Transit Authority is currently with the planned Red Line extension south from 95th Street to 130th St. near Altgeld Gardens. You can read a two sheet update here from their official website.

With this in mind there are two videos with regards to the extension which in my opinion is beneficial to the far south side of Chicago. However, what I strive to do on this blog is to be fair and the first video is a local homeowner who is opposed to the Red Line extension because it's construction means the destruction of homes as far as whatever alignment the CTA will choose.

This first video is courtesy of The Chicago Reporter - and posted to YouTube in December 2016 - and shows commentary by Shari Henry who opposes the extension as the project could threaten her family home. We see a drive around through the communities that are affected by this proposed project. As I may hope there could be further development Henry uses 95th as a guide with little business development around the 95th Terminal. [VIDEO]
The next video shows a proposal for the revitalization of the intersection at 115th & Michigan - although yeah they refer to this as 116th & Michigan. This is geared towards transit oriented development with mixed use buildings that hopefully will include storefronts, low-income housing, a grand entrance to the nearby L station, and greenspace to be used for community events. Seems like a great plan that should be considered even if it must be refined. The video was posted to YouTube in May 2017. [VIDEO]
Here's yet another video which was posted to YouTube in Dec. 2012 - 4 years ahead of The Chicago Reporter video with Shari Henry. Of course this is a video that is in favor of the Red Line extension to 130th Street and certainly wants us to know the benefits of building this extension. An hour commute to downtown Chicago for cultural, education, or even jobs. The far south side won't be so disconnected or it won't take so long to take advantage of all the opportunities the city of Chicago has to offer. [VIDEO]
Forgot to add the above video was before the 2013 Red Line south reconstruction and before the current redevelopment of the 95th Red Line terminal.

What you see below is the project development phase which is the final environmental impact statement and record of decision as far as the Red Line alignment along the Union Pacific Railroad route. I suppose this means which side of the tracks will have their properties impacted which is also explained in the two-page report from CTA.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Tribune: Planned warehouses could bring thousands of jobs to Pullman

This morning over at our ig account we reposted a screen cap that is a rendering of the future warehouses expected to come near 103rd/Stony Island provided by this Chicago Tribune article. As a matter of fact, these warehouses will be closer to 111th Street near the Walmart. Below I will share the post provided by Ian Lantz who owns The Pullman Cafe.
A post shared by Ian Lantz (@ianlantzart) on

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Summer is almost over

Nothing symbolizes this fact that the above ig post from our local ABC affiliate. What you see below are the last fireworks you will see at Navy Pier for the summer. After Labor Day it's time to send the young people back to school! I hope everyone enjoyed their summer this year.

Granted we have a lot going on in Chicago with gun violence and further away from home people have been soldiering through a major hurricane that has caused significant flooding.
A post shared by ABC 7 Chicago (@abc7chicago) on

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Capitol Fax: Sun-Times has a tax hike freak-out


Rich Miller believes based upon the screencap of the Sun-Times' front page the "adults" need to intervene and then notes the response of the editorial page which it appears Miller agrees:
Mayor Daley and, for his first term Rahm Emanuel, allowed Chicagoans to live in a fantasy world where they didn’t have to pay for the services they received. And they were enabled by the city’s media and, particularly, its editorial boards which endorsed those guys at every turn.
The question to ask here is whether or not you all agree?

Another property tax increase coming soon...

Chicago Board of Education
Remember during the 2015 municipal elections where I expressed support for an elected school board - though my idea was a hybrid with both appointed and elected members? Well we need to get to work on this idea especially if Gov. Bruce Rauner signs legislation that sets up another property tax increase here in Chicago that would be approved not by Chicago Aldermen, but by the appointed Chicago board of education.

Tapped-out Chicago property owners would face yet another tax hit for teacher pensions — but their aldermen would escape another difficult vote — under a historic new statewide school funding deal now headed to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s desk.

That “compromise” bill — approved by Illinois lawmakers this week — authorizes the Chicago Board of Education, comprised of mayoral appointees, to impose a property-tax hike worth $125 million without any involvement whatsoever from the Chicago City Council, whose members are elected.

The Board of Education does indeed plan to approve the increase, enabling the Chicago Public Schools to walk away with a total of $450 million in new state and local money for the 2017-18 school year once Rauner puts his signature on the bill, school officials said.

Rauner plans a bill-signing ceremony on Thursday, his office said.

It’s unclear when the city’s school board will take up the property-tax increase.

This hike would amount to a 2.5 percent increase in the tax bill for an average Chicago homeowner. The owner of a home worth $200,000 would pay an additional $83 in property taxes, records show.
It brings to mind a recent column written by John Ruberry of Marathon Pundit
In Chicago it’s great to be part of the ruling class. But Chicago’s roads are crumbling, barely one out of four of its students in its government schools read at grade level, its bond rating is the lowest among major cities, and businesses lack confidence in Chicago and Illinois as a whole. If you are part of Chicago’s ruling class you might view high taxes as a downpayment on your next paycheck or your retirement, but Chicagoans endure the nation’s highest sales tax rate and they were slugged with the highest property tax increase in the city’s history to fund public-worker pensions.

Yet Chicago’s public pensions are the worst-funded among America’s biggest cities--at a rate of just 25 percent of its obligations. But the cruel joke may be on these well-compensated public-servants. Despite the strong pension protection clause in the Illinois constitution, a pension “haircut” seems unavoidable for retirees. Michigan has similar wording it its constitution, yet Detroit municipal retirees saw their pension checks cut after the Motor City declared bankruptcy.
h/t Newsalert

BTW, what you see in that Newsalert post is a screencap of the Sun-Times front page which is what I share now.
 

Friday, August 25, 2017

Amazon's purchase of Whole Foods Market means lower prices? #teamwfm

This is really old news, however, the talk has somewhat ramped up again. Back in June 2017 it was announced that Whole Foods Market will be purchased by Amazon. There had been talk before that of a purchase by Albertson's - the company that owns Jewel - and of course Kroger - the company that owns Mariano's.

Now that the deal is expected to close on Monday the talk has turned to the new parent company discussing cutting prices at Whole Foods Market. However, one trick to doing so is not hurting Whole Foods' reputation for quality food. One thing is for certain, perhaps with this merger Whole Foods  sooner or later could shed it's image of being "Whole Paycheck".

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Update on the restore the #63rdL petition...

[VIDEO] I wanted to replay this video in light of this online petition launched this summer to restore the East 63rd Green Line east from Cottage Grove. In January 2013 artistmac posted a video driving from Morgan/63rd east to Stony Island. To keep this vid germane this video should start at about 4:25. The total duration is over 9 minutes.

When the L was destroyed beyond Cottage Grove the neighborhood was likely much different than it is now. The East 63rd corridor was very blighted and largely vacant though in the past decade there has been construction with single family houses. Then fairly recently driving through I see a building under construction at 63rd & University - once the site of an L stop.

As of now it appears the CTA while a spokesperson at first said they're always looking to explore expanding service also indicated extending East 63rd green line service to Stony Island isn't currently in the cards. Just click on this tweet by Curbed Chicago for more information.
The petition started by Reuben Lillie earlier this summer currently has 743 signatures per the statistics shown on the petition page. My personal appeal if you support extending the red line past 95th then also consider supporting the restoration of East 63rd green line service to Stony Island. Tourists and Chicago resident should have much easier access to the future Barack Obama Presidential Library.

And while the petition is linked above I'll post this tweet below to make it easier for you to add your name to this also.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

West Chesterfield moves up on leader board State Farm neighborhood assist

From The Chicago Neighborhoods
We got an e-mail recently from West Chesterfield's Michael LaFargue
  • THANK those who have voted! and ask PLEASE VOTE TODAY, TOMORROW, THURSDAY and FRIDAY!

    UPDATE!
    We have moved up on the Leader Board to #145. We need to be at #40.

    VOTE:
    GO TO: www.neighborhoodassist.com
    SIGN UP: name, personal email…
    SEARCH: type in West Chesterfield
    VOTE: Today *
    VOTE: Daily **

    Please help the West Chesterfield Community Association Inc. win a $25,000 State Farm "Safety" Surveillance Camera Grant!

    Only the "The forty (40) Causes earning the highest number of votes by 11:59:59 P.M. ET, Friday, August 25, 2017 will be designated the winners"
Also there was a press release attached to this e-mail which includes reference to Cook County Judge Raymond Myles who had been murdered this past spring. The private surveillance camera network of West Chesterfield was instrumental in capturing his killers.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Crain's: Rehabs stabilizing market in this South Side neighborhood

Via The Chicago Neighborhoods
You might have seen this over at Worlee's Concerned Citizen's of Chatham fb page. Perhaps this is the expected outcome that we've been waiting for with Chatham referred to by Dennis Rodkin as "a longtime center of Chicago's middle-class black population":
In the past 12 months, nearly one in four of the houses sold in the neighborhood have been recent rehabs, typically by builders and investors, according to Crain's analysis of Midwest Real Estate Data records. Of 199 houses sold in the period, 48 were rehabs.

That's 24 percent, a far higher proportion than in other South and West Side neighborhoods that were hit hard by the downturn. Rehabs were fewer in nearby neighborhoods South Shore (15 percent), Park Manor and South Chicago (both 17 percent) and Auburn Gresham (19 percent).

"You're watching Chatham get rejuvenated," said Virgil Landry, a rehabber and Kale Realty agent.

In January, Landry paid $39,000 for a house on 90th Street that had recently completed a seven-year foreclosure process. He put the four-bedroom house through a rehab that included repairing a faulty foundation and installing new flooring, kitchen appliances, furnace and air conditioner. Landry put the 2,000-square-foot home half a block from Tuley Park on the market in late July, asking $199,000.

The median price of a house sold in Chatham has jumped this year, largely because of the higher-priced sales of rehabs. At the end of June, the median sale price of a house was slightly more than $120,000, up 42 percent from the year-earlier figure, $85,000, according to the Chicago Association of Realtors. That's not evidence of skyrocketing home values but of the shift from a market that was heavy on bargain-priced foreclosure sales last year to resales of improved homes this year. Data provided by Renovo Financial, a Chicago-based lender that funds many rehabbers' projects, shows that rehabbed houses in Chatham are selling at an average of nearly $212,000 this year.

Chatham was hit hard in the foreclosure crisis. At its worst, in 2009, the neighborhood had 4.2 foreclosure filings per 100 properties, according to the Institute for Housing Studies at DePaul University. Some neighborhoods, including Burnside, Chicago Lawn and East Garfield park, peaked at more than seven filings per 100. Yet like most of the South Side, Chatham saw a stark slide in home values. By November 2011, they had dropped 57 percent from their December 2007 peak, according to a study Crain's published last fall.

Not all of the rehabs are former foreclosures. Some are homes that longtime owners sold at depressed prices.
Unfortunately I'm not a real estate buff nor do I have any connections to the real estate business. With that said I wonder how many of the people who bought these rehabbed homes plan to put down roots in Chatham. Here's hoping we got new residents who plan to grow old in this longtime center for Chicago's Black middle class.

Friday, August 18, 2017

The vandalism of an Abe Lincoln bust...

DISCLAIMER: The Sixth Ward blog or sixthward.us is written by three bloggers who aren't associated with any public official in Chicago. If that changes there will be full disclosure of that fact. With that being said let's talk about something unusual that recently happened.

Recently Worlee was contacted by a reporter for RT America looking for a comment - likely from an Alderman and we can't help with that - regarding a bust of President Abraham Lincoln located at 69th & Wolcott being vandalized recently. Ironically the first time hearing about it was on John Ruberry's Marathon Pundit yesterday. Friday, Ruberry shared a segment from FOX News' Tucker Carlson Tonight where he discusses the Lincoln bust. [VIDEO]
So why is this in the news now? As you see in the above video there are people in the nation who want to eliminate primarily statues of prominent Civil War Confederates. As we all know the Confederate States of America is very controversial because we largely know them as the side that wanted to preserve slavery. And now that this bust of Abraham Lincoln - popularly known as the President who freed the slaves - is a target of those same individuals who want Confederate statues removed.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Thursday: 6th ward senior ice cream social

6th ward senior ice cream social
Thur. August 10th, 2017
11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
706 E. 79th St.
Chicago, IL

For more information contact the 6th Ward service office @ 773.635.0006 and visit the website of www.6ward.com

Also refer to flyer below.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Seaway Bank Farmer's Market

Seaway Bank as a division of Self-Help FCU is hosting a farmer's market every Wednesday from Aug. 2 to Sept. 20, 2017 from 9 AM to 2 PM. at the main branch located at 645 E. 87th Street. Refer to flyer below for more details or click this link for a printable flyer.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Hinz: City projects lowest deficit in a decade


So perhaps Rahm Emanuel finally has displayed some financial acumen:
In a statement, Emanuel praised the moves under his direction to end the use of one-time revenues, gradually restore actuarial funding levels to the city's four major pension systems, exchange variable-rate debt for fixed-rate securities, trim spending (Emanuel claims $600 million in cuts) and phase out by 2019 the use of "scoop and toss" financing, in which the city delays repayment of both loan principle and interest.

"We are more financially secure today than we were six years ago," said Emanuel, who took office in 2011 and soon will have to decide whether to seek a new term in the 2019 election.

Emanuel has had the benefit of a much better economy than predecessor Richard M. Daley did. City Hall says vacancies in city factories are at the lowest rate in 15 years and occupancy of downtown office space at the highest level since 2008—though Crain's reporting shows that market is softening.

Still, the city faces some continuing fiscal headwinds: It needs hundreds of millions of dollars more each year by early in the next decade to completely stabilize the four pension funds, and city sales tax revenues are slowly decreasing.

Beyond that, city labor unions can be expected to try to benefit from the better times, and the mayor will be under continuing pressure to spend money to try and curb the city's horrific murder wave.

Monday, July 31, 2017

WBEZ: Is Notoriously Segregated Chicago Becoming More Integrated?

To really look at the point of this article, let's look at the Ashburn community of the south side. How truly integrated is this part of the city
But while the data suggests there are six more integrated communities in Chicago today than there were in the 1990s, the maps and the numbers don’t tell us if residents actually feel integrated.

That’s why we went to Ashburn, a middle-class community of 40,000 people located on Chicago’s Southwest Side. It’s almost in the suburbs, and feels like it, with row upon row of bungalow homes and manicured lawns.

Ashburn was nearly all white 27 years ago, but today it’s a mixed community of blacks, Latinos and whites. It’s also the only neighborhood in Chicago with a dominant black population to add black residents from 2000 to 2010, at a time when black people have been leaving the city in droves.

If you visited Ashburn in 1990, more than four in five Ashburn residents would have been white.

Now, it’s about half black, 38 percent Latino and 13 percent white.

Ashburn’s white population declined rapidly after black people began moving into the area in large numbers in the 1980s. Today, whites continue to leave, and blacks are still moving in, along with Latinos.
...
Like Chicago, Ashburn is divided by invisible racial lines.

It’s almost like there are two neighborhoods within the official community area, one predominantly black and segregated and the other largely Latino with most of the white population sprinkled in. On the east side of Ashburn, at Dan’s Soul Food, owner Dolph Norris says integration is happening in Ashburn, “but it’s basically still segregated.”

“Hispanics [mostly] live west of Pulaski, and then African-Americans live east of Pulaski,” says Norris, who is black. “And you can tell by just walking and going to the parks.”

Loury says that while Ashburn is a diverse community, he takes “integration” to mean a more substantial mixing of people of different groups.

“Essentially what we're seeing [in Ashburn] is that they're all in the same space defined by a border, but they're not necessarily living amongst one another,” he says.

You can see the divisions between blacks and Latinos on a map of Ashburn — and you can also see them by walking around the community, according to Fernando Serna, who is Mexican-American and owns an auto body shop in Ashburn.

Serna says there’s a vibe in the neighborhood he calls: “You do your thing and I do my thing.”
So two or more groups merely living in a community area but in different parts isn't integration. It's not many different ethnicities living on the same block.

Click on the link in the embed tweet below and read the whole thing.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

HUFFPOST: Wake Up, Black Community

N'Digo's publisher Hermene Hartman writes about the changes taking place in Chicago and how these changes affect Black Chicago:
There are two Chicagos, one Black and one White. There are two districts in the city – the White one north and the Black one combining the South and West Sides.

By the time Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s term is up in 2019, the city will be revamped, the redesign of Chicago will be complete, and the divide will be greater than ever through economic maneuvers.

The Black community, the Black vote, as usual is being taken for granted by the Democrats and ignored by the Republicans. You can see it everywhere and the Black community is losing as the renaissance of the city goes forth before your very eyes.

Taxes are increasing, housing is changing, and the cranes in the south loop and downtown Chicago are erecting condos and hotels as fast as possible. Hyde Park is a new community with high-rise rentals and new stores as they prepare for the Obama library.
And then it goes on:
The Black community is asleep, a sleeping giant, the voting elephant in a room where Black lives don’t matter in reality. Wake up, if you please, and look at the surroundings.

The neighborhoods are changing rapidly and Black folk don’t matter and we don’t know the plan. Hopefully we will look through the political talk and hold the politicians accountable.

Crime is rampant in our neighborhoods that will change soon, bringing new land development and new populations. Displacement abounds. New schools are coming. New stores are coming. New restaurants are coming, but they are not for the Black community that is currently in those neighborhoods now. Economic development is not coming our way. The newest innovation is pianos in the park, where Blacks are afraid to play, ride bicycles or picnic for fear of being shot, while listening to the tinkling piano music, I suppose.
I excerpted a lot more than I should've but read the whole thing & let me know what you think. Whenever the subject of the decline of Black Chicago comes up on this blog, there is a recurring theme. Blacks are leaving the city of Chicago and going to the burbs or out of state - perhaps to the south. Also we're losing population, however, there is a construction boom near downtown Chicago or in Hyde Park.

So right now what do we do to stem the tide?

Monday, July 24, 2017

Armed & fabulous: In Chicago, women worried about violence join gun club.

GO FALCONS
Found this article over at Instapundit. They're talking about a local business that offers gun training classes.
Javondlynn Dunagan, came up with the idea of gun training classes geared toward women, and for the "Ladies of Steel" gun club -- after successful training, the women gather twice a month to practice their skills.

Dunagan served as a parole officer for 25 years before finishing her career in January, but had rarely held a gun when dealing with convicts.

She said she started carrying one after divorcing her police officer husband.

"I was at home by myself with my daughter, and I was used to having a firearm in a home with my ex-husband," she explained. "So, I wanted to make sure that we were safe."

But Dunagan noticed something curious when she visited gun ranges around Chicago to practice.

"I noticed that I never saw two women at the range together or a group of ladies," she recounted.
As for the answer to women who are scared of guns:
That answer prompted her to start JMD Defense & Investigations, offering gun training programs geared towards women. The "investigations" side of the business will debut next year.

Dunagan also offers classes such as the "Mommy & Me Self-Defense Class," where women can bring their daughters, ages 8-18 years, to learn hand-to-hand combat.

"That came about because my daughter was going to college four years ago and she couldn't find a self-defense class on the south side of Chicago," Dunagan said.

Her clients are from the predominantly African-American communities in Chicago's south side, in or near neighborhoods struggling with runaway gun violence.
If you'd like follow JMD (visit their website) on ig. Their offices are located in Beverly at 1447 W. 103rd Street

Thursday, July 20, 2017

CPS enrollment drop and budget

Yesterday Englewood residents attended a meeting at Parker Elementary regarding a new high school coming to that community. Today WBEZ has a report about CPS enrollment declines:
CPS officials estimate 8,000 fewer students will enroll in the city’s public schools next school year. District officials gave principals their budgets Thursday. This is the latest school-based budgets have been released in recent memory.

Separate from the enrollment drop, CPS plans to boost per pupil spending by about $200 this year to $4,390. That’s good news for principals who need the money to cover staff raises promised in contracts approved last year. Still, overall school spending will be $43 million less than last year — nearly $2.3 billion total — primarily because of the enrollment drop but also because the school district is expecting less federal money.

For the third year in a row, CPS it is crafting a budget that counts on state money that may never materialize. This year, CPS is assuming an overhaul of the state’s school funding formula will become law and deliver an extra $300 million to Chicago. Lawmakers passed the bill in May but Gov. Bruce Rauner says he will veto it. He calls it a “bailout” for the school district.
Via Newsalert

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

6th Ward Shred-a-thon tomorrow

6th Ward Shred-a-thon
Parking Lot
215 W. 71st St.
10 AM to 1 PM
for residential only - not for businesses

Refer to the ig post from Ald. Sawyer's office below however for more information feel free to call them @ 773.635.0006

Monday, July 17, 2017

Capitol Fax: Austin is no longer the city’s largest neighborhood

I'm sharing a direct tweet to an article about Austin losing its designation as Chicago's most populous neighborhood - though remaining the largest community area geographically.

According to the Tribune article shared over at the Capitol Fax it loses this designation to the north side Lakeview neighborhood:
Home to nearly 118,000 people in 2000, Austin has seen its population drop to 97,600, according to an average of census data collected between 2011 and 2015. It has been overtaken by the North Side's Lakeview neighborhood, whose population has remained steady since the 1980s and currently has about 98,200 residents.
Now the reasons Austin is losing population is not much different than a number of neighborhoods on the south side or even the west side. Better yet not much different than why many are leaving Chicago, period.
In a neighborhood as large as Austin, each block can be its own world.

The tree-lined ones, with restored Victorian homes or brick two-flats and kids playing in polished gardens, are what residents call good blocks. They're free of the shootings and drug deals that plague others. But those other blocks, dotted with boarded-up houses and vacant lots with overgrown weeds, are often down the street or around the corner.

Austin is the city's largest community area geographically, and was the most populated for 45 years. But as the West Side neighborhood's gun violence has increased, so too has families' realization that at any moment the shootings can creep into their blocks — even the good blocks. Austin's residents are leaving, with some saying goodbye to the place they've called home their entire lives.
...
Chicago's violence is at its highest since the drug wars of the 1990s, and Austin is center stage to many of the shootings and homicides: As of July 13, there were 258 shootings in the area in 2017 and 44 homicides, according to Tribune data. More than 1,900 people have been shot in Chicago so far this year.

The city as a whole is losing residents, and Chicago last year was the only city of the country's 10 largest to lose population. Residents who've packed up and left Chicago have cited a variety of reasons — high taxes, the state budget stalemate and the weather.

Those in Austin have a different list of concerns. More than 30 percent live in poverty. Storefronts are shuttered, and grocery stores are few and far between. The neighborhood high schools that remain open are under-resourced.

But in a neighborhood where retaliatory shootings mean unending violence, many residents say safety is the biggest issue.
Of course there is more to this story so I suggest you give this a read. And check out the video with the Trib article. If only many of us has signs like this to rep our neighborhoods. For example I <3 Chatham or I <3 Roseland or I <3 Englewood.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

How bad is the reporting for the South Side

UPDATE 10:55 AM - Had to make some updates and tweaks to this post for better readability. It's generally a policy for this blog not to copy and paste whole articles. However I've left this article up in light of JP Paulus' points. If you click link to the article you will see that it has been corrected there were some corrections - Levois

I noticed a couple of major errors in this ABC channel 7 news story on the slaying of a community leader.  I am just wondering if other people have noticed these type of inaccuracies in stories on the south side.

Here's what they published on the internet:
By Michelle Gallardo

Saturday, July 15, 2017 11:27PMCHICAGO (WLS) --A 58-year-old community activist was fatally shot Saturday afternoon across the street from the nonprofit he ran in Chicago's Far South Side.

William "Willie" Cooper was principal officer of Lilydale Outreach Workers for a Better Community, a nonprofit that provides jobs to South Side teens.

"People are so cold-hearted. How could you take somebody's life? He helped everybody. I just don't understand," said Patricia Carter, the victim's niece.

The shooting occurred at about 4:15 p.m. in the 1100-block of West 95th Street. His nonprofit is nearby on 95th Street near the Dan Ryan Expressway.

Cooper was walking when he was hit in the mouth and back by someone in a dark-colored vehicle driving by. No one was in custody late Saturday.

It was immediately unclear if others were on the street, but the shooting occurred near a liquor store that has been the scene of several shootings in recent years.

"Will is preventing violence. Trying to find jobs for ex-offenders, working in this community. I almost want to name him the mayor of 95th Street," said Bamani Obadele, a friend.

Cooper died at the scene. An AR-15 was used in the shooting.

"It's scary when you hear that an assault weapon is used. It's scary when you hear and I'm not saying how many markers, but when you show up and there are 35 shell casings on the street, that's scary," Dawn Valenti, a crisis responder.

Family and friends came to the scene of the shooting, sharing the same story of a man dedicated to his community and spending his life helping others get a leg up.

"Since my dad passed away he's been a man in the house, making sure that me and my mom was ok," said Carter, his niece.

"I met him when I was a little boy and all through time there are so many stories of him doing good in the community. Him paying for funerals for other people, people to go to school. Whatever anybody needed. Whatever anybody needed," said Donovan Price, of Praise Chicago.

I sent in my corrections on Sunday at 8:37 am :
it looks like 2 major typos.

1st, the address... you have listed as 1100 W 95th.. that is near my church Oakdale Covenant Church, and Popeyes, Metra & Oakdale Park.

The victim's nonprofit is much close to 100 W 95th (near the Dan Ryan).
HUGE difference.

Also, Donovan Price is a part of PRAYCHICAGO ( www.praychicago.us ), and NOT Praise Chicago
What has been your experience?

Saturday, July 15, 2017

#63rdL and a hopeful PR response from CTA

[VIDEO] What you see above is a video advertising the petition campaign to restore East 63rd Green Line service to Jackson Park.

As always if you support restoration of the East 63rd Green Line then sign the petition over at change.org. There are also some updates provided and as of the latest update reportedly Reuben Lillie - who you see interviewing Woodlawn residents above - has recieved 405 signatures to his petition.

The campaign got the attention of Chicagoist who shared this response from the CTA:
Irene D. Ferradaz, a CTA public affairs representative told Chicagoist:

"The CTA is focused on rebuilding and modernizing the existing ‘L’ system, and on pursuing the extension of the Red Line South to 130th Street. While there are no current plans to extend the Cottage Grove branch of the Green Line, CTA always looks for opportunities to improve the system to meet ridership demand."
As stated in an earlier post about this if there is some opportunities to expand public transit on the south side as far as the L system this is one worthwhile project in addition to my favored CTA Red Line extension south from 95th Street. Here's hoping Lillie's campaign is successful and this becomes part of CTA's long term plans.

Friday, July 14, 2017

A DJ booth at the new 95th Red Line station?

New 95th station cta web
Since we've found ourselves talking about public transit with a petition for the restoration of the East 63rd Green Line service east of Cottage Grove, via Chicagoist we get wind of some plans for the new 95th terminal. These plans were created by Mr. Theaster Gates. The same one who created the Currency Exchange Cafe on Garfield and the Stony Island Arts Bank.
The under-construction upgrades to the 95th Red Line Red Line stop are getting on board with some arts-and-culture additions. Renowned Chicago-based artist Theaster Gates on Wednesday unveiled renderings of his twin contribution to the South Side station, including a DJ booth—and potential radio station.
...
The CTA will pipe the jams from the steel wheels through the station's PA system—with the possibility kept open to also broadcast the music via Internet radio in the future.

The second aspect of Gates' 95th work will incorporate decommissioned firehoses, sewn together, into a large-scale tapestry. It's intended to echo the black civil-rights movement, when citizens were blasted with high-pressure hoses.
 Hearing some jams while waitng for a bus or train? Sign me up!