Saturday, April 29, 2017

On this day in 1983 Harold Washington becomes mayor

This ig post from @blackownedchicago marks that historic day when Harold Washington is sworn in as Chicago's first Black mayor. This is something reposted to our blog's ig.
A post shared by Black Owned Chicago (@officialblackownedchicago) on

Thursday, April 27, 2017 is live #englewoodrising

Was announced last night via Mrs. Aysha Butler ig (@mrs_englewood) who is the President of the Resident Association of Greater Englewood. There have been hints of this with other posts on ig with photos of Englewood Rising billboards around greater Englewood - which had been regrammed on The Sixth Ward's ig.

Support the good folks of and with great hopes that this will prove to be a success in rebranding that community.
A post shared by Ay-Sha (@mrs_englewood) on

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Ashland/63rd CTA bus boarding 1975

With all the good news coming from Englewood it seems this blog has been posting a lot of news from that community. Even reposting from those Englewood folks who are on ig.

Today we share this ig post from the Chicago Transit Authority a scene from 63rd/Ashalnd. Riders boarding the 110 Marquette bus to 71st/Pulaski back in 1975. I got to see if that bus got cut in later years. It's even noted that the Ashland/63rd Green Line station is the terminal for some Red Line trains during rush hour period as work is underway to revamp the 95th/Dan Ryan Red Line terminal.
A post shared by Chicago Transit Authority (@chicagocta) on

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Jewel-Osco is coming to 61st/Cottage Grove

Brian Berg / MK Communications / Jewel-Osco
On Monday, it's news that there are plans to upgrade the CTA green line terminal at 63rd & Cottage Grove. You saw that post Tuesday morning, and then on Tuesday afternoon a new development out of Woodlawn. A new Jewel-Osco coming to 61st & Cottage Grove.

Tribune writes:
Jewel-Osco is planning to open a grocery store in the West Woodlawn neighborhood, with expectations for job creation and an influx of outside commerce into the South Side community.

The announcement comes on the heels of the highly anticipated September opening of a Whole Foods Market in nearby Englewood. The same developer, DL3 Realty, is set to work on West Woodlawn's Jewel.

The 48,000-square-foot grocery store is planned for the northwest corner of 61st Street and Cottage Grove Avenue. It is set to fill one of the last undeveloped parcels of the old Grove Parc Plaza, once a dense string of federally subsidized apartments that the nonprofit Preservation of Affordable Housing, or POAH, has been redeveloping for the better part of a decade.

The dilapidated Grove Parc Plaza buildings were demolished in phases, said Bill Eager, POAH's Chicago-area vice president. The Boston-based nonprofit has built or is developing 260 housing units in their place and has bought or rehabbed another 250 units so far.

The redevelopment plan also included bringing other businesses, like Jewel, into the area, Eager said.
Now we move on to some social media posts. Something I wish I had the foresight to do when the aforementioned Whole Foods Market Englewood was announced back in 2013.

Curbed Chicago: CTA to upgrade Cottage Grove station on Green Line

While I'm glad that the CTA green line stop at 63rd & Cottage Grove is finally getting the attention it deserves in light of increased investment in the Woodlawn community, here's hoping that one day in the near future we can revive the green line beyond Cottage Grove. After a two year closure to rebuild one of CTA's old rail lines this part of the green line was contracted to Cottage Grove with the remaining portions of the line ultimately removed.
Mr. Greg Hinz has lots to say about this project and of course lots of questions.

 Since I brought up what happened to the segment beyond Cottage Grove [VIDEO]
EDIT 11:25 PM - Should've added this post from the Mayor's ig page. Here it is from Monday's announcement of the upgrade of the Cottage Grove green line stop

Monday, April 24, 2017

President of R.A.G.E. featured on a documentary about Whole Foods Market Englewood #teamwfm

Below I will share both screencaps shown from the R.A.G.E. instagram page. Unless someone from R.A.G.E. corrects me there didn't appear to be any advanced notice that this documentary was going to are on WCIU Too! Hopefully as indicated in the gram that was reposted to The Sixth Ward's ig we may learn about future replays.

The Whole Foods store in Englewood has been open since September 2016 to great fanfare.

Disclosure: One of the bloggers here is a Whole Foods Market team member.
A post shared by R.A.G.E. (@rage_englewood) on

A post shared by R.A.G.E. (@rage_englewood) on

Thursday, April 20, 2017

The former St. Nicholas Church in Roseland

Location: S State St & W 113th Pl, Chicago, IL 60628, USA
You might see this reposted onto our ig page. In the meantime here's Eric Allix Rogers photo of this vacant church in Roseland at 113th Place and State Street.

There are some great buildings and architecture in our communities. Someone out there appreciates them, if only there was a way to keep these buildings in use so they won't meet the wrecking ball.
A post shared by Eric Allix Rogers (@ericallixrogers) on

Monday, April 17, 2017

Chicago Reader: South Shore is Chicago’s eviction capital

The Chicago Neighborhoods

Newsalert shared a tweet from Chicago Reader with the heading: "Why Chicago's South Shore went from middle class neighborhood to the city's eviction capital." 

The tweet which will be shared at the end of this post is a link to an article discussing the high number of evictions in South Shore. Now I just want to share the context of Newsalert's heading:
South Shore's high concentration of sprawling, multiunit apartment buildings owned by large property companies and its high poverty rates appear to explain the neighborhood's dubious distinction. The area's housing stock consists mostly of multifamily apartment buildings, and nearly 80 percent of the occupied housing units are rentals—20 percent more than the proportion of renter-occupied housing units in the city as a whole. And according to the 2014 American Community Survey, half of South Shore households live on less than $25,000 per year.

Development booms at the end of the 19th century and in the 1920s combined with early 20th century white flight to shape South Shore's built environment. As more African-Americans settled in other parts of the south side, middle-class whites flocked to the lakefront. This led to the construction of stately apartment buildings in the neighborhood, especially on South Shore Drive, which runs along the water, and in Jackson Park Highlands, the area between the southern edge of Jackson Park and 71st Street.

Until the 1960s, South Shore was a middle-class neighborhood and more than 90 percent white, but by the 1980s the racial balance had completely reversed: South Shore became 96 percent black, though it remained middle-class. In recent years, however, the median family income in the neighborhood has steadily declined.

These economic realities have presented challenges for South Shore residents as rent prices in the area have climbed. According to a recent report by the DePaul Institute for Housing Studies, South Shore has one of the largest gaps between the supply and demand of affordable housing in the city. And, according to data analyzed by Chicago magazine, though the median rent price in the neighborhood is below $1,250 per month, some 64 percent of South Shore's 22,700 households are rent burdened, or paying more than 30 percent of their monthly income for rent. Even though more than 5,000 South Shore households have Section 8 vouchers, which provide a federally funded housing subsidy, the need for rental assistance doesn't come close to being met.
I will do one better here a reply to that tweet. Perhaps one answer to who - that is the leasing companies - are filing these eviction orders. The article itself is worth reading.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Englewood Good Friday Peace Walk

Occurred Friday afternoon starting at St. Benedict located at 340 W 66th Street. R.A.G.E. shared some pictures on their instagram profile. This is with Chicago Archbishop Blase Cupich.
A post shared by R.A.G.E. (@rage_englewood) on
UPDATE 10:36 PM - Forgot to add this tweet from ABC 7's Stacy Baca

Thursday, April 13, 2017

AP: Cardinal Cupich to lead Walk for Peace through Englewood

Location: 340 W 66th St, Chicago, IL 60621, USA
via @cardinalbcupich
This is certainly good publicity for the Englewood neighborhood via AP:
CHICAGO - The Archbishop of Chicago will lead a Walk for Peace through the Englewood neighborhood on Good Friday.

Cardinal Blase Cupich has invited Chicagoans to join him in tracing the Stations of the Cross and pausing along the way to remember the victims of violence. Pope Francis pledged to accompany participants in prayer as he walks the Way of the Cross in Rome's Colosseum that day.

A statement from the archdiocese says the walk has been organized as an opportunity for people to come together and demonstrate the power of peace through prayer in the wake of continued violence in the city.

The walk will begin at 10:30 a.m. Friday in front of St. Benedict the African Church .
Such a short article and helped me break my rule regarding copying whole articles.

Either way to have a Catholic Cardinal or a Chicago Archbishop come to your community to take an interest in the issues of violence is big news. Hopefully with this publicity things change, and at least for Englewood they are in a steady fashion. I hope this results in plenty of press coverage.

St. Benedict is at 340 W 66th Street.

Charges filed in death of Cook County judge in West Chesterfield

You can read the most outspoken comments of Second City Cop:
So...not random, as in targeted.

And targeted why? Judges aren't usually notoriously rich.
So from the Tribune article 2nd City Cop linked from:
At a news conference Wednesday evening at police headquarters, Chief of Detectives Melissa Staples answered few questions, emphasizing that the investigation remained "open and ongoing" and that more details would come out in court Thursday. But she did call the attack on Associate Judge Raymond Myles and his girlfriend "a targeted robbery." However, Staples wouldn't say whether it was the judge or his girlfriend who was the target of the robbery.

According to the Cook County state's attorney's office, Joshua T. Smith, 37, was charged with first-degree murder, attempted murder, aggravated battery with a firearm and armed robbery.
Police would not identify Smith's role in the attempted armed robbery, but multiple law enforcement sources told the Chicago Tribune that he acted as the alleged getaway driver.
As the cop blog stated at least one down and apparently two more to go...

Monday, April 10, 2017

Judge was killed this morning in West Chesterfield

Judge Raymond Myles RIP
The worst part about find out about this story is that I first found out about it on a widely-read right wing blog: Instapundit.

If you don't want to go to that site, there's Jack Leyhane's For What it's Worth blog. The blog typically follows the Cook County judicial politics.

According to an article from the Chicago Tribune, the fatal shooting occurred on the 9400 block of South Forrest and is said to be a suspected attempted robbery.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Governor's race 2018

JB Pritzker has thrown his hat in the ring as far as next year's Democratic primary is concerned. He won't the only wealth candidate to run, it was in the news that Chris Kennedy - who formerly ran the Merchandise Mart & a member of the famous Kennedy political family - announced that he raised over a $1 million as he himself is running for Governor.

Pritzker who comes from a family that owned Hyatt hotels is far from the first person to enter this race. This is news for us because in a video shown on twitter he's meeting the electorate around the area especially at transit stops. For example you will see he made his way to 95/Dan Ryan to meet with commuters, it's an important stop for politicians apparently with all the traffic going in and out of the CTA terminal there.
With this said, the times we're living in Illinois is certainly an unhappy situation. Whoever runs and ultimately becomes the Democratic nominee for Governor will have to face a wealth first-term Republican governor. They also will have to answer any questions regarding the budget impasse and what they would do differently. Also from whatever damage from the impasse as a result they have to have an answer as to what they'll do to fix the damage.

The Root: CPS clarifies Mayor Emanuel's "New Education Plan"

I'm glad that when I tweeted this story and then clicked link there were some updates to it. Some of the plan I like as far as allowing CPS students some leeway as far as their future plans. To be honest of only this policy was in force when it was time for me to figure out my path. Please click link in the tweet embedded below.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Our municipal flag at 100 years

Today the Chicago flag - that you see in the header above - celebrates 100 years. You can read more about the flag and it's history over at Curbed Chicago.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Standing water at Abbott Park

After today's heavy rains this is how Abbott Park at 95th & Michigan had fared earlier this afternoon. After the heavy snow melts and with heavy precipitation it seems prone to standing water in the grassy areas of the park. And standing water on the sidewalks surrounding the park.
A post shared by The Sixth Ward (@thesixthward) on
If you have any weather related pics send them to us or tag us on Instagram.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Curbed Chi: Proposed Trump budget could threaten Chicago’s mass transit network

A variety of transit projects in our fair city could be on the gun but I want to emphasize one project that could be derailed - no pun intended - by the priority on people who drive their own vehicles:
Amtrak isn’t the only transportation network expected to feel the squeeze from Washington. While CTA’s $2.1 billion Red-Purple Line modernization program managed to secure $1.1 billion in matching federal funds during the waning days of the Obama Administration, Trump’s proposed budget could cast serious doubts on a plan to extend the Red Line beyond 95th Street to Chicago’s Far South Side.
If there was a time for Chicago's south side leaders to make sure we get that extension funded now, this is the time. And yes I realize Trump doesn't have many friends or allies here in Chicago.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Tribune: Chicago area pays steep price for segregation, study finds

Another article I saw referred to Chicago as "Balkanized" i.e. divided. There's a price to this division:
The seven-county area's murder rate could be cut by 30 percent, its economy could churn out an additional $8 billion in goods and services and its African-American residents could earn another $3,000 a year if it could reduce racial and economic segregation to the median level for the nation's largest metro areas.

And 83,000 more residents could have earned bachelor's degrees, spurring another $90 billion in collective lifetime earnings.

Those were the findings of a study by the Metropolitan Planning Council, a Chicago-based public policy research group, and the Urban Institute, a Washington think tank.
The Capitol Fax has more on this and the full study.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Vallas to run Chicago State University

On Friday over at the Capitol Fax we were given an idea on how Paul Vallas would run Chicago State University. Seems look a good plan.

Let's remember Vallas was formerly the CEO of Chicago's Public Schools and after leaving Chicago lead other urban school districts and came back to become former Gov. Pat Quinn's candidate for Lt. Governor in 2014. Unfortunately Quinn didn't win his bid for re-election.

Now as we consider the strong possibility that Vallas could run Chicago State there is opposition. A group of Black leaders expressed their opposition. For example 6th Ward Alderman Roderick Sawyer spoke on this issue.
"I just don't know what value he adds to this university, that's my concern," said Ald. Roderick Sawyer, 6th. "I don't even know what a crisis intervention specialist means. I can understand it, but I would like to see a defined description of what that looks like and what he's supposed to do. Is he usurping the president's authority and powers? Is he adding to that? Has he got a specific task in mind?"
In the meanwhile it appears Vallas is coming whether anyone likes it or not:
Chicago State University trustees will vote on potential leadership changes at a Monday morning meeting, where it is widely expected ex-Chicago Public Schools chief Paul Vallas will be given a top administrative role.

The board is convening for a special session, which was added to the schedule amid a frenetic week of rumors and political wrangling.

What exact responsibilities Vallas could assume are not clear. Nor is it known how any changes in upper administration will affect the job of interim President Cecil B. Lucy, who has led the university since September. But the shift comes as Gov. Bruce Rauner ramps up efforts to engineer a turnaround at the beleaguered Far South Side university by handing direct control over to his political rival-turned-ally.
I wonder what the good folks at the CSU Faculty Voice are saying about Vallas coming over to shake things up.

Here's one indication of what they think. Not in favor of Vallas, however, they want Chicago State to be treated as a state university not a political ward. I strongly agree!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

HINZ: Chicagoland leads U.S. in population loss

What are we going to do to change this decline?
The estimates are that the three-state Chicago metropolitan area lost 19,570 people in the year ending last June 30, dipping to 9.513 million. That's bigger than the drop of 11,324 people the year before, according to the bureau.

The region did gain a little bit since the last census in 2010, moving from 9.461 million then. But the increase of .4 percent is a small fraction of the hike in the same period by large peer cities like Los Angeles (up 3.6 percent), New York (+2.8 percent) and San Francisco (+7.7 percent).

However, Chicago's decline last year and small rise over the past six years is roughly similar to that of other big Midwestern cities, lagging the Minneapolis/St. Paul area and Indianapolis, but ahead of Cleveland, Detroit and St. Louis. Even so, all of them did better than Chicago in the last year alone.

The metro area declines are heavily concentrated in Cook County, but show signs of spreading to outlying counties, too. For instance, the bureau estimates that DuPage County lost 3,000 people in the past two years, and that Will and Grundy Counties had small population losses last year.

Though the percentage drop was more elsewhere, the numerical population of Cook County dropped more last year than in any other county in the country, according to new U.S. Census Bureau estimates.

The bureau did not break down the data by municipality, so it's impossible to tell for sure if the Cook County decline was in Chicago proper, suburban areas, or both.
Somewhat related

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Curbed Chicago: Plan to renovate Pullman’s historic 1880 factory building is moving forward

Plans are being made to turn the historic Pullman factory and clock tower - located at 111th Street and Cottage Grove Avenue - to become a visitor center. In addition there will be a interpretive center and HQ for National Park Service operations. This is an initiative of the National Park Service and Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Chatham: You are beautiful

Walking along 79th Street this past Saturday saw this on the side of a beauty salon right off the corner of 79th & Evans. Perhaps a project of the Chatham Development Corporation who you can also follow on Instagram.

Friday, March 17, 2017

My Block My Hood My City: Helping hands in Pill Hill

[VIDEO] We had our first serious snow of 2017 earlier this week. Jahmal Cole and his volunteers go to Pill Hill to help the senior citizens and retirees to shovel snow on their sidewalks.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Capitol Fax: CPS testifies against elected school board

For those of you who support an election Chicago Board of Education there's some news. And it appears officials (or even former officials) with Chicago Public Schools don't want this bill to pass in Springfield.

For example:
"I'm not here to make a generalization about elected versus appointed school boards and its impact in any school district," [CPS Chief Education Officer Janice Jackson] told a House panel. "But I am here to say that for Chicago Public Schools, we have been governed in a particular way — and that is being threatened. And I believe that there will be an impact on academic outcomes because of the lack of stability.
What are they scared of?

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

SMG Chatham: Hosts 6 Weeks of Community Events to Celebrate Remodel

SMG Chatham in January 2016
Another press release from Studio Movie Grill Chatham. A series of events to celebrate the grand re-opening of our long-time local movie house which from 2012 onwards has gone through a couple of ownership changes. Now, it's featuring a brand new concept.

Monday, March 13, 2017

1970: 95/Dan Ryan CTA terminal

As of now the CTA terminal at 95th endures. It has undergone some changes over the years, a reconstruction in 2003-04, the shutdown & reconstruction of the Red Line south in 2013, and of course the expected overhaul expected to be completed in 2018. The ig post below from the CTA's ig profile shows a scene not too unfamiliar to today's transit riders who begin or compete their commutes at 95th street.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Re-entry education summit at Olive-Harvey College

Thursday, March 16, 2017
11:00 AM to 2:00 PM

Olive-Harvey College
10001 S. Woodlawn Ave
Chicago, IL

Refer to flyer below for more details on this event.

Friday, March 10, 2017

It appears Seaway Bank survives again....

Subject to regulatory approval the remains of Seaway Bank will go from the ownership of State Bank of Texas to Self-Help Federal Credit Union. The North Carolina based financial institution already has a presence in the Chicago market where it took over the assets of Second Federal Savings.

In any case the well known Seaway Bank name survives once again. Steve Daniels who wrote a number of stories on Seaway Bank had this to write today:
The owners of the Texas bank that acquired Seaway from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. in late January now are selling Seaway's branches and deposits to a North Carolina-based credit union.

Greensboro, N.C.-based Self-Help Federal Credit Union, which specializes in lending to low-income and minority customers and already owns a Chicago lender focused on Hispanics, will take over Seaway's franchise beginning in May.

Dallas-based State Bank of Texas will continue to hold and manage Seaway's existing loans and will operate the foreign-exchange concessions at O'Hare and Midway airports.

With the deal, Self-Help, a nearly $2 billion-asset credit union with branches in California and Florida in addition to Chicago, could become an important provider of financing in South Side neighborhoods afflicted by joblessness, violence and population decline.

Self-Help also is clearly a better fit with the mission of what had been Chicago's largest black-owned bank for decades—provide credit in communities other banks avoid. State Bank of Texas is expert mainly in lending to hotel operators, often Indian-Americans as also is the family that owns the Texas bank. "It plays to everybody's strengths," said Sushil Patel, president of State Bank of Texas. "The result is a win for the community, Self-Help, the (National Credit Union Association) and State Bank of Texas."

Martin Eakes, who founded Self-Help more than three decades ago and remains its CEO, said he was intent on expanding into Chicago's South Side even before Seaway's failure. Once news of Seaway's demise hit, he reached out immediately to the Patel family, which owns State Bank of Texas.

The deal with State Bank of Texas is strikingly similar to the agreement that brought Self-Help to Chicago in 2013. Then, Rosemont-based Wintrust Financial, which had acquired the deposits of Chicago-based thrift Second Federal Savings after it failed, turned around a month or so later and agreed to sell the deposits to Self-Help.
Something tells me that when Seaway's business finally settles down it'll be back in the hands of Black-ownership. Yes I know wishful thinking, but at least for it's many depositors ownership who didn't seem like a good fit for the many communities Seaway serves has decided to move on from this market. They have the loans that Seaway once had and the airport foreign currency exchanges they'll have as long as the city will allow it.

If you want to read other posts about Seaway click here.

DNA Info: Woodlawn Hasn't Gentrified Despite $400 Million In Investments, Report Says

Woodlawn won the 2016 Curbed Cup. With that said DNA reports that the south side neighborhood to be the recipient of former President Obama's presidential library has yet to gentrify:
Woodlawn has seen more than $400 million in investment in the last five years. In some neighborhoods, that kind of money would have inevitably led to gentrification, forcing longtime residents from their homes.

But that's not the case, the largest developer in the neighborhood said in a new report about the investments.

Preservation of Affordable Housing, a national nonprofit which has sought to revitalize some of the nation's largest cities while keeping housing affordable, released a report Monday showing $400 million was invested in the neighborhood in 2011. That year, the group started redeveloping Grove Parc Plaza through a $30.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Bill Eager, vice president for the nonprofit’s Chicago branch, which is behind more than $100 million of that investment, said the neighborhood has improved greatly and is still a ways away from gentrification.

“There’s lots of room still for everyone,” Eager said. “There can be lots of development still in Woodlawn before gentrification becomes a problem.”

Local religious and political leaders agree the development has not led to displacement, at least not yet.
As you'll see in this article there are some construction projects going on in the intersection of 63rd & Cottage Grove.

Perhaps if there is a tipping point in this community perhaps someone can advocate for a reconstruction of the CTA Green Line to send that line back past Cottage Grove. Time will tell on that.

Chance The Rapper names CPS schools receiving $10K

In addition to $1 million he's donating to CPS school after his meeting with Gov. Bruce Rauner to discuss the schools, Chance the Rapper is also donating $10,000 to these schools.
  • Charles Carroll Elementary
  • Clemente High School
  • Fenger High School
  • Hirsch High School
  • Juarez High School
  • Mahalia Jackson Elementary
  • Nathan S. Davis Elementary
  • Orr High School
  • Robeson High School
  • Oliver S. Westcott Elementary
These donations are from Chance's Social Works Chicago non-profit. According to WGN:
"The one million dollars is not meant to cure the $215 million CPS funding shortfall, but to call attention to the political feud in Springfield and how it affects communities."

You're also encouraged to visit the Social Works website and make a donation in addition to Chance's donations.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Chicagoist is going to soon be under the DNA Info umbrella
The owners of Chicagoist - called appropriately Gothamist LLC - announced that they have been acquired by the Joe Ricketts owned DNA Info. Gothamist also has blogs in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York (the home base) and DC. That means DNA Info would expand into new cities.

Over the years we have used articles from DNA Info. In some cases Worlee may have been quote in an article or a photograph posted to this blog was used in an article. And Chicagoist has linked to us once also.

And why did I mention Joe Ricketts, well as you see in the post via Gothamist, he's the owner of the 2016 world series champion Chicago Cubs.

Studio Movie Grill launches remodeled Chatham theater

Early concept of SMG Chatham
The concept you see above have come slowly, but has finally become reality according to this press release from Studio Movie Grill regarding our local movie house. And also this ig post we shared around Oscar time.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Celebrating Josephine "Mother" Wade

Location: 436 E 79th St, Chicago, IL 60619, USA
Josephine "Mother" Wade , owner of Josephine's Cooking (formerly known as Captain's Hard Time Dining), at 436 E. 79th Street,  has had a very good week.

This weekend, she was honored with a stretch of 79th street named after her, in an honorary street sign. The event was attended by several community leaders and politicians.

She was also featured in  the most recent issue of the African American Tribune (on the cover and a story; the issue is available in many places, such as churches).

From the Inspiration 1390 AM Facebook page -
Today she was on the morning show on Inspiration 1390 AM with Sonya Blakey. She talked about her history with the neighborhorhood, community involvement. She also noted that she actually wanted to keep the name Captain's Hard Time Dining. Her son, in consultation with others, thought it would be better branding to not have "negativity" (i.e. "Hard time") in the name, though she noted that the name change threw a lot of people off. She also shared th emany connections she has in our city and community.

  I (JP Paulus) even called in, and with a short description was able to identify me. (I am not sure if that aired...I called around 8:45 am but didn't hear it in the next hour). She definitely has the gift of connection.

Sonia posted a Facebook live conversation at

Mother Wade was in the restaurant shortly after her appearance on 1390AM, and might still be there if you stop by today to wish her Happy Birthday!

Congratulations Mother Wade!

Gold Coast neighborhood concerned about rising crime

If only the community organizations of the south side had the resources presumably that the Gold Coast Neighbors Association has. What we see here are snippets of e-mails from that CBO expressing concern about a series of violent crimes in that near north side - or actually near downtown Chicago - community.
The man behind Newsalert shared these screencaps with the quote: "No word yet on when the wealthy progressives will suggest 'packing heat' in Chicago."

That's certainly one angle to approach with this, however such a hoi-polloi neighborhood near downtown Chicago, the city surely will take care of such a community. In the meanwhile, the other communities that have serious issues with crime don't have as much to unify and combat these issues.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

CBS Chicago: 9 Chicago Kids Found Alone In Squalid Home Without Food Or Heat

I'm posting this because in a great society as we have in this great nation - yes I know many of you would debate this - this shouldn't happen. And this is without a doubt very terrible.
Chicago police said officers were called to a home in the 900 block of West 59th Street shortly before 1 p.m., when they were notified of a child allegedly left alone. Once inside, they found nine children, ranging in age from an infant to a teenager.

The two-flat has several broken windows, but no heat, and police said there was no food for the children to eat.

“We have never seen those children. We did not know they were hungry. We did not know they were being neglected,” said Apostle Willie Shears, with God’s Divine Glory Ministry, a church located just steps from the home. “We were totally unaware, and it’s a shock to us. We would have reached out. We would have helped them in any way that we could have helped them.”

The children were taken into protective custody.

“At one time, there were families in that building, and they were outgoing, they was doing food, they was doing barbecues at night, they was literally partying and everything. So it seemed as if there was nothing wrong,” Shears said.

Parents in the neighborhood were in disbelief.
Check out the rest of the story with the magic words Dept. of Children and Family Services DCFS
The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services said it is investigating the parents for allegations of neglect. The children were being placed with family members under a DCFS-monitored safety plan.

DCFS confirmed the kids are children of two mothers, and range in age from 3 months to 17 years.
What would you do if you observed such an unfortunate situation?

Via Newsalert!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Capitol Fax: Today's must listen

[AUDIORich Miller shares a podcast from The Daily Line (aka Aldertrack) where Dean Angelo - President of Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7, the Chicago Police union - to discuss the reforms in the wake of the Justice Department probe. Offers this rather damning headline: "The headline on the piece quotes Angelo as saying that Chicago police 'care about black lives more than most black politicians.'"

Bakery case at Whole Foods Market Englewood #teamwfm

Went there on a sunny Friday afternoon to do some actual shopping there for the first time since they opened September 2016. Snapped this shot of the bakery case there and posted to ig. Not a very busy afternoon it appeared and just meant quicker checkout. :P

Found out through the store's ig page that they hosted an event the $5 after 5 which is basically: "a glass of wine and an appetizer, and receive a free Whole Foods Market Englewood wine glass." There was also an example of this event in a later photo posted also. I wonder how well they did with this event.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

WBEZ: Black Homeownership - The Promise and The Pitfalls

Via The Chicago Neighborhoods
JP Paulus shared this post on our FB page and I basically got stuck on the "black tax" what does this even mean?
But Chatham was no urban Mayberry. When I was in high school, the “Chatham rapist” stalked the neighborhood. On more than one occasion, thieves broke into our garage.

“There was crime in the neighborhood, although it was a very nice neighborhood,” my mom said. “But you would hear about robberies in the area, so that was a downfall, I think.”

This is part of what’s called the black tax. Black middle-class neighborhoods are more affected by urban ills than white middle-class neighborhoods; you have to deal with more poverty, more crime, worse schools and fewer services.
Another example of this black tax:
My dad said he saw the black tax even when he shopped at a Jewel grocery in the neighborhood.

“When I wanted to pay for the groceries by check, I had to almost get my birth certificate for ID,” he recalled.

But then he went to a Jewel in neighboring Evergreen Park, where he didn’t have to show any ID. He also noticed the prices were lower. When he asked why the prices were higher at the Chatham store, he was told the store had to pay for security.

“There is a shortcoming of living in an all-black neighborhood, even one as affluent as Chatham,” he said.
Basically the article discusses Black homeownership in mostly Black areas vs. integrated areas. Reporter Natalie Moore discusses choosing to own a condo in Bronzeville - an area we hear had been on the upswing - vs. renting in more intergrated Hyde Park.

Her own parents ultimately left Chatham and moved further southwest to Beverly:
My parents made a good decision, but they also got lucky. They bought the Chatham home in 1974 for $30,000 and sold it almost 20 years later for more than four times that amount. By 2010, Chatham was going through rocky times. U.S. Census Bureau figures show population loss, decreased median income and plummeting home values.

There was also the housing collapse. Black homeowners were set up, by certain lending practices, to take a harder hit than whites. Subprime loans were targeted at black homeowners, and those loans were concentrated in black neighborhoods, like Chatham.

My parents left before the collapse, and the devastation of the housing crash didn’t hit their new neighborhood like it did in Chatham. Their new home -- a four-bedroom, mid-century modern split level -- is located in a housing market with stable home values.

My parents told me their decision to move into an integrated neighborhood -- Beverly is 62 percent white and 34 percent black -- has paid off. Blacks have far less equity in their homes. That changes if you live in an integrated or white neighborhood.
Why should ethnicity in a neighborhood make a difference as far as equity?

Friday, March 3, 2017

Seaway National Bank closing a conspiracy, not very likely...

[VIDEO] What you see above was the only YouTube posting I have found so far that discusses the failure of Seaway National Bank. Where do I start in talking about what happened here?

This discussion is happening knowing our community - that is perhaps someone wanted to take Seaway Bank out. The host of the video above alleges that once the "Bank Black" movement took hold and those who supported that movement chose to start accounts at Seaway - in some cases closed accounts at larger majority-owned banks (and I won't explain what this means) - this itself started the regulatory scrutiny that shut Seaway down.

What I recognize is that Seaway was dying through the purchase of two failed banks earlier in this decade. Most banks fail due to an inability to recapitalize and it doesn't help that a bank handed out many loans to customers who couldn't afford to repay. Another indication that Seaway was dying is the leadership, there was a shuffle going on that it never recovered from - that is Seaway lost their longtime chairman and there was some shuffling at CEO. It's generally agreed that Seaway was a mess before the FDIC stepped in.

In the above video you will also see a report outside of Seaway the night of the closure. We see a representative of the new owners from State Bank of Texas indicating that they'll keep most jobs for now and they have great respect for what Seaway means to the community. However to be honest when they took command of the bank the next week they immediately started cutting jobs and it'll be a while before they finish.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Bill Daley: Chicago cannot keep tolerating gun violence

The former Obama White House chief of staff, former Clinton Secretary of Commerce, and the son & brother of two Chicago mayors has this to say about the gun violence in our fair city's crime ridden neighborhoods
We keep thinking that Chicago's gun violence can't get worse, and then it does. Three children killed in four days in February. Nearly 100 gun deaths already this year, after 766 last year. The latest? Chicago gangs are increasingly using high-powered rifles to maim and kill each other (and innocent bystanders, too, of course). As the Chicago Tribune reports, police say rifles are increasingly becoming popular because, well, "they are deadlier." "Rifle bullets can tear through cars and other obstacles, including standard-issue bulletproof vests worn by Chicago police," the Tribune reports.

If foreign terrorists had infiltrated Chicago to commit this mayhem, is there any doubt that the country would be at war? Why, then, are we wringing our hands but taking so little meaningful action when it's Chicago residents killing each other?
He mentions solutions such as mandatory minimums for those who carry firearms without a permit. Also give police leeway to stop and search suspect without setting any racial profiling triggers. Essentially we're talking about stop and frisk with that which Daley noted:
Many people wrongly believe a federal judge in New York City ruled that stop-and-frisk policies are unconstitutional. In fact, the judge specifically said such tactics can be legal if they don't amount to racial profiling.

A study of New York City's stop-and-frisk policy, published last year in a Columbia Public Law Research Paper, concluded that targeted police stops "based on probable cause or (indications) of actual crime" were associated with "significant crime reductions."
And of course the next step is to establish better relationships between police and citizens especially in those minority communities affected by gun violence. Regardless something needs to change and we can't have innocent people living in a virtual war zone in this world class city.

Via Newsalert

Monday, February 27, 2017

Has anyone been to the Chatham 14 Theaters

Having been under the ownership of Studio Movie Grill for three years we've been anticipating a refurbishment that will drastically change the theater with a bar, restaurant, new seats in the auditoriums, and even restaurant service in the auditoriums.

I haven't patronized the theater in a number of years, but it's time to check out some of the changes that we knew were coming for years under new ownership.

As you see in this IG post below, this is how the lobby looked during the Sunday night Oscar telecast.
A post shared by bwcTV-chicago (@bwctvchicago) on

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Hinz: Chicago's leaders are to blame for Seaway Bank's failure

I alluded to this column in an earlier post about why Seaway died. In that post I blame a few factors that included management. Hinz' premise was that Seaway died because Chicago's leaders did little to stave it off. As of late January the Seaway Bank brand remains under the ownership of the Indian-American owned State Bank of Texas.

Some selected excerpts:
As in an Agatha Christie mystery, there are a lot of perpetrators in its demise. But in the end, no one with the wherewithal in Chicago cared enough to intervene, not City Hall or anyone in the city's still substantial black business community. And Chicago is left with a stinking corpse.

My colleague Steve Daniels wrote about Seaway's impending demise long before it occurred. The cost of recapitalizing Seaway was relatively modest, about $25 million according to some who have looked, but it's obvious the place was a mess.
Adds another insider, "There were meaningful business issues that made it imprudent to invest" in Seaway. But, in the end, "no one in the African-American community" stepped up.
I won't go over this again, re-read this post. More below:
...the weakening South Side economy took a toll, as middle-income families split for the suburbs. The rise of more competition from non-minority banks cut into Seaway's business, too.

About a year ago, an informal group of heavy hitters assembled and started talking about what could be done. According to people who were involved, the group included black financial execs Jim Reynolds and John Rogers, community leaders James Compton and Eric Whitaker, banker Norm Bobins, and at least three people close to Mayor Rahm Emanuel: City Treasurer Kurt Summers, Deputy Mayor Steve Koch and capital manager Michael Sacks.

They came up with, well, nothing, or at least not enough to get the job done.

One person tells me the bank resisted accepting advice to spin off its still profitable foreign trade operations at O'Hare International Airport. Others say Seaway's financial condition had become so dire that investors would have had little chance of getting their money back.
So any investors looking at Seaway didn't like what they saw, and no sales pitch to bank Black at that bank made little difference. And what about Emanuel and Preckwinkle: "Some blame Emanuel for not squeezing some of his rich pals as only Emanuel can, to contribute to the cause anyhow; others insist he did what he could. Another camp points to metro Chicago's top black elected official, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. Her office declines to comment."

 Then I could add this press release by Congressman Bobby Rush after the bank failure:
Click for a larger resolution
Then this tweet by the Rev. Jesse Jackson at least a day before the failure
Anything they could've done to get this bank back on the right track unless of course they decided they didn't like what they saw either. There was either nothing more they could do or they had nothing to offer. Hinz could likely point his finger at Rush and Jackson.

Just for the sake of it a the start of a twitter conversation between  Kernes Media and Rhymefest. Rhymefest is a rapper in Chicago who dabbled in politics in 2011 running for 20th ward Alderman. Rhymefest had an interesting response

Of all of Kernes Media tweet to other Chicago entertainers Rhymefest was the only one who responded.

All the same the response publicly by some of Chicago's civic leaders haven't been good to the failure of what Hinz refers to as one of Chicago's remaining crown jewels. We need look no further than this first paragraph as to why he's paying attention:
If ever Chicago's African-American community needed a boost, it's now. Poverty and unemployment have risen to distressing levels. Homicides are so frequent they routinely make national news (and prompt a tweet from @realDonaldTrump). The city's black population is dropping year after year, falling further behind that of whites or Latinos. A community in this much pain needs to keep and build upon every asset it has left.
And this is how he ends it:
Thus, a community desperate for investments and loans and the jobs and stability they bring lost an institution that was positioned to provide them, as it had for many years. Anyone could have seen this coming. Remember that the next time someone gives a big speech about fighting crime.
So we see here a number of things wrong with this picture. The politicians didn't really do anything to save at one time the largest Black-owned bank in the USA. The ones who could save it likely didn't like what they saw when they were called upon to save Seaway. And we may see shockwaves from this for years to come.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Urbanization has led to disproportionate economic growth in the largest US metro areas

The question here is where do we see this economic growth via Brookings Institute:
One such change economic developers must grapple with is the federal political landscape, which has shifted dramatically following the 2016 elections. Though the impacts of policies from the Trump administration and GOP-led Congress on cities remain unclear, two outcomes seem likely. First, there will be fewer dollars flowing to localities. The Trump administration and GOP-led Congress are reportedly considering across-the-board cuts to federal non-discretionary spending, which has declined steadily as a percentage of GDP since the recession and is already approaching 50-year lows. Second, there will be more discretion provided to states and local communities. President Trump has indicated a preference for block grants and devolving power from the federal government, declaring in his inaugural address that “today… we are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the people.” Both outcomes would place a greater burden on local actors to create good jobs and close income disparities in their region. In other words, the work of economic developers and their partners at the metropolitan and regional scale has never been more important.
h/t Newsalert

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Why did Seaway Bank die?

Cover Seaway Bancshares Inc. 1996 annual report
We've covered bank closings before especially those that directly affected our community. Shore Bank had been a presence in Chatham for example and in 2010 it failed and purchased by Urban Partnership Bank. The loss of Seaway is painful surely for the many longtime supporters and even the shareholders who held stock through Seaway Bancshares from the beginning.

My often stated hope since the failure last month has been that Seaway will be back in the hands of a Black ownership group. It's gone, that bank that was is history. If you want to come up a possible holding company that could own whatever was left of Seaway you need cash for that.

Greg Hinz wrote a piece about why Seaway was allowed to wither. From some of our political leaders the response to this big event was tepid. While it's something I would like to explore in a future post, Hinz pointed to Mayor Rahm Emanuel and county board president Toni Preckwinkle for allowing this bank to fail.

The point of this post is to share my ideas as to what happened as I see it. Perhaps even as it has been reported. So four visible indications that Seaway Bank was in trouble long before January.
  1. Purchase of two failed banks - As an observer I was glad to see Seaway expand into the market served by the Maywood, Illinois based First Suburban Bank and into Milwaukee served by the Black-owned Legacy Bank. Both banks were purchased the same way Seaway Bank had been purchased itself, both banks were shut down by the FDIC and their state regulators. Both banks failed near the tail end of the sub-prime loan crisis where a number of banks failed around the country. The purchase of those two banks caused Seaway to suffer losses after a long period of profitability.
  2. Jacoby Dickens dies - Until 2013 the majority owner and chairman of the board of directors was Mr. Jacoby Dickens. It doesn't take long to do a Google search and find out the impact he's had on the community and the influence he's had in Chicago's business community or even in Chicago Politics. His untimely demise unfortunately moved forward the next series of changes which are the next bullet points. If he was still living it's possible that the executive management team would've remained the same and perhaps the bank would survive.
  3. Veranda Dickens takes the reins - Greg Hinz refers to the now former Chairwoman of Seaway's board of directors as "well-intended but inexperienced widow." I will take great pains to not point at her as the reason for the banks untimely demise. Bottom line was that she was at the top when the FDIC shut down the bank. Many of the issues Seaway had predated her succession to Mr. Dickens role in 2014. Regardless, although she wasn't wrong to overhaul the bank and bring in consultants that remained until the very end one can only wonder if this was a disastrous decision at the worst possible time. We see the results of this now!
  4. Departure of President/CEO Darrell Jackson - One could say that if former CEO Walter Grady or any of his management team remained at the helm Seaway would likely be OK. Unfortunately Grady retired or who knows perhaps it wasn't his decision. The savior could've been Darrell Jackson except that he departed after only 14 months, with Mrs. Dickens assuming his role on an interim basis afterwards. I did a blog post about this development which asked "What is going on at that bank?" We may never know but one can only wonder did he like what he saw? Either way from roughly October 2014 to January 2016 Seaway Bank had no permanent President/CEO, the consultants remained until the very end, and issues with recaptization. The regulators took note surely of all those factors and pulled the plug.

If you look at quite a few reports by Crain's reporter Steve Daniels you see an anatomy of Seaway's problems within the last three years. I've shared many of his reports especially the issues with gaining more capital for the bank - refer to Daniels' final report before the January failure - or the "c-suite" shuffle .i.e. Darrell Jackson or even attempts in 2016 to get more capitol. Daniels' work was noted by Hinz as they're colleagues at Crain's Chicago Business.

Now the assets that were the former Seaway Bank - also known as Seaway National Bank or Seaway Bank & Trust Company - are in the hands of the Indian-American owned State Bank of Texas. In recognition of Seaway's history and stature in our community they've opted to keep the name. However, I recognize that they have a business to run and they're going to do things their way to insure the success of their business. In spite of what happened we're still talking about business and the main language of business is money. That's the main reason Seaway is gone...