Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017: Year in review

Happy new years everyone a few things happened and one big story we'll talk about at length here. Of course that will make this year end post unusual this year. 2017 has certainly been an interesting year - especially since this blog has been publishing for 10 years. Here's looking towards 2018 and the promise the new year offers.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Woodlawn is going to the finals....#CurbedCup2017

Woodlawn is back in the finals in the 2017 Curbed Cup, this year they will face the South Loop. Sorry no rematch with Uptown, although a lot of positive developments is coming to that part of town. We will hear from them again yet, especially if Uptown Update has anything to say about it.
While good things are expected to happen to Woodlawn with some construction going around for the Green Line - and I don't mean the restoration of service past Cottage Grove. There's the Obama presidential library that's expected to come to Jackson Park. A new Jewel-Osco is coming to 61st & Cottage Grove, so some things are happening there.

Meanwhile the South Loop which contains an area from roughly Cermak to the lakefront and then Congress to the Dan Ryan on the West. I've been following their progress through the Sloopin blog - which had been quiet about the Curbed Cup until today - and the area appears to be a hot neighborhood over the years. The redevelopment of that neighborhood even inspired a post years ago wondering if Chatham could be "South Looped".

Click the tweet you see above or click here and hopefully you will support Woodlawn to repeat in 2017. Voting will be open through January 2, 2018.

Once voting is over and the winner of the Curbed Cup 2017 is announced hopefully we can discuss what neighborhoods we'd like to see get their recognition next year. Curbed Chicago always looks for those neighborhoods with some development, for example new business activity, new construction especially for housing, and certainly it helps if a major project like a national park in the case of Pullman or in the case of Woodlawn getting a presidential library is being planned or created. Let's find ways to make something happen in our communities so that they get the attention they deserve!

Don't forget to support Woodlawn through January 2 and happy new year!

Friday, December 29, 2017

20 years ago ICE Chatham 14 Theaters opened...

Reading the archived ICE Theaters website their three theaters were open for business on November 24, 1997.  Meanwhile 20 years later we discuss some history and ultimately the future.

In October, Worlee Glover at Concerned Citizens of Chatham marked the occasion in the 1990s when Donzell & Alisa Starks - the couple who owns ICE Theaters - approached the community about opening their facility in Chatham. It's noted that while there have been many changes to the theater since opening in 1997 one aspect of their vision remains - we still need not have to go too far from our neighborhood to catch the latest Hollywood releases.

Wanting to see Tomorrow Never Dies - a James Bond film starring Pierce Brosnan - it was nice to not have to drive to the then General Cinemas and current AMC Theatres at Ford City to catch a movie. Just drive up the Dan Ryan to 87th Street to catch a show. It was something my mother and I had done faithfully for years. The Chatham community has a history of successful Black-owned businesses which included Seaway Bank and it was also cool that this theater was Black owned even if day-to-day management were actually performed by Cineplex-Odeon at the time.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Woodlawn is back in Curbed Cup finals...

In yesterday's poll over at Curbed Chicago - the tweet you see below - they edged out the hipster enclave on the northwest side of Logan Square. Woodlawn is one step closer to repeated at the Curbed Chicago neighborhood of the year.
Meanwhile the other final four contest is between the South Loop & Uptown. So far there doesn't appear to be a winner as I write this post. Though I like the idea of a Woodlawn vs. Uptown Curbed Cup. Time will tell on that.
I'm sure JP Paulus would like to amp up the trash talk with our friends over at Uptown Update who I'm sure are on the edge of their seats waiting for their results. If Uptown gets into the finals again there will be a rematch from last year with Woodlawn and bear in mind Uptown already won two Curbed Cups.

Free rides on CTA for #NewYearsEve

According to the Mayor on his Twitter account between 10 PM to 4 AM CTA customers will enjoy free rides on New Years Eve. Excellent for those of who plan to turn-up for the New Year and hopefully you'll have some very responsible friends to ensure that you get home safely.
And just think 10 years ago all you needed was a penny to ride CTA on New Years...

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

My archive footage of Englewood ca. 2008 or 2009

[VIDEO] Not exactly the most exciting footage ever shown, however, I shot this on the CTA Green Line through Englewood probably during the summer of 2008 or 2009. I was on a train headed towards downtown after having taken an #9 Ashland bus to the Ashland/63 Green Line terminal.

Those of you who reside in Englewood probably know best about the changes from Ashland to Halsted. The Whole Foods Market and the shopping mall around it and the loss of another old building due to fire on 63rd/Halsted. I wish I could've gotten a shot of the masonic temple that would be right behind me as I pull into the Halsted stop. The masonic temple is in such disrepair now that it's all a matter of not if, but when it gets demolished - if it hasn't already. And we see a police station under constrution on this stretch as well.

As the snow fell on Christmas Eve and the weather has finally gotten much colder enjoy this image of warmer weather which will return very soon. April will be here before we know it and we can watch some archive footage of a neighborhood at the start of change little did I know at the time!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Two unfortunate local stories that ocurred on Christmas

I hope everyone enjoyed their Christmas unfortunately for the day after I wanted to share with you some sad stories that occurred on Christmas Day that happened locally. To start there was a shooting in Chatham.
A brief excerpt of what happened.
A man was fatally shot on the South Side a little after midnight on Christmas Day, authorities said.

He was standing on the sidewalk in the 8100 block of South Wabash Avenue in Chatham when two people came up to him and fired shot, hitting him in the head and chest about 12:15 a.m. Monday. The man was taken to St. Bernard Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

He was identified as Albert Abu, 57, who lived in the same block where he was killed, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office. He was pronounced dead at 12:28 a.m. Monday.
To which I must add that, Jahmal Cole's My Block My Hood My City ig noted this on a post he made on Xmas day.

Can we help Woodlawn repeat as winner of the Curbed Cup?

Remember last year when Woodlawn won Curbed Chicago's Cup for neighborhood of the year. Then the year before where it was Pullman that had the honor.

In 2017 Woodlawn is back and made it into the final four for this year's Curbed Cup. There were three other entrants in this competition from Chicago's south side. Hyde Park, Bronzeville, and yes the South Loop. I do consider the South Loop south side even if they may have the close proximity to downtown and for many years it was an area that hadn't be doing well until the 21st century.

Anyway, why Woodlawn again? The expansion of the University of Chicago further south, the Obama library is expected to come that way, there's going to be a new Jewel-Osco on 61st & Cottage Grove. I want to add a grassroots movement to re-extend the CTA Green Line beyond their current terminal at Cottage Grove. This would be great news for another are of Chicago's south side that hadn't done well in recent years until now.

BTW, voting will begin on the final four neighborhoods after the Christmas holiday. Hopefully that means on Tuesday - today - you will see a poll on a future poll at Curbed Chicago. Let's support Woodlawn and allow that neighborhood to repeat their accomplishment from last year.

And I still want to open the floor for other neighborhoods we all hope will get nominated next year. Yes I'm looking at you Englewood, Chatham, Roseland, or even Pullman - again! Am I missing any from our part of town? Let us know!!!

Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas

[VIDEO] Enjoy this "Peanuts" special A Charlie Brown Christmas. And apparently it first aired on TV 52 years ago. I have been a "Peanuts" fan and hopefully you enjoy this on your holiday. Enjoy your gifts and your family & friends today.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Christmas greetings from RAGE

I regrammed their ig post on Christmas Eve and decided to share again on this blog. Here's hoping you will share a happy holidays with your loved ones on Christmas.
A post shared by R.A.G.E. (@rage_englewood) on

Friday, December 22, 2017

Influence on an elected school board by the teacher's union?
Thursday on the Capitol Fax, there was a discussion on whether or not an elected school board for CPS would result in a heavy influence by the Chicago Teacher's Union. The CapFax links to the Chicago Reader
And an elected school board isn't exactly a fringe idea. According to education advocacy group Illinois Raise Your Hand, 94 percent of school boards around the country are elected, and Chicago's is the only one in Illinois appointed by law. Several nonbinding referenda over the last few years have shown again and again that Chicagoans want to elect their boards. So what's the argument for having the board appointed by the mayor?

Supporters of an appointed board say it removes politics from the board's composition. If you ignore for a second that Chicago has run on patronage since its inception, this still makes very little sense. An elected school board would represent the diverse viewpoints of members' constituencies the same way any legislative body does. But an appointed board only represents one point of view: the mayor's. What the politics-free argument truly is after is a board that will oppose the Chicago Teachers Union.
With this being said my position has been in favor of a hybrid board both appointed and elected. This is provided that it's considered constitutional if you will. What are your thoughts?

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Chicago's Best Fried Chicken: 5 Loaves Eatery

[VIDEO] Recently a 6th Ward business 5 Loaves Eatery was show on Chicago's Best TV which airs both on WGN & CLTV. We shared an Instagram post from 5 Loaves early last month letting us know that CBTV host Britney Payton was dropping by to film a segment hear and invited people to drop by.

I'm sorry to say I've never visited this place, however, since they are located near 75th/King Drive they're worth a visit. Also it's a plus that they're not far from Lem's Bar-B-Q which is down the street on 75th also.

Has anyone else been? How do they like the food? Also what would you recommend for a first timer to that restaurant?

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Should the United Nations be involved with maintaining peace on Chicago's streets?

[VIDEO] Over the years on this blog, we've seen some semblance of discussion regarding crime in Chicago. More specifically there have been those who wanted martial law in some parts of the south side - especially for example along 79th Street in Chatham.

Among other solutions to the issue of violence is bringing in the United Nations. Normally this diplomatic organization that seeks to maintain the peace of the world engages in a number of hotspots around the world. Richard Boykin - a west side Cook County commissioner - wants the UN to intervene in the violence occuring in Chicago's streets.

While above, I have a video from the Dec. 15th edition of FOX News' Special Report I'm also going to share a post from Chicago's Hottest Blog.
Huge thank you to Commissioner Richard R. Boykin for shining a light on violence in Chicago while in New York at the United Nations.

As everyone knows, Chicago is in a public health and safety crisis. Gang violence that somewhat mirrors sectarian violence in foreign countries has taken over Chicago.

Even the President of the United States, Donald Trump has been mentioning the violence in Chicago. Since January 1, 2017 to the present, over 3,000 people have been shot in Chicago, and over 600 people have been killed!

Yes, Chicago needs serious attention and resources.
The need for attention & resources much agreed. My doubts are no different than asking for the Nat'l Guard to patrol city streets. Does the UN really care about issues of warring gangs on city streets? Does gang warfare represent a serious danger to the peace of the world?

It's great to use the UN to bring attention to the issue of Chicago violence - especially as President Trump seeks to point to Chicago as a disaster. We definitely need to find ways to get the city to really tackle this issue and make our streets safer. Something is not working and it's a problem when the thugs are using their guns as we head into winter.

BTW, just had to add that the blog 2nd City Cop had something to say of course...
Boykin obviously has no idea of the federal laws and Constitutional hurdles that would have to be overcome to have any sort of foreign forces operating within US borders, armed or unarmed. Not to mention Rules of Engagement and other such concerns. Add in the constant headlines of corruption, rape and sex trafficking that follow the UN everywhere and you have a recipe for disaster upon the disaster that already is the south and west sides.
Ah, so Chicago is know for corruption just add more corruption from foreign forces. Regardless Boykin brought attention to the violence issues in Chicago.

CTA bus boardings at 95th has returned to normal

Tuesday night bus boardings has returned to normal. Although the project to rebuild the 95th Red Line terminal continues the arrangement many have been used to is back to normal. According the Sun-Times:

The west bus terminal along Lafayette Avenue had been closed since November as part of the station’s $280 million overhaul. Most CTA and Pace bus routes were scheduled to return to their normal boarding areas as of 10 p.m. Tuesday, according to the transit agency.

Boarding at the north side of the terminal are the #29 State bus as well as Greyhound buses. Boarding at the east terminal are the CTA’s #N5, #100, #108 and #112, along with Pace bus routes #352, #359 and #772.

CTA routes #N9, #34, #103, #106, #111, #115 and #119 return to the west terminal, along with Pace routes #353 and #359.

Riders of the westbound CTA #95 and Pace #381 buses still have to board at 95th and Lafayette in front of the McDonald’s restaurant, due to sidewalk construction.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

WLS: Bill Campbell, former ABC7 colleague, recovering from stroke

[VIDEO] When I found this video on WLS' YouTube channel I looked up Bill Campbell's linkedin page. Had no idea he went to Harlan Community Academy and eventually launched his career in local TV until he retired from our local ABC affiliate in 2010. I also heard that he also attended Bennett Elementary School so alright.

In this video it was revealed that he suffered a stroke, and as a fellow alum of both schools wish him a speedy recovery. Now GO FALCONS & because I'm old school and somewhat disappointed that Bennett has changed their mascot GO BADGERS!!!!

Friday, December 8, 2017

Forrest Claypool to resign

I wish I had done something of an anatomy of this current scandal. Claypool - a former county commissioner, a former President of CTA, and current CEO of CPS - is expected to resign his current post at CPS due to ethical lapses. It seemed to have been a slowly burning storm as I started seeing headlines for this during the course of the week.

This is a shame because I believe him to be a great public servant and even was a fan of his tenure at CTA.

I will include two tweets. To start Rich Miller at Capitol Fax shared some other tweets about this story and then later updated with news that Claypool will resign from CPS.
Next I will share with you a story regarding Claypool's resignation from WBEZ.
Another WBEZ post such as revolving door with the top spot at CPS. The current Chief Education officer Janice Jackson succeeds Claypool and she may have some support with the Chicago Teacher's Union.
It's a shame as CPS got more bad press with regards to the decreasing enrollment at many of CPS high schools and the possibility that other schools may close in the future.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

South Side Mason Temple in Englewood - demolition imminent...

If you've been following our ig page we discovered through Eric Allix Rogers that demolition is imminent for the South Side Masonic Temple in Englewood (6400 S. Green). As noted over the years that historic building has seen a serious deterioration and unfortunately something is about to give here. Sadly in an emerging neighborhood of the future in Englewood is losing a building that had a great potential for reuse.

Refer to these following posts referring to the old masonic temple in Englewood then check out the instagram post below.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Additional thoughts on a new Englewood high school

You know I didn't do coverage of a new high school in Englewood the justice it deserved this year. A recent post shared several stories talking about underutilized and low enrollment high schools. That in addition to the closure of four Englewood area high schools that will close for a new high school. So allow me to go back to June of this year with this article from the Sun-Times where CPS chooses Englewood for a new high school set to open in 2019.

Then earlier in the year I wrote this piece before the decision was made. A new high school could've also been placed in Chinatown or Roseland. In light of the other news involving the low enrollment of 17 other CPS high schools, I just wanted to share this post written in January on the "Shedd School" blog.

Basic gist of that post, a new high school better have something to offer that the other high schools in an area doesn't. I wasn't talking about selective enrollment or magnet programs exactly though certainly programs that would ideally attract those families with a child who will soon transfer to high school. So at this point I would like to share that post with you all.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Todd Stroger drops out of the race...

Never fear though, he's only dropping out of the race for Cook County Board President. According to NBC Chicago's Mary Ann Ahern he plans to run instead for Water Reclamation District.
Stroger himself comes from a political family as his father John Stroger was a former County Board President and commissioner. So another excuse for him dropping out of a rematch with his successor Toni Preckwinkle
It's almost inconcievable that he'd have difficulty getting or exceeding 25,000 signatures since he came from a political family. He should still have those connections that his father had that helped him in his political career years ago.

I really wanted to joke that he's not running because of this blog he had when he was county board president. Either way, I find this story unbelievable though it seems for the moment he's taking on a much less demanding political race.

BTW, I just had to add this from conservative activist Dan Proft
Mr. Proft was looking for a Nixon-like comeback. Heh.

Previous Post

Sunday, December 3, 2017

30 years ago, we lost Harold Washington...

[VIDEO] I intended to mark this event in Chicago's history late last month and unfortunately never got around to it. On November 25, 1987 - 30 years ago - Mayor Harold Washington died of a heart attack. Washington was Chicago's first Black mayor.

As you see in the video above CBS Chicago marks the legacy of Harold Washington as mayor roughly around the anniversary of his untimely demise.

Tonight I would like to share with you something you might see in this month's edition of Chicago magazine discussing his death.
The Chicago Tribune’s coverage of that day depicted a city convulsed in grief: “Women sank, sobbing, onto plaza benches. A man sat and buried his head in his hands.” A memorable photo showed a police officer standing guard outside the mayor’s City Hall office—where Washington had collapsed just hours earlier—wiping tears from his face.

Washington, a former U.S. congressman, was 65 years old, overweight, an ex-smoker, and a notorious workaholic in a stressful job, yet his death hit Chicagoans—especially African Americans, 98 percent of whom had voted for Washington in the first election—like a gut punch. To many black residents, the loss of their charismatic, Bronzeville-born mayor threatened to extinguish four and a half years’ worth of progress in a city that had long been ruled by machine politics and marred by racial injustice.

During that period, having overcome fierce opposition from an obstructionist group of mostly white aldermen known as the Vrdolyak 29, Washington increased the number of minorities in local government, awarded a record number of contracts to minority-owned businesses, improved governmental transparency by granting the public access to official records, and formed an ethics commission to root out corruption. The mayor envisioned those and other moves as merely a start, quipping after his April reelection that he was going to be “mayor for life” and die at his desk. His prediction proved uncannily true, and all too soon.

Two days after Washington’s death, his body lay in state in the City Hall rotunda, drawing thousands of mourners. He was buried four days later at Oak Woods Cemetery, not far from his Hyde Park apartment. Early on December 2, over the vociferous objections of protesters who supported Washington’s widely acknowledged heir apparent, Timothy Evans, a majority of the City Council selected Eugene Sawyer, an African American alderman favored by the late mayor’s foes, to succeed Washington. In the eyes of many Chicagoans, the machine had regained power, and a momentous era was over.

But for a great number of those who knew and worked with the man, their impressions of Washington have faded little in three decades, and the things he fought for feel more urgent than ever. For a handful of people who lived through that November day in 1987, the memories are indelible.
Another perspective is from the Chicago Reader just click the tweet below

Ten years ago, I had shared a link to an NPR program called This American Life which had an episode discussing the time of Harold Washington as Mayor of Chicago. And apparently it re-aired last month also. Give it a quick listen.

Friday, December 1, 2017

WBEZ: Will Chicago Close Another 50 Schools?

In 2013 CPS closed 50 schools on Chicago's south and west sides. Now the debate restarts.
From the WBEZ article:
Nearly five years after shuttering a record number of under-enrolled schools, Chicago once again confronts the same stark realities: plummeting enrollment and more than 100 half-empty school buildings, most on the city’s South and West sides, according to a WBEZ analysis of school records.

Chicago Public Schools has lost 32,000 students over the last five years, nearly the same enrollment drop as in the 10-year period leading up to the closures of 50 elementary schools in 2013. Those missing students could fill 53 average-sized Chicago schools.

This massive enrollment decline comes as a self-imposed five-year moratorium on school closings lifts in 2018. Despite that, political observers and CPS insiders said they are not betting on Mayor Rahm Emanuel closing 50 more schools — at least not all at once.

Now bear in mind back in April 2012 when the issues of school closings were being discussed. It could've been as many as 100 schools at one time instead of 50. This time around the expectations would be it would be a slower process than it was in 2013.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Bye-bye pop tax...

It's about to be that time, if you're ready for the taxes on sugary beverages to sunset in Cook County it will. According to WGN-TV, it begins at 12 midnight on December 1st. As I type this post it'll be five minutes before midnight. Drink up and get all the pops or sugary beverages you wish.

Meanwhile one side effect will be apparent, the Chief of the Cook County Courts is suing to prevent any layoffs from the end of this tax.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving & Happy Holidays

[VIDEO] Today is Thanksgiving and I hope sincerely you're enjoying a great meal with your friends & family today. If you're looking for some entertainment before dinner or before football - assuming you're not boycotting the NFL this year - check out A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. Yes I am a fan of Charlie Brown, it wouldn't be a holiday season without the "Peanuts" crew.

Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving - especially if you're traveling to meet with family & friends!

Monday, November 20, 2017

Todd Stroger is back....

[VIDEO] You might remember him from 2006 to 2010 he had been the county board president and was formerly an Alderman and committeeman in the 8th ward in addition to being a state legislator in Springfield. He had floated his name for a variety of offices in recent years for example to replace Jesse Jackson Jr. for the 2nd Congressional District or for Water Reclamation District. Today he announced that he wants his old job as county board president back.

Toni Preckwinkle the current president defeated Stroger in the 2010 Democratic primary utilizing voter anger against a sales tax hikes instituted by Stroger for the county hospital and other services. Preckwinkle had that sales tax repealed only to re-institute that tax at some point during her tenure which is something Stroger himself sees as vindication. Also we should mention the recent penny-per-oz. soda tax which is scheduled to expire next month which is seen as another cause of voter anger against Preckwinkle.

It won't only Stroger facing Preckwinkle at the county in the 2018 Democratic primary - which more often than not is the race to watch not the Novemeber general election unfortunately - former 2nd ward Alderman and former mayoral candidate Bob Fioretti is also running in the primary. Time will tell if either man is able to successfully challenge Preckwinkle for the Democratic nomination and essentially the county board president.

BTW, I just had to note in 2006 Stroger controversially was installed to replace his father on the ballot as Democratic nominee for county board president. John Stroger  who was then president had been bested by a stroke not long before the 2006 Democratic primary and he still won the election. However, the elder Stroger was medically unable to continue and Todd was his replacement on the ballot and ultimately was election county board president. John Stroger died in 2008.

BTW, I still wonder if this was HIS blog.

EDIT 9:12 PM Greg Hinz wrote about Stroger running for his old job next year:
Todd Stroger, who endured a rocky stretch as Cook County Board president before being unseated by Toni Preckwinkle in the 2010 Democratic primary, says he intends to challenge her in the next primary. (Check out his TV interview at the end of this story.)

"The incumbent has shown her true colors," Stroger told me today. "Her (political) base is crumbling."

He has done little politically since his defeat, but his name is known from his four years in office and from the decades his father, John Stroger, served as a county commissioner and board president.

Todd Stroger lost the president post largely because of a revolt over a penny-on-the-dollar sales tax he pushed through—and because of continuing criticism over how, in 2006, he was installed as the candidate for board president by insiders after his father fell seriously ill.

Preckwinkle repealed and then reinstated that sales tax, saying the money largely was needed to pay off unfunded county pension liability.
I keep forgetting all these tax increases from the soda tax to the sales tax to the state income tax are all about funding these public pensions.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

SNL Watch Party at SMG-Chatham

You may have seen this from Worlee Glover on Nextdoor and on Concerned Citizens of Chatham.
Saturday, November 18th. Come join SMG Chatham as we host a free LIVE watch party of Saturday Night Live to support our friend and community partner, Chance the Rapper. He’s done so much for our community, so let's rally around him and celebrate his successes. Doors open at 9:00 pm with DJ performance in the lobby from 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm.
SMG Chatham is located at 210 W. 87th Street.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

9th ward job fair & hiring event

9th ward job fair & hiring fair at Tuley Park - 501 E. 90th Place tomorrow Wednesday, November 15, 2017 from 9 AM to 2 PM. Refer to flyer below if you seek more information!

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Happy Veteran's Day

Via RAGE ig
Today is Veteran's Day for all of our Veterans and current military. Today we honor you all and thank you for your current or past service.

Also today I will share this ig post featuring Black servicemen from Official Black Wall Street

Friday, November 10, 2017

5Loaves on WGN's "Chicago's Best" next Thursday

Actually what I'm taking from this recent Instagram post from the eatery located on 405 E. 75th Street, they want a packed restaurant when the crew from Chicago's Best arrives on Nov. 16, 2017. The show itself airs on Sundays at 10 PM on WGN. Hopefully we can share the program itself if it's available online.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Avalon Regal Thater offering investment bonds

Location: 1645 E 79th St, Chicago, IL 60649, USA

Jerald Gary, the new owner of the Regal Theater on 79th at Stony Island, is offering an investment opportunity for those who want to help resurrect the theater.

This investment includes 10 free tickets (annually) and other perks.

Here is the text from their webpage (located at ) which describes the program. The redevelopment also includes the goal of becoming the first theater in the United States with holographic projection technology  in addition to entertainment from everyone's favorite artists in R&B, Jazz, Hip Hop and Rap, as well as theater, dance, film, comedy and more


Seat Bond Program

The Avalon Regal Theater offers a unique opportunity for the community to invest in its success through the Seat Bond program.

The purpose of this program is to promote self-investment and reduce reliance on government subsidies and other non-market based financing for community development in our neighborhood.

The Seat Bond program includes 10 tickets to performances at the Avalon Regal Theater per year, in addition to invitations to exclusive investor events, VIP access to select shows, the ability to buy tickets to hot shows before they go on sell to the general public, and a named seat in the auditorium. The first class of bond holders will be recognized at the 2017 Grand Opening.

The most important aspect of a Seat Bond is the fact that it is an investment, which means Seat Bond owners are not just patrons of, but investors in this integral part of the community.


Each Seat Bond is a $1,000 investment and includes:

  • 10 tickets to performances per year (does not include private events)

  • 8% return on each $1,000 investment

  • Return of initial investment after 1 year, with the ability to re-invest

  • Embossed name plaque positioned on an auditorium seat

  • Framed Seat Bond Certificate and duplicate name plaque

  • Annual 1099-INT form for reporting taxable interest income

Individuals or organizations can purchase multiple Seat Bonds. Seats Bonds in the first three rows on the main floor are reserved for VIP members of Singularity and have a $10,000 minimum. 

The Avalon Regal will feature entertainment from everyone's favorite artists in R&B, Jazz, Hip Hop and Rap, as well as theater, dance, film, comedy and more. The theater will also be the first in the United States to have holographic technology. This is truly an exciting and historic opportunity for the community.

See the video below for a tour and interview with Avalon Regal Theater owner, Jerald Gary.


The Seat Bond program is only accessible through this websiteSeat Bonds are available on a first-come, first-served basis. You cannot choose specific seats for your name plaque and Seat Bonds do not represent seating assignments for events. Seat Bonds are non-transferable.


E-mail for more information.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Blogging here 10 years...

Today is the day. The first post for this blog was on this day back in November 2007. JP Paulus and myself - Levois J. - started posting to this blog 10 years ago. Perhaps we'll take some time to relive some of those important stories that we've kept an eye on over the past decade.

Do you have any favorites stories from the past 10 years?

Monday, October 30, 2017

#BoomboxChatham open house/harvest fest on Saturday

79th/Rhodes during nicer weather in early October
I intended to post this on Saturday and not sure what happened with that. However you can visit the Boombox ig page and the Greater Chatham Initiative page to see some images of of the now past event at 79th & Rhodes. You will see the Jesse White Tumblers made an appearance for the Open House on this past Saturday. A tweet shared below from Boombox.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

The Boombox at 79th & Rhodes is installed

79th/Rhodes in Spring 2017
The Boombox coming to the site of the former Rhodes Theater was installed, however, halted by some rain on the date indicated in the video you will see below - on October 10, 2017.

Hopefully worked continued as indicated on Wednesday although it also rained on that day, so who knows of the Boombox crew was able to finish the job on that day. Perhaps it's time to see if they did do more work on this site now that the weather has finally cleared up.

BTW, earlier this month I dropped by the site to take some pics of 79th & Rhodes. How many of you think there is potential here? Here's hoping this boombox which has a nearby located near 63rd & Halsted will prove to be a benefit to this area. The collage of pics of this area I posted to instagram.

RELATED: Boombox Chicago is coming to 79th & Rhodes

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Mayor Emanuel is running again in '19

Well at least if you believe Greg Hinz who writes about the mayor's meeting with Crain's editorial board:
In case you had any doubt, Mayor Rahm Emanuel says there's none in his mind. He's running for a new term in the February 2019 election, with the goal of spreading the prosperity and new jobs that have blossomed in the central area of the city throughout Chicago.

In a meeting with Crain's editorial board yesterday evening, Emanuel had an instant reply when asked if he intends to seek a new term: "The answer is yes." He later repeated the sentiment—"I am (running)"—and said he's doing so because "I want to make sure that every part of the city is participating in the quality of life."

So far, there's no sign that Emanuel will face a major opponent despite some very rough patches after the shooting of Laquan McDonald. Insiders say that his popularity numbers, which had dipped very low, are back about 50 percent in the latest polling.

"My goal is to make sure people feel they have a stake in the future," Emanuel said, saying he's tried do that by luring new employers to town and expanding the schools model from K-12 to pre-college. But "there's more work to be done" he said, referring to widespread variance in crime rates, educational levels, income and other measures from one part of town to another.
Also mentioned are his relationship with Governor Bruce Rauner and the attempt of the mayor and governor to attract Amazon to Chicago.

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
  • 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!



    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.


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


    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.
  • 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 @

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.