Thursday, July 20, 2017

CPS enrollment drop and budget

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

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

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

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

6th Ward Shred-a-thon tomorrow

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

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

Monday, July 17, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, July 16, 2017

How bad is the reporting for the South Side

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, July 15, 2017

#63rdL and a hopeful PR response from CTA

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

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

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

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

Friday, July 14, 2017

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

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

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


Thursday, July 13, 2017

Garry McCarthy for Mayor pt. 2 #GMFM


So 2nd City Cop finally got into the possibility of Garry McCarthy for Mayor.
Back when he was making his first run at the top job, the media pointed out his documented propensity to use a certain racial slur. During his second run, we pointed out his "holier than thou" attitude when his daughter got pulled over by regular cops and also the numerous broken streetlights that appeared in close proximity to him. Since he's been fired, his choice of company doesn't inspire confidence in his judgement at all.

But he could tap into a certain amount of resentment. And if he opened the doors on how the McDonald tape really got suppressed and who really saw it before the settlement offer, well.....that could sink Rahm before he even got started.
What do you all think? 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Petition to restore East 63rd Green Line service to Stony Island #63rdL

Via Chicago-L.org
In April I've written about a future project involving the East 63rd branch of the CTA Green Line which would mean upgrades to the Cottage Grove station the current terminus of this branch. Now a petition which you can find through 63rdL.com. Here's a portion of the argument in favor of restoration that you might read with the petition:
While CTA Buses, Metra Electric trains, and S. Lake Shore Drive carry passengers along the Lakefront, none of the existing infrastructure effectively connects the South Side Lakefront with points west. Without restoring the ‘L’ between Cottage Grove Ave and Stony Island Ave we have no way to carry people through the heart of Woodlawn. Likewise, residents, students, and commuters to Hyde Park, Woodlawn, and South Shore who do not live, study, or work near the Lakefront arterial infrastructure have no way of accessing the ‘L’ to travel to and from other parts of Chicagoland. Restoring the E. 63rd Street branch of the Green Line with strategically placed stations not only encourages visitors to Jackson Park to take in the surrounding neighborhoods but also enables our South Side neighbors to move more freely to, from, and within Woodlawn and steps from the University of Chicago in ways they have not been able since the ‘L’ was razed 20 years ago. 
This is one project worthwhile in addition to the plan to extend the CTA Red Line further south from 95th Street. Let's hope that CTA will eventually add for future expansions the possible restoration of the former Jackson Park branch of the Green Line to it's former terminus at Stony Island. Perhaps even a pipe dream send the L over to the Museum of Science & Industry as it once was during the 1893 Columbian Exposition.

You can read more of any proposals surrounding the restoration of CTA Green Line service to Cottage Grover via this tweet below from Curbed Chi.
In addition this petion is not only directed towards Mayor Emanuel, also 5th Ward Ald. Leslie Hairston, and 9th Ward Ald. Anthony Beale who chairs the city council transportation committee. Those three especially in addition to 17 other decision makers.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Boombox Chicago is coming to 79th & Rhodes

79th Street and Rhodes this past spring
 The former site of the Rhodes Theater is going to get itself a clean-up and a new use. If you're not familiar with Boombox read more at the site boomboxchicago.com. They nearest set up they have is across the street from Whole Foods Market Englewood at 63rd and Halsted. An example of this you will see below

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Garry McCarthy for Mayor???


Found this Tribune article via Newsalert this morning. An interesting, however, unlikely possibility if you believe Rahm Emanuel's former Chicago Police superintendent.
Former Chicago police Superintendent Garry McCarthy is mulling over making his first run for political office against the man who fired him — and now there are campaign buttons.

Small gold and green "GMFM" buttons have been circulating in some corners of the city. That's short for Garry McCarthy For Mayor. And in an interview with the Chicago Tribune, McCarthy acknowledged he's weighing a challenge against Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

"There's a group of people who are very serious about this, and they are looking at all the angles," McCarthy said Wednesday. "I haven't said 'no' yet. Let's put it that way."

He's not close to saying "yes" yet, either, calling a run for mayor "probably unlikely.
And here's more:
McCarthy, 58, said he knows running for mayor would be difficult on his family. He's married to prominent attorney Kristin Barnette, and the couple have an 8-month-old son. But McCarthy also said he "can't stand what's going on in this city."

"Honestly, I swing back and forth both ways. ... I'm not sure I want to do that to my family. As my wife so eloquently put it, 'Everybody just started leaving us alone, why would you want to get back into a rat race like that?'" McCarthy said. "But I have this thing about making a difference, and I was well down that road before the rug got pulled out from underneath me."
Of course he may still have to answer for his role in the LaQuan McDonald story where there were allegations of a cover-up in releasing any footage of McDonald's shooting in 2014.

Would anyone like to see McCarthy as Mayor of Chicago? Is anyone certain Mayor Emanuel - who had a tough go as Mayor since 2011 - will run in 2019?
Just remembered, what does the blog 2nd City Cop have to say about this?

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Trump and county sending help for violence in Chicago

President Trump
Lost in all the tweets of personal attacks on cable network media personalities and a video which portrays the President at a past WWF Wrestlemania attacking someone who represents CNN (whose logo you see in place of their face - probably WWF owner Vince McMahon) was a mention of federal help being sent to Chicago.
Bear in mind earlier this year he wrote this tweet
It appears the President of the United States is actually fulfilling that initial promise:
Twenty federal gun agents have been assigned to Chicago to join a newly formed task force aimed at cutting the flow of illegal guns into the city and cracking down on people repeatedly arrested on gun charges.

Hours after the Chicago police department sent out a news release about the task force, President Donald Trump claimed credit for sending in the agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
...
The roughly 40-person strike force, which consists of Chicago police officers, ATF agents and Illinois State Police, will be working on unsolved shootings and gun-related homicides and combating illegal gun trafficking, officials said Friday.
In addition to the federal angle help from the Cook County Sheriff is coming to the south side also announced late last month:
The sheriff's office announced Wednesday that 55 to 60 sheriff's police and staff members would "supplement" the work already done by Chicago police in the Calumet and Gresham police districts.

Sheriff's officers and staff will help with patrol units, special operations, crime suppression tactical teams, evictions and other services.

Ald. Anthony Beale (9th) asked the sheriff's police to help "to create a safer, healthier environment," according to a news release.
Will additional law enforcement help from the federal government or the sheriff be enough to curb violent crime in the many low-income neighborhoods of Chicago?

BTW, yes the WWF is actually WWE now, however, as a wrestling fan old habits die hard. WWE will always be WWF or World Wrestling Federation to me. The usage of WWF was intentional.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Happy Independence Day

We here at The Sixth Ward blog and the folks of the Resident Association of Greater Englewood (RAGE) - who provided the ig post embedded below - wishes everyone reading this blog a happy and safe Independence Day and Fourth of July. Enjoy your bbq and fireworks with friends, neighbors, or family on this day.
A post shared by R.A.G.E. (@rage_englewood) on

Monday, July 3, 2017

Are you going to Lem's on the Fourth?

If you attempted to pay Lem's Bar-B-Q (@ 311 E. 75th Street) a visit the evening before the 4th of July there was a line wrapped around the establishment. It seems a lot of people want to get that quick Lem's fix in time for the holidays. Bear in mind however that the long-time bbq restaurant will be open on the Fourth and will be closed Wednesday. Normally Lem's is closed on Tuesday.

I'll even post the ig post from the official Lem's profile below:
A post shared by Lem's BarBQ (@lemsbarbq) on

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Windows shot out at Seaway National Bank

Posted some shots on ig of the main branch of the former Seaway National Bank at 645 E. 87th Street  Friday night. I heard reports that someone likely used pellet guns to shoot out some of the windows there

It could be alleged that someone was upset with the situation of the bank which failed at the end of January 2017 and has undergone two ownership changes - from State Bank of Texas to Self-Help FCU. Then again this could be a random act of vandalism which unfortunately isn't too uncommon and both situations are certainly out of anger regardless of the reasoning.

Incidents such as this shouldn't be tolerated.