Wednesday, January 31, 2018

WGN-TV documents Pullman last year

While I didn't see these series of videos produced in 2017 by WGN-TV, they seem to make the same mistake that Maggio News made in their violent neighborhoods series. Both seem to confuse community areas with neighborhoods. Within those 77 community areas often there are a number of distinct neighborhoods within those areas.

Now thankfully Pullman is one of those community areas you need not have to separate out into different neighborhoods. Of course there is a newer part of Pullman built out during the 20th century - not sure if that constitutes it's own distinct neighborhood or not. There is of course the Pullman Nat'l Monument that was built during the late 19th century which was the site of a company town that made luxury railroad coaches.

Also since Pullman goes all the way up to 95th Street you can also include Cottage Grove Heights which is the neighborhood sitting on 95th. Then you have those London Town Homes which is a development east of Cottage Grove and just south of the Bishop Ford/Calumet Expressway.

Above you see the segment about the Pullman neighborhood or more specifically the Pullman Nat'l Monument area. One of the people you see featured here is Ian Lantz who owns the Pullman Cafe feel free to follow him on ig.

For your convenience here is a map of the Pullman community area.
Pullman community area

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Did Englewood leaders propose closing their own schools?

President of R.A.G.E. Asiaha Butler explains her role in coming up with an education plan for CPS and she further explains that she never proposed closing down any schools in Englewood. Her op/ed was published in Chicago magazine last week.
Published in September 2011, the Educational Strategic Plan laid out 12 detailed goals that would lead to the necessary transformation of education in our community. It included important data about the enrollment and academic achievement of all the schools located in Englewood. It touched on the need for appropriate parental/caregiver support, early childhood programs, improved, culturally relevant curriculum, high-quality administrators and staff, social-emotional learning, post-secondary career development, and more.

Nowhere did we suggest closing schools.

In fact, the strategies we listed were aimed at making schools more appealing for students and parents alike. But after filing the report in 2012, CPS suddenly lost interest in our work. Not only did the district turn its back on the Englewood CAC, it was difficult to keep parents and community stakeholders engaged. This was around the time I posted to Everyblock about the dire need for community involvement. Then, we were up against potentially 10 elementary schools closing, and although I walked away from the CAC at that time, I made sure my voice was heard on why these schools should remain open. After exhaustive research and effort to convince CPS that not all schools slated for closure were lost causes, the city decided to close six of the original 10—still the highest number for any neighborhood in Chicago.

Our strategic plan was shelved, enrollments declined, more charters opened, and many of the educational institutions that we knew are now boarded-up, vandalized buildings that remain as a reminder of the injustice we face in communities like Englewood.

I was extremely disappointed when I found out the Educational Strategic Plan created under my leadership five years ago had been dusted off and used as a bible for the school closures and new high school proposal in Englewood, which was officially announced last summer. (The final public hearing will be January 30, and the school board can vote on the plan as soon as next month.) CPS says the closures are necessary because the high schools are under enrolled and performing poorly.

I can’t help but think that these issues could have been solved, or at least improved, if the district had taken up some of the CAC’s proposed solutions five years ago. Since then, enrollment has dropped by 80 percent at each of our neighborhood schools. Three CPS CEOs have come and gone—Brizard, Byrd-Bennett, and Claypool—yet, the district did not engage with the people who they originally asked to help create solutions. It’s a slap in the face for them to come in now and conveniently use our old strategic plan as a way to justify their decision to close four schools.
Sounds like someone at CPS already had set their agenda regardless of whatever the group headed by Butler would come up with. When you think about it, that's a shame. It's definitely a slap in the face for the idea of participatory decision making when you don't listen to the people who are telling you what they need.

I recommend that you read the whole thing.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Re: Maggio News documentaries posted to Nextdoor

Last week I posted two documentaries by Victor Maggio to Nextdoor and they have proven to be controversial. The primary reaction to this video has been according to the apparent political leanings of Maggio. Another reaction is that some may believe he is attempting to capitalize on the tragedy going on in the Black neighborhoods of Chicago.

Another aspect of the controversy was that I had been posting under an alias on Nextdoor either as "Sixth Ward blog" or "Ninth Ward". In two different forums on Nextdoor I had posted Maggio's video regarding Greater Grand Crossing which so far elicited a far stronger reaction under "Sixth Ward blog". In yet another forum I posted the video with regards to Roseland - which was posted on this blog last week - which elicited a conversation with regards to neighborhoods listed for the purposes of real estate or even property taxes interestingly enough.

Both videos were reported with the Greater Grand Crossing post being reported & deleted under the auspices of being "hurtful not helpful". The other video on Roseland so far hasn't been deleted, however, it was reported strangely enough for "promoting business & commerce the right way". Now I got to admit that second one could be a bit more valid while I don't represent a business regardless I'm not posting under my real name. Or perhaps there might be a belief that I'm promoting Maggio which isn't exactly my purpose, however, more on that later.

BTW here are Nextdoor's community guidelines.

As a matter of fact I had recently changed from my name to Ninth Ward on another Nextdoor forum. My purpose to posting recently whether actual posts or comments on posts was certainly to post more at Nextdoor though I had little intention of posting under my real name. In light of the controvery I've made the decision to step back from my activities on Nextdoor.

In posting either videos whether on this blog or on Nextdoor, there were never any nefarious or malicious intentions when sharing those vids. To me it was just another video and it wasn't done to be hateful. I did some cursory research on Maggio finding his website at Maggio News through the Roseland video. If you look at his about us page, you see he has aligned himself with conservative leaders such as the late Andrew Breitbart & Glenn Beck. He's certainly has presented himself over the course of his online presence as a conservative. Indeed at one point he notes his site was set up to cover Occupy Wall Street and other left-wing movements that have come to the Chicago area.

Now his website is geared in his own words to ask these questions: "Why is this violence happening? We set out to find out Who and what is responsible for the violent desperate culture that has been created in these inner city communities of Chicago?" He further notes his main aim in documenting the violence on Chicago's streets: "The only way society will understand WHY these tragedies are taking place in Chicago is telling the story from a centrist unbiased perspective. The reason this film must be presented to the public in such a graphic nature is so they can truly understand how desperate the situation is becoming. Only then can we start to fix the massive 40-point problem that has been created through liberal social engineering."

Those italicized quotes above are from Maggio's Inside Bloody Chicago page.

I also wanted to reach out to Maggio - while unsuccessful in finding an e-mail address for him - utilized a form on his contact page to send a message. To be transparent my only purpose was never to criticize though it was certainly to follow his series on the top 10 violent neighborhoods of Chicago. Though some have noted inaccuracies without saying what they were, one inaccuracy I had noted was using the community areas as a frame of reference. The 77 community areas aren't neighborhoods and indeed many of the community areas contain several distinct neighborhoods. It's possible he's doing this as a simplification for an audience who may not be familiar with Chicago.

Also as a general rule my personal policy is to never reject information that may have been presented with a conservative point of view or even from an outsider. And of course we're all free to disseminate the information and even question its credibility. Though from this point forward my goal is to do further research on videos such as those by Victor Maggio. Especially any video with regards to Chicago crime as it's a very passionate issue video especially for those of us who've been directly affected by it.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

1957: 69th & Wentworth

69th/Wentworth via Chicago History Today
Courtesy of J.R. Schmidt of Chicago History Today. Two pics one recent and one 60 years ago of the former site of the old Kennedy-King College at 69th & Wentworth.

It's hard to believe over 60 years ago was a commercial strip which presumably by 1972 gave way to the brutalist campus of the City Colleges of Chicago. The campus itself was demolished by 2007 when Kennedy-King moved to the heart of Englewood at 63rd & Halsted.

BTW, the vacant lot where Kennedy-King was will soon to be home to a city facility and perhaps with a strip mall to be built on this land, this area could see a return to its roots as a commercial strip. Time will tell, hopefully!

Friday, January 26, 2018

Elgie Sims succeeds former Sen. Donne Trotter

If you've subscribed to now Sen. Elgie Sims' e-mail list you might have seen this in your e-mails at around 6 PM this evening:
Dear ,

One of the greatest honors of my life has been to serve you and the people of the 34th Representative District as a voice and advocate as a member of the Illinois House of Representatives.

It has been my honor and privilege to stand up for working families, to fight on behalf of the most vulnerable citizens of our state, to work to provide the best educational and economic opportunities for our communities and to stand shoulder to shoulder with the hard working people of the 34th Representative District.

While I will no longer serve as your voice in the Illinois House of Representatives, I look forward to continuing to serve the families and communities of the 34th Representative District through my service as your voice in the Illinois Senate as State Senator of the 17th Legislative District.

Elgie R. Sims, Jr.
State Senator - 17th District
Here's a pic provided with the e-mail and also a video from ig which shows him being sworn into the Illinois state senate.

What happened to the homeless sisters?

The sisters' tent has collapsed, and has been this way for days
Does anyone know what happened to the homeless sisters who have camped out in various parts of our neighborhood?

You have probably seen them somewhere around the neighborhood.  They have camped out at 75th & King Drive (just before and after the fire that took down the building), at 87th & The Dan Ryan, 84th & King, and most recently in front of the former Church's Chicken at 87th & King Drive.

They are two sisters who sit under a makeshift tarp tent. They claim it is a church, and that as such, gives them the right to be encamped wherever they are.  They seem to sit in 2 chairs under the tarp, stay there all day, and then sleep there. They only occasionally come out.

They have been encamped by the former Church's Chicken on 87th & King Drive. They seem to have been there some time after it closed, and when they took off the Church's sign.So it has been a number of weeks, if not months.

Last week, I noticed that one of the chairs seemed to be down. A few days later, the "tent" hadn't returned to normal.

That made me suspicious,so I stopped by. Now, if someone was there, if someone tried to do anythign, they would be out and chasing people away. But there was no response. In fact, one chair had fell over, and rain water had filled the top of that part of the tarp.  I couldn't lift the other one, but there did not seem to be a body (also, no odor).
Their encampment has been abandoned for days
Even with this bitterly cold weather, it doesn't seem like they died. Does anyone know if they have been arrested, taken , or brought to the hospital?

They are very protective of their stuff and territory (for example, arguing with the owner of a truck which was parked in the lot). So it seems odd for it to just be left there. At some point, I know someone will want to have the debris removed.

If you have any information on them, please e-mail the blog at

We hope they are OK.
The sisters are fierce in keeping their home.  

The west option has been determined for the CTA Red Line extension

Red Line extension map
So there is a determined alignment for the CTA Red Line extension and was announced today.

From the Tribune.
The proposed route, which will be announced Friday, starts at 95th Street and would run along the west side of the Union Pacific Railroad tracks from I-57 south to about 109th Street. There it would cross the UP tracks and continue along the east side of the tracks until crossing Metra Electric tracks near 119th Street, and then continue south to 130th Street, the CTA said.

The 5.3-mile extension would include four new stations near 103rd Street, 111th Street, Michigan Avenue near 115th Street, and 130th Street with parking and bus connections.

The $2.3 billion project, if it gets funding, would fill in what activists have called a “transit desert” on the city’s Far South Side as well as south suburban Riverdale. The city has not created an extension of an “L” line since the Orange Line opened in 1993.

The alignment was based on community feedback on both options the agency received in late 2016, CTA officials said. The chosen path limits the number of properties the agency may need to acquire to up to 154 privately owned parcels, with 79 buildings and the rest vacant lots, CTA officials said.
Of course the next step is funding, however, it's great to see this potential extension continue to move forward.It was also noted that:
The CTA will hold an open house on Feb. 13 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Gwendolyn Brooks College Preparatory Academy gymnasium to present the alignment to residents. The agency then must publish a final environmental impact study to include further analysis of the path and some preliminary engineering work.
This alignment limits the properties CTA may need to acquire to build this extension.

Scary police chase on Thursday

[VIDEO] So along the Dan Ryan or Bishop Ford Expressways on Thursday a scary car chase was going on. Three jurisdictions tried to stop the car and suspects were undeterred, but ultimately police got their men. There were injuries, thankfully no one was killed. Two are in custody.

As you will see the chase went through West Chesterfield at one point then all the way up to 87th by the Jewel Store off the Dan Ryan and then back west along 95th. Ultimately the chase ended at 93rd & May.

Video above courtesy of CBS 2 Chicago. Also at the Sixth Ward blog fb page is live video of the chase from FOX 32. Yes right on fb you could've seen this chase live on your table, phone, or PC even.

Below is a map of where this chase ended.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Judge William Cousins RIP

I'm sorry this wasn't noted on the blog earlier. 

Earlier this week we learned of the passing of former 8th ward alderman and Cook County Judge William Cousins. While I will post the note written by Worlee Glover at Concerned Citizens of Chatham, it's also important to share this write-up from Chicago Reader:
William Cousins Jr., a former alderman, prosecutor, and Cook County circuit judge died last Saturday at the age of 90. As a judge, Cousins was known as "The Prince of Darkness" for the long hours he kept in the courtroom.

As Steve Bogira wrote in a 1988 Reader profile of Cousins, "Judges are no more anxious than anyone else to linger here [at the Criminal Courts building]. Judges set their own hours, and on sunny summer days, the choice between 18 holes at Beverly Country Club and another aggravated-battery trial at 26th Street is really no choice at all. According to a recent study by a court watchers group, most judges usually have given 26th Street the slip by 1 PM."

But Cousins's courtroom stayed open till late in the night because of the deliberate pace set by the judge, who always referred to himself in the third person as "the court." "Cousins," Bogira wrote, "brings new meaning to the word 'deliberate.'" His rulings were long and detailed in order to forestall reversals in higher courts.
U of I grad. and then went to Harvard University for his law degree. And during a very difficult period of time had a tough time and succeeded. Condolences to Cousins' family.

BTW, where have I heard this before: "unbowed, unbossed and unbought". It's said to be his campaign slogan. Seems to have been a common saying once upon a time.

Greater Chatham Initiative launches Chatham Center Chicago
 This info was posted to Next Door by Worlee Glover
Please join the Greater Chatham Initiative, our community leaders, business owners and residents at Studio Movie Grill, 210 West 87th Street from 2:00 to 3:30 pm as we outline plans for the bright future of our district and its’ economic contribution to Chicago with the launch of the Chatham Center Chicago brand and promotion of the movement “Buy Chatham”. 

 Call to register at 1-800-355-9068 or click the link
Here's a press release and invite flyer to this event.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Documentary on violence in Roseland

[VIDEO] Saw this video over at John Ruberry's Marathon Pundit. Ruberry though he's a suburbanite today has roots in the Roseland community.

All the same this documentary produced by Victor J. Maggio - and I would like to see his statistics - lists Roseland as the 8th most violent neighborhood in Chicago. He breaks down the history of Roseland and how it's a wonderful community with such violence. 

The description for this video:
The Roseland neighborhood is home to the Lowden Projects, the wild 100s.

The Roseland neighborhood by far has one of the best outward physical appearances then most of the other top ten neighborhoods.

Roseland has a decent economic base, good homes and schools, this goes against all the usual arguments of why violence is happening in this neighborhood.
He mentions a number of incidents that take place in the areas north of 95th Street and I'm sure some of you reading this blog might be offended by being lumped in with Roseland. So allow me to share a map with you below which is of the Roseland Community area which is a larger area than of what's considered the Roseland neighborhood further south. So another reason why I want to have a map to reference for your benefit.
Roseland community area
This video does especially mention the murder last year of a Cook County Judge at his home in West Chesterfield. Also mentioned is the murder of a man who owned a non-profit on 95th Street. Eye opening video. Another mention are the Lowden Homes that are west of the Dan Ryan on 95th near Wentworth, cited as the source of these crimes.

BTW, check out this video on Greater Grand Crossing in compiling his list it's listed just below Roseland at number 9. Just like Roseland, Maggio goes through the history of this community.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Commercial property for sale on 75th Street

For those you looking for some real estate here's a professional building to purchase at 200 E. 75th Street listed for $725k and yes although three-quarters of a millions dollars. Woah.

Some history is that it was a medical building that was owned by a medical group who eventually sold the building. There was a dentistry and dermatology practice here at one point. Current several businesses occupy the space here.

Also I want to note remember in 2009 75th Street was referred to as "Renaissance Row" a bastion of "Black Wall Street". Perhaps this is one piece of real estate where we need to capitalize on that.

Anyway Worlee shared some pics with a link to the listing over as his Concerned Citizens of Chatham fb page.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Thank you Sen. Donne Trotter

Illinois State Capitol - Springfield
First I'm going to post this tweet from ABC 7. It was announced on Friday that state Sen. Donne Trotter - in the Illinois state Senate he's the assistant majority leader - is retiring from his seat. His resignation is effective immediately.
As the process normally goes Democratic committeemen in the 17th state senate district will have 30 days to select someone to fill the remainder of his term. Sen. Trotter's term would end in January 2019.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Ground Breaking for Chicago Public Library Whitney Young Media Center Renovation

Refer to the embed below that contaings renderings of the new Whitney Young branch from Worlee Glover's Concerned Citizens of Chatham fb page.

Ground Breaking for Chicago Public Library Whitney Young Media Center Renovation
  • Whitney Young Library
    7901 S King Dr
    Monday January 22, 2018

Thursday, January 18, 2018

CBS Chicago: Englewood school plan still a tough sell

[VIDEO] So there was a meeting with regards to the school plan for Englewood. As we know four high schools will close in Englewood and in 2019 a new school will be built and open for freshmen students. CBS 2 Chicago was there and had this story Wednesday night.

I was getting some hints of what happened at this meeting through Twitter. Will share a couple below.

I did say I wanted to share a couple of tweets, but how about a video from RAGE President Aysha Butler about the school plan. This is an fb vid.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Tribune: A lower black jobless rate. Somebody tell Illinois.

A recent Tribune editiorial, you might hit a paywell before you're able to read the whole thing:
The U.S. economy is in the ninth year of expansion. It will become the longest on record, surpassing the 1990s boom, if it reaches the second half of 2019. Growth, which had been unspectacular, perked up during President Donald Trump’s first year in office because businesses are investing more. Attribute their optimism to the tax reform deal and the administration’s focus on removing regulatory red tape.

With growth and investment come hiring: Employers added nearly 2.1 million jobs in 2017, the seventh year above 2 million. The benefits, though, aren’t equally shared. At 6.8 percent, the black unemployment rate nationwide is nearly twice as high as the 3.7 percent rate of white unemployment. Cue that 10-percent rate of black joblessness here: As more African-Americans in other states come off the unemployment rolls, many of those who live in Illinois are left behind.

In Chicago, the job situation in hollowed-out West and South side neighborhoods is dire. Manufacturers left long ago. There are few retail and restaurant jobs. All the economic activity is located miles away in the Loop and elsewhere in metropolitan Chicago. Too many young people have inadequate job training and … nothing to do. According to the Great Cities Institute at the University of Illinois at Chicago, more than 40 percent of 20-to-24-year-old black males in Chicago are out of work and out of school. Does a booming national economy ever touch Chicago’s most impoverished neighborhoods? Can young people be drawn out of urban isolation?
On a slightly related note via CapFax, I really can't believe the statements coming from Gov. Bruce Rauner. Does he really believe Michael Madigan has so much control of this state, as a mere state house speaker? Madigan is a bottle neck through the legislature, but he really thinks Madigan is in control of this state?
Anyway, can we solve the issue of few opportunities in the neighborhoods on the south and west sides of Chicago?

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The Future of Chatham Avalon Park Community Council (CAPCC)

The Chicago Neighborhoods
Check out the below essay written by our own Worlee Glover over at NextDoor. Here on this blog we have considered the state of Chatham's community based organizations. I wondered if there are too many organizations as at one point there had been three CBOs in Chatham - CAPCC, GCA, and Reunite Chatham.

Now using Worlee's words you see below, there's be a lack of direction at CAPCC since a whole new regime has taken over. Chatham is a great neighborhood - a bastion of the Black middle-class in Chicago - and well we see RAGE as an organization with a great vision. Perhaps a CBO in a Black middle-class neighborhood needs to take a page out of the book of RAGE who do have a number of successes in recent years.

Beyond that, what do you think of Worlee's essay.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Shooting at 90th & Ellis

[VIDEO] There was some action near 90th & Ellis this afternoon on this MLK Day. While on this YouTube video police exchange gunfire with suspects, the actual report by CBS 2 anchor Jim Williams states specifically that any exchange of gunfire is unconfirmed.

Another report from ABC 7 says that police officers on scene had returned fire from suspects. Also 2 suspects are in custody.

Here's a map of that area

The South Side Masonic Temple is under demolition

Thanks to AJ Latrace - formerly of Curbed Chicago - we learned that the demolition process for the South Side Masonic Temple at 64th & Green Streets in Englewood has began. There were some pics provided on Friday through his twitter page.
Sorry to see this wonderful building go, unfortunately it has proven to be unsafe for it to remain standing at its location. There had been some plans over the years for it's eventual reopening but sadly nothing came through and the building sadly is coming down. The temple will not experience a rebirth.

Also on Friday Rachel Kim shared a link to a South Side Weekly article that talks about the endangered buildings of Chicago. One of those buildings of course was this masonic temple in Englewood and it was written in 2015.
Finally David Schalliol showed us his own pics of the masonic temple before it's demolition during a much warmer period of time - hurry summer can't wait! His tweet was shared last month and lets the world know as Eric Allix Rogers had also that this building is slated for demolition in the future. What a shame.
What magnificent pics, especially the interior one - almost as if this was an urban exploration photo shoot. And I really liked that auditorium with the stage. With the right plan and the right amount of money it could've been a wonderful center of activity in Englewood once again.

However, now that the building is going away hopefully the community organizations of Englewood - especially RAGE can come up with a plan for this soon to be vacant lot. So what's next for this site?

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Obama Presidential Center faces opposition in Chicago

[VIDEO] This segment aired Thursday on FOX News' The Ingraham Angle. Well let's recognize that FOX News has their own bias of course, we know this as the "right-wing" news network. We find out through them that Obama's new library won't have any books or documents - which is what a presidential library is made for. So I do wonder what that's about, hopefully there's more to that.

In this segment here Laura Ingraham hosts briefly Charles Birnbaum of The Cultural Landscape Foundation. They discuss the opposition of the proposed library in Jackson Park near Hyde Park. Even though Birnbaum is in Florida for his remote, he's part of the opposition of those Chicago residents who oppose the Obama library plan for that site.

And again I hope in that tower that Ingraham refers to as ugly will contain a replica of the Obama's Oval Office. It's not just for me especially if I get to walk around in it, it's for those young people who I hope will be inspired to make a run for the Presidency in their futures. Meanwhile let's figure out what to do with this library.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Summer scene from CTA at 79th/Cottage Grove

I see the CTA is snapping pics in Chatham. This time at 79th Street & Cottage Grove with a bus dropping of passengers near the Happy Liquors there. We see that Cottage Grove looking south is getting ready for a repaving. This ig post was taken during the past summer.

We had a bitterly cold winter so far and it's not even half-way over. While we had a brief warm spell that melted the snow that fell over the holidays, the cold is expected to come back soon. Meanwhile we have this ig post to give us some summer dreams until it's that time again!

Chicago Tonight: How Gentrification Takes Shape Across Chicago Neighborhoods

How often is it that I share a video from the news program of WTTW, Chicago Tonight?

Today we take a look at a segment aired on Tuesday further discussing the "strategic gentrification" comments of Chris Kennedy - a member of the Kennedy family who's running for the Democrat nomination for Governor. On this segment the discussion is between Natalie Moore of WBEZ Radio and Lynda Lopez of Streetsblog.

If I may focus on Moore for a second if there is this so-called "strategic gentrification" she's not seeing it in the Black areas of Chicago:
“We see many challenges in black South and West Side neighborhoods,” Moore said. “I don’t dispute his evidence is there about the challenges that those neighborhoods are facing but we are not seeing a replacement of people in those neighborhoods. We’re seeing population decline.”
In the above video, she specifically notes that the people who are leaving these areas aren't being replaced by more affluent people.

Also want to note this comment written to this particular segment:
 Some historical perspective. In the 1960's , 70's and 80's , many of us baby boomers and yuppies, moved into and changed neighborhoods like Old Town, Lincoln Park ,, De Paul, Lakeview , what became Wrigleyville, Ravenswood, Lincoln Square and Uptown. These were old, crumbling neighborhoods with old housing that badly needed renovation and/or replacing . Many of us did that work, or paid to have it done or paid the increased rents that ; incentivised landlords and developers to have it done.. In the process we pushed out or priced out the poorer residents who lived there. We didn't ask the questions posed by Lynda Lopez such as what is our impact and should we be doing this. We knew what we doing. We were making better housing for ourselves in an urban environment, near to where we worked and not in suburbia. We were buying housing we could afford and building up personal equity in the process. I and many other had no regrets about who we replaced, priced out or pushed out. Its a good thing we didn't because in the process, we changed the North side and made it into what it is today: a part of the city that is growing and a destination for new residents and tourists alike. It also provided tax revenue to support the city's taxing and spending plans. Some of the existing residents saw what was happening, jumped on the improvement train and improved their lives. Others were content to sit on their porches , watch the changes until the rising tide of improvement and higher prices swept them away. Overall, this process was no different than what others had been doing in Chicago for almost 200 years . Chicago was built on real estate speculation, development, building and improvement. Navel gazing questions like those raised by Lopez in her self indulgent tweet such as "Should a white person move into Pilsen" "What will be impact if I do" run counter to the very essence of Chicago. These are not the kind of questions to be asking if this City is to grow and prosper. We cannot build walls around islands of stagnation and poverty and say "hands off ". If our city is lucky enough to get Amazon's second HQ waves of improvement and change are going to come fast and furious and everyone living here had better be ready to handle it. Those who cannot handle living in a capitalist city that is always changing and growing should find a tranquil backwater where they can live out their days in peace and mind numbing tranquility.
I wonder, what if someone with the resources in a depressed neighborhood could do the work necessary on their home. It could be mostly outside with work on windows, roof, sidewalks, garage, outward appearance, etc. It could also be inside work as far as plumbing, electrical, redecorating, etc. It's your property and it's in your best interest to do the work necessary to keep it up. Perhaps if you're concerned about being squeezed out that's the best thing one could do.

Regardless this whole "dreaded G word" angle still has us talking since Mr. Kennedy made those remarks.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Former President Obama tweaks plans for his library

[VIDEO] We have some updates to the Obama presidential library expected to be constructed in the future at the expansive Jackson Park. There were some complaints with regards to some of the plans per an article from Crain's Chicago embedded below with a tweet.
Here's another link via Curbed Chicago which further discusses the tweaks that was made in response to opposition to the plans for the library.
I hope there will be a replica of Obama's Oval Office - most other presidential libraries contain one. Right now it's not very likely that I'll see the oval office but at least I and the many visitors will come close to the oval office with this library. That'a assuming many of us don't want to visit the other libraries that are out there in the nation!

I wonder if there are any Hyde Park folks reading this blog. Is the presidential library taking shape for you?

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Portion of sales from Whole Foods Market donated to Comer Youth Center

Capitol Fax: Kennedy alleges 'gentrification plan'

Yesterday from the Capitol Fax, Rich Miller wrote a syndicated column about Chris Kennedy - who's running for Governor in the Democratic primary this year - and further discusses his comments last week with regards to "strategic gentrification". Please give it a read right quick and also do you agree.
To be fair and was noted in the column, the idea of getting "Black folks out of Chicago" is nothing new. A fringe mayoral candidate whom nobody likely remembers said this on her CAN-TV show - that nobody likely watched. So many years ago, and yet it's gotten some traction lately. 

Also the title you see for Miller's post at his blog, it's actually Kennedy's response to Superintendent Eddie Johnson. Kennedy clearly took issue with what he perception that Mayor Rahm Emanuel using his police chief to speak on the issue of crime - which Kennedy did refer to in his comments - as nothing more than political games.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Whole Foods Market distribution facility open in Pullman

This all occurred yesterday including the bread breaking which is what they do when they open new stores. For example they did the same thing upon opening the Whole Foods store at 63rd/Halsted. This is from the Mayor's ig page.
And also Elgie Sims - state representative of the 34th District for Illinois - was also in on the action and also posted a college of pics on his ig page also.

Monday, January 8, 2018

For What It's Worth: Every candidate but one draws an objection in 2nd Subcircuit race

I'm quite late to this post however Jack Leyhane - the blogmaster of For What It's Worth - covers the race for 2nd Subcircuit. Mainly the news is over objections to petitions, and recent entrant to this race 21st ward Ald. Howard Brookins scored himself two objections. Perhaps someone out there didn't like the fact that he pivoted towards a judicial election as opposed to taking on Bobby Rush for US House or Representatives.

This race is for the vacancy of Valerie Turner who was forced to give up her post when it was discovered she allowed a clerk to don judicial robes and preside over cases for traffic court. The clerk attorney Rhonda Crawford ran for judge in 1st subcircuit and won, however, was barred from taking the bench.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Throwback: New Year's Eve 2007

New Year's Eve 2007
On New Year's Eve 2007, I captured a few snapshots and posted three of them to the blog. The one shared above was of the sign at Seaway Bank which reflected a name change. I probably chose those three thanks to some then current events & changes at the time.

In 2008, Seaway National Bank of Chicago would become Seaway Bank & Trust Company in a re-branding. That's what you see here eventually the sign that has been outside of this branch probably since it opened in the 1960s (seen here) would ultimately be replaced. On this day however a simple tarp covers the bank's former official name.

Of course on that day 10 years ago, that wasn't the only shot I captured as I captured the sign of Illinois Service Federal bank near 87th & King Drive. During the summer of 2007, the bank had been robbed and a teller was killed. In recent years the bank robbers have been caught and ultimately convicted for the robbery and murder of a teller.

I also captured a shot of the Family Dollar - across from ISF bank - which was formerly a Food Basket grocery store. The Family Dollar at the time shocked me because I had little idea that the old grocery store had closed. With the Chesterfield Community Council at the time - as documented in their newsletters back then - were opposed to the Family Dollar being there and advocated instead for another grocery store to move in. Unfortunately as happens with real estate and business for whoever owns this property, it's possible getting the rent was more important than who exactly moves in later.

If it wasn't so cold out this New Year's and with snow on the ground, I would've liked to have re-enacted some of these shots and even taken some additional ones on New Year's Eve 2017. From Cottage Grove to King Drive at least, there has been a lot of changes on that stretch

Friday, January 5, 2018

Herbert Hedgeman RIP

On the weekend of New Year's we learned of the passing of businessman Herbert Hedgeman. If you don't remember a few years ago there was a proposal for a hotel near 76th & State which was largely rejected forcing him to shelve his project.

I posted a pic of his image - attributed to the late DNA Info - on our ig page although I would like to also include the posting over at Worlee Glover's Concerned Citizens of Chatham.
I hope that there is another local entrepreneur who will start where Mr. Hedgement left off!

Thursday, January 4, 2018

The discussion of "strategic gentrification" continues

This time another angle as shown on the Capitol Fax blog today. Part of this strategic gentrification advanced by Democrat gubernatorial candidate Chris Kennedy - and yes he's related to the late President John F. Kennedy - at a news conference yesterday. His point, the fact that Black Chicago is in decline due to population because there is a strategic plan involved.
For example the angle in question, the four Englewood high school - which are generally under-enrolled are slated to close at the end of the school year - in favor of a new high school set to open in 2019 for freshmen. One aspect of this "strategic gentrification" are to close schools in minority areas such as Englewood.

As you see over at the Capitol Fax, we see a series of tweets by members of the Chicago Teacher's Union taking on this issue of closing the four Englewood high schools Harper, Hope, Teamwork Englewood & Robeson. The comments Kennedy - who was involved with the massive Merchandise Mart building downtown - has touched a nerve as he specifically directed his comments towards Mayor Rahm Emanuel yesterday. Some of the comments seemed to support Kennedy running for Mayor of Chicago next year.

Also, reported today on the Capitol Fax blog Kennedy appears to be backing down from his statements yesterday. He was on a radio show to somewhat clarify his remarks although he may not have been forceful, he chose to be a bit more artful in his clarification. Though Miller believes that Kennedy his backing away from his comments of course his campaign disputes this.


Black Caucus Chair on the decline of Black Chicago

6th Ward Alderman Roderick Sawyer is also chairman of the city council Black Caucus and distributed a statement on Black population loss through his campaign FB page on Tuesday. So the decline of Black Chicago is on the mind of Black aldermen.
What say you on this? Is Sawyer correct in pointing the finger at Gov. Rauner? Do you think he should just easily point his finger at Mayor Rahm Emanuel or some of his city council colleagues?

Is there "strategic gentrification" in Chicago?

Yesterday at the Capitol Fax we see that Chris Kennedy - and if you want to know yes he's a member of that family Kennedy family related to the late President John F. Kennedy - made some comments. He believes in "strategic gentrification" so guess what in 2018 a return to the "dreaded G word".

From the Sun-Times:
If businessman Chris Kennedy is to have any chance of winning the Democratic nomination for governor, he needs to get black voters excited about his candidacy.

With that clearly in mind, Kennedy turned his sights Wednesday on Mayor Rahm Emanuel, accusing the mayor of being part of a “strategic gentrification plan” to intentionally push black residents out of the city.

“We’re cutting off money for schools, cutting off money for police, allowing people to be forced to live in food deserts, closing hospitals, closing access to mental health facilities,” Kennedy told reporters during a news conference that began as a criticism of the city’s efforts to stop gun violence.

“What choice do people have but to move, to leave, and I think that’s part of a strategic gentrification plan being implemented by the city of Chicago to push people of color out of the city,” he continued.
Pressed further, Kennedy said: “I believe that black people are being pushed out of Chicago intentionally by a strategy that involves disinvestment in communities being implemented by the city administration.”
Then he states who he blames for this:
Asked who is behind this alleged plan, Kennedy pointed to Emanuel.

“I believe in the tone at the top,” he said. “I believe the mayor is aware of what’s going on, and I think he is allowing that to occur and in some ways encouraging it.”
“And I believe Rahm Emanuel is the head of the city administration and therefore needs to be held responsible for those outcomes.”
What do you all think? Is this all politics? Is this something that will spice up the Democratic primary for Governor this year? Do you think Kennedy is right about "strategic gentrification"?

Also check out the reaction over at the CapFax. We see statements by Rahm Emanuel & Superintendent in reaction to Kennedy's comments. Also check out the comments section, who thinks Chris Kennedy should run for mayor if this Governor's thing doesn't work. Mayor Emanuel needs a challenger. :P
BTW, when you think about it sharing this is a great companion to this morning's post about South Loop winning the Curbed Cup 2017. South Loop is a changing neighborhood or we could say gentrifying since the 2000s at least.

ALSO, here's another tweet from WGN's political editor Tahman Bradley

South Loop wins the 2017 Curbed Cup

Via The Chicago Neighborhoods
Congrats to the South Loop. It's a great neighborhood with many things happening and it doesn't hurt that it's on the southern outskirts of downtown Chicago. It's a vibrant neighborhood with great activity and perhaps an example of how to turn around an area that for many years had been depressed.

If you want to follow more of what's going on in the South Loop check out Sloopin - A South Loop blog. They will let you know especially of any new businesses - whether national chains or small/locally owned establishments that set up shop there. It's a great blog if you want to see what goes on in another south side neighborhood. Yes I do consider South Loop a south side neighborhood.

Here's the tweet to announce the Curbed Cup results for 2017 from Curbed Chicago.

Woodlawn made it to the finals and didn't quite make it to repeat last year. That's OK because Woodlawn is still a neighborhood to watch for the future, it's another neighborhood that for many years had been depressed and today it's being built back up.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

5 after 5 at Whole Foods Market Englewood

The following post was on the Englewood store's ig page promoting their weekly Friday event at that store located near 63rd & Halsted. Goes from 5 PM to 7 PM and on this occasion will have DJ Dap for music. This event features as you will see below wine tasting and food. Enjoy one of the first events of 2018!

Joe Zekas R.I.P.

 Joe Zekas ran the real estate news website YoChicago . If you have been following that site and their social media channels i.e. YouTube o...