Monday, July 29, 2019

CBS Chicago: Off-Duty CPD Officer Injured By Suspected Drunk Driver On Dan Ryan

[VIDEO] You might have seen this on the CBS 2 over the weekend. An off-duty police officer in a car accident on the Dan Ryan near 79th Street. The driver that hit him was charged with DUI, you will see him in this report struggling with a sobriety test.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

NHS Chicago ribbon cutting/grand opening of new south side housing services hub #6WardChicago

I saw this via Nextdoor over the weekend. Sorry to have not been able to advertise this in advance. There were posts from NHS Chicago and Ald. Sawyer on their respective ig pages. The new NHS office is located on the first floor of the Seaway National Bank building on 645 E. 87th Street or actually the office is given an address of 639 E. 87th Street.

The interesting part about the space that NHS now takes up is that for many old timers it used to be the offices for ComEd where customers can pay their electric bill and get a few complimentary light bulbs. It also had been the offices of Seaway National Bank's loan department once ComEd moved out of this space.

Update to the fatal incident at 69th Street from last month

[VIDEO] Here's an update from last month's fatal incident at 69th/State. A CTA Red Line train had fatally struck a commuter who got down to the tracks to retrieve her cell phone.

The video above from CBS Chicago is of the victim's family who spoke out once the news of the CTA motorman or operator being fired from his job as a result of this incident. It aired on the 6:00 PM newscast on Friday.

This report is from the Chicago Tribune which also had video of that said motorman who is seen looking away from the tracks ahead:

Friday, July 26, 2019

And 2nd City Cop doesn't disappoint...

I knew that the blog written for and by Chicago Police officers would offer their perspectives on Mayor Lightfoot's comments directed towards a Fraternal Order of Police official and of course the dustup over the background checks for those who speak at police board meetings.

Here's the post about the "clown" remark caught on a hot mic from Mayor Lightfoot. Oh 2nd City Cop calls her "Groot" that's not nice.

And they discuss the story about background check for members of the public who sign up and speak at police board meetings. It's interesting to learn hear that if you choose to speak to the Chicago City Council they also do background checks.

What other government agencies that offer public meetings do background checks? Why were only the police board meetings singled out?

A proposal for CTA fares to ride Metra
There is a proposal to make riding Metra's Rock Island and Electric lines as affordable as a CTA fare. Would this make some of you more likely to take Metra to where you need to go? Via Curbed Chicago
A plan to reduce fares and boost service on Metra rail lines serving Chicago’s Far South Side and southern suburbs is building momentum. Officials hope cheaper and more frequent service on Metra’s Electric District and the Rock Island District lines will reverse declining ridership.

If realized, the move would cut ticket prices from the current level of $4 to $5.50 down to $2.50—the same price as a ride on the CTA’s L system. Details such as timing and any financial subsidies from Cook County are still being ironed out, the Chicago Tribune reported this earlier week. Officials are also exploring offering free Ventra transfers between Metra, CTA, and Pace.

A recent mobility study found that although southern Cook County has a higher proportion of transit-dependent residents, the area is lagging when it comes to transit access. Cheaper fares and more frequent service could boost ridership by as much as 33 percent and even lead to a net increase in revenue, according to the study.
I hope they can follow this up with some plans to upgrade some of the Metra stations - especially on the Metra Electric line. Then again we would have to see if these stations see an increase in activity.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Wentworth/Vincennes - 1958 #tbt

Last year I posted a video that showed the last run of CTA's streetcars 61 years ago. The last CTA streetcar was routed from downtown to Vincennes-77th Street now CTA bus route 24. From Chicago History Today (published this on that blog this past March) here's  how the intersection of Vincennes/Wentworth used to look.
From Chicago History Today - Vincennes/Wentworth 1958
Of course if you click through you will see that same place as seen today. I know things change, but I see back in the day a seemingly vibrant neighborhood. It's unbelievable that we're looking at the south side here.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Capitol Fax: “I’m sorry that I said it out loud”

Speaking of the police a hot mic comment was caught from the Mayor with regards to a Fraternal Order of Police official. It's embarrassing and has me wondering if Lightfoot who has been our mayor since May of this year is feeling the stress already. And evidently she went off on another man who wanted her attention as he sought attention for the murders of 75 south side women that he claimed was never seriously investigated by the police.

You can read the round-up at the Capitol Fax

For years, Chicago Police ran secret background checks on people who signed up to speak at public meetings.

Heard about this over the radio this morning. You engage in your first amendment right especially to speak before a governmental body and someone presumably before you speak decides to check you out before you speak. And this is assuming that you never stood before this body to speak, ever.
Documents obtained by the Tribune under a public records request show the Police Department gathered the details on nearly 60 people in advance of their speaking at monthly meetings of the Chicago Police Board since at least January 2018. A police spokesman said the background checks go back further, to at least 2013.

The checks appear to be extensive, with police searching at least one internal department database to determine if speakers have arrest or prison records, warrants outstanding for their arrest, investigative alerts issued for them by the department and even if they’re registered sex offenders or missing persons. Police also searched comments that speakers had previously made on YouTube or on their Facebook and Twitter accounts, among other internet sites, the documents show.

Among those subjected to background checks were a woman who alleged she was sexually assaulted decades ago by a Chicago police officer, a community activist who gained prominence after the fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald by a police officer and a 77-year-old man known for his frequent, flamboyant rants on a variety of topics at public meetings across the city.

In an interview Tuesday afternoon, Mayor Lori Lightfoot slammed the background checks, saying she had been unaware of the practice when she chaired the Police Board before her run for mayor.

Describing herself as “furious and incredulous,” Lightfoot told the Tribune that she had ordered an immediate stop to the background checks and said the Police Department owes the public an apology.

“I want to make sure that we get to the bottom of this and understand who is responsible,” the mayor said in her fifth-floor office.
Here's what our police superintendent said about these checks:
Later Tuesday, as he left a City Hall meeting with Lightfoot on policing strategies, police Superintendent Eddie Johnson punted when asked if the background checks should have taken place.

“To be quite honest, nobody did anything with it,” Johnson told a Tribune reporter.

But he made it clear the practice has come to an end.

“I don’t think we have a reason at this point to continue it," said Johnson, who often attends Police Board meetings with members of his command staff. "It’s done.”

The current Police Board chairman, Ghian Foreman, also blasted the background checks, saying the nine-member board found the practice “incomprehensible.”
Now I want to know what 2nd City Cop says about this, if they choose to say anything.

h/t Newsalert

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Capitol Fax: Stop arguing and get to work

On Rich Miller's blog on Friday he does a round-up of police stories in Chicago. He starts off with a feud brewing between the top two vote getters in this year's mayoral runoff which resulted in Lightfoot getting the nod for the 5th floor.

All the same there was a letter from county board president Toni Preckwinkle circulating complaining about how Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson tracks gun crimes and  to"stop misleading the public about why gun violence remains a challenging problem in Chicago". Which leads to repeating the mayoral runoff earlier this year.

Finally the big news from earlier this week four police officers were fired from their jobs for the cover-up with regards to the murder of LaQuan McDonald.

Quite a few interesting series of stores with regards to the Chicago Police recently. I do hope that Mayor Lightfoot and president Preckwinkle can stop campaigning and work on these police issues. And to quote Miller: "This fight is so tedious. People are dying in the street and “leaders” are relitigating the election."

As the post title states stop arguing and get to work

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Capitol Fax: Lightfoot picks five casino sites outside downtown

Very interesting to see the other proposed sites for casinos in Chicago. Some of those sites are nearby such as the old South Works sites or along the Bishop Ford (Calumet) Expressway among any proposed sites.
I know that this has been discussed over the years even through if I recall lately the Daley Adminstration (and I don't remember if Rahm Emanuel ever seriously discussed casinos), however, my thought has always been that a casino shouldn't just be downtown. It should be in the neighborhoods and especially in a neighborhood that could use a "boost".

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Finally caught that little gator

[VIDEO] A long way from the south side, but that alligator that was lurking in the ponds of Humboldt Park on the north side has finally been caught. It was lurking those ponds for a week and caught the attention of the entire city.

Friday, July 12, 2019

A former Alderman hit with a federal search warrant

Former Ald. Michael R. Zalewski retired from the city council over a year ago, unfortunately, he's another alderman (well former Alderman) who's been hit with federal search warrants. You can find more articles on this if you click through to Newsalert.

From the reports I've seen it's not known why the feds are looking into former Ald. Zalewski, however, what's noted especially by the Sun-Times is that he's had some issues with the I.R.S.

Now I wonder if anymore current or former Aldermen are under the eye of federal authorities.

Open house #6WardChicago

Sorry for the late notice on this, however, for those of you who live in Ward 6 there is an open house with Ald. Roderick Sawyer tomorrow Saturday, July 13, 2019. Here's an ig post from 6 Ward Chicago

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Family of woman struck by train at 69th on Thursday speaks out

[VIDEO] The sister of the victim - Felon Smith - of last Thursday's fatal incident at 69th Street on the CTA Red Line speaks out with regards to leaked surveillance footage of this tragic incident. Smith wasn't able to get back up to the train platform after going onto the tracks to find her cell phone.

Also of issue is the evils of social media which the sister also speaks out on. I believe social media is a great tool and certainly allows everyday people a platform unfortunately a lot of awful comments can be said by a variety of people who know very little of the situation itself. With this said I'm glad I never saw any negative comments of this incident and just stop my thoughts on this at a woman got hit by a train looking for her phone.

Also another issue discussed the above video from CBS 2 is the staffing at these stations. I don't imagine that most stations on CTA are staffed with a lot of people even at peak times. As seen in the stills of the leaked surveillance video there was a K9 security person nearby Smith before the train came, what's not clear if that individual was on duty for CTA at that moment.

I want to reiterate what's stated from the CTA's website that if you drop something of value onto the tracks you should find a CTA employee to retrieve it for you. This tragic incident will keep me off the tracks!

CBS Chicago: Carnival Set Up Near Dan Ryan Expressway Causes Safety Concerns

[VIDEO] While this carnival will be leaving on July 2nd, we see a local resident concerned enough about the closure of Lafayette Avenue and the clearance for traffic going onto the Dan Ryan Expressway. We also see some aspects of the measures made by the company Modern Midways to insure the safety of those who choose to patronize this carnival.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Shooting near 87th & Dan Ryan on Saturday

[VIDEO] This was news from Satuday a shooting at the 87th & Dan Ryan shopping center and also noted was the carnival nearby on Lafayette Avenue. I just had to find more than the above video from CBS 2 about this shooting.
The most recent shooting happened about 2:40 p.m. in the first block of East 87th Street in the Chatham neighborhood. According to preliminary reports, a 21-year-old man was in a parking lot when a vehicle approached and someone inside fired shots in his direction, police said.

He was struck in the abdomen, and taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center where his condition was stabilized, police said.

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...