Friday, January 24, 2020

Fire destroys food pantry #Ward09

[VIDEO] Been quite a while since I've shared a local story on this blog. On Monday there was a fire in Roseland near 111th/Michigan where a church operated a food pantry. You see the story above from WGN.

There is a GoFundMe drive page [CLICK HERE] for this church and also it was reported that Rev. Jesse Jackson is pledging help for this church as well. From ABC 7

Man fatally Shot In The Pharmacy Drive-Thru 0n 75th & State

[VIDEO] Here's a story from the Tribune:
A man was shot and killed as he sat in his SUV in a Walgreens drive-through lane in the Chatham neighborhood on the South Side, according to Chicago police.

Kendredge Dillard, 27, was shot in the head around 9:50 p.m. in the first block of East 75th Street by someone in a black sedan, police said. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Dillard lived about a mile away in the 8000 block of South Stewart Avenue.

A female with him was taken to St. Bernard Hospital with minor injuries from flying glass flying, police said.

No one was in custody.

A beige SUV, its front doors open, was the focus of the crime scene that stretched between the Walgreens and South State Street. Both of the doors’ windows were mostly shot out. Officers shined flashlights into the SUV and on the slushy ground around it. One of them kicked over a lump of snow to see what was underneath.
As always be very careful out there! 

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

CapFax: Unity facade cracks as Lightford lashes out

To be honest I hate to see stories about this. Sometimes I wish politics can just run like a machine, unfortunately we're dealing with people. People have their own agendas.

So the story via Capitol Fax about state Sen. Kimberly Lightford's attempts to become the presiding officer of the Illinois State Senate being derailed by the efforts of former Senate president Emil Jones. It's about her failure just about a decade ago to support another Black state senate to become Senate president.
I think for now enough about what's going on at the state capitol in Springfield.

Monday, January 20, 2020

We have a new IL Senate President

IL State Senate Chambers - Randy von Liski
There is an update to who will become the next Senate President. I learned last week that it's between state Sen. Kimberly Lightford & Sen. Don Harmon. Sen. Elgie Sims was another person who threw his name in the hat for the presiding officer and essentially Democrat leader (Dems are in the majority) of the state senate, however, he withdrew and backed Lightford (who's also the Senate Dems Majority Leader).

Sunday it was reported that Don Harmon who represents Oak Park amongst other cities in his 39th District will succeed the outgoing John Cullerton as Senate President.

I've linked to CapFax often over the years and among other sources it's a great resource to follow state politics. Rich Miller provided a post for live coverage and then showed a post about reaction to Harmon's ascension.


Friday, January 17, 2020

Capitol Fax: Senate President preview

IL State Senate Chamber - Raymond Cunningham
Sharing this on the blog since earlier this week it was in the news that state Sen. Elgie Sims (D-17) had been running for Senate President only to withdraw and endorse his colleague state Sen. Kimberly Lightford for that role. Lightfoot is vying for the spot to be vacated by current President Sen. John Cullterton with state Sen. Don Harmon.

The vote is expected to take place on Sunday according to the preview from CapFax. What you see here seems like high stakes. Typical politics I suppose....

Want to work in Springfield with the Illinois House Democrat caucus?

Probably more of a criticism from CapFax, however, for those of you who have a passion for politics this is very worthwhile. Of course many of these positions requires working in Springfield, the state capital. Check here to see what's available.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

South Halsted corridor enhancements


[VIDEO] The reason I'm sharing this is that any opportunities we have to improve transportation on the south side is worthwhile whether we have bus rapid transit on Halsted or we extend the CTA Red Line further south.

The video above is of a recent meeting about bus rapid transit by Pace Bus and CTA on South Halsted St. Block Club Chgo got more on this.
South Side commuters got their first glimpse at proposed changes coming to the South Halsted Bus Corridor during last week’s public meeting at Woodson Public Library.

Transit officials from the Chicago Transit Authority and PACE were on hand to field questions about the project and Pulse, PACE’s rapid transit network introduced last summer in an effort to modernize facilities and increase ridership.

They also received input from customers, who will have the biggest say on all potential improvements planned for the 11-mile corridor, one of the busiest in the city.

The total cost of the project is $52-$72 million, with Pulse station upgrades costing $500,000 each and buses costing $400,000 each, according to PACE Chief Communications Officer Maggie Daly Skogsbakken.

The two agencies unveiled several possible changes for the South Halsted Bus Corridor, each of which would ease the flow of traffic and reduce travel time between 5 and 10 percent.

The first option would call for parking spaces to only be repurposed at intersections, shaving travel time by 5 percent. The second option would replace a travel lane for bus lanes between 129th and 154th Streets. The third includes Option Two, with bus lanes between 98th and 129th Street replacing on-street parking, reducing travel time by 10 percent.

Potential Pulse station enhancements include heated shelters, customizable shelter panels, landscaping and trash receptacles and an 11- to 12-inch raised platform with heated pavement that would allow for level boarding. Buses would also get a Wi-Fi upgrade.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Sen. Sims report in dispute????

I guess it's in dispute from the CapFax report yesterday. Rich Miller emphatically makes clear that he stands by reports that Sen. Sims is quitting his race for state senate president and endorsing his colleague Sen. Kimberly Lightford as she runs against yet another colleague Sen. Don Harmon.
BTW, Miller had talked to Sen. Sims to confirm stated in today's post.

Sen. Elgie Sims withdraws from race for state Senate President

State Capitol Springfield, IL via kurtsj00
Last year, Senate President John Cullerton stated his intention to retire before the end of his term from his seat and leadership position. The means the Illinois Senate has to elect a new Senate President. I'm sure there was speculation once Cullerton made his announcement last year, but I never had any idea that 17th District state Senator Elgie Sims threw his hat in the ring.

On Monday via CapFax, he will withdraw from contention and intends to endorse state Senator Kimberly Lightford. The only other person who's seeking the Senate President seat is state Sen. Don Harmon.
Just bear in mind over a decade ago that his predecessor Emil Jones had also retired before the end of his term and not long before the elevation of former state Senator Barack Obama who later became President of the United States. Cullerton was elected Senate President just in time to preside over the impeachment of Governor Rod Blagojevich.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Sinkhole in South Shore

[VIDEO] Happy New Year everyone!

We had a storm over the weekend. It wreaked havoc on our lakefront especially as the park district put up barriers on areas they control to ensure public safety. I also saw some footage on ig that showed the water from Lake Michigan beating up the shore especially in South Shore.

Here's a story from over the weekend from WGN about a sinkhole in South Shore on 73rd.

Further inland I'm sure most of us fared better. Beyond this we've had a relatively mild winter so far. And we're approaching two months before the start of spring.

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Happy New Year 2020


Usually I'd end the year with a round-up of stories political or neighborhood news just to show what happened during the course of the year in this case 2019. I let time fly on doing that this year and now this is just a post wishing you well in not only a new year and a new decade.

It's still hard to believe this blog is more than a decade old, however' I'm looking forward to the new adventures that we might see on this blog.

2019 brought a number of changes to our city and to the state, especially politically. 2020 is a pivotal year with a new census coming up, and that proved to be controversial once it was time to redraw the ward map. Indeed with Lori Lightfoot as mayor once we get census numbers in it's time to redraw the map yet again. However, we got time for that next year.

Meanwhile before you go party and bring in the new year we open up the floor. Perhaps there's something we failed to cover this year. Perhaps there's a story you want us to know about from the past year. Leave a comment for us or otherwise hit our social media handles.

Once again Happy New Year! 

Saturday, December 28, 2019

New Year's Eve free CTA rides

Something you may have seen during the week.
The Chicago Transit Authority announced Thursday it will be offering free rides to passengers the evening of New Year's Eve, in an effort to promote a safe and responsible holiday celebration.

Between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. Dec. 31, customers will not need to touch their Ventra or personal bankcards at rail stations turnstiles or while boarding buses, according to a statement from CTA.

Signs will be posed reminding passengers of the free ride period, CTA said.

"It is my sincere hope the availability of safe, free rides on the CTA this New Year's Eve will mean a healthy, happy holiday for all Chicagoans," CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr said. "We wish all riders a safe and happy New Year and encourage them to allow CTA to take the wheel tonight."

As in previous years, no refunds will be issued to customers who elect to touch their fare cards or use other forms of payment during the period.
I saw an article last year about discounted rides from Uber or Lyft so feel free to check those out if you plan to party on New Years Eve 2019. 

Friday, December 6, 2019

ABC 7 Chicago: Motorcyclist killed in Bishop Ford hit-and-run on way home from watching Bears game, suspect charged with DUI

Very sad story:
A motorcyclist was killed in a hit-and-run crash on the Bishop Ford Freeway in Chicago Friday morning and a driver has been arrested and charged with DUI, Illinois State Police said.

The crash occurred in the inbound Bishop Ford at 111th Street just before 2 a.m. Police said the motorcyclist was struck and killed by a car and the driver of the car did not stop.

The motorcycle driver, a 42-year-old man, was transported to Roseland Hospital and later died. Friends identified him as Eric Smith.

The victim was watching the Bears game Thursday night according to friends and was heading home. His girlfriend was apparently trailing him in a car not far behind and witnessed him get hit as the other driver sped away.

"He was getting off there with his girlfriend trailing him so she's very distraught because she was able to witness the whole thing," said Percy Hope, the victim's friend.

The driver of the car was later taken into custody at 103rd Street and Stony Island Avenue and charged with DUI, police said. Police have not released the driver's name.
As always be careful out there! 

Monday, December 2, 2019

Chicago Police superintendent fired

Via Newsalert

I feel if this has been brewing anyway. With that incident of him slumped in his vehicle and news that he intends to retire at the end of the year. The situation seemed suspicious and orchestrated.

Either way we know there will be someone else at the top of the police department.


Saturday, November 30, 2019

Englewood Brews

[VIDEO] This new company is expected to open up shop in a space located across the street from the Whole Foods Market Englewood store at 63rd & Halsted Streets.

I've been wanting to share this video and an article from Block Club Chi which reports that the owners are hoping to raise money to further build out their space in Englewood.

As with the Whole Foods store in Englewood that opened in 2016 best wishes to Englewood Brews owners Lesley Roth and Steve Marchese.

CTA capital budget includes investment in the Red Line Extension


Got this e-mail this week from CTA regarding the Red Line extension
On November 20, 2019, the Chicago Transit Board approved a $1.57 billion operating budget that preserves existing bus and rail service levels, while continuing the agency’s unprecedented efforts to modernize its infrastructure and improve the CTA travel experience for customers.

CTA’s 2020 capital budget includes a commitment to invest $310 million into the $2.3 billion Red Line Extension (RLE) project, which will extend the Red Line south by 5.3 miles and include four new, fully accessible stations at 103rd Street, 111th Street, Michigan Avenue, and 130th Street. This is the single most significant funding contribution that CTA has ever made towards the RLE project, and will fund work efforts, including engineering and design activities, to help position the RLE project to receive federal funding.

The 2020 Budget Recommendations book is posted on CTA's web site under Finance & Budget and is available here.
Two photographs were with the email one of which I will show you here. It advertised CTA's efforts to connect with those stakeholders with regards to this future project. You might recognize one face in the photograph long time leader in West Chesterfield Michael LaFargue.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

State's Attorney Kim Foxx kicks off her re-election bid

[VIDEO] I saw this video over at Capitol Fax last night and I retweeted her campaign kick-off vid on Twitter. Before she was first elected in 2016 defeating incumbent Anita Alverez, I really didn't know much about her. This video is a good introduction to her if you know little about her background. Of course we should know her or any candidates background before they get elected to a public office.

Is Kim Foxx your vote next year for re-election as State's Attorney? Are there any reasons why you wouldn't support her?