Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Capitol Fax: Today's Number 30 years

Actually this was posted to Rich Miller's blog yesterday, however, it talks about the health disparities between the wealthy near downtown neighborhood of Streeterville and the low-income south side neighborhood Englewood. Based upon a report that shows that residents of both neigborhoods had a very divergent life expectancy.

Friday, June 21, 2019

It's time for the US Census again...

It's about to be that time for the US Census again. State government is already getting ready for outreach for the US Census that takes place every 10 years. 2020 is the year, and we somewhat remember what happened as a result of the 2010 census.
Also from yesterday's CapFax blog, the Chicago area is getting older and less white

Thursday, June 20, 2019

#tbt 87th & Langely street renaming

[VIDEO] In June 2015 I was present for a ceremony that renamed Langley Avenue east of the main branch of Seaway National Bank for it's late & former longtime chairman Jacoby Dickens. I recorded the unveiling of the sign revealing "Honorary Jacoby Dickens Way" which was a bit of a blooper when his widow Veranda Dickens attempted to pull off the cover for the sign and the string snapped. Presumably a bank employee pulled the cover off to the excitement of those who witnessed these festivities.

The event you see above occurred during the year of Seaway Bank's 50th anniversary. It was under the new chairwoman Veranda Dickens who decided to take over the bank not long after Jacoby Dickens had passed away. And some notable thoughts from this events.

Since his names seems to be in the news a lot as of late the former chairman of the city council Ed Burke was at this events and gave some remarks. Unfortunately I have footage, but somehow I have no audio of his remarks. I do recall, however, that once this event was over with he got into an unmarked car that he wasn't driving to leave.

Ms. Dickens remarked with regards to Seaway's location. I do recall she says she doesn't mind the sounds of sirens as an vehicle (presumably an ambulance) did pass by during the program that occurred before unveiling the street sign. Her then President and CEO was also there and made his remarks regarding this occasion unfortunately by the fall he would leave his position.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel wasn't present for this and instead sent someone from his office a deputy mayor to give remarks. I'm searching through my archives to see if I have any footage of this surrogate from the mayor's office at that time.

As you see above Ald Sawyer was there, the bank is in his ward at the time. I don't recall if he himself gave any remarks and I'm looking for any footage if had given any remarks.

Finally, I have to conclude with Seaway failing in January 2017. Currently the bank is now under the ownership of Self Help FCU. It's sad when you consider this event that honored the long-time chairman and owner of Seaway National Bank.

CBS Chicago: Gunman In CTA Bus Shooting Caught On Camera

[VIDEO]  Here's one update to the shooting on the 75th Street bus on Monday evening from CBS 2 that aired Wednesday morning. This shooting injured three people unfortunately in this latest report we don't know the conditions of those victims.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

What are the feds looking for in #Ward34?

I found this through CapFax this evening, Crain's political writer Greg Hinz looks into the executive of a search warrant by federal authorities on Ald. Carrie Austin's Ward 34 offices.
According to a knowledgeable source close to the matter, the feds are not looking at alleged official misuse of the office as they were with Ald. Edward Burke, 14th, who has been accused of racketeering and extortion of builders and others. Rather, the current probe relates to use of campaign money, of which Austin had plenty as (until recently) chairwoman of the powerful City Council Budget Committee.

The feds specifically are examining business deals, in both the city and suburbs, involving Austin and members of her staff, my source says. The investigation has been going on for “many months,” is said to be “very solid” and may head in some directions that have not yet become public.

My source says Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who pushed Austin out as Budget Committee chair when the new City Council handed out leadership slots last month, was not specifically aware of the coming raid or charges. If Lightfoot had known, she might not have worked to get Austin the chairmanship of another, if lesser, committee, on contract oversight and equity.
I just had to share this CBS 2 video on the "office raid" on Ald. Austin that aired earlier in the afternoon on the 5 PM broadcast. [VIDEO]

Sun-Times: FBI agents raid ward office of Ald. Carrie Austin #Ward34

I was shocked to see this to be honest:
FBI agents executed a search warrant Wednesday morning on the Far South Side ward office of Ald. Carrie Austin (34th).

The search marks the latest step in ongoing, widespread federal investigations of Chicago aldermen.

Three aldermen who were once the City Council’s most powerful — Edward M. Burke, Danny Solis and now Austin — have either been charged or implicated in the biggest scandal in the City Council’s sordid history of corruption.

So far, Burke (14th) has been indicted on political corruption charges, and former Ald. Solis (25th) has cooperated with the investigation by wearing a wire for the feds and secretly recording conversations. Burke has denied any wrongdoing, and Austin has not been charged with any crimes. Austin, 70, is second in seniority on the City Council after Burke.

After the Sun-Times first reported that Solis was wearing a wire, Austin told reporters: “Not about Danny. I might cry,” Austin said. “You don’t do that. You just don’t.”
I was hoping there was any video anywhere on this raid. All I could find was this video on twitter from CBS 2's Megan Hickey who was outside of Ald. Austin's offices as federal authorities executed their search warrant
Since we hit upon her response to knowlegde that now former Alderman Danny Solis was wearing a wire to cooperate with federal authorities I see this from fellow Aldermen regarding Ald. Austin:
Austin’s fellow aldermen — including veterans who have served alongside her for years—were keeping their heads down Wednesday afternoon and their mouths shut about the raid on Austin’s ward office.

Aldermen privately complained that the raid on Austin’s office has strengthened the mayor’s hand when it comes to her new drive to strip aldermen of their iron-fisted control over zoning and create an independent commission to redraw Chicago’s ward boundaries to coincide with the 2020 U.S. Census.

Hours after taking office, Lightfoot signed an executive order ending aldermanic prerogative over zoning and permitting. She needs City Council approval to implement a similar change over zoning. Until Wednesday, the City Council was expected to put up a fight.
Not to make a prediction because who knows how these search warrants, informants wearing a wire, indictments and other parts of the justice system process shakes out. However, I got to say if this sticks and Ald. Austin has some dirt for an indictment in addition to whatever Burke and Solis might face once they go through their trials we're going to have a city councils shake-up! 

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

CBS Chicago: Three People Injured In CTA Bus Shooting In Chatham, Officials Say

[VIDEO] You might have seen this report from the University of Chicago medical center on last night's 10 PM news on CBS 2. An update to yesterday's story on a shooting on a CTA 75th bus along side the Dan Ryan Expressway on State Street near 77th street. The three victims who were injured in this shooting have been hospitalized.

Monday, June 17, 2019

ABC 7 Chicago: 2 shot on CTA bus on South Side

I saw the scene from the red line passing just north of 79th Street. If only I had my phone out to record the scene. I saw police cars blocking off the streets where the bus was located.
The next question is what happened on that bus?
 The shooting happened on a northbound 75 bus near East 77th Street and South State Street in the Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood at around 6:30 p.m.

Police said an 18-year-old woman and a 19-year-old man were taken to University of Chicago Hospital in critical condition.

The man was shot multiple times in the chest, fire officials said. The woman was shot in the legs and her condition has been stabilized.
Here's some footage of the scene from ABC 7 shot from a helicopter.

UPDATE: Here's a tweet from CBS 2's Greg Kelly

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Tribune: Aldermen introduce plan to hike Chicago's minimum wage to $15 in 2021

Introduced in today's session of the Chicago City Council:
Chicago’s minimum wage would increase to $15 in 2021, four years earlier than in the rest of the state, under a proposal aldermen introduced to the City Council on Wednesday.

South Side Ald. Sophia King, 4th, said the higher cost of living in the city than downstate makes the quicker bump necessary. “That is why we are here today,” King said at a news conference to announce the ordinance.

The “Raise Chicago” ordinance would increase the city’s minimum wage to $14 on July 1, 2020, and to $15 on July 1, 2021.

New Mayor Lori Lightfoot has been supportive of the idea of a $15 Chicago minimum wage.

While business groups have argued that the higher wages could lead to layoffs, King said studies have shown no impact on employment levels as minimum wages go up.
In the rest of the state, the minimum wage is expected to go up to $15/hr by 2025. In the city mimimum wage is expected to max out at $13/hr by next month.

Friday, June 7, 2019

The old Gately's store, ruined... #Ward09

[VIDEO] I've never known the Gately's store. By the time I became aware of the landmark that sits no more than two blocks south of 111th & Michigan it was divided up among so many smaller stores. I don't recall ever shopping in those smaller storefronts.

However, what I do know about Gately's and the rest of the shopping district along South Michigan Avenue between roughly 107th & 115th Streets was that it was a very vibrant shopping district. Perhaps it wasn't as profitable as 63rd & Halsted was back in the day, however, there are many who live in years past who remember the vibrancy of Roseland's retail district.

I heard through twitter from Pete Kastanes who posts on FB, IG, and twitter about long gone Chicago businesses once lived in Roseland and remembers Gately's People's Store. He started a blog with one of his first posts about the old store.

He was the one who noted that this landmark was on fire on twitter and was increasingly sad about it. Then I later saw the above video from CBS 2 about it and the fire has proven to be devastating.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Ald. Ed Burke pleads not guilty

[VIDEO] Let's start with last week when the press seems to be abuzz of the new Mayor Lori Lightfoot's smack down of the longtime powerful Alderman Ed Burke during the first council meeting she presided over as mayor. And then the wily Alderman gets indicted and Mayor Lightfoot comes out and states he needs to leave Chicago's city council once he was indicted in federal court.

We shouldn't be too surprised that Burke is pleading not guilty in a case that has charges of racketerer

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Pritzker: Forget downtown, put Chicago casino in area that has ‘been left out, left behind’

You know I'm actually for this. A casino doesn't belong anywhere near downtown Chicago, however, why not put one in the neighborhoods. From the Sun-Times:
Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Monday he would prefer a newly-allowed Chicago casino be located separately from the downtown business district and away from McCormick Place.

While stressing the decision on locating the casino belongs to Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the City Council, the governor said his preference is for the casino to be put in an area that hasn’t benefited from downtown’s building boom.

Pritzker would not name potential sites, but his comments would appear to help the prospects of the old Michael Reese Hospital property at 31st Street and the lake or the former South Works property at 83rd Street and the lake. Another possibility is the Illinois International Port District land on the Southeast Side.

“I will say that we don’t want to, let’s say, compete with what I think is important about downtown, which is, you know, this is a business town, right? And McCormick Place is a business showplace, and it’s different than other places, right?” Pritzker told the Chicago Sun-Times Editorial Board.

“You go to Las Vegas for your convention and you know that the people who are coming are not really spending all their time in the show, but love to go because of all the entertainment and everything else. I think in Chicago people come here to do business, and so you want to make sure that they’re separated, let’s say,” he added.

Reese, South Works and the port authority land all have potential and drawbacks as a casino site. They offer plenty of land for what must be a large casino; state legislation authorizes 4,000 gaming positions, or more than three times of the size of any single Illinois casino. But the sites also have drawbacks.
What say you?