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.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Woman struck and killed by train at 69th

[VIDEO] This incident happened earlier today and you might have seen some tweets about it especially an article about this from the Sun-Times and some CTA updates about the commute on the red line. It's interesting to see CTA only refer to what happened as a medical emergency, however, the news media refer to the real details of what happened.

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!