Saturday, September 4, 2021

WTTW: Pullman Nat'l Monument


[VIDEO] This video was shared to the Pullman Videos YouTube channel sharing a story about the Pullman Nat'l Monument and features architecture writer Lee Bey discussing the history of the Pullman neighborhood. 

This video aired on Chicago Tonight last month and the grand opening for the new visitor center in the former administration building that contains the clock tower will be today and tomorrow Sept 4 & 5. Hopefully this new development which has been years in the making will prove to turn around the fortunes of the far south side of Chicago.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Chatham Theaters reopens


[VIDEO] I'm sorry to have shared this with you all much later as this is old news. How many of you are glad that our local movie house on 87th is back open. That facility has gone from being ICE Theaters, Chatham 14 Theaters, Studio Movie Grill and now Cinema Chatham powered by Emagine. It has gone through many ownership changes since 2012.

It re-opened this past weekend as Cinema Chatham and this story by Jim Williams shows their first day back in action having been closed over the past year due to the pandemic. We learned this past spring that Studio Movie Grill who owned this venue since 2014 will not be returning to this location.

With the excitement of the Chatham Theaters reopening, it's in the news that they're also looking to bring a restaurant to the theater in the future. This is according to Wendell Hutson at Chicago Business Journal which unfortunately is behind a paywall.

Also they're hiring up there if anyone is looking. There are about 70 employees there and they are looking hire people aged 16 & up.

Also shoutout to Harlan Falcon Bryan who we see is the General Manager for the Cinema Chatham.

Monday, August 23, 2021

CBS Chicago: Drivers who regularly take Dan Ryan say it's dangerous but have no choice


[VIDEO] This story from WBBM-TV was uploaded to YouTube on Friday discussing commuters who are concerned about the shooting incidents that often occur on the Dan Ryan Expressway. Noted was a fatal shooting on a Red Line train near Garfield on Thursday which trying to get home then was something of a concern although thankfully after some delays I got home. Also noted was that the State Police are installing license plate reading cameras which hopefully will enable authorities to get a handle on some of these incidents.

Anyone here want to talk about their commutes on the Dan Ryan? Any incidents you've seen that have left you concerned? Let us know.

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

CapFax: WGN Chicago Poll Mayor and State's Attorney under water crime huge issue

 Get a load of this. I'm not too surprised about this poll regarding Mayor Lightfoot, but State's Attorney Foxx? Really? We just gave her a second term last year and now Chicago voters especially disappove of Kim Foxx's performance?

And also support for Chicago Police is growing. 70% of Chicago residents have a positive view of the police.

Perhaps someone reading this is among them.

Saturday, August 14, 2021

The population of Chicago grew in the last decade

 The city gained 51,000 residents from 2010 to 2020 according to the recent U.S. Census. CapFax shares a number of stories from Chicago area outlets sharing more numbers. Chicago remains America's 3rd largest city, it's not over for us yet! 

Now for this remap. The census was controversial for the last ward remap.

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Crain's: Dorms in the future for community college students

State Rep Nick Smith

I wonder if this legislation affects the City Colleges of Chicago. Closer to the south side imagine dorms at Olive-Harvey, Kennedy-King, or even Daley Colleges. This is an initiative of 34th District State Representative Nicholas Smith who has a history with two-year colleges.

Now that he’s a member of the Illinois General Assembly, Nick Smith isn’t embarrassed to say he struggled early in college. As he bounced back and forth between classes and his job, he spent little time on campus.

It wasn’t until Smith got a work-study job at Olive-Harvey College, a Far South Side community college, that things changed. “I started to feel immersed in the academic setting. I started to feel focused,” he recalls. After completing the two-year program, Smith went on to get a bachelor’s degree from nearby Chicago State University, and since 2019 he has represented the 34th District in the State Assembly.

With his personal experience in mind, Smith introduced legislation in Springfield this year that allows community colleges to add student housing for the first time. Signed into law July 9 by Gov. J.B. Pritzker, the measure allows for residential projects to begin on or near campuses throughout the state starting in January.

The law is an empty vessel at the moment, expressing the ambition to do something new to address housing insecurity for people aiming to lift themselves out of poverty via a community college education. Nontrivial matters—most crucially, how the idea will be paid for—aren’t addressed in a piece of legislation that is only a few paragraphs long.

Here are some things specific to the city colleges:

At City Colleges, a network of seven campuses in Chicago, more than half of all students said they lacked stable housing in the last 12 months, according to a survey conducted in 2018 by the Hope Center for College, Community & Justice at Temple University. About 15 percent of students said they experienced homelessness in the same period. Black students, students identifying as LGBTQ and those who were independent of their parents or guardians in financial aid packages were more likely to experience needs insecurity, the report found. “Housing insecurity and homelessness have a particularly strong, statistically significant relationship with college completion rates, persistence, and credit attainment,” the report said.

City Colleges Chancellor Juan Salgado issued a statement to Crain’s saying the schools are committed to addressing students’ “comprehensive needs,” including housing and food insecurity, so attendees can focus on their schoolwork. The network looks forward to “exploring partnerships that would create affordable housing for our students, in particular the many City Colleges students experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity,” the statement said.

For students who are homeless and not connected to their parents, there’s a specific way their academic program is harmed, said Niya Kelly, director of state legislation at the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless. Because of “the presumption in this country that your parents help you until you’re 23 or 25 years old,” Kelly said, colleges generally require a parent’s Social Security and other tax information.

Students who don’t have that “get dinged and have to go through an appeal process,” Kelly said, which results in “getting their packets later, which means registering for classes after other people and dealing with that uncertainty of not knowing whether they’re going to get to go back to school or not.”

Removing any of these obstacles, Smith said, “is adding to our students’ chances of succeeding” and using that college degree to improve their circumstances.

You know how could this affect the surrounding area. With Olive-Harvey and Kennedy-King for example could this be a good thing for the surrounding neighborhoods? 

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Is Mayor Lightfoot running for a second term?

 This piece by Crain's Greg Hinz seems to hint that she may not. Although the media just about a month ago was speculating that Gov. Pritzker may not run again only for him to announce that he's running for a second term and since the primary for Governor is in June next year he might drag this process out.

Well I do expect that if Mayor Lightfoot has a deadline for a decision it'll be the same type of deadline that Mayor Rahm Emanuel used or even Mayor Richard M. Daley. Perhaps we'll know more by the fall of next year 2022 just before we cast our ballots for Governor in the general election in November. 

Meanwhile what is Hinz saying:

One thing I learned a long, long time ago is that you never believe any politician—any politician—when they respond to a question about their future political plans. They all lie. Even the best of them. So a wise person takes any pronouncements about future plans with a ton or two of salt.

That having been said, Mayor Lori Lightfoot raised eyebrows all over town today when she seemed to strongly hint in an interview with the New York Times that she may well not seek election to a second term in in 2023.

Re-upping for four more years “is not a gimme,” the mayor told the Times’ Kara Swisher, going considerably farther than she has in interviews with Chicago media.

“The toxicity of the debate, the physical and emotional toll that it’s taking on all of us, those are serious issues,” Lightfoot said. “And we have to have a — my wife and I and my daughter and my close friends and my team, we have to have a serious conversation about why and what that would look like and what we believe that we would be able to accomplish.”

I think this is true considering the challenges - including the pandemic for sure.

Besides, calling it quits at a time of pandemic and soaring violent crimes is becoming a habit among other city chief executives, Lightfoot added. “This is a tough time for mayors all across the country,” she said, mentioning both Atlanta’s Keisha Lance Bottoms and Seattle’s Jenny Durkan.

We are in tough times right now and I can believe even a very strong chief executive probably would want to just step away.

Here's another thought:

One heavy hitter I spoke with who’s been of help to Lightfoot said the transcript of the interview suggests to him she’s “getting ready to walk away from the job.” That source pointed to the mayor’s fund-raising, which after a pretty good first quarter dried up in the second quarter, with Lightfoot for Chicago pulling in just $10,067 in the three months ended June 30, leaving the mayor with a sizable but not overwhelming $1.790 million in the bank.

Well it was noted in this piece that the Mayor said she came into office to push people out of their "comfort zones". Do you believe she was successful in that?

Do you think she should run for a second term? Do you think she's had a successful tenure so far? 

If yout want to check out the interview with the NY Times click here. Unfortunately you have to sign up for an "free" subscription with the NY Times to listen to the interview or to read the transcript.

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Capitol Fax: More than half of Illinoisans are now fully vaccinated

 I wanted to share this with you and then a recent story from WGN about the Delta variant that we're sure going to hear a lot more about. One possible way to avoid infection with this coronavirus variant is to get vaccinated and as always I urge you all to ask all the questions you can of a doctor with regards to this vaccine. Especially if you're most at risk - especially pre-existing conditions - for coronavirus.

Here's what CapFax says and perhaps the report itself isn't as shown in an update to the post. Perhaps we're a few days away to getting at least 50% of Illinois' population vaccinated.

And now this recent story about this Delta variant which is the new concern with an uptick of cases. I wish I could say we're out of this pandemic at the same time I can see the media playing up the panic on this. This is why I urge you all to get vaccinated especially if you have any pre-existing conditions. And don't be afriad to ask any questions of a doctor if your vax-hesitant. [VIDEO]

Sunday, July 18, 2021

79th Street from the bus


[VIDEO] I'm sharing this with you as hopefully some of you ride route 79 through the Chatham neighborhood. And perhaps some of you may travel further east towards Jeffrey Blvd as YouTuber DrilTrill does on July 16th. We hear a lot of loud noises because sometimes people talk loudly on public transportation.

And to those people who talk on their phones we don't need to hear your address and we don't need to hear your social security number. If you're handling personal business like that please exercise some discretion as you don't know who's quietly listening.

Aside from that tangent we don't know if someone is talking on their phone or not I do know at the beginning we hear someone loudly letting the bus driver know that they're getting off the bus. Either way anyone reading this blog ride the 79 bus. Have any interesting experiences to share?

Thursday, July 15, 2021

CAN-TV Political Forum: Ald. Raymond Lopez (Ward 15)


[VIDEO] Ald. Lopez is a vocal critic of Mayor Lori Lightfoot and here he is on a recent edition of Political Forum on CAN-TV talking about what's going on in his ward and certainly what's going on in the city of Chicago right now. If you want to hear from your Alderman (or is it Alderperson which just doesn't sound right) especially if you live in Ward 15 here you go!

If nothing else, Ald. Lopez seems to genuinely care about a ward that seemingly has often been neglected over the years. And it has been devastated in the past year not only by the pandemic or civil unrest but by the high incidents of violent crime in the city.

Saturday, July 10, 2021

Chicago Tonight: Judge Timothy Evans responds to blame on courts for crime spike


[VIDEO] Since he was mentioned in the comments on this blog we hear from Chief Cook County Judge Timothy Evans on Chicago Tonight who answering to the criticism of Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Supt. David Brown as far as the recent spike in crime. The Mayor and Supt believes the courts aren't upholding their part in upholding the law even as police officers are taking people charged with murder off the street.

Friday, July 9, 2021

Chicago Tonight: Efforts to Draw New Chicago Ward Map Getting Started


[VIDEO] If you believe Ald. Roberto Maldonaldo the priority of the city council's Latino Caucus is to draw a map that gives the Latino community better representation. Also discussions have already started among members of the City Council to start the process and that the city is also looking to make a purchase of map making software for the city's "maproom". Maldonaldo is also hoping that there won't be the same type of drama that took place during this time a decade ago with previous Mayor Rahm Emanuel. I hope so as well.

Also noted here is an independent commision the Chicago Advisory Redistricting Committee which is working on their own proposal for a new ward map.

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Capitol Fax: As expressway shootings surge, state still working on cam contract

 Quite a few expressway shootings have happened on the Dan Ryan or the Bishop Ford aka Calumet Expressways or even on I-57 as you head west beyond 95th from the Dan Ryan. One solution is an "expressway cam" there are already 600 up that don't show video. And also a quick fact arrests are rare in these expressway shootings.

This is why I'm sharing yesterday's post from CapFax that shares some information about this issue.

I don't know if anyone who's reading this blog has experienced an expressway shooting and the disruptions that it creates. However we want to get to where we want to go safely and this is also worth discussing with your state legislators.