Friday, August 23, 2019

Sun-Times: Why tearing down Englewood to save it hasn’t worked

From 2008 through 2018, 861 buildings were razed in Englewood. In West Englewood — Racine Avenue is the dividing line for the two neighborhoods that together make up what’s known in the area as Greater Englewood — the number was 829.

Those are the second- and third-most demolitions of any community area in Chicago. About 74% of the structures that came down were owned by the city.

The only area with more demolitions in that period was West Town, with 933.

But West Town also saw 1,400 new-construction permits issued over the past decade — far more than in Englewood and West Englewood, which together had just 140. The number of permits in greater Englewood accounted for less than 1% of all that were issued citywide.
There's a video to this also [VIDEO]
Karl Mables, 30, who has lived in the 6400 block of South Honore Street for most of his life, discusses the number of vacant lots in his neighborhood, Englewood, on the South Side, Wednesday, July 3, 2019. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Capitol Fax: “Chicago has more lead on average than Flint, Mich., during its 2015 water crisis”

Basically it started with testing of homes on Chicago's south side that has lead service lines connected with their homes. Check it out on CapFax
As an added bonus, there are issues with lead in University Park as also seen in a posting at CapFax on Monday.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Chicago Tonight: DJ Booth at 95th Red Line Station Offers More Than Free Music

On Monday, Chicago Tonight did a story about that DJ booth located within the massive newly reconstructed 95th street red line terminal. I've seen it in action and heard the music with a DJ performing their craft. What do you all think of the booth? Do you stop near the booth and dance before continuing your journeys to and from the terminal.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Who else isn't running for re-election? #twill

It seems we've had two significant political stories this week. One of which is certainly more immediate and important the other not so much.

Dorothy Brown is the circuit court clerk who attempted to run for mayor earlier this year and even participated in some candidate forums. Unfortunately she was knocked off the ballot due to petition challenges. Also it doesn't help when authorities have been looking at the activities of her office.

Regardless she won't be running for re-election next year. In the post at CapFax we not only see a story about her stepping down after 2020, we see a comment by a former challenger Jacob Meister. I wonder if he's running again...
I also wanted to share this exit interview from CBS 2 of Dorothy Brown [VIDEO]

Probably not as important and it hasn't so far been mention by Rich Miller who runs CapFax involves Jesse White. White has been our Secretary of State for over 20 years. The last two elections it was "teased" that he might retire only to run one more time.

Even though the next election for that office is in 2022, it's already being "teased" that he won't run again. Since it's relatively early to discuss election plans for 2022 and knowing that he may change his mind and run again - although he's in his 80s - I get the feeling that this report isn't being taken very seriously.

Although who knows, I'd like to know who'd be willing to take on that role after White's long tenure over among other parts of state gov't issuing our driver's licenses...

Monday, August 12, 2019

Tribune: Blue Cross to bring 550 jobs to South Side, with opening of new center in former Target location

It's great to see one of the two Target stores that closed earlier this year will soon find a new use:
Blue Cross has leased a nearly 130,000-square-foot space that formerly housed a Target at 119th Street and Marshfield Avenue in Morgan Park, the health insurance company announced Monday.

Part of the facility will be offices for Blue Cross workers, and part of it will be used to help people in the community — and not just those with Blue Cross health insurance — such as by offering free yoga or nutrition classes.

The new center is expected to open in the first half of next year.

“It makes us more accessible to our employees who live across Chicagoland and Cook County,” said Jill Wolowitz, vice president of government relations and community affairs at the health insurer. “It makes us more visible and accessible to our members who live throughout Chicago, and we’re looking forward to providing some economic stimulus in a significant South Side neighborhood.”

Most of the 550 jobs will be new ones, but the company is still working out what type of jobs will be included, Wolowitz said.

The company plans to recruit for many of those new jobs from the surrounding communities, through job fairs and other local opportunities, she said.

What do you think of Mariano's?

I'm posting this because over the years some people on the south side whether in Englewood (before the Whole Foods Market opened) and perhaps even residents in South Shore were looking for a Mariano's to come in. I wonder if there is a change of perception as far as Marino's now that they now owned by Kroger's as explored in this roughly 20 min podcast from Crain's Chicago Business:
And here's another article from Crain's:
Many of the changes reflect Kroger's efforts to boost profitability and meet a new challenge from Amazon, which in 2017 acquired Whole Foods, a rival to Mariano's in the premium grocery market. Mariano's changing profile also reflects the influence of former parent company Roundy's, a Milwaukee-based operator of low-end stores like Pick 'n Save.

For a while after Kroger took over, the Milwaukee and Chicago chains continued to operate autonomously, with former Mariano lieutenants Don Rosanova and Don Fitzgerald overseeing the Mariano's stores. That changed in September 2018 when Kroger consolidated leadership teams in the Wisconsin-based unit in a cost-cutting move. Fitzgerald and Rosanova were both gone by year-end.

"If there hadn't been the pressure from Milwaukee, the business could have been run better," Bishop says. "They are subject to the budgetary pressures of the folks in Cincinnati."

"Mariano's continues to innovate and lead in this space, and the larger Kroger organization is bringing elements of our programs into other banners to accelerate their Restock Kroger initiatives," a Mariano's spokeswoman says.
How many of you still want to attract a Mariano's store to other parts of the south side? Also note that Food 4 Less is also part of the Kroger family along with Mariano's.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Capitol Fax: President Trump “I’m thinking about commuting [Rod Blagojevich’s] sentence very strongly”

While Rich Miller is actually on break right now he's been following the major news stories affecting Illinois. I felt the need to mention this since we did follow Blagojevich's impeachment and removal from the office of Governor.

Who knows how popular this might be for most of you, but would you be OK with President Trump possibly commuting Blagojevich's federal sentence for corruption?

78th & Halsted back in 1911 #tbt

Photo via Chicago History Today

It's really fascinating to see some of the locales on the south side and how they used to look years ago. This time we look at 78th & Halsted which should be across the street from the Gresham District police HQ.

The above photo is from Chicago History Today which stated:
 In 1911 the Auburn Gresham neighborhood was Irish American.  The commercial building on the left side of the photo houses a pharmacy and a tailor.  Across 78th Street another commercial building has a first-floor tavern.  Down the block the tower of the new St. Leo Catholic Church is visible.
And of course as happens things change and while you may see some of the buildings remain from the photograph today, you see what has changed. I'll let you go to see the change and read what John Schmidt writes about the changes.

It's safe to say that the police HQ which he doesn't note was very new having been built in the last decade.

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Dr. Carl Bell R.I.P

Though not mentioned in the linked article from WTTW, Dr. Bell was head of the now closed Community Mental Health Council. He sought to do research on the affects of witnessing violence on children. Now that he's gone, who will carry on his necessary work? He fulfilled a need that was necessary.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Back to School event -- for ADULTS!!!

Some information from The SIxth Ward blog's friend, Zack Isaacs.

We want to announce a back to school event -- but not for the kids. Rather, it is for adults who need to finish their education, whether for high school, associate's or bachelor's degree.

Meet at the Greater Grand Crossing Libaryary, 1000 E. 73rd Street (73rd and South Chicago).

The tme and date is Saturday August 3, from2:30pm to 4:30pm.

Contact Zack with questions or to RSVP at 708-629-1933 .

More information at

We hope you can make it out there!

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: