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:

Friday, July 26, 2019

And 2nd City Cop doesn't disappoint...

I knew that the blog written for and by Chicago Police officers would offer their perspectives on Mayor Lightfoot's comments directed towards a Fraternal Order of Police official and of course the dustup over the background checks for those who speak at police board meetings.

Here's the post about the "clown" remark caught on a hot mic from Mayor Lightfoot. Oh 2nd City Cop calls her "Groot" that's not nice.

And they discuss the story about background check for members of the public who sign up and speak at police board meetings. It's interesting to learn hear that if you choose to speak to the Chicago City Council they also do background checks.

What other government agencies that offer public meetings do background checks? Why were only the police board meetings singled out?

A proposal for CTA fares to ride Metra
There is a proposal to make riding Metra's Rock Island and Electric lines as affordable as a CTA fare. Would this make some of you more likely to take Metra to where you need to go? Via Curbed Chicago
A plan to reduce fares and boost service on Metra rail lines serving Chicago’s Far South Side and southern suburbs is building momentum. Officials hope cheaper and more frequent service on Metra’s Electric District and the Rock Island District lines will reverse declining ridership.

If realized, the move would cut ticket prices from the current level of $4 to $5.50 down to $2.50—the same price as a ride on the CTA’s L system. Details such as timing and any financial subsidies from Cook County are still being ironed out, the Chicago Tribune reported this earlier week. Officials are also exploring offering free Ventra transfers between Metra, CTA, and Pace.

A recent mobility study found that although southern Cook County has a higher proportion of transit-dependent residents, the area is lagging when it comes to transit access. Cheaper fares and more frequent service could boost ridership by as much as 33 percent and even lead to a net increase in revenue, according to the study.
I hope they can follow this up with some plans to upgrade some of the Metra stations - especially on the Metra Electric line. Then again we would have to see if these stations see an increase in activity.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Wentworth/Vincennes - 1958 #tbt

Last year I posted a video that showed the last run of CTA's streetcars 61 years ago. The last CTA streetcar was routed from downtown to Vincennes-77th Street now CTA bus route 24. From Chicago History Today (published this on that blog this past March) here's  how the intersection of Vincennes/Wentworth used to look.
From Chicago History Today - Vincennes/Wentworth 1958
Of course if you click through you will see that same place as seen today. I know things change, but I see back in the day a seemingly vibrant neighborhood. It's unbelievable that we're looking at the south side here.