Showing posts from May, 2008

Daley 3.0: The new generation of Chicago's first family

Well for those of you who think the Daley's will continue to run Chicago, the Sun-Times takes a look at the future of the Daley "dynasty". Who might step up to the plate in the family to take a role in the future of Chicago? For more than 50 years, the Daley family has been shaping Chicago. Now, the next generation of Daleys is making its mark on the city. They're working in business and law, education and medicine. None holds elected office -- yet. But many are still in the middle of some of the biggest issues affecting the city: • The replacement of public housing projects. The oldest grandchild of the late Mayor Richard J. Daley -- Robert Vanecko -- is helping build affordable housing, financed with city pension funds. He's also eyeing redevelopment of the neighborhood around the proposed Olympic stadium. • A private takeover of Midway Airport. Another grandson, William Daley Jr., works for a company that wants to run the airport. •

Tornadoes reportedly strike Springfield area

I saw this on the ABC7 10 o'clock news. The storm down there disrupted a session of the General Assembly where anyone who was at the state house were forced to take cover in the basement. Apparently a tornado was reported to have touched down but there was no touch down. Here's a write up from Channel 7 on the activity in the state capitol: An unconfirmed twister touched down near Fifth and Cedar streets. The sirens near the capitol went off around 6:15 p.m. Legislators working on a state budget were all sent to the basement of the capitol building. The alarm came as the House was in mid-debate. Lawmakers dropped the subject of healthier food in school cafeterias and followed the orders of statehouse guards who herded them downstairs. The tunnels beneath the 120-year-old building were packed with people for about 45 minutes. The speaker of the House, lieutenant governor and president of Southern Illinois University mingled with lobbyists, reporters and secretaries. Gov. Rod Bl

More Lem's BBQ pics

Wow because of the attentions Lem's have been getting this is the first time I have ever seen this new menu. This is the nicest menu I have ever seen them have. I remember a menu that has been written by hand or it at least looked like it. Wow, this is nice! The serving area when it gets busy here it's going to be crowded. I heard there were lines going outside this establishment. I dropped by recently there was a line going out the door for people waiting on their orders. I don't recall this area looking nice either. And the meats in the pit cooking! These pics are from Southern Foodways Alliance on Flickr.

Indicted police officer goes public

I honestly don't like to pile on the negative press on the police. People are already whining about Superintendent J-Fed. Surely there are other things to talk about with the police department and their actions during the spring. Still this is worth watching on 60 Minutes ... Indicted Chicago Police Officer Keith Herrera speaks for the first time publicly about his former unit, the Special Operations Section, members of which are accused of crimes including armed robbery and kidnapping, in one of the largest police scandals in Chicago history. Katie Couric reports. Producers are Tanya Simon, Andrew Metz and Michael Radutzky. Hat-tip to Second City Cop who offers a very pointed post looking at the long-term publicity and damage.

Something worth watching

You can see this program when the Illinois General Assembly is in session on Channel 11 WTTW , however here is the program's official website . You might be able to watch the latest episode online.

Izola's Family Restaurant

Look at what I've found, another neighborhood restaurant video on YouTube!

NU grads say Daley too small for big day

Hmmm, I don't who they think is more important. A big city mayor is important, but good lord Julia Louis Dreyfuss from Seinfeld is more important that Mayor Daley. What are these Northwestern kids on anyway! Tribune : Mayor Richard Daley may be a political powerhouse in Chicago, but just over the city line in Evanston, some seniors at Northwestern University think he's too, well, parochial to be their commencement speaker. Students say they feel let down because the choice, announced this week, doesn't carry the cachet of recent speakers, Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain, or even last year's speaker, Julia Louis-Dreyfus of "Seinfeld." Some were hoping for the Dalai Lama. "If your goal in the speaker selection process was to make graduating seniors happy about leaving this university, then mission accomplished," Matthew Braslow of Vernon Hills wrote on Tuesday to Northwestern President Henry Bienen. Braslow also said he will not attend. "Matth

State audit finds lapses in budget office

From the Chicago Tribune : An audit of Gov. Rod Blagojevich's Office of Management and Budget found that the state's top fiscal office did not competitively bid some services and failed to maintain even the most basic records of major financial activities. "These are problems which really should not occur in an office that is responsible for the management and oversight of all of state government," Auditor General William Holland said Wednesday. "I don't know whether it is just general disregard or poor management, but if you are not accountable and transparent, you set a bad example for the rest of state government," Holland said. The audit found 12 significant lapses of adequate controls over such things as contracts with other state agencies, travel expenditures, salary adjustments and the recording and reporting of state property. In reviewing 21 contracts worth nearly $7.3 million, auditors found that the office failed to bid competitively for legal

This blog made the Capitol Fax morning shorts

Actually on Tuesday morning thanks to my blog post about the video from WBBM with regards to the Children's Museum debate between Ald. Brendan Reilly of the 42nd ward and Museum CEO Jennifer Farrington that I posted on Sunday. Visitors from the morning shorts were responsible for most of the 75 hits this blog got on Tuesday.

Mayor Daley's Block Club University, June 7 At McCormick Place

Read more about this over at Uptown Update . Has anyone in a block club been invited to this?

Lem's BBQ pics on Flickr

A pic of the sign at night. Lit up quite nicely! The place looks low tech. I always did recall the logs seen on the west side of the building. The logs that allows them the fire to cook the meats. Here's James Lemon the owner of Lem Bar-B-Q! Here's the pit where they cook the meats. Here's the finished product. I don't recall all those sauces in the plastic contains, but then I usually don't ask. I just get the tips and then I'm out besides there's already more than enough sauce on the tips. I found others I'll share them later on as well! Pictures are from Southern Foodways and in2jazz on Flickr.

Daley: Ryan got more done in Springfield

From Clout Street . This has got to hurt: Mayor Richard Daley, seeking more cash for Chicago Public Schools and construction money for the CTA, sounded Tuesday as though he's longing for the good old days of Gov. George Ryan. Though the mayor declined to single out Gov. Rod Blagojevich or any particular legislator for criticism at the lack of progress in Springfield on those two fronts, Daley did concede more business got done under Ryan, the former Republican governor whose felony-conviction appeal the U.S. Supreme Court rejected earlier in the day. "He understood that infrastructure is always important the first day you arrive, because he had the experience in government, and he always knew it was important," Daley said of Ryan. "And people trusted him, they did." That trust isn't there in Springfield these days, said Daley, likening the competing Springfield factions to the Hatfields and McCoys. "The General Assembly has been in session for

911 for county system

Tony Peraica in seeking the position of State's Attorney this year is already emailing people with this story. It almost sounds like he's running for the wrong position when he should actually be running for County Board President instead but that election is in another two years. Crain's: Four years into a $41-million program to install police surveillance systems throughout suburban Cook County , a third of municipalities are equipped, the contractor has been replaced after a number of technical glitches and a subcontractor responsible for installing the equipment is bankrupt. More than half the budget — funded by federal Homeland Security grants — has been spent, and at least one county commissioner alleges official misconduct. For their part, county officials say that the program has had technical problems and acknowledge that an employee has been investigated for his business dealings. But they say the investigation exonerated him and that they're working on the

Could Chicago recycle London 2012 stadium?

More talk about these Olympics coming to Chicago from today's Sun-Times : An Olympic-sized recycling project? Officials handling Chicago's bid for the 2016 Summer Games are exploring whether parts of the collapsible stadium being built for London's 2012 Games could be reused here. "We're talking to London," said Patrick Sandusky, a Chicago 2016 spokesman. "What's important to note is they have a similar concept in terms of re-purposing the stadium, so we're talking to them about how to best use a stadium and how to leave the best legacy." Chicago's Olympic plans call for Washington Park on the South Side to be the site of an 80,000-seat temporary stadium that would be converted into a permanent 5,000-seat venue after the Games are done. London's stadium, which recently got under construction, also is to have 80,000 seats. But, unlike Chicago's proposed facility, 25,000 of those seats are to remain permanent. Even if recycling Lond

17-year-old cited in toddler hit-and-run on South Side

From Monday's Chicgao Tribune... 17-year-old cited in toddler hit-and-run on South Side Tribune staff report 6:57 PM CDT, May 26, 2008 A 17-year-old girl has been cited in an accident that injured a 2-year-old boy on the South Side over the Memorial Day weekend, police said Monday.After the accident Sunday afternoon, Shaquita Finley of the 500 block of West 87th Street was cited with striking a pedestrian, driving without a license or insurance, failure to reduce speed and failure to use due care for a pedestrian in a roadway, police said. Finley was driving a 1997 Saturn that struck the 2-year-old boy at about 4:30 p.m. in the 9100 block of South Eggleston Avenue, said Officer JoAnn Taylor, a police spokeswoman.The boy was hospitalized and his condition stabilized at the University of Chicago Comer Children's Hospital. The extent of his injuries was not known by police. Related links Area of accident Map Finley drove away after the crash, but she later turned herself in at t

Have a happy and safe Memorial Day


The New Children's Museum from Eye on Chicago

On Channel 2 this morning 42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly and Chicago Children Museum President & CEO Jennifer Farrington are interviewed here in the video.

Parents group: CPS must answer to voters

Chi-Town Daily News has an interesting article on parents who wants an elected schoolboard with the idea that they will be accountable to the voters: Parents United for Responsible Education (PURE), a parents advocacy group critical of a board plan that will lead to a dramatic series of school closings , has organized a petition drive to put an advisory referendum on the November ballot calling for an elected school board. Julie Woestehoff, PURE's executive director, says frustration over the board's recent actions is driving the effort "I don't think people have been this angry with the board in many years," Woestehoff says. "I think because people are just so fed up ...the idea just permeating through the city." The city's seven-member board of education is appointed by Mayor Richard M. Daley, who can appoint members to an unlimited number of four-year terms. According to a spokesperson for the Illinois Department of Education, it is the o

Have Law-Abiding Citizens Become Outgunned?

I try not to treat this topic often enough here, I have my own platform for that. Still I think it's something worth considering. Perhaps we should question whether or not gun control works. And I'm surprised to find this story from Channel 2 and it came from earlier in the week as well: Gun violence on the streets of Chicago continues to take lives with nearly every day that passes. In a recent town hall meeting on violence, the issue of guns dominated the discussion. The question arose: How does Chicago, with one of the most restrictive laws on handgun ownership, have such a problem with the mayhem their users cause? ... In April of this year there were 47 murders in Chicago, the highest monthly total in 10 years, and 80 percent of the murders this year involved guns. For those who lost loved ones, like Emma Daviston, whose grandson Cardell was killed four years ago at the corner of 16th and Komensky, gun violence is difficult to discuss. "Pain, a lot of pain...that'

Chatham Pancake House photos

I was walking down 87th Street the other day and I wanted to take this nice shot of the sign for this establishment. Unfortunately it was bare of any cars I understand that they close at 3PM daily. Here's another picture provided by YoChicago of the eating establishment itself. I hear they make a good omlet, but I'm still waiting for JP Paulus to write a review of this place. He knows this place better than I do.

Need a vehicle sticker?

You can go to the the office of Alderman Lyle to buy one on Friday, June 13, 2008 from 10:30AM to 4PM and on Friday, July 11, 2008 from 10:30 AM to 6 PM. The office is located at 406 E. 75th Street and checks or money orders are to be made payable to the city clerk. If there are any questions call (773) 846-7006. This information is from a recently released Roseland Heights Community Association newsletter.

Jesse White on the Illinois Channel

Our Secretary of State is talking about his job , what he does, his iniatiatives, and other aspects of his duties in a segment called Under the Dome . Enjoy! I hope you have update browers and media players. You should check out other past programming on the Illinois Channel in their digital library. You can also watch Illinois Channel program on the Chicago Access Networks. On channel 21 Saturday mornings from 9 AM to 11 AM and on channel 19 from 8:30 AM to 10:30 AM.

Nationwide drop in murders skips some Chicago neighborhoods

This isn't good well statistics wise anyway: Fewer people were killed in Chicago last year: Between 2000 and 2007, the murder toll dropped 30 percent. That would seem to be good news, but not if you talk to people in Washington Park or Chatham or North Lawndale. In those neighborhoods and six others, it’s a different story. An average of 16 people were murdered in Washington Park, Chatham, North Lawndale, South Shore, Near West Side, West Pullman, East Garfield Park, South Chicago and Auburn-Gresham in 2006. That’s 141 lives taken. That same year, 33 people were killed in Austin. A Medill analysis of homicide figures found that the numbers are virtually the same for each of those neighborhoods in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005. All tolled, that’s 298 people killed in Austin, 969 people killed in the others – a total of 1,267. To explain Chicago’s continued violence in specific neighborhoods in contrast with an overall drop, some point to the largely vacant land on which the

U.S. charges 15 in city bribe-taking probe

A part of the recurring theme of corruption in the city unfortunately. I wonder what can be done about it. Tribune : Seven city inspectors are among the 15 people charged Thursday in a new round of corruption charges targeting bribe-taking in Chicago's Zoning and Buildings Departments, federal authorities have announced. The investigation targeted city employees who allegedly took money to influence zoning applications or alter building plans, authorities said. Many of the bribes were paid through a cooperating expediter who has given investigators information on some 30 people, the U.S. attorney's office said in a release. The alleged bribes helped developers avoid seeking necessary variances, receive certificates of occupancy that they were not entitled to and pass inspections that they should have failed, authorities said. City employees charged were William Wellhausen, a zoning investigator; Mario Olivella, a plumbing inspector; MacArthur Milam, a supervisory ventilation an

An advertisement for the City Colleges of Chicago

I hope that such an image would cause more young people or indeed some older people to give college a try. Although I'm already pursuing a college degree if I was young and unsure about what to do I'd like to think this would have gotten me excited about getting started especially before the semester began. This is at a bus shelter at the corner of 95th & Michigan. Visit the City Colleges of Chicago here .

Farmers are coming to your neighborhood

This article from the Sun-Times got me to thinking about the farmer's market in the Chatham neighborhood. This is certainly one way to bring an "oasis" into our food desert. I'll provide more info on this market, but let's go to the article first: The weather finally has turned. My sweaters are in storage. And the Green City Market is open for the summer season. And now, a confession: I rarely go to the market. It runs on Wednesdays, when I am at work downtown, and on Saturdays, when I try to avoid Lincoln Park traffic gridlock. Indeed, I'm always a little bitter about this. But this year, while I'm on maternity leave, I vow not to miss out. If you've never been to the market at the south end of Lincoln Park, go. Now. (For our guide to all of the Chicago area farmers markets, turn inside.) It is a community unto itself, a bustling, happy place where farmers offer you bites of peaches dripping with juice, where dairy vendors wax poetic about thei

Truth In Politics: Illinois Gas Prices And Taxes

A story of interest for those of you who are following the price of gas these days from WBBM-TV : "Does it trouble any of you when you see what you're doing to us?" Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin asked at a Washington, D.C. hearing. Durbin complained to oil company bosses at a hearing on Capitol Hill about Chicago having the highest gasoline prices in the United States. Largely ignored was the role taxes are playing -- an astounding 10 levels of taxation. In the city, Motor Fuel Taxes originally for building roads currently go to the Feds, Illinois, Cook County and Chicago. The 9.25 percent sales tax is split among Illinois, Chicago and Cook County's share of the state sales tax; a county home rule tax; RTA transit tax and a Chicago home rule levy. The watchdog Civic Federation says that on a $4 gallon of gas, the total tax is 79.2 cents. That compares to 77 cents in Los Angeles and 65 cents in New York City. "Every time the price of gas goes up, the tax goes up with

Worn street surface and ancient streetcar tracks

I mentioned this back in January . I finally got a picture of them. This is at 95th and Michigan just before turning onto 95th. Not only do you see bricks, but also what appears to be an old manhole cover. Of course who should be able to see a rail as well probably from the time when streetcars ran down Michigan Avenue during a bygone era. Streetcars last ran in Chicago in 1958. I should also mention that this street was last resurfaced back in 2002. I wonder if the reason this hasn't been patched up again is because of the whole capital budget situation. A capital budget provides for the repairs of infrastructure as well as building new schools.

In kids' museum fight, it's aldermen vs. themselves: Hinz

Greg Hinz from Crain's Chicago Business. Let's get back into city politics and the Chicago Children's Museum: Rhetoric will soar. Lawyers will parse the statutes. Architects will wave blueprints and highlight their computer models. It will be quite a show on June 5, when aldermen on the Zoning Committee finally get to not only debate but vote on Mayor Richard M. Daley’s plan to move the Chicago Children’s Museum to a now-quiet corner of Grant Park. Though all the arguing and voting will take place in the ornate City Council chambers on the second floor of City Hall, I can think of a more apt venue: a sweaty old wrestling ring, like the ones they use on “SmackDown.” Imagine Richie “the brawler” Daley slipping one of his patented eye gouges on “Slippery” Brendan Reilly, alderman of the 42nd Ward, as sundry goons, handlers and hysterical fans prepare to climb into the ring themselves. That’s really what it’s come to because, despite all the words, the battle over the Child

State House passes part of budget plan

AP : The Illinois House has begun approving its proposal for next year's state budget. The House voted 63-51 Wednesday for the main operations budget that would keep state government running, then planned to vote for a more expanded version. But whether this proposal or something like it will become the state's next budget remains far from clear. That's because Senate Democrats are preparing their own budget plan that could be more modest than what the House supports. Lawmakers are trying to wrap up a budget and other work by May 31st. But both chambers must agree on the same budget or the session will go into overtime. Governor Rod Blagojevich could also try to keep lawmakers here this summer if he's unhappy with their budget plans. There are those who are predicting trouble as far as a budget this year. Many are predicting that the state General Assembly will be in overtime hammering out a budget this summer just like they were last year. Let's hop

Ill. House wants gas tax holiday

I should ask, how is everyone doing as far as gas? What do you think about this gas tax holiday reported in Crain's ? House Republicans are calling for a suspension of the Illinois sales tax on gasoline this summer. Lawmakers claim the average family would save up to $60 over a four-month tax holiday. Truckers might save $1,000. State revenues would drop by roughly $200 million at a time when the budget is already out of balance. But supporters say the tax break would help stimulate the economy. Republican lawmakers are calling on Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan to allow a vote on their idea. In other news the Governor seems to be out of the loop as far as gas prices. Probably not a huge story however it still worth sharing. Perhaps he's not relating to those who have to pay these gas prices.

More pics around Shedd School

To be sure I have more pics in my archives when I find them I would like to share them. These pics were taken when I paid a visit early last week. A flag pole and a sign out in the front of Shedd School on 99th Street. I wish the trees weren't in the way here otherwise I would get a nice shot of the signage on the school. This should be the auditorium/gym. Apparently this should correspond to a room number at the school. Shedd is a very small school housing students only from Kindergarent to 6th grade. This might be where students will line up before they go to classes for the day. The backdoors of the school. Once upon a time the Shedd lot was home to basketball hoops but obviously they're long gone now! Looking towards Prairie Avenue. Shedd takes up most of a city block and is largely surrounded by single family homes on all sides.

Joe Moore on Clout City talking about the City Council

A post from Clout City . For my purposes here, it's not particularly important to talk about the whole foie-gras ban. Surely we can look up stories about it. What is important is that this is the baby of Joe Moore , the alderman from the far north side 49th ward. He was unable to speak in favor of his ban and I should mention that his "friends" Craig Gernhardt and Tom Mannis is loving this attention. When you get the chance go to their blogs to see how they view him and his stewardship over that ward. You'll see where they come from! In any event for my purposes and I would suggest you go read the whole thing he offers his two cents on the city council especially in light of what happened with the foie-gras ban and even the potential battle with the children's museum moving into Grant Park: Well, I’m an eternal optimist. And with the new aldermen elected last year I was extremely hopeful that we would have more debate in the City Council, more aldermen willing

Out of Order, Off the Record

Via Division Street : An investigation by Chicago Talks and published jointly with The Beachwood Reporter shows that the Chicago City Council’s committees frequently meet without quoroms and conduct business anyway , a clear evasion of the law that could make the full council’s actions subject to legal challenge. So our city council isn't conducting their business properly. Here's more from the link at The Beachwood Reporter : The shuffling of papers and the quiet murmur of small talk broke the silence of the nearly empty Chicago City Council chambers as a handful of city staffers filed in for a Traffic Control and Safety Committee meeting Dec. 5, 2007. Of the 14 members assigned to the committee, only three showed up that morning: committee Chairman Patrick O'Connor (40th), Ald. Bernard Stone (50th) and Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd). The trio sat at the front table facing the empty chamber's 50 seats and listened as City Clerk Miguel del Valle presented a measure ai

Bobby Rush recovering after tumor surgery

The center of all the rumors about who might be able to replace him in his congressional seat. I wish the Congressman a speedy recovery and I wish such speculation wasn't necessary. Thankfully it's really not as simple as some have portrayed to replace a retiring Congressman as there must be an election. Of course even that's a little complicated. Anyway an update on Rush's health from the Sun-Times today: U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush said he will continue to undergo post-operative treatments while recovering from surgery to remove a cancerous tumor. Treatments are scheduled through the middle of next month for the 61-year-old Chicago Democrat, who represents the city's South Side and southwest suburbs. Rush said he expects to fully return to his congressional duties and remain a candidate for re-election in November. ''Since my surgery, I have been in consistent communications with both my personal and subcommittee staff as well as various members of Congress,'

Dan Ryan Expressway Rebuilding (Time-Lapse)

Artistmac looks at the progress made on the Dan Ryan in this time-lapse vid. The project was completed sometime last year. Artistmac has since documented those unfortunate drivers who have gotten into accidents on the expressway.

How did a tabloid from Springfield, Illinois wind up on the south side?

I went to a local establishment today and found this paper where would normally lay the Chatham Southeast Citizen or N'Digo . Today I feasted my eyes for the first time upon this tabloid called the Capital City Courier . The cover article is "Why do blacks excel disproportionately in sports and music?" Since they found their way to Chicago check them out because I know I will.

Fire near Daley summer home ruled as arson

Heh, someone who apparently believes that this cougar killed on the north side should be allowed to roam the streets of Chicago. That or the police shouldn't have used quick thinking in having to shoot this creature and kept it alive somehow. Tough call but it just goes to show some people need a cause to believe in and they're not always rational about their cause. SouthtownStar : The letter to Chicago Mayor Richard Daley was blunt, "very personal and vicious" - and singled out the mayor's wife and children. The writer was furious about the April 14 slaying of a wild cougar in the city's Roscoe Village neighborhood and threatened to torch the mayor's home. On April 24, two days after the unsigned letter arrived, someone set a fire on the grassy dunes near Daley's summer home in Grand Beach, Mich., sources said. "It's about the cougar," a source told the Chicago Sun-Times Friday, describing the writer as an apparent animal rights activist

In the backlot at Shedd Elementary School

I was at John G. Shedd Elementary on Tuesday to check out this school. It only houses or at least in the past it did Kindergarten thru 6th grade. It is considered a branch of Frank I. Bennett Elementary where Shedd students go for 7th and 8th grade is located across the Calumet Expressway on 101st and Prairie. Needless to say it's a very small school with a large lot. You know the lot at Shedd has a baseball cage. You would only see this in most Chicago parks and there would be a circle of dirt. If it's used at all the students would play kickball during gym class. Now these pictures of bottles were found in the grassy part of the lot closer to the school itself or at least the backdoor of the school. I almost consider this desecration of sacred ground. Isn't there somewhere else a person could either have a drink or dispose of this bottle? I could just act like some young child could hurt himself playing with this bottle treating it as a toy. Very sad! BTW, I will provide

Update on the Rush rumor

A quick update from yesterday's story on the rumor of Rep. Bobby Rush possibly stepping down On Thursday afternoon, Ald. Lyle was on WVON's Cliff Kelley show denying rumors that Rush is stepping down as the 1st Congressional District representative. Roland Burris (now a 6th ward resident!) and St. Senator Kwame Raoul (who replace Obama when he became US Senator) were also guests. Raoul had expressed interest in the past of vying for the Rep. seat when Rush was done. The update on Rep. Rush -- while he can't talk (it's salivary cancer), he is still able to communicate & do work from home. So while he is in recovery, he is still active. Ideas that came across in the show included the idea that the rumor was spread for political reasons, although none of the guests would venture a guess as to who was the culprit.

Building a sustainable and enhanced community

From the March 2008 issue of the Roseland Heights Community Association newsletter. I really like how this piece has some history written into it: For years we were here, growing, taking pride in our neat, safe homes, building a community based on common values, traditions and dreams for our children. We were here before Harlan High or Shedd Elementary schools were built, bot schools of quality and harmony. The Dan Ryan was built: we saw a terminal erected; Chicago State came and took root. We were striving, hopeful, growing, looking forward to, we thought, a stronger more viable community. But circumstances of time and changes in urban living and the state of the economy have brought about some harsh realities. We face the changes of foreclosures, neglected homes, and a denser population of people has arrived. While passing through some are looking for opportunities to commit crime, litter, peddle, loiter, or exhibit inappropriate and unacceptable behavior-some of these activities are

Murder in Burnside

From today's Chicao Tribune .... A 53-year-old man was fatally shot Thursday afternoon in the Burnside neighborhood on Chicago's South Side.The shooting occurred about 3 p.m. in the 800 block of East 93rd Street, police Officer Laura Kubiak said. The victim, Calvin Porter, was standing on the sidewalk near his vehicle when two men approached him from behind and one of them opened fire, she said. Porter, of the 800 block of East Drexel Square, was shot in the head and back. He was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where he was pronounced dead about 3:35 p.m., according to the Cook County medical examiner's office.Porter was a known member of the Gangster Disciples street gang and had a history of violent offenses going back 25 years, including convictions for murder, aggravated battery and home invasion, court records show. No one was in custody and a motive for the shooting was unknown Friday, according to Kubiak. Calumet Area detectives were investigatin

Former state treasurer Judy Baar Topinka on a state constitutional convention

Written in the Riverside/Brookfield Landmark via The Capitol Fax : I am distraught over state politics, which is why I am encouraging all of you to vote to create a constitutional convention come this November. The law says that every 20 years we, the overwrought electorate, gets a shot at a referendum requesting a constitutional convention to convene. In the past, it has been voted down because just about every entrenched interest does not want it to happen due to the little sacred cows each has hidden away or approved by the constitutional currently in play. After all, those sacred cows might go to slaughter if the public got into the constitutional convention mode. Yes, it will be expensive, and, no, it won't come quickly or easily. The last time we had such a constitutional convention was in 1976. After that, opposition always managed to vote it down: Democrats and Republicans, management and labor, special interests all. And so, we have no right of referendum or recall, w

The ever switching alley garbage bins

I should inquire if anyone has ever had the problem I seem to have at my residence. For one thing it seems someone likes to play switch around with our garbage bins. Sometimes we magically have three or more bins when we normally have only one. I know some residences have three or more bins and yes for a house not just for an apartment building or two-flat buildings but normally my residence has only one bin. I remember a few years ago that our garage magically got three bins. They were all filled with pebbles or some type of debris and very difficult to move around and it took months to finally be rid of them. I put those cans that didn't belong to us back to those house that had a bin especially if they had an address and tried to reclaim ours. While thankfully we've not had a problem like that it seems people like to play games with people's bins. It's kind of irritating and it shows there are those who have no respect for other people's bins. Even cans that are

Bobby Rush on his way out of Congress?

Rich Miller on the Capitol Fax discusses the possible future of Congressman Bobby Rush of the 1st Congressional District. He's battling cancer currently and it is reported apparently that he is urged to give up his seat in Congress. Ald. Sandi Jackson is said to be on the short list to succeed him although her husband already is sitting in Congress. Not only that it is said that our Alderman has an interest in that congressional seat. So far though it's reported also that Rush denies that he's either being pressured or that's he's going to resign his seat. Rush is currently up for re-election in November. Miller cites on the rumors about Alds Jackson and Lyle a column by the Sun-Times' gossiper Michael Sneed.

Smirking Daley gets what he wants -- again

This column from Mark Brown of the Sun-Times talks largely about the foie gras ban that was repealed yesterday. Of course while the alderman who introduced this ordinance two years ago didn't like what was being done yesterday we get around to the whole debate over whether or not there should be children's museum in Grant Park. In other words the repeal was what Daley wants and we know he wants that museum in Grant Park. Go read the whole thing but I'll provide an excerpt: But the biggest reason was just that Daley still gets what Daley wants. That doesn't bode well for those who think the Council still might buck the mayor's intention of relocating the Chicago Children's Museum to Grant Park over the wishes of 42nd Ward Ald. Brendan Reilly and the park's neighbors. Sure, aldermen are going to be more interested in preserving their prerogative to control land use matters in their wards than to control restaurant menus. "Nobody else objected," D

Mama J's

This is near 98th and Michigan. Know for their Jones hamburgers. I haven't patronized this business in years and at that this was when I was much younger. I wish I could give you a review of how good the burgers and service was here. Perhaps I might do that in the near future. I do know that this place didn't always look like this and that this place certainly doesn't have the window lettering it does now! It's been a while since I payed attention to this place.

City Council honors Pincham, Finney Sr.

From Clout St : The City Council meeting got underway today with aldermen paying tribute to two African-Americans from the South who made their names in Chicago and became role models. First came a resolution honoring the late Leon Finney Sr. of the popular Leon's Ribs restaurant. In attendance is Finney's son, Rev. Leon Finney Jr., is a key Daley supporter and Plan Commission member. "Your father is part of Chicago's history," Daley said. "To me he represented that 'I will' spirit of the immigrant coming to Chicago." "He was the first black man I ever saw with a Rolls Royce," Ald. Freddrenna Lyle (6th) said of Finney Sr. Then came a resolution in honor of another recently departed Southerner who came to Chicago as a young man and did well - Judge Eugene Pincham. Ald. Thomas Allen (38th) said Pincham was among the best lawyers he ever worked with. Other aldermen hailed Pincham as a mentor. Ald. Howard Brookins (21st) said Pincham was am

The city that (prompts) smirks

Read this post over at the Capitol Fax blog today. It covers several issues such as the foie-gras ban, the event promoters ordinance, the Children's Museum seeking a home in Grant Park, the city's interest in opposing any military action against Iran, and CTA service. I look forward to the comments most may not be positive.

Video: Todd Stroger Exposed

Via The Bench ! I didn't watch this last night but this was certainly on the heels of last year's expose about Governor Blagojevich . Chicago Argus thinks that the logical extension would have to be Daley Exposed although he doesn't think that's likely to happen. Any here's the segment that you missed last night: You can go directy to the CBS 2 website for a write-up if you'd like.

Lem's location at 59th & State

I just posted about them on this blog last week. I suppose the only place one can get some Lem's BBQ is on 75th Street. Here's some pictures of the 59th Street location from Big Time BBQ . He shouldn't have been sad that the 59th location was closed all he had to do was come out further south. It turns out that location was closed back in 2003. Just for the heck of it this vid from the Chicago Tribune about Lem's.

State funding shortage holds up pothole repairs

I suppose this is going to be one of those reasons why we should be calling for a statewide capitol program and that there has to be a way Springfield will be able to get it down without much pain. From the Sun-Times : Chicago is fighting a losing battle against potholes because arterial street re-surfacing has been put on hold for the last two years, aldermen were told Monday. First Deputy Transportation Commissioner Tom Powers blamed a shortage of state funding, apparently tied to the Illinois General Assembly's failure to approve a capital plan. "The state owes us $80 million. Typically, we use the state money to ... re-surface. And we haven't done any arterial re-surfacing in the last two years, with the exception of funds provided by the county to do work on county roads. That's the only arterial re-surfacing we've done in the last two years," Powers told the City Council's Transportation Committee. "That translates into ro

Payday loan law loophole swallows borrowers whole

I've been hearing about the issues with such businesses for years. It's unfortunate that there are those out there that want quick money but without realizing the price that is paid for it. From the Tribune : Kirk Donald was stuck in financial quicksand and sinking fast. He hustled harder on his daytime sales job, worked night security at a nursing home and delivered papers at dawn. He emptied his family's insurance policies and retirement savings, borrowed from family and friends, and went short of food. Why? To keep up with $2,000 in loans he had taken out without realizing that the 701 percent annual interest rate meant he would have to repay $5,848 in 4 1/2 months. Consumer advocates are trying to protect borrowers like Donald, waging a tug-of-war with the loan industry in the Illinois legislature in an effort to close a loophole in the 2005 payday loan reform law. The 2005 law capped rates on one type of loan: short-term "payday" loans taken out for up to 1

A quote

From the March 2008 issue of the Roseland Heights Community Association Newsletter: Not failure, but low aim is sin. That quote is from the former President of Morehouse College , Dr. Benjamin Elijah Mays .

Speaking Truth: Town Hall Meeting on Violence

This special aired on channel 2 last night. I didn't watch the whole program but such luminaries as Ald. Bob Fioretti, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Father Michael Pfleger, police superintendent Jody Weis, & CPS Board of Education Chair Rufus Williams. This meeting was held at Kennedy-King College on 63rd & Halsted. This was jointly convened by Channel 2 with their sister radio station WBBM 780 AM. I would like to provide a quote but of course this is about violence so I want to avoid as much of that here as possible. I may give some thoughts over at my other blog. In cities across the country as well as rural towns, neighborhoods have fallen on hard times, businesses have left, and residents have sunken into poverty. The Englewood neighborhood is one such area. The neighborhood was once a rail hub with manufacturing, and street after street of thriving businesses. But that changed many years ago, and police say where this poverty and unemployment, there is also violence. The Litt

Tests: Water drinkable despite drug

From the Sun-Times : City testing of Chicago's drinking water has turned up small amounts of a man-made drug and the insect repellent DEET, but officials said Friday that city water is safe to drink. "Right now there is no research out there that shows there's any harmful health effect from the components we found at very low levels," said John Spatz, commissioner of the city's Water Management Department. The city testing found a trace amount of the drug gemfibrozil, typically used to treat blood triglycerides, in both treated and untreated water. Carbamazepine, often prescribed to control seizures, was found in untreated water, Spatz said. Spatz cautioned against drawing firm conclusions from a single set of tests, which found carbamazepine at a South Side water treatment plant but not at the plant next to Navy Pier. Continued monthly testing -- using multiple labs -- should begin to give a more accurate picture, Spatz said. "Our water is saf

A closeout for Wal-Mart

More about the story about Wal-Mart not coming to the Chatham neighborhood from the Tribune : Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s hard-fought battle to turn Chicago into a beachhead for urban expansion across the country has come to a quiet end, at least for the foreseeable future, as big-city politics held sway over low prices. Now the world's largest retailer is turning its attention to a backup plan of opening stores just outside city limits, banking that thousands of low-to-middle-income city dwellers will travel to collar suburbs to shop at the discount store. Among the suburbs Wal-Mart is looking at are Calumet Park, Cicero and McCook, according to people familiar with Wal-Mart's plans. Wal-Mart got the word from city officials last month that Mayor Richard Daley doesn't want to risk a messy showdown with unions over Wal-Mart—like the big-box store battle of 2006—while Chicago is still in the running as a host city for the 2016 Olympics, according to people familiar with the m

Another direction

I know that I've posted pics from around the ward that I have taken over time but I want to take news ones around the neighborhood. I would like to do some limited video here as well. For right now I know I can definitely do photographs. BTW, there's no reason for you to get left out of the fun if you have digital photos or even mobile photos email them to the blog. I will definitely offer credit if you tell me who you are. So this summer is going to be interesting won't it?