Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Proposed hotel on 76th & state - meeting TONIGHT!

Found this info from flyers found yesterday...

Tonight, CAPCC is hosting a meeting which includes a proposed hotel on State street, between 76th & 77th, next to the gas station.

There was a lack of information of this meeting on the Chatham Avalon Park Community Council blog, despite the fact that CAPCC President Keith Tate is also the chairman for sub-area I, where this takes place.

The enclosed flyer from the Michigan Indian Association details some of the issues the community may have with the project. These include the fact that the developers are elderly gentlemen. One of them owns the Barbara Ann motel.

Certainy one other issue would be the location. While it is located by the Dan Ryan (which is good), and not too far from the 79th street El Station, the lot is situated between streets, with a gas station taking up any entrance form 76th, making it a bit harder for cars to enter the proposed complex.

Is this a good move? Already, there is the Legacy Project slated for 85th & the Dan Ryan. There's been talk about adding a hotel as part of a proposed development (including Wal Mart) in Alderman Beale's 9th ward.

Certainly the initially proposed Legacy project sounds like a good idea (i.e. that it is more than just a hotel, but also convention site, church & entertainment center), but how about the others?

Look for a future blog entry on hotels & motels (including a comparison of North Side & South Side). There are obvious problems and dangers, but also some potential benefits if planned correctly.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Lee Bey's Chicago: Requiem for a ‘Soul Queen’

Photo by in2jazz on Flickr

Lee Bey has a series of pictures and commentary about the now closed Soul Queen Restaurant @ 9031 S. Stony Island. The restaurant has been closed since the death of owner and operator Helen Anglin last summer. Read on about Anglin's restaurant, the building that it occupied, and why the restaurant will likely not re-open in the near future.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

UPDATED: One down!

An e-mail courtesy of Chicago Police public affairs forwarded from the Alderman's office:
Charges for off-duty police-involved shooting which occurred on March 26, 2010 at approximately 9 a.m. on the 7600 block of S. Vernon.

Lamont Ferdinand, 21, of the 7700 block of S. Wolcott was charged with Aggravated Assault - Peace Officer and Residential Burglary. Ferdinand is scheduled to appear in court on March 28, 2010.
I also posted a story over at the Facebook page about this earlier courtesy of Chicago Breaking News.

UPDATE March 29, 2010 There may be more suspects according to ABC 7
Shots were fired at 9:03 a.m. Friday in the 7600 block of South Vernon Avenue, according to police News Affairs Officer John Mirabelli.

An off-duty officer fired shots at three people and may have struck one, Independent Police Review Authority spokesman Curtis Tarver said.

Ferdinand showed up with a gunshot wound to John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County with bullets that were matched to the officer's gun and he was charged Saturday, police News Affairs Officer Hector Alfaro said.

The other two people fled the scene after the apparent break-in attempt, police said.

Census still hiring -- but time is running out!

The US Census is STILL hiring...but this is a limited time (perhaps finishing as early as this week). They are temporary and part time, but pay $18.25 an hour.

For more information about local test sites and opportunties, contact Local Census Office 2519 (Chicago Far South), 8510 S. Cottage Grove at 773-896-9640

They can provide information on available tetsing and interviews. If you are interested, plan on testing and interviewing this week.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Mayor Daley on the middle-class in Chicago

The same day that school vouchers passed through the Illinois Senate, they also approved legislation to allow Chicago Public School teachers to live outside of Chicago's city limits. Our mayor had this to say about this issue:
"Go to Detroit, St. Louis, the rest of ‘em. When they allow government employees to live outside the city, they lose all their middle-class," the mayor told reporters after a City Council meeting.

"If you say government employees don’t have to live here, I guess maybe elected officials don’t have to live here, too. You could start a trend. I don’t have to live in the ward. I don't have to live in the city. I can work on a contract. I firmly believe that is the essence of keeping neighborhoods strong."

And what would happen if Chicago lost its middle-class tax base?

"In other cities, they put a city income tax on it. I don’t believe in city income taxes,” the mayor said.
I got wind of this article via Newsalert but Joe Zekas at YoChicago calls Daley's quote, "Unbelievable!"

So then we should ask if being middle-class means that you must be a government employee? That or as Newsalert suggests a middle-class of government workers in the city is a strong patronage army.

Would Chicago's middle-class drop off because city public school teachers (for now at least) were no longer forced to live in Chicago?

Park Manor officers shoots burglar to his home

From Chicago Breaking News on Friday afternoon:
An off-duty Chicago police officer shot a burglar who broke into his South
Side residence this morning, law enforcement sources said.

The officer, who was inside the home when burglars entered the house in the 7600 block of South Vernon Avenue about 9 a.m., shot one of the suspects, the sources said.

Shortly after the shooting, a man with a gunshot wound went to St. Bernard Hospital, and detectives were working this morning to confirm whether the victim was the burglar who broke into the officer's home.
-- Annie Sweeney and staff

Levois has a certain opinion on this (see comments section). Let me share a different one (i'll try not to get too off topic here):

Chicago's law, in my opinion HONORS the 2nd amendment. Those who are in a "well regulated militia" are allowed to have weapons. This includes PRIVATE militias (such as security firms). What this means for the gun user, however, is accountability as well as (hopefully) training.

I would be interested to hear if the officer was preparing for his beat (i.e. what was his readiness when the people tried to break in).

If criminals know this neighborhood, they know there are many police officers here, but also senior citizens. Who/what were they expecting when they broke in. I doubt they were expecting a living person. If so, would they still have tried to break in?

One of the best preventions of crime is not everyone keeping arms (gangbangers regularly attack rivals who they expect to be armed as well), but I would say active and alert neighbors, who are watching who and what is going on, so they can notify police (or the potential criminal) that something is going on and people are watching & caring.

A worthy tangent to go into later is how tight a community the Chatham & Park Manor neighborhoods were several years ago, so that a stranger/potential burglar wouldn't have been ignored back in the day, and he wouldn't have tried to break in back then.

Friday, March 26, 2010

City Council showdown on Wal-Mart in May?

Far South Side Ald. Anthony Beale (9th) has said he has the votes to break the City Council stalemate that has prevented Wal-Mart from building as many as five Chicago stores.
Sources said Phase One of Pullman Park -- the massive mixed-use project between 103rd and 111th along the Bishop Ford Freeway -- will be on the Plan Commission's April 15 agenda. That sets the stage for a possible City Council showdown in May.

The 180-acre project includes 850 homes, a hotel tower, community recreation center, park and senior apartments. It would be anchored by Chicago's first Wal-Mart super-center that sells groceries desperately needed in the heart of the "food desert."

The residential portion of Pullman Park would require a substantial city subsidy, but sources said the commercial phase will be considered first in an apparent end-run around the City Council's Finance Committee. The plan commission will consider the parcel's zoning.

Sources said two of Mayor Daley's top political operatives -- former chief of staff Lori Healey and former campaign manager Terry Peterson -- recently traveled to Wal-Mart's Bentonville, Ark., headquarters to huddle with company officials about legislative strategy. That might be a sign that Daley is behind the Pullman push.
As for a potential Wal-Mart on 83rd and Stewart in the 21st Ward:
Two months ago, Finance Committee Chairman Edward M. Burke (14th) tried and failed to tie a stalled Chatham Wal-Mart at 83rd and Stewart to a requirement that retailers with more than 50 employees that benefit “directly or indirectly” from city subsidies pay a “living wage” of at least $11.03-an-hour.

Barring an unforeseen wage deal between Wal-Mart and organized labor, Burke has told colleagues he has no intention of moving the Chatham Wal-Mart. He doesn’t want to risk alienating union support he needs.
This is a relatively brief article but read the whole thing to get some more details on this development in Beale's 9th Ward.

Via CapFax morning shorts!

What do you think of school vouchers in Chicago?

Because a bill sponsored by State Sen. James Meeks (who is also pastor of Salem Baptist Church) advanced through the Senate and is on its way to the state House for consideration!
The Illinois Senate today approved legislation creating a small-scale voucher program that would provide money for 22,000 students at the worst-performing Chicago Public Schools to attend private schools.

The students would get a voucher equivalent to the minimum amount of money the state requires districts to spend on each child. The vouchers would be part of a test program and could be used toward expenses at any private school in Chicago that is willing to participate.

The legislation, sponsored by Sen. James Meeks, D-Chicago, passed 33-20 with three present votes.
Another item of note from that link:
The voucher issue long has simmered in Illinois, with teachers unions opposed to the idea, saying it strips struggling public schools of resources.
For your viewing pleasure check out this interview with James Meeks that is airing on the Illinois Channel this week!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Illinois unemployment rises, but signs point to joblessness slowing

Unemployment in Illinois edged higher in February, holding at a 26-year high.

But a measure of joblessness indicates the pace of job loss is slowing.

The seasonally adjusted jobless rate rose to 11.4% last month, the highest since July 1983, up from 11.3% in January, according to the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

The report showed that there were 900 fewer jobs in Illinois month over month. However, the three-month moving average showed an increase of about 300 jobs.

The IDES report also followed news that Illinois factories are starting to hire again. Manufacturing showed an increase of 900 jobs in February, the sector's second straight month of gains after two years of losses. One thousand jobs were added in January.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Daley spurns aldermens' gripes over street cleaning plan

Mayor Daley on Tuesday swept aside aldermanic complaints about his cost-cutting plan to switch street sweeping from a ward-by-ward to a grid system and reduce the number of sweepers by 34 percent.

“If this side of the street is one ward and the other side [is another ward], we can only clean one side one day and the other [side] the other day. So, you clean both at the same time,” Daley said.

“It’s efficiency and saving money. If I can only go up to Ohio Street and not cross, people say, `Why can’t you cross? Well, that’s a different ward.’ It’s a grid system. ... Instead of stopping at one block, you keep going another block or two blocks or three blocks. ... It’s like a library. A library doesn’t serve one [ward]. It serves the whole community.”

Aldermen don’t see it that way. To them, it’s a dramatic reduction in a service their constituents hold dear — and a loss of control for aldermen who’ll get the blame if a fall-off leaves their streets filthy.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Integration and more gentrification in Chatham?

This comment was made on the Facebook page a few days ago:
(East) Chatham has been like that for a while. (Northwest) Chatham (a.k.a. Park Manor) is still decent. But it's always been rough from Cottage to Langley. But what needs to happen is MORE gentrification. They not gon' have violence where the white folks live. So, let's be open to them moving back in.
Hmmmm. I think this statement needs a tackling.

Well this was in response to a link I posted there from the CAPCC blog once again proclaiming Chatham is still "Just like Detroit".

I suppose we can talk about Chatham "Hyde Parked" once again! In this regards we'd be talking about integration again.

My goal for Chatham as always is to attract younger people with children, well families to the neighborhood. To do that we may need to find ways to bring needed amenities to this community. And make sure our local schools are in good shape.

As for gentrification. We might need to define that more. There will be those who will be opposed to that although it should be understood that if there is a problem things can't stay the same as they are currently in Chatham.

Of course as always I would just like to say that comparing Chatham to Detroit is very much over-the-top!

Clout St: Some wards could get less street sweeping

Could this proposal affect the south side more?
Some Chicago wards would get more frequent street cleaning while others would go longer between sweeps under a proposal by Mayor Richard Daley’s administration to cut the number of sweepers, aldermen said today.

Instead of one sweeper in each ward, the city would have 33, with each one assigned to an equally sized chunk of the city under a “grid system,” aldermen said today after being briefed Monday by Streets and Sanitation Commissioner Thomas Byrne.

“I want to keep Chicago cleaner,” said Ald. Willie Cochran, who opposes the measure because it would give him less control over how streets are cleaned in his 20th Ward on the South Side. “I want more efficient delivery of services. Some wards need more work. Mine is one of them. . . . I want to keep control of that sweeper.”

Ald. Richard Mell, 33rd, also expressed reservations, saying he often assigns a street sweeper where it’s needed, giving the example of cleanup after a block party.
Under the current system, geographically smaller wards get swept more often than the bigger wards. If the grid system were implemented, each grid would be of equal size, so each street in smaller-sized wards would get swept less often, aldermen said.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Chicago family suffers a second violent death

Chicago family suffers a second violent death -

This is an update to an earlier story about a shooting that occured in East Chatham. Interestingly enough Steven Lee who is the victim who passed away in this shooting was the brother of a Chicago Police Officer Eric Lee who was killed in 2001.

Posted using ShareThis

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Two men shot in East Chatham

Outside of the ward, but I suppose still noteworthy! Check out the comments at the link.
The incident happened about 5:52 a.m. in the 8100 block of South Ingleside Avenue in the East Chatham neighborhood, police said.

The men were shot after a man described as about 6-feet-tall and wearing a beige coat walked up to them and began firing, police said.

A 32-year-old man was shot in the abdomen and a 35-year-old man was shot in the chest and thigh before running to the 8200 block of South Ellis Avenue.

The older man was originally listed in critical condition but his condition has stabilized. The second man was listed in critical condition, police said. Both were taken to Stroger Hospital aftre the shooting.

Police are investigating whether the shooting was gang related.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

In front of Harlan a week ago

Location: Harlan Academy, Chicago, IL 60628, USA
I wish I had posted this in a more timely fashion. Last Saturday there were two police cars sitting in front of the main entrance at Harlan High School. School wasn't in session on that day, so what's the deal on this morning?

State, City Job Listings

Here is a listing of open jobs

Friday, March 19, 2010

Teen shot in Cole Park

One of many incidents around the city during this period of unseasonably warm weather:
At 6:37 p.m. a 19-year-old man playing basketball in Cole Park, 8500 S. King Dr., was shot after trying to break up a fight. He was taken to Jackson Park Hospital in good condition, police said.

Encourage Bottom-Up Redevelopment: Reason Saves Cleveland

This video basically takes aim at central planning in cities. Wal-Mart figures in this vid about revitalizing Cleveland. In fact Cleveland attempted to keep out Wal-Mart using zoning to defeat them. Of course there was a local union-operated grocery to use, but they were forced to serve a growing community in order to survive. Could Chicago be well served by having liberal zoning policies?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

8000 & 8100 South Calumet block club meeting tonight

The 8000 & 8100 blocks of Calumet are meeting TONIGHT (Thursday, March 25th) at 6:30 pm at Crerar Memorial Presbyterian Church, 8100 S. Calumet (corner of Calumet and 81st).

We will cast a new vision for the block club, as well as share new information.
If you are just coming form work, please feel free to bring your dinner.

An RSVP is requested.

Contact JP Paulus at 312 (area code), 282- 2809 or e-mail jp ((at)) paulus ((dot)) com to RSVP.

Contractor/Vendor Job Fair/Workshop

The City of Markham is holding a

Contractor/Vendor Job Fair/Workshop

for a New Senior Living Complex

Thursday, March 25th

from 3:00pm - 6:00pm

16313 South Kedzie Pkwy

Markham City Hall Court Chambers

Especially seeking licensed HVAC, Electrical, and Plumbing contractors

Supply vendors also welcome to attend

Keeping the Ward Clean

In a conversation with the Ward Streets and Sanitation office there are several things residents can do to help keep the ward clean and rodent free
  1. Place trash inside the carts and close lids. keeps pest out of cans and trash off the ground
  2. Limit large items(chairs, bed frames, etc,) to one to two items per week. There are no more "Bulk" or "Junk"  pickups and these items go on the regular truck. If excessive large items are out they may not be picked up ( garbage truck personnel are not responsible for completing your "cleanouts")and may be subject to fines.  Also, place these items out as close to pickup date as possible.
  3. Call 311 and report fly dumping, cart additions or replacement.
  4. Please cooperate and move your vehicle when you see the signs posted for street cleaning
  5. If you have problems with dirty alleys, excessive trash or any other sanitation problem call the office at 312-747-8776. Your ward sanitation superintendent is Mr. Brian Gardner. Mr. Gardner goal is to make the 6th Ward the cleanest in Chicago.  

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

77-year-old man critically injured in Chatham fire

A 77-year-old Chicago man was critically injured in a fire in a single-family home on the South Side this morning, a Fire Department spokesman said.

The man was rescued from the home in the 8100 block of South Champlain Avenue after someone called emergency crews about 7 a.m., said Fire Department spokesman Quention Curtis.

He was taken by ambulance to Jackson Park Hospital in critical condition, Curtis said. The exact nature of his injuries was not available, and Curtis did not have information about where the man was in the house when he was rescued or if anyone else was in the home at the time.

Who is "the community" and what do we want?

i have heard a lot about what "the community" does NOT want in the neighborhood, such as dollar stores, or even a 24 hour Subway.

But what do we actually want?

With all the complaining and seeming pickiness...why would any business owner want to set up shop here?

Who would be willing to put up with a lot of harassment from people who probably won't even support your business?

We have several empty store fronts, including a very nice'll be months before real estate picks up...maybe even longer since we're not Downtown or the North side (and very few of those residents are coming down here for anything).

If we want businesses to come, we as a community need to clearly say what we want.

i'd like to start this conversation by getting some ideas of what YOU want to see in this community.

If we get enough response, i'd like to post it on a poll later. But for now..PLEASE COMMENT. We can get this conversation started...but ONLY with YOUR help!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Has crime been transported into Chatham?

Harold Lucas of the Bronzeville Visitor's Center starts off in this video (actually this is the second visitor of an interview by Marc Sims check out the first one here) saying that the crime that was once prevalent in Bronzeville has been transported into Chatham on 79th Street. He then goes on to say that making a heritage area out of Bronzeville could ultimately benefit other black neighborhoods on the South Side.

The question to ask is if you believe that crime has been transported into the Chatham community from Bronzeville?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Back to that building near 79th & State

Pic taken in either September or October 2009
I see that vacant and boarded up building near the corner of 79th & State off the Dan Ryan. Especially riding the L on a clear sunny day heading South.

An idea to revitalize this building recently hit me! This could be one way to identify the Chatham community for the many who either ride the Dan Ryan L or drive on the Dan Ryan especially if they come South. Besides if they're heading north it's unlikely that they'll notice that building in their rearview mirrors.

I see looking around downtown Chicago that many old buildings have been revitalized. Even old facades have been restored to what they used to look like when they were new a hundred or so years ago. However, the insides of these buildings were built brand new in recent years.

One day it hit me that like some of those old buildings downtown, there ought to be a restaurant in that old building. And the vacant lot right on the corner of 79th & State could be used as an outdoor cafe of some sort with even a well landscaped garden with flowers.

Over at the CAPCC blog they discuss using this vacant lot as a specialty hot dog stand. Surely an idea like that could be incorporated into the site.

What other uses would you like to see this building restored to?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Despite cuts, CTA ridership holds steady

By ctabusphotographer on Flickr
This article ran on Chicago Current on March 10th:
Despite service cuts started on Feb. 7, ridership fell just 1.3 percent in February when compared to the same month in 2009, CTA President Richard Rodriguez told the board today.

The February cuts reduced total bus service by 18 percent, and rail service by half that amount. In all, CTA officials said the system provided 39.5 million rides during February of this year.

Officials said the small drop in ridership means commuters have been coping with the transit system’s realities, dealing with reduced service rather than fleeing the transit system.

An interesting point is that bus traffic was down 4 percent from 2009, while rail traffic increased 3 percent, perhaps indicating that riders have switched to the mode of transit affected less by the cuts.

Friday, March 12, 2010

REMINDER: Greater Chatham Alliance is seeking interim officers.

Just a reminder that tomorrow is that LAST day for nominees for the Greater Chatham Alliance. It is a temporary position, until November, when you may run again if you wish.

See our previous entry for details.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Work ongoing to rehab Chicago's foreclosed properties

This WLS-TV story also has a quote from our Alderman:
There is a sign that the foreclosure crisis in the nation is slowing. It comes as Chicago officials work to stabilize neighborhoods that have many foreclosed properties.

A new report shows the number of households facing foreclosure in February grew by 6 percent over a year ago. However, that's the smallest annual increase in four years. In Chicago, federal funding is being used to rehab foreclosed and abandoned properties. But, some are upset, saying that work hasn't reached their neighborhoods.

The federal government has freed up $153 million for Chicago's foreclosed homes. Throughout the city developers are transforming the boarded up eyesores. For some, that transformation can't happen fast enough.
The rehab is funded by the federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program. The city has bought 200 properties so far with the NSP money.

The city's first deputy commissioner of community development updated aldermen and residents at a hearing Thursday at City Hall. Many at the hearing had concerns about the program not doing more in some of the areas hardest hit by foreclosure.

Aldermen had the first chance to voice their opinions.

"I am so angry in polite company I can't tell you how angry I am," said Ald. Freddrenna Lyle, 6th Ward.

"When the money comes in, if we don't get our fair share, it leaves us where we are. So we want our fair share," said Ald. Ed Smith, 28th Ward.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Family: Bowen student fatally hit by up to 3 vehicles

More details on that hit-and-run on that 15 year old girl:
Chicago police said Raymond was struck by a driver who was driving under the influence of alcohol. She then was thrown into the path of a second vehicle and hit again, police believe. Detectives are following up on whether a third car was involved.

Raymond had just stepped onto East 87th Street near King Drive about 11:15 p.m. Saturday when the collision occurred, authorities said. She died Monday morning at Advocate Hope Children's Hospital in Oak Lawn. The Cook County medical examiner's office ruled her death an accident after an autopsy on Tuesday found she died of multiple injuries.

The driver of the first vehicle to strike Raymond was ticketed for striking a pedestrian and a plate registration violation, in addition to DUI, police said, adding that the crash remains under investigation. The second driver wasn't ticketed.

Family members said Raymond was on the phone seconds before the collision and was being harassed by at least one man on the street, but police said that could not be confirmed.

The family is imploring anyone with information on the crash to come forward.
Just terrible!

University of Chicago, Provident Hospital talk of health care partnership

Cook County is in talks with the University of Chicago Medical Center to have the Hyde Park hospital staff doctors at nearby Provident Hospital, county health officials said Monday.

Cook County would continue to own and manage Provident, while U of C physicians would treat patients and possibly train medical residents at the 172-bed facility, Cook County said in a news release.

A deal could make sense for both sides.

Cook County stands to get fresh revenue from U of C referrals and gain a boost to the reputation of Provident, which has plenty of empty beds.

And Provident could serve as a key partner for U of C’s Urban Health Initiative, a four-year-old program that offloads patients requiring routine care to nearby clinics and community hospitals so its doctors can focus on providing more-specialized care on its main campus.

Talk of a formal partnership has gone on for years. But Cook County Health and Hospitals System CEO Bill Foley, who was appointed last year, appears ready to forge closer ties to U of C as part of his broader strategy to fix the long-troubled public health system.

“A key part of our strategic plan involves developing partnerships in the community to make sure that we can meet the health care needs of the residents of Cook County,” Mr. Foley said in a written statement.
I would rather the county contracts with other hospitals in the county to provide health care services than for the burden to be place only on the county health system.

CAPCC Blog: Chatham Youth Mentoring Corps?

A post on the Chatham/Avalon Park Community Council blog that seemed to buried underneath other stories. It's entitled "It's Time for a Chatham Youth Mentoring Corps"

I think it's worth discussing. Can anyone specify what you see are the barriers form this happening?
Do you think mentors for the young people in our community would prove useful toward the development of our community. It would be productive if educated, skilled and trained men and women, seniors and middle-aged residents would reach out to the youth in Chatham, bring them under their wings and mentor them with internships and apprenticeships in business, the professions, athletics, the arts and sciences, beyond what they have learned in the school systems, and give them a stipend for their efforts and participation.

Would you like to be a mentor for a few hours a week? It would cross the generational gaps with a bridge of trust, communication, and understanding to reach areas of common interests.

Perhaps you would want to step up and create and lead a Chatham Youth Mentoring Corps.

Let us know by leaving your comments on the comment line.

Some interesting thoughts. Is this happening on some level anywhere in the community?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

15 year old girl dies in Chatham hit-and-run

A 15-year-old girl who was struck by a car in a hit-and-run accident in the Chatahm neighborhood on the South Side over the weekend died Monday.

The girl -- identified as Shayla Raymond, of the 8500 block of South Buffalo Avenue, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office -- was hit by a vehicle at 11:17 p.m. on Saturday in the 400 block of East 87th Street, police News Affairs Officer Daniel O’Brien said.

Raymond was pronounced dead at 11 a.m. Monday at Advocate Hope Children’s Hospital in Oak Lawn, the medical examiner’s office said.

She was a 9th grade student at Bowen Environmental Studies High School, 2710 E. 89th St., according to Chicago Public Schools spokeswoman Monique Bond.

O’Brien said the girl was initially hospitalized in critical condition after the hit-and-run accident. An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday, according to the medical examiner’s office.
No one is in custody. A description of the car isn't currently available. However police are investigating!

Chatham Pancake House gets boost from from Country Club Hills

The following news story (click link) is about Leslie Noel, who worked his way up at Chatham Pancake House on 79th (next to Target), rising up to owner. He then started his own place in his current hometown of Country Club Hills. Unfortunately, he hasn't been as successful, but that city still believes in him...

Pancake house gets boost from city :: The SouthtownStar :: Phil Kadner

Does anyone know who owns the Chatham, Chicago location?

How is the food and service? Better, worse, or the same?

While the Country Club Hills location is suffering, is our Pancake House doing OK? We would love to post an entry on it. If you know the current owners, please have them e-mail us at thesixthward (at)


Monday, March 8, 2010

8000 & 8100 South Calumet block club meeting on March 25

The 8000 & 8100 blocks of Calumet are meeting on Thursday, March 25th at 6:30 pm at Crerar Memorial Presbyterian Church, 8100 S. Calumet (corner of Calumet and 81st).

We will cast a new vision for the block club, as well as share new information.

If you are just coming from work, please feel free to bring your dinner.

An RSVP is requested.

Contact JP Paulus at 312 (area code), 282- 2809 or e-mail jp ((at)) paulus ((dot)) com to RSVP.

CTA news

First off the CTA gets $1.5 Million for electrified vehicle stalls:
A $1.5 million federal grant for the construction of electrified vehicle stalls that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and unnecessary fuel consumption has been awarded to the Chicago Transit Authority.

The funding, from the U.S. Dept. of Transportation was announced by Sen. Dick Durbin's office on Friday.

The stalls constructed through this funding will deliver electrical power to up to 80 vehicles and provide services such as heating and air-conditioning to vehicles that would otherwise be left idling during overnight cleaning, a release from Durbin's office said. The electricity provided by the stalls will help reduce diesel consumption and emissions from parked buses in Chicago and suburban areas, which in turn will extend the availability of domestic energy supplies, reduce dependence on foreign sources of oil, and improve air quality, the release said.
I think it's great to be environmentally friendly, perhaps this money should be used towards cutting down on the financial problems at CTA. Why get money to buy new equipment since times are very tight now?

Also from the Tribune CTA bus driver's pay is the 3rd highest in the nation!
At $28.64 an hour, the top wage rate for Chicago Transit Authority bus drivers ranks third-highest among U.S. transit agencies, according to an analysis conducted for the Tribune.

CTA bus drivers trail only their counterparts at two transit agencies operating on opposite coasts. The top hourly salary for bus drivers at the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority in Boston leads the industry, at $30.18; while the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority in San Jose, Calif., pays bus operators with the most seniority $28.86 an hour, according to John A. Dash & Associates, a transit research firm in Havertown, Pa.

But the rankings catapult CTA bus drivers to elite status — the highest-paid in the nation — when the cost of living in the Chicago area is compared with the Boston and San Jose markets. That was the case in 2008 as well — before the last two CTA pay raises — when an internal study by the Amalgamated Transit Union, the labor union that represents CTA bus drivers, ranked CTA drivers No. 3 overall in top hourly pay and No. 1 when the Consumer Price Index was taken into account.

Drivers strongly defend their pay at a time when the transit agency's management is demanding they give up raises and take furlough days to close a budget deficit and end cuts that slashed bus service by 18 percent in February. CTA bus driver Pat Mojarro said transit employees "are worth at least $150 an hour" because of the responsibilities and potential dangers of the job.

"We are verbally and physically attacked every day. We are expected to be police, homeland security, lost and found, maintenance, doctor and psychiatrist for the public," Mojarro said. "Add that up and see how much we are underpaid."
Which reminds me of this story from the CTA Tattler:
Jim shared the story: The #65 Grand was headed west, when a man with a walker signaled he wanted to get off at State Street to connect with the Red Line. The driver blew past the Red Line stop because the bus stop was removed due to construction on the new station at Grand.

When the man with the walker asked the driver why he didn't stop, and how hard was it to get back to State Street, Jim said the driver replied: "Tough ti**ies!" You should have taken the Pace car!"

This prompted some hootin' and hollerin' from the other bus passengers:

"You should have been the one who was laid off," screamed one passenger.

Another yelled: "Fire all of you and get some folks that will take pride in their work and will be grateful to have a job!"

One more shouted: "It is all yours and the union's fault for this transit mess. Shame on you and your brothers!"
Hmmm, is anyone out there upset about the troubles at the CTA? Are you this close to taking it out on the employees?

Well I don't want you to do anything rash, but note anytime any employee of CTA aren't being particularly customer friendly. In that story it appears to be the case that the driver wasn't customer friendly.

Another post from CTA Tattler is of adapting.
It's now been a full month since CTA bus service was cut by almost 20% and train service by about 10%.

What, you had forgotten?

We humans are a very evolved animal species, so we can adapt well. And it's a damn good thing, because folks, those cuts are NOT coming back.
Well I still can't say I've had a tough time getting around on CTA after the cutbacks. But O'Neill at CTA Tattler is right. It's very likely that those cuts aren't coming back, but we do know that good times will return. When they do hopefully CTA will do well under better management. Let's try to be optimistic.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Chatham Avalon Park Community Council meeting tomorrow

Reminder from Chatham Avalon Park Community Council's blog, regarding their monthly meeting:

Our next monthly meeting for March, 2010 will be held Monday, March 8, 2010 at
the Northern Trust Bank, 78Th & State Street at 6:30 P.M. to 8:30 P.M.

No agenda was listed.

If someone goes to the meeting, can someone point out the posts on the CAPCC blog, especially the ones that, well, are questionable?

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Harlan's Academic Center

This was on Harlan High School homepage about their 7th & 8th Grade program:
Harlan's Academic Center (7th & 8th grade, gifted program) is one of the most prestigious academic programs in Illinois.  Just recently, Harlan's Academic Center was ranked #37 amongst Illinois schools.  Approximately 98% - 100% of our Academic Center students have consistently scored at/or above the national norms on the ISAT and Explore tests.  Upon completion of their 8th grade year, students are encouraged to remain at Harlan Community Academy High School for their high school career.  Amongst the students to remain at Harlan, many have earned the validictorian and/or salutatorian titles, they have embraced and excelled in Advanced Placement courses, and they have received extensive four-year scholarships to universities, such as, Northwestern University, Bethune Cookman University, Northeastern Illinois University, etc. 

The Academic Center curriculum has changed slightly to embrace Harlan's new Engineering Magnet program and AVID.  With these added courses, these students will be introduced to the Design and Modeling of Engineering, as well as, an introduction to AVID's Cornell Note-taking style, and organizational skills needed to be successful in college
OK, consider this an open blog. I want to know what the parents out there think of Harlan's Academic Center. Is it fulfilling the needs of your children before they do secondary school level work? Why or why not?

Greater Chatham Alliance is still seeking officers -- nominations due next Saturday

The Greater Chatham Alliance is seeking nominations for officers.

These are interim positions, from March 2010 until November 2010, when full elections will be held.

Nominations for all offices are sought.

here's the announcement:

GCA will be accepting nominations for candidates to run in the 2010 Interim
election for our Executive Board (term: April 2010 to November 2010).

Election to be held at the GCA March Meeting on:
March 20, 2010
St. James Lutheran Church 8000 S. Michigan Ave.
11:00 AM.

We need candidates for:
- President
- Vice President
- Recording Secretary
- Treasurer
- Corresponding Secretary

Nominate yourself, or someone who is a "2010 DUES PAID" member of GCA for
one of the executive board positions by March 13, 2010.


All potential candidates must be a “2010 Dues Paid ($30).” member of GCA. Before the election, candidates will be given three (3) minutes to introduce themselves and state their qualifications and vision for the office they seek.

Call one of the ELECTION COORDINATORS to submit your nomination:
Rosie Curry: 773.651. 2583 or Johnny Johnson: 773.723.1199
8232 S. Michigan Chicago, IL 60619

For general Greater Chatham Alliance questions, call 773.994.5308 or

Please consider nominating yourself or others.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Previous stories, now in print...

We posted the link about New Covenant Misisonary Baptist Church hosting the pledge by several Baptist churches to raise $50 million for Haiti. It is in today's Chicago Tribune, paper edition.

Also, on Tuesday, the RedEye, published the "results" of their survey.

I still believe it was fixed, as numbers barely changed from Fridya morning to Sunday night.

Here's the link to my claim --> Is the Metromix Poll fixed?

In tuesday's print RedEye, absolutely no numbers were published (either votes, or percentages).

i did notice the link we had here was messed up, so i apologize if anyone tried. to vote but couldn't.

But for the Tribune to not post ANY numbers?! Very shady stuff.

Let us know what you think...

Englewood Charter school gets all its seniors into college -

A positive story about Englewood! All the young men of Englewood prep have been accepted into 4 year colleges!

Great to hear! Now, the battle isn't over...they need to actually finish & get their degree to really make some changes in their lives. This will take continued support and work. But congratulations of all of them passing this huge milestone.

Click the link below for the full story from today's Tribune.

Charter school in tough neighborhood gets all its seniors into college -

Posted using ShareThis

Could Wal-Mart provide private security?

On December 18, Chicago Public Radio's 848 broadcast a story talking about how residents in a Gary neighborhood are pooling money to hire private security to patrol their streets.

It's not intended to slam the police, but simply acknowledge that they can't be everywhere all the time.

One thing Wal-Mart could do is partner with local residents to use some of their security to patrol not only the store grounds, but also the neighborhood, and report any suspicious activity.

In addition, perhaps cameras at neighbors' residences could be tied into Wal-Mart's system for a discounted rate, so that if residents so choose, they could get Wal-Mart's help in stopping and preventing crime in the neighborhood (an issue cited by those avidly against Wal-Mart).

If Wal-Mart were to offer a partnership in private security, would you be interested?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Students at Worst Schools Get Ticket to Elite High Schools

What do you think about this story?
Chicago is adding a total of 100 seats to four coveted high schools: Northside College Prep, Walter Payton, Whitney Young, and Jones College Prep, where competition to get in is fierce.

Schools chief Ron Huberman says it’s not fair that students from the lowest performing elementary schools rarely get into the city’s top high schools. So now CPS will set aside seats for those kids.

Huberman says school officials have combed through the worst elementaries and picked out kids with high test scores. Some never applied for the city’s competitive high schools, and others were rejected in the normal application process.
Here's more from the Sun-Times:
The best-scoring eighth-graders from some of the city's worst-scoring schools are being saved 100 seats at four elite college preps -- including the top-scoring high school in the state -- in the latest twist to this year's controversial admission process.

Some time this week, 336 eighth-graders at 87 of the lowest-scoring public schools will be sent letters inviting them to apply to Whitney Young Magnet and Northside, Payton and Jones College Preps under the "choice'' provisions of the federal No Child Left Behind law, Chicago Public Schools officials said Wednesday.

Previously, CPS has used the federal "choice" provision to offer kids from low-scoring elementary schools seats in better schools, but Wednesday's announcement marks CPS' first venture into high school "choice.''

The new procedure raised immediate questions: Given the chance, will such kids want to attend such rigorous schools? If they go, will they be successful?
Here are some stats starting with the Sun-Times:
All 336 prospective "choice'' students scored at the 77th percentile or above on seventh-grade state reading and math tests, indicating they have potential to be competitive at a college prep, schools CEO Ron Huberman said. However, some may have attended schools that did little or nothing to help their kids apply to college preps, he said.
The new development comes after 3,040 other students were sent letters last week notifying them that their test scores and grades won them a seat at one of the city's nine college preps under a new process tied to socioeconomic factors and census tracts. Some 23 percent of all 13,056 kids who took the admission test were ultimately offered a seat.
Data released Wednesday indicate that Northside, Young and Lindblom College Prep selected far fewer students from the lowest of four economic tiers that were supposed to produce 60 percent of selected kids under this year's new process. Using that method, Northside -- the state's highest-scoring public high school -- picked 55 kids from the richest tier, but only 15 kids from the poorest one.
Then more stats from the Tribune:
But of the 336 students who have high enough standardized test scores to be considered under the new plan, 270 had already applied to selective high schools. And more than a few of the 87 sending schools said that they already encourage their students to apply to the selective schools. At Mollison Elementary, half of the eighth-grade class applied to such schools, though only four students scored high enough to be eligible for the program.
Here's the reasoning:
One reason for starting the program now appears to be the fear that a new admissions system started this year will re-segregate the elite schools. A federal court order that forced racial balancing in the schools was scrapped last year, forcing the district to devise a way to maintain diversity without using race as a primary factor. Under the new admissions criteria, 60 percent of the openings were divided according to four socioeconomic tiers. The rest of the openings were given to the highest-scoring students.

Many suspected that would result in less racial balance. And the district acknowledged that the new students, who will come from poverty-stricken schools that are almost entirely African-American and Latino, will help maintain diversity at the schools.

"The program also will help ensure continued racially diverse student bodies at the district's selective enrollment high schools," according to a Chicago Public Schools press release.

Yet despite promises of transparency, district officials refused to release the racial breakdown of students given offers through the new high school admissions process. Specifically, schools chief Ron Huberman skirted the issue of whether the new policy resulted in fewer offers to African-American and Latino students.

Of the new program, he said: "This is an additional factor that helps ensure the inclusiveness of all of our schools."
Do you think that our elite public schools will remain diverse as a result of these efforts?

Interested in running for a Local School Council

Well just some info because this blog has broached the subject earlier this week.

In January 2008, this blog provided a link to a CPS page regarding LSCs. Today I will provide another one since that link is now broken.

You can now go to this link to find out more about LSCs.

If this is something you're interested in then you might want to get in on this before, state Sen. James Meeks turns LSCs into mere advisory councils. Although to be sure there have been assaults on the powers of LSCs.

All the same and this goes for LeahE. If you're interesting in running for a spot on a Local School Council I would like for you to get into touch with this blog. At the very least publicize your effort to make some of our local schools better institutions.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Rallying for Wal-Mart

Crain's with a follow-up video to a recent article talking about the efforts of a group of south side ministers to bring Wal-Mart to Chatham Market, Englewood, and Pullman.

Fire rescues save 28 people from multi-alarm fire

Well it's good to hear that a good number of people were saved! Courtesy of WGN:
Firefighters made dozens of rescues this morning, from a burning three story apartment building in the Chicago's Chatham neighborhood.

The fire broke out around 1:00 a.m., in the 7900 block of South Ellis.

It started in a basement apartment, but quickly spread to the upper floors.

Firefighters used ladders to bring those residents to safety.
Thankfully no one was hurt and five were taken to area hospitals. The main thing was that people were saved.

US Grant Memorial Highway

Had no idea 95th Street is also a memorial highway named for famed Civil War general and 18th President of the United State, Ulysses S. Grant. The US Grant Highway with a sign here located near 95th & State is designated through the state of Illinois as US Route 20. This press release is possibly why there is a sign here.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

New Covenant hosts announcment: $50 million for Haiti

New Covenant Misisonary Baptist Church, at 77th & Cottage Grove, is a leader in a bringing together organizations for the greater good. Here is an example.

From Chicago Breaking News:

Black Baptists pledge $50 million for Haiti
March 2, 2010 3:07 PM No Comments

Committed to keeping the needs of Haiti in the spotlight, an unprecedented alliance of five black Baptist organizations has pledged to raise $50 million to rebuild the Caribbean nation after the devastating January earthquake.

The African-American Baptist Mission Collaboration, which includes the National Missionary Baptist Convention of America, Progressive National Baptist Convention, National Baptist Convention of America, National Baptist Convention, USA and Lott Carey Baptist Foreign Mission Convention, unveiled its ambitious initiative at New Covenant Baptist Church on Chicago's South Side on Tuesday.
Rev. David Emmanuel Goatley, executive secretary-treasurer of the Lott Carey Baptist Foreign Mission Convention, an international mission agency of black Baptist heritage, said he believes the nation's 50,000 Baptist congregations will have no difficulty meeting the financial goal even as donations to relief agencies have slowed down nearly two months after the earthquake.
"African-Americans are generous people and they rise to the occasion," he said. "We are confident that given the opportunity and given the avenue to move resources that our people will respond. Hopefully this will be a catalyst."

-- Manya A. Brachear
Just a note: as far as i can tell, the Southern Baptists are not a part of this effort. They do have an organization, Full Gospel Baptist Fellowship, which last time i chekced, was predominantly African-American.

Showdown in handgun ban

However the US Supreme Court will decide this issue may well affect us in the City of Chicago.

I want to expose my bias here. I would support any attempt to take aim at the handgun ban as I support the 2nd Amendment. Banning guns doesn't necessarily make citizens safer as it is my belief that there are those citizens who would disregard any gun ban for their own aims mainly criminal aims. Law abiding citizens should have the right if they so choose to own and possess a gun on the confines of their own property.

That being said here's a report from FOX Chicago on a grandfather from Morgan Park who is the lead plaintiff in the Supreme Court case on Chicago's gun ban:

Here's another article from Greg Hinz at Crain's Chicago Business:
Look for a big crowd —and some verrry contentious debate — on Tuesday morning when the U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments on whether to overturn Chicago's ordinance banning most private possession of handguns in the city.

The 30-year-old measure has intense local support. Not only Mayor Richard M. Daley but four area members of Congress joined Chicago police chief Jody Weis on Monday at a press conference defending the law.

But most insiders expect the court to veto the law as it overturned a similar statute in Washington, D.C., a year ago. The only real question likely is how far the court goes to affect related laws, such as measures limiting who can carry concealed weapons on the street.
This is also of note from that piece:
As Mr. Daley put it, "Cities and states should be able to decide for themselves how to protect their citizens."
Well while I think I should be allowed to own a handgun at home, I can't disagree with that. The question that should be answered is how far should a city or state go in banning guns? Should there be a total ban allowed or can it be decided that gun owners shouldn't own certain types of guns?

There are those strict constructionists who believe in the text of the 2nd Amendment which says:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
I understand that people will look at the term "militia" and then assume that this means a collective right. That you have to sign up for the Reserves or the National Guard or something like that in order to bear arms. Indeed there are those who have more trust in military or police to handle guns in our society. Although there are those who may have little faith or trust in our military personnel or the police to handle their weapons and their authority to use arms.

If I was to read that literally I see a distinction between the people versus a militia. If it's a collective right as written and adopted not long after the 1789 ratification of the US Constitution (the Bill of Rights including the 2nd Amendment was adopted in 1791) then why mention the people at all. Surely there is a decent explanation for that even if it's in some past definition of terms as the English has evolved since 1789.

BTW, I want to note the Chicago Tribune. On my own blog I wrote about Mr. McDonald bouncing off of a Tribune article from January:
Amid the clamor of the gun-rights debate, McDonald presents a strongly sympathetic figure: an elderly man who wants a gun to protect himself from the hoodlums preying upon his neighborhood. But the story of McDonald and his lawsuit is more complicated than its broad outlines might suggest. McDonald and three co-plaintiffs were carefully recruited by gun-rights groups attempting to shift the public perception of the Second Amendment as a white, rural Republican issue. McDonald, a Democrat and longtime hunter, jokes that he was chosen as lead plaintiff because he is African-American.

And no matter what the court — and the public — might make of his story or his case, legal experts say McDonald is poised to become an enduring symbol.

"Regardless of how this case goes, Mr. McDonald's name is set in legal history, at the same level as Roe v. Wade and Plessy v. Ferguson," said Nicholas Johnson, a law professor at Fordham University. "Schoolkids are going to recognize that in this case, something dramatic happened."
Read the whole thing while it's still available. It's a good story.

I also want to note that in the Republican gubernatorial primary, the entire field supports concealed carry in our state. Illinois and Wisconsin are the only two states in the union where concealed carry isn't the law. The presumed Republican nominee for Governor, Bill Brady, is on record as supporting concealed carry in Illinois. 

As always comments are always appreciated. Let's hear your thoughts on whether or not you support gun control or a gun ban in the city. If the Supreme Court overturns Chicago's gun ban ordinances how do YOU think it will affect Chicago.

Chatham Avalon Park Community Council meeting schedule

From the Chatham Avalon Park Community Council blog :
Chatham Avalon Park Community Council will be holding the remaining monthly
meetings as follows:
  • March 8, 2010
  • April 12, 2010
  • May 10, 2010
  • June 14, 2010
  • July 12, 2010
  • August 9, 2010
  • September 13, 2010
  • October 11, 2010
  • November 8, 2010
  • December 13, 2010
  • January 10, 2011
All meetings will be held at The Northern Trust Company , 7801 South State
Street, Chicago IL 60619 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Any changes, all will be
properly notified prior to projected meeting.

We would love to post observations from any of these meetings, or any sub-area meetings.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Chicago ministers group to play hardball on Wal-Mart

A coalition of Chicago ministers is readying a campaign for more Wal-Mart stores in Chicago — and preparing another against aldermen who stand in the way.

The alliance of just over 200 ministers, representing more than 100,000 congregants, will first demand that Mayor Richard M. Daley grant administrative approval to begin construction of a Wal-Mart at the Chatham Market shopping center, saving that project from falling into foreclosure. The group also will pressure aldermen to approve that store and others in retail-starved neighborhoods such as Englewood and Pullman.

If, as appears likely, more Wal-Marts don't get the green light this year, the ministers say they'll mount a campaign against aldermen who oppose the big retailer's expansion. Taking a page from union groups that have held Wal-Mart back, the ministers say they will support candidates in favor of the store with political advertising and urge their congregants to vote against dissenters.

"The pressure must be applied, starting with the mayor," says the Rev. Larry Roberts of Trinity All Nations Ministries on the South Side. "The procrastination is just bringing more damage to the city and the communities."

Rev. Roberts is leading the coalition, which also includes prominent clergymen the Rev. Roosevelt Watkins of Bethlehem Star M.B. Church; the Rev. Simon Gordon of Triedstone Full Gospel Baptist Church; the Rev. Alan Ragland of Third Baptist Church of Chicago; the Rev. D. Darrell Griffin of Oakdale Covenant Church; the Rev. Herbert Lee of New Progressive Missionary Baptist Church; the Rev. Thomas Barclay of Progressive Beulah Pentecostal Church, and the Rev. Walter Turner of New Spiritual Light Missionary Baptist Church.
Via Newsalert!

Is the Metromix / Chicago Tribune poll fixed, against the South Side?

We reported on Friday about a poll
On Friday Yesterday (Friday) at 4:30pm, there were the following results:

54% = Chicken Vesuvio wings from Bull & Bear
08% = Spicy ChiWings from Mahoney's Pub & Grille
08% = Little Italy-style giardiniera wings from Timothy O' Toole's
02% = CrossRoads burgundy-glazed wings
28% = Chicago wings from Wings Around the World

Saturday at 7am, and at 6pm the exact same results.

Sunday at 7am is the exact same results.

On Monday, as of 8:30 am, the stats were as follows:

53% = Chicken Vesuvio wings from Bull & Bear
08% = Spicy ChiWings from Mahoney's Pub & Grille
08% = Little Italy-style giardiniera wings from Timothy O' Toole's
02% = CrossRoads burgundy-glazed wings
29% = Chicago wings from Wings Around the World
A change of 1% between the first & second place leaders...after i posted some comments about possible fraud.

What do you think? Is the poll from Metromix / Chicago Tribune fixed?

People can still vote, but the results seem vurtually the same.
Try it yourself...let's see what happens on Tuesday.