Sunday, July 31, 2011

Temporary Relocation of Bus Stop at 79th Street/Cottage Grove

This was mentioned by the Alderman's office through their FB page. And here's the full story from CTA about their service changes. Of course we're only focused on the #79 bus!
Currently in effect until approximately 4 p.m. Friday, August 12, the westbound near side stop at 79th Street/Cottage Grove served by #79 79th buses will be temporarily relocated to a far side stop due to nearby construction.
There is some major work being done near Happy's Liquors near that corner!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Concerned Citizens of Chatham: Cole Park Classic Time

Who will be the Next Derrick Rose?

Worlee let's us know about the annual Cole Park Classic Basketball Tournament organized by former Ald. Lyle's organization Lyle for Kids. It's great to know that this organization continues just wish they'd update their website more often. :P

Added the dates and times Worlee has provided for the Cole Park classic, but I do hope to know about other events that Lyle for Kids will organize in the future.

August 27th: Dedication of Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Bridge

Looking south the MLK Bridge over the Bishop Ford (Calumet) Expressway
I was just send a press release from Roseland Heights Community Association President Clevan Tucker about the dedication of the King Drive Bridge over the Bishop Ford Expressway on August 27th. It will take place at the Secretary of State facility parking lot @ 9901 S. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. The bridge said to be the only one on this street will be dedicated the MLK Jr. Memorial Bridge!

The press release is below! It is also noted that on August 28th, the MLK Memorial in Washington, DC will be unveiled on the National Mall.

Chicago's Hidden Neighborhoods

[VIDEO] This segment of Chicago Tonight with Geoffrey Baer especially features the lagoon in the center of the Auburn Park neighborhood west of Vincennes near 79th Street and the "garlows" that are seen on King Drive between 79th & 83rd Streets. Talking about the lagoon and the garlows with Baer is Lee Bey who blogs at WBEZ about architecture.

Via Beachwood Reporter!

Banks Now More Accountable for Vacant Properties

If you follow the Alderman's office on Twitter (@6thwardchicago) at all, there was mention of a housing ordinance that was being considered at yesterday's session of the Chicago City Council. This story from Ward Room blog:
Banks and other financial institutions now have more responsibility as it pertains to foreclosed homes on their books under legislation passed Thursday by Chicago's City Council.
The measure passed unanimously. Not surprisingly, it was opposed by many financial institutions.

Last year alone, vacant properties cost the city $15 million. Upkeep on almost 2,000 vacant properties and demolishing 345 vacant garages cost the city $1.8 million.

The banks will now be called upon to step up to the plate and take responsibility for the maintenance of foreclosed properties.
In the past week there was an article from the Tribune that showed the effects of foreclosures in Englewood. It would help underscore why such a measure is necessary.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Two-flat for sale...

Located @  9647 S. Prairie Avenue and it was built between 1920 or 1923 according to the listing from @properties. Take a look at the virtual tour of the inside of this property.
estate sale family occupied 2 flat. nestled on a quite block. great investment. nothing to do but move in. this brick bldg features separate living and dining areas, pantries on both levels, enclosed back porch and 2 car garage. the second floor unit has a sunroom. tenant pays own utilities. walk to chicago state, close to expressway and public transportation. schedule your appointment today!
The price is $112,000 for this property of about 2,052 square feet with 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms.

Information found on EveryBlock via Trulia

UPDATED: Wal-Mart Express opened today video on demand

First WGN-TV has the story [VIDEO]
Second WLS-TV ABC 7 has this story [VIDEO]

Third FOX Chicago

UPDATED 7/28/2011 10:48 AM This video from NBC Chicago

View more videos at:

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Concerned Citizens of Chatham: The Walmart Era Begins- Walmart Express Opening

Concerned Citizens of Chatham: The Walmart Era Begins- Walmart Express Opening

Had no idea Mayor Emanuel was there for the grand opening. Anyway Worlee didn't join me & JP Paulus at the ceremonial bricklaying, however, he was at the grand opening of the Wal-Mart Express. Click the link and read his thoughts. This thought is worth sharing, however:
It will be interesting to see what happens after all the buyers, product managers, and other Walmart personnel leave and the employees have to run the store. Are the employees from the 21st, 6th, 8th ward? Let's see what happens in 6 months.
I need to pay a visit myself eventually!

CPS reorganization: Brizard to realign 'mini-superintendents'

Do you think this change will help the Chicago Public Schools?
Two months into his new role overseeing Chicago Public Schools, CEO Jean-Claude Brizard has begun reorganizing a school system he calls "fragmented."

Brizard will tell Chicago Board of Education members Wednesday that the district will change the structure of its middle managers, whom some in the system call "mini-superintendents."

The number of chief area officers will be pared from 24 to 19, renamed "schools chiefs" and grouped to include all the high school and elementary principals in a region so the chiefs can work to align curriculum.

"That's a big change," said Barbara Radner, director of DePaul University's Center for Urban Education. "Until we fix the fact that eighth-graders are graduating unprepared for high school, we'll continue to have a high dropout rate for high school and kids won't be prepared for college."

Restructuring middle management and central office staff has been a top priority for most new CEOs in Chicago. In fact, the newly dubbed schools chiefs were called area instructional officers before they became chief area officers. But Brizard promises his district remodeling will be different.

"This is not about shuffling the deck chairs on the Titanic," he said. "It really is a different look. You're not going to see the level of independence in the area as you saw in the past. We're going to create a level of coherence within those areas."

Shortly before he left office, then-interim CEO Terry Mazany had suggested restructuring area officers too. He said area officers each determined their own assessment tests and curricula, leading to a districtwide disconnect that he called chaotic and fractious.

UPDATED: Coming this Saturday...Kidsfest

Seaway Kidsfest

UPDATE 11:05 AM A representative for Garrett Popcorn Shops had posted a comment this morning in this post about being there to pass out bags of Chicago Mix to attendees at KidsFest. Thanks for the information.

To take place at Seaway Bank & Trust Company, here's a press release:
CHICAGO (July 22, 2011) – Seaway Bank and Trust Company will host its second annual “KidsFest” on Saturday, July 30, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Main Bank, 645 East 87th Street.

It promises to be another fun day at Seaway. Live entertainment includes Mayfair Performing Company, the Chicago Urban Children’s Choir, and the East Sea Martial Arts Program of St. Mark United Methodist Church. There will be plenty of face-painting and laughs, compliments of Cleo the Clown. Children can explore a real Fire Department Engine, and the Story Bus will roll in with interactive exhibits for 3 to 6 year olds. Tri-Wellness by E’a will also be on hand with interesting health tips. There will be plenty of refreshments. Children up to 13 will get a free hot dog lunch and free book bag giveaways, while quantities last. Children can also register to win prizes, including the grand prize of a laptop computer.

“The KidsFest is just one way we support our legacy as a community-based bank, while giving back to the community,” said Walter E. Grady, President and CEO of Seaway Bank.

“Once again, parents will have a great time exposing their children to stimulating and educational activities,” stated Seaway Marketing Officer Claudette Harris.

Community residents are urged to come and bring the entire family. Guests will also be encouraged to open up a Young Savers account for children, with only a $5 initial deposit, and to learn more about the Bank-at-School program sponsored by Seaway Bank at four elementary schools.

The Seaway Bank KidsFest is open to the public. For more information, call (773) 602-4865.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Chatham/Avalon Park Community Council: 1st Annual Chatham Education Walk

Chatham/Avalon Park Community Council: 1st Annual Chatham Education Walk:
To highlight the importance of the family unit and the education of their children: please join us for : 1st Annual Chatham Education Walk in memory of Officer Thomas Wortham on Saturday, August 20, 2011 @ 10am until 11:00am (75th to 85th & King Drive) Cole Park. We are seeking for parents & their children to walk together! 
Added to our calendar!

This is how the new Garrett's will look like...

Once they finally move in at at the old KFC location @ 737 E 87th St. They have their own picture of the location as it currently looks in addition to this rendering on their blog with this brief statement:
We’re pleased to announce that Garrett Popcorn fans on Chicago’s South-side will have a new store coming this Fall. There will be firmer dates and more details once filing and construction is under way, but in the meantime here’s a mock-up of what the new store will look like. We hope you’re excited as we are about moving into the Chatham neighborhood!
Garrett Popcorn Shops had posted a comment in a recent post about whether or not Garrett's is coming to Chatham.

Today a Reader, Tomorrow a Leader

Via EveryBlock. A teacher at Deneen Elementary located at 7240 S. Wabash is seeking donations to provide her students with books to read.
My Students: Imagine 25 first graders sprawled across a classroom, each curled into a comfy spot with a book they can read all by themselves. The quiet hum of learning takes over as whisper voices read new stories, sound out words, and practice all the things good readers do. This is my dream for my classroom.

My students are curious, enthusiastic six and seven- year-olds who cannot wait to explore the world of books and reading. They live in a high-poverty neighborhood and have experienced many difficult challenges already in their young lives. However, each day they come to school with smiles on, eager to learn and grow.

My Project: My students are incredibly motivated to read, but unfortunately my classroom library is lacking in high quality books at the students' independent reading level. As emergent readers, my students have a wide range of abilities and previous experiences with books. They need access to books they can read on their own in order to build good reading habits and become strong readers.

The leveled books I am asking for support students as they make their way from highly patterned, beginning readers to books with more complex stories, plots, and dialogue. Finding these high-quality, engaging books in a wide range of first grade reading levels is often difficult and expensive. However, the benefits these leveled readers provide are numerous and valuable. Students' confidence grows as they read books they understand and enjoy, and over time, a love of reading emerges!

As a first year teacher, I am working to build a strong classroom library which truly supports ALL students in their journey to becoming lifelong readers and learners. This project will create a solid foundation for my leveled library that will grow and enrich student literacy for years to come! My students need 21 sets of leveled, "good-fit" books to read independently.

My students need 21 sets of leveled, "good-fit" books to read independently. 
What can we do to help? :)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Today's Chatham brick laying ceremony for Wal-Mart

[VIDEO] There were a lot of media at the Chatham brick laying ceremony especially among others ABC7 (the story you see above) and WBBM-TV. The media I suppose could include JP Paulus and myself. JP had the idea that this was an event not open to the general public.

We remained there through the ceremony although I wasn't willing to walk in during the course of the event. When all the speeches and prayers were over we both got bold. In fact, I took this snap shot on my phone of the bricklaying!

Yes you do see Ald. Sawyer in the background. In fact before JP and myself left he was still there chatting with some people. There were other politicians in attendance too.

Ald. Emma Mitts (37th) was there and her ward has Chicago's first Wal-Mart. Coming in at the end of this afternoon's festivities was Ald. Carrie Austin (34th). Also state Rep. Monique Davis was in attendance as well. Also from the school board is Jesse Ruiz who is the Vice President of the Chicago Board of Education.

BTW, the Wal-Mart Express that in a building on the other side of the Chatham Market shopping center is to open on Wednesday according to this ABC7 report. The actual Super Wal-Mart is to open next spring.

Sun-Times: CPS, Groupon partner to get kids school supplies

Surely there are those students in our community who could use some school supplies:
A first-of-its-kind program aimed at providing Chicago students with school supplies will launch Tuesday through a partnership between the Chicago Public Schools and Groupon.

“Kitz for Kids” will be available through Groupon’s daily e-mail and at between Tuesday morning and Thursday night. The program seeks people to pledge in increments of $12 to buy supply kits for students.

“Our goal is to take every one of these kits and put them in the hands of our students,” said CPS communications chief Becky Carroll.

More than 85 percent of CPS students this year will come from low-income families, and more than 15,000 students will be homeless, according to the school system.

CPS is collaborating with Groupon’s “G-Team,” a segment of the Chicago-based Web company aimed at connecting people to their communities, on the project. The pre-made kits will provide students with more than 30 types of school supplies, including folders, notebooks, paper, pens and a paint set.
And there is also Seaway Bank's Kidfest this coming Saturday where free backpacks with school supplies will be given out. I need to hurry up and post that flyer!

YoChicago: All about Chicago's Chatham neighborhood cont'd

[VIDEO: PART 5, PART 6, PART 7] These are the final three videos of Worlee's drive with Joe Zekas of  The videos are posted below the text and here are the first four videos.

Part 5 shows Worlee driving along 83rd onto Cottage Grove then onto 83rd then back onto King Drive. Seen here is Chatham Village Square shopping center where Joe Zekas said he was kicked out while filming close to four years ago. We see an update on the former Chatham Pancake House and also Seaway Bank is shown.

Part 6 we see the last cab stand in Chicago. Also the history of the property near 80th & King Drive. Had little idea it used to be an ice cream stand for Baldwin Ice Cream back in the day. And then a drive along 79th Street from King Drive where it was noted by Zekas that this strip needs some help. In addition we see the LEED certified Chatham Executive Building near the end of this video

Part 7 we see more of 79th Street with Rep. Bobby Rush's Congressional Office and I believe they make special note of the "Chatham Center" near 79th & Cottage Grove. In addition we take a look at a branch of Urban Partnership Bank. This branch was formerly of ShoreBank and was the main bank for the former Black-owned Independence Bank.

Back to 79th Street we see some of the buildings on the north side of the street from the "Chatham Center". One of those storefronts back in 1995 was I believe a campaign office for Mayor Daley when he ran for re-election at the time. Was even close enough to shake hands with him back then.

Anyway the videos are embedded below. Did you enjoy all seven videos?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Who Will Survive- Walmart Express or the 83rd Street Convenience Stores?

Location: 8300 S Holland Rd, Chicago, IL 60620, USA
The sign is up and its a matter of time before the store opens and we officially enter the Walmart era in Chatham. The Walmart Express is Walmart's answer to Supervalu's now defunct Urban Fresh concept and a strong competitor to local convenience stores.

Aldi's has already thrown the first blow by adverising a gallon of milk for $1.79 which is .40 cheaper than what a convenience store is charging on 83rd street
So I expect Walmart to beat both and force them to either match or get out the way. Sources have told me that Walmart has shopped the community and has looked at goods and services they can duplicate and beat competitors on price such as soul food, chicken, sandwiches and  basic staples( milk, bread, eggs, etc.).

So can the convenience stores along 83rd street compete and stay in business? Will the Walmart Express be the lesser of evils some perceive of these stores?

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Can You Say "Nike's Nat King Cole Park ?

Location: Brown Memorial Park, Chicago, IL 60619, USA

Nike's Nat King Cole Park, Under Armour's Myering Park may be what the future holds for parks in our community. The subject has been discussed here before but semi privatizing the parks appear to be the future funding formula the Chicago Park District is depending on.

Last Thursday, I attended the preliminary budget hearings for the South Region of the Chicago Park District held at Avalon Park. The focus of this meeting was parks in district 6(far southeast) but they were still open to request for parks in the South Region. The meeting was presided over by Liz Millan, South Region manager and Anita Gilkey, District 6 manager. I was there representing two parks but the park germane to this conversation was Brown Park. Brown Memorial Park was established in memorial to Firefighter Sidney Brown who was the first African American Firefighter to lose his life in the line of duty. Over the year, the park has been neglected and because of no bathroom facilities it has become a "hangout" after hours to the dismay of the residents of the senior building adjacent to the park. I attended the meeting as a concerned taxpayer not as a park advisory council (PAC) member of any kind. A lesson learned from our previous Alderman, was to ask for everything at meetings like this. So I took that lesson to heart and asked for:

  1. A water park or similar structure with bathroom facilities
  2. A memorial garden in honor of our fallen public safety officers (Brown, Wortham, Bailey,Ankum)
  3. Resurfacing of the tennis courts.

This is in addition to the Playlot already planned for next year. I explained bringing Brown back on line will relieve the congestion off of Cole as well draw more families and seniors into the park. They made no promises but I'm hopeful that Brown will get more capital improvements.

A number of park's PAC members made presentations about their needs and wants. In the end Ms. Millan basically told the audience that the Park District Capital Improvements are focused on health and safety issues (leaking roofs, bathrooms, existing pool repair, etc). She strongly suggested that communities elect STRONG PAC's. It was also brought in response to several parks request for doggy parks, that the Chicago Park District does not fund those type of projects and they would have to seek outside funds for those projects. Ms. Millan mentioned that several parks have  approached Petco and other dog related businesses to fund those projects. This is when she dropped the bomb that the Park District strongly considers partnerships. The park district will fund 1/3rd of partnership projects with their idea formula being 1/3 private, 1/3 local government and 1/3 park district. She spoke of menu money and that brought back up the idea Friends of the Park attempted to sell our community regarding the Thomas Wortham IV Playlot at Cole Park where they suggested that Alderman Lyle take out $100,000 to fund that $250,000 project and the Park District came with $0.

The bottom line here is that we as a community are going to have to decide what is more important. Are our children more important or fighting with the Park District to upgrade our parks? Yes, the Park District needs to do their fair share but should we not go above and beyond for our children. Yes, privatization has its drawbacks but I believe this is an issue that needs to be discussed as most of the parks and playlots in the 6th ward are in need of upgrades and renovations.

Wal-Mart celebrating store in Chatham - Chicago Sun-Times

Wal-Mart celebrating store in Chatham - Chicago Sun-Times
Wal-Mart Stores will hold a ceremonial brick laying at 2 p.m. Monday at the construction site of its planned Supercenter in the 50-acre Chatham Market development at 83rd and Stewart.

The retail-discount giant will open next week a separate, convenience-store-sized Wal-Mart Express store in the same development.
I hope that I can make this brick laying on Monday! And Wal-Mart Express will open soon as well!

How did the rain affect you?

Location: S King Dr & E 81st St, Chicago, IL 60619, USA
Look for a post soon detailing the progress of the sewer we have been following...

But with last night's rain, our basement received the worst flooding in the 4 years we have lived here. Did that happen to anyone else? Or could this problem have been prevented if the sewer work was completed? Or was it just a bad rainstorm?

EDIT: my wife informed me of power outages at 87th Street (including manual traffic control) and at stores such as the strip mall at 83rd & State Street. How have you been affected?

Taste of Park Manor TODAY

Location: 8320 S King Dr, Chicago, IL 60619, USA
Park Manor Christian Church is holding another summer festival on their property at 84th & King Drive, TODAY, from 10am -6pm. (This is in addition to their church at 600 East 73rd Street, Chicago, IL 60619, which would explain why Taste of Park Manor is being held in Chatham)

They have gone through many troubles over the years, including a fire that destroyed the property at King, as well as losing their pastor, James Demus, last year.

With the heat, I wonder how many will be able to attend.  While they have recently gained a new interim pastor, Crystal Chinn, according to their new Facebook page, it may be some time before they can realize their dream of a new sanctuary/day care/community center (if ever).

In the meantime, area organizations should consider connecting with Park Manor to share in sponsoring the festival.  There is plenty of room for parking.

Also, would anyone know the possibility of getting funds for a temporary community garden in the summer and/or an ice rink the winter?

Friday, July 22, 2011

Traders Joe Possibly Coming to Hyde Park- Does This Mean a Whole Foods Going to Beverly?

Location: 1800 W 95th St, Chicago, IL 60643, USA

Courtesy of Hyde Park Progress
Some time back we had heard rumors about the University buying the Border's building at 53rd and Lake Park if it ever became available. To this was coupled a related rumor that Trader Joe's might be interested in that particular location, if it ever became available.

Well, it has now become available, through one of the most spectacular, non-corruption-induced corporate collapses in recent memory, and as a result, the first rumor has become fact. The U of C now owns the old Border's building. Selling price for the building has not been disclosed, and no possible tenants have been mentioned. 

Read the entire post at utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+HydeParkProgress+%28Hyde+Park+Progress%29

Since the Hyde Park locations is gone and the Beverly location available will Whole Foods bypass Hyde Park and go to Beverly? Doesn't bode well for the Southeast side.

1st Annual Englewood Health Fair and Block Party

Location: Robeson High School, 6835 S Normal Blvd, Chicago, IL 60621-2598, USA

Saturday July 23, 2011
Paul Robeson H.S.
6900 S Normal

Thursday, July 21, 2011

CTA Red Line extension meeting...

Via Red Eye's Going Public:
The CTA is holding a meeting about the proposed Red Line extension from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Aug. 2 at St. John Missionary Baptist Church, 211 E. 115th St. Go to for more information on the project.

An update: South Side man convicted of fatally shooting teen on CTA bus

Well this recently concluded trial was about the shooting death of a young lady on a CTA bus back in October 2008:
A South Side man was convicted Wednesday of fatally shooting a teenager on a CTA bus as he fired toward another passenger he was arguing with.

Milton Wardlaw, 27, was not acting in self-defense when he pointed the gun at the stranger who had bumped into him seconds earlier on the No. 71 bus, Assistant Cook County State’s Attorneys David Weiner and Karin Swanson said in their closing arguments.

Jurors weighing in on Wardlaw’s fate apparently agreed and convicted Wardlaw with first-degree murder in the death of Kiyanna Salter, 17. He also was found guilty of aggravated discharge of a firearm for shooting at the bus a second time as it drove off on Oct. 5, 2008.

Wardlaw showed no emotion as the verdicts were read after nearly five hours of deliberation. Salter’s mother quickly left the courtroom, sobbing loudly.

It's coming....

The official website for Ald. Sawyer's official 6th Ward Chicago website. This is how the site looks at currently but if the "please try back in 5 days" is to be believed then we have something to look forward to either Sunday or Monday. Within the last month at least would still direct to former Ald. Lyle's website. Today I find that another domain she's used is no longer accessible.

News only because Worlee posted about a basketball tournament at a local park that needed sponsors which also contained the web address for Ald. Sawyer's new website.

We still do have both @6thwardchicago on Twitter in addition to the Facebook page.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

87th State Street- Will We See Turf Wars Or Will They End With This Project

Location: 8659 S State St, Chicago, IL 60619, USA
The plans above are for the renovation of the Shell Station located at 87th State Street. The renovation will be a $4 million dollar project. The project will entail the acquisition of the property by the current operator, a new convenience store with a fast food restaurant housed in one building and a car wash.

This proposed acquisition/renovation development was the topic of the Chatham Avalon Park Community Council (CAPCC)subarea meeting last Thursday June 14, 2011 at Chatham Avalon Church of  Christ. The operator, attorney and architect were all present at the meeting and all spoke on the project. Also, former Senator Roland Burris was in attendance. A number of residents voiced their displeasure about the current state of 87th State. Their concerns were loitering, loud music, drug dealing, pan handling, much was directed at the BP station on the South corner of 87th State. It was stated the owner of that station has stated he does not care what the community thinks of his store, he is here to make money period. Also, residents voiced concerns about the density of the project as well as the proposed use of the public way (alley). The station is asking for the right to use a portion of the alley so cars can go into the car wash. CAPCC president Keith Tate voiced the concerns of the organization which were:

  1. Cleanliness
  2. Security
  3. Loitering
  4. Hiring of African American Contractors for the redevelopment work
  5. Establishment of a relationship with an African American Bank
The owner was open to discussing all of CAPCC 's concerns and invited residents to visit his other station at 31st Dan Ryan. A vote was called by the CAPCC vice president and when the question period came up, Senator Burris questioned what the vote was for and what did it really mean? CAPCC executive vice president Maryellen Drake stated that they were voting on whether  CAPCC approved of the project or not and further stated that this was the process that CAPCC has used for the last 50 years. Several residents asked to table the vote and Ms. Drake further explained that time was of the essence and that the Alderman had stated  this could not be a long drawn out process. I asked the question whether CAPCC would sit down with the leadership of The Greater Chatham Alliance (GCA) if there was not a unanimous decision one way or another. I asked the question because the Alderman has stated at several public meetings that he was not going to allow community organizations continue "turf battles" impede economic development in the ward. President Tate stated that there were no plans to meet and Vice President Drake stated that there was question as to whether GCA was a legitimate community organization. The meeting ended with no vote taken with the organization planning to schedule another meeting. I contacted GCA and asked the same question and have not received a response at this time.

I spoke to the Alderman this past Saturday who voiced his displeasure with the outcome of the meeting. He stated he had already had several meetings with this group and was satisfied with the project and wanted to make sure the community was satisfied with all the details. He stated he would be in attendance of the next CAPCC meeting.

So who will make the final decision?

Outdoor reception for Alderman Sawyer

Refer to the sheet below this is to take place at the "Historic Capone House" located at 7244 S. Prairie Avenue on July 23 this coming Saturday from 5:30 to 8:30 PM. Oh and we've talked about this house before! This event was already on our calendar as well.

Sponsors Needed- Myering Park Basketball Classic in Jeopardy

Location: Meyering Park, 7140 S King Dr, Chicago, IL 60619-1112, USA

The City of Chicago Sport's 37 program cut the funding for the Myering Park Basketball Classic and has placed the tournament in jeopardy. The basketball tournament allows young men and women 8-18 to play in a round robin basketball tournament during the month of August. The tournament cost from $10,000 to $20,000 to operate. If anyone is interested in sponsoring the tournament at any monetary level, please contact the Alderman's office at 773.635.0006 or

RIP King Bowl

Location: 8000 S Dr Martin Luther King Jr Dr, Chicago, IL 60827, USA

We have discussed King Bowl in the past on the blog. Unfortunately, it appears that the last bowling alley in our community will have to be demolished. I received a call to go stop by King Bowl because it appeared it was going to be demolished. When I got there the front of the building was intact but it appeared the back was being demolished. I went to the back and saw the walls were intact. I went to the front and spoke to some men working and was told the a large portion of the roof collapsed from the storm last week. He further stated that the bowling alley was days away from being sold and the collapse has killed the deal. He would not divulge who the owner is but stated he was planning to replace the roof.

Based on what I was able to see and what I saw at Park Manor Bowl I'm doubtful it will or can be replaced and the building will see the bulldozer.  Per the Alderman's office, no filings for demolition permits or new business licenses have been issued on the property. So we will have to see what happens here. Another piece of history gone.

My concern now is how many older structures(garages, homes, etc) were damaged by the storm last week and the damage isn't noticeable?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

So is Garrett's coming or not?

In part two of Worlee's drive around Chatham with Joe Zekas of, he mentioned that Garrett Popcorn Shop is coming to 87th Street. I queried him about where it's going to be on 87th and he stated that it'll be at this former KFC location on 737 E 87th St right next to the PNC bank branch on the corner of 87th & Cottage Grove.

If you've been reading this blog during the course of the 2011 aldermanic campaign you should've seen a scan of a mailer from the previous Alderman touting Garrett as one of those businesses that are coming into the community on her watch. I applauded the potential but had my doubts as it was noted in a campaign mailer.

BTW, Worlee stated that Garrett's (man I wish I had his sources) was coming this fall in either September or October 2011. Although former Ald. Lyle's flyer stated the summer of 2011 for the anticipated opening.

I took this picture of the former KFC on Monday morning. Not sure how long it takes to set up a new business in an already erect building, but there doesn't appear to be anything new with this building yet. At least it does have a decent parking lot. Who knows if people can get their popcorn through the drive-thru.

Sun-Times: Feds award $4.5 million to community lenders

Now here's some money neighborhood entrepreneurs should get in on:
A Treasury Department agency awarded a total of $4.5 million to three Chicago community lenders on Monday to help finance affordable housing, health-care clinics, neighborhood charter schools and local startup companies.

The lenders — non-profits lender IFF, the Chicago Community Loan Fund and the Illinois Service Federal Savings and Loan Association — will use the $1.5 million that each received to obtain larger loans from major banks. They then loan the larger amount to projects in needy neighborhoods at lower interest rates than would conventional banks.

For example, IFF will use its grant to borrow another $7.5 million in private capital in order to make below-market loans to non-profit projects. The total is expected to grow into $15 million in investments when other equity and financing are included. One of IFF’s investments is the renovation of a building at 1700 W. 83rd St. that will open this fall as a LEARN charter elementary school.

The Chicago Community Loan Fund helped finance the Dr. Martin Luther King Legacy Apartments — 45 units of affordable rental housing— in North Lawndale, and the savings and loan association helped South Side donut shop Dat Donuts, 8251 S. Cottage Grove Ave., open a second outlet at 1979 W. 111th St.

Monday, July 18, 2011

NBC Chicago: Emanuel to Use Grant from Bloomberg for Entrepreneurs

Could this money be indirectly beneficial to our neighborhood entrepreneurs?
No New York hating here: Mayor Rahm Emanuel is getting $6 million from the private foundation of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and part of it will be used to help entrepreneurs.

Emanuel plans to use the money to cut the amount of time aspiring entrepreneurs wait in line to start a new business, get a permit or obtain a new license. He’s expected to match the grant with $1 million a year from private partners. The mayor said he’ll approach local entrepreneurs to raise the money. No word on names of those entrepreneurs.

He also hopes the cash will help him deliver on a campaign promise to create targeted zones throughout the city that reduce energy use.

YoChicago: All about Chicago's Chatham neighborhood

[VIDEO: PART 1, PART 2, PART 3, PART 4] Worlee Glover drove Joe Zekas of YoChicago around Chatham earlier in the past week. They started at Mather's at 83rd & Wabash and took a tour around Chatham's tree lined streets. We saw some of the modernist homes in there in addition to the unique blue replica of the White House near 84th & Michigan. Also Worlee and Joe drove by Cole Park and saw the memorial there for the late Officer Thomas Wortham (described as one of our community's future leaders). As well as driving by St. Mark's Methodist Church (8441 S. St. Lawrence).

The first video is an introduction which basically sets up the lay of the land. Part 2, a question about whether or not the younger generation will return to this community was asked by Joe Zekas during the course of the video. Part 3 an important question about the role of churches in Chatham. Part 4 has a lot of talk about the parks and neighborhood schools.

The YoChicago videos with Worlee are below. Expect there to be three more videos before this series is done with YoChicago.

Special note, I was very curious about this store called Flawless at 87th & Rhodes. This is where Part 4 ends and while not much was said about this "boutique" we know a lot more about the building in which it is located. Also it's right across the street from Ald. Sawyer's service office.

Mary Mitchell on changes to Chatham neighborhood

[VIDEO: PART 1, PART 2] I was alerted that on CLTV a program aired where Sun-Times columnist Mary Mitchell and WGN anchor Micah Materre talk a lot about Chatham. Here it is below in two parts. Feel free to post your thoughts.

BTW, tomorrow morning we post the first four videos of Worlee Glover of both this blog and Concerned Citizens of Chatham where he drives around with Joe Zekas of YoChicago. Sorry about the video overload but all are worth sharing for your interest.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

This is What Wrong With LSC's- Everybody's Out of Control at Arthur Ashe Elementary

Location: 8505 S Ingleside Ave, Chicago, IL 60619, USA

This past weekend I received an invitation to join a Facebook group "Chatham Connection". I accepted the invitation and immediately got involved in the discussion. I received a message from a gentleman named Joe Lake who considers himself a community activist. He doesn't live in Chatham so I questioned his motives and the fact that he submitted an article about the situation at Arthur Ashe Elementary to a nothside newspaper only with having a conversation with one side of the situation. Secondly, he wants to convince me that 85th Ingleside is in Chatham. I, as well as, most Chatham residents consider that Avalon Park which is a part of the 8th ward. We split hairs about this but the major issue is the situation going on at Arthur Ashe Elementary School.


The content of the videos is disgusting and vulgar on all levels. The fighting by the kids, the parents and adults watching, idiots videotaping and the administration's lack of response. The videos' were uploaded by the school's former LSC president Ron Mitchell. I questioned his motive because he constantly speaks about a dispute another former LSC member has with the principal. The dispute with the principal  has resulted in Mr Mitchell and a Mrs. Walker being barred from entering the building. I also questioned the motives when I asked the following questions:

  1. Was CPS central office security personnel contacted?
  2. Was CPD contacted?
  3. Did anyone attend the local CAPS meeting?
  4. Was the CPS district officer contacted?
  5. Was Alderman Michelle Harris contacted?
  6. Were any CPS board members contacted?
  7. Did they go to the monthly CPS board meeting and make the problem known?
  8. Was the Inspector General Office contacted ?

The answer to 1-8 was "Duh" and the answer to 9 was I'm going to do it. My take is this is what wrong with LSC's individuals get on the board and declare it their turf and let their ego's get away from them. When someone bruise their ego's they can't accept it. I feel if the "kids" were the primary concern here 1-9 would have been done before they would have placed them on YouTube and had this guy write the article

Children fighting at South Side elementary school; principal accused of child endangerment

What is your take on this?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Save The Date: South Central Community Services 1st Annual Homecoming Dinner Dance

Location: 8900 W 95th St, Hickory Hills, IL 60457, USA

Saturday July 23, 2011
Sabre Room
Flame Room
8900 W 95th St
Hickory Hills, Il 60457
For ticket info

Friday, July 15, 2011

Update- RIP Park Manor Bowl

Location: 100 E 75th St, Chicago, IL 60619, USA
Update- The demolition continues. The management has pulled out the lockers used by customers, any customer who has a locker key is asked to come and remove their belongings or they will be given to the salvage company. If anyone is interested in a souvenir, old bowling balls are available to be taken away. All pins have been taken.

Yesterday the storm caused the roofing support beam to give way and the roof collapsed on the lanes of Park Manor Bowl. The damage was severe and the bowling alley will be demolished. There owner has not discussed whether he will rebuild the bowling alley at this time. 

Long time residents remember Park Manor Bowl as the first African Americans who moved into the community were denied access and later remember when a Park Manor resident Adolph Gary purchased the bowling alley from the Cave family. There are many individuals including the writer who have memories from the bowling alley as well this was one of the last bowling alleys left on the southside and in the 6th ward. We had as many as four in the 1980's now zero.

What would you like to see build on this site?

Save The Date: Chicago Park District Regional Budget Hearings

Location: Cole Park, 301 E 85th St, Chicago, IL 60619, USA

Thanks Friends of the Park

The Chicago Park District has announced the dates for the regional budget hearings. It is important for your PAC/residents to testify at these budget hearings to request much needed programs, repairs, playgrounds and projects in your park!

As a result of last year's budget hearings, plans for new playgrounds and improvements have been included in the 2011-2015 Capital Improvement Plan.

When testifying at the budget hearings please keep your testimony to 2 minutes and provide the CPD with a letter of request and back up information.

July 18 Jackson Park, 6402 S. Stony Island 6:00pm
July 19 Gage Park, 2411 W. 55th 6:00pm
July 20 Valley Forge Park, 7001 W. 59th, 6:00pm
July 21 Avalon Park, 1215 E. 83rd, 6:00pm
July 22 Hayes Park, 2936 W. 85th, 6:00pm

If you look at the Capital Improvement Plan all the Parks in the 6th ward are not receiving their fair share of funding. We need to be there and demand our fair share.

We now have an events calendar...

Posted at the bottom of the sidebar just under the Feedjit Livefeed.

All we need are events. We can't possibly know of everything going on in the neighborhood so we ask that if you know of any events that should be publicized feel free to e-mail us at You can also send us a tweet @thesixthward and in addition you can also post on The Sixth Ward FB page.

While we do advertise mostly neighborhood events it's not necessarily restricted to neighborhood events. Worlee likes to post job information especially job fairs that's fair game. Also if you own a business if you have an event you would like to share feel free to contact us as well. We would especially like to know about potential business openings in our community. For the time being it would be considered free advertising.

Thanks for reading and in advance for informing us!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

911 Operator OJT Training Program

Location: 16845 S Halsted St, Harvey, IL 60426, USA

Thanks Shorty

The Illinois Department of Employment Security is holding an onsite recruitment for South Suburban College’s On the Job Training Program for 911 Operators. Training pays $13 per hour and $15 per hour if hired. Qualified applicants should be proficient in basic math and reading. Additional restrictions apply. More information can be obtained at the onsite recruitment/informational session on:

Friday, July 15, 2011
10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
IDES Office, 16845 S. Halsted, Harvey, IL 60426
SSC is looking for qualified candidates to begin an OJT training course. $13.00 per hour while in training. $15.00 when hired.
For More Information:
Tina Salgado , 708-596-2325  x237

Wounded victims describe fatal bank robbery

Location: 401 E 87th St, Chicago, IL 60619, USA
A Chicago Tribune article (from today) talking about the trial, which involves the robbery and murder at Illinois Federal Savings and Loan 4 years ago.

A retired school teacher and security guard calmly recounted in federal court today how they were shot and wounded four years ago when three masked men stormed into a Chatham neighborhood bank.
One of the alleged suspects, David Vance, is on trial in federal court in connection with the takeover robbery in which teller Tramaine Gibson was fatally shot.
Customer Dorothy Sanders told jurors she realized a bank robbery was underway that day in May 2007 when she saw a man running inside Illinois Federal Savings and Loan as she met with the branch manager.

See the rest of the article here --> Wounded victims describe fatal bank robbery

Would You Accept a Methodone Clinic in the 6th Ward?

Location: 1516 E 87th St, Chicago, IL 60619, USA

I've been following a post on Everyblock about a business named Recovery Cafe located at 1516 E. 87th Street . The business is located in the 8th ward and  number of residents are opposed to the reopening of this business. What are your feelings if they wanted to relocate to the 6th ward?

Cole Park renovations

If you've been paying attention to the 6th Ward Chicago FB page, the official page for Ald. Roderick Sawyer, you will see a seven-picture album of pictures that show the playground there being rebuilt. The caption for all the pictures show it's to honor the late Police Officer Thomas Wortham who was killed near Cole Park last year.

Hmmm, it's still odd to see Rahm Emanuel as Mayor and it's been what two or so months already!

A random question based on a comment made to the album. Would closing Cole Park rid Chatham of crime?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Why Isn't Everyone Happy About the Reopening of Happy's?

Location: 7901 S Cottage Grove Ave, Chicago, IL 60619, USA

Picture Courtesy of The Sixth Ward Blog

Past by the corner of 79th Cottage Grove yesterday and was met by construction and the reopened Happy Liquors. I looked through all my emails and searched the Internet and I didn't notice any comments from all the CBO presidents, Alderman (Michelle Harris), and ministers who all stood up with their chest poked out claiming how bad they were because they got Happy's closed down. The reality was the closure was not due to any City of Chicago or State of Illinois Liquor license violations but rather City of Chicago building code violations.

Several weeks after the store closed I saw this lady outside the store sweeping trash. I stopped and asked her identity and she declined but did say she was hired by the building owner to sweep the sidewalk around the building. Also, it was noted that I saw two security officers patrolling the block of 79th between Cottage Grove and Drexel.

I guess we will see what happens by the end of the month when all parties are expected back in court.

Sewers - repairs are under way.

Location: 8012 S Calumet Ave, Chicago, IL 60619, USA
I posted an entry on Sunday (but written on Friday) about the sewer problem on the 80th block of Calumet. 

Between Friday and Saturday, someone came out and spray painted information for an imminent repair, as well as laying planks to cover the hole.

Also, I drove by Tuesday morning, and regarding the problem at Calumet & 83rd, serious repairs are now under way.  Hopefully, their next stop is 8012 S. Calumet and the 7900 block of Calumet.

83rd & Calumet getting SERIOUS repair