Monday, April 30, 2012

Newsalert: Rahm Emanuel Considers Closing 100 Chicago Public Schools

Speaking of the schools...

Rahm Emanuel Considers Closing 100 Chicago Public Schools via Newsalert!
A source with close ties to Chicago's public education establishment has confirmed that Rahm Emanuel may close 100 Chicago public schools. Along with the closures will come a vast expansion of charter schools. Emanuel has 150 half empty public schools that are a drain on tax dollars. With Chicago, having lost 200,000 people in the last Census: change is in the air....Can Rahm go to war with the teachers unions and win? Stay tuned.
Steve Bartin the blogmaster of Newsalert made sure to note that Mayor Emanuel will not make any such announcement in San Francisco.

Is anyone concerned this could affect many of our neigborhood schools?

CPS announces ‘coordinated’ opening and closing bells for schools - Chicago Sun-Times

Under a plan announced Friday, the often-popular 9 a.m. opening bell will be a thing of the past next school year, when all elementary schools will be assigned an opening time between 7:45 and 8:45 a.m. and an end time between 2:45 and 3:45 p.m.

High school students will have to get up even earlier, with all high schools opening between 7:30 and 8:30 a.m. and ending between 3 and 4 p.m., district officials said in a news release.

Schools may appeal their bell times through May 9. To do so they must “demonstrate a significant safety and/or instructional issue with their school’s proposed start and end times,’’ according to the district news release. Schools must win the approval of their network chief as well as other district officials to change an assigned bell schedule.

“Never before has the District given such consideration to safety precautions in regards to the start and end times at our schools,’’ Schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard said in a news release. “The choice to adopt coordinated bell schedules is a new safeguard that we know will have a direct and lasting impact on all CPS students.’’

Charter schools do not have to follow the new bell schedules.
Anyone out there concerned about this proposal?

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Revised Infrastructure Trust Vote | Chicago Tonight | WTTW

Revised Infrastructure Trust Vote | Chicago Tonight | WTTW

I've had my eye on the infrastructure trust plan proposed by Mayor Emanuel. You can see how all 50 alderman voted and note the ones who were absent. Ald. Sawyer voted in favor of this proposal on April 24, 2012.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Three Shot Outside Bar On South Side « CBS Chicago

Three Shot Outside Bar On South Side « CBS Chicago
The three people were standing outside bar in the 500 block of East 75th Street about 3:23 a.m. when they were shot, police said.

A man was shot in the abdomen area and taken to John H. Stroger Hospital of Cook County, and another man was shot in the hand and taken to Jackson Park Hospital, police said.

Detail were sketchy on a third person wounded in the shooting, but police News Affairs Officer Amina Greer confirmed three people were hit.

Conditions of the shooting victims and other details were not immediately available.

No one in is in custody, and Area Central detectives are investigating.
Another example of stories you may find on the Sixth Ward Blotter!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Chatham: It's Time to Save Brown Park

Location: 636 E 86th St, Chicago, IL 60619, USA
sidney brown 

Last year I wrote a blog post about the parks in the 6th ward and one was Brown Memorial Park.

Brown Memorial Park was established as the last parcel of a large lot of land formerly owned by the Nation of Islam. The land was foreclosed and sold in parcels. The Chicago Park District purchased nearly 7 acres of a 14 acre for the playground in 1967. When park development began the following year, the site was picketed by angry residents, who had expected a park double the size. Though the park district was unable to acquire the additional land, improvements went forward. In 1990, the park district named the site for Sidney Brown (1951-1983), the first African-American firefighter to die in the line of duty in Chicago. Brown, who began his career as a firefighter in 1978, served with Engine Company 75 on the city's south side. As a "hydrant man" who connected hoses to fire hydrants, he was often the last firefighter to enter an engulfed building. Brown died on August 9, 1983, when he rushed into a burning house, hoping to save three children believed to be trapped there.

 Brown Memorial Park(636 E. 86th St) has been in a state of disrepair, the basketball courts were removed, the tennis courts are beat and the only major improvement the Chicago Park District has planned is to build a playlot that is fully funded at this point. The playlot is woefully insufficient as the park has no fieldhouse and no bathroom facilities. The community has had enough and is planning a meeting to address the current situation of Brown Memorial Park. The meeting information: May 2, 2012 Wednesday 6:30 pm Cole Park Fieldhouse 361 E. 85th For more information contact Rev. Dr. Marc Robertson at

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Troubled building in Park Manor demolished...

Location: 439 E 74th St, Chicago, IL 60619, USA
These images were sent to us by Ald. Sawyer's Chief of Staff Brian Sleet with this message:
This is a before and after picture of the building on 439 E. 74th St. was torn down on April 25, 2012. It has been vacant for years and has often housed a lot of drug users and the like. The residents in that area had been trying to get something done with that building for years.
The picture above is of the 6-unit apartment building before it's demolition when it was boarded up. Click both pics for a larger resolution!

The picture below is of this building being torn down and with Ald. Sawyer himself at the site of the demolition.

It looks like it was a nice building once an now it will no longer be a nuisance to the community!

Shooting in Chatham!

Got wind of this via Greater Chatham Alliance e-mail blast:
In the most recent shooting, a 49-year-old man sitting in a car with two others was shot and wounded during an attempted holdup just before 2:30 a.m. this morning in the 8000 block of South Michigan Avenue in the city's Chatham neighborhood.

The victim was struck in the back and forearm and taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn in "stable condition," police said, citing early reports.

The gunman fled and hadn't been apprehended, police said.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Happy Birthday, Worlee!

Happy Birthday, Worlee!

You may not agree with him some (or even most) of the time, but Worlee has been a longtime contributor to this blog, as well as writing his own blog, Concerned Citizens of Chatham on Blogger as well as the Chicago Tribune's set of blogs at ChicagoNow.

He also posts regularly on Everyblock - Chicago as well.

Thanks for all your contributions, and stirring some debate!

Benji- The Ben Wilson Story

Location: 210 W 87th St, Chicago, IL 60620, USA

The story of Ben Wilson is now complete. "Benji", a documentary is now playing at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York, New York. The documentary was produced for ESPN but we need it to be shown on the big screen here.

For those who do not know the story,
In 1984, 17-year-old Ben Wilson was a symbol of everything promising about Chicago: a sweet-natured youngster from the city's fabled South Side, and America's top high school basketball prospect. Nicknamed "Magic Johnson with a jump shot," Wilson's natural talents and drive assured his best years were yet to come. Then, in November of his senior year, the career of this exceptional youngster was abruptly and tragically cut short. Ben's grim fate sent ripples of horror through the city and the country. 
Today, in 2012 , consensus number 1 high school basketball player in the country again comes from Simeon High School. As a community, city and nation we cannot allow history to repeat itself. Please contact ICE Chatham 14 Theater @ or your local theater and let them know you want to view this film

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Flossmoor man charged in South Side murder - Southtown Star

Michael T. Jones, 30, was charged with one count of first-degree murder, police said. He was being held in the Cook County Jail without bond awaiting a May 9 court date, according to the Cook County Sheriff’s office’s website.

Police officers saw Jones shooting at a man just before 11 p.m. Wednesday in the 700 block of East 87th Place and arrested him after a short foot chase, police said.

Jones is accused of shooting James Reddick, 58, near his home on the same block. Reddick was dead on the scene with a gunshot wound to the head, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

A source said the shooting was not random.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Park Manor Candlelight Vigil

Location: 331 E 71st St, Chicago, IL 60619, USA

Fr. Mike Knotek, Pastor & Fr. Vanecko, with Park Manor Neighbors' are sponsoring  
A prayer vigil outside of St Columbanus Catholic Church  
331 E. 71st St. Chicago, IL 60619 .
 Phone: (773) 224-1022 Fax: (773) 224-1477
APRIL 21, 2012 


Tribune: Officers witness slaying, chase down gunman

Scene on the 700 block E. 87th Street from WGN-TV
 Oh this is plain unbelievable!
Gresham District officers were on patrol when they heard gunshots in the 700 block of East 87th Place just before 11:30 p.m. Wednesday and went to investigate, police said.

As the officers arrived, they saw a man fire three shots into the head of a man on the ground, authorities said.

The officers chased down the 30-year-old suspect and took him into custody, according to authorities. The suspect, who lives across the street from the victim, has a street gang affiliation but police didn't offer a motive.

The victim, identified as James Reddick, 58, of the 87th Place address, was dead at the scene, police said.

Reddick's girlfriend, Brenda Acklin, called him a "typical working man" who did rehab work such as brick-laying and roofing on homes.

"James did work all over Chicago," she said. "He'd knock them (houses) down and build them up."

Acklin was playing solitaire on the second floor of the warehouse Wednesday night when she heard about five or six gunshots, she said. She immediately looked out outside and saw a Chicago police car speeding west through an alley across the street, its siren blaring.
You should read the whole article there was more to be said about the victim than what's provided in the excerpt above!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

VIDEO: Thieves Target Brass Mailbox Covers In Avalon Park

[VIDEO] On Tuesday WBBM-TV took at look at the string of mailbox metal thefts plaguing the south side. Ald. Sawyer is quoted in the story:
Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6th)says it is all about money, and he is right. The average current scrap price for brass is a $1.25 per pound. Given the 3-pound weight of each mailbox cover, a dozen of them could bring $45.

Sawyer wants to tighten up the laws governing scrap metal companies, to make it more risky for them to buy stolen goods.

“Give them heavy disincentives for those that are illegally obtaining these items and those that are illegally accepting them,” he says.

Sawyer agrees that arresting the thieves ”would be a wonderful thing, but you’ve got to catch them.”
Here are some earlier posts on this subject to check out!

Remember that infrastructure trust plan by the Mayor...

[VIDEO] This past Monday, Aldermen Beale & Sawyer were quoted by ABC 7 on this infrastructure trust proposed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Beale actually is a member of the city council finance committee that we see meeting in this story!
[Chicago Chief Financial Officer Lois] Scott reminded the aldermen that the Chicago Federation is already on board.

"Labor leadership understands that the trust offers a rare opportunity for a win-win: Building critical infrastructure and creating union jobs around the city," said Scott.

"I think it's a good thing, but it's also something that we need to proceed with caution," said Ald. Anthony Beale, 9th Ward. "It could benefit us but it also could backfire."

Several aldermen, however, said they need more information before voting on the ordinance as soon as Wednesday.

"I'd like to have more questions answered, and I don't think we're going to get those answered in the next two days, that's my only concern," said Ald. Roderick Sawyer, 6th Ward.

New activity at the squatter house...

Surely someone who reads this blog either knows what the deal is at this house near the intersection of 95th & Michigan. They either know or they know someone who knows.

I took this pic on my cell phone and immediately posted it to the FB page on Wednesday afternoon. The plywood that covered the door has been removed and the house was wide open. I also saw a child go into the house through the side door.

The link below was the last update on this house and that posting has some other links regarding this house.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Tomorrow is LSC election day for high schools...

Click image for a larger resolution
The above flyer are for community representatives Sharon Banks-Pincham and Sandra J. Wortham for the John Marshall Harlan High School Local School Council. Wortham just came off a bid for 34th district state representative and is currently serving on Harlan's LSC.

Anyway Tomorrow is election day for high school LSCs hopefully you can make some time to vote for LSC representatives at your neighborhood high school. In this case if you live in Harlan's neighborhood at least you know what room to go to to cast your ballot!

Again if you're for voting for an LSC candidate or have run for an LSC or are serving on an LSC please give us a note at blog [@]

Ruggles LSC candidates...

Today is election day at CPS elementary schools. Today and Thursday are elections for Local School Councils at individual CPS schools. Thursday are election to high school LSCs.

I've been sitting on this for a while so here are some materials if you're to vote at Rugggles Elementary School located at 7831 S. Prairie Avenue. One flyer for an LSC candidate was already shown here, a flyer for Jahmal Cole author of Torch of Decency!

Knowing this is late notice, where ever your neighborhood elementary school is today please go out and cast a vote today! And leave a comment here to let us know at which school did you vote!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tribune: Roseland churches vow to take to streets to fight violence

This is the obligatory what's going on in the 9th Ward/Roseland post. A lot of people's hearts were aflutter with the idea of some neighborhoods of the 6th Ward being drawn into the 9th Ward. It's time to show what the people of Roseland is up to and here's one example (hat-tip YoChicago):
Services at more than 50 Roseland churches ended with a prayer vigil against violence Sunday, and local ministers have pledged their flocks will take to the streets each weekend this summer to quell violence on the South Side.

The congregation of Mount Calvary Baptist Church sang "I Am on the Battlefield for My Lord" after services Sunday afternoon, and church members may soon be putting themselves in harm's way, said the Rev. Phillip Cusic. On Thursday night alone, Cusic said, a half-dozen shooting victims arrived at Roseland Community Hospital, where Cusic is chaplain.

The hospital has helped form Arms Around Roseland, a coalition of 56 churches and community groups that will walk neighborhood streets from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. each week until October, Cusic said. Participants also will distribute anti-violence literature, fliers and other information and act as human shields during the warm-weather months that tend to be the city's most violent.

"People have unrealistic fear of violence on the street," Cusic said Sunday. "When people are out in the streets, when their pastors are out, they don't shoot. They stand down. We want to give them a peaceful way to stand down."

Cusic said the hospital has been working with community groups and churches for months and had planned to roll out Arms Around Roseland later this year, when the weather grows warmer and violence in the city traditionally increases.
I sincerely hope this volunteer effort succeeds!

Monday, April 16, 2012

The end of the old Chatham Pancake House...

Worlee called it in one of his recent postings at Concerned Citizens of Chatham:
Finally, the residents of Chatham will not have to worry about anything being EZ or EZ Pawn as the former Chatham Pancake House (700 E 87th) will be torn down by the new owner. The new owner Crown Properties is actively marketing the property to several national restaurant chains.
So the old Chatham Pancake House is to be torn down and that's what the set up is in the above photograph taken Monday afternoon.

What would you like to see come to this lot on 87th Street?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Tribune: Metal thefts putting homeowners on edge

Consider this a follow-up of sorts from that press release courtesy of Ald. Roderick Sawyer's office from earlier this week:
Gregory Edwards knows the four video cameras monitoring his South Side home are no guarantee it won't be targeted yet again by thieves trying to steal copper or aluminum to trade for quick money at scrap yards.

"No matter what, I'm never comfortable," said Edwards, 31, who installed the cameras after his home in West Chesterfield was vandalized twice in the last year by people trying to get metal to trade for cash. "I'm not paranoid or anything, but it's just best to be prepared (instead of) upset."

Thefts of valuable metal — from gutters and downspouts to cemetery plaques and catalytic converters — have long plagued city neighborhoods and suburbs. State legislators passed a law nearly five years ago tightening regulations on scrap dealers. But high metal prices and the sputtering economy have continued to motivate criminals trying to turn someone else's property into their profit.

Now, state lawmakers are trying to toughen the law again to force scrap dealers to keep better records and to make it more difficult for people to sell stolen goods.
Current state law requires scrap dealers to record details of purchases worth $100 or more, including making a copy of the seller's government-issued identification card and recording the make, model and license plate number of the car the seller was driving.

A bill that passed the House last month and is now in the Senate would require those steps for all sales at scrap yards, regardless of price. It also would require that dealers pay by check instead of cash for some of the most popular items, including some air conditioner parts worth more than $100.

Dealers also would have to keep the sales records for three years instead of two, in case police need to review them.

Under the new bill, people caught trying to sell stolen metal could also be forced to pay for the damages caused by the theft.

"There are people who are afraid to put a for-sale sign or a for-rent sign in front of their house," said Rep. Mike Unes, R-East Peoria, one of the chief sponsors of the bill. "This (bill) is for them."
Finally another quote from another West Chesterfield resident:
But Charles Patton, 59, whose gate was stolen last month from his home in West Chesterfield, welcomed the proposed regulations, which he hoped would prevent future thefts.

"It wasn't nothing fabulous," Patton said of his gate. "It was just a regular chain-link fence, but it belonged to me."
Everyone is out to make a quick easy buck any way that can! Let's hope anything we can do to cut this activity down.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Neighborhood Pride on a Poster - Gapers Block Chicago

Neighborhood Pride on a Poster - Gapers Block Chicago

Check out for some examples of neighborhood posters. I look forward to seeing a Chatham poster although I'm sure there are some graphic artists in the neighborhood that can produce something similar to allow residents to show their pride in their neighborhoods.

Over the history of this blog we have shown neighborhood logos for both Englewood and Chatham. We even wondered why Chatham doesn't have at least neighborhood markers for the neighborhood although apparently Park Manor and Grand Crossing do have markers on opposite sides of the expressway.

What other ways do you show pride in the neighborhoods where you live?

Best Buy to close 6 Chicago-area stores

And one of those six stores include the one located in our neighborhood near 87th & Lafayette (or Dan Ryan):
Best Buy announced today that six Chicago-area stores will be among the 50 nationwide that the retailer plans to close.

The locations for the six stores are: 1038, N. Rohlwing Rd. in Addison, 8900 S. Lafayette Ave. in Chicago, 200 S. Waukegan Rd. in Deerfield, 4707 Lincoln Mall Dr. in Matteson, 1100 N. Route 83 in Mundelein, and 979 W. Main St. in West Dundee.

The Chicago, Matteson, Mundelein and West Dundee stores will be closed today but will re-open Sunday for final sales before closing for good May 12, according to the release. The Addison and Deerfield stores will both be open today, with no specific date set for their final closing.

In the release, the company said, "This was not an easy decision to make. We chose these stores carefully, and are working to ensure the impact to our employees will be as minimal as possible, while serving all customers in a convenient and satisfying way. But we also recognize the impact this news has on the people who deserve respect for contributions they have made to our business."

In the release, the company said customers that are doing business with these stores are also being contacted today.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Do People Just Want to Live in Segregation? Not in Chicago

Chicago Magazine is talking about Chatham again:
It's not a simple matter of black people being way more egalitarian than white people. Everyone wants to live in a safe environment with good housing stock and good civic resources, which is often not the case in black-majority neighborhoods in Chicago, as Robert Sampson writes in his paper "Social Anatomy of Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Violence":

"Racial/ethnic differences in neighborhood characteristics are pronounced. For example, a typical Black in Chicago lives in a neighborhood that is 78% Black, whereas Whites and Mexican Americans live in neighborhoods that are more mixed but that are still predominantly (over 85%) non-Black. Blacks are also more likely than Whites or Mexican Americans to live in neighborhoods characterized by concentrated disadvantage, high legal/ moral cynicism, and low collective efficacy."

Advantage and collective efficacy can stabilize a neighborhood, as it did for Chatham, long an enclave of the black middle-class on the South Side. Sampson, in his recent book Great American City, found that the neighborhood has the second highest collective efficacy among predominantly black neigborhoods (behind Avalon Park, nicknamed Pill Hill for its concentration of medical professionals). But it borders on some of the city's poorest neighborhoods—such as Wentworth Gardens, where the men who killed police officer and Chatham resident Thomas Wortham IV lived. Over the past two decades, Chatham has lost 15 percent of its residents while seeing greater poverty and unemployment, which is one reason Sampson calls it out in his book as an area of concern. If people can, they move to places like Chatham over places like Englewood and West Englewood (which each lost nearly twice as many people in half the time). If places like Chatham become too unsafe and isolated, they move out of the city:

"In addition to migrating down South, black Chicagoans are also heading for the suburbs, including Cook County's Dolton, Ill. Over the last decade, blacks who achieved a certain amount of success before the economic decline began moving to the suburbs from the city in search of safer communities and better housing. They also spread to University Park and Orland Park, both in Will County, with Orland Park straddling Cook County. Will County, with a population of 677,560, saw its overall population increase 34.9 percent, according to the Census Bureau."
So what can we do to keep Chatham and other similar areas a safe area to live?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Concerned Citizens of Chatham: Restaurants and Politics - Why is There Such a Disconnect

Worlee wrote this post at his blog it raises some good points:
While I had some issues with the answer, I recently came to understand that the owners did not have too many options and what would seem to be the obvious place to go for help wasn't really interested. The most obvious place Washburne Culinary Institute at Kennedy King College. I've criticized Kennedy King College as being nothing more than a glorified high school and a waste of taxpayers money especially the building of a restaurant and state of the art wine cellar and tasting room. The Sekia restaurant and the wine cellar tasting room are in a dry community meaning no alcohol can be served. This makes it a hard sell to entice someone to spend an evening in that area and not be able to have a drink unless you go out to the local liquor store. In a recent New York Times article, a former student eluded that the southside of Chicago was a dead zone for fine dining.

After reading the article and looking at the restaurant the subject of the article wrote I questioned what was being taught at the school. Most recently another article basically answered the question, it appeared that the school was running with no clear defined plan and not offering a competitive curriculum. So this is why restaurants like Army & Lou's had to close versus if they were on the northside schools such as CHIC and Kendall College would have been available to offer technical assistance. But, what is more bothersome is that both Army & Lou's and Izola's were hangouts for top African American politicians and no one was ever able to connect the dots. A mediocre culinary arts school and failing restaurants could help each other. So while the City Colleges of Chicago throws more taxpayers money trying to fix Washburne the restaurants are still closed.
This part should be emphasized:
My purpose was not to be sarcastic but rather understand the issue. Chatham is only a couple of miles away from one of the best Business Schools in the country University of Chicago, a stones throw away from the Small Business Development Center at Chicago State University and a couple of miles away from one of the oldest culinary schools in the country Washburne Culinary.
Perhaps the need is there to reach out to those institutions to help out our businesses. The focus here is food services but there are other products and services that could use some support behind the scenes just as Army & Lou's and Izola's could've used some assistance in saving their struggling businesses.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Summer Jobs for Youth (Teens & College)

From the Greater Chatham Alliance:
The City of Chicago and Cook County have developed a central office for summer youth jobs and summer kid programs.

But like anything, there's not enough jobs and programs to go around for every kid, teen and young adult living in Chicago.

So we had to make sure we got this info to you as fast as we got it!

Please download the attached GCA Announcement that provides links to the youth jobs and summer kid programs.

Unfortunately, everything has to be done online.

So if you know of families with kids, teens and young adults who don't have computer access, this is the time to extend a helping hand.

Or suggest they hurry on down to the nearest public library and sign-up!
 Refer to the document that is posted below for MORE information!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Did the Destruction of Chicago's Public Housing Decrease Violent Crime, Or Just Move It Elsewhere?

This Chicago Magazine article takes aim at any correlation (and/or causation) with regards to crime and public housing projects. The question here is wether or not tearing down CHA housing has either reduced crime or merely dispersed crime throughout the Chicago area.
On the other hand, crime in the former public-housing neighborhoods declined precipitously between 2000 and 2008: violent crime by 60 percent, property crime by 49 percent, and gun crime by 70 percent, compared to 13 and nine percent between 2002 and 2009 in similar neighborhoods in Atlanta (gun crime stats weren't available for that city). But spread out citywide across Chicago, the results are small: a one percent net decrease in violent crime, and a 0.3 percent decrease in property crime, although gun crime, a particular problem in public housing, declined by 4.4 percent, while accounting for the overall drop in crime across the city.
There's probably more to this however:
But it's likely a more complicated relationship than former public-housing residents simply bringing crime with them, as suggested by a study from NYU's Law School and Wagner School of Public Service from last year, which covered ten U.S. cities. What the authors found was that voucher recipients chose, or were guided to, neighborhoods that were in decline:

"While crime tends to be higher in census tracts with more voucher households, that positive relationship disappears after we control for unobserved characteristics of the census tract and crime trends in the broader sub-city area. We do find evidence to support a reverse causal story, however. That is, the number of voucher holders in a neighborhood tends to increase in tracts with rising crime, suggesting that voucher holders are more likely to move into neighborhoods where crime rates are increasing."
This article has already sparked a good discussion on our FB page. There's also a good discussion brewing at Worlee's Concerned Citizens of Chatham FB page. I would like to provide a taste of what's being said or at least those comments I thought were very good. We already know that at least within the 6th Ward there have been debates and certainly many have concluded that the destruction of the housing projects around the city have been disastrous for neighborhoods such as Chatham.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

ABC7: Spoken word artists Imagine Englewood If . . .

[VIDEO] I believe this event had just passed, feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. Check out the full video above from our local ABC affiliate:
The youth-lead campaign called Pocket Change 4 Youth is an initiative of the non-profit organization Imagine Englewood If. It is primarily funded by the Illinois Violence Prevention Authority.

"We also have homework and tutoring help. We also do a lot of field trips so young people can get out of the neighborhood and see another part of the world and it transforms their lives," Brown-El said.

One child at a time, the group hopes their efforts will ripple through the community and inspire other youth toward positive change.

The Open Mic Youth Summit takes place on Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. Find out more at
I hope positive events such as this will continue to get notice from our local media outlets!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

3 women injured in beating at South Side Burger King

This incident is utterly shameful. Shameful, shameful, shameful:
Police responded to a battery in progress at about 8 p.m. Friday at the Burger King, 28 E.87th St., said Chicago Police Department News Affairs Officer Laura Kubiak, citing information from a police report.

According to the preliminary police report, the victims were ordering their food when a male told one of the women he was going to beat them if they didn't leave the restaurant.

When they didn't leave, a group of males and females they did not know ran toward the victims and began beating and kicking them before fleeing the scene, according to the preliminary report.

One of the victims, Michelle Pearson, 18, said she and her cousins, Markiesha Tyler, 19, and Sierra Montgomery, 20, went to the Burger King about 6 p.m. Friday to get dinner for their children and family.

Pearson said the altercation started when a female accused her of "looking at her." That female went outside but returned with a group of about 15 males and 5 females.

"I tried to talk to them but no one was listening," she said, thinking that someone in the group would be able to defuse the situation.

She said the group then cornered her and her cousins by a pop machine and started attacking them.

"They bashed our heads, stomped us, beat us, everything," Pearson said.

She described one of the attackers as at least 200 pounds. "I could feel her stomping me."

Friday, April 6, 2012

The Enduring Effect of Neighborhoods

The late Peter Drucker used to say that voluntary organizations and non-profits would increasingly drive the knowledge economy. Your focus on non-profits has helped to provide the social, civic and economic organizing glue of neighborhoods and cities. Lots of urbanists and Cities readers work in non-profits, I'm sure they'd like to hear more about this.

We live in an increasingly organizational society, and this reality plays out in neighborhoods as well. The density of nonprofit organizations leads to enhanced collective efficacy (for example neighbors watching out for others), collective civic engagement, and cohesion among community leaders. What’s important is not so much the existence of any specific type of organization but the overall organizational infrastructure of a community. Sometimes a disproportionate reliance on any one type of organization, such as the church, can be a problem. Surprisingly, for example, mistrust and cynicism in Chicago communities are highest in the well-churched communities. Although a fount of the civil rights movement, the church alone is clearly not enough to overcome the needs of African American communities, or any community for that matter. Communities with a diversity and density of many types of organizations seem to do better, creating collective spillover or “knock on” effects.

Nonprofit organizations can make a significant difference in how vulnerable neighborhoods face burdens such as foreclosures due to the recent recession. Community-based organizations are an important ingredient in building up the collective efficacy of communities to meet everyday challenges. While national policies are obviously crucial, nonprofits serve as a kind of social buffer that can make the difference between which neighborhoods tip into a spiral of decline and which turn themselves around. I call this process the "organizational imperative."
The last three paragraphs concluded this piece. I suggest you read the whole thing.

Do you think non-profits and community based organizations will make a difference here on the south side?

UPDATE: Hat-tip YoChicago!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Neighborhoods of CHA relocations experienced higher crime rates

An excerpt from the Sun-Times article:
Crime was worse in neighborhoods where former Chicago Housing Authority residents used vouchers to move into private apartments, a new study found.

From 2000 to 2008, violent crime was 21 percent higher in neighborhoods with high concentrations of voucher-holding former CHA residents — when compared to similar neighborhoods without them, the Washington-based Urban Institute found. Property crime also would have been lower without relocated residents in those neighborhoods, the study said.

Violent crime dropped about 26 percent across the city over the same time period, according to the Chicago Police Department. The Urban Institute attributed about 1 percent of the decrease to CHA’s 1999 plan to knock down Cabrini-Green and other notorious housing complexes.

“We are estimating crime went down less in neighborhoods where the ‘relocatees’ moved,” said Susan Popkin, an author of the study released Thursday.
Chatham Avalon Park Community Council President Keith Tate was interviewed by the Sun-Times and provided some quotes.
Some communities are not very happy to have them. Chatham, where generations of African-American teachers, lawyers and other professionals have called home, has seen an influx of former CHA residents with vouchers — about 120 of them.

“It has been disastrous for Chatham,” said Keith Tate, president of Chatham-Avalon Park Community Association.

“Never did we see individuals sitting on their cars drinking 40-ounce bottles of beer.”

Tate said the community is experiencing a clash between longtime residents with a strong work ethic and former CHA residents on the dole.

“We have opened our arms to accept anyone into our community,” Tate said. “But it has caused a tremendous problem. We have had more burglaries than normal, more shootings. . . . We’re fighting on all fronts now to satisfy the needs of the long-term residents and the new residents who just moved here.”
 I hope you will read the whole thing! Does anyone have any comments about section 8 people in their community?

PHOTO: Jim's Original

This picture was posted to flickr by Curtis Locke found via our Blotter. Nicely composed and certainly is a snapshot of what you might find on any given day near 95th & State Street (or the east side of the Dan Ryan). One should see the lines out of this place when Jim's offer polish sausages at a discount as they had during Black History Month during given times during the week. It could rival in some respect the whole 99 cent chicken dinners offered by Church's Chicken that Worlee wrote about last year. In fact you can see an example in this photograph on Monday's a Polish sausage for $1.50 from 3PM to 5PM.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Off-market home listing on Trulia

I had to Google "off-market" so feel free to correct this characterization. This home has either been sold, held in escrow, or the owner changed their mind on selling. Thus it has been taken off the market for whatever reason.

Of course that doesn't mean that we can't talk about this house located in the Roseland Heights neighborhood. This description is provided by Trulia which was found via the Blotter:
This is a Single-Family Home located at 9750 South Calumet Avenue, Chicago IL. 9750 S Calumet Ave has 2 baths and approximately 960 square feet. The property was built in 1954. The average list price for similar homes for sale is $84,286 and the average sales price for similar recently sold homes is $74,588. 9750 S Calumet Ave is in the Roseland neighborhood in Chicago, IL. The average list price for Roseland is $81,647. 
Also noted is that this property has two parking spaces, a finished improved basement, lot size is .09 acres, and a detached garage. Furthermore it's also about one story with a basement.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Illinois Channel: Special House committee investigating Derrick Smith

[VIDEO] Last month we already talked about one of our local state Representatives - Andre Thapedi - being appointed to this committee that was formed to investigate the bribery charges against colleague Derrick Smith. Rep. Smith was arrested one week before last month's primaries for accepting a bribe from an alleged day care operator.

Last week the Capitol Fax had offered some live coverage of this meeting. Today, Illinois Channel provides video with a duration of 17 minutes of the committee doing it's business.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Concerned Citizens of Chatham: April 6th Ward Community Meetings

Worlee provides a listing of the various neighborhood meetings coming up this month. Soon to be added to the calendar in the sidebar!
  • West Chesterfield Community Association
     Saturday, April 7, 2012
     West Chesterfield Community Fieldhouse
     9351 S Michigan
  •  Park Manor Neighbors Community Council
     Monday, April 2, 2012
     6:30 to 8:30 pm
     St. Columbanus( Glass House)
     317 E. 71st
  • Chatham Avalon Park Community Council
     Monday April 9, 2012
     6:30 to 8:30 pm
     Northern Trust Bank
     7800 S. State Street
     Topic: Community Issues
  •  Greater Chatham Alliance Community Organization
     Saturday April 21, 2012
     11:00 am to 1:30 pm
     St. James Lutheran Church
     8001 S. Michigan
     Topic: Community Issues 

Chicagoist: How do we keep from becoming Detroit?

Well there are some bloggers who will claim that Chatham is becoming like Detroit. Then against we should be looking at the city as a whole and not just this neighborhood or that neighborhood. Here is an interesting conclusion from Chicagoist:
The Freep notes some potential solutions that are likely to be included in the report. And here, we can take some comfort. Chicago is already trying many of the fixes they have identified: while we don’t have the same potential, urban farming is alive and well here after some help from the City Council; we have already converted a sprawling brownfield into the nation's largest solar farm, hinting at both re-use and energy solutions for the future; the City Council and County Board have put aggressive vacant property ordinances in place that should, if they survive legal challenges, help properties change hands before they become community blights; and the City is already buying up properties to help stabilize some neighborhoods. And that stuff is all great, but unfortunately, some close to the Detroit effort concede that they do not think the projects being bandied about will be enough. If it's not going to be enough in Detroit (where demolition permits outnumber building permits 10:1), will it do the trick here (where one in 10 buildings are vacant)? Probably not.
Should this be applied to the city as a whole? Should this only be implemented on a neighborhood level?