Friday, January 31, 2014

Meeting coming about the reconstruction of 95th Red Line Terminal

Rendering of new terminal from CTA/flickr
This information was posted on EveryBlock regarding an upcoming meeting to discuss the 95th Red Line terminal reconstruction.

The $240 million reconstruction project for the new 95th Street Red Line station to modernize transit the facility is slated to begin this spring. The project is expected to generate about 700 construction jobs. For more information, go to

Built in 1969, the 95th Street station serves about 20,000 people on an average weekday.

The project will include artwork from internationally recognized artist Theaster Gates, who is holding a community meeting to engage the community, architects and designers about the art project. The meeting:
  • Monday, Feb. 3
    6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
    St. James AME Church
    9256 South Lafayette Ave.
According to the CTA’s website: “Upon completion of construction work, the 95th Street terminal will be the showcase station of the entire CTA system —and the premier multimodal transportation terminal in the region. This artwork—and the community-driven process that will create it—will be a strong complement to the new terminal.”

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Ward Room: Aldermen Back Referendum for $15 Minimum Wage

Do you agree with this?
Saying it’s “time to act”, a group of Chicago aldermen, along with advocacy groups, low-wage workers and community members, are backing a set of city referendums on the March 18 ballot calling for a higher minimum wage.

All eight members of the City Council’s Progressive Reform Coalition, along with Aldermen Joe Moreno (1), Will Burns (4) and Jason Ervin (28), are backing the measure. Last year, a coalition of advocacy groups worked to place a non-binding referendum on the March ballot to establish a minimum wage in Chicago.

The referendum asks if the city should require a minimum wage of $15 per hour for employees of companies with an annual gross revenues in excess of $50 million.

Together, the aldermen and advocates argue that a higher wage is needed for working families to survive on the kinds of minimum wage jobs that prevalent throughout the economy and are often the primary or only option for workers.

Currently, a full-time minimum wage worker in Chicago only earns $17,000 a year, while a majority of Chicago’s low-wage workers are over the age of 30 and over half live in households receiving all of their income from low-wage jobs, according to a 2012 report by the Women Employed and Action Now Institute.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

What's your plan for Chicago and her neighborhoods

Over at Curbed Chicago, I got wind of a Chicago Tribune challenge to Chicagoans. Inspired by the 100-year-old Burnham Plan, they want Chicagoans to come up with a plan of their own for the city. So then what caught my eye was reviving troubled city neighborhoods.

Some of those plans I'm sure have been implemented in some way. For example in some parts of the city such as Englewood there already are urban farms growing produce. Another good idea is mentorship for small business owners and tax breaks. Also creating commercial areas and parks as refuges with 24/7 security.

The article also considers what to do with the many schools that were closed due to utilization. Could these many buildings be used for commerical purposed or could they be used for community purposes. Indeed perhaps we could turn these closed schools into community centers with many services.

All the same, I'm sure many of you read this blog have your own idea as to reviving our troubled neigborhoods. Many of you have your own visions worth sharing with the Tribune or even here if you'd like.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Local oversight council meets to discuss the Englewood Whole Foods

Rendering of future Whole Foods at 63rd/Halsted

It seems the new Whole Foods Market coming to Englewood in 2016 is still on everyone's minds. According to this post - also seen below - on RAGE's FB page there is a meeting coming up of a newly formed oversight council that will keep an eye on that development and others occurring in Englewood. The meeting is at 11 AM on January 31 at Teamwork Englewood located at 815 W. 63rd St.

CPS closed on Tuesday and other weather updates.

Schools will remain closed on Tuesday January 28th due to the extreme cold temps. You can recieve updates via either CPS' FB page or CPS' Twitter account in addition to CPS' 773.553.1000 for recorded message updates.

Also the City Colleges of Chicago has also cancelled classes on Tuesday as they have also cancelled classes on Monday in light of the cold weather. You can find updates via CCC's FB page and CCC's Twitter!

Feel free to use our Accuweather widget for your convenience at the top of the sidebar it to check out current conditions or visit the Accuweather website for weather forecasts!

Now just for the sake of talking some CPS closure news, I would like to share this Sun-Times article which not only discusses how many Chicago Alderman are unhappy with CPS closing schools. The article also discusses how people are coping with this "polar vortex".

How are you coping with the cold weather, so far? 

Also Ald. Anthony Beale of the 9th has information on warming centers around the city, but also refer to 311. Ald. Beale also had a community meeting to be held Tuesday night, however, that meeting has been cancelled.

In addition if you live near Pastor Corey Brooks' church on 6620 S. King Drive he's operating a warming center as well. Let us know who else is operating warming centers.

Finally the Tribune has news on alternative programming for children while schools are closed during this "polar vortex".
The YMCA of Metro Chicago is providing “School’s Out Day’’ activities at five Chicago facilities today and Tuesday, according to spokeswoman Michelle Damico.

Kids will be doing interactive crafts, active physical group games, skits and drama and other fun activities from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the following locations:

McCormick Tribune: 1834 North Lawndale Ave.

High Ridge: 2424 W. Touhy Ave.

South Side: 6330 S. Stony Island Ave.

South Chicago: 3039 East 91st St.

Rauner Family: 2700 S. Western Ave.

Check back for updates.

Monday, January 27, 2014

We've brought back the Sixth Ward Blotter!
If you couldn't tell the writers of The Sixth Ward are very glad that the website EveryBlock have made their grand return after a nearly one-year hiatus. You know what this means, the Sixth Ward Blotter has made it's grand return. Not long after the notification that the site is now live again, the Blotter page was brought back from its own hiatus.

The Blotter has been at times a great hit since if people have city services issues they would leave a comment. That hasn't changed and that's why I also included important phone numbers to call if you have an issue on your block.

What wasn't accounted for, however, in the return of the Blotter is the fact that while currently it was set for the 6th Ward as it was drawn in the past as the boundaries have changed - see the about page for the original boundaries. Sooner or later the widget would have to be tweaked, however, we can only worry about that in the future.

Hopefully while EveryBlock does have a widget function I'm also hoping that in the future the functionality that it had when that tool was first unveiled will be brought back as well. It seems that if any grassroots internet publisher wanted to utilize the widget there are only three choices for the moment - crime reports, upcoming events, and food inspections.

Even if you don't live in the confines of the 6th Ward there is a box in the widget that allows you to select you own location in the city. Just type an address, neighborhood or a zip code and while you'll be sent to the website itself you'll at least will see data in your community.

CPS schools will be closed on Monday

The notice above was posted to the CPS FB page today. CPS schools will be closed on Monday due to the expected weather for tomorrow. Schools had also been closed on January 6th & 7th due to the extreme cold weather.

If you seek any further updates you can use the number above 773.553.1000 or call CPS hotline at 773.553.3100. You can also follow CPS on FB and on Twitter to seek further updates!

ALSO, I've added an Accuweather widget to the top of the sidebar for the time being. If you check the blog in the morning it will describe not only the temperature but current weather conditions as well.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Novel Idea: Let's Give Charters To Parochial Schools

Last week the Chicago Public Schools approved 7 new charter schools. Most of the charters approved are in neighborhood that have adequate schools and in some cases such as in Chatham high performing schools. The Concepts Charter School - Horizon Science Academy to be located at 8522 S Lafayette has ties to several  religious organizations . In the beginning charters were offered to non religious organizations so there would be a separation of church and state. Since the lines of church and state as well as public and private have been blurred we need to cut to the chase and do what some want to do in the long run. The hostile takeover of education is going on and the setting up a way for the investment bankers to securitize education and reap millions of dollars.

The parochial or catholic school system has operated in the city of Chicago for more than a 100 years. It has been the only option in some communities and was the only alternative for some families who had poor performing Chicago Public Schools. Over the last several years with some Chicago Public Schools offering high performing schools such as Young, Payton, Jones, Brooks, etc it has made some catholic high schools pay model obsolete. Also, when Mr. Tim King, who attended the all boys school Mendel Catholic and was later the principal at the all boys school Hales Franciscan,  opened Urban Prep it basically doomed the all boys school pay model.

The remaining schools high schools such as Leo, Mt. Carmel, Hales Franciscan and Gordon Tech , etc and the host of elementary schools should be offered the option to become charter schools. It makes sense because most of these schools out perform Chicago Public Schools and operate schools in areas where CPS has closed schools and in some cases could take over buildings that have been left vacant by the last round of school closures.

Ultimately, the master plan is to have a master education system administered through CPS and since we are almost halfway there why not finally put "children first" and provide proven, stable environments operated by proven operators versus having operators with questionable backgrounds come out of no where and payoff politicians to get taxpayers money,waste it and not serve our young people.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Concerned Citizens of Chatham: Bridge to nowhere coming to Chatham?

Worlee opines on a proposed project - a one-way bridge at 85th Street - which was at first necessary for the expected traffic for the Walmart in West Chatham in order to ease the congestion on 87th Street. Now he's concerned there's more traffic coming from the new development from Rev. Charles Jenkins' Legacy Project.

In addition a charter high school - expected to be a Concept school - has been approved to be housed in the development located at 8522 S. Lafayette Ave. It was reported recently of course that Rev. Jenkins is to be a landlord to this school and also noted was his connections with Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Worlee also notes in light of this new development:
This application comes in light of the fact that 10 years ago taxpayers footed the $35 million bill for Simeon Vocational High School which will be less than a half mile away. Also within a two mile radius there are four high schools available. Harlan High School, which is a STEM school, Simeon Vocational. Robeson High School, and Perspectives Calumet High School, which is a charter high school. The only logical reason this school was approved was to reward one of the mayor's African American pastor buddies. His buddy Pastor Charles Jenkins has attempted to build a church campus on this site for several years and now that he has a source of revenue that  helps make this a bankable project.
In any case what say you?

Friday, January 24, 2014

SUN-TIMES: Chicago to make unified bid for Obama presidential library

Well this is a great idea to post a single bid, however, that means the many universities or neighborhoods who are vying to be the site for a Presidential libraries would have to make their own pitches. It sounds fair of course, but then hey there's no guarantee it'll be in Chicago anyway.
Chicago is going to make one unified bid for President Barack Obama’s Presidential Library and Museum, with the University of Chicago and other city schools not making solo plays, Mayor Rahm Emanuel told me Thursday.

“We are going to run a process. But my goal is to have the City of Chicago, with its major educational institutions, have a single proposal,” Emanuel said.

“I don’t expect us to win this based on some sentiment toward the city,” Emanuel said.

As for his pitch to Obama, “I will remind him about his roots in Chicago, but I expect us to be as a city and as university systems competitive and to be very competitive in our proposal to have it come to Chicago.”

I have handicapped Obama’s library/museum as the University of Chicago’s to lose given its very close ties to the Obama family and its long list of wealthy potential donors in the Obama orbit.

With Emanuel moving to consolidate the city’s resources for a bid, University of Chicago has little choice but to forge an alliance with Emanuel, because it brings Emanuel’s own formidable fundraising abilities to the package.

City Hall has already been working internally on the project, Emanuel said. “Let me say this. It is important for the city to have the president’s library in his hometown, and we will be very competitive in our proposal, and we have put a lot of thought into it.”
According to this AP write-up from where I found the link to the Sun-Times, here are the groups who want the Presidential library:
 The University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago State University, and the University of Chicago have all expressed interest in being home to the library. So has a group from Chicago's Bronzeville neighborhood that's promoting a lakefront site at a now-closed hospital.
OK, University of Chicago is a logical choice. And so is putting this library in Bronzeville at the site for the former Michael Reese Hospital. It would be cool if it was on the south side at Chicago State University. Have anyone else heard that the Pullman neighborhood was interested as well? It appears they're not even a blip on the radar now.

Oh yeah as for that Bronzeville site:
City Hall considers the former Michael Reese Hospital site at 29th and Ellis — close to downtown and an easy trip for tourists — as too big and too costly to develop.
Tourists can take a bus there or we could build an IC - oh I'm sorry Metra Electric - stop nearby to that site. Still it probably isn't as beneficial if it costs money to develop.

ALSO consider they mentioned fundraising. So UIC and Chicago State may not get the library because they may not have the fundraising ability of UChicago. In addition to that if Mayor Emanuel gets behind UChicago that will be a bid that's hard to beat.

Where do you think President Obama's library should reside?

Tribune: Man stole $3.2 million in Englewood mortgage fraud scheme

This man has been indicted on federal charges. You will see an excerpt from the Tribune below, but here is a link to an FBI Press Release.
Conrad Ulz, 73, is charged with wire fraud used to obtain mortgages and making false statements on loan applications. He could face 30 years in prison on each fraud count, and would have to pay back the money he stole, according to prosecutors.

Ulz worked with buys of properties to falsely obtain loans starting in 2007, fabricating information including “the sales price of properties, the source of the down payments and the buyers’ employment, income assets and intention to occupy the property,” according to the indictment.

Ulz found people with good credit whom he promised to pay for buying the properties, and whom he promised would not have to use their own money in the transactions, according to the indictment.

The indictment does not name the straw buyers who participated in the scheme and have not been charged.

Ulz defrauded Dream House Mortgage Corp., Franklin American Mortgage, Assurity Financial Services, IndyMac Bank, Washington Mutual Bank, and HSBC Mortgage Corporation, according to his indictment.

Ulz had the straw buyers claim to be paying what appear to be inflated prices for Englewood-area properties. In one case, a two-flat style building in the 6100 block of South Wood Street that had last sold for $135,000 in October 2007 after a foreclosure was claimed to have brought a price of $355,000 in early 2008, according to public records. In late 2007, the Ulz scheme obtained a $321,000 loan for the sale, according to the indictment.
Hat-tip Curbed Chicago!

Since the cold weather is back...

Since the "polar vortex" weather has returned it's OK to rerun this information. Of course if you want either transport or to know where the nearest warming center is please call 311. Other than that we posted this information before - during the earlier "polar vortex" weather - from State Rep. Elgie Sims:
  • Keep Warm Illinois
    • A website aimed at identifying warming centers around the state and other information necessary to assist with keeping warm during the cold months of the year.
  • Getting Around Illinois
    • The website will provide residents and motorists with information regarding the status of our roads.
  • ComED energy assistance
    • Customers are encouraged to notify ComED as quickly as possible if they experience an outage.
    • Customers can text OUT to 26633 to report any outages and receive restoration information, or they can contact ComED by calling 1-800-EDISON-1.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Everyblock is officially online!

Everyblock is back! You may heard it on the news, but now it is official.

In case you don't know know what Everyblock is, it's a site that tries to connect many communities. They offer aggregate news, message boards, and more. Communities are set up in various ways, such as by zip codes, wards and neighborhoods. They are considered one of the leading sites for hyperlocal news

You can also custom make a location on Everyblock, such as a police beat, so you can follow the news/discussions of a particular area. In particular, our 6th Ward is very different from one area to another, so this can be particularly use.

What I am personally grateful for is that previous messages and conversations have been preserved, so some of the information and opinion that people have poured much time into (such as Worlee & RAGE) is still there, so we can go back and discuss it even further.

Everyblock is  a great tool, and thanks to Comcast for putting it back up. Some of us may have issues with Comcast on a number of things, but support local efforts like Everyblock, CLTV and CAN TV are very much appreciated.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Tribune: Hyperlocal website EveryBlock to be resurrected
We wrote about them last month and as it turns out its return will come much sooner than at least I had thought. They were coming just had little idea when.
EveryBlock, the hyperlocal website shut down last February amid financial losses, is returning from internet limbo.

Comcast, which had seemingly pulled the plug on the neighborhood news site for good, is relaunching it Thursday in Chicago, hoping to reconnect with its users and revive its fortunes in the challenging hyperlocal space.

For nearly a year, the Chicago-based site has offered a static apology/eulogy to former users and the curious alike: “We’re sorry to report that EveryBlock has closed its doors.” Soon it will be crackling with blurbs about restaurant closings, building break-ins and community events, sating the need to know on a block-by-block basis, ending what executives are now calling a “hiatus.”

“It was extremely popular,” said Comcast spokesman Jack Segal.

“Chicago is a city of neighborhoods and each neighborhood is unique, and people want to know what is happening down the street.”

The site’s resurrection comes six years to the date of EveryBlock’s original launch, a propitious coincidence, according to Comcast executives.

Naperville native Adrian Holovaty founded EveryBlock in 2007 with the help of a $1.1 million grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation designed to encourage the development of digital news. The website went live in January 2008 in Chicago, San Francisco and New York, eventually expanding to 19 markets.
Interesting ownership history in this article. EveryBlock was a startup and began I believe as the website In 2009 the site was acquired by NBC Universal and overseen by their property and then ultimately until finally that division shut EveryBlock down last February. Now Comcast - who owns all NBC properties - will now operate the site.

BTW, click the link to their website under the EveryBlock logo now it's to a teaser page. The last time I visited that site when it was initially announced that the site will be revived, there was still the noticed that the site was shut down.

In any event I look forward to bring back the Blotter page to this blog which contained the nifty EveryBlock widget. Hopefully they will consider bringing that tool back and it was much better than having a simple feed in the sidebar. In a post on their official blog where they initially introduced the widget there is a page for widget control which doesn't appear much different than the tease page, but hopefully that means the widget is back!

Hat-tip Curbed Chicago!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Sun-Times: Landlords for 2 proposed Chicago charter schools have ties to Emanuel

One of those proposed charter schools will be nearby in the parcel hoped to be developed by a megachurch. Something we've talked about before on this blog:
Two people with ties to Mayor Rahm Emanuel could be among those to benefit from new, publicly financed charter schools up for approval next week by Chicago Public Schools officials.

A South Side minister allied with the mayor and a real estate broker who is an Emanuel friend could end up as landlords for new schools, collecting rent paid for by taxpayers.

The Chicago Board of Education is set to vote next week on 22 proposed schools being sought by nine charter operators. Those that are approved would come back before the school board in May for final approval.

One of two schools that Des Plaines-based Concept Schools chain hopes to open next school year — at 8522 S. Lafayette Ave. in Chatham — would be the first tenant in a building owned by an arm of the Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church.

The Rev. Charles Jenkins, its pastor, touts on his church’s website how he “filled a key role” on Emanuel’s transition team when the mayor was elected in 2011. Jenkins gave the invocation at Emanuel’s swearing-in. He is an Emanuel appointee to the City Colleges of Chicago board and a board member of the private group New Schools for Chicago, which helps fund new charter schools.

If approved, the Concept school would pay nearly $529,000 in rent its first year, with annual lease payments going up to more than $961,000 by the fifth year, according to documents filed by Concept. It said the payments would go to the Fellowship Educational and Economic Development Corp., a not-for-profit headed by Jenkins.
And there's still more to discuss from this article. I suggest you read the whole thing.

RELATED: The Legacy Project is a GO!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

EVENT: Invitation to share input on Harlan High School

Disclosure I'm an alum of Harlan Community Academy and we've talked about this school a lot in the past. I've even attended some LSC meetings in the past and this update is a bit shocking, but then we want to consider the academic status of all of our local schools. It's hard to believe that Harlan has been on probation for 18 years though! I hope that Mrs. Banks-Pincham who wrote the information below and sent it to the community doesn't mind if I share her e-mail address at least.


"Harlan's Probationary Status"
Meeting January 22, 2014, at 5:30 PM
Office of Representative Elgie Sims
8658 S. Cottage Grove, Suite 404
(On the Cottage Grove side of the strip mall at 87th Street).
Make a commitment to bring Harlan out of this dilemma
Join Us!!!

Hello Everyone,

In an effort to place all of the surrounding community on the same page, you are invited to attend a meeting at the office of Representative Elgie Sims on Wednesday, January 22, 2014 at 5:30 PM, 8658 S. Cottage Grove, Suite 404. (On the Cottage Grove side of the strip mall at 87th Street).

There is great concern about the academic status of Harlan, having been on probationary status by CPS standards for eighteen (18) years. This has an enormous effect on our community's property values. There has been an "Interim Principal" at Harlan for the last eight (8) years. Harlan and the community deserve for our neighborhood school to have a regular, contract principal supported by CPS.

Because of Harlan's probationary status, the elected Local School Council only serves in an advisory capacity and has no authority over things that effect the school.

It is obvious that for 18 years Chicago Public Schools has not shown the commitment to bring Harlan out of this dilemma.

Other invitees to this meeting will be the administration for Harlan; Network Chief LaTonya McDade and Principal Reginald Evans. Aldermen who serve the catchment area (Wards 6, 9 and 21) within Harlan's boundaries are also invited.

Please RSVP as soon as possible by e-mail or phone. We look forward to your input.


Sharon Banks-Pincham
LSC Community Representative
Member, 34th Legislative District Education Committee

Friday, January 17, 2014

Chicagoist: Hack Your Ventra Card... To Hang From Your Keychain

Via Imgur
Here's a way to hack your Ventra card. Meaning that this is a way to make it much easier to use especially in this cold weather without at least having to go into your pockets or purse. At the very least it will be on your keychain and nowhere near your credit cards.
One CTA rider modified a Ventra card so that it could be attached to a keychain and used, based on a similar hack of one of London’s Oyster cards. Not only will you be able to use a Ventra card without removing it from a wallet, it also separates the Ventra card from other contactless credit cards in your possession and reducing the risk of having a Ventra card reader charge those cards fares.
Seems like a cool way to make usage of this fare media more convenient.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

WTTW: Alderman discussing city council affairs

[VIDEO] Wednesday night four Aldermen - Ald. Rey Colon (Ward 35), Ald. Will Burns (Ward 4), Ald. Roderick Sawyer (Ward 6), and Ald. Joe Moore (Ward 49) - made an appearance on WTTW's Chicago Tonight to discuss a variety of city issues with Carol Marin.

While they did start off with e-cigarettes being regulated as tobacco pending any further regulations from the FDA and being banned in public places such as restaurants. They also discussed the issue of snow removal in light of the winter storm we had last week. During the "polar vortex" cold snap last week Ald. Sawyer did make noise about the city's response during the snow.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

WBEZ: Emanuel presents five-year housing plan to city council

Do you think this is a good idea?
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel will present a five-year housing plan to city council on Wednesday that calls for investing $1.3 billion to produce or preserve 41,000 units of housing.

“Bouncing Back” tries to address forces that have battered Chicago - namely the foreclosure crisis and a population decline of 200,000 people from 2000 to 2010 -- with a focus on putting vacant and foreclosed properties back into the mix.

The city wants to unload the 8,000 residential parcels it owns.

“We would like to create a much smoother and more efficient process for getting those parcels back out to people who can use them, make larger lots for example,” said Andrew Mooney, commissioner of planning and development.

For example, a program called Englewood Estates in the Englewood neighborhood would allow residents to acquire city-owned lots. These kind of side-lot programs aren’t new and are criticized because owners must still pay taxes on the properties. Mooney said he will work with city council to work out possible incentives.
Read the whole thing!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

AP: Judge gives Chicago 6 months to OK gun sales law

An update to a couple of posts done here on this subject about a court ruling that deemed a Chicago ordinance banning gun sales in the city illegal:
A federal judge on Tuesday approved Chicago's request for a delay of six months to allow the city time to craft a new gun sales ordinance.

Federal Judge Edward E. Chang approved the 180-day delay. Chang had ruled Jan. 6 that the city's ban on gun sales was unconstitutional, and Monday was deadline for the city appeal the ruling.

Instead, Mayor Rahm Emanuel's administration decided to seek the six month delay in its implementation, rather than fight Chang's ruling.

Monday was the last day for the city to appeal the ruling, but in yet another example of the city's recognition that it cannot keep guns out of the hands of its residents, attorneys instead filed a motion asking for the 180 days "to enact reasonable and comprehensive regulations governing firearms sales and transfers that will protect public safety while also respecting Second Amendment rights."
 The city said it needed the six months to allow gun sales because any ordinance will "have many detailed components, including zoning, licensing, and operational requirements for gun dealers, as well as robust regulations targeting illegal sales and transfer practices ..." The motion also said it will take time for the City Council to enact an ordinance.

Monday, January 13, 2014

ABC 7: GOP Governor primary race heating up

[VIDEO] Speaking of Bruce Rauner - a Republican candidate for Governor who will be at a meet & greet at Luversia's on Jan. 20th - it appears his comments regarding a minimum wage has made the GOP primary more of a contest. He had been forced to backtrack from his statement where he apparently supported decreasing the minimum wage to the federal level.

The ABC7Chicago video you see above shows other Republican candidates such as Kirk Dillard & 2010 GOP nominee for Governor state Sen. Bill Brady take some swipes at Rauner. Mainly over the minimum wage flap and Dillard became the next Republican governor candidate to make a stop on the south side. As you see in the video he was at a services of Sweet Holy Spirit Church @ 8621 S. South Chicago Avenue.

BTW, Rich Miller of the CapFax noted that while Rauner has made some contradictory statements with regards to his position on the minimum wage so had Dillard. Dillard had stated himself that minimum wage should be set by the market, however, he too attempted to moderate his position on this issue.

So now, when will Sen. Brady and state Treasurer Rutherford will make their appearances on the south side. Not long before the 2010 elections Brady held a press conference on the site of the Chatham Market Walmart on 83rd Street to launch his jobs tour.

BTW, here's a tweet of Dillard speaking at Sweet Holy Spirit which does contain a photo

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Meet & greet at Luversia's

It's not often that we advertise Republican events but here's one of interest for those of you who like to attend political events in our community.
The 6th Ward Republican Organization and Black Conservatives of America host a Meet and Greet to introduce:
  • HONOREE: Jack Roeser 
  • Keynote Speaker:  Bruce Rauner
We will also be introducing General Assembly Candidates........Fatimah Macklin, 34th;
Antonio Mannings, 2nd; Tondalaya Nelson, 6th and U.S. Congressional Candidates..........Jimmy Lee Tillman, 1st District, Diane Harris, 3rd District and David E. Williams, 9th District.

LOCATION:  Luversia's Restaurant
                     524 East 79th Street
                     Chicago, IL

DATE:           Monday, 20 January 2012

TIME:            6PM to 8:30PM

Appetizers and cash bar

Please RSVP to by Tuesday, 14 January 2014 
So Bruce Rauner is coming to our community! He's the first Republican gubernatorial candidate that we know of who's making a stop nearby. Recently on the campaign trail he's been taking a beating on his thoughts on the minimum wage at first it seemed that he wanted to lower Illinois' to the federal limit and then he backtracked. It's not going away either.

Well, perhaps in the future there are other Republicans in our state who may consider a stop in the 6th Ward to make their case.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

PHOTO: "#Chiberia" in Abbott Park

Click picture for a larger resolution
Before the warmer temps and rain came by on Friday, I took this panorama of Abbott Park on Wednesday just to show the snow that accumulated over the past weekend. Many of our parks could look like a version of "chiberia" I'll bet! Does anyone else have any winter weather pics to share?

Friday, January 10, 2014

Chatham 14 is now Studio Movie Grill

It's been an interesting period of transition for the Chatham 14. In October 2012, the original operating company ICE Theaters had been evicted and the location was closed for a week before a new company - F & F Management - was brought in by new owner Michael Silver to operate the Chatham. Then all screens were upgraded for digital and 3D exhibition during the Spring of 2013 and now another piece of news.

According to DNA Info Chatham 14 now has new owners - Studio Movie Grill or SMG. While some of the many changes to the Chatham were noted in the DNA Info article here are some more details on the changes to come and how the many employees of the Chatham will be affected:
  1. Chatham 14 theaters are 100% owned by SMG with Mr. Michael Silver having no ownership interest in this entity.
  2. S&S Management is running the theaters day to day operations until 2/2/14 when their contract expires.
  3. All janitorial, snow removal, HVAC contracts currently maintained by African American vendors will stay in tact.
  4. African American vendors are being identified for the renovation work.
  5. There WILL NOT be a Sports Bar located within the theater but a bar area that will be a part of the fast casual restaurant that will be located in the lobby.
  6. All employees have jobs until the proposed renovations are completed and the new business officially opens. They will have the opportunity to apply for the new jobs as their roles will change under the new concept.
Also, You may have heard about them before. They were the subject of ABC 7's program 190 North and you can see the video below. SMG is based out of Dallas, Texas and the closest location to us is in Wheaton, Illinois.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Sun-Times: City to ask for six-month delay on gun store ruling

In light of a recent federal court ruling you may have seen a post about here recently.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants more time — six months, to be precise — before the city has to comply with a recent court ruling that requires Chicago to allow gun stores within its limits.

Emanuel on Thursday asked the city’s law department to make that request in court, to give the city more time to develop a law regulating the sale of firearms, according to the mayor’s office.

“The law will aim to be the strongest in the nation, to ensure that illegal guns don’t find their way into the hands of criminals and straw purchasers,” according to a statement from Emanuel’s office.
I wonder if this could be a rosy prediction:
Though Chang stayed his ruling to give the city a chance to appeal — and said a less restrictive ordinance than the unconstitutional blanket ban could yet pass muster — lawyers for the Illinois Association of Firearm Retailers were quick to predict that neighborhood gun stores could now open before the end of 2014.
So a gun store near you in the near future!

Shedd School a satellite location for Chicago State...

Shedd School in spring 2012

Back in September I wrote about my ideas about what to do with the closed Shedd School building. As of the current school year Shedd branch was closed and all students will be attending class at Bennett School.

A persistent report from the Roseland Heights Community Association (RHCA) was that Shedd School could ultimately become an annex for the nearby Chicago State University. So at least plans are being made to utilize this building, but I do need to ask some questions so I may have to get back to the RHCA about them.

For example will Chicago State own the building or will it remain a CPS owned property?

A question that no one could possibly answer is whether or not in the near future could Shedd School be used for the neighborhood children if enrollment changes for the better. That is if Bennett School exceeds their expected enrollment (and as stated in that earlier post Bennett School had been experiencing enrollment declines) could it re-open for students.

All the same stay tuned for any updates on this development.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Ban on gun sales in Chicago overturned...

While many of us hopefully were warm in our homes not having to go to work or anywhere else, a court made a ruling on a Chicago ordinance:
A Chicago law prohibiting the sale of guns within the third-most populous U.S. city was struck down as unconstitutional by a federal judge.

“Chicago’s ordinance goes too far in outright banning legal buyers and legal dealers from engaging in lawful acquisitions and lawful sales of firearms,” U.S. District Judge Edmond E. Chang wrote in a decision yesterday.

The judge said he was delaying the effect of his ruling to allow the city time to seek a stay during an appeal or, if it elects to forgo an appeal, to consider and enact sales restrictions “short of a complete ban.”

The ordinance, adopted in 2010 after the U.S. Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision invalidated a ban on gun possession within the city, allowed only the transfer of firearms through inheritance, prohibiting even gifts among family members.
The next paragraph after the excerpt was about the number of murders in Chicago last year and the number of shooting incidents. They have to rub that in don't they!

Also note that applications on conceal carry in Illinois started on Sunday according to the Sun-Times. I'm sure many aren't happy about that, however, it's now law in this state.

If you're a law geek, there's more from a law blog Volokh Conspiracy. It merely lifts some text from the ruling itself if you're interested.

Could this ruling mean that there will be gun shops in the city now?

Via Instapundit!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

CPS schools back in session tomorrow!

You may have seen this on our FB page already or perhaps you're connected with the CPS FB page as it's was originally posted there. So CPS students won't have a further extension of their holiday from school. May they return warm and safe tomorrow.

Who has ever heard of a polar vortex?

So basically, this phenomenon is what's to blame for the extreme cold we're experiencing. The graphic you see below was found at the Washington Post. You can read more about this at the LA Times. Here's hoping you're safe and warm. And of course call 311 if you need to find a warming center. Check Chicago Weather Center for current temps and of course here's Tom Skillings seven-day forecast.

Monday, January 6, 2014

State Rep Elgie Sims: Extreme weather assistance

State Rep. Elgie Sims provides some more resources with regards to the weather in a recent email
Please use the following resources to keep you safe and warm:
  • Keep warm Illinois
    • A website aimed at identifying warming centers around the state and other information necessary to assist with keeping warm during the cold months of the year.
  • Getting around Illinois
    • The website will provide residents and motorists with information regarding the status of our roads. 
  • ComED energy assistance
    • Customers are encouraged to notify ComED as quickly as possible if they experience an outage. 
    • Customers can text OUT to 26633 to report any outages and receive restoration information, or they can contact ComED by calling 1-800-EDISON-1.
And as always this:
Please check on elderly neighbors and make sure that you and any children under your care are sufficiently bundled up if you must go outside.  Please do not forget pets and keep them indoors during these extreme conditions.
Be careful out there everyone! Stay safe and warm!

CPS schools will be closed tomorrow!

Click image for larger resolution
You may have seen this posted at Chicago Public School FB page. It looks like CPS students get a two day extension of their Christmas holidays this year. And as always stay safe and warm. Be sure to check the information posted earlier with regards to those services available to you during this cold snap!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

It's wintertime on the south side...

Well we knew the winter weather was coming and hopefully many of us prepared for it. We got our salt and shovels ready for example in addition to putting fuel in our vehicles and buying extra food.

We also hope you fare well in your homes because if you're not there's a city warming center where you can stay warm until the cold snap ends. Please call 311, and we're sure they'll provide a ride if you're not able to get to one very easily.

Also, in light of the low temperatures expected on both Monday and Tuesday it appears CPS students will have their holiday break extended by one day. CPS has cancelled classes on Monday in light of the weather. On Saturday a report from the Tribune indicated that CPS were asking parents to use their discretion as to whether or not they want to send their children to school which were expected to be in session on Monday and Tuesday.

All the same here's hoping you stay safe and warm these next few days. Let's remember that Spring is almost two months away!

ALSO, we do have a weather widget in the sidebar so whenever you check this blog you will have an idea of the weather. For the time being it will be placed into the sidebar!

Dat Donut store is now open at 95th

In November, I posted a pic here of the space at the 95/Dan Ryan terminal that once housed a Dunkin Donuts store. Of course that seemed to have closed down not long before the Dan Ryan branch of the Red Line was shut down for five months of reconstruction. At that time it appeared that local establishment Dat Donut - main location at 8249 S Cottage Grove Ave - was poised to open there.

Then recently, the morning of January 3, 2014 I was about to hop on a train downtown and discovered that Dat Donut is now open at 95th. Now we have one more place to get one of those big donuts that they sell. :)

Friday, January 3, 2014

Technology For Empowerment Seminars for 2014

We the bloggers are planning, for February, a series
of technology seminars "Technology for Empowerment" to introduce tech services, to those 25-65 who are tech adverse, to show how technology can assist in creating a better quality of life. Some of our proposed topics at this point are
  1. Smartphones
  2. Crowdsourcing/Employment
  3. Financial 
  4. Safety
  5. Government
  6. Quality of Life 

 We are securing company representatives and experts in the above areas. If you would like  to be a part of the seminars or have suggestions, please send us a message.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

TRIBUNE: CTA to keep employing imperiled rail car cleaners

It appears there is a plan for those ex-con CTA workers who are cleaning L cars at the various terminals on the CTA although now they will be transferred to cleaning CTA buses:
After weeks of public disagreement between Chicago Transit Authority officials and union leaders over a program that has given felons jobs cleaning rail cars, a transit agency spokesman said Wednesday night that workers from the program would be transferred into jobs cleaning buses.

CTA spokesman Brian Steele said he couldn't give details, citing an announcement planned for Thursday morning, but he confirmed that workers from the rail car servicer apprenticeship program would be moved into a CTA bus-cleaning program. Steele said he could not say how many workers would be transferred.

Steele's confirmation followed a news release announcing the plan from Robert Kelly, president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 308, which represents rail workers.
Definitely good news for many of those workers who were concerned about whether or not they'd remain employed.