Tuesday, September 30, 2014

What would you like to see at the former Best Buy store on 87th Street?

8900 S. Lafayette Ave.
Count me in as one of many people who were disappointed that our local Best Buy store closed a few years ago. Currently that storefront remains empty and only recent has someone emerged to secure the space.

Now we get into a subject that we often get into on this blog. What types of businesses does this community want to open up?

The pic above was posted both to the Concerned Citizens of Chatham and The Sixth Ward FB pages during the past month. The idea of a beauty supplies store coming to the former Best Buy facility wasn't met with a lot of excitement.

In addition we see more comments from the community and other stakeholders from this DNA Info article.

The history of this site is that before Best Buy set up shop here it was formerly occupied by a Toys R Us store. What other retail options would work for this location which is located in a shopping center that includes a Burlington Coat Factory and of course a Jewel/Osco?

What would you prefer to be located at the former Best Buy store?

Monday, September 29, 2014

Business First Fridays at Flecks Coffee

Location: 343 East 79th Street, Chicago, IL 60619, USA

The general description (from the Facebook page)

Jump Start You Weekend and Your Business at First Friday @ Flecks This Friday October 3rd at 8:00am Sharp! Join this high powered group of successful business owners and soon to be's for one-to-one networking and our unique business building information exchange. Make It Your Business to Be Here! It Works, When We Work It! Let's Work It, TOGETHER! Make This Your Summer of Success! — at Flecks Coffee

This event is hosted by Bruce Montgomery, who grew up in Chatham is involved in the community in many ways, such as his CAN TV show, Technology TV.  For more info, check the Facebook page for the event. The Sixth Ward writer JP Paulus will be there. Will you?

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

GCA Special Event with CTU Pres. Karen Lewis

The event will be held tonight at 6PM at Crerar Memorial Presbyterian Church located at 8100 S. Calumet. We recently did a post about this as we got wind of this through DNA Info and as it turns out it contained the wrong date. We corrected that post to reflect that new information.

As we know Karen Lewis is exploring a run for Mayor of Chicago against her nemesis Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Sun-Times: The sitdown Seaway Bank President/CEO

Seaway Bank's Darrell Jackson by Richard A. Chapman/Sun-Times
It wasn't too long ago that we linked to a profile of the new President/CEO of Seaway Bank courtesy of the Chicago Defender. Over the weekend the Chicago Sun-Times also talks with new President/CEO Darrell Jackson. He discussed a lot about his background, the bank's history, and his future plans for the bank.

There is a video below if you want to check it out - or click the link [VIDEO]

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

GCA community forum with Karen Lewis

Karen Lewis is the current President of the Chicago Teachers Union. She was the main opponent of Mayor Rahm Emanuel especially during the teacher's strike of 2012. It's certainly that which is compelling her to consider a run for the mayor's office. This info you will find at DNA Info:
The president of a South Side nonprofit said his organization is bringing Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis to Chatham so its residents, who include a lot of retired teachers, can hear her views on education and her possible run for mayor.

The Greater Chatham Alliance will sponsor a community forum at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 24, at Crerar Memorial Presbyterian Church, 8100 S. Calumet Ave., for Lewis, who said she is strongly considering running for mayor next year.

"Personally, I would vote for her if she decided to run for mayor," said Roosevelt Vonil, president of the Greater Chatham Alliance. "A lot of our residents want to hear Lewis' views on issues like education and crime."
Also noted that in January, GCA hopes to host an Aldermanic forum with 6th Ward Alderman Roderick Sawyer.

BTW, she will not be the only candidate who is coming or at least has come to the South Side. 2nd Ward Ald. Bob Fioretti - in the recent remap he was essentially drawn out of his old ward near downtown - will make an appearance in South Shore as reported by DNA Info. He will take questions at a local restaurant which is hosting this Saturday an "Exchange Ideas" forum.

We will post about events from other candidates, such as Amara Enyia, when information becomes available to us. Please feel free to send us information about mayoral andaldermanic candidates in our area by sending an e-mail to blog ((at)) thesixthward.us

Friday, September 19, 2014

Lems BBQ on 75th Street celebrating 60 years

Location: 311 East 75th Street, Chicago, IL 60619, USA
3 day celebration coming up at their 311 E. 75th Street store with some events for charities. What you see above are flyers that you might recieve from Lem's after making an order. This additional information you may have seen in 6th Ward Alderman Roderick Sawyer's e-mail newsletter.
  • Lem's Bar-B-Q 60th Anniversary - Lem's Bar-B-Q will be celebrating its 60th Anniversary next week. This restaurant has served as a staple in 6th ward for over 46 years and throughout the south side for over 60 years total. We are excited to help them celebrate during their 3-day anniversary event entitled "Million Acts of Love" on September 25th, 26th and 27th from 1:00 p.m.- 6:00 p.m.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

CBS 2: Probation Officer For Teen Charged With Assaulting CSU Student Suspended

99th/Indiana alley
I'm sure many have questions about how did authorities lose track of the teen who sexually assaulted a Chicago State University student in the Roseland Heights neighborhood (also referred to in other mainstream media reports as Rosemoor or Roseland). It appears authorities have taken action:
The probation officer for the teen charged with sexually assaulting a pregnant Chicago State student and forcing her into a car trunk has been suspended.

The person charged in that crime, 17-year-old Aaron Parks, was on home confinement with electronic monitoring at the time after being charged as a juvenile in July of carjacking a woman at gunpoint.

According to a news release by Rose Golden, the Director of Juvenile Probation and Court Services Department for the Circuit Court of Cook County, “a preliminary review of probation department records indicates that electronic monitoring procedures were not followed. The officer responsible for monitoring Mr. Parks has been placed on temporary suspension pending investigation.”

The department says it has initiated a full audit of all electronic monitoring records to see if changes are necessary.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

DNA Info: A Bloomingdale Trail for Englewood? City Moves To Get Train Tracks for Park

DNAinfo/Tanveer Ali
We've heard about this for quite about and seems it's coming closer to reality for Englewood residents:
The city is taking a major step that could result in the creation of a 1.7-mile-long park and trail system on an unused rail line in Englewood, a project similar to the The Bloomingdale Trail and "The 606" system being built on the North Side.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel's Office formally submitted an ordinance to the City Council last week proposing that the city exchange land with Norfolk Southern railway company.

The railway would get land near 63rd Street to expand its rail yards, and the city would get a stretch of elevated rail line north of 59th Street between Hoyne Avenue and Wallace Street that has been unused for decades. No money would change hands.

City officials and community leaders say the land swap is the first major step in remaking the rail line into a space for public use.

"Acquisition is the first step to any plan," said Peter Strazzabosco, deputy commissioner of the city's Department of Housing and Economic Development. "The proposal is being envisioned as a linear open space that could be publicly accessible as a park."
Ah the Norfolk Southern Railway, the company that's buying up some significant land in Englewood for an expanded railyard. It's reared it's ugly head although there were some agreements in place especially with the possibility of more parkland.

What do you think about making a former rail line into parkland?

Recap of Townhall Meeting on "Park Manor Inn Hotel Development on 76th State

Location: 7611 South State Street, Chicago, IL 60619, USA
City of Chicago Planning & Development-Dept, Hedgeman Development, African American Hotel Owners Association for Mr. Higginbottom,development architects and attorneys came out originally to Urban Partnership Bank for a meeting with the residents of #Chatham and #Park Manor to discuss a new updated proposal for what they are terming the "Park Manor Inn. Because of a 200+ turnout the meeting had to be moved to St Dorothy Church to accommodate all the residents. Alderman Roderick T. Sawyer was the facilitator of the meeting. 

The developers representative Mr. Price opened the meeting discussing why they wanted to place the Hotel on 76th State and that there were several African American owned hotels in the city which include the Hyde Park Hyatt Regency. My Price was followed by the architect who gave details of the proposal. The hotel that they would like to build is a $10.0 million, 5 story,90 room facility with a fitness and business center, meeting rooms and a full service 100 seat restaurant on the ground level. The architect explained that the building is an all brick building with metal accents and would be in the front of the lot with landscaped parking in the rear. The attorney from Neal & associates stated that the developers need a zoning change from the city council and a special use permit because it is a hotel which is initially approved on the local level. The City of Chicago planning department explained the zoning requirements for the project. Lastly, State Representative Elgie Sims thanked the audience for coming out and being part of the process. 

The floor was opened for questions. The questions went across the spectrum. There were those who believed that there was no demand for the facility and that individuals would not wish to stay there because of some articles and television stories by the traditional media. The developer stated that they felt that hey could successfully attract business clients who travel down the Dan Ryan or attending conventions at McCormick. Also, the question came up about Mr. Hedgeman's owning the Barbara Ann and Sportsman's Motels. Mr Hedgeman stated he has not owned the Barbara Ann and that any illegal activities that went on did not happen while he owed it. He also stated that the Sportsmans is in a state of disrepair because he is waiting on TIF funds to do a complete renovation. Mr. Price stated that there were not pursiung the "nighttime motel" market and the rates that are expected to start at $80-$120 will deter that market. Others asked about African American participation asit relates to construction and operations. Mr. Hedgeman stated he plans to work with African Americans from start to finish but would not be specific about which companies he plans to use. Although the attorney present was not African American it was stated he is an attorney at an African American law firm. There were several individuals with hotel management experience who asked some detailed questions on feasibility and payback period. Mr. Hedgeman would not be specific on these issues. The 6th Ward Republican Organization represented by Mr. Darnell Macklin raised concerns about a community benefit agreement and a firm commitment on African American participation in the construction. Also, there were some who questioned why the hotel was not going to be location of a major hotel chain versus being independent. 

Of course, we could not have a meeting without grandstanders. While the individuals who are vying to be the next Alderman of the 6th ward were present. One felt being a pompous ass, Community, Families, Friends, and Delton "Jerry" Pierce felt that this was a forum to grandstand and announce that he wants to run for alderman. His statement angered many as well as some of the politicians in the room laughed at his buffoonery and disrespect for the audience. Also, some individuals used this as a meeting to talk about other issues in the ward. 

Overall it was a well attended meeting with individuals both pro and con. The presidents of Park Manor Neighbors, Chatham Avalon Park Community Council, Chesterfield Community Council and Greater Chatham Alliance were all present and they and their respective organizations will all have additional meetings and inform Alderman Sawyer whether their organizations feel that the project should move forward or die. 

Additional pictures at https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=...

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Tribune: No bail for teen charged in Roseland sex assault

[VIDEO] We helped to get information out through this blog's platform regarding this sexual assault that
ocurred in the Roseland Heights (also referred to as Roseland or Rosemoor in other mainstream media reports) neighborhood this past Wednesday.

An arrest has been made and you may have learned of this already if you joined 9th Ward Alderman Anthony Beale's mailing list. The recent message also included a note by Chicago State University President Wayne Watson. The excerpt below is from the Chicago Tribune:
A 17-year-old already on home monitoring for an unrelated crime has been ordered held with no bail after being charged as an adult in the sexual assault of a pregnant woman who was then locked in the trunk of her car, according to officials.

The teen -- identified in court as Aaron Parks -- was charged with sexually assaulting a 24-year-old woman around 12:20 p.m. Wednesday near 98th Street and Indiana Avenue, right by Chicago State University, where the woman was walking to her car, police said. The teen lives in the 600 block of East 100th Street, according to a release from the Chicago Police Department Office of News Affairs.

Although the names of juveniles charged as adults are public record, the Chicago Police Department does not officially release the names of any juvenile suspects.

The teen was ordered held on no bail Sunday by Cook County Associate Judge Peggy Chiampas.
BTW, I didn't intend to share the WGN report above video below but I just had to. What you hear in that report is something - that if you've been with us for a while - has come up from time to time.

The reporter - Courtney Gousman - just had to note although never identified a high school that's nearby the crime scene. That high school is Harlan Community Academy and Gousman noted that the teen in question may have attended this school.

So if this individual attended Harlan, why was he out of school at around 12:20 PM - especially if he was already on home monitoring? And the home monitoring was especially noted in the WGN report, how did authorities lose track of this troubled individual?

Regardless I'm glad this individual is off the streets!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Defender: Chicago Seaway Bank’s New CEO Discusses Personal Journey to Top

Darrell Jackson who took charge of Seaway Bank effective August 1st was interviewed recently by the Chicago Defender. He not only discusses his future plans for Seaway which is to start attracting a new generation of customers (or younger customers) for the bank also his personal rise in the banking industry.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Bronzeville & Lakeside cut from consideration for a Presidential library

44th President Official Portrait
Lynn Sweet at the Sun-Times lets us know two sites in Chicago - Bronzeville & Lakeside - are out of consideration to host an Obama Presidential library. That leaves Univeristy of Illinois at Chicago and the most likely candidate the University of Chicago. However, nothing on Chicago State University or even the Pullman neighborhood who also hoped to host a future Chicago-based Presidential library. Does anyone have an further information?

Townhall Meeting on Hotel Development at 76th State

Location: 7611 South State Street, Chicago, IL 60619, USA

Photo from Worlee Glover8

Townhall Meeting
September 15, 2014
Urban Partnership Bank
7801 S State Street
5:30 pm

Alderman Roderick Sawyer, City of Chicago, Hedgeman Development, Eastlake Management and South Loop Hotel management will hold a meeting to discuss a proposed HOTEL development for the vacant lot at 76th State Street. Development team will reveal a NEW plan for the site.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Important Community Meeting TONIGHT - 6pm at Chicago State

Location: Chicago State University, 9501 South King Drive, Chicago, IL 60628, USA

We just received the following e-mail from Michael LaFargue of the West Chesterfield Community Association. They are meeting TONIGHT, and the e-mail lists the details as to the importance of the meeting, and a crime where we need to be extra vigilant.

SEE THIS REPORT FROM ABC 7 CHICAGO regarding this incident - Levois

In addition with also have a community alert from the police, at this link -->  https://www.dropbox.com/s/07mgm0gyp5vf96o/CA-620-14-016%5B1%5D%205thDistrict%20CSA.pdf?dl=0

To: Community Leaders

From: WCCA1956


Community Safety Alert Attached

As you are aware, a Chicago State University student was sexually assaulted at her automobile yesterday afternoon (Wednesday) at 98th and Indiana.

This occurrence is of grave concern to the community and Chicago State University.

I have been asked to contact Community Association presidents and other concerned leaders to a meeting in the office of President Wayne Watson to address this issue.

The meeting will be held this evening (Thursday) in the President’s office at Chicago State University, 9501 South King Drive at 6:00pm. (3rd Floor, Cook Administration Building.

Please adjust your schedule to attend and add your voice.

Thanking you in advance for your attention and attendance this evening.


Michael LaFargue

Englewood Tech Hub Aims to Fight Unemployment, Empower South Siders - Englewood - DNAinfo.com Chicago

Via DNA Info
Englewood Tech Hub Aims to Fight Unemployment, Empower South Siders - Englewood - DNAinfo.com Chicago

This story highlights another way to turn Englewood around. To make Englewood friendlier to technology. Perhaps that long struggling neighborhood can be another branch of "Sillicone Valley". So Englewood could be a place of great commercial activity again with retail and perhaps some entertainment and then some technology to boot. And it will also be near Kennedy-King College.

Think about this if the Whole Foods will provide jobs to students at Kennedy-King at least, this tech center could also provide jobs to this tech hub.

And let's not forget Congressman Bobby Rush attempted to bring a tech hub to Englewood and that failed effort was the result of a Sun-Times probe!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

FOX Chicago: Former city worker on 'do not rehire' list finds loophole in system

[VIDEO] Brian Garner is one of the many candidates for 6th Ward Alderman in 2015 and while he was once a ward superintendant for the city department of streets and sanitation he also is on the city's no-hire list. A fact we learned on our local FOX-TV affiliate last night:
Last year, the city placed Garner on its 'do-not-rehire' list. The list includes nearly 500 former employees caught cheating, taking bribes or screwing up so bad that they are banned from being hired again.

Garner, a former ward superintendent for the Department of Streets and Sanitation, says he was asked to resign after he was caught driving his city vehicle to Navy Pier when he wasn't on the clock.

"I was using this vehicle at times when I wasn't authorized to use it. I apologize for that and I accept what happened," Garner told FOX 32's Dane Placko.

But Garner says that incident shouldn't disqualify him from representing the sixth ward as alderman.

"To me, it depends on what the situation was for. Now, if I got caught maybe taking money or taking bribes, or shaking down a business, then that's something a little different."
Garner hopes to replace 6th Ward Ald. Roderick Sawyer in the 2015 who only stated that the voters will decide whether or not Garner's past should matter. He's correct about that as Garner is correct that while an Alderman is a city employee, they're still elected by the people.

Would Mr. Garner's status on the city's "do-not-rehire" list be a determining factor as to whether or not you would vote for him?

Monday, September 8, 2014

Some corrections regarding the "Grand Old Party" on 79th Street

Jim Oberweis in red shirt on 79th Street Thursday - DNA Info
A statement was forwarded to us by Republican US Senate nominee Jim Oberweis regarding our recent post about the opening of a GOP office in Chatham. Mark Konkol wrote in his DNA Info article that I excerpted that state Senator Oberweis was wearing a shirt bearing the logo of the City Club of Chicago.
FYI, I am not, and never have been, a member of the Chicago Club, nor do I have a shirt with the Chicago Club logo on it.  I tried to post a comment in response to this article but could not.  Can anyone tell me who wrote it?
Jim Oberweis
Well, if you're looking for me to verify this - especially since I didn't attend this event - sorry I can't. The pictures don't show the shirt in question clearly. I'm including the picture provided with the DNA Info article also posted on Saturday and Worlee's pictures shared on the FB page:

Now it makes me wonder why Konkol thought Oberweis was wearing a City Club shirt. And why create an association between the two? We probably know why, but the state Senator wants us to know he's not associated with them at all. If you ask me it doesn't bother me at all, but I realize someone may take issue with it regardless.

Here is a further correction via e-mail by 6th Ward GOP Committeeman Darnell Macklin: "The chairs were stacking chairs, not folding chairs......and the food was a platter(s) consisting of chicken wings, shrimp, vegetable puffs, onion rings, fish, and a vegetable tray."

And also noted in some of the comments of Konkol's article, there was more to eat than chicken wings at this event. There's more to what happened at this event than was has been written so far.

I'm going to post a link to this post to that earlier one about this event.

Open House for the Method plant in Pullman NEXT Thursday

Location: 250 East 111th Street, Chicago, IL 60628, USA
This information was sent to people on 9th Ward Ald. Anthony Beale's e-mail list:
  • Open House

    Informational Session for the Pullman Community (9th Ward)
    Thursday, September 18, 2014

    Gwendolyn Brooks College Preparatory Academy
    250 E 111th Street
    Chicago, IL 60628
    (Enter Door #36)

    for more information on open positions or to submit your resume, please visit www.methodhome.com

    If you do not have a computer to apply for method jobs, no worries... 9/2/14 -10/3/14, please call 773.928.6000 x229 to schedule an appointment to use computers that are available, here you can apply for jobs, upload your resume, and complete a prescreen assessment.
An actual flyer is seen below.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

An old van and a deposit at a south side credit union...

[VIDEO] I know what you're probably thinking. Why am I showing this Republican and his old van shown in this recent campaign ad (via CapFax)?

The answer is that on Friday he drove that 20-year-old Volkswagen van to the South Side Community Federal Credit Union to drop $1 million dollars into that financial institution. To be more precise a $200,000 donation, and a $800,000 deposit.
Rauner says $200,000 is a donation to a related foundation and $800,000 was deposited in an account. The money will be used for small business loans. Rauner says he'll earn a small percentage of interest.
Better yet, how about we see WLS' Charles Thomas report on this on TV and in fact you will see him drive up into the shopping center near 54th/Wentworth where the credit union is located.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

DNA Info: Guess Who's Throwing a Grand Ol' Party In Chicago's Black Community?

Location: 511 East 79th Street, Chicago, IL 60619, USA
UPDATE Sept. 8, 2014 12:12 PM - Corrections post can be seen here - Levois
Jim Oberweis (red shirt) on 79th St. on Thursday - DNAinfo/ Mark Konkol

We shared with you earlier this week about the opening of a local Republican office in the 6th ward on 511 East 79th Street earlier in the week. That event occurred this past Thursday and right in time for the gubernatorial campaign which I believe will be as close as the 2010 election.

All the same this DNA Info article by Mark Konkol well I'm not sure how to read it. He is clearly incredulous that the GOP is opening an actual office on the south side. Either way there is a theory behind this development:

Friday, September 5, 2014

2015 election: Two early withdrawals in the 9th Ward

First off within the last two weeks candidates Michael Ovitz and Corey Hardiman dropped out of the race for the 9th Ward Alderman. The indication from Ovitz was from a posting to his campaign FB page. As for Hardiman an interview with DNA Info.

We've officially struck both candidates from the 2015 page. Ultimately we may continue to whittle down the list according to who have submitted their petitions.

In the meanwhile, we can take a look at Mr. Hardiman's withdrawal and then of course look ath Mr. Ovitz' withdrawal statement. We can start with an excerpt from DNA Info:
"After deep prayer and meditation, I have decided to withdraw from the 9th Ward aldermanic race," said Hardiman, a 23-year-old Roseland resident. "I had a divine conversation with Father Pfleger and after that meeting I knew it was not the time for me to seek office."

The meeting last week between Hardiman and the Rev. Michael Pfleger, pastor of St. Sabina Church in Auburn Gresham, occurred by chance.

"I had went up to St. Sabina to return my friend's car to him and while waiting for him Father Pfleger walked past," said Hardiman, who graduated in May from Morehouse College in Atlanta with a bachelor's degree in political science. "He spoke and I asked him if we could talk and the conversation went from there."

Hardiman said at no time did Pfleger tell him to drop out of the race. Instead, Hardiman said Pfleger provided him with spiritual counseling.

"Once I left, I asked God to direct me in a path that would be most effective and shortly thereafter I received my answer," added Hardiman, a member of Salem Baptist Church in Pullman. "But I wouldn't rule out politics from my life completely. You may very well see me four to eight years from now back on the campaign trail."
And of course this screencap from Ovitz' FB page.
Click for larger resolution
If you look on Ovitz' FB page there's even a picture of him and Ald. Beale having a lunch at a restaurant. As indicated in the statement above Ovitz would like to work with Ald. Beale and support his re-election bid.
We still have a long way between now and the time to make challenges to the petitions. Of course there will be other changes in this race and the other races we plan to cover in next year's municipal elections.

We've even added a listing of declared candidates for Ward 21 Alderman on the 2015 page. Let's see how interesting this election gets.

Crain's: Where does Chicago's black middle class live?

Click for larger resolution
In April of this year we posted an animated map showing Chicago's vanishing middle-class. It was from the City Notes website who's author - Daniel Kay Hertz - wrote a recent op-ed to Crain's Chicago Business. That earlier map was interesting as it tracked the income of the many census tracts that make up the City of Chicago.

Now with the map you see above we show a different tact: Where does Chicago's Black middle-class live?

To be sure, the Black middle-class lives throughout the city. They no longer just live in Chatham or Pill Hill although perhaps they were never the exclusive home of the Black middle-class. The maps shown in the Crain's op-ed seems to show the Black-led middle-class households but mainly measures them as a percentage or as numbers. Also they show maps of Asian, Latino, or white middle-class households in Chicago.

Even Mr. Hertz will admit that the maps provided are misleading and it's hard for me to believe that in some of the community areas there are Black middle-class people in those areas that aren't largely Black. The map you see above I would consider much more accurate.

Hertz offer these brief notes:

1. The black middle class exists in Chicago. In large numbers. This shouldn't really be news, but speaking in my capacity as a white person who knows a lot of white people and other people of various ethnic backgrounds from the North Side and suburbs and other parts of the country/world, it really is.

2. Perhaps even more important, the vast majority of Chicagoans who are both black and middle-class live on the South Side and, to a lesser extent, the West Side.

3. The concentration of middle-class households varies dramatically from one black neighborhood to another.

4. Still, the majority of Chicagoans who are middle-class and black live in neighborhoods that are mostly not middle-class — as opposed to Chicagoans who are middle-class and white, for whom the opposite is true. In this way, Chicago is pretty similar to the rest of the country.

The takeaway for me is that these maps contradict two of the biggest lies — or, if we're being kind, misconceptions — about the social geography of Chicago. The first is that the black neighborhoods of the South and West sides are an undifferentiated landscape of economic hardship. This is false in a couple of ways. For one, though there are many people who are suffering for want of a decent wage in these areas, there are also many thousands of households that are not (though they are likely still disadvantaged by other consequences of segregation, including poor access to jobs and basic amenities, higher crime, lower-performing schools, etc.).
And here's another good point:
 From a governance perspective, there are lots of reasons you'd want the people in charge of a city to have an accurate impression of the communities they're governing before they start making up policies for them. But also, from a purely social point of view, the fact that most non-black Chicagoans — and the vast majority of non-Chicagoans — can't distinguish between the poorest pockets of the city and places like Calumet Heights or Park Manor means that they won't ever visit, spend money and certainly won't consider living in neighborhoods that they likely would find generally pleasant. In short, it's hard to build much of a local economy in a place that 75 percent of the population shuns without even thinking about it.
Something to think about. Even then, what could residents of these "shunned" communities do to attract people to their neighborhoods even to just visit?

You should read the whole thing when you get an opportunity.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

LISC Chicago Now Accepting Applications for the 21st Annual Chicago Neighborhood Development Awards

CHICAGO – LISC Chicago has announced the opening of applications for the Chicago Neighborhood Development Awards (CNDA). Now entering its 21st year, the CNDAs recognize innovation and best practices in neighborhood development. The premier award program has grown in popularity, attendance and recognition, and is among the most publicly-recognized programs to celebrate outstanding projects and achievements in the city’s neighborhoods. 

“CNDA is the largest and most venerated celebration of the creativity and accomplishments that transform neighborhoods across the City,” said Deborah E. Bennett, CNDA Jury Chair and Senior Program Officer at the Polk Bros. Foundation. “The awards have become a source of inspiration for those committed to community vitality and renewal.” 

Established in 1995, the CNDAs recognize and honor the outstanding achievements in neighborhood real estate development and community building, as well as the essential role that both non-profit and for-profit developers play in working to build healthier neighborhoods throughout Chicago. 

“The Chicago Neighborhood Development Awards celebrate Chicago’s neighborhoods, the best community development projects, and the community and for-profit organizations behind them,” said LISC Chicago executive director Susana Vasquez. “I am excited to see this year’s applicants which demonstrate a contribution to the visual, social, and cultural life in the communities they serve.” 

In total, eight awards juried will be given out. Five community development awards will be presented along with three Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Awards for Architectural Excellence in Community Design. All award submissions go through an extensive review and nominees include for-profit and non-profit developers and organizations as well as architectural firms, and may be self-nominated or nominated by others. Applications are now open for the following awards: 

Five community development award categories are open to Chicago-area organizations and developers for application: 
The Chicago Community Trust Outstanding Community Initiative Award: Recognizes the development and successful implementation of an initiative that promotes and/or is integral to a comprehensive community development strategy. Winning recipient receives $15,000. 

The Richard H. Driehaus Award for Outstanding Non-Profit Neighborhood Real Estate: Recognizes a community development corporation for a specific real estate project that has contributed significantly to the enhancement of the community. Winning recipient receives $15,000 

The Polk Bros. Foundation Affordable Rental Housing Preservation Award: Recognizes a for-profit developer or a non-profit community development organization for a specific real estate project that has preserved affordable rental housing at risk because of expiring subsidy contracts or physical deterioration. Winning recipient receives $15,000 

The Woods Fund Chicago Power of Community Award: Recognizes the value of community organizing, community engagement, and advocacy as important and effective ways to transform neighborhoods or empower communities that have experienced significant social or economic inequities. This year, the award will recognize an organizing campaign that has genuine youth engagement and where young people were critical to the victory. Winning recipient receives $15,000 

The Outstanding For-Profit Neighborhood Real Estate Project Award: Recognizes a for-profit developer for a specific real estate project that has contributed significantly to the enhancement of the community. A monetary award is not made for this recognition. 

Three awards for the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Awards for Architectural Excellence in Community Design are open to Chicago-area organizations for application: 
Awarded to three different recipients: Recognizes best practices in community design, landscape design and architecture. The Richard H. Driehaus Awards for Architectural Excellence in Community Design are given to architects and project sponsors who have created outstanding designs in housing, retail or institutional settings that are sustainable, architecturally significant and that match form to function to meet community needs. Projects must be located in or serve low- and moderate income communities in Cook County. All projects submitted must have been completed within the last five years. The top recipient receives $15,000; second place recipient receives $3,000; and, the third place recipient receives $2,000. 

Applications are due by 5 p.m. CST on September 11, 2014. Applications are only accepted and must be submitted online. Award-winners will be notified in November and recognized at the CNDAs ceremony on February 17, 2015 at the Hilton Chicago. To apply and for more information on project eligibility and rules please visitwww.lisc-cnda.org

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About LISC Chicago 
LISC Chicago connects neighborhoods to the resources they need to become stronger and healthier. Part of the national nonprofit Local Initiatives Support Corporation, LISC Chicago provides grants, loans, technical assistance and other resources to more than 70 partner organizations in low- and moderate-income communities across Chicago. When neighborhoods are connected to the right resources and work together to advance robust, coordinated community development plans, they are better positioned to participate in the region’s economic growth. For more information visit lisc-chicago.org.

79th/Cottage Grove: Murderer's Row???

[VIDEO] It's very unbelievable that the area around 79th Street & Cottage Grove is called "Murderer's Row".  I wish this area was known as "Striver's Row". The Sun-Times produced the above video and this recent article. Here's home some people view the police's response:
While some residents say the area is getting worse, there has been a 50 percent decrease in murders along the stretch compared with the same period last year.

Police have deployed additional resources in the area, including officers on foot posts and in “impact zones,” CPD’s Tracy said.

“There is real progress,” Tracy said. “It’s not just on 79th Street, but throughout the city. … Other than two or three districts, we have reductions in crime throughout the city.”
The issue of more police came up in the above video. And I understand many people may not believe police statistics. It's clear that there's a problem here. What can ultimately be done about it?

BTW, since we have candidates who are running in the 2015 municipal elections I am curious to know what the candidates for Alderman of the 6th & 8th Wards (who represent this intersection) plan to do about this issue.

A different version of the above post was cross-posted to Zack's TV! 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

DNA Info: 'The Wiz' Screening Encourages Audience To Sing Along, Dress in Costume

[VIDEO] So the Studio Movie Grill owned Chatham 14 Theaters still have those Black World Cinema every 1st Thursday. This Thursday, The Wiz - released back in 1978 starring the late Michael Jackson and Diana Ross - will be shown at the Chatham.
Black World Cinema's movie night this month at Studio Movie Grill-Chatham will feature "The Wiz" — and audience members are encouraged to sing along and dress in character.

The movie, starring singer Diana Ross and the late Michael Jackson in the "Wizard of Oz" remake, will be shown at 7 p.m. Thursday at the theater, 210 W. 87th St. Admission is $6.

Venisha White-Johnson, director of operations for the theater, said she hopes the audience will sing during some of the musical numbers.

"It's a fun way to engage the audience and have fun, too," she said. "We also want kids to come dressed up in their favorite 'Wiz' costume."

Free school supplies also will be given away, but White-Johnson said children are not required to wear a costume to receive the school supplies.
How appropriate that this event was scheduled because school has just started for the year.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

GOP opens office in the 6th Ward

Location: 511 East 79th Street, Chicago, IL 60619, USA
From an announcement sent in from Darnell Macklin, 6th Ward GOP Committeeman.  The GOP is opening an office on 79th street (in addition to Bruce Rauner's office) THIS Thursday,

Tribune: Hyde Park's retail revival is on a roll

via @TribuneGraphics Twitter
This article from the Tribune shows how influential the University of Chicago has been in the recent redevelopment of Hyde Park. Hyde Park is Hyde Park to me, however, in this we see people refer to this area as anything from "baby Rush Street" or a "hipster neighborhood" or "little Bucktown/Wicker Park" or even saying it's like Lincoln Park. The new retail and businesses and construction it seems makes Hyde Park more appealing to younger people.

Now I simply wonder if this is a template for communities outside of the Hyde Park area. It almost reminds me of a post here from five years ago about Chatham "Hyde Parked" or "South Looped".

Either way with this new growth come some issues. Some businesses have been forced to move and some residents aren't happy with a new residential building that's soon to begin construction:
A group of residents who oppose the size of the planned 13-story Vue53 apartment complex filed a lawsuit alleging that the city acted in an "arbitrary and capricious" manner when it approved the zoning change for the development, which will bring 267 residential units and 30,000 square feet of retail to a former Mobil gas station site at 53rd and Kimbark owned by the university.

A judge dismissed the lawsuit, saying that not all neighbors were properly notified of its filing, and the plaintiffs have appealed. Vue53 is set to begin construction in September and open in 2016.
This article is worth your time. This is one example of what the south side could be.