Monday, June 29, 2015

We've been getting tweets regarding 69th Street...
Via Mark A. Clements twitter @prisonspeaks

Starting earlier this month we had been mentioned in a series of tweets by Mark A. Clements. Clements notes in his twitter profile that he had been sentenced to prison die in prison after being tortured and then admitting to a crime he didn't commit. Now he has a current mission, which is to look at the condition of the area near 69th & State Street.

The pic above was originally shared on Clements twitter page and we also shared it onto our ig page. This is a pothole on 69th Street and deep enough for a discarded tire.

So the series of tweets shared a number of videos shot along 69th Street just east of State Street showing us the conditions there. Potholes such as the one above, drains that need clearing, vacant lot, and trash dotted along the street. While he's yet to share this on his twitter page, these are two of his most recent videos - forgot to add that he also has a YouTube page.


Finally here's one of the examples of the tweets Mr. Clements has sent to this blog on Twitter

Is there anywhere else that you believe deserves attention as to the conditions of the streets, infrastructure or otherwise needs a cleanup.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

DNA Info: Chatham Methadone Clinic Meets With Local Group Over Complaints

So the Chatham methadone clinic is in the news once again:
The clinic, Nuway Community Services, 110 E. 79th St., was the subject of a neighborhood meeting in January, where residents complained of clients loitering and littering, which is bringing down the overall quality of the community. Violence is also a concern.

Jerry Davis-EL, a certified alcohol and drug addiction counselor at Nuway, said he has been meeting with a group organized by the Greater Chatham Alliance since April.

Davis-EL said that the clinic has addressed the early morning loitering problem but added that if the community knew the clients better there would be less tension.

“We need to let [neighbors] know these people are human,” he said referring to the clinic’s clients. “We have to show them some love, be transparent and let them know we’re here for them.”

Davis-EL, who has been meeting with Greater Chatham Alliance vice presdent Cee Powell, wants to see a health screening bus as well as a back-to-school drive to benefit the area. He wants to have both toward the end of August.

“My thing is, if you’re in this community, you need to give back; let’s look at the real issue, which is these people need some hope,” Davis-EL said.
Here's hoping some progress will continue to made on this issue. Here's hoping that the community knows more about what this clinic does for their clients.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Capitol Fax: Looking for a solution in Chicago

It seems Rich Miller is covering the debate over what to do with the finances over at CPS. There's even talk the schools may not open next year...What's going on with the money over there?

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

CapitolFax: #Chiraq attack rebuffed

We still see how politicians in Chicago are still having an issue with Chiraq. A Spike Lee "joint" currently in production here on the south side. One Alderman - Will Burns who threatened to take action as far as the films tax credit - has decided to delay any hearings on this film. Then we see state Senators in Springfield pass a resolution in support of this film. And of course another Alderman - freshman David Moore - sign a permit for a "Chiraq" block party at St. Sabina after discussing this with constituents. Something we shared an article on over the weekend.

So it seems the issue over the title isn't black & white there's some opposition and perhaps a lot more support. And as always we would like to know your thoughts on this movie.

Chase Mission Main Street Grant nominees need YOUR vote

Location: Chicago, IL 60619, USA
Last year, Dat Donut won the Chase Bank Mission Main Street Grant.for small businesses.

The 2015 round of voting has begun, and several businesses in 60619 have submitted their entries.

You can vote for all of them, but only one vote for a specific business from your individual Faceboook Account. To find businesses in our area, click this link and type in 60619 (or other ZIP Code)

Top vote getters as of last Wednesday, 4pm include Piece of the Pie, Brown Sugar Bakery, and Do-Gooder Consulting.

Disclaimer: Do-Gooder Consulting is owned by JP Paulus, a writer here at The Sixth Ward.

Please vote for all of our businesses. We know it's possible for an area resident to get a grant!

Voting ends THIS Friday. We encourage you to also share links on your Facebook page and tag your friends!

- See more at:

- See more at:

Monday, June 15, 2015

Is it time for McCarthy to go?

As the new chairman of the city council's Black Caucus, 6th Ward Alderman Roderick Sawyer has been making some waves:
The chairman of the City Council's Black Caucus, Alderman Roderick Sawyer, told FOX 32 News that his group may call for firing Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy.

African-American aldermen plan to meet Wednesday afternoon. Sawyer told FOX 32 that a majority of his colleagues want a new top cop.

South Side Ald. Roderick Sawyer said a series of conversations with his City Council colleagues in the last two days showed that "there is great discontent with Supt. McCarthy."
The Fox Chicago article above noted an editorial from Crain's. I wanted to excerpt from it, but it would be more beneficial if you go over to Crain's to read it yourself. That editorial says it's time for McCarthy to go.

The main thing to ask is whether or not you think it's time for him to go?

Saturday, June 13, 2015

DNA Info: Spike Lee's '#Chiraq' Block Party Gets City Permit After Alderman Relents

There was supposed to be a block party near St. Sabina on Memorial Day weekend to mark the start of filming for Spike Lee's Chiraq. It was cancelled due to the weather, but we also learned that the newly inaugurated 17th ward alderman had held up a permit for this event expected to be held today at 2 PM:
Ald. David Moore (17th), who had blocked a city permit for Spike Lee's block party in a dispute over the director's choice of "Chiraq" as the title of a film he's making in Chicago, has dropped his objection to the Saturday event.

Moore signed the block party permit on Fox32's "Good Day Chicago" Friday morning. He said that he chose to wait until he had heard from the community.

"I spoke to the residents yesterday; they gave me their concerns," he said on Fox32. "Some of them strongly objected to the name, but said, 'David Moore, we want you to proceed with the block club party.' And that's why I'm here today to sign off on that."

St. Sabina Church, 1210 W. 78th Place, had plans to host the block party even if Moore didn't approve. On Thursday, the Rev. Michael Pfleger wrote on Facebook that "the block party will go on. With homicides up and shootings up, who is coming to a block party is the issue [?] Give me a break!"

A request for comment from Pleger wasn't immediately returned.
The title of this film really has a number of people up in arms still. Either way I heard that the noisiest Alderman - Will Burns - his ward had some scenes in Lee's latest joint:
More than 500 extras all dressed in white were sworn to secrecy and packed into the General Jones Armory, 5200 S. Cottage Grove Ave., on Monday morning for filming.

The exact plot of Lee’s film remains a mystery — some speculate it’s a musical comedy about women withholding sex to try to stop violence on the South Side, a modern “Lysistrata” by Aristophanes.
Now I really can't wait for this movie. :)

ABC 7: Smash-and-grab burglars hit Chatham boutique days before grand opening

Location: 319 East 79th Street, Chicago, IL 60619, USA

Worlee posted this story to our FB page recently. Local business owners experienced an unfortunate robbery.
The dreams of two sisters have been shattered after a boutique they were planning to open in the city's Chatham neighborhood was burglarized, police said.

The owners of Lure Chaussures say the smash-and-grab robbers targeted their boutique just two days before the store's grand opening.

"When I came in and looked around I was like oh, everything is gone," said Contessa Houston, Lure Chaussures co-owner.

According to police, the thieves broke into the business around 12:30 a.m. Thursday. It's around that time, Houston says, that she got a call from ADT alerting her there was a problem.
As I like to emphasize Chatham is a predominantly Black middle class community that has been known for it's business activity. This story now makes an issue out of whether or not this community is suitable for starting a business.
Born and raised in Chicago's Englewood and Roseland neighborhoods, the sisters say they are questioning the decision to put their store in the Chatham location on the South Side in an effort to give back to the community.

"If it was left up to me, I would pack all of this up, stay online, find something else. But I know what this means to her," Whitney said.

Now, all they can do is board up, clean up and hope for the best as they vow not to give up on their dream.

"I will not be defeated, I will not let it defeat me," Contessa said.

The owners say that because the store's insurance does not actually kick in until Saturday - the store's would-be grand opening - they will now have to absorb the thousands of dollars of lost merchandise and repairs. They have set up a page to help fundraise.
Here's hoping these ladies are able to open their store. We also hope there will be a plan to at least allow 79th Street to become safe for businesses. I realize that there isn't much we can do about burglaries, but hopefully there's something that can be done where businesses and their assets can be protected from incidents such as these.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Chatham NeighborWorks Day

Location: 8100 South Maryland Avenue, Chicago, IL 60619, USA

Chatham NeighborWorks Day

The Chatham NeighborWorks Day is June 6 and starts at 9:00 am at 8100 S. Maryland Ave. There will be a community Block Party and BBQ following the planting of flowers.

6th Ward Resurfacing Project Notice: 69th-79th S. State St.

Location: 6900 South State Street, Chicago, IL 60637, USA

I would like to inform you of an upcoming resurfacing project on S. State St. from 69th St. to 79th St. This street is part of the Chicago Department of Transportation’s Arterial Street Resurfacing – STP South Area Project, in the 6th Ward. 

Construction is tentatively scheduled to begin on June 8, 2015 pending clearance from and coordination with existing utilities and weather permitting. Bigane Paving is the general contractor for this project with Ardmore Associates providing resident engineering services for the Chicago Department of Transportation.

The work will include ADA sidewalk improvements, curb and gutter removal and replacement, milling the existing asphalt pavement, asphalt paving, concrete bus pad construction, and striping. The concrete work will take place first followed by the milling and paving of the roadway.

During construction, temporary “No Parking” signs will be periodically installed as required for each activity listed above. These temporary signs will restrict parking during working hours, while adhering to rush hour restrictions, for the completion of the work. All work on this corridor is scheduled to be completed by September 5, 2015

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

So what's going on at the school board....

In light of the resignation of CPS CEO Barbara Byrd Bennett we see a shuffle at the Board of Education:
Joining the board will be Mark Furlong, retired CEO of BMO Harris Bank and the former CEO of Marshall & Ilsley Bank; the Rev. Michael Garanzini, retiring president of Loyola University Chicago; Dominique Jordan Turner, president and CEO of the Chicago Scholars Foundation, which provides college scholarships to underprivileged students; and Gail Ward, who worked for 35 years in the Chicago Public Schools system, serving as the first principal of Walter Payton College Preparatory High School.

They will replace three school board members who voted in 2013 in favor of a $20.5 million, no-bid contract for north suburban-based SUPES Academy — a former employer of Emanuel's hand-picked CPS CEO, Barbara Byrd-Bennett. Federal authorities have opened an investigation into that contract. Byrd-Bennett resigned Friday as a result of the investigation.

Those who voted for the SUPES deal who are leaving the board are Andrea Zopp, who announced last month she would challenge U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth in the Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Republican Mark Kirk; Deborah Quazzo, an education venture capitalist; and Henry Bienen, former president of Northwestern University.

Also leaving will be Carlos Azcoitia, who was absent from the meeting when the board voted 6-0 to approve the SUPES Academy principal training contract.
Here's a piece of information I didn't know:
In addition to the federal investigation, the city school system faces a budget deficit that CPS officials predict will exceed $1 billion. And Moody's Investors Service last month lowered the school district's debt rating to junk status, which will compound the financial mess by likely increasing borrowing costs.
So where is that money going? How did they get a deficit over $1 billion?

Anyway Fran Spielman and Lauren FitzPatrick take a look at the search for a new CPS boss. How many of us remember Jean-Claude Brizard who came to Chicago to run the schools only to be out in 17 months? Back to the drawing board for Mayor Rahm Emanuel who's at the beginning of his second term as mayor:
Instead of looking for another nationally known educator, Emanuel would be better served by choosing a trusted lieutenant from Chicago who may lack the education pedigree but has a proven track record of reining in government bureaucracies.

Possibilities include chief of staff Forrest Claypool, McPier CEO Lori Healey or Chicago Park District General Superintendent and CEO Mike Kelly.

“What Forrest did at the Park District and the CTA — you need somebody with that ability. Otherwise you’re fooling yourself. There’s too much at stake,” said a mayoral confidant, who asked not to be named.

“It has to be somebody who relishes a challenge and isn’t daunted by the enormity of what CPS faces. It also needs to be somebody loyal to the mayor who understands Chicago and the school system deeply and has a network of relationships they can draw upon to succeed in the job. Ties to the City Council. Ties to the business community, the teachers union and neighborhoods. That’s where the job should go. He’s 0-for-2 on out-of-town educators who had to rely on the likes of [SUPES co-owner] Gary Solomon, a mercenary recruiter who had his own businesses.”

But the Chicago Teachers Union is holding out for another educator — only this time one with strong existing ties to Chicago, so the district might enjoy some stability.

CTU Vice President Jesse Sharkey wants the mayor to choose as the sixth CEO since 2010 “someone who’s a veteran educator, someone who has some roots in Chicago, who knows our city, someone who’s been around for a while who’s likely to stick around for a while.

“There’s a number of people I work with every day in the Board of Ed I think are capable,” Sharkey said. “Can we start by not getting someone who’s an investment banker, or who is a known privatizer?”
I think the beginning of this article was hilarious:
WANTED: CEO for nation’s third-largest public school system to replace chief forced out by federal investigation.

CAUTION: Must work for controlling, taskmaster mayor. System on brink of bankruptcy. $1.1 billion shortfall. $9.5 billion pension crisis. Junk bond rating. Strong likelihood that state help will be tied to financial oversight. Expiring teachers contract. Threat of second strike in three years.
What's not hilarious is the idea of a second teacher's strike. Is that really in everyone's best interest? The schools have many serious issues and we certainly need serious people who can help to fix those issues.

Tribune: Community wears orange for Hadiya Pendleton, to highlight gun violence

Hadiya Pendleton
It's often stated on this blog how often I seek to avoid discussing crime even though it's all around us no matter how much we avoid talking about it. Not all "minority" communities have major issues with crime, but we must deal with those communities that does have those issues.

What happened to Hadiya Pendleton in 2013 was unfortunate. She had been shot in a case of mistaken identity and she wasn't even the intended target. A lot of national attention was on our city for her untimely death.

Today would've been her 18th birthday and today is also gun violence awareness day. To observe many celebrities and politicians have pledged to wear orange today. So thanks to this Tribune article we know more about the meaning of orange and this day:
The orange theme is inspired by Hadiya's friends, who chose to commemorate her life with a color that hunters wear to keep themselves and others safe from harm.

The group was formed a couple of months after Hadiya's death and has been targeting the structural problems that they believe lead to violence, including failing school systems, institutional racism and food deserts, according to Nza-Ari Khepra, former president of Project Orange Tree.
If you have something orange in your wardrobe, put it on today please!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Tribune: CPS chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett resigns amid federal criminal investigation

WOW! She already was on leave of absence now she's leaving outright!
In a letter dated last week, Byrd-Bennett said she planned to step down Monday. She did not give any reasons for her decision.

Byrd-Bennett has been on paid leave since mid-April, when school officials released wide-ranging subpoenas from the federal investigation. Her paid leave was scheduled to end next week and she had not been expected to return to her post.

Resignation letter from CPS chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett Resignation letter from CPS chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett The investigation centers on a $20.5 million no-bid contract at CPS related to an elite nonprofit education group that has long been at the center of city school reform efforts. Federal corruption investigators have also sought records related to some of Byrd-Bennett's top deputies.
I wonder how much louder calls for an elected school board would get.