Monday, August 31, 2015

#mbmhmc: "RFK" Wicker Park

Jahmal Cole as part of his efforts with My Block My Hood My City takes a group of teenagers to Wicker Park. These teens came from Roseland and North Lawndale and even experience a donation of shoes from the owner of Wicker Park's Bucketfeet.

The activities of Cole's My Block My Hood My City is supported by the purchase of merchandise such as t-shirts and hoodie sweatshirts. It not only includes the webseries where Cole visits different neighborhoods and parks, but also sending teens to different parts of the city where they've never been.

Time to buy some of their merchandise to support this mission.

ALSO, check out this previous post of one such young man Cole took to different parts of the city.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Time to start updating the 2015 elections page

Last night I decided to work on a page for the 2015 elections over at the Shedd School blog. I know it's been over 6 months since the Aldermanic election that saw Ald. Beale win another term on Chicago's city council. It was something that was on my mind since the election of this past February.

It brings to mind our own election page. At this point as far as Aldermanic elections we have two pages. One for the 2011 runoff between then Ald. Freddrenna Lyle and current Ald. Roderick Sawyer in the 6th Ward. Believe it or not the 2011 page still is viewable publicly although there is no longer an available link for the reader to click - at least until posting a link here.

Unfortunately the 2015 page hasn't been updated with any numbers at all from the Board of Elections although it had been promised. It's something that has been on my mind after posting some final numbers over at the other blog. Plus, I have to consider the format especially since this blog covered essentially three elections and one of those elections went to a run-off.

In addition, back in 2011 since we only covered the 6th ward election we wittled away all the candidate to the two - Lyle & Sawyer - who were in a runoff. And ultimately the 2011 page reflected the results of that runoff.

In the near future got some changes to make to the 2015 elections page, but they will be made. Consider this something of a history post as well and one of the things we do talk about here is politics. And Aldermen in some way do affect the communities they serve.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Neil Elementary School’s Annual Back To School Barbeque

This information is also included in GCA's recent e-mail blast.
  • Neil Elementary School’s Annual Back To School Barbeque

    Thursday, August 27th
    From 11:30 am to 2:30 pm
    8555 S. Michigan
    School Parking Lot

    This summer may have been sizzling, but the good food, kid games, dance music and dedicated parents with kids will be real hot at this year’s event.

    And don’t think, Neil teachers aren’t getting everyone rockin’ just for the fun of it!

    Students will receive FREE backpacks with lots of school supplies.

    Hey! Are you a local resident who wants to donate some school supplies to keep our area kids focused on studying? Then bring then on down to the event for Neil’s super-duper crew to give away!

    Please remember to bring at least 10 or more of anything: pens, pencils, paper pads, crayons. Whatever you can afford----- so at least 10 kids can get the extra supply do-dads per pack! Or come on down to the school and donate early!

    See attached flyer jpeg for all details!

Monday, August 24, 2015

PHOTO: Public notice at Shedd School

Location: 200 East 99th Street, Chicago, IL 60628, USA
On Friday, I went over to the former Shedd Elementary School - 200 E. 99th Street - to take a few snapshots. One example using a lens I bought for my phone was posted Friday with more information on talks between the surrounding community and 9th Ward Alderman Anthony Beale on a proposed zoning change.

The pic you see above is a public notice stapled to a wooden pole regarding the proposed change from a residential single family home to a manufacturing/business zone. There is a zoning hearing coming up on AUgust 27, 2015 also noted on this blog.

Brown Memorial Park dedication

As part of an e-mail blast from the Greater Chatham Alliance we received this page from the Chicago Independent Bulletin regarding the recent dedication of the Brown Memorial Park dedicated to fallen Chicago firefighter Sidney Brown who died in August 1983. Information from e-mail blast:
  • See the post event coverage of the Rededication Ceremony of the Sidney Brown Memorial Park.

    The mayor’s wife was there! Lots of area firefighters were there! Plus GCA and area neighbors were there too!

    Our own community area paper, the “Independent Bulletin,” with courtesy coverage from editor Hurley Green, shows you board members from the Brown Park Advisory Board, who helped to celebrate the life of the first African American firefighter to give his life in the line of duty in Chicago--Sidney Brown,park namesake.

    In attendance as Brown Park Advisory Board members were GCA President Craig Thomas, and GCA members Claire Addams and Ora Jackson.

    See attached jpeg photo.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Shedd school meeting with Alderman

200 E. 99th Street

Another email sent on Thursday provides another update regarding the zoning hearing for Shedd School
  • Shedd School Meeting With Alderman

    Last night The East/West 99th Street Block Club met with Alderman Beale with concerns about the zone change on the Shedd School location. Same story as the July 9th Ward Community meeting; no new information was given.

    The Alderman said one or two people could still attend the hearing down town. Zoning Amendment will be heard in Council Chambers of CITY HALL; 121 N. LaSalle Street; 2nd flood of City Hill, on August 27, 2015 at 10:00 AM

    A notice was sent to anyone who has property within 250 of area affected. If you have any objection to the application you will have an opportunity to address the Committee.

    If you did not attend either meeting and want to know more please forward any questions you have to the Alderman who proposed this change.

    ALDERMAN ANTHONY A. BEALE AT 312-785-1100 or 312-744-6838 
It had also been noted that it's best to contact Ald. Beale at his 9th ward service office at 312.785.1100 as the other number is for city hall and it doesn't get answered.

Previous posts

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Capitol Fax: Alvarez fighting to obtain party nod

In sharing this post at Capitol Fax, it's not just about state's attorney Anita Alvarez who sought backing from the Cook County Democrats. Todd Stroger wants to get back into politics is seeking an open seat on the Water Reclamation District. Rich Miller further opines that "This officeholder [Alvarez] really needs a primary so she can be held accountable…"

To go much further, this is really a post about how slating works in Cook County. Over the years there have been articles on the slating of judicial candidates in Cook County. Certainly it's a very political process but hey we are talking about politics here.

BTW, I retweeted this tweet from yesterday Chicago politicos met for slating there are a couple of familiar faces in this photo.
Alderman Sawyer is in the background on his phone and Alderman Beale is very attentive here.

BTW, to go back to Alvarez for a moment we'll go back to the vault to this post. She was interviewed for a 60 Minutes story regarding false confessions out of Chicago. Do you think Anita Alvarez should have a contested primary?

Saturday, August 15, 2015

An unusal crime report involving social media

Most of these incidents reported by Chicago Tribune happened in Chatham, be careful if you're meeting people on social media:
Police say a woman has been using a social media website to arrange meetings with men on the South Side, where five or six men then beat and rob them.

The woman has been using the website to make plans with the victims. But when they arrive, the woman is with several men, police said in a community alert.

The robberies have occurred three times in the evening hours: 5:30 p.m. July 30 on the 7900 block of South Calumet Avenue; from 4 to 7:30 p.m. Aug. 1 on the 7900 block of South Prairie Avenue; and about 9 p.m. Aug. 12 on the same Prairie Avenue block.

Police did not have detailed descriptions. They said the group consists of a black woman and five to six black men. The men are 18 to 30 years old, police said. Anyone with information about the attacks should call the Chicago Police Area South Detective Division at 312-747-8273

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Events Friday and Saturday

There are quite a few events going on.

Three that are available to the public

The first is the 2nd of 4 "Alderman In Your Area" events. This and some other events are at the Alderman's Calendar page
"ALDERMAN in your AREA"WhenFri, August 14, 10am – 2pmWhereBrown Sugar Bakery, 328 East 75th Street, Chicago, IL 60619, United States (map)DescriptionAlderman Roderick T. Sawyer is bringing his office to your neighborhood. Alderman Sawyer and his staff will be on hand to hear your concerns and deal with your service requests in a local business. Every Friday in August from 10:00 a.m. ~ 2:00 p.m. (at a different location) Please call 773-635-0006 or email with questions or for more information.

August 21 will be at  Kusanya Cafe, 825 West 69th Street, Chicago, IL 60621, United States

August 28 will be at St. Columbanus (Glass House) - 331 E. 71st 

Goshen Seventh Day Adventist Church has a show celebrating the Chartham Enrichment Center's 1st summer camp, which will end on Friday, August 14.

from their Facebook page:

The Chatham Enrichment Center cordially invites you to join us this Friday, August 14th at 5:00pm for our Summer Showcase 2015! Come see our youthful talent display what they have been learning over the summer. Performances in theatrical arts, spoken word, dance, vocal/choral, piano, and more will all be on stage for this spectacular performance. We hope to see you all there! Chatham Enrichment Center 8221 S. State St. Chicago, Il.
Posted by Chatham Enrichment Center - CEC on Thursday, August 13, 2015

On Saturday, Greater Institutional AME church at 78th & Indiana will host their annual block party. They will run from 10am -5pm, with free lunch, and much more.

Note - traffic lane closures:  78th will be blocked off from between Michigan and Prairie, as well as Indiana blocked off from 78th to 79th (people can park on 77th, but will not be able to proceed south from there)

Also ...

12th Annual Back to School FairWhenSat, August 15, 10am – 12pmWhereNew Birth Kingdom Ministries Intl. - 7044 S. Princeton (map)DescriptionFree Backpacks filled with supplies and refreshmentsFree blood pressure and glucose testing will be provided as well


Picnic in Brown ParkWhenSat, August 15, 11am – 5pmWhereSidney Brown Memorial Park (between 85th and 86th Streets, just East of St. Lawrence) (map)DescriptionTe Chatham Community and the entire Chicago Fire Department are invited to get together in Sidney Brown Memorial Park located between 85th and 86th Streets, just east of St. Lawrence. We'll be celebrating the life of the 1st African American Fire Fighter to give his life in the line of duty in Chicago's recent history. We will re-dedicate Brown Park and unveil plans for a memorial site. We have so far discovered seven other African American Fire Fighters who have fallen since Sidney Brown (1983) who will also be commemorated. The Chicago African American Fire Fighters League will present a program in honor of these men. The family of Sidney Brown and those families of the other fallen seven who are able to attend will be recognized: the Tuskegee Airmen are tentatively due to be present. There will be entertainment (The Jazz Pacesetters and DJ LTD), free soft drinks and water and a few surprises! Ceremonies commemorating these honored heroes will commence at 1:30 p.m. Pull out your picnic baskets and portable grills!Get ready for a great day in Sidney Brown Memorial Park! For information on the event please contact Carl Lewis, President of Brown Park Advisory Board: 773-574-7875.

Jahmal Cole visits Washington Park #MBMHMC

[VIDEO] Jahmal Cole in his ongoing webseries My Block My Hood My City visits Washington Park. Before he heads to the court for a game of hoops he visits two establishments Currency Exchange Cafe & RTW Veteran's Center. A recurring theme when Cole visits the many Chicago communities is to find an eating establishment. And we also see a very touching story regarding how the veteran's center came into existence.

BTW, we also get some man on the street interview on how the Washington Park community has changed. It has changed for the better, but many still describe the surrounding area at least west of Washington Park as still "the hood".

Tuesday, August 11, 2015


I wish I could track ground zero of when this post got shared, linked, or whatever. So far this posting of random Straight outta Compton images which you can produce here with whatever flair can be added to it is the No. 1 post of all time.

If only there were a gallery of images created by many users. I decided to take the "straight outta Chatham" think one step further and added an image of the Pride Cleaners sign. It's a community landmark that has been noted numerous times online and photographed often.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Going back into the vault for a moment...

[VIDEO] During the early days of this blog, we shared a video from a blogger based in Atlanta. The gist was basically was save money and do business with a Black-owned financial institution. He even showed us that he was putting his money where his mouth is and made a deposit at this bank.

Capitol City Bank & Trust had a branch not too far away from the campus of the Atlanta University Center home of Morehouse College, Spelman College, and Clark-Atlanta University. How many students pass this branch and never think to open an account there.

Anyway I found our recently that Capitol City failed earlier this year. This only brings to mind the dwindling number of Black-owned financial institutions in the nation. It's probably not much different that how many other banks in the country failed in the midst of the financial crisis.

Unfortunately just like the fate of a Chicago based Black-owned bank Highland Community Bank, the assets of the Highland and Capitol City are now owned by majority-owned institutions. Highland is now owned by a bank based in Indiana and Capitol City is now owned by a North Carolina based bank.

Also consider in recent months that another locally owned Black-owned bank - Illinois Service Federal - is looking to go from a depositor owned spendthrift to a shareholder owned institution. They are seeking an infusion of capital for its survival.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Shedd School zoning

200 E. 99th Street - Shedd School

Below is a letter we just received recently alerting us to a public zoning hearing on August 27, 2015 at city hall. It's is regarding the zoning of Shedd School which will go from residential zone to a manufacturing zone. To put this into further perspective consider this community e-mail blast that I had posted last week. This letter also note that those concerned will have an opportunity to address the zoning committee and to also forward any questions to Alderman who proposed this zoning change. That Alderman in this case being Anthony Beale.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Make your own "Straight Outta Compton" signs....

Straight Outta Compton is a film scheduled to premeir in theaters everywhere August 18, 2015. It's a film about the rise and fall of the rap group N.W.A. This is one film I am looking forward to.

On FB, this link has been getting circulated amongst fb friends and allows anyone to do our own version of the Straight Outta Compton signs. Many have decided to take advantage to rep their own Chicago neighborhoods. I've done it not only for the many neighborhoods of Chicago, but also my old high school as well. In addition to streets and slang names for areas of the south side.

You're more than free to add your take to this as well. The more the merrier no matter where you're from!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

REMINDER: "The Sensei" event w/ Diana Lee Inosanto

Last Saturday, I erroneously typed that the event was to take place on Wednesday. It was a mistake this event is to take place this weekend on this coming Saturday. I apologize for the error and had re-edited that post.

This post is regarding more publicity for The Sensei to be screened at the Logan Theater @ 2646 N Milwaukee. You may purchase tickets in advance via the official website for the Flix of Fury Martial Arts film club. As stated Sensei is an anti-bullying film.

The screening will further include martial artist and Sensei star Diana Lee Inosanto who can be seen during a reception and a Q & A at the Logan. She was interviewed for the Chicago Now blog Six Brown Chicks. Inosanto talks about future projects, career in Hollywood, her uncle martial artist and actor Bruce Lee, and of course the bullying theme of Sensei.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

DNA Info: Can Whole Foods Help Restore Glory to Formerly Thriving Englewood Strip?

Englewood Square lot in July 2015. [DNAinfo/Andrea Watson]
 And you know we all hope that the new developments out of Englewood (not only Kennedy-King College, Whole Foods Market, or even Starbucks) will bring about a rebirth of the intersection at 63rd/Halsted.
Those same residents today are encouraged by the much-heralded $362-million Englewood Square development, set to open next year at the intersection.

"It is an area that transitioned from a great place to a desolate place," said Glen Fulton, executive director of the Greater Englewood Community Development Corporation. "Now we think we can bring it back."

The Englewood Square development will feature retailers who just a couple years ago were considered unlikely to do business in the neighborhood. Whole Foods Market and Starbucks are both expected to open next year at 63rd and Halsted streets.

Residents like [86-year-old Obbie Nephew] say that the development will help keep people in Englewood. The new Whole Foods will help because right now “there is nothing else in this neighborhood, you have to travel out," Nephew said.

Other locations in the development also have been filled.
This is also excellent news:
After Englewood Square is open, Fulton will work to bring developments mixing retail and housing to the neighborhood.

"In the next five years you will see a whole new community," Fulton said.
That's what I'd like to see Mr. Fulton!

I'd like to refer you to this slideshow, the man who had been responsible for various incarnations of Chicago history blogs would be put to shame by reporters Tanveer Ali and Andrea Watson at DNA Info. They provided quite a few old photos of the formerly thriving Englewood business district.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Flix of Fury presents "The Sensei"

UPDATED August 5, 2015: Inaccurately entered the wrong day for this event. It will take place on Saturday, August 8, 2015. Will post a reminder then. Apologize for the error. 

[VIDEO] Two years ago I had posted about an event that took place at the now SMG Chatham (then Chatham 14 Theaters) @ 210 W 87th St which celebrated the life and career of the late Jim Kelly. Kelly was a martial artist turned actor who had been in such movies as Black Belt Jones & Enter the Dragon. BTW, I hope you find those movies both were very good and Jones was very fun in a 1970s sense even if it was a bit "campy".

There were a series of movies shown on that day two years ago, those were just two that I had the chance to view. After each film concluded there was a brief program that often included a martial arts demonstration. In addition a brief presentation where a martial artist talks about Jim Kelly's career and how martial arts were important to the Black community.

This leads me to promote this year's similarly themed event promoted by Flix of Fury. It will be held outside of our community at the Logan Theater - located at 2646 N Milwaukee Ave. The Sensei to put simply is a film about bullying a martial artist helps a young bullying victim.

To put this into perspective, over the years many of us have heard many unfortunate stories about young people teenaged comitting suicide because of bullying. It's really sad that a person who really hadn't started their lives have starting thinking their lives are over because peers decided to engage in imtimidating conducts towards another person for whatever reason. Even worse the classic physical intimidation has been replaced by usage of social networking whether YouTube, facebook, instagram, twitter, etc. This is why I hope you'd consider attending this event at the Logan.

That event at the Chatham two years ago and the coming event underscores why martial arts has a role in our communities. For example the speakers at the event honoring Jim Kelly spoke about how it wasn't about teaching a flashy style of fighting, but how martial arts was about life. It's about mentoring and insuring that the young people who were learning martial arts were also doing well in school. It essentially taught them to become better people and this is exactly what we need in our communities.

BTW, also expect a reminder post about this event anytime before next Wednesday' Saturday's event!