Saturday, December 31, 2016

Looking back at the year 2016

 A few stories that come to mind to wrap up the year 2016.

The Red Line extension to 130th street is moving forward. A draft environmental impact statement was submitted and there was a recent hearing regarding this future project. We also learned the extension may not open until 2026 at the earliest. But at least some progress is being made and the major step that need to be taken is funding.

We learned of the passing of Mr. Donzell Starks in October. Starks and his wife Alisa - or it appears the Starks' have at some point divorced - owned ICE Theaters which had owned and operated theaters in Chatham, Englewood and Lawndale. Chatham is now under Studio Movie Grill and no longer owned by ICE Theaters as of 2014. Both Englewood and Lawndale are closed. Around the time of Stark's death, I found through a Google search an article that reported that ICE Theaters had filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2015.

I'll also add that posting an image of Donzell Starks such as the one you saw above to Instagram resulted in 33 likes. Some of those may not have been from people who knew who he was, but many of them probably admired him as an entrepreneur that brought back a needed business to our communities.

A photo posted by The Sixth Ward (@thesixthward) on

Also the long awaited Whole Foods Market at 63rd & Halsted opened in late September to huge fanfare. It opened in the new Englewood Square shopping center which also opened a Starbuck's that opened the same day as the Whole Foods. In addition after the Whole Foods and Starbuck's open within about a month Englewood saw a Chipotle's open at Englewood Square.

Speaking of Whole Foods Market it was announced in spring 2016 that they're bringing a distribution center to 111th Street near the Wal-Mart Supercenter. It will count the new Methods plant and Gotham Greens as neighbors. In November an event to hire was advertised to help people who currently have a trade to work on this project.

Back in Chatham, the building that houses Pride Cleaners is for sale. It's considered an example of mid modern architecture and considered something of a landmark located near 79th & Rhodes. It was inspiration as the Chatham brand for The Chicago Neighborhoods.

Also after celebrating 50 years in 2015, it came out in the news that local lender Seaway Bank is in trouble in 2016. Here's hoping for a different result in 2017 for this significant Black-owned bank. The post above from Seaway's early days 50 years ago got 54 likes when it was reposted from Seaway's own ig profile.

Finally we had a presidential election and with Donald Trump as the President-elect there are many who are unhappy. The former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton solidly won this state and its electoral votes. In the rest of the country she won the popular vote, however, failed to secure the 270 electoral votes needed to win the Presidency. There have been protests in downtown Chicago since the election.

Of course as far as politics, there will be a new State's Attorney in Cook County in Kim Foxx. She defeated two-term incumbent Anita Alvarez in the March 2016 Democratic Primary. Alvarez's defeat was attributed in part to the controversial police shooting in 2014 of one Laquan McDonald and her role in the suppression of the dashcam video of this incident.

Any other stories worth noting from 2016, feel free to let us know about them in our comments.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Vote for Wodlawn in the Curbed Cup neighborhood poll!

Location: Woodlawn, Chicago, IL, USA
Finally the South Side looks like it might get a bit of respect!
The website Curbed has an annual poll for best neighborhood...however, it's clear wo their clientele is, as most of the neighborhoods are predominantly white and upper class.

We encourage not just you, but all of your friends to vote for Woodlawn. If they win, then other neighborhoods we represent, like Chatham, Englewood and others, can also get a chance to win.

Read the article, then scroll down and VOTE here =

Share the link with friends. As of this writing, Woodlawn is down 626 votes. If we all share the word, it would be an amazing victory!

VIDEO: Chicago Stars Ep. 1 - Fort Dearborn // #MBMHMC tv

[VIDEO] Jahmal Cole asks Chicagoans what the first star on the Chicago flag represents. That star represents Fort Dearborn located near the Chicago River at Wacker & Michigan. The fort was named for a former Secretary of War who served in the cabinet of President Thomas Jefferson, signer of the Declaration of Independence. Let's see how many people Cole meets that knew this information.

The city's flag you will see above in the header of this blog and you will see another version below. The flag is part of this great city's identity.

Monday, December 19, 2016

HINZ: As Loop population booms, South Side's plummets

So according to Crain's Greg Hinz Chicago is finally emerging from the subprime mortgage recession of the last decade, however, it seems only the loop area so far has seen the greatest gains.
The city center now is growing faster than ever, having gained an estimated 42,423 people from 2010-15. But the population of the non-lakefront South Side is dropping even quicker, falling about 50,000 in the same period. The number of non-Hispanic whites, Asians and people of Hispanic descent is growing, but the number of non-Hispanic blacks is dropping.

The new data come from the 2015 American Community Survey, which is conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau and was released last week.
The Census Bureau in 2012 reported this area grew faster in the first decade of the century than any downtown in the country, adding 48,000 people. But with an unprecedented construction wave underway, growth has hit the gas, with the area—roughly the Loop, plus the Near North, Near South and Near West sides—growing almost as much in five years as it did in the previous 10.

The area now is home to an estimated 238,259 residents. That's enough to make it the second largest city in Illinois, if it were counted by itself.

The population is also growing in the north section of the city—roughly the North and Northwest sides, plus the demographically similar area around the West Side Medical Center, the Southwest Side and the South Side lakefront—which Zotti puts together with a few inland neighborhoods that are close by public transit to well-paying downtown service jobs. Each of those lost considerable population between 2000 and 2010, but each now is gaining people.
 The map above illustrates where the people are going or leaving. As you see the far south side has lost almost 50,000 people. The bottom number you see, I believe is long term population loss.

So which specific neighborhoods on the south side are losing people:
But the city is still losing people in Austin and other neighborhoods west of the United Center. And the total number of residents inland from the lakefront, or Far South Side, continues the free-fall that began in the last decade. Total population there has gone from 526,750 to 476,903, ACS figures show.

That's a remarkable drop of nearly 10 percent—in just five years.

Among once-solidly middle-class, industrial African-American neighborhoods that are being hammered:
  • Auburn Gresham, off 7,159 residents to an estimated 45,842.
  • Englewood, down 6,911 people, to 26,121.
  • West Englewood, down 6,552, to 32,156.
  • Roseland, which lost 5,141 residents and is down to 42,305.
  • Chatham, which has 31,359 residents after losing 3,664.
Overall, the population figures roughly track income data that I wrote about earlier this year, in which other demographers suggested Chicago is turning into three cities: one prosperous and growing, one vanishing, and the third treading water.
Now the challenge to reverse these many trends.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Housing in Roseland

34 W. 114th Street
Found this nice home on instagram via marquisdefacade and offers this caption talking about the Roseland neighborhood.
This home is in Chicago's Roseland neighborhood, located at 34 W. 114th Street. So, it's literally on the block just west of State St. Point of fact. State Street is basically Chicago's ground 0. Anything east of it has an E. on the street number, and anything west has a W. on the street number.

I love research. So I did some digging. The homes in this area are cheap. This home is not for sale, but 30 W. 114th St. is asking $38,000, 41 W. 114th is asking $15,000, and 117 W. 114th St. is asking $17,000.

Whenever there is a census, there is a book that has come out called the Local Community Fact Book. I'm basically missing the version with the 1970 census stats, as well as the 2000 and 2010 versions. Not sure if books were made after the 2000 and 2010 censuses.

 Each neighborhood in the Community Fact Books is divided into census areas. In the area where this home is located, in 1960 the census tract was 100% white and the median price of a home was $13,000. By 1980 the census tract changed to 96% black, with the median house price being $28,800. So, in 20 years the median price barely doubled.

By 1990, the census tract containing this home was 99% black with the median value being $45,500. In 1960, 58,750 people lived in the Roseland community of Chicago. 77% were white and 23% were black. In 1970, 62,512 people lived in Roseland. 44% were white and 55% were black. By 1980, 64,372 people lived in Roseland. 99% were black. In 1990, 56,493 people lived in Roseland. 99% were black. I couldn't find the year 2000 info. The year 2010 showed Roseland contained 44,619 people and 98% were black.

As the population continues to drop, as well as the value of homes, what do you think will happen? Desolation like Detroit, or people sick of paying ridiculous prices for homes and having huge student debt, start buying in here and fixing 💩up?
BTW, if you're confused by what you're seeing next to up it's basically supposed to be an emoticon denoting excrement.

All the same this is quite an interesting idea? Home values drop as you still illustrated here so will Roseland be the next neighborhood for the rest of us?

The comments in that post seem somewhat dismissive, unless in the next decade the CTA finally builds and operates the Red Line extension. Granted though this is still a long way from downtown Chicago, however with this extension residents will get much easier access to downtown Chicago.

As with all things however all we can do is wait and see.

On a related note marquisdefacade had news on the blue "White House" that we've been following. It had been sold earlier this year. Also related to this perhaps we're seeing something similar in Englewood, property owners taking advantage of the depressed housing prices.

A photo posted by Steve (@marquisdefacade) on

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Shedd School as seen in December

Shedd School as seen in December 2016

The issue of Shedd School came up at the last of this year's community meetings with Ald. Anthony Beale in October. There is interest in re-opening Shedd as a school and Beale's response was to a written question posed by a resident in attendance.

Unfortunately it was noted at the meeting that Shedd was closed because of declining enrollment. While the question noted an increase in children in the community Beale suggested that it still isn't enough to justify reopening that former school. If it were to ever re-open there may have to be consideration of bringing in students from outside of the neighborhood.

In the meanwhile the school remains for sale as there are signs on the building as I saw from this past summer, pictures were shown on our ig account. Beale pledged to let the community know of any bidders on the property.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

At 95th an unused disconnected phone #gogreyhound

On Tuesday I noticed the remnants of a phone which about where Greyhound buses used to stop for pick-ups and drop-offs. It's been a few years since I've taken a Greyhound from 95th Street and remember Greyhound personnel perhaps the drivers using the phone. The station where you can buy your tickets was actually in the terminal near the fare controls, however, that changed in the late 90s.

By 1999 at least one of the last few times I took a bus from 95th the actual ticket office was moved to the back where the 29 State bus starts its journey. Sometime after an overhaul which had been in 2002-03 Greyhound began drop-offs and pick-ups at their ticket office in the back of the CTA terminal.

Sometime during the past decade this phone was disassembled and then the line cut. Funny part is that I knew it was there but hadn't thought about it in years until seeing this recently. Whenever CTA finish the new 95th terminal this ancient device will be history.

Monday, November 28, 2016

CTA Red Line Extension Public Comment Period Ending

 An e-mail from the Chicago Transit Authority
  • Public Comment Period Ends November 30
    Red Line Extension Project
    Draft Environmental Impact Statement and Section 4(f) Evaluation

    CTA and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) are proposing to extend the Red Line 5.3 miles from 95th Street to 130th Street. Click here to learn more about the project.

    CTA and FTA have prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) based on the technical analysis of impacts of the proposed project. The Draft EIS documents the benefits and impacts of the alternatives being considered, which include impacts to parks and wetlands. Click here to review the Draft EIS on the RLE Project website. Hard copies of the Draft EIS also are available for review through November 30, 2016. Click here to learn more about reviewing the Draft EIS.

    Comments on the Draft EIS are being accepted until November 30, 2016 at 4:30 PM. You may submit comments via e-mail to or by mail to Chicago Transit Authority, Strategic Planning, 10th Floor, Attn: Red Line Extension Project, 567 W. Lake Street, Chicago, IL 60661.

    Do you require assistance?
    If you have questions or need assistance, contact Gerald Nichols, CTA Government and Community Relations at 312-681-2710 or GNichols @
    Para más informacion en Español, llame al 312-681-2710
    Customer Information: 1-888-YOUR-CTA (1-888-968-7282)

    Thank you for your continued interest.

    RLE Project Team
    Chicago Transit Authority

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Carter Temple Pre-Thanksgiving Dinner

Location: 7841 S Wabash Ave, Chicago, IL 60619, USA
This notice is from Carter Temple, at 7841 South Wabash Avenue (79th & Wabash, across from  Taylor Funeral Home)  Chicago, Illinois 60619


Dear members and friends of Carter Temple, 

We are just a few short weeks away from our 1st Annual "Your Home for the Holiday: Pre-Thanksgiving Community Dinner" on Wednesday, November 23rd! This vision initiative is an opportunity to engage in fellowship and relationship-building with our community neighbors. First and foremost, however, it gives us an opportunity to serve. 

If you know of any individuals or families who are in need of a free meal during the Thanksgiving holiday season, please forward this email or have them call the church office at 773-874-0175 to register for this event. They can also visit and click the Thanksgiving banner to register.  The registration link can also be found below. *There is no income or demographic requirement to participate in this meal.*

We are looking forward to a great turnout and expecting wonderful connections to be made during this meal and engagement opportunity! 

Friday, November 11, 2016

2016 elections: Where do we go from here?

The video above is from the fb page of Morehouse College. This was shot at the bell in front of the Sale Hall annex the day after the elections. If you've seen a 20 year old PBS documentary The Morehouse Men, this bell is what a Morehouse Man should answer whenever it rings.

As we see this is one response to Trump's election. It's enough that Dr. John S. Wilson, President of Morehouse College, had to speak on this as you see here. He discussing the fact that of the 600K or so Blacks that reside in Georgia not enough go to the polls.

He's basically responding or has his response to this year's election which saw Donald Trump become the President-elect of the United States. This outcome that many are baffled by has resulted in protests around the nation especially in downtown Chicago.

Does anyone here have any thoughts to offer as far at the recent 2016 elections?

Monday, November 7, 2016

Tomorrow is election day...

Right now I'm recognizing that when many of us go to the polls on Tuesday we're voting in what I see as a polarizing election. In this part of the city many of us will vote for the former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a minority will vote Trump and another minority still will vote for either a Green Party candidate or a Libertarian Party candidate.

Unfortunately we have something resembling a horse race election with the Presidential race and it's important to note because it's at the top of the ballot. A lot of people will turn out because of who's running at the top of the ballot. Question about tomorrow is whether or not either major party candidate can engender significant turnout.

BTW, often on this blog we want to encourage people to go out and vote. We are non-partisan so it's not very important at least for me to say vote Republican or Democrat. For me I very much hope that you don't just vote according to your respective party, just for the right person for the job.

Either way one thing this blog has often hoped to do is provide you with the information to allow you to go to the ballot box to make the right choice. More likely we do that in time for the aldermanic races more than we do for a gubernatorial race or presidential race. Which doesn't make those races and down ballot races less important.

Either way thanks for those of you who have voted early and we encourage you to go out tomorrow and vote. You may be free to just sit home and not cast a ballot and that does serve the purpose of sending a message. At the same time going out to vote also sends a far stronger message.

Whoever wins the Presidency let's remember while a lot can happen during a four year term, it's still a four year term. In 2020, we get to do it all over again. That's true on the state level and at the city level although in different years.

Either way again we encourage you to vote on Tuesday. As always for those of you who follow this blog thanks for reading.

Friday, November 4, 2016

News from the Red Line extension hearing

Rendering of the west option Michigan CTA station - CTA
 I didn't get to attend the recent Red Line extension hearing this past Tuesday at 211 E. 111th St, however, both the Chicago Tribune and DNA Info went. Judging only by the headlines two issues came up during the hearing the dreaded "G" word and eminent domain.

Concerns over gentrification:
Activist Lou Turner, though pleased the project is going forward after decades of discussion, said he also wished it hadn't taken so long and had concerns that some residents may get pushed out by gentrification once the L goes through.

"There could be unintended consequences," said Turner, director of undergraduate and graduate studies in the African-American Studies department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "This area has the largest stock of affordable housing in the city."

Turner said the CTA's draft environmental impact statement on the proposed $2.3 billion project does not address the issue of gentrification, which has driven up property prices by as much as 48 percent in some areas along The 606 trail on the city's Northwest Side. A final environmental impact study is needed to secure federal funding.

"It's a concern, but at the same time I am very happy," said Turner, who like Jones had pushed for the extension with the Developing Communities Project, a group that once included President Barack Obama.
And then of course the properties CTA would need to purchase to build the extension:
Under the east option, the CTA elevated structure would be built east of the Union Pacific Railroad right-of-way from 99th street to 118th street. This option would affect 260 parcels, including 106 buildings, 90 of which are residential, officials said. Under this route, more single-family residences would be affected, officials said.

Under the west option, the line would run west of the Union Pacific Railroad from 99th street to 118th street. This option would affect more commercial and industrial properties, some 205 of them, officials said. About 46 would require building demolitions; 26 are residential.

Those homes and business owners would be compensated, including for moving costs, under federal regulations.

Roseland resident Aaron Mallory discovered his four-unit building could be demolished under the extension.

“It’s an investment property, so I have mixed feelings,” he said.

Mallory said he doesn't want to lose the building, but he also supports an extension of mass transit.
By next year it's said we'll know which option east or west the CTA will pursue as their preferred routing. That way any property owner will brace themselves for the impact. Thus anyone in the way would have to move.

If you want to know more about this project click this link.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016 helps voters determine their choices

We heard about the resource that provides on WBEZ (Chicago Public adio 91.5 FM)'s the Morning Shift, and asked them to provide a press release, to help explain their valuable resource in helping you, the voter, make an informed decision. We hope this helps you. If you are in the city, go to for details on where to vote and when.

11/2/16 Chicago, IL–1 Week Until Election Day, Do you know who’s on your ballot?
Nonpartisan voter info guide, BallotReady, covers every race &  referendum.

Covering more than 22000 candidates in federal, state, and local races, BallotReady offers a solution to one of this country’s most persistent election challenges: voters have no reliable guide to help them navigate their entire ballot.

Now, America’s most comprehensive nonpartisan voter guide is live with complete down ballot coverage of  Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Arizona, Massachusetts, Virginia, Hawaii,  Colorado, and California.

BallotReady co-founders Aviva Rosman and Alex Niemczewski
“Voters have needed this tool for a long time,” said BallotReady co-founder and CEO, Alex Niemczewski. The outpouring of support we’ve received from voters across the country is such a testament to this need.”
“It’s not that voters don’t want to vote informed on all of these local races,” she said. “It’s just that up until now it’s been too difficult.”

It all began in 2014 when Niemczewski decided to research her entire ballot. When her friend, co-founder and COO, Aviva Rosman, ran for local office and reached out for her vote, the two began talking and came to an alarming realization: very few voters are prepared to fill out the entire ballot.

They launched BallotReady in 2015 with funding from the National Science Foundation, the Knight Foundation, and the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics. With the support of bipartisan advisors Mike Murphy and David Axelrod, BallotReady have since partnered with Patagonia, Governing Magazine, and many other civic organizations to bring nonpartisan down ballot information to 1 million people in 2016.

In a political climate where accuracy seems to have gone by the wayside, BallotReady has developed tech-enabled candidate coverage free of bias and partisanship. Voters can compare candidates based on stances on issues, biography, and endorsements, making it easy to vote informed on every race and referendum.

“We’re working to do something truly unprecedented that has the power to dramatically change how people vote by changing how people think about voting,” Niemczewski said “We think that if more people vote informed we can help make democracy work the way it should.”

Monday, October 31, 2016

EVENTS: Whole Foods Market community outreach & CTA red line extension history

Community outreach for the Whole Foods Market Distribution Center to be built on 111th Street will be held at Gwendolyn Brooks College Prep auditorum located at 250 E. 111th Street and enter parking at 111th & King Drive door 36. As per information noted at the 9th Ward meeting if you have a trade they are hiring at this event. To pre-register call 888.642.5023 or email pullmanpark @

Also a public hearing for the CTA red line extension project's draft environmental impact statement (EIS) to take place at the St. John MB Church at 211 E. 115th Street on Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016 from 5:30 - 7:30 PM.

Please refer to the flyers below

#halloween haunted house

5th district haunted house at 727 E. 111th St. on Oct. 31 from 4 PM to 8PM all children must be accompanied by an adult

Saturday, October 29, 2016

EVENT: Red line extension hearing

A public hearing for the red line extension project's draft environmental impact statement (EIS) to take place at the St. John MB Church at 211 E. 115th Street on Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016 from 5:30 - 7:30 PM. For more information please refer to the flyer below.

Friday, October 28, 2016


5th district haunted house at 727 E. 111th St. on Oct. 31 from 4 PM to 8PM all children must be accompanied by an adult

Community outreach for the Whole Foods Market Distribution to be built on 111th Street held at Gwendolyn Brooks College Prep auditorium located at 250 E. 111th Street and enter parking at 111th & King Drive door 36. As per information noted at the 9th Ward meeting if you have a trade they are hiring at this event. To pre-register call 888.642.5023 or email

This information was provided at the 9th ward meeting on Tuesday.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

What's new with ICE Theaters?

ICE Theaters Lawndale 10 by Costar Group
To be transparent, I edited the post regarding the death of ICE Theaters owner Donzell Starks that had been published earlier this month. The reason why is because there was no need to be stuck in some negativity as I realize there are a few people who might still mention the "hostile takeover" of the Chatham 14 from over four years ago.

Originally when the blog post was published - and before any editing - was the inclusion of a link to a Crain's article from August 2015. It showed that ICE Theaters - or referred to as a Donzell Starks venture - had filed for bankruptcy. Starks' untimely demise was clearly a shock, but finding this article looking for any published reports in the mainstream media of Donzell's death was also a shock.

From 1997 to 2012, the Chatham theaters had been owned and operated by ICE Theaters. Then after a business dispute ICE moved to the ICE Theaters Lawndale 10 as their company headquarters. I called the showtimes phone number sometime in 2014 as I saw that the official company FB page had stopped updating- save for one random post regarding Serena Williams. Learned at that time that the Lawndale facility had been closed in December 2013 open only for private events.

At this point it's a sad end for a company with a significant legacy. As noted in Crain's, ICE Theaters beat a bid by Magic Johnson to open three movie theaters in minority neighborhoods. Also the Starks owned Meridian which operated theaters in and around downtown Chicago which unfortunately didn't survive. Many of them were originally Cineplex-Odeon theaters.

Even during all the controversy over the Chatham after the events of October 2012 it's often noted the legacy of the Starks bringing movie theaters back to under served neighborhoods in our city.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

DNA Info: Pride Cleaners, Chatham 'Architectural Icon,' For Sale

Photo by Lee Bey
This is actually old news, but worth noting. This modernist design gem could be yours for $650K. If you had that much cash what would you like to do with it?

This building @ 558 E. 79th St had been built in 1959 and DNA Info provides some more history:
Pride Cleaners opened in a thriving community with many other black-owned businesses, but it's no longer black-owned. It's now on its fourth owner, who could not be reached for comment.

Sixth Ward Ald. Roderick Sawyer said he appreciated the legacy of the cleaners and admired the building's design.

“It was an architectural gem at the time,” he said. “It always had a distinctive look.”

Bey said that the dry cleaners had a Space Age look, which stood out on a strip that was still reminiscent of the 1920s. It was the “angled concrete hyperbolic paraboloid roof and free-standing marquee-like electric sign” that made Pride distinct from other businesses in the area.

Neighborhood resident Worlee Glover said when Pride Cleaners left black hands, it was just a part of the Chatham business corridor's transformation.

The area was once a “thriving community with businesses that people wanted to use,” Glover said. “Now it’s a bunch of businesses the community doesn't want.”
Lee Bey's forte has often been architecture. He added this considering the Chatham neighborhood:
Fortunately, the building is being marketed as an active, stable business and not a teardown, according to the listing brochure from Matanky Realty, meaning Pride Cleaners could continue to be preserved under new ownership.

But it's a thing that shouldn't be left to chance. Now is a good time for the city to step in and seek protected landmark status for Pride, its sign, and critical portions of the interior. The protections would make sure the building is safe from demolition and would help insure alterations would be in line with Siegwart's vision. It would also draw attention to Chatham's overall wealth of modernist residential and commercial architecture.
Our own Worlee Glover would like to see this as a clothing store or another dry cleaner. Perhaps this can be a welcome center to promote Chatham's architecture and history. Just one idea and consider that the Pride Cleaner's sign is used as inspiration for Chatham's branding
The Chicago Neighborhoods
Chicago Bauhaus

Monday, October 24, 2016


The 9th Ward Community Meeting is to be held tomorrow night at 7:30 6:30 PM at 550 E. 103rd Street at the Pullman Presbyterian Church. If you want more information you can call the 9th Ward Alderman's office at 773.785.1100.

In addition if you live in Roseland Heights their neighborhood meeting is also being held tomorrow night at 5:30 PM at the Temple of Glory located at 311 E. 95th Street.

Finally early voting for the 2016 elections has started. If you reside in the 6th Ward early voting is at Whitney Young Library 7901 S. King Drive. If you reside in the 9th Ward early voting is at Palmer Park Fieldhouse 201 E. 111th Street. Early voting lasts through November 7th, 2016 the day before Election Day.

If you want to know about other early voting places around the city visit

A flyer for Ald. Beale's 9th Ward community meeting is below.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

No strike

 This is really old news and most of our young people are in school this morning after the Columbus Day holiday weekend. The deal was struck yesterday between CPS and CTU to avert a teacher's strike. I'm glad that the children are back in school and we won't have a repeat of 2012.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Donzell Starks RIP

On Monday, we've learned that Donzell Starks - one of the owners of ICE Theaters with his wife Alisa Starks - has passed away. According to a fb status shared on Concerned Citizens of Chatham he died due to pancreatic cancer.

Also in that same status Alisa was referred to as his ex-wife, unsure if that could be verified independently of social media.

One of the main stories we covered during the past four years revolves around the change in ownership of the Chatham 14 Theaters. With a business dispute causing ICE Theaters to be evicted from the Chatham and operations taken over by new ownership. Currently, the Chatham is owned by the Texas based company Studio Movie Grill.

In 1997 ICE Theaters built and opened theaters in Chatham, Englewood, and Lawndale bringing movie theaters back into inner city neighborhoods. He without a doubt leaves behind a significant legacy that hopefully other entrepreneurs in our communities will also do something as groundbreaking.

Condolences to the Starks family.

EDITED 10/4/2016 8:45 PM- Another post via Concerned Citizens of Chatham shows information on memorial services.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Vocalo: Chatham Changes

[AUDIO] The Vocalo's Barber Shop show discusses the current state of Chatham with journalists from City Bureau. Duration of this program is 48 minutes.

Having listened to this clip they talk to the owner of Dat Donut on 83rd & Cottage Grove. Also a question comes up about how we can bring the younger generation - millennials to the Chatham neighborhood for it's revitalization.

Bringing in millennials is something hinted in a post regarding Englewood and how that neighborhood could change in the future with an influx of new residents. Perhaps that's Chatham's future also.

Another important aspect of this discussion is the state of the Black middle class.

Monday, October 3, 2016

63rd & Halsted documented three years apart

Click here to see on ig

In June 2013, I posted a collage of four pictures at 63rd & Halsted. Today I post an updated collage of three pictures which you see above which also has been posted onto our ig page.

Between three years ago to this past Wednesday when we saw the opening of the highly anticipated Whole Food Market Englewood we see a building missing on the southwest corner and new structures on the northwest corner where there is now a shopping center.

The older collage you see below was published here in June 2013 that asks what would you like to see here. Well there's more development to be had here in this general area.

Also posted on ig
I also want to share with you a revisited post also published in Sept. 2013 not long after the initial Whole Foods announcement. In that post was a few ideas on what I would like to see happen there in addition to the retail in Englewood Square. Perhaps more entertainment such as a movie theater or a bowling alley. Also contained within this post is how 63rd and Halsted had once been considered one of Chicago's bright light districts.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Chicago Tonight: Whole Foods Brings Economic Development, Lower Prices to Englewood

Chicago Tonight did a story about the new Whole Foods Market Englewood that opened on Wednesday. Since this development was announced in 2013, there were plans to keep prices down at this store. It appears that they've kept their promise:
“Definitely there are lower prices here and some very reasonable prices. For an example, whole milk is $1.99 a gallon here, and it’s roughly $4 a gallon in our other locations,” said Michael Bashaw, regional president of Whole Foods. “I think you can go all through the store and look at commodity, day-to-day items that you need to feed your family, and you’ll find those good values.

“We are passing on the benefit of being here in Englewood … the rents are cheaper here, and so our operating costs are lower and that allowed us to have lower retails.”
The dreaded "G" word has come up in this excitement and it appears from this quote from Andrea Natay of RAGE that it's not a concern, “Whole Foods coming into the community does not equal gentrification. Whole Foods coming into the community equals great change. A great, positive change, at that.

Also consider the fact that 63rd & Halsted had once been an important commercial hub as stated on Chicago Tonight which went into decline during the 1960s and 1970s. We see a fall and now a rebirth.

Speaking of that, it's funny how before 2013 another member of RAGE - in fact the founder - was on WCIU calling for a Whole Foods in Englewood and then guess what it happens. If only I could find that video and preserve it as it had been posted here but is no longer available online. A self-fulfilling prophecy?

Disclaimer: One of the bloggers at The Sixth Ward is a Whole Foods Market team member.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Red line extension moves forward

Rendering of the 103rd CTA station
I'm somewhat disappointed that the red line extension to Roseland may not open until at least 2026 at the earlier according to what was written by Greg Hinz. Regardless more progress is being made in the future progress to bring the CTA L system further south from 95th street. This project is expected to cost about $2.3 billion.

As CTA continues to move forward we will see a draft environmental impact statement which will be seen on this project's website. In addition as hopefully construction would begin at 2022 at the earliest another step is to purchase those properties within the footprint of the route whether or not the CTA goes with the two options for their preferred routing.

Friday, September 30, 2016

VIDEO: Whole Foods Englewood and Starbucks Grand Opening

[VIDEO] JP Paulus was at the grand opening of the new Whole Foods Market Englewood on Wednesday morning. Hopefully he'll be ready to share his thoughts on this historic and exciting occasion at the intersection of 63rd & Halsted.

There are a few shots shared on ig regarding the grand opening provided by this blogger. Unfortunately I didn't get there in time for the grand opening and arrived just as the rain got heavier.

In the meanwhile, artistmac was there to shoot 33 minutes of video of the grand opening. He did this previously with the opening of Walmart stores in West Chatham and Pullman also. He was also there for the ground breaking at Englewood Square which took place in 2014.

Anyone else visited the store on the first day? How was your experience on the first day? Will the Englewood shop be your store in the future?

DISCLOSURE: One of the bloggers here at The Sixth Ward is a Whole Foods Market team member.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Also opening tomorrow in Englewood

DNAinfo/Kelly Bauer
The Starbuck's will be on the same property as the new Whole Foods Market Englewood at 63rd & Halsted. Two big grand openings at the center of the former Englewood shopping district and we get some huge revivals. Here's hoping this is only the beginning. 

In the meanwhile DNA Info discusses the new Starbuck's:
Starbucks will open its first store in Englewood the same day Whole Foods opens its doors to the community.

The store has joined the grocer in Englewood Square and will open at 5 a.m. Wednesday at 806 W. 63rd St.

The 2,200-square-foot store can seat up to 41 people with a room that will be double as a training center and a community room to hold poetry nights, group meetings and more.
And as with Whole Foods there is exciting especially from the new store manager at Starbuck's KK Williams:
Williams said as an Englewood resident, she is excited to welcome a Starbucks to the neighborhood, which is long overdue for a Starbucks.

“Nothing was here a few years ago,” Williams said. “Englewood is up and coming and it’s great to hear there are more positive things going on because you never hear that. Anything negative, it’s on the TV.”
As noted here on this blog on occasion and in this article regarding Starbuck's and Whole Foods there are some trepidation. Will Whole Foods Market make money in a neighborhood with a negative reputation. Ms. Williams noted the negative responses of people from outside of the community. Here's hoping for more good news as Starbuck's open at 5 AM and Whole Foods Market Englewood open later that morning.

I want to share with you Whole Foods Englewood instagram. Surely they'll have plenty of photos of the grand opening and the first day.

Whole Foods in Engelwood opening tomorrow...

Sorry for this lazy blog post, but here's press release about Whole Foods opening in Englewood tomorrow (Wednesday). All the details are there...


Job Opportunities, Financial Literacy to be Showcased at Englewood Whole Foods Grand Opening

CHICAGO – (September 26, 2016) – The Financial Opportunity Center of Metropolitan Family Services will offer financial tools and job training and opportunities at the grand opening celebration of the Whole Foods in Englewood from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016. The store is located at 932 W. 63rd Street.

The Financial Opportunity Center (FOC), located on the campus of Kennedy King College, will be inviting adults ages 18-25 years old to open a checking account through #Englewood BAND$, a pilot project connecting young people to financial resources in their community.

The FOC also will be recruiting for the Bridge Program, a 16-week paid job training program that provides soft skills training as well as customer service credentials, and places participants at companies such as Walgreens, the local Kusanya Café – and the new Whole Foods and Starbucks.

“We are excited about the opportunities for not just jobs, but entrepreneurship, careers and healthy eating, which are all important to this community,” said Christine Brown, Senior Program Supervisor at Metropolitan Family Services. “Whole Foods and Starbucks are great places to work and offer a lot of great benefits, but individuals from our community may not have seen themselves as able to work at companies like these. We hope to help change that.”

The FOC has placed five clients in jobs at Whole Foods so far, including Lavetta and Lavelle Shaffer, who will attend the grand opening as Financial Opportunity Center (FOC) volunteers. The family, which includes a year-old son, were homeless last year. After job training through Metropolitan both parents are attending school and employed at the Englewood Whole Foods. 

The Financial Opportunity Center of Metropolitan Family Services partners with Greater Englewood Community Development Corporation, Teamwork Englewood, LISC, US Bank, Guaranty Bank, and Marquette Bank to provide #Englewood BAND$, the Bridge Program, and other services for Englewood community members.

About Metropolitan Family Services
Metropolitan Family Services empowers families to learn, to earn, to heal, to thrive. Part mentor, part motivator, part advocate, since 1857 Metropolitan Family Services has been the engine of change that empowers families to reach their greatest potential and positively impact their communities. Metropolitan is Illinois’ first comprehensive human services agency and reaches more than 68,000 families and individuals annually through seven community centers in Chicago, Evanston/Skokie, the southwest suburbs and DuPage County. Metropolitan’s services promote education, economic stability, emotional wellness and empowerment.