Monday, August 31, 2009

Does anyone out there have this problem???

Does anyone know if anyone has been digging thru their trash? What I see is someone tearing holes in my trash bags if I ever have to move any other trash outside. It's a bit irritating to know that someone is basically digging thru my trash. I have one idea as to what's going on, possibly someone looking for food, but you never know.

CAPCC on job, economic and business development

Not sure what to say about this. At least they got away from talking about the "thuggish element" of the younger generation, but some of their goals are lofty especially determining the pay for temporary jobs for young people and the full-time pay for full-time workers. Yeah very lofty even if those can't be offered in the economic and business realities of the world.

BTW, I have no problem with their development plans. They may want to define "South Looping" in terms of what it bring to Chatham. Well they did define it in part by mentioning a rise in real estate values in that neighborhood. Also at least they're trying to consider the senior citizens who may not be able to continue living in a "South Looped" Chatham.

The goal of using federal stimulus money to develop Chatham and using federal housing grants to keep seniors in their homes are pretty lofty. This post isn't the first time they called on President Obama or Senator Burris to help them get some federal funds. In addition they want an ordinance allowing for a "variance" in property tax assessments.

I just have to say why the emphasis on getting federal money for any revitalization. I have no way of knowing if CAPCC is putting there eggs in the Barack Obama basket by asking for federal funds either from Obama himself or going thru Sen. Burris. Not so sure that the federal government might be able to help the Chatham community with "pork".

Besides I always imagine that this effort should include neighborhood businesses. Especially if they plan on revitalizing for instance 79th Street. Perhaps there ought to be a health club at the lot of the late Rhodes Theater and at that they're already picked up a particular health club they like. They also want supper clubs in addition to the boutiques & restaurants you may find in other gentrifying areas (or you can read that as trendy).

I'm sure there are those of you out there who lives in Chatham who may have their own ideas revitalization. Do you agree with the blogger at CAPCC? Or do you have your own ideas? In addition even if you live outside of Chatham what ideas may benefit a community like Chatham?

Perhaps at some point I may offer my own ideas.

Since we're talking about "South Looped"

I found this post over at the Sloop blog discussing gentrification. That's certainly what "South Looped" has become a synonym for here. From there I lift a definition of gentrification from Webster's Dictionary:
the process of renewal and rebuilding accompanying the influx of middle-class or affluent people into deteriorating areas that often displaces poorer residents
The South Loop blog has to come to grips with gentrification. The Sixth Ward blog is certainly in a different situation. Well in talking about issues of gentrification and development.

I suppose the difference between Chatham and the South Loop (or Sloop) is that at least there aren't vacant warehouses, industrial buildings or railyards here. There is already a vibrant community here with decent housing stock in addition to many longtime businesses that are already here.

Of course the debate during this past week may revolve around the perception that the community is going down. I hope not by much, but there certainly are some challenges at this present time. The question is how can we meet these challenges.

Is it done thru "gentrification"? Either way if there is to be a discussion of this issue of revitalization what is certainly needed is to come up with a plan that is best for Chatham.

BTW, I did say I was going to get away from that G-word didn't I?

Business opporunity -- building available, but needs renovation

Saw these signs at 356 E. 79th and  210 E. 79th.

The storefront could be an opportunity. The owner of the building, who doesn't owe a mortgage on the property, is offering use of it if the business in exchange for that business to renovate it, and share the profits.

If anyone is interested, contact Billy White at 773-875-9258...let us know how it works for you...what the business is, when it will be up, etc. See below for old photos of the properties from the Cook County Assesor's office


Sunday, August 30, 2009

Outside of Shedd School on August 17th, 2009

Location: 200 E 99th St, Chicago, IL 60628, USA
The first day of school is on Sept, 8, 2009. That is in about another week. In fact it's hard to believe Labor Day is coming up next Monday. For some reason I though tomorrow was Labor Day.

Is anyone looking forward to their 1st day of school next week? If so express your excitement here.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Taste of Park Manor - Bitter? Sour?

Location: 8300 S King Dr, Chicago, IL 60619, USA
Sorry for the negative title...but I went to Tatse of Park Manor last Saturday.

From the photos you saw...that was pretty much it from 11 am to 12:30 pm

2 Bouncers (one, with a slide, was popular. The other barely had kids in it, including my own. Their fun lasted about 92 seconds each in that one).

The only other thing happening was some food cooking. But nothing for my relatives from Holland to do.

Even though the church would be within walking distance of my home, it didn't inspire me to want to bring my family there.


some suggestions for next year:

- Join with other churches and make it a "Tatse of Park Manor/ Chatham"

- The week before, have a group clean out all the rocks & trash
- Have vendors with samples or things for sale
- Have other activities for adults
- Hae greeters who can talk to visitors

Friday, August 28, 2009

Homeowners facing foreclosure can apply for help

Sun-Times:
Homeowners at risk of foreclosure can apply for help through the Obama administration's loan modification program at a free event in Cicero Saturday presented by groups including Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago, the Illinois Housing Development Authority and the communities of West Cook County.

The event takes place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Cicero Community Center, 2250 S. 49th Ave. To apply, all borrowers on the loan must be present and should bring proof of income, including their two most recent pay stubs, most recent tax return, most recent mortgage statements for both first and second mortgage if applicable, two most recent banks statements, account balances and monthly payments on all other debts, proof of income from any other sources, proof of homeowners insurance and their most recent utility bill.

For more information call 773 329-4131. Spanish speakers are available at 773 329-4182.

Armed trio rob bar, patrons in Greater Grand Crossing

Location: 307 E 75th St, Chicago, IL 60619, USA
Sun-Times:
At 1 a.m. the three robbers entered France’s Lounge, 307 E. 75th St., lined up the customers and took their money and other valuables, according to police.

It was not immediately known how much money was taken from the bar, located in the Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood.

No one was hurt and the attackers, who were were wearing dark clothing, did not fire any weapons, according to police.

WAL-MART DEBATE: a post with CONCERNS about Wal-Mart

This e-mail was sent to us by frequent commenter Worlee Glover, elaborating a position of concrns regarding Wal-Mart (EDIT by Levois - you can also read that letter here!):
As Wal-Mart has renewed its interest in coming to 83rd & Stewart, we as concerned members of the community refuse to allow corporate giants to run roughshod over our people simply because the economic environment in which we exist is anemic. We want jobs for our people who direly, and sorely need them in these times of financial famine. However, we also want jobs with dignity. With this in mind, until these six questions are answered, we will reserve judgment on our support of this project or lack thereof:

1. How much will they pay employees per hour? Is this wage a livable wage?
• Workers should be able to earn a wage that affords them the ability to live, and not require further government or state assistance to supplement their salary!


2. Will employees be offered affordable and immediately accessible health-care
benefits?
• Currently, research shows that full time employees are not afforded access to health care until they have been employed for six months, and part-time workers are not afforded access to health care until they have been employed for one year.


3. What will be the ratio and number of full-time workers as opposed to part-time workers?
• Studies have linked the high turnover rate for Wal-Mart employees, and keeping workers at part-time hours, while working them full-time, to the desire of the company not to pay employee benefits!


4. Will they give workers the right to organize, if they want?
• We are not for or against any one union. We are for the right of workers to decide freely and fairly whether or not they want to unionize.


5. What is Wal-Mart’s commitment to supporting Black Farmers produce in order
to ensure that fresh fruits and vegetables are available for our community?
• 600,000 people in Chicago live in a food desert. 478,000 of them are Black people. Of all the groups in Chicago, Black people travel the furthest to get fresh fruits and vegetables. Black Farmers have been ignored by the government for contracts from major chains.


6. What is Wal-Mart’s stand on public education?
• The Walton Foundation, in concert with the Bradley Foundation of Milwaukee, has been noted to give $1 billion per year into “Education Reform” with the end goal to kill public education. It is ironic then that this Wal-Mart will be directly across the street from a public school—Simeon Career Vocational Academy.

The answers to these questions, and commitments in writing emanating therefrom will determine our support of this project!

Sincerely,
  • The African American Lutheran Association (AALA)
  • Southside Organization for Unity & Liberation (SOUL)
  • Rev. Dr. L. Bernard Jakes, West Point Baptist Church
  • Rev. Michael Pfleger, Faith Community of St. Sabina
  • Rev. Otis B. Moss III, Trinity United Church of Christ
  • Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr., Trinity United Church of Christ
  • Kevin Tyson, Church in Society, Trinity United Church of Christ
  • Rev. Oscar Varnadoe, Ministers for Racial, Social and Economic Justice (MRSEJ)
  • Rev. Reginald W. Williams, Jr., First Baptist Church of University Park
  • Rev. Booker Vance, St. Stephens Evangelical Lutheran Church
  • Rev. Stacey L. Edwards-Dunn, Trinity United Church of Christ

WAL-MART DEBATE: a post FOR Wal-Mart

This was sent to our e-mail address by Lenore Blanchard, who responded to an e-mail sent out by the Greater Chatham Alliance, alerting its members to our posts on Wal-Mart.
I have done a lot of research on Walmart.

No I don't agree with their low wages for full time employees, I also know that in rural area's they completely monopolize mom and pop businesses and they end up going out of business.

But on the other hand, they provide jobs for the community, increase tax revenue for the area and give added options as to where we can get the best deals on any given week.

I have a family, my paycheck is not going as far as it use to, I will not be getting a raise this year, I will also be taking furlough days (without pay) our employee health insurance rates will increase again this year.

Bottom line, I'm glad I have a place like Walmart to shop at and save money. I would prefer spending my money in my own community, which happens to be Chatham, and right now I either go to Evergreen park or River Oaks like so many others on the south side, and that's not right.

This is only my opinion, hope it helps.

Chatham "South Looped" or "Hyde Parked"

Location: Chatham, Chicago, IL, USA
"Hyde Parked" is based upon a comment made by Captain Video over at the YoChicago blog in the post "Changes in Chatham". And another edition of the discussion I started back in early June.

BTW, indirectly this discussion was actually started with "Should the 6th be 'South Looped'?" In that post I offered a couple of links about the South Loop neighborhood, especially Sloopin: The South Loop blog. Here I will offer the link to Hyde Park Progress.

I suppose I have never totally explained what being South Looped mean let alone Hyde Parked. Well I'm not sure how to define it concisely, however, I think the general idea has been conveyed. Perhaps the idea of upgrades, gentrification, rising property values, bustling activity, or even needed amenities.

To be sure I see some distinct differences between the South Loop (or Sloop) and Hyde Park. South Loop is largely emerging as a neighborhood and the very close proximity to downtown certainly helps that area. Hyde Park is largely established and very integrated and it helps that the neighborhood is anchored by a major private university. Another thing about Hyde Park is there was some urban renewal. Today's Hyde Park didn't always exist the way it does now.

That leads me to another comment made by Captain Video, "A stable multiracial neighborhood." I don't believe Chatham is there yet. That's not to say that there aren't people of different backgrounds residing in that neighborhood especially if the only word we get on this is from the CAPCC blog. However, one can only speculate whether or not integration is the trend and whether or not it is a positive.

So the question to be asked here is whether or not Chatham could use some serious "urban renewal" that had occurred in 1950s Hyde Park. That urban renewal meant tearing down commercial and residential properties. This is something that I hope may never come to pass.

In the South Loop, essentially there wasn't anything to move out, although now the South Loop neighborhood is reaching the next phase of its evolution. That being the demolition of public housing along State Street between Cermak and the Stevenson Expy. At least in the South Loop there was land and buildings to redevelop.

In which case what would need redevelopment in Chatham. The commercial areas in the neighborhood, the housing stock, or even the small number of vacant lots that exist in this neighborhood. Certainly this may be something that will need some study.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Cook sales tax repeal expected to fail again

Clout St:
The effort to overturn the controversial sales-tax increase backed by Cook County Board President Todd Stroger is expected to fail once again next week because of a vacancy on the board.

Stroger vetoed the board's rollback of the 1 percentage-point sales tax boost, and an override requires the votes of 14 of the board’s 17 commissioners. But former Commissioner Roberto Maldonado (D-Chicago), who backed the tax repeal, recently gave up his post to be sworn in as a city alderman, and Democratic ward committeemen don’t plan to replace him by next Tuesday’s meeting.

Under board rules, a veto override must occur at the first meeting after the veto is issued. So failure to do it Tuesday would mean the veto sticks.

6th Ward Junior Dems on the passing of Ted Kennedy

Homage paid by the only Junior Democratic Organization in our great state. The Massachusettes Senator and member of the famed Kennedy clan passed away at age 77 on Wednesday morning.

Concerned Citizens of Chatham on CAPCC blog's "Just like Detroit"

A comment on that recent post:
As a former officer of CAPCC I'm appalled and angry at the bloggers comments. Yes we have problems but getting negative and stereotyping is not going to solve the problem. Roland Burris nor State Supreme court justice William Cousinss who are also former officers of CAPCC would acknowledge their past affiliation with this organization based on the comments of the blogger.

Yes 79th street is a problem but pointing fingers where they need to be pointed. Where are the new lights that were promised? What happened to the state grant money for a conservation program?

Giving the "riff raff" a stake in our community can go a long way. That's why we gave links on CCC Facebook page to several programs that give our young people a sense of ownership in their community.

No one is reading your blog now and at the rate you are going its going to get worse.
I get the sense of the negativity from them as well. It's very unfortunate somewhat understandable given the crime issues that we have been seeing in Chatham as of late. The tone however needs to change because it may not be very helpful to the discussion of what's going on in Chatham.

I've posted links to some of CAPCC's posts since I found them a few months ago. Do any of you have any comments on what they have said?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

TRAFFIC ALERT for SATURDAY: 76th to 79th, State to Cottage


Just saw this poster.
Gathering for this parade starts at 8am, and begins at 10am. I would imagine it would go until 12 noon or so.
It starts at 76th & Cottage Grove, and continues to79th & Cottage Grove, then from 79th to State Street, up State to 76th, and back to 76th & Cottage Grove. I haven't seen any CTA updates, so it might be a walking parade.
In any case, please make appropriate preparations (i..e probably aviding those areas by car during those times, but stpping by the area & take photos).

Renaissance Row

Now they're on MySpace and a long way from their minimalist website @ http://renaissancerow.com/. In face that website directs you the Renaissance Row page on Myspace. I wrote about the discussion on Ald. Lyle's cable access program The 6th Ward Scene.

BTW, while we're talking about 75th Street how about this article from the Bean Soup Times on the sewer work on that street.

CAPCC blog on "South Looping" Chatham and turning into Detroit

Today we'll start with the text of yesterday's CAPCC blog question:
Would "South-Looping" Chatham be good for the future for long-time residents and newcomers, and would it rid Chatham of all of the vacant storefronts up and down 75Th and 79Th Streets between State Street and Cottage Grove Avenue and the many boarded-up vacant foreclosed houses and apartment buildings that dot the neighborhood, while erasing all of the damage low-income "riff-raft" of the younger generation have done to public and private property in Chatham?
So that is one place where "South Looping" can start. Should these vacant storefronts be replaced by newer buildings? Or can we find businesses that can take up residence in the existing buildings?

One idea if these vacant storefronts should be replaced perhaps there could be some mixed use buildings where not only could these buildings be used for commercial purposes but also for residential purposes as well. Think about it condos along 75th and 79th Streets. In addition to the commercial areas on Cottage Grove. I'm not sure if that could be considered "South Looping" however. I'll let you make the call.

The next post entitled "Just Like Detroit!" Well let's start with this...
As well, will we have a glimpse of the future for Chathamites in the pre-Olympic era with a gentrification wave from whites and a crime wave from blacks designed and intended to force long-time residents to sell their homes and move, in what could be called "residential bullying?"
In the YoChicago post, "Changes in Chatham", by Joe Askins he makes a good point...
The possibility that they want to live there is never raised.
Another point from Joe Zekas, also of YoChicago from that same post...
Chatham is one of the jewels of Chicago's south side. Talk about "gentrifying" Chatham is almost laughable, since it's home to many of Chicago's African-American gentry.
And this is perhaps why the CAPCC blog is officially saying Chatham is just like Detroit:
We, at the Chatham Avalon Park Community Council, note that 79Th Street from State Street to Cottage Grove Avenue, seems to have a young thuggery element walking up and down the sidewalks and driving up and down as well, some to intimidate and harass long-time residents. There are loud police and fire sirens heard every hour on the hour every day.
In early May 2009 I blogged about a comment made at the CAPCC blog about Chatham turning into Detroit.

I feel like comparing Chatham to Detroit is a bit of an exaggeration. Although crime is already a concern, but I can't say that crime is at anything resembling Detroit proportions. Whatever that might be considered?

As for Chatham "gentrifying" well that remains to be seen. It remains to be seen what this will entail. It remains to be seen that whites are driving this. That is to say that they're grabbing the properties that was formerly owned by blacks or that there is a concerted effort to turn the neighborhood white (assuming that this is what the CAPCC is concerned about).

Honestly I want to get away from the G-word (gentrification) in talking about Chatham. Especially if the neighborhood residents seek a revitalization that will bring new activity into Chatham. At the same time Chatham should be open to residents of different backgrounds who choose to move in.

As for Chatham "South Looped", I'm working on a new post. There is a new element to be added "Hyde Parked". Also for getting away from the G-Word I propose a new word for Chatham's revitalization, RENAISSANCE. Perhaps in the future there will be posts on that as well.

The Tribune story about the hole dug by city workers on 83rd Street

Featuring a Chatham resident, Worlee Glover, creator of the Facebook group Concerned Citizens of Chatham. Well that very story made this morning's Capitol Fax morning shorts.

Usually the Capitol Fax blog would post a series of news stories from around the state. Generally there is no main theme here just random stories from different areas around the state. Perhaps stories about schools, transportation, agriculture, economic development, or even just small-time political stories.

Also Capitol Fax (sometimes referred to as CapFax) is a major statewide political blog. The main beat is the state government especially the workings at the state capitol in Springfield, Illinois. The main blogger Rich Miller pens a paid subscription newsletter in addition to columns that you can read in the Sun-Times or the Southtown.

BTW, I posted Worlee's Tribune story yesterday.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Youth Basketball at Old Dominick's site

In the Paint Basketball and Greater Auburn Gresham Development Corporation are sponsoring events at the site of the old Dominick's at 79th & LaSalle. One is THIS Saturday!

From the In The Paint website:
"In the Paint and Greater Auburn Gresham Development Corp presents:

"TRUE HOOPIN"

What: Free basketball clinic, tryouts and games. Ages 8-19,

When: August 29, and September 5, 2009.

Where: 79th and the Dan Ryan at the old Dominick's parking lot.

Time: 12-4pm
Nice to see that the site is being used for something! It'd be nice if perhaps a church could take over the site on a permanent basis, if they can't get another grocery store (like Pete's Produce, or a black-owned grocery), or other store.

Please take photos, or submit photos of previous events that happened there this past month.

Greater Auburn Gresham Development Corp., a co-sponsor, has details on their event website.

The flyer is here .

Sponsors include:
  • 17th Ward – Alderman Latasha Thomas
  • 21st Ward – Alderman Howard Brookins Jr.
  • Mt. Herman M.B. Church
  • Southside Tabernacle Church
  • Greater Omega M.B. Church
  • Pleasant Green M.B. Church
  • West Chatham Park Advisory Council
  • West Chatham Improvement Association
  • Crown Commercial Real Estate and Development Inc.
  • Thompson Community Relations Group

Teen panel offers ideas on 'reinventing' high schools

Sun-Times:
A teen advisory committee spent the summer surveying hundreds of their peers citywide. Now, it has passed along its findings to schools chief Ron Huberman in a report, "How to Reinvent Chicago Public High Schools."

Among the 30 recommendations: Make class sizes smaller, have teachers offer weekly office hours for students, and provide mediation alternatives rather than just suspending students.

The students also had loftier suggestions -- such as adding to current graduation requirements two years of extracurricular activities and college-level courses, and application to at least five post-secondary schools.

"What was interesting was that students said their high school courses were not challenging," said Alex Marquez, 16, a junior at John Hancock High School and one of the authors of the report. "I would have thought they'd say it was too hard. Students want to be challenged."

They also want to be engaged.

"Some 80 percent stated that they did not have interesting classes," said co-author Janelle Perez, 17, a junior at Jones College Prep. "They said current offerings were irrelevant to their lives and that there aren't enough vocational courses. I think teachers and administration assume they're offering interesting classes and students are engaged. Not true."

The 15-student committee worked with the Mikva Challenge, an organization that aims to "help low-income Chicago youth become meaningful actors in politics."

The students surveyed 400 teens on everything from discipline and teacher quality to school culture and curriculum.
If only such a study was conducted in my time although what I have to say about high schools now would prolly be different that what I would have said when I was still in high school. Some lofty ideas are used here in and hopefully most of them will be utilized.

City digs itself into hole with resident weeks after water repair work

A Chatham resident, Worlee Glover, takes his problem involving a hole created by city workers to the Tribune. He's also behind the Facebook page, Concerned Citizens of Chatham and he not only posted those pictures there, but also forwarded those pictures to this blog a few weeks ago.
When city workers dug up the parkway in front of his South Side house in early July, Worlee Glover figured they'd come back to fill in the hole days later.

But as days turned into weeks, Glover became anxious. The workers had covered the hole in the 400 block of East 83rd Street with two-by-fours and boards, then placed blinking barriers on top.

Every morning Glover looked at the construction site, and every morning he became more upset. Not only was it unsightly -- weeds had started popping through the mounds of dirt, and garbage had started to collect around it -- but he was convinced it had become a safety issue.

An elementary school sits one block to the east, so kids will soon pass by the spot daily. Any of them could simply push the boards aside and fall in, Glover said.

"They're playing and not paying attention and pushing and shoving," he said. "That's my main concern."

Glover said he called 311 but nothing changed. So he took his concerns to the Internet, posting photos of the construction site on Facebook's Concerned Citizens of Chatham Web site.
Go read the whole thing. Ald. Lyle is quoted, she attributes the lack of attention to this hole with the financial problems the city is facing at this current time.

Monday, August 24, 2009

EVENT: Harlan Community Academy Orientation

It's that time of year again, for the start of the school year at Harlan. Check out the Falcon City blog for events regarding orientation. Not only for Freshman, upper classmen, and the academic center but also for the magnet engineering program as well as the academic center. Is there anyone out there ready for the school year at Harlan? Give me a shout in the comments.

YoChicago: Changes in Chatham?

Our friends at YoChicago have picked up several of our recent posts and the posts over at the CAPCC blog about the changes in Chatham. Especially of focus is the post on young whites moving into Chatham and the questions and conclusions drawn from that. You can go there and continue the discussion if you'd like.

YoChicago is a top Chicago area real-estate blog. In the sidebar I have a feed for neighborhood real estate stories from YoChicago picking up different pieces from either blogs or the mainstream media. Have a look!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

CTA Red Line Extension

The following pictures in this post were taken from the slideshow presentations of Red Line extension alternatives. Particularly the presentations you would have seen at either Woodson Library or Olive Harvey College on June 3 & 4, 2009.
This route is the locally preferred alternative. It would roughly leave 95th Street and would be elevated along the Union Pacific Railroad with stops at 103rd, 111th, 115th, and 130th streets. There is no indication of where exactly the terminal would be although other stories about the CTA's approval of a Red Line extension would have the terminal near the South Shore rail line.
This pic is a conception of the 103rd Street Red Line station. One aspect of the proposed L extension is to eliminate the long bus rides to the 95th Terminal. If the Roseland L gets built I can only imagine that we may see another reorganization of bus routes along the extension.

For example, if students at Julian & Corliss High Schools in addition to Olive Harvey College may have to get off at 103rd Street to get to their respective campuses. That could mean that the 103 bus may no longer be routed to 95th and it'll just be an east-west bus between the current 103 bus terminus at 104th & Pulaski and the current terminus of the 106 bus at 103rd & Stony Island (well it's that bus barn on East 103rd).

I can only imagine that the 106 will be eliminated especially if the 103 will no longer be routed to 95th Street. If a bus rider had to go north on Michigan they would have to change buses instead of being able to stay on the bus to ride North on Michigan Avenue. Either way this routing should eliminate any concern there might be regarding our young people from area schools or any other traffic that comes into 95th on any given weekday.

Also since there are stations along the way I could see other routes being changed such as the Pace 353 bus. If the route of the 353 bus could terminate at the 115th Street stop instead of going to 95th. When that happens King Drive south of 95th could lose their bus service.

Well I know I can't figure out all the possible changes and before anything should happen the extension has to be built first.

# 75 BUS RE-ROUTE

This may be very late news for most, but if you plan on taking the 75th bus (or even driving yourself) on 75th, from Indiana to King Drive, please note that there is construction goign on, and a re-route to 76th street.

Businesses (and customers): how is this shut down of the street affecting you???

Here's the CTA info about the re-route
Alert Detail

#75 74th/75th Temporary Reroute

Route(s):

#75 74th-75th

Length:

Monday, July 27, 2009 - 9:00 AM

to Friday, September 04, 2009 - 4:00 PM

Impact Level:

Planned Reroute

Full Description:

How does this affect my trip?

Eastbound buses will operate via 75th, Indiana, 76th, and King Drive, then resume their normal route on 75th.

Westbound buses will operate via 75th, King Drive, 76th, and Michigan, then resume their normal route on 75th.

Allow extra travel time.

Why is service being changed?

Buses are rerouted due to sewer construction on 75th Street between King Drive and Indiana.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Input on proposals at 7801 S. Cottage Grove

Location: 7801 S Cottage Grove Ave, Chicago, IL 60619, USA
Two posts to inform on the particular proposals for this building.
Personally I'm in favor of the proposal by Brenda Sheriff/Save our Sisters. My preference would be to save the building if it is viable. I think I can understand for example the Leak's need for parking space. Hopefully that issue will be resolved as their plan revolves around tearing down this building and having more parking spaces for their operations. Although I have no problem with their plan for a dining room across the street from the Leak & Sons Funeral Home. Hopefully if Sheriff's proposal is preferred there can be some space for a dining room.

If you have your own opinion on these proposals drop a comment here. Also feel free to contact the alderman yourself with the information you find on this letter. Or print the following document off and send it in. That's why I scanned what I have at home and posted it here.

Bible, minister's robe and CD player taken in church burglary

WBBM-AM:
Four boys, 13, 15 and two of whom who are 14, who are not being identified because of their ages, were each charged with one felony count of burglary to a house of worship, according to police.

The four were arrested Thursday evening after allegedly breaking into the First Cumberland Presbyterian Church, 7941 S. King Dr., according police. The burglary occurred sometime earlier this week.

The victim told police he caught an 11-year-old girl for trespassing to the church and he made out a report for a burglary, indicating that one of the bathroom windows to the church broken into and a Bible, a white minister’s robe and one white CD player were taken, according to police.

The girl allegedly told police she was present during the burglary and knew the four boys who were responsible and she told police where they live, according to police. The girl was not charged.

Police said officers were able to recover the robe in a garbage can after a grandfather of one of the boys told police where it was. Another boy allegedly told police the CD player was in his bedroom and officers found it there. The Bible was never found, police said.
What is wrong?

Chatham: South Looped??? 2: Gentrification prevention in Chatham

I have tangent based on the conversation starting in this past Thursday's blog entry on more whites in Chatham. (Some like Levois consider this a continuation of the discussion started by the blog entry Chatham: South Looped???

One of the theories that the Chatham Avalon Park Community Council blogger had about the seeming growing number of whites in Chatham, and why they came.

Certainly, the issue of gentrification is something to be concerned about. Residents and even businesses in Uptown (such as the Uptown Snack Shop) have been lost due to gentrification. And the economic results, after the unsustainable frenzy ceases, have been felt through the mortgage/economic crisis.

A few suggestions about how we can improve the community without gentrification (which doesn't actuallly help the current community)

1. Make sure current residents take steps to keep their homes. For example, Commonwealth Community Church (140 West 81st Street) has hosted NACA seminars , which give some homeowners (especially those who want to stay in their home for 2 or more decades). Those at risk of foreclosure should be encouraged strongly to do what they can to work with their mortgage companies

2. Encourage the children of our longtime residents to stay in the community. If they still want to move out, survey them to see what they like about Chatham, and what they think is missing (and are seeking elsewhere). (And yes, it might mean Wal-Mart as one of those factors)

3. Marketing to friends from work and elsewhere. Let them know why this community is a great place to live...the schools, the restaurants, etc. I've talked with several people already, including one local business owner, who wants her son to move up here from Carbondale.

With those priorities, we should be able to minimize the number of homes going to speculation, but rather going to new people who can add new blood , and contribute to mix of the neighborhood.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Taste of Park Manor THIS Saturday, Aug. 22

Sorry for this last minute notice...but Taste of Park Manor is TOMORROW (Saturday), August 22, from 11am - 6pm.

It's at the location owned by Park Manor Christian Church, on King Drive between 83rd & 84th.

I don't have nay other information other than what was on the sign on King Drive. A search on Google and Yahoo revealed nothing.

Personally, I find it a bit funny that Taste of Park Manor is actually being held in the middle of Chatham, but again, it's on land owned by Park Manor Christian Church. (Will Taste of Chatham be held near New Life Covenant Oakwood? ;)

Please take photos and let us know if you visit it! I will try to be there with relatives from Holland (so look for th ewhite people ;)

p.s. this is somewhat of a follow-up to a recent blog post on this location.

People moving out of Chatham?

The Chatham/Avalon Park Community Council blog has an entry entitled "Moving Out".

I really don't agree with the tone or attitude that seems to come out of it (the same kind of economic arrogance that keeps Uptown newcomer condo owners, or at least their spokespeople, from helping longtime residents want to help themselves and the community).

But judge for yourself, and post your own comments.

Here's the text:
We, at the Chatham Avalon Park Community Council, have noticed that long-time middle-class residents of Chatham are now moving out, in light of the changing neighborhood, intimidation from young black males playing basketball in the alleys with no respect for residents who need to park their cars in their garages, the ever-rising crime wave, the degentrification of Chatham, or perhaps ghettoizing of Chatham with the influx on ex-CHA residents into Section 8 housing units, in both houses and apartment buildings (there are approximately more than 1400 Section 8 families now living in Chatham after having been relocated from the projects), and the drop in the quality of life in the area. Chatham during the 1950's, 60's, 70's and 80's and even into the late 90's had a standard of living comparable to any middle-class suburb in the white community, even more so than Pill Hill.

RTA gets $33M in mass-transit stimulus boost

AP:
There's more federal stimulus money in the pipeline for mass-transit projects in Illinois, including $33 million for the Regional Transit Authority in Chicago.
...
One of the largest chunks of the money goes to Regional Transit Authority in Chicago. It gets $33 million to buy up to 58 fixed-route buses and up to 190 paratransit vehicles.
If only this was for the recently approved Red Line extension.

I Ain't Asking You Again

This picture was taken by Thomas Hawk near 95th & Prairie in the Roseland Heights neighborhood. The building I believe is a storage or hq for a moving company.

Blackout 2

Continuing the thought from last night,

87th Street, from ~ Prairie to Michigan, had their street lights off as well. Any reason for it?

Can anyone let us know how long the outage lasted?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Blackout

There was a power outage in the Roseland Height's neighborhoods between 10:30 & 11:30 PM Thursday night. This was the scene on South Michigan Avenue looking at Harlan High School.

Who else had power outages? This is probably the third one in two or so weeks. In fact there was an outage on Monday afternoon between 4 PM to about 5:30 PM.

Quinn picks ex-Washington aide for CTA board

Clout St:
Gov. Pat Quinn today introduced a think tank executive who's also a former top aide to the late Mayor Harold Washington as his pick to sit on the Chicago Transit Authority board.

Jacky Grimshaw, 66, of Hyde Park, is the vice president of policy at the Center for Neighborhood Technology. She said she wants to focus on getting rail service for the Far South Side.

"It's been on the books for 20 years," Grimshaw said at a news conference inside the Clark and Lake CTA station as people shuffled to and from trains. "I think it’s time that we take the capital funds that we have and start looking at how we can invest those and create the rail option for people on the Far South Side."
Visit her organization @ http://www.cnt.org/

UPDATE 5:11 More from the Sun-Times:
Gov. Quinn today appointed Jacquelyne "Jacky" Grimshaw — vice president of policy for the Center for Neighborhood Technology — to the CTA board.

Grimshaw replaces Sheila Nix, who resigned. Nix is the former deputy governor under indicted former Gov. Rod Blagojevich who put together the seniors-ride-free program.

Grimshaw previously worked for the city of Chicago under then-Mayor Harold Washington as director of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs and later as deputy city treasurer.

7900 block of Calumet

Location: 7900 S Calumet Ave, Chicago, IL 60619, USA
What is the significance of this gold bow tied around this tree? I could have taken other pics of other trees with such bow, but there were a few on this particular morning.

Influx of young whites into Chatham?

CAPCC is looking for some comments:
We, at the Chatham Avalon Park Community Council, have notice an influx of young whites into the Chatham enclave over the past three years. Do you think the current white influx into Chatham are nothing more than real estate flippers look for a quick cash turnover, foreseeing Chicago winning the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, and the real estate bonanza it would foster? Or is it just another opportunity for them to take advantage of a city housing department program funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development that was scandalized by the flipping done in University Village (near the University of Illinois' Circle Campus) by white suburbanites who knew about a little-known program for middle-income people to buy into a condominium as a first-time buyer.
You can start a discussion here as well if you'd like. Is there anyone out there who can verify this?

CAPCC mentioned an influx of Mexican American residents to Chatham in another post.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Man gets life in prison for killing Sun-Times employee, family

Sun-Times:
A 25-year-old South Side man was sentenced to life in prison this afternoon for murdering a former Sun-Times employee and three of his family members.

Cook County Judge Michael Brown admonished Jason F. Johnson for refusing to acknowledge his role in the January 2003 execution-style murders and told him he “failed as friend” since he was the victims’ neighbor and did nothing to stop his alleged partner Immanuel Phillips.

“I haven’t heard anything about your responsibility in this matter,” Brown told Johnson after the convicted killer refused to make a statement.

Killed in what prosecutors described as a mass “slaughter” were 48-year-old Prescott Perry, along with Perry’s 18-year-old daughter, Sarah, her boyfriend, 21-year-old Ronald Ryals, and the young couple’s 2-year-old son, Ronald Jr.

Johnson, of the 50 block of West 71st Street, and Phillips engaged in the bloody rampage as they followed through on their plans to steal an Uzi semiautomatic weapon from Perry’s Chatham bungalow, according to assistant state’s attorney Laura Morask.

Phillips, 18, fired the first bullets, injuring Perry when the two barged into the home after knocking on the door, in the 8000 block of South Michigan, prosecutors said.

The two men then proceeded to fatally shoot the other three victims as they slept upstairs before Phillips dragged Perry up the stairs and shot him twice in the head, prosecutors said.

Phillips killed himself a month after the discovery of the bodies.
This story grabbed the headlines over 6 years ago!

PREVIOUSLY: South Side man guilty of executing family in '03

Hermene Hartman on the Chatham Wal-Mart

This column on N'Digo's cover page by Hermene Hartman comes out in support of a Wal-Mart at the Chatham Market on 83rd Street. It was published in the "magapaper" on the week of July 23rd. It was either the week of or the week before we hear that the Wal-Mart ordinance was sent from the City Council rules committee to the finance committee chaired by Ald. Ed Burke.
N'Digo Publisher's Page week of July 23, 2009

Soul Vegetarian East

Location: 205 E 75th St, Chicago, IL 60619, USA
Chicago Foodies:
Chicago is popularly known as a hot dogs and pizza kind of town, and there's certainly nothing wrong with that. But there comes a time in every closet-hippie's life where one feels the itch to listen to Enya, free Tibet, and stuff one's face with a tempeh reuben sandwich. In other words, it was time to take a trip to a vegetarian restaurant.

I'd tried a few places around town, and unfortunately hadn't been particularly taken with any of them. Then there was the legendary Soul Vegetarian. The rumors started innocently enough. Soul Vegetarian, the whispers murmured, you won't regret it. But it's on 75th, I said, that's such a long trek! Do it, the whispers insisted, or else you will drown in a pool of tahini-ginger-flavored regret. And so I found myself and a few adventurous compadres biking down to 75th St on a warm summer evening.

Soul Vegetarian certainly occupies a niche in the Chicago restaurant ecosystem, as I cannot readily think of another restaurant serving vegetarian soul food. For added cult appeal, the restaurant is run by Black Hebrew Israelites, whose influence is seen in menu names like Hebrew toast and Jerusalem steak. You can order a number of traditional soul dishes, sandwiches, and other classic entrees like lasagna. All items are vegan, other than the use of honey in a few dishes, and our server was also very accommodating when we mentioned that one person had a nut allergy.

Though the dining room is fairly small, we were able to snag a table without a wait on this weekend evening. The room was decorated with framed prints of jazz greats such as Miles Davis and John Coltrane. The rest of the furnishings seemed to be a motley collection of assorted chairs and tables. All in all, an unpolished but cozy atmosphere.
Our neighborhood establishments are getting attention. That much is for certain.

I took this pic on Friday

A plane with a sign for Geico was flying around the south side Friday morning and was seen yesterday as well.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Block party on Saturday, August 29

From a Chatham Avalon Park Community Council blog entry:

Saturday August 29 is the block party date for the 7600 S. Calumet area.


(No further details listed)

WHat's with the Heliocopters?

My family noticed yesterday, and especially today that heliocopters have been flying overhead, especially at night (tonight it was between 10pm & 11pm). They seemed to circle approximately between State & Cottage Grove, 77th (??) to 81st.

What's going on?

A crime scene they're investigating?

A manhunt?

Anyone have any better/more accurate details and/or ideas?

Seaway is coming to Bronzevile

Location: 3501 S King Dr, Chicago, IL 60653, USA
So, just down the street from Seaway Bank on 87th Street is a branch Illinois Service Federal (ISF), another black-owned bank which has their headquarters in Bronzeville. Just so happens that all you have to do is go due North on King Drive and before you know it, you're there at ISF HQ. Now Seaway will have a branch in Bronzeville just up the street on King Drive (at 35th Street) from ISF.

It will be located in the historic, landmark building called, The Supreme Life Building. Until recently, it was home to a branch of Washington Mutual (WaMu) which during the whole crisis in the financial industry was bought out by Chase Bank. Chase already has a branch on the west side of 35th/King Drive. That of course paved the way for Seaway to take a spot in the Supreme Liberty Life building.

You see even in this economy some businesses are expanding. :)

BTW, this flyer below was on display at the Seaway Bank table during this past weekend's Art Fair.

REMINDER: Greater Chatham Alliance Meeting THIS Saturday

This Saturday (August 22)
11am
St. James Lutheran Church
8000 S. Michigan

Call 773-994-5308 for more info

Topics include:

Should GCA be a 51C not-for-profit?

Should GCA host a Wal-Mart Town Hall discussion?

Special guest: Suzanne Stanley of the US Census Bureau on how the community can help ensure all of its residents are accounted for (which helps for funding, political representation, etc.)

I've got an idea

Uptown Update (recently they've gotten media attention for a video posted there of a "riot" in their part of town last week) has a page that allows readers to download and print off flyers that advertise the blog. I think this blog needs to do the same and I like to think I'm creative but I feel I need help in getting some ideas for flyers off the ground.

If I was to do that in the future I would like to offer rough sketches of my ideas for Sixth Ward flyers. For instance what I'd like to do is create a neighborhood watch sign that also advertises the blog with blog name and URL address. Of course that's not the only way to advertise the blog, however, I feel that it could have some use other than just as a display sign. I hoped that people could come here and report what's going on in their neck of the woods.

That's where you the reader comes in. Some of you may be better graphic designers than I am. Some of you may have better ideas for a sign than I do. Besides a neighborhood watch sign isn't the only idea worth playing around with.

If you do have any ideas, you are more than free to drop an e-mail or leave a comment in this post. If you know your way around any computer graphics program or if you are an artist then get in touch. Your input and skills are certainly needed although I can't say I can pay you at the moment.

Either way this is a worthwhile project. Hopefully such signs/flyers will be available online likely through Scribd and thus available for download and printing. These signs/flyers can be printed either at home or office or anywhere there are printing services available.

Until that time, however, let's see what we can come up with.

CPS budget leaves residents with more questions than answers

CPS budget leaves residents with more questions than answers | The City Desk | Chicago News, Events and Culture | Chi-Town Daily News |

More on the CPS' bid to raise property taxes.

Shared via AddThis

8300 block of King Drive

Location: 8300 S King Dr, Chicago, IL 60619, USA
NOTE: This property is actually owned by the Park Manor Christian Church and JP Paulus reports that at a community meeting in January they had presented their plans for the property.

Worlee's comment in the post about Karriem Beyah who owns Farmer's Best Market on 47th Street in the Back of the Yard neighborhood gives me the reason to post these pictures of that lot and my thoughts. Of course since in the article I blogged about his store is currently struggling it might be difficult for him to consider building a store on this currently vacant lot on the 8300 block of King Drive.

There was once a building here. In my lifetime, it was both a state police building and a church. Before my time, however, it was once a Jewel's. The building itself was said to have burned down a few years ago. Apparently the church either couldn't or aren't able to return and rebuild. This could be an opportunity for any potential commercial builder. Especially if this was to only bring another grocery store to our area. Whether black-owned or another chain, although surely black-owned would be preferred.

There is a cross here on some grassy pasture. I can't imagine that this grass was always here. The building that was once here had to have started at the parking lot.

Most likely this was the interior of the building. A lot of concrete waiting for something to be built on top of it!

Had to get a better shot of the concrete or perhaps more accurately hints of the foundation of this old building.

Well whatever happened to this building they couldn't get the tiles off the concrete.

These last two pics are of the parking lot. On the north end you see in the distance closer to 83rd Street is a laundromat currently. If anyone was able to make a move to this part of Chatham parking will not likely be an issue. Hopefully developing this lot will be considered something worthwhile.

What say you?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Fit Fest an oasis in a 'food desert'

Location: 752 E 114th St, Chicago, IL 60628, USA
Tribune:
The line of people waiting for a free box of fresh food in Chicago's Pullman neighborhood stretched at least 10 people deep.

Inside were cardboard boxes filled to the brim with apples, mangoes, a can of soup and bags of oatmeal, beans and baby carrots.

Ah, fresh food. And Pullman and nearby Roseland certainly lack it, activists say.

"There's nothing here in the community for us to shop at," said Saiesha Anderson, 28, who suggested that city officials transform the vacant lots and boarded-up shops in Roseland and Pullman into groceries stocked with fresh foods.

Rev. James Meeks called Roseland and Pullman a "food desert." The closest store with fresh produce is a Jewel at 11730 S. Marshfield Ave., which could be a few miles from some people's homes depending on where they live.

That's a long haul to the store in the low-income areas, said Meeks, a state senator.

On Sunday, his church, Salem Baptist in Pullman, held the second Fit Fest to highlight the lack of healthy food stores in Roseland and Pullman and the rising health-care concerns in the black community.

"In our neighborhood, the only thing you can buy is something greasy in a bag," Meeks said.
Roseland. Perhaps a place that is more deserving of appropriate for a Wal-Mart (well deserve is a word that wouldn't work in this instance). Especially if we were talking about filling a need for not only jobs, but in terms of a food desert. It's great to see Rev. Meeks take the lead on this issue.

State workshop aims to help avoid foreclosures

Chi-Town:
Struggling homeowners in the Chicago area can get guidance on how to apply for lower mortgage payments through a federal affordable-housing program at a workshop later this month.

The Illinois Housing Development Authority will host a free financial-counseling session for the homeowners Aug. 29 in Cicero, according to a statement from the governor's office.

Counselors certified by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and pro-bono real-estate attorneys will review paperwork to determine if borrowers qualify for the lower payments.

Qualified homeowners may complete an application for a loan modification under the federal Making Home Affordable Plan, and send it directly to their loan provider from the Keep Your Home event in Cicero. Borrowers may reduce their payments to as little as 31 percent of their gross monthly income, according to the statement.

How aldermen spent taxpayer money

Yesterday the Tribune posted a report on Aldermanic expenses:
Chicago aldermen have used their newly expanded, taxpayer-funded expense accounts to hire relatives, lease expensive vehicles and pay for downtown parking, according to a Tribune analysis.

The money -- up to $73,280 for each of the 50 City Council members -- comes from a budget line that gives aldermen wide discretion to cover an array of expenses related to official duties. After years of aldermen crying poor, Mayor Richard Daley agreed to more than double those funds to $3.7 million for 2008 -- even as the city struggled with a growing budget hole.

The Tribune analysis of the 2008 expense funds, augmented by other public records and dozens of interviews, showed a broad range in what aldermen deemed necessary spending to do their jobs and serve their constituents. It also raised new questions about political patronage and nepotism on the public dime.

--Twenty aldermen tapped expense accounts for all or part of monthly leases for vehicles that included luxury cars and large SUVs, and 14 paid for downtown parking leases.

--Three aldermen hired relatives, and more than a dozen hired political supporters.

--Several aldermen spent thousands of dollars on political consultants or other experts -- including a lawyer advising an alderman on her push to protect zoo elephants.

A handful of aldermen spent far less than their allowance, but half spent more than $70,000. Those questioned about their expenses expressed few regrets, and some said they need more to run operations in their wards.
Here's a page for the expenses by Ald. Lyle.
Freddrenna Lyle, 6th Ward, spent $55,002 in 2008. That's 75% of the $73,280 expense account provided to each ward.
Go to the Ald. Lyle link to see the items that this money was spent.

If you want to look at other Aldermen you can check out this page.

Compared to other alderman in the area Ald. Lyle is only second to Ald. Latasha Thomas (17th Ward) every one else is either at 99% or 100%. Ald. Beale (9th Ward) leases an automobile and that was part of a story I saw on FOX Chicago within the last year.

A lot of these expenses certainly goes towards constituent services. Especially if you do print services, phones, or even internet (Aldermen use e-mail and surf the web too! lol). The bottled water may be a problem, me personally I'm big on tap water and unless they no longer enforce this bottled water is taxed in this city.

All the same I can't say I see a big problem with at least some of the Alderman's expenses what say you? Drop a comment in this post!

EveryBlock acquired by MSNBC.com

In doing this blog EveryBlock.com was one of my favorite tools. Now who knows where it will take off as MSNBC purchases this startup:
EveryBlock.com, the Chicago-based local-news Web site founded by programmer-journalist Adrian Holovaty, has been acquired by MSNBC.com for an undisclosed sum.

(Note: Kara Swisher of the Wall Street Journal reports that the price was "several million dollars.")

Under the all-cash deal, which closed last week, EveryBlock will remain headquartered in Chicago, where five of its six employees work. Its Web sites in 15 cities will remain independent, although MSNBC President Charlie Tillinghast says EveryBlock's technology will be used in MSNBC.com's local-news section and will be used to power new features on the nationally focused Web site.

"We see EveryBlock developing some fundamental technology in pursuit of their local mission that has extensions to other things we do," says Mr. Tillinghast.
BTW, once again the Ward 6 feed from EveryBlock.

Storm Gathers Over Chicago Retail Property

Our state's only black-owned grocery store is having their own set of issues right now!
The owner is a former dairy wholesaler named Karriem Beyah. He says he wants his store, Farmers Best Market, to help reduce obesity in the neighborhood.

BEYAH: Because there are not viable grocery stores where the consumer can buy healthy products—fresh head of lettuce, fresh dairy, fresh meat.

But Beyah’s produce section is empty. He sold down his perishables a month ago and locked the store’s doors. He’s out of money.

BEYAH: At this size, in this area, you need seven figures— a million or more.

MITCHELL: How much did you have?

BEYAH: I had about a quarter of that.

Beyah says many of those dollars came from a line of credit against his house. He says that discouraged other lenders from stepping up.

BEYAH: ‘It’s liened against your home? Well, we want that cleared before we can loan you money.’ Well, I need that. That’s how I’m making it.

MATANKY: When your tenants can’t get financing, it just throws another monkey wrench at the deal.

James Matanky, Beyah’s landlord, develops strip malls. He knows how to make them work, even in low-income areas. He brings in tenants ranging from dress shops to health clinics, restaurants to post offices.
This is more about commercial real estate as opposed to Beyah's store, but go read the whole thing anyway.

EDIT: I forgot to post a link to the CPR story! Sorry about that!

Reduced Services in Chicago

CPR:
Many city services in Chicago are shut down Monday, ranging from health clinics to garbage collection. It's the first of three reduced-service days the city has planned for 2009 in an effort to save money. The days were assigned to help close a $469-million budget hole. Ruth Lednicer is with Chicago Public Libraries.

LEDNICER: Just like cities across the country, budget deficits result in having to shut down libraries. We've been very lucky here because many library systems across the country are having to do this on a regular basis and we have not had to do that here.
Police and Fire services should not be affected and the next reduced services days are the day after Thanksgiving & Christmas Eve.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

USOC delays launch of its TV network

Tribune:
The United States Olympic Committee has managed to defuse another dispute with the International Olympic Committee, one that threatened to blow up on Chicago's 2016 Summer Olympic bid.

After its chairman, Larry Probst, met here Saturday morning with IOC President Jacques Rogge, the USOC announced Sunday it will hold off indefinitely on the planned 2010 launch of the U.S. Olympic Network, its television venture.

By conceding to the IOC's demand that it delay implementation of the network until a variety of issues can be resolved, Probst has allowed the Chicago bid to stop being on the defensive as it was forced to explain the USOC's actions to the voters who will choose the 2016 host Oct. 2.

Speaking with a handful of U.S. reporters in Berlin as the statement was being released Sunday, Probst said, "The USOC wants to do everything it can to help support the Chicago bid. If this meeting with President Rogge and the decision we have made is going to be beneficial to the bid, I think that is terrific."

Chicago 2016 Chairman Patrick Ryan applauded the action in a composed public statement while undoubtedly doing verbal cartwheels in private.
What are the odds that Chicago may host the Olympics in 2016?

2 shot in East Chatham neighborhood

Tribune:
At about 10:20 p.m., police responded to a report of shots fired near the intersection of 83rd Street and Cottage Grove Avenue, said Chicago Police News Affairs Officer Amina Greer.

They found two people struck by gunfire. Both victims were taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Greer said.

Their condition is unknown at this time, Greer said early Sunday morning.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

A disturbing anecdote

On the way home from the train today (Saturday, Aug 15 @ 5pm), I was walking home (from the Air & Water show/Red Line) on 79th with my cousins, who are visting from the Netherlands. They're white, as I am (well, genetically half, anyway).

As we're approaching Indiana & 79th, a car with temporary plates slows down, and a young male (late teen/early 20's?) sticks his head out the window and yells "F***ing Cracker!" (He had 2-3 friends in the vehicle too). They pulled over for a second, then took off.

I have been in this neighborhood for 2 years, and most interactions have been positive. I am very solid in the feeling that such words are not representative of the Chatham community or the 6th ward as a whole.


But that really bothered me...i didn't have time to react, or to look that person in the eye to address their issue. Just drive by hate...verbal violence.

Anybody have any ideas who those guys were? Or had experience with people in our neighborhood with similar feelings?

Just had to get it out, while it was fresh...

Friday, August 14, 2009

Future 6th Ward Aldermanic meetings

A flyer was just e-mailed today from the Alderman's office with a schedule of future Aldermanic meetings. This time I'll try something different, embed directly from Scribed.

Artwork at 79th Street

Location: 79th, Chicago, IL 60620, USA
These two pieces are over the escalators that will take you towards the fare controls on the platform level of the station. Both pieces appear to be pictures pasted on a glass panel with scenes from places around the ward. Especially old pictures.

In the second panel there was a pic of a Walgreen's from way back when and there was once a Walgreen's on 87th and Halsted and in the first I do believe there was a pic of a building that either sat on the corner of 79th & State or at 79th & Cottage Grove.

If there is any more information on these glass panels at the 79th Street Red Line stop please share with us here. Thanks.

CTA votes in favor of Red Line Extension

This screen shot of Melinda Kelly of the Chatham Business Association I got from this vid @ WLS-TV. Of course the extension of the Red Line was approved by the CTA Board on Wednesday. Like I said if there was any upside to the Olympics it would be the fact that infrastructure projects such as transit may go on the fast track and these upgrades may be in service at least by 2016.

Here are Ms. Kelly's comments from the ABC7 write-up:
"Chicago doesn't stop at 95th Street, there's a community out there that needs to have access to the city lines," said Melinda Kelly, Chatham Business Association.
The plan for the CTA Red Line is this from the Sun-Times:
The 5.3-mile Red Line extension, which would run beside the existing Union Pacific Railroad tracks, would add stations at 103rd, 111th, 115th and 130th Streets. The capital costs would be about $1.2 billion and add 41,000 new riders a day by 2030. That's more than half of the weekday ridership on the entire Brown Line, which is in the final stages of a $530 million makeover.
Well another aspect of this plan well we have to go back to ABC7:
The project would also connect the Red Line with the South Shore commuter train and Metra's proposed southeast service commuter rail.
You know in discussing this proposed extension, I think it could benefit the far south side communities, especially Roseland, Pullman, West Pullman, or even Morgan Park more than it may benefit the 6th Ward's neighborhoods. It would be more appropriate to hear from residents and leaders from those communities than from the Chatham Business Association. I'm not criticizing the interest by the CBA by any means, but I am curious and to why they're interested in this project.

Although I must say if 95th being less busy whenever this extension is built is going to be one possible benefit, especially in terms of safety, then I'm behind this 100%. I think any possible expansion of the L is a good thing.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Neighbors Twitter, blog to keep criminals at bay

The wonders of these modern technologies we know as social networking and other things people do to keep their neighborhoods safe. This article from Business Week gives you the lowdown. Via Uptown Update!

Prominent voices for Wal-Mart

Two local business owners who just so happen to be members of our local chamber of commerce, Chatham Business Association, discuss the Wal-Mart issue last month at the Farmer's Market at the Chatham Market Shopping Center in videos from the Wal-Mart Chicago Website.

Two vids should be your focus for this post, Traffic and Politics.
Joseph Caldwell is the owner of Tailo-Rite dry cleaners and is a board member at Seaway Bank. He was in both of the videos that you can see over at Wal-Mart's Chicago Community Action Network website. In the Politics video, he refused to address the political aspects of this issue. In the Traffic, vid he spoke as a businessman,discussing some positives he could find in the issue of a potential increase in traffic.

So it could be the thorn in the side for those who are concerned about Wal-Mart coming in (the theory that Wal-Mart puts small businesses out of business). Perhaps his comments prove that bringing in a Wal-Mart could be more of a benefit than a detriment. Especially if local business people are able to adjust to the new environment.
William Garth owns The Citizen newspaper group. He also talks in the Traffic vid about the traffic that could result from a Wal-Mart. Most of what he said isn't much different than what was said in those arguments in support of a Chatham Wal-Mart such as people won't have to leave the neighborhood to visit another Wal-Mart.
Cliff Kelly is a radio host at WVON-AM. He mentioned explicitly in the Politics vid, that it was wrong to not allow Wal-Mart into Chatham, but force everyone on the south side to go just across Chicago's city limits to visit the Wal-Mart in Evergreen Park on 95th & Western.

What do you think about the comments made by these gentlemen?

Suggestions on how to make Wal-Mart work for the Chatham community

The concern about some citizens in Chatham about the Wal-Mart is in regards to a possible negative impact on existing businesses. From my viewpoint, it seems that Chatham businesses aren't getting the notice as they should. Wal-Mart could be used to help existing businesses.

Here are some things we could ask of Wal-Mart , to help our community's businesses:

- Have their security team patrol the neighborhood as well. At certain times, one person in a car could go into a side street & an alley, then circle back to Wal-Mart. In other words, have them look out for the neighborhood without comprimising security at Wal-Mart. They could also set up cameras (with residents' permission) to help secure the sorrounding neighborhod.

- In the check out line, have extended racks that not only sell stuff (like the typical candy), but also have racks in between that hold brochures & menus of local restaurants & businesses. The first few months may have long lines, and that time could be used helping customers look at other businesses. In addition, there could also be video commercials as well (using a monitor system that Jewel uses)

- Either fund, or have their foundation help find appropriate grant funding, to temporarily sponsor a shuttle bus that goes (of course) to Wal-Mart, but to several other businesses, such as Captain's Hard Time Dining, Army & Lou's, Mather's, Soul Vegtarian East, and others. Navy Pier has such a shuttle. Doesn't our neighborhood have a bigger economic need for shuttles than Navy Pier?

- Have Wal-Mart work with Univeristy of Chicago to use their buses to drive U. of Chicago students & staff out to Wal-Mart (adding money to the area as well as diversity). The 83rd street exit is perfect for those U of Chicago area residents who choose to drive instead.

The Chatham Business Association supports the Wal-Mart; could they and others use these ideas?

Lem's on vacation

I was there last month and I saw a sign. A head's up if you have a "hankerin'" for some south side BBQ.

From August 17 to August 30, 2009 and they will re-open August 31st.

83rd Street between Vernon and King Drive

Location: Chatham, Chicago, IL, USA
A reader wants to know:
Ask Alderman Lyle why it takes over 45 days to restore the parkway. Would the children in other neighborhoods have to walk past this?
And he sends in these pics, pics you can also see on Facebook at the page for the Concerned Citizens of Chatham.

If you have any pics to share with us please don't hesitate to e-mail us them and be sure to give us some information as to what pictures you took, where, and who we should credit for them.