Friday, April 30, 2010

Clout City: Is Walmart the Only Retailer Interested in Pullman? Maybe Not.

Hunter Clauss seeks out other prominent retailers such as Ikea,  Jewel, Dominick's, Target, and Costco about whether or not developers in Pullman or Ald. Anthony Beale had approached them about building stores in Pullman. It's worth a read when you're able.

Independent Doughnut Shops Charm Chicagoans

I think we needs some good news here about a local business. The only time I had this was during the day of the re-opening of 75th Street in October of last year:
The busy morning traffic at Dat Donuts has subsided. Anne has just finished rearranging the freshly baked doughnuts and is cleaning the grill when two middle-aged women walk in, immediately heading for the doughnut case.

The customers are greeted with a smile and pleasant “How are you?” from Anne. After a few minutes of decision making, one customer asks for a single chocolate glazed. She asks Anne to heat it in the microwave.

“I bet they’ll be just heaven-heated,” the customer said. Anne says she’s not supposed to, but the customer pleads — “Just 10 seconds.” Anne looks at the customer, exhales a breath and gives in. The customer pays 98 cents and walks out with a smile.

“To produce a good quality, fresh doughnut, cut by hand is something really hard to find,” said Darryl Townson, owner and operator of Dat Donuts.

Dat Donuts, 8251 S. Cottage Grove Ave., has been open in the Chatham neighborhood for 16 years. Success led Townson to open a second location, 1979 W. 111th St., in the Beverly neighborhood eight months ago.
They are located in the building where Leon's Ribs used to be. Leon's was open sometime last year, but I drove by earlier this month and found the location where Leon's was to be vacant. At least a thriving business is in that building.

Anyone else want to opine on these donuts, feel free!

The City of Chicago Gun Turn-in - Don't Kill a Dream Save a Life

The City of Chicago Gun Turn-In will be held at 21 locations throughout Chicago on Saturday, May 8th from 10 a.m. -4 p.m. Turn in a gun and receive a $100.00 prepaid Mastercard, no questions asked! The turn in location for the 6th ward is

Bethlehem Star MBC,
9231-33 S. Cottage Grove

Thursday, April 29, 2010

New Look for the Citizen newspaper


The Citizen newspaper now has a new look. As the new publisher and celebrating 45 years in business, Darrell Garth is continuing Willaim Garth's legacy and revamping the look of the Citizen.

The issue pictured is on newsstands now.

For information on subscribing, go to their website at http://thechicagocitizen.com/

UPDATED: Wal-Mart items

Well it looks like if Wal-Mart actually can talk to their opposition in organized labor then hopefully there can be some movement.
Wal-Mart has agreed to hold an unprecedented face-to-face meeting with organized labor in a last-ditch attempt to break the stalemate that has stalled its planned Chicago expansion, City Hall sources said Wednesday.

The world's largest retailer has repeatedly insisted that it would not negotiate wages and that it would only agree to pay a "living wage" if the mandate applied to all Chicago retailers.

Wal-Mart is not likely to change that tune during the upcoming meeting with Chicago Federation of Labor President Dennis Gannon, Secretary-Treasurer Jorge Ramirez and Ron Powell, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, Local 881.

But the company just might sign a "community benefits agreement" that guarantees that as many as five new Chicago stores would be 100 percent built by organized labor and that neighborhood residents would be hired to work in those stores.

The City Council's Zoning Committee is scheduled to vote Wednesday on Pullman Park, a massive development anchored by Chicago's second Wal-Mart and first super-center that sells groceries.

Ald. Anthony Beale (9th), whose ward includes Pullman Park, characterized the upcoming meeting as a "huge" breakthrough.
It is indeed a huge breakthrough. While I don't quite understand why it's important that any new Wal-Mart store must be built by organized labor, I can certainly agree that these stores should be staffed by neighborhood workers. That is one reason why Beale and Brookins want to get Wal-Mart stores in their wards.

Here's another article from the Defender, perhaps it isn't saying anything new. But more plans in Pullman for the development where Wal-Mart is supposed to be located:
Beale, who said the development’s site, the former Ryerson Inc. steel plant, along with the adjacent land along the expressway is a “gold mine,” also courted other big retailers – including Costco, Dominick’s, Ikea, Jewel and Target – to anchor the development, but they all declined.

Walmart was the only large retailer to step up to the plate, he said.

“They all turned their backs on us. I didn’t want this fight, but Walmart was the only one willing to come.

This development does not take place if Walmart doesn't anchor the site. This development hinges on Walmart,” Beale told the Defender about the proposed five-phase Pullman Park development.

U.S. Bank’s non-profit community development group, Park National Initiatives, already put up $50 million to get the Pullman Park project off the ground.

The first phase of the project – expected to provide 780 construction jobs – is the building of Walmart and another big box, preferably a home improvement store. There may be a few smaller retailers added. The second phase will focus on 111th Street right off the expressway. Beale is aiming for a mid-sized hotel – one part of a chain – and a seniors facility.

Phase Three will entail a 170,000-square-foot community center with an emphasis on several sports and a school, which Beale said has been undetermined as to whether it would be a charter or traditional public school. The fourth phase would be the construction of 400 residential units, and the final phase will include retail along Doty Road.

A Walmart Supercenter would provide much needed jobs to his constituents and address the food desert issue that’s prevalent in several predominantly Black communities, the Far South Side alderman said.

Beale said he understands the union’s position, but needs for them to understand his argument and what his community is up against.
That article is worth more of a read than the excerpt provided here.

The first article is via CapFax morning shorts!

UPDATE 12:21 PM - Found this article from the Examiner about the politics surrounding Wal-Mart expansion:
Beale’s proposal goes before a city council zoning committee on May 7. If passed, it would be taken up by the full council on May 12. For an area described as a benighted neighborhood and a food desert this deal would allow it the ability to bring itself away from such descriptions and toward a better future for its residents.
Forgot to provide that information earlier.

UPDATE 12:35 PM - Another piece from NBC Chicago. Looks like Beale has one more supporter for his Wal-Mart:
Now Beale has to get the proposal past the City Council. Ald. Sandi Jackson, who has struggled to bring chain stores to her ward, is all in favor of Walmart.

“Poor communities that lack retail and industry are unable to employ its citizens and are unable to generate a tax base which also has a direct impact on public education and human services,” Jackson told the Chicago Defender. “Additionally, many urban areas are food deserts which also impact public health.”
Supposing Sandi Jackson is thinking ahead to the day that she may be able to develop that property on the lakefront that used to be home to a factory.

This quote was taken away from that article from the Defender posted here on this blog!

Thanks for your comments

We at the Sixth Ward wanted to thank everyone who has stepped up and commented on our blog. We're sorry that we have to report on the many issues of crime that have been affecting us.

But your thoughts are helping us come together as a community, and we look forward to working on real solutions to help improve our community.

Just a reminder: if you don't have a Google or Open ID account, please leave your name or consistent identifier with your comment (at the end of it, if necessary)

Thanks again!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Alzheimer's patient reported missing

From Chicago Breaking News, a missing person alert. Please be on the look out...
Chicago police have issued a missing person's alert for a 78-year-old man suffering from Alzheimer's disease.

Marvin Price was last seen on the 500 block of East 95th Street on the South Side.

Police said he may be heading for the 12100 block of South Princeton Avenue or the 6700 block of South Eberhart Avenue.

He is described as black, 5-foot-9 and 130 pounds, with brown eyes, gray hair and a medium complexion.

He was last seen Tuesday wearing a black jacket, blue pants and a black baseball cap.

Call 911 if you see him.

Scam alert - update

My "neighbor", Dick Wilson was back today. He apparently forgot where i lived, and immediately changed his story to looking for somebody. unfortunately, couldn't find my keys in time to follow him, so i missed where he went.


The summary is that he claims to be a neighborhor, and need ssome money because somebody dtole his car battery, and need sot travel or fix his car. He asks for approximately $13, which usually winds up being $20 being scammed.

For details of his scam, please refer to this previous entry.


So let everyone know.. don't give money to anyone claiming to be a neighbor, especially one you do not know FOR SURE if he or she is a neighbor.

Get Involved- Go to your Community Meetings!




Recently there has been a lot of talk about what community group is overseeing what area and some people have no clue what community group represents their area. Here is a list of community groups and the areas they post as their service areas. Please, do not let geography stop you from participating.

Englewood Collaberative Council (67th State to 75th Racine)
773-723-5440

Park Manor Neighbors Community Council (69th State to 79th Cottage Grove)
773-783-2850
Meeting : First Monday each month St. Columbanus 71st Calumet 6:30pm

Greater Chatham Alliance (formerly WIM) (79th State to 87th King Drive)
773-483-6398 email: gcahonor@sbcglobal.net
Meeting: Third Saturday each month St. James Lutheran Church 8000 S Michigan 11:00 am

Chatham Avalon Community Council (75th State to 87th Cottage Grove)
866-272-1215 website:http://www.capcc.org/
Meeting: Second Monday each month Northern Trust Bank 7800 S State 6:30pm

Chesterfield Community Council (87th State to 95th Cottage Grove)
773-651-3958 website: http://www.chesterfieldcommunitycouncil.org/
Meeting: Third Tuesday each month Tuley Park Fieldhouse 501 E 90th St. 6:30 pm

West Chesterfield Community Association 91st State- 95th King Drive)
773-264-1578
Meeting: First Monday each month 9351 S Michigan 6:00pm

Roseland Heights Community Association
773-468-5181 e-mail niksmif@hotmail.com
website: http://www.neighborhoodlink.com/Roseland_Heights/home
Meeting: Fourth Tuesday of each month Wesley United Church 201 E.95th st 7pm

Please verify times and meeting places because they can change.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Chatham Fields Lutheran Church health fair THIS Saturday!

Just got this notice from Pastor Kenety Gee at Chatham Fields Lutheran Church....

FREE HEALTH FAIR

Chatham Fields Lutheran Church
8050 S. St. Lawrence Avenue
(773) 723-3661

Saturday, May 1st

10 A.M. - 2 P.M.
For Men…For Women…For Children  
For the Whole Family
  
IT'S ALL FREE!
  • Family Practice Doctor
  • Urologist
  • Psychologist
  • Dentist
  • HIV Testing
  • Glucose Testing
  • Midwife
  • Scaves (Sickle Cell Anemia)
  • Lead Screening for Children
  • Blood Pressure Tests
  • Snacks & MUCH MORE!
Presented by the Women's Council

CHA link to Chatham mayhem?

Mary Mitchell's column with a lot of quotes by Alderman Lyle:
That a proud community like Chatham is the stomping grounds of gang members is a curse and a blessing.

Maybe now, people will start paying attention to some of the root causes of ongoing violence.
...
I can recall visiting Chatham as a teenager.

I lived in public housing and thought Chatham was a neighborhood of "siddity" black folks.

Things were done differently in Chatham.

The candy store wasn't operated out of someone's apartment. No one hung out in hallways or on street corners. Children didn't trample across the grass.

If you were lucky enough to find an apartment in Chatham, you made sure no one did anything to get you put out.

The community had standards, and everyone knew what they were.

Today, people who don't have those same values are infiltrating Chatham.
One piece of news out of this Ald. Lyle says that the basketball rims in Cole Park where two young men were shot had to be removed to prevent another shooting. She also says that keeping them down the entire summer is unfair to the good young people.

Here's more from the Alderman:
The South Side alderman blames the Chicago Housing Authority's "Plan for Transformation" for the influx of unsupervised teens who have moved into her ward.

"I don't have a Boys Club or Girl's Club. No YMCA or YWCA," Lyle said. "CHA has put thousands of people out, and most of them have moved to communities of color.

"They didn't track them. They don't know who came back from the penitentiary and moved in with their mother or their girlfriend," she said.
Mitchell got the Alderman on record with regards to bringing in National Guard troops onto city streets to supplement undermanned police officers.
Although Lyle agrees that the Chicago Police Department is "under-manned," she would oppose bringing in the National Guard to patrol.

"You can't bring some well-meaning young people into the area without training and put them in the community. Police work and military work are two very different things," she said.
What can we do to insure our safety this summer? What can we do to prevent another shooting in our community? What can we do to keep another child from getting shot?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Summer Camps

In light of the recent violence and the school year summer break just around the corner it is imperative that our children and young adults are involved in constructive activities. This is a partial list of summer programs compiled from the Chicago Park District and The Chicago Jounal Camp Guide. This is not a complete list and if you know of any more please feel free to add

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Marathon Pundit: Mayor wants up or down vote on South Side Wal-Mart

John Ruberry bounces off a post from Clout St. with regards to Mayor Daley's comments on the proposed new store in the Pullman neighborhood:
Mayor Richard Daley today called for a vote by the full City Council on a contentious plan for a Wal-Mart on the Far South Side, regardless of whether the council's Zoning Committee first approves the proposal.

"Vote it up or down, and then go back and tell the people 'Hey, I got a job as alderman, but you don't have one, ha ha ha,'" said Daley who supports the Wal-Mart as a rare opportunity to put hundreds of people to work in a down economy. "Laugh at the people: 'I got a job, OK, you don't have a job.' "

Ald. Daniel Solis, 25th, the zoning committee chairman, said in the event the proposal for the residential and shopping development anchored by the giant retailer in the Pullman neighborhood does not get a majority of votes in his committee, he would consider sending it to the full council anyway.

"I would consult with Alderman Beale, depending on what the vote is," said Solis, who is trying to determine if the committee hearing will be held May 5 or May 7.
And even if this proposal doesn't get a majority of votes in the zoning comittee, it may see the light in a full city council meeting. That's just like another proposal for Chatham Market which can't make it out of the city council's committee on finance.

Bond denied for man charged in fatal shooting of 20-month old

Sun-Times:
A 21-year-old Burnside man has been charged in the fatal shooting of a 20-month old girl who was struck by gunfire believed to be intended for her father.

Danzeal Finley, of the 700 block of East 92nd Street, was charged shortly after midnight Saturday with one count of first-degree murder in the death of

Cynia was shot in the head as she sat with her two young sisters in the back of her parents’ car Wednesday night in the Chatham neighborhood. She later died at the University of Chicago Comer Children's Hospital.

Police said they think Cynia's death was gang-related and that her father, Jerome Hendricks, was the intended target.

“He’s going to have to live with that for the rest of his life,” Police Supt. Jody Weis said of Hendricks at an afternoon press conference.

Hendricks is a Gangster Disciples member and Finley is a rival Black P Stone member, police sources said.
All he did was shoot an innocent child who would have had NO CLUE about whatever her father was involved with. At least we know that this individual did the right thing and turned himself in as indicated in one update here!

I got to note Mary Mitchell's column on this story. I won't excerpt from it, but I don't mind if you want to talk about it here.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Happy Birthday, Worlee!

Wanted to end this day on a positive note.

Happy Birthday, Worlee!!!

May 6th Ward meeting

Please refer to the flyer posted here on April 19th! - Levois

Originally posted on the Chatham Avalon Park Community Council blog, news about the May 6th Ward meeting with Ald. Lyle
Please attend the May Community Meeting hosted by 6th Ward Alderman Freddrenna M. Lyle
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
6:30 p.m.
St. Mark United Methodist Church
8441 S. St. Lawrence Ave.
Be sure to come to this meeting about CRIME.
Commanders from the 3rd, 5th, 6th & 7th Police Districts will discuss what’s being done about it and what we can do about it.
PLEASE INVITE YOUR NEIGHBORS!
6th Ward Service Office
406 East 75th Street 60619
Phone: (773) 846-7006  Fax: (773) 846-9104
Email: ward06@cityofchicago.org
Website: http://www.6thwardalderman.com/

Thursday, April 22, 2010

UPDATE - Toddler dies as shooter turns himself in

Here's the latest update, from Chicago Breaking News (at least 32 comments so far)

Update: A suspect in the shooting death of Cynia Cole has surrendered to police accompanied by the Rev. James Meeks. The man turned himself in at about 3:15 p.m at Area 2 headquarters.

"I am in the process right now, I'm standing with officers literally as we speak,'' Meeks said minutes before walking inside the police station on the Far South Side.

Jerome Hendricks dug his hands into his pockets, slumped his shoulders and wept outside Comer Children's Hospital this morning.

His daughter "Coco," just 20 months old, was fighting for her life and Hendricks said he knew the bullet that struck her in the head was meant for him. His jacket was stained with her blood.

He was still crying as he walked back inside. An hour later, his little girl was dead.

Authorities say they are looking for a man who was shot by Hendricks' friend last month. They believe the man -- 21 years old with an arrest record for guns and drugs -- was aiming for Hendricks when he fired into a car late Wednesday night in the 600 block of East 92nd Place.

But Hendricks' three young daughters were also in the car as they waited for their mother to buy some cigarettes at a neighbor's house. Suddenly, a hooded gunmen jumped from a gangway and opened fire.

"Coco shot, Coco shot!" 4-year-old Janiya shouted.

Cynia was quiet. "I seen she wasn't making no noise," Hendricks said.

The father said he reached into the back, took the little girl out of her car seat and cradled her head in his left arm as he sped away to his home around the corner.

Once there, his mother Cynthia Lyons, a nurse, applied pressure to the wound behind the girl's ear until an ambulance arrived and took her to Comer's Childrens Hospital.

Cynia's mother, Alberta Cole, said she had stepped onto to the porch and, as she waited for someone to answer the door, the gunman ran out of the gangway. "I didn't holler or anything," she said. "I just eased back so he wouldn't know I was there."

When his hood fell, she said she recognized him from the neighborhood. Hendricks told reporters the man was wounded by a friend of his last month.

According to court records, Michael Wilson, 22, was arrested for shooting the man now being sought for killing Cynia. Wilson is accused of wounding the man in the groin on March 7. Wilson lives on the block where last night's shooting occurred and, according to court records, has a gang tattoo on his upper right arm.

Police said they were also investigating whether the incident was related to two other recent shootings in the neighborhood.

A 27-year-old man was shot to death on his porch only a few doors from where the girl was shot Wednesday night. Another man was found shot to death in his car that had crashed into a Popeye's chicken restaurant early Tuesday morning.

Coco's grandmother Cynthia Lyons said everyone knew Cynia was one of her favorite grandchildren. And it didn't matter.

"She has a little doll face," she said.

But not a little personality. "She thinks she's the big sister," Lyons said.

Coco would often bake cakes with her grandmother, and her favorite part was licking the bowl.

She loved watching Dora and the Disney Channel -- especially Hannah Montana. She would have turned 2 in August.

Lyons pleaded for people to come forward and cooperate with police.

"I would like for anybody who knows anything to please come forward. If anybody's at home and knows that their relative, their brother, cousin or anybody might have done something wrong and is running scared."

"Somebody has to pay for this," Lyons said. "A 2-year-old baby is no longer with us.

"Catch this guy, please. Catch him. This is like taking the heart out of me. They took my heart."

Neighbors said the violence in their Burnside community is getting out of control.

"I don't understand why this crime keeps going on in this neighborhood," Rhonda Cook, a neighbor, told WGN-Ch. 9. "I was coming out of my house (when the child was shot) and heard some shooting. I think it's ridiculous. I think they should put some cameras on this block. This is the third time on this block someone got killed."

"Around here it's just goofy gang banging," said another neighbor, Brian White. "Just ridiculous. I used to be one, but what's going on today it's way worse than when I was growing up. I don't want my son to even go to school around here. He's in pre-school.

"It's too crazy around here. It's retaliation. It's never going to stop. I know that. A little girl...that doesn't make any sense. I got a plan. I'm gonna put some fliers out here to stop the violence. I want to start a program so we can march around the neighborhood. I want my son to be able to walk to the park without worry about getting shot."

-- Duaa Eldeib, Serena Maria Daniels, Jeremy Gorner, Liam Ford and Carlos Sadovi
Meanwhile, the Sun-times reports that the mother recognized the shooter (and gave us a more exact address)...
April 22, 2010
Sun-Times Media Wire

A “hysterical’’ mother and father of a baby girl witnessed the child getting shot in the head Wednesday night in the Chatham neighborhood on the South Side.

At 6:30 a.m. a Gresham District police lieutenant said the little girl who was shot is only 20-months-old and the gunman has not been arrested as of 6:30 a.m.
The shooting happened about 22 hours after a man was slain in almost exactly the same area.

The young child was shot about 11 p.m. on the 640 block of East 92nd Place, according to police News Affairs Officer Hector Alfaro.

A girl was a passenger in a vehicle when somebody opened fire, striking her in the head, Fire Media Affairs Director Larry Langford said, who said the child was two years old.

She was taken in “very critical” condition to University of Chicago Comer Children’s
Hospital, where she was still breathing upon arrival, Langford said.

The little girl was in the back seat of an older model Oldsmobile car that was
double-parked in front of a residence at the 92nd Place address when she was
shot, Gresham District police said.

The baby’s father -- who police believe was probably the target -- was in the driver’s seat and the girl’s mother was outside sitting on a front porch of the residence when the shooter came out of a gangway a couple of houses down and fired several shots into the vehicle, police said.

The bullet went through the trunk of the car, through the back seat and hit the child in the head, according to police who said she was in serious condition and undergoing a CT scan at Comer to find exactly where the bullet was.

The mother was “hysterical’’ and told police she recognized the shooter. Police would not disclose the "named offender's" identity though they said they were “hot on his trail,’’ about 1 a.m. police said.

It was not known why the man was the suspected target and no one else was injured.
Police said they did not see a car seat in the back seat of the Oldsmobile and the family was not in front of their own home.

Police said there has been a lot of gang activity, including shootings and a murder earlier the same day at almost exactly the same address where the girl was shot.

Ronald Rosenthal, 27, was standing on his porch on the 640 block of East 92nd Place
when he was shot 1:04 a.m according to police and the Cook County Medical Examiner's office.

Rosenthal, 27, was pronounced dead at 2:15 a.m. at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, a medical examiner's spokesperson said. A Wednesday autopsy revealed he died from multiple gunshot wounds and his death was ruled a homicide.

Calumet Area detectives are investigating both shootings.
This is tragic...i just don't know what to say right now, other than whatever community you are in, step up and step out...let's KNOW our neighbors, and let them know that this behavior is UNACCEPTABLE, and let them know there is another way....

All of us at The Sixth Ward blog care deeply about this issue, and would like this blog to be a powerful forum in helping our community avoid the violence and instead go on the successful path that Chatham residents of years past have gone.

Toddler shot in head on the 600-block of East 92nd Place

This is just terrible in the worst way. Another innocent child wounded!
Cynia Cole was with her family around 11 p.m. in the 600-block of East 92nd Place when she was hit.

Doctors say they are treating Cynia for severe brain swelling after she was shot in the head.

Cynia's grandmother was at home distraught as the girl's parents prayed at the hospital.

"I just want everybody to know how special she was to the family. And how we want justice to find out who did this. They need to come forward, and this is an innocent baby," said grandmother Cynthia Lyons. "She's a fighter. She's a rough cookie."

The father of the girl was behind the wheel of the white Oldsmobile at 92nd and Langley at a family friend's home when the gunman began firing. The bullets shattered the rear window and left holes in the trunk. The father was not hit.

The girl's mother, also unharmed, was getting out of the car when she saw the shooter on foot fire at the car.

Police say an 8-month-old and a 4-year-old were also in the car at the time, but they were not harmed. Police say the father is affiliated with gangs, though the family says that is untrue. There are no suspects yet.

While police continued to investigate the shooting, people in the neighborhood say it may have been a response to a shooting Wednesday that left a man dead.

"It is retaliation about, you know, somebody got killed at 95th and King Drive. It is never going to stop now," said neighbor Brian White.
As an aside ABC7 can't seem to decide whether or not this area is in Chatham or in Burnside.

Anyway if you watch this video you see a woman calling for more of those police cameras on their block to deter crime. People are sad and upset about what happened to this little girl. And the residents of this area believe that this shooting may be related to that young man who was killed near 95th and King Drve recently. Yeah the one who crashed into Popeye's (assuming this was the crime people are referring too)!

Whatever happened and why it did happen, I...just...don't...get...it!!! Too many innocent people getting hurt for this retaliation!

PHOTO: Before the Dan Ryan was built

Location: S State St & E 92nd St, Chicago, IL 60619, USA

This picture is from the Charles W. Cushman Photo Collection at Indiana University. He was noted recently by Lee Bey for his many color photographs of pre and post- World War 2 Chicago. He especially notes this house that once stood near 92nd & State Street:
Look at this amazing 1942 photo of a black family sitting on the porch of a Second Empire house at 92nd and State that is so delightfully–almost impossibly–ramshackle, it  almost looks like a Disneyland attraction. If the house lasted until the 1960s, it was bulldozed for the Dan Ryan Expressway.
The other pictures displayed on Bey's blog were of the last days of an "older, decaying Chicago". To be sure there are some buildings seen in photographs that I can only wish that I can see still around today. But we only have these pictures.

Even of this house which would seem out of place if it was placed somewhere in the neighborhood it once resided.

Man shot while standing on porch dies

Another crime story from yesterday's Chicago Sun-Times...

Man shot while standing on porch dies :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Chicago Crime
A man was standing outside on a porch early Wednesday when he was shot multiple times in the South Side Chatham neighborhood and later died, police said.

At 1:04 a.m., a 27-year-old man was standing on a porch in the 600 block of East 92nd Place, when a suspect approached him and fired, striking him multiple times, according to a release from police News Affairs.

The man was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn where he later died, the release said.

Police did not release any further information on the suspect and no one was in custody as of 5:30 a.m.

Calumet Area Detectives are investigating.
This particular story was of interest, as i lived on the 500 block of E. 92nd street for several months in 2006-2007.

The neighborhood had a lot of children and youth. They were especially friendly to my daughter. We were there in the months during and surrounding the winter season, so we missed much of this type of action.

I would personally encourage churches in the area (such as Burnside Baptist and St. Phillips Community Church, who have shown a desire to reach out into their neighborhood) to send out ministers and lay leaders to simply walk the streets, and get to know people, especially the youth.

Our community doesn't have to be taken over by this violence -- there a lot of good people out there who can make a difference, even a small one...

Suspect charged in Chatham police shooting

Location: 8600 S Drexel Ave, Chicago, IL 60619, USA
Here are the lead paragraphs
A motorist who pointed a handgun at officers prompting police to fire shots at him has been charged after the Tuesday night incident in the Chatham neighborhood on the South Side.

Derrick Thornton, 24, of the 9400 block of South Forest Avenue, was charged with aggravated assault to a police officer with a firearm and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon on a person, according to a release from police News Affairs. He was also issued a citation for going the wrong way on a one-way street, the release said.
Follow the link below to read the rest of the story

Suspect charged in Chatham police shooting :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Chicago Crime

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Is it my eyesight or is 79th Street too dark at night?

As the sun sets. 79th Street starts to become extremely dark. Although there are street lights, they are not emitting enough light to brighten up the landscape. Is this detering individuals from shopping on 79th during the evenings? We have seen one casualty already "Little Ceasar's Pizza". Is this why the "green" building lays vacant? Why doesn't 79th street have the street level light that 71st, and 83rd streets have?

News about City Council Wal-Mart showdown, a panel discussion and an editorial on Wal-Mart

The zoning committe vote that was to take place this Thursday has been postponed until May 7 according to the Sun-Times:
A City Council showdown that could break the stalemate that has prevented Wal-Mart from building as many as five Chicago super-centers has been put off until May 7.

The decision to postpone Thursday’s Zoning Committee vote on Pullman Park, a Far South Side commercial development anchored by Chicago’s second Wal-Mart, was made by local Ald. Anthony Beale (9th) and Zoning Committee Chairman Danny Solis (25th).

Beale insisted that he “has the votes” to win approval in the Zoning Committee and on the City Council floor. But, he argued that two more weeks of lobbying and behind-the-scenes negotiating wouldn’t hurt.

“It gives us a little more time to work on some things we’re working on,” Beale said, refusing to reveal specifics.

“There are a lot of [other] items on Thursday’s agenda. The May 7 meeting will be exclusive for this one item. It won’t be rushed. It gives us an opportunity to have more testimony. I have the votes. But, May 7 is a better opportunity.”

Solis said he postponed the day of reckoning, in part because some of the Zoning Committee’s 14 members were unable to attend Thursday’s meeting.

The chairman said he also wants to give Wal-Mart a last chance to negotiate with union leaders, something the world’s largest retailer has refused to do so.
The video below aired last week on WTTW's Chicago Tonight Week in Review a panel discusses for just over four minutes the continuing debate over Wal-Mart. This video is courtesy of Progress Illinois which in it's post regarding this segment believes that this panel failed to discuss the angle with regards to Wal-Mart's employment practices.



Also on this tact another editorial in favor of Wal-Mart from the Tribune:
This time we're talking about a Wal-Mart Supercenter proposed for an empty lot between 103rd and 111th streets next to the Bishop Ford Freeway. Wal-Mart is the critical element in an ambitious development called Pullman Park, which would bring thousands of jobs to the Far South Side.

Pullman Park would transform a 180-acre wasteland that once housed the Ryerson steel plant into a thriving business center for neighborhood stores and restaurants, 800 homes, a hotel, a recreation center, a park … and a Wal-Mart.

This impressive project sailed through the Chicago Plan Commission last week. It goes to the Council's Zoning Committee on Thursday. So will the aldermen try to stuff this one too? Can they really keep up this campaign to prevent Chicagoans from getting jobs because union bosses hate Wal-Mart?

The neighborhood around Pullman Park is a food desert. That is, it's very difficult to find groceries that stock fresh food there. The Wal-Mart Supercenter would sell fresh food.

And it would do so much more. This neighborhood is beyond a food desert. Heck, it's a flat-out retail desert. "We don't have a place to buy lunch or even a pair of socks," said David Doig, president of Park Bank Initiatives, a nonprofit community development group focused on low- and moderate-income Chicago neighborhoods. It's owned by U.S. Bank, which has committed financing for Pullman Park. "Without Wal-Mart, this doesn't happen," Doig told us. "Wal-Mart drives the traffic that drives the other retail development."
...
It's outrageous enough that the aldermen have sat on the Chatham development that would include Wal-Mart. Pullman Park ups the stakes. It's an even larger project, with even more jobs at stake.
Read the whole thing!

JP's view of the library situation

You read Worlee's posting yesterday. He asked "What do you think?" The following is my response (from JP Paulus).



I will do my best to address each issue. Some of those statements got me hot & bothered, but i'll try to keep calm. I want remind you (and especially myself), there are some issues that Worlee and i agree with (which includes a love for this community, and wanting the best for it). But on this particular issue, Worlee does not speak for the writing staff of the The Sixth Ward blog, at least not myself.

First -- now is the time to discuss and even debate what we want. No final decisions have been made yet. And when they have, it will be too late to fix perceived problems. Once the new building is established, it will be nearly impossible to get a new one for at least 30 years (when Whitney Young was first built). Sorry, Worlee, I am not going to wait until i have grandkids to maximize the resource by home.


As someone who lives two blocks from the facility, I believe I have as much opinion as anyone else as to what should or at least could be at the new site, and not simply be told, go somewhere else. Ms. Dempsey and the commissioners are seeking community input. CAPCC isn't the only group they should here from, but like them or not, they are a part of the community.
We have posted info about the meeting on our blog, for the community to see. If only CAPCC shows up, whose fault is it?

Also, if you lived for any length of time on the North side, you know how valuable land is. You want to maximize the the precious land you have. Opponents to the development at Wilson Yards (which has been a full decade in the making) have raised $50,000 to fight parts of the development they don't like.

The model that the CAPCC advocates is the Bucktown model; Humboldt Park is in the middle of the their renovation (those who actually attended the Whitney Young meeting heard the update on Humboldt Park)

Worlee says current use doesn't justify the resources. But should we not look to the future as well, and anticipate possible future uses & needs? We will see from the census actual stats, but if more young people are in the area (as evidenced by the growing number of day care facilities) wouldn't it be wise to advocate for that?

Now, i do understand budgets and limited resources. So Ms. Dempsey's assertions of staff costs are understandable. I would rather have our library staff focused on programming rather than babysitting. And i guess in some ways, some of us in the community are kind of asking for a mini-regional library. But again, once this building is built, we can't just add on to it. So why not ask for the maximum we can get? Now, after being told no, the community, if they realy want a 2 story building, would need to figure out how to work around it (whether petitions,phone calls, grants, etc.) or else deal with it.

I for one am glad that the issue of a 2 story building was raised at the meeting. Time and again the CAPCC blog has claimed that the new Whitney Young would "most likely to be a Bucktown-Wicker Park replica" (two story). I missed Mary Ellen Drake at the February meeting and didn't attend the March meeting. But now it should be clear to all where Ms. Dempsey and commissioners stand on the issue.

Worlee also made this unsubstantiated statement:

These are the facts as well as several former CPL employees who are also Chatham
residents have voiced their disapproval because of the incompetence of the
current staff and safety issues.

My view is that the library staff is not incompetant, as Worlee asserts with anonymous "sources" (i'd love for Zack to do a video with their claims). I have been there at 3pm, when school lets out. Yes, it gets crazy. What's needed are more youth programs (from nonprofits, churches, etc.) with outreach workers in the area at that time. The library is not an after school daycare program, and they simply don't have the staff to address the issues those students are bringing.

I believe the Whitney Young library is doing the best they can with the limited resources they have. I know they also do events for younger kids, which my 5 year old daughter has benefited from over the years. Ms. Andrew, in particular (in my experience), has shown a lot of love for our children.

Insulting the Whitney Young library staff is not going to help us get the most resources we can. Going to meetings, and making our thoughts known will help.


CAPCC is not the cause of the delay of the library. The library can't move forward until they have secured ownership of the laundromat. If they can't get it, then they might have to go with a two story facility anyway.

So right now..this is the time for community input, especially when the Facilities Committee held their last meeting at the very site that we're debating.

Like i said, if we have to settle for a 1 story facility, that's fine with me. But if we can get the most for our space, why not ask? At least we have a definite answer to the CAPCC's many blog posts, and the conversation there should be moving forward.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Man found shot to death after vehicle crashes into Popeyes

Southtown:
Curtis Settles, 21, was inside a car at a gas station on the east side King Drive near 95th Street when he was shot in the chest, a Gresham District police lieutenant said.

After he was shot he drove across the street, where he plowed into the front door of a Popeye's fast-food restaurant. Popeye's was closed.

When police arrived, the man was found shot outside of the car and he has died, the lieutenant said.

Settles, of the 21100 block of Kildare Avenue [Matteson, IL], was dead on the scene at 400 E. 95th St., the Cook County medical examiner's office said. He suffered a gunshot wound.

The building did not sustain severe damage.

Police officer Ronald Gaines said no one else was inside the car and no other injuries were reported.
Check out the comments at Chicago Breaking News:
Ah, just about every stereotype is covered by this story.
Hmmm, this story has nothing to do with stereotypes. A man is dead and they bring up stereotypes!
Popeyes near 400 E 95th is NOT the Roseland Community! I guess the news didn't want to state that Popeyes is across the street from Chicago State University.
Well ummm technically 400 E. 95th is within the Roseland community area, but another reader addresses that and has other comments as well:
On the official maps the area south of the train tracks is Roseland, while north is Chatham. So it was in Roseland. (East of King Drive would be Burnside.) On other maps the area is West Chesterfield.

I walked past there this morning and didn't even notice anything unusual. Frighteningly enough, we are getting accustomed to this violence.

A few weeks ago a 17 year old was shot at 91st Place and King Drive and pulled into the BP station across the street from Popeyes. Rumor has it that the bullet wasn't even intended for him.

Don't forget that Mom, Grandma, or Auntie are providing room and board for these killers. They need to put them out.

Well how about we start some comments about this violence here. Why wait for that ward meeting next month? We should start talking publicly now about what we want to do about it!

A summary of last week's library meeting.

Apologies for not posting this sooner.

This is from CAPCC blog's summary of the library meeting, which was fairly accurate (I was also at the meeting).

We, at the Chatham Avalon Park Community Council, had the pleasure of attending the Facilities Committee Board of Directors meeting at the Whitney Young Branch of the Chicago Public Library (CPL) at 7901 South King Drive.

Ms. Mary Dempsey, Commissioner of the Chicago Public Library System, presided over the meeting which was fully attended by members of the Chatham community. The new building project for the Whitney Young Branch was discussed thoroughly by the committee.

Right now the final closing on the laundromat at the corner of 79Th & Vernon has not been finalized, so the parcel covering the area from 79Th Street to the alley and from Vernon Avenue to King Drive will be used as the foundation for the new building.

Concern was raised about have the new library as a 2-story structure. Ms. Dempsey was adamant about have it as a one-story with an all-new prototype that looks like two stories but will cover more than 14,000 square feet (with a budget of $14,000,000.00) with enough room for a children's center and adult reference sections, and space for a parking lot, the library itself, and a reading garden and with an entrance facing King Drive. No demolition date as been set because the final lot under the laundromat as not yet been fully acquired by the Public Buildings Commission of Chicago, then by the City and then given to the Chicago Public Library. But because of safety and disposal problems with the former Tropical Chicken site, there may the demolition first of that site all the way up to the present library (since that is now CPL property) for the time being to address the unsightliness complaints of the residents nearby, including the broken-down garage and trash from an overturned dumpster in the rear of the former beauty supply store site.

Top of the line and state of the art high technology facilities including 4G (4Th Generation) broadband and multiple access points for WI-FI and flat panel computers for children and adults will be offered in the new building. There will also be ample space for auditorium and artist presentations. The architect for the site will be selected by the Public Buildings Commission of Chicago by competitive bidding process. The contractor has not been chosen at this time. Once the Public Buildings Commission as decided on a final prototype, the Commissioner of the CPL will reach out to the Alderwoman of the 6Th Ward to call for public hearings on the architectural design for members of the community to discuss.

Dates for such hearings have not yet been set.

We strongly urge all of our residents, members, and viewers to write to the CPL Commissioner to express their views on having a 2-story structure at: Chicago Public Library Commissioner's Office, 10N, 400 S. State Street, Chicago, IL 60605.
I will post my own thoughts on it, which may seem contradictory to today's earlier post. There's just way too much to settle for a mere comment

Bill Brady on big boxes and inner-city violence

This post is not an endorsement of Bill Brady, I just want to present his comments on those issues that are affecting us currently. As always you have the ability and the right to address his comments. As a matter of fact it is definitely welcomed!

Over the weekend the GOP nominee for Governor state Sen. Bill Brady (from downstate Bloomington) had invited some bloggers to discuss some issues. I got wind of this event courtesy of Bill Baar's West Side. But most of the comments I have blockquoted are from Illinois Review.

To be fair, if Pat Quinn has any thoughts to share on these issues whether or not it's uttered in the press or any other means it will be posted on this blog as well.

Let's start with the big boxes as this is the hot story right now and there are proposals to place a Wal-Mart (well that's the main box for whom many have expressed opposition) in either Pullman or Chatham. I will excerpt from Illinois Review:
Placing union leaders' demands over community welfare is one issue that soundly resonates against Democrats in communities hit hard by unemployment and business closings, he said. “A clear defining difference between us and the Democrats is if you just take business, and look at the 'big boxes' that want to be built in Chicago,” Brady said, “They’re willing to put the livelihood and the quality of their citizens at bay for their political interests because they want to win favor with union leaders.”

"Big boxes" has become a term commonly used to describe retail chain stores such as WalMart, who often hire non-union workers.
...
“It helps us with minority communities, it’s truth, it’s real,” Brady said. “It points to the dynamic differences between the political fiefdoms and the continuation of power for a few against the people they represent,” Brady said. “It really bothered me when – to counteract this -- they actually put $10 million into last year’s budget to help alleviate the “food desert” problem. We could have made hundreds of millions in tax revenue by letting the private sector alleviate the food desert problem.”

And ironically, those “food deserts” – the term used to describe economically-depressed areas major fresh produce retailers avoid because they drain major grocers’ financial resources – are a key element of First Lady Michelle Obama’s emphasis in fighting childhood obesity.

Allowing corporate entities like WalMart or Target doesn’t just bring in discount sales items, big box supporters argue, they most often serve as the center of a productive economic resource that can change a community. Discount providers like WalMart or Target hire non-union personnel.

“By the way, you won’t find too many free-standing big boxes. Generally, we developers are willing to give land to a big box just to make the land sales of the surrounding properties. Because once you get an anchor like that, dry cleaners, fast food and all the other benefits come in,” he said. “Construction, revenue and all the permanent jobs are a fraction big boxes will have on the area.”
Bill Barr on his blog discusses Brady's comments with regards to the recent wave of violence during the course of the past week:
I asked Brady on how we go about growing Illinois when we have nine shot dead and another eighteen wounded within 12 hours. He responded with schools and economy on the fundamental solution to reducing violence but also mentioned the need for collective police work among city, suburbs, and State. Also letting violent offenders out early doesn't help much.
Here's more on his take on what to do with the schools over at Illinois Review:
Brady said school choice and term limits are also topics about which Chicago and Cook County voters are interested in hearing more. Minority communities understand firsthand the failure of schools, how it affects their children’s lives and their neighborhoods. They know how frustrating it is to have overbearing political personalities bully away campaign challengers. Folks in those communities are now understanding the need for term limits.

But it’s not the issues that’s the challenge, Brady said. It’s that the Republicans have historically failed in presentation of the message.

“Our message has to resonate and be inviting to minority communities. We have to collectively reach out and invite them to join our cause,” Brady said. “I think Rev. Meeks is helping us with his voucher legislation. It’s helping us on the big box issue. We’ll pick a couple of key issues that speak to specifics, but more so to general philosophy. We have to tell them what’s in it for them – fresh food, affordable food, jobs, a say in your child’s education. “
BTW, Rich Miller at the CapFax writes about this event as well. Of course what he writes about is more less about the political aspects. This is what he says about Brady talking the issues that affect our community:
Having a Republican candidate talking about issues impacting minority areas is a positive thing. But this isn’t about winning that vote. It’s about winning.
I wrote about Brady on a few occasions about one proposal to ban "big-box ordinances" and his visit to Chatham Market during the course of his campaign. While I don't think Rich Miller is incorrect in his analysis, I do hope that during the course of this campaign both Brady and Gov. Quinn can pay a visit to our community and address the issues of economic development, violence and schools.

The main thing here, however, is that there must be a solid plan to address those issues. It's especially important when either of these gentlemen start their terms in January 2011.

BTW, if you were invited to this event either as a blogger or as a citizen, are there any other questions you would like to ask Bill Brady or Pat Quinn? Be as tough as you'd like!

Have anyone been able to ride the new 5000-series trains???

These new rail cars have been traveling up and down the Red Line since Monday. I tweeted the schedule to be able to ride these trains over the weekend courtesy of CTA Tattler! If you have the interest in seeing the CTA's new trains then be sure to check out those times.

CTA Tattler also have some initial reviews of these new rail cars and the Sun-Times has an article (via CapFax morning shorts) up about the first day of runs. Expect these trains to run up and down the Red Line until at least May 14th.

ALSO, here's another review from Tracy Swartz at Red Eye!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Whitney Young Library- Let's move on and get a building up!

The debate about the Whitney Young library seems to continue for no reason except that some individuals in this community have bruised egos.

The Chicago Public library commissioner Mary Dempsey has reiterated her position that the Whitney Young Library will be a single story building with a two story facade that will be the same square footage as the two story building. She has stated that based on the current economy that she does not have the resources to staff a two floor building. She has pointed to the Beverly, Mount Greenwood, and West Pullman branches are all built on this model and are functioning well for those communities.

It was reported on the CAPCC blog(unverified) that members of CAPCC are still insisting that the CPL build a two story building only because the Humbolt Park branch is two story and their ad hoc committee decided that the Whitney Young branch should be based on that model.
The problem with the CAPCC thought process is that first its selfish and unsubstantiated by any meaningful and documented facts. The facts are as follows:

There is no substantiated facts that circulation has increased to justify a two story facility
The CPL did not commission CAPCC to solicit community response
The Chatham community has six library facilities within a 5 mile radius to frequent

Auburn Park - 76Th Racine
Avalon Park - 81st Stony Island
Woodson Regional - 95th Halsted
Grand Crossing- 73rd South Chicago (Fall 2010)
Kennedy King College- 64th halsted (no book checkout)
Chicago State University - 95th King (no book checkout)

These are the facts as well as several former CPL employees who are also Chatham residents have voiced their disapproval because of the incompetence of the current staff and safety issues.

Based on the above, CAPCC needs to get out of the way and let the library process go forward so we can get a building sooner than later. I think we need to focus on a more immediate problem and figure out why with the number of libraries that serve our community why do we have failing elementary and high schools.

What do you think?

Money Smart Week THIS week!

The Federal Reserve Bank, in cooperation with several businesses, churches libraries, and other ogranizations, sponsors "Money Smart Week", with events all over the city and surrounding area, with FREE seminars on a variety of financial topics, applying to the the elderly all the way to children.

We have several in the 6th ward area.

The Illinois Attorney General's office at 7906 S. Cottage Grove hosts an event all day.

National City Bank (now part of PNC) hosts a http://www.chicagofed.org/webpages/education/msw/moneysmartpublic/index.cfm?event=eventDisplay&sessionID=964&mainCityID=1at 8700 S Cottage Grove, Chicago,IL 60619 on Tuesday, April 20 from 6pm to 7:30pm

At the same time, the Whitney Young Public Library hosts Non Sufficient Funds-Will you have enough for retirement? This is the first in a series of events at the library, mainly led by Yolanda Fabre-Shiloh (of Waddell and Reed). Meet at 7901 S King Drive, Chicago,IL 60619 on Tuesday, April 20 from 6pm to 7:30pm

For more information on Money Smart Week in Chicago, simply go to MoneySmartWeek.org/chicago for more details, and to select events of interest to you (you can choose by subject as well as location through the advance search feature)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Syron Smith Interviews Chatham Mom



Syron Smith wants to change the world, "Block By Block". As the leader of the National Block Club University organization, Mr. Smith has set their goal to "track, monitor, and counter act violence throughout 167 of America's most dangerous neighborhoods". To supplement this initiative, he recently ran for Illinois State Representative in the 32nd legislative district against incumbent Andre Thapedi. Although that initiative did not produce the result he wanted, Smith remains focused on building awareness for his main project- the National Block Club University.

Last Wednesday, I began my training as "governor" or leader of the 60619 zip code. Since my specialty is in community journalism, I brought my camera along and we met up with a mom named Lenore who appreciated our help.

In the video above, Brother Syron got some insight from Sister Lenore about her challenges as a mother, as well what can be done to strengthen our community.
Syron's greatest venture is to get residents involved by purchasing toilet tissue for $12.00 or just making a donation towards the cause. Our ward includes the 60619 zip code, which you will see in the video, has supported the Illinois State Lottery as the state's most profitable area. However, that same money rarely gets channeled back into the school system, as it was promised to be during the days of the late Mayor Harold Washington.

Some folks have questioned my role in this community. That's good. People will always gossip or make false statements about things that intrigue them or that they don't understand. I'm one of the many passionate, educated, young black men who want to STAY in the Sixth Ward and not move out.

Criticism, done in the right spirit, is welcomed. But discouraging, destructive words will not be entertained- except to motivate me to strive harder to help our community.

I love you all. I just ask for you to love me back, because you'll be also loving the God who works in me.

- Zack Isaacs-Raspberry (Zack for short) ;)

Wal-Mart discussion on Monsters & Money in the Morning

Dan Jiggets, Mike North and Terry Savage discuss the Wal-Mart news on the morning of April 12, 2010. It's a very interesting two-minute discussion.

You can read this news story from CBS2 about the ministers who want to ramp up the pressure on city aldermen to build more Wal-Marts in struggling areas in our city.

Urban fish farming in Chicago

I think that this has been hinted at with Ald. Lyle whether you visit her monthly meetings or you read her monthly newsletters. She is in fact quoted in this article from the past week in the Tribune:
The idea of a fish farm in the middle of the city can seem quirky. Sometimes when 6th Ward Ald. Freddrenna Lyle brings up the subject, "people look at me as if they thought I had two heads," she said.

But raising fish in an urban area is a clean, organic way to grow food, proponents say. It puts vacant lots and old industrial buildings to good use, which is why another alderman has become a proponent, and creates jobs. If done right, advocates say, there's no smell and no pollution, since the fish wastewater is recirculated to irrigate vegetables and herbs.

"And you never have to worry about a loose fish bothering the neighbors," says Myles Harston, who owns AquaRanch Industries in Flanagan, Ill., and has set up about 500 systems nationwide.

But it will be a while before the idea may catch on in Chicago.

Fish cannot be farmed in the city on a commercial scale. Although Chicago's zoning codes say nothing explicitly about fish, they are classified as livestock, said Ald. Helen Schiller, who is working to build an aquaponic fish farm in a boarded-up building in her 46th Ward.

So far, only institutions that raise fish for educational purposes can do it. But Schiller, Lyleand urban agriculture advocates are trying to change that.

They are working with the city to write comprehensive guidelines for growing food in the city. An ad hoc committee, consisting of staff members from the departments of zoning and land use planning, buildings, environment and public health, are looking at such things as health requirements and building standards, waste disposal and where the soil comes from. For now, the committee is focusing on plant-based farming, but eventually it will take a look at urban fish farming.
Mentioned in this article is Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences (also known once upon a time as Chicago Ag) located in the Mt. Greenwood community. They already grow fish at that. Perhaps we could hire some of those students to work at these fish growing facilities whereever they may be. Or pehaps interest other students to work in this field. Especially if they're interested in the sciences or agriculture.

Read the whole thing!

Also check out this YouTube video which shows the activites at an urban farm in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where one activity is raising fish.

Man shot in head and killed in Chatham!

Chicago Breaking News:
A 38-year-old man was killed this morning after he was shot several times in Chicago's Chatham neighborhood.

Maurice Stone, of the 6500 block of South Paulina Street, was pronounced dead at 3:10 a.m. at the Stein Institute, according to a spokesman for the Cook County medical examiner's office.

Slightly after midnight, Stone was leaving a friend's home in the 900 block of East 81st Street when he was gunned down, police said. He suffered multiple gunshot wounds to his head.

The motive behind the shooting is unknown at this time, but police said Stone was gang-affiliated.
Check out the lone comment in this post!
What a surprise another shooting on the south side last nite.
It reeks of a certain amount of ignorance doesn't it?


The Suntimes also reported on it:

Man fatally shot in head multiple times :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Chicago Crime
A man is dead after being shot multiple times in the head in what appears to have been a set-up early Saturday on the South Side.

Maurice Stone, 38, of 6528 S Paulina St., was shot at 937 E. 81st St, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's office, who said Stone was dead on arrival.

A 38-year-old man was at a friend's residence in the 900 block of East 81st Street when he received a phone call at 12:01 a.m. telling him to meet the caller outside, police said.

When he went outside, someone was waiting for him and the man was met with gunfire, according to police, who said the shooting was a set-up.

The man’s friend heard shots fired and went outside to discover the man lying on the sidewalk, police said.

When officers arrived, they found the man “unresponsive” on the scene with multiple gunshot wounds to his head, police said.
The man is believed to have gang affiliation, police said.
The man had a lengthy arrest record and had recently been released from prison, police said.

Calumet Area detectives are investigating, but no one was in custody early Saturday.



We need to know our neighbors! Whether it's murder or scamming, knowing our neighbors can help us stem these crimes.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Robber armed with shotgun caught on video

 

Chgo Breaking News:
The robbery of a South Side dry cleaners by a man wielding a shotgun this week was caught on video now being used by Chicago police in their investigation.

No one was injured at the Rhodes Cleaners in the 500 block of East 79th Street about 7:45 p.m. Tuesday, but the robber got away with between $500-$1,000.
Do you guys think our community is in for a rough summer? :(

Pastors add pressure for more Walmart stores

Cross-posted at Mechanics!

Well it seems that the proposed Chatham Wal-Mart was talked up in this article from the Chicago Defender:
The fight to get another Walmart built in the city has been intensified by a coalition of pastors and community activists who said Ald. Ed Burke (14th) has a “noose” around the neck of the South Side Chicago by holding back the proposed development of store on West 83rd Street.

Rev. Larry Roberts and about 200 pastors, who collectively represent about 100,000 congregants, have taken their message to Burke several times to no avail and now urge Mayor Richard M. Daley to flex his muscle to “make it happen.”

Roberts said it’s time for Burke to move the Walmart issue out of the City Council finance committee – which he chairs – so the Arkansas-based retail giant can proceed with building the store in Ald. Howard Brookins’ 21st Ward, and eventually in other areas on the South Side, particularly in the Englewood and Pullman communities.

“Burke and Daley see what’s in front of them, but their non-reaction is the downfall of the economical advancement of the South Side. Our areas are dormant and Burke has a noose around the necks of the South Side residents,” Roberts, pastor of Trinity All Nations Ministries, told the Defender.
Since whether or not any future Wal-Marts must be considered in front of the full city council we're going to hear a lot about the fact that Wal-Mart doesn't pay their employees a "fair living wage" (however that's determined). So in this story, this is of note:
Walmart opened its first Chicago store in 2006 on the West Side on West North Avenue. The store created more than 400 jobs and pays an hourly wage of $11.30 per hour. The retailer hoped to build more until the proposed “big box” ordinance a year later halted its efforts.

The labor-backed ordinance required all businesses with more than $1 billion in annual sales and stores with more than 90,000-square-feet to pay a minimum wage of at least $11 per hour, $13 per hour with benefits.
Well that's about 30 cents more than what the new living wage ordinance requires, although sure this article says nothing about benefits. I could still question why a living wage ordinance is necessary if the only Wal-Mart in this city is already paying over $11/hr.

Here's another potential vote for future Wal-Marts in the city:
Ald. Willie Cochran (20th) whose ward includes the Englewood location [63rd & Halsted Streets], said while he understands the living wage argument, his constituents want the possibility of employment Walmart offers.

“The jobs are needed now. The residents want Walmart to come to the South Side,” Cochran said, whose ward is a few miles north of Brookins’.
Also Ald. Beale who seems to be working hard on a Wal-Mart in the 9th Ward's Pullman community has expressed support for a Chatham Wal-Mart in Brookins 21st Ward. Although to be sure, it does seem as if Beale may get his before Brookins.

Well other than the need for jobs and economic development another argument in favor of more city Wal-Marts is sales tax revenue. How much money are we missing while city residents on the south side are choosing spend their money at Wal-Mart in Evergreen Park right across the city limits at 95th & Western. Are we missing out while we're arguing over whether or not this very large and important retailer offers their employees a "fair" wage or benefits?

Here are some other articles worth reading, but they probably aren't saying anything different than what you've read here over the part couple of days.

New Wal-Mart gets OK by Chicago Plan Commission - Tribune
Wal-Mart clears Plan Commission in quest to add Chicago store - Crain's
VIDEO Beale: Wal-Mart Brings in Jobs, Businesses - FOX Chicago

This link may have nothing to do with the Wal-Mart issue in the city, however, it's something to consider if this issue is about jobs.

Illinois unemployment spikes above the trend - Capitol Fax

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Far south side Wal-Mart gains approval

Well great news but this Wal-Mart to be located in Pullman still has to get past Chicago's City Council. Especially in light of yesterday's news that Ald. Lyle proposed another living wage ordinance.
The Chicago Plan Commission today approved a Far South Side commercial development anchored by Chicago’s second Wal-Mart, setting the stage for a City Council showdown.

“The Plan Commission is not an elected body. It’s a selected body,” said Jorge Ramirez, secretary-treasurer of the Chicago Federation of Labor.

“All it does is intensify pressure on the aldermen. But, the aldermen can put all that pressure right back on Wal-Mart by saying, sit down. You can’t have it your way. The aldermen are with us on this. It shouldn’t be Wal-Mart’s way or the highway.”

Pullman Park is a 180-acre project at 111th and Bishop Ford Expy. that includes 850 homes, a hotel tower, community recreation center, park and senior apartments. It would be anchored by Chicago's first Wal-Mart supercenter that sells groceries desperately needed in the heart of the “food desert.”
Hey get this!
The residential portion of Pullman Park would require a substantial city subsidy, but the commercial phase will be considered first in an apparent end-run around the City Council's Finance Committee.

Committee Chairman Edward M. Burke (14th) has insisted developments that receive city subsidies directly or indirectly pay a living wage of at least $11.03 an hour.

Barring an unforeseen wage deal between Wal-Mart and organized labor, Burke has told colleagues he has no intention of supporting a new Wal-Mart. He doesn’t want to risk alienating union support he needs in next year’s aldermanic election — not after organized labor spent millions in 2007 to elect a more labor-friendly City Council.
WOW!!! Like he'll have serious trouble getting re-elected Alderman in his ward!

Looks like Beale will have at least one supporter amongst his city council colleagues:
Ald. Mary Ann Smith, 48th, said she hadn't expected to favor the project, but applauded its "holistic approach" to providing open outdoor space and other amenities in addition to the Wal-Mart. "I'm so happy to be able to support this project in your community," Smith told Beale.
I want to take a couple of quotes from both the Clout St. post and the Sun-Times:
“Since I was ten years old, the 9th Ward has lost 35,000 jobs ... I was born and raised in this community. I know it backwards and forwards. Nobody else is coming to the area. Nobody else is trying to fill the ills of my community,” Beale said.

“If Wal-Mart doesn’t anchor this site, my site goes nowhere because everyone else has said, ‘No. We’re not interested.’”
...
Merlon Jackson, pastor of Christ Community Church on 103rd Street, said the development would help bring some optimism to residents of an often overlooked area of the city.

"This will give people in that community... some hope," Jackson said.
The next step? Well Beale's development proposal has to go before the city council's zoning committee and then of course it has to be considered in front of the full city council. That also means that debate will include at the arguments about how Wal-Mart doesn't pay their workers a living wage or what not.

3 people hurt in Chatham shootings

From Chicago Breaking News tonight...


3 wounded in South Side shootings
April 15, 2010 8:36 PM No Comments

At least three people were taken to hospitals from two
shootings on the
South Side tonight, officials said.

Just before 8 p.m., two people were shot at East 85th Street and South Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, a Chicago Fire Department spokesman said. The two were taken to Northwestern Memorial
Hospital with traumatic injuries.


No information about the circumstances of the shooting or the victims was immediately available.


About 8:10 p.m., paramedics responded to 622 E. 87th Place to reports of shots fired. One person was taken to Stroger Hospital.

No information on that shooting was available either.

-- Serena Maria Daniels



Can anyone explain what's going on? Yes, it was hot out tonight. But here in Chatham, between Cole Park and Target?!?!

Scam alert

Hey Neighbors...wanted to let you know about a man who is allegedly scamming people for money.
A quick summary...
He came to my door, and said "Hi, it's your neighbor, Mr. Wilson,"claiming to be a neighbor across the street, and needed $20 to get his car fixed.
(Someone had supposedly broken into his car, stole his battery).
I had fallen for this type of scam before (by a man, also claiming to be a neighbor and had his car burglarized and damaged; who had a CTA uniform, and "needed to get to work", and would repay the money), and told "Mr. Wilson" about my suspicions about him.
He left, and said he would ask another neighbor for the money.
I followed him, going down the 7900-8000 block of South Calumet, and saw that he did stop by one house, but then left and went down the block, away from his alleged home. He walked around the corner.
I tried to cut him off by going down an alley and walking around, and saw him on the 8100 S. Prairie, talking with a neighbor and his wife.
i was unfortunately too late. He took their money.
His story was that he worked for Crerar Presbyterian Church, and that his car was broken into, and needed some money for repairs. They thought it was the actual custodian, but "Dick" wasn't.
So let everyone know.. don't give money to anyone claiming to be a neighbor, especially one you do not know FOR SURE if he or she is a neighbor.

Ald. Anthony Beale to head the city council's police & fire committee

Sun-Times:
Far South Side alderman Anthony Beale (9th) — who has infuriated rank-and-file-police officers by targeting their supplemental pay and proposing more power for “rent-a-cops” — was chosen by Mayor Daley today to chair the City Council’s Police Committee.

But, he said, "We'll continue to work with the [committee] members for the benefit of Chicago Police officers and the people of Chicago.”

Beale, 43, replaces former Ald. Isaac Carothers (29th), who was elevated by the mayor over more senior colleagues, only to be convicted of shaking down a West Side developer.

Beale is a surprise choice for several reasons. Although he has cozied up to Daley recently in his push to develop Pullman Park, Beale was elected to the City Council in 1999 with the staunch support of State Sen. James Meeks and U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson (D-Il.), longtime Daley critics.
...
Beale has targeted duty-availability pay, a supplemental, $2,800-a-year lump sum that essentially compensates officers for being on call at any time.

He has also criticized the roughly $1,800-a-year uniform allowance officers receive and infuriated the rank-and-file by proposing that private security guards patrolling three Far South Side commercial strips be empowered to write tickets — for everything from parking and moving violations to loitering, littering and graffiti.

Daley denied that his selection of Beale was an “antagonistic move” toward police officers who are already furious with the mayor after waiting three years for a new contract.

"He's had some criticism, but in the long run, he’s supported the Police Department and Fire Department tremendously in his district. He works very well in the 9th Ward," Daley said.
As you all know Beale is also attempting to get a Wal-Mart into his ward in the same development mentioned in this article.

Via CapFax morning shorts!

ALSO, 2nd City Cop doesn't like Ald. Beale all that much!