Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Another Walmart opened today but what about the Chatham Supercenter

Today, a Wal-Mart Express opened in Uptown. This past summer a Wal-Mart Express opened near 83rd & Stewart. But then what about our Supercenter!

Surely many hoped it would be open by Christmas, instead this Crain's piece states as well as other future Wal-Mart store openings:
  • Wal-Mart Express in West Englewood at South Western Avenue and West 71st Street (winter 2012);
  • Supercenter in West Chatham at 83rd Street and Stewart Avenue (spring 2012);
  • Wal-Mart Express in River North at Chicago and Franklin streets (spring 2012);
  • Wal-Mart Market in West Englewood at West 76th Street and South Ashland Avenue (spring 2012);
  • Wal-Mart Market in Lakeview at Broadway and Surf Street (spring 2012);
  • Supercenter in Pullman at 111th Street and South Doty Avenue (spring 2013).
Who will be at the Chatham Supercenter when it opens next spring?



Ward remap: Could a Black Alderman lose their ward?

From a variety of reliable sources, one of these three Black Aldermen may lose their ward in a deal cut between the city council's Black and Hispanic Caucuses. These negotiations also include Rules Committee Chairman Richard Mell and note that the Rule Committee does have authority over the city ward remap.

So the following Alderman who could lose their wards are Toni Foulkes (15), Joann Thompson - a former Cook County probation officer (16), and returning Alderman Michael Chandler - who previously worked for the city's water department (24). Still at current there is no news as to whether or not this would impact the remap of the 6th ward with respect to the neighborhoods of Chesterfield, West Chesterfield, and Roseland Heights.

Stay tuned!!!!

Thinking about the significance of Shore Bank

Location: Chicago, IL 60619, USA
The following post was supposed to have been posted around June 21 of this year. While not quite as timely, it is still relevant as we just had a "Shop Local Day", and Urban Partnership, which has replaced Shore Bank as a corporation, still has many of the same staff and the same local attitude that made it a vital institution in our neighborhood.

This is a comment Worlee made on the Chatham Avalon Park Community Council blog, also note that Worlee made similar comments posted last month (May) on this blog.
While to most, this is just another bank failure but if Shorebank fails it will wipe away over 40 years of history and progress of the Chatham community.

ShoreBank started as South Shore Bank was started by a multicultural group of individuals to address the lack of capital available to individuals in South Shore as the community changed from being a primarily White Jewish community to African American.

Independence Bank was started at 79th Cottage Grove by a group of African American business men who decided they would control their destiny by creating a bank that would serve African Americans.

In the mid 80's these two banks merged together to create ShoreBank as we know it today.

The combined entities continued to carry out its mission of giving access to capital to those who traditionally were denied access. This access has allowed our community based organizations, social service agencies, churches, real estate investors and homeowners to help build our community.

Although we now have several commercial banking organizations entering the community, the loss of a true "community bank" like ShoreBank which makes decisions based on what is best for its customers and the community, would be a major blow we can ill afford to imagine.

The financial situations of Illinois Service Federal, Seaway and Highland Bank are questionable and the takeover of ShoreBank by an institution with no history in the Chatham community or commitment to serving Chicago ’s urban neighborhoods is sure to lessen the likelihood of an inclusive economic recovery.
I thought these comments were very significant.

What are your experiences with community banks such as Shore Bank and others?

Occupy Englewood Schools...

In response to Tuesday's news that CPS is expected to turnaround 10 schools around the city. The Englewood Portal notes that half of that neighborhoods elementary schools are on "level 3" probation. One of those schools neighborhood schools Stagg Elementary is on the turnaround list.

On this issue RAGE poses the following questions:
  • Are the students in our neighborhood receiving the worst education CPS can offer?
  • We have an influx of charter schools in Englewood (Providence, Urban Prep, Betty Shabazz, Amandla, Noble College, and more) are these any better?
  • What are we doing wrong as a community that we are allowing this to happen to our students in the 60621 and 60636 zip code?
  • How can the community help "Occupy Englewood Schools" to assure our students have a fair chance in the real world??
  • What can RAGE or other stakeholders do to help combat this issue?
Of course for many parents or supporters of public education the idea of a "turnaround" - which only means that these individuals school's faculty will effectively be removed from their positions and replaced - is bound the be controversial. Then again if we do support public education in Chicago there has to be a way to insure the desired results of educating our young people.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Former Ald. Lyle appointed to the county circuit court...

UPDATED 9:09 - I was just alerted to the comments in the article from the Tribune about Judge Lyle's appointment to the Cook County bench. A lot of people aren't very happy about this. Although I share this knowing that some have expressed comments supporting her appointment to the bench.

Worlee posted on his blog last night that former Ald. Lyle is to be appointed a circuit court judge in Cook County to fill a vacancy on the second subcircut of Cook County that was originally filled by Michael Stuttley. The Tribune tells us more about Lyle's future plans as a judge:
“I am proud to serve the community in a new area, and it keeps my intellectual juices flowing,” Lyle said of her appointment, adding that she does not plan to run in the March primary for judge but would consider filling another vacancy if one opened up.
It's also expected that she will give up her position as the attorney for the city council's Black Caucus within the next week. In her capacity with the Black Caucus she had been working on the remap effort.

Speaking of that December 1st deadline...

Regarding the ward remaps WBEZ reminds us that the City Council is still working on a new map:
The chair of the city council's Black Caucus, Howard Brookins, said Tuesday that aldermen are "still meeting and negotiating...and trying to come up with a compromise that does not involve having the citizens having to vote on it."

A referendum would happen if ten or more aldermen propose a competing map.

By statute, the deadline to pass a map is December first - this Thursday - but Brookins notes there's a debate about how hard that deadline is.

A lawyer for the council's Hispanic Caucus who's involved in the negotiations, Amy Kurson, said it's her understanding that Rules Committte Chair Dick Mell will introduce a map by the deadline. It could still be "tweaked" in committee before the full council votes on it.

Before her clients decide whether they can support it, "we really do have to see the map" Kurson said. "The Latino Caucus has been very clear about their expectations."

Those expectations include 14 wards with Hispanic super-majorities, an increase from the ten agreed to a decade ago. Caucus leaders said such a change is needed to reflect Latino population growth over the last decade. But the drawing of those wards will have a ripple effect.
There is a website that is supposed to provide more information about the remap @ http://chicagoredistricting.com/ however that website is essentially worthless as there isn't a lot of information on any other proposals to be considered by Ald. Mell's rules committee. I still would like to see the Latino caucus' ward map proposal.

As a matter of fact I sent an e-mail to the Chicago Redistricting site and got this response:
The site is in the process of being updated. We will be posting proposed maps once we receive them.
I hope that before the city council votes on a ward map that Chicago residents will be able to view all proposed maps. BTW, I need not be the only one who sends an e-mail to the Chicago Redistricting website.

Also again here's information for the Rules Committee Chairman Ald. Richard Mell and Black Caucus Chairman Ald. Howard Brookins. Of course you can also follow-up with Ald. Sawyer as he does certainly have a vested interest in what the 6th ward will look like. Please be encouraged to get into touch with all those figures and get all the information you can!

Tuition-Free EMT Training For Working Women

Location: 320 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60612, USA



The Industrial Council of Nearwest Chicago (ICNC) is now accepting applications for EMT training.

Who qualifies for this program?

To qualify, you must be a working single woman earning between $10,000 - $40,000 per year
and living in the city of Chicago. It is also important that you have a clean record, both criminal
and driving.

Additionally, you must be fluent in English, have good basic math and reading skills and be able
to work legally in the United States.

Application Process:

1. Online Applications accepted -Now
2. On-site assessment at ICNC - late January to mid February
3. On-site interviews at ICNC - February
4. Pre-class starts - March 2012

The link for the on-line application is:
http://www.icnctraining.org/index.html

Is this the Latino Caucus' proposed map?


Twice I recieved an e-mail with a proposed ward map drawn by the Latino Caucus. I had attended the Ward Remap forum hosted by Roseland Heights the week before Thanksgiving. A guy in the know at that forum claimed to have seen the proposed Latino ward map and noted that the communities south of 87th Street (Chesterfield, West Chesterfield, and Roseland Heights) were going to be drawn into the 9th ward no matter how it was sliced.

Then the map below was sent to be twice once by Clevan Tucker of Roseland Heights and in an e-mail blast from the Greater Chatham Alliance. In the left hand corner is a detail that shows the 6th Ward. I wasn't sure at first if this was a proposed map because it almost resembled the ward map drawn before 2001. All the same it was noted in an earlier article posted here about the ward remap that the City Council Black and Latino Caucuses were talking. Hopefully what they come up with might make some residents of the 6th happy since many don't want to be drawn out of this ward.

Unfortunately, I doubt this is the Latino caucus' proposed map. This map is of the ward boundaries for the decade before 2001. I had to use archive.org to find an earlier version of the city's website and find a previous 50 ward map in this case from January 2000. In fact this is how the 6th Ward used to look back in 2000 roughly the first term of former Alderman and now Judge Freddrenna Lyle.

The alleged Latino caucus map is below! Let's also not forget that the deadline for the Chicago City Council to approve a new ward map is December 1st and it's coming this Thursday. I may have to find out what's going on with regards to any ward remap votes but you can always check out the city clerk website to see when the city council will next meet!

Redistricting the ward/population differences. -- your thoughts?

Location: Chicago, IL 60619, USA
One in a series of drafts that were started but that we forgot about in the midst of other news. This draft was started on July 18, before the redistricting process had really started.

The Chicago Tribune recently posted a story on Ward re-mapping, and gave us a tool to compare 2000 AND 2010 populations.

For example, the 6th ward's Asian population grew more than 11%. OK, it was only 4 people, but it sounds impressive). The non-African-American population did gain more than 200, making themselves almost 3% of the 6th Ward's poplation, though no area appears to be an "ethnic neighborhood". However we lost 5000 African Americans. 

Here's the comparison maps...

http://media.apps.chicagotribune.com/ward-redistricting/index.html#41.8322234439287,-87.60635375976562,12,0
Roseland Heights seems to be the most diverse:
96.8% African-American
01.2% Other
01.1% Hispanic
00.6% White
00.3% Asian   

The Ward seems generally with logical boundaries, but some thoughts:

Burnside west of Cottage Grove ought to be folded into the ward.  It doesn't make sense why it would be outside, as many of the resources (such as Burnside Academy, Tuley Park) are in the 6th.

Also, to bring up the population to the target 53,000, perhaps going south on the part of the ward that is West of the Dan Ryan (I-94) may  help as well. 

How do you think the ward should be reconfigured?

How do we become a part of this process?

Monday, November 28, 2011

What was with the spotlight this weekend?

Location: S Cottage Grove Ave & E 83rd St, Chicago, IL 60619, USA
On Saturday night, staring around 5pm, we could see some floodlights reaching toward the sky somewhere west of King Drive.

When we came back at 8pm, the lights were still going, so I drove in the car to investigate.

So i found the source -- Dat Donuts at 83rd and Cottage Grove.

However, Dat Donuts was closed, and the only thing open at that intersection was the gas station.

On Sunday night, I saw them on from what I guess was 79th and 83rd (on Cottage Grove).

Anyone know why the floodlights were on? Was it a part of the Shop Local weekend effort? Or something else?

Candidates have begun filing

Filings for candidates a separate page with candidates and contact info in the near future.

Some candidates are for offices such as Committeeman and are available through the Chicago Board of Elections, which have not yet posted filings.

You can also refer to the Cook County Clerk website for candidate filings. Kari Steele has also filed for Water Reclamation district according to the County Clerk. - Levois

Some offices needed to be filed through Springfield (literally), and are listed through the Illinois Board of Elections (http://www.elections.illinois.gov/ )

Some who filed on the first day:

For State Representative
  • Mary Flowers, D-31
  • Andre Thapedi, D-32
  • Elgie Sims, D-34
For State Senator
  • Donne Trotter, D-17

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Reminder - Buy Chatham this weekend (and really everyday)

Location: Chicago, IL 60619, USA
Just a reminder about what we posted earlier, to buy local, especially this weekend (but don't stop on Sunday!)



Friday, November 25, 2011

So since we have some offices up for election next year...

Is there anyone out there running for Republican (GOP) Committeeman next year? Also we know about the Democratic field for 34th district state Representative and we know who's running for 6th Ward Democratic committeeman, but little idea of any Republicans running in next year's primary for either office.

Greg Hinz of Crain's Chicago Business wants to encourage you to run for GOP Committeeman:
Doug Ibendahl, a former attorney for the state GOP, has been waging a bit of a one-man campaign to drum up interest in the job of Republican ward committeeman as part of an effort to spark some grassroots activity. The local party chiefs will be elected in the March primary, and snagging a spot is surprisingly easy.

Mr. Ibendahl notes that getting on the ballot requires the signatures of no more than 30 registered voters in most city wards. And actually getting elected can take almost as few.

In 2008, for instance, 3rd Ward GOP committeeman winner Bobbie Johnson had just 65 votes to his opponent's 57. Linda Rockett won 40-26 in the 9th Ward and Margaree Jackson just 47 in the 28th Ward.

Now, all of those admittedly are predominantly African-American wards, in which Republicans are as scarce as elephants. But hey, fame costs. So move, already.
Hinz concludes:
So here's your chance, folks, to be a big shot, have your own personal soap box and get on Sarah Palin's Christmas card list. You might even help rebuild a second party in distinctly one-party Chicago.
Though I would expect that well no one should aspire to be on Mrs. Palin's Christmas card list. Now if she were to pay a visit to Chatham for example or even Englewood now hopefully that should give any aspiring Republican activist some pull! Either way you still have time to circulate petitions just pay a visit to the Chicago Board of Elections for more information!

BTW, the current 6th Ward Committeeman is Jackie Robinson as listed at both the official websites for the Cook County Republican Party (just scroll down and look for a section titles "ward committeeman") or the Chicago Republican Party. His contact information is listed at both pages.

BTW, I wrote about the respective party committeeman in our ward in 2007. Each presidential primary we elect not only major party committeeman (Democrats & Republican) we also elect a Green Party Committeeman as well.

What should be the basis of drawing ward maps?

Click for better resolution
Courtesy of The Pro Bono Thinking Society!
In starting this project, we hoped to answer the question: “What would the new ward map look like if it was drawn by a completely independent group with no skin in the game?”

We decided to look purely at total population data at the census tract level and ignore any data on race, socioeconomic status, or voting history. We found discussions of “white wards” and “hispanic wards” and “black wards” to be focused on a past that should no longer exist in the City of Chicago. A ward should be designed to represent a geographical community area within the city, not race. As the first Asian alderman, would anyone claim that Ameya Pawar of the north side 47th ward represents the Asian population of Chinatown? Would a white alderman representing Lakeview serve the same interests as a white alderman in Bridgeport? We felt it was time the redistricting process focused on clearly defined, compact wards that were based on intact census tracts rather than gerrymandered blocks.

Wards should be based on geographical boundaries (such as roads, waterways, public spaces), and general community areas, with the aim of being as compact and easily identifiable as possible. Wards should not be created based on race, political implications, or for the benefit of any individual or individual group. Using census tract level data helps achieve several of these objectives, as census tracts themselves are designed to be relatively compact and follow common sense boundaries:
“The Following Features are Preferred as Census Tract Boundaries for the 2010 Census:
c. Visible, perennial natural and cultural features, such as roads, shorelines, rivers, perennial streams and canals, railroad tracks, or above-ground high-tension power lines.” -Source
Another way to say that the politicians shouldn't be allowed draw their own maps.

At least with that map Chesterfield, West Chesterfield and Roseland Heights will be in the 8th Ward. The 6th Ward would be Englewood. The 20th Ward would head further south probably to about 71st or 75th Street.

They should submit this map, but I just know that this map would make too much sense. Thus it probably won't go anywhere!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Please post a comment about what you're thankful for in our neighborhood!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Ald. Sawyer encourages the 6th ward to buy local

A post you will see on Ald. Sawyer's 6th Ward Chicago website. A quote of note:
The 6th Ward has historically had one of the largest concentrations of black businesses and entrepreneurs in the city of Chicago. Alderman Sawyer is committed to revitalizing all of the arterial and business streets in the ward as part of his plan to increase economic development as well as safety in the community.
And my hope is that the 6th Ward will be open for business first and foremost. Do you plan to shop local for the holidays? You will see a flyer below.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Russ Stewart on Black Caucus "non-retrogression"

Back in October Ald. Sawyer spoke to the residents of Roseland Heights to talk about the ward remap process. A term was used there called non-retrogression. Russ Stewart has a brief explanation on hand:
Alderman Howard Brookins (21st), the caucus chairman, said that the federal Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act mandate "non-retrogression." "There cannot be any fewer black-majority wards than we have now," Brookins said.
It seems however that since it appears many residents who are protesting any attempt to draw out the far south end communities of the 6th Ward into the neighboring 9th Ward by noting that this is about saving as many Black Aldermen as possible (gerrymandering). Here's Stewart's analysis:
On the South Side, Hispanic population growth has spread into the black-majority 15th and 18th wards. The caucus map tinkers with area ward boundaries, increasing the Hispanic population in the 18th Ward, now held by Alderman Lona Lane, to 45 percent. The population is sufficient to sustain only 12 of the 14 black-majority wards south of the Loop to the city limits. The wards with the largest population growth are the North Loop 42nd and the South Loop 2nd, both with white aldermen.

Half of the Far Southwest Side 19th Ward is cannibalized and attached to the adjacent black 18th, 21st and 34th wards, leaving the white half hanging. Since white committeemen in the 11th (John Daley), 19th (Matt O'Shea), 13th (Mike Madigan) and 23rd (Bill Lipinski) wards will not let their domains be cannibalized, at least two black South Siders and one black West Sider will be shown the door.

The City Council Rules Committee, chaired by Mell, is working up a map which will protect almost all white aldermen and create a few new Hispanic wards. Under council requirements, 26 votes are needed for passage. If that majority is secured, but fewer than 40 votes, a referendum will be placed on the ballot next March, allowing voters to accept or reject it. Mell, the master manipulator, will have all the white and Hispanic aldermen on board, which guarantees 31 votes. Expect a hue and cry of "racism" in the black community.
The Hispanics have their map although I have no idea how it looks and the Black Caucus have their map and I've shown you how it looks. It has been noted at a recent ward remap forum that there could be a third map up for consideration. I would be very curious how the Rule Committee map would look.

BTW, in mentioning the issue about saving Black Alderman there are those from Chesterfield, West Chesterfield and Roseland Heights who wouldn't be sad to see some Black Aldermen lose their jobs as a result of this remap. Especially if it means they remain in the 6th Ward, but the question is would that come to pass?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The blue "White House" is back....

This time as one of four of other White House replica homes around the country and this is the write-up courtesy of Yahoo! Real Estate for this home located at 8401 S. Michigan Avenue in Chatham:
Slightly less expensive, at $899,900, is a Chicago variation on the White House theme. It has the distinctive two-story portico and columns, and some of its trim work has federalist touches.

It's also blue.

Shaunda Brown, an agent for Bradley Myles Realty, has lived in the house in the Chatham neighborhood on the city's South Side for six years and listed it for sale in September 2010.

"I don't know why the builder went for that look, but it was built as a copy of the White House," she said of the original owner, who constructed the home in 1966. "It was in poor condition, so I did a complete rehab."

Brown didn't buy it for the portico, etc., she said.

"I don't know why they picked blue brick," she said. "I wasn't truly crazy about that, but I later found out the bricks had been imported from Italy. I do like the pillars."

She said the house's White House look is both a plus and a minus. For one thing, everybody knows the house. Just recently, she said, she was talking by phone to a help-desk technician who said he was in Kalamazoo, Mich., but had spent time in Chatham in the past.

"He said, 'I remember there was this huge blue, brick house,'" Brown said.

Although that struck her as funny, she'd prefer the house to be less prominent.

"I'm not crazy about the fact that everybody knows the house and wants to know who you are and what you do (if you live in it)," she said.
This home has been featured several times on this blog. It had also been featured on Curbed Chicago as well. Check out this post with a video tour that was posted here on the blog back in March.

Hat-tip John Ruberry!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Concerned Citizens of Chatham: Transit Chicago: Sawyer Vs Claypool- Who Will Win

Pic taken in 2009

Concerned Citizens of Chatham: Transit Chicago: Sawyer Vs Claypool- Who Will Win

First and foremost I also want to offer my condolences to the family of the construction worker who was killed during the demolition of this building.

Looks like 11 E. 79th Street is going down for sure according to Worlee:
I called the Alderman's office to inquire what was going to be built on the site, they stated the church was ordered to tear down the building and there were no immediate plans to build anything but the church was interested in working with the community to brig in businesses that would compliment the community. This is a departure from the arrogant stance Carter Temple CME Church and their leadership took several years ago.
The drama over this site:
This was the second building on this corner that was demolished. The 7900 S State building on the corner was torn down several years ago. The building contained a liquor store and other stores on the ground level. Carter Temple led a group to have the have the liquor license revoked. Subsequently the church purchased the building with the intent to rehab but had internal disputes and ran afoul with the city. Also, an apartment building to the south was torn down because it was designated a public nuisance. The last time I checked the church was $400,000 plus in the hole on this project. They had come up with a plan to build a seniors building but were being urged to sell by members who had stayed after this project collapsed. The church will argue that they community and former Alderman Lyle interfered with them completing this project because she would not release a demolition lien against the project. She was asked by the community not to release the lien because there was no solid plan and financing in place at that time. It is unfortunate because the Alderman worked very hard to get Starbucks interested in the site before the building was demolished and after the church indicated that they did not want Starbucks CAPCC indicated they wanted to open a coffee shop/convenience store but members of the church who made up the committee overseeing the building indicated they were not interested The church and the community got the short end on this because of a small group of greedy church members. The building could have been rehab as an experienced developer attempted to purchase the building but refused to get into a bidding war against the church. Also, the church never had the necessary financing to complete a project and they brought in experienced urban planning and development personnel only to alienate them.
Where does the CTA fit into this property? Worlee hopes that this corner could be developed as part of a stated goal for Ald. Roderick Sawyer - transit based economy. A place near the L stations in the 6th ward to buy coffee, donuts, newspapers, etc. Other than maybe 87th Street this type of shopping before boarding the L is generally not available within this ward. At that it's not just about generating revenue for the city, but jobs as well.

I've written about this building on several occasions. It seems like a waste that it's being demolished. I hoped it could be part of any transit-based economy plan. I hope this corner will get the attention it should get being a high traffic area.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Roseland Heights Abbott Park watch list...

At the recent Roseland Heights meeting President Clevan Tucker mentioned that it took 23 people to keep an eye on Abbott Park @ 49 E. 95th St. and their activism helped to force the park district to up the closing time of the park from 11 PM to 10 PM. This sheet was handed out to members of the Roseland Heights Community Association to instruct residents on what to do with illegal activities or violations. I'm sure this sheet was published last year but as we wait for warmer weather to come back we should keep our eye on what's going on in all of our parks!
Abbott Park watch list

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Emanuel’s budget passes City Council on unanimous vote - Chicago Sun-Times


The political implications of yesterday's vote:
By pitching a shutout in his first big game on a new field, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has strengthened his hand when it comes to tackling the next big challenges ahead: pension reform and winning contract concessions from police and fire unions.

Emanuel’s $6.3 billion 2012 budget — and the $220 million in taxes, fines and fees needed to pay for it — scored a 50-to-0 vote in the City Council on Wednesday.

That’s a triumph for a rookie mayor — even one who honed his lobbying skills on Capital Hill — and a tribute to the partnership he forged with aldermen by tweaking his budget to accommodate their concerns.

Moments after the final vote, Emanuel warned aldermen from the rostrum that it was only “the beginning” and that “hard decisions” await. Police and fire contracts expire June 30.

“We have to deal with peoples’ pensions. We have to deal with … the costs hidden within our labor contracts …. burdening our taxpayers,” he said.

At a news conference later, Emanuel argued that the 50-to-0 vote, “strengthens the city’s future — not mine” when it comes to confronting those mega-problems.
BTW, Worlee posted a statement from the Alderman's office regarding his vote on the city's yesterday!

Police: Concrete Beam or Wall Falls, Kills Worker on South Side

Pic by Levois in 2009

I was working on a blog post, trying to get photos of the demolishing of the old Central State Bank building, owned by Carter Temple, on 79th near State.

The following news story was shown on Fox 32's 9pm news show.

Police: Concrete Beam or Wall Falls, Kills Worker on South Side
Chicago - A worker was killed in a construction accident on the South Side on Wednesday morning.
The incident happened about 8:54 a.m. 11 E. 79th St., according to Fire Media Affairs.
“A male construction worker was fatally injured when a concrete beam or wall fell on top of him,” police News Affairs Officer John Mirabelli said.
The victim was dead on the scene, according to Fire Media Affairs.
Let us know if you have more info on either the incident or the project...

RECAP: Roseland Heights ward remap forum...

As time went on for the Roseland Heights ward remap forum it became more and more packed. Michael LaFargue of West Chesterfield and state representative and ward committeeman candidate Richard Wooten were in attendance. Also petitions and form letters were passed around regarding the ward remap.

The highlight of the evening was a presentation and discussion by Jean-Paul Thomas who gave a lot of necessary information in how to conduct this remap fight. His unfortunate conclusion to those opposed to the remap is that the neighborhoods of the 6th Ward south of 87th Street will be drawn into the 9th Ward.

Basically most of the information is a rehash of what had already been stated in the media or at other ward remap hearings. Communities of interest, 2010 census numbers, legal standing, etc. I won't bore you by rehashing those facts. We already know people are groaning about about the 2010 census count, but there isn't much to be done about it now. There are those who simply refuse to fill out the forms and then complain later when the consequences don't go there way! We're living in that reality now.

Although I didn't know before this meeting that there was not only an undercount in Black communities, but also in Latino communities as well. I also didn't know that in doing a headcount of all peoples living in this nation one need not be a US Citizen to be counted. That fact could be one explanation for any recount in Latino communities and the City Council Latino caucus are seeking more seats on the city council because they actually did add people within the last 10 years.

All the same while many in attendance may not have liked Mr. Thomas' conclusion he noted many things about this process.

To start the communities of West Chesterfield, Chesterfield, and Roseland Heights vote. It was noted by Ald. Sawyer as well and perhaps 9th Ward Ald. Anthony Beale recognized that enough to start reaching out at least to Roseland Height's President Clevan Tucker. The potential for being power brokers for the 9th Ward was mentioned especially if those communities got together with those communities who aren't fans of Ald. Beale. Thomas specifically said it would not serve anyone very well if they didn't recognize the history of a community especially political history.

Another possibility is to possibly reduce the number of Chicago wards. I'm sure that is very unlikely to happen but a possible result of this would be that the three communities affected by this remap might be able to remain in a ward under Ald. Sawyer.

Even if a map that draws the southern end of the 6th Ward into the 9th were to pass another possibility is a legal challenge. While I hope that won't be necessary it might be a very strong possibility to keep the 6th Ward as close to intact as possible. The only thing not clear is on what grounds could any potential map agreed upon could be challenged in the courts.

The good thing is that the affected neighborhoods are making noise in making their wishes known. Note there are other communities fighting for their wards such as the 19th Ward which could change to accommodate the population loss in the nearby 21st & 34th Wards.

Finally in continuing to make noise about this remap it was encouraged that residents continue to get in touch with 21st Ward Ald. Brookins (chairman of the city council Black Caucus - contact info here) and 33rd Ward Ald. Richard Mell (chairman of the city council Rules Committee - contact info here) to let them know their thoughts about the remap.

Also I want to note that the last scheduled Rules Committee remap hearing is on Thursday, November 17th from 10 AM to 1 PM located at City Hall @ 121 N LaSalle Street in the city council chambers! And let's not forget that the December 1st deadline for the city council to approve a map is just around the corner!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Sawyer votes yes on city budget

The Chicago News Cooperative has reported that the City Council approved the City Budget 50-0.

Here is Alderman Sawyer's response to a Facebook inquiry about his vote (from ~ 11am): 
I was a yes vote, this is a difficult budget and we are still working on reducing some job cuts but we were able to secure an expansion in the Bureau of Electricity to help stabilize the streetlight situation in the ward.

He later posted this on Facebook via Twitter:
This is an important time for the city of Chicago, and we must give this budget a chance to address difficult decisions #Sawyer on budget
and

I agree with @AldReilly about addressing procurement and contracts, we must do more #Oversight

You can follow Alderman Sawyer on Facebook. You can also follow him via Twitter.

This blog, The Sixth Ward, is not affiliated with his office nor the previous Alderman, Freddrenna Lyle. This is a blog for all residents of the area to learn and share about our community.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Online petition to keep Englewood's Post office open

The Residents' Association of Greater Englewood (R.A.G.E.) is promoting a petitionto keep their Englewood post offices open.

Here's the text:
The US Postal Services has served notice to the customers of the Englewood Post Office of a proposal to discontinue the retail services at the Englewood and Ogden Park post office. The Postal Service proposed action will not serve the best interest of our postal customers. We protest the loss of our postmaster and community identity. Our position is to fight to keep these services in our neighborhood as it impacts many of our seniors and residents who regularly use these services.

And here;s the link:

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/keepenglewoodpostofficesopen/signatures

Rich Wooten running for State Rep. AND Committeeman

Rich Wooten, who won 3rd place in this year's aldermanic election, had previously said he would run for state representative, to take over from retiring Connie Howard. This morning on Facebook, he also added an intention to run for 6th Ward Democratic committeeman.

Here is the Facebook wall post:
Morning all, after attending the Chatham Avalon Park Community Council meeting last evening and hearing the many concerns and issues that were voiced by residents of the 6th ward, which continue to go unattended to by our Alderman. Excuses, Excuses, and more excuses? I am convinced that I will be running for 6th ward Committeeman, and Illinois State Representative of the 34th District. People deserve real results to their issues, not poiltical posturing. I felt the frustrations and tentions brewing. It is important that we Restore Value, BALANCING THE POWER & Getting The Job Done!!!!!!!
You can friend him on Facebook here.   (note that his Facebook shortname is "WootenHasMyVote" )

We will soon post up candidates for 2012 elections. Please send  any information on candidates to blog (at) TheSixthWard (dot) us

Capitol Fax: So long, farewell

We already know that state Rep. Constance Howard is leaving the state House of Representatives, but she is just one out of several legislators retiring from the state General Assembly after the next election. Would you believe that James Meeks is also retiring from the state Senate. Read more about legislative retirements at the CapFax!

Also you can read more about who is interesting in running for Rep. Howard's seat!

Monday, November 14, 2011

REMINDER: Ward Remap forum in Roseland Heights

Location: 311 E 95th St, Chicago, IL 60628, USA
I will refer you to the information posted last Tuesday. The information there contains petition sheets and letters that you can submit with your signature to the ward remap forum hosted by the Roseland Heights Community Association.

This forum will start at 7 PM and doors will be open at 6:30 PM. It will take place at Temple of Glory, 311 E. 95th Street. You will be able to sign a petition that demonstrates your support for keeping the 6th Ward in tact. If you found out about this meeting here let them know this blog sent ya! ;)

Their November newsletter is posted below. It's interesting in that they encourage concerned citizens to contact Ald. Howard Brookins and Ald. Richard Mell (33rd Ward) as they respectively Chair the City Council's Black Caucus and the City Council's Rules Committee.

The Sixth Ward, four years later...

Block club sign at 97th & Indiana
The first post here was on November 7, 2007. Months before that was the municipal election of 2007 that saw a lot of local blogs come out to influence elections in their individual wards such as in Uptown or even Roger's Park.

This blog was here in 2011 to help inform you of the candidates in the race for 6th Ward Alderman. It is my hope that we helped with your decision to choose who you wanted to choose back in either February or April.

This year as it turns out was a year of change. There has been a regime change here with a new Alderman. Also because of the results of the 2010 census we're also facing a ward remap that could affect our neighborhoods. As we see the mobilization for the 2011 municipal elections we also see the mobilization to keep the 6th Ward intact!

In addition to that, it's my hope to continue to cover those people who seek to make our neighborhoods a better place to live. That will include those businesses that serve our neighborhoods best, our schools, our public servants, even our neighborhood organizations. Hopefully those together will make our area a desirable place to not only live, but to play as well.

As I started this blog in the early days I had little idea what the content was going to consist of. More and more it does include making it to neighborhood meetings in addition to the more political content and random news items from our community. That's a good thing and hopefully the blog will continue to evolve.

The goal will always be to not only talk about what's wrong with our community but to talk about what's right with our community. Let's emphasize the best of our neighborhoods and hope that the positive aspects will spread into those areas that are looking for a turnaround.

Thanks to you all for your support. Thanks also for contributing your thoughts either here on this blog, but on our FB page and also thanks for following us on Twitter and sharing your thoughts there as well. My only request if that you continue to share us and encourage your friends and neighbors to join in on the discussion that. The world must know that the people here care about their neighborhoods!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Ward Remapping: The Return of the Independent 6th Ward



The 19th Ward is getting a lot of press attention about the ward remap hearings. In a recent Southtown article it stated that the residents of the 19th ward packed the City of Chicago remapping hearings held at Morgan Park Career Academy. 

The 6th Ward, which also has been a longtime stable community did not get press attention on this matter. At the Remapping hearings held at South Shore International Academy, the residents of the 6th ward came out and voiced their opinion and let Alderman Dick Mell know they did not want to be remapped into the 9th ward. Several African American Alderman looked perplexed as the residents responded to Alderman Mell's question. The question was "were they willing to sacrifice an African American ward versus accepting the Black Caucus proposed remap?". The residents in attendance resoundingly stated YES. This response has brought on responses calling residents of the 6th ward " bougie Negros", selfish and other nasty names.

 Also, at the monthly Park Manor Neighbors Community Council (PMNCC) meeting they made their feelings clear that they would not support any changes to the 6th ward's north and west boundaries.

 The communities of Chesterfield, West Chesterfield, and Roseland Heights might get remapped out of the Sixth Ward under the Black Caucus remap proposal. The residents of West Chesterfield, Chesterfield, and Roseland Heights are not going to stand for this. West Chesterfield and Roseland Heights have joined forces so far to begin a petition drive, with massive community support. On November 15, the Roseland Heights Community Association (RHCA) is going to have a remap forum at Temple of Glory International Church on 311 E. 95th St at 7 p.m. The RHCA president is Clevan Tucker Jr. The respective boundaries for these groups include everything south of 87th to 99th and King Drive from State to Cottage Grove.

 The key points to remember is that if Chesterfield, West Chesterfield, and Roseland Heights are remapped out of the 6th Ward that means that there will be a possibility of losing a tremendous key voter base that was instrumental in the election of Sixth Ward Ald. Roderick T. Sawyer along with key institutions such as Chicago State University, Illinois Service Federal Bank, McDade Classical School, Gillespie Elementary School, Tuley Park, Abbott Park (named after Chicago Defender founder Robert S. Abbott); Harlan High School, Shedd Elementary School, Burnside Elementary School, Seaway National Bank, and also Garrett Popcorn (which will be coming soon to the 6th Ward).

 It appears that residents of the 6th ward have revived the "Independent" title again and are not going to go along to get along. This means that Alderman Beale and State Senator Meeks political careers will hinge on the success of the mall at 115th street. It also appears the Black Caucus is going to have to go back to the drawing board and make some drastic decisions that do not include the 19th and the 6th wards, if they want any version of their map approved.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

2011 CTA Holiday Train...

It's coming again this year to the Red Line according to this press release:
All aboard the CTA Holiday Train! Now celebrating its 20th year, the festive CTA Holiday Train will make its first appearance Friday, November 25 spreading holiday cheer to CTA customers.

Santa and his reindeer will travel with his sleigh on all rail lines in regular service as part of a six-car train decorated with multi-colored lights. Car interiors are decked with bows, garland, red and green lighting and hand poles wrapped to look like candy canes. Festive holiday music is played to ring in another holiday season.

Debuting on the Green Line, the Holiday Train will travel along all CTA rail lines throughout November and December as part of its regular rail service. Normal CTA fares apply.
It will be on the Red Line December 14, 16, 17 & 20. If you want more info visit http://www.transitchicago.com/holidaytrain/ expect them to have more detailed schedule information.

Empty places: It’s not squatting…it’s blotting


The Changing Gears project is looking at the challenges of the region’s empty places this month. For many people, the most threatening emptiness isn’t a shuttered factory: It’s the abandoned property next door. But in Detroit, some residents are using that emptiness to quietly reshape their neighborhoods. They’re annexing vacant lots around them, buying them when they can or just putting up a fence.

But as Kate Davidson reports, they’re not squatters…they’re blotters.

Blot isn’t a bad word. A design firm coined the term several years ago. Academia ran with it.

Blots are properties between the size of an entire block and just a lot. So, they are consolidations of multiple lots,” says Margaret Dewar, a professor of urban and regional planning at the University of Michigan who’s mapped blots.

So, families are creating compounds of multiple lots. Big deal, right? Well, keep in mind Detroit was built tightly packed with working class homes. It sliced up blocks with a very quick knife. So as the city lost 60 percent of its population, it left these gaping holes in the genetic makeup of neighborhoods. Blotters aren’t waiting for the city to fix that.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Proposed Chicago ward remap would add Hispanic seats - Chicago Sun-Times

Proposed Chicago ward remap would add Hispanic seats - Chicago Sun-Times

I would very much like to see the Latino caucus' ward map. Perhaps it might look good to the CBO's of Roseland Heights, Chesterfield and especially West Chesterfield.
The City Council’s Hispanic Caucus has drafted a new Chicago ward map that includes four more super-majority Hispanic wards — for a total of 14 — and two more Hispanic “influence” wards to reward Latinos for their 25,218-person population gain in the 2010 U.S. Census.

Ald. Danny Solis (25th), chairman of the Hispanic Caucus, and Ald. Ricardo Munoz (22nd) said Hispanic gains would come at the expense of three South Side wards now represented by white aldermen: the 10th, 13th and 23rd.

The fourth new super-majority Hispanic ward — with a Latino population of at least 65 percent — would be located on the Southwest Side. It could pull together Hispanics now living in five black wards: the 3rd, 15th, 16th, 18th and 20th.

Latino “influence” wards — each with an Hispanic population in the 35 to 55 percent range — would be drawn by pooling together Hispanics now living in the 1st and 33rd Wards.

The migration of Latinos to the Northwest Side would also require the creation of a new super-majority ward with fragments of six wards: the 29th, 30th, 31st, 36th, 37th and 38th. But, that would be offset by the loss of the 1st Ward, which would drop from a super-majority to an Hispanic “influence” ward.

Happy Veteran's Day!

From the LewP Blog
Happy Veteran's Day to all of our community's many veterans.

We thank you for your service!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Chatham Pancake House returning...?

Location: 700 E 87th St, Chicago, IL 60619, USA
EveryBlock provided a link to a story by Neighborhood Scribe



Here's the story
Chatham Pancake House re-opening?


photo by YoChicago

CAPCC's President Keith Tate says former owner in discussions to reopen restaurant

by La Risa Lynch

The Chatham Pancake House or any other Chatham location will not be home to a proposed pawnshop.

Members attending the general meeting of the Chatham Avalon Park Community Council voted unanimously to reject EZCORP’s request to open a pawnshop in the shuttered restaurant, located at 700 E. 87th St. Instead the pancake house’s former owner Noel Leslie wants to re-launch his restaurant, according to CAPCC’s President Keith Tate.

Tate told the NeighborhoodScribe.com that Leslie is in discussions with the building’s owner to reopen the restaurant. Leslie worked there for years before becoming the restaurant’s owner.

Tate noted he hasn’t heard from EZCORP officials since they attended a Sept. 28 meeting to discuss their proposal. EZCORP is the parent company of EZPAWN.

Tate said officials from the publicly traded company were invited to CAPCC’s general meeting held Oct. 10th at Chatham Avalon Church of Christ. No EZCORP officials attended that meeting.

Tate noted that the “no” vote at the general meeting pertains to any location within the organization’s boundaries.
Read the entire article, which also talks about the Milburn Alternative School at St. Clotilde.


Speaking of the Chatham Pancake House...has anyone heard from Nate Edmonds, who owned "Yonni's" , whcih followed Chatham Pancake House? They had good food and great service. But when i invited a friend over for breakfast last year (in May) we discovered it had closed (which I found out later was due to not paying taxes and other state fees).

Quite a few people I know mentioned knowing Nate Edmonds, who had "Networking King" on his business card...so why did we let his business fail? Or am I missing something?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Harlan Student Council's Annual Coat and Food Drive

Location: 9652 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60628, USA
This message was sent to us by the President of Harlan's Student Council!
The Harlan Community Academy High School
STUDENT COUNCIL

is hosting their annual COAT & FOOD DRIVE
Begins November 1, 2011 until December 14, 2011

Our mission is to collect gently used, clean coats and non- perishable food items for those who are less fortunate.

Our goal is 200 COATS and 300 NON-PERISHABLE ITEMS

Items can be turned in to the
Harlan Community Academy
Attendance Office
9652 South Michigan Avenue - Chicago, Illinois 60628
Tel 773.535.5415

We also accept jackets, hats, scarves, sweatshirts and mittens

FOOD DRIVE IN CONJUNCTION WITH HARLAN'S NATIONAL HONOR SOCIETY
Let's support our young people and donate some clothing to the less fortunate and any non-perishable food items. In fact the next LSC meeting is on Dec. 1st open to the public perhaps you can bring your items to Harlan then!

Ron Sistrunk contemplates running for State Rep.

Ron Sistrunk was very vocal on Facebook in the last aldermanic race, and claimed he was going to run.

Well, he didn't (especially with a crowded race). On Friday, he announced on Facebook about possibly running for the state representative position being vacated by Constance "Connie" Howard in the 34th district.

Here's his post:

Good Day FB Family I am thoughtfully Contemplating running for the 34th Illinois House of Representative District Seat I need your Prays, Support and Help. Petition can be picked up at Sistrunkronald.com or call 773-640-8390


Hope he runs.  I look forward to a "loudmouth" turning his complaining into action.

We will soon be posting information for local offices in the 2012 election, such as State Representative and party Committeemen.  If you have more info (especially websites, etc.), please send it to blog (at) thesixthward . us

Possible 34th districts candidates also include:
  • Elgie Sims (who ran against Cook County Commissioner William "Hog with the Big Nuts" Beavers in 2010)
  • Rich Wooten (who ran against Alderman Lyle & Sawyer in the 2011 aldermanic election)
  • Sandra Wortham (relative of slain police officer Thomas Wortham IV)

West Chesterfield wants Chatham's held on ward remap...

In a message to the neighbors of the 6th Ward, the GCA sends an e-mail blast with a note from West Chesterfield Community Association President Michael LaFargue. He has been solidly on top of the remap issue since it's possible that West Chesterfield will lie in the 9th Ward instead of the 6th Ward. This was in GCA's comments, but it has been said at various meetings throughout the ward:

Below is a message from the President of the West Chesterfield Community Association asking for our help in keeping the 6th Ward intact with our strong voting block of 6th Ward communities: Chatham, Chesterfield, Park Manor, Roseland Heights and West Chesterfield.
Mr. LaFargue's message is below!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Roseland Heights remap forum & petitions...

Keep in mind that there are two ward remap hearings today (@ South Shore International College Prep High School gym, 1955 E. 75th St.) and on Wednesday (@ Morgan Park High School auditorium, 1744 W. Pryor Ave.). Both meetings are from 6PM to 9PM

Just got an e-mail on Friday from the Roseland Heights Community Association
FYI Remap Meeting

Residents of Roseland Heights I attended the WCCA Forum this week. RHCA plans to have our remap forum Nov. 15th in place of our monthly meeting.

It is a must attend meeting. Please tell your neighbors to sign and bring letters of protest or Print the attached petition and get your neighbors to sign.

Thank You

RHCA Remap Forum
Guest Speaker: Jean Paul Thomas
November 15, 2011
Temple of Glory International
311 E. 95th Street Chicago, IL 60619
7:00 pm
You can make a difference.
This meeting almost two days away from a scheduled ward remap hearing to take place at city hall on Nov. 17th. I guess that means an update to our calendar! BTW, a protest letter and petition form are posted below. If you wish to print them off they are in a printable format.

Chicago Ward Redrawing - The Black Caucus Proposal

We've been getting comments here on the draft ward maps drawn by the city council's black caucus and a blogger (strannik01) dropped by to share a link to his thoughts on that draft map. Here's his section concerning Englewood:
Englewood is one of the poorest, most crime-ridden neighborhoods in Chicago. Today, Englewood is divided between five wards. One might assume that this would mean that Englewood residents would be happy to have five aldermen defending their interests. However, unlike Hyde Park, Englewood does not have a strong network of institutions and community organizations that would rally the voters to elect candidates and hold them accountable. So the aldermen tend to focus their energies in neighborhoods where they have substantial territory. The few efforts they make on Englewood's behalf tend to be sporadic. The fact that none of the aldermen involved have their ward offices in Englewood only re-enforces the sense that in Chicago politics, this impoverished community is an afterthought.

Under the Black Caucus proposal, Englewood would be split between four wards. While that's better than five, it still doesn't address the issue. At least one Englewood community group has been lobbying for fewer wards, but so far, the Black Caucus doesn't seem to be listening.
I know many in the 6th Ward are concerned about the remap, but to keep things in perspective there are a lot of conflicts to navigate in this remapping process. The question is who will get what they're looking for in this remap and who won't!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Emanuel: Red Line Will Be Upgraded Now, Extended Later « CBS Chicago

Emanuel: Red Line Will Be Upgraded Now, Extended Later « CBS Chicago

Part of the plan to eventually extend the CTA Red Line towards the southern city limits of Chicago is to upgrade the CTA Red Line itself. Then eventually seek funds to construct the extension:
“We can take the dollars we have, and invest and upgrade the system that exists today, and not put it on hold, but actually plow the $1 billion,” Emanuel said. “As the governor said, 2,500-plus jobs will be affected right now, and as the federal government is negotiating out a new highway transportation bill, that’s when we’re going to seek the funding to go from 95th all the way to 135th.”

Saturday, November 5, 2011

3 shot dead in Church's Chicken parking lot

Location: E 87th St & S King Dr, Chicago, IL 60619, USA
Cameraphone pic of crime scene found on FB
A shooting in the parking lot of Church's Chicken at 87th and King Drive.

Chicago Breaking news has the details:

3 shot dead on South Side
A woman and two men were killed this evening in a shooting near a restaurant and bakery in the Chatham neighborhood on the city's South Side, officials said.

The shooting happened about 5 p.m. on the 8700 block of South King Drive, said Police News Affairs Officer Dan O'Brien.

A man and a woman died at the scene. Another man was wounded and taken in serious-to-critical condition to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where he died later, according to police and Fire Media.

As of 6 p.m., no one was in custody for the shooting and there was no vehicle description available, O'Brien said.

The three victims, all thought to be in their 20s, were sitting in a car in a parking lot outside a Church's Chicken and a bakery, authorities said.
Sun-Times has more on this story (by Levois):
The woman and one of the men were found dead following the shooting, which occurred in a lot used by a Church’s Chicken restaurant and A Piece of Cake, a long-time local bakery.

The other man was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn in critical condition, where he died about 7:05 p.m., officials said. None of the victims was identified by authorities, but all were believed to be in their 20s.

A bakery worker said the woman had picked up a cake at the shop just before the shooting broke out.

“It happened right outside,” said the worker, who declined to give her name but said the block where the business sits is usually peaceful.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Pre-Thanksgiving luncheon for seniors

To take place at Carter Temple @ 7841 S. Wabash. You must RSVP no later than November 5th! Refer to the graphic above for more information!

Chatham featured on Windy City Live

Today, Chatham was selected as the neighborhood for "Know Your Neighbors Game(Yeah!)" segment on Windy City Live, which airs Mondays at 9am on ABC 7 Chicago.

If you are selected to play the game, you would have to say one of 2 facts about Chatham:
  1. This neighborhood is known as the Jewel of the SouthEast side of Chicago
  2. This is the home of many successful African American businesses

Let's check Monday to see if anyone wins!

For more information on the game go to this official link.


Chicago's Polish community asserting themselves in ward remap...

Looks like the Polish community on the Northwest side are asserting themselves in the city ward remap:
Members of the Polish American community implored a number of Aldermen to make sure their community is represented in the upcoming redistricting map at a town hall, the first of a series, that gave the public an opportunity to voice their opinion about the nature of the map that will need to be drawn to reflect the most recent census. Chicago is home to one of the biggest Polish American communities in America. About 180,000 households in the Chicagoland area speak Polish primarily in the home.

The town hall was held at North Park Village at 5801 N. Pulaski and is the closest public meeting for Ravenswood residents. Aldermen including Richard Mell, 33, Scott Waguespack, 32, and John Arena, 45, were among those in attendance.

At the meeting, a number of individuals that represent the Polish American community implored the politicians to make sure that their community is represented.

“We want to go to one Aldermanic office to take care of the needs of our community,” said Robert Groszek, an attorney. The Polish American community has its zenith on Belmont between Pulaski and Milwaukee, parts of Jefferson Park, and on Archer in the South Side. Groszek said after that the community on Belmont is covered by three different Wards (31, 35, and 30). Groszek also said he was worried that the 45th Ward might be split and splitting up that Polish American community in the process.
This quote is similar to what has been said in our communities:
A number of individuals also complained that the recent census under reported their community. They said that because no question on the census form is asked about which language is spoken at home, communities like the Polish American community aren’t isolated and instead fall into a larger ethnic group.

I look forward to the future remap public hearings to take place on the South Side. Check the schedule that was posted on the blog earlier this week!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Happy Birthday, Izola!

Location: 522 E 79th St, Chicago, IL 60619, USA
The plants in her currently closed restaurant on 79th may not be in their prime, but owner Izola White is most certainly alive.

She is 89 years young today.

The dream for her restaurant returning is still alive.  Check our previous entry on a past fundraiser. We also have had other stories on Izola's (Type Izola in the search engine)

If you are interested in Izola or the campaign to revive the restaurant, you may contact her through:

DeWayne Mason, Guardian


773.936.1455 (cell)

friendsforizola@comcast.net


Or look her up on Facebook --> http://www.facebook.com/friendsforizola



Please share your thoughts on Ms. Izola White...

CTA Red Line improvements are coming...

Pic via Chicago News Report
A press release was posted on Alderman Sawyer's 6th Ward website about funding for capital improvement of the CTA Red Line. Here's a story from CBS2Chicago about this plan:
Customers on the CTA’s busiest rail line will soon have to put up with major construction, but the payoff will be a much faster and smoother ride.

The Chicago Transit Authority will spend about $1 billion to replace tracks and upgrade stations along the Red Line, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Gov. Pat Quinn said Thursday. The work will add 2,700 construction jobs.

The project, which will be paid for with a state capital investment grant and other federal and local funds, will also improve service on the Purple Line.
...
Deteriorated tracks will be rebuilt to eliminate slow zones. The project will also replace or repair aging stations, install new power systems to improve performance and upgrade a significant portion of the Purple Line.

Construction starts in 2012 and will last three years.

The plan calls for replacement of the tracks between 18th and 95th streets and provide upgrades to stations between Cermak and 95th Streets.

Currently, almost 35 percent of the Dan Ryan branch is limited to speeds of less than 35 mph, with almost 20 percent of the branch restricted to a top speed of 15 mph.
Would you believe that 79 millions riders utilized the Red Line last year. The CTA L system as a whole last year handled 211 million riders!