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Friday, July 31, 2015

DNA Info: CPS Changes Start Times For 82 Chicago Schools (FULL LIST)

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In addition to change start times at 82 city schools, CPS also plans to consolidate school bus stops:
In the past, CPS buses have picked up magnet and selective-enrollment students at 450 stops — stops located at their neighborhood schools — across the city. But this fall, CPS plans to consolidate the number of bus stops to 180.

According to a statement, "the plan to shift bus arrival times resulted from an analysis that revealed that CPS’ transportation costs far outpace those at other large, urban districts."

At an LSC meeting at Andrew Jackson Language Academy last week, Martin Ellinger, CPS manager of student transportation routing, said the district is working to ensure the security of students and to make sure no children have to cross gang lines or other unsafe areas.

The eliminated bus routes will force some kids to walk up to 1.5 miles to their nearest stop, the district said.
Click on the link to DNA Info's article for the list of schools and see if your neighborhood school's start time is expected to change. We also hope that if your child takes a bus to school no major changes as far as where they should catch their bus.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

What about Shedd?

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Closed Shedd School
Found this in an e-mail blast, more news about the closed Shedd School in Roseland Heights at 200 E. 99th St.:
  • Thanks to all who attended the 9th Ward meeting last night.

    The table I was sitting at did not get cards to write questions for [Alderman Anthony Beale]. I was given cards after I asked , but they were never picked up! Others told me they were not given cards also.

    However the alderman did answer the question about the Business Zone being put on the school. He said he did that because no business would want that location and it would stop others from buying it until he could discuss want the community wanted in the location. Really???

    These former schools sites are not being sold to meet the needs of the community, they are being sold to meet the needs of CPS...money, money, money!

    A CPS CEO says “While there is still work to be done, we are working deliberately to ensure former schools sites bring value to CPS and their local communities for years to come.” ...and the game goes on.
Here are some related posts on the news related to Shedd School.

Monday, July 27, 2015

NBC News: A tour of Roseland

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Cross-posted to The Sixth Ward on July 7, 2015
The video above had been shared onto our FB page. A man talks about his Roseland neighborhood what it takes to survive there and what it takes to make it a better community. Even better how the community used to be in the 1970s.

A shame that the community was very nice back in the day only to regress into the violence he talks about today. Roseland and it's people deserve so much and soon. What does it take to turn that community around?

I invite you to read this article from NBC News which talks about violence in our fair city whether Roseland or the west side. Unfortunately Chicago has been taking an unfortunate hit because of the incidents of gun violence here. If only there is a solution to this problem.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Tribune: Volunteers help spruce up Pullman neighborhood

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http://www.thechicagoneighborhoods.com/Pullman
Via The Chicago Neighborhoods
Yesterday, I posted about the attention being given to Englewood and then found this article about the attention given to Pullman. Pullman was designated a national monument and that means it will be getting further attention in years to come.
When railroad baron George Pullman built the Hotel Florence in 1881 in the heart of his company town, he meant for the extravagant Queen Anne style inn to host businessmen and dignitaries.

In addition to hotel rooms, the building featured a dining room, billiard room, barber shop, separate men's and women's parlors, and the only bar. Over the past several decades, most of the four-story, 50-room hotel, named after one of Pullman's daughters, has remained closed during restoration efforts, which include a new slate roof and an elevator.

On Thursday, with the building's doorways still draped in sheets of plastic and much of the ornate ceilings in its rooms still in the process of being torn down, the hotel hosted new guests. Five months after President Barack Obama named a portion of the historic Pullman neighborhood a national monument, volunteer Sam Gutterman and others helped clean up the hotel's main entrance.


"It's getting closer to having people attracted to come here," said Gutterman, 67, who lives on the North Shore, as he washed the first floor windows with a rag. "Because if it's in rundown condition no one's going to want to come here, no one's going to want to learn about the history. If you make things a little more attractive — it doesn't have to be perfect — people will appreciate it."

The hotel was among half a dozen sites in the Pullman neighborhood that were targeted in the first major cleanup of the area by the National Parks Conservation Association.

Several dozen volunteers grabbed ponchos to combat the rain and fanned out across the historic factory district. Among the efforts: A team of volunteers painted the baseboards of Greenstone United Methodist Church; another group weeded around the Historic Pullman Foundation Visitors Center, and a local landscaping company donated mulch and assisted in sprucing up Arcade Park.
Of course the 9th Ward Alderman jumped on some of this attention:
 Ald. Anthony Beale, 9th, who also was in attendance, still remembers riding his bike past the historic row houses and other architectural gems as a child, thinking "it was like driving through another world." Witnessing the cleanup and initiatives since the national monument designation has been especially poignant for Beale, given the huge blow the community suffered in 1998 when an arsonist destroyed much of the factory district and damaged the administration building.

"To be able to quarterback the rebirth of this ..." said Beale, who paused as he looked toward a damaged factory building with black tarps covering its structural beams. "I can't even put words on it.
There's already ranger overseeing this park:
Sue Bennett has become the park's first full-time employee taking on the role of acting superintendent. Bennett has worked across the country as a park ranger for 26 years, most recently at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. Though the national park still doesn't have a budget (that usually is set up after two years by Congress), the Illinois native says she's been lucky to lean on a number of established community organizations for help.

"I never dreamed when I started on my journey that I'd be back in my home state in a city that I love and doing the kind of service work, community outreach and preservation and stewardship, here," Bennett said. "So I'm the luckiest park ranger in the world in that I have at least 10 key partners that have been here on the ground and doing work to make it easier for us."
It's good to know the community has stepped up to the plate at least until Congress finally sets up a budget for the Pullman nat'l monument.

How long until Pullman gets their own Starbuck's? Would it be located at the Hotel Florence?

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Fewer Black teachers in CPS?

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There are a lot of changes going on at CPS. To start there will be a new CEO in Forrest Claypool and a new school board chairman in Frank Clark. Now another issue has arisen:
Just 15 years go, 40 percent teachers in CPS schools were black. Today, it’s 23 percent. Many black students are segregated into majority black schools—like National Teachers Academy in the South Loop, where [Taree Porter] teaches.
...
The face of Chicago Public Schools teachers is changing: the teaching workforce is whiter and less experienced. Meanwhile, most of the students in Chicago’s public schools are Hispanic and African American. Black enrollment has gone down, but black students still make up 39 percent of the district.
...
[Chicago Teachers Union researcher Pavlyn Jankov] said the number and percentage of schools where there are virtually no staff or no students who are African American has increased a lot too. In just the last decade the number of schools with fewer than a 10 percent black teaching staff jumped from 69 to 223. Schools with no black teachers soared from 10 to 50.

Of course, school policies aren’t the only thing going on. There also may be fewer black teachers because other professions have opened up to African Americans.
While Black enrollment is going down in CPS schools there are still schools with a significant population of Black students.

So why is the Latino caucus seemingly more interested in this subject?
Members of the Chicago City Council’s Latino Caucus are calling on the school district to hire more Latinos as teachers, principals, and administrators.

The push comes after WBEZ reported on the gap between the percentages of Latino teachers and Latino students. Data shows the percentage of Hispanic teachers is crawling upward, but not enough to keep pace with the rapidly growing Hispanic student population. Latino students now make up the largest ethnic group in Chicago Public Schools, at 46 percent.
Congrats to the opening up of new professions, but if the lack of Blacks in a classroom is problematic what can be done to encourage other Blacks to consider teaching?

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Wear orange to observe gun violence awareness today

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Hadiya Pendleton
It's often stated on my other blog how often I seek to avoid discussing crime even though it's all around us no matter how much we avoid talking about it. Not all "minority" communities have major issues with crime, but we must deal with those communities that does have those issues.

What happened to Hadiya Pendleton in 2013 was unfortunate. She had been shot in a case of mistaken identity and she wasn't even the intended target. A lot of national attention was on our city for her untimely death.

Today would've been her 18th birthday and today is also gun violence awareness day. To observe many celebrities and politicians have pledged to wear orange today. So thanks to this Tribune article we know more about the meaning of orange and this day:
The orange theme is inspired by Hadiya's friends, who chose to commemorate her life with a color that hunters wear to keep themselves and others safe from harm.

The group was formed a couple of months after Hadiya's death and has been targeting the structural problems that they believe lead to violence, including failing school systems, institutional racism and food deserts, according to Nza-Ari Khepra, former president of Project Orange Tree.
If you have something orange in your wardrobe, put it on today please!

Monday, June 1, 2015

CPS CEO resigns...

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WOW! She already was on leave of absence now she's leaving outright!
In a letter dated last week, Byrd-Bennett said she planned to step down Monday. She did not give any reasons for her decision.

Byrd-Bennett has been on paid leave since mid-April, when school officials released wide-ranging subpoenas from the federal investigation. Her paid leave was scheduled to end next week and she had not been expected to return to her post.

Resignation letter from CPS chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett Resignation letter from CPS chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett The investigation centers on a $20.5 million no-bid contract at CPS related to an elite nonprofit education group that has long been at the center of city school reform efforts. Federal corruption investigators have also sought records related to some of Byrd-Bennett's top deputies.
I wonder how much louder calls for an elected school board would get.

Monday, May 25, 2015

May 9th ward community meeting

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You may have received these notices if you've signed up for Ald. Beale's e-mail list.
  • 9th Ward Alderman Anthony A. Beale and City Department Representatives present a 9th Ward Community Meeting Tuesday, May 26, 2015
    6:30 - 7:30 p.m.

    Pullman Presbyterian Church
    550 East 103rd Street
    Chicago, Illinois 60628
Flyer below

Thursday, May 14, 2015

"Star Trek"

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I've been a fan since the 6th grade. I liked the future and the tech and at one point in time even wanted to make it reality. It even inspired me to consider making the military my career path although that didn't happen.

To be sure I wanted to be a Starfleet captain "boldy going where no one has gone before". Although the next best thing was to become a captain in the US Navy commanding a navy vessel. Or aspiring to be a space shuttle commander in NASA!

Anyway I've been a fan for a long time having even seen the last Star Trek movie in cinemas almost two years ago. Even have two posters here at home from that movie Star Trek Into Darkness.

Nothing however will beat the first 6 Trek movies that got this sci-fi film franchise started. My all time favorite at one point became Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home....yes the one with the whales. Thankfully on the big screen we saw the entire original cast of Star Trek engage in even grander adventures.

Recently I found this list online of trivia regarding those original 6 Trek movies. This is one piece of trivia that I could laugh about.
31. Hello computer?!? The Apple Mac wasn't supposed to be in the factory, and the original Commodore Amiga model was originally supposed to be in its place. Commodore Business Machines refused to send a sample machine for filming and simply told the film crew that they had to buy one. Apple just sent a machine and a member of staff to help out.

Commodore also stated it didn't want to be associated with Star Trek. Facepalm...
Now we wonder what a Commodire Amiga is? In fact what is a Commodore? Here's the scene in question Scotty was attempting to speak through a mouse and yet typed very fast on the keyboard. He seemed to have started off with two fingers! [VIDEO]
Now I can hardly wait for the soon to come 50th anniversary Star Trek movie. Yep between 1966 to 2016 Star Trek has been in the public memory for 50 years!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

#Chiraq and the film production tax credit

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https://instagram.com/p/2EccEZwNus/?taken-by=rage_englewood
Via RAGE ig
I'm very ecstatic that Englewood will have its time in the limelight thanks the famed director Spike Lee. Although knowing the basic premise of that film - which is regarding inner city gang violence - it's probably not always in the best light. We do hope that this sheds light on a problem that occurs in many neighborhoods in the city.

Since news broke about the opposition to Lee's "joint" expected to be titled Chiraq, we've learned there are many who aren't happy with that title. One of those people who isn't happy is Mayor Rahm Emanuel another person who isn't happy is 4th ward Alderman Will Burns who is seeking to keep Lee's production from receiving a tax credit.

To be sure this isn't recent news exactly and it appears to have been reported in the local press in recent months. It was something worth posting, however, it was also important not to overwhelm this blog with posts about movie coming to this part of town. Still I saw that Rich Miller talked about this news on Thursday with the following comment:
I’m not sure what I think of this. I don’t like government interference in the arts, but when you take the money, I suppose you sometimes have to pay the piper, or however that saying goes
One way to look at it is that yeah Ald. Burns wants to say don't make a movie that puts Chicago in a bad light. Especially if the belief that this term "Chiraq" could be legitimized by this movie.

Personally Lee should make the movie he wants to make which hopefully will bring gang violence in Chicago to light. It seems people want to smack Lee around because he's from New York and he's doing a movie about Chicago. What does it matter perhaps we need an "outsider" to take a look at what's wrong here.

Also not that I totally understand the idea behind tax credits, but we all know Lee can raise funds for his productions. Just look at what he did for those people who helped finance his more well known "joint" Malcolm X. If Ald. Burns is successful in holding back that tax credit, it would be expected that Lee won't be hurting for long.

BTW, Resident Association of Greater Englewood (RAGE) President Ay-Sha Butler wrote her 2¢ on Lee's Chiraq. The film will affect her community so therefore it's important to see how an Englewood resident views this coming production.

Crossposted sixthward.us!