Friday, December 30, 2016

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

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

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

Monday, December 19, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Shedd School as seen in December

Shedd School as seen in December 2016

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

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

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

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

At 95th an unused disconnected phone #gogreyhound

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

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

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

Monday, November 28, 2016

CTA Red Line Extension Public Comment Period Ending

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

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

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

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

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

    Thank you for your continued interest.

    RLE Project Team
    Chicago Transit Authority

Friday, November 25, 2016

Buzzfeed: Could You Pass A 1954 Home Economics Class?

 When I was in high school, a teacher mentioned that home economics was considered obsolete. I suspect it was replaced in favor of consumer education which was a unit in most social studies or business classes. Never really saw the point and wasn't taught very well when it was taught in a psychology class back in those days.

With this buzzfeed quiz, I learn more about home economics. It seems as much how to take care of the items at home, how to cook, and then other is more social ettiquette. Now that I see this I can't believe it was taught in school.

Having taken this quiz I only got 3 out of 19 right. How well can you do?

BTW, I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 11, 2016

2016 elections: Where do we go from here?

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

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

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

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

Friday, November 4, 2016

News from the Red Line extension hearing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, October 31, 2016

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

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

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

Please refer to the flyers below

#halloween haunted house

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

Saturday, October 29, 2016

EVENT: Red line extension hearing

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

Friday, October 28, 2016

Events

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

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

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

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

No strike

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

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

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

Cross-posted from The Sixth Ward

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Donzell Starks RIP

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

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

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

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

Condolences to the Starks family.

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

Monday, October 3, 2016

Red line extension moves forward

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

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

Friday, September 30, 2016

VIDEO: Whole Foods Englewood and Starbucks Grand Opening

Cross-posted at The Sixth Ward

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, August 15, 2016

9th Ward events

9th Ward Paper Shredding Event!
  • Friday, August 19, 2016
    10:00 am - 1:00 pm
    Dollar Function Parking Lot
    319 East 103rd Street
9th Ward Back to School Picnic and Health Fair
  • Saturday, August 20, 2016 
    12:00 PM to 3:00 PM
    Palmer Park
    201 E. 111th Street
For more information on these events call 9th Ward Alderman Anthony Beale at 773.785.1100

Click here to view e-mail

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Discussions on converting Metra Electric to a rapid transit line


Found this article via Sloopin that was published on June 24. There is official interest in turning the Metra Electric Line into a rapid transit service with more frequent trains.
A proposal to convert the Metra Electric District Line into a rapid-transit line with more frequent stops to serve the South Side and suburbs has drawn the interest of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who has asked the head of the Regional Transportation Authority to facilitate discussion on the issue, RTA officials said.

During the transit agency's monthly board meeting Thursday, Chairman Kirk Dillard told a representative of a coalition of South Side and south suburban groups that Emanuel had reached out to him about the rapid-transit idea last month, and that talks had begun.

Dillard said he spoke with Metra Chairman Martin Oberman about the proposal Wednesday.

"The RTA is working with the CTA and Metra," Dillard said after the meeting. "We need to get a handle obviously on the finances, as well as ridership numbers historically in that area. We're in the preliminary fact-finding stages."
We've been hearing about grassroots proposals to turn the Metric Electric (aka IC line) into a rapid transit service as opposed to a commuter rail service. It even has two different color designations such as the Gray or Gold Line.

Question to ask here is how this could benefit the many communities on the far south side if there was more frequent service on the Metra Electric line if CTA institutes more frequent service? This could very much benefit the neighborhoods of Pullman, Roseland, West Pullman, South Shore, South Chicago and perhaps even the near suburbs of Riverdale. And hopefully wouldn't take as much time to institute as finally building the CTA Red Line extension from 95th to 130th Streets.

BTW, part of me wishes that instead of using those double decker Metra coaches prevalent on all Metra lines if only it was possible to turn this into a typical third rail service instead of overhead traction. Perhaps find a way to connect this to the L system at some point. Perhaps more express service for Metra Electric & South Shore riders coming from the south suburbs and Indiana

Better yet if only such service could exist along the Metra Electric's South Shore and South Chicago branch and it could be converted to a third rail service. I realize these are all questions of later study and probably won't be instituted immediately. Even the Yellow Line aka Skokie Swift had been in service years before it was converted to a third rail traction line.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Lead testing at CPS

Originally posted at The Sixth Ward

In light of recent social media and blog posts about maintenance issues and lead issues at city schools we now see stories about lead testing of drinking water. Of course in an earlier post about lead poisoning shared here on this blog it was over lead based paint in some older schools.

The Sun-Times and DNA Info shares articles on this and also a listing of those schools tested for lead via CPS. In addition at DNA Info you see a google map that show which schools have testing positive for lead and those that have tested negative.

Also, the lead poisoning testing was noted on Capitol Fax in a post on Thursday where north side legislators and educators invited Governor Rauner to tour a school. Unfortunately this invitation was noted as a "stunt".

Because there is still no budget from Springfield CPS can't say if they are going to have summer school this year also via Capitol Fax. We also see a further debate regarding charter schools or even newer charter or otherwise.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

DNA Info: Put A Park, Not A Cell Tower, In Vacant Lot In Roseland, Residents Say


The pictures above were shot in April 2016 near 107th & King Drive of a vacant lot which as you see in the pic above is zoned for a cellphone tower. A group of Roseland activists want to see this turned into a park:
Members of the 9th Ward Greater Roseland Community Coalition said they fear the potential environmental and health threats the cell tower could bring to the empty lot at 107th Street between Vernon and Eberhart avenues.
...
The neighborhood coalition has been circulating petitions opposing the cellphone tower. Members said they want the land cleaned up and turned into a park and botanical garden.
Of course there's this:
The city did an environmental screen of the site in 2014 to identify any potential environmental concerns and said the site’s history of pollution doesn’t make it the best location for a garden.

"The site is listed as an abandoned service station, and available records identified several underground storage tank (UST) installations and removals dating back to 1953," a letter from Fleet Management to [9th ward Ald. Anthony] Beale reads. "In addition, at least three USTs were abandoned in place in 1984, and a demolition notice was issued in 1996. Although no releases have been reported for the Site, the majority of the USTs were removed or abandoned in the 1970s and early 1980s, prior to requirements to have spill protection, conduct confirmation sampling, or report releases."

The letter says that since there is no data available to confirm a release hasn't taken place, the tanks "present an environmental concern to the Site."

It was recommended that the site not be used as a community garden because there is “high potential for both current and historic USTs at the site.”

Bryant Payne, a spokesman for Beale, confirmed Friday that the land is contaminated and that before anything is built there, it would have to be cleaned up.
This is a nice lot that could see some use in the future. How successful will this group be in getting it cleaned up and hopefully a garden could be placed there instead of a cell tower?

Oh yeah a recent ig post about this lot below.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

From October 2015, photos along 103rd Street

Crossposted from The Sixth Ward

I realized that I failed to what I set out to do a few months ago. I wanted to do a photo essay and basically I started with taking some photos along 103rd Street. This was back in October and although I shared a few pics back then there were than that in my photo library.

For example, I have some pics taken east of King Drive on 103rd Street.
103rd & Rhodes
The pic above I knew at one time as the offices of Congressman Mel Reynolds. In 1995 he was caught up in a sex scandal with an underaged girl and was forced to resign. Unfortunately this property is now vacant and looking for a use since the time of Reynold's having his congressional offices here.

Across the street is a former dry cleaners. It's unclear when this particular building became vacant. Across the street from here is this.
103rd Street between Rhodes and St. Lawrence
In a different time this property had once been home to a McDonald's. That store eventually closed down and was ultimately demolished a with a church built instead.

Beyond this church and the former dry cleaners is this vacant lot.
103rd Street between Rhodes & St. Lawrence
I see this as potention for this part of 103rd and one of many undeveloped lots ready for the right development. To be sure 103rd is largely a commercial corridor and is quite walkable. With the right development it could be a very vibrant corridor.

Of course this is only an example of some of the pics I took in October 2016. I hope to share more of them in the future. And apologies for not sharing these much sooner. My goal is hopefully to come up with some ideas perhaps this part of town could use some bold vision and why not.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Yesterday on the Capitol Fax #notaprison

FYI: An update to this is seen on the Capitol Fax this morning one new pic of that classroom provided by a spokeswoman from CPS which is in better condition. Then from Kyle Hillman a more recent pic of the hallway which still doesn't look in that great of a condition. The pic of that classroom you see below was said to be from a DNA Info article from 2014 and we learn that CPS has a $3 billion deferred maintenance backlog.

It's been in the news that due to the current budget stalemate in Springfield, CPS may not open in September. You can follow a lot of the state budget news over at the Capitol Fax.

In the meanwhile CPS CEO Claypool took issue with Governor Rauner referring to Chicago Public Schools as crumbling prisons. I don't blame Forrest Claypool or any other figure named in that Capitol Fax post for sticking up for Chicago's schools. Unfortunately they are often maligned mostly for the right reasons and those students who attend public schools deserve to have someone lookout for them. It doesn't do them justice to be held hostage by a budget stalemate.

At that same time the Capitol Fax had another post regarding Claypool's comments. Rich Miller preferaced this post by saying the man with his own opinion - via this FB post - is no "Raunerite" but basically expresses his interest in fixing our neighborhood schools. I'll share a pic that makes the point of this pic look at teh state of disrepair.
Gale School - 1631 W Jonquil Terrace
This school is probably one example of many with issues of disrepair as the post noted lead paint peeling from the ceiling - this is a much older school. Also bad fire doors and broken fire alarms. Then what about services needed by students?
The school has been gutted by a funding formula CPS put in place. The school has no technology teachers, no librarians, after-school programs have been gutted and our social worker is hanging on by the grace of his nonprofit.

You know what they do get in Illinois Prisons? Library Services! Mental Health Services! Educational Services.
You see what happened there. What do CPS students get at this particular school versus what people who are incarcerated in prison gets? Then it goes further:
So yeah the Governor’s solution of REDUCING funds for CPS is madness, but what he said today wasn’t wrong. If Claypool doesn’t want his schools to be called worse than prisons… FIX THEM!

“Frankly, the Governor’s comments comparing Chicago schools to ‘crumbling prisons’ are disrespectful and beneath his office.” via Claypool.

You know what is really disrespectful and beneath (their) office? Allowing schools like this to happen, our Mayor owns this.
The next question is how many other schools have issues such as these. Not only a building in disrepair but not enough services educational or otherwise for students. I can believe that funding is an issue but that's certainly one one portion of many other issues in such a vast school district as CPS.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Marathon Pundit visits Pullman

Crossposted from The Sixth Ward
Hotel Florence by John Ruberry
John Ruberry of Marathon Pundit takes a look at the Pullman neighborhood and any progress made on the national monument here. Ruberry doesn't have much faith that the federal government will make far more progress here than the state government had. The state actually owns the Hotel Florence that you see above which is waiting for a new use.

He goes through the history of this neighborhood and any governmental role in the future of this neighborhood. Including the purchase of select property such as the Pullman factory, adminstrative buildings and the clock tower. Those in addition to the Hotel Florence.

He also noted the Bernie Sanders signs throughout the neighborhood. Sanders back in March lost the Illinois Democratic presidential primary to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton but we see one strong enclave of Sanders supporters. I even noted a sign on our ig page.

Ruberry has some strong opinions on what's going on here. Anyone want to agree or disagree with the Marathon Pundit?

Monday, May 30, 2016

Happy Memorial Day

On this occassion we'll honor the Buffalo Soldiers who are members of the US Army's 9th & 10th Cavalries. This unit was active from roughly the end of the Civil War all the way through the second World War. They were given the names by the various Native American tribes of the west as a term of respect comparing their courage with the fighting spirit of the buffalo.

Some of this information and the above painting was retrieved from the Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Club of Delaware.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

DNA Info: Roseland Teens Help Fix Up Abandoned Homes To Rent

Something you may have seen on our ig
I think this is what we'd all like to see more of in our communities. No more stories about the youth causing trouble in our neighborhoods more about them deciding to help build it back up. That's what the young men in this story are doing.
Simeon Career Academy senior Hakeem Day would rather be working with his hands than in the streets.

“I’ve been interested in construction since I was a little kid and this gives me the opportunity to practice for the future because I plan on doing this in the future,” said the 18-year-old Roseland resident.

He is getting that opportunity through a new youth and trades After School Matters program.

Aaron Mallory, 28, of Roseland started the program through his nonprofit God Restoring Order, or G.R.O. He’s working with a group of high school teens from schools including Simeon, Morgan Park and the Noble charter schools

The goal is to improve the community one block at a time by rehabbing the abandoned homes, and Mallory is doing just that with the help of local teens. They’re finishing up work on their first home near 109th Street and Wentworth Avenue.
The reporter for this story Andrea Watson has a poll up asking "Should our teens learn the trades?" My answer would be yes, we need carpenters, mechanics, pipe fitters, plumbers, etc. Trades in addition to helping our young people get into college. Different programs and different options.

At that learn a trade and be a value to our community and earn some community service credits. I forgot about getting valuable job experience.

Read the whole thing.

Monday, May 23, 2016

The Roseland Theater and the future of the neighborhood

11331 S. Michigan Avenue
For the past month I've went to the Pullman neighborhood to document the sights of the neighborhood. And I've allowed myself the opportunity to document the nearby communities as well. Most of what you see documented is photographed on my cameraphone often utilizing an olloclip lens.

So last week I took a quick stroll one late afternoon in Roseland and stopped in front of the Roseland Theater Building. This old building appears to be going through some remodeling and changing tenants in the storefronts as they appear to be vacant currently.

This former neighborhood movie house is looking for new use having long since stopped showing movies. According to Cinema Treasures - link above - it is being converted into retail use. Though this news hasn't changed for years so perhaps a number of things happened and I don't see a lot of progress.

However, I have one potential idea and it would involve doing something similar to what was done with the Logan Theater. It was rehabbed in 2011 and is a second run movie house and is a story you can read here - unfortunately that story is behind a paywall in spite of being published in 2012. Perhaps when the time is right that story of a deep pocketed developer who comes in to redevelop this building could happen here at the Roseland Theater.

In the meanwhile as I document Pullman as it is in 2016 a year after it was designated a national monument and other development activities there my hope is that this spreads across Cottage Grove. Roseland and the business district that sits on Michigan Ave from between 103rd & 115th Street can see some of the effects of being so close to a very successful tourist destination.

And furthermore I hope that in the near future we can see further progress on bringing the red line from 95th through Roseland. Thus the Roseland can certainly have a future similar to the Logan Theater which also isn't that far from a CTA L station.

ALSO you can see some of the photos of Pullman and Roseland over at The Sixth Ward's ig account. Here's the post below of the Roseland Theater.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

US Bank building on 111th Street

1000 East 111th Street
The US Bank building is located near 111th Street just off of the Bishop Ford Expressway (I often just call this stretch the Calumet Expressway as the Ford is the newest name for this highway). I mostly know of this building as the Pullman Bank building, however, as it happens banks go through name changes as they go through new owners.

Before US Bank took ownership of this building it had been owned most recently by FBOP Corporation which bought Pullman Bank & Trust Company in 1999. FBOP Corp failed in 2009 and US Bank came in to purchase the remaining assets.

This is an unusual building on the south side and it certainly a landmark on this part of town recognizable. In googling the history of this building it has been surmised that it has been used as a billboard or free advertising for whoever owned this building.

Since I'm sure most businesses seek to not sink much money onto labor or otherwise utilize processes that don't cost much money I'm sure US Bank doesn't use the whole building. Pullman Bank presumably used this as their HQ and that changed when ownership changed between banks. It makes me wonder if there are other tenants in this building.

And through more googling I found the Calumet Area Industrial Commission has offices in this building to help those out of work find jobs. And the Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives are in that building as well.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

CTA service to improve on south side

By James T4
 Announced at the 95th Red Line terminal on Thursday these are the changes expected to start this summer:
• The 95th Street bus, which will combine separate east and west segments to create a continuous route.
• The No. 4 Cottage Grove bus, which will extend service south from 95th Street to 115th Street.
• The No. 71 71st Street bus, which will extend all trips from 73rd to 112th and Torrence, and see increased frequency.
• The No. 26 South Shore Express, which will add earlier and later service.
• The No. 34 Michigan and No. 119 Michigan/119th bus routes, which will add increased frequency during midday and evening hours.
• The Cottage Grove and Ashland/63rd branches of the Green Line will have increased frequency during the a.m. and p.m. rush hours.
Also:
The improvements will cost an extra $5.7 million a year and are planned to be implemented in September, but some could be seen as soon as the beginning of the summer, said CTA spokesman Jeff Tolman.

“These improvements are related to CTA President Dorval R. Carter's goal of looking at service from a holistic perspective and providing the most effective service possible,” Tolman said. “These improvements will further improve the quality and reliability of service for riders."
Words from the Mayor himself:
“With this expansion, the CTA is continuing the important work of connecting more residents to jobs and economic opportunities,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “This announcement builds on the strides we have made to improve connections to and from downtown. These types of investments help our economy to grow, our neighborhoods to prosper, and our city to thrive – and we will continue to make them to ensure that every resident has an opportunity to succeed.”

Monday, May 16, 2016

Former fire station in Pullman


Took this snapshot of this old fire station near 108th/Cottage Grove in Pullman. BTW, who is that person sitting in that top window on the left side. I thought this place was abandoned lol.

Regardless if you want to know more about the history of this building there's this page from Forgotten Chicago.
This firehouse is located on 108th Street in Pullman, just north of the charred remains of the famous factory. Built in 1895 and home to Engine Company 80, this is the last former firehouse in Chicago with an observation tower. Many 19th century firehouses originally had them to aid in locating fires. This station was disused in 1957 and currently sits abandoned.
And now with the additional attention Pullman is getting with the national park designation what other use could this architectural treasure see?

Check out the post of this picture on ig below.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Rebrand?

The Badger

I'm going to justify this for a moment. For the years that I attended Bennett-Shedd we were known as badgers. In recent years I learned that the mascot has been changed to the PRIDE. Regardless as someone who attended grade school in a different era I will always consider myself a badger.

To be sure it took me years to appreciate being a badger until the realization that changes were made. It was something that was taken for granted and then I did the one most students should do graduate and move on.

Years ago this blog was started in a dorm room at Morehouse because the school where I started my education career - Shedd School - was no longer listed independently even if it was a branch school of a larger elementary school. It's really hard to say what the point of this blog was supposed to be although that has recently changed in recent years.

I've experimented with re-branding this blog over the years. The header on occasion may only have John G. Shedd, Shedd School, or even Public School in the header. As a subtitle recently you have seen "A 'ninth ward' blog".

Here are my thoughts.

What if I purchased a domain similar to sixthward.us and use ninthward.us. Perhaps I could also do sheddschool.com or sheddschool.us or sheddschool.org - although I do not represent an organization at all. Perhaps I can also do a variation of badgercity or badgertown as a domain name. Perhaps give this blog a badger title and in one main respect dispense with the Shedd School branding.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Bennett School has a new website

http://bennettes.org/

I'm ecstatic that somehow I found a new website for Bennett School after a Google search. Over six years ago I found a different iteration of this website which has long since went offline.

This website has a lot more information about the staff of Bennett School and hopefully they will continue to add more information regarding the neighborhood elementary school in the future. So far I like and especially emphasized some of the architectural details of Bennett.

If they need any help with content I would be happy to volunteer. They'll probably never ask though. :P

BTW, I will say sometimes I wish the many public schools in Chicago utilize the many tools available to alert the public about their activities. Bennett now has a website but they could also use a Twitter, Instagram or a Facebook page. The surrounding neighborhood should know what's going on there even if they don't have any children going to school their. The local school is a neighbor after all.

ALSO another school neighbor has also updated their website, Harlan High School which is reflective of a new principal change as well. Harlan - GO FALCONS - also developed more of a social networking presence and then mysteriously stopped. This is definitely an example where they should use these various tools to let the community know what's going on there, especially some of the good news involving students.

Monday, April 18, 2016

9th Ward Community Meeting

Alderman Anthony Beale
  • Please Join Us!
    9th Ward Alderman Anthony A. Beale and City Department Representatives present a 9th Ward Community Meeting

    Tuesday, April 26, 2016
    6:30 - 7:30 p.m.

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

    For more info
    9th Ward Alderman Anthony A. Beale
    34 East 112th Place
    Chicago, Illinois 60628
    773.785.1100


Hotel Florence Pullman

This is the Hotel Florence as seen from across the street on 111th Street. An historic building designed in the 19th century for those who did business with the Pullman Company for whom this neighborhood was named. These days unfortunately this particular building is owned by the state and still trying to find a use for this building.

Even if it's not for a hotel my hope is that it can be used as a community meeting place or for business purposes as a restaurant for example. Closer to Cottage Grove a park surrounds it known as Arcade Park & Pullman Park.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Vacant building on 111th & Edbrooke

This residential building is on the corner of 111th & Edbrooke. The next street over is Michigan Avenue. Literally here is an abandoned house/apartment building literally open to the elements as the windows on the top floor are broken. The building beyond this one is in a similar state.

You can check out these properties via Google Streetview
 
There are previous years shots of those buildings and they seemed to be in better condition than they were on my recent walk to Pullman. Wow what a difference a few years makes.

So on my recent walk to Pullman brought me past Shedd School to the Walmart in Pullman where I took shots of the future site of the Whole Foods Market distribution center. Then back west on 111th Street to hop on the Michigan bus to go back north. There are more shots to share.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Took these shots of the Shedd School property

On my walk to Pullman a few days ago. It was a wet rainy day as depicted in these photos. The first two pics are of the front one is similar to the shot you see in the blog's header.
200 E. 99th Street
200 E. 99th Street
Here's the backlot a field that I used to play around in during recess and of course before school started the kids would play in this field also. Fun days and sadly no longer common. I'll explain after this pic.
Looking from 98th & Indiana
Shedd School has been closed since about 2013 and the local community organization Roseland Heights Community Association has been concerned about a zoning change for this property. It has been zoned for industrial use and therefore a concern is now seen over this greenspace just a block away from Michigan Avenue.

As a former student there, it's unfortunate that classes are no longer held here. However, my hope is that the greenspace remains for the community. If the building remains then it shall be used for the benefit of the community.

Sidenote - I've been using this accessory on my smartphone called an olliclip. Basically this is something you can slip onto your iPhone, iPad or Android devices and take shots with various lenses to enhance your mobile photography. That's why one of the pics above seem unusual.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Walking through Pullman

107th & Cottage Grove
 On a wet day I decided to take a walk into the Pullman neighborhood. I never ventured from the main thoroughfares, just walks along most of the periphery until I got to Walmart. Then upon leaving Walmart the walk ended at 111th and Michigan where I hopped on a bus to go back north.

Took some shots along the way. Some of the sights that I saw when I finally arrive at my destination. Unfortunately it wasn't a bright sunshiny day it was raining. Hopefully when the weather is nice on a day in the future this is something I can try again. Perhaps even venture into those areas of great interest to me architecturally and as a budding urbanist.

Just for the sake of it, here's a pic below of the future site of the Whole Foods Distribution facility and you also see in the background he Methods plant in the back.
720 E. 111th Street
720 E. 111th Street
I do hope the put a sidewalk here when this facility is finally constructed. This is the same area from that second snapshot.
720 E. 111th Street
I hope for nicer weather in the future so that I can do this again and have more documentation of the sights. There are more to share from this day, hopefully you will see in the near future.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Capitol Fax: Today's number 63%

Go Falcons!
Rich Miller of the Capitol Fax talks about the increase of students in our high schools and increase the number of high schools. In addition he makes these comments as far as the policy over neighborhood schools and retaining the middle class in our city:
Neighborhood schools weren’t working in many neighborhoods at the bottom of the economic ladder. So, Chicago embraced public school choice. But that isn’t working either for kids on the lowest economic rungs. Charters can kick kids out for low performance, behavioral problems, etc. and they do that a lot.

I happen to think charters can be a great thing. But, man, the costs sure are high to run all those new schools. And innovators like Kansas City are also having some very real problems.
I wonder if some of these issues involved with the neighborhood schools include Harlan. I'm very sure that they might and it also have some undeserved reputation for violence. I say it's undeserved because over the years they attempt to emphasize the students who got something going for themselves with college and the scholarships for example.

BTW, I would suggest you read the full post at Capitol Fax and read The Atlantic article he quotes from. It deserves a read from me regardless.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Hope Dealers documentary


Hope Dealer Trailer from Lawrence Trapp on Vimeo.

[VIDEO] I've written about this group from time to time and I got wind of a future documentary of which you see a preview here. This is what's posted to the video page:
Hope Dealers, a non-profit organization that aims to help areas through community service. The group was created by Corey Hardiman, a Morehouse graduate and native of Southside Chicago. Although looking to eventually expand, the group for the past three years has primarily performed service in Southside Chicago, Ill.
Now to find out when this documentary is coming and if it will be shown exclusively on the internet or shown at a movie house near you.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

DNA Info: He's Just 24, But Englewood Native Is Passing Out Scholarships To Give Back


Mr. Cassius Rudolph via DNA Info
And this story involves Harlan High School and I think this is just great. The kids in our neighborhood schools needs this and who says they have to go to a selective enrollment school:

Cassius Rudolph believes "you should pour back into the community what the community poured into you."

The 24-year-old Englewood native credits family, friends and church for guiding him through the South Side's rough streets to the graduation stage at Harlan High School and Tougaloo College.

Rudolph, now a graduate student at Columbia University's Union Theological Seminary, is the first person in his family to graduate from college.

This month, he's giving back, awarding at least three $1,000 scholarships to seniors at Harlan, 9652 S. MIchigan Ave., who will be attending Tougaloo, a historically black college in Jackson, Miss.

"Charity begins at home," Rudolph said. "My message to the kids in Chicago is they can make it if they work hard, study hard and ask for help."
25 Harlan seniors have applied and hopefully by next year 10 scholarships will be offered as opposed to only 3. I wonder where he gets this money from. Either way this is great, more stories like this please!

GO FALCONS!

Saturday, April 2, 2016

#Aldertrack: Re-elect Anthony Beale for 9th Ward Alderman in 2015

[VIDEO] I missed this almost four minute video - produced by Urban Broadcast Media - from last year in the midst of last year's city elections. Alderman Anthony Beale made his case for another term as 9th Ward Alderman.

The Alderman paints a picture of a deserted area when he was first elected in 1999 to a much more thriving ward which includes a Walmart and a Methods plant at the Pullman Park Development. In addition to improvements to Gwendolyn Brooks College Prep High School. If he runs again in 2019 he can also add a Whole Foods Market distribution center in the Pullman National Monument community.

Sometimes, I wish he had more of a social media presence or at least someone around him that has a mind for this. He has an FB page that's often updated, he also has a twitter that he could use, and I would also dare say this video is posted to his YouTube account that could be utilized further. That is he could post a few more videos on YouTube although he needs not have to speak to the camera.

I recognize politics is as much a performance as anything. It would be cool if we saw someone from his office record his comments regarding the Whole Foods distribution center. The only way I found out he said anything is not through our local mainstream media, but through a neighborhood paper.

All the same, I can beg the question as to how effective this video was to re-elect Anthony Beale. How did this video get shared did the mainstream media see it and share it? Did it get much play in social media? Better yet did Aldertrack share it in the lead-up to the 2015 elections last year?

Friday, April 1, 2016

Citywide day of action on Friday

Really got wind of this on Wednesday via an email from Mrs. Banks-Pincham forgot them got reminded in another email. A post about this will be posted at SixthWard.us in the morning but this blog will post about it first.
  • Subject: ASKING FOR YOUR SUPPORT FOR CITYWIDE DAY OF ACTION: FRIDAY APRIL 1, 2016

    Below is the plan of action for Harlan.

    This plan is being conducted in concert with many other unions who are being effected by the political onslaught of Governor Rauner and Mayor Emanuel to dismantle the union structure in the name of "balancing the budgets"

    Over the next few days, you may be hearing about the actions on April 1st taking
    place across the City that emphasize the disrespect and disregard for;
    • Students from Pre-K to PhD by not providing a fair funding formula for all students in Illinois to the withholding of MAP grant monies to state run university students.
    • Fair wages for the workers at McDonalds,
    • Moving of jobs from the United States to Mexico (Nabisco)
    • The building and expansion of prisons instead of schools in Illinois as well selling off public education to the private sector.
    • The lack of pension funding because City and State governments did not pay their portion and used the taxes to fund those pensions with the promise to pay it back......over more than 20 years.........and never did.
    WE NEED EVERYONE TO COME OUT AND SUPPORT THIS DAY OF ACTION. IT EFFECTS EACH AND EVERY ONE OF US AND WE NEED TO STAND UP NOW!!!!!

    The current plan for Friday April 1, 2016 is: teachers meet at 8 a.m. at Harlan to picket for an hour; at about 9 a.m. teachers who are physically able will walk to Chicago State; teachers who are unable to make the walk will drive to Chicago State at 9:30; we will converge at the Student Union Building at 10:00 a.m. for a rally at CSU; a teach in will be conducted from 10:00 a.m. until just after 12 noon; CTU, CSU faculty and community organizations (West Chesterfield, Rosemoor, etc.,)will rally at noon and march back to Harlan; Harlan teachers can get their cars and drive downtown (actually) the lot near Cermak and Wentworth is recommended with a Red Line ride to State and Lake; others may elect to catch the 95th Street Red Line with CSU faculty to go downtown; CTU and other unions will gather at the State of Illinois (Thompson) building located at Randolph and Clark.

    By the way, the Thompson building is a public building. There is a food court on the lower level offering a variety of foods.

    If you arrive a little early, grab something to eat. The food court starts shutting down around 3p.m. The downtown "Shut Down Chicago-Fund Our Schools" rally at the Thompson building will run from about 3 or 4 until around 6.

    All are welcome to call or email - sherry8750 @ yahoo.com - if there are questions or concerns.

    Sharon Banks-Pincham
    Harlen LSC Member