Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Pullman in Curbed Cup Final Four!!!

Via The Chicago Neighborhoods
 It's the end of the year and Curbed Chicago has their annual Curbed Cup. In the final four and the neighborhoods of Pullman, Uptown, Lakeview, and the Loop.

Unfortunately I missed the start of this neighborhood competition that pits up-and-coming neighborhoods of Chicago against each other. This is how Pullman is described:
The Pullman neighborhood on the far South Side had a very big year. The area, which is known and named for its connection to the Pullman Palace Car company, was designated as a National Monument by President Obama in February. Then in April, the soap maker Method opened its $30 million eco-conscious factory in the neighborhood. Pullman gained a lot of momentum this year, and the neighborhood doesn't appear to letting down anytime soon. When we called for Curbed Cup nominations, Pullman residents came out in droves to make sure that their voice was heard.
So far Pullman has edged out Bridgeport and the West Loop neighborhoods can they edge out the north side community of Uptown?

Vote here now and hopefully by tomorrow we'll know whether or not Pullman moves onto the final and hopefully a wonderful 2016 for that historic far south side community.

BTW, I wonder if our friends up there at Uptown Update are following this -  and they are.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Konkol: Roseland's Only Steak House Survives Tough Times Down At 'The Ranch'

Yolanda Pierce at right and two of her workers - Photo by Mark Konkol
All the times I passed this place on Michigan Ave and never been inside. It seems to be one of the few consistent businesses on this stretch. It survived a long time and apparently still does although times and demographics have changed since this business opened in 1969.
On a morning stroll, I hiked west from Pullman and under the 113th Street viaduct that leads to the wrong side of the tracks.

I walked past Palmer Park, where the faint scent of marijuana hung in the cool, humid air, and headed up the hill toward Michigan Avenue — Roseland’s once-vibrant shopping strip now populated by hustlers, pimps and dealers who openly cater to the vices of the addicted, the desperate and the damned — on my way to “The Ranch.”

That’s what locals call the neighborhood’s only surviving steak joint, where you can get a T-bone, charbroiled just the way you like it, with a baked potato and salad for less than 20 bucks. And they serve tasty breakfast — two eggs with hash browns and toast for under $5 — all day long.

The late John Kapsaskis opened The Ranch Steak House at 11147 S. Michigan Ave. in 1969. Back then, Roseland was home to mostly blue-collar white families who later fled to the suburbs when black folks moved in and good-paying steel mill jobs dried up. His son, Dino — “The Greek Cowboy,” as one photo behind the counter calls him — kept the family steakhouse going even as the neighborhood’s population changed and its economy slumped.

Inside the front door is a far different world than the one left behind on the sidewalk. A set of bull horns hang from the ceiling. A sign welcomes customers to a dimly lit dining room decorated with carved Indian chief statues and faded photos of cowboys, those rifle-toting white men on horseback from Hollywood westerns.
Yolanda Pierce runs the ranch although the family who owns it no longer appears to be involved. Pierce's ex-fiance who's family runs the business is out taking care of his elderly mother in Greece. So now it's Pierce:
She’s the blond-haired, blue-eyed gal, a former hair stylist from Griffith, Indiana, who runs The Ranch now that Dino Kapsaskis — the owner and her ex-fiance — packed up and moved to Greece to take care of his 93-year-old mother.

Pierce’s friends tell her she should be angry that Kapsaskis left her to run The Ranch by herself, unsure if he’ll ever return.

“Even though he is my ex, this is his business. Dino could have sold this place. He always said business is business. He felt like he was doing me a favor. If I go anywhere else I’ll make minimum wage. What can I do?” Pierce said.

“We still care about each other enough to keep it going. I’m not mad at him. He did what he had to do. I’m taking care of my mother. I take care of my daughter. I do what I got to do.”
If you read the rest of the article she'll not that this place considering it's location isn't making a huge profit but she emphasizes how she helps her employees:

She doesn’t just do it for herself and her own family. The Ranch is the lifeblood that keeps a lot of people — her dishwasher, waitresses and cooks and even Kapsaskis, whom Pierce sends cash she considers “rent” — on the winning side of “the struggle.”

“They say when you eat at Outback Steakhouse or one of those chain places you’re paying for the owner's private jets and fancy houses. What we make helps everyone here. Nobody makes a lot of money. Here, you’re paying for our people to buy clothes for their kids,” Pierce said.

“I just feel like I don’t care if it’s a struggle. I’m gonna keep it going and that’s how Dino feels, too. No matter what, we’re going to try to keep The Ranch open for as long as can. Either things are going to get better or … whatever.”
I suggest you read the whole thing. This is a course on how to run a business in a difficult community to own a business. You may not agree with everything Griffith says about parking meters or minimum wage

Here's hoping The Ranch survives for any position renaissance that I expect Roseland to one day have. Especially when the CTA Red Line is finally extended further south. Plus I hope that the Pullman National Monument will have an effect on the surrounding communities as well.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Mid-century modern homes in Chatham

8459 South Michigan - Eric Allix Rogers
In 2012, I posted about the modernist architecture legacy of Chatham over @ The Sixth Ward. The many homes that were outside of the general character of that Black middle-class community had been documented over the years. And recently was documented at New City with the photography of one Eric Allix Rogers. I'd suggest you give it a read.

The takeaway is that 60 or so years ago Blacks were finally able to move away from the then Black Belt what we call Bronzeville today. While there may still be a dearth of housing options for that generation of Blacks even in spite of the end of restrictive covenants many found a place to create the suburban lifestyle they sought but weren't able to access.

Chatham was one place many were able to not only purchase a home in a nice area, they were also able to build a home. Probably a matter of buying an empty lot or tearing down a building to custom build a home. How many places in Chicago would one be able to do this today?

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Could we do this with our potholes?

I saw this piece of art near the intersection of Michigan/Ohio in downtown Chicago. It was formerly a pothole and then recently saw that a piece of mosaic artwork has been embedded in this pothole. My comments on ig was basically in support of such activity by an artists. Surely there are other parts of the city that may not get the services it should get where someone who cares about the community can do something such as this.

 Sooner or later unfortunately the city will probably destroy this piece, the artist Jim Bachor is not sanctioned by the city to do this. It's probably a wonder that Bachor hasn't been arrested by authorities for his activities and doing such a bold thing but going to such an active part of town to fill in a pothole with his materials.

I know there are more creative people in our communities who could do this with our potholes. Knowing this can only cost money if the businesses and residents of our community was able to do this with our potholes. Our IG post on this is below

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Buy-N-Save Supermarket: What would YOU like to see here?

Last week I walked along 103rd Street and these two images are examples of some of the shots I had taken. Not sure how long this store at 209 E 103rd St has been closed, but it was a surprise when I found out it had been and in a boarded up state. The next is what would you like to see here? Is it possible to attract another grocer here?


Friday, October 23, 2015

CPS enrollment: Drops, rises and consequences

Via @ChiTribGraphics
A page you should look at via Chicago Tribune. That in addition to the graphic above:
Chicago Public Schools released 10th-day enrollment statistics and projected changes to school budgets and special education staffing as a result of the changes in enrollment. This is the first year CPS is using this student-based budgeting policy where enrollment is more important than ever. Changes to funding and positions will be finalized based on enrollment as of the 20th day of the school year.
For two of our local schools:
And of course search for more 10th day enrollment information here.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

What's new at the namesake school....

See the ivy growing over the windows at the closed Shedd School. Vegetation growing over the windows to the kindergarten classroom and across the way over the windows to the auditorium. At least the rest of the property appears to be well maintained as the grass is cut.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The city council Black caucus wants McCarthy to go

Photo by Rich Hein/Sun-Times
A press release was e-mailed to us yesterday regarding this. It surprised me although, I realize many aren't happy with our police superintendent. I never thought this would turn into a full rebellion as columnist Mark Brown states:
The demand for the firing of Police Supt. Garry McCarthy by the City Council’s Black Caucus shapes up as the biggest aldermanic rebellion faced by Mayor Rahm Emanuel in his four and a half years on the job.

“It’s bold,” agreed Caucus Chairman Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6th) of the surprise call to oust McCarthy, although Sawyer disputed my characterization of it constituting a “rebellion.”

I don’t know what else to call such an in-your-face move announced less than 24 hours before the police superintendent, long viewed as an Emanuel favorite, is scheduled to appear before the City Council for his annual budget hearing.
And now the playing field, what are the possibilities? Do we even know?

 From a political standpoint, the move to dump McCarthy puts the onus for combating Chicago’s violence even more directly on the mayor than it already was, while also complicating his fight for a budget proposal that relies on a $588 million property tax hike.

Emanuel has continued to voice full confidence in McCarthy’s leadership, even as the city’s homicide totals have sharply increased this year.

Fourteen of the city’s 18 African-American aldermen, including some of the mayor’s usual supporters, stood shoulder to shoulder to make it clear McCarthy no longer has their confidence. A few white and Hispanic aldermen joined them.

Although dissatisfaction with McCarthy has been building for years, Sawyer said the decision to call for his ouster actually came together rapidly in a matter of hours Monday after one black alderman — apparently a fairly influential one — stated over lunch in an off-handed manner that it was time for McCarthy to go.

That led to a series of hastily called meetings in which Sawyer first tested the idea and then sought to make sure everyone was on board.
When did this "rebellion" become a problem?
When Ald. Carrie Austin (34th), the budget committee chairman and one of Emanuel’s strongest loyalists, stepped to the microphone with the rest, it became plain the mayor had a serious problem on his hands.

I’m not quite sure how Emanuel finesses this one. If he gives in and shows McCarthy the door, he looks weak. And if he ignores the aldermen, he runs the risk of appearing deaf to the concerns of an African-American community that bears the brunt of the violence.
I suppose the Mayor and McCarthy needs to come up with a new strategy to at least make it appear that police are doing something about the violence. Then and only then would McCarthy step aside for someone else, whoever that may be. Time will only tell.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Harlan Community Education Advisory Committee. #harlanfalcons

Photo credit Levois J.
Received this e-mail from the President of the Roseland Heights Community Association. Interesting
development, and I'm hoping the surround community would be willing to be involved with Harlan Community Academy High School:
  • Hello Everyone,

    As you may be aware, Harlan High School has a new prinicipal. She has asked for community support to lead the school to good standing status.

    I have spoken with many of you about the importance of the schools in our community. The challenge facing Harlan requires a concerted effort and our support to reach the level of performance that is evident in a school, parents and community working together.

    You are being invited to be a member of the Community Education Advisory Committee. Communities invited to attend represent Chesterfield, Roseland Heights, Rosemoor, Vernon Park and West Chesterfield.

    The meeting will be held on Wednesday, October 14, 2015 at 4:30pm at the West Chesterfield Community Center, 9351 S. Michigan.

    If you are Community Association President receiving this email and you have an association member who is serving as the education liaison for your organization, please feel free to extend this invitation to them also. If you have any questions, please feel free to give me a call at 312-972-8239.

    I look forward to our meeting. Thank you in advance for your anticipated participation and cooperation.

    Sincerely,

    Sharon Banks-Pincham
Now I wonder whatever came of Principal Reginald Evans. Where is he today?

Monday, September 21, 2015

9th Ward Community Meeting

Via an e-mail blast from Ald. Anthony Beale:
  • Please Join Us!

    9th Ward Alderman Anthony A. Beale and City Department Representatives
    present a 9th Ward Community Meeting

    Tuesday, September 22, 2015
    6:30 - 7:30 p.m.


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

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

Also refer to flyer below:

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Senior Resource Fair this Thursday!

 Via the office of Alderman Anthony Beale
  • 9th Ward Senior Resource Fair
    Thursday, September 17, 2015
    10:00 am - 1:00 pm
    Victory Center of Roseland
    10450 S Michigan Ave.

    9th Ward Anthony A. Beale
    34 East 112th Place
    Chicago, Illinois 60628
    773.785.1100
Refer to flyer below for more information as to who the service providers are.

Click for larger resolution

    Tuesday, September 15, 2015

    DNA Info: Pullman's Comeback Putting Homes in Higher Demand

    This is something I could only hope for interest from both potential residents and realtors in a very historic and architecturally significant neighborhood. It probably helps that select lots in this area is now a US National Monument.
    Some residents hope Pullman could be the next hot neighborhood on the South Side if things continue to look up.

    President Barack Obama's designation of Pullman as a national monument earlier this year, along with the new Method Soap Factory has helped put Pullman back on the map, residents and Realtors said. A new Wal-Mart and other retail stores have provided more shopping options to the neighborhood.

    “I think it’s going to be the next big thing outside of Hyde Park,” said Aundrea English, 36, who has lived on the 10700 block of South Champlain for the last three years.

    What attracted her to her home was simple, she said. The neighbors were friendly, and she fell in love with the make of the historic rowhomes. The solid foundation, the bricks, the “east coast feel,” all had her sold after touring her house for the first time.

    “I wanted to be in something trendy, but it had to be affordable,” English said. “I can’t afford Hyde Park, I can’t afford Bronzeville. ... so this was perfect.”

    The neighborhood is improving, she said. When she first moved in, there were a lot of renters, but now just about everyone owns their home. She said it makes a difference.
    And with the Walmart and Methods factory mentions Ms. English is looking for something else to round things up here:
    "I can’t wait to see what’s next," English said. "All we need are some live music places, and a couple of places to stay, some sit-down restaurants. Those things are coming."
    Perhaps they can finally come up with a plan for the Hotel Florence. In the meanwhile what are the realtors saying:
    Mike Wolski, a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker, has been selling homes in Pullman for 10 years. He said that he has seen more people taking an interest in the area's rowhouses.

    “The neighborhood is one of a kind,” Wolski said, “It was built as a company town in the 1880s, and virtually almost all the original houses made in the 1880s period are still standing. Most of the houses are in good shape and people want to be a part of that. The architecture is really and truly one of a kind. There’s nothing else like it in Chicago.”

    He said homes have been selling at prices between $75,000 to $140,000, depending on the condition.

    On Aug. 29, Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives (CNI) and Neighborhood Housing Services (NHS) of Chicago partnered together to host an open house and block party for some newly renovated homes. Three such homes were for sale on Bolton’s block, and now only one is left.

    Sale prices have gone up in North Pullman, said Brian Caron, a managing broker with AMS Realty because “newly rehabbed homes are in demand in Pullman.” Between 2011-2014, the average prices on their renovated homes has gone up, from under $70,000 to now $95,000, Caron said.

    Wolski said increased list prices of these homes are a huge improvement over the foreclosure sales that the block saw in previous years.
    ...
    The excessive amount of vacant homes have attracted developers, said Conrade Carpenter, of City & Suburbs Realty, who know the homes will be in demand once they are rehabbed. That is showing up in the higher prices being paid for those properties, which are some cases as high as they were in the 1960s, said Carpenter, who grew up in the area. He said the resurgence is happening even with the stigma that the area sometimes gets because of crime.

    “I have seen the changes of the neighborhood over the years, [especially] with the new development things going on and Pullman being historic," he said. "It's coming back."
    Here's hoping the future of Pullman can only serve to change the future of Roseland that is to the east of Cottage Grove.

    Saturday, September 12, 2015

    Community shred day and open house

    Via the office of State Representative Elgie Sims on Sept. 19, 2015.
    • Join State Representative Elgie R. Sims, Jr. along with State Senator Donne E. Trotter and Cook County Stanley Moore for the annual Community Shred Day and Open House!

      Saturday, September 19, 2015
      9:00 am - 12:00 pm
      8658 S. Cottage Grove, Suite 404
      Chicago, IL 60619.

      Help protect yourself from identity theft by safely disposing of documents. Flu shots available. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact us at our office at (773) 783-8800.
    Don't forget about the Purnell Silas College Expo that is also being held next Saturday. Flyer for the district shred day and open house is below.




    Friday, September 11, 2015

    Silas Purnell College Expo

    Coming on Saturday, September 19, 2015 at Tuley Park at 90th & King Drive. One place where our young people can decide where they may choose to further their education. This is an annual event hosted by the Chesterfield Community Council which is another community organization also located in the new 9th Ward of Chicago.

    Flyer also available via the Chesterfield Community Council Website in color.

    Monday, August 31, 2015

    The Chicago Neighborhoods

    Via The Chicago Neighborhoods

    Over at my other blog The Sixth Ward, in recent years I've shared some of the logos from this site The Chicago Neighborhoods. In fact, one neighborhood logo created a controversy as the image depicted in the background was an infamous building long gone that was the site of several murders by a serial killer.

    That's not to say the artists work in creating brands for many of Chicago's neighborhoods isn't good. Hence, I share this Roseland logo you see above and in the past on this blog the Pullman logo has been shared.

    At the Sixth Ward, we also helped to spread the word about some other offerings from The Chicago Neighborhoods. Namely t-shirts and prints if you want to rep. your neighborhood no matter where you are. Leave a print in your home or office in addition to wearing a t-shirt.

    How many of you would purchase these products to rep. your neighborhood? And would you be willing to create your own neighborhood logos and t-shirts?

    Saturday, August 29, 2015

    Introducing an after the fact 2015 elections page....

    It was fairly recent that the Shedd School blog got the tag "a 'ninth ward' blog". At some point I decided that it was time to share the results of the recent 2015 elections with a page of its own. It's something that was finally done by lifting some of the info from a similar page over at sixthward.us.

    The 2012 ward remap moved the 9th ward further north across the Bishop Ford (aka Calumet) Expressway to as far north as 87th Street. That means the former Shedd School building is now in the 9th when before the 2015 elections at least it was previously part of the 6th ward.

    Things change especially political maps so now the emphasis of this blog has changed. The changes to be sure were gradual as I started to follow the campaign for 9th Ward Alderman at the end of last year. It seems there are always something to talking about in the 9th ward.

    My hope is this blog - which I learned had gotten shared in an email blast of one of the community organizations - could be the start of others talking about the direction of this far south side community. It is not my goal to be anti-anyone, but hopefully we can start a true discussion of the direction this community should go.

    One way to start it at least start talking politics and although the 2015 municipal election is over now is the time to start talking about 2019 and then the next remap. We may still talk about education stuff or even history of Bennett-Shedd schools as these are the most important institutions of the north end of the 9th ward. For right now, it's also about the direction of these communities.

    BTW, I forgot about the election results post from the day after the February 24th elections. The numbers reflected there isn't much different from the final results from the 2015 elections page.

    Tuesday, August 25, 2015

    3M Explorers Club Testimonial "My Block, My Hood, My City

    [VIDEO] I could fully support this, getting young people out of their element in their neighborhoods and seeing how big this city truly is. Whereever you're from people in other parts of the city aren't living like you. Young people could learn this as much as anyone else.

    You may live in a depressed low-income community but you should see how more middle-class or working-class people live. Better yet see how much more wealthier people live. Basic idea, perhaps you can see yourself heading up such households.

    Better yet, this young person Noah had his eyes opened being exposed to different parts of the city it's allowed him to go away to Prairie State A & M University in Texas where he's studying marketing. He discusses the impact of Jahmal Cole's Explorer's Club on him. So apparently Cole has had two go to college, hopefully we might see more success as the years go by.

    Hopefully we'll see further activities by the Explorer's Club. BTW, it's about time I buy some apparel as well. It will support these activities.

    Monday, August 24, 2015

    PHOTO: Public notice at Shedd School

    On Friday afternoon, I decided to take snapshots around Shedd School on my cell phone. The photo above is one of those shots which shows a public notices regarding a zoning change filed by 9th Ward Alderman Anthony Beale. If you want more info on this zoning change click here it will show the date of a zoning hearing to occur on August 27, 2015.

    The snapshot seen on a preceeding post is of the Shedd School building itself taken also on Friday afternoon regarding the surrounding community's talks with the Alderman regarding Shedd's zoning.

    Shedd School Meeting With Alderman

    200 E. 99th Street

    Another email sent on Thursday provides another update regarding the zoning hearing for Shedd School
    • Shedd School Meeting With Alderman

      Last night The East/West 99th Street Block Club met with Alderman Beale with concerns about the zone change on the Shedd School location. Same story as the July 9th Ward Community meeting; no new information was given.

      The Alderman said one or two people could still attend the hearing down town. Zoning Amendment will be heard in Council Chambers of CITY HALL; 121 N. LaSalle Street; 2nd flood of City Hill, on August 27, 2015 at 10:00 AM

      A notice was sent to anyone who has property within 250 of area affected. If you have any objection to the application you will have an opportunity to address the Committee.

      If you did not attend either meeting and want to know more please forward any questions you have to the Alderman who proposed this change.

      ALDERMAN ANTHONY A. BEALE AT 312-785-1100 or 312-744-6838 
    It had also been noted that it's best to contact Ald. Beale at his 9th ward service office at 312.785.1100 as the other number is for city hall and it doesn't get answered.

    Previous posts

      Monday, August 10, 2015

      Zoning hearing regarding Shedd School

      200 E. 99th Street - Shedd School

      Below is a letter we just received recently alerting us to a public zoning hearing on August 27, 2015 at city hall. It's is regarding the zoning of Shedd School which will go from residential zone to a manufacturing zone. To put this into further perspective consider this community e-mail blast that I had posted last week. This letter also note that those concerned will have an opportunity to address the zoning committee and to also forward any questions to Alderman who proposed this zoning change. That Alderman in this case being Anthony Beale.


      Friday, August 7, 2015

      Straight outta...Bennett-Shedd


      Even if we were too young to listen to them back in the day my generation likely heard the music of the rap group N.W.A. This month a movie - Straight Outta Compton - about that group will be released in theaters everywhere. In the meanwhile, you can rep your neighborhood or hometown with this link I discovered recently.

      I used it to rep my old elementary school and did a post using it as a opportunity to rep other southside areas and even my old high school over at sixthward.us. You're more that free to create your own take on this sign.

      Friday, July 31, 2015

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

      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?

      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

      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

      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?

      Monday, May 25, 2015

      May 9th ward community meeting

      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 7, 2015

      Crain's: Emanuel facing decisions on Board of Ed

      I'm sure we're going to hear more calls for an elected school board once again:
      Mayor Rahm Emanuel will have a chance to reshape the Chicago Board of Education in June, when four of the seven members' terms expire.

      Emanuel revamped the board in 2011, appointing a fresh slate of new members. Five of those members are still there, having survived the uproar over the decision in 2012 to close 49 schools and one high school program. Last month, some parent groups demanded Emanuel again install an entirely new board, contending that such a step is needed to restore public confidence in the wake of a federal investigation into a no-bid contract the board approved in 2013.

      Ald. Patrick O'Connor, 40th, Emanuel's floor leader in the Chicago City Council, says some changes are likely.

      “In terms of the city government, we are looking at a little bit of reshuffling in terms of some departments. Not wholesale changes, but kind of a mini-transition,” O'Connor said. “I don't see why the board would be immune from that.”

      But William Sampson, an expert in education policy, predicts that dissatisfaction among parents about the board will force Emanuel to make extensive changes.

      “He's going to use this investigation to clean house and then pat himself on the back,” said Sampson, chairman of the Public Policy Studies Department at DePaul University. “In a sense it may be a godsend for him because it gives him the political cover to do it.”

      Tuesday, April 14, 2015

      DNA Info: Planners Dreaming Up What's Next for Pullman National Monument

      Via Chicago Neighborhoods
      Mark Konkol who just so happens to be a Pullman resident talks about the implications of the neighborhood becoming a national monument as declared not long before the February municipal elections:
      Pullman’s days as a cute historic district with a pretty cool house tour are officially over. Now, the neighborhood has a shot to be a national model for inner-city renewal, creative public transportation and urban tourism that has the attention of architects and city planners from across the country.

      And for that, the National Park Conservation Association and the American Institute of Architects have rounded up some of the nation’s most prominent architects, economists, transportation gurus and historic preservationists for a three-day brainstorming session aimed on creative ways to capitalize on the neighborhood’s new national status.

      Starting Thursday, about 40 professionals who know a thing or two about making big plans for urban areas will gather in Pullman to come up with plans for everything from renovating Metra stations and restoring historic ruins to coming up with a blueprint for bolstering local business and safer ways to walk across 111th Street.

      “We want to visualize what Pullman might look like in 10 years with the influence of the national monument designation,” said Lynn McClure, the conservation association's Midwest senior director.
      I could only envision this is not only good for Pullman but good for neighboring Roseland as well.

      Thursday, April 2, 2015

      9th ward paper shredding event

      Tomorrow April 3, 2015 from 11 AM until 3 PM at 322 E. 103rd Street. Refer to flyer below for more details. This event is sponsored by 9th ward Alderman Anthony Beale - who sent the flyer below to his e-mail subscribers - in addition to the Roseland Special Service Area and the Greater Roseland Chamber. Any additional questions call Sheila Stevenson at 773.928.6000 ext. 221.

      Tuesday, March 24, 2015

      9th ward community meeting tonight...

      9th Ward Alderman Anthony A. Beale and City Department Representatives present a 9th Ward Community Meeting
      • Tuesday, March 24, 2015 
      • 6:30 - 7:30 p.m. 
      • Pullman Presbyterian Church 
      • 550 East 103rd Street Chicago, Illinois 60628 
      For more information call the 9th ward office at 773.785.1100



      Thursday, March 19, 2015

      My Block My Hood My City explorers...



      [VIDEO] On this blog we posted video from Jahmal Cole's trip to Altgeld Garden. This was something he recorded in the fall last year. Today he shows us another facet of his My Block My Hood My City.

      He takes teens on explorations around the city. Cole likes to say you can travel the world in Chicago as there are many different cultures who live in this city. So he takes teens to Chinatown, Greektown, Pilsen and other destinations. Basically he seeks to take teens from their neighborhoods and have them see the rest of the world.

      As an aside I did show a video where the red line ventures to once it leaves the south side starting from 95th Street. Beyond this part of town there is a much larger world.

      Is this something you could support?


      Tuesday, March 17, 2015

      Which era did you ride public transit in Chicago?

      Recently I've shown a video courtesy of CTA documenting a trip north along the red line from 95th street. It was to show what's beyond the south side as the trains head north to the other side of the city at Howard Street.

      Today, I wanted to share this with you. This you might see if you were on fb and it asks for one thing: using the numbers you see on this picture which era did you ride CTA.

      My picks was 2 & 3, and I'm not sure why there were broken into two different eras. That paper transfer and the token seemed to have been used hand in hand when taking CTA during the 1980s and early 1990s. Either way sometimes I miss that era as it seemed like much simpler times especially as a child.

      Wednesday, March 11, 2015

      Out of hibernation...

      [VIDEO] Well we finally have our warm temps here in Chicago and artistmac talks about that. The snow that fell on Super Bowl Sunday this year is finally melting. Hopefully the cold temps that kept our young people out of school for at least 4 days within the past two months are nothing more than a memory.

      Even better daylight savings time has passed as of this Saturday and then in the next week or so the first day of spring. It seems we've had a miserable winter this year and the end is only around the corner!

      Tuesday, March 10, 2015

      Those red light cameras...


      Before the end of last month's municipal elections we haven't devoted much coverage to the mayoral candidates. In a field of four voters narrowed the race down to Mayor Emanuel and Cook County Commissioner Chuy Garcia.

      I show this story from our local ABC affiliate regarding the mayor's decision to remove fifty of the city's red light cameras. Of course there are many who aren't feeling Rahm Emanuel who says he's just doing this because he's got a runoff next month and is looking for an edge.

      I'll let you decide that and if this might cause you to swing your vote to Emanuel. I do recognize that somehow these redlight cameras have become one of the sore issues in this campaign.

      Look no further than this mailer by Harold Ward when he ran for Alderman of the 9th ward.

      Friday, March 6, 2015

      Mayor Emanuel on Chicago Tonight


      [VIDEO] I posted this to Sixth Ward last Saturday. On the February 26, 2015 edition of Chicago Tonight Mayor Rahm Emanuel talks about the run-off and other issues facing the city. Believe it or not since the start of non-partisan mayoral elections in Chicago in 1999 this is the first mayoral runoff.

      On February 24, 2015 Cook County Commissioner Chuy Garcia was able to draw a runoff against Emanuel. Eventually I would like to do more posts on Mr. Garcia as I failed to do so during the course of the campaign.

      Tuesday, March 3, 2015

      CapFax: Ploy or not, Chicago has to administer exams

      I've been hearing about this new round of testing CPS students are expected to take. Apparenlty CPS wanted to use this test on a limited amount of students, however, they've decided to administer it to all students 3rd through 8th grades. CPS' argument was that most students in Chicago lacked the technology & technological skill to take a test taken through a computer. Well is this good or bad?

      Monday, March 2, 2015

      FYI: Bennett Elementary Parent Advisory Council Meeting

      Bennett School - 10112 S. Prairie Ave.
       Received this e-mail on Sunday. Hopefully there is some interest in attending this meeting:
      • Bennett Elementary Parent Advisory Council is sending an invitation to the Roseland community organizer to join our first meeting on March 6, 2015 at 6pm. As the new chairwoman, I will like to provide our parents with the best support from Bennett P.A.C, 9th Ward Alderman, and community organizers of Roseland Heights.

        Bennett Elementary Parent Advisory Council Meeting
        Bennett Elementary School
        10112 S. Prairie Ave.
        Chicago, IL 60628
        March 6, 2015
        6:00 pm

        Thank you,

        P.A.C Chairwoman
        Mattie Carter
        M.A. Geography Economic Development
        Certified Community Developer

      Thursday, February 26, 2015

      Where is this?

      Via sixthward ig
      I posted this over at the The Sixth Ward  ig page- of which you can see a slideshow in the sidebar. So Can you identify this piece of ornament on a building in Chicago's 9th Ward/Roseland area. It does resemble a familiar brand that probably had an office in that particular building once upon a time.

      Well this question was answered on Instagram, but I do wonder who else knows where this is?

      Wednesday, February 25, 2015

      There should be an elected school board

      http://www.cpsboe.org/
      It took me a while to come to this conclusion but I've finally decided that there should be an elected school board in Chicago. Not saying that this is the best solution for our schools in Chicago, but it's an idea that should be considered.

      The only caveat that I've considered is that there must be a hybrid board where the people can elect members and the mayor can appoint members. This has always been my thought however the Chicago Sun-Times solidified this much further in an editorial.

      This Tribune editorial makes further points about the various points of school boards whether hybrid, elected or totally appointed. To be sure, I have little problem with the Mayor of Chicago having some form of direct influence on the Chicago Public Schools. This is one reason I support a hybrid board.

      I also believe that the most important interest group - the parents need representation to influence the decisions of the Chicago Public Schools. I propose that a majority of the members can be elected to the board of which there are currently seven members. Therefore four members should be elected and three should be appointed. In addition those four elected should be from districts divided up at least four ways throughout the city. The mayor can appoint the people he wants on the school board with their expertise and the people can elect who they want on the board of ed.

      Furthermore I recognize how at time public education can be very politicized. Unfortunately the public schools have borne a lot of negative press over the years and this may cause more politicization. I hope that future members of the board of ed can recognize that the most important thing they have to do is ensure that the youth of the city of Chicago are educated and ready for the world.

      Election for 9th ward alderman...

      For the 9th Ward the 2015 election is in the books Ald. Anthony Beale wins another term. Here were the results as of last night from ABC 7 Chicago. Hopefully I will have results from different sources available in the future as well. May even set up a page similar to what exists at The Sixth Ward as something of an archive which includes the election results.

      Monday, February 23, 2015

      Ted Williams III interviewed on #Aldertrack

      [VIDEO] So if I read the e-mail correctly, this is the last of the Aldertrack interviews with candidates for Alderman in 2015. And current series ended with Ted Williams running in the 9th ward. He had previously interviewed Michael LaFargue & Noonie Ward previously in the 9th. Unfortunately we never had a chance to see Foucher interview the incumbent Anthony Beale.

      Well I hope you have watched those interviews and will make an informed choice in tomorrow's election. Anything said by Professor Williams would sway your vote for alderman?

      Saturday, February 21, 2015

      9th ward mailers #Aldertrack

      As we head into the final weekend of the 2015 municipal elections I would like to share with you two more mailers from Ald. Beale and opponent Ted Williams.
      The first mailer is from Ald. Beale as he highlights his accomplishments which includes the recently announced Pullman National Park which has been considered political as President Obama presided over a recent ceremony at Brooks College Prep. Certainly this was a move to bolster the re-election of his former chief-of-staff Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
      Also there's a mailer by Ted Williams that shows not oonly his background but also what he's dedicated to if he were elected Alderman of the 9th Ward.
      Anything said by either candidate that would sway your vote on Tuesday?

      Saturday, February 14, 2015

      LaFargue mailer #Aldertrack

      This mailer for 9th ward alderman challenger Michael LaFargue was e-mailed to me recently. These flyers should be going out this week. Anything said here sway your vote?

      BTW, I've been wondering when we'd start seeing pieces from him.



      Friday, February 13, 2015

      9th ward Alderman candidates forum

      [VIDEO] I haven't been able to make a candidate's forum at all this year but at least CAN-TV provides footage for those around the city. You can join Aldertrack's e-mail list to see most of them.

      All the same you can watch an hour of debate between candidate's Chicago's 9th ward from this past Saturday at Simeon High School. Was anything said by any candidate that could sway your vote?

      Ald. Beale mailer part 4 #Aldertrack

      This recent mailer by Ald. Anthony Beale highlighting his support for the reform of the red light camera program. He had been getting hit by his opponent Harold "Noonie" Ward for the red light camera tickets.



      Wednesday, February 11, 2015

      Pullman to become a national monument

      null
      Via The Chicago Neighborhoods
      Great news for the south side, hopefully the surrounding areas will reap the benefits. And just in time for Black History Month, we also learn the pivotal role of Pullman for Black history via Chicago Tribune. Especially since Pullman's main employer was a manufacturer of rail cars that had been staffed with blacks once these cars were on the rails.

      Of course let's not forget labor history. Pullman was a site of a major strike once that saw federal troops intervene. Also the mainly Black Pullman porters agitated successfully for a union even if most of them didn't call Pullman home.

      I forgot to note that next week, Pullman will be declared a national monument. I'd be excited to see what this development will bring! :)

      Monday, February 9, 2015

      Ald. Beale mailer part 3 #Aldertrack

      Slightly different mailer for Ald. Anthony Beale that the other two already posted. He highlights his support for various projects in the 9th ward such as the reconstruction of the CTA 95th terminal, city colleges' logistics hub, the Walmart and shopping center in Pullman, Method factory, and more affordable housing. Of course he highlights bringing to his ward new jobs with higher wages and fighting to raise the minimum wage.

      Anything said in the flyer below sway your vote?


      Saturday, February 7, 2015

      9th ward action...

      [VIDEO] Before I note once again the two candidates forums today, I wanted to share with you this recent video from 9th ward candidate Michael LaFargue. He is hoping to take the Alderman seat of current Alderman Anthony Beale.

      LaFargue - currently President of the West Chesterfield Community Association - does a video featuring his background. He also features some of the other community activists and business owners of the 9th ward.

      This includes Eddie Davis of Bass Furniture - 11431 South Michigan Avenue - who commented on the shopping mall that we recently noted here. The shopping mall that was once located at 115th/Michigan was demolished during the course of the last decade. Davis claimed the closure and demolition of this mall has hurt other nearby businesses.

      It's a long video of roughly 15 minutes. Anything said in this video sway your vote?

      Todays candidate forums for 9th ward candidates
      • NAACP candidates forum with 9th Ward candidates scheduled for 1 PM
        Simeon High School
        8147 S. Vincennees
        Also noted on this blog

        Friday, February 6, 2015

        What would you like to see at 115th/Michigan

        115th/Michigan - Summer 2014

        Over at The Sixth Ward I did a post about this corner in June 2013. The pics seen in this post save for the final historic post was taken in the summer of 2014. Consider this something of an election year post as I believe this corner could be a key one when the red line extension is finally built.

        There are four people running for Alderman including the incumbent and he has three challengers. Hopefully all of them have an eye on this corner and perhaps their vision may not even include the red line extension although it is my belief this corner would benefit from the proposed stop over Michigan Avenue. Whatever the vision hopefully it would include some form of transit oriented development.

        Over the years the lot at 115th & Michigan had a number of buildings including a shopping center that had been razed during the course of the last decade. That lot included a number of retail stores (such as a grocery store and Perry Drugs), restaurants (such as The Coffee Pot), and more. The most recent development plans for that lot included a future shopping center including an Aldi's.
        Family Dollar 115th/Michigan

        The vacant lot to the east on 115th/Michigan
        What I failed to do in the other post was show a picture of how this intersection looked back in the day. This business strip was actually an active area with plenty of activity but what happens over time things do change. Perhaps we'll see this activity again by the time the Red Line is up and running in the near future hopefully. Below is what you'd have seen at this intersection east of 115th/Michigan.
        115th/Michigan in 1934
        Now the burning question...what would you like to see here?

        9th Ward candidates forum on Saturday #Aldertrack


        This coming Saturday is proving to be a very packed Saturday for those of us who are following the 2015 elections. If you're following the 9th ward race there is another forum later on Saturday at 1 PM sponsored by the NAACP.
        • The Chesterfield Community Council (CCC) will host the
          "9th Ward Aldermanic Candidates Forum"
          on Saturday, February 7, 2015 at 11:00 a.m.
          at McDade Classical School,
          8801 South Indiana
          The moderator will be Curtis "AC" Green, Radio Personality, 106.3 fm /1390 am Radio.
          All are welcomed.