Thursday, June 29, 2006

Stroger is to step down next month

I found this story from Crain's Chicago Business as well...

Ailing Cook County Board President John H. Stroger Jr. — who this week decided to give up his race for a new term in favor of his son, Todd — now has decided to resign his office, effective at the end of July, sources close to the matter are reporting.

The announcement is to come in the form of a letter from Mr. Stroger that is to be read by his chief of staff, James Whigham, at a press conference tentatively set for Friday afternoon. The letter reportedly will cite Mr. Stroger’s lengthy recovery from a severe stroke he suffered days before the March Democratic primary.

Mr. Stroger’s official county spokesman confirmed that Mr. Whigham intends to meet with the press Friday afternoon “to talk to reporters about the president.”

“I can’t confirm” that Mr. Whigham will read a letter of resignation from Mr. Stroger, the spokeswoman added.

Mr. Stroger’s earlier decision to abandon his re-election race and throw his backing to Todd Stroger, a Chicago alderman, has caught some flak but is expected to be ratified soon by Democratic committeemen. But there has been more criticism about his prior plan to fulfill the remaining months of his term, a decision announced Wednesday by Ald. William Beavers (7th), a long-time ally and friend of Mr. Stroger’s.
There was no immediate word on who might be named to fill the remainder of Mr. Stroger’s term. Under law, incumbent members of the board must choose a replacement from among themselves.

Among names prominently mentioned as possible interim presidents are Commissioners John Daley, chairman of the board’s finance committee, and Bobbie Steele.
Looking at the Capitol Fax Blog there was a number of Cook County items but I found this column from the Sun-Times' Mark Brown to be interesting. Especially with regards to the man who will replace John Stroger on the ballot for county board president...

Unlike the progeny of some of the other politicians boosted up the ladder, the characteristic so often remarked upon in regards to Todd Stroger is his utter lack of ambition in everything he's done. A nice guy, they've always said, but no fire in the belly. Beavers says he'll be different now.
I wonder if Beavers is really serious. Beavers is no spring chicken himself, what will Todd Stroger do if Beavers isn't there to look over Stroger the younger's shoulder. I've got one more column this time from Mary Mitchell this deal that's being talked about is unfair to another longtime member of the board. The one who is said should really take the spot as county board president...
But if the scheme to install Ald. Todd Stroger (8th) as Cook County Board president is an indication of the direction black politics is heading, good government is still a long way off. Frankly, the actions black politicians have taken since Todd Stroger’s father, President John Stroger, suffered a stroke in March have made us a laughingstock.

These elected officials aren’t even pretending to be interested in public service.
The two columns from this morning were pretty good a shame that I had to gloss over this in only a couple of paragraphs perhaps I'll expand on them. I hope the voter are paying attention to this. Especially those who will rightfully be upset about this.

Yusef Jackson invests in first media venture

Yusef is the son of Rev. Jesse Jackson and the brother of Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. In Crain's Chicago Business today Yusef is about to invest in a New York culture magazine called Radar...

Beer distributor Yusef Jackson has finally added a coveted title: publisher. The co-owner of River North Sales & Service and son of Rainbow/PUSH Coalition leader Rev. Jesse Jackson is attempting to resuscitate Radar, a saucy New York culture magazine that folded last year.

His Integrity Multimedia Co. LLC, incorporated in March, is making a “multiyear, multimillion-dollar investment to relaunch the title,” Radar said.

Mr. Jackson, 35, said he’s committed to supporting the magazine for at least five years, giving its editors time to find stability. He declined to put a number on the size of his investment in Radar.
He's even expressed interest in owning the Chicago Sun-Times and those properties to be sold off from Tribune Company in light of their recent troubles. This is what he says...

“I would love to own the Chicago Sun-Times,” he said in an interview Thursday afternoon. “I think it’s a great Chicago media property with an amazing Chicago heritage.”

As for Tribune Co. assets, he said: “To the extent the Tribune assets in Chicago become available, I’m someone who will look at them. I won’t look at them all over the country. That’s not what I do.”
His company, Inegrity Multimedia Co., LLC was incorporated in March of this year.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Is Stroger off the ticket?

I saw this story linked on Capitol Fax Blog. Here's what was quoted on the blog...

More than three months after suffering a serious stroke — and winning renomination in spite of it — Cook County Board President John Stroger is expected to withdraw this week and ask Democratic ward bosses to replace him on the November ticket with his son.

Ald. William Beavers (7th), self-declared spokesman for the Stroger family, has already started lining up votes for Ald. Todd Stroger (8th) and appears to be well on his way to securing a majority of the weighted votes of 80 ward and township committeemen to place the younger Stroger on the ballot, sources said.

The complex political deal calls for Beavers, powerful chairman of the City Council’s Budget Committee, to replace John Stroger as county commissioner and for Todd Stroger to replace his father as president of the board, where he would have no vote. Until the election, John Stroger would remain in office. If Beavers wins the seat, he would resign as 7th Ward alderman on the condition that Mayor Daley appoint his daughter to replace him.
From the Sun-Times article this is what I saw striking. Alderman Anthony Beale is considering supporting Ald. Todd Stroger for county board president. And this is what he had to say on this...

"I need to hear from Todd about what his wishes are and what his father's wishes are. If the president says he would like to see his son as his successor and [he believes] he's qualified, I think we have to support that," Beale said.

"The African-American community came out overwhelmingly in support of John Stroger. He was elected to continue to lead this county. If he feels that someone is strong enough to succeed him in that position, we have to honor that. [House Speaker] Mike Madigan anointed his daughter. [Former Cook County Assessor] Tom Hynes anointed his son. [former Rep.] Bill Lipinski anointed his son. So why can't John Stroger anoint his son?"
That's the oddball thing. At least Madigan and Hynes stood in primaries and so be it with their father's help. This I see nothing wrong with. But changing the game after the primary even in this unusual circumstance of an illness is troubling.

Either way if Ald. Todd Stroger is to be appointed county board president the deal breaker is that Ald. Beavers will take over John Stroger's county board commissioner seat while Stroger will have no vote at the board. I guess this is as viable a deal. The question here will be if there will be backlash against this type of nepotism.

Monday, June 26, 2006

What happened here???

This really makes me mad. This story happened over the weekend and this is just sad and cowardly. This resulted in an unnecessary loss of life. And now it seems these fools were targeting not a five month pregnant woman and her son but probably her brother.

Calumet City police investigating the shooting deaths of a 22-year-old pregnant woman and her 3-year-old son said Sunday they believe the woman's older brother may know something about the shooting, though they stopped short of saying he was involved or calling him a suspect.

"Most folks who lose their sister in a type of act like this voluntarily come forward to police, and he has not," said Pat O'Meara, Calumet City police chief.
About 1:15 a.m. Saturday, a gunman opened fire on the small house in the 500 block of Garfield where Sarah Moore was sleeping with her son and another child, spraying 30 rounds from what police say was an AK-47-type assault rifle.
This Calumet City neighborhood has seen trouble for a while now and here's another interesting connection...

In 2003, a woman was found strangled, with a plastic bag over her head, at 510 Garfield.

The following year, during Republican Alan Keyes' unsuccessful run for the U.S. Senate, the Maryland resident rented an apartment in the brick two-flat across the street from where Saturday's shooting occurred.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Morehouse College item, unexpected...

I was reading about another guy getting his papers accepted by his alma mater and another school is about to accept papers from another alma mater. This was in the Chicago Tribune and I post the entire item in its entirety...

Morehouse College to get King's papers
Items compiled from Tribune news servicesPublished June 25, 2006

ATLANTA, GEORGIA -- A collection of Martin Luther King Jr.'s papers, manuscripts and books that was set for auction this week will instead be given to his alma mater, officials said.

A group of Atlanta businesses, individuals and philanthropic leaders bought the more than 10,000 items from the King family for an undisclosed amount, Morehouse College President Walter Massey said Friday.

The civil rights leader's handwritten documents and books were expected to sell for $15 million to $30 million at Sotheby's auction house on June 30. Massey said the historically black college near downtown Atlanta would acquire the collection.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Items involving cops...

This story caught my eye first this morning...

Three Chicago Police officers ran away when a fellow officer was struggling for his life with an armed man in a Dominick's store on the South Side, officials said Wednesday.
Two of the fleeing officers were about 10 months into their 18-month probationary period before they could have become full-fledged officers with union benefits.

Those female officers -- called PPOs in cop parlance -- have been fired by police Supt. Phil Cline.

"After reviewing the evidence, it was clear to me that the two PPOs didn't do what they were trained to do, and they put the officer in peril," Cline said.

A third male officer, whose probation ended about three months ago, faces a departmental investigation and possible termination, too.
Damn how did they even get on as PPO's any way. Now the next item has a cop helping a narcotics ring...

According to a 213-page federal complaint, Prairie District Officer Tashika Sledge, 29, helped Lynn Barksdale, a member of the gang's board of directors, by hiding his drug sales paraphernalia.
She also allegedly gave Barksdale access to her police database to help him determine which Mickey Cobras were under surveillance and to identify who was following him by checking vehicle license plates.
Police Supt. Phil Cline said it was troubling that Sledge allegedly betrayed the public trust. She was stripped of her police powers and assigned to a clerical job two months ago when U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency officials alerted the department of suspicions about her actions, he said.

She will be placed on a "no-pay status" in light of her arrest, Cline said.

"More than ever, this should illustrate that no one is above the law, not even a police officer," Cline said.
Wow!!! These are some interesting stories.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Young sailor's luck runs out

I saw this story in Today's Tribune about a Sailor who was shot to death while he was at home in Englewood on leave. This young man was a husband and an expecting father whose wife is three months pregnant. I really would like to know what happened here. Who shot him and why? Well it's explained in this article...

Witnesses told investigators that four people followed him out of the house, said police spokeswoman Monique Bond. Minutes later, shots were heard and Franklin was found lying in front of the house, she said.

The shooting may have been motivated by retaliation for some earlier grievance, she said, but police were not releasing information about why the men may have disagreed.
Because his son had been gone for nearly two years, Jesse Franklin Sr. said he doesn't believe anyone could have had a grudge against him. His child wasn't involved in gangs and had pushed himself to get away from bad influences, he said.
Very sad a child will never know his daddy.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

2004 Voter Theft Theory Debunked

In an article from
Cleveland’s leading newspaper has checked out a new article by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. claiming that Republicans "stole” the 2004 presidential election in Ohio, and concluded that Kennedy’s story is "nonsense.”
Four years before that there were issues in Florida a couple of years ago there were issues in Ohio. Both of these "supposed" incidents resulted in the election of President George W. Bush. Well in any case let me continue here...

In the June 15 issue of Rolling Stone, under the headline "Was the 2004 Election Stolen?” Kennedy writes: "A review of the available data reveals that in Ohio alone, at least 357,000 voters, the overwhelming majority of them Democratic, were prevented from casting ballots or did not have their votes counted in 2004 -- more than enough to shift the results of an election decided by 118,601 votes.”
A leading Cleveland, Ohio newspaper debunks RFK Jr's assertion however and it isn't even considered a conservative newspaper by a longshot...

But the Cleveland Plain Dealer – regarded as anything but a conservative newspaper – headlines a June 18 article: "Rest assured, we checked out Election 2004 thoroughly,” and states: "There was no shortage of mistakes made in vote counting. There were voters who should have been registered but weren’t, polling places with lines that were too long and without enough voting machines, and decisions from [Secretary of State Ken] Blackwell that appeared to be partisan.

"All these mistakes and misjudgments took votes from both candidates, but probably more from Kerry. But they didn’t add up to nearly enough votes to swing Ohio from Bush to Kerry. "The mistakes were … bipartisan in nature and not a result of Republican chicanery.”
Uh-oh what's the deal here?

"Somehow he never gets around to quoting the DNC investigative team’s conclusion that ‘The statistical study of precinct-level data does not suggest the occurrence of widespread fraud that systemically misallocated votes from Kerry to Bush.”

The newspaper also notes: "Kennedy saw conspiracy in a Franklin County foul-up that resulted in far too few voting machines at a polling place in a heavily black area that would presumably vote mainly for Kerry.

"But he didn’t tell his readers that the chairman of the Franklin County elections board, who oversaw the county’s voting machine allocation, was a black man who also chairs the county Democratic Party. Not a likely candidate to steal votes for Bush.”

Monday, June 19, 2006

Goodman brings black entrepreneur to life

An article from the Chicago Sun-Times a story based on the life of Madame CJ Walker...

That's because the spirit of Midwest entrepreneur Madam C.J. Walker, who died in 1919, and those she's inspired will be in the house.

Goodman is premiering in Chicago "The Dreams of Sarah Breedlove," a story based on Walker, who built an empire selling hair care products to black women, pioneering the Mary Kay-style sales force and ushering in an era of vanity that's fueling a billion-dollar business.

Although the play deals primarily with her tumultuous relationship with her daughter, the Goodman is using the historical figure's rep in the beauty industry as a bridge to fill seats at the production, its last of the season.

Next Monday, the Chicago-based trade journal Salon Sense will host a Black Hair Care Industry Appreciation Night, appealing to stylists and businesswomen.

At 7 p.m. tonight, the Goodman will present a panel discussion -- "The Legacy of Madam C.J. Walker" -- with female and African-American entrepreneurs as part of its Stage Door Series. The panel will discuss progress since Walker's time and existing obstacles to success.

Here's some of the impact of Ms. Walker...

Past editions of the Guiness Book of World Records listed Walker -- a philanthropist, feminist and civil rights advocate -- as the first self-made American woman millionaire.

Said Chicago playwright and director Regina Taylor, "She was part of changing how black women saw themselves -- from unseen shadows, field hands, domestics. As a Walker representative, they could reinvent themselves into financially viable businesswomen. She helped change how the world saw black women in terms of how we saw ourselves in terms of beauty."

Born Sarah Breedlove on a Louisiana plantation in 1867, orphaned at age 7, and married at age 14 to escape an abusive brother-in-law, the hair care baron took the familiar name after marrying her third husband, Charles Joseph Walker.

She was a sales agent for another black female entrepreneur before striking out on her own door-to-door sales path to push scalp conditioner, pressing oil and shampoo, demonstrating the products in churches and lodges, and popularizing the hot comb among black women.

Her Indianapolis-based company employed 3,000 factory workers and more than 20,000 agents, which Walker organized into local and state clubs and brought together for a massive 1917 convention in Pennsylvania, thought to be one of the first national meetings of businesswomen in the country.

"She set a foundation that the majority still use today," said Terri Winston, publisher of Salon Sense magazine. "She was the inroad that led African Americans to succeed and become entrepreneurs and possible billionaires in an untapped marketplace."

Companies such as Chicago-based Dudley Products Inc., Luster Products Inc., summit Laboratories and Dr. Earles LLC all owe a debt to Walker, said Geri Duncan Jones, executive director of the Chicago-based American Health and Beauty Aids Institute, a trade group that Walker Co. helped found. Walker estate trustees sold the company in 1985.

"These companies started with very little money, making products in their basement, and now, they're multimillion-dollar businesses with hundreds of thousands of customers," Jones said. "It's a testament, and very good example of what Madam C.J. Walker did that other manufacturers are doing today."
Here's some information about the show...
"The Dreams of Sarah Breedlove," now in preview productions at the Goodman Theatre, opens June 27. Tickets cost $20 to $65. For information, call (312) 443-3800 or visit

Sunday, June 18, 2006

A good Father's Day column...

From Sun-Times columnist Mary Mitchell about the role father's play in the rearing of children. Check out this quote...
My concern is that too many of us have convinced ourselves that the absence of fathers -- whether through divorce, neglect or other circumstances -- can be easily overcome by the presence of a strong black woman. Having been a single parent, I know from experience that single mothers can and do raise healthy families.

But I'd be lying if I said I didn't feel my own children were shortchanged because they did not have their father at home daily even though he was a consistent presence in their lives despite our divorce.

Fathers are just that critical to a child's development.
Mary Mitchell alludes to the fact that many black children are growing up without their father. A disturbing trend for sure. But I would hope many of these fathers can teach their little boys to be responsible men and their little girls to be respectible ladies. Well that's my idea I'm sure there are other ideas for fatherhood.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Friday Items

Want to see some cool video blogs...

Limeblog year one
Sara's Corner: Fun Day for a Drive Parts One & Two

Not a video blog but worth taking a look at
-Videoblogging at Bloggercon!

And then there's...

A campiagn commercial from NC congressional seat candidate Vernon Robinson
Illinois state Treasurer candidate Alexi Giannoulias is getting more flak from his banking dealings.
-A perspective on this news from Bill Baar at Illinoize.
Please don't cut Amtrak. I'd like to take a look at Amtrak at some point on this blog.
The Chicago Way
Who says bureaucrats can't innovate? Note: This isn't positive.
The Taxman and the Food Fundamentalists

From MCHammer Blog
-My Brother Mr. T: This is series of picture of Hammer and Mr. T.
-Mr. T!!! My Brother! This is Mr. T's car apparently very cool.

ECW's Most Extreme Player of the Week I was unable to watch the world premier of the relaunch of ECW. I no longer have the Sci-Fi Channel. I need to upgrade my cable. :(

Have a great weekend!!! And Happy Father's Day!!!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Replace LSCs...With What?

From the District 299 Chicago Public Schools blog.

There are a lot of people who think that LCS are an essential part of public schooling in Chicago, and lots of others who think they're often a nightmare.

However, coming up with a replacement won't be easy, as this NYT article points out. NYC replaced its version of LSCs about four years ago, but so far at least they may not be working out.

Link: Report Finds Unhappiness With City's Parent Units - New York Times.
Here's some items from the NY Times article...

Mr. Stringer's office did a telephone survey of about 70 percent of the 56 members of Manhattan's parent councils in April and May, and found that in many areas, the councils were not performing as state law requires, according to a report by his office to be released today.

For example, the state requires the councils to prepare a yearly school district report card, publicizing information on standardized test scores and other data. The report found that 61 percent of those surveyed did not know what a district report card was, or said that their council had not developed one this year.

Discontent with the 32 parent councils has been simmering since Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg created them four years ago to replace the community school boards. The boards were abolished after a history of patronage and corruption. Mr. Stringer was on the Education Committee when he served in the State Assembly, and his seizing on the issue is a sign that the complaints are starting to receive the attention of policymakers.

"This is just failure at the most basic level," he said in an interview.

The report says the City Department of Education has not trained council members, as state law requires, and has also not given members basic information about other parent leaders. The result of the isolation and poor training, the report says, is that attendance at council meetings, even by members, is low. Forty-two percent said their council fell short of making a quorum at least once this past year. Seventy-one percent said at least one of their members had resigned.

Kelly Devers, a department spokeswoman, said participation rates for parent councils were not lower than they had been on the boards. "While our rates are certainly low, and it's something we're improving, I think it's disingenuous to suggest that they're not a huge improvement from before," she said.

In a statement, she wrote that council members had been provided with many opportunities to receive training.
But Michael Propper, who plans to step down as president of the council in District 2 in Manhattan, said, "I just don't see the parents working well together, and it's because the parents don't understand the system."

Screech might be going homeless...

I found this interesting website about Screech from Saved By The Bell is getting forclosed on his Wisconsin home. You can help him by donating some money or buying yourself a t-shirt. I think I should start selling t-shirts here. LOL

Anyway check out some of this story....

I'm Dustin Diamond and you probably remember me from the hit TV show Saved By The Bell. After the show ended I decided to leave Sunny Cailfornia for the midwest. My shitty credit meant that getting a loan for a house would be tough. I began looking and finally purchsed one on a land contract. I was thrilled! Now I call Wisconsin my home.

During the past years the land around me has developed for the better and my property value went way up. Now that the house is worth a lot more they want it back. Knowing my credit is bad, getting a straight mortgage would take some time. I received a letter stating that I had 30 days to pay $250,000.00 or get out. I was not thrilled.

Calling an old friend with lots of connections, I was finally referred to a man named Arthur Giraldo who works for New York Capital Exchange. "If he can't do it, it can't be done." Arthur was said to be an expert in land contracts and a guru when it came to getting difficult loans done. Indeed Arthur sold himself highly and away we went to save my house. I was told not to worry, that it wouldn't be a problem and that everything would be done quickly, as was needed.

I sent everything he asked for and signed all the papers that were sent to me. The closing date was to be set and he would have a lawyer who was in Wisconsin come to the closing with me. Arthur even said he was going to fly out himself and be there for the closing. The days went by and I never heard from him. I called and left message after message but never got a call back. I finally called from another number from the road (I travel the U.S. doing stand up comedy) and he picked up. As if we had all the time in the world, he brushed it off and said again not to worry. Everything was moving ahead and all is well. He set yet another closing date, but that came and went.

Meanwhile, all was not well and they still want the house. As days crept by and still no calls from Arthur, I was forced to threaten calling every day, all day long, every hour on the hour til I got a call back. Alas, I get a call back. "Don't worry. Everything's moving ahead and all is well." Less than thrilled.

This avoidance goes on and on for some time until..."You got Served"

That's right, yours truly gets served with a notice to foreclose. They're gonna take my house! I'm gonna be homeless! Dustin Diamond homeless in Wisconsin. BULLSHIT! Time to call up New York Capital Exchange and set them straight! My message went something like this...
"Tell Arthur Giraldo that I just got served and was told that he hadn't contacted the holder of the land contract for over a month, never sent any papers over and as such, I am losing my house. If he doesn't call me back I'll go to Howard Stern and tell the world (New York especially) how he does business. Let's face it, if he can't find the time to work on a mortgage for a famous celebrity, how will he handle the average person?"

In more words than one I was told basically... "Go f... yourself!"

One phone call later I was telling the Stern show what had happened.Time to pay the piper Arthur. You shouldn't have f...ed with the Dman.

At this point I have less than 40 days to save my house and I'm calling out to anyone who will listen.

1. I want Arthur to lose his cushy job at NYCE where he screws over the working man then laughs at their expense.

2. I ask you to join my fight against injustice by helping to save my house.
Please help Screech keep his home.


Wednesday, June 14, 2006

From eyesores to Oakwood Shores

An interesting Sun-Times article about the changing near south side. Where infamous public housing high rises once stood are a new experiment in which families of different incomes are mixed in housing developments. Check out the story of a Hyde Park engineer who is about to partake in this experiment...

"We could have bought in the suburbs or in so-called better neighborhoods but we wanted to do it here, where we could be role models," Rodney Neely, a 54-year-old Hyde Park engineer said as he showed off his nearly finished row house on 39th Street near the lake.

When the Chicago Housing Authority launched its ambitious plan in 2000 to replace its much-maligned, largely high-rise projects with mixed-income developments, many wondered if enough people would sign up to live next to CHA families.

At Oakwood Shores, which is replacing the CHA's notorious Ida B. Wells and Madden Park Homes in the Oakland neighborhood, the experiment appears to be working.
What about the demand...
The first buyers -- paying as much as $535,000 -- move in next month, and the rentals have been snapped up. The wait for an affordable rental is as long as two years and the full-price rentals are spoken for before construction finishes. The developer already has raised rents because of high demand.

"On first blush, personal observation and the numbers indicate that the product is attractive to a diverse population and the market is healthy," said Helen Dunlap, a former president of ShoreBank Development Corp.

Families are flocking to Oakwood, buyers and renters say, because of price, access to downtown and the lake, as well as its location in a gentrifying neighborhood.
Here's the plan...

The redeveloped streets, east of Langley, are now lined with elegant homes and six-flats outfitted with arched doorways and decorative brickwork. The sidewalks are scuff-free, the lawns are manicured and antique lampposts light up a peaceful neighborhood.

A few blocks west, dilapidated and boarded-up eyesores still house public housing families. Large swaths of dirt stand in for grassy fields and addicts still congregate in a nearby park.

Over 10 years, the entire 94-acre parcel is to be redeveloped with 3,000 new units split evenly among working-class residents, public housing families and those who can pay market rate.

The first rental phase is nearly done, with 209 families in place. The first 44 for-sale units are almost done, and 39 are sold, including the highest-priced ones -- eight $535,000 single family homes.

A total of 130 for-sale units are due next summer, with 59 already sold, said Joe Williams, president of Granite Development, which is developing Oakwood with MB Real Estate and the Community Builders. Ujima, a community group, also is involved. The second phase includes land adjacent to what remains of Wells. That will come down eventually, but in the meantime the units may be a harder sell than those in phase one, outside developers said.


Mixing people unaccustomed to living together can be treacherous, but so far the Oakwood community is jelling, several renters said. They cite good management and tough screening rules for public housing tenants, including a work requirement. Just 38 percent of the 400 families screened so far are eligible for Oakwood. They are being offered help in finding work and other assistance by the Community Builders.

Finally let's just close that this won't start off perfectly at least not yet...

But Brenda Taylor said she and a few others had to move from one building to another because of a noisy CHA tenant. She's also bothered by teens gathering in her parking lot at night: "Even though the place is nice, eventually it'll slip back and have some of the problems of before, when it was all public housing."
To make this a success would have to take work on the part of the residents first and foremost and at least the article alludes to that.

Senator Queen Latifah?

Well since it appears that she has exploded onto the scene in recent years perhaps Queen Latifah might ride this rocket into politics. Check out this report from the Left Coast Report from I'd rather hope she wouldn't try it though.

Senator Queen Latifah?

She's a rapper and an actress, but lately Queen Latifah looks as though she may have another career in mind. Dana Owens, Queen Latifah's real name, is perhaps a bit more senatorial.

While in Washington, D.C. to endorse a National Women's Confidence Day, Queen Latifah said, "You know, maybe I'll run for Senate."

After making it in hip-hop and cinema, Queen Latifah has no problem believing she can conquer the political world.

"I have always felt strongly about empowering women. I'm living proof that, with confidence and by believing in yourself, you can accomplish any goal," she explained.
The Left Coast Report wonders how the Queen of Chappaqua feels about a royal rival.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Wal-Mart: City could get 20 stores -- but . . .

Well this I didn't know. In the city all I would know about it two stores in the city particulary the one actually going up on the west side. But 10-20 stores? How are they going to manage that?

Well here's some of the story...

Chicago could be home to as many as 20 new Wal-Mart stores over the next five years, but only if the City Council does not establish wage and benefit standards for "big box" retailers, a company official said Monday.

Even before the planned September opening of its Austin store, Wal-Mart is meeting with aldermen and scouting locations for additional Chicago stores while pursuing the urban strategy outlined by its CEO in April, according to John Bisio, Wal-Mart's Midwest director of public affairs.

One possibility is an old K-Mart site at 77th and Stony Island in the South Side ward of Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th), who said she's not interested until Wal-Mart cleans up "some serious public perception problems" related to how the company treats its employees.
Here's a little info on the city council ordinance which could put a dent in their plans...

Introduced by Ald. Joe Moore (49th) and championed by Finance Committee Chairman Ed Burke (14th), the ordinance would apply to both newly built and existing stores with at least 75,000 square feet of space owned by companies with $1 billion in annual gross revenues.

Those 35 Chicago stores would be required to pay any employee who works more than five hours a week a "living wage" of at least $10 an hour, along with $3 an hour in benefits.

"Why would you continue to invest millions and millions of dollars . . . in a marketplace [that has] rules subject to some and not all? If you want to do it to all retailers, you might have something. But, not like this," Bisio said.

Asked how many new Chicago Wal-Marts hang in the balance, Bisio said, "It's not unreasonable to say 10 or 20 stores over five years."
The fact that Wal-Mart may put a hold on their plans because of a possibility of a possible ordinance is derided as a "scare tactic" by their city opponents...

Chicago Federation of Labor President Dennis Gannon accused Wal-Mart of "holding a gun" to the Council's head. Gannon said he would "not be intimidated" by a behemoth that clearly needs Chicago more than Chicago needs Wal-Mart.

"Who are they kidding? They need this market. They're saturated [everywhere else]," Gannon said.

Moore denounced the Wal-Mart threat as a "scare tactic."

"If they're going to come in and do some sort of predatory pricing -- the same sort of subsistence wages they pay their workers -- and, at the same time, put other [retailers] out of business, perhaps it's not such a bad thing" for Wal-Mart to avoid the Chicago market, Moore said.
I think the city council needs to stay out of this one and let the market take care of itself. There's no need to freeze a company out of this market by attempting to impose a "living wage". This can only hurt those who wants a job.

Addendum: An interesting post on the city council Wal-Mart ordinance over at Illinoize, a very interesting take on why there is such obvious opposition to Wal-Mart.

Wal-Mart: City could get 20 stores -- but . . .from Chicago Sun-Times

Monday, June 12, 2006

I've been on a Walker, Texas Ranger trip...

So this got me to thinking if there are actually any black Texas Rangers out there. Other than the fictional Ranger James Trivette. Just some random black history to throw out there.

First Black Texas Ranger hired..

September 6

*On this date in 1988, Lee Roy Young became the first African- American Texas Ranger.

The history of the Texas Rangers began in 1820 when the Mexican Government gave permission for 300 families to enter the territory of Texas. On August 10, 1823, permission was granted to employ ten men from a group of volunteers to protect the new Texas frontier.

Lee Roy Young was the first Black in the police force’s 165-year history.

I've also found a story in which a black female Texas Ranger accused some of her collegues of sexual harrasment back in 1995.

First Black Texas Ranger hired..from the African American Registry

Ald. Bill Beavers

He was the subject of a profile of Chicago Aldermen in the Tribune Magazine. As is being pushed in Chicago media as a possible successor to John Stroger as President of the Cook County Board. Of course contrary to that this article has him saying that he wants to be around to see the changes that are coming to his ward (7th ward which contains the neighborhoods of South Chicago and South Shore)...
His Far South Side ward (to see a map go to and click on the "Your Ward and Alderman" link) is in for big changes, as is John Pope's 10th Ward to the east and south, as the now vacant land once occupied by U.S. Steel is to be transformed into an area of new housing, parks and businesses.

"Rainbow Beach will be extended along the shore," says Beavers, standing by the lake at 80th Street in Osgood's photo. "It is now the finest beach in the city. I took my fist and got that built and now it will be even better. This will be part of what I call the Chicago of the future. I always said I want the South Shore to look like the North Shore and it's coming, and I want to stay and see it," he says, meaning he'll run again next year.
Having been alderman since 1983 he recieved his first lesson in politics...
He has been an alderman since 1983, winning his first race against 15 opponents and coming into the City Council "all young and feisty." That was the year Harold Washington was elected mayor and the council was split into warring factions: 29 aldermen aligned with then 10th Ward Ald. Ed Vrdolyak and 21 in Washington's camp.

"Right away I got the best lesson you could ever get in politics," Beavers says. "I challenged Vrdolyak over a soccer field that I wanted in my ward and he wanted in his. I fought, and for the next three years they punished me, taught me my lesson. For three years they wouldn't even give me a new stop sign in my ward."
This was pretty interesting. Ald. Beavers is a former cop and like I image many of his constituents he like to go the "gambling boats" twice a week to play the slots.

I have been slacking for weeks on this. Perhaps I'll get some links to those other profiles that I've missed although I one may need to register with the Tribune to see them. Perhaps it was a tougher task to try to get all 50 on this blog than I thought.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

This has been out there for a while...

I've heard more on this from Rush Limbaugh than anywhere else but I can't say that I've really been looking. A congressman from Louisiana Rep. William Jefferson might be dumped aside by his Democratic colleagues because of some recent investigations. But the Congressional Black Caucus has come to Jefferson's aid.

It seems that before anything solid is found on Rep. Jefferson the Democrats in a drive by House minority leader Nancy Pelosi they are ready to remove him from his position on the House Ways & Means committee. Let me just quote what Rush had to say on this and I'm sure this may rattle some cages...
There still has been no adjudication of his case just as there has been no adjudication of the case of Congressman William Jefferson (Democrat-Louisiana). What we have here, ladies and gentlemen, the Congressional Black Caucus is right, and they know this. What we have here is an example of Democrats, white, plantation, liberal Democrats, who at the first sign of trouble will throw one of their black brothers off the bus just like that in order to protect their own image. Now, some of you might be saying, "Well, Pelosi's doing the right thing, Rush. She's acting in the best interests of her party."

Maybe so. But Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats have played the race card their entire political career. Sort of like when you live by the photo-op, you die by the photo-op. When you live by the race card, you may end up dying by it. And I am here to tell you today that the Congressional Black Caucus as a matter of point of law is exactly right. There is no charge, even, yet against Congressman William Jefferson (Democrat-Louisiana). There is no trial slated. There are no charges, there is not an indictment.

I went to a funeral on Friday...

It was a first cousin who died prematurely. So we went to the suburban chapel of A.R. Leak and Sons in Country Club Hills, IL for the services. I didn't know he served in the Army reserve until I saw a flag draped casket and I thought we was at the wrong services.

In any case the services ended and it was time to be dismissed so that the family and friends can get in the processional on the way to the burial site. One of the morticians mentioned something about how we lived in a city where people don't respect the dead anymore so be careful. Well let me mention a couple of occasions where that is true.

We were in a processional after leaving the services and we approach this expressway where some people were getting off. And there was this Dodge Durango who in a fit of aggressive driving got right into the processional. My mother who was driving wasn't keeping up too well so basically this person found a hole and got in it. That's what some drivers tend to do find a hole and get in it. They never seem to be able to sit still.

So as we approach the next light I figured this person would turn there but guess what they didn't and thus we and several other people behind us were separated from the processional. And eventually we figured out that the driver of this processional was a woman and she was on her phone, talking away. This was why she disrespected the dead. And she wasn't through driving aggressively as she aggressively weaved between two lanes before she finally turned a few lights down. And never fear we eventually caught up to the funeral procession.

A few years earlier an older man got into a funeral procession for whatever reason. This guy even let someone else get into the procession, just waved him in. We were never separated from the rest however this guy was a nusiance and we finally got away from this guy. He probably wasn't paying attention but he definitely didn't have a cell phone. We was writing with my aunts and one of them yelled out at this guy for getting into the funeral procession. Where did this all come from?

I wanted to share more thing here. This has nothing to do with the funeral I went to on Friday, but I watched a rerun of the second or so episode of The Shield. It started off with a burial service of two people a cop and a thug. The cop funeral was more dignified while the funeral for the thug seemed less so. The cop got a gun salute and his widow offered a flag while everyone seemed to keep their composure. The thug's buddies basically just poured their 40 oz and dropped their bandannas and other trinkets to "honor" their fallen buddy. I suppose the only point of that was to juxtapose the funeral of the police vs. the funeral of a fallen thug.

I just thought that was interesting.

Saturday, June 10, 2006


I got to reminiscing about this girl who went to my high school a few years back. Overhearing her conversation in class with another friend of mine I found out she went to Whitney Young Magnet High School located on the west side of Chicago. I wondered why she showed up at the ghetto school that I attended.

I found out later on. One of my guys said something to her and she was so ticked off that she was screaming and had to be restrained. In other words she was about to fight. It was so bad that our PE teacher stopped a game in progress to calm things down. So this got me thinking many years later that this was why she found herself going from one of the best schools in the city to one of the most underperforming school in the Chicago Public Schools.

So her disclipline was a problem. She probably went off on the wrong person and they went on ahead and got rid of her. And gave her slot to someone more deserving. I mean this had to been a blow to her family as much as it was to her. Though at that age as a sophomore in high school she probably said she didn't care but she may or may not. Because she had an uncontrollable temper she blew it at the best school in the city.

At my high school they had to spend so much time trying to maintain some semblance of control because unfortunately some fools would bring their issues off the streets from last night or whenever. My generation had to walk through metal detectors before we started our day. Even worse these fools disrupted classes, have major fights in the halls, even engage in various forms of vandalism. They closed school early once because a fire was started in the boys locker room near the end of the day. And she got all mad and out of control and it sent her there.

I just want to say that it would be nice if our public schools were like a series of Whitney Youngs (WANNABE A DOLPHIN!!! Did I say that right?). That they wouldn't tolerate the disclipline problems that a lot of our schools face. Unfortunately we also have to face the fact that there are parents out there who don't care and cast their kids off onto the system as if it is the system's job to babysit their kids as they do whatever.

I hate to advocate this because some of our leaders are saying something along the lines of, "if we don't do something with some of these kids now they'll victimize the ones doing something with themselves". I guess we can't be too hardnosed but we can't let the kids do what they want either. Right now I'm kind of glad I'm not a parent, yet.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Tom Roeser on Barack Obama

Thanks to a morning shorts post at Capitol Fax Blog commentary from So-Called Austin Mayor on a column from Chicago Sun-Times Columnist Tom Roeser. Check this out...
Obama, a mulatto, has a white mother and black father: thus he looks vaguely more representatively white than black and as such is white liberal America’s idea as the first black president. He could play one on “West Wing.”

Edward Brooke, the liberal Republican Senator from Massachusetts, who had far more experience than Obama (having been state attorney general and a two-term Senator) was never regarded as a presidential contender: reason, he could not be mistaken for a white man. He was also Republican but that was of less importance than his looks.

This article will be cited as horrendous by the political correctionists -- but the writer is too old to be dismayed by the cosmetician obfuscators.You read it here first: The reason Obama is mentioned so often by the media for president is that he is half white and visibly so -- and liberals who are nothing if not hypocritical, deem him easier to accept and elect than were he fulsomely black.
I'll be honest when I say that I'm not a fan but I think that Roeser may be off base here. If this were another era and perhaps another region Sen. Obama would not have had a chance biracial, well spoken, or not. Now as for him being the "liberal" idea of a black president, if one was to believe that there was a lot more to it than him being "biracial".

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Been doing some tightening up...

Of this blog and my photoblog.

On the right sidebar you see the addition of a Recent Comments section below the Roll Call section. You can see who was behind the latest comments. I was honestly going to add a third column but I decided against it. Adding to the right sidebar isn't a bad deal so this blog is spared for now.

At My Mind's Eye and there will be an update there as well, I've eliminated the section at the bottom which allows me to see other links to that blog through Technorati. There was also a headline animator for this blog at the bottom but at least for now that is deleted. In addition buttons for syndication of the blog feed is moved to the menu at the very top of My Mind's Eye.

Confab: Blacks must embrace Booker T. Washington’s view of self-reliance

Not being a voracious reader I failed to even finish Booker T. Washington's book Up From Slavery. There are those who would no doubt believe that Mr. Washington would have a home in the modern conservative movement. His vision for black America said to be self reliance has currently lost out to a more aggressive program for equality mainly through protest and activism.

It's amazing what a century will do. There is a guy by the name of Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson who considers himself the modern day Booker T. Washington. Then in the Chicago Defender a panel discussion on Mr. Washington at Northwestern University Law School. This discussion was on the third and final day of the 150th anniversary symposium of Booker T. Washington.

“If Booker T. Washington were alive today, he would be saying, ‘Black America, have you lost your minds?’,” said Carol Swain, professor of political science and law at Vanderbilt University during the “Left, Right and Black: Where to go in the Political Arena” discussion.

High rates of out of wedlock births and abortion would send Washington into despair, Swain said.

“Booker T. Washington would be urging us to return to our religious morals and right living,” Swain said.

Sociologist Frank Harold Wilson, associate professor at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, said Washington was bi-partisan at a time when many other Blacks identified themselves as Republicans.

“He was aligned with the Republican Party, but at the state and local level, he had to deal with Democrats,” Wilson said.

If he were alive today, Wilson said Washington would be disappointed, but not disenfranchised, and demand the community take more responsibility for its actions.

But, the basic needs of the African American community have not changed since Washington’s time, he added.

“We still need credit and business loans. There is usually a consensus around economics, but how we get there has a lot of differences,” Wilson said.

Some issues facing the Black community, Swain said, could be solved if the country were to look at the way a particular issue affects the entire nation and not just African Americans.

“We have made felony disenfranchisement a racial issue. People who have paid their debt to society should be allowed to vote. If we de-racialized (the issue) we would have many more people supporting it,” Swain said.

I think I need to crack open that book and this article was quite interesting.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

County Board to pick interim leader

The county board is taking a step in replacing all be it temporarily the ill John Stroger as President of the Cook County Board...

The Cook County Board will begin taking steps today to temporarily replace the ailing John Stroger as board president.

The move to name Bobbie Steele as interim president comes as a new report questions just how mentally aware Stroger is as he undergoes physical and mental rehabilitation from a March stroke.
Let's not forget that Stroger is still on the ballot to run against a Republican Challenger County Board Commissioner Tony Peraica...
Peraica is set to introduce a resolution today that establishes procedures for replacing a board member -- including president -- who is too ill to serve. Peraica's plan involves public hearings and subpoenas to doctors, with the board voting on the official's ability to serve.

Most commissioners find Peraica's resolution too abrasive, but will use its introduction as a launching point for Steele, a 20-year board member. If she gets the interim post, she would take over Stroger's governmental responsibilities, with the power to make personnel, spending and policy decisions.

"This needs to happen in a very dignified way because we're dealing with the end of someone's political career," said Suffredin, who has been helping gather board support for Steele.
The Reverend Jackson who apparently has requested to visit the ill John Stroger has been rebuffed by Stroger's wife, Yonnie. Jackson however, still had a quote in this article...

"The longer it takes to get a response from [John Stroger] or his doctor, the more evidence it is of the state of his health," said Jackson, whose son, Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., has a strained relationship with John Stroger.

While "the family's right to privacy must be respected," Jackson said the county "is not on hold; who's running the government?"
As for Stroger's health...
But Stroger's chief of staff, James Whigham, vehemently denies reports that his boss is profoundly disabled, saying "this is not a man sitting there blubbering," and Stroger is "not sitting there with drool coming down his mouth."

Whigham said as recently as Friday, he did small hand and leg exercises with Stroger as part of his ongoing therapy.

"He's not sunken, he's not drawn," Whigham continued. "When I left him Friday, he gave me a handshake as strong as any he's ever given me."

Sources say Stroger, 77, is carrying on conversations and is aware of his surroundings -- though they hesitate when asked if he can run a $3 billion

Through a spokeswoman, Ald. Todd Stroger (8th) said his father is on a feeding tube and needs around-the-clock medical care.
County Board to pick interim leader from Chicago Sun-Times

Monday, June 05, 2006

Speak of the Devil...

I just posted about the intrigue surrounding the Cook County Board Presidency and it looks like the county board is actually trying to get a handle on the effects of Stroger's incapacitation. This was actually on Capitol Fax Blog's afternoon shorts and linked to an article from Crain's Chicago Business.
The swirl of confusion over the health of Cook County Board President John Stroger took a dramatic new legal turn Monday as two board members took steps that ultimately could lead to the selection of a new, interim county chief, perhaps within a matter of weeks.

In separate actions, Commissioner Michael Quigley formally requested a legal opinion from State’s Attorney Richard Devine on if and how the board can act if the president is found to be incapacitated. And Commissioner Anthony Peraica began circulating a resolution to call a special board meeting on Mr. Stroger’s status.

Though neither action necessarily will lead to the selection of a new board president, they add a new note of immediacy to a controversy that, until now, has largely centered on whether Mr. Stroger will step down from the Democratic ticket in the November election—not whether someone else should take over county government now.

The spokeswoman for Mr. Stroger, who suffered a severe stroke in March, released a statement saying only, “We are not in the position to tell commissioners what they can or cannot do.”
If there isn't a law accounting for an official's incapacity especially in an important post as County Board President then there really needs to be one written.

Laura Washington talks about the County Board Race...

So basically she does a run down of all the candidates for the Presidency of the Cook County Board. She didn't seem to do what Rev. Jesse Jackson did this weekend to call for the end to the silence with regards to John Stroger's health. But she did discuss who might be good fits for the job of County Board President.

Of course Todd Stroger's (8th Ward Alderman) name has come up often. He wants the job but Washington isn't exactly falling into line that if white politicians can anoint their children, so can black politicians. This is what she said about Ald. Stroger...

There's 8th Ward Ald. Todd Stroger. His public flip-flops about his father's condition and intentions are laughable. Cook County government -- a $3 billion corporation -- requires a keen administrator. He's a nice young man, but Todd Stroger has never run anything.

Which is why I think he'll be eaten alive if they let him have it but if he did get the nod this comment from Washington sizes up that situation...

Cook County needs a leader and a manager -- not a placeholder or a puppet.
So how about those other contenders. What about CHA chief Terry Peterson? Well he's not interested. Though he and Ald. William Beavers (7th ward) are considered compromise choices according to Washington. Then there's Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown...

...the ambitious Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown. Besides, her independent black base gives the royal families of Stroger, Daley and Jackson the heebie-jeebies.
I like her already. But before this there was Cook County Commissioner Bobbie Steele. Almost in the same breath with Dorothy Brown. When Washington wrote this I honestly would have had absolutely no idea...
Cook County Commissioner Bobbie L. Steele is a 20-year board veteran and says she is up for the job. As a woman who has paid her dues, she's my sentimental favorite. She is up against her gender, and she knows it. Black male politicians are a sexist bunch, and they are not about to move over for any woman. I must say that even though he has no official sway in the decision, kudos should go to the Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. for backing Steele.
Those ladies have an uphill battle but I would like someone who was outside of the "machine" as Dorothy Brown apparently is. But unfortunetly I'm not sure that Steele's or Brown's time is coming. Then a choice out of left field and I say this because the focus surely had to been on finding a black candidate for Cook County Board President...
The joker in the deck is Cook County Assessor Jim Houlihan. There a tiny problem there. He happens to be white. He also happens to be very qualified. Houlihan is a policy wonk who actually has a plan to turn the county around.
Oh man I have to mention what she says about another potential candidate for the county board presidency. We've heard his name more than anyone else other than Todd Stroger. Rep. Danny Davis...
Rep. Danny K. Davis, aka The Voice of God, proclaims he is getting a raft of spontaneous "calls" for him to run. Davis is a veteran legislator and grass-roots advocate for the disadvantaged. No African-American official has worked harder to build political bridges between blacks and Latinos. Unfortunately, his operation has a reputation for disorganization, and I wonder about a congressman who would participate in a "coronation ceremony" for Sun Myung Moon. Davis did the crowning.
So she has some misgivings about that. It's interesting to see some intrigue around county government. And the characters seeking a very powerful and important seat. And just think this seems to be as a result of a man's failing health. And this man's health went down just before his primary election. Meaning that we see the drama unfolding at this very moment.

Cross-posted at Illinoize

Saturday, June 03, 2006

I should have addressed this already...

Every now and then I have a pic for my profile. It changes from time to time. At one time the picture was of Johnson Publishing owner the late John H. Johnson. At another it was Star Trek:Deep Space 9 Captain Benjamin Sisko. Recently it was of Civil Rights leader the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (he's a Morehouse Man too folks). Another time it was an interesting photoshop image some mind not like too well and in the interest of goodwill I'm not posting that here.

Recently I changed my profile image to another prominent black, Bill Cosby. I don't really watch the Cosby but that it the type of show I'd like to see. Nothing silly it was just real more than any other family oriented black show out there today. Not slapstick or anything like that just a story of a very educated well to do family. I would like to imagine The Cosby Show as a drama more than a sitcom. Perhaps it's a good thing it was a sitcom.

Lately Bill Cosby has been in the news for the past year or so crusading on the issue of bad parenting. He directs it mainly towards black parents but one could observe that this is a class thing which cuts beyond race/ethnicity. The way I see it he may be the only person addressing or at least giving lip service to an issue like this particulary as it goes in the black community. I just hope there will be others who will see the big picture on this issue.