Saturday, November 29, 2008

What Wild Animals Are Living In Your Neighborhood?

For at least the last six years, I have had a Possum living somewhere near my home. The other night my son came running into my room and told me to follow him. We went out on the balcony and walking my neighbor's back sidewalk was a huge white possum with a long pinkish -rey tail. The possum is huge - so it is obviously able to feed quite well in my neighborhood.

A few years back I was driving west on a sidesteet near my home and saw an animal crossing the street. Wow, rats I thought. But upon closer inspections, it was a family of brown bunnies.

What have you seen in your neighborhood?

How Much Did This Cost The City of Chicago?

It was about a year ago a woman in the south suburbs left her daughter in the car to walk her other children to make a donation at the Salvation Army kettle. She was charged with child endangerment and arrested.

Yesterday we had the story of the little boy left in the van while the parents picked up newspapers. Unable to speak English, I wonder if they had a license to drive and if they are in this country legally. Never the less, the car was stolen with the young baby inside. All day I saw the messages over the TV. Thankfully the baby was found safe, but those parents should be arrested and charged with child endangerment.

Will The Obamas Spark An Insurgence Of Marriage In The Black Communiyt

It was just about 25 years ago that the Bill Cosby Show first aired. Who amongst us can remember the controversy that that show caused? Why? Because we had a successful married couple (doctor and lawyer) who led a very upper middle class life and after the black community only knowing shows like Good Times or Standford and Son or if middle class then there had to be an element of ignorance like in The Jeffersons. So Cosby came forth with a comedy that wasn't the head rolling and booty shaking.

Now fast forward and we have two successful lawyers, although one has spent most of his time as a politician becoming the new first family. They married FIRST, then waited a number of years before they had a child and then four more years later a second child.

We are seeing a married black couple, in love and one that unlike some previous presidential families, really in love with each other. Now there were other first families where I have no doubt the husband loved the wife, but those couple were so much older that if they had their own bedrooms in the white house, it seems understandable.

While watching the Barbara Walters interview, the love between Michelle and Barack is quite obvious. But going even younger, I was watching the Beyonce video Single Ladies and to hear a hit song telling men "IF YOU LIKE IT YOU SHOULD HAVE PUT A RING ON IT" is quite refreshing.

Only time will tell if there is going to soon be an insurgence of marriages, but I hope there will be.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Is Michelle Obama Pregnant?

When she sat down for the interview, her stomach was looking a little plump.

How will Comedians Make Comedy About the Obamas?

That has been the source of numerous discussions around the web. It is going to be interesting what perspectives are taken.

I think we might finally see some true comedic genuis come out. Especially in light of the fact that Barack Obama isn't the jive-talking, angry black man. He's cool, educated and extremely well spoken.

In fact, Barack talks like "a white man". OMG, after all the years of blackfolks running around claiming that some black people were "talking white", who is the first person that they all ran out to support? A man who "talks white, was raised by whites, and is half white".

Ha Ha Ha!


I'm going to grill mine. It's been brining for several hours and the results should be wonderful once I put it on the Weber grill.

Who Should Replace Barack Obama in the Senate

Now that Louie Gutierrez has taken himself out of the running (and trust me I've been ROFL at the though that he even considered himself near the race) who would or should be the replacement senator.

Congressmen Danny K. Davis or Jesse Jackson Jr? I'd take Danny Davis on Jr. There's an old saying that "if you lie, you'll steal". His push for the Peotone airport while dismissing advocating the building up of the Gary airport, his lies about his weight loss (remember he claimed he got a shot in the butt) then was forced to admit he had some sort of gastric bypass for barely being 50 - 60 lbs overweight all lead me to not have a very high opinion of him.

Now there are those who criticize Danny Davis. But every Sunday you can call in to the radio station 1450AM from 10 - midnight and confront him over the air. That alone says to me he has been and would continue to be a very accessible senator.

I don't know much about Tammy Duckworth. But her name has positive name recognition.

Any suggestions?

The Power To Influence The Youngest

In my prior post, I mentioned implementing O.B.A.M.A Day. After watching the video below, the power of this one man to get children that excited says alot about the possiblity of what he can influence over the next four years.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


O.B.A.M.A. Now most folks looking at that word would assume it's just the last name of our president-elect. Jan. 20, 2009 will not only be my speed limit birthday (55), it will also be the day President Barack Obama is officially sworn into office.

As I was thinking about how President Obama and I will share a momentous day that will go down in history, it would be nice if the day was also officially known from that day forward as O.B.A.M.A. Day. O.B.A.M.A. stands for Our Brothers Aren't Murdering Anymore.

One thing the black community can do as its tribute to a president who looks like us is to end the murders that occur daily in our community. If we can cut the murder rate in our community to zero, we can honor him and his presidency. As a community, we cannot ask a leader to take us on a journey if we are not willing to take a stand and prepare for that journey. And a major part of that preparation is to respect life and not make the journey any harder than it needs be.

Every day one only has to read the headlines in most local papers to learn of the carnage going on across this country-from Los Angeles to New York, Chicago to Miami, New Orleans to Houston, we are a country whose young men are being killed off one at a time by other young men. We are losing our future, our civility and our culture to a devil known as "senseless murders." Plus "brothers" are not just limited to black men. "Brothers" are all men-white, Asians and Hispanics alike.

I'd like to see the O.B.A.M.A. Day initiative take off right here in Chicago. Because of the world-wide interest in our 44th president, Chicago could become an even greater tourist attraction. But the black community, which needs to benefit the most from an Obama presidency, may lose out if people are scared to death when they read and watch stories of shooting and mayhem occurring on our streets. Just this past weekend, a young teenage mother was shot in the neck leaving a party just a mile from Obama's house.

Over the next six weeks, from Thanksgiving through New Year's, each and every one of us will see or hear from family members. It is time for each of us to be pro-active in talking with our young people regarding conflict resolution, gang violence and gun violence. And talking with them should be an ongoing conversation and not just a single question or comment.

We need to end that hideous practice of "no snitching." To date within the black community, we have at least three killers still walking the streets among us. First is the killer who shot the women at the Lane Bryant store in Tinley Park; next we have the killer who brutally stabbed and murdered 9-year-old Mya Lyons; and the killers who murdered the family members of Jennifer Hudson. Those individuals will be at someone's house for Thanksgiving and will be buying or wanting presents for Christmas. Someone, somewhere knows who the people are who committed those murders and should drop a dime on the crime.

Those individuals who committed the aforementioned crimes are the poster children for why we need an O.B.A.M.A. Day.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Obama's Aunt Zeituni - Will this illegal alien get to stay or have to go?

Just days before the presidential election, one of the least talked about subjects during all the presidential debates made headlines. Illegal Immigration has been a very contentious issue in this country over the past few years. The most famous illegal immigrant, Elvira Arellano was deported back to Mexico in August, 2007. This year’s illegal immigrant marches have paled in comparison to those of years gone by. Most of the news regarding illegal immigration has been stories about workplace raids and the arrest of hundreds of people who were using false identities while working in this country. So it was very interesting to hear about our latest and probably soon to be most famous illegal immigrant.
In Boston, living in public housing, Barack Obama’s aunt Zeituni Onyango (a half-sister to his father) was found to be living here illegally. Although Ms. Onyango had entered the country legally at some point in the past with a tourist visa, she had decided to try and stay here by seeking asylum. That request was denied and she was ordered by a judge to leave. Rather than obey the laws of this country and leave, she did what millions of others have done. She jumped the line and decided to stay.
When many of the pundits learned about Obama’s aunt, they loudly decried her and him. There was outrage that Ms. Onyango was living in public housing on the backs of American taxpayers while Americans and especially our veterans live in homeless shelters or on the streets. Obama’s aunt rather than face the media critics and defend her position has since fled Boston to stay with relatives in Cleveland. Media reports out of Cleveland says that she has hired an attorney and will fight the deportation order.
What was most interesting to me was the response from Obama. I don’t doubt him when he says that he hasn’t been in touch with his aunt for a number of years. But he also stated that if his aunt was violating the law, she should obey the law just like anyone else. Barack Obama will be sworn in as president on January 20, 2009. The next day on the 21st, a massive demonstration is being planned by at least thirty immigration rights activist groups to call on our new president to end the workplace raids, arrests and deportations of those here illegally. Their stance is that immigration should be one of the top ten agenda items on President Obama’s list.
The question of immigration and who has the right to be here and not be here will come at a very pivotal point in this country’s history. We are currently suffering an economic failure that has led to historic drops in the stock market, we hear daily about thousands of Americans losing their jobs, we have the possible collapse of the big three automakers and added into the mix will be those whose are here illegally.
Now I have never hidden the fact that I am not a supporter of illegal immigration. No country can afford to take in an uncontrollable number of people and expect to not suffer some consequences. So as we watch what will unfold with immigration under a Barack Obama administration, we will watch as tough decisions will have to be made about people who are here illegally and that will include Obama’s own Aunt Zeituni . Yes, those who come here illegally or stay here illegally have compelling stories. But there are Americans who have compelling stories as well. Tough times call for even tougher decisions.
The Obama administration is going to have the deal with the biggest catch-22 of all times when it finally begins to deal with illegal immigration. If his aunt can be deported, then others who are here illegally can be deported as well. If his aunt is allowed to stay, then others can stay as well. But no matter what, this issue will not be one where anyone in America can remain neutral. The final decision is going to make some people very happy and others angry. The question remains as to which side each of us ends up on when the time comes.

BackStage Pics From the Obama Win

Here are some fabulous pictures from backstage at the Obama Win.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Most Fascinating Reality Show

I am not a big TV person. In truth, I've never even had cable. I have over the years enjoyed several reality shows. The Apprentice gave everyone a look into the creative world of business. America's Next Top Model showed the world that modeling is a lot more than just being a pretty face. But for the past few days I have set transfixed in front of my computer watching what for me should me mandatory for every young man in America who longs for the Gangsta lifestyle. The series, From G's to Gents at first appeared to be another silly reality show. It revolves around 12 G's (gangstas) who want to change their behavior and become gentlemen. But as the series progresses, the raw emotions and truths that come out is fascinating. Not only for the individual members, but the relationships between the men.

So check out: G's to Gents

Tell me what you think after watching a couple of episodes.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

To The Black Community - What Excuses Now

What excuses now? For years, some have made their living by being the ones that people looked to for answers for the underlying causes of certain things that happen in the black community. Most of the responses would be that the residuals of having once been slaves in this country, followed by Jim Crow laws and then the fight for Civil Rights had led to this or that type of behavior. And for the most part, I have agreed with that analysis.

But now we have a biracial man who is now the President of the United States and he has been embraced by the black community as one of our very own. We now have someone as the leader of the free world who looks like us, whose wife and children are the descendants of enslaved Africans. Barack Obama who didn’t come from that mold still managed to break the mold and for that, all of America, no matter your ethnic or racial background can be proud.

America has always been seen in terms of black or white, especially thru the eyes of black Americans. If you are not black in this county, you are given the “token white pass” by this country. I am always amazed at other ethnic groups who proclaim themselves to be a minority, yet they move freely in the white world. When the City of Cicero was known as a place that didn’t take kindly to black people, other “minorities” lived, worked and played there.

Black people have watched as every other ethnic group arrived at our shores, stood on our backs and climbed the ladder to the American dream. For many of those individuals, commonality with language and culture has played a role in their being able to navigate the American experience. They used those bonds to build themselves a common dream and hope without regards to America’s racism.

For black Americans, our common language and culture was based on our shared history of slavery. That experience of the many different African tribe members being merged into one group called Negro while simultaneously separating those members into segments known as house Negro and field Negro. Add into that mixture an identity based on skin color and hair texture, our history has not been one of a unified people. But what we did manage to do in spite of everything was to unify. We had light-complexed blacks who fought for the rights of their darker skinned brothers. We had dark-complexed blacks who have accepted lighter ones without question.

Every ethnic group that has come to this country has establish their own neighborhoods and businesses overcoming the majority of roadblocks that black Americans always seem to encounter. Perhaps it was their “No Speak English” response or closed society that allowed them to prosper. Whatever the secret, black America which at one time knew how to prosper in spite of, now seems lost, since the passage of the Civil Rights Act which has cause us to lose in terms of the black business community than what we gained.

But getting back to the question that I started this column with. As we embark into the era of Obama, a man whose father abandoned him at an early age, who was reared by grandparents, who grew up being the “only” black kid and yet managed to overcome because he subscribed to the audacity of hope even before he knew what it was, at what point does the rest of the black community look at his accomplishments and begin to ask of ourselves, “what excuses now”?

From young black men walking around with their pants beneath their butts, to the profanity laced speech of many individuals in public, what are the excuses for the behavior now? Every morning when I read the paper, I am assaulted with another story of a young person murdered on the streets of Chicago. What excuses now?

Want to be embarrassed by the behavior of our young people? Just drive past many public schools as the children are released at the end of the day. What excuses now? Or the continuous filth up and down the streets here on the Westside. What excuses now?

We have all voted and put our lives and the ability to launch a nuclear attack that could end the world in the hands of one black man. Yet as I drive around the black community, we won’t establish and support businesses owned by black people. What excuses now?

We have put the entire economic future of this country into the leadership of one black man. Yet how many of you refuse to use black owned banks? What excuses now?

As we traverse our future with our new president, the black community has overwhelmingly supported President-Elect Obama message of change. We know that Obama’s election doesn’t mean that it is the elimination of racial problems. But for the black community, let us make the changes that will make a brother proud.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Allhtught Julia Huson MySpace Profile is Private...

She logs on almost every single day since her child went missing. At first she claimed it was because she wanted to send a message to whoever had her son. BUT, now that her child has been found DEAD - SHOT TWICE IN THE TEMPLE, she continues to log on even after her child is DEAD and barely cold in the ground. But strangely, now that she had a new man, she also has a new mood - CONFIDENT.....

I'm more inclined to feel it should be ....SICK!

Julia Hudson- What's Wrong with these pictures

I have for the past few days been blogging about the Hudson murders. My heart has been heavy over the death of a 7-yr-old who was brutally murdered by some morons.
f I also have been critical of Julia Hudson. From her "if you have a beef with me" speech at the press conference about her missing son to her tell them (as if she knew it was more than one who did it) to drop her son off on a curb, she has been the poster child for what a mother should not be.

I had heard from a friend that they heard from a relative who had a relative in the Trump Towers that when they called to the suite of rooms, there was a party going on. I didn't want to publish hear say, but once I was told about another blog site with pictures and captions from Julia's MySpace page, well you all just be the judge.

Note the TV screen in the background on one of the pictures. Sure looks like Sunday November 2. And the photos with Fantasia are before the funeral?????

By the way, the captions are from the poster who we believe is Julia from her myspace page.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

At What Point Do We Drop Nicknames?

I was reading the details of the Hudson family funerals. In the casket for Julian King, the ribbon read, "To Our Juicebox, Love, Mom and Dad".

Am I being elitist, but the use of nicknames seems to me to make the individual less than the name we gave them at birth. Rather than their homecoming be a somber and momentous occasion, it's now reduced down to whatever saying we can come up with. It's not like the nickname for John = Johnny or Robert = Bobby. We're talking about "juicebox". Yuck!

When we take the time to name our children, why then do we go out of our way to rename them after inanimate objects? Anyone else feel strongly about this?

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The American Flag

I love my country and my flag. But at the same time, I didn't like them. Far too often, I saw people who wrapped themselves in the American Flag as the ones who would quickly negate me of my rights to this country. My vision was of white Americans wrapping themselves in the flag and shouting "Go Back to Africa".

Starting this summer with my realization that Barack Obama would win the election to the presidency, I began looking at the U.S. Flag with a different eye. I understood completely what Michelle Obama meant when she mentioned about feeling proud of her country for the first time in her adult life.

I found myself finally feeling like a "REAL" American for the first time in my life. Many whites don't understand the concept of blacks who are a part of this country but have always felt like an outsider to it. Now in black and white, we see that the America we thought we knew is now the America we actually know and that a lot of us were so wrong about this country and all the potential in it.

This summer after having lived in this country for 54 years, I BOUGHT AND DISPLAYED MY FIRST U.S. FLAG. Not only did I display the flag, I was actually proud of it. For it was saying to me that the America of the past has been replaced by a new, smarter America full of hope and potential and one that I hope to know better in the future.

I Wonder....

Barack Obama is biracial. The son of an American white woman and an African black man.

His winning the presidency yesterday brings this thought to my mind. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, many black social workers were against white people adopting and rearing black children.

Yet as we celebrate the election of Barack Obama to the presidency, doesn't he represent the very thing that black social workers opposed?????

Gay Marriage Vs. Gay Civil Unions

I need help from the homosexual community on this. Since "GAY" un and to itself signifies a lifestyle that is apart from the majority heterosexual one, why must a union between homosexuals be marriage and not something completely unique to homosexuals like ____fill in the blank ______________?

Would places like California (extremely liberal arena) have been more receptive to a goverment sanctioned union so long as it wasn't called marriage?



Barack Obama - America's Pride

This is a column dedicated to “pride”. American Pride in a candidate who offered a message that is as American as Apple Pie. A candidate who told us that there was no Red States of America or Blue States of America rather we were united as the United States of America. A candidate who has transcended racial politics so much so that he made all of us feel good about politics and the joining of people from all walks of life under the bandwagon of “Obama 08”.

I first met Senator Obama while volunteering for WVON 1690AM radio. I was seated on the floor doing something when he walked into Kennedy-King college’s lunchroom. As he entered, Melody Spann-Cooper the CEO of WVON warmly greeted him. When she saw me seated in the corner, she walked him over and introduced him to me. She told him I was from the Westside and someone he should know. That brief encounter will forever be my most precious memory of having met a president when he was just an average citizen and before he became a mega media political star.

Now as I write this column early in the morning of Tuesday November 4, 2008 before the election results have come in, all I have is pride for a man who built a campaign machine so well organized and coordinated, that for years to come it will be the model that all others follow. A man whose face and name have taken on near mythical proportions as his image became a fashion statement worn by both young and old throughout the black community.

I had heard news reports on TV about the lines forming at some polling places that were already nearly a block long. I early voted this year and wondered if my regular polling place would have a long line of voters as well. So I walked around the corner at 6:05am and the line was already out the door and down the street. In an era where we often are dismissive of the political process, people were happy to stand in line bright and early to make history. I have long ago proclaimed back in May of this year that Senator Obama would become the next President of the United States. But to see it to actually come to fruition, is more powerful than any words I can ever write. I, a child of the Civil Rights movement, who grew up seeing it and then later becoming a recipient of it, never imagined that I would live to see the day that this country would begin to embrace the idea of a change to the status quo as it applies to the presidency. Part of the reason for that belief is that as a community, young black people are forever given the speech which on the positive side is meant to prepare us for our eventual collision with racism but also has the effect of giving us a “no we can’t” mentality. That mindset has contributed to many people not going for the gusto when it comes to anything they want to do in their lives. So having watched Barack Obama campaign and begin to win over the minds and hearts of all of America has been a reality lesson like no other.

One of the earliest comments that Barack Obama made when speaking of his candidacy was that if he lost the election, he didn’t feel race would play as large a role as many in the black community would believe. Many blacks on talk radio took issue with his comment. But Barack has proved them wrong.

As the black community moves on with this final frontier boundary coup, let us as a community take heed that Obama victory was the result of hard work, a first class education and the ability to dust off what people tried to sling at him in order to keep his eyes focused on the prize.

Can Obama Do A Special Message To School Children?

For the next few months, President-elect Barack Obama will be very busy picking and finalizing those who will run certain positions during his presidency.

One of the things that is most needed considering President Obama's ability to attrack the attention of young people is to give them their directives. Primarily and foremostly being that they need to begin focusing on their education - right now!

As anyone who has followed this blog or my column in the Austin Weekly News knows, I believe in education. But what I don't buy into are those who first whip the black community up into a frenzy and then deflate us like the air leaving a balloon so that we sputtered in all different directions, sometimes landing safely on the ground, but more often than not hitting every obstacle along the way while they themselves safely parachute to land.

When Barack Obama tells the story of his mother waking him up at 4:30am to go over his lessons, I wonder how many parents really hear the message he sent. That is THEIR RESPONSIBILITY to add to the education lessons of their children. CPS cannot along do it all.

Monday, November 03, 2008


Of all the things that they have thrown at Barack Obama to discredit him, I haven't seen a single woman stand up and claim to have had a relationship with him.

I don't know how much Obama dated prior to meeting and marrying Michelle, but it is refreshing not to have the "ex" anything speak out.

Is Mother Nature Sending This Weather For Obama?

I just stood out on my balcony and the weather felt like Spring! Now if the weather is the same tomorrow, which is being predicted, then voter turn out will be off the chart,

Who could have predicted except for God that temperatures in Chicago would be so mild that if you have to stand in line for hours, it won't be a problem.

I voted early this year and it took me less than five minutes total.


Speaking of My Alderman Emma Mitts

Hmmm, since she couldn't afford to move to the safety of the new gated community, perhaps she can now spend time cleaning up the problem in the 4900 block of west Rice where she lives!

Congressman's $200,000 loan
U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez's loan from a developer who contributes to his campaign raises questions about how clout drives the city's zoning system
By Robert Becker, Todd Lighty and Dan Mihalopoulos

Tribune reporters

October 29, 2008

U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez personally lobbied Mayor Richard Daley to back a controversial multimillion-dollar development for a campaign contributor who had just lent the congressman $200,000 in a real estate deal, a Tribune investigation has found.

Now the congressman's unusual gesture of support is under federal scrutiny as authorities investigate how developers overcame city planners' objections to convert the West Side industrial site into a more profitable residential and commercial development.

Authorities have obtained Gutierrez's July 7, 2004, letter to Daley—written on U.S. House stationery—as part of their grand jury investigation into how zoning works inside City Hall, sources told the Tribune.

Gutierrez said there is no connection between the loan and his letter of support for the Galewood Yards project, which is not in his district. In a written statement, the congressman said his involvement was "extremely minimal" and "entirely appropriate."

He said he has not been contacted by federal authorities.

The federal investigation comes as the Tribune's "Neighborhoods for Sale" series documents an insiders' game in which politicians rake in millions in campaign cash from developers and other real estate interests while often overriding concerns of homeowners and city planners. It is a system that has fundamentally reshaped the character of city neighborhoods.

Calvin Boender, the developer of the Galewood Yards project, has been a longtime campaign donor to Gutierrez and a major contributor to Ald. Isaac Carothers (29th). As part of their investigation, federal authorities have subpoenaed city records related to Boender's project and three others that Carothers backed in his West Side ward.

Gutierrez, an eight-term Democrat, was elected to Congress in 1992 and is seeking re-election in November against little-known Republican and Green Party challengers.

Boender did not return messages requesting an interview.

Gutierrez sent the letter of support after buying a vacant lot from Boender at 1007 W. Fulton St. with the help of a $200,000 loan from him. The congressman provided the Tribune with bank documents stating he repaid the loan at an above-market interest rate.

It is not unusual for one party to lend the other money to complete a land deal, Gutierrez said, adding he got no unfair financial advantage and actually lost money in the 2004 investment. He praised Boender as a reputable businessman.

"I know him and I know his good work," Gutierrez said.

Over the years, Gutierrez has enjoyed a close relationship with several developers. He has entered into real estate deals with them, and they have helped finance his re-elections.

Gutierrez said there is nothing wrong with such relationships, in part because he has never used his public position to help developers who do business with him. In an interview last year, Gutierrez emphasized that he never gets involved in local zoning matters.

"One of the reasons that we're very careful about our real estate investments is that I don't have anything to do with zoning changes. I don't write letters of recommendation; I don't have a vote on the zoning committee. . . . I've done nothing using my official capacity as a [congressman]," Gutierrez said.

Boender of Elmhurst has developed projects throughout Chicago and has donated generously to local politicians—particularly to Gutierrez and Carothers.

Through interviews and records obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, the Tribune pieced together how Boender found success at Galewood Yards, where previous owners had failed. It took Boender years of haggling with reluctant city Planning Department officials, even as he enlisted the support of Gutierrez, Carothers and other aldermen.

City Hall rejected a previous proposal to build houses and commercial businesses on the property, citing the Daley administration's policy of preserving scarce industrial areas to promote manufacturing jobs. Boender bought the property from CMC Heartland for $6.9 million in July 2000. In the following year, he and his companies contributed $18,000 to Gutierrez and donated to Carothers, giving him more than $13,000. To date, Boender and his associates have given $41,000 to Gutierrez and more than $55,000 to Carothers.

Boender initially worked with the city's plans to attract industry, including an agreement to build at least one heavy-duty truck ramp from the rebuilt Central Avenue Bridge that spans the site, records show.

But over time it became clear that Boender had different ideas. After suggesting numerous industrial firms to the developer, city planning staff noted in memos that he "was unwilling to work with them."

Eventually Boender told the city he wanted to build homes and a commercial development instead.

Planning Department staff resisted, and the behind-the-scenes battle over Galewood Yards culminated in a summer 2004 meeting where city planners told Daley they opposed Boender's changes.

After that meeting, Gutierrez faxed his letter to Daley's office. In it, Gutierrez said he understood a planner had told the mayor Boender was a "bad guy of sorts." "I absolutely refute this characterization," he wrote.

He reminded Daley that the mayor was particularly "delighted and supportive" of Boender's redevelopment of the Illinois Bell building in the late 1990s.

"I would ask for any support that you can give him at this time," Gutierrez wrote. He noted Carothers and Ald. Emma Mitts (37th) backed the project, which is split between their wards.

Over the next 18 months, Boender and the city reached a compromise. Land west of Central Avenue would be sold—with the help of city tax breaks—to the laborers union for a training center. The land east of Central Avenue would be rezoned to allow construction of a 14-screen movie theater and nearly $60 million residential development of 187 single-family homes, townhouses and condos.

Boender's project reached the Chicago Plan Commission in March 2006, where he was represented by lawyer James Banks, whose uncle chairs the City Council's Zoning Committee.

Carothers and Mitts praised it.

Carothers compared the economic impact of the Galewood project to architect Santiago Calatrava's proposed lakefront Spire, which the commission approved the same day.

"It took a long time to bring this together," Carothers told commissioners. "I think when it's done, that it will be said that this is one of the greatest projects you've seen in Chicago in some time."

Mitts took a more personal approach: "I'm really excited and trying to see my way through [to] acquiring one of those homes."

Mitts, however, never moved in. In an interview Tuesday, Mitts said she made a down payment last year on a Galewood Yards home but backed out of the deal because she "could not swing it" financially.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Countdown Until the End of The Year

I fear my taxes this year for a variety of reasons. But as I start to get ready to do them, I am going to make my visit to the Salvation Army a twice-a-week one to drop off so much stuff that permeates my house that I no longer need.

Years ago when I did my addition, I bought about 25 plastic bins and filled them with stuff. Over the years, I have slowly gotten rid of those bins, but the ones I still have are filled with things that I need to make a decision about. To keep or not to keep. At this junction, the not keeping will be the winner.

Todd Stroger Must Be Starting His Reelection Campaign

This man who helped usher in the highest taxes on goods in the country is now concerned about taxpayers loosing their homes? BS!

Cook County Board President Todd Stroger spoke at Rainbow/PUSH headquarters, 930 E. 50th St., Saturday, standing with the Rev. Jesse Jackson and the Rainbow Coalition in the face of a Wall Street financial meltdown, trying to help homeowners stay in their homes and keep communities stabilized.

Stroger and Jackson lead participants in a petition signing that calls for a statewide moratorium on home foreclosures. Stroger has been co-sponsoring and promoting workshops across the county to offer counseling and mortgage help to homeowners at risk of losing their homes to foreclosure, an effort he expects to continue for as long as homeowners need assistance during the housing crisis.

Obama Relative In The Country Illegally

Obama Aunt

I am not a proponent of Illegal Immigration or a supporter of Illegal Aliens. The story regarding a distant relative of Obama, a half-sister to his father who he only saw for 30 days as a child, is not one that changes my mind.'

In a time where we have seen our entire banking system almost go under due to short-sighted and irresponsible loans in the housing market, can this country absorb illegal aliens who on top of everything else go on the public dole?

I wonder what American citizen didn't get the chance to live in Public Housing while this woman did? I feel no morale or legal obligation to have her remain here while I watch Seniors and especially elderly veterans who gave this country their all and they don't get a public housing unit.

I am especially hard on people who came into this country on a tourist visa and then stayed. If this continues, many countries will soon send their elderly here and then want us to nurse them or care for them.

Zeituni Onyango should do us all a favor and self-deport!

Should The State Of Illinois Remove the Moritorium on the Death Penalty

I am haunted by the death of Julian King, a 7-yr-old who I never met but fell in love with looking at his photos, his eyes so wide with wonderment of a world that he has yet to explore.

That image is then juxtaposed with the absolute horrific fear that that child must have gone thru in the moments before his death. His crime? To be caught in the middle of adult mess and to have his life stuffed out by PUNKS who cared enough about their own butts so as to not want to get caught, but didn't care enough about a child to let him live.

Currently in Illinois, our death penalty is on hiatus after too many men on death row were found to be innocent of the crimes for which they were convicted. But as we sanitize our criminal justice system with "phony judge shows" on TV, our legal system is becoming more and more a joke as people believe they can go into court and have their say with the same sassiness that is displayed on Judge David Young, or Judge-this-one or Judge-that-one.

I for one am a proponent of resuming the death penalty so that the FOOLS who killed the Hudson family can meet their maker thanks to the State. I want revenge and I want blood. I want them taken to Daley Plaza and hung from a noose until they are dead. I want public executions, because the electric chair and gas chambers are giving too much humane treatment to those who have shown their inhumanity.

We are raising a generation of young people some of whom have the most warped perspective on life. They don't plan on living beyond 25 and therefore are willing to do and act anyway, because in their young and ignorant minds, they have nothing to lose. How else can we explain the type of animal that would kill a little boy by shooting him twice in the head? I give all honor to God to send those fools to purgatory. I just want to be part of the group that make sure they meet their maker.

Saturday, November 01, 2008


Source - Chicago Tribune Report


8-9 a.m.—A gunman fires through a door at singer-actress Jennifer Hudson's mother's home in the 7000 block of South Yale Avenue, striking the actress' brother, Jason, 29, and her mother, Darnell Donerson, 57. Neighbors said they heard the shots but did not call police.

3 p.m.—A family member walks into the home and discovers Donerson's body, then immediately leaves and calls police. Sources say Hudson's sister, Julia, went to police to report her 7-year-old son missing. Police found Hudson's body in a bedroom.

5:52 p.m.—Chicago police issue an Amber Alert for Julian King, 7. The alert names William Balfour, 27, who family members say was Julia Hudson's estranged husband, as a suspect in the slayings. Police say Julian may be with Balfour and ask people to call police if they see a white Chevrolet Suburban or a teal/green four-door Chrysler Concord.

6 p.m.—Police arrest William Balfour at his girlfriend's home on the Southwest Side, but the missing boy is not with him. Police take Balfour to a station to interview him. Authorities continue to search for the boy.


1:30 a.m.—Jennifer Hudson identifies her brother and mother at the Cook County medical examiner's office.

At some point Saturday morning, the FBI is called in to help. Police say the teal vehicle has been located but continue to search for the white Suburban.

5 p.m.—Family members of the boy make a public plea for his return.


1:06 a.m.—Jennifer Hudson appeals in her MySpace blog for help in finding Julian, her nephew.

Also Sunday—Balfour is transferred to the Illinois Department of Corrections for violating his parole after he stopped cooperating with police in the investigation of the killings, authorities and law enforcement officials say.

11 a.m.—Around this time, Chicago police also begin distributing "High Risk Missing Child" alerts with a picture of Julian to businesses and residents near Hudson's family home in the area near 74th and Halsted Streets. Police, the FBI and residents continue to search.

7 p.m.—Jennifer Hudson offers a $100,000 reward for the return of Julian.


Reports start coming in that police had found a white Suburban with a body inside in the 1300 block of South Kolin Avenue.

8:30 a.m—Around this time, the Cook County medical examiner confirms that the body is that of a boy.

9 a.m.—The license plate of the Suburban matches the Amber Alert issued for 7-year-old Julian King. Police tow the vehicle. News outlets report that the child found inside is African-American.

1:30 p.m.—Law enforcement sources said that the body in the SUV was shot multiple times in the back of the vehicle. Police were testing the clothing of a man in custody for gunshot residue.

2:15 p.m.—Jennifer Hudson and family members are expected to go to the Cook County medical examiner's office by 3 p.m., according to a spokesman for the office. Hudson's security detail informed the office that a group would be headed there from a downtown hotel.

4 p.m.—Police confirm the identity of the boy as Julian King.