Monday, June 29, 2009

Daley Puts Our Butts On The Line For His Olympic Nightmare

There is a parable that I can remember hearing in church. The story goes that a man is lying in bed dying. His entire family has gathered at the house to mark the occasion. Sitting at his bedside is his young son who wants to be with his father as much as possible before the father passes on. All the other men are in the living room. All the women are in the kitchen preparing food.

The dying man who is struggling to live smells an apple pie that someone has just taken out of the oven. The dying man musters up enough strength to tell his young son to go to the kitchen and ask his mother to send him a piece of that freshly baked pie. The young boy runs off to do as he is told. He returns minutes later empty-handed and tells his father, "I'm sorry Papa; Mama says the pie is for the funeral."

I thought about that parable when I read where Mayor Daley has taken it upon himself to sign an agreement before the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to possibly put us taxpayers on the hook for the Olympic Games. Like the man in the story, this city and many of its residents are struggling to hold on. We are losing out to unemployment, inflation, crime, lack of resources, over taxation and on and on.

As we ask for things that this city needs now, like streets repaired, quality schools, police protection, snow removal in the winter and street cleaning in the summer, what we get from the mayor is like the mother in the story, we're told to hold off on our share of the pie until the 2016 Olympic Games. And even when the pie is cut, will we be around to partake in it?

The Games will last only 14 days. But in the meantime, everyone will have their lives affected by the process leading up to them and our pocketbooks will surely be reached into afterward.

We are expected to ignore the fact that the mayor touted how ours would be a privately funded undertaking. Remember that the mayor went and got the Three Negroteers - Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jordan and Barack Obama - to tout Chicago to the IOC. And like the wonderful bait and switch artist that he is, the mayor after baiting the IOC with those millionaires has now replaced them with average folks like you and I to foot the bill. Ain't that sweet?

Well, here's something I'd like to see: All those members of Chicago's 2016 committee, as well as every single alderman and politician that is so gung ho for the Olympics, putting their checkbook and house titles on the line the same way the mayor is putting the rest of us on the line for his Olympic quest. Let's see how many cost overruns and nephews making millions off of city contracts will go on if everything they own can crumble if the Olympics aren't a success. Let's make the mayor sign a lifetime commitment to live in Chicago so that he too will feel the bite long after he is gone from office.

Do I really expect the mayor to personally risk his economic future on the Olympics? Yes, I do. I am tired of those who don't live the average life always telling the rest of us how to live and what to do and then after leaving office move to some place else to get away from the mess they have created.

The moral to that parable was that you don't always get what you asked for. And that you might not be around to get what you asked for when it does become available.

Pay attention Chicago. Pay attention!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

WestSiders - Can you Help Out?

I received a very nice letter from a man who grew up at the corner of Cicero and Quincy in the 1940s. He has fond memories of the area. If you have pictures from the area, especially the building which was once located at 4804 W. Quincy, could you email me a copy?


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Danny K. Davis for Cook County Board President

I had heard about this weeks ago. At that time, Ike "INDICTED" Carothers was coveting Danny's old seat. But what a difference an indictment can make.


Within a few weeks, we will announce an exploratory committee and a very favorable poll for Cook County Board President. Congressman Davis will seek the input of Cook County residents for the purposes of considering a run for Cook County Board President. If you would like to join our exploratory committee, please sign up at

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day

This Sunday, June 21, is Father's Day. Unlike Mother's Day, when you can't walk into any restaurant and get a seat, reservations won't have to be made days in advance to take Dad out to eat.

For real fathers (and I mean people who are more than sperm donors) it's a day to celebrate the real men of our community. They are the ones who not only have created children, but have taken on the responsibility for those children as well. And if you're a man who has abandoned your own children to raise another woman's kids, you get no credit from me. Because whatever the reason for doing it is, it's just an excuse!

Father's Day is truly one of the most underrated holidays on the calendar - especially in the black community, where the stigma of fatherless children is so overwhelming. And although the reasons that men abandon their children are as varied as the raindrops that fall from the sky, my focus is on celebrating the men who are fathers.

First, let's give kudos to the men who did it the right way. They met, married and started a family all in that order. No matter how much we as women may proclaim ourselves to be independent; we only marry because a man has asked. My role model for that is our current president, Barack Obama.

Next let's give credit to stepfathers. They are the men who met a woman with children and stepped up to the plate. Be it the woman with one child or even one with eight, they didn't fear taking on the responsibility of raising children. After watching a special on his life, I have to make this year's role model former Olympic gold medal winner Bruce Jenner.

Finally, to the unwed fathers: For whatever reason your relationship with the mother didn't work out, you were there for your children. From the moment of conception to their birth and to this day, you were and are there for your children. You signed that birth certificate so that your children will have your name and not have the space filled in with "unknown." My role models are all the countless and nameless individuals who have taken on that responsibility. So just fill in the blank!

Let's give a word of thanks for any father who no matter the reason made the effort to do for their child even if it meant dealing with "baby mama drama." You showed up for birthday parties even though you weren't the first invited or the most welcome guest. You continued to call to speak with your child even though it mean listening to verbal abuse from their angry mama. You showed up for your visitation day even though the mama played games by making you wait, not having the child ready on time or calling the police when you brought the kid home five minutes late. You paid the child support and held your tongue as you wondered why her nails are always done but your child has holes in their shoes. You made sure that all your children knew one another even if they have a number of different mothers. You were the temporary stand-in father because you were the coach for the team, the mentor at the church, the teacher in the school or just the neighbor on the block.

To every one of you: Happy Father's Day!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Something to Make You Laugh

An atheist was walking through the woods.

'What majestic trees!
'What powerful rivers!
'What beautiful animals!
He said to himself.

As he was walking alongside the river, he heard a rustling
in the bushes behind him.

He turned to look. He saw a 7-foot grizzly bear charge
towards him.

He ran as fast as he could up the path. He
looked over his shoulder & saw that the bear was closing
in on him.

He looked over his shoulder again, & the bear was even

He tripped & fell on the ground.

He rolled over to pick himself up but saw that the bear was
right on top of him, reaching for him with his left paw

At that instant the Atheist cried out,

'Oh my God!'

Time Stopped.
The bear froze.
The forest was silent.

As a bright light shone upon the man, a voice came out of
the sky.

'You deny my existence for all these years,
teach others I don't exist and even
creation to cosmic accident.'
'Do you expect me to help you out of this predicament?
Am I to count you as a believer'?

The atheist looked directly into the light, 'It would
be hypocritical of me to suddenly ask you to treat me as a
Christian now, but perhaps you could make the BEAR a

'Very Well,' said the voice.

The light went out. The sounds of the forest resumed.
And the bear dropped his right paw, brought
paws together, bowed his head & spoke:

'Lord bless this food, which I am about to receive from
thy bounty through Christ our Lord,

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Excellent Ruling regarding child conceived after death of Father!

No benefits for girl born from dead dad's sperm
U.S. appeals court in California rejected claim for child survivor pension
The Associated Press
updated 12:10 p.m. CT, Thurs., June 18, 2009
PASADENA, California - A U.S. appeals court says a California girl conceived from the frozen sperm of a dead man cannot receive his pension benefits.

A panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued its decision Wednesday, ruling the girl wasn't dependent on her father at the time of his death.

The case involves sperm that Bruce Vernoff's widow, Gaby, ordered extracted after he died unexpectedly in 1995 from an allergic reaction. It was kept frozen for 15 months before she became pregnant and in 1999 gave birth to Brandalynn.

She applied for child survivor benefits from the Social Security Administration but was rejected, and a legal battle ensued.

A call seeking comment from the widow's attorney was not immediately returned Thursday.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Quench - The Hidden In Plain Sight Jewel

I went to a wine tasting tonight at Quench located at 5815 W. Madison. The event was awesome. The place was packed with buppies and yeah, I'm glad of it. Not a single doo rag in the place. Wine was great. No Richards or White Port. Didn't get a chance to eat the food but everyone said the food is wonderful. I will definately go there for dinner.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Ike's I'm Innocent Letter To The Community


Maybe it's JUST ME, but isn't the logo of the donkey sitting on his ass very apropo for the contents of the letter????

Ike Carothers Pleads "Not Guilty"
Chicago Ald. Isaac Carothers could change corruption plea as soon as next month, his lawyer says
Longtime Daley ally denies bribery for allegedly accepting $40,000 in improvements to his home
By Jeff Coen

Tribune reporter

June 9, 2009

Ald. Isaac Carothers (29th) pleaded not guilty to corruption charges in federal court Monday, but his attorney said Carothers could change his mind by as soon as next month.

Carothers, a longtime ally of Mayor Richard Daley's, appeared relaxed during his first appearance in federal court since his indictment in late May. Wearing a dark suit, he sat in the first row of the courtroom gallery with his legs crossed waiting for his case to be called.

His lawyer, Lawrence Beaumont, entered a plea of not guilty for him. But after the hearing, Beaumont said Carothers could change that plea once the government starts turning over evidence in the case. Beaumont said he and Carothers could know which option to take -- including a guilty plea -- by as soon as the next status hearing in the case, scheduled for July 7.

Court documents filed in the case have pointed to Carothers' cooperation in the federal probe and indicate he has secretly taped other public officials. There was no mention of that cooperation in court Monday.

Beaumont declined to discuss the situation directly, but he was asked whether Carothers has been treated fairly in light of what appears to be his decision to help investigators looking into zoning irregularities.

"I believe Mr. Carothers has been treated very fairly. I don't think we have any complaint about how we're treated," Beaumont answered.

Carothers is charged with mail and wire fraud as well as bribery for allegedly accepting about $40,000 in improvements to his home. The government also says Carothers accepted meals and tickets to sporting events in exchange for supporting zoning changes for a valuable piece of undeveloped property in his ward.

The developer who allegedly paid the bribe, Calvin Boender, also pleaded not guilty Monday.

The only other sign of what appears to be Carothers' cooperation in the case was the disparity between the bonds the two men received.

Carothers was released on a $4,500 recognizance bond, while Boender's release was secured by $3 million in property.

"Obviously in this case, [the reason] they've made those decisions on behalf of my client is that he's the least culpable," Beaumont said. "Obviously, they're not concerned that he's a flight risk or that he's a danger to the community."

Friday, June 05, 2009

What was that old saying; "As California Goes, So Goes The Nation"

One Half of the Story:

Racial hatred runs African American family out of dream home
The charming house on a peaceful Duarte street was perfect for Channise Davy and her children -- until she came home to find the place vandalized, racial epithets strewn across the walls and furniture
By Corina Knoll

June 4, 2009

The house, a three-bedroom cream-colored residence on a peaceful street, even had yellow and red roses waving merrily from the front lawn. And while the backyard was cramped, there was a nectarine tree, a red swing set and a small gazebo.

This is it, Channise Davy thought. Home.

Happy to have found a place near her salon in Altadena and close to her fiance in Pasadena, the 31-year-old hairdresser moved her four children from North Hollywood into the one-story charmer on Broach Avenue in Duarte last fall.

Davy never thought about the fact that they would be the only black family on the mostly Latino block -- until someone reminded her in a way that still makes her eyes tear and her stomach twist.

On May 8, Davy opened the door to her home and was greeted by a barrage of spray-painted racial epithets. The hardwood floors, the mirrors, the televisions, the dressers -- the vandals had turned the entire place into a canvas for that six-letter word used for decades to scare and scar African Americans.

Shaken, she immediately left and called police. And aside from one trip back to pick up some clothes, Davy has refused to return to a scene authorities believe was created by members of a local Latino gang.

"As far as hate crimes go, it's probably one of the worst ones I've seen in my career," said Sgt. Tony Haynes of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Duarte station. "They trashed the furniture and tossed drawers -- there was pretty much no room left untouched."

The incident has been the talk of Duarte, a predominantly white and Latino bedroom community of 25,000 in the San Gabriel Valley. Black and Latino gangs have been active in the area for years, and last year a rash of interracial shootings occurred in nearby Monrovia.

Since the break-in, Davy and her children have lived in a hotel paid for by the county, but those funds ran out Saturday and she is struggling to find a new home in a place that feels safe.

"You can see it in her face, the stress she's going through," said Lynn Lawrence, who owns the salon where Davy works. "Emotionally it has had quite an effect on her."

Wary of disclosing the area in which she hopes to settle, Davy said the last two landlords she spoke with backed out at the last minute. Others have asked for deposits she can't afford.

"As of now, we really have nowhere to go," Davy said Monday in the courtyard of Duarte City Hall, where a community meeting had been called to address the incident. "It's kinda hard to pick up the pieces of what has transpired for me and my family."

As she spoke, Kenny Johnson was two miles away, lugging green garbage bags down the sidewalk of the working-class neighborhood where his children once played. The father of three of Davy's children, he had come to the house that morning with his brother and two friends to begin clearing away what belongings could be salvaged.

Johnson said he plans to marry Davy, but he keeps his own apartment so she can maintain her Section 8 eligibility. They had discovered the Duarte house together and agreed: Beautiful home. Beautiful neighborhood.

But after the break-in, the 36-year-old barber sees only an intimidating residence littered with shards of glass. "We were quiet people, man," he said, shaking his head in disbelief as he picked up children's shoes and toys. His children haven't seen the vandalism and only know that something bad happened there.

While his friends pulled a mattress out of the master bedroom, Johnson stopped to look at a wall calendar of Barack Obama. "This is the only thing they didn't touch," he said, smiling at the irony of hope hanging on one wall and hate spray-painted across the rest.

The landlord has encouraged the family to return, but Johnson said their sense of security has been violated. They won't get their deposit back, but moving is worth it, even if it means putting their things in storage for the time being.

"I don't blame them," said Davy's next-door neighbor Betty Peirce, 75. "I don't think I could come back either."

One of the few whites who live in the area, Peirce said she hadn't thought about racial tension during the three decades she has lived on Broach Avenue. She never imagined anything would happen to her black neighbors, especially because they seemed like nice people who were often at work.

Duarte officials and the county's Commission on Human Relations have extended support to Davy and called for healing in the community.

"It's obvious that even in Duarte, people still do incredibly stupid and foolish things," Mayor John Fasana said. He emphasized the city-sponsored programs already in place that promote racial unity, but said, "If there's gaps out there we need to fill in, we're open to new ideas."

Both Davy and Johnson say they just want to move forward with their lives.

"Bad things happen to good people all the time," Johnson said, taking a break from cleaning. "You just gotta live and learn."

His brother, Ronald Harris, 31, nodded, then paused. "Our grandparents used to tell us stories about stuff like this," he said. "We always thought, 'Nah, not us.' "

As birds chirped in the June breeze, the two sat for a moment on the stoop of the three-bedroom cream-colored residence on a peaceful street.

And The Other Half of the Story:

DUARTE - Two mothers - one Latina, the other African American - who were victimized by racist gang violence hugged Monday and called for an end to such hate crimes in the region.

"Channise and her family do not need to go through this," Jeanette Chavez, whose daughter was killed last year by black gang members, said at a news conference at Duarte City Hall.

"She shouldn't have to live in fear in her community. We need to stop the violence."

Channise Davy, 31, spoke publicly for the first time about an incident on May 8, when she arrived at her Broach

Parents of recent victims will joined city and county officials in calling for peace in the City of Duarte and the surrounding area Monday, June 1, 2009.(SGVN/Staff Photo by Walt Mancini/SVCity) Avenue home and discovered racial slurs and gang symbols spray painted on her walls, floors and furniture.

That incident forced the mother of four to move out of her home and prompted Monday's news conference.

"I came home one evening to find my house totally destroyed. I thank God that no one was home," Davy said.

Robin Toma, executive director of the Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission, called the attack "shocking."

"We know that the victims here are people who don't want to see any more violence," Toma said.

Chavez is the mother of Sammantha Salas, a 16-year-old Latina teenager who was gunned down by African-American gang members in January 2008. Investigators at the time said Salas and her friend were targeted merely because of their ethnicity.

Davy has since moved out of the home and into a hotel room and does not plan on ever returning to the house. Authorities believe the attack may have been committed by members of Duarte Eastside, a local Hispanic gang.

The father of Davy's children, Pasadena resident Kenneth Johnson, said last week he believes the attack was intended to drive the family out of the neighborhood because they are black.

Duarte Mayor John Fasana spoke briefly at Monday's news conference and called the attack "unspeakable."

"It's obvious that even in Duarte people still do incredibly stupid and foolish things," Fasana said.

He outlined new programs being created by the city in response to racially inspired violence in the area, including an after-school program being instituted by the city's Public Safety Department.

Despite the hateful nature of the crime, Davy said she is not angry at the people who destroyed her home.

"If I could see them right now I would probably give them a hug and pray for them," said Davy. "It's just time for us to stand together and put an end to all this."

Gee Ike - Now It's YOU trying to Circumvent The System

I used to think that what I wanted most was to hear those Blago tapes. I was even willing to purchase them. You know, the tapes that are slowly being released where we've gotten to listen to then-wannabee senator Roland Burris salivate over Barack's old seat while pondering how to give the ex-governor money without it looking like a pay-to-play scheme. Now we have headline news from our own Austin Alderman, Isaac "Ike" Carothers. We've learned that he's been wearing a wire for an entire year while talking to other politicians and developers. Now those are some tapes I really want to hear!

As I read the newspaper account regarding his indictment last week on corruption charges, one quote from Carothers stood out: "These allegations are based on things from 2004," he said. "I've been alderman for five years after that. I think we've been effective."

So I went through some of my old Austin Weekly Newspapers from 2004. I came across one column that I wrote, responding to the then plans by the Macondo Corporation to redevelop Chicago Avenue, Division Street and North Avenue in Austin. When I questioned the alderman about how he would help black folks take part in the planned re-gentrification of Austin, Ald. Carothers told me that he didn't feel he should have to "hand-hold his constituents." So it's very interesting to now learn that he was doing all the hand-holding he could with developer Calvin Boender, who was also indicted.

Carothers is accused of successfully manipulating the zoning changes for the Galewood Railroad yard property at Central, just north of Bloomingdale. He's also alleged to have held his hands out for payouts made in the form of improvements on his West Race Street home. The feds say he got $40,000 worth of repairs while Boender made $3 million on the sale of the land because of the zoning change. To put it in terms that most of us can understand, that's kind of like helping someone make $30,000 on a deal and they give you four cents. No offense, but it is quite embarrassing when you look at the trivial amounts that our elected officials are accused of taking. Can't we just once get a black elected official who, when the charges are made, is accused of having embezzled thousands of dollars and not just pennies? I am not advocating dishonesty. I am just pointing out how they sell themselves and our community out so cheaply.

Continuing my search through old papers, I discovered one article where Ald. Carothers called Austin a "blighted community." When I wrote about that comment in January 2005 his response back to me was swift and terse. He took me to task for not calling him to verify the comment. But I did him one better. What I did was call the reporter who had a tape recording of the testimony and, lo and behold, there was Ike's unmistakable voice calling us "blighted."

In another article from Jan. 27, 2005, Ald. Carothers was again responding loudly and critically. This time he was belittling Jesse Jackson, Jr. The congressman had criticized the black aldermen for not doing enough to make sure African-Americans got their fair share of city contracts. Carothers' quote that was highlighted on the front page was so appropriate, that I feel the need to reprint it.

"No one has denied the fact that there are some people who try to circumvent the system, and you can't stop someone from lying. And when we discover those people, we need to deal with them."

Wow! In light of his indictment, Ald. Carothers' words are almost self-prophesying. What are we-the community who now has another elected official who is representing us as an indicted alderman-supposed to do?

When it comes to our elected officials, if they've done a million things right and then willfully do one thing that's wrong, does that "wrong" take away from any or all of the million "right" things? Part of the problem we have as a community is always trying to equalize the good and the bad. As far as I am concerned, if the allegations about Ike are correct, it has negated all of his positives. He sold us out for a mere pittance - a paint job and the price of new windows and doors.

But all is not bad news when it comes to Ald. Carothers. If the allegations are true, that he wore a wire, then we can post his picture all over Austin with the following caption. "When it's your butt on the line-SNITCH, SNITCH, SNITCH!"

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

City Council Votes to Crack Down on Bucket Boys

I've never lived with the noise they make. But the downtown area belongs to everyone and not just to those that live there. As more and more individuals move and live downtown, they are making it "THEIR NEIGHBORHOOD." And that idea should be foremost in people's minds. This is the same city that won't/can't do anything about people driving in the neighborhood with the Disco-On-Wheels-Mobiles and now the city council takes on bucket boys.

Here's the reality. If people didn't give them money, they wouldn't be there. Can we get rid of certain other nuisances?

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

The Tonight Show

Saw the lineup. No Black Folks? Got the message. Show ain't really for me.

Condolanes to the Family of Alejandro Valadez

There is no excuse for the slaughtering of this police officer. Isn't it interesting that watching the news, the mayor wasn't on tv ranting and raving about those who would shoot down a cop. My suggestion is that the mayor give up his BODYGUARDS so that they can contribute to the real police work that is needed in this city.

This video man by some some from the Englewood neighborhood are upset that the police have done another beat up someone named Tony Black.

As I have said previously, this is going to be an ugly summer. Where are the politicians who should be out now demanding calm and quiet in the streets. If the police do harm, there are too many young people who don't care. To shoot a cop in the head and thigh is salugher. They weren't aiming for the chest where the bullet proof vest would be.

There are too many weapons already on the street for the CPD to believe as many would post on the cop web sites that they can just shoot the Niggers and other beliefs like that. We need someone to start the intervention. Where's Father Pfleger for the cop that was shot and the kid that was beat? Two wrongs will never make a right.

Monday, June 01, 2009

How Come No Red, Black And Green?

I got into a huge controversy with the Chicago Defender. Where is the Red, Black and Green Flag? No wonder we as a black community get so misguided. Those who are the leaders show such complete disregard for our struggles!

Another Brutal Murder by Young People

Brutal Murder