Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Anderson family - John, Maggie and daughters Cara and Cori - are "shopping black" for 2009.
FILE 2009/Staff

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

'Empowerment Experiment' is about self-help

Arlene Jones

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I have a different criterion for buying what I need vs. buying what I want. When I buy what I need, I go out of my way to try to find something that was made in America - especially when it comes to houseware items for the kitchen and bath.

If the American economy is to remain strong, we have to support the remaining manufacturers in this country. I have found Pyrex products, Sterlite Plastics containers and rugs for the bathroom that are still made here. I found an entire Web site devoted to products made in this country, and I'm linking to it at my blog. Is there anyone in this country who can be mad at me for making that decision? Most likely no.

I thought about that last week Wednesday, I had the pleasure of being invited by the Kellogg Business School's Black Alumni Association to a reception they held for John and Maggie Anderson. To refresh your memory, they are the Oak Park couple who announced about a year ago that they would only buy from black businesses for one year. And just like I go out of my way to buy products made in America, they were going out of their way to spend their money with black businesses. How could anyone have a problem with that? But guess what? Some people did.

The Andersons have been continuously dogged out by some because of their decision. I am amazed at whites who holler and call their Empowerment Experiment (EE) racist. Every ethnic group in this country has made their community a success by pooling their resources, supporting each other and building wealth by shopping and networking amongst themselves. Yet when blacks espouse the same, it is somehow reverse racism. Why?

It wasn't long ago that the constant retort a lot of black people got from whites was about "pulling yourself up by your bootstraps." Those whites would smugly recount how their immigrant ancestors had come to this country with nothing, didn't know the language and, one generation later, were successful. Well, I too can recall the days of thriving black businesses that could rival any other. I look back a generation and see a once-vibrant black economic force of Johnson Products, Soft-Sheen hair care, R.L. Dukes' Oldsmobile dealership, etc. ... all gone. I never saw the Cortez Peters Business School when it was on West Madison, but as a child I was so proud that a black man could type 225 words per minute.

Now within this same community, we have children growing up and during their entire childhood, they have never seen a business owned by a black person. Something is very wrong with that picture.

All the social programs and all the rhetoric in the world cannot save the black community until we save ourselves. And the first life-rope we need is to support the quality black-owned businesses that are in existence. It is an absolute disgrace that we can have a mega-church taking up an entire block and not have a grocery store on its first floor. It is a sin to spend the amount of money we do on hair care, yet almost every beauty supply store is owned by people who don't have black hair. It is the epitome of stupidity to listen while some blacks proudly say they won't patronize black-owned businesses while never asking themselves what if their employer looked at them and felt the same way.

Someone wrote on my blog that they feel offended by any sign that says "black owned." Well, I wonder if they feel as offended seeing the flag of Mexico on every Mexican restaurant or Chinese characters on every Chinese restaurant or the Italian flag on pizza places. I'll answer the question and say no. Those groups open up businesses in every community and never once are they concerned that their ventures won't be patronized by everyone in the area. Most whites shop with other whites because they own the businesses in their neighborhood. What the Andersons are doing with their EE is to get black people to do the same.

For the past four years, I have been doing my own version of the EE on a much smaller scale. I decided I would find a black manufactured product and support it over any other. My choice, Nubian Heritage Black Seed Soap. The product is 100% natural, smells good, leaves my skin feeling soft and smooth and is my small way of ensuring they get my money before anyone else does.

So to those who criticize what the Andersons are doing with their EE, if blacks don't support blacks businesses, who else will?

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Friday, November 20, 2009

Kellogg Black Alumni Honor The Andersons

The Andersons are the couple out of Oak Park who chose to "buy black only" for one year. That year is coming to an end and I was invited to hear their story as the Black Alumni from Kellogg honored them.

Mrs. Anderson is a dynamic speaker and should she decide to run for office (take heed Danny K Davis, Don Harmon, LaShawn Ford and Earlean Collins) you all would loose big time!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Am I the Only One Bothered By This

Now this is just pure speculation on my part, but I find it very interesting that the CPD would begin to track a cell phone signal. Besides the spot where Michael Scott died, it is also the location of the Holiday Inn Mart Plaza.

What if someone were to be on a rendeveouz with their "significant" other and in less than 8 hours of being "out of touch" the CPD starts a search for you?

There are still parts to this puzzel that needs to be addressed.

Black Folks Need To Stop Being In Denial

I went to bed around 5 a.m. Monday morning. For some reason I woke up an hour and a half later to turn on the radio and hear the sad news regarding the death of Michael Scott. It was shocking to hear not only that he was dead, but that it appeared to be a suicide.

Many of the people I spoke with were in disbelief and I can understand. No one wants to believe that someone as successful as Scott would kill himself when we have hundreds of folks who have so much less in terms of finances and opportunities who don't despair.

While I am not going to jump on the bandwagon and agree with the Medical Examiner that Scott's death was the result of a suicide, neither will I won't jump on the "black folks don't do that" bandwagon. Everyone wants people to behave in a textbook manner when it comes to situations that we don't fully comprehend. We want suicide notes, depressed behaviors and warning signs of impending doom. But if you follow the news like I do, then the black community has graduated from the "black folks don't do that" school of thought into the master's degree program of the "I'm no longer shocked that black folks are doing that" university.

Take, for example, serial killers. For years the FBI profile on them would be a white male, middle age, loner, etc. committing such crimes. Consider the D.C. sniper. Everybody was looking for a white man until John Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo were finally caught. Because they didn't fit the profile of someone who would probably be responsible, they were overlooked and their rampage continued.

What about the case of Anthony Sowell? After police went to his house to arrest him on rape charges, they found the decomposing bodies of three women. Further investigation revealed a total of 11 bodies in the home in various states of decomposition. And, yeah, Sowell is black.

How about the thought that only white people are "trailer park trash"? Well we do, too. I don't know how many of you have followed the story of Shaniya Davis. The 5-year-old girl was alleged to have been sold by her mother into sexual slavery. Her mother, Antoinette Davis called police and told them her daughter was missing from the trailer park where they lived. But the mother's story didn't hold water when surveillance footage from a hotel 35 miles away showed the little girl being carried into an elevator by Mario Andrette McNeill at the time the mother claimed the child was taken. Sadly, this little girl's dead body was found in a wooded area, her pregnant mother implicated in the crime.

In all the stories I mentioned, everyone who can't make sense out of them profess their disbelief. No one wanted to believe the D.C. snipers could have turned out to be black men. No one wanted to believe that Sowell, who lived in the neighborhood and was known to sit on his front stoop with a beer in his hand greeting his neighbors, was a serial killer. No one wants to believe that a mother can sell her daughter for sex and that the child predator who took the child would be a black man wearing dreadlocks.

Wake up, Black Folks! It's a slippery slope we tread when we so quickly put our minds forcefully into "denial mode." That is the same logic Gregory Brooks Sr. used in defending his son, Gregory Brooks Jr., who today stands accused in the murder of the McClendons.

And that is the same logic being used with regard to Michael Scott's death.

I have walked past the spot where Scott's body was found a number of times, around 2 or 3 a.m. when my old job called me in due to problems with the computer system. Not once in 15 years did I fear being by myself so late at night. Of course I was cautious, but I never saw the spot as dark and isolated. The railroad bridge where Scott's body was found faces two huge apartment buildings, as well as a smaller group of condominiums whose backside are composed of floor-to-ceiling window areas.

Like everyone else, I want more investigation into what happened and all security tapes reviewed. That area is also the location where the Dave Matthews Band bus spewed a load of sewage into the Chicago River splattering people in a tour boat below. That bus was captured on the video camera on the southwest side of the East Bank Club and was eventually used to implicate the bus driver.

We should be demanding that all security tapes from the surrounding area be reviewed to shed light on Scott's death.

Black people are no longer insulated from any mayhem that is committed in this country. And I can understand when people are skeptical. Just don't be in complete denial.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Father Kills Son -

There are so many ways to view this. But I am none too pleased with the mother for having kids by different men. The age differences is startling. And son confesses he needs help and the man who made him kills him, but where was he for the raising?


Dad arraigned in son's killing; mom says she sought help for teen


Jamar Pinkney Sr. stood stoically in a Highland Park courtroom today, silent as a judge ordered him back to jail without bond, accused of shooting his 15-year-old son in the head execution-style.

With waist-long dreadlocks, the postal carrier didn't flinch as his son's great-aunt wailed and had to be led from 30th District Court.

"This is the most horrible thing that's ever happened to him," Pinkney Sr.'s lawyer, Corbett O'Meara, said after the hearing, not addressing whether Pinkney feels any remorse about Monday's shooting. Pinkney Sr.'s preliminary exam is scheduled for 9 a.m. Dec. 1 in 30th District Court in Highland Park.

"He's calm," O'Meara added. "He appears to understand what's going on."

Investigators say Pinkney was reacting with rage when he stripped his son naked, marched him outside the home of the boy's mother and executed him Monday afternoon.

Lazette Cherry, Jamar Jr.'s mother, said she wanted to get her 15-year-old son help when he came to her and said he had acted inappropriately with his 3-year-old half-sister.

There wasn’t a rape, Cherry said her son told her. But he confessed to his mother that he knew lying on top of the baby was wrong, she said.

So she called her son's father and told him what she believed happened in his home on Newport on Detroit’s east side.

“I called and told his father this isn’t something you sweep under the rug,” the devastated mother said today.

His father showed up at the house Monday afternoon with a gun, she said.

“He started beating him right here,” Cherry said from her living room. “I said, ‘No, please stop!’ ”

But the father marched Jamar Jr., a sophomore at Martin Luther King High School, outside.

“He got on his knees and begged, ‘No, Daddy! No!’ and he pulled the trigger,” she said. “There wasn’t nothing that my son wouldn’t do for his father. He loved his father so much."

The Wayne County Prosecutor's Office charged Pinkney Sr. with first-degree murder, punishable by up to life in prison. He's also been charged with three counts of felonious assault for pointing the gun at Cherry and two other people at her home before the shooting.

"No individual has the right to exact the death penalty on another no matter how reprehensible the behavior -- that is why we have laws," Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said today in a statement announcing the charges.

“I hope he rots in jail,” Cherry said of the man she met while they worked at the post office. “He did not deserve that,” she said of her son.

As white teddy bears with red silk hearts bearing the words "I love you" sit on the grass next to her home where her son died, candle wrappers from a vigil held Tuesday night scattered around, Cherry still can't believe what happened.

"There's no justification for what he did, you know, downright shoot your child," she said, wondering aloud about her ex. "He didn't rape her or anything. So why did you have to come and take matters into your hands? We said we were going to get him help."

A fund has been set up to help the family with burial expenses for Jamar Jr. Donations can be made at the Charter One Bank branch in Highland Park.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Death of Michael Scott

I was shocked to wake up this morning and learn that Micheal Scott had died. I had been working on trying to get an appointment with him and now that seems so irrelevant. My condolences to his family.

But I'd like to remind you all of something. Several years back when the Dave Matthews Band bus dumped their sludge into the Chicago River, it was as the bus was heading westbound on Kenzie and the camera on the East Bank Club captured the image of the bus.

There is a camera on the southwest side of the building that points out towards Kenzie because of the stairs leading down to the Chicago River. Hopefully that camera plus the one on the storage facility and the cameras on the Apparel Center will shed some more light on what happened.

I have been in that area that time of the night/morning because when my job had problems and I had to work late, I would have to walk past late at night. Even with all the development in the area, it still is a pretty deserted location at night. But at the same time, there are tons of cameras in the area. The Apparel Center guard station has lots of cameras monitoring the site and the dock area too.

I wonder if Michael drowned or was he shot? The river at that point is not that deep. Lots of rocks that built up so that the water is only a couple of feet shallow at that point.



Cops: Preliminary investigation indicates Scott shot himself
November 16, 2009 9:53 AM

A preliminary investigation indicates Michael Scott, president of the Chicago Board of Education, apparently shot himself in the head along the banks of the Chicago River early this morning, sources say.

Scott's family had reported him missing on Sunday. Police used his cell phone to locate his body and his car behind the Chicago Apparel Center at 350 N. Orleans along the north branch of the river, police sources tell the Chicago Tribune.

He apparently fell forward after shooting himself, and the gun was found near the body, the sources say.

While police sources say it appears the gunshot wound was self-inflicted, the Cook County medical examiner's office was still conducting its investigation and hadn't determined how he died.

Scott's family had contacted police Sunday night when he didn't show up after visiting his sister at a South Loop care facility. The relative said he visited his sister regularly on Sundays and described him as a creature of habit. He was last seen about 6 p.m.

Around 3:15 a.m. today, police found Scott's blue Cadillac parked next to a trash bin yards away from where he was discovered along the river, police say. The car was winched onto a tow truck about 6:30 a.m.

Chicago Teachers Union President Marilyn Stewart said in a statement that Scott recently told her he didn't think he'd be around much longer as board president, and that he viewed his appointment as being an interim one.

Stewart said she last spoke with Scott on Saturday regarding the upcoming school board agenda.

"I found Michael to be someone who worked with the union in a cooperative manner and who was willing to hear the other side of any issue," said Stewart. "I believe he was dedicated to doing what was best for the children in Chicago Public Schools and his death leaves a huge void to fill at a time when the Board desperately needs stability in its leadership."

Tariq Butt, a Chicago school board member who has known Scott for about 20 years, said he was shocked by the news.

"He's been a giant of Chicago civic life for many many years," said Butt. "It is very tragic news."

Rev. Jesse Jackson arrived at the scene about 7:25 a.m.

"I am stunned beyond disbelief," said Jackson, who said that he and Scott go back at least 25 years and praised Scott as a decent man and an excellent negotiator and problem-solver who got along with everyone. "What a Monday morning to wake up to."

"The suddenness of it ... midday has become midnight," he said later. "The sun has been eclipsed."

Scott had been board president for five years until July 2006, when then-board member Rufus Williams was appointed at his recommendation. His reappointment in February came about a month after Ron Huberman replaced former Chicago Public Schools CEO Arne Duncan, now the U.S. education secretary.

Scott served in public posts under Mayors Jane Byrne, Harold Washington, Eugene Sawyer and Daley, who also has appointed him Park District board president and a member on the boards of the RTA and Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority.

Representatives of the Chicago Board of Education have not been available for comment so far this morning.

-- Pat Curry, Andrew Wang, Azam Ahmed, and Mark LeBien

Sunday, November 15, 2009

What Would Happen In a Case like this Under HEALTH CARE REFORM?

London, England (CNN) -- A severely ill toddler at the center of a legal battle between his parents has died days after his father agreed to switch off his ventilator.

The 13-month-old boy, known as Baby RB, suffered from congenital myasthenic syndrome, a rare genetic condition that means he cannot breathe on his own.

Cristopher Cuddihee, a solicitor who represents the father, confirmed the baby's death early Sunday but did not provide any more details.

The baby's father had been battling his mother and the hospital in London's High Court because they wanted the child's life support switched off "in his best interests." He disagreed, saying the baby could play and recognize his parents. The father withdrew his objection Tuesday and allowed the ventilator to be switched off.

The hospital defended its stance in a statement last week, saying the baby's birth defect "causes severe muscle weakness, feeding and respiratory problems, and the disease is progressive."

Baby RB's lungs filled with fluid every few hours, giving him the sensation he is choking and causing the child to suffer, lawyers representing the hospital said in court November 2.

Ultimately, the father agreed with the mother and the hospital that the best thing was for the baby to die "in a planned way, with the administration of a large dose of sedative, the removal of the ventilation tube and his consequent death," Judge Andrew McFarlane said Tuesday.

The baby's parents, who are separated, cannot be named because of a court order protecting their privacy.

Geez, This Makes Our City Murder Rate Look Great!

CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico — Authorities say a 7-year-old boy, three women and a university professor are among 15 people who were killed in a single day in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez.

State prosecutor's spokesman Arturo Sandoval says the child was traveling with his father in a pickup truck when gunmen opened fire Friday, killing them both.

Sandoval says three women were shot to death in two separate incidents. A university professor was killed in a residential area.

Sandoval says that nine other men were killed in six separate incidents.

The metropolis across the border from El Paso, is Mexico's deadliest city, with more than 1,700 killings so far this year.

Trailer Trash Mom Charged

Mother of missing 5-year-old NC girl charged
1 hr 29 mins ago

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. – The location and fate of a 5-year-old girl reported missing by her mother was unknown even after authorities charged the mother with human trafficking and other offenses.

Antoinette Nicole Davis, the mother of Shaniya (Shuh-nigh-uh) Davis, faces a child abuse charge involving prostitution as well as filing a false police report, according to a Saturday news release from the Fayetteville Police Department.

The child hasn't been seen since Tuesday, when surveillance footage recorded the man charged with kidnapping Shaniya carrying her into a hotel room.

The release did not say whether the charges were related to her daughter's disappearance, but The Fayetteville Observer reported that arrest records indicated they were.

According to arrest documents cited by the newspaper, Davis "knowingly provide(d) Shaniya Davis with the intent that she be held in sexual servitude" and she "permit(ted) an act of prostitution."

Telephone messages and an e-mail left for police were not returned.

Shaniya had only been living with her mother since last month. Davis reported the girl missing Tuesday morning from a mobile home community in Fayetteville, and authorities began searching nearby wooded areas. The following day a man described as Davis' boyfriend was charged in the kidnapping, but the charges were later dropped and he was released.

Police then said a hotel worked spotted a child matching Shaniya's description at a Sanford hotel about 40 miles from Fayetteville on Tuesday. Authorities reviewed surveillance video and, after speaking with family members, confirmed the child's identity.

Surveillance footage showed Mario Andrette McNeill carrying Shaniya into a hotel room, and he was arrested and charged with kidnapping Friday.

Authorities have said McNeill admitted to taking the girl, though his attorney says he will plead not guilty to the charge. They have not said if McNeill and Davis knew each other.

An official at the Cumberland County Detention Center said Davis was still being booked and it was unclear whether she had an attorney. Her first court appearance would likely be Monday.

Shaniya's father, Bradley Lockhart, told The Associated Press he raised his daughter for several years but last month decided to let her stay with her mother. He said Davis struggled financially over the years, but she recently obtained a job and her own place, so Lockhart decided to give her a chance to raise their daughter.

"I should've never let her go over there," he said Saturday night.

Lockhart said police have not told him whether they are any closer to finding his daughter.

"I just want her to come back safe my friend," he said. "I love her very much and I hope she is OK."

He described his relationship with Davis as a "one-night stand" and said he and Davis never argued about him raising Shaniya.

"Shaniya is a precious young lady and she is special," Lockhart said.

Lockhart said he did not know McNeill.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Dead Presidents Will Influence My Vote

Well, the filing period is over and as soon as the candidates get through challenging each other, we will know who's on the ballot for this coming February 2010 primary election.

Most politicians know the average person is too busy just trying to keep his or her head above water to pay attention to what they've been up to or even pay attention at all. So in a few short weeks, our mailboxes, front doors and telephones will be filled with pictures of their smiling faces and blurbs about what they've done and what they promise they will do.

But as it comes time for them to ask for your vote - or in some cases just assume they'll get it - I hope you look at your wallet and, noticing the lack of dead presidents looking back at you, begin to demand more than lip service from those who want to represent you in office.

I've been paying lots of attention to taxes lately. I'm taxed to the hilt on my phone bill. I'm taxed on my cellphone bill. My property tax bill came in and again, all the taxing bodies want more and more money to provide less and less.

I, for one, am sick of it. I want politicians to address the serious issues going on and not the ones they like to use to keep you from asking the hard questions.

The first hard question you should ask every politician is, "How are you going to pay for it?"

For example, I had to renew my license plates last month. Even when I was employed full time, paying $78 for a little sticker seemed a ridiculous amount of money. But in today's economy, where every dime matters more than ever, what the heck is the state government doing with $78 for every car registered in Illinois? To top it off, I had to pay an extra dollar for some new equipment. Give me a break! You mean out of the $78 I paid in 2008, the state couldn't budget a $1 savings per car to pay for their own damn equipment?

As voters, we all manage household budgets. I know someone who doesn't work, is probably on public assistance and manages to function. She dresses nicely by buying all her clothes from the second-hand store, uses relatives and friends to get her hair done and does without a lot because she can't afford it. Well here's something our current and wanna-be elected officials need to hear shouted as loudly as one can: "If the average citizen can do with less, so can the bloated budgets of all these state, county and city agencies!"

How many LIHEAP offices should there be in a single neighborhood? If you can walk out one office and go two blocks down the street to another office, your tax dollars are being wasted. If you have 10 social service agencies in a neighborhood all duplicating and triplicating the exact same services, it's not about those agencies doing anything to solve the social ills in our community, but rather it's about people who suck off the breast of the state budget to get grants to do what nobody ever asked them to do.

These folks decide they want to provide a service and then run to the state to fund it. And state officials pass the money out like it was theirs to give. If the state has to fund the basic operation of your budget, how will the lights stay on and the gas bill get paid? And if we continue to have agencies that are little more than personal fiefdoms so people can claim to be the "executive director" of this or that, is it truly what we want for our community?

Look at our business district. Where is the major shopping district for the West Side? Not an individual store like Wal-Mart or a small shopping plaza like Washington Square. I'm talking about a major district filled with stores galore. It used to be Madison and Pulaski, but go over there now and it is a mere shadow of what it used to be.

Lastly, Mayor Daley seems to be acquiescing to the idea of a casino for Chicago, and I am still advocating that if it comes, the old Brach site on Cicero would make an excellent location for it - near public transportation, the Metra and just blocks from the Eisenhower Expressway, as well as halfway between O'Hare and Midway airports, it can become the anchor of an entertainment/shopping district that could revitalize our economy.

Pay attention, Chicagoans, and come February 2010, give your vote to the person who will bring dead presidents to your wallet, not take them out.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Danny Davis Press Conference Tomorrow

Who will withdraw? I am going out on a limb and because of rumors I've heard...I am going to predict that Danny will continue to run for board president.

Update: 11/09/10 @ 7:45AM

Because of Quinn's signing the veto bill that will allow the County Board to override Stroger, and Danny K Davis being a 'LOYAL DEMOCRACT', I'm changing my position. Danny will NOT RUN FOR COUNTY BOARD PRESIDENT. He will not take on the label of spoiler. Plus after watching his reaction to the men from the Juvenile Detention Center's issues, his reaction wasn't one I would expect of someone who wanted to take over the County Board.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

4th individual charged in Darrion Albert Murder Case
Praise and criticism in Fenger brawl case
Police superintendent thanks witnesses against teen charged in beating, says they should have stepped up sooner
By Kristen Mack and Serena Maria Daniels

Tribune reporters

November 7, 2009

Chicago Police Superintendent Jody Weis praised witnesses who identified a 14-year-old boy as taking part in the infamous fatal beating of a Fenger High School student but at the same time chastised them for taking too long to come forward.

The teen was charged with murder after four eyewitnesses to the Sept. 24 melee said he hit Derrion Albert, 16, with a "roundhouse punch," Cook County prosecutors said.

Eugene Bailey, 18, originally was charged with throwing that punch, but murder charges against him were dropped three weeks later.

"We started getting reports that (Bailey) was not involved in it," Weis said Friday at a news conference announcing the charges against the 14-year-old. " ...We had numerous witnesses come forward that not only exonerated (Bailey) but also led us to be able to charge (the juvenile)."

Clearly frustrated at what he called a "code of silence," Weis thanked the community for coming forward but quickly added: "I do wish they would have come forward sooner, but at the end of the day, justice will be served."

Albert was attempting to stand up after he was struck with a wooden plank by another youth when the 14-year-old punched Albert "in the face, knocking him to the ground and knocking him unconscious for a brief period of time," Assistant State's Attorney Thomas Bilyk said in Juvenile Court.

Albert was not exhibiting "any acts of aggression when the minor took a long-wielding punch," Bilyk said. "He gave no care or concern to the life (he was) snuffing out."

The boy was ordered held in custody on three counts of first-degree murder and one count of mob action by Juvenile Court Judge Colleen Sheehan.

The boy, who is not being identified by the Tribune because he is a minor, has no previous criminal history, prosecutors said. His mother took notes as the prosecutor laid out the charges, and his family and attorney declined to talk after the hearing.

Though police continue to look for three suspects, Weis said that the 14-year-old's arrest means "the main offenders who struck the critical blows to Derrion Albert are now awaiting trial."

Silvonus Shannon, 19; Eugene Riley, 18; and Eric Carson, 16; were charged as adults and have been held without bail in Cook County Jail since September.

Prosecutors have not determined whether they will charge the juvenile as an adult, Bilyk said. They can use their discretion when deciding whether to charge 13- or 14-year-olds as adults.

The boy, who was a student at Fenger at the time of the beating, has been attending Thornridge High School in Dolton since the brawl, his attorney Richard Kloak said. Kloak asked that the juvenile be released on electronic monitoring so he can stay in school.

"The defendant is not running anywhere or going anywhere," Kloak said.

The melee, which involved more than 50 teenagers, stemmed from a long-standing rivalry between Fenger students who live in an area known as "the Ville" near the school in Roseland and those who are bused in from the Altgeld Gardens public housing complex.

Fighting broke out as the Altgeld students walked to a bus stop near a Far South Side community center about half a mile away from Fenger.

Video footage of Albert's beating circulated over the Web and transfixed viewers nationwide. The images also horrified Chicagoans, many of whom had become numb to the high rate of teen carnage.

Albert's death prompted the White House to dispatch U.S. Attorney Eric Holder and Education Secretary Arne Duncan to Chicago to talk about youth violence.

Tribune reporter Jeremy Gorner contributed to this report.


In raising my children, I haven't often had to live up to what I promised them I wouldn't do should they find themselves in police custody because of their negative behavior. My children always knew that I had taught them to think. Therefore they were also aware that they couldn't call the house and tell me they were in police custody because "they didn't think stealing from the store would get them in jail; or that hitting someone upside the head and killing them would get them in jail." So its quite sickening to read the above story and see that the mama is sitting in court taking notes after taking her child out of Fenger and hiding him in the public school system out in Dalton.

Every taxpaying resident of Dalton should be insulted that their community became the public hideout for the "accused" murderer. Rather than take her son to the police and turn him in, she took him to another black community where he could have done the same to another child. Sick. Had she spend the time talking to her son about the consequences of his actions from the time he could walk and talk, then she wouldn't now be furiously taking notes to prevent the KILLER from going to jail for the rest of his life. There are some mistakes where the costs has to be weighed prior to the actions being taken. Her son could have went home. OR ASKED TO BE TRANSFERRED TO DALTON BECAUSE FENGER WAS TOO NEGATIVE OF AN ENVIRONMENT FOR HIM. No type of pro-action was taken. Rather the mother took "reactionary" actions. And where is DADDY??????

Women need to take and make better decisions regarding the men they opt to have children with. And if you make a poor decision like I did in choosing the sperm donor, then raise your children so damn good that you never have to be the only one in court taking notes.

Friday, November 06, 2009

I wonder if Ike was taking Bribes Even Back Then?

It pays to pay attention!
$100,000 bribe offer to Chicago alderman alleged
Businessman wanted Ald. Isaac Carothers to help him open restaurants at O'Hare and Midway, feds say
By Todd Lighty, Hal Dardick and Jeff Coen

Tribune reporters

November 6, 2009

A businessman offered a $100,000 bribe to an alderman he thought could help him open seven restaurants in Chicago's two airports, according to federal charges unsealed Thursday.

But the businessman did not know that the powerful alderman, Isaac "Ike" Carothers, had been cooperating for months in an undercover FBI sting, a source familiar with the investigation said.

Carothers wore a hidden microphone and a video camera to secretly capture his meetings with businessman Wafeek "Wally" Aiyash.

Authorities, referring to Carothers in court papers only as "Cooperating Witness," said the alderman began helping them in 2008 in hopes of winning a reduced sentence for his own crimes. Charges against Carothers for allegedly taking bribes from a developer were made public earlier this year.

According to Thursday's charges, Aiyash promised during a series of meetings between May and September 2008 that he would give cash to Carothers if the alderman helped him obtain a piece of the lucrative restaurant business at O'Hare International and Midway airports. Carothers is a member of the City Council's Aviation Committee, whose duties include approving contracts at the airports.

Their conversations were often cryptic and involved scribbling notes on pieces of paper to communicate the alleged bribe, according to court records.

In one meeting, Aiyash allegedly promised Carothers $10,000 upfront with the remaining money later. Records show that Aiyash wrote down the word "cash" on the back of one of Carothers' business cards and allegedly said, "That's the only way I'll do it."

Authorities arrested Aiyash on Thursday at his Naperville home on charges that he delivered two bribes totaling $9,000 in 2008 and offered the rest of the money to Carothers if the contracts came through. He was later released.

Aiyash, 50, owns numerous properties in the Chicago area, including a Grandma Sally's restaurant.

Aiyash's lawyer declined to comment on the bribery charge.

Federal authorities have long had an interest in pay-to-play allegations at Chicago's two airports. Sources familiar with the matter said agents continue to investigate how contracts were awarded at O'Hare, but it appears that the Aiyash case is not part of that larger, ongoing investigation.

Carothers, the 29th Ward alderman and a longtime ally of Mayor Richard Daley's, could not be reached Thursday for comment, but it was revealed shortly after his arrest in May that he had cooperated with the FBI in corruption investigations.

Carothers, who continues working as an alderman, was charged with accepting $40,000 in gifts, including White Sox baseball tickets, for supporting a zoning change in 2006 that cleared the way for a residential and commercial project in his ward.

Court records in that case show Carothers cooperated against the developer, Calvin Boender, and that he has secretly taped other public officials. Boender has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial.

Like Boender, Aiyash donated to Carothers' political campaigns and did business in his West Side ward.

Thursday's charges allege that Aiyash had a corrupt relationship with Carothers before the alderman began cooperating with federal authorities.

Carothers told federal authorities that in 2007 Aiyash allegedly had given him $40,000 to $50,000 in cash in exchange for the alderman's "assistance in obtaining the requisite approvals to develop certain property" owned by Aiyash.

According to public records, Carothers rents space for his district offices from one of Aiyash's companies, WJ Madison Plaza.

In 2005 the city sold vacant property in the 5200 block of West Madison Street in Carothers' ward to WJ Madison for $1, as the city sometimes does to spur development in blighted areas. The city valued the property at $376,000. WJ Madison paid $730,000 that same year to buy nearby property on the same block.

In the end, Aiyash and his partners spent about $4 million to develop more than half the block, according to city documents. "It cost us a fortune," said John Bozonelos, an Aiyash partner.

Bozonelos said he and Aiyash met about 15 years ago through their wives and eventually went into the business together. He said he was stunned by the bribery charge.

"You could have no better person as a friend," Bozonelos said. "I'm flabbergasted. I could not believe it. I don't think Wally has any intention to bribe someone."




Restaurant to be built on vacant Austin lot

By Jeanette Almada
Special to the Tribune
Published April 3, 2005

City officials will sell vacant city-owned land to a retail developer who will build a long-sought full-service restaurant in the Austin neighborhood.

Chicago-based W.J. Management Inc., which consists of Wally Aiyash and John Bozonelos, will build the restaurant as part of a larger commercial/retail project at 3223-41 W. Madison St., according to Marty McCarthy, a Chicago Department of Planning and Development project manager who won the approval to sell the two city-owned parcels from the Community Development Commission in early March. The developer, who privately has acquired land adjacent to the 39,000-square-foot city land, will pay $1 for the city-owned land that is appraised for $376,000, McCarthy told commissioners.

The project concludes the city's lengthy search for a restaurant developer to build on the corner of Madison and Laramie Avenue, according to Ald. Isaac Caruthers (29th), who told commissioners that the full-service restaurant will help the surrounding neighborhood.

A restaurant developer had been sought for the location since the city acquired the lots in 1995, McCarthy told commissioners. "Unfortunately we had no responses. ... Although we have a couple of wonderful restaurants in Austin, we really need a full-service, sitdown restaurant," Caruthers told commissioners.

A residential and commercial developer, W.J. Management has rehabbed buildings in Austin and other city neighborhoods and suburbs.

W.J. President Wally Aiyash cited the company's rehabbing success and increasing Austin property values in its decision to build the restaurant, a Grandma Sally's Pancake House.

The plaza will consist of two buildings. Both buildings are designed by FHS Architecture.
Copyright © 2005, Chicago Tribune

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Can Facebook Help Drop The Murder Rate?

Six degrees of separation is defined as the theory that anyone on the planet can be connected to any other person on the planet through a chain of acquaintances that has no more than five intermediaries. The theory was first proposed in 1929 by the Hungarian writer Frigyes Karinthy in a short story called "Chains."

Although the theory hasn't been proven to be an absolute fact worldwide, Facebook (FB), which I joined just a couple of months ago is proving the theory to be the truth - at least when it comes to black America. How? By linking to my friends' friends, they are all quickly becoming my friends. And as they become my friends, I am being exposed to lots of their friends and relatives, both near and far. I thought about that the other day when I saw a small blurb that had gone out over the newswire. FB will now keep the profiles of deceased members of the social networking site available online. Their pages will clearly be marked as being a memorial to them and viewable only by family and friends.

If you're not familiar with FB, let me tell you how it works. Once you join and get your personal page, the site will automatically begin to recommend others to become your friends. Or you can use your e-mail list to search out friends and relatives already signed up for the site. As you are linked to those individuals, they all become a part of your social networking group. FB also asks you to recommend friends who are not already a part of the site to join in; thus ensuring that the social circle is never ending. In a nutshell, it's like having your next door neighbor introduce you to their friends and relatives on the next block and those folks then introduce you to their friends and relatives who live blocks away and then those folks introduce you to their friends and relatives all across the country. And on and on.

What I like best is when FB recommends people to become my new friend. That person usually has at least one other person in common with me. Sometimes the person we have in common is still someone I really don't know but a friend of someone I do know. Even more astonishing is when FB recommends someone to be my friend and tells me that the new person and I have over 100 friends in common even though I have never met that person in my entire life.

FB also has us mentally bound together as we check out the information people post to the site about themselves. If one person has good news, we can all bask in their happiness. If a member of our circle says someone in their family is ill, we can all post messages of encouragement. If there is bereavement, we can all offer our condolences.

It was during one of those sessions of offering condolences to a McClendon family member that a thought occurred to me. If FB can have me meeting and knowing hundreds and hundreds of people via other people, surely some of the people I am meeting have friends and relatives already incarcerated. And as our world becomes an even smaller place, I wondered if we could send out a "six degrees of separation" message in advance to warn those hoodlums who kill in our community that one of the first people to meet and greet them in prison will be, unbeknownst to them, a relative or friend of the person they killed?

Think about it. The hoodlums who create the mayhem in our community don't fear going to jail. "Three hots and a cot" has always been the trademark response when we have tried to lecture them about their wayward ways. They are members of a street gang and going to prison means that they will have their "homies" to hang with.

Prior to FB, one would need to plot out an entire family tree to show how interconnected many of us are. With FB, it's just a click of the mouse away to learn that the person killed is not just "Pookie from the corner," but someone's baby's mama's cousin's daddy's uncle's brother's son. Maybe the only option we have left is to send a blunt message in a way that some of our future killers can easily comprehend. When you kill, understand that awaiting your arrival in prison will be someone who is related to or knows the victim. And the greeting that they will have for you won't be the soul brother handshake or a pat on the back.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Saudi Court Supports Cruxificatin of Child Rapist

Public Executions. I bet it helps to keep the crime rate low. 40 so far this year? Still better than the number we have on death row in this country.


RIYADH (Reuters) - A Saudi court of cassation upheld a ruling to behead and crucify a 22-year-old man convicted of raping five children and leaving one of them to die in the desert, newspapers reported on Tuesday.

The convict was arrested earlier this year after a seven-year old boy helped police in their investigation. The child left in the desert after the rape was three years old, Okaz newspaper said.

International rights groups have accused the kingdom, the birthplace of Islam, of applying draconian justice, beheading murderers, rapists and drug traffickers in public. So far this year about 40 people have been executed in Saudi Arabia.

In Saudi Arabia, crucifixion means tying the body of the convict to wooden beams to be displayed to the public after beheading.

(Reporting by Souhail Karam; editing by Inal Ersan)

Monday, November 02, 2009


I am asking for your help to make this book a bestseller. I have books for sale and will personally autograph a copy. Please give a call at 773.622.3863. Thank you.

Also visit Sankofa Cultural Center at 5820 W. Chicago Ave. They have the book for sale and the books are autographed.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Successful Charter School - And there's a REASON WHY!

I hate new reports like this. All the accolades given to everyone but the main reason why the student is successful is glossed over. After watching, see if your response is the same as mine. Mine will be in the comment section.