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Added Nov 22 2011

With Crazy Howard McGee's Harold Chicken moving to the 8800 block, Checkers reopening at 87th, and the existing 24-hour Walgreens and CVS, I surely hope there's an increased police presence. I can already picture the patrons of The Dating Game & Family Den getting their late night grub on.

  • Hopefully

  • Happy making better choices

    87th where..and stony? That is a lot of traffic if that is the case

  • Well put, now lets see what happens. Hope not another series of disasters. Eateries seem to attract the wrong elements in the late hours.Hope this is not the case and maybe a good discount to police will help keep their presence high, as well as a good product and service. We just need safer blocks and healthier food and less crime and stress in the hood. Can I get an Amen???

  • That Checkers is probably going to be on the southeast corner, across from Walgreens. There are not that many Checkers left in Chicago, let alone, in the 'burbs. Every busy lately that has tried to open their doors, has failed. Bad business planning and low traffic volume.

  • The Dating Game and the Family Den? The longevity of these places is absolutely amazing. They both have been around 30 years or more. Then there is Kenwood Liquors which must be pushing 40 plus years. Ah, nothing like institutional stability to keep a community viable.

    Our zoning is absolutely inspirational. We put the liquor in close proximity to the residences and the grocery stores in primarily commercial districts. Years ago, the Jewel and the A&P were within two blocks of each other around Stony and 87th street. There was also a National on 83rd. What that meant was that many families could walk to the grocery store or take a very short drive.

    But, we did get CitiBank. Although whenever I have been in there I feel like something is about to jump off any minute.

    Hey, anyone remember the basketball court at Caldwell School on 86th and East End? They started to attract what we thought was an unsavory element, mild by today's standards, and they were promptly taken down.

    Anyone remember when Muhammed Ali lived on 86th and Jeffrey?

  • If I'm the Alderman, I want a business that has been around 50+ years and generating $25 million in my community(Kenwood). They have made capital improvements, jobs and give back. I think this is where you want these businesses on a major commercial strip versus being "corna" stores.

    Secondly, no one is staying open late anymore its too big of a security risk and the revenues don't justify the additional costs. Seeing both of those venues mentioned serve food I can't see either Checkers or Harold's staying open until 4am. If there was some money there Leona's would stay open late.

    I think the focus on 87th should be between Stony and Jeffrey where you have an over abundance of hair salons and a poor mix of businesses.

  • If I were the owner of Kenwood,I would be happy. But, I find it hard to believe that the sight of an endless caravan of cars pouring into a liquor store, with volume often meriting a traffic person, creating the impression of an obsession with liquor.

    If only that caravan existed in front of our schools on report card day.

    By the way, someone explain to me again Kenwoods contribution to the community.

  • In America, liquor is legal and regulated and no one is forced to enter the store. Secondly, they hire from the community, they carry products produced by African American vendors and they support community efforts such as toy drives and other charitable causes, more than I can say about some Africa American business owners.

    Lastly, not picking up report cards is a personal choice and goes to misplaced priorities. Blaming a business, that generates tax revenue and from the feedback I've received they have been a good neighbor, for a lack of report card pickup is a weak and pointless argument. Do a Mapquest search of how many churches and hair salons you have in a one mile radius of 87th Stony and there you will find the root of your problem.

  • Liquor is legal. So are cigarettes and the lottery. I am not blaming Kenwood Liquors for the obsession of their patrons , but I fail to see the positive value that they bring to the community.

    Hair salons? These entrepreneurs have always been at the center of our communities. If you are suggesting that people place too much emphasis on their hair, you may be right. But, I am not sure that they have the same negative effect on the community.

    Churches? Religion generally is big business. Someone once said that it is the opium of the masses. The amount of money spent by blacks in the black church is staggering. Many, not all, of the ministers are nothing more than money hungry charlatans capitalizing on the vulnerabilities of some people who often look unrealistically to the supernatural to improve their lot in life. Worse yet, their is no correlation between the number of churches in the community and the level of crime in our neighborhoods. However, the specter of people attending church is not in and of itself a negative one.

    Clearly, there a number of entities in our community that do not serve us well. However, I find it hard to believe that a liquor store doing land office business would be a selling point for a potential homeowner.

    No, it is correct to say that Kenwood has nothing to do with a lack of parental involvement in the schools. My comment there was directed at the people not Kenwood . It is also correct that no one forces us to patronize Kenwood. It is also true that it is a legitimate business. But, if it closed down tomorrow how would our community be hurt overall. Yes, a couple of people would probably lose their minimum wage job that they could undoubtedly duplicate at other establishments. Yes, a tax paying enterprise would be closed. But , what are those taxes doing for us now in terms of city services?

    The reality is that a viable community has to be planned. The last thing we need to preserve is a liquor store.

  • The thing that we all have to realize us that the businesses, crime level, quality of schools etc. all make up the community and contribute to its perception. Our communities tend not to be shaped by the inhabitants, but rather by those who can be exploitative. Then the community starts a downward spiral that is difficult to stop. Clearly, these businesses survive because people frequent them. You can go to any inner city minority neighborhood in the US and find the same city or town plan. Conversely, you can go to any middle class or affluent white neighborhood and find something quite different.

    By the way, I feel the same way about the Dating Game and the Family Den.

  • Wow, I'm glad I don't live in the 8th ward, it appears that no matter what the Alderman wants to do, there are haters who are hell bent on destroying the ward by making it a difficult place to do business.

    No one considers Hyde Park a minority community and you can go to Binny's and Kimbark on 53rd Steet and no one is complaining. No one is complaining about Park 52 and the Checkerboard on 52nd. So in Hyde Park, Beverly, Lincoln Park, Barrington, etc they have bars, pubs, etc.

  • What precisely did the Alderman in relation to Kenwood and the mentioned lounge? They were in existence long before this Alderman's tenure.

    What the Alderman in the 8th Ward should be doing is coming up with a creative plan to combat crime and then promoting the community as a place for positive businesses to thrive. What the Alderman in the 8th Ward should be doing is guaranteeing that the residents are receiving the appropriate level of city services. What the Alderman in the 8th Ward should be doing is working with the schools on ways to get uninvolved parents involved in their children 's education.

    In short, what the Alderman in the 8th Ward should be doing is leading. Leaders don't just do things right, they do the right things. "Where the leaders have no vision the people perish."

    The survival of Kenwood Liquors and a string of lounges is the last thing that we should be concerned about. While some may feel that these businesses are providing jobs and making charitable contributios, they are costing us far more in terms of community perception.

    Hyde Park is a unique community dominated by the presence of the University of Chicago. They have concentrated most of their commercial activity on 53rd Street. But, the community is not defined but the community is not defined by the liquor stored you mentioned. Totally different dynamic with some very high end housing that is not losing value in most cases.

    It is about balance and proper placement.

  • I was waiting on the campaign speech. BTW, doesn't the 8th ward have some comparable housing in Pill Hill? Again, I'm glad I don't live in the 8th ward because most of what I have heard from potential candidates is a lot of rhetoric with no substance and no realistic plans to take the community forward. To suggest closing down a business that was there before you and other African Americans lived in the community is ludacris. But it is all talk because they and the lounges are not going any where.

  • Denise Denson Minister/Community Advocate

    Wow Concerned Citizen, Now I know why you are so cynical, you don't even live in our ward. Basically, what you read in this venue is not campaign speeches, it's the communities discontent with lousy service. The 8th ward had been dominated by the Stroger family for more years than I am and this alderman is just another extension of that but without the wherewithall to deal with real power for people, not just herself, but for people of the ward. I do not care how many plans are laid to deal with the situation in the 8th ward, speaking of potential candidates, the office of alderman will have to seat someone else before anything can be accomplished physically, it will take lots of work and a good strategy, along with a willing community to see change happen and ready to fight for it all the way to the killinflo. The churches that are not so afraid of this alderman and their congregations will have to step up. Too many of our churches pastors and congregation do not live in the community and so there is no real investment and committment to the community. We simply need people that are not afraid to tell the truth, people that live in this community and not the burbs to take a stand. That will be a real good beginning to an ugly situation.

  • I am not making a campaign speech. I am speaking as a member of a declining community.

    By the way, Kenwood Liquors is merely a symptom it is not the total problem . What it continues to perpetuate is the perception of minority communities that can primarily sustain only businesses that purvey liquor. Certainly, people have the right to buy as much liquor as they want. It is legal. My point is that perhaps it could be located somewhere else. For example, the Jewel could have stayed where it was on 88th and Stony and Kenwood could have moved to 95th street. Perhaps a subtle difference, but one that creates a different optic.

    The last poster made some good points. I think also that some of the people in the community need to change their personal behavior. It clearly is not all of the businesses or politicians that are the entire problem. At one point everyone on my street was a responsible citizen. Now, much different. This means behaviors must be changed. Admittedly, this is difficult to address, but if we are to see any significant change, it has to happen. Ignorance and nonsense must be called out for what it is. That takes real guts and the backing of the community.

    Many of the original black inhabitants of 60617 have died off or long fled to the suburbs or elsewhere. If we don't do something people will give up and those that can will simply go somewhere else. Then, when the property values hit bargain basement prices we will begin to see gentrification set in. Don't be upset because we will have brought it on ourselves.

  • By the way Pill Hill was mentioned here as a comparable to some of the housing in Hyde Park. I know people in Pill Hill wha are afraid to open their garage doors. It isn't just bricks and mortar, Pill Hill is victimized by the perception of the community as a whole.

  • tammytamm Proud South-Sider

    The pedestrian and vehicular traffic that has at time snarled Stony Island Boulevard by patrons of Kenwood Liquors isn't an issue for me compared to the countless other blights and concerns. Compare Kenwood to other liquor stores where customers stand around drinking, loose cigarette sellers, and vagrants in general. Customers of Kenwood know going in that no matter what your age, you will be carded, you cannot loiter in the parking lot, and if you aren't in the store by 10:50pm, it's a wrap. Considering that this is a "spirit dessert"(like food deserts), Kenwood does a good job of keeping order. Alcohol consumers who do not drink responsibly are to be blamed for their bad actions. The main point I wanted to make in my original post was this. I'm sure Checkers will have late hours if they don't decide to open 24 hours as they did previously when they came to the Chicago Market. Harold's Chicken in famous for their late night hours. With two lounges within a 2-3 block radius of these eateries, the incessant traffic on Stony, and less than sober customers, the police presence MUST be re-evaluated PROACTIVELY.

  • It was never my intent to make Kenwood Liquors the focal point of all that is wrong with the community. It is simply another negative optic in my mind.

    Let's face it, we are talking about a negative element that has invaded our community. Lounges have existed in many places in the inner city for years and often without significant problems. It is people who cause peoblems when they allow thier behavior to get out of control or have criminal instincts in the first place.

    Obviously having drugstores like Walgreen's and CVS in the neighborhood are positives. We cannot blmae them for the criminals that might want to hold them or thier patrons up.

    Our problem is the criminal element in the first place. In my opinion the corrections have to be holistic though. It cannot be just increased police presence which is just a band aid. We need a different culture for our community. If that is to happen major changes must be made.

    We cannot be afraid to confront degrading cultures within our communities. This isn't putting people down because of race or economic status. this is putting certain behaviors down because they are dysfunctional-period.

    With leadership from the political and spiritual leaders in the community instead of an acceptance and tolerance for bad behavior, we may be able to change the culture. Remember, there are more of us than there are of them. But we have allowed them to intimidate us into silence.

    Folks, we may have to make our leaders lead.

  • Cynical, no I don't think so. When you indict businesses for being successful, it doesn't make sense. If I hadn't talked to residents in that area I could have bought some of your argument but I have and they contradict all the comments made here. You want to close a business that was in the neighborhood before any of you moved there, you want to close a business because the owner decided to invest in the community versus taking his dollars elsewhere and worked hard to make it successful and businesses that provide parking,ans security are problems. Secondly, all these business are on a major commercial strip that was built to sustain traffic. But you do not indict the business that ripped off seniors of their retirement funds.

    Yeah, at 2am there will be 500 cars outside a closed store, buying chicken, filling prescriptions at Walgreens and CVS and buying a funky hamburger.

    Just say you don't like the lounges and versus all the jibber jabber why don't you "community activist" go and speak with them about your concerns.

    Sure, you don't have ulterior motives for these comments. lol

  • Denise Denson Minister/Community Advocate

    I do think that you are. And the rest is your common complaining.

  • Complaining, Please. Because I can see through your nothing comments is not complaining,. You were the one who ran for Alderman of the 8th ward and got knocked off the ballot, not me.

  • Joe Lake Joe Lake, Chicago, IL

    Denise Denson is a true Community Advocate who was willing to take on Stroger's Solders

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  • I think that we have to demand that our alderman address our issues. If need be we should stage a sit at their office. We should let the press know that they are ineffective. These jobs should not be about making a celery and enhancing a resume. These people need to do something. Some of us need to forgo our natural inclination towards hero worship and demand that these individuals do the job for which they are being paid.

    In my opinion, the Alderman and the community should set objectives for improvement , then the Alderman should be evaluated accordingly.

    We need to be proactive and decide what kind of community we want rather than just reacting to crime by increased police presence.

  • Denise Denson Minister/Community Advocate

    Thanks Joe. Your mentality let's me know that someone like you can hold on to such nonsense. I fought and will fight again. With every battle you learn a little more. Being knocked off the ballot is a part of the business, not a humiliation so you can get off of that soap box. We need more people like me, willing and openly standing up for right and not afraid of being knocked down cause you can always get up and fight another day, which I plan to do unitl Jesus comes!

  • Denise Denson Minister/Community Advocate

    That was for you CCC. The thanks is for a good friend Joe Lake.

  • Joe Lake Joe Lake, Chicago, IL

    "Just the facts, ma'am." Joe Friday

  • Denise Denson Minister/Community Advocate

    Bracchus how long have you been living in this ward and how many times have you addressed the aldermans office in any way?? I wish the people who have would get on this venue and tell you what happened, and how they feel about their treatment. Not her friends, but citizens of the community who have tried time and again and failed to get her attention. Your evaluation of the office, ideally is correct, what we have though is not even close. We really do need to think about change in this ward from top to bottom. John Stroger was a great man, but the leadership that he left us is really pitiful and does him no honor.

  • Denise Denson Minister/Community Advocate

    So CCC you know something about me do ya.

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  • Can we just get alone. We all face the same problems sooner or later. Divided we fall, together we stand and stand tall!!!

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  • Thanks for following me Joe Lake.

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  • Joe Lake Joe Lake, Chicago, IL

    Thank God.

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  • I have lived in the community for 45 years having inherited my parents home. I have addressed various aldermen over the years, not this one, to no avail. I frankly lost confidence in the system .

    Recently, I have recognized that there is power in numbers. Without group pressure that is highly publicized, little will happen. These career, machine politicians, like the US Congress, have little interest in challenging the status quo.

    After living here for42 years my home was broken into for the first time. Steel security door was literally taken out with part of the wall and no one saw or heard anything. People are home on both sides of me day and night. The police came out and took fingerprints but did not offer much for the capture of the culprits. This exercise seemed only valuable in terms of my insurance claim. Now, it looks like break-ins are occurring all over the place. My neighbors grandson was shot dead right in front of my house. There is a drug house in the next block with constant visible activity. My niece witnessed a young man being dragged off an 87th street bus and beaten by about 20 people. I have one older neighbor who doesn't go out at night and basically locks her door and turns on the security system at 5 .

    Bottom line-this is no way to live and the residents are sick of it. Charismaticpoliticians won't get, effective ones will.

    I am fast becoming of the opinion that it would be a lot easier to move and forget about all of this nonproductive nonsense.

    I am torn, but leaning.

  • Denise Denson Minister/Community Advocate

    Bracchus, these problems exist all over not just here. Unfortunately many people choose to move out and that's their choice. But there are those that choose to fight. One thing about this is, it touches us now, but it touches the other side tomorrow. Just like all of the other blighted hoods that are now growing into pristine neighborhoods, people chose to stay and fight and they reap the benefits while the violence continues to the other side of the fence.

  • Well, I didn't say which way I was leaning. But, living under siege is getting a bit old. You are correct in that it seems to have permeated the entire city. That makes me wonder if it can be corrected and , if so, how long will it take. I guess it is sadder for me knowing what this neighborhood used to be.

  • Denise Denson Minister/Community Advocate

    Bracchus, I have been in this neighborhood and community since I was 13 years old. I remember too, that is why I won't give up, and I also know that restoration is coming to this side of town pretty soon and I want to be here when that happens.

  • Joe Lake Joe Lake, Chicago, IL

    Last year, Denise Denson announced on Facebook she would run for alderman from the 8th Ward in the Feb. 2011 election. The Facebook announcement was made on a Tuesday. On Wednesday, a family member received a threat that if Denise Denson ran for alderman, she would lose her job with Cook County. Denise Denson then put her campaign on hold for a few days. I filed a complaint with the President of the Cook County Board, a Cook County Board member and the Cook County Shakman Compliance Officer on behalf of Denise Denson. Denise Denson then reactivated her campaign on July 4, 2010. Residents of the 8th Ward cannot back down to tyranny or internet bullies. The 8th Ward residents must stick together to bring back the community to what it was once was in the past. I believe it can be done.

  • Denise-I hope you are right. I love the area, but it is trying at times. Bill Cosby tried to outline the problem and was vilified in some quarters because of it. But, he was right. Some of our young men have developed predator instincts with no conscience. These young people have usually been raised in a single parent home or by a relative or no one. How do we change that? This stuff has permeated the college scene with a recent shooting a NIU. How do we stop it. Our young men have to have families other than gangs. They need more exposure to show them there is a different way. But, some are lost and need to be dealt with.

    We need leadership and a plan.

  • Denise Denson Minister/Community Advocate

    You have got to find out what can and cannot be done first. Can't just lash out. Research is needed into what officials handle what sort of issues. We have to find the right people in government and then press on one issue at a time. Tackling more than one will only be frustrating. I can tell you there is a lot of redtape and missed appointments, but if persistant breakthrough can be had. Just like in Nehemiah when he rebuilt the temple walls of Jeruselum. It was a monumental task, BUT THE PEOPLE HAD A MIND TO WORK!

  • tammytamm Proud South-Sider

    I subscribe to the "each one, reach one, teach one" methodology. I have been attending services at Southlawn United Methodist Church where they teach us that "you can't do everything, just do something". So many residents have concerns but don't know how to go about making their voices heard. I suppose it starts within one house/building, spreads to the neighbors on your block,then your ward. I can sit here on this laptop and gripe all day, but "faith without works is dead". Looks like I found a resolution that I will cultivate over the next month to bring to action for the new year. Thanks Neighbors and Active Neighbors for the motivation.

  • Denise Denson Minister/Community Advocate

    TammTamm you surely have the right idea, attitude and spirit.

  • The police presence as Tammy Tamm stated cannot be reevaluated proactively as more changes will be coming with CPD. The former brother who was Commander for this district(4) was transferred to another district around August or September. With so many issues a on the far east side of the district, manpower is stretched.

  • Denise Denson Minister/Community Advocate

    This is the time to address the issues on the far east side and start a disucssion regarding what avenues to take, what issues to address first.

  • ONWARD!FORWARD! Empowered 1

    It's all about what values you want to to be projected from the community. 50 years ago liquor stores were not revered as leaders in the community. Whereas today they seem to have more value to some than the Christian values that were the foundation on 6th and 8th wards residents. The bottom line is if you lay down with dogs you get up with fleas. These types of businesses attract troublemakers (liquor stores, hip hop clothing stores, greasy spoon restaurants,etc) is all part of a subculture that was not ever present in our neighborhoods. They don't serve the residents who purchased homes in the area. It only causes the neighborhood to get a bad reputation and its bringing the property value down. Remember what happened in the story of Sodom & Gommorah? One of the reasons God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah was because he did not want the Jews to be influenced by this evil. As the Creator of all things, God has the divine right to destroy evil as he sees fit. Evil is all around us in today's society, from lying and stealing to pornography, drugs, illicit sex, and violence. God calls us to be holy people set apart, not influenced by our wicked culture. Sin always has consequences. Do you take sin and God's wrath seriously? We as a society must stand up to the deprivation that is infiltrating our communities. We as a community need to decide what we stand for and what we will not tolerate in our communities like our forefathers did. I personally am tired of reading these debates that support liquor stores when our people are dying from poor health,drugs and alcohol abuse but it is OK if the businesses are earning a profit and throwing back some crumbs. Where are our priorities?!

  • The bottom line here is Choice. That business(Kenwood) was there long before African Americans moved into that area. African Americans made a CHOICE to live there. An African American celebrity (Howard McGee)buys a failing business and turns it around and also encourages other African Americans with means (Art Norman) to invest and you become the pirranhea of the community? A business (Checkers) rips off African American seniors from the community and they are welcomed with open arms? Doesn't make sense to me. I can respect you may not like those type of businesses but when you border on slandering peoples name and their business for no reason but to make yourself sound important it blows me away.

    If I do a 1 mile radius search on mapquest from either 79th King Drive or 87th Stony Island. I come up with 50+ church's for either search so I think there needs to be some questions as to what these churchs are doing and why do we only see them when the cameras are on?

  • ONWARD!FORWARD! Empowered 1

    Me thinks thou do protest to much as well as calling out the ministers too ! BTW what are you being paid for your PR services? You surely don't seem to be too concerned about the citizens who actually have to live in the midst of all the drama. If one were to read all the blog posts you have on these burning issues, they would find that you are quick to drop names to try to bolster your comments when you don't have a leg to stand on. To try to make yourself seem important. I'm just sayin'...

    I've lived in the 6th ward for 50 years and I have observed the impact of certain business choices on the beautiful south side communities over the years as the early forefathers have moved off the scene. So I speak up for the legacy that my parents and many of the residents struggled for and maintained for many years. After all,I pay property taxes and I want to live in a safe, peaceful,socially healthy and thriving community .

  • I pay property taxes as well and I live in the the 6th ward and plan to be there. This is America where there is free speech. BTW, thanks for following my blog as I tell you on my blog I'm an opinionated loud mouth, like it or loathe it. I don't drop names never had to and never will.

    Yes I get paid in many ways for my "PR" services.

  • Happy making better choices

    You can debate the business all you want to but I see no problem with a store like Kenwood but I do see an issue with stores like that 24hr drive thru on 79th, I see a problem with the community not calling 911 for anything, and the main problem is these so called parents and grandparents letting these kids and young adults hang out with no discipline or consequences for bad behavior. 50yrs ago you could live across the street from the liq store but the kids had more sense and discretion bc the community was watching and they feared authority. Now as long as the kids stay out of the way, somehow tv's and computers show up, and the parents or grandparents find cash appearing...this community will never get better. Change begins at home or all the police and policies won't work. It needs to be an effort from multiple sides. Kenwood and Checkers is the least of out worries. Checkers is a good Jon for kids to start out. There are plenty of those types of spots and liq stores up North and they make it work. I lived there and no it well

  • Legitimate businesses are free to open in any neighborhood that they choose assuming that they meet zoning requirements. So, the issue is not legitimacy.

    The issue is the general perception of the community. The sight of an endless stream of vehicles piling into Kenwood is not a positive for any community. That cannot be blamed on Kenwood, that is the patrons.

    the other issue is the fact that the community is viewed in a negative light because of crime etc. The presence of a major liquor store does not combat that image, it enhances it.

    Liquor is a drug, a legal one witrhout doubt. But, the idea that many of our reesidents are obsessed with the purchase of even a legal drug is not a good one. These are repeat customers buying gallons of liquor at a time.

    Now, adults have the right to do whatever they want as long as they don't break the law. Fine. All I am saying is that the perception of Kenwood liquors is not a good one. I contrast it with Heinemans which was north of the loop for years. Discount prices and all kinds of exotic liquors, but never the maases of people descending on the store.

    If we are to elevate our communities, we need to be known for something other than our conspicuous consumption of alcohol.

  • Someone asked what do we need to do first. Without question the first thing that we need to do is declare a war on crime. This cannot be done ward by ward. The Mayor has to take the lead on this with the Superintendent of Police.

    First, announce the War and tell all criminals, drug dealers, and gang members that they have 24 hours to get out of Chicago or stop thier criminal activity.

    Second, Chicago Police with the assistance of the State Police start an aggressive police action in which drug dealers and gang members are arrested. RICO laws shouodl be utilized to prosecute many of these gang members. Residents should be encouraged to report anonymously any suspicious activity in the neighborhood. Police manpower should be increased to guarnatee response within minutes.

    Third, individuals who are released from prision on parole should be required to meet more stringent requirements with regard to thier actions and activities. If they are found to be in the presence of other known felons they should be immediately remanded to prison to finish the full term of thier sentence.

    Fourth, all convicted crimninals under the age of 18 should be required by lae to finish high school or obtain a GED.

    Fifth, parents of minors should be fined and forced to do community service if their minor children are out after a determined hour, or they are not participating in school conferences.

    Folks, these times call for draconian measures. We can no longer allow ourselves to be controlled by knaves, villains and fools. We must reject ignorance wherever it exists.

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  • Denise Denson Minister/Community Advocate

    SUSU you are right. Where ever Gods laws are violated, destruction follows. It is a clear principal and promise of the Lord. The Word says "without me you can do nothing." You cannot raise your children, keep your jobs, work with those that I have put in charge over you, make up your own mind, NOTHING, and as we look around us and in this venue, that is so very evident!!

  • As long as we believe nothing can be done, nothing will be done. And, if that is true, the only thing that peace loving citizens can do is to move somewhere else.

    But, if you do decide to move, make sure you do your due diligence . I know some people who moved to a southern suburb and built a new house. They paid a premium rate and are paying exhorbitant taxes. Although their area is upscale, some depressed and crime ridden suburbs are nearby. Some want to move but can only get about half of what they paid for the house. So be careful.

  • ONWARD!FORWARD! Empowered 1

    We also need to join the precincts together to declare that we only want businesses that promote positive values and therefore are not attractive to criminal element. Then maybe they will stroll on to the next watering hole,etc. Businesses that support healthy family values where you can sit down and have bra meal together in the community and it has healthy cuisine. Places where you can enjoy a movie together without worrying about how you will get to your car. Businesses that provide goods and services that reflect the desires of those who live there. As it is now we are not included in the discussion about what businesses come into the community but we hear time and again about other communities who are aware of the process and able to hold hearings to voice their feelings. When are blinded sided time and time again. And let's not talk about old and new aldermen who have connections to some of these undesirable businesses and therefore try to block with what the people want. The must be held accountable or voted out simple as that. We want more than business as usual because we see our communities suffering and our way of life being disrupted by the influx of the negative element. It is time to SHOUT "NOT ON OUR BLOCKS!"

  • Denise Denson Minister/Community Advocate

    The CPD has a program, EAVI, it is comprised of community and the CPD are the overseers. The community basically identifies the issue that it wants addressed, the CPD let's us know what we can and cannot do, they sort of guide us so that we take the correct avenues and supply the help that is needed to irridicate that particular issue. It is a realtively new program but I understand that it has done well in other wards. If any of you would like to make this a starting point, I will be motivated to get further information and relate it to you. If you would be interested in this first inititative, to move toward community wholeness in a positive and structured manner, please do not hesitate to contact me at, denisedenson55@yahoo.com.

  • Speak Up Stand Up you have expressed my thoughts most eloquently.

    A return to family values is the key instead of a celebration of ignorance

    We have been tolerant of so much negative activity in our communities that it will be difficult to right the ship quickly, but something must be done. This erosion has occurred over time. Years ago I used to go to the Leon's on 83rd and Cottage. They had 2 shotguns in the window , as well as the bullet proof glass to deter criminals. Do you think that white folks would patronize a store like that? Sure, they were doing what they felt they needed to do to survive, but community perception was damaged.

    Clearly, it is not businesses that create crime. But, their reaction to crime is the lasting image that can damage a community.

    We have got to raise and train our children to be productive citizens if any of this is to change long term. I can tell you, I am second generation in 60617. My parents generation has died off for the most part and those in mine have long since moved elsewhere. Hopefully, this community will not go the way of Englewood and Lawndale.

    I believe in God and I believe in the power of God, but I believe that the message was clear in the parable of the Talents. We have got to Do Something with what we have got. God has given us what we need. It is up to us to use it. As someone pointed out, there is no shortage of churches in our community. But, to what avail. Often, the members do not even live in the community and some of the ministers seem to be more concerned with receiving as opposed to giving. Why aren't these ministers out there working with our young black men instead of worrying about how soon they can become a bishop and be less useful than the already are? What is the ministry about? Preaching to the faithful or saving the lost. Simply put, blacks spend collectively enormous amounts of money on religion with little return on investment.

  • Denise Denson Minister/Community Advocate

    beblessedoutreachministries.org

  • How is Checker's ripping off the seniors in the community? It just opened today and it's bringing jobs.Those employees stayed late last night to get training. Maybe I'm biased because I know someone that was pushing to get that business open on that corner. My goodness, can we be happy about something? DAG!!!

  • As far as EAVI is concerned, it's been in the 4th district for almost two years. EAVI is an extension of CAPS. I hear they can't get people to come to the meetings and become involved here in 4th District. The person that created the EAVI program started it in the Englewood community and it's been so successful. Community residents are involved, those part of block club organizations are involved, CPS personnel are involved, clergy are involved as well as one of the aldermen in Englewood. Since it was so successful, it was created in a district on the West Side. These two EAVI's have been successul in getting businesses shut down that have been a sore thumb since as stores selling expired food and liquor stores that are selling to minors. There is also an EAVI in the district that covers Back Of The Yards and the District that covers Woodlawn and the other part of South Shore was just formed in January.

    However, there is a chance that EAVI may be discontinued, as the person that created the EAVI program retired and accepted an offer to become a police chief in a suburb.

  • @K -Checkers and Chicago Double Drive Thru LP approached African American investors over ten years ago to invest in the original Checkers that were on 87th stony(now CVS) and 71st Stony(Now Starbucks). African American seniors recruited by Mr Towns invested their retirement funds in the venture. An audit discovered that the managing partner of Chicago Double Drive Thru embezzled money from the stores. Checkers stated they were not involved or responsible when the money came up missing and washed their hands. They eventually got sued and turned over those two stores to Coke and the produce companies and the other investors got nothing.

    Now, after merging with Rally's they come back into the community and everyone is suppose to be happy.

  • Part 1

    Denise-I looked at the site for the Outreach Ministries that you posted.

    We have countless churches in our communities now and there is basically no correlation between their presence and a reduction in crime. We need ministers, like the disciples, who will go out into the community and meet the enemy of ignorance where it is. Gang leaders and gang members are not going to suddenly show up at a church and join the choir and become liturgical dancers.

    Until we love one another enough to help and challenge one another to be better, are we really answering the call of God?

    Worshipping God is not enough. He gave us this world to live in and his lessons focused on how we should live here on earth with each other. He even asked how you could love him who you do not know and not love your neighbor who you do know. He even said render to Caesar what is Caesars and to the Lord what is the Lords.

    As black people our faith has been important to us as we went from one tribulation to the next. We prayed and we suffered as we hoped for a better life in the hereafter. I don't belire that God ever intended that for us. Our plight has been the result of the evil men both within and without our communities.

    The life of Christ is replete with examples of his preference for action. He healed the sick, fed the multitudes, embraced Mary Magdalene, and drove the money changers out of the temple. He was out and among the propel taking action to change lives.

    Most preachers don't preach that precisely that way because they are content with sedentary congregations who in their vulnerability can find solace only in their ministries. The congregation then becomes worshipers of ministers contrary to God's word. Unfortunately, in many cases that worship has been turned into an economic enterprise that has helped to crippled the economic development of our communities.

  • Part2

    My point in all of this is that the various ministries should be out in the community and addressing the problems where they exist. This isn't about Pastor's, first ladies, bishops, and the latest luxury automobiles parked in front of the church. It isn't about birthday celebration and annual anniversary dinners for the pastor. It is about the least of my brethren .

    Until we have that, the largest churches and so called outreach ministries will be to little avail.

  • Okay, thanks for the history lesson. I'm sorry that incident happened and people were bilked. However, this is not the same company. It's another brother. One who grew up not far from the community. I urge you to go up there and talk to him as opening a business in this economic environment is a challenge and there are about 100 people that now have a job.

  • Denise Denson Minister/Community Advocate

    Thanks for the info. K. But it would be a good place to start since no one seems to know where to start. I will call today.

  • Denise Denson Minister/Community Advocate

    I am one of those that you speak about and this particular outreach has community meetings every month. I know about go ye into all the world cause that's what I do. Like I said before, too many of the churche's clergy live outside of Chicago.

  • CC

    Hey everyone I am new to the Pill Hill neighborhood I bought a home and have invested quite a lot of money into as of right now I am going to be remodeling my bathrooms. When I bought my home two years ago I said to myself ' not far from the lake easy access to major byways etc etc' when I look at the corners of Stoney Island I can think of a few businesses that can go up like a L. A. fitness a UPS store so on and so on.I have just looked at different post here and just from what I gathered it seems like if we vote the neighborhood dry then how much crime will be lowered?From what I am reading I hope that me replacing my roof with lifetime shingles at 10,000 and installing new Pella windows at 17,000 and remodeling my bathrooms at 25,000 pray that this does not become an bad investment.I bought over this way because for what I paid I have a very large home and I said nice area for the ones that have been homeowners in this neighborhood I commend you because of how you have championed to keep it together. Thank you and if there is anyway I can be of help by all means keep me posted.

  • The investments that you make in your home will be priceless to you. With the economy in the state that it is frankly all neighborhoods have taken a bit of a hit including the most affluent of neighborhoods.
    When everyone does their part our community shines and your home becomes your castle. Nothing is easy anymore, you have to work and work hard for the best results.
    So roll up your sleeves , get to work and welcome to the hood!
    The only bad investment is the one you don't make!
    Together we will stand and our community will continue to shine!!!
    You can take that to the bank!!!

  • Denise Denson Minister/Community Advocate

    I also wanted to say that this particular outreach ministry has only been there for a year and the pastor and family live not far from the church. That is why I mention it. I worked as secretary for the 7th Ward Ministerial Alliance for 3 years, so I know the concerns regarding clergy and the community. I would not have posted the link of that particular church is I did not believe that they are making a difference.

  • ONWARD!FORWARD! Empowered 1

    Heads up:latest post from Concerned Citizens of Chatham blogger site "The building was sold and the new owner is reopening with the support of CAPCC and CCC. The new owner is the former wife of former Bull Horace Grant. "

    Was there a CAPCC and CCC meeting with the community to find out if they wanted to replace the closed Shelter with Licorice? Presumably another bar. And the beat goes on .. PRECINCTS NEED TO SOUND THE DRUMS NOT IN OUR NEIGHBORHOOD NOT ON OUR BLOCK!

  • CAPCC http://www.capcc.org/ meets every second Monday at Northern Trust Bank and Chesterfield Community Council http://www.chesterfieldcommunitycouncil.org/. meets every third Tuesday at Tuley Park.

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