25 hours ago

Friday’s community celebration postponed

The annual event, organized by BUILD, has been postponed due to weather. The "summer of opportunity" celebration will be held Friday, Aug. 17.

    Friday's community celebration postponed
    The annual event, organized by BUILD, has been postponed due to weather. The
    http://austintalks.org

2 days ago

West Side residents help set guidelines for businesses at City Hall meeting

Alleging that three businesses along the same strip of Madison Street in Austin neighborhood allow an environment of loitering, drug dealing, gambling and public indecency, community members met last week with city officials and the business owners to create a plan to resolve the issues.

    West Side residents help set guidelines for businesses at City Hall meeting
    Alleging that three businesses along the same strip of Madison Street in Austin neighborhood allow an environment of loitering, drug dealing, gambling and public indecency, community members met last week with city officials and the business owners to create a plan to resolve the issues.
    http://austintalks.org

3 days ago

'Red Table Talk' is talk we need

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    'Red Table Talk' is talk we need
    Facebook Watch recently premiered a new series online featuring Jada Pinkett Smith, her mother, Adrienne Banfield-Norris, and her 17-year-old daughter, Willow Smith.
    http://www.austinweeklynews.com

3 days ago

A social media campaign seeks to show Austin in better light

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    A social media campaign seeks to show Austin in better light
    During a Quality of Life Plan Summit, part of a series of public meetings Austin Coming Together has held to gather community input one theme kept cropping up.
    http://www.austinweeklynews.com

3 days ago

Cuts for a cause

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    Cuts for a cause
    Master barbers Alexander "Great" Fowles and Joshua "Kool" Kruel gave teenagers, ages 13 to 18, free haircuts at the Austin Branch.
    http://www.austinweeklynews.com

3 days ago

Protestors' message amplified by Parkland students

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    Protestors' message amplified by Parkland students
    When the Chicago City Council voted on May 25 to approve roughly $29 million in funding required to help build a new $95 million police and fire training academy West Garfield Park.
    http://www.austinweeklynews.com

3 days ago

Can the West Side turn around?

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    Can the West Side turn around?
    Chicago is a tale of two cities. Let the mounds of socioeconomic data and anecdotal evidence speak for themselves.
    http://www.austinweeklynews.com

3 days ago

Glamour girls

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    Glamour girls
    Students bask in applause last Friday, during the annual Exclusive Spring Fashion Show at Ella Flagg Young in Austin.
    http://www.austinweeklynews.com

3 days ago

On Father's Day, officials decry West Side violence

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    On Father's Day, officials decry West Side violence
    Members of the West Side Black Elected Officials spent part of Father's Day on a scorching Sunday afternoon attempting to create some awareness about the area's violence.
    http://www.austinweeklynews.com

3 days ago

Unite against violence on Wednesdays in Austin

Give an hour each Wednesday in June and July to stand with others in the community. There are four locations in the 25th Chicago Police District where residents, wearing red, will be meeting from 6 to 7 p.m. starting June 20th.

    Unite against violence on Wednesdays in Austin
    Give an hour each Wednesday in June and July to stand with others in the community. There are four locations in the 25th Chicago Police District where residents, wearing red, will be meeting from 6 to 7 p.m. starting June 20th.
    http://austintalks.org

5 days ago

Opioid addiction causing problems across West Side

PCC Community Wellness Center hosted health providers and others earlier this month to discuss how the opioid crisis is affecting them, their employers and their communities.

    Opioid addiction causing problems across West Side
    Bob Urso's nephew got mixed up with drugs several years ago. "He was a lost soul, in and out of treatment centers," says Urso, president and CEO of PCC Community Wellness Center. But when Urso's nephew became a dad, he "really turned his life around."
    http://austintalks.org

Jun 15

Juneteenth celebration kicks off this weekend

Veterans and victims of gun violence will be honored Saturday at the Golden Dome Field House, followed by three days of activities the following weekend.

    Juneteenth celebration kicks off this weekend
    Rickie Brown, CEO and founder of the West Side Historical Preservation Society (WSHPS), has been fighting to raise awareness for Juneteenth since he first saw it celebrated in Chicago in 1995. "I didn't know anything about Juneteenth," Brown said. "I happened to see something I hadn't seen in a long time, and it was a red, black and green flag ...
    http://austintalks.org

Jun 12

Updated Jun 14

Taliaferro's senior safety ordinance passes

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    Taliaferro's senior safety ordinance passes
    Anyone caught carrying an illegal gun within 500 feet of any senior housing in Chicago will face fines and, if they do it more than once, possible jail time ranging from 30 days to six months.
    http://www.austinweeklynews.com

  • gpblight 22 Yr East Garfield Resident

    This is GREAT NEWS! Now lets see if we can get the 11th District to ENFORCE THIS LAW!!!!!!

    Anybody else have trouble getting 11 to answer 911 calls? Please say your experience here.

  • Ms. Spice of Life Community Volunteer/Domestic Violence Subcommittee

    That's Horrible if you're calling and the calls are being ignored! That's dangerous and not to mention deadly! We have to protect ourselves out here.

  • gpblight 22 Yr East Garfield Resident

    YES we are escalating the fact CPD does NOT answer 911 calls in Beat 1123. Lets see if the REFORM efforts can make some inroads.

Jun 14

Team 8 Tour gives Austin College and Career Academy a makeover

Forty volunteers - half of them students and the rest from UnitedHealthcare, arrived last week to make improvements around the building. CBS EcoMedia Inc. and the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation also helped fund last week's work at the West Side high school.

    Team 8 Tour gives Austin College and Career Academy a makeover
    Forty volunteers - half of them students and the rest from UnitedHealthcare, arrived last week to make improvements around the building. CBS EcoMedia Inc. and the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation also helped fund last week's work at the West Side high school.
    http://austintalks.org

Jun 13

All invited to pop-up BBQ in Austin

There will be free food, music and resources from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in the 5200 block of West Quincy Street.

    All invited to pop-up BBQ in Austin
    There will be free food, music and resources from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in the 5200 block of West Quincy Street.
    http://austintalks.org

Jun 12

Mom turns mourning into music

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    Mom turns mourning into music
    Alice Norris, a longtime Oak Park resident, has become an expert in the art of turning her mourning into something sublime.
    http://www.austinweeklynews.com

Jun 12

Model City Council meeting changes minds

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    Model City Council meeting changes minds
    On May 31, a series of landmark ordinances were considered on the floor of the Chicago City Council, including one that would assist lower-income families in gentrified neighbors.
    http://www.austinweeklynews.com

Jun 12

Austin art fair in the works

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    Austin art fair in the works
    A local organization is planning an art fair in Austin and is seeking artists to participate in the event.
    http://www.austinweeklynews.com

Jun 12

The disappearing red X

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    The disappearing red X
    I got a call the other day. An amateur photographer was working on a project involving buildings with red X's on them.
    http://www.austinweeklynews.com

Jun 12

Possible Emmet school designs unveiled

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    Possible Emmet school designs unveiled
    Ever since Westside Health Authority bought the former Emmet Elementary School building last winter, it has been quietly working to figure out what to do with the property.
    http://www.austinweeklynews.com

Jun 12

Removing the stigma

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    Removing the stigma
    This past week two well-known people died by suicide: Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade.
    http://www.austinweeklynews.com

Jun 12

Clergy call for officer's firing

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    Clergy call for officer's firing
    Religious leaders from across Chicago gathered outside of the Chicago Police Department's South Side headquarters on June 10 to call for the termination of Officer Robert Rialmo
    http://www.austinweeklynews.com

Jun 12

Austin school gets new look

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    Austin school gets new look
    On June 6 and June 7, officials with the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation, UnitedHealthcare and CBS EcoMedia stopped by Austin College and Career Academy, to help renovate the school's interior.
    http://www.austinweeklynews.com

Jun 12

Seniors invited to property tax workshop

Assistance on receiving a property tax freeze will be available from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. June 13 at the Austin Satellite Senior Center, 5071 W. Congress Parkway. Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin and Lilliam Drummond are hosting the free event.

    Seniors invited to property tax workshop
    Assistance on receiving a property tax freeze will be available from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. June 13 at the Austin Satellite Senior Center, 5071 W. Congress Parkway. Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin and Lilliam Drummond are hosting the free event.
    http://austintalks.org

Jun 09

We need to remove the stigma of seeking help

The deaths this past week of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain underscore the challenge each of us face in preventing suicide. A report just released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 54 percent of Americans who died by suicide in 2016 had no known mental health illness.

    We need to remove the stigma of seeking help
    The deaths this past week of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain underscore the challenge each of us face in preventing suicide. A report just released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 54 percent of Americans who died by suicide in 2016 had no known mental health illness.
    http://austintalks.org

Jun 07

Singers sought for community concert

All are welcome to participate in the 100 Voices for Justice Mass Choir on June 12 at New Mount Pilgrim Baptist Church, 4301 W. Washington Blvd. There is one required rehearsal at 7 p.m. June 11.

    Singers sought for community concert
    All are welcome to participate in the 100 Voices for Justice Mass Choir on June 12 at New Mount Pilgrim Baptist Church, 4301 W. Washington Blvd. There is one required rehearsal at 7 p.m. June 11.
    http://austintalks.org

Jun 06

Austin 4th graders star in new book by Mari Barnes

Bertina Booker’s 4th grade students at a Ella Flagg Young School helped the Hammond, Indiana, author with ideas for the book.

    Austin 4th graders star in new book by Mari Barnes
    Author Mari Barnes was met with gasps when she unveiled her new book to Bertina Booker's 4th grade class. The author had agreed to write a book starring the 23 students after visiting their class at Ella Flagg Young School a year earlier to discuss the art of storytelling.
    http://austintalks.org

Jun 05

Lori Lightfoot runs on equity, inclusion

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    Lori Lightfoot runs on equity, inclusion
    In an extensive phone interview last week, Lori Lightfoot, the attorney and former head of the Police Board, said that the first day of her formal campaign for Mayor of Chicago started on the West Side for a reason. She took a train from the Austin neighborhood and rode it downtown, where she made her official announcement at the Hyatt Regency.
    http://www.austinweeklynews.com

Jun 05

Focus on progress, not excuses

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    Focus on progress, not excuses
    Growing up, one of my favorite things to do was read the Letters to the Editor in Ebony magazine.
    http://www.austinweeklynews.com

Jun 05

Residents debate police oversight ordinances

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    Residents debate police oversight ordinances
    The overwhelming consensus at the May 29 Chicago City Council Committee on Public Safety hearing was that the Chicago Police Department should have more oversight.
    http://www.austinweeklynews.com

Jun 05

Austin Quality of Life plan enters final stretch

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    Austin Quality of Life plan enters final stretch
    Austin Coming Together coalition presented the first draft of the Austin Quality of Life Plan during the third and final community planning summit.
    http://www.austinweeklynews.com

Jun 05

West Side students inspire an author

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    West Side students inspire an author
    Third grade students at Ella Flagg Young Elementary School, 1434 N. Parkside Ave., were delighted with a visit on June 1 by Mari Barnes.
    http://www.austinweeklynews.com

Jun 05

Cops get closer to community with fun event

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    Cops get closer to community with fun event
    It was about mid-way through the 25th Police District Faith in Action Night event, when two young girls came up to the table where police officers were giving hot dogs and treats.
    http://www.austinweeklynews.com

Jun 05

City approves funding for training academy

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    City approves funding for training academy
    If there is one thing the supporters and opponents of the proposed West Garfield Park emergency services training center can agree on, it's that the fight is far from over.
    http://www.austinweeklynews.com

Jun 05

Austin Coming Together unveils quality of life plan

After more than a year of work, the plan was unveiled to about 150 people at Michele Clark High School on June 2. A final draft is expected to be released in September.

    Austin Coming Together unveils quality of life plan
    The long-awaited quality of life plan being worked on by dozens of West Side residents for more than a year was unveiled Saturday at the third and final community summit. About 150 people, including 37th Ward Ald. Emma Mitts, attended Saturday's meeting, held at Michele Clark High School, with many of them providing feedback on the plan.
    http://austintalks.org

Jun 03

PCC farm stand opens June 5

This is the eighth year Austin Farm will be selling low-priced, organically grown fruits and vegetables; it's operated by PCC Community Wellness Center.

    PCC farm stand opens June 5
    The PCC Austin Farm Stand will kick off its eighth year of selling low-priced, organically grown fruits and vegetables in Austin on June 5. The produce is harvested locally, from the PCC Austin Farm. Customers will be able to choose from among a variety of seasonal items, including tomatoes, okra, garlic, lettuce, cucumbers, mustard and collard greens.
    http://austintalks.org

Jun 01

Final community meeting for quality-of-life plan set for Saturday

Months of work on the comprehensive plan culminates June 2 at a third and final community summit. Your feedback is needed. Austin Coming Together and LISC Chicago have been leading the efforts.

    Final community meeting for quality-of-life plan set for Saturday
    Months of work on the comprehensive plan culminates June 2 at a third and final community summit. Your feedback is needed. Austin Coming Together and LISC Chicago have been leading the efforts.
    http://austintalks.org

May 31

Cardinal Cupich dedicates Catholic Charities peace center, garden in Austin

More than 30,000 Austin residents are supported by Catholic Charities’ various services. The center, which has been open since December, is located at 5645 W. Corcoran Place.

    Cardinal Cupich dedicates Catholic Charities peace center, garden in Austin
    Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, Archbishop of Chicago, and Monsignor Michael Boland, president of Catholic Charities, dedicated the new Father Augustus Tolton Peace Center at 5645 W. Corcoran Place last week.
    http://austintalks.org

May 30

Officials break ground on peace garden for vets

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    Officials break ground on peace garden for vets
    Austin residents, elected officials and soldiers from a local U.S. Army recruiting post gathered for a groundbreaking of the forthcoming Austin Veterans Peace Garden.
    http://www.austinweeklynews.com

May 30

Much of West Side now 'Opportunity Zone'

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    Much of West Side now 'Opportunity Zone'
    Much of the West Side is now a federally designated Opportunity Zone, which makes new investment created in the area eligible for preferential capital gains tax treatment.
    http://www.austinweeklynews.com

May 30

Austin church continues scholarship tradition

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    Austin church continues scholarship tradition
    For the 44th consecutive year, Third Unitarian Church and its Austin scholarship committee has awarded scholarships to high school graduates in Austin.
    http://www.austinweeklynews.com

May 30

CPD must be equipped to effectively address public safety in all neighborhoods

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    CPD must be equipped to effectively address public safety in all neighborhoods
    There is no greater responsibility for City government than ensuring all neighborhoods are safe and secure.
    http://www.austinweeklynews.com

May 30

Cardinal Cupich blesses Austin peace garden

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    Cardinal Cupich blesses Austin peace garden
    It's a striking visual - a neat garden with a statue of Jesus weeping over a bullet-ridden body right in the center of it. The garden is the new addition to the Father Augustus Tolton Peace Center, a community service center operated by Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago and located at 5645 W.
    http://www.austinweeklynews.com

May 30

Turning from collector to artisan

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    Turning from collector to artisan
    I was browsing an online auction website the first time I ever saw a Jamaican doll figurine.
    http://www.austinweeklynews.com

May 30

Veterans peace garden to honor service members

“This is a great example of what can happen when you have a community, elected officials and companies coming together for the benefit of veterans and for the benefit of communities,” Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin said at the May 24th groundbreaking.

    Veterans peace garden to honor service members
    "This is a great example of what can happen when you have a community, elected officials and companies coming together for the benefit of veterans and for the benefit of communities," Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin said at the May 24th ground breaking.
    http://austintalks.org

May 29

Austin neighborhood choir to perform Wednesday

The spring concert will be held at 7 p.m. May 30 at Austin Town Hall, 5610 W. Lake St. Free tickets are available an hour before the performance.

    Austin neighborhood choir to perform Wednesday
    The spring concert will be held at 7 p.m. May 30 at Austin Town Hall, 5610 W. Lake St. Free tickets are available an hour before the performance.
    http://austintalks.org

May 24

'Blues For Mister Charlie' burns with intensity

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    'Blues For Mister Charlie' burns with intensity
    Echo Theater Collective has mounted a production at Madison Street Theater.
    http://www.austinweeklynews.com

May 24

Third Unitarian continues four decades of dedication to education

Choosing from about 40 eligible applicants, the church's scholarship committee selected 20 students to each receive a $1,000 scholarship. The Austin church has awarded hundreds of scholarships to West Side students since 1974.

    Third Unitarian continues four decades of dedication to education
    For the 44 th consecutive year, Third Unitarian Church and its Austin scholarship committee has awarded scholarships to high school graduates in Austin, bringing the total students honored to more than 500 since 1974. Choosing from about 40 eligible applicants, the scholarship committee selected 20 students to each receive a $1,000 scholarship.
    http://austintalks.org

May 21

Updated May 22

Number of patrol cops down on West Side

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    Number of patrol cops down on West Side
    The Chicago Police Department has fewer beat cops today than the department had when they hired an additional 1,400 cops roughly two years ago.
    http://www.austinweeklynews.com

  • gpblight 22 Yr East Garfield Resident

    There is a misconception that MORE cops means something good. That is not true. Efficiency is what we need. There is also a lack of perspective. The city has lost more than 35% of its' population. That means we should have a commensurate drop in 35% of police. Every other...

    Read full comment…

    There is a misconception that MORE cops means something good. That is not true. Efficiency is what we need. There is also a lack of perspective. The city has lost more than 35% of its' population. That means we should have a commensurate drop in 35% of police. Every other City department has been downsized, blended into other departments or complete eliminated.

    Police is the only department where staff numbers have been maintained despite a serious drop in residents. We were 2.8 mil. are we now 1.7 mil? Anybody know how many head we lost?

    I am not going to feel sorry for Police. I feel sorry for those who live in high crime neighborhoods who can be shot, killed, or terrorized by dealers who take over their blocks.

    This is not to denigrate the wonderful on the force. They are worth their weight in gold. However, we have a high % of those who don't do much and collect a high salary for not doing much.

    Reports by the Justice Department Civil Rights Department, Mayor Task Force, Illinois States Attorney and Cook County Prosecutor have all written reports on the gross inefficiencies.

    Nobody checks the numbers and says eeps this is a problem. It is a problem if in one Beat 450 red lights were fixed and police called in 5. Why? Ordering red stop lights out is a serious emergency and can result in a car crash. If 14,450 911 calls are made and 68 police responses are made; there is something wrong.

    We need EFFICIENCY not quantity.

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