July 2013

Central City High School proposal addressed at community meetings

Good high schools offering a quality education do exist in this area—but often they are inconvenient, unaffordable, and not even an option for many families with eighth graders.

South Loop crime causes concern

Car vandals and iPhone thieves have plagued the South Loop recently. In May, vandals smashed front passenger windows on approximately seven cars at Dearborn Village at 18th, Clark, and State Streets. Brian McCrea, a resident of the complex, said criminals rifled through eight cars, as one of the cars was unlocked.

CivicLab research alleges TIF surplus in 11th and 12th Wards

Research conducted by the nonprofit group CivicLab indicates that, at the end of 2011 (the last year for which figures are available), the 11th Ward had $57.4 million in tax increment financing money available and the 12th Ward had $9 million available.

Fr. Aschenbrener new pastor at St. Mary of Perpetual Help

The Rev. Thomas Aschenbrener, who celebrates the tenth anniversary of his ordination as a Roman Catholic priest this year, was installed June 16 as pastor of St. Mary of Perpetual Help Parish, 1039 W. 32nd St. in Bridgeport, after having been appointed in January.

St. James Church demolition goes forward

The Archdiocese of Chicago, after postponing its planned demolition of St. James Catholic Church at 2942 S. Wabash Ave. in May, citing ongoing conversations with parties interested in saving the church, sent a letter read to parishioners June 23, saying the church would be torn down.

CHA officials open to discussions on Roosevelt Square changes

Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) officials indicated new flexibility on long-term plans for developing the Roosevelt Square mixed-income community, saying they are willing to talk.

Smyth Elementary partners with top high school

A $400,000 State of Illinois appropriation will allow elementary school pupils at Smyth Magnet School, 1059 W. 13th St., to interact and match wits with students at the Illinois Math and Science Academy (IMSA), the state’s only residential public high school, in Aurora, IL.

Community garden brings students, residents together

Academy Square Apartments recently kicked off its Home Harvest Community Garden’s second annual growing season. The all-volunteer garden originated last year as a collaboration between residents of the Academy Square Apartments, 318 S. Throop St., and the Student Garden Club of neighboring Whitney Young High School, 211 S. Laflin St. Marina Shannon, social service coordinator at Academy Square Apartments, said organizers created the garden to help alleviate the neighborhood’s food desert, defined as an area in a populated or industrialized area in which healthful, affordable food is difficult to obtain.

City to examine old post office rehab plan

Vacant since 1996, Chicago’s old central post office, 433 W. Van Buren St., finally may have a successful development plan. A team consisting of Antunovich Associates and International Property Developers of North America, the building’s owners, plan to present their plan for the site to the City’s Planning Commission on Thursday, July 18.

Saint Ignatius honors Mercy Home president

Saint Ignatius College Prep presented Mercy Home for Boys & Girls President the Rev. Scott Donahue with the school’s 2013 Dei Gloriam Award at its 143rd annual commencement. The Dei Gloriam Award is the highest honor bestowed upon an individual by Saint Ignatius and is presented annually to someone who is a living expression of the Jesuit ideal. It was given to Fr. Donahue in recognition of his commitment to the Roman Catholic Church, Jesuit education, and the promotion of social justice.

Near West Side author schedules book signing

When retired suburban school principal Arthur Cola signs his latest book, Stolen Christmas, at 11 a.m. on Saturday, July 13, at Al’s Beef, 1079 W. Taylor St., he will be no stranger to the Taylor Street community, as he was born on the Near West Side.

Lake Meadows Art Fair status in question; trolley tours set

Organizers of the venerable Lake Meadows Art Fair have not decided whether to hold or cancel the event this summer, and a few of the area’s well known galleries have closed. Despite such bumps in the road, the Bronzeville Art District Trolley Tour rolls on with new destinations to see.