About Jerald Smith

Posts by Jerald Smith:

Crime in Hyde Park rare and strange in 2013

By LINDSAY WELBERS Staff Writer New Commander The Chicago Police Department 2nd District saw a changing of the guards this year. The 2nd District’s new commander Terence Williams told neighborhood residents on in May at Ald. Will Burns’ (4th) ward meeting that he takes a zero tolerance approach to crime. Williams said he takes a(…)

Corruption, jockeying and Axelrod’s return in 2013

By JEFFREY BISHKU-AYKUL Staff Writer Hyde Park and Kenwood were a hotbed of political activity in 2013, marked by the opening of the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics, state Sen. Kwame Raoul’s (D-16) appointment to Illinois’ Pension Reform Conference Committee and the election of a replacement to the seat of disgraced Congressman Jesse Jackson(…)

Rousing 2013 for retail

By JEFFREY BISHKU-AYKUL Staff Writer Hyde Park’s retail environment saw many changes this year, with the completion of the multi-story Harper Court building and Hyatt Hotel. But a slew of notable newcomers — and exits — has made its mark on the neighborhood, including on its two major commercial corridors, 53rd and 55th streets. 55th(…)

“Parsifal” sets sights low

By M.L. RANTALA Classical Music Critic I’m sure there was a time when a “God is dead” approach to “Parsifal” would have been both shocking and fascinating. But it turns out you can’t kill God. Artists can’t, anyway. So the only way to go is to kill man. Not just a single hero. Not even(…)

“An Inspector Calls”

RECOMMENDED Where: Remy Bumppo at the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave. When: though Jan. 12 Tickets: $37.50-$52.50 Phone: 773-404-7336 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic You wouldn’t immediately think of “An Inspector Calls” as a holiday show, but J. B. Priestley’s 1945 play is akin to Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” — without the(…)

James Morgan and the expansion of the Hyde Park lakefront

James Morgan and the expansion of the Hyde Park lakefront

The sweeping curve of the shoreline and wading beach near the Chicago Beach Hotel were not necessarily as intended by nature. Those boardwalks and cabanas owed their sandy perches to the ingenuity of one James Morgan. Unknown to those landing at Morgan’s Pier, the structure had provided a most different service. The original shoreline was(…)

Science live on TV, courtesy of students

Science live on TV, courtesy of students

By DASCHELL M. PHILLIPS Staff Writer Teens working with the Museum of Science and Industry’s (MSI) Science Achievers youth development program just completed their first season of recording the live call-in TV show “Teens Exploring Science with a Live Audience” (TESLA). The Science Achiever’s youth development program at MSI, 5700 S. Lake Shore Dr., is(…)

How Wright came to Kenwood

How Wright came to Kenwood

By LINDSAY WELBERS Staff Writer Frank Lloyd Wright came to Chicago when he was just a teenager. By the time he was 24-years-old he was designing his first houses, with the budget and support to explore his aesthetic choices. Dozens of Kenwood residents came to an informational meeting on the Blossom and McArthur houses, hosted(…)

Preckwinkle discusses state of Cook

Preckwinkle discusses state of Cook

By JEFFREY BISHKU-AYKUL Staff Writer Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle presented a State of the County address to members of the Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce at its Quarterly Breakfast Seminar, Wednesday, Dec. 11, at BankFinancial, 1354 E. 55th St. Joined by Cook County Bureau of Economic Development Chief Herman Brewer, Preckwinkle emphasized the(…)

Locals hear details on cost to restore two homes at risk

Locals hear details on cost to restore two homes at risk

By LINDSAY WELBERS Staff Writer To restore the decaying Frank Lloyd Wright houses at the center of a controversy in South Kenwood will take between $4 and $5 million, in addition to their purchase prices. The Blossom and McArthur houses have languished on the real estate market since fall of 2012. The McArthur house, 4852(…)

Mitchell ready for March opponent

Mitchell ready for March opponent

By JEFRREY BISHKU-AYKUL Staff Writer Illinois’ youngest state legislator, state Rep. Christian Mitchell (D-26), will face off in next March’s state primary with former Kenwood Oakland Community Organization Executive Director Jay Travis. But the 27-year-old incumbent — who is seeking a second term to represent the district including parts of Hyde Park, Kenwood, downtown and(…)

University’s Douglas did not justify TIF cash

To the Editor: I read, with interest, the letter of Derek Douglas, the University of Chicago’s vice president for Civic Engagement, in which he defended the $23.4 million dollar Tax Increment Financing (TIF) subsidy the university received for its Harper Court project. According to Mr. Douglas, the purpose of the Harper Court project was “to(…)

B&B article ignores Kenwood history

To the Editor: Lindsay Welbers’ Dec. 11, 2013 article regarding the desire of a commercial enterprise to develop two private homes in Kenwood solely for commercial — not residential owner-occupied —purposes, ignores certain salient facts regarding the prior history, and importance, of single-family, owner-occupied housing in homes originally designed for such purposes in Kenwood. First, from(…)

Don’t like B&Bs? Buy the homes yourself

To the Editor: If nearby residents are determined to keep the Blossom and McArthur homes from becoming B&Bs, let them pool their resources and buy the houses. Of course they would then be the proud owners of two derelict properties. Richard R. Gill

Rebuffing B&B offer shames history

To the Editor: Kenwood is justly proud of the magnificent homes that line its streets. With that in mind, I was saddened to read in the Herald of the controversy over two of its most important houses, Blossom and McArthur. My parents bought a house on Kimbark Avenue in 1950 for less than $20,000. Shortly(…)

Ald.’s aid steals mink

By LINDSAY WELBERS Staff Writer An assistant to Fifth Ward Alderman Leslie Hairston was arrested after allegedly stealing a mink coat belonging to a prominent South Side resident earlier this month. Chicago Police Department said Lynette Hill, 54, of the 2500 block of East 72nd Street, was charged with one felony count of theft of(…)

Murray wins food drive

By DASCHELL M. PHILLIPS Staff Writer For the third time in four years, Murray Elementary School has won The Chicago Bulls’ Holiday Food Drive. Each year, the Chicago Bulls partner with Midway Moving and Storage and Vienna Beef to collect non-perishable food items for the Greater Chicago Food Depository Holiday Food Drive. This year Murray,(…)

Police release warning on robberies

By LINDSAY WELBERS Staff Writer Chicago oolice issued a community alert about an increase in strong-arm robberies in the area of 51st to 55th streets between south Ellis and Blackstone avenues in December. The offenders approach victims during school dismissal time and announce a robbery, CPD said. The offenders then take the victims’ property. The(…)

Changing of guard on Seminary Co-op board

Two members stepped down and another two joined the Seminary Co-op Bookstore’s board of directors at its Dec. 9 shareholders meeting. Chair Bill Gerstein and member Levi Stahl, publicity manager for the University of Chicago Press, both left the board. University of Chicago economist Austin Goolsbee and Joyce Feuer, owner of Joyce’s Event and Party(…)

New restaurant to open for wings

New restaurant to open for wings

By JEFFREY BISHKU-AYKUL Staff Writer A new fast-food restaurant will be opening soon in the space formerly occupied by Hyde Park Gyros, 1368 E 53rd St. Owner Mo Al-Matarneh is aiming to open his new restaurant, Wingers, by Dec. 28. The veteran entrepreneur also founded the Loop’s Oasis Cafe with owner Suleiman Ahmed in 1998.(…)