About Jerald Smith

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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.(…)

HP Village making strides

HP Village making strides

By DASCHELL M. PHILLIPS Staff Writer The Chicago Hyde Park Village hosted an invitation-only “High Tea” fundraiser last month to raise money to help expense its pending senior center. The fundraiser also served as the launch of its membership campaign. On Nov. 20, selected guests were invited to the home of Janice and Richardson Spofford.(…)

Smart state of mind

Smart state of mind

By JEFFREY BISHKU-AYKUL Staff Writer The Smart Museum of Art is hosting an exhibit of mid-century Californian conceptual art through mid-January. The show, entitled “State of Mind: New California Art Circa 1970,” features more than 150 works by 60 artists in media including photography, video and installation. The Hyde Park showing is “State of Mind’s”(…)

Time to represent schools

By DASCHELL M. PHILLIPS Staff Writer Chicago Public Schools (CPS) has released its annual announcement inviting parents, teachers and community members to consider running for a spot on the local school council (LSC). The school district is also looking for election judges. The deadline to file candidate nomination forms for the 2014 LSC Election is(…)

K.A.M.’s food justice weekend returns in January

By LINDSAY WELBERS Staff Writer The fifth annual Martin Luther King Jr. Food Justice and Sustainability Weekend at KAM Isaiah Israel will take place Jan. 17 to Jan. 19. The keynote address will be provided by Martha C. Nussbaum, who will speak on “The New Frontiers of Justice: Beyond the Social Contract” at the temple’s(…)

Thanks to readers from La Rabida

To the Editor: On behalf of La Rabida Children’s Hospital and the children and families we serve, I offer heartfelt thanks to the staff and readership of the Hyde Park Herald.  You were kind enough to run a nice story on our need for donations during this time of year — and more specifically, the(…)

FLW Conservancy hopes for another look at FLW houses

To the Editor: The Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy is the only organization focused exclusively on the preservation and maintenance of all the remaining structures designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. (We own no Wright buildings but strive to protect them all.)  We work with the owners of private Wright-designed houses across the country as well(…)

Part Two: Hotels, resorts and entertainment: 51st Street and Lake Park Avenue

Part Two: Hotels, resorts and entertainment: 51st Street and Lake Park Avenue

By SUSAN O’CONNOR DAVIS The Hyde Park Hotel once commanded the intersection of Hyde Park Boulevard (51st Street) and Lake Avenue, an elegant landmark between two communities. To the north was fashionable Kenwood, and to the south, the increasingly commercial district of Hyde Park. The site of this hotel changed greatly over the ensuing years(…)

U-High dominates over Elgin Academy, 74-24

U-High dominates over Elgin Academy, 74-24

By Joseph Phillips Sports Writer After finishing 9-2 in last year’s Independent School League conference, the 4-0 University High Maroons boys basketball team stormed into conference play on Friday night with clear intentions: to dominate conference foes Elgin Academy (0-1, 2-2) in their home opener on John Rogers Court. “We understood coming into this game the importance of not playing to(…)

Steep price tag for repair of historic Kenwood mansions

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(…)

Didjeridu meditation Saturday

Didjeridu meditation Saturday

Rockefeller Chapel, 5850 S. Woodlawn Ave., is hosting its quarterly Worldwide Didjeridu Mediation event, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. this Saturday. This free event is a period of sound healing mediation that features the Chicago Didjeridu Chorus. They will welcome in the new season with various instruments including the didjeridu, which is a 6,000(…)