About Jerald Smith

Posts by Jerald Smith:

To the Editor

To the Editor: The tribute to Jane Averill in the Dec. 16 Herald was certainly well deserved, but there is much more to her story. Jane was indeed a passionately and dedicated teacher; and she was also a passionate and dedicated community volunteer. During our long fight to secure the expansion of Nichols Park, Jane(…)

Jane Averill, 1957-2015

Jane Averill, 1957-2015

Jane Averill, teacher at Ray Elementary School, died peacefully in her Hyde Park home Monday, Dec. 7 after a battle with ovarian cancer. She was 58. Averill wasn’t born and raised in Hyde Park, but she embodied the neighborhood’s progressive, broad-minded, activist spirit. And it was here that she thrived, found the warm friendships and(…)

New businesses thrive in Harper Court in 2015

New businesses thrive in Harper Court in 2015

By ALLISON MATYUS Staff Writer 2015 saw new businesses adding to neighborhood retail, as well as long-time businesses closing their doors for the last time. This year also saw development on the changing landscape in Hyde Park, but not without debate. From the ground up Developments such as Vue53, 1330 E. 53rd St., and City(…)

Obama library, Wooded Island on parks watch list in 2015

Obama library, Wooded Island on parks watch list in 2015

By SAM RAPPAPORT Staff Writer Big things are happening in Chicago’s South Side Parks. From a presidential library to comprehensive revitalization efforts to Yoko Ono, many substantial changes are underway. Barack Obama Presidential Center At the outset of 2015, the University of Chicago (U. of C.) had just submitted its response to the Barack Obama(…)

Hyde Park remains political mecca of the city

Hyde Park remains political mecca of the city

By ALLISON MATYUS & SAM RAPPAPORT Staff Writers Politicians drop by Hyde Park has a long-standing history for breeding politicians and political figures. This year, some famed political leaders, both past and present, paid the neighborhood a visit. In July, former President Jimmy Carter held a book signing at the Seminary Co-op Bookstore, 5751 S.(…)

Arts: murals, historic spaces, festival, take center stage

Arts: murals, historic spaces, festival, take center stage

By ALLISON MATYUS and SAM RAPPAPORT Staff Writers Creating art in new ways Forty-three years ago, artist Caryl Yasko created a mural under the viaduct of Lake Park Avenue and 55th Street called “Under the City Stone.” This summer, the mural was restored and repainted with funding from the University of Chicago (U. of C.)(…)

Goals met, new learning spaces built at private schools

By ALLISON MATYUS Staff Writer Ancona The Ancona School, 4770 S. Dorchester Ave., said farewell to former school head, Bonnie Wishne, after 35 years at the school. Wishne announced in 2013 that she would retire in 2015. In May, there was an elaborate celebration for Wishne and her legacy with the school, including a party,(…)

Hyde Park public schools rise to challenges in 2015

By ALLISON MATYUS Staff Writer Bret Harte Bret Harte’s first 8th grade class in 13 years, 31 students total, graduated on June 15. Bret Harte Elementary, 1556 E. 56th St., offered a mixed middle school experience to its students this year, where 8th graders traveled from room-to-room as a group or separate for their various(…)

Trauma center, university police take spotlight in U. of C. news

By ALLISON MATYUS and SAM RAPPAPORT Staff Writers University news It was a busy year for change at the University of Chicago (U. of C.), starting in February, when union nurses at the U. of C. Medical Center voted to authorize a strike. That strike almost happened on April 30, but in early May, the(…)

Hyde Park continues to grapple with violent crime in 2015

By SAM RAPPAPORT Staff Writer Hyde Park saw an unusual amount violent crime in 2015. As the City of Chicago wrestled with how to address a surge in homicides across the city, local residents held forums on how to best combat neighborhood crime. In a September community meeting, held at St. Paul and The Redeemer(…)

CPD body-camera program expands into Hyde Park

By SAM RAPPAPORT Staff Writer Last week, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and interim Police Superintendent John Escalante announced that the Chicago Police Department’s (CPD) body-worn camera program will be extended to six addition police districts, including the Wentworth District (2nd), which encompasses most of Hyde Park. Currently the camera program is only underway in the Chicago(…)

Recycle Christmas trees at Jackson Park

By ALLISON MATYUS Staff Writer The holidays aren’t necessarily over, but to get a head start on taking down your decorations, you can recycle your Christmas tree at Jackson Park. Starting this Saturday until Jan. 16, the Chicago Park District is providing tree recycling at 24 locations, including Jackson Park, 6300 S. Cornell Ave. Ornaments,(…)

Wooded Island opens on weekends

By SAM RAPPAPORT Staff Writer After New Year’s Day, Hyde Parkers will have the opportunity to spend a few hours of their weekends touring Jackson Park’s Wooden Island at their leisure. The island has been closed since April due to an ongoing effort by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to revitalize the park’s natural(…)

Ring in 2016 at Hyde Park events

By ALLISON MATYUS Staff Writer 2015 is almost over, and for last-minute planners, Hyde Park still has some great options to ring in 2016. To celebrate with little ones, Blackstone Public Library, 4904 S. Lake Park Ave., is hosting a New Year’s Eve (NYE) celebration from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Open to children and families of(…)

University Church holds 3rd annual lock-in

By SAM RAPPAPORT Staff Writer Approximately 60 teenagers from Hyde Park and surrounding neighborhoods will participate in University Church’s, 5655 S. University Ave., third annual lock-in on Jan. 1. This year organizers from Black Youth Project 100, Assata’s Daughters and Black Lives Matter-Chicago will hold information sessions for those attending the lock-in. University Church Pastor(…)

Science movie and discussion by Doc Films

By ALLISON MATYUS Staff Writer “The Martian” will be shown in partnership with University of Chicago (U. of C.) Science on the Screen and Doc Films at Ida Noyes Hall, 1212 E. 59th St., on Jan. 9 for $5. The movie is nominated for Best Motion Picture-Musical or Comedy for the 2016 Golden Globes. The(…)

Let us be merry, put sorrow away: Anonymous 4 at Rockefeller Chapel

Let us be merry, put sorrow away: Anonymous 4 at Rockefeller Chapel

By M.L. RANTALA Classical Music Critic This is the time of year when even the most hard-hearted among us stop and take pause when they hear good, cheering holiday music. Rockefeller Chapel was stuffed full on Sunday afternoon for a concert of Christmas music of another kind: Of the kind most of us have never(…)

Review: “The Lion King”

Review: “The Lion King”

RECOMMENDED Where: Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph St. When: through Jan. 17, 2016 Tickets: $35-$180 Phone: 800-775-2000 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic Hard to believe “The Lion King” has been around for eighteen years. It may not feature the electronic wizardry of more recent shows (thank goodness), but the touring version that bowed in(…)

Review: “Baritones  Unbound”

Review: “Baritones Unbound”

RECOMMENDED Where: Royal George Theatre, 1641 N. Halsted St. When: through Jan. 3, 2016 Tickets: $60 Phone: 312-988-9000 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic Baritones don’t get no respect—or at least not enough, which is a shame, because they are the uncommon voice of the common man. That’s the premise driving “Baritones Unbound,” a musical trek(…)

Chicago Public School teachers authorize strike

Chicago Public School teachers authorize strike

By ALLISON MATYUS Staff Writer After a three-day voting period across all Chicago Public Schools (CPS), the Chicago Teacher’s Union (CTU) voted, Dec. 14, to authorize a strike if needed in the upcoming future. Ninety six percent of the CTU’s voting members voted “yes” to authorize a strike. Overall, 88 percent of the CTU membership(…)