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Yoko Ono partners with Chicago non-profit Project 120 to reimagine Jackson Park

Yoko Ono partners with Chicago non-profit Project 120 to reimagine Jackson Park

By JEFFREY BISHKU-AYKUL Staff Writer Yoko Ono is consulting on designs for a new landscape in Jackson Park. The project is part of Chicago non-profit Project 120′s sweeping vision for Jackson Park that includes a multi-million dollar visitor’s center and an updated framework plan inspired by Frederick Olmsted’s 1895 designs for the park. Project 120,(…)

Fourth and 5th ward aldermanic candidates square off in pair of weekend forums

Fourth and 5th ward aldermanic candidates square off in pair of weekend forums

By JEFFREY BISHKU-AYKUL
Staff Writer Fourth and 5th ward candidates made their case last weekend at two aldermanic forums, one in Hyde Park hosted by the Coalition for Equitable Community Development (CECD), and another in South Shore hosted by the Chicago Southside Branch NAACP. CECD Forum Candidates from both wards tackled questions on affordable housing, education(…)

U. of C. defends park use in Obama Library plans

U. of C. defends park use in Obama Library plans

By LINDSAY WELBERS Staff Writer The University of Chicago included Washington and Jackson parks in its bid to host the Obama Library to present the first couple with a more attractive option than land the school already owns. U. of C. Vice President for Civic Engagement Derek Douglas defended the proposal to members of the(…)

Caustic exchange between Alderman Will Burns and CTU organizer shared on web

Caustic exchange between Alderman Will Burns and CTU organizer shared on web

By JEFFREY BISHKU-AYKUL Staff Writer Ald. Will Burns (4th) gave a CTU representative the finger via Twitter according to screenshots shared across the web. The exchange took place late Wednesday night, according to timestamps from one screenshot, after Will Burns thanked Democrats for Education Reform – Illinois in a tweet for its endorsement. But Chicago(…)

Gov. Pat Quinn signs Sen. Kwame Raoul’s police recording bill into law

Gov. Pat Quinn signs Sen. Kwame Raoul’s police recording bill into law

By LINDSAY WELBERS Staff Writer Legislation allowing public recording, including of police officers performing their duty, was signed into law by Gov. Pat Quinn last week. State Sen. Kwame Raoul (D-13) led the committee that drafted the legislation. Earlier this year the Illinois Supreme Court struck down the state’s previous eavesdropping law because it was(…)

Parks were big part of 2014 scene

Parks were big part of 2014 scene

By JEFFREY BISHKU-AYKUL and LINDSAY WELBERS Staff Writers No little plans were made for the neighborhood’s parks this year, least of all for Jackson Park, which was the focus of attention from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, advocacy groups, wealthy donors and community residents. Jackson Park gets restored — and then some Last January,(…)

Pols in spotlight on local 2014 events

Pols in spotlight on local 2014 events

By JEFFREY BISHKU-AYKUL Staff Writer From pensions to the minimum wage and aldermanic menu money, to a contentious race for state representative, politics were inescapable in Hyde Park in 2014. Mitchell vs. Travis The year kicked off with a heated primary race between state Rep. Christian Mitchell (D-26) and Bronzeville activist Jay Travis, former executive(…)

Private schools make progress in 2014

Private schools make progress in 2014

By DASCHELL M. PHILLIPS Staff Writer Ancona The Ancona School began offering new Montessori programs for its pre-primary students in August. The programs included a longer day and dual-language instruction. Parents of 3- to 6-year-olds had the option to choose between the half day, all day and all year programs at Ancona, 4770 S. Dorchester Ave.(…)

Retail in Hyde Park took off in 2014

Retail in Hyde Park took off in 2014

By JEFFREY BISHKU-AYKUL and LINDSAY WELBERS Staff Writers The past year was a transformative one for Hyde Park’s retail scene. The neighborhood said goodbye to some longtime institutions and hello to new stores on each of its commercial corridors. Out with the old After almost 25 years in Hyde Park, pizzeria Edwardo’s, 1321 E. 57th(…)

Changes in 2014 for local schools

Changes in 2014 for local schools

By DASCHELL M. PHILLIPS Staff Writer Bret Harte In 2014, Antheus Capital honored its commitment to help solve the hazardous pick-up and drop-off conditions at Bret Harte Elementary School, 1556 E. 56th St. In 2008, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) approved a land transfer agreement with Antheus that included upgrades to Bret Harte, 1556 E. 56th(…)

Augustana Lutheran will not host Free School, Suzuki Institute in talks to stay

Augustana Lutheran will not host Free School, Suzuki Institute in talks to stay

By DASCHELL M. PHILLIPS Staff Writer The Chicago Free School will not be moving to Augustana Lutheran Church of Hyde Park in January as planned. The church is currently in negotiations with its current resident program The Hyde Park Suzuki Institute to remain in place. The Chicago Free School, a private school where everything is(…)

SECC, Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce considering summer music festival in Hyde Park

SECC, Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce considering summer music festival in Hyde Park

By JEFFREY BISHKU-AYKUL Staff Writer The Hyde Park Vitality Committee is exploring hosting a summer music festival. Representatives of the Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce and South East Chicago Commission — both member organizations of the committee — have confirmed that a summer music festival is being considered. Already, some of the proceeds from the(…)

Non-profit status for Hyde Park Cats

Non-profit status for Hyde Park Cats

By LINDSAY WELBERS Staff Writer Hyde Park Cats recently achieved a 501©3 status, making it a tax-deductible nonprofit organization. The group has placed more than 500 felines in permanent homes since its founding in 2008. It traps and gives medical care, including spaying or neutering, to feral or abandoned cats in Hyde Park. Cats that(…)

Harold Washington Park Advisory Council officially forms

Harold Washington Park Advisory Council officially forms

By JEFFREY BISHKU-AYKUL Staff Writer Harold Washington Park now officially has an advisory council. A group of around 10 community residents submitted the necessary paperwork to supervisor Ayanna Peters at the park advisory council’s (PAC) Dec. 1 meeting in the lobby of the Del Prado, 5307 S. Hyde Park Blvd. The PAC for the park(…)

Murray Language Academy turns 60

Murray Language Academy turns 60

By DASCHELL M. PHILLIPS Staff Writer On Sunday, Dec. 14, Murray Elementary School turned 60, according to principal Greg Mason. Murray, 5335 S. Kenwood Ave., opened in 1954. The school opened partially on Dec. 8 and by Dec. 14 construction on the building was complete and the staff, faculty and students were able to utilize(…)

Vegan eatery B’Gabs Goodies opens in new Hyde Park location

Vegan eatery B’Gabs Goodies opens in new Hyde Park location

By JEFFREY BISHKU-AYKUL Staff Writer Vegan restaurant restaurant B’Gabs Goodies opened its new location on 57th Street Thursday. B’Gabs’ new space at 1450 E. 57th St. has remained unoccupied since its previous tenant, Caffe Florian, closed in August 2010. The restaurant’s former Woodlawn location at 6100 S. Blackstone Ave. closed on Oct. 18, according to owner Gabrielle Darvassy,(…)

New CPS ratings show Hyde Park schools improving

New CPS ratings show Hyde Park schools improving

By DASCHELL M. PHILLIPS Staff Writer Chicago Public Schools’ (CPS) new school quality ratings were released Wednesday. Most of the schools in Hyde Park improved in ratings. The new school quality ratings are based on data collected during the 2013-14 school year and show that 161 schools achieved the highest rating of Level 1+ and(…)

Hyde Park groups focusing on local elder care needs

Hyde Park groups focusing on local elder care needs

By DASCHELL M. PHILLIPS Staff Writer Chicago Hyde Park Village (CHPV) and The Church Home at Montgomery Place hosted two exploratory groups Wednesday to determine the needs of people in Hyde Park who are providing care to others with dementia or other chronic illnesses. When CHPV officially launched its full program in November at Augustana(…)

In victory for advocates, U. of C. trauma  center to raise age limit

In victory for advocates, U. of C. trauma center to raise age limit

By LINDSAY WELBERS Staff Writer The University of Chicago Medical Center will raise the age of patients who can be admitted to its pediatric trauma care center to include children up to 17 years old. The trauma center at Comer Children’s Hospital, 5721 S. Maryland Ave., is the only level 1 trauma center on the(…)