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The U. of C. Folk Festival returns to Hyde Park

The U. of C. Folk Festival returns to Hyde Park

By JEFFREY BISHKU-AYKUL Staff Writer The 54th annual University of Chicago Folk Festival will take place Friday, Feb. 14 through Sunday, Feb. 16, at Mandel Hall, 1131 E. 57th St. Since 1961, the concert has been a neighborhood haunt for folk legends from mandolinist Bill Monroe to bluesman Muddy Waters. This year’s acts will span(…)

New school gaining steam

New school gaining steam

By DASCHELL M. PHILLIPS Staff Writer The Chicago Free School hosted an open house Saturday afternoon at its new location. The school also launched its fundraising campaign during the event. The school’s founder, Lauren Beitler, shared the mission and philosophy of the school to the crowd of about 50 teachers, parents, organizers, supporters and members(…)

Jay Travis lays out campaign

Jay Travis lays out campaign

By JEFFREY BISHKU-AYKUL Staff Writer “She’s not a talker, she’s a doer,” Kenwood Oakland Community Organization Education Organizer Jitu Brown told an energetic group of around 40 supporters shortly before Jay Travis’ first press conference last Tuesday. Quoting the late comedian Robin Harris, he then led his audience into chanting that Travis’ opponent, state Rep.(…)

University of Chicago advisory board picked for library bid

University of Chicago advisory board picked for library bid

By LINDSAY WELBERS Staff Writer The University of Chicago has appointed a Community Advisory Board for the Barack Obama Presidential Library. The board “is comprised of prominent South Side community leaders who, over the course of their careers, have demonstrated an enduring commitment to strengthening the quality of life on the South Side of Chicago(…)

Harper Court restaurants near opening

Harper Court restaurants near opening

By LINDSAY WELBERS Staff Writer Two new restaurants will open in Harper Court at either the end of February or early March. Porkchop, a barbeque and whiskey-focused restaurant, will open at 1516 E. Harper Ct., once construction is finished. Porkchop’s food truck has been a frequent site on campus in the last year. “It’s going(…)

Chicago Free School launches discussion

Chicago Free School launches discussion

By DASCHELL M. PHILLIPS Staff Writer The Chicago Free School is hosting a community forum Feb. 8 at Augustana Lutheran Church for a discussion titled, “Envisioning the Chicago Free School.” The Chicago Free School, which recently announced that it will launch its school at Augustana, 5500 S. Woodlawn Ave., in August, is inviting prospective students,(…)

Bond agencies watch U. of C.

Bond agencies watch U. of C.

By LINDSAY WELBERS Staff Writer Two of the big three credit rating agencies took moves that may result in lower credit ratings for the University of Chicago. Both Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s Investors Services revised their outlook on the U. of C.’s bond and debt ratings from stable to negative last week. S&P will(…)

Vue53 suit tossed by judge

Vue53 suit tossed by judge

Vue53 suit tossed by judge By LINDSAY WELBERS Staff Writer The Hyde Park residents who filed a lawsuit to stop the development of a 13-story tower at the former McMobil site hit a snag last week when a judge dismissed their case. The suit was filed in in August in response to a zoning change(…)

A view of East Hyde Park just before dawn Tuesday from the 31st Street Marina. Photo by Marc Monaghan

Locals sign up for Community Action Council

Locals sign up for Community Action Council

By DASCHELL M. PHILLIPS Staff Writer The Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Council (HP-K CC) Schools Committee hosted another Chicago Public Schools Community Action Council (CAC) interest meeting last Wednesday. About 40 community members attended the meeting, which was held at Kenwood Academy High School, 5015 S. Blackstone Ave. Out of the 40, 16 people signed up(…)

Revels return

Revels return

By JEFFREY BISHKU-AYKUL Staff Writer The Quadrangle Club Revels will take place again this year, at 8 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 31, and Saturday, Feb. 1, at the perennial play’s namesake venue, at 1155 E. 57th St. This year’s production, “Sweet Dreams: A Winter’s Tale of Spring,” was written by local author Ted Fishman and(…)

City Hyde Park gets TIF dollars as demo underway

City Hyde Park gets TIF dollars as demo underway

By LINDSAY WELBERS Staff Writer The City Council approved spending $11.3 million tax increment financing dollars to construct City Hyde Park, a mixed-use complex that would bring Whole Foods to the neighborhood. The $115 million development will include 120,000 square feet of retail, 180 apartments and two levels of parking underground with space for 350(…)

Free school finds fall digs

Free school finds fall digs

By DASCHELL M. PHILLIPS Staff Writer The founder of the Chicago Free School announced its new Hyde Park location Wednesday. The staff is also hosting a school-planning meeting in February. “After touring many local churches, we have found exactly what we are looking for at Augustana Lutheran Church of Hyde Park, 5500 S. Woodlawn Ave.,”(…)

SSA established for 53rd St.

SSA established for 53rd St.

By LINDSAY WELBERS Staff Writer The City of Chicago has appointed about half of the committee members for the 53rd Street Special Service Area (SSA). James Hanson, principal at Mesa Development; Michael McGarry, president at Hyde Park Bank; Mary J. Rogel, owner of East Point Associates; Tony Fox, owner of the Harper Theater; Gregory Guttman,(…)

Low turnout blamed for participatory budgeting ending

Low turnout blamed for participatory budgeting ending

By JEFFREY BISHKU-AYKUL Staff Writer Hyde Parkers met Ald. Leslie Hairston’s decision not to continue the 5th Ward’s participatory budgeting (PB) program this year with a mixed reaction. The 5th Ward’s experiment with PB — a political process born in Brazil in the late ’80s, in which constituents decide how their district’s money is spent(…)

CAC drive on

CAC drive on

By DASCHELL M. PHILLIPS Staff Writer The Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference (HP-K CC) Schools Committee is searching for parents, principals, elected officials, faith-based leaders and more community members to help it form a Hyde Park Community Action Council (CAC). A majority of those in attendance at the conference’s Schools Committee meeting last Wednesday at Kenwood(…)

Millions for bird scheme

Millions for bird scheme

By JEFFREY BISHKU-AYKUL Staff Writer The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is seeking to rehabilitate Jackson Park over the next five years. USACE is exploring a plan to restore around 160 acres of Jackson Park, beginning this year and lasting through 2019. The project, aimed at removing invasive species and introducing native vegetation, is(…)

Yusho opening soon, Merges says

Yusho opening soon, Merges says

By JEFFREY BISHKU-AYKUL Staff Writer   Chef Matthias Merges said he expects the Hyde Park location of his Avondale Japanese restaurant Yusho to open this summer. On Dec. 17, a lawsuit originally filed in August challenging a University of Chicago-backed petition calling for the sale of alcohol in the area was dismissed. The lawsuit, filed(…)

Hairston closes budget books

Hairston closes budget books

By JEFFREY BISHKU-AYKUL Staff Writer Ald. Hairston (5th) has ended her ward’s participatory budgeting (PB) program. According to Hairston — the first South Side alderman to give her constituents a choice to vote on how to spend more than $1 million in annual discretionary funds — the decision to put a halt to the district’s experiment(…)

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(…)