CPS is MIA for Canter meeting

CPS is MIA for Canter meeting

By DASCHELL M. PHILLIPS Staff Writer Hyde Park’s new schools chief received a grilling after disgruntled community members were stood up, Wednesday evening, by Community Action Council (CAC) representatives for an information session. The residents are taking steps to move forward in their efforts to keep Canter Middle School open. At a CPS board meeting(…)

First Unitarian holds holiday event

By JEFFREY BISHKU-AYKUL Assistant to the Editor First Unitarian Church, 5650 S. Woodlawn Ave., will host its second annual Green Holidayze Bazaar this weekend. The holiday fundraiser sale, featuring donations to the church ranging from clothes to decorations, baked goods and a tea room cafe, will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on(…)

Free school gaining steam

By DASCHELL M. PHILLIPS Staff Writer Another inquiry session for the Chicago Free School will take place in Hyde Park next month. Educator Lauren Beitler is interested in launching a school that emphasizes a democratic process in the neighborhood. Beitler, who is a graduate of the University of Chicago Urban Education Initiative program, will host(…)

Life after old Harper Court

Life after old Harper Court

By LINDSAY WELBERS Staff Writer When the old Harper Court building was demolished in 2009 to make way for the 12-story office tower, parking structure and retail space that sits there now, many neighborhood-owned businesses were displaced. The move wasn’t bad for everyone. Some businesses relocated and flourished, but others were forced to close up(…)

Schools get mixed grades

Schools get mixed grades

By DASCHELL M. PHILLIPS Staff Writer Chicago Public Schools (CPS) released 2012 School Progress Reports to parents on report card pick up day. The reports offer a more comprehensive look at the academic and social climate of each school. Charter and alternative schools also received report cards this year. The CPS 2013 School Progress Reports(…)

Kenwood Academy honored for academics

Kenwood Academy honored for academics

By DASCHELL M. PHILLIPS Staff Writer The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) named Kenwood Academy High School one of the Top Schools of 2013. According to Chicago Public Schools (CPS), the 83 percent college enrollment rate at Kenwood, 5015 S. Blackstone Ave., exceeds CPS’s average of 59.5 percent. The school’s 80 percent graduation rage(…)

Trauma center pushed

Trauma center pushed

By LINDSAY WELBERS Staff Writer Advocates for a trauma care center on the South Side were able to take their concerns to the legislators recently. State Sen. Mattie Hunter (D-3) hosted a hearing of the Senate Public Health Committee Subcommittee on Special Issues to discuss the lack of trauma care centers on the South Side(…)

Murray aims for higher scores

Murray aims for higher scores

By DASCHELL M. PHILLIPS Staff Writer Rising to meet the challenge of the state’s newly raised Illinois Standard Achievement Test (ISAT) performance expectations for reading and math and encouraging its students to take the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) Measure of Academic Progress (MAPS) exams more seriously were two of the main topics discussed, Nov. 23,(…)

South Kenwood rejects plans

South Kenwood rejects plans

By LINDSAY WELBERS Staff Writer The developer who proposed to buy and rehabilitate two decaying South Kenwood Frank Lloyd Wright homes was surprised last week when Ald. Will Burns (4th) killed the plan at the first meeting. Tawani Enterprises had plans to buy the two adjacent houses, which are currently listed at $1.175 million and(…)

Artisans 21 to close its doors

Artisans 21 to close its doors

By LINDSAY WELBERS Staff Writer Artisans 21 will close its doors December 24. After its second move since being ousted from the previous Harper Court building in 2009 the artists’ collective will shut its doors on Christmas Eve. Rob Borja, Artisans 21 spokesman, said in a letter that it will close its doors at 5503(…)

$10M plan for Jackson Park

$10M plan for Jackson Park

By JEFFREY BISHKU-AYKUL Assistant to the Editor Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th) called a public meeting last Monday to unveil a proposal to build a multimillion-dollar visitors center in Jackson Park. Chicago lawyer Robert W. Karr Jr., who is spearheading the project, shared details alongside designer Kulapat Yatrasast, of Culver City, Calif.-based wHY Architecture. Karr is(…)

A question of TIF money for a U. of C. Harper Court

By LINDSAY WELBERS Staff Writer Harper Court was built using $23.4 million in tax increment financing (TIF) dollars, a publicly funded tax subsidy that is used to help spur development. But Jo Reizner, who served as co-chair of the 53rd Street TIF Advisory Council when the money was granted, questions if the board would have(…)

Thanksgiving hosted at LaRabida

By JEFFREY BISHKU-AYKUL Assistant to the Editor LaRabida Children’s Hospital is hosting a free Thanksgiving meal for patients, their families and the public from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 28. The event is a 53-year-old joint initiative between the American Culinary Federation (ACF) and the lakefront hospital for children with chronic illnesses,(…)

Dyett closure may impact Kenwood

Dyett closure may impact Kenwood

By DASCHELL M. PHILLIPS Staff Writer The Kenwood Oakland Community Organization (KOCO) held a press conference Friday afternoon at its headquarters denouncing Chicago Public Schools’ (CPS) decision to phase out Dyett High School. The organization said that CPS is creating a “School Desert” in the Bronzeville community and should Dyett close, Kenwood Academy High School(…)

$10M visitors center for Jackson Park

By JEFFREY BISHKU-AYKUL Assistant to the Editor In a meeting called Monday by Ald. Hairston (5th), community members heard a proposal to build a multimillion-dollar visitors center in Jackson Park. Details were presented by project designer Kulapat Yatrasast, of Culver City, Calif.-based wHY Architecture, and Robert W. Karr Jr., a board member of The Garden(…)

University buys back Harper Court five days after ribbon cutting

University buys back Harper Court five days after ribbon cutting

By LINDSAY WELBERS Staff Writer The University of Chicago purchased the newly-opened, retail complex and 12-story office tower Harper Court. “The University’s contract with Harper Court Partners allowed for the University to purchase the property, including Phase II, for approximately $98 million,” said Calmetta Coleman, director of communications for Civic Engagement at the U. of(…)

Kenwood Takes on Big Data

Kenwood Takes on Big Data

By JEFFREY BISHKU-AYKUL Assistant to the Editor Dozens of students from four South Side schools visited the University of Chicago campus last Thursday to learn about the analysis of large data sets to improve city services, including 12 students from Kenwood Academy High School, 5015 S. Blackstone Ave. At a four-hour seminar and workshop at(…)

CPS pans Ray performance

CPS pans Ray performance

By DASCHELL M. PHILLIPS Staff Writer How to achieve greater gains on tests and increase attendance were the two main topics discussed Wednesday night at Ray Elementary School during its “State of the School” address. If the school does not make gains over the next few months it could lead to designation as a low-ranking(…)

March for trauma care on South Side

By LINDSAY WELBERS Staff Writer Advocates for a level-1 adult trauma care center on the South Side plan to march for what they say is a critical tool in the fight against gun violence. Illinois state Sen. Mattie Hunter (D-3) will host a hearing on the lack of South Side trauma centers at 11 a.m.,(…)

Storytelling event returns to Hyde Park this week

By DASCHELL M. PHILLIPS Staff Writer Judith Heineman, a Hyde Park resident and founder of the Chicago Storytelling Guild, recently won the National Storytelling Network’s Oracle Award for leadership and service in the North Central Region. Heineman continues her efforts to keep the art of storytelling alive by hosting the 17th annual Tellabration concert this(…)