Monday, August 30, 2010

Urban Partnership Bank, formerly ShoreBank, names new directors

Urban Partnership Bank, which rose out of the ashes last week of failed ShoreBank, has created a board of directors that has five members so far.

In addition to the two top bank managers of David Vitale and William Farrow, the board currently includes Eileen Kennedy, Daniel Lupiani and Jerome Szott, according to a Friday report on the Chicago Tribune's Web site.

An Urban Partnership Bank spokesman said Friday that the final size of the board has not yet been determined.

Mr. Vitale, a former First Chicago Corp. senior executive, helped create Urban Partnership Bank out of ShoreBank, which was seized by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. last week.

He is Urban Partnership Bank's executive chairman. Mr. Farrow is Urban Partnership Bank's president and chief executive officer.

ShoreBank was unable to avoid failure despite lining up $150 million in private investments in hopes of securing another $75 million in federal bailout funds. The plan for federal funds ran aground after the Federal Reserve board said that the sum wouldn't be enough to keep the bank solvent over the long haul.

Ms. Kennedy and Mr. Lupiani are former First Chicago executives and Mr. Szott a former employee of National Bank of Detroit, the Tribune reported.

19-year old Woman Shot in Chatham

One person was wounded yesterday in an overnight shooting, according to Chicago Police.

At 6:41 p.m. in Chatham, a 19-year-old woman was shot in the left foot in the 700 block of East 80th Street.

Get Smart! Get It Fresh! Get It at the Chatham Food Market!!!

Fight obesity and reach your target weight with a good serving of fresh produce. Make sure you stock up on fresh produce for the late-summertime season with great grocery shopping at Chatham Food Market, 327 East 79Th Street in the heart of the Chatham retail strip!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Cole Park Classic showcases future stars

Although Scottie Pippin and Michael Jordan have retired and gone into the basketball hall of fame, the game goes on. Darnell Graham the Commissioner, facilitator and all around man for the Lyle, Cole Park Classic was all smiles as young men showed their skills and played their best to be in the finals at the Classic on Sunday. As Graham stated "it"s all about the kids". The games will start today at 1:00 p.m. with the younger children (grammer school ) and the older young adults (high School) championship at 6:00 p.m. For all roundball fans come out to Cole Park 8500 King Drive today and watch the future stars perform.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Blog Question

Would you like to see the casino buses come back to Chatham and park in front of the new library site now under construction along 79Th Street between King Drive and Vernon Avenue? Leave your comments on the comment line.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Gun that killed cop bought in Miss. in scheme run by student

The gun that killed Chicago police Officer Thomas Wortham IV in May was purchased in Mississippi as part of a weapons trafficking scheme organized by a college student, authorities said Thursday.

Quawi Gates, 27, a student at a Mississippi college, was sentenced this week to 10 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to two counts of gun trafficking there, federal and local law enforcement officials said.
Chicago police and agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said they made the connection to Wortham's slaying after Gates was implicated in a scheme that involved buying guns in Mississippi and allegedly selling them to the Gangster Disciples street gang in Chicago, authorities said.

Four firearms have been recovered in Chicago, authorities said.

At his sentencing hearing in Mississippi on Wednesday, prosecutors presented evidence that Gates also trafficked the gun used to kill Wortham, said ATF spokesman Todd Reichert.

Chicago police Cmdr. Keith Calloway, who was Wortham's supervisor at the time of his killing, attended that hearing to make sure the judge understood that Wortham, a member of the Army National Guard who served in Iraq, was a good man.

"I told the judge it was evil and unconscionable that ... somebody would be providing weapons to these gangbangers," Calloway said Thursday.

Police Superintendent Jody Weis added during a news conference Thursday that Gates' actions "put countless lives in jeopardy and directly contributed to the murder of one of the finest officers to ever wear the Chicago Police Department uniform."

Wortham, 30, who was assigned to the Englewood district, was shot outside his parents' house during an attempted robbery.

Four men approached Wortham as he left the Chatham home and tried to steal his motorcycle. Wortham and his father, Thomas Wortham III, exchanged gunfire with the four, killing one of them. The other three have been charged with murder.

Gates, an Englewood native, attended a magnet elementary school before graduating from Bogan High School in 2002.

His younger brother Quawim Gates, 25, said he looked up to him as a father figure.

"The person that they're describing, who they're characterizing, I don't even know who that person is," he said.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Annual Labor Day Outdoor Cookout at the Chatham Food Market

Stop by for the annual Labor Day Outdoor Cookout, from 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m., Saturday, September 4, 2010, with great grocery shopping at Chatham Food Market, 327 East 79Th Street in the heart of the Chatham retail strip!

Blog Question

At a recent CAPCC Monthly Meeting it was announced that a hotel will not be built on a site in Sub-Area I. What do you think should be built? Another hotel proposal? Leave your comments on the comment line.

New Tip in Michael Bailey Case, According to Chicago Police Superintendent Jody Weis

Chicago police said Wednesday that detectives are investigating a new tip in to the shooting death of Chicago police officer Michael Bailey, who was gunned down outside his Park Manor home just over a month ago. See this clip from CBS 2 Chicago:

And from ABC7 Chicago:

Man gets 10 years for trafficking gun used to kill officer

A 27-year-old man responsible for the illegal purchase of a gun used in the slaying of Chicago Police Officer Thomas Wortham IV in May was sentenced to 10 years in prison for his role in a firearms trafficking scheme involving weapons brought from Mississippi to Chicago, authorities said today.

Quawi Gates of the 2100 block of West 71st Street in Chicago pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting another to cause a federal firearms dealer to keep false records, according to a news release from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Four guns bought by straw purchasers for Gates in Mississippi were confiscated in violent crimes in the Chicago area in the hands of Gangster Disciple street gang members, the release stated.

One of the four guns was used in Wortham's slaying on May 19 outside his parents' home in the Chatham neighborhood, according to the ATF. Gates did not take part in the shooting itself.

Gates was sentenced in federal court in Mississippi. His prison time will be followed by three years of supervised release. He will also be ordered to pay a special assessment fee of $200.

See the WGN9 report:,0,2282350.story

Saturday, August 21, 2010

SPECIAL REPORT: Feds Seize ShoreBank: Branches will reopen as Urban Partnership Bank; Shore Bank Seized by FDIC, Will Re-open Saturday


On Friday, ShoreBank, the South Side bank known for its community lending, was seized by the Feds. Its assets were turned over to its management team and will be reopened as Urban Partnership Bank, the Sun-Times is reporting.

Urban Partnership Bank "has indicated that they will maintain ShoreBank's focus of providing loan and deposit products and services to individuals and small- to mid-sized businesses, with a special emphasis on the underserved" neighborhoods, according to a fact sheet issued by the FDIC, according to the paper.

Most of ShoreBank's $2.14 billion in assets was acquired.

ShoreBank's 15 branches will reopen Saturday morning as branches of Urban Partnership Bank and will get a new board of directors. ATM debit cards and checks can be used as usual.

ShoreBank has become renowned nationally for its support of low-income borrowers. According to a report the bank filed, during the first six months of this year, the bank lost $39.6 million and lost $119 million in all of 2009, partly due to bad loans to apartment buildings.

Federal regulators on Friday seized ShoreBank, the fabled South Side bank known for its community lending, and turned its good assets back over to its management team to be reopened as Urban Partnership Bank

It is the 15th bank in the state closed this year because of the recession.

Those regulators walked into ShoreBanks' busiest branch, located at 79th and Cottage Grove and took it over.

A spokesperson said customers should not be worried about their money, but some people we talked to hope the new bank will continue to extend loans to people in the neighborhood.

Some people said ShoreBank would help when other banks would say "no."

"I'm hearbroken. It's just like losing a family member because I've been knowing them ever since 1996 and they've always been friendly and take care of customers," said one ShoreBank customer while watching watching regulators go in and out of the bank.

"I've been banking here for 15 years. Some of my friends ask me about buying a house or starting a business. They want to get loans and they do here," another ShoreBank customer said.

Regulators said a lot of those loans ultimately did in ShoreBank.

All of ShoreBanks' branches in Chicago, Detroit and Cleveland will re-open under new management Saturday morning.

ShoreBank started out as "South Shore Bank" back in the 1970's. It was one of very few banks that would extend credit to low income families, mostly on the south side so they could buy their first homes or start a business. The problem for ShoreBank was making so-called jumbo loans to people buying multi-unit apartment complexes.

ShoreBank had more than a year to raise $150 million to save it. That failed, so now the bank is called Urban Partnership Bank. Whichever name is on the door, regulators say deposits are safe.

"They money is fully protected. The transaction the FDIC entered with Urban Partnership Bank, the new bank here, the way it was structured, all deposits were taken over by all the new banks whether you had five dollars or five hundred thousand dollars. David Barr, spokesman with FDIC said.

The new owners say whatever business customers had at ShoreBank will continue under Urban Partnership Bank. They have deep roots in Chicago. The new CEO is a former executive at the old First Chicago Bank which is now Chase.

ShoreBank, the South Side lender that carved out a national reputation by successfully lending in low-income urban neighborhoods for three decades, was seized by regulators Friday after an extraordinary rescue effort featuring the nation’s largest financial firms fell short.

But all was not lost for the neighborhoods ShoreBank has served for more than three decades.

The new management of the bank, led by former First Chicago Corp. senior executive David Vitale, acquired $1.54 billion in deposits and most of ShoreBank’s $2.14 billion in assets from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and will reopen ShoreBank’s 15 branches in the Chicago area, Cleveland and Detroit Saturday morning as Urban Partnership Bank.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. agreed to share losses on $1.41 billion of those assets. The management-led buyout team agreed to pay a 0.5% premium for the deposits and received an asset discount of $146 million.

For the FDIC, the estimated hit to its insurance fund from the failure will be $367.7 million.

In a special news release, the FDIC said the team was the only bidder for the bank and its bid saved the federal fund set aside for bank failures between $250 million and $334 million over a plain liquidation of the bank.

Backing Mr. Vitale and his team were many of the same financial giants — like Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and J. P. Morgan Chase & Co. — that had committed $150 million in fresh equity to ShoreBank in the spring to try to forestall the failure.

Other investors highlighted by the FDIC were Bank of America Corp., American Express Co., Harris N.A., General Electric Co.’s equity investments arm, PNC Investment Corp., State Farm Insurance Cos., Wells Fargo & Co., Key Community Development Corp., Citigroup Inc., the Ford Foundation and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

The FDIC emphasized that it went through its normal bidding procedure for ShoreBank, whose Wall Street bailout has provoked a firestorm on the political right because of suspicions that the Obama administration strong-armed the big financial houses into supporting ShoreBank. The administration has consistently denied that.

Urban Partnership will pursue much of the same mission that drove the founders of ShoreBank when they acquired the old South Shore National Bank in 1973 with the plan to invest in rehabbing the housing stock of the middle-class neighborhood that at the time had been hurt badly by white flight.

ShoreBank was profitable for most of its existence until it was swamped by an avalanche of bad loans in the worst recession since the 1930s.

The failure marks a severely disappointing cap to the careers of ShoreBank co-founders Ronald Grzywinski and Mary Houghton, who earned national acclaim from the likes of President Bill Clinton for demonstrating that banks could earn profits while lending in the inner city. Both left the bank earlier this year, as Mr. Vitale, 63, a longtime resident of Hyde Park on the city’s South Side, agreed in the spring to lead the rescue effort.

The FDIC noted that the board and executives “who presided during the deterioration of the condition of the institution will not be retained.”

Mr. Vitale will serve as chairman of Urban Partnership Bank, while his longtime lieutenant and former First Chicago colleague, William Farrow, will be president and CEO.

It’s unclear whether there will be any role for current ShoreBank CEO George Surgeon, a more than 30-year veteran of the bank who agreed to take over its leadership nearly a year ago. A spokesman for the bank said he didn’t know what Mr. Surgeon’s future role might be.

In a release, Mr. Vitale said, “Urban Partnership Bank will provide access to financial services and support to distressed neighborhoods in order to help transform distressed neighborhoods into strong, stable communities.”

None of ShoreBank's new leadership was available for comment Friday evening.

Given the severity of ShoreBank’s loan losses — the $2-billion-asset bank suffered a net loss of over $100 million last year — it’s remarkable that a bank dedicated to carrying on its work is emerging from the wreckage. Lenders in far better shape that have gone through the FDIC’s failure process generally have been absorbed into larger banks.

To be determined later: What happens with the assets other than the Chicago-based bank, which are held by holding company ShoreBank Corp., the spokesman said. They include several non-profits, an international for-profit subsidiary that fosters micro-lending in poor countries and Ilwaco, Wash.-based ShoreBank Pacific, a separately chartered lender catering to “green” businesses.

ShoreBank Pacific CEO David Williams last spring said he was in talks with outside buyers in the event that ShoreBank failed. He didn’t return a call Friday requesting comment.



FDIC Shuts Down ShoreBank

Regulators on Friday shut down a big community bank based in Chicago that has been known for its social activism but racked by financial troubles in recent months. A consortium funded by several of the biggest U.S. financial firms is buying its assets and pledging to operate the new bank by the same principles.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. took over ShoreBank, with $2.16 billion in assets and $1.54 billion in deposits. Urban Partnership Bank, the newly chartered financial institution, agreed to assume ShoreBank's deposits and nearly all its assets.

The FDIC also seized seven other banks Friday, bringing to 118 the number of U.S. bank failures this year amid the recession and mounting loan defaults.

In an unusual move, the FDIC allowed some of ShoreBank's executives to continue running the restructured bank. Executives who joined ShoreBank recently, as the bank struggled to raise capital, will manage Urban Partnership Bank. These managers "did not contribute to the bank's problems," the FDIC said.

The FDIC and Urban Partnership Bank also agreed to share losses on $1.41 billion of ShoreBank's loans and other assets.

ShoreBank's failure is expected to cost the deposit insurance fund $367.7 million.

The FDIC also took over Community National Bank at Bartow, in Bartow, Fla.; Independent National Bank of Ocala, Fla.; Imperial Savings and Loan Association of Martinsville, Va.; and four California banks: Butte Community Bank, based in Chico; Pacific State Bank, based in Stockton; Los Padres Bank, in Solvang; and Sonoma Valley Bank, in Sonoma.

ShoreBank lost $39.5 million in the second quarter amid soured real estate loans. The bank had been under a so-called cease and desist order from the FDIC for more than a year, requiring it to boost its capital reserves. ShoreBank was able to raise more than $146 million in capital this spring from several big Wall Street institutions. It was unable, however, to secure federal bailout funds it sought from the Treasury Department's Troubled Asset Relief Program.

Investors in Urban Partnership Bank read like an all-star roster of U.S. finance, including American Express Co., Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc., Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., GE Capital Equity Investments Inc., Morgan Stanley, Northern Trust Corp. and Wells Fargo & Co. The Ford Foundation and the MacArthur Foundation also are investors.

ShoreBank was founded in 1973 with the aid of several dozen institutional backers. The bank has been known for promoting redevelopment, minority business and environmentally responsible lending, and serving low- and moderate-income neighborhoods in Chicago. It was the nation's first community development and environmental bank, branching out from its roots on Chicago's South side to Cleveland, Detroit, the Pacific Northwest and 40 foreign countries.

ShoreBank had indirect ties to a few members of the Obama administration -- one of them, presidential adviser Valerie Jarrett, was on the board of a Chicago civic organization led by a ShoreBank director -- and powerful supporters, including former top federal banking regulators Ellen Seidman and Eugene Ludwig.

House Republicans launched an inquiry this spring into whether the administration intervened to help shepherd a bailout of ShoreBank. Rep. Darrell Issa of California, the senior Republican on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, sent a letter to a White House legal adviser asking specific questions on possible contacts between administration officials and executives of ShoreBank or potential investors.

The White House has said no administration officials met with ShoreBank concerning its rescue or requested help from financial institutions on its behalf.

The new bank's chairman will be David Vitale, a former president of First National Bank of Chicago and an adviser to Arne Duncan, now the U.S. Secretary of Education, when he headed the Chicago school system.

"Urban Partnership Bank will provide access to financial services and support to distressed neighborhoods in order to help transform distressed neighborhoods into strong, stable communities," Vitale said in a statement issued Friday night. "The private investment in this new financial institution demonstrates commitment to restoring the economic vitality of our communities," Vitale said.

He said the bank will continue the mission of serving low- and moderate-income and minority communities, and to support energy efficiency and environmentally constructive development.

ShoreBank shut down by FDIC

An exterior view of ShoreBank at 3401 S. King Drive on the South Side, May 18, 2010. (Chris Walker/Chicago Tribune)

ShoreBank, which billed itself as the nation’s first and leading community development and environmental lender, failed Friday and was acquired by a consortium of big banks, insurers, philanthropic groups and civic-minded individuals.

ShoreBank is the 15th Illinois lender to fail this year, and the 114th to be seized by regulators nationally.

Its failure is expected to cost the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. $367.7 million. The FDIC is funded by the banking industry.

But even though remnants of ShoreBank are being acquired by a sympathetic investor group that for months has been willing to help the institution, the bank’s failure raises questions about whether its business model is flawed and, going forward, must change in its markets of Chicago, Cleveland and Detroit. ShoreBank has pointed out that it was profitable for decades before the current recession.

“When I sat in the regulatory meetings briefly with ShoreBank early this year, even the state banking commissioner said ‘There’s no doubt if we had to save ShoreBank, or if the regulators hold off, its near-term business model has to change because it’s a little out there in terms of mortgages,’” Bill Brandt, chairman of the Illinois Finance Authority, a government financing body that looked at ways to help ShoreBank, recalled recently.

He has said ShoreBank’s failure could devastate already down-on-their-luck neighborhoods.

“The FDIC will try to sugarcoat it and say, ‘We’re not, like we did with Park National Bank, acting irresponsibly and cavalierly to the needs of this community,’” Brandt said. “The truth of the matter is when they seize it, what was and is ShoreBank will be forever lost to that community.”

For about a year, ShoreBank, which has 15 branches, has been under pressure to raise capital. Last spring, several big financial institutions, philanthropic groups, insurance companies and civic-minded individuals pledged about $150 million to undercapitalized ShoreBank, which then hoped to be eligible for about $75 million in government aid.

But bailout money from the U.S. Treasury’s Troubled Asset Relief Program wasn’t forthcoming as ShoreBank’s finances continued to deteriorate, and as critics complained about the prospects that a relatively small bank was getting preferential treatment by Washington insiders for a possible taxpayer-funded program.

Now that $2.17 billion-asset ShoreBank is history, the new bank, called Urban Partnership Bank, has many of the same big institutions as investors and has named former First Chicago executive Bill Farrow as the chief executive and president of the institution. It will assume all the deposits.

He had joined ShoreBank a few months ago as president and chief operating officer, along with two other First Chicago executives, David Vitale, who became executive chairman, and Eileen Kennedy, recently named chief financial officer.

A ShoreBank spokesman said the team wasn’t available for interviews on Friday.

Loans on ShoreBank’s books had already fallen from nearly $1.5 billion as of March 31, 2009, to about $1.3 billion as regulators restricted ShoreBank’s lending and the bank tried to conserve capital.

As of June 30, ShoreBank carried about $5 million in foreclosed real estate and about $335 million in seriously delinquent loans.

Starting in 2001, ShoreBank has filed more than 325 foreclosure lawsuits in Cook County, according to Kaneville-based Record Information Services, which compiles real estate data. About two-thirds have been one- to four-family single-family residences, followed by apartment buildings and commercial properties. Many of its foreclosures have occurred in such communities as Englewood, Roseland, South Shore, North Lawndale, South Chicago and West Englewood.

ShoreBank has filed more than 30 Cook County foreclosure cases so far in 2010, and, if the pace continues, will surpass those filed in 2009 and 2008.

“The number of foreclosures that occurred and continue to occur in these neighborhoods was a symptom of our desire to have full homeownership without any sanity attached to it,” Record Chief Executive Jeff Metcalf said.

From its beginning in 1973, the mission of South Shore Bank, later ShoreBank, was to revitalize declining, mostly black Chicago neighborhoods. Redlining and other discriminatory practices had taken a toll on communities such as South Shore, and the bank set out to prove that reinvestment could help revitalize communities.

Urban Partnership Bank will pay the FDIC a premium of 0.50 percent to assume all of the deposits of ShoreBank. In addition to assuming all of the deposits of the failed bank, Urban Partnership Bank agreed to purchase essentially all of the assets except for the marketable securities and fixed assets.

The FDIC and Urban Partnership Bank entered into a loss-share transaction on $1.41 billion of ShoreBank’s assets. Urban Partnership Bank will share in the losses on the asset pools covered under the loss-share agreement. The loss-share transaction is projected to maximize returns on the assets covered by keeping them in the private sector.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Chatham faces problems with crime, aging residents

Planting flowers along right-of-ways is one way that residents show they care about their neighborhood. For years, Chatham residents have planted flowers along King Drive.
Courtesy 6th Ward Alderman's office
Changing dynamics have hurt neighborliness - alderman

Even good neighborhoods can face tough times.

The middle-class, South Side neighborhood of Chatham has long been considered a strong and secure neighborhood. But more recently, residents have been challenged by an aging population and a generational divide, says Ald. Freddrenna Lyle (6th), not to mention a tragic increase in crime in recent months.

Notably, in May, Army National Guardsman and Chicago policeman Thomas Wortham IV was shot and killed when, according to police, thieves tried to steal his motorcycle. In the past few months, there also have been a number of burglaries and shootings that have left neighbors on edge.

When Lyle was growing up in Chatham, she said the neighborhood had a vital system of block clubs. Residents on blocks that shared an alley would work together to keep it clean and to take care of one another.

"We have less workers and fewer young legs," Lyle said. "Many are single women who have outlived their husbands, and don't have the resiliency to head off some of these problems. When I became alderman, we had the second largest population of seniors in the city."

Almost all of her peers have moved to other neighborhoods or suburbs, she said, but those who have come back don't seem to have time for neighborhood events.

"Their children have homework and dance lessons and karate lessons, and we haven't been able to get that group to understand the value of CAPS [Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy]," she said.

"And we have trouble getting our young back because the seniors didn't leave, and because of the schools. If you move back here, you might have to put your child in private school. You cannot have a vibrant community without the schools."

The alderman thinks that the proliferation of magnet schools has put neighborhoods like Chatham at a disadvantage. When she was growing up, all the children on the block went to the same school, but now they are dispersed among many schools. That means their parents don't meet at school functions.

"We have to become involved in the schools in our community," she added. When she was growing up, she could walk to school, and so could everyone else. Everyone knew one another.

"If you were somewhere else and were threatened, even the bad kids would protect you because you were from their school," she said. "Now we have children on one block who go to five different schools."

Still there are some things that can be done and are being done. For one thing, neighbors in Chatham have planted flowers on the corners of King Drive between 87th and 92nd every year, which shows everyone who passes by that neighbors care about their community.

"We all say it takes a village to raise a child," Lyle added. "There is some truth to that, but in urban America, the 'village' is the block. We stress that through block clubs. We have to get the blocks talking to each other, and connecting.

"If you have a house with children out of control, the other 39 houses on that block can adopt that family and mentor the children. One burglar told us he would not go where people were outside watering the grass."

6thwarddems Events

6th Ward Democrats

kick off

404 East 75th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60619


Thursday, August 19, 2010

New Search For Evidence In Chicago Cop's Murder: Police Recruits Help Look For Clues In Shooting Death Of Officer Michael Bailey

Chicago Police Officer Michael Bailey was shot and killed on July 18, 2010, as he was just getting home from a night shift guarding the home of Mayor Richard M. Daley.

His murder tore apart the city. On last Friday, nearly a month later police hit the streets, searching for answers in the killing of Chicago Police Officer Michael Bailey.

CBS 2's Mike Puccinelli was there during the search.

A $140,000 reward is being offered information leading to the arrest of Bailey's killer or killers. Although people say money talks, so far with this murder, that's not proving to be the case.

Nearly 60 members of the Chicago Police Department Training Academy walked through tall grass and weeds on Friday hoping to find a clue that might help catch a killer.

Chicago Police Lt. John McMurray said, "If there is anything in these vines and bushes or anything we should be able to see it."

The police recruits were hoping to find evidence that might lead them to the person or people who murdered Bailey last month.

Rickey Comodore lost his next door neighbor when the 62-year-old was gunned down. First he heard four or five shots.

"I looked out the apartment and I see him lying over there where that fire hydrant is at. I couldn't believe it. It was a shock," said Comodore.

Bailey's family promptly moved out of their Park Manor home. Comodore fears his block has become the crime's next casualty.

"This block is dead. It's not exciting no more," said Comodore.

The young father and others believe that catching Bailey's killer would go a long way towards taking back the neighborhood. That's why they were hoping Friday's search would turn up significant evidence.

"We're out here doing a grid search based on info we have that the offender ran up this embankment and across the Skyway and down through that rail yard," McMurray said.

But the search ended a few hours after it started, with no significant discoveries. Comodore said that until the killers are brought to justice it will be hard to have peace of mind especially with the memories of he saw on the street.

"My wife, she started screaming. She was in disbelief. I was in disbelief," Comodore said.

Bailey's killer was last seen running from the scene south on the 7400 block of South Evans Avenue. Police believe he cut across an abandoned lot before making his way to the Skyway area they were searching on last Friday.

Suspected pickpocket arrested at least 57 other times


A Chatham man with dozens of arrests on his record was arrested again after an off-duty court deputy caught him trying to steal a woman's purse in a downtown restaurant, according to the Cook County sheriff's office.

Reginald McNeil, 43, of the 8300 block of South Vernon Avenue, is facing attempted robbery charges for the Aug. 9 incident and is still in Cook County Jail.

Counts vary as to how many times McNeil has been arrested. According to the sheriff's office, this is McNeil's 58th arrest -- 20 of them for theft, attempted theft or pickpocketing.

Chicago police say he has been arrested 60 times, including 12 times on felony charges and 42 times on misdemeanor charges.

Court records show he has been convicted several times, including once for burglary in 1989.

According to a sheriff's statement, McNeil walked into a restaurant on Madison and Dearborn streets around 12:30 p.m. on Aug. 9, wandered around for a while and sat down without ordering anything.

Deputy Otto Molina, who was having lunch, saw McNeil move closer to the chair of a woman who had hung her purse on the back, police said. McNeil opened the purse and Molina got up to confront him. At the same time, the woman realized what was happening and yelled out for help.

McNeil allegedly struggled with the woman over the purse until Molina stopped him and held him until Chicago police arrived.

McNeil is being held on $80,000 bail.

Jobs, Business, Opportunity and Development for Chatham!

In order for Chatham to produce the much need jobs, businesses and opportunities for our young people, the main industry in the neighborhood is must be high technology research and development. How about all the the residents and civic leaders of Chatham banding together and asking the First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama to aid in gathering the financing for facility development in the creation of the Chatham Council on Infrastructure and Facility Development? Chatham really needs new infrastructure like a fitness center, ice-skating rink, athletic and aquatic center and the like Ms. Obama would be a great help in having Chatham band together and approach Oprah Winfrey, Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, and Bill Cosby, about being benefactors to facility development in Chatham with an all-new state-of-the-art athletic and aquatic center that is superbly well equipped with a fitness center, weight room, indoor tennis courts and with Olympic-size swimming and diving pools and NBA league-type basketball courts, at 79Th & Rhodes, an indoor ice-skating rink at 84Th & King Drive, a two-story "Bucktown-Wicker Park"-type public library at 79Th & King Drive, a YMCA and YWCA right next to each other at 76Th & South Chicago, a Boys and Girls Club at 75Th & South Chicago, and a Starbuck's at 79Th & St. Lawrence. Let's start by creating a letter-writing campaign to: The Honorable Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama, First Lady of the United States, ATTN: Private Secretary for Correspondence, The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C., 20025.

Monday, August 16, 2010

South Side leaders want to save small banks

Clergy members and community leaders on Chicagos South Side are calling for a moratorium on the closing of community banks.
Clergy members and community leaders on Chicago's South Side are calling for a moratorium on the closing of community banks.

They say the federal government should do more to save small institutions like the troubled ShoreBank.

State Representative Marlow Colvin says, as a former community organizer, President Obama should understand the importance of small banks to their communities.

"It is who the president is, so we are not asking him to become something he is not, we're asking him to be what we always believed him to be, and that is concerned about these communities," said Marlow.

People attending last Thursday's event say, when small banks fail, neighborhoods suffer.

The Wall Street Journal reports that ShoreBank has asked for $75 million from the federal tarp program.

Testing of CTA’s Prototype Rail Cars

The 5000-series prototype rail cars continue to undergo in-service testing. The 10 prototypes are currently running along the Blue Line.

5000-series train on Green Line

The rail cars offer a variety of new features and technologies to benefit CTA customers. Each car has seven networked security cameras, an event recorder system similar to a black box on an airplane and sensitive door sensors that will detect obstructions better than CTA's current rail fleet.

The new aisle-facing seating configuration is designed to accommodate more customers per car and allow more room for customers carrying backpacks, packages, luggage, strollers and bikes. The configuration provides 38 seats and space for two wheelchair positions and added support poles and hand straps in the center of the car for standing customers.

5000s on Blue Line at O'Hare

Testing new rail cars is a long process that allows the CTA to evaluate performance against a number of variables. The prototype rail cars will continue to undergo in-service testing under real-world conditions on all eight CTA rail lines throughout the year to ensure that all other components are operating properly and to make adjustments if needed.

The rail cars must successfully complete testing before CTA will authorize the delivery of the remaining 396 rail cars.

ICE Theaters 8th Annual Community Day Thursday August 19

Join Us! And if you're interested in being a vendor contact us!
Venisha White-Johnson
Operations Supervisor
ICE Theaters
210 W. 87th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60620
773/892-3204 office
773/892-3205 fax

Annual Labor Day Outdoor Cookout at the Chatham Food Market

Stop by for the annual Labor Day Outdoor Cookout, from 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m., Saturday, September 4, 2010, with great grocery shopping at Chatham Food Market, 327 East 79Th Street in the heart of the Chatham retail strip!

JUST ADDED - September Seminar Series Dates

Seminar Series Header
The HCBA's popular Seminar Series offers exciting topics for owners of any
Chicago home - whether you're a home-repair expert or rehab rookie, these
seminars make home repair projects simple and offer affordable home solutions.

Saving with Water Conservation
Learn easy tips to save money by saving water, as local experts dish
the dirt on responsible water use.

Thursday, September 9 · 6:30 - 7:45 p.m.
West Belmont Branch Library · 3104 N. Narragansett Ave.

Wednesday, September 15 · 6:30 - 7:45 p.m.
Beverly Branch Library · 1962 W. 95th St.

Monday, September 20 · 6:30 - 7:45 p.m.
Sulzer Regional Library · 4455 N. Lincoln Ave.

Wednesday, September 29 · 6:30 - 7:45 p.m.
Avalon Branch Library · 8148 S. Stony Island Ave.

Click here for more information.

All Seminars are FREE of Charge
To make a reservation please call (312) 822-0505 or email

seminar series logos

Historic Chicago Bungalow Initiative Historic Chicago Bungalow Initiative




cabbage - $.75/each
cantaloupe - $1.50 each
corn on cob - 4/$1.00
cucumbers 2 for $1.00
grapes $1.00/lb
green peppers 2 for $1.00
honeydew melon $1.50 each
lemons 3 for $1.00(large) or 6 for $1.00(small)
peaches 4 for $1.00
plums 4 for $1.00
spinach $1.50/bag
sweet potatoes 4 for $1.00
white potatoes 4 for $1.00
tomatoes(red) 2 for $1.00
tomatoes (green) 2 for $1.00
strawberries $1.50/16oz container
watermelon $5.00/each
turnip greens $.50/bunch

Call today with your order. 773/213-5383

deadra montgomery

U.S. Census Wrap-Up for Chatham

According to the U.S. Census, in Chatham, Sub-Area 1, the return rate of the Census forms is 71%, Sub-Area 2, it's 59%, for Sub-Areas 4 and 5, it's 73%, and for Sub-Area 3, 6 and 7, it's 60%. The national rate is 72%. Chatham Avalon Park Community Council thanks all of its residents and members for participating in this year's count for federal resources to our community via the 2010 U.S. Census!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Man fatally shot in Grand Crossing

A 27-year-old man was shot and killed early Friday in the Grand Crossing neighborhood, police said.

Dead was D'Angelo Jackson, of the 8900 block of South Justine St., who was declared dead at 5:20 a.m. at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office.

About 4:38 a.m., a 27-year-old man was shot multiple times in the 900 block of East 79th Street, according to a release from police News Affairs.

Police are interviewing several suspects and Calumet Area detectives are investigating.

With ShoreBank on the ropes, two possible scenarios emerge

The hour of reckoning is fast approaching for ShoreBank.

All signs now point to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. seizing the South Side lender within the next few weeks.

As unlikely as it seems, though, it's still possible that a bank named "ShoreBank" will emerge from the failure with a mission similar to the one it has pursued for more than three decades — lending in low-income urban neighborhoods — beginning in Chicago's South Shore neighborhood in the 1970s.

Led by former First Chicago Corp. senior executive David Vitale, who agreed to try to save ShoreBank beginning last spring, the bank's new management is pursuing an offer for portions of ShoreBank once the FDIC moves to seize the bank, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday. Sources confirm the effort, but much still needs to be worked out, including — crucially — financing the bid.

If it's to succeed, the management buyout probably would have to be the only bidder interested in ShoreBank. The FDIC would be hard-pressed to reject a bid for the majority of the bank's assets and deposits from a qualified buyer.

But indications are that few if any banks or investors want to acquire ShoreBank. Its branches are in neighborhoods that have been pummeled by the financial crisis, and working out and disposing of its bad loans would require a Herculean effort.

There are two probable scenarios, then, for ShoreBank.

One is a straight liquidation, in which the FDIC would reimburse insured depositors, close the branches and dispose of the assets later. In that scenario, ShoreBank would be consigned to history.

The other is a management-led buyout, most likely funded in large part by some of the investors who committed $150 million to save ShoreBank but whose investment was predicated on an accompanying $75-million federal bailout that now is not forthcoming because of regulators' concerns that it won't be enough to keep the bank solvent.

In that case, the investors would acquire the branches, deposits and some of the good loans — essentially rebooting ShoreBank with a more cautious lending approach — while the FDIC would take on the bad loans for later disposal. Unclear is how much capital would be needed to back this effort, something presumably that management, investors and regulators will grapple with over the coming days.

That second scenario would be the “good bank, bad bank” approach that Fox News first reported earlier this week.

Ordinarily, when the FDIC begins an auction process for a bank that's failing, it takes four to six weeks to sort through the bids and prepare to seize the bank. But ShoreBank already went through that process earlier this year, averting failure at the time after putting together the $150-million rescue package.

As a result, sources say, the FDIC could seize ShoreBank anytime.

To be sure, an eleventh-hour bid with the FDIC by a bank or qualified investment group can't be ruled out, but there aren't any signs of that at the moment.

Complicating matters is the ShoreBank saga's high notoriety. White House critics, including some Republicans and conservative talk-show hosts and bloggers, continue to complain that the $2-billion-asset community lender couldn't have drawn the interest of Wall Street titans like Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and J. P. Morgan Chase & Co. without pressure from the Obama administration.

President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama are acquaintances of the bank's founders and former leaders. But the White House has consistently denied any involvement in the attempted rescue of ShoreBank.

So, there will be more scrutiny than normal over what transpires.

A ShoreBank spokesman declined to comment on what's in the works but said, “We're continuing to work very, very hard to make sure there are financial services in our communities, which are struggling from the economic crisis.”

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Clothing voucher for cps students

Attention Commuity Partners:

CPS PARENTS & TEACHERS... $200 Carson Pirie Scott Uniform Clothing Voucher

Student MUST attend a CPS school (K-12). Contact your school's Chicago Teachers Union delegate and ask them for a "Clothing Form" for Carson Pirie Scott. This voucher is based on income eligibility. Contact your child’s school and ask for a CTU (Chicago Teachers Union) and he/she will go thru the steps with you. Please Pass Along!

Oh, and don’t forget, no IL sales tax on back-to-school essentials August 6 through 15. For more details go to:

Please share and enjoy!

Please, update your membership on our website Thanks for supporting your local business Chamber

Chatham Business Association,
Small Business Development Inc.
8441 S. Cottage Grove
Chicago, IL 60619

Office 773-994-5006
Fax: 773-994-9871

Monday, August 9, 2010

Chatham Needs More Development!

How about all the the residents and civic leaders of Chatham banding together and asking the First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama to aid in gathering the financing for facility development in the creation of the Chatham Council on Infrastructure and Facility Development? Chatham really needs new infrastructure like a fitness center, ice-skating rink, athletic and aquatic center and the like Ms. Obama would be a great help in having Chatham band together and approach Oprah Winfrey, Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, and Bill Cosby, about being benefactors to facility development in Chatham with an all-new state-of-the-art athletic and aquatic center that is superbly well equipped with a fitness center, weight room, indoor tennis courts and with Olympic-size swimming and diving pools and NBA league-type basketball courts, at 79Th & Rhodes, an indoor ice-skating rink at 84Th & King Drive, a two-story "Bucktown-Wicker Park"-type public library at 79Th & King Drive, a YMCA and YWCA right next to each other at 76Th & South Chicago, a Boys and Girls Club at 75Th & South Chicago, and a Starbuck's at 79Th & St. Lawrence. Let's start by creating a letter-writing campaign to: The Honorable Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama, First Lady of the United States, ATTN: Private Secretary for Correspondence, The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C., 20025.

South Central Community Services, Inc. Held Start/Child Care/Pre-Kindergarten

South Central Community Services, Inc.
Held Start/Child Care/Pre-Kindergarten
8316 South Ellis
Chicago, Ill. 60619
Accepting children ages 2yrs-5yrs. old
Full Day Program, 7:30 a.m.-6:00p.m.
Free Half Day (3-5yrs only) 8:30 a.m.-
12 p.m. and 12:30 p.m.-4:00 p.m.
Subsidized payments through Action for
Children for those eligible.
Private Pay rates $125.00 weekly, if
family does not qualify for the free or
subsidized options
Breakfast. lunch and a snack served
Children with disabilities are welcome
Enrollment Requirements
Intake/Enrollment Appointment
Current physical (within 1 year old)
TB screening , Blood screening, Lead
Screening and Blood pressure results
must be on the physical.
Current Immunization records
Dental Exam (within 1 year old)
Original Birth Certificate
Social Security Card
Proof of Income or school schedule
(TANF, SSI, unemployment, or check

Enrolling Now!!!!!! No Waiting List!!!!!!
For information and appointments
Please contact Mrs. Pizarro 773-483-0900 x279
or Ms. Hightower 773-483-0900 x267

Michael Platt, Chairman
Board of Directors

Felecia Y. Blasingame, Ed.D
President/Chief Executive Officer

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Teen shot during robbery in Chatham

A 16-year-old boy was shot in the leg during a robbery Friday night in the Chatham neighborhood.

The teen was shot while he was being robbed about 9p.m. in the 600 block of East 85th Street, according to police News Affairs. He sustained a gunshot wound to his leg.

He was listed in good condition at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn early Saturday, police said.

The suspect fled the scene.

ShoreBank on the brink: Failure to secure $75 bil. fed bailout means low-income lender's days are numbered

The clock is ticking closer to midnight for Chicago's ShoreBank Corp.

The South Shore-based lender, renowned nationally for its support of low-income borrowers, could be closed within days by federal regulators. It has failed to secure a $75 million federal bailout as a follow-up to $145 million it raised in May from Wall Street's biggest players.

A source said ShoreBank has control of the private capital only until today, but may announce a deal for a short-term extension of the commitment. The extension could allow the bank a few more days to hunt for additional equity.

ShoreBank has been trying to raise at least $200 million. The federal bailout was a crucial piece, but banking industry experts said the Federal Reserve has been put off by continued declines in the institution's financial condition.

The bank lost $39.6 million the first six months of the year, according to a report it submitted to regulators. In 2009, it lost $119 million.

The report showed ShoreBank being hammered by bad loans to apartment buildings with five or more units. It said it had $103 million in loans to such properties on which no payments are being made.

What regulators call the bank's Tier 1 capital, a measure of its liquid assets, is down to $4.1 million, the report said. The sum was $43.5 million at the end of 2009.

ShoreBank spokesman Brian Berg declined to comment. The bank was founded in 1973 as an answer to other banks' redlining of black neighborhoods and it concentrates its activities on Chicago, Detroit and Cleveland.

Its fate has become a political storm in Washington. ShoreBank has close ties to President Obama, who remembers it from his days as a South Side community organizer and has publicly praised its business model, and to presidential adviser Valerie Jarrett. Conservative critics of the president have charged that Wall Street banks helped out ShoreBank to win favor with him while financial reform was being hashed out.

The White House has denied direct involvement in the ShoreBank matter, saying the president has left decisions to regulators.

The private equity came from Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc. and the capital units of General Electric Co., among others.

See this Crain's Chicago video:

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Golf Outing at Kennedy-King College

Real Men Charities, Inc.
August 2010
RMCharities header
provident and U chicago
Upcoming Events
August 14 ,2010
Bud Billiken Parade and Picnic

August 21, 2010
Health Care Professionals Conference
The University of Chicago and the South Side Health Centers will be holding a workshop for Illinois Health Care Professionals at Governor's State University.
Cooks from Real Men Cook® will do the Healthy Cooking Demonstrations for Real Men Charities, Inc.. The nonprofit will host a workshop at the conference on healthy eating, cooking techniques and will look at food and water as medicine, as part of its mission to build healthy families and communities with the full involvement of men.

September 18, 2010
United Negro College Fund Annual Run, Walk, Bike-A-Thon.
27th Annual Walk for Education
Location: 31st Street Beach @ South Lake Shore Drive & 31st St.

Real Men Charities, Inc. will feature the men of Real Men Cook® cooking and serving the before and after race refreshments.
Join Us at Jackson Park Golf Course, Friday, August 6, 2010 for Kennedy-King College's 15 Annual Golf Outing

A Message for Kennedy-King College, Director of Communications, Deborah Crable

Greetings to all REAL MEN!

I personally invite you to don your golf gear and hit the course for a competitive but friendly round of golf at the - benchmark- 15th Annual KKC Scholarship Golf Outing! Proceeds help deserving students achieve their academic goals and aspirations at KKC and the City Colleges of Chicago.

It is my desire to introduce you to our new president John Dozier who enthusiastically supports the RMC Father's Day event. It's also an opportunity to learn about the rich alliance opportunities that exist at Kennedy-King College and the City Colleges of Chicago.

The outing will be held at the historic Jackson Park Golf Course in the heart of Chicago! The course has been fully renovated and has lots of options for non-golfers. Detailed information is attached and we need more golfers.

Please consider the options that include a host of non-golfer activities and a delicious Friday Fish Fry by Melon Express!

We look forward to enjoying a GREAT TIME with YOU on Friday, August 6th!



For more information please contact Deborah Crable at 773.602.5543 or email


Daley: Service cuts an option to balance budget

Mayor Richard Daley warned today that service cuts might be required to balance next year's city budget.

The mayor's annual State of the City speech marked the first time he has held out cutting services "permanently or for a year or two" as an option to dig out from a $655 million budget shortfall. Daley previously has acknowledged that all possibilities to fill the budget hole other than a tax increase were on the table.

"We cannot balance the budget through better management and growing revenues alone," Daley told a ballroom packed with aldermen and other city officials at the Chicago Hilton.

As he considers running for a record seventh term in February, Daley's 40-minute speech touched on many of the accomplishments that he said have made Chicago a stronger city.

He cited improvements in test scores this year and falling dropout rates as evidence Chicago schools are getting better.

Recent agreements to bring Wal-Mart stores to the Pullman and Chatham neighborhoods will create thousands of jobs and bring in millions of dollars in tax revenue, Daley said in the first of several lines that drew applause from the friendly audience.

Daley also laid out a template for what Chicago needs to do to remain economically competitive. He talked about transforming Chicago's economy in part through "Chicago Growth Accelerator," a privately funded job training and business incentive program he announced to bring technology companies to the city. In a comparison he brings up often, Daley urged Chicagoans to think like China, "20 or 25 years down the road in planning their economy."

It needs to be easier for businesses to get permits and licenses in Chicago, Daley said.

"Government should not stand in the way of business growth," he said.

And Chicago schools need to be able to provide the employees with the skills to work in those businesses by providing practical, technologically based educations, he said.

Though he has not said whether he will run again, the mayor's eye toward the future had several aldermen in attendance predicting he will be on the ballot early next year.

Ald. Latasha Thomas, 17th, said Daley sounded like a politician who wants to be in office to get some of the ideas he discussed rolling.

"Everything he said had future goals attached to it," Thomas said.

And Ald. Daniel Solis, 25th, said the mayor might be the only one capable of making the ambitious plans a reality.

"If those are going to get implemented, he's the person to do it," Solis said.

ShoreBank unlikely to get U.S. bailout money: report

ShoreBank Corp. is unlikely to get $75 million in federal bailout funds it needs to survive, Bloomberg News reported Thursday morning.

The South Side bank, which specializes in lending money in lower-income neighborhoods in Chicago and elsewhere, is under regulatory orders to raise capital to shore up a balance sheet shredded by losses on real estate loans.

The bank negotiated with leading Wall Street banks for an infusion of $145 million. But that money was contingent on federal authorities kicking in an additional $75 million. Without the federal funds, the deal with Wall Street would collapse, setting the bank on a course for failure.

Great Food is Fresh Food and You Can Get It at the Chatham Food Market!!!

Make sure you stock up on fresh produce for the mid-summertime season with great grocery shopping at Chatham Food Market, 327 East 79Th Street in the heart of the Chatham retail strip!

Blog Question

Do you think the casino buses should stop back in Chatham again? Leave your comments on the comments line.

August CAPCC Monthy Meeting

Chatham Avalon Park

Community Council Meeting

August 9, 2010

Northern Trust

7801 S. State

2nd Fl.

6:30 - 8:30 p.m.