Archive for June 2013

Unjustly fired Rolf’s bakery workers win settlement for severance pay

Unjustly fired Rolf’s bakery workers win settlement for severance pay
More than 18 months after a group of workers first filed a lawsuit against Rolf’s Patisserie, Inc., for unpaid severance pay, the former employees of the Lincolnwood-based baker finally have a check in their hands. The 134 workers were fired from Rolf’s just before Christmas in December 2011, when the company closed its doors with... Read more »

Playing the blues at the Barber Shop Show

Playing the blues at the Barber Shop Show
Ain’t no blues like the blues played live, on air, from a barber shop on the West Side. Last week, the Barber Shop Show brought you just that. Rick Stone from the Black Ensemble Theater came to the shop with guitar player Oscar “Joose” Brown Jr. Stone plays the lead in the theater company’s production... Read more »

Report shows another casualty of foreclosure crisis: renters

Report shows another casualty of foreclosure crisis: renters
You hear a lot about the foreclosure crisis and its impact on homeowners. It tore through black and Latino communities like a tornado. But homeowners weren’t the only ones affected. When rental buildings go into foreclosure, the impact on renters can have long-lasting effects–and foreclosures have hit low-income neighborhoods the hardest. The 2012 annual foreclosure... Read more »
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Removing asset test for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program a step forward for the poor

Removing asset test for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program a step forward for the poor
It’s rare to see anything positive coming out of Springfield on social welfare, but a bill that recently passed both houses of the General Assembly may be a turn in the right direction. HB2262 would entirely remove the asset eligibility requirements for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, the cash assistance program for families... Read more »

One in 6 hungry in Cook County, food stamp cuts in Senate Farm Bill could make it worse

One in 6 hungry in Cook County, food stamp cuts in Senate Farm Bill could make it worse
Most people think those who are food insecure live below or near the national poverty level of $23,550 a year for a family of four. But the demographics of Cook County residents who can’t afford enough food to have an active lifestyle or meet their health needs vary widely–and could include your neighbor. A recent... Read more »

Life and surgery: The long day's journey of a kidney transplant patient

Life and surgery: The long day's journey of a kidney transplant patient
This is the story behind the story of how Lucio Villa, a photojournalism fellow at The Chicago Reporter, was there the night undocumented immigrant Jorge Mariscal got his long-needed kidney transplant. Mariscal’s story, and others, will be featured in a photography exhibition, “Issues Visualized,” opening Thursday, June 20. See the Facebook page for more details.... Read more »
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Crowds fill Humboldt Park streets for 38th Annual Puerto Rican Festival

Photo by Juan Labreche
The 38th Annual Fiestas Puertorriqueñas and Parade went into the books following four full days of music, dancing, a parade and carnival. Thursday through Sunday, Humboldt Park residents awoke to the sounds of salsa or reggaeton music that filled the streets. Sidewalks were crowded with Chicagoans clad in clothing donning the Puerto Rican flag while... Read more »

Barber Shop Show review: Mid-Month Mash Up on gay marriage, demographic changes, and more

Each month, the Barber Shop Show features local journalists, bloggers and media personalities to get their take on the news of the month. For June’s Mid-Month Mash Up, the guests were Yolanda Perdomo, a host and producer with WBEZ; Jen Sabella, senior Chicago editor at DNAinfo Chicago; and myself representing The Chicago Reporter. The conversation... Read more »

Lisa Madigan credits Reporter with initiating largest discriminatory lending settlements in U.S. history

Lisa Madigan credits Reporter with initiating largest discriminatory lending settlements in U.S. history
Journalism that is having its rightful impact. That’s what Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan called the work of The Chicago Reporter Thursday evening when she gave the publication credit for initiating the largest discriminatory lending settlements in the history of the United States. In a series of investigative stories, the Reporter uncovered that Countrywide Home... Read more »
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English-only policies in service industry may be undocumented, but workers constrained by them

English-only policies in service industry may be undocumented, but workers constrained by them
Whole Foods Market found itself facing the threat of a national boycott last week when two of its workers in Albuquerque, N.M., were given a one-day suspension for speaking Spanish to each other on the shop floor. The company said in response that “English is the default language for communication” while employees are on the... Read more »