Archive for October 2010

News Roundup: Dependence on government grew 14 percent last year

Americans, as a whole, became 13.6 percent more dependent on our government in 2009,  according to a new study by the Heritage Foundation. Housing assistance in particular saw the largest increase since the foundation created the Index of Dependence on Government in the 1960s. Welfare and low-income healthcare spending also spiked. More at Also... Read more »

Is Carlton at the Lake truly a best practice?

Last year, The Chicago Reporter wrote about the Carlton at the Lake nursing home in the Uptown neighborhood as an example of some of the best practices in nursing home care in the city. As of last week, the home had retained its stellar rating. But Mary Roman says that her mother died a horrible... Read more »

Upping Chicago's dismal graduation rates

Over the weekend, a giant school bus rolled into town. Correction: a “Get Schooled” Bus – a nationwide initiative to improve high school and college graduation rates across America. With only 50 percent of Chicago’s kids graduating from high school and shockingly low college graduation rates for some predominately minority Chicago universities, we could use... Read more »

Did Juan Williams deserve to be fired from NPR?

By now, you’ve probably heard that National Public Radio fired their political analyst Juan Williams for comments he made on FOX news about Muslims. Williams was talking to Bill O’Reilly, who made some of the hosts of the daytime talk show The View hopping mad week before last when O’Reilly blamed 9/11 on all Muslims.... Read more »

News Roundup: Completed foreclosures up 44.9 percent

Completed foreclosures in Chicago have increased by 44.9 percent over the last year, according to the Woodstock Institute. Ninety-five percent of the properties were acquired by lenders instead of third-party buyers. Because many lender-owned properties remain vacant longer than those owned by third-parties, municipalities will struggle as the properties decrease tax rolls and increase maintenance... Read more »

Who issued green cards to the Pilgrims?

It’s week four of the National Conversation on Race, and this week is a toughie. Our moderators over at Equity Blog are pushing all of us to go past the “lowest common denominator” conversations that we usually have about race and actually talk about finding solutions to serious problems. The two they propose aren’t easy... Read more »

News Roundup: Weis to move officers to high-crime areas

Police Supt. Jody Weis revealed plans Tuesday to reassign officers from districts with low crime to neighborhoods with high levels of crime. His statements drew criticism from 38th Ward Ald. Tom Allen, as well as some concerns from North Side residents afraid that criminals will commit more crime in the area knowing fewer police will... Read more »

CHA commissioners hesitant over Lathrop Homes

In the many Chicago Housing Authority board meetings I’ve been to, I’ve never seen a single split vote. Usually, anything that comes before the board is approved unanimously. Once, I’ve seen the commissioners threaten not to vote for something. And a friend told me once she saw a few vote no. More at But... Read more »

Remembering Cabrini-Green as it was

1230 N. Burling St., the last Cabrini-Green building that is still open.
Awhile back, I sat on the porch of one of the new condos that’s been built where the Cabrini-Green housing project one stood. I was talking with two girls – twin sisters – who had grown up in the high rise buildings but now lived in one of the new units with their parents. More... Read more »

Poverty: what's culture got to do with it?

This summer, Harvard University professor Robert Sampson walked through Chicago neighborhoods, letting stamped, addressed envelopes fall to the ground. Would neighborhood residents pick up the lost envelope and stick it in a mail box, or would they keep on walking? More at What Sampson found was that getting his lost mail back had a... Read more »