Archive for August 2011

Happy birthday, welfare reform

Happy birthday, welfare reform
I suppose quite a few parents take a look at their zit-covered, moody teenager and think back to the cuddly, chubby baby they used to be. Seemed like a good idea at the time, they say with a sigh. The same could be said of welfare reform, which has its 15-year birthday this week. Back... Read more »

Welfare reform 15 years on in Illinois

Welfare reform 15 years on in Illinois
“Today we are ending welfare as we know it. But I hope this day will be remembered not for what it ended but for what it began.” So said then-President Bill Clinton 15 years ago this Monday when he signed legislation that replaced Aid to Dependent Families with Children with the Temporary Assistance to Needy... Read more »

Oh, SNAP: Another victory for lobbyists and maybe obesity

Oh, SNAP: Another victory for lobbyists and maybe obesity
New York City was hoping to try something new this year: banning food stamps being allowed to buy soda. But the feds have turned them down. The U.S. Department of Agriculture decreed this week that the pilot program is “too large and complex” to even try. Two camps are claiming victory. The first group is... Read more »
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The latest on the foreclosure front

The latest on the foreclosure front
New rounds of federal and philanthropic dollars for Chicago are set to help mop up the aftermath of the foreclosure crisis that has blighted many city neighborhoods and depressed property values. Around $31 million to $36 million are expected to incentivize redevelopment of foreclosed, vacant homes and, in some cases, to demolish decayed structures. That... Read more »

The Week in Review: Many problems, many protests

These may be the dog days of August, but there’s no quiet in Chicago. Over the past week, protests have mushroomed across the city. On Monday, youth organizers took the to street to commemorate the one-year anniversary of Damian Turner’s death and demand, yet again, that the University of Chicago Medical Center build an adult... Read more »

Patient-to-doctor ratios in 12 Chicago neighborhoods equal to third-world countries'

Patient-to-doctor ratios in 12 Chicago neighborhoods equal to third-world countries'
In 12 communities in Chicago (most of which are on the city’s South and Southwest sides), there are more than 3,000 people for every one doctor. That’s about the same as the patient-to-doctor ratios in third-world countries, like Yemen, Myanmar and Namibia. Those 12 communities are Ashburn, Auburn Gresham, Austin, Brighton Park, Chatham, Gage Park, Hermosa,... Read more »
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More calls for using TIF dollars to shore up deficit-riddled budgets

More calls for using TIF dollars to shore up deficit-riddled budgets
It’s budget season in Chicago, and the numbers aren’t pretty: The operating deficits for Chicago Public Schools and the city’s next spending plans are $712 million and $636 million, respectively. School administrators are trying to close their gap “by collecting $150 million more in property taxes, making programmatic and administrative cuts, laying off supplemental teachers... Read more »

Immigration activists arrested during Secure Communities protest

Immigration activists arrested during Secure Communities protest
During an emotional and heated public hearing, aimed at giving feedback about the controversial Secure Communities program, dozens of activists walked out to block West Washington Street and an exit ramp from I-94 freeway. “Stop the lies and terminate the program,” immigration activists and supporters chanted as they walked out of the hall, where the... Read more »

Much of Chicago's South Side is more than 45 minutes from the nearest trauma center by ambulance

Much of Chicago's South Side is more than 45 minutes from the nearest trauma center by ambulance
When someone is shot, stabbed or seriously injured due to a car accident, fall or some other trauma, every minute can make a crucial difference to the patient’s overall outcome, said Connie Potter, president of the Trauma Center Association of America. “It’s like Gabby Giffords,” Potter said, referring to U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Arizona, who... Read more »
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Residents concerned, skeptical about the future of neighborhood park

Residents concerned, skeptical about the future of neighborhood park
Greenbaum park isn’t very big. Just a half-block sized park, it has a basketball court, a soccer field, a playlot and a community garden. But it’s a haven for the neighborhood, resident Stephen Edwards says. “It’s the only sort of open space for several blocks in any direction,” Edwards says. “I took my kids there... Read more »