The year 2016 was an eventful one in the ten communities the Gazette covers. Following is a look back at news the months it was covered in the Gazette.
– Developers discussed two new South Loop highrises at a community meeting.
– The Randolph/Fulton Market Association asked the City for a Randolph Street bicycle route.
– Fair Economy Illinois called for a financial transactions tax and held a protest.
– The University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System and Rush University Medical Center coordinated treatment for Behcet’s disease for artist Megan Howard.
– Mike Garcia, Luke Capuano, and Pat LaCassa were inducted into the Illinois Boxing Hall of Fame.
– Illegal turns from Roosevelt Road to the Dan Ryan Expressway caused traffic danger.
– The Illinois Medical District announced plans to break ground on the Gateway project.
– Various groups fought Governor Bruce Rauner’s plans for an advertising tax.
– Reginald “Hats” Adams, longtime Rush community affairs officer, and Robert Klaus, who was active in the Notre Dame de Chicago parish, passed away.
– A new master plan for Roosevelt Square proposed three ten-story apartment buildings and five sixstory buildings.
– A dog park was announced for Maggie Daley Park.
– Rush University Medical Center planned a comprehensive care outpatient center east of Ashland Ave. Rehab work began on an old police station to turn it into a location for Chicago Children’s Theatre.
– A developer scaled back plans for an apartment building at 1350 S. Union St. from 130 units to 99.
– Alderman Pat Dowell (3rd Ward) informed the community that Pilgrim Baptist Church would not be rebuilt, and that the area could become a park.
– The South Branch Park Advisory Council formed to help shape plans for the Eleanor Street boathouse.
– The community was successful in keeping a marijuana clinic out of Fulton Market.
– The Malcolm X School of Health Sciences opened.
– An apartment building was proposed for 352 N. Union St. A “contributing building” in the Fulton-Randolph Market Historic District was torn down.
– Mercy Hospital named Michael Davenport chief medical officer.
– Pay-and-display metered parking on Sunday came to Chinatown.
– Redmoon Theatre closed.
– The Sheridan Park Advisory Council named a park playground for Joseph Esposito Sr.
– The Gazette covered the Congressional, State Senate, State Legislative, Judicial Subcircuit, and Ward Committeemen races on the March ballot.
– Mercy Home for Boys & Girls held its annual March for Kids.
– Six local parishes held St. Joseph’s Tables.
– The family of the late Antoinette “Toni” Di Fieore and the Shrine of Our Lady of Pompeii awarded two scholarships in her name.
– Activists protested a controversial proposed upscale Pilsen apartment development.
– Project Onward helped support the professional development of artists facing autism, mental illness, and other challenges.
– A change in the City’s Affordable Housing Ordinance attempted to stem a tide of older affordable housing being demolished faster than new affordable housing could be built.
– An outdoor gym was proposed for Grant Park.
– The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago announced the closing of several Pilsen churches, and that the Shrine of Christ the King Sovereign Priest would be restored.
– Near West Sider Peter Pero published the book Soul Survivors on Catholic High Schools in Chicago.
– Pure Metal Recycling announced it would not build a recycling plant in Pilsen Developers scaled back the height of a South Michigan Avenue planned highrise at 1000 S. Michigan Ave. from 86 to 73 stories.
– Neighbors of West Loop came up with a questionnaire for developers designed to head off problems with the community before they occur.
– Developers increased the height of a proposed skyscraper’s base at 113 E. Roosevelt Road, causing concerns among local residents.
– The University Village Association looked to rebound after a winter and spring shutdown.
– Plans for a new Pilsen walking trail had neighbors concerned about gentrification.
– A large donation of money and protests failed to change the mind of Archdiocesan officials on closing St. Adalbert’s Parish.
– A developer scaled back plans for new construction in the 4200 and 4300 blocks of South Halsted Street.
– Santa Lucia School Principal Geraldine Maratea retired.
– Fourth Ward Alderman Sophia King took office.
– A new mall was planned for the South Loop.
– Oscar’s Watch & Jewelry celebrated its 40th anniversary.
– CivicLab and Tom Tresser published a book, Chicago Is Not Broke: Funding the City We Deserve.
– The Randolph/Fulton Market Association called for improvements on Hubbard Street and Grand Avenue.
– Chicago Hope Academy hosted a basketball tourney fundraiser.
– Jones College Prep student Jaylia Jackson won second place in the Equal Pay Day Chicago competition; the organization is fighting for equal pay for equal work.
– Former State Representative Shirley Jones, Monsignor Richard O’Donnell, and University of Illinois at Chicago librarian Lisa Zhao, passed away.
– Petitioners called for a special tax to fund Near West Side mental health services.
– Redevelopment plans were announced for old Cook County Hospital.
– Illinois law made it difficult to get a recall campaign going against Governor Bruce Rauner.
– Activists and Alderman Daniel Solis stopped a 500-unit residential project from being built in Pilsen. Hope Café hired ex-felons to reintroduce them into society.
– A GoFundMe campaign helped hit-and-run victim Scott Jacobson.
– The Randolph/Fulton Market association met with Congressman Danny Davis and Cook County Commissioners Robert Steele and Richard Boykin to discuss Lake Street improvements.
– The size of a Maggie Daley Park proposed restaurant was scaled back. Police arrested three in a McGuane Park shooting.
– A new South Loop School was slated to increase enrollment.
– The City’s Healthy Chicago 2.0 initiative was designed to boost Chicagoans’ health.
– St. Adalbert Parish closed.
– The City took over historic Clarke House.
– Community residents expressed concerns about the Halsted Street heliport.
– The County planned an outpatient facility, office building, and more parking in the Illinois Medical District (IMD).
– The IMD opened a garden farm stand.
– A mural was planned for the 35th Street viaduct near U.S. Cellular Field.
– St. Barbara School appointed Nicole Nolazco as principal.
– Hoxton Hotels planned a new facility for the West Loop.
– The Bronzeville Lighthouse Charter School, which the Chicago Public Schools wanted to close, remained open by order of the Illinois State Charter Schools Commission.
– Smart Stuff Education Inc. owner Carla McNamara was honored by the Women’s Business Development Center.
– The death of Martha Gonzales was solved when a Chicago Transit Authority video showed she was hit by a bus.
– Jack Schaller of Schaller’s Pump passed away.
– Chinatown considered a new Special Service Area for beautification and economic development.
– Alderman Sophia King and Police Commander Robert Klich addressed community concerns at a South Loop meeting. Illinois Treasurer Mike Frerichs reported that some life insurance companies were not paying benefits they should have.
– An Annie E. Case Foundation report showed the toll that parental incarceration takes on children.
– St. Adalbert’s parishioners appealed to the Vatican to save their parish.
– Alderman Patrick D. Thompson dedicated a new playground at Wright Court.
– Thompson halted a controversial residential project on Halsted Street.
– Lakeshore Recycling Systems announced it would build a plant in the stockyards area.
– A violent storm caused damage to trees, cars, and buildings on the Near West Side.
– Controversial and influential community activist, real estate developer, and Near West Sider Oscar O. D’Angelo passed away at age 84.
– The community debated a proposal for twin 12-story apartment buildings on Ashland Avenue.
– The Chicago Architecture Foundation offered plans to revitalize wards in the area.
– New bicycle lanes were announced for the South Loop.
– A variety of new construction and rehab projects were announced for the West Loop.
– Elected officials worked to overturn Governor Bruce Rauner’s veto of automatic voter registration.
– The Resurrection Project saved the last single room occupancy hotel in Pilsen.
– Experts discussed how to upgrade worker skills at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Urban Planning And Public Affairs Urban Forum.
– Chinatown’s Special Service Area moved forward as local officials submitted plans to the City.
– A new law required insurers to pay death benefits to those entitled to the insurance money. Rush University Medical Center began work on an Advanced Health Care facility.
– The Randolph/Fulton Market Association held a bus tour to highlight infrastructure problems with Lake Street.
– The Neighbors of West Loop held a meeting to cover NoWL’s Neighborhood Plan and the City’s new Neighborhood Opportunity Fund.
– U.S. News & World Report ranked the University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System eighth in the Chicago area.
– Longtime Gazette reporter Hayley Carlton passed away at age 46.
– Neighbors objected to helicopter noise coming from Vertiport Chicago in the Illinois Medical District area.
– The Gazette covered local, statewide, and national political races.
– Panelists expressed concern about a possible “jobless economy” at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs Urban Forum.
– CivicLab and the TIF Illumination Project promoted their book, Chicago Is Not Broke.
– AT&T contributed $100,000 to City Year to help students at Phillips Academy.
– Police investigated Heart of Chicago fires.
– Single Room Occupancy tenants at 3022 S. Archer Ave. received a court order allowing them to stay in their building after they had earlier received an eviction notice.
– Joe Aurelio, owner of Aurelio’s Pizzeria, received the Good Neighbor Award from Old St. Mary’s School.
– Ald. Danny Solis (25th Ward) and local organizations provided help to Pilsen families displaced by fire.
– Holy Family Church and Children of Peace musician Sam Parker; community leader Carmen “Carmie Shoes” DeLaurentis; and the Near West Side’s oldest resident, Clara Laino, passed away.
– Opposition emerged to the proposed Chinatown Special Service Area and a concurrent property tax hike.
– The City said that rumors that the Maxwell Street Market would close were untrue.
– Voters passed a referendum in favor of a Near West Side mental health clinic and a related tax hike to pay for it.
– Operators of Vertiport Chicago and Alderman Jason Ervin worked together to reduce helicopter noise.
By William S. Bike
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