Posted inNews & Politics

Reading, writing, and decolonization: Albizu Campos High School, a controversial alternative for Hispanic youth

When Robertico Medina dropped out of Roberto Clemente High School four years ago to escape the gang warfare and the teachers’ inattention, he nearly joined the Army. Only at his mother’s urging did he enroll in West Town’s Doctor Pedro Albizu Campos Puerto Rican High School. But he was still reluctant to get up and […]

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South-side hardball: black residents and white bankers team up in a $20 million investment agreement

Robert Teresko, president of the Beverly Bank, smiles stiffly and looks nervous as he walks into the conference room to face the public and sign the agreement. “This agreement establishes a good working relationship between community and bank,” Teresko begins. “Through our discussion, we’ve come up with unique products that will benefit the entire market […]

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A turf fight in the Valley: Does the medical center have too much power on the west side?

From the western edges of the Loop, the medical center complex along the Eisenhower Expressway looks awesome and foreboding. Its buildings stand as if in a separate, self-contained world of steel-and-concrete slabs, completely detached from the surrounding unvariegated urban sprawl. Even when viewed from the westbound lanes of the expressway, the complex seems remote–like an […]

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The “corporate school” experiment: Can the public schools be reformed from without?

Joseph Kellman is a man with a seemingly paradoxical mission: to start a private school whose avowed goal is to improve public schools. Now his 20-year dream is nearing reality. January 1, 1988, marks the opening of the prototype school of the Corporate/Community Schools of America, a partnership between Chicago business, educators, and community groups. […]

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Blue collars among the blue bloods: a history of Highwood, the North Shore’s island of Italian immigrants

Highwood was the little town just across the train tracks, but for Margot McMahon and the other kids growing up in Lake Forest, it might as well have been on the other side of the world. Working-class Italians lived there, that much McMahon knew, like the grandparents of Adria Bernardi, her grammar school classmate. And […]

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The last farmers in Cook County

On this morning in late July, in a far-south-side corner of Chicago, there’s a funny smell in the air. You’re passing Reds II, advertising “burgers-fries-chili,” but that’s not the source. Neither is it the Mount Greenwood Auto Body Shop, the Ford dealership, or the Saint Casimir Lithuanian Cemetery along the road to the north and […]

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Land-use controversy in Lakeview: Do we need a high-rise retirement home on the edge of Lincoln Park

When the wrecking ball took down the Kellogg mansions at Oakdale and Commonwealth, Llani O’Connor felt not only a personal loss but a loss to the neighborhood. “I would walk by those three homes and they always made me feel good–they were really something,” O’Connor said with more than a touch of sadness in her […]

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Where the crimes are: neighborhood groups and police cooperate on a computerized mapping project

Warren Friedman, a bearded man with curly hair, reading glasses, and a gentle, easygoing manner, is on the front line in the war against crime. He’s no vigilante, that’s for sure, no clone of Charles Bronson, Dirty Harry, or even Bernhard Goetz. His chief weapon is a computer–Apple Macintosh, to be exact–which transposes onto maps, […]