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CPS and city: Marine Military Academy stays put on West Side, Ames will become military school

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Just days after Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced a controversial plan to move a West Side military school into a neighborhood school in the Logan Square neighborhood, city and school officials made a partial retreat.

In a news release Tuesday, the mayor's office said that Ames Middle School in Logan Square "will be expanded from 7th grade to 12th grade and will become the permanent home for Marine Math and Science Academy."

Ald. Roberto Maldonado, 26th, said the move represented "a day of triumph for the youth of our community as we enthusiastically applaud the official announcement by Mayor Rahm Emanuel of the opening of Marine Math & Science Academy at Ames Middle School."

On Thursday, Chicago Public Schools clarified that while Ames will become a "Marine-affiliated school," its current teachers and principals will remain on the job. More teachers will be brought in for the military program and to teach additional grades, the district said.

Marine Math and Science Academy will remain in the West Side building it shares with Phoenix Military School, the district said. On Tuesday the mayor had promised that by moving into Ames, Marine Math and Science Academy would get more space for additional students and programs.

Emanuel, who helped find resources to start the school during his days as a congressman, said Marine parents and students recently told him about space constraints at Phoenix Military School.

"This combination will allow Phoenix to grow by 600 seats and it will allow also the Marine Math and Science to grow by an additional 600 seats," Emanuel said of the move.

District spokeswoman Becky Carroll on Thursday said that Ames is not being closed and replaced by the Marine academy, and that there was a mistake in Tuesday's release from the mayor's office.

The mayor's office maintained Thursday that "nothing has changed."

"Ames is changing its academic focus and increasing its capacity, while Marine Math and Science students have the opportunity to enroll at this school," said mayoral spokeswoman Rachel Kruer.

An after-school director at the school said Thursday that parents are not clear on what is planned for Ames.

"We heard it's being taken over by Marine. It's unclear," said Maria Trejo, an after-school program director with the Logan Square Neighborhood Alliance.

Written by Logan Square Neighborhood Association - Latest news

October 31st, 2013 at 6:00 pm

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We need you to lead: Join us next week for Bus Rapid Transit grassroots efforts

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Though the weather is starting to change, our campaign to bring Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) to Ashland Ave. is just heating up!

With critical public meetings anticipated in the next month, the time has come to kick our campaign into high gear and showcase the broad grassroots support for better transit options, like BRT.

That’s why Active Trans and dozens of grassroots leaders like YOU will be hitting the streets the week of November 4 to mobilize transit riders in support of BRT in Chicago.

Use this form to sign-up for a volunteer shift at the listed times and locations. We'll be on the ground talking to transit riders about BRT and signing them up to join our movement.

After you sign-up, we'll follow-up to confirm your shift and share specific details on your volunteer role.  

Can’t make a shift but still want to help? Share this blog post on social media!

Written by jmerrell

October 31st, 2013 at 5:25 pm

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Advocates mobilized at Active Trans Bike/Walk/Transit Summit

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Last weekend, Active Trans held a Bike/Walk/Transit Summit to help community members become more effective advocates for active transportation issues in their community.

Congressman Mike Quigley gives the keynote address

Congressman Mike Quigley of the 5th Illinois District delivered a keynote address about the political dynamics on Capitol Hill that challenge better transportation policy. He stressed the critical role local advocates play in keeping elected officials accountable to ensure streets work for all users. 

Breakout sessions at the summit offered a variety of topics intended to help advocates network, learn and share critical information. Planner Kurtis Pozsgay from the Berwyn Development Corporation led a session about Complete Streets policies making better and safer streets.

Other breakout sessions led by regional grassroots leaders focused on encouraging active transportation through community bike rides, using open data sources for advocacy, building trail networks and mobilizing residents to restore public transit service.

The summit was preceded by Active Trans’ Annual Member Meeting. During the member meeting, attendees voted to reappoint the following Active Trans board members: Corey Coscioni, Jay Goldstein, Jane Healy, Ben Helphand, Jim Kreps, Margarita Reina and Steve Schlickman.

Longtime volunteer and advocate, Anne Alt, was voted on to the Active Trans Board of Directors.

Thanks to everyone who attended. We hope to host another Bike/Walk/Transit Summit next year!

Here are some advocacy resources that were discussed at the event.

Written by Rebecca Resman

October 31st, 2013 at 3:43 pm

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Conservative Defeat Exposed in 10 “Shutdown” Headlines

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Conservative icon Grover Norquist famously voiced the right wing’s hopes and dreams for our federal government: “I’m not in favor of abolishing the government,” Norquist quipped, “I just want to shrink it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.”   Well for almost three weeks archconservatives in the House of Representatives, enabled by House Speaker John Boehner, held the federal government’s head under the water.  It was the American people who, ultimately, forced Republicans to pull the plug. It’s not just that Republicans were disproportionately, and appropriately, taking the blame for the shutdown. The real-life implications of shutting down the government fundamentally undermined the conservative narrative itself and, with it, the Republican brand. Just 24 percent of Americans have a positive view of the Republican Party, according to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC poll. That's the lowest GOP favorability rating in 24 years. Seventy-three percent said that the shutdown was either "quite" or "extremely" serious, and 31 percent said that they or someone in their family had "been affected by the federal government shutdown, in terms of employment, services, or benefits."  That's compared to only 18 percent who reported such a personal impact at the time of the 1995 and '96 shutdowns. The conservative “big government” narrative—that the federal government is useless and ill-suited to any role beyond military defense and protection of private property—has lived on over the decades in large part because so many of the government’s other roles and functions are largely invisible to most Americans. Public structures like consumer protection, aviation and food safety, Social Security and Medicare seem to fade into the background of our lives over time as they become integrated into the fabric of our society. But even a partial shutdown quickly makes those invisible structures visible. While public structures like Social Security, Medicare, and the daily mail were not yet interrupted, a range of other services we value were. Ten headlines from around the country illustrates how conservatives untold their own narrative while Americans’ across the country were left to reconcile their mistakes:

Written by Rooflines

October 31st, 2013 at 10:57 am

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EVA Monday: Chicago energy audits branch out

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Federal funds helped Energy Impact Illinois line up 3,500 building retrofits in the Chicago area, says field organizer Vito Greco. Now CNT Energy, the Wicker Park-based nonprofit organizing the yearlong coaching effort, is lining up partners to continue its energy assessments.

"Our aim is to create a more whole-home approach," Greco said. "This might include not just insulation and air-sealing, but also lighting, appliances, solar and even water management." The energy-efficiency clearinghouse would channel grants, rebates and free products to owners of houses and and 2-4 unit buildings.

Greco will give a progress report on the successor effort at Monday's East Village Association meeting. He'll also have tips on insulating and sealing homes for winter. The meeting starts at 7pm in the Happy Village, 1059 N. Wolcott Ave.

Written by Stephen Rynkiewicz

October 31st, 2013 at 2:20 am

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House Freight Panel Recommends Increased Investment, Multimodal Perspective

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Written by Justine Reisinger

October 30th, 2013 at 6:23 pm

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Se militariza secundaria Ames en Logan Square (Univision Video 2:19)

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Ante la decisión del alcalde Emanuel y la Junta de Educación, padres reaccionan molestos y protestarán para revertirla.

Written by Logan Square Neighborhood Association - Latest news

October 30th, 2013 at 6:00 pm

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Climate Ride may be expanding to Midwest in 2014

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If you haven't yet heard of Climate Ride, chances are you will hear about it soon -- especially since the organization will likely expand to the Midwest during the coming year.

The idea behind the organization is simple: Over the course of four or five days, participants push themselves to the limit all in the name of a good cause and a sense of community.Get ready to sweat just reading about it.

Climate Ride was started in 2008 by Geraldine Carter and Caeli Quinn. The two founders combined their expertise in leading high-end bike trips with a passion for environmental causes. They quickly discovered they had something special on their hands.

Since its founding, Climate Ride has given over $1.5 million to 60-plus beneficiaries (including—ahem—your beloved Active Trans). All organizations that receive donations share Climate Ride’s desire to foster an engaged, athletic and green populace.

The two annual events they’ve run in the past are a four-day 320-mile ride through California (changing to a new 240 mile route in 2014) and a five-day 300-mile ride from New York City to DC.

In 2014 they’re unveiling a five-day hike through the beautiful Glacier National Park in Montana, and hoping to bring a ride right here to the Midwest in the coming year as well. The Midwest ride is tentatively planned as a four-day trip from Grand Rapids, Michigan to Chicago.

Tim Frick, owner of Mightybytes, a web-design and digital media company in Chicago, has been involved with Climate Ride since 2010. He started as a rider but things changed when a sudden (but not severe) illness gave him a behind-the-scenes peek from the SAG wagon.

Climate Ride performs "incredible, inspiring work across a variety of channels that all lead to a prosperous, healthy sustainable future for people and planet," said Frick. "It's the kind of stuff that gives you goosebumps when you think about it.”

Frick wanted to do more with the organization, and when offered the chance to become a board member, he didn’t hesitate.

In addition to being on the board, Frick continues to ride—he’s completed five so far—and also serves as one of the speakers who provides evening entertainment for the riders. He and the rest of the staff have big plans for the organization, which continues to grow each year. They want to do more rides, more hikes and draw more people to their mission.

“The cause is what inspires me, the challenge is what drives me and the experience and people are what keep me coming back over and over,” Frick said.

The call is still open for riders and hikers for 2014, though if you’re not quite feeling up to a ride or hike you can also just donate. You can also create your own independent Climate Ride event centered around all sorts of physical activities. 

Written by JordanBray

October 30th, 2013 at 4:19 pm

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Memorial road sign unveiled for Bobby Cann

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Last Friday afternoon at the intersection of Larrabee Ave. and Clybourn Ave., friends, family and supporters gathered to celebrate the life of Robert “Bobby” Cann and see the unveiling of a portion of Clybourn as “Honorary Bobby Cann Way.”

Bobby Cann, a 26-year old who was passionate about cycling, was struck and killed by a driver near that intersection on May 29. The driver, Ryne Sam Hamel, has been charged with reckless homicide and aggravated DUI resulting in death.

The event began with supporters gathering around the roadside memorial for Cann that was constructed along Clybourn shortly after his death. People placed new flowers and photos next to those already hanging from a section of chain link fence.

Ald. Walter Burnett, Jr. of the 27th Ward said a few words, followed by Ron Burke, the executive director of the Active Transportation Alliance, and Bobby Cann’s mother, Maria.

“Bobby’s tragedy reminds us that we still have a long way to go,” said Burke. “Bobby was a model of how to get around on a bike. His life was cut way too short.” Burke called for the construction of better bike lanes and barrier-protected bike lanes, along with a better focus on education and enforcement of the rules of using streets and sidewalks.

Maria Cann asked people to help spread the word about the dangers of drinking and driving. “We can challenge that culture by speaking up and taking action,” she said. She told people they could go to to learn more and get involved, adding that “just making the small positive change of living every day with energy, enthusiasm, curiosity, and sense of adventure is enough to keep Bobby’s legacy alive.”

The audience applauded when Ald. Burnett announced that the Illinois Department of Transportation would finally allow a barrier-protected bike lane to be built on Clybourn. The state controls a number of streets in the city and has so far been unwilling to allow barrier-protected bike lanes to be built on any of them. “This is the first step for many other streets to come,” said Burnett.

After the honorary road sign was unveiled, supporters placed more flowers and pictures at the memorial.

Written by JordanBray

October 29th, 2013 at 6:33 pm

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Military Coup at Ames!!

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The word is out:  CPS is planning to convert Ames Community Middle School intoMarine Military Academy

They will make the announcement very soon.

Call these people to stop this!
David Vitale, Board President, 773-553-1600
Barbara Byrd Bennett, CPS CEO, 773-553-1500
Rahm Emanuel, Mayor, 312 744-3300

Phil Hampton with CPS signs on 5-15-12.

Here’s why Ames parents are fighting to keep Marine from taking over Ames. 

  1. Your child will have to have a military curriculum whether you like it or not. 
  2.  Marine is a “drop out factory.”  Marine only graduated56.5% of the 122 students who entered as freshmen 4 years ago.   A selective military school will PUSH OUT students with special learning needs and students who don’t fit in.   
  3.  No one asked Ames parents.  Alderman Maldonado refused to come to Ames to talk to parents.  He told Ames parents:  “I don’t care where you send your children.  You don’t live in my ward!”  Back door deals must end!   No one has come to Ames to discuss this with parents!!
  4. 87.39% of the 357 families surveyed in the Ames community did not want a military high school at Ames.

 The truth is, no one at CPS thinks Marine is a good idea.  Only Alderman Maldonado.  And he says the Mayor owes him.

Ames has a Community Health Center, orchestra, mentoring, sports, art, tutoring, counseling and university campus trips—for students and their families. All this would be dismantled if a military school is imposed at Ames.

Published by Logan Square School Facilities Council Members- LSSFC                                                                              

Written by Logan Square Neighborhood Association - Latest news

October 29th, 2013 at 6:00 pm

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