As a lifelong resident of Logan Square and Avondale, I’ve seen how much the neighborhoods have changed in the last ten years. For the last six years, myself and other residents would start our days off at Panderia Azucar to get a fresh baked Concha along with a Jamon Torta and Cafe Con Leche to-go before starting our morning commutes to work and school. Fast forward to 2018 and the family owned bakery is added on to the long list of ‘mom and pop’ businesses that have shut down in the neighborhood and are soon to become home to another hipster smoke shop, coffee shop or another renovated, overpriced apartment complex within a 1 mile radius.
With the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the CTA’s $17 million dollar project on the Belmont Blue Line Station happening this past Friday, it is important to recognize the inevitable gentrification issue that these neighborhoods have been dealing with for years. On top of this pricey renovation, so many buildings and stores are being bought out of businesses and the neighborhood to make room for high-rise apartment buildings that start at $1,800 a month rent for a studio.
Chicago is known for having so many different vibrant and unique communities. With gentrification being an on-going issue in so many neighborhoods like Logan Square and Avondale, it’s beginning to seem like our city is losing touch on trying to preserve the multi-cultural aspect that this city has to offer that so many people have grown to know and love. Each neighborhood is losing it’s cultural feel and beginning to look uniformed all due to gentrification.
You’ve heard the commercials on your favorite radio station and you’ve probably seen people casually blowing smoke out of a small rectangular object that looks just like a pen. The Juul e-cigarette was created in 2017 in San Francisco, California, introduced by PAX labs in 2015. People claim it’s the new ‘wave’ of smoking and a way to quit the cancer sticks we all know as ‘cigs.’ The question is, is it any better than traditional cigarettes?
According to studies done by Nielson and the Truth Initiative, studies have shown that smoking one JUUL pod is equal to one pack of cigarettes which is 200 puffs. Another study claims that the device, only being two years on the market has reached a 400% increase in usage between July 2017 and October of last year.
It’s increasing popularity and usage in a majority of younger crowds brings a lot of worry to whether or not society and the media is promoting a product that claims to be safer than smoking cigarettes but does the same exact damage in a different form. For a product that is only sold to those of legal age to smoke tobacco products, 56% of those surveyed by Truth Initiative about device usage were under the age of 18 years old. Sure, it is an easier way to get a daily smoke in but is it’s rapid growth in the market blinding people from the dangers of the device?
With the 2020 United States Presidential election coming up several nominees are launching their campaigns. Two popular democratic candidates running are Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Kamala Harris.
Sen. Sanders kicked off his presidential campaign in Chicago’s Navy Pier Festival Hall this last Sunday with a crowd turn out of an estimated 12,500. As we all know, Sanders was the ‘underdog’ of the democratic party in 2016 against Sen. Hilary Clinton. With the launch of his 2020 campaign, it looks like he’s off to a greater and stronger start than his first time around, appearing also on popular millennial talk shows like ‘The Breakfast Club.’ Harris is also off to a great start, kicking off her race in Oakland, California with a turn out of 20,000 people. Her crowd is the largest turn out among the 2020 candidates so far. (Source: USA TODAY)
According to the chart on Google Trends, Harris and Sanders seem to be head to head on the amount of time they were both trending in the past 12 months. In January 20th, Harris was trending more than Sanders but that soon flipped the next month in February where Sanders was actually trending more than Harris.
In terms of popularity by region, the color blue represents where Sanders is trending in the United States and red represents Harris. One can easily see that Sanders is overall more popular than Harris so far. Both are great democratic candidates for the presidential election with so much potential.
R. Kelly and Michael Jackson and their recent abuse allegations
The famous ‘Pived Piper of R&B’ was recently charged with aggravated sexual abuse in his hometown of Chicago, Illinois this last month. The singer is currently out on bail and addressing these and several other allegations in an interview with Gayle King on CBS. The spotlight has been on Kelly since Surviving R.Kelly premiered on Lifetime earlier this year. The six-episode documentary series features alleged victims who claim to have suffered and witness abuse from R.Kelly throughout his career.
The ‘King of Pop,’ the late Michael Jackson is also facing abuse allegations from two men who claimed to have been molested by the singer in the documentary, Leaving Neverland on HBO.
With these recent allegations coming into the spotlight, the amount of trends the artist have been receiving specifically in the past 7 days have been overall rising. Red representing Michael Jackson and Blue representing R.Kelly.
When comparing both artists’ trends worldwide in the past 7 days, both have been trending pretty frequently. Michael Jackson trends have been pretty consistent but with the recent allegations and spotlight on R.Kelly’s alleged abuse claims along with his most recent, explosive interview, R.Kelly seems to be just a little more popular than Michael Jackson as of today.
The Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup three times within the last nine to ten years. Before their win in 2010, the team hasn’t taken home the Stanley Cup since 1961, which is 49-year dry streak time frame and definitely a win that was anticipated for 49 years. The team went head to head with the Philadelphia Flyers with the scoreboard at game six ending in 3-4 going overtime.
Before their winning season in 2010, the lowest total attendance average they had between 2005 and 2018 was 546,075 in the year 2005 having a 13,318 average attendance per game. Shortly after their winning season, the attendance in their games plummeted down to an average of 522,619 in 2012 but then quickly shot up to their highest yearly attendance in 2013 to 927,545 with an average of 22,623 in attendance per game. The attendance average shot up during their next winning season in 2013. In game six of the 2013 season, the Hawks were able to defeat the Bruins with David Bolland scoring, breaking the latest winning score in NHL history.
After the 2013 season, the attendance remained steady, slowly decreasing but staying afloat until the 2017-2018 season. The Blackhawks took home the Stanley Cup a third time in the 2015 season.
Gov. Pat Quinn visited DePaul University’s Loop campus on Wednesday to discuss how pension reform is harming the Monetary Award Program (MAP) college scholarships and access to higher education in Illinois.
“This is so important to our state, not only in the past, but certainly now and in the future,” Quinn said. “We want everyone to have the opportunity to go to college that has the ability to go to college.”
MAP grants are need-based college scholarships that allow merit students who are in need across the state and do not need to be repaid by the student. Quinn said that due to cutbacks and having to pay more money in the pension amount, almost 18,000 students lost their MAP grant scholarships this year.
“We do not want anyone denied that opportunity because of finances,” Quinn said. “We can’t afford to lose all the talent that exists, all the ability that exists for higher education to help our economy and to help all of us, because there are financial challenges that deny someone the opportunity to go to community college or a four-year university — public and private — in our state.”
Quinn was joined by several Illinois college students, including DePaul Student Government Association Vice President Casey Clemmons.
“Every year over 5,000 DePaul students receive MAP grants, and just like the students who have already spoken here today, all of these DePaul students rely on this funding in order to continue their college careers,” Clemmons said.
“Because the number of Illinois students eligible to receive MAP is currently increasing, existing funding does not allow the state to assist all the eligible students. As a result, without action by the Illinois state leadership, more DePaul students than ever will see their MAP funding disappear this year and more
DePaul students than ever will be forced to give up their education due to finances.”
More than 150,000 students nationally receive MAP grants each year.
Clemmons told the audience that on Tuesday, DePaul’s SGA unanimously passed a resolution calling on the Illinois general assembly and the governor to ensure the longevity of the MAP program. He read the resolution aloud and presented a copy to Quinn.
PKen Thomas, a University of Illinois Board of Trustees student member, MAP recipient and University of Illinois Chicago student, told how he wouldn’t be where he is today if it wasn’t for the MAP grant.
“My mom, when I was in high school, had to work two jobs just to keep food on the table,” Thomas said, “and if we didn’t have [the] MAP program like we do today, I know that I wouldn’t be where I am today; graduating with a degree, hoping to be a productive member of society.”
Having a productive and functioning society and economy is what Quinn says it’s all about.
“Jobs follow brainpower,” he said. “We want to make sure we have smart people in Illinois. Well skilled, well-educated students coming out of college with graduate degrees and diplomas so they can create jobs, create new businesses,” he said. “Our goal in Illinois is to have at least 60 percent of the adults in our state with a college degree or college associate degree or career certificate by the year 2025. In order to achieve we have to make sure we have a good scholarship program.”
Clemmons said that in order for that to happen, state legislatures need to reflect upon the question, “What must be done?” and do what’s required.