Gazette Chicago 07 07 2017 E Edition Page 1

By Igor Studenkov Earlier this year, Ald. Edward Burke (14th Ward) raised alarm about the number of Chicago drivers ticketed for driving while texting plummeting in 2016, even while there was no evidence that the actual instances of driving while texting had diminished. In the wake of these revelations, Burke and Ald. Anthony Beale (9th Ward) co-sponsored a resolution that would require the Chicago Police Department to use the still- in-development "textalyzer" tech- nology, which would theoretically allow police officers to see if the dri- ver was using his or her phone to text without seeing the texts them- selves. In the three months since the resolution was introduced, there has been little movement. The res- olution has been sent to the City Council's Public Safety Committee. While the committee was originally supposed to schedule a hearing on the issue in the early summer, as of this writing no such hearing has been scheduled. Meanwhile, the City launched its Vision Zero Action Plan, a three- year plan designed to reduce traf- fic accidents. While it does address texting while driving, it is a relatively small part of the plan - and nothing there addresses the reduced num- ber of citations. In 2013, the Illinois General As- sembly passed a law that prohibited INSIDE By Susan S. Stevens Developers will begin two major projects in coming months on the Near West Side: a 50-unit expan- sion of the Roosevelt Square rede- velopment project and a 254-unit building in the Medical District Apartments complex. The Roosevelt Square developer, Related Midwest, announced at a community meeting on June 6 plans to start work on 50 upscale town- houses on vacant lots along Gren- shaw Street in the fall. The brick units will have three to four bedrooms with garages, costing $650,000 to $850,000, said Jacques Sandberg, Related Midwest vice president. "We are trying to fill out the entire stretch of Grenshaw from Throop A free, independent community newspaper since 1983. Near West/Tri-Taylor University Village West Loop South Loop West Haven Bridgeport/Armour Square Chinatown Bronzeville East Pilsen Heart of Chicago Two new development plans stir optimism, concern for residents of Near West Side OTHER HIGHLIGHTS Three area churches celebrate milestone anniversaries. See page 20. Summer offerings abound. See Around the Neighborhood beginning on page 22. Lack of response to media by government agencies, politicians harms democracy. See Editorial on page 28. Aquinas Literary Center finds new McKinley Park site, has important impact in area. See page 30. Monsignor Patrick Pollard retires after 10 years at Notre Dame. See page 10. Gradual conversion of NTA would create new South Loop high school Solutions lacking for drop in ticketing for distracted driving Continued on page 14 Just south of the two Scio at the Medical District apartment buildings, Focus Development plans to construct a new 19-story rental building. The Boulevard offers a unique "road to health & home." See page 16. July 7, 2017 Vol. 35, No.3 By Patrick Butler Just about everybody who packed the June 20 meeting at South Loop Elementary School, 1212 S. Plym- outh Ct., agreed the area needs its' own high school. The controversial question was whether it needed to be at South Loop Elementary, the nearby Na- tional Teachers Academy (NTA) campus at 55 W. Cermak Rd., or somewhere else. There were plenty of arguments for each option during the packed two-hour meeting attended by Al- dermen Patrick Thompson (11th) and Pat Dowell (3rd). Ald. Danny Solis (25th) sent a representative. The Chicago Public Schools fa- vors a plan to turn NTA from a pri- mary school into a high school and expand the boundaries of South Loop Elementary school to en- compass NTA's current area. NTA parents mostly are opposed. "I look forward to hearing this conversation; please speak your minds," Dowell urged the several hundred parents and students at the Chicago Public Schools' second town meeting in the past month on the future of secondary educa- tion in the South Loop/Near South Side area. "We've advocated for a neigh- borhood high school for some time," said John Jacoby, vice pres- ident of the Prairie District Neigh- borhood Alliance. Jacoby alleged that NTA has CHICAGO Continued on page 12 Continued on page 6

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