|Were we a real country, we'd have them set for Chicagoland, Detroit, Birmingham, Baltimore, and New Orleans by a State Department putting American interests first|
PORT-AU-PRINCE -- A recent advisory by the Obama administration warning that Americans were victims of murder and kidnappings in Haiti could unfairly hurt efforts to get the earthquake-crippled nation back on its feet, Haiti's government officials said on Monday.
"Haiti is one of the safest destinations, not only in the Caribbean, but in all of Latin America," Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe said in a press conference, flanked by several other cabinet members.
The State Department advisory issued on December 28 said: "U.S. citizens have been victims of violent crime, including murder and kidnapping, predominantly in the Port-au-Prince area.
No one is safe from kidnapping, regardless of occupation, nationality, race, gender or age.""With the meager resources that the state has, we're investing in tourism," he said, suggesting that Haiti had been unfairly singled out by the Obama administration. "Other countries have problems, too," he said.
Chicago's extensive efforts to reinvigorate its convention and tourism industries could be damaged unless the city quickly defuses the violent crime wave that has exploded in its neighborhoods and nicked the downtown, the city's top convention and tourism official said Wednesday.
"We hope this sunsets quickly because all the good work we're doing regionally, nationally and internationally, if this is not contained in a reasonable period of time, it will have an impact," Don Welsh, president and chief executive of Choose Chicago, said in a morning meeting with the Chicago Tribune's editorial board.
News reports of several unprovoked attacks by youths in the Michigan Avenue corridor and of the surge in homicides in some impoverished Chicago neighborhoods are triggering concerned calls to Choose Chicago, the newly restructured not-for-profit agency that combines the city's convention bureau and its office of tourism and culture. The issue has gained national attention in The New York Times and other media.
"There are inquiries that are coming in from meeting planners that are saying, 'Hey, I'm reading about what's taken place in your city. Is your city safe?'" Welsh said. His organization received five to six such calls in the last few weeks, at this point seeking information, not cancellations, he said at the meeting.
Chicago police have put more officers on patrol along the Magnificent Mile and its surrounding areas in light of the mob attacks. This includes officers who are normally assigned to other parts of the city.
A man was killed and another seriously wounded in a shooting outside a convenience store in the Old Town neighborhood on the North Side, authorities said.
The shooting occurred around 6:15 p.m.
Tuesday in the 1300 block of North Sedgwick Street. Tyshawn Blanton, 31, of the 1300 block of North Halsted Street, died and a 20-year-old man was shot in the back and taken in serious-to-critical condition to Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
Neighbors reported hearing as many as 10 gunshots and later saw one man being taken away in a neck brace, the other being worked on by paramedics.
Family members said Blanton grew up in the Cabrini-Green housing complex nearby and recently had a child. Before heading to the hospital, family members huddled in the street near the shop, crying, as officers and detectives questioned store employees and canvassed the area.
Neighbors said they are angered by what seems to be an increase in crime.
“You can’t even go to the store without getting shot and killed,” said Chante Morris, 30.
Odd... the same conditions found in Haiti.
The neighborhood’s best-known restaurants were failing, its crime rate was on the rise, and for the first time that anyone could remember there were foreclosures, with once tidy bungalows sitting empty and dark.
For all that, the social scientists studying Chicago neighborhoods in 2010 were betting that the middle-class enclave of Chatham, on the city’s South Side, would remain stable through the recession.
It had done so for decades, while surrounded by impoverished areas. It had somehow absorbed a wave of newcomers from recently demolished housing projects. And the researchers’ data suggested that its strong identity and scores of active block groups had helped protect residents from larger economic threats and offered clues about how to preserve threatened urban communities all over the country.
Older residents, perpetually anxious that the younger generation is losing their values of tidiness and mutual respect, now had visible evidence of social erosion. They saw it in the habits of their new neighbors, many of them moving from the Robert Taylor Homes, which were torn down in the mid-2000s.
“The big change going on is that the grandparents are moving out, and some of the younger kids coming in here are picking up behaviors that you would never have seen in Chatham before,” said Worlee Glover, a salesman who runs a blog called Concerned Citizens of Chatham. “Loitering out on 79th. Walking up and down the street, eating out of a bag. Eating out on the porch. Those kinds of things.”
The numbers tell part of the story. Chatham historically had a waiting list of would-be buyers, but during the recession its foreclosure rate was 14th highest among some 80 Chicago neighborhoods, according to data gathered from all of the city’s neighborhoods to determine which local factors shape behavior.