Sun-Times – Former Emanuel aide out of shadows on golf project

Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s former campaign manager came out of the shadows Monday to make the case for merging the Jackson Park and South Shore golf courses into a single, championship-caliber course.

Michael Ruemmler’s role as a founding director of the Chicago Parks Golf Alliance has fueled speculation that the fix was in for a project that gained momentum when President Barack Obama chose Jackson Park for his presidential library….

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Chicago Tribune – Cornell Drive cutoff could aid pedestrians in Jackson Park

Whether or not the Obama Foundation gets the green light to close a major road that helps connect Lake Shore Drive and the Chicago Skyway, give the concept this much: It puts a key issue on the civic agenda — how to re-balance the pedestrian-car relationship in Jackson Park.

At this point, it’s weighted heavily in favor of cars…..

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Chicago Tribune – Obama Foundation floats idea of closing roads in Jackson Park

The Obama Foundation is floating the idea of closing a major thoroughfare that connects Lake Shore Drive motorists to the South Side and a key route to Indiana and Michigan to create a pedestrian campus around its planned presidential library and museum in Jackson Park, according to several people briefed on the private discussions.

The bold suggestion to close off Cornell Drive between 60th and 67th streets is being floated with community leaders. Such a move would be yet another seismic shift for the historic park, where private interests are advancing major changes…..

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Hyde Park Herald – Chicago Park District meets with 5th ward residents to discuss golf complex

Chicago Park District CEO Mike Kelly met with a packed room of 5th Ward residents Tuesday night, Jan. 24, at South Shore Fine Arts Academy, 1415 E. 70th St., to listen and address questions, comments, and concerns regarding the proposed South Shore Golf Complex.

Last month, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced that Tiger Woods, a career professional golf player, would oversee the renovations for a new, $30 million golf complex for golf courses….

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Jackson Park Watch Update – January 14, 2017

Greetings all,

JPW Issues in the spotlight

Transparency!  Community input on major decisions!  Priority in Jackson Park for local uses and local users!   These issues, first defined by JPW with regard to Project 120’s plans, have now taken front and center stage as pushback against the Chicago Park District’s plan to for an elite golf course in Jackson Park and South Shore grows.  A partial survey of recent print media shows the JPW concerns are widespread:

Yesterday’s 01/13/17 Tribune editorial takes up the issue, with a headline asserting “Big plans on the South Side for a Tiger Woods Course can’t shut out locals.”  The editorial raises major concerns about backroom decision-making, the lack of community input, and potential adverse impacts on local park uses and park users.  Read the full editorial at:

A Tribune article (01/12/17) highlighted the contradiction between Park District assertions that the plan was “not a done deal” and the Park Board’s decision the day before to move ahead with a contract to start on the project.  Read the article at

A Sun-Times article (01/10/17) highlighted a call by Friends of the Parks Executive Director Juanita Irizarry for the Park District board to call off a vote for the contract starting work.  Read the article at

There have been multiple articles in the Hyde Park Herald and DNAInfo as well as in other sources.  An interview with JPW’s Margaret Schmid aired on Chicago Tonight on 01/11/17, and the controversy was included in last night’s Chicago Tonight’s Week in Review.

What’s next?

Park District CEO Mike Kelly will be at Alderman Leslie Hairston’s January 24 ward meeting to talk about the golf course.  JPW and others will be urging a huge turnout.  PLEASE MAKE EVERY EFFORT TO BE THERE – NUMBERS SPEAK VOLUMES.  The meeting will be from 6 to 8 at the South Shore Fine Arts Academy, 1415 E. 70th St. There is a small parking lot off of Dorchester, to the west of the school, and there is free parking on the streets.  You will hear from us again before this meeting with more information, including, we hope, the exact time Mr. Kelly will be there.

Brenda Nelms and Margaret Schmid
Coordinators, Jackson Park Watch
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Chicago Tribune – As groups voice concern, Park District moves ahead….

Two days after assuring South Side residents that a Tiger Woods-designed golf course in Jackson Park was not yet a sure thing, Chicago park officials Wednesday awarded a $1.1 million contract to begin site planning and engineering work.

The pact with SmithGroup JJR — the park board’s first public action on a project that has been shaping up privately for months — comes as park neighbors and activists are pushing to have a voice on the project, which is queued up for groundbreaking this spring…..

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Chicago Suntimes – Park board urged to call off vote…

Arguing that the $30 million project is being “shoved down the community’s throat,” Friends of the Parks is urging the Chicago Park District board to put off Wednesday’s vote on a $1.1 million contract to design and engineer merger of the Jackson Park and South Shore golf courses.

Friends of the Parks Executive Director Juanita Irizarry’s opposition….

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Hyde Park Herald – Residents in Hyde Park and Shore Shore meet with Park District CEO….

Jackson Park Advisory Council (JPAC) held its first monthly meeting of the year Monday evening, Jan. 9, at the Jackson Park Fieldhouse, 6401 S. Stony Island Ave.

Last night, there was standing room only as residents of Hyde Park and South Shore packed the room to voice their sentiments and issues involving the upcoming South Shore Golf Complex project. Chicago Park District CEO Michael Kelly was on hand to answer questions…

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DNAInfo – Remade Jackson Park Golf Course …..

JACKSON PARK — Chicago Park District Supt. Mike Kelly started selling the idea of remaking two South Side golf courses to a packed crowd Monday night.

More than 150 people packed into a room designed for 100 Monday night at the Jackson Park field house….

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