August 31, 2005

More Gunshots At Rush Hour

The twenty-something male shot Sunday was on his third day out of prison. He had been warned by police and other neighbors who know him and his rather notorious family (one brother is currently in prison for murder) not to return to the hood.

The shooter was driving a black SUV.

More gunshots were allegedly fired late this afternoon according to neighbors. There was one squad car in Gale Park, one in the cul de sac at Ashland, one parked on Howard, one on Marshfield and one more cruising when I landed around 6:15PM. Unfortunately, the officer who answered at the 24th said he didn’t know anything, he only worked at the desk. He suggested I call the CAPS office in the morning.

8.30.05 Squad in Gale Park 8.30.05 Conferring on Howard

Tonight police were questioning a man in a white car at Paulina/Jonquil around 6PM per another neighbor.

Meanwhile, a neighbor confided that there was a drug bust at the Northpoint building that houses the Northpoint office, 7719 N. Paulina, Saturday morning. Allegedly 8- 10 people were arrested in one apartment there. I’ll have to inquire and verify that with the CAPS office in the morning too.

Now the burden is put to Northpoint management – AIMCO - to ensure the tenant(s) and pals do not return to that residence. According to HUD regulations, anyone arrested/convicted of drugs is in violation and is disqualified to return to subsidized housing. Many of the good Northpoint residents claim there are few evictions following drug-related arrests.

Management needs to ensure that outsiders don’t have access via these gates that have had bars removed for easy entry,

8.30.05 Sneak Hole

or entry via gates left unlocked by tenants and/or janitors.

Perhaps to some it sounds rather harsh, especially if it’s a family member or minor. However, in society, at all levels, we have certain rules to abide by or else we are offenders of these rules.

On a final note, certain tenants in and neighbors of certain subsidized buildings have noticed obnoxious odors emanating from unknown apartments. Please note meth labs are toxic and highly dangerous. Please contact the source shown on the link: 847-294-4400 or 911.

PS I think Craig is right, we need helmets and vests to commute.

August 29, 2005

Yesterday's Gunfire

From one neighbor:

The shooting was about 5:30 PM on Sunday as my wife was greeting two guests. A number of shots were fired by two black males from a late model black SUV at a group in front of the HUD Building at the south east corner of Jonquil and Ashland. (The red brick building owned by NORTHPOINT). The late model SUV sped North on Ashland to Juneway where it went right toward Sheridan Road. Before my wife could get off of the phone with 911 the cops arrived. They were around the intersection till about 8:00 PM. Needless to say our guests were not very impressed with Rogers Park, we should have one of the cities police boxes at the intersection of Jonquil and Ashland, it would be a great help.

On Saturday night we had additional gun fire on Ashland and Jonquil. The street was loaded with the local GD's. I placed several call to 911 and did not see the police arrive.

From the police:

Officer Nelson verified there was a shooting yesterday. The victim had an arm wound, not the rumored fatality. The police are aware of those involved and are looking for them.

My thoughts:

No doubt the neighbor's guests were not impressed with Rogers Park! What we have here is a segregated community in this alleged liberal ward, with North of Howard being set up as the project without fence wire on the porches. There should be a cap set now on low-income, subsidized, absentee landlords in this pocket. That includes the visionary without a plan. He lives SOUTH of Howard. Imagine that!

To those who think my blog and/or I 'jump everywhere like a machine gun'...well, duh, go figure. Gangbangers don't have months of pre-meetings, they just shoot as they drive. Blog stories come from various sources just like the incidents.

We can at least be grateful no innocent bystanders were hit - this time.

August 28, 2005

The Wedding

My old neighbor from Logan Square got married today. It was a beautiful outdoor ceremony at the Barber and Oberwortmann Horticultural Center in Joliet. So after a dance or ten, it was time to wish the newlyweds all the best and come home.

Howard was relatively quiet with the exception of an undercover car asking three people what they were up to. We kept walking east and there was a seat belt check going on at everyone's favorite drug dealer stop at Greenview, Rogers and Howard. So we figured that was the reason for the 'quiet'.

The red light was blinking on the answering machine. One message told me that there were multiple gunshots heard this afternoon as well as last night in the vicinity of Jonquil and Ashland. The second message was about an alleged shooting in Gale Park this afternoon.

I think the HUD and IDHA inspectors had best contact Commander Rottner and the TAC team and inspect these apartments according to arrest by address. Property owners enabling these criminals are the real felons. They know and seemingly look the other way. I'd be more concerned as a landlord about the cleanliness of a tenants background than the condition of the oven, wouldn't you?

August 27, 2005

The Hideaway

An early rising neighbor was out at 5:30 this morning. Unfortunately, the evenings on Howard aren’t good for a lot of people. The neighbor witnessed a young, petite prostitute being hit by a very large older man. She was begging him to stop and saying, “I’ll give it to you”. Whether it was money, drugs, or sexual gratification, no one will ever know. What many of us are all too aware of, is that this kind of demeanor has become ‘accepted’ as part of this neighborhood. No one cares. If they did, David Orr would have never allowed so many low-income buildings in one small area. His successor Joe Moore would never have kept the phoney vision alive. The Vision without a Plan.

The poor girl ran away from the man into this illegal opening in the burned out building owned by IMC Properties, now managed by Elzie Higgenbottom, via Higgy’s former employees.

The Hideaway

This whole low income scheme is a tangled mess of agencies. It’s as confusing as the religious excuses up here. This vacant building has been here for years now. Hookers and druggers do their deals in this dark, dank hole in the wall.

Inside Door #5
Not secured room

This burned out building was finally introduced in building court just this summer. In spite of the obvious, a picture says a thousand words, IMC/East Lake Management, has not properly closed this opening. Just another code violation that’s been skirted for years. How many more years will pass before this building is either sold or torn down?

Yes, I dared to sneak in for a picture. The doorway has a stairwell to the left that appears to be blocked from entering the rest of the building…but I’m not sure what was at the end of the ‘paint’ room. But as pictures say a thousand words….here is where young, lost people hide from the world they’ve been given by society, their parent(s), and a government of subsidies and their spawns.

Folks, this low income vision from the 1970s is not working. It’s not about people, it’s all about MONEY.

August 24, 2005

New Management at the Broadmoor

Meet the new management company for the Broadmoor. Apparently my friend#1, William Higginson of IMC Property Management has made an arrangement with my friend#2, Elzie Higgenbottom, East Lake Management. IMC allegedly has ‘dissolved’ but many of its former employees have jumped ship and landed in Elzie’s enormous life raft that is supported in part by Mayor Daley. Elzie even has connections to Lisa Madigan, but apparently they're not kindred spirits.

With the reputation revealed in the following digs, not only the taxpayers of Ward 49 but of all wards in this city should demand all 50 aldermen put a stop to this insanity. Could this be the true reason Mr. Kaderbek ‘resigned’? Every time a building commissioner starts sniffing around 'certain' Section 8 buildings, a change in leadership follows. Definite food for thought.

(from the Progressive Labor Party)
This fire was in 1995
Burn the bosses
CHICAGO, IL., Jan. 18 -- Millions watched on TV news the tragic scene of men, women, and children jumping out of windows trying to escape a blazing apartment fire.
On Jan. 11, at 3:00 a.m. the 5th floor of the ten story Lake Grove apartment building located in a black working class neighborhood on Chicago's south side was a blazing inferno. Four people were killed in the fire, 61 were hospitalized and hundreds have been set up in temporary housing -- homeless, not knowing when or if they can return to their homes.
The fire is believed to have been started by a careless smoker, but it was the innate greed of capitalism that murdered the four black working class residents, ranging in age from 10-40 years old. It is always the profit motive that determines what the bosses will provide or, not provide for the working class.
East Lake Management Co. (owned by black Realtor Elzie Higgenbottom) which manages the Lake Grove apartments is a partner of capitalism. What other explanation could you have for not installing a sprinkler system, or not having a working fire alarm system for a building that size. money!
It would take dipping into the profits that they have stolen from the tenants for years. However, Higgenbottom like all capitalists doesn't mind dipping into their profits if it's going to yield them a return.
Higgenbottom is a big campaign contributor to Mayor Daley and other South Side politicians. A year ago East Lake was cited with 12 building code violations that ranged from non-functioning smoke detectors, to roach and rodent infestation (since the fire, there have been 31 new citations). Bruce Rozet, one of the buildings owners is a notorious slumlord, cited by Henry Cisneros secretary of HUD (the mother of all slumlords).

Other items of interest on Elzie and his connections:

Repeat Offenders
Slumlord Review

lead paint problems
more paint problems
the great Philanthropist

And let’s not forget the October 17, 2003 fire at County Building

Maybe Pat Robertsons' mercenaries could take a break and clean up America’s government funded slumlords? We may as well take advantage of the Republican religious right and let it work for us.

August 23, 2005

Another NOH shooting

Bicyclist wounds man in Rogers Park shooting

Published August 23, 2005

CHICAGO -- A man was critically wounded after being shot by a bicyclist early Monday on Chicago's North Side, police said.

Three men riding bicycles approached a group of men standing on a sidewalk in the 1700 block of West Howard Street in Rogers Park at 1:40 a.m. and asked them "what are you about," said police spokeswoman Patrice Harper.

One of the bicyclists then opened fire, striking one man in the abdomen, Harper said. The three bicyclists then fled, she said.

No one was in custody Monday afternoon, Harper said.

Officials at St. Francis Hospital in Evanston said the wounded man underwent surgery but would not discuss his condition Monday.

Copyright © 2005, Chicago Tribune

August 21, 2005

Responsible Ownership

This is just one symptom why neighbors are complaining about 7625-29 Bosworth. It was a problem building before the sale and it continues after the sale. Allegedly the ‘new manager’ for Mr. Ogle was out of town/country when discussed at the last CAPS meeting. So let’s hope that upon this person’s return to Chicago, the building can be properly managed/maintained? It’s uncertain why the owner himself can’t do something in the interim. Perhaps he (like a good landowner should) could contact the neighbors who have been complaining and dialing 911 ? Perhaps he could talk to neighbors as suggested in last week’s CAPS meeting? Perhaps he could make arrangements for a new waste removal company? Heaven forbid, the tenants were given rules of good neighbor conduct.

Tenants and/or their guests perch on parked cars and the steps eating, drinking and talking very loudly into the night. It’s still illegal to drink alcohol on the public way. When it’s finally time to retire, the trash is left for others to clean up.

7625-29 On-going party trash 8.21.05

7625-29 Fly food

There used to be a large dumpster that was always overstuffed and overflowing. One dumpster for 9-11 apartments. Now it’s gone. What happened to it? So what do the tenants do? They dump their unsecured trash in the alley for rats and other scavengers. No health problem here.

7625-29 Still No Dumpster 8.21.05

7625-29 Trash Piles 8.21.05

Small children play in the alley unsupervised while construction crews working on Greenview rehabs try to avoid hitting them. According to neighbors to the north, the back gates of 7625 are locked so the kids climb the fence into neighbors courtyards. This does not make a good beginning relationship.

Neighbors have called 911 for rowdy party noise in front, possible drug dealing in the back entrance/alleyway from the building, and possible prostitution from young girls in the building. Let’s not mention the trespassing into private property. Will NOH ever be free of this kind of behavior?

This is a prime example of the status quo ruining a neighborhood. The vision without a plan. Well, here’s a plan…one the taxpayers are tired of pitching in for. Taxpayers are tired of loud neighbors, trash littering the parkway, possible illegal activities, unsupervised children, disturbances of the peace...all in the name of keeping the status quo happily lining their pockets.

Burned and Leaking

This incident happened in the early morning hours on Thursday. Apparently the fire began internally with human assistance. All problems below are in front of 7650-7656 Bosworth.


Interior Popped Trunk

Not sure how long it will sit on the street now nor who is responsible for removal. A neighbor overheard the owner state he/she has no insurance while removing the license plates so the police could not track him/her. One would assume the plate ID’s were taken at the time of the incident right? It’ll all come around again.

Meanwhile, if you notice the water in the gutter, it isn’t from the morning rain. It’s been gurgling from the water leak in front of 7650 for weeks now. The city has been called multiples times, one visit from them yielded a quick fix that didn’t last. Meanwhile, let’s wait until it’s a gusher or freezing and people start falling. Oh, the best part was a neighbor mentioning mosquitos and West Nile. The city's response? "This area was just sprayed."

So what? Is that the end of the West Nile virus?

On-Going Leak

Isn’t that the NOH way? Pretend the problem doesn’t exist?

a. No insurance….remove the licenses and the police will never know who owns the car!
b. If it isn’t a geyser or freezing, a water pipe leak isn’t a problem. It can wait until spring.

August 16, 2005


Here’s the new playlot this morning just before 8AM. The blue whale is beached.
100_0491 100_0495 100_0492

The chains are dangling swingless.


This is not a figment of my imagination. Some would point their fingers at the kids, and some would point their fingers at their parents. It’s an endless circle that began years ago and is being fed by the status quo.

You just can’t have it both ways…

Kids need parents who are involved with them and a neighborhood needs stable, long-term residents that are involved. As it is, we have a different version of Lincoln Park…a low income, transient society fed from government programs through the status quo.

How about a new type of non-profit called ‘Manners 101’?

August 10, 2005

Status Quo

Thought this was an interesting slant
on Friday’s tragedy. It’s unfortunate that the police can be admonished for not doing what is expected, which is to serve and protect yet later be expected to become liberal about the shrine to an alleged gang member being re-built and protected by other alleged gang members. So the message is what? NOH is owned and run by gangs? Guess so.

The shooting was across and up the street from the new playground. Granted, the shooting took place around 1:30am. Unfortunately, too often there are young children out at that time...with and without adult supervision. This playground was built by neighbors coming together to create a positive space. The underlying tragedy is not only the senseless death of a 19-year old, but the truth that NOH has been pegged and labeled as the dumping ground for the less fortunate to appease some liberal mind-set. While the law-abiding people of all incomes, religious and ethnic backgrounds are working and trying to maintain a life, those who choose the street corner are left behind to ‘rule’. The vision without a plan.

What chance do many of them have of escaping? Very slim to none. If they live to 35 or 45, they’ll still be on some corner with the same anger welling inside. And they know it, accept it and continue to stand on that corner.

Meanwhile, the ‘white collar gang bangers’ have pre-meeting after pre-meeting to have the big 10AM meeting. It’s all about checks and balances. Let’s see, why is that blogger asking questions about census tracts and average income? Could it be that it’s difficult to believe that the average income in this small high density, low income pocket of zip code 60626-1218 is about $40k? Why is the blogger questioning the status quo? For that matter, why is that Morse Avenue blogger questioning why and who is getting the special deals?

Why are people signing those silly petitions? Because they didn’t know when they moved here that there were other ruling forces. When they woke up and said ‘hey, what the heck is really going on’ they were met with polished, soft spoken excuses. Excuses and reasons that were so darn compelling, they almost believed them. They almost believed the silken eloquence until they heard gunshots far too often.

Now they’re expected to be tolerant and understanding. Tolerant of a senseless death for sure, but not understanding of the continued status quo.

Today Street and San workers were allegedly threatened with baseball bats if they bothered the shrine. This morning a woman with a grocery cart was ordered by the guards to walk on the other side of Paulina. She refused in spite of their threats and continued on her way. This morning City Parks workers replaced swings that allegedly had been slashed overnight and installed a working water fountain. People having good reason to be on or near that corner were threatened.

So the message is what? NOH is owned and run by gangs? We have many gangs here. Some slogans aren’t as well known as the graffiti is but the simple fact boils down to the frightening truth that ‘white collar gang bangers’ apparently will go to any length to keep NOH the way it is. It’s like an on-going ‘challenge’ to add to the year end kudo list. Headline: We accomplished this…

How sad.

August 7, 2005

Make An Investment

After all else has failed, the only effective way to deal with a problem is head-on. That happened on Tuesday, August 2, 2005. With the help of representatives of community groups, there was a meeting with two AIMCO Oakbrook management staff, two representatives from Illinois Department of Housing, two representatives from HUD, two representatives from the City of Chicago Department of Human Relations, and Northpoint residents to discuss issues and concerns.

A request to AIMCO was made by a Northpoint tenant to establish a tenant organization. AIMCO promised to support this effort. Security, safety and maintenance issues were discussed as well as the role everyone living North of Howard plays in being a good neighbor. We all have rules and laws to abide by whether we are low income subsidized housing tenants, market rate renters or property owners. To be a diverse neighborhood, we must get beyond discussing it, and take action to ensure we are all safe.

The first steps have been taken and the road will be as long and tedious as all of us choose to make it. To all reading this, please contemplate how you can offer your support as a neighbor, business owner, neighborhood group, owner, renter, or Northpoint resident. The next step will be to set up a meeting with Metropolitan Tenants Organization to work with the responsible tenants to instruct and organize them to effectively deal with issues and resolve problems as a group.

To do this, there can be only one agenda….to focus on issues and get resolution. If you or your group or business is willing to invest time to support this project, please join the effort.

Let’s leave politics and religion where they belong, in their respective places.

We are all humans and neighbors and this is the only requirement necessary.

Fatal Shooting on Paulina

A 19-year-old Evanston man died Saturday during a shooting in the Rogers Park neighborhood, police said.

Alex Vernon was shot at 1:30 a.m. in the 7700 block of North Paulina Street, police spokeswoman Patrice Harper said. Vernon, an alleged gang member, got into a quarrel with a man, who left and returned with a gun, she said.

Vernon, of the 200 block of Dodge Avenue, was taken to St. Francis Hospital in Evanston with a wound to the forehead. He died at 8:12 a.m., a medical examiner's spokesman said. No suspects were held, Harper said.

By Scott Goldstein and Jamie Francisco
Tribune staff reporters
Published August 7, 2005

August 1, 2005

Mugging at Howard El

Did anyone hear about a young man being mugged this morning at the Howard El? A neighbor saw several squad cars from the platform around 7:30am, and the rumor mill has it that there was a mugging. I called the police department to inquire, but could not get any answers.

We had another interactive session at the last CAPS meeting to get input from neighbors and police on our collective concerns. One solution we all agreed upon was to petition the powers that be for a police camera to be placed on Howard Street. If it was strategically positioned, it could monitor not only the El, but Gale Park, and Howard Street.

The petition is alive and well. If anyone wants to sign, please contact me.