April 30, 2006

Another Bridge Gallery

These photos were contributed by Mike Luckenbach. The signage on the metra bridge welcomes eastbound drivers and pedestrians to Howard Street. So does the hideous billboard have anything to offer other than adding 'visual pollution' as Mike calls it?




While this train bridge may not appear to be as structurally unsound as the dissolving concrete of the Howard El Station who knows for sure?

These rusty beams look more like carcinomas from a medical website.



Looking West or exiting our neighborhood, these photos of the Metra bridge indicate years of neglect.


When I googled for the Metra website, these words were beneath the link:

"Welcome to Chicago Metra Railroad's Information Center. Metra is the worlds finest commuter rail agency".

Time For A Raise?


Note the Sun Times article on Tom Westgard's blog......just in time for Mr. Houlihan's proposals!

At $98k a year, they are facing the same problems we are? No way, we working bees must have performance reviews before we get a 'cost of living' increase. When that 3% lands on our paycheck it's whittled down by tax deductions to an insulting amount of money for many people. Bottom line, it may buy the CTA fare to work and home, nothing more.

My heart bleeds for those poor overworked, underpaid aldermen and their trivial perks. As part of their job training for raises, they should work in the real world for a month, get paid like real people and pay gas bills and live on budgets like their constituents. Maybe then they'd be damn grateful to have their paycheck after walking in someone else's shoes for a month.

I know, their job review is called an election! After that it's a nice cozy ride and we pay for it.

Our Families

About Our Immigrant Family Trees

Both my paternal grandfather and grandmother came through Ellis Island at the turn of the century. I found their names, the ship manifest, on the site and shared with the family. It's free to sign in and research.

April 29, 2006

Do Something Green, Make Mayor Happy


You care (about the environment). Do something (green). The City will help.
Rain gardens. Recycling. Alternative transportation. Energy efficient homes.
The list of potential projects goes on. Last week, the City formally
announced its new
Chicago Conservation Corps (C3) environmental volunteer program. It offers training and support to individuals to develop an environmental improvement project for their community. C3 seeks participants for its upcoming Leader Training course.

To learn more, attend an orientation May 4, 6, 9, 11 or 13 at locations throughout the city. To register call (312)743-928 or visit the city website

May 13 through May 21
Garden in a City
ChicagoR17s Grant Park

For more information call 312-742-4817

Americas first garden and landscape design show focusing on urban horticulture and the greening of urban communities, will debut in Chicagos Grant Park this May. This new, in-ground show will provide an unprecedented experience for residents of the Chicago metro area and visitors to the city. It will feature practical, grassroots approaches to gardening in urban areas and small spaces, and showcase how greening of rooftops and public spaces improves our communities and quality of life. The show is organized by the Chicago Park District, City of Chicago (whose motto is "Urbs in horto" or "city in a garden") and the Parkways Foundation, the Park Districts philanthropic partner.
Garden in a City will feature display gardens demonstrating how to design and plant gardens in urban settings such as bungalow yards, townhouse balconies, backyard decks and building rooftops. Displays will be created by leading landscape architects, landscape designers and landscape contractors in the Chicago area. Other attractions include hands-on gardening demonstrations and workshops, a marketplace for plants and seasonal merchandise, an awards program and visitor amenities such as food vendors and play areas for children.

Locally, please visit The Gale School Greenhouse.

Other than 'neighborhood' and individual gardens, don't you think progressive Rogers Park should want to be the first in line to beautify the land and please Mayor Daley?

April 28, 2006

$8.4 Billion Profit in First Quarter....Need Gas?


“Meanwhile, President Bush sought to show that he was responding to calls for action in the face of rising gasoline prices. While visiting a gasoline station in Biloxi, Miss., Bush renewed his call for Congress to give him the authority to "raise" mileage standards for all passenger cars. White House officials said later, however, that they didn't know when or how the president would use that authority.” Washington Post

On another level, Houlihan wants us (especially NOH) to donate more money to the Chicago Fund. In return, we will still have vacant storefronts on Howard, the same slumlords, the same small scale cronyism, and a ban on foie gras.

We will still proudly display chicken bones, hot chip bags, and half pints on our sidewalks and parkways. So the ban on fowl liver won't change lives NOH at all. The higher gas prices haven't slowed the number of 'temporary' license plates out cruising at all.

Most of these amenities are provided by the actions of our ineffective leadership team(s).

At least it's Friday...I hope it's a quiet one wherever you live.

1640-42 Fargo Meeting Info


April 27, 2006

Patchwork Or The Real Thing?

This morning men were measuring on the Howard El Platform, on a closer look, they were not CTA workers. A neighbor introduced himself and we pondered if, at long last, construction was beginning to happen.


Approximately 5:25 PM tonight, scaffolding had been erected to safeguard pedestrians and vehicles from any more falling Howard El concrete.


Good to see!

The Tax Man Cometh

Your House Perceived By:.

Your perception of home

Your Lender:
Your Buyer:
Buyers Perception3
Your Appraiser:


Is this how you felt when you opened the assessment notice?

Bring your assessment to a seminar to understand Mr. Houlihan's 'perception' of the value of your home and how to file an appeal:

Tuesday May 2, 2006 7:00PM - 9:00PM
Loyola Park Fieldhouse
1230 West Greenleaf

April 26, 2006

Police Alert - Armed Robbery Pattern

Police Alert For Several Districts Including 24th

Got Gas?

Gas is the latest hot topic as it should be. Peoples Gas rips off customers, Richie as usual, expresses empathy but needs the money, and George must have snapped back from wherever his little mind takes him. He's aware there's a gas problem!

More Issues For Peoples Gas

We Didn’t Expect More Than This Richie

Did Dubya Just Find This Out?

April 25, 2006

Net Surfing Judgement

Surf the net with moderation, install a rear view mirror, and remember, it's not as dangerous as water cooler gossip, borrowing petty cash, having secretaries lie to the spouse or run personal errands on company time.

Monitor Mirrors

Maybe It's True?

Save The Internet

Check Out Snopes

So is it true?

April 24, 2006

A Friend In Moderation

Interesting information on storing Vitamin D Mother Nature's way...

April 22, 2006

Tonights Walk

Please join the April Neighborhood Walk tonight, April 22, 7:30PM. We'll meet under the police camera at the entrance to Gale Park on Howard Street.

We will walk to the Fargo/Jarvis area, east to East Lake Terrace, north to Juneway and then through the NOH neighborhood. It is our hope that our neighbors on Fargo and Jarvis will join us for part, if not all of the walk.

Come out, meet new neighbors and make your presence known. Please forward to anyone who may be interested.

This is a Beat 2422 and howardwatchers.blogspot.com monthly walk.

A Long Overdue Check Point

At long last, the CHA cracked under the barrage by the Chicago Tribune and is finally doing what should have been done all along: Investigate the landlord before the government check gets mailed. I hope the Tribune and the CHA will tally up how much government money has filtered into NOH in the last 15-20 years. Some of our notorious slumlords here have enabled drugs, gangs, and crime with their apathetic and non-resident status. Their only human concern is their own: getting money the easy way. Many have blatantly contributed to the blight NOH while some hid behind religion and 'caring' as their motive. Not screening tenants, not being up to code, not providing proper or adequate security, not enforcing any of the HUD guidelines that enable them to profit from the taxpayers is just the beginning of the list. We have them all.

I heard a story the other night from a terribly reliable source I must share. One zealous slumlord, wanting to provide for his poor and downtrodden tenants, was scrounging discarded mattresses from alleys for one of his buildings. This same zealot received complaints about tenants sitting in front of one building drinking alcoholic beverages. Since they were his alcoholics he was 'helping' and not wanting to lose the government check they brought in, he directed them to yet another public spot to drink. Again, he had to be reminded that drinking in the public way is illegal. It's as illegal as rehabbing apartments without the proper permits, but it still happens. As stated above, 'we have them all'. This is the side of the diversity buzzword we fail to acknowledge.

At long last the Broadmoor's good tenants are beginning to feel a little more secure. After years of battles in building court, the City of Chicago finally got wise to our friend Bill Higginson's mismanagement, apathy, and bad bookkeeping. The board of directors of Chicago Equity Fund must have received a lot of pressure from the corporate funders to dissolve both IMC and CEF. Higginson's empire is in court and/or facing foreclosure.

Northpoint management has been working with a newly formed tenant association to address safety and security and tenant right issues. I received an email that City Inspectors recently visited Northpoint properties again. Inspectors investigated certain Northpoint rehab issues last summer. They should be persistant until the problems are rectified. IDHA was made aware of certain quality of life issues from blog posts and photos in July 2005. A meeting was held on August 2, 2005 where tenants voiced their complaints in an open forum attended by IDHA, HUD, and City of Chicago Department of Human Serivces and two local AIMCO VP's. In the fall of 2005, the resident manager at Northpoint was 'replaced' as were the two VP's in Oakbrook Terrace. Upper management at AIMCO was made 'formally' aware of continuing Northpoint problems on January 21, 2006. A Senior VP flew in for a meeting with the tenant association in February, 2006. He will be made aware of the April 19, 2006 inspection since the replacement manager and replacement VP were made aware of the gates and other security issues in a March tenant/management meeting. The issue will be on the April agenda as well.

And at long last, let us not forget Jay Johnson, who sits on the zoning committee for Ward 49.

In summation, from my perspective, this neighborhood was allowed to have problem buildings with public servants permission. Slumlords were allowed to violate many of HUD's rules on safety, codes, and acceptance qualifications for tenants. The rectification of problems, for the most part, is being done by tenants of problem buildings working with neighborhood organizations and concerned citizens. It's a shame the monies funneled to these slumlords can't be collected and put into a fund to rehab these buildings into safe, clean, properly managed affordable dwellings. If one cheats the IRS, they send a bulldog to collect. Is there a collection bulldog for the Section 8 cheaters beyond holding back current payments?

I am not advocating gentrification NOH. I am advocating safe, clean affordable housing in lieu of the political slumlord fiasco this neighborhood has dealt with for years.


Check Point To Civility

Shortly after the meeting with Urban Equities, CIC, and tenants of the Broadmoor, the neighbors discovered Robert Syzmanski means business. Last week on my way to the falling down Howard El, I stopped to chat with two armed, uniformed security guards patrolling the Broadmoor properties. There are now two guards in the building 24/7. In June, Urban is taking another step toward civilized behavior at the Broadmoor. Photo ID’s will be issued to the remaining tenants and must be shown to enter the building. No photo ID card, no entry. Bleeding hearts rave on, because this is a dire necessity. Call it what you will, but the good tenants deserve safety, security, and quiet. The problem tenants can write their politicians and the ACLU if they want to lodge a complaint.

This security guard is checking the Howard Street East Lake problem properties.
Wizzard 015

These doors and apartments are frequented by the dealers and ladies. The guard and a maintenance person were checking the locks and the buzzers. Please note the broken window that was half-assed boarded up has now been replaced by PROPER BUILDING MANAGEMENT . The old thrift shop is still another vacant storefront, but is a notch above the board ups at Coe’s Crib across the street.

This photo wouldn’t be possible without years of PERSEVERANCE OF BRAVE TENANTS AND NEIGHBORHOOD ACTIVISTS

April 21, 2006

Grand Opening - Kenny's Kleeners

Here’s the new dry cleaners for our neighborhood, located on the Clark Street side of the Gateway ‘Coutre” Mall. It’s a convenient location for drivers with ample parking for stop and grocery shop, drop the laundry, get the vitamins, rent a video, check out Marshall’s spring designs, get a new cell phone, and register at Bally’s on the way out kind of destination place. Still no bookstore in sight...because 'this neighborhood isn't ready for one yet'.

Just before the cleaners on Howard closed up, I spoke at length with Oscar Wasserman who had great stories of the good old days of NOH. Now that building stands vacant and derelict while the fave aldermanic developer bud of 2005 figures out his next dastardly scheme. What's ANOTHER VACANT STOREFRONT is the accepted mentality here.

Wizzard 013

Meanwhile, back at the mostly empty Mall, here’s the only loading dock the wise developer fave of another year, Rudy Muldar incorporated into the blueprints. How on earth did this ever pass the hearings? The lower portion of the mall is interior storage units…so do people unload their trucks in the bus lanes during off hours? How does Marshall’s get deliveries? They must be made early in the morning or after hours at night from the parking lot. The absence of loading docks is the main non-selling point that is keeping the mall empty. The brilliance of ‘developers’ and community planners at their highest voltage.

Wizzard 014

Information Commons/Glass Study Hall

Today was almost like being in a surreal world! I joined neighbors and Loyola students and sat in on the hearing for the Information Commons on the campus green.

The real stars of the afternoon were the students who, at 18-20 years of age, eloquently spoke their opinions to the Chicago Plan Commission. Some also responded without hesitation to the barrage of questions from Ald. Stone and Ald. Natarus on the ‘need’ for green space versus a fish tank building facing the lake. The building is not offensive, don’t get me wrong, but listening to these aldermanic attempts to intimidate these students was less than amusing. It became apparent that this commission had not done their homework. One non-alderman was having a difficult time ‘envisioning’ what it looks like now in comparison to the architects renderings. Of course, the renderings look stunning, no doubt about it. But the old boys and girls totally missed the point the opposition was making.

The building is an ‘Information Commons’, four stories of glass on the east and west so that the neighborhood can still see the lake. Since it’s an Information Commons, it must be close to or connected to the library yet it will not have books. OK, anyone hear of wireless laptops and other high tech contraptions? Natarus couldn’t get beyond how he loved libraries and quizzed the students on how much time was spent in libraries. He must have missed the portion stating ‘no books’. Naturally the ‘salesman’ architect pointed out the land area and other nearby buildings and sold the commission on the need to put the building ‘right there’. It was the only place to put it because it HAD to be in conjunction with the library. The library has the books, this building has the generic name of ‘Information Commons’ which translates to a social gathering place for internet access in a glass study hall.

So it passed with the exception of one commissioner who abstained. It’s private property and the LPO was not being violated.

To sit in that chamber was a real mental exercise. First of all, the hearing was as dry as last year’s turkey. The commission appeared to be a group of stodgy head- nodders from another era. To make decisions that affect a neighborhood, it should be mandatory that the group physically walk around each and every site prior to the hearing. Just do your job folks. Looking at pretty renderings is not an intelligent decision making process. There were no before and after pictures of the site to assist the one commissioner with the envisioning problem! So he sat rubbing his head talking about Hyde Park.

So this is the government at work? So this is how and why developments are approved in Chicago? “If the alderman says it’s OK, then who are we (commissioners) to disagree” was the not too subtle message of the afternoon. Fine with me if they agree, but I wish they could visit the day world I live in where deadlines must be met, business plans must be prepared and reviewed for loopholes, presentations must be customized for prospective meetings so the sale will be flawless. Why flawless? So the unknown questions from the client can be answered before they’re asked that’s why. The salesman/spokesperson/architect probably over-prepared for this afternoon’s hearing.

So in all fairness, there were two sets of stars – the students and the over – prepared architect.

No rating on the stodgy, uninformed, commission who apparently can’t connect the dots between library and a building with ‘no books’. The whole concept of a glass study hall/social gathering place didn’t find a landing place in the gray matter.

April 20, 2006



Happy Earth Week


Click on the "Marchers" (on the second hyperlink) tab, scroll down to Ms. Lisa Madigan's following of 8! It's a tad apparent that Chicago and Illinois politicos environmental concerns are limited, hence the Stroger Cigarette Taxes. Mayor Daley took a ride in one of his new 'clean' buses, but what about those monsters that still spit black diesel smoke all over the city? What about the gas guzzlers many insist on driving to work? What about the check list on corporations that spill waste into the air, water and underground rivers? They make campaign contributions, write tax deductible checks payable to outfits like the defunct IMC Property Management to save big bucks. Not only are they polluting Mother Earth, they're enabling her humans on the downward spiral. Why are we paying outrageous prices for 20th Century living spaces? Why are we not receiving more for our money?

My neighbor, George Sullivan, sent this email to developers and certain politicians(as he always does) to remind them we're in the 21st Century. It's Earth Week so perhaps we really should push our 'servants' to take better care of us don't you think?

The attached article is from the new ULI. It has an interesting view of the built and new built environments, verses what needs to happen in both environments to cut Climate Change to minimum. Is the current building practice in Chicago and Northern Illinois changing our environment in the Great Lakes Basin for the better?

It would be an interesting challenge to make the energy improvements to both environments that the article suggests, through the our current redevelopment.

Rogers Park, as is Chicago, is rushing head long in the redevelopment of the majority its 100 year old building stock into new Condos, which are being rehabbed with the same turn of the century building shell model, that is just as energy inefficient, as when they were built. When do we in the building, development, design, environmental and City communities, start to make the change happen? Or might it be too late? Will it just be business as usual? Our beloved Lake Michigan’s levels keep dropping as we see yet another very dry summer start to approach, dropping lake levels even lower. What will you do?

Urban Land - March 2006 - Dialogues - Environment
What Can We Do About Climate Change?
by Edward Mazria

Architects, designers, and planners need to lead in the race against human-induced climate change, Let’s accept this challenge.
Global warming, now well underway, will seriously threaten the planet if allowed to progress unchecked over the coming years. In order to avoid disastrous impacts, the scientific consensus is that we must limit the rise in global temperature to less than 1° C above today’s levels. At a 1° C rise from today’s global temperature, it is likely that millions of people will be displaced from their homes due to rising sea levels. Food production will decline; rivers will become too warm for trout and salmon; snow pack will decrease, threatening urban water supplies; the weather will become more extreme; sea levels will rise, inundating coastal areas; the world’s coral reefs—home to 25 percent of all marine species—will be destroyed; a quarter of all plant and animal species will become extinct; and the Greenland ice sheet will begin to melt.

At a 2° C rise from today’s levels, the effects are expected to be catastrophic. Under this scenario, the socioeconomic and political consequences can only be imagined. If we continue on our present course of burning fossil fuels, according to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, we could reach a 1° C increase by 2050, and a 2° C increase by 2080. We are clearly running out of time.
The building sector is responsible for half of all U.S. global warming emissions annually, and these emissions are increasing at an alarming rate, according to statistics from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. It is time for the building industry to lead in the race to prevent dangerous climate change.
To meet the goal of keeping global warming under 1° C above today’s levels, the building community must adopt the following targets:
· All new buildings and developments need to be designed to use half the fossil fuel energy they would typically consume (i.e., half the country average for that building type).
· At a minimum, an equal amount of existing building area needs to be renovated annually to use half the amount of fossil fuel energy they are currently consuming (through design, purchase of renewable energy, and/or the application of renewable technologies).
· The fossil fuel reduction standard for all new buildings needs to be increased to 60 percent in 2010, 70 percent in 2015, 80 percent in 2020, 90 percent in 2025, and carbon-neutral by 2030 (using no fossil fuel greenhouse gas–emitting energy to operate buildings).

A joint effort within the building community is needed to work together to change existing building standards and codes to reflect these targets. To support this effort, all architecture and planning schools should require a mandatory, full-year, innovative studio-based program that promotes creative problem solving relevant to climate change—one that incorporates a deep understanding of the relationship between nature and design in all core courses. Since it will take time to implement this kind of program, design studio instructors in the interim should include into the problems they assign to students the requirement that the designs engage the environment in a way that dramatically reduces or eliminates the need for fossil fuels.

In addition, since the building community is responsible for directing the purchase of more than a trillion dollars’ worth of goods and services annually, major reductions can be made in the emissions produced by the manufacture of building products and the construction of buildings and infrastructure through the specification of innovative, low-embodied-energy materials, technologies, and processes. Architects, designers, and planners need to lead in the race against human-induced climate change. Let’s accept this challenge.

Edward Mazria
is a senior principal at Mazria Odems Dzurec, an architecture and planning firm in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He is author of The Passive Solar Energy Book, senior analyst for the Southwest Climate Council, and adjunct professor at the University of New Mexico. (For more information, see the “2030 Challenge” at www.architecture2030.org or the Happy Earth Week hyperlink)

Urban Land: March 2006
© 2006 ULI–the Urban Land Institute, all rights reserved.

April 19, 2006

"O Rocks don't fall on me"

Here's a post where, once again, a picture says 1000 words! Thanks John for sending this to 24/7.

"These pics were taken Saturday morning April 15. Truly ironic, don't
you think?

I talked to the workers who, after being assured I wasn't with the
CTA, told me what had happened.

Chunks of concrete had fallen onto the street and sidewalk. These
crews were removing the debris and hacking out more loose concrete
from the bridge. " A Saturday morning surprise", as one of them put it.


Isn't it amazing that every train on the red line probably has to
cross this bridge at least once a day?
DSCF0015 DSCF0020

Seems kind of sad that, aside from being a very large urinal, the
Gateway to Whatever should be crumbling.

The residual debris is still in neat little piles under the bridge at
this writing.

Will the new transit station be built before Gateway Bridge is
falling down? Maybe the Mayor should take a walk or drive his limo
underneath as the concrete falls.


In the words of the old spiritual: " O Rocks don't fall on me...". "

Who's In Charge?

There are pros and cons to the first amendment rights of young people regarding CURFEWS.

My parents enforced this horrid rule, and years later, I did too. The only differences were geography and mindsets. I was a teenager in a small town, my daughter was a teenager in Chicago. Mischief is mischief, and it can go very wrong at any time, any place.

When parents cite the First Amendment as a violation of their child's rights on the curfew issue, it paints a skewed portrait of our society doesn't it? To argue for the sake of proving a point in legal semantics is indicative of parental disassociation with their own responsibilities. Granted, many young people aren't vandals, drug dealers or gang bangers and possibly they've been spared because their parents have rules including curfew. And, on the flip side, there are kids who can delve into illegal activities and still be home on time.

There's no magic formula here, but we seem to have a shortage of common sense. If the kid wants to stay at a friends house until midnight, then an adult has to make the decision, not the kid. Who's in charge, the kids or the adults? Turn off the TV and go fetch your kid; don't yell at the cops or society because too many families have fallen through the cracks.

We can't keep our children under our protective surveillance forever. Our job is to guide them, not push them, into adulthood.

Amen to resurrecting 'It's ten o'clock, do you know where your kids are?"

April 18, 2006

April Walk

Join your neighbors Saturday, April 22 at 7:30 PM at the entrance to Gale Park at Howard and Ashland for a neighborhood walk.
The weather forecast looks mild so far.


Stay tuned for the route.

How To Qualify For Tax Smart Tax Credits

I apologize for not catching this email over the weekend. Hopefully some will have a chance to attend.

The following class will focus on the tax smart tax credit and the building requirements to recieve the $2,000.00/unit Federal tax credit for developers, and the $2,000.00/year Federal tax credit for 27 years for condo/home buyers. What a way to have your units hit the market.

TITLE: Certification and Testing for Energy Efficiency (Green Contractor Series V)
DATE: 4/18/2006
TIME: 6:00–8:00 pm

PRESENTER: George Sullivan, Eco Smart Building, Cappy Kidd and John Porterfield, Informed Energy Decisions LEVEL: Advanced (Attendance at GCS I-IV recommended) Energy efficiency is a major component of any green building design, regardless of the type of building or how it will be utilized.The fifth in our Green Contractor Series, this seminar will walk you through the steps of certification and required testing to ensure that your building shell matches the intended design performance.
The Class is at CCGT, Chicago Center For Green Technology.


George D. Sullivan
Eco Smart Building
P. O. Box 4154
Chicago, IL 60654

April 17, 2006

Loyola vs The People

Loyola Proposes Construction of New Campus Building on Lake Michigan

Presentation before Chicago Plan Commission on Thurs., April 20, 2006

Concerned citizens urged to attend to voice concern about this proposal:
Chicago Plan Commission Meeting
121 North LaSalle Street
City Council Chamber, City Hall
Chicago, Illinois 60602
Thurs., April 20, 2006
1:00 P.M.

Loyola University has proposed constructing a new building on its Lake Shore Campus. This four-story, 70,000 square-foot structure called "Information Commons" will be located between Madonna della Strada Chapel and Cudahy Library, on the site of the present open green space known as the Jesuit Residence Lawn.

Many students, alumni, and community members oppose locating the building at this spot, because it blocks the last remaining vista of the lake and creates a canyon effect along the shoreline. At an April 4th campus meeting to discuss the proposed building, several students eloquently stated that seeing the "Jes Res" Lawn with its beautiful view of Lake Michigan was the very reason they chose to attend Loyola.

Why should the community care?
Many area residents utilize the Loyola Campus as their open space. The enjoyment of this tranquil setting and wide-open vista of Lake Michigan will be lost forever by the ill-conceived placement of this building.

Lakefront Protection Ordinance
Loyola’s property, private or not, is within the Lakefront Protection Ordinance district and like any other property owner needs to comply with the intent and purpose of the Ordinance. Paragraph 16-4-030 (Purposes), paragraph (g), states: “To promote and provide for the pedestrian access to the Lake… and to protect and enhance vistas at these locations and wherever else possible.” This building is in direct conflict with that purpose as well as other purposes of the Ordinance.

By Donald Gordon, Executive Director, Rogers Park Conservancy
Saturday, April 15, 2006

As some of you may know by now, Loyola has a plan to begin building an Information Commons building on their campus this summer. It’s a LEED approved building, which makes it environmentally correct and architecturally quite stunning. The purpose of the building is to provide study areas for the students and have a secured, enclosed connection to the library. It’s a $30 million dollar project with 4 floors and will rise 67’ and will be primarily a glass front. The building is stunning and the facility an incredible state-of-the-art asset for the students.

The problem is the location, which is in front of the Jesuit residence between the library and the chapel, on a piece of property the students and alumni refer to as the “Jesuit Lawn.” It is the last remaining green space on campus with a vista of the lake and it is quite spectacular at that. This building is being placed right on that property at the lake’s edge and blocks the last remaining vista of the lake, while creating a canyon effect along the shoreline.

The students have been very vocal against it and community residents, including myself, expressed similar feelings at Loyola’s meeting a couple weeks ago. Unfortunately, the “open” community meeting requested by the Alderman was once again too little too late. The project was undertaken and planned well over a year ago, and all the meeting provided was yet another wasted venue for citizens to sit and be in awe of the proposals put in front of us. We have presented two alternative locations, which would accommodate the structure as is and be within proximity to the library to allow for the connectivity that is needed. The University will hear nothing of it at this late stage, so we are invoking the Lakefront Protection Ordinance to bring pressure upon Loyola to move its location.

You might ask, though, why should we care about the students’ problem with their university? Why care about their remorse over their loss of this last respite of lakefront open green space on campus? Why care about anything that a private university is doing on their private campus? Well, we should care. First, Loyola’s property, private or not, is within the Lakefront Protection Ordinance district and like any other property owner they need to comply with the intent and purpose of the Ordinance. Paragraph 16-4-030 (Purposes), paragraph (g), states: “To promote and provide for the pedestrian access to the Lake… and to protect and enhance vistas at these locations and wherever else possible.” This building is in direct conflict with that purpose as well as other purposes of the Ordinance.

Second, we should also be remorseful over this loss because the campus, though private, is accessible and utilized by the residents of this community. Residents in the southeast corner of Rogers Park have little to no green space and only a small play lot and beach at the end of Albion that provides a lakefront vista. The campus is their open space as well as anyone else’s in the community who chooses to run and walk through this tranquil setting and most importantly enjoy the wide-open vista now provided by the “Jesuit Lawn.” That will be lost forever by the ill-conceived placement of this building.

Finally, we should hold Loyola accountable to the spirit of Daniel Burnham and everyone who has fought for our lakefront over the past 150 years. If you care to, you can read this extraordinary history in Lois Wille's book "Forever Open, Clear, and Free - The Struggle for Chicago's Lakefront.” The title of the book is from the immortal words of Gurdon Saltinstall Hubbard, William F. Thornton and William B. Archer, who at the time of this city's founding, refused to "sell our lakefront." Instead they inscribed these words on their map of a little prairie town on the southern shores of Lake Michigan. So many more were to follow in their footsteps.

All of us who fight the fight today to keep even the smallest of open spaces on this grand and spectacular lakefront are following in these footsteps as well. This is not just a student battle with their Administration; this is our battle, in concert with the students, as stewards of this lakefront and as champions of a cause that has persisted for 150 years. We cannot shrink from that responsibility nor allow Loyola to disgrace the legacy of those who fought so hard to preserve for us what we have today. I’ll close this appeal with the words of Daniel Burnham, which so eloquently make our case today (the bold is my emphasis)…

The lakefront by right belongs to the people. It affords their one great unobstructed view, stretching away to the horizon where water and clouds seem to meet. No mountains or high hills enable us to look over broad expanses of the earth's surface; and perforce we must come even to the margin of the lake for such a survey of nature. These views calm thoughts and feelings, and afford escape from the petty things of life. Mere breadth of view, however, is not all. The lake is living water, ever in motion, and ever changing in color and in the form of its waves. Across its surface comes the broad pathway of light made by the rising sun; it mirrors the ever-changing forms of the clouds, and is illumined by the glow of the evening sky. Its colors vary with the shadows that play upon it. In every aspect it is a living thing, delighting mans' eye and refreshing his spirit. Not a foot of its shores should be appropriated by individuals to the exclusion of the people. the life of the whole city. It should be made so alluring that it will become the fixed habit of the people to seek its restful presence at every opportunity. - On the contrary, everything possible should be done to enhance its natural beauties, thus fitting it for the part it has to play in Daniel H. Burnham, Chapter IV – The Plan of Chicago, 1909

We propose moving the IC building, as is, to the Quinn Quadrangle and adjoining parking lot at the north end of campus (the moderately hilly landscaped area just east of the Winthrop entrance on Loyola Avenue), which would still allow for connectivity to the library, be in closer proximity to student housing and Centennial Forum, while providing easier access to the library for residents in the community. By doing this and tearing down the Jesuit residence, which is already planned, a spectacular open space vista would be created within the campus. This would be a win-win situation for all, since the University would have to do very little modification of its plan for the IC and the students and community residents would gain a tremendous open green space and lakefront vista to enjoy for generations to come. The contingency recommendation would be to put the IC in the current location of the Jesuit residence by tearing it down first and at least preserving the Jesuit Lawn and lakefront vista, as it exists today.

Please contact the Rogers Park Conservancy for more information at

April 14, 2006

Affordable Housing Conditions and Outlook in Chicago

Affordable housing in city not keeping pace with those who need it
03/29/06, Anne Brooks Ranallo, UIC News

Chicago is gaining low-income households — including many large Latino households — much faster than it is gaining affordable housing for them, a UIC report says.

Excerpt from the report, Affordable Housing Conditions and Outlook in Chicago:

In Chicago, the affordable housing stress is even more pronounced with increasing demand on the one hand and declining supply on the other. There is little production of housing affordable to very low-income households, particularly those that earn below 30% of Area Median Income (AMI). While federal resources targeting low-income populations have been steadily declining, the limited resources that are available continue to be diverted to support the development of mixed-income communities on former public housing sites. In addition to the very limited production of housing for very low-income households, the problem continues to worsen because of the loss of existing affordable housing stock due to expiring Section 8 and tax credit units, public housing demolition, conversion of affordable rental units to market rate condos, etc. As a result homelessness is on the rise.

Nathalie P. Voorhees Center for Neighborhood and Community Improvement

April 13, 2006

A Yurt For the Hurt

If you cannot open the link, please register for Washington's latest....

"After Katrina, people really need some temporary houses," explained the Kyrgyz Embassy's Saltanat Tashmatova, at the front door of the yurt. A brochure says the 14-foot-high structure, made from sheep's wool and "cool in summer," sells for $10,000 -- but the floor model can be had for $7,000"

Will we see these popping up for the summer months? Maybe the developer buddies would feel they'd done the right thing if they bought a few yurts for those they've displaced.

Temporary Summer Homes

April 12, 2006

SB2570 For The Condo Folks

News from our Edgewater Neighbors This email information was in my mailbox from the Edgewater Chamber of Commerce, so today's post is for the condo people. Bottom line, we all came to this world naked and crying...we're part of the same group known as the human race. Go tenants for your rights, go condo associations who have been getting slighted.
With the assistance of and leadership by State Representative Harry Osterman and the support of ASCO, the Illinois House has just passed SB2570. The bill, sponsored by Senator Susan Garrett is a major breakthrough for condominium associations throughout the State of Illinois. In order to break through the dam set up by the powerful banking industry, banks and mortgage holders were excluded from the bill.

SB2570 will allow associations to collect the last six months of assessments due on a unit sold at a court ordered sale PROVIDED THAT THE AMOUNT DUE IS ADVERTISED AS A PART OF THE SALE NOTICE. Some legal fees will also be recoverable by the association. In addition to helping the association recoup some past due revenues, this bill should also discourage some speculators who are only looking to resell the unit because it could cut their profits.

Sheli Lulkin,
ASCO president.

Synopsis As Introduced
Amends the Condominium Property Act. Provides that a purchaser of a condominium unit at a judicial foreclosure sale, or a mortgagee who receives a deed in lieu of foreclosure or a judgment of foreclosure or who otherwise takes possession of a condominium unit pursuant to a court order, must pay the proportionate share of the common expenses for the unit which would have become due in the absence of any assessment acceleration during the 6 months immediately prior to the filing of an action to enforce the collection of assessments.

Senate Floor Amendment No. 1
Further amends the Condominium Property Act. Provides that a purchaser of a condominium unit at a judicial foreclosure sale, other than a mortgagee or a purchaser who acquires title from a mortgagee who takes possession of a condominium unit pursuant to a court order, must pay the proportionate share of the common expenses for the unit which would have become due in the absence of any assessment acceleration during the 6 months immediately prior to the filing of an action to enforce the collection of assessments.
House Amendment No. 1 Adds reference to:
735 ILCS5/15-1507
Amends the Code of Civil Procedure. Provides that a notice of judicial sale must, if the real estate is a condominium, include a statement of unpaid assessments or other charges due and owing. Further amends the Condominium Property Act. Provides that a purchaser of a condominium unit at a judicial foreclosure sale, other than a mortgagee or a purchaser who acquires title from a mortgagee who takes possession of a condominium unit pursuant to a court order, must pay the proportionate share of the common expenses for the unit which would have become due in the absence of any assessment acceleration during the 6 months immediately prior to the filing of an action to enforce the collection of assessments and which remain unpaid by the owner during whose possession the assessments accrued. If the outstanding assessments are paid during any action to enforce the collection of assessments, the purchaser will have no obligation to pay any assessments which accrued before he or she acquired title. Provides that the notice of sale of a condominium unit under a judicial foreclosure, the statement of assessment account issued by the condominium association to the purchaser of a unit from a mortgagee, and the disclosure statement issued to a prospective purchaser shall state that the purchaser of the unit other than a mortgagee shall pay the required assessments and the fees owed, if any.

House Amendment No. 3
Amends provisions of the bill stating that the notice of the sale of a condominium unit under a judicial foreclosure shall state that the purchaser of the unit other than a mortgagee shall pay the assessments and the legal fees required in specified parts of the Act. The statement of assessment account issued by the condominium association to a unit owner and the disclosure statement issued to a prospective purchaser shall state the amount of the required assessments and the fees owed, if any, required by specified parts of the Act.

For full text of bill click on link below.
Full Text of Bill
The added wording is at the bottom of page 4.

1. Write to Governor Rod Blagojovich and urge him to sign SB2570
2. Write to State Senator Carol Ronen and ask her to urge the Governor to sign this bill.
3. Write to State Rep. Harry Osterman and thank him for his leadership. Ask him to encourage the Governor to sign this bill.

April 11, 2006

The Greenleaf Saga

It was a crisp, sunny Sunday morning as I met some of the tenants of the dismal Greenleaf property who are righteously refusing to pack and go. They are people with names which I will not disclose. They are middle class working people just like you, just like me.

Here is a short list of some of the tenant's vocations:
Retail manager-Banana Republic- Hair Stylist- Marketing specialist- State employee-Railroad- Airline security- Real Estate- Visual Merchandising- Floral designer-Construction-

One woman has lived there for 8 years, another for 1 year, and others signed leases just last fall. Now this is part of the reason the remaining 18 tenants are upset. QHC Inc. was the previous owner who employed Wesley Realty Management Company's on-site manager. The east side of this courtyard building, built in 1916, is co-op and the west side is rental. As most owners are aware, the closing of a property takes a certain amount of preparation time before the papers are signed. In September, 2005 QHC was actively renting apartments knowing that a sale was in progress. The sale was final in October, 2005.

While QHC owned the property, maintenance was sometimes rather slow or haphazard in making repairs unless the tenants were assertive. They had to constantly remind Wesley/QHC that the roof was leaking, the plaster was falling, the screens were missing or the lights were burned out. Just those simple little things one pays rent for! On a side note, condo owners have to deal with the same issues and often have a less than fair outcome if the issue and the votes are swayed by one groups’ agenda!

A letter from New City, the new owner, dated October 31, 2005 was posted in vestibules but not addressed and delivered to individual tenants. No mention was made of the transference of security deposits from QHC. In fact, QHC didn’t post a letter but placed the blame on the onsite maintenance person from Wesley Realty Management Company. The defendants attorney's are refusing to allow that maintenance person to make a deposition in the case. Wonder why?

Soon thereafter, tenants noticed problems with heat and electricity. The heat was either cranked full blast rendering pets unconscious or the heat was not on at all. The latter was usually the case. The new owners must have saved a bundle over winter weekends without on-site maintenance to check the boiler. If you recall, December was very cold. The tenants sought legal assistance and retained an attorney to represent them.

Prior to this sale, QHC re-set the back porches after removing most of the concrete courtyard to create green space. The procedure was not properly done rendering the porches dangerous enough to be cited as hazardous in August 2005 by the City.
Greenleaf 012

Other building issues were later discovered when inspectors responded to the tenants constant calls, but under the current Catch-22 building code, once a violation has been cited, additional amendments or citations cannot be added until the original violation is settled in court. Other citations that could not be written up included raw sewerage backing up into bathtubs. At one point, cable wires and ungrounded electrical wiring were draped and hanging across rear exits to the condemned porches. Remember, the law states two points of egress, yet the inspectors hands were tied over the single hazardous porch citation. Now that’s a City that works isn’t it?

Greenleaf 010 Greenleaf 011

Inside the building there were not only the leaks in the roof, but cracks in the plaster, broken windows, missing, ripped or patchwork screens, and non-working fire detectors. The buzzers don’t work properly, so tenants on top floors have the choice to buzz in strangers, traipse down three flights to see who’s there, or simply ignore them. Some choice right? Many of the outer doors don’t’ properly close and lock allowing entry to anyone. Some security right? Tenants now replace light bulbs but with so many dark, vacant apartments, the building provides the appearance of being abandoned, just what squatters look for. Some security, right?

This fixture is dangling by wires.
Greenleaf 006

One young woman I met came home from a three day weekend to find a layer of construction dust in her apartment. There was a fine layer of dust inside her silverware drawer that seeped under the door and other crevices.
Greenleaf 007
Another young couple with a 5 year old daughter and 2 year old son have had very sickly children this year. Construction is taking place in tiers while the tenants are still under lease with no concern for air pollution.

This is the landing below their door.
Greenleaf 003

Small children live behind this dusty door.
Greenleaf 005

The air pollution, possible remnants of lead paint, raw sewerage, poor water pressure and lack of heat should be enough to disgust any civilized human in a non-third world country such as ours. But the total disregard of human dignity or human rights ranks right up there with stories blogged about certain slumlords North of Howard.

Here are some unlocked gutted apartments. With a $1.5 million rehab loan, the new owners are attempting to create 2 bedroom condos from sensibly sized 1 bedroom apartments. Only very petite people with minimal furnishings might find them worth the money.

Greenleaf 015 Greenleaf 014

Beyond the inconvenience, the health hazards and a feeling of futility in fighting this battle, I asked what they hoped to accomplish. The tenants bottom line is to raise the awareness to the lawmakers of the City of Chicago and the State of Illinois to the true and necessary need for affordable rental housing. There should be regulations on leasing while in the process of selling. There should be financial assistance for displacement. No one has the right to dictate if one must own property. It takes a certain amount of money and credit to buy and there are those who have neither. There are also those who don't want the hassle of 'owning' and paying taxes. It should be a personal choice. This situation not only forces middle class working singles and families out of a neighborhood but creates a scenario where ‘renters’ are an unwelcome, stigmatized group of people. Renters will become the nomads of the 21st Century forced to wear the letter “R” on their foreheads, the stigma of ‘renters’.

How dare the leaders of Rogers Park, or Chicago for that matter, pound their fists and declare that we are unique because of our diversity. It’s now becoming an us versus them mentality. Them renters must be banished and us owners must save the ward. Rather than this being a story about people, it’s unfortunately again, a story about money. In a year or two, there will probably be a story about a condo owner in that building who realizes his ‘rehab’ was done so cheaply and quickly that it’s not up to code and guess what? He’ll pay to get it up to code.

This story is all about money not people, not safe, secure, affordable housing and definitely not about saving the middle working class.

April 9, 2006

Neighbor Rescued "Lady" and May Adopt

A friend called tonight to inform me he lured this Lady into his home this afternoon. So she is dining well and is safe from the alley. After a visit to the vet he will adopt her if she gets along with the other lady of the house. If not, he will find a no kill shelter for her. Since she's a shy, passive kitty I have faith that there won't be any problems after the initial territorial hissing.


I'm also reaching out to other neighbors in Rogers Park to contact me or post about No Kill Shelters or anyone who may be willing to adopt as my friend is in the process of doing. Please contact me at toniduncan7@aol.com.

If you are moving or know anyone who is moving and plans to discard a pet, please talk to them. There are better alternatives than the alley.

To my friend who recognized this kitty from the blog...and saved her...many, many thanks.

Profiteers of Low Income

This subject of the Sun Times article has been discussed several times in Beat 2422 CAPS meetings. Note to not label all Link recipients into the same category, this is the reality in NOH for some, not all, individuals. There are certain stores that ring up food but sell blunts and cigarettes etc. The other offenders are in a different category. In our little neighborhood, if one knows who and what to look for, you can see the story in action. Link cards are handed to another person in exchange for urgently needed cash. They are 'sold' one can hear them striking up a deal. Example, you take my Link card, use it for your groceries, and give me the cash and the card back for the next cash refill. These aren’t immigrants sending money to terrorists overseas, these are home grown citizens. The only terrorists around here are the bad guys on the streets.

The concept isn't offensive until one realizes that they’re Link Card recipients are getting either cash back for their 'personal spending' or certain stores are misusing the system. Then it’s offensive. They don’t have to worry about where the next meal is coming from if they can have supper nightly at the soup kitchen. Yet the soup kitchen will give stats on the rising number of poor and hungry. That may in part be true, but there’s a bigger picture than they’re admitting or seeing. To claim that many of the same people have been coming to the soup kitchen for years because they’re poor may be in part true in part untrue. In certain cases, it’s a matter of convenience and it’s a social event. Why cook when I can get a free meal?

In the summer, the soup kitchen has the free fruit and vegetables. There are many who take advantage of the gift and turn around and sell for cash. In effect we have our own NOH blackmarket in part enabled by certain entities.

It’s also reported that certain employees of the soup kitchen allegedly refuse certain eligible low income neighbors at the door. They’ve been told they aren’t eligible to eat in the soup kitchen. Low income is low income. Discrimination is discrimination and love thy brother/sister is just that too.

The welfare-fraud link
April 9, 2006


Corner groceries -- the ones tagged with graffiti and plastered with advertisements like "Chorizo $2.89" and "Eggs 89¢ a dozen" -- dot Chicago's neighborhoods. But some of these stores aren't making their money on sausage and eggs.

More and more of these tiny pantries claim to sell millions in merchandise a year through the food-stamp program. Federal investigators are after dozens of them for ringing up phony sales and illegally handing customers cash -- and pocketing a sizable cut -- all courtesy of U.S. taxpayers. (continued in comments section)

April 8, 2006

House OK's Bill To Neuter Certain Dogs

This looks like 'half' of a bill to me.


Neuter/spay the dogs and then what? If the neutering procedure lessens aggressiveness will the dog become an unwelcome member of the family? Will the dog be mistreated or discarded like a cat?

One night last summer a neighbor and I were out walking and heard horrendous yelps from a dog. We walked to the end of the block and there stood a huge man beating and kicking his leashed dog. The poor animal was on the ground and couldn't escape the leash or the man. The police were called and they arrived quickly but not before the dog beater disappeared into one of the known drug houses on Jonquil. And, the CPD arrived after the man cussed my neighbor and I for asking him to stop mistreating the animal.

So what is this half-baked bill really about? It isn't animal protection because there's nothing to prohibit certain people from getting another puppy and training it to be mean is there?

April 7, 2006

Discarded and Afraid

With spring, the rebirth of life renews our spirit. There are just a couple disconnections in the process I want to write about…people and their pets in an urban setting. The most common are the alley cats and how and why they came to be. Alley cats are too often household discards by one of two methods – ignorance or insensitivity. Many of these creatures were ‘beloved household pets’ once upon a time. If their cuteness wears off or their mischievous antics shred too many sweaters, curtains, or chairs some cat owners will discard these creatures into the world of the mean streets and alleys. Others arrive in the alleys when their loving owner moves to a no pet building. There are those who dash outside to experience being a cat in the wild. They face being attacked by dogs, mean humans, other cats, cars driven by mean humans…the list is a long one.

The most disheartening are those female cats who have not been spayed by an insensitive or ignorant owner. These little vixens will dart through an open door at the first chance and will likely come home pregnant. Or, if there are male cats in the home who have not been neutered, there will most likely be kittens. It’s simple biology.

The life of the pregnant alley cat is hardly a Disney feature. Outdoor cats are susceptible to kitty HIV, feline leukemia, distemper, intestinal parasites, and rabies just to name a few hideous diseases. A city alley cat raising her kittens out of doors faces more danger than any country barn cat could imagine.

This little lady appeared to be pregnant and terrified of humans. I watched her sunning in a neighbors yard. She felt I was paying too much attention to her so she ran to her sanctuary across the street.
100_0969 100_0970

Instead of the home she had as a cute kitten her haven is behind the unsecured door. If her kittens survive, they likely will never know that not all humans are the enemy. Sadly, their instincts as feral cats will keep them alley bound, forever distanced from a loving home.

This lady had no collar, was somewhat shy, but we managed to strike up a relationship.
100_0985 100_0984

It's possible she's just a shy housecat out for an afternoon walk but chances are she’s a discard. Yes, people throw away their cats.

This flyer is in the Howard Area Center window and I hope more people will notice it.
Broadmoor06 018

If pet owners can’t afford spaying and neutering, PAWS Clinic will pick up the pets, spay/neuter and return them for owners to pick up. This is done on a regular schedule, and their requirements are posted. For more information contact Sandi 773 743-0773. There is no reason to discard or abuse these animals because of lack of money or ignorance and insensitivity. If you love your pet, please spay or neuter it.

Political Map

Here's a fun quiz a friend sent. Where did you land on the THE POLITICAL MAP?

April 5, 2006

Broadmoor Update

COMMUNITY INVESTMENT CORPORATION is the newest receiver for the Broadmoor Apartments 7600 N. Bosworth. Actually, there was a court error and Dimensions Management was incorrectly named as the court appointed receiver. as previously reported to the tenants.

Tonight a meeting was held at the Broadmoor to explain the situation and to lessen the confusion. It also informed and introduced the tenants to both CIC and the new management company that CIC has hired to oversee the building. Robert Syzmanski, President of URBAN EQUITIES spoke to the 25-30 tenants about his task at hand. Since there was confusion about receivership and building management, Mr. Syzmanski updated the residents with information packets with contact names and phone numbers for maintenance and other problems, where to send their rent checks, and his role in the transition. Urban will honor all leases and will be offering renewal leases to tenants who were overlooked by previous managers. He stated that East Lake Management had remitted a check for security deposits to him which alleviated some of the tension. Symanski has already had the boiler inspected and admitted there is a problem that must be rectified. Enver Cernmagic was introduced as the tenants contact person for maintenance issues. Mary Jane Haggerty, RPCC, took tenant names and workorder issues that were not completed by IMC or East Lake.

Angela Maurello, of CIC, explained the erroneous court appointment that had to be corrected. Ms. Maurello, also a member of The Rogers Park Builders Group, explained the sale of the Broadmoor will be a "controlled sale", i.e. under the watch of the City of Chicago and CIC. Joe Moore stopped in to introduce himself and to explain the sale process over the next few months. All buyers must meet certain criterion, submit RFP’s with their business/financial plan, rehab plan, etc. Eva McCann asked about the recent buyer who refused to purchase the Broadmoor because of the two year contract made between Bill Higginson of IMC Properties/ CEF and East Lake Management. Moore said he had contacted the recent prospective buyer regarding the foreclosure. However, all prospective buyers must go through the RFP process.

In the interim, Urban Equities, will maintain the building, make necessary repairs, as well as investigate security and other systems. Nearly everyone stressed the need for tighter security and a more watchful eye on certain tenants and non-tenants who ignore the rules as well as the laws.

Everyone in attendance was hopeful that Urban will indeed secure this building from the intruders that have frequently harassed tenants and the neighborhood.


Street Cleaning and Hissing

My friend was watching the first spring street cleaning and decided to grab a rake and trash bin. There were about 15 parked vehicles hindering the cleaners. Eventually the police arrived and were in the process of writing tickets when one of our illustrious neighbors drove up and parked. Where? That's correct - on the ‘don’t park here’ side of the street. My friend, having good intentions, informed the man he would get ticketed for parking there. The illustrious neighbor shrugged his shoulders and hissed at my friend. So much for good deeds.

So my friend started dragging out the trash the sweepers couldn’t reach between car and curb. No wonder the northern end of Bosworth floods with the ungodly amount of paper, clothing, plastic bottles and who knows what else getting caught in the sewers.

Hot Off The Tip Line

Now that the Broadmoor is in receivership the other three occupied IMC buildings NOH are in hiatus. Tenants are confused and want answers to this whole process. We’ll see what we can find out. The burned out on Bosworth is in housing court. This photo is the courtyard building on Juneway.


Bicycle Rules Apply To Everyone

Just so the Man In Purple knows, (it’s his spring color) there are traffic laws for bicycles too. So tonight, when you’re on your bike headed east on Howard, please STOP at the STOP sign at Howard/Ashland. You almost hit me last night. Was it an accident, or is it eye checkup time? Cars and bicycles must stop at stop signs. The last time your ‘bumped into me’ you blamed your shoelaces.

Bicycle Laws In Chicago

April 4, 2006

War Spin

And, the winner of SPIN goes to….

A Fresh Start

Andi Drileck is the director of employment at the accredited Howard Area Community Center Employment Resource Center. The phone is 773-262-3515. Instruction begins this month.

Check It Out

jobs for felons dc ads 002

April 3, 2006

Wednesday, April 5, 2006

I've received this at home and at work, so I'll post here too.

On Wednesday of this week, at two minutes and three seconds after 1:00 in the morning, the time and date will be 01:02:03 04/05/06!

That won't ever happen again...ever.
You may now return to your (normal?) life.

Home and Sanctuary



Cat Sentenced To House Arrest

Lewis the 'attack cat'.

April 2, 2006

Plight of Illegal Alien in Chicago

Illegal in Chicago

Wailing police sirens frighten the Barrios children to tears. They know that any day now officers might storm the family's Berwyn bungalow and take "Papi" away -- forever.
Chicago Sun-Times

How To Prepare For Local Jobs

Even though I was searching for something entirely different, I did locate this information. A short time ago, the Northside Power had their job rally. Moore and Jan S. attended. Nside Powers' next agenda item will no doubt be to procure funding from the Howard/Paulina TIF or another source? My issue isn't hiring local workers for these building projects (if/when they start); my issue is giving tax dollars to the Soup Kitchen. The Kitchen is part of the Good News Church no matter how they slice and dice it. If the allegation is true, the church is trying to tithe low income members; obviously they need money. The church, soup kitchen, and MAC (Metropolitan Alliance of Congregations) are closely entertwined. MAC and their 'power leaders' give the orders and everyone in the lower ranks obeys the commands. If the neighborhood taxpayers want to provide a line item amount from TIF tax dollars to the soup kitchen, it should be voted upon. Until that time, there are job training facilities in place.

As the kool aid man said 'it's about power and money'. So taxpayer, beware. You may find a chunk of your TIF dollars being funneled for a four week crash GED course. Personally, could we just keep church and state separate?

Until such time, here's the list of accredited 'institutions' for job training. Yes, Howard Area Center is listed, please advise if the Soup Kitchen and the Good News Church missed my query.

The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC)
The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) is a federal tax credit that provides an incentive for employers to hire, train, and retain job seekers who fall into one or more of nine categories--including former felons. WOTC reduces an employer’s federal income tax liability by as much as $2,400 per qualified new worker. $750 if the worker is working 120 hours/month, or $1,200 if the worker is working 400 hours or more per qualified summer youth. WOTC applies only to new employees hired after September 30, 1996. For more information visit the Illinois Department of Employment Security website at THIS LINK


April 1, 2006

Are Your Proud Of Yourselves?

While the liberals and conservatives argue over another meaningless death of a young man on the hellhole, does anyone wonder about their lives? Are they Chicago natives or imports? Are they parents? Are they very involved in the neighborhood beyond their computer screen? Do they vote? Do they believe in anything other than themselves, their needs, their hopes?

The commenters are part of a neighborhood, just as Clive Flowers was and his mother is. It’s not easy being a parent. The parent is the first human children will defy just for the sake rebelling against authority. As I recall, it starts as soon as toddlers can utter the word ‘NO’. It’s all a test of authority and some kids are easier to deal with than others. Childrearing is one of the most difficult jobs on earth. There’s no manual, just a little person making demands in the form of cries and screams. The demands evolve into the temper tantrums that parents hope will abate with age. And about the time a parent feels some form of relief from jumping to the demands, the child enters school and another form of parental judgment begins. We want our children to be their own person, we want to try and step back and see where they go. Sometimes we have to intervene, and if we’re successful, the child will listen and learn. Sometimes they won’t.

Until a rap sheet is produced listing Clive’s convictions, perhaps the commenters should consider how many of the national, state, and local leaders are pretty damn guilty of some pretty serious grievances too. Those leaders had/have mothers too, and their actions are just another form of gang bangery but it’s educated, white collar gang bangery. So shall we put the enablers of evil in a different category than the victims of political socio/economic states the white collar gangs created and nourish?
It might be an enlightening exercise if some of the commenters took their own personal inventory or ‘soul search’ into their own lives. Did they ever have an older person buy them liquor for a party? Did they every cram 8 people in a car and drive fast under the influence? Did they ever do a ‘line of coke’ or smoke weed? Did they possibly know some ‘shady’ characters to obtain what wasn’t legal? Did they ever cheat on their taxes or their partner? Did they ever hit their partner, their child or their dog? Do they skip out on child support or alimony? Did they ever parent a child and deny it? (Deadbeats encompass all races and educational levels.) Did they ever miss a day of work from a hangover? Did they ever get wasted at an office party and make absolute asses of themselves? Have any of them ever been arrested? Do they go to a religious institution on Sunday and play the role a good person?

I hope this photo is embedded in their minds for a long time. Had this been the mother of someone of their ‘caliber’ would the anguish not still be the same?
Grieving Mother

A serious, relatively non-sensationalist post was made and look what the commenters created. Commenters don't know this woman but have freely attacked her. Should she not have been allowed the dignity of being human in her grief?

In 16th year, Moore Says Local Hiring Worth a Look

Far North West Side Voters favor local jobs
STAFF WRITER, Pioneer Press News-Star, March 29, 2006

If the outcome of an advisory referendum in some Rogers Park precincts is a true indicator of public opinion, Chicagoans are calling on city officials to adopt a policy that would put more people to work in their own neighborhoods when it comes to big projects fueled by public subsidies.

Nearly 90 percent of voters in five Far North Side precincts cast ballots in favor of a city-wide policy that would give residents first crack at local jobs. ...

Alderman Joe Moore, D-49th said the idea "is something that bares looking at."