May 31, 2006

Mob Action Arrests 5/27/06

These posts are from another website across the 'border' in Evanston. Thanks Hugh! It appears a group gathered in Triangle Park Saturday night got more than a little rowdy. I called the Evanston Police Department and spoke to a very helpful officer. I read her the following accounts to which she responded 'yes, that happened approximately 9:45-10:00PM' 'yes, the girls did attack EPD officers' 'yes, they left Triangle Park' 'yes, the CPD moved them along' so they stepped on over to the Evanston side. She said to call back anytime for any updates or questions I may have. Note: Poster's names have been changed and initials inserted as well as the street name.
05-27-2006 10:42 PM cst(US)
More news just heard from EPD. Wouldn't you know it! 7XX Street's very own Letisha Wallace the center of the riot (arrested for mob action) at Custer and Howard. Great news, it is all on tape. Supposedly 100+ people from a barbeque at the park on Jonquil and Hermitage (triangle park) jumped in their cars and then jumped out at the tasty sub and started beating the c*** out of one another. The combatants were female. 2 Evanstonians were arrested Letisha and a juvenile. First person who wants to reply that these are not thugettes but young ladies who were only play fighting because they didn't have sufficient recreational outlets, DON'T BOTHER. I have really had it with the incivility.

05-27-2006 10:28 PM cst(US)
Even the cops don't have the full story yet, but according to Sgt Prieto, who will call me later with the full details:The thugettes (all females were arrested - 5 of them including 2 juveniles). Like R. said the fight was in chicago and spilled into Evanston. Supposedly all from Chicago.

05-27-2006 10:20 PM cst(US)
Well, pieced together from a couple police officers and some teenage girls who saw the whole thing, here goes:Apparently, an altercation started on the other side of Howard with a group of kids, and the Chicago police broke it up, then the kids moved this way. On the 100 block of Custer, some girls from this original group started fighting, then the Evanston police came and pulled them apart. The two girls went on to attack the police officers, which is when several police cars arrived -- someone counted 13 from Evanston -- there were more from Chicago. Another girl also went after an officer. I was told by a girl who saw it that three girls were arrested. It must have been some fight, because there is a wig and a pair of shoes on the sidewalk at the corner of Custer and Dobson.I'm sure A. will get the full and accurate scoop and let us know what actually happened. Several concerned citizens came out. D. (from our first floor) joked that we should have more "events" like these to get to know our neighbors.Ironically, on my way out to see what was going on, there were fliers for Neighborhood Watch on our door.

05-27-2006 10:17 PM cst(US)
According to preliminary (UNofficial!) reports, a fight in Chicago spilled over into Evanston. The tusslers crossed Howard and came up Custer. Witnesses said that some women were at the center of the fight, but I saw large numbers of people of both sexes scattering when the police came. (All ages too - adults, teens, and even some very young children.)On the bright side, it looked like the police reacted very quickly once it became clear there was a problem. I think that half the Evanston police force was out on our little street tonight.

May 30, 2006

Case Study Questions Economic Development Value of SSAs

Special Service Areas (SSAs):
The "TIF" of Retail

A Closer Look at Their Impact on Neighborhood Retail Districts

Special Service Areas (SSAs), a City of Chicago program funded through local property tax dollars, are typically designed to revitalize retail districts and spur economic growth. However, an MCIC "matched pairs" research study shows that SSAs may be a more effective strategy for creating a better shopping experience, by providing amenities such as renovated fa├žades, trolleys and outdoor events, than they are for generating economic development.

Special Service Areas (SSAs) are being designated in communities across Chicago to provide an additional source of funding to attract shoppers and support local business. SSAs are particularly popular in retail districts, where chambers of commerce and community development organizations are taking advantage of the opportunity to leverage a locally controlled source of funds to market and improve their retail districts.

A comparison of four retail districts (2 designated SSAs and 2 non-designated) showed economic growth in both the SSA districts and non-SSA districts, as measured by number of business licenses, building permits, small business loans and property value. In the retail districts studied, there were no significant differences between the two types of districts in terms of these measures of retail district performance, over the five-year period 1999 to 2003. If there are advantages to having an SSA, it may be in improving the overall shopping experience and neighborhood aesthetic such as colorful street banners, new sidewalks and streetscaping. Communities with a sufficient number of households and income levels to attract retailers are likely to do so with or without the SSA designation.

Special Service Areas (SSAs): The "TIF" of Retail, A Closer Look at Their Impact on Neighborhood Retail Districts provides a closer look at the impact of SSAs by comparing the similarities and differences between SSA retail districts and non-SSA districts. This case study suggests that before pumping additional funds into neighborhood retail districts, there are a number of factors that business owners and local residents should consider to provide a better outcome for the stakeholders involved.

Read the executive summary

Read the entire report

- Metro Chicago Information Center

May 29, 2006

The Origin of Memorial Day

The History of Memorial Day

When I was growing up, 'Decoration Day', meant driving to the area cemeteries where family were buried. Since my paternal grandparents immigrated from Italy, there weren’t any graves to visit yet. But my mothers side kept Dad driving from one cemetery to another. One such spot was a tiny country cemetery in Missouri. We’d pay our respects to mother’s dad who died when she was a teenager, and grandmother joined him years later. (He was a character I would have loved to have met.) There were other elders from both sides of her family buried there.

The gravestones in the older section of the cemetery dated to the 1800’s. One such grave I always stopped to visit. His grave never had flowers. In later years, we made sure Bruce Landree’s grave had flowers too.

Every year on those car rides, we’d hear the stories of the great grandfather somewhere in mother’s family who was part of the underground railroad during the Civil War. He and other farmers would secretly help slaves escape to freedom. The original county seat was moved because of the citizen’s southern sympathies. Because of this, General Lewis Merrill ordered the courthouse burned, while another, Major Thomas Moody offered a more civilized solution – relocate the government to a different county seat.


The state was severely divided thanks to the manipulations of the The Missouri Compromise

The True Origin of Memorial Day may remain a debatable issue, but the meaning is to honor those who sacrificed their lives for freedom throughout our history.

May 27, 2006

Beginning of Summer Walk

Join us for the beginning of summer walk, Saturday, May 27 at 7:30 PM. We'll meet at the entrance to Gale Park on Howard Street at the police cam.

May NeighborhoodWalk

Change begins with you. It's understandable that we have plans, things to do, errands to run, but the end result of not being minimally active in our neighborhoods can result in More Bad Rogers Park News

Please join us tonight and join our neighbors on Morse on June 2.

Variations of a Soup Kitchen

Historically he was a really bad character, but even this gangster helped the poor during the Great Depression at Al Capone’s Kitchen

A Progressive Transitional Kitchen is how one would envision a soup kitchen - a step up and out.

May 26, 2006

Charles Hardwick - HACC

Meet Charles Hardwick of HACC who spoke at Wednesday nights meeting on job training for the CTA. This is an interview posted on the City of Chicago's website:

Meet Mr. Hardwick - HACC

May 25, 2006

Howard El Project - Update

The Informational Meeting on the Howard El Station Renovation was introduced by Joe Moore and guest speakers in three parts.

1. The actual update on CTA construction and timetable
2. The possibility of employment opportunities
3. The road for job seekers to follow

The renovation project, which has been underway for the last three weekends, will span approximately three years according to Marvin Watson, CTA and Mike Gould, project manager from McHugh Construction – general contractor for this project. Currently, the tracks are being rebuilt from Friday evenings through early Monday mornings. The Howard station will remain open throughout this project. There may be detours to board trains when construction begins on the platforms. The entrance on Howard/Paulina will be rehabbed from what I understood from the presentation. One question to the weekend closing of the westbound lanes on Howard was brought to the meeting by Amy Campbell on behalf of business owners. Their concern is that business is ‘dying’ with the weekend detours as most people shop on weekends. Mr. Gould responded that of the three year construction plan, the road will be closed 12 weekends (3 which are in past tense).

Next, we were taken into the sensitive zone known as the subject of employment. Moore stated he was still committed to working with the CTA in providing jobs to locals, had worked out a program and there would be pre-apprenticeship training available through HACC and other organizations and their combined resources. Mr. Gould also contributed to this zone stating that there would be no more than 25-30 people working at any given time. Unlike other projects, the Howard renovation does not include any retail construction as in the Wilson Yard project, therefore, fewer employees are required. The number of employees needed would be part of the preliminary specs, so why would any group be promising jobs that may not be available in large numbers?

This is a union project and already 8 of the 20 available positions have been filled by union card holders. Joan Archie of the Chicago Urban League referred to unions as a ‘closed shop’ and the League’s position is to hold the CTA’s feet to the fire to ensure neighbors are given the opportunity to qualify for available jobs in the area. Union card holders were urged to apply immediately. There will be a need for specialized workers, i.e. electricians, iron workers, but they must hold or qualify for the prized union card(s). A high school education or GED is required. For residents in a geographic local job area, applicants must be tested on various skills, some requiring algebra and trigonometry. Math is a must. As with any job application, one must also pass the mandatory drug test.

Job seekers may also enter through ‘sponsorship’ if they know a contractor who feels comfortable in sponsoring them. However, the same skill sets and education levels would apply.

John King, Organization of the Northeast, spoke of their collaboration with Ald. Schiller in the 46th ward on the Wilson Yard Project with the City of Chicago. In turn, by providing jobs to local area residents, the City is agreeable to expanding this program to Rogers Park projects moving forward. Pam Jones of the Heartland Alliance discussed the process of competence testing, re-testing and qualifying and the cost of training. Charles Hardwick, HACC, stated their organization also worked in conjunction with O.N.E. on Schiller’s 46th ward project. Hardwick stated matter of factly that HACC has been open for years and any qualified protesters could have had their union cards three years ago. The cost of the training for TIF jobs is $2,000/per person and is paid by the Heartland to Dawson via the TIF for jobs fund. Both HACC and the Heartland are already contracted through the City of Chicago and are not receiving TIF dollars for any of the training. Preliminary testing is conducted at HACC, those who pass are processed through the Heartland Alliance to Truman College for necessary courses to enter into Dawson Technical Institute. HACC will pay for transportation to attend courses.

Northside Power members held an outdoor rally before the meeting. Everyone in attendance heard and saw the drama that unfolded in the meeting. Their claim to have spent 18 months to attain the job training program seemed exaggerated. The group was recruiting people in February 2005, and did not have a real action plan at that time. When questions were put to Mr. R as to what his plan was, (in early 2005) I was informed ‘that’s how grass roots organizations are’, plan as you go. But they claim Moore lied to them and it became apparent that NSP misled their group into thinking there would be more than 20-25 jobs available. So does it balance now? Rather than celebrating the fact the CTA and City are willing to employ some who qualify, we witnessed the usual anger, the unnecessary ‘amen’ and the staged performances. Reinforcing the willingness of Chicago to work with and train area residents was Will Edwards of the Mayors office…as determined by powers other than Northside or Moore. Apparently more homework was needed on both sides?

I saw some people rallying whom I’ve seen on the streets for almost four years. HACC has been on Howard with their job training signs long before my residency. Also emphasized, HACC is contracted, accredited, and is NOT receiving any TIF dollars for their efforts to work with anyone seriously seeking employment. According to the discussions no community organizations are receiving TIF dollars through the City other than The Dawson Institute for job training. Perhaps everyone will re-group and hopefully stress other upcoming construction jobs such as the field house when we receive an update from Moore and the PBC.

May 23, 2006

Howard El Renovation Meeting


The flyer gives a little more detail stating "Job Training, Employment Opportunities for Union Card Holders in the Building Trades" and representatives of the CTA, the Chicago Urban League and the project's general contractor, McHugh Construction will be available to discuss the hiring process and answer specific questions including job training and possible employment for union card holders in the building trades.

It will be interesting to see if there's a planned disruption about jobs since Moore allegedly insulted this group.

After all, they are not going to stand by and pout over not being given a few thousand for job training. Bring your own earplugs and bottled water.

May 21, 2006

Ald. Stone Protests

Bernie Stone Protests His Allowance

'Unlike his colleagues, Stone has yet to turn in his requests. He's protesting another round of price increases that diminished the value of his allowance. "When they charge $5,000 for doing two asphalt speed bump strips per block and $45,000 for one block of curbing, how can I believe anything they say?" Stone said.'

Does anyone else cringe when they hear the term 'enhanced'? The article refers to 'tree trimming will be enhanced'. If the trees are on City property, just trim them on a regular basis. We've called about a few dead branches on their tree and no one has responded. So perhaps this is a calling to test the new system and see if Bernie is right in protesting. From the original budget I read months ago, it sounded like the military's expensive toilet seats a few years ago.

At this rate, do taxpayers need to fill in potholes and have a Fill The Hole Day like Clean 'n Green? We have a nice pothole on our street and when the runners fly over it it sounds like the whole underside of the car is scraping. But we don't like speed bumps, we don't fill potholes, so just watch and listen to the speeders fly and scrape. That's our menu choice as taxpayers. AND another good reason to raise property taxes right? The inflated costs of running the show.

May 19, 2006


This CharterOne branch bank was open for maybe 18 months? It was at the corner of Clark/Rogers.


The interior is stripped clean. It had been completely rehabbed and sits empty.

Only the residuals of the CharterOne logo remain on the window.

Goodbye to a new business for whatever reason.

English - Common and Unifying Language

News from 5/18/06
Senate Passes Measure to make English the National Language - 63-34 vote gives assimilation key role in immigration debate

"The U.S. Senate today approved an amendment offered by Sen. James Inhofe that would make/have made English the national language of the United States. The amendment, offered as part of comprehensive immigration reform legislation, passed by a margin of 63-34. The measure declares that there is no affirmative right to receive services in languages other than English, except where required by federal law. In addition, the measure upholds English as part of U.S. naturalization requirements."

From another source on the AP:

"But critics argued the move would prevent limited English speakers from getting language assistance required by an executive order enacted under President Clinton. So the Senate also voted 58-39 to make English the nation's "common and unifying language."

May 18, 2006

Chicago Works For You Service Fair

The City of Chicago Department of Human Services is sponsoring a Service Fair Saturday, May 20, 2006 from 9am-5pm. This is one of six service fairs that are part of the 'Chicago Works For You' program.

img001 img002

"Chicago Works For You Service Fairs provide easy access to services and help residents discover resources they may not know exist.

Upon arrival, you’ll be greeted by a knowledgeable volunteer. He or she will guide you to the services you are seeking and inform you of others that might be of benefit to you. Volunteers help you plan your visit to make the most of the experience.


Some residents want to build upon the resources they discover at the fair. On- site agencies can schedule future appointments with housing counselors, health care professional and employers. Other follow-up services are offered."

These flyers were distributed by Sr. Cecilia Fandel to all service organizations. Free Transportation for large groups will be provided by the City. For further information please contact Mayra Gomez 312 744 5907.

Other transportation and directions:

CTA Red Line, Wilson Station
CTA Bus #78, #145, #148 on Wilson
CTA Bus #36 on Broadway
CTA Bus #22 on Clark

May 16, 2006

SSA Talk

Here’s the ‘Proposed 2007 SSA#19 Budget”…

Here’s the Map of SSA's in Chicago…

Here’s some of the propaganda:

SSA’s are a ‘great way to keep tax money in the neighborhood’. This type of meeting and subsequent creation and propagation of SSA’s is a method for ‘the community to identify shared problems and collectively provide solutions…’ One of the speakers even had the gall to call it a ‘grass roots’ movement!

I like Amy Campbell and she has my sympathy for her courage to stand in front of the neighbors and defend her means of income…a job at DevCorp North. However, at what point does the TRUTH prevail?

In the SSA#19 area there are 135 ‘taxable properties’ and 21 tax exempt properties.*

The truth is the 17 pitiful, unsightly but costly planters and greenery were ruined by the anti-social element and became sidewalk chairs for the loiterers. This project was dismissed as a lack of foresight but on the upside, they’ll be phasing the planters out and spending more tax dollars on larger ones! X amount of tax dollars in the red.

Amy commented that Howard Street has 30% (or was it really 50%?) vacant storefronts that are not in rentable condition. BUT, they have a plan to phase out these dilapidated buildings and phase in ‘multi-use projects’. So when and where are the community meetings on these projects? Is it the truth or a ‘selling point’? We had such stars as Rich Aronson speak to his experience as a developer, to the length of time it takes to acquire buildings and the length of time it takes to get a building permit. He claimed it can take 8 months or longer to get a building permit. Of course, he was referring to commercial space such as the one he purchased some 15 months ago which is now home to DevCorp and home to his Camelot Realty lavender advertisement.
Aronson claims that businesses really want to establish themselves here now but those shabby storefronts aren’t what the merchants want. However, if one takes a ride to Andersonville and several upcoming areas of Chicago, one will note they did NOT tear down all the buildings and create new buildings for merchants. It must be a NOH vision?

SSA#24 neighbor Craig Gernhardt brought the truth forward that the SSA where his business is located has risen to the point that landlords are gouging tenant rents to pay for the SSA#8 increases. In other words, taxes are running businesses out of neighborhoods. Of course, Craig spoke while Aronson was busy ‘selling’ so Craig received the usual warning that he’d be asked to leave if he didn’t play nice. Nice is good, truth is negative…words of the corporate world!

James Ginderske questioned Gina Caruso, Chicago Department of Planning and Development about the appropriations of funds and the ‘bread and butter’ aspect of these SSA taxes. When budget cuts are imminent, then grantees slated for cuts is make an emotional appeal to keep the funding alive! James also pointed out that the art studio on Glenwood was cleaned out, the landlord spent around $140,000 on window improvements for the building and it was completed in 4 months…which contradicted Mr. Aronson’s lengthy diatribe on how long it takes. So what is the truth?

Don Gordon, a SSA#24 neighbor, asked how or if the City of Chicago holds SSA’s accountable. Don spoke to his long residency in Rogers Park and how long it takes to get anything accomplished. So if an SSA continues to do little more than extract money from property owners, how and when does the neighborhood say no to the continuation of the SSA? After lengthy questioning by Don, Ms. Caruso finally admitted that there were no accountability checks in place BUT within the next few months, the city would have specific indicators which would allow case studies to be made on the viability of each SSA currently in place. Now that’s a ‘promise’ to follow-up on.

Jay Johnson, non-resident slumlord, owner of Manderly and Marshfield/Jonquil and Juneway properties, the Howard Theater that he botched with TIF dollars, spoke about ‘how long it takes for change to happen’. There were others from the SSA #19 commission that came to sing the praises of this taxpayer funded fundraiser. Yet how many of them LIVE here? Mr. Jay doesn’t, he’s tucked away in his little suburb and drops in to collect the rents. Perhaps Mr. Jay should spend his time more prudently and exterminate the rat infestation in his government subsidized Howard Theatre building apartments. Or perhaps spend time cleaning up his government subsidized property at the corner of Marshfield/Jonquil? But I digress!

The line item of Safety/Security for a proposed $17,934 was brought forward. Mention was made of cameras on a powerpoint slide showing a zoom in on Sandy’s at the corner of Howard/Bosworth, a young man, and the high zoom of a cell phone. The discussion veered into camera hook-ups to identify hot spots that had been decided upon by the North of Howard Leadership Forum and ‘safety walks’. I had to ask what and who constituted this forum? Kimberly Bares gave me a tutorial on not-for-profit status and all the labels. However, tax exempt is tax exempt right? In the SSA#19 area there are 135 ‘taxable properties’ and 21 tax exempt properties.* (so far) So if there are 21 tax exempt properties who are excluded in this tax, why are some of them huddled in a forum making recommendations and decisions on spending SSA tax dollars? Why aren’t the taxpayers making recommendations and decisions if it’s their hard earned money? Why isn’t this a joint decision-making process? Again, don’t mess with the tax exempt status quo North of Howard. In the corporate world it’s known as ‘exclusion’.

As for safety walks? What safety walks? 24/7 and CAPS Beat 2422 have been having safety walks since November – missed December – and resumed in January. Our next walk will be May 27. DevCorp doesn’t post our flyer, doesn’t participate in the walks (nor do certain FORUM members) and last month sent a message NOT to post flyers on the outside of businesses! OK, so what gives anyone the right to open our front gate, walk up the steps and put a flyer on our front door? Again, the status quo of North of Howard.

I’ll post more about these hot spot cameras if I find where they’re located and if a Forum participant is directly benefiting from them.

Some members of the leadership forum – if anyone got all the entities, please post:
Starfish (is actually located on Howard Street)
Family Matters
Gale School
Good News Community Kitchen
Good News Partners

Their cause may be noble or it may be selfish but there’s one truth – taxpayers are excluded in the decision making process. Ever see a flyer to attend a Forum Meeting?

Prospective buyers will not be told the truth about line item SSA#19 on their future property taxes by the real estate agents. My neighbor asked what the pro-rated budget would be if the outrageous property tax increase is passed. There was no answer for him, just as there were no real answers for those of us who had to dig for the truth.

Do We Need SSA#19?

Apparently someone from ward 49 reads the blog, (or one of the supporters) and here’s an updated website for the Taxpaying Voters.
Website Updated!
Has anyone forgotten the lack of or untimely Snow Removal? Most of the remaining store owners shovel and salt when they open at 9AM. They want customers not lawsuits because SSA #19 showed up to shovel at noon. So can the store owners justify paying for snow removal and doing it themselves? Hmm, is it similar to the intimidation process? One must donate to the alderman and one must be a member of the non-chamber of commerce.

What is the point of taxpayer beautification with such Irreverent Attitudes? Where's the 'security' they advertise in their commercial? When will they teach a class on civic duty?

Where’s the line item budget including SALARIES earned for supervising snow removal and for deciding the street needed these Expensive Park Benches?
howard el 5.13.06 012

These SSA taxes are imposed upon property owners within the SSA area. There’s little left of the commercial district on Howard, so who is left with the tax? Anyone renting a business or apartment is stuck paying SSA taxes for the landlord, so let’s raise property taxes while we’re at it too! They’re dying to declare blight and scream TIF because they're certainly not doing anything for Howard commerce.

If you’re opposed to donating to $40k annual salaries for non-services, please attend the meeting tonight and voice your opinion. Most of us are held accountable for the work we instead of giving them what they want - a bitch session - come with suggestions on how the SSA should work for US. If there can't be concessions allowed for real work, the way the purchaser wants it done...then be done with the SSA#19 and find a better way to spend those tax dollars.

Please Read The First Comment on Duplication of Services

Tuesday, May 16, 2006, 6:00PM
Gateway Bar & Grill
7545 N Clark Street

May 14, 2006

City Hiring Laborers

From Sunday's Sun-Times:

City seeks to hire laborers

The City of Chicago is looking for a few good laborers. Today until May 27, applications are being taken at two locations -- Harold Washington College, 30 E. Lake, and Malcolm X Community College, 1900 W. Van Buren -- on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Job seekers are also encouraged to apply online at www.cityofchicago .org/careerworks. The starting hourly wage for a laborer is $16.26. Applicants must show proof of Chicago residency.


The promotion on the blog is free. I do not require tax dollars to post, my only hope is that a certain entity will share this knowledge. I know the others will.

May 13, 2006

SSA# 19 Meeting

howard el 5.13.06 012

Please Update The Website!

The flyer is out but the info was not on the ward 49 website this morning or this afternoon AND the calendar runs there a chronological reason? We know the reason for the absurd 6PM meeting time, but having to scroll through the entire month? Come on.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006, 6:00PM
Gateway Bar & Grill
7545 N Clark Street

The Shopping Experience That Could Be

Why Isn’t This Part of the Howard Renovation Plan?

It can't be part of the plan now because we have inside storage space taking up most of the bus corridor. Heaven forbid that anything be done to spruce up Howard Street to create a similar shopping "experience" as the Trib article reports. The only remaining space our commerercial planners would consider would be inside the mall. So, get off the train or bus or park 'n ride and go out of your way into the mall?

So our commercial development group will keep directing traffic to the Gateway Mall instead of developing Howard Street. (We know, upzone Paulina is the methodology - and it probably won't materialize as presented.)

There isn’t much to be purchased on Howard Street. The remaining open stores are few and limited: liquor store, pawn shop, general merchandise aka Dollar $tore, a wig store, one sit down and use your manners restaurant (the commercial developers would not promote it in the Gateway because Dominick’s might have gotten upset), the expensive sports shoe store, a mom and pop grocery store, a currency exchange and a tire shop and a laundromat. Hope I didn’t miss anyone.

The methodology is still centering on that mall instead of promoting neighborhood street commercial spaces.

Will JJ get their license back and re-open? At 7:15 this morning, Howard was actually clean and we know SSA#19 wasn’t out and about yet.
howard el 5.13.06 003

howard el 5.13.06 001

At least Clean “N Green Teams won’t have chicken bones to pick up.

Howard El Scoop

Yesterday afternoon workers were placing detour signs on Howard Street.

howard el 5.13.06 008 howard el 5.13.06 005

This morning: The Howard El Scoop
howard el 5.13.06 010
howard el 5.13.06 011

May 12, 2006

The Howard El Cave

Hum, whistle, or sing along to "Stalactites Won't Keep Falling On My Head"....



The Howard El Stalactites

More On Stalactites

Will last weekend's deep cleaning stop the leakage that was dissolving the limestone and creating stalactites?
This scaffold was added this week. The angle of the pix gives the appearance the diner and dollar store are holding up the El.....

May 11, 2006

Medicare Drug Scam

Police Alert About Medicare Drug Scam

Please alert your neighbors who are Senior Citizens.

Was All This Presented In The Loyola TIF?

The State of Illinois was a feature in Urban Land Institute's April edition. Out of all of the projects that were featured - Evanston and their new rapid transit commercial and residential development - and Rogers Park for the TIF on Sheridan Road. Has anyone in Rogers Park heard ALL of the Loyola Plan? Have any additional information? Did the TIF meetings cover the development?

How a TIF Transformed a Neighborhood

How does one jump-start development in a transitional neighborhood where about 70 percent of the housing stock is rental and where there is not a lot of land available for redevelopment? By using tax increment financing (TIF), among other strategies, says Mike Haney, president of Newcastle Limited, a national commercial real estate advisory firm specializing in providing nonprofit organizations with real estate advisory, development, and investment services.

Loyola University turned to Chicago-based Newcastle Limited to create a strategy for obtaining public financial support for redevelopment and to promote economic development and enhance the student experience in the adjacent neighborhood of Rogers Park, home to Loyola’s 50-acre lakefront campus. “The result is an economic development tool that will make Loyola University’s campus and surrounding area more vibrant and attractive to students, faculty, and neighbors,” says Haney.

Over the past 20 years, the diverse Rogers Park neighborhood has undergone demographic and economic changes resulting in a lack of private investment, inadequate utilities, deteriorated infrastructure, and reduced property values. Rogers Park lacked larger land parcels for development and, according to the 2000 U.S. Census, the median family income was about $34,728. Newcastle worked with Loyola to master plan 5.4 acres of underused land adjacent to the campus, oversaw the creation of a 70-acre TIF district, established a framework for garnering community support, and led negotiations with the city of Chicago for economic incentives to help fund the plan.

The firm also conducted a sealed-bid offering of a 32,000-square-foot development site, the first of five phases for the planned redevelopment. Newcastle also helped Loyola use real estate to recapitalize the university by identifying surplus properties that did not add to its core mission. But instead of selling these properties, Newcastle recommended leasing them to enhance the student experience and improve the community while allowing Loyola to retain control of the property for future use.

Newcastle negotiated a redevelopment agreement with the city granting Loyola $46 million toward the $85 million preservation of a national historic landmark, infrastructure, and streetscape improvements throughout the community. “We believe that a TIF was the right tool to use to jump-start mixed-use development of property adjacent to Loyola’s campus, and to look comprehensively at important gateways to the campus and the city of Chicago,” says Wayne Magdziarz, Loyola University’s vice president of capital planning.

The result is Loyola Station, a new transportation- and university-oriented development in Rogers Park. The mixed-use project represents the first of five phases in the 5.4-acre, $400 million redevelopment on university-owned land surrounding the Chicago Transit Authority’s Loyola Station “L” stop. As the master developer, the university established economic development and urban planning objectives to guide future development.

Phase I of the planned 400,000-square-foot mixed-use development is scheduled for completion in 2008. Some of the people involved in this project claim it will play a critical role in the transformation of the area by bringing new vitality in the form of retail and residential development; lead to streetscape improvements; and help renovate the historical landmark.

“Loyola Station will be one of the largest comprehensive developments undertaken on the north side of Chicago in the past 20 years,” says Haney.—M.S.

Mike Sheridan, a past president of the National Association of Real Estate Editors, is a financial journalist based in Parsippany, New Jersey.

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

Contributed by George Sullivan

May 10, 2006

Is Brazil Busting Us?

I may not drive, but I still 'contribute' to the spiraling costs one way or another. Hey George, can we get ethanol furnaces too?

Brazil Is Ahead Of The Oil Game

From The New York Times

Obama Says…

Rape Suspect Caught In RP

From the Tribune - Rape Suspect Sought in Rogers Park

"A rape suspect is on the loose in the city's Rogers Park neighborhood, Chicago police said this morning.

A manhunt was being conducted as of 7 a.m."

Updated 8:25 PM
"A handcuffed rape suspect who had escaped from police custody was arrested after a four-hour manhunt."

Beat 2422 CAPS Meeting Tomorrow

The regular CAPS meeting of Beat 2422 will be Thursday, May 11, at 7:00PM. The meeting place is the Gateway Senior Apartments, 7450 N. Rogers, 1st floor community room.

Jim Ginderske will be guest speaker on the topic of 'safety in the home'.

May 6, 2006

Serious Digging

Today was perfect for a day trip and as I approached the Howard El, I decided to take the bus system!
howard el 5.6.06 001

howard el 5.6.06 003

After wandering through the tulips downtown, I returned on the Red Line. The workmen had scraped the gravel from a large section on the east side of the platform. This photo was taken late in the afternoon. I watched for awhile and took the 290 to Lincolnwood Mall. It was after 8PM when I returned and they were still scraping gravel on this long neglected end of the line.
howard el 5.6.06 005

howard el 5.6.06 007

May 5, 2006

Cited Again

Jay Johnson, Ward 49 zoning committee member, NOH bad landlord group member, has new orange posters on his Ashland porches – Courtesy of City of Chicago. Rumor mill has it the work was being done without a permit, could that be true? Others say the building is nearly vacant and still others say it’s in foreclosure. So a little trip to Dotty Brown’s city site told me that there was a foreclosure filed 3/31/06. No address was given and it could be another Jay Johnson. So not wanting to contribute too much to the rumor mill, I’ll just bore you with more photos of my favorite NOH building I renamed ‘Manderly’.

Johnson Cited Again

I know you probably tire of seeing this building posted over and over like a broken record. But awareness must be made of the conditions the owner allowed to continue by his apparent disregard for low income tenants, if any are left in this place. If there are no tenants, it’s a target for squatters, fires, drugs, a recipe for disaster as we know these ignored buildings to be.
If it is indeed in foreclosure, let’s hope the City of Chicago and our leaders get this property into the right hands. People’s Housing, spawned by the religious creators of NOH, bought many beautiful buildings here and ran them into foreclosure. Their use of straw buyers to dupe sellers is still being exercised in this decade by the last connection to Peoples Housing. The 'last connection' is looking at two ‘for sale’ properties NOH and the North Shore religious connection is still maneuvering and manipulating peoples consciences. Do you think this is fair or moral? It isn’t illegal, but is it not a misrepresentation of the truth or intent?

At the time, our leaders assisted Johnson to obtain more than his share and this is the result of ‘caring for those less fortunate’.
May 2, 2006
The bright orange sign that was posted on the southern porch was ripped off but the order still stands.

Get this property and create the low income housing that’s spoken of but never really done and done right. Now, City of Chicago, please do something right for a change.

Animal Planet Filming NOH in June-UPDATE

Looks like NOH will be on TV in a positive way in June. For attachments contact George or Blog.
We have been contacted by Animal Planet’s “Backyard Habitat”. Any one else interested may contact me for what they are looking for the show and I'll forward the attachments. They came to Chicago because of the City's commitment to Green Roof's, and they will be filming in our Green Building/Roof Garden. They will let us know the production and air schedule for the show.
George D. Sullivan
Eco Smart Building
P. O. Box 4154
Chicago, IL 60654

----- Original Message -----
From: Mary Helen Brower
Sent: Mon May 1 14:56
Subject: Fwd: Animal Planet's Backyard Habitat

Dear Susan and George,

I left at message with you about your roof garden this afternoon. Attached
is the application/homeowner guidelines and a flier about the series.
Update: Here is the flyer and the six page application with a new May 30 deadline for submission.
Page 1
Page 2
Page 3
Page 4
Page 5
Page 6

I have a (rough) episode outline for the roof garden show that I wanted to
share with you. At this point, I would like to see roof gardens at any
stage, from the early stages to near-completion and ready for plants (or
adjusting an area for native plants/birds. It looks like the producers would
like to show what goes into the design logistics. We just need to fit the
project into 2 days. We may consider working the green roof project into our
shoot dates, if it works within our time frame and permitting can be
obtained in time for shoot dates.

Nighthawk, Killdeer and Tiger Beetle (or other insect)
Summary: Nighthawks and killdeer are ground-nesting birds that are known to use rooftop gardens, where they are protected from terrestrial predators.
Many beetle species are known to inhabit rooftop gardens provided the
appropriate plants are there. Outing would entail a visit to a rooftop
garden that¹s already in progress. Tiger beetles are bright green predatory
insects that live in sunny, dry areas and are known to inhabit roof top

Show Theme: Rooftop gardens
Environment: Urban/Rooftop

Landscape: Plants adapted to the arid and extreme conditions of most
rooftop scenarios. Sedums are most common but we¹d also want to include
more native plants.
Project: Creation of the rooftop garden (installing the frame, the membrane, soil and plants) is a huge project in and of itself.
Craft: See through worm farm

Additional info on the show may be found at the Animal Planet website

Also, you can find info on the National Wildlife Federation website

Feel free to pass this info and application along to friends, neighbors,
family or coworkers who do not have an NWF certified Backyard Habitat.

Best regards,

Mary Helen Brower
Location Scout
Rivr Media
"Backyard Habitat"
(865) 310-2659

May 4, 2006

SB2350 Fails To Pass House 5/3/06

Great way to start the morning huh? But, according to this early morning email, it isn't OVER yet....keep calling, emailing, and all that fun stuff!

“We faced numerous opponents from across the spectrum, and while there is no doubt that this is a setback, I will continue to work for passage of this bill between now and when we reconvene for the Fall Veto Session in November. Should we be able to pass the bill at that time, there would still be sufficient time to implement the extension in order to cover the latest reassessment.

I want to thank all of you who contacted me, or whoever you legislators are, in support of this bill.I would also like to thank Barb Head for her tireless efforts as well as Representative Osterman who has worked hard on behalf of this bill.
We must keep working to provide not only relief to homeowners, taxpayers, not just on this bill, but on the larger questions of how we fund our schools and how we assess properties in Cook County.
I will keep you posted of further developments as the bill progresses.”

From John Fritchey, State Representatiave 11th district to Edgewater Chamber of Commerce



May 3, 2006

Rolling Revolt of 06

Let the G-Rod and Speaker Madigan (Lisa's Dad) hear and maybe read your disgust, distrust, on this property tax rip-off. Make your demand that the Senate Bill 2350 be renewed. If this bill fails, approximately 4,000 single family homes in Rogers Park will be billed an average increase of 45.2% on next years property tax bill. This increase is being pushed by and campaigned for by commercial business interests.

Source: Mr. Houlihan who joined the meeting at Loyola Field House last night.

I posted two email addresses for Madigan, the links aren't working, so keep trying. If anyone finds one that does work, please add in comment section. Even Carol Marin in today's Sun Times posted an inactive email for G-Rod. Did they learn from Mayor Rich to turn off our voices when they don't want to hear us?

Rod Blajegovich
Contact Governor Rod
Chicago: 312-814-2121
Springfield: 217-782-0244

Mike Madigan
Contact Speaker Madigan
Contact Speaker Madigan

Chicago: 773-581-8000
Springfield: 217-782-5350

There's further assistance and information at The TRAC Board. You may fax a photocopy of your projected tax assessment (you may block out your name, but leave the PIN# and address)so TRAC can send them to elected officials and the media on a weekly basis until the last notices land in Chicago in November. This is the "rolling revolt of 06"

If you'd RATHER NOT PAY a 40%+ increase on your 2006 PROPERTY TAX BILL, start making noise today. There's a filing deadline of May 10 so don't procrastinate.

This proposed tax increase will force landlords to increase rents, so renters should voice their concern too.