June 29, 2006

Stroger To Resign

STROGER TO RESIGN

So shall we gather the necessary email addresses and let our voter rights be read? I can create another citizenspeak.

Island Groove - The Meeting

The meeting opened with Joe speaking very loudly. Apparently there was no microphone set up for this meeting. I’m not sure I’ve been to one of his meetings that didn’t have a mic. But we learned that the alderman’s opinion carries a lot of weight with the zoning board and the liquor commission. Of course, Joe is a pro at projecting his voice at public meetings. Both Mike C and Mike B are very soft-spoken men, so it was a detriment to the meeting that not everyone packed into the room could hear them.

They gave a powerpoint presentation outlining their proposed business and some highlights answered the questions before they were asked:

They’ve put up $50k of their personal investments/savings.
They’ve been in contact with Cmdr. Rottner regarding security issues
They predict 60% of their clientele to be local i.e. non-drivers and 40% to be drivers.
Their lease is for one year with the option to renew for 2 or 3, they are not leasing the second floor.
The percentage of food sales is expected to be 30-40% and the rest liquor sales.
The cuisine to be offered will be both Caribbean and American. Several chafing dishes were set up with samples of their menu offerings.
The music venue will be blues and jazz.
The target audience – 35 and older.
Advertising to be done locally.

Another disadvantage was the lack of consideration for some who were speaking pro and con to the plan and allowing responses to be heard.

One gentleman claiming to have been in the restaurant business for 30 some years declared that their kitchen area was illegal. According to Bell, it has passed city inspections. So the gentleman bounded back with restaurant lingo about exhaust and venting to which the response was ‘it’s vented but we can’t do grease cooking’. Sorry folks, no fried foods here.

Another asked what happened to the condo’s that were to be built on that corner to which Joe responded the deal fell through in the negotiation stage. Several long time neighbors expressed their concern, not at Bell and Cherrington, but the landlord who did not attend, and was not invited to attend. Sargon was labeled an irresponsible landlord, which had already been established. Another resident discussed the number of drug deals going on in the alley behind the location and the whole neighborhood.

The highlight was a senior gentleman from Eastlake Terrace who gave everyone his version of the history from the area being voted dry (Joe responded) to three people drowning in Lake Michigan because they had one too many at Biddy’s. His wife was sitting behind us and claimed it didn’t happen! So we need a historical researcher for that one.

Naturally, there are concerns. The negative history lends to instant panic buttons, as does the history of Sargon. The repeated chorus of 140 drunks leaving at 2:00AM…..the thought that Northwestern students liking blues and jazz will invade the neighborhood and pee everywhere, park in the senior from Eastlake’s spot...the list goes on and are valid concerns.

One gentleman of Caribbean descent, a business owner on Howard, spoke to the reality that this is a ‘diverse neighborhood’ but people of his culture hold their events in the suburbs. He urged the group to consider bringing the diversity word into the changes we need to help this neighborhood thrive.

Parking – is always an issue. Yet at every meeting, especially the Pivot Point, Plan B had already been figured out. Park in the CTA garage. Yet until tonight, no one had worked on a Plan B for parking to alleviate that stress point. Another neighbor inquired if there was still a garage on Howard across from the Lakeside Café and could a deal be worked out there!

A show of hands revealed 38 or 39 yeas and 37 nays. (It seemed there were more yea hands in the air to me,) Now perhaps Joe and Mike and Mike can really sit down and do some proper planning, modifications if necessary and possibly this little neighborhood could have a change in history. One woman remarked to the positive change the new Morseland has given that street. When the argument was brought up that Sheridan is a residential area, one resident reminded everyone that the Morseland is in a residential area, next to a senior residence and there have been no problems. It's all about proper management.

Island Groove, from what I could hear tonight, is open at 11AM on weekends with various breakfast items and FREE coffee. Be fair to yourself, to the neighborhood, and to these two Mike’s – stop in and meet them.

Now if all these people would get out and WALK with us on various nights, this hood would really groove!

June 28, 2006

Appoint vs Elect

Appoint one’s daughter? What’s wrong with the child getting out there with her own petition like other candidates?

What’s The Point Of Holding Elections?

A Viewpoint From TW?

Appoint one’s son? Is it King Stroger or allegedly ‘elected’ Board President Stroger? Not only have tax dollars been mismanaged so has the term and definition of democracy. But, this is Chicago, where anything goes and we pay dearly for the investigations after the fact.

June 26, 2006

Inside Island Groove

This is 7644 N. Sheridan Road, the former home of Biddy Mulligan's and other tenants in the business of serving liquor. And, yes, the owner is Sargon Isaac, who seems to have a pretty bad reputation as a ‘landlord’ North of Howard. But, we have several of them now don't we? Has much of anything been done to negate their presence North of Howard? You know the answer to that question, which is no, very little. So this Sargon person is still around, and this business has been empty since I've been here. Just another empty storefront in this neighborhood.
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What you might want to know before the Alderman's 'community meeting' on Wednesday, June 28, 2006 at 7:00PM is who the proposed new businessmen are. Meet Michael Cherrington, seated, and his partner, Michael Bell, standing behind the bar. They spoke at the June 2006 CAPS meeting about their proposed venture. I stopped in Saturday night to get more information. (Did not intend to intrude upon a private party) Bell has been in the 'tavern' business for 25 years. His late mother was the owner of Lou's Lounge on 123rd Street in Chicago. It was a blues and jazz club, a family business that closed after his mother's death. JuneWalk06 011
Cherrington and Bell have been family friends for 20 years and have been business partners for the past four years. Together they planned parties and events at Las Flores in Waukegan, IL, where they have a ‘clean slate’.

Their plans for Island Groove Café:
Open 4 days a week, say Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays for live blues music. There is a grill/kitchen area and food will be served. There will be a cover charge without the minimum drink requirement. But that’s not the community’s concern right? The concern as mentioned by the CAPS officer was the history of the last tenants of that bar. Those bar owners seemed to be unaware that late closing meant inebriated patrons disturbing the neighborhood after hours, urinating in alleys (not the word used) sidewalks, the general after the bar closes routine noise and rowdiness. Apparently, the bar owners didn't provide security and neighbors complaints to them and to Sargon were more or less ignored. The officer also mentioned a recent evening out at a well-known blues bar on the south side and the quality of security there.

Cherrington and Bell will hire licensed security guards to ensure history is not repeated. Private and/or Special Events held at Island Groove will be required to pay for Island Groove’s security. Their vision is to appeal to patrons of the 35 and older crowd with blues music – no hip hop. As for the landlord, well, that's why there are laws on tenant rights correct?

Cherrington is a Rogers Park resident and Bell still resides near 123rd Street.

Another way to look at it: Those who frequent the alleys and parks with half pints and big cans of beer aren't the type to pay a cover charge for liquor in a glass. The younger crowd doesn't usually acquire an appreciation for blues or jazz until they're beyond the 'what's now' stage. Adults wanting a civilized, pleasant night out will appreciate a 25 year veteran of the bar scene and licensed security guards. And, once Wisdom Bridge is built, patrons may want to stop before or after the theater for a drink and sandwich and a little more entertainment.

This is just another way to look at this proposal.

June 25, 2006

"It Was Just My Imagination"

Here's a parting shot of the North of Howard Walkers for June.

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It was a genuine summer walk with music provided by Mr. Tony's Sony - The Temptations and a nostalgia trip.
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Thanks to everyone old and new who joined us. Hope to see you in about three weeks for more good tunes.

Sorry about the 'out of focus'.

June 24, 2006

DevCorp North plans 2 NEW SSAs for east Rogers Park

DevCorp North is planning to raise property taxes in east Rogers Park by creating two new "special service areas" (SSAs). Tommy FitzGibbon, an active member of the Board of Directors of DevCorp North, made the announcement at a community meeting at Boone School on Thursday, June 22. "We have two SSAs in east Rogers Park, and we are planning two more," FitzGibbon told neighbors.

An SSA is a special property tax district earmarked to fund so-called "community development corporations." Since first implemented on State Street, the Daley administration's Department of Planning and Development has been agressively using SSAs to migrate "community development corporations" and "chambers of commerce" from a membership-funded model to a publicly subsidized property-tax funded model.

The two new SSAs planned for east Rogers Park will bring to 4 the total number of special property tax districts in east Rogers Park established to fund the operation of DevCorp North. The two planned SSAs would join the Howard-Paulina SSA (#19) and the Morse-Clark-Glenwood SSA (#24) in funding DevCorp North.

DevCorp North's ambitious expansion plan for their taxation districts will put DevCorp North firmly in the lead City-wide in terms of the number of special property tax districts they control. DevCorp North and the Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce are currently tied for first place in the Chicago property tax subsidy derby at 2 SSAs apiece. DevCorp North narrowly avoided being bumped into 2nd place this spring when the Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce was rebuffed by area businesses in their attempt to establish a third SSA for themselves (on Clybourn Ave!), which would have put them in sole control of the lead.

The announcement comes amid increasing concerns from the community regarding accountability for the property taxes collected and the effectiveness of DevCorp North, and shortly after a recent study of SSAs which documented the failure of SSAs in Chicago in promoting retail.

Under terms of a secret endowment plan negotiated by Alderman Joe Moore, DevCorp North owns a 5% share of the limited liability company (Combined-Development Howard LLC) that owns the publicly subsidized Gateway Mall.

June 23, 2006

Rogers Park Summer Events

Rogers Park Garden Walk will be held on Sunday June, 25 from 12 to 5pm. Starting Point is Leone Beach at Touhy and the Lakefront. If you have any questions, email Jaclene Teztlaff at jjtetzlaff@gmail.com or Cary Steinbuck cary@rogerspark.org or call 773.338.7722 x 22. Tickets are $10.

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And don’t forget, the annual Gay Pride Parade
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The partners of Rogers Park Y.E.S. 2006 are holding a benefit on Tuesday, June 27th from 5:30 to 7:30pm at the Heartland Cafe (7000 N. Glenwood) to raise money for the youth working for non-profit organizations that cannot afford to pay students from their own budgets. This will also be a great networking opportunity for all members of the community. Tickets are $25. For more information, call (773) 310-9369.

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St. Ignatius Church is hosting the Grant Park Symphony Chorus in two performances of Sergei Rachmaninoff's Vespers Op. 37 on Tuesday, June 27th and again on Thursday, June 29th. Admission is FREE with a free will offering collected at the conclusion of each performance to benefit St. Ignatius Parish. Please come and enjoy this outstanding choral work in the resonant acoustics and beautiful architecture of St. Ignatius. St. Ignatius Parish is located in the heart of the Rogers Park neighborhood at 6559 North Glenwood Avenue just two blocks north of Devon and two blocks west of the Loyola Red Line "L" Stop. For more information or directions please call St. Ignatius parish at (773) 764-5936.

Brian DuSell
Director of Music
St. Ignatius Catholic Church
6559 North Glenwood Avenue
Chicago, IL 60626
Phone: (773) 764-5936 ext 17
E-mail: music@stignatiuschurch.org

Big Bust

OPERATION SNAKEBITE

June 22, 2006

Daley administration subpeonas web-based human rights journalist

The delete key: it's not just for political hacks anymore.

Fellow bloggers, remember: a clean hard drive is a happy hard drive. Practice good computer hygiene.

Plot to sink jobs probe surfaces
Court told about jokes of tossing computers in lake
By Dan Mihalopoulos and Todd Lighty, Laurie Cohen contributed, Chicago Tribune, May 3, 2006

Federal prosecutors made fresh accusations Tuesday that aides to Mayor Richard Daley destroyed computer evidence of hiring fraud, with city officials allegedly joking about tossing computers into Lake Michigan to get rid of databases used to track political hires.

Prosecutors said a city computer operator interviewed in the past month about the alleged coverup described a meeting with Daley's patronage chief, Robert Sorich, and another man. The computer operator alleged that Sorich told him to delete a directory from a laptop computer in Sorich's office.

"The computer operator recalled one of the men, probably Sorich, joking about throwing a hard drive into Lake Michigan," according to a new government filing in the criminal case against Sorich and three other former city officials. ...


Meanwhile, the Daley admininstration's crack Law Dept. is openning a can of wup-ass on a web journalist that happens to disagree with the administration.

The View From The Ground

The View From The Ground is dedicated to enriching the public conversation about a range of issues associated with abandoned communities.

Kicking The Pigeon, Chicago Police abuses in public housing

Bond v. Utreras Amended Complaint, Stateway Gardens resident's suit

City moves to enforce subpoena of Kalven’s notes

On June 13, 2005, Jamie Kalven received a subpoena from the City of Chicago in connection with Bond v. Utreras, et al. It demanded "copies of any and all documents, notes, reports, writings, computer files, audio tapes, video tapes, or any written or recorded item" in his possession regarding any of twenty-four named individuals (members of the Stateway Gardens community and police officers, as well as the plaintiff's attorney and an expert witness) "and/or any allegations of misconduct by any police officer" at Stateway Gardens.

Kalven refused to comply with the subpoena on multiple grounds; chief among them, the First Amendment.

He Walks the Line, article on Jamie Kalven, Chicago Reader, "Hot Tyoe," by Michael Miner, July 29, 2005

In These Times interview of Jamie Kalven, October 13, 2005

Informing on Cops

Chicago Public Radio’s Diantha Parker reports on a how a police brutality lawsuit is affecting the city of Chicago, a public housing resident, and her longtime friend.

June 20, 2006

June Walk - Will You Join Now?

Last night's shooting incident was another random, senseless angry act.

Ceasefire Walk

More On Last Night’s Shooting Incident

June NeighborhoodWalk

Change begins with all of us sending out a message that we're tired of it all.

Caught In The Act

Northside Burgler Back Where He Belongs

June 19, 2006

Youth Shot NOH

No specific details other than what crowd stated:

A 13-14 year old male was shot in hip or leg in front of a store - possibly Round The Clock. He ran as far as the alley between Bosworth and Gale Park. Ambulance and police are in the alley now.

Not sure when it happened. I was watering the flowers when the sirens started up.

Curmudgeon Speak

The Curmudgeon Is On The Mark – Again!

What's Wrong With This Sign?

Do you find this sign offensive?
Do you find this sign negative?
What’s wrong with this sign?

summer06 006

It was declared 'too negative'and not in the welcoming spirit of 'we watch out for our neighbors'. Or is the truth of the matter that it would have been embarassing for developers and real estate agents to explain? It's message is clear even if you can't read. We want your opinion(s) about the Bosworth Jonquil sign.

Is it more offensive than this sign? Or is it more noticeable than this nondescript sign?

No Drinking Sign

How about this puny little thing on Greenview and Jonquil? It takes awhile to find it. Is BoJo's sign more noticeable than this sign?
Pick Up Your Dog Poop

Surely it can’t be more offensive than Van Man’s Crew of Illegally Posted signs!
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June 18, 2006

First Chicago Green Home Meet Up

The First Chicago Green Home Meet up is only a week away. Anyone interested in attending needs to join the group and then say yes to the meeting, in the link below.

To see who's coming and to see more event details: click here

When: Monday, June 19 at 7:00PM
Where: Heartland Cafe
7000 North Glenwood
Chicago IL 60626
773-465-8005

Event Description:

Hello Chicago Green Home Friends,
We are going to be holding our first meet up at the Heartland
Cafe to meet, greet, and organize. There are a number of
events on the horizon that we should all be talking about and
working on together to make Chicago a greener place to live.
We will also be selecting a date for a Green Home tour as well
as make ongoing plans to meet up. Heartland Cafe has free
parking two blocks to the north and is a located on the CTA Red
Line. Please RSVP so we know approximately how many will be in
attendance and feel free to bring anyone else. See you all
there!

When you know whether you can make it or not, please help your
Organizer by updating your RSVP.

June 17, 2006

Case Closed

Missing Sign Case

Fodder

OH no! Did the hooligans from Washington Playlot take this sign?
another sign stolen?

Back from the License Suspension – JJ’s fish and CHICKEN re-opens. Now we’ll know we’re back to normal with chicken bones in the planters, provided by tax dollars spent by DevCorp and the uncivic mindedness of some disrespectful neighbors.
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Summer is the best season in that you get to meet new neighbors and catch up with old neighbors you don’t see much in the winter. After a futile sign search for the playlot rules I stopped to chat with neighbors on my way home. One suggested that since he’s not on speaking terms with many of the power players up here that I run his idea round. These photos are general run of the mill scenes on our parkways. If these dumpings get picked up, we neighbors do it - for free. No invoices to the ward office.
Trash 1 Trash 2

His suggestion: Have the Ward Office and our ‘chamber of commerce’ by another name, perhaps developers, create and contribute to a clean neighborhood reimbursement fund. How? Offer trash bags and prizes to any age person to pick up and recycle bottles, ‘chip bags’, cans, and plastic. Pay by the pound, by the bag, or by gift certificate and give youngsters (and oldsters) something to do.

The powers can afford it and it would stave off the excuse of SSA creation, extending and/or expanding. Now isn’t that just too simple for any morning?

It would be wonderful if single bottles, half pints and cans were not for purchase – it would be sensible if no more 25 cent chip bags were on the shelves. That’s too deep into merchants pockets for any morning. If youngsters are not learning civic duty at home, at school, or from all the neighborhood organizations, then someone needs to ‘step up to the plate’ and get it accomplished without the excuse of a tax increase - taxpayers have already contributed enough. Or is this too much like a responsible, respectful learning experience for the neighborhood youngsters? Remember, these kids are tomorrow’s voters.

That’s too frightening for any morning.

June 16, 2006

Additional Perks for JJ?

Jay Johnson - the friend of the low income renters, recipient of many, many TIF tax dollars, member of the aldermans zoning committee - must have struck a deal with the CTA for this storage yard (theater parking lot) behind the Howard Theater. How much Jay or is it courtesy of one of the many LLC's? Could it be a freebie, an indicator of some kind of civic duty? I know, it's really none of our business.

summer06 004 summer06 002

It's a pity JJ couldn't find it in his heart to rent some of his vacant Howard Theater apartments to the union workers who have long commutes. It sure would have made their work week a lot easier.

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June 15, 2006

Police Alert

WANTED – Bank Robber In Action

Places To Go

If the gardening is done, and you’re in the mood for a mini escape here’s a couple of events to mark on the calendar.

There’s the Artists of the Wall Festival at Loyola Beach Park, June 17 – 18, 2006. This event is held annually on Fathers Day Weekend. The theme this year is “Nature’s Canvas: The Shoreline and Us”. Stop and observe the artists of all ages and levels transform the concrete bench on the beach between Pratt and Morse. See this website for more information

There’s Edgewater Farmers' Market, which opens on Saturday, June 17. It will have a new home, new name and new vendors. The market will be located at the corner of Broadway and Norwood (6034 N.) and is changing its name to the Edgewater Green Market to reflect its focus on sustainable, locally-grown and made products.

Vendors will include organic growers Kings Hill Farms (produce) and Prospera Farms (herbs and herb plants), traditional growers Ellis Farms (fruit and honey), Scheringa Farms (vegetables including proprietary varieties of sweet onions) and Crust for Bread (artisan hearth breads). Flowers, organic cheeses and farm-fresh eggs will also be available, and Ras Dashan will sell fair trade spices. Each week there will be an organic "market special," featuring whatever is freshest and most abundant that week.

Local artisans will be selling their wares as well. They include Soothe Your Senses (body scrubs and skin care lotions), Debra Wegner (home made soap and knitwear), Molly Blossoe (silver jewelry) and Marian Hayden (tote bags). Soothe Your Senses also will be offering chair massages.
The market will run from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. every Saturday, rain or shine, though the end of October. Local craftspeople and growers who are interested in participating in the market can apply on-line through the Edgewater Chamber of Commerce website.

June 13, 2006

The Case Of The Missing Sign

Now You See It

Now you don’t…
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In broad daylight, the long awaited new Rules of the Playlot vanished. In NHNA's blog photo there are TWO signs, the new green one with the proper name and the second yellow sign with the RULES. Such simple, sensible rules like no one under 12, no bikes, sit on swings, pick up trash, etc. Just too much to handle on one afternoon. So just remove the sign and continue trashing the little park and disrespecting a whole neighborhood. We looked in the alleys, in the trash cans, under cars, but all that was noticable was more disrespect. If anyone finds the sign in their yard, under their car, in their gangway, please call the park district or 311 and report it.
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No one seems to know right from wrong - it's perfectly acceptable to trespass into someone's yard and grab a gardening instrument with sharp prongs. This could have been an accident in the making...a bad accident. It's even more acceptable to start digging in the park with it.

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We watched one youngster who (for a change) was in the park with his mother. When he finished his soda, he tossed it on the ground. Mother didn't tell him to pick it up and put it in the trash. Anything negative goes.

On our walk through the alley behind Juneway, we did find some criminal evidence. It appears a politician or maybe a lawyer had been held hostage in a tank in one of the buildings. Here’s the remnants of his ‘skin’.
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We don't know if he slithered away and escaped his captors or if they just changed his hostage tank and dumped it in the alley. Anything goes North of Howard.

Ongoing Bad Business NOH

These almost vacant properties with unfinished, condemned back porches with unsecured gates are the neighborhoods' ongoing bad business. According to a very reliable source, there are only 12 tenants left the courtyard building at 7728 N. Ashland. Is the monthly government check being written for the whole building, all units occupied, or have the appropriate government agencies been notified in an honest manner that the building only has a few tenants?

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Everyone’s aware of the negative activity in and around this building, has Mr. Johnson been notified? If so what has he done? What does he plan to do? Blame another property manager, create another fall person?

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There are numerous broken windows – are we going to chalk it up to ‘construction’ or vandalism? Unlocked gates are a recipe for squatters and other illegal activities. Does it matter as long as that monthly government check rolls in? As long as that monthly government check is for all apartments occupied, the hell with the neighbors who live near 7728 N. Ashland. Who cares? Mr. Jay is too busy elsewhere and Mr. Jay lives elsewhere.

Isn't the owner ultimately responsible for what could happen on such a property?
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June 12, 2006

One Year Anniversary

The Playlot the neighborhood built last year – update:
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This used to be the ‘blue whale’ that was dismantled and/or broken by a non-toddler. It seems to be a favorite perching place.

PICT0412 PICT0406 PICT0404

Landscaping was part of the budget. Destruction was done for free.

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Is this the same youngster who was causing a disturbance at the Ceasefire event Friday? He’s about the same size but Friday the bat he was threatening bigger kids (females) with was turquoise.
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The sign states ‘NO BICYCLES’

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Was this learned in school or by the neighborhood ‘role models’?
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If escape is necessary, just use the fence. Repairs will be included as part of the upcoming property tax hike.

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June 10, 2006

Compliments of SSA 19 Tax Dollars

Rather than removing these hideous arse planters, more tax dollars have been wasted and more arses have been planted. There was the hindsight remark at the SSA#19 meeting about not realizing the planters would be sat on. I thought the second part of that hindsight speech was 'phase out the small planters'.But the wheels of 'government' seem to be stuck and still spinning, still wastefully spending.


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June 9, 2006

Delegate Or Wait?

This community alert was in my mailbox tonight. It’s happening in too many neighborhoods, including ours. There was a large crowd of youngsters at Gale Park tonight enjoying the Ceasefire event. Different age groups were called up to the stage on wheels to dance and perform. But as with any gathering of humans, there were a few incidents waiting to happen. Tempers flared over the usual problems of being young or that insecure feeling of not fitting in. I see it on the morning train ride, on the rush hour sidewalks, in the hierarchy games of corporate America – we are all suffering from a lack of social graces. It’s usually a woman who offers the coveted seat on the train to a pregnant woman or a senior! We often don’t know how to converse, how to communicate, how to give directions – we just delegate or we wait for orders. When delegating doesn’t work, we pass the buck. If the ‘directions’ don’t arrive, we do nothing as though forbidden to practice free thought. The crime alert isn’t just about the Austin neighborhood, it’s about all of us. One way or another, we’re all part of a little gang, either by choice or by default as part of keeping our status quo at home, work and play. Just don’t rock the boat and don’t make waves.

Not the Little Rascals of the 1940’s

The Austin story is about the status quo and following orders. The elders are the only role models these kids have – not unlike our neighborhood. But for a few hours tonight, our neighborhood youth danced, worked off some excess energy, and was in a somewhat controlled social environment. Ironically, the stage was set up on the earth that will support the field house (which is now in the stage of obtaining a building permit).

Until that field house is completed to offer young people directions for their vast energies, they will follow the orders of the only status quo they know – their family – biological and/or extended.
And there’s always this alternative before the next step which is?

Armed robbery on 7700 block of N Marshfield 5/30/06

POLICE BLOTTER - News-Star 24th District [06-07-06]
Robbery

After parking his van on the 7700 block of North Marshfield, a 22-year-old man was robbed of $320 around 1 a.m. May 30.

The man was approached by three other men in their 20s, one of whom pointed a revolver at him. Another robber went through his pockets and took his wallet and keys.

The men entered a 1996 Plymouth van and fled southbound on Marshfield.

June 8, 2006

Common Sense Your Honor

Mayor Defends Property Tax Hike

Well, Mayor Daley, why don’t you investigate how many ‘developers’ like our renowned Jay Johnson have benefited from your TIF’s and have not contributed to the neighborhood the tax was imposed upon? How much money was NOT filtered back into the school system from Chicago’s TIF’s and how much was funneled into developers bank accounts? Answer that and common sense (if it exists anymore) should prevail.

June 7, 2006

Join Ceasefire Picnic In The Park

Our best Walking Pals before tonight’s walk…
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Shop talk and seat belt checks…
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For those who missed tonight’s gathering, join Ceasefire again Friday from 6:00 PM – 9:00PM in Gale Park. The neighborhood organizations and neighborhood kids will have a talent show, Ceasefire will be grilling hot dogs and hamburgers and will finish the evening with a walk around the neighborhood. If anyone would like to pitch in and help Ceasefire with the grilling and serving, they’d greatly appreciate the extra hands.

June 6, 2006

Why NOT Comply?

Tax Smart Loan and Target Map

Did you know that you could be using a Tax Smart Loan? Did you know that NOH is a target area? Did you know that the rest of Rogers Park is able to use the Tax Smart Loan? With all of the redevelopment in Rogers Park why did the Aldermans Office, Devcorp, North of Howard Leadership, i.e. all those participate in ‘development decisions’ (without taxpayer input) not require compliance to this product? In a discussion I had with a large local bank it has been around for 10 years, and is not used.

Did all of the groups that want a mixed income community not want to use this great program?

From a neighbor

NOH Events

Wednesday 6/7/06 is Beat 2422's participation time for CeaseFire Week. Join Ceasefire in Gale Park for a community walk at 7:00PM.

Thursday 6/8/06 is Beat 2422's monthly CAPS meeting at 7:00PM, Gateway Senior Apartments, 7450 N. Rogers.

June 4, 2006

The Truth About SSA#19

Truth seeking people, like heat seeking weaponry, will remain doggedly attached to their goal in their pursuit for the facts. This is a story of one such woman who did her homework, asked the right questions, pinpointed the facts and nailed the lid on the spin pot.

At the SSA#19 meeting, Anne Sullivan was listening for the key words to what she was seeking. When Mr. Friedman was referring to the PIN numbers of property owners being shared, that was her cue. She inquired how this ‘public information’ could be attained and when would it be shared with the taxpaying public. Gina Caruso gave Anne her business card and asked her to e-mail her. When she did she was referred to the Dept of Planning’s FOIA Officer. In other words, the stall game.

Anne proceeded to her next cue which was the ‘open meetings act’ referred to by DevCorp, by inquiring 1)when and where the SSA Commissioner’s meetings are held and 2)are meeting dates posted on their website so the taxpaying public may attend? The response to the first question was notices of the meeting are posted outside the building. OK, what building? Oh, the meetings are held at DevCorp’s new digs on Howard Street.

Let’s return to the FOI request. Hoping to avoid the bureaucracy, Anne e-mailed DevCorp’s Amy Campbell asking that a copy of the PIN numbers be made and she (Anne) would pick it up. Instead, the request was forwarded to Caruso to process through the usual stall channels. A simple process of making a photocopy of three pages and handing it to a person became a major bureaucratic evasion. Caruso, who earns high wages paid for by tax dollars insisted the FOI had to be processed through (also highly paid) FOIA Officer who had to filter the request thru the City’s Law Dept. So assuming these lawyers earn up to $300/hour this 3 page document is getting pretty damned expensive. I thought it was outrageous when I saw the currency exchange on the corner of Howard/Paulina charged $1.00 a page but it pales in comparison to the search for the PIN numbers of the current property owners of the current SSA#19.

Not willing to accept this, Anne paid a visit to the Department of Planning and asked to speak to the commissioner. Naturally, she was told that the commissioner was in a meeting...she politely replied she was very patient and would simply wait. An administrative assistant came and asked if she could help. As it were, the two women knew one another. The discussion centered around the circles and tax dollars being wasted to get a simple copy of public information from DevCorp. If this entity has every intention of true community involvement as they claim, then this circuitous route to obtain public information should not have been so veiled and obfuscated.

Kudos to Anne Sullivan for her persistence! Many thanks! For the rest of you who want the truth, here it is. Please note how few property owners in SSA#19 reside in zip code 60626.

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June 3, 2006

Good Evening North Of Howard

Now we have designer mini-ziploc rock crack bags growing on the hostas.

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Burned Out Building - Continuing Saga

Enter into the courtyard of 7611-13 North Bosworth, sometimes referred to as Broadmoor East. The building has stood vacant and burned out for years. It served as a tax write off for IMC Properties. It's now in building court and under the watch of CIC and Urban Equities property management.

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Oops, a broken window...
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Oops, an unlocked door in a vacant, boarded up building...
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Oops, another unlocked door...
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Through the broken window...
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Enter Into The Squatter Digs
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The damn building is empty because of a FIRE so let’s NOT allow a squatter to set another one...with a 'meditation candle'.
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This gate was reported unlocked about 3 weeks ago. As of today, this is what has transpired from some form of mis-communication to the new management company. One of the security guards from the Broadmoor spoke to us and stated the management company is aware of the problem and has a work order to chain and lock the gate. That task should take a seasoned handyperson no longer than 5 minutes, 10 tops.

Yelling, whistling and the usual noise of drug and prostitute traffic woke a neighbor at 4:00 AM coming from the burned out building area this morning. Again, we requested that this gate be locked and the vacant building secured.

A surly character with a backpack frequents the courtyard. He approached us one afternoon claiming that he was only 'relieving himself' and we shouldn't be so concerned! So much for the no trespassing sign. He threatened a neighbor recently when warned that he was being watched. Gee, try to warn the dude and he gets angry!

We trust Urban's good reputation will not allow this oversight to continue. The guard stated that they do periodic checks of the 7611-13 burn out which I have witnessed. However, two guards cannot be everywhere, cannot 'stake out' the joint and apprehend the squatters and dealers and still guard the entrance to the Broadmoor which is their primary job.