December 31, 2007

Seasonal Sentiments

Well said, Mannis! The godfather is one helluva guy!

Save your money - the taxman cometh!

Janus and Jerks! Thanks Steinberg.

Abandoned Kids Mother Found in Rogers Park

Hopefully the child’s father will be given temporary custody –if he meets paternal requirements. What are paternal requirements? Loving responsibly is a big order. If he can’t meet those two – unfortunately foster home life is a probability for these Abandoned Children.

The mother needs help too - unfortunately these stories hit the pages and we seldom hear the outcome.

December 30, 2007

Howard Street- Past, Present and Future?

This bleak, vacant storefront strip was allowed to drag down Howard Street for years. There was a recording studio in one storefront but they got sick and tired of IMC’s mismanagement. (So did the good tenants of the Broadmoor). They tired of rats running across the floor and of the open air drug market outside on Howard. They cut their losses and left.

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Some may remember the odd looking ATM that was housed in one storefront window. A young man was shot to death there a few years ago. One former Broadmoor tenant lived on the floor directly above the ATM and was terrified to go near her window after that night.

The vacant strip is home base for many entrepreneurs. It’s a great business center for them since there’s no one watching much anymore. The rent for the thrift shop gouged them out of town. Without Carmen on the corner to keep an eye on the street, well, it went to hell in a handbasket after she left. Sandy’s
on the other corner has been the topic of many a CAPS meeting.

One open establishment on the south side of Howard calls 911 but never participates in any community groups. Lack of participation is a problem in this area which is a good thing for some people and a big problem for others. Some will urge neighbors to take back the streets and others will return the serve to the alderman and police to fix. It’s a neighborhood tennis match. It would help if the alderman would spread the word to some of his favored constituents to get involved in the volunteer part of neighboring. Perhaps Mr. Frazier could help get the message out?

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It would be neighborly and politically correct to see an aldermanic email blast concerning the plans for these storefronts. Hopefully they will not be home to more dollar or shoe stores. Let's utilize a new vocabulary word: Diversify

Snow Scenes 12/28/07

Snow Scenes from Friday, December 28, 2007

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December 28, 2007

Crime Is Not Down - Hood Alert

We’re more aware of our neighborhood problems in summer as we’re out cleaning streets or gardening and chatting with neighbors. There's news to hear while shoveling snow too and this hood has its share of bad news.

Bosworth neighbors, you need to be aware of your surroundings. I learned today that a good neighbor was held up at gunpoint on December 23 around 10:30pm. He was entering his well-lit building across the street when the perp stuck a long-barrelled gun in his back and demanded money. The victim handed over a large sum of cash to the jackass.

It isn’t fair that this behavior exists, but it’s equally unfair that so many people take safety as someone else’s job. It’s yours, mine, and everyone next door and around the corner. If you're walking, save your worrying or deep thinking until you’re safely inside. Look behind you, across the street, pay attention to people and look at them.

To those who have the luxury of driving into their garage and think you're entering safely, think again. You still need to pay attention. If you look out those front windows and watch the street, you may see activity that should be called into 911. Call a neighbor, get a phone tree started to alert everyone up and down the block. The police won’t assume we’re all crazy if several people see someone walking around with a long-barrelled gun.

My neighbor didn’t deserve to be robbed at Christmas or any other time and neither do you.

December 27, 2007

Subprime Mortgage Probes

Law enforcement officials including those at the Justice Department, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the New York attorney general's office are scrutinizing whether banks and mortgage lenders helped fuel the crisis by misleading investors about dicey housing assets and then covered up losses when the markets turned sour. Government subpoenas are flying, investor lawsuits are mounting, and in the nastiest cases, businesses are pointing the finger of blame at one another.

Full story from the Washington Post here

Read After Breakfast

From msnbc.com

"Recent studies show many of the poorest Americans living in the United States carry some of the same parasitic infections that affect the poor in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, said Dr. Peter Hotez, a tropical disease expert at George Washington University and editor-in-chief of the Public Library of Science journal PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases.

Writing in the journal, Hotez said these parasitic infections had been ignored by most health experts in the United States.”

Complete Article

It appears the health providers need to advocate more than just those horrid flu shots. Maybe City Hall will put this on the agenda of problems to wipe out in 2008.

December 26, 2007

2007 's Top Ten News Star Stories

That’s right, The Broken Heart posted the link. 24/7 is joining and perhaps a few others will link up to our local newspaper - News Stars Top Ten Stories for 2007

2007 was an extremely busy, newsy year. In spite of all the information about the corruption highway, Chicago (and Illinois) had only a few political upheavals. Taxpaying voters are experiencing much of the same old rhetoric. Many bloggers are getting more of the same old silence from our alderpeople who think we’re an evil bunch who don’t deserve an honest answer – that is if we if we get an answer. The rest of you who are not bloggers are probably considered too stupid to respond to as we were once upon a non-blogging time.

But they have their own renegade blogger supporters out there to hold us accountable to them. It’s a detour from what’s going on in those smoky rooms where certain favors are handed out! It’s also a little payback for daring to expect honest representation from an elected official. Some have taken the meaning of poop to a new, all time disgusting high. But they’re lurking out there examining syntax, research, and plotting the next parody to cover up the real and continual neighborhood problems. They’re the Defenders of Ward 49 and the Democratic Machine. Civil liberties are extended to the inner circle only - remind anyone of high school?

Study your election choices for 2008. Read up on what you’ve had for the last several years and decide if you’re tired of the same plate of ‘we know what’s best for you’ to digest.

Enjoy your last remaining days of freedom before those 1/1/08 taxes land to repair the cracks on the corruption highway! Just remember, you and I are footing the bill.

And thank you News Star for reporting on the nuttiest, bloggiest neighborhood!

December 24, 2007

Anticipation

Many of the most significant memories for parents are the events of this winter holiday night. A young couple from North Carolina are awaiting Santa for the first time this year. They’re in the process of adopting two brothers ages 6 and 7, which has meant instant adjustments to parenthood and all that it entails.

Tonight is the continuation of family traditions experienced by the couple - my daughter and son-in-law. Their little boys were dutifully brushing their teeth when I last checked and grandpa-in-law was musing via email on how quickly 30 years flew by. Now Miss Toni, Miss Pat and Mr. Joe are the grandparents watching from the sidelines and manipulating events as grandparents sometimes do.

My daughter was three when I divorced and what a precocious child she was and still is. One Christmas instead of driving to our parents in Missouri with my brother and family, we had to take the train. A fender bender landed his car in the repair shop leaving three adults, two toddlers and a poodle named Mojo at the mercy of Amtrak. It was bitter cold but we got last minute tickets and settled into the train. Poor Mojo, stowed in a carrier with the luggage was not the least bit happy to be separated from his people. The train had barely rolled out of Union Station when the main lights went out and remained that way for the 5 hour ride.

Laden with snacks, coloring books and blankets, we settled in for a darkened ride. The conductor arrived to collect tickets just as the oranges were being peeled. My little green-eyed girl offered him a snack but he declined with a smile. She continued the conversation. The conductor soon learned that everything can be found at K-Mart and she announced (pointing to me) ‘my mother’s divorced but is going to buy me a new daddy at K-Mart’. He laughed as did anyone listening! On the other hand, my nephew wondered if Santa would find him at grandpa’s house since his letter gave a Chicago address.

The dimly lit train was relaxing. There was a silence unusual for a holiday train as the city’s hustle and bustle faded from sight. It seemed the passengers became aware of the snowy countryside we were rolling through – where they’d been and where they were going to. A quiet anticipation – especially for my nephew.

Tonight the torch is being passed and a new chapter begins in the collection of winter holiday stories. Family memories are like reflections in the ornaments that linger through the years as we unwrap them to decorate the tree. Our little kids gleefully tore open the gifts and Mojo the poodle shredded the paper. Our childrens little boys will gleefully tear open their gifts and we’ll have to wait and see what Midnight the Labrador will do!

December 23, 2007

When Reba Smiles

It was a pretty gloomy day weatherwise, but the sight of Tom and Reba on their corner brightened the moment for many people Friday morning. Reba was enthroned in her cart and this was her smile for everyone.

Reba and Tom Reba

I feel sorry for people who don’t like animals and even sorrier for those who can’t have pets in their apartments. These creatures hold the key to the many mysteries of life. Love isn't the most elusive secret at all.

December 22, 2007

Last Minute Shopping To Do?

The time has come for all the last minute shoppers to fill the malls. Sponge Bob has been a big kid favorite for awhile now, but with all the blog noise about dog poop, I tend to lean to this character more. Note, they have a special little suitcase too. Perhaps next year they’ll patent and sell a special doggy poop scoop to match. Whoo Whoo

Then for the big boys and girls who play hardball and have the upcoming February elections to maneuver and manipulate – here’s a link for their toys. Any relationship to our dude?

The perfect gifts for the people with all the techy gadgets - give them something amusing and challenging! Any of these would look terrific in a county office, storefront office, desktop or toy room.

December 20, 2007

The Silent Financial Crisis

“Home foreclosures in Chicago numbered 6,339 in the first half of this year, according to the Mayor's office. This represents an increase from the total of 4,695 in the same period in 2006. Nationwide, foreclosures reached an all-time high in the third quarter, according to a Mortgage Bankers Association report issued on Dec. 6.

"The crisis is devastating homes and families all across this country," said Daley. "It's affected every neighborhood in our city, especially those low-income neighborhoods where people work so hard to hold on to their homes."

**********
Another article by Steve Chapman, Chicago Tribune states a much different viewpoint.

One angle that is not addressed are the condo developments that are partially sold. If there are six or more units and only 3-4 are sold then the developer or owner, still owns the vacant spaces. What if this person isn’t paying the condo association monthly assessments using the legal excuse it doesn't meet the percentage requirements to be an association?

Or, another angle, what happens when owners who re-financed to buy a toy car, any expensive toy, or pay down credit card debt now find themseves in foreclosure, who foots the building’s bills? If the mortgage payment can't be met, the monthly assessment will probably be ignored as well.

What are the lawmakers doing to prevent unpaid assessments and other peoples responsibilities from being dumped onto the paying owners? What about that crisis Mayor et al? Rogers Park and Chicago are loaded with condos, fixed rate, subprime; some owners paying on an even keel and others careening off the radar. But when the bills land the association has to cough up the dough.

So lenders are facing bankruptcy due to what some consider greed or poor judgement. Owners are facing foreclosure from a mixture of financial ignorance and/or living beyond their means. So what support is there for those left to face other peoples often sad realities? No one's writing about the innocent victims of the mortgage mess. There's a silent crisis no one is writing much about.

December 19, 2007

Mary Jo Doyle - 1939-2007

Mary Jo Doyle
1939-2007

We have lost a true friend of Rogers Park and its history.

John E. Maloney Funeral Home
1359 West Devon Avenue
Friday 12/21/07 viewing from 3pm-9pm

Mass at Saint Margaret Mary's Church
Saturday 12/22/07 at 10am
2324 W Chase Ave

In lieu of flowers you may make donations to:

The Rogers Park/ West Ridge Historical Society
Rogers Park/West Ridge Historical Society
7344 N. Western, Chicago, IL 60645
773-764-4078

American Cancer Society
American Cancer Society
P.O. Box 22718 Oklahoma City, OK 73123-1718
1800-ACS-2345

The Red Door Animal Shelter
Red Door Animal Sheltr
P. O.Box 269119 Chicago, IL 60626
773-764-2242

St. Scholastica Academy
St. Scholstica Academy
7416 N. Ridge Chicago IL 60645
773-764-5715
Visit RogersPark.com for additional information

December 18, 2007

Save Our Neighborhood Papers

From today's Sun-Times:

F. David Radler -- the former Sun-Times publisher who looted the newspaper's parent company of tens of millions of dollars -- could serve as little as six months in a Canadian prison under a plea agreement a federal judge in Chicago accepted Monday.

Radler, 65, was sentenced to 29 months in prison and fined $250,000, but if he gets to transfer his sentence to a prison in his home country of Canada, he would spend significantly less time there because of less stringent rules. In the U.S. federal system, prisoners generally serve 85 percent of their sentence.

"I'm sorry for what I've done," Radler said in court.
*********

How sincere is Radler’s apology? Is he sorry the Sun-Times financial leaders can use his and Black’s thievery as an excuse to lay people off?

Community residents are dangerously close to losing the "official document" of their neighborhoods' history and place in time. Losing the News-Star and the other Pioneer Press (formerly Lerner) city editions would be a real loss to the communities and readers that they serve. Neighborhood papers are usually the reason why the Tribune, Sun-Times and television news cameras come in and bring broader attention to local issues that have been raging unchecked.

That is after the neighborhood reporters have done all the leg work – then the big guns can push their way to the front of the line, do their big gun reporting and not give credit to the source. Journalistic ethics huh?

Without News-Star and other community newspapers like it, our corrupt elected and public officials will continue to pillage and plunder the neighborhoods, discounting the neighborhood activists as crackpots or whack jobs. These public officials and their minions will be allowed to smile and lie and throw red herrings under our feet. Or perhaps the herrings have faded to pink.

Having a story appear in the local community newspaper brings legitimacy to what the "citizen journalists" are reporting on, and gives readers a voice to tell whoever is screwing them over to "back off."

Quoted from this Sun-Times Article

“Freidheim and other top executives agreed to take a portion of their 2008 compensation in shares of Sun-Times Media Group Class A common stock, and retainer fees for board members also will be paid in stock. Sun-Times stock closed Friday at $1.27, up 13 cents, or 11 percent.

"Management needs to set an example and demonstrate the confidence it has in the future of Sun-Times Media Group," Freidheim said.”

Management needs to be made aware that we need our neighborhood newspapers so we can stay current on local events, political potato peeling and the police blotters. The big ugly events are covered in a heartbeat, but the little ones don’t make it to the papers or newscasts. Chicago’s neighborhoods can’t expect the major papers to cover all the small incidents. The common citizen can't walk into the local police station and check out the local crime events. And, if we don't know the beat of the street, we can't ask about the crime at CAPS meetings either. The police can't or don’t always volunteer information on crime and heaven forbid the politicians veer from the 'crime is down' chatter and let us really know what's going on!

In closing, does Radlers $61 million and Friedheim et al’s 2008 comp pay in stock help Chicago’s neighborhoods and you? It’s all about their bottom line – not ours.

Mr. Cyrus Friedheim is the Sun-Times Media Group President, CEO and Director, approximate age 70, and has a record of implementing reorganizations at various companies.

You may contact Mr. Freidheim at the main number, 312-321-3000, or drop him a line at cfreidheim@suntimes.com or send a letter to the address below. It’s time to save our neighborhood newspapers.

Chicago Sun-Times
350 N. Orleans St., 10th Floor
Chicago, IL 60654

December 16, 2007

Clearing The Walkway

In compliance with the snow rules, any wannabe complainers can fuss about another building. I was the only woman out there with a shovel. I did see one other neighbor (male) shoveling and salting and heard other shovels in motion.

What I did not see were young or older people needing holiday money offering to shovel for cash. While manual labor like shoveling snow may not be as lucrative as other means of income, one would think there are still some people willing to make a buck the old fashioned way...honestly and with obvious results. Maybe one of our NFP’s could get a snow list together for seasonal employment. Several years ago after a huge snow storm, two young men offered to shovel for $20 and I gladly accepted and tipped.

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And for the pedestrians, the sidewalk was cleared completely after this photo and salted. It’s melting now. This farmers daughter knows the proper use of a shovel!

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There Are Always Two Sides....

From today's Chicago Tribune Editorial The most creative proposal we've heard for improving it comes from Thomas Epach, a former executive assistant to Chicago's superintendent. Epach appreciates the need for a change of culture. But he also urges Chicagoans not to overlook the strengths of what he sees as steadily better educated, better trained officers. "You get murdered in Chicago and you're still having a good day," Epach says. "The most talented police force in America is on the case."

His proposed rewrite:

"We Serve and Protect -- With Respect."

Adding that two-word commitment wouldn't pre-empt all future tensions between the police and other Chicagoans.

It would, though, remind officers that they, like health professionals, have a standard of care: This is what we do every day.

Appending "With Respect" more accurately describes the Chicago Police Department's core mission. And, like every thoughtful motto, it holds the raw potential to move the human spirit. If Weis still has some officers who think the job is about them rather than the communities they serve, he'll surely warn them that a closed mind can be just as hurtful as a closed fist. Updating his department's motto could be one step in eradicating that attitude.

"We Serve and Protect -- With Respect." That encapsulates how most Chicago cops perform their jobs. Yet it also adds precision to what citizens expect police officers to do every day.

Then there's the other side of the story from Alderman robbed – Second City Cop Blog

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I recognize many of the police officers on our beat. I've complained when they drive by and don't address the situation. I've cheered when they stop and address the situation. One photo I promised never to post was a 24th Sergeant offering wrapped candies to kids playing in the park. He keeps a huge jar of candy in his squad for the kids. When he parked and opened the trunk, the kids ran from every direction calling his name. He knew their names too. The only vote he was asking for was for mutual understanding. From the kids reaction, they knew he was a good guy.

December 14, 2007

Howard Area Leadership Academy On TV

From Sister Cecilia...


Howard Area Leadership Academy on TV

The Howard Area Leadership Academy story will air during Medill Reports, which airs at 6:30 pm THIS Sunday on WYCC Channel 20. The story is the third one in the show. It was produced by students at the school with the help of Northwestern University Medill school of journalism.

The Visit

These guests flew into Gale Park yesterday morning to check out the community center. Or are they seeking refugee status in a safe haven?

Don’t tell City Hall about these visitors

Tourism North of Howard

December 13, 2007

The Reverend Al

News from Fox - The Reverend Al Sharpton may have some housekeeping of his own to attend to. Chicago may not have four star rankings in the politician department but do we need Al's intrusions?

December 12, 2007

Saturday's Grayscape

Saturday, December 8, 2007 was a typical gray Chicago day. Not only were there threats of snow and sleet, it was bone chilling damp. Naturally, we had to go out and run errands, so the camera captured the journey. The huge red crane in the first photo reached high over the el platform to drop beams in place in the second photo.

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These two photos show the progress of the station on the south end.

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Overhead, the snow was sliding down the new rooftop onto the tracks below.

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Loyola El - One more year of freeze and thaw chips away the supports, even though it's not a comfortable word with these photos.

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Today, three flatbeds were on Howard with more huge overhead beams.

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December 11, 2007

The Lincoln Square Rally Is Still On

Slide1

Good for these fighting neighbors. They're not buying the political bluff and tomorrow's rally is still on! To quote from yesterday’s News Star article:

“Nick Toma, a Romanian immigrant who purchased a burned-out, six-flat building at 4811 N. Lincoln Ave. last year for $1.1 million, said that an attorney from the city's Department of Law offered him a deal compensating him for his losses.

Toma had applied for building permits for an extensive renovation of the building this summer, only to be told by Schulter in July that he would not sign off on the permits because the building was on a list to be acquired by the city.

"I've been paying the mortgage ever since," Toma said of the unoccupied building. "I don't want to give up everything. I want to get my money back and go away and run my business from here. In Romania, (the government) took my father's property for nothing. I risked my life to get into this country, and now I feel like I'm back living under communism."

With the three forces of tax evils attacking from city, county and state, I’m glad someone has the guts to tell it like it is. There are plenty of boarded up blocks citywide these caring alderpeople could condemn, raze and rebuild. They are what most of us lay people would consider blighted. There are other alternatives to eminent domain though but we’re not reading about them.

Receivership is one alternative although it seems that receivers are as recycled in Chicago as the developers and connected slumlords are.

Property in Chicago is one recyclable event. You buy it, you pay the mortgage and taxes; the city will find fault to extract more money, you rehab it, or you repair it and eventually, they take it. Or their connected pals buy up block after block and move in the high end group. What’s so democratic about that? Then the backroom deals pop up and certain areas are the designated dumping ground for the displaced. This government is not planning urban neighborhoods under any sensible formula, they're building warring factions of haves and have nots. There's power to be had by pitting voter groups against one another. It keeps the voters from being unified. Oops, they've blown it in Ward 47!

Illinois is bankrupt on every level due in good part to mismanagement.

Re-read: Mismanagement.

Everything seems to be an overlay of one big event that has yet to be determined, the 2016 Olympics. When we need politicians to look to the future they have their heads stuck in the sand. Will the CTA suffice as an example? When we need them to take care of immediate business, they’re pumping up their coffers for Olympics that will be held in 8 years – somewhere, destination yet unknown. Stroger doesn’t need $1 billion NOW, he wants it now. Daley could take care of business now and worry about bicycle rentals later. Blago? He should just go on tour with Hanna Montana and be a gofer. These government officials should spend a few months with a group of single mothers learning how to really budget money.

It's probably too late for any of them to practice democracy now. They're tainted.

December 10, 2007

Additional Update on Lincoln Square

Thanks to our neighborhood reporter, Lorraine Swanson, Pioneer Press and to Tom Mannis, local Rogers Park blogger.

Eminent Domain Threat Off Table

Ald. Schulter pulls eminent domain ordinance from City Council agenda
December 10, 2007

BY MARK J. KONKOL blogs.suntimes.com/neighborhoods
Bowing to pressure following a community protest and the Sun-Times coverage of his redevelopment plans for the Lincoln Square business district, Alderman Gene Schulter (47th Ward) pulled an ordinance that would have allowed the city to use its eminent domain powers to gobble up the 4800 block of Western.


Thanks Isaac...

Rally To Save Lincoln Square!

Slide1


For those who missed the night time meeting last week, here's your chance rally. Join the Lincoln Square property owners and neighbors who face emiment domain theft of their property by the city.


Blight is Blight and Theft is Theft. One would think if the big developers wanted the property then the alderman would approach his taxpaying constituents and do some brokering. Oh, no, let's just steal it by emiment domain and call it blighted. Are these alderpeople representing their constituents at all?

Must See and Read from The Bench

Apple The Second

The Von Medvey family opened Apple the Second flagship women's clothing store in 2005 on the corner of Howard Street and Elmwood Avenue and became the pioneers of renovating commercial property along Howard. To make way for Apple the Second, Von Medvey Builders Inc. installed 21st century fixtures that allow customers to feel comfortable as they shop for fashion forward garments in a warm, glowing atmosphere.

Maria Von Medvey and her husband bought the building on the 700 block adjacent to Chicago five-star La Cucina di Donatella restaurant and half a mile west of Howard El to join the business expansion occurring along the city division line. The store is also yards away from the drop-off/pick-up of four major bus lines, including the #201 that supplies Northwestern University students with alternative transportation.

Ten years ago Evanston Alderman Ann Rainey (8th Ward) began working to expand business by installing several urban design street scape identifiers, thus bringing commercial interest and improving residential facade.

Apple the Second is near several housing/condo developments such as the prominent 17 story residential building with 221 unit apartments being built on the 400 block of Howard. “This development is the largest investment ever on the Evanston side of Howard Street,” said Ald. Rainey.

Apple the Second is located at 745 W. Howard St., open Monday – Saturday from 12PM until 7PM and closed on Sunday. Store may be reached at (847) 424-0786. Company website: www.applethesecond.com

December 8, 2007

Another Blue Bag Issue

From msnbc.com

“Anything like this ... is going to give an advantage to the criminals, narcotics users, narcotics dealers," Austin, Texas, police Sgt. Richard Stresing said of Ice Breakers Pacs — tiny, blue, dissolvable packets of white mint powder that look startlingly like heat-sealed dime bags of cocaine.

******************

The Hershey marketing geniuses came up with the packaging idea after the product group created the powder. Either they live in a bubble or they thought it was cute, either way this isn't a smart concept for Hershey. There are too many avenues for problems on this little blue, heat-sealed packet.

The linked article in the headline allows you to express a 'vote'.

December 7, 2007

My Chicago Landing

Surely everyone remembers reading about Pearl Harbor – The Day of Infamy even if some of us weren’t here 66 years ago.

It only seems appropriate to give a moment to remember and honor the event. I wasn’t born yet but can remember the stories and reading about Pearl Harbor. Ironically, today is the anniversary of my Chicago landing. Some may quip, yeah, another Day of Infamy.

My ex-husband was being amicable for a short time and drove me and our three year old daughter here from a northern state. My brother had found me an apartment in Old Town, so after arriving and having dinner, we proceeded to unload the furniture. It was cold and a heavy snow had fallen. It wasn’t my idea, but apparently it wasn’t smart or safe all those years ago to leave a U-Haul to be pried open overnight. Five years of military life hadn’t taught me all there was to know about moving again and again.

So at long last, I’d finally realized a teenage dream – to live in Chicago. I no longer had to read about it or listen to what was happening on WLS. I was here. I was no one, I was anonymous, and it was both frightening and exciting. I had about $200, my very first apartment and a three year old daughter. “Get the Trib, get on the el, and get a job”. OK, I know what a job is but clue me in on the Trib and the el, please. It all fell into place and by December 16th I took my first el ride to my first job as a single mother. I later discovered child support checks would not be arriving! My pay check covered the rent, utilities, day care, staples and clothing.

And we survived and grew up together.

TIFed Neighbors Unite and March in 47

By JENNIFER SLOSAR ChiTown Daily News
published:Dec. 06, 2007 12:42 PM

A highly charged meeting of Northside residents angry about the proposed use of eminent domain for a redevelopment project in Lincoln Square culminated in an impromptu march on the office of 47th Ward Alderman Eugene Schulter last night. (Wednesday, December 5, 2007)
*******************

Let's hope Schulter and the crew at City Hall get the message. The voting taxpayers are not going to tolerate eminent domain in un-blighted areas for the sake of developer pals and connections. Twisting legalese to placate the needs and greeds of high rollers is shameful. One would hope someone would find it slightly illegal, right? Let's see an introduction of an amendment to absolutely define blighted without legal wiggle room. The little game of compete with the ward next door or down the map isn't necessarily helping the neighborhoods. It's all about aldermanic egos, city connections and city coffers.

December 6, 2007

Kreusi Is Recycled to D.C.

Kreusi back with city as D.C. chief
By Gary Washburn | Tribune staff reporter

Full story from the Chicago Tribune

Kreusi was unavailable for comment. What an interesting back room deal that must have been. OK Frank, I’m going to ask you to step aside for loyal pal, Ron but I’ll make sure you’re rewarded for all the heat you’ve taken.

We just have to persuade someone to resign so you can be the replacement!

Daley made the announcement before he left on his trip to Italy.

December 5, 2007

Saturday's Snowscape

Photos taken December 1, 2007

CTA workers in the snow – Howard Station

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Jammed security door at Gateway interior storage facilities

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Evanston construction 12107 014
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The green construction screen was removed from the Community Center Saturday.
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Al fresco latte anyone?

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December 4, 2007

Investigations and Trips

BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter / Sun-Times

"The Daley administration has launched an internal investigation to find out why a clout-heavy airport contractor was paid $45,000 to build a "concrete break area" for city employees at O'Hare Airport without contract authorization.

The work performed by Northlake-based Rossi Contractors became necessary after City Hall forgot something when it agreed to spend $22.5 million to convert a vacant military building at O'Hare into a new home for city employees to free up lucrative terminal space for new concessions." Complete article

Meanwhile…..

Mayor Daley is scheduled to travel to Milan, Italy, Wednesday for meetings with the local mayor tied to Chicago's Sister Cities program. The Sun-Times reported last summer that Daley had taken 67 out-of-town trips since January 2004, nearly half of them entirely or partly funded by Chicago taxpayers.

**************

Hope everyone who's owns property wrote a check to the County Treasurer by deadline to save a late fee. As last time, I wrote 'Stroger Fund' in the memo portion of the check. The clerk was not mortified at all. We're all doing our civic duty by contributing to some of the outrageous salaries and part or all of 16.75 trips per year for Daley. The number of trips doesn't compare to what some corporate players make at all. But the corporate players are out there making money for the shareholders. If they fail - they're terminated usually with a hefty package. But politicians are spending our money with each trip whether it's to City Hall, Cleveland or Milan. But they need more of our money. The only trip we get is the ride to work.

The fiscal state of Chicago, Cook County and the State of Illinois isn't a profitable investment for most of the shareholders. If we chose to sell our shares, we're still screwed - our initial investment is on the minus side of profit and we pay for the moving van!

It's a shame Daley couldn't have met with the local Milan mayor after his visit to France to check out bicycle rentals. It's known as back-to-back meetings, and cost-effectiveness. Real companies are accountable to the stockholders - government seems to dictate what accountability is.

In Chicago, we have our own unque versions of cable TV shows, The Wire, The Sopranos, and The Brotherhood. We'll just call it the _____________?

December 2, 2007

Stroger Supporters - History Is Valuable

Here’s a historical flyer/document signed by the supporters of Todd Stroger from certain Ward 49 politicians who are supposed to represent us. They were urging us to vote for the kid.

img007

Why would I post such an old flyer? There are myriad items to post, unfortunately, one Pro-Moore blogger, Mr. Westgard, does NOT list Moore or Fagus in his post linking to Stroger's website listing supporters. He fails to mention that Dave Fagus sat in that stuffy room at the Allegro Hotel and voted yea for Todd Stroger. Now why is that? He fails to mention that once upon a time Moore supported Machine Man Stroger. Why is that? While the Pro-Moore blogger did support Claypool who lost to Papa John, he still kept his party ties as did those who signed the tree killer.

Read Fagus Comment on Craig’s Blog (first link)

"I know I am for Todd Stroger because he is right on the issues. I think most 49th Ward voters will see that before November."

These men and woman may not be satisfied with Toddler and Company’s performance now -but they weren’t looking out for our future when they endorsed him and sent this flyer ward wide. They were doing Democratic Machine Work and now taxpayers will foot the tax bill. Now Fagus and Suffredin want a vote from you.

Now Toddler wants how much in Property Tax Increases and to pay for what or for which cronies to be hired? The main dilemma that Cook County Board faces is not abortion, Gay Games, guns or any of their propaganda. The main dilemma we all will suffer from is this lie:

Todd Stroger:
*Opposing Property Tax Increases

December 1, 2007

Don't Take It Upon Our Tax Dollars

By Steve Patterson – Staff Reporter Sun-Times

“Hospital union leader Anthony Pleasant said "we just took it upon ourselves" to use a county vehicle and promised to find another way back, while also vowing to reimburse the county for gas use.”

Cook County taxpayers paid Friday to shuttle in demonstrators to support a tax hike.

Another fine example of other people spending our tax dollars! Perhaps Mr. Pleasant and his associates didn’t feel this move was improper considering the unethical examples set by our politicians. Certainly, the group has a right to be heard but at their own time and expense. There’s more involved than just repaying the county for the gasoline. There’s X-time that the vehicle was insured, X-time of wear and tear and taxpayers footed the bill. And...was their attendance record noted properly or were they on the clock?

Common civilian taxpayers who may want to protest at such an event couldn’t expect or demand a bus paid for by the government to transport them. They would be left to carpool, rent vehicles, use the government taxpayer funded CTA, walk or bike.

At best, all taxpayer-paid employees of Illinois should take mandatory classes and pass tests regarding various ethical behaviors – what’s acceptable and what is not. If any act in an unethical manner - there's the acknowledgement of the test that proves they were aware of the consequences of their actions. I spent the better part of yesterday afternoon taking mandatory online classes and tests on ethics, compliance, cost-effectiveness and other related topics that could affect the company, my associates and me!

Sadly, the governmental bodies of Illinois don’t appear to have many ethical standards in place when it comes to spending (cost-effectiveness)our money. Some may argue that big public or private companies don’t either, but miss a step and see how fast regulatory bodies swoop in to apply fines and terminate the unethical ones. SEC Probes in 2007

Here's a current example from California. At least in this case, it was a government employee caught by the governing body. Granted, there have been such incidents in Chicago too, but at what point do the government taxpayer paid employees or the cronies of government get exposed, punished and the example is set to really cease and desist?

Too many connected individuals get a mere slap on the wrist and continue with their unethical behavior. We’ve witnessed it with the connected real-estate developer pals who bilked Chicago (with government permission it appears)and are still being recycled with TIF dollars, big land deals, and eminent domain takeovers (or in the case of Terzakis, lack of takeover!). A little bus ride to protest is small in comparison with the swindles of Rezko-type cronies, alderfools, county commissioners and their thug armies in Chicago. But it all adds up and is extorted from taxpayers bank accounts in more taxes to pay for governmental mismanagement of funds. These union people who support a tax hike don't see the big picture - past, present or future.

If it smells like crap it is probably crap.

November 30, 2007

HOLIDAY CRAFT AND ART CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL

HOLIDAY CRAFT AND ART CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL

St. Nicholas
Pope John XXII School Parking Lot and Cafeteria
1120 Washington Street
Evanston, IL

Saturday, December 1, 2007, 9am. to 4pm
Sunday, December 2, 2007 10am. to 3pm

Craft Fair
Dennis LoBue Needlepoint Art
Caps
Pillows
Framed
Patches
Runner
Jackets

Price From $5.00 to $100.00 Tax Included

THANK YOU AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS

November 29, 2007

The Beaver's Desperation

When I read the pathetic Beavers BS yesterday on the Sun-Times - even two cups of coffee didn't convince me I was reading correctly. If Todd Stroger was white? Wake up call Beav, Papa John got the county into this mess and he wasn't white either. IF and when politicians can deal with problems and leave the race card unplayed, Chicago and Cook County may get back on its feet. Until then....

If you haven't found these gems, please partake now!

A Must Read From The Bench

More Truthful Blogging by Tom Mannis

TIFed Off Neighbors

Our 47th Ward Neighbors need our support to fight the cancerous-like, fast-spreading growth known as TIF. Our neighbors are worn down, upset, but still kicking and TIFed off. If this government capture of pockets of private property in Chicago isn’t realized, acknowledged and snuffed, it will gradually creep across the whole city. With 156 TIF's in Chicago, this could happen to you.

Slide1


Read more at the Save Lincoln Square Website

Excerpt:
In 2000, the City Council passed the Western Avenue North Redevelopment Project Area Tax Increment Financing District Eligibility Study, Redevelopment Plan and Project, which designated 437 buildings on 70 blocks as a "conservation area" - giving the city the power to condemn our businesses for private developers. The standard to be declared a "conservation area," similar to a "blighted area," is subjective and vague.

On September 11, 2007, the Community Development Commission approved a resolution submitted to it by the Department of Planning and Development authorizing the acquisition of our 16 businesses on the 4800 block of North Western Avenue, citing that that they "do not represent the highest and best use of the land, they do not realize their potential tax-generating ability, and they include obsolete structures." This could be said about anyone's home or business, because anyone's property could make more money as something bigger and newer. This resolution was then approved by the Committee on Housing and Real Estate, and This resolution will likely be heard at the next full City Council meeting on Wednesday, December 12.

Hugh’s Excellent Post

The meeting is December 5th.

November 28, 2007

HALA

From today's News-Star...

November 27, 2007

Panel Discussion on TIF Abuse in Illinois

Thursday, November 29th 6:30 p.m.
77 West Washington (Chicago Temple Center - 1st floor)

Panelists:

John Paul Jones, Friends of the Parks
Cook County Commissioner Mike Quigley
Ben Joravsky from the Chicago Reader

Sponsored by the Independent Voters Organization

For more information contact Herb Ziegeldorf at 773-353-7770 ext 2429

To Tax Or Not To Tax

By Mickey Ciokajlo | Tribune staff reporter - November 27, 2007

The Cook County Board may not vote this week on President Todd Stroger's proposed $888 million tax increase because there is not enough support for it, the board's Finance Committee chairman said Monday.

Commissioner John Daley (D-Chicago) said there's a "strong possibility" the board will not vote Friday on Stroger's plan to raise the sales tax by 2 percentage points and boost gasoline and parking taxes. Daley, the Finance Committee's chairman, said it is "pretty likely that [Stroger] doesn't have the votes."

If the board does not support Stroger's tax plan, Daley said he expects county officials will be brought back before the Finance Committee to help identify areas where spending can be cut.

Complete Article

Voice your opinion, you’re paying their salaries:

The nine Democrats inclined to give Stroger more tax dollars

From yesterday - Here's who they are and how to reach them:

* William Beavers, South Side and south suburbs: 312-603-2067 and 773-731-1515, wbeavers @cookcountygov.com. In his response to a 2006 Tribune editorial board questionnaire that asked about cost reductions versus tax increases, Beavers wrote in part: "As chairman of the [Chicago] City Council Committee on Budget and Government Operations, I have a record of supporting budgets that address revenue shortfalls through the reduction of costs in government. I will continue to advocate for such budgets if elected as a county commissioner. ... We need to continue to make progress in employee head count through greater efficiencies."

* Jerry "Iceman" Butler, Near South Side, south suburbs: 312-603-6391, jbutler@cook countygov.com. Butler in his written response: "We are constantly looking for ways to reduce payroll. ..."

* Earlean Collins, West Side, west suburbs: 312-603-4566 and 773-626-2184, ecollins@cookcountygov.com. She may be the deciding vote on whether to raise county taxes.

* John Daley, South and Southwest Sides, southwest suburbs: 312-603-4400, jdaley@ cookcountygov.com. Last year Daley said in his response to the Tribune: "Taxes should be raised only as a last resort and not before savings measures are implemented through consolidation and efficiency gains. ..."

* Roberto Maldonado, North and Northwest Sides: 312-603-6386 and 773-395-0143, rmaldonado@cookcountygov.com. Like Collins, he could be the deciding vote on tax increases.

* Joseph Mario Moreno, Southwest Side, Cicero: 312-603-5443 and 773-927-7154, jmoreno@ cookcountygov.com.

* Joan Patricia Murphy, south suburbs: 312-603-4216 and 708-389-2125, jmurphy@cook countygov.com. The essence of Murphy's response in 2006: "I do not favor decreasing the workforce if it limits the services the County provides. ... I do not favor raising taxes. ..."

* Deborah Sims, South Side, south suburbs: 312-603-6381 and 708-371-4251, dsims@cook countygov.com.

* Robert Steele, Near North, Near West and Near South Sides: 312-603-3019 and 773-722-0140, rsteele@cookcountygov.com.

And of course there's Stroger, who said when he proposed his budget that he wasn't hearing from citizens upset by his plans to raise taxes:

* Todd Stroger's telephone numbers are 312-603-6400 and 312-603-5500. His e-mail addresses are thstroger@cookcountygov.com and office of thepresident@cookcountygov.com.

Feed The Hungry and Your Brain

. . . and your brain gets a snack, too!

This site, like some of the others where each click counts
for a donation, raises funds for a cause. This one
gives food from the sponsors of the site. It's
legitimate. (Do keep going to the hunger site, the
breast cancer site, etc.)

Unlike the others, though, you can keep clicking and
clicking -- and learn some new words while you're
doing it. For every correct definition you choose,
ten grains of rice are donated. You can keep going
until you just have to stop . . .


And the really cool thing is that the program adjusts
its level of difficulty to the player, so it's great
for everyone. Click through a few words today!

Free Rice

Like so many of these, it raises awareness and some
funds. Each person's little bit is added to lots of
others, and something good happens.

Some of the others:
Hungersite
(find links to others at the site)

Click 2 Donate

From an anon reader - Thanks AR!

November 26, 2007

Send A Message To Stroger

Speaking of Stroger, money, politics and quality of life issues, please check out the above link to Fargo's blog.

Turkey Droppings

Just a week ago, the alderperson of Ward 49 was handing out free holiday turkeys at Dominicks. He communicated this via email, some bloggers picked it up, and the media was notified so our ‘leader’ could get camera time. According to the email blast, “100 turkeys” were to be given to “100 needy families”. Some of my low income North of Howard Neighbors are curious to know who met the alderman’s 100 needy list and how certain people knew and many others didn’t.

No one noticed any posters, unless they were printed and dropped off the same day as the event. According to my sources, knowledge the event in the low income area North of Howard was by word of mouth. Other neighbors saw the event while doing their Monday morning shopping. Allegedly, one woman asked what was going on, got in line for a turkey and was told she didn’t qualify. How does one qualify for a free turkey, show their disability card, their monthly income check stub? How else could 100 free turkeys be distributed to 100 needy families without proof of need?

According to my sources, allegedly the alderperson personally contacted certain low income members of his little NOH army or ‘club’. No doubt certain Dave Fagus/Joe Moore election judges and poll watchers got their turkeys as well as ‘friends of the friends’

November 23, 2007

Moore Info-mercial for 2001 W Howard - 2 Years in the Making!

* Tuesday, May 30, 2006: from Gary Fuschi's Rogers Park Review, The Rogers Park NewsBlog:

Tasty Sub: Gone for Good?

* Friday, July 7, 2006: from Gary Fuschi's Politics Page, Politics In Rogers Park:

ZALUC Agenda July 11, 2006

And now...

Community to Review Howard/Damen Development
Tuesday night, November 27, 2007 7:00 p.m.
Pot Park Fieldhouse
7340 N Rogers

"Building owner Gus Rizakos, his architect, Irene Zemenides and his attorney, Sylvia Michas, will present the plans. ... The owner is requesting a zoning change to B1-3, which would allow him to construct up to 32 dwelling units. His proposal calls for only 24 dwelling units."

The team is BACK, this time with high-power lobbying assistance, the BEST zoning attorney money can buy in Chicago!

Sylvia Christine Michas
Date of Admission as Lawyer by Illinois Supreme Court: November 8, 2001
Law Offices of Samuel VP Banks
221 North LaSalle #3800
Chicago, IL 60601-1509

Regular readers will of course recall Sam Banks is the brother of Alderman William Banks, long-time Chairman of the City Council Committee on Zoning, and that the lead attorney in the Banks family law firm lately is aldermanic nephew, James J. "Jar Jar" Banks, the most successful attorney in the history of Chicago! He NEVER loses a zoning change! You may recall Banks as the zoning attorney/lobbyist for the Connie Abels legacy project on Sheridan Road and of the recent TIF subsidy for 6610-28 N Sheridan, among many others.

And Banks has in turn hired a high-power team of legislative consultants to ease this zoning change through the halls of power, sprinkling the way with great wads if cash:

$500.00 3/10/2006 to Citizens for Joe Moore
$500.00 2/25/2005 to Citizens for Joe Moore
$250.00 3/1/2001 to Citizens for Joe Moore

$250.00 7/18/2005 to the Democratic Party of the 49th Ward
$500.00 2/23/2004 to the Democratic Party of the 49th Ward

(Not to mention Jar Jar's generous support of the incumbency of his uncle and the rest of the zoning committee.)

Watch for it

In the light of these campaign contributions, will Moore recuse himself from the decision on this zoning change, and agree to be bound by the "community" zoning committee's decision?

Will "community" zoning committee member, 49th Ward Democratic Committeeman, and chairman of the Democratic Party of the 49th Ward David Fagus recuse himself?

Where's the Set-asides?

The 49th Ward Zoning Process


"I have a policy that requires any proposed residential development in my ward of ten units or more to set aside at least ten percent of the units for the City of Chicago’s CPAN affordable housing program, which gives moderate income individuals an opportunity to purchase a home at a much more affordable price. "

-Alderman Joe Moore, October 27, 2005

Can a developer in the 49th ward exempt themselves from Moore's local affordable housing requirement by making an in lieu contribution to Citizens for Joe Moore?

November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a day of tradition, family get-togethers and sharing memories over a table of wonderful food. It’s also a time of reflection.

Our family holidays usually rotated from house to house. One year, Thanksgiving was at my dad’s parents. Please bear in mind, those two people immigrated from Italy, married and were farmers. They kept the old country traditions alive and well and frugality always reigned! Grandma’s kitchen had a big, black iron cook stove. She knew how many logs it would take to bake bread, pies or birds and adjusted the temperature by tweaking the flues on the stove pipe. It was always a mystery to her grandchildren since our mothers turned a knob to a certain number and the appliance did the rest.

That year Grandpa shot a goose and Grandma roasted the prize in her wood stove. The covered dishes landed on the table and soon all 10-12 of us were seated. The conversation was a mix of English, broken English and Italian, depending on the subject matter and the speaker. Dad and his brother would translate when we were having communication problems. It was almost like a foreign film with subtitles.

One older male cousin suddenly started spitting his food into his napkin. He’d bitten into some buckshot Grandpa John missed while cleaning or dressing the duck. No damage was done and the rest of us slowed down and searched for more buckshot. It may have embarrassed the grandparents but we never knew. No doubt after traveling across the Atlantic to a new life a little buckshot was nothing to what they’d endured.

Happy Thanksgiving, be grateful and may the bird of choice be buckshot free!

November 19, 2007

The Chart Daley Did NOT Want You to See















(click to magnify)

In 2006 alone, Chicago's TIF program raked in $500,369,348.17. That's right, over a HALF a BILLION dollars.

Let's put that number in perspective.
  • Last week, Daley raised his property tax levy by $86.5 million.
  • The endless CTA doomsday scenarios are largely result of the inability of our elected officials to address a projected $158 million shortfall.
  • Our public schools are also in perpetual crisis, but in their 2008 budget, the Chicago Public Schools increased their property tax levy by a mere $55 million.
Please note these are NOT cumulative revenues. Between 1986 and 2006 (not even counting the first few years of Chicago's TIF program) Chicago raked in a CUMULATIVE $2,510,745,038.88. That's right, more than 2 1/2 BILLION dollars.

We have a rainy day fund for luxury condos, but none for our trains or our schools. Over the last two decades, our home town as a matter of policy has amassed a vast slush fund that will insure that Daley's real estate developer pals will thrive, no matter what political winds blow. Daley and his developer pals are the frugal ants, and we poor homeowners are the singing grasshoppers. They saw more clearly than we that this day of reckoning would come, that local governments would squabble, unable to squeeze any more cash out of Chicago's homeowners.

Source: Cook County Clerk

Shut Up Drew

By David Elsner | Tribune staff reporter

"Are you worried she may never come back?" Lauer asked about Stacy Peterson.

"I don't know, I have no idea," Peterson responded, then added: "Yes I am, my kids need a mom."

Peterson concluded the interview by once again asking Stacy to return. "Basically, I'd like to have her publicly show herself so we can clear this up," he said.

-----
Of course, for Matt Lauer it’s mostly about ratings – for a person like Drew Peterson it’s no doubt one of his egotistical fantasies come true – wow I'm on TV. Yep Drew, you’ve shown the world just how brilliant you are. His kids need a mom but as he's shown us, it's easy enough to get another wife. Granted I never watch morning yap yap shows so can only base my opinion on what online media has to offer.

Neil Steinberg’s Take On The Subject

The only true television justice I can imagine would be Peterson having a female defense attorney telling him to shut up. And we know that's not likely to happen. But it’s a delightful image isn’t it?

November 17, 2007

The Transformation of Gale Park

It started one morning with a cement mixer, an earth mover and the ensuing progress is self-explanatory. It makes me proud to be one of the squeaky wheels that finally got this project started and nearly finished. This batch of photos was taken last week.

111607 001 Globes and Sidewalk repair 30 N LaSalleCityHall 025 111607 004 111607 008 111607 009

Today the landscapers added a few final touches.

111707 009 111707 004 111707 014 111707 015



111707 006

November 15, 2007

Fire Some Aldermen and Hire Inspectors

Here is an interesting media team-up investigation in case you missed the news last night. Whether a new structure or a rehab, each step of the process should have a check and balance system before buyers get what should be termed 'someone else's problem'. It should automatically be directed to the developer et al. I’m sure some developments have this system in place but how many don’t?

If the Mayor and his Club 50 crew were really thinking and planning for the future of Chicago and its residents, the recent tax increase might have been averted with proper check-ups on the housing boom. Of course that might interfere with TIF to build dollars and that's one of those hush hush topics.

From the ABC link:

“In downtown Chicago there are only four inspectors to insure that 100 buildings end up safe for occupancy. City building department officials say they plan to hire 34 more inspectors by next year.”

ABC 7 Chicago

A city the size of Chicago with FOUR (4) inspectors for 100 buildings?

The Daily Herald Link

We could do with fewer alderpeople and hire more qualified inspectors! The remaining alderpeople could focus on setting real building code checkpoints. The next step would be accountability sessions on development. Progress Reports. But the connected developers on City Hall’s Inside Track would be screwed. If the knife slashed the developers instead of the buyers that just wouldn’t work in Chicago would it?

Most buyers hire inspectors before a home purchase - but how much is hidden behind those walls? How much is hidden elsewhere? Apparently too much for comfort.

November 14, 2007

End Eminent Domain Abuse

Hi, neighbors!

Think you own real estate in Chicago? Think again! "Owning" property doesn't mean the same thing in Chicago as most places, as some small businesses on Western Ave are finding out: in Chicago, you own property at the pleasure of the City of Chicago. Some of our neighbors are organizing to fight back: Save Lincoln Square

Eminent domain moves forward
November 14, 2007
LORRAINE SWANSON, Pioneer Press News Star

There were few surprises for business and property owners at the city's Committee on Housing and Real Estate meeting last week where plans for the city to claim a stretch of Western Avenue under eminent domain moved forward.

Members of the committee approved an ordinance on Nov. 8 authorizing an acquisition of properties along the east side of Western Avenue between Lincoln Avenue and Ainslie Street, and at 4814 and 4820 N. Claremont in the Western Avenue North TIF District.

The City Council was expected to approve the proposal at its Nov. 13 meeting.

"I wasn't surprised. I knew this was going to happen, but we had to be present and go through the process," said Imre Hidvegi, co-owner of Chicago Soccer at 4839 N. Western Ave.

More...

Fair Warning

The city has reserved the right to wipe out this block for a developer to be named later

September 14, 2007
By Ben Joravsky, The Works, Chicago Reader

In 1994, Imre Hidvegi and Edgar Alvarez opened Chicago Soccer, a soccer supply store, in a vacant storefront on the 4800 block of North Western. “It was just the two of us, and we did maybe $50,000 in business” to start, says Hidvegi.

More...

November 13, 2007

Update On Marshfield Fire Settlement

Pioneer Press News-Star on Marshfield Settlement

Chicago Tribune Article on Marshfield Settlement

“An attorney for the three defendants—CIG Management LLC, Marshway L.P. and Marshway LLC—could not be reached immediately for comment.”

******
Note: The LLC’s and LP bear the burden, our golden boy Mr. Johnson is merely tarnished.

But feel free to invest in Cornerstone’s newly ‘rehabbed’ affordable condos around the corner at 7722-34 North Ashland, formerly known on this blog as Manderly . This rehab is now known as Terrace View.

Join Cornerstone et al for a free breakfast tomorrow at 7:30 AM as the non-resident organizational leaders of Rogers Park promote the change Mr. Johnson has provided the North of Howard Neighborhood.

History of Cornerstone

November 12, 2007

A Timely Settlement - 2006 Marshfield Fire

November 12, 2007
By LORRAINE SWANSON Staff Writer
A settlement has been reached in a civil lawsuit against a Rogers Park landlord who owned a building where six children lost their lives in a September 2006 fire.
Complete Article Here

*************
A timely settlement for Jay Johnson, owner of the 7706 Marshfield building where 6 children perished in a 2006 Labor Day fire. Timely one may ask? It's just in time for the November 14 BizArts breakfast to be held at Cornerstone's 7722-34 Ashland to view the recently rehabbed buildings as 'affordable condos'. Biz Arts is a co-sponsored monthly event to promote local business by DevCorp North and RogersPark.com or is it the RPBG?

Surely someone will clarify.

There's no reason we can't vote against Mayor Daley's budget

Open Letter To Chicago's Aldermen

Dear Chicago City Council,

None of you wear ruby slippers. For the most part, it's wingtips, tassled loafers and some tasteful heels - though I have often seen one of your female members wearing gym shoes with her business skirt and jacket on the council floor. Any of these will do. Now, click your heels together three times and say:

There's no reason we can't vote against Mayor Daley's budget.
There's no reason we can't vote against Mayor Daley's budget.
There's no reason we can't vote against Mayor Daley's budget.

That's right, you've always had the power to vote against his budget. It's the law - you can look it up.

- Cate Plys, Beachwood Reporter, Nov. 12, 2007

More...

November 11, 2007

Dysfunction

Why was Stacy with Drew Peterson? Why did she stay if she was afraid of him? Then there’s the 30 year age difference between a young, smart, pretty girl and a middle-aged man with a three marriage track record

Today’s Sun-Times insight into the dysfunctional family history Stacy grew up in could be applied to many families. Multiple marriages, alcohol or substance abuse, moving to greener pastures, and pipedreams to chase. The children are always caught in the middle. Sadly, too many of the female children seek an escape whether they run away, have a baby or run into a marriage.

Let’s face it - all families have some dysfunction but the Stacys of the world have to bypass the better parts of childhood. Sadly, their escape too often is into yet another dysfunctional place with a replication of the abuses of their childhood. It’s the only emotion or reality these kids can recognize. Knights in shining armor are usually for fairy tales only.

Simple logic would be that abused women would grab the kids and escape to their family or a friend. But it’s not easy to admit defeat so they usually stay hoping that ‘if I love him more’ he will change. It doesn’t happen that way but it’s one reason abused women stay in bad relationships. By the time the abuser has exerted the controls, many womens self-esteem and self-worth are so damaged they become slaves to the abuser. They feel ashamed to come forward and admit what they've been subjected to.

Every school in this country needs special classes on abusive relationships. It won’t stop the abuser but it may help young women and men to recognize the symptoms before they delude themselves into thinking it’s love.

November 9, 2007

Petition To Oppose Proposed Cook County Phone Tax

Thanks NHNA for the link!

If you've had enough of Toddy's proposed taxes, here's a chance to let him and his crew of commissioners know you oppose a phone tax.

Copy the link and send it to your neighbors and friends.

City Hall Watching - Part II

Part of the Summer Art Exhibit Moves To City Hall

Globes and Sidewalk repair 30 N LaSalleCityHall 008 Globes and Sidewalk repair 30 N LaSalleCityHall 005 Globes and Sidewalk repair 30 N LaSalleCityHall 011 Globes and Sidewalk repair 30 N LaSalleCityHall 015
One of the plaques at the base of each globe.

On the way back, I couldn’t resist asking a city employee what was going on behind the fenced in area.
“Oh, the sidewalk was cracked and it’s being repaired.”

Globes and Sidewalk repair 30 N LaSalleCityHall 022 Globes and Sidewalk repair 30 N LaSalleCityHall 023

“Really? It never appeared bad to me, I replied. It’s odd, they’re fixing the sidewalk in front of corporation council’s home at 30 N. LaSalle but I can’t get any taxpayer paid concrete for a hole on Howard.” (That LaSalle Strip strip is granite slabs, not your regular run of the mill concrete.) The city employee laughed and shared a similar tale of woe from his neighborhood. The City tore up part of his yard, dumped gravel after they finished their work and two years later have never replaced the soil. He just shrugged, I took photos.

Now can we fill that hole at 1615 Howard? It’s not really that complex – it’s just bureaucratic talk. The next time a concrete mixer is NOH for the CTA rehab – it’s prepaid taxpayer concrete….all McHugh needs is City permission. There was a concrete truck yesterday at the field house. What's so complex about pushing a wheelbarrow of taxpayer paid concrete across a street? The act of accounting for every taxpayer dime? Spare us that one!

Maybe that request could added that to the agenda? It would give those hard working alderpersons a break from figuring out how to tax us more.