April 30, 2007

Alderman Comes Clean on Ties to Slumlord

Preckwinkle speaks, others hide
April 29, 2007
CAROL MARIN

[4th Ward Ald. Toni] Preckwinkle demonstrated that now-quaint virtue of public accountability. And did so in full public view. ...

Preckwinkle, like Daley and Obama, got tens of thousands of dollars in campaign donations from Rezko. He was a supporter and friend, though not anymore.

Preckwinkle said she began to learn of problems with Rezko's buildings a few years ago from police who reported gang activity there. By that time, however, Rezko had already taken the money and run.

"I think, from a city perspective," said the alderman, "this is your worst nightmare."

Made worse, I would argue, by any public official who doesn't think he should be required to answer questions about it.

Urban Trekker Project

In March the North of Howard Parks Advisory Council unanimously approved that Triangle Park be renamed the Tobey Prinz Nature Park and has given their choice to the Park District. Lately, parks have been named for women who have had a positive impact on their community.

In the early 1970s, Tobey Prinz was a Rogers Park activist. Tobey Prinz is best known for leading the campaign to save Rogers Park’s beaches from high rise development. Ms. Prinze was also a founding member of the Chicago Teachers Union.

A Friend of the Parks seed grant of $500 has enabled a gardening project at the entrance to Tobey Prinze Nature Park where the gate is.

Triangle Park and Beaches 006


The second project is at the rock area.

Triangle Park and Beaches 007


This gardening project was recently undertaken by youth from three area youth groups - Greensleeves, Starfish, and Family Matters. A different group worked each day around the rock area, with adult volunteers. The work on sign area was completed by adult volunteers and the work was difficult! The adult volunteers were Dan Tarbor, Chris Rodgers, Melvin Brimage, Karlos Sandy, and Tony Bay. They worked at least 12 hours on the project creating the raised flower bed area. Thanks to these great volunteers on this project!

The next step in this project will be the planting of wildflowers and native flowers and grasses. It will take about 3 years to come to full maturity, but it will bring butterflies, bees, birds, and lots of color from spring through fall to the entrance to the park.

The park council has been given a $250 gift certificate from Gethsemane on Clark to purchase native grasses and plants for the larger ‘rock’ flower bed. Sister Cecilia Fandel of Howard Area Community Center and Secretary of the Council has priced the plants at about $10 each, or 25 plants, which will not be enough to cover both areas. She will be conferring with Elizabeth from CPD and Beata Welsch, a Master Gardener, to come up with a design plan for the beds. Special thanks to Donald Tobkin, a hard working farmer/educator who hails from Detroit Lakes, MN. Without him, nothing could have been accomplished.

The planting will probably begin the second week of May and each of the youth groups will be invited to participate. Any neighbors who would like to volunteer their time or gardening knowledge are welcome to join in the beautification of Tobey Prinze Nature Park. As the park council is young and under funded, any financial contributions toward the purchase of more native plants would be appreciated. Or if you have been gardening for years, perhaps you’d like to share seeds or donate native grasses or flowers for these areas. The project requires indigenous plants for the project. Sr. Cecilia estimates it will take about $200 for wildflower seed and ongoing volunteer work to care for it for a few years for it to take hold.

If you would like to volunteer on these projects please contact Sister Cecilia at 773-973-4812. Sister Cecilia is the coordinator for all youth and adult volunteer teams.

Triangle Park and Beaches 009

April 29, 2007

The Blogosphere

Actually I had not intended to blog heavily on the aldermanic campaign - that is until I found the court documents about this buildings pre-existing code violations. That is until no one in City government wanted to tell me what happened for three closing attorneys not to discover them. No one can tell us where the money in 'escrow' went or is. Nor can they answer why the creators of the mess never followed up until all after units were sold. If these pre-existing violations just 'disappeared' who removed them and why? Or were they ever entered? Did someone tell the city the codes had been rectified before the final sales? If so, did the inspectors check it out?

Certain government types sometimes don't like being 'challenged' to uncover the truth. They all speak the same tennis talk 'you should file a civil suit'. Our condo response 'You should dig up the truth, you dropped the ball - so it's in your court'. Meanwhile, we pay twice, once for our homes and once to repair what was orderd by the court to be done by the developer - or to be notified of it prior to the sale(s). Neither was done. Meanwhile, at Cook County Recorder of Deeds one can find the Galens' have been buying and selling property all over the City and suburbs. Did the judge remove the order to forbidding Galen to own any property save for a single family dwelling he could reside in?

The saga of Marek and Bozena and Marcin Galen happened on Moore's watch.

a. the number of readers fluctuate - I guess Chris took the high road
b. last Sunday’s post was linking to Andrew Sharp's methodology for Moore and/or any campaign Sharp is the hired gun for.
c. Read the 'stuff' in the Tree Killers, ACORN flyers and utter 'libelous'.
d. Pink post cards were a bit more than libelous and I'm still awaiting a response.

Thanks for the link Mike! Please check other great Rogers Park blogs in the link section.

And special thanks to Chris McNamara and the Tribune!

April 28, 2007

Breaking The Sound Barrier

My email buddy in another state sent photos of this phenomenon.

Thanks JN

An Invitation From Kheris

Meet today at 2 PM at the Sculpture at Pratt and the Lake.

Well, I am getting some interest in my Invitation . Unfortunately, a bad weekend for many. So, rather than lose momentum I will post an item tomorrow on some specifics, and I will email those who responded to my email addy kheris@kheris.net with a location on Saturday. I don't want anyone to lose interest because they can't be there the first time, and I do want to stimulate discussion.

Some ideas to think about:

1 - My focus is on Aldermanic Accountability, which is agnostic as to whose name graces the ward office, or its location.

2 - Much has been said about JoMo's lack of attention to ward affairs, often in generalities. The key to accountability is objective and measurable standards. I believe we have some to work with:
a) Crime - index or non-index, is it trending down? Toni posted the CAPS 2422 arrest data and it appears to support what has been claimed elsewhere - crime moves out of sight of the blue lights.
b) Vacant buildings - are they secured? Is the number rising or falling?
c) Businesses - how many are closing, how many are opening, what kind of businesses and where are they locating?

That's just 3 items, and by no means the totality of possibilities. But what would we consider evidence of positive performance by the alderman? What does it look like and can we describe it in measurable terms? The same goes for failing performance. What are the key indicators to focus on? We also need a baseline to begin measuring from, and I would suggest starting with 2006 and moving forward.

I know there are web sources with a lot of data points that need to be organized into useful information. I can use my website to host once the data is organized, but we should also point people to those sites if they wish to look at and study the data on their own. Hugh's many posts gave me resources to look at, but are they all that is out there?

This is not something a fully employed person can do all alone, unless they have no life save a cyber life, and that is not anyone I have seen on the RP blogs. It will need a commitment from whoever wishes to participate to share the load, once we define what it is. And for a definition of commitment, consider the typical eggs and bacon breakfast. The chicken 'buys in' to the breakfast. The pig makes a 'commitment'.

More later.

April 26, 2007

Respect For Nature, Self and Others

This is what Green Environment is about

Perhaps I ate too many cookies at the CAPS Awards Ceremony or the sap over the greening of Rogers Park is overtaking me. George Sullivan has been trying to educate and inform Moore, DevCorp, the builders group, and anyone who would listen or read for years. How would I know? I’ve been copied on most, if not all, of the email blasts. Many were blogged and we had a bet waged on who would or would not answer. Usually it fell into the latter category either being deleted or not understood.

Tree Killer Part 2
Is there a plan?
Urban Wilderness
Award
Transit Oriented Development
Green Schedule
Mapping Our Urban Future
Green Survey
Future World
Loyola TIF
Earth Week
Tax Smart
Future Green Savings
Sensible Development Plan
Great Gardening in RP
Montrose Dunes

True, planting trees and flowers is what I call ‘earth therapy’. Being a part of nature, understanding how She and we are interdependent companions is what many urban dwellers don’t grasp. Replace what you take – it sounds simple but isn’t an easy task without continual practice. It's work. It becomes a ritual, an art, a way of life. It isn’t a social event unless like minded people are working toward a goal.

I watched with envy from our offices as the green roof was built on City Hall. The dream job was just two blocks away on a roof! As with the Botanical Gardens, there are pathways for humans to walk on that allow them to enjoy the flowers and exhibits yet protect nature. In our urban areas, we have sidewalks to protect the grassy areas. It would be wise to begin the project of greening Rogers Park with educating the masses about respect for Mother Nature first.

The ungodly amount of money spent on campaign tree killers and TV commercials would have paid to bus the youth of Ward 49 to the Botanical Gardens how many times? It would have purchased how many trees, perennial plants, grasses, books and gardening tools for everyone? Every positive act begins with ‘education’ and it’s time to do it the right way for a change. It’s long overdue to replace what has been taken.

My father was a steward of the land, as was his father before him. Farming was a difficult life at times, but he loved it. Nature was the mistress and he was her servant. He obeyed the laws, never cheated anyone, and never battled any cause until the mid 1970’s. That’s when a neighboring farm was purchased by a Chicago company as a site for a hazardous waste dump. With this potential threat to his land and others, he came out of his submissive role. Dad and other farmers circulated a petition to ‘stop the dump’. He and his farmer friends stopped Governor Kit Bond on his way through the area and handed him the petition with hundreds of signatures on it. That was just the beginning!

This group of farmers drove to the state capitol for every session of congress to bring attention to the ‘dump’. They contacted geologists and scientists who joined them in educating the politicians about the dangers of a hazardous waste site in the middle of their farming community . The possibility of contamination entering the underground water systems could have destroyed fertile farmland, the whole ecosystem of plants and animals and the health of humans for years to come.

The farmers in their jeans and overalls won the battle. The project was abandoned and the intruders sold the property. The small town celebrated their victory and Dad and his fellow farmers were the heroes for speaking up and reaching out to the scientists who provided the facts and data to prove their case.

Picking up trash and planting flowers will only work when we all learn to respect nature, self and others and do so for the right reasons. To respect is to protect.

For my Dad who passed away 7 years ago today, April 26, 2000.

April 25, 2007

A Must Read From RPB

Here's a sample preview of the complaint filed by Don Gordon. No doubt the pro-Moore blogger has or will try to spin it and explain it.

It's possible the pro-Moore blogger is in the war chamber with Andrew Sharp and the cut/paste artist(s). You see, the Moorites misconception is that we are all relatively STUPID and can't read; therefore every sentence must be explained with several out of context paragraphs.

(When they're hurried and sloppy, a simple flyer or post card will suffice.)

It reminds me of the talking heads taking up prime time after any presidental state of the union address. We watched it, we heard it, and we don't need an interpretation - it was in English. Thank you very much.

For more interesting posts, check out Tom Mannis Blog

Problem Buildings Plague Edgewater

April 25, 2007
By LORRAINE SWANSON Staff Writer

“Problem buildings can also be placed into receivership through housing circuit court when owners are unwilling or unable to care for properties. The court appoints a receiver to oversee care and maintenance of the property. Owners can eventually get their buildings back through a lengthy legal process when buildings are brought up to code and problems are addressed.

Building owners who are unable or unwilling to address criminal activity taking place in and outside their buildings are brought into housing circuit court, who are given a number of steps to eliminate criminal activity. Corrective steps may include hiring security, evicting problem tenants or attending CAPS beat meetings. Owners who do not comply are cited in violation of the city's drug and gang house ordinance.

Depending on the severity of building codes violations, "minor" violations such as peeling paint or overgrown weeds, are often referred to an administrative hearing before the city's corporate counsel. Building owners who don't address corrective actions brought up in an administrative hearing, or more serious violations, may be moved to a housing circuit court.”

This is how the previous owner of our problem building was addressed in Rogers Park! How many other new owners are being financially bled to correct the mistake(s) that fell through the cracks?

From the information in the linked article, it more or less confirms that this building is probably still in the computers as a 'drug and gang' house. Peeling paint is a 'minor' violation and is one of many used to 'enforce' the 'law'. (Peeling paint is all over the city for that matter.) Pity the court didn't enforce it's law when the real criminal was standing before it.

The method to 'collect' from the stupid, lying new owners is right down there with the snakes. I've still not received a solid response on how the code violations were 'hidden' from three closing attorneys. Perhaps a spokesperson from the ward office would like to investigate the truth for a change?

I received that email from Moore..."I want you to know I have heard your concerns and pledge to redouble my efforts to provide you with quality city services to which you are entitled."

Andrew/Seamus don't call this one frivolous!

April 24, 2007

4/12/07 Beat 2422 CAPS Meeting

Beat Wide

Service Calls: 1364
Verified Incidents: 194
Arrests: 72

Murder: 1* Crime committed elsewhere
Attempted Murder: 2
Quality of Life: 12
Narcotics: 12
Burglary: 3 Three handguns recovered
Warrant Arrests: 12

ARRESTS BY LOCATION
Jargowood 8
Greenview: 10
Bosworth: 6
Rogers/Clark: 4
Jonquil: 18
Juneway: 10
Howard: 2
Paulina: 2

Noteworty Incidents/Arrests:

One arrest was for murder committed elsewhere in the city. Two arrests were for attempted murder. Three handguns were recovered from burglars - location not given.

King Snapper II

The group watched the undercover DVD on the arrests stemming from the sting Operation King Snapper II. The opening shot was open drug deals being done in the doorway of 1551 Jonquil, the corner of Bosworth and Howard and the corner of Jonquil and Ashland.

A blue light police camera has been placed at that corner.

Discussion regarding the low number of arrests on Howard and the rise on other streets may be the direct result of the police pod. Note the arrest numbers on Howard compared to Jonquil, Juneway and Greenview. Following that were neighborly tips on increased lighting outside homes, positive loitering, and community walks.

One concerned neighbor mentioned witnessing drug deals inside and in the area outside Eddie's Restaurant underneath the Howard El.

BUILDING REPORT

Northpoint will add more 'no loitering' signs and increase exterior lighting.

1546 Jonquil Terrace - Eva had met with the new owner. While only 2 families remain in the building, intruders have kicked in doors, sprayed graffiti, busted toilets. The owner has invested approximately $80,000 into repairing the vacant apartments and he is considering selling the building due to the recurring vandalism.

Jonquil/Bosworth neighbors again spoke to the procedure of a speed hump to slow down speeders from Sheridan to ensure a stop at the sign. The procedure of gathering petition signatures, procuring a traffic study to validate the need for the speed bump were brought forward. It has been a problem for years according to neighbors who live near that corner.

7548 Rogers - It was reported that this empty building may have squatters in the top floor. The owner would be located and notified.

Other Announcements:
North of Howard Parks Advisory Council meeting 4/24/07 @ 6:30 PM at Howard Area Community Center.

Anti-Violence March following KS2 by the Chicago Police Department and CAPS on 4/13/07 at 6:00PM in front of Gale School

The next Beat 2422 Meeting will be Thursday, May 10, 2007 at 7:00 PM

The meeting adjourned at 8:00 PM.

Gordon Challenges 4/17 Election Results

Many of us have seen some downright flagrant electioneering practices in our tenure here. Half the ward will agree and half the ward will disagree with the challenge, as you will note in the comment section on Broken Heart! Now there will be power a little higher than the ones we've reckoned with in the past to sort through the details. Just like the X-Files "The Truth Is Out There".

Broken Heart

Rogers Park Bench

April 23, 2007

The Power of Gardens

rpgg_poster_march2007

Join the Rogers Park Garden Group tonight.
7:00PM at Charmers Cafe, 1500 W. Jarvis

Tonight is also the North of Howard Parks Advisory Council
at Howard Area Center on Paulina.
The meeting begins at 6:30 PM.
The Council has some gardening planned for Triangle Park.

Court Advocates For Johnson Hearing

This is a reminder for those who are interested, Jay Johnson's day in
court will be on Tuesday April 24, 2007 at 9:30 a.m. court room 1103.

There will be a school bus picking people up in front of the Howard Area
Community Center at 8:30 and in front of the United Church of Rogers Park
at 8:45, give or take a few minutes.

Please reply so that I will know how many people will be attending court
and going on the school bus.

Remember, you must go through security to get into the building, so you
may want to wear and bring as few things as possible and try to leave any
metal at home if you can.

Thank you much.

Eva McCann
Facilitator, Beat 2422
elm@clstoons.com

America's Top 10 Bloggiest Neighborhoods

From Outside.In

Since we've been tracking local bloggers in over 3,000 US neighborhoods for the past six months now, we thought it would be fun to run the numbers and finally answer the question that's been on everyone's mind: what exactly are America's bloggiest neighborhoods? The results below are based on a number of variables: total number of posts, total number of local bloggers, number of comments and Technorati ranking for the bloggers.


#5: Rogers Park/North Howard Chicago

Located in one of the last remaining pockets of poverty in Chicago's North Side, it‘s home to a culturally diverse group of residents that have very mixed feelings about the rapid gentrification.
Local Blogger: 24/7 North of Howard Watchers
Local Obsessions: Don Gordon and Joe Moore's heated race for Alderman of the 49th Ward.

Slumlords for Moore: Tony Rezko


Antoin "Tony'' Rezko, his family, his businesses and business associates have donated thousands of dollars to politicians since 1989, when he began getting tax dollars to build housing for the poor in Chicago. Rezko has also been a prolific campaign fund-raiser for politicians. These are some of the politicians who've benefited most from Rezko's political fund-raising:

Ald. Joe Moore (49th) $5,000

For more than five weeks during the brutal winter of 1997, tenants shivered without heat in a government-subsidized apartment building ...

It was just four years after the landlords -- Antoin "Tony'' Rezko and his partner Daniel Mahru -- had rehabbed the 31-unit building in Englewood with a loan from Chicago taxpayers.

Rezko and Mahru couldn't find money to get the heat back on. But their company, Rezmar Corp., did come up with $1,000 to give to the political campaign fund...

Rezmar get more than $43 million in government funding to rehab 15 of their 30 apartment buildings for the poor. ...

Rezko and Mahru had no construction experience when they created Rezmar in 1989 to rehabilitate apartments for the poor under the Daley administration. Between 1989 and 1998, Rezmar made deals to rehab 30 buildings, a total of 1,025 apartments. ...

Rezko and Mahru also managed the buildings, which were supposed to provide homes for poor people for 30 years. Every one of the projects ran into trouble...

More...

Obama and his Rezko ties

READ THIS LINK

If anyone only has computer access at work, please read the linked story. Please contact one of the bloggers if you heard or saw anything improper at a polling place.

howardwatchers@aol.com

April 22, 2007

Beware! The DC Boy Is In Town

Ye gads, Mr. Sharp appears to be stalking Tom Mannis. Hey Andrew, instead of harrassing Tom, why not come help me with those unidentified sender's pink post cards. The returns are getting out of control.

Seriously though, after one online threat from a Moore supporter about three years ago, I'll make sure my friends in blue are watching. If any Gordonites suddenly get building inspectors lurking around their homes, let me know.

howardwatchers@aol.com

Dems Microtarget Like Karl Rove

Again, thanks to Tom Mannis for this information. While Moore and the Machine use people to any extent, there are certain rights entitled to all humans, regardless of color, creed, candidate of choice, and income levels. Rather than educating voters in a civil manner, this ‘genius’ admits targeting certain groups just like Karl Rove and other Republicans!

Microtargeting

Microtargeting – linking consumer data with individual voting behavior to deliver a particular message to a highly specific portion of the population – has become an essential tool for political professionals.”

Perhaps the Postal Police should direct a few questions to Mr. Sharp since Mr. Moore maintains his silence per the video by Broken Heart.

“For about the same cost as a poll, the CPM solution gives Democrats the same tools used so effectively by Karl Rove and other Republicans for the past two cycles.”

Must Reads From RPB

Don't miss these 'must read' posts from Tom Mannis at Rogers Park Bench.

49th Ward: Your Help Is Urgently Needed

Perhaps the Attorney General and Board of Elections should direct a few questions to _____ and ______

Please Step Forward With Vital Information

Politics Is War Without Bloodshed

Tonight, and for the past several years, many of us have declared that we don't have a president. Tonight, half of ward 49 doesn't have an alderman. For those who fall in this category, please step up and send photos or information of any illegal politicking you witnessed during early voting and on April 17th. It's your ward too.

April 21, 2007

Street Dude Will Vote Next Time

Street Dude was having one of his angry moods. I came up behind him and teased him to watch his mouth! He turned, smiled and apologized – none necessary – we can all cuss like sailors when we’re angry. He turned the subject to elections and bananas. He and his friend were told just how the racist propaganda began and from which sources.

He frowned and asked ‘well, which dude won’? “Don’t tell me the dude building all the condos won”! Then another barrage of profanities flew from Street Dude! Another friend stopped to hug me and taunt Street Dude and joined the conversation. One mentioned hearing Joe gave boxes of donuts at polling places with his name on the cover. They may have omitted it in the run-off, but in the primary it was there. Tuesday, one election judge offered me a donut, opened the box, and I noticed they were chocolate. Humm, no one took that as a racial slur but bananas and Hershey’s Kisses are?

Street Dude represents one of too many uninformed/unregistered constituents. He made me promise to get him a voter registration card, which is easy to do. Informing voters isn’t all that easy when there’s an undercurrent of lies eroding the minds of people who are intimidated to begin with. Add in the racial overtones, Republicanism, and voila, we have a group of mind-controlled, frightened people don’t we?

A Tale of Two Cities: Reinventing Tax Increment Financing

Commissioner Mike Quigley (D-10) Releases Major Research Report Questioning Effectiveness and Accountability of Tax Increment Financing (TIF)

Commissioner Quigley calls TIF a “back door tax hike,” urges major reform of the widely-used economic development tool

  • In 2005, there were more than 373 TIF districts in Cook County, collecting over $686 million in property tax revenue.

  • The report reveals that several of Chicago’s TIF districts have failed to grow any more than similar areas where TIF has not been used, calling into question the policy’s effectiveness as an economic development tool.

  • Despite taking in over $386 million from Chicago taxpayers in 2005more than Chicago’s Streets and Sanitation and Transportation departments—TIF is effectively excluded from the city’s annual operating budget.

  • Very little information on the hundreds of millions of dollars in TIF revenues and expenditures is easily accessible to taxpayers.

  • TIF districts consume 10 cents of every tax dollar paid by Chicago taxpayers—the same amount collected by Cook County government in the city—yet there are no annual budgets or detailed accounting of how that money is spent.

Study: TIFs too tempting for public officials to resist

1 in 4 'saw no significant public or private investment'

The average Chicago homeowner pays $93 a year in property taxes to subsidize the network of 373 "TIFs" -- special taxing districts around Cook County ...

That's $686 million collected all over Cook County to be spent behind closed doors by elected or appointed officials who generally have little if any public oversight, the study asserted, noting the money is diverted from Chicago and suburban public schools, libraries and parks.

Other taxpayers make up for that loss ...

A quarter of Chicago's acreage has now been mapped into one TIF or another. One in four TIFs saw no significant public or private investment ...

April 20, 2007

ACORN Duo

Two characters who appeared to be high profile ACORN volunteers handing out smear flyers were seen outside RP 'spotting' neighbors at a grocery store before the election. The woman, who generally wears a bright colored head scarf, and her tall male partner approached a friend and neighbor there. They apparently recognized my friend and began their intimidating banter on her...'Do you know that...Don Gordon is a...?" My disgusted friend told the duo that 'you don't know me and I don't know you, so leave me alone'. My friend and her companion completed their purchases and she noted the ACORN's followed them into the parking lot.

The ACORN duo was on Howard Street the night before the election so I'm sure Moore knows who they are. They were handing out his literature. But he can claim innocence until the cows come home about those pink cards, he can accuse Gordonites of being racists, Republicans, and fear mongerers while his cling-ons are allowed to stalk, rant and spew lies. True to form, the truth is suppressed in Ward 49.

On election day, the tall ACORN man was being chased from a west hallway at Gale School by a teacher. She demanded to know who he was and what was he doing 'wandering the hallways'. Good question! Since they're connected at the hip, only Joe has the 'power' to ask! And will the answer/excuse be: ACORN man was using the bathroom? According to the angry teacher, he was way west and then south in the school. To my knowledge, he had no pollwatcher slip, and probably doesn't vote in any of the three precincts.

Tall one certainly drives a nice new car though. So if one person owns and another person rents there's a divide created in this neighborhood. It's ironic to spew lies that low income constituents would be forced from their homes if Joe isn't elected then drive away in an expensive new car isn't it? Maybe it was a gift from the SEIU or an ACORN 'company car'?

Another neighbor complained their front door had been damaged by goons entering to plaster Moore flyers in the hallways. To what extent does Moore care about his constituents safety? Who is going to pay for the repair?

April 19, 2007

City Council Is NOT Rid of the Bullies!

April 19, 2007
BY FRAN SPIELMAN-City Hall Reporter - Sun Times

"Jackson called the City Council turnover a "clarion call" for the 10-point package of ethics reforms he and Sandi have championed.

It includes: Giving the inspector general power to investigate aldermen; reducing the number of City Council committees from 27 to 10; limiting campaign contributions to $1,000 per individual and $5,000 per political action committee for each election cycle; making it illegal for developers and city contractors to contribute to city campaigns within one year of receiving a contract, zoning change or building permit, and stripping the mayor of the power of appointment to fill aldermanic vacancies."

So, how soon can we start investigating?

Oops, Ms. Spielman, you missed one. I understand you must be professionally polite, but lets not forget that:

Joe Moore is still a Bully!

Please read the post on 4/18 about a resident of a vacant building being allowed to vote - no provisional vote.

Please read 4/14 about the Fraudulent Committee Postcards:

The return to sender's are still coming in for the postal inspector. Rep. Jackson should be soooo proud of himself for promoting Moore. He should see the hideous 'pretty in pink' cards that came from that side of the so-called Democratic Party! Perhaps I'll email him a copy too.

Ensuring Fair and Clean Election Results

The Chicago Board of Elections reports that 7,791 ballots were cast in the 49th Ward Aldermanic Runoff Election on Tuesday, April 17. The preliminary results show that only 247 votes determined the outcome of the election. A large number of allegations of voting irregularities have been raised which challenge the integrity of our election process. During the next few days we will be documenting these, but first allow me to clear the air of confusion that has been swirling about since the election.

We are considering mounting a challenge to contest the results of the runoff election. However, we need more data in order to determine whether this should be done. We have issued a Freedom of Information Act request to the Chicago Board of Elections to obtain the list of nearly 8,000 voters who came out to vote. Once we have that data we will be able to compare this to our list of nearly 2,000 potentially invalid voters, which were gleaned from the total of over 20,000 registered voters in the 49th ward. This will tell us how many voters went to the polls and cast an invalid vote.

Now, you might ask, why are we doing this after the election rather than on Election Day. Unfortunately, the poll judges were denying most of the poll-watchers’ requests on Election Day to have suspect votes made provisional. This widespread denial raises concerns that a statistically significant number of votes cast yesterday may be invalid. If they are, then the final results are inaccurate and as voters we will have been denied a fair and honest election. We will update you as soon as we have more information.

Many of you have called, emailed, and walked into our campaign office today to wish me well and express your desire that we move forward with this challenge. Please understand that we do not want to frivolously contest an election, so we want to be absolutely certain that we have all the facts before we proceed. I also want all of you to know that I appreciate the support you have given to me over the past year and regardless of the final outcome, I know we have won a victory for integrity and honesty.

Sincerely,
Don Gordon
Democratic Candidate for 49th Ward Alderman

Common Vision?

By Robert Becker and Mickey Ciokajlo
Tribune staff reporters
Published April 18, 2007, 7:23 PM CDT

The final count in the 49th Ward on the Far North Side showed incumbent Ald. Joe Moore as the victor over challenger Don Gordon. But Gordon denied reports that he had conceded and questioned whether invalid votes had been counted.

"I want you to understand we are considering mounting a challenge," said Gordon. "There has been all sorts of confusing statements going on out there that I have already conceded. That's no true. The reason it's not true is we're looking at this from the perspective that votes are being counted that should not be."

Moore, who won by 247 votes with all precincts reporting, said that Gordon should concede for the "betterment of the community."

"Mr. Gordon should concede and let's work together on our common vision, which is to improve the neighborhood and make it a better place to live," Moore said.
*************************************
According to Moore's tree killers and unknown senders of pink propaganda, how could two such opposites 'work together'? Remember, according to Moore, Gordon is going to run everyone out of town. He's a Republican because he accepted a campaign contribution from the same man - David Herros - as did Barak Obama and other Democrats. According to Moore propaganda, there was little common vision. This is a perfect example of Joe's doublespeak.

If Joe's really the victor - let's start counting the upcoming condo conversions beginning April 19 2007, and make sure those who were brainwashed with his tree killers are informed. He should enforce the abandonded building law and do a survey of all vacant/abandoned buildings in Ward 49 and make sure they're listed and paying insurance, secured, and properly monitored. No one should have voted from this address and neighbors should NOT be in harms way.

Next, we want to know about REAL commercial development and jobs such as a Trader Joe's. And, starting now, give credit where credit is due. The list is long, readers, please add to the 'wish list'.

As for 'betterment of the community', it would be prudent to put an immediate stop to the unrest and divisiveness created in every Moore tree killer.

April 18, 2007

Rogers Park Vote Update

RPvote

Courtesy of local cartoonist Tim Jackson

Ethics, Integrity and Elections

Come up a little short eh? How like Mr. Moore, always a snide, immature remark.

I watched as Joe's gang played their games yesterday. I was relieving the Precinct 34 pollwatcher when a woman came into Gale School to vote. She appeared tipsy on something, or else disoriented. She was confused about her residence. She named two different streets and finally settled on Ashland. She was directed to Precinct 30’s table. The address she gave was a vacant building on Ashland owned by the notorious Jay Johnson. She could NOT provide identification proving where she did live but stated she would have to go to Evanston to get it.

One judge contested it, Joe's paid goons screamed civil rights violations, made a scene, the board of elections told the judges to decide, so naturally the three Joe Judges overruled the white Republican judge 3-1.

That's one case of outright BS. It should not matter if the woman was pink like the postcards sent all over Ward 49, she didn't have proof of residence, was not given a provisional ballot or no vote. She was allowed to vote.

Precinct 6 refused to give provisional ballots.....This ruling was left to the 'discretion of the judges'. This open-ended ruling should be addressed don't you think? There should either be provisional ballots at all elections or not. If NOT, then how can there be a 'fair election'?

Precinct 34 had 2 to my knowledge around 5PM
Not sure about Precinct 30

Moore had at least two 'agencies' pollwatching Precinct 30 plus his own. One Attorney General yelled that if he caught two Gordonites in a polling place at the same time he'd have them arrested. But in the above incident, there were at least 5 Moorites yelling and screaming.

Eva McCann, CAPS Beat Facilitator, and resident of NOH for over 20 years knows many people and all the vacant buildings. It’s part of her volunteer job. McCann was in the process of relieving the Precinct 30 pollwatcher when the woman approached Precinct 30's table to vote. Eva recognized the address and mentioned this FACT to the exiting pollwatcher, who immediately challenged the vote. That’s when it all began. Ms. Brenda Dunkins, Moore Supporter, pollwatcher, began a loud protest that escalated into screaming and yelling. The Board of elections was called and some 20-30 minutes later arrived and the result was the above ‘you judges decide’! During this fiasco Wayne Frazier, hired Moore employee and longtime stirrer of the racial pot for Moore's political gain entered to recite the entire 1965 Civil Rights Ruling. Frazier turned to McCann who is also African American and stated …Eva, I’m surprised at you, I thought you were a person who wanted equality for everybody. I wouldn’t have thought you wanted people NOT to vote. Dunkins began yelling again during the on-going argument between her and the white Republican judge. Frazier left Eva and re-joined the Dunkins-Judge argument. Dunkins stormed out of the polling place and was seen yelling and screaming racism on Jonquil Street. Frazier came back to Eva and said …I would never have thought you would have been against Civil Rights and people voting. To which Eva responded ‘YOU are the last person who should be judging me or anybody else’. Frazier was in the polling place several times harping about the issue where incoming voters could overhear that EVA didn’t want people to vote. Now , has Eva been targeted too? What color will Eva’s postcard be? What lies will it relay?

During this fiasco, Frazier was at the judges table, as was former aldermanic challenger Jim Ginderkse, a woman claiming to be one of Moore’s attorneys, Moore’s pollwatcher, the other two organizational pollwatchers and Craig Berryhill. No one from the States Attorney’s office came to arrest the Moore gang for multiple persons being on the floor! Imagine that! The Board of Elections did tell the Moore people they had to leave and exited the building. Frazier, Ginderske and Berryhill did not immediately exit as told by the board of election representative. Tom Westgard was there too!

After being yelled at and intimated by the AG on the sidewalk that no two people affiliated with the Gordon campaign - no matter what the organization or the color of the slip - were to be on the floor at the same time unless providing relief for break time, the Moorites with the same pink or blue and various organization sponsorships were allowed on the floor to create their usual disturbance in the name of ‘civil rights’.

How many voters were allowed to vote who could not provide proof of residence? What happened to fair elections according to the laws?

How many other times did that happen in various precincts yesterday? How many other vacant building ‘residents’ were allowed to vote?

So anything goes with bendable rules.

So where's the missing box? Where's the democratic process?

April 17, 2007

It's Time To Vote Gordon!

I'm not sure if I'll have much computer access so for updates on todays election news, please check in at Rogers Park Bench.

GO GORDON!!!

A Message From Chris Adams

Dear Neighbors,

I wanted to take a moment on this important day to thank all of you who have participated on a regular basis these last several months in the public debate about the leadership in our community. It is this democratic process that is motivated by facts, exposes lies and celebrates the spirit of honesty that ultimately shines the brightest light on what is best about our community.

Ours was one of the households that received Joe Moore’s “pink post card” last week. It was sent to my oldest son, who the Alderman’s supporters must have identified as being a part of a demographic that might be swayed by such a sophomoric strategy. Just as Joe did with me, it seems he has one tactic in his bag of tricks: To try to label lifelong Democrats as Republicans and hope the electorate won’t see through it.

Did the post card strategy remind anyone else of the Nixon campaign and the anti-Muskie leaflets during Democratic primaries? Add that to the strategies of negative labeling (George H.W. Bush), divisive rhetoric (George W. Bush), putting bogus referenda on the ballot meant to motivate supporters (Carl Rove) and creating organizations meant only to smear an opponent (Swift Boat Veterans), and you get an Alderman who says he’s a Democrat, but embraces the worst Republican tactics.

And by the way, what happened to the Barack Obama endorsement? Could it be the Senator changed his mind? Certainly the dozens of mailings that went out with the two of them arm-in-arm leading up to Feb. 27 would have been equally powerful for April 17. It’s most curious.

Two tasks are ahead, however. First, is to make sure the job is finished today and new leadership is ushered into a new Alderman’s office on Morse Avenue. Second will be to bring this neighborhood back together so that we really can be the city’s model for community involvement, open government and progressive action.

All of you will be an important part of making these things happen. Thanks again for caring enough to make a difference.

Chris Adams

April 16, 2007

Armour Spins The Pink

Not So Pretty In PINK

Here it is readers! Apparently, Moore had Alex act as spokesperson, how noble. So the spin is - it was a renegade blogger 'muddying up the waters' huh? It must have been one with lots of extra cash for postage.

I certainly hope questionable voters are challenged Alex. Some of the returned cards clearly indicate the voter moved out of Ward 49! Lincoln Park, the southside of Chicago, Evanston and Robbins, IL aren't qualifed 49th Ward Voters.

And the cards are snugly tucked away with the Post Office Inspector.

NOH Neighbors Are Sick And Tired of LIES

Must read: “Stop the Robo-Calls and Mailings Full of Lies. I’m for Gordon”

North of Howard neighbors are sick and tired of the Moore antics.

On the topic of ACORN: A neighbor sent a letter/e-mail to the national headquarters of ACORN regarding the flagrant politicking for Moore citing homeowners are against renters and low income renters.

On Sun, April 15, 2007 7:05 pm Part of the response was:

“Do you have a copy of something that helps us understand these rumors?

Or can you describe what you heard? We have heard a whole lot of stuff
coming out of the 49th, but we haven't heard that ACORN's name has been
used to suggest that homeowners are against low income residents.”

So the neighbor emailed a link to the orange ACORN flyers with the organizations name proudly printed at the bottom and a video of an ACORN volunteer illegally politicking on an El platform.

We’ll see what, if any, response is given and in a timely manner.

April 15, 2007

Hear The TRUTH About The Gale Field House

Joe takes credit for the sun coming up in the morning...almost. Make the time to watch the video featuring Eva McCann, President of our North of Howard Parks Advisory Council.

Blognote: You, David Orr, owe me an explanation per my email sent today. Don't call my home number on behalf of the SEIU for Moore, call me on behalf of the office you hold about the illegal Moore campaign tricks.

I want to know who's responsible for those pink cards. Now you're implicated from 'guilt by association' to the mess AND you're supposed to oversee election fairness.

I'm awaiting your response. Yours too Joe.

April 14, 2007

Moore Bullies Everyone!

Must Reads From The Gordon Campaign and Broken Heart

Welcome to Democracy in the 49th Ward

Illegal Polling Place Tactics

Moores Illegal Electioneering

Moore Fools Target Police Today

Thanks to Tom Mannis for this update on Saturday canvassing! This time the targets may be the Chicago Police Department!

Fake Police Officers In Ward 49

I've just heard about this myself. It's rather presumptuous for one person to speak for the whole department. What about the off-duty officers?

Another Threat To Silence the TRUTH

Whoever is careless with truth in small matters cannot be trusted in important affairs. – Albert Einstein

Careless or ruthless? A human reaction when reading what the pink postcard stated targeting me would have been somewhat acceptable. You didn’t say a word as you can hear for yourself the Broken Hearts video.

Well Joe, it’s now Saturday and you haven’t called this victim of mail fraud and identity theft. This resident on the return address isn’t a Republican and doesn't have a group named Conservatives for Don Gordon - mailing this crap - allegedly paid for by the Republican Party and Conservatives for Don Gordon!

But I am damn furious and expect you to keep your word and email or call. Forget your damage control and be the alderman and protect ALL victims of crime. As you were told tonight ‘the burden is on you’ to find out who did this and rectify the crime. Your assistant claimed the phones were ringing in your ward office asking if YOU were responsible… and you didn’t really have an answer did you?

Your flippant remarks to Mike Luckenbach about ACORN’s flyers told readers more than they needed to add 2+2 and come up with 4. This outrageous connection you have with the undesirable political element should give voters an insight to just who you really are and to what lengths you will go to ‘win’. This incident is reminiscent of George W Bush insane desire to maintain his war in Iraq. He has to win; he has to be right!

Again, if there is human or property damage resulting from this evil act, you will be the first one sought for answers, as you have been told before. Kudos to Tom Mannis of Rogers Park Bench for his report.

So after the prayers for peace and unity were uttered tonight, after the march against drugs and violence had ended, the ACORN element pulled out their blue flyers of divisiveness, lies and hatred and you pretended not to be involved.

Your desire to win at any cost has made you a loser. Aligning yourself with political thugs who carelessly and purposefully target any one person is a serious connection. Mail fraud is a crime and so is identity theft. The recipients of this fraudulent postcard are victims too. For years the race card has been played; for years the poor have been bullied into subservience and pitted against those more fortunate to create the strife that has enabled you to maintain the status quo in this area.

The lies abound and tonight, your silence is deafening.

April 13, 2007

Do You Care About Your Life?

To give real service you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity. – Douglas Adams (author)

Slide1


Just so you know, this event is sponsored by the Chicago Police and CAPS. Period. This is a community event not a run-off parade for Joe.

Moore can show up and grandstand - but as with our NOH safety walks - or the very first walk to commemorate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, where was Joe? He and David Orr were at a Bulls game. This walk will be 4 days before an election and you can count on Joe being there with his gang turning it into his show - that is if you let him.

Joe is sighted by neighbors about once every four years - get with the program folks. Do you care about your investment in this neighborhood, which includes your life? Joe doesn't.

Without civic morality, communities perish; without personal morality, their survival has no value. – Bertrand Russell (English mathematician and philosopher, 1872-1970)

DON'T FORGET

April 12, 2007

Guilty By Intent?

What a week! Strange canvassers in hallways, traitors from O.N.E., impersonators pretending to be Bush or Gordon, (bad trip dudes?) and the Raging Steer on WTTW! Just when we thought we could kick back after a CAPS meeting - where again, we heard that crime moves from the blue light to other streets - I turn on Sassy the computer and read this!

Another “MUST READ” from Tom Mannis

Thank you for your thorough coverage of the would be Moore campaign antic by a local not-for-profit. Let's see, is the charge guilty by intent?

CAPS Beat 2422 Meets Tonight

The regular CAPS meeting for Beat 2422 will be TONIGHT Thursday, April 12 at 7:00PM. The meeting place is the Gateway Senior Apartments, 7450 N Rogers, 1st floor community room.

April 11, 2007

The Impersonators - Run Like Hell!

Joe’s goonish Republican joke is backfiring! Neighbors are getting insulted with impersonations from ‘that’ side. One senior woman stated 'Moore must really be desperate'. Another young woman just shook her head in disgust. Alas, the small Moore minds have a twisted sense of humor which definitely limits the imagination. That's the Moore Mentality at work - snide remarks and snickers!
Goons At Howard 002

Steal someone’s Gordon yard signs, grab a yellow hat and Gordon button, hide behind a Bush face mask and make fun of an aldermanic race. The tall man trying to hide his face is John King. He used to be with O.N.E. and worked with Cease Fire. He has a very difficult time looking at neighbors knowing what a traitor he is.

We hope he’s getting a living wage for selling out to this pathos.

Must Reads From Rogers Park Bench

Here are must read posts from Tom Mannis. Don't forget to tune into WTTW channel 11 tonight at 7:00 PM. See the incumbents and challengers. At the 11th hour Moore changed his mind and allegedly will appear tonight with Gordon. Moore's hoping his constituents will be stuck on a CTA train and miss it - just as we missed all the one on one forums for the run-off he cancelled due to more important issues. It was moore politically protective that Moore send his ACORN propagandists to litter the ward with their colorful flyers about everyone BUT GORDON!!!

What a way to avoid the issues this ward has faced for 16 years.

Moore Fear Tactics 1

Moore Fear Tactics 2

The Criminal Connection

Vital Information on Creamer-Moore Ties

April 10, 2007

Where Are YOU Politically?

So, you think you know where you stand, politically. Think again. The
results from this short test may surprise you and give you some food
for thought.

You'll be asked just 10 questions, and then it instantly tells you
where you stand politically. It shows your position as a red dot on a
"political map" so you'll see exactly where you score

The most interesting thing about the Quiz is that it goes beyond the
Democrat, Republican, and Independent. The Quiz has gotten a lot of
praise. The Washington Post said it has "gained respect as a valid
measure of a person's political leanings." The Fraser Institute said
it's "a fast, fun, and accurate assessment of a person's overall
political beliefs.

By the way, according to the test, I am a Libertarian

Dispelling Moore Lies

Joe's rhetoric on the Blue Light Cameras is amusing. You see, he had the blue light installed on Morse since his pal, blogger, robo-caller, DevCorp board member, O'Neil is the beat facilitator there.

Moore had excuses for NOT installing one on Howard Street. Now there's been an on-going debate between the Howardites and the Morseites on which street is worse! But NOH always gets ignored unless one goes to drastic measures.

FACT:
A blue light landed on Howard not because Moore wanted it. It landed because we got a petition to beg and plead for it. Favoritism abounds in the Moore non-democratic feifdom.

FACT:
The crime moves from the sight of the camera onto side streets. Read the numbers on the CAPS reports when we get them! Crime moved to other streets out of the cameras scope.

DISPELLING MOORE's quote on the police:
I was at the press conference and the police had undercover agents out buying crack cocaine and on streets and areas NOT within sight of the blue light on Howard. Before anyone takes any statement Moore makes as the truth, best check with the source, the CPD. That camera can't see around the corner to Gale School or to the Jonquil Hotel where some of the dealers ran into. One has to be buzzed into the Jonquil Hotel! So what does that tell you? Moore doesn't mention his friend and supporter and owner of the Jonquil Hotel harboring criminals does he? My source: Someone attending from the CPD and the City interviewing people in front of Gale School after the press conference.

READ THE POLICE PRESS RELEASE FOR YOURSELF I can't find reference made to the blue light can you? I do find reference to police being ON THE STREET, I do find reference to NEIGHBORS MAKING COMPLAINTS.... I did hear Commander Rottner and others in the Narcotics division remarking that the undercovers were 'out there' with no weapons, no ID's and putting their lives on the line in this operation. One little blunder by an undercover in the questioning done prior to the deal is all it would have taken for one of them to have been killed. Where was Joe? Definitely not 'out there' being an alderman on the beat! Definitely not respecting the work of the undercovers trying to clean up Joe's mess.

FACT:
I did instigate the petition for the blue light. I have also attended nearly every Beat 2422 CAPS meetings where neighbors on side streets complained that the crime just moved to their front yard. Joe wouldn't know. He attends our beat meetings on election year only (see last link below). I've heard similar complaints from other beats. The blue light isn't the Be ALL and End ALL of crime and even the police will agree to this FACT. Joe can't admit or agree to the FACT because Joe has enabled slumlords to mismanage buildings, has not enforced strict screening by management, and not has enforced evictions by management as mandated by HUD when their rules are broken. That's the part Joe isn't blasting in his tree killers on crime is down.

Joe's and his pathetic minions are too busy spreading lies.

Crimes down1

Crimes down2

Recap on Crime

April 9, 2007

Canvassing For Gordon With The TRUTH

Saturday was a good canvassing day. By sharing my own experiences with undecided voters or Moore voters, I was able to write ‘GO GORDON' on my sheet next to several names.

One gentleman had voted for Ginderske and was planning to vote for Moore. Luckily he was open minded and listened. He changed from Moore to undecided. I decided it was time to go out on a limb and tell our condo story. At the end of a quick re-cap of the saga of our building, he said, ‘I’m definitely voting for Don now.’

Here, then, for other undecideds, is my story told with the permission and agreement of the owners involved in the dilemma.

In 2002, two months after moving into my first ever property purchase, my downstairs neighbor was mugged coming home late one night. He contacted the police and rode with them looking for the muggers to no avail. He warned me about being out late at night. I had already surmised as much on my walk home from work at 6pm. We are both in our 50s which means curfew shouldn’t apply. After reporting the incident to the police, he also called the ward office but never got a call back. I called and never got a call back either. Finally, I asked if the alderman had an email address, and sent him an email. He finally responded at 2AM a few days later. Some months later, a neighbor on Jarvis complained to the Alderman’s office about crime and received almost the same email response from the alderman who outlined his achievements in getting rid of slumlords and reducing crime, blah blah blah. Apparently he has a ‘form mugging email’ he sends to constituents who complain.

Fast forward to November 2003: I received a voicemail message from a city attorney. Imagine my surprise when I called the next day and learned that a collection attorney for the city was contacting me to collect. The city claimed that I had purchased this building and owed the city a few thousand for not appearing at a building hearing in June of 2003. He had no knowledge that the building was a condo and there were three owners here.

He said that he managed to get my home phone number but “couldn’t recall how.” My neighbor and I spent hours digging up information on this building to prove to then commissioner of buildings, Norma Reyes, that we didn’t develop it, had no blueprints, and had no involvement in it. Reluctantly the city vacated the order (it’s very difficult for the city to admit any errors). All the information my neighbor and I dug up was right in City Hall where they all worked. But instead of them doing their work, for which they are paid, in a building they presumably go to every day, we had to do the research for them to prove we had no involvement in the development. Of course, no one had showed for the hearing because the city sent the summons to a closed trust at Chicago Title and Trust. Instead of going after the developer – one Marek Galen, cited for numerous housing violations, the city just let it sit for awhile – until they decided to come after me.

Our building was once a drug and gang house and after enough neighbors complained, the city sent the drug and gang task force inspectors to write up everything including hang nails, to put pressure on the slumlord owner in the late 1990’s.

After the 2003 episode we obtained copies of all the write-ups from that department. The inspectors were in and out of this building all the time while the slumlord was in and out of court from around 1999 to 2001. But the rehab from rentals to condos continued.

In June 2006, my neighbor received a letter from the department of buildings. He thought it was a reprint mailing from the 2003 city correspondence and filed it. His first mistake. He was also in the midst of planning his youngest daughter’s wedding. Second mistake -- family life comes after government. I noticed the letter when we made copies of the condo association by-laws where he had clipped it.

We contacted the building department and after the runaround we were given a real person to talk to. According to the story given us, someone had made an anonymous complaint about the ‘state of our building’ and that it was ‘severe enough’ for the department to send inspectors. City inspectors descended on our building and we were written up from head to toe: we have to spot tuck-point, add a railing to downstairs steps leading into the basement, repair/replace the chimney, replace the front gate lock that had been there during all the investigations by the city while Marek Galan continued with the rehab and appeared in court for code violations, and for peeling paint. The verbiage was vague and when I asked her about ‘peeling paint’ on the windowsills the building department had no clear answer. The outside is brick and concrete. The inside sills are new. There was also a ‘violation’ for having a padlock on the back gate. So neighbors, get those padlocks off your back gates so the criminals can get in easier.

We were also informed that we need to repair the front step which is concrete. Our damaged concrete step is on the hinged side of the gate. But it’s warmer now and we can repair it but will the city find fault with ‘do it yourself’ worksmanship in their mandatory compliance program? Also noted in the inspection is a management ID statute that requires us to post a sign stating who manages the building and a phone number. My lawyer says self-managed, small condo buildings don’t need this sign, but the city claims we do. Our porch system, which was grandfathered and perfectly legal until the Lincoln Park incident, was also deemed in violation and cited for repair. The inspection report also stated that we had to remove an accumulation of debris/garbage behind the garages. There has never been an accumulation of anything by these garages (Mr. Clean lives here and rakes and cleans all the time) so we’re not sure what we’re supposed to remove, exactly. We did have a problem with the Greenview contractors parking behind our garages and blocking the doors, and had to get a Lincoln Towing sign put up to remedy that. The only debris we can think of is the free mulch the city delivered and dumped unceremoniously in the alley behind one garage.

The best part in the report is the statement that there was no entry into the building to verify the validity of claims. As in the 2003 incident, one gentleman from the buildings department admitted the inspectors aren’t good at ‘closing’ out code violations once they’ve been rectified.

Call date and time of 311 complaint: 6/8/06 Caller name: unknown.

Did I contact the alderman? Yes. He claimed to be aware of the ‘complaint,’ stating these come through his office. Well, did he check it out first? According to Kevin Cosgrove in a later email, the ward office does not warn property owners in advance if a complaint has been filed….

I reminded Joe that this building was in court for years and had been crawling with inspectors and then had gone condo. So what happened? He just tossed the ball into the court of the city attorney who handled the case, and of course, into the court of his chief of staff, Kevin Cosgrove.

So I called the city attorney who now works in another area of the city. I walked up and by FOIA got a copy of the court proceedings against owner/developer/slumlord Marek Galen. They had written this upstanding developer up for everything, ordered him to repair it, and re-written him again. The real kicker that angers all three of us condo owners NOW is that the city dropped the ball and let this upstanding developer off the hook with a plea bargain from $50,000 to $10,000 and 7 days in jail. He was to divest himself of all interest in this building and also not to own any property in the City of Chicago unless it was a single family dwelling in which he resided. These wise ones who were so on top of things were totally unaware that concurrent with these court proceedings, Galan was rehabbing a building on Juneway into condos! The Alderman’s office was aware of complaints against Galen, the city was aware, yet he was able to continue developing another building in Rogers Park!

Another kicker the City of Chicago players don’t want to acknowledge or help us with is this one that we were unaware of until I got the court documents:

“(a) All proceeds from the sales will be kept in escrow held by attorney Mark Jaszczuk to pay contractors for further renovation of the unfinished portions of the building; (b) All fines due to the City of Chicago shall be paid from the escrow prior to any disbursement to the defendant; (c) No unit shall be occupied until the entire building is brought into compliance with the Building Code of Chicago and Certificates of Occupancy are issued; and (d) Purchasers shall be informed of this Order prior to closing.”

I faxed the legal documents on Galan to the attorney who closed for me. He stated that none of this was discovered in closing and : “If there was a judgment against your Seller prior to your closing, the title company may be liable if they failed to disclose a recorded judgment.” According to the City Attorney and Kevin Cosgrove, people often purchase buildings knowing there are violations so they can get them CHEAP. Cosgrove sent a long email to me more or less insinuating that I was a liar and that I bought the condo CHEAP and knew all the background. (I learned some of the history from neighbors months AFTER I bought!) He also stated that he tells prospective buyers to do their homework and call the Department of Buildings and call the ward office, and to get an inspector. Bottom line: according to the Alderman’s office, I’m stupid, so are my neighbors, and so are our attorneys and closing agents. Thanks, Joe and Kevin!

FACT:
The City dropped the ball. The City started an issue and no one followed up on a known problem and personage of questionable character named Marek Galan. The City allowed a plea bargain from this upstanding citizen, collected $10k, and ordered the building to be brought up to code or else inform Purchasers prior to closing. No one – not Galen and not the city did either and so the City is now covering their backside and making three buyers villains instead of victims. When I asked the city side where the money in escrow was, the response was a rather flippant ‘you’ll have to file a civil suit.’

When I spoke to Cosgrove at the ward office and reminded him that the City dropped the ball, that three different closing attorneys could not find the code violations, his response was a weak ‘well, this is the law and I don’t know how or why no one found it.’ I responded that with such a long drawn-out problem, how could the ward office NOT know the place was rehabbed and sold as condo’s? He cited again how busy he is and he can’t know of every condo being sold in Rogers Park. Cosgrove is the appointed buildings person for Ward 49. He was aware of the plea bargain but not the fact that this building was condo'd? Here's the proof from the court document in a binder on the city attorney's shelf showing the courts "plea bargain" documents clearly state:

11. The parties agree all remaining building code violations must be cured and all the other items ordered by the administrative hearing officer must be complied with prior to May 1, 2001.

12. Defendant shall divest himself of all interest in the Subject Property, and units therein, located at xxxx Street prior to May 1, 2001

13. The court permits Defendant to sell Unit number two (2) and unit number three (3) under the following conditions: “(a) All proceeds from the sales will be kept in escrow held by attorney Mark Jaszczuk to pay contractors for further renovation of the unfinished portions of the building; (b) All fines due to the City of Chicago shall be paid from the escrow prior to any disbursement to the defendant; (c) No unit shall be occupied until the entire building is brought into compliance with the Building Code of Chicago and Certificates of Occupancy are issued; and (d) Purchasers shall be informed of this Order prior to closing.”

Well, if the outstanding violations had never been rectified and the swarm of inspectors never followed up after the city received their $10k, then how the hell are three dumb owners supposed to know what happened? Who’s accountable for making a mess and not cleaning it up anyway? The statute clearly states that either corporation counsel or the buildings department must post outstanding violations where they can be discovered.

13-14-190 Sanctions applicable to owner--Property.
(a) The order to correct a code violation and any sanctions and/or costs imposed by the hearing officer as the result of a finding of a code violation shall attach to the property as well as to the owner of the property so that a finding of a code violation against one owner cannot be avoided by conveying or transferring the property to another owner. Any subsequent transferee or owner of property takes subject to the findings, decision and order of a hearing officer under this chapter if a notice consisting of a copy of the order to correct a code violation and imposing any sanctions and/or costs, and a description of the real estate affected sufficient for the identification thereof, has been filed in the office of the recorder or the officer of the registrar of titles in Cook County by the building commissioner or the corporation counsel prior to the transfer or conveyance to the subsequent transferee or owner.

Here’s a picture of Alderman Moore’s front porch. Maybe the city inspectors should write up his front porch and recommend that he fix the ‘missing member’ and maybe a little scraping and painting is in order too?

April 8, 2007

A Long Overdue Illinois Web Link

Other states have published deadbeat dad's photos for years. Some even publish them on cable tv sites to for broader coverage. This page is long overdue. I'm glad our politicians finally comprehend the many struggles mothers face. There's a financial struggle without child support and there's an emotional vacuum for the kids. The children of deadbeats suffer the most. Unfortunately, several children of deadbeats are adults now since this social issue wasn't a priority decades ago.

There's no excuse for ignoring children by deadbeat dads or politicians. This one is an alderman in North Chicago

It reminds me of the promise of a field house that sat on the back burner for years. For every year there was an excuse.

April 6, 2007

The Acorn Won't Be An Oak

Joe still thinks he can fool everyone. Here's a link to NHNA blogspot so you can read the lawyerly excuses about the libelous ACORN papers. Sorry Joe, one $6.00/hour derelect told me at the Howard El that Don Gordon made the statements one of your staff cut and pasted into a flyer. If your staff person didn't do it, s/he certainly guided ACORN. These are nearly identical to the out of context blast from your supporter or employee, bloggerdaddy49 @ aol.com! Even a lawyer should know better than to take things out of context then 'suggesting or alluding to accuracy'!

Moore Denies the ACORN Connection

Did you manage to suppress the first amendment rights of voters in Chicago too? What City Council meeting was that? One of those meetings you didn't communicate to us? If we look closely at the character of some who support Moore, we will find the True Colors of Moore's desperate old school campaign antics.

If Moore had values and ethics:

He would never have cancelled debates with Don.
He wouldn't have Frazier and Fagus registering 'new residents' at halfway houses and vacant buildings!
The attorney general's staff wouldn't be watching for his illegal tactics at early voting at Pot Park!
He wouldn't allow/accept any kind of assistance from a tenuous bunch like ACORN!
He wouldn't play the race card if he's progressive - he should have risen above that by 2007!
He wouldn't call inspectors on his perceived enemies!

Today's quote on ethics....Compare the excuses above to the quote below and draw your own conclusions!

Ethics is a code of values which guides our choices and actions and determines the purpose and course of our lives. – Ayn Rand (author)

April 5, 2007

Responsible Leadership

Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws. – Plato

ACORN+Moore+political+smear


And who can find his way around the laws without a search warrant, flashlight, or an ounce of credibility?

Joe Moore and his hired guns!

April 3, 2007

Paid for by SEIU IL Council too?

What a nice evening ride home - just like last night. I made it from the STATE OF ILLINOIS BUILDING to Howard in 36 minutes on the purple line. Don and volunteers were at the Howard El and so were the ACORN socialists with their bright orange propaganda. Moore is crawling into a lower space than ever with his insults to the neighborhood by his paid hoodlums. So if your car and front door are splattered with their trash, call Joe and thank him. We can put tax dollars into streets and san to clean Joe's trash, not to mention DevCorp's SSA#19! The only problem is they don't do side streets and windshields!

Then I got home to my phone message from Kevin O'Neil. He was spreading his propaganda while plugging his blog not once, but twice, in a pre-recorded voice message paid for by SEIU IL Council. (That is if I heard the mumbling correctly.) What's up Joe, can't you get anyone famous to do these call outs? Kevin's message was a whiner about the CTA riders having enough problems without politicians making them worse! That sentence was valid. Kevin, should ask Joe why in 16 years he never wanted the city to put more funding into the CTA. Many of us would like to know why his lips weren't moving about the CTA until 2007! I've been taking photos of the falling down Howard El for two years now, where has Kevin been? If it doesn't happen at 'your' el station then it doesn't matter, is that the program?

That's more or less been the mentality in various neighborhoods. If it's not in my back yard or next door, I'll ignore it. You call the cops, you clean up the trash, you go to CAPS, you go to meetings and I'll sit home and whine. And where did the neighbors learn this? From their non-leader, that's who. Well, the neighborhoods are waking up and they're getting furious about the Karl Rove mentality of our unprogressive leader.

Gordon at Howard El

Present and future voters stop for Gordon pins.
Gordon At Howard 003 Gordon At Howard 004

Don's Message on the CTA

Don Gordon at the Stinky Jarvis El Stop

April 2, 2007

Joe Wants To Know

Thank you for your thorough coverage of our neighborhood.

I have a question about the progress of the Howard Street CTA Station and the long awaited Community Center. It seems that both are at a standstill. The way they are going about both projects cannot be financially efficient. I read an article that stated that Joe Moore voted against the “3 track” CTA construction plan and it made me wonder if he is advocating for his Ward regarding both of these projects or if he is yet again, taking quixotic stands on issues that are larger than the neighborhood.

It seems a little more than coincidence that both were started just before the elections and now all work seems to have stopped. Every day we are still faced with the patient hope of a vibrant neighborhood, but still it is just hope – and it is getting very frustrating.

There has to be some idea of a timeline for these projects – there must have been contracts. Are there penalties built into them on a finish date?

Now, I think that I’ll start obsessing about the Lerner property, Wisdom Bridge, Coe property, empty storefronts, and unbelievable lack of attention that Howard Street presents to the world on my twice (min.) daily journey though the gauntlet.

Thank you for allowing me my rant.

Joe from Eastlake Terrace

****************
Joe - This is qualifiable ranting! Thanks for reading.