June 30, 2007

Mirror Images-Near North and Far North

‘We still live in a slum'
Residents of one Near North Side apartment complex said that, despite the clout of their landlord and neighbors who reside in half-million-dollar condos

June 29, 2007
BY MARK J. KONKOL Staff Reporter

"The drug dealers and thugs at the New Evergreen/Sedgwick Apartments don't mind. Most of them just "work" there.

But Clara Smith, who the bad guys refer to as the "nosy old bitch" who calls the cops, sure isn't happy about it.

And neither are folks who live in the publicly financed, mixed-income, subsidized housing complex.

Don't worry about the police cameras. Some helpful drug dealer who hides his dope in the hallway walls of unlocked buildings will certainly lead you out of sight -- to do anything less would be bad for business.

Inside, feel free to smoke your crack and pee in the corners. And if you spot a prostitute, enjoy her in the hallway and leave the condom on the floor."

The article bears a striking similarity to our subsidized housing issues with the exception of the term "mixed income". Publicly financed is the term that raises little hairs on neighbors necks when they hear gunshots, screaming, late night partying, or see unsupervised kids with fireworks and 'nosy old bitch' is a surefire response to a complaint!

Many management companies don't like tenant associations, neither do certain tenants. Why? In my experience, management has certain rapport with certain tenants who try to sabotage tenant associations. Usually there's political maneuvering behind the sabotage which attempts to hide bad management methods, to silence certain activities and apparent favoritism, and to maintain the political status quo. There are myriad angles no one is supposed to notice or speak of.

So the good tenants and the concerned neighbors can go 'get a life' and stop bitching. It's OK to watch people engaging in sexual intercourse in the hallways, get away from the door and go watch TV! It's OK if tenants have gangbanger boyfriends and pals doping up the hallways. These ladies have a right to have guests. Get away from the door and mind your own business...or else...

If a stray bullet enters your apartment and nearly hits you, well, we (management) could move you to another apartment - but we will not address the source of the problem. We (management) could be in harms way if we did that! It might expose our poor screening and rule enforcement methods. Just shut up and let us do our job, we know what we're doing. AND, do not talk to X, Y or Z or go above managements head... strong arm threats like that are the method used too often. Then the harassment of the good tenants and concerned neighbors begins full swing from the spy clique and rumormill.

And yes,the neighborhood alderman is usually right smack dab in the middle of it! Whether it's Evergreen/Sedgwick Streets on the Near North or Jonquil/Ashland and other Streets, North of Howard, there's an aldermanic 'touch' involved. There's also the 'touch' of the City as we all know! Look at the Broadmoor for a fine example.

NOH has its clique of subidized tenants who pretend to be involved in their building and neighborhood. However, the spy clique appears to be managements' and Joe Moore/Wayne Frazier's eyes and rumormill. If these entities were as smart as they think they are, they'd realize discrimination or harassment is a two-way street. ALL tenants in a subsidized building have certain rights and all have certain rules to abide by.

Just who is going to watchdog management? Joe and Wayne? Maybe the lapdog? Maybe HUD if they'd bother to ask the right questions of the right people!

June 29, 2007

Sidewalk Sleepover

hood pix6.07 067

The remains of a Howard Street sidewalk sleepover/binge greeted neighbors this morning. The event was held on the concrete in front of Sandy's Foods and no one observed it all night.

Hail O Wild Irish Rose

Who Is Really To Blame?

Porch Codes and grandfathers

It's only four years late," Ekl said of the report. "I can't think of a reason this wouldn't be turned over."

Odd the Evanston engineering company could examine and prepare a report on the cause within one month while the City held it’s findings for four years. No, I haven’t read either report. The report cited in this article doesn’t mention the party responsible for contracting and building the porch does it? It doesn't mention the entity that *should have* approved the blueprints per city mandate either.

Was the owner of the building fined? Perhaps a reader has access to the info and can share?

A few reasons could be:

Protecting the owner who had it constructed by blaming the party goers? Twist, turn and accuse the brother of one deceased person? If the porch violated existing building codes in 2003, where’s the ‘other’ suit?

Didn't some of the families bring suit against the building owner and the City? Is the buck being passed?

Could using this tragedy be a good reason for the 200+ workers in the building department to busy themselves re-writing the code and dispatching inspectors to collect lots of money? Revenue. It's all about money. They’ve been chasing porches since 2003. How much has been collected to date? Yet, looking out from the elevated trains, they’ve sure missed a lot of the saggy ones. Understaffing is the City’s main reason/excuse. That I have heard first hand!

Check Out Clout City
City Employees

Have there been a lot of inspection passes on 'developer' porches built since 2003 - passed on to the new owners that is? Have new owners suddenly received a letter from the Department of Buildings regarding 'code violations'?

Just wondering....

June 28, 2007

This Old House Photo Gallery

Anyone have these quick fixes in your home?


Thanks for the heads-up Tom! Let's get those flyers distributed! All of the kids I've talked to can't wait for the field house to be finished. Even those who are now adults with kids of their own! What better way to thank the man who got it built?

Celebrate, Celebrate, Dance To The Music!

All the youngsters can drop in after the basketball game in Gale Park. The politicos can feed the tired, sweaty, hungry, thirsty future voters of North of Howard! Sorry, they can't scrape up individual dontations, but they are future *voters*!

Do Your Jobs - Club 50

By Alexa Aguilar and Angela Rozas
Tribune staff reporters
Published June 27, 2007, 10:45 PM CDT

...After two groups from the rival gangs shouted and flashed gang signs at each other Monday evening, a reputed member of the Imperial Gangsters, 19-year-old Tony Serrano, fired several shots from a silver 9 mm handgun, Chicago police said. But he missed his intended targets and struck Schanna Gayden,

Serrano fired because his faction's leader, Mwenda Murithi, 26, told him to do so, Grand-Central Cmdr. Joe Salemme said. And the fighting was all because of a turf war a year older than Serrano, police said.


Logan Squares' tragedy is our tragedy too. While that area reported crime has been down, look what happened in a split second. A twenty year turf war, one person doing as ordered, and an innocent child is dead.

The Sun-Times reporting has even more bizarre political connections to the history of the gangs involved.

June 28, 2007

Figueroa, an officer for 31 years, started tracking the IGs back when he was a gang crimes specialist. His knowledge is so deep that his bosses have asked him to monitor the case of Ronnie Carrasquillo, the leader of the incarcerated faction of the Imperial Gangsters. Carrasquillo is in prison for the 1976 killing of Chicago Police Officer Terrence Loftus, but he has lined up a prominent congressman, two state legislators, a city alderman and a County Board commissioner in his bid to win freedom through parole.

Let's not ignore reports from The Broken Heart blog and neighbors in the Lunt/Morse area sighting gang gatherings last night. Let's not ignore that creating the atmosphere of enabling feeds the 'gang' mentality. Those who work during the day can't monitor the neighborhood so it's up to those who are home during the day to pitch in and help. If those who are at home are part of the problem, well, there will be no watchful eyes will there?

The politicians who involve themselves by creating enabling atmospheres are accountable to their constituents. Years and years of court battles with the Broadmoor finally resulted in some real action. Now the burden is on this new owner to not create an atmosphere of enabling to satisfy the bleeding hearts who live elsewhere. Our alderman shares the burden not only of the 'new' Broadmoor but every single subsidized building in this ward. Forget the contributions and start thinking of the constituents, their children, and that word 'safety'. Club 50 members: Put a post-it note on the bathroom mirror so you can refresh the meaning of your job as you shave or comb your hair. Post it in the ward office bathroom too so your employees can memorize it.

One report cited the gentrification of areas reduces the turf the gangs fight over. Gentrification has both good and bad points, but to blame years of ingrained gangster mentalities/behaviors on gentrification is over-reaching. Enabling bad or non-resident landlords by accepting campaign contributions should be a topic of discussion in City Hall.

Alderpersons, it’s time to get your feet on the street just as you did while you were campaigning. Grab your kids, the family dog, (or borrow a neighbors) and organize your constituent walks. Make sure to insist the problem landlords join in. Maybe some of the intimidated people would come out of hiding to be seen with their alderperson.

June 27, 2007

Is City Council Outraged Yet?

"Parents have to go into the bedrooms. Find out whether their sons or daughters have guns in their room," a visibly upset Mayor Daley said earlier in the day. "Find out whether their sons or daughters are palling around with gangbangers on a block or in a community... . Parents have to do this. They should prevent crime."
Mayor Daley

From the Tribune

"My baby was lying in the grass, and I was powerless to do anything," said Rita Sallie, Schanna's mother. When she heard the shots from inside her home, Sallie ran to the playground and found her daughter surrounded by police and stunned onlookers.

"I can't fathom it," she said. "Where can I move in this city where my remaining children will be safe?"

“There was a 13-year-old out at the park . . . then a 19-year-old punk with a gun," said Mayor Richard Daley at an unrelated news conference Tuesday morning. "People need to be outraged."

From the News-Star


The liberals can scream over Daley's remark(s) - and cry out that kids have rights too. They can scream that parents have absolutely no right to invade the privacy of their kids room. Where are Schanna's rights to live, play, and follow her dreams? Denied by a "19-year old punk with a gun".

Get real parents, get concerned, and get help....get in charge.

SOLD!! Broadmoor

Be expecting a green email informing neighbors that the Broadmoor has been sold.
bmoor51007 001 bmoor51007 002

There was a meeting tonight with tenants, CIC, Moore, Sullivan, Mary Jane Haggerty of RPCC and the new owner. Fagus popped in after the meeting.

Since the doors were open I figured I may as well wander in too. I asked a person I’m acquainted with what the meeting was about. Since Moore and Sullivan were exiting as I entered, it might be safe to get an answer. I was informed the Broadmoor had been sold - so the next sensible question was ‘to whom’? The response,‘to that man.’ A man in a rust colored shirt was pointed out to me. The next informative statement was that the building would remain ‘affordable’ for the next twenty years. Old news – Higgy tied that one up years ago!

The conversation turned to my being asked about problem tenants and I didn’t answer. There are some, but that’s not my job now is it? The beat facilitator wasn’t informed of the meeting but let’s just assume it was a mere oversight. The question should have been directed to Eva who could have/would have answered. Its odd how ‘connections’ change when politics come into play isn’t it?

The rest of the scoop will land tomorrow. I hope it gives the status of the Broadmoor East too.

So there’s no information yet on rehabbing the poor old place, re-wiring the problematic electrical, the elevators, the falling in ceilings, etc. I’m sure CIC has been taking care of the years of neglect. If not, the new owner must know what he’s inheriting.

Good luck to the new owner and welcome to NOH. We are all neighbors and we really hope that the new management company will continue to patrol the premises, keep the good tenants, properly screen the new ones, and most of all, provide clean, safe apartments.

Hopefully, the new owner will rehab those vacant ground level commercial spaces and court some kind of economic development on poor old barren Howard Street.

June 26, 2007

What's Up With DevCorp's Mural?

According to some who barely know me, I’m supposed to hate every NFP in a 1,000 mile radius. Well, maybe 1.5? At any rate, Tom Mannis asked me to help inform Rogers Park, (all of it) about DevCorp, our non-chamber of commerce, hiring non-Rogers Park artists to paint a mural. So since I dislike DevCorp, not as an entire entity, (personnel included) just the non-productive, unplanned, unprogressive, sneaky portions thereof, I decided I may as well.

Read: RPB – Urgent Reaction Needed

Not to be exclusive, here’s another interesting version on Jocelyn’s Rogers Park Neighbors.

Here's a link to Kheris' The Living Room In Rogers Park informative research!

Tom’s questions probably will never be truthfully answered. Please note - No one is angry at the artists – they’re doing a job they love! Artists produce their portfolio and if awarded the project certainly should accept the work. However, since DevCorp’s mission is to promote Rogers Park business and its residents, perhaps they could communicate the selection process. Did any Rogers Park artists submit portfolios? Do we have a pattern emerging from Tom’s questions? Do we see a recurring pattern in the manner in which business is conducted?

When someone tells you they have your best interest in mind, don’t you expect them to follow through? I do. But then, I’m not in touch with reality!

Two More Children Gone

Two more young people killed by gang crossfire

Where's the help with these issues City Hall? Where's the ordinance and the money for more police on the beats?

June 25, 2007

Beat 2422 Walks

Greetings, Neighbors,

We're getting started a little later than planned but we're getting

Come out and join us for the first of our community walks. We'll be
walking Beat 2422 between Jarvis and Juneway, Eastlake Terrace/Lake Front
to Clark/Chicago Avenue at the Evanston boarder. We'd like to get
several groups started since it's hard for one group to cover the whole
beat in one evening.

Beginning date Tuesday June 26th.

Where: We will be meeting in front of the Broadmoor at Bosworth and
Howard and going from there.

Starting at: 7:00 p.m. It is after you have had your supper which is a
good time to get some exercise and some fresh air.

Bring a friend and/or neighbor to walk along. It's fun conversing and
getting to know new people. Be a positive presence on the streets of
our beat. If you have a dog this is a good way to let Fido get some
exercise too.

We will be walking every Tuesday for the rest of the summer and into the fall.

Be a part of the solution.

Eva McCann
CAPS Facilitator, Beat 2422

Summer Activities At Gale Park

At last week's North of Howard Parks Advisory Council, we finalized the summer calendar. Corey Banks will coordinate Cubs Care softball for youth between the ages of 8 to 18. Cubs Care begins Tuesday, July 10 from 6:00PM to 8:00PM and will continue on Tuesdays and Fridays with the last game being on Friday, August 24.

Anyone in the area caring to volunteer with Corey and the youth is welcome.

Basketball fills the evening slots (including after Cubs Care) on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays for the months of July and August. The first game will be July 10 after Cubs Care. The final basketball game will be Thursday, August 23. The Park District will coordinate the basketball games and times will be announced soon.

For the adults, there will be community walks every Tuesday evening beginning tomorrow at 7:00PM in conjunction with CAPS Beat 2422. Meet in front of the Broadmoor Hotel at 7600 N. Bosworth.

The Park District will also coordinate adult volleyball every Wednesday beginning July 11 at 7:00PM through Wednesday, August 29. We are also hoping to offer yoga or some form of exercise on Thursday evenings.

If you are a yoga, pilates, or exercise instructor willing to offer some volunteer time, please let us know.

If anyone is interested, email Eva at elm@clstoons.com or me at howardwatchers@aol.com and we'll forward to either the park district area manager or the parks advisory council as applicable.

The next public meeting of NOHPAC will be Tuesday, July 17, 6:30 PM at HACC 7648 N Paulina (773) 262-6622. New members are needed, so please volunteer to help our parks with your ideas. You may also contact Sr. Cecilia Fandel at (773) 262-6622 who is also a member of the council.

Update On Fathers Day Attack

Update On Fathers Day Assault On Senior

From a neighbor on Birchwood - Edited for protection and privacy:

I spoke with Mrs. X last night, she is the victim's wife (not daughter-in-law) and got the straight story (much easier when she is not frantic).

The victim is, 76 years old. He had heart surgery several years ago and brain surgery last year. He entered the courtyard of his home and was attacked by two men. He was robbed, beaten about the head, and shoved to the ground. He did not make any attempt to resist and pleaded for his safety.

At St. Francis he was talking, alert, but quite disoriented (had the date/year wrong, was speaking nonsensically but with correct English). He was admitted for observation. He then had two seizures (never happened to him before) and appeared to his wife to be in some trouble. Feeling that he would be better served with the doctors who had worked with him in the past, his wife had him discharged from St. Francis and moved to Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

At Northwestern they diagnosed a large blood clot in the brain and are concerned the shunt that had been previously installed (from brain to spinal cord) had been moved about in the beating. There is no firm treatment plan as of yet, the options are another operation or to try medication to shrink the clot and see if the shunt shifts back into position.

Mrs. X felt safe entering their home at 7pm before this, but now she is literally "turning the key in the door and running for my life" because she is so afraid.

The family is hopeful that he won't need further brain surgery.

That's all I know. Thanks for continuing to seek the "truth" out about this, and again my apologies for the mis-information I presented earlier.

This man has survived two complicated surgeries and the trauma of this attack could jeopardize his life or quality of life going forward. Please let Mrs. X know neighbors wish him a full recovery.

June 24, 2007


Thanks for the info Tom.

How Predictable!

On yesterday's 24/7 post Southevanstonian commented:

Insightful commentary, Toni. I've always wondered why the poorest neighborhoods have the loudest car stereos and other such nonsense expenditures of extra cash. I'm subsidizing these peoples' housing with my hard-earned tax dollars so they can spend their money on luxury items? These are pathological cultural patterns. I wish more people would speak up against this type of behavior.
6/23/2007 9:56 AM

I replied:

SE, you are also subsidizing the politicians who created these pockets of poverty! These are the people who should be correcting the pathological patterns. If they did, however, they would be voted out of office. So it's safer for them to speak about peace than it is to make it happen.

Speaking up against this behavior earns one the label 'racist' and that's typical in this area. The true racists are the enablers; those who point their little fingers, wag their tongues, and send post cards.
6/23/2007 12:21 PM


As blogged on Broken Heart, Vanessa's blog takes it exactly in the predictable direction I bolded above! If one is to comprehend the alleged cat fight, I'll direct my advertising to The Living Room In Rogers Park.

“Exactly what point is Toni Duncan trying to make with the latest rant she's spat at Rogers Park? Socio-economic blight? I wish Toni would write about the things she knows instead of these ignorant observations about a culture different than hers.”

So Vanessa blogged her own ‘rant’ about me, my lifestyle of which she knows nothing of, nor does the storefront lawyer. Of course, he always jumps in whenever there’s an opportunity to scream racism. If there isn't an opportunity, he creates one.

So, Vanessa and Storefront Lawyer, when certain subsidized neighbors of all colors complain about people having sex in the hallways or stairwells, being kept awake by fireworks all night, drug dealers in their hallways, in front of their buildings, awakened by gunshots in the night, their disgust and fears, shall I just have them contact both of you?

Tom should know all about HUD’s rules on subsidized housing since he’s a lawyer. There really are rules to follow or one could lose the apartment if he/she doesn’t abide by them. One of those prohibiting rules is about extended families not on the lease. Many non-subsidized landlords write the same clause into leases. How would I know? My last lease had that clause. That implies that I have been a renter doesn't it?

There's a socio-economic problem when one lives beyond one's means. Period. If it isn't on sale, I don't need it. If I can't afford it, I don't need it. That's the philosophy I was raised on and it does save money. Some of my non-white neighbors share the same philosophy for themselves as well as their children.

Naturally, both take the post as far out of context as possible to prove their point(s).

A good example of the Storefront Lawyers method of wandering from the truth can be found on his Friday post. Tom chose to ignore the bulk of the legal verbiage so he could twist the proceeding and wrote this for his readers:

“As of now, all three voter-plaintiffs have been thrown out on their ass. Even under the looser standards this judge used to allow Count I to proceed, Count II didn't measure up. This judge, who is black, sent the Trio of Tokens packing.”

At the Gordon hearing June 22, the arguments on Count II touched briefly on the subject of the three citizen ‘plaintiffs’ while the main thrust of the arguments by both sides was spent on the constitutionality of the 5 day mandate for an aldermanic challenge. He chose not to mention that two of the three plaintiffs are black.

Since I’m not ‘with it’, doesn’t the term ‘token’ bear racial overtones? Should the two black plaintiffs find this offensive? Or is racisim reserved for certain ‘white’ bloggers only? Also, the judge “who is black” has a very light complexion - so she could be bi-racial. She’s a judge – period. Tom ignored that reality.

The Storefront Lawyer was sitting behind me and should have heard ALL parts of the argument(s), he is, after all, a lawyer.

My comment to Southevanstonian sums up the whole post on Vanessa’s blog including Storefront Lawyer's usual diatribe. How predictable was my comment?

Setting off fireworks is illegal in the City of Chicago except under supervised settings. Look it up. The fireworks sold in local stores are not the possibly dangerous type, I checked that out two years ago. One has to purchase the potentially dangerous type elsewhere.

When Vanessa and Storefront Lawyer see 8-9 year old children lighting firecrackers and dropping them into a glass bottle to throw at passing cars, we’ll see what their reaction is. How many kids are maimed every year from playing with fireworks? That reality was overlooked.

Also conveniently overlooked were the facts of stray bullets entering innocent neighbors homes, young people beating up seniors, shooting one another in populated areas…. the list goes on. But they choose to overlook these realities and waste their time and energy on me.

Ahhh, yes, the Moore/Frazier et al method of divisiveness – let’s keep everyone on other sides of the safety fence and my voter base will be safe. Send another post card boys.

June 23, 2007

Rogers Park - Vicious Circle Continues

The other night there was a blast of fireworks down the street. When that batch was expended, we could hear new eruptions around the neighborhood. This expensive, nightly event and illegal pattern will extend beyond July 4th unfortunately. Since crime is down, we have nothing to fear right? Wrong.

North of Howard - part of Rogers Park - is home to many. We are the ‘culturally rich, diverse, neighborhood' featured in election speeches, political maneuvers, and back scratching. We have a high concentration of poverty, yet there’s an abundance of money for all the luxuries. Subsidized housing enables many to move in with an aunt, grandmother, or girlfriend. Apparently, it enables the purchases of fireworks 'across the border' and guns and drugs from anywhere.

We see some pretty expensive vehicles cruising in spite of the socio-economic blight we’re so blessed with. It’s nothing to see a little street dealer wearing $200 shoes, riding an expensive bike with the latest iPod and two cell phones. One phone for incoming orders and one to place those orders! Many have cable TV which is nearly the same amount as their rent and most, if not all, have Link cards, ILHeap and many are fortunate enough to have more than one vehicle. But do they want this to be a decent, safe, clean low income neighborhood?

I’d like to hope everyone wants the best for all the kids as well as their neighbors. After a meeting last week, I heard one security guard yelling profanities at two men leaning on their parked car across the street. And yes, a black man was using the ‘N’ word. The two men he claimed were taunting him were from a different ethnic background. So a crowd gathered on the corner to cheer on the security guard cursing the ‘foreigners’, chants similar to those in Lord of the Flies.

So the vicious circle continues, another summer begins with murders in Rogers Park, drug dealers and hookers and the crowds moving away from the blue lights.

Yeah, America, the land of the free. The recent shooting on Pratt is unsettling to neighbors there who worked so hard to rid the area of blight. The frequent sound of gunfire is unsettling North of Howard too -

Be safe and stay away from your own windows, this is Rogers Park.

June 22, 2007

Ward 49 Voter Fraud - Case To Proceed

Argument Count I- Voter Fraud – Defendant - Moore

Even though Moore’s attorney, Matthew Piers, stated he had never seen a plea that ‘strayed so far’, apparently the judge chose to disagree. Even though Piers stated Mr. Gordon is not ‘entitled’ to challenge the election discovery or re-count and that ½ of the precincts would constitute disenfranchisement, Judge Marsha Hayes chose to disagree.

Piers claimed the Plaintiffs’ suit fails to state a claim, is not specific enough to challenge an election and lists violations seen in every election in the city, state, and nation. Piers argued there are no specifics in the suit, claiming it only lists election violations with the word ‘fraud thrown around everywhere’. Piers stated that just because some voters may have voted in the wrong precinct does not constitute ‘fraud’.

He further called the court action a ‘garden variety’ of complaints since no one knows if the 254 votes in question were for Moore or Gordon and that the plaintiff is not pleading ‘facts’. Tossing out some 4000 votes over those 254 votes would be disenfranchisement. He claimed the proportional reduction would not change the outcome of the April 17 election.

Argument Count II- Constitutionality of Election Procedures - Defendant - Moore

Piers cited the Illinois Constitution and stated the challenge ‘hasn’t a clue” and that there’s no case to support the time period of 5 days to challenge a Chicago aldermanic election as being inappropriate. “So what”, he stated, ‘there are plenty of reasons why the legislature chose 5 days to challenge and what matters is rationality’. Chicago has a unique set of laws set up and in force since 1941. Again, he stated there is ‘no fraud’.

Argument Count I - Voter Fraud - Plaintiff – Gordon

Mike Lavelle counter-argued that he is not required to ‘plead evidence’. Proportionate evidence is determined by trial not by the complaint. Lavelle stated the laws have since been changed regarding the cases cited by Moore’s attorney. Disenfranchisement is caused by evidence - not by a complaint. He cited the requirement to challenge within 5 days after an election occurs before all votes have been counted. This timeframe limits or prohibits taking advantage of investigating and examining board of elections records.

Argument Count II - Constitutionality of Election Procedures – Plaintiff - Gordon

James Nally stated the statute requiring challenges to be filed 5 days following an election applies only to Chicago aldermanic elections. The plaintiff has the right to challenge if he believes fraudulent votes were counted. This is the only office that requires the challenge be entered before the votes are completely counted, or ‘puts the cart before the horse’. By the defense claiming that ‘Chicago is a different animal’ the statute has no constitutional muster. “It’s as though the business of the City Council is so important that we’ve got to get this done and swear in the aldermen.”

The Board of Elections

The Attorney representing the Board of Elections, also a defendant in the case, stated they looked for evidence of the alleged voter fraud.

Closing Argument – Defendant - Moore

Moore’s attorney stated ‘the case is about nothing – courts don’t entertain cases about nothing’. "If a few people voted who shouldn’t have, or voted in the wrong precinct, it doesn’t constitute fraud." He stated ‘it happens all the time’.

Judge Hayes ruled:

Count I – Voter Fraud - Granted to Plaintiff – Don Gordon
Count II – Constitutionality of Election Procedures - Granted to Defendant – Joe Moore

Chi-Town Daily News

June 21, 2007

Criminal Activity On Birchwood

From a neighbor - edited for protection and with permission.

I am sorry to advise you of further problems on Birchwood. Our neighbors, at 15XX Birchwood were burglarized on Tuesday. The resident’s elderly mother, who is visiting them, left the back door open for air while she puttered about the house. A thief/thieves made off with their wallets (extracted from the purses), bikes, some jewelry, and some other small items WHILE her mother was in the home. Scary.

When the resident filed a supplemental report last night (she just noticed the bikes missing from the basement) and the police (I was standing with her, chatting, and was part of this conversation) let us know that there is a man in the triangle building on Birchwood/Ashland (that's the 1544-42, 1538-36 Birchwood building) on house arrest for Burglary, so we should all be careful with our property!

Also, this officer opined that the gun violence in Rogers Park is dramatically increased, and that they are stretched too thin and need more officers and resources. He was a super nice guy, and I think his point was that he'd love to help keep an eye on the 1544 building--and he admitted to seeing some of the prostitutes and dealers entering and exiting the property---but he must be attentive to gun crimes first, so he was unsure we could receive meaningful police support on this problem. I must admit that at first I was really angry to hear this, but he seemed so genuinely conflicted and upset by the state of the ward...I felt disquieted.

The officer asked that we attend the CAPS meeting and bring all this up. I think I can get one of the (terrified) families that live in that building to come to the meeting. They are afraid for their toddlers to be around so much crime and have reported to me that there is a steady stream of strangers roaming the halls in their building. Lots of nice people seem to live there, but there is a criminal element digging in...

Would it help to have a petition asking for more resources/bodies to fight this kind of crime on our block? I feel like these problems are the gateway for more serious issues.

And we did have that shooting last month.
And, on Father’s Day this hideous crime against an elderly man.

Neighbor Requests City Hall Representation

Published with permission from the author.

Dear Joe;

Hope all is well;

I’m writing as a long time resident of NOH and as a concerned Chicago resident with some serious question regarding my representation in City Council.

I recently returned from a wonderful week in Indiana, only to experience random gun fire on two occasions this past week. I know the difference between gun fire and recreational fireworks which I also assume are illegal in the City of Chicago. The North of Howard area and Rogers Park as a whole seems to be experiencing more gun play this year than before. The City of Chicago seems to be on track to eclipse the violence of years past. We have had over 31 young Public school kids killed over the past year. We are told that crime is down, but recent events seem to voice otherwise. Perhaps the perception is that none of us have been killed so that fact fuels the downward trend in the statistics? I am concerned that this summer in Rogers Park and this City is going to be very violent.

It is curious to me that the elected City Council has debated and passed legislation regarding “Foie Gras” , and “Big Box”; however, I have seen no debates, ordinances, or discussions regarding the deaths of 31 CPS students, or the continued gun play in our neighborhoods. Perhaps I missed the news conference or news article regarding this; but I would think that every single elected official would be pushing for some type of debate, conversation, or attention to the increasing crime problem/perception in the communities of Chicago. I find it completely appalling that there has been no City Council consideration or action on the increased gun/crime problems in our neighborhoods.

We are asked to participate in CAPS, Mayor Daley (one of the few if not only official to respond) has asked for more parental involvement and responsibility; we are asked as a community to get involved, walk the streets, produce creative involvement programs, mentor, and be pro-active. I don’t think you will find any resident NOH, Rogers Park or City of Chicago who has not done, attempted or continues to do these things. Great!! But where is the Alderman in this equation? If you can debate duck liver production, and the locations of Wal-Mart stores you can certainly entertain the problems that are affecting your voting public. We got a big problem, and summer is just beginning.

Joe, we have a problem and it is not going away. It is my expectation that you as our elected representation will elicit some recommendations and additional support from the other 49 alderman to fund the various district police departments so they can address these issues. If you need some input to this process just let me know, in the meantime here are just a few:

· There are far too many young people on the streets at night - enforced curfew, building community centers is not the answer, when it closes the kid need some place to go. If they can’t/won’t go home? Then the social service agencies have failed in their main mission, get them out of here. We need responsible residents and parents. Unsupervised kids on the street at night is a bad thing.

· There are far too many adults sitting in front of buildings at night - We have subsidized all of these affordable housing units thru numerous agencies and companies, if they cannot provide air conditioning for those hot nights; then get them the hell out of this neighborhood and find someone else who can provide air conditioning and reasons why they should not congregate in front of buildings. If you want examples take a look at the Jonquil Hotel, Aimco properties, and Jay’s properties. With the money going into those properties they should at least have one air conditioning unit in each apartment. No excuse.

· There are far too many loud and obnoxious people running around late at night – Bigger jails, lock them up..if they are mentally challenged and part of an existing shelter, or social service agency; then charge that agency for the cost of subduing and retaining those individuals.

· Hold the social service agencies responsible for ALL individuals related to their trade who cause problems, charge them

· There are far too many loud boom box cars driving thru the neighborhood, give the police the power to confiscate those cars and ticket the owner, make them walk out of our neighborhood

· There are far too many local restaurants/stores serving single serve packaged goods in plastic bags and Styrofoam packages – If you can save a ducks liver you can save the environment – Devcor should insist that new businesses use ecological friendly packaging.

· Fireworks are illegal in Chicago – anyone caught setting off explosive devices should be arrested regardless of age

Just a few items to think about when presenting your case to the City Council. We got problems and summer starts on Thursday of this week. I do not want to be a statistic in the life of Rogers Park. You as our elected official have a requirement and duty to resolve these problems. It is my expectation that you will find the courage and medium to address the problems that exist in Rogers Parks and work with your colleagues in the City Council and the Mayor to resolve like problems in our great City.

Looking to hear from you soon,

Yours truly,

Carl Steward

Summer Solstice - The Longest Day

Savor the light

Shakespeare Sonnet 18

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature's changing course, untrimm'd;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest;
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

William Shakepeare

(1564 - 1616)

June 20, 2007

Thou Shalt Not Speed

Thou shalt not speed
ITALY | Vatican issues '10 Commandments' for drivers
June 20, 2007
BY SUSAN HOGAN/ALBACH Religion Reporter shogan@suntimes.com

The Vatican on Tuesday urged drivers everywhere to let Jesus take the wheel.
It issued a "Drivers' 10 Commandments" and called for nicer behavior on roadways.

Although written in theological jargon, the meaning of the commandments was clear:

Don't speed, be reckless or cause fatal accidents.
Don't make rude gestures or taunt other drivers.
Avoid road rage.
Don't give alcohol to minors or let them drive while drunk.
Don't ignore people with flat tires or accident victims.
Instead of picking up a prostitute, pick up a rosary and say a few prayers.

Maybe hand out rosaries when this line forms?

Driving shouldn't be an occasion of sin, but a time of prayer and moral responsibility, officials said.

Cars 'bring out primitive side'
The commandments were part of a larger document, "Guidelines for the Pastoral Care of the Road," issued by the Vatican's office of migrants and itinerant people.

Driving isn't a topic usually addressed in church documents, officials said. But people are more mobile than ever before and so, too, are incidents of outrageous behavior.

"Cars tend to bring out the primitive side of human beings," the document said.

June 19, 2007

You're Invited

Rogers Park Garden Group's upcoming presentation with Terry Guen on landscaping with native plants is next Tuesday, June 26, 7 pm


at the Rogers Park Presbyterian Fellowship Room, 7059 N. Greenview. We would be so appreciative if you would help let the neighborhood know via neighbors and fellow gardeners.

Contact: p.vangiessen@gmail.com

Summer Of Sufficiency - Blood Drive

From a friend:

Make 2007 Our First Annual
Summer of Sufficiency

You see, we just never get enough!
We ask, we wheedle, we cajole . . . and so far, we just haven’t gotten enough. Summers are the worst. We need 125+ units of platelets per month to serve our community.

So now we are not just asking – we’re challenging the residents of north Chicagoland! Surely, with more than 200,000 people in our community, we can make it to 125.

We’ve all heard and said these words when someone is ill or injured:
“Just let us know if there’s anything we can do – anything!”
Guess what? You and a friend can save two lives in just a couple of hours! Sweet deal.

How? Donate platelets – an essential blood component. When platelets are needed, it’s pretty much always a lifesaving measure. Patients facing chemotherapy, surgery, bone marrow transplants, other serious conditions, and premature infants need platelets. When there’s a shortage, it’s tragic.
Platelets can only be stored for five days, so the need is ongoing. It’s safe. It hurts no more than a blood test. It’s easy. You also get free parking, a free meal while you donate, good company, exceptional donation staff, and tons of gratitude.

Of course, saving a life is a fantastic feeling, and that’s reward enough.
Right now, we have the generosity of a wonderful Evanston restaurant to help entice you. Donate with a friend, and your names will be entered for a raffle each month. Two of you will be treated to a delicious meal at Trattoria D.O.C. on Main Street in Evanston. There are other prizes, too: massages, haircuts, and more!

Try it. You’ll love it.
Two hours. Two lives saved. Two happy hearts.
Grab a friend and be two of a very special 125+
If you win the raffle, you’ll have even more to celebrate!

Blood Bank Donor Center
Evanston Hospital
2650 Ridge Avenue Evanston, IL 60201
Evanston Northwestern Healthcare

EMAIL: donateblood@enh.org
We’ll be very happy to answer your questions!

Make an appointment to arrive between
8:00 am and 3:30 pm Tuesday, Thursday, Friday*
8:00 am and 6:00 pm Monday and Wednesday*
or make special arrangements, including occasional Saturdays

* - Illinois requires most employers to give you special time off for blood and platelet donation.

We’ll continue to add prizes to the raffle. Please contact us if you have something to offer.

It Isn't My Decision - It's Already An Ordinance

I received an email asking why and where I feel vacant buildings should be listed. My response: It isn't up to me…..

Beyond what the City of Chicago ordains, I feel vacant properties should be listed with every police district, alderpersons office, and every real estate brokerage. Here's what the City ordinance states and why:

For Immediate Release
Contact: Kristen Lobbins
Phone: 312 744-3430
E-mail: klobbins@cityofchicago.org
Wednesday, April 12, 2000
City Council Passes Vacant Building Registration & Insurance Certification

Owners of vacant buildings will be required to purchase insurance for their property and need to register their buildings under legislation advanced at today's City Council meeting.

The Vacant Building Registration and Insurance Certification program requires property owners of vacant buildings to file a registration statement with the City within 30 days after the building becomes vacant. A $50 registration fee for each vacant property is also required for administrative costs.

In addition, owners will need to purchase liability insurance of at least $300,000 for each vacant residential building and a minimum of $1 million for each commercial or industrial building.

"Vacant and abandoned buildings create health and safety hazards for the surrounding community, breed crime and jeopardize the insurance coverage of adjacent properties. Firefighting personnel also are at risk when entering these vacant buildings that often are fire traps," said Building Commissioner Mary Richardson-Lowry.

"This new measure passed by the City Council provides owners with homes or businesses adjacent to abandoned buildings a safety net in cases of fire or other hardships that may fall on the vacant property," added Richardson Lowry.

Last month, Mayor Richard M. Daley announced plans to curb predatory lenders who make costly mortgage loans at exorbitant interest rates to homeowners with limited incomes. These subprime mortgage loans often result in foreclosure which can lead to property that goes unattended. Foreclosed properties have a direct correlation to the proliferation of vacant and abandoned buildings that litter many neighborhoods.

"The Vacant Building Registration and Insurance Certification Ordinance is a pro-active step that places the burden for the vacant buildings on its owner," said Richardson-Lowry. " It also spares the taxpayer the expense associated with pursuing the owner in court."

Penalties for non-compliance of this ordinance could range from $200 to $1,000 a day for each offense.

Here's the list of registered vacant buildings.

Vacant Building Registry

If you don’t find a vacant building on this list, please report it to 311 and be sure to get a tracking number, call the ward office, and write to us if you care to via email.

June 18, 2007

New Park Furniture

New furniture in Gale Park…..a discarded couch carried over from the alley after a move! Soft seating for the joggers.

hood pix6.07 038

Field House steel skeleton is a focal point – please disregard the fence. It wasn’t removed for construction, more as a traffic flow by neighbors for neighbors.

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June 16, 2007

Progressive Developers in Ward 49

Today’s report on Broken Heart references Beat 2422 and in the spirit of sharing and covering with photos, here’s what the camera told us this morning.

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The signs referenced in the post:

hood pix6.07 048 hood pix6.07 047

Old Garage sign behind first vacant building:

hood pix6.07 049

And of course, the follow-up on Coe’s boarded up gangway between Howard/Rogers on the walk home.

hood pix6.07 050

This is the latest update since this May 13 post

We really find the most progressive developers here don’t we?

Construction On 7600 Block of Paulina

In response to a neighbors call this morning, all I know from the beat 2422 meeting and from a old zoning notice sign –two trailers are being added to the Alternative High School on the 7600 block of N Paulina. The school is overcrowded.

hood pix6.07 042 hood pix6.07 041

The caller fears the neighborhood has been ‘duped’ again by GNP and Ward 49. If this excavation is for plumbing, electrical and a foundation for said trailers, we must assume the order is correct. But as I frequently say ‘anything goes North of Howard’. If a foundation is being ‘prepared’ for any possible zoning changes and subsequent permanent building, the neighbors should be made aware of it from the newly transparent zoning committee.

June 15, 2007

49th Ward Could Make History - Letter to Tribune and Sun-Times

49th Ward Could Make History with Chicago’s First Successfully Contested Aldermanic Election
Letter To The Editor (Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, etc)
June 9, 2007

On June 22, Chicago voters will witness a potentially historic decision when a judge rules on the first fully contested and investigated Chicago aldermanic election. Americans are all too familiar with polling place problems, both intended and unintended. Many still believe fraud and flaws in our 2000 and 2004 presidential elections gave victory to the wrong candidate. We should have zero tolerance for this, and for a system that perpetuates errors and breeds contempt for voters.

This year I ran for election as alderman of the 49th ward. I thought I could do a better job than the incumbent both in our ward and for our city. However, I did not expect to be fighting on behalf of voters everywhere for fair elections. Yet, how could I, or anyone interested in the democratic process, ignore the evidence of systematic errors in the voting process?

The April 17th run-off election gave our incumbent an apparent 251-vote victory out of 8,000 votes cast. Facts, however, do not support the result. Three other residents – Eileen Foxman, Eva McCann, and Blane Roberts – joined as plaintiffs, citing the egregious voting irregularities they witnessed. Numerous calls and emails from voters reported illegal voting, electioneering by the incumbent and improper actions by polling place judges. Those irregularities may likely change the outcome of the election.

As might be expected, the defendants moved to dismiss the charges so they will not have to defend the results. However, election irregularities have been dismissed for too long and damage our democracy. On June 22nd the judge will hear oral arguments and rule on the motions to dismiss. If denied, as we believe it should be, all Chicagoans will benefit by allowing a full investigation of the election results that includes every aspect of the election.

In addition to determining what votes were honestly cast and who actually won, the process will also provide guidance to election officials on how to safeguard Chicago elections in the future. Since many voters felt that our voting rights were compromised, we also formed an organization to help support this challenge – VOTER49 (Voters Organized for Truthful Election Results). The VOTER49 website at VOTER49.org contains a regularly updated status report on court proceedings and related documents. Contributions to support legal costs of the court challenge can be made via PayPal and are totally confidential.

This challenge will give every voter a reason to hope that we can have fair and honest elections. The very foundation of our democracy depends on it. No less than our most important right and responsibility as Americans are at stake.

Don Gordon, 49th Ward

Curfew, Politicians and Picnics

By Gary Washburn
Tribune staff reporter
Published June 15, 2007

"Adults have responsibility," he said. "I want parents all over to know where their kids are, where their children are at all times. It isn't up to Chicago police at 11 o'clock to walk around and look for their kids."

Police this year already have cited more than 11,000 curfew violators, said First Deputy Police Supt. Dana Starks. For all of 2006, the total was just less than 13,000.

"No child should be out after 10:30 p.m. on weekdays and 11:30 p.m. on weekends," Starks said. "Last year, 78 percent of all [city] murders occurred outdoors," and murder victims included seven youngsters between 10 and 16 who were killed after curfew hours, he said.

In all, 783 juveniles in the city were shot last year, 25 of them fatally, officials said.

"When unsupervised children are on the street late at night, they are potential victims of crime or offenders of crime," Starks said.

Youngsters have opportunities for constructive activities, officials said.

More than 100,000 children are expected to take summer classes in the public schools; the city's summer jobs program will have 18,600 participants; at least 45,000 are expected to participate in a summer reading program at public libraries; and more than 11,000 will take part in educational and recreational programs funded by the city's Department of Children and Youth Services and the After School Matters program.”


As we’ve heard time and again, youth North of Howard are afraid and intimidated to go out of the area to attend these programs. Again, softball and basketball will be offered here and a few other camps. If we’re lucky by this time next year the field house may be finished. Yes, parents are responsible but that’s not always the case here. The politicians that created this area are really responsible for these kids safety and welfare. Remember, at 18 they can vote.

The thou$and$ of dollars spent on that end of summer political picnic would be better spent on the kids all summer. There could be a dance contest nearly every day, storytelling, reading sessions, and heaven forbid, field trips out of this place for a few hours. I’m sure backpacks could be distributed at camps or on the first day of school as a gesture of love.

It won’t happen because those vendors are looking forward to making their ‘in kind contributions’ or being paid for their services. That $300 face painting gig was outrageous – that ‘Land’ woman should be ashamed of herself for taking money from the kids. The rest of us are expected to GIVE our time after we GIVE our tax dollars.

PS – Ceasefire will be holding their event tonight in Triangle Park

June 14, 2007

Murder Near Vacant Building on Rogers

En route to the CAPS meeting, we saw this tree had been murdered at Ashland/Rogers. There are no saw or axe marks leading one to believe it was a deliberate act of violence to Mother Nature by one of our wonderful neighbors. It appears to be twisted and snapped at the base.
hood pix6.07 023
During the meeting, neighbors mentioned this vacant house that was the focus of an infomercial a few months ago. (Wasn't it supposed to be demolished?) Neighbors claim people have been seen entering the property which has been vacant for months. Upon a closer look, this is what we discovered after the meeting. A yard full of weeds and graffiti on the peeling paint.
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View from the back yard which was knee high in weeds and beer bottles:
hood pix6.07 028

View through the open but locked storm door in the rear of the house.
hood pix6.07 029

Send your complaints to this man after you call 311 and report a vacant building on the 7400 block of Rogers. Sorry, we didn't get the address but it's the only one with ivy and weeds. Be sure to get a report number so you can track it and make sure our ward office is 'on top of things'.

Blog note 6.15.07: The address is 7441 N. Rogers - Thanks Fargo!

hood pix6.07 027

This clue was found in debris at the side of the house.

TIFS Go To Springfield

Clout City - Chicago Reader Blog
by Ben Joravsky on June 13th - 5:25 p.m.

"Blagojevich has the power to cut off Daley's TIF slush fund. He could hold hearings on the program. He could oppose extending the Central Loop TIF. What's at stake for the mayor? The Olympics, for one thing. As folks in Springfield will tell you, Daley's looking to use the TIFs to pay for his games. If the state threatens to plug up his money pipeline, he'll have to figure some other way to pay for them.

Quigley says he understands there are larger issues at play. "I don't have any expectations about any of this," he says. "They asked me to talk about TIFs, and that's what I'll talk about."

NY Tops Chicago Again

A new study says their use of public transportation dwarfs that of any other city, about 6 times as much as Chicago, which has the second most public transit commuters in the nation.

Top 10 commuter cities

Where the most residents commute to work on buses, trains and light rail.
City State Public transit users % of workers

New York NY - 1.87 million - 54.6%
Washington DC - 94,260 - 37.7%
San Francisco CA - 124,738 - 32.7%
Boston MA - 80,141 - 31.7%
Philadelphia PA - 139,247 - 25.9%
Chicago IL - 293,703 - 25.3%
Baltimore MD - 48,252 - 18.9%
Seattle WA - 51,259 - 17.0%
Oakland CA - 27,114 - 16,5%
Portland OR - 34,195 - 13.3%

Source:U.S. Census Bureau
About 1.9 million, or 55 percent, of New York workers commuted by subway or bus in 2005, according to the U.S. Census Bureau's latest American Community Survey.

Chicago had about 294,000 public transportation commuters, or 25 percent of its 1.2 million workers.

The report covered the 50 cities with the most workers aged 16 or above.

June 13, 2007

Custer 's Last Stand

I accidentally wandered into this enchanting event my first summer here.
It's a must attend summer festival in Evanston.

Custer Street Faire - Washington and Custer

Saturday and Sunday June 16th - 17th
10am till 5pm

Stop be at booth #65 Washington and Custer and see neighbor Dennis LoBue's crafts. Caps-pillows-jackets-runners-framed-patches.
All hand made needlepoint. Come one - Come all.
Prices include tax ranging from $5.00 to $300.00

Go Gardening This Weekend

Join the Rogers Park Garden Group and the Loyola Park Keepers on Saturday,
June 16 from 10-4 at Circle Park at the east end of Morse and the beach to
help plant the circular planters and help make our park beautiful.

Bring planting tools and any plant material from your own garden or even flats of
annuals. Everyone from children to grandparents welcome. Dig in the soil
and watch our garden grow!

For more information contact p.vangiessen@gmail.com

See What Happens When You Read the 'new' Rogers Park Bench!!

New Moon Drumming Ritual

There will be a neighborhood-centered New Moon Drumming ritual planned for Friday evening, June 15th, beginning around 7:30 pm on the beach in Loyola Park, at the “Wall” between Farwell and Morse Avenues.

The New Moon Drumming is scheduled on the eve of the annual Artists of the Wall festival taking place all day Saturday and Sunday, June 16th & 17th.

The drumming circle is an acknowledgment and connection with people who have lived on the shores of Lake Michigan and gathered to drum with purpose over the ages.

The Greeting will start no later than 7:45pm. Bring percussion instruments, friends, family, animals and participate in the ritual.

Contacts: Eve Brownstone or Katy Hogan, 773 338-7722, ext.33

CAPS Beat 2422 June Meeting

The regular CAPS meeting for Beat 2422 will be tomorrow Thursday, June 14 at 7:00PM. The meeting place is the Gateway Senior Apartments, 7450 N Rogers, 1st floor community room.

June 12, 2007

Johnson's 7706 Marshfield Building Court Update

It was the final court date this morning in building court for non-resident slumlord Jay Johnson. He was cleared on May 29 of the 46 building code violations at 7706 N Marshfield where six children perished in a fire last September.

This morning’s hearing was to administer ‘final settlement’ and levy any other fines. The court levied a mere $5,000.00 fine on Johnson and stated his building is fully compliant with city code. In order to rent the apartment, Johnson now needs to apply and receive permission from the city.

Although the hearing was held in Judge Daniel Lynch’s courtroom, Judge Sebastian Patti presided. The excerpt from the News Star article states “Frydland said that the city will try at the very least to recover some of the costs it has incurred from inspections and court time.”

While the article states Johnson and “the buildings other owners have been fined $2,500 for each day the building has not been in compliance with the city’s building code since last September’s post-fire inspection” we don't know what that amount was. The additional settlement sum of $5,000 seems rather minute in comparison to the number of violations cited after the fatal fire. As a neighbor said 'another slumlord gets a slap on the hand'.

There was no representation by the alderman’s office this morning. Apparently there were no additional problems foreseen to deal with by that entity.

Ironic, Judge Patti presided in the very long building court case against the previous owner/developer of this building. Marek Galen received a similar slap on the hand with a plea bargain from $50,000 to $10,000 and 7 days in jail. To my knowledge, no one died in this building.

It’s also ironic that the city apparently felt it had fined Galen sufficiently to recover inspection and court costs and dropped the ball on the follow-up portion on the escrow set aside to 'get it up to code' - as well as ensuring one of the two required entities entered the violations where they could be discovered by buyers attorneys.

But I digress, the city knows what’s best for everyone – even after the fact, after the crimes have been committed, as long as they recoup their costs!

Sorry readers, all 46 violations could not have been caused by the fire department. They were most likely caused by a negligent landlord blaming his tenants.

June 11, 2007

Island Groove - The Meeting

I didn’t do a head count-but there weren’t as many people as a year ago. The two Mike’s gave their presentation (with a microphone this time) and Tim Williams, a minister, carried a second microphone around so everyone could hear the questions/answers. Some neighbors made claims of the usual late night after hours problems all communities deal with if a bar isn’t properly managed.

Some people were relaying the destructive history of the bar as well as the owner of the building, Sargon Isaac. In fact, one man who was informing the crowd of the rules of liquor licenses and such turned out to be none other than Sargon Isaac’s son. Sadly, no one directed any questions to him about the safety, condition, and management of the building.

Mr. Jim, former aldermanic contender, felt obligated to make a few remarks regarding the ‘zoning committee’, the obligation of bar owners to maintain a peaceful neighborhood atmosphere and further felt it necessary to make everyone know there’s no difference twixt and 'tween owners and renters – it’s a neighborhood. Actually, his snappy remark was directed at one condo owner and no, it wasn’t me. Yes, we know Jim, however, what is the point and purpose of singling out one person? It was above and beyond the call to duty of making a zoning decision! The campaign must still be going on. Actually, he should have felt more insulted by the senior citizen who came again this year and told us Biddy's bad history again! The senior remarked that a bar belonged ‘over on Howard Street, not Sheridan Road’. Again, if there’s divisiveness, it begins with the physical dividing line more than ethniticity!

Many neighbors in the immediate area stated they could hear the music a block away with the windows closed. Others made reference to patrons parking in their parking spaces while others feared to be out walking at night with the establishment open. The two Mike’s stated they’d been restricted to private parties where people ‘BYOB’. If, however, as they claimed, they have less control without a license, I'm having a problem with that. In September, I attended a wedding at a rental house and lawn in a nearby suburb. When the closing hour of midnight came as stated on the agreement, the party was over. The liquor was capped and the cleanup began. Need another drink? Well, the party will be continued at the hotel – the shuttle bus is waiting.

Moore claims he still has to meet and discuss the license with his ‘zoning’ comittee and claimed Mike Land had made copious notes on the concerns aired at the meeting. They ranged from parking to safety, noise in spite of being a soundproof bar, to the stability and the safety of the structure itself. I do think some of those who complained tonight should have stopped in during the year and discussed their concerns with the two Mikes rather than vent it all tonight. But, that’s what public meetings are for I presume – to vent and to get out the race card.

As I wrote this morning, the election is over and it’s safe to allow this liquor license now. Moore also recruited some of his NOH muscles to show – one election judge and one pollwatcher to name a couple!

So now that the two Mike’s have served the ‘probation’ as Moore called it, and since they’ve not made barrels of money, should Joe permit the license, I feel he should reimburse them for lost income! After all, he held this up for an election more than probation. As for security, well, let those who played the race card again tonight be bouncers and walk the streets while the two Mike’s run a business. The cops are paid by taxpayers to do a few other little tasks over here on Howard Street.

After all, plenty of neighbors up here need a living wage, right Joe?

Let Us Buy You A Drink

June 11, 2007
BY WHITNEY WOODWARD Sun-Times Springfield Bureau

“The nonprofit organization was lambasted in a September audit done by Hynes' office, which oversaw the group since its 2005 founding. Based on the report's findings, Hynes cut off funding, while its former president resigned and another top executive was fired.

"I know there were some questions raised, and in some points the comptroller was probably right, but on others we think there was misunderstanding," Madigan spokesman Steve Brown said.
The Hynes audit documented state dollars being spent on wine, beer and Bombay Sapphire martinis -- and to reimburse for mileage so one IGP official could attend a Chicago Bears game.”

It gets even better….

“The organization also billed the state $30,000 for expenses incurred before its inception and was unable to document a 2006 "trade mission" to Saudi Arabia and Qatar, which included a stay at a Four Seasons luxury hotel.”

We're threatened daily with higher taxes, our homes are threatened by various entities extracting money and yet our 'loyal' leaders are considering letting bygones be bygones and re-instating this bunch?


As for 'buying drinks' the Island Groove Feel Good meeting is tonight. Let the neighbors raise their hands in protest or in favor, rest assured the decision has already been made. Some readers have written privately with complaints and so noted, but complaints need to be directed to the lord of the fief.

My only question:
What did the lord and his non-chamber do to help these two Mike's in a manner equal to other favored Rogers Park businesses?

I don't live near the place and since I resent 'outsiders' coming here to do 'good work' then I abstain from this one.

Besides, the decision has been made already. This is another just for the record show.

June 10, 2007

Must Read from Jocelyn

Fom Jocelyn at Rogers Park Neighbor -

“Often when we criticize or complain about quality of life issues in our neighborhood, there are some who accuse us of hating where we live. Those of us "fighting" for the betterment of Rogers Park (we aren't limited by arbitrary political boundaries) at times are called zealots, hate bloggers or worse.”

Jocelyn - Those who accuse bloggers of being zealots, hate bloggers or 'worse' only want to divert attention from the truth.

Blog on!

June 9, 2007

Complaint: Island Groove

First email from 'Breecat' on 'Jarvis vs Howard' post last week:
I wonder why you never responded to my query about the Island Groove? Why are you pro-liquor licnense for them?

My pro or con relates more to the way this ward operates for certain people. When the two Mike’s first came to the non-chamber of commerce and the alderman they should have been helped. The Morseland was certainly helped and contributes in a positive way to the Morse area.

As you have probably already heard, there will be a zoning hearing about it Monday night, as posted on the North Howard Neighbor's Assoc. site. There are flyers up around the neighborhood.

Yes, there was one taped on my gate, and on all the vacant buildings too! Again, this ward communicates by creating chaos and trash for us to pick up. So, please note the link above to see the flyer - just click on the headline: Complaint: Island Groove.

I am typing this at midnight on Friday, because I have been gotten out of bed once again by the patrons of Island Cafe - apparently starting early tonight - congregating loudly on the corner.

I can empathize with you. Can you empathize with those of us listening to the same noise on our streets even with no taverns? The noise on our street started about 8PM last night with a group standing on the parkway grass having a loud, smoky conversation. We hear booming car radios, loud motorcycles racing up the one block stretch, apparent unsupervised kids screaming. We hear all the yelling that accompanies a bar at closing time here, we hear what could be gunshots waking us from a sound sleep.

We hear sirens, see firetrucks, police cars responding to everything from fires stemming from children being left unattended to kitchen fires thanks to adults going out for more drugs or passing out from too much of their drug of choice. We see or hear large groups of people walking or loitering on streets and in alleys. Yes, we know what you're talking about.

I have once again called 911. But it's not a priority for the police either.
Neighbors in this area have called 911 about loud noise, loitering and craps games. No arrests that I’ve been made aware of. Drinking in the public way garners a few arrests now and again but has not been really cracked down on either.

I have tried unsuccessfully in the past to find a phone number for the cafe itself, to speak to them directly about the late night noise. They are not listed in the local phone book, or 411, not on any Internet site I've found which advertises their shows, or on any blog which has discussed the business.

Odd, I got their phone number by walking in and talking to them. Have you tried that?

They will not be getting my vote to go to tavern status.

No doubt, if this infomercial follows true to form, the decision has been made before you or I step into the meeting. The vote is a token ‘feel good’. The decision relies upon the lord of the fief and his recommendation to the city council. If you recall, this ‘decision’ was put on hold for one year – just enough time for an election to take place.

There’s also the status of the landlord of that corner, Sargon Isaac. That needs to be explained to us as well. He’s another shady person that remains in our pocket. Former chief of staff Cosgrove mentioned Sargon in his lengthy diatribe response about our building problem/inquiry. Since Joe ‘delegated’ (dumped) the response on Cosgrove, he mentioned Sargon info that did NOT pertain to my original questions! Perhaps you could call Kevin’s replacement Monday for the Sargon saga and make sure we all know what you can discover before the meeting.

Second email from 'Breecat':
Oh, yeah, we need to club with liquor on this corner. Now I've just witnessed two guys training their pit bulls to attack each other in the middle of Sheridan Road. With everybody standing around watching, and cars blaring their boom boxes. Well, maybe the dog fight call will get the police over here. That was one of the more disgusting things I've ever witnessed. They were purposely sicc-ing the dogs on one another and then yanking them back. They were making the dogs vicious.

Hopefully, 911 responded to ‘dog fight’? They did two years ago when a hideous, obese jerk was beating his leashed dog mercilessly at the end of our block on Jonquil. The jerk had entered his apartment building by the time the cops got here. Since that time, most of those tenants have been evicted and the building has been sold. The only arrest made was one fool for soliciting drugs to one of the bystanders watching the scene!

In response to ‘we need to club with liquor on this corner’….Perhaps not. However, had the alderperson and his non-chamber of commerce been helping the two Mike’s, they would have directed and guided them to a more appropriate location. They would have worked with them to bring ‘new business’ into the ward. They would have helped them with a business plan as touted on their non-chamber website. Then again, maybe these two men were stubborn and determined to have that location and the result was a divided vote a year ago and your current complaints.

At any rate, the issues you raise are witnessed in the whole North of Howard area where there is no tavern. We have an over-abundance of anti-social behavior and we have no one to thank for rude awakenings from our sleep but the politicians and certain not-for-profit zealots who created this pocket of poverty. They established their voter base and we pay the taxes that help support non-resident slumlords and their bad tenants. We lose sleep, have our property damaged, and we pay for the damages, mentally, physically and financially. Then we have a City delegating policing and trash pick up duties to us for the elements of this anti-social voter base.

Ironic huh?

June 8, 2007

Weekend Events

Looking for something to do this weekend? Here are some events advertised by the Edgewater Chamber of Commerce for this weekend and the month of June.

June 9th & 10th from 11:00 AM until 10:00 PM

Andersonville Midsommarfest is one of the region´s most eagerly anticipated and well established summer festivals. Each year approximately 50,000 people gather on Clark Street to enjoy great international food, stellar family activities, lively entertainment on four stages, and over 100 quality artisans showcasing their wares.

The 42nd Annual Midsommarfest will take place in the heart of Andersonville on Saturday and Sunday, June 9th & 10th from 11:00 AM until 10:00 PM.

Paint The Thorndale Station - June 9

Thorndale "L" Station painting/repair/clean up event, morning of Saturday, June 9th at 8:30 AM.

Join the NEBA, TAHBS and EPIC Block Clubs, bring your paint brushes, friends and neighbors

Farmers Market - Saturday, June 9

Opening Day: Saturday, June 9
Location: Norwood(6030 North)& Broadway
Description: Some of our favorite farmers will be back but crops will be limited because of the late spring. Stop by!
Wheelchair accessible: yes
Cost: whatever you buy
Info: Edgewater Chamber of Commerce (773) 561-6000 or True Nature Foods (773) 465-6400.

Businesses interested in participating should contact the Edgewater Chamber of Commerce.

Pr id e Month

June is Pride Month! 46gayp
And what better way to sail through Chicago's thirty days of festivities than to show off with a "Got Pride" T-shirt? You'll be the sparkling envy of all your friends as you come oh-so-fashionably dressed to the Dyke March, Midsommarfest, and Pride Parade. "Got Pride" tees are available in six vibrant colors: purple, turquoise, yellow, hot pink, lime, and orange (M to XXL). "Got Pride?" is also available in white (S to XL). Already have a "Got Pride" shirt, you say? Then grab a "two men together" or "two women together" T-shirt (M to XXL). All shirts cost $10, and can be purchased with a Gerber/Hart logo for only $5 more. To preview, visit the Gerber/Hart web site

Rogers Park Theatre Festival - Topdog/Underdog

Location: LoyolaUniversity Lower Level of Centennial Forum, 1125 W. Loyola Ave Description: Topdog/Underdog, directed by Matthew Kollar, runs Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at 7:30 PM.

Loyola University Chicago's Department of Theatre is proud to host the Second Annual Rogers Park Theatre Festival, which will feature four full-length plays: Topdog/Underdog by Suzan-Lori Parks, The Shape of Things by Neil LaBute, Don Juan in Chicago by David Ives and The Colored Museum by George C. Wolfe, all directed by Loyola Theatre Department Alumni.

The Rogers Park Theatre Ensemble is a two-year old theatre company which was founded by Loyola Theatre Department Alumni as a means of bringing accessible theatre to the Rogers Park community. The Loyola Theatre Department is proud to join together with Rogers Park Theatre Ensemble company members and former students Leonicia Berry, Jermaine Bell, Frank Pendleton, Laura Kollar, Matt Kollar and Lindsay Hopkins to host their second annual festival.

Wheelchair accessible: Yes Cost: $10 Info: For more information and tickets, please call 773.831.4481 or visit Rogers Park Theatre web site

Saturday June 9, 1 PM-4PM

Bryn Mawr Bricolage Saturday, June 9 1PM-4PM


Yard Sale – Sunday, June 10 9AM-3PM

yard sale

June 7, 2007

Segregation Just 11 Years Ago NOH

A commenter wanted more history of this neighborhood, the players and what makes it tick. Although I had heard about segregation on the Gale Academy playground, I had no idea it would be quite so easy to find. There's a difference between posting a rumor and researching for facts. The reference to the split-shift schedule is about separating the Hispanic children and the African American children on the playground. It was verified by more than one long time resident. If anyone else has a different explanation of the meaning of split-shift, please provide a researched response.

Yes, just 10-11 years ago, allegedly the school separated the two ethnic groups and they were not permitted on the playground at the same time. Note, LSC’s generally vote on such drastic measures. Note the parallels between this LSC election and the April 17 run-off election.

You may draw your own conclusions.

June 1996 – The Gale Chronicles

Gale mess becomes a cause celebre

Chicago School Reform Board of Trustees v Beverly Martin and Gale Community Academy Local School Council

June 6, 2007

Is IL Senator Obama Out Of Touch?

BY CAROL MARIN Sun-Times Columnist

“Getting Obama to set aside time to talk to the local press back home has been nothing short of a major challenge for many months now.”

“''I apologize, guys, but I really have not followed closely what's been happening in Springfield, I had a little bit of other stuff to do,'' the senator said with a smile.

As Obama walked away, reporters called out questions about his now-indicted friend and fund-raiser, Antoin ''Tony'' Rezko. And about Cook County Board President Todd Stroger, someone Obama endorsed, who is currently up to his eyeballs in problems. Obama, still moving, either didn't hear or chose not to answer.”

“Unlike the junior senator from Illinois, the senior senator, Dick Durbin, was entirely up to speed when questioned on Sunday's NBC5 "City Desk" program, able to comment on the sorry state of this state's warring Democratic leadership, the problems of the county president and the need to do something fast for Illinois consumers hit with staggeringly high gas and electric bills.
But, you might argue, Durbin isn't running for president. And Obama is.”

Obama's Ominous Portrait

By Mike Dorning
Washington Bureau
Published June 5, 2007, 9:25 PM CDT

“Obama offered an ominous portrait of hopelessness pervading many inner-city neighborhoods and its potential to erupt into uncontrolled violence, along with a call to the rest of society for a more determined effort to reduce pockets of endemic poverty.

The Illinois senator described the street corners of ghettos around the country as gathering places for "young men and women without hope, without miracles and without a sense of destiny other than life on the edge—the edge of the law, the edge of the economy, the edge of family structures and communities."

The article states, Obama …”who so far has limited himself to only a few speeches on racial issues”. This will, no doubt, not be the last speech directed to this issue nor should it be. I certainly hope that Obama visits this little Rogers Park ‘pocket of endemic poverty’. Bypass the ra ra mojo crap at the Heartland and come on up to visit the real people. You need to see the “young men and women without hope” on our street corners virtual prisoners from mainstream society, jobs and successful mentors. Granted, this neighborhood isn't Englewood or Austin, but we have similar problems and histories.

You should then turn to David Orr, Joe Moore, Dave Fagus et al and ask them what in the hell the were thinking and why they have done little more than sign 30 year contracts to keep their ‘voter base’ of easily intimidated people intact. You should ask why small pockets of poverty like North of Howard are being enabled, maintained, and lorded over by politicians you endorsed. They're in every city in America.

While you’re at it, Senator, please let the rest of us know what you discover. If there was community approval for much that’s gone on and is still going on in places like North of Howard, please let us know when it happened, who participated and who is ultimately responsible. Many newcomers might be shocked to learn the truth.

That’s right Senator, you have a lot of research to do on many politicians that you endorsed for the sake of following ‘the party line’.

That, Senator Obama, is about as deplorable as it gets. While your speech on the racial climate may be rare, many have spoken similar words for a long time. The tax loophole that helped the rich avoid being fully taxed, to my knowledge, did occur under a Republican president. However, this area was created and remains under a Democratic thumb with little concern for those ‘without hope’. Promises in a vacuum to the poor, money in the bank for those who 'help' them. The label 'racist' is applied to any and every person who dares touch the subject, and we have some real professional labelmakers in Rogers Park. Perhaps you will be spared.

There's a vast difference between 'a hand up' and a 'hand out'.

June 5, 2007

We Don't Need No Permeable Pavers

"Every time it rains, it rains pennies from heaven..." Wishful thinking! Every time it rains we get waterlogged streets. Part of the problem is the storm sewers and part of the problem is the sundry trash some neighbors find amusing to add to the clogging situation. At least the pigeons appreciate the lack of proper drainage. Mosquitoes carrying Nile Virus will find it to be a perfect breeding ground. Bye Bye pigeons and humans.

rain drops 003 rain drops 001rain drops 002

These photos make the street look well-drained since it had been a few hours since the last downpour.

Did Ald. Smith get all the permeable pavers?

Ebbs and Flows

Gale Park Field House this morning – a truck but no workers in sight. Anyone see any activity today?

rain drops 005

Fast forward to the Loop – and a ‘pet project’.

Block 37 on March 5 – Note the height compared to the street light.

Block 37 June 2 – Note how much it’s grown!
codevios 001

June 4, 2007

Durbin, Schakowsky, Emanuel call Toddster on Carpet over County Health Bureau

Former supporters call Todd to the Hill for a come-to-Jesus

Dems in D.C. scold Stroger

County prez must fix hospital system, Sen. Durbin warns

Illinois' congressional delegation is pressing Cook County Board President Todd Stroger to clean up problems at the county's cash-strapped hospital system if he expects lawmakers to fight for more dollars from Washington.

During a tense meeting at Sen. Richard Durbin's office in the U.S. Capitol in March, the senator and a half-dozen other Illinois lawmakers raised concerns over problems that led to recent job and service cuts at county hospitals and clinics. ...

Among other key lawmakers present were U.S. Reps. Rahm Emanuel of Chicago and Jan Schakowsky of Evanston.


New Green Website

George Sullivan sent all who have the power to promote Mayor Daley’s green building incentives and often mandate, a link to his new website.

Although the site is still under construction, there’s an abundance of information on 21st Century construction – the green way.

Again, after Friday’s downpour, the streets were flooded and still had standing water the next day.

May we please have some permeable pavers like Ald.Smith?

June 3, 2007

Jarvis vs Howard On Saturday Night

Last night was the first anniversary of Gruppo Di Amici at Jarvis Square. The food was superb as was the complimentary birthday cake. The walk from Howard down Greenview became a quiet, peaceful stroll.

After dinner we walked along Jarvis and Fargo noting the gardens, lighting, gates, security, etc. Just getting ideas for our projects here, seeing how the neighbors do things. The quiet was quite noticible, as was the absence of people loitering, drive-up drug dealing, sidewak craps games, loud conversations.

Re-enter Howard street around 11:15PM: People were hanging out in front of Round The Clock watching undercovers checking out a possible perp. No, there was no police brutality and he was not taken in.

Rogers Park Pizza has a new wall mural and the business owner was deciding on frames for other artwork. His friend came outside and talked to us about the demeanor of Howard! As if we don't know? The subject of sit down and eat instead of carry out that slice and can of soda came up. The response was, "if one kid sits down to eat, then we have 12 more kids sitting around watching", which is inexcusable in any restaurant. She stated there's a person who regularly picks up trash on the corner. I forgot to mention there's SSA#19 that's included in the rent, but I'm sure they know.

Walking east on Howard, there were chip bags galore, brown paper bags, soda bottles, beer cans everywhere but in the trash containers. A squad and an undercover were cruising all night.

A couple of years ago the police and Joe's former chief of staff Cosgrove asked the Sandy's corner store NOT to sell blunts and rolling papers for a certain period of time. Why not extend this order up the street and forbid the sale of single cans of beer, half pints, anything in a glass bottle, and those damn little chip bags? Just get the pint, a big bag of chips and don't consume it in the public way. And, those sidewalk craps games aren't legal either. But what the hell, this is North of Howard and we don't deserve to live in a clean, cohesive, peaceful neighborhood.

The City Council has not forbidden the consumption of alcohol as the legal drug of choice and never will. So could we get some action on the laws that pertain to its consumption in the public way?

Again, could we get some 'destination' points on Howard Street so there's a different kind of 'foot traffic'?