December 31, 2007

Seasonal Sentiments

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

Save your money - the taxman cometh!

Janus and Jerks! Thanks Steinberg.

Abandoned Kids Mother Found in Rogers Park

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

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

December 30, 2007

Howard Street- Past, Present and Future?

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

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

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

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

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

Snow Scenes 12/28/07

Snow Scenes from Friday, December 28, 2007

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December 28, 2007

Crime Is Not Down - Hood Alert

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

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

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

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

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

December 27, 2007

Subprime Mortgage Probes

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

Full story from the Washington Post here

Read After Breakfast

From msnbc.com

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

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

Complete Article

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

December 26, 2007

2007 's Top Ten News Star Stories

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

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

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

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

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

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

December 24, 2007

Anticipation

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

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

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

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

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

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

December 23, 2007

When Reba Smiles

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

Reba and Tom Reba

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

December 22, 2007

Last Minute Shopping To Do?

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

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

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

December 20, 2007

The Silent Financial Crisis

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

December 19, 2007

Mary Jo Doyle - 1939-2007

Mary Jo Doyle
1939-2007

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

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

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

In lieu of flowers you may make donations to:

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

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

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

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

December 18, 2007

Save Our Neighborhood Papers

From today's Sun-Times:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Quoted from this Sun-Times Article

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

December 16, 2007

Clearing The Walkway

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

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

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

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There Are Always Two Sides....

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

His proposed rewrite:

"We Serve and Protect -- With Respect."

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

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

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

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

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

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

December 14, 2007

Howard Area Leadership Academy On TV

From Sister Cecilia...


Howard Area Leadership Academy on TV

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

The Visit

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

Don’t tell City Hall about these visitors

Tourism North of Howard

December 13, 2007

The Reverend Al

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

December 12, 2007

Saturday's Grayscape

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

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

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

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

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

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December 11, 2007

The Lincoln Square Rally Is Still On

Slide1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Re-read: Mismanagement.

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

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

December 10, 2007

Additional Update on Lincoln Square

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

Eminent Domain Threat Off Table

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

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


Thanks Isaac...

Rally To Save Lincoln Square!

Slide1


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


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

Must See and Read from The Bench

Apple The Second

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

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

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

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

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

December 8, 2007

Another Blue Bag Issue

From msnbc.com

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

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

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

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

December 7, 2007

My Chicago Landing

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

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

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

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

And we survived and grew up together.

TIFed Neighbors Unite and March in 47

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

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

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

December 6, 2007

Kreusi Is Recycled to D.C.

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

Full story from the Chicago Tribune

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

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

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

December 5, 2007

Saturday's Snowscape

Photos taken December 1, 2007

CTA workers in the snow – Howard Station

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Jammed security door at Gateway interior storage facilities

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

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December 4, 2007

Investigations and Trips

BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter / Sun-Times

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

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

Meanwhile…..

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

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

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

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

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

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

December 2, 2007

Stroger Supporters - History Is Valuable

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

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

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

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

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

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

Todd Stroger:
*Opposing Property Tax Increases

December 1, 2007

Don't Take It Upon Our Tax Dollars

By Steve Patterson – Staff Reporter Sun-Times

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If it smells like crap it is probably crap.