November 29, 2008

Such Silliness

Broken Hearts reporting on Crime seemed to take the sideline of Blame it on Gale Park Advisory Council and residents who rallied against the stealth attempt of privatization of a long-awaited public space!

To the commenter who mentioned three NOH names – I think you did just fine! How many times can the same blame be put on those who did not originate the problems in Rogers Park? We didn’t work behind closed doors to work out a 30 year extension with Illinois Department of Housing for North Point – Joe and his supporters did. Could it be that HUD and the City of Chicago weren’t promoting large low income concentrated projects any longer but the state was still in the game?

And what about those liquor licenses? Why didn't the proper authorities attend the hearings? Why is it always up to taxpayers to take vacation days to do City work for their overpaid officials?

And what about the parents of those Sullivan High school kids? Sometimes a parent can't control what their child does but after X number of issues, the school, problem students and their parents need to write up binding behavior agreements with consequences for their actions. But that might take too much effort to get the parents of problem kids involved. I can't judge all parents, but too many may be behaving on the same emotional level as their children.

Moores' supporters seem willing to excuse any manner of unprofessional behaviors and actions if it keeps their street free of issues that have plagued North of Howard for decades. Crime issues were on-going for the years the park land sat dormant, while zoning issues and musical chairs at the Park District were awarded the trophy for excuses. When phone booths were removed to stop drug dealing where was Ginderske et al? When neighbors boarded up bad buildings on weekends, where were the Moore Supporters who don’t live here? Moore only showed up for photo ops when the media came to cover the neighbors actions.

When neighbors organized walks around Jarvis Square years ago, I doubt that some of Joe’s current supporters even lived in Rogers Park. Later when neighbors resumed walks North of Howard, one supporter jumped in with his predictable race card rants. Little did he know that many people were afraid to walk because they didn't want to be the target of intimidation of 'walking with those people'. They would wave from windows or honk their horns but actual participation might have put them in jeopardy. Some of the do gooders who chime in with the blame game have their own neighborhood they could be working on. Some are, some aren’t.

Logic and common sense aren’t liberal or conservative or red or blue issues but fall in to the category of community planning and education when the topic is crime. This meeting seemed to have taken the usual off-topic course to avoid the purpose of the meeting. Senator Steans should have conducted a slumlord summit and kept slamming the gavel to keep on-topic. Any rental property owners, including stores, that seem to provide a haven for criminal activities should have been at the table with the police and politicos working on viable solutions to the crime-related issues they enable. Instead, it was one of those summits attended by people who aren’t breaking, bending or ignoring the rules. Most people are tired of the Hot Seat Blame Game.

I did not attend but I’m still trying to figure out how recycling is a deterrent to crime. I’m not attempting to understand how and why the issue of Gale Community Center is still their one and only burning excuse. There have been illegal activities abounding here for decades and the neighborhood had to hit the streets, establish CAPS, get petitions, and go to court to accomplish change. Where were the leaders? They were and still are taking all the credit.

On November 20th there was a meeting on Howard Street conducted by Partners for Rogers Park on the economy. Across the street at the park facility kids and parents were shooting hoops for turkeys and pies donated by area businesses. Joe couldn’t make the time to walk across Howard and make an appearance even though he told park staff he would stop in. Some of his staunch supporters, election judges and pollwatchers were there!

Deep-seated resentments don’t work well as the fuel for change for a politician or wannabes unless the last 8 years have been forgotten. Perhaps the angry boys and girls who promoted our president-elect on the platform of change should take lessons from Obama instead of hijacking community meetings with recycling silliness and latent anger over the Boys and Girls Club not being allowed to take over a public facility. It’s time to act like adults now, OK? From what I read, it was more of the same old tactics – blame, excuses and diverting from the topic to avoid dealing with it head on. If it’s up to the neighbors to take over the streets, then we may as well be self-ruling and dismiss city council. I’m sure 50 wards could target that $110k and staff money to better their neighborhoods.

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