December 26, 2008

S.W.A.P. for H.E.L.P.

Between the rounds of snow this month, this S.W.A.P. team was cleaning trash at the bus terminal. They were also cleaning out storm drains to avoid the lakes that were created on Christmas Eve and will continue with this strange weather.

This is the first time I’ve seen them here – perhaps others have. It would seem sensible that they could clean some of our side streets and storm sewers instead of the bus terminal which is supposed to be cleaned daily by SSA#19.

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When I called 312 603 6444, I was transferred to the S.W.A.P office only to get a recording to call back during normal business hours 9am – 4pm. I called back and asked if S.W.A.P. was open today, the operator didn’t know. The website doesn't appear to have updated the S.W.A.T. information since 1996. One would think melting snow in the city limits resulting in lakes and flooding should be considered an opportunity to help city residents too. We're part of Cook County right?

With the melting snow and rains that are in the weather forecast, we’ll have additional lakes on our side streets. We’ve already received the alderman’s decree to shovel or face fines if we don’t shovel City of Chicago sidewalks in a ‘timely manner’. Many of us are unsure if timely means the ‘it depends on who you are and if I like or dislike you’ method of operating. I didn’t write or call the ward office in search of help with snow removal because I don't always receive answers in a timely manner. The latest read but not answered email is still dangling in cyberspace.

If another email blast lands ordering residents to get their hip boots out and clean the storm sewers of ice, snow and sewer clogging trash, will anyone be surprised? What would truly shock everyone would be a ward wide email blast warning everyone that slumlords enabling drug dealers and gangbangers, open air drug dealing, drinking in the public way, gambling, loitering, and blatant trash tossing on a daily basis is illegal and the laws concerning such behavior will be strictly enforced beginning yesterday. There’s money to be made for the city other than residents shoveling snow.

Blogger note: After the December 16 snow, my neighbor and I shoveled. I got energetic and shoveled the sidewalks on either side of our building. Since it was the light stuff, I plowed all the way to Howard so people could get through and not pack it down. One person did pass me and said ‘Thank you’.

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