December 31, 2009

Happy New Year 2010

We're settling in for the big hoopla at midnight!

Posted by Picasa

But first, we begged and pleaded until Mom got out the good stuff! Yum, Cosmic Catnip!

OK, I'll do anything for catnip!It's all mine right?Lover Boy invades MizAli's catnip   Fine - I'll wait until I can have it to myself  Forget it - It's mine now!    Yumm - good stuff!This is better than anything on Howard StreetHappy New Year!!!


December 29, 2009

Terrorist Undies

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration was on the defensive Monday over how a Nigerian man who tried to destroy Detroit-bound Northwest Flight 253 on Christmas Day held a valid U.S. visa, was allowed to board the plane in Amsterdam even though he was on a terrorist watch list, and was able to bring an explosive substance undetected on the aircraft. From the Sun-Times

Meanwhile, Abdulmutallab, who was allegedly in the US database of suspected terrorists, is recovering at our expense. Diagnosis: Torched Man Things

December 24, 2009

Santa Is Airborne

The Jolly old fellow and his faithful raindeer have begun delivering presents.

May everyone have a peaceful and happy holiday.

December 20, 2009

December 17, 2009

Kayla - please call your parents

Kayla - Everyone is trying to figure out what to do with their life. It's part of being day we want to be rock 'n roll stars and another day we want to be social workers. That's the beauty of having choices - as long as we make sensible and positive choices.

We don't know what your disagreement was with your parents but you made a choice to leave. Try to understand that part of growing up is dealing with issues with parents, teachers, friends and yourself. You may be angry, upset and afraid but try to see how your parents may feel too. There are mediators who can help all of you work through this.

Try putting your anger and pride to the side and call your mother.

The Ambassadors

There are new neighbors to meet every morning. Here’s Minnie in her bright sweater held by Mom because she is camera shy.

Minnie and Mom

This bright eyed little lady is Jewelry but Dad says they call her Jewel for short. She was curious and posed for the photo.

Jewelry aka Jewel

It’s impossible not to smile at these happy little faces that open many doors for humans to interact. We have a lot to learn from our animal ambassadors.

December 12, 2009

Help The US Census in Rogers Park

In this economy with the unemployment rate in the double digits – please consider helping yourself and Rogers Park by applying to do census work. It is important work that needs to be completed – especially in areas of low income. The amount of monies funneled back into these neighborhoods for starters is contingent on neighbors being counted. Accurately.

Census App

To take the practice test visit this Census Link

We hear the same reason over and over – there’s not enough funding…well, here’s one source to assist in receiving some of that funding. Many neighbors will be wary of a stranger knocking on their door, but if the face and name are familiar perhaps they will cooperate.

It’s money in your pocket and it’s future money for your neighborhood.

December 10, 2009

Do Unto Others....

Here’s a neighborhood story that never hit the blogs to my knowledge. It’s unfortunate these young people have experienced the unwelcome attitudes of their peers.

Refugee Teens...from the Chicago Tribune

December 9, 2009

Business Alert - Armed Robbery

I'm not sure if this incident happened today but 12/9 is the date on the alert. Business owners and customers - please be alert to what is happening in our neighborhood. What happens on your street has its effect on everyone's street.

It is OUR problem.

Reminder, Beat 2422 meets tomorrow, December 7 at 7 PM 7450 N Rogers.

December 7, 2009

CAPS Beat 2422 Meeting Reminder

Don't forget:

CAPS Beat 2422 meeting is this week - the second Thursday!

Thursday, December 10

Gateway Senior Apartments
7450 N. Rogers - Community Room
7:00 PM

T'is the Season To Attend At Least One Beat Meeting!

Day of Infamy - 68 Years Later

Click the headline for an interesting historical development on Pearl Harbor Day from the LA Times.

December 4, 2009

The Local Tourist

Walking is one of my favorite things to do, especially when I’m not restricted by time. After work I headed east and north with Water Tower Place as one destination. It was a brisk 1.6 mile walk as the sun was setting. State Street was busy as were the other streets. Some passersby smiled as I took photos no doubt thinking I was a tourist. I was – just of the local variety.

The Local Tourist

Wacker Drive may be one of the most confusing streets downtown since it curves and has East, West, North and South on street signs. Wacker and Wabash has to be one of the coldest corners in the city! My first job upon arriving in Chicago was at an ad agency on Wabash where the el derailed years ago on the curve. Every so often I trekked across the river to the Tribune to drop off layouts to meet a deadline.

The city has changed over the decades. A certain store is still known as Marshall Field’s to many of us while the great old Carson’s building is wrapped in scaffolding and signs – but it’s still State Street. The Magnificent Mile is always an awesome sight especially when the holiday lights sparkle in the barren trees. The Tribune building didn’t have its greenery around the arched entrance but further north the Water Tower Park was shimmering with white canopy lighting over the sidewalk.

I hope you enjoy the virtual walk with this local tourist.

December 3, 2009

Gun Toting Gang Member Law

"Under the new law, if a suspect identified as a "gang member" is convicted of possessing a loaded firearm in Illinois, the person will face a minimum of three years in prison and maximum 10 years regardless of whether the gun was fired or used in a crime."

Charles Thomas - ABC 7 Chicago

Yes, we'll wait for the ACLU's take on the new law.

November 30, 2009

Update on Crime

LEN’s info on the recent safety meeting article by: Felicia Dechter

Yep, Howard has improved…somewhat. There have been a few bad buildings turned around thanks to citizen uproar for years. The Broadmoor and the Broadmoor East were big issues when I moved here 7 years ago. Thanks to neighbors diligence – there has been change in those two buildings. Yep, it’s a work in progress.

Much of the progress on cleaning up issues started with citizens who doggedly returned year after year to building court. Needless to say, there seemed to be a pattern of slumlord friendly judges ladling out continuances like Halloween candy.

If/When we learn there has been a meeting of the minds with certain building managers of certain properties to adhere to HUD’s rules, we will cheer – a little. If the ward office and legal system would like to give the citizens a little break – or a little recognition for the work done and work yet to be completed – that would be appropriate.

Our Beat Meeting is every second Thursday of the month at 7 pm at the Gateway Senior Apartments where one can get updated on the troubled buildings that need to be turned around. The ward office is always welcome and encouraged to send a representative.

November 25, 2009

The Best Dancer?

My houseguests always watch Dancing With The Stars – so we settled in with comfort food for the two hour finale. The clips of those who were bounced off the show only provided proof to us that several who lost were much better dancers than the ‘star’ who won! I wasn’t sure that was Donny Osmond on the screen – not visible from any camera angle was the signature toothy smile. He appeared expressionless most of the time. Dancing is FUN – smile, live it up. Maya had the moves, energy, and the camera loved her. Kelly was impressive too…but Donny won…

Watch clips here

Is this show a popularity contest or a best dancer contest? At least he's smiling on GMA.

November 23, 2009

Community Alert - District 24

Sorry about the poor quality...anyway, there's a thief on the loose who enters and exits through unlocked doors and windows. Please make sure your doors and windows are securely locked and outside areas are well lit. He has also been known to break small glass panes on exterior doors to gain entry.


He generally strikes in late at evening or early morning hours when victims are sleeping. Some witnesses have described him as 6'3", light complexion, wearing dark clothing.

Contact Area 3 Robbery/Theft Division at 312 744 8623 if you have any information.

Do Not Call Registry

Cell Phone Numbers Go Public this month

REMEMBER: Cell Phone Numbers Go Public this month.

REMINDER..... all cell phone numbers are being released to telemarketing companies and you will start to receive sales calls.


To prevent this, call the following number from your cell phone: 888-382-1222.

It is the National DO NOT CALL list. It will only take a minute of your time.. It blocks your number for five (5) years. You must call from the cell phone number you want to have blocked. You cannot call from a different phone number.

HELP OTHERS BY PASSING THIS ON .. It takes about 20 seconds

You can verify by calling back and follow the prompts or check online. I blocked my land line as well. Again.

November 22, 2009

Our Best Friends

It's a beautiful Sunday - here is a happy post!

Meet Mr. Burns who loves cameras.

Mr. Burns

Sophie is a beautiful calico who loves the outdoors – and has a very wise mother.

Sophie The Mighty Sophie

Then there’s this little fellow who discovered the warm dryer. Naughty boy.

Dryer Inspector

This is someone’s pet tree on Sheridan Road.

Tree on Sheridan

November 21, 2009

It's All A Big Lie - File This Too

Around 6:30 pm last night, four loud gunshots rang out. Neighbors saw people running both north and south on Bosworth. Several squads responded to multiple 911 calls immediately. They stopped some who were running – but no arrests were made. Those who were briefly detained may know why shots rang out – but will keep the code of silence. About 30-45 minutes later, the squads were back on Jonquil – purpose unknown.

New residents who either plunked down $300K for a home or just moved into apartments are a little disturbed by the incident. They’re also uneasy at being approached on Howard to purchase drugs. The big ask is part of the initiation of being new to the hood. As one repeatedly ignores the question or says ‘I’m good’ or ‘I’m straight’ the hope of a new client fades away for the dealers. It’s déjà vu for many of us. The big misleading story about how the neighborhood has changed…..

There’s little need for anyone to deny much of what happens North of Howard – especially when it hits the media.

While the area may not be as horrific as it was15 years ago, there’s no need to get complacent – complacency is misleading and dangerous. Just ask anyone who’s been knocked down and robbed in Rogers Park, Lakeview, Lincoln Square, Lincoln Park or anywhere in Chicago. Many were hooked up to iPods, talking on cell phones, not paying attention to their surroundings, or out alone in the early morning hours. They were walking targets.

One can be a walking target at 6:30 pm if the characters of the neighborhood or their tourist friends have issues and fire shots as the solution.

No offense but the politicians, the agencies, and their supporters who cling to their belief that they’re doing positive things here claim the bloggers are ruining it with their negativity (truth). Gunshots, drugs and gangs aren’t imaginary or lies – they’re real. What’s negative – people dealing with the truth or the people trying to brush it under the rug?

Rug brushing is the old political blame game played by the ones who don’t live here. The other excuse now is the economy – what was the excuse when the economy was soaring?

November 19, 2009

Anne Sullivan on Moore's Friends & Family Plan

Click on the Download the data button for a fascinating spreadsheet!

Ward Last name First name Total amount paid Year
49 Sullivan Anne M $26,534.40 2008

Friends & family fund for Chicago aldermen

Shadowy $1.3 million payroll helps them get around ban on patronage hiring

By Hal Dardick and Ellen Gabler, TRIBUNE REPORTERS, November 19, 2009
As City Hall struggles to pay for basic services, a stealth budget account worth millions has allowed Chicago aldermen to put family members, campaign operatives and those with political baggage on yet another taxpayer-funded payroll.

November 17, 2009

FREE Seminar: How to Get Elected Alderman

Dear neighbors,

Are you thinking of running for alderman? Do you want to help someone else get elected? Get your ground game in order!

The special prosecutions unit of the Cook County States Attorney's office is holding a FREE SEMINAR on how to get elected alderman in Chicago, entitled:

People v. Eapen & Ramos

Please consider sitting in on this important court proceeding.

Defendants have waived their right to a jury trial. This will come down to one man's decision. Your presence and attention in court will be noted.

Illinois is the wild, wild west. Prosecutions of public corruption by our County States Attorneys are very difficult and very rare. Here the special prosecutions unit is going to bat for our right to representation. They need our support, even if you have just a very short time to spare. They resume Tuesday, December 1.

26th & California - Room 706 - Courtroom of Judge Marcus R. Salone

By public transportation
  • take the Green line west to California and the California bus 94 south
  • or from Madison anywhere downtown or from the Metra stations take the Blue Island bus 60 west
Cafeteria w/ salad bar on the 2nd floor. Make a day of it. Thanks!

November 15, 2009

Viaducts and Other Perspectives

Walking is not only great exercise but one gets a new perspective on things. Having a bad day? Take a long walk and go someplace new. My day was fine, but I wanted to explore the viaduct across from Calvary Cemetery. Sometimes they’re dirty or creepy but this one surprised me. Note, the Evanston government puts chicken wire under the railroad bridge and on the support beam to keep pigeons out. The sidewalk was pigeon poop free.

Chicken Wire Pigeon Barriers Chicken Wire Pigeon Barriers Poop Free Sidewalk

There’s a peaceful park on the other side of the viaduct. A dog was exercising his person and a father and son were playing catch.

GEDC0004 Peaceful Park

Homeward bound and more perspectives.

Diverging Railways Train Tracks

November 6, 2009

October 30, 2009

Politics 101 by Bernie Stone

Every year, 50th Ward Ald. Bernard Stone spends all of his menu money, mostly on streetlights to help deter crime. But he admits to one fact of political life.

"You take care of the people who take care of you -- you know, the people who voted for you," he said. "That's not Chicago politics, that's Politics 101."

Got a chuckle when I saw the report on Channel 2 News last night. Can we interpret it going forward that if our candidate doesn't win, we don't pay certain taxes since Bernie clarifies the rules?

October 28, 2009

Community Policing Events - 24th District

Here are two upcoming events for residents of Rogers Park sponsored by the 24th District Police Department. For more information contact the Community Policing Office at 312 744 6321.

SAFETY SEMINAR parents mtg flyer [click images to enlarge]

The meeting for parents, grandparents, and family members is a monthly event – the first Thursday of each month at 5 p.m.

Redmoon Goes to DC

Redmoon Theatre

The All Hallows Eve Ritual mentioned in the post was fantastic. It was a warm autumn evening, hundreds of people came out and the powerful performance demanded attention. The event was a multi-faceted walk through on the phases of death, grieving and letting go as the grand finale by the performers on stilts.

October 26, 2009

Bankers Convention Gets An Earful

Join us tomorrow, (Tuesday, 27th), at 301 E North Water Street at 10:30am for the march and rally, or get on the bus from the Morse Red Line at 9am, or the Wilson Red Line Stop at 9:20am. Please be there at least 10 minutes early, so we stay on time.

On the Northside Bus you will also meet Rosemary Williams. She is a friend from MN whose house was foreclosed on, but is fighting back! She and the MN People's Coaltion occupied it--twice. She is now traveling around the country to get folks to join in the struggle. She knows that she will return to her home, but wants the same for everyone facing this devastating loss to families.

Join in the fight back. You know we have power in numbers.

Holly Krig (Lead Organizer)
Northside Action for Justice
1020 W Bryn Mawr, #312

Cracks In The Crock

Since Westgard apparently is in denial about many of his own issues, let me clarify a few things as much as possible. I realize that if I write ‘the sky is blue’ it will be interpreted to suit his agenda.

From Westgards attack on many people he doesn’t know and some that he does know, here is part and parcel of a second attack on me.

What Westgard fails to recognize or admit is that the blog post in question was not written by me nor by several other people he called out as a cartel. In his usual political drama of a broad brush bitch session he stated we were “a leftover appendage from the 2007 Don Gordon campaign….several of his political conservative supporters established the RPCofC.” Now that’s a real crock of of misinformation and lack of appropriate researching. I didn’t know any of the RPCofC officers or board members in 2007 or even in 2008 for that matter. But do facts matter when there’s a political agenda? Rarely.

Some of the other people he sprewed skunk spray on were Tom Mannis – I met him during the failed 2007 Ginderske campaign. If Westie’s memory was as sharp as he pretends, he would have recalled my asking him ‘who is Tom Mannis, is he here?’ at one of the so-called debates!

Lorraine Swanson – I met her in September, 2006 standing outside the tragic scene of a fire that took the lives of 6 children on Marshfield. She lived in a suburb then and during the 2007 election and was reporting for the News-Star. It was OK when she covered their campaign but not OK when she covered other candidates campaigns I guess. So the next untrue accusation comes by implying that as a suburbanite and reporter Swanson voted in ward 49.

Mike Luckenbach is a long-time resident in this area and I met him when the park council started up and met for years at Howard Area while awaiting the Willye White facility to be built. That was in 2003. And to correct Westgard’s misinformation – Luckenbach is on the Harold Washington Playlot Council and I am on the Willye White Park Council. We do meet as a group for all three parks but there is a definition of who is on which council.

In the first post, Westgard attacked his fellow-democrat Katy Hogan! Now that could be part of the drama or just filling in space. If I chose to overreach with my imagination I could say it was concocted and agreed that he would attack but it was only for the drama – not his true feelings. Hypothetical Scenario: “Hi Katy – I am going to continue where Jim left off on his newspaper article because we need to keep the 2011 candidate clean. Here’s my plan: I’ll do a broad brush attack and include you and Michael James but rest assured I won’t mean any of it. I just need to appear unbiased, OK? I’ll continue the attack to make sure everyone knows what an evil cartel they are but I am the anointed one to continue the article on my blog because Jim’s now a journalist.” Again, read it and comprehend it – the above is a hypothetical – maybe real, maybe not. But anything is possible.

The next misinformation came after Westgard apparently realized he hadn’t dotted his I’s and crossed his T’s.

“Fellow board member Toni Duncan has been similarly shifty in handling the scandal. Rather than directly address the behavior of a fellow board member, she posted a passive-aggressive post about "skunk smell," attempting to shift the responsibility to those who challenge her group's racism.

Toni Duncan attempts to describe her organization's racist behavior as some sort of politically moderate position.”

The first inkling I had that something was amiss was an October 14, 2009 comment Westgard left on 24/7. My post was about video gaming vs the lottery – his comment was unrelated to the subject. To use his own word, he shiftily got in touch with me through the blog to snark about the person he and Jim and all those anonymous people were insulted by. But he didn’t mention the issue. He just wrote that ‘grammar gal’ was no longer a co-blogger where the post appeared and that he hoped I would allow her to continue on my blog. For the record, grammar gal has never been involved as a contributor on my blog. She may have commented but has never been a contributor. Comprehend?

Neither of the boys contacted me via direct email or phone for my thoughts on the issue. But Westgard interpreted my post anyway he wanted. Just as his old banner used to state that he writes pretty much what he wants! Yet he calls me passive-aggressive?

I can only assume they didn’t contact me for many reasons. One being that I might not speak to them since they’ve been such nasty, harassing little boys and another would be that not getting my opinion would leave the field open to Westgard’s interpretations of what I think and for the name calling he loves so much.

My skunk post is my defense of Westgard’s attack on me, his labeling and name calling. My post isn’t about any organization or behavior or political position. As I wrote, when I see those three words he so liberally tosses around I am reminded of the pink post card which was purely political. I posted definitions of his favorite terms.

I have no control over what another person writes – including Westgard and Ginderske. Had my opinion been sought by the so-called journalists and had not met their expectations or approval then perhaps the attack on me might have been justified. But they didn’t and that window of opportunity is now closed to them. They slammed it on their own fingers.

Perhaps the next cartel article Jim and Tom write about could be their August, 2008 attempt to ‘take over’ Partners For Rogers Park by filing paperwork to create it as an incorporated Partners For Rogers Park NFP with Westgard as agent. The paperwork was filed without the groups knowledge or permission. When the group was informed after the fact there were some rather upset members. It was argued by attorney Westgard that not being incorporated was a liability. The individual groups contacted their own attorneys on the matter and ordered him to withdraw his filing as his arguments and thought processes were not valid.

That came after their attempt to take over the public park facility. Are there any patterns here or just coincidence?

October 19, 2009

It's Just Skunk Spray You Smell

If you are re-directed to this site from one of the wacko’s of Rogers Park, here are some of the definitions of conservatism and liberalism. In wee minds, there is no room for the term moderation - let alone common sense.


"Political attitude or ideology denoting a preference for institutions and practices that have evolved historically and are thus manifestations of continuity and stability. Political doctrine that emphasizes the value of traditional institutions and practices."

All about Conservatism

"conservatism, in politics, the desire to maintain, or conserve, the existing order."


"Political and economic doctrine that emphasizes the rights and freedoms of the individual and the need to limit the powers of government."

All about liberalism

"Current liberal goals in the United States include integration of the races, sexual equality, and the eradication of poverty."

I suppose the latter would include a person questioning what happens to tax dollars? Or one being appalled at government takeovers, (privatization of public spaces) or lawmakers who still allow kids to drop out of school because it’s the right of a ‘child’?

That’s the first step in eradicating poverty – being allowed to drop out. Next step -starting a family without much education and little means to support it. Don't worry, link up with a reverend who insists everyone pray and protest and that will fix everything. That is as long as everyone agrees with the reverend and the politicians he/she is being supported by.

If that doesn’t smell of maintaining the status quo then it must just be skunk spray.
Or it could be cranking up of 2011 election agendas - when the terms ‘conservative, racist and republican’ are turned out by the wacko’s, I tend to see pink

October 14, 2009

Ban Video Poker - Keep The Lotto!

All the fuss about video poker is odd to me - so I’ll be the devil’s advocate. The politicians and the reverends are either in agreement or at odds on issues that are supposed to concern everyone – not just their circles. Some people banked on the Olympics – it didn’t happen. There’s money in them thar TIFS – but it’s going to be circulated in the circles – not with us even though its our money. So we’ll resort to hand-wringing in government meetings that will only result in more taxes and increased CTA fares and it’ll be blamed on Rio. What rot.

Yes, there are foreclosures and bankruptcies galore – and according to the hoopla, gaming will ruin what’s left of society. We have kids legally allowed drop out of school. We have kids having kids at 15 yet no one screams about statutory rape; they scream about NO abortion and just say NO!

We’ve been a decadent society for a very long time, so what’s wrong with gaming? No one is getting self-righteous about the almighty Illinois State Lottery. How many people who can’t afford Lotto tickets buy them anyway? Who is accountable for those poor souls spending their SSI, Social Security, unemployment checks or meager minimum wage earnings on Lotto? It’s legal and it’s a form of gaming isn’t it? The hell with the rent, the groceries, the after school for the kids, Lotto is Legal. So Mom and/or Dad buy a few Lotto tickets, a six pack and expect the government to dish out more. Actually, it’s the middle class that’s carrying the burden.

And where does one find out just how much of the Lotto pot is really funneled back into education? Pray tell us if you know how to find the data.

Instead of setting up tacky video poker machines, why not just develop a casino in Chicago for those who choose to play? Most casinos have their own security don’t they? Most casinos have employees – they don’t run on air. Let the tourists play a little blackjack or spin the roulette wheel before they pay those exorbitant hotel taxes and oh those additional phone charges. Let the locals spend their high end paychecks at the tables and promote the city while they drink their Scotch and imported beers.

Meanwhile, the low end paychecks will still be lost on the Illinois Lottery since its legal.

Where’s the self-righteous objection to that?

October 11, 2009

Three Out Of The Game - For Awhile

Rogers Park Robbers captured by police. from CBS2

It probably comes as no surprise that one of the alleged robbers was not from the neighborhood. Maybe the ‘outsider’ is a relative or just a visiting buddy – but both adults and one 15 year old had their activities curtailed for the weekend or until someone provides bail. One resides in the 6300 block of North Lakewood and one victim was robbed just 4 blocks away in front of his home in the 6700 block of North Lakewood.

If you know of crimes being committed here’s a link to Lake Effect News for those who wish to help instead of adhere to the code of silence.

On a similar note, if these people want to stop murder perhaps they should gather in problem spots in the city and save the young people. This bunch could clear a path in a troubled area in seconds flat and their energy and time would be much better spent.

October 9, 2009

A Strolling We Will Go

Some neighbors have missed our community walks so we will walk tonight.

Meet in front of Willye White Center, 1610 West Howard at 7 PM Friday, October 9 for some positive loitering here and there....and anywhere on the streets North of Howard.

Tell your neighbors, bring the kids, bring the dogs -

October 7, 2009

An Energetic Morning in Willye White Park

From healthy trivia, hula hoops to relay races and jump rope, the Walk and Roll to School event in Willye White Park was the place to be early this morning.

Healthy Trivia Hula Hoop Station Scooter Relays

As the students completed each event, they earned a letter of the alphabet. For those successfully completing each station they had the letters that spelled their school, GALE, and were awarded a fitness goody bag.

Principal Washington, Assistant Principal Peters were joined by Colleen Lammel of the Park District and many Gale teachers who led stretching exercises. It’s said that children learn from adults and this group did an outstanding job!

Principal Cassandra Washington Assistant Principal Peters Assistant Principal Peters and Colleen Lammel Energetic Assistants Reach High! Stretch as far as you can! Stretch forward

After the stretching warm-up, students and teachers headed for a power walk around the park…and some of us did a power walk to the CTA station!

Time to Power Walk Colleen Lammel, Sharon O'Connell, Principal Washington

Please stop in the Willye White Center any Tuesday between 4-5:30 PM to sign your children up for this energetic program. For more information, contact Amy Skeen, Executive Director of Girls in the Game at 312.633.GAME (4263) and visit their website for more information.

Here’s a sneak preview Amy sent this afternoon The photos and write-up will be on their website tomorrow.