August 31, 2009

What is Just Energy?

It was odd to have someone claiming to be from the gas company buzzing the doorbell at 6:00 PM on a Sunday evening. It was a young woman who claimed she had to speak to everyone in the building. So I went to see what the urgency was about.

She showed me a badge from JustEnergy, a clipboard and began an explanation of how JustEnergy cuts out the ‘middle man’, how Peoples Gas buys natural gas at varying prices and how its reflected in the billing. Yeah, and? She wanted to see a gas bill to see if I qualify…which allegedly I do. Granted, a fixed rate price is tempting but there are still a lot of unanswered questions. Plus Sunday evening isn’t a good time to be hitting doorbells – so how about a brochure for some research?

Their web site doesn’t have a lot of research data to make comparisons with. The rate charged on my last bill would be lower than what she quoted…not to mention the agreement takes effect 15-90 days after signing an agreement so there’s no guarantee on the amount quoted verbally. There’s also a cancellation charge if one cancels after 30 days….it’s called an exit fee as stated in the agreement. So the price protection doesn’t compute well.

It may be a perfectly good concept – but agreements are not. Too bad the web site doesn't offer a sample agreement. Does anyone know anything about Just Energy?

August 26, 2009

Call 911 If You See This Woman

From Evanston's Neighborhood Watch:
Chicago Police are searching for a woman who fled police custody while at St. Francis Hospital tonight. Subject is white female, 40-50 y.o., blond "wild" hair w/ pink highlights. If seen, call 911. Subject may be wearing "ankle bracelet" (may be shackle or monitoring device.)

Before The Blight NOH

From a comment made on the Triangle Park Cultural Fest post says more than enough.

Fargo said...

Back in the 70s, there were some decent restaurants on Paulina NOH and on Howard nearby. The street drew more of a mix of people. Believe it or not, people came from Evanston to shop and eat there. People went to the bowling alley and next door Chinese restaurant where the Howard entrance to the mall is now. There was a good Mexican place on Paulina that appealed to a wide range of customers.

When the large concentration of low-income housing landed NOH in the 80s, conditions became less welcoming for the previously healthy businesses and their customers. Many of those spaces went vacant and were later changed to other uses, or to restaurants offering cheaper, greasier stuff.

August 24, 2009

Choices To Make - H1N1

From Fox News Blogs – H1N1 Vaccine

The big question remains unanswered for some – to do or not to do the vaccine. As the post states – will it work, how will it work, and how much to use? People still need to exercise simple hygiene and coughing manners. Too bad they abolished the spitting law.

Twice I’ve gotten bold enough to get a flu shot. Twice I was sick off and on for months. Apparently all immune systems don’t appreciate these injections.

Are you getting the H1N1 if its available?

August 22, 2009

Three Shots Fired NOH

Well, it wasn’t hot tonight so that’s not an excuse for anyone to lose tempers and shoot. There is no civil reason to be shooting. Period. But it’s North of Howard and ‘anything goes’.

This is allegedly the progressive, liberal stronghold, low income pocket of poverty. The whole progressive methodology is a terribly regressive motion when considering Chicago finally admitted public housing was a failure. But not here – it’s progressive to keep trying make something right that will never be right.

GEDC0006-1 GEDC0008-1

There were multiple issues going on tonight. Shots fired in the Greenview/Bosworth alley and later several squads were at Marshfield and Jonquil.

So shots are fired, people dial 911, and people on the streets bitch about the police. People in their homes bitch about the thugs on the streets. It gets confusing to listen to feigned concern from parents defending kids toting guns. Then we have politicians who pound their fists and proclaim they will save housing, create jobs, boost the economy……not just our alderman but all of them. But that isn’t confusing – it’s maddening. Howard Street and other streets in this city can continue to slide into oblivion – a home for gangs and drugs and guns. Now how progressive can we continue to pretend to be?

The developers of the decrepit Broadmoor East have dropped big bucks to completely rehab the building, landscape and have started renting. Surely they don’t appreciate gunshots just as they’re finishing up this project. What businesses remain probably aren’t pleased to hear gunshots either. And what future businesses would bother to invest in a street where the thugs rule? More dollar stores and eat and run joints?

Gunshots aren’t pretend – they’re deadly real. It’s time to stop the big pretend game.

August 20, 2009

Cultural Fest - August 22 - Triangle Park

The weather forecast looks good for this first-ever event.


August 18, 2009

It's All Your Fault Homeowners!

It happened after hours on the mandatory furlough weekend so it’s not the aldermans fault.

As some comments on the Ald. Schiller article in the Sun-Times state, the north side of town is a community that ‘embraces diversity’. People were called yuppies if they expressed concern for the safety of their neighborhood in Ward 46. The same happens up the street in Ward 49 – where the labels yuppies, racists, conservatives are tagged on complainers about crime. These idiots should just move if they don’t like groups of people loitering, dealing drugs, fighting, throwing bottles or rocks or shooting weapons. They’re just closed minded and not ‘embracing diversity’. If you are easily guilt tripped, it can be twisted into being your fault that people behave this way in 2009. Of course, the use of the term 'embrace' is a typical yuppie phrase straight from a human resource guide book.

What isn’t being investigated or polled is the number of renters who may feel threatened in their own buildings or neighborhoods. It’s become a board game of pass off to ‘owners’ and lay blame on their reason for purchasing in a ‘diverse’ neighborhood. Also passed over are those long time residents who may have seen their streets change from great to mediocre to frightening. Next?

Race, creed, color, status of ownership should not be excuses for creating pockets of poverty with the verbal pitch back of ‘why don’t you volunteer time to mentor’ these poor children. Many people do make time to volunteer – sometimes there are rewards and sometimes it’s little more than an insult from the very children volunteers try to help.

What our politicians fail to recognize is one simple truth – damned if you do and damned if you don’t. Fall from an alderman’s grace and the whole area suffers – now what’s objective about that?

August 16, 2009

Health Care Reform Is Multi-Faceted

Hopefully the lefties and righties can find some middle ground concerning health insurance. Dealing with Medicare (government run) can be a confusing nightmare. The brochures do not explain the big picture when a senior needs medical assistance. Many sons and daughters have spent hours on the phone trying to unravel the mystery of how Medicare works – or how it really doesn’t.

Need we mention VA Hospitals? Social Security is another bad semi-joke. My father died on the 26th day of a 30 day month. We’ve all heard of pro-rating when it concerns finances right? Not Social Security – they withdrew the complete month from Dad’s bank account even though he lived 26 2/3 days out of a 30 day month. Even though he paid into Social Security all of his adult life, his last month of life money became theirs upon his death. But they’re not totally evil – they did a direct deposit for about $250 as a death expense.

As for the end of life insanity – why should physicians be allowed to charge for giving both legal and medical advice? It seems we have the usual US of A issue here – some people do their jobs and some go through the motions of working.

If the religious fanatics could satisfy their need to ‘save’ by doing their missionary work, we’d have one less aspect of the insanity in this big argument.

August 13, 2009

Hood Walk Friday, August 14

Join us Friday, August 14th for another great adventure into North of Howard. Take a real urban stroll through the streets of this mighty metropolis. Scope out playgrounds and alleyways, tree lined havens and cement chalkboards. Check out building code violations, call in broken sidewalks, report illegal activity. Do all of this in the pleasant company of neighbors and friends, pups and strollers. All are welcome.

Add a bit of excitement to your life this Friday night.

We will meet at 1610 W. Howard Street, Willye White Park Recreational Building at 7:00 p.m. and roam North of Howard until 8:00 p.m..

Be there or be square!

Eva McCann
CAPS Facilitator, Beat 2422
24th District Police Department

h: 773-761-8206
c: 773-495-8725

August 3, 2009

Music - Another Learning Experience

The first George S. May Foundation P.A.U.S.E music class was tonight at the Willye B. White Center. Children and their parents attended an orientation class and studied the musical alphabet for a keyboard. Parent presence at the child’s first session is required. This new addition to programming runs from August 3 to August 31 and resumes September 14 for ten weeks on Mondays and Wednesdays from 6:00PM to 7:00 PM.

Parents are asked to drop off and pick up their children to ensure their safety or hang around if space permits. There is a keyboard, organ and several guitars waiting for future musicians to learn to play. Please contact Sharon O’Connell, park supervisor 773-262-5051 or Eva McCann to register your children. Most of the kids attending tonight wanted to learn the guitar while one young lady chose the piano.

National Night Out - Tomorrow

National Night Out

Tuesday August 4, 2009 - 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Willye B. White Park, 1610 W. Howard Street

Activities for All Ages:

· Petting Zoo, Pony Rides, Games
· Register to Vote
· Find Out What Is New in Your Neighborhood
· Learn About Safety Initiatives
· Show Solidarity and Take a Stand Against Crime
· Limbo and Dance Until Dark
· Get Tips on How to Keep Your Neighborhood Safe
· Takeaways . . . And, Much More!

This event is a consolidation of the 24th District CAPS into one location.