February 28, 2009

Large Wounds Require Sutures Not Band Aids

Bosworth wrote: Jay Johnson and his buildings are bad news for the neighborhood Mr Alderman, we want him out of here.

Bosworth - Johnsons’ buildings have been an issue here long before we arrived. There are other problem building owners North of Howard whom Joe has chosen to 'sweep under the rug' to maintain this area that he and a handful of outsiders see befitting to their cause. What Joe has ignored is the reality of that cause which is severely flawed when the buildings are not properly managed.

Building owners and managers who are blatantly not enforcing the HUD rules that guarantee them a regular monthly rent check from our tax dollars to their bank accounts should be held accountable by the alderman. Joe, however, conveniently remains outside our reality and those who are affected by mismanagement. Instead, the problem is dumped on neighbors and each commander to fix while everyone pays financially, economically and emotionally. It successfully enables too many of the wrong people to succeed.

Its similar to a quack doctor putting a band aid on a huge wound. IF the wound heals it will leave an inexcusable and painful scar. That’s what we see on Howard, Morse and several other Rogers Park Streets. Blaming the economy isn't even fair game – we must ask what was being done before the economy tanked? The burden was put on the neighbors and the police while Joe and the outsiders enabled the maintenance of the status quo.

The legal system that is currently in place seems to provide a haven where the violators and perpetrators are the victims. It takes months and years to remedy an obvious problem building while the neighbors and tenants who are affected have to follow the rules set in place. Of course everyone has certain rights of protection under the law – but at what point does an alderman or judge or HUD say ‘enough of this’?

The commander has made a commitment but until the other enforcers put their support where their mouths are we will still have these building management issues. The police should have complete support from Moore and all subsidized building owners/managers. What do they get? A 'no show' from Joe at CAPS meetings. Then they listen to certain building managers who show up at CAPS meetings giving glowing progress reports or else whining that they can’t evict problem tenants. As the News-Star headline states:

Quality of Life – It’s Not Rocket Science

How dare anyone receiving a paycheck from taxpayers ignore the obvious. The burden should be on the alderman, the courts and HUD to clean up the festering sores and stop dropping those rent checks to negligent owners. The band aid theory has proven itself to be ineffective.

February 25, 2009

"Like Holy Water On The Devil"

From Chicago News-Star

Crackdown On Howard

"Big bust - This apartment at 1625 W. Howard was the scene of a pot bust in January. Three of those arrested shared 60 prior arrests between them."

The above building is none other than the Howard Theatre Building. Only 60 prior arrests? Way to Go Mr. Jay!

More From News-Star on Howard Street.

Special thanks to our alderman for making this a great street.

Unconditional Lion Love

Education Begins At Home

“So tonight, I ask every American to commit to at least one year or more of higher education or career training. This can be community college or a four-year school; vocational training or an apprenticeship. But whatever the training may be, every American will need to get more than a high school diploma. And dropping out of high school is no longer an option. It's not just quitting on yourself, it's quitting on your country -- and this country needs and values the talents of every American.

These education policies will open the doors of opportunity for our children. But it is up to us to ensure they walk through them. In the end, there is no program or policy that can substitute for a parent -- for a mother or father who will attend those parent/teacher conferences, or help with homework, or turn off the TV, put away the video games, read to their child. (Applause.) I speak to you not just as a President, but as a father, when I say that responsibility for our children's education must begin at home. That is not a Democratic issue or a Republican issue. That's an American issue.” - President Obama
Both paragraphs are wonderful theories – but who will keep watch on these issues? Who’s going to make them realities in progress? Who will track and audit the millions of people taking advantage of SSI who aren't really disabled? Who will track the millions of dollars lost in the Link Card blackmarket? But I digress - that's the entitlement issue not education.

Let’s nominate all 50 alderpersons and all state reps and senators to rewrite the antiquated laws on dropping out of school. Any of the above Illinois politicians - paid by our tax dollars - who has either problem schools or pockets of poverty should hit the streets with the Presidents adult parenting and education plan. They should be working for the president now like they did during the campaign. Give the gift of knowledge instead of turkeys and overly expensive one day picnics. Really be progressive for a change - education begins at home.

Transcript of Presidents Speech – Sun-Times

February 22, 2009

Quick - Get The Shredder!

Last Sunday The Chicago Tribune editorial was about the State of Corruption. Todays editorial comes right to the point many Chicagoans have been waiting for. Have you ever asked for help and couldn't get it from your alderperson? Have you been targeted by your alderperson and/or staff if you're on the 'enemy list' or have an enemy dossier file in the drawer? Have you been taunted or harassed by your alderman's little puppies?

Have you ever been told you could get help if you played your aldermans' follow the dots game? Want quick permits or zoning? New builder in town? You may get a happy phone call of introduction followed by another inviting you to a fundraiser.

There may be a glimmer of hope -

"Last Sunday, in introducing an ongoing Chicago Tribune effort titled "State of Corruption," we told you we would advance reforms to combat the culture of political sleaze at all levels of government in Illinois. This Sunday we're pleased to report that Ald. Patrick O'Connor, Mayor Richard M. Daley's floor leader in the Chicago City Council, promises to instigate a change that would empower the city's inspector general to investigate the 50 aldermen."

Read the complete second Sunday 2/22/09 Chicago Tribune Editorial

February 19, 2009

A Dream for Howard Street

Picture the bustle of people going in and out of an environmentally green new Trader Joe’s store armed with reusable shopping bags filled with choice produce, meats, fresh baked goods, fair trade coffees, teas, and chocolaty treats, and it’s on the south east corner of Howard Street and Ashland!

This Trader Joe’s has brought new employment opportunities for young and old stimulating the Howard Street economy.

Trader Joe’s has become the catalyst for other forward thinking developers and entrepreneurs to move to Howard Street east of the newly renovated CTA el station.

Trader Joe’s has made Howard Street a destination street where people want to come to peruse and shop in interesting stores and boutiques that have opened up intermingled with businesses that helped establish our community.

People now feel safe on Howard Street with the inviting atmosphere this new Trader Joe’s store has brought. Howard Street is warm and welcoming as the smell of fresh baked goods wafts through the air from the Caribbean Bakery during the day and the aroma of fresh garlic from the local b.y.o.b. Trattoria, Thai or other worldly restaurant permeates the air in the evenings.

People greet you on the street with a smile as they are headed to their new Trader Joe’s on Howard Street to pick up milk from free range, grain and hay fed cows or soy milk and a vegan snack.

Trader Joe’s on Howard Street has given people a reason to willingly leave the car parked and walk through the neighborhood to get to the store.

Just east and west of Trader Joe’s proudly sits Starfish After School Program, DevCorp North, Howard Area Community Center, Jamaican Jerk and other long standing businesses and organizations that have created the foundation and served our neighborhood over the years. Across the street is the Willye B. White Community Recreation Center and Park gleaming in all it’s glory.

Store front facades have gotten facelifts, window displays are trendy and upbeat. Business owners know the passers by because they shop in their stores regularly. All of this brought on because of the new Trader Joe’s that has moved on Howard Street at the south east corner of Howard and Ashland, Rogers Park, Chicago, our neighborhood.

Ahhh! Dreams! :-) J

By Eva McCann

If anyone else has a similar dream, please go to this Trader Joe’s link below and put in the “comments box” the South East corner of Howard and Ashland as a location.

Trader Joe Locations

February 18, 2009

Same Crap - Different Day

One Down and Ike’s on the Hot Seat. Will all the 'allegedly' corrupt alderpeople please stand up? It would save time and money to do this en masse.

I remember Ike at the Stroger shoo-in at the Allegro Hotel. He and another alderman kept their verbal sarcasm running (they called it joking) until at one point Ike got ‘racist’ when he yelled over at his pal about everyone was quiet when ‘those white people’ were talking - so be quiet now. His sarcasm pal was also African American but not a Stroger fan.

I think that’s the mentality that Obama kind of frowns upon isn’t it? But that’s the mentality that gets these not so qualified people the job of alderperson isn’t it?

Let’s not overlook this confused appointee who can’t get his lies in order.

Burris is 71 years old. Good for him if he’s active and working – but if his memory isn’t serivng him too well then he has no business being in the role of Senator. Of course, those politicians who backed down at the 11th hour and let him slide in weren’t doing their real jobs either. Quinn needs to get that fumigating can out and start spraying the scene of the crime where this un-Senator was allowed to pass the test.

All the time and money being spent to sift through the corruption is the secondary crime here.

February 16, 2009

Opening Soon

As I aimed the camera, a worker smiled and said ‘wait – it’s still ugly’. I replied it looked beautiful to me. In response to my inquiry about on its opening, he said it would be open on February 20. Let's hope all goes as planned.

New Exit Turnstiles

What a drastic change – from this….
8.7.07 new biz 004

To this -
New Entrance Facing West on Howard

New Entrance Doors Visually Open

New Facade Facing East on Howard

February 15, 2009

Snow Days in Grant Park

Photos from a Day Trip - scroll cursor over photo for description/information.

Skating Rink -  Milennium Park Skating Rink -  Milennium Park The Bean - Milennium Park Anti-War Protest - Art Institute

Music Man Sightseeing Bus - Brave Souls
Feb 15 014 Spirit Horse - Dan Ingebrigtson, Mark Mayzik & Greg Moerner, Frankin WI
Mrs. O'Leary's Cow-Fred Gardner, Mark Hargarten, Peter Hermann Caledonia, IL Palm Trees - Bob Fulks, Mike and Dawn Fulks, Clawson MI
Lady of the Lotus - Stephen Bateman, Jason Anhorn & Joseph Gagnepain, Eau Claire W Lady of the Lotus - Stephen Bateman, Jason Anhorn & Joseph Gagnepain, Eau Claire WI
Bugs Life - Jim Malkowski, Jeff Shawhan & Brett Tomczak, Franklin WI Alien Invasion - Northside College Preparatory
Dragon-Jie Zheng, Shencheng Xu & Mingyue Zheng, Palatine IL Dragon-Jie Zheng, Shencheng Xu & Mingyue Zheng, Palatine IL
Shattering Vase - David Andrews, Chris Andrews & Scott Pauli, Wauwatosa, WI Shattering Vase - David Andrews, Chris Andrews & Scott Pauli, Wauwatosa, W
Chicago Blues in Snow - Tom Queoff, Mike Martino & Mike Sponholtz, Milwaukee, WI Chicago Blues in Snow - Tom Queoff, Mike Martino & Mike Sponholtz, Milwaukee, WI Chicago Blues in Snow - Tom Queoff, Mike Martino & Mike Sponholtz, Milwaukee, WI Shattering Vase - David Andrews, Chris Andrews & Scott Pauli, Wauwatosa, W

Oh, I Forgot To Mention....

Here we go again with the political dancing. We wouldn’t be reading this had the big shots walked the walk after they talked the talk. Now they have stuck us with Roland Burris to appease the likes of Bobby Rush and others who threatened their ‘liberalism’ with the race card. The voters opinions were excluded in the process and now Burris is recalling conversations he didn’t mention in his testimony to the Illinois House Panel.

Are voters allowed to change their minds after the fact? "Oh, I’m sorry election judge – I meant to punch that candidates name."

Todays Tribune Editorial says it all.

February 14, 2009

Tired of Winter?

If you’re pinching every penny while the economy spins, jumps and dives – there are some free places left in Chicago to enjoy. It’s hard to say how long ‘free’ can or will last – so if you’re tired of winter, there are places you can temporarily escape to.

Free Museum Days

Click on the Snow Sculpture

Are you a chocolate lover? I’ve heard the lines may be long but there’s more than enough to see beyond a free sample of candy. Sweet Saturdays (Suggested $2 Admission)

Beyond the Love/Hate Relationship we sometimes have with Chicago, it can be still a fun city – even in winter.

February 13, 2009

Whistleblower Ignored?

Isn't it amazing how this whistleblower was ignored for 9 years?

“Now, about $30 billion was at risk, Markopolos estimated. But, again, he was frustrated by what he views as the SEC's failure to act. “

"I'm suggesting that if you flew the entire SEC staff to Boston, sat them in Fenway Park for an afternoon, that they would not be able to find first base," he said during his Feb. 4 testimony.

From USA today

February 12, 2009

The Razzie of Ward 49

Feats o' strength

"Joe Moore first came to my attention by way of Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, who drew my attention to the alderman's work on the 2002 anti-war resolution that [the Chicago City Council] passed. I've kept an eye on him since then, as I do many officials around the country. Moore stood out because of his willingness to take on high-profile issues such as the war, big-box stores, etc."

The focus on the local MVP, Mr. Nichols added, was not based on "life-saving acts of heroism," one of News-Star's questions. Apparently, Mr. Nichols is unaware of Ald. Moore's attempt to chase down a 20-something purse snatcher just days after the 2007 aldermanic runoff.

News-Star Cityside - Complete Article

We'd love to invite Mr. Nichols to an extended stay in parts of Joe's wonderful ward. He can help us pick up trash, report graffiti, police the streets and parks, listen to distressed neighbors because Joe's office doesn't return their phone calls. He can help report problem and vacant buildings since Joe and staff aren't on top of the job they're supposed to do - which is manage a ward not the world.

Perhaps Mr. Nichols can advise the woman who emailed me about her landlord's probable illegal rent BS. There's never a dull moment. Mr. Nichols may be too exhausted to join a lively round of adoration with the Moore crowd after the citizenry have shown him the seamy sides of Rogers Park. Nichols needs the hands-on experience of mismanagement.

I wonder if Nichols watches the Raspberry Awards too?

February 11, 2009

Negligent Landlords/Problem Tenants

Maybe I wasn’t so far off when stating Moore’s next step after the Howard Street Initiative should be a Slumlord Summit. A reader sent me the following link about how another city is proposing to deal with negligent landlords in troublesome areas.

"What we see are public drunkenness, disorderly conduct, drug activity, as well as gun violations," said public safety aide Maria Bethel.

Note the issues mentioned in the video – do they sound familiar? Joe could take this concept to city hall and start filling the budget gap taxpayers are expected to fill. We’re just one problem area in a whole city.

Rather than being progressive and having safe neighborhoods in Rogers Park, we've gotten the divisive 'those owners versus those poor renters' garbage. There are plenty of good tenants who are intimidated by troublesome tenants, negligent owners and/or management lacking the skills to manage buildings.

February 9, 2009

Aliens and The Boys Club

From the long vacant Lerner Building - to the gaping hole. We're making progress - very slowly.

Lerner Building Hole Lerner Building Hole

Are the saucer shapes really space ships in the blue skies? There were aliens from another hood at the el this morning. They were handing out newspapers and when I politely said 'no thank you' one loudly called out my name. Apparently 'no thank you' doesn't register with aliens. At least the Red Eye vendor handles my declination with civility. Or possibly he hasn't gone to the Moore School of intimidation to those who disagree with him. I hope he doesn't get initiated into the boys club.

View Southeast from Howard Station View South from Howard Station

Photos taken inside the Howard Station.

February 8, 2009

Surfs Up

Lake scenes from a walk to Evanston –

Ice Shelf

February 7, 2009

Mother Nature Isn't Cooperating

They used to have ice sculpting in the Lincoln Park Zoo during the zoo lights festival or whatever its called. One year the weather was unusually uncooperative and the huge blocks were melting in the bright sunshine.

It appears that a new tradition is being attempted at Grant Park

It doesn’t appear that Mother Nature is willing to comply

February 5, 2009

Willie B White (Gale) Park Advisory Council Award

From todays Friends Of The Parks 34th Annual Meeting and Awards luncheon honoring many park supporters throughout Chicago.

award ceremony 001 award ceremony 003

From left – Moi, Sister Cecilia Fandel, Eva McCann, John Paul Jones, FOTP, and Nora Wilburne
award ceremony 016

Eva and Cecilia – the two women who did not give up – this advocacy award was about persistence and preservation.

award ceremony 014

award ceremony 005 award ceremony 006

Everchanging Landscape

The beauty and power of nature.

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