March 31, 2009

Eat and Run

Apparently another brave soul (or souls) will open another fast food joint at the corner of Howard and Marshfield. Once upon a time it was Dunkin’ Donuts, then for a short time it was an African restaurant, then it became a pizza place. Remember this problem corner?

More Sidewalk Munching More Fast Food

There were complaints of kids loitering inside and outside the pizza place. The owner was there during the day but unfortunately turned it over to younger people to handle in the evening and night hours. It’s doubtful the night shift called 911 too often since threats were probably knee deep from the loiterers. Getting beaten up isn’t worth a minimum wage job to a lot of people.

So now our economic developers will open another fast food place and try it again. If Burger King is going into the mall and this Philly Beef opens, we’ll have an abundance of eat and run places. One obvious issue will be the amount of trash tossed on Howard. The most obvious problem will be the hours that both establishments are open that may provide potential hang-outs.

Again, it’s not up to the police to keep tabs on our kids 24/7. It’s a shame that people can’t take a few minutes to sit down and consume their meals instead of eating on the sidewalk.

March 29, 2009

Message From Beat 2422

Blue lights flashing and sirens beeping, the eye-opening cruise toured south Evanston and Chicago.

The rain and the wind were no deterrents to Beat 2424’s Hands Across Howard event last night, but it did evolve into a cruise instead of a walk. After the rainy roll call in Popeye’s parking lot, Commander Sobczyk told neighbors who braved the elements to squeeze into squad cars. Three of us joined two female officers in their vehicle and followed the procession of more than 20 squad cars. After the impressive ride, the group was treated to Popeye’s chicken boxes courtesy of Evanston and Chicago Police Departments. The rain didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits instead it just made us all the more determined to join our new commander and support him and his officers.

Heads up neighbors of Beat 2422:

There will be a Walk and Talk event on Thursday, April 9. Join Commander Sobczyk and neighbors for a walking tour of North of Howard. Meet up will be at 6:00 PM in front of Sandy’s Foods at the corner of Howard and Bosworth.

We’ll walk and talk up to Juneway and end up at 7450 N Rogers for our regular monthly CAPS Beat 2422 meeting at 7:00 PM. I hear there’s the possibility of a special guest appearance from someone downtown! Stay tuned!

Message from Bernard at Beat 2424

Dear Neighbors,

The weather was awful, but tonight's "walk" was an amazing success! We took lemons (the weather) and made lemonade, to quote 24th District Commander David Sobczyk.

Instead of the our traditional walk, residents rode in Chicago and Evanston police car on a drive two blocks into Evanston circled around and drove two blocks into Chicago -- starting and finishing at Damen/Custer and Howard. Imagine the sight of over 20 police cars with lights flashing and sirens blaring, driving in formation, one after the other (think Presidential motorcade) . . . a remarkable sight. To say we attracted attention is a major under statement. We signed up new area residents as members of Network 2424 and/or Brummel Park Neighbors . . . and we also got the attention of a number of problem groups elements in our area.

I understand that many residents were kept away by the weather. . . . so a really big thanks to the nearly 30 residents (Chicago and Evanston) who braved the elements and turned out. This included the 2 beat facilitators from North of Howard and Karen Hoover, a former resident, who helped found and organize Network 2424. You just never know who will be at these walks.

Looking forward to seeing you at the next joint Chicago-Evanston walk, which won't be as dramatic, but nevertheless is just as important in sending the message that this is our neighborhood, not the drug dealer's, not the out-of-control elements! Last year, we had joint walks monthly, we will do so again this year, building up to our large Halloween patrols. This summer we will be working to get walks started south of Touhy as well.

Again, thank you to all who turned out tonight.


March 28, 2009

No Moore: The True Story of the "Big Box" Ordinance

To hear Joe Moore tell it, he is Mr. Big Box. As if Moore woke up one morning with a burning passion for worker's rights - a fire since thoroughly doused as evidenced by his ongoing efforts to personally spearhead the privatization and union-busting of the staffing of our Park District field houses.

Fact is, the unions came to MOORE with the "big box" ordinance - "You will do this for us if you want to be re-elected" - and Moore made his decision on the same basis as every decision he makes - what best serves hanging on to this office until I can retire?

The first part of this portrait of Chicago's own James Thindwa of Chicago Jobs With Justice covers Thindwa's efforts on behalf of the Employee Free Choice Act, while the second half recaps the saga of Chicago's short-lived "Big Box Living Wage" ordinance.

Bill Moyers Journal

Community Organizer James Thindwa: Making a Difference

Watch the video or read the transcript. If you find any mention of Moore, please post in the comments. Thanks!

March 27, 2009

Spruce Up Your Neighborhood

Interested in Getting Some Money for a Garden?

Is there a space near you that could use some tender loving care? A parkway or corner or playlot or street that could be greened up? Are you willing to do the work but could use a little financial assistance to jump start the project? The Rogers Park Garden Group Adopt the Public Way Grants Program is poised to help.


In 2008, the RPGG started a small grants program to provide financial (and inspirational) support for small gardening projects located along the public way in Rogers Park. Individuals, businesses, groups of volunteers – really anyone – is eligible to apply for a small grant, up to $200, for the improvement of public spaces relating to the neighborhood’s public way through gardening or landscaping enhancements anywhere between Devon Avenue to Juneway Terrace, and from Ridge Avenue east to the lake. All you need is a site and the desire.

In 2007, Adopt the Public Way grants were used by Family Matters to fill the planters at Gale School where children had great fun playing in the dirt and playing with worms under the watchful eye of Sophie Nyanue.

galeschool3 galeschool14

Karen McCarthy of the RPGG, and John Eskandari of Gethsemane Garden Center, by neighbors Wynn Shawver and Julie Orlandi to help spruce up the Goldberg Playlot at Greenleaf and Ravenswood, and by the Devon Avenue Green Team of volunteers to return the parkway planters along Devon Avenue between Broadway and Clark, to their former glory.

devonplanters11 devonplanters25

Not only do these grants provide funding for public gardening projects, they also inspire neighbors, businesses, and organizations to work together to green Rogers Park so that all might enjoy more blooming beauty during our too short spring and summer seasons. Who doesn’t smile when they see a blooming parkway?

Applications are being taken now through May 15, 2009, and it’s really easy. Just download the instructions and application by visiting our website where you will see a link on the home page to the downloadable form. Grants in amounts up to $200 will be awarded at the Tuesday, May 26 RPGG meeting at 7 pm at Rogers Park Presbyterian Church at the corner of Greenleaf and Greenview. Apply for a grant, come learn about Urban Farming from the folks at Growing Home, and perhaps get some funds for a garden project that will make Rogers Park an even more beautiful place.

From Pamela Van Giessen

Assistant Sentenced in Alderman's Zoning Shake Down Scheme

Aide to former Chicago alderman gets 3 years

Associated Press, March 26, 2009

CHICAGO - A former aide to convicted Chicago Alderman Arenda Troutman has been sentenced to three years in prison for mail fraud.


March 25, 2009

Help Todd Find The Pork

A little Wednesday evening humor or reality - your choice.

Health Insurance Proposal?

From USA Today

"In return, however, they want a system similar to the one that now exists only in Massachusetts, in which all residents are required to get insurance. Insurers want the federal government to help those who cannot afford private insurance with subsidies or tax breaks.

Insurers also want to prevent any new system from including a government insurance plan similar to Medicare. Ignagni said such a plan could attract 100 million people who now have private insurance, because the government can bargain for lower rates with providers.

The offer came in a letter to leaders of Senate committees overseeing health issues from Ignagni's group and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. The White House declined to comment. Consumer groups cited modest progress."

March 24, 2009

Blago on WLS 7am-9am today

Maybe Drew Peterson could join him in another episode?

Maybe Al Sanchez or Rezko or ?

March 23, 2009

Yea or Nay to the Olympics?

“Friends of the Parks, a watchdog group, plans to unveil concerns during a forum April 9. Plans for Washington Park on the South Side are among those that rankle the group because they would permanently alter the historic park.

"We're not opposed to the Olympics—sports are appropriate for parks," said Erma Tranter, the group's president. "Our goal is to make sure they're creating facilities in appropriate parks and not doing harm to parks."

From the Chicago Tribune

Any readers have any opinions on the Olymics?

March 21, 2009

Moore Late for Work

At the full City Council meeting last Wednesday 3/18/09, Mayor Daley gavelled the proceedings to order at precisely 10 AM, as he always does. Roll was called.

Moore wandered in at 11:00, late as always.

Dear neighbors,

If you had a job that paid $110,556.00/year and came with a $73,280/year expense account and it required you to be downtown once a month for a 10 AM meeting, and precious little else, don't you think you could manage it?

Moore has little hope of winning The Nation's Most Punctual Local Official award.

Gov. Quinn To Cut His Salary?

Sun-Times – Michael Sneed

So, the new governor wants to raise taxes and cut his salary. Will Quinn set a precedent for hard times that certain abusers will be guilt tripped into following? Are our fearless leaders gutsy enough to be examples of real democratic teamwork?

Shave $10k from 50 alderpersons plumped up salaries and we save the taxpayers $500k, up the takeaway to $15k and the ante jumps to $750,000, to hit the $1million mark the council would have to chop off $20k per person.

But in these rocky economic times, while city council talks the talk, none are about to make any sacrifices. Lose your job or your business? Your alderperson will sympathize with you – but that’s the end of the discussion. Ours won't be shopping at Aldi's because it's on his anti-economic development plan. He won't be wearing shoes from Payless either! He does save on electric bills though - the lights are usually out.

To spend 90 minutes (Chicago Tribune) having a semi-roast of Ed Burke to celebrate 40 years could have/should have been done on their dime – not ours. If you have never attended a city council meeting, please try to do it in this lifetime.

No wonder Berny Stone sits and snoozes.

March 20, 2009


Tonight is the final night of the Sullivan High School production of Vanities.
Admission $1.00.

Vanities Press Release

March 19, 2009

The Two Faces Of Joe Moore

Companies pay employees and management expects certain levels of performance and production. Along with those goals are the core values of honesty and integrity since the employee is a representative of the company, i.e. management. One of the aspects that management is very conscious of, especially with the mortgage mess and AIG, are employees who don’t represent the company with honesty.

Most alderpersons still don’t comprehend who the boss really is. It’s you – the taxpayers. While the taxpayers demanded economic growth on streets like Howard, Joe was appeasing his pals by extending and supporting the blight we see. The liberals call it affordable housing while others call it the continuance of David Orr's pocket of poverty voter base - especially North of Howard. Sure, it's difficult or impossible to entice a decent business to Howard Street and we all know why.

The two faces of Joe Moore:

Moore on the Defense

Moore on the Attack

If the resident taxpayers want Aldi's then what is Moore's real problem? Why such an adverse reaction to economic growth? Didn't Aldi's contribute to get his approval? Joe, of all people, shouldn't be talking about going behind backs or over heads! If anything gets done in this ward - we have to push and shove. If Joe doesn't like you - expect to be ignored at the very least. I'll refrain from going into the aspect of the worst expectation portion.

Moore may have thought he could intimidate our local reporter Lorraine Swanson and we know Moore hates 98% of Rogers Park Bloggers save for his two online supporters. But the truth has a way surfacing and Carol Marin has Chicago watching. Marins' report was an extension of years of online documentation and no one - especially Moore - can plant a seed of doubt on Marins' integrity or honesty.

An alderman’s job is to serve and assist ALL constituents – not pick and choose like a diner at smorgasbord. And, while we’re on the topic of food…for those of you who partake in the expense of dining out, beware of all restaurants that Not Up to Snuff

The News-Star may have closed it’s doors – but we’ll say this to Lorraine:

So long – but not goodbye

March 18, 2009

Busted In Dubkin Playlot

This message is for the person who complained about drinking in Dubkin Playlot at last weeks Beat 2422 meeting. Yesterday two individuals were arrested in the playlot for drinking alcohol in public.

Be Challenged!

Yesterday afternoon, four police officers were in White Park as older youth enjoyed an outdoor basketball game and smaller children took full advantage of the warm sunny day.

One of the park council committees met last night prior to the monthly meeting and guess who walked through the door? Commander Sobczyk - and he stayed through the regular meeting. We learned that former Chicago Bear Otis Wilson and his foundation will be working at the White Center with youth ages 6 and upward beginning sometime in April.

Commander Sobczyk mentioned the police teams will be on the basketball court the Wednesday of spring break from 12pm-3pm. We didn’t have the dates of spring break available but will update later. The commander stated CeaseFire will be occupying office space across the street near the Howard Area Community Center space on Howard.

On fundraising – in the August 2008 meeting I stated I would donate $100 to the fundraising kitty and asked that neighbors and businesses match or surpass the amount. Two council members chose to match my donation. Since the minutes of that meeting were never provided for approval, we brought it to the floor last night so the challenge can be made public. In fact, rather than matching is there anyone reading who is willing to surpass my $100 donation? Contact Eva at or me at

Please note donations are tax-deductible and we’ll provide the paperwork for your tax preparer. The final touches are being made to a formal letter but if anyone wishes bypass that page, please do so!

If you haven't won the lottery but want to contribute, please consider filling out a volunteer form for special events at the center. The forms are available at the building and completed forms must be returned to Sharon O'Connell, park supervisor. Yes, they require criminal background checks and fingerprinting. The agency that does finger printing has agreed to set up shop one Saturday in the center but requires a minimum of 20 applicants in person with approved letters from the Park District. We're doing our best to make it convenient and save travel time and money for those who want to help but are going through these tough financial times.

For businesses or individuals who wish to contribute in-kind donations - please contact us for options.

March 17, 2009

Grammar Gal - On The Scene

Not only did neighbors show up to support the police at the 24th Roll Call on Fargo, so did other bloggers! On site coverage has that special human effect.

Read here

March 16, 2009

Neighbors Show Support On Fargo

The officers held roll call on Fargo and Commander Sobczyk greeted the neighbors who came out for the walk. The turnout was really good, the evening held that gentle hint of spring and the company was equally enjoyable.

Roll Call Commander Sobcyzk

Walkers on Fargo2 Walkers on Fargo1

And, what would a walk be without The BoJo Boys, Charlie and his brother Louie? Louie was a little shy tonight.

Charlie Shy Louie

Police Roll Call and Weekend Musings

The police will hold an outdoor roll call tonight Monday, March 16 at 7:00 PM at the intersection of Greenview and Fargo where a shooting occurred last week.

Musings on the weekend sprints and shots:

I wonder if the NOH marathon men and gunslingers are upset over their confiscated stash of cocaine from 1649 Jonquil on March 6? Chicago female(s) and Evanston female(s) were arrested – and possibly the boyfriend of one Chicago arrestee. No, it isn’t a North Point building. Yes, police entered it yesterday – but didn’t find a shooter or gun.

Is Joe Moore concerned that ALL North of Howard residents are subject this daytime lawlessness? Is he angry that bullets flew into a laundromat filled with people? Is he going to call a slumlord summit and demand that they clean house on known felons? Until he comes up with a clean-up action plan, it appears he’s created this mess known as North of Howard and left it for the residents and the police to clean up. Joe should be riding in a squad car and getting the idea of ‘wearing their shoes’.

Last May, it took him a week to respond to me about gunshots fired twice in one week on this block.

How about his pal JJ who owns 1625 Howard? Six were arrested on drug charges with 60 priors between three of them. Source

Now a naked male is allegedly stalking the halls there. Source

Is it time the neighborhood insisted that the ward clean ‘n green be aimed at slumlords? Is it time Joe actually cleaned up the mess he’s made?

March 15, 2009

Vanities - Sullivan High School Production

Sullivan High School is presenting their spring production of “Vanities” admission is $1.00 – March 19 and 20.

Vanities Press Release


In spite of the bad press on Sullivan High, these young actors have worked hard on this event. Take a chance on discovering a new aspect about Sullivan – there’s something about the arts that math and science cannot explain!

Is Coe Skipping Outta Dodge?

A couple of workers were removing metal from the vacant laundry on the Rogers side of the property this afternoon. There was a language barrier but we understood one to say the building would be demolished.

After the shootout on Paulina I noticed new signage had replaced the hideous lavender sign from Camelot Realty.

GEDC0012 GEDC0013

New West Commercial

Digging through the website eventually led to this for sale link.

Profile of 1529 Howard

So is Robert Coe getting out of Dodge? Are things cool with the zoning committee?

How about the neighborhood? One optomistic thought is Coe won't be able to blow the street up like he did on Morse. But then we still have the new age John Wayne's to deal with all summer long.

Damn this is a great neighborhood isn't it? Thanks Joe.

Gunplay on Paulina

Eva and I were returning from a meeting when we heard sirens, saw several flashing blue lights and followed the noise until we arrived at Paulina and Jonquil. Up the street closer to Howard, the officers had several people detained.

Howard/Paulina scene

At the Laundromat on Paulina and Jonquil we discovered not one but three bullet holes in the windows. According to an officer on the scene, the locals were on the west side of Paulina and the ‘outsiders’ were on the east side and began shooting. Several people were in the Laundromat and luckily there were no reports of anyone being hit by the new age John Waynes.

Bullet in Paulina Laundromat Bullet #2 in Window Bullet hole #3 in top of window

One young woman was standing outside the Laundromat on a cell phone telling someone to come get her. She claimed to have seen the shooter but refused to discuss it with police.

I didn’t see any news crews in the area and I was there until about 5:00 PM. As for mob action, after yesterday’s unpublicized, unauthorized NOH Marathon by the new running group – I say go for it.

March 14, 2009

The Brats Are Out

Here we have an unknown problem outside the Morse El. Maybe a green hat got stuck in a train door?

Morse El

Meanwhile, I meandered back to my own area and as I approached the Howard El to turn east on Howard there must have been 15-20 males running west on the north side of the street. The police weren’t far behind.

Rumble On Howard Rumble on Howard

One kid I know was with the pack I’ll label the new “NOH runners group”. Maybe he should have been home being a good daddy to his two kids. Another young man appeared on the corner asking me questions which I answered because I had a few of my own.

Behind us a trio of two men and one woman thought the show was real funny. ‘Sheit, da cops can’t do nuttin’. They were laughing real hard. Maybe they didn't notice the handcuffs and the paddy wagon and the some of the dudes going for a little ride.

Its pathetic to see three alleged adults cheering on problems. Maybe they could spend some of that energy picking up the winters trash the problems toss down.

March 12, 2009

Beat 2422 Meeting Was A Full House

The CAPS Beat 2422 meeting was packed tonight! There were new faces and people seemed eager to get involved.

Other than discussion about the Howard Street Initiative, there were other topics of interest brought to the floor, including policing of side streets. The recent shooting on Fargo was discussed. While out posting flyers last night, we saw several squads doing spot checks on Fargo.

There will be an outdoor roll call on Monday, March 16 at 7:00 PM at the intersection of Greenview and Fargo. Neighbors are encouraged to make an appearance and if anyone is interested in a walk afterward – let us know.

Several non-residents and the lease owner of an apartment in the 1600 block of Jonquil were arrested Friday, March 6 for cocaine.

Commander Sobczyk met with the regional manager of the North Point properties about their private security team and other problems. Certain conflicts were mentioned by a neighbor at the Loyola meeting. Northpoints Security doesn’t always grant police entrance to buildings. The person stated it often becomes an issue (or excuse) of ‘private property’ and domain versus the excuse that the sidewalk is public domain and the private security isn’t responsible. In short, in certain circumstances, the security appears not to be fully cooperative with the police. The commander stated that he will be working directly with the regional manager on this and other issues.

Sgt. Delgado mentioned that additional lighting was requested at a recent White Park Council Security Committee meeting. Two light poles were installed yesterday on the east side of the building to brighten up that area. Summer events currently being planned for the park were also mentioned.

Work Groups – were established tonight on sign-up sheets. They will be focused on Bosworth, Fargo, Paulina and Rogers. Work groups can also evolve into block clubs! Those who signed up will meet to discuss problems and work on resolution with the beat officers. Several people also signed up for neighborhood walks and when warm weather arrives perhaps the various groups can end their walks in the park with a picnic. And, several people volunteered to post beat meeting flyers on their blocks which will be a great way to help notify neighbors of each meeting.

If anyone in Beat 2422 is interested in a work group for their street, joining in a walk, block club or assisting with posting flyers, please let us know. Contact Eva at or me at

Special thanks to everyone who came tonight and to those who sent email blasts to neighbors and friends.

Let's make this a comfortable neighborhood – we deserve it.

March 11, 2009

From Our Favorite Neighborhood Reporter

Here is Lorraine Swansons' coverage in this weeks edition of News-Star. The Commander plans to attend tomorrow's monthly CAPS Beat 2422 meeting. Please join us.

Gateway Senior Apartments
7450 N. Rogers
7:00 PM

Ozone Park Peppers

Peppers contained cocaine in baggies

While the concept of hiding bags of cocaine in the peppers is novel – apparently the special peppers weren’t intended to be offered for general sales to the public.

Ozone Park! What a befitting name! When I receive really dumb emails I drop them in a folder named Ozone - meaning the contents of the of the email reflect the sender’s mind – outside the ozone.

March 10, 2009

Commander Sobczyk

Commander Sobczyk had a couple of recurring themes during his discussion and question and answer session. One was “we don’t have to agree to get along, we have to understand” meaning the complete picture and the parts that make up the whole. And, there’s always another side to the story.

The only time I’ve attended a ‘meet the commander’ was for former Commander Bruce Rottner. It was more of a gospel event than a public meeting. That said, it was apparent that many of the residents attending last night were impressed with our new commanders direct approach. Many expressed their hope that his tenure will be long and productive.

In the brief discussion before questions were opened to the audience, Sobczyk remarked at the uniqueness of the residents who reside in Rogers Park. Many on the police force, fire department, local businesses owners and NFP’s are also residents.

On prioritizing – Sobczyk stated one can over-prioritize and accomplish little or take the top problems and make them a priority. On the Howard Street Initiative, the commander stated there are three dynamics that must be dealt with: the Howard El stop, White Park and the gang turfs. He mentioned drug dealers who exit the train daily to do their job and leave the neighborhood. Other than the new train station, the area is vulnerable due to a shortage of businesses on the street. He will be monitoring this activity to see if there’s a shift to another area from the pressure of police presence on Howard and nearby streets. He stated: “The police are one-third of the solution.”

The commander outlined the Howard area by stating “do I want a neighborhood where gangs are uncomfortable or where I am uncomfortable”? Howard was defined as one of his top priorities based on reported crime and 911 calls rather than a political whim. So he began his initiative while it was still cold rather than beginning when warmer weather brought the usual problems. He wants to ensure that certain individuals understand immediately that they can’t deal drugs, drink alcohol in the park, or shoot craps on the sidewalks. He’s going to change the comfort level here.

He fielded a few tough questions from police sensitivity and behavior, to dealing with problem youth in group homes, to providing a homeless shelter. On the first issue he stated complaints should be made if inappropriate behavior is witnessed. He asked one woman to speak to him after the meeting about her problem. On homeless shelters, he stated he’s a policeman – not a social worker. That was in a chain action beginning with Michael James making a statement on homelessness in Rogers Park followed by a woman in that camp asking if it wouldn’t be more productive to have a homeless shelter in Rogers Park than people sleeping in alleys. Again, Sobczyk responded that he isn’t a social worker - he’s a policeman. There was an attempt by the woman to praise certain individuals and chastise others and Sobczyk nipped the commentary in the bud since it was a meeting about policing not civilian personalities.

The commander referred to spikes in burglaries in two beats and stated there would be ‘covert’ officers watching . Hopefully, the group understood that not all details can be divulged regarding these operations in a public meeting. He mentioned joining upcoming walks with Beat 2424. Beat 2424 has been actively working with the Chicago and Evanston police and neighbors in both areas.

As the group asked questions and received responses, it became apparent that many didn’t know their beat facilitator or attend beat meetings. He urged the audience to attend LSC meetings if their complaints were about student behavior and to attend beat meetings with crime complaints. He suggested people get to know their beat police. By creating rapport with the individuals involved in schools and the police force, neighbors can identify issues and work on resolutions as a group. Groups working together are more constructive in problem solving than individuals sending letters or emails to the commander only. Again, the police are one-third of the solution.

One of the final questions was one of the best. A gentleman asked if civilians could ride with the police. He relocated to Chicago from Jacksonville, Florida. The commander exclaimed “See, that’s global warming!” After the laughter died down, the man stated he was once a flaming liberal from the University of Wisconsin until he worked in Florida with law enforcement. He mirrored some of the commanders statements that police are people with families and life issues just like everyone else. Many civilians might have a learning experience by getting to know their beat officers and have a better understanding of what its like to be ‘in their shoes’. There’s always another side to the story.

The commander will be attending Beat 2422 meeting – the Howard Street area beat - on Thursday, March 12 at 7 pm at the 7450 N Rogers in the community room.

John Paul Jones FOTP and Cmdr. Sobczyk John Paul Jones FOTP and Cmdr. Sobczyk
A Rogers Park resident and Cmdr. Sobczyk Guess who

March 9, 2009

Credit Card Security

Have you ever received a new credit card before your old one expired with a cover note of ‘please discard old card appropriately'? Or has your bank sent an email that a new card would be issued on X date due to a compromise along the way? Other people have told me the bank stopped activity until the new card arrived. What they try not to inform us is that a merchants system was hacked into and card numbers may have been compromised. So the credit card companies and/or banks have to issue new ones.

I received a new credit card to replace one that had been ‘compromised’ without further explanation. I signed the back ‘See ID”, activated it and took it on a test run to stimulate the economy a little.

The checkout person at Best Buy was aware of the signature line, asked for my ID, and my purchase was complete.

Targetwas a different story. I swiped the card and asked the checkout person how it went through without a signature or why she wasn’t alerted to ask for an ID. She informed me that it was ‘corporate policy’ not to check ID’s on purchases under $25.00. A person at the customer service desk repeated this policy. Later I called a toll free number from their website. Another company that’s outsourced customer service overseas! After waiting, being transferred, being un-transferred, the overseas CS person informed me I’d have to call during the week.

Apparently it doesn't matter what precautions one takes to safeguard a credit card, it seems there are merchants willing to bypass the rules. A big precaution is bypassed by not looking at the photo ID and comparing it to the purchaser. If a six foot male presented a credit card issued to Mary Smith apparently it would still be OK with too many merchants.

Protecting ones credit cards from fraud and identity theft are not easy with stores like this. The ironic twist to the story was my purchase – a pink umbrella to match the pink postcards!

March 6, 2009

Willye White Park Chosen To Participate

Last fall, Donna Werner of the George S. May Foundation presented a new program to our three Park Councils at the new community center. Eva McCann, Willye White park council president, submitted a grant form and we are excited to inform you that this initiative will be included in the fall 2009 programming.


March 5, 2009

Two More Weeks

On 2/16/09 a worker said the Howard Street Station would open that Friday. The day came but the work was still underway. The sidewalk is now open on the south side of the street and yesterday workers told me it would be completed in a couple of weeks.

Enter Trains Here GEDC0012

GEDC0013 GEDC0011 GEDC0009

March 3, 2009

Spot Crime!

Sign Up and get a regular update on crimes committed near you. My updates include this immediate area and Evanston.

Blame The Intern

According to Joe’s email blast yesterday:

“Dear Neighbor,

I’m pleased to report that the agenda and minutes of the 49th Ward Zoning and Land Use Advisory Committee are back online. A well-meaning student intern in my office had accidentally erased the minutes from my web site some time ago. After months of hard work, we’ve been able to restore the agendas and minutes and put them back up.”

We have a new person at work so would it justify my point to call her an intern? After all, she’ll have to learn all the databases, where to find reports to make more reports for starters. Suppose she accidentally ‘deleted’ very important documents from the computer. There have been incidents where documents were moved from one folder to another on the shared drive. After the initial shock, I found they had not been deleted by doing a search. Another time I called IT and the missing documents and files were restored from back-up tapes.

Let’s assume these agendas and minutes were saved (hopefully) as pdf copies of word documents (originals). How difficult (time consuming) would it have been to pull up the original word documents, save as a pdf documents and re-post on a website? True, blogs don’t like pdf formats but when saved as a .jpg they post beautifully and quickly.

It’s really sad to blame an intern with this pitiful excuse especially since these documents have 'gone missing' before. Months of hard work? Or was it continuing pressure from certain constituents? Or is it time to start the pre-campaign campaign?

Remember to save the originals and back-up, back-up, back-up. It saves months of hard work having to re-write from scribbled notes.

March 2, 2009

The Dependent Ones

Between reading about small children left alone then this horrid tale of Kitten Abuse should make one wonder if we have lost all common sense.

If we have children and/or baby animals, our responsibility is to take care of them. Sure, we’ve all experienced, or heard through our parent friends, the hassles of day care. Since the blog doesn’t state any specifics, we can’t assume more than the obvious – three small children were left unattended. A nine year old isn’t qualified to handle two siblings without adult supervision. If a babysitter didn’t show up, or the car wouldn’t start, well, things happen and parents need to find alternate solutions even if it means staying home from work. Surely parents would rather deal with an angry boss than deal with DCFS or a tragic accident that occurred because they weren’t home.

Perhaps all building managers should provide a list of day care providers in their immediate neighborhood for all tenants with children. Surely RPCC and HACC and other agencies could assist on this.

The Bong Dude in Nebraska has proven he’s not a candidate for parenthood. Kittens are lively little creatures (like children) and tend to be on the mischievous side for a few months. But little Shadow didn’t deserve to be bonged out of her mind. The sad reality is that the humane society probably offers better temporary treatment than some foster homes provided by DCFS.

Let’s hope for the best for all involved on Sherwin and for Shadow in Nebraska.