July 31, 2009

The Other Howard Watcher

Park District employees wear yellow t-shirts so we can rule this fellow out. His Styrofoam breakfast container was perched on top of the column he used as a table.


Breakfasting in the park at 8:00 AM, this solitary figure kept a watchful eye on Howard Street. It’s doubtful that he was protecting the one or two remaining bricks that have been chipped away in the top level of the column. And its doubtful that his Styrofoam breakfast dish landed in the trash can with his guidance.

But do not worry - the taxpayers donate to the funds to pick up litter that misses the trash cans - it's an entitlement, a privilege to serve.

July 27, 2009

Come Meander Tomorrow July 28

Enjoy a summer evening stroll through multi-unit and single family gardens with Lake Michigan as a backdrop, and lovingly tended by dedicated gardeners, some experienced, some less so but no less enthusiastic. The meander will conclude with a tour of gardens old and new on the Loyola campus and a splendid reception at a special location not to be missed, sponsored by Loyola University, Food for Thought, Lakeside Cafe, Hall's Rental, and Charmer's Cafe.

Meander East of Sheridan
Tuesday, July 28, 6-7:15 pm (Reception follows at 7:30 pm at a very special location on the Loyola campus)
Start: 1059-1103 W. North Shore


The Meander is a member-only event but anyone can join at any time, including at registration.

Membership is $10 per calendar year and entitles you to free admission to all RPGG programs and events for 2009.

July 26, 2009

Contaminated On Howard-Who Lied?

Chicago Discount Cleaners If you click on the names listed to the left next to the map, there's conflicting information. Chicago Discount Cleaners link pop-up states 1529 is still contaminated and the Nordis Inc. link pop-up states the EPA approved it in August 2007. So which is it - contaminated or clean?

Did Coe Lie - Is Howard Site is Still Toxic

One part of the question referred to the environmental issues surrounding the Lerner building and asked if the dry cleaners on Howard been properly tested and cleaned.

Mr. Coe stated it was cleaned and had passed tests in 1988 stating an entity known as the Dry Cleaning Association funded it. The point of the question was to ensure that any environmental issues had been rectified and would not be cause for any delays. The architect spoke up and stated that soil sampling and obtaining permits go in tandem.

From obtaining permits, to demolition and construction the estimated timeline is 28-30 months.

July 24, 2009

Abusive Slumlord exposed - again

This reader left a comment on an old post that I wanted to check out. I’ve included the links to the Tribune and to Illinois Department of corrections. The article I found in the Tribune is dated 2005, (see page 5) and a person with the same name as the landlord she mentions does appear in the IDOC.

Thank you Veronica.

Veronica Wakefield has left a new comment on your post "Tribune Investigates Section 8":


In 2003 the Tribune did a story on the abuses of slumlords and Section Landlords and their tenants. There was a landlord named Cordell Cherry of 7018 South Paxton that had a tenant named Annette Campbell. Ms. Campbell was abused because she complained to Section 8 about the hazard conditions of her apartment. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Cherry the landlord had Ms. Campbells's water illegally turned off. Ms. Campbell and her family were forced to bath in water, use the toilet and drink water that her family lugged over. Even after this, Mr. Cherry tried to evict this woman. IT back fired. As it turned out while surfing the web because I am doing a class on unethical services of landlords and I have to research and write a paper on this subject, Mr. Cherry has been in Prison for over a year now for all sorts of fraudulent matters. If you go to Illinois Department of Corrections and type in Cherry under inmates; then scroll to Cordell Cherry, there is his mug shots and all 20+ counts of charges against this man. I was thinking you all should do a followup from the original story with his mug shot attached to it with the charges listed to show the public of what could happen to them too if they should mistreat people who are in financial circumstances who have to live on section 8 means to support their family. Just because they are living on Government assistance does not mean they should be abused! Great Job Tribune!

2005 Tribune Article

Illinois Department of Corrections

July 23, 2009

Not Rained Out!

Around 6:30 tonight Sharon wasn’t sure the weather would accommodate a movie in the park. She called an hour later and said the screen was going up and the show would go on! Slowly people and kids filled the area in front of the inflatable screen and enjoyed the evening.

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Free Movie In The Park - Tonight

Movies In The Parks Season is here. There's one tonight at a park near you sponsored by the Chicago Park District.

Location: Willye White Park, 1610 W. Howard
Time: Dusk
Madagasgar 2: Escape 2 Africa

July 21, 2009

Exposed! Howard Bosworth LLC

The decrepit but beautiful building sat burned out and vacant for years before I moved here and until the end of 2008. Here's the Broadmoor East-Bosworth courtyard 2006. The work began and continued through the harshest winter we’ve experienced in a long time. The building was power washed, tuckpointed, fitted with new windows, and interior work continued with two pitiful watch dogs guarding the back area. Here's the back courtyard of Broadmoor East in 2005 and below is the view in 2009.

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Many long-time residents will remember the problem tenants above the commercial spaces on Howard. The before and after shots of the doorways to those apartments are impressive – at least to me. The apartments have been completely gutted and rehabbed as interior work progressed. Earlier in the summer one could look inside on the Bosworth ground level and see new floors, cabinetry, exposed brick and rehabbed hallways. Tenants have recently started moving into their new homes.

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The Bosworth courtyard changed dramatically this spring with new pavement, landscaping and it will be interesting to see what will be planted there.

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The bleak parkway often littered with trash has sprouted hostas, and a new tree that were mulched today. The trash is now picked up by the maintenance crew.

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The new facade of the commercial space along Howard.

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Bad habits die hard - let's hope the new tenants and management help the rest of us keep the street both crime and litter free.
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Yes - the sinkhole in front of Lost Eras is still sinking!

July 20, 2009

One Violent Weekend

Both the Tribune and the Sun-Times bear grisly weekend headlines and no one can blame the weather – it was relatively cool. From the south side, to the west side, and yes, even here in Rogers Park – the criminals were out in full force.


Nine shot within four hours…
Two pizzas stolen, deliveryman shot…
Girl 9, wounded in leg…
Avondale boy shot in gang-related…


Store clerk… badly beaten..in East Rogers Park
7 shots within an hour…

Certainly, much of the theft can be blamed on the economy – but can the outright violence? Did people act like this in the 1930’s? We had the Capones and the Dillingers but they had bigger targets than 9 year old girls, pizza delivery men and store clerks.

Can we blame movies, television and video games? Some will and do. Can we blame an ultra-liberal society that created the enabler rules but fails to enforce them? What, an enabler enforcing a rule? Forget it! Instead, the hand-wringers changed the laws to enable even more anti-social behavior.

July 18, 2009

In Memory of Lexie


July 15, 2009

Dear Family & Friends,

I am writing to you with profound sadness to let you know of the passing of my beautiful dog and companion Lexie. She left us Tuesday July 14th at the age of 15 ½ after a 3 month bout with cancer. With the help of the Compassionate Care Vet and Dr. Shanan, surrounded by family and friends, Lexie went to sleep and died peacefully in my arms at home while listening to Bach solo violin. It was a good and peaceful death and we could not have asked for anything more.

Lexie was a gentle giant, a peaceful dog with a very old soul. Her favorite thing to do was to be wherever I was and I of course took her everywhere that she could possibly go. She was a true party animal who attended many gatherings, loved socializing and was always right in the middle of everything. Lexie loved to run on the beach and then jump in the lake and swim. Even right up until the end she would go right in and wade around.

Lex 3

I think one of the main reasons that Lexie lived such a long and happy life was because she listened to so much music. She spent many years in my studio, greeting everyone at the door and laying on her blanket or at the feet of students listening to the violin. She was so happy being there and being the recipient of so much love and attention from all of my students and their families.

Thanks to you all who over the years were a friend to her and to those who kept her while we were away….especially in her later years.

Lexie was the greatest gift and I thank God everyday for putting her in my life. She truly was an angel in disguise and I am honored that I was given the gift of being her caretaker for all of these years.


Lexie Squint 2

July 17, 2009

Rio Touhy

From the in box:

I just returned from out west late Monday night to find one of Chicago's untamed rivers running down my street (1800 block of Touhy) Tuesday morning. My neighbors said that they had called to report it, so I didn't think too much about it. Next day, same river, still no Water Dept. I still wasn't that concerned. I figured they would get to it soon.

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RioTouhy17-14-09 RioTouhy7-17-09

By Thursday they had put up multiple traffic horses and a really cool blinking lighted arrow sign (see picture), but still no work had been done to fix it. It is now Friday about 2 pm and I am getting a little irritated. Thousands of gallons of fresh, pure Chicago drinking water (I've really come to rely on that low dose of anti-depressant each day) is running from the large hole in the street into the storm drain. Is this how the Mayor and our Alderman are "greening" the city?

Maybe they're planning to set up an Olympic kayak run on my street. Or maybe they are waiting until the weekend to fix it so either the Water Dept. or some palm greasing contractor working for them can collect a boatload of overtime.

Meanwhile, El Rio Touhy runs on, and on, and on...

Photos courtesy of Ptooey Avenue

July 16, 2009

Shots Fired and Arrest NOH

Someone I don't know sent an email inquiry Monday about a late night shooting over the weekend. I called the 24th – as anyone can – and learned a non-resident had been shot in the leg around 12:15 AM Sunday, was taken to St. Francis Hospital in Evanston and was uncooperative with police questions. I responded to the person's email. That shooting was in the 7600 block of Marshfield. The report from the Sun-Times has it half an hour later. As some of us have heard - some of the problems stem from what I term 'tourists' or people who come NOH for other business. Of course, we have our own resident problems too.

NOH Shootings and arrests this week.

This morning it was reported on The Broken Heart that scanner talk reported another shooting on Jonquil. I was asleep, don’t have a scanner and the phone doesn’t ring everytime there’s an incident. According to the information I received when I called tonight:

2 calls were placed at 3:27 AM stating there were shots fired around 1600 Jonquil
1 call was placed at 4:39 AM that a person was shot

There was nothing reported as bona fide according to the person I spoke to at 24. If anyone knows a resident of the Jonquil Hotel or the manager, perhaps they can offer some more information.

July 15, 2009

Morbid or Realistic?

This Latest Internet Flurry landed in my inbox today. I googled and found this Snopes Link which sort of sets the record straight. With the stimulus package gifts to certain corporate biggies, the debt to China, who knows if an 80 year old would actually get the stent or not.

How many have wondered if their health care provisions are based on the type of health insurance they carry? The better the coverage, the better the treatment? Then there’s the hot topic between the religious and political groups over the concept of assisted suicide. This British couple is the latest headline grabber.

Was the chronicling of the Downes decision to leave this world together less dignified than reading the daily tabloid headline updates on dying famous persons?

No one screams when we euthanize our beloved but terminally ill pets. In fact, it’s considered an act of kindness to end their suffering. No one screams when people opt for Do Not Resuscitate orders in their powers of attorney or sign up to become organ donors. Some still oppose cremation. In light of the Burr Oak outrage, wouldn’t you rather have your ashes cast in your favorite place by a loved one or friend?

What we need is the establishment of our right to choose - whether it’s a doctor for a stubbed toe, an abortion, or the right to die rather than linger in a futile, painful state. There’s nothing natural about ventilators and IV feedings when there’s no hope of recovery.

July 13, 2009

Access Community Health Network Taxpayer-funded Relocation

Access Community Health Network's Evanston-Rogers Park Family Health Center is relocating from 1555 W Howard. The capital bill Illinois Jobs Now!, signed by Gov. Quinn today, includes $250K from the State of Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) to Access Community Health Network for "relocation and expansion of Evanston-Rogers Park Family Health Center."

All Projects (PDF) (see page 11)

July 11, 2009

Walking in 40

From today's Pratt/Ashland Walk - where a 9 year-old was recently shot by gang banger crossfire.

Sullivan High School Drummers Mayor Daley and a CAPS facilitator Mayor Daley Mayor Daley, Ald. O'Connor

The host of today's walk, Alderman Patrick O'Connor, Ward 40. O'Connor introduced Mayor Daley, Superintendent Jody Weis, Commander Bruce Rottner and others who spoke.

The gentleman in the last photo is the beat facilitator. He reminded everyone what dates, time and place of the beat meetings. He also gave a plug for the upcoming 24th District National Night Out in Willye White Park.

Ald O'Connor - the host Mayor Daley Supt. Jody Weis The Beat Facilitator

My friend Maryon was walking right along with the Mayor. We North of Howard women know how to walk. (Don't forget, we have a walk on the wild side tonight at 7 PM - meet up at 1610 W Howard.) Many feel the walks are useless and that's their opinion. But will ignoring the problems make them disappear? Of course, our little area has ample issues that too many choose to either ignore or let someone else handle for them.

These events are good PR for the pols. As far as I'm concerned, the aldermen should host them regularily - not have a knee-jerk reaction after an incident. Let's hear it for being proactive and earning that salary we pay. Joe won't be able to make the NOH walk tonight - he's had his morning trek and held his well-advertised bike in the park event. He ran out of time in June and just couldn't send an email blast for the Willye White Park event. But that's how it goes when you're a politician. It was duly noted too. No advertising for the poor kids and they had nothing to do with the political landscape.

Maryon and the Mayor walking Commander Rottner

It was good to see Commander Rottner again. Several cheers went out when he was introduced.

July 10, 2009

A Different Positive Loitering Approach

A different approach… to positive loitering.

Sgt. Delgado mentioned Thorndale at last night’s CAPS meeting in the Harold Washington Playlot. The playlot is controversial as the sign states no one over 12 should be inside or rather utilizing the swings, slides, etc.

It’s an on-going problem with neighbors living on Paulina about the quality of life issues unattended children frequently cause. The behavior of some children is definitely spankable – too bad liberals. Far too many children are left to their own devices without adult guidance or supervision. And for what it’s worth, too many children are either learning certain negative behavior from the older kids or their parents.

Older kids and some adults hang out in the park and when the age on the sign is mentioned – one should hear the responses! It’s not unusual to be spat upon, cursed out, verbally threatened, hit with rocks, water balloons or bicycles. The alleged adults will claim that they’re with a younger sibling, cousin, grandchild, etc. True or false, when small children see adults behave in an anti-social way, they’ll probably mimic that behavior.

In another era, small children were never allowed to wander city streets without an adult. In this era, small children are sometimes left under the supervision of an older sibling or just sent out to play.

Thorndale neighbors are using a different approach. It was suggested the NOH neighbors try it in their problem parks.

Howard CTA Art

The schematic for the wall art inside the CTA station at the Howard entrance. It’s colorful and geometric -


Yesterday morning -

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Last night -


It will be interesting to see what the Paulina entrance art will be. At last summer’s presentation some of the proposed hanging art had its pitfalls – pigeon roosts, how to clean, etc. The presenter for one piece said the fiberglass medium could be powerwashed….no specifics about removing it first or just turning the water loose near the escalators. A comment was made on one proposed piece that contained cherubs which led to ‘showing more diversity’ in the cherubs.

Look out – cherubs have fallen into the diversity pit.

A Walk On The Wild Side

Join us for another exciting walk North of Howard. See all the fun stuff going on, add a bit of adventure to your evening. Experience life on "the other side".

When: Saturday, July 11th
Time: 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Place: Meet at Willye White Recreation Center, 1610 W. Howard Street

All are welcome, wheelchairs, strollers, young ones, friendly 4 legged friends on leashes.

Help us to make safety a priority in Beat 2422.

Eva McCann
CAPS Facilitator, Beat 2422

July 9, 2009

CAPS In The Park - Tonight

Beat 2422 will hold it's monthly meeting in Harold Washington Playground, 7710 N. Paulina, Thursday, July 9, 2009 at 7:00 p.m.

Bring a chair to sit in as seats are scarce.

Eva McCann
CAPS Facilitator, Beat 2422

July 7, 2009

July 6, 2009

Community Alert from 24th District

24th District
Wanted for Sexual Exploitation of a Child

About this Crime:

On July 4, 2009 at approximately 12:15 p.m. a male offender was driving a red Sport Utility vehicle near the 7500 block of N. Ridge Ave. Children in the area stated that they observed this offender exposing himself and performing a lewd sex act while seated in his vehicle. The offender attempted to lure young female victims into his SUV before fleeing in an unknown direction.

The victims stated that they have seen the vehicle in the area on previous occasions.


Male, Black, 20-40 years of age, medium build
Dark complexion, bald with a mustasche
Wearing a black shirt and blue jeans

Offenders Vehicle:

Red Sport Utility Vehicle, unknown make or model

What You Can Do:

Call 911 to report any suspicious person(s) or activities
Walk in pairs.
Share this information with members of your community.

If you have any information
Contact Special Investigations Unit
312 492-3810

Japanese Small Wind Turbines Enter U.S. Market

Synergy Viridis LLC

Below are some of the bio's of those involved in this project.

George D. Sullivan, principal is also the principal and CEO of Eco Smart Building, a design/build consulting practice that specializes in building programming, development and construction. Eco Smart’s project portfolio has covered land planning and use, commercial office, retail, educational, mixed use, low and mid rise development, and redevelopment of existing built infrastructure assets. Four hundred and eighty project units have achieved energy conservation targets of 75% better than Energy Star, reducing operating cost and increasing construction quality, occupant comfort and indoor air quality as well as reducing the environmental footprint of the project. In the current real estate market these projects are considered “dark green,” with substantially higher rates of pre-leasing along with longer term leases and higher presales than conventional projects. For 15 years prior to founding Eco Smart Building, George served in senior engineering and operational management positions in several multi-national organizations and professional service firms.

George received his dual Bachelor of Science degree in General Engineering and Biology from the University of Illinois, and his Masters of Science degree in Engineering Physics from the Graduate School of Engineering at the Illinois Institute of Technology. He is a National Science Foundation Scholar and Fellow, Walter P. Mc Crone Scholar in Microscopy, American Cancer Society Scholarship Award recipient, American Lung Association Scholar, United States Navy Fellowship Award recipient, and holds 6 patents.

George has also published articles and has been extensively quoted in numerous publications: Wall Street Journal, US Green Building Council’s newsletter Green Bytes, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun Times, Illinois Real Estate Review, Lerner Newspaper, The Chicago Reader and Rogers Park 2000. He has been selected by the Chicago Chapter of the American Institute of Architects to participate on the Review Board for the City of Chicago’s Building Departments Green Building Code and Green Permit Process.

Additional awards Mr. Sullivan has received: City of Chicago’s Department of Environment Award, Chicago Wilderness and United States Environmental Protection Association Award, and National Wildlife Association Award.

Greg T. Blue, chief operating officer, has 35 years of experience managing people and engineered-to-order business processes. His experience has spanned profit-and-loss-driven aftermarket sales and service, development and direction of project management organizations, field service and installation management, and sales and contract administration.

Mr. Blue comes to Synergy Viridis after 19 years in an OEM setting in a senior management capacity, where he was recently responsible for the management of complex engineering and manufacturing processes. In his varied career, he has been involved with companies that specialize in the fields of engineering, construction, power and utilities, automotive, graphic arts, and high tech.

At Synergy, Greg is responsible for the coordination of assembly, manufacturing, distribution and maintenance of our renewable energy system products and services. He ensures that business operations are efficient and effective and that proper management of resources, distribution of products and service to customers is outstanding.
He holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and an MBA.

Celeste Karan, executive director of marketing, has garnered national and international attention for her clients through her skilled marketing efforts. Celeste is an experienced Realtor and an authority on green building. Her passion regarding sustainability issues has lead her to specialize in helping clients navigate the often confusing world of “green” claims. She has been featured in many publications, including the Wall Street Journal and Crain’s Chicago Business, and has become widely known as an expert in her field.

She understands the construction industry and has an in-depth knowledge of energy-efficient design and green building methods that give developers a marketing edge, provide lower energy bills for the owner, create a more comfortable and healthy home, and conserve natural resources. She is familiar with all the major U.S. certification programs for green buildings, energy-efficient mortgage products and tax credits, as well as all major options for renewable power generation.

Delegation from Sinfonia Technology

Mr. Kazumichi Kato, Ph.D. in Engineering
Mr. Kazumichi Kato has been serving as Managing Director and Chief Director of Electronic Precision Equipment in SINFONIA TECHNOLOGY CO., LTD. since June 2007. He is also in charge of Main Development Unit and Vehicle Control System Project Unit. He joined the Company in April 1975.

Mr. Tsutomu Tomokuni
General Manager of Renewable Energy Equipment Sales Department

Mr. Fumio Sayama
Director of Renewable Energy Technology

July 1, 2009

Willye White - Olympic Hall of Fame 2009

Olympic Hall Of Fame Winners Announced

Willye White, Athletics

The first woman to compete for the U.S. Team in five Olympic Games, Willye White's Olympic career spanned 16 years, from 1956 to 1972. Specializing in the long jump and 100 meters, she earned a silver medal in long jump at the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne at the age of 16, marking the first time an American woman medaled in the event. She won her second silver medal in 1964 as a member of the 4x100 meter relay team in Tokyo.

White was a member of more than 30 international and national track teams and won 12 Amateur Athletic Union long jump titles during her career. She set seven American records and won 13 national indoor and outdoor titles. She has been inducted into 11 sports hall of fames, including her 1981 induction into the USATF National Track & Field Hall of Fame.

White passed away in February 2007.

Congratulations to our Friends of Willye: Mickey, Sarah, Amy, Diane and Pat - also members of the Willye White Park Advisory Council.