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.

October 6, 2009

Walk and Roll Tomorrow

A message and invitation from Amy at Girls In The Game:

"Tomorrow, Wednesday, October 7, is National Walk and Roll to School Day. It’s a national day to celebrate fitness and encourage students to walk/bike/roll to school rather than drive.

In schools across the country activities and fests are held to celebrate.

The exciting news is that the Mayor’s Fitness Council, a group I am on, selected Gale School as one of the two schools for this year.
What this means is we will be at Gale from 7:45-8:45 am helping to lead fitness stations with the students. The principal and community leaders will briefly speak and then they will lead the school in a morning stretch followed by an energized walk around the school/park.

Girls in the Game agreed to help lead, as we are trying to connect the girls at Gale with Willye White Park. What we still need are 4-5 volunteers who can come help us with activities – for the boys and girls.

Anyone you can pass this too – I’d be most appreciative! I know people are busy – but we just need 1 HOUR of their time!!"

Amy Skeen MSW, LCSW
Executive Director
Girls in the Game
Union Park Fieldhouse
1501 West Randolph
Chicago, IL 60607

Blog Note: Three neighbors/council members have volunteered to help tomorrow - can you? Come on out and stretch!

CAPS Beat 2422 Meeting Thursday, October 8

Don't forget:

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

Thursday, October 8

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

October 3, 2009

OK - Life Goes On - Let's Make It Better For The Kids

The upcoming discussion with Attorney General Eric Holder and Education Secretary Arne Duncan next week needs to encompass more than ‘finding kids jobs’ when discussing school violence. There’s a whole list of issues that have not been dealt with for decades in Chicago and the US of A.

Perhaps the politicians can begin by removing an outdated law which allows a 16 year old child to make the decision to drop out of high school. Some kids may need jobs after school to keep them off the streets but in this economy, it’s an unlikely scenario. Younger children't can't legally hold a job. Many parents are struggling but parents in decades of yore struggled and somehow managed to teach moral responsibility to their children. Probably because their parents taught them.

How many generations of drop-out children having children are we dealing with? How many frustrated young adults turned away from education, and turned to drugs and the street life? How many started families before they were mature enough to even know what parenting meant? How many found the job markets difficult to compete in without an education? Did they reach for help or grow older filled with resentment? If they reached for help, what was the outcome? Rather than dissolving a senseless law, the wise ones created the Welfare state, the housing projects, and left the rest of the worries to the neighborhoods. The wise ones had more important goals to accomplish. Isn’t that what some call doing a half-assed job? Children are still growing up in homes where there is physical, emotional, and often substance abuse with little hope but an abundance of anger and hate. Sadly, there are 'people' making money from these situations.

Yesterday is over and if ‘life goes on’ can we sense the reality to act upon specific needs beyond meetings and rhetoric? Every school near a park facility should be lobbying for some of yesterday’s money to ensure that at-risk kids have a place to go. So should the politicians and religious leaders. Park employees should be visiting neighborhood schools to advertise, entice, and give hope to school children. And, parents of these children should get their priorities straightened out. What’s more important – buying those lottery tickets, that six pack or half pint, the Stroger-taxed cigarettes, the fast food drenched in grease or a safe place for the kids after school?

The everything is free mentality needs to be amended as do the enabling attitudes exhibited toward low-income people. Is it really helping or in the long run is it a life-long hindrance? If the wise ones want a world class city, then perhaps that time, energy and money should be spent turning around the social mess they’ve created and hidden beneath the cloak of liberalism.

It shouldn’t revert to the age old dilemma – which came first, the chicken or the egg?