December 8, 2010

Ornaments, Cookies and Books and Gifts

Interested in making holiday ornaments? There will be an Ornament Making Class on Saturday, December 11 at the Willye White Community Center at 1610 W. Howard from 10-11 am.

The Park Council will be there with a book and bake sale to meet and greet neighbors. The council voted at last months meeting to do some fundraising with home made baked goods and childrens books. In addition, we are hoping to set up a collection box for canned goods and small items for families in need for this holiday season. Please stop by and make a small donation for the kids.

Beat 2422 Meeting

Those who regularly attend CAPS Beat 2422 agreed with me that this area needs a monthly meeting - not a quarterly one as prescribed after the cutback in the program that sent CAPS officers to patrol our streets.

The next Beat 2422 meeting is tomorrow at 7:00 PM at Willye White Community Center, 1610 W. Howard. Perhaps we can learn more about the shooting of a person and a vehicle last night on Howard.

On a side note - the Willye White Park Advisory Council will be setting up a collection box at the center for donations of canned goods and small items such as children's gloves, small toys, games for children in need this holiday season. If you'd like, please bring a donation to the beat meeting or drop in Saturday morning (see previous post) for the book and bake sale.

November 21, 2010

Blither and Blather

Do you get dizzy or confused reading the news?

Odd, now candidate Rham would use TIF dollars to hire police in one article. In another, the city council wants to provide affordable housing via TIF dollars – barring a Daley veto. Meanwhile another article reminds us that Quinn wants to raise income taxes.

Now here, in Ward 49, we’re trying to create another wheel, a RIF! What that boils down to is some of us can soon get up and go to work, see our checks chopped by Quinn then diced by Cook County then sliced again for a special assistance fund for landlords providing ‘low income housing’.

Why this select group? What is this select group going to do for the community? Screen tenants better? Enforce the rules that go with ‘affordable housing’? Are they going to live in their own buildings and keep the loiters and noisemakers at bay? Or are they just going to get their boilers and roofs fixed on the taxpayers dime?

No one is talking much about EDUCATION or CRIME. Maybe they think it will go away if we’re taxed to the hilt?

November 20, 2010

Missing Rogers Park Woman - Could Be Armed

A possibly armed woman who suffers from mental disorders has disappeared in the Rogers Park neighborhood and police are asking for help in finding her.

Police say if you encounter her, do not approach her but call 911 or Belmont Area detectives, (312) 744-8266. Click Headline for full story and description.

November 11, 2010

No CAPS Beat 2422 Meeting Tonight

Remember - there's no beat meeting for 2422 tonight.

2010 CAPS Beat 2422 Calendar-1

There will not be a November meeting. The date fell on Veterans Day and in observance of a national holiday we will not be meeting.

November 4, 2010

Shooting NOH

A neighbor near the area called last night about a shooting. A tipster sent the link - click the headline for the full story.

Thanks For the News clip!


Just after 10pm on November 3rd, 7600 block of N. Paulina, aggravated battery with a firearm. One male adult shot in the head, arm and abdomen. Male offender fled in a red or maroon older model vehicle towards triangle park. The victim was in serious condition at time of report. Police received several calls of shots fired at 5am on the 4th, police responded and were impressed by the number of callers.

According to the sergeant I spoke to, the offender walked up to the victim, fired and fled.

November 1, 2010

Celebrate All Souls Day At the Polls

The cycle of life – here’s a reminder of the traditions and religions from other cultures. Day of the Dead

Ironically, tomorrow is election day and it falls on All Souls Day! Please vote so the robo calls will cease and desist for a few days. We all know Chicago Elections are a Tradition!

October 30, 2010

Halloween Walk

Bring your sage sticks, incense, candles, flashlights, glowsticks, bells, tambourines, drums or noisemakers to frighten the evil spirits away!

Tonight - Saturday, October 30 at 8:30 PM. Meet up at Willye White Center, 1610 W. Howard. We'll walk through the three parks North of Howard and Rogers Beach.

Please join us - don't read about it - participate in it!

October 26, 2010

A Whole New Can of Worms

RIF, TIF – Look out taxpayers

“This is an effort to preserve affordable housing if there is another housing boom, said Marilyn Pagan-Banks, executive director of A Just Harvest and a leader in Northside P.O.W.E.R. “TIF’s do work, and can work, and the whole process can be reformed,” said Pagan-Banks.”

The article states volunteers spoke to “…landlords and tenants to design this idea.” I shudder to think of some of the landlords our hard earned tax dollars might go to. Some of the landlords in this area North of Howard are non-resident owners who could care less about their tenants or the community as a whole. So what if the single mom, her kids, grandkids and ‘the man’ with the ankle bracelet are disturbing everyone’s peace up and down a whole block? The absentee landlord doesn’t lose sleep from his tenants year round antics. So we deal with anti-social behaviors, kids tearing up flower pots, terrorizing and or killing small animals, shooting like cowboys, beating one another up all the while, the absentee landlord is deaf. Ben Myers wants to be alderman but cant’ manage his tenants

We have too many absentee’s here so, this RIF proposal and the presence of Pagan-Banks should set off a light bulb. If you recall, she and Danny Boy Romero had a brilliant idea of getting TIF money to train people for union construction jobs on the Howard El. However, their church organization that was all set to do the ‘training’ wasn’t certified. Translation: The organization was frothing to get the TIF money. Oops! Northside Power Strikes Out

So, there were discussions with an unstated number of landlord and tenants. Where were the big outreach meetings to everyone who pays taxes for input? I attended that June 2009 meeting where the old rhetoric of ‘stand up if you believe’ and ‘will you support us’ filled an afternoon meeting. If this ward could have more meat and potatoes and less drama – we might actually be progressive!

If you find the Medill article less than balanced, researched, be sure to check out the insert box or ‘Fact Sheet’ and make sure you put extra cash aside that could possibly help some of the problem buildings posted on this blog for the past 5 years. You may live next to one. You may have had bullets land in your home, hit your car….but we need to be sensitive here neighbors. We should just keep paying for the oversights, lack of planning, lack of proper management and above all, lack of proper screening. A good landlord keeps rents down so he can keep good tenants and he screens them, does background checks and has the right to insert language in the lease concerning drug use and obnoxious behavior.

The term troubled building is a fairly simple equation: Any building that has frequent complaints from neighbors and/or has had 2 felony arrests in a 6 month period.

If you want a better understanding of TIFS, there will be a gathering at Loyola Park Field House on Saturday, October 30 at 3 PM.

Come and learn the facts about TIFs:
Tax Increment Finance (TIF) 101
What it is and WHY IT HAS TO GO!

Presented by:
Tom Tresser
Green Party candidate for Cook County Board President
Lead Organizer for No Games Chicago

More Info on TIFS

October 14, 2010

CAPS Beat 2422 Meeting TONIGHT

Please attend the monthly CAPS Beat 2422 meeting tonight at 7 PM -

Willye White Community Center
1610 W Howard

Come and discuss your issues or come to learn how to deal with issues. It's your neighborhood and it will only take one hour of your time.

October 2, 2010

Discrimination Against Taxpayers

How nice of our Uber-Liberals

The term charities can be misleading – while their services may be free or on a sliding scale, it would be interesting if the Sun-Times would post the salaries of the directors of these free-water organizations. Most make more than $70k a year. How do they come up with a salary amount like that if they can't afford water? Translated that means they make more than most middle class workers in the non-charity world. You know, the world most of us live in – the real one with taxes, deadlines and penalties.

Couldn’t some of these organizations afford to pay? If totally strapped in these rough times, couldn’t they cough up a sliding scale for the water bills? Do we also assume this included free trash pick up as well?

There's No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

September 24, 2010

Rogers Park Garden Group 2010 Fundraiser

Many of us have plants from this wonderful fundraiser in our gardens. Many unattractive corners and spaces have been transformed into eye-catching sights thanks to the financial grants of the Rogers Park Garden Group.

If you’ve never stopped by before this event is a must attend!


Click the headline for their website!

September 22, 2010

Shots Fired NOH

How many people in the vicinity of Paulina/Jonquil and Juneway area heard shots fired last night? It's so abnormal to be on the phone with a neighbor and be interrupted by the neighbor saying "did you hear that - sounds like gunshots".

We hung up so the neighbor could dial 911. Got an update call that several squads were in the vicinity.

September 16, 2010


The revelers and/or tourists were having a grand ole time close-by Tuesday night around midnight. It's a work night for some people and I hope most neighbors slept through it. The night voices nearly overpowered my own radio in my own home.

Finally I heard a voice on a bull horn telling everyone to GO HOME. The same noise wafted in last night. If it's rainy tonight maybe they'll STAY home?

OH and voters - make sure you understand that you can sign only one petition for a candidate seeking the same office as another. The petition requesters fail to notify people of the rule. So if you sign John Doe's petition on Monday and it's notarized and submitted into the system - it's done. If you sign a petition for Mary Smith who's a candidate for the same office on Wednesday your signature isn't valid for her. I do love the transparency in government, don't you?

Lastly, I don't need a petition requester reeking of alcohol begging me to sign the sheet if not for the candidate then sign it for him! I couldn't help but wonder if he's getting paid per name......

September 12, 2010

Get That Receiver Soon

The other night I was asked why 24/7 wasn’t updated more often. Well, it is summertime for starters and it’s always healthy to find new interests since nothing seems to change much North of Howard. For more than five years I’ve posted photos of mismanaged buildings, reported gunshots fired, dealers in doorways, hookers on Howard, gambling in the public way and still, not much has changed.

7712 N Ashland had the front gate closed and locked Friday night – but still no locks on the front door. According to two sources, one new owner has been working on the back door to keep the squatters out – and hopefully soon the front door?

9/3/2010 - No Locks 9/3/2010 - No Locks

There have been complaints of people loitering, dealing and making a lot of noise at a certain corner. When I asked for a specific building I was given a well-known address. 7700-06 N Marshfield.

7700-06 N Marshfield

Not much has changed at this property. The gates and doors are unsecured just as they were when I was invited to visit years ago. Hopefully the hallways are cleaner.

On one Friday walk, we noticed the door on this property. On Friday’s walk we checked on it. It has been repaired but was not locked as was the other entry door on the north. The interior doors were unlocked allowing anyone to walk right into the place.

1722-24 Juneway Replaced door at 1722-24 Juneway 1722-24 Juneway No security - 1722-24 Juneway Replaced exterior door with Interior knob..

Note: The interior door knob on an exterior door! Maybe that’s all that was in the handyman’s inventory.

1722-24 Juneway

However, in all fairness and since it’s public knowledge if one knows where to look, it may as well be shared.

There may be some change underway

Ashland/Juneway Howard Theatre Building

September 10, 2010

Neighborhood Walk Tonight

Meet up at 7:00 PM at 1610 W. Howard, Willye White Community Center.

September 9, 2010

CAPS Beat 2422 Meeting TONIGHT


Gateway Senior Building
7450 N Rogers

7:00 PM

We are scheduled to have a guest speaker from the CHA unit that handles scattered site housing. However, they will work with neighbors and their CHAC counterparts on problem section 8 properties near scattered site housing.

August 28, 2010

Lights OUT on Howard

Neighbors - the street lights are out on Howard from the El (Paulina) to Marshfield.

Please call 311 to get their attention. Remember to ask for a referral number too.

Howard Street is pitiful enough in daylight but after dark with no lights it's the ultimate blight.

August 23, 2010

Woman Shot on Paulina

There were shots fired on the 7700 block of Paulina in the early morning hours. A neighbor called later in the morning to report crime scene detectives around Paulina/Jonquil. A female on a bicycle was taken to the hospital. Click the headline for the small blurb that did make the Sun-Times

I took the long way to the el this morning but the detectives were gone. One woman exiting a building on the corner said she heard 5 shots around 3 am. Another person told me the incident was around 4 am further north on Paulina.

At any rate, shots were fired again in our neighborhood and this time a person was hit.

August 12, 2010

HOT - 7712 N Ashland Online Auction

Wow, look at what you can purchase for just $1000! Auction – 7712 N Ashland.

Of course, you will also purchase the Code Violations. According to a very trusted source who does real estate law – the TOP floor of 7712 N Ashland sold July 1 for $75,000. *Thanks Chris for the auction and code links!

So I printed the information from the email including snapshots from the Cook County Recorder of Deeds for the Beat meeting. Still, the representative from the ward office insisted that someone lives there. Maybe – but who would want to live in a building where squatters and party people are running in and out all night? Who would really want to live in a building without a door knob, lock, or any kind of security?

Punks removed the doorknob

It was suggested that with the ward’s help, corporation counsel could be contacted to put this place into receivership. "The city as well as Fannie Mae have the authority to have a receiver appointed to address these problems." Fannie Mae owns the other 3 units.

Any neighbors residing near 7712 N Ashland may contact me or call the ward office with this suggestion. Is it any wonder that the decline of any neighborhood is hinged on this type of quick sale to investors? This property has flipped several times since the first foreclosure. In between flips - non-resident 'owners' rented to anyone and their clan.

August 11, 2010

CAPS Beat 2422 Meeting

The August meeting will be at Willye White Community Center at 1610 W. Howard, 7:00 PM.

Remember, what happens 5 blocks or 5 miles may eventually have an impact on you - this is your neighborhood. There's no such phrase as 'It's Not My Problem'.

August 10, 2010

Abandoned Buildings & Illegal Parties

Illegal Parties

Illegal parties are taking place within your
community and are causing disturbances
and dangerous situations. Please be aware
of the possible indicators of an illegal party
taking place within your community.

• Occurring in a vacant or abandoned building
• Charging admission
• Sale of alcohol without a license
• Curfew violators
• Overcrowding
• Excessive noise
• Drinking on the Public Way
• Fights and other disturbances
Call 911 when you suspect an illegal party is
occurring. You can also TXT2TIP the police if
you receive information that an illegal party is
going to occur at 274637 (CRIMES) or call
your local district community policing office.

“Safe Neighborhoods are Everyone’s Business”

Oddly, the above press release from the 24th District came out just after another episode at 7712 N Ashland. A big party was going on in the place and spilling onto the parkway. This building was finally put into troubled buildings in January. It's been foreclosed upon, there have been auctions, a 30 day notice to vacate was sent on June 6, 2010. There was a court date with the next follow up in January 2011!!!

There are two real estate lock boxes on the fence. One neighbor who was interested went to see the place and learned that one floor had allegedly been sold. So perhaps the alderman's office can finally get this story sorted out. To date the myriad emails I've been copied on seem to argue with the neighbors who have to deal with this mess instead of helping them. The ward office needs to ensure that the place is secured and kept that way. Someone put a padlock on the front door and since photos don't lie - the whole door knob has been removed.

Dump it in the parkway 7712 N Ashland Punks removed the doorknob

Neighbors, keep your eyes open for the signs and symptoms of squatters, burglars and the illegal parties. Apparently the powers that be feel that they'll get to heaven by enabling poverty and anti-social behavior. Meanwhile, we get hit in the pocket multiple times - taxes to pay for others rent, the police and fire departments, our city council and their follies and the greater scheme countrywide. By the time all is said and done maybe we'll have a buck or two for ourselves. There should be a more earthbound solution.

August 8, 2010

Wild Night On Howard Street

After ten or more minutes of what seemed like non-stop sirens, I looked out and saw blue lights on Howard. Undercovers, squads, ambulances, and police were everywhere and yes, the crowd was spitting nasty.

Saturday Night On Howard Street

One male told me 'a girl got beat up and the cops came and beat the shit outta everybody'. Yeah right kid. There's always that slant when the police have to show up in large numbers. But then in certain minds, beating a woman is acceptable behavior.

People complain that the police don't make arrests on the spot for even minor infractions of the rules. The police say their hands are tied thanks to the bleedin' heart liberals amending the laws, yet the trouble makers on the street claim brutality. One officers response was "yeah right, how about they were beating the shit out of my officers?"

As one ambulance tried to leave Howard and turn on Ashland, members of the crowd decided to amble across Ashland as slowly as possible. The ambulance honked at them to move and they turned and yelled the phrase we hear 24/7 "f*ck you assholes".

I considered dialing the alderman's number so he could come clean up the graffiti but decided against it. He and David Orr and their followers made this mess but they're neither brave nor bold enough to admit it. Isn't that one step to solving a problem? Admitting there is a problem?

August 2, 2010

National Night Out - 2010

This year National Night Out will be held Tuesday, August 3, 2010 in Warren Park, 6601 N Western Avenue from 6-8 pm. Organized marches will start at designated locations to show our solidarity and take a visible stand against crime.

Take back our streets
Strengthen our neighborhood spirit
Partner with local police to fight crime
Send the message to criminals that our neighborhoods are organized and fighting back!

Outdoor Police Roll Call
Information for Seniors
Meet and Greet Neighbors
Children Activities

If you can't participate in a walk to Warren Park, you could always sit outside with your neighbors.

The above information from the on the headline for the CAPS website for more information.

July 30, 2010

Take Note Pet Owners! P.A.W.S. Fundraiser


Kendra Stevens, local performer and producer, will put her birthday to good use this year and celebrate by raising money for a cause that is very dear to her: P.A.W.S.. Stevens will be hosting a show at The Glenwood (6962 N. Glenwood Avenue), a dog-friendly bar located in Rogers Park, just across the street from the Morse red line stop from 3 - 6 pm on July 31st. Local performers will entertain the crowd while the food and alcohol flow.

A $10 donation will buy your first drink and additional $5 drink tickets can be purchased, good for any drink. There will be a 50-50 raffle and drawings for pet-themed gifts as well. All proceeds will benefit P.A.W.S. through Stevens' triathlon effort later this summer. Those who cannot attend, but would still like to donate may visit Stevens' fundraising page through the P.A.W.S. website here.

The lineup includes members of the all-female comedy group "The Kates" and other members of the local comedy scene. Kristin Clifford, Kelsie Huff, Nellie Huggins, Sarah Weidmann, Carrie Bain, Alexandra Tsarpalas and Kendra Stevens will all be performing.

July 20, 2010

Treat The Disease - Not The Symptom

When the phone rings at 7:30 AM, it’s never an invitation to a rock concert in this neighborhood. Na, it’s usually a neighbor calling about something shaking on the streets. This time it was on Jonquil where several squad cars had gathered and the neighbor said one had a rifle and entered the red brick building, 1542 Jonquil. So I walked a roundabout way to the el the morning of July 15, 2010.

Good morning Jonquil -

While watching from a distance, a man walked past so I inquired what was happening. He stated he was the resident manager for the yellow brick building, 1546 Jonquil next door, of Wells Street Management fame. Apparently, two youth were taken into custody for shooting at windows in his building with a BB gun from the Myers building, 1542 Jonquil. The front door of 1546 had two new bullet holes in the glass the week I was putting up CAPS flyers! For those of you who don’t’ attend CAPS meetings, the matter was brought up…a woman mentioned kids shooting and killing a mother raccoon and her four babies in the Jonquil/Bosworth alleyway.

Both are problem buildings…the Wells Street building was the scene a few weeks ago of the two characters ordering pizza and robbing the delivery persons. They were finally caught in the act and arrested. The delivery person gave a positive ID and hopefully will follow through when it’s time for court.

1546 Jonquil 1542 Jonquil

Then the email blast came out after all the wild spring and summer North of Howard that a task force is going to get rid of graffiti in Ward 49. I’m not a fan of graffiti, but this big blast seems to be more of a PR attempt to treat the symptom instead of the disease. Part of the disease is pretending these issues aren’t really happening and are just heat-related and will go away. Well here’s a newsflash - problem buildings are up and running all year. Until such time that the alderman faces the facts instead of prefabricated fiction, problem buildings will take over like weeds in the many undeveloped spots on Howard Street and elsewhere.

Then we all know what comes next – it’s up to the police and the ‘good’ neighbors to clean up the problems! Some neighbors do their part…we’re a split neighborhood thanks to politics. Many subsidized tenants are either afraid to dial 911 or are part of the problem. Too many homeowners drive into their garages and stay inside except to walk the dog. So we have two groups of people ignoring what’s happening outside until it lands in their front door. Then the hankies fly and the cell phones come out. Oh, FOUL….

Then we have the outsiders with 630 prefixes touting the usual rabble rousing hate noise that those homeowners are going to drive the poor out of their homes. The rabble rousers who don’t live here, don’t hear gunfire, (or have bullets fly through their windows) don’t see kids getting abused, being left alone…the usual social issues we see day in and day out. Please…the damn 30 year Northpoint contract doesn’t start until the current one expires in 2013. Put that on your bullhorns and election flyers.

In the meantime, if you’re out on Howard Street, you may hear certain people calling neighbors and cops every name in the book…. just like statements from this Sun Times article.

Where were the ward graffiti blasters last Monday night around 7 PM? They could have blasted the young women yelling across Howard Street about knifing each other. One woman had her toddler in the car – so what’s the future of that child? That’s the disease – the graffiti is the symptom.

I hope the alderman has a great birthday bash and Friday night beers with the constituents. Perhaps he can put my May request to discuss certain buildings arrests and calls for service on his agenda. That request was made as a beat co-facilitator – not a blogger just so there’s no confusion.

It would be highly political if the disease instead of the symptom was taken off the back burner and made a top priority. I’d like to think that little girl who heard her mother and the other women threatening to have a knife fight has someone brave enough to break that pattern.

July 8, 2010

Don't Forget CAPS Meeting Tonight

CAPS Beat 2422 meets tonight -

Gateway Senior Apartments
7450 N. Rogers

7:00 PM

June 28, 2010

June 19, 2010

Rogers Park Men Can Cook

There will be some terrific music, great prizes for the grilling winners, delicious food - and it is all for a very good cause - the children. You will help send underprivileged area children to summer camp to enjoy field trips to museums and other activities in a safe environment. Help make a summer memory for a child.

Click on the headline for the whole scoop and entry guidelines!

Rogers Park Men Can Cook

Live music from Sullivan High School Steel Drum Band, The School of Rock, and nostalgic 60's music and world music from DJ Maliq.

June 8, 2010

Meeting Tonight and Thursday Night

Community Safety Meeting with
Commander Michael Wick

Tues. June 8
7:00 – 8:00 pm
Willye White Recreation Center
1610 W. Howard Street

We will ask Commander Wick
For 5 ways The Police, the Park District,
and The Community
Can work together To create A safe summer
In our 3 parks North of Howard Street

Sponsored by the Parks Safety Committee.
For More Info, please call 773-973-4912




WEEKLY Neighborhood Walks EVERY FRIDAY 7 PM
PARK GAME NIGHT for those who don't want to walk -


For more information: email or JOIN us and participate!

June 3, 2010

Neighborhood Hour

Let's have Neighborhood Hour. That's tomorrow and every Friday at 7 PM - 1610 West Howard, Willye White Center.

Just a reminder to turn off the TV, hit the snooze button on the computer and join us for a neighborhood walk OR Park Game Night.

For those who don't care to walk - you may enjoy playing board games in Willye White Park with the kids. Bring a friend, a neighbor, the kids and the family dog.

May 31, 2010


I've had several neighbors call about the lights being OUT on Howard Street since last week. If you live in the area - please call 311 and report it. You might also mention it to the alderman at tomorrow's Satellite Office at the Howard el.

May 27, 2010

Weekly Neighborhood Walk -

It's a holiday weekend but we will walk! Canine neighbors are welcome too.

Meet up:

Every Friday - 7 PM
Willye White Community Center
1610 West Howard

We're still accepting volunteers for Neighborhood Nights to play board games with kids in the park. Come on out and join us.

May 26, 2010

Wisdom Bridge Is Falling Down, Falling Down...

One of my all time favorite songs is “Do You Believe In Magic” by the Lovin’ Spoonful. So what’s that got to do with a building collapse? Well, a lot of people are having a difficult time grasping the concept of “Do You Believe In Coincidence”. We just heard the 49th Ward zoning committee approved the plans for Wisdom Bridge, upzoning for the 7 storey building etc. The email blast said the community approved the latest plan. However, there never was a call for a show of hands – just the usual procedure of show and talk. It’s supposed to – and I hope – be an economic development on Howard. However, that’s what was said about the Gateway Mall a few years before I moved here. I stated twice in the public meetings that if this building is also home to NFP’s here, then there’s nothing for me to purchase to boost the economy. But…back to today.

This morning was the first time pedestrians could walk on the north side of Howard following sidewalk replacement after fiber optics went during the dead of winter. They cut a strip in the middle of the sidewalk, installed the fiber optics and patched it with cement that was rough due either to a speedy patch up or the cold January weather. So for a few days, we ALL had to walk on the south side of Howard.

So what happened this afternoon? Part of the façade of Wisdom Bridge Theatre fell onto the sidewalk on the south side of Howard.

More Barren landscape More Rubble on Howard Wisdom Bridge - One Last Longshot

Of course, another email blast came tonight to let us know the roof collapsed and no one was injured. That’s good – but the tone of the email almost seemed joyous. Or maybe I’ve just seen too many catastrophes in 8 years up here. Last week I saw several squad cars and a paddy wagon from the train as it pulled into the Howard Station. I walked down Ashland to Rogers to learn that a man had been murdered in his apartment. Then last night I heard yelling – which happens a lot in front of certain buildings here. Around 10:15 pm or so, I heard tires squealing and more yelling. I looked out and saw undercover police, blue and whites and lots of officers scouring residential yards across the street. I heard tonight that they caught their person – what else – drugs.

Mr. Aronson and Mr. Moore – you have a lot of work to do on Howard Street. Since neither of you LIVE here – please put thought into what the BIG PICTURE is if you dare speak the words economic development. I really can’t envision North Shore residents parking behind the Howard Theatre and walking to this site for a fabulous evening of dining and theatre if the gunslingers are shooting and the drug dealers are asking them “you straight?”. That’s what we have been dealing with – isn’t it time to change something here?

Demolishing the facade of Wisdom Bridge Theatre Note the WATER SPRAY at long last!

This is what the North Shore folks will see if some meaningful plans aren’t put into action.

Barren, desolate Howard Street GEDC0076

In closing, at least the demolition crew did it right. Note the water spraying as the façade came down. Spraying is required by the EPA to stop dust contamination from asbestos etc., but was NOT done when the Lerner Building was torn down, the Adelphi Theatre and the North Shore School. AND, all three are un-developed, barren patches or holes in the ground.

May 20, 2010

NOH Walks and Neighborhood Nights

For those who want to do their civic duty but don't care to walk - please help with Neighborhood Nights in conjunction with Walks. The non-walkers can play board games with the kids outside at Willye White Community Center while the other neighbors walk. We can use tables and chairs from the facility. The chess club also meets on Friday evenings, maybe they'll join us.

Two neighbors have offered to volunteer on the games - please contact me so we can do our first event tomorrow, Friday, May 21 at 7:00 PM. Meet up at 1610 West Howard.

May 16, 2010

Hooligans Tear Down Fence

Late Thursday night, a group of 12-15 males were out and about with nothing positive to do. So after playing fisticuff for awhile they decided to do a little property damage. Pushing back and forth on a fence, they finally tore a section apart. Realizing their little game had resulted in damage, one crawled inside, propped up the fence and exited through the owners front gate. The two comrades buzzing back and forth on bicycles were keeping a protective eye out for the police (who were called before the incident).

So the owner is replacing the fence at a ballpark figure of about $500 not counting his time. Had the broken fence collapsed on a pedestrian someone would have tried to sue. So the man had no choice but to tear down and replace. After all, the Crusaders only show up to protect the perps - the hell with the good neighbors who want and deserve a safe, quiet neighborhood.

Then there's the woman who allows the kids to hang out of screenless windows yelling down at their friends. Last night the F word was resonating on the crisp night air. If mom or guardian is talking to the kids that way, is there any doubt why the kids have an attitude?

Real nice neighbors we have.

May 13, 2010

Meeting Tonight - Beat 2422

If you live between Juneway to the North and Jarvis to the South, Clark to the West and the Lake on the East - you live in Beat 2422.

Tonight is the monthly CAPS meeting. Please attend.

7450 North Rogers
Gateway Senior Residence - Community Room
7:00 PM

May 10, 2010

Two Shot - Silver Car Involved....

OK, still want to convince some of us that there's nothing going on here?

May 6, 2010

Happiness Is A Happy Kitten

Happiness is……having Snoopy to play with!

Soho and Snoopy Soho and Snoopy Soho and Snoopy Soho and Snoopy Soho and Snoopy Soho and Snoopy

Police Roll Call on Howard Street

In response to the gunfire lately and to last night’s shooting incident, the police held roll call tonight on Howard Street. Thanks to the alderman and neighbors who were able to attend on a few hours notice. It was a tad chilly - but we're tough, right? And we're tired of hearing gunshots right? Have we had enough?

3 Howard Street - Police Roll Call 7 pm 1 Howard Street - Police Roll Call 7 pm

What would an event be without the Bojo Brothers? They're standing at attention too.

The BoJo Boys at attention!

The next CAPS Beat meeting is Thursday, May 13 at 7:00 PM at 7450 N. Rogers, Gateway Senior Residence in the community room. Please attend - it's just an hour of your time but an hour that might help improve the neighborhood.

And to everyone’s surprise, the demolition of an eyesore on Howard.

One Eyesore - going, going -soon to be gone

May 5, 2010

Male Shot NOH

Shortly after the Wisdom Bridge meeting adjourned there was more gunfire tonight. This time a male was hit in the ankle or leg behind the facility. The whole area was closed and had yellow crime tape around it. I left the alderman a message that yet another gunslinging episode happened shortly after he left.

Two neighbors reported hearing gunshots early this morning - so there is something ugly going on in the neighborhood.

This is not 'occasional violence'.

Kitten Tossed Like Trash

A neighbor called about 7:00 this morning apologizing for the early hour but wanted to know if I had any cat food. He said he was walking his dog and a woman passed him, reached into her purse and tossed this kitten behind a wrought iron fence. He hoped the smell of cat food would lure her close enough to grab.

She's a curious baby Little girl is 6-8 weeks old Orphan Kitten Tossed from evil woman's purse

By the time I grabbed a can of soft food, tied my shoes and ran around the corner, there he was with a jealous dog and this little girl in his arm. It’s been a traumatic morning for little orphan. She was tossed away like trash, rescued by a man with a dog, transferred to me for a bus ride to the vet. Dr. Hauk at Broadway Animal Hospital was great and so was the staff. He asked where this happened and he knew the intersection of Howard/Rogers and Greenview. He suggested the name SoHo since it was South of Howard!

She tested negative for HIV/Feline Leukemia, is flea and ear mite free and is now sleeping. After such an experience for one kitten, one dog and two humans, maybe we can re-think the need for businesses on Howard. We need a good vet in walking distance for our pets and for outrageous emergencies like this.

Thank you neighbor for being a caring person. God only knows what would have happened to this baby if you hadn’t been at the right place at the right time.

May 1, 2010

Gunslingers on Howard

Before Sandy’s at the corner of Howard/Bosworth opened this morning, the gunslingers shot out a store window and one or more vehicle windows parked across the street on Howard. There was glass in the street in front of the Caribbean American Bakery.

Shattered vehicle glass from gunshots Shattered vehicle glass from gunshots

Sandy's boarded up window from gunshots Beautiful Howard Street - NOT 1619 W Howard - drink and drop The Lovely Gateway Mall lower entrance
The walk up and down Howard to the mall is not a scenic route is it?

Perhaps instead of promoting the same old developers and ill-thought out social experiments, the man who calls this his ward should do some serious thinking. It's almost an election year – the least he could do is clean up North of Howard. It's time for a SLUMLORD SUMMIT. If any of the innocents get hit by these gun toting idiots, it’s on his hands and a few others who do NOT LIVE HERE. Is that what it will take? Another gunshot victim?

April 30, 2010

Howard Street - Progressivism in 2010

New business Howard/Paulina – cell phones and other electronics – We now have how many similar stores? Remember it used to be a greasy spoon that was closed down by the neighborhood.

Corner Howard/Paulina New Business - Electronics/Cells

Howard facing East -
Howard/Paulina looking East Can't Hit The Trash Can

From Dunkin Donuts to an African Restaurant to a Pizza Joint to a Fast Food Joint, this corner has had more than its share of loitering problems.

Howard/Marshfield Hangout

Old Lerner Building site – what next, who owns it, what’s the plan?
Old Lerner Site

Graffiti – Wisdom Bridge building – now owned by Rich Aronson who has another plan to present next week…….exterior modifications that is – no economic business plan to provide real businesses or economic growth.


We’ll see if Aronson is still pushing for a Boys and Girls Club across the street from the new Willye White Park District facility. How many times will he mention that they tried to put it in a public building at the upcoming meeting? Any wagers?


AT LAST!!! A business that is not selling cell phones, shoes, grease or dollar items. A real live business that we hope will thrive.


The new façade on the Caribbean American Bakery is crisp and clean. A good business with tasty meat pies and pastries.

New Caribbean American Bakery

On the other corner at Bosworth/Howard – the Broadmoor East has undergone a dramatic transformation. These storefronts are new and could be the home to more progressive businesses to spur the economic growth of Howard – with the right plan and support.

Rehabbed Broadmoor East

While we are happy for our neighbors on Morse – many of us feel that Howard has been totally abandoned save for ‘let’s build on the Wisdom Bridge' site a nice commercial strip that will be home to the myriad of Not For Profits we have here. Not much economic growth in that. These damned detour signs keep popping up as symbolic reminders it seems.

How True - Our Money went south to Morse

Because at the end of the day, we have very little to look forward to when we watch Howard Street continually decline into an abyss of grease, shoes, cell phone stores, dollar stores, sprinkled with vacant storefronts and the occasional promising business.

Why? Well, like it not, we have been sold to the lowest bidders who hide under the mantle of saviors of the poor. They put a roof over the heads of the poor while mismanagement runs rampant. Repairs are postponed and there are far too many improperly or unscreened subsidized tenants running rampant on Howard and other side streets.

This sight greeted the rush hour pedestrian traffic Monday morning. 1625 W. Howard, subsidized apartments in the Howard Theatre building where dubious people hang out. Either someone lost the key or – there was a brawl. Does it matter? This is Howard Street in 2010. Our streetscape money was funneled to Morse Avenue a few years ago with the rationale being the rehab of the Howard El, the Willye White Center would ruin it. The reasoning was finish the projects before the streetscape begins. OK, they’ve been completed for nearly two years now….will we ever get our turn? Will we ever feel proud to walk down a thriving street with real businesses?

1625 W Howard - Howard Theatre Building

Or have we been tossed to the birds?