January 27, 2010

Expanding The 4th of July

It appears that financial problems bring common sense back into play now and again. While I’m not a native of Chicago but have lived here for a long time, I think this upcoming change is an Excellent Idea. Times change and it's perfectly acceptable to expand a tradition. At least the City isn't axing the fireworks.

There were many years when we lived close enough to walk two or three miles to and from the event along the lakefront. That was very enjoyable. But it could become troublesome if there were guests and we had to pack the blankets, the food, the kids, and the mother all the way to Grant Park for the fireworks. It was hell trying to get on a train or a bus back home. It was equally hellish if we drove.

This does indeed make the celebration more community oriented and inclusive to those who don’t want to make the trek. And at long last, the fireworks will be held on the 4th of July!

January 24, 2010

Oh Mighty Mirror

Mom painted the bathroom last summer and put this thing in the hall. At first glance I thought she’d betrayed me and sneaked another cat up here. I bristled up and circled around the intruder. She explained what it was and has kindly left it for me to gaze into! I stop several times a day and admire my handsome self. Oh mirror – my window to my soul!

Who is the handsomest of all?

January 22, 2010

Where's Toni Preckwinkle?

Even though endorsed by the 49th Ward for Cook County President, I have yet to see one sign for Toni Preckwinkle have you? Hopefully the weather will allow a walk outside this area where real free thinkers may have placed an endorsed candidate sign.

But the windows of desolate Howard are filled with signs for Dorothy Brown. This ensures a name recognition vote for Brown from dead trees by some voters. Then there will be the Stroger clingers on who will give him a pity vote.

But this is North of Howard and anything goes. Surely our leaders could get out the voter knowledge for Ms. Preckwinkle if they’ve endorsed her. Otherwise, Brown's employee who diligently campaigns for her is doing a better job of promoting her than the local party is doing for their endorsed candidate.

AND, you can bet the farm that he’ll be doing his usual illegal activities within 50 feet of the polling place on election day.

January 19, 2010

Toddler's Strange Family Tree

County Board President Todd Stroger defended his hiring record, saying that he has “never” hired friends or family.

And while he asserted that troubled steakhouse busboy Tony Cole was qualified for his job at the county, Stroger said it was unfair to judge all county hiring by individual.

“He is not the whole county,” said Stroger. “This one person has become the poster child for the county.” Read entire story on Clout Street

*Uh Toddler, who is Donna Dunnings, remember her? What is your relationship to Donna Dunnings?

Hint: "Stroger also gained notoriety when he fired his cousin, former Chief Financial Officer Donna Dunnings, over the hiring and firing of a former steakhouse busboy who was paid $61,000 a year."

A Cousin? Duh. Toddler, please define family for us.

And there are people who will religiously vote for him again. That’s the frightening part.

January 16, 2010

RPGG Gardening Grant Proposals

Call for Gardening Grant Proposals – Adopt the Public Way


The Rogers Park Garden Group (RPGG) is delighted to make available a limited number of public gardening grants up to $1000 for the improvement of spaces in our neighborhood’s public way. From Juneway Terrace on the north, south to Devon Ave. and from the lake west to Ridge Avenue, spaces in the public way such as parkways, parks, playlots, sidewalk gardens, building frontage potentially qualify. In addition to funding, the RPGG can also make available garden advice and resources. Fill out and submit a grant application for your area. The deadline for applications is February 15.

In 2009, the RPGG awarded 17 grants to individuals, schools, houses of worship, organizations, and businesses for public way projects. A presentation on the projects can be seen in this link.

Adopt the Public Way is made possible by the generous contributions of the Rogers Park Garden Group members, donors, and sponsors, and by the proceeds from our Spring and Fall sales.

For more information, visit RPGG or email rpgardengroup@comcast.net.

January 13, 2010

Our Own Piece of Ponzi

It may look worse in Englewood – but we don’t live there. This is Rogers Park – home of progressivism right? Again, progressive is supposed to be the opposite of regressive unless they changed the meaning and forgot to alert us.

Thankfully, Sandy Goldman shared the glory of Howard Street in this essay otherwise, these haunting images would be our only knowledge of the street.

Vacant for yearsBlight Burned Out and Boarded Up - Robert Coe

One Year Ago….Just Look At The Progress!

Going west toward the Howard el are more haunting windows…all empty.

Always For RentTwo vacants in a row

Until we reach Our Own Piece of Ponzi

The Lerner Property

In the summer of 2009, Eva contacted the ward office about the tires on the old Lerner property that moved mysteriously to the Wisdom Bridge property. She was told by Wayne Frazier that he didn’t think John Terzakis owned the property any longer. He was allegedly supposed to look it up and get back to her but like so many things here in 49, it just didn’t materialize.

PIN 11-30-405-009

Not much has changed since 2007 or since 2002 – the beginning of my tenure watching this street.

January 11, 2010

CTA Hate Crimes, Panhandlers, and Hoarders

There’s a flurry of CTA news lately. The blue line was halted after a man fell onto the tracks. Someone fell from the Howard station onto the tracks in a state of inebriation. Today from the Tribune we have: Hate Crimes on CTA and Panhandlers on CTA

Long time CTA riders have many stories like these. The trios do card tricks and the rider loses. But the rider doesn’t know it’s a trio – until they all exit and run. Then we have the person reading scriptures yelling hellsfire and damnation to the whole car. Need I mention the cell phone conversations we can't help listening to?

There were times we'd sit in the station while police scoured the cars following an intercom warning that a known pick-pocket was on board. I haven't experienced that in awhile. Many of us can remember when there was more than one CTA person in the engine car too.

It’s dangerously amusing to watch the transfers on the Howard platform – it’s surprising more people don’t fall into the tracks. They hop off the Skokie yellow line and run up or across the platform even if there’s no connecting train in the station. Calm down, there will be another train.

Then we have the Purple line riders who arrive at Howard and have their stuff scattered all over the seat. It’s really a burden for them to allow another paying passenger to sit down. They groan and sigh as they move their overstuffed carryons. One man actually pointed out another empty seat to me and told me to sit there.

Yes sir! I wouldn’t want to inconvenience you – but someone else will! Have a good week and be safe on those platforms.

January 7, 2010

Beat 2422 Calendar for 2010

Beat 2422 - 2010 Meeting Dates

· January 14 - Gateway Senior Apartments
· February 11 - Willye White Community Center
· March 11 - Gateway Senior Apartments
· April 8 - Willye White Community Center
· May 13 - Gateway Senior Apartments
· June 10 - Willye White Community Center
· July 8 - Gateway Senior Apartments
· August 12 - Willye White Community Center
· September 9 - Gateway Senior Apartments
· October 14 - Willye White Community Center
· November – No meeting – Veterans Day
· December 9 - Willye White Community Center

All meetings begin at 7:00 PM

This year Beat 2422 will meet alternately between the Gateway Senior Apartments 7450 N. Rogers on odd months. So we’ll see you there next Thursday.

The even months, Beat 2422 will meet at the Willye White Community Center at 1610 W. Howard.

Chicago Police Department
024th District Community Policing Office
(312) 744-6321

Note: It’s never too late to start a block club or organize neighborhood activities or walks.

Feel free to send me an email: howardwatchers@aol.com

January 6, 2010

The Crazy Chain of 2010 - Get Linked Up

“Illinois pols cannot ask for more in taxes until they reform how they spend the tens of billions they already collect each year. Trouble is, many of the candidates for governor and for legislative seats see more revenue as the paramount remedy.

That is, having dug a deep hole, they want to fill it with more of your tax dollars -- while simultaneously digging the hole deeper.”

To read more here’s the January 3, 2010 Chicago Tribune Editorial

In just three days since the editorial was published, the headlines are bizarre.

There’s the possibility of Rahm running for Mayor, Berrios winning the three way assessor race, the police department dropping the entrance exams to meet their shortfall. Meanwhile, profile after profile pop up on 21 murderers released by the governor – of course, he put a halt to that program.

Further down the crazy chain and locally, we have two versions of the Chicago plumbing inspector convicted of taking brides to overlook code violations at 1637 W Granville. Chicago Tribune coverage

In the Sun-Times article, the inspector takes the fall which he probably deserved – but why the mistrial for the developer/owner? Where’s the money trail? What happens to any condo owners who are left holding the bag for this mess? Where’s their story? Sun-Times coverage

January 1, 2010

Here's To Good Memories

Last summer a friend mentioned he was taking his 13 year-old daughter to see the Ides of March in Elmwood Park. I googled the July 4 event and discovered another of my all time favorite bands was playing that night too. Some friends and I went and escaped to the 'good old days'. We go to see The Buckinghams every chance we get.

Two members are from the original band, Carl Giammarese, the lead singer, and Nick Fortuna on bass. "Newer" members are Bob Abrams on lead guitar and vocals, Tom Scheckel on drums and Bruce Soboroff on the keyboard.

Not only are the Buckinghams great performers - they're genuinely nice gentlemen. Now wouldn't it be fun to have a Rogers Park concert? Click the headline for a direct link to their website. Hope you enjoy the music.