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 fa├žade 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?


April 13, 2010

Silver Car Owners - Beware

This morning one of the three neighbors who contacted me about the John Wayne shootout yesterday called. More shots were heard around 1:15 this morning shortly after everyone went to sleep after the unnerving event yesterday. The neighbor reported another silver car had the window shot out in the latest aftermath.

A dumbfounded young man was standing in the street looking at his vehicle. I walked over to him on my way to work and told him what transpired yesterday. We looked a little closer and there was a bullet hole in the rubber seal around the drivers window that lay shattered in the seat and on the pavement. The police had left a report in the seat.

Shoot ANY silver car - eventually you'll get the right one GEDC0010 shattered drivers window GEDC0011 bullet hole in window seam GEDC0011 Police left report in car

As the victim told me, he lives on another street and only parked here because he couldn’t find a parking space last night. So he gets to pay for the repair and may get a hike in his insurance premium thanks to the cowboys just because his car was silver. We have some serious issues going on.

April 12, 2010

Shots Fired NOH - Again

People were outside arguing and yelling on the sidewalk and inner courtyard of 7628 N Bosworth while the janitor was cleaning outside. It was between 8:00 and 8:30 this morning.

A nearby neighbor heard gunshots, looked out the window, and saw people scattering. Two cars sped away in each direction before the police arrived. One parked car took a few stray bullets. Another neighbor was up and saw a big gouge in the wall. After following the mark on the wall, the neighbor noticed a stray bullet had come through the dining room window, gouged the wall and found it on the floor. I wonder how the politico’s and the enablers would like finding a spent bullet on their floor? What if the neighbor had been walking past the window in that split second?

What if someone had been in this car?

GEDC0001 GEDC0005 GEDC0004 GEDC0007

At that hour in the morning children are going to school, people are going to work and we have the anti-socials playing John Wayne.

While some may blame it on warmer weather – many of us know the underlying issues behind these events. Instead of free fiber optics on the menu money ballot for this area, maybe the NOH representative(s) should have asked for more police.

You may contact your alderman at: WARD49@CITYOFCHICAGO.ORG or AldMoore@aol.com

April 6, 2010

Another Fire At Northpoint

There was a fire this morning around 9:00 am in one of the Northpoint buildings facing the cul-de-sac in the 7600 block of Ashland. Years ago, during the rehabbing of the 12 subsidized buildings, there was a fire in the same courtyard in one of the east buildings.

Today’s fire allegedly was deliberately set by a non-tenant who lived off and on with the leaseholder. The non-tenant, according to neighbors, suffers from mental disorders and when off her medication has angry outbursts. Tonight several tenants are without homes due to smoke and water damage, it is not known if there were any injuries.

IMG_0008 IMG_0009_2

One tenant who works the night shift was asleep when the fire broke out. All tenants in and near the building were evacuated while the firemen extinguished the blaze. The person who set this fire needs help as do those who may have lost everything. They're all victims of a set of rules that don't work and aren't enforced by the agencies who put them in place.

IMG_0006_2 IMG_0002_2

UPDATE: Thanks to info from the 24th - there was only smoke and water damage to the other apartments in the building - no displacements with the exception of the unit where the fire was. The non-tenant was taken by the police to Lakeshore Hospital for treatment and evaluation. She made verbal threats to damage Northpoint over eviction procedures even though she is not the leaseholder. The address is 7639 N Ashland.

Photos by Tim Jackson

April 5, 2010

Moore Staffer Makes Top Ten List

1,320 expenditures to 156 different persons were made from the Vice Mayor of Chicago’s expense account from 2006 through late 2009. All 1,320 expenditures were to individuals rather than vendors. All 1,320 expenditures were made on either the 1st or 16th of the month and most expenditures were regular and bi-monthly, more like payroll than expense reimbursements. 807 payments were annotated with “Regular Salary” and 389 payments were annotated “regular time.” The top 10 recipients of expenditures from the vice mayor’s expense account from 2006 through late 2009 were:

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