Friday, November 30, 2007

sticking around

This month has brought some sad news. Jocelyn of Rogers Park Neighbor and Trash Detective has decided to end her blogs. Craig has said that he is thinking of calling it quits with his Broken Heart blog. They have been both sources of neighborhood news that might not have seen the light of day otherwise, a valuable resource to folks who care about what's happening in Rogers Park.

Jocelyn and Craig - Thank you both for blogging and fighting the good fight. I hope that you'll reconsider and not leave the Rogers Park blogosphere. Each of you has provided a valuable service to the neighborhood. Your comments are welcome here at Fargo Observer. I'm planning on sticking around.

Wishing all of you a holiday season of peace, and a new year of positive change.

Iggy Pop chats with Dinah Shore

Yes, Iggy did chat with Dinah - it happened in 1977. For your amusement....

Thursday, November 29, 2007

winter parking fun

Don't forget: Chicago's street parking ban starts Saturday. About 107 miles of Chicago streets will be tow-away zones from 3 am to 7 am from 12/1 to 4/1 . Another 500 miles of streets are designated no parking when at least 2 inches of snow is on the ground. If you're thinking of parking on a main street, double check - read the signs.

"These arterial routes are as important to Chicago as your arteries are to you," said Matt Smith, chief spokesman for the Department of Streets and Sanitation for Chicago. "When you have parking on these streets, emergency vehicles can't get through, just like a blockage in your arteries."

If you ignore the signs and park in the wrong place, you could get hit with a $150 towing fee, a $50 ticket, $10 storage fee daily and relocation of the vehicle.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Jungle Boogie on Soul Train

The video quality on this one isn't great, but the outfits and the moves are a trip.

Click here to enjoy.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

from the other side of Howard St.

If you want to see a good example of a hands-on alderman who communicates well with constituents, check our Evanston Alderman Ann Rainey's online forum. Too bad she's not representing Rogers Park.

Monday, November 26, 2007

send a message to Stroger

The Tribune did us a fine service today by giving us the scoop on which of the Cook County Board members seem likely to rubber stamp Todd Stroger's quest for a tax increase of nearly $900M. Eight board members have made it clear that they think the county is already collecting enough in taxes. The other nine could use our input. I've included their contact info and Stroger's below. More info is included in this Tribune editorial.

Please vote with your dialing or typing fingers.

Todd Stroger:, 312-603-6400 and 312-603-5500.

Earlean Collins, West Side, west suburbs:, 312-603-4566 and 773-626-2184.

William Beavers, South Side and south suburbs:, 312-603-2067 and 773-731-1515,

Jerry "Iceman" Butler, Near South Side, south suburbs:, 312-603-6391

John Daley, South and Southwest Sides, southwest suburbs:, 312-603-4400

Roberto Maldonado, North and Northwest Sides:, 312-603-6386 and 773-395-0143,

Joseph Mario Moreno, Southwest Side, Cicero:, 312-603-5443 and 773-927-7154

Joan Patricia Murphy, south suburbs:, 312-603-4216 and 708-389-2125

Deborah Sims, South Side, south suburbs:, 312-603-6381 and 708-371-4251

Robert Steele, Near North, Near West and Near South Sides:, 312-603-3019 and 773-722-0140

holiday creep

Why do the retail sector and certain segments of our population need to stretch out the holidays so much? I started seeing Halloween store displays at Labor Day, and Christmas stuff before Halloween. I'd be perfectly happy if I only saw holiday lights from around 12/10 to just after 1/1.

WLIT radio's all-Christmas-music format (started 2 weeks ago) makes me gag. When I go to the pool, they're now playing it there. Uggghhhh!!!! Makes me glad my head is underwater most of the time while I'm there.

IMO, the holidays are more special and meaningful if they are confined to short and distinct periods. And we've got enough
Hallmark holidays already.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

fixing blight

I noticed an excellent letter to the editor in Thursday's Sun-Times. He made some good points about TIFs, including the expiration of the Central Loop TIF in 2008 and its diversion of over $100M from the city budget last year. The purpose of TIFs, at least in theory, is to improve blighted areas. What part of the Central Loop is more blighted than the CTA?

Can anyone give me a good answer as to why none of this $100M+ was offered to the CTA? If this TIF is continued, it's time to start speaking up. For the city to put so much money towards the "superstation" at Block 37 and a paltry $3M towards the CTA in general is rather shortsighted, considering the key role that the CTA plays in the city's vitality. It's time for King Richie to agree to fork over a bit more. Today would not be too soon.

Friday, November 23, 2007

rockin' fun Friday

Click here for a rockin' Friday video. Happy Friday!

Thursday, November 22, 2007


I'm intrigued by this recent review (11/16) of a new production at the Side Project theatre on Jarvis. Sounds like it's worth a visit.

The Side Project, located in a burgeoning section of Rogers Park called Jarvis Square, is the kind of pocket-sized space where an audience of 30 constitutes a sellout.

To its credit, the Side Project space is flexible enough to withstand some fiddling around with the seating arrangements -- a concept on full display in a very good world premiere last weekend.

In Robert Fieldsteel's "Smart," two alienated teenagers concoct a seriously flawed plan to murder for money. The premise is based on the actual murders of two Dartmouth College professors in 2001, and director Adam Webster situates the audience in a long, single line across one wall, as if collective witness to a timeline scrambled in 3-D. The story of the messed-up teens (deftly played by Ricky Gamboa and Joel Vining) is augmented by that of a psychology student who is studying the crime (Evan Linder) and his pain-in-the-neck girlfriend Cathy (Kristen Secrist), who projects all her internal dissatisfaction on the guy she's dating.

There are lot of currents running through the play, and they mostly center on the chafing that anyone -- but especially an adolescent -- feels when the future (and even the present) looms like a trap. As Fieldsteel points out, no matter how smart you are, some people take longer to grow up than others.

The show features some exceptionally detailed performances -- J. Kingsford Goode and Steve Ratcliff play the murdered couple as well as the criminal investigators -- but the play spends too much time on Cathy, who is prone to eye-rolling and faux intellectualism. She is meant to be stunted and juvenile -- just like the boys in prison -- but as written and performed here, she is entirely dismissible. If you can get past the issues with her character, the production unearths more than a few emotions that feel universal and unfaked. Adolescence can be a train wreck, and no one is immune.

Through Dec. 16 at 1439 W. Jarvis St.; $15 at 773-973-2150.

-- Nina Metz, Chicago Tribune

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

community meeting: input on new development proposal

49th Ward Alderman Joe Moore is hosting a meeting to review a proposal for the construction of a five-story, 24-unit condominium building with three commercial storefront spaces at 2001 W. Howard (southwest corner of Howard and Damen).

The meeting will take place on Tuesday, November 27th, 7:00 p.m., at the Pottawattomie Park Fieldhouse, 7340 N. Rogers.

Building owner Gus Rizakos, his architect, Irene Zemenides and his attorney, Sylvia Michas, will present the plans. The meeting on this proposed development originally was scheduled last June, but was postponed due to a serious illness in the architect's family.

The lot is 13,038 square feet in size and is zoned B1-2. A commercial building, which houses the Tastee Sub fast food restaurant and several storefront churches, currently occupies the site and would be demolished to make way for the new development.

The current zoning would permit the construction of 13 dwelling units. The owner is requesting a zoning change to B1-3, which would allow him to construct up to 32 dwelling units. His proposal calls for only 24 dwelling units.

For more information and to view the site plans, click here.

new business in the neighborhood

Please welcome Maureen Florist on Sheridan Road (7237, east side of Sheridan between Touhy & Chase) 773-764-6400. They will be open Thanksgiving. Nice to have a florist in the neighborhood again since Sheridan Florist closed.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Monday, November 12, 2007

a victory for nature in the Sierras

A major piece of wildlife habitat near Lake Tahoe has been saved from development. Read more here.

Friday, November 09, 2007

fuzzy Friday

My two cats are not exactly pals and they have their turbulent moments. It was refreshing to see them sharing some peaceful time.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Moore than meets the eye

Toni has a scoop today about some previously unknown real estate dealings by Joe Moore, Kevin O'Neil and DevCorp North.

a different shade of green

Today's San Francisco Chronicle ran a story about a new green building that has the potential to give green architecture and construction a major boost.