Friday, December 23, 2011

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

how to gift wrap a cat for Christmas

A friend sent me this. Good silly fun.

Friday, December 16, 2011

non sequitur Friday

A few old seasonal favorites.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Recyclery bike drive on 12/10

Do you have an old bike that you're no longer using? Would you consider donating it? This Saturday 12/10, the Recyclery is having a bike drive at Whole Foods in Evanston, 1111 Chicago Ave. from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Anyone who donates a bike will get a chance in a raffle for prizes such as an organic produce box from New Leaf Natural Grocery, a bike tune-up class at Recyclery, a set of REI bike panniers, and more. If you're not going to use your bike again, why not give it to someone who will?

Monday, December 05, 2011

building urban gardens - learning opportunity

Want to learn about organic gardening? Building Urban Gardens (BUGs) equips city-based community and backyard gardeners with the knowledge and hands-on training necessary to plant and grow organically. The next 6-week class starts 1/28/12 at Garfield Park Conservatory.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

making cycling safer in Chicago

You've probably heard or read a recent news story or two about the new protected bike lanes being added in the city.  Protected bike lanes can help create safer conditions for transportation riding, and the mayor has pledged 100 miles of new protected lanes between now and 2014.  You may be asking "what do these lanes look like and how do they help?"  Check out this link and view the videos and pictures there.  The 18th St. video offers a "before" and a "partially completed" view. The Kinzie St. video shows an "after" view.

Whether you are an everyday cyclist, someone who rides occasionally in the neighborhood, or someone who would like to be able to ride to neighborhood destinations but doesn't feel safe riding on anything but quiet streets or paths, the Streets for Cycling 2020 Plan would like to hear from you over the next several weeks.

The goal of this plan is to create conditions that will make it possible for a wider range of people to ride for transportation, so that people all over the city have more transportation options. 

What do they want to know?  Take a look at a map and spend a few minutes making a list of destinations you where would like to go by bike - library, work, train station, school, restaurant, a friend's home, the lakefront, etc.  Then make a list of barriers that currently make it difficult or impossible for you to ride to places you'd like to go - heavy traffic streets connecting neighborhoods, railroad viaducts, expressways, bridges with fast traffic and no safe place for bikes, etc.

The first public meeting will be next Saturday 12/10 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 23 E. Madison.  There will also be public meetings in January and February.  The north side meeting will be Wednesday 2/1 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Sulzer Regional Library, 4455 N. Lincoln.  If you're unable to attend one of the public meetings, but would like send your lists by e-mail, please click here.

You can find additional updates on the Chicago Dept. of Transportation Bike Program page.

Please share this information with anyone you know who rides for transportation and anyone who currently does not but might like to if conditions were safer.

Friday, November 25, 2011

non sequitur Friday

Here are two by an old favorite band from New England.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Morse/Glenwood streetscape

I haven't spent much time around Morse and Glenwood in a while. Before yesterday's visit, the last time was when the streetscape project was just finished. I noticed a problem then that still hasn't been fixed. Where are all the bike racks?

There are a scattering of 2-bike racks - 2 in front of Mayne Stage, 1 in front of Chase Bank, and on a few other corners. There are many small businesses and artists' studios along Glenwood that could use bike parking but have none. Most of the businesses along Morse where cyclists might like to go have no racks.

As I recall, bike lanes AND bike racks were among the most popular items people voted for in participatory budgeting in the last few years. Failing to deliver bike parking in a high density business district is a major shortcoming for this otherwise attractive streetscape project. It's a major disappointment.

When I patronize businesses in the Morse/Glenwood area, I almost always go by bike because it's the easiest way for me to get there. I know plenty of other folks who do likewise. Now that the parking meters are gone and we have no secure place to lock up (signposts are NOT secure), it makes these businesses less attractive as destinations compared to other places where we can lock up our bikes. Do you really want to be stacking the deck against businesses and artists in economic conditions where we should be doing everything possible to help them by working together as a community?

I hope that this unfortunate oversight can be corrected in the next year. Bike racks are an inexpensive investment for the good of the neighborhood.

* NOTE: This post is based on conditions observed on 11/17. The El was not my destination. I was visiting other locations away from the El where there were no racks close by.

non sequitur Friday

Two takes on a classic...

The Bangles' cover

And the Simon and Garfunkel original

Friday, November 11, 2011

non sequitur Friday

More musical time travel...

Friday, November 04, 2011

non sequitur Friday

1980s flashback

And the Talking Heads' cover of Al Green's "Take Me to the River."

Monday, October 31, 2011

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Jargowood block club meeting on 11/1

Jargowood block club will be meeting Tuesday 11/1 at its usual time and place: 7:30 p.m., Sherwin Manor Nursing Home community room, Sheridan Road between Jarvis and Sherwin. If you live in the area between Jarvis and Birchwood, Clark and the lake, this may be of interest to you. Come out and meet your neighbors and talk about neighborhood issues.

Support our local restaurants and theatres, including Jarvis Square businesses.

Friday, October 28, 2011

non sequitur Friday

Two takes on California Dreaming

Thursday, October 27, 2011

CAPS meeting tonight

The CAPS (community policing) meeting is TONIGHT - Thursday, Oct. 27 at 6 p.m.

NOTE: This is a special 2-hour meeting, a joint meeting among 3 beats:
2422, 2423, and 2424. Location and time change for this meeting only.

WHERE: Chicago Math & Science Academy, 7212 N Clark

If you attend CAPS meetings and get involved, YOU can help improve the quality of life in the neighborhood. YOU can help develop strategies to address area and block issues. YOU can get to know beat officers and your neighbors.

Please attend tonight. You CAN make a difference.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

participatory budgeting for 2012 starts this week

The process for determining how the ward's 2012 budget will be spent starts this week. Attend one of the neighborhood meetings to learn how the process works and give your opinion on what types of projects should be funded in the 49th Ward.

The 1st meeting is for folks who live in the 49th Ward west of Ridge. It's happening tonight (Wed. 10/19) 7:00 p.m., at St. Margaret Mary's Church Activity Center, 7311 N. Claremont (at Jarvis).

The 2nd meeting is for folks who live near Pottawattomie Park. It will be tomorrow (Thurs. 10/20) 7:00 p.m. at Pottawattomie Park Fieldhouse, 7340 N. Rogers.

The rest of the meeting schedule is as follows:

Monday, Oct. 24, Loyola Park Fieldhouse, 1230 W. Greenleaf, 2nd Floor

Thursday, Oct. 27, New Field School, 1707 W. Morse

Tuesday, Nov. 1, Loyola University, Campion Hall, 6525 N. Sheridan

Thursday, Nov. 3, United Church of Rogers Park, 1545 W. Morse, 3rd Floor

Tuesday, Nov. 15, St. Jerome Church Parish Center, 1709 W. Lunt (Spanish language)

Wednesday, Nov. 16, Alden Village North, 7464 N. Sheridan

Thursday, Nov. 17, Willye White Park Fieldhouse, 1610 W. Howard

proposed Metra fare increases

Will proposed Metra fare increases affect your commute? Want to voice your opinion? There will be public hearings in several locations throughout the metro area on 11/2 and 11/3.

In Chicago, the hearing will be held on Thursday 11/3 at 547 W. Jackson, 13th floor board room, from 4-7 p.m.

If you would like to comment on the proposed 2012 Program & Budget, but can't attend the scheduled public hearings, you can email your comments to (please enter 2012 budget in the subject field) or via fax to 312-322-7094.

Comments must be received by November 4, 2011.

Friday, October 14, 2011

non sequitur Friday

Two versions of a spooky psychedelic tune, the original and a bluesy take.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Thursday, October 06, 2011

changes around Fargo and Ashland

This summer has brought a lot of good changes to the area around Fargo & Ashland. The Jarvis El station is getting a makeover. Dubkin Park has a new community garden.

The mural on the southeast wall of the viaduct was finished a while ago. The mural on the northwest wall is still a work in progress. This is “officially approved public art,” not vigilante art, according to Joe Moore's office. What do you think?

It's been quite a year!

Friday, September 30, 2011

non sequitur Friday

Here are two by a promising young local singer who I saw at last weekend's Hyde Park Jazz Festival.

If you want to learn a little more about her, check this one out. Her appearance starts about 2:00 into the video. Next year she'll be performing at the Montreux Jazz Festival.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

a new place in the neighborhood

There's a new place on Howard St.: Jenny's Gourmet Restaurant, 1642 W. Howard (just east of the Howard "L", across the street from Jamaica Jerk), featuring Thai, Vietnamese and Chinese specialties.

I hear that she prepares her meals fresh, on site, with no oil. There are options for both meat eaters and vegetarians. I'm looking forward to trying it soon. It sounds like a great addition to the neighborhood. Already been there? Please post comments to share with others.

Friday, September 23, 2011

non sequitur Friday

Today I'm featuring a few artists who will be be performing at this weekend's Hyde Park Jazz Festival.

Tatsu Aoki - here with his Miyumi Big Band

Dee Alexander

Paulinho Garcia

Friday, September 16, 2011

non sequitur Friday

Just read about these guys - old school soul/funk - playing tonight at Double Door.

Friday, September 02, 2011

non sequitur Friday

It's Jazz Festival week, so let's enjoy a few of the featured artists.

Jargowood block club meeting on 9/6

Jargowood block club will be meeting Tuesday 9/6 at its usual time and place: 7:30 p.m., Sherwin Manor Nursing Home community room, Sheridan Road between Jarvis and Sherwin. If you live in the area between Jarvis and Birchwood, Clark and the lake, this may be of interest to you. Come out and meet your neighbors and talk about neighborhood issues.

Support our local restaurants and theatres, including Jarvis Square businesses.

Monday, August 29, 2011

a taste of the islands

I've enjoyed Jamaica Jerk's delicious food since Paulette and Stanley Waite opened their doors on Howard St. several years ago. I was happy to see them get such a positive write-up in last Thursday's Trib.

If you haven't been to visit them (to eat in or take out), or haven't been recently, it's worth taking a few minutes to give this quality Rogers Park eatery a bit of your business. I hope they'll be around for many years to come.

To Paulette and Stanley - Thank you for all the fine meals I've enjoyed. And I love love LOVE your ice cream!

Friday, August 12, 2011

non sequitur Friday

Two takes on a country classic. The first is a real oldie.

Friday, August 05, 2011

non sequitur Friday

How many of you know why I put this particular combination together?

Do you give up? Here's a clue.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Friday, July 22, 2011

Clark Street festival this weekend

Check out the Celebrate Clark Street festival this Saturday and Sunday. Get a taste of the neighborhood's diversity, expressed in music and food. Come on down to Clark Street (from Morse to Touhy) from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. each day. Suggested donation: $5 per person, $10 per family

non sequitur Friday

Two versions of an old song

Friday, July 15, 2011

non sequitur Friday

A couple of tunes by fun Robbie Fulks, who's playing the Hideout on Monday.

Friday, July 08, 2011

non sequitur Friday

An entertaining wake-up by a fun local band - Twang Bang.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Jargowood block club meeting on 7/5

Jargowood block club will be meeting Tuesday 7/5 at its usual time and place: 7:30 p.m., Sherwin Manor Nursing Home community room, Sheridan Road between Jarvis and Sherwin. If you live in the area between Jarvis and Birchwood, Clark and the lake, this may be of interest to you. Come out and meet your neighbors and talk about neighborhood issues.

Support our local restaurants and theatres, including Jarvis Square businesses.

Friday, July 01, 2011

non sequitur Friday

This one is appropriate to the week's news. TGIF!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Friday, June 17, 2011

non sequitur Friday

My Dad always loved bluegrass, so here's a little taste for Father's Day in memory of Dad. If you've never heard these guys before, they are some seriously talented musicians.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

crime in Jargowood

I just got the following alert from one of our Jargowood neighbors.

Yesterday, (Wed. 6/8) at approx. 8:00 a.m., there was a home invasion in the 1600 block of Jarvis.

The criminal broke the glass in the front door, entered the home, and was on his way up the front hall stairs to the second floor when the homeowner screamed and scared the guy back out the front door onto the street and a clean get-away. Yes, 911 was called and the 24th District cops took blood samples from the front porch. CSI has arrived in beautiful Jargowood.

The description of the criminal is “a young black guy in a white t-shirt and jeans”.

If you happened to see anything that might provides clues regarding this incident, please contact the 24th district police station: 312-744-5907. The police dept. web site also has an online crime reporting tool for non-emergency incidents.

It pays to be aware of what's happening around your home and your neighbors' homes. If you see a crime in progress, call it in via 911. We can all make a difference.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Morse & Glenwood streetscaping - a mystery

I got an e-mail recently about a ribbon cutting to mark the completion of the Morse & Glenwood streetscaping. That event will be happening at 8:45 a.m. tomorrow at the corner of Morse & Glenwood. I had a delicious lunch at Noon Hour Grill today, so I spent a little time checking out the newly completed streetscaping. What's there is attractive (except for the poor little broken tree just north of Noon Hour).

What puzzles me is what's missing. Where are the bike racks? I had to lock my bike to a light post. With the parking meters gone, all that's available near most places is trees (not good for the trees' long-term health) and light posts (challenging). Since bike racks have been fairly high on the priority list in participatory budgeting votes, it really surprised me that the only bike racks I could find near the restaurant were under the El tracks - not my favorite place to park a halfway decent bike and expect it to be there when I get back.

Will bike racks be added in the near future? I hope so. If any readers have information they'd like to share on this puzzle, I welcome comments on the subject.

Monday, June 06, 2011

tree watering

A couple of sources that I've read give a reminder about watering to keep your trees healthy during dry times in summer. Trees need enough moisture to prevent drought stress, otherwise they are more vulnerable to disease, insect problems or death.

A regular sprinkler does not water a tree efficiently and wastes a lot of water. Use a soaker hose instead. Start with a wrap around the trunk, working outward in circles towards the edge of the tree canopy (otherwise known as the drip line). Give the tree a good soak for about 2 hours per week in weeks when there is no rain. The soaker hose will let the water go just where it's needed, without a lot of evaporation or runoff to the street. Your tree will stay healthier.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Glenwood Sunday Market starts tomorrow

The Glenwood Sunday Market starts up tomorrow for the summer season. Alderman Joe Moore and religious leaders will have a community bread breaking ceremony at 8:30 a.m. at the corner of Morse and Glenwood. The market will start at 9:00 a.m. and run until 2:00 p.m. VISA, MasterCard, Link and SNAP transactions are accepted.

There are a few special events happening nearby. The Hog Wild Benefit and Pork Roast is happening in front of Duke's Bar, 6920 N. Glenwood from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. The Rogers Park Garden Group's "Divide and Donate" Spring Plant Sale will run from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at 1434 W. Greenleaf.

Pick up some good fresh food and some plants for your garden. Cheers!

Monday, May 30, 2011

next weekend

We've got a fine doubleheader on tap to kick off summer: the 57th Street Art Fair and Printers Row Book Fair. In Hyde Park, you get two fairs for the price of one, since the Hyde Park Community Art Fair is right next to the 57th St. fair.

Between the two Hyde Park fairs and Printers Row, it's a great gift shopping opportunity for all price ranges. Of course, you can buy a few gifts for yourself, too.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Jargowood block club meeting on 5/3

Jargowood block club will be meeting Tuesday 5/3 at its usual time and place: 7:30 p.m., Sherwin Manor Nursing Home community room, Sheridan Road between Jarvis and Sherwin. If you live in the area between Jarvis and Birchwood, Clark and the lake, this may be of interest to you. Come out and meet your neighbors and talk about neighborhood issues.

Support our local restaurants and theatres, including Jarvis Square businesses.

The change to the CAPS beat meeting schedule is a likely topic.

Friday, April 29, 2011

non sequitur Friday

This next one is a really beautiful take on Chicago's "If You Leave Me Now."

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Evanston library book sale 4/15-4/17

It's coming - the Evanston Public Library book sale (books, CDs, DVDs and videotapes). There's a special preview ($5 admission) from 10 a.m. to noon on Friday 4/15, if you want to get first pick. Regular hours are noon to 5:30 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday. Sunday is 1/2 price day from noon to 5:30 p.m.

CAPS meeting - beat 2422

The next meeting will be Thursday, April 14, 7:00 p.m. at Willye White Center at 1610 W. Howard.

It's your neighborhood and you can help to make it better. Let's make North of Howard a safer place to live.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Glenwood winter market TOMORROW 4/10

The Glenwood Winter Market is back Sunday 4/10. It operates indoors during the winter and spring seasons on the 2nd Sunday of each month from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at 6956 N. Glenwood (between Morse and Lunt).

The Market has a new vendor: Fat Blossom Farm, with a variety of plants available for sale. Pick up something for your garden.

Dennanne Honey, Senteamental Moods, Bennison's Bakery, Midnight Sun Organics, Mint Creek Farms, River Valley Mushrooms, Stamper cheese, Crafthouse, Tiny Greens, Tomato Mountain, Herbally Yours Vinegar, Katherine Anne Confections, Ruth and Phil's gourmet ice cream, and Sweet Attila's will all be back.

Sharpening by Dave will offer watch repair and watch battery changing this week. Bring your knives and watches for a little TLC while you shop!

Friday, April 08, 2011

non sequitur Friday

Here are a couple of tunes by a very talented local group.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Friday, March 25, 2011

Friday, March 18, 2011

Sunday, March 13, 2011

sign of the times

I've often found humor to be a fairly effective barometer of our society's mood. This joke has been making the rounds via e-mail, and I've seen it several times in the last few weeks.

A union worker, a member of the Tea Party, and a CEO are sitting at a table.
In the middle of the table there is a plate with a dozen cookies on it.
The CEO reaches across the table, takes 11 cookies, looks at the Tea
Partier and says: "Look out for that union guy, he wants a piece of your cookie."

Friday, March 11, 2011

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

CAPS meeting - beat 2422

The next meeting of 2011 will be Thursday, March 10, 7:00 PM at 7450 N. Rogers at the Gateway Senior Residence in the community room.

In ODD NUMBERED months, meetings will be held at 7450 N. Rogers. In EVEN NUMBERED months, they will be at Willye White Center at 1610 W. Howard.

It's your neighborhood - and like it or not - it's up to all of us to do something to make it better. Let's make 2011 a safer neighborhood North of Howard.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Ceasefire walk north of Howard tonight

This neighborhood walk will happen tonight, Friday 3/4, starting at 6 p.m. The walk starts at 1600 W Jonquil & ends at White Park.

non sequitur Friday

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Jargowood block club meeting on 3/1

Jargowood block club will be meeting Tuesday 3/1 at its usual time and place: 7:30 p.m., Sherwin Manor Nursing Home community room, Sheridan Road between Jarvis and Sherwin. If you live in the area between Jarvis and Birchwood, Clark and the lake, this may be of interest to you. Come out and meet your neighbors and talk about neighborhood issues.

Support our local restaurants and theatres, including Jarvis Square businesses as well.

Please make an effort to remove snow and ice from your sidewalks and unclog your storm drains along the curb. This makes it much safer and easier for everyone trying to get around the neighborhood without slipping and falling, or having problems with moats at the curbs.

If you've got public safety issues to discuss, remember the CAPS meeting on Thursday 3/10.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Friday, February 18, 2011

Monday, February 14, 2011

better late than never - be a good neighbor

Over the weekend, I noticed some folks who hadn't previously cleared their sidewalk out with shovels. There are still too many sidewalks that haven't been touched.

If you haven't yet cleared yours, please do so, or get someone to help you if you're not physically able to do it. Snow removal from public sidewalks is required by law. While enforcement has been spotty, it's been almost 2 weeks since the storm and we've had more than enough time to deal with the snow.

I intend to make a few 311 calls. There are a few houses that are on frequently traveled paths to and from train stations, bus stops, parks and schools where the owners are physically or financially capable and have been around, but have chosen to clear only their driveways and perhaps a path from their front door to the curb, neglecting the sidewalks that so many of us need to walk safely out of traffic.

Making a path through the wall of snow at the curb would be helpful, too, if there isn't one now. Those walls will take the longest to melt and trap water that could otherwise run out to the street and find a drain, making it easier for pedestrians to get where they're going.

Want to leave a reminder for a homeowner or business? You can find a handy flyer here.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

CAPS meeting - beat 2422

The next meeting will be Thursday, February 10, 7:00 PM at Willye White Center at 1610 W. Howard.

In ODD NUMBERED months, meetings will be held at 7450 N. Rogers. In EVEN NUMBERED months, they will be at Willye White Center at 1610 W. Howard.

It's your neighborhood - and like it or not - it's up to all of us to do something to make it better. Let's make 2011 a safer neighborhood North of Howard.

Monday, February 07, 2011

49th ward aldermanic candidate forums Wed. 2/9

There will be two aldermanic candidate forums this Wednesday 2/9.

The first will be a RPBizArts breakfast forum from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m.

The second will be an evening forum hosted by Partners for Rogers Park and the Rogers Park Business Alliance from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.

Click here for more details.

You can also read the candidates' answers to the Tribune editorial board questionnaire.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Thursday, February 03, 2011

let's finish the job!

So many people have done a great job clearing their sidewalks so that pedestrians can safely walk on the sidewalk. Once the plow comes through on your street, don't forget to finish the job! Let's all clear those walls of snow that the plows left at the corners, keeping the pedestrians from getting to those newly cleared sidewalks!

I did mine. How about you?

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

49th ward mayoral candidate forum

A 49th ward mayoral candidate forum is scheduled for Saturday, February 5th, 9:30 a.m. to Noon, at Jordan Community School, 7414 N. Wolcott (between Fargo and Birchwood). Everyone is welcome to attend.

All mayoral candidates have been invited. Gerry Chico, Miguel del Valle, Patricia Van Pelt Watkins and William "Dock" Walls have confirmed that they will attend. There has been no confirmation yet from Rahm Emanuel and Carol Moseley Braun. Candidates for City Clerk will also be there.

After the forum, you can vote early at the Pottawattomie Park Fieldhouse, 7340 N. Rogers, just south of Jordan School.

Monday, January 31, 2011

CTA contemplates closure of Jarvis El stop

In case you've missed this recent news, the CTA has held public meetings to get feedback on several different modernization scenarios for the far north side and Evanston. These meetings are over, however, the public comment period is still open until February 18.

To see graphic representations of these scenarios, click here. More information is available in John Hilkevitch's Getting Around Column and on the CTA web site. If you scroll down on the CTA page, you'll find several links for PDF files with detailed information on various aspects of this proposed project, as well as snail mail or fax info for submitting feedback.

Does the Jarvis El stop matter to you? Does the continued survival of our fine little Jargowood business district matter to you and the neighborhood? If you haven't already weighed in, you can e-mail your comments until 2/18.

Your opinion matters. If you haven't already spoken up, please do.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Chicago mayoral candidates - Miguel del Valle

Miguel del Valle brings his experience as a lifelong Chicagoan as well as his job experience into his candidacy for mayor. He has many years of experience in city government, but not in a position with the scope and intensity of the mayor's office.

So far he has been the only mayoral candidate to address many significant environmental issues, including sustainable transportation.

To get a sense of his ideas on specific issues, I recommend reading his answers to the Tribune Editorial Board's questionnaire and the IVI-IPO questionnaire.

Chicago Tonight has an election blog, which provides continually updated coverage of his campaign.

His official campaign web site adds more information.

All of these sources are worth reading to get a better sense of the candidate.

Monday, January 17, 2011

tonight's Chicago Tonight forum

Chicago Tonight did a superb job in hosting a fine mayoral candidate forum with Miguel del Valle, Gery Chico, Carol Moseley Braun and Rahm Emanuel. Carol Marin moderated as the candidates took questions from Chicago high school students.

Towards the end of the forum, one student asked a question about how candidates would deal with bullying of GLBT teens. She got some interesting answers. Miguel del Valle gave a thoughtful response, in which he told of his own experiences with bullying when he was in Chicago public schools, and talked about ways to promote a healthier, more accepting culture in schools.

Carol Marin asked the candidates how many of them were bullied when they were in school. Three of the four raised their hands - all except Chico. She then asked how many students in the audience had been bullied in school. Nearly half raised their hands.

Carol Moseley Braun struck the right tone with her answers about public transit, but on this and many other issues, she had few concrete plans on how to implement the ideas she discussed.

I thought that Rahm Emanuel gave better answers to these students than I've seen him give in some other settings.

All the candidates answered with varying degrees of responsiveness and concrete plans to questions about school safety and the quality of a CPS education. No one connected these particular dots in one way that seems rather obvious to me. They mentioned that much youth violence happens in the afternoons, when kids are the streets after school. They talked about how our kids are shortchanged in terms of the number of hours of classroom time they get in a school year, and how it affects the quality of their education.

Wouldn't it be logical to sell a plan for longer school days as both a boost to quality education AND a public safety measure, keeping kids in school longer so that they have more time to learn and less time to get into trouble?

If you missed the forum, you can watch it online here.

I will be curious to see how the candidates respond in Wednesday's forum on environmental issues.

a few thoughts to ponder

In these weeks leading up to the mayoral and aldermanic election, I ask you to consider these thoughts.

If a candidate can't be bothered to respond to questionnaires from respected organizations or attend candidate forums, will that candidate take the time to consider and respond to the needs of his or her constituents once elected?

All voters deserve to have full information about their candidates and their positions on important issues. If a candidate does not bother to share information we need to make an informed choice, is this really a candidate we should vote for?

Just my $0.02.... Your mileage may vary.

Friday, January 07, 2011

where to recycle old holiday lights

Do you have old burned out or broken holiday light strings? You can drop them off for recycling at one of the following locations during their regular hours between now and Tuesday 1/18.

Chicago Center for Green Technology, 445 N. Sacramento
City Hall Lobby, 121 N. LaSalle St.
RecycleTech, 11235 S. Cottage Grove
Chicago Police Dept., 5101 S. Wentworth
Edgebrook Ace Hardware, 5423 W. Devon
Whole Foods South Loop, 1101 S. Canal
Wright College Campus Center, 4300 N. Narragansett
Logan Theater, 2646 N. Milwaukee
Southeast Senior Center, 1767 E. 79th St.
Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce, 1414 N. Ashland
Southwest Senior Center, 6117 S. Kedzie
North Community Bank, 5235 N. Western

notes from Jargowood

Thanks to Lorraine for sharing notes from this week's Jargowood meeting, as well as a few helpful suggestions.
Regarding Participatory Budgeting for 2011 – Jargowood does not have a representative involved in the “planning process” to determine which projects get on the ballot for 49th Ward residents to vote upon. If you'd like to vote, go to the Participatory Budgeting page on the Alderman’s website. “Potholes and drainage issues” - a perpetual problem in Jargowood - would make a fine suggestion.

Regarding Participatory Budgeting for last year 2010 – The walking path around Touhy Park has not really yet been improved/completed; we had a false alarm about this project around election day when a Bobcat showed up on site and tore up some pavement. Now that pavement has been patched, we're back where we started. The Dog Park at Pottawattomie is a negotiation point with the Park District – as is the Community Garden at Dubkin Park (Ashland & Fargo). Both projects have volunteer committees engaged with the Park District. These things will not happen overnight. Maybe we'll see them in 2012 or 2013?

Please vote for your favorite Participatory Budgeting projects in 2011 April. I'd strongly encourage you to vote in favor of using a large percentage of the $$$ to fix potholes and drainage issues. If you don’t express a strong opinion about this, the murky lakes on Rogers, Ashland/Jarvis and other perpetually swampy spots will continue to be navigational hazards to pedestrians, and the bike and car-jarring potholes will become the next lakes.

If you are more inclined toward self-help and direct action, take a rake and scrape the dead leaves and trash out of your curbside drain – don’t wait for government assistance.

Regarding community policing – Beat 2422 will meet next Thursday Jan 13. Do we have any “hot spots” or “troubled buildings” or drug/gang issues in beautiful Jargowood? If you know of a problem area, please show up and speak up.

We have lost a good neighbor. John Dawson passed away last week – check Trib obits on line – memorial/visitation today (Friday) and Sat.

Jargowood 1/4/11 meeting notes:

Alderman's Report – Continuing Issues:

Michael Land represented Alderman Moore’s office.

Corner of Rogers, Clark & Jarvis (Fruit Market) – CDOT has agreed to perform a traffic study of the intersection. Study dates have not yet been determined. Those attending the meeting suggested including a Saturday and Sunday, when the parking issues seem more intense.

Corner of Jarvis & Ashland (SW) – The SW corner is currently being rebuilt as part of the ongoing effort to repair catch basins. Alderman Moore’s office has on multiple occasions requested the rebuild/correction of the northwest corner.

Participatory Budgeting 2011 – The various committees are currently working on their proposals. When voting on proposals for 2011, there will be an option to select a percentage of the menu money to be set aside for street repairs in the ward. Voting should be in early April.

Participatory Budgeting 2010 – There was a discussion on the status of various 2010 projects: dog park, community garden, walking path, murals, etc. Michael explained that if the money is not spent in the current year it is not lost; the money is allocated. Some small projects were completed in 2010 using funds allocated in 2008 and 2009.

Corner of Howard & Ashland (SE) – There has been some movement from the City in working toward City ownership of the property (former Lerner building – now a vacant lot). Royal Bank of Canada owns some of the debt. Michael stressed that it would be a long-term process to acquire the property.

Corner of Birchwood & Greenview (SW) – Cagan Management has recently taken over the management of the property. Alderman Moore’s office is planning to contact them and give a “nudge” toward their completion of the construction.

Howard Theatre Building
– The Howard Theatre building is in receivership. Alderman Moore’s office met with the receiver to get them to increase building security. There appears to be improvement at the property. The building was controlled by Jay Johnson. It was noted that the Jay Johnson buildings (non-senior housing) are also in receivership.

non sequitur Friday

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Chicago mayoral candidates - Carol Moseley Braun

This is the first of four installments on our Chicago mayoral candidates.

After a lot of media coverage and discussion, the dust has settled, and Carol Moseley Braun has been declared the "black consensus candidate." This leaves me scratching my head. When Barack Obama launched his campaign here for the 2008 presidential election, wasn't he supposed to be a "post-racial" candidate? Wasn't the era of racially loaded campaigning supposed to be over? How many black voters still buy into the concept of a consensus candidate, and how many would rather vote for the most qualified candidate whose positions on the issues are the best match for their own ideas?

WTTW's campaign blog is being updated daily with all media coverage of mayoral campaigns.

Here's her official campaign web site.

What's your opinion?

Walk Bike Transit

Do sustainable transportation issues matter to you? Would you like to be part of a grassroots effort to make sure that walking, bicycling and public transit issues are on the agenda of all our candidates for mayor and alderman in Chicago? Contact the Walk Bike Transit political action committee to get involved today!