Saturday, February 25, 2006

Rogers Park Review Editorial Policies

At this point in the evolution of the Rogers Park Review, we thought it might be a good idea to share some of the policies we have decided upon for this project. Rogers Park Review is a work in progress; we may refine and add to the list below over time, but we are prepared to stand by the following policies from now on:
  • We will respect the anonymity of commenters.
  • We will not recycle comments from RPR as new posts without explicit permission from the commenter.
  • We will not recycle posts or comments (except for those we may have written ourselves) from other Rogers Park blogs without express permission of the blog administrator; however, we may on occasion link directly to other RP blogs in our posts and/or comments.
  • We will not use the "comment moderator" function in Blogger for everyday posts.
  • We will not, as administrators, remove comments after the fact unless the comment contains extreme hate language towards individuals or groups and/or threats of harm. In cases where we must remove such comments, an explanatory comment will be left for our readers so you know why we did it.
  • We will not post letters received in our mailbox unless we receive explicit permission to do so.
  • We will respect all requests for anonymity from persons who correspond with us through our mailbox.
  • We will provide appropriate credits for any posts we do not write ourselves - if no such attribution is given, you may assume that whichever one of us posted it also wrote it.
The Aldermanic candidate forums that we have planned for later this year may include some additional and/or alternative "rules of engagement"; we will post those in advance as our planning process continues.

Thanks for reading.

Rebecca Rouilly and Gary Fuschi
old post,
new comment......


Thanks for your e-mail and comments. I certainly share your desire to protect the lakefront, our most valuable asset I feel compelled, however, to correct your misunderstanding of the Lakefront Protection Ordinance. The ordinance, which has been in effect for 30 years, does not prohibit development per se on the lakefront. Instead, it simply puts into place a review process for any proposed development in the "Lakefront Protection Zone" (the area bounded by the lake and the alley immediately west of Sheridan Road). No development in that area is permitted whatsoever unless it first receives the approval of the Chicago Plan Commission.

If the development receives Plan Commission approval, it does not mean that the Lakefront Protection ordinance has been "modified" or that an "exception" has been granted. It simply means that the Commission has determined the proposed development will not harm the lakefront.

As a long-time resident of Rogers Park, you probably recall a number of developments that have occurred in the Lakefront Protection Zone. The Lakeview Point Condominiums at the northern entryway to Rogers Park, Paul Goguen's developments on Eastlake Terrace, the Natalie Salmon Intergenerational Home, the Simpson Living-Learning Center at Loyola, the Loyola Parking Garage and the new Loyola Math and Science Center are some examples of developments that have occurred in the Lakefront Protection Zone. Some of them required zoning changes and all required and received Plan Commission approval. This did not mean that exceptions were made to the Lakefront Protection Ordinance; it simply means that a review process was followed.

In addition to Plan Commission review, I have put into place an extensive community review process, which allows community residents to weigh in on any proposed development that requires a zoning change, variance or exception a special use permit or lakefront protection review. This provides our community with further protection against any development that may be deemed harmful to our lakefront.

I hope this answers your concerns.

Very truly yours,

Joe Moore
Fears Health Risks

By David Rider Thu Feb 23, 10:59 AM ET TORONTO (Reuters)

A small Canadian university has ruled out campus-wide wireless Internet access because its president fears the system's electromagnetic forces could pose a risk to students' health. Lakehead University, in Thunder Bay, Ontario, has only a limited Wi-Fi connections at present, in places where there is no fibre-optic Internet connection. And that, according to president Fred Gilbert, is just fine.
"The jury is still out on the impact that electromagnetic forces have on human physiology," Gilbert told a university meeting last month, insisting that university policy would not change while he remained president. "Some studies have indicated that there are links to carcinogenetic occurrences in animals, including humans, that are related to energy fields associated with wireless hotspots, whether those hotspots are transmissions lines, whether they're outlets, plasma screens, or microwave ovens that leak."
Lakehead University published a transcript of Gilbert's remarks on its Web site. Spokeswoman Eleanor Abaya said the decision not to expand the university's few isolated wireless networks was a "personal decision" by Gilbert. But the president's stance has prompted a backlash from students and from Canadian health authorities, who say his fears are overdone.
"If you look at the body of science, we're confident that there is no demonstrable health effect or effects from wireless technology," said Robert Bradley, director of consumer and clinical radiation protection at Canada's federal health department. He said there was no reason to believe that properly installed wireless networks pose a health hazard to computer users. Adam Krupper, president of the Lakehead students' union, estimated about 1,000 of the school's 7,500 students have laptops that could pick up a wireless signal, and he said students "really, really" want Wi-Fi on campus.
"Considering this is a university known for its great use of technology, it's kind of bad that we can't get Wi-Fi," he said. Gilbert is a former vice-provost of Colorado State University who holds degrees in biology and zoology. He was previously a zoology professor.
from the
Plant a Seed Department:

gf said...


"Rather than railing to the cries about providing low-income homes, how about creating decent, safe, cost effective low income living units?"

i welcome any and all efforts by any and all people who try and raise awareness for the need and solution, to the lower income housing dilemma that exists noh and elsewhere in our ward, our city and our country.

first, i guess i am having difficulty understanding the difference between "homes" and "units". "people" who need to be considered, will be living in these spaces no matter what the spaces are called.

secondly, in this "rush to condo everything and worry about the consequences later" atmosphere that the alderman has created here noh and rp, there are fewer effective voices who are highlighting the need to remember our low income my mind and heart, any effort and suggestion that accomplishes this important and worthwhile goal is constructive and meaningful.

i believe the blogs have the ability to reach a wider audience on an everyday basis that was not possible before. i believe our efforts could be coordinated, cooperative and much more effective as a united voice to leadership in our ward. this incredibly complex and difficult issue is much bigger than any of us individually and as james ginderske is fond of saying, your suggestion is one more "worthy of consideration" idea to add to the collective pile.

much has been made recently regarding " rp newbies" adding thier own genuine and sincere efforts and suggestions to our collective pile. i guess if my 7 year tenure in rp and my 51 year history as a human being, still qualifies my status as a "newbie", i will accept the charge.

but being a "newbie" allows me to view our political landscape in a slightly different, and somewhat objective way. there might be a one or two degree of separation between all of the diverse and genuine efforts in rp on this important issue.

the alderman has been very effective at exploiting those differences in the past and i do not believe we should allow this to continue. it is not in our best interest or the best interest of our low income neighbors to take this bait any longer. our cooperative and coordinated efforts would set aside this divisive practice and shed more light on just why the alderman uses this tactic, on this issue, in the first place.

my drivers license says i was born in 1955. and having grown up and matured in the sixties, i did my small " hair down to my beltloop" part to protest the issues we were all confronted with during that time. i retain all, if not more of that idealism that allowed us, as a nation, to change a few small things that needed reform.

i remember reading in the mainstream media at that time, that those efforts were naive and over idealisitic. our collective efforts, as concerned citizens, proved that criticism to be nothing more than defeatist propoganda.

in the recent red state, blue state election results, our once effective, idealistic voices, in my view, have been marginalized. i suggest we ressurrect those voices to fit into our new reality and our new ablity to communicate with our new medium.

if this notion qualifies me as a "naive newbie" still, i will again accept that charge, with honor.

in recent conversations with people who are inside the loop in washington and elsewhere and behind tightly locked doors, labels,idealogical differences and organizational structures are being set aside and unlikely alliances are being formed to coordinate and cooperate on important issues that face our nation. this unprecedented movement , in my view will have profound and far reaching consequences in the future and in the upcoming national election.

wouldn't it be cool to join this movement and put rogers park back on the cutting edge of the political map once again?


2/26/2006 3:57 AM

Zoning and Land Use Advisory Council Meeting Format

Sent to Joe Moore, Alderman, 49th Ward, Chicago, IL via email

Dear Joe,

Thank you for facilitating our attendance at last night’s Zoning and Land Use Advisory Council meeting yesterday evening. It was very interesting to get a glimpse into how the process works.

A couple of follow-up questions: First, the format of the new business part of the meeting is rather cumbersome for public observers. As you know, the format right now is that the committee goes into closed deliberation after each new business presentation. I wonder whether you would consider changing the format so that all new business presentations are made back to back, and then allow the committee to go into closed deliberation on all new business. It does not appear to me that this revision to the format would place any additional burden on either the council or the presenters, and it would be a great improvement for observers from the public.

My next question is wider ranging. I wonder whether you would consider altering the format of these meetings to conform to the Illinois Open Meetings Act (5 ILCS 120). I understand that the Zoning and Land Use Advisory Council meetings may not be subject to these requirements, but I think it would be a wonderful gesture toward the citizens of this ward if you adopted some or all of these practices.

As you may know, Gary Fuschi and I have created a community blog http://rogersparkreview.blogspot/. We are dedicated to open communication with our readers and as part of this policy of openness I plan to post this letter on the site. I would also like to post your reply, with your permission.

Thanks very much for your attention.


Rebecca Rouilly
Letter From
Alderman Moore

From :>
Sent : Saturday, February 25, 2006 7:36 AM
To :
Subject : Re: Zoning and Land Use Advisory Council Meeting

Dear Rebecca,

Thank you for your e-mail regarding the 49th Ward Zoning and Land Use Advisory Committee. I'm glad you and Gary were able to attend the meeting, and I encourage you to attend future meetings. I think you will find the members of the Committee to be thoughtful and engaging members of the community whose primary goal is the betterment of the 49th Ward community.

I will forward your suggestions about the meeting format to the Committee. While I appoint the Committee members (with the exception of the Rogers Park Community Council, the Howard Area Community Center and DevCorp North who appoint their own representatives), I do not tell them how to run their meetings. However, the Committee generally follows your suggested format--considering all new business before going into executive session. I'm not sure why they departed from that format last Tuesday. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that the Committee's chairman, Kevin O'Neil, was unable to attend the meeting and the Committee was chaired by a substitute.

The Committee also generally considers "old business" at the end of the meeting rather than the beginning. I know they departed from that practice as well, owing to the fact that one of the Committee members, Jay Johnson, had a proposal before the Committee and had to recuse himself from consideration of that proposal for obvious reasons.

With respect to your Open Meetings Act suggestion, I know you are aware that the Act does not apply to the Committee. The Committee is not an official governmental agency or committee, but is merely an advisory body for the Alderman. I view the committee as akin to my cabinet. The President, the Governor and the Mayor have cabinet officials who advise them on important matters of policy. Their cabinet meetings are not open to the public because those executive officials want and need candid and free flowing advice and discussion from their close advisors.

Similarly, the 49th Ward Zoning Committee acts as my cabinet, at least with respect to zoning and land use issues. I want and need their candid and unvarnished advice to help guide me in making decisions on some often difficult and contentious neighborhood issues. I will receive the best advice if committee members can discuss these issues in an atmosphere where they are free to be candid without fear their words may appear on some blog somewhere. That is why Committee deliberations are held in executive session.

Nevertheless, I want to balance my need for good and candid advice with my desire for transparency, which is why presentations of new zoning proposal to the Committee are open to the public. During the New Business portion of the Committee meeting, you and any other members of the public are free to observe the presentations and the questions asked of the presenters by the Committee members. It is also why I hold community meetings on every significant zoning proposal brought before me. The community meetings provide members of the general public the opportunity to ask probing questions and make comments on zoning proposals.

In the spirit of transparency, I will also post on my website,, the agendas of all future 49th Ward Zoning and Land Use Advisory Committee meetings and the results of those meetings. I will also continue my practice of posting notices of community meetings on major zoning issues.

I hope you find this e-mail responsive to your concerns. You may post this response on yours or any other web site or community blog.

Alderman Joe Moore

49th Ward Alderman Candidate Forum Invitation

Sent to:
Joe Moore, Alderman, 49th Ward - Rogers Park, Chicago, Illinois
Don Gordon, Candidate for Alderman, 49th Ward - Rogers Park, Chicago, Illinois

Dear Candidates for Alderman of the 49th Ward,

The Rogers Park Review is a recent addition to the Rogers Park blog world created by Gary Fuschi and Rebecca Rouilly. The purpose of this site is to create a space where the residents of the ward can share their knowledge, experiences and aspirations – a place to learn, to argue, to reconcile and to connect.

In this spirit, we are pleased to invite you to participate in what we hope will become a series of online, real-time candidate forums with the residents of Rogers Park, and others who have an interest in the community. In a post dated February 8th, 2006 on the Rogers Park Review, as part of a general mission statement, we announced to our readers that we would invite anyone who had formally declared candidacy as of February 17th 2006 to participate in the first online forum. We envision these events as cyberspace town-hall meetings, which will give candidates and constituents a place to exchange ideas and concerns in a comfortable setting designed to promote reasoned dialog.

The invitation you are reading now has been sent simultaneously to all candidates as of February 17th and The Rogers Park Review. These forums will be scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis according to the order in which we receive your response. Your response to this invitation will also be posted on Rogers Park Review for the benefit of our readers. We would prefer that you give us your answer to this invitation as a comment on the blog, as that would give us an exact date stamp for your reply, but we will also accept RSVPs by email.

The candidate question and answer forums will be scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis. Candidates who declare after the 2/17 deadline will be invited after we receive responses to the first round of invitations.

We will ask that all those who wish to attend the forum send their questions to us, preferably as comments to the invitation post, but we will also be happy to accept questions via email at Rebecca and Gary will review the questions and topics proposed and organize these submissions to facilitate a manageable, focused discussion. We will post the agenda of questions and topics a week in advance of each meeting on the blog. We will not attempt to stage manage the questions selected – the selection criteria will be the frequency with which the questions are asked by our participants.

As moderators, Rebecca and Gary will not ask questions or make comments to the candidates or participants. Our participation will be limited to that of meeting coordinators and hosts. The actual candidate response to questions, and participant follow up comments to those responses, will take place in real time during the forum. We will post the date for the forum in advance on the blog and also notify the candidate via email. The content of each forum will be maintained as part of the public archive on the blog.

We understand that you may have questions and concerns about the format of the forums. Although the format will conform in the main to what we have described here, we also realize that there are still details to be worked out. We would be pleased to have your input on whatever ways you believe the format of this forum could be improved, and we would be pleased to meet with you personally to discuss ths input. The Rogers Park Review is committed to presenting these forums in a manner which is fair, unbiased and non-partisan.

We look forward to hearing from you.


Gary Fuschi and Rebecca Rouilly
Erosion of Privacy

Wed Feb 22, 2:24 PM ET
WASHINGTON (AFP) - Fast-evolving Internet and communications technology is outpacing privacy laws and leaving a treasure trove of personal data prey to government surveillance, a new report warned.

The survey by the non-profit Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) appeared as debate rages over a domestic wiretap program in the United States and government lawyers demand search records held by firms like Google.

"The gap between law and technology is widening every day, and privacy is eroding," said Jim Dempsey, the CDT policy director who authored the report.
"What makes this even more troubling is that most users of these new technologies don't realize they are putting their privacy in jeopardy."

Modern consumers live in an age when web based e-mails pileup on services like Microsoft's Hotmail and Google's Gmail, and all kinds of files from personal photos to bank, medical and travel records are stored online.

Few computer users realise however, that web based e-mail is subject to much weaker protections than messages stored on home computers.

While the government needs a warrant, issued by a judge, to search someone's home computer, it can access a person's webmail account with only a subpoena, issued without judicial review.

In another example, the ubiquitous cellphone makes communication on the move easy -- but it has a downside, in that it can be used theoretically by government agencies to pinpoint an individual's location.

There are no existing laws laying out explicit standards for government location tracking, so official use of such technology is only controlled by an inadequate patchwork of laws and precedents, the report said.

Few people realise that privacy laws drafted before, or in the early days of the technological revolution, do not adequately cover new vaults of online data, the report warns.

"The government complains that new technology makes its job more difficult, but the fact is that digital technology has vastly augmented the government's powers," the report cautions.
"More information is more readily available to government investigators than ever before," the report said.

And it is not just the pace of change that raises new privacy questions, the report added, citing new government powers enshrined in the Patriot Act, designed to combat terrorism which provide wider government powers.

» Recommended Stories
Google must stop snooping on us at The London Times, Feb 05
I'm Feeling . . . Surveilled at The Washington Post (reg. req'd), Jan 24

Friday, February 24, 2006

from the
Plant a Seed Department:
An L.A. Story

As I have mentioned elsewhere on this blog, for better or worse, L.A. is my home town. Spurred by the debate around the Abel project proposed for Sheridan Road recently, there has been some lively debate on the RP blogs about how contemporary architectural styles can co-exist harmoniously with older architectural fabric and the surrounding landscape. Here is a story about how they have sometimes done it right in L.A.

(This story comes from the email newsletter of the site Design within Reach)

Los Angeles is a breeding ground for modern residential architecture like no other place in the United States, and maybe the world. If you're one of those L.A. bashers who doubts this, consider the Case Study House program, and review Julius Schulman's photographic record of modernism.

It's no coincidence that the city has also been a destination and home for many modern designers, dating back to the '20s, when both Rudolph Schindler and Richard Neutra settled there. And Los Angeles continues to attract design talent. Two prime examples are featured at DWR this spring: Christopher Farr, a British rug and textile designer who moved to L.A. in the '90s, and architect Alberto Rivera, who moved there permanently in 1994 after being in L.A. off and on since the '80s.

The biographies of this pair of designers are available online and in summary below. But the fact that both live in Los Angeles gave me the opportunity to interview them together on their turf during a recent visit. The three of us toured the Schindler Kings Road House, an architectural treasure located close to La Cienega Boulevard, not far from where both Farr and Rivera have studios.

Any excuse to visit the Schindler House is a good one. Designed in 1921, it was a radical work of residential architecture, showing the influence of Frank Lloyd Wright, with whom Schindler studied. The house elegantly foreshadows the future of modernism, a concept then in its infancy (the Bauhaus was formed only two years prior, in 1919). The Schindler residence is actually not a house at all, but a compound for two families with studios and common areas–an experiment in communal living on a very human scale. Built economically using only five materials, it is something of a pioneering prototype for modern architecture. The connection to the outdoors is explicit everywhere, not just in views to the gardens, but in the rooftop sleeping porches that are just one step beyond camping.

Together with redwood framing, Schindler utilized concrete "tilt up" slabs to form part of the structure. This would have been radical enough on its own, but the architect included vertical window openings in the slab walls, resulting in a space-defining interior light that has an ethereal beauty. Tour the house and you will see many ideas that have become part of the classic vocabulary of modern architecture. The outdoor areas have a special architecture as well, making this a very complete statement. To learn more about this, and the other Schindler houses, get the book Schindler by MAK. Proceeds support the MAK Center for Art and Architecture, which we are fortunate to have as the steward of this treasure. Click here to see more of the Schindler house.

Farr and Rivera both had a strong reverence for the house:

Rivera: "The place is like a low-budget Barcelona Pavilion. Cheap construction, yet it's elegant and intimate at the same time."

Farr: "The fragility and modesty strike me, and a general sense of rigorous inquiry. You can almost see his notes and drawings scribbled down, adding to the impression I had of his excitement about being one of the first to turn up at the birth of the modern movement."

Farr and Rivera actually have a lot more in common than Los Angeles and their respect for Schindler's work. Both have families with two children. Both are highly educated designers with international experience, and each is a devoted student of the past. And despite their formidable successes, both are quite unpretentious. Other details of taste connect them: both wear simple Muji watches, favor the subtle work of Jasper Morrison over other more glitzy contemporary designers and drive Honda Elements. I quizzed them further about their favorite aspects of L.A.:

Christopher Farr: Cora's Coffee Shop in Santa Monica.
Alberto Rivera: Angelini Osteria in Hollywood.

CF: Downtown [where all the fashion and garments are made].
AR: The Sunset Strip at 7am.

CF: Blackman Cruz on La Cienega.
AR: The Chalet Gourmet.

Commercial building
CF: The Michael Maharam showroom on Melrose.
AR: The Central Market downtown.

Residential building
CF: The Oscar Niemeyer house on La Mesa Drive in Santa Monica.
AR: Some of the early courtyard housing projects.

Film on L.A.
CF: Sarah Morris' Los Angeles, 2005.
AR: Roman Polanski's Chinatown, 1974.

Book on L.A.
CF: Los Angeles: The Architecture of Four Ecologies, by Reynar Banham.
AR: City of Quartz, by Mike Davis.

Where you take friends who visit you in L.A.
CF: Up to see the view from Mulholland Drive at dusk.
AR: To the Chateau Marmont hotel for a drink, then driving for a couple of hours with no real destination.

Noteworthy living designer in L.A.
CF: Alison Berger.
AR: Michael Maltzan.

Anne says.....


I was reading your latest post about the "doo dads" on the latest architectural idea to be vomited up on our community and I couldn't agree more that this HAS to stop. We need to get rid of this tasteless boob of an alderman who is the chief apologist for the builders of this crap. Too much has been lost already. We can't afford another 4 years.

I really appreciate your thoughtful take on the situation and your bringing this out into the light. I wanted to share a piece I wrote that was printed in the Lerner Paper about 5 years ago. Just as he did with the Adelphi and Pivot Point, the alderman told neighbors at a public meeting that this 104-year-old Victorian was "too far gone". Lies upon lies for all these years as our history disappears. It really has to stop.

Feel free to print it if you like along with this e-mail.

Anne Sullivan

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Another Episode of the

Extensive Community Review Process

We all came expecting one thing and of course we were given something else without notice as we arrived. Hugh, Michael, Anne and Don were among the noteables standing in the waiting room as Agent 99 and I strolled in. Michael Land informed the group that ZALUC would go straight to the secret deliberation and vote procedure without the public review we all showed up expecting. He would announce the vote once the committee had finalized their deliberations. Interesting tactic.

So we were all displaced once again from the "extensive community review process" that the Alderman tried to convince us existed, in his letter to Mike Luckenback. Another interesting tactic.

I really don't understand the practice of trying to pull the wool over our eyes. All of us in Rogers Park have grey matter between our ears that is in perfectly good working order. And it just seems like wasted energy, in my view, that could be refocused for a better purpose.

As a political strategy, of course it just reinforces the US vs.THEM animosity that pervades our status quo relationship with current leadership. There is so much wasted energy on both sides of the aisle, involved in perpetuating and anticipating this atmosphere that really should be more wisely spent. I wish it could stop. But I'm afraid there is too much emotional and financial investment in the staus quo for anything to change anytime soon.

White Smoke

So there we stood, sat and slouched, locked out of the process and anxious in our anticipation in this strange little waiting room. As they deliberated and we waited for the historic outcome to be announced, I started wondering about this surreal scene we were a part of.

It reminded me of the age old and secret somber method used to inform the faithful camped out in St. Peters Square. I half expected the door to open a crack and for white smoke to appear as a sign that the historic decision had finally been reached. I happen to love that ceremony and the history attached to it from a purely human, socialogical perspective.

But here in the 49th Ward and in calendar year 2006, this just seems like an odd way of doing business.

So the door opened and there was no smoke. There was only Michael Land leaning against the door jamb reciting the 7- 0 vote count with one abstention against the Abels proposal. And instead of the tumultous cheer that signals the decision in St. Peter's Square, there was once again the emotionally, anti climactic shoulder shrug sigh that so often accompanies hot button decisions in the 49th Ward.

OK. Well, they are in there and we are out here and now what do we do?

Some of us decided wisely and walked across the street to share beverages. I was starting to zip up my coat until Agent 99, as she always seems to do with wayward Max, reminded me of the original mission. So we stayed for the next part of the presentation and that will be titled:

I'll just Add Some More Doo Dads.



thanx for responding. i share your frustration with the new wave of "look at me i'm rich, i'll create my limestone laden castle bigger and better than my neighbor" monstrosities that have ruined entire square blocks in once stately neighborhoods downtown. i love limestone detailing in older, truly historic and sensitively considered buildings. now, limestone is the new instant, exclusive status symbol, replacing granite counter tops on that list of "gotta have's".

yesterday's aesthetic discusssion not withstanding, there was almost overwhelming approval at the loyala meeting for the "bold design statement" the architects were proposing for 7015 sheridan. the disagreement in the room to the overall project, the half baked business plan and the probe of the lpo and many of the impact issues that would result, split the opinions in the room to a conservative 70% "against" to 30% "for" ratio. the alderman has been quoted as saying the opinion in the room was split 50%-50%. propaganda.

that night, my neighbors proved to me that they are quite capable of appreciating genuine attempts by design teams to make statement buildings that go beyond the "faux historic" mediocrity you have frustration with. and honestly, i think it surprised the development team too. i think they might have purposely floated that modern concept to try and divert attention from the real purpose at hand, which was a probe of the lpo, imho.

i liked the direction, whether diversionary or not, that the design team was headed in. i would like to see a fully developed, smaller version of that building and the detailing that would determine if the juxtoposition of a modern/ historic contrast would actually work.

if anything gets built there, it should be a genuine architectural statement regardless of the style. after all, it's chicago, it's the lakefront and it's sheridan road and how often do building sites come on the market with all these issues at stake. the lakefront deserves this consideration and so does rogers park.

# posted by gf :

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Abels Project Voted Down

In an overwhelming 7 NO Votes,
the 7015 North Sheridan Road Proposal
was voted down by the
Zoning and Land Use Committee
and sent to Alderman Moore
for his consideration.
There was one abstention.

We will have more to report tomorrow.
US Group
Implants Electronic Tags in Workers

By Richard Waters in San Francisco

February 12 2006

An Ohio company has embedded silicon chips in two of its employees - the first known case in which US workers have been “tagged” electronically as a way of identifying them., a private video surveillance company, said it was testing the technology as a way of controlling access to a room where it holds security video footage for government agencies and the police.

Embedding slivers of silicon in workers is likely to add to the controversy over RFID technology, widely seen as one of the next big growth industries.

RFID chips – inexpensive radio transmitters that give off a unique identifying signal – have been implanted in pets or attached to goods so they can be tracked in transit.

“There are very serious privacy and civil liberty issues of having people permanently numbered,” said Liz McIntyre, who campaigns against the use of identification technology.
But Sean Darks, chief executive of CityWatcher, said the glass-encased chips were like identity cards. They are planted in the upper right arm of the recipient, and “read” by a device similar to a cardreader.

“There’s nothing pulsing or sending out a signal,” said Mr Darks, who has had a chip in his own arm. “It’s not a GPS chip. My wife can’t tell where I am.”

The technology’s defenders say it is acceptable as long as it is not compulsory. But critics say any implanted device could be used to track the “wearer” without their knowledge.

VeriChip – the US company that made the devices and claims to have the only chips that have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration – said the implants were designed primarily for medical purposes.

So far around 70 people in the US have had the implants, the company said.

Municipal Wireless: An Idea Whose Time Has Come For Chicago?

Sometimes it's funny how events overlap. Just this week, I started having a conversation with Gary and a few other people I know about the idea of a municipally sponsered wireless service for Rogers Park. My thought was that if there is a perfect test ward for this concept, the 49th has got to be it. I was planning a quiet Saturday hunkered down in front of my computer researching whether Chicago was currently studying this idea, what other cities in the US and around the world have done, and the arguments pro and con.

Well, it turns out the city has been studying it and more. If fact, the city is way ahead of me. Chicago is opening a proposal process to procure wireless communications services that will cover the entire city of Chicago. Here is the full story from the Chicago Tribune to get you started.

There are many, many threads to a discussion about municipal wireless. Over the coming days and weeks, I plan to share with you resources that may nurture the conversation. I hope we can share the space of this blog to discuss the ramifications of this very important initiative.

Here are a few resources I plan to consult soon to start getting my head around this issue. If you know of others, please share them in the comments, or send them to

Fighting the Good Fight for Municipal Wireless
Support blog for readers of: Fighting the Good Fight for Municipal Wireless
Heartland Institute

Here is a post on the subject by the Trib's technology blogger:

Steve Johnson
Hypertext - A Chicago Tribune Web log
Originally posted: February 17, 2006 Chicago Wi-Fi: Keep it cheap

Assuming technological competence, whether Chicago's wireless plan will be at all useful depends most on price. If whoever wins the (theoretical) contract wants to charge you $5 every time you use the service, forget it. We might as well set up a network of hollow cans attached to Chicago's telephone poles.

If, however, they come up with something like a reasonable monthly fee -- say, $9.95 and/or $1 per session for higher-income users down to free for those who don't earn much -- then we may be on to something. Internet access is already essential to full participation in society, and it will only become more so. We are approaching the point where providing it is a civic obligation.
It would take a company specializing in metro wireless -- and a city administration immune to the entreaties of the big utilities for whom Internet access fees are an enormous profit center -- to pull this off. For it to mean anything at all, it has to be a competitor to the SBCs and Comcasts of the world, not a subsidiary of one of theirs set up to control the burgeoning wireless field.
We are, of course, a long way away from this. But let's keep in mind, as proposals come in, that initial price is not the primary consideration. Long-term competitive prospects are.
Letter Exchange between
Alderman Moore and
Mike Luckenbach
of the
North of Howard Neighbors Association
The North Howard Neighbors Association urges you to deny ANY exception (variance/zoning change,etc.) to the provisions of the Lakefront Protection Ordinance as written. The LPO has kept our Rogers Park community unique among lakefront neighborhoods for more than 50 years and any request to modify or alter this heritage/stewardship, should be rejected out of hand.
Mike Luckenbach
Thanks for your response. The 'developments' you cite all seem to have complied with the height and 'blending in' aspects of the intentions of the LPO. The proposal Ms Abels has made for 7015 N. Sheridan, is completely' out of tune' with the intent of the LPO.

Monday, February 20, 2006

The Rogers Park Review
has asked our neighbors to contribute
their thoughts and opinions.

Anne M. Sullivan writes:

In Defense of the
Lakefront Protection Ordinance

I have been accused of being obstructionist, an opponent of change. I admit that I’m a lifelong tree-hugger. I admit that I love some old things simply because they are old. I love conversations with old folks who can tell you what it was like to dance at the Marine Room at the Edgewater Beach Hotel when it was actually on the beach or what Evanston was like before the streets were paved. I love holding old books and letters in my hands that were read by others over a hundred years ago. I love old Victorians with their wide, tree-shaded lots even if they are in deplorable condition. I love big vintage apartments with crown molding and bathroom fixtures that date back to the turn of the century.

I’m a sap for Europe where the “old part of town” often dates back to the Romans. When I visited Ireland a hostess apologized to us that the part of the castle we were sleeping in was “only about 400 years old”! When I stood among the stones at Stonehenge I was practically in tears. I saw a gnarled old tree standing in the middle of a field which generations of farmers had tilled around rather than chop it down. These things could not happen here where “ruins” are not allowed to stand and everything old is torn down to make way for something bigger, newer, shinier; even if it is far inferior to what stood before. What would Rome look like if it were run like the 49th Ward where the Granada Theater gave way to the Granada Tower and the Adelphi Theater will now give way to condos? The Coliseum and the Parthenon wouldn’t stand a chance!

And this is, in essence, why I oppose any breach of the Lakefront Protection Ordinance. The way I see it, the ordinance was created to protect the lakefront in Rogers Park from turning into Edgewater. The entire lakefront there wasn’t suddenly torn down and replaced with towering high-rises of glass and steel. It happened slowly, piece by piece. It goes like this: a stately old home on a huge triple lot is torn down and a tower is built that fills the property to its edge. The neighbors on the whole block live through a construction zone nightmare for more than a year: the jackhammers, the diesel fumes from equipment, the dirt, the rumbling trucks and pounding ironworkers. When it’s done, the immediate neighbors find that their breeze, their view, their sunlight is gone. They sit in the shadow of this thing, now looming above. The predatory developers smell their discomfort and move in, offering them good money for their homes because there is even bigger money in the high-rises. And one by one they fall.

That’s actually what happened to Connie Abel’s home, before there was a Lakefront Protection Ordinance. The homes on either side of her gave way to something bigger and taller and her home now stands in the shadows of a mini-canyon where grass will not grow. The answer is not to build another tower on that spot that will cast a shadow on its neighbors. We must draw a line and that line is HERE.

Why? Take a walk over to Berger Park. Walk through those two stately homes on the lake. THAT’S what Edgewater’s lakefront used to look like. Now look south at the canyon of high-rise on Sheridan Road, and ask yourself: is THAT progress?

Tuesday at 7pm the 49th Ward Zoning and land Use Committee will meet at Joe Moore’s 49th Ward office (7356 N. Greenview Ave). They will vote on Connie Abels request for a zoning variance. Be there to voice your opposition. Call Joe’s office (312-744-3067). Fax him (312-744-3080). E-mail him (
We can stop this now.

Pioneer Press

Be careful!
Abductions are Preventable.

ABDUCTIONS can be prevented if you remember basic "smarts."

BE PARKING LOT SMART... During these shorter, darker days, thieves and robbers and killers may try to rob or hurt you.

IF A ROBBER asks for your wallet or purse and you are in a quiet, secluded lot, (and screams won't help) DO NOT HAND IT OVER! Toss it away from you so he must go get it. Run like your life depends on it (and it may) in the opposite direction.

IF YOU ARE EVER THROWN into the trunk of a car, kick out the back tail light and stick your arm out the hole and start waving like crazy. The driver won't see you but hopefully everybody else will. This has saved lives.

DON'T SIT IN YOUR UNLOCKED CAR, talking on your cell phone, making a list, etc. A robber can slip into the passenger side, point a gun at you and force you to drive. As soon as you get into your car, lock the doors and drive away.

DON'T BE A SYMPATHETIC WOMAN. Serial killer Ted Bundy walked with a cane, asked for help getting into his car and then pounced.

YOU HEAR A CRYING baby or other strange noise at your door at night? DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR. Call police. Baby's cries can be recorded.

EVEN IF A PREDATOR has a gun, run! At least you'll be a moving target. It can mean your life if you go with him!

ALWAYS TAKE THE ELEVATOR and not the stairs. Stairwells are bad places to be alone. Be aware. Look around when you park. Beware of vans.

BETTER TO BE SAFE than sorry.
Plato says.........

The form of law which I propose would be as follows: In a state which is desirous of being saved from the greatest of all plagues -- not faction, but rather distraction -- there should exist among the citizens neither extreme poverty nor, again, excessive wealth, for both are productive of great evil . . . Now the legislator should determine what is to be the limit of poverty or of wealth.": Plato (427-347 B.C.):

Note: We would like to thank Plato for allowing us to reprint his comment.
Pushes for Local Hiring
Referendum for Primary


Some Rogers Park residents pounded the pavement last weekend to build support for an advisory referendum in the March 21 primary that would pressure elected officials to do more local hiring on taxpayer supported projects.

Members of the local grassroots organizing nonprofit the Rogers Park Community Action Network (RPCAN) helped to get the initiative on the ballot in five precincts of the 49th Ward.

They are asking neighbors to support their call for preferential local hiring, living wage requirements and the right of workers to organize in any company or institution-with 10 or more employees-that gets public money, including tax increment financing dollars.
Currently there is no cohesive plan for how potential, local workers could benefit from the up to $200 million in public subsidies pledged for development in the Devon/Sheridan TIF, the new Howard L station, field house at Gale Park or the TIF drawn around the S&C Electric company.