Saturday, March 18, 2006

Volunteer Corps.....

League of Women Voters
Seeking Volunteers

League of Women Voters
of Illinois

A Voice for Citizens
A Force for Change

Welcome! LWV Chicago is a nonpartisan, nonprofit political organization with a rich history in the Chicago community. Our mission is to encourage the informed and active participation of citizens in government, work to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influence public policy through education and advocacy.

Did You Know......

Renting Beats Overpaying for Homes
April 2, 2006

Conventional wisdom holds that buying a home is always better than renting. But conventional wisdom could be luring many people into financial harm, claims Chicago author and financial adviser David Latko. "Go over the numbers," Latko advises. "If people...

You can buy your next home for nothing down

March 31, 2006
By Robert Bruss
Inman News
Today's mortgage lenders have become savvy about the profitability of making low- and no-down-payment home loans, even to borrowers with poor credit. Last year, according to the National Association of Realtors, more than 30 percent of home sales involved...

Friday, March 17, 2006


a New York blog
New York Hack

another New York blog

Traditional journalists ripping off bloggers

by John in DC - 3/30/2006 Americablog

Some reporters think that blogs aren't "real" enough to cite as sources for stories. The only problem is that many of them still steal our stories and run them as their own. So obviously the blogs are pretty real if you're willing to steal our stories.Anyway, Josh Marshall is on a well-earned, and rare, rant about the issue.

Check it out. Comments (45)

Digital Divisions

10/5/2005, Susannah Fox
There are clear differences among those with broadband connections, dial-up connections, and no connections at all to the internet.
Learn more
Lost an IPod or Wallet? Look for It Online
By Andrew Ryan, Associated Press Writer,
April 2, 2006,

BOSTON -- Maureen Silliman felt her empty pocket and gulped: Her new $300 iPod must have bounced out as she ran to catch a train. While she sobbed, her boyfriend suggested a message on the lost-and-found section of Craigslist, an online bazaar of classified ads. "No," the 24-year-old Silliman said. "Nobody would ever turn in an iPod." Her boyfriend posted the message anyway. Within 24 hours, Silliman's iPod was back. In an increasingly cynical world, there are still places where people try to do the right thing. Everyday on Internet message boards, honest folks post notes about valuables they found: cash, bank cards, diamond bracelets, engagement rings, wedding bands, digital cameras, and even a cockatoo valued at $1,200.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006



Geese in Illinois
are Sitting Ducks
State hunting officials have decided to end quotas
as warmer winters change birds' migratory patterns.
By Charles Sheehan
March 29, 2006
Growing Healthful Crop Motivates St. Anne Grower

"Health and healing is my whole thing," said Westerhoff, busily preparing seed trays under the watchful gaze of Olivia, the farm cat. "I want to help heal this one piece of land that I have and provide a crop to the people who live nearby."
Tribune March 29
A Farmers Market Helps Turn
a Brooklyn Neighborhood Around

Forgotten by many, a Brooklyn neighborhood nourishes its own

Tom Philpott
22 Feb 2006

Wander into Brooklyn's Red Hook neighborhood on a Saturday morning in summer, and you'll see a sight not uncommon in New York City these days: a thriving and diverse
farmers' market. Neighborhood denizens cluster around stands offering free-range meat, fresh cheese, cream-on-top milk, and a whole array of fresh fruit and vegetables, many of them grown right down the block.
Can Learn
How to Go

Law pushes contractors to 'go green'
To help contractors learn what they need to know

to comply with the ordinance,
The Department of Environment
will hold free seminars from
10 a.m. to noon

Monday, April 3,
Tuesday, April 25,
Tuesday, May 23,
Tuesday, Sept. 19, and
Tuesday, Nov. 14, at the
Center for Green Technology,
445 N. Sacramento.
For more information or to register,
call (312) 746-9642.
Hybrids Burn Up More Energy in the Making

March 31, 2006

But while hybrids consume less fuel than SUVs, it takes more energy to produce the parts and components that go into making one, especially the electrical system, than it does to produce the typical full-size sport-utility vehicle.

Do the Math. Consumer Reports Owns Up

March 10, 2006

It's not a word you often hear from Consumer Reports. After further review, the magazine known for its unbiased testing of consumer products says there are a couple of gas/electric cars that will return part of the buyer's investment.

Monday, March 13, 2006

why we love
Rogers Park

Great Lake Adventure

Mindless Ramblings And Kayaks For Breakfast. . . Monday, February 06, 2006

"You'll Have The Time, The Time Of Your Life Bring All Your Friends, All Your Kids And Your Wife To Chicago, Chicago My Hometown "- fischer

Tom Heineman who in additon to being a crazy sea kayaker is also a math tutor says that, "all students can learn and excel in math". That sounds like a challenge to me! One thing is for sure, you can't doubt his resolve. After calling short what would have been a
1000 mile trip last year due to his partners health, Tom is ready to head out again. This time he is going to launch his kayak from Chicago on June 11th of this year to begin an attempt to circumnavigate the better part of Lake Michigan. This trip should cover approximately 800 miles and take about six weeks, ending back in Chicago on July 20th if all goes as planned.Tom is lucky enough to live about 100 yards from the shore of Lake Michigan and has been paddling canoes most of his life. Then when a friend bought an apartment building with a private beach, it was time to try kayaks as well. From there Tom has went on to become an ACA certified sea kayak coach and was the president of the Chicago Area Sea Kayak Association (CASKA). These days he offers private lessons and is an instructor with the Lincoln Park Boat Club and Northwest Passage in Wilmette. Chances are you may have also run into him instructing at the Door County Sea Kayak symposium as well.Although many people have made the circumnavigation of Lake Superior to the north, we've had a hard time finding any information on kayak circumnavigations of Lake Michigan. However, according to Outside Magaizine, Mike Steere did it by canoe in the mid-seventies.

As you can imagine, it will be quite a challenge. June and July are generally warm summer months, however they also tend to be very changeable. Water temperatures will still be quite cold and storms can come up quickly. Being a "local" as it were, I'm sure Tom will take the lake very seriously. Lake Michigan has produced waves up to 22 feet and has a long history of tragedy for the unprepared. In additon to working his way along the coasts he will also face two major crossings; Green Bay in Wisconsin, and Traverse Bay on the northen tip of lower Michigan. (which for you mathematicians, results in the 800 mile trip as opposed to well over 1000).Tom's son will be joining him for some stretches however he is still looking for some paddlers who may want to join him on various crossings along the way. He is also happy to get any local information regarding landing and camping areas along is route.

Good Luck Tom!
photos provided by tom heineman. used by permission.
thank you Tom, gf.
Health &

Depression: Treating Mother Helps Child

Depression hits more than 19 million U.S. adults each year, including about 12 million women.
About 1 in 8 U.S. women will be diagnosed with depression during their lifetime.
Depression occurs most often during women's childbearing years, ages 25 to 44.
Fewer than half the women who experience depression seek treatment.


Odd World

Vienna Launches "driving licence for dogs"

Mar 28 Breitbart
Viennese dog owners can now get a "driving licence for dogs" under a new initiative by city officials who thought man's best friend's best friend could do with a bit of brushing up on canine conduct.
Though voluntary, this new license, which takes about two hours to obtain and costs a modest 25 euros (30 dollars), has both written and practical "driving" tests to assess the owner's competence.
Chicago Tax Cap Has Winners and Losers

A lot of homeowners in Chicago are going to get an unpleasant surprise from Cook County Assessor James Houlihan in a few weeks. That's when his office will begin to mail out reassessment notices for city properties. Last time this happened was in 2003, and the median increase was 35 percent. Houlihan aides project the median increase this year will be 41 percent.
Tribune, March 29, 2006

Without a Bumble, Teen Speller Wins Spelling Bee

Appropriately enough, her first correctly spelled word was "intellectual" and the last--the one that is sending Jane Huang to the national spelling bee was.... "philobiblist."
Tribune March 30


Gale is 'green machine'

By Felicia Dechter
Pioneer Press

East Rogers Parkers Clara Hayes and Gregory Roberts have quietly been nurturing and adopting hundreds of tiny infants at Gale Community Academy, 1631 W. Jonquil Terrace.
The babies--which are green and live on the school's third floor--appear to be thriving, and growing like weeds. Perhaps that's because Hayes and Roberts--along with other Gale parents and community members--have become green machines and are busily raising several species of plants, vegetables and flowers to drum up some funds for the school.

"This is great. It's really exciting," said Roberts, a parent volunteer and father of three daughters at Gale, which serves about 660, pre-k through 8th-grade students. "I'm like an expectant father, walking around the waiting room because my wife is having a baby."
About one-fourth of the school's third floor houses the working greenhouse, which was built on the top floor of an annexed school building in 1997.

The space had been used as a storage facility for the last couple of years until Clara Hayes, the parent role resource and development coordinator at Gale whose two children already graduated from the school, came up with the concept of clearing it out and going green.

Hayes, who is an active volunteer with the school, felt the need to bring more parents into Gale, so she decided to put on another cap--that of a gardener--to help raise money for the school, where more than 85 percent of students are from low-income families.
"I wanted a fundraiser to raise a significant amount of money," said Hayes, who also hopes to form a garden club. "Because we're a science and math academy we really needed to get started and bring life back to our science lab."

Hayes and others even visited various local nurseries for tips, and she hopes to have about 1,500 plants, herbs, vegetables and flowers ready by Friday, April 29, when the plant sale kick-off will be held during the open-to-the-public, Gale Spring Fashion Show. That day also will include the unveiling of a community quilt.

By next year, Hayes hopes to raise about $10,000, she said, and judging by what's been done in the greenhouse thus far, that number just might be attainable.

After clearing the huge space out, sometimes even giving up their Saturdays to do so, parents, and community members got busy planting seeds, using an impressive design created by John Hookwater, director of Neighbors United in New Possibilities, a nonprofit arm of the Rogers Park-based Many People's Church.

A warming bed was built, and an incubator, by hand. Wood tables were created, with watering holes and a drain system. Seeds were planted and soon, tiny sprouts peeked up which were then transplanted for room to grow.

"It's been so exciting also because growing plants is cross-cultural, and all these different skills are coming together," Hookwater said, adding that he's hoping to grow year-round plants eventually, such as Poinsettias and Easter Lilies.
Wisdom Bridge Arts Project
Last Tuesday, Tom Rosenfeld and Eva McAnn
Hosted an Informational Meeting at the New
Free Art Gallery
at 7543 North Paulina Street
next to Dunkin' Donuts at
Gateway Bus Depot. The Meeting was
about the plans and progress to create a
Community Arts Center for Rogers Park.

The Wisdom Bridge Theater Building

Tom explained that the original intention of the volunteer group was to rehab this beautiful building on Howard and save it from possible demolition. Unfortunately, the engineering studies that were completed in 2000 and recent studies done prior to the purchase of the building, indicated that the cost of renovating the existing structure would now exceed the cost of building new. There is significant interior damage and apparently the mold contamination requires anyone who enters the building to wear a mask.

In the 5 years it has taken the group to come to this difficult realization, they began operating as a community arts organization and produced the now Annual World Music Festival and a free summer theater camp for children at Gale Academy. The goal now, is to incorporate all of these efforts into a new building that will become a true

Community Arts Center for Rogers Park

The 5 member board is currently working with John Morris, an architect who has had extensive experience designing and building other theater type spaces. The first architectural draft of the interior space is expected to be completed shortly.
more info on John Morris

from the Wisdom Bridge Arts Project website.....

More than three years ago, a group of civic minded folks set-out to create a unique community arts organization. We wanted to address the poor conditions that existed in our neighborhood in Rogers Park.
The north of Howard sector of Rogers Park in Chicago is one of the most poverty-stricken areas in the city. The primary nutritional needs for many of the children here are met through government programs like Head Start, WIC and other similar programs. The young adults are likely to be victims or perpetrators. And the schools are suffering. The cycle continues.

We asked ourselves the question: “What can I do?” and we talked with the community. Driven by the belief that long-term social change needs to involve children, we looked at the schools. And we were startled. Our grade schools eliminated their arts programs.

Maybe you remember art classes in school – you likely had a music or drawing teacher or you might have been in band. You may have had field trips to the symphony or to an art museum. Arts training in schools provides an opportunity for exposure to different means of expression and points of views at a critical time in our development. Kids in our neighborhood, who really need the opportunity for expression, don’t get it.

In response, we created the Wisdom Bridge Arts Project, a comprehensive program of teaching and experience in all art forms-theatre, music, dance, visual arts and writing –conducted by Chicago’s artists in unique partnerships.

The Wisdom Bridge Arts Project

The volunteer group is now looking for anyone interested in helping this great program. for more information

the Objective Observer

Bail Set in Loyola Rape Case

A Cook County judge set bail at $700,000 Wednesday for a teenager accused of raping and kidnapping a Loyola University Chicago student last month. Joseph A. Davis, 18, of the 6400 block of North Glenwood is charged with aggravated criminal sexual assault and aggravated kidnapping. Prosecutors say he grabbed his 19-year-old victim as she was walking alone in the early morning of Feb. 12 near the 1200 block of North Farwell. The woman was walking to a friend's house, Cook County Assistant State's Attorney Maria McCarthy told Judge Raymond Myles. At some point, Davis allegedly indicated he had a gun and would shoot the woman if she made any noise, McCarthy said. Davis then allegedly dragged the woman into a nearby alley, roughed her up and then raped her, prosecutors say. Prosecutors say Davis' DNA links him to the crime scene.
Metro section of the Chicago Sun-times 03/30/0
It has
now been
this promise
was made
to the constituents
of the 49th ward

"I appreciate your suggestions on how I can make the process more inclusive, and I assure you I will be more vigilant about posting notices of future meetings on my website."

afternoon edition

Odd World

Cat Stuck in Wall Waves Paw for Help

By Associated Press
Published March 30, 2006, 5:12 PM CST

COLLIERVILLE, Tenn. -- A cat stuck in a wall at a house under construction initiated his rescue when he caught the attention of a prospective buyer by meowing and waving his paw out a small hole. The cat had gotten stuck behind the wall but found a gap between a gas pipe and the wall board where he could stick out his paw. He was spotted Saturday by someone touring the house.

Man Accidentally Divorces Wife in Sleep

By Associated PressPublished
March 28, 2006, 3:06 PM CST

NEW DELHI -- Village elders ordered a Muslim man in eastern India to leave his wife after he accidentally divorced her in his sleep, a news report said Tuesday. Aftab Ansari uttered the Urdu word for divorce, "talaq," three times in his sleep, prompting his worried wife to discuss the matter with her friends, according to the Press Trust of India news agency.

Robin sends birdwatcher in Britain into a flutter

Mar 28 7:29 PM US/Eastern Email this story
When the red, red robin comes bob bob bobin' along, it can certainly send a flutter through the birdwatching fraternity in nature-obsessed Britain. Case in point: an American robin, apparently carried by strong winds across the North Atlantic Ocean from eastern Canada, now in residence in a backyard in the southeast London neighbourhood of Peckham.

PETA 'sick cards' Aim to Turn Asian Children Vegetarian

Mar 29 6:26 AM Breitbart

Animal-rights group PETA said it would try to get
Asian children to turn vegetarian by distributing
"trading cards" depicting sick youngsters to
highlight the risk of bird flu.

Odd World

Separated Man Sues US Online
Matchmaker for Singles Only

Mar 28 Breitbart
US matchmaker eHarmony has been sued for refusing to let a man use the online dating service until his divorce is final, the attorney behind the suit said.
John Claassen, 36, charged that the policy violated anti-discrimination laws and should let users chose whom they want to meet.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Mercury in Our Food
Government and Industry Fail to Protect Consumers

a link from the NHNA blog.......
Autism, Mercury and Politics
By Robert Kennedy Jr. July 1, 2005

March 21st 2006 Primary Elections Information

The Rogers Park Review
Week in Review

National Single Payor Healthcare: An Idea Whose Time Has Come?

Uncle Crabby's Journal: Another Rogers Park blog we enjoy.

Should Bloggers Be Given the Media Exemption? by mcjoan

We are all in danger of skidding on this banana peel

sometimes, it pays to have a plan......A Study of The "Happy Heart
" Strategy

Another Diabolical Scheme? I I X N A M R I A H C

I'll Just Add Some More Doo Dads

A&T Grill's Condo Plans on Front Burner By Angela Caputo Pioneer Press

Court Advocacy Training

Why Should We Care About: The Illinois Healthcare Referendum 2006?

"Happy"Again :(

So, you're saying you don't want us to pay down that balance
, or what?

Privacy Takes a Back Seat in Mortgage Bait and Switch Kenneth R. Harney

Plant a Seed dept.... R E N O V A T E

Another Diabolical Scheme K I M S A R G O N

we have Mail.......tom says....

New Safety Outpost to Bolster Loyola's Security BY ANGELA CAPUTO Pioneer Press

from The First City blog
Dental Care for Poor a Looming Crisis

Health officials say need growing with few low-cost options
By Judith Graham, Tribune staff reporter
March 26
Loyola: The Miracle Along the Lake

Patrice M. Jones, Tribune Staff Reporter
Finally, the university began to unlock the value of its real estate. Ironically, a school near financial meltdown a short time ago is in the midst of one of the most aggressive building phases in its history--a five-year, $300 million capital improvement and expansion campaign. Among the new buildings are the recently completed Quinlan Life Sciences Education and Research Center and the Winthrop Residence Hall, both on the lakeshore campus. Also in Rogers Park, the university expects to break ground this fall on a state-of-the-art library annex for study and research. Finally, at its Water Tower campus, a new student center and residence hall is slated to open this summer.
Across U.S., Immigration Supporters, Foes View Chicago March as Catalyst
Rally Stirs Both Sides

A Show of Strength
"The rally drew some of the state's most powerful politicians, including Gov. Rod Blagojevich, Mayor Richard Daley, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin and dozens of alderman and state lawmakers." Chicago Tribune, March 12
I think what we have is a
Failure to Communicate

When I realized there was a new initiative from Alderman Moore on the 49th Ward website, I quickly glanced through all the material looking for the one thing I believe we can all agree on, well, most of us anyway. I was looking for the sentence about Timely Notification. The Beginning; because that's where open process starts. You cannot have one without the other.

But I didn't find the beginning because it wasn't there. It still isn't and I wonder how many neighbors will miss the meeting tonight because of that omission.

It was conspiciously absent and honestly I was left with a sense that, no matter how much time and energy was spent, and difficulty the Alderman might have had wrestling with this decision, there remains a fundamental failure to communicate with his constituents.

I do appreciate the time and effort involved in drawing up this initiative. Honestly, I personally need more time to absorb the implications and understand how it is actually designed to work on the ground.

But Timely Notification and Agenda Transparency is at the very core of any open process, no matter what business is being discussed. It seems a no brainer to me and I cannot understand why this is still unclear to the Alderman. Timely Notification is where open process begins and without it, this new initiative seems hollow.

I mean, what is the point of having a brand spanking new meeting process if no one shows up?

One Laptop Per Child

is an initiative to create a child-friendly laptop that can sell for $100. The project is the brainchild of Nicholas Negroponte of the MIT Media Lab, and the research is being sponsered by One Laptop Per Child, a non-profit association. The laptops are not in production yet and will not be available in retail settings - they will be distributed to schools through large scale government initiatives. Most countries in the world have expressed interest in this project (click the "map" link on the OLPC website...looking at the countries who aren't involved yet is also instructive).

Apparently, some people (well, actually, Bill Gates)
just can't stand competition ever, even if it is competition to do some good in the world. Uncle Bill even had the nerve to mock one of the most innovative features of a OLPC prototype, a hand crank to power the computer's battery...after all those discovery trips to Africa, you haven't noticed that some places are a little short on 1) electricity and 2) batteries? Guess it has nothing to do with the fact that this project undercuts the price of your own product by several hundred dollars and runs on Linux.

Shame on you Mr. Gates!

-- Rebecca Rouilly
a link we like......

from the

Poverty and the


Far North West Side
Voters Favor Local Jobs

By Angela Caputo
March 29

If the outcome of an advisory referendum in some Rogers Park precincts is a true indicator of public opinion, Chicagoans are calling on city officials to adopt a policy that would put more people to work in their own neighborhoods when it comes to big projects fueled by public subsidies.

Nearly 90 percent of voters in five Far North Side precincts cast ballots in favor of a city-wide policy that would give residents first crack at local jobs. Like public agencies, private projects that leverage tax dollars, TIF or other sources, would be included in the policy if they have 10 or more employees.

With gentrification sweeping through the neighborhood, referendum organizer Elaine Detweiler, a volunteer with the Rogers Park Community Action Network, said "Either we have to create affordable housing or better paying jobs so people can afford to live here."
More than $200 million of new public money is being pledged for redevelopment in the neighborhood alone--between the Devon-Sheridan TIF, reconstructing the Howard CTA station, the S&C Electric TIF and building a Gale Park Fieldhouse. And if leveraged right, under the proposed policy, that could mean a lot of new jobs, she said.
Alderman Joe Moore, D-49th said the idea "is something that bares looking at." But in the new projects oncoming up in the ward, he said, it's just too soon to even know what type, let alone how many jobs might be created.

Pointing to the TIF-subsidized Gateway development at Clark and Howard, Moore said the ward has a track record of leveraging public money to benefit the neighborhood. "I think that has been a very successful project for both providing neighborhood amenities and for local people to get jobs."
March 21st

March 23, 2006
The following are the unofficial, and in some cases, incomplete, results of Tuesday, March 21, 2006 referendums in the metropolitan area.

Ward 49 -precincts 8, 15, 19, 28 and 38-seeking to improve employee wages and rights. Yes 320 No 42


e mail from
received Saturday March 25th, 2pm

Due to utter chaos at the polling places, we still have only partial and unofficial results, but ...88% of voters say YES to Jobs & Economic Justice.

The referendum campaign was organized by RPCAN as part of its Jobs & Economic Justice campaign, which has participation of faith leaders, student groups, union activists and neighbors that believe Rogers Park Needs A Raise.

We all thank the referendum team that made it happen, including Connie Hall, LaDonna Dudley, Elaine Detweiler, Robin McPherson, Malachi Ajaya, Jenni Purdue, Jose Monroy, Denise Chiles, Lori Parker, Charity Ryerson, Gus Roddy, Gloria Samuels.

The referendum vote sends a message to officials that the people want a policy tying community economic benefits to public financing. Under such a policy, if an institution, company or project wants to get public money (including TIF), it is expected to have policies ensuring * some form of local preference in hiring and/or union apprenticeship program, * employees and contractors' employees get a living wage * respect for worker rights, including the right to organize without interference.

The idea is to promote such a community economic benefits policy as the standard for employers that want to operate in our neighborhood. RPCAN sees this applying to the workforce as a whole, not only the temporary construction work directly funded, but exempting "Mom & Pop Shops" with fewer than 10 employees. Voters in five precincts sent a clear message that we want to see such a policy implemented.

If you want to join in the support, you can send an email to city officials and Loyola (which is asking for a $46 million TIF subsidy, but refused requests to negotiate community benefits agreements) calling for this approach to be attached to public funding, such as: $69 million Devon-Sheridan TIF, $53 million Howard CTA station reconstruction, $48 million S&C electric TIF Gale Park fieldhouse.
click here:

** Note regarding the Loyola TIF **Besides pushing for the jobs & economic justice policy to apply in general, RPCAN's Board of Directors voted to oppose the specific request from Loyola University for a $46 million TIF subsidy (part of the Devon-Sheridan TIF), to reimburse part of the cost of rehabbing tax-exempt campus buildings. RPCAN values Loyola as an important part of our community, but this subsidy request does not satisfy our community's interests. Contact RPCAN for more info about reasons.

Loyola reps claim they have more community support than opposition. RPCAN is asking members and allies to register opposition to that specific subsidy proposal, before it is submitted to the City Council, by clicking on:
Thanks for your help. When each of us does her/his part, the change it's gonna' come.

Jonathan Roth, Patricia Phillips, Co-Chairs
P.S. Of course, we also need financial support to continue this work. You can make a credit card donation on-line at (click the "make a donation" button) or send a check to RPCAN at 1545 W. Morse, Chiacgo, IL 60626
RPCAN Office

Medicare (D)isaster & Canadian Drugs

by georgia10
Sun Mar 26, 2006 at 07:34:12 PM PDT

Republicans, even President Bush himself, have been forced to admit what Democrats have said all along: the implementation of the Medicare Part D benefit has been a disaster. A study by the Democratic staff of the House Government Reform Committee reveals how costly the plan really is. Congressman Tom Allen of Maine had asked for the investigation:


Senn Battle Continues

By Angela Caputo

No doubt there were a whole lot of meetings leading up to the Rickover Naval Academy opening its doors in Senn High this year.

But residents in the 48th Ward voted by a margin of roughly 2 to 1 in a March 21 advisory referendum calling on CPS to start a new formal process to talk about removing the military academy from the high school, 5900 N. Glenwood Ave.

In defense of the effort to bring the community into the decision making last year, the political organization Citizens for Mary Ann Smith (48th Ward alderman), cited briefings to block clubs, business and other community groups along with two community forums and public hearings by the Board of Education last year.

Referendum supporters, though, say despite all the meetings it was merely a charade of an open process. From the beginning, they say, it seemed like a done deal.

"Having public hearings telling people what you're doing and why it's great has no relationship to a community process," ONE Executive Director Sarah Jane Knoy said. "You need to bring people to the table before decisions are made, not after."

As for the showing of roughly 4,500 supporters across the 48th ward the alderman's Chief of Staff Greg Harris said, "The referendum was directed at the Board of Education and that's up to them."

Organizers met with Board of Education Chair Michael Scott leading up to the election. Scott, they say, pledged to meet again with a neighborhood delegation if the measure were to garner a majority of votes.

CPS spokesman Mike Vaughn said that the board is all for the community setting up more meetings, however, "The board stands by that initial community process...and the decision to open Rickover."
Study Cites Reasons
for Affordable Housing Shortage

The competition for moderately priced homes is helping to accelerate overcrowding, homelessness and situations where families are paying more than a third of their household income on housing, the University of Illinois at Chicago study warns.


Voters Favor Height Limits

By Angela Caputo
March 29

Voters in one corner of the 48th Ward may have shown overwhelming support for downzoning a stretch of Broadway that cuts right throughout the heart of Edgewater, but the March 21 advisory referendum hasn't put the hotly debated issue to rest, according to a top aldermanic aide.

Eighty-eight percent of voters living in four precincts on the east side of Broadway cast ballots in favor of a four-story height limitation between Devon and Foster.
Referendum organizer and civic leader Pat Sharkey says after doing a whole lot of door knocking and taking her power presentation on the block club circuit, she wasn't at all surprised by the show of support. "Anybody who worked on this (campaign) knows that nobody had to sell people on it."

At the same time that they were organizing their referendum campaign, though, block clubs have also been weighing in with Alderman Mary Ann Smith, D-48th, on the density question, and so far it looks like there is still no consensus.
"For the large part the west side of Broadway prefers B1-2 (lower density) and on the east side the largest sections preferred B1-3 (higher density)," 48th Ward Chief of Staff Greg Harris said.

After years of community meetings and even hiring a consultant to make zoning recommendations, North Edgewater Beach Association Block Club President Norm Cratty said, "We're back at square one."

While both sides have the same goal--sprucing up the neighborhood's residential strip--the zoning question comes down to a split in development strategy.
Those in favor of downzoning see higher density as stifling development by making land too expensive and relying exclusively on profits from condos above the storefronts rather than making the effort to actually fill them in.
On the flip side, some contend that without the incentive to build big, developers will shy away from the area.

Under both proposals developers could seek upzoning, which would be at the discretion of the alderman and her advisory board.

The community may be at an impasse when it comes to consensus, however, with a more informed public it's time to start making some compromises, Harris said.
Early on many thought that the entire stretch should carry the same zoning designation. But after hearing out both experts and neighbors, "People realized it was a complicated issue," he added. Now the alderman is going to have to weigh in factors like density, parking and "work out a compromise."
March 21st

March 23, 2006
The following are the unofficial, and in some cases, incomplete, results of Tuesday, March 21, 2006 referendums in the metropolitan area.


Ward 22-seeking to draw attendance boundaries for Little Village High School. Yes 1,355 No 1,116
Ward 24-seeking to elimination criminal record background questions on employment applications. Yes 4,240 No 275Ward 25-14 precincts-seeking to restrict zoning in Pilsen. Yes 1,103 No 356
Ward 28 -seeking to elimination criminal record background questions on employment applications. Yes 3,594 No 242
Ward 29 -seeking to elimination criminal record background questions on employment applications. Yes 5,137 No 500
Ward 35 -seeking to enact Inclusionary Housing Ordinance Yes 2,541 No 772; seeking to enact Chicago Big Box Living Wage Ordinance Yes 2,737 No 539; seeking to support TIF district. Yes 1,445 No 1,865
Ward 37 -seeking to elimination criminal record background questions on employment applications. Yes 4,036 No 345
Ward 48 -seeking to allow community input into removal of Rickover military academy at Senn High School. Yes 3,990 No 1,765
Ward 48-precinct 30, 38, 50 and 51-seeking to limit height on buildings to four stories on sections of Broadway Avenue. Yes 804 No 114
ben j. says.....

"Every now and then, a TIF funds a worthwhile endeavor- saving a landmark, building a school. But they're so poorly regulated that far more often they do more harm than good. Given the way TIF's have been abused, it would make more sense for Colon to ask voters to support abolishing the 35th ward TIF altogether.

Fat chance of that. TIFs are the only planning subsidy in town, so Alderman either go along with them or watch development dollars go to other wards.

An Opaque Kind of Transparency

Alderman Ray Colon wants to know if voters in the 35th Ward
approve of their TIF, but what does he plan to do if they don't?


garden in
Rogers Park.....

from the
Plant a Seed dept.....

Parkway Ideas

not in
Rogers Park,

west of Western

view from
street level


Community Meeting Confusion


Thomas Westgard said...

Second Update: Holy Cow!
I got an email from Dan Sullivan saying that the 1344 meeting IS happening tonight at the park. I called his office and confirmed that with his assistant. Then I called the Alderman’s office, and they (Wayne) reiterated that they were not aware of a zoning meeting tonight at Loyola Park. They did say that Michael Land was out and that he would call me back. Now I guess I’ll just have to go and find out what’s up. Other than disorganization and confusion. That’s definitely on the menu.

Thomas Westgard said...

Update on 1344 W Lunt Zoning Meeting NOT HAPPENING?
Yesterday, in response to a rumor regarding a zoning meeting tonight on the above property, I called LAMS Real Estate offices to confirm whether their zoning meeting was happening tonight. That information was confirmed.Today I called the Alderman’s office to confirm, and they told me that the St. Paul’s by the Lake meeting is on, but there is no zoning meeting on their part at the Loyola Park tonight.
It sure would be nice if there were one official source for this information.
'nuf said. thanx Tom.

Tonight ?
Zoning Meeting: 1344 W Lunt

Meeting regarding zoning change for 1344 W Lunt, 7001-7017 N Glenwood: Requested change to allow live/work spaces in storefronts along Glenwood.
7 pm on Wednesday, March 29, 2006 at Loyola Park Fieldhouse.
I don't necessarily know all the details, but IMHO this is an entirely appropriate place for live-work, so I'd like to see it approved.Yes, this is exactly the same time and date as this other meeting somewhere else.
Call the Alderman's office to ask why this isn't announced anywhere. It is not on Joe's calendar, his news page, or on Dave Fagus' blog.
It seems as though somebody could have told someone at some point.
posted by Thomas Westgard on MoroseHellhole, rcv'd 1:30pm
thanx for the heads up Tom

Tonight ?
Redevelopment Proposal Meeting
St. Pauls by the Lake,
7100 North Ashland Avenue @7pm,
thanx Craig

from the
49th Ward Website
The Zoning and Land Use Advisory Committee
will not meet in March.
The next Committee meeting is
Tuesday, April 11th, 7:00 p.m.
at the 49th Ward Service Office,
7356 N. Greenview.

Has Anyone Seen "Happy"?
March 12, Happy Moved to a New Location