Wednesday, April 30, 2008

New Toy, Part 2 - Attacker Found!

Wolcott and Granville - possible suspect found. It seems like the Police cars tend to swarm the moment that something happens, even where the situation seems like it is under control. They seem to have found the 6121 W. Artesian attacker; the guy has the victim's ID on him. The attacker was brought to Peterson and Western for additional instructions. They are going to do a show up or a line up; it sounds like they are going to do a line up, instead.

Night of the Living Bearcat in the 24th District - Sexual Assualt in Edgewater @ 6121 W. Artesian

Well, its actually a Uniden. We had a revoked drivers license at Greenleaf and Clark. A mob of 20 teens near Amundsen High School at Damen and Foster, one of whom was allegedly packing a gun. 7503 N. Seeley had a domestic call; some woman was sitting on her drunk boyfriend or husband to restrain him. 1932 W. Lunt - playing basketball after curfew.
Too many Police cars in the back and police cars in the front at 6121 N. Talman. We have too many cars. Slow it down. Total disregard. To run a history of domestics; no history. The actual address is 6121 N. Artesian, not Talman. Apparently, the person complaining does not know her address. They are getting way too many cop cars to the domestic which may freak out the goofy guy with the knife. Apparently, an African American who claimed that he was sixteen year old is now wanted for domestic sexual assault for an attack in Edgewater. He fled at 10:23 p.m., the guy is 6 feet tall with a red bulls jersey with black pants.
Told victim that he had a lot of friends in the hood and chose to wear black and red. Probably a lame threat by a gangster wannabe with testosterone issues. He may have lied about his age to make the victim think that he cannot be charged as an adult.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Vice Lord Killed Saturday Night While Political Rally to Stop Violence Under Tent: Updated11:00pm

As Evanston Alderman Ann Rainey addressed Chicago and Evanston residents at her rally against crime at 7:00 p.m., a reputed gang hit took place blocks away. Last reports indicate that the two suspects were seen fleeing south on Seeley near Birchwood.

The victim, Willie Bloomingburg, 26, was the brother of Allen, a convicted member of the Traveling Vice Lords. Willie, who lived on the 2000 Block of West Arthur, was found in front of 2045 W. Birchwood (between Seeeley and Hoyne). Emerging reports from Police indicate that the Willie tried to flee after he was shot at close range between three to six times. Police sources claim that he was attacked at 7454 N. Hoyne, but neighbors confirm that the shooting took place closer to 2056 W. Birchwood and that the victim may have tried to run west with his injuries towards Hoyne. The victim was taken to St. Francis Hospital, where he died from muliple gunshot wounds.

Evanston Police at the Rally believe that a turf battle is going on between the Black P-Stones, 4 Corner Hustlers, and the Vice Lords. Sources suggest that the Vice Lords are trying to move south, which has spurred the blood shed. Recent, vocal activity last week suggested a level of intentional disrespect. The disrespect appearantly did not go over well with local gangsters. It is unclear whether the victim was related to more vocal 'folks,' but not 'people.' Gang alliances are broken up between folks and people; the Black P-Stones are part of the people alliance.

Numerous buildings between on Hoyne between Jarvis and Birchwood are in the process of significant condominium renovation. Quite a few of the buildings were cleared of tenants to expedite progress. In addition, there is concern about a few absentee landlords and foreclosures down the 2000 Block of West Birchwood. A neighborhood in transition can create economic pressure.

According to one CAPs 2424 co-facilitator, "Hoyne residents have reported seeing groups of young men on their sidewalk. It cannot be said enough: if people are hanging out in front of your home for more than a few minutes call 911." The facilitator continued, "call 911 and ask your neighbors to do so as well. Early response is the best way to avoid situations [from] turning into future problems."

Neighbors were encouraged to meet and walk together with others through the neighborhoods and report questionable conduct. CAPs 2424 sponsors these walks on Fridays and Saturdays from 7:30pm to 9:00 p.m. All who have interest in experiencing, preserving, protecting and seeing the neighborhood are encouraged to take part. It is also a good form of exercise. Evanston residents have also taken part in these walks, as well.

Photos: Right: symbols associated with alliance
Above: 2056 W. Birchwood, Chicago, Illinois
Below: 7454 N. Hoyne, Chicago, Illinois (in orange spray paint is written "CHI TOWN") It is unclear whether the grafitti has been there for a while.

Correction on Last Night.

Discussions with neighbors in the area suggest that last night's shooting was nearer to 2056 W. Birchwood. The victim may have fled to Hoyne, from where he was taken to the hospital. Hoyne and Birchwood is an area of tremendous renovation and renewal. It is one half a block west from 2056 West, which is on the North side of Birchwood.

2056 appears like lower income housing as does some housing across the street.

Photo: 2056 W. Birchwood, Chicago, IL

Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Traffic Lights, They Keep a Changing! So What will Chicago's Traffic Engineers and Illinois Legislature Do?

The Cermak Red line Fiasco is exactly that.

Are Illinois legislators seem asleep at the wheel or trying to get away with it? Look at the newer reckless homicide statutes, below! Traffic engineers and 'some' Streets and Sanitation workers (not Erickson!!!)also seem just as dubious to me. Replacing street signs and routinely timing our traffic lights requires persistent field work. It takes criminal statutes and good staffing, which take efficiency, time, reckoning and a reasonable tax system; caveat emptor.
In the face of written complaints, such omissions of duty are often portrayed as reckless oversight in court. Do we have 'enough' traffic engineers or streets and sanitation workers, who 'actually work at a reasonable pace?' Do public servants routinely find challenges rather than waiting for a public report? How can we encourage these folks to work better for us?

How does a traffic engineers get their job or keep it without reasonable persistence and support? How can Chicago afford to pay an uncaring engineer or streets and sanitation worker? One answer is 'actual' (not feigned) public servant vigilence and ethically attentive human resource units. Cities and unions require responsible coordinators and stewards. Certainly we need public vigilence and appropriate persistence 'before the fact.' Kudos to Craig. Why hasn't this sunk in! A wink and a nod just won't do those jobs. To ignore the obvious is to literally subsidize personal injury attorneys in their suburban spreads who feed at Chicago's trough!

Nevertheless, the public can always fill out traffic engineer forms and complain about screwed up signs and unsynchronized lights. Here is the form! Regrettably, we can no longer easily indict all reckless drivers unless they intentionally go airborne. In addition, crossing guards rarely carry speed gun, so the blurb about being twenty mile per hour in excess of the speed limit is a waste of ink; it will rarely be proven. I mean what is that about?

The more recent revisions of the Illinois Reckless homicide Act requires the motor vehicle or truck 'to go airborne!' 720 ILCS 5/9-3(e-9). Otherwise, this 'possibly' drug induced rampage by trucker, Doug Wells, who fell asleep at the wheel should serve a warning. I thought urinalysis was mandatory! Legislators must strengthen, not weaken Illinois reckless homicide law for outrageous driving.

The illustrious truck driver, Donald Wells, won't even provide a urine sample. However, I thought that drug testing was mandatory for a trucker conducting commerce with a CDL, just like a train engineer. Have the folks at Strodger forgotten? Apparently, the police haven't and he was taken into custody. For how long is unclear. A truck driver is a professional. Drivers should know when to say when; it is their livelihood. This guy flew off the Franklin Street exit and destroyed the Cermac Station. He went up an incline, the stairwell. Police should check out his traffic record including supervisions. The CDL record may not be all.
And are any of our political locals with clout (hey Mr. F) running to Stroger Hospital in search of answers? Or at least some drug testing for Don Wells, who was the proveyor of this mess?

Ultimately, and disappointingly, the public will not get justice unless Wells does time, rather than just having his CDL pulled for life. How many McCormick Place workers have to be plowed dead by reckless truckers? How many kids needlessly get run over on crosswalks by reckless truckers? Frankly, those who are reckless drivers should be riding the subway for life and looking for another vocation. Well, at least Don Wells is fifty one, so he may soon get free subway rides and social security, where he lives in Chicago! Don, traveling through Chicago does not give you the right to kill folks, when you get sleepy!

The decision to turn the Illinois Reckless Homicide Statute into a useless farce over the last ten years concerns me. It may have more to do with motives separate and apart from the administration of justice for all. Ultimately, the public pays dearly, both emotinally and monetarily, when there are pathetic consequences for the driver and those who control the signal box.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Geneva Kayak Center at 7301 N. Sheridan

Has anyone visited the above store? Has anyone gone on a local trip with Geneva Kayak Center's Rogers Park Store? Does anyone want to encourage kayaking to and from restaurants with docks off the Chicago River? Does anyone pay attention to these opportunities, among others? Just curious.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Favorite 'Complete' Response of the Day to the Broken Heart and Fellow Travellers

I guess that we did not have the same experience in our neck of the woods. All seemed calm at Armstrong.

I just don't find that every group of kids walking on the block is looking for trouble. Walking while African American is not a crime to the best of my knowledge, nor is possession of dark skin with intent to stroll.
FWIW, just say hello or introduce yourself every once in a while, 'when appropriate,' but report questionable activity. You might actually make friends with a good neighbor, rather than elevate the anxiety and tension.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The 49th Wards Most Wanted - With Photo Spread and Some Advice

This is what is provided by the Chicago Police. One note, there 'may' actually be hope if some of these people are permanent residents, have immigration issues, or have U.S. Citizen Spouses. Consider contacting a competent immigration attorney. If a friend needs suggestions, I shall reply to any comments. These folks do not exactly look like major threats, but 'may' have violated their bond provisions by not showing up in Court.

Posted Date: 19-DEC-2007
IR Number: 1878160
Warrant: CN013776
Date of Birth: 04-JUN-1987
Race / Sex: BLACK/MALE
Age: 20
Height: 5'10"
Weight: 155
Wanted Info: BATTERY
Wanted Tipline: 312-744-8261

Posted Date: 19-DEC-2007
IR Number: 1825275
Warrant: CM017094
Date of Birth: 17-DEC-1983
Age: 24
Height: 5'04"
Weight: 145
Address: 68XX N SHERIDAN RD APT 514 CHICAGO IL 60626
Wanted Tipline: 312-744-8261

Posted Date: 19-DEC-2007
IR Number: 1831549
Warrant: CN013927
Date of Birth: 21-MAR-1966
Race / Sex: WHITE/MALE
Age: 42
Height: 5'11"
Weight: 180
Address: 10XX W SHERIDAN RD APT 503 CHICAGO IL 60626
Wanted Info: BATTERY
Wanted Tipline: 312-744-8261

Posted Date: 19-DEC-2007
IR Number: 1871146
Warrant: CN011480
Date of Birth: 03-APR-1966
Age: 42
Height: 5'02"
Weight: 100
Wanted Tipline: 312-744-8261

Posted Date: 19-DEC-2007
IR Number: 577690
Warrant: CN004901
Date of Birth: 13-JAN-1963
Race / Sex: BLACK/MALE
Age: 45
Height: 5'11"
Weight: 210
Wanted Info: BATTERY
Wanted Tipline: 312-744-8261

Friday, April 18, 2008

Kyra Kyles Picks Up on Worst CTA Baseball Fans with Abridged and Expanded Version

I appreciated Kyra's decision to pick up on thoughts posted on the blog. This is Kyra Kyle's experience with some insensitive fans tempered with some excerpts from the post, below.

DePaul Beer Party from Sox Field to Fullerton Unabated by Chicago Police

The questionable wisdom of limited Chicago CTA Police Support was tested last night when a group of about eight DePaul area riders took a Red line Car Hostage for their personal Beer Party from Sox Stadium on Thursday night. Riders reported that a totally glazed Old Style drinking crew appearing to be DePaul students or of University age teens proceeded to totally disrespect passengers for forty five minutes in the rather packed northbound subway car from Sox Field to Fullerton.

At least two entered the car with open beer cans carrying an open 24 pack of Old Style, which they nursed through their trip to the Fullerton "L" Stop. In addition, they sporadically opened beer cans, drank, cussed, and otherwise abused the ridership.

Several observers watched as this loaf of butt toast romanced the foam. One slice had the appearance of Sean Penn’s character, Jeff Spicoli, in Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Most of his fellow road dawgs screamed, yelled, or otherwise raised their plastered voices oblivious. They repeatedly sung “Roxanne” to a crowd unimpressed with this among other out of tune ballads sung to what appeared to be other toasted students.

The group, which consisted of mostly white University aged adults seemed intent on antagonizing others. They left their Old Style empties in the train car and disembarked at Fullerton around 11:45 p.m. After departing, one of the observers reported that an older man in his thirties started clapping in relief that the crew disembarked at Fullerton. That rider’s appreciation for their departure was not taken lightly.

Although the train doors were closed, the train remained parked for a moment. A few of the drunken DePaul University Sox fans apparently saw the rider’s response. One actually punched the glass where the rider’s head was in forceful disapproval. Apparently, the guy could care less after the punks left.

In hindsight, showing disapproval with the ripped and roasted outside of the presence of Police can be risky. This rider was lucky, perhaps paying attention to the sealed sliding doors; perhaps, he believed that the drunken teens were without weaponry. These totally tanked seemingly white trash DePaul students were so stoned that anything could have happened if the car doors were still open. It is a shame that the University cannot consider babysitters or chaperons before these kids create a mess and get the 24/7 attention they deserve at the Cook County Jail or in the Beat's detox unit.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Views Down Ridge, Hoyne and Jarvis: A Neighborhood in Transition

I thought that I'd walk the dog and took the camera with me. This is undervalued real estate in a Reasonably safe community. Check out the amenities and the balconies. Properties identified. If you check out Casa Bonita, to the left, then look at the nice sized Spanish Revival Swimming Pool, bike storage, and the babysitting area with fish tank, among other things.

This is one of the smaller homes on Ridge. There is a row of these homes directly east of St. Scholastica. This one looks like it is in need of rehab. Maybe the owner passed away or it was taken over by the State. There are others in better condition. What surprises me is the absolute ignorance. La Cocina di Donatela is within a hundred feet, not to mention Evanston. However, someone has to pick up the garbage and its going to have to be homeowners.

Closer to the corner of Ridge and Howard, we find this neverending for sale sign. Earth to home owner, earth to home owner! Pick up the litter, repeat, pick up the litter!

The townhome in this property has been under contract with numerous agents. What's the point? I mean, you can't easily sell a property with garbage strewn all over and plastic bags hanging from the trees! Where are the marketing brains in this

establishment? What is the point of this listing?

In my opinion, this property has one of the most poorly maintained front yards on the block. Does anyone have any interest? Or do they want to hire some landscaper, but no one wants to fork out the dough?

Further down is Deta's Cafe as if anyone noticed. Has anyone stopped and eaten at this place? What is the deal with the bread? Is this the vegetarian place that people are talking about? I was out walking the puppy, so I couldn't walk in.

If someone has something nice to day about Deta's, or the owners sees this, then I would love to hear about it.

On the voyage down Hoyne just north of Jarvis, there is serious rehabbing going on. This is a block in transition. These condo's have got to be a steal! They are one block east of Saint Scholastica. Are there any St. Scholatica Alums, who know better? Frankly, the bike trip to the future Howard Street Terminal Bike Racks is not so far, where you don't need deeded parking.

Jarvis has a few cameras set up on the buildings and quite a few rehab dumpsters next to gut jobs. Just southeast where Damen and Chase meet is Mom's Kitchen, which is a Jamaican Restaurant. Has anyone eaten there? It's closed on Sundays, but I saw some tables and a take out counter.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

My Audacities of Hope in Beat 2424 and the 49th Ward

1. That homeowners who behave badly, but 'really' want to sell their home learn to clean up the trash on their front lawn before they leave, since it might help inspire a new homeowner.

2. That neighbors who post political signs avoid setting a bad example on their front forty feet. It reflects on their candidate and their audacity of hope!

3. That dog owners clean up after their dogs, but consider cleaning up after fellow dog owners who leave nasty samples on their neighbors' lawns. Premise: guilt by association can be embarrassing and unfairly incriminating, but eliminating all evidence keeps the "no dogs on lawn signs" tucked away at the local hardware store.

4. That city cites homeowners who refuse to clean up the beer and liquor bottles on their grass, among other things like Tan cotton robes with flourescent highlights. These are not sacred garments or vessels, are they?

5. That the city starts towing away abandoned vehicles within a reasonable time after CAPs Beat 2424 residents post repeated complaints on the CAPs BBS.

6. That positive loitering becomes at least a bi-weekly event with reasonable advanced notice. If not, then consider taking a walk or adopt a dog, bring your blue bags/paper towels, and explore.

7. That the Potawattomi Park Outdoor lights are finally repaired after nearly two seasons without safe useable outdoor playing fields. This seems to me like the typically inept Chicago Park District bureaucracy in need of major resignations, disciplinary action, or Concerta. Is there a shrink in that house? Workers Comp anyone? Your kingdom for our non-union volunteer? Can we foot the bill? Did someone rip off the copper?

8. That Armstrong School or Jordan Community students win some major academic or cerebral competition that gets the schools the attention and respect that some of their students deserve. In the alternative, that local RP artists contact the art teacher and volunteer.

9. That people take care of their parkway property by picking up after themselves and each other, rather than pretending like Streets and San or the community service crew will clean it up. Word to the wise, Boy George is not coming!

10. That a Mack Truck with semi-trailer complete with drunk Redneck and frustrated love life roars recklessly up Rogers at a God awful hour like 4a.m. This after discovering that the bridge is once, again, too low for a trailer truck. All this occurs with a 'safe demolition' of the dilapidated commercial slum at Damen and Rogers, which hosts, The Ho.

No deaths or injuries, but substantial/reliable insurance policy in tact. News at Ten and via the Internet on the RP Broken Heart. Landlord for 7308 N. Rogers gets the cash, building is converted into a parking lot; no harm, no foul. [This is for entertainment purposes, ONLY! Don't get any ideas, since good insurance policies investigate before any payout]

Okay, the last audacity is a bit of an oxymoron, since it can cause death, but I can dream of a safe demolition or major renovation, can't I? I have no doubt that the commercial dive can be revamped with a laundramat, among other community needs. Three psychologically venomous blow darts for what seems to me like an irresponsible landlord with no interest in sprucing up the property to sell in good faith! Where's Joe! Was there a political contribution to stave off the heat? Who are these people, anyway? Would they tolerate this sort of crap in their neighborhood? The audacity of commercial slumlords in this neighbor's opinion!
For those who don't recall a previous post, the fence is still unmended, yet good humor still abounds.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

CAPs 2424's Positive Loitering Makes a Difference - Parent Park Group Planned

A group of about 15 met at the corner of Custer (Damen) and Howard and had a great one hour walk in both Chicago and Evanston.

Positive effects of the walk. It displaced questionable loiterers and gave everyone a little exercise, as well. The presence, as a group (adults, children, and dogs) was sufficient to make them reconsider staying there.

Expect regular walks in the future. Evanston does them starting in late Spring. If we want a safer neighborhood, we need to do the same on our side. In addition to walks, a suggestion was made to start a Network2424 Parents Park group for the summer for Pottawattomie Park. Getting parents to the park is great, but making them part of an indentifiable group strengthens their presence.

Beat 2424/49th Ward Criminal Stats from 3/07 to 3/08, Improving, but 15th of 50. 2008 2424 Fifth Safest Regional Beat; 49th -9th Safest Ward (of 50)

RP Blogs focus on crime. The actual regional statistics for all crime appear, below, from Clear Map. Most directly relate to the population density in an area with lower populations and cemeteries seemingly safer. Beat 2424, to its credit, is a relatively racially integrated Beat. However, Beat 2424 contains a census tract with an alleged population that appears extremely underestimated. The 24th District, overall, claimed a significant drop in crime during January and February (could it be, the weather?), but March is unclear without further research.

Recent Local Crime Apparently Solved

For those unaware, the 7300 N. Ridge/2000 W. Chase $12 thugging was 'marked solved' on Chicago ClearMap by the Chicago Police. The crime is also alleged to have taken place at the 2000 Block of Chase. Complaints were likely filed in court, because arrests were reported. Convictions require the complaining witness to show up in court. Sometimes, this takes a bit of reasonable effort by a complaining witness, since subpoenas are sometimes overlooked. If the alleged victim is reading this, then show up to court and get the 'telephone numbers' (plural) of the prosecuting attorneys in the court room. Perhaps, Lorraine Swanson can look into whether there was an oversight on Clear Map or the names of the accused.

Positive Loitering, How to Report Grafitti and other Thoughts

The idea of 'positive loitering' was suggested by an experienced 2424 Beat member. It makes the most sense. Those who are concerned should walk their dogs, travel in groups of neighbors (to areas of concern). We are supposed to observe, with a law abiding presence, those with bad manners. This also encourages a bit of affirmative duty, where those with poor manners get out of control. For those interested in the finer art of 'positive loitering' ask about it on Beat 2424's BBS. The 2424 CAPS page is here. The 24th District Official Page is here. Finally, to report grafitti, you can use this online form.

How the Conclusions were derived and interpreted from the CPD Clear Map:

For this Annual Review, the 49th Ward rated fifteenth in the number of 'criminal reports' prepared from 3/2007 to 3/2008. The 49th Ward is 'in the white' so to speak on Clear Map, but arguably has a higher population than its neighbors. Beat 2424 is doing quite well 'in 2008' at 'fifth safest' for the region (of 13), compared with Annual totals at sixth safest. However, the census tract statistics and area covers a different region; it appears confusing on review, since the alleged population of 10,706 seems incorrect and less than reality.

As suggested, for the purposes of this report, 'the safest' is defined as the entire Beat or Ward with the 'fewest police reports.' Some Beats have good neighborhoods/pockets within them. Some crimes may go unreported or prove questionable. Also, complaints, such as assault, battery, domestic orders of protection, and theft reports may be the subject of 'he said/she said' scrutiny.

One Resident's Inquisitive Interpretation of the Data

The 2008 reporting area on ClearMap, Citywide, from 1/1/2008 to 3/30/08 suggests, as follows by lowest crime reports by Ward is, as follows:

1. 48 Ward - 275 police reports

2. 50th Ward -

3. 41st Ward -

4. 45th Ward -

5. 19th Ward -

6. 39th Ward -

7. 33rd Ward -

8. 38th Ward - 341 reports

9. 49th Ward - 352 reports

10. 40th Ward - 360 Reports

The gap between the 49th and the safest 48th Ward was 77 police reports as of March 30, 2008. However, the number of solved crimes may prove significant, as well. Perhaps, Craig Gernhardt or Tom Mannis has more time to delve into this puzzle, further. I don't have time to rake that muck, now. The 49th Ward is allegedly the 9th Safest, overall for the 90 day reporting period starting in January and ending on the thirtieth of March provided the data is reasonable.

Police Report Statistics by Beat on Chicago's North Side

BY BEAT, in our region (with fewest reports of crime on top) for the last 90 days. This covers 13 Beats across the north wards. The annual statistics provide further information on some of the boundaries.

1. 2022 - 33 police reports (see perimeters, below)

2. 2013 - 48 police reports

3. 2423 - 56 police reports

4. 2431 - 64 police reports

5. 2424 - 66 police reports (most are nearer to Howard but a block or blocks west of Ridge). The smaller homes nearer to St. Scholastica and close to La Cocina di Donatela are good buys for rehab, IMHO. Catholics with daughters who will enroll at St. Scholatica may want to consider their options in a down market. The Beat reports significantly less than a police report a day. I assume that traffic charges are a separate matter.

Beat 2424 has 33 more reports of crime than the safest Beat 2022, which includes Rosehill Cemetery.

WORST BEAT on Northside:

13. Beat 2433 - 136 reports (see perimeter, below)


The current ANNUAL WARD by WARD figure from the least to more police reports, subject to change (from 3/29/2007 to 3/30/2008):

1. 41st Ward - 1499 reports

2. 45th Ward - 1501 reports

3. 19th Ward - 1551 reports

4. 50th Ward - 1569 Police Reports (This may include the Obama/Osama paper graffiti trespass at Lunt and Sacremento)

5. 48th Ward - 1580 Police Reports

15. 49th Ward - 2068 Police Reports

50. 42nd Ward - 7861 Police Reports

Moore needs to think about improvement, rather than trying to put a spin on being 15th out of 50 Wards. Our neighboring 50th Ward is the fourth safest. However, it has a significantly lower population than the 49th, so this may be a fact of life for us until residents demonstrate more concern, among other things.

ANNUAL BEAT Review - of Far North Side, of the Beats that include the 49th Ward perimeter, the 2424 Beat fares, as follows for the last 12 Months, with the Safest on top:

1. 2022 - 177 Police Reports (Kenmore, Broadway, Bryn Mawr; Mostly Loyola U/Lakefront)

2. 2012 - 292 (Peterson, Western, Foster, Ashland; Mostly Rosehill Cemetery) Isn't this the 40th Ward?

3. 2421 - 313 (Pratt, Clark (east), Lunt (south), Lakefront; Craig's Beat?)

4. 2013 - 322 (Elmdale, Broadway, Clark (west), Foster)

5. 2423 - 328 police reports (Lunt (north), Clark (east), Jarvis, Lakefront)

6. 2424 -431 police reports (Pratt, Clark, Howard, Ridge (east)); it yellows in the denser populated apartment in northwest corner.

11. 2411 - 580 police reports (Kedzie, Howard, Ridge(west), Pratt) (Bernie's Ward is most of Beat 2411!Am I mistaken? Or is the crime mostly west of Western?)


13. 2433 - 705 police reports (Peterson, Ridge, Devon, Lakefront) Note: This was where the Dalof murder by Hollywood Video took place. I believe that this is also within blocks of where the police couple faced off and the wife than committed suicide on the sidewalk, but she and her husband actually lived a block or two west of the Lamp Post. Does anyone remember that one?

I understand that the Beats are supposedly divided by population density, not just by area. However, I don't think that Loyola University Students and dead folks are a very hostile bunch, so those that handle 2022 and 2012 are needed for coverage based upon the sheer area and the potential challenge, not the actual crime rate.

Criminal Due Process in Court

In a criminal court, a prosecutor (the attorney who represents Police and Illinois) must prove a defendent's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. A judge or jury needs not do backflips with conceivability before finding someone guilty. As a matter of law no defendent is ever considered "innocent" after verdict contrary to news reports. They are simply found 'not guilty,' because the trier of fact (judge or jury) must find that a defendent (the accused/subject) is "guilty beyond a reasonable doubt." Crime and actual/appropriate punishment is a evasive concept that can cause unneeded agony.

The Now Fascinating Census Tract 010200

One final note for future comment. Beat 2424 contains part of 'census tract 010200.' This tract is a densely populated area of primarily apartments and condominiums. The 2000 census seems ridiculous when it estimates that area at only 10,706 residents. The 2000 census reported a 7% unemployment rate. It also reported that over 2100 of our residents 'were earning wages' at the poverty level.

The census is based upon self-reporting and arguably tax mumbo jumbo, as well, for some but not all. This census tract bounded by Ridge, Howard, Ashland, and Touhy reported quite a bit of crime. Strangely, some census tracts are mostly beach; during the winter, there were no reports of crime. Therefore, tracking crime in some Beats (Cemetery/University dominated) and census tracts (beach (821500), industrial or Forest Preserve dominated) can be deceptive, as well.


Over the last four or five years, bloggers have emerged and begun to track individual crimes. This puts a face and an image on events. This has an advantages, but does not put a big picture perspective on things. Micromanaging a few events may stop major ones. However, paying attention to the big picture may make the situation more understandable. Perhaps, GIS stats in the suburbs may prove both embarrassing or illuminating due to the lower population densities.

Most of us want our Community/Ward to have the lowest crime rate in Chicago. Perhaps, some disagree for what seems to me like demented reasons. Frankly, some of our beats have noticeably low crime rates, when contrasted with other Chicago beats. However, the numbers can be deceptive yet certainly improve. We don't have wait for incumbent politicians to tell us to stroll, do we? Start walking your dogs, pulling out the strollers, taking a jog, or strolling with some new acquaintances or friends! You might stop a crime.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Hit the Road Jack. Close the D, Lee, and Breath out and around RP this Weekend!

The suggestive effort and wisdom is brought to you by those of us aware that our environment is worthy of our attention. How many of us are sitting at home bumming in front of the boob tube? Blogging and beaming our pedantic e-mail into cyberspace as our neighbors walk with little attention given to our solitary confinement? Breath!

Berke will approve! We live in this cloaked environment, caught in our own oblivion of personal intellect. It weaves its web in pathetic cyberspace, Monday comes, and R&R is no more. We didn't water the lawn. The garbage is still on the parkway. The plan to do things was left undone. The trip to the beach just to breath Lake Michigan air will have wait another week, a month, a season, or next year. The bike ride to the lake shore tennis court, the Black Golf Course, and the photo spread now lost in the psyche of brain tissue and nerve synapses.

The trip to the obscure local restaurant or the use of a coupon before it goes out of business or simply expires may be worth the effort. La Cocina? Big Buns, Jamaican Jerk? Amphora? The Blue Nile? Bizmullah? The Big Burrito? The Oakton Street Boat Launch? Leone Beach? J. Millers for a furniture making class? What will we forget about next as we space out in cyberspace about someone else's grief?

I am curious which of my neighbors experienced the wrath of two ignorant thugs in search of chump change, not an apprenticeship with the Plumbing Council. Which of my neighbors or outsiders were ignorant enough to harass a local out of 12 measley bucks? Where was I with my cell phone or a pair of eyes to check out the goobers who had nothing better to do? I guess that I will be taking a few photos this weekend. Maybe I'll post them.

Perhaps, these photos will be a little more appealing or inspiring than a teddy bear and an empty vodka bottle elevated on an oak park bench? I hope the photographer cleaned up the mess when he was done. Maybe, I'll have to do it. Maybe someone else has the time. Maybe someone wants to check out the RP Train Station this weekend? The RP Garden Club deserves some praise for its efforts!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Fact and Fiction? Bias, Sensationalism, and Sources - Scrutiny of the Noah's Ark Fracas

Journalists can be distinguished from reporters. A journalist may provide all comments even the most questionable. A reporter arguably presents what is reasonably verifiable. The reporter is often a witness after the fact. A reporter offers the views of others willing to identify themselves. Journalists may incorporate innuendo, mask, or use questionable sources. Sometimes, reporter are encouraged by fate to become journalists on an event. Credibility of facts can be derived from those willing to accept or reject witnesses for what each is worth to a story. Gossip and journalism have similarities.
The ‘alleged’ 100 person melee on Howard seems like both gossip and journalism to me. Yet, Bud Ogle and Noah's Ark established a reasonable reputation in our community and his efforts were likely well intended. Working with disadvantaged youth and 'kids who have kids' is no picnic. Too many prefer to sidestep, to deport, or expect the sheriff to drop the offender off at the nearest turnpike. Few work with the challenge and overcome ignorance. However, the CTA worker and Mannis deserves credit for alerting Police and the community.

Chicago Police officials allegedly estimated the 'Noah's Ark crowd' at approximately forty teenagers. These estimates likely come from those who are ‘credible’ in estimating crowd control ‘at the time that police arrived.’ The Rogers Park Bench alleged that Friday’s Church dance party group exceeded one hundred. This arguably inflates the number of those who actually fought to exaggerate criticism of Bud Ogle.
I understand that some are upset with Ogle's decision to post Joe Moore's political signs. They also point to his staff's 'alleged' lack of hospitality to Ms. Wang. The implication is that the party kids were African American or Hispanic based upon the church that housed the event. The RP Bench article may inflame some readers. Maybe we should foster some understanding.

The RP Bench' reputable sources are unnamed John Q. Publics' and a CTA worker. This staffer is experienced or trained in the fine art of monitoring the entrance or transportation. However, he is ‘likely’ uneducated in crowd control and density estimation. It is unclear whether the observers were perched somewhere above or at street level. This creates a credibility gap. What exactly happened? Those who were there know the most, but no one has reasonably investigated other than Police, perhaps.

The Witnesses: A CTA Maintenance Worker v. Chicago Police

I have spoken with Howard Street Terminal workers over the years. Police are more reserved and not as chummy on the job. They are paid to take control, remain skeptical, and cannot afford an acquaintance who questions their authority. 'Heat of passion' is the number one cause of domestic and public violence. Let's 'cool our jets' for a moment.

When challenged, one biased and exaggerating CTA worker admitted ignorance about our community. He recognized that he no longer lived in Chicago. I do and so do many of us! Credibility is higher when you have an education, skin tone is paler, or your deeds are actually in the neighborhood. Some of us have earned the right to speak. Another great CTA conversationalist was a second generation Pole; look, I am a fourth generation Pole, among other things. Don't get me wrong, these are nice guys, great conversationalists, and journalists, but they refuse to contrast our dense population with events.

CTA subcontractors and maintenance workers are also around quite a diverse crowd. Some live in Evanston and Wilmette en route to the Loop. Some of the ridership prefers to live in more affluent and manicured existences with less diversity and fewer resources. What about their overall bias, credibility and veracity as depicted in the RP Bench?

Well, at least one CTA worker admitted to moving out. There is pride in the fact that this ‘gentleman John,’ as I call him, does not live in Chicago. This badge of success came out in our conversation. When I asked how much time he actually spent on the platform, then I learned that he moves around quite a bit and is not regularly perched off Paulina and Howard.

If more officers are needed in the 24th District, then Police are going to properly estimate. They must contain and control. This means you get squad cars out, quickly! Frankly, 15 to 20 squad cars are significant. I just don’t see that RP Bench CTA worker counting the squad cars from his location, let alone, viewing all from a non-descript vantage point. I don’t know that thirty 24th District squad cars are available given Craig’s 24th District estimate. Perhaps the Evanston PD joined in at the rumpus. Remember, this is a journal, not a report. Give it whatever weight you want!

Conclusions Drawn?

We are given numerous crowd estimates of the Noah's Ark Social Event; the uneducated CTA worker estimated 250% more than the Chicago Police. I just don’t believe, based upon living in Chicago since 1983, that forty or more kids were simultaneously fighting with each other. However, I was not there. I realize that the higher estimates will please Moore's detractors. However, I am not much of a Moore fan, either, these days, even if the guy once meant well. He reminds me of Eisendrath only Moore overstayed and Eisendrath recognized that the writing was on the wall and gave up on incumbency.

Some claim that the first near the scene are the most believable. How believable and for what purpose? After any dance, a crowd forms when the party ends. This crowd will likely contain both guys and dolls. Look, guys don’t dance with each other at many church functions!

Most teens will stand, observe, and hope to hang out just a little bit longer. A few may try to break up or silence those teens with too much testosterone flowing. Some probably wanted to leave with a member of the opposite sex. However, if these were church girls, then they were meant to entice better behavior, not machismo.

Bud Ogle's and his Good News Church tried to create a non-alcoholic safe social event. Noah's Ark seems to have run short on experienced chaperones. Police could have been dispatched to better monitor the end of the party. Ogle should find more chaperons or security; otherwise, Noah's Ark should not host the parties. Frankly, Ogle needs a good insurance policy, as well, but needs to better communicate with his neighbors.

Decisions on whom and when to arrest must be made in the best interests of the community. Sometimes, Police must use discretion. Sometimes, unreasonable provocation and response promotes a riot like the legendary 1966 PR Riot. Some are not charged for a variety of good faith reasons. The decision not to arrest happens in both Chicago and our suburbs to the angst and chagrin of conceivably well-meaning community members. Does anyone recall the Glenbrook North High School hazying video and controversy?
Most violence is ignited by ignorance and the heat of passion. More can be done than just belly aching. Defusing violence takes foresight, not hindsight.