Friday, May 30, 2008
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
I won’t post a photo, because taggers’ want negative attention. A tagger's mark is a form of callous hatred and insensitivity for a community. If the huge Limestone sign must be replaced, then that is both a burden and a disappointment. Those who glorify graffiti and tagging do Chicago and the public schools a disservice. The Public School System can ill-afford the financial costs taken from educational funds due to those who damage and tag public schools. Schools need to afford to pay engineers and teachers to remain viable educational institutions. However, not in that order.
Blight can be litter, but also forms of insensitivity, bias and hate. Blight is also the spray painted tags from selfish taggers. Why don’t taggers care or realize that they commit acts of disrespect and greed? Why are taggers never taught to care by their parents, among others? How can we appreciate and divert the greed and inconsideration that taggers possess? Do we have to incarcerate taggers until they appreciate that they are no freer to kill than to damage property?
The taggers’ mark brings no prestige, only emotional and visual anguish to most residents. It contorts and converts messages of importance and improvement into a selfish act that defiles. A tag defames structures for the sake of greed and notoriety. A tag is a message of hatred and selfishness directed at an entire community. The cost of removing a single tag is more than just the money it costs for clean up or replacement. Tags must be perpetually and quickly removed or they multiply.
Graffiti or tags bring negative attention. Tagging, in effect, creates attention for selfish cowards. These attention seekers lack an agenda in life other than to pollute. Society may accept well painted murals and public art in our community, many of which now need extreme rehabilitation, but not the graffiti add-ons! Yet, in the end, in spite of these public concessions, we are still faced with these selfish acts of greed, immaturity and inconsideration.
Some taggers insist that they are anarchists. Tagging is not consistent with anarchy; anarchy depends upon having faith and trust that mankind as a whole will know good from evil for more efficient justice. This is why anarchy rarely works, since Anarchy lacks a reasonably effective system of justice. Then, again, democracies depend upon trust, as well.
Tagging is blight. Blight is evil. No matter who and how you verbally frame or spin graffiti or tagging, it is 'rarely' done with permission. Those who permit or tolerate it merely encourage blight as a consequence. Tagging is a form of destruction, greed and theft, rather than art. Those who encourage or ignore blight have a direct negative impact on communities. There are financial costs and personal toil to remove blight. The longer a tag remains, the more of a challenge it is to remove.
Blight left on walls sends a message. It communicates to those around us that we forgot how to care. We should make an effort to eliminate blight, not act like it belongs. These lawless forms of disrespect and greed deserve our immediate attention.
Saturday, May 24, 2008
A flurry of inconsistent but ongoing insults and pessimism won't improve the community. If someone goes inward and limits comments, then they create a one sided dialogue limited to an inner circle of like minded 'yes men.'
I appreciate compliments, but want to know whether I'm missing something, even from those who disagree. It happens. If I digress or criticize people who want notoriety, then I don’t take pleasure in the anxiety and frustration, but the outcome. I want change, but micro-managing a community doesn't work, nor fixating on national issues.
I try to steer people in a positive and less pessimistic direction, but am not a member of some sort of optimist's club. Perhaps, we need an Optimists Club in Rogers Park. Sometimes, I fail to communicate or miss the mark. We live among a few folks who occasionally ‘appear’ to thrive on attention at the emotional and public expense of others. Perhaps, we all have our moments. Perpetual criticism or kvetching is a concern.
It is okay to thrive on attention and criticize, when some good is accomplished. Yet, it seems unjust to me to nauseate the public. Also, focusing on what is going wrong, rather than what is going well in Rogers Park misses the mark. It is okay to report on the Police Blotter. It is okay to challenge politicians. Good faith attempts at political humor are appreciated.
However, calling someone a “slime ball” or personally attacking them simply for taking a political position that may open an intellectual dialogue are the marks of a blog bully. I am seeing some change and change is good. I have to complement some recent posts by Mr. Mannis as well as his report on the asbestos. I guess that I have never stepped into Moore's office to appreciate the money talks allegations, but regret the reports of those who feel that way.
Unfortunately, our media, whether it be ABC, CNN, NBS, or Fox cater to a broad series of niches and viewers. Networks now look for people who are not as cunning or concise as the Ed Bradleys’, Dick Cavetts’, and William Safires.’ In an effort to annoy and nauseate moderates, some abuse those who take a position by writing or attempting to help. The idea of just ‘hearing someone out’ has become a nuisance in the age of sound bites and insensitivity, not sensibility.
This is not an ode to the politically correct. It is acceptable to incorporate 'clever humor' in any public debate, but humor that comes at the expense of others may bring anger and hostility. Some focus on the issues and others on the individuals. Therefore, there are those who don’t know me, who will attack me for not coming out of the relative privacy of my closet. I have entrusted those who are either part of the media or simply neighbors with the option of knowing.
Some may recognize me by what I write or because I thought that what I wrote was worth their attention. Whether I think that the most prolific appreciate how to express themselves to Rogers Park in the midst of these challenges depends upon the moment. I think that we have a few Rebel’s without a Cause.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
The morning ritual begins every morning at 5:45 a.m. regardless of blogging or surfing. The alarm, complete with a seranade of about ten computer generated clock sounds, blares through our ears. The sound sends the morning message that it is time to levitate. The brain disses the day and the body rises and moves towards the bathroom.
Upon return, daughter's blanket is pulled from her shrouded body which lays petrified on the futon couch tucked neatly in the corner of the room. The dawn's early light blows playfully through the whites of my eyeballs as I move toward the bedroom in search of pants. I return to wake my daughter and feed the puppy.
There is a synchronicity in our household at times. We know when the day starts and the bus leaves. Eventually, daughter gets her clothes on. Usually, the clothes must be reviewed, since she seems to think that she lives in California. The temperature still ranges from 40 to 50 degrees. Capri pants will not work unless I want to cancel the appointments on the next day, risk default judgments, and rest on malpractice claims as my premiums shift skyward. Life is now setting in.
With clothes on, we check the remains in the white box that is encased in the wall. The fridge will remain enshrined until we finally begin the perpetually delayed kitchen remodeling. Nothing appeals to my daughter except milk. The cerial is never worthy of more than one or two bowls. Boredom with the characters that christen the cardboard boxes seems to set in too early. We are the proud owners of stale flakes and oat rings.
After reacting over socks and soreness, we check out the Motorola cable box and are reassured that it is 6:31 a.m. We are dressed, our jackets are on, and we are ready to head south to Greenleaf. Wanda waits patiently in her school bus as we, among others, succeed in moving in the serpentine manner necessary to get from our home to Armstrong School.The Disney Magnet School's bus pick up is at Armstrong School,among other stops. The deadline is 6:40 a.m. Wanda, our bus driver, has proven herself to be one of the most attentive and reliable people. She works her bus with patient and sympathetic precision. Wanda is rarely off the mark. She is a bus driver extraordinaire on a mission that she makes every day with painstaking dedication. It becomes clear that there is more to her life than hand to mouth.
Today, as I and another parent headed east down Greenleaf, two kids rushed north down Hamilton in disbelief. You could sense the sweat and air swirl around them in their relentless gallop. The anxiety was great. Wanda had pulled out and headed west down Greenleaf. The bus turned left on its path toward Jordan Community. The two distraught students began the trip back home. There, their mother was tending to their youngest sibling. The two kids were less than enthusiastic about notifying Mom. Today, would she have to drive the clogged artery from Rogers Park to 4140 N. Marine Drive?
As her children walked north, an Atlantic Express Bus slowly came to a stop in the distance. It stood one block south, its red lights were glaring, while two childrens spirits began to rise. Wanda had stopped the bus, turned on the gear, and waited for two extremely excited school children. In less than twenty seconds, the bus door closed, the kids sat down, and Wanda proceeded.
I am told by a few of my neighbors that people just don't care. Don't believe it! Start caring! Maybe it will be Contagious!
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Evanston's Howard Street Condos, A View from Vacant Gateway Plaza, and Will Weekend Warriors Leave RP Cheetos Bags to Another Blogger Until Next Year?
Friday, May 16, 2008
I was under the possibly misguided impression that LINK Cards cannot 'lawfully' be used to buy cigarettes. If so, then how does the Evanston Marathon Station on Howard just west of Chicago promote this offer?
I have also seen LINK Card holders purchase flowers at the Gateway Dominick's Grocery in RP. Can someone enlighten me on how LINK Cards can be lawfully used?
People who break Food Stamp Program rules may be disqualified from the program, fined, put in prison, or all three. This includes sellers, as well. Whether the Feds really investigate is another story. Let your fingers do the walking.
Toll Free Number for Reporting Abuse
If you wish to report any misuse, fraud, waste, or abuse of food stamp benefits, you can use this toll-free number: 1-800-424-9121. If you are in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area, the number is 202-690-1622.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, or marital or family status. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD).
To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 14th and Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410, or call (202) 720-5964 (voice and TDD). USDA is an equal employment provider and employer.
For those who need food stamps, or may need them in the future, we need to discourage fraud. Abuses may be exaggerated, but all it takes is a paper trail. I'd rather be an example of how LINK and SNAP work, then a statistic without that support due to Republican budget cuts based upon unproven propaganda.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Saturday, May 10, 2008
Friday, May 09, 2008
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
It definitely brings the community together and others into Rogers Park simply to visit. The fifteen to twenty dollar per person charge (depending upon whether you are a member) helps to defray costs for the program and for the organization in its efforts to raise awareness toward the positive history of area residents. Of course, volunteers get to go on the Tour for free one day early.
There are quite a few organizations worth seeking out, whether it's AYSO, CAPs, the Rogers Park/West Ridge Historical Society or the Rogers Park Garden Club. There is also a master furniture maker with classes just east of the Rogers Park Metra Station as well as Kayak courses in our Community. The Black Golf Course on Pratt just west of Ridge is the cheapest 9 holes on the Northside, where you have an interest.
If you think that your block was a mistaken lease or investment, then there are many others in Rogers Park. Sometimes, situations are safer and more sound alternatives, but simply unknown. However, there are distractions in any community, particularly in a densely populated city that can be fixated upon until that overwhelming feeling of dread sets in.
It is important to point out challenges, but 'would rather comment' upon what goes on, rather than the sound creeping out of the scanner. After about a week of the Uniden scanner, I am convinced that the bleeps are limited and experiencing it is easier. In fact, although I thought I saw what appeared like a prayer circle on Ridge and Falwell, I was encouraged by co-moderators in our Beat within this community to call it in. In hindsight, I was a bit disappointed with the idea and will think twice about it. I may turn on the Uniden, but I don't think that it is worth hovering over it.