Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Disney Magnet Kicks Butt on ISATs. Beats Braeside in Highland Park

I just went to www.greatschools.com. I am ecstatic. The kids at CPS - Disney Magnet on Marine drive nailed the ISATs. They out did the suburbs. Don't believe me, then go to this link. Compare and contrast. There is no need for private schools in Chicago, when CPS has options. Albeit, if your kid cannot get into Disney, then consider selective enrollment.

Also, for those who feel that they must move north; consider Rogers Park, when it makes economic and educational sense. All I can say is the proof is in the pudding. All the rest is commentary. The test scores at this point don't lie.

Is the Grass Always Greener: Wilmette 4, Rogers Park 0 - Murder Score Board

Well, what can I say. In our dense Chicago Neighborhood, Rogers Park has netted 0 Murders for the first 90 days. [Citation: ClearMAP]. On March 1, 2009, Wilmette, another sparse North Shore pressure cooker for people in search of beating the Joneses scored 4 murders. It was a 'mad dad' combo, but an unfortunate one. Certainly, lower in body count than the Laurie Dann extravaganza. However, Mr. X was as certifiable as the Folks versus People fight down Morse last December. I can't stop reading about Wilmette in the broken Chicago Tribune box at Jarvis and Ridge. Calls to Trib 2, Action on Broken Box 0.

What does this mean? I know that some of us may thrive on fear and frustration. We want perfect surroundings. In the last seven years, two of my clients were murdered; one in Highland Park; the other in Wheeling. One was a permanent resident; the other a U.S. Citizen. The living spouse was originally living in Rogers Park. However, the deceased spouse was murdered by someone from the suburbs. The Wheeling crime remains unsolved; the suburbanite suspect likely 'lawyered up' or fled the country.

I am convinced that our grass is always greener in another neighborhood mentalities tend to be the most outspoken. This is not to say that there is room for improvement. Why not take a closer look at where we live and begin work to improve on it. Volunteer for Glenwood Arts, visit Biz Arts Programs, and see the newly redesigned CTA terminal, which recently re-opened the North entrance. I admit that City living may not be for everyone, but certainly suburban life is not, as well.

Maybe this Gateway between the City and the suburbs is worth the wait! However, there is room for everyone who treats others and themselves with respect. And that's my Opinion.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Freddie Put a Load on Rahm Emmanuel: Revolving Trust?

Obama was once stranger to Chicago until he built trust and was elected to the Illinois State House. Rahm Emmanuel was also a stranger, but had the Daley & Clinton stamp of approval. Blagovich? I dunno . . . Tribune sources tell us that 'the Blagman' allegedly ripped off restaurants as an NU student. A proving ground?

Obama earned the right to run, only to network with what evolved into classic machine politics in Chicago. Should Rahm's decision to serve as a Board Director for Freddie Mac and allegedly suppress financial troubles be an issue? What should the phrase "revolving door" mean? Did Emmanuel have divided loyalties?

We can only wonder whether the other shoe will drop for Rahm Emmanuel; perhaps, others. Does our Mayor have as much respect for his law license as he claims he has for Chicago? I hope so.

Was the $320G payment, err salary, by Freddie Mac to Rahm Emmamuel a de factor advanced payment for his Congressional Election? Are Board of Director appointments of political personas done to appease lawmakers? Why are bills supported that create more of a mess? Was Emmanuel's appointment to the Freddie Mac Board a plume for lobbyists to generate compassion in Congress and prevent indictments?

One can only wonder what the intelligent voter thinks? Or will it be another Rostenkowski primary election moment for dyed in the wool Democrats? Some dubious 'Dubya-like decisions' just won't go away. If so, why put our Nation through an Italianesque political soap opera?

Rahm resign! We need a more virtuous virtuoso. Why is it that politicians seem to sell out to the highest bidder? And what about the repeal of Glass Stiegel? Was that dramatic act simply a political fait au compli' for Wall Street Lobbyists? The Tribune article encouraged this inconsistent digression to North Side politics. Read all about it at http://www.chicagotribune.com/.

-- Post From My iPhone

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Tolerance from the intolerant. How people insult without knowing

I'm not out to nail phylactories on my neighbor's sideburns. Judaism is a faith as is any other. It is a tree of life for those who cling to it. I respect those who have faith and those who question it. However, I am disappointed with those ignorant enough to show brazen verbal disrespect. The latter should rise above and overcome their ignorance. Otherwise, they act significantly less than saintly toward me.

Many who have faith may choose different paths to reach the same destination. Some of us 'do the right thing' without expecting an afterlife as a reward. That said, the Reform Movement welcomes all those with an interest in learning about Judaism. However, we still respect those who choose to believe in another faith.

Some in Rogers Park struggle openly with their personal demons. In doing so, they 'should' avoid prejudice in the form of rude evangelism. When you tell Jews that we are damned, you express pure and unadulterated anti-semitism! Although the concept may seem foreign to our faith, there are no is no excuse for this vile form of bigotry. Those of us who believe in G*d need not be tormented by those who have forgotten "The Golden Rule." That said, my staff happen to be Muslim. Perhaps I'll eventually hire an athiest, because I judge people by their deeds as individuals.

Bigotry through ignorance comes when a few outspoken pastors within our community forget the the five books of Moses, when they present mass. The moral lessons from the Torah (referred to as 'the old testament' by those who focus their faith on the Gospels). Jews are not damned, we were delivered out of the land of Egypt with an out stretched arm. The Jewish faith does not focus on the afterlife, we focus on the 'here and now.' We want to make life better for all.

-- Post From My iPhone

The Morse Theater Just Like That

I really wanted to see tonight's show, but sometimes you just can't tempt the id within. Your superego has to take control. You just say no to temptation. There will be no Freudian slips tonight.

I think that we all want our moments, but compromises are made. You create trust. You take a rain check when you use up enough 'spontaneity' cards and remain responsible. I head home on the walk down Rogers.

I will have see Doug play on a different day, perhaps, at a different venue, at another moment in time. I will have to settle for his mp3 in the interim. I hope The Morse gives us another chance.
-- Post From My iPhone

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Word of Willis: Crass English Co. Raises Bar for Bad Manners; the Donald has More Class; Will Sears go Willis.' Will the Mortgagor Please Stand Up.

Sears is more than a mail order store. Although bought out by K-Fart through the use of financial smoke and mirrors in my opinion, Sears was a Chicago legend. Julius Rosenwald and others built the catalog department store giant. In addition, Rosenwald was one of the most amazing philanthropists in history. Sears is a historic Chicago name, so the tallest building in Chicago was aptly identified. Therefore, I appreciated the message addressed Willis and illustrated in the Tribune "Taste of Chicago" on 3/13/2009. In a nutshell, word Mr. Plumeri, renaming an American icon with a British company's name is obviously beyond nauseating!

This power move goes beyond the renaming of Marshall Field. In Chicago, architectural namesakes are usually honored. The John Hancock is still 'the Hancock.' That insurance company built the Michigan Avenue icon remains its namesake and to this day. The Inland Steel Building is the same. The Steger Building is still aptly named. Wrigley is still Wrigley and Soldier Field is still Soldier field; so it goes. When Chicago names a significant architectural treasure, the Song Remains the Same. Now, Willis Holdings wants to spoil the soup.

You would think that a gentlemen, who live in the nation that made Led Zeppelin would not sink to such depths. This 'Yellow Submarine move' makes for nasty drama that may continue to submerge in Parliament. This dram deserves to take another course on the sweeter side of the Highlands. If Willis can afford the Sears, the question is what sort of ego runs that place? What sorts of loans or crackerbox palace is Willis Holdings? How leveraged is it?

How many times have we seen banks and investors expand a business based more upon smoke and mirrors, then reasonable adherence to GAAP? [General Acceptable Accounting Practices].

Why do we allow companies 'to PacMan up' the competition only to watch banks fail and Congress bail the bastards out? Why do we tolerate monopolies? Fiscal responsibility, anyone? Who really bought the building, any way. Who provided the mortgage? Does the Mortgagor have any clout?

Will Willis belly up and leave his legacy foisted upon Chicago's landscape? Who owned the Sears in the past? How can our nation preserve the namesakes of national landmark architecture? Willis did not build the Sears from the ground up? Should we really care? Or is this a property issue, where egos rule and residents drool? This reminds me of the Simon and Westfield Mall Saga. Do these so called brand names degrade local landmarks like Northbrook Court, Old Orchard, or Lincoln Towncenter?
Is this a ruse to create enough nausea? Is this a plan or intentional design to sell? This is like changing the name of Picadilly Circus to Ben Franklin Plaza. Just say no to ego! We can only hope that the bank that financed isn't Bank of America, Chase or Citibank. Of course, our illustrious legislators stifled the expansion of Illinois banks until FNB of Chicago among other icons simply merged into near oblivion. Crumpets anyone?

Friday, March 13, 2009

A Tale of Two People

I just learned from James about Stu. I knew of Stu, since Stu was like an Otis of sorts. Otis from The Andy Griffith Show. Stu was a guy in his mid to late fourties, who looked like he was well over fifty, but was one who allegedly liked to drink as he waltzed down the sidewalk.
I saw Stu, but the one time that I approached him, he was belligerent. I eventually saw Stu collapse at the corner of Ridge and Chase about eight months ago. An ambulance and police had to lift him up from the pavement. Stu tried to avoid going with the paramedics. Perhaps, it was a pride sort of thing. Stu had a drinking problem; I can only speculate why. I was just told that Stu died two weeks ago, allegedly from cirrhosis of the liver. I cannot confirm the diagnosis. It was told to me, third hand.

I have another acquaintance, who is currently more sociable from the burbs. I don't know that he drinks much. I really don't take issue with his orientation, if different, nor care. Some other long time acquaintances sounded the alarm on that poor guy, as well. I delved. What I found surprised me. Apparently, someone loaned him money. When he momentarily took a sabbatical from Facebook, loose nerves developed. I did some research. In a nutshell, the guy seems nearly unemployable; I hope not. His only hope may be that someone who he knows from the past is willing to trust him. We don't need another Stu.

For those who read the Chicago Red Eye earlier this week, convictions hurt; particularly those that involve fraud. Those with convictions are often un-employable. They are also poor risks to banks. This guy who I went to grammar school with had a record that would make anyone who knew him drop their jaw.

The Cook County Court history seemed extensive and suggested a pattern unless his name is common. First, business and personal debts turned into lawsuits. Then, there was forceable eviction and detainer. Eventually a slew of bounced checks and intentional check writing on bad accounts. The criminal convictions lasted and built a bad track record. Of course, there was jail time, some rehab, but now he is borrowing money from a new group of people he used to know, some who may still respect him. However, he has to break the pattern, not us.

Now, back to RP, I heard that Stu had lived in our neighborhood for about 14 to 16 years. I heard that he was also evicted from an apartment on our block. Perhaps, Stu may have also done time for a few of those acts of desperation, but maybe not. Of course, when he had challenges with work, he just turned inward and could not undo the damage, so his liver was stewed prunes at autopsy.

I am critical of those who drink while walking down the sidewalk. I mean, if they cannot wait until they get home to imbibe malt liquor in private, then they may have gone beyond reviving without the 'twelve step,' among other options in de-tox.

There is good public policy in discouraging people from opening and downing the OE from within the glass bottle. Why does the city ignore our public alcoholics, when they beg for attention? Is public drinking a cry to get negative attention? Why do we pretend that this is acceptable conduct, find amusement, anger at it, or ignore it? How should a community approach public alcoholics? How should we approach those who lost their way? Should we ignore them or approach them with our eyes wide open but with care?

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Eula Biss, The Trek, Vulgarity, Old English, and Scattering Vegetables. Commander Kirk, Spock here. Can we Transfer Some Tribbles? Section 8 Anyone?

NPR was on. A Northwestern scholar, Eula Biss, who has just written her latest tome, No Man's Land, waxed about Rogers Park Bloggers, among other arguably nasty neighbors. I agree and disagree with some generalizations released outside of the publication on WBEZ. The ignorant are not always evil. The European immigrants may be occasionally foolish, but not necessarily vicious or intentionally vile in the classical sense.

Some native Chicagoans respect our African American neighbors. Yet, we all have our moments of ignorance or insensitivity. These fleeting moments are shared by our darker counterparts. Perhaps, some of us are occasionally too sensitive. Some neighbors are significantly nicer and/or more reasonable than others with lighter complexions. Yes, Eula, there is some ignorance and occasional white trash in our midst. Perhaps, everyone has momentary digressions into ignorance. We have stopped the car and I walk the fifteen minute trek to and from work from the Howard Terminal, when I miss the 290. The bike is looking better since bike racks were added by the Terminal.

Not all RP bloggers, among others, are divisive bigots or racists. Yes, the "P" word, as in pioneer, is a bit shortsighted and ignorant. Just because I experience the perpetual pigeon spasms above the fiberglass shelters at the old Terminal in the 1990s. This does not give me special dispensation.
Yet, I have heard worse from the few who are ignorant, yet carry darker complexions and less noble mentailities. Yes, not everyone walks the streets with Cobra or Old English in their hands. However, where are Chicago's Finest? Doing the donuts or sparking up at Starbucks on Howard and Western waiting for the next arrest or mop up job?

Why have an anti-open liquor ordinance, when cops refuse to enforce it let alone comply? Why have an anti-grafitti, anti-dog poop or an anti-litter ordinances, as well? This is not gentrification; just an issue of good manners with under funded red tape rituals. Call it, the faux grae fallacy. There is a reason why the Municipal mavens do not want me waltzing with my Wallbanger, yet it will not arrest me. Police seem content waiting until some alcoholic flattens his nostrils on our pavement. Swagger control? Where is it when we need it?
Black or white, I have seen both varients in need of detox and a well attended twelve step program or rehabilitation.

I mean, we have heard of the other notorious letter. I avoid bigotted terms, even if the late yet great Richard Pryor and a few of my less sophisticated neighbors use less than fine language, daily, along with other epithets. The kind that nauseate Rogers Park parents with young children.

If Jews avoid the "K" word, the Irish avoid the "M"word, and Italians avoid the "D" word, then why do more African Americans encourage others to cease using the "N" word and crass language? Why do some, of a variety of differing complexions derive power from cussing loudly on the sidewalk. Do any of us need that kind of attention? Often, the ones that cuss are saying virtually nothing when you remove the vulgarity! Why can't we just shut our mouths when we have nothing good to say?

Some refuse to address and chill the more active vegetation growing within our own community. I make no racial distinctions, here. It would nice if Gale School educators, among others, look for options as well as pastors. Why? Do African American Comedians, among others, get special privileges to be abusive?

I'm just as disgusted at Jackie Mason, among, as well as those few obnoxious neighbors. Frankly, why use words that belittle someone or simply distract others? Are we laughing about ourselves or are others laughing at us?There are amusing ways of discussing our differing ethnic rituals or social experiences without defamation.

Rogers Park will get better, when there is more economic diversity north of the Central Street Border. It will also require some reality on the part of those up north who are too foolish to enjoy Rogers Park. Perhaps, those who are too ignorant finally move in and stay a while.

Can you imagine an economically diverse Deerfield or New Trier High School? Not on Kirk's watch! Any comments, Eula Biss?

Is RP Broken Heart - by Invitation Only? Did you Make the Hellhole Cut? An Epitaph for Public RP News? Too Much Optimism? Is the Morse Still Open?

Today's Challenge is finding Craig's Blog restricted after my two week hiatus. This restriction notice bars my access to Craig's Hellhole. Does it bar yours, as well? Many of us, including Craig, are embarrassed or unreasonably scolded in public in one blog capacity or another. Therefore, some create and use anonymous user name with consistency.

My wife is friends with a famous Chicago area garden blogger. My wife remains anonymous on the other site with the author's consent even if they are good friends. We are just too busy with other amusements and responsibilities to spend as much time on Blogger. Craig is our fearless loss leader.

A few of us try to grasp at privacy, but vent angst. We let some know who we are, who we meet, but we don't see as threats. Perhaps, they forget because they are too busy or we lose touch due to their blogularity. At times, my words deceive my intentions; sometimes, they don't. Occasionally, we are mistaken. That's why I encourage comments, so I can correct and reasonably retract. So much for consistency! I discourage hatred.
Over the last week, I definitely know that I would prefer 'to live' in Rogers Park, then not! It was wonderful when that skyscraper sized meteor missed the Earth by 44,750 miles! The stock market is no where near the tragedy of that potential cataclysm. Internet news suggests that the North Shore no bastion of cleanliness or safety, either. In the last five years, there are as many beggars on Maple Avenue near Evanston's Century Theater as Wabash and Adams. Streetwise, anyone?

When people verbally attack others, not their actions, then bloggers, among others, can get upset. I choose to attack the actions of others. Yet, I have made fun at the expense of a few public figures. I don't want enemies nor think anyone should have them.

I hope that the hypocrisy ends. Unfortunately, I fear that Craig the Brokenhearted has become a statistic. He wanted us to feel the occasional frustrations of living in Rogers Park on Morse by the Redline. Perhaps, he is too frustrated with being personally attacked on the blogoscape. Lines of communication are a good thing. Taking the Broken Heart private is unfortunate, but I can live without it if I must. Those of us in the private set want the privilege of reading Craig's materials in peace and reasonably comment without having to second guess every gesture on the street.

Craig's roving reporter, the equally anonymous Timmy almost seemed mystical as he appeared on BH last December. He was like some sort of Christmas Carol creation fit for the Broken Heart's Glass Menagerie (e.g. Tiny Tim). The neglected Sullivan H.S. student yearning to explode onto the internet. The not so nice news rationalized why Sullivan is a low performing Illinois High School. Those who want to learn will find their place within the CPS system, private schools or simply move out.


Craig, you fascinated me. I read about a local do-gooder who 'allegedly' refused to pick up after his dog. I don't know if the proof was perfect. However, Craig, our nosey but necessary neighbor, was our advocate. He was willing to let us know what he believed, when most of us had no clue. For those who have picked up the dog crap after others, we were amused. I hope that Craig ultimately encouraged the suspect to 'blue bag it' and comply with the ordinance.

Craig also promoted his pet projects, like landscaping the more challenging blocks of Morse, only to find a beer bottle buried near his begonias (correct me, Craig?). His challenge with the less than canine friendly cops. He also exposed some of the weak links at DevCorp and had his Bearcat scanner on perpetual alert for his neighbor's curiosity. We can only hope that DevCorp and Moore shape up, wake up, or get replaced. Many of us wonder whether complacency will continue.

We learned about Craig's famous nephew, who raced his motorcycle around Europe's motocross circuit, among other exotic places, in search of fame and fortune. The double team of Gerhardt and Mannis raked Rogers Park ragged with their guts and glory. I hope that Craig has not left for Kentucky.

I would discourage Craig from ostracizing Rogers Park Residents merely because they prefer a user name to disclosing their personal identity to all. Craig also has the right to re-invent himself with an anonymous blog. Craig has enough evidence to confirm that he lives in Rogers Park. I hope that he'll trust me to keep his identity private, as well.

I believe that Madman Mannis of the Rogers Park Bench disclosed that now lives among cheeseheads of Eastern Wisconsin. I guess that his ears are elsewhere, even if he reads and writes about us online. Perhaps, Mannis has nothing better to do in cow country. There, the cornrows are stuck in the ground, not roving the sidewalk on someone's head. I have even seen a few nordic looking blonds with tattoos wearing them. You don't see that much diversity up north!

Apparently, things are tough in the big city. Instant utopias are unrealistic. You have to work for positive change, where needed. If it doesn't come as quickly or at all, then learn to live, understand and perpetually improve your neighborhood where you can.

Some of us discreetly photograph, when our digital cameras are in the shop. Others, find images to convey our concerns and promote information even if it is less than attractive. Some of us see more positive on our streets than others. Sometimes, we act, not alarm those around us and the results comfort us more.

It seems like cronyism to restrict information. The subject should always have a chance to reasonably comment. In some situations, privacy makes sense. Yet, a blog that aspires to devote itself to dispersing local news should not exclude locals. This is particularly true when it is unlikely to cause danger to the writer. Craig, I don't bite. My four legged, two foot long 'beast' just growls and whines, when other canines pass by. She doesn't bite, either, even if she is nuts.

Well, I never saw myself as one of Craig's public enemies, nor wanted to be one. However, I seem to have been tagged for removal. I guess that I was too optimistic for the Hell hole to bear. Perhaps, too private to pulsate. I hope that I am mistaken.

Does anyone know if The Morse is still open? Maybe, I'll get that long awaiting dram. Perhaps, Gernhardt has some time to promote the watering hole.