23 February 2011

Mazel Tov, Rahm Emanuel!

I don't know whether to congratulate Rahm Emanuel for winning Chicago's mayoral race, or send him a sympathy card. Because, he has a difficult road ahead of him; one that makes me glad I'm not in his shoes.

Emanuel will inherit an unresolved squabble between his soon - to - be predecessor and United and American Airlines; a parking meter disaster; a budget that's still in the toilet; a local economy still stinging from a nationwide recession. And the list goes on and on! A job like that would give me bleeding ulcers, for sure.

My hats off to Rahm for wanting so desperately to be mayor of Chicago, that he left his post as
President Obama's Chief - of - Staff. Mazel tov, Rahm! Which, in Hebrew, means both 'congratulations' and 'good luck'. (He'll need a lifetime supply of the latter.)


40% Voter Turnout

Now that Chicago has elected Rahm Emanuel its new mayor, I need to address yesterday's 40% voter turnout.

Right at this very moment, people in the Middle East are fighting and dying for the right to vote; a right we Americans, too often, take for granted. We cite the weather, the current state of politics and a poor selection of candidates as reasons not to show up at our polling places, whilst citizens in other parts of the globe risk their lives for the right to cast ballots in a free election.


22 February 2011

ABC 7's Tracy Butler Visits Andersonville

Recently, ABC 7's meterologist, Tracy Butler, introduced the show's viewers to my old neighbourhood: Andersonville. Here, she visits Swedish Bakery, Middle Eastern Bakery and other interesting places in the area.



16 February 2011

A Boxing Ring in Edgewater

Inside the former piano store on North Clark Street and West Thorndale (near Senn High School), I saw a huge boxing ring , accompanied by 5 - 6 exercise machines. Interesting.


Area Borders Books to Close

The Uptown Borders, as well as the store at 1700 Maple in Evanston, are among 16 area locations slated for closing.


Beat 2413 CAPS Meeting

This is a brief summary of the CAPS meeting that took place, on Tuesday, 15 February 2011, at 7:00 P.M.

Apparently an attendant, who is usually available to open the door to the Emmerson Park fieldhouse, never showed up, so, we had to hold a slightly - abbreviated CAPS meeting OUTSIDE under the park lights. Luckily, the weather was mild and not intolerably cold.

This meeting focuses on criminal activity and arrests in Beat 2413- bound by West Devon & Peterson Avenues; and North Kedzie & North Ridge.

Overall, there was a reduction in crime, in this area. At our last meeting, in January 2011, there were a total of 145 crimes committed; as of 15 February, 2011, it has dropped to 108. The greatest increase has involved auto break - ins (the police officers present at the meeting remind members of the community to avoid leaving valuables IN THEIR CARS). During the month of January, there were 7 armed robberies and 2 sexual assaults. Again, a decrease in these incidents.

The Chicago Police have made several arrests involving narcotics, and one known gang member was arrested, charged with murder and is now awaiting trial.
Included on the CAPS meeting agenda was the statement: "Forget the rumors; crime is down in the beat, district and citywide."

The next CAPS meeting for Beat 2413 is scheduled for Tuesday, 15 March 2011; 7:00 P.M. @ Green Briar Park @ 2650 West Peterson.

The next CAPS meeting to be held at Emmerson Park @ 1820 West Granville, is scheduled for Tuesday, 19th April 2011, at 7:00 P.M. (Hopefully, there will be someone to let us into the fieldhouse this time.)

Statistics are gathered from 4 police district stations: 19th, 20th, 23rd and 24th.

For additional information about the CAPS meetings, call the Beat 2413 Hotline @ 773.782.6313 or visit them on the Web http://caps24.org


14 February 2011

Less Than Enthused, But Grateful

I should feel enthusiastic about voting in this country. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the freedom I have to cast a ballot without fear of gunfire or harassment, as they do in other countries of the world. Even in Chicago, where vote fraud has become legendary, I am able to walk into my polling place and, peacefully, make my choices.

Having mentioned some of the benefits of voting in a free country, I am less than enthusiastic about the choices printed on the ballot. Sometimes I wish the ballot offered 'None of the above' as one of the options. Seems like, no matter whom I select, they'll be sworn into office while carrying more baggage than could fit in a 747. From my perspective, I'm voting for candidates most likely to be indicted! And once in office they NEVER keep their campaign promises. I would do no worse if I voted for Osama bin Laden as Chicago's next mayor.

Despite my complaints, I am grateful that my country allows me the freedom to voice my choice inside a public library, a church, or any facility that serves as a polling place. Campaign workers and newspapers recommend candidates they feel are best qualified for the job, but there is no one standing over my shoulder demanding that I vote for so - and - so, or else. That is something we ALL should be grateful for.


12 February 2011

Armed Robbery at Howard St. Dominick's

12 February, 2011

At approximately 12:30 Saturday morning, three black males held up the Dominick's at 1763 West Howard Street, next to the Howard Red Line.


09 February 2011

My Alderman Wants Condos

The residents of Edgewater's Andersonville area want a park that will provide badly - needed open space and a place where their kids can play. Right now, their only option is a microscopic playlot behind a Jewel - Osco. In a counterstrike, 40th Ward Alderman, Patrick O'Connor, is pushing for a complex that includes retail and condos. My fear is that, if he gets his wish, his wife, Barbara (who is in the real estate business), would reap the benefits.

But what about the needs of Andersonville's residents? It is with sadness that I watch yet another local election get underway, while Alderman O'Connor is unopposed in his bid for an umpteenth term. Political road blocks are erected so that no one else has a shot at occupying the 40th Ward office. Just another one of the dirty tricks played in Chicago politics. Obstacles are placed before potential opponents, while power gluttons hold on to their seats in the City Council.

Meanwhile, the neighbours in Andersonville dream of a park that would enhance their lives in the community that they call home. Where, they crash on sofas after a hard day's work and sit down for dinner with their families.


08 February 2011

Snow an Obstacle Under Metra Tracks

In the 1800 block of West Granville Ave (@ North Ravenswood), underneath the Metra tracks, there are piles of snow that need to be removed because, for children on their way to school, senior citizens and, even, able - bodied pedestrians for that matter, the sidewalks in this area are impassable. The only option is to walk in the street, which is a VERY DANGEROUS option.

I have contacted Alderman Patrick O'Connor's 40th Ward office. Unfortunately for us, O'Connor is running unopposed for re - election and, therefore, feels no urgency to tend to a problem, such as this. So, the only thing we can do is be a nuisance and keep calling his office until something is done about this.


04 February 2011

Several Emergency Vehicles in Edgewater

This morning, as I was crossing the street at North Clark Street and West Granville Avenue (6200 N.), I observed a dozen, or more, police cars, fire engines and ambulances. I had never seen anything like it. Whatever was happening, it couldn't be anything good.


03 February 2011

Chicago Blizzard of 2011: The Aftermath

Now that Chicago has begun the process of digging itself out of 20 + inches of snow, I would like to describe something interesting I saw yesterday in those dangerous weather conditions: Two crossing guards, at two different intersections. One was at North Clark Street and West Granville (6200 North); the other, at North Ravenswood and West Granville (1800 West), despite the fact that it was a snow day for the kids. I was very concerned about the safety of these two brave souls who seemed to be having a difficult time battling the elements. Not to mention the stinging mix of snow and, what to me felt like, sleet.



The custodian at the Rogers Park Public Library informed me that the facility remains closed as of today, Thursday, 3rd February and will re - open tomorrow, Friday, 4th February.