...And That's My Opinion©

By Sandy Goldman

The Rogers Park Community Curmudgeon


The Greatest Good for the Greatest Number - Part V


Hark! Hark! “The Usual Suspects”


In the memorable 1942 movie “Casablanca “ starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, Claude Raines as Captain Louie Renault was often heard to say “round up the usual suspects” This is exactly what the Rogers Park Community Action Network (RPCAN) did at their well advertised but sparsely attended “action” to picket Alderman Joe Moore’s meeting at 6:30 on April 9th 2001.


While there was no Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart} nor Ilsa Lund (Ingrid Bergman} nor Captain Louie Renault {Claude Raines} and not even Ugarte {the famous Pete Lorre} there were the “usual suspects“; middle class people massaging their guilt; others bemoaning their plight; a red beret clad, Che Guevara pretender; and a small cadre of radical Saul Alinsky wannabes (if you do not know about Saul Alinsky read “Rules For Radicals”. It is still in print).  There was even a representative of the Evanston Neighborhood Conference.  If they had done it in the winter, with snow on the ground, it would have resembled one of the famous leafleting scenes from “War & Peace” or “Dr. Zhivago”.


Although not quickly discernable in the rhetoric of the evening, it became apparent from the speakers that the real issue was not the Mega Mall. Their direction was, as it has always been, to use, abuse and confuse. It is more than the Fire Station; it is more than the Mega Mall and the merchants. It is all about the symbols of community improvement. It is all about their fear of the dreaded “G” word …Gentrification. It is this type of thinking, which resulted in the construction destruction of Starbucks on Sheridan Road in Rogers Park and the senseless graffiti, and trashing of new family constructions in Lincoln Square.


In addition to the “usual suspects” there was the media, several English and several Spanish T.V stations. Most of them, both the English and the Spanish, were perplexed. The calls to their stations had been made with promise of great action but the results seemed miniscule.


The interesting thing, however, is that with the exception of the omnipresent Mega Mall spokesman David Kim, whose family has been at the Mall for more than 10 years, there were VERY FEW merchants. What has happened to their original zealotry? Have they discovered the real motives of RPCAN?


The alternate plan outlined in the distributed literature handed out by RPCAN is preposterous!!! It calls for the fire station to be built in two sections: “…the fire station on a smaller site and build the parking lots and the green areas in SEPARATE SITE {sic} two or three blocks away.”


The only thing with which I can agree is that it is time for Alderman Joe Moore (49) to stop vacillating, obfuscating and procrastinating. It is time for decision-making, which will benefit the WHOLE community of Rogers Park.


It is time to put aside political correctness and ignore loud noises and demonstrations.


It is time for Joe to make a decision for which he will face the voters, should he decide to run again.

...And that's my opinion.

And I'm Sandy Goldman

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