...And That's My Opinion©
By Sandy Goldman
The Rogers Park Community Curmudgeon
**For openers: I laughed out loud when I read columnist Mark Steyn of the Sun Times quoting the first female Anglican Bishop Barbara Harris. She was speaking of a meeting she attended,” If assholes were airplanes this conference would be an airport.” I can relate!!
**Marches and candlelight parades aside - here is an intriguing scenario that might work in Rogers Park. Click here for story about Milwaukee’s suburbs going after landlords with troublesome tenants. I asked many community leaders, about this as a possible solution to some of our problems. Some thought that since R.P was the prototype for the development of the CAPS program, maybe we might want to try this technique, offering this community as the prototype once again. We need to have a politician who would pick up this ball and run with it.
**Speaking of Item# 1, there was a meeting at Gale School concerning the development of 33 town houses and 10 condos at Howard and Ashland (the old Lerner property) proposed by the Howard-Ashland LLC. This is a group headed by John Terzakis whose name should be familiar to those who watch Illinois development proceedings. This is the group, which presently owns the Wisdom Bridge building and has allowed it to fall into serious disrepair.
**Referring again to Item #1 there was an airport meeting at the R.P Library to discuss the Morse Avenue streetscape proposal. It was a parade of city functionaries essentially discussing which type of lampposts were most appropriate and the configuration or desirability of bump outs at the corners. Real tough decisions about a crime-ridden hellhole.
** At the same meeting it was revealed that the vacant Osco property would be filled by a Washington Mutual Bank, a yet to be determined tenant and a –get this folks—another dollar store. Real upscale destination developments.
**A good friend of mine has revealed a recent scam at Gateway Center. It seems that she was about to go into the Bally Fitness Center (she is a member of the Lincolnwood facility). As she drove into the parking lot a man walked up to her car and said that she could not park in the open lot, but must go to the parking garage. Being a single, nubile young female, her mental warning lights came on. She demurred and checked with the desk at Bally. Told that this was not true but that they were having this problem, she left and went to Lincolnwood. What do you think would have happened if she had heeded the instructions? What would have been waiting—assault, robbery, rape? Just thinking!!
**And speaking of Gateway, what is going to replace the early tenant—Best Price Fashions—which gave up and left. Just asking. Maybe it will be another dollar store. Oh, save me.
**Where are the voices of all our representatives-- local, state, federal—vis ā vis the potential marina proposed across from Calvary Cemetery (see column Wake Up The Dead). For that matter where are their voices on the ill conceived extension of parkland north of Hollywood to the city limits. In fact Congresswoman Schakowsky secured or proposed multi-dollar appropriations for both scenarios without any R.P. community input. Click Here for Tribune story How is that for representative government? Just asking! To learn more about this travesty call Citizens for Lakefront Preservation at 847-604-0784; ask for the very informative flier called “Marina Alert”. You owe it to yourselves and to future generations!
**Here we go again. Less than two weeks to go and the Cubs are hanging by their fingernails. Is there anyone but me who can remember the joy of a Chicago Cub World Series?
**A 10 year Program Evaluation Summary (Vol 2. No. 1 - April 2004) of the Chicago Alternative Police Strategy (CAPS) gave the following grades: Public Involvement – Grade B; Agency Partnership – Grade A; Reorganization Grade –A; Problem Solving Grade - C
Beyond the grade status, however, are the critiques of each of these categories and the total report. Page four in particular deals with the district advisory committees (DAC). The report states that the DAC is less than what might be desired. As a former DAC member, the report is exactly what I expected. The report is available from the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority.
**On Sept 1 there was a community gathering/block club party at 1500 Greenleaf Ave. It was a good example of community togetherness coalescing around a central theme—know your community.
** One conversation at the above was “Morse Avenue, better now than 2 years ago?” You answer the question.
**The problem with CPS, and it has been since we were young parents, is that they work with numbers, not results.
**I suspect that most of you are too young to remember them, but on the Hallmark Channel there are some of the best T.V. shows of the past: M.A.S.H, Northern Exposure, Perry Mason, Banacek, Hawaii 5-0, Kojak, Magnum P.I. to name a few.
**Some say it’s a whole new generation re-inventing the wheel. As someone who was there when our wheel was invented I say more power to them. Go for it! But remember two things: an unattended rolling wheel will falter and fall and sometimes a wheel will break from it’s own weight.
** Congratulations to the 24th District Police for the quick apprehension of the R.P “goonies.” Quick work and good work by everyone.
** “There comes a time when the younger folks have to move on up”…John Daley NBC newscaster. I can relate to that—which is where we began this column—too many airplanes—too many airports—not enough control towers!
...And that's my opinion.
And I'm Sandy Goldman
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