...And That's My Opinion©
By Sandy Goldman
The Rogers Park Community Curmudgeon
This time they rang my doorbell. Usually, we bump into each other somewhere in the neighborhood.
“May we come in?” they asked.
“Sure,” I said, recognizing them even in their stylish winter clothes. It was the young couple I met several years ago at the Pinewood (see previous columns Couple at the Bar and Phooey). They appeared agitated.
“What’s up? What brings you to my doorstep?”
“Anger,” they answered, almost in unison.
“I’m so irked I could explode,” the blond woman said, her face contorted and grimacing.
Disregarding the fact that it was only 20 degrees outside, I said, “Well, do come in and settle down. I’ll get you a drink while you cool off.”
Returning with four vodkas on the rocks—two olives and a lemon twist in each—stirred, not shaken; I asked what was the matter?
“Our Alderman—Joe Moore is the matter”, he said. “When we moved into Rogers Park I was told the 49th Ward was one wacky place, but Joe takes the cake. Can you believe what he has done?”
“Well, he has screwed up the proposed fire station (see previous columns) and certainly has not augmented Gateway Shopping Center, which remains, at this date several years later, 80% vacant and he is tap-dancing around the plans for the community center at Jordon School Park, and done nothing about the Wisdom Bridge/Lerner property at Howard and Ashland. But what are you thinking about?”
“The war on Iraq for goodness sake. The war on Iraq,” he repeated with resounding emphasis. “Alderman Moore says he is going to introduce an ordinance in the Chicago City Council opposing the idea of a preemptive U.S military strike in Iraq. All of a sudden our Alderman must think that he is Mahatma Gandhi. Next thing he’ll probably propose a 49th ward-wide hunger strike until President Bush agrees with him and his wacko comrades.”
Warming up to the subject his wife took over. “It’s not as if there are not enough problems here in Rogers Park”, she steamed. “Parts of Morse Avenue and Howard Street are sordid streets of drug dealers, prostitutes and pimps hanging out in dilapidated, deteriorating slum buildings, several of which were highlighted in detail in a recent Sun Times newspaper article. This is also true in some of our residential areas.”
“And,” he interjected, the two of them working like a ping pong ball, “Business continues to flee the 49th Ward for suburban locations or sites in other Chicago neighborhoods with more cooperative agendas. They move to areas where Aldermen pursue them with financial incentives and programs. Did you see what Lake View got? They got a new Trader Joes grocery store, a nationally known upscale chain. Now I don’t have to drive to Glenview, but I do have to drive to Lincoln and Grace. Our Alderman does not seem to have the time, inclination or knowledge to pursue, persuade or entice new business to Rogers Park. He’s too busy pretending to do the work of a federal legislator. What does he think we voted Jan Schakowsky into office to do?”
“They use to laugh that on local issues David Orr would speak and Joe’s mouth would move. Maybe now its Jan’s voice and Moore’s mouth.”
“Oh now,” I said, “that’s a little hard. Joe is concluding his third term as an Alderman but it is apparent, judging from this proposal and his previous unsuccessful campaign for Clerk of the Circuit Court, that he would rather be somewhere else—maybe county or state government or even federal government. Then he would not have to deal with solving the problems: housing, garbage, prostitution, parking, economic development, gangs, slum buildings, crime and other 49th Ward business for which he was elected.”
There is an Aldermanic election coming up on Feb 25th, 2003. Let us all help Joe’s dreams come true and give him the chance to move up—and out!!!
While many of you were the first Disney generation—don’t be the first dizzy generation!!
...And that's my opinion.
And I'm Sandy Goldman
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