Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Three In Custody In Connection With This Morning's Murders: Ald. Osterman

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Ald. Osterman sent out an email announcement this afternoon:

"Dear Neighbor,

Last night, around 2:15 am, two individuals were shot and killed on the 5000 block of Winthrop Avenue. We believe this to be a gang-related conflict. Three individuals are currently in custody in connection with this incident and the investigation is continuing. 

We will be gathering more details as they become available, and will provide an update in Friday’s newsletter.

If you have any information that can assist the investigation, please contact Marko Zaric in my office at 773-784-5277 or Marko@48thward.org or call Area North Detectives at 312-744-5277.

Sincerely,
Harry Osterman
Alderman, 48th Ward"

Second Cedar Street Building On Wilson Approved for Zoning Change

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It looks like a go for the second of two new proposed rental buildings on Wilson, with the 46th Ward's full Zoning & Development Committee approving Cedar Street's application for a zoning change at Sheridan & Wilson at its meeting on Monday evening.  From Ald. Cappleman's website:
"975 W. Wilson (SE Corner of Wilson and Sheridan).  Mark Heffron from Cedar Street presented a proposal that includes a zoning change from B3-2 to B3-5 for a 79 ft., 7 story building with 138 units. The developer is looking to have a reduction in parking requirements by proposing 52 parking spaces. This project was presented to the Clarendon Park Neighborhood Association on August 6 and had unanimous support from the neighbors that attended.
At this meeting, members expressed concerns about the architecture, private alley and access for building on the east side of the parcel, less parking and more retail. Money going toward the Uptown Open Space Impact fees were discussed. Result: Zoning change accepted by committee based on the project presented to the community."
We're happy to see representatives from the property's closest neighbors all voted in favor of the zoning change:  Friendly Tower (920 W. Wilson), Clarendon Park Neighborhood Association, and Truman Square Neighbors.

This prime Uptown intersection has been empty for far too long, thanks to El Pollo Loco signing a long-term guaranteed lease in the property, then closing its doors in January 2010.  Can't blame the land owner, who was getting above-market rent for letting it sit empty for the duration of the lease. It will be good to see some vitality return to that corner.

We hope to see a better rendering of the proposed project soon.

Sidenote:  An interesting article is here on why Chicago needs more rental units to maintain and grow its population, The Collapse of Rental Housing on Chicago's North Side.

Double Murder On Winthrop Overnight

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We don't have a lot of information, but the papers are reporting that two men were murdered this morning at around 2:15 on the 5000 block on Winthrop.  Readers say that there is yellow police tape around the parking lot north of Argyle on Winthrop.

According to the Sun-Times, the two victims were 32 and 34.  One died at the scene and the other was taken to Illinois Masonic, where he passed.  Both were shot multiple times and the Sun-Times says that they both had documented gang ties.

The Winthrop/Kenmore area around Argyle has been a hot spot for the past five weeks or so.  On July 30, a man was shot in the arm on the 5000 block of Kenmore after a physical fight escalated.  He was driven to the hospital by friends, including the mother of a notorious gangbanger who is now incarcerated.  On August 2, that woman was shot twice in the stomach in the same block in what police think was a drug deal gone bad.  On August 7, a man was grazed by a gunshot in a parking dispute in the alley behind the 4900 block of Kenmore.

At that time, Ald. Osterman said, "There has been an increased police presence in the Argyle corridor since August 1 with a renewed effort to improve public safety in the area. As a result of this most recent incident, the presence was increased with hourly foot patrols by uniformed officers and directed missions by tactical personnel. There is also a beat car assigned at Argyle/Kenmore for added presence. The investigation in this area continues in conjunction with the Chicago Police Department’s Organized Crime Division."  Readers confirm seeing police in the area yesterday.

This area has been quiet for a long time, and the sudden flurry of shootings lead us to believe there's another senseless gang skirmish happening.  Two murders in one night will certainly escalate things if that's the case.  We urge you to please call 9-1-1 if you see what you think might be turning into anything violent.  The police are there already, and they will respond quickly to any incidents.  Please keep aware and alert.

We'll update with any new information.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Filmmaker Talks About His Documentary Alleging Child Sexual Abuse At JPUSA: "They're Not Going To Shut Me Up With Money"

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As long-time readers know, documentary filmmaker Jaime Prater created and released No Place To Call Home last year, recalling his upbringing at Jesus People USA and interviewing others he grew up with there. Many of the adults who appear in the film allege that child sexual abuse was rampant during their childhoods at JPUSA, which still maintains a presence in Uptown with Friendly Towers (920 Wilson), Everybody's Coffee, and the Cornerstone Community Outreach shelters on the 4600 block of Clifton.

Now Buzzfeed has done an in-depth article about the film and its aftermath, interviewing Jaime Prater about the reactions to his documentary and how it affected him and others he interviewed, as well as the JPUSA community itself. The ostracism and pressure drove Jaime into a deep depression and suicidal thoughts.

The article is long and detailed; we urge you to read it. Make up your own mind about whether the people interviewed are telling the truth. Trigger warning: The accounts of childhood sexual abuse, both in the article and in the film, are explicit.  If nothing else, it shows the long-term effects of childhood sexual abuse, to those experiencing it and those seeking to cover it up.  We hope for healing for everyone who claims to be a victim, especially those brave enough to be interviewed in the documentary and those currently involved in a lawsuit about their recollections of growing up being abused and unable to get help from those they confided in.

The article is here.  A link to the video, on Vimeo On Demand, is here.  UU's past coverage of Jaime Prater, including an email interview with him, is here.

A few excerpts -- but really, read the whole thing:
When Prater finished the film and posted it on Vimeo, it went nowhere: Only a few hundred people saw it, and Prater didn’t submit it to any festivals or distributors. “I didn’t want people to think this was about me, or that I was doing this to get famous,” Prater says. But within the walls of JPUSA, and the broader Christian world, it was a bombshell. Prior to the film, no one, other than perhaps JPUSA leadership, had known about allegations of widespread sexual abuse or possible cover-ups. Suddenly, Prater had cast himself into the uncomfortable role of whistleblower.
The fallout was swift: One of the members of the leadership council, who also functioned as their in-house attorney, left with his family shortly before the film was released. Two more council members, including the son of the founder, would follow. JPUSA seemed to be crumbling from within.
In December 2013, with the editing of the film nearly over, Prater sunk into a deep depression, even considering suicide. Most disturbing to him was how many times people had gone to the JPUSA council and the Evangelical Covenant Church [ECC] to report abuse. Again and again, alleged victims were told that the council would handle the matter internally. And almost without exception, that meant finding a way to keep victims silent, while doing nothing to reprimand the accused.
As soon as the film started making waves, triggering the defections of prominent families and attracting the attention of the national press, JPUSA tried to silence Prater, threatening him twice with a defamation lawsuit. Those threats came and went, but Prater says JPUSA’s attorneys told him they would begin negotiations on a settlement related to his suit against the church only if he changed key parts of his film, excising any abuse allegations against John Herrin Jr., and tracked down every copy of the film. He complied with their request to edit the film, but he refused to take it off the internet.
“I’ve lost more than I’ve gained for speaking out,” Prater told me. The making of the film consumed his life for two years, eventually causing his partner to leave him. People he’s known since childhood stopped talking to him.
Last July, Prater’s lawyers called him with an offer from JPUSA. They would begin to negotiate a settlement if he promised to stop talking to the press.
“They don’t realize that they’re not going to shut me up with money. That’s not why I’m doing this,” he said. “I want an acknowledgment of what happened, and some kind of accountability. That’s the only way so many people can heal, and it’s the only way I can be assured something like this won’t happen there again.”
Shortly after the film’s release, 18 members, including Prater, filed a lawsuit against JPUSA and the ECC, seeking damages for the abuse they suffered. The lawsuit is in mediation, and several attorneys related to the suit called me and advised me not to speak to their clients. JPUSA leadership declined to speak to me for this article, despite repeated requests, as did their attorney. Only Edward Gilbreath, the executive director of communications for the ECC, would say anything. He stressed that while JPUSA was a member congregation of the ECC, it was an “autonomous self-governing organization” that made its own rules. “We take these matters very seriously,” he told me. “And we’re concerned for all parties involved, but beyond that I can’t comment.”
Many who left are still trying to come to grips with their years at Friendly Towers. For the earliest members, the continued existence of JPUSA is a testament to good ideas gone bad. “It could have been a utopia,” John Prater [Jaime Prater's father] says. “It should’ve been an upside-down community, but it’s not. It’s a top-down community like any other business. And that’s not the gospel Jesus preached.”
In the end, one of the alleged victims told me, it came down to power and preservation. Even today, the leadership council sits at the top of a multimillion-dollar business empire, to say nothing of the real estate it owns with the ECC throughout Chicago. Several members told me JPUSA’s affiliation with the ECC has allowed it to buy property with what essentially amounts to ECC financing.
“It was like, ‘Look at this thing we built. Do we want this to have a tarnished name? Do we want to lose it?’” says Tamzen Trott, whose father remains at JPUSA. “And so instead you cover it up, and the more it happens, the deeper it gets.”

Friday, August 28, 2015

Say Farewell To Keith McCormick Today At Fat Cat

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Keith McCormick, who has headed Business Partners, the Chamber for Uptown for the past two years, is leaving the organization, effective today. If you'd like to bid him farewell, come to Fat Cat (4840 N Broadway) this afternoon between 4pm and 6pm.  Light refreshments will be available and Fat Cat will be providing some drink specials.

In his email announcing his departure, he says:  "I recently accepted the position of Executive Director of Autism Speaks and will be stepping down as the Executive Director of Business Partners, the Chamber for Uptown.

Leaving the Chamber is a very difficult choice for me. Over the past 2 years, we have made some amazing progress and changed the way people think about our neighborhood. The community is safer, cleaner and has more new businesses than ever. The board, staff, business, non-profit and community leaders I have had the privilege to work with have been amazing. I am confident that the future holds great things for this community. The Chamber is in good hands under the leadership of Lu DiPaolo and Greg Carroll, and it is time for me to accept a new challenge."

We thank Keith for his hard work and influence on  Uptown's future.  If you can, show up at Fat Cat and wish him good luck in person.

46th Ward Budgeting Ideas

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Ald. Cappleman's weekly newsletter covered the 46th Ward Budget Town Hall Meeting that took place on Wednesday:

"Thanks to all the people who gave their ideas to help the City of Chicago address its budget crisis. I want to especially thank Temple Shalom for so graciously offering their synagogue last Wednesday as a gathering place for residents to share their ideas.

Many of you emailed your ideas to us and it was interesting to note that many of those ideas were repeated at our public meeting. Some of these ideas might not save a large amount of money, but together, they can all make a real dent with helping us create a budget that's more fiscally responsible.

Here were just a few of the ideas that have been presented:
  • Create incentives for City employees to come up with ideas to save money.
  • Have licenses for bicycles to increase revenue and have a license plate that will make it easier to ticket the bicycle.
  • Establish a Chicago casino.
  • Create movable solar panels to power street lights.
  • Legalize marijuana and tax it.
  • Enforce current laws (dogs off leash, no snow shoveling, littering) which will generate more revenue.
  • Increase the fees for street festivals
  • Use crowdsharing to pay for large projects that benefit the public.
  • Have citizen-led efficiency and watchdog groups.
  • Reduce the number of aldermen by half.
  • Reduce the number of Streets & San staff on garbage trucks.
  • Utilize means testing for senior discounts.
  • Use TIF funds to reduce the budget deficit
  • Bring down the costs of hiring police officers by relying on them mainly to address crime and have other staff with responsibilities of only ticketing.
We will be putting all of these ideas together and I'll be presenting them to the Mayor's Office. If you have more ideas, please keep sending them our way via email at info@james46.org. Thanks again!"

Essanay Silent Movie Sherlock Holmes Returns To Chicago In October

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The 1916 Sherlock Holmes silent movie that was filmed at Essanay Studios right here on Argyle Street and was presumed lost for decades will make its Chicago re-debut at the Chicago International Film Festival in October. It will be a homecoming of sorts, after "one of the holy grails of film" was discovered in a French movie studio vault and restored.  No date or admission prices have been set yet, but you can see a sneak peek of the film festival here.

If you can't make it to the CIFF, you can buy it on BluRay beginning October 20th.

Positive Loitering Tonight, 7pm-8pm

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From Uptown Chicago Commission:

"Please join your neighbors tonight for an hour of Positive Loitering from 7-8 PM.  Our location this evening will be in front of 4613 N Broadway (across the street from the Broadway entrance of the Wilson Red Line stop). Stop by for a few minutes or stay for the full hour. Bring a friend, bring a new neighbor, stop by on a dog walk, just come out!

As always, the 19th District Police are aware of our presence and encourage participation.  See you tonight!"

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Got A Vision For the Sunnyside Mall? Share It!

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Join the Sunnyside Mall Committee on Saturday, August 29th from 10am-12pm in the Sunnyside Mall at Malden to brainstorm about your vision for Sunnyside Mall.  The outcome is to create a master plan to implement over time. Here's the Facebook page with more info.  (For those who may not know, the Sunnyside Mall is located on Sunnyside between Magnolia and Beacon.)

"Show Me Your Electric Bill!"

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A couple of readers have told us that the "switch your electricity provider" teams are back in Uptown, going door to door, getting into multi-unit buildings, and asking to see your ComEd bill so they can tell you how much cheaper your rates will be with whatever company they represent.

While this isn't illegal -- it's annoying. It's like telemarketers showing up in person. (I had three different teams knock on my door the other day, all within a half hour of one another.) A few people have claimed in online forums that when they've shown their bill, the person memorizes their account number and switches their energy provider to another company without their knowledge. So if you do feel like showing your electric bill to a stranger, be sure to block out your account number first, just to be on the safe side.

Remember that your building is private property and you can ask them to leave the premises, particularly if your building has a policy of no soliciting.  But also remember that these are people just trying to make a living, and if they're not rude or aggressive, a polite "no" should be sufficient if you're not interested.

The only good news is that these things are cyclical, and soon they'll move on to some other neighborhood.

Crops Are In At Weiss Hospital Farmer's Market

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If you like farm-fresh produce, picked the day before and driven to Chicago from Michigan, you'll love this time of year at the Weiss Farmer's Market. This is just a sampling of what was available last Thursday.  We were there at 11am, and several items were already sold out (who knew there were so many different kinds of tomatoes?)  While the market also features fresh tamales from Pilsen, homemade jams from Michigan, delicious chocolates, colorful vintage jewelry at very reasonable prices, and organic health and beauty aids, the longest lines were at the produce booth.

The market is held in the parking lot at Clarendon and Wilson, and runs 7am to 1pm.  For other posts about what's available, see here and here.

Last Night of Argyle Market Dedicated to John Vietnam Nguyen

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Hard to believe that Argyle Night Market is over for the year, but tonight is the last one until next summer.

It'll be something special, as it's dedicated to hip-hop artist and activist John Vietnam Nguyen, nearly three years to the day after his untimely passing.

The market will open at 5pm 4:45pm with the dancing dragons of the Chinese Mutual Aid Association, and continue until 9pm.  The musical performers will pay tribute to John.  For more about his life and his legacy, visit The JVN Project.

The market takes place at Argyle and Sheridan.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Two Concerts At Wrigley Field This Week

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Wrigley Field is hosting two concerts this week, Billy Joel on Thursday, August 27, and the Foo Fighters on Saturday, August 29.  There will be some parking restrictions and other adjustments that will affect residents of Buena Park.  In an email today, Ald. Tunney outlines all the changes involved. The entire newsletter is here, and it's lengthy, with good information if you're attending either show. We're just going to highlight what may affect Uptown residents:

"Parking Restrictions 
  • Clark – East Side Only - Waveland to Irving Park
    8/27 & 8/29 2pm – Midnight 
  • Irving Park – Clark to Seminary (both sides)
    8/27 & 8/29 2pm – Midnight 
Limo and Taxi Information.  In an effort to minimize the impact of traffic in the community around Wrigley Field, the 44th Ward, the Chicago Police Department, OEMC and the Chicago Department of Transportation have established the following pickup/outbound regulations for Taxis, limousines, and car services for the concerts:
  • Limousines and car services must stage along Irving Park Road.  All pickups must occur on Irving Park Road between Clark and Seminary (East of Clark).
What to Expect as Concert Setup/Takedown Takes Place 
  • The lights at Wrigley Field will be on throughout the week as the Concert Setup/Takedown takes place. Lights will be on overnight on August 24th into August 25th. Lights will be on to at least 11pm on August 25th, August 26th, August 28th and August 30th. On the show days of August 27th and August 29th, the lights will be on OVERNIGHT.
  • Sound & Lighting Checks.  Sound and Lighting Checks are anticipated on Wednesday August 26th and Friday, August 28th and will be completed by 10pm.  Sound checks should also be anticipated on the day of each concert.
  • Concert Day Highlights.  The Cubs Hotline will be open One Hour before until Two Hours after the concerts (1-866-427-3869).  Residents are encouraged to contact either the Night Game Hotline or 911 to report problems and issues."
The full newsletter is here.

Do You Recognize This Injured Man? (Update: He Has Been Identified)

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Since this incident occurred in Edgewater, it's possible this gentleman is from Uptown. Please call 911 or the North Area Detectives if you recognize him (312-744-8266).

Chicago PD's Special Victims Unit sent out this information today: "On 08/09/2015, above unidentified found person was observed by witnesses having trouble walking while in the vicinity of 1223 W. Granville Ave. 

Subject was seen stumbling and then falling striking his head on the pavement. Subject is now unconscious with serious injuries at St. Francis Hospital in Evanston, Illinois. 

Subject was wearing grey sweat pants, shirt and grey gym shoes. Subject has no identification.

Authorities now seek to identify this person in order to contact any available next of kin. Anyone recognizing this person or having any additional information related to this investigation please contact Area North Detective Division at 312-744-8266."

He is described as a white male, 50-60 years old, grey/brown hair, blue eyes, 5'10", 170 lbs., and having no identifying marks or tattoos.

UPDATE:  The CPD sent out an announcement at 11:40pm on August 25 saying that the gentleman has been identified.  They gave no further information. We're glad he's no longer a "John Doe" and that his family is now aware of what his situation is.

That's Gonna Leave A Mark

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Thank you to reader Lowell Thompson, who documented the aftermath of an accident this afternoon at National Car Wash (Ainslie and Broadway). Luckily, no one appears to have been injured, although there are damages to the car wash's north fence, and to the black SUV, which ended up lying on its side until a tow truck righted it. Glad everyone was able to walk away unharmed.

Lawrence House Scaffolding Comes Down - Dare We Hope Permanently?

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Lawrence House wasn't close to equaling the Sheridan Plaza's five-year run as "Our Lady of Perpetual Scaffolding," but since 2011, neighbors have seen the scaffolding go up, come down, get blown away, be ordered replaced by judicial order -- lather, rinse, repeat. At first it was to ordered up due to a crumbling and neglected exterior, then it went up again as the building started to be rehabbed.

We hope we never see it again. Because (drum roll), as of the weekend, the sidewalks are open and the scaffolding has been removed. It's been a good long while since pedestrians have been able to walk on the north side of Lawrence.

With Lawrence House scheduled to be open again to tenants in about a year, we hope the structural problems and Housing Court days are permanently in the rear view mirror.

Monday, August 24, 2015

TCF Bank Robbed At Uptown Jewel On Saturday

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Last week was a bad week for banks at Montrose and Broadway, and August has been a bad month for TCF branches located in lakefront area Jewels.

Sure, you probably know about the tattooed dude who robbed the PNC Bank last week, but now there's a lady who likes sunglasses, big hats, and wigs who hit the TCF branch in the Jewel kittycorner to PNC at 3:07 on Saturday afternoon.

At least this lady must have read Bank Robbery For Dummies, since she's making an attempt to disguise herself. She is described as African-American, 30-40 years old, and 5'3" to 5'5" in height.

She's had a busy August, also robbing the TCF branches in the Jewel stores at Broadway/Addison in Lakeview on August 5th, and at Broadway/Berwyn in Edgewater on August 14th.

These are getting to be a well-traveled robbery route as of late, with the Shady Lady, the Benchwarmer Bandit, and Gentleman Bandit Kevin Ross all making the rounds of those exact branches in 2013 and 2014. (No cute nickname has been assigned to this lady yet, but if she gets more prolific, we're betting she'll be tagged as the "Floppy Hat Bandit.")*

The FBI is involved, as it is with all bank robberies, and is offering a reward.  If you have any information that can help lead to her arrest, call the feds at (312) 421-6700.

*Update:  The FBI has given her a nickname and our guess was wrong.  She's the "Uptown Beach Bandit."

Cathay Bank Takes Over Former New Saigon Space

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Since January, when long-time tenant New Saigon Restaurant closed its doors, people have been wondering what will take its place in the storefront at 5000 North Broadway.

Well, now we know.  Reader MH sent in this photo and says, "Identity revealed ... a really nice Cathay Bank sign has been put up at the former site of New Saigon.  Cathay actually was/is right next door to Furama across the street, so it's a pretty close move.  But I think this is a nicer-looking site for them."

It's such a great classic space, with the vintage Chicago hex-tile floors, that we hope the rehab keeps some of the character.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Ald. Osterman's Argyle Outpost Offers Gentle Yoga, Safety Workshop On Tuesday

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From Ald. Osterman's latest newsletter:

"For the third year in a row, we have opened a Satellite 48th Ward Service Office on Argyle Street. Please join us for a series of informative events on Tuesdays at 1006 W. Argyle.
  • At 10:30 am this Tuesday, August 25, we will be offering another Gentle Yoga session with certified yoga instructor Toni Scott. 
  • Then at noon, we will hold a Women's Safety Workshop to discuss safety issues and learn some self-defense tactics from the Chicago Police Department. 
Our office hours at this location  are 10 am-3 pm Tuesdays, noon-8 pm Thursdays and 10 am-1 pm Fridays through August 27, with occasional office hours at other times as well.

Back To School Concert At Broncho Billy Next Friday

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Suspected Serial Rapist Arrested Friday (That's Why Sheridan Was Closed)

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So that incident on the 5000 block of Sheridan on Friday where the officer was injured and the suspect's car crashed into a tree? It was the last part of a takedown of a suspected rapist.

There've been three incidents of sexual assault in Lincoln Park and on the Gold Coast in August, including one last Thursday morning. Police released a surveillance photo of the suspect. Members of the public identified him to the police as Isidrio Valverde, age 40, of the 5100 block of Sheridan. He works as a mechanic in Lincoln Park.

Police decided to arrest Mr. Valverde Friday morning as he left for work. He attempted to evade them on the 5000 block of Sheridan, and in the process ran his car into a tree and tried to run down a police officer. That's the scene our reader observed and sent us the photo and description that we ran on Friday.


Mr. Valverde was arrested on the scene and was later charged with one felony count of aggravated criminal sexual assault and bodily harm; one felony count of resisting and obstructing a peace officer; one misdemeanor count of reckless diving; one misdemeanor count of driving on a revoked license; one misdemeanor count of driving an uninsured motor vehicle; and was written up for failing to exercise due care while a pedestrian is on the roadway. DNAinfo reports additionally that "Prosecutors said Saturday that Valverde had previously been convicted of public indecency (2007), having a fake ID (2003) and two DUIs (1997)."

The police statement says that the officer injured in the takedown was brought to an area hospital, where he was treated and released.

A good job by the public and the police in getting this suspect off the streets. He was in court on Saturday and bond was set at $500K by Judge Laura Sullivan. His next court appearance is Monday. While he is being charged with one sexual assault and the violence that occurred during his arrest, police and prosecutors are investigating whether there is enough evidence to link him with the other sexual assaults.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Imperial Towers Garage Sale - Tomorrow!

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Old Politicians Never Die (And Neither Do Their Campaign Signs)

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A member of Facebook's "Forgotten Chicago" page posted this photo and said, "Saw this remnant of a sign along Lawrence Ave., right behind the Uptown Theatre. I wonder which election it was for?"

And the answer?  Dan Walker, who successfully ran for governor of Illinois in 1972.

And yep, he ended up in jail for bank fraud, but after he was out of office, which by Illinois gubernatorial standards, makes him almost squeaky-clean.

Friday, August 21, 2015

School Supplies Still Needed

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In today's newsletter, Ald. Osterman says that the deadline has been extended for collecting backpacks with school supplies for elementary and high school students in the 48th Ward.  For details, see here.

The school supply drive sponsored by Friends of the 46th Ward Schools continues.

So many schools have been hit with budget cuts in Uptown that every pencil counts.  We have a lot of students who are homeless and many more whose families can't afford to send them to school with everything they need.  The alternatives are that they go without, or teachers buy what they can out of their salaries.

If you can help with supplies like notebooks, paper, highlighters and index cards, or with such basics as hand sanitizer and toilet paper, it would be greatly appreciated.  You can drop off supplies at the designated locations, make a monetary donation, or order via Amazon.

Thank you for your generosity.

Free Concert At Buena Park Circle A Success

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Last night Buena Park Neighbors sponsored its annual end-of-summer concert at Buena & Kenmore, featuring community favorite The Thomas Pace Band.  As these pictures show, the weather was perfect and a good time was had.

For more photos, click here to see Gene Tenner's Flickr page.

Thanks to BPN, the Chicago Cubs, the Chicago Park District, Uptown SSA #34 and Thorek Hospital for making this evening possible.

Confrontation On Sheridan, Officer Injured (Updated 2x)

1 comment:

We're not exactly sure what happened this morning on Sheridan.  As of 9:10am, Sheridan was still closed and the officers were still interviewing bystanders and witnesses.

A reader says, "Looks like an officer was injured in a confrontation at 5000 N Sheridan this morning, around 8am. Not entirely sure what happens; you can see blood near the tree that the car on the bottom right hit. Cops arrested the driver of the car (he's already been put in a vehicle). Officer was limping, Sheridan is currently closed.  Things have been getting a little crazy up here on Argyle!"

Both the individual driving the car and the officer were taken from the scene shortly after the photo was taken.

We don't have any further details on this, but will update if Ald. Osterman or CPD releases a statement.

In other news, last night shots were fired in front of 850 West Eastwood, possibly by kids on bikes. No one was injured, but witnesses say that the police tell them that the target was someone standing in front of the building at that location. Seems like the gangs are playing their games again, games with no logic behind them except to rack up a body count. Be sure to call 911 if you have any information or if you see anything suspicious.

Update:  ABC7 is saying that a person of interest in the recent Lincoln Park sexual assaults was arrested in Uptown this morning during rush hour after a traffic accident.  No confirmation, but we're wondering if this might be the reason for the massive police response to this incident on Sheridan.

Update:  More on the story here.  The person arrested has been identified by witnesses as a suspected serial rapist, and the police were in the process of arresting him when he decided he didn't want to be arrested.  That's what led to the described scene.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Landmarked District Proposed For Area Around Broadway, Wilson, Lawrence

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On its website, Uptown United has this information, particularly important if you are a property owner in the designated area.  "This will be the first meeting in a lengthy public process to explore a Chicago Landmark District for this part of Uptown.":

"Uptown Landmark District Informational Meeting
 Wednesday, August 26 at 1:00pm
 The Institute of Cultural Affairs
 (City Room, Fifth Floor), 4750 N. Sheridan Road, Chicago

Staff from the City of Chicago's Department of Planning and Development will present a proposal to designate a portion of Uptown as a Chicago Landmark District. The designation has not yet been initiated by the Commission on Chicago Landmarks.

As a property owner in the proposed district, you are invited to learn more about the proposal and ask any questions you might have prior to initiation. Once the proposed district is applied for, an additional public review process will take place.

This meeting is co-hosted by Uptown United Development Partners and 46th Ward Alderman James Cappleman's office. If you have any questions, you can contact Uptown United at (773) 878-1064 or info@uptownunited.org or the 46th Ward at (773) 878-4646 or info@james46.org.

Download pdf containing the following:
  • Proposed Draft Map and Catalog of Property Owners
  • Economic Incentives for the Repair and Rehabilitation of Historic Buildings
  • Q&A for Owners of Proposed Landmark Districts"