Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Lake Beacon

We suspect many residents can relate to flooded streets after any big rain or snow melt in our neighborhood. We spotted this lake at the corner of Wilson and Beacon today. 311 was notified, but it seems to be a problem on other streets as well. We have seen water covering the entire street from blocked drains.


  1. There is a sewer cover in the middle of the pool along the curb. If any enterprising neighbor has a stick or a rake handle, they can clear the leaves that are blocking the drain.

  2. Indeed.

    Exactly why I pay my taxes - so I can do the Streets and San work myself


  3. This is a job for the Alderbeast. Where or Where is our Alderbeast when there is work to be done?

    Seriously, I've been through this, and as the Queen of Sewers, I know how this works.

    There are two potential causes:
    1. Plugged catch basins that must be cleaned
    2. Vortex restrictors that need to be adjusted or removed. Vortex restrictors were added several years ago to intentionally keep water on the street for up to two hours to prevent overloading the sewer system and thus causing backflow into homeowner's basements. But, they haven't been working so great and some restrictors (like mine) haven't released the street water into the sewer for days.

    So, Water Mgt can adjust them or they will remove the Vortex restrictors, but they will only do so with the ALDERBEAST approval. (Where oh where has our Alderbeast been for the past several years as this problem has grown out of hand in Uptown? Good question.)

    So, to solve the flooded street problem.
    1. Determine if there really is a problem (i.e.if the water stands in the street > 2 hours.)
    2. If so, call 311 and file a service request.
    a. Be very specific in requesting that the Vortex restrictor and the catch basis both be checked or they will only clean the catch basin and consider the problem resolved.
    b. While on the call with 311, ask for the Service Request tracking number and write it down.
    c. Call 311 back in several weeks to ask for the outcome of Water Management's investigation to see what is being done about teh street flooding.
    c. If all else fails, contact Uptown Update, for more contacts and strategies(which I won't detail here).
    d. Remember, the City Budget was just approved and your chance to argue for your share of Department funds (outside the Alderbeast's control) via CIP Hearings comes in eight weeks.

  4. I'm with anonymous #3. Also if it is just leaves blocking it, raking them out of the way takes mere minutes.

  5. I have to agree with some of the other folks here. For things like this ... you just have to accept the fact that we live in an extremely urban environment. Unless there's a serious sewer blockage I think a problem like this can be addressed in mere minutes with a small rake or stick. We will always have puddles, trash, mediocre street cleaning, etc. and I think it falls on us as citizens of the neighborhood to take as much responsibility as can be reasonably expected for our immediate surroundings. Sometimes it means picking up some trash on the way to work, pulling a newspaper out of a drain, or maybe shoveling some extra snow every now and then.

  6. ... in addition, I think spreading that kind of civic attitude among community members can potentially be more effective than phone calls to alderman or 311.

  7. Right on Christopher J. And on street cleaning, I think the residents of a block can do a better job sweeping along the curbs than the big trucks do too.

  8. Maybe it should be called "Beacon Island". The drain near the corner of Lawrence and Beacon is almost always a disaster during/after big rain storms. Woe to they who happen to have parked their car near that drain.

    However, have to agree with some others -- sometimes a small bit of elbow grease to remove some leaves is all that is required.

  9. I think we should all start emptying the overflowing trashcans in the neighborhood too. What else can we do? Anyone?

  10. Identifying and solving these ward infrastructure issues are the job of a Ward Superintendant.

    We have a Ward Superintendant whose name is Don, the Flydumper, Nowatny. (Flydumper as in previously caught running Shiller's flydumping operation at Marine and Lakeside.) He is the Streets and Sanitation guy in charge of this ward, who is paid by Streets and San but allowed to be chosen by the Alderman of the Ward. Give him a call and make him work: Phone: (312) 744-5030 Pager #: (312) 746-3246

    Nowatney is a former Landscaper and (hold on to your seats folks or you may fall over laughing) the former leader of Friends of the Parks. Obviously, he forgot to take his previous job skills into this job.

    He can be seen cruising around the neighborhood in the new white taxpayer provided vehicle we lease for him each year. This year's model is mini pickup which says Streets and San on the side.

    He used to be easily found napping each morning in his taxpayer provided vehicle parked next to yatch club at Montrose Harbor. But, now that the police have been ordered to patrol there during the day, I don't know where he hangs out.

  11. Don Nowatney, despite the last poster, has been great. Whenever there is a problem in the area, I call Don. He has removed graffiti when I call. He helped to get rid of a dumpster full of water that was lingering on the street, etc... If you have a problem, please call him. He is a nice guy and is always looking for ways to improve the neighborhood.

  12. Don has mixed reviews. But, he like Helen, can't run from the ghosts of his past. He's done some bad things up here and has gotten caught.

  13. I've heard about Don's bad reviews but whenever I've called him he's gotten things done that calls to other city departments and 311 did not.

    Your mileage may vary but he's always been helpful in getting the StreetsandSan people out to pick up problems we've called him about.

    How close can he and Alderman Shiller be really? He was set to run for alderman against her last year, or so the rumors went.

  14. Don is the head of the Gay Rodeo Association and I am sure that Helen's political team was thinking of putting him in the race to split the gay vote against Capplemann. Then she would have relied on the Jewish and "if you don't vote for me you will lose your housing" voting blocks. That's how its done.

    How close are they. Read this again. The Alderman always choses his/her own Ward Superintendant even though he is on the Streets and San budget.

  15. Read today's Sun Times story about Daley's son's part ownership of Chicago's sewer inspection firm. We knew something was stinky about these sewers. Now you do too.


  16. Sewer Vortex System Failures results in Edgebrook Lawsuit:

    Read more at the Clout City webblog about Costello v. City of Chicago case and legal contacts.


  17. Don wanted to run the last time around but he heard too much criticism from others that he was too closely allied with Helen. He then went around telling all kinds of people that he and Helen had a falling out so as to give the impression that he is independent from her, but he isn't.

    He will only run if Helen decides not to run. Right now, his only involvement in the hood is related to his job. That doesn't count as involvement to me.

  18. Don gets 100% of his pay check because Shiller selected him for his city job and could fire him at any moment. Then, Don says he's Independent of Shiller?

    And people believed him? I guess we really do have a meth problem in this Ward because you'd have to have fried brain cells to believe his claims.

  19. Nowatny would just be functiona as a political shill in any Shiller race.