Sunday, May 18, 2008

Uptown Kids Forced To Play In The Dark, At Least At Aster Play Lot

A reader wrote in to tell us about a problem they have had at Aster Play Lot (4637 N. Kenmore) for over 4 years. A light has been burned out that long, as you can see in the pic on the left, and countless calls to 311 have yielded zilch. At a CAPS meeting 2 years ago, someone from the city even promised to get through the "barriers" and get this light fixed. No such luck.

Now we call on you, good readers of Uptown Update. Flood the alderman's office with calls asking why our children have to play in the dark, especially in this time of heightened criminal activity. Do 46th ward officials care about the safety of children playing in Aster Play Lot? Time will tell.


  1. our caps dealt with the same problem at broncho billy park. when the lights were finally fixed the timer was set so that the lights were on during the day and off in the evening and night. it took months of effort and pressure from the community to get the timer adjusted. believe it or not there was opposition from couraj members who did not want lights at broncho billy because it was somehow anti poor and classist or racist or something. meanwhile the drug dealing and violence there continued all summer. cooincidence?

  2. When I first moved here, the issue was getting keys for the locks on the front gates of CHA scattered site housing. The residents wanted them, because the gangbangers kept cutting through to the alleys to escape the police. Yet there was a HUGE delay - years! - while reps from the management company and alderman's office stood up at CAPS meetings and said inane things like, "We lost the original key" or "We don't know why the residents want keys."

    Such a pattern! How much effort does it take to GET A FREAKING LIGHT BULB CHANGED? And why is this such a big and continuing issue in this neighborhood?

    A cop once told me bad guys are like cockroaches: they sneak out and do their thing in the dark. Why is "shedding some light" on them so difficult?

  3. How many Alderbeast does it take to change a light bulb? Sorry could not help it.

    Always remember, Alderbeast Shiller stated that kids can play on the roof. Maybe she thinks there is more light closer to the moon.

  4. everything you call 311 get a tracking number and then you can follow up. it works!!!!!!!!!!!! do it for this problem!

  5. Hi Everyone-

    My name is Katie Fearon-Peon and I am the "very" new supervisor at Chase Park and I also will be over seeing Aster Park. I have visited the playlot....during the day. so i was unaware of the situation. I give you my word I will take care of it asap. I live in the area and have children so I feel your pain. i would like to invite you all to meet with me conserning Aster play lot. I will be at the Playlot tomorrow 5/23 at 7:30pm to address all concerns. You can also feel free to email me at Or leave me a message at chase 312-742-7518. I hope to see tomorrow!


  6. I was the one who sent the photo in. We have been given many false promises before, but I still refuse to give up.

    You can bet that I'll be there. Thanks!

  7. Thanks Katie for commenting and taking the time to meet us at the park at an hour that is obviously after your work day ends. I'm sure you'll find things over this way lots of fun!