Friday, November 7, 2008

Call To Action: Dearborn Wholesale On Montrose

We here at Uptown Update, along with countless residents who live near Montrose and Sheridan, are frustrated with the lack of action to get the REQUIRED fencing installed around the Dearborn Wholesale Grocer's parking lot at 918 W. Montrose. The lot has turned into the most popular hangout for drinking, urination and defecation in Uptown. A little birdie tipped us off with the name of the Zoning Supervisor who did have a small meeting with Dearborn in August, but as you can see from the pics, nothing has happened. We encourage our readers to give Zoning Supervisor Michael Tinerella a call at 312-744-5777 and ask him why there is still no fence around this lot, and why Dearborn has been able to skirt this city law for so long.


  1. I just called and left a message. Will let you know if I hear back..

  2. I have heard from a good source that Dearborn is installing a fence. They are currently reviewing bids.

  3. So where will these guys move when the fence is put up? It's going to be somewhere else not too far away, so better be prepared for that.

  4. I just got off the phone with Mr. Tinerella, who was very cryptic in his response.

    He told me he could not give me any information at all. I said, should I file a Freedom of Information Act request?, and he said yes.

    Not knowing the laws on such things, this may absolutely be accurate. Can any legal scholar on this site offer any guidance? Thanks

  5. File the FOIA (freedom of information act) request ASAP. Ask if you can fax it and if it will take long to respond. They may choose to drag out the response time, but if you develop a rapport with him, he may expedite production of the documents.

  6. I just called and left a message with his assistant. I think everyone that reads this should call.

  7. Just because they will go somewhere else is no excuse for not getting this mess addressed. That is an attitude "The Beast" loves.
    What about emailing Greg Harris and asking for his help?

  8. Yes I have to see the condition of this lot everytime I pass it. I have called the corp. office of Dearborn and its like they have no control over thier lot and they said a fence is coming in the near future... We all are tired of the drinking, urination and defacation that causes our uptown home area to become taken over by the homeless and gangs and no-one wants to help from alderman Sheller down to the Police who tell me they have the right to hang-out and its private property...I hope something is done......SOON

  9. Yes. Contact Greg Harris' office.

    Phone: 773.348.3434
    Fax: 773.348.3475

    Greg - at -
    Chief of Staff: Brian - at -
    Constituent Services: Kathy - at -

    The Harris team is 1000 times more responsive than the Schiller gang.

  10. Just because they will go somewhere else is no excuse for not getting this mess addressed.

    Ok, where did I say that this shouldn't be address? Anywhere? Try reading what I wrote: I said be PREPARED to deal with this again unless you get proactive. What I am suggesting is that putting up fence up here will cure THIS problem, but you'll just end up having another [problem one a block away, or two blocks... or can't you see that? So why not try to figure out where the next potential trouble spot like this one will be and start addressing that NOW rather that just coming here and starting this whole weekly photo update thing all over again?

  11. If anyone knows where this requirement is written, I can take a look at it. (And please don't tell me, 'Its in the Code.' or 'Its the law.'

  12. Keep pressuring Greg Harris to address this. In any other ward, the alderman would be taking a lead on this but Helen won't. He is the one who endorsed her so he needs to stand behind his endorsement and help the community out with something Helen won't do.

  13. This kind of off topic for this particular post but would you support my new ballot initative? It goes something like this:

    "Do you support manipulating the poor by use taxpayer money to enrich unethical alderman so they can enrich thier friends?"

    YES ___

    No ___

    I would like some comment on this. The wording of this is not perfect, but I hope you get the general idea.

    Please think about it before you respond, I am interested in knowing if you understand why this is a good idea. I hope you know what I am getting at, this is not a total joke.

    you can also email me at with comments. I don't want to go into a long, explaination here.

  14. Darn, I should have spell checked that post.

    This "is" kind of off topic...

    poor by "using"

    I have been thinking about the idea all day, and just wanted to get it out!

  15. Thanks for this.....I've contacted the Dearborn Wholesale Grocery site twice, months ago, and haven't heard a word back.

  16. This situation was a problem back when I lived at Montrose and Broadway in 2001. Seems to be an established pattern that will likely prove difficult to undo.

  17. I do love "pookie" in the Christmas hat!

    I never noticed the security guard there until the other day, I was surprised and excited...then he sat down on that chair and watched the show unfold and did nothing. I don't blame him, I am sure he has orders but why have him? Why park him outside if he is not going to protect the outside property?

    I have mixed emotions about this. On one hand I would like to see this cleaned up, but on the other it makes for great entertainment when working out.

  18. I know that it may be difficult for some of you and I know that I'll probably just get shouted down after this but: Imagine, just for a moment that you were in the place of one of those people there on the guard rail. What would you want people in the community to do about it? How would you feel if those same people from the community took pictures of you and posted them on a website and then complained about your presence.

    Or better yet, if the imagination thing is difficult for you, how would you feel if today I were to start a blogspot that gained as much patronage as Uptown Update has and started posting pictures of people in cubbie gear, polo's, or just of condo buildings and then treated them like scenery or worse yet litter to be removed and not people with souls and feelings.

    I'm not saying that what these people were doing was right, or better for the community at large (though I do believe that they have a right to sit in public; right to assembly and all but I recognize that that was probably private property) and I'm not really interested in arguing over whether what they were doing was right or wrong. What I am interested in doing is attempting to point out that a little compassion for these people (as they are still people) should be present.

  19. Nathanial please post the web address of your new blog. I'm sure you'll see a lot of compassion for passed out baseball fans sleeping in their own puke!

  20. N. Davis. You could help one person at a time by stopping by Dearborn and inviting one of them to come live with you. What do you think? Maybe you are just another do-gooder hypocrite?

  21. Nathaniel-
    Buenapk has a great idea. Once the fence goes up, I would suggest you and your "Catholic Worker" cohorts hook up a trailer to that beat-up, rusted out Cavalier you all drive around in and bring all of these folks to your compound. There you all can live in harmony. I think the whole "Catholic Worker" thing is ironic since none of you work and you sure the heck don't look Catholic.

  22. "You could help one person at a time by stopping by Dearborn and inviting one of them to come live with you."

    Great idea! I would settle for ol Nate to offer up his bathroom so Pookie can take care of business in comfort.

  23. Oh, and for the City Ticket folks who might be reading this. The beat-up COURAJ-mobile Cavalier that's usually parked near Kenmore and Leland does NOT have a city sticker. I know the city needs extra revenue, so this would be a great opportunity.

  24. Nathaniel, if you read the post closely, the point is not to dis those people on the guardrail, but to highlight that Dearborn is enabling their lifestyle. At best, Dearborn is being hypocritical by hiring a guard, yet allowing him to read a newspaper while the trespassing and drunkenness on its property continues. At worst, Dearborn is breaking the law by not having the required fencing.

    Would you agree that the very best thing for these people is to find help, and/or learn how to change their lives, and/or find permanent housing? If so, we're in the same camp. Congratulations, we've got common ground.

    As for your question, if you want to do a website of people wearing Polo shirts lying drunk in the streets of Uptown, and shitting behind dumpsters, or sleeping at bus stops, or stopping families and asking for money and loudly cursing at them for not giving a handout, you'll probably hear the same cries of outrage that you do when homeless folks do those same things.

    See, now, concentrate REALLY HARD as you read this. Maybe something will get into that DePaul-educated brain of yours: Most readers of this blog and most residents of Uptown do not despise homeless people. What we ddon't enjoy are their "leavings," or being harassed while we walk on our community's streets, or being aggressively panhandled. We are willing to do what we can to help them escape living and dying on the street, and that includes shining a spotlight on those organizations and individuals who enable them to continue their self-destruction.

    Now, boyfriend, when is that next COURAJ/Copwatch meeting? Let us list it on the sidebar so everyone can attend. You obviously feel that we can all learn from you, so let's list it so we can all be there and voice our opinions, just as you do here. Only fair, right? After all, you want justice for all, right?

  25. Nat -

    Dearborn is enabling these 'down and out' people to live on their lot 27/7. The citizens of Uptown should not have to deal with all the antics and embarrasing displays right out in the open. There are other places to go that are not smack in the middle of a very busy area of Uptown. Dearborn has and continues to be an eyesore in that stretch of town. It was a happy day when they rehabbed their building a few years ago,but they need to take responsibility and follow the city requirements for fencing. Many people feel threatened and unsafe walking that stretch of the neighborhood. It's time to speak up. This blog has already caused a lot of positive change in the neighborhood. I hope it continues to do so.

  26. I'm cool with helping people, but Nathanial, you're still allowing Dearborn to act above the law. We all have equal protection under the law. Why is Dearborn allowed to skate on their legal requirements when all of us have to live by them?

    This is a social injustice on my equal rights.

  27. "If anyone knows where this requirement is written, I can take a look at it."

    Falco, this has been linked several times. Not sure where it is in the code, and unfortunately it's not searchable, and it's long. But it's in there, I'm told.

    Guide to the Chicago Landscaping Ordinance / Regulations and Guidelines Relating to Title 10, Chapter 32 and Title 17, Chapter 194A of the Chicago Municipal Code

  28. Seems to me if anyone like Nathaniel was remotely interested in compassion, he or she wouldn't want to enable behavior that keeps people trapped in homelessness.

    The real issue for Nathaniel, COURAJ, Catholic Worker, and Helen is not about helping the homeless. If it was, they would want to help them get back on their feet. It's really about promoting their personal political agenda. That's the absurdity of it all.

  29. Nathaniel,

    You are an imbecile. Please invite these human roaches into your home for tea and cookies. Talk to them about smoking up their $900-per month of disability payments. Talk to them about urinating/defacating in a GROCERY store lot. Talk to them about leaving needles and debree in the alley. Please, I beg of you. Do you think Target or any other business is going to tolerate such disgusting, vile, and unhealthy behavior in the entrance way to their establishment?

    Making a comparison of people smoking crack cocaine and vomiting on a public sidewalk and people wearing polo shirts and Cubs gear shows just how misguided, foolish, and antagonostic you are.

  30. Like Out of Here I also have it on good authority that the folks at Dearborn are planning on installing a fence and that they are reviewing bids. Frankly I was surprised at the expense involved, is the lot that big? That said I think that more businesspeople in Uptown should be reading this blog in order to keep up with their neighborhood and of course, their market. I think that the Dearborn folks may have been a little surprised that a guy from Lincoln Park knew about an issue involving a nondescript building on Montrose.

  31. I'm going to take a crack at trying to honestly answer Nat's question.

    If you were one of those people in the lot: What would you want people in the community to do about it?

    I don't think I'd want anyone in the community to do anything for me. I think I would have the desire to help myself. I would find and contact a friend. I would find and contact a parent, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, or cousin. I'd ask if I could stay with them, someplace warm. I'd try to find a job. Something simple at first, enough to help cover some of my friends costs of housing me. I'd try to get back on my feet, and then I'd likely find a place to work where I could help people in the same situation to get back on their feet.

    That's me. That's what I want "done for me" if I were in that situation. You may do something else.

  32. confused said...
    I don't think I'd want anyone in the community to do anything for me. I think I would have the desire to help myself. I would find and contact a friend. I would find and contact a parent, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, or cousin. I'd ask if I could stay with them, someplace warm. I'd try to find a job. Something simple at first, enough to help cover some of my friends costs of housing me. I'd try to get back on my feet, and then I'd likely find a place to work where I could help people in the same situation to get back on their feet. That's me. That's what I want "done for me" if I were in that situation.

    Good answer for someone lucid and employable. Now, try answering the question as someone who's unemployable due to severe addiction, schizophrenia or other mental illness.

  33. Kenny, making the mentally ill more comfortable so that they can keep loitering, panhandling, pissing, crapping, drinking, and sleeping there hasn't worked, has it? That's been Helen's answer and too many of these social services. That's why they have alienated the community.

    I don't think anyone in this community is saying screw them. There comes a time when Uptown can say enough is enough. The vast majority of the heads of these social services in Uptown don't live here and the same is true with the vast majority of do gooders who want the mentally ill to camp out in our neighborhood. The vast majority of the mentally ill are not from here either. Please tell me why it must be the responsibility of the residents to literally put up with the crap that goes on in this neighborhood?

  34. Kenny / Nat, why don't we have your answer now?


    How about calling the Chicago Health Inspectors (311) on this establishment. After all, this is a GROCERY store. Allowing people to use the parking lot as a public toilet and dumpster is certainly a public health issue. I witnessed the woman recently pictured on this webside defacating in the parking lot vomit right at the entrance way. Of course, this means that every person that entered the store walked through the same spot.

  36. 'Kenny' (or is it Helen and company?) Drugged-out, or homeless, it is still not right to 'squat' on property, taking drugs, harassing passers-by, urinating, or worse....

    Nobody should condone this, but apparently you do?

  37. 'Good answer for someone lucid and employable. Now, try answering the question as someone who's unemployable due to severe addiction, schizophrenia or other mental illness.'

    Wow.. I feel so much safer on the street now. Aren't people with these problems usually in a secured facility?? Not standing on our street corners posing a threat to my safety??

  38. yikes, nathaniel makes one comment and the COURAJ (now Northside Action for Justice) and the catholic worker haters come out. after seeing so many comments on this blog written about me and the groups i associate with, i'm surprised that i've never once had anyone approach me with such anger and venom in person. if people feel so strongly, i wish they had the gall to take personal responsibility for what they say by either posting under their real name or saying some of these things to me in person.

  39. Ron, this victimization thing is getting old, just like COURAJ before it had to change its name. It's not working anymore. We're onto your game.

  40. Nathaniel didn't just make "one comment"; it was a condescending lecture.

    He apparently has yet to learn that if you want to change people's hearts and minds, you don't treat them with contempt. If you want something, insulting the people you want to get it from is counter-productive to achieving that goal.

    He was contemptuous and insulting to the readers of this blog -- on the subject of their (perceived) contemptuous and insulting behavior. You don't run into that kind of hypocrisy (or lack of self-awareness?) often.

  41. In the dictionary, under "passive aggressive", you might find photos of both JP Paulus and Ron Durham. They are made from the same mold.

    Stoke the fire, then complain it's too hot and you got nose hair singed.

  42. Well today it happened. The cops showed up this morning to bust up the Dearborn congregation....which is there EVERY single morning. The made them gather their shit and they all moved 3 doors down to the Jackson Hewitt tax place that seems to be abandoned (anyone know how we start harassing this business owner?)

    Not long afterthey moved down there and after the cops left..."Pookie" decided it was time to go into the next door apartment doorway and drop her pants to take a piss.

    These people do not want help. I watch the drug deals that occur every day. I also watch Pookie get hauled away in an ambulance every other week because she is all cracked out and barking at cars in the middle of the intersection, only to be back the next day. These people will just keep moving from building to building until something actually gets done to get rid of them.

  43. "These people will just keep moving from building to building until something actually gets done to get rid of them."

    Yeah the sentiment that I was commenting on was "perceived" and not in anyway real trumansquarenbr. I'm sure eye in th esky would agree.

  44. Nathaniel, glad you're back. I hope you brought Kenny with you. I'd still like to hear how you would answer your own question from this conversation. I gave you mine. Kenny didn't like the answer and asked me to re-answer if I were schizophrenic, but I've yet to hear how either of you would respond if you found yourself in these people's situation.

    I'd rather you answer that then spend time using a post from a potentially bogus user to justify your comment. A post from a user who just created an account, had zero profile views before I looked at it, and also has typo's in their alias. Obviously a person (maybe it's you?) who posted for the sole purpose of giving you some ammo for your earlier asinine comments. How stupid do you think we are? We see through these tactics.

  45. "Confused"

    I'm sorry I know this is kind of a copout but I honestly don't know exactly what I would want. I have never ben faced with the possibility of being homeless because I have so many alternatives, I was lucky enough to get into college, I have friends and family who would take me in, and I'm a lucid person not struggling with substance abuse. I was raised by good parents who, I like to think, instilled good values into me, some people didn't have the advantages that I have had and so I like to think that I'm using those advantages to help people who may not have had them.

    I do know though that if in the event, however unlikely it may be, that I was to become homeless I would want people to treat me civilly. I would want people to continue to think of me as a human being and not as litter or an eye sore. I would want people to want what was best for me not just to make me move on to the next place under the pretense of public safety. I would want some compassion worthy of any human, and that's all I was advocating for these people. If it were any of you sitting out there on that railing I would defend your humanity just as strongly.

    Because they are HUMAN BEINGS. Not half human or subhuman or any hyphenated, shortened, limited or extended version of human. They are people not human roaches or litter to be removed from the scenery. To quote a wise man "A persons a person no matter how small." And I would submit that a person is a person no matter how dirty, or how much money they make or how nice their house or car is or even if they own either. And as we are all people here we deserve one an other's respect and compassion in times of need.

  46. Nathaniel, I don't anyone disagrees with you. Everyone deserves respect and dignity. You have no argument there.

    As a resident, I should not have to put up with anyone crapping, pissing, drinking, prostituting, using drugs, or loitering in public. I also don't want my children to witness such behavior. Would you agree?

    I also don't believe Uptown residents are responsible to address the needs of all the mentally ill and homeless in the city due to our limited resources and what our neighborhood can bear. I don't think that's fair to the neighborhood children and the elderly who also live here. Would you agree there?

    If you agree with the above, perhaps we can find some common ground. We're all for helping others. We're not all for enabling inappropriate behavior, especially when it affects the quality of life for others in this neighborhood.

  47. Nathaniel, I agree with most of what you have to say. Yes the homeless are people too. But I also believe that to get respect, you have to earn respect.

    I have a lot of respect for the men and women I see who are selling streetwise and are trying to get off the streets. I have compassion for those people I see on the streets who ask for change, and say 'thank you' when it is given to them.

    It's hard to have respect for someone who demands your money "Gimme a dollah!" and when you say, "I'm sorry, not today, or I don't have anything on me." they get beligerent and call you the 'B' word.

    It's hard to have respect for someone who is wizzing on the tree in your front lawn, in broad daylight, without a care in the world, and doing it right in front of you, and not caring that you are seeing this.

    There is a saying, God helps those that help themselves... and there is a LOT of help out there for those who truly want it.

    The problem is, too many of them out there do not want to give up the drugs, the booze, whatever and do what it takes to make their lives better.

    How do you propose helping those that refuse to help themselves?

    Do you think its appropriate for a business that sells food to allow homeless to defecate, vomit, urinate and congregate, doing drugs, drinking booze, on their property where families are coming to buy groceries?

    Is that an appropriate image for children to watch? There are common decency laws. If a Cubs fan is caught whizzing in an apartment doorway, guess what? He is charged as a SEX offendor for exposing himself. I saw a man on the news who got drunk at a concert and peed on the people below him (he was in a balcony) he was charged with simple assault. So, why don't the laws apply to the homeless as well?

  48. chirp, chirp

    (long pause of silence)

    chirp, chirp

    (followed by more silence)

    Well, if anything, we know now know what arguments to use to silence Nathaniel and Ron.