Monday, October 19, 2009

Trib: "Uptown Neighbors Stand Up Against Gangs -- Literally"

We're Front Page News!

'Positive loitering' at Leland Avenue and Sheridan Road

By Erika Slife, Tribune reporter, October 20, 2009

It's Friday night and despite the cold rain, a crowd forms at Leland Avenue and Sheridan Road. Just hours before, a brawl had broken out on the corner among a large group of young men, drawing police and emergency vehicles. It's at least the second time in two months that warring thugs occupied the corner, and the people of Uptown are sick of it. They're sick of the gangs and the drug dealers and the prostitutes.

So the Friday night crowd unites for "positive loitering." Continue reading here.

Photo courtesy of Chris Sweda, Chicago Tribune

Update: Garrard McClendon did a column in support of positive loitering and said it would be discussed on his CLTV show this evening. However, his parents were identified as murder victims between the time he posted the story and the time his show was to air this evening. Not sure if there was any discussion, but the story link is here.


  1. as well as having the powers-that-be on their side

    Notice who's name was not mentioned, even once.

  2. Is anyone else disappointed with the tone of the story?

    Its all "rah-rah look what these courageous UPstarts are doing to help their neighborhood! Working together...we can do it!!"

    I support positive loitering but I was disappointed that the story didn't attempt to "uncover" why this was happening.

    Just today, the Sun-Times carried a story about how Daley and Alderman Shiller (via her vote on the 2009 budget) attempted to save $10 million last year by only hiring 200 new police officers. Well, they ended up only hiring 46. The same plan is going to be attempted for 2010. The Sun-Times reports "Daley was noncommittal when asked whether Chicago could afford to hire any police officers -- beyond the 80 whose salaries will be paid by federal stimulus funds -- and still honor his promise to hold the line on all taxes, fines and fees."

    The Sun-Times also reports
    As of Oct. 9, the Chicago Police Department was 591 officers short of its authorized strength of 13,500 -- and that's not counting hundreds of other officers on duty- and non-duty disability.

    The district commander's words in the piece were nice but what we really need out here is proactive policing by trained professionals. It would be far safer for all involved if the police were staffed at historic levels (at least) and average citizens didn't have to positive loiter but could just go about their business, especially after nightfall. This too would have a crime deterring effect (under the "eyes on the street" theory). In addition, more foot commerce during the day and an increase in commerce during the evenings might mean more jobs or extra shifts to be had within Uptown.

    I hope no one takes my comments as negative towards the community. That is definitely not my intention. I do, however, feel the need to point out the hypocrisy that lies beyond this "feel good" story.

  3. People, stop believing this nonsense that the Chicago Police Department is short 500-600 Officers. That's what they want you to believe. It is actually short about 2,500. And when you factor in Officers on their days off, vacation, medical roll,those hiding out in useless places like the CAPS office, the number of Officers that actually are on the street and available are much smaller than they want you to believe. Remember, when beat car 2011 goes in on an arrest, beat car 2012 has to cover both his beat and beat 2011. Now what happens when they both are down on arrests? Now beat 2013 has all three. Is that the proper way to police?

  4. Notice also that James' name was not mentioned, nor even the general involvement of a aldermanic challenger. Richard's connection to James wasn't called out nor that the UCC is driving the event.

    In other words, they specifically kept the politics out of the situation and the initiative.

    Focusing on the event and the people is a great way to raise awareness of the situation and possibly recruit more supporters.

    Follow-ups about the larger political situation can follow and it should be completely fair game in the election, but this is great start.

  5. Sometimes I wonder if the Trib does Uptown articles just for the page hits! :)

    Oh, those poor unsuspecting souls from Hinsdale who think they might participate in the conversation. They have no idea what they have just encountered.

    I love you guys,(even you-know-who). However, I wish that person would just put their money where their mouth is, move to Uptown and put up or shut up.


    c'mon. we can do it.

  6. Maybe we should do this.

  7. Boy did anybody read the comments on the Trib article?

  8. If anyone wants a glimpse of what UU would look like without moderated comments, check out the comments on the Trib site on this story.

  9. There is one very vocal person on the Trib comments... FGMagain or something like that...unreal. I love people who shoot down the efforts of those who are doing what they can within the law to improve their neighborhood, and armchair quarterbacks who don't even live in Uptown and aren't affected by it, spew their admonishments.

    Huh...kind of sounds like an Alderman I know. Interesting.

  10. It's kwazy over at da Trib website.

    Thank the Almighty for comment moderation.

    Of course by me posting this, someone, whose initials I will not mention, will now obsessively post about me.

    Me, I'll just have a glass of beer while he has a frontal lobotomy.

  11. I only read a few comments and had to stop. It's disgusting some of the things people are saying - thanks for keeping comment moderation on, UU!

    I thought about responding, but there really is no reason - many of those comments are totally irrational and responding will only incite more irrational comments. I choose not to be a part of that vicious circle.

    However, I will continue to attend CAPS meetings and positive loitering events to try to make positive change in my neighborhood.

  12. All I can say is Positive Loitering must be a good things after reading all the stupid comments on the Trib.

    Looks like a lot of people are scared if Uptown gets cleaned up and crime goes down.

    To me the scared people are the ones involved in the prostitution and drug violence.

    They can't handle the residents not putting up with it anymore.

    And I bet there are some neighbors to the south and north that want Uptown cleaned up too.

  13. Maybe Im dense, or havent lived in Uptown long enough (just over a year) but who's this FMGM person? Twice in a week he's polluted an Uptown article, first the Chicagoist one, then this one. They seem well known by some of you, (yo/IP) someone care to explain? I figure the couraj/copwatch folks that post here would probably have the cojones to use the same name on the trib.

  14. Let's not and say we did.

    He/she gets an attention boner and I don't feel like being Viagra.

  15. Is it just me or have all the Trib comments disappeared?

  16. It's not just you Bradley.
    Funny how that happens. :)

  17. To the poster who wondered if the Trib writes stories based on projected page hits... the answer is, sort of. They absolutely take note of which stories and subjects get a lot of traction and are forwarded, etc. They are often suprised by high interest in local matters and have found that Uptown stories get strong traffic.
    At least that's what my sources tell me.

  18. I flagged all of that guys comments. Im sure the Trib felt it easier to remove all comments and not just that idiots. I wish they were that diligent in reporting as they are in comment moderation though.

    Keep up the good work on the positive loitering. I had friends from other wards drop me a line asking about it today. The word is out.

  19. Please drop the reporter, Erika Slife, a line and let her know you appreciate her focusing on Uptown. Lots more stories here!

  20. As some of you know, I tried to just engage him in an open positive dialogue on the Chicagoist, but he couldn't even come up with a response. All he could do was attack...

    Sad that someone takes positive events and can only denigrate the activities and participants.

  21. The comments are back.

    Just when you thought it was safe to goback to the Trib website.

    As for "initial boy" he is posting and carrying on as various identities in those comments. Both for and against.

    He is a super troll and quite proud of it. Kinda pathetic really. More than "kinda". How one person has the energy to post dozens or even hundreds of times on one topic is beyond me. He must be taking little blue pills called Trollagra.

    Now if you will excuse me it is a warmish day. The lakefront beckons me like a Sheridan Road hooker. "Hey, honey you looking for a date?" Although in fairness the type of riding I do on the lakefront is different than the ride a hooker might offer me.

  22. Is it just me or are all of the comments back?

  23. And why are we getting his rocks off by talking about him and not the content of the article?

  24. TSN,

    has a good point.

    The story itself is interesting.

    What's more interesting is that the media is finally starting to pay more attention to the problems in Uptown.

    Mayoral minions are paying attention to the fact that the media is paying attention. Did that get your attention?

    "Deep Sausage" emailed me this morning. He has been in a funk since the Olympic decision came out. All those purchase options he and various family members and cronies had on land near proposed Olympics sites will now not be "executed". The cries from the 11th and 19th Wards can be heard throughout the land. Mournful wailing........the horror....the horror.........

    I of course have no direct knowledge of any such options or any potential organized crime involvement in such. I don't want to end up with a horse's head in my bed. I'm a horse's ass so dat's horse enough for my bed.

    His sausageness claims Hizzoner is in full reelection mode and is worried about how the parking meter sale, CTA and tax increases will impact his reelection campaign.

    I tend to agree. What hell is Daley going to do if he isn't Mayor? Teach elocution at the University of Chicago? Anyway he is too much of a control freak to leave office voluntarily.

    Shiller is not high on the personal Mayoral radar, but some of his "operatives" are worried about her losing the ward race. Worse yet, possibly negatively impacting his reelection chances.

    Deep Sausage claims that there are rumblings that a self made Chicago near billionaire is talking to political consultants about running against Daley. Think Bloomberg in NYC without quite as much money. Of course at least one consultant ran off to tell a Mayoral minion or I wouldn't know this. Which tells me that the rich dude is likely to find it difficult to find experienced Chicago consultants to work with him.

    If that happens Daley could be in a real election for the first time since 1989 and they clearly don't want to run the risk.

    If it looks like a real mayoral fight expect Shiller to be jettisoned by "da mare". At that point all they will focus on is getting Daley reelected and anyone or thing that negatively impacts that goal will be tossed aside like a used condom in an Uptown alley.

    My previous posts on the "minion" known as "deep sausage".

  25. "a self made Chicago near billionaire is talking to political consultants about running against Daley. "

    Sam Zell????!!!?!??

    IP, if "Sausage" is right, I'm not sure that's a step in the right direction. But Zell could potentially destroy the machine in one fell swoop, especially if he finances his own campaign.

    I used to work for Zell. Entertaining guy, but ruthless. He totally botched up the Tribune, though.


  26. It's not Zell.

    Individual keeps a low profile and isn't as rich as Zell. Calling him a near billionaire may not have been correct. A hundreds of millions "aire" might be more accurate. I just looked at his Federal campaign contributions and he's not going to get elected in Chicago. Whether he finds a consultant willing to tell him that is another thing. A consultant might want to milk him like the consultants did to Oberweis when he ran for every state office around.

    Personally, I figure after the first 100 million or so the rest is just there for show. I mean how much alcohol and hookers can one man spend money on?

    The name hardly registered with me when I saw it. I found a Youtube video with the guy and he makes Daley look telegenic. He reminds me of the Monty Python sketch about the "chartered accountant" who goes to a career counselor because he is unhappy. Turns out the perfect career for him was chartered accountancy.

    I seriously doubt Daley will have any serious opposition. I doubt the rich candidate will run. Probably just trying to impress his mistresses. Isn't that what "family values" guys try to do?

    I can't see any other politician defeating Daley outside a scandal of biblical proportions. Barack Obama could defeat him, but he seems kinda settled into the Presidency. One day perhaps President Obama will shoot for higher office.

    In the meantime prepare for more good news from Daley. Newsflash: he is proposing cutting Venetian Night funding.

    Dumbass. Next he will try to not salt the roads like he did early last winter.

  27. Sam Zell would not be interested in being Mayor.

    Notice he said near billionaire.

    But I hear rumblings from people in the the know that there are several qualified candidates looking at running against Daley in the next election.

    Also Daley has ticked off other prominent family's with billions in Chicago that aren't as high profile as the Zell, Pat Ryan and the Pritzker's.

    No matter what it will be an interesting election for sure.

    And who the heck knows maybe Daley isn't the teflon Mayor and will still get caught by the Feds.

  28. The reason why so many people are running for Cook County Board President right now is because they see Stroger as vulnerable.

    The same goes with Daley. He's more vulnerable than he's ever been in the last 20 years. We can fully expect that there will be some great challengers this time around.

    I always thought Daley would die in office. I'm not so sure now. Expect a challenger who is well known and anti-corruption to run. I expect several.

    Daley knows he's in trouble so I don't expect him to be hugging the ever unpopular Helen right now given her poor record on public safety and working with the community. This latest Trib article is biting her right now and she knows it. So does Daley.

  29. I've spent a few days walking around the area of Wilson,Broadway etc.It is depressing to actually look north on Broadway and see cosmetic changes though no overhaul of the corner. The L stop is scary and so are the empty storefronts along it. I like the bookstore,what would encourage more businesses to invest along there?Had I known of the event Friday night I would have come.This Friday I have an engagement.

  30. I just read the Trib's comment section on the article,this FGFMagain is quite the smart-ass.Unfortunately this is what passes as intelligent discourse today.One up one liners.My uncle the judge died a year ago today,I need to celebrate.IP I'm sure you can figure out who he was.Keep me informed on PL,I'm getting settled.

  31. WKW,

    Maloney was your uncle? I thought my family member were embarrassing.

    He was a true piece of work.

    I'm not sure who you mean by "PL", but stay tuned for the election of 2011.

    It promises to be fun to watch.

  32. Mayor Daley has had his chance with Uptown and he has chosen to

    F us over





    There will be no pity party coming from this ward if he has a tough election.

  33. IP,PL is Positive Loitering.I do not think I could despise a man quite like Old Uncle Tom the legal criminal.Guess he made it through Lompoc by not ratting out his "Family Secrets" friends.He couldn't tie my father's shoes.So I'm in theGravedancer's Union tonight.

  34. Sassy,Funny story.I was on Washington St. 20 yrs. ago had just covered my Daley button when Jesse Jackson,Eugene Sawyer and a camera crew strolled by.I said "hi,Jesse" he said "support the mayor",and I wouldn't support Sawyer because he wouldn't divulge certain money sources.I figured Daley learned at his Daddy's knee,now it's time to go Richard.

  35. Hey all,

    You are all talking about gangbangers being scary and a threat. They are nothing compared to Copwatch people. I just had my first experience with them tonight. They are psycho and uneducated. I'll keep the bangers, get rid of cop watch. There is a plaintiff's attorney out there who supports them......

    Meeting them was by far the scariest experience I ever had in Uptown.

    And my name is Jason Roberts!!!

  36. Sorry, but I just can't over this 'FGHM' or 'FcKup' person, (I forget the name), that has posted so many looney and juvenile comments on the Trib site.
    It's like one of those viral 'robot' calls selling insurance or something, we all get.
    He/She does wonderfully underscore the fine art of debate, versus the fine art of the dumb myopic rant.
    Thank you!

  37. The Magain guy has to be a plant,very quick with a snappy cocky comeback,evidence of many lonely juvenile nights with Alfred E.Neuman as his only companion.

  38. what was the experience w/ the ever-so-useful copwatch?

  39. "Shiller is not high on the personal Mayoral radar..."

    I dunno, I don't think Daley has gradations of affection for aldermen, he doesn't think that hard about aldermen, it's more like "trouble-maker" or "heavy-lifter", an "in" and an "out" list

    Shiller is IN, the transformation is complete, she voted for the Olympics blank check, the parking meter lease, and recent budgets

    "If it looks like a real mayoral fight expect Shiller to be jettisoned by "da mare" ..."

    I don't see Daley jettisoning Shiller under any circumstances, I think they have a deal. Prognosticating now, look for Daley to appear for Shiller in the ward, and if it gets close, look for Daley to bundle money to Shiller's campaign, perhaps thru another alderman like he did in 2007, funnelling cash to Stone thru Tunney

  40. "Daley knows he's in trouble so I don't expect him to be hugging the ever unpopular Helen right now given her poor record..."

    performance, other than voting record in Council, has NOTHING to do with Daley's evaluation of an alderman

    Daley has supported some really, really bad aldermen, I mean really, really bad by Chicago alderman standards

  41. as an Irish-American male Daley is not by nature a big hugger, but he will stand sorta next-ta Shiller on a dais and if necessary down the stretch he can get tens of thousands of dollars to her in a few days

  42. Hugh,

    first, I agree Irish American males don't enjoy hugging. Unless it involves alcohol and staggering around. That's not really "hugging".

    It's more trying to maintain an upright position while attempting to walk outta da bar.

    Second, I expect Shiller to run and if she does Daley will be forced to support her. The question is the level of support. "Da machine" spent hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to get Matlack reelected and they don't want to be in that position again. That doesn't even count the hundreds of political troops that were sent into that ward for the two elections.

    By "jettison" I meant not wholeheartedly support in terms of money or "troops".

    If it looks like a close race Shiller can expect overwhelming Mayoral support. If it looks like she is a near sure loser the Mayor will "support" her, but not make any real effort.

    With all the problems out there regarding higher taxes, parking meters, scandals etc I'm not sure having Daley's open support will be a plus in the next election.

    I'm also not sure how having Shiller's support helps the Mayor in the next election. Sure he is a control freak and wants absolute control over the council, but the election is a different critter.

    Fish farms? Riots? TIF abuse and $400,000 plus per unit of housing at Wilson Yard. Shiller is vulnerable to any candidate who can get that message out.

    That's why people around Daley were hoping to find another candidate to replace her.

    Shiller generally won the lakefront highrise precincts about 55-45 last time. Wait till they see their tax bills and get campaign mailers about the use of tax money at Wilson Yard. The cost of those units is more than the cost of 90 percent or more of condos in this ward. Hell probably closer to 98 percent.

    Let's say you're living on Marine Drive in a one bedroom condo that is worth about 150 grand. How does the idea of spending 400 grand per unit for housing over at Wilson Yard strike you?

    Oh well. Time will tell.

    I need a hug.

  43. "I'm also not sure how having Shiller's support helps the Mayor in the next election."

    I agree, Daley's approval numbers are at an historic low but his numbers in the only poll that matters the Feb 2007 municipal he out-drew all but a very few aldermen, and Daley's fund-raising touch is honed to its peak

    Even if Shiller politely declines photo-ops with Hizzoner, Daley's cash is almost as good as troops, it's powerful walkin' around money for election day

    TO: Toia, Sam
    3660 N. Lake Shore Drive
    Chicago, IL 60613

    $8,000.00 2/24/2003

    From: Citizens for Shiller

    Reason: election day expenditure distributed to workers none recd. more than $150

  44. I think positive hanging out is a good thing for our community,but I'm thinking it could be a little dangerous depending on whats going on at the time.
    I venture U/U from time to time and most of what I see I like. With that being said,Uptown is for everyone.We are all of the same race.And that happens to be the human race. The multi-cultural diversity is just one of the aminities that makes Uptown beautiful.Aside from the struggles our community copes with on a day to day basis,Uptown has came a long way.
    I have been in the Uptown community for many years now and I have seen a lot of progression for the better. Years ago Alderman Shiller worked with a gentleman by the name of Slim Coleman.Togeather great changes were made.
    The racial undertones I see from some are unappealing.Crime does not discriminate just to one race.Law breakers come in all colors so we need to drop all the profiling and work togeather for one common cause,and that should be a safer place for all of us to live.