Monday, August 31, 2009

Front Page Coverage...

...on the CBS2 website.
Several readers e-mailed to inform us that not only did CBS2 cover Friday's gang fight on the 5 PM news today, the coverage is also featured on the front page of the website.

You can read the story here and watch the video here.

Goal: 3,000+ Signatures In A Week

From the folks at Fix Wilson Yard and Uptown Neighborhood Council:

Citizens of the 46 Ward and Cook County keep pushing to be heard on controversial Wilson Yard TIF plan. They are poised for the next round when Ald. Shiller goes before the CDC next Tuesday asking for another $54 million of taxpayers' money.

A new Wilson Yard TIF petition is up and ready for signing. The petition has 2 goals:
  • Deny the $54 million TIF monies
  • Retire the Wilson Yard TIF in 2011
Our goal is to collect thousands of signatures and a strong show of support for the meeting on Tuesday, September 8. You can help make that happen now. Please sign the petition now. Please forward the petition to your neighbors and ask them to sign and forward it on.

We want a government that listens and responds to its citizens!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Wow, Alderman Shiller, Really?

We read, and many of us expressed opinions about, Helen Shiller's belated response to the violence plaguing Uptown, from murders to street brawls. The Lake Effect News has come out with a powerful editorial/open letter to the alderman entitled Shiller's Reponse: Too Little, Too Late.

Ald. Shiller: "In each of my five re-election campaigns, the strategy of my opposition has followed a now familiar pattern: ... polarizing the community at every opportunity."

Lake Effect News: "You’re also right when you say that the neighborhood is polarized. Why, Alderman Shiller, do you think your neighborhood is so much more polarized today, 22 years into your ward “leadership?” During the 2007 aldermanic campaign, your supporters went to Uptown’s affordable high rise buildings and passed out a letter that implied your opponent was a member of the Ku Klux Klan. The name of your own chief of staff, Denice Davis, appeared as a co-signer of that shameful letter. The same letter took random comments from web sites, scandalous comments made by ordinary people about your opponent. Those comments were presented in that letter as though they were made by your opponent or by people connected with his campaign."

Read the entire editorial here. It's frank, it's honest, it's the voice of many constituents who feel disenfranchised by Ald. Shiller's lack of recognition. Lake Effect News has printed a gutsy and heartfelt piece that made us proud and angry at the same time when we read it. Kudos to Lorraine Swanson for speaking up, loudly and forcefully, about the sad state of Uptown's "leadership," where ordinary citizens, state representatives and senators, and volunteer groups have to take the lead because the alderman can't find the time or make the effort to ensure that the people she's paid to represent can remain safe. "Stuff happens."

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Gang Fight Caught On Video At Sheridan & Lakeside

This video was taken yesterday afternoon just about a block north from Joe Gray's infamous video at Sheridan and Leland. Excellent response from the police, within 30 seconds we are told.

Update: This is probably the incident someone wrote in about here. Bike thrown in street - check. Lots of swearing - check. At least one person with bat in hand - check.


From the description on YouTube:
"Here we see what looks at first as an innocent donation to a community outreach. However, as this unfolds you'll see several CPD officers take away several suspects. They even take the car."

Friday, August 28, 2009

Positive Loitering : Be A Hero

Thanks to a reader for the photos of the positive loitering. Click for larger versions.

In case anyone still thinks positive loitering is simply a symbolic gesture, a few reminders that it's really vital for residents who want safety to be out and about:

- Uptown Men Charged For String of Robberies (Lake Effect News)

- From the comments: "My roommate and I were driving to the dog park at about 4:45 this afternoon when we witnessed the start of more fighting on the corner of Lawrence and Sheridan. A bike had been thrown into the street, at least one person had a bat in hand, and there was a lot of swearing going on. I immediately called 911 as we quickly turned the car around. Luckily I was able to wave down a police car on Leland. What is it going to take to get that area cleaned up?"

Put out the Bat-signal! Everday super-heroes are needed to walk the dog, weed the lawn, hang out in front of your house, and make your presence known on Uptown's streets. That's how we take them back - be there more than the thugs are, and call the cops when you see trouble.

Positive Loitering Tonight

Take a flashlight, take some friends, and take back your neighborhood. Maybe a riot isn't that big a deal to Ald. Shiller, but ... it is to those of us who live here and love our community. See ya tonight! (A reader spoke to the folks at Mickey D's, and parking in the lot is allowed.)

"Shiller's Miscalculated And Altogether Tardy Response"

Mike Doyle of Chicago Carless, a communications specialist, does a paragraph-by-paragraph analysis of Ald. Shiller's response to Uptown's crime... and finds it lacking. Interesting stuff, and a pretty good line-by-line indictment of why Shiller failed in her statement. An excerpt:

Walking away only demonstrates contempt for the folks who hired you in the first place. Waiting ten days to speak about the matter, then reiterating to your own constituents that you felt perfectly justified in walking away from them, just makes matter worse.
And welcome to our world...

I'm sure "ensure" is meant here, unless the Alderman intends to take insurance out on various city officials. Of course, the rest of the sentence is a grammatical train wreck anyway, so why quibble? Well, maybe one quibble--minutes? You mean 46th Ward aldermanic staff doesn't attend CAPS meetings in person?
Read all about it here. (The illustration above was posted by a reader to UU's Facebook page; it's a word cloud of her statement, with the size of each word corresponding to how often it was used.)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

If This Had Been Released Two Weeks Ago...

Alderman Shiller released a statement today regarding "recent events" on her website, a full two weeks after the fact, but better late than never. Read it here.

Update: CBS2 covered the story here. Video is here.

Reactions Still Coming In About The Sheridan Violence

- There was a repeat performance earlier this week, around Sheridan/Lakeside and Sheridan/Lawrence. According to neighbors, there was a huge and immediate police response to a very frightening situation. What is it that these idiot rioters don't understand about "The world is watching"?

- Uptown's brawls made CNN. Don Lemon's report on "Chicago's Deadly Streets" on Saturday, August 22, featured the taped violence. See it here (although the clip was much longer on the actual show.) It was shown again on Tuesday.

- The Lake Street Lookout blog, which has dealt with local violence issues of its own, ran an Open Letter to Our Uptown Neighbors, concluding with: "As that one resident types this Editorial, she would like to commend the residents of Uptown for standing up, joining together and fighting for their neighborhood. Your Lake & Halsted neighbors applaud you! Violence can only continue if unchallenged. KEEP UP THE GOOD FIGHT!"

- Chicagoist offered an faux apology (a la Daley):
"ALDERMAN HELEN SHILLER: I thought those rowdy young men were having a good time. I thought it was some sort of new crazy dance the kids do these days. I didn't know I've allowed my ward to degenerate into mob violence. Sorry about that!"

- Videographer (and non-aldermanic candidate) Joe Gray blogged: "What I learned from my adventure in citizen journalism"

Ald. Shiller's Response To The Violence

Crickets chirp. A tumbleweed rolls. A clock ticks in the silence.

Wanted: Ark Builder

"Lakeside" takes on added meaning. 
This is the same spot at Clarendon and Lakeside that becomes an icy tomb for cars in the winter, or maybe its the replacement for the non existent ice skating rink promised to Uptowners in Challenger Park.

Chava and Blue Ocean Opening Soon At Clark & Leland

A reader sends in the following pic and info:

"Thought you would be interested to know that the future business you featured a while back in the ground level retail space of Vis Vitae at Clark & Leland is moving along. I took a photo of the interior. I really like the flooring they put down.

Eddie Hwang and his business partner own "Chava." Eddie says he hopes to be open in a few weeks. There's also a new restaurant next door to that -- which will be named "Blue Ocean." It's a large space painted in blues and purples. It will feature Japanese cuisine with a nice lounge."


The reader who submitted this photo says: "Come on, Uptown! Now now that's cold! (taken at Kenmore and Montrose)"

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Uptowners Rally In Support Of Their Mail Carrier

North Uptown neighbors who had become accustomed to wonderful service by their mail carrier, Mark Reuben, took up the cause when Mark was laid off under dubious circumstances. While no one was privy to all the details -- no comment from the post office -- all were determined to rally for good service, a novelty at times in 60640.

While it's not an issue of violence, or aldermanic malaise, it's an issue of service and a demonstration of neighborly caring about -- literally -- the man on the street. The matter is going before the US Postmaster in DC.

We'll see... in the meantime, kudos for neighbors banding together and insisting upon the good mail service due to them and to all of Uptown.,CST-NWS-brown18.article

And The Ripple Effect Keeps Spreading

Nearly a year ago, UU reported on the "Ripple Effect" from the 46th Ward, causing the residents of the adjoining wards to go to their own aldermen to keep the 46th's problems from spilling over into their areas. Now another example, from a gay blog in Boston, of all places:

Gerald Farinas, a frequent poster on the Facebook page, is particularly troubled by the recent violence. In addition to the attacks in Lake View, he points to recent rioting and shootings in nearby Uptown as a sign of what he feels is to come should the current situation not improve. [...]

He also expressed frustration with the current leadership in the area - particularly Alderman Helen Shiller in the 46th Ward [Uptown and north Lake View,] whom he noted has not been present at any CAPS meeting. And she has avoided publicly discussing the crime trend. [...] "[Shiller’s] inaction and policies that breed poverty and crime in her ward is going to affect all of us in Lake View, too. And I think it already is."

Paging Neighborhood Watch, Part 2

A reader writes: "I was reading the blog this morning and read the "Paging Neighborhood Watch" posting and thought that I would send you another picture. My car was parked on W. Carmen Ave at Marine Drive (in front of 901 W. Carmen) on Friday night and someone broke out my back passenger window and entered the trunk through the back seat and stole both of the tail lights (the red plastic molded covers!). Obviously the current economic conditions are making people more desperate and we all need to watch for suspicious and illegal behavior."

Upcoming Events

  • The streets and parks belong to the people who use them. Keeping with the theme of "Come out and do something positive for Uptown," join your neighbors next Friday, August 28, for a movie in Clarendon Park, 4501 N Clarendon. This is a perfect opportunity to pack a picnic, play a game of Bocce Ball on our very own Bocce Ball Court and enjoy an incredible movie, FREEDOM WRITERS, based on a true story of young woman who takes on her first teaching assignment in a high school located in a California community much like Uptown. Movie starts at dusk, come early. (Hint: Perfect timing to walk over to Wilson/Sheridan for the positive loitering at 11pm afterwards.)

  • Lifesource and the CPD are holding a Blood Drive on Friday from 9am-3pm. Come to donate at the Community Policing office, 3608 N Halsted. Walk-ins are welcome.

Au Revoir, Majestic?

It looks like the end of the line for The Majestic Store at Broadway and Leland.

A reader notes that the Sheriff has posted a seven-day eviction notice from the CTA on its window.

Let's hope there's a happy ending - a rehab of this lovely old building - rather than just another empty storefront on Broadway. It deserves better, and looks particularly shabby next to its newly spiffed-up neighbor, the Uptown Broadway Building.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Biting The Hand That Pays Them:
What Our "Public Servants" Are Saying

We already knew about these...

And now thanks to CBS2, we know the newest catchphrase that Ald. Shiller's staff use for the taxpayers who make their jobs possible...

(UU explained a couple years ago what a "Bad Apple" really is. Click here.)

We have to wonder if the apples, grapes and nuts will end up having the last laugh.

Experience Uptown! September 10 - 13

It's time again to Experience Uptown! This annual event is hosted by WAMA (Wilson Area Merchants Association) and takes place for four days this year: September 10th through 13th. Nearly 40 local merchants are participating. Buy a wristband for $10, and get discounts during those four days at places like Fat Cat, Fresh Harvest Market, Crew, Body Fit Athletic Club and more, more, more. Click on the images above to see the entire list of merchants and where to get your wristbands.

Positive Loitering Event Friday, August 28

Bring your dogs, bring your significant other, bring your enthusiasm! Show up to demonstrate your belief that our streets belong to those of us who want a safe and healthy neighborhood. Please take a flashlight with you for the walk. (click on the poster for a larger size, and please distribute to your neighbors.)

Clarendon Park Block Party This Weekend

Court Advocates Meeting Tonight

The 23rd District Court Advocates monthly meeting is tonight (August 25, last Tuesday of the month) from 6-6:30 pm. If you're interested in becoming, or learning more about being, a court advocate, please plan to attend. It's in the Community Policing office, on Halsted just north of Addison.

Court cases they're currently follow include: the sentencing of an Uptown child sex predator; the jury trial of the person who allegedly injured the police officer during the brawl on August 12; the alleged murder by skinheads of a fisherman at Montrose Harbor; and the the trial of a person accused of brutally killing the daughter of a long-time crossing guard in the 23rd District.

Court is during the day: morning and afternoon cases. If you have a non-traditional work schedule or can spare a day or two a month, you might want to look into becoming a court advocate. For more information, call 312-744-0064 (23rd District Community Policing).

Another Uptown Restaurant Closed By Health Department

The Chicago Department of Public Health sent us this press release Monday:

North Side Restaurant Shut By City Health Department
Insect Infestation Will Not Be Tolerated

A North Side restaurant was shut down today when Chicago Department of Public Health (CPDH) inspectors discovered live cockroaches in the kitchen, small flies in a bag of corn meal, and a clogged three-compartment sink.

Palace Gate Africa, 4548 N. Magnolia, will remain closed until it has eliminated the infestation, fixed its sink and passed re-inspection. Today’s visit was a routine, unannounced inspection.

The enforcement action was the 142nd time in 2009 that Health Department inspectors have shut a food establishment for Health Code violations. Representatives of Palace Gate are scheduled to appear at an administrative hearing set for October 8 and pay a fine expected to total $1,500. CDPH inspectors ordered restaurant staff to discard the corn meal. The restaurant also was cited for failing to post “No Smoking” signs, as required by Chicago’s Clean Indoor Air Ordinance.

Chicagoans who believe that a restaurant or other food establishment is operating in an unsafe manner are encouraged to dial 311 and report it.

Monday, August 24, 2009

CBS2: "Uptown Uproar Over Crime Still Dogs Ald. Shiller"

Here's a link to the CBS2 story:
Uptown Uproar Over Crime Still Dogs Ald. Shiller

And to the video.

If you want to thank Kristyn Hartman for her Uptown reports, click here and scroll down to her name.

Update: Here's the UU story about when Stef McNeely went to Ald. Shiller's office last summer, as mentioned on the video: "This Isn't Your College Campus, Sweetie"

Update 2: Rob Davis was interviewed in the CBS piece. Here's a blog report on his closing of Unique So Chique. "Uptown Violence Claims Another Victim and This Time It's a Business"

Psst! Watch CBS 2 News at 6pm Tonight

We're hearing from some little birdies that there'll be more Uptown coverage this evening on the the local CBS news.
Stay tuned....!

A Wasteful, Disorganized, Expensive Mess ...

... and that's just the mailings.

The Wilson Yard TIF has been accused of being a bloated, poorly run, wildly expensive folly. If the sheer number of duplicate notices (sent certified mail, natch) about the upcoming TIF Amendment meeting are any indication of how the project is being run, we have to concur. Twelve notices so far at the UU household -- and more come through the mail slot every single day.

Oh, well, it's only money. 68% of our property tax bill, to be exact.

Since neither big sponsor (Ald. Shiller and Peter Holsten) of Wilson Yard lives in the TIF area, they continue to spend merrily away. Other people's money -- it's free. "Howsabout another mailing, Pete?" "Sure, Helen!"

Ald. Shiller's August Datebook

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Alley Collapse At Dover & Sunnyside

Several readers have written in now about an apparent collapse (sewer?) in the alley near Sunnyside and Dover.
"Big commotion at SW corner of Dover and Sunnyside. No less than 12 full size CFD vehicles, assorted CFD SUV's, quite a few CPD. Clark St. blocked off between Wilson and Montrose. Sunnyside blocked off as well. I asked someone what was going on. A plumber was doing some work. I'm guessing in the basement. Some type of cave in occurred. Wasn't able to stick around."
Please add any other info or updates in the comments.

Update: Chicago Breaking News Center has all the details here.
Update #2: A reader sends in a photo showing emergency crews on the scene of the collapse.
Update #3: The Lake Effect News covers the story in-depth here.

We Wonder If The Thief's Rights Were Being Violated While He Stole Their Stuff?

A reader found this on the web and sent it to us under the heading "From the Uptown 'You Just Can't Make This Stuff Up' File...":

Pancakes with a purpose: COPWATCH, an organization that works to prevent police brutality and educate the community on citizen rights, is holding a breakfast benefit to recover the costs of $750 worth of stolen equipment used to monitor the police that was being stored at the Catholic Worker House in Uptown. The benefit will feature banana pecan pancakes, tomato basil eggs, Metropolis coffee and the reward of being a good samaritan.
Brunch will be served 10:00 a.m-1:00 p.m. at the Catholic Worker House at 4652 N. Kenmore on Sunday, August 23 with a $5 suggested donation.

The Goonies Return to Chase Park Tonight

A reminder that "The Goonies" will be showing in Chase Park tonight at 8:30. Those crazy kids got rained out last time, but have returned for the evening. Free to all!

Ald. Shiller's Updated Website Reflects How Much She Cares

Not a single word about the recent violence.

Maybe when CNN, MSNBC, every local news station, both city dailies, the local online news, the police commander, and a great many of your constituents talk about the brawls and rioting in the 46th Ward ... it means the local alderman doesn't have to.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Paging Neighborhood Watch

A reader cautions: Just saw a Honda Fit parked near Kenmore and Buena with two back tires missing. The car is sitting on ONE milk crate. Please remind readers to call 9-1-1 if they see any suspicious activity around cars and it's not a bad idea to buy locking lug nuts. It's about $10 shipped on Amazon.

Help Bring Francis Oduro's Murderer To Justice

Sadly, it's been over a year since the murder of Francis Oduro, just across the street from Alderman Shiller's office. No official statement was ever made by Alderman Shiller. Chicago Police and Crime Stoppers are wanting your help in bringing Oduro's murderer to justice and are offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest. Read all about it at the Tribune.

Update: Read and watch "Crime Stoppers Seeks Killer of African Immigrant" via CBS 2

Update 2: See the video here.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Let Your Voice Be Heard

Dear Uptown Update-

I just got an email from Fix Wilson Yard asking for people to email their objection to the TIF amendment.

With all the bad publicity of late, if the city council gets enough emails asking them to vote the increase down, they just might - having seen what the community does when we feel our voices aren't heard. That, and Daley needs for Uptown to quiet down to get the Olympics, and is probably so upset with Shiller for the bad press, that he might be willing to slap her hand and have her make do with the $54 million she already has. Plus, the email goes back to Fix Wilson Yard, too. So, if they can show the media a stack of emails from the community, objecting to the increase, it may help them move forward.

Uptown Update has 700 Facebook friends and thousands of viewers. If everyone emails their objections, it could help to compensate for the fact that the meeting is inconveniently scheduled for September 8th. UU Readers, please take a minute to send an email; copy and paste the addresses and the text and sign your name. Pass it on to people who you think would be interested. Thanks to everyone!!

In the address field, copy and paste-,,,

In the text field, copy and paste (or write your own objection)-

To Whom it may Concern:
I am writing to express my opposition to the proposed Wilson Yard TIF Amendment. Increasing the Wilson Yard TIF to $112 million dollars will divert essential tax dollars from areas of the city budget that already are desperately under funded and put the area's financial future at risk. Allowing an additional $54 million dollars to fund this project will put an added strain on the financial health of the schools, the police and fire departments, the park district and other vital city services that are needed to ensure the safety and vibrancy of our city. Please do not allow additional funds to be appropriated to the Wilson Yard TIF.

Uptowners Hit The Airwaves

Two media appearances over the weekend for Uptowners talking about the recent events in our part of town:

- James Cappleman will appear on Outside the Loop radio, airing Friday night at 6pm on WLUW 88.7-FM Chicago, and podcasting afterward at (OTL has featured extensive Uptown coverage over the years; we look forward to another interesting show).

Update: The podcast is already up and can be accessed here (at the bottom of show #152, under the heading "Uptown: WTF?"). The mp3 file can be downloaded here, as well. James's segment comes up around the 19:10 mark. He talks about why residents are angry, points out (correctly) that it was the media who mobbed Ald. Shiller on Monday, and makes an announcement.

- Joe Gray, the videographer of the gang violence video, will appear on NBC5's "The Talk" on Sunday, at 7:30am. The show is a local program that looks back at the week's most-discussed topics. If you're not an early riser, well, that's why there's TiVo, TiFaux, and VCRs, right?

Pow-Wows And Painted Ladies

Some excitement of a different kind, all happening this Saturday:
  • All summer, we've watched the Foster Avenue bricolage grow and grow and grow. Now it's done, and it'll be dedicated this Saturday, August 22. From Ald. Smith's newsletter: The festivities will begin at 10:00 a.m. with the dedication of the new mural. Highlights will include traditional blessings from tribal elders, presentations from the mural's designers and remarks from Alderman Smith and Mayor Daley. The celebration will continue with a mini traditional pow-wow featuring a Native American flute player and Native American story teller. 'Indian Land Dancing' pays tribute to Native American culture and history in Chicago. According to consultants on the project, it is the only public art piece in the City designed by Native Americans. Read more about how this gorgeous mosaic came to be, in the Lake Effect News.
  • Fix Wilson Yard is holding a garden party fundraiser at one of Buena Park's 19th-century Victorian homes, from 4-8pm. Enjoy "Summer in the City" in a genteel, historical setting, all for a good cause. Click here for details.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

What Now? What Next?

As the photos here (taken by a reader) demonstrate, there were so many residents concerned about the safety situation in our community that they were literally spilling onto the streets for Beat 2312's CAPS meeting. What came out of that?

That it's a partnership. The cops can't do it alone. Neither can the community. As one resident said, "These are our streets. We have to use them. They're ours, and we've allowed them to be taken over. Time to take them back."

Some suggestions:

  • Continue to be active in CAPS. It's not a one-shot deal. Get to know the police AND your neighbors, and share your concerns. It works. Next CAPS meeting: Tonight, Beat 2024, at Margate Park Fieldhouse, 7pm. (We list all CAPS events on our calendar on the sidebar to the right.)
  • Positive Loitering! The police commander stayed two hours after the Beat 2312 meeting concluded, and a group positively loitered along Sheridan during that time. Another event is planned for August 28th at 11pm, Wilson and Sheridan. We'll post details as we get them, but please plan to be there. Better us out there with other concerned neighbors than thugs swinging golf clubs and bricks.
  • A police officer was injured last Wednesday in the fracas. A strong showing of community support when his case goes to trial would be very effective. Details will be announced here when the charges are finalized and the court date is set.
  • Stay vigilant. Be aware of what's going on, and tell everyone you can! Remember, this entire attention-getting week was started when an Uptown resident got fed up, took a video of what had been going on right outside his front door, and posted it online.
  • Be willing to sign police reports and go to court. A woman told the story of being harassed by an aggressive panhandler at Clifton & Wilson. She felt unsafe and called 911. When the police got there, she signed a complaint against the woman who had threatened her, and went to court (if she hadn't, the case would have been thrown out). The harasser served two days in jail. While that may not seem like much, if everyone did that when confronted by aggressive and abusive folks on our streets, we think that particular behavior would lessen considerably.
  • The Uptowners in the 20th District, just north of the 23rd, already do positive loitering along Sheridan Road. A suggestion was made that the 23rd District coordinate the same dates for positive loitering, so Sheridan is one continuous row of residents taking back their streets.

For more about the CAPS meeting, and what happened, and what will happen, check out the coverage in the Lake Effect News:

Keeping Up the Momentum... and

...Putting On the Heat

How Aldermen Respond To Residents' Safety Concerns

Regarding the crime issues in the Winthrop/Winona area:

"We're looking to have the meeting for Winthrop residents and owners next Wednesday the 19th at 5:00 p.m. here at the ward office. We will have representatives from Woodland (CHA), Stuart Miller (developer/owner of 5054 N Winthrop), and CAPS. If this is the meeting time, can we get representatives from the block/block club to attend? Please pass this on to anyone else on the block.

Thank you, Dana Fritz, 48th Ward Aldermanic Aide, Public Safety"

Regarding the Lakeview attacks:

"My office has received a number of calls from concerned constituents about the two most recent attacks that took place early this morning. We have had ongoing safety issues in the Belmont-Sheffield Area for years and have been working closely with the police to mitigate the problems and build solutions. It is my belief that we have the resources to handle the issues of loitering, prostitution, drug dealing and more recently robberies, however sufficient resources are not on the street during the midnight shift when these crimes are being committed.

[...] My office will continue to work with police, CAPS and residents. We are setting up additional Safety Seminars and CAPS meetings to address these issues and we have been on several late-night walks with police and residents - as recently as last Friday’s midnight walk. Information is also regularly updated on our website at and through our e-news blasts to the community.

I am committed to doing all I can to address these issues and am confident that working together with the community, businesses, police and CAPS we can improve safety in this area.

Sincerely, Alderman Tom Tunney, 44th Ward"

"LVCC [Lakeview Citizens Council] is sponsoring a personal safety forum with the Chicago Police Department, Alderman Tunney and Alderman Waguespack. Come to this forum to get tips on how to protect yourself and not be a victim of crime. Tuesday August 25, 2009, St. Luke's Auditorium, 1500 W. Belmont, 7-9 p.m."

Compare and Contrast with the response in the 46th Ward:

"That you play it over and over again and make a big thing about it as though there isn't a [police] response, or somehow that is representative of every evil there is, stuff happens. We have a very big city with a lot of activity going on,... and none of us exists on an island. We've had a very good response by the police, and I think we will continue to do so. It's just a small group of people trying to get me out of office." Ald. Helen Shiller, 46th Ward. (Chicago Tribune)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wilson Yard Amendment Public Hearing - September 8th at 1 PM

A reader forwarded a copy of a public notice sent via certified mail to the homes of those taxpayers that live within the Wilson Yard TIF district.

A public hearing will be held on Tuesday, September 8, 2009 at 1 PM at City Council Chambers at City Hall, 121 N Lasalle St, Second Floor, regarding approval for the amendment to the Wilson Yard Project.

The notice is posted including the map of the TIF district here:


Update: Just a reminder that Fix Wilson Yard is hosting a BBQ-Party fundraiser
on Saturday, August 22 from 4 pm - 8 pm at the beautiful home of Turk and Judy Glazebrook in historic Buena Park.

Join friends and neighbors for a relaxing evening of great food, drink, and lively conversation as you dine alfresco in the lovely garden of this 19th Century Painted Lady. This very special event has something for everyone so bring the kids, your significant other, a date, or just bring yourself, and enjoy a delightful summer evening under the stars.
Date: Saturday, August 22, 2009
Time: 4:00pm - 8:00pm
Location: Home of Turk & Judy Glazebrook
Address: 4325 N Kenmore Ave (between Buena and Montrose)
* $50 per person
* Children under 12 FREE when accompanied by an adult.

Share Your Aldermanic Encounters

We're looking to hear from residents who've contacted the Alderman about crime & safety issues in the past to gather and share what response, or lack thereof, you received. We all remember this infamous account.

Have you contacted the Alderman's office about a crime or safety concern in your neighborhood?
What response have you had from the Alderman and her staff after contacting them? Please post your comments and send an email to to share your contact information.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Just A Little Press At The CAPS Beat 2312 Meeting

Not your usual CAPS meeting. Press vans outside. Cameras and microphones inside. So many attendees that the meeting room was filled to capacity 15 minutes before the scheduled start time, so it was taken outside, to the very street where the "gang riot video" was shot six days earlier. We saw the reports at 10pm on Channels 2 and 5, and will post the links as soon as they're available. If you see any coverage, please post in the comments.

ABC Chicago: Uptown Residents Meet to Address Crime

NBC Chicago: "Uptown Violence 'Not the Everyday Standard'"

CNN Looking For Input On "Chicago's Deadly Streets"

From the CNN website:

What's behind the gangs, shootings and murders in Chicago? As violence continues to spiral out of control, we want to hear your stories.

Have you been a victim of crime in Chicago? Do you have a solution?

Share your stories, pictures and video and they could be featured on a CNN Special Report. Don Lemon takes us to the heart of the problem -- "Chicago's Deadly Streets" on Saturday, August 22, at 10pm.

UU Note: Uptown's gang riot video has already been posted there...

CBS 2: Uptown Residents Want Answers From Ald. Shiller

Kristyn Hartman, CBS 2 reporting:

CHICAGO (CBS) - Many residents in Chicago's Uptown neighborhood have been asking "Do you know where the alderman is?" Ald. Helen Shiller (46th) has not been seen in public since Monday night, when she faced off with angry residents who showed up at a meeting unannounced.

Those residents were fired up over a home video of a large street fight in the neighborhood and Shiller's perceived inaction on the incident. (Continue reading and watch the video here)