Friday, July 29, 2011

Positive Loitering This Evening

In addition to the announcement in the alderman's email today, there are positive loitering events in each of the three beats in the Ten Sector in the 23rd Police District:
  •  A group will meet and remain at the southeast corner of Wilson and Hazel, the site of one of this week's shootings, at 7pm (Beat 2313)
  • The group at Sheridan and Leland will meet at 7pm, as usual, and decide where to go from there (Beat 2312)
  • A third group will meet at Wilson and Magnolia, in front of the problematic strip mall, at 7pm (Beat 2311)
  • In addition, a group will start out at Wilson and Hazel and walk to Wilson and Malden, the site of the other shooting this week.
Please come, bring your dog if you like, meet your neighbors and your CAPS beat facilitators, and send the message that we want our neighborhoods and corners to be safe.


  1. That's a lot of different groups... is there one which is "traditionally" the default group (the Leland/Sheridan one)?

  2. It's about time there was more than one group so congratulations! Keep it up Uptown!

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  4. What happened in the past two weeks? It had been so nice on Lawrence recently and then tonight its back to the wild wild west. I will say -- the owners of S Pantry have been shooing the loitering away from their entrance. Kudos to them.

  5. I just got back from tonight's walk-a-bout. A good turnout at Hazel...caught up with the bunch at Magnolia in front of the Starbucks.

    I was very impressed with the turnout...we need a wider sidewalk next time...

    It is good to have seen a lot of the young men and women showed up with candles, some of them lost a friend. They were very peaceful, and wanted to participate.

    I hope we can do this again soon and under better circumstances.

    Next time can I bring the Smokey Joe?....someone else bring the Pop...we will be chillin' and grillin!

  6. Nice turnout at Wilson/Hazel, including Alderman Cappelman and a nice woman (the beat coordinator) who distributed chocolate chip cookies. (I didn't get any because, well, I'm dieting.) We loitered for around half an hour or so and then walked down to the Starbucks, where we joined forces with another group loitering positively.

    On the way, James talked some about plans for the Wilson Station... plans which sound really great (and include possibly restoring the clock above the Wilson/Broadway entrance as well as using the interior for for various vendors, including fresh vegetables as well as a restaurant).

    A somewhat strange moment occurred at Starbucks; while we were loitering (and I had to notice our group's racial makeup was mostly white) a group of young males -- some holding candles -- slowly approached us from half a block south on Magnolia. As they began passing through our ranks, some carrying the votive candles and a few carrying roses, one of us (an older black woman) stopped them. She handed them a flier about a Tuesday event similar to this one. The Alderman encouraged them to come, and they thank him.

    As we slowly disbanded, some of the other group remained. I started toward home, but as he passed stopped one young man. I had to know. "Are you mourning someone?" I said.

    He nodded.

    "Who, if you don't mind?"

    He told me a name. It didn't signify.

    "What happened?"

    He paused. "A year ago... he was shot."

    What sort of irony was this?! What sad script had we been written into here? Were these mourners members of a gang? Were they friends of someone who'd died at a gang's hands? Were they people who maybe just were monumentally unlucky enough to love someone who died via a stray bullet fired by a person no one knows -- not them, not the police, maybe only God? Was the bullet fired by someone who even knew where it was going? Maybe he laughed as he aimlessly fired the gun in the air, forgetting moments later -- forgetting even at the moment two blocks away the bullet struck home?

    And I looked at us, all with our own ideas, many of those ideas not perhaps in harmony. But we all wanted the mourners to be with us. We all -- I am stepping out in faith on this -- wanted there to be one Uptown. We all wanted the gun and the bullet to stop... just stop... making corpses of our future.

  7. Great story Jon.

    Sadly, it's going to take more than God and good wishes to stop this gang violence.
    I think we have to find out where these criminals flee to, and where. And maybe make sure the 'screening process' works?

  8. I suspect the candlelight vigil was in reference to this murder last year.

    Scroll down for the various posts.

  9. Check Uptown Update archives for July, 2010 to read about the murder of Aaron Carter on Magnolia one year ago.

  10. One Uptown, stop making courpses of our future. Thank you Mr. Trott & Mr. Littleton for making light and having a positive vision for uptown.

  11. 6 gun shots near the new Truman Parking garage around 2:15 AM, cops drove right by possible participants, did not detain them.
    One who is the head of the PStone Rangers on Clifton with his crew heading for santuary in their tax payer subsidized haven on clifton.
    It warms my heart to know that tif money upgraded their crib.

  12. @ Uptown Superhero

    Why do you continue to attack Jon Trott in so many of your posts? Regardless of whether or not you were on the same side of the fence politically in the past (read: during HS's reign), it seems that this is a new day, and you are on the same side now. This is a good thing, no? Why continue to promote divisiveness that we need to overcome in our community?

  13. Hi Tomato, that is a fair question, deserving of a fair answer..

    .. because I have lived in/out of Uptown for 25 years and known of Jon Trott/JPUSA for a long time. (FYI, google JPUSA and you would be surprised what you find...)

    Because I truly believe he is just changing to try to ingratiate himself and save the JPUSA's ass and their own crap traps in Uptown.. Because until the last 8 weeks, after ALL of his buddies got their ass handed to them in the elections, I believe Jon Trott was vehemently opposed to anything interceding in the gangs..

    Because, Tomato, if you truly want to know why...look deeper into this organization, research it online...I will always be at the door, barring wolves in sheep's clothing from getting in...

    .. and for the other JPUSA people reading this.. I refer you to Galatians 6:7 and will leave it at that...

  14. Thank you Tomato for your comment, I know many others who share that view as well...

    What to do for a NEW and better, a safer Uptown?

    The police can't do it, Positve Loitering can't do it. ditto for Alderman James, and his staff.

    I can't do it, Jon Trott and JPUSA or Ceasefire or the block clubs or the cameras..etc..etc...can't do it...

    Alone that is...we can't do it alone, there has to be dialogue. Good people throughout the community have got to work together even if it is for the first time, if that can happen Uptown WILL get safer.

    We don't need an UptownSuperHero or hyperlinks to past crimes to figure it out, we just need to work together...ALL of us together.

    Because Uptown is our home.

  15. Little Tomato,

    Thanks for your positive thoughts.

    It is true that JPUSA -- at least a lot of us -- didn't vote for James. In fact, James and I have talked about that. He knows our concerns. He knows the concerns of those who voted for him. And after talking with him (both last night and on at least two other occasions), I'm believing he's honest about wanting to represent all of us... fairly. He's excited about possibilities of a united Uptown. Me too.

    A few facts about JPUSA:
    1. We've always worked to impact gangs. For a brief (and very incomplete) reflection, see: Wilson Station.

    2. Our shelters, contrary to baseless rumor, have for years worked hand in hand with the police to screen clients. Why wouldn't we? A moment's reflection would help folks realize it is in *our* best interest, as well as the interest of our neighbors and the clients we serve, to make sure such screening is in place. It would be nice to put to rest the idea that we'd somehow not actively seek such help when the opposite is in fact the case.

    And if anyone here wants to know more about Cornerstone Shelters, we are your neighbors -- come over. Volunteer if you have a weekend free. You'll learn about us, our clients, and our vision to try to make Uptown a good place for families on the margins. The shelter's web site: CCO Life.

    Again, thank you. I really do like talking in person as well... if anyone wants to do so, let me know. I don't really respond to the super-negative posters, since they by nature are not interested in my response except as an excuse to use it to attack again. There's no up side to that sort of thing.

    A final note: I am *not* -- as has also occasionally been suggested here -- the leader (or even *a* leader) at JPUSA. I'm a long time member, for sure, and did write for and edit our magazine while it existed (for around 30 years).

    I'm a writer. I'm a human being. And I'm a citizen of Uptown. Blessings.

  16. @ John Trott-

    I voted for Mr. Cappleman because I believed from the start that his vision of Uptown is fair to everyone who lives here. For me, it's really simple: we needed a leader who would eork with the community to lessen the violence and bring in some business. I have NO sympathy for anyone, gang member or not, who inflicts harm on others, no matter how sad their life is. I love our community and all the different types of people in it. I don't know you or much about your past, but it sounds like you had a bit of a shift in your thinking of late. That takes some amount of humility and courage to admit, and for that much at least, I commend you.