Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Grass Really Is Greener On The Other Side

Vacant lot at 4627 N. Beacon
A reader writes in:
"The empty lots on 4600 block of N. Malden as well as the former Queen Anne’s lot on the 4600 N. Beacon are causing issues in Sheridan Park again.  I’m sure you know that all of those lots are under the same ownership which has been battling with the Alderman’s office for quite some time due to the ownership’s poor maintenance of the properties, including uncut grass, garbage, and holes in the fencing.

About three weeks ago, a unique group of individuals (who look like they could be kissing cousins to the Ernest T. Bass character from the Andy Griffith Show) spent a good portion of a day on the Malden and Beacon lots doing something. At one point, one of them was sitting in the trunk of a car as he was being driven around, he was depositing something onto what was then a very lush field of grasses and weeds.

Today, those lots look like Kansas during the Dust Bowl.  While all of the surrounding properties are lush with green grass and plants, the Malden and Beacon lots are nearly completely dead.  It looks worse now than it ever did when it was overgrown, yet green, and filled with garbage. I’ve attached some images. There are two theories as to what happened.  The first is that the ownership didn’t want to spend the summer “landscaping,” so the vegetation was intentionally killed to avoid the added expense.
The property line in the parkway of the 4600 block of Malden
The second  theory is that the hired hands didn’t read the instructions on the weed killer and inadvertently killed almost every leaf of vegetation on the properties.

It probably doesn’t matter.  It looks terrible and the community and the Alderman’s office need to pressure the ownership to till the properties, level the fields and plant new grass seed until development plans are approved.  It’s not fair to any of us in the neighborhood that we have our own patch of “Detroit” in the neighborhood due to incompetent property management, and it needs to be addressed immediately."


  1. The cheap shot at Detroit was really not necessary. Residents of Uptown should understand how an area can get an undeserved blanket reputation.

  2. I watched them spray the pesticides on the lot and the public way for 3 straight days, what concerned me was the parkway where pets and children walk/play. I called the aldermen's office twice over those 3 days, I have yet to back from him or his office. These people used poison and never put any warning or notice to the public! I'm not surprised I've never heard from the alderman since last year his office never responded to my calls about kristy webber crews dumping liquid fertilizer down the sewer in front of our home.

  3. Still got the Phelan sign in your window, Killerminpin?

    1. Insults are the arguments employed by those who are in the wrong.

      Jean-Jacques Rousseau
      While opinions are like a**holes we have them I fail to see the benefit of acting like one when you disagree with another's. all individuals and therefor so are our experiences each is unique. My understanding was this is a forum for exchanging ideas and experiences not insults it seems that UU disagrees with me since the moderator chooses to post comments that are only insults and nothing more. While we have all been relieved of the previous aldermen's administration it appears she was successful In keeping us fighting amongst ourselves and not accomplishing anything.

  4. A shot is only cheap if its (1) mean and (2) unamusing. Given, in my opinion, that the latter condition was not satisfied, I'd say it was a pretty nice shot at Detroit. C'mon people, lighten up!

  5. Unrelated but on par with killerminpin...I really do like Cappleman and think he's doing a bang up job in general, especially over that of his predecessor. But his community communication to individuals seems to stink or at least be very selective. I've called, emailed even tweeted complements on occasion....and nada in response. Oh well!

    So long as he keeps moving the community forward, I have no 'real' complaints!

  6. I agree about Alderman Cappleman. I've found the office to be pretty responsive, but I don't expect Mariano's-type customer service either. That being said, they are running that office much more like it was intended to be run in stark contrast to his predecessor. There is also a LOT Of cleaning up after years of mismanagement, alleged corruption, and waste. Maybe someone else could do better, but I'll vote for him again based on what I've seen so far.

  7. Alexander: I'd respectfully disagree. I've e-mailed him and received responses from him directly. He also has "open house" walk-up hours where you can walk up and talk to him directly at various community locales if you're not getting the responses you desire.

  8. If these clowns were dumping pesticides they should be fined. The lot on Malden is 1/2 a city block.

    The city should fine them for each month the lots remain vacant, or better yet, seize the property and convert to community garden.

  9. killermpin: I looked over this thread. Exactly what comments do you think are insults? It all seems fairly tame and courteous to me.

  10. Mike Harris, you don't have to disagree - i'm just stating what my experience has been. But you are correct, if I had any concerns of a truly serious matter, I would utilize the walk-in hours.

    Having said that, I do share opinion with Uptown Revivalist - While I really am a citizen/grain of sand at the beach as the numbers go, and there is a lot to take care of in Uptown (let alone any cleaning up to do, not withstanding the ancillary residuals of corruption, etc - so it goes with the neighborhood/Chicago politics in general), Cappleman will get my vote again as he seems to be on the right track (at least hitting many issues I personally find important) and full of energy/relentless in his pursuit of those issues and dedication to the betterment of the neighborhood.

  11. I have to disagree regarding the responsiveness of the alderman's office. While I had high hopes for a new era, in my experiences regarding needed city services like Streets and San requests, Shiller's people were much more responsive. A phone call was all it would take; one should not have to chase down the alderman to "various community locales" to get anything done.

  12. If you see Christy Weber dumping materials into the sewer you should call 911 or at least 311 to report it, that is totally illegal. Also, these people could be ticketed for the damage they did to the parkway. That grass is city property. Call 311.

    1. I did call 311 and they directed me to the aldermen's office. I was surprised. I did call 311 again and had a report taken but no follow through on the aldermen's office. I had pictures of the act, license plates bla bla bla

  13. Also, is the Cristy Weber a recurring event? If so please post when and where. Thanks.

  14. Wow, this is a wide ranging thread.

    Killerminpin if you're going to make stupid and inane comments expect to be insulted. Stop whining about it.

    Pete Hake, seize the property? Please. Up zone the property in exchange for the owner agreeing to build something without split face block and something that is better looking than the typical new construction.

    As far as I know it's not illegal to use herbicides or pesticides in the city. If it is the inspectors need to clear the shelves of such stuff at Jewel and various other stores.

    I have some stuff in my basement. Better call the SWAT team for my bottles of vegetation killer and bug spray.

    Also we need another community garden around here like the country needs another goddamn war. Let's see I'll take a community garden and direct intervention in Syria, please.


    As for the responsiveness of Cappleman or his staff some of you are flat out L Y I N G.

    There's no such thing as perfection, but they generally are available and responsive. Now if you're going to call and complain constantly they may begin to believe that there are some other issues involved and perhaps ignore you a bit.

    Mein Gott, the man holds near weekly open office hours in various community locations. Get off your asses and walk over there. Ok, Dave? Dave? Dave? Are you awake? Can you move?

    Some of you complain just to complain. You're not shiny happy people like the rest of us are.

    Man, wake up. It's a beautiful day in Uptown. The sun is out. The police are out. During my morning walk I noticed surveyors in a couple of different is good.

  15. FYI- I have emailed the alderman office twice in the last month and always get a call back.

  16. wow ip, undies knotted too tight? I love how you presume that everyone who doesn't have your experience must be lying to defame the alderman. Come to the corner of Beacon and Wilson and see what the result of numerous emails and phone calls and office visits has done - sewer work left half finished and the street collapsing for almost a month now. If you have had better experiences great, I have not. My wife and I both volunteered for James' campaign and we had high hopes for improvement but in our experience it has not been so.

  17. Dave,

    I seldom wear underwear and when I do it's normally something unusual.

    I don't claim the Capplemaniac or his staff is perfect, but I also doubt the veracity of some of the comments regarding their responsiveness.

    Beacon and Wilson? You and your wife volunteered for his campaign?

    I'll leave it at that. I'm tempted to say "Silly Wabbit, Trix are for kids", but being that I need to psych myself up for walking past Wilson and Broadway to get myself some underwear at Target I will leave you with one cryptic word:

    A M A T E U R.

    You may recall me using that word in the past. Or not. As a plethora of my ex wives could attest I have been known to be wrong on occasion.


    Is "plethora" or "gaggle" a better word to use when referring to a grouping of ex-wives?



  18. Similar experience as you Dave, we know him and Richard from when they lived on our block, we donated to his campaign and think highly of them both. That said unless we get him personally we are out of luck, his office is run less effectively than dare I say her name. We've told him several times this and are greatly disappointed by the lack of response/follow through. If I called shillers office about an issue Denise, I believe that was her name, would always reply and fix/address concerns in 24 hours not months if at all as capplemans office seems to in our cases.

  19. Umm killerminpin you should take your own advice to heart before you expect others to do so. You seem to be quite trigger happy on here to insult the alderman even before you know any facts. I am referring to your recent post on tuesday after the shooting where you wrongly accused the Alderman of not being at The CAPS meeting which he and two staff members were in attendance. Then you made some moronic post about it being his doppelganger at the meeting when many people called you out for being just plain wrong.

  20. IP, not that I really care about your opinions but name a time and I will meet you at the alderman's office to confirm everything I have stated. Maybe even come out from behind your nom de guerre. It is nice to know that even alderman have their Jay Carneys and various sycophants. As far as amateur status, I would have to say that since the last election, most of your comments have lost any semblance of wit or pithiness. Kind of sad when you lose the object you hate so much - you really have nothing to live for.

  21. My comment: What did the alderman say? Oh that's right he wasn't there.
    What did he say? Nothing and I obviously missed him. As I said I was at the scene of the shooting giving details to the police prior to going to the meeting. Many people did say he wasn't there as well and someone even said it was because he was getting his hands dirty at the crime scene.... Also untrue. More did I say anyone's remarks were moronic as you have done? I'm truly sorry I have offended you and will try to preface my remarks better.

  22. Killerminpin,

    Please forward those pictures of CW and all of the info you have to UU, and they will forward it to me and I will have it checked out.

  23. We saw them out there doing the spraying. Hubby was NONE too pleased, because we have a lot of kids and pets that walk right by there... and we have no idea what it was they were putting on there. We've seen people various times over the last 3 or 4 months with clipboards and looking at the place.

    I just want to know what they sprayed. I think we have a right to know.

  24. I'm sorry Dave.

    This conversation can serve no purpose anymore, goodbye.

    Gawd, I do so love my vast knowledge of American folk culture.

    I should change my screen name to Hal 9000, but I have a brand to protect.

  25. Does anyone know if there are plans for this large open lot? Looking at places in the area and would be helpful to know whether it'd improve the area or not.