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We - the organizers of this event - agree that parent groups are a key to success. This is why we have four parent groups on the panel. Most all CPS schools that function well - function well because of great parental involvement. This is what happens at schools like Nettlehorst and Waters and Hamilton. It is what helps schools to truly turnaround. There are, however, other issues at hand: social economic status and funding.
Successful school reform - it is an equation of parents/teachers/students/community.
For clarification: This public forum is a 'one time' affair - it is not a group per se.
The forum was organized to give people a place to learn about/talk about/think/consider issues. The persons who are speaking on the panel are 'groups.' The panel - itself - and the public forum is the product of my and other individuals' hard work to organize it to help people find a place to learn and consider the issues.

— On the neighborhood event Critically Thinking about Chicago Public Schools
4:17 p.m.

We don't know what she does for a living. If she is small business retail or restaurant manager...it is entirely possible that she is working those hours.
Bottom line - she has asked for help and is not looking for judgement.
She does bring up the topic of the absence of child care centers on weekends and nights. There are many persons who work weekends. We live in a 24/7 economy.

4:49 p.m.

apparently your phone calls bothered Mell!

I wrote him back and said that he and other public officals must work to keep the public faith...not just pass us onto a 'website'

have not heard back...hum....I wonder why

— On the neighbor message Call Ald. Mell TODAY!
5:19 p.m.

I second what Ray has to say. I live in the hood and for me it is fine (but I am not out at all hours of night nor do I have to worry about walking alone at night from parking a car on the street)....would I say it is as safe as other areas of the city - no. I have not had any problems. Common sense, however, prevails.

— On the neighbor message Montrose and Central Park
4:16 p.m.

I live right near here Central Park Ave...which is a block east). Monticello 4400 is a very nice block. Lots of families and a very active block (in a good way). Monticello 4300 seems pretty good too. I would follow Lauren's advice. It all depends how you feel and what your 'read'/comfort level is.

4:26 p.m.

could anyone please provide the link for reporting tags on-line? I have noticed several taggings in our neighborhood

— On the neighbor message More gang tagging
3:46 p.m.

http://luthernorthcollegeprep.org/ nearish...some of my neighbor's sent their kids there.
I am unsure if there is a Catholic option in the 'hood'

on the other had though...CPS just released its proposed schedule for the 2012-2013 school year.
taking away two holidays - I noticed that they picked the less 'controversial holidays'. In some ways I wish that if they had to pick holidays...they might have been able to do February.

taking away nearly all staff development days (when CPS is looking at wanting to put major changes in place). This is quite a bit of lack of planning and does NOT allow for planning. There really should be at least one staff day per quarter. In CPS land they have 'allowed for planning in the beginning of the school year - but there really should be sound 'check' points where they can work through it.

There will be drastic changes for parent teacher conferences. They are converting report card pick-up days to student attendance days. Students will now attend school on these days with school ending three hours earlier. I, personally, am wondering how a HS teacher will realistically meet with 180 sets of parents in 3 hours. Some schools this won't be an issue...however...for SEHS (especially in the core subjects like Math/History/English and AP classes) and magnet schools....this will be a nightmare to manage. I already thought that the wee bit of time I got schedule to speak with my daughter's Kindergarten teacher was too little. I hate to the think how it will be next year.

— On the neighbor message Public education
5:01 p.m.

Thanks for bringing to light that AUSL does other things (besides the schools). That is the right and fair thing to point out.

If you check out the occupychicagtrib article (about the two teachers at Orr)...you will notice that the teachers address the constant turnover of administration (which certainly can make implementation/follow through on discipline/schools rules exceedly difficult). Kids need consistency. The kids at Orr are not getting that. And the work environment there, seems at best, 'challenged'
Orr was a difficult school before the turnaround (and as you state, T, some HS are just really difficult to turn around). (especially considering the already difficult socio-economic problems).
Why is it that Chicago Academy is making strides? (is it the student population? parent commitment? something else?)

— On the neighbor message New Aspira School - What's the problem?
3:57 p.m.

I did not realize that there were private schools in AP (unless you are talking about the Gateway Montessori). Please do enlight.

Why are these private schools struggling? Are they parochial? Is it due to demographic changes in AP?

I do wonder..however...what limitations would be put on vouchers. It seems an odd thing for Brizard to support as it would draw a lot of money away from CPS (and CPS always seems to be struggling). Is the voucher thing really even a good idea if it takes money aware from strapped public schools?

I think this argument...and topics around it are VERY valid to AP. On my block most people don't send their kids to the APschools. Many people seem concerned about either the quality or security of AP schools. If they do public schools...they enter the lottery system and hope for the best (which is what we did).

As I am a newer resident of AP - I do wonder if AP neighborhood schools have always suffered this perception. Was there a time when they were viewed favorably?

I sense that we have a large population of families (at least in my immediate area) . So we certainly have school age kids around.

Are the LSC groups strong? Are the Parent Teacher organizations strong? I would be curious about the perspective of someone who sends their children to Roosevelt/Haughn/ and other schools.

— On the neighbor message Public education
3:25 p.m.

I should agree that we do need to put education back into public education. There has been far too much focus on testing and the like. Is this what you mean, Against the Grain?

— On the neighbor message Public education
12:09 p.m.

I am an average citizen and a concerned parent.

I don't believe that AUSL are standard CPS schools. It is my undertstanding that they are charter schools.

— On the neighbor message New Aspira School - What's the problem?
12:08 p.m.

It just gets weirder! Brizard wants to use public money for private and parochial schools. Why is he working in PUBLIC education?

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/education/ct-met-ctu-reax-0307-20120306,0,3590608.story

We need a publically elected BOE.

— On the neighbor message New Aspira School - What's the problem?
11:20 a.m.

also interesting on topic of charter schools are the conditions in some of the charter schools run by AUSL (which is the company being some fervently recommended by Rahm).

two teachers tell it like it is at Orr (now an AUSL school)

http://occupiedchicagotribune.org/2012/02/ausl-teachers-speak-out-its-gotten-so-bad/

Strange but true...some LSC groups are going to take CPS to court regarding the schools that they want to close and turn into AUSL schools
The lawsuit filed by LSC members at many of the closed and turned around schools, will be heard next Monday, March 12 at 2 pm.
This lawsuit argues that, under the Illinois School Code, CPS “may not take such actions until they have complied with Section 34-8.3(c) and put in place “school improvement plans” that “include specific steps” that the LSCs “must take to correct identified deficiencies.”

Here's an interesting twist: some people claim that Rahm is falling out of favor in the White House due to his various antics with CPS/BOE/school closings. Some believe that Nancy Pelosi cam to have a 'heart to heart' with Rahm. We know that Pelosi came to endorse Jesse Jackson Jr. at RainbowPUSH (which has affiliations with CTU regarding what Jesse Jackson Sr. claim that CPS practices educational apartheid. All...in all....Curious.

http://michaelklonsky.blogspot.com/2012/03/rahms-school-reforms-cause-problems-in.html

http://michaelklonsky.blogspot.com/2012/03/is-rahm-falling-from-white-house-grace.html

http://ednotesonline.blogspot.com/2012/03/chicago-puny-humans-strike-back-against.html

— On the neighbor message New Aspira School - What's the problem?
4:55 p.m.

CTU is working with nationally recognized persons and organizations which recognize that there are problems...mass problems of inequities in our school district and how the school district has treated them (every so more pronounced since the BOE was made a mayorially appointed organization).

http://www.wgntv.com/news/wgntv-rev-jackson-public-schools-are-the-solution-not-the-problem-20120225,0,5442410.story

I think the fact that CTU and CPS are becoming national topics
is BIG news...and hardly indicates that she is having problems with her message. Ed Schultz 'gets it' with what IS happening in Chicago.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/45755822/vp/46490091#46490091

It is the Mayor who is looting the public trust.

http://mayoraltutorial.com/articles/looting_the_public_trust_rahm_opens_the_education_market_wid

It is Rahm that wants to
A) limit public speech...look at his sneaky changes to public protest that were unveiled in the middle of the holiday season and then he nailed the coffin on MLK day.
B) he calls the protests of parents/students 'noise'...thus belittling their thoughts...CTU never did that...
C) he doesn't act like a man of the people...more like the 1%....
He claims to support the middleclass....hummmmm a strong middle class except for teachers. And librarians. And firefighters. And bus drivers. And police—well, until the G8/NATO summits leave town. The mayor willl be sort of nice to cops until then.

http://www.chicagoreader.com/Bleader/archives/2012/02/24/breaking-news-mayor-rahm-returns-to-the-democratic-party

— On the neighbor message New Aspira School - What's the problem?
7:32 p.m.

Of course the Mayor's office will deny it.

CTU is interested in the service of children. CTU recently released a very interesting proposal for the education of Chicago's children last week. There were many very creative and appropriate ideas that made quite a bit of sense and deserve recognitiion.These ideas make more sense that the rash 7.5 school day and then to top it off...the Track E school year (in a place like Chicago...where buildings are ill-equiped for summer) for all (both ideas need considerable study).

http://www.ctunet.com/blog/schools-chicagos-students-deserve-presents-comprehensive-plan-to-improve-student-academic-performance-and-strengthen-neighborhood-schools

I think the fact that senator Soto is sponsoring a bill to help but a moraturium on closing schools speaks volumes. This is an effort that CTU has been involved in grass root efforts to help communities and neighborhood schools. It is the BOE who turned a blind eye to parents and kids....not CTU.

http://www.substancenews.net/articles.php?page=3043

CTU and its grass-roots activism...which is working for the PARENTS and the STUDENTS...is noted. Karen Lewis and CORE are not the same old same old Union of yore. She and most CORE members were classroom teachers. They were in the trenches. They KNOW the problems of. students/communities

http://newpol.org/node/579

MOREOVER

— On the neighbor message New Aspira School - What's the problem?
7:32 p.m.

I am honestly curious about how the Mayor's Office will respond to this.
But...do look at this actions and how he treats people. Does this surprise anybody?

His comment had been reported to me by others...but until today..I had not heard the 'official reference' to the moment.
I do believe Karen Lewis. I don't think she has reason to invent this. The Mayor's bedside manner and treatment of Chicagoans states plenty in itself.

— On the neighbor message New Aspira School - What's the problem?
5:44 p.m.

And if the CPS starves schools (which they do)
How about Mayor who would seemingly willingly starve the schools of 25% of CPS students.
http://www.nbcchicago.com/blogs/ward-room/Rahm-Emanuel-Concerned-About-Three-Fourths-of-School-Children-140617923.html

— On the neighbor message New Aspira School - What's the problem?
5:23 p.m.

And...to expel a child is a very long laborious process.
now...as it appears some charter schools like Aspira deal with one end of the 'game'...(where it seems some of those students would be better suited for an alternative school)...and other charter schools have the luxury of culling students.
In either case...these charter school COMPANIES are making money and have lots of political connections.

— On the neighbor message New Aspira School - What's the problem?
6:46 a.m.

Le Ballet Petit has classes...they mostly do ballet...but they do lots of other types of dance. They are located on Francisco between Lawrence and Wilson

— On the neighbor message Girls Hip Hop Classes?
6:40 a.m.

Feb 22, 2012, at about 6:15 PM, the appointed Board of Education of the city of Chicago closed, phased out, and turned around all 17 schools on their chopping block without a dissenting vote and hardly a blink of an eye. Despite protests ranging from the sleepover on the sidewalk and mic-check takeover of the Board meeting in December, the 4-day sit-in at the mayor's office, the occupation of Piccolo school, the 500-plus person candlelight vigil to the mayor's house Monday night and the dozens of hearings, speakouts, and organizing meetings around the city where parents, students, teachers and community member poured out their hearts, developed plans, and were deeply involved in our children's education--this Board callously ignored the wisdom and love of Chicago's people. Even though we knew it was coming, we were deeply hurt and angered. They gave six schools to the very politically connected AUSL, rapidly on its way to building its empire in Chicago (now 25 schools) and soon to go national.

As Jitu Brown of KOCO told the press immediately after the so-called vote, "only in Black and Brown communities would this happen, not in Winnetka or Oak Park." This is a deeply racist city, where the 1% ignores the knowledge and experience of its residents about the education of their children, overwhelmingly of color in Chicago public schools (92%).

We need an elected and representative school board, elections with spending limits, and bottom-up, community-driven plans for real school transformation and community control of schools. And we need real popular political education, as to the nature of what we're up against. This is a business plan, hatched by the 1%, for the 1%--not an education plan.

Someone's pockets will be lined with these kinds of actions....look to the BOE and to the mayor...

— On the neighbor message New Aspira School - What's the problem?
6:56 a.m.

Kids thrive when parents/teachers/schools/communities work together. This is possible in SOME charter schools - but it is not a bandaid that functions in all situations and all communities. There are certainly examples of great things happening in regular CPS schools...and it is due to the same idea: parents/teachers/schools/communites working together....
It really does take a whole village to raise a child...
and as the late great Jane Jacobs (or Urban Planning fame)suggested - a lively and safe neighborhood depends on a variety of functions and 'eyes' that watch. People must be on the look out for each other. This carries over to schools - successful students (i.e.schools) are where people work together and where there are many sets of eyes.

A huge concern is that the BOE is not listening to active and involved parents/students in schools where there is currently good change happening (and the turnabout is being forced - thus disrupting those everyone's lives).

http://www.substancenews.net/articles.php?page=3073&section=Article

Too many people are being silenced and bulldozed/bullied into the venture philantropist's dream: charter schools (which are noted as being one of the 'hottest' investments out there).
It is more than a minor 'problem'/coincidence that David Vitale Vitale, who is currently Chicago Public Schools' board president, has been the chairman of AUSL's board and CPS Chief Administrative Officer Tim Cawley ran finances of AUSL charter schools. Rahm praises the AUSL schools and wants to open more of them. Whose pockets are going to be lined? (we would be blind not to see the connections and we are naive to believe that Rham wouldn't profit).

http://schoolingintheownershipsociety.blogspot.com/2012/02/ausls-clout-heavy-turnaround-schools.html

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-02-06/news/ct-met-cps-turnaround-20120206_1_turnaround-schools-urban-school-leadership-ausl

Something is rotten in the State of Denmark.

— On the neighbor message New Aspira School - What's the problem?
4:17 p.m.

There was a recent PBS documentary about The Interrupters
...this clip shows some of the problems that result of the Turnaround schools that go into neighhorhoods.

warning - there is some strong language.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Irh0HPLNr6c

— On the neighbor message New Aspira School - What's the problem?
7:32 p.m.

I think the select enrollment schools exist...in part...to attract middle class/upper middle class families...it IS part of a gentrificaiton process...though Lane has existed for over 100 years...so has Chicago been in a weird kind of gentrification for that long...hummmmmmm

one thing is certain - however - Kids are NOT widgets...

— On the neighbor message New Aspira School - What's the problem?
6:38 p.m.

Regarding Noble street and the fines

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/17/education/at-noble-street-schools-in-chicago-detention-costs-5.html

as to the kids having to repeat (or have problems along this line) due to fine...

http://www.wbez.org/story/news/education/charters-struggle-hold-their-weakest-students

It started with NCLB....
then the testing industry got rich ..

http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/story/2012-01-07/no-child-left-behind-anniversary/52430722/1

now...
it is the Broad Foundation and other organizations that are out there and they essentially want to make public education a corporation.

http://parentsacrossamerica.org/2011/04/a-guide-to-the-broad-foundations-training-programs-and-policies/

— On the neighbor message New Aspira School - What's the problem?
5:12 p.m.

We must also consider that some parents send their kids (as might be the case of the mom profiled in the abc news) as they perceive the charter schools to be safer than neighhorhood schools.

Now this can be an interesting topic...as when some of these neighborhood schools schools are closed for 'turn around'...they break up the community and kids have to go to completely different schools (crossing gang borders ...and facing other problems).

Parents are the child's first teacher and they will always be that child's most important teacher. As parents, we want a voice in our child's education in the schools that they attend. The problem is that CPS is silencing many parents’ desires about what they want for their kids (look at the debates and public outcry that the parents and their kids in some of these communities are expressing to the BOE with regard to their schools being closed and their communities being disrupted). (When those words are ignored and ‘written off’ that leaves those parents and kids WITHOUT a voice). All Parents want a voice. You want a voice which is why you write/read/question/debate. With public education...seemingly there is a voice - or so we thought there was. The parents who are currently trying to communicate with the BOE do not feel like they or their children have a voice.

Take a look at the vigil that went from Lakeview H.S. to the Mayor's house (this was yesterday)

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-protestors-blast-cps-plans-to-close-restructure-schools-20120220,0,266670.story

Perhaps this report can shed some light for all of us.

http://www.designsforchange.org/
Democratically-led schools in CPS far outweigh turn-around charter school performance.

— On the neighbor message New Aspira School - What's the problem?
4:54 p.m.

Charter schools do become an issue for our kids when they risk becoming the only option. (which is what CPS and the Rahminator are pushing).
Charter schools commonly cull students -choosing their students (a neighborhood school can't).
Charter schools hire inexperienced teachers (to cut costs) or have 'curious' hiring practices. A charter school in Rogers Park had many Turkish teachers (owned by Turkish investors) who taught English (and other). A Turkish teacher is not incapable, but do these students learn better English (or other subjects)?
And what about Special Ed kids? In CPS, they MUST be serviced (by law). In charter school, Sp.Ed concerns are skirted aside and not fully addressed. Not right nor fair to those kids.
With charter schools, there are other factors (transfer of property (CPS (Chicago’s largest landholder) loses the property in many cases and then there are other funding issues)...but let’s focus on issues (like the ones above) which WILL affect kids i.e. Noble Charter school and student fines. Noble charges students $5 for minor behavior (chewing gum, missing a button on uniform, or not making eye contact with teacher), and up to $280 for required behavior classes. 90% of Noble students are low-income, yet if they can’t pay all fines, they are made to repeat the entire school year or prevented from graduating. (BTW: studies do show psychological harm from being held back) Should a student be held back or not graduate because of this? You decide. Is this type of behavior ‘for the kids’? Or is just not for ‘our kids.’ You decide.
Now some charter schools work wonders where there is a very tightly knit contract between parents, teachers and school. But if you look at the CPS public schools that are doing well - they have a good strong relationships (not contracts) between parents/teachers/students/community. That is where the LSC is working and that is where parents want their kids and the kids want to be.

— On the neighbor message New Aspira School - What's the problem?
4:29 p.m.

A Good LSC is the key to working toward a good school and maintaining a good school. It really does take a village to raise a child.

12:38 p.m.

Thanks for the clarity! I had hoped that Ms. Kipp did not leave! I know she has done a lot for that school.

— On the neighbor message No Waters School Tuition Based Prescho
3:47 p.m.

Waters is an example of a neighborhood school where things are going well. They are now a Magnet school and they are NOW attractive to the residents that surround the area (this was not always the case). There is real joy in being able to walk to school. It is a simple 'childhood' pleasure (but...hey isn't it a pleasure for any of us to feel comfortable and be truly able to (and desire) to take a walk in our neighborhood?) When that school is a good school...there is more stability in the neighborhood. People feel good. I would like to have the same luxury to be able to have my kid walk to our neighborhood school (but our school in AP is not an option (nobody in our block sends their kids to the neighborhood school).

I think there might also be two other factors behind this issue.
The Tuition PreK teacher at Waters is retiring after this year. With all the noise/chaos/confusion about the longer school day (now being spun as 'the full day') and contract negotiations. I think the school and district are content to get rid of a veteran teacher's paycheck and not have to be in a position to hire a replacement.
Secondly...they have a new principal. They had Ms. Kipp last year. There might be something brewing about this change and how it relates to the changes in the education climate and school culture.
Yes...Waters is changing (and they MUST take neighborhood kids..which is going to bring a problem of over-crowding very shortly...but there are also issues 'behind the scenes' which may (or may not) speak of the changes we now face in Urban Education in Chicago.

— On the neighbor message No Waters School Tuition Based Prescho
4:24 p.m.

Hummm...it looked vacant and not used as of about two months ago...but I have driven by twice this week and it definitely looks like someone is doing something inside. (the second floor had lights on...and once I saw a woman come near the window). The first floor has brown paper on the windows. Thanks for verifying the address - I was not sure what it was. Thanks for your news...it does appear that there is SOMETHING going on inside of this supposedly 'vacant' building.

3:18 p.m.

NOTE: the building is between Central Park Ave. and Drake. It is South side of Montrose.

4:03 p.m.

I was wondering...I was driving home on Montrose and the street was blocked with a police car...it had moved must before I passed through on Montrose...(and I thought...'hum'...should I really be driving here NOW).

— On the neighbor message Montrose and Central Park
7:58 p.m.

LOL...wow

— On the neighbor message 33rd Ward Amateur Hour, Day 2
2:06 p.m.

admittably...it appears that we should not care what happens in other countries...but it is surprising how things can carry over and affect things in our country. When gas prices change...then we care.

8:25 a.m.

Isn't it nice to know that kind mysterious gestures do occur!?
I just tried to use a shovel and make a little stretch manageable on my street...but...man....I feel like I need a massage now! (I don't think I am cut out to normally do this...but I might as well get used to it...it IS Chicago) Safe and warm thoughts

— On the neighbor message Mysterious Snow Angel on Wilson
8:04 p.m.

We should not have to go to NY to protest problems that are in Chicago. We should have the right to protest problems in our city. People who are unhappy about the libraries and mental health clinics closing here have a right to protest the mayor. NOT everybody has a computer in their home....(which is why they go to the library). It is certainly true that much of our population suffers and needs adequate mental health care (instead of becoming homeless). Teachers should have a right to protest (and mark my words...there is likely to be a strike (i.e. a protest). Chicagoans who are uphappy with their situations should have a right to protest. Just because you want to protest does not make you a bad person. It happens to be that many protestors are not wealthy or empowered (which is why they are often protest)

Do you really think Rahm's office is going to 'approve' messages on signs and the like for causes opposite to his interest. Look at the City Inspector General Joseph Ferguson. He is supposed to be the watch-dog to help avoid abuses and he is pretty much controlled by the mayor.

What is ironic about all of this is that Rahm's announcements over the proposals for change pretty much came to head on MLKday. (they had originally been announced over the holidays..when we were all thinking about mistletoe/eggnog and other things). Rahm's tactics and methods are purposeful. I think he wanted to just skirt this issue through so he would have yet another way to not have to deal with opposition. Opposition is good. We don't have to all agree...but there should be vehicles that are available for us to use in which we can protest/oppose. Where would our society be without the protests and efforts of MLK and those who worked (and protested (some peacefully and some of them not as peacefully)).

While Rahm is our mayor now. Rahm is interested in Rahm. He will use up our city and the plebians for his own agenda on his way to 'bigger things.'

4:27 p.m.

I was talking to more kids today. And some of the kids (who know kids at Kelly...though our school is a FAR cry and distance from Kelly) state the incident was a gang retaliation. They state that the kid attacked was in on a similar incident against the perpetrator (Palomino). They believe that all of it is gang related. Some kids state it might have been over a girl....I have my doubts...I saw the video and I don't think any mention was made about a girl...it was all 'N****** this...N****** that...and a lot of taunting and such. It is apparent that the kids knew each other and that it was not random....the boy does try to reason with has attackers. Kids talk...many here believe it was gang-related (retaliation...to an incident some months ago...in which Palomino was jumped by a large number of boys....amoung which some state that the victim was part of).

— On the neighbor message Attack on teen posted on YouTube
3:56 p.m.

You might be best to talk with Haugan PTA....HS student probably would not work out as most HS students have to be in school/class by 8: am...some of them by 7:30a.m. (depending on the school)

— On the neighbor message School Walker/Sitter Needed
3:40 p.m.

Please stay respectful and on-topic

— On the neighbor message Chipotle
5:08 p.m.

I teach in a HS (not Curie) and the kids have been talking all about this event. All of them are disgusted by the event. They state that it was about a NorthFace fleece.

— On the neighbor message Attack on teen posted on YouTube
5:03 p.m.

I too am disgusted. I honestly don't think anyone sees between the smoke and mirrors. He is subversive

4:23 p.m.

Related but not related and I just submitted it at your email address
I do have a question

why has it been taking so long to remove gang related tagging?

It took well over 2 months for some to be removed in my neighborhood.

before the Rahminator - graffitti was removed within a week of 'issue'

I called the alderman's office twice about it and I submitted complaints twice via the 311 website for the graffitti busters.

If the graffittis is not bothered with for 2 months...what else is not being 'bothered with' that truly needs attention.

I - and our community - do not tolerate this 'no bother' for tagging (and what goes with it).

Lisa

4:13 p.m.

to say the least, I am absolutely flabbergasted and shocked. Call me naive...but WOW...this is insane! Thank you for enlightening me!

3:56 p.m.

I second Dr. Indira Shah. She is great. She does general practice and gyn. She cares a great deal for her patients.

— On the neighbor message Good Doctor
4:04 p.m.

I remember growing up that we had to have a bike license - and there was a fee. (this was in the Detroit area...not here). It was supposed to exist to help prevent theft...but perhaps in was to generate money....
To me...this stinks of grasping at straws and the 'everyman'.....as the timing is really poor and on the heels of so much. Me thinks it is yet another way to deal with the budget gap....I don't think it has anything to do with public safety. I doubt there is any real intent to purpose it for theft recovery...I think the police have far bigger 'fish to fry'.

— On the neighbor message Ald Mell want bike licenses
4:16 p.m.

submitted my 'order' some days ago...waiting...waiting...and waiting

3:57 p.m.

Yup...still learning as I am not a native Chicagoan...but starting to 'see the light' on how things 'really work' in Chicago

— On the neighbor message Alderman Mell
3:45 p.m.

Mell, I believe, is part of a political machine

— On the neighbor message Alderman Mell
3:28 p.m.

thank you! the simple things in life...are sometimes the 'hardest'
I will file ANOTHER complaint...thanks!

3:09 p.m.

post script...I would second the Ravenswood Gardens/Manor turn out...it is VERY active. In fact...I usually take my daughter to that area and to Lincoln Square (where we used to live).

— On the neighbor message Trick or Treating?
3:14 p.m.

Usually on the Saturday before Halloween the Lincoln Square merchants have a nice little event. I think it is good for really small kids ...lots of people are out with the their kids.
As to AP. I live across from some apartment buildings and our side is single family homes. Some people give out candy and some people 'aren't home'...it is half and half. What I find hard is the large amounts of kids in the late evening how don't have costumes (not the worst offence...I know most of them are really low income)...but the hard part is seeing teenagers come around (not in costume...with additional bags for 'my sick little brother'). I have a hard time with that. I don't mind the little kids (I have one)....but when the big kids are trolling for free candy...I see why so many people in our neighborhood 'are not home', It might depend on the block in AP...some blocks are 'packed'...ours had pretty 'light flow'. I wonder if the AP community center is doing something?

— On the neighbor message Trick or Treating?
3:13 p.m.

Hi, thanks for taking the time to list all of this....so this district is in a different alderman than Mell. (Sorry...I am not from Chicago and I am still navigating all). I hope to come with my 5 y.o. daughter to help clean up the park. I would love to be able to actually use this park. (Like I said...when we have gone it has been an unpleasant experience...too many unsupervised situations/Fbombs/and rough kids). I know...it is their park too...but it is NOT pleasant.

— On the neighbor message Clean Up Jensen Park
3:33 p.m.

I had wanted to go to the informational meeting...but was unable to do so...it seems that this is one of the activities planned. I would love to know more! (we moved into AP and were glad that a park was nearby...but disappointed by the condition of the park and by the F-bombs of some youth who were there). Please indicated what else might be going on. This park has potential to be an asset!!!

— On the neighbor message Clean Up Jensen Park
5:13 p.m.