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Ive seen some posts suggesting the cause of this problem. My two cents is that its the war on drugs combined with the bad economy. These drug crimes are noticeably overwhelming our limited police, court, and prison resources. Its so bad, that now the police wont even blink when my garage is burglarized or my car is stolen. Writing tickets for pot is a feeble attempt to accept reality. The war on drugs is killing us.

10:06 a.m.

If the new system forces victims to wait on hold for 30-60 minutes to file a phone report, then you know that many victims will not make the report.. This should be remembered when the city starts claiming crime rates have going down.

9:57 a.m.

California is ok. It gets worse as you go west. Theres more section 8.subsidized housing as you get closer to Sacremento and Humboldt Park. The area does get better as you go towards Western, but the rents are higher.

Burglaries are definitely on the increase in Chicago, so make sure your apartment is secure, incl heavy duty solid core entrance way doors with deadbolt locks. And bars on 1st floor and porch windows. A garage would be advisable if you have a car. Especially if its japanese car, as those seem to be popular with car thieves.

its an up and coming area, with many bars and restaurants. Just be aware of your surroundings, especially at night. A very popular new neighborhood.

— On the neighbor message California and Chicago
3:26 p.m.

During the Bush years, they passed the "Haliburton Loophole" which exempts the gas industry from most EPA requirements. Which is how fracking sites can pump millions of gallons of unknown chemicals into the ground during the fracking process. Obama does not seem ready to change things.

Im all for forcing ComEd to price their product competitively. But gas from fracking has a heavy environmental cost. There is no net environmental benefit if lower co2 emissions now is paid for by polluting our groundwater for generations.

3:16 p.m.

Someone suggested we need to "fill up the prisons." I would remind the poster that our country has far more people per capita in prison than any other industrialized country in the world. It seems to me we are doing something wrong when there are still so man violent criminals in the streets. I would suggest a main source of trouble is our ineffective and counter-productive drug laws. Too many prisoners are non-violent drug criminals, and the crowded prisons are kicking out the violent felons early. Most shootings in the city are gang related. Most gang guns are purchased with drug money. End the black-market trade in drugs and the gangs will be screwed. Im not happy about the idea of regulating drugs, but it seems the lesser of two evils.

1:07 a.m.

Good prevention is to thoroughly oil the locks in the fall. But thawing a frozen lock can be a challenge. Sometimes the lock de-icer spray doesnt work. Then you need to heat up the lock. If there is no wind, I have been successful with a lighter. If there is wind, the best thing I use is a propane torch. A cheap nozzle and bottle of propane can cost under $20. http://thd.co/14usSSq The torch is good because it doesnt blow out in the wind. But be careful, as it can deliver much more heat than needed to de-ice a lock. Keep it set to low. And oil the lock after you thaw it.

— On the neighbor message De-ice gate lock
12:49 a.m.

We claim prison is to reform criminals, and there are cursory work training programs in place. But there is so much shame attached to felons, and too much liability for businesses and landlords to accept felons. They are effectively shunned from society. The irony is the failed war on drugs is the are so many felons in the USA. And that the failed war on drugs is responsible for many of the shooting deaths in the USA.

— On the media mention At least 8 shot across city Monday night
11:16 a.m.

I would suggest that, if the guy was not actually a COMED employee, then it was a threat. Anyone falsely claiming to be a utility worker could very well be a con artist or potential burglar.

Go out with a camera and take his picture. If he is really a utility worker employee, then he wont care. Then check for his employee ID, which he is required to carry. If he balks, then call 911. You may help prevent the creep from doing the same to a more vulnerable neighbor, such as the elderly. If he actually turns out to be a COMED employee, then you can ignore him. You have no legal obligation to discuss anything on your stoop. You only have to let meter readers in.

— On the neighbor message ComEd guy ringing my buzzer!
11:07 a.m.

Sure, the businesses will be hurt. But so will residents.

Alot of cars park on Ashland and Western at night. So where will they all go when those spots disappear? Into the sidestreets. Get ready for parking to get worse.

Oh yea. And remember, if a bus lane uses a parking space, then the city will have to pay for it.

And the city will try to recover that cost, with revenue from more parking tickets ....on the sidestreets. Too close to the crosswalk, too close to a stop sign, too close to the hydrant, too far from the curb, etc etc etc. They will probably hire more ticket writers. Get your checkbook out.

8 p.m.

Interesting stats. Thanks for the post. Now I see why Rahm is pushing for more gun laws. He wants a distraction from the current dismal performance on prosecuting gun criminals.

— On the neighbor message Most Shooters In Chicago Don't Face Charges
10:15 p.m.

thanks for the tip. interesting product. www.redytemp.com

— On the neighbor message Possible frozen pipe
10:09 a.m.

Any hardware store sells a glass cutter. But theres a trick to using em. If you dont have the experience, youre just going to shatter the glass and make the associated noise.

9:57 a.m.

You may have a frozen water pipe in your home.

— On the neighbor message Water?
7:52 a.m.

remove the quick release bolt from your seat, and replace it with a normal nut/bolt. Otherwise the seat will disappear. I would also recommend two locks - an excellent U-lock, and also a good cable. A thief would need two different tools to get the bike. Doesnt stop em, but slows em down.

— On the neighbor message Bike parking advice.
8:30 p.m.

If you try to terrorize them with your dog......you dont know where they live, but they know where you live.

I suggest trying to get photos of their vandalism in action. If its a regular occurrence, then have a camera handy. Document the problem then get the police involved. Its much easier to punish the kids if there is evidence. and its easier to address recurrences if there is a history.

— On the neighbor message Obnoxious teens - what to do?
8:20 p.m.

Im all for coyotes in the city. But beware. There have been reports of coyotes taking small dogs and cats.

http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/12/22/coyote-attacks-dog-in-west-suburb/

— On the neighbor message Coyotes
8:07 p.m.

Drug dealers would stop selling drugs,for the same reason that bootleggers stopped selling alcohol. Note that four years after the end of alcohol prohibition, gun murders in the US had dropped by almost 50%. The gangs did not have the revenue, nor the motivation, to fight over gang territory.

GNONUKIES: Im not sure how you can expect anyone to have a strategy for vague hypothetical scenarios. The drug war is real. Its a proven failure. It not only costs us a ton of money, but has many large social costs. This includes significant gun violence. If you want a significant decrease in gun deaths, then end the war on drugs. The Rahm proposals will do nothing to decrease gangland shootings.

— On the neighbor message Murder in Chicago: The Human Toll
7:59 p.m.

So, what can be done to reduce murders in Chicago? The largest impact you can have on gun murders and violent crime rates is to change drug prohibition to drug regulation. Drug Prohibition is fueling the urban violence that statistically makes up a majority of gun murders. Our drug war provides the revenue that gangs need to purchase guns, and sends a half million non-violent people to prison to teach them how to be violent criminals. Want less street shootings? End the war on drugs.

— On the neighbor message Murder in Chicago: The Human Toll
1:50 p.m.

Thats easy. Here are three major BRADY CAMPAIGN “facts” that I find misleading.

1) The Brady Campaign loves to quote stats on gun violence on children: “In 2007, 3,067 children and teens ages 0-19 were killed by firearms in the U.S. In 2008, 20,702 children and teens ages 0-19 were injured with a gun in the U.S. “ What they don’t mention is that 90 percent of these “children” are older teen young adults involved in the black market drug trade. Half are 18-19 years old. Most are violent criminals – gang members - not innocent children. Will more laws prevent gang members from shooting each other? Based on the experience in Chicago, the answer is a crystal clear "no."

2) The Brady Campaign focuses on homicides, but ignores general crime rates and violent crime rates. The 2nd Amendment crowd points out that guns can reduce crime. And there are many examples. One of which is England, which has had a gun ban since 1988, but their violent crime rate is FOUR TIMES as high as in the US. Burglaries, robberies, rape, assault…..all are much higher than in the US. Personally, I would feel safer if ALL crime is kept down, instead of increasing violent crime in an attempt to reduce gun homicides.

3) The Brady Campaign loves the stats on suicide by gun. But in Japan, guns have been baned for 400 years, But their suicide rate is TWICE that in the US. The Japanese know that you don’t need a gun to commit suicide. Anti-gun Americans are deluded into think getting rid of guns will reduce suicide.

Again, this is all in the context of the OP, which is how does Chicago reduce our murder rate. Chicago has the most prohibitive gun laws of any major US city, and its still not helping. More gun laws wont work. I would say the Brady Campaign stats are misleading, and frankly irreverent to our problem.

— On the neighbor message Murder in Chicago: The Human Toll
1:43 p.m.

You make it sound like Im just posting "beliefs" and not factual information. Sure. People can disagree about interpreting data. But when factual information is misrepresented, or just plain wrong, then thats not a"different belief." And I would suggest it is counter-productive to an open-minded discussion.

For example, implying that displaying a gun has no benefit and can only result in a cost is not factual. Another example is saying the NRA "just wants more guns on the streets", which is not factual.

I would agree that factual information would not be constructive for the anti-gun movement.

— On the neighbor message Murder in Chicago: The Human Toll
2:04 p.m.

This is related to a project by peoples gas to replace the gas pipe in the street, and to move indoor meters to the outside. PG sent me a letter warning me of the work, and also saying they WILL be moving my meters outdoors.

I saw this job done last summer, west of Damen, on either Iowa or Rice (forgot which.) Now they want to do the same west of Western.

Im trying to find people who were affected by this work, and if any of them were able to keep peoples gas from moving their meters. i understand the meter is their property, but do they really have the right to come into my home and change all my gas pipes. Was anyone successfully tell PG "no thanks"?

1:37 p.m.

ROSEMARY: no

3:25 p.m.

I wouldnt just focus on scrappers. Anyone in the public way could certainly be a potential thief. Ive even had neighbors who seemed suspicious to me. In general, just say stay aware, and keep things hidden or locked up.

— On the neighbor message "Scrappers" in Alleys, harmless?
1:34 p.m.

Yes. The gas company is implying I have no choice. But Im checking to see if anyone successfully confronted them on this.

1:23 p.m.

Yes, i agree. If you buy any tool, you should be ready and able to use it. What statistics are you referring to? Im not sure what your point is there. I would disagree with your suggestion to use a fake gun. Armed criminals, and crazy people, may not be scared by a gun, fake or otherwise.

Its already illegal to take a semi-automatic rifle, and tamper with it so its fully automatic. Even semi-auto pistols can be tampered in that way. Demonizing an AK47 will do nothing to prevent such illegal behavior. More laws will not make this action any more illegal.

I dont recall people arguing for more firearms. I recall they are asking for the government to enforce the firearms laws that are already on the books. And to protect our 2nd amendment right to defend ourselves, our community, and our democracy. Thanks to Obama for announcing the government will start prosecuting people for lying on their background check application. Its not the NRAs fault that the government is not enforcing existing gun laws.

And I was raised in a home and community that prohibited and discouraged access to firearms. But I still believe in the constitution.

— On the neighbor message Murder in Chicago: The Human Toll
1:16 p.m.

Ukrainian hair salon/ barber shop on Western. About half a block north of Augusta. $12 haircuts. But they dont speak much English. My hair is long, so maybe a shorter style is cheaper.

— On the neighbor message Hair salons?
12:41 p.m.

RON: You posted: “If you buy yourself a gun you have the intention of shooting and killing someone.” Maybe your wording is a bit off from what you meant. But that sounds like youre saying all gun owners plan to murder someone. If you really meant that, then I would point out there are over 75 million law-abiding gun owners in the US who may find that just a little insulting.

You also posted: “Do you think waving a gun around is going to stop anything." Why the hyperbole? There is NO ONE who is arguing for the right to “wave guns around.” Maybe you mean to show a weapon? If so, then, yes, it would help. I personally know three people who prevented trouble by showing their handgun. One was a single mother of two girls confronting a burglar on her back porch. Another was a small grocery store owner being robbed at gun point. Third person was in a gas station at night. In all three instances, they showed the gun, and the criminal took off.

Heres an article about defensive gun use by Gary Kleck PhD, Professor of Criminology at Florida State U http://www.pulpless.com/gunclock/kleck2.html
He cites studies that indicate guns are used defensively over two million times a year. Most do not involve a shooting, but only involve showing the gun. Also, there are about 300 justifiable homicides each year, from citizens protecting themselves.

In 1986, Florida began to issue concealed weapons permits. The anti-gun crowd predicted there would be constant shoot outs in the streets. 25 years later, statistics show no such problem with those registered CCW permit holders.

If you have some evidence that shows using a gun has costs with no benefits, then Id like to see it. Otherwise, I would say youre only guessing. And Id prefer if you didn’t guess when it involves diminishing my constitutional rights.

I do agree with you that people shouldn’t own a gun for self-defense, unless they are mentally ready to use it. That point is taught by gun instructors.

— On the neighbor message Murder in Chicago: The Human Toll
12:11 p.m.

KEN: You posted: “I'm ridiculing people who are dumb enough to believe possessing a weapon is going to keep the U.S. government off their back.”

Why are you ridiculing the American Revolution? Our founders did just that ….. they got their British government off their backs. In 1775, England had the most powerful military in the world. Just like the USA in 2012. Back then, all the colonists possessed were rifles and pistols. And today, all we have are rifles and pistols.

The talk about George III losing the revolution because he didnt have nuclear weapons ..... i have no idea what your point is point that. The suggestion that revolts are won by the larger group is over-simplistic and inaccurate. If that were the case, then England would never have been able to control the billions of people in India, for 200 years. There are many factors that can affect the outcome of a revolt, not just sheer numbers.

Americans have the right to bear arms. Multiple founders have repeatedly said it is to protect the USA from a tyrannical government. This right is not diminished relative to the odds of winning a revolt.

A technical issue: You should know that an M-16 is a military rifle. It’s a machine gun. M-16s and other military weapons are not sold to citizens. But that’s a common misconception. Ive noticed a lot of errors when the anti-gun crowd argue about guns.

And I have to say, your tone is very demeaning. Is there any way to keep this discussion respectful?

— On the neighbor message Murder in Chicago: The Human Toll
12:07 p.m.

If you want to give away some scrap, you need only put it in the alley. It will be gone in two hours. It would be nice if Chicago were like the burbs. But the reality is, if you leave your garage door up, or a nice bicycle unlocked on your back porch, then your asking for trouble. Just saw in the newspaper that 33% of Illinois residents are in poverty. So many are struggling just to stay afloat. So its no surprise that some will take anything that is not bolted down. Act accordingly.

— On the neighbor message "Scrappers" in Alleys, harmless?
10:59 p.m.

Did anyone else notice he describes himself as a pastor?

— On the neighbor message Personal Learning/Listening Project
10:50 p.m.

I drive thru there often, and have never seen that problem. But I believe you, simply because I often see people running red lights in general. It makes me very cautious at any intersection. Im not sure what can be done about it. The police seem overwhelmed by violent crime, and dont seem available to spend much time on traffic enforcement.

— On the neighbor message Ashland and Augusta
10:39 p.m.

BRIAN: Youre being obtuse. Ive provided links to many facts. And to numerous articles written by English media that support my points. Open minded people can check the links and decide for themselves.

— On the neighbor message Murder in Chicago: The Human Toll
10:51 a.m.

So, how in the world can a revolt against your own government be successful? A bunch of rifles against a well-funded, trained and organized military? Crazy, huh? Well, that’s exactly what happened in 1775.

My ancestors who fought in the revolution risks having their property confiscated, farms burned, and being thrown in a British prison to die from dysentery. All our founding fathers knew there was a good chance they would be executed as traitors. In 1775, our chances sucked. Ken, are you going to ridicule them too?

Some revolutions win and some don’t. But the right to fight for your liberty freedom and dignity is not cancelled if the odds are bad. Ben Franklin said: “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Listen to Ben.

— On the neighbor message Murder in Chicago: The Human Toll
10:46 a.m.

KEN: Fighting against tyranny is "out of our minds"? REALLY? So now youre ridiculing people who want to defend their rights?

Do you ridicule other people who revolt when their chances are poor? Wounded Knee, the Philippines-American Revolt, the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, Tianamen Square. The Orange Revolution, Tahir Square, the Bahrain Revolt, Syria ……. There are a lot of revolts where the insurgents have a poor chance. You must be having a good belly laugh at them.

— On the neighbor message Murder in Chicago: The Human Toll
10:41 a.m.

BRIAN: You are assuming that England’s low level of gun crimes is a result of their gun ban. Your assumption is incorrect, because you are not comparing the “before and after” stats of the gun ban.

1) Gun deaths have not decreased since before England’s 1998 ban. In fact, they INCREASED. http://tinyurl.com/b745lle

2) Gun violence (all gun crimes) has not decreased since before the ban. In fact, it has INCREASED. There has been a steady decline since 2006, but the level is still worse than before the 1998 ban. http://tinyurl.com/azclzpb

3) Dont believe government stats? No problem. Its been reported on by the ENGLISH media.
GUN CRIME GOES UP BY 89% IN A DECADE http://tinyurl.com/ye8dlyg
GUN CRIMES DOUBLE IN THE LAST DECADE http://tinyurl.com/bt576mj

4) Also, there is a brewing scandal that the English government is fudging their gun crime stats, to decrease the reported rate of gun crimes. This article is from last week.
GUN CRIME 60 PERCENT HIGHER THAN OFFICIAL FIGURES http://tinyurl.com/bp5k5o9

England's gun crime rate was low BEFORE the gun ban. In spite of the anti-gun rhetoric, England’s gun ban did not make things better. The facts are there.

— On the neighbor message Murder in Chicago: The Human Toll
10:15 a.m.

But you didnt attack the content of the MAIL article. Just the source.

You didnt attack the content of the TELEGRAPH article, which says the government is manipulating gun crime stats.

England's national gun crimes were down 5% during the first half of 2009, but London's gun crimes were up 100%. That doesnt support your position that gun bans are needed in the city, but not in rural areas.

Yes you can associate an increase in gun violence with a gun ban, when people like yourself are arguing that gun bans reduce gun violence.

Taking this back to the original post, I think there is not consistent statistical evidence to support the theory that gun bans reduce gun crimes. There is some evidence that gun bans INCREASE gun crimes. So what can we do? Aurora IL just had a year in which ZERO people were murdered. No gun bans involved. How about using their strategies? Also, try ending the war on drugs. It would save thousands of lives, and save us billions of dollars too. And I think addressing poverty more effectively would have an impact. But the gun ban talk is just irrational, over-emotional political grandstanding.

— On the neighbor message Murder in Chicago: The Human Toll
1:54 p.m.

The discussion is not sideways. Its related to the original post, and trying to discuss ways to reduce murders. I would suggest all this talk about banning guns will have zero effect on the murder rate. And may actually make things worse. Our mayor would better spend his time on effective ways to reduce violent crime, instead of grandstanding on useless talk about more gun laws.

— On the neighbor message Murder in Chicago: The Human Toll
1:13 p.m.

So you dont attack the content. Just an ad hominum attack on the source? More name calling to avoid facts.

And is the TELEGRAPH in cahoots with the MAIL? Is this a conspiracy? No response from you about their article saying gun crimes stats are being manipulated by the government.

You apparently prefer Tthe Guardian. So below is a 2009 article showing its not a conspiracy. Gun crimes are indeed on the rise in England; in spite of their gun ban.

2009 - LONDON GUN CRIMES RISE AS SHOOTINGS NEARLY DOUBLE
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/nov/03/london-gun-crime-shootings-rise

— On the neighbor message Murder in Chicago: The Human Toll
1:12 p.m.

Heres an article from England. Its from 2003, which is 5 years after their gun ban was enacted.

GUN CRIMES SOAR 35% IN ONE YEAR
Daily Mail - 9 Jan 2003
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-154307/Gun-crime-soars-35.html
Quote: "Figures showed the number of crimes involving handguns had more than doubled since the post-Dunblane massacre ban on the weapons, from 2,636 in 1998 to 5,871 (in 2003.)"

Heres an article from England from just last week. It talks about a scandal that the English government is manipulating statistics so gun crimes are under-reported.

GUN CRIME 60 PERCENT HIGHER THAN OFFICIAL FIGURES
The Telegraph - 15 Jan 2013
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/3222063/Gun-crime-60pc-higher-than-official-figures.html
Quote: "These alarming new figures not only highlight the appalling state of gun crime in this country, but also remind us just how poor the Government's statistics actually are."

You are only looking at gun murders, and not look at all gun crimes. When you look at gun crimes, its obvious the gun ban has had the opposite effect that was intended.

— On the neighbor message Murder in Chicago: The Human Toll
12:29 p.m.

Change drug prohibition to drug regulation. We are spending a disproportionate amount of revenue on police, courts and prison to deal with drug crimes, with zero improvement in the problem. Learn from history. Alcohol prohibition was a miserable failure, and we now have regulations that make the alcohol problem manageable. Its a matter of picking the lesser of two evils.

One effect would be a significant decrease in gun crimes. A major reason that these gang banger miscreants can afford to buy expensive guns is because of the large revenue from drug sales. If you remove their ability to make tons of cash from drugs, then they have limited money to buy guns. And no financial incentive to fight over drug sales territory.

Within four years after the end of Alcohol Prohibition, there was almost a 50% decrease in gun deaths in this country.

I dont think there is any other single strategy that would have such a positive impact on society, as ending this failed war on drugs.

— On the neighbor message Increased Violence in Chicago, WHY?
10:58 a.m.

DEREK: Lets see, youre vague on facts, refuse to give specifics on statistics, and youre falling back on to name calling. This seems typical of the anti-gun rights strategy.

Heres just one example of the false use of "facts." England is often given as an example of a country with a gun ban (enacted in 1998), and also has a low incidence of gun crimes. The implication is that there is a cause and effect. The assumption is false, because Englands rate of gun crimes was just as low BEFORE the gun ban. In fact, their gun crime rate has actually INCREASED over 100% since the 1998 ban. Its still much lower than the US, but its not due to their gun ban.

Of course, these facts will be ignored by the anti gun rights crowd. They are too worried about being right to consider facts. Stephen Colbert says it best: "I dont get my facts from books. I get them from my gut."

— On the neighbor message Murder in Chicago: The Human Toll
10:18 a.m.

JASON: if you install a steel door, it would help to also install a steel door frame. Otherwise, a long crowbar can bend / break a wooden door frame away from any steel door. The one on my garage has marks from multiple (failed) attempts to break in.

Home Depot sells a steel door & frame. The frame depth is thicker because its sized for a masonery wall, but with some shimming inside, it can be used for a wood wall.

— On the neighbor message Garage break-in 2700 block of Thomas
9:54 a.m.

DEREK posted: "Explain to me how our forefather's......... would feel about seeing children and teenagers killed in the street over gang turf or an iPhone."

Honestly. Using gang war deaths as an argument to squash a constitutional right seems pretty lame to me. How about just admitting the war on drugs doesnt work. We did the same thing with the war on alcohol, with great results. Within four years after the end of alcohol prohibition, the shooting deaths in the US dropped by almost 50%. Of course, some people would hate to see that happen now. It may weaken the argument to ban all guns.

Youre argument that "westernized societies" with gun bans also have low murder rates is hard to dispute. Thats because your statement of 'fact" is too generalized. If you actually named some countries, with some crime stats, then someone could respond. But maybe you dont want to get into facts.

The convincing argument to not re establish the Chicago gun ban? Thats an easy one. The Supreme Court of the United States says you cant. Of course, that wont stop the anti-gun crowd from trying to regulate guns out of existence.

— On the neighbor message Murder in Chicago: The Human Toll
1:23 a.m.

Aurora IL, which has a large low-income population, gang problems, and drug problems, just ended their year with ZERO shooting deaths. How did they do it? They definitely had a strategy, but it didnt involve any ban or restriction on guns.

NO MURDERS IN AURORA IN 2012
CBS News - Jan 2, 2013
http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2013/01/02/no-murders-in-aurora-in-2012/

I think the anti-gun rhetoric is just a convenient whipping boy for Chicago politicians: a way to distraction from their failure to fight crime.

— On the neighbor message Murder in Chicago: The Human Toll
4:14 p.m.

If people are going to solicit donations for a victim, then people should know the truth about the victim. Thanks to RAKAR for the link.

— On the neighbor message Donations needed for murdered 14 year old.
2:19 p.m.

Heres a story with photos from the victims facebook page. They show the victim flashing gang signs and of his gang tattoos.

http://www.chicagonewsreport.com/2013/01/ray-dorantes-14-year-old-shot-killed-in.html

— On the neighbor message 5 or 6 shots fired - 2450 W. Augusta
2:08 p.m.

The "west of western" label is over-simplified and ignorant. Anything south of augusta, going down to grand, is noticeably better than to the north. Iowa, between Washtenaw and Rockewll, use to be a fairly dicey street. Most of those buildings are 6 units. They use to house low income families, but now, they are mostly condo'ed out. The neighborhood is totally nice. Check out the bar ARCHIES at Rockwell & Iowa....full of hipsters. Also, BLACK BEETLE on Chicago Av is great too.

Thats not to say the area is without problems. There are two gangs in the immediate area: Campbell Street Boys and Insane Dragons. But most of those families have been forced west of California or farther. So problems are infrequent. but always stay aware. There are periodic reports of robberies and attacks. But I think its less than nicer areas. Burglaries are another matter. There has been an increase. So make sure your apt is secure.

1:58 p.m.

Seems to me its obvious the murderer is responsible for the murder. Not sure why anyone has to say that. I also dont see RAKAR posting anything hateful. Hes just pointing out that theres an increased risk to wearing gang colors and flashing gang signs. That seems accurate to me. Maybe you could accuse him of being insensitive, but its certainly not hateful.

There is a blue light camera just one block to the west. i wonder if it caught any images.

— On the neighbor message Person shot at Augusta and Campbell
1:45 p.m.

Thanks for the heads up.

— On the neighbor message Woman locked out/needs to use phone
10:01 a.m.

LALA is right. Stow stuff before you park at your home.

LALA: Didnt think about the suction cup mark. Thanks.

— On the neighbor message Car window smashed..
9:50 a.m.

You said "I found a construction worker in my living room"......you mean you found a thief in your living room. They all have an excuse: construction worker, utility employee, looking for a job, charity worker, looking for their lost dog, etc etc. If you didnt let him in, then he was a thief.

Congratulations on catching them before they could do something bad.

— On the neighbor message Watch out for construction workers
9:49 a.m.

Correction: the notice was on page 36.

— On the neighbor message Congress Theater applies for liquor license
9:34 p.m.

To all those recommending Animal Ark.....how are their prices?

I have found FULLERTON ANIMAL CLINIC at 4303 W Fullerton to be helpful and reasonably priced.

— On the neighbor message I need a vet
6:30 p.m.

There is also a Fernandez Auto Glass at 2358 S. Blue Island Av. Not sure why, but i was quoted a lower price from that location. A farther drive, but very affordable.

— On the neighbor message Broken Car Window to steal GPS!
10:36 a.m.

Sometimes a family will move to a nicer neighborhood, but the kids will go back and hang with their old friends in their old neighborhood. Dont know if thats the case, but it would explain why the victim was a MLD that lived in River Grove.

— On the neighbor message Incident on Talman between North and LeMoyne
10:27 a.m.

Congrats to you and Marley. Whats the story? Where was she found? By who?

— On the neighbor message LOST DOG
10:21 a.m.

SMITH PARKER: Implying that people cant have an informed opinion because they dont actually go to the court? Sorry. I dont have time to actually visit our courts and prisons. But I do follow the news, written by journalists who do. Everything Im reading says the courts and prisons are overwhelmed, and a huge percentage are the drug criminals. Which is why I think it would be ineffective to blame the prosecutors. It sounds like you have some experience in the process. If you care to share which of my opinions are wrong, any why, then I could actually consider your perspective.

— On the neighbor message Early Shots Sunday Morning
8:07 p.m.

CRIMESTOPPERS: Up until your last reply to me, I agreed with a lot of what you said.

Please dont say I want the city to pay out cash to everyone who makes an accusation. Neither of us want that. Im worried about the other extreme. which seems to let police get away with unprofessional conduct.

One example is the recent Abbatte civil case. The court found there is a "code of silence." A major witness was the current leader of the police internal investigations. Her testimony was contrary to a states attorney and to fellow officers. The city’s attempt to have the court decision “disappear” does not give me much confidence in their intentions.

Another example was the recent attempts by police to keep it illegal to videotape police on the job. Their arguments to the court stretched credibility.

I certainly dont want a system that allows a witch hunt to be perpetrated on innocent police officers. That would also be bad for the public. But the current system seems to leans toward protecting the small amount of bad cops on the force.

4:48 p.m.

The courts and the prisons are overwhelmed with criminals. I dont think our prosecutors, judges and prison guards want to let these people go. It seems they are forced to prioritize the worst of them. Unfortunately, the mandatory sentencing of drug criminals is overwhelming our justice system, and lets violent criminals to get more breaks. If the public wants to get hard on violent criminals, then they need to pony up more money to pay for it. Or we could end the drug prohibition laws, to make more room for violent offenders.

— On the neighbor message Early Shots Sunday Morning
4:34 p.m.

Another strategy may be to ask how these jobless miscreants can afford expensive guns. If the black market for drugs was eliminated by the end of drug prohibition, you would be seriously hurting the gang's ability to the raise the revenues needed to purchase guns.

— On the neighbor message Why so many shootings on Spaulding?
4:28 p.m.

SEAN: I apologize. I could have disagreed in a less snarky way.

As for suggestions to improve the system, here are some Ive heard about that i think would help:
1) an admission from the city that there is a serious problem.
2) an independent system to investigate complaints of police that is not politically connected.
3) Dashcams in all police squad cars.
4) Video tape all interrogations.
5) Sting operations by independent investigators to ensure police are not corrupt. This should include supervisors.

Im not an expert. The first four are suggestions Ive seen multiple times in the media, and they seem good to me.

7:20 p.m.

EMPTY NESTER: Having the compassion to perform dog rescues does not exempt owners from risky behavior, nor from criticism. And calling anyone who disagrees with you as "judgy" shows an inability to discuss a topic on a public forum. None of your comments defending BETHEIC address the safety concerns. Your personal attack on me is a non-argument, and betrays a bias that is counterproductive.

Ive been clear asto my experience with aggressive dogs on a leash. And I think Ive clearly described the specific circumstances which I think are dangerous. If any rescue dog or aggressive dog enthusiast want to address these concerns, then Im open to discussion. Heck, maybe Im missing something. But if all you can do is reply with personal attacks, well, thats a sign youve lost the argument.

— On the neighbor message Chronic off leash dog warning
3:23 p.m.

It seems to me that BETHIEC has good intentions when walking her dog. (she certainly has good intentions regarding the dog rescue.) Unfortunately, the thing thats out of her control are the city's blind corners, and people who "pop out of nowhere". Corners of buildings, from alleys, from inside cars, from building doorways, from yards. You also have idiots on bikes zooming down sidewalks. Kids and dogs can run up to you, even if you scream at them to stay away. That stuff happens. In these type of situations, I don’t see how you can control who comes close to your dog 100% of the time.

You cant see around corners and thru inanimate objects. If some person – or worse, a kid – comes around a corner the same time as you and your aggressive dog, then you will have a millisecond to react. Best of luck to the pedestrian meeting your dog in that situation.

And I should know. Because Ive had that happen to me and my dog on two occasions. The first time, their dog grabbed my dog by the neck but I was able to yank her away. The second time I jumped out of the way and whipped my dog (by the leash) around behind me. Mind you, my dog was 14 years old so I wasn’t happy to see her go thru that.

So, that’s my fear. Suddenly meeting a leashed, aggressive dogs while Im walking out of, or around, some blind spot. BETHIEC, Im sorry if this sounds like Im tyring to “judge” you. On the contrary. It sounds like you are very compassionate to animals. But please consider that you may not have eliminated all the risk to the public.

And C. is quoting BETHIEC accurately. This is not a game of "gotcha." And C is not misquoting BETHIEC. We are residents that want to feel safe. We are reading BETHIEC's comments and expressing our concerns.

— On the neighbor message Chronic off leash dog warning
11:14 a.m.

NorHum SoLo

8:14 p.m.

BETHIEC: your story about the dog rescue is heartwarming. But your admission that you walk a dog that can "can turn at any time" is concerning. Ive experienced two close calls with dogs on a leash. Both times I was walking my dog, so I had to risk my safety to protect my dog. I dont know how anyone can claim they can safely walk a dangerous dog. Walking a dangerous dog is a risk to the public, to the dog owners financial safety, and to the well being of the dog.

— On the neighbor message Chronic off leash dog warning
1:45 p.m.

RAKAR: glad youre ok. What crazyness.

Gangs have been using scanners for years. Its not new. PASRTRYGAL says you can ask 911 to make a "silent transmission" to the officers. Never heard of that before. How does one silently transmit a radio signal? Does anyone with a scanner know if this is true? How does that work?

— On the neighbor message Eye Witness To A Drive-by Shooting
12:56 p.m.

There are definitely costs to filing a police report on some delinquent. It does take time to make the report, and to later go to court if they catch the miscreant. You also risk unwanted retaliation as your name/address becomes public info.

The benefit is you document the incident. They did break the law, so its reasonable to want them arrested. And if they do it again, then there is a document trail. Easier for the court to punish them if there is a pattern of behavior. It also helps the neighborhood, as it contributes to the common effort to make the streets safe. And any reported crime is added to the police's statistical database, which is used by police to determine the amount of police presence in your neighborhood. If its not at least reported to 911, then statistically it never happened.

I wouldnt tell anyone what they should do. Thats a personal decision. But consider filing charges. You can still do so.

— On the neighbor message Anyone know this kid?
12:48 p.m.

Discretely talk to some trusted neighbors to see if the problem is widespread. Then work together to address the issue. Safety in numbers. Use Chicago Police, Post Office Police, and landlord. Can someone install a spycam?

— On the neighbor message Witnessed Package Theft in Apartment Building
10:37 a.m.

JONA: very sorry to hear about the harassment. Glad you are ok. Thanks for the warning.

Regarding the mace suggestion: people should know that mace sold to the public is not as strong as that sold to law enforcement and military. Mace may discourage some attackers. But for more aggressive criminals, it may only aggravate them. Definitely do some research on mace before choosing it as a self defense tool/ strategy.

— On the neighbor message Anyone know this kid?
10:29 a.m.

Aurora Illinois just finished the year without one gun murder. They have plenty of poverty and gangs. They also have no gun ban. Maybe Chicago can learn something from Aurora.

MSNBC
Illinois' Second Largest City Finishes 2012 Murder-Free
http://www.nbcnews.com/id/50343409/ns/local_news-chicago_il/#.UORpz6zmFlc

— On the neighbor message Gun-Reform in Chicago?
11:39 a.m.

A is right. End the war on drugs, and gangs will be deprived of excessive amounts of cash. Take their cash and they will have a hard time affording those expensive guns.

— On the neighbor message 6 Gunshots near Kedzie and Palmer
11:05 a.m.

If someone has an aggressive dog that would kill or maim a friendly dog, then the aggressive dog is dangerous. For such a dog, a leash is not enough. It needs a muzzle.

— On the neighbor message Chronic off leash dog warning
10:53 a.m.

Chicago's handgun ban did not work. Some argue the Chicago ban did not work because there needs to be a national ban. This implies we would be able to keep guns from being illegally imported. But any liberal will admit that we have failed miserably to keep drugs from being imported into the USA. Planes, boats...even custom submarines are used to import drugs. Nothing will stop them from doing the same with guns.

Mexico has an extremely tight restrictions on guns, and there shooting death numbers are huge. Germany has a total ban on guns and they have experienced some of the worst school shootings in the world. Dont cherry pick the examples of countries where gun bans "work."

Countries like England and Australia enacted gun bans about ten years ago. Shooting deaths initially dropped. But violent crime has risen, along with robbery and burglary. And now England is seeing an increase in shooting deaths.

Japan has an almost complete ban on guns. Their number of shooting deaths is almost zero. But.....their number of total suicides is almost double the rate in the USA, so their gun ban seems to do nothing to prevent suicide. Also, Japan's gun ban is almost 400 years old. And Japan is also know for severe restrictions on civil rights.

The anti-gun crowd think guns are the common factor in mass shootings. The pro-gun crowd point out most of these shootings are in "gun free zones." You dont see shooters walking into gun shows or police stations. Israel had a big problem with school shootings. Their solution? Arming qualified volunteer teachers. It seems to have worked. No more shootings at schools. The cowardly shooters prefer "gun free zones."

— On the neighbor message Gun-Reform in Chicago?
2:34 p.m.

SEAN: interesting spin. ELLIOT says he saw a gun labeled "for vaginal use only." Personally, I find that unprofessional, sexist and disgusting. But you think its "just" a sticker? I dont agree with your standards.

As for "cops profile everyone"....I would suggest that white cops dont profile white people.

I would also suggest that higher wages would not eliminate self-interest. Unprofessional behavior exists because police refuse to report their fellow officers. Its a way for them to ignore laws and avoid responsibility. Until the system makes it ok and safe for good cops to report bad cops, then nothing will change. Even if we give cops more money and better pensions.

ELLIOT: just because racial profiling exists, doesnt mean the OPs situation involved racial profiling. Ive witnessed bad cops in action. Ive also witnessed false charges of racism.

1:58 p.m.

You may also want to post this add in the HUMBOLDT PARK section of EB. Some people consider Western Av to be the boundary between HP and UVK.

— On the neighbor message LOST DOG
2:49 p.m.

What a sweet looking dog. Im in the area. I will keep an eye out.

— On the neighbor message LOST DOG
2:02 p.m.

Based on the info provided, there is no way to tell whos at fault. I think its baseless and provocative of posters to say its the OPs fault. And I think its a double standard to accuse the OP of insults, without also acknowledging the insulting, baseless judgements directed at her.

RAH - Its possible that eight police cars would pull over a black driver simply because hes black. But it just seems less likely to me than the possibility that your vehicle was similar to one reported in a violent crime. In such a situation, the police WOULD have the right to investigate you, and it would better explain the eight squads.

I would never excuse or condone verbal abuse, racial bias, unfair vehicle impoundment, or false arrest. But is it possible that you over reacted a little asto the motives behind the police in the initial stop?

5:39 p.m.

Looks like someone had painted over a previous tag. Time to do it again. You cant force people to be respectful. But you can show them their nonsense will not be respected.

— On the neighbor message More OA tags, 3600 N Altgeld
12:34 p.m.

So thats the excuse to build residential housing without designated parking? To depend on the DEVELOPER to ensure the residents dont have a car? How soon will it be before neighbors discover this is being abused by the high rise residents? How soon will it be to discover the owners are not abiding by their agreement? And how many years will it take for this requirement to be forgotten or ignored by the people issuing residential parking permits?

If the developers were sincere that he will market his apartments to people without cars, then it still would have helped the neighborhood to built parking. It could be rented, and would helped alleviate the local parking demand. Instead, parking will just become as bad as Lincoln Park.

It is absolutely shameful that the owner of a home or two-flat is required to meet the parking requirements, but the rich developer of an expensive high rise is exempt. Once again, the rules dont apply to the rich or to the politicians.

— On the neighbor message New construction @Division and Ashland?
12:22 p.m.

Start talking to your neighbors about the noise. If others have the same complaints, then you can work together to make calls to 311 and maybe even visit the police as a group. Multiple complaints would have much more of an effect.

If the animals are making noise over a long period of time, then they are not being sacrificed. So "sacrificed" seems over the top. I suggest you just use the word "abuse" which seems to be what you are implying. And that is something you can also report to 311 if you are serious about it.

— On the neighbor message Frat House on Huron?
12:02 p.m.

Eight squad cars surrounding the accused is zero proof of any wrongdoing. Eight squads could indicate a serious crime was committed. It could also be the result of a mistake. Police will pull over anyone or any car that matches the description of a 911 call. And statistics show that minorities are much more likely to be pulled ofver and harassed by the police. Anyone claiming to know who was at fault in this situation is just guessing. And Ive found guessing is usually influenced by some bias.

I would also agree the OPs story doesnt sound quite right. BUT . . . .that could be because she just isnt good at describing the incident, or that she is just really upset.

I have no idea how any poster can excuse anyone, especially a police officer, for calling a person an "ignorant b...... with ugly tights." That kind of treatment is totally unprofessional, and blatantly abusive.

11:54 a.m.

Chicago has a noise ordinance. If some people dont like that, then they are free to move to a city that has none, such as Schaumburg.

— On the neighbor message Grandbar noise
11:34 a.m.

Thanks for the link to the article. Seems the reason there were so many police cars there was because the victim was an off-duty police officer.

3:25 p.m.

GATEWAY AUTO SERVICE - 2057 W Division

— On the neighbor message Prius oil change
3:09 p.m.

Im not an attorney. But it seems to me that an arrest would have to be initiated by a different criminal action, before the accused can be charge with resisting that arrest. Definitely talk to an attorney.

One way to deal with police harassment is to not make things worse. I admit its hard to not react to being treated unfairly. but if a cop succeeds in provoking you, then you just risk aggravating the situation. Not good if the officer is unprofessional. If you threaten to file a complaint or lawsuit, then a bad cop may falsely arrest you to counter your complaint.

Unless you can videotape the incident, then it will be your word against the officer. The only thing that kept Abbate from walking free was the video tape. If there had been no video, then all those police officers would have gotten away with the police assault, police lying and police coverup.

Next time, dont argue with the police. Discretely use the video function on your phone to document the confrontation. Then you can discuss your options in the safety of your attorneys office.

3:06 p.m.

CTA will definitely be running. But be careful, as there will be people out there trying to take advantage of the oblivious and/or inebriated. Stay aware of your surroundings, especially when on the phone or texting.

— On the neighbor message Transit on New Years
2:23 p.m.

Yes, but pizza hut had their own parking lot. Will the highrise have enough parking spaces? There was a thread in the East Village section of EB that discussed their concerns.

— On the neighbor message New construction @Division and Ashland?
9:20 a.m.

Good point ELLIE. And ask a neighbor to clean up the adverts that are left on your doorknob or stoop.

— On the neighbor message Leave a light on when you're gone.
9:18 a.m.

I heard the Walmart express was proposed at California and Chicago Av. in 2010 (?) but the project was stopped.

— On the neighbor message Tear Down at Western and Chicago
9:10 a.m.

Someone is planning on building a small strip mall on the adjoining land. They had a notice posted about a zoning change, and peoples gas was out there last summer, I think to disconnect old lines. I dont know if the owner of the huge lot also owns the demo'ed building, but my guess is its related.

A historical note: there use to be a small restaurant/bar on the corner, called the Lighthouse, which was run by a Greek guy named Nick, and her Ukrainian wife named Elizabeth. Two very nice people. It was open 24/7. There was also a 30 foot wide one story commercial building next to the house. A used car lot use to be between the two.

— On the neighbor message Tear Down at Western and Chicago
7:09 p.m.

The below would apply to your situation. You need proof. The ticket should show an address of the violation. Take many pictures of the signs and building addresses to show the zone does not apply to the address listed in the violation. Bring the photos to the hearing. If you contest by mail, then you need to write a letter that clearly states your defense and include photos.

Chicago Municipal Code 9-100-060 Grounds for adjudication by mail or administrative hearing.
(a) . . . . . . a person charged with a parking or compliance violation may contest the charge through an adjudication by mail or at an administrative hearing limited to one or more of the following grounds with appropriate evidence to support:
(1) that the facts alleged in the parking or compliance violation notice are inconsistent or do not support a finding that the specified regulation was violated

Heres a link to an online version of the city codes, for future reference.
http://www.amlegal.com/nxt/gateway.dll/Illinois/chicago_il/municipalcodeofchicago?f=templates$fn=default.htm$3.0$vid=amlegal:chicago_il

6:55 p.m.

And you can also put a radio on a timer, to play during the day. I set mine to NPR as its mostly conversation. Does it help? It cant hurt.

— On the neighbor message Leave a light on when you're gone.
1:40 p.m.

The police refused to make a report on an attempted break in? I wonder if this is how the city is claiming there is less crime. If the report isnt taken, then it never happened.

It would still be helpful if if the op SVETLANA posted the approx location of the incident.

— On the neighbor message Attempted burglary
1:31 p.m.

And the little bulldog said "merci beaucou"

— On the neighbor message Found French Bulldog
4:18 a.m.

Who was the shipper? USPS? UPS? FEDEX?

— On the neighbor message Missing/Stolen Christmas & Birthday Gifts?
4:15 a.m.

FWIW - there are a ton of people with drywall & taping/mud skills. For some people, thats all they do. So they are lightning fast, which means low labor costs for you. Shop around for quotes and you should get a good price.

9:26 p.m.

Well, there is a ton of logic in it. Some people are selfish! They will take anything that is not tied down. The older Japanese cars are stolen for the parts, which are worth much more than the car as a whole. I had a friend whos car was stolen - they took off the valuable hatchback and then put the car back on the street.

I empathize that this is a very tough economy, and a bad time of the year to be hurting people. I hope you still find a way to enjoy some happiness during the holidays.

— On the neighbor message Stolen Car
11:46 a.m.

Frustrating to have a taxi co promise to send someone, and then they dont. Ive found that the CTA takes awhile, but is quicker than being stood up by a taxi. Even to the airport. And you save a little $$$. Of course, if you have three bags, then that may not be an option.

I would suggest that, being mad at the taxis for being scarce in the rain, may be a little unrealistic. Demand for a taxi skyrockets when it rains. There arent enough to keep everyone happy in those situations.

— On the neighbor message Two hour taxi wait!?
11:35 a.m.

JENN: thats the most frightening aspect of all this excrement. The kids either get in it, or their parents are too scared to let them play outside. Not cleaning up after a pet is a truly selfish and disgusting act. GPBLIGHT is also right in that rats feed off the poop.

— On the neighbor message Please clean up after your dog
6:03 p.m.

I dont agree with your methodology. To assess whether a social policy works, you need to examine the "before and after". In this case, its the "before and after" of England's gun ban. But youre not doing that. You are just looking at the "after." I would say that approach is self-serving, and not intellectually honest.

And to say that the world's violence is increasing elsewhere is not accurate. If you look at the United States, violence and other crime have decreased. Gun violence in particular, has made a gradual and somewhat significant decrease over the last decade. This article from CNN, which uses FBI crime statistics, says murders have decreased 17 percent over the last 10 years.

CNN - Oct 12, 2012 http://www.cnn.com/2012/10/29/justice/us-violent-crime/

This trend is mirrored here in Chicago. The city murder rate has also shrunk. In 1991, about 890 people were killed. That has gradually decreased to 430 in 2011.

Chicago Police Dept - Chicago Murder Analysis 2011 (chart on page 2) https://portal.chicagopolice.org/portal/page/portal/ClearPath/News/Statistical%20Reports/Murder%20Reports/MA11.pdf

You cant blame England's failed gun ban on some made-up idea that crime is getting worse everywhere. England's gun ban failed because bans dont work.

3:19 p.m.

You are implying that England's handgun ban has helped reduce gun homicides. But youre saying that in the face of statistics that show the opposite: both the number and the rate of gun homicides have not decreased in England since their 1997 handgun ban. In fact they have increased. And other crimes have also increased, which some would argue is at least partly due to criminals now feeling safer.

Your only reply is to accuse me of cherry picking stats. Fine. But please explain how Im doing that.

1:38 p.m.

What you seem to ignore is that England had one of the lowest gun homicide rates in the world.....BEFORE THEIR HANDGUN BAN.

You are cherry picking statistics. You claim the low number of gun homicides in England is due to their handgun ban. But the low numbers existed BEFORE the ban. And gun homicides have actually INCREASED since the ban.

In addition, other crimes have increased, such as robbery and burglary. The criminals feel safer.

12:07 p.m.

Responding to the discussion about what can or should be done.......a lot of these street shootings are gang related. And a lot of the gang income used to purchase these expensive guns comes from the illegal black-market drug trade. I would suggest that, if you want to see a SIGNIFICANT decrease in the number of these kinds of shootings, then we should seriously consider changing drug prohibition to drug regulation. By ending the black market for drugs, we will screw the gangs out of a lot of income. They will not be able to afford handguns, much less the really expensive machine guns. A fact ......shooting deaths in the United States decreased almost 50 percent, within 4 years after the end of alcohol prohibition.

So my point is that, to significantly decrease the number of these shootings, we should end the our drug prohibition laws. It would have much more of an effect on shootings than adding police or adding prisons. And we would not have to spend a ton of money to do it.

— On the neighbor message More shots Cortland and Whipple
9:31 a.m.

I have received tickets in situations where it was clearly issued incorrectly. Not sure why it was done. Im guessing they were having a very bad day and goofed, or it was done on purpose to meet some quote requirement.its very frustrating.

Ive successfully contested tickets by mail.

— On the neighbor message Parking tickets
9:25 a.m.

BRIAN said: "who knows what the number would be without the UKs gun policy"

We actually DO know what the "numbers" were before England's gun ban. England's gun ban is only a decade old. . In 2009, gun crimes had increased by 89 percent since the gun ban was enacted in 1997. I understand that guns can be very scary to some people. But I dont see that as an excuse to ignore facts and statistics when discussing social policy.

As for our changing times.........Illinois just became the last of all 50 states to legalize concealed carry handguns. So yes the times are indeed changing.

The problem with answering your question about assault rifles is that Im concerned you dont even know what an assault rifle is. Most anti-gun Americans dont know. So before I answer that, you will have to tell me your definition of an assault rifle, and where you got that definition.

9:09 a.m.

You think that Chicago's solution to gun violence is a national ban on guns? Maybe like England's gun ban? Unfortunately, gun crimes have actually INCREASED in England since they banned guns. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1223193/Culture-violence-Gun-crime-goes-89-decade.html

Im surprised that anyone can expect a national ban to work, after our experiences with the national ban on alcohol and marijuana and cocaine etc etc. Bans dont effectively address social problems. They do create a black market for the desired goods, and worse, finance an exponential growth of organized criminal activity. So the social benefit of bans is minimal, and the social cost of bans is huge.

12:14 p.m.

"melting pot" is synonymous with "gentrification"? Never heard that before. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/melting%20pot

— On the neighbor message Roberto Maldonado
4:58 p.m.

Well, from 1983 until 2010, Chicago had one of the most restrictive handgun bans in the United States. But it failed to reduce the shootings, armed robberies, and burglaries. Seems any gang banger can buy a gun. So Im unclear on how overly strict gun control is going to help improve my safety.

4:36 p.m.

"now claim a lot of area...."? The church is 125 years old. My neighbor's family have owned their home for about 60 or 70 years. And there are many other ukie families on the street. This is not some new thing. Sounds like you have some issues around Smith Park, but I was talking about the address mentioned by the OP and the immediate area.

— On the neighbor message Beware of the Ukrainian Spare Tire Bandit
4:12 p.m.

KELLY - I dont see the "victim blaming" posts (were they removed?), but I cant imagine how anyone could criticize you for your posts. Your posts are beyond criticism. And they may save someones life. Maybe even mine as I live nearby. So thanks.

Before you move ......... I would suggest that it sounds like the same criminal is on the prowl, and the neighbors may be able to help capture this nut job. Other "nicer" areas of the city are not necessarily safer, as the criminals travel to where people have money. But you have to do what it takes to feel safe. So best of luck whatever you decide.

3:41 p.m.

900 N washtenaw is the actual address of Ukrainian Autocepholous, which is a 125 year old ukrainian orthodox church. I understand that EB lables that area as HP, but the ukrainians that live in the area think otherwise.

— On the neighbor message Beware of the Ukrainian Spare Tire Bandit
3:33 p.m.

As long as its skillfully done, I think a great piece of art on a garage door would cheer up a drab alley.

As for changing the tag on your garage....funny stuff. But, I would suggest you refrain from insulting them. Removing the tag discourages them. But calling them a "loser" could be taken as a provocation. Be careful.

5:19 p.m.

I would say it cant hurt to report it to 311. If there was a truck reported stolen, then any leads would be helpful.

— On the neighbor message Towed Pick Up Truck?
7:27 p.m.

I dont have an answer. but you have my sympathy. My neighbor's smoke seeps thru the floor. Good luck.

7:25 p.m.

The only poop I clean up is off my shoe (which I had to do yesterday.) I have no patience for that nonsense/ disrespect.

re: snow shoveling.......well, now its a city law you have to shovel your sidewalk. Not sure how fair that is, but its definitely safer for the kids and the elderly. But hey, with global warming, we may never have to shovel again! i think chicago is setting a record for snowless days.

— On the neighbor message Dog Poop Patrol Alert (Augusta and Damen)
7:22 p.m.

HUMPARKRES: Here are some suggestions on home security. (part 1) Note that some are expensive.

1) All entranceway doors should have a high quality deadbolt lock. (For apartments, this is required by city ordinance.)
2) If your backdoor leads to the outside, then consider installing a bar across the door.
3) Doors should be SOLID wood or heavy gauge metal. Hollow core doors are easy to break or bend with a long crowbar. (If you rent, and know the door will not get improved, then keep it in mind when shopping for your next apartment. An expensive option.)
4) Wood door frames are easy to bend away from the door lock with a long crow bar. You can reinforce the door frame with steel angle iron. (It would be installed under the door trim, and is done by someone with carpentry skills. A more expensive option.)
5) Light up dark areas outside. (Use a light sensitive switch and florescent lights to save $)
6) Definitely put bars on windows that are hard to see from the street, or in dark areas like narrow walkways. Consider bars for windows on first floor and on a porch.

(continued in next post)

7:14 p.m.

(part 2)

7) Get rid of "privacy fences". They help burglars by hiding their activity. Replace with a see-thru fence.
8) Have timers installed that turn on lights at sunset, so it seems someone is home at night. Have a timer turn on a radio or TV during the day, for the same reason. (Most burglaries happen between 8am and 11am, just after people go to work.)
9) Start or join a block club, to keep an eye out for trouble.
10) Be very cautious of people ringing your doorbell. Some are seeing if anyone is home. Others may try to get in to steal. they pretend to be giving surveys, utility employees, city employees, etc. Use your peep hole. You NEVER have to open that door. Be selective. Call 911 if there is anything suspicious.
11) Call police when you see or hear anything suspicious. Dont assume another neighbor will call.
12) When leaving for work, keep an eye out for suspicious people who may be observing your habits.
13) To minimize a loss if someone does get in......Keep small valuables in a non-traditional location. Dont leave them in your dresser or nightstand, which most burglars check first. Have a dummy laptop in the open, and keep your working laptop hidden when not in use. Most burglars are in and out in under 10 minutes. They check the regular places and then run.

I have heard others suggest a barking dog helps to scare away burglars. But my feeling is if a burglar wants into your home, a barking dog will not stop them. But...it cant hurt.

7:13 p.m.

Trust your instincts.

— On the neighbor message Homeless people
4:10 p.m.

The city is full of these miscreants. Thats why I use a U-lock and a locked chain to secure both tires. I also removed the wingnuts on my seat, so people cant easily take that.

— On the neighbor message Petty thieves in Ukranian Village!
4:03 p.m.

Sure, you have a right to complain. but remember the staff have no responsibility to protect you once you leave their store. So complain when the panhandler doesnt see you do it. Its the management (not the police) that have the ability to immediately pressure panhandlers to move along. I dont think the reduced police force is leading to an increase in panhandling. The police dont arrest panhandlers. they just ask them to move along,

— On the neighbor message Homeless people
11:56 a.m.

I agree in that its totally frustrating. I guess I keep quiet by reminding myself they are seriously worse off than me. Plus, I try not to insult people who probably has nothing to lose, and might just have impulse control issues. One low-risk option is to complain to the store manager.

— On the neighbor message Homeless people
3:29 a.m.

That area is quiet and has a lot of families. People tend to know everyone and watch out for each other. Im west of there, and walk thru that area all the time, day and night. But there are occasional incidents of crime, unfortunately the result of an improved neighborhood combined with the bad economy.

The occasional crimes are mostly burglaries and car theft. There have been a small number of armed robberies, but most ive heard happened late on Friday and Saturday night to people coming home late from the bars. Early last summer, there was a screwball robbing people in the day, but police finally caught him. Crime is infrequent, but does happen.

A very nice area, with some beautiful homes. But its not the suburbs.

6:28 p.m.

KAT; this is how the city works......if an open building is reported to the city, then the city will mail a notice to the owner. (This meets the legal definition of notification: no proof of receipt is required.) If the owner does not respond and the code violation is not corrected, the the city can ask the court for permission to tear it down. Once the court order is issued, then the building usually comes down, regardless of what the owner does.

You can argue if thats fair or not, but thats the system.

— On the neighbor message Squatters
6:14 p.m.

TEDDY: the correct acronym is BACP which stands for Business Affairs and Consumer Protection.

Heres a page form their website about the licensing process
http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/bacp/provdrs/liquor_licenses.html

— On the neighbor message Innjoy wants to be a 5 a.m. bar
10:18 a.m.

THIS HAS NO BEEN DECIDED YET. The alderman does not approve or reject the application. That decision is made by Chicago Business Affairs and Consumer Protection. The alderman can only support the application, or not.

For any INNJOY neighbor who wants to make their opinions known, you should contact:

Chicago Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP)
121 N. LaSalle Street, 8th Floor
Chicago, IL 60602

Rosemary Krimbel. - commissioner
Gregory Steadman - assistant

Heres some info on the licensing process
http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/bacp/provdrs/liquor_licenses.html

10:13 a.m.

Who steals a tree? Who steals anything!!! I once had a druggie try to sell me an American flag & pole, the day after july 4th. Ive also come down to move my sprinkler, and found some one stole it, with the water just gushing out of the hose. Some peoples brains just arent firing on all cylinders.

— On the neighbor message Stealing Xmas trees from Sprout Home
6:48 p.m.

RAKAR is right. Even if they only do it once, the neighbors think its ok, and then someone else will doit later. Its more than rude and disrespectful...... its illegal.

4:11 p.m.

Those vendors are not allowed to sell anything but streetwise. And they are assigned a location, and not allowed to wander. The OP may have something against Streetwise......BUT, another possibility is she may SUPPORT Streetwise, and is just trying to address a rogue or fake vendor. ...... A LEGITIMATE CONCERN. Unfortunately, no one bothered to ask her for clarification.

RUBYRED is correct: "many criminals who mean to do harm go out of their way to dress like someone you would trust." There is also a rash of fake ComEd people out there.

11:16 a.m.

And how would someone write to the liquor commission? Is there a neighborhood org that people can contact to get more details or ask questions about the INNJOY license application?

— On the neighbor message Innjoy wants to be a 5 a.m. bar
10:05 a.m.

Climbing a fence and hauling away stuff........ and did you phone the police???

— On the neighbor message Stealing Xmas trees from Sprout Home
6:34 p.m.

CAT V: My sincere apologies. I saw something that wasnt there.

6:24 p.m.

CAT V:

There are mega churches in more places than the south side. 4th Pres and Moody are both in the loop, and each have over 5000 members. Theres a suburban baptist church that has over 10,000 members. Willow Creek (Barrington) has over 20,000 members. What point are you trying to make by saying mega churches are not on the north side? One can infer a racial undertone to such a comment. If that was not your intent, then maybe you can rephrase the post.

3:13 p.m.

The concerns would be no different if someone wanted to build a stadium or theater with the same capacity, at the same location. A street similar to Western Av is a much better location as the street is designed to handle much more traffic. Putting such a large venue on Division would be inviting regular traffic jams, with the related dangers.

3:03 p.m.

I think the initial comment about firearms control in Chicago is legitimately connected to our cities crime problems. But blaming it all on Democrats is another topic. The partisan attack is a distraction from persuading people on the benefits of handgun ownership.

You can blame, or you you can convince. But you cant do both.

— On the neighbor message Shots?
11:28 a.m.

CHGODREAMS:

This thread topic deals with zoning changes and building permits for NEW LIFE. The pastors anti-gay statements are legitimate concerns related to that topic. The implication that I am shoving my beliefs in your face is ironic. Since the anti-gay statements are a sign that its your church doing the shoving. YOU have supported the actions of your pastor, using YOUR belief system. You are the one that decided to bring your own religious beliefs into a PUBLIC conversation on social justice. Dont be surprised or indignant if others disagree with your rationale. Don’t complain that people are “attacking” your belief system, or that people “hate” religion. It is unfair, and a little dishonest, to use your religion to argue a moral position, and then claim people are “attacking your religious beliefs” when they disagree. Fundamentalist protestant christianity does not have a monopoly on social morality in America.

10:57 a.m.

Living in a garage is against code. Even if they have permission fro the owner, they dont have permission from the city. It is a health and fire hazard. There is no approved or safe toilet. If they try to use candles for light, then they risk a fire. On a cold night, they will be motivated to create a fire to help them survive. Such a fire could kill them from the fumes, and set the garage and neighboring buildings on fire. I commend the concerns of neighbors for the homeless, bu its just not safe.

— On the neighbor message Squatters
10:40 a.m.

And most people have no idea how right you are about the potential mold issues.

Good luck finding an investor/ rehabber.

— On the building permit Permit issued for wrecking/demolition
9:02 p.m.

Finding a buyer in a couple of days? Very few people can hire an inspector and raise the cash in a couple of days. Sounds like its a hoop that they knew could not be jumped thru. But thanks a ton for trying to save a building with personality.

— On the building permit Permit issued for wrecking/demolition
6:08 p.m.

CHGODREAMS: whaa?? Why are you quoting that "put to death" nonsense from the bible? I bet money you dont subscribe to that jibberish. Maybe its to show how the "traditionally held moral principles" from the bible are just plain wrong.

5:53 p.m.

CHGODREAMS: Youve posted that your pastor is absolutely not intolerant. But when youre confronted with what he has actually said (as reported in CHRISTIANITY TODAY) you now dont want to respond? I would suggest that, if you defend someone, then you should be able to explain the underlying logic.

So, I say again.....how can YOU, as a loyal parishioner of NEW LIFE, say that your pastor is absolutely not intolerant, when he has been quoted as saying homosexuality is immoral?

5:17 p.m.

You can do more than just call the police. Call your alderman. This is a huge fire hazard. If this situation qualifies as an abandoned building, then the property owner can be fined and forced to deal with the issue.

— On the neighbor message Squatters
5:01 p.m.

CHGODREAMS: Why dont people complain about food pantrys? Maybe people think food pantrys (good) are not an excuse for intolerance (bad.)

Is this just another way of avoiding having to explain why your pastor thinks homosexuals are immoral? Or why you think that is not a form of intolerance?

3:14 p.m.

EVERGREENER: Im not offended if any org thinks they have system to address social problems. As long as their system has some scientific backing, and they are open to criticism.

3:04 p.m.

KATE D: sorry if I was not clear. I was not taking any position on taxation of church property. My point is that such a complaint will have no bearing on whether the church will gain the zoning and permits to build. And such a discussion will distract the thread from discussing legitimate concerns related to granting zoning and permits.

2:54 p.m.

CHGODREAMS: The reason there are no PUBLIC religious schools is because of the Constitution, which keeps religion out of government. "Gay" is not a religion. So there is no constitutional restriction for a gay focused high school. Just as there are schools with other focuses, such as all-female, or military or the arts.

Also, you are only responding to the gay high school controversy. You are completely ignoring the fact that your pastor thinks gay is immoral, and that your pastor's church has a program to turn gay into straight. These facts were a response to your question: "how is my pastor intolerant"? Still waiting for a response from you.

2:51 p.m.

CHGODREAMS: your pastor has been quoted in a christian magazine as saying that homosexuality is immoral. That is an example of intolerance. Your pastor has also admitted to advising the Chicago Public School system to cancel their plans to form a gay high school in Chicago. It has also been posted that your pastor runs a program to change peoples gay orientation to straight. All of this seems intolerant to me.

As for your belief that I am forcing my beliefs on you. Well, Im not forcing BELIEFS on anyone. But I do expect people to ACT morally. I feel that labeling homosexuals as immoral is, in itself, an immoral act. BECAUSE SEXUALITY IS NOT A CHOICE. (A scientific fact is not a belief. Just like evolution.) So believe in whatever god you want. But dont expect me to stand by and do nothing as others are emotionally abused because of the way they were born.

I would also argue that using the bible to excuse someones behavior, and then admitting the bible is offensive, is a double standard.

11:28 a.m.

Trying to stop the construction of the NEW LIFE church because they dont pay taxes? That argument will fail. Because ALL churches receive this benefit, not just NEW LIFE. So complain all you want. But churches will remain tax free. And the more you post about it, then the less the thread can focus on LEGITIMATE complaints about New Life.

11:24 a.m.

CHGODREAMS: You need to apologize. You said your pastor is not a bigot. But the article in CHRISTIANITY TODAY quotes him directly. He said homosexuality is immoral.

Also, you are being dishonest with your selective quote of the bible. You did not give the WHOLE quote, which says: "And if a man lie with mankind, as with womankind, both of them have committed abomination: they shall surely BE PUT TO DEATH." (American Standard)

Do you believe the bible is the word of god? Not selective portions....but the WHOLE THING??? Then I am going to have a serious disagreement with your religion's teachings.

6:19 p.m.

CHGODREAMS: it seems you are avoiding the issue. Someone posted that your pastor was homophobic. You claimed such accusations were in error, as the media shouldnt be believed. So.....what do you think, now that CHIRSTIANITY TODAY is the source???? The pastor is QUOTED as saying homosexuality is a "paramount moral issue" for him. What is your response???

4:47 p.m.

Gosh......sure we could move. We could also talk to our alderman and gum up their plans to make significant changes to their license. I could do either. I choose the later. If you dont like it, then move your fun time back to the old Rush St.

Sorry. Things only change if they are allowed to change.

4:30 p.m.

CHGODREAMS: Did you not see the link to the Christianity Today article? If you did......no comment on what your pastor ACTUALLY thinks about gays?

4:23 p.m.

CHRISTIANITY TODAY, "Preach and Reach", Oct 6, 2008, pg2, para 6
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2008/october/18.26.html?start=1

QUOTE: "Wilfredo De Jesús, 44-year-old senior pastor of New Life Covenant, an Assemblies of God church in Chicago with an attendance of 4,000.........says, opposing abortion and homosexuality have been the paramount moral issues for him."

So much for the the excuse that the Reverends alleged bigotry is just the result of a "liberal media."

4:03 p.m.

Working to combat prostitution and drug use is commendable. But is it done using a scientifically valid method? Does NEW LIFE offer these services without taking advantage of their vulnerable condition to proselytizing? Or is this just a way to convert a vulnerable portion of the public?

3:46 p.m.

There has been an allegation that NEW LIFE has a program to "convert" gays into straights. Ive never heard this about NEW LIFE, but I have heard this about other fundamentalist religious organizations. If you want to respond directly to this issue, that would be nice. but replying with "our pastor is nice" doesnt really address the issue.

3:38 p.m.

McDonalds has a right to run their business. And the public has a right to either love it or hate it. Personally, I think the fast food industry bears more than a little responsibility for the epidemic of chronic health problems related to a poor diet, such as diabetes, obesity and heart disease. America is super-sizing their own children. Congrats to McDonalds on their new building, and their growing stock price.

1:51 p.m.

I support Suzanne's strategy. Positive, pro-active, and it protects the interests of legitimate NPOs.

— On the neighbor message Solicitors at Dominick's on Chicago Avenue
1:29 p.m.

DAWN posted that "you people just don't want Godly people in your neighborhood" and "we need jesus" and to "not let the enemy (you people) stand in the way" and "you probably sit and watch tv and never leave your house on sunday." Then she has the cahunas to claim "we are supposed to love on one another and not bash them."

This is why Im happy to live in a country that keeps religion SEPARATE from government. Those founding fathers were smart cookies.

1:23 p.m.

Will keep an eye out for him. Good luck.

— On the neighbor message Lost male orange cat
9:36 p.m.

Man yelling at the child, who is without a coat in freezing weather? A call to 911 would be justified.

— On the neighbor message Sketchy guy with little girl
1:49 p.m.

Revolvers and semi-auto handguns will cock using only one hand. Some can be cocked by pulling the hammer back with the thumb. Some cock automatically when you pull the trigger. A few can do it either way.

You may be thinking about chambering a round into a semi-auto. which requires the other hand to pullback the slide. But many CCW advocates carry their gun pre-chambered, to ensure it can be utilized quickly with one hand. So, a trained, prepared person only needs one hand to use a handgun.

6:35 p.m.

According to the map at www.chicagogangs.org there is a gang at that corner
called "SHAPE 279 - heaven & hell". But there are no details on them in the gang listings. Anyone heard of SHAPE 279? Are they an offshoot of the kings?

5:55 p.m.

I personally would enjoy another music venue in the neighborhood. But I empathize with comments like GRACIEJULY, who should not have to have their home life adversely affected. I think venues like that should be required to install soundproofing. Empty Bottle seems to have no problem respecting their neighbors, and keeping the music in their building.

To the people who argue for free-reign capitalism, or libertarian property rights, or that neighbors cant complain about significant changes to their neighborhood, well.....I disagree.

As for comparing it to 1985, well...real estate was affordable back then, and things like burglaries and robberies and theft and traffic and drunk revelers were all much lower than they are now. But some things have improved - the gangs are mostly gone, and now there are tons of places to eat & drink.

5:45 p.m.

Sorry if I got the member number wrong. I now see another post saying the congregation has 4000 members......not 6000. But thats still is a huge amount of traffic.

12:28 p.m.

F&G CLEANERS AND TAILORS is at 1926 W Grand. I bet she never worked in Bloomingdales, but her work is very good and the prices affordable.

12:21 p.m.

Im not a big fan of using the word "war" to describe a social disagreement or conflict. But aside from that, Im totally in agreement with humboldtwriter. To me, there are two serious issues:

1) TRAFFIC: even if their building plans accommodate parking for the cars that will flood the area, it still doesnt address that the public infrastructure (streets. traffic control signals, cta) are too small for that large a venue. I doubt the city would allow a 6000 seat theater in that location.

2) MORAL: Supporting an org that is so clearly stuck in antique beliefs about homosexuality is too anti-rational, anti-science, and anti-compassion for a city this progressive. Bad enough I have to listen to that vile hatred from TV evangelists. Dont let such a group build a headquarters for it here.

And HW is right. If this church gets the right political backing, then they can use the system to sneak thru zoning and building approval before most even hear about this plan. Spread the word. Get involved.

12:13 p.m.

I will keep an eye out for Finn. good luck.

— On the neighbor message LOST DOG!! FINN - REWARD IF FOUND
11:45 a.m.

Ordinance 8-32-140

(a) No person shall use or cause the use of any mechanical equipment or tool operated by fuel or electric power in building, construction, repair or demolition operations between the hours of 8:00 P.M. and 8:00 A.M. within 600 feet of any residential building or hospital.

(b) The limitation of this section does not apply to any construction, demolition or repair work of an emergency nature or to work on public improvements authorized by a governmental body or agency.

Municipal Code of Chicago
http://www.amlegal.com/nxt/gateway.dll/Illinois/chicago_il/municipalcodeofchicago?f=templates$fn=default.htm$3.0$vid=amlegal:chicago_il

— On the neighbor message Crack of dawn construction on Kimball/Belden
7:09 p.m.

Has anyone contacted the alderman? By the way, which ward is that bar in? That area is so gerrymandered.

— On the neighbor message Innjoy wants to be a 5 a.m. bar
7 p.m.

I personally know two people who were attacked on the lakefront bike trail, between 31st and Jackson Park. Dont let the beautiful view fool you. There are some not so nice neighborhoods just to the west of there. If you do take the chance, dont hesitate to stop if you see suspicious people ahead.

6:59 p.m.

Honestly...when it gets busy in a grocery store, I could a brazen solicitor setting up a table for an hour or two. During busy times, the service desk people look like they have plenty on their plate. It would take a customer or vigilant employee to alert them.

— On the neighbor message Solicitors at Dominick's on Chicago Avenue
6:53 p.m.

OLeary Equipment Rental is in Chicago, near Cicero and North Av. Family business. Very nice people. Been in business forever.

6:35 p.m.

SWEETPIEs story is much more realistic. But ACGs story is much more entertaining. Unfortunately, Illinois is still the only state that does not allow conceal carry. So anyone carrying a concealed handgun would be breaking state law. (But you can now have a handgun in the home....with a city permit.)

6:33 p.m.

What is iTracker?

— On the neighbor message Burglary at 1952 W. Iowa St.
6:24 p.m.

Its legitimate and responsible to be curious about the happenings on your street. I have approached police who were active on my street to ask what was going on. Most times, I was kindly given a quick description of the problem. In a couple of other instances, i was given a curt "nothing." I guess it depends on the officer, and maybe their mood.

— On the neighbor message Officer in car for hours doing nothing
6:20 p.m.

P LEE:

I seriously apologize for calling you dude. I saw the name Lee and incorrectly assumed it was masculine. No insult was intended.

— On the neighbor message Innjoy wants to be a 5 a.m. bar
10:29 a.m.

P LEE:

As a former late night party person, I can definitely say there are positives to drinking, dancing and flirting til the sun rises. When I was in my 20s, I moved to an area with such bars, and later worked in some too. And I know some bars that are GREAT at ensuring the neighbors are respected.

But there are potential negatives. Your mistake is thinking Im biased because Im discussing them. First, i have posted comments about the positives of such bars, but you seem to be missing that. Second, your assuming my negative comments are because Im against the change. Youre wrong dude. My heels are not dug in. Im still discussing it. Still open. Im posting the negatives because the thread seems dominated by some pro-5am posters..... some of which I feel are posting misleading and erroneous info. So Im providing some balanced info to the thread. Neighbors need to know both the pros and cons to make an informed choice.

As for the name calling.....dude.....is it at all possible for you to keep this discussion respectful?

— On the neighbor message Innjoy wants to be a 5 a.m. bar
10:09 p.m.

NIMBY??? jees. I never said if Im for or against the 5am application. Calm down dude. Turn off the attack mode.

— On the neighbor message Innjoy wants to be a 5 a.m. bar
8:27 p.m.

Back in the days when I was busy with my 35mm Konica, I used HELIX on Racine, and was happy with their work. I have no experience with repairing digital cameras.

— On the neighbor message Camera repair shop?
8:02 p.m.

Thanks to MATT L for info on law. The practical problem is what do the police do to confirm or disprove whether a solicitor is legitimate. especially at night when an NPOs HQ would be closed.

Thanks to AMY for link about Salvation Army. A slight derailment of the topic, but important to know.

— On the neighbor message Solicitors at Dominick's on Chicago Avenue
7:57 p.m.

Well....that photo is a whole bunch of cuteness.

7:44 p.m.

FWIW - Im not dead set against late night bars. There are pros and cons. Lots of fun for the late night party people. Lots more money for the owner & staff. More fun options for locals who like late night activity. And a lot of nonsense and noise for calmer folk who live close by. A dedicated owner can mitigate problems with neighbors. I think anyone who denys any of these facts is biased, uninformed or in denial. No beef against the bar. Only beef I have is against people to spin facts or make personal attacks in lieu of legitimate discussion.

— On the neighbor message Innjoy wants to be a 5 a.m. bar
7:37 p.m.

P LEE: The OHare and Wrigley analogy was initially made by A-NOTHER POSTER. Not me. I only replied that it is an inaccurate analogy. Any accusation of being "over the top" should be directed at the original poster.

Regarding the changes to Wrigley Field (as a comparison to this situation)........ the Wrigley Field lights did not bring new foot traffic to the neighborhood. It shifted the traffic from the day to the night. BEFORE the lights were installed, Wrigley Field had one of the largest annual attendance numbers of all MLB stadiums. The Tribune Corp wanted the night games to get more viewership from their national broadcasts on WGN cable. (And it worked.) Businesses grew in Wrigleyville, not because of night games. but because the neighborhood all along the lakefront gradually gentrified over time. (Ironically, pushing the Hispanic community west, to Wicker Park and Humboldt Park.) The lakefront from North Ave all the way to Montrose was really bad in 1980. Now its all high end real estate. Nothing to do with night games. The gay community had more to do with popularizing that area than night games.

Dont preach to me about METRO. I was sliding in the sawdust when SMART BAR opened, and most of Clark was a gang-infested no-mans land.

Not sure why youre fixating on Shambles.

You have never experienced anything negative at 4am bars? NOTHING??? Well, I cant dispute your personal experience. But I find that amusing. Personally, I have witnessed many highly entertaining, saddening and frightening shenanigans at late night venues.

— On the neighbor message Innjoy wants to be a 5 a.m. bar
7:37 p.m.

Unfortunately, in Chicago, a parking ticket means you are guilty until proven innocent. And there are time limits for you to prove that innocence.

Chapter 09-100 of city ordinance deals with "Administrative Adjudication of Parking Compliance" subsection 9-100-060-b(3) says an owner can contest the charge if the vehicle was stolen, but evidence of the theft must be provided. Hopefully, you have a copy of the police report on the theft.

Section 9-100-050 gives the process and time limits to contest the charges. Hopefully this happened recently, and you can still do so.

Suggest you read it all for yourself. http://www.amlegal.com/nxt/gateway.dll/Illinois/chicago_il/municipalcodeofchicago?f=templates$fn=default.htm$3.0$vid=amlegal:chicago_il

— On the neighbor message 7am Burglary
6:40 p.m.

TIM; thanks for feedback about UPS.

Yes, I always pay extra to FedEx for signature delivery. Fortunately, there is a FedEx center close by, on Goose Island.

6:05 p.m.

Certainly a legitimate question. Sounds like the OP better understands the issues. My two cents (and I acknowledge are some posters who would know better). from what Ive heard about police officers....they are being run ragged, sent from incident to incident. Especially with the decrease in police personnel. I cant imagine any officer being able to just sit in his squad for three hours without some supervisor asking him what hes up to.

— On the neighbor message Officer in car for hours doing nothing
6:01 p.m.

There seems to be a belief that no one can complain, because Division is busy and people should have known what they were getting into when they moved there. One person gave the analogy that its like people who move to Wrigley Field or OHare Airport, and then complain. This analogy si false, as it doesnt consider when a business wants to make a substantial change to their operations. Such as when OHare announced they would be adding runways, to allow massive increase in jet traffic. Or back 20 yrs ago when Wrigley announced they would add lights, so 35,000 people could come into the neighborhood at night. In such cases, these changes would negatively affect the neighborhood, and complaints are legitimate. And, yes, a business inviting late night drinkers into your neighborhood is a big change.

— On the neighbor message Innjoy wants to be a 5 a.m. bar
5:48 p.m.

RYAN: well stated.

DONALD: A "dirty rag on the bar" is the same as being rude to a customer??? I dont think so. Look, you are free to disagree. But I think being rude and thoughtless is a sign of someones character. Its been alleged that the business treated one customer rudely. If neighbors want to know the character of the owner applying for a 5am license, then they may appreciate one customer's feedback.

ALL: The irony is that its just ONE opinion from ONE poster. I would think people would let it stand, and compare it to many other posts, Instead, a small portion of posters are feeding the fire, with the disproportionate vitriol. Guess I shouldnt be surprised that people are passionate about partying late into the morning. Fortunately, there are some who disagree in a respectful way.

— On the neighbor message Innjoy wants to be a 5 a.m. bar
5:41 p.m.

ZACHARY: Fire trucks once an hour??? I dont think so. Even the ambulances headed to Nazareth arent close to that frequent. Living two blocks from Division could be enough of a buffer to minimize Division's noise pollution. That wont help those who live closer.

DONALD: if a business treats their customers poorly, then expect them to act the same way to their neighbors. Im glad JARED he shared his experience. The businesses behavior is relevant to the topic.

— On the neighbor message Innjoy wants to be a 5 a.m. bar
3:21 p.m.

Huge difference between 2am and 5am bar. The patrons are much worse. This is common sense, as they obviously have been drinking longer. And I wouldnt want to live across from a business that plays loud music until 5am.

JARED: Not sure why others are so upset about your experience. Your opinions seem valid to me. Seems like the more you hold your ground, the more animated they become.

— On the neighbor message Innjoy wants to be a 5 a.m. bar
11:08 a.m.

"officers will have to cover a larger territory and we will have dramatically fewer police officers coming through the neighborhood."

I was under the impression that the re-districting was just a consolidation of management territory, and that the per capita representation of police in our area would not be affected. Are you saying CPD is creating a much larger district without shifting in a corresponding number of police officers?

10:40 a.m.

Or better yet, if you see suspicious people, then take their picture. That should freak them out.

10:28 a.m.

I dont see anything in the original post that describes illegal activity from the barber shop employees or customers. All I see is behavior that can be explained as cultural differences. Implying a connection with the stolen car, without any witnesses, is in my opinion somewhat unfair. If you sense something is wrong, then by all means, keep an eye on the place. Just make sure youre complaining about illegal behavior, and not something else.

10:20 a.m.

Seems like the personal attacks are coming from the "dont shut down my party" crowd. As a former bouncer, Ive witnessed this kind of reaction on too many occasions.

— On the neighbor message Innjoy wants to be a 5 a.m. bar
9:57 a.m.

If these solicitors are inside the store, and have managements permission to be there, then I dont see how the police can do anything to the solicitor. It may scare the goof at the service deck who authorized the activity.

I think the best strategy is to: 1) get the name of the npo, 2) confirm they exist (website or incorporation), 3) contact the npo to see if they actually had their people at the store, and then 4) complain like hell to the manager if its a scam. (Dont assume the service deck people have any authority. Ask for the manager. ) Then contact the corporate hq and complain there.

— On the neighbor message Solicitors at Dominick's on Chicago Avenue
9:41 a.m.

No. The white uniformed people that I saw were never from the Salvation Army. (I know what that logo looks like.) The ones I saw usually had some generic medical type logo on their "uniform", and the patch was usually pinned on, not sewn. It seemed they were implying a connection to a medical cause. Questions like "what organization are you with" are met with a blank stare.........no English skills. They didnt seem to be druggies or drunks. The impression I had was they are illegals hired to raise donations for a fake cause.

— On the neighbor message Solicitors at Dominick's on Chicago Avenue
9:36 a.m.

Ironically, the latest group of people asking for a "donation" are the cashiers of some stores. I understand their boss makes em do it. Still bugs me. Corporate wants to pass on my money to some cause, so they can claim they are socially conscious.

— On the neighbor message Solicitors at Dominick's on Chicago Avenue
11:14 p.m.

Its not uncommon to see trucks or a big SUV parked too close to the crosswalk, so that it blocks the stop sign. I suggest installing a flashing red light above the intersection.

11:04 p.m.

Gang dynamics are constantly in flux, due to the age and personality of the members and leaders. Old members die, go to jail, or go straight. The "shorties" grow up and join the gang. The rising real estate prices forces low income families out of the neighborhood, and reduces the number of potential gang members living in the area. But, even though families move, the older members sometimes return to their old hood to hang out. All these factors mean there will be lulls and spikes in gang activity.

On the average, things are improving. Its so much better than 20 or 10 years ago. When there use to be area wide problems, there are now hot spots...much easier to address. Proactive neighbors and responsive police are the keys to improvements. Things are, and will continue to get better. Hopefully you can find a way to feel safe for the short term, so you can see the improvement over time.

6:05 p.m.

Not that Im a prude. When I had endless dancing stamina, a large alcohol tolerance, and more hair, I lived at the 5am bars. And then when I got bored, I got a job bouncing at one. Almost every night, there was some nonsense. Usually inside. And always outside. Plus, there is usually music/noise that comes out the door when patrons enter/exit. Anyone who goes to sleep at a normal hour would HATE living near a 5am bar. But tons of fun for the party people.

— On the neighbor message Innjoy wants to be a 5 a.m. bar
5:45 p.m.

Along Division, there are normal bars, coffee shops, restaurants and various specialty stores. And with an el station close by, it makes the neighborhood highly desirable. Implying that people move to the area for late night bars is not accurate for many residents. The late night bar crowd is a COMPLETELY different crowd than the people that use the other businesses. Some of those patrons dont even go to a late night bar until after their normal bar boots them out at 2am. STEVE J is right.

— On the neighbor message Innjoy wants to be a 5 a.m. bar
5:25 p.m.

Im surprised these people had the gaul to set up a table inside the Dominicks. Sounds like some kind hearted manager let them do so, without any due diligence. I hope theres not another explanation. Thanks much for the warning.

This is as bad as the street solicitors that show you an official looking flyer, and then ask for a "donation" for the kids/ battered women/ homeless/ church etc. I know they do it because they are successful with some people. The worst are the people (who usually speak no english) in white uniforms collecting "donations" at red lights.

— On the neighbor message Solicitors at Dominick's on Chicago Avenue
5:12 p.m.

It definitely sucks that you cant just throw something in your garbage can, without having to worry about someone else going thru it for nefarious reasons. But it still is an excellent tip. Potential burglars do look at whats in your trash, including empty boxes of new appliances, electronics, and computer stuff. They also pull used mail from your trash, to find personal info to attempt identity theft. It may be a hassle, but rip up those boxes, and buy a shredder for ALL of your mail.

— On the neighbor message 7am Burglary
11:43 a.m.

I purchased a steel walk-thru door with a steel frame and good deadbolt installed it on my garage. There are multiple crowbar marks on it, but no one has succeeded in getting in. (You should have carpentry experience to do it yourself. It involves removing the old door and the old frame.)
http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R-202516050/h_d2/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10053&langId=-1&keyword=steel+door+frame&storeId=10051&superSkuId=202954828#.ULWw-2fm50I

Also have bars on INSIDE of windows, and I secure garage overhead door from the inside. And just in case they do get in...... I also chained up EVERYTHING inside my garage: bicycles, ladders, lawn mower and snow blower. And have a locked cabinet for lawn tools.

I spent a fair amount of money, but those $&#@ heads have yet to get in. (Knock on wood.)

— On the neighbor message Another Garage Break In
12:43 a.m.

Ive lived on my street for 20 years, and seen a huge change. It use to be affordable, Lots of working class families and some poor. There was not a lot of robberies burglaries and car theft, because everyone knew each other and there wasnt a lot of money here. But there was a lot of gang activity and drug sales. Now its the opposite. The gentrification pushed out the affordable homes and apartments, and the working class families. Now theres a lot of nice stuff to steal, so people are coming into the hood to try for some easy money. But the gang activity and corner drug sales has decreased dramatically.

Personally, I have spent a fair amount of money to make my garage and home very secure.

— On the neighbor message Stealing Copper from Cable/Internet Wires
12:32 a.m.

What area of HP?

— On the neighbor message LOST: Gray Tabby Cat, REWARD if found
12:18 a.m.

Accusing the OP of complaining about a "police presence" is clearly a misrepresentation of his concern.

Every Chicagoan knows that parking violations are not frivolous. Our city makes it painfully clear that parking rules are very VERY serious, with tickets, boots, towings, collection agencies, and their cute "kangaroo court" style administrative hearings. Saying its "nothing" when off-duty police do it is a gross double standard. This is the entitlement attitude that got Abbate in trouble, and made our CPD a national joke. Personally, Im not a supporter of this behavior. If I can park a block or two from my home at night, then a police officer can do the same. But i seriously doubt the OP can get any city employee to write that ticket. "Professional courtesy" is still alive and well.

Expecting dissenters to "get physically involved in protecting our streets"???......jees.

12:16 a.m.

This is one product that my mechanic told me about. www.catclamp.com

— On the neighbor message Catalyc converter stolen
12:07 p.m.

I have no suggestions....but happy birthday!

— On the neighbor message Where should I go for my 30th birthday?
7:59 p.m.

I heard the exact same description by someone around 2600 W Thomas. That was in the summer. Hoodie kids checking car doors.

— On the neighbor message hooded teens looking for unlocked cars!
7:54 p.m.

Not uncommon. A neighboring (vacant) building lost its aluminum door to a scrounger. And another neighbors garage lost its aluminum gutter. I know electricians who take extra wire from their work sites and sell the copper to scrappers. Never heard of cable theft, as that wire is relatively thin. But copper prices are now at an all time high.

— On the neighbor message Stealing Copper from Cable/Internet Wires
7:51 p.m.

About three weeks ago, I saw a coyote near Armitage and Ashland. Theyre out there.

7:35 p.m.

Does anyone know if its illegal for someone to gain access, or attempt to gain access, to a residence by impersonating a utility employee?

— On the neighbor message weird man at my door
6:13 p.m.

A great suggestion is to take a photo of the tow truck in action, and the driver. And then you could look for reports of a stolen car, on EB or on the CPD website. Thats something you can do if you see a car being towed.

A legitimate towing employee will have no problem if you take a photo. (He may look a little puzzled.) But a thief will get a panicked look on his face. Or may even abort the tow.

9:08 a.m.

If you can, try the place at 2240 W North Av.....hes great!

— On the neighbor message Shoe Repair in Logan Square?
9:02 a.m.

Taxi drivers are not trained to know the location of neighborhoods. They are trained to know streets. Give them an address and they should have no problem.

— On the neighbor message Wicker Park Safety
1:37 p.m.

Real estate is more expensive in Wicker Park than in East Village. Which may explain the incorrect labeling. Absolutely no excuse for a professional to error on the neighborhood.

— On the neighbor message Wicker Park Safety
1:35 p.m.

MAZ: I doubt your idea would work, but it is funny.

— On the neighbor message Stopping delivery of unwanted newspapers
10:17 a.m.

I once caught someone about to put a bus card on my car. I asked him not to. He acted offended, and tossed it on my hood. The people employed to do this menial labor are getting paid squat. They have little motivation to respect private property, nor avoid littering a neighborhood.

— On the neighbor message Stopping delivery of unwanted newspapers
10:16 a.m.

First off, that area is definitely NOT wicker park. If a realtor is telling you that then Im not sure I would trust anything they say. Its the heart of East Village. The southern border of WP is Division.

The area is nice. Quiet, and nice neighbors. Parking can be a challenge (depending on the street), so try to get a private spot. There are plenty of great bars/ restaurants/shops along Division St, and along Chicago Av., an easy walk. Blue Line el station is close at Ashland and Division. Or Chicago Av bus takes you straight down to North Michigan Av.

There are the typical citywide crime problems, such as burglary, car theft etc. And there are occasional robberies, usually on weekends, and closer to the strip of bars/restaurants. Most gang activity has been gentrified out, but there is still some, more so east of Ashland.

— On the neighbor message Wicker Park Safety
10:11 a.m.

Totally hate the car thieves. Also agree you cant leave anything in sight or there will be a break in. Its almost as bad as leaving something on the sidewalk. I know a victim who had his window broken for two dollars in change.

regarding items stolen from a trunk.....I had a car alarm pro disconnect the truck release switch. Now, if someone breaks into the passenger compartment, they still cannot access the trunk. Of course, I have the inconvenience of having to use a key for the trunk. But I can deal with it.

— On the neighbor message Car break-in on Augusta
10 a.m.

Its not "circumstantial" when the dogs are witnessed killing another animal. In that case, the animals can be deemed dangerous without further assessments.

9:51 a.m.

I saw the video, and the person in the back seat looked scared. Saying "the door was open" and implying he was "free to leave" completely ignores why he was placed in the police car, and how/why he was transported to such an obviously dangerous location.

9:45 a.m.

Officers only get in trouble when they are videoed, or when its the feds investigating them. It very rare for an officer to turn in one of their own. Thats the reason there are these problems. And thats why the city was just found liable in the Abbate lawsuit.

9:38 a.m.

The trucks arenot like armoured cars. But they are trucks, so they usually are the winner in a collision with a car. But there have been instances of trucks tipping over, or being deflected into buildings or objects. Speeding thru intersections is not inherently safe. Its why they blow that super loud airhorn when they are responding.

It is easy to take a truck out of service, because the city has extras. The real problem is that an accident can delay assistance, which can cost lives.

— On the neighbor message Accident - Milwaukee & California
6:37 p.m.

Heres a link to the EB post by RANDY. Nice photo!

http://chicago.everyblock.com/announcements/nov19-coopers-hawk-5535653/

— On the neighbor message Hawk(s) sighting(s)!
6:30 p.m.

The charges against the officers seem clearly illegal:

"......holding the youth.....against his will ....driving him about six blocks south without a valid police purpose.”
To me, that sounds like kidnapping.

"The officers later each made a false oral statement about the incident to an Internal Affairs detective."
To me, that sounds like making false statements and obstructing an investigation.

The officers may have had the best intentions in the world. But they still must follow the law. And if they are caught breaking the law, then they should be charged. If they are found guilty then they should be fired.

6:26 p.m.

And here is how a burglar can circumvent a $10 alarm......break in the door, rip the alarm off the wall, and break it into a million pieces. Then they take 3 minutes to pic out the most valuable items, and then scram. The police wont arrive for 20- 30 minutes.

Another technique is to break in, break the alarm, and then wait in the street or alley for 60 - 90 minutes to see if anyone calls the police. if none show, then they take their time shopping in your garage..

Which is why I spent the extra money to ensure my garage is secure. Its costly, but Ive never had to replace a lawnmower, snowblower, tools or bicycles. Many attempted breakins over the years....none successful.

— On the neighbor message Another Garage Break In
8:42 a.m.

Depends on how you define "healthy."

FEED is at 2811 W Chicago Ave. While there is a lot of fried food, they do have a lot of vegetable sides. You can buy three sides for $7.

8:30 a.m.

These papers, and the fliers left on my windshield, and the fliers left jammed in my doorway....... its a harassment, and much turns into litter along the street, and is illegal to do without a city permit. But, as all this garbage is distributed by people making minimum wage, Ive decided theres nothing I can do to get them to miss my home. So I just treat it all like trash. Frustrating.

If anyone has had success stopping this behavior, then please let me know.

— On the neighbor message Stopping delivery of unwanted newspapers
8:11 a.m.

Thanks for the feedback on the tenants rights orgs. hadnt heard that before.

Not clear about this: "in court, if they file by publication - YOU ARE TOLD YOU HAVE NO RIGHT to an attorney - like EVERYONE ELSE DOES - unless you agree you were served correctly and WILL NOT contest it.".......

What do you mean by "file by publication"? File to do what? What do you mean by "publication"?

And who is telling you that you dont have a right to an attorney? The court??? Or the landlord?

Has a request to evict been filed with the court? Have any utilities been cut? Have you spoken to a real estate attorney about all this? What does he/she say?

Sorry if all the questions are a burden. I could imagine you are highly stressed right now. All this sounds strange, and so unfair. If you have time and energy to explain, I would appreciate knowing more about what this landlord is trying to pull.

— On the neighbor message Trespassing
8:02 a.m.

Given these dogs are dangerous, and the community outcry, I doubt the city will allow them to be "rescued."

7:25 a.m.

If you havent already done so, I recommend you post something on the West Town and East Village sections of EB. There may be victims there too.

9:14 p.m.

There are cheap alarms they make for doors and windows, and they are sold at Home Depot. Just go to their website and type in door alarm. Some sell for less than $10. Here is one example

http://www.homedepot.com/buy/swann-magnetic-window-door-alarm-and-chime-sw351-mda.html#.UKalpGfm50I

— On the neighbor message Garage alarms.
2:44 p.m.

According to the city's definition, these dogs are a danger to public safety. Nuf said.

Rose, please accept my condolences. Very sorry for your loss.

2:25 p.m.

The easiest way to gain access to the engine is to break a car window and pull the hood release. But Im curious if they did it another way, and if the make model was a factor. I know some cars (ie Jeep Wrangler) are notorious for hoods that are not secure.

2:13 p.m.

Traffic could definitely 'grind to a halt" if pedestrians felt inhibited in crossing the street at will. But laws and self-preservation skills that would prevent a ped crossing "free for all." That said, I could see pedestrian crossings really gum up traffic during busy times.on popular and narrow streets like lincoln or broadway etc,

— On the neighbor message The Crosswalk and the law...
10:05 a.m.

the battery would have a serial number. If you purchased the battery and have a receipt, the receipt should have the serial number printed on it for warranty reasons. Your problem is you dont have any evidence (witnesses) to give the police probable cause to search the suspects car, and check the battery.

You could always break into the cars engine compartment and check yourself. But, unless you have the mechanic/ skullduggery skills and experience, then you may not have that option. Plus, as another poster noted, that runs the risk of having the thieves just come right back to your car and do it again to you. Or worse, escalating the situation to vandalism or violence. You want to be very wary of screwing someone who knows where you live. A minor detail is such an act is illegal, and you run the risk of being arrested.

Sounds to me like you are out a new battery. very sorry.

How did they break into your engine compartment? what kind of car do you own?

9:53 a.m.

Its all relative. Its not as bad as west of Central. but its not as good as east of California. I have seen a lot of EB posters who live near that corner and recommend it. I would hold out for more feedback from potential neighbors.

9:36 a.m.

Did you know there are some non-profit tenants rights orgs in chicago? They may be able to give you more cost effective advise and legal representation.

METRO TENANTS UNION www.tenants-rights.org
ILLINOIS TENANTS UNION www.tenant.org

— On the neighbor message Trespassing
9:23 a.m.

Good question. How does such an ownership transfer affect: 1) the rent owed and 2) an eviction.

And.. what are legal requirements regarding notification to tenants?

And....if the former owner started an eviction process, then can a new owner continue the process, or does new owner have to start over? Will new owner try to use the "similar named inc" to pretend he is the former owner in any ongoing eviction proceedings?

Not being an attorney myself, I would guess an answer depends on how and when the transfer was made. Safest option is getting the opinion of a real estate attorney. I would definitely get an answer before making any more rent payments. I cant imagine its safe to give rent to an entity that no longer owns the building.

When you get some legal answers, please pass on the details.

— On the neighbor message Trespassing
9:18 a.m.

regarding the catalytic converter theft:

There is a product made specifically to prevent such a theft. their website is
www.catclamp.com I cant give feedback on the product as I did not purchase one.

8:38 a.m.

"Common sense" is not common.

— On the neighbor message The Crosswalk and the law...
9:19 p.m.

quote: "Feel free to criticize pedestrians in public, to shun them at the solstice sacrifices, and lie about them on Facebook, but you have to stop."

Thats just too funny.

— On the neighbor message The Crosswalk and the law...
9:18 p.m.

If the landlord is willing.....the frame can be reinforced with steel. He would have to take the trim off and use steel angle iron to reinforce the frame. This really stiffens the frame and prevents a burglar from bending the frame away from the deadbolt.

— On the neighbor message Apartment Burglary
12:17 p.m.

You are definitely NOT in the 1st ward. You are in the 26th ward. Aldermans office just moved and is north of you on Division. (The wards are very gerrymandered around here, so its easy to make the mistake.)

South of you is called Smith Park. The neighborhood north of you is debatable. Some say its the SE corner of the Humboldt Park area. Others say its the western edge of Ukrainian village. There is a 120 yr old Ukrainian Orthodox church just a block north of you, and many Ukrainians live in the area.

There is a METRA station near Western and Grand that is convenient, but kind of hidden. train runs between OLGIVIE STATION and west to ELGIN.

Some recommendations on local businesses:

1) FEED is a restaurant just two blocks west of you. Good affordable, southern style cooking.

2) ARCHIES is a fun neighborhood "off the beaten path" bar, located at Iowa and Rockwell, just two blocks from you.

3) BOSTONS BEEF is a no frills fast food joint, with a great Italian beef sandwich, at Grand and Chicago Av.

4) RICHIES DELI is a decent size Polish grocer/deli, at Iowa and Western.

5) COCO is my favorite Puerto Rican restaurant on Division just east of California (there are many others on Division).

6) UKRAINIAN INSURANCE has some very nice people there if you want a local agent. They are on Chicago Av across frm the Ukrainian Credit Union

7) there are quite a few restaurants, of many nationalities, along Chicago Ave between Oakley and Damen. A walk along that strip would be a good way to explore. Start at MR BROWNS LOUNGE at Oakley, which serves a delicious Caribbean style jerk chicken.

Welcome!

— On the neighbor message Ukranian Village
12:07 p.m.

Maybe you didnt mean to, but someone may think youre recommending that people lie about seeing a weapon, to get a quicker response. i would recommend not making false reports to 911. God forbid if someone was unjustly injured because police had concerns about a reported weapon.

1:08 p.m.

Deadbolt locks are imperative to home security, plus they are inexpensive and easy to self-install. They are also required. Others may imply this is not a practical option. I think that opinion is incorrect and a little dangerous. The below is so people dont have to take my word on it.

IMPORTANCE - according to State Farm, a deadbolt on an entrance doorway is imperative for security (last paragraph) http://learningcenter.statefarm.com/residence/safety-1/choosing-the-best-door-lock-for-your-home/

THE LAW - deadbolts are so critical for home safety that the city of Chicago requires them on every residential door (code 13-164-030) http://www.amlegal.com/nxt/gateway.dll/Illinois/chicago_il/title13buildingsandconstruction/chapter13-164securitydevicesinresidentia?f=templates$fn=default.htm$3.0$vid=amlegal:chicago_il$anc=JD_13-164-030

INEXPENSIVE - Home Depot sells a deadbolt lock for $10. (I recommend something more hardy.) http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R-100352212/h_d2/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10053&langId=-1&keyword=deadbolt+single&storeId=10051&superSkuId=202944527#.UKE-8Gfm50I

EASY TO INSTALL - heres one of many YOUTUBE video tutorials on how easy it is to change a deadbolt. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wz4KRFmPjAo

— On the neighbor message Midday Break-ins
11:47 a.m.

Sorry to hear about the violation. The free flashlight is a small consolation.

There have been many attempts to break into my garage. All have failed. I would be happy to share my security strategies if youre interested.

— On the neighbor message Garage Break In
11:39 a.m.

A screwdriver? To open a door? Sounds like a real weakness in either the door or lock or door frame. All those can/should be strengthened. You could also bar the back door for extra security, if that is convenient.

If youre a renter, then it may be hard to get the improvements from a cheap landlord, and you may consider moving. If so, then make sure you check security when shopping for a new apartment.

Sorry to hear of the violation. Sucks.

— On the neighbor message Apartment Burglary
11:35 a.m.

Congrats and thanks.

Just curious....did you find out the breed/age?

— On the neighbor message Found: Tiny White Dog
11:29 a.m.

A good website with feedback on mechanics. Its run by the guys with the Saturday radio show on NPR. Go to the MECHANIC FILES and punch in your zip code.

www.cartalk.com

11:27 a.m.

Well....Im all for common sense. but how do you teach that? The old adage "a rotten apple spoils the bunch" applies. Only a handful of dangerous drivers can scare the bejesis out of enough cyclists and peds. The results are signs and lines.

I totally agree that decreased police enforcement is the cause. And I think the decreased "quality of life" enforcement is because the police are too swamped by drug law enforcement.

— On the neighbor message The Crosswalk that mostly works..
5:30 p.m.

NPR has (had?) a regular Saturday show, CAR TALK, hosted by car mechanics Tom and Ray Magliozzi, from Boston. Their website has a section for reviewing mechanics. Ive found it fairly reliable. Just punch your zip in the search engine to see reviews.

CAR TALK - MECHANICS FILES http://www.cartalk.com/mechanics-search

— On the neighbor message Good Mechanic in Logan Square/Bucktown?
5:22 p.m.

Regarding drivers that stop when peds are not in the crosswalk: That could very well be because the lettering on that sign is too small. Going 30 mph, you cant read the sign until the car is already in the crosswalk. But you can clearly make out the red octagon "stop" image. So safe drivers are stopping to read the fine print.

This is what I was doing when I first started seeing these signs about 2 years ago. I saw the red "stop sign" image, and automatically stopped. Then I could read the fine print. My reaction was "wtf ?!?"

The intent is admirable, but the sign is poorly designed. For a sign that small there should not be lettering on it. But I doubt the DOT will care what I think.

— On the neighbor message The Crosswalk and the law...
1:23 p.m.

Youre also making blanket dismissals about my suggestions for doors/windows/locks. Its one thing to offer that my suggestions may cost some money. but to make the blanket dismissal that they are all too expensive is counterproductive.

And implying my suggestions are useless to tenants is incorrect. Tenants should know about security to assess their current apartment, and when shopping for a new apartment.

Are you just dismissing anything I say because I disagree with you on using dogs for intruder protection?

— On the neighbor message Midday Break-ins
9:19 a.m.

Arrogance? For disagreeing with you? You yourself posted that people cant do a deadbolt lock. Whats up with that? It sure doesnt sound like you know anything about locks.

— On the neighbor message Midday Break-ins
9:09 a.m.

LEAN: If a poster wants to make the silly claim that "most people cant do" a deadbolt lock, or misrepresent what I suggested about solid core doors, then they are going to risk a response from me.

Responses from you, such as "he still doesnt get it" or "lay off the coffee" or that I have "issues with dogs" or calling me a "bully"........if you can only resort to personal attacks then your argument is heavy on emotion and light on reason.

HILARY: owning a home since 1987 doesnt add weight to your dismissals if you dont have any experience with doors or locks.

— On the neighbor message Midday Break-ins
8:21 a.m.

Would Your Dog Protect You From An Intruder?
http://www.newson6.com/story/20049010/would-your-dog-protect-you-from-an-intruder

— On the neighbor message Midday Break-ins
8:20 a.m.

Sorry. In last post, I should have said "30 days notice" but mistakenly said "20 days notice"

— On the neighbor message Trespassing
7:49 a.m.

The owner probably saw this coming, which is why your 12 month lease was not renewed.

As you now know, if you dont have a written 12 month lease, and are just "month to month" then you have much less leverage. So an attorney would have much less leverage to sue, and the $1000 offer to move may be your best option. Make sure you get the money in advance. If they promise to give you the cash after you leave the apt, then they could stiff you.

I hope your attorney is experienced with tenant / landlord problems.

It typically takes more than 2 months for a landlord to get a tenant into eviction court. Then it takes more time to schedule the sheriff to have you physically evicted. So they would want to start the eviction process asap. If the court date is in a week, then it means they started the process more than two months ago.

To evict someone who has a "month to month" agreement, the landlord first has to give you 30 days notice to leave, in writing, and then the landlords attorney would pay a process server to formally serve you a written notice to appear in court. If neither of these actions took place, then either 1) the landlord is bluffing about having a cdate scheduled in eviction court so soon, or 2) they started this process months ago, you were never given official notice, and they are going to court illegally.

If they are going to court after falsely claiming you were legally notified, then your option can be to get to that court date, and tell the judge you were not legally notified. In that event, an attorney would be critical, as they surely have an attorney.

"30 days notice" means they have to give you written notice 30 days before the last day of a month. for example, to be given 20 days notice to leave on Dec 31, you would have to receive notice before Dec 1st or earlier.....in writing.

— On the neighbor message Trespassing
7:42 a.m.

Actually, a defense for the sign is to say the sign is contradictory, because the "stop" image indicates a mandatory command, but the writing says a stop is conditional. Also, the lettering is to small to read. You really cant read it until its too late to stop. (Thats why drivers are stopping when they dont have to.)

— On the neighbor message The Crosswalk that mostly works..
11:13 p.m.

LENA posted: "I don't know many landlords who would spring for what Alex is asking for. He still doesn't get it. I think someone has issues with dogs."

Well, Im a landlord, and I "sprung" for window bars on the first floor. I also "sprung" for solid core doors and good deadbolts. Anyone who signs a lease for an apt without solid core doors is making a big mistake. If you sign a lease for a 1st floor apt, and the windows dont have bars....another mistake. And if your landlord does not have deadbolt locks on the doors, then he is breaking the law.

Plus, I allow my tenants to have dogs. And I had a dog, until she died last year. I have no problems with dogs. I only have problems with misguided dog owners.

— On the neighbor message Midday Break-ins
10:57 p.m.

HILARY

I don’t care how much success you’ve had with your dogs. Nor how much you keep repeating it. It doesn’t change the fact that many dogs do not have inate anti-intruder skills. They would need training. Of course, barking dogs need no training.

Not sure why you feel the impulse to dismiss my recommendations on door/lock/window security. I have to say, your claim that “most people cant do” a deadbolt is just plain silly. Do you even know what a deadbolt is? Or how much they cost? Very affordable. So are long screws for your door hinges. Cheap ways to slow down a burglar. Also, city ordinance requires landlords to install a deadbolt lock on each entranceway door of an apartment. So, for tenants, they don’t have to pay a penny for them.

Also, youre misrepresenting my point on doors. I NEVER said steel doors are necessary. I did say that a SOLID CORE DOOR is necessary. Homeowners should purchase a solid core door (wood or steel, with no windows) for their home. Tenants should never sign a lease if the apartment door is not a solid core door. A hollow core door can be broken with your foot.

Bars on windows are expensive. Homeowners can decide if the risk warrants the expense. Tenants should consider the risk before signing a lease.

All of this info can be used by homeowner or tenant. If you feel my suggestions are too expensive for you, or not “normal” enough for you, then fine. You can use them, or not. But don’t tell me they are useless or impractical, because you don’t appear to know much about doors or locks.

— On the neighbor message Midday Break-ins
10:46 p.m.

BEAT 1313

Wow. a 72 page paper. Im impressed you would read thru such a thick study. I have some questions, but the paper is not indexed. Could you tell me the following?

1) where in this paper it says the actual rate of improvement per the increase in police personnel.

2) where the paper explains why New York and Los Angeles have achieved lower crime rates with a lower (per capita) number of police.

— On the neighbor message How do fight crime in our neighborhood?
1:34 p.m.

Blue bin rules are specific. No building larger than 4 units should be issued a blue bin. There should be one blue bin two apartments, and a second one if there is 3 or more. Any extra bins, or bins issued in error, should be reported to the city.

Bins and garbage cans should be behind the assigned residence, and not placed behind a neighbor. I have neighbors who somehow justify placing their garbage cans, blue bins, misc debris, and even their shoveled snow, behind my property. its a pain to confront them, but I do it. I am frequently moving their garbage cans from my place back to theirs. I usually place them back in front of their garage door, so there is some consequence to their actions. Im just fed up with being walked on. Fortunately, I only have one neighbor who refuses to change his behavior. The others get the message. I acknowledge this strategy is confrontational, so I dont recommend it for everyone

— On the neighbor message Garbage bins
1:11 p.m.

I also experience drivers who stop at these crosswalk warning signs, even when peds are not in sight.

The sign is poorly designed. Part of it displays an image of a stop sign. the problem is that a stop sign is not conditional. there is no "maybe" about a stop sign. People are trained to stop when they see one. A better design for a crosswalk warning would utilize the image of a yield sign.

Unfortunately, this crosswalk sign is federally approved by DOT. Im not betting money it will be fixed.

— On the neighbor message The Crosswalk that mostly works..
12:58 p.m.

LENA G:

Youre missing my point. Not all dogs have inherent skills to protect people and property. Yes, a poster did imply this, when they posted a suggestion to get a dog.

Im talking in generalities about acquiring untrained dogs. Im not knocking peoples' experiences. If getting an untrained dog has helped you with home security, then congrats. But extrapolating that experience to imply a blanket statement about all untrained dogs is, I think, misleading to others.

Not all people have the time or personality to own a dog. So I think that recommending dog ownership should be done with a lot of info and caveats.

As to what does work to reduce the risk of burglaries........ I recommend solid doors (steel preferable), steel reinforced door frames, extra long screws on door hinges, deadbolt locks, pick proof and bump proof locks, a barred back door, bars on 1st floor windows, and definitely network with trusted neighbors. These steps should be taken before any consideration of alarms, cameras, and untrained dogs.

— On the neighbor message Midday Break-ins
12:26 p.m.

If a dog makes people feel better, then go for it. But I have met many timid dogs. I also know many dogs that will happily greet a stranger - no barking or growling involved. It is unrealistic to expect a dog to act in a certain way if it is not specifically trained to do so. Advising people to expect untrained dogs to have personal protection and home security skills is irresponsible.

— On the neighbor message Midday Break-ins
11:40 a.m.

I would also like to add some historical perspective. Back 30 years ago, there were a lot of night clubs and blues bars in bad neighborhoods. And Im talking about the lakefront. Some of you young'uns dont know that the areas around Wrigley Field, along Broadway, down around DePaul, and down by North & Clark were gang infested, downright dangerous, and full of closed storefronts. This was in early 1980s. Hard to even imagine now.

The popular nightclubs helped to popularize the neighborhoods. Im certainly not claiming the bars were solely responsible for improving the areas, but they did help introduce a "coolness" factor to somewhat bad areas. If trend setters can be induced to frequent a business, then the popularity could shift the perception of that neighborhood.

But "could" is not the same as "would." Such a project needs a very dedicated and experienced management team to ensure the criminal element was weeded out. Personally, i think its a long shot that a safe and CRIME-FREE nightclub could be opened and run in HP. But I would be open to the idea.

— On the neighbor message Kimball & north ave lot
11:14 a.m.

ELANA HARRIS posted: "The reason you don't hear about collies and beagles biting and attacking is because it doesn't make for sensational news."

Bit??? You mean mauled. Thats what makes the news.....when a person or worse, a child, is mauled. Ive never heard of someone being mauled by a collie or beagle.

Comparing pitbull persecution to racial issues seems a bit of hyperbole.

10:36 a.m.

The OP said the attack occurred near Smith Park, near 2500 W Superior. That actually is west of Western Ave. But not near Bucktown.

I bet the dogs are in the rail yard, or along the industrial corridor along Hubbard St. and Carrol St.

10:30 a.m.

DANDELION: I am being mathematically truthful. It seems you prefer to ignore that truth. Chicago already has the largest number of police per capita than any other big city. So i suggest the solution is not to increase the number of police, but demand the city improve HOW they are used. Besides, increasing the number of police is not an option. With the coming city pension crisis, you will actually see a DECREASE in city services.

If you want more police available to work on violent crimes and improve response time to 911 calls, then there is a strategy to do so. Change drug prohibition to drug regulation. It will cut police responsibilities in half, and we will see a huge amount of police time freed up for other issues. I understand this is not a quick solution. but the sooner we start trying to fix this problem, then the sooner you will see results.

The drug war is making our neighborhoods less safe, and throwing more money at the crime problem will not solve anything. Even if we had money to throw.

— On the neighbor message How do fight crime in our neighborhood?
10:24 a.m.

Loose dogs are at risk of breeding with other strays, spreading diseases, being hit by a car, or being taken by dog fighters for use as a "sparing partner." Best to take any loose dog to the city pound. If you can find them a nice home on your own, then thats even better.

— On the neighbor message Lost dog on Cortland and Campbell
6:21 p.m.

In last post, I should have said "break the track roller off the door."

— On the neighbor message Garage Break-in 1400 block of Wood
6:13 p.m.

Construction equipment is very easy to sell used. At a garage sale, a flea market or even on craigslist. Especially something as handy as a ladder.

During a burglary, a smart burglar will check out your home security from the inside. He looks for weaknesses; for an easy way to get in for a second visit. Sometimes they will actually do small things to make it easier to come back in. Like break a window latch, or remove the pin from one of your door hinges. Thats why its imperative to thoroughly check your security after a break in.

The cheaper garage doors are relatively easy to break in. A crowbar can break the hinges off the track, or break the hinge connecting the door panels. I hear that the remote control can be circumvented.

I have my garage door secured frm the inside. I also replaced the walk thru door with a steel door and a steel frame. And the window is barred.

— On the neighbor message Garage Break-in 1400 block of Wood
6:11 p.m.

The OP did not say how the burglars gained entry to the apartment. It would be helpful to know how they got in.

Not sure why a poster called the burglars "desperate." Most burglaries take place in the morning, right after people have left for work.

I doubt a dog will help much to prevent a burglar. Not unless its specifically trained to guard property. An untrained dog may be helpful.....IF a person is actually home, and the dog barks at sounds. If the dog isnt a barker, then its unwise to depend on such a dog for any kind of home protection.

— On the neighbor message Midday Break-ins
11:21 a.m.

$1000 is an insult.

— On the neighbor message Trespassing
10:37 p.m.

Congrats for a number of reasons. 1) now you know why the landlord has been harassing you. 2) the landlord made a serious legal error in arranging for the building demo, before resolving your tenancy.

The landlord has to honor the lease. If he wants you out early, then you have to agree. YOU HAVE THE LEVERAGE. The landlord cannot harass you. The landlord cannot cut any of your utilities. If the landlord serves you notice that he will not renew the lease, then he must do it as outlined in your lease, or according to the city ordinance (whichever applies.) If you choose not to move, then the landlord CANNOT lock you out, but he must legally use the courts to get you out (which takes months.) Any violation is clearly against the law, and he can be sued BIG TIME.

Given there is a construction crew wanting to take down your building, then I suggest you really need to speak to an attorney to get his/her opinion on your options, and a fair settlement price. And possible discuss options if you are being harassed. Get an attorney that specializes in tenant problems.

My guess: if the landlord has done anything illegal, then any attorney would be TICKLED to get a chance to sue this a-hole. You would pay nothing up front, and the attorney gets a third of the settlement.

good luck

PS- shop around for an attorney. Dont take the first one you talk to.

— On the neighbor message Trespassing
10:34 p.m.

This is the kind of driver that make me paranoid to be on the road. Talk about crazy. Someone could be decapitated.

You didnt mention the name of the driver's business.

— On the neighbor message fixyourhome.com - dangerous practices
4:37 p.m.

Marianne is right. if you get a new bed before you fumigate the apartment/building, then more bugs will nest in the new bed. Try to wait until the building is fumigated. Stay in contact with the city/alderman, as they may be able to force the landlord to act. The city can step in if there is a health issue, like pest infestation.

— On the neighbor message Elderly Couple In Need Of Bed
4:25 p.m.

TIM: I agree. End the war on drugs, and you will see huge social benefits (including improved police services.)

Police will have much more time to patrol, and respond to 911 calls. Prisons will have the space to lock up violent criminals. Lazy thugs will not have the income to purchase expensive guns. And governments will have more cash to spend on more worthwhile expenditures.

Drugs are illegal and alcohol is "legal." Yet isnt it ironic that children find it much easier to purchase drugs than to purchase alcohol.

— On the neighbor message How do fight crime in our neighborhood?
4:19 p.m.

PART 2 -

4) I disagree that gentrification will reduce crime. It depends on the type of crime. From my experience over by Augusta & California, violent crimes will decrease, but robberies, burglaries and car thefts will increase. Its because there is more "money" in the neighborhood. As Willie Sutton said: "cause thats where the money is."

5) Cameras are better at deterring "thefts of convenience" but not so good at deterring professional burglars. Burglars can circumvent cameras. They can cut the wires. They can wear masks. Teh priority is to make your home and garage burglar resistant, much more so than buying a surveillance system. But ..... if want cameras, I suggest FRYS ELECTRONICS as an affordable option. They have a variety of affordable systems for sale. They have a superstore in Downers Grove.

6) Have a can of paint and a roller handy to immediately paint over graffiti. It frustrates the gang bangers that are trying to mark their territory. Our cash poor city is cutting back on their graffiti buster program, so if you want immediate results, then do it yourself..

— On the neighbor message How do fight crime in our neighborhood?
2:16 p.m.

PART 1 -

1) I think getting to know your neighbors and working together to watch each others backs is the best strategy. You could do this informally, thru phone and email, and at social events, or by formally start a neighborhood watch. Look for suspicious behavior and keep your neighbors and police posted.

2) Make your home and garage burglar resistant. Do some research online. There are a number if security issues with home locks, doors, door frames, first floor windows, window AC units, window bars, garage walk thru doors, and garage overhead doors etc. Dont assume you are secure. Dont just take the word of a professional that you are secure. Do the research. Spend the time and money to ensure you make your home secure.

3) The suggestion that "the city needs to hire more police" is not correct nor practical. First, Chicago has more police, per capita, than any other big city in this country. But our crime rate is one of the highest. So there is no correlation between the number of police and crime rates. Second, if anyone thinks they can convince our mayor to spend more money to hire more police, then you are welcome to spin your wheels. But the money is not there.

— On the neighbor message How do fight crime in our neighborhood?
2:16 p.m.

Not sure what you mean by "prior posts." The SMITH PARK neighborhood is just south of me and is a relatively safe neighborhood. Not a lot of gang activity, and the neighbors are very proactive and vigilant.

There are some issues about 2/3 blocks east of there, on the east side of Western Avenue. If youre referring to the WEST TOWN area, then that is a much larger geographic area, and things can change greatly from block to block.

If you can afford to live around Smith Park, I say thats a safe choice.

2:58 p.m.

BIKER: there are two issues. 1) the outstanding pension debt, and 2) the screwed up pension system. Moving forward, i am completely in favor of fixing the government pension system. As for the outstanding debt, well, there is no way we can magically make it go away (short of bankruptcy.) Taxpayers are on the hook for it. Im certainly not happy about that. Its just reality.

And to make it worse, its a double whammy for Chicagoans. Because they will be hit with taxes to cover both the city pension debt, and the state pension debt.

— On the neighbor message Voting: Constitutional Changes
7:55 p.m.

I second the "alley" suggestion. If you dont need the tax right-off, then the alley is great. its constantly patrolled by professional scavengers who will take anything worthwhile. anything left, you can just toss it int he trash. You may also find some neighbors taking your used stuff.

If you need the tax deduction, then the Salvation Army does pick-ups.

— On the neighbor message Donation Pickup?
6:47 p.m.

STEVIO: youre right that its now time to "pay up" on city and state pension obligations. Unfortunately, the public are the ones who will have to pay these obligations. Everyone get your checkbooks out.

— On the neighbor message Voting: Constitutional Changes
6:42 p.m.

Sounds like a well thought out conspiracy to make your life miserable. Im so sorry to hear youre being harassed like that. Best of luck with a resolution.

— On the neighbor message Trespassing
6:24 p.m.

The police respond slowly, because they are swamped by drug crimes. Not enough time to respond to violent crimes. Thats not the fault of police - its the fault of a public that refuses to end the failed, costly war on drugs.

Alcohol prohibition ended when people realized that regulation was a far lesser evil. Hope people come to the same conclusion about drugs. Until then - more of the same.

— On the neighbor message Suspicious sedan on 2100 block of W Thomas
6:19 p.m.

Where did they gain entrance? Walk thru door? Overhead door? Window? How did the get thru?

— On the neighbor message Garage break in at 2100 w Erie st
11:55 a.m.

Some humans do get banned. Its called prison.

11:53 a.m.

I dont even understand the whole thing. But I will not try to. Im voting NO because the constitution should be clear and reasonably understandable. Any proposed change or addition should not be convoluted and excessively long.

My opinion: the reason its so long and confusing is because someone wants us confused.

— On the neighbor message Voting: Constitutional Changes
11:50 a.m.

BLUDOG posted: "If your dog is not dog friendly, tie a red ribbon on the leash to indicate "stay away."

Im sure you are trying to be helpful. but such an expectation on the part of a dog owner seems kind of selfish to me. Owners of dangerous dogs dont have a right to a "buffer space" around them when they walk. If you dont have the ability to stay in total control of a pet, then that pet shouldnt be in the public way.

Also, while Im not an attorney, I would guess that such a warning could put a liability on a dog owner. The attorney of a victim could argue the owner knew in advance that the dog was dangerous.

I understand that people are strongly attached to their pets. But if your dog has the potential to bite, then a muzzle would send the same message as a red ribbon, and it would be so much safer and respectful.

6:17 p.m.

The location is excellent. Hope you were able to purchase the land for a reasonable price.

— On the neighbor message 1200 block of Marion ct Vacant Lot
9:48 a.m.

RAKAR:

Regarding prisons: the cause behind low prison time for violent criminals is the fault of America's myopic addiction to the drug war. Our prisons are jammed with non-violent drug offenders, which forces out the thieves, robbers, rapists, and even murders. The drug war is the main reason the USA has the largest prison population, per capita, in the world.

Regarding the number of police: Chicago has a larger number of police, per capita, than any other big city in the USA. But our crime rate is worst than most. So there is not a direct correlation between police ranks and crime rates. I would suggest the answer is in HOW the police are used - not how many police there are.

Regarding public housing: I understand that you (and others) think the public should not help poor people and families stay off the streets. But I respectfully disagree. I suggest its the lesser of two evils, as allowing a huge number of poor to become indigent would be worse for public order.

— On the neighbor message Fighting and gunshots on Crystal/Wolcott
9:25 p.m.

Heres a craigslist ad, saying they found a camera on Division, on Halloween, between Damen and Leavitt

http://chicago.craigslist.org/chc/laf/3379758008.html

— On the neighbor message Lost camera trick-or-treating on Division
4:48 p.m.

Someone posted that pits are inherently violent, and like a wild animal. I dont recall seeing such a study, but I would be open to reading it. Pet wolves certainly have wild instincts....it blows my mind that people would own a wolf. But not domestic dogs. Now, some breeds are more aggressive and territorial than others. I dont recall seeing studys showing pits are INHERENTLY aggressive.

Thats not the same as saying pits can (and are) TRAINED to be aggressive. It is, after all, a breed commonly used for illegal dog fighting. I would bet the chihuahua breed are more prone to bite than a pit. But a chihuahua doesnt have the jaw strength to rip your face off. Due to the overwhelming number of idiot dog owners, and the massive jaw strength of some pits, I feel my concerns about them are legitimate. So I would lean towards supporting some regulations and restrictions on the breed.

But I absolutely dont blame the dog.

4:40 p.m.

TRACY: regarding your pet that was killed by other dogs....

First, you have my empathy about the loss of your pet. I couldnt imagine witnessing the violent death of a beloved pet.

Second, there are laws in place to address dangerous animals. If the incident resulted in injury or death to a person or pet, then you can file charges against the owner. The dogs will be documented by the city as having a history of dangerous behavior, and could even be euthanized.

Did you know this? Did you try to file charges against the owner?

4:29 p.m.

Why would I prefer the new Petes Market over a grocer on Belmont Ave? Because I would rather drive 3 minutes than drive 20 minutes.

— On the neighbor message 125 S. Western Ave Western/Madison
3:20 p.m.

About 15 years ago, I ordered new checks. The postal carrier left them by my front door, on my front stoop. Since then, I have NEVER had them mailed to me. I always have them sent to the bank, and I pick them up.

— On the neighbor message Mail in Palmer Square
2:27 a.m.

GPBLIGHT: the blue bag program was a sHam. Only 90 percent of the recyclables went to the landfill.

The new blue binss will be an improvement.....a small sCam. Nothing much different than the other city services. This happens when the city starts enforcing the recycling laws with tickets. It will be just another city revenue mechanism. ....like the automated red light tickets and speeding tickets.

One example will be when the city starts enforcing the requirement that landlords of large buildings (larger than 4 units) hiring a PRIVATE recycling contractor for their tenants. Most landlords have no clue this is required.

Another example is the strict guidelines for what can be put in a blue bin. If your neighbor wants to throw his old computer in your bin, then you will get the ticket. (computers are one example of forbidden waste.)

The good news is that increased recycling is actually good for the environment. :-)

— On the neighbor message Recycling bins removed in Logan Square?
2:17 a.m.

There are two kinds of risk: actual risk, and perceived risk. The actual risk can be mitigated, by having an indoor parking space, and driving everywhere. And spending money to make the home highly burglar resistant. The perceived risk depends on the OP (and wife's) comfort level in that situation. If it stresses them out, then thats a deal breaker.

i wont disagree that it would be an adventure. ive been in the WALGREENS at that corner - at night -and there can be some strange people in there. WALGREENS keeps an armed guard at the cashier. But, I would suggest the OP can be given the facts, and then make his own cost/benefit assessment.

Personally, I do not feel comfortable walking around that area at night. So I drive around that area. Im looking forward to using Petes Market.

— On the neighbor message 125 S. Western Ave Western/Madison
2:04 a.m.

KARA: I saw your post on the robbery at Division/Noble. Both times it involved a gold minivan. Strange coincidence. i would be jumpy too.

— On the neighbor message Suspicious activity at division and damen
1:41 a.m.

Do you want nice quiet and safe? Or do you want to buy low/ sell high?

Depends on what you want. If you want a nice safe quiet family area, with places you can walk to, then Im guessing you and your wife will not be very happy. (If you need a safe quiet area near the loop, just go a little north to Ukrainian Village.) But, if you want to get into a neighborhood before it explodes, then that isnt a bad plan. In about three years, you wont recognize that area.

That neighborhood has come a long way. Madison was the scene of the riots after Martin Luther King was shot on the 60s. All of Madison was on fire, and it has taken this long to recover. There use to be a lot of projects around there, but theyve mostly been torn down (a few still left.) The UNITED CENTER was built in 1994, and thats when real estate investors started buying up properties around there. The old vacant West Town State Bank Building (corner of madison & Western) was recently turned into nice office space. A lot of condos have gone up by the highway. Plus the blue line has a station at Western. Recently they started construction on a PETES MARKET, at SE corner. Its going to be a huuuuge 55,000 sq ft market, and I bet the traffic will result in a lot of other businesses popping up along madison & western. The area will look totally different in 3 - 5 years.

But.......going west of Western gets progressively worse as you near California Av. Ive seen some condos over there, and I cant imagine walking aournd there at night. Im not sure I would chance to far west of Western. But near Western/Madison may be a great investment. But until the neighborhood blossoms, you would probably need to drive whenever you go out.

— On the neighbor message 125 S. Western Ave Western/Madison
7:41 p.m.

There are different systems that a plumber can install to prevent backflow. The cheapest is a one-way sewage valve. A more expensive option is a macerator / pump in the system that grinds up sewage and pumps it out of the house. Both are installed in the main sewer line leading to the street (under the basement floor or in your front yard) and both prevent backflow. Both systems need periodic maintenance. The pump requires electrical hookup.

— On the neighbor message 1440 - North Artesian Ave Home
4:47 p.m.

COLEMEISTER: how much did 550 sq ft cost you?

— On the neighbor message Need artificial turf installed
4:15 p.m.

Hmmm. I just googled "Steven M. Pontikes". Seems he passed away in early June. The funeral was on June 11th. With all the emotional trauma, you seem to have forgotten the date your boyfriend died.

Heres the online tribute
http://www.tributes.com/show/Steven-M.-Pontikes-93925821

— On the neighbor message CRIME......NEED HELP!
4:10 p.m.

All your problems are legal issues. You need legal advise from a professional.

Seems the first step should be to get some ID. Maybe an attorney can help you get a copy of your birth certificate, so you can get your ID reissued. Try legal aide. They will tell you if they can help. Also, there may be a chance your boyfriend had a life insurance policy, and you were listed as a beneficiary. Ask legal aide about that.

LEGAL ASSISTANCE FOUNDATION OF CHICAGO www.lafchicago.org

Also, the police can not evict you from your apartment. Only the county sheriff can do that. I suggest you contact a tenants rights organization to see if you have a case. You may be able to file a lawsuit and get some money.

METROPOLITAN TENANTS ORGANIZATION www.tenants-rights.org

good luck

— On the neighbor message CRIME......NEED HELP!
4:02 p.m.

Pulling a knife is assault. I would make a complaint to the alderman about the lack of police response. Then demand that the police allow you to file charges.

That girl is disturbed, And she wont be dealt with unless her behavior is documented.

— On the neighbor message Screaming
3:41 p.m.

I was told that only buildings with 4 or less units are issued a blue bin. Buildings with more apartments are actually required by law to provide recycling, via a commercial vendor, to their tenants.

Your building may have been accidentally issued a bin, and it was reclaimed.

— On the neighbor message Recycling bins removed in Logan Square?
3:37 p.m.

"borrow" a real estate yard sign sign and make your own!

— On the neighbor message Political yard signs?
3:34 p.m.

Post a NO TRESPASSING sign. According to the ordinance, if a sign is posted, then they are trespassing if they do it again. Then you are in a position to file charges if the police actually respond quickly to your 911 call

Take photos during every violation. Try to get clear shots of the kids' faces. Keep a log of dates and times. Create the documentation that could help you if the situation escalates inthe future.

Confrontation is good. Definitely keep it kind, respectful but firm. Kindness usually keeps the situation from escalating, and the confrontation discourages them.

If any graffiti starts popping up, have a can of paint and roller ready to cover it quickly.

The digging definitely sounds suspicious. Hide your shovels, and investigate the dig spots for hidden contraband.

All this can help discourage them from the bad habit.

— On the neighbor message Kids on garage roof
3:31 p.m.

Two units? Then its not against the law. But that may not stop your landlord from removing any lock you install.

Im a landlord. I find that very few prospective tenants ask about fuses, or check the water pressure. A common error. Hopefully there is no small electrical fire. If so, the city will make him repair the wiring or even replace some of it.

While it may be too cold to use this info........unless it specifically says in your lease that you are responsible for cutting the grass, then the landlord is responsible. See ordinance 7-28-120. It says the weeds must be under 10 inches tall or the landlord can be fined between $600 and $1200 for each day of the offense. And the city can do the cutting if the owner fails to do it. If the weeds are over 10 inches then you can call 311 and report him. Thats a health and safety issue.

If the landlord asks if you reported him, then you could tell him the neighbors probably did, as they complained to you about rats in the weeds. And you said back to them "I cant do anything about it."

If the owner/landlord(s) are being verbally abusive, then I suggest you document every instance. If they are threatening (such as crucifixions), then document that too, and consider legal advise. Maybe consider a restraining order.

Remember that, if the owner does not live in the building, then your apartment is subject to the Chicago Residential Landlord and Tenants Ordinance, which gives you some substantial rights to protect yourself from some specific kinds of landlord harassment. (Live-in landlords, in buildings under 7 units, are exempt from the ordinance.)

— On the neighbor message Trespassing
2:16 p.m.

When you say "back door" I assume you mean "back gate."

Thanks for the info. I did not know about the gate lock rule. 13-160-070 says it only applies to buildings that contain fewer than 4 residential units. So I assume you live in a larger building.

Living at an unsafe property, and having only one one electrical circuit in my apartment, would both be deal breakers for me. Do you plan on moving? Its fairly expensive to add more circuits to an existing residence. If your landlord already seems unsympathetic, then I wouldnt bet on him spending the money.

— On the neighbor message Trespassing
9:29 a.m.

Nice theory.

Have YOU had any success doing this?

— On the neighbor message Street Cleaning tickets with minimal warning
10:33 p.m.

LESLEY: According to the link you posted, people need permission of everyone to make SOUND recordings of conversation. But, you do NOT need permission to make VIDEO recordings in public (with some limited exceptions.) Language below.

720 ICS 5/14-1, -2 "Illinois's wiretapping law is a "two-party consent" law. Illinois makes it a crime to use an "eavesdropping device" to overhear or record a phone call or conversation without the consent of all parties to the conversation."

720 ICS 5/26-4(a) "While you generally are permitted to photograph or record video of people without permission in most public places, it is illegal in Illinois to "videotape, photograph, or film" people without their consent in "a restroom, tanning bed, or tanning salon, locker room, changing room or hotel bedroom."

I have heard of people getting in trouble videotaping others illegally. I understood that, technically speaking, they got in trouble for recording the AUDIO, as the video is not illegal. Your link seems to support this position.

I am not an attorney, and would appreciate comments from any attorney.

— On the neighbor message Someone keeps breaking into my garage
9:42 p.m.

GPBLIGHT: ok. I understand the process for making a complaint, by determining the employee's name, and ways to formally complain. But you havent explained to me how to PROVE that the employee broke the law (specifically for improper issuance of a street cleaning ticket) . If I have no proof of wrongdoing, then the investigation (and the system) will say the facts do not support the charges, and the complaint will be dismissed.

I do get that multiple witnesses making the same complaint on the same employee will have a substantial CHANCE of being successful. But Im personally not confident that it will work. Have you had any success with this strategy?

— On the neighbor message Street Cleaning tickets with minimal warning
6:36 p.m.

JEDI: I think I made my point regarding homelessness. I dont want to get into a more detailed debate, nor discuss taxes, as it would knock this thread off topic.

— On the neighbor message Nest of homeless people on my block
6:17 p.m.

If an owner grants permission, then its legal. If the owner did not grant permission, then its illegal. In the case of public property, then the owner would be the City of Chicago.

— On the neighbor message Reappearing Graffiti at Lyndale & Rockwell
3:03 p.m.

Are you sure youre not talking about audio recordings? I believe you have to inform people when you record their voice. I never heard you had to inform people when recording them on video. A citation or link to the law would be appreciated, as Im shopping for a good video security system.

— On the neighbor message Someone keeps breaking into my garage
2:41 p.m.

Wow. I had no idea a notice was required. Thanks.

Is that a city ordinance? Sate law? or Federal law?

— On the neighbor message Someone keeps breaking into my garage
2:10 p.m.

You seem to be open to the fact that medical debt ls is the leading reason for bankruptcy. But you refuse to consider there is no link between poverty and homelessness. Wishful thinking. The sad thing is that even people with jobs and WITH INSURANCE are declaring medical bankruptcy, because they are "under insured".

Medical Bills Leading Cause of Bankruptcy - 2005 Harvard Study
http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2005/bankruptcy_study.html

Homeless Report - US Council of Mayors 2008
http://usmayors.org/pressreleases/documents/hungerhomelessnessreport_121208.pdf
causes listed on page 19

four leading reasons for homeless families:
1. lack of affordable housing
2. Poverty
3. Unemployment
4. low paying jobs

four leading reasons for homeless individuals:
1. substance abuse
2. lack of affordable housing
3. mental illness
4. poverty

— On the neighbor message Nest of homeless people on my block
2:08 p.m.

If they are re-tagging quickly, then it means they notice you are removing their tag. I suggest you stay at it. Send them a message. Get out the paint and roll over any tags as soon as they go up. Dont wait for the city's Graffiti Busters, as the city is short on money and is cutting services.

The "overlap" between art graffiti and gang graffiti is that they are both done against the wishes of the property owner, and both acts are illegal. But there is zero risk that anyone will call this example of graffiti as art.

— On the neighbor message Reappearing Graffiti at Lyndale & Rockwell
1:39 p.m.

Thats a lot of info. But it doesnt explain how I can get a city employee in trouble for improper issuance of a parking ticket. If you know of a way, then Im all ears.

— On the neighbor message Street Cleaning tickets with minimal warning
1:25 p.m.

Cant have a keyed lock on the inside of a gate? Is that a law? Is that required by your insurance company? I know of such gates in my neighborhood, but I dont know if they are legal.

You can hire a welder to install a barrier (plate or mesh) on the gate around the gate latch, so that strangers cant reach thru the gate to reach the inside latch.

— On the neighbor message Trespassing
1:22 p.m.

FYI - the homeless shelters are far from convenient. they can easily become full, especially the ones known to be relatively safe or that serve hot food. For people with limited transportation options, it can be heartbreaking to wait for a bed but get turned away.

As for causation, the economy is just one factor behind homelessness. The high cost of healthcare, and the decreasing access to affordable health insurance, are leading many to financial ruin. Most personal bankruptcys are due to medical debt. And Reagan ended the humane treatment of the mentally ill, which is why they are all in th streets. Another factor is the changes to bankruptcy laws. Credit card companies, banks and the healthcare industry lobbied for the changes, making it harder for people to walk away from overwhelming debt obligations. Conversely, corporate bankruptcy is now easier, with the invention of the LLC (Limited Liability Corporation.) The globalization of the job market isnt helping either.

None of this is meant to support the actions of illegal squatters. but the homeless definitely have my sympathy.

— On the neighbor message Nest of homeless people on my block
8:46 a.m.

Surveillance systems cant hurt. But they are easy to circumvent. They can break the camera, cut the wire, or just wear a ski mask. My strategy has been to make my garage very difficult to get into. The walk thru door is steel with a steel frame. I dont have a remote controlled overhead door, and I secure it from the inside. There are many scars on th doors from attempted break ins. But no one has been successful.

— On the neighbor message Someone keeps breaking into my garage
8:22 a.m.

Regarding the dropping number of police officers: I dont have a link, but a recent article had the city comparing the per capita police forces of major cities. Chicago is the highest in the nation. Seems Chicago is arguing that they have enough police.

— On the neighbor message VANDALISM
8:04 a.m.

Not sure how solid that promise will be. Or if a future alderman will honor that promise. Regarding parking permit zones: if a neighbor is not directly in the zone, but lives nearby, then an alderman has the authority to grant that person a permit.

7:58 a.m.

Post NO TRESPASSING signs. If anyone comes onto your property, or gets into the building, then you can file charges. Take photos of them on your property for additional evidence. But the signs must be posted to file the charges.

— On the neighbor message Suspicious men in vests in Ukrainian Village
7:54 a.m.

You may already know this. But leaving anything visible in a car -especially overnight- is just an invitation to thieves. Even if its just a dollar worth of loose change.

— On the neighbor message Stolen Chrome Bag from Car Break In
7:38 a.m.

GPBLIGHT: Am I interested in fighting corruption? Sure! Do I think I can make that happen? No way!!! :-) I have to pick my battles. For now, I avoid tickets as best as possible, and also learn how to improve my chances when fighting tickets I receive.

— On the neighbor message Street Cleaning tickets with minimal warning
1:22 a.m.

J SID: it seems like youve had a lot of success in fighting a cleaning ticket when 5 or more residents can simultaneously complain to the alderman. I will keep that in mind and network with neighbors. Thanks very much.

— On the neighbor message Street Cleaning tickets with minimal warning
11:15 a.m.

OP started multiple threads on this topic.

The cat was found. Below is the thread discussing the recovery.
http://chicago.everyblock.com/pets/oct25-lost-black-and-brown-tabby-cat-5466158/

— On the neighbor message Lost black brown tabby cat wicker park
5:17 p.m.

OP started multiple threads on this topic.

The cat was found.
http://chicago.everyblock.com/pets/oct25-lost-black-and-brown-tabby-cat-5466158/

— On the neighbor message Lost brown black tabby cat
5:14 p.m.

REID: did you say you have had street cleaning tickets dismissed? Can you give more info? Ive never heard of anyone being able to do that. According to city ordinance, there are only a few acceptable defenses for a parking ticket. And you must have some proof to support your position, to counter the person who wrote the ticket. What proof did you provide to show your innocence?

— On the neighbor message Street Cleaning tickets with minimal warning
5:05 p.m.

It was obvious you were very concerned. I would go nutz if my cat got out. Im glad Timmy is OK.

— On the neighbor message Lost black and brown tabby cat
4:58 p.m.

How are they gaining entry?

— On the neighbor message Someone keeps breaking into my garage
4:56 p.m.

FWIW, I recognize that government entities have a history of making things worse. I do respect peoples concerns about her being entered into the system.

— On the neighbor message Neighborhood terror (little girl gone bad)
4:53 p.m.

BILL: Being 8 years old doesnt make the rock less dangerous. Being 8 doesnt lessen the chance of you or a family member getting injured.

From a legal point of view, it is not officially a problem until its documented. If the kid throws another rock, and it takes out someones eye, then you will be wishing the police/ DCFS had a paper trail to demonstrate a pattern of behavior. In court, the family may argue there was no history of violence, because no one had previously called 911. Then the court may very well treat it like a one time occurrence.

Im not saying send the kid to prison.But an 8 year old throwing rocks at people is a sign of some emotional or other psychological problems. And, it is HIGHLY DANGEROUS. For public safety, and to ensure the kid gets proper treatment, the violence needs to be documented.

— On the neighbor message Neighborhood terror (little girl gone bad)
4:50 p.m.

Thats on the south side of the street. Ukrainian Village. Its currently the 32nd ward. After the new ward map kicks in (2015?), it will be in the 2nd ward.

The ward gerrymandering in this area is horrid

— On the neighbor message Dunkin Donuts on Division
12:49 p.m.

Ukrainian Cooperative Insurance Agency at 2315 W Chicago Ave. They are affiliated with the Ukrainian Credit Union across the street, but you dont have to be a member to get insurance. Very nice people, and they have been there for years.

— On the neighbor message Condo Building/Association Insurance
12:06 p.m.

Assuming the apartment in question has its own gas meter, then I dont see how the landlord has any legal standing to keep Peoples Gas from starting an account with the apartment's legal tenants. If the pipes were altered, then the landlord is responsible for fixing those pipes, so the tenant can call Peoples Gas to have the gas turned on. ANY alleged debt owed to the landlord is a separate issue, and the landlord's options are eviction and/or a lawsuit. But the landlord MUST provide the gas pipes, AND give Peoples Gas access to the meter to turn on the account.

If the landlord is doing something to keep the tenant from receiving gas from Peoples Gas, then that is completely against the law.,The tenants can report him to the city, and the city will send an inspector to confirm the violation, and then issue a citation to the landlord. Then the landlord must fix the problem. You may even be able to sue the landlord.

All these points are generalized, and they depend on the specifics of the situation. A Tenants Rights Org or a tenants rights attorney, would be the best source for absolute answers.

— On the neighbor message Illegal Gas Hookup
noon

Is this a city law? Its certainly not a state law. According to the state, it is legal to use the horn to avoid hitting pedestrians. But its only required "when necessary". The law does not mention alleys.

625 illinois compiled statutes 5/11-1003.1: "......every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian.....and shall give warning by sounding the horn when necessary .........."

But you may be referring to a city ordinance, or another state law. If so, then please let me know.

11:43 a.m.

Or request that permanent signage be posted. The temporary signs are based on a published cleaning schedule, but the city is not required to follow that schedule!

— On the neighbor message Street Cleaning tickets with minimal warning
3:14 p.m.

Throwing rocks at people is assault and battery, and is very dangerous. It needs a serious intervention. Much more than "talking to her parent."

— On the neighbor message Neighborhood terror (little girl gone bad)
3:05 p.m.

Shame on the landlord? Personally, I dont blame a landlord for wanting to rent out his commercial space. He wants to make money. I do agree that the mega-corporations are hurting small local businesses. The solution is for the public to work with legislators to change laws, so its easier for small business to compete. Its not fair to impulsively and unfairly blame a landlord for renting to a legitimate business entity.

By the way....I will really NORTHCOAST VIDEO.

— On the neighbor message Dunkin Donuts on Division
1:27 p.m.

There are many responsible pet owners. Unfortunately there are also many pet owners who ignore the leash law & dont cleaning up their poop....enough of them to dissuade me from supporting a dog park. Im not interested in seeing them carve out a chunk of Smith Field.

1:19 p.m.

The food service fails miserably. Totally unsafe. And the excuse of the school is "we dont run it, we only send our kids there to eat." Is this response a joke? The school doesnt post anything like "we will make this right" or " we will send our kids to another food server" or "we are so sorry." Just the typical Chicago-style politico-sounding excuses. Being in business for 40 years? THEN THEY SHOULD KNOW BETTER.

Shifting blame does not absolve the school of their responsibility to keep the kids safe. Good intentions do not excuse the school of putting kids at risk. Terrible.

— On the food inspection Dr. Pedro Albizu Campus failed inspection
1:03 p.m.

I recall that the 2300 block of Thomas is full of 6-unit apartment buildings, plus some large multi-unit buildings at the corner of Oakley. That may be why its so hard to find parking.

Permits would not help if your street has a high number of residents. Permits only help if youre trying to keep out people who dont live on your street.

— On the neighbor message Thomas St. Permit Parking
1:41 a.m.

I just stepped in some yesterday. I didnt notice it until AFTER I had used my car. Had to clean my shoe, and my car. I usually am hyper-vigilant on my walk to the car, but now its hard to see the poop form the leaves.

— On the neighbor message Tips on keeping my sidewalk free of dog poop.
1:26 a.m.

J SID: could you tell me some examples of how you successfully fought a street cleaning ticket? Ive never heard a success story before.

— On the neighbor message Street Cleaning tickets with minimal warning
1:22 a.m.

By the way, the reason my neighbors condo building got caught with an illegal rooftop deck was because it caught fire during a party. A couple of years later, the goofs tried to replace it with another illegal deck, but one of the condo owners ratted them out. She didnt want to be forced out of her home again from fire/water damage. Most new flat roofs are covered with a rubber material with an aluminum protective coatings. Once that stuff starts burning......run for the exits, then call the firemen.

— On the neighbor message Condo Roof Deck Question
1:07 p.m.

Seems the issue is more than just who is responsible for repairs. I would suggest that any work in a common area should be authorized by the condo association. This is more than cosmetic. A porch is heavy, and a structural engineer should attest that the roof can hold the deck's weight, along with the weight of the maximum number of people. The work should be designed by an architect and permitted by the city. The work should be inspected to ensure the work is done correctly (ie safely), and that none of the existing structure of roof was damaged during construction. Or built in such a way that would diminish the life of the existing roof. If there was any roof damage, then you would need to ensure the repairs were done to the satisfaction of the condo association.

An illegally installed deck could easily have construction problems, because the contractors work was not checked by the city, nor the condo association.

And none of this addresses issues like liability, tax assessments, compensation for use of a common area, or even if the condo owners want a private party pad installed on top of their building.

— On the neighbor message Condo Roof Deck Question
12:58 p.m.

Hilarious photo. Best of luck finding him a good owner.

— On the neighbor message Harry the cat needs a good home
12:36 p.m.

7am

12:24 p.m.

I once heard a kid say the same thing to me. "Skuze me, skuze me" Came from behind as I was walking. I didnt move, but turned around. It was a kid on a bike zooming towards me. When he realized he would lose the game of chicken, he swerved....right into a iron fence. I wasnt happy to see he had hurt himself. Fortunately it could have been a lot worse. Hope he learned something.

Regarding the minor who is assaulting the neighbors: I would suggest you document the behavior every time, by calling 911. including threatening behavior while on a bicycle. Given the situation, this will only get worse over time. The sooner you start documenting incidents, and start growing your witness list, then the sooner the government can justify taking action.

— On the neighbor message Neighborhood terror (little girl gone bad)
12:20 p.m.

Here is the city's website on "sweeping". It includes a street sweeping schedule, by ward. http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/streets/provdrs/streets_san/svcs/street_sweeping.html

WARNING - use this only as a guide. My experience is the city does not follow this schedule exactly.

— On the neighbor message Street Cleaning tickets with minimal warning
12:12 p.m.

Not uncommon in Chicago. Im lucky. That happens infrequently on my street.

The link to the chicago municipal code is below. Parking regulations are covered in chapter 9-64. Street cleaning rules are in 9-64-040

http://www.amlegal.com/nxt/gateway.dll/Illinois/chicago_il/municipalcodeofchicago?f=templates$fn=default.htm$3.0$vid=amlegal:chicago_il

— On the neighbor message Street Cleaning tickets with minimal warning
12:07 p.m.

A 2 bedroom for $750 in Ukrainian Village? They exist, but that is definitely below the average price. You would have to spend a lot of time looking, AND be a little lucky, to find that kind of deal.

— On the neighbor message Moving to Chicago
11:32 p.m.

Im guessing he didnt get a building permit to install the roof deck. If so, then the deck is illegal, and I believe the city would make him remove it. That happened to my neighbors condo building.

I would think its illegal to build anything in a common area. (But Im not a lawyer.) After you contact a real estate attorney, could you update us on his opinion, and your options?

— On the neighbor message Condo Roof Deck Question
11:25 p.m.

If your rent is really low, then it would pay to invest in some good stand-alone air filter machines. It could be cheaper than moving.

10:56 a.m.

If I was in that situation, I would be suspicious that the landlord is financially responsible for this mistake, but he is trying to get the tenants to take the fall.

If the tenants pay the landlord the $800, then they are taking responsibility for the illegal gas hook up. Without legal help, they have no clue if this payment will legally end the dispute with the landlord, and with Peoples Gas. This means they could be told they owe MORE money at a later date.

I understand this situation would be highly stressful for your friends. So they are probably very anxious to make this problem go away quickly. But the stress is leading them to make a very unwise choice, by taking responsibility without consulting a legal adviser. They should spend the money and consult an attorney who specializes in tenants rights, or at least talk to a tenants rights org, before they admit responsibility.

— On the neighbor message Illegal Gas Hookup
2:04 p.m.

If the vacant building is for sale, then you may have even more leverage. Get the owner ticketed for having an open unregistered vacant building. The seller must disclose existing building violations to any prospective buyer. This may motivate the owner to resolve the problem, so its easier to sell.

Make sure you call 311 when you can see that the building is open. A city inspector will come out and document the problem.

— On the neighbor message Nest of homeless people on my block
10:31 a.m.

My apologies. The last post was inserted in the wrong thread.

— On the neighbor message Smoking on the CTA
10:30 a.m.

If the vacant building is for sale, then you may have even more leverage. Get the owner ticketed for having an open unregistered vacant building. The seller must disclose existing building violations to any prospective buyer. This may motivate the owner to resolve the problem, so its easier to sell.

— On the neighbor message Smoking on the CTA
10:28 a.m.

This may be obvious, but you say youre new to the city. One suggestion would be to stay aware of your surroundings, so you can avoid cycling into danger. You can often see problems in advance if you practice looking around. An extreme example is when pedestrians are oblivious to their surroundings when on the cell or texting. I frequently hear of thefts or assaults, when the victim says "I didnt see it coming" or "he came from nowhere." So always stay aware of your surroundings. Especially late on Friday & Saturday night, when criminals are looking for people with cash, traveling to/from the bars.

As for calling police. it never hurts. If a person glares or swears at you, then thats not necessarily breaking the law, but the police will want to know, so they can come by and investigate the person. They can break up the groups of people. But if a person threatens you with violence, then that is assault, and you can call the police to have them arrested - but you would have to file a complaint.

— On the neighbor message Weird Standoff
10:21 a.m.

Logan Square Auditorium, 2539 N Kedzie

— On the neighbor message PARTY VENUE?
10:03 a.m.

LESLEY: illinois income tax is very low, but its not lowest. There are ten states that have zero income tax. But, illinois residents are in the top ten states for average property tax rates. Also, Illinois' state sales tax is higher than any other state.

— On the neighbor message Nest of homeless people on my block
7:16 p.m.

Walking from car to car never bothered me. I see it as dangerous to them, but it doesnt bother me. Of course, if they get hurt, then the train stops for 30-40 minutes waiting for an ambulance. That would piss me off.

— On the neighbor message Smoking on the CTA
7:08 p.m.

Seems like the landlord is extorting you, by denying you gas until you pay. If you were hooked thru his account, then he may have no way of calculating how much gas you used. If youre not on your landlords gas account, then the landlord is legally required to provide you with the pipes and meter, and the landlord has no legal right to prevent Peoples Gas from giving you an account, and turning on your gas. he could be breaking some serious laws, and open to tickets from the city, and a lawsuit from you.

but the cold does suck. You can condition yourself to deal with cold showers. Dont let the landlord bully you. If you agree to a settlement now, for the sake of immediate comfort, remember it will be much harder for you to later go back and rectify an unfair settlement.

— On the neighbor message Illegal Gas Hookup
7:04 p.m.

My firm suggestion is to absolutely stop communicating with the landlord (especially emails/notes) until you consult professional legal advise. Do not give any info, or admit to anything. It is very possible the landlord is liable, but is trying to shift financial responsibility to you. DEFINITELY contact an attorney or tenants rights org, and have your lease ready for review.

And wear sweatshirts and hats indoors. Dont let the cooler temps force you to capitulate quickly to the landlords demands. If the landlord is in the wrong, then you can easily get an attorney to sue his ass.

— On the neighbor message Illegal Gas Hookup
2:39 p.m.

LESLEY: your post made me laugh out loud. Thanks. And good for you, for successfully confronting a bully. And kudos to the CTA operator. Good to hear a nice story about a city employee.

As a life-long non-smoker, it is so pleasant to see society gradually shifting to healthier practices.

— On the neighbor message Smoking on the CTA
2:08 p.m.

Regarding trespassing: the ordinance says a person must be asked to leave, before you can file charges of trespassing. If a "NO TRESPASSING" sign is posted, then that meets the requirement. But I believe the sign can only be posted by the owner.

Also, I was told that th law has changed; now anyone can file a complaint for trespassing. It is no longer limited to the owner or manager. So, if a neighbor is so motivated, he/she can file charges. But a sign must be posted.

If the owner is willing to post the sign, then you can work with your neighbors to watch the building, phone 911, and be ready to sign a complaint.

Im not a lawyer. There was a vacant building in my area, and this is info given to me by an officer. If your squatter problem is serious, you may want a neighborhood rep to speak to the area police commander, to notify them of the issue and confirm the law.

As a side note: since learning this, I posted a NO TRESPASSING sign on my property. If anyone goes into my yard, then I dont have to confront them. I just call 911, and can file charges if they are caught.

— On the neighbor message Nest of homeless people on my block
2 p.m.

ANN: I think it varies, depending on the street you live. I suggest you ask a neighbor.

— On the neighborhood event Rummage Sale in Ukrainian Village
1:44 p.m.

Without commenting on the character of homeless people......it is very dangerous to have squatters in a vacant building. Especially as the weather gets cold. Many vacant buildings that experience fires are due to squatters who deliberately light small fires to keep warm. If there is electricity, then squatters will hook up an electric heater. Both scenarios pose a high risk for fire. This is dangerous for the neighborhood, as a fire can easily spread to surrounding buildings. Its actually dangerous for the squatters too, as they can die in the same fire.

For this reason, vacant buildings are required by law to be secure. Also, the owner must register the building with the city, so the city knows its vacant. Report this to the city and the alderman. The city will send an inspector to document the conditions. Follow up to ensure they are addressing the issue. The owner will get ticketed, and if he does not take immediate action to fix the problem, then the city can take steps to keep the public safe, including demolition.

The citys vacant building program has a website. Once the building is registered, then the public can use it to track the situation.

— On the neighbor message Nest of homeless people on my block
11:50 a.m.

Brazil is a major source of cheap imported beef. A lot of the rain forest clear-cutting is done to create grazing land for cattle. Any Brazilians who complain about the clearcut are dealt with harshly.

— On the neighbor message The New McDonalds
2:54 p.m.

Im a landlord. Heres my 2 cents.

There are a number of tenants rights organizations that can give you a low-cost, trustworthy assessment of your legal situation. I highly recommend you consult a professional for legal advise.

There are a number of variables that will affect you. Did you sign an application? Did you sign a lease? Have you moved in yet? Is the building less than 7 units? Does the landlord lives in the building? All these issues will have a bearing on determining your legal obligations, rights and options.

If you have moved in, then definitely call the city and report the roaches. That is a health code violation, and the city will send in inspector to confirm and document the condition, then ticket the landlord. THEN you will be in a better legal position to ensure a positive outcome (either she remove the pests or break the lease,) If you are not a tenant, then Im not sure how serious the city will treat your complaint.

The photos will help you if you have to sue the landlord in court for damages (eg returned deposit).

A previous poster is correct in that a roach problem probably involves multiple apartments, as they nest in the walls. It usually results from a food source; usually a messy tenant elsewhere in the bldg. When they are nesting in the walls, its very hard to get rid of them. Pesticides can kill many of them, but the key is to also remove their food source, which requires a messy tenants to start keeping their apt clean. Only eating in the kitchen; immediately cleaning eating utensils; frequently cleaning the floors, countertops, sink and stove; and using pest-resistant food storage are all critical anti-pest tactics. This can be very difficult, as it depends on the messy tenants, who must change their habits. And all of this gets more complicated if tenants want to avoid chemicals, and demand natural pesticides. (Some people are sensitive to chemicals.)

Hope this helps some. Good luck.

— On the neighbor message 3500 block of McLean
12:03 p.m.

Cyclists definitely need to learn to watch for gettin doored. Of course, that does not relieve drivers of their responsibility to yield to any vehicle (including bicycles) when opening their car door.

FWIW - Many times, Ive almost had my CAR doored by some oblivious or careless person jumping out of their parked car. Couple of times,

5:11 p.m.

A thread on the Wicker Park EB is discussing alarm options.
http://chicago.everyblock.com/crime-posts/oct16-apartment-alarms-alarm-company-5442264/

Regarding the doors - make sure you have deadbolts. Also spend extra on deadbolt locks that are resistant to "lock bumping." (Schlage makes one) They cost twice as much but its worth it. Also make sure its a solid door: hardwood is good, but steel is better. Best to have a steel frame too, or steel reinforced frame, as a good crowbar can bend the frame away from the deadbolt. If your door and/or frame is wood, then replace the screws on your door hinges, so they are extra long. Finally, install a removable bar across the inside of your back door.

— On the neighbor message Security tips
4:59 p.m.

The SIMPLISAFE system is interesting. There are some reviews on youtube.

— On the neighbor message Apartment alarms...alarm company
4:52 p.m.

First time I went to Southern California (1986) I was shocked to see traffic on a major street come to a stop, when I started to jaywalk. The whole street full of cars came to a stop! I was then politely informed that I would get biiiig ticket if I was caught doing that again. I told my friend that, if you jaywalk in Chicago, the cabbies speed up; its as though they get points for taking out pedestrians.

I like the way Chicago is improving pedestrian safety.

4:34 p.m.

I get that some drivers dont want to stop twice in 100 feet. Personally, i think the broader issue is that some drivers use excuses to ignore stop signs, or fail to yield to pedestrians. Its an attitude that seems to be improving, but a lot slower than I would have hoped.

— On the neighbor message Cars Not Stopping on Logan Blvd. Side Streets
7:53 a.m.

To correct something that JASON posted: it is more than "against landlord policy" to change the lock on your apartment without giving the landlord a copy of the key. It is actually against the law. You dont need the landlord's permission to change your locks. but you legally must give him/her a copy of the new key.

If there was ever a water leak, you would actually want the landlord to resolve the issue quickly. I once was able to let the police into an apartment to investigate a burglary, and ensure the burglar was not still in there. So there are benefits to the tenant when your landlord has a key.

— On the neighbor message Robbery 10-5-12 between 12pm and 3pm
7:25 a.m.

According to the EVA website map. East Village includes Eckhart Park, and extends just EAST of the highway on Chicago Ave. Almost to Chicago and Milwaukee!

Common....how many people around the park think they are in east village???

— On the neighbor message East Village street banners/signs
6:55 a.m.

Of course a landlord wants to make money. Just like any other business. You can sign the lease, or walk away. Its not complicated.

— On the neighbor message New Wave vs LaBoulangerie
4:53 p.m.

In case you dont know........ vapors and dust from lead paint are highly dangerous. Make sure you do some research on the dangers, and the strategies to safely remove lead paint. Especially if you have young children with developing brains, as they are at a much higher risk of permanent brain damage.

Congrats on your new two-flat !

5:30 p.m.

If someone signs an agreement, then they should abide by that agreement. Its interesting to see people twist that around. I think those delicious pastries are affecting peoples sense of fairness.

— On the neighbor message New Wave vs LaBoulangerie
9:37 p.m.

If Detroit or Gary are not on a list of the top 25 most dangerous zip codes, then I would expect some detailed explanation of their methodology before I put any weight to it. Of course the area around the United Center is bad. But it gets worse as you go west towards Garfield Park.

— On the neighbor message Erie/Huron gang wars
9:11 p.m.

The city can tear down a dangerous building. They do not need to take ownership, but they do need to document the safety issues and there is a court process. If the city gets the court's permission to tear it down, then the property owner receives a substantial bill for the demolition. This is on top of safety violation fines and court fees. If the debt goes unpaid, then the property is eventually sold at auction.

— On the neighbor message Abandoned house finally torn down
4:26 p.m.

KRISTINA DAVIS: what is your point about renters insurance?

10:24 a.m.

The breed is not inherently dangerous. But it is an extremely strong breed. We all know there are irresponsible dog owners, who either neglect or abuse their animals. So there are anti-social dogs out there. This is why Im cautious around dogs I dont know. In those situations, the most dangerous ones are the large dog breeds with strong jaws.

— On the neighbor message Loose Pit Bulls
10:18 a.m.

I heard it too. Pop, pop..........pop. Thanks to KRISTINA and COCO for the details.

Fairfield has changed a lot for the better, but there is still some of that gang element left.

— On the neighbor message Drive By Shooting Chicago and Fairfield
10:06 a.m.

FWIW - I lock my overhead door from the inside, and the walk-thur door is a steel door with steel frame I installed myself. May attempts, but no one has successfully entered. Not as convenient as the remote controlled door, but Im very happy not worrying about my snow blower, lawn mower, tools, car radio, car theft, etc.

— On the neighbor message Garage breakins
10 a.m.

Here is the Illinois State Police website for finding your local sex offenders. This is the mapping page. Just enter your address/ zip.

http://www2.isp.state.il.us/sormap/

— On the neighbor message Participation in Trick-or-Treating
9:56 a.m.

1987? Back then the Latin Kings were everywhere, and Milwaukee was a strip of mostly boarded up stores. There werent as much robberies and burglaries because the neighbors did not have much disposable income. The local criminals had to go to the nice areas to find people with money. Now Wicker Park is the nicer area. Thats why gang crimes have decreased since 1987, but also why criminals travel here to rob and burgle.

Personally, i prefer the the threat of burglary to constant gang activity. Theres a lot you can do to reduce the risk of burglary. Not much you can do if you live in a gang infested area. I think things are so much better than 1987.

9:46 a.m.

FYI - you can only file charges of "tresspassing" against someone if you have a "No tresspassing" sign posted, or if you asked him to leave and he did not. For future use, I suggest you post a sign.

— On the neighbor message Trespassing
2 p.m.

Anyone claiming to be with a utility will have no problem if you pull out your camera-phone, and take a photo of them.

If they are not legitimate then the reaction will be quite different. You will know something is up, AND have a photo of the suspect to share with police and all your EB neighbors.

— On the neighbor message Suspicious men in vests in Ukrainian Village
11:21 a.m.

If someone rings your doorbell, and then leaves when they see you, then you should definitely be calling 911. That is very suspicious behavior.

— On the neighbor message Suspicious men in vests in Ukrainian Village
11:17 a.m.

This illustrates my point. Ironic that its posted the same day in the same EB neighborhood.

http://chicago.everyblock.com/pets/oct09-potential-animal-neglect-concerned-neighbor-5421760/

11:01 a.m.

Glad to hear you werent hurt, or robbed.

Where Wolcott?

9:24 a.m.

I agree with the OPs. But I think there should be a lot more info and warnings behind the suggestion to acquire a large dog. Especially a breed like a rottt, which has the strength to do serious injury if improperly raised.

Dogs are not machines. They are not instinctively trained to behave and respond to commands, much less be a guard dog. They also have emotions. If you ignore them, or treat them incorrectly, then you will end up with a neurotic dog with anti-social behavior that you will just want to get rid of. Dogs need owners with personalities suited for dog ownership, and that understand the time commitment needed. Dog training is hugely helpful (to dog and owner) but thats an additional cost. Potential owners should be warned about this. The more info the better.

8:59 a.m.

Sorry for the last post. I thought this was a neighboring thread on parking ticket scams. Did not intend to redirect a topic.

— On the neighbor message Shooting on Division St(near campbell)
12:51 p.m.

There are legitimate tickets written for streeting cleaning parking. Hey, the streets do need cleaning. And a legitimate "backdoor tax."

There are also illegitimate tickets written for street cleaning. Such as when signs are posted less than 24 hrs in advance. Or not posted at all. Or the signs were taken down by kids. Or only one sign posted for the whole block. Or the sign is "posted" by wrapping it around the trunk of a sapling. The fact that the city posts street cleaning dates online, and then does not abide to their own publicized schedule, may be legal, but sure is not fair. Cant blame any of that on "unobservant or forgetful" citizens.

— On the neighbor message Shooting on Division St(near campbell)
12:48 p.m.

Thanks for the info on tow "stacking." If I towed in the future, now I know to look in adjacent areas for my car, in case its was "stacked."

— On the neighbor message City scamming people
12:42 p.m.

Wow. Helpful post. And a helpful website.

— On the neighbor message Check your voter registration & polling place
12:13 p.m.

Thats one reason to get a new lease signed in advance. One or even two months ahead. Residential or commercial. The rentor should have insisted on a renewal, and made plans to move if that new owner stalled.

— On the neighbor message Nothin Less??
12:06 p.m.

PART 2

Always be aware of your surroundings when walking. Always phone 911 when you suspect something. Situations can develop quickly.

Walkers get distracted by phone/texting, so thieves walk right up and snatch the phone and run. Beware of shady people on bicycles. A recent trend is thieves on a bike who snatch and zoom off.

Some people have been attacked late at night on Thursday Friday and Saturday. If youre coming home form the bars, be super vigilant, and try not to be alone. Its not super dangerous out there, but there have been attacks/ thefts.

I second the tips on keeping anything from showing in your car, which eliminates reasons for a break in. If possible, off street parking or a garage would eliminate the chance of car theft. (Not a huge problem, but it has been happening...mostly japanese cars.)

Bicyles are also disappearing. Even from peoples back porches. Cant stop em, but two locks will definitely slow them down,. Use two different kind of locks: a cable lock, and a U-lock/chain. The thief would need two different tools to steal the lock. Make your bike harder to steal than the other guys.

Sorry if this is a lot. Ive experienced all these issues, but Ive been in the city a long time. And Im a landlord, so Ive seen a lot. In general, I think the neighborhood is great. Welcome!

— On the neighbor message Moving to the neighborhood
7:37 a.m.

Help keep your neighborhood safe. Call 911 when there are problems. Dont assume someone else called. Also, stats are kept on 911 calls, and help the police track issues.

City ordinance requires all apartment doors to have a peep hole. ALWAYS use the peep hole before opening a door for someone knocking. Be suspicious of solicitors (census, magazine subscriptions, voter registration etc) as they may be trying to get info for ID theft, or checking to see what valuables are inside your home. Check the ID badge of anyone claiming to be with a utility before giving them access.

Burglaries are on the rise in the city. The #1 thing is to make sure deadbolt locks are on both your apartment doors. This is required by Chicago ordinance. Makes it harder to break in. And Consider installing a removable bar across your back door, especially if it leads directly outside. Or a door jam. Heres a good webpage in door security. http://www.crime-safety-security.com/security-products-door.html with an image of a door barricade.

If you live on the first floor, and install a window air conditioner, make sure the unit, and the window sashes, are all secured/ screwed in place. Burglars can push in a loose unit to gain access.

If you tend to come home late, I suggest you use lamp timers, so it appears from the outside that someone is home. http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/catalog/servlet/ContentView?pn=KH_BG_EL_Timers&storeId=10051&langId=-1&catalogId=10053
Great for vacations too.

They also make a light that simulates a television. www.faketv.com from the street, it looks like someone is home watching tv.

Most burglaries occur in the morning, 9am to 11am (when people have just left for work.) I have a timer set to a radio, to play in the morning. Just loud enough to be heard thru the door.

— On the neighbor message Moving to the neighborhood
7:34 a.m.

Which poster suggested to shoot the suspect???? Conceal carry studies indicate just showing the weapon will discourage would be criminals. Not that it would help in Chicago, as Illlinois does not issue CCW permits (the only state by the way.)

Do some research on pepper spray before you choose to carry that. The pepper spray sold to the public is weaker thant that sold to police and military. For a strong or drugged individual, a shot of pepper spray may just piss them off.

Seems the best defense was exactly what the OP did. She was: aware of her surroundings; went to assistance when it was obvious she was being stalked;, and did not lead the suspect back to her home. Kudos!

9:32 a.m.

I have no experience with this product, but I have seen others suggest it. Its a battery powered trap that electrocutes rats. You then empty the body in the trash. Never have to touch anything gross. You could use it in your yard to try and weed the herd. Just have to protect it from the rain.

RAT ZAPPER www.ratzapper.org

— On the neighbor message Rats, rats and more rats
6:36 p.m.

GPBLIGHT: you cut up your plate sticker, and people STILL steal it??? Maybe they do it out of spite, but I cant imagine it would be re-usable.

6:32 p.m.

Thanks. Thats a great warning. Never hurts to take a photo of happenings that seems out of place.

FWIW - thats actually not something new. But it may be happening more often, as the economy has let to an increase in things like car theft and burglaries.

— On the neighbor message 'Towing' stolen cars
12:37 p.m.

Simple way to discourage theft of plate stickers:

1) Take off the old sticker (dont put new one on top of old, as its very easy to peel off.)
2) Install new sticker
3) take razor blade and cut the new sticker into pieces. This prevents a thief from taking the sticker, as he would only get useless pieces.

I have no clue how to prevent someone from ripping off the cars whole plate frame. That sucks.

12:31 p.m.

GPBLIGHT: let me know if the "pothole defense" will dismiss your ticket for parking 12" from the curb.

— On the neighbor message City scamming people
12:02 p.m.

I agree that, in general, its possible to fight unfair tickets by knowing the system and gathering evidence. But I have never heard of someone successfully fighting a ticket for street cleaning parking prohibitions. As the signs are temporary, its the drivers word vs the officers word.

But I have seen signs go up with less than 24 hrs warning, which would be contrary to the ordinance. In theory, a date stamped photo of such nonsense could be sufficient evidence for an appeal.

I forgot the exact distance, but in general, just one parking sign on the block can apply to the whole block. Sucks, but its the law.

— On the neighbor message City scamming people
12:02 p.m.

JUSTIN: i agree with your post. but parts of the system are just plain unfair.

Sometimes, tickets are issued when they should not be. The officer/ revenue agent doesnt know the law, or maybe they have to meet some quote. Its happened to me a number of times. Also, the system to appeal these tickets is slanted towards the city.

My strategy has been to always reference the laws as written, and to know the appeal system well. I have been successful in getting many tickets dismissed.

I agree that knowing the laws will help prevent a lot of fairly issued tickets.

11:08 a.m.

ANA:

You posted: "Since I used my ONE appeal, they told me it would cost me to fight the ticket,"

Ive never heard that drivers have a limit asto how many tickets they can appeal. Is this what the city told you? Can you give more details/ info?

— On the neighbor message City scamming people
10:27 a.m.

The cleaning/ticketing scam is terrible. You found out how impossible it is to prove a negative......that the signs were not there, Because its your word against the city ticket agent/ officer. Notice the nice neighborhoods have permanent metal signs, which designate one a set day of the month for cleaning. Elsewhere, they use the paper signs- which can disappear - and there is no way to prove they were down if ticketed.

This system is designed to generate revenue. But Ive found a way to avoid these tickets. Every spring, the city posts a schedule of street cleaning days. Note they can be MORE often than once a month (about once every 25 days in my area.) Unfortunately....they do not have to abide by the schedule if they are running a day or two early. (aaargh) So a week before the scheduled day, keep your eyes peeled for those damn signs

I use post-it notes on my fridge and in the car, to remind me when to start looking for signs.

Also, remember to check the WHOLE block for signs, as some signs may get taken down by kids. And while the law says they must to be posted 24 hrs in advance, DONT RELY ON THAT. I have seen them posted the afternoon before the cleaning day. It sucks but thats the system. And do nto assume the will clean the other side of the street on the following day; sometimes they take a couple of days to return. You may try to team up with some neighbors to form a "neighborhood watch for cleaning signs"

Good luck.

— On the neighbor message City scamming people
10:25 a.m.

LESLEY: Chicago Municipal Code, rule 9-64-100 (g), prohibits parking within 30 feet of an official stop sign. If it was a Chicago ticket, then they were enforcing the Chicago law..

http://www.amlegal.com/nxt/gateway.dll/Illinois/chicago_il/municipalcodeofchicago?f=templates$fn=default.htm$3.0$vid=amlegal:chicago_il

2:44 p.m.

Regarding the ticket: inconsistent enforcement is not a legal defense. The practicality of the law is not a legal defense. That "you werent obstructing the sign" is not a legal defense. An improperly placed yellow line is also not a legal defense. And thats why some posters have suggested you read the parking ordinance, so you can better avoid tickets.

Regarding the fairness of the law: thats a different topic. I COMPLETELY AGREE that the citys use of the "yellow line" is total misleading. Also, I think the varying distance prohibitions in regards to stop signs, cross walks and fire hydrants are because of the differing functions and risk factors involved. I personally dont have issue with the distances. But I respect that you disagree.

Regarding the corruptions charge..... I think the city has turned a legitimate need to regulate parking into a scam to generate backdoor taxes on drivers. It not only sucks for us, but it is worse for the poor. They are struggling to keep their heads above water. A ticket is a frustration to me, but it could have dire consequences to someone with a minimal income. Im just not sure how I can change the system.

For now, I know the law, make an extra effort to avoid tickets, and contest tickets that are issued improperly. And I have had some tickets dismissed.

2:29 p.m.

Any SUV van or truck that is parked too close to the intersection.could obscure viewing of the stop sign. I think thats a valid purpose for the law. The "most corrupt city in America" comment seems an overreaction to a parking ticket.

1:12 p.m.

My understanding of the parking ordinance is that the yellow lines are legally not considered a control for parking restrictions.........even though they appear so, and are painted by the city. Which is why I think the OP is right to use the word corruption. Ive received such a ticket, and was similarly resentful.

If my understanding is correct in that the lines are not legally required, then I would guess the city has no obligation to maintain them.

12:45 p.m.

JESSICA: sorry. I dont understand your question.

11:50 a.m.

The crosswalk law is different from the stop sign law. 30 feet from a stop sign, but only 20 feet from a crosswalk.

11:37 a.m.

What is the violation code # that is written on the ticket?

10:16 p.m.

PETES attorney says some protestors threatened to shut down the site, including threats of violence. There have been documented vandalism on the construction site.

Peaceful protesting is not the problem. Any citizen has the right to protest. But the threats intimidation and vandalism is completely unacceptable. Kudos to the alderman and city for nipping this in the bud......(so far.)

FWIW - While I hold these protestors responsible for their illegal actions, I dont blame poor people for being frustrated. This economy is hitting the underprivileged the hardest.

6:40 p.m.

The crowd was split regarding their support. But the protesters were much more vocal. I think the organizers were sincere in trying to get info to the community. But the organizers lost control of the meeting and it turned into a gripefest. I left early.

A thread on the WEST TOWN part of EB had a number of other attendees post their observations. http://chicago.everyblock.com/neighbor-events/oct03-meeting-petes-fresh-market-how-home-owners-west-5399176/

6:27 p.m.

College tuition? Raised by door-to-door donations??? These adolescent grifters need a better story.

— On the neighbor message Asking for Donations
10:20 a.m.

Im not a blind supporter of the police. There are certainly legitimate complaints you can make. But saying they dont care is not one of them. FORMERCHICAGO is right. They are horribly understaffed. Given the economy, I dont see that changing a lot. Hopefully, the new management can find a way to make do with less.

— On the neighbor message Huron & Hoyne Crime
10:07 a.m.

I dont see a keyed deadbolt in your photo. I recommend a deadbolt as a minimum protection. The locking doorknob is very easy to get past. Thats why someone thought they could kick it in.

— On the neighbor message Attempted Break-In
10:01 a.m.

JIM DAY: my mechanic avoids the constant honking of exiting cars by sending a mechanic outside to ensure the way is clear to exit. My local car wash does the same.

You may want to talk to the car wash owner and ask if he can change his system for exiting cars, to respect his neighbors and reduce noise. If that doesnt work, try talking to the alderman.

— On the neighbor message Honking in Alley Crisis
9:04 a.m.

The law allows drivers to use the horn if there is a risk of hitting pedestrians. But drivers are also obligated to operate their vehicle at a safe speed. So its not legal for a driver to speed out of an alley, even if the driver uses his horn.....such behavior is unsafe, selfish and rude.

Its logical to use the horn at a blind intersection with a sidewalk, as it only takes a second for a pedestrian (incl fast walkers, joggers and kids on bicycles) to step into your front bumper. But this assumes you are also trying to exit an alley at a very VERY slow speed.

But people who live at the end of an alley have my sympathy for the noise. I can see how that could drive someone nutz. I would never live next to an alley, especially on a busy street.

— On the neighbor message Honking in Alley Crisis
8:59 a.m.

Beware of pretend landlords renting out foreclosed vacant houses. Its called "rent skimming" Ask the owner or agent for ID and write down name and ID#. Then check to confirm owners name on county website, as its all public info.

FRESNO CA - http://abclocal.go.com/kfsn/story?section=news/local&id=6537238

SEATTLE - http://www.nwcn.com/news/consumer/Foreclosure-Rental-Scam-96434599.html

MIAMI - http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local/Scammers-Renting-Foreclosed-Homes-122061654.html

8:29 a.m.

Usually, if the non-owner driver in an accident runs off, then its hard to track him down, much less hold him responsible. It sounds like the police did quite a bit of footwork investigating and interviewing, so that the mystery driver actually got charged. Frustrating to not get the initial police response, but kudos to the police for the follow up. Congrats to OP for receiving some legal resolution. And of course, glad to hear youre ok.

— On the neighbor message Neglect and collect
8:14 a.m.

FWIW - it may get delayed, but no WAY is this project getting shut down by a handful of protestors. Not an $18 million project, that the city has been working on for about three years to get done. Just no way. And when PETES has minority contractors running 75% of the construction....well, that takes the wind right out of the "racism" accusations.

Also, PETES is certainly not doing this for the good of a poor neighborhood. This is a calculated investment in a neighborhood in transition. There is gentrification written all over that area. Condos everywhere. The old hospital turned into condos. Condos replacing the projects on 290. Condos south of 290. The new Walgreens. Its close to the blue line station. Only three miles from the loop. That neighborhood is up and coming. And PETES knows their investment will help accelerate the gentrification. Wait til PETES is finished. That whole strip on Western will be full of other retail outlets to take advantage of PETES traffic.

18 million bucks.......... no WAY this project gets stopped.

My only complaint is when they call this area a "food desert." Makes it sound like PETES is benevolent. They are not .... just smart businessmen.

9:33 p.m.

Hopefully, the owner has a spare pair of glasses, to see the EB post. :-)

8:31 p.m.

FWIW - most any vet and animal hospital will do a chip check for no fee.

— On the neighbor message found dog: rottweiler mix
8:30 p.m.

JEREMY: Who told you about the dog transfer? Did ACC tell you? How did you find out?

— On the neighbor message found dog: rottweiler mix
8:29 p.m.

The state of illinois funds a free motorcycle training program. Yes......FREE
http://www.dot.state.il.us/cycle.pdf

There is beginner and an advanced class. You have to put down a small deposit, but you get it back if you complete the course. I took the beginner course and thought the training was invaluable. They provide the motorcycle (250cc), a helmet, and textbook. Experienced riders can bring their own bike to the advanced class.

You can take the class with only a drivers license. When you pass, you take your certificate to an Illinois Sec of State office, and they issue you a motorcycle endorsement to your drivers license (class M). Anyway, thats what they did when I took the class 10 yrs ago.

Im convinced the education helped me avoid injury-causing incidents on three different occasions. I highly recommend the class.

TIP: if you take the course, make SURE you are not one minute late for the first day, or you may lose your seat. Conversely, if a class is full, you can attend the first day as a "stand-by" and you get a seat if someone is just one minute late. As this is free, classes fill up VERY early, so register on the first day possible.

— On the neighbor message Motorcycle lessons
8:19 p.m.

The west town community org HOW UNITED is holding a a community meeting tonite Wed 03 Oct, about the protests at the PETES FRESH MARKET construction site.

http://chicago.everyblock.com/announcements/oct03-meeting-tonite-petes-market-project-and-related-community-5401401/

— On the neighbor message New supermarket at Madison and Western
11:42 a.m.

According to the below article, PETE'S says the 5 year struggle to begin construction had lot to do with the city. Now that they have all the plans approved and the permits, there is a new obstruction from community protestors. http://www.chicagojournal.com/News/08-15-2012/Pete%27s_gets_go-ahead

Also, here is the HOW UNITED website. http://howunited.us/ The org's website does not promote any position regarding the protestors, so hopefully they run a neutral meeting. They seem to want the project.

11:16 a.m.

CONCERNED CITIZEN:

what time of day and at what address did this happen?

— On the neighbor message Beat down
9:40 a.m.

This is not uncommon. I learned the hard way. When burglars are inside, they look for security weaknesses to exploit for a second visit. Plus, victims are still dealing with the trauma, and not expecting a repeat. So, if you or a friend is victimized by a burglar, make SURE you closely check your security for weaknesses.

— On the neighbor message Repeat Break in 2400 block N. Kimball Ave
10:55 p.m.

Where on Damen? What time did this happen? There seems to be a regular number of robberies, late on Friday and Saturday night. Sounds like you avoided becoming a victim yourself.

— On the neighbor message Beat down
10:48 p.m.

BONITA is right on the history. The 90s saw low-income people moved from the highrise projects, to "scattered site" homes. The idea was to end the projects, and the associated problems from high concentrations of poor. The implementation was different. The wards that received most of the new housing was Humboldt park and Uptown.....predominantly Hispanic wards. This is what poisoned the development of those two neighborhoods during the housing/ real estate boom. We were flooded with the poor residents from the projects. And what happened to those projects? Like Cabrini Green, and the lakefront projects towards Hyde Park? Those are all nicely developed neighborhoods now. Very expensive real estate.

— On the neighbor message More public housing in Humboldt Park
10:40 p.m.

This thread is about a shooting at Oakley & Ohio that happened Aug 25th, with a long discussion about that corner.
http://chicago.everyblock.com/announcements/aug25-three-shot-oakley-ohio-5279761/

Not your exact location, but close.

— On the neighbor message Question about new place
10:27 p.m.

YOUR SHOE REPAIR at 2240 W North Av

He has repaired shoes and a leather jacket for me. I was very happy with the work.

— On the neighbor message Cobbler/purse repair?
10:17 p.m.

Correction: the website does not explicitly exclude Illinois residents, but Illinois is not included in the list of eligible states.

The website also says applicants must earn below 135% of the federal poverty guidelines for income, and already be a participant in another federal assistance program. So LIFELINE is federally subsidized assistance that you have to apply for. It is not a service or "deal" you can just ask for.

— On the neighbor message How much is your home phone bill?
9:52 p.m.

The LIFELINE program - a federal assistance program for impoverished families - is not available to Illinois residents.

AT&T - LIFELINE Program
http://www.wireless.att.com/learn/articles-resources/community-support/lifeline-link-up.jsp

— On the neighbor message How much is your home phone bill?
9:40 p.m.

Article in todays (Wed 26 Sep) SUN-TIMES on the project, titled "Shakedowns alleged at West Side food desert" by David Roeder (pg 57)

Article says a large group of people came and harassed coonstruction workers on the site. Pete's lawyer says these people claimed to be protesting the lack blacks who will be working at the market, but also implied that some money would make them go away. 40 people showed up on the 12th, and 100 showed up on the 13th. The site has since experienced vandalism. The leader of this group is known, but he was not identified in the article.

Pete's attorney called the people "professional agitators" and called the actions "a clear shakedown." He also said the owner will be investing $18 million in the 55,000 sq ft market. The project will generate 200 construction jobs, and the market will create 200 permanent retail jobs. Alderman Fioretti (2nd ward) said the people were not from the immediate community, and said "the threats infuriated him." The grocer's attorney and the contractor are working with CPD and the alderman to address the issue. Til then, the contractor has removed equipment and stopped work.

— On the neighbor message New supermarket at Madison and Western
9:26 p.m.

i can understand if you dont feel comfortable approaching strangers in your alley at night. The "mind my own business" comment is funny, given you are posting about them, as well as mentioning dead cats and chanting. I think the odds are much greater that its halloween related, than it being an alley-haunting, cat-sacrificing, satanic cult.

— On the neighbor message Robed Occultists
7:18 p.m.

The robes sound goofy. But the "satanic cat sacrifices" thing is pure fiction. No one has seen these robed neighbors do anything illegal, and its bordering on wicked for any poster to start such vicious rumors. Really. Such a rumor will only scare the crap out of people.

As the OP did not describe them as being threatening, I would suggest saying hello the next time you see them.

— On the neighbor message Robed Occultists
12:34 p.m.

I would agree that safety changes from block to block. If you are looking at a specific block or intersection, then let us know for more specific feedback.

I would suggest looking south of Augusta. It is a nicer area, and you may find properties that are similarly priced.

— On the neighbor message Curious about block(s)
12:24 p.m.

Guns cost money. A lot of money. The main revenue source for gangs is drug dealing. If you want to affect a gang's ability to purchase guns, then take away their revenue stream. End the failed war on drugs. It wont eliminate gangs, but it will greatly reduce their access to guns.

This isnt rocket science. The SAME THING was happening in the 1920s. Gangs terrorized the citizens, corrupted the government, and shot up the city. The solution was to change alcohol prohibition to alcohol regulation. Gun deaths in the USA dropped almost 50% in just 4 years after the end of prohibition.

If you want to screw gangs, then end the black market economy for drug. But if you want to help gangs, then support the prohibition of drugs.......they love the money.

— On the neighbor message The scratched record.
5:11 p.m.

This was just posted by a homeless shelter, asking for clothing donations.
http://chicago.everyblock.com/kindness/sep20-clothing-donations-kindly-accepted-5357668/

— On the neighbor message Donations in UK Village?
9:45 p.m.

Hope that red light camera caught an image of the car, and hope that your friend heals quickly.

— On the neighbor message Hit and Run 9/19 @ Chicago & Western 8AM
4:45 p.m.

I requested blue bins and was told I dont get them because I have a building with more than 3 apartments. But one block away, all the 6 unit buildings have two blue bins each.

Add this to the frustration of dealing with the recycling center on Branch St. Their website info sucks. A waste of my time going there because I never know what they do or dont accept.

I diligently recycled with blue bags and drop offs for years. Now I dont give a $@#%.

— On the neighbor message Blue Cans/Recycle Pick-Up Logan Square
12:21 p.m.

Some people think they have a "free speech" right to deny civil rights to gays. I do not. If a corporation donates profits to groups that suppress gay rights, then that corporation shouldnt whine when some get upset.

I do think Moreno could have taken the high road, and organized protests and boycotts. But he can get away with his Chicago style tactics because chikfilla is acting much worse than Moreno.

12:15 p.m.

Maybe the Italian Consulate could help. There is an office in Chicago.

500 N. Michigan Ave, Suite 1850
(312) 467.1550

— On the neighbor message Seeking Italian National Named Linda Ottini
11:57 a.m.

Maybe the increase in parked cars is from the condos. If empty lots, or low income residents, have been replaced with condos, then the new owners are more likely to own a car.

— On the neighbor message Parking in the HP
10:57 p.m.

Another thing to be conscious of is the bicycle technique. Ive heard a number of recent examples where criminals use bicycles to quickly and silently approach victims. Seems to be a new thing. So beware of suspicious people on bicycles ...... and they dont have to be that close to you. If you sense a bicycle rider is acting odd, then be very cautious and defensive.

— On the neighbor message Robbery on Central Park
9:54 a.m.

Personal attacks. Sad. But not surprised.

9:43 p.m.

What a horrid thing to do to a dog. I imagine anyone who cant avoid an eviction would have similar challenges caring for a pet.

Assuming they are on the smaller side, a raccoon trap would work. Its a humane way to get em.

— On the neighbor message Loose Dogs
6:30 p.m.

I think the permit parking would only benefit you if there is a large source of cars excluded from your permitted area. For example, my street is mostly two flats, and has permit parking. My permit area excludes neighboring streets that are full of 6 units and larger high density buildings. So we benefit at their expense.

Another example is if youre near a busy commercial strip. Permit parking keeps them off your street, especially when you get home from work, say 6 - 10pm

If youre not in such a situation, then permit parking may not help much, It wont help reduce parked cars, and may make things worse, thru permitting fees and tickets.

— On the neighbor message Parking in the HP
6:24 p.m.

If you know the cab# and operator name, you can file a complaint with the Chicago Depart of Business Affairs & Consumer Protection. They are the ones that issue/regulate cabbie licenses.

You can file a complaint online: http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/bacp/provdrs/consumer/svcs/consumer_cab_complaint.html or phone 311

— On the neighbor message Thieving Cab Driver
3:07 p.m.

Someone posted: "Dogs are dogs....they bark! That's what they do! ...a bunch of animal haters it seems. Cohabitation with animals is a part of living in the city. If you don't like it...move!"

Occasional barking is usually not an issue. These posters are clearly upset about the incessant noise. Dog owners should take responsibility for controlling their animals, instead of blaming their neighbors. If dog owners want a place where their dogs can bark constantly, not need a lease, and not worry about cleaning up the poop, then they should move to the country.

Excessive noise can lead to all sorts of health problems. Sleep deprivation is clearly a health issue. These valid concerns are why the city council passed a barking nuisance ordinance. Calling us all "dog haters" is an assumption based more on frustration and denial than on fact. I imagine many posters actually like dogs....just not the ones with bad owners.

Personally, i dont think an occasional air horn blast will change a dogs barking behavior. It will only frustrate you and your neighbors. RALEIGHSMA posted a link to a product that looks promising. Its automated, and plays a sound thats only heard by dogs.

— On the neighbor message Dog barking - driving me crazy!
2:49 p.m.

RALEIGHSMA: very helpful info. thanks for posting.

— On the neighbor message Dog barking - driving me crazy!
2:20 p.m.

The city has a long history of school mismanagement. So the city's opinion that teachers should have no say in issues such as classroom conditions, seems ridiculous to me. The citys position that unions should be prohibited from addressing how their employees are evaluated is grossly unfair. And the city strategy to replace union schools (and teachers) with under-preforming non-union charter schools is a fair and legitimate concern for teachers, regardless of the political motivations of our mayor.

10:01 a.m.

HUMBOLTD WRITER: it seems you think “gentrification” has no racial implications. I would respectfully suggest that minorities would disagree with you, given that they are the ones actually being displaced by “gentrification.” And when you speak of using “gentrification” to rid the neighborhood of the “anti-social”, the “sub-animalistic”, and the “Latin Kings”….well, I think its an inaccurate generalization, and insensitive to those being gentrified out of their homes.

My street is “gentrified.” And my street still have dog poop problems. I was in Lincoln Park last month, and almost stepped in some poop. My friend in Elmhurst (which is lilly white) also has an explosion of dog owners, and has a corresponding dog poop problem. Ive seen poop in the loop!

So why do "gentrified" neighborhoods have dog poop problems? Because gentrification has nothing to do with dog poop. And its insensitive to make such a comment.

— On the neighbor message CLEAN UP AFTER YOUR K-9
9:39 a.m.

I dont think they will be caught if you just "call" someone. Most dogs will not wait for the dogcatcher. i think the best way to get them into the system is for you to catch them, and take them in. There is a risk of them getting euthanized by the city, but they now run the risk of getting flattened by a car. With the city, at least that is a centralized info center for the owner to find them. Hard to know which is the lesser of two evils.

If you choose to take them to an alternate shelter, make sure you phone them in advance. Some chicago shelters do not accept strays, and others will turn them over directly to the city. Also, I think the chances of an owner finding their dog at an alternate shelter will be less than at the city pound.

if you have the time, I would suggest:
1) catch them
2) take to a vet to check for a chip
3) put ads on craigslist and put flyers in your hood
4) give it a couple of week, then turn them in

— On the neighbor message Loose dogs
11:05 a.m.

That completely sucks. Sorry to hear about it. Thanks for the warning.

This is such risky behavior. Maybe I shouldnt be surprised. But it seems to me some cabbie is taking a huge risk. If caught, he risks not only loosing his job (via a lost license), but getting arrested for theft and fraud.

Only an idiot would risk committing a crime when they are driving a licensed cab, with their operator license posted. I hope we catch these dishonest idiots.

— On the neighbor message Thieving Cab Driver
10:51 a.m.

Here is the legal way to address a parked car blocking a driveway. first the car has to be ticketed. Once its ticketed, then you can ask the city to tow it.

— On the neighbor message Non-neighbors parking on permit streets
10:47 a.m.

The "Im calling 911" doesnt have much of an effect, because people know the police are not coming. Even with serious crimes, people know the police are gonna take some time to arrive. Too many drug dealers getting busted. Somehow, this has to be resolved by the community. Im just not sure how to do that, aside from confronting people.

— On the neighbor message Unleashed Dogs at Bickerdike Park
10:41 a.m.

Both shootings happened after midnight, closer to Damen Ave.

Here is the community alert from CPD
http://s3.kkloud.com/gett/2jeryjN/ca.jpg.0x675.r24in85lmrj54s4iwpuw2h3s1p9icnmi.jpg

This is the thread on the Ukrainian Village page.
http://chicago.everyblock.com/crime-posts/sep14-a-man-shot-cheek-tonight-walking-down-thomas-5334018/

— On the neighbor message Shootings
12:11 p.m.

Egads! I did mean grams. Thanks for the correction.

— On the neighbor message Help setting up vintage turntable - Dual 1246
10:04 a.m.

Subanimalistic behavior? gentrification? I dont think its a cultural issue. Ive seen very well dressed white people breaking this law. Congrats to ARIGEL for getting someone ticketed !

— On the neighbor message CLEAN UP AFTER YOUR K-9
9:56 a.m.

As I said in a previous post, the HOME DEPOT on North Ave does NOT take used batteries for recycling.

— On the neighbor message Recycling question .... batteries?
9:50 a.m.

For anyone under the delusion that UKV is crime free, I would remind you of just this past spring, where 8 people were robbed at gunpoint in the center of UKV - and in broad daylight. Went on for about 2-3 weeks before diligent police caught the miscreant. And there have been other robberies of people in the street this summer (usually late at night.) The fact is, miscreants can use their car to drive to UKV, and other nice neighborhoods. Why do criminals come here? In the words of Willie Sutton: "because thats where the money is." Even after we catch this psychopath, residents should still stay aware, reduce risky behavior, and report suspicious activity to 911.

9:41 a.m.

Im slightly in shock. Ive been recycling alkaline batteries for ever. Now it seems I was wasting my time, as the alkaline batteries I was dropping off were not being recycled. I have to say, Im disappointed in the city recycling program, and the info on their website.

Thanks to everyone for all the helpful info.

— On the neighbor message Recycling question .... batteries?
6:33 p.m.

I asked at the North Av Home Depot, and they do not take used batteries. They only take florescent bulbs.

— On the neighbor message Recycling question .... batteries?
6:20 p.m.

Seems the thieves know where to go when they need honda parts. That totally sucks. Sorry to hear about that.

3:24 p.m.

Did you see this? A poster found purse contents at Diversey & Troy on Thursday night. IDs were for a female.

http://chicago.everyblock.com/lost-found/sep13-found-partial-contents-purse-diversey-troy-5333301/

6:58 a.m.

You could leave your name/number for her at her employer's work place. If you dont hear from her in three or four work days, then turn it over to the police. But get that officer's badge number & District, in case she does call you later.

6:51 a.m.

Great article on the strike in this weeks CHICAGO READER, titled "Why Chicago Teachers Hate Rahm" by Ben Joravsky on pg8

Heres some excerpts:

"....Emmanuel stepped up his war on the union, using nonunion charter schools as his main weapon. In last year's mayoral campaign, he insisted that the top-scoring high schools in Chicago are charters - even though no charters are in the top ten. In fact, there's no strong evidence that charters are educating children any better than regular schools."

" ...... after Daley took away teachers' tenure, Emmanuel increased their hours, cut their pay, portrayed them as money-grabbers, closed union schools, and opened more nonunion charters, thus depleting the union's power thru attrition."

"Emmanuel is pushing us toward a system in which all teachers - charter and union - are lower-paid, at will employees who have about as much job protection and say in their workplace as grill line workers in a fast-food restaurant. Please tell me how that's good for our kids"

11:28 p.m.

I can understand your concern. From my experience, there are gang kids almost everywhere in the city. The issue is not if the neighborhood kids are in a gang, but what activity the local gang is involved in. I live south of Augusta, and my experience is the Dragons typically reserve their violent activity for rival gangs. They also sell drugs and tag. You may hear occasional gun shots, but it will not be directed at you.

Some may find this completely unnerving. But locals - including many sngle women on my street - understand its part of living around here.

FWIW, There are other areas where the gangs are horrible to local residents. Also, this area was much MUCH worse about 10 years ago. So things are gradually improving. This is helped by the locals, who call 911 when needed.

Welcome!

5:08 p.m.

Its simple to hook up a turntable aka phonograph. I will assume you have a receiver, which is an amplifier with a built in radio tuner.

1) Turn off all the equipment.

2) There should be three wires coming from the turntable. Two would have the RCA plugs and the third is ground. The RCA plugs carry the right and left stereo channels. On the back of the receiver, there should be inputs labeled "phono." Thats what you plug the RCA jacks into.

Note: A "phono" input means that circuit has a "pre amplifier" (aka pre-amp), which gives a boost to the signals from the turntable. If you plug the turntable into a different input (like CD or tape) then you will not hear anything, as the signal from a turntable is very weak.

3) The third wire is a ground, which connects to the "ground" on the back of the receiver/ amplifier.The ground wire prevents static hum from the turntable.

4) Your turntable may have an adjustable counterweight on the arm. If so, then you should set the counter weight to specs, which may vary from 1 to 2 ounces.

5) Make sure EVERYTHING is plugged in and then turn everything "on"

6) Set the receiver's source switch to "phono/" If you have a tape select switch then make sure is is set to off.

enjoy.

— On the neighbor message Help setting up vintage turntable - Dual 1246
4:49 p.m.

The railroad tracks are just south of you. Be warned...its a different (and worse) neighborhood south of the tracks. In general, it gets progressively worse as you go west of Western Av. The area by Central Park Av is really bad. Kedzie is ok, but it gets very busy in the park during the festivals.

— On the neighbor message New to the neighborhood
3:16 p.m.

For larger pieces, I think the resale/ thrift shops have to much junk. The estate sale suggestion is good. Craigslist is ok.... theres a lot of overprices stuff and junk, but you save travel time because there are photos. Ive found some good stuff at decent prices.

— On the neighbor message Advice on furniture
8:11 a.m.

BRIAN: i appreciate the respectful posts. And I share your concerns. I would respectfully suggest that it is unfair to hold teachers responsible for major factors they have no control over. There is a fair amount of research showing that poor parenting, drugs, gangs, and poverty all negatively affect education outcomes for children. You also have schools without nurses counselors, libraries, playgrounds, art programs, school supplies, and even air conditioning on hot days. All of this is beyond the control of teachers. These Facts are correlated to the high drop out rate, and poor learning rates. The anecdotal stories of bad teachers is not rational or fair way to explain why the system fails some kids.

Also, teachers are absolutely open to an evaluation system. But they are against the proposed CPS system because it is politicized, inaccurate, ineffective and unfair. I also think its unfair for Charter Schools to dump problem students on public schools, and then demand that public teachers fix the problem.

7:54 a.m.

WESLEY posted: "For the record, I don't love Charter schools. Don't know where anyone got that idea."............Squirm squirm squirm.

The info on Chicago's poorly performing Charter Schools shows how YOUR statement "union schools are the worst in the country" is CLEARLY WRONG. Not sure why you cant admit you posted wrong info. Is this a misinformation campaign? If you avoid admitting youre wrong on this blatant error, then why should anyone bother believing your other "facts", much less your opinions?

7:36 a.m.

Not sure where you are moving from. But I would add that burglaries seem to be on the rise in the city. So I recommend you take steps to reduce that risk.

— On the neighbor message New member - thoughts on neighborhood
9:58 p.m.

Not sure that behavior is limited to the ghetto. I once has a Polish woman use her car horn as a doorbell, at 6:30am on a Sunday. My polish neighbors were middle class.

— On the neighbor message Air Horns
9:53 p.m.

Ive also seen a "K" after a gangs' initials. Ive been told the K stands for "killer" ....another way for a rival gang to tag insults.

9:49 p.m.

As for grafitti: initials are "DRS" for dragons, and "ISC" for cobras. Dragons use a pitchfork symbol, and cobras use a symbol like a diamond over a sideways "S." Rival gangs will go into rival territory and tag the rival's symbol upside down, meaning "we kill you", which is their insult via grafitti. There are probably more symbols & codes but I dont know them. Other gangs from Humboldt (such as Latin Kings or Latin Disciples) may also come in to tag insults. There use to be the "C-Notes", south of Chicago Av, but I dont see there grafitti anymore.

9:46 p.m.

At California, Dragons are south of Augusta, and the Spanish Cobras are north of Augusta. Gentrification has pushed a lot of them west of California.

9:31 p.m.

Another article about how many charter schools are worse than public schools.

NEWSWEEK - 12 Jun 2010
Understanding Charter Schools
http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2010/06/13/understanding-charter-schools.html

A quote from the article: "....a study by Stanford University...... found that 37 percent of charter schools produce academic results that are worse than public schools, while only 17 percent perform significantly better."

9:23 p.m.

WESLEY: you originally posted: "there were 7 to 10 [teachers] in there [bar] every night, 7 days a week..........Some of them would regularly stay there until we closed almost 3 or 4 nights a week." This is a blatant personal attack on teachers, and counterproductive to the discussion.

You originally posted that Lewis "joked" about drugs to kids. Now your changing your tune.....she only "spoke" about drugs. Thanks for correcting the error. But I didnt hear the apology.

Saying someone is "acting stupid" is as insulting as calling them "stupid." Both are personal attacks. Pretending otherwise is disingenuous, to say the least.

Still waiting for a correction/ apology on your "union schools are the worst in the country" statement. Given that Chicagos' Charter Schools are just a bad....or WORSE....and its pretty easy to prove....Im surprised you dont confess, so we can move on to a rational and FACTUAL discussion, without personal attacks.

9:16 p.m.

WESLEY: again with the "union schools are the worst in the country" misinformation. Sorry. They are better than Chicago's Charter Schools. Here is a link to the truth (from just last November.)

CHICAGO SUN TIMES - 30 Nov 2011
Chicago charter schools' wildly uneven results on state tests
http://www.suntimes.com/news/education/9145306-418/story.html

I guess you think repeating the misinformation over and over will make it true? Its Fox News propaganda tactics, but working for the Rahm agenda !?!?

6:49 p.m.

WESLEY: youre confusing "personal attacks" with "misinformation." Your erroneous statement that "union schools are the worst in the country" is not a personal attack. It is just wrong.

Examples of personal attacks are when you called people "stupid" or accused teachers of hanging out in bars after work, or accusing the CTU President of joking about drugs with the kids, or telling people they need to "use your cognitive thinking." Those are all personal attacks.

6:34 p.m.

WESLEY: still waiting for your apology, for the erroneous statement "union schools are the worst in the country", when the truth is union schools are better than Chicago's own non-union charter schools.

Hello?.....Wesley?

6:22 p.m.

WESLEY, you posted: "How come the worst schools in the country are all union?" It has been repeatedly posted that the Chicago CHARTER SCHOOLS - which are NOT union run - have consistently been out performed by the union run schools. (Even after the Charter Schools kick out the bad apples.) But you choose to ignore facts.

As for your claim that you "dont hate teachers", well.....NINETY PERCENT of the union teachers voted to support a strike. When you launch your multiple personal insults "at the union", then I totally understand why teachers would be offended. The "I dont hate the teachers" claim is disingenuous to say the least.

Your latest personal insult is the snide comment "use your cognitive thinking." How condescending. I think it was Cicero that said something like "if you resort to personal attacks, then youve lost the argument."

4:33 p.m.

Gives a totally new meaning to "I have a flat." Good luck with the settlement.

— On the neighbor message Smashed Car on Humboldt 9/8
4:13 p.m.

2240 W North. I forgot the name. but Ive been there for shoe repair, shoe shine and leather repair. the guy is great.

— On the neighbor message shoe repair
6:25 p.m.

WESLEY: you "just remembered" that the union president makes jokes to children about drug use???

Are you completely unable to have a rational discussion about this topic?

1:05 p.m.

I heard CPS rep on news last night. Last offer added a 1% raise next year, to reimburse the teachers for the increased school day.
So the 20% increase in work gets teachers a 1% raise? How insulting. No wonder 90% of teachers voted to support a strike.

8:46 a.m.

The state is legally obligated to pay their past pension commitments. They cannot avoid it by simply not paying the bill. But, moving forward, the state should change the whole state pension system to better reflect the current economic realities. This should start with the pension system of our legislators.

That said, my understanding of the CPS/ CTU conflict is that teachers' pensions are not one of the main disagreements.

6:53 p.m.

WESLEY: Implying that teachers hang out in bars after work, is counterproductive and personally insulting. Also, calling someone "stupid" is getting too personal.

LEIGH: Thanks to you and all teachers, who try so hard to help the kids. Best of luck with the strike. Its a shame the city uses the kids as political pawns.

6:48 p.m.

BIKE: your use of the word "extortion" is not legally correct. A strike is not legally extortion. It is collective bargaining. Its a legal right resulting from centuries of injustice and abuses from rich bosses.

Also, the claim that Chicago teachers are "the highest paid in the Nation" is so inaccurate its ridiculous. They are not even the highest paid of the big city teachers.

I do agree the pension system is broken and needs serious adjustments. But the partisan attacks and anti-union bias tends to distract from this problem, which most people agree with.

4:16 p.m.

I thought the NBC article (linked by yourself) on the looming strike was balanced. This quote seemed typical: "At issue is teacher pay and school reforms, such as tougher teacher evaluations that are the core of a national debate on improving struggling urban schools." There was also some things that did not help Rahm look good, such as: "A protracted stoppage could sour relations between Obama's Democrats and national labor unions, who are among the biggest financial paymasters of the Democratic Party." Just because NBC NEWS avoids FOX NEWS style political propaganda does not make NBC the "far left." And, yes, NBC Universal Media does have a parent company! I guess Fox News doesnt provide details like that to its viewers. Hard to sell the "liberal media" thing when corporate giants are running the show.

Best of luck to all you teachers.....dont let the city push you around !

4:07 p.m.

JERRY CARGILL: thanks for the great post.

2:53 p.m.

The union is working fine. They are protecting their members from employee abuse. The kids should absolutely not suffer. Which is why the city should pay up. If they want to force teachers to work extra hours, then they should pay for it. If the city wants to improve education, then they should expect teachers to have an opinion about the plan. If the city doesnt have the money to pay a fair wage, then blame the idiots who supported Daley's reign, and not the teachers. And only a Faux News disciple would call NBC the far left, as NBC is owned by the corporate giants General Electric and Comcast. The partisan attacks are sad, but not surprising.

2:53 p.m.

Another consideration for you may be to stay away from commonly stolen vehicles. Japanese cars seem to be high on that list.

— On the neighbor message Looking for a used car.
3:51 p.m.

Its one think to express safety concerns about the breed. Its another to make racially connected insinuations. I think the "ghetto" comment is inappropriate.

— On the neighbor message Pitbull atmosphere in Chicago?
11:21 a.m.

i think its insensitive to badmouth people who are sincerely scared of dogs with a jaw strong enough to snap a forearm. Blaming it all on a "bad owner" doesnt help alleviate fears, nor repair injuries. As a landlord, i ask to meet the dog of any applicants. Last thing I need is a large aggressive dog scaring my other tenants into moving away. Fortunately for me, the dogs that have lived here had no issues.

— On the neighbor message Pitbull atmosphere in Chicago?
4:34 p.m.

Is there an official list of reasons asto why an applicant can be rejected? Are CPD even required to give a reason for a rejection? How often are applications rejected?

— On the neighbor message Fire arm permit info.
12:15 p.m.

I would not call Chicago an anti-pittbull city. But there is frequent public discussion about the inherent danger of the breed, usually resulting from the occasional news story of a pittbull attack.

Some landlords do not allow pets. Some allow small pets, but do not allow large dogs. Some landlords ask for an additional "pet deposit", which is an additional security for pet owners. I have never heard of a landlord with a specific "no pittbull" rule.

— On the neighbor message Pitbull atmosphere in Chicago?
12:08 p.m.

If your noisy neighbor is in the same building as you, then the landlord may be induced to assist you. A good landlord wants to control disruptive tenants, as they chase away the good tenants.

— On the neighbor message 2700 block of Augusta-Loud Music
11:55 a.m.

The western end of Superior St ends at California, which is 2800 west. Beyond that is the METRA railyard.

— On the neighbor message Lost Female Yorkie Poo!
7:01 p.m.

JACKO: I hear your point, and that is exactly what Im afraid of. I do care who solves the problem and how it is addressed.

The crime described by the OP should be resolved by law enforcement, not by the US Army and the CIA. And I dont want to see "war on terror" tactics used in Chicago, such as spying, warrant-less searches, drone flights, no-fly list, renditions, jail without trial. We have enough problems as it is without dealing with civil liberty issues.

My point is not some theoretic argument about the lexicon. Its about how a loaded word like "terrorist" could provoke a response from our friends in Washington that Chicagoans may live to regret.

Now, if any crime victim says they feels "terrified", then I wouldnt blame them in the slightest. The OPs story certainly sounded terrifying to me.

— On the neighbor message Shootings at North Avenue and Pulaski Avnue.
6:49 p.m.

For what its worth, if she did not give you a copy of the lease, then everything is not fine. Given her history, she may easily just be blowing smoke up your #%&.

I cant stress how important it is to have a copy of your lease (and any other document you sign.) It is very difficult to legally break a lease, when you dont know the terms of that lease. Until you have a copy, she has the upper hand, and she has the options to screw you.

— On the neighbor message Spying Landlord
6:11 p.m.

YOLANDA: My reply about Afghanistan was not directed at you, but to the poster BRIAN, who made the comparison. Also, I hope its clear that, in no way, do I mean to trivialize what you and your family experienced. My suggestions only dealt with the terminology used to label the criminals. I truly wish safety and peace to you and your loved ones, and hope we see a decrease to some of this insane violence.

— On the neighbor message Shootings at North Avenue and Pulaski Avnue.
11:07 a.m.

According to my mechanic, height off the ground is one factor. Another factor is converter accessibility, which varies according to make/model. I suggest you check with your mechanic about which models are more at risk.

— On the neighbor message Catalytic Converter Thieves
12:38 p.m.

YOLANDA: Your initial post was clear about the terrifying shooting at North & Pulaski. You can classify these heinous criminals any way you want. But there are already existing laws to deal with public shoot-outs. Fortunately, the Chicago Police do not classify them as terrorists......the last thing Chicago needs is for the Federal government to come in and start using their “anti-terrorism” strategies in American neighborhoods.

Also, your assumptions about my experience with gangs, and the history of gang crime in my neighborhood, are just that … ASSUMPTIONS. You have ZERO idea what has happened on my street. Not sure why you feel the need to pretend I live in a gang free area.

BRIAN: Criminal laws – such as intimidation and conspiracy – already exist to deal with gangs that use coercion. No need to treat gangs like the people who launched the world trade center attack, or suicide bombers.

The claim that Chicago is more dangerous than Afghanistan is ridiculous. But nobody can stop you from moving to Kabul if you really believe in that nonsense. North Av and Pulaski (the crime scene mentioned by the OP) Is the northern border of West Humboldt Park……statistically the WORST crime area in Chicago. Extrapolating that incident, to make Chicago sound more dangerous as Afghanistan is wildly inaccurate and irrational, and counter-productive to a discussion on crime.

BIKE JEDI: you posted: “The people there live in fear of violence or being caught up in violence .”…..I AGREE COMPLETELY. But feeling terrified does not mean that the incident involved terrorists. The hyperbole from others does not help the discussion. Personally, I prefer we stick to existing domestic law enforcement strategies, and not open the door to the anti-terrorism strategies of “big brother”.

— On the neighbor message Shootings at North Avenue and Pulaski Avnue.
12:29 p.m.

No need to re-read. You want to get rid of low income projects to address the drug problem. 1) Drugs are sold and abused across all economic groups, not just the "low income." 2) Please suggest which neighborhood would accept these "low income projects", as well as HOW you plan to move them.

I think a better argument (and one in which I would agree) is that the HIGH CONCENTRATION of low income housing tends to negatively impact the neighborhood, including drug sales and use.

noon

The issue is not how a victim should "feel", but is about identifying the problem and formulating a strategy. Using the word "terrorism" is clearly misidentifying the problem. Criminals are not "terrorists" in the commonly used sense. And while I can empathize with victims' fear and frustration, I would suggest that using highly loaded words like "terrorist" are counter-productive to a rational discussion on reducing crime.

— On the neighbor message Shootings at North Avenue and Pulaski Avnue.
5:13 p.m.

Who is the developer?

— On the neighbor message More public housing in Humboldt Park
12:18 p.m.

Better yet, follow them to where they live. Then you can leave them a personal note, asking them to adjust their behavior.

— On the neighbor message CLEAN UP AFTER YOUR K-9
12:17 p.m.

Dont blame all the drug purchases on low income people. Many customers come from outside the neighborhood. Drug use and addiction is not limited to the poor.

12:15 p.m.

Rahm is correct in that overall crime is down throughout the city. If you fall for the media fixation on shootings in poor neighborhoods - and ignore the actual crime rates for violent and non-violent crime throughout the whole city - then you will get conned into thinking that "the criminals are out of control." But that is just media sensationalism and political hyperbole.

There is - and has always been - a crime problem in poorer neighborhoods. I would suggest that the number of police available for enforcement is just a part of the problem. It also has to do with education, drug sales and use, healthcare, social services and racism. My heart goes out to those residents who have to deal with crime and fear on a daily basis.

— On the neighbor message Shootings at North Avenue and Pulaski Avnue.
12:03 p.m.

The experience sounds terrifying. Im glad to hear you were not injured.

While you clearly felt terror, I dont think its accurate to call this a terrorist act. An element of terrorism is coercion. It sounds more like you were innocent bystanders during a highly violent crime. These people are vicious, callous criminals and deserve to be punished severely. But its a job for the police and courts, and not for the military and CIA. Again, Im glad you were not hurt.

— On the neighbor message Shootings at North Avenue and Pulaski Avnue.
9:34 a.m.

How does one register a bicycle?

— On the neighbor message Bike Theft
9:18 a.m.

Good to alert the police to the issue. But if no one is in the car, then Im not sure what the police can do. And I dont think the police can legally tow a car thats on private property. So instead of calling 911 multiple times, I would think it better to call the landlord multiple times. And get all the other tenants to do the same. Did your landlord hire a towing service?

— On the neighbor message Abandoned DRUG car in Humbold Park.
4:19 p.m.

CHRIS: thanks for the tip. Where is the keyhole?

— On the neighbor message Bike Theft
3:35 p.m.

And think of the kids playing outside. There are so many health-related reasons that this behavior is illegal.

— On the neighbor message CLEAN UP AFTER YOUR K-9
3:24 p.m.

ASPCA? I dont see them listed in Chicago. Do you mean Anti-Cruelty Society of Chicago? If so, they do not take strays, but send them to ACC.

— On the neighbor message Animal Control
3:21 p.m.

JEN: thanks for your posts about ACC and shelters. Sorry to see your info was taken as criticism of the OP. FWIW, it did not seem that way to me.

— On the neighbor message Found Dog
3:17 p.m.

Looks like CYKO, or CYHO. Or the "$" in the bag may not be an initial at all. I dont believe those initials are associated with any of the gangs in or around East Village. It still is obnoxious. Will need paint remover and a power washer to get it off.

— On the neighbor message Gang Graffiti
12:48 p.m.

Good point Norrin. There are crimes that the media under reports, such as robbery, burglary and sexual assault. People are much more likely to experience these crimes. Worrying about being shoot is a distraction from realistic threats.

— On the neighbor message Shooting in LS
11:29 a.m.

Its easy to be scared. The newspapers constantly focus on shootings. But statistically speaking, the likely hood of being shot is very small, if:
1) you, or a family member, are not in a gang
2) you do not live in one of the poorest neighborhoods in Chicago.

— On the neighbor message Shooting in LS
10:52 a.m.

You cannot unilaterally decide to break the lease. You have to have legal grounds, or the landlord can hold you financially responsible for a years rent money..This means she could do any and all the below.
- she could report you to a credit reporting agency, and damage your credit history.
- she can hire a collection agency to hound you to pay her the money owed
- she can sell your debt to another agency, and THEY can hound you for the money
she can sue you for the money.

MAKE SURE YOU KNOW YOUR RIGHTS AND YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES - BEFORE YOU ACT

— On the neighbor message Spying Landlord
10:44 a.m.

(continued from previous post)

4) Regarding the landlord's concern about illegal roommates....I would suggest a sit down with her, and have her spell out EXACTLY how she defines a "visitor" and a "roommate." Write it out, so its crystal clear to ALL signatories of the lease. In this way you can determine exactly what is her position. THEN compare it with the lease. If her expectations are different than the lease, then you must firmly point this out to her. Hold your ground, and dont be afraid to use legal means to support your position. But, if the terms of the lease do support her expectations, then you need to either follow the lease, or decide if you want to (and can) break the lease and move.

5) FWIW its not uncommon for a tenant to have multiple illegal roommates, to save on expenses. It does happen. This activity can be costly to a landlord in apt wear and damage. It can also be a security risk, as a landlord (and other tenants) dont know who is a resident in the bldg. Some landlords dont care, others care a lot. (I care.......I currently have one tenant who does this and Im not going to renew her lease.) So your landlord does have a right to FEEL concerned. But she does have to ACT in a responsible way to resolve her concerns. Spying (to me) is kind of like stalking....not cool. Illegal? Not sure. Talking to a cop or attorney can help you determine if this falls under the legal definition of stalking. If it does, then there are specific steps you can and should take to protect yourself.

Hope all that helps. Good luck.

— On the neighbor message Spying Landlord
10:48 p.m.

DAVE TL: some feedback from a landlord (I may reiterate what others have posted)

1) Smart to contact tenant org. They will tell you your rights, and help if needed, at affordable cost.

2) Do you not have a copy of the lease? If so, its a very dangerous position to sign a document and not have a copy. Too easy for them to "add" things and you cant prove otherwise! It is against city ordinance to not give tenant a copy of lease! Tenant org should help you get a copy. If not, I can tell you how to address this issue.

3) Start documenting stuff. Take pictures of the car spying on you. Try to take a photo of the individuals in the car. Take a photo ever time you and your roommates see him there. Date stamp all the photos. DOCUMENT THE PERSON, THE ACTIVITY, AND THE FREQUENCY. You and roommate should keep a log to record all the interactions with the landlord and her employees. If you go to court, documentation will ABSOLUTELY help a ton! MUCH better than memory. Also helpful if he turns out to be stalking. DO NOT WAIT UNTIL YOU NEED DOCUMENTATION, start collecting it NOW just in case.

(continued on next post)

— On the neighbor message Spying Landlord
10:43 p.m.

I once was told by a police officer that, in every case, he will issue a ticket to a driver who hits a pedestrian or a bicyclist. He does this regardless of fault - because the driver has the insurance. I have no idea if this is common practice in the department. But its easy to imagine other police empathizing with the flattened injured person, and not with the driver of a two ton piece of metal who has the insurance card.

— On the neighbor message Protective Bike Lanes
3:47 p.m.

Cars have to stop at red lights, but its optional for cyclists??? Sorry. Thats not the law.

— On the neighbor message Protective Bike Lanes
3:37 p.m.

What reason did your landlord give for keeping an eye on you?

— On the neighbor message Spying Landlord
2:56 p.m.

More mental gymnastics to justify why cyclists can ignore the law.

— On the neighbor message Protective Bike Lanes
2:28 p.m.

No property owner could ever expect an "enter at your own risk" sign to prevent a lawsuit.

— On the neighbor message The Bloomington Branch
11:14 a.m.

Logic is not foolproof. The police are the only ones who can enforce the law. Lawyers are the only ones who can file lawsuits to recover damages for injuries. Of course, complaints about sidewalk riding to our local aldermen cant hurt.

— On the neighbor message Biking Etiquette
1:43 p.m.

I always thought burglary was breaking and entering during the night. But I checked IL statute and, for Illinois law, you are correct. Seems the definition varies according to state and country. Thanks for the info!

— On the neighbor message Robbery on Ohio & Damen
1:28 p.m.

BEEB: its honest of you to say youre scared of cycling in the city. Obviously, others are not scared. A LOT of others. As cycling is good social policy, I say keep supporting the activity.

The exhaust thing...again if it upsets you, then dont do it. But these people already have to go near a road to travel. I personally think the minute increase of exhaust inhaled would be greatly offset by all the clear health benefits of cycling. But if you have some source with studies showing the dramatic danger of air pollution to cyclists, as opposed to drivers, then I would like to see it.

— On the neighbor message Biking Etiquette
9:32 a.m.

I did not know they could do that, but it makes sense. I have received such notices, but didnt read the whole thing.

But in the 12 yrs Ive owned this building, I have never let them into apts to inspect, and they have never shut me off. But I have that option because I have worked on gas pipe and gas appliances.

— On the neighbor message Peoples Gas shut off our water heaters
9:19 a.m.

I believe Rockwell is the dividing line between 1311 and 1312. Heres a map.
https://portal.chicagopolice.org/portal/page/portal/ClearPath/Communities/Districts/District13/Map%20and%20Direction

Im in Beat 1311. Heres the meeting info.
Beat 1311 - 4th Tues of each month
Norwegian Hospital, 1044 N Francisco

— On the neighbor message Ice House Lofts -- Dogs off Leash
12:18 a.m.

NATHAN: totally agree about cars honking at bikes just to announce their presence. Annoying. I disagree that my incident involved a biker with eyes in the back of her head. I know about peripheral vision. She did not check traffic, and was lucky she wasnt flattened. And FWIW, in California, they ticket anyone and everyone for jaywalking. and guess what? Theres not a lot of jaywalking in California. Finally, according to state law, a cyclist has the same privileges and responsibilities as a motor vehicle. The law does not say you can switch from car to pedestrian whenever the privileges benefit you the most.

— On the neighbor message Protective Bike Lanes
11:54 p.m.

You can not legally refuse them access. But from a practical standpoint, if youre "not home" when their inspector comes, what can they do?

— On the neighbor message Peoples Gas shut off our water heaters
7:50 p.m.

Im guessing $75. Higher if youre closer to Wicker Park, or renting at a newer building. Lower if you find a long-time owner whos not current on the market rate

— On the neighbor message Renting a garage
7:44 p.m.

From what is being described, it sounds like the witnesses did not support the "victims" story, so the police position was: "if we arrest anyone, then we will have to arrest both parties." Now the "victim" is accusing the police of some kind of malfeasance. I have no idea what actually happened. But you cant expect the police to ignore multiple witnesses.

7:40 p.m.

BEAT 1313: are you an attorney?

— On the neighbor message Robbery on Ohio & Damen
3:34 p.m.

The "B" word was totally unnecessary. But my experience has been that pointing is fairly useless. Waving is also useless as most initially think its some kind of greeting. I roll down my window and hold up my hand (as if to signal "stop".) That signal cant be confused or misinterpreted. I reserve the horn for emergency issues, as people tend to react too negatively to it.

Im always seeing drivers with near-flat tires. Last week I caught a woman with her coffee mug on her roof. Never tried it on a cyclist.

By the way, Friday, I was driving north on Cylbourn. A woman on a bike cut from the bike lane (right side), over to the left turn lane, and didnt check behind her. Not at all. She had no mirror. She missed being pancaked by about 30 feet. Would I have been hurt? No way. Would I have been sued? You bet your bicycle saddle.

— On the neighbor message Protective Bike Lanes
3:29 p.m.

GPBLIGHT: The OP (who admits he was not a witness), is passing on second hand info for his friend. The OP does say his friend admits that MULTIPLE witnesses accused the OP's friend of being the instigator. Now how in the world are the police going to make sense of what happened when the witnesses cant agree? Doesnt matter if its on the bus, or down at police HQ. I say the police dont have time to waste on crap where they cant determine the truth.

There MAY be a city-wide police strategy to artificially drive down crime statistics, by under reporting crime. (In fact, I would not be surprised.) But this thread is not even close to supporting such an accusation. If you have any other examples/ evidence to support such a charge, then I suggest you start a new thread.

3:03 p.m.

I think the problem is the city is full of retail buildings built in era before big box stores. Each Target, Walmart, Home Depot, etc takes customers from a hundred small retailers. Its no wonder Chicago, and other cities, have a surplus of retail buildings.If no one will rent the space, then the property owners has to consider other options for the property. This is the price we pay for buying cheap Chinese products at big box national corporate chain stores. They put out of business dozens of smaller retailers. And then there are plenty of vacant buildings and empty lots, and 100 people applying for the "greeter" job at Home Depot.

— On the neighbor message Max Gerber Teardown
10:09 a.m.

Well, there are two possible scenarios........ 1) you could get an incompetent gas inspector, shutting off a legally and safe gas unit, or 2) you could get a gas inspector discovering an unsafe condition that could cause an accidental death.

I think scenario #2 is, by far, much more likely. If you have the construction knowledge to do the inspection yourself, then maybe its not so risky in avoiding the PG inspection. If you dont trust PG, and cant do it yourself, then consider hiring an HVAC professional to inspect your gas appliances and piping.

Again, these issues can result in death by asphyxiation or explosion. Ask any fireman if you dont believe me. They regularly respond to these emergencies.

— On the neighbor message Peoples Gas shut off our water heaters
9:55 a.m.

Yes. if accusations are going both ways, the cops have no idea which witnesses are accurate and/or telling the truth. If there were multiple people claiming your friend was an instigator, then its hard for the police to believe she is blameless in the confrontation. As the police did not witness the confrontation, it sounds to me like they did the best they could to be impartial.

9:35 a.m.

I did not know C-Notes were east of Western. How far east is their territory?

— On the neighbor message three shot at Oakley & Ohio
10:48 p.m.

Yes, technically not UK Village. But I thought it was close enough to the neighborhood, and the Chicago Av strip, to post here.

— On the neighbor message three shot at Oakley & Ohio
10:46 p.m.

BETTY: regarding the good Samaritan comment....there are times I have gotten involved, and there are times I stood by and did nothing but call 911. It depends on the situation. If I think I can make a difference, and not get hurt in the process, then I will try to assist. Being older, with neck problems, and no insurance, tends to make me picky when choosing fights. A physical confrontation with a large crazy person in close-quarters is a highly risky move....even for a young healthy person with great insurance.

10:44 p.m.

I believe chicago code requires the pressure relief valve to be piped to within 4" of the floor. The reason is that the valve could potentially release super heated water/ steam, leading to serious scalding. If there is only the valve, with no piping.....I wouldnt want to be within 10' of it if that thing went off.

Im not a big fan of Peoples Gas. But a lot of these codes do have safety reasons behind em. Other water heater issues that are unsafe:
- the old corrugated steel gas hose is dangerous. They rust thru.
- should be a gas cut-off valve at the water heater.
- if the water heater is in an enclosed space (ie closet) then there should be a passive vent, to allow oxygen to feed the heater's burner.

For older buildings and owner "fix it" jobs, these mistakes are somewhat common, and can be deadly for the resident.

— On the neighbor message Peoples Gas shut off our water heaters
2:20 p.m.

Proper ventilation ensures that tenants dont DIE from carbon monoxide poisoning. Yes, this is a life threatening code violation. No way will Peoples Gas turn on your heaters until the problem is fixed. I know its a hassle, but Peoples Gas will not risk someones life. A serious hassle for you, but its the safest avenue.

FYI - city code says landlord should supply each tenant with a carbon monoxide detector. People do die from improper or broken venting from water heaters and furnaces. Just ask any fireman.

— On the neighbor message Peoples Gas shut off our water heaters
12:38 p.m.

Also, the neighborhood between Damen and Ashland, south of Division, is called East Village.

— On the neighbor message Safe Neighborhood?
12:27 p.m.

1000 block of Paulina is near Augusta. Nice area. Use to be a lot of gangs around 10 yrs ago, but gentrification has pushed most those families out. Riffraff hang on division, and on Milwaukee, so stay aware when your out and about. Not a perfect area, so dont let your guard down. Burglarys are up in the city, so make sure your apt doors and windows are secure. The police station near Wood and Augusta is closing down soon, and people arent sure what area will be like afterwards. But I personally dont think it will get worse. Welcome!

— On the neighbor message Safe Neighborhood?
12:26 p.m.

LASSI: well, we both agree the driver should call the police. But regarding my belief that the driver should also verbally confront illegal behavior........I dont understand your logic, or why you feel the need to insult me.

9:56 a.m.

I can relate to your motivation to encourage development. But I dont think its fair to heavily tax a vacant lot. The standard is to base property taxes on value.

You should also know that tearing down a building is fairly expensive (especially if asbestos is involved.) So a building owner has to spend a lot of money, to "save" money on taxes.

— On the neighbor message Max Gerber Teardown
9:44 a.m.

To be fair, the bus driver cant be an enforcer. They dont get martial arts training. All they can, and should do, is give a verbal warning, and then call the police.

4:37 p.m.

ETHICALLY posted: "Does the 6 year old with stitches trump the average of 20 cyclist deaths per year on Illinois roads?"

Trump??? Uhh.....no. The injured 6 yr old shows you that pedestrian injuries by bicyclists are far from being a "dreamland" scenario, as you claim.

As for the "trump" thing...why are you making an "either or" argument." Both bicyclists AND pedestrians deserve legal protection from being mowed over by some idiot.

— On the neighbor message Biking Etiquette
4:31 p.m.

ETHICALLY posted: ".....old people getting mowed down in some sort of "Hell On Wheels" dreamland? "

Its no dreamland. Ive almost been mowed down on two occasions. The below EB thread, from Humboldt Park, is about how a 6 yr old was mowed down and received 20 stitches.
http://chicago.everyblock.com/talk/aug21-riding-sidewalks-5270468/

— On the neighbor message Biking Etiquette
2:38 p.m.

i guess Im just pissed that, if you want to help a stray find their owner, the only option is to take it to an org that may very well kill it in 5 days.

— On the neighbor message FOUND Pit Bull! Please help!
2:27 p.m.

Im repeating myself. But I had a similar issue with ACC two years ago. I dropped off a dog, but said I would adopt if no one claimed him, and would they take my name. ACC told me they woouldnt take y name and wouldnt keep me posted on the dogs situation. WTF??? Based on the dogs age health temperament and looks, I hoped the the dog found a home. But I just dont know. Sucks.

— On the neighbor message FOUND Pit Bull! Please help!
2:24 p.m.

Theres not much that can be done. It is private property. On the bright side: a vacant lot is much less dangerous than a vacant building.

— On the neighbor message Max Gerber Teardown
2:13 p.m.

The city of Chicago prohibits adults riding bicycles on the sidewalk. But children are allowed. Only police enforcement will change behavior.

It seems to me many bicyclists dont know that a bicycle must follow the same rules as motor vehicles. If there is any doubt, please check out this booklet from the Illinois Secretary of state

BICYCLE RULES OF THE ROAD
http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/publications/pdf_publications/dsd_a143.pdf

— On the neighbor message Biking Etiquette
2:06 p.m.

Rats in the backyard? Buy the traditional oversized mousetrap. Ive also heard about this product www.ratzapper.org which electrocutes them. No poisons involved in either.

— On the neighbor message Rodent Infestation
2 p.m.

I think RAKAR says it well.

— On the neighbor message Puerto Rican community honors Stas
1:34 p.m.

If there are actually drivers out there using their vehicles as a weapon, then a ""helmet cam" would help us all, by catching and prosecuting these miscreants. Unfortunately, regardless of sociopathic drivers, a cyclists legal options are to either use the road, or to not use a bicycle at all. No sidewalk riding allowed. Im guessing the OP would not accept a "the roads too dangerous!" excuse from the cyclist that ran down his kid on a sidewalk.

— On the neighbor message Riding on sidewalks
3:51 p.m.

KEDZIE: did you get the name of the cyclist who injured your child? Did the police issue a citation? As the cyclist denied guilt, will you try to recover damages in court?

— On the neighbor message Riding on sidewalks
12:04 p.m.

Oooops! The set-up crew closed off Augusta. But they set up the barricades about 50 ft EAST of Oakley. So all the eastbound traffic drove into a deadend situation. Not much room for a three point turn to go back. Street traffic was going into the alleys. I called 911, as traffic was backed up and some drivers were acting nuts. The barricade should be at Leavitt, with a "no thru traffic" sign at Damen.

— On the neighborhood event Annual St. Helen Carnival
7:59 p.m.

Asbestos related disease is typically the result of regular, long-term exposure. Statistically speaking, I would not worry too much about asbestos related lung problems. If you have a lot of dust, dont freak out. Even if there was asbestos in the building, it is only a very small percentage of the total amount of debris.

Asbestos abatement laws are always strict, but hard to enforce if the building is already down. Typical asbestos materials are SOMETIMES found in roofing singles, siding, kitchen floor tiles (usually 8" sq), electrical wiring insulation, and pipe insulation. Lots of info online if you find something suspicious.

If you are worried about the dust on your property, then you can clean it up yourself. Get a suit / rubber gloves/ mask / goggles/ sponge from home depot. Mop up the area and throw out all your protective gear & sponge before you go back in your home.

Also, be warned: If you complain to your alderman, be ready to learn that lead abatement laws during demolition are relatively lax, compared to lead abatement laws during a rehab. I believe the "old guy with the hose" is about all thats required during a demo.

— On the neighbor message Demolition at 825 N. Hoyne, Asbestos warning.
7:53 p.m.

Cars are more dangerous than bicycles. I get that. How does that address the tread topic? I hope its not an excuse to minimize the dangers of sidewalk riding.

— On the neighbor message Riding on sidewalks
7:30 p.m.

ACAR are mechanics. They do not do bodywork. Also, ACAR once looked at my brakes - the manager told me I needed my discs replaced, when they were still good. Never been back.

— On the neighbor message Auto Repair Recommendations?
7:10 p.m.

SALLYINCHICAGO posted: "I ride a bike and I normally ride in the streets, until there is a backlog of cars......"
My reply: this is not an excuse to break the law, and put adults, children and the elderly in danger.

ANDERSONVILLE ANDY posted: "It blows my mind how people try to act like vigilantes, telling perfect strangers what to do."
My reply: if the citizen is confronting someone about illegal and dangerous behavior, then that citizen should get an award. And the bicyclist should get a ticket.

JR posted: "Why do we only feel sorry for the people that get hurt on the sidewalk and never account for the bikers that get KILLED on the street."
My reply: I completely disagree with your assessment and logic. The public wants BOTH bicyclists and pedestrians to be safe. Its not an "either or" choice. And the idea that people dont care about dead bikers is gross hyperbole.

KEDZIE: perfect comment. Thanks.

It blows my mind how bicyclists and motorists can justify their illegal and unsafe behavior. If a bicyclist needs to go onto the sidewalk, then WALK the bike.

— On the neighbor message Riding on sidewalks
11:09 a.m.

Illinois Secretary of State
RULES OF THE ROAD (BICYCLE)
http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/publications/pdf_publications/dsd_a143.pdf

RULES OF THE ROAD (CAR AND TRUCK)
http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/publications/pdf_publications/dsd_a112.pdf

— On the neighbor message Riding on sidewalks
6:09 p.m.

Narrow down the area you want, and use www.padmapper.com which shows available rentals on a map. It culls info from other websites, including craigslist.

— On the neighbor message AHHHHH! I am a little overwhelmed
6:03 p.m.

AMERICAS BEST has local locations, and you can try on the frames there. I actually found my small wire styles in the womens section. There are some "two for one" price deals, which means you can get two pairs for around $80 to $200. But extras drive up the price, like protective coatings and extra high prescription. They still cost alot less than lensecrafters. Bad news was that their optometrist gave me the wrong prescription. But I went back and they corrected the problem for free.

— On the neighbor message Searching for new eyeglasses
5:49 p.m.

CABLE MAIL: the answer is enforcement. And yes I think enforcement will improve. California is an example of how a state can be great at protecting pedestrians and bicycles, and also good at enforcing the pedestrian and bicycle restrictions.

— On the neighbor message Riding on sidewalks
5:15 p.m.

Good point Danouska. Dog parks do not screen out dangerous dogs or irresponsible owners.

— On the neighbor message Ice House Lofts -- Dogs off Leash
4:23 p.m.

The carnival is fun. And the brats & beer with live music is great. But its only a block long. Why would such a small event ever need a police helicopter & hundreds of cops??? Does Obama plan on trying the tilt-a-whirl?

— On the neighborhood event Annual St. Helen Carnival
4:21 p.m.

It is illegal for an adult to ride a bicycle on the sidewalk. Period. But kids are allowed to.

Its logical. If you are a pedestrian walking down the sidewalk, or walking out the door of a store, or a car/ truck driver checking the crosswalk, the human brain is looking for pedestrians, not for a fast moving two-wheel vehicle. And, yes, according to state law, bicyclists must follow rules for vehicles.

— On the neighbor message Riding on sidewalks
4:15 p.m.

I think the lanes should definitely be kept clean to encourage the continued growth of bicycling. Bicycle use reduces pollution, reduces traffic congestion, reduces road wear, increases available parking, reduces noise pollution, reduces our dependance on fossil fuels, and encourages physical fitness. Win win win.

— On the neighbor message The protected bike lane debacle/mistake
10:16 p.m.

Was it the gutter? Or the downspout? If it was the downspout, look into replacing it with a pvc pipe and elbow from home depot. No one will take that.

The downspout is important as it keeps water away from your garage. May not seem like an issue, but over time the water will destroy siding, wood, concrete block and the mortar between brick.

— On the neighbor message Gutter stolen
3:43 p.m.

I suggest you prepare for the weather. Winters here can be much colder than in London. The global warming seems to have made our winters milder, but there is nothing worse than a winter storm shooting down from Canada...those cold winds can take your breath away. And Chicago weather is devilish, because the temperature can literally drop 10 degrees C in 60 minutes. (No kidding.) The secret to cold weather survival is to wear layers of cloths. A good winter jacket and hat is a must. And buy a snow shovel to keep in your cars trunk (boot)....... Welcome!

— On the neighbor message Advice for Brit moving to LS
1:58 p.m.

I recall seeing some mason jars for sale at the Menards on Clybourn & Wrightwood. I cant recall if the prices would help you "save big money"

— On the neighbor message Canning jars?
1:34 p.m.

HOTROCKSBAND: do I want my property to be vandalized???
I suggest you say what you really mean, instead of asking questions you already know the answer to.

— On the neighbor message Garage Tagged Yesterday
1:25 p.m.

Im surprised anyone in the city allows their cat outside, given the risks of cars, sociopathic kids, pet thieves, and diseased feral cats. But I do wish you luck getting your cat back safe and healthy.

— On the neighbor message Missing cat near dickens and Sacramento
1:15 p.m.

I agree with HOTROCKS' suggestions. Also, you can stop in at local stores that tend to stay open late. Sometimes they can give insightful feedback about the hood.

— On the neighbor message New to the area
1:08 p.m.

I just had an similar incident. Walking down a sidestreet, a cat shoots around the corner with a rott-type chasing it. Cat was absolutely terrified. The sidewalk was a corridor with fences on one side and thick bushes on the other....no where to go. It paused because it thought it was cornered. I though the cat was going to run up my leg to get away form that dog. Bu tthe cat found a way into the bushes. The owner came chasing her dog. I said her dog scared the &%$# out of me and was going to kill that cat. she just shrugged it off as normal.

I am really frustrated on what to do with such insensitive, unsafe, anti-social behavior from these irresponsible dog owners. The whole "your breaking the law" tactic is useless, because they know they will never get a ticket.

— On the neighbor message Ice House Lofts -- Dogs off Leash
12:58 p.m.

JASON: West Town is not a neighborhood. It is a "community area", with boundaries defined by the city, and used for statistical purposes. A community area contains many neighborhoods. West Town includes Noble Square, Pulaski Park, East Village, Wicker Park, Ukrainian Village, Smith Park and the eastern side of Humboldt Park. On EB, you can post by neighborhood, by Ward, or by community area. (Not sure I would recommend by Ward, unless it deals specifically with the alderman or a city political issue. Wards are very gerrymandered.)

.

— On the neighbor message Watched an attempted break in at 3 pm
4:41 p.m.

Nice job! I wish I could catch the serial litterbugs in my neighborhood.

— On the neighbor message Litter on Altgeld
9:35 a.m.

WESLEY: I agree the alderman's idea is bad. the proposal is totally a political animal. But I dont agree people cant make a purchases without credit. That is a concept promoted by.......the banks!

Spend the old fashioned way. Stop spending so much money, save up your pennies, and then buy with cash. Save the credit card for unique purchases, like airline tickets or emergency spending.

7:56 p.m.

GPBLIGHT: 400 - 600 gang bangers? Some photos of such a riot would help you promote the problem.

— On the media mention Violent Mobs in Downtown Chicago
7:46 p.m.

Is Walmart better than a Family Dollar? Well, the Chinese made products at Walmart will always be priced lower. But dont complain when local competitors go belly up, and then your unemployed neighbors are fighting for a cashiers job at Walmart. I like low prices. But I also like an environment that encourages entrepreneurs and small businesses. Not eliminates them.

1:14 p.m.

I dont see any gang symbols. Seems like stylized writing.

Why wait for graffitti busters? Spend $30 on a can of paint, roller, tray, and cheap tray liners and a cheap pack of roller pads. It feels good to remove the nonsense, and a roller is quick. May take two coats, but wrap the wet roller in a plastic bag and it will be good for a couple of days, so you can use the same pad for the 2nd coat. Make sure the can is hammered shut for a good seal, and the paint will last a long time.

— On the neighbor message Garage Tagged Yesterday
1:05 p.m.

Do I understand that there is no org in the city, besides ACC, that will take a stray dog? I heard that the SPCA stopped taking strays.

I understood that the city ACC changed their policy, so that they now only hold a stray for one week, after which they take steps to dispose of the dog. I know they give local adoption agencies first crack at taking unclaimed strays. If the agencies reject the dog, then the animal is at risk for euthanization. If Im wrong on any of this, I would appreciate a correction.

— On the neighbor message Found Dog
12:43 p.m.

GPBLIGHT is right. The nice neighborhoods are starting to experience what is already common in the poor areas.

— On the media mention Violent Mobs in Downtown Chicago
12:34 p.m.

GPBLIGHT: I never said I dont see crime. I never denied there is a crime problem. I never said crime is decreasing. I dont believe what comes out of Rahms mouth. I agree that police services could improve.

My posts take issue with the ridiculously erroneous claim that Chicago is the worlds most dangerous city. This is fear-mongering and counter-productive to a rational discussion on crime. If people want to rely on pure fear to formulate anti-crime strategies....well, then you deserve the results.

— On the neighbor message Chicago's murder rate
1:05 p.m.

Regardless of the states fiscal solvency, i would argue it is not in the interest of public safety to kick violent criminals out of prison, to make room for the non-violent drug users and non-violent small time dealers. A quarter of our prison population is full of these drug infractors, while murders and rapists get early parole. The war on drugs is killing us.

— On the neighbor message Chicago's murder rate
12:30 p.m.

NESTER: you are linking to an article with blatant errors and statistical manipulations. The claim that Chicago is "the worlds deadliest city" is not only factually incorrect, it isn’t even close to the truth. Just in AMERICAN cities, Chicago isn’t even in the top 25.

Chicago is more deadly than cities in Somalia? Afghanistan? Pakistan? Congo? Columbia? Brazil? Mexico? LUDICROUS!!!! This is the worst kind of political pandering and ear-mongering. You are maliciously frightening people with links to erroneous statistics and provocative editorials from junk online news.

— On the neighbor message Chicago's murder rate
12:20 p.m.

4) Comparing shooting murders in Chicago to Sao Paulo is grossly misleading. Sao Paulo Brazil is HORRIBLY DANGEROUS. Robbery, kidnapping and murder are terribly common there. I personally would never even VISIT there, while I have no problem walking the streets here. http://in.reuters.com/article/2012/07/26/brazil-politics-crime-idINL2E8IQ2S520120726

5) Most of these deaths are connected to the black-market drug industry. Its really no mystery why these punks can afford to buy guns, or why they are motivated to fight over drug revenue territory. But neither the left nor the right want to admit the failed war on drugs is funding and fueling the gang shootings in our streets.

6) So Los Angeles and New York have lower murder rates? Great! What are they doing? How about a helpful discussion on possible helpful strategies from LA and NYC? Nope. No helpful info in the article. Just self-serving fear-mongering, statistical cherry-picking and blatant lies.

Im not denying there is a problem. The poor neighborhoods are in trouble. But this city-wide fear mongering is sensationalist op-ed bullcrap. Dishonest, manipulative, and counter-productive.

— On the neighbor message Chicago's murder rate
2:11 a.m.

1) Media fixation on shootings are generating a unrealistic fear. You would thinks there are shootings everywhere and all the time. but most shootings are in poorer areas, between rival gangs.

2) The claim "worse than Kabul" is a lie. The main article links to a Huffington Post article http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/16/chicago-homicide-rate-wor_n_1602692.html that says there were more murders of Chicagoans (228) that of AMERICAN TROOPS in Afghanistan (144). That is a deliberate manipulation of the statistic. Shame on the "journalist" that wrote the main article.

3) The claim Chicago is "the worlds deadliest city" is a blatant lie. The articles's linked source even says Caracas Venezuela is almost 10 times worse than Chicago. Gary Indiana is almost three times worse than Chicago. Washington DC is twice as bad. Many MANY cities are worse than Chicago. Here is a list of 47 US cities that have a worse murder rate than Chicago. http://worst-city.com/Murder-Rate-in-US-Cities-worst-state-city-for-shootings-murders.htm Dont even start me on cities in other countries.

(continued in next post)

— On the neighbor message Chicago's murder rate
2:10 a.m.

1K deposit for pets can seem extreme to a responsible pet owner. But the other side of the coin is landlords who have experienced extreme pet damage from irresponsible pet owners. Pets can easily cause damages over $1000. In addition to damages, you can lose revenue: it is difficult to rent a space that reeks of pet urine. Bad pet owners make it hard for the responsible ones.

5:17 p.m.

Preventing Walmart from expanding into Chicago may be a mistake relative to development. But its not a mistake to prevent big box mega corporations from putting dozens of small local entrepreneurs out of business.

5:02 p.m.

Parking in Manhattan? Reminds me of George Costanza's business, finding street parking for drivers. "These pretzels are making me thirsty!"

— On the neighbor message Chicago Permit Parking
4:51 p.m.

Here is a thread on an issue two blocks from you. http://chicago.everyblock.com/announcements/aug14-suspicious-activity-5247937/

I also recommend posting your question in the EBs Humboldt Park neighborhood. Many people consider "west of Western Av" as Humboldt Park, not Wicker Park.

— On the neighbor message Safe area?
4:31 p.m.

How frightening to be confronted like that, especially when your kids are with you.

— On the neighbor message Suspicious activity
4:20 p.m.

Well, Im not a real estate expert. But 1400 W Huron is about a block from Echhart Park. I thought UK village was west of Damen, East Village was between Damen and Ashland, and Noble Square was between Ashland and the Kennedy Exp. Im not sure if Noble Square goes south of Chicago Av., but Im guessing you would get more neighbors seeing your posts if you posted in "West Town" or "Noble Square."

— On the neighbor message Watched an attempted break in at 3 pm
4:15 p.m.

Chicago Animal Control will NOT call you after the waiting period. I tried this once, about 2 yrs ago, and they absolutely refused to give me any info on how to adopt the dog I found if it was not claimed. I still have no idea what was up their butt.

— On the neighbor message FOUND Pit Bull! Please help!
6:56 p.m.

Congrats on spotting the guy and calling 911. But why are you posting this in UK Village? 1400 W Huron is definitely not UK Village.

— On the neighbor message Watched an attempted break in at 3 pm
6:42 p.m.

A pet deposits - in addition to normal security deposit - is common, as pets can damage an apartment.

2:58 p.m.

GIL: very good points.

— On the neighbor message Car Break-ins
2:42 p.m.

I do agree with that. Ive seen some very creative artwork. My apologies for assuming you were defending the vandalistic aspect of graffiti.

— On the neighbor message Graffiti on Logan Blvd
2:40 p.m.

Really....if someone can afford cans of spray paint, then they can also afford canvas. Or paint on your parents garage door. But stop pretending people have some "free speech" right to deface the property of others. This talk is illogical, illegal, selfish and disrespectful.

— On the neighbor message Graffiti on Logan Blvd
1:49 p.m.

Freedom of expression does not trump property rights. Go buy some canvass, or paint on your parent's garage door. Taggers and rogue muralists do not have the right to deface or damage the property of others, including city property. Graffiti is so obviously illegal, selfish and antisocial behavior. The victim act is immature.

— On the neighbor message Graffiti on Logan Blvd
5:43 p.m.

Yes. Definitely verify the poster is with the USPS Police, before giving any personal info or turning over mail.

POSTAL INSPECTION SERVICE
433 W Harrison St., Room 50190
Chicago IL 60669-2201
Phone : (877) 876-2455
https://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/

— On the neighbor message Stolen Mail
2:41 p.m.

they empty blue bins once every two weeks
http://www.cityofchicago.org/content/dam/city/depts/streets/supp_info/RecyclingPDFdocs/Zone3_2012.pdf

— On the neighbor message Recycling in HP
1:28 p.m.

Its easy to make this sound selfish. But you dont want a criminal element intimidating the people we rely on to uphold the law. Thats bad for the public. The police must have a zero tolerance policy on intimidation harassment and coercion.

— On the neighbor message Police Guarding Station
12:49 p.m.

NATHAN: I have always had coin-op. I do it for tenants' convenience. Washer is topload. Dryer runs for 45 minutes. Both are speedqueen (nice.) I dont make much money: peoples gas charges that account at commercial rate (But i have a designated gas account & water heater for the laundry room.) Repairs average about $150 every 2-4 years. And my apts are single occupancy, so there is minimal number of loads (about 3-4 loads per person per month.) My prices are $1.50 for washer and $1.00 for dryer, which seems to be competitive to area laundromats. I use to have prices much lower, but I increased the price after catching a tenant inviting his friends over to use MY laundry!!! So no more subsidy. The Speedqueens were expensive, but they are 20 years old, look good, and still running strong.

— On the neighbor message Landlord building laundry poll
9:56 a.m.

BERNETTE: $700 income in 9 months from $2.50 a load divided by 3 apartments, means each household was running 10 loads a month. There must be a lot of people in each of those apartments. That doesnt take into account the gas and electric usage.

— On the neighbor message Landlord building laundry poll
9:46 a.m.

GOOD GUYS: gangsta 26, near ogden & pulaski

— On the neighbor message More signs of rising violence in West Town
10:25 p.m.

Heres the city website in case you want to confirm your electrician is licensed.

http://webapps.cityofchicago.org/activeecWeb/

— On the neighbor message Electrician recommendations?
11:04 p.m.

West Town is one of the 77 community areas as defined by the city. West Town includes neighborhoods such as Wicker Park, Pulaski Park, Ukrainian Village, Noble Square, Smith Park and even Humboldt Park. Calling your new neighborhood "pulaski park" would be accurate.

— On the neighbor message Pulaski Park - Wicker Park/Noble Square?
8:14 p.m.

I havent been to the Uk Fest in 15 years. Back then, I thought it was boring. No insult intended ....but Im not Ukrainian. Now Im curious to see if it has really changed that much.

— On the neighbor message Ukrainian fest
8:01 p.m.

Prisons are packed with drug criminals. No room for child molesters, rapists, armed robbers.and murderers. They get out sooner. Its due to the excessively high mandatory sentences for drug criminals. Another social cost of the failed war on drugs.

7:57 p.m.

Happy Bday Obama! But I dont think hes in Humboldt Park. CPD and CFD often send training flights over Humboldt. But the fire explains the news choppers.

— On the neighbor message Helicopters?
7:52 p.m.

I support the Historic District argument. I dont support people telling a church or any other entity how they should manage their assets, or accuse them of lying without any evidence. It seems the criticisms are getting to personal when they really dont need to. You give the church ammunition to claim they are being unfairly treated.

7:50 p.m.

A snow shovel, a stick, and a city garbage can.

— On the neighbor message Dead squirrel
7:39 p.m.

KAT: my apologies. You wrote "where in" but I saw "where is." The eyes are getting old. Sorry. Did not mean to upset you.

— On the neighbor message Stray Siamese Cat seen ...
7:25 p.m.

To correct some misinformation: the mission of Christopher House is to serve at-risk youth. It was not "set up to give free child care to the families of Illegal Aliens."

— On the neighbor message affordable childcare?
7:54 a.m.

The "Humboldt Park" area varies, depending on your source.

The City of Chicago defines it as between Bloomingdale (N) and Kinzie (S) and between Sacramento (E) and Cicero (W). Meaning the actual park is the eastern boundary of the community area.

But EVERYBLOCK says Humboldt Park area is between North Av (N) and Chicago Av. (S), and between Western (E) and Pulaski (W)

Personal opinion varies, depending on if they live near the border to a nicer neighborhood (ie Logan Sq, Wicker Park, Uk VIllage, Smith Park, etc.)

Some posters believe Humboldt only refers to the community immediately around the actual park, and are almost insulted when areas further off are called Humboldt.

— On the neighbor message Stray Siamese Cat seen ...
10:05 p.m.

anyone with a AC window unit should have it secured to the window frame, and make surethe window sashes are also secured so they cannot move. its a common entry point for burglars. my neighbor was hit last summer.

— On the neighbor message suspicious activity near Superior and Ashland
8:24 p.m.

Maybe you didnt mean it. But your post seems to imply the OP is irresponsible for being the victim of a dog theft.

— On the neighbor message Chihuahua
8:18 p.m.

Well, If they are loud, then Im guessing they are not up to some criminal activity. But loud can be aggravating. I would suggest, in the future, you not make your presence known before you call 911. If you can help it, you dont want them to guess who it was that called the police. The @#$%'s sometimes retaliate.

— On the neighbor message Group of hoodlums hanging in the alley
7:59 p.m.

I remember hearing those shots. Wow. That resolution was quick. I thought the perps would be waiting for a trial for a year or more.

6:12 p.m.

Sounds interesting. This seems to be their website. http://ratmousezapper.com

— On the neighbor message Rat Zapper---it works!
3:11 p.m.

I cant imagine a homeless person being dumb enough to sleep next to a garbage can in an alley. There are rats crawling all over the garbage. I wouldnt be surprised if your suspect was spying on your coming and going for some malicious motive. Robbery? Worse? Sounds weird....watch out.

— On the neighbor message Creepy guy hiding behind trash cans
3:06 p.m.

1) Police HATE getting involved in car accidents. They are so overwhelmed & understaffed, they no longer care about cars. They leave it to the insurance companies to sort out.
2) If you get in an accident, its going to be a "he said, she said" between the two drivers, and their respective insurance companies. If the other driver denies being involved, then his/her Insurance will ignore you. The only thing that may help you is imaging such as photos, or video (which they do make now for cars).

Ive learned all this the hard way. Getting rammed by @#$%'s then they lie to their agent. Or when my parked car was hit, on two separate occasions. First time, I had a witness but the cops didnt care. Second time, the owner claimed his car was stolen.

— On the neighbor message Hit and run
3:03 p.m.

No superhero skills needed. Thats a rockclimbing skill.

— On the neighbor message Burglary: 2500 Block W Chicago
1:44 p.m.

Is there a era, composer or style that the group tends to lean towards?

— On the neighborhood event Do you miss singing in a choir?
1:26 p.m.

how did you find her?

9:28 a.m.

Im not a big fest fan either. I leave during the Humboldt Fest because of similar issues. Even though most people who attend are nice families, I still have problems with rude people, drinking, noise, and parking. There are a number of neighbors who want the Humboldt Fest to go, but thats just not gonna happen. So I go elsewhere for the weekend, and then monday I help clean up the trash.

— On the neighbor message Ukrainian fest
8:36 a.m.

JULIE: Was the hydrant lock installed on the outside? Or did they replace the hydrant with a new one?

— On the neighbor message Open Fire Hydrant Repeat Offender
10:07 a.m.

JEDI: You said that unions only care about money, and you said teachers give undying support to the union. Then you pretend youre not insulting teachers. The "I hate unions but I love teachers" thing is trying to have it both ways. Sorry. Not working.

And the whole "we cant afford teachers" thing is sad. The citys magic TIF program steers hundreds of millions of property tax dollars OUT of our public school funding, and into POLITICAL SLUSH FUNDS. Its all documented by the media. City doesnt have the money? Sad you are buying the Rahm spin machine.

CHICAGO READER
Now that the word's out about how TIFs suck money away from the schools, parents are rallying to raid the kitty.
http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/tifs-chicago-public-schools-cps-school-funding/Content?oid=1984315

— On the neighbor message Public Education Town Hall Forum
9:39 p.m.

A way to really screw him is to mail yourself a dummy package via USPS. Its a federal offense if he steals it. Get that on film!

— On the neighbor message Wicker Park package thief
9:14 p.m.

Commiserating is fine. But photos of kids playing in the water will be useless. Need a photo as someone is opening the hydrant.

— On the neighbor message Open Fire Hydrant Repeat Offender
4:58 p.m.

I saw one of your flyers. Will keep an eye out. Good luck.

— On the neighbor message Pretty kitty Lost in Ukrainian Village
4:50 p.m.

A suspect has been caught and charged by police.

http://logansquarist.tumblr.com/post/28704803178/man-connected-to-logan-square-attacks-charged

— On the neighbor message Serial rapist? In Humboldt Park.
2:36 p.m.

I think if people could raise the money to purchase an adjoining property, then they could trade that for the rectory. Then the church gets its garden, and the neighborhood can save and repair the building, and manage the rental property. That seems fair to everyone.

1:02 p.m.

I was asking about interior damage to find out whats above it. Where is the bedroom leak in relation to things on your roof? Is the leak along an outside wall? Is the leak under the gutter?Is it under your deck? is it under the parapet wall? is it by a chimney/flue? Details will allow me to give you specific suggestions/info on possible problems.

— On the neighbor message Roofing Deck Recommendations
11:39 a.m.

I know many teachers. They all talk passionately about their work. The idea that they give "undying support" to their union leaders, regardless of the interests of their students, is ridiculous and insulting.

— On the neighbor message Public Education Town Hall Forum
11:19 a.m.

SHELLEY: if you do start taking photos of people breaking the law, remember do do it covertly, to avoid retaliation.

— On the neighbor message Open Fire Hydrant Repeat Offender
11:12 a.m.

They must want the land for another purpose. Has anyone asked them?

11:08 a.m.

When dealing with any contractor, always get at least three quotes. Spend some time researching the contractor online so they are reputable. Ask a lot of questions, to see if their stories match. You will learn more about your home, and feel better when you make a choice.

— On the neighbor message Maintenance Rod Quote
11:05 a.m.

I know many chicago teachers. The idea that they only care about money and dont care about the kids is ridiculous.

— On the neighbor message Public Education Town Hall Forum
11:02 a.m.

Thanks ED. If you have the time and patience, learning to fix your own appliances can save a huge amount of cash. Ive found google to be a huge help. Plenty of websites exist to trouble shoot appliance problems. And some youtube video instrucion for common fixes. Parts are usually cheap.

— On the neighbor message Washer/Dryer stack repair person?
11 a.m.

If you have an automatic door - Ive heard of thieves circumventing the code on the remote. If its not automatic, the manual overhead doors can be forced open using a couple of methods I know of.

I have a manual door, and I sceure it to the floor from the inside.

Sorry for your loss.

— On the neighbor message Garage Break-In and Theft
10:56 a.m.

deadbolts are much better than the locking door knob. But its in no way perfect. The best system is when the door AND frame are solid steel. But people with lock picking skills can still get in.

A 6 foot crowbar has the leverage to either break the door around the deadbolt, break the frame around the deadbolt, or actually bend the wood frame enough to make the deadbolt useless.

Also, the hinge side of wood doors is often weak, because the screws used in the hinges are not very long. So a 6' crowbar can actually break the door off the hinges.

The way to improve a wood door system is to install a steel L shaped bar (angle iron) reinforcement in the frame and install long screws in the hinges.

Beware of "steel clad" doors. They look like steel, but are actually wood framed doors with sheet steel on the surface, and wood frames. They are actually weaker than solid wood doors.

— On the neighbor message Apartment Break-In on Division
10:50 a.m.

I think a strategy to deal with it is to have neighbors ready to photograph the culprits that open these hydrants, and have the city ready to prosecute.

— On the neighbor message Open Fire Hydrant Repeat Offender
12:48 p.m.

ED HOOKS: do you have more info on the tamper-proof hydrants? The "tamper proof" hydrants Im familiar with have a design about 20 years, old and the locals have figured out how to circumvent the lock. (Even I know, but Im not posting it.)

Also, low water pressure can be dangerous and deadly if there is a fire. Without water pressure, firemen are handicapped - a fire can grow faster, and spread to multiple buildings. But i agree open hydrants are a terribly dangerous enticement for kids to play in traffic.

— On the neighbor message Open Fire Hydrant Repeat Offender
12:46 p.m.

MARG: Sorry. I dont care if you dont need me. As for my alleged ignorance, i would disagree. I have some experience finding Ukrainians passed out on my very street, calling 911 for them, waiting for the ambulance, and listening to the paramedic saying it appears alcohol related. Once I tried to get assistance from a Ukrainian neighbor, and she treated me like "whats the problem?" If its any comfort, I use to live near Wrigley Field, and had similar experiences with Cub fans.

— On the neighbor message Guy on Oakley and Thomas
11:55 a.m.

Is there damage inside your home showing where there is a leak? Damage like watermarks or stains/ mold / bubbling paint / damaged drywall or plaster

— On the neighbor message Roofing Deck Recommendations
1:21 p.m.

The bad news is it makes parking a total pain i the $%@, and the dust is everywhere. The good news is the new sewer will help your block with drainage and basement flooding. Ive had zero sewer backups since we got a new sewer about 10 years ago.

For the coming two months, mass transit may actually be less of a pain than the parking issue. But if you park for long periods then stay vigilant for street cleaning tickets.

— On the neighbor message no parking for sewer work
9:03 a.m.

In general, if there is a leak, then the problem is the roof. the deck system should not be relied on to keep water out of your home. Without knowing details, I suggest finding at least THREE reputable roofers, and having them come by to take a look. More info & pro opinions are better for you. I suggest using roofers that are licensed with the city, and have been in business for more than 5 years.

— On the neighbor message Roofing Deck Recommendations
8:55 a.m.

1) Do you know the age of the roof?
2) What is the pitch of the roof?
3) What material is on your roof? rubber, tar, gravel?
4) Where & how is the "ice buildup" creating a problem?
5) Where are your leaks? Near the gutter? Chimney? parapet?

— On the neighbor message Roofing Deck Recommendations
8:49 a.m.

Im a landlord, but not an attorney. My opinion: get the carpet appraised and compare it to the cost of the missing carpet. Minus depreciation, and you end up with your damages. Make sure you read the Chicago Residential Landlord and Tenants Ordinance to be crystal clear on the legal procedure to withhold rental deposit. Documentation and notifications are important. If you do not follow the ordinance, you can be sued by your former tenant for illegally withholding the deposit.

— On the neighbor message Landlord Surprise
10:12 p.m.

No one is focused on breaking up families. I support sending the whole family back. And using the word "punishment" to describe deportation is another dishonest inaccurate argument. Punishment is a fine and/or jail. Sending someone back to their country of origin is not punishment. Its simply a migration correction.

10:01 p.m.

"done nothing wrong"??? Jees, quit the verbal gymnastics and be honest.....they are in this country illegally and their own family is to blame. If you want to give them a pass for breaking residency laws, then you have a right to that opinion. But denying that they are breaking the law just is just not accurate.

8:22 p.m.

He also could have been a jehovas witness doing some advanced scouting. But given the audacity of some criminals, I wouldnt be surprised if he were a burglar- using a clipboard to note residents leaving for work. I understand most burglars do some advanced observations before striking. Still, strange doesnt mean hes guilty. But definitely a 911 candidate.

— On the neighbor message Door to door solicitor near LeMoyne & Oakley
2:37 p.m.

Some suburbs with recycling programs have laws prohibiting picking from the recycling refuse bins.

— On the neighbor message Garbage pickers
2:27 p.m.

PHIL: The law being broken is persons being in the US illegally. The kids, and parents, should be sent back to their country of birth. And the kids should blame their PARENTS, and not the country that had nothing to do with them moving here illegally.

After Reagan invented the "amnesty" program in 1986, the movement of illegal immigrants to the US grew exponentially. The flood of foreign workers led to the explosion of sub-contractor hiring, which drove down wages for everyone. We already have a problem with a shrinking middle-class and growing poverty. You cant demand a policy that leads to a massive increase in cheap labor, and then get upset when wages and benefits decrease.

10:52 a.m.

BOB: Absolutely. But liberals are not using that tactic.

10:37 a.m.

“Illegal alien” is the correct phrase. They are alien (not a US citizen) and illegal (entering the country contrary to US law.) It does not imply any criminal motivation or intent. It doesn’t need to. It just defines their status. Pretending its some unfair insult is not accurate....but it is smart politics. The phrase “undocumented worker” is a political tactic to change public perceptions. It’s the same as when conservatives replaced “estate tax” with “death tax.” Or use ”liberal media” to label media criticism of conservatives. Or use “activist judges” to label judges that rule in favor of liberal positions.

1:28 a.m.

Thanks for the clarification. "Illegal aliens" must mean a totally different thing.

8:39 p.m.

Its quite possible the cop chased you off because he sees a lot of gang kids up there, and was worried you would meet them. Secluded. Hard to access. Perfect place for a mugging....or worse.

— On the neighbor message Bloomingdale Trail, private property?
7:45 p.m.

"Undocumented youth"??? Do they mean illegal aliens?

7:40 p.m.

I was rear-ended at that intersection, about 15 yrs ago. He didn't see me or the light, and plowed into me at about 30-40 mph. i think a big problem is the darkness. It should be lit much better under the highway & RR bridges. It was rated in Chicago's top 10 worst intersections, about 5 yrs ago.

— On the neighbor message What are the issues around Logan and Western?
7:38 p.m.

LARA: Some of the window bar units were built like a box, so the window can accommodate an AC unit. Its more expensive than straight bars.

— On the neighbor message Home invasion Evergreen and Damen
7:31 p.m.

The one with the cane? She was here when I moved here about 20 yrs ago, but she did not have the humpback problems then. That "little old lady" was about 55 years old. Thats what heroin can do to you.

— On the neighbor message Body at Leavitt and Iowa
7:10 p.m.

Its reasonable to expect the same attention in HP as Grant Park or Lincoln Park. You would never see people camping or drinking or taking a dump in those parks, without an arrest to follow shortly after.

RAKAR: you took a video of the dump in action? Wow. You could sell that on some specialty websites!

— On the neighbor message Humboldt Park "Residents"
6:46 p.m.

Dont forget there are tons of people just like you who live here, and get along with no problems. My building is near Augusta & California, and there are a ton of single women around here. there are still problems, but they learn to adapt. Some tips:

1) Identify high risk situations, and then avoid them. One example is walking alone late at night. Determine where the bad streets are. Generally it gets worse west of central park ave and south of the tracks.
2) Practice being aware of your surroundings. Use that intuition that may tell you a person is not acting right, or is maybe following you. Then dont freak, but be proactive to address the issue.
3) Make extra sure you stay aware when you are being distracted. Talking on the cell or texting. Carrying groceries. Walking a small dog.
4) Meet your neighbors. Share stories and info on your immediate neighborhood. Watch out for each others' places. Go to CAPS meetings to learn about crime issues.
5) Make sure your apartment is hard to break into.

I also agree with another poster. The media focus on sensationalism and violence to make money. It is way out of proportion to the real level of violence that most people experience. I would also say that burglary and robbery are much higher than reported, so you need to be on guard and take precautions for that.

Welcome and good luck.

— On the neighbor message Scared.
5:57 p.m.

My neighbor was robbed last summer - air conditioner pushed in. The responding police officer told me there is a huge increase in break-ins. He thought it was the economy. I have since installed bars on all my first floor windows.

— On the neighbor message Home invasion Evergreen and Damen
12:21 p.m.

Been using GATEWAY AUTO at 2100 W Division for about 5 years now. They seem reasonably priced. Once they even told me the car doesnt need work.

I am not going back to the garage at Augusta & California. On my only visit (brakes issue), the manage said I needed new disks. Then the mechanic told me the disks were fine.

— On the neighbor message Mechanic
12:12 p.m.

Its one thing to disagree with the legal definition of marriage. Its another to say you believe in the biblical definition of marriage. Bringing the bible into the discussion is frightening to non-fundamentalists. Not only is homosexuality "against god", but just disagreeing with their holy book is "against god." Jesus, please save me from your followers.

— On the neighbor message Way to go, Ald Moreno!
1:30 p.m.

I checked out the link. Seems this church feels they are open-minded; they even has tattooed members! Unfortunately, the fundamentalists are cherry-picking their bible again. Hope they arent eating pork and oysters too.

“You shall not make any cuts in your body for the dead, nor make any tattoo marks on yourselves.” Leviticus 19:28 (American Standard)

12:30 p.m.

The Crooks go for the valuables. Yesterday's purse snatcher is today's iphone thief. Pedestrians are forgetting they are holding a valuable mini computer - easy to snatch and easy to sell. The risk multiplies when potential victims are distracted with a phone call or when texting. So the basic city survival skills still apply: be aware of your surroundings, manage distractions, and be vigilant when youre holding something valuable (purse wallet iphone camera etc).

— On the neighbor message Phone stolen straight out of my hands
11:59 a.m.

There were some posters in the last two weeks complaining about car theft around oakley and chicago. i recall they were all japanese cars. what do the police say? im no expert but it seems to be a pattern.

— On the neighbor message Stolen White Honda Civic
10:46 p.m.

So....you say the CTU blocks reform. When I prove your ludicrous accusation wrong......any apology? Oh, nooooo. you just ignore your "mistake" and then attack the proposed CTU reforms. You say charter schools are better than CPS schools? But multiple posters link to sources proving the contrary. Any apology?.....Noooooo. Just ignore your "mistake" and find another way to attack non-charter schools. And so it goes. Now, as I continue to catch you in "errors", you increase the personal attacks. I dont see how your approach will convert anyone to your way of thinking.

10:37 p.m.

JOE: you said "CTU is fighting against reforms."

My reply....The Union is CONSTANTLY complaining that they want things better. Below is a link - from a previous post in this thread - to the CTU 2012 proposal for education reform. CPS disagrees with CTU on the type of reforms needed. The accusation that CTU wants zero reforms is ludicrous and appears deliberately provocative. I dont think you are arguing in good faith.

The Schools that Chicago Students Deserve
http://www.ctunet.com/blog/text/SCSD_Report-02-16-2012-1.pdf
55 pages. Very interesting. (Thanks to Phil Cantor for the link.)

9:37 p.m.

JOE: my response to your comments:

"if charters fail parents do not have to use them if CPS fails parents are forced to use them so you tell me which one is more transparent? "
.......I dont think you understand the concept of transparency.

"unions serve no purpose in education"
......I dont think you understand the purpose of unions. And I think you discount the motivation of the teachers to help their students.

"Unions are not elected nor held accountable"
.......Huh? Union leadership ARE elected. Union leadership ARE accountable to their members.

"..... nor do they police their members"
........Its not the unions job to manage employees. Its the job of a union to PROTECT employees from abuse. Unions negotiate fair work rules, which include how the EMPLOYER monitors and disciplines their employees. Unions ensure the employer follows those rules.

"all teachers are paid the same despite the fact that some teachers are better than others"
.......First off, "better" is subjective. Who gets to define "better"? Management politicos? Hmmm. Second, teacher salary changes due to a variety of criteria. So you are wrong there.

"many teachers that earned teacher of the year have been fired because of union rules that favor longevity over performance"
....I have never heard of an example of a teacher blaming union rules for their firing. From what Ive seen in the media, some excellent teachers have complained of a firing or layoff due to POLITICS with principles, and in some instances, the process for removing teachers is unfair. But a teacher would be better at explaining this issue.

In general, it appears to me your position is that all unions are motivated for purely selfish reasons, that teachers dont care about the kids, and that unions are evil for protecting the teachers from employer abuse. I not only dont believe that, I think its unfair counterproductive nonsense.

9:22 p.m.

Turns out the company is anti-gay, not just the Company President.

Chick-Fil-A's Anti-Gay Donations Totaled $2 Million In 2010
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/02/chick-fil-a-anti-gay-group-donations-_n_1644609.html

— On the neighbor message Way to go, Ald Moreno!
6:48 p.m.

You cannot press trespassing charges unless you have a "no trespassing" sign posted. So I would first suggest posting such a sign. Also, trespassing charges can be pressed by anyone, not just the owner. So network with your neighbors to keep an eye out, and all be ready to call 911 and press charges.

My building was broken into from the roof. Even if its just kids this time, the word may get around about the security weakness. So its best to get proactive and nip this in the bud.

— On the neighbor message Rooftop Teens?
2:48 p.m.

I have had some good experiences with GATEWAY AUTO, a block west of Damen, on Division. They also have a shop near Racine and Randolph.

— On the neighbor message Automotive Mechanic
2:39 p.m.

What was the location of the theft?

— On the neighbor message Stolen White Honda Civic
2:34 p.m.

The good news is the owner saved the mail. He could have saved time and bother by throwing it all in the trash. But if you want it resolved differently, I think you have a right to request he turn it all into the PO. He shouldnt have to take on the sorting/ delivery responsibilities of the carrier.

— On the neighbor message Stolen Mail
2:31 p.m.

JOE: the CTU has no control over teacher issues in Seattle, New York, and California.

2:19 p.m.

JOE, regarding charter schools, I think PHIL CANTOR posted an excellent assessment, in this same thread

Phil posted: "There is a lot of misinformation about charters. They are privately run and have less accountability since they don't have to be as transparent with their data as neighborhood schools are. Many charters do significantly worse than similar neighborhood schools and only a few do much better. Most do about the same on most measures. Nationally only 17% of charters do better and about 40% do worse (see Credo Study from Stanford U.) Charters in Chicago push difficult students out and have much lower percentages of kids with special ed needs and kids who are learning English as their second language... even with these "advantages" charters don't have better test scores. CPS spends a lot of money promoting and marketing charters, but don't believe the hype."

Heres a news report on the problems with charter schools
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/jun/16/charter-schools-hit-miss-in-new-report/

2:14 p.m.

DANOUSKA: anyone who knows a teacher understands that teachers must spend time preparing for lessons, and reviewing assignments. All for oversized classes of 30-35 kids. The accusation that teachers only work 4 hrs/day is insulting. The accusation that teachers spend their time "surfing the internet" instead of teaching is slanderous. I cant decide if such posts are just trolling, or if there is a total denial of what teachers really do.

11:07 a.m.

JOE posted: ""There is a mountain of evidence unions prevent changes that can help kids"

Until you start providing specifics, supported with sources, I choose to side with teachers like PHIL CANTOR, or the two teachers that live in my building. They speak passionately and eloquently about their challenges, including the counterproductive efforts of their bosses.

10:58 a.m.

Before, I was scared of getting run over by a bike on the sidewalk. Now Im concerned its the latest method to escape a crime. Delinquents on bikes. This seems to be the new thing.

Its very painful to hear of this injustice and disrespect towards you. Thank you for the warning. Best of luck finding the miscreant.

7:41 p.m.

THOMAS: Seems we disagree about the negative community impact of a company president proselytizing that gays should not get married and that homosexuality is immoral. I would concede that the line between expressing a religious belief and advancing a social agenda can sometimes be very thin. But I suggest a company president has a duty to be sensitive to the community he claims to want to serve.

— On the neighbor message Way to go, Ald Moreno!
10:42 a.m.

Once you get to a certain depth, the ground is a constant temperature the whole year round. I believe its 55 degrees F around here.

— On the neighbor message Cold Water Not Cold
10:20 a.m.

I would argue that "simply expressing a religious view" does not grant immunity to the content of that expression.

— On the neighbor message Way to go, Ald Moreno!
10:12 a.m.

Now I understand your position with security cameras. I did not know about the security cam software issue. Where did you hear about this?

Also, where did you hear about police work slowdown in response to brutality charges? That is a serious allegation.

9:46 a.m.

RAKAR: Racism? I dont think there is racism involved in the dispute.

— On the neighbor message Way to go, Ald Moreno!
9:40 a.m.

JEEP: do you actually think teachers are on the "public gravy train"?

9:31 a.m.

JEEP: congratulations if your military experience was worthwhile. Unfortunately there appears to be many active duty and vets who disagree. Women in the military have an unacceptably high risk if sexual discrimination and attack. Many injured vets are complaining about the VAs medical care. The rate of post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury is too high, and their situations are made worse by the DOD postponing and denying them proper care. The suicide rate for military personnel is too high. If you can make it to retirement, then thats a decent deal. But pay during the initial 4 - 8 years is problematic if you have a family. Oh yea, and theres that "killed in combat" thing. Im sure there are public sector jobs that are better than many private sector jobs. But I would disagree the military is one of them. (And thanks to you, and all vets, who make that sacrifice.)

9:28 a.m.

MIKE:your assumption that I am a public sector worker is incorrect. Also, Im all for improvements, be it in the chicago schools, or the chicago police department. (and theres room for improvement in both areas.) But you cant expect improvements if the workers are abused by management. I think CTU has some legitimate complaints about being treated fairly and about the citys strategy to improve education.

9:13 a.m.

Are not the blue light cameras considered security cameras? Those are all over the city.

1:19 p.m.

Congrats to Moreno for taking a stand against intolerance and discrimination. If the President of CHICK-FIL-A wants to go public with his anti-gay social agenda, then he risks this kind of blowback.

— On the neighbor message Way to go, Ald Moreno!
1:09 p.m.

The military have a better deal? JEEP, if you think its such a great deal, then run to your closest recruiter. You can easily get in on the deal.

12:34 p.m.

Sounds like the cat adopted you! :-)

— On the neighbor message Lost cat?
11:08 a.m.

"War" has a specific definition: two nations in armed conflict. It does not apply to high rates of crime. You can use the word "war" figuratively to describe the problem, but it doesnt justify literally bringing in the troops, tanks, artillery, landmines and bombers. I understand people are scared frustrated and outraged. But dont allow emotions to influence strategic decision making. Things can get worse. Just look at the "war on drugs" or the "war on terror" as examples.

11:04 a.m.

The dynamics of employee abuse are not different. When employees are abused by management, they dont care where the money comes from.

10:46 a.m.

KAY: Youre suggesting that employees of government and non-profit entities have no risk of management abuses. This ignores reality. All managers - be it public, for profit, or non profit - have pressures to reduce costs, or otherwise mistreat employees. You need only to look at what the city just did to their teachers. They forced a 20% work increase on them, and refused to pay them for it. The "dynamic" of ensure fairness applies to all employees.

9:28 a.m.

In general, military troops are trained in military tactics. They are not trained to perform civilian police duties. Just because they have guns does not mean they know the local laws or have the training to enforce those laws. NIGEL is right. It would just make things worse.

9:11 a.m.

JOE: Sorry. People cannot exercise their right to collective bargaining without a union. The main thing weakening the role of unions is the corporate movement of jobs to overseas countries, where workers have no protections and there are no environmental protections.

9 a.m.

Youre putting the cart before the horse. You dont form a military force because you need to employ people. You employ people to support a military force. Your logic explains a lot.

11:01 p.m.

GORDON: I doubt there will be a lawsuit over $300. But I would not be surprised if the landlord made a bad credit report. Its especially harmful for younger people who have little credit experience. When they go for their first car loan or condo loan, they find they cannot get the best rates, or may even get a loan rejection. Businesses have tried to pull that $%@# on me. And then the landlord could sell the "debt" to a collection agency who would start calling constantly.

— On the neighbor message Issue with Leasing agency/Landlord
10:55 p.m.

So.....we have to have a massive military ....to keep people employed? That is your #1 justification for funding the worlds largest military? I would say those priorities are worse.

Why should I pay a ton of taxes, to keep Israel from warring with Iran? Or keep North Korea from fighting with South Korea? Why dont we worry more about educating the children that live HERE. Plus, it would force other countries to step up and get involved in international conflicts, instead of letting us do all the $%#@ work. Do some thinking. Thats the best end game.

I say, at least be honest. Stop calling it "national defense" and start calling it "international offense."

By the way, do you know the United States spends almost 8 BILLION dollars, every year, to help Israel? But we think our money problems are because teachers get paid too much. Sad.

10:43 p.m.

Im a landlord.

You didnt insist on a copy of the signed lease? Nothing by mail or email? Yes, Ive heard of people who sign contracts and then dont insist on a copy. They get screwed. Youre lucky hes only asking for $300. (By the way, its against city ordinance for them to refuse to give you a copy.)

The second mistake you made is not reporting the vermin problem to the city. Its a serious health issue and a code violation. And you would have some official documentation of the problem. http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/bldgs/provdrs/inspect/svcs/building_violationsonline.html

The third problem is you used the security deposit for the last months rent....totally illegal. If you sent him a note stating such, then you documented your illegal behavior.

I am not an attorney, but my understanding of contracts is that each "modification" to a contract, needs the initials of each signer. That may be a way of avoiding responsibility for the additional charges. Best to confirm this with an attorney.

He may try to use the threat of a bad credit report to pressure you to pay something.

Have you moved out yet? You have more leverage to do something if you are still a resident there.

I strongly suggest:

1) Get professional advise. I recommend starting at
www.tenants-rights.org They have a hotline.

2) learn about the Chicago Residential Tenant and Landlord Ordinance to learn your rights.
http://www.amlegal.com/nxt/gateway.dll/Illinois/chicago_il/title5housingandeconomicdevelopment/chapter5-12residentiallandlordsandtenant?f=templates$fn=default.htm$3.0$vid=amlegal:chicago_il

3) An attorney would cost some money, but would give you the best advise to protect yourself from lawsuits, a false debt, or a bad credit report.

good luck

— On the neighbor message Issue with Leasing agency/Landlord
10:24 p.m.

JEEP: National defense is IMPERATIVE. But taxing ourselves to death so we can be the world police is IMBECILIC. The only ones that benefit are the large corporations. By allowing this, we are only hurting ourselves; and our children.

9:44 p.m.

GPBLIGHT: the security cameras MIGHT be a deterrent, or they MIGHT help catch the criminal after he is long gone form the crime scene. But its rare for cameras to actually help bust a criminal in the act - there are just too many cameras to monitor.

Also, if a criminal sees the cameras in advance, then they either wear a ball cap & sun glasses, or they try to cut the wires or break the camera. Not that hard for criminals to circumvent cameras once they are seen.

9:35 p.m.

MATT DILLON: I dont see the police being afraid of the street punks. I think the reason they dont always stop is because they are swamped with 911 calls, and are under-staffed.

9:28 p.m.

DOM: if its any consolation, Im mad the IRS forcibly takes cash from me, to pay for our country's ELEVEN aircraft carriers.

Hows this for irony - I have to listen to people argue that teachers should get a pay cut, when the United States Air Force has more planes than any other nation. Know who is second in air power? The United States Navy. Our country has some seriously screwed up priorities.

9:23 p.m.

DOM: Unions are horrid and competition is perfect? Youve thrown labor history right out the window. Unions were formed because of greedy capitalists, like the Rockefellers Vanderbilts and Carnegies. They had no problem paying poverty wages and abusing employees. The gov had to step in to give the working class some rights. Competition doesnt work when the rich and powerful rig the system.

9:13 p.m.

Consider this - If the unit is hidden from the public view - such as in an enclosed yard, or on a roof - a thief would have plenty of privacy to cut thru any bars.

— On the neighbor message AC Theft
1:06 p.m.

The independent fact finder's involvement was required, by the law pushed thru by the city. And the city tried to shame the CTU to hold off on their strike vote until after the results of the fact finder. Now the fact finder says the city is to blame for starting the confrontation with the teachers, when they forced teachers to work 20% more with no salary increase.

Not sure if an elected board would help. But it sure cant be worse than the mess created by the city.

1 p.m.

DOM: No one is arguing to keep ineffective employees. This is spin from the city. The real issue is who gets to decide which teachers are ineffective. The city wants ability to fire teachers with no open investigation. That system allows firings to become political, which is an unfair labor practice.

Also, the proposed system to "grade" teachers is to see how well their students are doing. Seems fair on the surface. But the result is a system that pressures management and teachers to teach for the test, to protect their jobs. Resulting in a nightmare education system where graduates test well, but they dont know much.

9:02 p.m.

BEACH is right. City has zero jurisdiction. Utilities are policed by the State of Illinois' Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC). You can contact them directly and file a complaint. The good news is it creates an official record which may help you if the conflict gets worse. Unfortunately the gas company will probably claim that they DID come by, and YOU were not there. But ICC oversight may speed along a resolution.

— On the neighbor message People's Gas
8:52 p.m.

I have experienced that, but it rarely happens around here. When it does its around Mexican Independence Day, or during the Puerto Rican fest in Humboldt Fest. Loud music, but its all families just having fun.

Regarding another culture.......last summer I had a neighbor who played drums. Much louder than any Latino party. Once a week his (her?) band got together to practice on a Saturday. It was as if Eric Satie had formed a heavy metal band - with volume set to "11." All.....summer.....long. Nothing this year; the landlord must have kicked them out.

— On the neighbor message When is a party too loud?
8:47 p.m.

On my block, every 6-unit building has two blue carts. And there must be atleast 25 bldgs.

— On the neighbor message Recycling for 8 unit condo building
7:59 p.m.

I dont own one, but this is a possible defense tactic. www.catclamp.com

My mechanic says some SUVs are more prone to this theft, due to the location of their converter. So check with your mechanic about your make/ model.

— On the neighbor message Stolen Car Parts?
7:57 p.m.

Another car theft near Western & Chicago Av.

— On the neighbor message Auto Theft: '95 Honda Civic
7:46 p.m.

I have used Pro Computers at 5152 N Clark. They have many good reviews online. They ask for $85 to diagnose problem, and will apply that fee to the repair job. Been there two times in last 5 yrs. They delivered what they promised. Maybe not the cheapest option, but they seem professional, knowledgeable, reliable and fairly priced.

— On the neighbor message Computer cracked .
7:43 p.m.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE - July 23, 2012
CPS finds few wins after school reform legislation
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/education/ct-met-state-education-reform-20120723,0,7750641.story

The article says the anti-union legislation failed to keep the union from striking. This new law is why the city thought they could get away with abusing their teachers.

My favorite quote , from Union President Karen Lewis: "Let's get out of Burger King mode where they think they can have it their way and let's work together to actually put bones to this contract."

7:30 p.m.

I have no problem allowing employees to opt out of unions.

This ignores the fact that the city ignored their own contract with the union, and forced a 20% work increase onto teachers with no salary increase. Which would explain why teachers voted 90% to authorize a strike if needed.

If management treats their employees with that much disrespect and contempt, then expect 100% of employees to voluntarily sign up with a union, regardless of any "opt out" option.

7:25 p.m.

BRIAN THOMPSON: I agree that public sector unions need to reduce their expectations regarding salary and benefits.

I also agree the unions do not exist for the benefit of the customers and management. But unions do not exist to protect management. Should they protect their customers? The children? I think teachers are inherently concerned with the well-being of their students. The implication that teachers will sell out their kids is not fair.

I also disagree with your implication the teachers want a "big raise." This is confusing the facts. First, the CITY forced a 20% work increase on the teachers without a fair proportioned increase to cover that extra work. Second, the CITY decided they would ignore their signed contract with the union regarding cost of living raises. Both of these are employer abuses, and bravo to the union for fighting back.

Should teachers get a raise on top of recovering lost wages due to city manipulations? Thats another issue. But I personally think the city should dissolve these political sham TIF districts, and take the HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS of property tax dollars and re-direct it BACK to school funding. Teachers should not take a pay cut because Chicago citizens allow this scam to decimate the school budget.

9:28 p.m.

PHIL CANTOR: thank you for the great posts. My favorite line is: "You also don't see folks up in Winetka crediting teachers with how successful their kids."

2:49 p.m.

Cute dog. Good luck with your adoption project..

For future use: you cant post photos to comments, but you can post a link to a photo.

— On the neighbor message Chihuahua is in need of home Pictures
11:09 a.m.

Dont take the word of your 1st floor neighbor; check it yourself in your basement laundryroom. Pressure would be better in the basement, but there should not be a huge difference.

I would definitely not install a water pump without first determining if the problem is in the building. You could also try another plumber. But it will be hard for them to diagnose when the pressure is not down.

How old are the pipes?

— On the neighbor message Water Pressure Problems --Division St.
11:07 a.m.

When you get away from lakeview, there are less strips of bars, restaurants and other stores. I would also not use the word "exciting" to describe logan, unless you count the gang activity. Also, rent is less when you are not near an EL station. Theres only one station in Logan.

Other possible neighborhoods with some fun activity:
- ravenswood
- bucktown
- wicker park
- ukrainian village

Rents will be noticeably less than lakeview, but not cheap. West of Western is even less but not as convenient. You have to go farther west for cheap.

— On the neighbor message Should I consider logan square?
10:32 p.m.

Is there a faucet near where the main water pipe enters your basement? (Sometimes there is a faucet near the meter, to bleed the system during service.) If so, then the next time you have this issue, go and check the pressure there. If you have the same problem in both places, then you know the problem is not your building plumbing.

— On the neighbor message Water Pressure Problems --Division St.
10:22 p.m.

Increasing poverty results in increased crime, disease, malnutrition, illiteracy, and pregnancy. Im not sure how anyone could imagine that eliminating social welfare would result in reducing the symptoms of poverty.

Im all for a discussion of different spending strategies for social welfare. But I dont see the "sink or swim" position as effective, much less moral.

5:03 p.m.

A pawn shop is basically a short-term loan agency. Often, this is the only service available to help people get emergency loans. For low-income people, this can be a lifesaver.

Also, a pawn shop is certainly not the only avenue for selling stolen property. Craigslist is easily available to anyone, and flea markets are another good way to sell anything- no questions.

4 p.m.

1) put furniture in alley and most stuff will be grabbed in 24 hrs by neighbors or scrappers. Left over will be taken by city garbage people.
2) post on CRAIGSLIST. there is a page for FREE stuff, in the FOR SALE section. (suggest you dont give your exact address, for privacy reasons.)

— On the neighbor message Getting rid of furniture
3:47 p.m.

ALLISON: one disadvantage of a privacy fence is it also gives privacy to any burglar trying to break in.

— On the neighbor message Whats going on?
3:43 p.m.

I agree with GOOD GUYS. Does not sound like a burglary at all.
A burglar may ring the doorbell to see if the resident is home, but they would never be pounding on the door. Too much attention. And too many people involved. Bet it was the wrong address. But definitely be on alert for their return. They sound intellectually challenged and morally deficient.

— On the neighbor message Home Attempted Break-In (bold attempt)
3:40 p.m.

Japan is the only country I know of that has a word for working yourself to death...."karoshi"

3:31 p.m.

MIKE: you posted "stop paying people to have kids and see how that helps relieve the stress."

Brilliant solution. Stop giving financial support to poor families, and Im sure the adults will immediately stop having sex. And watching poor families transition into homelessness and malnutrition would never add stress to their lives. I wish more people were this logical.

9:25 a.m.

PHIL CANTOR: you posted: "The idea that we can have debilitating poverty but have excellent schools pull any significant number of students out of that poverty is a misguided fallacy."

This is so true. Thank you for another good point. I agree. The problem is broader than just the quality - or quantity - of classroom instruction. But i fear that our society is losing its struggle to deal with poverty. It seems that the poor are increasingly an acceptable byproduct of our materialistic society. Add this to current economic pressures, and the poor do not have a bright future.

10:50 p.m.

PHIL: thanks for the list of top schools in the city. Unfortunately, some people will always prefer to ignore the facts.

11:54 a.m.

JOE: Im not confusing anything. You are confused if you think that public sector employees are immune from abuse by their employers. The "comrade" and "socialism" labels are tired republican McCarthy-style fear-mongering. Too bad you cant make a point without name calling.

The comment about teachers "lining their pockets" is funny. You obviously dont know any teachers.

11:51 a.m.

JOE: unions offer employee protection from management abuse. Some example of abuse would be if your boss ignored your contract. Or if your boss forced you to work more hours without additional pay. Both of which are documented examples of the city's abuse of their school teachers. Also note, 90 percent of the union voted to strike. So teachers seem to disagree with your opinion that "the union is holding you back." Also, federal law (upheld by SCOTUS) is also contrary to your opinion that teachers should not be able to unionize. No spin, just facts.

10:51 a.m.

Heres an example of what a gun can do to protect yourself. This happened just last Friday. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pr-ug3x9HRw

— On the neighbor message Home Attempted Break-In (bold attempt)
10:28 a.m.

I would agree that the public perception is that charter schools perform better than public schools. Unfortunately (for Rahm), the reality does not match the propaganda. Charter schools are not performing better than public schools.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE - Nov 2011
Report finds charters struggling like other CPS schools
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/education/ct-met-charter-schools-performance-1130-20111130,0,1660032.story

Note that Charter Schools are allowed to reject problem students (leaving them to the public school), and the Charter Schools are still having problems performing.

Regarding the alleged coercion, the city agreed to stop the practice before the state labor board finished arbitrating the issue.

FWIW, im not opposed to seeing public unions adjust their wages and benefits to reflect current economic realities. But I also feel that contracts should be honored, and bosses should not be able to bully and lie about their employees.

9:42 a.m.

FRANKIE: how do you know prostitution is taking place? That is a very serious charge. I would think the police would be very interested in that activity.

As for the pot thing, I just dont see the police or alderman being very motivated to raiding a house over some dope heads smoking a joint. Pot smoking is like jaywalking - just too prevalent to make it a high priority. You might have to "live and let live" on that one.

— On the neighbor message Whats going on?
9:22 a.m.

On the contrary, the city's charter schools do not have union teachers. And those teachers get paid less money.

And, yes, a union is required, according to the contract signed by the city. If they dont want a union then the city can refuse to sign the next contract. But union members then have the right to collective bargaining, including an organized strike as a last resort. Seems that is where Rahm is headed.

All these rights were gained by the labor movement over 100 years ago. They came about because corporations took grossly unfair advantage of their workers. Without unions, we would all be working 12 hours a day, 6 days a week, and companies would still be employing 10 year old children. Some companies are still able to do this by moving their factories from the USA to poor countries.

9:04 a.m.

This is another example of why people argue for the right to protect themselves with a gun. The police cant protect you.

A shotgun is a good suggestion for home protection. Try to get the shortest barrel available. You can get a Mossberg 500 with a 20 inch barrel for about $400 at Cabelas. (Very long barrels are unwieldy indoors.) Some suggest a 20 gauge is better. A 12 gauge has so much power it can easily go trough walls. You dont want to hit innocents in the next apartment.

And if you get any kind of gun, remember the state requires you to apply for a FOID (firearm owners ID card.) www.isp.state.il.us/foid You will need it to buy the gun and buy ammo.

And please take a safety course. The NRA website has info on classes closest to you. www.nrahq.org/education

— On the neighbor message Home Attempted Break-In (bold attempt)
8:54 a.m.

The "rule book" is the contract that the city signed with the union. Not only is the city ignoring the very contract that they signed, they also unilaterally decided that teachers would work 20% more, without giving them the appropriate increase in pay. Doesnt matter how anyone trys to spin that, its just wrong. And that is why the state labor relations board sided with the union.

Also, the city claim that chicago teachers are highest paid in the country is another example of the city's dishonesty. New York City teachers are paid more.

8:34 a.m.

Arbitrator Sides with Teachers Union
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/17/chicago-teachers-raise-fa_n_1679294.html?ir=Education

The arbitrator said: " . . . . it is unrealistic to expect teachers to work that much longer without additional compensation."

The arbitrator also said the city caused the problem.

11:32 p.m.

I concur with Dan. Dont expect any informal advice from the Building Dept. Get pro advise, and have a plan, before you get on the city's radar.

A tip - never, EVER get frustrated or mad at them. It only makes things worse.

— On the neighbor message Department of Buildings - Permit questions
3:25 p.m.

Sorry for jumping to conclusions.

Sticking to your stated concern, I have only heard of that problem when locks are not maintained.

— On the neighbor message rockwell and evergreen
3:19 p.m.

a) the “public” is certainly not demanding charter schools. The charter school concept is A CREATION OF THE CITY. The call for accountability by the city is laughable, as our elected officially have no interest in similar levels of accountability.
b) no one is talking about displacing any current employees. The union just wants layed off teachers to be able to fill OPEN POSITIONS at other schools.
c) The Illinois Education Reform Bill (Senate Bill 7) was passed in on May 12, 2011 and included language requiring teacher unions to have 75% support in order to strike. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/13/pat-quinn-signs-ed-reform-bill_n_876048.html
d) See the contract? Do you doubt that the city has arbitrarily raised teacher work hours? The city has admitted so, and has given an excuse for ignoring the contract they signed. A complaint was filed with the state, and the Illinois Labor Relations Board sided with the union. http://chicagoist.com/2011/10/23/court_gets_involved_with_cps_ctu_ov.php
f) Here is a news article on the coercion of teachers http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/local&id=8340542
g) The math is not complicated. The “boss” Rahm/Brizard is demanding a work increase of 20%, and offered a salary increase of only 2%. This is an insult, and anyone with an #$%&@ boss can relate. No wonder 90% of Chicago teachers approved a strike. The city has kicked a hornets nest.

2:47 p.m.

MEGAN: that is a cusp area between logan and humboldt that can really vary from street to street.

Do you plan on walking to/from the el? Will you have secure parking or park in the street? Do you like to walk to local places at night on the weekend? Take all these questions and ask your future neighbors, local businesses, and the police. They will give you an honest assessment.

My personal opinion is that crime is sketchy enough in that area for a single woman to do some additional investigating. There are single women that live in the neighborhood. There are also single men who are scared of the area. So learn the facts and compare it to your comfort level, before you commit to buying real estate.

— On the neighbor message Francisco & Bloomingdale block advice
12:39 p.m.

LEE: the Rahm technique for "negotiating in good faith" is to:
a) replace union staffed public schools with non-union staffed charter schools
b) lay off experienced teachers without giving them a chance to fill openings at other schools
c) force thru a state law requiring 75% for a union to vote a strike
d) completely ignore the union contract and declare the teachers will work 20% longer hours
f) target specific schools with pressuring the teachers to support the work increase, with bribes of additional school funding.
g) provide ZERO opportunity for teachers to give input on HOW the increase in teaching time will be spent to help the kids.
h) offer a salary increase of 2%, which doesnt even cover inflation, much less the forced work increase.

The city is operating in "good faith"??? That is a joke. This is just from me reading the paper. im sure a teacher would have a much longer list.

12:20 p.m.

GPBLIGHT: your comment about the unions supporting the party of power is not accurate. The police union, firefighters union, and teachers union, all have a history of being very antagonistic towards their bosses. Now, other unions may have been much more politically supportive of leadership, but privatization has greatly reduced those numbers.

12:09 p.m.

Sand blasting will damage the surface of any brink. It make the brink much more porous, and accelerates the winter freeze/thaw damage to brink. High pressure water washer can do just as much damage. But removing the mortar is not a problem as oyu can easily fix it with mortar mix.

If the brick has a smooth surface, then I suggest trying the paint remover (but be careful as its toxic.) If the brick is porous, like common brink, then it will be very tough getting the paint out of the porous parts.

I have seen professionals use paint remover and take it off with a power washer, with excellent results. But I have no experience with that technique.

— On the neighbor message Graffiti Remover
12:05 p.m.

You have not been specific, but I will assume you are not the homeowner.

If the lock doesnt work, then its the responsibility of the landlord to fix the problem. You are responsible for notifying the landlord asap. It could be someone trying to "pick" the lock, but I think its much more likely its an old lock that needs oil, or needs replacement.

You can try applying some oil to the lock to see if that loosens up things. Place the tip of your key in the lock, add a drop of oil to the key, and gently push in. See how far in it will go. Gently wiggle the key. DONT PUSH SO HARD THAT THE KEY BREAKS. Pull out the, key, add another drop of oil, and repeat. Each time you wiggle, try turning the key so the lock engages. If the lock seems to be working better, then gentle repeat the process (oil, wiggle, turn) until the lock works freely. If the lock is broken or rusted, the lock may not free up.

If the landlord does not respond in a reasonable time, then you have the right to fix it yourself. you can call a locksmith (expensive) or you can "do it yourself." This is not rocket science. Go to youtube and search for tutorials on changing locks. Then go to home depot and ask for assistance with the lock "experts" and buy the appropriate replacement. Takes some time, but you can get the job done yourself asap.

You should know that, if you change a door lock on your apartment, then you are required bu law to give a copy to your landlord.

— On the neighbor message rockwell and evergreen
11:57 a.m.

KITTYHOP: in 20+ years, I have seen three garages torched on my block. Also seen four cars torched on the street. It happens.

Some gangs have police radio scanners. When the 911 dispatchers radio out an assignment to police, they have been known to include the address of the 911 caller. Thats one way gangs know whos talking to the police.

— On the neighbor message Car Break in
9:45 p.m.

Ive never heard a gunshot described as a boom......unless its artillery. Id say its probably just fireworks. They are still lighting them off in my neighborhood.

— On the neighbor message Loud booms?
9:38 p.m.

JOHN: Im still curious how you were able to escape the gang lifestyle. That is truly an admirable story. Did you do it before you went to college? Did you have to get beat out? Did you just move away from the neighborhood?

— On the neighbor message Gun shots or fireworks
9:32 p.m.

Report a gang member? To who? 911? Mayor Emmanuel? You cant report someone for being in a gang. Its not against the law. That is a wildly impractical expectation.

— On the neighbor message Gun shots or fireworks
9:30 p.m.

Im totally guessing, but I think if the paperwork will be highly time consuming with little chance of catching the perpetrator, then the cops will discourage or refuse to take a complaint. The cops are overwhelmed by crime and understaffed.

— On the neighbor message Car Break in
2 p.m.

"Innocent until proven guilty" is a common right in most democracies. According to the US Supreme Court, it is implied in the 5th and 6th amendment of the US Constitution.

"Acquitted" is actually the same as "not guilty."

OJ was found guilty and is in prison.

You misspelled "neighbor."

Its not that Im pro-gang. But there really should be only one set of rules that apply to everyone. So calling the deceased a murderer when in fact he was acquitted of murder, is unfair, and insensitive to the victim's family.

10:26 p.m.

So whats the name of the neighbor along Chicago Av, between Western and California? ive heard it called Smith Park (south), Ukrainian Village (northeast), West Ukrainian Village (northeast) and Humboldt Park (northwest). But in the 20 yrs Ive been here, I have NEVER heard a person refer to it as "West Town." I would think such banners will confuse anyone who lives around here.

KACE: Im open to hearing an explanation asto why spending all that money on WEST TOWN banners would benefit this strip.

5:56 p.m.

UK Village is not west of Western? Tell that to the ukies that live around the Ukrainian Orthodox Church at 2700 W Iowa. Its been there for 125 years.

5:24 p.m.

Stolen for parts. Happened to my girlfirends junker minivan in 2009. Am I wrong, or does there seem to be a rash of auto thefts in this area?

5:20 p.m.

About 2008, I called 911 on a guy walking down the alley towards California. He was carrying an aluminum rain gutter. It must have been 15 feet long. I knew he ripped it off some garage. Bet it wasnt worth $1 at the scrap yard.

Some thieves get electrocuted while trying to take power lines they mistakenly think are turned off. A fireman once told me they found a body stuck to the overhead wires.

— On the neighbor message 8 AC Units Stolen
4:20 p.m.

For first floor window units, you can install bars on the window designed so an AC unit can be installed. A cheaper security method is to purchase wood or angle iron, and screw it to the AC unit, both sashes, and the window frame, so they cannot be moved. But loose units are very easy to push in from the outside.

Someone suggested a roof unit. The problem is that burglars can access many roofs relatively easily, and are then not visible from the street and have plenty of time to disassemble the unit for parts. That just happened to the public library in Robbins IL.

— On the neighbor message 8 AC Units Stolen
11:56 a.m.

Thats incredible. When did you quit the gang? When you started college? Or did you get out sooner?

— On the neighbor message Gun shots or fireworks
11:17 a.m.

JOHN: are you an MD at a hospital in the city? Or the burbs?

— On the neighbor message Gun shots or fireworks
11 a.m.

DANOUSKA: clearly, if you complained, then it WAS a problem. It was kind of you to answer his question from a personal perspective, when you did not have to. You could have just said: "its a problem because its dangerous and illegal."

— On the neighbor message Off leash dogs...again
10:41 a.m.

why is this posted in wicker park? I suggest posting to humboldt park or ukrainian village.

8:35 a.m.

MACMILLIAN DICTIONARY - reputed
"said or believed by many people, but not definitely known to be true"

I get that the gangs are bad news. I dont think thats an excuse to label someone a murderer, when they are only a suspected gang member. To do it after they are dead and gone? Thats just not right.

9:22 p.m.

Interesting. The article doesnt say if you should stare LIKE Robert Goulet? Or do you stare AT Robert Goulet? That could affect how I train for the contest.

— On the media mention Robert Goulet Staring Contest
7:23 p.m.

From my experience, chihuahuas are more aggressive than pitbulls. But the jaws of a pitbull can rip my arm off. As most owners seem ignorant of proper training methods, I tend to be very wary around pits. Its not fair, but Im not taking any chances.

— On the neighbor message Off leash dogs...again
7:17 p.m.

RAKAR: Posting: "they did the job right" about a murder? Come-on! Do I really need to say why this is inappropriate?

— On the neighbor message Gun shots or fireworks
7:05 p.m.

Why was she yelling? I dont know. I wasnt there. Seems you were not either. It appears you are jumping to conclusions. A little sensitive i imagine.

As for the "damned if they do . . . . " comment, I would suggest police are not immune to inappropriate, aggressive, or illegal acts. Cops want to make things better, but sometimes it seems they make things worse. Instead of categorizing the public as "blamers" and the police as "victims" I think its better to look at each incident and decide on the evidence.

Whats a pilgrim?

12:13 p.m.

I can appreciate the frustration with gangs. But the "one less gangbanger" is not a solution. These deaths cause significant anguish for the families, and it breeds a revenge mindset which leads to more shootings.

— On the neighbor message Gun shots or fireworks
12:03 p.m.

LARA: as a landlord, I can tell you that pets can be a problem. SOME pet owners (cats and dogs) are not responsible. Thru poor care, control or training, the pets can cause significant damage to the units. This costs the landlord money. In addition, if a dog is a constant barker, then it can drive other tenants out, which is a threat to the landlords revenue stream. Your point regarding the security value of dogs is probably not much of a benefit to a landlord who does not live in the building.

I had a dog owner that let its dog poop in the yard without cleaning it up. I had a cat owner that did not regularly clean the litterbox. Disgusting problems resulted.

FWIW, I do allow pets but ask for an additional deposit.

— On the neighbor message Rental Agency feedback or suggestions
11:58 a.m.

RAKAR: "Reputed" is just a fancy word for "reported." Another word for "accused." If hes "reputed" then you imply hes guilty? If a cop is "reputed" to be abusive, I have a feeling you would say "charges were never substantiated. Innocent until proven guilty." That would be a double standard.

11:47 a.m.

Where did you hear the police were being blamed for something? What were they accused of? The OP only said the police were verbally abused.

11:32 a.m.

Or it could be due to a pretty good salesman. Its not uncommon for someone to discover misrepresentations, after the contract is signed.

— On the neighbor message Safety
11:41 a.m.

The explosions could be the car tires. Its very loud when they go off.

— On the neighbor message Garage Fire on 2300 block W Iowa
10:43 a.m.

When the loud booms go off at 3am, it takes me about 30 minutes to get back to sleep. Hope I can discover who is doing that. I also have found bottle rockets on my roof. Its a flat rubber roof. .......R-U-B-B-E-R ......If the building gets torched, I guarantee that all the local pyromaniacs will look down at their shoes like little children, and act like they have no idea how it happened.

10:40 a.m.

The problem in answering that question is that there is no consensus on the boundaries.

People who live around the park think only the immediate vicinity is HP.

People in UK village and Wicker Park seem to consider anything west of Western as part of HP. But realtors use "Wicker Park" and "Ukrainian Village" to describe property on the west side of Western. I live northwest of Western & Chicago (north of Smith Park), near a 125 yr old Ukrainian Church. The ukies around here do NOT consider this Humboldt.

The City of Chicago defines HP as a much larger area, but only includes the area WEST of the actual park, extending west all the way to Pulaski, and a half mile south of Chicago Av. Here is the official city map. http://www.cityofchicago.org/dam/city/depts/doit/general/GIS/Chicago_Maps/Community_Areas/CA_HUMBOLDT_PARK.pdf So the southwest part of HP is what many locals call Garfield Park, an incredibly dangerous area.

In addition, the boundaries of HP as set by EB are slightly different too. Western to Pulaski, and North Av to Chicago

All this inconsistency creates a ton of confusion when people talk about the neighborhood, including crime statistics and safety.

I havent seen anything official, but the local consensus seems to be Sacramento is the dividing line between east and west.

10:22 a.m.

Some posts claim this area is the worst in the city. That is completely wrong. They are either thinking of 20-30 years ago, or are confusing this area with west HP.

A possible major concern would be the occasional shootings around here. As far as I know, they are all gang related. That is, one gang is shooting at a rival gang.

Another problem is if your street is a gang's hang out. Some streets are bad. My experience is it happens when the street has a lot of low-income housing. Best way to find out is to talk to police, and drive by on a weekend night. But gentrification has improved a lot of areas in EHP.

If you can handle these issues, you will find the area very appealing. Lots of new businesses, many quiet streets, and real estate cheaper than east side of Western Av. As in any neighborhood, be aware of your surroundings when walking, especially late at night.

9:41 a.m.

Excellent photo. If I had seen that behind my house, I would have freaked.

— On the neighbor message Power Outage on 1500 Milwaukee block
9:24 a.m.

When I was a teen, I was cornered by a small dog, at the home of a friend. The mother just laughed. Then I warned her that I played soccer. She stopped laughing. I was scared I would kill the dog.

You cant drop-kick a pitbull.

— On the neighbor message Off leash dogs...again
9:23 a.m.

Size is never a guarantee of winning in a confrontation. There are many techniques and tactics that can help a so called "weaker" person to escape a confrontation. Or even win. But people need to learn and practice them. Programs like these are great.

My favorite "david vs goliath" story was the 25 yr old that robbed an 80 yr old elderly couple. The "victim" was a former US Marine and beat the crap out the perp.

— On the neighborhood event Weekend long self-defense course for Women!
9:18 a.m.

With all due respect to the victims of crime, and to their loved ones who also suffer........ I think the "we need to try harder" strategy has been heard before. People are already trying hard. I respectfully suggest that strategy will have little effect. The way to have significant change is to assess why things arent working, and then be willing to make significant changes to a broken system.

— On the media mention At Least 20 Wounded In Weekend Violence
9:03 a.m.

Could this be a tactic to shift the blame off PRPCC for their screwup of the HP Fest permitting process?

11:24 a.m.

MARINA: I dont think thats the case. It seems the concern is that police are being sent to too many "non-emergency" calls, and are not available for emergencies. I think the non-emergency situations will suffer. What the city calls "quality of life" issues.

— On the neighbor message Theft on Hoyne and Damen
9:59 a.m.

This is comical. An announcement that says "HP community comes together." Hispanic leadership calls for end of riotfest and removal of police commander. I see that neither of the neighborhood associations were at this meeting.

http://www.humboldtparkportal.org/news/4025

The blog writer called for the end of arrogance. It seems that he was referring only to non-hispanics. There is another thread on this new "community" initiative.

— On the neighbor message Interesting blog post
9:06 a.m.

I saw the article. It seems that the Hispanic leaders do not consider the two neighborhood associations, east and west of the park, as part of the community. They were not at the meeting. Hows that for "arrogance"?.......Saying the "community comes together."

Also, given the persistent vitriol expressed against gentrification, Im betting they see this fest as part of the "Humboldt gentrification conspiracy."

8:54 a.m.

I also remove the old sticker and clean the surface, to ensure adhesion. And after I install it, I take a razor and cut lines onto the new sticker. This way, no one can pull it off in one piece.

— On the neighbor message License plate sticker theft
8:41 a.m.

links to studies or articles would help

— On the neighbor message fire hydrant and sprinkler system
8:36 a.m.

Adopt what?

— On the neighbor message fire hydrant and sprinkler system
12:48 a.m.

ALEX MAGANA: can you give us a description of the criminals?

— On the neighbor message Theft on Hoyne and Damen
7:10 p.m.

If she needed money, then my guess is it was a scam. I am frequently confronted by people in an "emergency" who want me to give them money, or to "borrow" money. The easiest way to tell if they are faking it is to offer to phone for some professional help. If its a scam, they tend to walk away.

But it sure was kind of you to be concerned.

12:04 a.m.

Now democrats cant even use the word "volunteer"??? This republican obstructionism is out of control. If a local supporter gets harassed over an invitation so innocuous, its no wonder Obama cant get anything done in DC.

6:29 p.m.

LIN: I stand corrected. Ms Levine was not driven from HP by the protestors. She had already moved her storefront.

— On the neighbor message Interesting blog post
4:55 p.m.

You are confused. Just because Ms Levine apologized for her insensitivity does not mean that her accusers are without fault. Naomi Levine showed true class by apologizing for her mistakes. But her hypocritical accusers show no such inclination to admit their errors.

Here is the blog, where the writer takes some legitimate concerns, and blows them out of proportion.
http://gozamos.com/2012/02/unpacking-the-tipsy-cake-crack-house-the-misrepresentation-of-humboldt-park/

Here are some of the choice quotes:

- “crack cakes” serves as coded language for Puerto Ricans
- “urban pioneers” who bravely seek to tame the indomitable through imperial mechanisms of power and privilege.
- white-skin privilege . . .
- like the settlers who descended from the Mayflower . . .
- gentrification is a process . . . . justifying their actions with racist and classist worldviews.

The writer scored political points by whipping up hatred against whites in HP. It does nothing to promote safety, community, compassion, nor diversity. Congrats to Ms Levine for her humility, and taking the high ground.

This pattern of behavior parallels the racial overtones in the blog cited by the OP.

— On the neighbor message Interesting blog post
4:44 p.m.

Riot Fest didnt get "permission"??? Does anyone find this ironic, after seeing the PRPCC failed to get permits for their fest? There is evidence that they failed to do so in previous years. The double standard continues.

— On the neighbor message Interesting blog post
2:24 p.m.

quote: "This is what centuries of colonialism has taught the Puerto Rican."

COLONIALISM?!? In Humboldt Park? Really??? People are concerned about safety at the fest, and in their neighborhood. But the blogger dismisses their concerns, and uses labels like "pro-gentrification", "against affordable housing", saying they "storm meetings", and implying they practice "colonialism." That blog is dripping with racial hatred. Its just as bad as the racial slanders aimed at the white owner of a local bakery, when she actually employed minorities from HP. I see an ugly pattern here.

Ironically, the PRPCC's refusal to meet with community members about fest safety - for DECADES - is the height of arrogance. A call for "humility and respect"??? What a double standard.

— On the neighbor message Interesting blog post
2:21 p.m.

Solyndra? you found something that Obama failed at? sorry. If my choice is between Republicans or Democrats, then i choose Obama. Republicans dont give a $#@& about the middle class, the economy, or health care. They just want to make sure the rich get richer. Im sick of getting "trickled down" on.

10:29 a.m.

Whats his/her name?

— On the neighbor message missing small dog
7:33 p.m.

JEDI: this thread is about volunteerism. If you think its left-leaning, then you are welcome to promote the social initiatives of Bush or Cheney or Romney or Gingrich. Looking forward to hear about their programs!

7:32 p.m.

DARKANGEL: to be polarized, there have to be two sides that are intransigent. Are you referring to the "Pro-fest" vs "anti-fest" sides? Or the victims of fest bouncers vs the denyers/ apologists?

7:11 p.m.

JERIZ: the city will do nothing, because the fests are run by the politically connected.

11:04 a.m.

LESLIE O: it seems you are wrong about things changing. You make it sound like its one rogue bouncer causing all the trouble. We both know that multiple fest employees are stationed at these entrances. That means multiple employees witness these tactics. Yet the fst operator changes nothing. Your suggestion to notify the operators about this problem is worthless. They already know.

11:03 a.m.

This blog reminds me of a similar blog earlier this year. A PR man accused a local baker of racism. Huge protests, endorsed by local politicos, drove the businesswoman out of the neighborhood. Now we see another PR accusing newer white residents of racism.

I dont doubt there are examples of whites who are prejudiced against the PRs and mexicans in this area. But blaming the natural economic changes in real estate prices on some white conspiracy is rooted more in emotions than reason. And it is frankly a double standard for any minority to resort to baseless racist accusations.

By focusing limited energy on false charges of racism, you fail to direct effort on the real racism occurring in the area. That is counterproductive to the cause of improving the neighborhood.

— On the neighbor message Interesting blog post
10:46 a.m.

LIN: ok, Im lost....who called PRs "pooping savages"? I would have totally condemned that if I had seen such a post. Also, thanks for info on the hospital that use to be at 1166 Kedzie. Didnt know that.

— On the neighbor message Alcohol is being served at PR Fest
8:39 p.m.

Quiestest fest ever. I think the fence made a huge difference. I also think the police deserve some kudos. Everything I hear says they were understaffed, but used much improved tactics this year.

Hope the local news covers the permitting issues, including if it was actually permitted in previous years. Im also curious about who paid for the approx one mile long of fencing. Renting a fence is fairly expensive.

12:25 a.m.

CURTIS: hoping for total chaos? On the contrary, some posters are saying its already here. And they want it to stop. The fence sounds like it had a huge positive impact.

— On the neighbor message AND SO IT BEGINS-10:00 A.M. CRASH
12:15 a.m.

Correction.....the shooting on Thomas was only 2 blks north of Augusta.

12:44 p.m.

Last night (Saturday) there were a lot of people congregating on Augusta, east of California. I was more than concerned. But I dont think anything major occurred around here

12:30 p.m.

HUMBOLDT WRITER: Some of your many concerns I agree with. But nothing connects this specific car accident to the festival. The FACT is the accident happened days before the festival was scheduled to start.

— On the neighbor message AND SO IT BEGINS-10:00 A.M. CRASH
12:21 p.m.

I walked by today at 3pm. It was still closed. Any word on if/when it will open?

— On the neighbor message Puerto Rican Fest. No Permit?
6 p.m.

RAKAR: I imagine they will pull cops from the HP fest when they decide to also pull cops from Taste of Chicago.

5:58 p.m.

GLENN: Wedding should pay if the security is to protect their party. 100 cops are not needed at a wedding, so the hosts do not need to pay.

The president brings his own security to whatever / wherever he goes. Business or personal. Chicago or DC. U.S.A. or abroad. Conservative or liberal. Bush or Obama. POTUS brings their own security.

5:56 p.m.

GLENN- I looked at the article.......... you forgot to mention a small detail: the President of the United States will be attending the wedding.

10:39 a.m.

VB: the FAKETV item is great. The problem is that burglars cant see it during the day. And, like the OP, most burglarys take place when the owners are at work. Usually early like 8 - 11am.

— On the neighbor message Burglary 800 N block of Wolcott
8:59 a.m.

It looked like the whole park is fenced in. Will they be charging an entrance fee?

— On the neighbor message Puerto Rican Fest. No Permit?
10:24 p.m.

A quote from the organizers: “There is a security issue in the park and we are attempting to resolve it . . . . " Comical.

If the permit was not issued, then why did the city allow vendors to set up in the park? Seems both sides screwed up on this.

— On the neighbor message Puerto Rican Fest. No Permit?
10:19 p.m.

Given the predatory nature of the city ticketing system, I think its good to post it as much as possible.

11:46 a.m.

With a cordless reciprocating saw, and a heavy-duty metal blade, it would probably take about 45 seconds. (Im in construction, so thats a professional guestimate.)

http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?productId=100041044&storeId=10051&langId=-1&catalogId=10053&cm_sp=BazVoice-_-RLP-_-100041044-_-x

My mechanic told me about a company called CATCLAMP that makes a security harness for the catalytic converter in the exhaust system. I did not buy one, so have no experience with it.

www.catclamp.com

— On the neighbor message Watch your car, Catalytic Converter Stolen
4:48 a.m.

There are different levels of "safety"' depending on where you live in UK village. If you are in the heart, which is between Damen/ Western and between Chicago/ Augusta, then there are minimal safety issues. Areas near Division can be bad (incl Cortez/ Western.) It gets less safe as you go west of western and north of Augusta. South of Augusta is ok but gets a little worse as you near California.

— On the neighbor message Western & Augusta
4:19 p.m.

JAY C: Ive lived two blocks away for 20years.

Notice that there is a Police Blue Light camera at Rockwell & Augusta. (Rockwell is 2 blks W of Western.) Theres a reason its there. There use to be a lot of gang problems there. The gangs are still around, but that intersection is no longer a hot spot. The point is that the area does have some issues. The area north of Augusta still has some gang problems. I think awareness and common sense can mitigate most of that. (There are a lot of people here who love the neighborhood. A lot of single women live around here.) But beware.

Also, another issue is street parking. Augusta has rush hour parking restrictions. It is also has parking restrictions after a snowfall. And the sidestreets to the south have residential parking restrictions, so you may not be allowed to park there if your address is on Augusta. I suggest closely reading all the parking signs in the neighborhood. Call the alderman to see if you can get a parking permit for the side streets........dont rely on what the the landlord says.

— On the neighbor message Western & Augusta
4:10 p.m.

KKG: never heard of bumping. thanks.

— On the neighbor message Burglary 800 N block of Wolcott
3:57 p.m.

I posted on a thread about parking placards. I also recall seeing a post that festival organizers did not show at a meeting held by police. Sorry Im not on top of all these meetings!!

Thanks for translating the acronyms. I see EHPNA has a facebook page. Anything else online? And is there online site for the PRPCC? Cant find anything.

3:16 p.m.

LYNNE: i checked the bark bark club website. They are a for-profit pet care company. Will they hold a lost animal for free? Or is there a boarding fee?

— On the neighbor message Found dog near humboldt park
7:34 p.m.

RAKAR:

You say there is an increase in dangerous driving in HP during the summer. You’ve lived on that corner for awhile so I will take your word on that. But you also suggest this increase is due to the festival. Now, I cant argue with your intuition. But you havent convinced me of a reasonable connection between the two.

I would suggest that such a weakly supported conclusion, and your photo of the flag, leaves you open to accusations of racism. (Which is not hard to do, given the racial sensitivities of the neighborhood.) Regardless of intentions and sensitivities, the flag only proves the drivers cultural identity. Nothing more.

Ultimately, I think your conclusion is based more on intuition than reason.

In comparison: you and others have claimed there is a statistical increase in gang activity in the summer, and you think its because the fest is drawing in rival gangs from outside the area. Im more inclined to agree with that idea. But I would still like to see some supporting data.

— On the neighbor message AND SO IT BEGINS-10:00 A.M. CRASH
7:30 p.m.

A related issue: running red lights seems to be at epidemic numbers. I see it happen so much that sometimes I slow down and check cross traffic when I reach a GREEN light.

— On the neighbor message AND SO IT BEGINS-10:00 A.M. CRASH
1:51 p.m.

I agree that documenting the problems at the fest is a good strategy. (I will have my camera.) But I dont understand how this car accident has anything to do with the festival, which doesnt start until Thursday.

— On the neighbor message AND SO IT BEGINS-10:00 A.M. CRASH
1:38 p.m.

BEACH & HOMAN: thanks for data on police staffing during the fest. Thats very surprising.

I would suggest that demanding the organizers pay the bill is a distraction from the priority issue: that there are STILL some very serious safety concerns around the park. The challenge is to get more police, and/or a better strategy in utilizing them.

12:25 p.m.

HUMBOLDT M&S: Thanks for your answer.

What is EHPNA? Where can I get more info on that group?
What does PRPCC stand for? Who runs that group?
(I cant find any info online about either group.)

And what meeting are you talking about? I recall an announcement about a meeting last week at the park, but I thought someone said it was with the police, and that none of the organizers were there.

Thanks for your efforts on all this. This is a lot of work.

12:20 p.m.

Dont wait to see those temporary signs. Sometimes they post them less than 24 hrs in advance. Sometimes they are tied like a tube around a sapling. Sometimes they are ripped down by kids. Every spring, I go to the city website and get the street cleaning schedule for the year.

Also, the city uses tickets to generate revenue. The system is rigged to make it easy for you to get a ticket, and hard to fight a ticket. The best resource Ive found on this racket is the below link. It gives a superb intro on how to avoid tickets, and also how to fight them when (not if) you get one. Its a long page, but its all invaluable info. The rest of the website has additional info on parking ticket issues.

http://theexpiredmeter.com/category/parking-ticket-101/

— On the neighbor message Street Sweeping
12:01 p.m.

CCR? I would try a modern opera, like Berg's WOZZECK. If that doesnt work (which I doubt) then try childrens music. Find something made for a 4 yo. Play the same song ....... over and over.

— On the neighbor message Drugs and thugs
8:01 p.m.

HUMBOLDT MUD & SUN: I like the questions and concerns in your questionaire. Some questions regarding your questionaire:

1) At what meeting was this questionaire presented?
2) Who presented the questionaire? Was it someone representing a formal group or organization?
3) What specific organization received the questionaire? Who was the representative who accepted it?
4) Was their any initial response from the recipient asto when / how they planned a reply?

7:53 p.m.

RAQUEL: Sorry. I just saw you had already responded on that thread about two hours ago.

— On the neighbor message Lost Dog: Reward if found...
5:04 p.m.

A dog was found in Humboldt Park. Kind of far, but the photo looks similar. Link to thread below. Photo in second post.

http://chicago.everyblock.com/announcements/jun11-found-dog-near-humboldt-park-5034069/

— On the neighbor message Lost Dog: Reward if found...
4:57 p.m.

ALEX M: I dont have a problem if someone uses "totalitarian" to describe a politically-connected security firm asking people for IDs, as they walk on a public street.

3:54 p.m.

I was once stopped at the HALSTED STREET FAIR entrance for not paying. I was going to a party of someone who actually lived at Halsted & Webster. The bouncer would not budge....he actually called it a "required donation." I went to a side street and squeezed in a fence where there was a dumpster. When I got to the party, my friend said he had the same problem the day before. He even showed his drivers license, with his friggin address, and the bouncers still would not let him in. This was about 12 years ago.

Now I live near Division. And I have squeezed past sidestreet fest fences to access the street. Didnt feel like walking 5 block out of my way to get my dry cleaning.

3:47 p.m.

i dont see another thread titled "Loud Music in Park"

— On the neighbor message Whats happening today in the park?
3:11 p.m.

BEACH & HOMAN: this is excellent....... a focus on addressing specific issues. Nice work. How can other residents assist?

3:09 p.m.

what a cute little dog. thanks for doing the right thing. good luck finding the owner.

— On the neighbor message Found dog near humboldt park
2:53 p.m.

JUSTIN: Thanks for the link.

I did not hear about Randolph. But Im not surprised at all. These fly-by-night fest orgs have no assets. So they know they wont get sued. They would just declare bankruptcy.

The two worst fest experiences I had were at Halsted Street, and at Washington Square Park. Both times I was on the street for non-fest activity. And both times the bouncers were just itchin for me to give them an excuse to tackle me.

11:29 a.m.

I respect your concerns. I have experienced some of them. But I started this thread only because I wanted info on the sound system I could hear. Thank you for answering that question. Im surprised its a business. That is really loud.

— On the neighbor message Whats happening today in the park?
11:11 a.m.

A "guarantee" on a forum is not worth the paper its written on.

Advising people to "walk around" a bouncer who is physically preventing your entrance is unwise. Dont give some lug an excuse to escalate the situation. The festival operators are politically connected. The police know this. Some of the security are off-duty police. No cop will take a report of "fest bouncer assault." Besides, once the bouncer makes it physical, you wont have time to call the police. They will restrain the "visitor", they will call the police, and all the bouncers will claim "that guy started it." Your "complaint" is now a defense. Will their charge stand up in court? Doubtfully. But neither will yours. And the court/ attorney fees are not worth it (the politicos know this.) At least you are finally admitting that some of these bouncers are intimidating the public.

I hate to see you put yourself down so much. Its not "cheap" to want to walk down a public street.

10:58 a.m.

BUSTER: you say youre a cheapskate? Fine. Insult yourself all you want. Its no excuse to insult others. Also, just because most bouncers do not have guns does not negate complaints of harassment over entrance fees. Just because people can talk their way past these bouncers does not negate complaints that bouncers are intimidating the public over these fees. Just because there are times its easy to "just walk in", does not negate complaints there are also times its NOT easy to "just walk in." There are multiple complaints of intimidation, and you keep pretending they dont exist.

9:42 a.m.

The "move if you dont like it" approach always makes me laugh. That argument tactic can be used by any side. For example: if you dont like contrary opinions, or protesting, then move to China or Syria. See? Its easy.

Im sad to see some assume I want a free concert. I can assure you that I want no such thing. I have plenty of money, and I gladly pay at venues to see bands and orchestras of my choice. These venues can block my admission, because they are privately owned. The streets are public.

Two people have implied that its "just" one weekend. I can assure you that is NOT the opinion f the businesses that lose revenue due to the crowds. One weekend can be a large difference for someone in retail. I pity the businesses near the stages, Those front doors are completely blocked by people packed like sardines.

9:41 a.m.

A private party? I thought it was a small concert, or a political rally. Im more than three blocks from the park, and I can hear it. I cant imagine how loud it is for someone who lives at the park.

— On the neighbor message Whats happening today in the park?
8:46 a.m.

im not positive, but I recall hearing the city can cite a property owner for improper drainage, be it concrete grading, or downspouts.

4:30 p.m.

You may already know this, but ensure your apartment is clean, neat and uncluttered. It will help greatly in the showing. Most people are very visual.

Kitchens and bathrooms should be spotless, especially when showing to women. Clean windows to get max light into the apt. If possible, store some furniture to make the apartment seem more spacious.

4:26 p.m.

GUNNER: Im not sure youre getting it. Multiple posters, including myself, are saying we ARE getting hassled. On multiple occasions, at different festivals, I personally have had problems. And I did EXACTLY what you advise. But the bouncers hassled me. Sometimes my insistence prevailed; many times I had to talk to a supervisor. That is bull. And calling us "cheapskates" is completely ignoring the point: its not a tollway, its a public way.

And, yes, I do have friends who do not like "thousands of people passing their business." If none of these "thousands" spend money, and the crowds keep away their regular customers, then that means LOST income. But festival organizers and supports dont have to worry about dry cleaners, or movie rentals, or a paint store, or auto parts store, You get to party, service industry makes cash, politicos stay in charge, and some stores lose a whole weekends worth of income.

4:17 p.m.

Things like residential parking, unsafe driving, safety in the park, increased gang activity around the park . . . each of these problems that can be addressed with specific tactics. I would prefer seeing the city, and the organizers, address some of the community concerns, before we resort to cancelling the event.

— On the neighbor message Puerto Rican Festival
9:44 p.m.

I thought the OP was crystal clear. It is a public street, with residential housing and retail businesses. And no one has a right to demand money in order to access a public street.

i have friends that have been denied passage to their homes. i have friends with businesses that have lost money because their customers cannot get to the stores. And, as the OP also said, there is never a clear explanation for where these donations are going, or what the "non-profit" venture is trying to accomplish.

I never pay. Sometimes I have to be insistent and ask for a supervisor.

7:21 p.m.

there are only three options:
1) No cars allowed to access side streets.
2) Must have registration & drivers license to access side street
3) Must have a placard to acess side street.

#1 is past policy, and is totally unfair on residents.

#2 will clearly allow residents access to their homes, but it will make traffic worse (You could prohibit left turns, so only one lane would be affected by cars waiting for sidestreet access.)

#3 there is no way the city will make a counterfeit-proof placard. People are counterfeiting & passing 20 dollar bills...... and everyone is familiar with those! Placards would be a breeze to copy ....and SELL, for good cash. With hundreds of bogus placards, parking will be much worse on side streets.

All options are bad. I say option 2 is the least worst option.

— On the neighbor message Puerto Rican Festival
4:28 p.m.

Would not the best solution be for the driver of a car to have ready his registration and drivers license? It would show any police officer or traffic control assistant that the car and driver is authorized on that sidestreet. No placards needed.

Also, you KNOW if they issue placards, then someone WILL print hundreds of em, and sell em for $5 a piece. Then street parking will be insane.

— On the neighbor message Puerto Rican Festival
3:46 p.m.

such a cute dog. i will keep an eye out. best of luck.

— On the neighbor message Lost Dog: Reward if found...
11:05 p.m.

Its a firework called an M-80. Its one 1/8 of a stick of dynamite. Fireworks tend to get worse as we near July 4th.

If you have a location, and description of suspects, you can call 911. Its illegal and dangerous, and at night its disruptive

— On the neighbor message Loud cannon sounds?
11:01 p.m.

I notice that new construction tends to make the largest garage possible, even to where there is no place to put the garbage cans, or to pile snow. The foundation/ slab is slightly higher than the alley, so water goes "elsewhere." Definitely a problem, but I dont know of an ordinance that addresses any of this.

10:56 p.m.

If your landlord used an agency to find you, then they paid a fee and are probably not motivated to pay a fee again. Regardless, if the landlord knows you are leaving, then they have to make a good faith effort to find another tenant. But if they fail to do so, you have to pay the rent.

Also, most leases end on May 1st or Oct 1sr. While there arent as many tenants looking now, there are also fewer apartments available. So dont get discouraged. Keep up your search. Show it as much as possible. Keep posting on craigslist, and put up notices in local stores. Best of luck

10:48 p.m.

Yes, I would agree. There is a difference between enjoying fireworks, and causing huge explosions in the middle of the night.

— On the neighbor message loud noises around 2:30am
1:13 p.m.

Sorry. It sucks getting your sleep disturbed; especially by the local miscreants. Bad news is it gets worse towards July 4th.

— On the neighbor message loud noises around 2:30am
12:39 p.m.

If the dogs have been documented as injuring another animal, or a person, then the animal is subject to impoundment and the owner is liable for damages. If the dogs are truly a danger to the neighborhood, then I would suggest networking with neighbors to gather as much supporting evidence as possible, and then going to the alderman and police.

12:35 p.m.

MITCH: Im surprised a motorcyclist is complaining about bicyclists. They both seem to have the same percentage of safe vs crazy operators. i see more nutty bikers splitting traffic, or doing 50 down a residential street, than I can believe. The worst are the hog owners who are proud to be loud. They pretend that muffler laws dont apply to them. Just plain rude and selfish.

FWIW - I also see many safe and lawful bicycle and motorcycle operators, so i hope I dont sound biased.......just peeved at the rude ones.

— On the neighbor message Blow through stop signs
8:48 p.m.

Wonder if there is a way to privatize, and still require residency of employees?

9:13 p.m.

I have seen no evidence that my city garbage people are lazy. They come by every week and take whatever I set out back. If they have stopped at starbucks, then it has not affected their work product on by block.

The problem as I see it is to consider the disadvantages of shifting garbage collection to a private company. The main objective I have is that such a company is not in business to serve the citizens but to make a profit. I predict they will find a way to reduce collection services and add fees to meet those ends. Parallel examples are utility companies and privatized prisons, which both act to maximize profits at the expense of the public interest.

6:43 p.m.

Five more armed robberies near Chicago & Western. Two suspects arrested.

http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/06/01/iphone-app-leads-police-to-armed-robbery-suspects/

— On the neighbor message West Town robberies & burglaries
4:30 p.m.

Could someone summarize the meeting? I cannot attend.

7:12 p.m.

ERIC BETANCOURT: the city requires certain vendors to have licenses and that the license be displayed. I have, on occasion, asked to see the license of food trucks, taxi drivers, and home remodelers. You are much safer, knowing the business is licensed with the city. I once reported a taxi driver who did not display his license.

No one is advocating making a citizens arrest. Just make a request, and then call 911 if they are not displaying their license. If someone is selling FOOD without a license, you ABSOLUTELY should call 911, as that is a danger to everyone, regardless of their race. Botulism does not discriminate.

FYI - www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vigilante

— On the neighbor message Tent Merchants in the park
6:20 p.m.

To be honest, Im not going to invite neighborhood kids into my yard either; for the very same liability reasons. My grandmother may have done it, but back then there werent half a million lawyers in this country..

And, to support CHA (something I rarely do) I support their policy to not allow anything like pools and sprinklers. When some kid drowns or breaks their neck, ......come-on! You KNOW that CHA (ie the citizens of Chicago) will be paying thru the nose via a lawsuit.

I would opine that CHA is not morally required to provide "water time fun" for their tenants. The issue is not the need to cool off on a super hot day. A 15 minute shower at max cold is very effective in resetting the body temperature to normal.

Ask any plumber......hydrant water is not any colder than your own shower.

— On the neighbor message Wabansia and Rockwell
5:57 p.m.

What a pain. Good luck.

1:19 p.m.

The robbery incidents were not technically in HP, but its close to the SE border. Plus, residents around here frequent the business strip along Chicago Ave., near the problem area.

— On the neighbor message West Town robberies & burglaries
1:17 p.m.

LAURA: I think the NO THANKS option is good.....IF it is used to control "un-neighborly" posts. This would help limit posts like wildly off-topic posts, personal attacks, and trolling. The problems arise when its used to express disagreement with a contrary position.

— On the neighbor message Wabansia and Rockwell
9:24 a.m.

How is the pricing?

— On the neighbor message New restaurant at 2421 W North Ave
9:13 a.m.

YOLI: I have so much respect for someone doing social work. Thank you.

But your reasoning on this issue baffles me. How is it a gentrification issue to tell kids "dont play in the street" or "dont use up the fire department's water"?

When the water pressure is down on a hot summer day, Im praying there is no fire in my building...or the places next door. i dont want to loose everything I own because there is not enough water pressure for the firefighters.

And if some kid in hydrant heaven darts in front of my car, you know the kid's parents will get an attorney on me in a matter of days. And I will need some extra income to pay for my skyrocketing car insurance, and the counseling for pancaking a child.

So local kids dont have a safe place to play in water? I would suggest that public safety is a much higher priority than fun. "Cooling off" is not the issue, as anyone with a bathroom can cool off in the shower or bathtub. (I know, because thats what I do.)

Thats how I look at it. But I am interested in hearing why you think this is a "classic gentrification issue." What am I missing?

— On the neighbor message Wabansia and Rockwell
11:42 p.m.

Walking in HP is as safe as playing in the streets? And you are leading workshops on public safety? Wow.

— On the neighbor message Wabansia and Rockwell
5:09 p.m.

GIG: you bring up another good issue - that some kids/ young adults at open hydrants try to douse passing drivers with a ton of water. Ive experienced this twice; although I was able to get my windows up in time to prevent damage. I have seen other unsuspecting drivers get deluged thru their open window.

— On the neighbor message Wabansia and Rockwell
11:05 a.m.

Cuisine from India? Great! Hope its tasty and reasonably priced. It will save me from driving to Devon.

— On the neighbor message New restaurant at 2421 W North Ave
12:19 a.m.

Doesnt matter if you are a traditionalist, or you are Mother Teresa - opening a hydrant is a clear danger to kids, it threatens the ability of the Fire Dept to control fires, and it wastes millions of public money in treated water.

Open hydrants are such a huge problem that the city has spent millions to install new locking hydrants (with no success.)

It makes me sad to see others ignore what I feel are reasoned concerns, and turn this into some racist/ gentrification issue. And it appears there are multiple posters who support this opinion. Im honestly baffled. No wonder the problem remains: the problem is not the kids if the adults approve of this behavior.

— On the neighbor message Wabansia and Rockwell
12:11 a.m.

A historical note in the Indiana Dunes: there use to be a huge sand dune at what would now be the eastern edge of the park. It was slowly removed by the Ball Glass Company to make mason jars. The remaining dunes are still very interesting and beautiful.

— On the neighbor message swimming holes!
1:35 p.m.

M ROD: and why would the city want to pay for hundreds of dollars of treated water, for some kids on just one neighborhhood corner. then multiply that cost by the thousands of hydrants turned on. White, red, yellow brown black purple .... doesnt matter what color their skin is...the public money wasted is all green.

— On the neighbor message Wabansia and Rockwell
1:25 p.m.

20 miles from the city is the suburbs. only outdoor place that close, that I can think of, is a bunch of cook county forest preserves in the southwest part of the county. i know there are lakes there, but not sure if they allow swimming. county website would have more info.

indiana dunes is a good suggestion. water and hiking. but its an hour drive from downtown

— On the neighbor message swimming holes!
4:09 a.m.

Done on purpose to give local kids a cool fun activity. Unfortunately, the area water pressure can get so low, the fire department would have problems controlling any fire. So its in the best interests of all to report open hydrants.

— On the neighbor message Wabansia and Rockwell
11:59 p.m.

KITTYHOP: i would never dispute your experiences with racism. I have had similar encounters in the neighborhood. But I would suggest you avoid using that experience to judge all Puerto Ricans.

I do agree with the rest of your post.

— On the neighbor message Tent Merchants in the park
3:18 p.m.

I will support Carlos in one respect: some posts complained about flag vendors. As the flags in question are PR, you could interpret those complaints as anti-PR. Maybe posters didnt mean it that way, but I can see how Carlos came to that conclusion. Personally, I dont see how flag vendors, be it PR or Polish, are detrimental to the park, assuming they have the req permit.

Now, vendors in general..... I feel that garbage, noisy generators, loud stereos, unlicensed vendors and illegally parked spud trailers are all legitimate concerns.

— On the neighbor message Tent Merchants in the park
6:07 p.m.

CARLOS: Ironically, the real estate prices in Boystown (North Halsted/ Lakeview) has gotten so expensive that many of the "boys" (ie LGBT commuity) cannot afford to live there.

Also, the neighbors have been able to shut down some of the more out-of-control bars, but in general the Halsted strip still has an active GLBT nightlife. So, things have changed, but some of the GLBT neighborhood remains

— On the neighbor message Tent Merchants in the park
5:58 p.m.

CARLOS: Which post advocated the public "take the law into your own hands"? I certainly agree, but I dont recall seeing that posted.

— On the neighbor message Tent Merchants in the park
12:46 p.m.

If the city directed their employees to work at the event, then the city should abide by the employment contract. If the officers understood they were working for the fed, then overtime compensation would not apply. Im not privy to the details, so I will leave it to labor arbitrators to sort out the disagreement.

— On the neighbor message Protest march through Wicker Park last night
11:33 a.m.

Chicago had better pay that bill. If not, they may find a boot on their city vehicles.

9:41 a.m.

funny photo. thanks. :-)

— On the neighbor message link to may 24th pipeline
9:37 a.m.

ALEX M: military bases only have no-frill quarters, cafeterias and training rooms for standing troops. They are not built to host large numbers of high-level political representatives. In addition, the hosts are human, and would want to socialize and tour locally.

If people expect countries to work together, then they should prepare for those countries to meet. I have no problem with NATO visiting here; they have to meet somewhere, so why not have Chicago give them their experience of the USA. So far, there are no reports that show crime prevention and police response was worse during NATO. Protestors got to protest, and police were not baton swinging goons. The "Seattle" experience was avoided.

The only down side was that the media focused on the street drama, and not the actual concerns of the protestors.

— On the neighbor message Protest march through Wicker Park last night
9:23 a.m.

Regarding the loud generators: noise-reduction materials are available. I have seen semis, recreational vehicles and boats with generators installed so well that you couldnt tell the gen was on. Light pole or not, I would recommend reporting any loud generator. No excuse for that kind of noise pollution.

— On the neighbor message Tent Merchants in the park
9:04 a.m.

Free speech is constitutionally protected from government censorship. It is not protected on a corporate owned website. The owner can set their own rules.

— On the neighbor message Protest march through Wicker Park last night
1:45 p.m.

Thank you MIKE D for a very rational assessment.

There are many many good people, on both sides, who are trying to do the right thing. The public is highly frustrated with the ineffectiveness and corruption of government, and the harm it is causing people around the world. Being in the USA, we are allowed freedom of speech and to protest (peacefully), so I am happy to see thousands trying to affect positive change.

Conversely, the police also have a tough job. Like it or not, they are necessary for public safety, and imperative to ensure protestor emotions dont get out of control. I wouldnt be surprised if there were incidents of brutality....this is chicago, But in general I thought they did a surprisingly good job of crowd control with a minimum of rights violations. I was young, but do remember the police riot at the 1968 convention. The Chicago Police have gotten so much better.

Finally, the term "stormtroopers" ....you do realize that term ha an evil context to it? It was initially a Nazi term. The helmets and facemasks are not just for effect; they actually are for protection. "Stormtroopers" is just as insulting as saying protestors are hippies and slackers that live in their mothers basement.

There has to be a standard of civility that EVERYONE follows. If police are to arrest criminals, then they need to always follow the law themselves and arrest fellow officers that break the law. Protestors who cry for peace must ensure they do not resort to violence.

— On the neighbor message Protest march through Wicker Park last night
10:33 a.m.

I have no health insurance. So I can empathize with the stress of the bill. But dont let a tooth problem get worse. It will only become a much more expensive problem to deal with, and you will be in so much pain you will agree to any price to fix it. Do it now and shop around for a good deal, while the problem is manageable. good luck.

9:04 a.m.

The public appreciates the 100%, as they all risk their lives to protect the public. But the public also complains about the 1% that screw up....or worse. And then the public complains about the 99% that refuse to do anything about the 1%.

Cops cant complain that its too dangerous to turn in corrupt officers, and then proudly say that they risk their lives every day to fight crime. Its not consistent.

11:04 p.m.

K-DAD: I appreciate your attempts to set a rule that applies to all. Thanks.

Regarding TYPSY CAKE - if you are referring the the "crack brownies" comment, I would ask you to consider the owner was not referring to her neighborhood, but to the sugar rush. Now, if anyone wants to argue that making jokes about crack is insensitive . . . . maybe. But many many people have made jokes about things, then someone responds "thats too serious to joke about."

7:15 p.m.

RAKAR: Another poster says he saw it being used to make and sell potatoes. Maybe the reason the city is not responsive to your complaints is that you keep claiming it is "abandoned", when in fact people are using it. That might be why police are not addressing the issue. Seems to me the clear violation is that it is an unlicensed vehicle that is chained to a city lightpost. What did the alderman's office say?

— On the neighbor message Abandoned Spud Trailer
1:01 p.m.

Its not abandoned if its chained down. And there is absolutely no evidence that the "spud mobile" is gang related. Others have posted that it is used regularly by a street vendor.

— On the neighbor message Abandoned Spud Trailer
11:02 p.m.

NINNY: Wow. Seems like youre just itching for interaction with the police.

— On the neighbor message Police Station Closing Augusta and Wood
10:06 a.m.

I completely agree it can be frustrating. But, short of the city painting parking stripes on every residential street, I dont see this changing.

I think there is one thing people can do. Notice how the city is steadily reducing the amount of street parking, by the addition of various parking restriction areas. Citizens can be proactive and complain to their alderman. A block club would have more power to the complaints (which requires being an active member of a block club.) Networking with other block clubs can have more impact.

The city no longer looks at parking tickets as a tool to reduce bad behavior. Now parking tickets are all about revenue. Dont let the city continue to reduce street parking spaces. Complain about restricted parking areas that should be legal.

10:04 a.m.

TRISHA: Thanks for letting me know you disagree with my disagreement. Youve really cleared that up for me.

LAYNE: Congrats on hiring an attorney. You must feel much better with the professional support. Best of luck.

— On the neighbor message Need: someone who's tenant-landlord law savvy
9:48 a.m.

TRISHA: I would not advise him to move out, and then hope he gets the needed documentation. I would emphasize the reverse: make sure you are legally breaking the lease, get supporting documentation, and THEN leave. I agree with THEO that the Metropolitan Tenants Organization is a good affordable option to studying the city ordinance on your own.

— On the neighbor message Need: someone who's tenant-landlord law savvy
9:36 p.m.

Fortunately, the IL Supreme Court just ended the prohibition against photographing cops. (The police sure didnt want that to happen.) The army of public camera phones should discourage some of the bad behavior, and will also help document those who cant help themselves.

2:42 p.m.

LARA: the OP has already explained multiple times why he must own a car.

— On the neighbor message Opinion on new cars and the city parking
2:34 p.m.

TRISHA: even if the landlord files no lawsuit against the OP, the landlord could still put a negative report on the OPs credit history, and hire a collection agency to collect the outstanding bill.

— On the neighbor message Need: someone who's tenant-landlord law savvy
2:32 p.m.

Thanks. Always good to know about neighborhood businesses. Now i know why they are so eager to give out loans. I will pass the word.

11:19 p.m.

City webpage with info on schedules and materials allowed. We are in zone #3

http://www.cityofchicago.org/content/city/en/depts/streets/supp_info/recycling1/blue_cart_recycling.html

— On the neighbor message Garbage / Recycling pick up
11:07 p.m.

My male cat is too territorial to share me with another cat. :-) Best of luck to you.

— On the neighbor message Help me find this Cat a home!
11:01 p.m.

I agree with ALEX M. The value of a new car plummets over the first two or three years. I have always let others pay the huge depreciation. It takes some time, but I have been successful at finding good used cars. Insurance is cheaper when the car is worth less.

But I would warn you. There are enough unscrupulous people selling used cars to make buying used cars a risk. Both professional dealers and private sellers. If you dont have much experience buying a car, then I suggest you do the research online to learn how to spot problems when shopping for a used car.

— On the neighbor message Opinion on new cars and the city parking
10:57 p.m.

1) For future reference: you should NEVER sign a contract when there are not copies for each party. If the other party tries to pull this, you should refuse to sign.

2) the key to winning any legal dispute is documentation. When you moved in, there were numerous code violations. If you had documented the problems, and reported them to the city, then you would have had quite a bit of legal leverage. Now it sounds like the landlord has already addressed many of the code violations you have listed. So it may be too late to use those issues against him. Next time.....take photos and do testing BEFORE they have time to hide problems.

3) KNOW THE LAW. Below are links to city ordinance on tenant issues. There is a summary, and a complete copy of the ordinance. THOROUGHLY read thru the ordinance. Take notes. see if there is still something you can do now.

Tenants- Rights.org
COMPLETE - Chicago Residential landlord & Tenant Ordinance
http://www.tenants-rights.org/residential-landlord-tenant-ordinance/

City of Chicago
SUMMARY - Residential Landlord & Tenant Ordinance
http://www.cityofchicago.org/content/dam/city/depts/dcd/general/housing/RLTOEnglish.pdf

4) Mold is a potentially serious health problem. Painting over mold does not equate mold remediation. There are do-it-yourself home mold test kits you can purchase to check if there is a problem, and how extensive it is. If there is a mold problem, then you have more legal leverage against the landlord. You may consider consulting an attorney.

5) If you have not legally given notice to break the lease, then you may be liable for additional rent until the landlord finds a replacement tenant. The ordinance and your lease explains the proper ways to break a lease. Make sure you break the lease so you arent hounded by a collection agency. Again, you may need an attorney as you dont have a copy of the lease.

— On the neighbor message Need: someone who's tenant-landlord law savvy
7:49 p.m.

RAKAR: best of luck getting it towed.

— On the neighbor message Abandoned Spud Trailer
6:54 p.m.

My choice is to not get upset over what I feel is a minor dig. I did protest over the racist comments made against the TASTY CAKE owner, which I thought were slanderous.

I dont mean to sound like racism is ok. I just like to pick my battles. I respect that you choose to deal with it differently.

11:02 a.m.

RAKAR: If its chained down on a street, on the Puerto Rican strip, down the street from the aldermans office, and an ex-cop cant get it towed, then Im guessing there is some politics going on. Personally, I like to know the details before I inject myself in political fights.

— On the neighbor message Abandoned Spud Trailer
10:34 a.m.

i agree with Joe.

The city has no bolt cutters???

— On the neighbor message Abandoned Spud Trailer
10:25 a.m.

I would agree it is a double standard. but its a minor comment about a project that is already moving forward. Because minorities tend to be mistreated, they are, in general, somewhat sensitive. So this white boy tries to give them some slack. The TASTY CAKES incident was different because an individual was being slandered.

9:30 a.m.

Someone might know the owner? Thats not what your original post said.

An unlicensed parked trailer, chained to city property? And your saying most cops couldnt deal with this? Im not buying it. Whats this really about?

— On the neighbor message Abandoned Spud Trailer
10:26 p.m.

RAKAR: I understood that you are a former Chicago police officer. Do you not know how to deal with illegally parked vehicles?

— On the neighbor message Abandoned Spud Trailer
2:17 p.m.

The city has divided Chicago into 77 "community areas." The city uses them for planning, management and statistics. Each community area may contain one neighborhood, or multiple neighborhoods. Ironically, the city's "Humboldt Park" community area does not contain the actual park of the same name.

City of Chicago
HUMBOLDT PARK COMMUNITY AREA - map
http://bit.ly/JqNT9T

City of Chicago
WEST TOWN COMMUNITY AREA - map
http://bit.ly/JAL0Qf

Strangely enough, EVERYBLOCK uses different boundaries to define the HP area.

— On the media mention 2 dead, 2 wounded in separate shootings
2:08 p.m.

FLOWER: Im not against the NATO protests. And Im open to legitimate suggestions on how to address local crime. But NATO security and Humboldt Park crime levels are just not connected. Decreasing or eliminating NATO security will do nothing to decrease crime in Humboldt Park, and will have no effect on the Chicago Police Department budget.

1:41 p.m.

Violence in Chicago is not a new occurrence. Over the last 40 years, there have been 600 to 1000 murders every year. It has nothing to do with NATO.

9:20 p.m.

The address is wrong. Actual address of rental is two blocks west at 2535 W Augusta. Thats only a half block from Rockwell & Augusta: so much gang problems that the city installed a police blue light camera there. No wonder they got the address "wrong."

8:12 p.m.

I think the neighborhood is nicer south of Augusta.

— On the neighbor message Condo advice for east Humboldt
5:05 p.m.

On a different thread, a moderator had posted the below link to the new NO THANKS policy.

http://blog.everyblock.com/2012/may/07/nothanks/

It says the option is for "nonconstructive, overly rude and just plain unneighborly" posts. It also says it is not for posts that someone simply disagrees with. FWIW, I saw your post and I thought it was relevant and helpful. Hopefully you get feedback asto how it was counterproductive to the topic.

— On the neighbor message Looking to buy
2:29 p.m.

I would say the Augusta location would have more gang issues than the one on Chicago Av. Augusta is the boundary between two gangs (Dragons & Cobras), and there are occasional conflicts. You can see a police blue light camera at 2600 W Augusta (at Rockwell.) FWIW, the gang issues are much better now than 20 yrs ago.

Also regarding the Chicago Av location, the alderman announced a deal to build a Walmart at 2800 W. Chicago, on the south side of the street. Im not sure what happened to that plan. If it goes thru, you can bet on an increase in traffic at the California and Chicago intersection. And a much different view.

— On the neighbor message Looking to buy
7:52 p.m.

I believe CHA policy is to evict any resident convicted of drug crimes.

10:38 a.m.

If you know that someone convicted of a sexual crime is living at an address, and that address is not listed with the state police, then you can report them. My understanding is that convicted sex crime felons are required to keep their home addresses current with the police, and failure to register a current address is a felony.

10:33 a.m.

MARIANN: Im not sure how a comment like "I would never step foot in HP" is in any way helpful or constructive. It appears that there are many many people who disagree with you, as we all live here.

— On the neighbor message Shooting last night at Artesian and Potomac
10:22 a.m.

JW: The OP was asking if street cleaning services included alleys. Its a legitimate question. Implying she is looking for a handout? Lighten up dude.

— On the neighbor message Street sweeping... alleys?
9:20 a.m.

You can use the Illinois State Police website to map out ALL the registered sex offenders in your neighborhood. Then network with your neighbors (especially the ones with children) so everyone is informed and aware.

Illinois State Police
SEX OFFENDER REGISTRATION
http://www.isp.state.il.us/sor/

9:08 a.m.

As I understand it, Augusta Blvd, running from Western Av to Humboldt Drive (the park) is a dividing line between the Insane Dragons (south) and the Spanish Cobras (north).

8:58 a.m.

Yes. Kasia's Deli is excellent authentic Ukrainian food.

— On the neighbor message Day Trip to Ukrainian Village
12:50 a.m.

The NO THANKS is a form of censorship. But theres nothing wrong with that. Its EB's site and they can censor what they want (the rules are known as "terms of service.") People do not have a constitutional right to post on EB, or on any other company-owned communications medium. Its only when the GOVERNMENT starts censoring people that there is a constitutional problem.

— On the neighbor message Shooting last night at Artesian and Potomac
11:47 p.m.

Not suppressive? Of course its suppressive. Thats the point. Saying its "a useful tool to declutter a thread" is disingenuous. I would suggest the goal of the "NO THANKS" option is to suppress counterproductive or disruptive postings. Will it also be a tool to suppress inconvenient facts? Time will tell.

— On the neighbor message Shooting last night at Artesian and Potomac
11:34 p.m.

Yes, Ive experienced the "everyone stops talking" entrance. Thats a very unsettling feeling. I always wrote that stuff off as just bored regulars. It never stopped me from buying a drink and saying hello. But to each his own.

— On the neighbor message Day Trip to Ukrainian Village
4:24 p.m.

WILDLYNX: that Ukrainian restaurant was there for 50 years. It was run by a wonderful lady and was very popular. When she passed away, her son tried to keep it going but many of the old staff moved on. Sorry to hear it frightened you.

— On the neighbor message Day Trip to Ukrainian Village
12:50 p.m.

in general, how are the gang issues in that area? Does anyone know if the Campbell Boys still active?

10:27 a.m.

"Disapprove" is a pretty broad standard. Users could "disapprove" of facts that support a contrary position.

— On the neighbor message Shooting last night at Artesian and Potomac
9:21 a.m.

In past years, the city has removed snow from alleys after the severe snowstorms. They used front end loaders, and usually got to it 2-3 weeks afterwards.

— On the neighbor message Street sweeping... alleys?
11:16 p.m.

If you are an architecture fan, you should drive by the HOLY TRINITY ORTHODOX CATHEDRAL, at 1121 N. Leavitt, designed by Louis Sullivan. Also, ANNS DELI is a Ukrainian Deli at 2158 W Chicago Av. They have authentic Uki dishes you can buy to go, or sit at a table to "dine in". And OLD LVIV at 2228 W Chicago Av is a nice Ukrainian Restaurant.

— On the neighbor message Day Trip to Ukrainian Village
8:57 p.m.

First off, there is a MUTE function for participants to use when they prefer to ignore a specific poster. So Im not sure why EB added the the NO THANKS option. Second, the new NO THANKS option will allow just five posters to dominate a discussion. I see that as a problem if its used to mute dissenting views.

— On the neighbor message Shooting last night at Artesian and Potomac
8:35 p.m.

RAKAR: are you referring to the community area called Rogers Park? Or the actual park with that name? Because the actual park is a nice area.

— On the neighbor message Shooting last night at Artesian and Potomac
12:32 a.m.

RAUL: as I posted earlier, you are welcome to link to any previous post that illustrates anti-PR sentiments. Personally, I have not seen that. But I could have missed it.

I do agree with others that it will be hard to keep any neighborhood from changing. When real estate prices change, then the demographics change. Thats not racism. Its basic economics. Thats happened to Irish, Polish, Mexican, German, Italian etc neighborhoods across Chicago.

— On the neighbor message Shooting last night at Artesian and Potomac
11:24 p.m.

I have seen complaints about multiple gangs attending the fest, complaints about severe violence during the fest, and complaints about anti-white racist comments. I have also seen false accusations of racism made against a white HP pastry maker. But I have never seen anyone post anti-PR comments. Of course, I could have missed it, and would welcome a link to such a post.

— On the neighbor message Shooting last night at Artesian and Potomac
4:53 p.m.

What do you mean? What has changed?

— On the neighbor message Augusta Car Wash
10:59 a.m.

Another story in the news.

Seems almost all state counties are failing to report "people adjudicated as seriously mentally ill" to the Illinois State Police. So the known crazy people are not being rejected when they apply for the state required FOID (firearms ID card.) Cook county is one of the few complying, but they only have reported about half.

Chicago Tribune
ILLINOIS FOID SYSTEM IS BROKEN
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-foid-card-audit-20120504,0,4141457.story

10:40 a.m.

That link use to have that info, but now the "merchandise auctions" page is not working. Not sure why. In the past, there were two auctions a year, to get rid of stolen but unclaimed merchandise, including bicycles. I dont recall what months they were held. Maybe 311 can help you?

— On the neighbor message Police Bike Auction -When/Where
10:27 a.m.

A lot of problems were at Rockwell & Augusta, but then the city installed a blue light and things are better now. Seems there are more problems now at California & Augusta.

Each burglary has a different method of entry. After each, I made changes to address the specific security weakness. Last year, a 1st floor air conditioner got pushed in. so I installed window security bars.

As for thick skin, well....my building is a business, so I consider the hassles as just a cost of doing business. The neighborhood issues are just the price I pay for caring about my neighborhood. All my neighbors are good people. Even many of the gang kids are nice, although misguided. Most seem to respond positively to courtesy and respect.

— On the neighbor message Shooting last night at Artesian and Potomac
10:21 a.m.

My building was burglarized in 1991, 1994, 2005 and last summer. My garage is super secure, but there have been at least 5 attempts to break in (counting the crowbar marks on my door.) I have had a brick thrown thru my front door. Have had 4 windows ruined with BB pellets. I caught two kids trying to steal my car in 1998, my vespa was stolen in 2001, and my girlfriends minivan was stolen in 2009. And had two gun shots thru my window.

The good news is there has never been a drive-by shooting on my block, but there are a couple of "hang out" locations a block away where it has happened. Maybe 30 times in 20 years. I have never heard of a woman being attacked in my neighborhood.

Im near California and Augusta.

Full disclosure: I tend to call police when things happen and the gangs know it. Plus I have, on occasion, gone out to have a "friendly chat" with people when i thought I could discourage some inappropriate activities. On a cost/benefit analysis, I find the real estate prices are affordable. while the hassles and dangers are manageable.

— On the neighbor message Shooting last night at Artesian and Potomac
1:16 p.m.

BK RAY: there were people who stood in the way of ending alcohol prohibition. Now look at how much better things are.

7:26 p.m.

GEORGE F: Heres what I said: "Within four years of the end of alcohol prohibition, shooting deaths in this country dropped by almost 50 percent."

Then you posted this:" The end of prohibition didn't end driveby shootings."

50 percent is fact....not opinion. I just cant figure how anyone can be so dismissive of a 50 percent reduction of in shooting deaths.

7:11 p.m.

HEATHER: , how is gang activity north of North Ave, around you? How far west of you do you have to go to notice it getting worse?

— On the neighbor message Shooting last night at Artesian and Potomac
3:51 p.m.

GEORGE F: I guess you dont like it when I "pick and choose" the points you make that are weak. The comment "youre not paying attention" is condescending. The personal attack must be because Im not letting you off the hook.

FWIW I respect alternate opinions. You dont feel the advantages of ending drug prohibition will be as large as some (incl myself) propose. What I disapprove of is your strawman argument. Specifically that the proposal will fail because it will never achieve an impossible goal....ending drive by shootings. I think its disingenuous to the discussion.

2:35 p.m.

GEORGE F: You said: "The end of prohibition didn't end driveby shootings. I don't believe that legalizing drugs will end driveby shootings."

Why are you making this argument? Nobody said this. I sure didnt say this. Maybe because its easier to argue against an extreme position than against what people are actually proposing.

As for decreasing murders: the end of alcohol prohibition decreased shooting deaths by 50 percent. FIFTY PERCENT. You dont think there would be a similar effect if we ended drug prohibition? Fine. WHATS YOUR SUGGESTION? Cause Im sick of hearing the "anti-violence" crowd complain and cry and rant and hold rallys and run marches. Ostriches with their heads in the sand. Useless waste of time. Billions $$$ wasted. Millions in jail. DRUG WAR - - - FAIL FAIL FAIL - - - this country cant get any stupider than 40 yrs of fail.

So.....whats YOUR suggestion on how to end the insanity?

2:06 a.m.

GEORGE F: dont you put words in my mouth. I never said ending prohibition would end shootings. What I DID say was that shooting deaths dropped 50 percent within four years after the end of alcohol prohibition. That is a MASSIVE reduction.

And you are the second person to argue against ending prohibition, by bringing up crimes unrelated to drugs. This is really not an argument. Ending prohibition is designed to address drug related issues. It would decimate the gangs' ability to purchase guns and remove the motivation to fight over drug sales territory. In addition are the savings of BILLIONS of $$$ in police and prison costs. Regulation and education would limit use and abuse, just as we do with alcohol today. There will still be crimes unrelated to drugs, and gang territorial fights unrelated to drugs.....again, a different issue.

As for me putting words in your mouth.... Im not sure I understand. I do find it sad to see you minimize the wickedness of gangs in the 20s and 30s. The newspapers were full of the constant public shootings and multiple innocent bystanders. If anything, it was worse back then, because police corruption was much more rampant and there were less constraints on the gangs then.

11:11 p.m.

JUSTIN is right. Cocaine was another popular drug. My grandfather told me about partying with cocaine in Paris (1917-9). It was also an original ingredient in Coca Cola. Opium was an added ingredient in some patent medicines. And heroin was a known ingredient in childrens cough syrups. Lithium was an original ingredient in 7-UP. There is a long list of unregulated drug use in the late Victorian age.

8:10 p.m.

i think you mean well. But your arguments dont sway me. Our drug policy is a total failure. It sounds like you just dont want to change the drug policy. We will continue to waste billions of dollars on police, prisons and undertakers.

7:16 p.m.

The book is called "Dont Shoot". The program is called "Project Ceasefire." It says this in paragraph 15 of the article you cited.

7:05 p.m.

BK RAY: I looked at the link. Its about Project Ceasefire, which is active in some areas of Chicago. Im all for the program, as it seems to help. Im still for the end of this insane war on drugs.

5:37 p.m.

BK RAY:

"The end of gangs" is an unrealistic goal. Youre saying "if we can end all gang activity, then we shouldnt change the drug laws." Im not sure why you are fixating on this extreme, and ignoring all the realistic benefits, some of which are listed in my last post.

Claiming that gangs will find that revenue elsewhere . . . . really? Statistics show that drug sales are HIGHLY lucrative, and it makes up a huge percentage of gang income. There is NO WAY gangs can replace the huge revenues lost if we end the black market. Ending prohibition would have a detrimental effect on organized criminal activity

Claiming that the USA should wait for other countries to find an effective strategy is ignoring OUR responsibility to make things better. It also ignores the netherlands, switzerland, portugal which are just some of the countries showing success with progressive drug policies. Mexico? You really want Mexico to show us the way??? Their society is far more dangerous and corrupt than ours!

Alcohol is not a drug?!?!? Alcohol IS a drug! It is a psychoactive drug that crosses the blood–brain barrier to the central nervous system. It affects brain function, including perception, mood and behavior. It can be addictive. It has destroyed the lives of millions. American citizens were so concerned they passed a CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT to deal with the problem. Alcohol is a serious SERIOUS drug. And we have found the best way to deal with the problem.....which is DEFINITELY NOT prohibition.

We can never end gangs?? Wait for Mexico to solve the problem??? Alcohol is not a drug?!?!? WTF?

5:20 p.m.

BK RAY: sorry. Im not going to make time to buy & read that book. But Im open to hearing you summarize its main points.

2:59 p.m.

BK RAY: no one is suggesting the end of drug prohibition will solve gang problems.

But it would do a great many things:
- reduce the revenue to gangs, which means less money to buy guns, and a corresponding drop in shootings. this was demonstrated after the end of alcohol prohibition
- decriminalization means a dramatic improvement in policing our community. We will no longer be spending BILLIONS on drug enforcement. Police would not be overwhelmed with the endless parade of drug arrests, and will have time to focus on other more dangerous criminal activity.
- decriminalization means there is much less money for gangs to bribe politicians and police.
- decriminalization means less incarceration, which helps the poor and their families, helps society reduce the costs of prisons, and makes more room for the REALLY dangerous people.
- decriminalization will mean countries like Columbia and Mexico will not be taken over by drug cartels, because the black market fueling the cartels will vanish.

Drug prohibition, just like alcohol prohibition, is a TOTAL FAILURE in managing substance abuse, and it has introduced MASSIVE SOCIAL COSTS to our communities and our country.

2:58 p.m.

I havent seen any statistics that show criminals are targeting new mothers and families with infants. What would they do? Steal all the nappys?

— On the neighbor message Suspicious people at my door at 1 AM
1:36 p.m.

"Gentrification" is a new term. Im not sure what was used 50 yrs ago to describe the racial population changes. The phrase "white flight" was used to describe the response to those changes.

— On the neighbor message Shooting last night at Artesian and Potomac
1:24 p.m.

As for your advise to take care when confronting gang members -
Ive been on this street for twenty years, and Im still here. :-)

— On the neighbor message Shooting last night at Artesian and Potomac
1:20 p.m.

RAKAR....are you referring to me? If so . . . . .

I HAVE NEVER BEEN A GANG MEMBER.

— On the neighbor message Shooting last night at Artesian and Potomac
1:16 p.m.

The Puerto Ricans complain about gentrification. Before that the Polish complained about it. Before that, the Potowatomi complained about it. Nobody likes change.

— On the neighbor message Shooting last night at Artesian and Potomac
11:24 a.m.

GEORGE F: youre reaching there . . . . . for something - anything - to avoid admitting that drug prohibition is a total failure, and that the successes of ending alcohol prohibition was a fluke. You personally know those gangsters from the 30s were much nicer???? Give me a break.

I find it incredulous that people do mental gymnastics to avoid admitting that the fundamentalist approach is making things WORSE.

11:21 a.m.

My favorite part of the article was the alderman who says drug dealers actually complain to him about police enforcement of drug laws.

Ive confronted gang bangers too, and been threatened. So far, Ive only had a brick thru my front door, and a bullet thru a window. And now there are $200k condos all around me. Not bad for 20 yrs.

— On the neighbor message Shooting last night at Artesian and Potomac
8:56 p.m.

What is it about "south of grand" that makes it more dangerous? A different gang? Drug houses? More sect 8 housing?

— On the neighbor message Shooting last night at Artesian and Potomac
2:41 p.m.

@ EMPTY NESTER: wow. If you get upset by people asking questions, then maybe you should avoid forums.

— On the neighbor message Shooting last night at Artesian and Potomac
12:39 p.m.

@ CARLOS: what/where is "K town"?

— On the neighbor message Shooting last night at Artesian and Potomac
12:02 p.m.

GEORGE F: Within four years of the end of alcohol prohibition, shooting deaths in this country dropped by almost 50 percent. So I would say there was a direct correlation between alcohol and gang violence. I would also postulate a similar relationship between todays current drug prohibition and gang violence.

11:04 a.m.

Check out this thread

ANTI-BURGLARY PRESENTATION - CHICAGO POLICE
http://chicago.everyblock.com/announcements/apr26-anti-burglary-presentation-tonight-14th-district-station-4929329/

— On the neighbor message Suspicious people at my door at 1 AM
4:41 p.m.

"Humboldt Park (the Park) is not a part of Humboldt Park (the Community Area)"

Wow.

— On the neighbor message Shooting last night at Artesian and Potomac
2:36 p.m.

Given your transcription of the conversation, it seems the operator was not very proactive asking for more info. That did sound strange.

— On the neighbor message Explosions and Incompetence
2:31 p.m.

Dr Amen talks about healthy brain function:

YOUTUBE
Dr Daniel Amen
Change Your Brain Change Your Life - Part 1 of 8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3tI1UEPrYkE

2:14 p.m.

Journal of Psychoactive Drugs. 1998 Apr-Jun
Dr D G Amen; Dr M Waugh
High resolution brain SPECT imaging of marijuana smokers with AD/HD
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9692384

SPECT imaging is a relatively new practice, and is not common. One of the authors, Dr Daniel Amen, is a pioneer in SPECT brain scans, and has clinical experience scanning the brains of thousands of patients. He is the author of a number of books and his clinical experience is that drugs use, including pot and alcohol, leads to brain impairment. He also has seen brain function improved somewhat after a change to a brain-healthy lifestyle.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_G._Amen

2:12 p.m.

Wicker Park was a pit 20 years ago. Latin Kings ruled. Many storefronts on Milwaukee were boarded up. Cheap rent, and bars on all the windows. I had some friends that were attacked there. The difference today is almost unrecognizable. But much of that gentrification was driven by the artificial housing market bubble. Im not sure change can happen as quickly now for HP.

— On the neighbor message Shooting last night at Artesian and Potomac
12:16 p.m.

RUSS: you sound fair and balanced....watch out for a lawsuit from fox news.

— On the neighbor message Speed Camera Bill Based on Phony Data
11:10 a.m.

RAKAR: They could easily be checking to see if anyone is home. Next time, dont answer and see what happens.

As long as someone is home, they hit you up for a handout. It appears your initial generosity has given you a reputation. They know your window! :-)

— On the neighbor message Suspicious people at my door at 1 AM
10:51 a.m.

Without an exact address, or a description of suspects, there is not much the police can do, besides asking patrols to keep their eyes open. The fire dept handles "explosions" but cant do anything if they dont have an address. The good thing is you called. If multiple people call, then police can get an idea of the approx area, and send a patrol to investigate further. I can empathize that it is very unsettling to be awakened by loud sounds.

— On the neighbor message Explosions and Incompetence
10:28 a.m.

Sure, the beats referenced are large, and neighborhood quality can change by the block. But Kedzie is the western edge of the park. I dont understand how you can claim Kedzie is not in the HP neighborhood. Saying that I "left the planet" .. . . . thats a personal attack, to distract from the reality that beat 1121 borders the western edge of the park.

i think the disagreement is in part because the city definition of HP differs greatly from yours. You think HP means "2 to 4 blocks from the park." That seems misleading to me. But I concede that the citys definition includes some areas that seem closer to Garfield Park. That would create some problems with statistics.

— On the neighbor message Shooting last night at Artesian and Potomac
10:17 a.m.

I believe the city uses the name "Humboldt Park" to describe a "community area"....not a neighorhood. Logan Square is another community area, and is a huge area. Then realtors conspired to split it up into 9 separate neighborhoods for marketing reasons. The changes eventually became commonly used.

You may try to lobby the city to change the name of your community area. I bet you could get support from real estate professionals. Then "Humboldt Park" would only refer to that specific neighborhood.

— On the neighbor message Shooting last night at Artesian and Potomac
10:05 a.m.

The Netherlands also has a progressive strategy with heroin. And that country has a lowering rate of heroin users...something that America cannot claim. Most addicts are older..... there are much less younger people becoming heroin addicts in that country.

To be fair to the right, marijuana does tend to screw with the brain. High pot use has been shown with brain scans to disrupt brain function . . . aka "brain damage." But this is arguably on the same level as alcohol. Both are classified as depressants. And there are examples of abusers of both, that have made poor choices under the influence. (I.E. - Alcohol use leads to thousands of deaths related to cars.)

But the question is NOT are these substances bad, but HOW do you deal with it. Again, the alcohol example shows that prohibition CREATES more problems, while creative regulation actually REDUCES abuse with limited social costs.

9:34 a.m.

I now see that beat 1121 goes south to Franklin. I agree that south of Chicago av, has a different character than the northern part. I have driven around there, and it doesnt seem hispanic down there. Beat 1112 is farther from the park, to Pulaski, but doesnt go as far south as 1121. But the western boundaries of both these beats are nowhere near Cicero Av.

— On the neighbor message Shooting last night at Artesian and Potomac
9:17 a.m.

Not sure? Just look at alcohol as an example. The end of alcohol did not end the existence of gangs. But it put a HUGE dent in their revenue stream. Plus...how often do you hear about a shoot-out related to alcohol sales? Use to happen all the time in the 20s.

9:05 a.m.

I really doubt someone will re-draw the boundaries of the HP neighborhood as limited to the 2 or 4 blocks from the actual park. That would mean most of the current HP neighborhood would need a new name. Some suggestions:
- Humboldt Puke
- Schmackadelphia
- Spliffsavania
- White Chinatown
- Little Detroit
- the neighborhood formerly known as HP

— On the neighbor message Shooting last night at Artesian and Potomac
12:54 a.m.

Cicero Ave??? Dude.....the article referenced crimes in beat 1112 and 1121. Thats from Pulaski going right up to Kedzie....the western edge of the park. BEAT 1121 GOES RIGHT UP TO THE PARK. Youre a former cop....you know this.

11th DISTRICT MAP - Police Beats
https://portal.chicagopolice.org/portal/page/portal/ClearPath/Communities/Districts/District11/Map%20and%20Direction

Your claim that these crimes happen miles from the park are contrary to the crime stats reported in the READER article. Im not sure what to make of that.

— On the neighbor message Shooting last night at Artesian and Potomac
12:14 a.m.

CHARLIES MOM: what is your neighborhood?

— On the neighbor message Looking to move to dog friendly building
7:46 p.m.

RAKARWOWSKI:

Latest edition of CHICAGO READER....their feature article is titled: BESIEGED: WEST HUMBOLDT PARK IS ONE OF THE BIGGEST OPEN-AIR DRUG MARKETS IN AMERICA.

Some quotes in the article:
- "A University of Chicago gang expert called Humboldt Park 'the most dangerous neighborhood in the Nation.' "
- "The volume of drug busts here is astounding: more than six a day . . . . "
- "Beat 1112 consistently ranks in the top three beats citywide in narcotics arrests, while 1121 is always in the top ten."
- (In beats 1112 and 1121) "there were more than 1,000 arrests for dealing or possessing heroin last year, accounting for one of every six heroin arrests citywide."
- "Last year at least 17 people were murdered in the two beats (1112 and 1121.)"
- " . . . the drug business in west Humboldt remains so brazen that dealers . . . complain to their alderman."
- " . . . . politicians quickly became adroit at making dramatic announcements every time they could showcase a drug bust."

— On the neighbor message Shooting last night at Artesian and Potomac
6:48 p.m.

RAHZ C: two focused strategies can address may of the problems you listed.

1) Make it easier to run for mayor. Currently, a candidate needs 12 thousand signatures to get on the ballot. This huge number makes getting on the ballot impossible for all but the most wealthy or politically powerful. It give the incumbent the ability to remove candidates thru the signature challenge system, and thereby control who his opponent is. The city law should change to lower the signature requirement, to encourage competition in the mayoral election.

2) Drug sales create a huge revenue stream to gangs, in the same way alcohol funded gangs over 80 years ago. The prohibition laws dont significantly cut drug use, but they do create a black market that funds massive violence locally and internationally. and it leads to massive redirection of law enforcement resources to counter these problems. Changing drug prohibition to drug regulation (like we did with alcohol) would greatly reduce violence, and free the police to address other criminal activity.

9:51 a.m.

Where in HP?

— On the neighbor message CPD TCB!
9:34 a.m.

Wow. Who would have thought there was an upside to all the foreclosures! RAKAR.....how are the vacant buildings doing? are the banks taking care of them? are they finding new owners quickly?

— On the neighbor message Shooting last night at Artesian and Potomac
4:56 p.m.

Regarding toilets in third world countries: Ive been to China, Peru, and India. And I can tell you the sanitation for the poor is nausea inducing. Poor sanitation and lack of fresh safe water is a major cause of disease and deaths in this world. Your story about corporate pay toilets in poor neighborhoods is so sad, but Im frankly not surprised at all. Corporations and their officers only get in trouble when they fail to make money.

— On the neighbor message Rahm says "trust me" LOL
10:52 p.m.

"whack conspiracy theorist"??? David....I found your recent posts intelligent, eloquent, reasoned, and very refreshing. Thank you.

— On the neighbor message Rahm says "trust me" LOL
10:45 p.m.

RAKAR: if you are saying gang activity is down, then i agree....at least for the area I live in (SE of the park.) But to say its almost nothing, is vague and relative. There is still gang activity. There is still graffiti, drug sales, and shootings. One local bakery infamously moved away for those reasons. Saying its better than ten years ago may ring true for the old timers, but its small comfort to all the newbies in the neighborhood. I do know there is a HUGE increase of Section-8 housing around HP, compared to 10 and 20 yrs ago. The Sect-8, the economy, and the real estate bubble, will all work against HP improvements for a long time.

— On the neighbor message Shooting last night at Artesian and Potomac
1:28 p.m.

DAVID: thank you for the info on oil corps in Nigeria. I had no idea it was that bad.

— On the neighbor message Rahm says "trust me" LOL
10:30 a.m.

RAKAR: What does that mean...."all but vanished" ... . ? It sounds like youre saying there is no gang activity in HP, except for the fest.

— On the neighbor message Shooting last night at Artesian and Potomac
8:18 p.m.

FWIW, Latin Kings are to the west and north of the park. Imperial Gangstas are to the northwest, Manic Latin Disciples are east and north, Spanish Cobras are east, Insane Dragons are south and southeast, and i think there are still some Campbell Boys and C-Notes still around to the south east. Each gang has a different personality.

— On the neighbor message Shooting last night at Artesian and Potomac
3:54 p.m.

In my direct area, the gangs tend to sell drugs and fight with rival gangs. If they want to make some good coin, they have to go to a nice neighborhood, to rob and steal. Like north on Sheridan road.

— On the neighbor message Shooting last night at Artesian and Potomac
3:52 p.m.

Bicycle licensing, cat licensing, etc . . . . Im not going to debate the likelyhood as they are not major concerns for me. But the expanding use of camera enforcement for city ordinances . . . . . its happening as we speak. This is bad social policy and an unfair system. And the trend will expand to other ordinances. That is a huge issue. Bend over Chicago.

— On the neighbor message Speed Camera Bill Based on Phony Data
12:40 a.m.

HATE EECS: I dont think you understand the meaning of a monopoly. Or the concept of collective bargaining.

— On the neighbor message Rahm says "trust me" LOL
12:30 a.m.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-nato-chicago-military-0418-20120418,0,5003658.story

The (military) helicopters were taking part in a routine training session . . . .

The maneuvers are "designed to ensure the military's ability to operate in urban environments as service members meet mandatory training certification requirements and prepare for upcoming overseas deployments,"

— On the neighbor message Helicopters over UKV btwn 8 and 8:30 pm
5:26 p.m.

MITCH: yes, suburbs already ticket for a variety of reasons. My point is that automated camera tickets would allow for a huge increase in tickets issued, using stationary and mobile cameras. The revenue will drive politicians to go that route. The driving force behind these systems will be to increase revenue, not to change behavior. Revenue will trump fairness, justice, and sound social policy.

— On the neighbor message Speed Camera Bill Based on Phony Data
5:18 p.m.

i agree that, in THEORY, unions to represent their members. I disagree that all union leadership is able to remain true to their members. History is littered with honorable people who turned corrupt after gaining power.

If you are accusing me of "villainizing unions" then I take offense. I was a member of SEIU for 5 yrs. I admire Karen Lewis for standing toe to toe with that bully Rahm, and fighting for fair teacher pay, honest contract negotiation, keeping politics out of education policy, and smarter students. Conversely, some other city unions have been fighting for years to keep over-paying jobs in return for poor performance. Now "privatization" is the result. (Two exceptions being CPD and CFD whom I admire greatly and deserve their pay.)

I think all corporations are heartless entities that would sell their souls to make a buck. But I also think some greedy unions negotiate themselves into unemployment.

I also think there should be a penalty for corporations to take their operations overseas. It is just impossible to compete with countries that have few employment and environmental regulations.

— On the neighbor message Rahm says "trust me" LOL
5:05 p.m.

TOM G: simple answer is that unions, just like corporations, operate for their self-interest. Power breeds corruption. Its a shame, because I think collective bargaining is an important counterbalance to corporate greed. Unfortunately, union greed contributed to their weakened political power.

Said a different way: I dont appreciate hearing about some union worker making $50 an hour. Thats just as bad as hearing about the insane corporate leadership salaries.

— On the neighbor message Rahm says "trust me" LOL
3:07 p.m.

CHRIS M: bikes dont have license plates, so they would be anonymous to cameras. What people arent getting is that the automated method of enforcement can be applied to almost ANYTHING that has a registered owner Cars, trucks, boats, homes, businesses . . . . soon you will be getting a ticket in the mail for not cutting your grass, or not shoveling your sidewalk. And it will be GUILTY...unless you can prove youre innocent, in an administrative hearing. But people are bending over and allowing it. They will deserve the results.

— On the neighbor message Speed Camera Bill Based on Phony Data
2:55 p.m.

Most vets can check for an elecronic ID chip.

— On the neighbor message Found a dog
7:04 p.m.

Did an artist actually use the phrase "spirit of defiance" to justify tagging and graffiti? Wow.

— On the neighbor message Taggers arrested, charged.
4:44 p.m.

ERICA: I dont agree that leaving your dog in your yard is abuse. If kids are throwing rocks at the dog then the kids are the abusers. I hope you notified the owner. A cheap camera can document the rock-throwing, and get those kids in quite a bit of trouble. As you say its "your business", I would hope you do so soon.

— On the neighbor message What to do with a neighbor's barking dog?
2:14 p.m.

A poll of 2000 people seems to be the best data, so far, on the point.

It seems to me, whenever the anti-gun side makes claims, that it rests on either poor or zero data. And when statistics are presented to support a contrary conclusion, then the anti-gun crowd dismiss those stats as flawed. Not a very honest approach to discussing social policy.

1:41 p.m.

Damen & Augusta is actually not the heart of Ukrainian Village, but the border of UK Village and East Village.

That area is highly gentrified, so gang related violence is very low, compared to say 10 years ago. Conversly, the gentrification has led to an increase in burglarys, but no worse than other nice neighborhoods. You will see many people, incl single women, out walking at night.There are occasional robberies/muggings on the commercial strips on Division and Chicago Av, that are north and south of there. Most take place after dark. Prudence, awareness and some common sense should mitigate those issues.

The bad news is that the city is closing the Wood Street Police Station that is two blocks from there. A lot of people are concerned what the results will be, but no one is sure.

— On the neighbor message Damen and Augusta, is it safe?
1:12 p.m.

Someone posted that crime stats are down, except for murder. I want to point out that those stats are gathered by the police's new COMPSTAT crime statistic system, implemented by the new Police Superintendent McCarthy. This is the same system he oversaw in New York PD, that claimed crime stats were down in NYC. Now there are numerous whistle blowers and lawsuits that say NYPD changed their policing and arrest tactics to MANIPULATE the crime statistics for political purposes. Is this now happening in Chicago? There are anecdotal complaints that enforcement and arrests seem unusually low here in Chicago.

Below is link to one article on evolving scandal in NYC.

NY DAILY NEWS
The trouble with Compstat: Pressure on NYPD commanders endangered the integrity of crime stats
http://articles.nydailynews.com/2010-02-15/news/27056291_1_compstat-crime-reports-commanders

12:49 p.m.

Developers work to have a cozy relationship with their alderman, as alderman have direct control over permit approval. An alderman is the last person I would contact for a recommendation on a contractor.

I would suggest checking google and the BBB to see how long they have been in business. There are many who are "fly by night" outfits, who change their corporate name periodically to avoid litigation.

— On the neighbor message Need Contractor
12:25 p.m.

TRACY: I have no problem with the NATO security. Youre the one whos "creeped out". Maybe you should take your own advise and "chill."

— On the neighbor message Helicopters over UKV btwn 8 and 8:30 pm
12:19 p.m.

"Not right"??? Its airspace. Any legal aircraft is allowed use of airspace. People may feel "creeped out". But reality is that world leaders need security. Too many terrorists, rogue nations, fundamentalist activists, and nutjobs to chance an incident. NATO will have hundreds of VIPs, so the heavy security is a proactive deterent against bad things happening. Welcome to the 21st century.

— On the neighbor message Helicopters over UKV btwn 8 and 8:30 pm
3:36 p.m.

There was a good article in today's (Friday 13th) CHICAGO TRIBUNE on the failure of similar projects in other states. One example was a toll bridge in San Diego that went bankrupt. One common problem is that when the "partnership" fails, then the municipality feels obligated to rescue the project, and the projected "savings" disappears.

— On the neighbor message Rahm says "trust me" LOL
12:02 a.m.

You dont have to wait for the city's GRAFITTI BUSTERS to remove tags. Have a can of paint handy.

— On the neighbor message Shoes on the Power Line
11:51 p.m.

JEDI: neo-cons looked for excuses to attack Iraq. Documented fact. Myself, and many thousands more, protested that invasion right here in Chicago. Hundreds of thousands more did the same across the country. I dont recall any right-wingers saying one word against the plan. In fact, republicans were all calling people like me a traitor. Now you republicans have problems looking in the mirror. Nice "Fox News" attempt at rewriting history.

Oh, and now JIMMY CARTER is also to blame? Along with Clinton and Obama? Still ze-ro criticism of Bush from the right??? Your corporate right-wing diatribes make it hard for me to read much of your posts.

— On the neighbor message Speed Camera Bill Based on Phony Data
11:49 p.m.

Conservatives led us into the idiotic and immoral Iraq War and the worst economy since the depression. And their excuses are that 911 was all Clinton's fault, and the economy is all Obama's fault. Meanwhile, Chicago democrats are finding ways to create more automated traffic fines, to cover the lost revenue from selling off city assets and lost tax revenues from the screwed up TIF programs.

I cant do anything about 8 years of Republican screw-ups. But I sure can call my democratic alderman and complain about the speed cameras and the TIF program.

Personally, I prefer discussing what works and what doesnt. When political hacks try to make it a "Dems vs Tea Party" argument, then I dismiss it as political fundamentalist bias.

— On the neighbor message Speed Camera Bill Based on Phony Data
12:55 p.m.

The far right is demanding action in Iran, and the possible conflict there is driving oil prices higher. The irony is that the right is also blaming Obama for the high gas prices.

— On the neighbor message Speed Camera Bill Based on Phony Data
9:30 a.m.

KID: ridiculous. And your comment that gangs buy guns from Mexico....ridiculous. Heres some news: the United States has hundreds of gun manufacturers, while Mexico has ONE. The United States has 12 THOUSAND licensed gun dealers, while Mexico has just ONE gun store (run by their fed gov in Mex City.) The Mexican President is complaining about the flood of US guns into his country. An you claim Mexico is exporting guns? What an IDIOTIC comment. Guns are cheap in the US...not in Mexico. The "buy low, sell high" means the guns flow south. Not sure why you are posting all this bull. I imagine you are smoking too much of your product.

6:19 p.m.

High corporate tax rates? The RATE is high, but after subsidies, tax exemptions, tax breaks (ie corporate welfare), and not including corporate accounting tricks and downright tax dodging, the ACTUAL corporate tax rate is lower than most other industrialized nations.

http://www.smartmoney.com/invest/markets/high-corporate-tax-rate-is-misleading-22463/

One trick is for a corp to hide income overseas, after moving operations to another country. Like Cisco.

— On the neighbor message Speed Camera Bill Based on Phony Data
1:03 p.m.

RUSS: one problem is that, when aldermen loose their positions due to a conviction, then the MAYOR gets to appoint a replacement. There should be another election.

10:02 a.m.

Your original comment was vague. Your statistics are not vague, but they are not directly connected to the argument. You have not shown that these car/ped accidents were the fault of drivers. You also imply that lowering the speed limit by 33 percent would significantly reduce those stats, without supplying any supporting evidence.

Finally, your comment "cars dont need to go faster than 20mph" is a little selfish. People lead busy lives. They dont want to spend needless time on the road driving at bicycle speeds. I would say they actually DO need to go faster than 20.

— On the neighbor message Speed Camera Bill Based on Phony Data
9:58 a.m.

The comments "cars are dangerous" and "cars are killing peds and bicyclists" are so vague and loaded that it comes off as emotional and biased manipulations.

Im all for promoting earth-friendly transportation. And for educating the driving public on how to safely share the road with bikers. But I dont think the world should not revolve around bicyclists.

— On the neighbor message Speed Camera Bill Based on Phony Data
8:52 a.m.

Thanks CHRIS M for the link to the article on expiredmeter.com

Yes, it seems the city plans to lower the speed limit to 20mph. The current law says its 20mph only "when children are present", but there is no way the city can enforce that with cameras. So we will be forced to drive 20 mph to make ticketing easier! ,,,,screw it that the city is 20 miles long and 8 miles wide. Anyone wanting to go faster will be branded a LAW BREAKER and a DANGER TO CHILDREN ! Crap, we will be passed by the bicyclists.

— On the neighbor message Speed Camera Bill Based on Phony Data
7:51 a.m.

KID: so far, heres some of the weird stuff youve posted :
* gangs dont make much money from drug sales.
* gangs make most of their money from gun sales
* gangs prefer baseball bats to guns.
* gangs buy a lot of guns from Mexico.
* gangs get support from the Russians.

And the weirdest thing is: you posted that you have worked selling drugs as a gang member.....and that you live in TENNESSEE - youre not even a resident of Chicago! Strange stuff.

7:18 a.m.

GEORGE F is right. A lot of guns are acquired thru straw purchases. This means the guns are purchased legally, and then sold for a profit. That means the gang members buy them for MORE than the market value.

8:17 p.m.

Uuuuh . . . . .why are you posting on a Chicago forum when you say you are in Tennessee? Here's some news: in Chicago, guns are expensive. There is no way you could buy a Colt 45 for $70. Maybe youre thinking of a case of Colt 45 beer?

Also, you say gangs dont make their money on drugs? Whaaaa? What drug are you smoking? This comment is so disconnected from reality that I suspect your motivations.

Finally, I NEVER SAID that I wanted to LEGALIZE drugs. I said I wanted to REGULATE drugs. It is a proven FACT that kids find it MUCH easier to purchase ILLEGAL drugs than to buy REGULATED alcohol. Unlike you, I want to actually make it MORE difficult for kids to buy drugs. The present system is a total failure.

6:06 p.m.

Another police officer from NYC is claiming manipulation of crime statistics. He says crimes were downgraded so crime rates would appear to be decreasing.

WABC LOCAL - NEW YORK
Investigation into under reported crime rates
http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?section=news/investigators&id=8596098

— On the neighbor message Corner Building Rockwell and Evergreen?
2:35 p.m.

Guns are really REALLY expensive. How can gangs afford them? Drug sales. Want to screw every gang in Chicago? Change drug prohibition to drug regulation. Gangs will be deprived of most their income, and will have less motive to protect their drug-sales territory. Same thing happened after alcohol prohibition ended....gun murders dropped by almost 50 percent in four years.

1:39 p.m.

Cute cat. Good luck finding the owner. If needed you can try a vet to see if it has a chip.

— On the neighbor message Found Orange Kitty
10:05 p.m.

Youre still not getting it. NYPD discourages criminal complaints to minimize the stats on arrests. Then they can claim their policies are cutting crime. I recommend actually reading the whole VILLAGE VOICE series of articles. It may clear things up for you.

— On the neighbor message Corner Building Rockwell and Evergreen?
12:51 p.m.

NOYB said: "Why do people not want their property to look good?"

Here are some possible answers:
* He doesnt care how it looks.
* He doesnt care about the neighborhood.
* He prefers spending his time doing other things.
* If it doesnt impact his business, why clean up?

— On the neighbor message Asia Motors is a blight!
12:43 p.m.

JASON W: Not related? You cited the village voice articles. It appears you did not read the whole series on the Schoolcraft tapes. Below is a quote:

VILLAGE VOICE quote: "Police officers were ordered to be skeptical about the validity of crime complaints. The precinct commander, a lieutenant, and a sergeant in charge of "crime analysis" would call victims and question them closely on their complaints. Supervisors had to be on the scene to look over the cops' shoulders even on a routine complaint."

VILLAGE VOICE
The NYPD Tapes Series: The Cliffs Notes Version
http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2010/05/the_nypd_tapes.php

NYPD seems to be avoiding arrests for serious crimes. Multiple lawsuits from varied people are in the court system. Schoolcraft is one example. The rape victims are another example. Are you getting it yet?

— On the neighbor message Corner Building Rockwell and Evergreen?
12:02 p.m.

I always had it. Its you that dont get it. NYPD are actively avoiding arrests for serious crimes. Plenty of cases going to court on this. Below is one example. Not sure why you are defending immoral behavior.

NEW YORK TIMES
4 Victims of Sex Assault Tell of Treatment by Police
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/03/nyregion/03rapeside.html?_r=1&src=me&ref=nyregion&nl=nyregion&emc=ura8

— On the neighbor message Corner Building Rockwell and Evergreen?
11:27 a.m.

"aviod having people report crimes"....do you mean discourage victims from reporting crimes? That is one of Officer Schoolcraft's many accusations against NYPD.

More specifically, Schoolcraft alleges that victims of serious crimes were discouraged from filing complaints, to bring down those stats. Which led to victim frustration and complaints. Also, misdemeanor arrests were allegedly promoted by NYPD to bring up those stats. Which led to more complaints of many unjust misdemeanor arrests.

These tactics were to support the NYPD strategy that aggressive enforcement of minor "quality of living" crimes would result in a decrease in serious crime. Now NYPD is accused of cooking the stats to support justifying the strategy of their leadership.

For all the "dont blame those brave police" crowd.....Officer Schoolcraft made over a HUNDRED tape recordings of NYPD management during rollcalls.....choice selections available online: http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/414/right-to-remain-silent

— On the neighbor message Corner Building Rockwell and Evergreen?
10:09 a.m.

Another problem with the city's crime statistics is that statistics can be manipulated. If police consciously avoid making arrests, then they can push down the statistics to make it appear that crime rates are decreasing. I have no evidence they are doing so here. But NYPD is being accused of this very tactic, to support their famous drop in crime in NYC.

There is a former NYPD officer, Adrian Schoolcraft, who has sued the NYPD for intimidation and retaliation, after he began documenting the problem.

NYPD Report Confirms Schoolcraft's Stat Cooking Claims
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/08/nypd-report-confirms-adri_n_1331613.html

SCHOOLCRAFT WEBSITE
http://www.schoolcraftjustice.com/

WIKIPEDIA
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adrian_Schoolcraft

— On the neighbor message Corner Building Rockwell and Evergreen?
8:12 a.m.

EDDIE M: Coming home to find an intruder? And how often does this scenario happen? I dont recall ever hearing of an example. Burglars like to get in and out in 2 or 3 minutes. If its a rapist or kidnapper, then you have a physical threat regardless of your gun ownership. I dont recall ever seeing statistics on this situation.

And victims being killed by intruders with the victims gun? Again, statistically this is a very low occurrence. This is all sounding like emotional concerns, and not based on statistical evidence.

What does happen with regularity is an intruder being surprised by an armed homeowner. We see the examples of the intruder being shot. There are also many unreported instances of homeowners that just showed their gun to chase off the criminal. That is reality. Not the "dont get a gun or you will be shot with it" propaganda.

— On the neighbor message Guard your homes people!
7:40 a.m.

GBPLIGHT: yes, thee are window jams that can prevent windows from being raised bpast a certain height. This feature can be added to any new thermopane window at the factory, or you can install them onto existing windows.

— On the neighbor message Guard your homes people!
9:30 a.m.

RAKAR: I also saw that Tribune article, and your citation of statistics is a half truth.

Yes,, crime went up in neighborhoods that received low-income families from the projects. But the article also said that crime overall in the city is down. The idea is that moving people out of the high-rise projects has reduced crime ovverall. The challange is to improve services and support for low-income to further crime reductions.

— On the neighbor message Corner Building Rockwell and Evergreen?
9:26 a.m.

LOUISE: burglars have been known to break in at night, when you sleep. They also have been known to break in and be surprised to find someone home. Worse, some criminals break-in with violent intentions towards the resident. In such cases, a gun could, and has, saved the victims life. In addition, the mere thought of meeting an armed homeowner gives pause to potential criminals. All of these positive uses of a gun should not be ignored or dismissed.

— On the neighbor message Guard your homes people!
1:59 p.m.

People protecting their family and property against home invaders are now being labeled vigilaties. Even those who are successful. This leftist spin is as bad as the spin from the far right.

Cameras and lights are safer than homeowners with guns? Sure....safer for the burglers and rapists!

If people want to discuss deterrance to the skyrocketing amount of Chicago home invasions, then gun ownership is a reasonable sub-topic. Discouraging this subtopic suppresses the politically incorrect opinions.

— On the neighbor message Guard your homes people!
9:04 a.m.

Speaking of guns and deterrence......nothing deters a potential criminal better than the thought of a well-armed populace. Even the elderly are fighting back !!!

May 2010: 80-Year-Old Chicago Man Kills Armed Home Invader
http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/05/26/year-old-chicago-man-kills-armed-home-invader/

Sept 2011: Burglar Shot and Killed By Homeowner
http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2011/09/28/burglar-shot-killed-by-homeowner-in-chicago-heights/

April 2012: Charges Dropped Against Man, 81, Who Shot Englewood Burglar
http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/Charges-Dropped-Against-Man-80-Who-Shot-Englewood-Burglar-145773785.html

— On the neighbor message Guard your homes people!
11:42 p.m.

Today I noticed the latest attempt to break into my garage. They tried to pry open the overhead door. Big dent on the bottom. Im near Augusta & California.

— On the neighbor message Guard your homes people!
11:27 p.m.

GOOD GUYS WEAR BLUE: I never said most officers avoid the "code of silence." I did write that I have had many positive experiences with the police. Putting words in my mouth? You sound like an annoyed cop.

And using the old "they risk their lives . . ." and "many have died . . " is using emotional BS to avoid the issue. The only way to bust a Chicago cop is to video it (and post it anonymously on YOUTUBE) or get the feds involved. CPD only arrest their own when they have no other choice.

Cops have a very tough job. Cops do risk their lives.Cops can be incredibly helpful. The save lives every day. But to deny the fact that Cops protect their own is obtuse.

— On the neighbor message Corner Building Rockwell and Evergreen?
8:41 p.m.

GOOD GUYS WEAR BLUE: everything you said is true. But responsibility is a double edged sword. there is a "code of silence" among police that allows police to act ineffectively, inappropriately and even unjustly. Officers almost never report their fellow officers. Plus, police have made videotaping illegal. so you can go to jail for video taping a law-breaking officer. There are things the police can do to clean up their own system. But instead we hear the typical......blame the other side.

I should qualify this by saying that I have had many positive experiences with police. Most are trying to do the right thing. But the system allows the few bad apples to ruin the bunch.

— On the neighbor message Corner Building Rockwell and Evergreen?
11:05 a.m.

THOMAS and TARAS: you both make rational arguments. I would like to read these "traffic engineer reports" myself. Could you both cite your sources please?

— On the neighbor message Speed Camera Hearing postponed
9:53 a.m.

My big complaint is the automation. Its one more step to overwhelming the public with automated tickets. from everything to J-walking, shoveling snow off your sidewalk, cutting your grass, debris on your property, burnt out tail light. The public will let the city nickel and dime us to death with automation.......all in the name of putting out the latest fire.

Second complaint is the fairness. A computer writes a ticket in a nanosecond. Too bad if its wrong or unfair. But it will cost a driver more to contest it than to just pay. Radar is far from perfect. Worse than errors: watch the city bend interpretations to maximize revenue.

— On the neighbor message Speed Camera Hearing postponed
9:41 p.m.

Heres my thought: The alderman will kiss Rahm's a$$. There is nothing thats going to stop this proposed revenue mechanism from becoming reality.

— On the neighbor message Speed Camera Hearing postponed
5:52 p.m.

Ooops....my mistake. The "war on drugs" was actually started by Nixon in the 1960s. So that makes it almost a FIFTY year old failed social policy.

9:21 a.m.

What is to snitch? The street dealers operate in broad daylight. If the cops want to know whos dealing, they need only drive thru the hood in an unmarked vehicle. The problem isnt finding them; the problem is there are TOO MANY of them......too many to arrest - too many to prosecute - to many to imprison. Blaming a 30 yr old, failed social policy on a bunch of poor people is frankly pitiful.

9:19 a.m.

Police arrests dont improve things. Community "muscle flexing" wont improve anything. With the huge profits behind black market drug sales, there will ALWAYS be willing kids ready to make easy drug money. The proven solution is what we did in the 1930s with alcohol. Change "prohibition" to "regulation."

9:31 p.m.

Citizens have been hearing this pandering lip-flapping for 30 years, and things only seem to be worse. Public shoot-outs are frequent. Its easier for kids to buy drugs than to buy alcohol. Huge revenues for gangs. Gangs buy-off corrupt cops. Our civil rights are eroded. And BILLIONS of american dollars are flowing to law enforcement . . . . both in the USA, and to Mexico and Columbia. And all this with NO IMPROVEMENTS.

What do you call someone who FAILS for 30 years, but cant admit it? LOSERS. And until Americans can admit that the drug laws need drastic changes, Americans will continue to be losers...and they will deserve the results of their impotent and counter-productive drug management strategies.

Change "drug prohibition" to "drug regulation" and you will see the huge social improvements that America saw after the end of "alcohol prohibition" in the 1930s. Until then, politicians will keep using "drug wars" to distract the public. And Americans will still be whiny losers.

12:15 p.m.

You shouldnt call them animals. Its an insult to animals.

11:34 p.m.

So a store owner is responsible for what happens on a public sidewalk? Including an hour after his store closes? This is so egregiously unreasonable and unfair.

The city's next step is to do the same thing to home owners.

— On the neighbor message NEW Public Nuisance Ordinance
6:24 p.m.

If the company has been around for years, they are much more likely to provide a quality job, and stand behind their work if there is a future problem.

Some unscrupulous construction companys go "out of business" in only a couple of years, to avoid warranty work and lawsuits. Usually they have not been in business for very long.

Some ways to check on how long a company has been around: the state of illinois grants licenses. You can go online to see when the license was first issued and if it is still active. You can also see if they are listed with the BBB, ....and for how long.

You can also start GOOGLING the company name and the owners name. Sometimes things pop up about past problems complaints or even lawsuits.

Also check with the city to ensure they have a current license. You can also do that online.

If you or a friend knows a reputable general contractor, he could give you a good referral. I would not take recommendations from everyblock posters. You have no idea who they are. About angieslist....if they know nothing about construction/ roofs, they may have no clue if the roof was done improperly. A bad roofing job may still work for 3 - 8 years. You want a 30 year roof.

Finally, NEVER let them put the new shingles over the old shingles. It will void the product warranty and is a poor practice (but is more profitable for the roofer.)

The suggestion on how to avoid ice dam issues was also good.

Finally, this can take some time. But be warned: there are MANY unscrupulous contractors out there. Especially with this bad economy. Caviat emptor !!! So do some research.

Good luck.

— On the neighbor message Roof advice please!
12:47 p.m.

Before the Polish neighborhood, it was German. Before that it was farmland. Before that it was French fur traders. Before that it was Potawatami land.

40 years from now, it will be the PRs complaining how another group is pushing them out.

— On the neighbor message Corner Building Rockwell and Evergreen?
9:07 a.m.

Wow. Ive been hearing more shootings but didnt stop to think it was getting worse. Thats right in from of Knockbox Cafe.

— On the media mention Man Arrested for Shooting at CHA Guards
6:08 p.m.

troll alert

— On the media mention 9 Killed, 40 Hurt in Weekend Violence
10 p.m.

That comment was much worse than insensitive. I see it has since been removed.

— On the media mention 9 Killed, 40 Hurt in Weekend Violence
7:25 p.m.

If a gang has a couple of nut jobs in it, they may be aggressive to people not in a gang. Thats where the trouble can really come from. My gang, Insane Dragons, isnt really bad in that respect.

Latin Kings are throughout West Humboldt Park area. I dont know if the ones by you are worse. I have heard stories but it was farther west and south....not at your street. I suggest you ask people who live near Kedzie & North.

I dont mean to scare you. I have seen posts of "Its a nasty neighborhood" to "its a great place to raise kids." I would say the truth is somewhere in between, depending on your specific street. Definitely manageable as long as you know the issues.

— On the neighbor message Moving
7:22 p.m.

You will be near the NW corner of the park. I live near the SE corner of the park. The info from those who live at Kedzie and North would be much better than mine for specifics about your street. Also, the gang here is different that by you. That might make another difference.

— On the neighbor message Moving
3:17 p.m.

TIF is a state law. It is not limited to Chicago. Using the TIF laws for partisan lambasting will do nothing to educate the public about this horrible public program. Also, the Illinois Tax Increment Allocation Redevelopment (TIF) Act was passed in 1977 and signed into law by REPUBLICAN governor Jim Thompson. Just an FYI.

— On the neighbor message Building construction??
2:45 p.m.

Im totally against the TIF program. It does not follow its intended purpose, which is to help blighted communities. Instead, it is used to create political slush-funds, at the expense of tax revenues. It is a huge reason behind the revenue shortfall for our public schools. I would recommend we promote this issue, as most people are unaware of TIFs.

— On the neighbor message Building construction??
2:43 p.m.

It is not a "stance" when you make unsupported, fallacious accusations. And Im not trying to change your mind. I am calling you out on the inappropriate behavior, and the double standard.

— On the media mention Man Arrested for Shooting at CHA Guards
2:23 p.m.

And who defines the phrase: "let them be" ? If you live on a corner that is a popular drug sales location...do you "let them be"? If you live at a location that is a popular hangout, and they are up until 4am making all sorts of noise...do you "let them be"? If your home is near the site of frequent drive-by shootings due to rival gangs....do you "let them be"? If any of this nonsense takes place near a school...do you "let them be"?

Im all for "live and let live" and "do unto others ...", but some gang activity is clearly antisocial, disrespectful and dangerous to the community.

Also, there are some gang members who are just plain crazy, and look for confrontation. If you even APPEAR to not tolerate their crap, then you can get on the $h*t list of the whole gang.

— On the neighbor message Moving
1:56 p.m.

HPRESIDENT: you say she named her pastry after the neighborhood, which mirrors the accusations of others. The problem is that NO ONE has presented ANY evidence that supports such a claim. What really happened can be seen on the video interview with the owner, where she says she named the pastry "crack" as a reference to the SUGAR HIGH.

I dont know your intent, but the results of such statements are that she has been unjustly labeled a racist. I find that much more egregious than her insensitive comments. You complain about improper word usage, when you seem to be doing the very same thing. That is a double standard.

The irony in all this, is that the topic of this thread supports the TYPSY CAKE claim that the hood is dangerous, and supports her decision to move to a safer location.

— On the media mention Man Arrested for Shooting at CHA Guards
1:44 p.m.

EMILIO: I live near California and Augusta which is 2 minute walk to the park. Some realtors call my area Humboldt Park. I have lived here for 20 years and am a landlord, So I have known quite a number of people in the area. I also make it a business to know about crime, and about the different gangs in the area.

I would work on your psychic skills before you say I live nowhere near the area, and imply I know absolutely nothing about the area. I deal with prospective tenants all the time, and I feel it a duty to honestly let them know what the area is like. I know single women who walk around alone in the park, and I know big guys who are scared to go there. Crime is real and it is relatively higher than elsewhere, but its also about perception.

Also, there was a recent thread about the business TYPSY CAKE, which was located three blocks from my home. The owner complained the crime was so bad she had to move to a nicer neighborhood. Some HP residents on this forum (including RAKARWOWSKI) used her story as an example of the prevalent level of crime in the area.

— On the neighbor message Moving
9:33 a.m.

RAKARWOWSKI: Sorry. Humboldt is working class. I should have said the neighborhood has a lot of low income, gov subsidized housing. That was my meaning.

— On the neighbor message Moving
7:19 p.m.

Regarding my reply to JWs comparison: that was just my perception. I do admire your efforts to improve the neighborhood.

— On the neighbor message Corner Building Rockwell and Evergreen?
7:16 p.m.

In general, Humboldt park is low income and has higher that average crime and gang activity. If street drug dealings, gang graffiti, and occasional gun shots scare you, then you may have to pay more rent for a nicer neighborhood. Otherwise you could be just fine. The big variable is the block you live on. Some are just fine and others are loaded with troublemakers. Ask local cops for details on your street, and local hot spots to avoid. NEVER leave anything of value showing in a parked car. Addicts will break a window for 50 cents of change. Also, treating others with respect will help avoid direct confrontations. Finally, I know many who live in the area. The hassles are manageable to them, and worth the low rental costs. But I also know some who are too scared to even drive there. Ultimately, it depends on your comfort level.

Welcome, and Good Luck.

— On the neighbor message Moving
12:11 p.m.

Nope. Must have slept thru it.

— On the media mention Man Arrested for Shooting at CHA Guards
11:54 a.m.

Kindness and respect is the best way to confront potential criminals because it is totally non-threatening, while letting them know they are noticed. Its also a nice way to make friends with neighbors who have no malcious intent. win/win.

— On the neighbor message Bike stolen, 2000 Block of West Rice
9:04 p.m.

STARBUCKS? GAP? In Humboldt? And what neighbors are going to shop there at those prices? The reality is that the BIG BOX stores, like Target and Walmart, are sucking the life out of small retail and entrepreneurs. And no chain would be dumb enough to invest in a poor neighborhood. Which is why many retail storefronts sit vacant in poor neighborhoods. And also in some not so poor neighborhoods.

— On the neighbor message Building construction??
7:33 p.m.

In a million years, I would never think to compare RAKAR to Mitt Romney. For one, you would never see Mitt living in Humboldt.

— On the neighbor message Corner Building Rockwell and Evergreen?
7:24 p.m.

So THAT was what I heard. Boy there were a lot of shots fired. I counted about 5/6 shots....then a slight pause....then 9 more shots. (I thought: "wow, thats a big clip.") Then I heard screeching tires.

Sounds like the "suspicious person" was surprised that his "victim" was armed. It seems only the police (and the aldermen) are allowed to protect themselves with handguns.

HPRESIDENT is right. There are no CHA buildings here. Sounds like CHAPD were just off-duty citizens, on the street being assaulted, and they shot back.

— On the media mention Man Arrested for Shooting at CHA Guards
7:14 p.m.

BIKE JEDI: Youve convinced me of the merits of Indiana. In fact, Im now thinking of moving away from Chicago.....to beautiful downtown Gary!

— On the neighbor message Speed Camera Bill Based on Phony Data
7:04 p.m.

I totally agree with JAMES. I would also add that police might actually find time to enforce traffic laws if they were not wasting most of their resources fighting a failed drug war. This automation of ticketing is just one of the many social costs of the never-ending, 30-year-old war on drugs. And GPBLIGHT is also thinking straight. He is actually looking at what is killing the kids, and not at the BS cited to support a new revenue stream. Facts and reason seem to be a luxury in social policy.

— On the neighbor message Speed Camera Bill Based on Phony Data
7 p.m.

Totally against the TIF program. It takes tax money from schools and puts it in slush-funds for politicians to dole out to favorites. Disgraceful. Another Daley legacy.

The TIF award to the theater will only cover the rehab of the space. After that, the owners will still need to pay the bills (heat, electric, prop taxes, etc.) And $7 is reasonable compared to the big-box theater chains. Not as low as PORTAGE THEATER ($5) but they have a very old mortgage.

Frankly, their chances of surviving are not great (even with the $1M TIF) due to competition from movie chains, the internet, NETFLIX , and those vending machines that rent you movies. As much as I love old time movie theaters, it really is a dinosaur.

— On the neighbor message Logan Theater and TIF Money?
8:55 a.m.

Im near California & Augusta...... nothing over here.

— On the neighbor message Gun shots near Humboldt Park?
11:08 p.m.

GLEN BRETTNER is right. We should get rid of all the democrats and get George Bush & friends to run the city of chicago. Then all corruption and dishonesty would go away. Thanks for your helpful suggestion.

— On the neighbor message Speed Camera Bill Based on Phony Data
12:22 p.m.

My first garage break-in cost me over $1500. Now I have items locked down, and a steel walk-thru door. Based on scratches/ dents on the door, there have been 5 attempts to break in during the last 15 yrs. There may have been more. Im near California and Augusta.

— On the neighbor message Bike stolen, 2000 Block of West Rice
10:04 a.m.

KSLATTE: the scattered-site, low-income housing program, was created by the City of Chicago to dismantle the high-rise model of subsidized housing, and build small apt buildings across the city (excluding poor black neighborhoods), so that the poor were not concentrated in one area.

The reality was the city wanted the high-rises because they sat on prime real estate in the loop and along the lakefront neighborhoods. Plus, 70 percent of scattered site housing was built in poor HISPANIC neighborhoods like Humboldt and Uptown.

And with much more restrictions on tenants, now much less of the poor are allowed subsidized housing. Which explains the explosion in homeless individuals and families.

— On the neighbor message Building construction??
9:13 a.m.

Im a landlord. I have never heard a landlord say that section 8 tenants ....ON THE AVERAGE.....are good. No disrespect meant, but as they do not have the life skills to support themselves, they also are not going to have the skills to properly care for any apartment they rent. (Again, on the average.) I have heard stories of landlords having to do MAJOR work in an apartment after a tenant moves out. This kind of incident can take the profit out of a landlord's business. Due to the high maintenance/ rehab costs of dealing with Section 8, the only way to make money is if a landlord has a low mortgage. This means you bought a building 30+ yrs ago, or you buy a cheap bldg in a bad neighborhood.

I hear that some rental companies have policies that mitigate these issues, and do well. I have also heard of landlords that sell, because their business lost money. The problems are real.

— On the neighbor message Building construction??
9:01 a.m.

Poverty, education, employment, access to healthcare, access to healthy foods, decreased mass transit options, safety . . . concentrating low income in a few poor areas demonstrates that the city has other priorities for the poor.

— On the neighbor message Building construction??
9:17 a.m.

Advanced schedules are appreciated. But the city tends to post all cleaning schedules n advance. Just not this early. The fairest thing an alderman could do would be to post the schedule on PERMANENT METAL street signs, LIKE THEY ALREADY DO IN THE AFFLUENT neighborhoods of Chicago. But that may reduce revenue. :-P

— On the neighbor message 32nd Ward Street Sweeping Schedule & Map
8:35 a.m.

In my garage, I have locked my bikes, lawn mower, and snow blower. If they suceed in getting in, they still have to work for it.

— On the neighbor message Bike stolen, 2000 Block of West Rice
8:26 a.m.

BIKE JEDI: Im all for injecting efficiency, effectiveness and fairness in public policy. But there is no way Im going to believe the Republicans are somehow immune from problems, especially after 8 yrs of Bush. So how about trying to keep this thread about speed cameras and not about Dem bashing. But if you really need to, then please start a "I hate all Dems" thread.

— On the neighbor message Speed Camera Bill Based on Phony Data
8:22 a.m.

Maybe "better", but certainly not good. Most scatered-site is located in predominantly poor hispanic neighborhoods. A truely "good" solution is to build more section-8 housing in nicer neighborhoods. But no alderman will approve those permits. So places like Humboldt and Uptown will struggle to improve. And the politically connected, section-8 focused, corporations will make some nice coin. And donations will flow to the politicians in charge.

— On the neighbor message Building construction??
7:56 p.m.

THanks for the warning about Rahm's robo-tickets.

— On the neighbor message Speed Camera Bill Based on Phony Data
2:26 p.m.

The police risk their lives for the public every day. This does not give the police license to be @$$#%&s, nor to ignore the laws. The public can break the law, and then pretend it never happened. This does not give the police license to be @$$#%&s, nor to ignore the law. Some of the public can even be@$$#%&s themselves. This does not give the police license to be @$$#%&s, nor to ignore the law.

My largest concerns about the police are:
1) "Contempt of Cop" - This is not a law, but I have met many police who take personal offense if you dont do EXACTLY as they say, regardless of the lawfulness of their order.
2) "Code of Silence" - you will almost NEVER see a police officer report a fellow officer for violations of the law or misconduct. The only time officers testify against their own is when police crimes are caught on tape. The public knows this and it generates a huge amount of public distrust.
3) "Poor De-escalation skills" - a number of times I have witnessed incidents where the police officers skills escalated the confrontation. It seems their only responsibility is to enforce and arrest. I would like to see them use more conflict resolution skills.

I recognize the high-risk, high-stress nature of the job, and want to give credit to police officers for the great things they do. I have also witnessed examples of police demonstrating much more respect, restraint and patience than I will ever have. But I see room for improving the system.

— On the neighbor message G8 Meetings moved out of Chicago
1:58 p.m.

Attitude is instilled during training.

— On the neighbor message G8 Meetings moved out of Chicago
11:45 p.m.

NOLAN: thanks for your experiences. That is why CPD has been fighting to prevent public videotaping of police at work. I do agree with SENIORPUNK that CPD can be aggressive and provocative.

— On the neighbor message G8 Meetings moved out of Chicago
2:54 p.m.

SENIORPUNK.....you said: most of the "riots" in Chicago have actually been initiated by the police. Your example (link to an article) does not mention the word "riot." Plus....I WAS THERE. so I saw most of it. Hundreds of knuckleheads were stopping and trashing lake shore drive. The police were sued for illegal arrests .... not for starting any riot. Im sure CPD will do better at arrests during the NATO summit. And Rahm is hyper-aware of image, so Im sure he has passed the word that over-reactions will not be tolerated. I just dont see "police riot" as a possibility at NATO.

Im surprised you didnt mention the two best documented examples of Chicago police riots: the1868 Haymarket Riot, and the 1968 Democratic Convention Riot. But still doesnt support your "most riots are caused by police" claim.

— On the neighbor message G8 Meetings moved out of Chicago
2:47 p.m.

If they can protect the United Nations in NYC and Geneva all year, then they can protect McCormick Place for two days.

— On the neighbor message G8 Meetings moved out of Chicago
10:55 a.m.

Sorry. You are responsible to support your accusations. Not me.

— On the neighbor message G8 Meetings moved out of Chicago
10:42 a.m.

I heard it, but dont know more. I was surprised because it was a cold night. I thought they would have been banging the day before when it was a lot warmer.

— On the neighbor message Shooting at Augusta and Fairfield on 3/7/2012
10:36 a.m.

Havent heard anyting about the hotel, but I have friends that have been victims of crimes near North & California. Both times it was at night. They said it was much better in the day. Best of luck to your friend.

— On the neighbor message The North Hotel
10:26 a.m.

Bike Jedi says most of the protestors are paid. Seniorpunk says all the violence is initiated by the police. I think these are both one sided views. While I agree the police do not handle confrontation well (training issue), I also think a small percentage of protestors attend the events PLANNING to use violence to gain publicity. But I just dont buy that the protestors are paid. There are too many passionate Americans concerned about dominant corporate interests. Of course Im open to adjusting my beliefs if either of you can cite sources to support your positions.

— On the neighbor message G8 Meetings moved out of Chicago
10:19 a.m.

I understood that the Irish Parade was cancelled by the sponsors for reasons other than costs. The Venetian Night Boat parade and the July 3rd Fireworks were events where the city paid for security.

I know that sponsors pay the city for security at the Irish Parade. I think sponsors pay the city for security at the Gay Pride Parade. But even if they dont, no mayor would be dumb enough to "cancel" that event. He would loose ALL of the gay vote, AND a lot of voters from the Near North siders.

— On the neighbor message G8 Meetings moved out of Chicago
11:47 p.m.

Security can protect the summit participants. They cannot stop trouble from starting. Remember the 1999 WTO Conference? Seattle had plenty of security.

— On the neighbor message G8 Meetings moved out of Chicago
4 p.m.

There is no military base that I know of that has the boarding, dining nor conference facilities for thousands of representatives, assistants and their security. In addition, military facilities are typically "no frill"; probably a quality level not acceptable to the participants.

— On the neighbor message G8 Meetings moved out of Chicago
6:20 p.m.

NATO will cost Chicago a ton of money. I would prefer having my taxes reduced than spending all the money on security.

— On the neighbor message G8 Meetings moved out of Chicago
1:55 p.m.

JOE: wow! I knew about vermont, but did not know three more states now do not require CCW permits for their citizens to carry......and that includes arizona? Phoenix is a big city! WOW!

I think this could be a political misstep. Currently the CCW permit holders have a very low incidence of improper gun use. Removing CCW requirements will give the left more leverage in their "ban or die" arguements.

— On the neighbor message CCW
7:16 a.m.

BEACH: you may not like Rahm's politics, but do not underestimate him. He is a highly intelligent and experienced politician. If its any consolation, he will not be mayor for ever. I think he has higher aspirations, and will be a US Senator in 10 years.

— On the neighbor message CCW
8:21 p.m.

BIKE JEDI: Conservatives wont vote for him? On the contrary. The moderates are the ones that decide elections. Both left leaning moderates and right leaning moderates.

— On the neighbor message CCW
8:12 p.m.

President Obama has not, and probably will not, piss off half the country with more gun restrictions. Its a low political priority, and the cost would be too high. But that doesnt stop the NRA from their fear-mongering. Thats why gun sales are so high.

Now Rahm is another story. He wants state registration. If he cant ban the guns, then he will push for more harassment laws. Fortunately, the rest of the state is not gun phobic.

— On the neighbor message CCW
7:40 p.m.

TOM G: I appreciate the respectful reply. I will try to respond in kind.

For any issue, there would be two points of view. For gun ownership, those poles would be "no regulations" vs "total ban." Chicago's gun policy has been, since 1982, a hairsbreath away from a ban. Handgun permits were never issued. Long gun permit procedures were prohibitive by design, and frequently rejected. You cant get much closer to total ban that Chicago, and I dont think its productive to pretend otherwise.

I TOTALLY agree that the NRA is extremist. But I also think liberals are in denial about their OWN extremism, and how this has contributed to NRA intransigence...... and forced people like me to tolerate the NRA because they are my best hope to counterbalance the gun ban movement.

Finally, I use the word "extremist" to indicate one end of a belief spectrum. I am not equating "extremist" with "evil." When you say ad hominum, you imply my use of "extremist" is only a personal insult. I think that is a emotional defense to dismiss an assessment that may have some truth to it.

— On the neighbor message CCW
11:58 a.m.

JOE: Wanda is right. But not by much.

Since 1987, Florida has issued 2 million permits. Currently there are 800,000 valid permits. Of those 2 million, only 168 people have had their permit revoked due to a crime utilizing a gun (not all of which were violent.) This is a rate of .0001 %. If you look at revocation due to ANY crime, then that jumps to a whopping .003%.

STATE OF FLORIDA - LICENSING DIVISION
Concealed Weapon / Firearm Summary Report
1987 - 2012
http://licgweb.doacs.state.fl.us/stats/cw_monthly.html

These are facts. The anti-gun crowd tends to ignore and deny facts. Much easier to spread fear and falsehoods about shootouts in the streets.

— On the neighbor message CCW
11:05 a.m.

You sound like a lawyer when you pretend that a defacto ban is just "regulation." It sounds like: "I didnt inhale." My compliments to your truth twisting skills.

— On the neighbor message CCW
10:38 a.m.

Obama supported anti-gun measures when he was an Illinois State Senator representing anti-gun citizens. Now that he represents citizens across the country, he has adjusted his support. This makes sense to me. With so many problems, he has to carefully pick his battles. He actually made it legal to carry guns in National Parks, which shows an ability to compromise. We need that in politics. And it must really piss off the "Obama is the devil" people at the NRA, which i like.

— On the neighbor message CCW
10:35 a.m.

JASON W: you sound like a lawyer. TECHNICALLY, the city "regulated" handgun permits. Reality is the city stopped issuing permits in 1882. You want to pretend this was "regulation" go ahead. But anyone with common sense knows it was a defacto ban. The anti-gun crowd's extremist intents, and the dishonesty behind it, is what infuriates LAW ABIDING gun owners. Fortunately, the US Supreme Court has educated Chicagoans on the US Constitution. Hence the reason Chicago stopped their ban in 2010.

— On the neighbor message CCW
10:22 a.m.

I can see protesting G8. They have quite a bit of say over all sorts of policy worldwide. But NATO? NATO is a military alliance. Whats there to protest?

— On the neighbor message G8 Meetings moved out of Chicago
10:18 p.m.

WILL D: I was indeed referring to the 2000-2008 era.

— On the neighbor message CCW
7:34 p.m.

National Health Insurance?... is an example of government tyranny??? No mention of illegal wars? Suppressed speech? Spying on citizens? Imprisonment without trials? Or bragging that "the constitution is just a piece of paper" ....You are making