August 30, 2007

Attempted Bank Robbery In Rogers Park

* Bank Robber on the Loose (Updated)

As of 2:00 PM, the main branch of the First Commercial Bank in Rogers Park is secure - but the bank robber is still on the loose. The little weasel slipped through the fingers of the FBI, the Chicago Police and Joe Moore. . . . More

Posted by Craig Gernhardt

Hostage Situation in Rogers Park Bank

A group of hostages got out of a Far North Side bank where an armed robber was barricaded early today, and authorities were trying to determine whether more employees or customers were still inside. . . . More

Posted by Toni

Moore's Leadership Foils Bank Robbery

An attempted robbery of the First Commercial Bank was foiled today, when Joe Moore's leadership created a context in which the robber left all employees and customers unharmed, and the assets of the bank safe and secure. . . . . More

Posted by Thomas Westgard

Obviously the big news today on all of the various media outlets in Chicago is the attempted bank robbery. The best thing about it is that while many were frightened, nobody was injured. Lets hope that justice is served and the robber is captured before he robs again.

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August 28, 2007

Crime Is Everyones Problem

More Street Cleaning

Now the folks over at that unbiased pro Joe blog aren't going to take note of this but NOH neighbors will. After all, some have been living with the NOH horrors for years now. Who knows the hood better then those who live in it!

Yesterday was a busy day again for dealers? and the police. I wasn't home to witness the events but others were. . . . . Post

Posted by Toni

Apparently there is a misconception on the part of some that if you support Joe Moore you support crime. That sounds like rather simplistic and non-nonsensical, the kind of campaign propaganda that flew heavily only a few months ago. I believe that other than those who directly benefit from the crime, no one else in the neighborhood thinks that crime is a good thing, should be supported or should be ignored as unimportant. I think that perhaps some of the Moore people are more sensitive to civil rights than some other might be, but everyone wants to see crime reduced. Crime is destructive, in different ways, to everyone involved.

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Listening is a Skill

* Joe Moore Lies About TIF Project and Funds

Last night Joe Moore made a big deal about no section 8 vouchers were being issued on the 6610 N. Sheridan $2 million dollar TIF hand-out. I recorded his lie on video.

Later in the meeting a neighbor asked the developer if section 8 vouchers would be accepted. He said Yes. So that means, this property will be locked into a 30 year section 8 agreement. This property is basically going to be transformed into another Broadmoor. . . . . More and Video

Posted by Craig Gernhardt

If you listened closely, you should have noticed the difference, but if not, there was a clear distinction drawn between a "Section 8 Project" and a "Section 8 Voucher". The Northpoint Buildings are Section 8 Projects. The rental payment stays with the building when a tenant moves and the new tenant moving in receives the benefit. This type of project based voucher cannot be started today as I understand it. A Section 8 Voucher which is what Mr. Hole refers to belongs to the tenant and that voucher moves with the tenant wherever the tenant moves to provided they follow the rules.

Moore went on further to explain that landlords in Cook County must accept a tenant with a Section 8 Voucher, provided that the voucher holder meets the same screening requirements that anyone else would have to meet. It is an ordinance that protects the tenant with the voucher from discrimination for financial reasons. Again though, it does not protect them from any other standards that are legal and applied equally to all applicants.

Moore didn't lie. Mr. Hole didn't listen, and by the way, the building is under the same requirements now regarding Section 8 Voucher holders. They have to take them today too.

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August 27, 2007

Lerner Building Disappears! Celebration Rings Out!

At Long Last!
Howard/Ashland – Lerner Property


At long last, demolition has begun.

Who couldn't be happy that this has happened? I hope Ms. Neighbor didn't miss the good parts.

The First 50 Are In!

In the blog world 50 posts can happen in not much more than a few days, but this blog has reached that milestone with this 50th post after a about a month.

The blog was started because it was a mentioned again and again that Rogers Park needs more sane discussion of issues and less blaming and flaming on the Internet.

The effort required to write fifty posts is greater than expected and the attention required is demanding. It is hard to determine if the goal of creating a place for sane discussion has happened yet, but there does seem to be some hope that it is possible. It is too early to tell yet. I hope those of you who have found Rogers Park Talks are finding it enjoyable.

Is Rogers Park Too Small for Two Events on the Same Day?

Shameless: Fagus and Moore

While the Glenwood Arts Festival was in full swing, an event to promote the local business community, some locally important Democrats were shamelessly engaged in self-promotion just a few blocks away. Hundreds of folks who might otherwise have been mingling with more productive members of the community were instead lined up for free food and handouts from the Moore and Fagus mini-machine. . . . More

Posted by Tom Mannis

The most important school day of the year is the first day of school. The Board of Education, Mayor Daley and many other groups across the city do their very best to make sure that parents send their kids to school on the first day. Why is that day so important? The first day attendance is the basis for the schools funding for the entire year. If you care about better public schools then you should be concerned about this first day and you should be supportive of every effort to get the kids to school on the first day.

Mr. Bench seems to have a great big problem with a 4 hour picnic and a 2 day, 16 hour street fair being held for 4 overlapping hours. He complains that Fagus and Moore have no concern for the business community because they didn't change the event to some other day. It was the Glenwood Art Fest that moved its date to August last year from September if I remember right, but that isn't important because even Mr. Bench says it doesn't matter after ripping Fagus for it.

As he so crudely puts it in the end of his post, the picnic serves the "LINK card crowd" and the Glenwood Art Fest serves the "yuppies". While that summary is unkind to the people at either fest, it provides his own words to contradict his own premises.

His terminology is insulting and ignorant, but it does touch on the fact that the events have different crowds as their targets. The Back to School Picnic is obviously a child driven event that has activities focused on kids. The Glenwood Art Festival may have some child oriented activity, but it is not a kids event and it isn't trying to be one.

Is there a point to this story other than to rip politicians Mr. Bench doesn't like? I don't see it if there is.

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August 26, 2007

Big Trucks and BIg Projects

New Stop Lights going in at Clark & Greenleaf

Some folks were wondering why the city had decided to place No Parking signs on all the meters on Greenleaf at Clark. Nothing was going on so why the parking nightmare?

Two days later after a call to Joe Moore's office, the excessive signage was removed. I have to say that as one who campaigned for Don Gordon, I appreciate the Alderman's office not holding that against me and blacklisting me from getting any help. . . . . More & Photo

posted by Jocelyn

In two posts today Ms.Neighbor has touched on something that she correctly sees in most of us, the fascination with things that are big, make loud noises, and make neighborhoods change. Infrastructure and construction are things that always get attention. Optimistic people love change, they see improvement in whatever is next. Pessimistic people fear change and are concerned about how it will make things worse somehow. I am one of those who welcomes change.

The corner at Greenleaf and Clark has been a problem for a long time. If they are installing lights it will make Clark St. more user friendly and will stop some of the many accidents that seem to happen at that corner. It can be very difficult to drive or walk across Clark at either Greenleaf or Estes. This will help. Good job in picking this location.

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Glenwood Fest is a Growing Neighborhood Success Story

* Glenwood Art Fair Notes - Day One

From my stat number count and guesstimating the crowds at the Glenwood Art Fair today, I'd say Mr. 'Broken Heart' outdrew the fest in numbers 2 to 1. Who knew the Morse Hell Hole was more popular than a street fair. Thanks readers. I'd also like to thank the band who dedicated a song to Mr. 'Broken Heart' today. Thanks for that too. Seeing Kevin O'Neil dance to that song made my day. . . . . More

Posted by Craig Gernhardt

Thousands Attend GAAF

If you missed the Glenwood Avenue Arts Fest today, you... didn't miss out, because it's happening tomorrow as well, and the weather is projected to be even better than today. What happened today was that the streets were filled with thousands of people of every description the world has to offer (that famous diversity most of us are proud of), all of whom were shopping at the little stalls and in the shops, listening to music, eating and drinking. There are three stages with live music all afternoon. If you didn't like it, you don't like street festivals. . . . . More & Picture

Posted by

Two very different reports of what happened today unless you believe that Mr. Hole has 4,000 or more unique readers per day. I don't. From my own observations I would call the Fest another well done event that is growing each year and becoming more and more a real draw to the community. I am happy to see the re-configuration and the use of Morse as part of the Fest. It makes the Fest flow better and the wide open space of Morse helps to make it a little more open and inviting. Go G.A.A.F.! Thank you to those who have worked so hard to build this event into the big success that it is.

P.S. By all accounts people felt the song about Mr. Hole was funny but not complimentary. Sorry Hole.

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Solutions for the Homeless Problem are a Challenge to All Levels of Government

* Homeless in Rogers Park

As the rain falls, a homeless person sleeps on a park bench along the crumbling concrete path between Morse Avenue and Lunt in CAPS beat 2431. Word has it, by tomorrow afternoon, Joe Moore will have sanitized Loyola Park by running all the homeless people out of the park while he holds his annual political picnic. Monday things will be back to normal. . . . . Picture and More

Posted by Craig Gernhardt

The problem of homelessness is truly a profoundly complex and perplexing problem. Given the choice to be homeless or not be homeless almost everybody would take shelter. The problem isn't that easy though. Most people who are chronically homeless have problems beyond lack of financial resources. There are often addiction problems. There are often mental health issues. And their are also those who suffer from one as a result of the other and therefore have both mental health and addiction problems. Two things that are in very short supply these days would make a significant difference in reducing the homeless population; more capacity for the treatment of the mentally ill in our health system and more substance abuse treatment programing.

Neither of these problems are really City Council problems, but they are city problems nevertheless. This is an instance where the local level sees a problem and should work with higher levels of government to address the problem. I don't see this happening today. It is much more popular to provide health care to kids and seniors, which isn't to say that isn't important. They are all important and all need attention. Considering the governor cannot even work with his own party to get a budget together it doesn't seem like it will happen anytime soon.

As to Mr. Hole's point that the police will run the homeless out of the park for the big party tomorrow, I don't know. My sense is that while he seems to have some concern for them, he would like them run out every night. The truth of the matter is that without a solution, the problem simply moves to another location. I would like to see our Alderman, State Legislators and Congress people work on a program to increase the treatment for these to illnesses. Even that will not eliminate the problem, but it will help to provide options for those who want them or need them.

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August 24, 2007

A Little Trouble in the Park North of Howard Last Night?

Attempted Hijacking
This flyer was posted on 24/7 August 2 after the creator made a few edits and corrections and received approval from North of Howard Parks Advisory Council. It was also distributed to certain entities to serve as notice of upcoming elections for officers per protocol/procedure directives from a park district employee. . . . See Flyer and More

Posted by Toni

* Joe Moore Plays Bully
Joe Moore, you piece of crap. You, of all people, pulling a stunt like this. Pure bullshit. This is what you are teaching Nathan? You are a poor example of a parent. This is as lying, cheating and underhanded as it gets. You're the main reason this ward is so divided right now. You encourage this type of divisive behavior. And everytime you pull a stunt like this, this is what your teaching your boys to do. You should be ashamed of yourself - but of course, you're not. . . . . See Post

Posted by Craig Gernhardt

So the people of the community came to a meeting that is by all accounts open to the public and wanted to have some say about what is going on in the park. That sounds like community partnership to me. I think the constant call heard across this and every other neighborhood is to increase community participation. If a small group of people who live North of Howard are not interested in public participation in the management of public facilities then those parks, (private property as I understand they once were), should have kept themselves private.

This was a clear case of the Alderman, working on a local, local, local issue trying to make sure that everyone in the community would have input in a very important new projects operation. I applaud the effort and I am very troubled by the closed door way that this group appears to operate. If organizing the participation of the people who have children in the area to come to a meeting to talk about the brand new facility going up in the neighborhood that will serve them is being a "bully" than I am all for it.

The question burning in my mind is if this council was interested in increasing participation, operating transparently and being fair, why did they try to sneak in their own re-election prior to having the meeting that they know would bring in the broader community. The logical answer is . . . sorry to say this but . . . to exclude the rest of the community from the process is the most logical answer, but perhaps there is something else that makes more sense. I am hoping so.

In any case, since nothing happened last night and it seems that things are more in order for next time maybe the old-hands and some of the young-bucks can work together to make the Gale Community Center a gem we can all be proud of in Rogers Park.

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It is Finally Over! I think. I hope. I guess.

V.O.T.E.R. To Work For Honest Elections

I support the work of Rogers Park's new V.O.T.E.R. organization which today released a Message to 49th Ward Voters and Our Community.

Working For Honest Elections

Voters Organized For Truthful Election Results (V.O.T.E.R.), a Rogers Park-based organization, announced today that its mission will be to support government accountability and work for honest elections. . . . More

I guess this means that the election is over, even for those who didn't want it to end. The deadline for any more legal action has now passed, but have the bad feelings? One hopes that the community continues to move forward and continues to improve the quality of life for everyone who calls Rogers Park home. And for those still not ready to throw in the towel, 2011 is a long way away. It cannot be healthy for anyone to stay angry that long. Just get mad again in 2010.

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Major Investment In Rental Housing on Sheridan Rd. Brings Hope

49th Ward Zoning & Land Use Meeting


Tuesday, August 14, 2007 - 7:00 PM

NEW BUSINESS: TIF Assistance Request, 6610-28 North Sheridan Road

Ayman Khalil and Kareem Musawwir of Inverbrass Funds, LLC, will present their proposal to rehabilitate a “four-plus-one” apartment building at 6610-28 N. Sheridan Rd. and preserve 116 units of rental housing.

The proposal calls for approximately $2 million in assistance from the Sheridan/Devon Tax Increment Financing District.

Posted by Craig Gernhardt

Accepting this project at face value, this is the kind of project we need to see to maintain the kind of diversity we have all said we want. I hope these guys are genuine and that they do good work. Using TIF dollars isn't the greatest thing in the world. TIF's are used for both good things and not so good things, but in this case it appears to be for a community good. One can only hope these guys will be able to find more projects and will swing the financing piece without tax payer support.

Overall, the pendulum is swing back in favor of rental housing again and since we all know the condo boom is over maybe this next period of time will be when the rental stock, still much more than half of all housing in RP, will see a renaissance. There was a first condo conversion oh so long ago. I am keeping my fingers crossed.

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Working In An Alderman's Office Not a Regular Job

* 49th Ward Chief of Staff Too Busy for Ward Issues

A loyal reader writes . . . YIKES! This is what Joe assigned his new chief of staff, Betsy Vandercook, to do on Thursday, August 16, a working/business day in the city of Chicago!

DAMN! Is this what we pay them salaries for? No wonder the 49th Ward List of Thorny Problems and Easily Resolved Issues is so damn long. Joe doesn't have the interest, time, or patience to lead his staff in taking care of business at home first.

BLOGNOTES: More on Betsy. . . . More

Posted by Craig Gernhardt

TARGET BETSY: The Attacks Begin

Chronic blogwhiners have begun their attacks on the new 49th Ward Chief of Staff, Betsy Vandercook. Golly, it took a couple of weeks! There's something about her name that makes even more apparent how petty it is. "Let's all gang up on Betsy." It just sounds like the junior high school attitude that it is. . . . . More

Posted by Thomas J. Westgard

If it is true that the Alderman has staff that don't even work 40 hours a week on City of Chicago business it would be surprising. People have a lot of expectations of an Alderman, and what people expect is different from one person to the next. There are a lot of people in the neighborhood who go to the Back to School Picnic every year. Others have no interest at all. Some people want the Alderman and/or his staff to be at their meeting and other people question why they aren't out fighting crime instead. In general, only 49 + .something percent supported the neighborhood only approach.

Being an Alderman or an Aldermanic staffer is hardly a traditional 9 to 5 job. Meetings at night, many weekend activities, early morning breakfast meetings and long work days, well over 8 hours, are the normal course of activity in most legislative offices. Many people don't think that an Alderman is a legislator and there are some here in Rogers Park that think that any trip to city hall is a waste of Aldermanic time so of course if Betsy isn't patroling somewhere she is wasting time. Back to the basic premise though, I'll ask this question, How does the writer know if she was paid to be their at all?

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August 21, 2007

Why Share With Mr. Hole? Claim the Credit Yourself!

* Loyola Park Looks Better

Hi Craig, I don't know if you've been in Loyola Park and seen the dead branches have finally been removed. Thanks for keeping the 'pressure on'. Your blog is the best! Keep up the good work.
Signed, The Loyola Park Watcher . . . . More

Posted by Craig Gernhardt

These kind of stories always amaze me. Any regular reader knows that Mr. Hole has a relationship with the PR person from Streets and Sanitation, Matt Smith. I don't know how it started, but it probably was from him calling about huge stories that were going to get the Mayor voted out of office.

Now, anytime Mr. Hole writes about something being wrong the moment it changes it is because he is a miracle worker. Readers seem to actually believe City Hall employees are monitoring the HellHole for posts on the blog and send workers right out. All of the prior calls to 311, the Mayor's Office, the 49th Ward Streets and San. Office and the Alderman did nothing and had no impact. It was Hell Hole.

I think people should get a little more realistic about the impact any blog has on city government providing city services. The fact is that everything the city does takes longer than it used too. Even if Mayor Daley doesn't like to say it, it is true. I am going to suggest this, call 311 yourself next time, write down the case number, and call back every few days until it is done. Then you can take the credit. It takes a little more effort but you get the glory!

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How Can We Get the Word Out Better for Community Meetings

Another Late Announcement by Joe Moore

"We want your input tomorrow night," starts the email that was sent out TODAY by Chicago's 49th Ward Alderman Joe Moore. Does this guy not have a clue that most of us need a little more than a day's notice to plan to attend a meeting "tomorrow night?" Most recipients of the email will not have seen it until this evening (Monday, August 20). That's short notice. Now consider the thousands of 49ers who will not get that email, and will not know about the meeting. (Details below!)

What's that, you say? You think Joe Moore wants it that way? That he wants as few people to know about this as possible because it's just a sham anyway? You say that by sending out this last minute email he can "honestly" say that he notified the community? Hmmm. You may have a point.... More

Posted by Tom Mannis

I wonder why these things cannot go out twice myself. People often only think about things from their own perspective and don't see others until it becomes more important to them. I used to be friends with someone long ago that didn't start work until 11 am. She always wanted to go out for dinner at 9:00 or 10:00 at night and couldn't ever make it earlier. I would have to be at work at 8:00 so eating dinner and going to bed on a full stomach did nothing to promote being healthy, something important to me.

But back to the post, it isn't enough to make a decent point here, it then becomes a conspiracy plot that is intended to deny people the right to participate. I cannot imagine why Moore would want a meeting like this and have little or no turnout. He has to know the NOH regulars are going to be there no matter what. Extra people means they will not be exerting undue influence based on poor turnout.

I also remember Mr. Hole always finding a group of fliers bunched in a good location for a picture with footprints all going in the same direction complaining about fliers being litter. I would like a good solution to this notification issue, but I said solution, not blame.

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August 20, 2007

The House Was Dark

Ms. Howard and Ms. Neighbor were dark tonight. No post at all today.

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Westgard Covers the Election Story With Class

Gordon Lawsuit Deadline Today

I've gotten a few questions in the last month asking why I'm still talking about the Gordon lawsuit. The answer is, of course, that ol' Don has been threatening to continue to batter the collapsed remains of the windmill. Specifically, he sent out an email blast to the effect that he was going to file a motion to amend the complaint. The other option would have been to file an appeal. Either document may be filed, as is his right under Illinois court rules, though whether or not he gets (or deserves) the relief is a different matter. . . . . More

Posted by Thomas Westgard

Whatever people might say about Westgard he has been on top of this and covered it well. Maybe the expectation that something is presented factually and then has reasoned opinions injected about the subject is so rare it is difficult to believe. That isn't the case with Mr. Hole and Mr. Bench. Ms. Neighbor seems to have that talent (Jocelyn at Rogers Park Neighbor) and on rare instances Ms. Howard shows it. It would be nice to see more of it, more logical conversations and less in your face, bitter, nasty, angry, and ugly. Ugly is certainly more sensational and draws more readers, but it contributes almost nothing positive.

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Menu Money Funds Improvement Projects

* Floods in Rogers Park
Hi Craig, I got a question for you. Where is the 49th ward menu money going? It may be spent on worthwhile and important projects for the ward, but what and where are these projects? Driving around Rogers Park Sunday, I noticed that there are lots of areas of standing water. Clearly the ward has sewer issues and seemingly more so than Andersonville (from where I came). For instance the alley between Estes and Touhy on Paulina - it's like a lake! Where's the Joe Moore's ward menu money going? . . . .More
Posted by Craig Gernhardt

Each ward gets more than a million dollars to make improvements each year, but that includes everything. Street lights, Traffic lights, Sidewalks, Repaving Alleys, Repaving Streets, Curbs, Gutters and other similar things. Every Alderman spends all of their money because there isn't much sense in saving it. I think if you have a major issue you should be calling the Alderman's office. Big pools of water are often the intentional result of not overflowing the sewers with rain water because when that happens it overflows the deep tunnel and that causes untreated (polluted) water to be released into the lake.

Fixing that would relieve the nuisance of the standing water for a few by polluting the water of millions. There is the possibility that the system is under built in that area or it is not operating properly. Have you spoken with your neighbors and sent a request to the Alderman or the city to come take a look? Group efforts are not mandatory, but are a good way to get attention since it is for several people rather than one person.

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Gernhardt Gardening Hacks of Rogers Park Launched!

* Fagus/Moore Political Hack Gets SSA Mural Job
From the mouth of Mo Cahill.....> "I have been putting in more time in my studio, doing more political work... an actual job, tho temporary, may have landed in my lap. There is a local project to do a mural, hopefully the first of many annual projects. actual cash money." BLOGNOTES: So, no wonder Fagus/Moore political helper Mo Cahill was so anxious to push the Special Service Area #24 mural project through without community input. She is actually going to benefit from the project herself, in the form of cash payments. Looks like that old saying is true. You help me get elected, I help you. Screw everyone else. It's becoming clear what the Special Service Area tax is used for in Rogers Park. It's to help out politically connected people. . . . . More
Posted by Craig Gernhardt

Screamin' Mo Cahill: Working for The Man
She's so cutting edge, so progressive, so Establishment. Contradictions? Not in the mind of Mo Cahill, a local arts-and-crafts lady who has to give away free buttons with a co-opted expression that she did not create to get people to buy her arts-and-crafts. . . . . More
Posted by Tom Mannis

I have to go back to the RPGG issue, the gardeners who had Gordon linked defenders out of control about making a civic cause a political issue because the group was referred to as the Gordon Group. Where are the complainers and the voluminous posts about being so upset that a good project that is so civic minded that making it political was just wrong. Everyone knows that at a minimum the gardeners/gordoners defenders were all from the Gordon campaign and it doesn't take much to know that some of the members were volunteers for Gordon. I wasn't as offended as some were, but this example is about the outrageous lies and misrepresentations that the blogs known as the Rogers Park Bench, the Hell Hole and the Howard Watchers make every day. The mural project is a plus for the neighborhood and like gardens, as long as there is some quality control and oversight by a diverse group it will be successful. Who is watching these gardening rebels anyway?

I have not watched the video of Cahill yelling. It sounds like she was inappropriate, but if that was the standard Mr. Hole is inappropriate at almost every single meeting he attends. Mr. Bench never attends anything. He prefers to make up the facts as he goes along. His opinion is misinformed and unwitnessed opinions that are nothing but a load of crap. For UFO talk that is fine. For important neighborhood events it isn't good enough Bench. Ms. Howard St. goes to meeting and as I have noted in comments here she does sometimes reflect the actual facts. Her spin is sometimes off and her opinions about who is to blame are often way off.

Cahill is an artist of some sort. Maybe not even a good one, but she is an artist. Nobody has ever challenged her being an artist. The worst comments have challenged her quality. By the way, what evaluation are the RPGG members subject to? What kind of skills levels do they have? I'd guess they are hobbyists for the most part if not entirely. Since some have done political work for Gordon might the right name be the Rogers Park Gardening Hacks? In Hell Hole land that would be the nice name for them.

I hope the "Mile of Murals" has space to draw three jack asses with three faces we all know from blog world. They certainly have been earned. I will be making that suggestion. Please join me and send it to

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Jimmy Justice and Tom "Jerky Boy" Mannis

Saturday, August 18, 2007
Jimmy Justice: Friend or Foe?

The Today Show featured this guy and I found it... interesting.

I have mixed feelings about what he is doing. Sometimes I think it is human nature to abuse power(not saying it is okay). Jimmy doesn't like that so well. And if we think Rogers Park parking is bad, I'm sure NYC is far worse. But the exchanges he has are so angry and I don't really care for that. . . . More & Video

Posted by Jocelyn

Comment by Tom Mannis said...

My kind of guy. Viva Jimmy Justice! That fat cop should be fired for (a) breaking the law and (b) being a fat cop. 9:20 AM

For the most part, I think that Jimmy Justice is much like Mr. Hell Hole. If Mr. Hole stuck to posts like these two from NYC they and he would be more accepted by the public generally. Very few people in Rogers Park really like corruption even on a small scale. Where there are problems in Rogers Park is that some bloggers invent corruption stories or imply misdeeds on little or no evidence, speculation or because they think it is corruption. There needs to be illegal acts to be corruption. Things can be unacceptable politically without being corrupt. Ms. Howard and Mr. Hole have played the corruption card wrongly so often that it doesn't even have any credibility coming from their pages any more.

As for Mannis, he again proves that he is completely classless, overzealous, and ignorant.

Mr. Hole Finds Way to Exploit Crime Victim to Bash His Favorite Whipping Boys

* Hate Crime Near Loyola University

The Tribune reports the Chicago police are conducting a hate crime investigation this morning after a 22-year-old man reported he was attacked because of his sexual orientation on the city's North Side overnight. The incident occurred while the man was walking in the 6700 block of Sheridan Road near Loyola University Chicago just after 1 a.m. and was confronted by three men, according to Rogers Park District police. The men exchanged words, with the group calling the man a derogatory anti-gay term, Lt. Ken Barnas said. . . . . More

Posted by Craig Gernhardt

This is a typical Hellhole style post. A serious event occurs, but that isn't the story, it is the set up. The real point is to rip Moore because the number of crimes committed in 24th District/Rogers Park is lower, as reported by the police, and to rip on Loyola University because they wouldn't validate the HellHole as a legitamate news organization when Craig wanted to talk about personal information that reportedly was stolen. The Hate Crime is the story here and it is very unfortunate that it happened here or anywhere else for that matter.

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Hey Mr. Hole Petitions and Voting Are Different

* Followers of Foolishness

Watching this Penn and Teller video reminds me of the people who blindly vote for Joe Moore. Remember, this is the same Penn and Teller who correctly labeled Joe Moore as a Bullshit politician. So, when you watch this, think of the people like Mo Cahill who foolishly sign any petition Joe Moore and his crew pass around. Followers of foolishness. This could be you! . . . . Video and More
Posted by Craig Gernhardt

There are different reasons people sign petitions, but I am sure that the Hell Hole theory that Moore voters are just dumb ass people isn't one of the valid ones. Lots of people see signing a petition as stupid or unnecessary or they just don't want to be bothered, but there are good reasons to require signatures. Someone should have some commitment to the cause they support whether it is a candidate, an ballot initiative or something else on the ballot.

Signing petitions to put things on the ballot is generally putting choice and having different ideas and alternatives on the ballot at the next election. If you don't support them then vote against the idea.

Mr. Hole, Do you not realize that signing a petition isn't the same thing as casting a vote in favor or against something?

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August 13, 2007

Progress On the Crime Front is Good News

Crime Stats Continue to Show Promise

Dear Neighbor,

I would like to congratulate the 24th District Police Department, and all the community residents who participate in CAPS, for their continued good work As reported in this week's News Star, the 24th Police District, which includes the 49th Ward, continues to experience a sharp decrease in serious crime.

According to the Chicago Police Department's mid-year statistics, index crime in the Rogers Park district fell 15.6% in the first half of 2007 as compared to the same period last year. . . . More

Posted by Joe Moore

There is more to do, but this is great news. I wouldn't give the Alderman all of the credit, but since some bloggers give him all of the blame maybe he should get it all. Of course if he takes the credit then he is a taking credit for everything under the sun and that is wrong too. Ahhh the blog world . . . always needing something to bash. All the comments being moderated makes it seem like the bloggers of Rogers Park throw punches better than they can take them.

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City Reforms Office of Professional Standards

City Council Reports

Dear Neighbor,

Just ten miles south of Rogers Park lies City Hall, where I serve along with 49 other aldermen as a veteran member of Chicago's City Council. Although the City Council can sometimes seem more like a distant planet, important work is done there which directly affects the people of our ward. Starting with the most recent meeting, on July 19, I plan to share brief, timely reports on the City Council meetings and what they may mean to you. . . . More

Posted by Joe Moore

This is good news. I am a fan of good policing, but we are all in trouble when the police abuse their authority. In order to insure that we all live in a free society we all have to be equally concerned about the constitutional rights of every one of our fellow citizens. Allowing the policing agency of the police to be ineffective in rooting out problem officers undermines the entire justice system, weakens the trust and faith we all have in the police and cause the communities that fall victim to abuse of power most often to see the police as an enemy.

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Car Crashes and Blog Crashers

* Another Car Accident on Sheridan Road (Update)

A Loyola University student and 'Broken Heart' follower emailed me to let my readers know there was another car accident that occurred on Sheridan Road this morning about 5:45 AM. The crash happened by the Loyola EL stop, in front of Bruno's Tavern. . . . More

* Bloggers PSA

Looks like I'm not the only blogger that's had enough of these insane Rogers Park blogger commenters. . . . . More

Car accidents on the Sheridan Rd. Early Morning Superhighway from the "good neighborhoods" with all the bars that stay open until 5 am on Saturday nights could be the cause of so many accidents. I cannot wait until we gentrify and the journey starts here at the trendy new taverns and we get all the rest of the fun as well. Looking forward to lots of noise, fighting, urinating in public and whatever additio0nal joy I am forgeting. It will be okay though since it will be yuppies.

The crazy comment issue really seems to find several of the bloggers with their undies in a knot. Too bad there isn't such a thing as "Post Moderator" so we could zap those insane posts that come from some of them.

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Morse Needs Solutions Not Someone to Blame

* Morse Avenue Open Air Drug Market

Question for avid Hell Hole reader Nathan' I'm on summer vacation' Moore. Does your father Joe 'I'm always on vacation' Moore know we have a 24/7 open air drug market in front of the Harold Rider building at 1340 West Morse Avenue? What does he plan to do about this problem? . . . . More

Mr. Hell Hole returns to the premise that every crime is the result of the Alderman. Where exactly are the police in this theory. Why is it that every crime problem is a result of the Alderman not doing police work. If this building disappeared the fella's would move across the street. What needs to happen is much more comprehensive and requires real work to address these problems. I don't have the solution, but we need to address the problem to a greater source than a local Alderman. What I don't want is to just blame someone cause it feels better to know it isn't my fault. I don't want to move the guys two blocks over. Real answers are needed, not Moore bashing for the sake of attention.

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Wouldn't An Email Work a Little Better?

* Sunday Rant - Stay on Topic People

I've been deleting dozens and dozens of anonymously posted comments lately that have nothing to do with the topic at hand. That's why I still have comment moderation on. And I doubt I'll be changing that policy anytime soon. While I've allowed some comments to be posted that start on subject and veer off to bashing myself, I no longer will even be posting those comments. Sorry folks. . . . More

This is a fascinating entry in Hellhole Land. It starts out with what might seem a normal comment about people making inappropriate posts and why Mr. Hell Hole is moderating comments. Then it wildly spins onto a path where it seems Mr. Hole has some problems with his company and his employees. It seems he is not very well liked at work. It would have seemed that a simple email would have been a wiser decision.

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August 10, 2007

Edgewater, Where for art thou Edgewater?

This Saturday in Edgewater: Ward Envy

by Michael J. Harrington

“Surprise, surprise, surprise!” is what that goofy sweetheart Gomer Pyle always shouted when he discovered or revealed something that wasn’t supposed to be in the old TV show, "Gomer Pyle, USMC".

Four weeks ago, I attended a meeting convened by DevCorp and its SSA #24. They invited us residents to give our ideas to the Chicago Public Art Group artist (certainly a creative guy, although not from Rogers Park) who is working on a mural project in the heart of our 49th Ward. This artist will deliver his vision in paint on the CTA’s Glenwood Avenue embankment. . . . More

Posted on the Bench is a long, does he know about short, Harrington post taking the art group doing the Rogers Park mural project to task for not following his directive of inviting kids from Sullivan High School to paint with the serious artists.

I happen to know one of the kids mentioned as one of the kids involved in the Edgewater project. They live in Rogers Park and the great project is nothing but a summer job. No strong interest or talent in art, just happy the project turned out nice describes this kid. Sticking tile pieces on the wall in a predetermined "paint by the numbers" styled work is drawing on minimal artistic skills. Painting is much more challenging because shades and shadows can changed a piece enormously.

If we are going to look at this work for the next 5 - 10 years I want it to be good quality, not summer job non-artist quality.

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New Blogger Doesn't Impress Mr. Hell Hole

August 9, 2007
* The 'Official' Joe Moore Blog?

Everyone remember the Alderman's funny Intern? I believe she's back.

Posted by Craig Gernhardt

The Hellhole today features Craig making claims of magical power over city services, an angry woman who wants to grill the Alderman, rather than the police I suppose, about the Alderman's crime fighting skills, a reminder about an event that could be very productive and speculation about a new blog and its potential author. None of this is really new or news.

The blog world can be slow and sometimes you just don't want to write about anything. For most people there is a normal life out there somewhere.

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August 07, 2007

National Night Out A Success!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Loitering on Morse

I think I've finally figured out why we have a loitering problem on Morse Avenue.

Tonight, I spent a few hours hanging out in front of Soo Liquors. No, I didn't bum any cigarettes or spare change. I didn't break any bottles or spit on the sidewalk either. I was there for National Night Out. I hung out at a table with Kevin O'Neill the Beat Facilitator, Jayne Hoffman, Co-facilitator, Mary Jane Haggerty from RPCC, and a group of students that were gracious enough to serve up the free ice cream with sprinkles to passers by. . . . More

posted by Jocelyn

More reports of a positive National Night Out. Sounds like the blog world agrees that National Night Out was a success, except for the Cheeto. Maybe Mr. Hell Hole will get more involved as a participant next year and will find some benefit to being part of the party instead of watching from the sidelines.

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National Night Out

Tuesday, August 07, 2007
National Night Out 2422 Style

This is really Gale Park, filled with people having normal, everyday fun on a hot, muggy evening. There were pony rides, a small petting zoo, chalk art, and other activities. The demonstration by the karate students was quite impressive. This was the largest event NOH has ever had for National Night Out. Kudos to all who pulled this together - and the weather gods.

The music faded and the crowd moved from the north end of the park to hear Lieutenant Fitzgerald (not shown). He pointed to the men and women officers and reminded us who they are and why they are here. He spoke of the animosity that is often directed toward the officers and the conflicts that can arise. "These men and women aren't here to protect their children - they're here to protect your children, these children, and all of you." He reminded us that our guns kill children. . . . . More & Pictures

Posted by: Toni

This looks like it was a good event and an opportunity for everyone to get together. On the Hellhole there is a comment about a duck eating a flamin' hot Cheeto. I didn't watch the video but I have to laugh at the thought how ever wrong it was. I hope the duck is okay and the chef dude the Gordon gang was hanging out with with wasn't in the neighborhood looking for something for his restaurant.

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Mud Flies from the Hellhole on Day 1

Tuesday, August 7, 2007
* Joe Moore Won't Talk - Part 3

What's with this guy. I was polite today. And the schmuck still won't talk. No, I didn't ask about the pink postcards. I asked why he doesn't work on ward issues. Instead he's always getting some petition signed.

* David Fagus Calls Neighbors Losers

Note to David Fagus. As an elected official who's up for re-election come February, It's real bad policy to call nearly 3800 voters, "a few unhappy losers.". . . More & Video

Posted by Craig Gernhardt

It seems as though the next campaign has started and the mud is flying already. Let it be recorded in history that at the very first moment possible Hellhole went after Moore and Fagus. Only someone looking for mud would take the Fagus post and turn "few" into 3800 voters. As far as the video goes, who in their right mind would talk to Hellhole at all, let alone while you throw insults and act like you have no sense of manners at all. I hope if Moore talks to you off camera he gives you a piece of his mind. Not only will you get your own treatment back, but you'll cry about not getting it on tape.

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August 06, 2007

Where Are The Angry People - Gross Web Picture Distortion Happening NOW!

This wasn't a post, but for those who got so excited about the manipulation of the logo for the gardeners, what about this little number on Rogers Park Bench. Poor taste only begins to explain what is wrong with this picture.

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National Night Out - Join Your Neighbors!

National Night Out- Beat 2422
Join us on National Night Out

August 7, 2007
From 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Gale Park
At Ashland and Howard

· Petting Zoo, Pony rides and Games
Bally’s Aerobics and Karate Demonstrations
Yoga Demonstrations sponsored by Housing Opportunities for Women . . . .More

Posted by: Toni

National Night Out is a fantastic opportunity for those who are never out in the street for more than a few moments in a hurried rush to take the time to come out and hang out for a minute. This is a night were the street is busy with everyonr from the neighborhood. It is a chance to see what's going on, talk to your extended neighbors and to be a part of the community in one of the easiest and least challenging ways. Every one should be thinking about being a part of this event be for 15 minutes or 3 hours.

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Parking Is King

* Another Single Family Home on the Chopping Block

Dear Neighbor,

I would like to advise you of an upcoming informational meeting regarding a new condominium development at 1352 W. Touhy. No zoning relief is requested or needed from the City. The ZULAC Committee and Joe Moore are hosting this meeting simply to inform you of the new development, and to give you an opportunity to provide comments or suggestions to the developer. . . . More

Posted by Craig Gernhardt

There are many condo conversions that have happened and will happen in this neighborhood that require no authorization from the Alderman. The city grants permits and approvals for many things such as demolition, architectural plans, and landscaping requirements, but they have to equally and fairly apply the laws to everyone.

Often the condo conversions happened without the city as a whole having the ability to do much other than insure compliance with existing rules, codes and ordinances. That is unfortunate for the neighbors because often the single family home is the desirable property over the new condo building.

The main reason this project is able to go forward isn't because of the seven units in the building, its because of the seven parking spaces in the back. Most condo units in the neighborhood do not have any parking. These become desirable simply because they do. They will sell if the price is right. As we all know in this neighborhood, parking is king.

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August 05, 2007

Working Towards a Better Community: Are you in or out?

Saturday, August 04, 2007

My Mural Idea

In case you are not aware, Rogers Park used to be covered in a birch tree forest. Picture Lunt & Ashland as a forest of birch trees.

To me, this image of a forest in the city is a really cool image. I see Rogers Park as a more nature-friendly neighborhood than say Lakeview, Lincoln Park or even Uptown. Why? In part because of the direct lake access we have. And we have bigger yards here in many cases than some other neighborhoods. . . More & Photos

posted by Jocelyn

Jocelyn, a strong Gordon supporter, comes up with a suggestion about the much maligned mural project. It is nice to see that people who disagree can still make a positive contribution. Anyone else out there on the losing side taking notes? You have 45 months to go until a new Aldermanic term. Are you planing on being spiteful, hate filled and angry all that time? Keep up the good work Jocelyn.

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Little Birdies of Howard St. Are Flying Everywhere!

August 5, 2007

There are little birdies flying all over the neighborhood telling stories.

One of them is about Mr. Glass, the new Gale principal, who the birdies say has developed an excellent program for improving the school with a vision and a staff to get there. Go Mr. Glass! Toni has a post which I have heard is a pretty accurate summary from a source closely covering the territory.

The other little birdie story is that Toni and her friend ran into a "little" storm and strangely only Toni got soaked. Everything in moderation is a good philosophy.

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There's A Story About A Black Pot

August 03, 2007 Closing The Circle from RPB

Food For Thought from Rebecca at RPB

I agree Rebecca, it's time to close the circle, tie the knot, and banish the pests. Naturally, most ire is invoked by Typically Tom. Mo is unknown to many other than through the screen name. However, she dabs in PINK. And note the ending readers. Pamela and her husband (I've met neither) did not have to courteously and protectively deliver a Fagus appointee. That's the level of class many should strive to attain. . . . More

Posted by Toni

There is a lot of outrage about the tinkering with a logo that in the big picture is really grossly overblown. I think that the gardening efforts going on this summer are great. The work people are doing to improve the natural beauty of our community is very welcomed and it continues at the neighborhood level some of the works Mayor Daley has initiated on the city level.

In a very separate point, the outrage that is coming across that is resulting in the ganging up of the Gordon fans on Westgard is as hypocritical as it can get. Toni makes incredible, unbelievable and slanderous comments all the time about the "Moore campaign". Moore himself is fair game, but she frequently continues beyond that to the volunteers, the elections judges and other people who give to a cause equally important to them as gardening is to gardener and they are ripped maliciously because it is intend to reflect poorly on Moore. Hey T., that is exactly what you think Westgard did. Maybe a closer inspection of yourself is called for this morning.

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Bashing Block Parties, Bashing Community Building

August 5, 2007
* Third Annual Farwell Block Party

Now here's a block that really knows how to throw a rockin' block party. Take our neighbors who live east of Sheridan Road, on Farwell, by the lake. They have a huge, open park, (Loyola Park) right there at their footsteps. And, guess what? They decide to call their local alderman pal to come out and block off the street, with his fancy blue sawhorses. A brilliant idea for a neighborhood struggling with parking issues. But it doesn't faze these folks, or our Alderman. They've got off-street parking. At least most of them do. . . . . Post & Pictures

Posted by Craig Gernhardt

The option of having a block party is something that the neighbors of a block get together and decide to do to build the relationship between neighbors. No one could ever dispute that having a place to park is a very difficult problem, but sometimes there are things that are more important. If for a portion of one day, one time a year the neighbors on an individual block determine that renewing the bond between neighbors is more important than a parking space for those hours it is a worthy and wise investment in our community. In spite of the significance of the computer and the Internet in our modern times, the value of a face to face with your nieghbors will never be replaced. I wish that every block had a few neighbors that were dedicated enough to bring the block together.

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Morse Avenue

August 4, 2007
* Afraid to Walk on Morse Avenue Real Letter from a Real Reader

"And on that note, where the hell are all the cops? When we moved in a year ago, there was at least some cops driving around and pretending to work. This is turning into the fucking South Side of Chicago. Truly a shame, because it could be a really nice place to live. Somehow it doesn't strike me as a mystery why so many condos are for sale. Condoizing backfiring in the developers faces. Everything is stagnating, and the filth is rapidly taking over. Really a shame. I love being afraid for my well being when I walk to the grocery store. . . . More

Posted by Craig Gernhardt

Morse Ave. is the topic of the day on the Hellhole. The problems of Morse Ave. are well documented and absolutely need to be addressed. It seems as if the problems come back nearly immediately after the big bust goes down. To me that indicates two things, the police in conjunction with the rest of the legal community (which only marginally includes an Alderman) have not come to the right solution for the problem. Additionally, the problem is obviously far bigger than the individuals people involved on Morse. I don't think the solution is in a CAPS meeting either, not that people shouldn't participate in CAPS because it does have an important place. The role of an Alderman is predominantly to be an advocate and to bring the pressures of the public to those less directly involved with the general public

I also have some understanding for the frustration the letter writer must feel. I would take issue with the examples she is using and her general assessment of the problem. There are some very troubled neighborhoods on the south side, but there are some wonderful places there too. I also think that many, many neighborhoods in this nation experience more trouble and more street activity when it is hot outside. There is a direct relationship between the temperature and the number of people on the street. None of this is said to diminish the problem the writers addresses. Maybe in a better state of mind the phrasing would be different.


August 02, 2007

Toni Just Lies When It Makes A Better Story!

The Vacant Building Lady Update
Remember the ranting woman I mentioned in this photo?

She was out Tuesday night as we approached the corner of Rogers/Howard. She was throwing herself across the back of a parked cab in a drunken or buzzed stupor. She was extremely messed up. There was a man (probably the cab driver) with her taking her rant quietly, trying to steady her physical instability.

A long time resident recognized the woman in red. It was the infamous woman who entered Gale School (buzzed at the time) to vote from a vacant building.

It makes one wonder how many people like this woman in desperate need of help were recruited and sent to the polling places. Instead of a few bucks to vote, why didn't the bleeding hearts get this woman into rehab? Sure there are no guarantees, but did they even try? Will they even try?

Her part in the play is over. . . . . Post and Bad Picture

Posted by: Toni

How in the world could Toni say all of this knowing full well she has no facts to support this? I will not comment on the claim the woman voted or not because I don't have any way of knowing. The payment part, on the other hand, is beyond any sense of fair play or logic. First of all if there was any proof Moore should be held accountable, but we know that there isn't. It surely would have been the center piece of the Gordon case. That in and of itself is enough to show that Toni is a liar. One has to wonder if she is really that seriously evil or if one should be wondering what is wrong with someone who who is so paranoid and cynical. I wonder if it isn't Toni that has a problem not the lady.

This post is ridiculous and this stuff she pushes is made up crap she wishes was true. But, since facts are not required, just good rants, I am here to tell you the real story about this woman (who isn't in the picture by the way, nice shot). Please pay close attention.


NOH Chicago - A homeless woman, who was committed to Ginderske, flipped her vote from him to Don Gordon when Don Gordon's Howard St. agent offered her $4 and a hot dog to be a Gordon voter. Of course during the run-off election she had a more valuable vote. The NOH agent had to up her "donation" and gave her $6 in unmarked coins, a beer and a cheeseburger to stick with Gordon in April. Moore, the current Alderman and election winner, is expected to file a lawsuit any moment. Reports are that there is tons of evidence of massive vote fraud in Gordon's favor that will be revealed in court.

Yeah, yeah, that's the ticket. I am going to repeat this lie over and over again, like Craig and Toni do, and make it the truth even though I just made it all up.

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Boys Will Be Boys . . .But What Is the Point of This Squabbling?

* 'Broken Heart' Gets Under Tommy's Skin Tom says....> "There's an opinion expressed above that the RPGG has no responsibility for choosing its venues for communication, and that the venues they have chosen aren't a reflection of who and what they are. Obviously, I disagree. Nobody today is unaware that the medium is the message. The RPGG has been happy to accept the support of Craig's blog, a deliberate choice on their part, for which they are responsible. It's very clever and all, trying to say I'm the bad guy for pointing out the connection, but they made the connection. . . . More if you really need it

Besides pointing out a dead body in Evanston, thats E-V-A-N-S-T-O-N for you north of the city blog posters who claim everything bad happens in RP, Craig has spent a lot of time squabbling with Tom Westgard about something his new found buddy, Tom Mannis, has been doing for months. Where were/are the comments on that Mr. Outraged Hellhole? He is quite pleased with himself because he feels some sense of victory in having what he believes is the moral high ground. It seems that Craig spends a lot of time picking fights with people who blog on their own site. Competition is a good thing if your ego is strong enough to handle it. Are you Mr. Hellhole?

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August 01, 2007

No Post From Howard St. Today

Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Special on Rogers Park Neighbor
Rogers Park is filled with hidden treasures.

I attended tonight's Garden Meander brought to life by the Rogers Park Garden Group. It confirmed my belief that our neighborhood is filled with hidden treasures. . . . More from the Rogers Park Neighbors blog

In a very positive post on Rogers Park Neighbor Jocelyn writes about the beautiful gardens and their resilient gardeners. I have to agree with Jocelyn. There are many wonderful things here in Rogers Park, but most wonderful of all are the people who make up our communities human fabric.

Things are not perfect here, but they are going in a direction that has made some improvements. Many folks talk about Andersonville as the great example of what we should be. I spent sometime in the widow of an Andersonville restaurant and after a while I decide that I would count the next thirty people who went by to see what diversity the strip offered 26 white, 2 black, 2 hispanic. I enjoy the great diversity of Rogers Park and want to continue to enjoy it. I would rather see an Alderman who moves forward slowly and carefully than one who is looking for the easy way out by gentrifying the neighborhood into 26 whites, 2 blacks, 2 hispanics.

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We Are All Citizens of the World

* Joe Moore in Washington - The Cut Rebuff Video

The 'man of the people' spent nearly a million dollars to falsely tell people how great he is. 4000 foolish people believe him and voted for this moron. The rest is history. I give you Congressman Joe Moore. . . .
Video & Post

Posted by Craig Gernhardt

* Joe Moore in Washington - The Propaganda Video

For those who want to kill an hour at work today. Here's a juicy bit of propaganda to view. Westgard, could you please keep your hands off your crotch while watching Joe?
. . . . Video & Post

Posted by Craig Gernhardt

The idea that an Alderman is not allowed to speak on any issue that isn't directly located in the 49th Ward is really illogical. When Craig complains that the Morse Ave. Streetscape is delayed he often asks where the federal dollars are. I cannot imagine that an Alderman shouldn't be allowed to comment or seek the dollars from Washington because budgeting federal dollars is a US Senator and US Representatives job and that is the federal government. That is much the same issue with the war in Iraq. Nobody can deny that thousands of Americans have died. Nobody can deny that the war is costing the country millions and billions of dollars. Wonder where your dollars for the streetscape are? Maybe they paved a new road in Iraq. That is the point here, life isn't so simple. I am happy that Moore speaks out once in a while on issues I care about. Unpopular wars end because of public pressure on the President. Anything that puts more pressure on Bush and the Congress to end the war is good with me.

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