Saturday, December 31, 2011

wishing everyone a better year in 2012

I just got back from a walk through the neighborhood. As I crossed 95th St. into North Beverly, I was passed by fire trucks with lights and sirens on. A little while later, I found their destination - a house fire on Bell near 92nd Place. Helluva way for the residents of that house to end the year. My sympathy to them, with a wish that no one suffered serious injuries.

On my walk south, I saw the start of a few private fireworks shows. Wishing everyone a fun New Year's Eve, with a safe trip home, and a good start to 2012. I sure hope that it's a better year than the dismal reality that was 2011. Cheers!

Friday, December 30, 2011

non sequitur Friday

A couple of musical thoughts to end the year:

Money for Nothing

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

Wishing you and yours a peaceful and merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

an oddity

Yesterday I was walking past a spot in the neighborhood that always leaves me puzzled.  Does anyone know why this crosswalk does not meet the sidewalk?  Seems rather odd to have this kind of discrepancy right in front of a school.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

how to gift wrap a cat for Christmas

A friend sent me this. Good silly fun.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Thursday, December 8, 2011

community alert

Got this news from the alderman's office last night:  

Yesterday, two African American males were arrested in the area while stealing UPS packages from the front porch of two homes. This holiday season, please be mindful of having items delivered to your home and left unsupervised on your porch. If you cannot be home when a package is set to be delivered, consider having your items sent to a friend or neighbor who is available to receive them. Remember to call 9-1-1 to report ANY suspicious activity and encourage your neighbors to do so as well. 

Don't forget to shop locally this holiday season - many local merchants are offering Deals of the Day during the month of December. For a complete list of Deals of the Day, please visit

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

attack at St. Margaret of Scotland

Every day we hear about people being robbed in various settings.  It's especially sad when it happens to a more vulnerable member of our community - an 80 year old priest.  Rev. Dan Mallette was robbed and assaulted last night at St. Margaret of Scotland Church.  I hope that he's able to make a full recovery from his injuries.

Monday, December 5, 2011

you can help make Chicago more bike friendly

A recent blog piece on Grid Chicago talked about the issues we face on the south side that make parts of our area anything but bike friendly. (Here's Part 2 of that piece.) 

Protected bike lanes can help create safer conditions for transportation riding, and the mayor has pledged 100 miles of new protected lanes between now and 2014.  You may be asking "what do these lanes look like and how do they help?"  Check out this link and view the videos and pictures there.  The 18th St. video offers a "before" and a "partially completed" view. The Kinzie St. video shows an "after" view.

Whether you are an everyday cyclist, someone who rides occasionally in the neighborhood, or someone who would like to be able to ride to neighborhood destinations but doesn't feel safe riding on anything but quiet streets or paths, the Streets for Cycling 2020 Plan would like to hear from you over the next several weeks.

The goal of this plan is to create conditions that will make it possible for a wider range of people to ride for transportation, so that people all over the city have more transportation options. 

What do they want to know?  Take a look at a map and spend a few minutes making a list of destinations you where would like to go by bike - library, work, train station, school, restaurant, a friend's home, the lakefront, etc.  Then make a list of barriers that currently make it difficult or impossible for you to ride to places you'd like to go - heavy traffic streets connecting neighborhoods, railroad viaducts, expressways, bridges with fast traffic and no safe place for bikes, etc.

The first public meeting will be next Saturday 12/10 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 23 E. Madison.  There will also be public meetings in January and February.  Our south side meeting will be Wednesday 1/25 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Woodson Regional Library, 95th & Halsted.  If you're unable to attend one of the public meetings, but would like send your lists by e-mail, please click here.

You can find additional updates on the Chicago Dept. of Transportation Bike Program page.

Please share this information with anyone you know who rides for transportation and anyone who currently does not but might like to if conditions were safer.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

building urban gardens - learning opportunity

Want to learn about organic gardening? Building Urban Gardens (BUGs) equips city-based community and backyard gardeners with the knowledge and hands-on training necessary to plant and grow organically. The next 6-week class starts 1/28/12 at Garfield Park Conservatory.