Sunday, September 03, 2006

While Vi slumbers (Part II)...


It's now 1 a.m. Sunday morning. I am at my desk. I hear a trickling sound five feet from me. The urine is coming through the window of my office next to my desk. A Lincoln Avenue party animal is peeing against my window.

Early Friday, another drunkard was urinating on the bedroom window next to it, and then turned around and smashed it to pieces. I woke up and threw some pants and shoes on and sprinted outside.

A parking valet had identified him, and with Al Porrata (our "Lone Ranger" detail officer; see the post below) we chased him and his friends as they sauntered loudly down Larrabee to their car. I spent the next half hour sweeping up urine-soaked glass.

Don't even talk to me about the alley near the homeless shelter.

Just three weeks ago, a picture window across the street at the convenience store was smashed. I escorted the kid, his arm slashed to the bone, to Lincoln Park Hospital at the corner. I then helped Aslam Virani, the store owner, to contact a board-up service. I told him I'd get the fancy SSA commission to pay for it, by hook or by crook.

When, last year, I sat down with Vi Daley to ask her to help me solve the traffic, noise pollution, public urination, and other problems on Lincoln Avenue, she shrugged her shoulders and passed a new SSA tax on Lincoln Avenue. I fought to oppose that tax. When I tried to inform neighbors by posting an alert about the hearing, she had my signs torn down and wrote me a ticket. We have since forced a tiny amount of sunshine on the process, but the tax was still passed under our noses and Vi slated a generally pro-commerce commission to deal with the tax, just like she did on Clark Street.

I had asked for a weekend barricade on the alley. She shrugged her shoulders, claiming it would be a hazard for emergency vehicles. I asked her for extra trash cans on the street. She asked how I expected her to fund that. I told her I imagined extra security was out of the question. Exasperated, I asked her and Chuck Eastwood if they would at least put strong lights in the alley to discourage the dozens of people who use it as a toilet every weekend. They said they'd do that. That was a year ago and nothing has happened.

Vi had Lincoln Avenue narrowed for her precious streetscape in December 2000. A month later, Police Officers Bob Elliott and Al Porrata, the street's entertainment detail cops, with the help of community leader Cynthia Bathurst, tried to get Vi Daley to fix the traffic snarl, presenting her with a beautifully crafted seven-page plan that they did on their own time. She eventually got a fraction of it passed, but she did not follow through on implementation. As of this date, only a small portion of the plan has been implemented. This street's traffic and crowd control needs are similar to those of O'Hare Airport.

When I recently went to the new Lincoln Avenue SSA commission's first meeting to gently voice the SSA Working Group's beliefs about the SSA (read them), I was treated very coolly by the entire group, as if I were an outsider. When I tried to plead Mr. Virani's case for an emergency disbursement of about $600 to replace his window, they looked at me as though I were insane. One of them asked, "Let me get this straight. You want us to pay for this man's store window, because...because he's a nice man?"

Lincoln Avenue, they're going to spend your money the way they want to, the chamber of commerce will get all the credit, and you won't even hear about it. I've seen it happen over and over in Chicago.

(There's a guy who's been screaming outside my son's bedroom window for the past 10 minutes. Fortunately, my boy is out of town tonight.)

I wish Vi could just come here late on a Saturday night. We already pay enough taxes that these problems should be contained. Instead, she raised our taxes and we're still out of luck.

Update: Thursday, Dec. 15, 2006, 12:55 a.m. I hear a trickling sound coming from the office. Liquid is splattering into the house. I go back and pound on the window. A man laughs to his friend, then walks away.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Couldn't you set up a video camera, and use the record to build court cases against the offendors? Couldn't you mobilize the people who live within X hundred feet of the establishments to revoke the place's liquor licenses?

8:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe set up digital video cameras, and pursue court cases against the offendors? Or maybe you can get the people who live within X hundred feet of the establishments to close down their liquor licenses unless the establishments themselves pay to ameliorate their effects on the neighborhood? Do Daley's henchies also take down signs about lost dogs and sublets? Is there a legal remedy for that?

8:43 AM  
Blogger RealEstateGreg said...

I really can't stand Vi Daley and am anxious to get her out of her seat... and boy will that be hard to do since she hasn't in years.

There are numerous problems that she has never been able to address and I'm sure she has a thousand excuses. Here are the main ones for us:

1. RATS! (tons of them and they are large and fearless)
2. Crosswalks on Clark between Fullerton and Wrightwood (I love to see old ladies with walkers have to stand in the middle of traffic so that people in their Beamers and Porsches can speed to the lights at Fullerton and/or Wrightwood)
3. Shiller's district has speedbumps everywhere on residential streets. I'm afraid I'm going to get killed crossing my street (Roslyn) and I also love hearing and seeing cars go 70mph down my block, sometimes the wrong way.
4. Ticketing! Funny how the people who park to go barhopping on Clark never get tickets when they park on my block without residential passes, yet I get tickets galore for everything else, like for street cleaning without reminders...

Out with Vi Daley

2:45 PM  

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