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Mike's Corner

Two Unfortunate Losses over this Past Weekend (1/15 Postscript - upbeat news. Please read end)

In the last 48 hours came news of the tragic death of two friends of mine, both Rogers Park residents. Donald Morano had lived in my apartment building on Jarvis for over 35 years. He often bragged to me about the day, thirty years ago, where he saw smoke coming from a basement apartment. It was he, Don often reminded me, who called the fire department and prevented the building from burning down.
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Posted by Mike G on January 11, 2015 |

An “Only in Rogers Park” Sunday Fall Afternoon

This past Sunday, with it being a beautiful sunny afternoon, I texted him and invited him over. 45 minutes later, as I was digging bats, whiffle balls and, luckily, a tennis ball out of my trunk, they showed up. We proceeded immediately to Touhy Park, where I started offering them a little hitting and base running instruction. Midway through our activity, a young adult, perhaps around 25, grabbed a seat at the bleacher. His headphones were on, and it appeared he was only half watching us play. We soon forgot that we have a spectator in attendance, and we lost ourselves playing a makeshift baseball game with our two bats and a yellow tennis ball (the whiffle balls destructed with two swings of a bat. After a short stint of running bases, we wound things up with a few final at bats, with each of us taking turns pitching to one of the others of us. I then announced that I had to leave. The kids decided to continue playing, and as I exited the field, the gentleman started walking away as well. Our paths crossed.
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Posted by Mike G on November 04, 2014 |

This Young Couple Getting Booted Around

Of course, young people need to learn consequences from their actions, and I imagine that this young couple – if they come out of this crisis as a family unit or not – will learn to never callously disregard parking tickets again - especially in a revenue starved city like Chicago that relies more than ever on fines and fees to address budget shortfalls. Yet, here we see how the City’s attempt to balance its budget by imposing fees and fines rather than, say, a progressive tax severely hurts lower income folks, like these young people, in a far more substantial manner than middle income or wealthy people, who are less likely to mount such a huge debt based on parking violations, and, if they do, have access to the cash to pay off the balance. At least the financially more secure folks are more likely to be able to secure the funds to get the boot released. For them, the crisis will last a day or two, and then they can carry on and resume their life.
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Posted by Mike G on October 21, 2014 |

In Support of the Northside Community Resources (formerly Rogers Park Community Council)

Our greatest gift is that a talented and hard working Executive Director, Chris Zala, is running the ship. He follows a line of talented Executive Directors who preceded him – as both of his predecessors, Cary Steinbuck and Elizabeth Vitell, can attest to the grueling work load and countless challenges that this position requires, especially during times of governmental budget cuts and cumbersome compliance requirements. I am personally aware of that Chris and other staffers at times put in long hours and sacrifice many weekends working to meet onerous grant deadlines – and they do this, in part, because its their job to do so, and more so because they are dedicated to the success of the organization, and to its core mission (as stated on the organization’s website): Northside Community Resources (NCR), was organized in 1952 to improve the quality of life in Rogers Park through social, civic and educational initiatives that foster health and welfare, urban renewal and conversation, law enforcement, and community organization.
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Posted by Mike G on September 24, 2014 |

Personal Bears vs Bills National Anthem Mayheim

In this video, you can see the excitement as I was eagerly awaiting my brother's fly over ("Where the hell is he?" I wondered, at the end of the anthem), and desperately trying to get Corbin's attention. This video truly captures a wonderful Sunday moment!!!!
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Posted by Mike G on September 07, 2014 |

Outsmarted by a Bruce Lee Influenced Personal Trainer

Anyone reading my periodic blog posts know that often encourage folks to try out Freddie and his Howard Street business. Freddie offers more than his own brand of Kung Fu; he offers personal training classes at super affordable rates ($20 for 45 minute sessions for prepaid classes) and on Saturday mornings, 9:30AM, he offers a free meditation class - based on meditation techniques, grounded inTaoist philosophy - open to the community. Freddie is committed to the neighborhood, as evidenced by volunteer work he has done for North of Howard groups, and this past week, he offered an impressive demonstration at the Wyllie B. White "National Night Out" event.
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Posted by Mike G on August 08, 2014 |

Fred’s “Damn Pothole” at Chase and Paulina - CONTEST IS OVER - pothole is filled

He then told me the whereabouts of a particularly bad pothole at the corner of Paulina and Chase. Later in the day I drove over to that intersection, immediately realizing that, I, too, cursed when driving over it (ouch!) or, more customary, veering around it. This time I parked my car, walked over to it, and I took a few photos of it The repressed artist in me must have come out as suddenly something dawned on me. “My God!” I thought. “It looks just like a
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Posted by Mike G on August 01, 2014 |

50 Year Old Video Offers Comedic Relief on Serious Issue

Many of us have learned in recent weeks how important it is that we vigilantly report crimes that we witness. The tragic gang related shootings and murders and other bad doings happening in recent weeks, and our neighborhood vigilance in addressing these problems, can make one nostalgic of an era when community involvement in fighting crime was much different.
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Posted by Mike G on July 27, 2014 |

Cross the (Chicago) Border for Entry Level Jobs

Across the street: Lincolnwood Mall, and all of the franchises that occupy its out-lot positions: Five Guys; Chipotles, Olive Garden and Red Lobster – the first two of these four restaurants I have patronized following work-outs, absolutely and shamefully reversing any benefit to the work outs I had just completed. And one can get a heck of a good massage at a Chinese Massage business inside of the mall. Is it a coincidence that this thriving commercial corridor exists immediately adjacent to Chicago’s city limits? With barriers aplenty to setting up shop within Chicago, one can be sure that many of the customers patronizing these stores are Chicagoans – to the benefit of Lincolnwood’s sales tax base – not Chicago’s.
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Posted by Mike G on July 14, 2014 |

Saturday’s Prinz Beach Park Ceremony Affirmation of Community Activism

Such is the case with the organization that Prinz helped create – the Rogers Park Community Council, which, after 60 years, remains in existence, though, as of two years ago, with a different name, the North Side Community Resources, and its subsidiary, North Side Community Development Corporation (formerly, Rogers Park Community Development Corporation.)
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Posted by Mike G on June 10, 2014 |

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About the Author

Mike G's photoMike Glasser

Mike has a long term relationship with Rogers Park, having lived here at various times in his life, most recently returning to the neighborhood in August, 2009. While living here as a third year law student, he remembers drunken nights at Biddy Mulligan’s and hosting a couple of memorable parties that he, hypocritically, now forbids his own tenants from having. Years later, after completing his stint as a lawyer, Mike started investing in apartment buildings in Rogers Park (and elsewhere), and soon after, did what many newly divorced real estate investors do: he moved into one of his buildings. In 1992 Mike was one of the founding members of the Rogers Park Builders Group, an organization that he eventually headed for six years, until yielding those reigns three years ago. Around a decade ago, on a whim, he reserved the web site “Rogerspark.com,” which he has been developing ever since, and which co-hosts RP BizArts networking events. Mike is the proud father of three wonderful children, Amy, Mitch and Ella.

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