Patrick Boylan

About Patrick Boylan

Patrick grew up near LaFollette Park on the West Side. He contends that the very best Italian beef sandwiches are made on the West Side and has a strange love of the flat pizza from that part of the city. Patrick led The Bulldog to win seven journalism awards in 2011, including four awards to Patrick as a solo or a team member. He is very proud of The Dog's coverage of politics and schools in the neighborhood. Patrick wrote for the Times of Northwest Indiana as a stringer covering Cook County Government, for the Chicago Tribune as a stringer on the Chicago Wolves and for ChicagoNow as a writer before starting The Dog. He wrote for four years for as a media commentator and spent about 20 years in operations at city newspapers, including nine years as owner of his own distribution company. Prior to that he spent about nine years in public relations. Patrick has a Masters degree from the University of Colorado. He attended Eastern Illinois University for undergrad and Weber High School and St. Peter Canisius grammar school. The two-flat he owns was built in 1912 and has never been featured, to his knowledge, in any major motion pictures despite having a way-cool garden. Patrick purchased the property in 1994 and "couldn't afford to buy it now." His daughter is a college student in California. He lives in the house with his wife, Jane, and two cats who often sit in on his phone interviews.

Sun-Times: Schulter & Rosenfeld Will Withdraw from Committeeman Race

A report in the Chicago Sun-Times today says former Ald. Eugene Schulter and Paul Rosenfeld will withdraw from the race for 47th Ward Committeeman today.  The Sun-Times says the two withdrew in preference to Peter Coffey, the choice of mayor Rahm Emanuel.

The story quotes Tom Bowen, an Emanuel operative, as saying “the mayor felt the best thing for the 47th Ward was to avoid a divisive fight.”

Read more at Chicago Sun-Times.

Catalyst finds neighborhood high schools losing neighborhood kids

Catalyst, in a report issued earlier this week, noted that neighborhood high schools have fewer and fewer students from within their attendance area.

“Five years ago, no high school enrolled fewer than 20 percent of the students in its attendance area,” Catalyst notes. However “the flight from neighborhood school is the result of the district’s orchestrated policy to give students more choices.”

The interactive map shows declines in neighborhood enrollment in every Ravenswood school, and also those serving parts of the neighborhood.

  • Mather currently enrolls 48 percent, down from 54 percent in 2006-7
  • Sullivan currently enrolls 29 percent, down from 39 percent in 2006-7
  • Senn currently enrolls 28 percent, down from 36 percent in 2006-7
  • Roosevelt currently enrolls 43 percent, down from 51 percent in 2006-7
  • Lake View currently enrolls 30 percent, down from 36 percent in 2006-7
  • Amundsen currently enrolls 39 percent, down from 46 percent in 2006-7


Hundreds attend Budlong open house night

Hundreds of children, parents and staff attended an open house at Budlong Monday the Budlong  Local School Council learned Tuesday.

“It was a big success,” according to Principal Al Solomon. “There must have been a thousand people in the building.”

Solomon told the LSC the school had filed two teaching positions approved earlier by the LSC.

The LSC will be sending a survey to parents asking for their input on the extended school day. LSC members said drama, arts and crafts, soccer and homework are very popular choices to fill the additional time.

While LEGO toys and time is popular among younger children, there is a need to develop more activities for older children, Solomon noted.

The Budlong LSC has one parent opening. A second parent opening may happen shortly, it was noted.

Parents should apply to the LSC to fill the temporary vacancy.


Budlong Principal critical of CPS, Lack of Support for Longer Day

Principal Al Solomon used his Principal’s Report to the Budlong Local School Council Tuesday to criticize the Chicago Public Schools push for a longer school day telling the council there was a lack of coordination and information coming from the central office about the topic.

Most CPS schools will add 90 minutes to their schedule starting with the 2012-3 school year. The plan for an extended school day was a central feature of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s education plan and also of CPS CEO Jean-Claude Brizard.

“The Longer School Day Pioneer Program is built on a simple fact – Chicago Public School students spend 15% less time in the classroom than the average American public school student,” according to the CPS web site It is a fact that is disputed.

Solomon started by noting the school had a refugee position that is filled. But the school has not received funding for the position for six weeks, he noted.

Then he noted that Budlong has been reporting truancy of five days and ten days as required, but has discovered that there isn’t a truancy office at the CPS central office.

“Support departments such as Truancy and Refugee are not being funded,” he noted.

Which brought him to the extended school day.

“The plan for the extended day is to use if for recess and lunch,” Solomon said.

“Where is more educational time?” Solomon asked.

Solomon pointed to webinars presented by CPS that extolled the extended day in other districts without giving guidance on how to use the new time in CPS. The webinars lack specifics he said.

What is the plan for the older CPS building, such as Budlong, that lack adequate indoor facilities for recess during inclement weather, Solomon asked.

Budlong was originally constructed in 1907, with additions in 1913, 1955 and 1996, according to the Chicago Public Schools. Its age actually puts it on the younger half of the scale of age for area public school buildings. McPherson, built in 1888, is considered the oldest school building in the area. However it has had a substantial addition to its facilities.

The most recent building in the neighborhood is Courtenay, built in 1949.

Adequate indoor facilities to accomodate recess requirements is a concern for many area schools. However Solomon is the first to address the issue in a public manner.

Solomon said the extended day will have the following effects:

  • Student day extended by 90 minutes.
  • School year extended by 10 additional days (two weeks).
  • Students will receive a 45 minute lunch/ recess each day.
  • Teachers will receive longer lunch periods.
  • Teachers will work 60 additional minutes on class preparation each day (this will take the place of early morning preparation).


Examine the CPS site promoting the extended school day.

The Chicago Teachers union Addresses the push for an Extended Day.

Catalyst says extended school hours have a casual relationship with improved test scores.

Read a just released report by teachers on how to use the extended hours.

Read Eric Zorn’s Webliography of resources on the debate about the extended school day.

Read Whet Moser’s analysis of the argument.

Read about the pettiness of CPS and the Union.

The North Side High School Initiative FaceBook Page.

Raise Your Hand for Illinois Education web site.

Grow 47 Web site.

PURE Parents Blog on the longer school day.


Transparency Note: Jane Rickard, a Welles Park Bulldog founder, is a CPS employee and member of the Chicago Teachers Union. She works at Budlong and other schools. Rickard is married to the writer, Patrick Boylan.


Interview with Paul Rosenfeld: Democratic candidate for Committeeman

Emails go back and forth for about ten days between The Bulldog and Paul Rosenfeld. We are seeking an interview and it isn’t that Rosenfeld is reluctant to meet as it appears he is so busy.

Finally, we nail down a date, late night at Fountain Head on Montrose and Damen.

When Rosenfeld arrives, he explains that he likes to spend his evenings with his children. His politics, he explains, take place after they are in bed.

“I don’t believe you get unless you give,” he says. “By nature you are perpetually giving to your community.” But, his life is centered around his children he says.

With a week to go before the actual nominating petitions are submitted, Rosenfeld predicts the community will see broad support for his candidacy, especially among the parents at Bell School. “More than 50 circulators were active from the ward,” Rosenfeld says.

An active member of Grow 47, Rosenfeld says he thinks his work on developing education initiatives in the ward are more important than becoming Democratice Ward Committeeman.

“My core values,” he says,

  1. “are collaboration in the slatemaking process based on a belief of openness and inclusiveness;
  2. fairness, to give a fair deal to everyone in the ward;
  3. looking out for our neediest neighbors.”
    1. “Help,” he says, for the neediest citizen “is what Democrats have always done.”
  4. Finally, he says, he will support progressive, reform candidates for office.

Rosenfeld says he plans an evaluation committee to assist him in the slate making process. It is this process that largely determines judicial candidates in Cook County. It is the committeeman’s responsibility to select the party slate and build support for it in the community.

When former US House Speaker Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill, Jr. said “all politics is local” Rosenfeld heard that call. It is, he says, the reason you give people to affiliate with your party. “Determine their core values and give back to the community,” he says.

But what about Rod Blagojevich, we ask, how do you explain your role as “Lobbyist 2?”

In the indictment of Former Gov. Blagojevich Lobbyist 2, Rosenfeld, is discussed in a recording by Blagojevich.

On November 13, 2008, at approximately 10:05 a.m., ROD BLAGOJEVICH talked with Fundraiser A. The discussion concerned the status of fundraising efforts. During this call, ROD BLAGOJEVICH asked about Highway Contractor 1. Fundraiser A stated that Lobbyist 1 is still working with Highway Contractor 1. Fundraiser A also advised ROD BLAGOJEVICH that he will be meeting Lobbyist 2 to meet with an individual at Weiss Memorial Hospital. ROD BLAGOJEVICH states: “Yeah, now be real careful there. I mean, the FBI went to see [Lobbyist 2]. You understand?”

Piecing together what happened, the FBI visited Rosenfeld’s home, but he was not there. Rosenfeld called Blagojevich associate Lon Monk about the visit. That alerted Blagojevich to the net that was about to snare him.

“This is old news,” Rosenfeld says. “There have been two trials. I’ve never been a witness, a defendant or even mentioned in the trial.”

“I worked hard to get him elected,” Rosenfeld admits. “It was a huge disappointment.” Rosenfeld points to a public break with Ald. Dick Mell as a key point in his disenchantment with Blagojevich.

“It was the first time in 30 years to elect a Democrat governor,” he says. “We all worked for him.”


Review list of clients for Paul Rosenfeld from City of Chicago, Board of Ethics (screengrab) (original).

See a list of political contributions made by Paul Rosenfeld and recorded by the Illinois State Board of Elections * (Page 1) (Page 2) (* Contains any person named Paul Rosenfeld)

See the lobbyist registrations with the Illinois Secretary of State by Paul Rosenfeld

See Government Navigation Group, Inc. Expenditure Summary (Illinois Secretary of State)

See PAR Solutions, LLC registration and list of clients (Illinois Secretary of State)

See Cash America International, Inc. registration (Illinois Secretary of State)

See Government Navigation Group, Inc. Partial Client List (registered with Illinois Secretary of State)

  • Ameresco
  • Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence
  • Cash America International, Inc.
  • Childress Duffy Goldblatt, Ltd.
  • Citizens Utility Board
  • Elmotech Inc.
  • Forest Preserve District of DuPage County
  • Fuhrman Engineering, Inc.
  • Global Solutions Group
  • Health Care Service Corporation
  • Illinois Community College Board
  • Illinois Pavement Preservation & Maintenance Assoc.
  • Illinois Restaurant Assoc.
  • Knight E/A, Inc.
  • Leinenweber Baroni & Daffada Consulting LLC
  • Medimmune, Inc.
  • Parsons Transportation Group Inc.
  • Pickering & Assoc LLC
  • Professional Towing & Recovery Operators of Illinois
  • Public Sector Solutions
  • Springfield Consulting Group, LLC
  • The Buona Companies, LLC
  • Wheaton Park District

Amundsen Varsity crushes Lake View 55-30

We’d like to give you more details, but the picture below is all the information we have on the Lake View players! Come on Lake View, who are your players? Pictures are nice, but we need names.

We’ve moved the game photos to The Welles park Bulldog FaceBook page.

Lake View did not complete its roster and hasn't sent information requested. How can you write without names?

The roster for the Amundsen team is complete.

American Theater Co bridge program serving 150 Amundsen students

The American Theater Co is working with 150 Amundsen students in a Bridge Program that is promoting reading, writing, analysis and speaking, the Amundsen Local School Council was told December 13.

The ATC program provides the students with a play being performed by the North Center-based theater company. The students analyze the play, then meet with actors from the company to discuss the play Michael Driscoll of ATC told the council.

They also put on their own performance of the work before seeing the performance of the ATC, the LSC was told.

Finally the students use their knowledge to try to write their own plays according to Amundsen English teacher Nicole Matassa.

The program is available to freshman at Amundsen, Matassa told The Bulldog.

The LSC approved earmarking $5,730 already approved for the Bridge program to be carried over to the 2012-13 school year.

The funds will not be used in the current school year due to the program receiving additional outside funding and a smaller than expected class size, the LSC was told.

Chappell LSC OKs buy of 30 new laptops, add’l Spec Ed teacher

The Chappell Local School Council approved the purchase of 30 new laptops for the school and filed a vacancy for a special education instructor at its December 9 meeting.

Principal Joseph Peila told the LSC there was strong support among parents for more art, with 90 percent indicating support for using 90 additional class minutes for art next year.

Peila said parents were also supportive of additional time for science and dance.

Parents indicated their support through feedback on forms, Peila said.

The school will add 90 minutes to its day starting in the fall 2012 the LSC was told.

The Principal also said he had worked with teachers to identify three students in each class to receive greater attention. Increasing academic achievement in some of these students would help the school meet its Annual Yearly Progress goals he said.

Students at the school were working with designers towards upgrading the playground, the LSC learned. Students were encouraged to consider the differences in age from class to class in choosing equipment, colors and accessibility.

“We’ll be expanding the size of the playground due to the additional length of the school day,” Peila explained.

2nd Ward Map Proposal introduced

A second remapping proposal was submitted to the Chicago City Clerk Friday. The proposal is in opposition to a proposal submitted by about 16 aldermen on Thursday.

Signing on to this proposal are area Aldermen Ameya Pawar, Dick Mell, Pat O’Connor, Harry Osterman and James Cappleman. A total of 32 aldermen have sponsored the second map proposal.

Alderman Scott Waguespack has signed on to sponsor a map largely supported by the Latino aldermen that was submitted on Thursday.

Passage through City Council by December 31 by 41 votes would preclude a public ballot on the proposal. That seems very doubtful now.

A simple majority vote of the Council, 26 votes, will cause adoption of a map. However, if that happens, the map would still require approval of the voters.


View Map for a Better Chicago in a larger map

Map boundaries are approximate. Credit: Welles Bulldog Graphics