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.

O’Connor: Another map expected tomorrow

Ald. Pat O’Connor, in an exclusive interview with The Bulldog, said he expects another map proposal to be put forward tomorrow with consideration by the City Council of the competing proposals at its January 18th meeting.

December 31st is not a drop-dead date, O’Connor noted. While 41 votes are required for a proposal with no public referendum, only 26 votes, a majority of the council, is required for a map to be adopted, he said.

[Editors note: The Bulldog had said in earlier stories that 41 votes are required to pass a map, with Dec. 31st as the deadline. Passage can happen with a majority even after Dec. 31st. However the voters would then get a chance to vote on the map.]

“We didn’t want to file a plan till we had an agreement,” O’Connor said. O’Connor said the 16 aldermen who proposed today’s map felt they had to get their side out. However, a proposal that he said will have 32 supporters will be filed tomorrow.

“We’ve been working on the boundaries for four weeks,” O’Connor said. These aldermen who filed the map today “didn’t think the talks were going quick enough.”

“This is a fluid process,” O’Connor said. “Everyone needs to see how it develops.”

O’Connor said none of the North Side aldermen had signed on to the map filed today. Cappleman, who co-sponsored the map ‘Taxpayer Protection Map’, will support the proposal being put forward tomorrow, O’Connor noted.

Calls were left for Ald. Fioretti, Cochran, Mell, and Waguespack. Ald. Cappleman’s office returned our calls before O’Connor’s statement about him supporting the map to be filed tomorrow.


View Taxpayer Protection Map- Northside in a larger map
Map based on filing with Chicago City Clerk. Boundaries may not be exact.

Remap proposal puts Roscoe Village in 20th Ward

A map proposal filed with the Chicago City Clerk today suggests that Roscoe Village would join the 20th Ward. The map was also Twittered by Cook County Commissioner John Fritchey and Ald. Bob Fioretti.

Proposals for the remapping must pass City Council by a 41 vote majority before year end or two proposals will be put to a vote before the voters in the primary election in spring 2012. No remap proposal has yet been put before City Council. The council could still meet before the end of the month. However, no meetings are currently scheduled.

The map is called the Taxpayer Protection Map. It was sponsored by Ald. Proco Joe Moreno, Bob Fioretti, John Pope, James Balcer, George Cardenas, Marty Quinn, Ricardo Munoz, Daniel Solis, Roberto Maldonado, Ariel Reboyras, Regner Ray Suarez, Scott Waguespack, Rey Colón, Michele Smith, John Arena and James Cappleman.

The picture of the ward is dubbed an Hispanic draft by Fritchey. 20th Ward is currently a South Side ward represented by Ald. Willie Cochran.

Population shifts have caused historically black wards to lose population, largely at the expense of a growing Hispanic population.

If the picture is close to what is proposed what amounts to a new ward would be created on the North Side. Its borders would generally be Addison Street on the north, Western Avenue on the west and what appears to be Ashland Avenue on the east. (Read the legal description of the new 20th Ward).

Two ‘panhandles’ would reach out from the ward to catch parts of Lakeview and Logan Square.

Fritchey told The Bulldog at least two proposals seem to call for a new ward to be created from the 32nd Ward. The picture shows a proposal calling for the 20th Ward to be inserted, but Fritchey noted that another proposal calls for the 2nd Ward, currently represented by Ald. Bob Fioretti, to be centered in Roscoe Village.

Fritchey, who noted he is not involved in the city process, said the area will need to rely on the new alderman to address its needs. “They’d have a new alderman,” Fritchey said, represented by an alderman and committeemen elected by another part of the city until the next election.

Fritchey said Cook County remapping would start next year. He told The Bulldog he does not expect the county process to be as contentious as the city process.

The 32nd Ward would migrate south, finding a more rectangular shape centered in the Bucktown neighborhood. (Read the legal description of the 32nd ward).

The 47th Ward would retain most of its current territory, with a northern boundary meeting the 40th Ward near Foster. (Read the legal description of the 47th Ward).


Cook County Commissioner John Fritchey twittered a picture of what he calls a draft Hispanic Caucus map.

On the right, a 'draft' Hispanic Caucus remap proposal for the Chicago City Council. Credit: John Fritchey


Two Charged in Three Saturday Home Invasions

Chicago Police arrested a South Side man and a South Bend, Ind. man Saturday, charging the pair with a series of armed home invasions on the North and West Side, including in the 1800 Block of Cuyler on Saturday.

Charged was Aaron Smith, 22, of South Bend, Ind. with four counts of Home Invasion. Also charged was Joe Parker, 20, of the 5500 Block of South Aberdeen. Parker was charged with four counts of Home Invasion.

An early morning invasion in the 900 Block of West Sheridan Rd at 1.30A Saturday started the crime spree according to News Affairs officer Veejy Zala. After kicking in the door to the residence, the perpetrators threatened the occupants with a gun.

The North Center home invasion started about 5.30A when the perpetrators kicked in the door to an 1800 W Cuyler residence. A shot was fired into the floor and a victim claims to have suffered “flash burns” according to Chicago Police.

The final home invasion started about 4.22P Saturday. The two perpetrators claimed to be having car problems, gaining entry to a building in the 1100 block of West 13th St.

The perpetrators fled the scene, according to police, in a blue vehicle with out of state plates.

According to a report in the Chicago Tribune, a University of Illinois Chicago Police Officer activated a GPS monitoring device in a phone taken during the heists. The device brought police to the 100 block of West North Ave where Smith and Parker were observed in a stolen vehicle about 5P, the Tribune says.

One of the suspects was arrested after a foot chase. The second suspect was arrested near Belmont on Clark St. Police say they recovered one victim’s wallet and a .357 long-barrel revolver.

The Cook County States Attorney said Smith was denied a bond. Bond for set at $300,000 for Parker.

*** Update Mon., Dec. 11 @ 9.10P  Why did we strike the words ‘long-barrel’?

We reviewed the police release and other material and found that it was drawn from a report in the Chicago Tribune about the arrest. The story said ‘officers recovered a long-barrel .357 Magnum revolver’.

The words Magnum in the description set our alarms off. The Bulldog asked police and the states attorney about seizing such a weapon. In most cases a Magnum is not a type of weapon, but a type of casing or ammunition.

A ‘long-barrel’ is also a weapon description. Such a weapon is typically used in sporting competition for target practice.

The inclusion of the description of the weapon as a .357 Magnum set off our alarms. But, we should not have included the words ‘long-barrel’ in the description as that is also a technical weapon type and the weapon is described by police as a loaded .357 revolver. It also means that we borrowed from the Tribune story without attribution.

Police confirmed the remaining details. However we feel, in retrospect, that this story is sensational enough without the extra words.

We apologize for our error. ***

Bull elected President of RAW

The Ravenswood Art Walk has chosen Carolyn Bull President. The decision, made at the groups meeting held earlier Wednesday, was announced at the Second Wednesday event.

Bull is a former executive director of the Ravenswood Community Council, an officer in the Ravenswood-Lakewood Historical Association and a photographer, replaces artist Bill Moran.

Moran had led RAW to a dramatic expansion of the annual art walk, with activities taking place over a wider area and also outreach activities throughout the year.

Introducing Bull, Moran said his business and personal life required greater attention and he sought a new leader to carry the RAW vision forward.

Bull said she is looking for artists and community members interested in the RAW mission to work on committees.

The Second Wednesday event took place at the Metal+Works, 4426 N Ravenswood.

O’Donnell reelected to RCC

The Ravenswood Community Council reelected Tom O’Donnell President. The election, held during the annual meeting of the group, held at The Rail, 4709 N Damen Ave., Tuesday, also reviewed the current status of the Small Accessible Repairs for Seniors (SARS, formerly HRAIL) program, efforts by the group to address industrial vacancies and outreach into the community.

Three vie for 47th Dem committeeman spot; Races in 32nd Ward Dem and 3 GOP positions

On the final day of filing two additional persons entered petitions to create a three-man race in the 47th Ward Democratic Committeeman race. There were also races for the GOP and Democratic Committeeman race in the 49th Ward, and the 32nd, 33rd and 40th Ward GOP Committeemen races.

Scott Waguespack and John Fritchey were already contesting the 32nd Ward Democratic Committeeman position.

Richard Mell, Pat O’Connor, Tom Tunney and James Cappleman are running for Democratic Committeemen unopposed in the 33rd, 40th, 44th and 46th Wards.

Scott Davis and Diane Shapiro are running unopposed for Republican Committeeman in the 44th and the 46th Wards.

Incumbent boss Eugene Schulter faces two challengers in the 47th Ward. Former Alderman Schulter gave up on what promised to be another term as alderman in January to seek selection to the Cook County Board of Review. That effort was to end poorly as Michael Cabonargi was selected for the Board of Review spot and the aldermanic position was lost by the regular organization to newcomer Ameya Pawar.

Schulter, first won the committeeman spot in 2004.  He backed ward residents Tom O’Donnell for alderman in 2011, Dan Farley for Statehouse in 2010, Independent Forrest Claypool over Cook County Democratic boss Joe Berrios in 2010 and Dan Hynes for US Senate in 2004.

Schulter first sought the post in 2000, but lost that year to his mentor, Ed Kelly. Kelly ran a candidate against Schulter in the 2003 municipal elections, Jack Lydon. After Schulter’s victory, Kelly stepped down in 2004.

Lydon contributes to The Bulldog as a sports writer.

Opposing Schulter is Paul Rosenfeld and Peter Coffey, both of the East Horner Park neighborhood.

Coffey is the Director of Government Affairs at DePaul University and, according to LinkedIn, was the past Director of Government Affairs at the Chicago Botanic Garden.

Rosenfeld and his family are active members of the Bell School community and Grow 47. His role in the Blagojevich scandal as “Lobbyist 2” was acknowledged in an exclusive interview with The Bulldog.

His candidacy is backed by Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, according to the Chicago News Coop. “It is an endorsement of Paul,” Preckwinkle said of her attendance at (a) fundraiser for Rosenfeld. “I worked with Gene. I just think that Paul will bring the kind of energy and progressive vision that I share” the CNC said in a September article.

In the 32nd Ward, a race between Cook County Commissioner John Fritchey and Alderman Scott Waguespack promises fireworks.

As reported by The Bulldog, Fritchey criticized Waguespack for his vote on the city budget last month. Waguespack was opposed in his reelection bid by two candidates associated with Fritchey. Both Fritchey and Waguespack have reformer credentials, with Waguespack leading the opposition to former Mayor Richard M Daley in City Council and Fritchey leading efforts to reform Cook County government since his election to the Cook County Board.

Incumbent Republican Committeeman John Curry faces challenger Stephen Boulton to be boss of the 32nd Ward party.

Curry has been active in the Republican Party since he was in college at Northwestern. He reports he is a third generation Chicago Republican. A lawyer, Curry is a resident of the Bucktown neighborhood.

Boulton is a partner at McCarthy Duffy, according to his LinkedIn Profile.

Scott Campbell and Gregory Eidukas are both running for the 33rd Ward GOP boss slot. In the 40th Ward Rafael Chagin is opposing Bill Powers for the post.

McCallum looks at Coonley prices

Mike McCallum, a Realtor at Baird & Warner has analyzed November sales of homes in the Coonley School District.

While there were only four homes sold in the month ended Dec. 5, I noted that three were asking more than a million each. One was asking $412K. The only house to get its asking price was the $412K home on Cuyler.

McCallum notes there are 15 homes for sale in the Bell district. The new lowest price home is asking $579K.

McCallum doesn’t provide time-series data, so it is difficult to know if prices are holding steady in the area.

Coonley school district map.


New services rolling out: Email, donations and a store

Over the next few weeks we’ll be rolling out additional services we hope will enhance your experience and also resolve a key issue here: How do we get paid?

This morning The Bulldog rolls out an email service and a store. In addition, we’ve made it easier to donate to The Dog. There is a place in our NAV Bar and at the bottom of the page for donations. The bottom of the page also includes a Kachingle widget for small regular and automatic donations.

For some time it has been obvious that we are not addressing your need to get our information in all the ways you want to receive them. We are small and struggle with providing the Tweets, FaceBook updates and other interactions required. It is tough to write good stories and be out there selling advertising and interact with readers too.

However it is part of our mission to provide you with award-winning local journalism. And the new services all address that mission.

The email service creates a new channel for you. We’ll deliver the news you want in a format you want. Unlike our competitors email lists, we are drilling down, looking for the interaction of location and news by asking you about what school you live near, what neighborhoods you reside in.

We’ll be issuing the first email this week and we’re interested in your feedback.

Our store also launches today. It only features a few items at the moment. However we’ll add more. The store items generally do not prominently say “BULLDOG” on them. It was not our intent to be wearing our marketing on our sleeve. We wanted to offer you merchandise you’d proudly use as an expression of the neighborhood.

The store features the normal stuff: coffee mugs, hoodies, hats, dog bowls (really? Yes, I guess so.). You can show your neighborhood pride and support The Dog too. Pretty cool.

We expect the store to provide you with high quality merchandise and the opportunity to find very local products. We don’t expect the store alone or the donations alone to support our efforts. However this revenue issue calls for many answers.

Our editorial is not changing much. We’ll still showcase our local journalism in the top area we call the Carousel. Local Sports will remain on the right column and Other Local News will share its spot in what we call Column Two.

Together these simple columns have collected seven journalism awards this year. That’s pretty exciting for the citizen journalists who make up this site. You can join the Bulldog too. Contact Patrick (at) WellesParkBulldog (dot) com.


Indictment Against Indian Center Bookkeeper

A former bookkeeper of the American Indian Center has been indicted in the misappropriation of $60,000, according to Cook County States Attorney Anita Alvarez.

Cristobal Cotto, 28, of Chicago, is accused of numerous counts of Continuing a Financial Crimes Enterprise, Theft and Forgery. Prosecutors say Cotto, who began working as the bookkeeper of the American Indian Center in May 2007, had written numerous unauthorized checks to himself.

Prosecutors say he cashed the checks at local currency exchanges.

Cotto was laid off from the AIC, 1630 W Wilson Ave., in 2009 due to a shortage of funds, authorities say.

Cotto was seen in surveilance during the transactions, Alvarez’ office says. In additi0n his drivers licenses was recorded by the currency exchanges when he cashed checks.

In total, the states attorney alleges Cotto wrote 153 unauthorized checks to himself. Cotto pled not guilty to the charges. Bond was set at $100,000 with continuation till Jan. 9.

A former bookkeeper at the American Indian Center has been indicted for writing $60,000 of fradulent checks. Credit: American Indian Center