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.

Lakeview Twshp tax appeal workshop

With the deadline for appealing property taxes looming for owners in Lakeview Township a property tax appeals workshop is being planned.

Property owners should bring a copy of their most recent tax bill to the workshop. Representatives of Commissioner Michael Cabonargi of the County Board of Review, John Fritchey of the County Commissioners and Ameya Pawar, Alderman, will be present.

  • Lakeview Township property tax workshop
  • Bethany Methodist Retirement Community
  • Wed., Nov. 2; 6.30P
  • 4950 N Ashland Ave.
  • For more information

Lakeview township property owners are urged to appeal their property taxes prior to Nov. 16. Map credit: The Bulldog and Google.

Ravenswood Abandoned Buildings Map

3-1-1 has received calls for 267 abandoned buildings in the five ZIPCodes of the Ravenswood neighborhood in the previous twelve months. A small number of the buildings were abandoned due to fire. Some are used by children, street people or gangs. As noted in the flags, many buildings are not secured.

Source: Chicago Data Set


Historical Society meeting TONIGHT

By this time you should know that there is a meeting of the Ravenswood Lake View Historical Society and we are going to ask three historical questions and give the answers to yesterday’s quiz.

  • Annual meeting of the Ravenswood Lake View Historical Society
  • Tues., Oct. 25; 6.30P
  • Sulzer Library; 4455N Lincoln Ave.
Now the answers to yesterday’s questions:
Summerdale, now a street name, was one of a number of unincorporated villages in this area. They were first absorbed into Lake View in 1887 and then that city was incorporated into Chicago in 1889. The other villages were Ravenswood, Bowmanville, Belle Plaine, Gross Park, Andersonville and Rosehill. Summerdale appears to have been located east of Winnemac Park and the Union Pacific Railroad.
Agatite. Boy, this is going to settle some bets. According to a directory of street names we located this refers to the tree in the West Indies.
You could argue that Hills Ct. is not Giddings. Hills Ct existed only in the area now containing Chase Park, so it isn’t Giddings, but it lies at the same map point as Giddings. All the other street names existed. Another street name we did not add was Sulzer Road. If you know the location of the former Sulzer Rd. write it on the back of a ten dollar bill and bring it to the meeting for your dues.
What? Wait? You want more of this nonsense? Join the RLVHS and ask us to run more facts like this.

Ridership flat as slow zones grow

Go-slow zones on the Brown Line have increased by about 5,000 feet since June.

Go-slow zones on the Brown Line have increased by about 5,000 feet since June. Source: Transit Chicago

Reports from the Chicago Transit Authority show that slow zones, trackage where trains must reduce speed, increased over the summer, a period of traditional work on the rail system.

The monthly reports indicate 22.8 percent of the Brown Line was a slow zone as of October 5, the most recent reporting date. That represents 22,412 linear feet of rail, the report indicates.

The line had reported 17,301 feet of slow zone on June 7, reports indicate.

Summer slow zones could be caused by construction and repair of the rail line. However a report on October 5, 2010 indicated just 17,203 feet of slow zones.

Average weekday ridership in the stations in the Ravenswood area declined 3.59 percent month-to-month in the June to July period. Then improved by 0.29 percent in the July-August period.

Year over year the line has shown growth in ridership with the new stations at Montrose and Irving Park showing double digit growth.

Brown Line ridership has not recovered to June highs. Source Transit Chicago

Brown Line ridership has not recovered to June highs. Source Transit Chicago

CTA ridership is up about 5.8 percent overall from 2010.

CTA ridership is up about 5.8 percent overall from 2010. Source: Transit Chicago

Pawar responds to allegation of zoning influence in LFC decision

The Bulldog followed up on a thread on Everyblock regarding  Lycée Français de Chicago.

The thread implies that a $1,500 political contribution to Ald. Ameya Pawar from DLA Piper, a law firm representing the developer of the site, influenced the alderman’s decision to support the development.

The allegation was posted by ‘CGC.’ CGC has no profile on EveryBlock. CGC’s only communication with the community, in fact, has been to address the LFC development.

The Bulldog asked Pawar about the issues raised.

Q: There was an assertion by a commenter on EveryBlock that implied the Lycée Français development was influenced by a campaign contribution from an attorney representing the developer.

A filing with the Illinois Board of Elections indicates the developer gave your campaign a contribution of $1,500 in May.

What is your response to this accusation?

A: DLA Piper contributed to the Friends of Ameya Pawar PAC. This PAC was created to help fund the operations of the 47th Ward Public Service Office. DLA Piper handles many zoning projects in the City of Chicago. The contribution to the PAC had absolutely no impact on my support of the project, nor did DLA Piper intend to have any impact on my support as a result of this contribution. As most people are well aware, I slowed the progress of the Lycee Francais project down so that we could appropriately discuss and consider the project with the community and the City’s Housing and Economic Development Department. The City and the community were in overwhelming support of the project and as you know, no public subsidy was granted for this project.

Q: Have you kept the contribution?

We did keep the contribution. On any given day my office receives between 200-500 plus dollars in requests. People contact us to sponsor events, run ads, host senior dinners, run kids’ programming and other community events. The community has also requested a robust constituent services operation, but the City only provides salaries for three staffers. My campaign promise was that I would not build a political war-chest and I have kept that promise. All the money I raise goes directly back into community work. I am raising money to fund community programs, support office operations and hire additional staff to support innovative programs like GROW47. Raising money is a reality of being an elected official and I am going to continue raising money to put back into our community.

Q: What can you tell us about the current status of the development?

As a major development the project must pass an independent review board – the City’s Plan Commission. Lycee Francais presented to the Plan Commission and passed. The project has also passed the City Council’s Zoning Committee. There will be additional community meetings in the near future.

Cassidy campaign responds to A-Ville story

A statement from the spokesman for Kelly Cassidy for Illinois State Representative, Lauren Peters:
An A-Ville story written by Richard Czuba and aggregated by The Bulldog is inaccurate (on October 20; Cassidy Endorsement Fumble).
We’d like a correction.
In the story the Chief Executive Officer of EQIL was quoted as saying the group has not endorsed anyone in the 14th District. Further, the story says a web page on the Kelly Cassidy for State Rep. political site noting the endorsement was removed after the lack of an endorsement was noted to the Cassidy campaign.
The setup for the story is that the Cassidy campaign is lying.
The facts are that EQIL is a campaign contributor to Cassidy and has said they back her in her bid for election to the seat.
The web page Czuba refers to was a development page that was not intended for distribution to the public. The overall web site has not yet been launched. And the campaign has taken steps to improve web security following this unauthorized intrusion.
Czuba should demonstrate transparency by noting that he is a contributor to an opponent of Cassidy and works as a poller for that opponent. Czuba could have avoided this situation by contacting the Cassidy campaign for clarification prior to running the article.

Historical Society answers questions about past

The Ravenswood Lake View Historical Society will be holding its annual meeting Tuesday. It’s a great place to get questions answered. We’ve been running questions all week, some more follow the bullets about the group’s meeting.

  • Annual Meeting
  • Ravenswood Lake View Historical Society
  • Oct. 25; 6.30P
  • Sulzer Library; 4455 N Lincoln
  • For more information email Patbutler1940 (at) yahoo (dot) com

Where is Summerdale?

  • It was an unincorporated village near Damen and Winnemac (50%, 1 Votes)
  • It was the name of a proposed housing estate in what is now Budlong Woods (50%, 1 Votes)
  • It was the former name of the Davis Theater. (0%, 0 Votes)
  • It is Mr. Summerdale, one of the founders of the Lake View School District. (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 2

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Continuing the idea of street names, Agatite

  • It refers to the mineral, but the mineral isn't found around here (100%, 2 Votes)
  • It is a misspelled word or something. No one really knows (0%, 0 Votes)
  • It refers to a tree that grows in the West Indies. It has red, yellow and white flowers (0%, 0 Votes)
  • It was the name of the mistress of an early ward boss (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 2

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More street names. Identify the names that existed

  • Polywyne Pl., now Agatite (50%, 1 Votes)
  • Hills Ct, now Giddings (50%, 1 Votes)
  • Clay Ave., now Argyle (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Vilas Pl., now Windsor (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Naslund Pl, now Pennsacola (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Perry, now Bosworth (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Reed Pl, now Pennsacola (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 2

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And, the answers to yesterday’s questions:
The first Caucasian settler in the area is Conrad Sulzer. He settled here in 1837. After the Chicago Northwestern Railway was built (1856), the Ravenswood Land Co. purchased parts of four farms, including Sulzer’s, to develop (1868). The area lay on either side of the tracks and seems to have had its village center at Wilson. So, that was the first land rush. The second rush happened after the development of the Ravenswood Electric Line, now the Brown Line (1907). The final huge land development here happened when the Budlong Pickle Farm was developed. That happened in the 1950’s. If you’re at all interested in the answer you should join the historical society, we need people like you.
Trick question. All the parks existed or still exist. Let’s take them one at a time. Gunther Park, really Gunther Field, was the home of the US Baseball League Chicago Green Sox, a minor league team. It is now Chase Park. Harms Park, located at Western and Berteau (it includes the auto dealership and some homes) was a private park used by various ethnic and civic groups. After World War 2 it was sited for low income development. That plan, however, was not accepted. German Sharpshooters Park was a site acquired by Riverview. It seems to have been in the northwest quadrant of the park property (now the site of Clark Park). AND Warner Park. It still exists. And it is in the Ravenswood community. If you know the street address of the park write it on the back of a ten dollar bill and submit it with your membership application at the meeting.
Aubert Ave. is now called Hutchinson. It was the name of that street in Jefferson Township. You can still see a sign for it at Campbell.

Questions Dog Historical Society

The state’s second oldest historical society will be holding its annual meeting Tuesday. All weekend The Bulldog has been asking questions about the history of the area.

  • Annual meeting
  • Ravenswood Lake View Historical Society
  • Tues., Oct. 25; 6.30P
  • Sulzer Library; 4455 N Lincoln Ave
  • For more information email Patbutler1940 (at) yahoo (dot) com
The answers to the questions from yesterday:
Plank Road was a common name for many of the wooden toll roads in the area. There was a toll plaza on Clark Street in the neighborhood. However, Lincoln was named Little Fort Road. It was renamed in memory of President Abraham Lincoln shortly after he was assassinated. It seems to be the first such road named after the Illinois President.
This is a trick question with two correct answers. First, the treaty line does exist. It is a diagonal line drawn between local natives and the United States. It is about ten miles on either side of the South Branch of the Chicago River. Now Clark Street is actually a sand ridge. Back in the day it was the dividing line between the two watersheds and it also served as a native and game trail.
Okay, here is another trick question. Gunther Park is not the proper name of the minor league park that once occupied Chase Park. Gunther Field is correct. The Civil War POW camp was located near Clark and Diversey. That leaves two answers and the correct one is native encampment.
So, by this time you are either hooked or bored. Here are three more questions with answers on Monday.

The most recent land boom in Ravenswood was not the biggest. What event sparked the biggest land boom in the history of the community?

  • The Chicago Fire in 1871 caused a mass exodus of people from the city. (43%, 3 Votes)
  • The opening of the 'Ravenswood' line in 1907 allowed cheap access to the city. (29%, 2 Votes)
  • The 1856 construction of the Chicago Northwestern Railway allowed easy access to the city. (14%, 1 Votes)
  • The residential development of Budlong Farms after World War 2. (14%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 7

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Which of these did not exist?

  • Gunther Park, home of the US Baseball League Chicago Green Sox (67%, 2 Votes)
  • German Sharpshooter Park, a playground for guns and beer. (33%, 1 Votes)
  • Harms Park, where the city once held picnics for 'pioneers.' (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Warner Park, just a gazebo away... (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 3

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You are given an address on Aubert Ave.

  • That is the former name of Sunnyside (50%, 1 Votes)
  • That is the former name of Hutchinson (50%, 1 Votes)
  • That's just a bad address. (0%, 0 Votes)
  • That is the former name of Eastwood (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 2

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If you think you know the answer to these, write them on the back of a ten dollar bill and mail it to the RLV Historical Society with your application. Answers tomorrow.

Cassidy proposes eliminating legislative scholarships

Illinois Rep. Kelly Cassidy is sponsoring legislation that would end the troubled decades old legislative scholarship program where state legislators award scholarships to students attending state universities.

In a recent Chicago Tribune investigation, the Tribune noted that scholarships were being given to the legislators employees and campaign contributors.

“Though I am sympathetic to those in need, this program has been abused by politicians handing out favors,” Cassidy said.  “This legislation is a crucial step in fighting corruption, cleaning up state government, and bringing real reform toSpringfield.”

DANK to feature silent films

DANK Haus will be presenting a double feature of silent film screamers, just in time for Halloween. The films, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and Nosferatu, will be accompanied on the organ by Dennis Scott.

Scott is president of the Chicagoland Theatre Organ Society and serves as staff organist at Chicago’s Music Box Theatre. In addition, he is a regular performer at the Silent Film Society of Chicago’s Summer Film Festival, and has played at festivals across the Midwest including the International Buster Keaton Convention.

  • Screening of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and Nosferatu
  • Organ accompaniment by Dennis Scott
  • DANK Haus, The German American National Congress
  • 4740 N Western Ave
  • Fri.,  Oct. 28; 7.30P
  • $7
  • For more information Dank (at) DankHaus (dot) com