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July 2008 - Posts

LIL' BUDDY'S BLOG: City of Chicago Considers Mandatory Spay-Neuter Law!
THE CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE MARKET, AND OTHER THINGS CHICAGO, FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF A LITTLE WHITE DOG! Well, it's Blog Posting Time in my Lil' Office! Glad I've kept my Anti-Virus Software up to date! Often times, new laws are written Read More...
In Chicago, No Smoking Means No Smoking - On Stage, Too!
NO EXCEPTION TO IL, CHICAGO SMOKING BANS BY ACTORS IN THEATRICAL PERFORMANCES! "Jersey Boys," the story of the early 1960's vocal group, The Four Seasons , is one of the most popular stage performances in Chicago these days. Several scenes Read More...
HEY, TEXTERS? Do You Multi Task? It Could Be DANGEROUS, Even When You're WALKING!
TWO NEW YORK CITY PEDESTRIANS STRUCK AND KILLED WHILE SENDING TEXT MESSAGES! As technology evolves, so do technology-related mishaps. Some municipalities, and a few states, are trying to prevent distracted driving by restricting use of cell phones while Read More...
PRESIDENT BUSH SIGNS HOUSING RELIEF BILL! Here's What it Means!
PRESIDENT SIGNS BILL WITHOUT MUCH FANFARE, PRESS COVERAGE IN THE OVAL OFFICE YESTERDAY! The highly-anticipated Housing Relief Bill is now law! It won approval from lawmakers eager to take some action against the ongoing housing market slump, and continuing Read More...
CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS - ROGERS PARK, UPTOWN, LOOP, NORWOOD PARK, NAPERVILLE
ROGERS PARK Western Avenue is known as the blue-collar core of Chicago. Here is a look at a segment of what a snapshot of Western Avenue recently has illustrated. It has been reflected that Western Avenue population emulates the ethnic diversity of the Read More...
CHICAGO COMMUTERS - DRIVE THE EDENS EXPRESSWAY? Finally, Construction Here Nearly Over!
UNLIKE WHEN OTHER CHICAGO-AREA EXPRESSWAYS WERE REBUILT, THE NORTH-SIDE EDENS HAS FEW VIABLE ALTERNATE ROUTES! It's an old cliché, folks, and you've heard it dozens, if not hundreds of times - "There are TWO SEASONS in Chicago; Winter, Read More...
OUR FAVORITE RECIPES - GRILLED TANDOORI CHICKEN
With this current heat wave, it's definitely time to grill. The tandoori spice mix can sometimes be hot so be careful if you don't like things too spicy. Prep Time: 20 minutes Grill Time: 9 minutes Difficulty: Easy Servings: 4 INGREDIENTS: 1 1/4 Read More...
THE UPTOWN THEATRE, CHICAGO - Long-Shuttered North-Side Movie Palace - On The Auction Block Today!
EXPERTS ESTIMATE $40 MILLION NEEDED TO RESTORE LANDMARK TO FORMER GLORY! Those 1920's movie palaces that used to be commonplace across Chicago - most are long gone! Those few that survive - The Chicago on State Street, The Oriental on Randolph, and Read More...
KATHY'S HOME & GARDEN TIPS - GOING GREEN INCENTIVES
Everyone today is talking about Going Green. The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design ( LEED ) can give a building certification that a building project meets the highest green building and performance measures. Many folks building new construction Read More...
TECHNOLOGY TIPS - A NEW COOL (CUIL) SEARCH ENGINE COULD THIS BE GOOGLE'S COMPETITION?
Anna Patterson is at it again. Anna's last Internet search engine was purchased by Google back in 2004 as an upgrade to their own system. Of course, this time around Anna is not selling her latest technology. Since leaving Google in 2006 Patterson Read More...
CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE STATS PACK - July 28, 2008
Good Morning, Everyone! Foreclosures continue to climb in Cook County, across the State of Illinois, and nationally. Second Quarter statistics indicate home foreclosures increased nearly 58% in the state of Illinois since the Second Quarter, 2007. In Read More...
Little-Noticed Provision of New U.S. Housing Relief Bill Could Save Some Taxpayers Money!
NEW PROVISION WOULD CREATE STANDARD TAX DEDUCTION FOR SOME HOMEOWNERS WHO DO NOT ITEMIZE THEIR DEDUCTIONS! The new U.S. Housing Relief Bill , just approved the the Congress and headed to The President's desk for assumed approval, primarily is geared Read More...
IN CHICAGO, COOK COUNTY, STATE OF ILLINOIS - Foreclosures Continue to Climb!
COOK COUNTY STATISTICS - ONE IN 362 HOMES IS AT SOME STAGE OF THE FORECLOSURE PROCESS! Those thinking any problems in the currently-sluggish Real Estate Market, in Chicago and across the U.S. is waning need only look at current figures compiled to RealtyTrac.com Read More...
JEFF’S CHICAGO SPORTS BLOG - JEFF SAMARDZIJA MAKES HIS MAJOR LEAGUE DEBUT WITH THE CHICAGO CUBS
Jeff Samardzija debuted in yesterday's loss to the Florida Marlins . Despite allowing the tying run, Samardzija displayed strong promise to Cubs fans. He has a full selection of pitches and a live arm that will undoubtedly help the Cubs in a bullpen Read More...
THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO - ENJOYING SUMMER YET?
Are you enjoying your summer so far? If not, it certainly isn't for a lack of nothing to do. Chicago and its surrounding neighborhoods always have something going on during summer, and this weekend is no different. So I suggest that you get yourself Read More...
LIL' BUDDY'S BLOG: "Designer Dogs" Cute as They Are, Sometimes Have "Issues!"
THE CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE MARKET, AND OTHER THINGS CHICAGO, FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF A LITTLE WHITE DOG! SORRY! You caught me again catching up on the Business Section of the Chicago Trib. I just scanned an article in the paper the other day about what Read More...
LATEST CHICAGO AREA HOME SALES NUMBERS NOT PRETTY!
JUNE CHICAGO IL HOME RESALES DOWN 28% VERSUS LAST YEAR - BUT THERE ARE POCKETS OF RENEWED INTEREST! Here in the Chicago Metro Area , home resales and median selling prices dropped in June, indicating challenges may lie ahead before the area housing market Read More...
CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS - LINCOLN PARK, ROGERS PARK, LAKEVIEW, NORWOOD PARK, OAK PARK
LINCOLN PARK Jewel Food Stores and Osco Drug Pharmacy are planning to open a 16,000-square-foot concept store that will be named Urban Fresh, by Jewel in Lincoln Park next season. Urban Fresh will be located at 1910 N. Clybourn Avenue, which was previously Read More...
CHICAGO RED LIGHT CAMERA JUSTICE - It's A Rig!
90% CONVICTION RATE IN ADMINISTRATIVE HEARING, LITTLE CHANCE OF SUCCESSFUL DEFENSE, LEAVE MANY SAYING - PAY THE @$%#*^(# TICKET! Red Light Traffic Cameras! The very name draws the ire of drivers whose cars were ticketed and photographed, and were fined, Read More...
OUR FAVORITE RECIPES - ZUCCHINI GRINDERS
Difficulty: Medium Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes Servings: 4 INGREDIENTS 1 tablespoon butter 2 medium zucchini, cubed 1 pinch red pepper flakes salt and pepper to taste 1 cup marinara sauce 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese 4 (6 inch) Read More...
HOUSING BILL APPROVED IN U.S. HOUSE - HEADED TO SENATE!
PRESIDENT BUSH REVERSES COURSE - NOW SAYS HE WILL SIGN HOUSING RESCUE BILL! After months of speculation, and considerable debate, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 272-152 to send the Housing Rescue Bill to the Senate. Shortly before the House voted, Read More...
WITH COOK COUNTY SALES TAX NOW A U.S.-HIGH 10.25%, Many Find Ways to Avoid It!
THE INTERNET, CHICAGO COLLAR COUNTIES, AND WISCONSIN POISED TO BE WINNERS! 10.25%! Consider, for a minute, the current General Sales Tax Level within Cook County , the county that contains the City of Chicago. Prior to July 1st of this year, the rate Read More...
KATHY'S HOME & GARDEN TIPS - TIPS FOR MIDSUMMER LAWN AND GARDEN
Fertilize the lawn with an all purpose fertilizer . There are a lot on the market so be sure to choose depending on what your lawn needs. All fertilizers have three numbers in their formula. Pick the fertilizer with the larger first number for root development. Read More...
TECHNOLOGY TIPS - CHECKPOINT FRIENDLY LAPTOP CASE ANNOUNCED
Well, it seems as though your wish is the TSA's command. Mobile Edge released a statement last Friday, July 18, about a new bag that is checkpoint friendly. What this means for the travel warriors and occasional travelers alike is that if you have Read More...
CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE STATS PACK - July 21, 2008
Good Morning, Everyone! A massive Housing Bill may be on the way to the President's desk as early as this week . It will allow many of those home owners in distress, owing more on their mortgage than what their home is worth on the market today, or Read More...
U.S. HOUSING RELIEF BILL Offers HOPE - But Only for Some!
PASSAGE OF BILL, EXPECTED THIS WEEK, COULD PROVIDE RELIEF FOR 400,000 DISTRESSED HOME OWNERS! Mortgage rate resets. Declining home values. Reduced levels of home equity. Sub-prime loans in default. Foreclosures on the rise. Short Sales on lender's Read More...
"SEE THROUGH" SECURITY SEARCH Coming to Chicago, O'Hare Airport!
SOME CALL NEW TECHNOLOGY A "VIRTUAL REALITY STRIP SEARCH"! Fear remains high across the U.S. that Al Qaeda -trained terrorist bombers will again use airplanes to attack. According to Kip Hawley , of the Transportation Security Administration Read More...
STARBUCKS to Shed 18 Cafés in Chicago Area - Including Two in Minority Areas!
CHICAGO WEST, SOUTH SIDE STORES AT ROOSEVELT & HOMAN, 95TH & STONY ISLAND SLATED TO CLOSE! It's been several years since Urban Coffee Opportunities, a venture between basketball great Magic Johnson's urban development firm and Starbucks Read More...
WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE? In Chicago, 20 Years from Now - Perhaps Not!
AN ESTIMATED 2.2 MILLION PEOPLE WILL LIVE IN CHICAGO AND NORTHEAST IL BY 2030 - SUPPLIES OF DRINKING WATER MAY BE TIGHT! We in Chicago and the Suburbs take the availability of water for granted - perhaps even more so than those living in other parts of Read More...
JEFF'S CHICAGO SPORTS BLOG - MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL FANS ENJOY A TERRIFIC ALL-STAR CELEBRATION
If you're a big-time baseball fan then this week's all-star festivities didn't disappoint. Monday's homerun derby had a tremendous amount of excitement with Texas Rangers Outfielder, Josh Hamilton , at center stage. Hamilton, despite not Read More...
THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO - FESTIVAL SEASON IS IN FULL SWING
This weekend is so filled with things to do, it is difficult to narrow it down to just a few. One incredible event kicking off Friday July 18 th will be the coverage of the 100th Race to Mackinac. The 100th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac has set Read More...
LIL' BUDDY'S BLOG: Happy Reunion for Family of Bo, a Brown & White Collie, in Suburban Arlington Heights IL!
THE CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE MARKET, AND OTHER THINGS CHICAGO, FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF A LITTLE WHITE DOG! WOOF! Has it been HOT in Chicago these last few days - hottest days of the summer! If I didn't pant, I'd sure be sweating right now! (Here Read More...
GOT BEER? Here in Chicago, "YES!" Beer Giant MillerCoors to Relocate To Chicago!
CITY, STATE OF ILLINOIS OFFERS BREWER NEARLY $20 MILLION IN INCENTIVES TO MOVE HERE! A long time ago, nearly a dozen brewers called Chicago home. The Peter Hand Brewing Company on the Near South Side produced the now-defunct Meister Brau , and, later, Read More...
PACK 'EM IN! - Chicago Transit Authority to Test Seatless L Cars!
RIDERSHIP INCREASE - UP 7% SINCE JUNE, 2007, 25% FOR SENIORS - DICTATE CAPACITY BOOST! Gasoline in Chicago over $4.50/gallon for regular. Seniors riding free on mass transit since last March. Both factors have contributed to increased ridership on CTA Read More...
CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS - GOLD COAST, LAKEVIEW, LINCOLN PARK, JEFFERSON PARK, EVANSTON
GOLD COAST The Chicago History Museum is offering Know your Neighborhood Walking Tours . A guide will leads strolls through historic areas through Aug. 23rd beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturdays. One such tour: The Glitzy Gold Coast is $5-$10 and registration Read More...
OUR FAVORITE RECIPES - A NEW CHICKEN SALAD
We're all grilling out these days, so why not put those chicken breasts to good use in a yummy chicken salad. This one uses some of the fresh fruits you'll find during these hot summer days. To view more chicken salad recipes, click here . Prep Read More...
In Chicago, High Homes-For-Sale Inventory Drives Down Some Prices - But Getting a Loan Not As Easy!
PRIVATE MORTGAGE INSURANCE COMPANIES TIGHTEN STANDARDS, TAG MORE "DECLINING MARKET" ZIPS - INCLUDING MUCH OF CHICAGO AREA! Here in Chicago and the suburbs, prices in some neighborhoods and select suburbs are up. The median sales price market-wide Read More...
FANNIE MAE, FREDDIE MAC - Backing By Fed Could Prevent Mortgage Funding Crisis!
NEW YORK FEDERAL RESERVE BANK CAN NOW LEND GIANT MORTGAGE GUARANTORS FUNDS TO ASSURE CONTINUED MORTGAGE FUNDING! Together, two giant government-sponsored public corporations, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac , back over half of all residential mortgages funded Read More...
KATHY'S HOME & GARDEN TIPS - GARDENING WITH THE KIDS
If your children are not too fond of veggies, there is a sure fire way to get them interested. Grow their own! It's a little too late this year for plants like tomatoes and peppers but you can still plant lettuce and peas. Sugar snap peas grow quickly Read More...
TECHNOLOGY TIPS - XBOX, XBOX AND A MERGER*
Yep, you heard it here, finally good news from Microsoft . The Xbox 360 Pro is encountering some stiff competition from Sony and will be cutting its price. The original ticket for this fun, mid-price version of the game console was $349. The cost will Read More...
QUESTIONABLE MORTGAGE LOAN PRACTICES Targeted By Fed!
MOVE AIMS TO END PRACTICES SOME EXPERTS CONTEND CONTRIBUTED TO TODAY'S MORTGAGE CRISIS! As foreclosures continue to rise here in Chicago , and across the nation, at an alarming rate, the Federal Reserve Board is expected to approve reforms to Mortgage Read More...
CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE STATS PACK - July 14, 2008
Good Morning! Considering renovating a historic home in Chicago? Several government incentive programs exist, as do tax assessment freezes, that can reduce your cost of ownership within the first several years after you rehab. Review our blog post today Read More...
PRIDE - AND GOVERNMENT INCENTIVES - Help Fuel Renovation of Historic Chicago Homes!
WORK CAN BE REWARDING, BUT STRICT GUIDELINES MUST BE FOLLOWED TO QUALIFY! Chicago is a city of many historic homes and commercial buildings. Those who have taken the steps to restore their properties to their original glory, and now live in them as their Read More...
JEFF'S CHICAGO SPORTS BLOG: Rich Harden has Impressive Debut for Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field!
RIGHT-HANDED PITCHER CARLOS MARMOL: ANOTHER WOBBLY RELIEF APPEARANCE! CUB FANS CONCERNED! The Chicago Cubs are ecstatic they won yesterday despite blowing a 7-0 lead due to sloppy defensive play and a struggling reliever in Carlos Marmol. Yesterday, was Read More...
THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO - IT’S JULY ALREADY – WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR!
I can't believe it's July 11 th already, and that another weekend is upon us! I suppose we need to stop having so much fun so our summer time doesn't flash before our eyes. I'm not ready for cold weather yet and I don't think you are Read More...
LIL' BUDDY'S BLOG: Chicago Schools Seek to Keep On-The-Road Pre-License Requirement for New Drivers Low!
THE CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE MARKET, AND OTHER THINGS CHICAGO, FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF A LITTLE WHITE DOG! My humans snapped this picture of me last week, while we were visiting some close friends up near St Paul MN. It conclusively proves that we dogs Read More...
HOUSING BILL LIKELY TO PASS SENATE!
BILL WOULD ALLOW MORE FHA-BACKED LOANS, HIGHER LOAN LIMITS, AND AN $8,000 TAX CREDIT FOR FIRST-TIME HOME BUYERS! This election year, the sluggish state of the U.S. Housing Market remains at the forefront. Tougher lending standards, historically high inventory, Read More...
CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS - LOOP, EDGEWATER, NORWOOD PARK, NILES
SOUTH LOOP For his 68th birthday, all Ringo Starr wanted and asked for was a little "peace and love," he said. On Monday he got just that from many fans who met along an entire city block along East Wacker Place near Chicago's Hard Rock Read More...
FANNIE MAE, FREDDIE MAC SHARES TAKE BEATING ON FEARS OF RISING LOAN DEFAULTS!
STOCKS FALL AS MUCH AS 17.9% - INVESTORS FEAR LOSS OF CAPITAL, SHARPLY HIGHER INTEREST RATES! Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are not candy stores! They are government-sponsored companies whose focus is buying and guaranteeing loans made by banks issuing residential Read More...
OUR FAVORITE RECIPES - EATING WELL WITHOUT COOKING
Yep, you read that headline right. During the hot months, especially with the humidity we've been having recently, my need to not cook is definitely on the rise. Ironically, this is the time when a lot of people eat healthier because cold, refreshing Read More...
ON CHICAGO AREA EXPRESSWAYS, Speeding Tickets Decline - But Watch Out for Photo Enforcement in Construction Zones!
45 MPH CONSTRUCTION ZONE SPEED LIMIT IN EFFECT 24/7 - REGARDLESS OF WHETHER WORKERS PRESENT! It's after midnight. Traffic on the Illinois Tollway is light, and you're traveling at the posted 55 MPH Speed Limit. There is a construction zone ahead, Read More...
KATHY'S HOME & GARDEN TIPS - MOSQUITO DANGER!!!
We are at that time of year that mosquitoes are at their worst. Combine all the rain we've had with summer heat and this becomes prime birthing situations for millions of mosquitoes. Mosquitoes containing West Nile Virus have been detected in the Read More...
TECHNOLOGY TIPS - YES YOU CAN TAKE IT WITH YOU!
GOT MY MOJO WORKIN! So I'm watching MSNBC the other day during the small business hour and I have to share this pretty amazing tool that was reviewed. It's called MojoPac and I am extremely impressed with how this program works. As a person who Read More...
CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE STATS PACK - July 7, 2008
Good Morning! Many prospective home buyers ask our Team about available distressed properties. Some feel they can pick up foreclosure and pre-foreclosure properties for cents on the dollar. In reality - it's not that easy, and not as cheap as these Read More...
SHORT SALES, REO'S, and BANK AUCTIONS - A Short Summary!
NATURE OF DISTRESSED PROPERTY PURCHASE CAN DIFFER DEPENDING ON THEIR STAGE IN THE FORECLOSURE PROCESS! We at Dean's Team Chicago get questions all the time on the availability of Foreclosed Properties. Based on what they see in the media, many prospective Read More...
CHICAGO PROVIDES NEW HOME FOR ABANDONED PETS FROM FLOOD AREAS IN MIDWEST!
30 ABANDONED PETS BROUGHT TO CHICAGO FROM CROWDED ANIMAL SHELTERS IN IOWA, DOWNSTATE IL! When tough times hit, family pets are one of the first casualties, unfortunately. You've probably seen stories of dogs and cats abandoned in the wake of home Read More...
CHICAGO SPORTS - ZAMBRANO’S RETURN – JUST WHAT THE CHICAGO CUBS NEEDED
Cubs ' ace right-hander Pitcher, Carlos Zambrano, returned from the disabled list to hold the Cardinals scoreless in six innings while allowing only six base runners. Zambrano showed why the Cubs need to be able to trot him out to the mound every Read More...
THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO - JULY 4TH FESTIVITIES
Well it's the Forth of July Holiday weekend. Happy Birthday America. There is no doubt that downtown is the place to be. What with the Taste of Chicago going on, you can enjoy many other activities and venues as well this weekend in our beautiful Read More...
LIL' BUDDY'S BLOG: "A Dog on the Road" Special Report - The Surf Ballroom, Clear Lake IA
THE CHICAGO IL REAL ESTATE MARKET, AND OTHER THINGS CHICAGO, FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF A LITTLE WHITE DOG! "A Long, Long Time Ago . . . I Can Still Remember How That Music Used to Make Me Smile." Don McLean, from the hit song American Pie , Read More...
CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS - LINCOLN SQUARE, WEST LOOP, LAKE VIEW, PORTAGE PARK, NILES
LINCOLN SQUARE I grew up with an instilled fear of bacteria. The other day I happened upon a class offering at The Chopping Block in Lincoln Square : "Chicken 101: A Totally Hands-On Experience." Or, as I came to call it: "One Night. Three Read More...
OUR FAVORITE RECIPES - RUTH'S CHRIS FAMOUS SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE
Sometimes it's good to know foodies in this city because then you are given an opportunity to taste recipes from some of your favorite eateries. This latest recipe comes from my friends at As You Wish and was given to them by Ruth's Chris Steakhouse Read More...
CONSIDERING FORECLOSED PROPERTIES? Roll Up Your Sleeves, and Be Patient!
TO QUALIFIED HOME BUYERS, FORECLOSED HOMES OFFER PLENTY OF UPSIDE, BUT HARD WORK USUALLY REQUIRED! Tragically, Illinois Foreclosures are up nearly 42 percent from May, 2007. That translates to incredible heartache and misfortune for some, but opportunity Read More...
"CHICAGO EXPERIENCE" IMPORTANT FOR MANY PARENTS - And Chicago Schools Now More Attractive!
NEW PROGRAMS, PARENT/TEACHER/ADMINISTRATOR INVOLVEMENT DRAW FAMILIES TO CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOODS, SCHOOLS! Back when I was a kid, growing up in the West Rogers Park Neighborhood of Chicago , we would often ask other kids we didn't know, "Public, Read More...
KATHY'S HOME & GARDEN TIPS - SOME HELPFUL TIPS TO GET READY FOR THE HOLIDAY
A FEW THINGS TO DO AROUND THE HOUSE AND GARDEN BEFORE THE HOLIDAY Lawn and Garden: Even though we have had a lot of rain lately we need to make sure all our plants and lawn areas have sufficient water. I've noticed a few areas, especially under trees, Read More...