Tuesday, May 31, 2011

What A Transvestite Hooker Taught Me About The Hennepin County Jail Roster (April 11 to May 31, Roster-O-Rama!)

Stock photo and blog post by John Hoff

Regular readers know the deal: the Hennepin County Jail roster is online, but for some reason portions of it are not crawled by Google bots. This would include the home addresses of incarcerated persons "received by" the jail. For some reason--and I attribute this to the system just being clunky--the home addresses only pop up under the "received by jail" and not other portions of the roster. Go figure.

As a public service, about once a month I copy the whole roster--it's public info, after all--and I post it on my blog. My focus is North Minneapolis addresses--which slumlords are routinely housing accused rapists, for example--but I'm not going to pick through the roster and separate out the North Minneapolis addresses. To heck with it. Throw the whole thing up there, I say. Let truth sort itself out. Ironically, if all jail rosters across the United States were made as accessible as the one in Hennepin County, then briefly being in jail wouldn't be such a big deal. The people who are upset are the ones who want to HIDE the fact they were in jail. Like, gee, here's my otherwise spotless internet identity...except for that damn Hennepin County jail roster.

The roster consistently drives traffic to my blog. And, just as consistently, I get emails from individuals who are upset that I dared to...

Monday, May 30, 2011

JNS BLOG EDITORIAL: Child Support, House Taxes, And How Does Don "Shake Down Blogger" Allen Celebrate Memorial Day?

Contributed photo, xoxo, blog post by John Hoff

Guess what I'm holding in the photo above?

Never mind, I'll just tell you: child support checks.

These checks are not FROM me TO child support. No, rather, these checks are from the State of Minnesota and made out TO ME. The checks range from a few dollars to a few hundred dollars, but many of the checks are the same amount, over and over, $65.

In the photo I'm holding, like, eight checks. But I've received over a dozen in the past several months. These represent OVERPAYMENTS to child support. Far from being a "deadbeat dad," I have actually been paying MORE than the State of Minnesota says I should pay for several months, now. Why do I mention this...?

Because of positions I have long taken on this blog...that North Minneapolis should be improved, revitalized, made safe and prosperous and relatively free of crime...I have been attacked, over and over, often with completely false accusations. That I'm a deadbeat dad. That I don't pay my house taxes.

My house taxes? Paid up. Just like they should be. All paid up.

Have there been times I've fallen behind on child support and house taxes? Oh, yes, definitely. And I've paid whatever fines or interest resulted. Of course, nobody gives you a bonus for paying house taxes months and months early, or for overpaying child support.

But good citizenship is its own reward. Today, on Memorial Day, I think of the soldiers who have served our country, like my own father who was at the attack on Pearl Harbor and landed with General MacArthur at Leyte Gulf.

I also think of people who have disgraced our country: like Don "Shake Down Blogger" Allen, who stole money from a bedridden vet. Click here for details.

In a burst of patriotism, this I publicly vow: Every Memorial Day, as well as every Veterans Day, I am going to get on my blog and make mention of Don Allen's disgraceful act against a bedridden vet. And, by god, I'm going to keep doing this as long as Don Allen--who doesn't even live in North Minneapolis--keeps sticking his nose into North Minneapolis politics and roiling up the waters in forced and unnatural ways. I mean, honestly, no sooner had the NoMi tornado lifted off the ground than Don Allen was already trying to assert the authorities were going to create some kind of racist diaspora of renters. This is classic Don Allen: creating a wild-eyed conspiracy out of nothing but thin air and his porno-fevered imagination.

But this is a FACT: Don Allen stole from a bedridden vet.

That's the character of Don Allen.

Spanky Pete's Latest Loony Legal Action--Habeas My Rotten Corpus!

Stock photo and blog post by John Hoff

I may as well address rumors that Peter "Spanky Pete" Rickmyer, the Level Three sex offender who went to prison about a month ago for trying to file dubious legal paper against this blog after being declared a frivolous litigant, has filed a new legal action against this blog. How many does that make? Honestly, I've lost count...

But, first of all, his latest legal nonsense is not a lawsuit. It's actually a habeas corpus action, legal Latin for "let go the body." This kind of action is filed by somebody who believes they have no valid legal reason to be incarcerated by the authorities. I say again, INCARCERATED BY THE AUTHORITIES.

At this point you might be asking yourself, hey, wait a minute...why would a private citizen like John Hoff the blogger be named in a habeas corpus action? Sounds like this kind of action can only be filed against a government entity.

How right you are. Spanky Pete has named a number of public officials in his action, including corrections authorities. Keep in mind, however, that because Spanky Pete is a "Rule 9 frivolous litigant," he isn't allowed to file lawsuits without 1.) the signature of a licensed attorney, 2.) the permission of the presiding judge.

So far, I have no indication of anybody actually being served with this paperwork and, furthermore, I haven't heard anything about Pete getting permission to file it. One might wonder why he's filing it at all, since he's expected to be released on or about June 6. Heck, by the time any legal issues got sorted out, Pete would be a free man. Or would he?

Many of us are hoping, praying, crossing our fingers that Pete would be re-assessed, re-evaluated, re-incarcerated and just stay locked up. Is the habeas corpus action some indication this might happen, and Peter feels like he needs to start fighting his way out of jail? Who knows.

(Parody font)

But let me just address the naming of a blogger in a habeas corpus action or, as one might phrase it, "bloggus habeas corpus."
(Blogger! Let go my body!)

I want to address the authorities directly: Look, it was a lot of fun when the white prison van pulled up at my house, and you wild-n-crazy Corrections Department folks said, "John, we'd like you to have the honor of driving Spanky Pete to prison." I especially enjoyed the part where we stopped at that, um, nightclub establishment for drinks and music and left Pete in the van. The doggie dish full of bottled water? Nice touch.

But here's the deal: scratch my cop-loving exterior and the bleeding heart liberal beneath is soon revealed. Nobody, not even Spanky Pete, should be subjected to repeated body cavity searches by female Law Enforcement Explorer Scouts, and, furthermore, not even a terrorist should be forced to pee and defecate upon himself while being transported.

Yes, I'll admit I was laughing pretty hard when one of the Explorer Scouts was imitating Buffalo Bill in Silence of the Lambs, "Yes, Precious, he WILL get the hose."

But that stream of ice cold water was coming out WAY TOO HARD. I could see the red marks on Spanky Pete's hide.

(End of parody font)

So, for the record, I say the man has had enough and the authorities should LET HIM GO...

Inside a very large fenced area.

Where he will be made to build his own cabin and raise his own chickens.

I hope this makes my position clear on the incarceration of Spanky Pete, and whether to habeas his corpus.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Rob MacIntyre - The Nomi Tornado Hero

Photo by John Hoff, blog by Nomi Passenger

I truly believe that sharing is a part of healing. And we have a major wound to heal from the loss of Rob MacIntyre. The story of Rob's heroic death can be found many places like here and here. But there is one particular story that is truly moving, found on a neighbor's personal blog, Our Lives, Our Stories - warning- grab the tissues. The Homewood neighbor who authored her own tornado story, including Rob's story, did a heart wrenching job of capturing the emotions that we all have been experiencing, surviving the tornado; the overwhelming chaos and devastation of our neighborhoods; the loss of Rob.

I can't come close to expressing how wonderful this man was and how much he will be missed by the entire northside community. My heart goes out to his immediate neighbors and loved ones, especially his wife, and I'll do my best to lead a life dedicated to making the world a better place for all creatures, which is what Rob would want us all to do.

The above photo was taken at Rob's house, last fall, when Rob invited us over for a special project that he wanted to show John. He generously gave John's son, Alex, the most massive box of robotics I have ever seen. He took us out back where he kept one of his birds he was working with at that time. In the picture, you can see the bird is receiving a piece of raw chicken as a reward for returning to Alex's hand after a flight command. To see Rob working with his birds was breathtaking. I am beyond fortunate to have had the pleasure of visiting and getting to know Rob many times. John and I got in the habit of referring to Rob as "the real Hawkman", in a homage to our friend Jeff Skrenes, who earned the nickname The Hawthorne Hawkman.

Please consider making a donation to the U of M Raptor Center, click here for donation page, and designate it in Rob's memory. Additionally, his obituary suggested donations be sent to Tree Trust, an organization dedicated to changing lives and landscapes. Tree Trust donation page found here.

Rob, please watch over the northside from Heaven as you did from here on Earth. Until then, my friend.

(Do Not Click Read More)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Suspected Hookers In Rearview Mirror May Be Closer Than They Appear--Driving Prostitution Out Of North Minneapolis!

Photos by John Hoff

It was early May, a few days before Navy SEALS killed Osama Bin Laden, and the prostitutes were getting annoyingly common on Penn Avenue.

It wasn't even the heat of summer, yet, but the hookers were as thick as Nutella...

I was driving somewhere with Megan when we spotted one, and we pulled up to call police. We've learned that street walkers will mostly ignore a car facing AWAY from them, but you can watch them just fine in the rear view mirror. In fact, I've actually managed to snap their pictures in the mirror, creating an imperfect but highly malleable image that can be edited with my MacBook.

We called in her description to the cops: light skinned, thin build, dark jacket and distinctive aqua blue sweats. I was a bit worried this (suspected) hooker might actually be a police decoy: she wasn't as old, fat and cracked out as most of the Penn Avenue hookers. While we waited for the cops to show up, the (suspected) hooker got in a silver Acura, license plate SEK 289.

We followed.

It was only a couple years ago when, if I was following a john with a hooker in the car, the police dispatcher would tell me to break off the chase. They don't do that any more. Now we call in the location of the car, street by street. It's hard to keep our laughter to a dull roar as we speculate what kind of verbal freak out must be taking place inside the vehicle.

On this day, the Acura took a long, indirect route and pulled up in front of St. Anne's, where the ('spected) working girl exited the vehicle and began walking away, rapidly, but paused to cast a long sour look in Megan's direction. Megan--who doesn't even blink at tornadoes, let alone hookers--rolled down her window and said, "Tell your little street walker friends we're watching and taking pictures and putting everything on the internet."

"I wasn't prostituting myself!" the young woman replied, without a trace of moral outrage at the accusation.

Megan stepped on the gas and followed the Acura all the way to Robbinsdale, where it tried to lose us in side streets so, rather than let things get hairy, we broke off the chase.

A good time was had by all...except the suspected john and his date for the evening, though it was a VERY short date.

Actual Image of NoMi Tornado

 Photo shared from alleycat.mn, originally from Ovradbndnc.

Check out the amazing photo of the NoMi Tornado. Also spend some time on Alleycat.mn and click through his awesome coverage of post tornado action all around Nomi. Alleycat.mn is run by Jordan neighbor Scottie B. Tuska, who is an amazing photographer and journalist. Readers will be hearing a lot more from Alleycat and definitely follow his blog for ongoing coverage of NoMi news.

(Do Not Click "Read More")

Inspector Mike Martin Gives Post Tornado Update

Video from MPD, blog post by Nomi Passenger

Inspector Mike Martin, Commander of the MPD 4th Precinct, discusses the aftermath of the Tornado and address false information about crime. Two residents thank the volunteers and workers who have helped.

(Do Not Click Read More)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

More Tornado Coverage - The Thank Yous!

*Note this blog post and photos are published by Nomi Passenger (Megan G.) - Not by Johnny Northside, whose house was not affected by the storm*

Just using this space to share some coverage after the Nomi tornado event of May 22. I've already posted a bunch of tornado photos at my Nomi Passenger blog, so gawk there, too. I'll actually share more news and thoughts here. And lots of "thank yous"!

In the photo above, a massive swarm of volunteers descended upon my yard and the adjacent vacant lot to help remove the trees. They were part of the Urban Homeworks army of helpers and I just can't express how helpful they were and how much I appreciate their hard work. Thank you Urban Homeworks and volunteers!

In this photo, two MPD Mounted Patrol officers can be seen trotting towards 29th and Logan. They started at the pond opening near 27th and were moving so fast that by the time I grabbed my camera and *tried* to focus, they were already all the way across the pond. I loved seeing these officers along with others in squads, trucks and bikes patroling the streets of Nomi. I felt like almost every third or fourth car I saw was a patrol squad either from MPD or a surrounding agency who came to help. I stayed in my house every night, refusing to leave it vulnerable to trespassers, and I was completely comfortable and did not hear a single disruption anywhere. I have a dog who gladly lets me know of anything and everything going on outside, and not a single night did he have anything to bark at. Major props to Chief Dolan, the MPD officers and their helpers from other departments who went above and beyond to keep Nomi residents and businesses safe. Thank you!

This volunteer helper, Scott, came down to Nomi with his chainsaw and sought out folks who needed help with downed trees.  Scott's son Anthony lives in the Victory neighborhood and their family business is the beautiful composters and rain barrels at By The Barrel - you can see Scott and Anthony and the rest of the family right there on their website.  Scott's volunteer chainsaw mastery made it possible for the Urban Homeworks crew to move the downed trees. Thank you Scott!

The Yin family quickly uses my living room as a sorting place to put together what I've called "grocery kits" and we passed them out to neighbors on my block. Ann put out the word on her Local D'lish facebook page that she was taking food donations. Her customers came through with bags and bags of food. Some she dropped off to Northpoint and some she brought to Newton Avenue, where she knew neighbors were in need. Having my friends going above and beyond to take care of me and my neighbors whom they don't even know was so heart warming. Delivering the groceries with them was definitely a highlight of this experience. Thank you Yins and Local D'lish customers!

Today I went to Lowry Cafe for dinner. I snapped the photo above of the wait staff on duty tonight. Left to right we have Jiggity Jake, Jazzy Jon, Amy and Tanya.  It was good to sit in a clean, quiet place and have a nice glass of wine with the pork chop special.  I got to hear wonderful stories from the staff about post tornado experiences.  It sounds like Lowry Cafe has been doing their best to support the cops on duty who are patrolling the Nomi streets. Free coffee and pastries for the cops in the mornings.  And from what I'm told, our own Chief Dolan had quite the experience at The Lowry Cafe while he was in there for breakfast on Monday morning.  He noticed a mom and her three kids sitting on the curb, crying.  They'd lost their apartment and just about everything in it.  He approached them and talked for a bit and invited them in for a good meal before getting them the connections they needed.  Thanks Lowry Cafe and Chief Dolan!

Here below are a few more photos exhibiting the massive devastation throughout Nomi.

A mansion on 29th and Newton really took it hard from trees in front and back, but looks like it held up well.
A roof is gone, gone, gone.
He doesn't look storm damaged, but he was pretty darn cute.
Got Milk?
(Do not click read more)

Friday, May 13, 2011

Don Samuels' Video Update - Dealing With Problem Properties and Disturbances

Today is the thirty-something anniversary of Don Samuel's thirtieth birthday! Happy Birthday Don!

The esteemed council member stated on facebook that all he wants for his birthday is for you to watch his latest video update. This week's topic is how to deal with problem properties and disturbances from your neighbors.

So help make Don's birthday wish come true and take a few minutes to watch and perhaps you might learn something new.

(Do Not Click Read More)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Bike Walk Center News - Grant Awarded to Redeemer Center For Life

Stock Photo and blog post by Nomi Passenger

The Bike Walk Center issue has made news again. The Strib posted an article sharing the decision to award the federal grant money to Redeemer Center For Life. I have always heard great things about everything that Redeemer does down in the Harrison neighborhood, on Glenwood Avenue. I know Redeemer has had some youth bike programming going for a while now and have been pretty successful. I'd love to hear more from readers about what Redeemer has already been doing and more details about the Bike Walk Center plans.

Since I am getting the only info I have from the Strib....

and since Strib links eventually go dead, I will post the link as well as the text from the article here. But hopefully we'll get some commentary here to fill us in and elaborate on the article.

Nonprofit gets approval for a Minneapolis bike-walk facility

After two other nonprofits fought to a draw, a panel recommended that a church-based bike program get $350,000 for a bike-walk center.

A Minneapolis City Council panel has recommended that a church-based nonprofit get $350,000 in federal money to create a bike-walk center on the city's North Side.

Redeemer Center for Life hopes to open by mid-summer a center with refurbished bikes and other bike-walk goods and programming. The objective is to lower the North Side's rates of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and other health problems. It comes before the full council on May 13.

The center would be at 1830 Glenwood Av., on the community's southern edge.

Redeemer has operated youth bike-repair and sales programs for several years. It was earlier part of a team assembled by the Pohlad Family Foundation to compete for the federal health promotion grant. But that group failed to win a city staff recommendation, which went to a team assembled by the Cultural Wellness Center. When some North Siders on the council objected, the council decreed a new competition in a move seen as reflecting the foundation's clout.

Redeemer then assembled a new team. City Health Commissioner Gretchen Musicant said neither the Pohlad foundation nor the wellness center is involved, to her knowledge.

"We're very excited about this," said Don Samuels, the City Council member for the lower North Side. "We've been talking about this for a long time."

The proposed center will occupy 1,700 square feet in an old hardware store on Glenwood. Council members suggested that a name more reflective of the greater North Side than the proposed Bassett Creek Bike-Walk Center be found; a contest may be held.

Steve Brandt • 612-673-4438

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Lowry Cafe - Offically Opening This Friday!

Photos and Blog Post by Nomi Passenger

The much anticipated opening of The Lowry Cafe is this Friday, May 6. Go ahead, everyone stampede at once and form a line out the door. The staff have been practicing and they will be ready for you. I had the chance to get a sneak peek during one of their practice runs recently and I snapped a few photos to share here, including the menu.

The Cafe's hours will be...

Sunday, Monday and Tuesday - Breakfast and Lunch only 6am to 3pm
Wednesday through Saturday - Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner 6am to 9pm

In the top photo above, the cover of the Cafe's menu features an actual historic photo taken on the same corner of Penn and Lowry Avenues where the Cafe sits today.  Look closely at the photo and you'll see the sign for The Lowry Cafe hanging above the children's heads.  No, there was not a Lowry Cafe in the 1920s. A fun little photo trick was used to make a great menu cover, but they could have fooled me.

A display case will hold the desserts, which will vary day to day. Cakes and pies and such.  An exciting offering will be four flavors of Sebastian Joe's Ice Cream, a popular and highly acclaimed local business which self describes their ice cream as "super premium" and I'd have to agree with them on that.  The four flavors at the Lowry Cafe currently are Vanilla Bean, Chocolate, Raspberry Chocolate Chip and Pavarotti(caramel, bananas, chocolate chips - super yummy- I got to try a spoonful!) I'm not sure if they will rotate the two specialty flavors but I imagine they will always keep vanilla and chocolate in stock.

This past Saturday I didn't have time to eat, but I got a salad to go and gave it to John, who gave a two thumbs up (see photo below). I know it's not much of a review, so you'll have to dine their yourselves and share here with the rest of the JNS audience.

For now, take in the photos and preplan your order from the menus below.

Here are five of the nine servers.  From Left to Right we've got Paula, Amy, Matt, Tonya and Geisha.  They were all super friendly and professional. Geisha is quite funny, you'll have a laugh or two when you meet her.

Chef Steve checks the plating of food before it's carried out to the table.
One of the Signatures: Meatloaf on texas toast w/ onion bourbon glaze; shoestring onions and garlic mashed potatoes.
Early Bird Burger features breakfast on top of your burger.
Buffalo Chicken Wrap
Buffalo Wings - I hear the sauce is on the mild side - safe for everyone
Chicken Tenders
The Spinach salad with candied pecans, bleu cheese crumbles and strawberry vinaigrette

The walls display the works of local artists. Right now the first featured paintings are befitting. They are by Nomi resident Pat Waddick who is actually also the architect of the Cafe.

The Lowry Cafe is a welcome addition to the up and coming Lowry Avenue corridor - check out the facebook page started to promote all the great things happening on Lowry. The New Lowry Avenue Page
(Do Not Click "Read More")

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Judge Porter Amends The Old Majority Costs, Fees and Disbursments Order

Contributed Images, Blog Post by Nomi Passenger (click on images for larger view)

Last week Johnny Northside shared the news of a $15,000 court order in the Old v. New Majority JACC lawsuit.

This week we learn that Judge Porter has amended that monetary order and upped the judgement amount owed by the plaintiffs to $40,887.37

For all you English majors out there, that's a total of $40,887.37 owed by fifteen plaintiffs equals only $2,725.83 each. It's such a small amount for each of the plaintiffs to sponsor two years worth of entertaining blog posts here on Johnny Northside Dot Com cough up quickly and easily. Let's get this baby tucked away in the crib once and for all.

The unsuccessful legal actions were brought against the JACC organization after a handful of Jordan neighbors and their non-Jordan friends or relatives caught a bad case of sour grapes when they lost their majority control of the organization following the annual election meeting in January 2009. The highlights, or low-lights might be more accurate, include then Executive Director Jerry Moore throwing punches and pushes after the election meeting; an unforced entry break-in of the JACC office in which computers, equipment and records went missing; circulation of an announcement that JACC had been forced to relocate due to the current events (assuming this meant a different majority gained control); a dramatic open press conference featuring Mayor of Crazytown and Lunatic-at-Large Al Flowers losing the small amount of self control he was pretending to have have had and shouting, screaming and pushing Councilman Don Samuels (his loss of decorum earned him a personal escort by MPD's finest; and the low-lights continue on with two years of court actions pursued by the unsuccessful Old Majority Plaintiffs and their attorney, the infamous Jill Clark who has become well known as the go-to attorney for criminals and offenders who want to launch an offense as the best course for what really is their course of defense.

Here's a summary, in no particular order, of the 15 plaintiffs that according to Judge Porter, have acted in a manner not in good faith, and who now owe $2,725.83 each(note the following contains some factual writing and some inserted opinion commentary from the author based on direct interaction and insider knowledge):

Jerry Moore: former Executive Director of JACC, mortgage fraud consultant to Keith Reitman in the infamous 1564 Hillside Ave deal, and current employee of The Neighborhood H.U.B. located in the basement of Christ English Lutheran Church at Penn and Lowry.

Ben Myers a.k.a Benjamin Myers: self-employed attorney at Dejvongsa and Myers Law Firm and currently in need of updating his profile page on his website which lists him as the Vice Chair of JACC from 2008 to present, this hasn't been true for over 2 years now; formerly lived on Logan Ave North but now residing in the leafy suburb of Savage, MN. Just for a fun little something for the readers' minds to chew on, here is his own quote from his law firm profile page: “I’m strategic and thoughtful. I look at all the angles—both the obvious legal issues as well as the underlying and subtle issues. If the prosecution’s case is questionable, I’m ready to take your case to trial. However, if negotiating a just resolution is in your best interest I will not hesitate to accomplish your objective(s). I will do whatever it takes to get you the best result possible. You can always trust in me and this office for an aggressive defense in every case.”

Ethylon Brown: a rather sweet and gentle woman who was, in my opinion, misused in some one's, or several people's, quest for power and control. This woman's naivety was probably taken advantage of and if I am wrong than this lady is quite the slick deceptive character. She is last known to work at River of Life Church in some kind of rehab program and she lives just doors down from the JACC house in Jordan.

Robert Scott a.k.a Bob Scott: Bob served as the JACC treasurer for a while and did not have an easy go round on the JACC board, probably thanks to being put in the hot seat by other's who were not completely legitimate with the money and the books, but Bob was completely closed off to hearing from the broader community and sat idly by as the organization's pocketbook spiraled out of his control. At one point he resigned from the board so it was surprising to see him listed as a plaintiff. I believe Bob had been involved with the organization many, many years ago and I believe it is Queen Avenue, near Lowry, where he has lived for many decades.

Shannon Hartfiel: Shannon served some of her board term as Secretary and seemed to have a special place in her heart for Executive Director Jerry Moore. Shannon is a long time employee of Minneapolis Public Housing and lives near the Jordan Pond, in the higher blocks of Logan Avenue. Shannon can be heard on the Jordan Livability video footage of the JACC press conference when she tells off the crowd and then storms out. In my opinion she was never that great at getting her point across, I'm still not sure what she was so upset about that caused her to make a big dramatic exit. She did that several times now that I think of it. If I had to place a wager on the plaintiff that has the most regret and remorse for getting involved in this mess, it might be Shannon that I bet on. I think she falls into the category of having the wool so far over her eyes and then seeing the most light when reality finally struck. Shannon, am I right?

Robert Wilson: Robert held a seat on the JACC board for about two cycles, which equals about four years. He was always a quiet and very modest participant. Presenting himself as a faithful church goer and family man. He didn't take on much actual lifting work of the organization, just seemed to keep a seat warm at board meetings.I believe he lived or still lives on the higher end of Fremont or Girard, not sure. He always felt somewhat mysterious and reminded me sharply of a 70s era silent protester for the black power movement. Perhaps someone with an afro and a black turtle neck who just stood silently in protest or a sit in. To me, that was Robert Wilson.

William Brown: The only thing I know about this plaintiff is that he is the husband of Ethylon Brown, so he jumped in supporting the old majority through the election cycle and subsequent meetings and disputes. Together, him and his wife owe JACC a total of $5,451.65. That's gotta hurt the household budget.

Dokor Dejvongsa: Dokor is the life partner and law firm partner of above listed plaintiff Benjamin Myers. To me, she is the brains AND the beauty behind this dynamic duo and that's not saying much.  I fear she carries a tremendous amount of burden and pressure resulting from her double partnership. But, nonetheless, she is an extremely bright woman who for whatever unknown reason thought her actions, along with others, were the right course of actions and for that mistake she can scribble out a check for $2,725.83 and if Ben is really lucky, maybe she'll cover his share, too. I'm sure a law firm check will work, just make sure your accounting ledger is accurate.

Steve Jackson: Steve is a northsider for life and he'll proudly remind you so with such things as a faux football jersey that says NFL Northside For Life. Steve has worked at the Boys and Girls club for what feels like forever and it's unclear if Steve still lives in Jordan. He was seen at the most recent JACC Annual Meeting in October 2010 in which he seemed to try to make some kind of amends with some of the folks although, from what I could overhear, his apology lacked some integrity and he might need to work on that a little bit to regain some ground with fellow community members that have been put through the ringer by these 15 plaintiffs. But Steve will be around and he'll be soliciting donations for basketball jerseys, that you can count on.

DeEtte Davis: DeEtte is one of several plaintiffs that really had no business being a plaintiff, except of course that it is her Founding Fathers given right to be one. She never was really involved in JACC, didn't have any history with the organization and I would imagine was not presented with a realistic version of events and situations. She lived on Logan Avenue not far from Ben and Dokor and not far from several of the defendants and supporters of the New Majority. This made for awkward run-ins around the Jordan Pond area where neighbors tend to "meet over the fence" so to speak, without the fence. DeEtte is a very outgoing, friendly and gregarious personality, often times taking on the burden of confronting law-breakers such as suspected drug dealers or prostitutes because she claimed to have come from the streets and a life of crime herself so she felt she could connect with them. I don't know where DeEtte is living these days, but hopefully it is somewhere affordable, so she can help cover her share of the $55K court order.

Tamara Hardy: I am not sure that anyone actually knows who Tamara Hardy is. She never participated in JACC although she did attempt to run on the ballot in October 2008 and again in January 2009 in the postponed elections. If I remember correctly she did not prove her eligibility to be on the ballot, or if she did, she didn't show up for the elections and was subsequently not elected. I think she is another one of those buddy-pals of Jerry Moore and I would venture to say she was probably not realistically informed of everything. If that is the case, maybe she can talk her buddy Jerry Moore into covering her portion of the costs. It's worth a try, Tamara, but if not, you've got plenty of good company with whom to wallow in your beer.

Lafayette Butler: I believe this woman is the daughter of Ethylon Brown. So kind of like William Brown, above, she jumped in to support her Mom when the disputes arose. It is unknown, by me anyways, where Ms. Butler lives and if it is even in Jordan. She wasn't a real active participant in JACC and she hasn't been around since the legal action started, which is the case for all the plaintiffs. I gotta admire the loyalty here in this Brown-Butler family. I just wish they'd taken a closer look at the bigger picture. But they didn't. And for that, Judge Porter says they each owe $2,725.

Jernell McLane: This plaintiff is a rather interesting one, in my opinion. It's my opinion that this person never did actually live in Jordan during the October 2008 to March 2009 time frame. Like Tamara Hardy, above, she was someone who was recruited by Jerry Moore to run for election to the board, but who failed to prove that she was eligible to be on the board. And another interesting tidbit, she was also one of the disputed delegates in the infamous credentials battle for the Ward 5 DFL caucus and endorsing convention. I can't remember off the top of my head if she was determined eligible to vote as a delegate or not. I remember seeing her with a super cute baby in a stroller. Maybe her and Tamara can team up together and force Jerry Moore to pay their $2,725 portion of the judgement.

Frank Essien: Owner of Essien Sports Apparel. I met Frank at the January 17, 2009 open press conference held at the JACC house. The press conference was called to allow the new majority leaders that opportunity to publicly claim valid victory in the elections as well as openly dispute the circulations being put out by the Old Majority in which they claimed that JACC had moved locations. I talked with Frank for a bit and tried to fill him in on some of the background and who's who. He listened intently and if I remember correctly we exchanged phone numbers and chatted once or twice to further discuss the JACC problems. I think I tried to connect him with Kip Browne and Don Samuels, but I don't know if he ever made those connections. I was quite surprised when I saw his name as a plaintiff and I gave him a call to ask him about it. I remember him saying that he did not sign on anything as a plaintiff in a lawsuit but he did tell Steve Jackson "he could use my name as a supporter" or something to that effect. I wonder how this all plays out for Frank now. Does Frank write a check for $2,725 or does he tell Jill and the other 14 that he never signed on to begin with. Interesting, interesting.

Kenya Weathers: Last but not least Mr. Kenya Weathers a.k.a puffy jacket guy. Kenya became known as the guy wearing the puffy jacket at the JACC press conference but that is about all that anyone knew of him. He was at the contentious board meeting on January 14, 2009 and he certainly advocated hard for his support of the old majority folks. I don't think anyone really knew where or if he even lived in Jordan. I think I've seen his facebook page with some pretty radical postings there. Describing him as militant would be more than accurate in my opinion. Go, Kenya, go with your militant self. Go all the way to the bank and withdraw $2,725 to cover your share of the attorney's fees and court costs. I bet it will all fit in your puffy jacket pockets.

As always, readers are encouraged to share their commentary and knowledge in the completely anonymous comments section. 

*this blog post was updated and corrected to reflect a total judgment amount of $40,887 which is hardly anything when you remember that JACC's D&O insurance provider, Traveler's, spent over $200,000 to defend these legal actions which Judge Porter opined were brought in bad faith.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Northside Resident Bruce Smerud Last Heard To Be Recovering...

Stock photo, blog post by John Hoff

Bruce Smerud is known in the Hawthorne Neighborhood as "that guy who wears the gas mask" because he reportedly has allergies so severe that he has resorted to this method of coping. He is a colorful character, but a very decent man and concerned enough about the neighborhood that he often attends functions of the Hawthorne Neighborhood Council such as the annual meeting.

Some weeks ago, I received word that...

...Smerud had been riding his bike and got hit by a car, actually dragged 100 feet. He suffered a broken femur, ribs and arm. His condition was so critical it was believed he might not make it to the hospital. Smerud was not carrying identification and his identity was unknown by the hospital personnel for a while, but the most recent word is Smerud had a breathing tube removed and is breathing on his own.

However, this information is a couple weeks old. If anybody has more up-to-date information, please contact me or, better yet, post it to the comments.

There has been zero media coverage about this incident, until now. Some members of the Hawthorne neighborhood did sign a "get well" card and forwarded it to Smerud.