Recent News

Patent Litigation Abuse Round Table

Patent “trolls” are firms or individuals that buy up very old or weak patents and frivolously sue businesses, especially in the tech industry. Faced with huge litigation costs, small companies pay unjustified licensing fees, creating a hurdle to new businesses.

With my background in industry and my commitment to Chicago business, I was delighted to moderate an exciting discussion regarding the increasing problem of patent trolls. Joined by representatives of Orbitz, Loyola Law School, tech start-ups, and the Computer and Communications Industry Association, we discussed the next steps for our elected officials to take action and prevent this crude targeting practice. You can hear my comments here and here. You can urge your federal representatives to support legislation on the topic here.

DNAinfo provided a great wrap up if you would like to read more about the issue.

Community Safety Alert

This alert gives notice to the community in the 18th District on Beats 1811, 1812 & 1813 of an increase in residential burglary-related incidents. The offender(s) makes entry into the residence by breaking a window or entering through an open door. The offender(s) then removes the victim’s personal property from the residence.

Incident times and locations:
2000 Block of N. Sheffield Ave. on March 15, 2014 at approximately 10:30 PM.
2000 Block of N. Sheffield Ave. on March 16, 2014 between 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM.
2100 Block N. Sheffield Ave. on March 17, 2014 between 2:15 PM to 8:45 PM.

Related Type Incidents (Criminal Damage To Property):
2100 Block of N. Fremont St. on March 15, 2014 at approximately 11:30 AM.
800 Block of W. Armitage Ave. on March 14-16, 2014 between 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM

What you can do:
• Be aware of this crime and alert other neighbors in the area.
• Remember to lock doors and windows and activate the alarm and video surveillance system if you have one on the premises.
• Call 911 to report any suspicious person(s), vehicles(s), or activity near your business or residence
• Call 911 and provide a detailed description of the offender(s) including any vehicle description and license plate information.

If you have any information Contact the Bureau of Detectives – Area Central
(312) 747-8384
HX186506, HX186839, HX187301, HX187478, HX188817
Reference: P14-1-0489

Construction Activity Notice

We are making structural improvements to remove slow zones and to improve rail service on the Brown Line as part of the Ravenswood Corridor Connector Rehabilitation Project. Work will be performed that may affect your community. While progress sometimes comes with inconveniences, we will do our best to keep them to a minimum.

Dates: Weekends (Saturdays and Sundays) March 15 and 16 March 22 and 23
Location: Brown Line – The alley behind Bissell and Sheffield (1800N- 2000N) between Willow and Armitage.

Work Hours: 6am to 6pm, each day

Work Activity: Structural Maintenance

Local Impact:
• There will be curb/parking restrictions under and next to the elevated track while the work is being performed.
• Residents will have access to garages.
• Please note that prior to 9 am, there will be noise while the work is being performed, including:
- Staging of construction trucks to setup for work
- Beeping from backup alarms on maintenance equipment and vehicles
- Equipment and material delivery to job site
- Metal on metal disposal
- Use of air-powered tools with compressor for fastening of structural bolts
• However, please note that per the request of ALDERMAN MICHELE SMITH, the use of extremely loud construction equipment will be restricted prior to 9 am, including:
- use of rivet removal equipment (handheld “Jackhammers”) to remove old structural rivets

Construction Notice

Community Alert – Beat 1814

About the Crime:

This alert gives notice to the community in the 18th District of an offender that is
wanted for aggravated robberies that are being committed on Beats 1814 & 1831.
The offender approaches the victim on the street and implies he has a weapon. The
offender then takes the victim’s personal property before fleeing.

Incident times and locations are listed below:

1900 Block of N. Lincoln Ave on February 28, 2014 at approximately 12:15 AM.
100 Block of W. Hubbard St. on March 02, 2014 at approximately 2:00 AM.

About the Offender:

The offender is described as a Male White Hispanic; 25-29 Years of Age; No Further
Description.

What you can do:

• Be aware of this situation and alert neighbors in the area about the crime.
• If possible don’t walk alone and stay in well lit areas.
• Call 911 to report any suspicious person(s), vehicles(s), or activity in your
neighborhood.
• Call 911 and provide a detailed description of the offender(s) including any
vehicle description and license plate information.

If you have any information Contact the Bureau of Detectives – Area Central
(312) 747-8384

HX167496; HX169708

Reference: P14-1-042

610-14-050Community Alert PDF

Business Burglary Alert

About the Crime:

This alert gives notice to the businesses in the 18th and 19th Districts on Beats 1811 & 1934 of an increase in burglary-related incidents. The offender makes entry into the retail or business location by breaking the glass on the front door. The offender then removes personal property from the location.

Incident times and locations:

800 Block of W Webster Ave on January 04-05, 2014 between 6:00 PM to 10:00 AM
800 Block of W Webster Ave on January 04-05, 2014 between 11:45 PM to 3:20 AM
3000 Block of N Halsted St on January 04-05, 2014 between 8:30 PM to 9:30 AM
2000 Block of N Racine St. on January 05, 2014 at approximately 9:30 AM

About the Offenders:

No description at this time.

What you can do:

• Be aware of this crime and alert other neighbors in the area.
• Remember to lock doors and windows and activate the alarm and video surveillance system if you have one on the premises.
• Call 911 to report any suspicious person(s), vehicles(s), or activity near your business or residence
• Call 911 and provide a detailed description of the offender(s) including any vehicle description and license plate information.

If you have any information Contact the Bureau of Detectives – Area Central

(312) 747-8384 or Area North (312) 744-8263

 

HX104213, HX104089, HX104197, HX104249

 

Reference: 14-CWP-001

Community Alert: Auto Theft

One of the most common types of theft is theft of valuables from your automobile especially during the holiday season. Theft from auto is primarily a crime of opportunity that can often be prevented. Thieves generally won’t waste their time breaking into autos that don’t have valuables in plain sight The best way to prevent theft from your auto is to always keep valuables out of sight. Never leave anything in your car in plain view. Take these items with you, or secure them — all the time, every time! Even spare change or a pack of cigarettes. GPS systems, I Passes and Handicap Placards are most commonly targeted by thieves.

Remember to not only remove the GPS when you park, but also remove the mounting system, i.e. suction cup holder. Thieves will assume that the GPS is in the glove box when they see an empty mounting device. If your car has a trunk, use it. Put valuables in there or in a locked glove compartment. Hiding items under seats is better than leaving them in plain view, but securing them inside the glove compartment or trunk is a far better deterrent. During the holiday season especially, or any time you’re shopping, place packages in the trunk, not on the passenger seats or floors.

Also, keep your car doors and windows locked — all the time!

Call 911 and report suspicious activity while it is happening. This could save you or your neighbor from being victimized. Stay on the line if you see or hear something that seems unusual or suspicious. Try to get a description of the suspects and their vehicle, and do not confront suspects.

Click on both PDFs below for more information!

Theft From Auto Tips

Theft From Auto: Community Alert

Annex Planned at Lincoln Park School

“After an oft-heated community debate over how to solve overcrowding at an elementary school in the Lincoln Park neighborhood, the city said Monday it will build an annex with about 19 classrooms and a multipurpose room on the site of the current school.

The $18 million project at Lincoln Elementary School at 615 W. Kemper Place was announced by school and city officials including Mayor Rahm Emanuel to cheers from parents and community members who had pushed for an addition at the school. The city said the annex will be paid for with state money and should be ready for the 2015-16 school year.

The 808 kindergarten through eighth grade students enrolled at Lincoln Elementary this year push the school almost 200 children beyond its official capacity. Extra space has been leased from DePaul University to deal with the situation.

A group of parents that organized as We Are Lincoln Elementary gathered about 1,300 signatures in a push for an additional facility. One much-discussed option had been a new building on the site of the former Children’s Memorial Hospital, which is just down the street.

But another group of parents and community members urged Chicago Public Schools to consider other options that included redrawing boundary lines to move some students into other schools. That faction argued that the neighborhood was using its wealth and political power to get more space for Lincoln Elementary even as other schools in the city face more severe overcrowding.

Caroline Vickrey, a former Local School Council member at Lincoln who had opposed an addition, said adding capacity at the school site is not the best option for children and that the small footprint makes it a poor candidate for expansion.

“That’s not a great solution, to have that number of kids sharing the same common spaces,” Vickrey said. “There’s going to be compromises that (affect) the curriculum.”

Ald. Michele Smith, 43d, had said a solution to crowding at Lincoln Elementary had to be found before redevelopment plans at the former Children’s Memorial site could proceed. On Monday, Smith cheered the planned addition as a “victory for all the children in Lincoln Park and Old Town” and said it was the best feasible option to alleviate overcrowding at the high-performing school.

“Our schools are the foundation of our neighborhood and the real reason why people choose to live in Lincoln Park,” Smith said.”

Read the full article here, from the Tribune

City Announces Deal to Expand Lincoln Elementary School

“City officials have a compromise plan to expand the extremely overcrowded Lincoln Elementary School and potentially clear the way for development of the former site of Children’s Memorial Hospital, which occupies a prime chunk of tony Lincoln Park.

The deal, announced yesterday, is likely to meet with widespread approval in Lincoln Park, where some residents have feared that the city would allow extra-high development on the hospital site if real estate developer Dan McCaffery donated a portion of the land for a new school. Instead, under the deal the existing school, a half-block east, will be expanded with a three-story addition plus a rooftop play area.

Some parents may not like the large school, but compared with other proposals, this one looks pretty good.

But other neighborhoods with crowding problems may well gripe at the prospect of spending $18 million to $20 million on a school with relatively few minority children. And only this fall did Chicago Public Schools shut dozens of facilities, mostly on the West and South sides, saying they served too few students and no longer were affordable.

“The mayor has addressed overcrowding at 33 schools,” said Rachel Kreuer, a spokeswoman for Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “This is another school where people have been asking for relief for a long time.”

“This dream could not have come true without the passionate commitment of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the Lincoln Elementary parents and community members,” said local Ald. Michele Smith, 43rd.”

Click here to read more of the story from Crain’s.