Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Skunks in West Rogers Park

There are skunks in West Rogers Park.

Lots of them.

I am not talking about the octagenarian Alderman and do-nothing Vice-Mayor of the City of Chicago, Bernard "the Snoozer" Stone.

Nor am I talking about his rotund Ward Secretary (who is ostensibly in charge of riding herd on these matters) Alan "the Weasel" Crown.

Nor am I talking about the noisy political opponents, such as Zach "Vladimir Illyich" Schiffman, chair of the West Rogers Park Community Council and Soviet. Nor am I talking about the Socialist Democrat Ward Committeeman, Mrs. Silverstein's husband, Ira.

I am talking about the scores and, as the weather improves, soon to be hundreds of live, living skunks who populate and nocturnally frolic in the alleys, backyards and parks of the West Rogers Park section of Chicago.

I was sensitized to this issue by a neighbor and fellow dog-walker, Marc, who lives near the Rogers school. My Lab-mix, Mac and his collie Zach used to frolic together at the Rogers School Park.

They are both now passed on to the doggie heaven, and hopefully frolicking on there, but Marc and his wife are inveterate collie fanciers and have a new adoptee.

And he, like most dog walkers in our area, live in absolute terror of the skunks which have proliferated in our area.

This is no laughing matter.

When a dog approaches a skunk and is sprayed, one has to spend hours cleaning the noxious gasses from the dog's coat. It may take several days to thoroughly get it out.

Both Marc and I have had to do this as have innumerable dog owners in the Roger's School and Indian Boundary neighborhoods.

I have ridden my bike through the Rogers School Park late at night and have seen literally a half-dozen skunks, brazenly grazing in the field.

This is no laughing matter.

A family in Highland Park recently got a $500,000 settlement from their homeowners insurance policyholder, because a skunk burrowed into their house, rendered it inhabitable and essentially destroyed it.

This is no laughing matter.

But you would think it is if you listened to Alderman Snoozy's paid Ward Administrative Assistant, and daughter, Ilana "Leona Helmsley" Stone.

As most people in the 50th Ward know, this girl, who has all of the graciousness and elan of a Wendy Ward Charm School dropout (yes Montgomery Ward's used to have a "charm school" for teenage girls in the 60's) answered the phone at her daddy's Aldermanic office the other day.

She has an office there that is painted (I am not making this up) pink.

I asked her what the status was as per the skunk infestation of our neighborhood.

She said: "It is a state issue, you should call your State Senator."

This was an obvious barb at Mrs. Silverstein's husband, Ira, who recently out-Socialisted Ilana "Leona Helmsley" Stone's daddy to become the new 50th Ward Democrat Committeeman.

I said, "What do you mean it is a State issue, doesn't the City of Chicago have a well-funded Department of Animal Control?"

She said, "We can't even get traps from them for our people. If you really think there is a problem, call 311."

I said, "Well then what is the purpose of having a paid constituent service staff in the 50th Ward Alderman's office"

Stony (no pun intended) silence on the line.

So much for Alderman Snoozy's clout at City Hall and so much for the crack responsiveness of Miss "Leona Helmsley" Stone's constituent service operation.

I said, "Ilana, can I quote you on this?"

She blurted out, "No!"

So much for Alderman Snoozy's transparency.

So much for the openess of our liberal-Democrat, elected representative.

And so it goes.

1 comment:

  1. I searched "skunk problem in west roger park" on google, and you're my first hit. Every single night, skunk smell permiates my room. I like to have my window open as much as possible, but this skunk stench is hell. I can't wait for winter, so these stinky creatures are not spraying anymore. Thanks for the 311 idea, I am calling romorrow. I am also sick of seeing them everywhere, and having to fear running into one on a nightly walk..


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