I have to wonder about the integrity of this publication


I have to wonder about the integrity of this publication. Why would you encourage a dialogue regarding a badly written article, and then choose what comments are worthy of publishing? Are only selected comments encouraged because you, Our Urban Times, are not impartial? (This wouldn't be a surprise, as it has been my observation thus far that integrity is both the lacking, and bonding, quality among the self-proclaimed artists of Chicago, in all disciplines.)

For comments regarding the Cleveland Dean story, please see Mr. Stine's comments on that story.

Are you a trust fund baby? Is this website Daddy loaning you money and buying you a job because you can't get one of your own?

Yes, that is a jab. Yes, it most certainly is. Who is behind this website? Don't you (all of you involved) sometimes wish that you were as original as you wish to be?

It's publications like this, feeding the minds of those less intelligent and too fearful of being unique to know it, which has transformed this city into the pathetic cluster of morons that it is. I'm sorry, but it's the truth. I'm a native of INNER-CITY Chicago. The "greenest city in the country," as long as you're sure not to count the coal refinery on the south side, or the iron forging plant between Lincoln Park and Bucktown. "The greenest city in the country" without a real recycling program, but has the highest fuel taxes and just bought the police force a fleet of SUV's.

"News Publications" like Our Urban Times, and "artists" like Cleveland Dean are drops of rain rusting the once great "Machine." YOU are directly responsible for turning this city into what it is today. What was once: "The City Of Big Shoulders," is now, thanks to publications like Our Urban Times, and people like Cleveland Dean, has become: "The City Of Big Phonies."

Good Job.

Phil I. Stine

Hi Mr. Stine.

"I have to wonder about the integrity of this publication."

I agree with you, that posting comments as quickly as possible helps encourage dialogue to keep rolling. We look forward in this our second year to having more people so we can make postings consistently faster.

While Our Urban Times (OUT) is pleased to have several contributing writers and photographers, it is I who is tasked with handling the Comments section.  I am but one mere mortal with one body that cannot be literally in more than one place at one time. Covering events, doing interviews, writing, editing, taking or obtaining photos, cropping and preparing photos for the site then posting each story takes a long time per story. Then there is the "being engaged in the community" part of my activities.

So if this type of dedication to getting information out to the public has you questioning our integrity, we are really operating in different worlds. To me integrity relates to such things as honesty, fairness and reliability. We are not operating with one or multiple hidden agendas. We report information that we obtain directly or through trusted sources and we try to source our information.

The day you posted your first comment was Feb. 22, election day. I hope you voted. The low turn out has not been equaled in one hundred years!...that is something to be enraged over, but that is a different story.

"Who is behind this website?"

I suggest you read our "About" page which states our mission and who is "behind" it.

"Are you a trust fund baby? Is this website Daddy loaning you money and buying you a job because you can't get one of your own?"

Re the "trust" part: My father did trust me. Re the "fund" part: He was a hard working man, born in Belgium and grew up in this area, who worked into his eighties. He never had a great deal of money and therefore was unable to leave me a big fat juicy trust fund or even a little one. He died many years ago.

While we are on my lineage, my mother was born to immigrant Norwegian parents, and grew up in the Palmer Square area. After high school, she became an office worker before marrying my father and spent the rest of her life as a homemaker. In other words, there is no financial gold in my family.

To further assuage your concerns of some hidden benefactor who possibly has an agenda: No, I did not marry or have a "special" relationship with some dude who has or is financing me.

I have lived in Wicker Park since 1976. There were packs of wild dogs in the streets and our gardens then. I, along with my building partner, have and continue to put in a lot of sweat equity into our property.

I strongly believe in community and have been involved with innumerable numbers of community and professional organizations internationally and locally. My involvement has included serving in many positions on boards, including as president.

Professionally I struck out as an entrepreneur after being in the corporate world. I have worked in several industries in a variety of positions. The commonality in all has been writing, communications, organizing and relationship building.

I wrote/compiled the history book about Wicker Park and do tours of the area. Horrified by the loss of our last print newspaper almost two years ago, I became the Wicker Park and Bucktown Examiner on Examiner.com. As a blog, that just did not do what I thought this area deserved or needed.

Over the last year and a half, I have financed this publication with the exception of a small grant from the WPB (SSA#33), one Wicker Park and Bucktown Chamber ad, and current ads from two aldermen. I am spending pretty much 24/7 on this publication because my passion is to see community building rather than declining as it has done.

"'News Publications' like Our Urban Times, and 'artists' like Cleveland Dean are drops of rain rusting the once great 'Machine.'  YOU are directly responsible for turning this city into what it is today. What was once: 'The City Of Big Shoulders,' is now, thanks to publications like Our Urban Times, and people like Cleveland Dean, has become: 'The City Of Big Phonies.'"

Really? Wow!

"Machine".... Is that as in the political machine that has made the City look great and let the infrastructure crumble? That started decades ago. Seems to me that the change in City Council may help change that. Having independent, thoughtful aldermen in the 1st and 32nd Wards with Moreno and Waguespack are not the same old, same old types of aldermen. They have the same community passion OUT has and they speak up for "We the People."

We cover stories about what is happening in all five wards in our area and elsewhere so it seems to me that we are working at swathing the area in "Rust Oleum," not supporting rust. Our intent and work with OUT is to make people aware of who, what, where, why, when and how of what is going on in our area.

Knowledge is an important tool with which people can take action. Rhetoric is one thing, action another.

Your writing is done well, Mr. Stine. Why not use it for informing people about facts and encouraging them to take actions which will engage them in moving the community and city forward? Or, why not generate dialogue on issues facing the area, issues such as shopping local, park operations, graffiti, more participation in Community Alternative Policing Strategies (CAPS), to name just a few.

Re "YOU are directly responsible for turning this city into what it is today:" I hope OUT can help turn this city into an improved city, which we are doing by reporting facts and encouraging positive engagement. How the City got where it is happened long before last year when OUT began.

I am grateful to several people who write, take photos and do other tasks for OUT. All the writers and photographers are doing it for no financial remuneration... which is not right. Writers and photographers like artists should be paid for their work.

So thanks for the opportunity to point out that placing ads in this publication or sponsoring writers or other workers can make it possible for us to continue to be an independent voice of the people on the near northwest side of Chicago...the ONLY NEWSPAPER devoted to this area.

In our first year, without much promotion, we had readers from more than 80 countries and territories viewing approximately 58,000 pages.  We are ecstatic with those numbers during the period of development, site stabilization and content building. With more content and community participation, we look forward to greater traffic in this second year and more contributors.

Everyone is welcome to join the Our Urban Times team (send me an email about how you would like to engage). Help us keep this area's independent news and information site setting new traffic heights and resulting in more people engaged in community.

Thank you,

Elaine Coorens





I have to wonder about the integrity of these commenters

Phil I. Stine is obviously a philistine.

What a compliment!

Mr. Stine states "YOU are directly responsible for turning this city into what it is today." I'd take that as a compliment! If we all had that kind of power! Don't let this goof ball throw you off course, Elaine. Just add his name to the long list of people who do nothing to contribute to society but their endless complaints. Keep up the great work! EDITOR'S NOTE: Thank you!

Way to go, Elaine

Great response. Once the haters/griefers/trolls realize you can't be baited into giving them the attention they obviously crave, they'll move on. Your community is lucky to have such a website, and to have you and the many others who care enough to contribute positively to it. EDITORS NOTE: Thank you!

Keep doing what you're doing

Elaine, I'm glad you took the initiative to cover the neighborhood. I also was discourage when the only local newspaper stopped printing. It seemed inconsistent with the growth and excitement this neighborhood was seeing at the time. Please, keep up the good work. We are relying on you! Greg

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