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Neighbor Beefs

The cover story in this week's Reader deals with a piping hot beef between middle-class residents of North Beverly/Beverly View and the pawn shop industry. Pawn shops are politically connected, apparently, and they've finally got their 15 minutes of fame on reality TV. The residents of the area are comparatively clout-less unless they band together to make a stink. That's what's happening one specific vacant lot at 79th and Western that may or may not welcome a branch of the national chain Cash America. The Alderman is cool with it, but the community clearly won't accept any old sleazy business in the name of jobs. Awaiting a zoning board hearing, the two sides are duking it out in the streets. The battle is part of a larger war over suitable economic development at the neighborhood level. The Reader has more. [Reader, photo: flickriver/Zol87]