September 2010 Newsletter

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Dear Neighbors,

No greater honor can be paid to any citizen than to be recognized by his neighbors, and for this reason, I am honored that South Lakeview Neighbors elected me to preside over its meetings for the next year. While I may not be well known by many of you, I have lived here for more than a third of my life, I have tried as I am able to improve the little corner of the earth that has been entrusted to me, and in my professional life as a lawyer, now mostly over, I have represented many people like you. This neighborhood will now be my most-of-my-time commitment, and I look forward to engaging with those who have similarly devoted their lives and livelihoods to the 24 block area our association encompasses.

I find my election ironic for several reasons. Since returning to Chicago 25 years ago, I have been studiously apolitical. People who know me best would never accuse me of “political correctness”. And truth be told, I’m much more libertarian than a “communitarian”. I hope that my last foray into the world of group dynamics, when I served as the president of a struggling church which had just lost minister, will serve me in good stead.  I certainly learned to listen then, and dal with many who disagreed with me vehemently, skills I had not developed as a lawyer.

The organization faces many challenges, but mindful that anyone can bite off more than he can chew, I will try to focus my attention on three principle goals. First, shoring up the membership which accounts for more than half our annual budget.  We have seen a decline and I think that our meetings and focus should reflect some of the current concerns of our neighbors.  Second is a comprehensive look at the zoning issues.  We have two major commercial thoroughfares that trisect our neighborhood, and there are those who want to upzone the major residential avenue.  At the same time, we have seen, because of the economic downturn, a number of vacant, dilapidated or abandoned properties that are the harbinger of blight.  I myself live next to three such properties.  Lincoln Avenue may be better than when a developer’s signs festooned every other storefront, but the mixed-usage leaves a lot to be desired.  The third is to become more involved with the other neighborhood associations that surround us: Hamlin Park, Central Lakeview, and the Lakeview Citizens Council.  Because of the impending redevelopment of the Lathrop Homes (public housing) at Damen & Clybourn, and the undoubted effects that will have on our community, I intend to attend as many of their meetings as I can.

So I thank you in advance for your support.  I hope that you will indulge me in one fault: I’m terrible with names.  If I forget yours, or don’t get it on the first try, please forgive me. I don’t often make the same mistake twice.


David G. Duggan


State Representative – John Fritchey, Democrat

SLN’s long-time State Rep and Democratic Ward Committeman will appear to discuss the State of Illinois political mess. Budget issues, Educational funding, Governor Blagojevich and other issues will be touched on. Mr. Fritchey always gives interesting viewpoints on the State’s political issues. Mr. Fritchey is retiring from the State legislature at the end of his current term. Mr. Fritchey is currently running for the Cook County Board position vacated by Forrest Claypool.

Republican Ward Committeman – John Curry

As an equal-opportunity neighborhood association, SLN has invited Mr. Curry to give the Republican point of view of local and State-wide issues. Mr. Curry has appeared before the SLN membership in previous years and often attends SLN meetings.

1325-41 W. Belmont  – preliminary presentation and discussion of potential zoning change

A developer has approached Alderman Waguespack’s office for a development proposal for the above address. Those addresses are currently occupied by a mostly one-story medical building, the associated parking area and a Native American Art store.  Information is in a raw presentation stage. The developer wishes to obtain feedback from the neighborhood before committing a large investment in architectural and legal zoning fees. The general plan is as follows : 1) 4 story medical building, 2) 78 indoor parking spaces, 3) proposed tenants are to be doctors associated with Northwestern University Hospital. To obtain the desired office spaces needed, the property will need to be zoned as a B2-5 commercial property. This development will be considered a Planned Development.
ISSUE : The NDRC committee is concerned that allowing that zoning to accommodate this project will set off an avalanche of similar requests on the 1200 and 1300 blocks of Belmont.


Wills Northwoods Inn

A beautiful warm summer night, the All-Star Game, hot dogs and beer = a pretty big crowd. Thank you to all who attended this social event. It was a good chance to talk to old friends who often do not get to the meetings and converse with newer members. Thank you to the crew at Will’s Northwoods for the complimentary hot dogs and the fine service.

Ann and Len Sychowski – Good Neighbor Award

At the July Get-Together SLN awarded, in this case, a life-time service award to Ann and Len Sychowski (deceased November 2009). President David Duggan gave an eloquent speech noting how so much of the SLN meetings, special events and final product all have gone through Ann and Len for decades. They were often the first members and officers at meetings and last to leave after cleaning up. Former Alderman Bernie Hansen lauded the Sychowski’s contributions to SLN and the overall neighborhood. Ann Sychowski, whose son, daughter and grandchildren were in attendance, graciously accepted the Award noting that July 13th was Len’s birthday and the family had been to the cemetery earlier that day and the family sang Happy Birthday. Congratulations to Ann and Len Sychowski for their past and future contributions to SLN and our great neighborhood.

CONDOLENCES – Marge Yunker

Marge Yunker (88), long-time resident of the 1400 block of Oakdale, founding SLN member  and member of the St. Alphonsus Choir and many other neighborhood activities, passed away in late August. Marge was famous for preceding all of her comments at SLN meetings with “I’ve lived in this neighborhood all my life.” She always was a pleasure to run into on the street with her optimistic personality. SLN expresses its condolences to her family and friends.


On July 20, 2010,  a mediation meeting was held at City Hall regarding the Deleterious Impact Public Nuisance Ordinance, for issues relating to Wellington’s operations and their negative impact on the immediate residents. In attendance was a representative from the Department of Business Affairs & Consumer Protection, attorneys from City of Chicago Corporation Counsel, 19th District Community Officer Kusiner and Elizabeth Gomez from Alderman’s Waguespack’s office. Representing Wellington’s was their attorney, two managers and officers of corporate ownership. The neighborhood was represented by several nearby residents. SLN President  David Duggan was also in attendance. The residents registered their complaints of late night noise, blocking of sidewalks, public urination, commotion at closing time among other issues. The police officer in attendance noted that since May 1, there were eight 911 calls about the bar. The residents noted that many 311 calls were also made. The police officer instructed all calls to be 911 as 311 calls are simply logged in and not addressed until the following day. The residents said they are sometimes reluctant to call 911 because the police “cross-examine” the resident placing the call.

The result of the meeting was to revise the “exit strategy” of the bar. Music will be turned off and lights turned on at last call. Last call will be 12:45 on Thursday, 1:15AM on Friday and 2:15 on Saturday. The bar owners promised to devise a written “exit strategy” to advise the patrons on their departure.

The next meeting is scheduled for September 23, Thursday at 11:00AM, Room 805 in City Hall. It his highly suggested that residents affected by this issue attend these meetings.


South Lakeview Playlot Advisory Council

Thanks to everyone who helped put on the four “Tuesdays in the Park” programs during July and August. These were professionally run and high-attended affairs. Congratulations.

The next Advisory Council meeting is scheduled for September 20  Monday @ 7:00PM Golden Apple Restaurant, 2971 N. Lincoln Ave. Topics to be discussed : Halloween Party, future programming, park safety and cleanliness. Contact Jennifer Roche at or Carolyn Withey at for additional information.

Halloween Party

October 17, 2010 Sunday from 3:00-5:00PM. This is a great family event. Mark your calendars. The Advisory Council is gearing up for this event. Volunteers to plan and staff the party are needed. Chairs and tables are also needed for each Halloween Station. Any donations of decorations (2009 had a smoke machine). Contact Jennifer Spainhour at


Alderman Waguespack 32nd Ward News

According to press releases from the Mayor’s office, privatization of lakefront festivals (including the Taste of Chicago) and household recycling could be put out for bid soon. The Alderman’s office indicates the City’s budget is nearly $700 million in the red. In that vein, Chicago’s Preliminary Budget is available on the Alderman’s website =

2011 City of Chicago hearing will be on the North Side at :
September 10, Westinghouse College Prep, 3223 W. Franklin.
September 16, North-Grand High School, 4338 W. Wabansia.
Registration from 6:00PM to 7:00PM. Hearings start at 7:00PM. Anyone who wishes to speak must register in person. Time limit is 3 minutes.

Electronics Recycling – drop off electronic equipment including computers, TV’s, DVD’s VCR’s, video equipment and mobile phones at the 44th Ward Streets and Sanitation office (1501 W. School St.) September 11,  Saturday between 8AM and Noon

Graffitti – Call 311 or the Alderman’s office to report it as soon as you can. Two major taggers “BigL” and KWT were arrested on August 20.

Voter Registration – Tuesday, October 5th is the deadline to register for the November 2nd General Election. You can register to vote or update your address by stopping by the Alderman’s office. Bring two forms of ID and proof of residency.

CAPS Meetings

Beat 1932 (East of Lincoln) by Sam Samatas

40 arrests since the last CAPS meeting. Major crimes include a battery on 2800 N. Lincoln, DUI at 1400 W. Barry and retail theft on 2900 N. Lincoln.
A rise in three types of crimes have been noted : 1) residential burglaries at night when residents are home through and unsecured window, 2) gypsy home modeling scams – specifically a blue van with “Windy City Construction” signage and 3) bike thefts – thieves are dressed as bikers with helmets. Targets are bikes secured with cables or chains. Surveillance video shows it takes only 10 seconds to steal a bike. Use a high grade “U” lock.

Beat 1931 (West of Lincoln) by Joan Gatz

Garage burglary mainly on garages where a door  or window is left open. Take a second to make sure your door closes all the way. Replace glass windows with glass block windows with a window vent. Theft from autos – thieves will take anything in sight especially GPS and laptops but as insignificant as a Velcro pad.
Tips from the police officer : (1) black out your address on your vehicle insurance card or other information in your glove box, (2) close and LOCK all windows in your house when gone and at night, even in the summer, (3) do NOT advertise your vacation on Facebook or Twitter (what is that?) and (4) install motion lights to deter crime.

•    Beat 1931: 1st  Thursday of odd months (September 2 and November 4) at 7:00 pm, Hamlin Park, 3035 N. Hoyne.
•    Beat 1932: 2nd Thursday of even months (October 14)  @ 7:00 pm, Illinois Masonic, 836 W. Wellington.

Burglary Workshop put on by CAPS : September 22, Wednesday from 7:00-8:00PM. Location – 19th District Auditorium, 2452 W. Belmont

Burley Elementary School

Burley Elementary School needs community members to help out with :
1)    Kiss-n-Go
2)    After-School Programs
3)    Family Reading Nights
Call 773-534-5475 to register for volunteer orientation on September 29th, Wednesday at 9:15AM.

Lake View Citizens Council – LVCC

Wine Tasting – Sunday, September 19th, 2:00-5:00PM at The Captain Morgan Club at Wrigley Field. A portion of the proceeds will go to LVCC. Purchase tickets in advance at

Lakeview Tour Bike Ride – sponsored by LVCC, Alderman Tunney, 19th and 23rd District Police and Chicago Bicycle Ambassadors. Monday, September 20th or Wednesday, October 6th @ 6:30PM. Meet at 6:25PM at 1100 W. Waveland (next to the Firehouse). For more information go to

Lakeview Chamber of Commerce

The Chamber and SSA#27 are working on the Lakeview Area Master Plan(LAMP). The Chamber has just hired a consulting company for planning of LAMP. LAMP will benefit the entire Lakeview service area with heavier concentration on the commercial districts on Lincoln, Southport and Belmont. Visit website

Chicago Tech Expo – October 6 at UIC Forum. See

National Runaway Switchboard

Located in heart of SLN land at 3080 N. Lincoln Ave.  The Switchboard is looking to train volunteers for answering the Crisis Line. 40 hours of training is provided. After training, volunteers are asked to commit 2-4 hour/week. Shifts are flexible. Volunteer in your neighborhood and make an impact nationally. For more information contact Michelle Vos at 773-289-1726 or


St. Alphonsus Octoberfest 2010 – 10th Annual

Friday, Saturday and Sunday September 24,25 and 26. The Fest opens Friday at 5:00PM, Noon on Saturday and Sunday. Brats, German bands, top music headliners Maggie Speaks, 16 Candles, Wedding Banned and Mike & Joe. Beer, beer, beer.

Will’s Northwoods Inn – Muskiefest

September 18, Saturday starting at 11:00AM. Music starts around 1:00PM with the School of Rock from over on Ashland Ave. by the Art of Pizza (free plug for his full page ad). Headliner – The Greg Brady Experience, top notch cover band. Lin Brehmer from WXRT is the Master of Ceremonies (Beer). The Muskiefest Queen will be crowned around 9:30PM. All hot SLN women over the age of 21 are eligible to enter. You know who you are.  If the MuskieQueen cannot perform her duties, the 1st runner-up will be declared the winner.


Las Tablas, 2942 N. Lincoln Avenue

Since moving across the street four years ago, this was our first visit in the new, much larger location. My dining partner and I had our meal at Las Tablas on a Monday evening for a couple of reasons. First, the restaurant allows BYOB without a corkage fee Monday through Thursday. Secondly we considered Monday to be more on the quiet side in most restaurants.  Well we were wrong about the latter.  This is a very popular spot.  Although we were seated promptly, it took quite a while to be greeted by a waiter.  Actually more than 10 minutes.  Sure the place was busy, but nowhere near full.  Maybe the establishment chose to keep staff at a minimum.  That was unfortunate, because of which made our dinner and experience less than optimal due to the hurried service when it eventually occurred.

Everyone there surely were there for the exceptional food.  We started off with grilled calamari in a garlic white wine sauce served with a salad.  It was very good and fresh.  We were given two different sauces, one chimichura and the other on the hot and spicy side.  Both sauces went well with our appetizers as well as the entrees.

My partner had as his main entrée the Matrimonio, which is a combination of the Entrana steak and chicken.  The Entrana steak is a house specialty.  I ordered a vegetarian combination dish just to see how well a Columbian steakhouse caters to non-meat eaters. They did very well indeed.  Everything was prepared to perfect consistency, plantains, fried yucca and potato.  This was served with wonderfully spiced beans and rice alongside another salad featuring a half of an avocado.  We concluded our dinner with Coco Flan for dessert, excellent presentation and delicious.

The courses were served slowly, by western standards, but everything we ate was wonderful.  The food made up for the neglectful service we received at the beginning of the evening.  All in all, we had a very good dinner.  I recommend you eat a steak or vegetarian meal at Las Tablas.  Go when you have plenty of time and want to immerse yourself into the slow pace and atmosphere of Columbian steakhouse on a BYOB evening.  All of our food cost less than $50.


The City of Chicago has an immediate need for 40,000 family food boxes now through mid-September. Sign up NOW to join the Food Depository on the Flex Line with your family or community group. Volunteers must be 18 years old and be able to stand for 3 hours. Contact Volunteer Services at 773-247-3663 or visit the website at for more information.