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A few words from our president
Scott Waguespack was elected alderman of the 32nd Ward in 2007, beating two-term incumbent Ted Matlack in a run-off election after neither had won 50% of the vote in a primary. (A third candidate has been lost to history.) It was the first defeat for the vaunted Dan Rostenkowski political organization since Terry Gabinski was elected alderman in the 1960s. At his retirement in 1999, Gabinski was the dean of the 50 Chicago aldermen: Matlack was his chief aide. You get the picture. Without re-hashing ancient history, suffice it that Matlak’s zoning decisions did not endear him to many South Lakeview neighbors. The near-empty condo buildings along Lincoln and the “For Sale” signs on other streets stand as testament to the zoning decisions made more than four years ago, when sunshine and blue skies stretched to eternity. It was fun while it lasted.
Ald. Waguespack has been a rare independent at City Hall, voting against the fire-sale of Chicago’s parking meters (sadly, he voted for the Olympics, but the International Olympic Committee saved him from the folly of his self-preservation vote in a system that knows not the term “loyal opposition”).
He comes to our October meeting for our annual “state of the ward” address and will answer questions as to neighborhood concerns (please no political questions, whether of a prognosticative nature or as to his own plans).
Our neighborhood is at the northeast corner of the 32nd Ward, which ropes in a good chunk of the real estate bounded by Addison on the north, Sheffield on the west, North Ave. on the south and Western on the west (how appropriate). I say good chunk, but the 32nd Ward is a monument to gerrymandering with cut-outs and protuberances on all sides: it resembles a Transformers blueprint. A second leg juts southeast paralleling the Chicago River to take in much of the new industrial area north of Division along Elston and Kingsbury, including most of Goose Island. For reasons known only to God, the Finkl Steel plant on Cortland is carved out of this cartographic excrescence. Once the 2010 census results are in, the boundaries will undoubtedly be redrawn as estimates have some 20,000 more people living in the ward than the 60,000 or so required by proportional representation. Folklore has it that the 32nd Ward has the highest per capita income in the City (a legend supported by the fact that the boundaries conveniently exclude two public housing developments on the borders: Cabrini Green and Lathrop Homes), so obviously the map-drawers will be looking to “cherry pick” blocks or neighborhoods to bolster certain candidates’ chance for (re)-election. Whether our community will remain part of the 32nd Ward or be shifted elsewhere is anyone’s guess. Some of us old-timers remember when most of SLN’s area was in the 44th Ward, now represented by Tom Tunney.
Also on the October agenda is a proposal to re-zone eight lots in the middle of the 1300 block of West Belmont to allow a medical imaging (read MRI) and urgent care facility under the auspices of Northwestern Hospital. Most of the subject property is now occupied by the low-rise “industrial” building that runs dialysis or other medical services. The developer, which claims to be “very experienced and highly respected”, would put in 12,000 square feet of ground floor retail in a four-story building with 74 indoor parking spaces. The proposed height of the building (70’) is greater than that of the surrounding residential properties, but less than that of the Renaissance Plaza at Greenview and Belmont, and the condo-converted former industrial building on the southeast corner of Lakewood and Belmont. This will be a voting issue.
So, the October meeting portends to be one significant to our neighborhood’s future. Please put it on your calendar, Blackberry or iPhone and tell your friends and neighbors to come. We are no better than the enthusiasm we show at the meetings held for our mutual benefit.
OCTOBER 2010 MEETING PREVIEW
Alderman Scott Waguespack–State of the Ward
An annual event, SLN welcomes the Alderman for his State of the Ward speech. Considering the volatile environment of the City budget shortfall and the open Mayoral race, this appears to be an interesting evening. Get there early for a good seat.
1325-41 W. Belmont – presentation and discussion of potential zoning change
MedProperties, LLC will present its proposal for the Project at 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. The Project is a 62,000 square foot medical office building. The Project is a 4 story glass and brick building. The top cornice will be 70 ft. high. The parapet wall will be 68 ft. high. For comparison purposes, the Senior Housing at 1501 W. Belmont is 77 ft high and 3133 N. Lakewood is 75 ft. high.The Project will be lot-line to lot-line front to back and side-to-side. There will be no side yards (gangways) for the properties bordering the Project. The Project will be anchored by Northwestern Memorial Hospital (NMH). There will be an Urgent Care Center at street level with extended hours. 12,000 square feet of retail space will be available on the 1st floor. The 1st floor will include a NMH Imaging Center. It is unclear how many medical or business tenants will occupy the building or if the make-up of the tenants is known. There will be 74 indoor parking spaces that can also be used for restaurants and theater in the evening. The roof consists primarily of a green wellness garden. In order to achieve the desired office ratio, the Project will require a B2-5 zoning. This Project is developed as 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.
The immediate area surrounding the Project will be flyered. This will be a Voting Issue.
AT THE SEPTEMBER MEETING
State Representative John Fritchey
Mr. Fritchey has served as our State Rep. since 1996. Most recently he received the 2010 Bishop Shiel Award from the Illinois State Crime Commission. However, Mr. Fritchey is not returning to Springfield and he did not paint a pretty picture of what is going on down there. He noted the dire budget situation did not happen over-night. It was a basic math issue of spending all the revenues in the “good times” and not planning for any future shortfalls. He stated that the current mess cannot be solved in 1 to 2 years. It will take time and at this time, nobody has come up with a plan. Mr. Fritchey believes the State Income Tax hike is inevitable and necessary. The number of State employees has been slashed to the point that Illinois has the lowest number of employees per capita in the U.S. except for the State of Mississippi. Some pension reform has been passed, but Mr. Fritchey believes it should have been done years ago. The State’s pension plan was so lucrative, that it encourages workers to stay in government jobs for the pension only.
TIF (Tax Increment Financing) Problem. With all the State money problems, Mr. Fritchey claims that the City of Chicago and the State of Illinois is sitting on millions of unused TIF Funds. On Mr. Fritchey’s website, he states that at the end of 2009, an audit found that the City of Chicago had a combined balance of $1.2 billion dollars. Of that amount, only $37.1 million was reserved for developments. Mr. Fritchey is introducing legislation to return unused TIF money to the taxing bodies such as the Chicago Public Schools. These unused TIF funds could wipe-out the Chicago Education deficit. Mr. Fritchey noted that TIF is really controlled by the Mayor and this issue is definitely on the radar. See Mr. Fritchey’s web-site for more detailed information.
Mr. Fritchey addressed the education system. He stated that Illinois has the highest funding disparity from highest to lowest schools of all 50 states in the U.S. and also behind Washington D.C. The State should fund 50% of all education. It currently funds about 32%. As the states share decreases, the local government has to come up with funds. Normally this is done with increased property taxes. Poor communities cannot raise taxes and the schools are running at deficits. Unfortunately, any State Income Tax increase would go to the deficit, not education.
The Future : Mr. Fritchey is running for the Cook County Board Commissioner spot vacated by Forrest Claypool. He noted that Cook County’s budget would make it the 15th largest State in the U.S. Mr. Fritchey believes the County is unorganized with duplicate services, waste and fraud.
Finally, an overriding theme during Mr. Fritchey’s talk was to be informed of the candidates and vote. An informed public will make a difference in the long run. SLN thanks State Rep. Fritchey for his many years in the House and good luck in his future endeavors. Website = www.fritchey.com.
Republican Committeeman – John J. Curry
Yes Virginia, there are Republicans in Chicago. Mr. Curry took the membership for an informational ride as to the duties of a Committeeman. He noted that in the last election, the 32nd Ward cast 7th most Republican votes. Mr. Curry has been the Republican Committeeman for the 32nd Ward since 1996. It is an elected position. He also noted that it is a non-paying position. The Committeeman’s duty is to reflect the interest of our Ward to the Republican Party regarding slating the Republican candidates. The Committeeman also is heavily involved in making sure elections are fair by appointing Republican election judges for Election Day. He is also the liaison for local voters to contact their elected officials.
For more information on the Republican Party in the 32nd Ward contact Mr. Curry at 1-800-694-9036 or email = email@example.com
WELLINGTON’S TAVERN – update
At the September 23 Mediation Meeting residents reported no change in the noise or bad behavior level since the July 20 meeting. However, with the bar opening earlier for football games, the commotion starts earlier on the weekend. Thursday nights have become worse due to the influx of college students for Thursday Night Football. Officials noted that 911 calls were down; however, the residents reiterated that they are hesitant to call 911 for noise issues. Wellington’s is currently under scrutiny due to a “sale of alcohol to minor” (SAM) charge. As part of the Mediation Process, Wellington’s has been requested to 1) attend CAPS meetings, 2) meet with the Community Police Officer and the Alderman, 3) establish a public way line rope to keep smokers separate from sidewalk pedestrian traffic, 4) investigate noise level restrictions and 5) keep side door on Lakewood closed.
The next Mediation Meeting is scheduled for November 9, Tuesday at 10:00AM, Room 805 in City Hall. It his highly suggested that residents affected by this issue attend these meetings.
SOUTH LAKEVIEW PLAYLOT – NEWS
South Lakeview Playlot Advisory Council
October 17, 2010 Sunday from 3:00-5:00PM. This great family event is a blast. Corner of Lakewood and Wolfram. Be there or be scared. BOO!
The Advisory Council is looking for Corporate sponsors for its Halloween Party and 2012 Summer events. Contact Jennifer Roche at firstname.lastname@example.org or Carolyn Withey at email@example.com for additional information.
NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS AND INFORMATION
Alderman Waguespack 32nd Ward News
DAMEN AVE. road closure – from Armitage to Churchill (1832 north) to repair water main. Starting late September.
FALL LEAVES – place blue bags in blue recycling garbage can or on the side. Do not overload bags. Do not sweep or blow leaves into the street. They will clog the street cleaner (or cleaner may skip your street totally) and drains will be clogged all winter long.
GRAFFITI – call 311 and the Alderman’s office to report it as soon as you can. Two major taggers “BigL” and KWT were arrested on August 20. They appeared in court, but the owners of the properties did not show up for court. The taggers walked out with “a smile on their face.”
VOTER REGISTRATION and ADDRESS CHANGE – Tuesday, October 5th is the deadline to register or change your address for the November 2nd General Election :
1) Email form at www.chicagoelections.com
2) At any Secretary of State office where drivers licenses are issued. 2 forms of ID.
3) Through the Alderman’s office
DOCUMENT SHREDDING – bring your documents to the Alderman’s office from today to November 10. There is a locked bin you can dump your documents. The Alderman’s office has partnered with Midway Document Destruction to collect the documents and destroy them for you.
Email the Alderman’s Office at firstname.lastname@example.org for his newsletter or updates.
Beat 1931 (West of Lincoln) by Joan Gatz
Most frequent crime in our District was unlawful entry. Police reported this as a “Community Alert.” Take extra care with securing your home while asleep at night or away on vacation. Officers encouraged residents to take a home inventory, record your valuables as well as photos. A home inventory sheet can be obtained by an email request to = CAPS019district@chicagopolice.org.
Beat 1932 (East of Lincoln) by Sam Samatas
See next meeting date.
• Beat 1931: 1st Thursday of odd months (November 4) at 7:00 pm, Hamlin Park, 3035 N. Hoyne.
• Beat 1932: 2nd Thursday of even months (December 9) @ 7:00 pm, Illinois Masonic, 836 W. Wellington.
CAPS Officers – Belmont District is Sgt. Jason Clark : 312-744-5983 ; email = CAPS019District@chicagopolice.org.
Burglary Workshop attended by Sam Samatas and Diann Marselek put on by CAPS : September 22, Wednesday from 7:00-8:00PM. Location – 19th District Auditorium, 2452 W. Belmont. See Page 6
for recap of Burglary Workshop.
Burley Elementary School : donorschoose.org
The website = www.donorschoose.org is a site that allows educators across the country to post classroom wish lists. See what Burley teachers are hoping for in their classrooms this year. You can choose to fund an entire project or donate toward a goal. DonorsChoose then delivers the materials to the classroom. To find Burley Elementary School projects use the keywords “Burley Chicago” in your search. Be sure to use Chicago in your search as there are many Burley Schools across the U.S.
Lake View Citizens Council – LVCC
Energy & Environment Seminar – October 13, Wednesday 6:30PM-8:30PM at Standard Bank & Trust, 3920 N. Sheridan Road. Representatives from Commonwealth Edison, Chicago Department of Environment and the Department of Water will discuss ways to conserve, save money and help the environment. It is FREE man. Complimentary wine, appetizers and rain barrel water shots.
Founders Club Cocktail Reception – November 9, Tuesday 6PM to 9PM at Harry Caray’s Tavern, 3551 N. Sheffield. This event is an integral role in funding the LVCC and programs. See www.lakeviewcitizens.org/founders.asp. for more information.
Membership – a reminder to all SLN members. You should join LVCC to get a broader sense of what is happening in Lakeview community. See website www.lakeviewcitizens.org for an application.
Lakeview Chamber of Commerce
The Chamber is scheduled to appear at the November SLN membership meeting. As reported last month, the Chamber and SSA#27 are working on the Lakeview Area Master Plan (LAMP). LAMP will benefit the entire Lakeview service area with heavier concentration on the commercial districts on Lincoln, Southport and Belmont. Visit website www.placeconsulting.net.
Trick or Treat on Southport and Pumpkin Party – October 24, Sunday 1PM to 4PM. Trick Treat at businesses on Southport from Roscoe and Irving Park. Visit the Pumpkin Party on Southport between Grace and Byron.
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 hours/week. Shifts are flexible. Volunteer in your neighborhood and make an impact nationally. For more information contact Michelle Vos at 773-289-1726 or www.1800RUNAWAY.org
St. Alphonsus – Children’s Garage Sale
7th Annual. October 23 from 8AM to Noon in the Lower Church. Donate your gently used children clothing (infant-pre teen), toys, furniture, baby gear and maternity clothing. Collection times 8AM-Noon on October 16, 18, 19 and 20. This is a very big and organized sale. For more information contact Trish Kelly at email = email@example.com.
ATTENTION ADVERTISERS – AD SPACE AVAILABLE
Spaces are available for the 2010-2011 season. Members are encouraged to contact their favorite restaurants or vendors. Get in NOW. Yearly rates for 9 issues : Smallest $50, next smallest $75, 1/6 page $110, 1/3 page $210, ½ page $310. Contact Diane Galiej at 773-929-6673 or Ann Sychowski at 773-477-8840
RESTAURANT REVIEW by Joni G.
Chizakaya, 3056 N. Lincoln, 312-943-6255
“Konichiwa”, is what we said as we entered this modern, clean Japanese restaurant in the location formerly know as Felice Bakery. The interesting murals on the ceiling seemed to melt down the walls which brought your attention upwards to the beautiful art. The music and lighting were at pleasant levels with the hip-hop lounge sound catering to the young crowd, many Japanese couples.
We began our small plate Japanese fused with an American twist meal on an early Friday evening. Good thing too, by 7:00 the place was packed! The front of the restaurant has about 15 tables and a bar, where singles sit to nosh. In the back the kitchen is open to all who are seated on tall chairs at a long communal table, where you watch what it takes to get all the orders made and how quiet everyone is doing so.
Not knowing about the back dining area, we sat in the front room and ordered miso soup with tofu and barley, a little too salty for my taste. The tofu basket with bonito (fish stock) was very light and served in a small basket. Except for the soup dishes, only chopsticks are used for dining. Good exercise for the cerebellum region of your brain.
We tried three different Yaki (prepared and cooked on a stick) plates. The turnip and the sweet sausage were very tasty. The best plate we shared was the Corn Fritters, an American food with a Japanese twist served with lime and spicy mayo. I could eat these all night long and sip either a cold Japanese beer or sake, which they have several to choose from, along with specialty cocktails and Japanese whiskeys. We concluded our meal when we agreed to being full after slurping up our Ramen noodle dish with fish ball, bacon and egg. The plates and soup are served in beautiful pottery.
Chizakaya is a very hot new restaurant and I am honored that they chose our neighborhood. This place is going to become very popular because it has a different type of menu with excellent service. The ingredients are from local and sustainable farms keeping the menu seasonal. The evening out can get a bit pricey with several small plates and a couple of beverages. I recommend that you go have a new dining experience and arrive early. “Arigato” to the two chefs, one with experience at Charlie Trotters and the other from restaurants in New York and Las Vegas.
SLN – WEBSITE = www.slneighbors.org
Visit the site. It is a work in progress. Pictures and information to be added.
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GREATER CHICAGO FOOD DEPOSITORY
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 www.chicagosfoodbank.org. for more information.
Recap of 19th District Burglary Workshop
Four former burglars spoke at the workshop. Here is a recap of what they said:
Areas to commit crimes:
• Yuppie areas where there is wealth
• Areas where people don’t know neighbors
Means to see if anyone is home:
• Knock on doors, no answer a good sign that noone is home
• Watch movements to see when people come and go
Areas where they gain access to home:
• Back doors – less seen by anyone
• Front doors that have weak frames
• Air conditioners that they can punch out
Areas in house they go to:
• Master bedroom
• Junk drawers in kitchen
• Computer rooms
What they look for:
• Cash, jewelry, electronics, guns checkbooks, pre-approved credit cards
When they commit the crimes:
• Day light hours
Suggestions to prevent burglaries:
• Have as many layers as possible. They want to get in and out quick. The layers are sensor lights, alarms, cameras, crime watch signs
• Have strong door frames. Lock all doors and windows.
• Don’t put boxes on garbage cans that advertise that you bought something new
• Leave on radio or tv so they think someone is home
• If you have a safe, bolt it to the floor
• Have block clubs. They avoid homes where there is a nosy neighbor.
• Engrave serial numbers on items and keep in a secure place