Ald. Pawar, candidate for governor, to speak April 3


Ald. Ameya Pawar

East Village Association board minutes for March 13, 2017, by Daniel Navarro

Board updates: New president Michael VanDam looking for more board members, meeting location. Options include West Town Bakery, Lincoln Bathhouse, Ask Nagel Realty. General meeting would stay at Happy Village.

Planning update: Honore-Augusta upzone sought to add floor area; 925 N. Damen Ave. special use and variation for 4-story 3-flat condos.

Membership agenda: Ald. Ameya Pawar, a candidate for governor, confirmed as April 3 speaker, according to Peter Gariepy. Earth Day cleanup, Aeslin Pup Hub business minute; membership committee formation.

New business: Polish Triangle working with architect on schematic designs and project pricing. Tom Tomek to send high-resolution EVA logo to Brian Foote. Stephen Rynkiewicz will be on security committee; Anne Shaw looking to become liaiaon, more involved with safety and EVA. VanDam to reach out. Eckhart Park Spring Swing May 12.

Meeitng starts 6:33pm, ends 7:10pm at West Town Bakery, 1916 W. Chicago Ave.

EVA seeks Moreno support for Wells language academy

The East Village Association has asked 1st Ward Ald. Proco Joe Moreno to support creation of a citywide college preparatory program in foreign languages at Wells Community Academy High School, 936 N. Ashland Ave.

President Michael VanDam sent Moreno this statement on March 10:

"I am writing on behalf of the East Village Association to express our strong support for the selection of Wells High School as the charter location for the proposed World Language Academy currently under consideration.

"After hearing from Principal Raichoudhuri at our meeting on March 6, 2017, the members of EVA voted unanimously to express support for this initiative.

"We believe that the Language Academy would be an excellent complement to their current Computer Science and Law Academies, and that Principal Raichoudhuri, as one of the primary driving forces behind the Language Academy pilot program, is uniquely qualified to ensure its success.

"We also wanted to express our thanks for your support for the Wells Field of Hope. In addition to providing an environment much more amenable to Wells students’ athletic pursuits, the Field of Hope will also help to integrate Wells even further into the East Village community.

"Wells High School has shown tremendous improvements over the past few years, and is poised to become one of Chicago’s top-tier high schools. It is Wells’ time to shine. We believe that its selection as the World Language Academy charter school is a crucial step in making this a reality and we urge you to support it."

Neighborhood groups plan crime response


A packed Feb. 6 community meeting prompted a joint response from neighborhood groups.

Organizers of the West Town Public Safety Committee thank the neighbors who came to the initial March 4 meeting in the Goldblatt's Building, 1625 W. Chicago Ave. It was an outstanding meeting with all attendees providing insights on their interest and how they thought they could assist our community and the Chicago Police Department in reducing crime.

Among initiatives discussed were development of an app that could be downloaded by neighbors and would push out alerts of suspicious person, crimes, etc. Things like this are possible when you have a theoretical physicist and a technology company professional in the room.

One volunteer, who could not attend but sent a letter, is a Guardian Angel and wants to help organize "citizen patrols" in the area. Other participants have connections to elected officials and will use those relationships to lobby for passage of appropriate legislation. All in all, it was an inspirational meeting.

Parents' bid for Wells language academy gets EVA support


Wells Community Academy High School principal Rituparna Raichoudhuri

East Village Association minutes for March 6, 2017, by Daniel Navarro

Officer Elections
  • President - Michael VanDam
  • Vice President - Daniel Navarro
  • Treasurer - Peter Gariepy
  • Secretary - Michelle Hayward
  • Call for nominations from the floor - no such nominations.
  • Call to vote - all approved.
  • Stephen Rynkiewicz appointed webmaster/newsletter editor.
Discussion with Principal Rita Raichoudhuri of Wells High School
  • Progress on World Language Academy at Wells: Several elementary school teach foreign language, but there is no high school college-prep program for language. Initial thought was to a new building as a language academy; this was changed to moving it towards an existing facility.
  • Wells has improved to a level 2+, close to a level 1. Wells needs students, as more students = more funds. The language academy would assist in bringing more students.
  • Parents vote at end of March to pursue a pilot program. Wells and Clemente are finalists. Wells has already created project to show what it will take to offer college level foreign language classes for a high-proficiency four-year program instead of the two years currently offered.

Community groups raise crime profile


State Rep. Cynthia Soto addresses a Feb. 6 meeting at the West Town Branch Library.

East Village Association board minutes for Feb. 13, 2017, by Daniel Navarro

EVA president Dan Johnson will ask for volunteers for a safety committee. Community group leaders are forming a working group following a series of Chicago Police town-hall meetings.

The group will check in with police, aldermen and other leaders to keep tabs on measures to deal with crime. Anne Shaw, who organized a 2011 effort to save the 13th District police station, expressed interest.

The West Town SSA is considering private security for the Chicago Avenue business district. Vice president Michael VanDam asked if EVA would take a position. The concern is that police may redeploy its officers elsewhere. VanDam said private security should not be a long-term solution. The tax district offers rebates for private security cameras.

Public safety issues will be featured in future EVA meetings.

Ald. Ameya Pawar, a candidate for governor, is scheduled to speak at EVA's 7pm April 3 meeting in the Happy Village, 1059 N. Wolcott Ave.

Planning, Preservation & Development

A possible upzoning request is coming on the 900 block of Paulina. Owners have not put a proposal forward. On Augusta, zoning changes would be require to build a 3-flat on a teardown site.

No information was available on on the Augusta dairy, which was to be on the March city Landmark Commission agenda. Work has resumed at the Ace on Ashland development.

Officer nominating committee

Board members are discussing interest in EVA leadership—speak up.

Crime on the agenda at West Town community meeting

In lieu of the regularly scheduled East Village Association meeting, please join your neighbors Monday at a West Town Community Meeting on Public Safety. Participants include Alderman Joe Moreno, Alderman Roberto Maldonado, State Rep. Cynthia Soto and 12th District Chicago Police Cmdr. Edward Kulbida. Meet at 6 in the Lower Level Conference Room of the historic Goldblatt's Building on Chicago at Ashland.

Ald. Moreno Q&A