Eckhart Park paves way for fund drive

Artists and designers are being asked for their ideas on a sculpture, plaque or artwork naming Eckhart Park benefactors.

An call for entries this week frames the memorial as a "more thoughtful and creative" version of the inscribed brick pavers that mark contributions in other parks. It will be visible from Chicago Avenue, with three tiers of donors.

Plans would be submitted in a two-page PDF file with a $25 entry fee. A prize for the winning submission, if any, was not announced. ("We're hoping to secure an award," said Eckhart Park Advisory Council president Nick Fotis.)

A committee of Advisory Council directors, local design professionals and neighbors will judge entries Sept. 3. Applicants are advised to reflect the neighborhood and consider environmentally friendly materials. The winner will be announced Sept. 17 at the Eckhart Park 5K Run to Fun.

The sponsoring Advisory Council said it has identified potential donors in working with the Chicago Park District on a master plan for the park.

Calendar: East Village picnic, Logan Square fest

Bring a dish and make a friend at the East Village Association's spring picnic. Supplementing the potluck are two local Italian specialties, Roots Handmade Pizza and Black Dog Gelato. Linger for corn toss and other amusements.

Contributors to EVA's East Village street sign project will receive a chance at great prizes including:
  • Wicker Park Fitness: 6 month membership + 3 hourlong training sessions
  • Boundary: $50 gift certificate
  • Moonshine: $50 gift certificate
  • Greenheart: $25 gift certificate
  • Tres Bien Salon: Manicure

The event starts at 7pm Monday night, Aug. 1 at Commercial Park, 1845 W. Rice. RSVP

Now that you've locked in Monday, here are events for the rest of the week:

Friday, July 29

Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival, 4-11pm through Sunday, Milwaukee Avenue from California to Kimball. This weekend's street fair is in Logan Square, with galleries, performance art, music, and family activities.

Bike Away From Work + Park, 5-7:30pm, North/Milwaukee/Damen. Chicago's first on-street bike parking installation is unveiled at 1519 N. Milwaukee Ave. Refreshments at Francesca's Forno. RSVP

Dome of Doom, 5-7pm at Western, Damen, Division stops on Blue Line. Geodesic dome hosts contest of one-minute dances.

Wicker Mic at Wicker Park 6-9pm, Wicker Park, 1425 N. Damen. Open mike for musicians, poets, and artists.

Tuesday, August 2

National Night Out 5-8pm, Commercial Park. Jesse White Tumblers, Chicago Police mounted unit and canine unit, fire truck, bounce house, music & food. Chicago Police 13th District

Thursday, August 4

1st Ward Thursday, 7pm, Standard Bar and Grill, 1332 N. Milwaukee Ave. Ward organization social event.

Calendar: Wicker Park Fest, sidewalk sale, green tech

A weekly look at events in and around East Village (not "the East Village"):

Saturday, July 23
Keeping It Real, 11am-1pm at the Chicago Police Academy 1330 W. Jackson. Learn from convicted burglars how to protect your home.

Summer Sidewalk Sale, 11 am, Division Street, Milwaukee Avenue, North Avenue, & Damen Avenue.

Wicker Park Fest, noon-10pm, Milwaukee Avenue between Wood and North avenues. Chicago Reader calls it "one of the city's most reputable neighborhood festivals." Make what you will of that. Children's activities at Milwaukee and Evergreen include petting zoo (1-5 pm) and benefit Jose de Diego Community Academy. Headline band is Wild Flag, a Sleater-Kinney offshoot. Afterparty at Evil Olive.

Wicker Park Neighborhood Tour, 1pm, Wicker Park. A Chicago Architecture Foundation guided walking tour of Victorian-era buildings. Repeated Aug. 28, Sept. 25, Oct. 21. Tickets at

Sunday, July 24
Wicker Park Fest, noon-10pm. The street festival continues with Wavves, Blitzen Trapper and more.

Summer Sidewalk Sale, till 6 pm.

Tuesday, July 26
Chicago Sustainable Backyard Program, 6-8pm, Chicago Center for Green Technology
445 N. Sacramento. If you're curious about rain barrels, compost bins, tree and native garden plantings, this might sustain interest.

Blue carts & yard waste, by the book

By Marjorie Isaacson

I was reading the report on the meeting with Manny Gonzalez and saw this: "Leaves and yard waste should be put in the garbage bins." Maybe Manny G said this (and sorry I missed it if he did) but this is incorrect.

I am not sure about the "encouraged" statement below, but from my understanding it has been against the law since the late '90s to put yard waste in with regular garbage. It is supposed to be separately collected.

In Beverly (the south side neighborhood which is well-known as having good recyclers and lots of single family homes with big yards and gardens), people are allowed to just designate one of their supercarts as a "yard waste cart." I think this is a great idea: It saves buying the brown bags, and even though it's OK to put it in plastic bags, who wants more plastic in the world?

Another option is a composting site in the city, where the yard waste is taken and composted, and then people can come and get the compost, wood chips etc. This happens all over the U.S., in cities large and small. Evanston in fact has such a system. Why doesn't it happen in Chicago? I could tell you my opinion, but I think what we need to be asking is, why not? It's a win-win: saves money and energy, and produces a useful green product from waste materials.

From the DSS website:

In areas of Chicago with the Blue Cart program, the Department of Streets & Sanitation picks up recyclables and yard waste separate from the garbage.

2011 Blue Cart Pick-Up Schedule

Areas that are not yet on the Blue Cart Program can recycle by bringing recyclables to any of our 38 Regional Blue Recycling Drop Off Centers. Use of the Blue Bag for Chicago's residential recycling was discontinued in 2008.

How it works:


Those in a Blue Cart area are given a blue recycling cart to deposit recyclable materials including paper, cardboard, plastics, glass, tin and aluminum. Material placed in the blue cart can be loose or bagged and there is no sorting needed. While you do not have to rinse containers before they are put in your blue cart, you could opt to do so to avoid smells if you store your recycling in your home. Please make sure all items are emptied before being placed in the blue cart. Please flatten all boxes, like cereal boxes, to save space in your cart. Large cardboard boxes can be placed next to your cart.

Your blue cart will be emptied by the Department of Streets & Sanitation on an every other week schedule. If you have curbside garbage service, your blue cart will be emptied the same day as your garbage. If you have alley garbage service, your blue cart will be emptied during the week of collection.

Yard Waste

Between April 1 and November 30 of each year, residents in the Blue Cart area are encouraged to place their yard waste (grass clippings, leaves, weeds, etc.) in paper (preferred) or plastic bags and place it next to their carts.

If you are in a Blue Cart service area then Yard Waste is now collected every other week by our yard waste crews, pick-up will be on the same week as your blue cart collection.

Garbage Service

There is no change in garbage service. While the Department of Streets and Sanitation tries to make recycling, yard waste and garbage pick up on the same day, this is not possible in all areas.

Pick-up schedule

  • Garbage will continue to be picked up every week
  • Blue carts will be picked up every other week
  • Yard waste is picked up on a seasonal basis between April and November.

You're invited to Aug 1 picnic

A sweeping look at ward cleanup

A Streets & Sanitation crew clears the Honore-Thomas intersection July 12. 

July 11, 2011 membership meeting minutes submitted by Dana Palmer

Meeting commenced: 7:04 p.m.

Guest speaker
Ward superintendent Manny Gonzalez presented issues regarding streets and sanitation:

Garbage cans/recycle bins: They are all owned by the city and are city property. If you need more or want some taken away, call 311. Be sure to get an SR # for your report/request. Currently the ward has 8 garbage trucks that pick up garbage weekly and 5 recycling trucks. Call 311 and follow up with Mr. Gonzalez for all issues regarding overflow of garbage or recycling or for issues regarding furniture removal from alley. Leaves and yard waste should be put in the garbage bins.

Parkway: Although this is city property, it is the responsibility of the homeowner to maintain the area. Homeowners who want to develop the parkway or around it should consult the alderman's office first for recommendations and a permit.

Handbill ordinance: There is a $150 fine for companies or individuals who deliver handbills. Citations can be issued by Mr. Gonzalez or one other inspector. Call him directly or 311 to make a complaint.

Snow removal: The homeowner is responsible for snow removal from sidewalk in front of their property.

Dog waste: If you see someone who is not picking up dogs waste, you can call 311 to issue a complaint but will need the name and or address of the offender.

Graffiti removal: Call 311 to have it removed. Would be helpful to know if it is brick/blast job or wood/paint job.

Text alert: There is currently a text alert for our area to alert residents of street cleaning dates and times.

1st Ward Superintendent Manuel Gonzalez

EVA picnic
This year the picnic will be at 7 p.m. Aug. 1 in at Commercial Park. It is a potluck but EVA hopes to have pizza and gelato provided.

EVA signs
Tom Tomek has researched prices and has come up with an estimate of $24.88 per sign and believes we will need 80 signs for the neighborhood. At the EVA picnic a fundraiser will be taking place with prizes from various local business to raise money to help purchase these signs.

Dog waste dispensers
Dana Palmer has been working with the alderman's office and now CGNA about combining both EVA and CGNA to purchase dog waste dispensers for both neighborhoods and to raise money to do so. The alderman's office has currently agreed to donate $500 to this effort.

Farmers market
The Polish Triangle is now host to a farmers market from 2-8 p.m. on Thursday nights.

Planning, preservation and development
Scott Rappe reported that St. Boniface Church is being developed to become housing for low-income seniors but that plans now will save almost of the original building. The EVA board authorized a letter on behalf of the is development group to help them receive a tax credit for low income housing to help fund their development project.

Pizza Hut site
The site has been sold. Scott Rappe and Neal McKnight have been reaching out to businesses and the Chamber of Commerce to express support for proper development of that site.

LaSalle II
Tom Tomek reported that the mural is almost complete and that LaSalle II is taking over the old Andersen School building.

Tom Tomek reported that on the fourth of July the wood street police station received 480 calls regarding fireworks.

New business
The West Town Chamber of Commerce wants to do a fundraiser for Wells High School that might close down Ashland Avenue. Various food trucks would come into the area and donate a portion of their proceeds for that day to Wells.

Meeting adjourned: 8:22 p.m.

Calendar: Movie, picnic in the parks

East Village Association tracks more weekend goings-on:

How to Train Your Dragon

Friday, July 15: The 2010 movie "How to Train Your Dragon" screens at dusk (circa 8:30 p.m.) at Commercial Park, 1845 W. Rice. Bring a picnic and blanket; some snacks are available. "A hapless young Viking who aspires to hunt dragons becomes the unlikely friend of a young dragon himself, and learns there may be more to the creatures than he assumed." (Internet Movie Database)

Chopin Theatre's schedule through Sunday includes a Friday-night magic act; "Trogg!" a musical loosely based on a Joan Crawford movie, and "The Rose of Stambul," an operetta set in an Istanbul harem. At 1543 W. Division;

Saturday, July 16: Eckhart Park Advisory Council volunteers mulch the garden areas from 9 till noon at 1330 W. Chicago Ave. Bring your gloves and a shovel.

Art, fashion and music at the Sound System Block Party from noon till 10 at Milwaukee & Evergreen;

Sunday, July 17: Picnic in the Playground, 11 a.m. till 1 p.m. at Eckhart Park. Bring a treat to share. Noble Day Care will sponsor face painting, sidewalk chalk and bubbles, and master gardener Susan Goss will lead garden tours from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

How does Chicago get the drop on storm damage?

Fallen tree at Thomas & Honore (Scott Rappe photo)

A downed tree this morning at Thomas and Honore is a reminder that clearing the street is just as much an issue now as in deep snowfall. 1st Ward Streets & Sanitation Supt. Manuel Gonzalez is set to talk tonight about all things handled by his department, a talk put off after the February snow emergency.

Parkway landscaping, debris removal, rat control and street sweeping are also likely topics for discussion. Last summer the ward started offering street-sweeping text alerts, reminding residents by cell phone to move their cars and avoid tickets.

The ward also has experimented with grid system to pick up trash. Gonzalez can explain how that works and if it might save money citywide. He's also prepared to talk about who owns trash bins, where to keep them, and how to make better use of blue recycling bins.

The meeting is at 7 p.m. at the Happy Village, 1059 N. Wolcott.

Calendar: Triangle market, West Fest, Streets & San

The monthly East Village Association meeting is Monday, delayed as usual from the July 4 holiday. EVA also is preparing for an Aug. 1 picnic in Commercial Park, 1845 W. Rice. Here are selected upcoming events:

July 7: Polish Triangle Marketplace. The farmers market returns from 2 till 8 p.m. at Division, Ashland and Milwaukee. Check out our slide show and the chamber of commerce's list of visitors.

July 7 & 8: Cans Fest. Too White Crew and Naughty By Nature perform outside the bar at Damen & Concord. More on its Facebook page.

July 9: Recycling Dropoff. Computer recycling and paper shredding in the Kmart parking lot at 1360 N. Ashland. Details here.

July 9 & 10: West Fest. King Khan and Local H are headliners at this year's street festival, fron noon till 10 on Chicago Avenue between Damen and Wood. See the complete lineup (with links to band websites) programmed by the Empty Bottle nightclub. There's also a Kid Fest on Wolcott from Chicago to Rice.

July 10: Wicker Park Farmers Market. The weekly market from 8 till 2 in the park at 1425 N. Damen. Here's the list of vendors.

July 11: East Village Association meeting. Parkway landscaping, storm damage, debris removal, rat control and street sweeping are likely topics for Streets & Sanitation Supt. Manuel Gonzalez at the Happy Village, Wolcott & Thomas. The presentation was scheduled for February but postponed by snowstorm.