EVA Monday: Damen tax, basement flooding, energy rebates

Blocks hit by basement flooding can ask for a special city inspection. The Basement Flooding Partnership involves a computer analysis, sewer and catch basin cleaning and advice for homeowners.

Assistant Water Management Commissioner Tom LaPorte will describe the procedure at the Oct. 1 East Village Association meeting, starting at 7 p.m. in the Happy Village, 1059 N. Wolcott Ave.

Leslie Proudfoot of Energy Impact Illinois will suggest home improvements that qualify for soon-to-expire energy upgrade rebates.
EVA members will discuss the upcoming City Council vote to charge a Special Service Area tax to property owners on Damen Avenue from Augusta Boulevard to Huron Street. The city's Finance Committee will hold a hearing on the tax district at 10 am Oct. 12 at City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle St.

The West Town SSA is an expansion of the current business-service district administered by the West Town Chamber of Commerce. An EVA group evaluating the plan will report at the Oct. 1 meeting. The chamber will hold its own information session at noon Oct. 9 at its office, 1819 W. Chicago Ave.

Wood Street park: Your second opinion

Volunteers studying the future of the 13th District police station are paying close attention to a second online poll on new uses for the site.

In circulating the survey, working group member Ronda Locke takes note of one option the EVA board continues to investigate: leveraging the police property to expand Commercial Park.

Ald. Proco Joe Moreno "is supportive" of a land swap, Locke says, but unless the poll backs housing on the police site "it will be a hard sell regardless of EVA's recommendation." The working group advising Moreno is committed what the "community most wants," Locke said.

The first survey circulated in August before the city revealed that it would raze the 937 N. Wood St. building soon after police move to a new station at 1412 S. Blue Island Ave.

A land swap is one of 16 options in the new poll, ranging from community garden to electric vehicle charging station. A police substation is not among the choices. The survey asks participants to rate options on a 5-point scale and to pick their top choice. The form also asks for suggestions on other uses, groups that might develop the police tract, and a name for the park.

Take the survey here. Locke says the committee wants to consider the results and any EVA advice before Sept. 30.

Police land swap could expand Commercial Park


Minutes for Sept. 17 East Village Association board meeting submitted by Stephen Rynkiewicz

Upcoming Meetings: Oct 1 - Energy Impact Illinois; Nov 5 - Cook County Board of Review

Pedestrian Designation: Motion passes to recommend city extend Chicago Avenue pedestrian street designation east to Noble Street (moved by Scott Rappe, seconded by Neal McKnight).

West Town Chamber/SSA Expansion: McKnight will schedule meeting with Ald. Waguespack.

30th Anniverary Celebration: Event raised $3,000 for West Town library; expenses estimated at $750.

Frankie Machine Community Garden: EVA will contribute to build birdbath.

Planning, Preservation & Development: Villa shoe store at 1555 W. Division has been rezoned B3-2.

Following an inquiry, a developer will be invited to present a plan to upzone AAA Distributing Co. site at 1834-50 W. Chicago to B3-3 for first-floor retail and 70 residential units. EVA directors discussed an alternative plan: to swap the Chicago Avenue property with the 13th District police site at 937 N. Wood St.

Such a trade would allow expansion of Commercial Park, across the alley at 1845 W. Rice St. The park would be an appropriate site to build a memorial to slain officers, and a police substation could fill a vacancy in the Goldblatt's building, 1615 W. Chicago Ave. Greg Nagel and Scott Rappe will explore the plan's feasibility.

Meeting convened 6:36 pm, adjourned 7:28 pm at Leona’s restaurant, 1936 W. Augusta: Officers Neal McKnight, Peter Locke; directors Gladys Anselmo-Alcazar, Greg Nagel, Scott Rappe, Stephen Rynkiewicz, Tom Tomek; members Rich Anselmo, Marjorie Isaacson.

Circus in the Parks' latest trick


By Ronda Locke

How exciting! Circus in the Parks is winner of Time Out Chicago Kids' Hipsqueak award.

If you have not gotten tickets yet, you better soon. All eight shows over the first two weeks were sold out. Don't forget, Commercial Park hosts Circus in the Parks on Oct. 6 & 7.

EVA at 30: The movie


Joe Hunnewinkel edited this video photo montage to mark the first three decades of one of Chicago's oldest neighborhood groups. The video was produced for the Sept. 13 ceremony in the West Town branch library, the former Goldblatt's department store at 1625 W. Chicago Ave. that EVA saved from demolition.

Attempted kidnapping at Division & Rockwell


Community Alert: Wanted for Attempt Kidnapping (14th District - Shakespeare)
Detective Bureau - Area North
Alert # 630-12-27
September 18, 2012

About this crime: On Sept. 17, 2012, at approximately 8:50 a.m., a 13 year old female was walking in the 1200 block of North Rockwell when she was approached by a male offender who engaged the victim in conversation. The offender then grabbed the victim by her hair and released her after the victim began to scream. The victim was able to safely run away and the offender was last seen fleeing westbound on Crystal.

About the offender: The offender was described as a male black, approximately 25-30 years of age, 6 ft, 160 lbs, dark complexion, brown eyes, black hair with a fade haircut, brown eyes and mustache. The offender was wearing a black leather jacket, red shirt and blue jean pants.

Energy home improvements at Oct. 1 meeting


Federal stimulus money is earmarked to encourage sustainable energy use, among other things. If you're homeowner ready to make changes this winter, some of that cash can trickle down to you.

Incentives include free thermostat and shower-head installation, interest-free loans and rebates of up to $1,750 for insulation and other efficiency improvements. The rebate program ends in May, so now's the time to investigate.

Leslie Proudfoot of Energy Impact Illinois will walk East Village Association members through the options at its Oct. 1 meeting, at 7 pm in the Happy Village, 1059 N. Wolcott. Homeowners also call 855-9-IMPACT to learn what's available to them and set up a home energy assessment.

Energy Impact Illinois is a tax-funded project that involves the traditional utility companies to promote energy-saving renovations. It's managed by CNT Energy in Wicker Park, where longtime EVA member Marjorie Isaacson works.

Pedestrians robbed, then shot

By Molly Murray

Most of you have already heard about the armed robberies where the victims were also shot. Please be very cautious out there.

Get involved in CAPS and more important, join us in the continued fight to "Save Our Station." Our station will still merge with the 12th District and reside at the new site at 14th & Blue Island (4 miles south!). We must continue to fight for a satellite station in the area as well as making sure that we continue to see a strong police presence in our area as well as across other parts of the city.

Please watch for upcoming rallies and other information on how you can get involved. Thank you and have a safe weekend!

EVA at 30: $3,000 for library


The East Village Association pledged $3,000 for library programs at the Sept. 13 EVA 30th Anniversary Celebration.

President Neal McKnight (right) presented a check to Library Commissioner Brian Bannon and West Town branch library manager Annie Miskewitch at the library, 1625 W. Chicago Ave.

EVA was honored as well. Lisa DiChiera, advocacy director of Landmarks Illinois, presented its Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Preservation Award for EVA action to halt the building's demolition.

View EVA's Facebook photo album of the event.

EVA at 30: It's party time

EVA's new neighborhood signs have been joined by city East Village Landmark District markers.

By Marjorie Isaacson

If you need another reason to attend EVA’s 30th annivesary celebration Thursday, one of EVA’s original members, Mark Frohman, will be joining us.

Froman is coming from Vermont to attend the event. His contributions are too extensive to list, but they include co-founding the Frankie Machine Community Garden and negotiating the planting of over 100 trees in East Village.

Froman is excited to see how East Village has changed, from its National Register of Historic Places status to its thriving business community and active family networks.

Old and new neighbors will have a lot to talk about at the EVA party at 6 pm in the West Town Branch Library, 1625 W. Chicago Ave. Read more here. RSVP for the event here. Be there!

Rehab tax breaks: Where to start

A house on North Sedgwick, before and after rehab

East Village property owners are eligible for a range of state and federal tax incentives to renovate their homes or businesses. Anthony Rubano of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency gave East Village Association members a comprehensive rundown of these income and property tax breaks on Sept. 10.

Download a summary of his presentation with links to application forms and details on each program. For answers to your questions or a copy of his PowerPoint deck, you've got a guy in Springfield: Write Rubano at anthony.rubano@illinois.gov.