East Village social media: News from neighbors


The East Village Association now has more than 750 Facebook fans and 500 Twitter followers. They get not only news about EVA but also links and opinions from fellow members.

All fans can post on the EVA Facebook timeline to share news or leave questions and comments. Facebook members logged into their computers can see the latest posts on the right.

The Twitter feed @evachicago sends news and lifestyle headlines from local news media, blogs and city agencies, the same headlines featured below.

A magazine of East Village Chicago news is now available on the Flipboard smartphone app. Flipboard also reads Facebook or Twitter messages, or other news feeds such as the Feedburner RSS feed of posts from this site.

Last year EVA started a private group on Nextdoor, a social media site that launched a redesign in February just as NBC News shut down its Everyblock sites. Neighborhood Watch groups often use Nextdoor because it requires proof of address and can send text alerts as well as email. Members also make business referrals or share tools, functions similar to the OhSoWe site that shut down last year.

EVA also moderates the evachicago Yahoo! Group, where anyone in the community can join and post messages. EVA and Wicker Park Committee send notices using this email list.

To get news alerts from EVA, choose one of the email forms on this page to get the newsletter monthly or each article as soon as it's posted. To forward EVA announcements, click on the M-shaped email image at the end of the article. There are also buttons for sharing the article on your Facebook, Twitter, Blogger or Google+ page. Try them out.

Ashland liquor backed, sheriff takes 13th, dim view of signs, Peabody at risk

East Village Association membership meeting minutes for March 4, 2013
Submitted by Meghan Quinn


Liquor Moratoria
Ald. Proco Joe Moreno joined us to discuss the possible lifting of a liquor moratorium on Ashland Avenue. There are about 20 moratoria currently in place in our neighborhood (Grand to Division and Damen to Ashland). Moreno stated that many businesses have approached him asking to lift a moratorium in their location. He would like to lift this Ashland moratorium so that Garden Gourmet Market may sell beer and wine at 1130 N. Ashland Ave. Moreno sees a problem with the current moratorium structure -- it is an all or nothing approach. In this case, a legal document known as a Plan of Operation would run concurrent with the license granted, setting certain restrictions such as types of liquor and hours when they would be sold.

With the support of EVA members on this issue, Moreno will commit to not lifting any other moratoria within the above-mentioned area for 2 years, or the remainder of his term. He also agreed that the liquor license must run concurrent with an agreed upon Plan of Operation that will limit liquor sales to a maximum 25% of total sales, and will only allow craft beer and wine sales. Failure to follow the Plan of Operation can result in fines, and ultimately the revocation of the license. For example, the point of sale system will be audited, with the review period being shortened should violations occur.

Eckhart Park playground announcement April 6

Join Friends of Eckhart Park on April 6 for an official announcement about playground funding and details from Patrick J. Levar, Chicago Park District chief operating officer. The meeting is at 10am in the Eckhart Park fieldhouse, 1330 W. Chicago Ave.

Friends of Eckhart Park also will be discussing the park’s plans for Earth Day and calling for volunteers. The new playground will provide great opportunities to get involved, and the organization will be accepting nominations for board positions during the meeting. Elections will take place May 4.

The announcement celebration will continue at 11 am at Branch 27, 1371 W. Chicago Ave. Come out and celebrate with your friends and neighbors.

RSVP »

EVA Monday: Melissa Staples, new Chicago Police commander


Chicago Police Cmdr. Melissa A. Staples gives a status report on the merged 12th District at Monday's East Village Association meeting.

A resident of the old 13th District, Staples is incorporating East Village beats into the 12th District, with a new $21 million headquarters at 1412 S. Blue Island Ave. The 13th District station house closed in December, and a deal was struck in February to convert the Wood Street building into a Cook County Sheriff warrants office.

Staples previously was 17th District commander in Albany Park. She's a 22-year Chicago Police veteran with experience in the detective, organized crime and patrol divisions. Her February talk to the Ukrainian Village Neighborhood Association covered gang violence and other issues.

EVA and UVNA have been asking for information on beat manpower and arrests in the consolidated district, and are promised a report on crime incidents 90 days before and after the 13th District closing.

The meeting starts at 7pm in the Happy Village, 1059 N. Wolcott Ave. Steve Quick Jeweler, the Lincoln Park shop that recently opened a location at 1909 W. Division St., will present the business minute.

Peabody-Otis school merger hearings set for April


Hearings on the proposed closing of Peabody School are scheduled for 5pm April 8 and 12 at Roberto Clemente High School, 1147 N. Western Ave. Whether or not the merger plan proceeds, the schools face formidable resource issues.

Students at Peabody would move a mile south into Otis Elementary, a language magnet school at 525 N. Armour. Otis would add an open-admission track for East Village pupils east of Ashland Avenue.

Pritzker magnet school at 2009 W. Schiller St. took on a similar role west of Ashland, adding a neighborhood program when Andersen School was merged into LaSalle II magnet school. LaSalle II took students still at Andersen in 2011; both schools shared the building at 1148 N. Honore St.

Peabody is one of 61 sites the Chicago Public Schools plans to close in an attempt to conserve resources. Chief executive Barbara Byrd-Bennett sought to reassure parents in the run-up to the March 20 announcement. "As a life-long educator, former teacher and principal," Byrd-Bennett wrote in a letter to parents, "I know that consolidating underutilized schools will allow us to focus our resources so that every child can be in a safe, better performing school close to their home."

Byrd-Bennett's formulation of safety, performance and proximity is a good starting point in evaluating the draft transition plan circulated to Peabody parents. The plan is subject to change with input from the Clemente meetings and an April 18 hearing at the CPS central office, 125 S. Clark St.

West Town inspires Adventure Stage Chicago play


By Jennifer Mathews

Adventure Stage Chicago uses true stories from West Town neighbors to create its next production, the world premiere of "Augusta and Noble."

Gabi has graduated from Peabody School and is starting high school across the city at Northside College Prep. As she encounters new people and possibilities, Gabi begins asking questions about her heritage, including the truth about her parents' journey to America.

Get a sneak peek of "Augusta and Noble" during a free open rehearsal at 4pm March 24. Register at 773-342-4141 or visit www.adventurestage.org. Managing Director Scott Letscher will discuss the production at the East Village Association's April 1 meeting, starting at 7pm in Happy Village, 1059 N. Wolcott Ave.

Eckhart Park kickstarts playground campaign


Fundraising begins in earnest this spring to build a playground at Eckhart Park. After soliciting ideas for a benefactor monument and producing a promotional video, volunteers have raised about $40,000 toward the $550,000 park project at 1330 W. Chicago Ave.

An Earth Day park cleanup will kick off fundraising, Nick Fotis of Friends of Eckhart Park told the East Village Association board Monday. Donors can text "Eckhart" to 40679 or schedule one-time or periodic contributions on Razoo, a Kickstarter-style website for nonprofits.

EVA Monday: Ashland liquor moratorium vote

By Neal McKnight

On Monday the East Village Association will vote on whether to support lifting a package liquor moratorium on Ashland Avenue between Division Street and Augusta Boulevard. Approval would be subject to controls imposed on the proposed licensee and written commitments from Ald. Proco Joe Moreno.

The EVA board of directors proposed in May and general membership voted June 4 to request that all current package and tavern liquor moratoria in our community be left in place for 3 years. This vote expressed the unanimous view of the organization to be communicated not only to the aldermen representing our community but also the Chicago Police Department and the local liquor control commissioner.

EVA also requested that the aldermen and governmental authorities explore legislative and regulatory solutions to create a framework for lifting the moratoria that would allow for a compromise between an outright ban and tailored individual controls.

Since this vote was taken, Ald. Moreno approached EVA expressing his desire and intent to lift the moratorium on Ashland Avenue to allow for Garden Gourmet Market to obtain a package liquor license operating as a grocer at 1130 N. Ashland Ave. Ald. Moreno also requested EVA input to find ways to allow this license.