Chicago Sustainable Backyards garden rebate

Chicago homeowners can get up to $250 in rebates for flood-proofing landscape projects such as planting shrubs and catching stormwater.

The city-funded Chicago Sustainable Backyards program will be detailed at the April 3 East Village Association meeting, starting at 7pm in the Happy Village, 1059 N. Wolcott Ave. The Wicker Park-based Center for Neighborhood Technology project refunds half the cost of trees, native plants, compost bins and rain barrels purchased this year.

Garden centers and stores involved in the rebate include Ashland Ace Hardware, City Escape, Costco, Fertile Garden, Gethsemane, Home Depot, Jayson Home, Menards, Sprout Home, Christy Webber and Whole Foods.

A 6 pm June 13 workshop at the West Town branch library, 1625 W. Chicago Ave., will offer more details on how to install a rain barrel, set up a compost bin or plant a tree.

There's a new sheriff in West Town

East Village Association membership meeting minutes, May 6, 2013
Submitted by Meghan Quinn

Guest speakers: Cook County Sheriff’s Police central warrant command staff director Bob O’Neill and chief Ed Burke
Director O’Neill joined us to speak about the repurposing of the Chicago Police 13th District Station. While there is no final move-in date yet, O’Neill says that there will be about 85 people working out of the building and about 40 of them will be there per day. The building will be open from 5am to 2am daily. This time will be divided into two 10-hour shifts. The officers will drive out in their cars after roll call and will take their cars home at the end of their shifts. About 5% of the cars will be marked.

No prisoners will spend the night in the building, though the officers will sometimes bring prisoners in to question for a brief them. In fact, they want to remove the existing jall cells altogether, and use that as part of their operational space. Ultimately, they would like to ask other law enforcement agencies to join them. There will also be a custodian/facilities manager present, most likely from 12am to 8am.

There are currently about 42,000 open warrants in the city, which will be prioritized by offense, with the most violent being addressed first. A portion of the staff will be dedicated strictly to child support enforcement. Community members can search the Cook County website to see which warrants are in their area.

Chief Burke pointed out that the mere presence of officers in the area will be a crime deterrent, even though they are not beat cops. According to their oath, the officers must act if they see a crime in action.

Lafayette principal moves to LaSalle II

By Jenny Turner, president, La Salle II LSC

The LaSalle II Local School Council is pleased to inform you that after a vigilant search the Principal Selection Committee has successfully identified our new LaSalle II Magnet School principal.

We are delighted to announce that Lauren Albani will be joining us in June to assume leadership of our school. Albani is a highly qualified and experienced elementary school teacher and principal, and is currently principal of Lafayette Elementary, 2714 W. Augusta Blvd. Her professionalism, dedication and knowledge made her standout during the selection process.

Marshfield-Paulina alley bid rebuffed

The East Village Association sent this letter on May 21 to Ald. Proco "Joe" Moreno regarding development on the 800 blocks of Marshfield and Paulina.

We were disappointed to learn that the City will not facilitate a land swap to reestablish the original alley between and running parallel to Marshfield and Paulina. However, with your support and the developer’s cooperation, we believe we can still achieve some of what the alley swap would have accomplished.

West Town crime: April 2013

Last month's 48 reported violent crime incidents in West Town were one fewer than in April a year ago. There was one homicide, on April 28, described by the Chicago Tribune as a bar fight that spilled onto Division Street in the 2500 block.

The East Village Association analyzed statistics downloaded from the City of Chicago Data Portal and published on the Tribune Crime in Chicago website, comparing them to the same period a year ago.

Crime type April 2013 % change Jan-Apr '03 % change
Violent crime 48 -2% 158 -12%
  Homicide 1 0% 4 33%
  Sexual assault 3 200% 4 -64%
  Assault 8 33% 25 9%
  Battery 15 36% 33 -11%
  Robbery 21 -30% 92 -12%
Property crime 313 -4% 1,099 -10%
  Burglary 69 38% 230 14%
  Theft 199 -2% 661 -20%
  Vehicle theft 43 -7% 205 12%
  Arson 2 0% 3 50%
Quality-of-life crime 109 -28% 331 -42%
  Property damage 79 -29% 235 -33%
  Prostitution 2 0% 5 25%
  Narcotics 28 -24% 91 -59%

Free 'Stuff' from Adventure Stage teen Trailblazers

By Jennifer Mathews

Adventure Stage Chicago’s youth mentoring program, the Trailblazers, presents the premiere of "Stuff: A Curious Collection," created in collaboration with playwright Sandra Fenichel Asher.

The free, hourlong all-ages shows are at 7pm May 20 & 21 at the Vittum Theater, 1012 N. Noble St. They're followed by snacks and interactive theater games. To reserve seats, call 773-342-4141 or visit

Sheriff to reopen Wood Street squadroom midyear

By Neal McKnight

New occupants of the closed 13th District city police station will be introduced to the community at the May 6 East Village Association meeting. A representative of Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart will answer questions about the Cook County Sheriff's central warrant unit.

Cmdr. Augie Fabela, leader of the warrant squad, tells EVA he is excited to be working in the neighborhood, and asks that community groups and residents continue a discussion with the sheriff's police. He wants the warrant unit to be more than the new tenant of the Wood Street station.

StoryCorps coming to West Town library

By Anne Miskewitch

StoryCorps will be at 14 libraries this year and your West Town branch is one of them. Share and record your migration story in October as we celebrate this year's "One Book, One Chicago" selection, "The Warmth of Other Suns".

Find a family member, friend or neighbor who will join you for an interview, then call (312) 747-8191 or email to make a reservation. Do you have a great migration story but you need someone to interview you? Call and we’ll try to match you with someone.

The American Library Association and StoryCorps selected the Chicago Public Library for a national pilot program, "StoryCorps @ Your Library." Since 2003 more than 40,000 people have interviewed family and friends through StoryCorps, making it one of the largest oral history projects of its kind.

Upcoming events at 1625 W. Chicago Ave. include:

Tuesday: Ramona Diaz’s film "The Learning," screened in collaboration with the PBS documentary series POV.

May 16: Screening of Stephanie Wang-Breal’s "Wo Ai Ni (I Love You) Mommy."

May 18: Music & meditation with Sahaja Meditation.

May 30: Book club discussion: "The Sense of an Ending" by Julian Barnes.

June 25: "Chicago Cable Cars: A Forgotten but Important Story" with author Greg Borzo.

Read more »

Polish Triangle Tuesday events start in June

The Polish Triangle Coalition is looking for arts organizations, groups or individuals to showcase at this summer's Tuesdays at the Triangle events.

From June through September, arts organizations will be scheduled to present 1½-hour programs 6-8pm every Tuesday at Milwaukee, Ashland and Division. Residents are encouraged to bring lawn chairs for these performances.

Two to four food-truck vendors will be invited to use spaces at the triangle to provide a changing lineup of delicious fare.