Fixing Chicago street festivals

East Village Association board minutes for June 9, 2014, submitted by Catherine Garypie

JOINT COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION MEETING

Street festival discussion continues among leaders of EVA, Bucktown Community Organization, Chicago Grand Neighbors Association, Ukrainian Village Neighborhood Association and Wicker Park Committee. The group discussed the concept of no permits without:

  • Improvement in traffic or garbage;
  • Safety/security planning with community organizations at table;
  • Greater local business participation in the fests;
  • Extending cleanup further geographically;
  • A greater share of profits to community;
  • Better control of finances.

Some in the group are concentrating on a press push (e.g., WBEZ interview). EVA wants results and agreements. Bucktown Arts Festival immediately came forward with a lot of information.

This group will try pull in some other neighborhood associations north of Bucktown. EVA will propose that the group sponsor aldermanic debates in Wards 1 & 2, probably in January 2015. Some aldermen are resisting already.

BLOCK PARTY

Sunday Aug. 3. Neal McKnight will ask Ronda Locke to pull permit.

Congressman Quigley on guns, climate, BRT, schools


Rep. Mike Quigley (center) and Ron Wachholtz speak to EVA members at Happy Village.

East Village Association membership minutes for June 2, 2014, submitted by Catherine Garypie

PRESENTATION BY RON WACHHOLTZ OF COLLABORACTION THEATER

This group is 18 years old and on the 3rd floor of the Flat Iron Building, 1579 N. Milwaukee Ave. The 14th annual "Sketchbook” show runs thru June 15; 19 shows in two hours (30 sec to 15 min) from around the country, in two adjoining theaters.

“Crime Scene Chicago: Let Hope Rise 2014”: July and August this summer, partnering with the Chicago Park District, this production will be presented in four parks. On Fridays there will be peace rallies, barbecue and dance competition.

“This is Not a Cure for Cancer” was the spring 2014 production.

Collaboraction has a new board of directors, with 11 people on board. One big reason to support the theater: For every dollar spent in theater, $11 goes to the community. Free tickets were given to EVA members.

U.S. REPRESENTATIVE MIKE QUIGLEY (5th DISTRICT)

EVA is now in the 5th District. East Village was added 16 months ago as a result of Illinois losing population in last census. With 750,000 people, the district covers a large area – Old Town to Hinsdale. Quigley tries to go to EVA meetings once a year; contact his office if you want him to come to your meeting, school, etc., or if you are coming to Washington.

Quigley is on the Appropriations Committee, and the Transportation & Housing Subcommittee. Quigley just returned from Ukraine.

Alice Galleries summer garden exhibition

Fresh works are in the works Saturday for the annual Alice Galleries garden exhibition.

Paintings by Lucia Adams, Susie Kealy, Adam Scott Umbach and Thomas O'Gorman will be featured in a lush botanical setting.

"I am out looking for those great Irish musicians that we had last year who literally stopped traffic and had people dancing in the streets," O'Gorman says.

Umbach will be coming in from Maine for the event. It's set for 10am-4pm June 21 at 1059 N. Winchester St.

West Town library feeds wild appetite for summer reading

By Gladys Alcazar-Anselmo

The Explore and Roar Summer Reading Challenge is on through Aug. 2 at the West Town Branch Library, 1625 W. Chicago Ave. This summer's free events for neighborhood explorers are open to children to age 13.

Complete the challenge:

  • Read for 300 minutes: Includes books, magazines, eBooks, audiobooks.
  • Discover: Complete a Brain Builder, take a field trip, attend a library program, explore a recommended website.
  • Create: A piece of art, write a story or poem, design or build something, complete a Curiosity Kit Challenge.
  • Reflect: Visit West Town branch to tell what you learned.
  • Enter weekly drawings: Free books!

Children who complete the challenge receive a free canvas bag to color.

The East Village Association has provided funds to buy many of the prizes that will be distributed to participants each week throughout the reading safari, with an estimated 450 children participating.

To plan ahead for the 2014-15 academic year, EVA will be collecting school supplies that participants will receive at the end of the summer challenge.

Ask Ald. Moreno to save this building

Please write or call Ald. Proco Joe Moreno (773-278-0101 or 1stwardmoreno@gmail.com to stop the demolition of the 124-year-old building at 1084 N. Hermitage St.

The building should be saved because of the quality of the construction, the nature of the masonry work and the energy embodied in the structure. It's not in the East Village Landmark District or the city's Historic Resources Survey, but it represents a style rapidly disappearing in our community.

Building permits require securing a demolition permit within 30 days. A delay offers a chance to mediate, or propose an alternative.

Preserving buildings that are valuable but not landmarked has been a longstanding position of the East Village Association. The character and history of the 1st Ward community should be preserved.

Volunteer for Chicago Avenue graffiti cleanup Saturday


Chicago Avenue's the target of a 1st Ward graffiti cleanup Saturday. Volunteers will meet at Eckhart Park and work their way west to Damen.

Ward aide Orlando Moreno says they'll be cleaning signs and other smooth services, leaving brick and other tough spots for the city Graffiti Blasters. Last month they covered side streets north of Augusta Boulevard.

EVA Monday: Trader Joe's, festivals, Collaboraction, Congressman Quigley


Collaboaraction Theatre's Sketchbook festival runs till June 15.

Monday's East Village Association meeting will have updates on Trader Joe's, street festivals and other issues, a presentation from Collaboraction Theatre, and possibly a visit from U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley. You're invited to attend at 7 pm in Happy Village, 1059 N. Wolcott Ave.

Trader Joe's

Developer Smithfield Properties has met with the EVA board and LaSalle II school council about plans for a Trader Joe's grocery at 1815 W. Division St., the former Miller Lumber site.

Both groups reviewed a draft traffic plan from consultant Kenig Lindgren O’Hara Aboona. It would change the direction of two streets, Honore to the south and Marion to the north.

The consultant told EVA that the plan would not improve Division Street traffic, and that Augusta Boulevard would have to be removed from the boulevard system to allow trucks.

The location across Honore from LaSalle II also makes liquor sales against both state law and local ordinance. The developer's pursuing changes in both, because Trader Joe's will not consider a site that does not allow liquor sales.

Meeting with the school council May 19, Smithfield proposed a $10,000 a year contribution over the 10 years, and said it had discussed changes to the school's lunchroom.