Wells High wins ward debates



By Neal McKnight

We received a question about our expenditures on the recent aldermanic debates and why we would spend money to use Wells Community Academy High School's auditorium.

A total of $1,400 was spent on the two debates. Some of these expenditures will be reimbursed by our neighboring community groups and co-sponsors. The amount of reimbursements depends on what their budgets can afford. All funds were paid to Wells Community Academy High School to defray costs for custodial and security staff and building and parking operations.

There were no other debate expenses. The audio equipment and setup was donated by www.zzounds.com at no cost to the organization. We had invited both CAN-TV and DNAinfo to stream the debates but they were unable to dedicate the resources. Portions of the debate were recorded and posted on Facebook and youtube. This video was provided by volunteers.

Wells High School was selected based on a number of factors. First, the venue was within our boundaries. Second, the venue is within the 1st Ward and very close to the 2nd Ward. Third and most importantly, Wells High School is the single largest institution within our borders. We saw the debates as an opportunity to introduce Wells High School to our community in a most positive light.

We conferred with the students, teachers and administration of Wells to coordinate the debates and increase interaction between the community and Wells High School. The debates offered an opportunity to showcase both Wells itself and the students attending Wells. EVA is proud to say that it succeeded on both counts.

Many debate attendees and we would venture to guess some of the candidates had never been inside this beautiful facility. The questions presented by the students were both insightful and provided a unique perspective on issues facing young people in our city. As we posted in social media, the biggest winner from both debates was Wells High School.

As an all-volunteer organization, we can always use more help. We encourage members of our community who are interested in contributing time, resources or money to attend both our general membership meetings as well as our board meetings. Both are open to the public. Please make time to attend. We would love to have you there.

Chicago 2nd Ward election forum video



Closing statements from Bita Buenrostro, Brian Hopkins, Steve Niketopoulos, Alyx Pattison, Stacey Pfingston and Cornell Wilson, Feb. 5, 2015 at Wells Community Academy High School. The ward debates were sponsored by Chicago Grand Neighbors Association, East Village Association, Ukrainian Village Neighborhood Association and West Town Neighbors Association.

State OKs Wicker Park pot shop

The Rauner administration has approved a medical marijuana dispensary at 1368 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Wicker Park, and held for further review an application at 1105 W. Fulton Market on the Near West Side.

The actions suggest a West Town site with city zoning approval at 744 N. Damen Ave. has been turned down. Applicants may appeal disqualification.

The Tribune notes the extended review of the Fulton Market application submitted by Perry Mandera, owner of the VIP's Gentleman's Club.

Route to Polish Triangle rehab



East Village Association board minutes for Jan. 12, 2015, submitted by Catherine Garypie

Aldermanic debate planning

  • At Wells High School, on Jan. 29 (1st Ward) and Feb. 5 (2nd Ward), both 7-9pm.
  • Better Government Association will moderate. Waiting for confirmation from Andy Shaw; he'll likely do at least one of the debates.
  • Partnership: CGNA, UVNA, EVA, new group south of Chicago Avenue and west of Damen Avenue.
  • Format: opening remarks (including: “be civil, respectful, etc., and ask your supporters to do the same"), Q&A, close.
  • Volunteers needed for setup and breakdown.
  • Equipment being planned includes podiums, tables, microphones (hopefully lapel mics), possible digital timer.
  • Approval to spend $560 to rent auditorium? Board votes Yes.
  • Planning conference call with other neighborhood associations will be on Thursday.
  • No one on EVA board cares if there is campaigning going on at the event.
  • Can people park in high school parking lot? NM will find out.
  • Will CAN TV cover? NM will find out.
  • Draft Press Release: Stephen Rynkiewicz will draft.
  • The Winchester will offer drink and app specials before and after. Neal McKnight will get details.

Aldermanic speakers

Feb. 2 EVA meeting: Anne Shaw, Stacey Pfingsten, Bita Buenrostro. Catherine Garypie will get invitations out.

Polish Triangle
  • Chicago Department of Transportation meeting: Scott Rappe and a few other “neighborhood regulars” attended. Two main pathways to renovation at Ashland-Division-Milwaukee: get CDOT to do planning with community vision (liability stays with city) or all private dollars, where vendor does planning with community vision (liability stays with private funders). Possible private funders: LG Development, Centrum, Rob Buono, Jeanne Gang). CDOT would lease the space to the private party, which will have to fund maintenance. Is city selling naming rights to Polish Triangle? Unclear.
  • Centrum will construct a walkway from Division to Milwaukee in association with its planned development. CDOT owns the top inch of the Polish Triangle; under that is owned by different city entities.

Alyx Pattison, Joe Moreno on ward issues

East Village Association minutes for Jan. 5, 2015, submitted by Catherine Garypie

CANDIDATE ALYX PATTISON (2nd Ward)

Alyx Pattison lives in Ukrainian Village and serves on the local school council at José de Diego school. Raised in a working class Utah family, her grandfather founded a local miners union. Everyone in family was laid off at some point. Growing up, "Mom was on and off food stamps. Government helped my family" with food stamps, Medicare and Medicaid. Pattison went to Northwestern law school. She moved here 17 years ago to work for U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky. Raised in working class family, "I believe in the power of government to do right by society. Government can offer a hand up not a hand out. Block by block we can build communities." Pattison works for a law firm as a securities litigator.

Priorities for 2nd Ward & City as a whole?

  1. Schools
  2. Crime
  3. Lack of faith citizens have in city government
  4. Budget issues and continued borrowing

2nd Ward election forum

2nd Ward candidates (clockwise, from left) Steve Niketopolous, Bita Buenrostro, Brian Hopkins, Stacey Pfingsten, Cornell Wilson, Alyx Pattison.

SIX CANDIDATES MEET IN 2ND WARD DEBATE

Candidates for alderman in Chicago’s 2nd Ward will answer questions submitted by residents at a 7 p.m. Feb 5 debate in the Wells Community Academy High School auditorium, 936 W. Ashland Ave.

The forum will be moderated by representatives from four West Town community organizations. Ward boundaries stretch from Lake Shore Drive to Oakley Boulevard and Huron Street to Wrightwood Avenue. Mayoral candidate Robert W. “Bob” Fioretti is the incumbent.

All six candidates in the ward confirm they will attend:

  • Steve Niketopoulos - educational TV producer, local school council representative.
  • Bita Buenrostro - executive with corporation that manages three Chicago area restaurants.
  • Brian Hopkins - former aide to Cook County Commissioner John Daley.
  • Alyx Pattison - lawyer, local school council representative , former aide to Rep. Jan Schakowsky.
  • Cornell Wilson - lawyer, Marine Corps veteran.
  • Stacey Pfingsten - former 2nd Ward aide, Preservation Chicago.

The event is sponsored by Chicago Grand Neighbors Association, East Village Association, Ukrainian Village Neighborhood Association and West Town Neighbors Association.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Debate will start at 7 p.m. and conclude by 8:30 p.m.

1st Ward election forum video

1st Ward candidates Andrew Hamilton, Ronda Locke, Proco "Joe" Moreno, Anne Shaw answered questions Jan. 29 in Wells Community Academy High School auditorium. Here's the first part of the 90-minute event moderated by Alden Loury of the Better Government Association. The introduction is by East Village Association president Neal McKnight.

The event was sponsored by Chicago Grand Neighbors Association, Ukrainian Village Neighborhood Association and West Town Neighbors Association. Find DNAinfo coverage of the event here.

Charc week at West Town restaurants

By Heather MacLeish, Mortar + Pestle Events

For one week, Chicago’s connoisseurs of cured meat, including Tete Charcuterie and The Butcher & Larder, will feature house-made charcuterie on their menus. On Feb. 26, each participant will serve their signature Charcuterie creations at Charc Bites, a cocktail party at The Dawson. Special beverages will include the “Salumi Back,” a spirit and salami combo from CH Distillery and West Loop Salumi and a Steeped Emperor's Lemon Saison beer pairing from Moody Tongue brewery.

The Butcher & Larder, The Dawson, La Sardine, Perennial Virant, The Radler, Table, Donkey, & Stick, Tete, West Loop Salumi, and Chop Shop will be serving Charc Week menus from Feb. 23-27, 2015. On Feb. 26, all of the participants will be gathered at The Dawson for Charc Week Party, where each chef will serve Charcuterie, as guests sip cocktails by the fireplace. Tickets are $75. Fireplace Lounge tables of 6, $625, include early access to the event, champagne reception with gourmet bites with oyster bar, and other treats, including macarons from Vanille Patisserie.

Participants will be using meat from local farms. Charcuterie itself is a sustainable practice; it allows for “nose-to-tail” use of an animal, a classic technique that minimizes food waste. A portion of the proceeds will go to Heifer International.