Car wash to raise funds for Wells rugby squad

By Bob Zwolinski

Students will be washing cars Saturday to help raise funds for the Rugby Club at Wells Community Academy High School, 936 N Ashland Ave.

Wells High School Rugby is in the middle of its first-ever season, funded completely by private donations. The team has made massive strides, starting with six players who were just playing around with a rugby ball to now 19 players in the Illinois High School Rugby Association.

Donations will go to providing mandatory insurance for each player, field time at Eckhart Park, travel costs, referees, cleats and more equipment.

Car washes will be in the back of the school – $10 per wash, cash only.

Chicago Avenue facade rehab to begin

Rehab will begin soon at 1947 W. Chicago Ave.

Work is expected to begin in the next three or four weeks on a landmark storefront at 1947 W. Chicago Ave.

A new owner worked with the East Village Association and Chicago Grand Neighbors Association to follow architectural best practices in restoring the Italianate facade. Both groups consented to upzoning to allow three residential units above a storefront.

The building sustained significant damage after a previous rehab was abandoned. It's listed as significant, or "orange rated," in the Chicago Historic Resources Survey.

The project was discussed at tonight's EVA board meeting at West Town Bakery, 1916 W. Chicago Ave. Before the meeting, the owner at 1531 W. Haddon St. asked the planning committee to weigh in on an upzoning request. Attorney Mark Kupiec claimed the original single-family zoning was in dispute, but did not present documentation.

Newly elected 2nd Ward Ald. Brian Hopkins will speak at the May 4 membership meeting. Board members plan to update a white paper on East Village issues presented to 1st Ward Ald. Proco Joe Moreno when he took office five years ago.

Also discussed were ways to work with local agencies on planting trees in the neighborhood, and West Town health issues being studied in a Loyola University Chicago class project.

Police affirm Division, Chicago foot patrols

Jeff Liberman of Asado Coffee unwinds with Dan Johnson at the Happy Village.

Police will address foot patrol staffing on Division and Chicago avenues, CAPS coordinator Molly Murray reports to East Village Association members. Cmdr. Melissa Staples had not known beat cops were filling in elsewhere and said she "will take care of it."

Tonight's meeting ended long before the Wisconsin-Duke game tipoff. Here are notes from the Happy Village, 1059 N. Wolcott Ave.:

Extra remodeling incentives are available for buildings with electric heat through Elevate Energy. The nonprofit offers free energy advice to apartment owners and a $99 assessment to homeowners.

John Rutherford of Smoke Daddy will lease the former Moonshine space at 1824 W. Division St. to Mike Bisbee of Parlor Pizza. Plans will be presented at a future EVA meeting.

Asado Coffee is opening another shop at 363 W. Erie; the local chain roasts in East Village at 1651 W. Chicago.

Red Apple Convenience’s appeal for a liquor license was denied by the appellate court.

Red Square sidewalk cafe license is still on hold till a tree pit is restored in front of the building at 1914 W. Division.

Energy update, police staffing

Free energy advice will spark the conversation at Monday's East Village Association meeting.

Outreach coordinator Malory Giraldo will discuss Elevate Energy's free assessments to save energy and water. They're available to two-flat and apartment building owners, along with rebates and grants for energy improvements.

The nonprofit also administers ComEd’s Residential Real-Time Pricing, which prices electricity by the hour for homeowners to save at off-peak periods.

CAPS coordinator Molly Murray will answer questions on police staffing, an issue in Tuesday's mayoral and aldermanic runoffs. Chicago Police hiring has barely kept pace with retirements, and remaining officers have been working more overtime.

The West Town Chamber of Commerce is circulating a petition seeking to retain foot patrols on Division Street and Chicago Avenue. The two beat officers often are assigned to other beats.

The meeting starts at 7pm in the Happy Village, 1059 N. Wolcott.

Macaroni Soup wiggles into West Town

Macaroni Soup, a music and dance program for kids, is coming May 4 to the West Town Branch Library. Children's librarian Caleb Nolan says Carole Peterson Stephens and Clarence Goodman are known for their high-energy audience participation shows.

"Miss Carole will have everyone singing, dancing and learning," Nolan says, adding that "a snowball fight is always a possibility, even in May."

The show starts at 10:30am at the library, 1625 W. Chicago Ave. CDs are available at and at the concert. The program is funded by the East Village Association.

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East Village history, for the record

Catherine Garypie and Gladys Anselmo review photos destined for the Chicago History Museum.

In its 30-plus years, the East Village Association has generated a substantial paper trail: Countless letters to city officials tell the stories of everything from graffiti paint-outs and crime watches to landmarking and tree plantings. And there were barbecues, holiday parties and protest marches. It's quite a history.

But it was also likely to have disappeared into obscurity. Organizing these files is a formidable task, and the documentation was scattered in the basements, attics and garages of various former officers.

Early EVA outreach on the Pizza Hut corner at Division and Ashland.

Now, that history will be available in perpetuity to future researchers of urban development, as part of the archives of the Research Center at the Chicago History Museum, 1601 N. Clark St.

The Research Center is interested in East Village’s role in citizen action movements and community and neighborhood life, saving the Goldblatt's Building (now the West Town Branch library at 1625 W. Chicago Ave.) and helping start a community land trust (the Frankie Machine garden at 1800 W. Haddon St.).

Records of our work on these and other issues will join the over 22 million Chicago and U.S. history artifacts in the Research Center collection.

Board members spent time organizing these materials for the Research Center to evaluate. Many thanks!