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Chicago police investigate Wood Street satellite: Moreno


East Village Association membership meeting
Dec. 4, 2017
Happy Village, 1059 N. Wolcott Ave.

Ald. Proco Joe Moreno expects a Chicago police satellite presence in East Village in the next few months.

The 1st Ward alderman told EVA members Dec. 4 that Cmdr. Eddie Johnson during November budget hearings pledged to set a timeline at yearend for using vacant space in the former 13th District station at 937 N. Wood St. The building now houses the Cook County Sheriff's central warrant unit.

Moreno saw positive signs in the appointment of Stephen C. Chung as 12th District commander and addition of 12 new officers in 2017. He admitted that staffing remains below 2015 levels, and suggested that business districts in the ward should consider hiring private security.

Noting that new ballfields were nearly complete at Wells and Clemente, Moreno said he hoped that within five years neighborhood parents would appreciate having the high schools as default choices for incoming freshmen. And with a Chicago Tribune transportation reporter on hand, Moreno also promoted his idea to raise CTA fares at suburban stations.

The Tribune's Mary Wisniewski shared some of her research as a biographer of writer Nelson Algren. As a struggling writer, University of Illinois graduate Algren lived in various West Town apartments and took day jobs that included syphilis inspector for the city health department.

Algren's observations of the Polonia neighborhood were used in his novels, including The Man With the Golden Arm. A marker at 1958 W. Evergreen Ave. marks his Chicago residence during his 1950s heyday.

A former East Village resident, Wisniewski tried to verify such Algren lore as the campaign to have his books banned from the Chicago Public Library. Through a Freedom of Information Act request, she acquired Algren's 500-page FBI file.

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