Showing posts from June, 2007

Recycling in the 1st Ward – does your block need a recycling block captain?

The new Blue Cart recycling program in the 1st Ward is off to a great start. The majority of carts are being used, and most of the time as intended: They're being filled with recyclables, not garbage or yard waste. However, there's always room for improvement. To this end, the city has asked residents who are especially excited about recycling to channel that enthusiasm into helping their neighbors get with the program. The 1st Ward has over 70 of these supporters ("Recycling Block Captains") lined up, and I'm one of them. The suggested roles for the block captains are to answer questions, provide the city with feedback about the program, and help spread the word about future recycling-related activities, such as composting and household hazardous waste disposal. There's no required duties or time commitment. The goal is simply to facilitate the process of neighbors communicating with their neighbors, in whatever way they want, to encourage recycling. If y

Planning, Preservation & Development Committee workspace

Password-protected links Resources Issues Log Purpose, Policies, Procedures Project Review Protocols East Village Landmark District Committee Members Scott Rappe Stephen Rynkiewicz Rich Anselmo Greg Nagel Amy Bilton Bill Wendt Mary Anne Donley Tim Mattix Brian Thompson

East Village history

— From Blanchard's 1862 Guide Map of Chicago, Encyclopedia of Chicago The Northwest Side of Chicago, though incorporated in 1837, was largely unsettled during the 1830s and 1840s. The Northwest Plank Road (Milwaukee Avenue) was finished in 1848. The establishment of the railroad car shops at Grand and Kinzie fostered the building of frame boarding houses and workmen's homes, which quickly deteriorated. By 1859, patches of settlements along Milwaukee Avenue had a horse-drawn streetcar. During the 1860s, Chicago grew slowly as workers settled near the factories built along the Chicago River and Milwaukee Avenue. In 1869, land speculation accelerated with the establishment of the West Side Park Board. After the fire in 1871, solidly built brick buildings sprang up to house those who had been burned out. Completion of the Logan Square and Humboldt Park Rapid Transit lines, as well as the installation and extension of streetcar lines during the 1880s and 1890s, contributed to furthe

Vittum Theater Has A Marquee! by John Sekowski

The Vittum Theater finally has a marquis! A marquis is a signboard that projects from the building to advertise what play is presently being performed (see photo). Until now, they just had flat, unlit letters above the door. I didn’t even know there was a theater there until Around the Coyote sponsored a couple events there a couple years ago. The Vittum Theater is affiliated with the Northwestern Settlement house that runs numerous community programs including the Noble Street Charter High School. Plays for children are shown on weekend afternoons, modern dance is performed in the evenings, and a variety of workshops are held there throughout the week. For a schedule, log on to, or you walk down to the east part of East Village, and read the marquee at 1012 N. Noble Street.

Wicker Park & Bucktown Chamber of Commerce Executive Director to Visit EVA

Paula Barrington, Executive Director of Wicker Park & Bucktown Chamber of Commerce, will be the guest speaker at the next EVA general members’ meeting on Tuesday, June 5, at 7:00 pm at Happy Village Tavern. Paula will address topics such as the mission of the chamber, service boundaries, past accomplishments, upcoming events, and ways we can all work together. Our local chambers of commerce play an increasingly important role in developing relationships with commercial as well as governmental and residential partners in our everchanging community. Please plan on attending and hearing what Paula has to say about the chamber's rp;e

East Village Association General Membership Meeting Minutes

East Village Association General Membership Meeting Minutes 7 PM May 1, 2007, Happy Village Tavern 1. This was the first meeting with the new elected officers for this term. 2. The President announced the appointed directors; Deborah Milkowski, as the Dominick’s liaison, Scott Rappe, Zoning, and Rohan Sundaralingam. 3. Meeting minutes from the April meeting were approved. 4. There is approximately $2000 in the general funds. 5. The East Village Association has acquired a new domain 6. Mr. Stephen Rynkiewicz has volunteered to set up a web design, assisted with Marjorie Isaacson. 7. Aaron Bilton has offered to be the library committee person. 8. Representative from the 13th Police District, Commander Christine Kohlman and Sergeant were the guest speakers. They updated us on crime rates and took questions from the floor. Their e-mail address is Caps013district@ 9. The Pizza Hut on the corner of Ashland and Division has closed for business. No on

Commercial Handbill Distribution Law On The Books

City Council recently passed a law that regulates the distribution of commercial handbills - specifically, the menus, coupons, newspapers, and directories that seem to appear with ever-increasing regularity on our porches, doors, and fences. Ald. Manny Flores introduced the ordinance after an East Village resident showed him how much of the area’s trash consisted of these materials. The ordinance prohibits hanging items on door knobs or gates, stuffing papers in or under doors and gates, dropping off on property premises, attaching materials to unoccupied vehicles, and posting materials on public property (such as an ad on a lamppost). For handbills to be legally distributed, they need to have a business license number visible on the material, and placed “in an alternative receiving bin as provided by the property owner”. This law does not apply to hand-to-hand distributed items. The ordinance also requires newspapers to be bagged or bound. In addition, newspapers, magazines and dire

Weeding Wednesdays at Frankie Machine Community Garden by M. Isaacson

The Frankie Machine Community Garden, located at the corner of Haddon and Wood Streets, was established by the East Village Association in 1988. Most of the garden consists of individual plots that are used by people who don’t have their own backyards to garden in. However, the garden also needs a lot of general maintenance: taking care of the parkways, garden borders, composting and, of course, picking up the ever-present trash. Garden administrator Laura Bedolla will be working at the garden on Wednesday evenings throughout the growing season, after 6:30 p.m. Gardening is good exercise and psychologically soothing. If you want to help, come on by. For further information, contact Marjie at 773-384-6088.

Blue Cart Recyling Begins in the 1st Ward in June by Mary Szpur

Blue carts have been delivered to all single-family homes and buildings with less than five units who currently receive city trash pickup in the 1st Ward. Blue bags are no longer needed to dispose of recyclables. Watch how little trash ends up in the black carts, if you learn what you can recycle, and you recycle all that you can! Collection of recyclables from the new blue carts begins the week of June 4. The Streets and Sanitation Department delivered the carts to the front of buildings in order to make residents “take ownership” of the carts and relocate them to the alley themselves. A ratio of one blue cart per single-family home or two-flat was used. To request additional blue carts, call 311, but you may lose a black cart if you request an additional blue cart. The blue carts will be emptied by a separate truck on a separate route from the regular Streets and Sanitation garbage trucks. Blue carts will be emptied every TWO weeks on the same day as your regular garbage service—sche

EVA President’s Message by Mary Szpur

All of us who live in the 1st Ward should we excited about participating in the city’s new blue cart recycling program. The blue cart program seems well conceived, is easy to use, and will significantly reduce the amount of waste we place in the black garbage carts. Please read more about this program elsewhere in this newsletter. I for one am thrilled and proud that Chicago has a good recycling program. At the May EVA membership meeting, featured speakers 13th District Commander Christine Kolman and 13th District Community Policing Sergeant Juan Clas addressed how the police are dealing with various issues in our community, then fielded questions from the audience. A number of people brought up issues related to late-night noise and nuisance problems associated with patrons of local bars and restaurants, especially those on Division Street. Residents noted that the number of businesses selling liquor on Division Street has increased dramatically over the last few years, and this has c

Excellent New Pizza Restaurant: Coal Fire by Mary Szpur

Located just south of East Village is a wonderful New York/New Haven style pizzeria called Coal Fire. Pizzas are cooked in a coal-fired oven, so they get done relatively quickly. The crust is thin, tasty, and chewy, with bubbly outer edges. Sauces are simple and flavorful. Toppings were varied, with veggies and meat, and were fresh and delicious. My dinner companions and I all thought the pizzas we tasted were great, and that Coal Fire compared very favorably to the other recently opened oven-baked pizza places in Chicago. Plus, it’s BYOB, always a plus. Coal Fire is located at 1321 W. Grand Ave., on the south side of Grand, just west of Ogden Avenue. 312.226.2625.

Planning, Preservation & Development Committee Established

by Scott A. Rappe After a hiatus of several years, a new Planning, Preservation & Development Committee was established at the April Board meeting. Enlarging the role of the previous Planning & Development Committee, the PD&D will attempt to be more proactive in advocating appropriate development, rather than simply reacting to development proposals. As the name suggests, the committee will focus on three major areas: The Planning effort will identify areas within East Village where new development is desirable and actively work to encourage appropriate development in those areas. It will also push forward the City’s stalled zoning re-mapping process, by surveying existing zoning classifications and recommending changes where necessary to encourage new development, or to protect existing resources. As the original sponsor of the East Village Landmark District, the East Village Association has a stewardship responsibility that has been neglected in recent years. The Preserva

Leona’s Zoning Change by Scott A. Rappe

Leona’s Restaurant, long a neighborhood institution, briefly listed their property at 1936-42 West Augusta for sale in January. The listing sheet described the C1-5 zoning of the property as allowing an 80’ tall, 54 unit building, while neglecting to mention the property was in the East Village Landmark District and was subject to problematic for several reasons. The B3-2 requested by the neighbors was equivalent in bulk, density and height to the property’s original C1-2 designation and would have restored the lot to its original zoning potential with no harm to the owners. The B2-3 negotiated by Alderman Flores and approved at the May 17, hearing allows significantly more height, area and dwelling units. Unfortunately, this additional zoning ‘potential’ creates pressure to build denser and will likely result in the demolition the existing Leona’s buildings. Furthermore, unlike the B3 classification which requires retail uses on the ground floor, B2 allows residential units to be loca

It's Migration Time! More Birds Seen on Their Way Past East Village by Mary Szpur

May is a great time to go birding in one of Chicago's many birding areas, including "The Hedge" at Montrose Harbor, and the "Wooded Island" in Hyde Park. The following is a list of birds we've seen during May, foreigners on their way somewhere else: black-billed cuckoo, gray catbird, indigo bunting, baltimore oriole, scarlet tanager, rose-breasted grosbeak, spotted sandpiper, dunlin, ruby-crowned kinglet, blue-gray gnatcatcher warblers: yellow-rumped, black and white, cape may, chestnut-sided, magnolia, palm, red start, Wilson's, yellow-throat
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