Showing posts from April, 2010

Radio weighs in on recyclng story: More trash talk, 1 ton later

After weighing his garbage all last year, all 1,800 pounds of it, conscientious recycler Scott Rappe weighed the results in this space . Rappe regretted that 10% of the trash went into the black city refuse bins, but author and talk-show host Mike Nowak read the article and was astounded by that low percentage. Nowak featured the Rappe family April 25 on his 8 a.m. Sunday radio program on Chicago's Progressive Talk (WCPT-820 AM, WCPQ-99.9 FM, ). The show ranges from gardening to a host of environmental issues. Scott and Grace Rappe appear with children Matthew, 12, and Nicholas, 9, on the show's podcast from WCPT's South Side studio. Nowak calls them "environmental heroes" and a " poster family for Earth Day ."

Meet Alderman Moreno on Monday

Ald. Proco "Joe" Moreno introduces himself and fields questions from East Village homeowners on Monday, May 3, when East Village Association members meet at 7 p.m. in the Happy Village, 1059 N. Wolcott. Mayor Daley named Moreno in March to replace Manuel Flores, now Illinois Commerce Commission chair. Moreno took office this month, retaining the ward staff led by Raymond Valadez at 2058 N. Western. On the website, Moreno pledged to be "a strong and independent advocate for the people of the 1st Ward ... and no one else." A 14-year resident of the ward, Moreno has been affiliated with the United Neighborhood Organization, the Jose de Diego local school council and the Humboldt Park Social Services agency. He is a vice president at the printing company Buhl Press in west suburban Berkeley.

Alderman Moreno's East Village crash course

Members of the East Village Association board brought Ald. Proco "Joe" Moreno homework with their first meeting April 21. The assignment for the new 1st Ward alderman : to read a 20-page brief the board prepared, with EVA positions on issues the alderman will face. The briefing document is available for download as a PDF file. Community groups in Chicago frequently review zoning variances and other issues in their neighborhood for which the alderman recommend City Council action. EVA asked to be included in not only variances but also requests for zoning changes, special uses and liquor licenses, and permit applications for demolition and sidewalk cafes. By longstanding practice, EVA does not support projects it reviews, but can "oppose" or "not oppose" them. The brief outlines EVA's review process, adopted in 1998 and revised in 2007. The principal writer was board member Scott Rappe. Current issues outlined in the brief:

Sign of respect: East Village neighbors unite in EVA

President's Message | By Greg Nagel  The group East Village Neighbors has merged with the East Village Association. I'm very excited to have our tiny community under one organization that represents everyone. I'm pleased that EVA will benefit from the energy and ideas of Aaron Bilton, founder of EVN, and Tom Tomek, its most recent president. I have appointed both to the East Village Association board. In addition, EVA is incorporating some of the ideas of EVN and taking the EVN lead in getting involved in school issues. In a sense, EVN lives on through the East Village Association and has helped make EVA even better. No good can come from rehashing the 2008 split. But we do need to make sure we unite as a neighborhood and benefit from our diverse backgrounds and perspectives. And to make this new broader organization work, we will be making sure that everyone’s voice gets heard, but in a respectful, neighborly way. Therefore, I'm sponsoring a bylaw amendment to be vot

St. Boniface a step closer to being saved

A developer's rendering shows senior housing planned for the St. Boniface site.   By Scott A. Rappe  After 10 uncertain years under threat of demolition, pieces of a complex scheme to save St. Boniface Church began to fall into place this month at a Community Development Commission hearing. A development company, International Project Management, has proposed plans to convert the abandoned structure at Noble and Chestnut into independent senior housing that would save the four iconic towers and south facade of the church. Plans call for removal of the walls of the nave (main sanctuary space), reconstruction of the roof and demolition of the rectory. This is not the faithful restoration many had hoped for, but will maintain a semblance of the church’s dignified and prominent form, at least from the south across Eckhart Park. The deal is also not as simple as it appears. The straightforward reuse of the structure as senior housing requires legal and political contortions to mainta

Earth Day neighborhood Clean and Green

By Aaron Bilton  New 1st Ward Ald. Joe Moreno is co-sponsoring Saturday morning's Clean and Green beautification event at Commercial Park, 1845 W. Rice St., and a barbecue at the park afterward. Come out from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 17, to make our neighborhood shine for summer. All volunteers are invited to the barbecue immediately following. Mayor Daley may be making a guest appearance, so please come out to meet your neighbors and show support for our neighborhood. The event is sponsored by Ald. Moreno, Friends of the Parks & Commercial Park Advisory Council.

Healthy Lifestyles forum

The women of the Junior League of Chicago invite you to a West Town Community Networking Forum on Healthy Lifestyles Friday, April 30 Erie Neighborhood House 1347 W. Erie 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Join us for a facilitated discussion to explore the needs of Healthy Lifestyles in your area. The Junior League of Chicago is looking to expand our programming and is seeking feedback from West Town community advocates on what areas of concern are most pressing. Whether your focus is on healthy eating, exercise, access to preventative health care, or other topics related to healthy lifestyles, we invite you to be part of the discussion and to learn about current Junior League of Chicago programming opportunities available to your community. 8:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. Coffee and Networking 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. Program Please RSVP by April 27 to Please feel free to pass this invitation along to other leaders in your community that are interested in attending this

Chopin Theatre to host water forum Monday

IL PIRG and Food & Water Watch  Last year, the city sold Chicago’s parking meters. The result has been poor service, skyrocketing meter rates, and the loss of as much as $1 billion in taxpayer revenue. Now that the funds from that sale are dwindling, the city is thinking about selling more taxpayer assets, like Chicago’s water system. How would this affect you? What can be done to ensure safe and affordable water? Join us for a free community forum and discussion about how to prevent another short-sighted sale that could hit you in the pocketbook and threaten your access to clean water. Special guests include Alderman Scott Waguespack (32nd Ward), Jon Keesecker of Food & Water Watch and Phineas Baxandall of U.S. PIRG. Topics will include the impact privatization has on taxpayers and the public, the experience other cities have had and what can be done to prevent any bad privatization deals. Monday, April 19, 7-9 pm Chopin Theatre 1543 W. Division Sponsored by IL PIRG and Food

A new leaf for Augusta Boulevard? Tree planting talk is in the air

John Poplawsky (left) discusses Augusta Boulevard landscaping with urban-forestry consultant Mark Duntemann. Minutes for April 5, 2010 membership meeting by Dana Palmer   Meeting commenced at 7:02 p.m. New President Greg Nagel started the meeting by announcing the merger of East Village Neighbors with the East Village Association. He also announced that the new 1st Ward alderman, Joe Moreno, will be speaking at EVA's May 3 membership meeting. It starts at 7 p.m. in the Happy Village, at Wolcott and Thomas. The key speaker, arborist Mark Duntemann, spoke regarding urban forestry and the desire of East Village residents to have trees planted on Augusta Boulevard. Three main goals of urban forestry, Duntemann said, are to increase canopy over time, sustain canopy over time and have health canopy. To accomplish those goals requires the right amount of space and soil volume for each tree. The current Chicago tree initiative plans to double the tree canopy in Chicago in the next 20 yea

EVA board reviews 1st Ward priorities

Board meeting minutes for April 12, 2010 by Dana Palmer Attendance: Greg Nagel, Nicole Semple, Neal McKnight, Dana Palmer, Scott Rappe, Stephen Rynkiewicz, Steve Crane, Tom Tomek, Aaron Bilton and Marjorie Isaacson. Meeting commenced at 6:40 p.m. Secretary Dana Palmer was asked by President Greg Nagel to update a contact list to include all new board members. Treasurer Nicole Semple looked into a new post office box for EVA at 2002 W. Chicago. Cost would be $108 per year. Board agreed to change and Nicole volunteered to make arrangements including filing a forward address and e-mailing Stephen Rynkiewicz the new address to update the website. Nagel will notify the State of Illinois by filing nonprofit-status paperwork with the new address. Nagel also will arrange for letterhead to include the new address. Steve Crane handed over Dominick's cards worth $150 to new Treasurer Nicole Semple for future use. He also agreed to update the membership list and e-mail it to the board

Greenhart to host CSA pickup

Harvest Moon Organics has added a third community-supported agriculture pickup location for the East Village/Wicker Park community. In addition to the 1100 block of Wolcott, and Lush Wine & Spirits at 1412 W. Chicago Ave., Greenheart will now be an option. Greenheart will host an open house for the CSA from 1 til 4 p.m. on April 17. More information about the CSA is available here . A link to a recent article about local food and CSAs is here

St. Boniface, Byrd School in land swap

By Scott A. Rappe  Chicago's Community Development Commission will be reviewing the proposed Department of Community Development acquisition of Byrd School at 363 W. Hill St. and its sublease to the Archdiocese of Chicago. This transaction is part of a swap for St. Boniface Church, at Noble and Chestnut. It will allow the city to purchase the church from the Roman Catholic archdiocese and then sell it for preservation as an independent living development. The meeting is at 1 p.m. April 13 in the City Hall second floor Council Chambers at 121 N. LaSalle St. This meeting is only for the Byrd School part of the deal, but if it passes, the St. Boniface purchase and leaseback will be able to go to City Council for approval. Please get the word out to supporters of the St. Boniface preservation to be able to speak in support at the CDC meeting.
Tom Tomek business card
Anselmo @properties business card,
Ask Nagel business card.