Posts

Showing posts from May, 2010

Symbolism sometimes does matter, and so does keeping your word

By Greg Nagel The East Village Neighbors split from EVA about 3 years ago citing a lack of a respectful environment as their only reason. I have spoken to multiple neighbors and business owners that do not attend EVA meeting because of certain people they feel are aggressively rude or because of a general lack of civility of the group. As president of EVA, I took initiative to broker the merger of EVN back into EVA. There was no road map for this. These were clearly unprecedented waters. One of the items that I promised the EVN leadership was that I would propose and promote a bylaw amendment on respect. I felt this would make the EVN people more comfortable while simultaneously truly improving the culture of EVA. I naively thought this was an absolute no-brainer. Who is going to oppose respect? The EVN bylaws had provisions for not only removing people from a meeting but also expulsion from the group. I felt that was overkill, and felt the simply being able to ask someone to

Calendar: Curb your abandoned gadgets Saturday

Image
This Saturday morning, May 29, the city will be sponsoring a household electronics curbside pick-up service. You may put any unwanted electronic devices in front of your home and visible to the street by 8:00 a.m. this Saturday. The devices will be collected and safely disposed of between 8: a.m. and noon. Alternatively, you can take unwanted electronic devices to the 1st Ward Streets and Sanitation Ward Yard at 2505 W. Grand Ave. Landmarks workshop The Commission on Chicago Landmarks will host a spring workshop next month for community organizations representing the city’s 53 designated Chicago Landmark districts. The Historic Preservation Division will host the event at our downtown office. The topics will be additions and new construction in historic districts and feature examples reviewed by the commission. The workshop will be held on Saturday, June 5, from 9 a.m. to about noon, at the Historic Preservation office, 33 N. LaSalle St., Suite 1600. Registration and light r

June 7 meeting offers energy advice

Image
Give your home an energy audit with advice from sustainability consultant Peter Locke at the Monday, June 7 meeting of the East Village Association. Locke's firm TerraLocke advises corporations how to conserve water and energy. Locke has contributed to three city task forces on green business and the Chicago Public Schools' environmental task force. Chicago has a Climate Action Plan , which recommends public policy for this decade on energy efficient buildings, clean and renewable energy, transportation, waste and pollution, and such activities as tree planting. The Climate Action Plan website suggests 10 things city residents can do to make a difference: Use compact fluorescent light bulbs. Unplug appliances even when they are off.  Turn off faucets when not in use.  Turn your thermostat down/up in the winter/summer.  Clean and replace dirty filters so appliances run more efficiently. Go Car-less. Emissions from transportation account for more than 20 percent of our

Respectfully, bylaws don't need this change

By Marjorie Isaacson A proposed bylaw for the East Village Association would require that all members conduct themselves in a respectful, considerate manner in meetings, and gives the presiding officer the right to expel those persons who are judged to be disrespectful. I am opposed to this proposed bylaw for several reasons, and suggest that members think about these issues before voting. One reason I have heard for adding this amendment was that civility in meetings is so essential, the organization wanted to reiterate the commitment with a special mention in the bylaws. We should be respectful in our deportment, but the amendment will not accomplish this. Just because something is in the bylaws doesn’t guarantee it is carried out successfully. In my years of EVA membership, I have seen the bylaws misused on many occasions, both by people who claim the bylaws say something they don’t and by those ignoring policies that are in the bylaws. I have no desire to be a scold, and

Respect code open to abuse

By Chris Long I have lived in the neighborhood since 1996 and been a member of the East Village Association for most of that time. I am opposed to the proposed amendment allowing the chair of the meeting to expel members who fail to act in a respectful manner. I understand the president’s concern about maintaining a productive meeting environment but the amendment as proposed has several fatal flaws. It is unnecessary. We already have tools in place to maintain a respectful meeting environment. The EVA bylaws call for the use of Robert's Rules of Order to conduct our meetings. Robert's Rules or Order Revised Edition Section 43 already has a clause about decorum at general meetings, which would achieve the objectives of the amendment without unintended consequences. Robert’s rules were written to conduct orderly and respectful meetings. They have been tested and revised over more than a century and successfully used in organizations and governments large and small.

Home composting: A harvest that feeds your garden

Image
By Scott A. Rappe, a guy who knows nothing about composting Like the old joke about where our food comes from — the grocery store! — few of us think beyond our black carts when contemplating where our food goes to, the landfill. Space for landfills near where they are needed is limited, and that growing challenge is the least of our problems. Once kitchen waste and mostly benign household trash is collected and mixed with not-so-benign sources of trash, all of it must be handled as hazardous waste in perpetuity. Buried in lined pits and then hermetically sealed, the resources that end up in them are gone for good. While we all recognize the importance of diverting recyclable materials from landfills, we tend not to think of food and yard waste in this category. But it is. According to a 2003 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency report, food and yard waste make up a full 24% of the municipal waste stream. Like other recyclables, organic matter contains energy and natural res

Appeal your property taxes: Window closing on property tax appeals

Image
President's Message | By Greg Nagel  In Chicago we have the opportunity to challenge the assessed value of our properties, which drives the property tax we owe the county. There are two opportunities to challenge these assessed values, the Cook County Assessor and the Board of Review. Many people hire attorneys to challenge their taxes and represent them legally at bot levels. Most attorneys will take a percentage of the tax savings over three years typically ranging from 25% to 40%. However, the Board of Review has a free outreach program where the same personnel who decide if an appeal has merit will work with taxpayers directly to challenge their taxes. Whether this yields better results than hiring an attorney is subjective, but I have had excellent results for myself and my clients. And since there is no attorney involved in the appeal, it is absolutely free and as simple as filling out a form. The basic appeal is to argue that there is a "lack of uniformity&qu

May 22 raffle to benefit LaSalle II school

By Ronda Locke Check out the LaSalle II Fine Art Fundraiser from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, May 22, at The Boundary Tavern & Grille, 1932 W. Division. Boundary will be making a generous 15% of sales donation to LaSalle II to help fund the student's music and arts program. In addition, LaSalle II will be holding a raffle with drawing at 8:45 p.m. on May 22. Grand Prize is a United Center skybox for a Blackhawks game next season, including 12 tickets, parking passes, food and soft drinks — worth $2,500. Additional prizes include a two-month CrossFit Chicago gold membership package for a family of four (a $1,500 value) and a wine tasting package for six at Lush Wine & Spirits, 1412 W. Chicago (value $200). Raffle sponsored by the East Village Association. Tickets are $5 or 5 for $20, available at the school week prior to event and on May 22 at The Boundary. Sellers will be in the playground at pickup and the office is willing to sell too. All proceeds will go to mus

EVA to sponsor LaSalle II PTO raffle

May 10 board minutes submitted by Dana Palmer Meeting notification signs: All board members signed up to pick up a sign and replace it prior to the next meeting. Scott Rappe agreed to map out locations for the signs and e-mail the board members regarding the locations they should place the signs. If a sign is missing Greg Nagel should be contacted. The bylaw amendment on respect has already been published in this month's newsletter. Marjorie Isaacson agreed to draft a welcoming statement that will include verbalization about respect that can be voiced at the start of all EVA membership meetings. Tom Tomek brought the board a request by the LaSalle II parent-teacher organization. He stated that the PTO is having an event at The Boundary on May 22 and would like to have a raffle. However, because the PTO has been in operation for less than 5 years it cannot apply for a raffle license. Therefore, the PTO asks that EVA apply for a raffle license for the raffle. This require

Alderman Moreno begins with a promise

Image
Proco "Joe" Moreno III began his appointment as 1st Ward alderman with a commitment to the East Village Association. Moreno promised EVA members he would follow the group's recommendation to extend Division Street's pedestrian street protections east to Ashland Avenue. That would maintain wide sidewalks and control parking options for future development near the Blue Line transit stop. "I think our agendas are going to align very well," Moreno told about 40 EVA members gathered May 3 at the Happy Village's beer garden. "Any project that applies to zoning, I'm going to the [EVA] zoning committee and I'm going to take their recommendations very seriously." May 3 meeting minutes submitted by Dana Palmer Guest speaker was the new alderman for the first ward, Joe Moreno. Alderman Moreno voiced to EVA that he is interested in “community based solutions” to issues such as zoning. He mentioned that he is committed to the pedestrian des

EVA board meets 6:30 pm Monday at Leona's, 1936 W. Augusta

The board meets the second Monday of the month (the week after the membership meeting) to plan the next month's activities. An agenda is not yet available, but items are likely to include plans for a wine shop at Division and Ashland. This month the board meeting location shifts to Leona's Restaurant , where East Village Neighbors meetings had been held. All meetings are open; minutes will be available on this website.

Wine shop uncorks Division-Ashland plan

Image
The owner of Galleria Liqueure , 3409 N. Southport, and Galleria Wine & Liquor‎, 1559 N. Wells, is asking the East Village Association to allow the city to lift a liquor moratorium on the southeast corner of Division and Ashland. Here he explains his plan to open a wine store at the former Washington Mutual bank location at the Polish Triangle. EVA members next meet on Monday, June 7. By Benjamin Pourkhalili Before we discuss any business, allow me to discuss my passion for Chicago. For the last 20 years, I've served several communities with services and businesses geared to suit the needs of each unique location. I'm genuinely devoted to the improvement and gratification of local customers and pride myself as a local and small businessman. Eight years ago, I opened the first Galleria Fine Wine and Spirits shop on Wells just south of North Avenue in Old Town. We've slowly grown into one of Chicago's destination wine shops with more than 600 hand-selected wine
Tom Tomek business card
Anselmo @properties business card,
Ask Nagel business card.