Showing posts from May, 2011

Questions for police commander Gross

The guard is changing again at the Wood Street police station. Frank C. Gross took over in March as 13th District commander. Commander Gross will meet with East Village residents at the June 6 East Village Association meeting at the Happy Village, 1059 N. Wolcott. When prompted for topics to cover, the EVA board made these suggestions: Update on the current community-policing program. Graffiti. Summer increase in crime. Neighborhood crime prevention and awareness. Crime and vagrancy issues related to package liquor sales. Click through to the story link for this article to leave your questions for Commander Gross. In the past year, gangs and drugs have been leading community concerns reported in the district, according to the Chicago Police website . After three years leading the 13th squad, Judith Martin now heads the police Special Events & Liaison section. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. Also on the agenda are a request from the Walgreens at 1650 W. Chicago Ave. to sell beer and w

LaSalle II school mural to be dedicated June 3

Anna Soltys, Kamelia Hristeva and Michal Taylor apply ceramic tiles to the LaSalle II mural along Division Street, behind Jerzy Kenar's familiar mound sculpture at left.  Pupils at LaSalle II and Andersen schools are working toward the June 3 dedication of a mural that wraps around the Division Street side of the building at 1148 N. Honore. The students are aided by Kamelia Hristeva and Anna Soltys of Green Star Movement , which has built murals in several Chicago schools and parks, including Columbus School at 1003 N. Leavitt and Independence Park at 3945 N. Springfield. The bricolage mosaic incorporates recycled ceramic and reflective glass tiles and student-produced decorations. The design features the globe symbol that appears on the LaSalle II website and scenes suggesting the magnet school's foreign-language instruction in Arabic, Mandarin, Spanish and Urdu. Students from both LaSalle II and Andersen have embraced the project, Hristeva says. Neighborhood school Andersen

More demolition in East Village's future?

Demolition at 814-820 N. Wood (Tom Tomek photo) By Margie Isaacson   What do you think of when you think of East Village? This "sense of place" may seem like a vague emotion, but everyone from urban planners to real estate agents recognize it as critical to the value of a community. One of East Village’s most distinctive qualities is its vintage architecture. Even people who are not architecture enthusiasts would say original buildings help give our neighborhood its character. These buildings drew the economic reinvestment in the neighborhood in the 1980s. As the neighborhood began to look more habitable to middle-class sensibilities, other new residents began to move in. Household incomes rose 13% in five years, according to Census Bureau estimates. The two East Village census tracts west of Ashland Avenue now have median incomes of more than $60,000. 1912 Division Street YMCA (Moody's Collectibles) The question of whether these century-old structures should be protect

Walgreens seeks to lift liquor moratorium

By Christine Hansen, Walgreens store manager, 1650 W. Chicago Ave. An Added Convenience at Your Local Walgreens Walgreens is reintroducing a limited selection of beer and wine in stores across the country in response to requests from customers who desire a one-stop shopping experience. Customers come to us for health and beauty products as well as convenience — picking up school or office supplies, a greeting card, a magazine or a snack. This is another convenience item our customers would like available to them in our stores. Here in Chicago, more than 60 local stores currently offer this product line as an added convenience for our customers. As you may know, your neighborhood store at 1650 W. Chicago Ave. currently does not sell beer and wine due to an existing moratorium in the area. Walgreens seeks to lift the moratorium to reintroduce a small selection of beer and wine at this store to complement our long list of other convenient products. We have met with 1st Ward Ald. Proco Mor

How's your cell-phone coverage?

Cell tower atop 2002 W. Chicago Ave. An AT&T repairman was working Mother's Day, tool belt heavy with gadgets to check land lines in the alley behind Damen Avenue. Meanwhile, Mom is getting a cell phone and we were checking the coverage. Our most reliable tool: "Can you hear me now?" Websites such as and feature data on cell towers, but with a lot of noise: Records are incomplete, and leased towers don't disclose which carriers use them. A tower listed on Western Avenue looked more like flag streamers at a used-car lot. So the best source to gauge call quality might just be you. Leave comments on your cell-phone experience in East Village, particularly if you can weigh in on the iPhone slugfest between AT&T and Verizon.

East Village signs get redesign

Board meeting minutes for May 9 submitted by Dana Palmer Attendance Board Members: Greg Nagel, Neal McKnight, KK Goh, Dana Palmer, Stephen Rynkiewicz, Scott Rappe and Tom Tomek. Non-Board Members: Marjorie Issacson. Meeting commenced: 6:35 p.m. East Village signs Tom and Paula Tomek completed the design for street signs. Now, Tom Tomek will speak with Ronda Locke and Ald. Proco Joe Moreno about getting permission to have the signs hung throughout the neighborhood. Tomek will also begin to research companies to produce the signs. Roots Handmade Pizza Neal McKnight will contact Roots owners to obtain a copy of the final letter with concessions agreed to and have the letter published in the EVA newsletter. Former Pizza Hut site According to Scott Rappe, the site at 1601 W. Division has been sold. So, Rappe is pulling together interested parties such as the Chamber of Commerce, EVA and the Polish Triangle steering committee to meet on May 21 and speak about development options

Wood Street buildings slated for demolition

814 N. Wood 820 N. Wood By Scott Rappe  Two lovely buildings are coming down in the 800 block of Wood, one an iconic East Village four-flat, the other a unique Empire-style structure. The new owner will build "standard three flats" on each lot, according to Raymond Valadez, chief of staff to 1st Ward Ald. Proco Joe Moreno. Valadez said the designs can be built as of right. East Village Association volunteers are attempting to meet with Moreno and the developer. It is sad to note that this block was on the preliminary 2005 map for the city's East Village Landmark District and later removed. Ironically, the Empire-style building at 820 N. Wood was featured on the city's landmarks website to illustrate the East Village district . The photo was removed after EVA made inquiries Monday about demolition permits at the two addresses. These will be the fourth and fifth vintage buildings to be demolished on Wood Street between Chicago & Armitage in the past month.
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