Friday, December 28, 2012

shared cost sidewalk program


What is the Shared Cost Sidewalk Program? It's a city program in which residents share the cost of repairing city sidewalks in front of their home.  It offers a great value to property owners.   All property owners pay the same square-foot cost for new sidewalk--$3 per square foot--well below what a private contractor would charge.  Senior citizens and those with disabilities will receive a 50% discount.
The 2013 program opens to new applicants Tuesday, January 1, 2013, on a first-come, first served basis.  The program is usually maxed out fast. If you want to apply, do it on January 1st, or as soon as possible after 1/1. 
Applications are accepted only through the City's 311 system.  Call 311 or CLICK HERE to apply online.  You must give the building owner-occupant's complete name, contact phone number, and the building's complete address.
If you applied for the program in previous years, you must apply again in 2013.  For FAQs, CLICK HERE.

Chicago park closure date

Chicago Park District administrative offices and facilities, except for McFetridge Sports Center, will be closed on Monday. This mandatory shut down day is Monday 12/31.

non sequitur Friday

A trio of jazz tunes by the talented Marsalis family for the last Friday of 2012.





Thursday, December 27, 2012

lost cat - update

Update - Matty came home early this morning.  Thanks to all who kept their eyes open for him.

--------------------------------------------------------

A friend asked me to share the following info.

Lost 12/25 - vicinity of 104th St. between Wood and Prospect.
Matty, beloved family member, very sweet, very shy.
If found or spotted PLEASE call 773 968 9662 anytime.



I hope that someone spots Matty and helps get him home safely.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Chicago park closure dates

Chicago Park District administrative offices and facilities, except for McFetridge Sports Center, will be closed on 2 upcoming dates. These mandatory shut down days are Monday 12/24 and Monday 12/31.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Friday, December 7, 2012

non sequitur Friday

Theme and variations: two takes on an old tune.




Sunday, December 2, 2012

fire assistance update

I previously posted about last weekend's fire on 111th St.  Here are videos from Channel 7 and Channel 2 news about efforts to help the fire victims.  There is still an opportunity to help, if you'd like to do so.

The Morgan Park Fire Victims Fund has just been set up at Standard Bank. Donations will be accepted at Standard Bank, 2400 W. 95th St., Evergreen Park, IL 60805 or at the 19th ward office, 10400 S. Western Ave., Chicago, IL 60643. 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Christmas tree sale at the Irish castle

Beverly Unitarian Church is selling Christmas trees as a fundraiser today and tomorrow (12/1 and 12/2) as well as next weekend (12/8 and 12/9) from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.  They're at 103rd and Longwood.  The parking lot is on the Seeley (uphill) side.  They have about 100 trees available.  For more information, call 773-233-7080.

Friday, November 30, 2012

non sequitur Friday

Variations on a theme: three takes on a modern jazz classic.





And for Jaco fans....



Thursday, November 29, 2012

when smoke isn't such a bad thing

If you are in north Beverly today, be aware that a prescribed (controlled) burn is planned for Dan Ryan Woods.  If you see smoke coming from the woods today, you don't need to call 911.  This burn (to help in restoring the health of native plants and trees) was scheduled with the forest preserve district. The fire dept. has already been notified that it is happening.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

completing a missing piece at Ridge Park

I've wondered why Ridge Park has a partial sidewalk from the fieldhouse to 96th St., ending short of the street. In recent weeks, I've noticed spray paint outlines connecting the end of the sidewalk to the curb at 96th St.  This morning on my way to the train I saw a crew jackhammering out the curb and digging, presumably in preparation for pouring concrete. 

Thank you, Chicago Park District.  Once the work is complete, we'll finally have a sidewalk (presumably with curb ramp) so that pedestrians can go all the way to/from 96th St. on a solid surface without having to walk on the often-busy driveway.

Monday, November 26, 2012

after the fire

On Saturday afternoon, the Chicago Fire Department spent several hours attacking and containing a major fire that severely damaged a 5-story residential building at 2030 W. 111th St.  About 120 fire fighters and EMTs and 40 trucks and ambulances were involved in the effort.  All residents, fire fighters and EMTs are safe.  Unfortunately, the building is uninhabitable, leaving 64 Morgan Park residents without a home.

In order to help those displaced by the fire, Alderman Matt O'Shea and State Rep. Monique Davis are working to provide assistance to residents of the burned building.  If you would like to help, donations in the form of gift cards to retailers such as Jewel, Walgreens, Target, Kohl's and others, or Visa gift cards, are being collected at the offices of Alderman O'Shea (10400 S. Western) and Rep. Davis (1234 W. 95th St.).

Friday, November 23, 2012

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Chicago parks closed on Friday

Chicago Park District administrative offices and facilities, except for McFetridge Sports Center, will be closed this Friday. This mandatory shut down day is Friday, Nov. 23, the day after Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 9, 2012

non sequitur Friday

A little something to get me in the mood for a visit to Toronto.  Cheers!

Friday, November 2, 2012

household hazardous waste collection on Sat. 11/3

The Green Sanctuary Group of Beverly Unitarian Church will collect household hazardous waste and electronics for recycling Sat. 11/3, 8:30 to 10:00 a.m. in the church parking lot, 10244 S. Longwood Dr. (the Castle). The following items are accepted if properly sealed: antifreeze, used motor oil, old gasoline, OIL-BASED paints, paint thinners, aerosal paints, car batteries, reusable batteries, herbicides, insecticides, pesticides, lawn chemicals, solvents, drain cleaners, pool chemicals, and hobby chemicals.  Also, computers, laptops, printers, monitors, stereo equipment, boomboxes, mercury-fluorescent lamps and bulbs, televisions, cell phones, eyeglasses, shoes, textbooks and small microwaves.  They CANNOT accept any latex, acrylic or water based paint, freon, incandescent bulbs, or products you can clean up with water, or any type of medicine or needles.

Modest contributions to help offset transportation costs are appreciated. For more information, call 773-233-7080.

non sequitur Friday

Playin' the blues for all the folks recovering from Sandy.

Friday, October 26, 2012

non sequitur Friday

Here's something Halloweenish for your Friday.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

winding down

This Sunday will be the last farmers market of the season at 95th and Longwood (7 a.m. to 1 p.m.). It's a good excuse to stock up on a few things and treat yourself to a few more ingredients for delicious meals.

We've got 2 more weekends to enjoy ice cream at Rainbow Cone before they close for the season on 11/4.

Each one is a good excuse for a walk or a bike ride to enjoy the fall color before it also ends for the season.

Monday, October 22, 2012

A Silent Witness

On Saturday 10/27, from 10:30 a.m. to noon, the Chicago Police Dept. 22nd district Domestic Violence Subcommittee will present an exhibit: "A Silent Witness," a tribute to victims of domestic violence.

There will be speakers, refreshments, a balloon release and information at the 22nd district police station, 1900 W. Monterey

For more information, please call the CAPS office at 312-745-0620.

Friday, October 19, 2012

non sequitur Friday

Two for your Friday.  Cheers!



Thursday, October 18, 2012

Major Taylor Trail ride this Sunday

Join Friends of the Major Taylor Trail in a casual Sunday afternoon trail ride.  We'll ride about 10 miles at an easy pace, possibly with a mid-ride stop for cold drinks.

We'll meet at 2:30 p.m. at the parking lot at the southwest corner of 119th and Halsted (opposite the public library).  If anyone wants to ride down from Beverly, please send email and we'll figure out the details on where and when to meet.

fire safety and energy efficiency workshop today

Neighborhood Housing Services presents a fire safety and energy efficiency workshop TODAY, Thursday 10/18, at the West Pullman public library, 830 W. 119th St., from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. 

Topics will include:
* What steps can I take to fireproof my home?
* Why is it important to have an escape plan?
* How can I improve my energy efficiency?
* Do I need homeowner's or renter's insurance?

Please call the circulation desk to register. 312-747-1425 or 773-341-3163

If you require special accommodations for accessibility, please call 312-747-4252 (voice) or 312-747-4066 (TTY).


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Women: your body and the law

The following is information I received today about a community forum happening this Sunday 10/21 at Beverly Unitarian Church, 10244 S Longwood Drive.  The event is free and happens from 3-5 p.m.

What's behind the recent attempts to defund health care programs and how can we effectively advocate for better health care?  Millions of Americans are uninsured or underinsured.  In Illinois alone, over half a million women are uninsured.  This forum will address the crisis women are facing in health care and how it impacts men and children as well.

Laura Leon,
Director of Faith Initiatives for the Illinois Campaign for Better Health Care, will discuss her organization's current programs on Women's Health and the Affordable Care Act.  The programs focus on: what's in the Affordable Care Act for women and families;  what threatens the law at the frederal and state level;  and techniques to effectively advocate for the law.

Brigid Leahy,
Director of Legislative Affairs for Planned Praenhood of Illinois will present information on attempts to defund women's health programs, legislation restricting abortion access, and refusal to provide health care by religiously connected organizations or medical providiers.

Join us for this free community discussion at the Beverly Unitarian Church (
The Castle) and add your voice to this important and timely discussion.  Light refreshments will be provided.

garage burglaries

Earlier today, the Chicago Police Dept. 22nd district circulated a warning about a series of recent garage burglaries.  They've been happening at night in the area from 103rd to 111th, Hoyne to Rockwell.  Click here for more info and tips.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Friday, October 5, 2012

Friday, September 7, 2012

Friday, August 31, 2012

Friday, August 24, 2012

non sequitur Friday

A bit of Cuban spice for your Friday. TGIF!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

West Nile virus close to home

West Nile virus is something that never seemed quite real to me or to many people I know because the cases have been relatively rare, and I never knew anyone who was affected. It's gotten a lot more real lately.

I recently learned that a Morgan Park resident has been hospitalized with West Nile virus. She's now been in the hospital a week and a half and is fighting to regain her strength and return to a normal life. This week I heard that Evergreen Park Mayor James Sexton was also hospitalized with the virus. The same article mentions that the mayor of Lombard recently died, and that West Nile virus is blamed for his death.

Unlike a more typical summer, the hot dry conditions we've seen have been ideal for the type of mosquito that spreads the virus. Until frost kills them off for the year, it's not a bad idea to protect yourself against mosquito bites.

To learn more about West Nile virus, click here for a National Library of Medicine article and here for info from the Illinois Dept. of Public Health.  The IDPH page is worth checking out, because it provides different types of information to supplement the first article, which focuses more on symptoms.

I hope that all who are currently affected can make a full recovery.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Join Friends of the Major Taylor Trail in a casual Sunday afternoon trail ride.  We'll ride about 10 miles at an easy pace, possibly with a mid-ride stop for cold drinks.

We'll meet at 2:30 p.m. at the parking lot at the southwest corner of 119th and Halsted (opposite the public library).  If anyone wants to ride down from Beverly, please send email and we'll figure out the details on where and when to meet.

non sequitur Friday

RIP Vonski - thanks for all the great tunes.


Thursday, August 9, 2012

movie at McKiernan Park tonight

Tonight the 19th Ward Youth Foundation and Chicago Park District are hosting a movie at McKiernan Park, 10714 S. Sawyer Ave.  If you'd like to take the kids to see Hop, or just have a kid moment yourself, the movie starts at dusk.  If it rains, the movie will be rescheduled.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Major Taylor Trail workday tomorrow 7/28

If you'd like to help Friends of the Major Taylor Trail and TreeKeepers in their efforts to maintain good trail conditions, please join us for a workday tomorrow morning from 8:00 to 11:00 a.m.

We'll meet by the Major Taylor mural (approx. 1050 W. 111th St.) and do some tree pruning to eliminate branches that are blocking part of the trail.  If you have work gloves and tools, please bring them, otherwise some will be available for use.  After our recent rains, insect repellent might be a good idea, too.

Click here for more info.  We hope to see you there.

non sequitur Friday





Tuesday, July 24, 2012

the aftermath of this morning's storms

Any of you who slept through this morning's storms probably woke up wondering what happened if you later found storm debris in your yard. I hope that none of you had major damage from the storm and that any power outage was short lived. From today's emails, it's my understanding that portions of the ward lost power and that some are still without power. I'd like to share the alderman's message for any of you who didn't get it.

Early this morning, a severe thunderstorm came through our community leaving the 19th Ward Service Offices temporarily without power and phone service. You may still contact the office via e-mail at ward19@cityofchicago.org, online at www.the19thward.com, or contact 311 for any city service request. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

The storm left over 41,000 homes without power throughout the City of Chicago, including 2072 customers in our community. Citywide there are several police and fire stations without power. Commonwealth Edison crews have already restored over four hundred customers in our area this morning; they ask for our patience as they work to address all outages with the understanding that public safety facilities and hospitals are the highest priority for service restoration.

In addition to the power outages, we have more then 40 reported tree emergencies throughout our community. The Bureau of Forestry is working to address these issues as quickly as possible. Residents are asked to place any tree debris in the parkway or alley, and report it to my office or 311 for pickup.

I will keep you updated on the status of these issues as more information becomes available.

Sincerely, Matt O'Shea Alderman, 19th Ward


I hope that any of you who are still in the dark are back to normal by morning.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

environmental bus tour on 7/28

I'd like to share info from the Southeast Environmental Task Force about a tour that may be of interest to those of you who are concerned about the environment in our city:

Join the Southeast Environmental Task Force for the second tour in a series of OFF THE BEATEN PATH ECO-TOURS. Let us show you why the South side was known as the the home of Mt. Trashmore. See how the years of dumping household, hazardous, and contruction waste have impacted the surrounding communities. You'll also see dumps that have been repurposed and that produce energy. Discover the natural areas that border them and see how they have become important wildlife habitat.

You’ll learn how Chicago deals with garbage, sewage and waste treatment in general. This unique narrated tour highlights the Southeast Side’s overabundance of treatment facilities – huge landfills, recycling centers, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District wastewater treatment plant and sludge drying fields, as well as several former notorious illegal dumps.

DOWN IN THE DUMPS BUS TOUR
Saturday, July 28, 2012
10:00 am - 2:00 pm
$40.00 per person, includes lunch

Comfortable coach bus departs from the Cultural Center located at Randolph and Michigan Avenues in downtown Chicago. You are welcome to bring water or snacks. Lunch will be provided at a local establishment and is included in the price. You must pre-register for this tour by using the Paypal feature provided at: setaskforce.blogspot.com

For more details, call 773-646-0436 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Major Taylor Trail ride on Sunday 7/22

Join Friends of the Major Taylor Trail in a casual Sunday afternoon trail ride.  We'll ride about 10 miles at an easy pace, possibly with a mid-ride stop for cold drinks.

We'll meet at 2:30 p.m. at the parking lot at the southwest corner of 119th and Halsted (opposite the public library).  If anyone wants to ride down from Beverly, please send email and we'll figure out the details on where and when to meet.


Ghostbusters at Mt. Greenwood Park tonight

Want to enjoy a fun summer movie with your neighbors? Come to an outdoor screening of Ghostbusters tonight at Mt. Greenwood Park, 3715 W. 111th St., presented by the 19th Ward Youth Foundation, Mt. Greenwood Park Advisory Council, and Chicago Park District. The movie starts at dusk and is free to the public.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Friday, July 6, 2012

non sequitur Friday

Have you gotten a taste of Dee Alexander's fine jazz vocals yet?  If not, you can check out a few tunes here.  Happy Friday!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Metra heat advisory

The heat is affecting us in many different ways.  Looks like we'll need to allow a little extra time for our trips for at least a few days. Metra has issued a heat advisory:

Due to the forecast for extremely hot weather in the Chicago region over the next several days, Metra riders may experience delays of 10 to 15 minutes.  With warmer temperatures, it is necessary to operate our trains at reduced speeds to compensate for heat-related stresses on our track, switches and signals.  During these types of heat advisories, we will have all resources on standby so that we can quickly respond and restore service when required.  We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.  

words to stop for

CDOT has started installation of new "stop for pedestrians" signs at locations around the city.  Does anyone know if we'll get any here in the 19th ward?  I'd love to see one at 97th St. & Longwood by Ridge Park, along with some enforcement.

going out for a bike ride today?

Enjoy your ride. I hope it's a safe one. Here are a few tips for cycling in hot weather.

I'll add one to that list: carry an extra water bottle that's extra cold - either partially frozen or with lots of ice in it.  Wrap it in a towel and put it inside your pannier or rack pack to keep it cool.  Pour some of the water over your head and shoulders from time to time to help cool you off during your ride.

Take care and stay cool.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

music at Ellie's 6/30

The Barrelhouse Ladies are performing at Ellie's (107th & Hale) from 6 to 9 p.m. on Sat. 6/30.  Dinner and music - nice way to spend a Saturday night.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

6/28 community forum regarding Evergreen Plaza redevelopment

community forum is scheduled to discuss ideas and get input on the planned redevelopment of Evergreen Plaza mall.

When:  Thursday 6/28  7 p.m.
Where:  Jacob's Well Church Community, 3450 W. Maple, Evergreen Park

Bring your ideas and share them.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Major Taylor Trail ride on Sunday 6/24

Please join Friends of the Major Taylor Trail and Major Taylor Cycling Club Chicago for a group bike ride.  There will be 3 different ride options:

* Easy (pick your own distance) - ideal for families with little ones or the most casual riders

* Medium (18 miles) - moderate pace, riding the full length of the trail, then over to Blue Island and north again

* Challenging (45-55 miles) - fast pace, riding the full length of the trail, then continuing into the south suburbs and north again

We meet at the 83rd St. parking lot in Dan Ryan Woods (north side of 83rd between Damen and Western).  From Beverly or Morgan Park, you easily can ride to the start by following the trail north from 91st St., crossing 87th and continuing north, crossing the bridge over 83rd St., then taking the left turn just before the northern end of the trail.  The trail comes out at the parking lot.

Arrive anytime between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. to socialize and get your bike checked out if it needs a little attention.  The ride will star at 9 a.m.

We hope to see you then.

non sequitur Friday

Thursday, June 14, 2012

music at Ellie's 6/17

Danny Clark (keyboard/vocals) is performing at Ellie's (107th & Hale) from noon to 4 p.m. on Sun. 6/17.  Sounds like a great excuse to visit for a tasty lunch.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

poetry open mic night at Ellie's 6/16

There's a poetry open mic night happening at Ellie's (107th & Hale) on Sat. 6/16 from 7-10 p.m.  There are plenty of delicious dinner choices to accompany the evening's entertainment.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Dan Ryan Woods volunteer workday tomorrow

If you'd like to help with the ongoing habitat restoration at Dan Ryan Woods, please come to a workday tomorrow morning from 9 a.m. to noon.  Tomorrow's goal is to pull the remaining garlic mustard (extremely invasive species) before seed pods open and scatter.  Tools and gloves will be provided.  

We meet at the "Dan Ryan Woods East" parking lot (2 blocks west of Damen on the north side of 87th Street). Please contact Benjamin Cox at benjamin@fotfp.org or 773-398-1178 for more information.

non sequitur Friday

Take an extended musical break with Trombone Shorty.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

community forum regarding Evergreen Plaza redevelopment

Save the date.  A community forum is scheduled to discuss ideas and get input on the planned redevelopment of Evergreen Plaza mall.

When:  Thursday 6/28  7 p.m.
Where:  Jacob's Well Church Community, 3450 W. Maple, Evergreen Park

Bring your ideas and share them.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Streets for Cycling 2020 public meeting on Sat. 6/9 (and webinars)


The City of Chicago launched the Streets for Cycling Plan 2020 several months ago to create a more complete network of bicycling facilities to help all Chicagoans (from school kids to senior citizens) feel safe and comfortable riding their bikes on city streets.
The Chicago Department of Transportation has sought input on where you bike, where you want improvements and what would encourage you to ride for transportation.
Now you can see a draft of the plan at a public meeting or webinar and continue the dialogue. Learn about possible street treatments and bike facilities, remaining challenges and next steps.  This is your opportunity to help fine tune the draft plan.
If you missed the 5/31 and 6/6 public meetings, the next meeting will be held at 77 S. Dearborn (building lobby) on Sat. 6/9, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Open House

If you're unable to attend any of the public meetings, maybe one of the webinars will work for you.
Webinar 1  Mon. 6/11, noon–1 p.m.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at: http://goo.gl/6JRQc
Webinar 2  Wed. 6/13, 6–7 p.m.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at: http://goo.gl/CQSS9

political discussion group at Ellie's tonight

If you're interested in the neighborhood's political discussion group, they're meeting at Ellie's (107th & Hale) tonight from 7-9 p.m.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Streets for Cycling 2020 public meeting on Wed. 6/6 (and webinars)


The City of Chicago launched the Streets for Cycling Plan 2020 several months ago to create a more complete network of bicycling facilities to help all Chicagoans (from school kids to senior citizens) feel safe and comfortable riding their bikes on city streets.
The Chicago Department of Transportation has sought input on where you bike, where you want improvements and what would encourage you to ride for transportation.
Now you can see a draft of the plan at a public meeting or webinar and continue the dialogue. Learn about possible street treatments and bike facilities, remaining challenges and next steps.  This is your opportunity to help fine tune the draft plan.
If you missed the 5/31 public meeting, the next meeting will be held at Douglas Park Cultural and Community Center (Ballroom),  1401 S. Sacramento Dr. on Wed. 6/6 from 4–8 p.m.  There will presentations with Q&A at 4:30 & 6:30 p.m.

If you're unable to attend any of the public meetings, maybe one of the webinars will work for you.

Webinar 1  Mon. 6/11, noon–1 p.m.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at: http://goo.gl/6JRQc
Webinar 2  Wed. 6/13, 6–7 p.m.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at: http://goo.gl/CQSS9




Tuesday, May 29, 2012

19th ward town hall meeting on Thurs. 5/31

On Thursday 5/31, the 19th Ward, Civic Association of Morgan Park, and Old Morgan Park Civic Association will co-host a Town Hall Meeting at the 22nd District Chicago Police Station, 1900 W. Monterey at 7:00 p.m. 

Our new 22nd District Commander Jim Gibson, various city departments and Alderman Matt O'Shea will be there to respond to your neighborhood concerns.

Streets for Cycling 2020 public meeting on 5/31


The City of Chicago launched the Streets for Cycling Plan 2020 several months ago to create a more complete network of bicycling facilities to help all Chicagoans (from school kids to senior citizens) feel safe and comfortable riding their bikes on city streets.
The Chicago Department of Transportation has sought input on where you bike, where you want improvements and what would encourage you to ride for transportation.
Now you can see a draft of the plan at Thursday's public meeting (or a later meeting or webinar) and continue the dialogue. Learn about possible street treatments and bike facilities, remaining challenges and next steps.  This is your opportunity to help fine tune the draft plan.
The next public meeting is this Thursday 5/31 at Gary Comer Youth Center (Exhibition Hall, 3rd floor), 7200 S. Ingleside Ave. from 4–8 p.m. There will be presentations with Q&A at 4:30 & 6:30 p.m.
Information on later meetings and webinars will follow.

city stickers on sale at 19th ward office on 6/6

City of Chicago vehicle stickers will be available for sale at the 19th Ward Office (10402 S Western) on Wed. 6/6 from noon to 6 p.m.

The City Clerk is offering a will call option to make things a little speedier on 6/6. To use the will call option, bring in the following information to the ward office in advance on or before Tues. 5/29 (TODAY): 

- Renewal form
- Check or money order made out to City Clerk
- Driver's License
- Current vehicle information (make, model, year, & license plate number)

After you've submitted that info, you can pick up your sticker with no waiting on Wed. 6/6.

Friday, May 25, 2012

non sequitur Friday

Wishing everyone a fun, safe holiday weekend.

Friday, May 18, 2012

non sequitur Friday

Going way back for a few classics...





Thursday, May 17, 2012

old space, new name

I got a chance to try the food at Ellie's today (formerly Favia Cafe) and thoroughly enjoyed it.  I confess that one of my frustrations with the restaurant selection here in Beverly is the relatively small number of places offering healthy meal options.  The hummus plate gets a big thumbs up - portion size is just right, ingredients are fresh and tasty, and the hummus is really delicious.  My husband tried the grilled cheese and was equally pleased.  They now have table service instead of counter service.  Otherwise, the room hasn't changed much, and that's just fine.  If it ain't broken, why "fix" it?

It's also a pleasant location to visit by bike.  If you live more than a mile away, I think it's the nicest way to get there.  I'm looking forward to another visit soon.

a community thank you

Friends of the Major Taylor Trail would like to thank volunteers with the Kellogg School Environment Club for their recent clean-up day along the trail.  We appreciate the work they did in removing a large amount of invasive garlic mustard, picking up trash, and clearing overgrowth and debris from the trail surface between 91st and 95th Streets.  We hope that they will enjoy the trail this summer.

family bike ride Sat. 5/19

This Saturday 5/19, Alderman Matt O'Shea is hosting a family bike ride.  The theme is "Bike Across America Without Leaving the 19th Ward."  If you'd like to join the ride, please arrive at McKiernan Park, 10714 S. Sawyer Ave., at 9:30 a.m.  The route will include Mt. Greenwood streets named for some of the most famous cities and historic places in the United States.

The City's Bicycle Ambassadors and 22nd Police District officers will lead the 4-mile ride starting promptly at 10:00am. After the ride, the group will return to McKiernan Park for healthy snacks, goodies, and a free bicycle raffle.

Please contact Fran Hurley at 773-238-8766 or Sara Bush at 312-747-2883 if you have questions.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

farmers market season

... has started.  Visit the Beverly farmers market on Sundays at 95th & Longwood from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Here's a listing by day of the week of all the farmers markets across the city, with location, time and date range. For those of you who are fans of the Federal Plaza market, it starts on 5/29.

According to an article in today's Tribune, this spring's weird weather patterns will affect the availability of many locally grown tree fruits.  I hope that the yield of other crops will help to make up for this loss, at least somewhat, so that our farmers don't have a totally dismal season.

Monday, May 14, 2012

NATO security measures on Metra 5/19-21

If you're planning to go anywhere on Metra from 5/19 to 5/21, you'll want to be aware of security measures that will be in place, including the following:

Metra has implemented a wide range of safety measures during the NATO Summit.  Passengers may see an increased law enforcement presence and K-9 units.

In addition, the following safety measures apply to riders of all Metra lines during the three days (May 19, 20 and 21) of the summit:
  •    Riders may be subject to search and/or screening before boarding or while en route.
  •    Riders may carry only one bag not exceeding 15 inches square and 4 inches deep. Boxes, parcels, luggage, backpacks and bicycles will not be allowed on trains. Banned items cannot be stored at Metra stations. They must be removed or they will be disposed of.
  •    Riders may not carry any food or liquids on the trains. This includes coffee and other beverages.
  •    Riders may not carry any type of tools, pipes, stakes, wood or weapons, including pocket knives and pepper spray, on the trains.
  •    Law enforcement personnel must identify themselves and present their credentials and any weapons. Security guards will not be allowed to carry any weapons onboard.
This means that, if you would normally use Metra to connect with a CTA train to fly out of O'Hare or Midway, or get you to Amtrak for travel, you may be out of luck on Metra due to luggage restrictions.

Watch the Metra web site for further updates.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

burglary prevention tips

A friend in another Chicago neighborhood got this set of excellent tips at her neighborhood CAPS meeting.  I thought they were worth sharing, especially in light of the periodic patterns of daytime burglaries we've had that suggest the work of professional burglary crews.


The 13th District Police Station featured a presentation on burglary by convicted criminals. On the panel were three men convicted of burglary and one man convicted of credit card fraud and identity theft.

1. Know your neighbors next to you, across from you, and to the back. Work with your block club and neighborhood watch group. The best deterrent is a nosy neighbor. Sometimes that's a retired person or someone who works at home during the day.

This is consistent with my experiences in other neighborhoods.  Knowing your neighbors and recognizing their frequent visitors can make a difference.  Exchanging information at CAPS meetings and through EveryBlock can give you helpful insights on what's happening on your block and nearby.

2. Mornings and afternoons are the favorite times for burglars. Each of the burglars cased your home, sometimes well in advance of deciding to rob you. They know your routine and know when someone is not likely to be home. Vary your routine and don’t make it obvious that when you leave no one is home.

We've certainly seen patterns here in our neighborhood in the past year suggesting that burglars are casing the area before breaking in.

a. Leave a radio or TV on and use the light timers or leave a light on. You want the appearance to someone outside that there is a person in the house. These particular burglars did not want any confrontation whatsoever from people in the house.

b. Dogs are not necessarily a deterrent, unless they are trained specifically to protect your property. One man said he would just give the dog a pork chop and it was preoccupied.

3. Alarms can work but not always. Do your homework on which alarms work best for you.

a. Alarms that use wires or magnets for connection can be easily bypassed by a skilled burglar. GSM, wireless, or satellite type alarms are hard to bypass.

b. Motion detectors are good but place them in non-obvious places. One of the men was caught because he tripped a motion sensor that was placed near the foot of stairs in the basement and he did not see it or know to bypass it.

c. Make sure that you have a password or safe word that you can remember. The alarm company representative should not be giving you hints on the phone to help you remember your password in the event the alarm is tripped accidentally.

Alarm signs in the window or on the lawn have a marginal effect on the burglar who is going to break in out of desperation or opportunity. For the one who is casing your home, it is not a deterrent since they can see right away if you actually have an alarm.

4. Valuables – are they in the master bedroom and/or closet? These burglars went straight to the master bedroom where they said a majority of people kept their valuables and jewelry. Hiding in the closet is not a good idea, as this is also a place where most people hide things. One guy said that he thought maybe people liked to sleep surrounded by their nice things. Also, these guys often used the pillowcases on your bed for stashing their haul. Others only took what they could carry in their pockets. Also, many people keep prescription drugs in the kitchen, which is another target the burglars liked.

Burglars spend very little time in your home. These guys wanted to get in and get out. One guy stated he was in and out with thousands of dollars of valuables in less than a couple minutes.

5. Know who is in your home. Know who your kids bring home. Often times the burglar is someone you know or who knows you. One of the guys said he made friends and got to know the people he robbed before he burglarized their home. Another guy was hired by people to steal specific things. He related that he was even hired by the “guy who sold you the item.”

6. Your home. Make sure all your windows and doors are properly locked and secured - EVERY window no matter where it is located. Also, if you have a steel door, make sure the frame is also steel. Use your deadbolts and invest in good long and sturdy ones. The burglars’ tools of trade included their foot (for kicking in doors), a crowbar, and a screwdriver.

I can tell you from personal experience that, if your entry area is secluded or not well lit, burglars will not be shy about kicking in the door if they feel they are unlikely to be noticed.  This happened to my neighbors in two different locations.  A steel door is worthless without a long, high quality deadbolt AND a steel door frame secured with long screws.

7. Your car. Do not leave your garage opener in a visible location in your vehicle with any information on your home address. Burglars have broken into vehicles to take the remote and then taken documents in the glove compartment with the home address on it. Don’t write your home address on your garage opener.

8. Your garage. Make sure the garage door closes completely. Burglars have been leaving sticks on the door which fall down and block the sensors when the garage door goes up. When you drive away thinking the door has closed, it actually goes up because of the sensors. Also, change your door opener frequencies from time to time.

9. Your stuff. Invest in a cheap engraver (about $20 a craft stores) and engrave something in a hidden area on your valuable for future identification purposes (like a star or a secret name on the inside cover of your TV) or log down all serial numbers etc. of your valuables, so in the event the Police are able to retrieve your stolen property, you can identify it in a way that the Police can confirm it is yours. Otherwise, you will NOT get it back. It's worth asking whether the 22nd District also has a couple of engravers that residents can use.  

10. Outdoor motion lights and cameras. Outside motion lights are helpful, but make sure they are in an unreachable area where they cannot be tampered with. These guys stated that they often times used garbage cans to climb over fences and to take out motion lights. This is the same with cameras. Make sure they actually work (this is from the moderator) because police like to use the footage to catch the burglar.

These are some of the things I learned at the forum. The 13th District also has the following tips with the recent rise in home invasions:

• Keep the perimeter of your property well lit. 
• Report suspicious activity immediately – Call 911.
• Keep doors and windows secured.
• Immediately repair any broken windows, doors, locks.
• Never pursue a fleeing assailant. Provide the information to the police.
• If approached by a witness to the incident, request contact information.
• If you are a victim, do not touch anything. Call police immediately.




Tuesday, May 8, 2012

BAPA council of delegates meeting tonight

I wanted to share this information from a neighbor:


BAPA Council of Delegates meeting TONIGHT, Tuesday, May 8th at 7:30. If you would like to check the pulse of your neighborhood, this is a good time and place to do it. 

If you have questions about Chicago/Evergreen Park border regional retail developments (Evergreen Plaza & EP Golf Course) or where the future of Chicago businesses and the Beverly Hills community fits into this plan, this is a meeting you should attend. Let's be proactive regarding the future landscape of our neighborhood and show our local civic associations and elected officials that we MUST Start Managing Area Resources Together (SMART). 



EVERYONE IS WELCOME TO ATTEND!


LOCATION UPDATE: I've just learned that location has been changed to the 22nd Police District, 1900 W. Monterey, for tonight's meeting.

Friday, May 4, 2012

I-Go news update

As our I-Go car sharing location at Ridge Park has gotten more popular, it's gotten increasingly difficult to get a reservation without advance planning.

Beverly now has a second I-Go location at the Beverly Unitarian Church, otherwise known as the Irish castle.  I'm glad to have another option when the Ridge Park car is unavailable.

Thank you, I-Go!

non sequitur Friday






Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Beverly home tour coming up soon

Tickets are on sale now for the Beverly Hills/Morgan Park Home Tour.  This year's event will be on Sun., May 20, 11 to 5 p.m. 



This year's tour showcases 5 private homes and a historic church.  Click Here to purchase tickets online, or buy your tickets in person at the following locations: Beverly Arts Center, County Fair, Town Liquors, Heritage Gallery, Calabria, The Blossom Boys, and Markland-Hubbard.


Bike racks will be available at each tour location, so you have the option of riding your bike instead of driving or taking the trolley.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

watch out for con artists

The Chicago Police Department released a community alert for senior citizens in the 22nd and other police districts to be aware of confidence games. Offenders (usually 2 or 3) gain entry by ringing the doorbell or knocking on the door and giving various false reasons for entry. Once inside, they steal property. Offenders are described as male white or Hispanics, age 30 to 50.  Be aware of this situation and alert your neighbors.  CLICK HERE to see commuity alert.

Call 911 to report suspicious people. Write down vehicle information.  Call 311 to verify whether a city worker was sent your home. Do not allow service people into your home without a scheduled appointment and always request identification.

If you have any information, contact Area South Detectives 312-747-8273 or area2tips@chicagopolice.org.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Thursday, April 26, 2012

I-Go news

Seems like our I-Go car sharing location at Ridge Park has gotten a lot more popular in the last year, popular enough that Beverly will soon have a second I-Go location.  Stay tuned for more info when it's open for business.

Monday, April 23, 2012

community alert

On Friday 4/20 around 10:30 p.m., three men robbed neighborhood residents at gunpoint on the 10400 block of Hamilton.  They are described as men in their 20s, 2 of them African American, 1 of unknown race.

If you have any information that might be helpful to police in solving this crime, please contact area detectives at 312-747-8273 and reference RD #HV251333.  If you have questions, you can call the 22nd district CAPS office at 312-745-0616.

The next CAPS meeting for beat 2212 is on Thursday May 3, 7:00 p.m. at the 22nd police station, 1900 W. Monterey, in the community room.

Friday, April 20, 2012

non sequitur Friday

Here's a little taste of New Orleans to start your day.





Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Major Taylor Trail clean-up on 4/21

Please join the Friends of the Major Taylor Trail and TreeKeepers for a community trail clean-up workday on Saturday 4/21.


We will meet at the Major Taylor mural (north side of 111th St., where the trail crosses the street) and work from 2-4 p.m. to continue where we left off on 4/7.




We welcome community participation in clearing small trees and brush to minimize trail blockage from summer growth, as well as improving sightlines along the trail.  Long sleeves, long pants and enclosed boots or shoes are strongly recommended.  If you have work gloves, please bring them.  Some gloves and tools will be available.  Our work area will be on the trail between 111th and 115th, starting from 111th St.  We hope to see you there.

Friday, April 13, 2012

a sad loss for the neighborhood

I was sorry to learn today that Cafe 103 and Beverlys Pantry are now closed.  These businesses have been wonderful assets to our community.  We've enjoyed their exceptionally fine meals and gracious service.  I also enjoyed the cooking classes and many stops for gelato.  We will miss you!



We extend our thanks to the Makinney family for their fine hospitality and hope that we'll see them in another business venture soon.