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). 


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.