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, online at, 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.

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:

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.