Judge partially halts soccer field construction
By Jeff Borgardt
A citizen’s group seeking to block a lakefront soccer field under construction near LaSalle and Lake Shore Drives in South Lincoln Park scored an early goal in court last Friday but is far from claiming victory in the match as a whole.
Judge Dorothy Kirie Kinnaird ruled April 25 the field itself may be completed, but the accompanying bleachers, lights, scoreboards and other amenities have been blocked.
Both sides have since been fighting it out in the Appeals Court after contesting the Kinnaird ruling.
The resident’s group the Committee to Keep Lincoln Park Public, or Protect Our Parks, is trying to block the plan by the premier Latin School of Chicago, the Chicago Park District and the city to build the $2 million field.
The group says the plan was hatched in secret and public lakefront land should not be reserved for the private school.
The opposition retorts that with minimal funding available, this private/ public partnership will benefit everyone and the planning was not as secret as said.
In the judge’s temporary restraining order, she writes the citizens group has “established a likelihood of success on the merits of their theories under the Lake Michigan and Chicago Lakefront Protection Ordinance and the balance of hardships favors the plaintiffs.”
The judge says the park district “may not install lighting, permanent or fixed posts, permanent or removable bleachers, permanent or removable benches, or signage, including corporate or individual sponsorships on plaques, paving stones or bricks. The scoreboard may not be lit, connected to lighting or otherwise used.”
On the other hand, construction may proceed with “the artificial turf soccer field itself, landscaping, fencing on one side of the field, drainage, pathways and drinking fountain.”
If the field is completed before the next county court date May 20, Latin School cannot use it, the judge ruled.
Construction began Nov. 1. It is more than half completed. About five weeks of construction work remain.
Why no environmental studies were completed and why there is no architectural rendering of the project released was also questioned in court.
“This case pits a citizens group and three citizens against the City of Chicago and the Chicago Park District and an elite, well-connected school. It has been presented as one of the classic David and Goliath cases we so frequently see...There is something very troubling about this case. And it involves secrecy, lack of public hearings and lack of available information...This court is well aware that a temporary restraining order is an extraordinary, drastic measure to be used sparingly, only in exceptional circumstances and only for a brief duration. It is designed to preserve the status quo until a hearing,” the judge said.
Though the judge questioned the process, she did not seem inclined to block the field itself saying the soccer field is an improvement over nothing at all.
Protect Our Parks is represented by Attorney Thomas Ramsdell who argued the field does not have the proper construction permits for construction in the north meadow of the south field in Lincoln Park.
Ramsdell spoke to Inside Lincoln Park April 29 after leaving the Appeals Court
“We hope to see this scarce resource preserved to its original condition,” he said. “Appeals have been filed across board. But the ruling was a great day for the public because the judge entered a restraining order to put a stop to this secret back-room deal. She said she was troubled by the secrecy involved and the lack of information.”
The judge also questioned the idea of public/ private partnerships wondering “when does it stop.” Will other schools or corporations also take part in similar future deals?
Ramsdell said Latin School had priority use of the field 87 percent of time during non-winter and that has been blocked.
However, he acknowledged that those most concerned about returning the field to open space were disappointed that construction has been allowed to continue.
This story goes back six years when a similar plan was proposed and defeated.
The Latin School of Chicago, 59 W. North Boulevard, has 1,100 students in grades K-12.
Famous Latin alum include first lady Nancy Reagan, Presidential candidate and Ill. Sen. Adlai Stevenson, businessman William Wirz, chewing gum magnate William Wrigley and Ill. Attorney General Lisa Madigan.
Oak Street Beach contaminated by asbestos?
By Peter von Buol
Special to Inside
A Northern Illinois-based environmental group, the Illinois Dunesland Preservation Society, is asking for Chicago’s Oak Street Beach to be retested for possible asbestos contamination.
Despite the group’s call for additional testing, Jessica Maxey-Faulkner, the director of communications and marketing at the Chicago Park District, told Inside the park district’s beaches remain safe and added all previous tests followed the guidelines of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Asbestos is a name given to six different fibrous minerals amosite, chrysotile, crocidolite, and the fibrous varieties of the minerals tremolite, actinolite, and anthophylite that occur naturally in the environment.
Except for chrysotile, all belong to the amphibole family of minerals. While all forms are considered hazardous, and all can cause cancer, amphibole forms of asbestos are considered more hazardous to health than chrysotile, according to the web-site of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
A report published in 2006 by researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago, had found asbestos at the popular Chicago beach as part of a study which compared the asbestos levels among numerous beaches throughout the state. The study had been conducted so the researchers would have a comparison for the asbestos levels found at Illinois Beach State Park. The Northern Illinois beach is close to the site of a former industrial complex which at one time had manufactured asbestos products and is assumed to have higher than normal levels of asbestos.
According to the executive summary of the report released two years ago, “The Oak Street Beach results were excluded as background [a comparison] because the sand sampling results indicated greater concentrations than other beaches and would have masked the analyses that are fundamental to this study,” wrote public health researchers Salvatore Cali, Peter Scheff and Dr. Rosemary Sokas.
Jeff Camplin, who since early 2003 has been a consultant to the Illinois Dunelands Preservation Society, said Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan convened a state “task force” to investigate asbestos levels at Illinois Beach State Park after he had a written a report that had described higher than normal levels of asbestos at the northern Illinois beach.
“Attorney General Lisa Madigan appointed a task-force in July 2003 to investigate my charges. The task-force was to compare areas we said were polluted with asbestos to those who were merely “background [normal]” areas. Oak Street Beach was [thought] to be a “background” area. Oak Street Beach ended up having the highest level of the deadly amphibole asbestos contamination along with the statistically high levels in Waukegan and at Illinois Beach State Park,” said Camplin.
Camplin said he believes the asbestos found at Illinois Beach State Park and Oak Street Beach come from the same source.
“My group believes the asbestos found at Oak Street traveled down from Zion. The shape of Oak Street Beach was designed to “capture” the sands moving from the North,” said Camplin.
Prolonged exposure to asbestos (especially to the lungs) is hazardous to your health but according to the web site of the E.P.A., no studies have been conducted that have measured the short-term effects of the minerals on animals or humans and therefore it is impossible to conclude what would happen to someone who has been exposed to levels found on Illinois beaches.
New grocery store possible at Clark and Diversey
By Jeff Borgardt
A two-story Roundy’s Supermarket could be coming to the busy intersection of N. Clark Street and Diversey Parkway.
The store may move into a former Barnes & Noble, Pier 1 and Sherwyn’s health food store on Diversey Pkwy. just west of Clark St.
Some worry the new store would cause major traffic backups on the busily traveled streets backing up and stalling traffic as trucks stop to deliver their wares.
Forty-third ward chief of staff Chuck Eastwood said there has been informal talk of this but no final contract accord has been reached.
“It’s part the redevelopment plans but nothing has been finalized,” he said.
Diversey Harbor Lakeview Assoc. President Gene Fisher said neighbors would likely welcome the new grocery store. He said he believes there is enough traffic in the area to support that grocery store plus others, but he is not sure.
“Foot traffic is very important,” Fisher said. “I expect that consumers will appreciate the chance for more choice. That’s a fairly sizable site with both stores side-by-side.”
Developer Mark Hunt of M. Development, 412 N. Paulina Street, could not be reached for comment.
A spokesperson for the Milwaukee-based grocery store also was contacted. Roundy’s owns 153 grocery stores in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Illinois. They also operate under the Pick ‘N Save and Copps brand names.
Last year, the company announced plans to open fifteen to twenty-five stores in the Chicago market naming the New City YMCA site at 1515 N. Halsted. They recently backed out of that deal. Another site named was at Webster and Ashland.
Cubs clubhouse manager retires
Longtime Chicago Cubs clubhouse manager Yosh Kawano is leaving the Wrigley Field clubhouses after 65 years of service. He will continue his relationship with the team in a capacity to be determined. Kawano will be honored with a first-pitch and pre-game ceremony later this season at Wrigley Field.
“Yosh Kawano has dedicated his life to the Chicago Cubs and we salute his 65 years of devotion to this franchise,” said Cubs General Manager Jim Hendry. “While he will not be with us on a daily basis, he will always be a member of the Cubs family and we look forward to honoring him later this season.”
Kawano joined the Cubs organization in 1943 as a Wrigley Field clubhouse attendant. He became the club’s equipment manager in 1953, a position he held for 46 years through the 1999 season.
He was named home clubhouse manager, emeritus, in 2000 and has since been an assistant in the visiting clubhouse at Wrigley Field and at Cubs Spring Training in Mesa, AZ.
The celebration of Kawano’s career later this season will be one of several honors received by Kawano throughout the last quarter century.
The Cubs clubhouse was named in Kawano’s honor in 1984. In 1996, Kawano was inducted into the Cubs’ Walk of Fame.
A banner of Kawano, mixed with additional banners honoring legends in Cubs history, currently hangs in Wrigley Field’s concourse.
New 776-unit development in Cabrini Green
A new mixed-use development was unveiled last week on the site of Cabrini Green.
Mayor Richard Daley, joined by U.S. Sen. Richard Durbin and Chicago Housing Authority officials, dedicated the Parkside of Old Town, a mixed income community that represents the first replacement housing to be built directly on the site of the former Cabrini Extension North high-rise buildings on the city’s Near North Side last week.
When complete, Parkside of Old Town at 465 W. Division St. will provide 776 total units. Of those, 233 will be public housing units, 155 affordable and 388 market-rate. The first phase of development includes 391 total units, including 107 public housing units, 62 affordable and 222 market rate units. Residents began occupying units in late 2007.
Development amenities include new landscaping, new parking, new streets, new infrastructure and three commercial units. The community is part of the larger Old Town neighborhood that includes a new 18th District Police Station, the Walter Payton High School, Jenner Elementary School, a new Near North Public Library, expanded Seward and Stanton Parks and a new commercial shopping center.
“We began the Plan for Transformation in public housing in 1999 to replace unsafe high rise buildings with 25,000 new or rehabilitated units in mixed-income communities. But beyond mere numbers, we made a commitment then that the replacement housing wouldn’t be cut off from the rest of the city, as the old CHA units were,” Daley said in remarks delivered in the new community.
“Instead, our goal is to transform those old, isolated developments into vital communities where economically self-sufficient residents of mixed income levels live together in a neighborhood with good schools, jobs, shopping and housing,” he said
“Having access to quality housing is a catalyst for families to build better lives,” Senator Durbin said. “Parkside of Old Town and similar mixed income communities will give low-income families a chance to live in a safe and clean environment, send their kids to better schools, find work and live free from fear and poverty.”
In the upcoming year, CHA expects to deliver more than 1,000 new units which will bring the total to more than 17,000 new or rehabbed units -- almost 70 percent of the 25,000-unit goal.
Cabrini-Green was a composite of four smaller developments built over a 20-year period, beginning in 1942. By 1962, it was one of the largest sites in the CHA inventory. Over the years, violence, gang activity, drugs and physical deterioration plagued the development.
The 19 acres originally contained eight buildings, consisting of 1,324 units. Demolition activities were completed in early 2008. Unit delivery began in late 2007. There are 10 public housing units delivered and occupied.
“The whole point of the Plan for Transformation was to end decades of isolation and segregation, to create vital new neighborhoods whose residents can participate fully in the economic and social fabric of our great city. We are proud of the progress we have made. We have partnered with developers, aldermen, civic leaders, business leaders and others to make this transformation real. Mixed income developments are clearly a success,” the mayor said.
The development team for Parkside of Old Town includes Holsten Real Estate Development for rental units, Kimball Hill Homes for units for sale and the Cabrini-Green Local Advisory Council.
The opportunity to transform their lives and to participate fully in the life of our city is available to every resident of the CHA, through the opportunity to live in quality housing and the comprehensive support services, job training, education and drug treatment that are available from city programs, Daley said April 21.
Outage sparks business frustration
Expected to be powerless for one-hour, cut-off lasts five minutes
By Jeff Borgardt
Lincoln Square businesses had an odd day Thursday, April 24 when they were told in the early afternoon the power would be out that evening for one hour, but then the juice stopped flowing for only five minutes.
Lincoln Square Chamber of Commerce Director Melissa Flynn said merchants and restaurants started calling the chamber around 2:30 p.m. saying they were told that their power was going off for one-hour starting at 4 p.m.
“Obviously, this is bad timing for restaurants,” Flynn said. “So we worked with them and got them to change the time to 5 p.m. We walked door to door and the businesses were frustrated. Then, the power was shut down, but only for about five minutes and not an hour. ComEd said the repairs were easier to conduct than they expected.”
47th ward alderman Gene Schulter dispatched an email titled “Emergency Power Outage This Afternoon In Lincoln Square Area” that Thursday at 2:34 p.m. It reads “My office just received notification from ComEd that there will be a power outage this afternoon in the Lincoln Square area due to necessary emergency repair work at the intersection of Lawrence and Claremont. The outage will occur for a period of up to one hour beginning at approximately 4:00 pm this afternoon. The affected area will be from Western Avenue on the west, Oakley on the east, Eastwood on the south, and Lawrence on the north. Please feel free to contact my Public Service Office at 773-348-8400 should you have any questions. Thank you for your patience.”
On Friday morning, the Chamber of Commerce sent out another email. This one said “Yesterday was quite the day trying to figure out just what was going on with ComEd and the affected areas around the Square. There were several different versions of when the power outage was going to be. We felt that given the information directly from the powers that be, it was best to walk around and let all of you know. We are sorry that what was told to us didn’t really take place. Hopefully there won’t be a next time!”
DePaul Art Museum exhibit offers Ellis Island photos
From 1892 to 1954, some 12 million immigrants to the United States passed through inspection at a small eastern seaboard land mass known as Ellis Island. From his position as a clerk with the executive division of Ellis Island, Augustus F. Sherman, a gifted amateur photographer, captured more than 250 images of these ethnically diverse individuals. DePaul University’s Art Museum, 2350 N. Kenmore Ave., is pleased to present “Augustus Frederick Sherman: Ellis Island Portraits, 1905-1920,” now through June 13.
An opening reception was held April 17. Eighteen members of the Middelstadt family—representing three generations — attended the reception and viewed a photograph of their forbearer: 9-year-old John Middelstadt, who is pictured with his parents and seven other siblings shortly after their arrival from Germany.
Sherman’s privileged status allowed him to photograph immigrants who were being detained for further questioning during their processing. He took photos of adults, groups, families and children, and his subjects were often clad in colorful national costume or folk dress of their homelands.
“These photographs encapsulate a pivotal moment in the subjects lives,” explained Louise Lincoln, director of the museum. “Many are trying to present themselves as desirable future citizens; they look eager and aspirational. Others are simply overcome by the stress of the experience and they look exhausted or wary. The images are a vivid reminder of the challenges immigrants faced and the opportunities that drew them here.”
The DePaul Art Museum is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m.; Friday from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m.; and Saturday and Sunday from noon until 5 p.m. For more information about “Ellis Island Portraits” or other museum programs and exhibitions, call 773/325-7506 or visit the DePaul Art Museum website.
INSIDE - LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Anti-soccer field group asks aldermen for referendum
To: Alds. Vi Daley, Brendan Reilly, Walter Burnett, Scott Waguespack, Tom Tunney, Bob Fioretti, Manny Flores
We at the Committee to Keep Lincoln Park Public (a committee of Protect Our Parks) are planning referenda on the November ballot in your wards, regarding the soccer field in Lincoln Park.
As you may know, we are finding that many in Lincoln Park and surrounding areas are upset about the way the process was directed. We feel that we must draw a line here, not only to protect this rare meadow, but also to develop the message in our city that the public process is sacred, and that policy that anticipates any long-term concession of public control merits particular attention to that process. We feel that our parks represent one major discussion in this debate today. Constituents in your ward are among the most frequent users of this popular area of Lincoln Park, and people from all over the world come to visit the park every year.
As aldermen, you have the prerogative to jointly -- or individually -- authorize the Board of Elections to place referenda on the ballot in your wards without a petitioning process. This is authorized through 10 ILCS 5/28-6(b) and 65 ILCS 5/3.1-40-60. A resolution must be introduced in City Council; referred to your Committee on Committees, Rules and Ethics; and finally passed by the whole.
We would like an indication from you regarding your interest by early next week. I am available to answer any questions you may have.
Our draft text of the language for the referendum reads as follows:
“Should the Chicago Park District restore the area of Lincoln Park located at 1800 N. Cannon Drive, and commonly known as the North Meadow, from an artificial-turf soccer facility to a grass-covered multipurpose space, open and available to all, canceling its agreement with the Latin School of Chicago for use of that site?”
The Committee to
Keep Lincoln Park Public
Ground breaking ceremony held for new Children’s Memorial Hospital site
Ground was broken on the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago April 21 following remarks from Children’s Memorial Hospital patients, philanthropist and transformational donor Ann Lurie, hospital leadership and public officials such as First Lady Maggie Daley, Gov. Rod Blagojevich, U.S. Sen. Richard Durbin, Rep Rahm Emanuel, Rep. Danny Davis and Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. The 288-bed hospital, located at 225 E. Chicago Avenue directly west of Northwestern Memorial’s new Prentice Women’s Hospital, is expected to open in 2012.
“This new facility represents our forward-thinking on behalf of future generations. New risks to children’s health loom in the future, some that we can predict, others that may stagger us. That is why it is ever more important that we act today for what will come tomorrow,” said Hospital Chief Patrick Magoon.
The hospital will feature 12 beds dedicated to clinical research, an essential factor in speeding translation of research from the laboratory to the bedside and giving children access to the most advanced treatments. It will also include one of the nation’s first pediatric comprehensive cardiac care units to keep children with heart problems in the same room with the same caregivers from admission to discharge.
It will have all private rooms with space for at least one parent to sleep overnight and a “sky lobby” on the 11th and 12th floors to provide enhanced security for inpatient units and views of Chicago and Lake Michigan for patients and visitors.
“Today we are making history,” said J. Christopher Reyes, Chairman of Children’s Memorial Medical Center Board of Directors. “We are part of this journey for one reason: to improve the lives of our most precious resource, our children. Together we are making a great investment that will benefit our children and our communities for generations to come.”
Children’s Memorial must turn away a significant number of critically ill children each year because an appropriate bed is not available in their Lincoln Park hospital. The new facility will increase capacity by 30 percent. Its location on the campus of partner medical school, Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, will help Children’s Memorial to continue to recruit and retain top physicians and scientists and better facilitate collaboration between pediatric and adult researchers. Its adjacency to Northwestern Memorial’s Prentice Women’s Hospital will offer convenience for families and direct clinical interaction to benefit newborns. Proximity to the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and Northwestern Memorial Hospital will improve transitional care for children with chronic illnesses into adult care.
“Families and children from around the world come to Children’s Memorial to get the treatment they need,” said Governor Blagojevich. “The hospital will help provide thousands of new jobs and re-emphasize that Illinois is a leader when it comes to quality heath care. The generosity of Ms. Lurie is truly inspirational and I applaud her for her compassionate gift.”
The groundbreaking ceremony featured several patients of Children’s Memorial from across Illinois, including children who have had cancer, a liver transplant, spina bifida, cystic fibrosis, cerebral palsy and a brain tumor. Twelve-year-old Daimhin McGrath, who had surgery to remove a deadly brain tumor at age 9 lives three blocks from the new hospital site, while Jacob Lowry, 10-year-old leukemia survivor, came 100 miles to participate in the celebration.
“I’ve been coming to the hospital my entire life, and my family and I consider it our second home,” said Children’s Memorial cystic fibrosis patient and hospital Kids Advisory Board member Katie Kelly.
Fall groundbreaking slated for Clybourn condos
Eighty-unit mixed-income residence to be built on Near North Side
Special to Inside
An 80-unit mixed-income residential building is planned for vacant land near the corner of N. Clybourn Avenue and N. Larrabee Street on the Near North Side. The Chicago Metropolitan Housing Development Corporation owns the 0.81-acre site at 1413-1427 N. Clybourn Avenue and 1414-1426 N. Larrabee Street. CMHDC and the for-profit company Related Midwest partnered to develop the property through Clybourn Larrabee LLC.
Chicago-based architectural firm Brininstool & Lynch has designed a nine story rectangular glass building that will be positioned along Clybourn Avenue.
The main entrance will be on the Larrabee side of the property, amid landscaped green space.
“Clybourn has been specified as more commercial, so we wanted to minimize anything on the Larrabee side,” said designer David Brininstool.
The building will contain one-, two-, and three-bedroom condos ranging in size from 711 square feet to 1,782 square feet. Of the 80 units, eight will be sold to the Chicago Housing Authority for use as public housing.
“Typically when we work with private developers, we get 10 percent of the units,” said Sharnette Brown, a CHA development manager working on the redevelopment of Cabrini-Green.
Nine units will be sold affordably at prices ranging from $120,000 to $192,000, and the rest will be sold at market rates, which are expected to range from $220,000 to $616,000.
The Chicago Plan Commission approved this project in February, and the land has been rezoned from a Neighborhood Commercial District to a Neighborhood Mixed-Use District. Public notice signs facing Clybourn and Larrabee announce the zone change and upcoming project.
Rafael Leon, executive director of CMHDC, said he expects to receive approval for the project’s Tax Increment Financing in May and to begin construction in September or October of this year.
CMHDC and Related Midwest previously teamed up to develop the Mark, a 38-unit mixed-income condo building in Uptown. This is their second joint project.
Wrigley Hotel developer launches website
To more effectively communicate with area residents, community groups and businesses, M&R Development has launched a Web site for Addison Park on Clark, a proposed mix-used development that would be constructed along the south side of Addison, from Sheffield to Clark and then extend south on Clark Street. The site can be viewed at AddisonParkonClark.com .
“We strongly believe Addison Park on Clark will be a great benefit to Lakeview,” Rossi said. “Our proposal will improve upon the current property, adding a much-needed hotel and other retail amenities to the community. We want to be good neighbors and we are working diligently to create a development that helps grow the local economy and improves the community’s quality of life.”
Addison Park on Clark is a proposed mixed-use development just south of Wrigley Field that would include a 137-room Hyatt Place Hotel, 150 apartment units, several new retail shopping outlets and parking. The development will be designed and built to maximize the use of available transit facilities and use environmentally-sensitive materials.
“We understand the importance of keeping the community, area residents and businesses informed about the project,” said Tony Rossi, president of M&R Development. “Not only do we want to be able to share information on the proposal with the public, but we want to get their feedback as well. We hope the site will serve as a source of information for everyone interested in the project.”
“The residents, businesses and community organizations of the 44th ward need a place to learn the latest news on proposed developments and a way to communicate their suggestions or concerns,” said 44th Ward Alderman Tom Tunney. “Development in the ward cannot move ahead without community involvement and input. We welcome the debate and feedback on this proposal.”
Interested individuals are encouraged to visit the site and register to receive updates, meeting invitations and other information. As the proposal progresses, the Web site will be updated and new information added.
Addison Park on Clark is in the early design stages and plans for the project have not yet been filed with the Chicago City Council. In addition to the public process required by law, M&R is conducting a more extensive outreach process that will provide area residents and business owners the opportunity to become involved.
Anti-war church blood throwers indicted
The theater protest group ‘Catholic Schoolgirls Against the War’ arrested on Easter Sunday after throwing fake blood and disturbing Holy Name Cathedral’s 11 a.m. Easter Mass March 23 were indicted on Wednesday April 16 and had another court date court date on Tuesday, April 29.
Each of the three men and three women has been charged with one count of criminal defacement of property.
Last month, they were charged with felony criminal damage to property in a place of worship.
If convicted, they face sentences ranging from probation to five years in prison.
They are Ryane Ziemba, 25, Ephran Ramirez, 22, Regan Maher, 25, Mercedes Phinaih, 18, Angela Haban, 20 and Donte Smith, 18.
INSIDE - COMMUNITY LETTER
Person angered over cougar shooting threatens school
Wednesday afternoon, police officers brought to my attention a letter that they have received threatening the safety of Audubon’s students and community. The letter appears to have been written by someone angry about the shooting of the cougar in the neighborhood. The letter threatens the safety of Audubon students and makes threatening statements regarding the Spring Gala and the Audubon Family Fun Fair.
We have taken immediate steps to provide extra security at the school. I am working with the local police district, the Chicago Public Schools Office of Safety and Security, and the local Aldermen. We will have additional police patrols around the school, especially during drop-off and pick-up times. We will have an extra CPS security guard posted at the school. And, we will be keeping children indoors until it is deemed safe to be outside. Meanwhile, police detectives are doing everything that they can to find the person responsible.
While we have not made a decision about the Fun Fair, we have decided to go ahead with the Spring Gala. We will have our own additional security, and the police have agreed to provide security. We are confident that the Gala will be safe.
This is upsetting news for everyone. To answer all of your questions and concerns, we will be hosting a parent meeting on Friday morning, at 8 a.m., in the school gymnasium. The police, the Aldermen, and I will be here to answer your questions and update you on the situation.
Please be assured that we are taking this matter seriously and that we are taking every precaution. If you have any questions at all, I hope you will attend the meeting on Friday. As always, please feel free to contact me by calling the school office.
John P. Price
3500 N. Hoyne Avenue
April 23, 2008
Park district restructures
The Park District, formerly organized into four regions, will now have three.
Previously, there were Lakefront, North, Central and South regions for administrative purposes.
Now, the Lakefront region is being nixed.
The new operating structure has only three regions “to save administrative and operating expenses” because of mounting financial pressures. The shakeup means transfers and possible layoffs for park district staff.
The North section will now include everything North of North Avenue, the Central region will entail everything between 51st Street and North Avenue and the South region shall cover territory South of 51st Street.
INSIDE - LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Phony environmentalists shouldn’t jump on ‘Green Bandwagon’
I have been interested in environmental theory and practice for decades and have intricately studied the subject in depth. I was a major supporter of Ralph Nader for President in 1996, but my interest in the subject goes back much further than that. In those days, it was lonely to be an environmentalist.
Since then, the Green Movement has made great strides. These days, conservative politicians, mainstream media and evil corporations are falling all over themselves to claim Green street-cred.
Yet, there is something shallow about all this.
In some ways, I feel like the teenage music fan who is devoted to a small alternative band, but then the band becomes very popular so the teen feels they have “sold-out” and are no longer cool.
That’s how I feel about the environmental movement in many ways.
True, it sounds kind of strange and selfish to say that. As someone who has long been devoted to the environmentalist cause, I suppose I should be pleased with the current wide success and acclaim of the cause. But I’m not really.
It’s not that I’ve turned my back completely. I’m not going to start driving a hummer or something. But I do feel as though a lot of people are cynically jumping on the Green bandwagon hoping to associate themselves with a popular trend, but they are not serious about it at all.
Type the phrase “Goes Green” into a computer search engine and you will be horrified at what you see.
In fact, I oftentimes gag when I see a corrupt oil company claim they are Green even as they destroy the Earth itself.
All they want to do is make money and that’s it.
So to all those out there who may be planning a similar gambit and are going claim you too have “Gone Green,” I say forget about it!
Find another cause to exploit for your selfish purposes. For those who are really serious about it, I’ll see you in Winnemac Park where I’ll be picking up the loose trash that was thrown to the ground. It was probably tossed there years ago by the very same people who now claim to be so eco-friendly.
Commissioner aims to save flying birds
Quigley bill turns off lights to prevent bird, building collisions
Cook County Commissioner Mike Quigley (D-10) unveiled legislation last week requiring all new County buildings to incorporate bird-safe measures designed to prevent bird collisions and deaths.
The program would help to protect the millions of birds that migrate through Cook County every year, as well as those birds’ important role in the environment and the economic activity associated with outdoor recreation.
The Cook County Forest Preserves and surrounding areas are home to about 200 species of birds. Cook County lies along the Mississippi Flyway and more than 300 different species of birds pass through during spring and fall migration. During these periods, as many as one billion birds perish in our country each year by colliding with windows, which they frequently cannot distinguish from open sky.
Field Museum scientists have studied bird collisions at one lakefront building and found that by simply turning out the lights, collisions could be reduced by 83%. The City of Chicago has developed a nationally recognized “Lights Out” program, which encourages building owners to strategically reduce illumination during migratory periods.
“If we can protect migrating birds and save energy costs at the same time, everyone wins,” Commissioner Quigley stated. “In 2002, I pushed the County to pass an ordinance requiring that all new County facilities are green buildings, and I view this bird-safe measure as an extension of that original bill.”
The ordinance requires the incorporation of “bird-safe” features in all new and renovated buildings, while a companion resolution also calls upon the County to retrofit one existing building with bird-safe modifications as a pilot project to assess various low-cost measures that ensure birds’ safety.
The program will last twelve months and will be closely monitored for its’ effectiveness in reducing overall bird collisions. The modifications proposed in the resolution are recommendations based on the City of Chicago’s “Bird-Safe Building Design Guide for New Construction and Renovation,” City of Toronto’s “Bird-Friendly Development Guidelines,” and New York City’s Audubon’s “Bird-Safe Building Guidelines.”
Simple, inexpensive “bird-safe” designs—including specialized window treatments, relocation of indoor plants away from windows, and simple switching off of lights—can produce dramatic reductions in bird injuries.
The Audubon Society of the Chicago Region is supporting the measure. “In recent years, we have learned a lot about how dangerous windows are for birds, and many new buildings feature large expanses of glass. Cook County is providing important leadership in protecting our lively and diverse bird life,” said Judy Pollock, Director of Bird Conservation for Audubon Chicago Region.
Protecting the bird population is not only important to bird enthusiasts, but it also has significant economic implications. Bird watching is a hobby enjoyed by 64 million people a year and generates more than $40 billion in economic activity in the United States.
New assisted living building coming to Lake View
April 15 was a beautiful day when officials broke ground for the new Saint Luke Renaissance Greenview Place on the corner of Greenview Avenue and Melrose Street in Lake View.
The building, when completed, will provide affordable housing for 105 residents who need supportive services in areas such as dressing, bathing, cooking or driving, but who do not require the more extensive and expensive services of skilled care.
Services will include breakfast bar, lunch and dinner as well as personal assistance, social activities, TV lounge, library and social services. Construction is expected to take between 18 to 24 months.
Attending the ground breaking April 15 were former Alderman Bernie Hansen (44th), Alderman Tom Tunney (44th), Former Alderman Ted Matlak (32nd), Saint Luke Ministries Rev. David Abrahamson, Lutheran Life Communities CEO Roger Paulsberg and Renaissance Companies President Nancy Kapp.
Summer camp prepares youth to be future lifeguards
Each summer, the Chicago Park District works with youth ages 8 to 15 at select beaches to emphasize the skills necessary to become a future lifeguard including how to row a boat, paddle a rescue board, and various rescue techniques.
Registration for junior lifeguard camp began on-line last week at www.chicagoparkdistrict.com. In-person registration began last Saturday, April 26.
A swim skills test is required. Registration is contingent upon receipt of swim test verification form. Swim tests can be taken at any Chicago Park District pool. Participants should call their local pool for a schedule.
The summer Junior Guard program runs from Monday, June 23 to Friday, Aug. 1, Monday through Friday, except on Friday, July 4. The camp meets at six beaches including Montrose and North Avenue.
Asthma screenings at Century Shopping Centre
Free asthma screenings will help adults and children find out if breathing problems might be asthma, and will help diagnosed asthmatics take control of their disease.
The program is the 12th annual Nationwide Asthma Screening Program, sponsored by the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.
Chicago-area allergists, who are asthma specialists, will offer free asthma screenings on May 4 at the Century Shopping Centre at 2828 N. Clark from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Supported by AstraZeneca, the program has screened more than 108,000 people and referred more than half for further diagnosis.
This year a special effort is being made to reach people who already know they have asthma, but may be limiting their activities or missing days of school or work because their disease is not controlled.
The initiative is in response to the latest guidelines from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute highlighting the importance of asthma control, including day-to-day monitoring and proper medication use to treat symptoms and prevent severe attacks from occurring.
“The government guidelines emphasize that undiagnosed or inadequately treated asthma worsens the severity of the disease,” said allergist John Winder, M.D., chair of the Nationwide Asthma Screening Program. “The screening program gives patients who are still having breathing problems a chance to meet with an allergist, discuss their symptoms and learn how to feel better.”
Rep. Emanuel sponsors Great Lakes amendment
Last week, U.S. Representatives Ron Kind (D-WI) and Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) announced two amendments to crack down on invasive species in the Great Lakes and other waterways.
The House considered the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2007, which includes the Ballast Water Treatment Act to set new standards to control the threat and impact of contaminated ballast water in all vessels entering our waters.
The Kind-Emanuel amendments will require No-Ballast-On-Board vessels to take steps to reduce their risk of discharging contaminated water and require disclosure of ballast water management reports on a monthly basis.
“I am extremely proud that this Congress is taking long-overdue action to stem the tide of invasive species washing through our aquatic ecosystems,” said Kind. “By including our amendments in the bill, we have been able to strengthen our defenses against invasives, as well as the public’s ability to monitor the shipping industry’s actions.”
Chairman James Oberstar (D-MN) has accepted the Kind-Emanuel amendments and incorporated them into his manager’s amendment to the Coast Guard Authorization Act.
“Invasive species are one of the biggest threats to one of our biggest treasures—the Great Lakes,” said Emanuel. “Our amendments will put a big ‘Do Not Enter’ sign up for invasive species. It’s time to end the threat of invaders like Asian carp, VHS, and sea lampreys for good.”
Specifically, the Kind-Emanuel amendments included in the Manager’s amendment will increase the information recorded in ballast water record books and require ballast water treatment vessels in the Great Lakes.
The Great Lakes are the largest surface freshwater system on the planet. The Lakes contain 90 percent of the freshwater in the United States and are 20 percent of the world’s freshwater. Thirty-seven million Americans get their daily drinking water from Lake Michigan and other Great Lakes. Emanuel, Kind, and members from across the region have worked together to protect and restore the Lakes.
The Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2007 includes the Ballast Water Treatment Act to set new standards to control the threat and impact of contaminated ballast water in all vessels entering our waters. Ballast water is a major way invasive species are introduced to many waterways, including the Great Lakes. There are already 185 invasive species in the Great Lakes, 60% of which were introduced through ballast discharge.
Public schools launch alumni site
The Chicago Public Schools have launched the new Web site, www.CPSalumni.org, to connect an estimated three million people, who have attended or worked in Chicago Public Schools.
There are separate home pages for every school in CPS history. CPS is the first large urban public school district to organize its alumni in this way.
The goal of CPSalumni.org is to build relationships with alumni and their former schools and classmates, engage alumni in supporting their schools, share information about alumni groups and activities, encourage the sharing of stories and photos about school experiences, and archive public education in Chicago.
Spring Birdwalks offered for new birders
If this is your year to take up birding, sign up for one of three special programs designed especially for new birders at the North Park Village Nature Center, 5801 N. Pulaski Rd., from 9 a.m to 11 a.m., Saturday, May 3, May 10 and May 17.
Each walk starts with tips on identifying birds and how to select and focus binoculars. Then, experienced guides will help spot and ID birds during a leisurely walk around Nature Center trails. Light refreshments will be served and easy-to-use binoculars and field guides may be checked out at no charge.
The free programs are co-sponsored by the Chicago Audubon Society, the Chicago Park District, Eagle Optics, and Whole Foods Market Sauganash.
These birdwalks are open to all ages but children must be with an adult. Advance registration is required. Sign up at the Nature Center front desk or phone (312)744-5472.