20
Dec 11

Meeting Notes: UVNA December Meeting, 2011

 

Stoplight Request at Chicago & Hoyne

The request for a stoplight at Hoyne & Chicago is one that goes back a couple of years in our neighborhood. You can read the minutes from our July 2011 membership meeting for more details of a conversation we had with the offices of the 1st and 32n wards.  The topic was brought up again this month in light of the ward redistricting.  Supposedly both wards have said they will each commit to 1/2 the budget for stoplight, from money from their own menu funds if CDOT does not fund it.  People continue to complain about the dangerous crossing for pedestrians at this intersection and we will check in with the Aldermen in January.

 

Proposed extension of the “Pedestrian Street” designation for Chicago Avenue

This news comes from our neighbors at the EVA.  1st Ward Alderman Proco Joe Moreno, and 32nd Ward Alderman Scott Waugespack are proposing to extend Chicago Avenue’s  “pedestrian street” designation from Ashland Avenue west to Damen Avenue. It now stops at Wood Street.  A pedestrian street in Chicago zoning parlance requires storefronts close to the sidewalk and bans strip malls, drive-through’s, auto lots, gas stations, car washes and self-storage warehouses. Division Street is a pedestrian street between Milwaukee and Leavitt.  We support the EVA and the Aldermen in this proposal and would like to suggest extending the pedestrian street designation all the way to Western Avenue.  We will follow up with the EVA.

 

Liquor License Requests in the 1st and 32nd Wards

There has been a lot of talk about two different businesses  located on the eastern edge of our neighborhood applying for permits to sell liquor. The  first location is the Augusta-Damen Food Mart on the NE corner of Augusta & Damen Avenues.  1st Ward Alderman Proco Joe Moreno lifted a package liquor sales moratorium that was in place along Damen Avenue from Division to Augusta, based on signatures collected by the Food Mart in favor of liquor sales at that location. This means that the establishment may now apply for a license to sell liquor.  More on the application process to follow.

The second location that has supposedly shown interest in selling package liquor is the new Red Apple convenience store at the corner of Chicago & Damen.  As of this meeting, they had not yet applied for a license.

According to the City of Chicago’s website (and also summarized nicely on Everyblock.com) an establishment must apply for a license and go through the following notification process:

  • Within 5 days of the application file date, the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection is required to notify all of the registered voters residing within 250 ft. of the proposed business location by mail.
  • The Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection is responsible for sending notice to the alderman and the police district commander.
  • The Department of Revenue will publish a legal notice in a daily newspaper of general circulation in the city, four times over a two-week period
  • The public has the opportunity to provide comments or submit written objections to the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection. The public has 40 days to submit comments and/or written objections.
  • No liquor license will be issued until the public comment period has expired. The public comment period ends 45 days after the application is filed.

As far as we know, neither establishment has filed any application.  We will bring this topic up for discussion at the next UVNA meeting, possibly with representatives from either or both businesses, in January, and if applications are filed before that time we will inform all UVNA members.

 

Blue Recycling Bins

We’ve been told that our neighborhood will be part of a pilot program beginning in January , to test out private-company recycling with Waste Management. We’ll let you know more when we hear more.

 

Building Permit Review for 2112 W. Haddon

We will follow up with the folks who are interested in making some changes to this address to allow for a handicap entrance and hope that we can review their plans at the January meeting.

 

Ukrainian Village/Preservation Chicago Spring Church Walk

We met with some enthusiastic folks from Preservation Chicago at Alderman Moreno’s Thursday night event at Boundary a couple of weeks ago, and discussed the possibility of hosting an architectural tour of our neighborhood churches sometime next spring or summer.  They were interested in co-sponsoring this event with us – lots of great ideas.  We would like to get a committee together to meet with Preservation Chicago and organize a small walking tour of our historic churches.  If you would be interested in helping out in any small way in such an event, please send an email to secretary@uvna.org and let us know.

 

Winter All-Neighborhoods Party

We’ve reached out to the various neighborhood associations that border Ukrainian Village to see who is interested is trying to gather all of together for a little social get-together. The response has been good,  but we have not yet set a date, time , or place.  More to come!

 

Helping out with the UVNA

The UVNA is a small neighborhood organization made up of volunteers. We’re always looking for people who are interested in getting more involved in their neighborhood, and can use help organize events, work on the newsletter,  or the event calendar on the website,  etc.  If you’re interested in volunteering with the UVNA drop us a line at info@uvna.org


11
Nov 11

Reminder: UVNA Social/Happy Hour – November 17th !

In place of our November meeting we’re hosting a Social/Happy hour on Thursday November 17th at the Old Oak Tap (2109 W. Chicago Avenue). We’ll been in the enclosed patio area from 6:30pm-8:30pm for a little socializing with your neighbors. Grab your neighbors and come on by!


21
Oct 11

UVNA Meeting Notes – Thursday October 20th, 2011

The big topic right now in our neighborhood is the potential closing of the 13th District Wood Street Police Station.  It started out as a rumor, but the the Police Supt, and the Mayor’s office informed the Aldermen that it was going to part of the budget cuts for the upcoming city budget.  With crime in our neighborhood on the upswing since this summer, now is not the best time to be talking about the removal of the police station in our midst. You  may have seen the flyers, or the Facebook page, or website of  a newly-formed neighborhood group that has sprung up to support the continued operation of the 13th District police station.    You missed an amazing opportunity tonight to sit down with the woman who has kick-started this group,  as well as Alderman Waguespack, to talk  about the station closing,  proposed city budget cuts, and what all this means for the city and our neighborhood.

The Alderman started things off with a run-down of the the recent budget meetings at city hall as a way to put the station closing issue in perspective.  So far 5 departments out of 40 have been reviewed – the Police Department budget comes next week.  Here are some things you may or may not know about what our Mayor wants to do in the next fiscal cycle to tackle the 635 million dollar budget deficit that we are facing:

  • Raise the fees for water usage ; You can read more about it here. What the Alderman also told us though is that if you don’t have a water meter on your home, you should get one installed as that often can decrease your city water bill.  There is a program out there to get water meters installed, that hasn’t been well promoted by the city called MeterSave.  Most households pay a flat rate that could be lowered by installing a water meter as most of us don’t use the amount we are being charged for now at the flat rate.  This might also offset the large increase the city plans to add to households.
  • Increase the price for a city sticker: If you drive and SUV or any ‘heavy’ car, your sticker prices are going to go up.
  • New Garbage contract: Forcing the Streets & Sanitation department to bid against Waste Management for garbage and recycling pickup. Yes, you heard it right Ukrainian Villagers, there’s a good chance we’ll have recycling in our neighborhood by the end of the year.
  • Increase the fees on Valet parking services. This was an interesting point. Did you know that those services only pay about $25 a year for their valet parking space in front of businesses? The city wants to charge them $1.50/hour.  Got to agree with the Alderman who is suggesting that they be charged more like $5- $10 an hour.
  • Collect on uncollected debt: Actually, the city didn’t propose this, but they did let slip that there is a HUGE amount of uncollected debt that goes back to 2008. How huge? $700 MILLION DOLLARS. This is something else that was news to the Aldermen.  This does NOT include uncollected parking ticket revenue by the way. This is money owed to the city by businesses like say, banks.  Check in with Alderman Waguespack as he has asked to get the spreadsheet of who owes what.  That’s gotta be interesting. And just think what kind of dent it would make in the budget if we collected only 1/2 of it?
  • Reducing the budget for Graffiti removal – This seems hard to believe, but true.

All this was a way of talking about how large the budget deficit is, as well as the various places that money could be saved.  If heavy water-use businesses had to pay for the actual amount of water they used instead of a flat rate based on the type of building they were in, that would bring in extra revenue, along with charging valet parking companies with an actual usage fee, or even collecting city debt.   These would save more money to the city and not leave us without a police station.

Next,  we moved onto a longer discussion about the proposed closing of the 13th District Station and what has been done so far to get the word out, what others are saying, etc.

  • Ann Shaw was on hand and brought flyers and lots of information and insight to the challenges we face w/o a neighborhood police station. Here is what she’s done so far:
    • She is posting updates and news articles and volunteer events on the Save the 13th District Facebook page , website, and twitter feed.
    • She has organized a rally that will take place before the Community Meeting next week on the 25th
    • She has petitions out all over the neighborhood as well as online – you can sign up here
    • She has hand-delivered a few thousand petitions to the Mayor already and he was not expecting the large number of people who are against the potential station closures.
    • She and her volunteers are meeting this Sunday the 23rd, at 2:00pm at St. Helen’ Church on Augusta/Oakley to make signs, posters, etc., in to post them and hand them out. More help is needed!!!

What can you do to help the 13th District?

  • Contact Anne’s group:  Volunteer to make posters, hand out flyers or just help organize groups of people. This is a big growing movement and she needs all the help she can get. (facebook, or email:  Save13thDistrictPolice@gmail.com)
  • Contact the Mayor!
    • Call the Mayor’s Office and let him know that you do not support the closing of the 13th District station (Mayor’s #: 312-744-3300)
    • Fax a letter to him (sample letter can be found on the Save13.org site here.)  at 312-744-8045
    • Submit an online complaint form on the city’s website here (Subject Line: 13th District Police Station and Organization: Concerned Citizens and Businesses of the 13th District)
  • Attend the Rally and Community Meeting with the Aldermen and the Police Superintendent on Tuesday October 25th at the Ukrainian Village Cultural Center (2247 W, Chicago Avenue).  Rally at 5:30pm , Meeting at 6:30pm
  • Attend the City Budget Hearings for the Police Department. They won’t get to the Police Dept until next Thursday (10/27) probably in the afternoon session after 1:00pm. It’s free and open to the public,  at City Hall.

 


16
Oct 11

Reminder: UVNA October Meeting This Thursday 6:30pm

Please be sure to attend this month’s UVNA Meeting – come out to discuss what’s going on in our neighborhood and get to know your neighbors.   Anne Shaw, who has organized a group focused on saving the 13th district police station will be at our meeting to talk about the work her group is doing to stop the closing of the station,  including their online petition as well a planned rally before the Community Meeting on October 25th.

  • Thursday, October 20th, 6:30pm
  • St. Helen’s School, 2347 W. Augusta,  (Downstairs cafeteria)

 


18
Aug 11

UVNA Meeting Notes – Thursday August 18th

New Location: St. Helen’s School, 2347 W. Augusta Blvd. (downstairs cafeteria)

Time: 6:30pm

  • Neighborhood Safety-Recent Events
    • There has been a recent upswing in burglaries of homes and garages lately in our neighborhood.  Most recently a multi-unit building on Damen & Iowa was broken into on Tuesday (8/16) which sparked the creation of a new private group on Facebook called Ukrainian Village Neighborhood Watch. Anyone on Facebook can request to be a member.
    • The Facebook group has immediately grown in number and individuals have reported numerous break-ins and break-in attempts that have occurred in the last month or two in our neighborhood.
    • Official Reports (courtesy of everyblock.com) include:  ( The reporting on everyblock.com  has a few days delay so the most recent burglary on Damen/Iowa is not appearing yet. )
      • August 7th – Residential garage burglaries on the 2000 block of West Walton and the 2200 block of West Augusta
      • August 6th – Residential garage burglary on the 2000 block of West Walton,  Apartment burglary in the 2300 block of Augusta
      • August 4th – Theft from a porch/hallway in the 1000 block of N. Oakley, Vandalism in the front yard, 2000 block of West Rice
      • August 3rd – Residential garage burglaries in the 800 block of North Hoyne, 2000 block of W. Iowa (2), 2300 block of West Walton (2), and an apartment burglary in the 2000 block of West Augusta.
    • We encourage everyone to attend their area CAPS meeting to keep up-to-date with recent events, talk to the local police in district 13, and most importantly, get to know your neighbors.  Ukrainian Village falls with beat 1312 which holds it’s monthly CAPS meeting on the 2nd Tuesday of every month at St. Helen’s School, also in the cafeteria, at 7:00pm. (Check the website for District 13 to see which beat your street falls within if you are outside of Ukrainian Village proper).
  • Two common themes have appeared related to these burglaries
    • Reports of a silver or gray Honda Pilot cruising slowly down the street as if looking for parking,  but actually casing residences to find out who is home when. If you see a car that fits this description and behavior please call it in to 911 right away.
    • Other reports have been of a blue pick-up truck that looks like a salvage truck, also waiting, parked outfront or in back of a residence where it doesn’t really belong.  CAPS officers have told us repeatedly to always call 911 if you see something suspicious.

  • Neighborhood Safety-What We Can Do
    • Attend your beat CAPS meeting!! Since beat 1312 doesn’t meet again until 9/13 , here are more things we can do to protect our neighborhood:
    • Take the usual safety precautions – lock your doors, windows, don’t leave items visible in cars, let trusted neighbors know if you will be away for an extended period of time.
    • Pay attention to your neighbors, to dog-walkers, regular alley scavengers – know who belongs and who does not.
    • If you see something suspicious or out of place – call 911. If you see it again  call 911 again.  CAPS stresses the use of 911 as a reporting mechanism – multiple calls for the same event/address/suspicious behavior draw attention to it – they are not treated as ‘duplicate’ calls.  Surrounding neighborhoods (like Smith Park) rely heavily on 911 reporting by multiple people for single events.
    • Share information with your neighbors, whether it be online, email, or talking in person

      We can work together as a neighborhood to make sure our Aldermen know how unacceptable we find this increase in crime.  The UVNA will be drafting up a basic letter to send to both the 1st and 32nd ward aldermen, and we will send it out to all our members to re-use so that we send a concerted message to them about these recent criminal events. As we’ve heard from other neighborhoods, the squeaky wheel gets the grease, so to speak.  We will post the letter on this site as well.

    • And again, please attend the next beat 1312 CAPS meeting on 9/13!
  • Update on the stoplight installation at Hoyne & Chicago
    • Per our last meeting with the 1st and 32nd wards, they have agreed to split the cost
      • both wards have allocated funds in their respective menu budgets
      • both wards are also supposed to talk to CDOT to see if they will tell us where it is at in the priority queue.  Read more details on this issue and a recap of that meeting here.
  • Update on the Blue Recycling Bins
    • Most of Ukrainian Village has never had blue recycling bins. Now that the city wants to privatize this service, the word is that they have a bid out to test a private service against the city service and our neighborhood is high on the list to be one of the test neighborhoods – could happen this fall. Just waiting for the contract to be signed
  • Ukrainian Village Neighborhood Association Meet & Greet
    • We have proposed that next month’s meeting be held at a local restaurant/bar as more of a social event.  Right now we are looking at the following locations – we need room for 20-30 people:
    • If you can suggest any other locations for a Thursday night meeting, please let us know at info@uvna.org
  • Request for Thoughts and Volunteers – neighborhood architectural tour/steeple-chase (as in Church Steeples)
  • We’ve wanted to get a garden walk or some similar event going in our neighborhood that focuses on the unique aspects of our area.  The plethora of churches and their history and architecture was one such idea. We’re considering trying to plan one for next spring, summer, or fall.  If you would like to help research a plan to put in front of our group for consideration, please send us an email at info@uvna.org.