Tuesday, December 8th, 2015
LCA Zoning Committee Meeting
The LCA Zoning & Planning Committee meetings are held the second Tuesday of each month to discuss ways to ensure open and fair processes for developers and homeowners. The meetings are held the fourth Thursday of each month at 6:00 PM in the back room of the Marquee Lounge at Halsted and Armitage. The public is invited to attend.
No December Board LCA Board Meeting
Ordinarily, LCA Board meetings are held the fourth Thursday of each month at 6:30 PM in the back room of the Marquee Lounge at Halsted and Armitage but due to the holidays, there will be no December meeting. See below for details on LCA's annual meeting to be held in January.
Wednesday, January27, 2016
LCA Annual Meeting
LCA's annual meeting and election of Directors and Officers will be held at 6:30 Wednesday January 27, 2016. We will be announcing the location and other details within the next two weeks.
An Early Holiday Gift For the Heart
IS GREEN SPACE GOOD FOR THE HEART?
Can green space save your life? "Yes," says
, author of Heat Wave, an
accounting of that
1995 event in Chicago
when 739 people died, mostly elderly people living alone in neighborhoods lacking safe community green space.
|Heat Wave author, Erik Klinenberg
Klinenberg's work is a "social autopsy" of the heat wave, which he and others say was a combination of local government's failure to act and the cracked social-infrastructure of certain Chicago neighborhoods. (Heat Wave reads like a thriller, or a slender Tom Wolfe novel). While elected officials were at the beach cooling off, Chicago's old and poor baked inside their homes. There was no state of emergency declared, no system for paramedics or hospitals, no cooling centers to offer relief. With temperatures at 106 degrees over two and a half days, roads buckled, 250,000 lost power, 3,000 fire hydrants were opened. It was the deadliest stretch of heat ever recorded in the United States.
Since that time, Chicago has created a heat emergency system that is the world's best, Klinenberg says: European countries, facing their own heat emergencies, look to Chicago's plan.
Klinenberg was a featured speaker during this fall's Chicago Humanities Festival. A native of Old Town and a Francis W. Parker alum, Klinenberg works in New York, where he is professor of sociology and director of the Institute of Public Knowledge at New York University. He's written other pop sociology books, including Going Solo, which upended the common thinking that living alone left one lonely. He serves on a New York City panel tasked with applying $1 billion in new infrastructure to guard the city from rising water and flooding, necessary after the devastation of Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
Scientists say we face more, and more severe, weather events. Can we prepare?
Fending off extreme heat is cheaper and easier than defending against water or storms, Klinenberg observes. To cool the city, he advises more trees, green space, green roofs. For the social piece, he points to community gardens and neighborhood parks (think Bauler Playground, Fire Station Park, Lincoln Central Park, Oz Park) which bring people together across generations, creating the social infrastructure invaluable during a disaster.
"These connections are worthwhile all the time," says Klinenberg, "and a lifeline when needed most."
THREE QUESTIONS FOR ALLAN
|Who is this man and why is he holding up 3 fingers?
In last month's edition of
From the Heart
, we promised to answer, in this month's edition, the two questions posed in the caption above. The man pictured above at the dedication of Ella Jenkins Park, is Allan Mellis, long time community leader from
Wrightwood Neighbors Association
The three fingers represent the nickname "Triplets" given to Mellis earlier this year by LCA President, Kenneth Dotson. When asked about the nickname Dotson said. "It seemed that every community meeting or City Council meeting I attended, Allan was there. And, I would hear of all the other meetings he was attending and the various projects he was involved in and wondered how he found the time. It seemed there must be three of him because he appeared to be in so many places at the same time. I decided to conserve words and refer to him as "Triplets" rather than calling him "the ubiquitous Allan Mellis."
With Triplets as a nickname, we thought it would be appropriate to ask Allan to answer three questions relating to his views on neighborhood associations. He kindly agreed to do so and his responses are below:
Q & A
What is the most important role for a neighborhood organization?
Mellis: In my view, the most important function is to be the representative voice in decisions impacting the neighborhood. Most Alderman will refer issues to the local neighborhood association to get support or work out a compromise prior to taking a position before a government body such as the Chicago City Council Zoning Committee or the Chicago Plan Commission. I believe other important functions include helping re-establish a sense of community, informing the community about important issues, working with the local police department, supporting local public schools, raising funds for community programs, promoting additional open space, and developing an overall development plan for the neighborhoods that are heavily impacted by large scale development projects.
Should neighborhood organizations work in isolation only on issues within their own boundaries or can they be more effective when joining together with other organizations to tackle common problems?
Mellis: The first priority must, of course, be to focus on the issues within one's own neighborhood boundaries. That said, there are many issues that impact the entire community and by having neighborhood associations working
ave much more impact on the eventual solutions. Examples are: input on major projects like the Children's Memorial redevelopment, crime prevention, lowering of property taxes, parking and traffic issues, and helping to revitalize the retail streets in the neighborhood. In the past, the Lincoln Park Conservation Association brought all the neighborhood associations together to address commons issues. That organization is now inactive, but I'm pleased that the Presidents, or other designated representative, of all the neighborhood associations in Lincoln Park are now meeting on a regular basis to discuss issues that affect all of us, much as the LPCA did. That can make a real difference. Personally, I always try to make myself available to help other organizations if requested and I've certainly needed to call on other organizations for assistance or advice at times over the years.
What are the greatest challenges you see for neighborhood organizations in the next decade?
Mellis: The greatest challenge we always seem to face is getting more residents actively engaged in community issues by joining their local community organization, supporting the activities authorized by their organization's by-laws, and re-establishing a sense of community.
For the leaders of any neighborhood organization, I would say the single most important role they have is to identify and prepare the next generation of leaders to take their place when the time comes. That is the only way an organization can scale and sustain itself over time.
18th DISTRICT COMMUNITY POLICING OFFICE SERVICES
prevention-based educational programs, referrals and services relating to child abuse and neglect, spouse abuse, financial exploitation, elder abuse, animal abuse/pet care
programming in senior buildings on health and safety; a data base for alerts; well-being checks; medical ID bracelets; financial exploitation investigations; bingo games; holiday caroling
Explorer Scouts; Peer Jury program; Officer Friendly; child safety in pre-school/elementary schools; Safe Haven programs; Parent Patrol; Walking to Bus
Community Emergency Response Team
group of core volunteers who assist first responders in the case of an emergency or crisis; trainings and continuing education
community representatives follow cases affecting the neighborhood by learning about the issues and attending court hearings; helpful in convincing courts to apply proper sentencing to career/chronic criminals; also, with court cooperation, assists with getting counseling and treatment for repeat offenders
For more information:
WHY LCA OPPOSES RAISED BACK YARDS
LCA objects to raised back yards in our neighborhood because they consume the natural landscape of our neighborhood. The small green spaces between our homes and garages are urban treasures-private green-space large enough for outdoor dining, sunning, reading, coloring with chalk and blowing bubbles. These green spaces cool our homes and provide space for rainwater absorption-a crucial need in our flood-plagued neighborhood. Raised yards eliminate ground-level space necessary for mature trees and create homes that are fortress-like, with front-to-back of the lot construction and side walls as high as 20 feet.
Too, a raised yard sets homeowners on a higher level than their neighbors, creating problems of privacy, smoke from grills, and music, because the raised outdoor living area is elevated to neighbors' indoor living area. Those living beside such structures find them problematic: They experience smoke from neighbors' cooking and cigarettes inches from their kitchen windows. LCA does not object to garage roof decks, as they are set back from living areas. Going forward we believe the appropriate solution in rear yards is tiered space, allowing a small deck that hugs the back of a home, with steps down to ample at-grade green space. Chicago's Zoning Ordinance requires rear yard open space (17-2-0307) and "when located at ground level...be substantially covered with grass, ground cover, shrubs, plants, trees..."
Our opposition to raised back yards is consistent with LCA's advocacy for green, permeable space in our neighborhood. LCA has long opposed breezeways, raised concrete decks, multi-story staircases, and overly-tall masonry walls along property lines. Such property features reduce and consume rear yards and adversely affect views, light, air and the city's water system. LCA has always recommended space for mature trees and other greenery in the front and rear of homes. Our backyards and gardens increase property values while benefiting the neighborhood and city.
Did You Know?
Lincoln Park Community Research Initiative is a partnership of Lincoln Park community organizations, businesses and DePaul University. The goal of the LPCRI is to collect, document and preserve the shared history of DePaul University and the Lincoln Park community. The historical materials collected are housed in the Lincoln Park Neighborhood Collection of the DePaul University Library.
For more information on the Lincoln Park Community Research Initiative, contact Fran Casey in Community & Government Relations at DePaul at (312) 362-8100 or
Want to Avoid a Parking Ticket?
To avoid receiving tickets on street cleaning days in your neighborhood, follow the street cleaning schedule for the streets near you. Bookmark
to have it handy when street cleaning resumes in Spring 2016! We'll remind you again.
HEART CHECK UP
Every month, we do our best to keep you informed about news and events in our neighborhood that affect you. We receive much positive feedback, b
ut we'd love to know what we can do better. We hope you will reach out to us with any suggestions to help us improve From the Heart and also our website.
In particular, if you have story ideas, news items, information about upcoming events, photos or other suggestions, please share them with our co-editors, Kenneth Dotson and Kathy Jordan.
If you know
someone from our neighborhood who has
achieved an important milestone or who you would like to see featured in our newsletter, please let us know.
If you would like to be a guest columnist or even write regularly for From the Heart, get in touch. The pay isn't very good. It's actually nothing-but don't let that stop you; we could use the help!
Most importantly, though, thanks for reading. You're who we write for each month in From the Heart.
FAMILY & FRIENDS TURN OUT TO HONOR DICKIE HARRIS
Everywhere we look in our neighborhood at this time of the year, we see hallmarks of the holiday season. There are twinkling lights, decorated trees, festive wreaths and brightly wrapped gifts. The sounds of holiday are ever present.
For most of us, the holidays are a time of family, tradition, delicious meals and treasured time with loved ones. Smiles are on our faces with laughter ringing in our ears. But we should be mindful that, for many, the holiday season is the most lonely and painful time of the year.
So as you go about celebrating the holiday season, please remember that the most important holiday light this year may very well be the one you can bring into the heart of someone less fortunate with an unexpected act of kindness.
From the Heart,
LCA President, Kenneth Dotson
P. S. If you would like read prior issues of
COMMITTED HEART AND SOUL
Sixteen years and seven commanders under her belt, and Dr. Cynthia Schumann still enjoys every minute of her job as Community Policing Sergeant for the 18th District, Chicago Police Department. The
Schumann, pictured with 18th District Commander, George Devereaux, receiving a Certificate of Appreciation from SOAR
only appointed officer in the District, the Community Policing Sergeant serves at the pleasure of each commander.
Sergeant Schumann remembers that at 5 or 6 years of age she was enamored of the idea of wearing the uniform. "My best friend's parents were in uniform-her dad as a Chicago police officer; her mom as a crossing guard." Something about their commitment resonated with the young Cindy Schumann. "I looked up to them," she says. "My goal became to become a Chicago police officer. And I have loved it," she adds. "I'm lucky to be in my dream job."
These words come from a woman who sees people at their worst moments. She oversees everything from senior, youth, and family services to court advocacy, homelessness, and the Community Emergency Response Team. (See side bar for a complete list.) Sergeant Schumann says the winning formula for her job is "realize, recognize, respond, and refer" in that order.
Take Domestic Violence, for example. The first action is the Realize that a problem exists, and then to Recognize that someone needs help. From there, there must be a Response tailored to the person's needs, and referrals to proper agencies for follow up.
Sergeant Schumann says the best part of her job are the successes--and there are many. Some of them are large: in the last seven years, all of the District's Explorer Scouts have gone on to higher education; 30% of teens who go through the District's Peer Jury program go on to join the program as peer jurists themselves. cont'd
A HEARTFELT CELEBRATION
The sign designating Richard "Dickie" Harris being unveiled.
An estimated crowd
200 friends and family gathered on Saturday November 7, a brisk but sunny autumn afternoon, to remember Dickie Harris, the neighborhood's "Everyman," at the dedication of Richard "Dickie" Harris Way, the stretch of Dickens Avenue between Lincoln Avenue and Larrabee Street.
An ad man, creative writer, community activist and friend to all, Richard "Dickie" Harris worked for 30 years at top ad agencies, wrote plays, served on boards of community groups, and started several community events.
"Everyone was Dickie's friend," said Lincoln Central Association President Kenneth Dotson who emceed the event.
Alderman Michele Smith thanked Lincoln Central Association for organizing and hosting the ceremony and added "We know that Lincoln Park is about neighborhoods and it is fitting that we name a street after someone who embodied what a neighborhood is about--that a neighborhood is only as good as the people who live in it." The Alderman ended her remarks by reading a resolution honoring Dickie Harris that was adopted by the Chicago City Council.
Patty Harris looks on as Alderman Smith addresses the crowd.
Remembrances were offered by Dickie's widow, Patty Harris, who reminded people that Dickie was the consummate ad man and shared the story of how he used his creative mind to persuade the United States Board on Geographic Names to name a lake in Berrian County, Michigan after his mother, Anne. (Read more about Lake Anne.)
Daughter Olivia Harris also shared remembrances of her father saying: "It seems appropriate that my father now has a Way named after him because he usually managed to get his way in life too." Alan Gross, who knew Harris when Gross was an executive at Sears and Dickie was with Leo Burnett, called Harris "the greatest copywriter ever in the history of the world."
|Dickie's friends Jeff Conrad and Michael Duffy embrace during his remembrance.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, popular Doo-Wop group Stormy Weather performed some of Dickie's favorite songs in his favorite musical style. Meanwhile guests enjoyed refreshments sponsored by the Bridgeview Bank Group, City Grounds, Four Farthings Tavern and Grill, Geja's Cafe, and the Alpha Baking Company, Inc.
The Harris Family unveiling the sign
WHEN RAIN FALLS IN THE HEART
by Sally Drucker, Chair, LCA Parks' Committee
Do you ever wonder where all the rain water goes? It runs off your roof and all "hard" surfaces directly into the public drainage system. In a normal rainfall that's no problem. But when there's a deluge, the water simply has no place to go and basement backups and overland flooding occur.
The problem dates back to 1856, when the city of Chicago built a storm water conveyance system underground that collects both waste and storm water and moves them to treatment plants. Chicago residents are not alone-more than 700 U..S. cities now use this system.
The city's combined system is easily large enough to handle the city and suburban wastewater and normal storm water runoff. But when there is too much storm water, the combined sewers overflow and release untreated waste and storm water into the Chicago River, which is harmful to the health and habitat of the river and our communities. We need a plan that combines upgrading our "built" infrastructure and creating a "green"infrastructure.
Enter the City of Chicago and the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, which in 2014 began implementing a Green Infrastructure Program. A new component to the program initiated recently is the Rain Barrel Program.
Rain barrels are designed to capture and reuse rain water. It's achieved by disconnecting the roof runoff from the system and installing rain barrels to collect the runoff. Once collected, you can water your garden, wash your car or dog--whatever chores your garden hose would normally perform.
As part of our effort to bring environment-friendly resources to our community, Lincoln Central Association will be offering the Rain Barrel Program to our residents in the near future.through a partnership with the 43rd Ward, which will administer applications and manage the distribution of rain barrels to those who are interested.
Stay tuned and please consider joining this new program to improve the quality of our neighborhood and city.
For more information and history about combined sewer systems go
HOLIDAY RECIPES FROM THE HEART
Searching for that perfect appetizer or side dish or beverage or dessert to make your holiday dinner or party a hit? Well, search no more. Members of the LCA Board have shared their favorites to put the heart into your holidays.
And if you have a favorite holiday food, how about posting the recipe on our F
page so other LCA members can enjoy the heart of your holiday?
James' Famous Spinach Artichoke Dip
James Borkman: "Easy to make since it's made on the stove-top! No BAKING!! No GREASY MAYO!!"
1/4 stick butter
1 (10 oz.) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 (14 oz.) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped (
Do not use marinated artichoke hearts.)
2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
2 (16 oz.) containers sour cream
1-3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (or more!!)
garlic salt and garlic powder to taste
Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.
Stir in the spinach and artichoke hearts.
Cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
Mix cream cheese and sour cream into the spinach mixture.
Stir in Parmesan cheese, and garlic salt.
Cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through--10 to 15 minutes. Serve warm in a sourdough bread bowl or with Tostitos Scoops
Roast Beef Tenderloin
Kathy Jordan: "Here's an always perfect roast beef that will be the highlight of your holiday celebration. I've shared it with many friends over the years; they say their family and friends rave at the results. Any leftovers are wonderful served cold with horseradish sauce. (Shared with gratitude to the infamous Louis Szathmary in whose class I learned this recipe many moons ago.)"
3 to 3-1/2 lb. trimmed beef tenderloin
1 tsp. salt or to taste
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. celery salt
1/4 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. sugar
2-3 tbsp Kitchen Bouquet
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup red wine or beef broth or a combination of both
Line broiling pan with aluminum foil
Cover loosely with heavy-duty aluminum foil and place the tenderloin on it
Combine salt, black pepper, celery salt, garlic salt, and sugar
Rub entire surface of tenderloin with the mixture
Combine Kitchen Bouquet and canola oil
Pour the mixture over the beef and rub it in
Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes
Broil tenderloin as close to the heat as possible, turning every 2 to 3 minutes until the surface is seared.
Let cool at room temperature
Wrap tenderloin in loose foil, adding wine or broth before closing
Roast at 350 degrees for 40 minutes; remove and let cool
Fifteen minutes before serving, spray roast with canola oil and brown in broiler
Let sit 10 minutes before slicing
Note: Wine or broth can be reduced over high heat to serve with sliced meat. Creamy horseradish sauce is another nice addition.
Anne Moore: "This is a recipe handed down from my French relatives. A perfect (easy) winter side dish we serve on birthdays, Holidays, Sundays. Great beside roast chicken or grilled meat. It's meaningful to me and mine because I'd had it often as a child at my grandparents' and my children can't get enough of it. No leftovers."
1 lb. curly pasta, such as cavatappi
1/4 cup beef or vegetable broth
1/3 cup grated Gruyere cheese. (Do not substitute.)
1 tsp. grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Cook pasta in boiling water.
Drain and set aside. (This can be done hours earlier)
In a 9 x 12 glass baking dish, spread the cooked pasta in one layer. Pour broth over it.
Sprinkle Gruyere over pasta; use your fingers to get some cheese and broth below the surface.
Sprinkle Parmesan over surface.
Add salt and pepper.
Cook under hot broiler in oven no more than 5 minutes and as little as 3 minutes. (
The top should be well browned and crunchy.)
Cornbread Sausage Stuffing
Kenneth Dotson: "My first winter in Chicago, I was invited to friend's house for dinner and this was one of the dishes served. I liked it so much, I asked for the recipe. I've been making it several times a year for the last 15 years. Any dish containing sausage, butter and onion will always have a home in my cookbook."
1 lb. bulk pork sausage
1/4 cup butter
1.5 cups chopped onion
1 cub chopped green pepper
1 lb. pkg. (16 oz.) Pepperidge Farm cornbread stuffing cubes
1 can (1 lb.) cream corn
2 celery stalks, chopped
1/3 cup chopped pimento
1.5 cups chicken broth
Optional: A small amount of crushed red pepper can be added for a spicier dish.
In a large skillet, brown sausage; drain off and discard fat.
Add butter, onion, celery and green pepper.
Cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are tender.
Remove from heat, add cornbread, cream corn, pimento, and chicken broth; toss well to combine.
Transfer to a 3-4 quart casserole dish; cover and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 40-45 minutes.
English Plum Pudding (Grandma Stults)
Sally Drucker: "This recipe for the figgy pudding we all sing about was passed down from my kids' great grandmother on their father's side-along with an ancient tin plum pudding steamer mold. I make this everiy holiday and it is the highlight of the family meal. The lights are dimmed; the brandy is lit and we watch it's cool blue flame burns off the pudding. It is so rich that no one can eat more than a few bites, but it would be sorely missed if I didn't make it!"
1/2 lb. stale bread crumbs & 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 cup scalded milk & 3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 lb. sugar & 1/3 tsp. mace
4 eggs (separated) & 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 lb. currants & 1/4 lb. finely cut figs
2 oz. finely cut citron & 1/2 lb. suet (cream by hand)
1/4 cup wine & brandy mixed (I use Calvados)
Soak crumbs in scalded milk, let stand until cool.
Chop all fruit in course meat grinder.
Add sugar, beaten egg yolks, raisins, currants, figs, citron.
Combine creamed suet with this; add wine, spices and whites of eggs beaten stiff.
Turn into buttered mold--cover with wax paper, then put cover on mold.
Steam 6 hrs. (You can steam 4 hrs. the day before.)
: 1/2 cup butter, 2 cups xxx sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla.
Peppermint Hot Chocolate
Lisa Qu: "This is one of my favorite winter drinks. The chocolate will satisfy your sweet tooth, while the peppermint perks up your taste buds and keeps it from being overly sweet. When I'm impatient, I'll use pre-packaged hot chocolate mix and add peppermint at the end. You can make this extra festive by adding whipped cream, chocolate shavings, and a mint candy cane. Enjoy!"
1-1/2 cups heavy cream
1-1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 tsp salt
6 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3 drops peppermint oil
whipped cream/chocolate shavings (optional)
In a saucepan, combine cream, milk, sugar, and salt.
Heat over medium-low heat.
When cream mixture just begins to steam, add chopped chocolate and stir until melted.
Add peppermint oil.
Some successes are more individual, as the seniors who are saved from
financial exploitation. "People who are alone are eager to have someone in their lives," says Sergeant Schumann. "Many seniors don't care what someone does with their money as long as they're getting attention. We investigate people who exploit our seniors." The same is true of victims of spouse abuse. "We notify agencies, work together to make an intervention. Then we follow up personally by phone in a safe way for the victim, offering advice on how to make decisions, since domestic violence often recurs."
Two major changes have come in the time Sergeant Schumann has been on the job in the 18th District: the demolition of the Cabrini Green Housing and technological advances.
"The issues now are traffic and dogs, not gangs and drugs," Sergeant Schumann says. "We don't have the same number of young children or families. We don't see as much drug use or gangs. We do have the same level of participation as we did before the Cabrini buildings were torn down. But programming has changed as children's activities have waned."
Technology has also brought changes, Sergeant Schumann says. "Our office can maintain contact with hundreds of individuals on community alerts, crime prevention. We can activate the community and we are easily accessible on Twitter, through our website, by email."
After many years on the job, Sergeant Schumann has no regrets. "If I had to do it all over again, I would choose the same. I'm truly blessed," she says.
FIRE ENGINE 22 NEEDS YOUR HELP!
Our friends at Fire Engine Engine 22 need a new treadmill for their station to keep our firefighters physically fit. Their fitness helps keep our neighborhood safe! If you can help, please email Ben Hosek or stop by the station and speak with one of the firefighters.
JOIN THE HEART OF THE NEIGHBORHOOOD
LCA members are the heart of our beautiful neighborhood. The benefits of membership are many and the cost is small. If you're not already a member, we hope you'll join today. Simply select one of the affordable membership options below:
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