September 29, 2015
President's Letter
An Evening in the Garden
Neighbors With Heart
Our Friends at the Fire Station
A Boss With Heart
Upcoming Events
Heart Watch
Neighborhood Demographic Report
We Need Your Feedback
Not An LCA Member? Why Not Join Today!
Warm hearts of all ages enjoying the party
Comments overheard at LCA's second annual An Evening in the Garden suggest that no one who attended would disagree with this article's headline.
"Great party," were the most often heard words.  Kathy Conrad, an LCA member said, "It's a great way to socialize as neighbors and friends." For Barbara Krasne, also an LCA member, it was a way to network about interesting places in the neighborhood.  "Who knew there was a pool at Stanton Park with free aerobics classes three times a week? I also learned about free yoga classes on Sundays at Lululemon. It was a great class, by the way."  Barbara added, "Loved meeting our Lincoln Park neighbors. Such a diverse, interesting group."
LCA members Dave O'Donovan and Jeff Conrad are always ready for neighborhood fun
Scheduled as a time for neighbors to meet neighbors in an informal setting, the second annual An Evening in the Garden offered wine and non-alcoholic beverages, hors d'oeuvres prepared by LCA members, and entertainment from a surprise guest--Benjamin Barnes, magician extraordinaire, who dazzled guests with his sleight of hand. To see photos from the event, click here.
Sally Drucker, an LCA Board member whose leadership has made the Fire Station Park Gardens a go-to gem for the neighborhood, thanked her fellow volunteers for their efforts. "The hours we work together in the garden provide many benefits to those who participate. We have quiet moments of conversation, make new friends and learn gardening skills from each other. At the end of the day these volunteers have a great sense of accomplishment, as they should. Their efforts are visible to all who  stop by." Pointing out the vegetable and herb gardens, Sally encouraged guests to help themselves to the "fruits of our labors."
Benjamin Barnes entertaining LCA members Karen Kinsella and Colin Cordwell
An Evening in the Garden is one of four annual events currently sponsored by LCA.  Others are Howler at Bauler, a family Halloween party scheduled for October 24, 2015; Spring Zing, a welcome to spring held in May; and Sunday Summer Sipper, a neighborhood gathering held in June. LCA members residents from all neighborhoods are invited to attend.

He's not a Park District employee. And he doesn't get paid for
David Varnerin, gives his Heart to the neighborhood
his work. But LCA Secretary David Varnerin is the man who makes sure everything at Bauler Park is ship shape, and fun for the kids who play there, whether it means calling the Park Supervisor to get mulch for the play areas, or Streets & Sanitation to empty the trash bins, or weeding and raking and sweeping up debris himself. In short, he's the "boss."
"Each year in the spring, I contact the Park District about what needs to be done in the park," said Varnerin. "I also put together a donation program with leaflets and emails, asking for support for the three parks that LCA oversees." He says many older people who have no children at home take a real interest in the park, and contribute to the park fund. As a bonus, Varnerin says "many people who've given to the parks' fund end up joining LCA." This year, some $7,000 has been raised for the LCA parks' fund.
Bauler Park doesn't require as much financial support as the other two LCA park projects, since the Park District does bi-weekly maintenance. But, when outside vendors are needed to do bush trimming or spread mulch, it is paid for by LCA's parks' fund. Varnerin also oversees a spring clean-up in Bauler when LCA members sweep, trim, and prepare the park for the hundreds of children and parents who use it daily.
He's also the go-to guy when unusual solutions are needed. For example, someone removed the anchoring bolt on one of the three double-hinged gates at Bauler. "The Park District was slow to make the repair,"  said Varnerin. "So I talked to a neighbor on Mohawk who is in the steel business. He looked at the fence and fabricated the part."  Voila . . . the gate was repaired.
Why does he devote so much time to Bauler and other neighborhood projects? Varnerin says "It feels like I'm giving back in a positive way to the community.  To some that may be a foreign concept. But to me, giving is a part of living."

When you see David at Howler at Bauler or around the neighborhood, let him know how much you appreciate his generosity and dedication to our community. Without David, the neighborhood just wouldn't be the same.

Without Mimi Duginger, our neighborhood would have less heart
CA  member Mimi Duginger was recently appointed president of the League of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for the 2015-16 season. A retired elementary school music educator, Mimi had been vice president of events on the League's Executive Committee for two years. 
Mimi became a docent for the CSO League when she retired after 33 years of teaching "as a way to volunteer, give back, and stay involved in music education," she told a CSO publication. As League President, she hopes "to foster even deeper connections with the musicians we support." 
The CSO League, which grew out of the former Women's Association, now welcomes both men and women and focuses on fund-raising and education.

Congratulations, Mimi!
upcomingeventsUPCOMING EVENTS

Tuesday, October 13th
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.

Thursday, October 22
LCA Monthly Board Meeting 

You are invited to attend the discussions at LCA Board meetings, which are held the fourth Thursday of each month at 6:30 PM in the back room of the Marquee Lounge at Halsted and Armitage.

Saturday, Oct 24 
  Howler at Bauler

Mark your calendar and plan to be at Bauler Park (Wisconsin and Cleveland) on October 24 for Howler at Bauler. The fun starts at 2 p.m. and lasts until 5 p.m.  This annual event offers something for all ages.
heartwatchHEART WATCH

 The Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce is introducing a new brand and logo at a launch party scheduled for  Wednesday September 30 at 6:00 PM at J. Parker at Hotel Lincoln. The event is now sold out.
 According to various sources, activity is picking up related to the re-development of the former Children's Memorial Hospital site with demolition still scheduled to begin before the end of this year.
 The request by LCA to designate a stretch of Dickens Street "Dickie Harris Way," in honor of the beloved long-time Lincoln Park resident Richard "Dickie" Harris, received final approval from  City Council on Thursday, September 25. The resolution was introduced by Alderman Smith to honor Harris, who passed away in 2013. The dedication ceremony will be held shortly after November 1. As soon as the date is finalized, we will make an announcement.
The dedication ceremony for Ella Jenkins Park at the corner of Sedgwick and Wisconsin was held on Sunday afternoon, 27 at 12:30 PM. The ceremony was sponsored by   Old Town Triangle Association,  The Church of the Three Crosses, LCA and 43rd Ward Alderman, Michele Smith. Next month's issue of From the Heart  will include a story and many photos on this special event.

Thanks to Board Member Alex Hlavacek, a wealth of information about the Lincoln Central neighborhood is now being made available to you. Take age, for example. The largest age segment of Lincoln Central residents (27%) is 25-34 years of age. This is followed by 35-44 years of age (14.1%), 5-19 (13.9%), 45-54 (11.8%), 65+ (11%), 55-64 (10.1%), under 5 (6.4%), and 19-24 (5.7%).
Median age was 33.1 years in 2010, 33.9 in 2015, and expected to be 34.7 by 2020.
There's much more information, 
in the report,

including home income, value, and size, and comparisons of data over the years, as well as educational attainment, marital status, occupation, and household tenure.  

When we run across information we believe will be of interest to you, we will share it with you, here, on Facebook and on our website.
Every month, we do our best to keep you informed about news and events in our neighborhood that affect you.  But, we'd love to know what we could do better and 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 us If you know  someone from our neighborhood who has  achieved an important milestone or who you would like us to see feature in our Neighbors With Heart profiles, 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.
MYLetterDear Neighbors,

There's a bit of magic in Lincoln Central these days. Noted magician Benjamin Barnes delighted our guests at  An Evening in the Garden.  Benjamin was so amazing, you requested we invite him to entertain at Howler at Bauler on Saturday, October 24. Your wish has been granted!

Of course, the real magic of our neighborhood is the way individuals and organizations come together to make things better -- whether working in our parks, guarding the safety and security of our homes and family or preparing the next generation.

What magic is hidden inside of you? We'd like to know.
From the heart,
LCA President, Kenneth Dotson

P. S. If you would like read prior issues of
From the Heart, visit our newsletter archive.

Lincoln Avenue's Natural Elements Salon, now in its 20th year,
LCA member Edda Coscioni is all heart and style
has a new owner. Her name is Edda Coscioni, and before buying the business last fall,
she had styled hair for more than a dozen years in Evanston. Coscioni, a slender red head, upped her game to business owner as a personal challenge. 

"It was my next opportunity to grow as an individual," says Coscioni. The first five months were tough, she says, as she wooed clients and handled staff for the first time. Too, the brick-walled light-filled space -- part of the former The Bakery Restaurant owned by the late Louis Szathmary-- got a paint job, sparkly chandeliers and a colorful wall of new products. "I want it to feel so cozy you don't want to leave -- but at the same time, do good hair." 
First started by Kathy Smith and Cristina Cantu in 1995, Natural Elements has a professional ethos that Coscioni embraces and carries on. She employs colorists and cutters who have extra training and dedication to the craft, without being pretentious. "It's fun; there's a lot of chatter." Cont'd.

There are nine people in the building at the corner of Armitage and Larrabee every day. Maybe you see them when your dog pulls you over for a cookie.  Or when you walk by on the way to the el. Or when you pass by on your morning jog.  Whenever you see them, wave, or stop and say hello. "We're there when you need us . . ." isn't just a slogan.  These guys and gals are all heart. 
Pictured above is the First Shift for Engine 22, from left: Fire Fighter Joseph Chiesa, Fire Marshal Greg Terlecky, Fire Marshal Riley Jones III, Fire Fighter Bill Quinn, Engineer Ben Hosek, and Lieutenant Jerome Morris.
"We like people coming in and socializing," says Engineer Ben Hosek, a 20-year veteran of the Chicago Fire Department. "That's why you see the doors open on most shifts. Our crews are all for opening up and talking with neighbors."
Hosek was a neighborhood resident for many years, although he now lives with his wife and three children (10, 8, and 6) on the northwest side. His parents were married at St Vincent's, and he and his wife were married at St. Michael's  His mother lived at Dickens and Seminary, and his Dad, on Taylor Street when they met. Lincoln Park has long been the family's home neighborhood.
The Fire Station houses Engine 22 with a crew of five, the Office of Fire Investigation vehicle with a crew of two, and Ambulance 43 with a crew of two paramedics. Vehicle 530, for Hazardous Materials incidents, is staffed when needed by members of the engine crew. Vehicle 530 is the only decontamination equipment in the city, and contains showers for fire personnel and public use in case of a Haz Mat incident. And by the way, all of the fire fighters are EMTs (Emergency Medical Technicians). Cont'd.

The Harris Family Singers rocked the crowd at Howler at Bauler in 2014
In just a few weeks, on October 24, we'll be costumed and ready for you to join LCA at the annual Howler at Bauler, a family festival of fun. You won't want to miss the costumes or the DJ or the raffle of fabulous prizes. There will be games and balloons and face painting. And, the amazing Benjamin Barnes will make the event more magical than ever.
A Heart full of joy at Howler at Bauler in 2014
The master of ceremonies for the event will once again be LCA Board member and crowd favorite, Gary Sinclair. This annual event offers something for all ages. So mark your calendar and plan to be at Bauler Park (Wisconsin and Cleveland) on October 24. The fun starts at 2 p.m. and lasts until 5 p.m. 
LCA members, Josh Liebman, his wife Beata Leja and their two children, pictured at Howler 2014, are a family with Heart.

While the revamping of Mrs. Green's fresh food store may be tops on the minds of neighborhood residents, making sure the other components of Webster Square are going smoothly is the top concern for Sandz Development Partner David Goldman, who is overseeing the project.
"We're very encouraged with the progress at Webster Square so far," said Goldman. "The apartment building is almost fully occupied, with little vacancy.  We were well on our way to 90% occupancy within six months of the opening. Turnover is low, and residents are already signing new leases."
Goldman also notes that there has been "quite a bit of traffic at the sales center for the condominiums," the next phase of the project. "Completion of the reinforcement work on the old structure now makes way for the next stage of the work on that phase of the project." The final phase will be single family homes on Grant Place.
Asked how the development will fit into the Lincoln Park community, Goldman said, "Once it's all completed--with people living in the rentals, the condominiums, and the single family homes on Grant Place--Webster Square will be a real asset. It's the right scale and right mix for the neighborhood. People will move in and stay for a long time."
Goldman also notes that the parking garage at Mrs. Green's is already an asset for people in the neighborhood, as well as patrons of nearby theaters and restaurants.
As for Mrs. Green's, Goldman says, "They are trying to improve the program. There is new management, as well as on-site consultants, who are working on a two-phase rollout." The first phase, a coffee and juice bar relocated o the front of the space, opened recently. The second will be a renovation of the back area, with  prepared foods and other products more front and center. 

The principle and founder of Sandz Development, Richard Zisok, has been part of the Chicago real estate community for 45 years, developing such sites as 540 and 600 Lake Shore Drive, as well as numerous developments in Lincoln Park and Old Town.   
Sandz Development's Richard Zisok and David Goldman stand atop Webster Square
edda2Neighbors With Heart cont'd
Not yet a year into it, Coscioni says business has grown in spite of a "quieter" Lincoln Avenue, as two former hospitals are remade into stores and housing. "We are thriving." 
Coscioni grew up in Aspen, Colorado in a family of ski racers. Her parents emigrated from Iceland in the late 1950s; her father had been a member of the Icelandic ski team. Coscioni raced until age 13, and still gets out for winter and summer sports. "Chicago is a great place to bike," she says with a laugh. "Easier than the mountains!"
Coscioni lives in Edgewater with husband  Corey, director of strategic alliances and corporate development at  West Monroe Partners, and their teenage twin daughters. When the girls were children, the couple made a choice to stay in the city, where they enjoy a four-block walk to the lake, the quiet beauty of  Kathy Osterman Beach, and now, an investment in Lincoln Park. "It's a vibrant city; we want to be a part of this."
Natural Elements Salon celebrating 20 years in the Heart
FirePart2There Guys Are All Heart, cont'd
Patience is also a part of the job, says Hosek."Say we've been out on 20-25 runs.  Most take just five to 10 minutes.  But say it's 4 a.m., and some of the crew are simply out of patience. If you can't be nice for five minutes, even when you're dead tired, you need to get another job," says Hosek. "People are in need and we're here to help."
The crews at Armitage and Larrabee have been in homes ranging from Gold Coast Mansions to Cabrini-Green apartments to high-rise apartments. They've had a taste of everything. "We see people at their worst," said Hosek.  "And that's when all of our skills come through--the ones people really appreciate.  We have one woman who is so grateful to us, she comes back every year to thank us for helping her.  It means a lot."
But for Hosek, one run really stands out. Engine 22 and Ambulance 43 were called to Lincoln Park Zoo one weekday morning in 2004.  A Lion House keeper had entered the moat at the bottom of the exhibit to put out water for the animals, not knowing that another keeper had released the lions on the top half of the exhibit.  One of the lions jumped down into the moat and began to "play with" the keeper.  When Hosek and crew arrived there was blood everywhere.  Using their 24-foot ladder, Hosek jumped down and helped the keeper up the ladder to safety.  
Hosek said he didn't want any special attention for that action. But he got it, as well as an award. " They said I was a hero, called me the Lion Tamer, but I was just doing my job." 
Hosek wearing The Lion King cap he was given for heroic efforts in 2004


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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Mail check payable to Lincoln Central Association to:

LCA | c/o Kenneth Dotson | 2216 N. Lincoln Ave. | Chicago, Il 60614


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