Winner of 2018, 2017 & 2016 APEX Awards for Publication Excellence
December 18th, 2018

Dear Neighbors,

Everywhere we look in our neighborhood at this time of the year, we are surrounded by the magic of the holiday season. There are twinkling lights, festive wreaths and beautifully adorned holiday trees—like the one now glowing in Oz Park. 

For most, 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. There are parties to attend, presents to wrap, and cards to read.

For others, however, the holidays are the most painful time of the year. Some because they are alone. Others because they grieve a recent loss. And, illness darkens the door of some in our midst. Certainly, each of us knows someone, if not many, struggling in one way or the other.

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,
Kenneth Dotson, President, Lincoln Central Association

P. S. Feel free to contact me at any time at or 773.531.5515 if you would like to learn more about LCA or have neighborhood concerns.
2nd Annual Holiday Oz Park Tree Lighting Ceremony Draws Large Crowd Despite Weather
The 2nd annual official holiday tree lighting ceremony in Oz Park was co-hosted on Sunday, December 2nd by Lincoln Central Association and the Oz Park Advisory Council (OPAC). Despite the rainy weather, which caused the ceremony to be re-scheduled from the prior day, the 5:00 PM ceremony drew a large crowd again this year.

LCA President Kenneth Dotson welcomed those ion attendance and introduced Judy Johanson, President of OPAC, along with special guests, 43rd Ward Alderman Michele Smith, and Congressman Mike Quigley, all of whom briefly addressed the crowd.
Carolers from Lincoln Park High School were originally scheduled to perform at the tree lighting ceremony but a scheduling conflict arose when the ceremony was postponed until the following day due to heavy rain on December 1st. Johanson quickly developed a back-up plan, however.
Following the brief remarks, Johanson, an LCA member, asked all small children to come to the front to help lead the crowd in singing Jingle Bells and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. At the end of the two songs, LCA Vice-President Kathy Jordan had the honor of flipping the switch to turn on the tree on this year as the crowd cheered.
LCA & Bauler Park Advisory Council Host First Annual  Caroling From the Heart
LCA, in association with the Bauler Park Advisory Committee, held the first ever Caroling From the Heart on Saturday afternoon, December 8.

Organized by LCA Board member Jerry Swarzman, carolers first gathered outside St. Michael's Church at 4:00 PM and began singing traditional holiday songs while walking to Bauler Park. Upon arrival at the Park, additional carolers joined in the singing.

Thanks to all who braved the chilly weather and lent their voices. LCA hopes Caroling From the Heart will become a new annual holiday tradition in our neighborhood.
Carolers on the way to Bauler Park
Song book cover
Jerry & Penny Swarzman
Thursday, January 17, 2019 | 7:00 PM (doors open at 6:30) | Lincoln Park High School Auditorium
Lincoln Central Association, Wrightwood Neighbors Association & Park West Community Association will co-host a 43rd Ward aldermanic debate at 7:00 PM on Thursday, January 17th, 2019 at the Lincoln Park High School auditorium. All 43rd Ward aldermanic candidates who have qualified to be on the official ballot for the February 26, 2019 election will be invited to participate. 

You may suggest debate questions by emailing to Questions will be screened and selected by a debate committee comprised of two representatives from each host organization. The debate rules, format and other details will be announced prior the debate.

Other scheduled Aldermanic scheduled debates are listed in the More Upcoming Events section of the newsletter.
Wednesday, January 23rd, 2019 | 6:30 PM | Bridgeview Bank | 1971 N. Halsted

The public is cordially invited to attend Homecoming Lincoln Central, Lincoln Central Association's 2019 Annual Meeting, Election and Neighborhood Reception scheduled for Wednesday, January 23rd at 6:30 PM. Members and non-members alike are welcome to attend this special night hosted by our friends at Bridgeview Bank (1971 N. Halsted).

At this year's annual meeting, LCA and Bridgeview Bank will be honoring all former LCA Board members in attendance in recognition of their service to the organization and to the neighborhood. Please join us to help us honor these former Board members.
At the conclusion of the annual Board member election ( read more), LCA and member organization Bridgeview Bank will host a free neighborhood reception. The reception is always a great opportunity to get to know LCA Officers and Board members, connect with neighbors in a relaxed environment and express your views to your elected officials.  43rd Alderman Michele Smith and  5th District Congressman Mike Quigley are slated to attend this meeting along with other special guests.

RSVPS are requested for all planning to attend this event as well in order to help the hosts plan for adequate quantities of food and beverage. All former Board members planning to attend should try and RSVP no later than Friday, January 11, 2019 to allow time for personalization of certain materials.

If you are interested in participating in this special event as a sponsor in this special event, please email .

Lincoln Central Association is now accepting nomination for individuals to serve on LCA's Board of Directors. If you are interested in serving on LCA's Board of Directors, please send a brief statement outlining why you would like to serve, the committee(s) you are interested in serving on and a bio (see  current board member bios on the website as examples) to Nominating Committee Chair, Kathy Jordan ( Alternatively, you may recommend another qualified LCA member as a candidate and submit the required information on their behalf.  Learn more.
Artistry, Education & Philanthropy
By: Kathy Jordan
You’re at the theater. The play is reaching a fever pitch as the bad guy stalks the hero. Suddenly a voice in the audience shouts out, “He’s behind you!”

Couldn’t happen? It can and does at Emerald City Theatre productions. That’s because the audience is full of kids having a good time, one of the things Emerald City Theatre is about.
The company had its beginnings in 1996, when Karen Cardarelli (pictured), executive director and co-founder, and her husband Alyn (pictured below), a playwright, decided to form a children’s theater. “We were involved with the Second City Training Center, where there was a children’s theater. When the theater closed, there was a void. We decided to fill it,” said Cardarelli.

Today, Emerald City, an LCA member, serves 60,000 children and their grown-ups a year with programs based on three key pillars: artistic work, education, and outreach. Cardarelli emphasizes, “Reading and literacy are part of everything we do.”
Fulfilling the artistic pillar are three to six shows per season. The content depends on the age to be served—e.g., very young, first readers, chapter readers--or it can be a holiday play. Ideas for scripts come from two sources: the large library of children’s books, or recommendations from teachers. “Chicago is full of talent,” said Cardarelli, “and we have writers turn books into plays. Out of four shows, one will be really new.”
You can experience an Emerald City Theatre production at several theaters, including the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place, the Athenaeum Theatre, and now, Victory Gardens, where Emerald City Theatre’s production of Fantastic Mr. Fox, which opened on December 9. There’s also a Little Theater that was in a storefront at the Athenaeum and now will be in various theaters. It’s the nation’s first theater of its kind, designed specifically for children 3-4 years old.
“The children’s audience is like no other,” said Cardarelli. “You know if you have them and if you don’t.” Audience participation is important at Emerald City. It’s encouraged in a variety of ways that differ for each production. For Fantastic Mr. Fox, the actors play different instruments and go out into the audience to create a block party mood.
At ’Twas the Night Before Christmas , the actors turn to the audience and talk. “Everyone gets to be part of the story,” said Cardarelli. “At Victory Gardens, some of the artists will come out and meet with the attendees, so the audience experience begins from the minute they walk through the doors to the minute they leave.”
The Day We Met a Hawaiian Prince
By: Kenneth Dotson
Luxury never defined the Big Island's historic Volcano House, Hawaii's oldest hotel. Imagine, instead, a kitschy, yet charming, throwback to yesteryear featuring 1960's decor, ever-present ukulele music, and no television. 

There's really only one reason to stay at the Volcano House — its location near the rim of the Kilauea Caldera, summit of the world's most active volcano. (A dawn view from the hotel pictured above.) Kilauea has been constantly erupting to varying degrees since 1983, most notably the unprecedented eruption earlier this year.

Late one Saturday afternoon in April 2017, my wife Kelly and I arrived at the hotel. Dusk arrived shortly thereafter leading suddenly to our first breathtaking glimpse of Kilauea. 
Relaxing before dinner, Kelly exited our room onto the hotel's back lawn. Almost immediately came the words: "Come here; you're gonna want to see this." Stepping onto the lawn, looming before me on the horizon was an amorphous cloud of steam rising from Halema'uma'u, Kilauea's summit crater (pictured above). Backlit by splashing lava, the steam glowed an ethereal pink.
Teased by Halema'uma'u's glow, we dined quickly, drove to the nearby crater overlook and watched in awe as waves of lava crashed against the crater's walls. Fascinated, we returned to the crater at dawn the next two mornings.
The lava lake in Halema'uma'u in April 2017
Though the experience at the summit exceeded our expectations, we wanted a closer encounter with Kilauea. In fact, at the top of our priority list on the Big Island was to see and walk alongside surface lava flows. Almost from the moment we arrived, I began making inquiries—with discouraging results. 
Rangers at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park authoritatively insisted there were no active surface flows at that time and they were dismissive of anyone saying otherwise. Likewise, the helicopter pilot who flew us over Puʻu ʻŌʻō, Kilauea's then most active vent, denied knowledge of opportunities to see surface lava even as, we later learned, our flight carried us directly over the active lava field in the volcano's East Rift Zone.
Stubbornness, however, is an inherited gene in the Dotson family that has proven difficult for me to overcome. Like a willful child unwilling to take "no" for an answer, I kept asking.

Finally, the persistence paid off. On the second of our morning visits to Kilauea's summit, we met a couple who told us about guides in the village of Kalapana who took people to see surface lava flows.

The articles above continued underneath heading: FEATURE ARTICLES, CONTINUED
Urban Renewal and Gentrification in Chicago
A Book Review Feature by Anne Moore
The Battle of Lincoln Park, by Daniel Kay Hertz, is a must read for anyone interested in how Lincoln Park came to be, from the 1940’s to the early 1970’s. When I first heard of this book I thought “battle” was hyperbole. Nope: murder, fire bombs, death threats, fist fights.

Hertz (pictured below), a Chicago journalist, wrote the book because he couldn’t find a history devoted to Lincoln Park. He could find only chapters in other books and the documentary  Now We Live On Clifton. Invaluable to his research, he says, was DePaul University’s Community Archives, which holds Lincoln Park newsletters, meeting minutes, reports, public and private letters. “Finding the archives was like discovering the Internet,” he says.
Hertz's story begins with the people who always settle run-down areas: artists. Lucky for us, we still see the work of Sol Kogen and Edgar Miller on Burton Street, where they put their art to its houses and sidewalks. At the same time (the 1940’s) educated professionals discovered the charm of Old Town’s Crilly Court and recognized the ease of downtown living and a short commute. But where they saw city homes for families, the federal government saw blight — and red-lined the area. With that, re-habbers were on their own to finance repairs, as banks wouldn’t lend.
Artists like Sol Kogen and Edgar Miller sparked the renewal of Lincoln Park
Pictured above is Shakespeare Street in 1960 when it ran through what is now Oz Park. (Thanks to LCA member Bob Segal for locating this photograph.)
In the ‘50s and ‘60s swaths of the North Side were bulldozed to create middle-class housing that insulated the Gold Coast and East Lincoln Park. Stretches of Clark St., North Avenue, Larrabee Street were demolished, as was the area that is now Oz Park. Displaced: blacks, Puerto Ricans, Appalachian whites, small-shop keepers. Slain: the pastor and wife who allowed a Puerto Rican housing rights group to occupy their church basement.

This is an unsettling read. Who makes decisions about a neighborhood: residents, community groups, the federal government?

At 166 pages, The Battle of Lincoln Park is a short, engaging read — an eye opener.
A Heart for Preservation
Modern day Lincoln Park, for all its historic buildings, is the product of urban renewal. LCA, like all neighborhood organizations in the area, has a long history of advocacy for landmarking and preserving historic structures. In years past we helped save a Gothic structure on Burling Street and worked with Alderman Smith to passively preserve a Lincoln Avenue “painted lady.”

In our next newsletter, we will detail the shared (with RANCH Triangle Association) preservation effort — and success — at the gateway corner of Willow and Halsted Streets.  The Halsted-Willow Gateway in Chicago’s was listed on Landmarks Illinois’ 2014 Most Endangered Historic Places in Illinois due to development threats.

LCA, RANCH Triangle and Alderman Smith, are working together to protect the area through designation as a Chicago Landmark district. With a grant from Landmark Illinois to match funds contributed by LCA, RANCH and the Alderman, a consultant has been hired to complete the City of Chicago Landmark designation for this corner. Read more in the next issue of From the Heart.
Awarded for the 2nd Consective Year, Fire Station Park Was Lincoln Park's Only Winning Garden
Click image above to enlarge award certificate
2018 Gardening Award Sign
Laura Meyers, Sally Drucker, and Donna Bergmark working in Fire Station Park
As the 2018 gardening season at Fire Station Park came to an end, several LCA members met at the Park on October 30th to clean up and prepare the garden for the winter season. In addition to winterizing the garden, volunteers also installed the new sign (pictured above) recognizing LCA's second consecutive Chicago Excellence in Gardening award which was announced in the previous issue of From the Heart.

Congratulations to Sally Drucker and the other dedicated volunteers who work to make Fire Station Park such a unique neighborhood treasure. (Pictured above left to right working in the garden are Kathy Jordan, Sally Drucker and Nancy Morris.)
First Phase of Multi-Year Project
Beautification is among LCA’s stated goals.

Under the leadership of Sally Drucker, LCA board member and Parks Committee Chair, and with the assistance of Old Town Triangle Association (OTTA), LCA recently completed phase one of a multi-year project at Ogden Mall Park.

The Park has two gathering areas and a walkway that runs northeast from the Buddhist Temple at Menomonee Street and Hudson Avenue to mid-block Sedgwick Street. The Park is a Chicago Department of Transportation property; stewardship is shared by LCA and OTTA.
Residents had complained for years about areas of the park that turn to mud because there’s no vegetation to hold the dirt. With a budget approved by LCA's Board of Directors at its September meeting, Drucker met with landscaper Christy Webber to address the muddy areas and get going on the project. 

Using 100 year old historic Purington Pavers donated by OTTA, the parkway that runs along Hudson Avenue and the Park has now been beautifully refashioned. English Ivy has been planted between the brick pavers and is so hardy, says Drucker, that it will withstand harsh weather and occasional trampling by dogs and people. One-hundred square feet of bricks pavers were laid. The result? LCA member David Armstrong who lives nearby said: "The parkway improvement looks stunning."
The Purington paving bricks, made in Illinois, had been in a Wisconsin Street alley that was remade in 2017. Knowing their worth, OTTA Board member Shannon Waterfield worked with engineers, Alderman Smith’s office, and CDOT to save, clean and store as many bricks as possible. OTTA’s Neighborhood Improvement Committee provided funds for this preservation effort. 

“I fought to save these beautiful historic pavers for projects like this,” says Waterfield, who serves as OTTA's Neighborhood Improvement Committee Chair and a member of their Historic District Planning and Zoning committee. “Neighbors have a great appreciation for re-purposing, and we’re working on five more such parkways using the Purington pavers.” 

Drucker, who leads LCA's efforts at award-winning Fire Station Park, will use this winter to brainstorm with OTTA and nearby residents to further refresh Ogden Mall Park and its walkway, treasured and much used by neighbors. Says Drucker, “We’ll get a group together and turn that mud into something interesting!”
LCA Lends a Helping Heart
After four years of meetings, planning, strategizing and fundraising, the Hudson and Cleveland Avenue neighbors now have a new permeable brick alley. It replaces a brick alley laid in the 1890s, which had sunk in the middle and drained poorly there and at its ends creating flooding problems.

Asphalt patching had been used for repairs in the past, further degrading and damaging the alley. Funding for the new alley was split. Because alleys are public ways, Alderman Michele Smith contributed half of the $238,00 project cost from her menu money with neighbors contributing the other half.

The City required a single check as payment from the neighbors, so Alderman Smith and the neighbors asked LCA to serve as fiscal agent to accept and then remit funds to the City when all were collected.
Restoration in Process
Old Alley
Restored Alley
LCA's participation also allowed the neighbor contributions to be tax deductible donations. “Kenneth Dotson and other LCA volunteers were a huge help to us. We were pleased to learn that they could serve as a fiscal agent and could not be more appreciative of their flexibility with us,” says Dave Armstrong, who led the neighborhood group and its fundraising effort. (As one of the participating neighbors, I know first hand this project would not have happened without Dave Armstrong.)

Neighbors agreed to give up access to the alley for a month while the work was done; alternate parking was arranged, and garbage/recycling bins were temporarily moved streetside. Sheila Pacione, director of constituent services and infrastructure for Alderman Smith’s office, was instrumental in every stage of the project.

Many other hands made this project a success. Of special note, says Dave: Alderman Smith, Sheila Pacione, design engineer Ibrahim Hadzic, engineer Stan Palarz, neighbors Scott Timcoe and Steve McClellan, as well as all the members of the neighborhood committee. “Everyone contributed in one way or another," says Dave. Best of all: residents are delighted to once again have a properly functioning alley. Bravo, neighbors. 
Emerald City, part 2
Of the second pillar Cardarelli said, “The education team designs classes based on stories kids know and love so the kids are comfortable. For example, in a program called Super Heroes’ the kids decide what the hero is, what the villain is, what the costume is. The kids come up with their own exciting adventure.”

The education programs include classes and camps in four locations — Lincoln Square, the Athenaeum, Newbury Academy, and the Menomonee Club. Begun 10 years ago, the education programs, like the theater productions, have a message to them.  Fantastic Mr. Fox is about a father and his family. The neighbors don’t want foxes around, and Mr. Fox is focused on keeping his family safe. It’s a great story to tell Chicago children,” Cardarelli said.

In “Read, Write, Act,” educators take over classrooms for a day. The kids create an adventure that involves reading, then writing, then turning it into a play. By the last class, they are acting their own story.
And then there is outreach. One Fund provides a free play and free book to low income students. “We raise $100,000 a year and get to 5,000 students,” Cardarelli said. This year One Fund participants will come in to see Corduroy, a picture book production.

Emerald City's One Fund program led to their their being named 2017 Neighborhood Champion in the business category at the Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce's Best of Lincoln Park Awards. The award honors one Lincoln Park non-profit organization, business or cause that has made a positive impact within the community. and one Lincoln Park resident who has made a positive impact within the community. (Carderelli pictured, with Alderman Smith and Chamber CEO Kim Schilf, accepting Neighborhood Champion award.)

The name Emerald City Theatre comes from the love Cardarelli has had since childhood of all things Wizard of Oz. “When we first formed Emerald City Theatre and were looking for a name, we turned to Oz for inspiration. It appeals to all. We wanted to name it Oz Park Players and wrote to Oz Park for permission. Emerald City Theatre was the back up. But while we were waiting for a reply from Oz Park, we got to like our second choice a lot. Emerald City Theatre captures the imagination of children and parents.” 

Now entering its 23rd year, Emerald City Theatre is on a path to continue to grow. At present, seventy-five percent of funding for projects is earned from tickets and tuitions, while twenty-five percent is donations, grants, and sponsorships. Cardarelli hopes to grow the donations. 

“We are excited that the community comes to see us,” she said. “The theater is closest thing we have to filling many roles. We must respond to the audience and make it friendly.”
Kilauea volcano, part 2
The couple quickly cautioned, however, it was an arduous hike several miles each way—across rugged terrain—requiring excellent physical condition. (Terrain pictured below.) It was, no doubt, a well-intentioned hint that it wouldn't be wise for me to attempt the journey. It turned out to be good advice, but that pesky stubbornness gene kicked in again. We promptly arranged for a private guide.

By the time we met our guide, Prince, in Kalapana the next afternoon, better judgement had set in. When I reluctantly admitted to Kelly, the hike would be too difficult for me, there was no disappointment on her face. Kelly explained the situation to Prince asking if other options were available. With a big smile, Prince said "No worries. Hop in my jeep. Let's get bikes and ride to the shore. Maybe we'll get really lucky and see lava entering the ocean." We knew that was unlikely.
Terrain on trip to surface lava
Terrain on trip to surface lava
After a short jeep ride, we biked for two and a half miles—as far as conditions allowed. While locking our bikes before a short walk to the shore, Prince approached Kelly saying. "Kenneth seems disappointed. If he wants to see lava, I'll still take you guys out there. He'll be OK."

Prince then assured Kelly he knew of surface lava flows no more than a 30-45 minute walk from where we then stood. Though it sounded rather dubious, the temptation to walk alongside lava was too strong and my better judgement quickly abandoned me. "Let's do it," I said. It was 6:00 PM.

Forty minutes into the hike, Prince began making calls on his radio seeking updates from other guides. It became apparent he and the lava weren't on the same wavelength that particular evening. It wasn't Prince's first difficulty with lava. On May 24th, 1990, an eruption from the Puʻu ʻŌʻō vent destroyed the fishing village of Kalapana, including his family home.

At 7:15 PM, Kelly asked if we were even half-way. "Not yet," Prince replied. It wasn't the answer we wanted. At 8:00 PM, in complete darkness except for flashlights, Prince pointed to the distant horizon saying), "See the red glow? That's the Pulami Pali; that's where we're going." (Pali is Hawaiian for "steep slope.") We were still an hour away, but at least we knew it was there.
Surface lava from April 2017 pictured above
As the rugged uphill hike continued, reality began to sink in. The further we hiked out to the lava, the longer our return hike would take. I was fully preoccupied with those concerns when, suddenly, we emerged from a shallow gulch to find ground in front of us sizzling with surface lava flows. Now 9:00 PM, we had finally reached the base of the pali we had seen in the distance an hour earlier. The source of the lava was the 61g fissure from Kilauea's Puʻu ʻŌʻō vent.

For the next hour, we bobbed and weaved inches away from meandering lava taking photos and videos. The photos and videos provided above and below reveal what we saw much better than words ever could; I'll let them speak for themselves.
Videos of surface lava flows from Kilauea's Puʻu_ʻŌʻō vent in April 2017
At 10:00 PM, Prince indicated it was time to head back. Energized by the experience and knowing the return journey to the bikes was mostly downhill, we anticipated a much faster and uneventful return. We were right for the first hour and easily covered at least as much ground as it took us ninety minutes to cover on the hike out. Then, however, the meaning of downhill abruptly changed.

Hours of climbing in and out of gulches and over ridges of hardened lava from previous flows (pictured earlier) finally took their toll on my arthritic joints. Rest breaks became more frequent and lasted longer. "Relax for a while," Prince said. "I'll look for a shortcut." Like many shortcuts in life, the one he found that night was, unfortunately, a mirage. And, so we wandered lost in darkness for a period of time until Prince regained his bearings. It was 1:30 AM before we found our bikes.
Good news, it seemed at first! Only two and a half miles to go. It turned out, however, to be fake news. We quickly realized what we hadn't earlier; the bike ride to the shore was so easy and fun because it was almost all downhill. Biking uphill wasn't going to be fun at all.

Then things unexpectedly got worse—much worse—when we were hit by a blinding downpour. The already aching joints, now further impaired by a cool rain, barely functioned. Pedaling uphill, already dreadful at best, was now impossible. Walking was also a poor option, but the only one available. With no shelter from the storm, off we went on the last leg of the journey with me unable to walk more than ten yards at a time, each step extremely painful. The same stretch of ground we traversed on bikes in only ten minutes just hours earlier, became a difficult three-hour uphill crawl. In a race with a snail, the snail would have won.

Throughout the challenging ordeal, our guide, Prince Keli‘iho‘omal (pictured above), was unfailingly patient and caring. When my water began running low—before we even made it to the lava flows—Prince radioed other guides and found me more. When that water ran out on the hike home, he gave me what was left of his. (Yes, I had already confiscated Kelly's water.)

Then, carrying both my backpack—heavy with multiple camera lenses — as well as his own, Prince also pushed his bike and mine uphill and put Kelly at ease (no easy feat by that point). Without ever losing kindness, good cheer and humor, he delivered us safely to our car at 4:30 AM.

While Kelly and I prepared to drive to the Volcano House for badly needed sleep, Prince prepared to start a new day. He was heading straight to his primary job, working on the highway department. As we parted ways, Prince gave us both hugs and wished us well.

Would we do it all over again? Of course, we would (at least one of us anyway). Despite the ups and downs during our excursion—both literately and figuratively—"the Prince" gave us a royal experience that night, one we'll never forget.
11th Annual Halloween Event Draws Large Crowd
Undeterred by overcast skies and the prospect of rain all afternoon, Howler at Bauler, a neighborhood Halloween tradition hosted by Lincoln Central Association for eleven consecutive years, drew a crowd of approximately 950 on Saturday, October 27th.

This year's event featured more activities than ever before as children of all ages enjoyed a variety of entertainment & activities, dancing to music, and piles (and piles) of candy. Featured entertainer Danny Orleans (pictured below), the premier family magician in the country, performed at Howler for the fourth consecutive year. Sponsor Lakeshore Sport & Fitness provided and professionally staffed a bouncy house (pictured below), a tennis game for children, and other activities.

Sponsors BGD&C Luxury Custom Home Builders, Emerald City Theatre, Bridgeview Bank, Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce, Via Strozzi and Oz Park Family Dental all featured entertaining activities, give aways and candy at their tables.
Always one of the event's most popular activities, the annual costume parade was again led by LCA's very own Wizard, Gary Sinclair. Many creative and amusing costumes we on display for all to see as the Wizard led the parade through the Park.

Other activities at the event included two face painters, a balloon artist, a photo booth, a variety of games and arts & crafts of various types.
The costume parade led by Wizard Gary Sinclair
A crowd gathers at the bouncy house
Magician Danny Orleans
While the magician provided the tricks, the featured treats were provided by sponsor Geja's Cafe. Proprietors Jeff and Darla Lawler were on hand to personally serve their famous Belgian chocolate fondue. Many sponsor tables were loaded with candy and ac super special candy table, expertly managed by LCA members Jeff & Ausra Robison, was provided courtesy of La Roccia Lincoln Park.

The always popular raffle featured three pairs of Blackhawks/Bulls tickets (winner's choice), tickets to DePaul University men and women's games, an overnight with a Tesla automobile, a Lincoln Park tour guided by local author and LCA Board memberAnne Moore, a $600 Cocktail & Cryo party at CryoBar Lincoln Park and $110 in gift certificates from Salon Rouge. ( Please note: If you were the winner of either set of the DePaul basketball tickets please contact us to receive your voucher.)

See Howler at Bauler Photos

Sponsors also enjoyed the day. Following the event, Tanya Franco, owner of sponsor Via Strozzi, who was on-site at Howler, said following the event: "We're very excited with our participation. You had an amazing turnout. We loved it and made great connections." Franco added, "I've never seen anything like it in Lincoln Park. It was unbelievable."

Please also consider patronizing the businesses and organizations shown below you have the opportunity. They help make events such as Howler at Bauler possible.
To learn more about sponsorship or other opportunities at LCA events, please email To volunteer or participate in LCA events in other ways, please email Read why LCA's events won an APEX Grand Award in 2018.
Stay tuned for additional details!
Thursday, December 28th 
LCA Monthly Board Meeting

LCA Board meetings are normally held the fourth Thursday of each month at 6:30 PM in the back room of the Marquee Lounge (Halsted & Armitage). Meetings are open to the public. 

Tuesday, January 8th
LCA Zoning Committee Mtg.

Zoning Committee meetings are held the second Tuesday of each month at 6:00 PM in the back room of the Marquee Lounge (Halsted & Armitage). Zoning Committee meetings are open to the public.

43rd Ward Democrats Aldermanic Forum 
Wednesday, January 16, 2019 | 6:30 PM Greenhouse Theatre Center | 2257 N. Lincoln Avenue

LCA, Wrightwood & Park West Aldermanic Debate
Thursday, January 17, 2019 | 7: 00 PM
Lincoln Park High School Auditorium

Old Town Triangle Association Debate
Monday, January 21, 2019 |  7:00 PM| Old Town Triangle Center | 1763 N. North Park Ave

Homecoming Lincoln Central
LCA' Annual Meeting & Election
Wednesday, January 23, 2019|6:30 PM
Bridgeview Bank | 1971 N. Halsted

Mid-North Association & Park West Community Associations Debate 
Thursday, January 24th, 2019 |  7:00PM | Francis Parker School Auditorium | 330 W. Webster

Chamber of Commerce 43rd Ward Debate
Monday, January 28th, 2019 | 6:30 PM | DePaul Student Center | 2250 N. Sheffield

Monday, February 11th—February 25th
 Early Voting City of Chicago Elections

Tuesday, February 12th
LCA Zoning Committee Meeting

Zoning Committee meetings are held the second Tuesday of each month at 6:00 PM in the back room of the Marquee Lounge (Halsted & Armitage). Zoning Committee meetings are open to the public.

Tuesday, February 26th
 City of Chicago Elections

LCA Board meetings are normally held the fourth Thursday of each month at 6:30 PM in the back room of the Marquee Lounge (Halsted & Armitage). Meetings are open to the public. 

 Thursday, February 28th    
LCA Monthly Board Meeting

LCA Board meetings are normally held the fourth Thursday of each month at 6:30 PM in the back room of the Marquee Lounge (Halsted & Armitage). Meetings are open to the public. 

Tuesday, March 12th
LCA Zoning Committee Meeting

Zoning Committee meetings are held the second Tuesday of each month at 6:00 PM in the back room of the Marquee Lounge (Halsted & Armitage). Zoning Committee meetings are open to the public.

Thursday, March 28th
LCA Monthly Board Meeting    

LCA Board meetings are normally held the fourth Thursday of each month at 6:30 PM in the back room of the Marquee Lounge (Halsted & Armitage). Meetings are open to the public.

Saturday, June 1st
6th Annual Spring Zing

Join us for an afternoon of family friendly fun at LCA's 6th Annual Spring Zing from 1:00 to 3:00 PM at Lincoln Central Park (corner Lincoln & Dickens). 

Sunday, June 23rd
5th Annual Summer Sipper

The 5th Annual Summer Sipper will return to our beautiful, award-winning Fire Station Park & Gardens on Sunday, June 24th from 5:00 to 7:00 PM. Summer Sipper is a neighborhood reception style event featuring dishes from local restaurants and dishes prepared by neighbors using herbs grown in the garden.

Thursday, September 12th
6th Annual Evening in the Garden

Enjoy a neighborhood reception from 6:00 to 8:00 PM in our beautiful, award-winning Fire Station Park & Gardens. Hors' d'oeuvres and beverages will be served. Stay tuned for additional details.

Saturday, October 26th
11th Annual Howler at Bauler
The 12th annual Howler at Bauler will be held at Bauler Park on Saturday, October 27th from 3:00 to 5:00 PM.
Overflow Crowd at November Public Meeting
A large crowd attended a public meeting hosted by 2nd Ward Alderman Brian Hopkins at Park Community Church on Thursday, November 2018 at which Sterling Bay presented revised plans for their proposed Lincoln Yards development.

Following the initial Lincoln Yards public meeting in July of this year, various community groups, including LCA, met directly with Sterling Bay representatives and principals over a period of time to provide feedback on the initial plan.

LCA's President, Kenneth Dotson and Zoning Committee Chair, Anne Moore met with Sterling Bay representatives and other members of the project team in late July and in mid-November to advocate for reduced density, additional green space and more clarity on the sequencing of the project.

If you were unable to attend the November meeting, you can see the presentation here. Below are links to various articles recapping the public meeting.

At the present time, LCA's Board of Directors has not taken any position in favor of or in opposition to Lincoln Yards. We will continue to solicit community feedback, to monitor plans and to work with other community groups impacted by the proposed development. We will also continue to provide feedback to Sterling Bay when opportunities arise, including advocating for additional green space and further reduced density.
Give the Gift of an LCA Membership
Did you know you can gift an LCA membership to a friend, neighbor or relative? In fact, three LCA memberships have recently been gifted by friends and relatives.

Simply fill out a gift membership form with the correct information for the recipient of the gifted membership and send along with a check to the address listed on the membership form and we'll notify the recipient and add them to our membership and newsletter list.
Members Now Save at Victory Gardens
LCA and member organization Victory Gardens Theatre are pleased to announce that LCA members will now receive a 20% discount on all Victory Gardens tickets purchased online using an LCA member code provided by Victory Gardens.

This benefit is made available through LCA's Values From the Heart™ program. We will soon be sending those members current on their dues an email with this code and additional information on other new benefits available exclusively to LCA members. Until then, members should email to receive the appropriate discount code.

Special Note: For non-members, Victory Gardens will donate $5 to LCA for every ticket purchased using the following code: LCA5
Holiday Cheer at Via Strozzi
We introduced our friends at LCA member/sponsor Via Strozzi to our friends at LCA member/sponsor Geja's Cafe.

And, guess what? Via Strozzi is now catering their in-store events from Geja's To-Go Menu, including their December 12th holiday party (pictured).

Several LCA members were in attendance at the holiday party to enjoy the warm hospitality and take advantage of the 20% discount members receive when they shop at Via Strozzi.

As a reminder, LCA members also receive $19.71 of all Premier Dinners at Geja's Cafe.
Oz Park Walking Club Has Started

All seniors 60 and up are invited to participate in a new walking club every Friday from 12:00 to 12:45 PM in Oz Park. The free walking club started on Tuesday, January 11.

Register at under Oz Park.
On average, if you shop local, 48% of your dollars stay in the community. Join member organization the Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce this holiday season and commit to spending your dollars where it counts – Lincoln Park!

Pick up your copy of Lincoln Park’s Holiday Passport at participating locations or download a copy at home. Get your passport stamped when you make a purchase at participating locations for your chance to win great Lincoln Park prize packages .
New Mural Installed in Lincoln-Fullerton Alley
Exciting new changes are coming to the Lincoln-Fullerton Alley starting with the recently installed mural from Chicago-based artist, Mac Blackout .
As part of the Lincoln Avenue Revitalization Strategy , the Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce in partnership with 43rd Ward Alderman Michele Smith, is renovating the Lincoln – Fullerton Alley to make it a friendlier path for residents and visitors to Lincoln Park. 
The project is funded through the Lincoln Avenue Special Services Area (SSA # 35), Chaired by LCA President Kenneth Dotson, with support from Lincoln Hall and Glascott & Associates .
You can see the mural just south of Lincoln Hall (2424 N. Lincoln Avenue).
Winner of three 2018 APEX newsletter awards
Winner of two 2017 Apex newsletter awards
Winner of one 2016 Apex newsletter award
From the Heart  is an award winning neighborhood newsletter published by Lincoln Central Association, and co-edited by Kenneth Dotson and Kathy Jordan. We welcome your feedback and story ideas. We look forward to hearing from you at .

From the Heart  has received  APEX Awards for Publication Excellence  in 2016, 2017 and 2018. In total the newsletter has received six APEX awards since 2016.

Additionally,  From the Heart  has been named a Constant Contact All-Star for 2015, 2016 and 2017 based on the open rates and other metrics associated with this newsletter in comparison to other Constant Contact clients. 

Visit our  archive  to catch up on past issues.
Awarded in 2018
Awarded in 2017
Awarded in 2016