The Newsletter of Lincoln Central Association — November 2019
(Non-member Edition)
Winner of APEX Awards for Publication Excellence in 2016, 2017, 2018, & 2019
November 21st, 2019

Dear Neighbors,

Thanksgiving is almost upon us. Each year, this special day provides an opportunity to reflect on the many aspects of our lives for which we can be grateful.

For certain, the blessings in my own life have always far exceeded what has been deserved. One of those recent blessings has been the honor of serving the neighborhood as President of Lincoln Central Association for the last five years. With LCA's bylaws preventing me from serving another term when the current one ends on January 22nd, my heart is filled with thanksgiving for those who have supported me in countless ways in this role.

In particular, my gratitude is abundant for those who entrusted me with this role as well as for all who've shared with me their much needed wisdom and guidance along the way. Any achievements attributed to me would not have been possible without those of you who provided such support.

My gratitude also extends to those who preceded me in leadership roles in the neighborhood, whether formal or informal, because the blessings we enjoy in our neighborhood today, and which make it so special, didn't just happen by chance and they didn't happen on my watch. In the words of an ancient proverb referenced in this letter on previous occasions, "We all drink from wells we did not dig, warm by the fires we did not kindle and sit in the shade of trees we did not plant."

May each of you find blessings in your own life that will fill you with joy this holiday season and throughout the coming year.

From the Heart,
Kenneth Dotson
President, Lincoln Central Association

P. S. Do not hesitate to contact me at any time at  or 773.531.5515 if you would like to learn more about LCA or have neighborhood concerns.

If you are receiving this version of the LCA newsletter, our records indicate that you have either not joined LCA or have allowed your membership to lapse at some point (or we have not yet received your recent renewal payment). If you believe our membership records are incorrect, please contact  .


LCA's Annual Meeting & Board Election will be held on Wednesday, January 22nd, 2020 at 6:30 PM . The location will be announced in the new future. See additional details later in this newsletter.
Saturday, December 7th | 5:00 PM
Lincoln Central Association will once again join with the  Oz Park Advisory Council  to light up the neighborhood at Oz Park's 3rd Annual Holiday Tree Lighting ceremony. The ceremony will begin at 5:00 on Saturday, December 7th at the large evergreen tree near the northeast corner of the park just south of the Tin Man.

Please join us for this magical moment as the neighborhood celebrates the season surrounded by the sounds of the holidays performed by singers from Lincoln Park High School .
Click graphic above or here to see full size flyer.
The tree lighting ceremony is a gift of seasonal cheer brought to the neighborhood by
Lincoln Central Association and the Oz Park Advisory Council
For the third consecutive year, Fire Station Park & Gardens was honored with a  Chicago Excellence in Gardening Award becoming one of only five parks in the city to have been honored in each of the three years since the inception of the awards. The 2019 competition featured gardens and gardeners from 43 wards and 76 neighborhoods. (See full list of 2019 winners .)
Fire Station Park's 2019 award, which came in the Community Gardens Specialized Garden  category, was presented to LCA at a ceremony held on Saturday, October 12th at Austin Town Hall. (Pictured here left to right are garden volunteers Donna Bergmark, Sally Bachrach, and LCA Board member Sally Drucker, LCA's project lead at Fire Station Park.)

This year, Fire Station Park had to overcome a late planting schedule due to cold, snow and rain. Despite the shortened growing season, however, more than 150 hours of volunteer time was logged in the park this year.
Highlights at Fire Station Park this year included a new composting program to produce nutrients for the garden; installation of a rain barrel and new perennials, both made possible by Peggy Notebaert Museum Chicago Conservation Corps ; and 12" of high grade garden soil for the vegetable beds. Additionally, the park had volunteer engagement from students at Abraham Lincoln Elementary School, the Art's Club from Lincoln Park High School, and Girl Scout Troop 20429 from Immaculate Conception St. Joseph School who earned merit badges for their volunteer work.
Vegetables grown in the garden this year included heirloom & cherry tomatoes, eggplant, four kinds of peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, arugula, beans, peas, carrots and two kinds of lettuce. The always popular herb garden again featured basil, rosemary, cilantro, parsley, thyme, lavender, mint, sage, oregano, and chives.

“This garden requires constant rejuvenation,” Drucker said in an interview earlier this year, while emphasizing that the vision for the Park hasn’t changed. “We’ve made annual improvements, but our vision remains the same: to have a park that everyone can use.
by Kathy Jordan
Editor's note: This article was originally published in October 2017.
LCA's award-winning Fire Station Park (pictured here) is known in the neighborhood  as a beautiful, peaceful garden, a place to sit and ponder life. That was not always so.

The park had its beginnings in the early 1970s when urban renewal cleared entire blocks for affordable housing. In the 1900 block of North Larrabee, the Fire Station was built, followed by townhouses to the south. A lot in between was filled with a small park, a really old Engine 22 fire truck, a sandbox, and a fountain. "It had been known as a water park, with a big fountain kids could enjoy," says former 43rd Ward Alderman Vi Daley. "I used to take my daughters there on summer days."
"By 2000, neighbors wanted something different," said Daley (whose daughter is pictured aboard an old Engine 22 in 1974). "With the help of the Chicago Department of Transportation, which had responsibility for the park, we began construction of a passive spot. Trees were replaced, and we planted annuals and perennials. It was lovely for several years." During reconstruction, a concrete pad was added, and the first  Chicago Sculpture Exhibi t art was placed on it in 2001. "It added a lot to the Park," Daley says, "calling attention to this hidden gem. People began to notice."
By 2010, the Park was in disrepair, with weeds everywhere. According to Daley, "I knew LCA had done a great job with the little park at Lincoln and Dickens, so I went to then LCA President, Rodger Owen, and said, 'I need your help' and he wholeheartedly agreed."

 Article continued below underneath following Recent LCA Events
Confronted all week long with a forecast of rain for Saturday, October 26th, the date of the 12th annual Howler at Bauler , LCA decided the show must go on regardless of the gloomy weather.

"The event's entertainers were booked well in advance for the 26th and it was also important to honor commitments to our sponsors," said Events Chair Kelly Dotson. "An amazing team of LCA volunteers put their hearts into making the event happen despite the weather," she added. Those volunteers descended on Bauler Park on the morning of the 26th and worked for hours in the rain to construct a "tent city" to provide shelter for attendees of the afternoon event

Though the rain was much heavier than originally forecasted, neighbors indeed began arriving on schedule at 3:00 to enjoy the afternoon's festivities. Though smaller than recent years, the crowd was in high spirits filling the tents with smiles, laughter and music.
Magician Sean Masterson, whose performance was sponsored by Fogel Slate Group , was surround all afternoon delighting attendees with his close-up magic. Lines also formed at the balloon artist and face painting stations. The photo booth, sponsored by Fleet Fields at Lincoln Yards was also a popular attraction along with the carnival games provided by Lakeshore Sport & Fitness and the innovative crafts table provided by our friends at BGD&C .
The Cedar Palace table stayed busy dishing up tasty Mediterranean appetizers to rave reviews from the attendees. Candy was plentiful in the tents but especially at the Chicago Costume and Friends of Dickens tables where various types of candy were available for all to enjoy. And, as always, the event was capped off by the annual costume parade led by Wizard Gary Sinclair with an improvised parade route that remained completely under the tented area.

Thanks to special guests State Rep. Ann Williams and 43rd Ward Alderman Michele Smith for braving the weather to join us at Howler.
Tent City
Fleet Fields photo booth
Chicago Costume candy table
Thumbs up for Howler
Painted Faces
Smiling Faces
Kissing Faces
Scary Faces
Happy Faces
Family Faces
See more photos from the 12th annual Howler at Bauler : Album 1 | Album 2
LCA is a 501(c)(3) all-volunteer, not-for-profit neighborhood organization. Event day proceeds do not cover expenses and, without the generosity of our sponsors, we would be unable to hold events such as  Howler at Bauler . Please let all these sponsors know you appreciate their support of the neighborhood. 
An Autumn Celebration of Our Neighborhood
Each year, September brings the close our gardening season in award-winning Fire Station Park & Gardens, even as some vegetables continue to ripen and remain available for harvest.

September also brings Evening in the Garden , a season ending celebration of the neighborhood in Fire Station Park hosted by Lincoln Central Association. Held this year on Sunday, September 16th, the event, now in its 6th year, brought the community together to celebrate our neighborhood and thank our volunteers.
Despite a rainy start to the evening, the park quickly came alive as neighbors arrived from all directions for a festive evening of magic, conversation and delicious tastes from the neighborhood.

Guests mingled with friends and neighbors under the stars at the reception style event enjoying a selection of wines from J9 Wine Bar , delicious hors d'oeuvres from the impressive deli at Carnival Grocery , and a neighborhood potluck table featuring items prepared by LCA volunteers and other neighbors.
Popular magician Benjamin Barnes, a favorite at LCA events, amazed and delighted attendees as he strolled through the park performing close-up magic and illusions.

We appreciate our 2019 Evening in the Garden sponsors: J9 Wine Bar (1961 N. Halsted), Carnival Grocery (458 W. Dickens Avenue) and Belmont Village of Lincoln Park (700 W. Fullerton Avenue), all members of Lincoln Central Association.
"It was an opportunity to enhance the neighborhood," said Owen. "And, I'm proud LCA has played such an important role at the Park over the years"

In Fall of 2010, Sally Drucker, chair of LCA Parks Committee and the guru behind the present Fire Station Park, and her then co-Chair, Paul Maggio, began planning the renovation. Drucker recalls the Park's condition at the time. "The hardscape was there, but the vegetation had become overgrown." (See the original  2010 planning document .)

Actual work started in Spring 2011. "CDOT cleared everything except some bushes and shrubs," said Drucker (pictured here with Paul Maggio in 2010)."It had been an ornamental garden. We took out most flowering plants and gave them away and decided to replace them with a native Illinois garden." 

Home Depot provided stepping stones with Christy Webber Landscapes and CDOT doing most planting. Volunteers placed plants according to the plan. "It was like a jigsaw puzzle with thousands of plants primarily native to Illinois," Drucker says. Other project participants included Greencore, a Chicago program helping reintegrate ex-convicts by providing job training; Open Lands, which assessed soil quality; and landscape architect Hoerr-Schaudt, which provided an intern to help plan. 
Building a core volunteer group who understood what it would take to maintain the garden was an early chore. Neighbors were urged to contact to join the effort. "We had lots of interest, but little commitment of time," Drucker says.

But when the Spring 2011 planting was complete, a core group of volunteers was in place. The Park was officially dedicated in September 2011.Since then, "We've found what works and what isn't necessary," Drucker says. "Weeding was enormous at first, but over the years, we learned mulching did the trick. The volunteer hours of watering and tending are uncountable. It's always changing, always a challenge," Drucker says. "It's pretty amazing what's been done. I walk through the Park often. I'm very proud of what LCA accomplished," says Vi Daley.

Drucker sums it up. "Vi had the foresight, Rodger Owen was very committed to it, and the garden became a reality. All it took was the faith and patience to know it would look as we dreamed it would."

To learn more about the origin of the Park's renovation, read the  Fall/Winter 2010 issue  of LCA's newsletter.
LCA Hosts Successful Ward Walk
Lincoln Central Association and 43rd Ward Alderman Michele Smith's office hosted a Lincoln Central Ward Walk on the morning of Saturday, September 21st to survey the Lincoln Central section of the ward to identify signs, trees, streets, alleys and sidewalks that needed repair and to check for graffiti or sanitation code violations.

The Ward Walk, coordinated by LCA member Nada Riley, coordinated the Ward Walk gave participating neighbors a direct role in helping keep our community clean and safe.

Many of the problem areas identified during the Lincoln Central Ward Walk have already been repaired.
LCA Funds Replanting of Parkway
LCA's Parks Committee recently installed new LCA funded protective fencing around the ivy beds along Ogden Mall Parkway.

LCA also funded the replanting of the ivy beds earlier this year. Thanks to all of the volunteers who helped water and otherwise maintain the ivy beds after their replanting and a special thanks to Dave Galowich and Laura Meyers for their assistance.

As a result of the efforts of the LCA volunteers, the replanted ivy has been thriving and is expected to emerge from the upcoming dormant season with a strong rebirth in the spring.
Thursday, November 21st
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.

Holiday Tree Lighting Date TBD
Saturday, December 7th
3rd Annual Holiday Tree Lighting in Oz Park
See details at top of newsletter newsletter.

Tuesday, December 10th
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, December TBD
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 14th, 2020
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.

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2020
LCA's Annual Meeting & Board Election
See details elsewhere in the newsletter.
LCA Member & Sponsor Celebrates 3rd Anniversary
Congratulations to our friends at LCA member and sponsor J9 Wine Bar (1961 N. Halsted Street) who celebrated their 3rd anniversary in business on Sunday, October 27th with a wine reception.
Know of an LCA member or member business who has reached an important milestone? Let us know by emailing .
Thursday, November 21st
Walls That Talk
A Film About 3 Historic Lincoln Park Buildings
September 17th | 7:00 - 8:00 PM
(Click on flyer or here to enlarge.)
You're invited to join LCA member Lincoln Park Community Research Initiative at DePaul University as they celebrate their 20 year anniversary at their Fall program on Thursday evening, November 21st at the DePaul Student Center.

The program will feature the film  Walls That Talk .

  • 6:30 - 7:00 Reception
  • 7:00 - 8:15 Film Showing
  • 8:15 - 8:30 Q&A

Click here to learn more or RSVP. Missed the Spring program? Watch The Battle for Lincoln Park   here !
Sunday, December 1st
Breakfast With Santa at Casati's Modern Italian
Have breakfast with Santa at LCA member Casati's Modern Italian on Sunday, December 1 from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM. Casati's is located at 444 W. Fullerton.
Sunday, December 8th
Holiday Village at Belmont Village
Join LCA member Belmont Village of Lincoln Park on Sunday, December 8th from noon to 4:00 PM for an artisan market in their Great Room and get a head start on your holiday shopping. (Click on pictured flyer or here to enlarge.)
Shop chocolates, jewelry, floral arrangements, candles and more from local vendors while you mingle with friends old and new. Featured small businesses include LCA member Dilly Lily. After you shop, enjoy festive activities, starting with ornament making!

RSVP to 773-327-2200 or 
Join the Blue Demons at Wintrust Arena this season! Buy-one ticket get-one free for select Neighbor Night games at men’s & women’s basketball. Enter promo code: NEIGHBOR at to save 50% per ticket in 100-level baseline locations.

2 for $25. Remaining dates: 11/26, 1/22 & 2/4
2 for $35. Available dates: 12/4 & 12/30
Select three of the six neighbor night games to create your customized 3-game flex pack for $60 in 100-level baseline locations. Enter promo code:  NEIGHBOR  at  to select your games.

$60 per seat

Questions? Contact the DePaul Ticket Office 
at 773-325-SLAM (7526)

Click here or on image above to enlarge
Thursday, December 5th
Lincoln Common Tree Lighting
Lincoln Common will hold its first holiday tree lighting ceremony at 5:30 PM on Thursday, December 5th in the Lincoln Common Plaza, 2345 N. Lincoln Avenue.

Special appearance by Santa ( a reindeer or two ), holiday performances by EQUINOX Lincoln Common, caroling with Old Town School of Folk Music & more. Complimentary hot cocoa will be provided. by our friends at Philz Coffee.
Sunday, December 15th
Wrightwood Neighbors Holiday Train
Join our friends at Wrightwood Neighbors on Sunday, December 15th from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM for their annual holiday train ride.

The train ride will leave from 1110 W. Lill Avenue. Santa Claus is scheduled to join in on the ride.

For more information contact Wrightwood Neighbors at .

Each year at the Annual Meeting of Lincoln Central Association an election is held to fill seats on the organization's Board of Directors which are open due to term expiration, or otherwise. The procedures for the election of Board members are outlined in the  organization's bylaws   (excerpted below).

To fill open seats, the Nominating Committee of Lincoln Central Association is now searching for a slate of dedicated candidates to recommend to the membership for election at LCA's 2020 Annual Meeting. The Annual Meeting is scheduled for 6:30 PM on Wednesday evening, January 22nd, 2020. Additional details about the annual meeting, including the location, will be provided in LCA's upcoming newsletter.

In order to serve on the Board, a candidate must have been an LCA member in good standing for at least 60 days prior to the election, reside within    the association's geographic boundaries   , and commit to serving on at least one of the organization's committees. Current committees include: Planning & Zoning, Parks & Beautification, Communications & Membership, Events, Community Affairs and Governance. LCA Board meetings are generally held at 6:30 PM on the fourth Thursday of each month.
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). Alternatively, you may recommend another qualified LCA member as a candidate and submit the required information on their behalf. 

All submissions should be submitted to   no later than the submission deadline of Saturday, November 23rd, 2019. A member of the Nominating Committee will contact each interested party for further discussion and to answer any questions.

LCA's Nominating Committee is comprised of two members of LCA's Board of Directors and three General Members of the organization. The members of the 2019 Nominating Committee are:
LCA Board Representatives

Paul Shea, Committee Chair
Joel Merkin.
General Member Representatives

Judy Johanson
Mimi Duginger
Jerry Quandt
Section 1. General Powers

The daily activities, property, business, and affairs of the Corporation shall be managed by its Board of Directors. The Board may exercise all such powers of the Corporation as are authorized by law, the Articles of Incorporation, and these Bylaws.

Section 2. Number, Qualifications, and Term of Office

a) Number

The Board of Directors shall consist of thirteen (13) Directors, composed of four (4) officers of the Corporation (the President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer) and nine (9) other elected Directors.

b)  Qualifications

To be eligible to serve as a member of the Board of Directors, a person shall be a qualified voting member of the Corporation, without interruption, for a minimum of sixty (60) days prior to election or appointment.

c) Term of Office

Except as otherwise provided in these Bylaws, the term of office of a member of the Board of Directors shall be two (2) years. The term shall start immediately upon election. Directors shall serve no more than three (3) consecutive terms. After the lapse of at least one (1) year, a person may serve again as a Director of the Corporation. Directors shall have staggered terms with nine (9) elected in even years, and four (4) elected in odd years.
d) Fiduciary Duty

Board members owe an explicit duty of care, and a duty of loyalty to the Corporation.

Section 3. Election

The Board of Directors shall be elected by the members from nominees submitted by the Nominating Committee pursuant to the nominating process set forth in Article VI. Section 4 of these Bylaws. The election shall occur at the Annual Meeting of the membership meeting held the fourth week in January. Election shall be by written secret ballot unless the number of nominees does not exceed the number of offices to be filled, in which case, the President shall instruct the Secretary to cast a unanimous ballot. The Nominating Committee shall prepare the ballots, if needed, before the election and distribute them at the membership meeting.

A majority of the votes cast at the Annual Meeting of the membership shall be necessary to elect. If no nominee receives a majority of the votes cast, the two people having the highest number of votes cast on their behalf shall immediately have a run-off election and a new ballot taken at that meeting. The nominee receiving the lowest number of votes shall be eliminated and a new ballot taken.

The newly elected Directors will assume office immediately following their election.
Runs Through November
Please help support the residents of the Lincoln Park Community Services from now through November 30.

You can drop off any of the listed items at the 43rd Ward office (2523 N. Halsted Ave.), or at the offices of State Senator Cullerton and State Representative Ann Williams (1726 W. Belmont).
Required for Air Travel After October 1, 2020
Illinois residents now have the opportunity to apply for identifications cards that meet strict new federal security requirements.

Your current Illinois driver's license or ID card (DL/ID) will only be accepted at airports, military bases and secure federal facilities until Oct. 1, 2020.

To see what documents you need to apply for a REAL ID, visit the  REAL ID Interactive Checklist .
LCA welcomes Joel & Michele Merkin as Lifetime members of LCA. Our current Lifetime members are listed below:
Karen Anderson & Alex Hlavacek
Nora Atassi
Warren Baker
Donna J. Gallery & Ken Bauer*
George & Ellen Benson
Morgan and Anne Carroll
Kenneth and Kelly Dotson
Sally Drucker
David & Stephanie Free
Richard & Andrea Ginsburg*
Patty O'Neill Harris
Adam & Carey Hecktman
Kathleen Jordan
John & Kelly Ketchum
Jen Kramer
Joel & Michele Merkin*
Nancy Lea Morris & Kurt Nakaoka*
Michi Pena
Brian & Jessica Price
Jerry & Pam Quandt
Jeff & Ausra Robison*
Kyle & Anne Rockey
Gustav & Diane Rydbeck*
Harry & Susan Seigle
Jeff & Maggie Shapak
Thomas Souleles*
Conrad & Elizabeth von Petterfy
Dan & Donna Weaver
Tom & Deborah Werner
*Joined or renewed as Lifetime member in 2019.
Winner APEX Awards for Publication Excellence in 2016, 2017 & 2018 (eight awards total for newsletter)
From the Heart  is an award-winning newsletter published by Lincoln Central Association, and co-edited by Kenneth Dotson, Kathy Jordan and Jill Thompson. 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, 2018, 2018 and 2019. In total the newsletter has received eight APEX awards since 2016. Additionally,  From the Heart  has been named a  Constant Contact All-Star for 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 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. | Send us your feedback and your story ideas.
Winner of Constant Contact All-Star Awards in 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2018