Thanks to the generosity of neighbors, donations to LCA's Parks Maintenance Fund  already exceed those for all of 2015. Donations directed to Bauler Park, have been deposited in an account reserved solely for that purpose. (Acknowledgement of donations to date are being mailed this week.) 

Additional support will be needed because of the additional enhancements planned for Bauler Park and because of our ongoing work at Fire Station and Lincoln Central Parks. If you've not already donated to our Parks fund, we hope you will consider doing so using either our parks donation form o r by a secure credit card or PayPal transaction on our website. For questions about how your donations are used, please see LCA's Donor Bill of Rights  or  contact us

Sunday, May 15th, 2016
Old Town Art Fair First Look
The Old Town Art Fair First Sight brought to you by our friends at Old Town Triangle Association will hold its annual pre-Fair fundraiser, Sunday, May 15 from 6:00-10:00 PM. Learn more or purchase tickets.

Saturday, May 21st, 2016
Annual Bauler Park Clean-up
Join your neighbors for the annual Bauler Park clean up. 9:00 AM.

Saturday & Sunday, May 21st & 22nd
Lincoln Park Wine Fest
Join our friends at Wrightwood Neighbors  at  the 2nd Annual Lincoln Park Wine Fest LCA members use discount code WNAPROMO to purchase tickets.

Thursday, May 26th, 2016
LCA Monthly Board Meeting
Board meetings are held the f ourth Thursday of each month at  6:30 PM in the back room of the
Marquee Lounge at Halsted and Armitage.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016
Open House to Discuss Lincoln Avenue
A community open house will be held from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm at Victory Gardens to discuss the future of Lincoln Ave. Meet community leaders and share your input. Please RSVP .

Saturday, June 4th, 2016
Spring Zing
Read more  about our 3rd annual Spring Zing.

Thursday, June 16th, 2016
3rd Annual Cravings on Clark
S ample the best of  Lincoln Park cuisine at the   Lincoln Park Chamber's   3 rd  Annual Cravings on Clark from 6:00-9:00 pm. Read more.

Sunday, June 26th, 2016
2nd Annual Sunday Summer Sipper
A late afternoon celebration of summer in Fire Station Park. See photos from last year's event .

Saturday & Sunday, July 23rd & 24th
Join our friends at Sheffield Neighbors  
for the 48th annual Sheffield Music Festival & Garden Walk.  Learn more
Spring Zing, a free neighborhood event with an abundance of food, entertainment & prizes, would not be possible without the generosity of our sponsors.  Pl ease let or sponsors know you appreciate their support. Sponsors include: Bridgeview Bank; Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago & Kohl's Cares, the philanthropic arm of Kohl's Department Stores; Geja's Cafe; Josh Moulton Fine Art; The Harris Group; Carnival Foods; Thomas Ward Insurance and AlphaGraphics.

If you or your business is interested in sponsoring of Spring Zing, you can  review details here.
Guess who Bridgeview Bank is bringing to Spring Zing? Let's just say their guest can magically make money grow. Bridgeview Bank is great at doing the same. Click image to find out how.  Be sure to come to Spring Zing and see Bridgeview Bank's magical guest.
Stop by the Fire Station Park. In addition to the returning perennials, you'll find the beginnings of peas, beans, Swiss chard, several lettuce varieties, beets, carrots, spinach, radishes, even edible flowers such as nasturtium and calendula.
That's just the beginning of the work being done. We've also amended the soil in the vegetable beds, cleaned out the herb garden, trimmed back perennials for healthy growth, and turned the compost to keep it "stewing" for a good mixture that can be used on the growing plans.
All of this is done by volunteer gardeners, led by Sally Drucker, LCA Parks Chairman. "We have had the steady commitment of our volunteers in bringing our garden to life this spring," Drucker said.  "Look for the sticks marking  the plantings to tell you what's coming up." If you'd like to be a part of this exciting effort,  email Sally.
After 29 years as a Chicago Police Officer, more
t han half as 18th District Community Policing Sergeant Cynthia Schumann will retire May 15

"I t has been an honor to work among you," Sergeant Schumann says, citing "an overwhelmingly positive experience for which I couldn't be more thankful." She plans to continue teaching, writing, speaking, and collaborating in experiential training opportunities and online educational course development.
May 10, 2016

Dear Neighbors,

Growth abounds in our beautiful neighborhood every Spring. At Fire Station Park, seeds planted weeks ago have now burst through the soil. From one day to the next, the sprouts grow taller and stronger, tended lovingly by neighborhood volunteers.

Growth is also evident throughout LCA. Membership is increasing; donations are up; more and more people are reading our reading newsletter. We've added new events and growing awareness of LCA in the community has led to new sponsors, providing  much needed support. 

Of course, as noted in my  August 2015 letter,  it's helpful to remember that " we all drink from wells we did not dig. " Just like the plants now growing in Fire Station Park resulted from seeds previously planted,  seeds planted  during the term of Rodger Owen,  my predecessor as LCA President,  have been important to LCA's current growth . Thanks, Rodger!

If you are not already a member of LCA, why not join today, help plant seeds, and watch them grow!

From the heart,
Kenneth Dotson signature
Kenneth Dotson,  LCA President
As a child visiting his parents' native Italy, LCA member  Dino
Taccogna knew the pizza there was different from the pizza back home in Chicago. Last November, Taccogna recreated that taste, opening   La Crosta Woodfire Pizzeria Italiana at 2360 N. Lincoln Ave.

His menu, developed with his father Frank, includes white and red pizzas with a flaky crust made from locally-sourced produce and imported flour and tomatoes. Pies are baked and rotated in a wood-fueled oven that reaches 800 to 900 degrees, using a mix of maple, oak and ash. He's open daily for dinner, Saturday and Sunday for lunch and by appointment for midday parties or meetings during the week. 

The restaurant is on a now quiet stretch of Lincoln Avenue opposite the former Children's Memorial Hospital, but his five-star Yelp reviews bring in customers. Next month, he'll introduce new pizzas topped with locally-sourced meats & sausages. cont'd.

Get ready for family fun in the neighborhood. Join us for Lincoln Central's 3rd annual  Spring Zing, Saturday, June 4, 10 am to 1 pm, corner of North Lincoln Avenue and Richard "Dickie" Harris Way
(Dickens Avenue). Spring Zing will offer an amazing variety of fun and educational activities for all ages.  If you're looking for fun for kids, Spring Zing will feature magical creations from noted balloon artist, A Real Mad Hatter, as well as face painting by special guest Queen Elsa from Frozen.

For bike enthusiasts Lurie Children's Community Volunteer Corps  will once again provide  bike & pedestrian safety education. LCA is grateful to Lurie Children's for their commitment to neighborhood safety support of LCA. (Read more about the Lurie Children's Community Volunteer Corps, made possible by generous funding from Kohl's Cares.)  KidicalMass  will end their inaugural family friend bike ride of the year at Spring Zing. And Performance Bike returns for their third straight year to provide free bike tune-ups.  If biking is in your heart, don't miss Spring Zing!

Spring Zing will also feature architectural tours, food from great local restaurants, raffles with fabulous prizes and much more. Full details will be announced prior to the event.
Want to see your, your family's or your company's planter featured at Fire Station Park and in our newsletter? Reserve one of the four opportunities!

The beautiful sculpture in Fire Station Park is highlighted by four large planter pots. This year, w e are offering four families, individuals (or teams) the opportunity to create your very own project. We supply the pots; you provide the flowers, your creativity and the tender loving care. Planting can be done at your convenience between May 15 - June 1.  These planters are primarily in the shade so you will want to  carefully pick shade tolerant annuals. 

We'll acknowledge the creator of each planter  with an attractive marker and with our many thanks in beautifying our back garden area. This is a fun opportunity to create a special planter you and  your children can watch and tend all summer long.  Please email us if you are interested. It is first come, first served.
New playground equipment at Bauler Park was the topic of a community meeting last month at Church of the Three Crosses. At issue was how best to reconfigure the playground for use by both children aged 2-5 and those aged 5-12 and what additional enhancements should be made to the Park.

The new equipment meets Americans Disabilities Act requirements, while providing opportunities for fun and games for both age groups.  An  Expression Swing will allow parents and toddlers to sit face to face. There will also be a swing adapted for disabled children. Parents also lobbied for two more toddler swings, which are under consideration.

Parents also asked for a different concept from the proposed "pirate
Option B
ship" theme, asking for an abstract design that would allow kids to "dream their own dreams." Color--the plan highlights blue--was another issue, with neighbors asking for something more natural that would blend into the neighborhood. The Bauler Park Advisory Committee (BPAC) is now conducting online survey before making final decisions.  cont'd.
Taccogna, Cont'd. 
To create the casual spot, Taccogna built out a bar, designed cabinetry to hide the TVs and installed new windows 
that open to the street. "You can watch soccer games and other sporting events during the weekend, then I close the cabinets and it becomes a sophisticated space." There's a tin ceiling painted a warm copper and bright red doors. La Crosta seats fifty, twenty-five for parties or meetings. And yes, that's an espresso machine behind the bar, where Taccogna makes an Italian coffee that's smooth and tastes of almond. Until he gets a liquor license, La Crosta is BYOB.

Taccogna learned the pizza business from Marco and Chris DiFranco at Nino's Pizzeria and Catering in Buffalo Grove. "I make a different kind of pie, but they taught me the business," says Taccogna, 42. "It's about the quality of product, treating customers right, training staff, a work ethic, passion and dedication." His business-partner father works with him a few days per week; there's a staff of six.

Taccogna grew up in Arlington Heights, but always wanted to live in Lincoln Park because it reminds him of Europe. In 2010, he made it his home. He lives at Diversey Harbor and sees the Lake every day.

"I reached a point in my life where I wanted to test myself, to go into business for myself," says Taccogna. "It's fun, and a challenge overcoming obstacles. And when I see that my customers are happy, I know it's good pizza. They try it once, I know they'll come back." Be sure and visit La Crosta and meet  LCA member Dino Taccogna.
Sometimes persistence from one concerned citizen can make all the difference. Witness a manhole cover sinking into the sidewalk on the south side of Oz Park. Advisory Council President and LCA member Judy Johanson reported the problem to different agencies, who passed responsibility from one to the other while the problem continued to grow.

Instead of giving up, Johanson called Adam Gypalo, chief of staff for
Alderman Michele Smith  who contacted the
Illinois Dept. of Transportation. The vault was repaired during Spring Break, when fewer kids would be tempted to leave their mark on the newly laid concrete.
Work was completed on April 21. "All of the credit goes the Alderman's
office," says Johanson. "I was really concerned someone would trip and fall, the hole was getting so big. But then the Alderman's office got on it, it got done, and the Park is a safer place to be."
bauler2Bauler, cont'd.  Alderman Michele Smith , who secured the new playground equipment during negotiation's last year with the Mayor's office and the Park District, said she was "excited to have the upgrade coming" to the park where she watched her own daughter play. She expressed gratitude to both LCA and the  BPAC , headed by Leslie Miller for their assistance on this project.

LCA serves as the fiscal agent for the Park and  BPAC, and is raising funds for further enhancements to the Park. You may contribute using   this form or by secure online payment  using credit card or PayPal All donations are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. See  LCA's Donor Bill of Rights.
2nd Ward Alderman Brian Hopkins , asked LCA to submit a position for, and LCA President Kenneth Dotson to speak at, the  May 3rd community meeting at DePaul regarding the future redevelopment of the Finkl Steel and surrounding property. You can read LCA's statement below.

As one of six neighborhood groups in Lincoln Park, Lincoln Central Association is pleased to be included in the discussion for the thoughtful reuse of this PMD.  We support development that would create new infrastructure to optimize traffic flow; provide green space and permeable surfaces; allow public access to the river, ideally via a river walk/bike trail; offer convenient and safe access to public transportation; and complement Lincoln Park's low-rise,  19th  century streetscapes. We look forward to an open discussion about the PMD.

Read more about the May 3rd meeting and the future of the PMD.
43rd Alderman Michele Smith and Director of Zoning & Urban Development, Matt Allee, at the Chicago Neighborhoods Now planning session for Lincoln Park. Read more about Chicago Neighborhoods Now.
From the Heart is published each month by Lincoln Central Association. Please email any story ideas to c o-editors, Kenneth Dotson and Kathy Jordan .
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