Newsletter January/February 2020
Note from the Board
On the Move with Phyllis Mitzen
Chicago Park District Board Meeting

Members of Skyline Village Chicago, Edgewater Village, and South Loop Village joined Skyline Village Chicago Board President Phyllis Mitzen at the December Chicago Park District (CPD) Board Meeting for her presentation requesting installation of adult playground equipment in our parks. She first saw this equipment on a Chicago Shanghai Sister Cities Exchange where it was available in parks, rehab centers, and in green space next to both public and private housing for the elderly. She and her colleagues had so much fun playing, and noted that older adults came out each morning to exercise (play) on them. She came back to Chicago determined to bring this equipment to our parks. After her presentation,Michael Kelly, Superintendent of Parks, asked Phyllis to follow up with him directly. She sent him pictures of some of the equipment we are requesting at Lake Shore Park and other parks in the city. We will be meeting with Superintendent Kelly and the Director of Planning and Development in early January to keep the ball rolling.
AARP Press Conference
At a Day of Remembrance for Pedestrian Crash Victims at the Thompson Center, Phyllis was invited to tell the story of her getting struck and knocked to the ground resulting in her catastrophic injury.  Here is an excerpt from her statement:

“We at Skyline Village Chicago are asking the Chicago Department of Transportation to lengthen the pedestrian crossing time at all intersections on Michigan Avenue between Oak Street and Chicago Avenue. But this should only be the beginning phase as CDOT works with us to determine how to make this corridor, and Chicago’s other pedestrian crash corridors, safe for pedestrians of all ages and abilities. Please join us to make pedestrian safety a reality so none of us ever again is traumatized by another crash.  I don’t want what happened to me to happen to anyone else—ever! “
Several days after Phyllis’s statement, Skyline Village organized a meeting with officials from the Chicago Department of Transportation and Alderman Brian Hopkins. Members of Skyline Village Chicago, CLL, SOAR and concerned neighbors met them at Michigan and Delaware on a cold Monday in December to discuss the urgency of lengthening the crossing times of the east-west lights as a first step to make it safer for pedestrians of all ages and abilities to cross Michigan Avenue. 

Watch for details of a Town Hall on Pedestrian Safety in February 2020 where we hope to get a summary of the Chicago Department of Transportation’s analysis on the crossing lights as we continue to hold their feet to the fire.


Skyline Village Chicago Board
Join Skyline Village Chicago
Annual Dues $75 per individual, $100 per couple
Sign up on our website :
Mail check: Skyline Village Chicago, PO Box 81334, Chicago, IL 60681
Our 501C3 status affords members tax deductions to the extent allowed by law. 
Upcoming Events
SVC Memoir Writing Class - Winter Session
Thursdays, Jan. 16 – Thursday, Feb. 20,
10:00 - 11:30am
Wintrust Bank, 100 W. North Ave.

We're proud to announce the upcoming Memoir Writing Class Winter session. The class, led by Sharon Kramer, a Beth Finke Master Teacher ™, will be held from 10:00am - 11:30am :Thursdays for six weeks January 16 - February 20.

For a $75 per year Skyline membership, you can finally start to write those stories down. Spaces are limited so sign up soon!

If you are already a member, click on the link below.

If you are not yet a member of Skyline Village Chicago, go to the home page at  and click Join to sign up. Then you can register for the workshop.


Write MEMOIR on the Subject Line

SVC's Friday Forum
(Last Friday of the month)
1:00pm - 3:00pm
Mity Nice Grill
835 N. Michigan Avenue, Mezzanine
Dutch Treat Lunch
$5 room fee payable at event.

On Dec 27, there was a brainstorming session to gin up ideas for next year's Friday Forums. Right off the bat someone wanted both Alderman Brian Hopkins and State Representatives Lamont Robinson and Kam Buckner to return with updates on city and state projects. Other suggestions include the 2020 census/redistricting, climate change/Lake Michigan rising, election reform, Chicago as a livable/age-friendly city and Medicare. Watch for a Day of the Dead talk and celebration at the end of October. If you have areas of interest you'd like to hear about, please send suggestions to .
Friday, January 31 1:00 - 3:00pm
Louise Kiernan, editor-in-chief, ProPublica Illinois.

ProPublica Illinois was founded in 2017. With a team of 12 reporters, editors and technologists, ProPublica pursues stories that hold powerful institutions to account, from politics to government to business. It is led by editor-in-chief Louise Kiernan , a former editor and reporter at the Chicago Tribune who most recently served as an associate professor at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

Friday, February 28 1:00-3:00pm
Topic: TBD
Skyline Women's Salon
(Typically meets the second Tuesday of the month)

SVC members gather in conversation monthly to increase their awareness of cultural and societal
notions on aging. 
January Salon

January 14
3:30pm - 5:00pm

Address: 900 N. Lake Shore Drive, #2009
Discounted parking available upon request.

Host: Ock Ju Noh

February Salon

February 11
3:30pm - 5:00pm

Address: 200 E. Delaware

Host: Phyllis Mitzen

SVC Partner Events
Sounds Good! Choir
Spring Session
Mondays beginning January 27, 12:00pm - 1:30pm
The Clare, 55 E. Pearson

Rehearsals begin Monday, January 27, 12:00pm-1:30pm
The Spring session concludes with a free performance on Thursday, May 14, 2020 at Fourth Presbyterian Church. All are welcome. No auditions. Join the choir!

Good Memories Choir
Spring Session
Tuesdays, beginning February 4
10:00am - 11:30am
Fourth Presbyterian Church, Gratz Center
126 E. Chestnut

Choir members include people with memory loss, their care partners, and volunteers. No musical experience or training is needed.

Spring 2020 rehearsals begin Tuesday, February 4, 10:00am -11:30am The session ends with a concert on May 12th at 12:00 noon in Fourth Presbyterian Church’s Buchanan Chapel.
Join the choir!

Register here:
Our Community Partners
The Adlai Stevenson Center on Democracy  Website
Beth Finke MasterTeachers™:  Website
Center for Life and Learning 4th Presbyterian Church: Brochure  
Driehaus Museum Website
Mesulam Center for Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer’s Disease:  Northwestern Universit y
Rush Generations Center for Excellence in Aging:    Website
Sounds Good/Good Memories Choirs:  Website
Streeterville Organization for Active Residents:    SOAR  

  • Sign up to help an SVC member home from the doctor, dentist or hospital.
  • Contact us if YOU need an SVC member to help you home from the doctor, dentist or hospital.

SVC's Friday Forum
 State Representatives Lamont Robinson and Kam Buckner joined SVC for our Friday Forum on November 22. Rep. Robinson serves on Governor Pritzker’s Task Force on Pension Reform, along with Rep Sarah Feigenholtz. They’ve successfully consolidated Downstate pension funds to save money by bringing fees down. Rep.Buckner has successfully worked to expunge records for pot arrests. Asked about the type of person Chicago needs for its next police superintendent, Rep. Buckner responded that they should be from Chicago and willing to break the mold in community policing. 

Contact Info:

Lamont Robinson
5048 S. Indiana Ave.Chicago, IL  60615 

Kam Buckner
449 E. 35th StreetChicago, IL  60616 
773. 924.1755

David Greising, President of the Better Government Association, spoke to Skyline Friday Forum on October 25, three days after Mayor Lori Lightfoot revealed her first budget. Lightfoot announced plans to refinance $1.3 billion in city debt, saving $200 million in interest next year. 
The Better Government Association is Illinois’ only non-partisan, full-service watchdog organization. They shine a light on Chicago and Illinois government and hold public officials accountable. Read up-to-date information on ethics reform, property tax policy, City Council corruption, Casino gambling and keeping track of Mayor Lightfoot:
SVC Advocacy
Making Our City More Livable
All-Ages/All-Abilities Park Equipment.
Skyline has long advocated for adult playground equipment in East Lake Shore Park to provide intergenerational interaction at play.

The Lake Shore Park Advisory Committee has said it is possible that adult playground equipment will be available in the park by Summer 2020. We’ll be meeting with officials from the Park District this winter and will keep you posted.  

Pedestrian Safety Project .
A Chicago research study indicates that older and slower pedestrians have a higher likelihood of being injured on Michigan Avenue from Chicago Avenue to Oak Street. “Vision Zero Chicago” is a 2018 city traffic plan with a guiding principle to put pedestrians first. Skyline Village is planning a community forum for early 2020 to learn what pedestrian safety plans the city has for North Michigan Avenue. We all have the right to walk safely on city streets. We are committed to advocating for lengthening the east-west traffic lights as a first step in making pedestrians the top priority in our neighborhood.

Master Plan on Aging
California’s Governor Gavin Newsom announced in his State of the State address in February their Master Plan on Aging. The plan will encompass every sector of state government. In her role as Chair of the Illinois Council on Aging Phyllis is advocating for the development of a Master Plan for Illinois, which includes promoting Age Friendly and Livable Cities, Towns, and Villages throughout Illinois.  

CAPS and Beat Meetings
You can take an active role in helping the Chicago Police Department prevent crime in your neighborhood by attending your police district's Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS) meetings.

The 18th District serves residents East of the River and South of Fullerton, Lincoln Park, Old Town, River North, Gold Coast, and Streeterville. Beats in our area are 1831, 1832, 1833 and 1834. Click here to confirm/identify your District and Beat.

Beats 1834 and 1833 meetings are held on the first Thursday of every odd-numbered month. Beat 1834, serving Streeterville south of Superior, and Beat 1833, serving Streeterville north of Superior, meet at 6:00 pm on the first Thursday of every odd-numbered month at Access Living, 115 W. Chicago.

Contact info: 312-742-5870 or email at .
For a full list of 18th District Events,  click here.

If you need assistance from the Police Department, Fire Department, or an ambulance, call 911 immediately.
Skyliner Expeditions
We would love to hear about your recent travels. Visit to family or friends over the holidays you didn’t get the chance to send for this issue?  Snowbird adventure to get away from winter? Please send an article along with a few pictures. When you attach the pictures to an email, and your computer asks for small/medium/large, choose large. Send your articles and pictures by the week of February 17 th to
By Lenore Holt Darcy
Last summer my husband and I visited the Norwegian fjords. Along the coast we stopped at Alesund, a small fishing village on an island. Later, in Trondheim, we saw once again the beautifully colored homes reflected in the water that mark this region of the world. For more photos click here:
New York City
 By Nancie Thompson
How long has it been since you’ve visited New York City? Perhaps never? Occasionally? It had been 8 years for me, so I signed up for a Road Scholar trip this fall called “New York City At A Slower Pace.”

Road Scholar had chosen the New Yorker hotel, built in 1930, recently renovated, and featuring beautiful Art Deco design throughout. Our location was mid-town Manhattan near Madison Square Garden and the theatre district. After the first six hours I was sure I’d made a mistake. I love to walk, but sidewalks in that area are almost impossible to navigate, and the traffic is highly congested. Soon I adjusted and realized that Midtown has a charm all its own.  

After dinner one night, our guide asked if we wanted to see Hudson Yards, one of the newer additions to New York City’s skyline. Having read Blair Kamin’s articles and others on the subject, I was intrigued and enthusiastically went along. One of the main features of the structure is a 150-ft. high staircase called “The Vessel,” described by one design writer as “a mythical giant’s wastepaper basket.” I wasn’t at all surprised to find that I agreed that Hudson Yards is truly a monstrous mistake on the Hudson, a staircase to nowhere surrounded by mostly empty high-end shops.

Our trip also included a visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Liberty Island, Ellis Island, Bryant Park, and Radio City Music Hall. Of those, I enjoyed the Met, Bryant Park, and the museum at Ellis Island, which features hundreds (perhaps thousands) of items left by the immigrants who came to America via that entry, all arranged beautifully in glass cases by country of origin.

A visit to the 9/11 museum was not on our itinerary, although we did visit the grounds and the fountains. I purchased a ticket for the museum and went during one of our free afternoons. Walking through and experiencing the exhibits is far more heart-wrenching than one can imagine and simply impossible to describe. My advice: Visit if you get the opportunity and be prepared with lots of tissues. My one souvenir from the museum gift shop was a small magnetic plaque of the Survivor Tree, a Callery pear tree and the only tree that survived 9/11, after many months of care at a nursery and then returned to the site.

Because our hotel was so close to the Theatre District, I bought a ticket for “To Kill A Mockingbird” while Jeff Daniels was still starring in it. It was a wonderful experience; the play is so very moving, and also just being there was an event. Audience members shared stories of how and when they got their tickets and we all soon became fast friends, so to speak.
Finally, on the last morning, our breakfast speaker talked about what it’s like to live in New York City. He quoted a passage from E. B. White’s essay “Here is New York,” in which White described the gift of solitude and the gift of privacy that one can experience in a large city. “What did White mean by the gifts of solitude and privacy?” he asked. I quickly raised my hand. “In a large city,” I said, “one can choose to be alone and one can choose to be anonymous.” 
“She’s right!” he said, and my new friends applauded and cheered. But what I was actually thinking about and hoping for is that my Chicago friends experience these gifts of city life and can hold them in their hearts on good days and bad.  
From Our Members
Sorry, Wrong Number
By Marcia Slater Johnston
“This is the Department of Social Security Administration,” a man’s voice intones in one of your voicemail messages. “I’m calling because there have been reports of fraudulent activity regarding your social security number and a warrant is being issued for your arrest. Press 1 immediately to speak to one of our deputies or call this number to avoid being arrested.”
If you hear a bogus message like this, law enforcement people advise that you delete it at once. They also advise that you never answer a call from a number that is not familiar to you or one that your Caller ID can’t identify.
However, you might want to log any callback number stated in a message you judge to be a scam, and, if possible, note the caller’s originating number that flashes on your Caller ID screen.
Then contact the AARP Fraud Hotline – 877.908.3360. You don’t have to be an AARP member to call. Tell the hotline staffer who takes your call the content of the message the caller left for you and, if possible, report the originating phone number attached to any bogus messages you’ve received.  
Additionally, tell the staffers any number you are instructed to call to reach a “deputy” to forestall your “arrest” – or an operative to “unlock” your credit card.
The Fraud Hotline staffers say they turn over the information you give them to the Federal Trade Commission, so the folks there can “connect the dots.” 
According to a Hotline staffer, there has been a huge increase in the number of reports of scams involving the Social Security Administration and Internal Revenue Service  in the past several months.  Interestingly, these scams are not just targeting older adults. Millennials are also getting the calls – and may be getting fooled more than their elders.
 “A government department like the IRS or Social Security will never call you out of the blue,” the Hotline staffer says.  “You will get a letter -- not a phone call -- if there is a problem. The young folks don’t know that and freak out when they get these calls. They reach for their money cards and give the callers what they ask for without realizing they’re being scammed.”
If you think you or a friend or family member has been a victim of a scam, the staff at the AARP Fraud Hotline will connect you with a fraud specialist to explore possible ways to cut your losses. The specialist will also give you tips on how you can assist law enforcement agencies in tracking down and apprehending the scammers.
Hotline staffers advise callers to get out in front of the scammers by logging onto AARP’s Fraudwatch network. The link is on the AARP website – . Fraudwatch is available to anyone, AARP member or nonmember.
Fraudwatch has catalogued more than 50 common frauds and scams such as – Tech Support Scams…Holiday Scams…IRS Imposter Scams…and Grandparent Scams.  You can sign up to receive Fraudwatch e-mail and text alerts about  any new scams popping up in your zip code.
Join Skyline Village Chicago
New Members
Tanya Klasser
Gay Weissenberger
Renewing Members
Michael Nathanson
Joanne Ruxin
Pam Woodward
Annual Dues: $75 Individual, $100 Couple
Send a check to: Skyline Village Chicago, P.O. Box 81334, Chicago, IL 60681 
News We Can Use
Fill out your CENSUS Form

You will receive a postcard by April 1, 2020 directing you to fill out the census online.

For information or to volunteer for the Census, contact: .


Do you have something you'd like to share with your Skyline Village friends in the next newsletter? A news story, a poem, blog, piece of art, photo, a Favorite Thing, a quote? We'd love to include you in an upcoming newsletter and the website. 

The Skyline Village Chicago community of older adults engages
in cultural, educational and social programs. We are active, informed
and connected advocates within our unique, vibrant high-rise neighborhoods.