Dear Neighbors, 

Our neighborhood is beautifully adorned this time of the year with twinkling lights, creatively decorated trees, festive wreaths and brightly wrapped gifts. Wherever we turn, we are embraced by the sights and sounds of the holidays. 

For most of us, the holiday season is a time of family traditions, delicious meals and treasured time with loved ones. Smiles are on our faces with laughter ringing in our ears. Holiday cards connect us with far away friends.

For many, however, the holiday season is the most lonely and painful time of the year.  As we go about celebrating the holiday season, let us be especially mindful this year that the most important holiday light may very well be the one you can bring into the heart of someone less fortunate with an unexpected act of kindness.

P. S. Feel free to contact me at any time at  kenneth@chicago.com  or 773.531.5515 i f you would like to learn more about LCA or have neighborhood concerns.  If you are not already a member of LCA, we hope you will consider joining today. Please also take a moment to look at the chart immediately below to see a representative list of initiatives that LCA works on for the betterment of our neighborhood.
Why Not Join Today?
Join now online.
Download membership form.
LCA's Annual Meeting, Neighborhood Reception and Board member elections. will be held on Wednesday, January 25th at 6:30 PM. The location will be announced in January.

Earlier this year, a Nominating Committee was formed to nominate individuals to serve on LCA's Board of Directors for the 2017-2018 term. Pursuant to LCA bylaws, the Committee was comprised of two sitting LCA Board members, Committee Chair James Borkman and Nancy Morris, and 3 general LCA members,  Judy Johanson, Mimi Duginger and Stephanie Free. All four LCA Board members whose 2015-2016 terms are coming to a close are eligible to serve another two year term on LCA's Board. Accordingly,  the Committee nominated and recommends re-election for the 2017-2018 term the following individuals to fill the four slots. (You can read their bios here.)

Kenneth Dotson
Kathleen Jordon
Anne Moore
Alex Hlavacek

Thursday, December 22nd
LCA Monthly Board Meeting
Board meetings are held the fourth Thursday of each month at  6:30 PM  in the back room of the Marquee Lounge (Halsted & Armitage). Board meetings are open to the public.

Tuesday, January 10th
LCA Zoning Committee Mtg.
Zoning Committee  meetings are held the second
Tuesday of each month at  6:15 PM  in the back room of the Marquee Lounge (Halsted & Armitage). Zoning Committee meetings are open to the public.

 Tuesday, January 24
Savor Lincoln Park 2017
Savor Lincoln Park returns for a one-of-a-kind celebration of food and the Lincoln Park community. Sample cuisine from some of Lincoln Park's finest restaurants, and toast your friends and neighbors. Guests will enjoy delicious food, drink, and exciting silent auction items from Chicago's best destinations . Tuesday, January 24* 6:00 -9:00 p.m.* iO Theater* 1501 N. Kingsbury.Use the code savor17 to receive $10 off your tickets by December 31 (regular priced tickets are $40).
Learn more.

Wednesday, January 25
LCA Annual Meeting & Officer Election 
Followed by Neighborhood Reception
LCA's Annual Meeting, Neighborhood Reception and Board member elections will be held on Wednesday, January 25th at 6:30 PM. The location will be announced in January.
Its your neighborhood - we need your feedback! The Lincoln Avenue Corridor Planning Committee is  currently working on a master plan for the Corridor. We'd love to hear what's important to you about how you live and work in your neighborhood. Read more about the Lincoln Avenue Corridor Plan.

Please take a moment to fill out this brief survey. For your time, you'll be entered to win two tickets to  Savor Lincoln Park!
Anxiter Center Seeks Volunteers

The Anixter Center, a local non-profit organization providing services and programs to people with disabilities, is seeking volunteer tutors to work with adult learners who have a documented disability. The Center currently has a waitlist of more than 90 individuals who are waiting to be matched with a tutor.  Read here for more information and/or contact Roxanne Roosey, Literacy Coordinator at the Anixter Center.

There is still time to apply for your property tax rebate from the City of Chicago. The City has extended the deadline to apply in person to Friday, December 30th.

Eligible Chicago homeowners can apply for the   City of Chicago Property Tax Rebate at any of these  26 neighborhood locations, including City Hall. 

Homeowners must apply for the rebate in person.  Review this newsletter from 43rd Ward Alderman Michele Smith  for further information and  visit the city's webpage on the Chicago Property Tax Rebate to see if you qualify.
The 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.
The Anixter Center requires a minimum commitment of one hour per week for three months, though many of our volunteers and their students have been working together for much, much longer. Their learners' reading levels range from beginning readers who are learning the alphabet for the first time, to individuals who read at the high school level and above but would like extra assistance in comprehension or preparing for college level coursework, and everywhere in between. Some examples of student goals are learning how to use public transportation, reading and understanding medication labels, and finding employment.
Our friends at Ranch Triangle have a new newsletter! Check it out.
J9 Wine Bar Opens on Halsted
  By Anne Moore

Sonja Mlodzek in J9
Years ago,  Sonya Mlodzek, an LCA member, and her sister Janine would sit on the deck of their coach house and dream aloud about opening a wine bar in the storefront space of their Halsted Street property. That dream finally 
came  true: J9 Wine Bar opened in October at 1961 N. Halsted, serving 90 wines, classic cocktails from a fully stocked bar, locally sourced cheeses and meats. (See full menu.)

J9 (her sister's nickname) is a stylish place furnished with a long bar,
Photo credit: Bob Segal
high top tables and cozy couch lounge areas in hues of grey, blue, and red. It's so good looking it's already been used as a set for the Dick Wolf NBC television show Chicago Justice. 

Mlodzek does no advertising and isn't courting press: instead, she's counting on word of mouth to grow the business. "I want neighbors to discover the place, this special spot in the neighborhood they can claim as their own." 

Photo credit: Bob Segal
Lincoln Central Association and Alderman Michele Smith played an early role in Mlodzek's venture by organizing a community meeting to allow Sonya to introduce her proposed project to the neighborhood and helped generate support for a temporary change in zoning necessary for her to receive a rarely granted tavern license. Cont'd.
Lincoln Avenue Corridor Plan Proceeds

Commerce , in partnership with 43rd Ward Alderman Michele Smith, Wrightwood Neighbors  and Lincoln Central Association has initiated a process to develop a plan for the Lincoln Avenue corridor in Lincoln Park. 

This plan, funded through the Lincoln Avenue Special Service Area (SSA #35-2015), Chaired by LCA President Kenneth Dotson, will be used to guide improvements to this important corridor in the heart of Lincoln Park. Read more about the plan. 

On Tuesday November 29th, the Chamber and the Lincoln Avenue Corridor Planning Committee hosted a community open house at  Victory Gardens Theatre  to review plan recommendations from  The Lakota Group Goodman Williams Group  and  Sam Schwartz Engineering .

Given the significant changes along Lincoln Avenue, from the redevelopment of the former Children's Memorial Hospital and the ELEVATE Lincoln Park project, 

#11 Bus

The pilot period for the #11 bus service between Western and Fullerton 
has been extended  by the CTA on the No. 11 Lincoln bus. (See LCA's letter lobbying for expansion of #11 bus service.)

According to an  article in DNAInfo, the pilot began in June and has seen a ridership of about 500 a day - but the aim is to get to 1,500, said Carole Morey, the CTA's chief planning officer, at a Wednesday meeting. It will cost $385,000 for the route to operate through the six-month extension of the pilot, which is scheduled to end in June 2017. See DNAinfo's  full article.
J9 continued J9
1961 Halsted in the 40s
Love an d honor of family is key to Mlozdek's wine bar. It's named for her sister, who passed away in 2015, and it's outfitted with a television that's rarely on for her late mother, a Cubs fan who would have been watching the Series. 

Mlodzcek's building in 1979
Mlodzek  is the careful steward of her late father's
properties,  including a building on Sheffield Avenue. In 1975, he bought the Halsted Street site, which dates to 1885 and is within the  
Armitage-Halsted Landmark District.

With a newly constructed interior,
lighting and furnishings, she turned the storefront space into the wine bar she and her sister imaginedIt. has five wine refrigerators, a Corvain 
Photo credit Bob Segal
dispensing system. Reidel glassware. "This is my parents legacy. I'm always asking myself, 'Is this a good investment?' I think  a wine bar in Lincoln Park is a good investment.'" 

Mlodzek grew up in the coach house and lives there again. In  between, she lived in Houston and worked in computer programming, accounting and deep-tissue massage therapy. A dual citizen, she spent nearly five years in Munich connecting with her German grandmother and touring Europe.

None of that prepared her for opening and running a wine bar where a glass can cost as much as $42 (most wines are in the $15 per glass range). She didn't know what wines, booze and food items to stock and sell, the right kind of a point of sale system. Guidance came from a chance meeting with Bruce Longanecker Jr.
and Hillary Lake, who run The Sedgwick Stop bar and restaurant in Old Town, and from manager Danny Quinn, a veteran of the bar and
restaurant business.

J9 can hold 96 standing, 50 seated. Music plays -- jazz, Dean Martin Ray Lamontagne -- but it's not loud, so patrons can talk. "If Mom, Dad, my sister were alive they would feel comfortable here."
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Congratulations to our friends at    Old Town
Old Town Art Fair
 Triangle Association.   For the second straight  year, the Old Town Art Fair was voted the #1Art Fair in the U. S. based on a survey conducted by ArtFairCalendar.com. 

In a statement, 2016 Old Town Art Fair Chair and former 43rd Ward Alderman, Vi Daley, said: "We're thrilled at the Old Town Art Fair was voted  the #1 art fair in the country! We have an amazing team of more than 600 volunteers who work hard to produce this important event that brings so much  art, business and cultural activity to Chicago and the  Old Town Triangle ." ( Read full press release .) The 2017 Old Town Art Fair will be held on June, 10 & 11th.
corridorCorridor Plan, Cont'd.
Corridor Study Area
See larger, more detailed map.

to the construction of the new DePaul Music School, a large crowd turned out to learn more. Read more about the community open house

The consultant team is assessing the current conditions and make recommendations for physical enhancements and placemaking, transportation improvements,  branding and marketing, and business attraction.  The focused study area for this project stretches along Lincoln from Webster on the south to Diversey Parkway on the north.

A central tenet of the team's approach has been the direct involvement of area stakeholders, community leaders, local organizations, business owners, and residents, with a focus on fostering an open and positive dialogue about the future of the corridor. You can provide your input here.
From the Heart  is an award winning newsletter published monthly by Lincoln Central Association. Please email story ideas to c o-editors,  Kenneth Dotson  and  Kathy Jordan.

From the Heart  r eceived a 2016    Additionally, From the Heart was named a  Constant Contact All-Star  based on the open  rates and other metrics associated with this  newsletter in comparison to other Constant Contact clients.