Happy Valentine's Day Neighbors! 

It is no coincidence, of course, that this issue of our newsletter is being published on the evening of February 14. After all, much like Valentine's, LCA is all about Heart. And, our HEART  is not just about logos and headlines.

Heart was chosen to symbolize LCA because it was already ever present in our desire to enhance the neighborhood. Our Heart blooms at the beauty of parks and gardens we help support as a gift to the neighborhood. Our Heart is on display through our support for art and culture. Our Heart has eyes watching out for the safety of our neighborhood. We open our Heart by listening to concerns of neighbors and helping to bring resolution whenever possible. 

Our Heart guides us to honor individuals, like Ella Jenkins and Dickie Harris, who have so richly blessed our lives and neighborhood. Our Heart skips with joy at the variety of family-friendly events we host each year, events filled with laughter, magic and delightful conversations where friendships are made and acquaintances renewed.  

At the Heart of it all, Lincoln Central embodies a deep sense of caring about our neighborhood, as well as those around us, and the individuals and families living there. Our Hearts are full of diversity. They come in all shapes and sizes. Some are old and some are young. Each Heart is unique in its ability bring forth positive change in our neighborhood, so why not let YOUR Heart find its own rhythm to make a difference in our neighborhood? 

If you've never been an LCA member or your membership has lapsed, why not join today? (Memberships begin at $20 annually.) If you are a member but not actively involved in our initiatives, I hope your Heart will feel the inspiration to become more active either through contributions to our organization or participation in our activities. The rewards of community service are far greater than the efforts required. Oh, and I'm sure it is no coincidence that the Most Romantic Man in Chicago is an LCA member.

From the heart,
P. S. Feel free to  email me at any time at  or call me 773.531.5515 i f you would like to learn more about LCA or have neighborhood concerns. 
LCA Makes Donation to Oz Park

Johanson Thanks LCA for Donation
LCA President Kenneth Dotson presented a
$5,000 check from LCA to Oz Park Advisory Council President Judy Johanson to help rebuild the tennis  courts at the Park. The courts are among the most heavily used in the City.  

"One of the responsibilities of LCA is to help the parks in our area, traditionally that has largely been Bauler Park, Lincoln Central Park, and Fire Station Park," said Dotson. "Going forward we will also begin working more closely with Judy and the Oz Park Advisory Council and provide additional support for their initiatives."
Dotson Presenting Check To Johanson 
Johanson, a long time member, thanked
LCA for its commitment to Oz Park, noting that the efforts to rebuild the tennis courts were kicked off by a donation from Alderman Michele Smith.

She said the rebuilding would begin in the spring after the close of the Lincoln Park High School tennis season. You may donate to Oz Park by either contributing to the   LCA Parks Fund and directing you donation to Oz Park (see LCA's Donor Bill of Rights), or  by mailing a check to:  Oz Park Advisory Council, PO Box 146237 ,.Chicago, IL 60614. 
The most romantic man in all of Chicago has been identified by WGN Radio and, in case you haven't heard, he's an LCA member and valued friend of the organization. 

That's right; the most romantic man in the entire city of Chicago is one of us! We don't just talk about HEART, we have HEART. And let's be clear, this individual was not named "the most romantic man in Chicago" until AFTER he became an LCA member. (Guys, if you are not an LCA member and are suffering in the romance department, please take note and join today.)

Who is most romantic man in Chicago? Why is he the most romantic man in Chicago? Is he qualified?  Find out now !
LCA's Bob Segal to be Featured Artist

Board member Bob Segal
bobLCA Board director and professional photographer, Bob Segal, has been selected as one of three local artists to be featured at Bridgeview Bank's 2017  Art in the Park. 
This marks the second consecutive year an LCA memberhas been selected as one of the featured artists. Last year, Josh Moulton was so honored.

The 9th annual Art in the Park will be held on Thursday, April 27th from 5:30 to 7:30 PM at Bridgeview Bank's Lincoln Park branch (1970 N. Halsted Street.) We will provide additional detains in future editions of this newsletter. Congratulations Bob!

Thursday, February 23rd
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.

Thursday, February 23rd
Victory Gardens Theatre Night
Join in for an evening of theater and pre-show reception at  6:30 PM on March 23rd at   Victory Gardens Biograph Theatre . Reception includes wine & cheese sponsored by Victory Gardens Theater and food and drink from local eateries. Proceeds from this fundraiser will contribute directly to bringing forth a  public art mosaic  installation designed by Lincoln Park community members in conjunction with  Lincoln Park Cultural Center  and the 

Tuesday, March 14th, 2017
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.

Thursday, March 23nd
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.

Thursday, June 14th
4th Annual Cravings on Clark
S ample the best of  Lincoln Park cuisine at the   Lincoln Park Chamber's  4th   Annual Cravings on Clark from 6:00-9:00 pm. Stay tuned for additional details!
LCA to Sponsor Chicago Sculpture Exhibit

LCA representatives participated in a Jury Meeting to select sculptures to be part of the citywide 2017 Chicago Sculpture Exhibit (CSE). Since LCA is sponsoring the sculpture in 2017, Vice President Kathleen Jordan, Parks Committee Chair Sally Drucker, and Community Affairs Chair Betsy Costello joined other sponsors in choosing 51 sculptures for the  exhibit  out of 82 submissions. 

Now in its 16th year, the CSE , founded by former 43rd Ward Alderman Vi Daley, an LCA member, pairs artists with sponsors, including individuals, organizations, and businesses. Sculptures are placed in neighborhoods throughout Chicago. Prior sculptures in Fire Station Park, an LCA project, have been sponsored by General Iron. LCA's Board unanimously voted to sponsor this year's sculpture, the organization's first year participating in the program.

Jordan, Drucker, and Costello will help select the sculpture to be placed in Fire Station Park. When all votes are tallied, CSE will provide sponsors with a link to view the works available for 2017. LCA will provide more information when it becomes available. 
Public art fuels a sense of place and fosters a sense of connectedness. The Lincoln Park Community Mosaic Project intends to bring more visibility to the Lincoln Park Cultural Center as a space for collaborative culture building. 

The community mosaic project celebrates the activities of the  Lincoln Park Cultural Center, including everything from lapidary, ceramics, and woodworking to kickball and dancing. Led by artists from the Chicago Public Art Group, they have begun community design workshops to gather ideas and are moving forward to secure an ideal location. Join them in celebrating the rich arts & culture found in our public parks. Learn more about the  Lincoln Park Community Mosaic Project.

"Lincoln Central Association truly is an organization on
Alderman Smith praising LCA's service to the community
the move," said 43rd Ward Alderman Michele Smith in her opening remarks at LCA's Annual Meeting on January 25th where  members and guests enjoyed hors d'oeuvres and cocktails at the newly opened Tobacco Road Tap Room (2249 N. Lincoln Avenue). Tobacco Road is owned by LCA member, Kyle Silver. (Pictured at left below with United States Congressman, Mike Quigley). 

Rep. Quigley & LCA member Kyle Silver
"LCA has been so important to improvements in the neighborhood, and your members should be so proud of what you've accomplished," Smith told the crowd. "Thanks to LCA, we now have safety markings on the street in front of the Fire Engine 22 station." She also enumerated many other community projects in which LCA has been involved, including the dedication of Ella Jenkins Park, new equipment for the Bauler Park, and the planting and maintenance of the Fire Station Park and Lincoln Central Park.

The Alderman also expressed gratitude for the annual family friendly community events  LCA hosts including: Spring Zing; the two events held in Fire Station Park, Summer Sipper and An Evening in the Garden; and Howler at Bauler, the annual Halloween party at Bauler Park. This year's Howler drew a record 1,100 people. "The family friendly events you host are simply amazing," said Alderman Smith glancing at the slide show of LCA events playing on the big screens above.

Also on hand was U.S. 5th District Representative Mike Quigley, a regular presence at LCA events, who said his job is two-fold.   Read more.
Spice Goes to Italy 
by Kenneth Dotson

Spice: November 1998 to November 2015 
Saying goodbye to a beloved family pet is never easy. My wife, Kelly, and I know first hand. We said goodbye to four dogs in a recent four and a half year span. All had been in my life since weeks old, in one case, since the moment of birth. Another, Penny, didn't actually move to Chicago until 2013, at age 11. Penny was my inheritance.

Spice walked on water.
Equally loved, and loving of one another, each dog had its own special journey through life.  In Spice Goes to Italy , the final stages of one of those journeys is shared. Many readers of this newsletter actually knew our Yorkie Terrier,  Spice. Some of you held her in your arms on occasion. Judy Johanson and Kathy Jordan did so dozens of times. For others, however, Spice needs a brief introduction. 

Beginning with her arrival in the
Going for a swim
neighborhood in 2000 at age two, along with her companions, Teddy & Java, Spice ran with the big dogs, terrorized squirrels in the park and played gently with children and adults alike. S
he loved Oz Park; Oz Park loved her.  Sometimes believing she was a Fish Terrier, Spice would even swim in Lake Michigan.

Spice began losing sight in 2009. By early 2010, she was
Napping after a rough day
totally blind. It hardly seemed to slow her down, though. She continued going for long walks, roaming up and down stairs at home and mapping out rooms when visiting our friends. In 2012, another challenge emerged. Gradually, then totally, Spice lost her hearing. We consulted her vet, did more research and learned that, with loving care and as long as she was otherwise healthy, Spice could continue to lead a happy life. Armed with a terrier's innate willfulness and her own abundant courage, Spice happily continued. 

A trip to Italy, with plans to visit Rome, Pompeii and Florence, was on our calendar for July of 2015. Finalizing plans just two weeks before departing, we noticed Spice beginning to fade and growing more frail. Though seemingly still happy, we knew the moment was fast approaching when we would have to say our final goodbyes. Leaving Spice in the care of others was not an option. Reluctantly, yet with great clarity, we decided to cancel our trip unless..... (Read more)
I f you are reading this newsletter in Gmail, Yahoo mail and certain other
email programs, the right hand side of the newsletter will be cut off before it concludes. If that happens, go to the very bottom of the ema il and on left hand side and  you will see a message that says "[Message clipped]   View entire message  Simply click that link and you will be able to read the entire newsletter or simply click here.
Annual Meeting, cont'd quigley
"I'm here to serve and to bring things back to Chicago." 
Rep. Quigley addresses the crowd
Quigley said that as a sub-chair on the House Appropriations Committee, he helped to secure $1 billion for the CTA, and as a member of the House Select Committee on Intelligence, he will help to investigate the Russian hacking issue, calling it "probably as important as anything I've done in my life."
"We have a challenge to make our country work," Quigley said.  "I look forward to making it work for you."

Other special guests at the event included Kim Schilf, Chamber of Commerce CEO;  Krys Shaw, Deputy District Director for Congressman Quigley; Carter Harms, Chief of Staff for State Representative Ann Williams; Adam Gypalo, Chief of Staff for Alderman Smith; Ted Cox of  DNAinfo and Mike Holzer, Executive Director of North Branch Works.

The meeting also included the re-election of four LCA Board members for 2017-2018: Kenneth Dotson, Alex Hlavacek, Kathleen Jordan, and Anne Moore. Board members whose terms of office continue through 2017 are James Borkman, Betsy Costello, David Free, Deirdre Graziano, Patty O'Neill Harris, Steve McClellan, Nancy Morris, Bob Segal, and Paul Shea. Read more about the LCA Board.

Heart treats from Tobacco Road
spiceSpice Goes to Italy, cont'd

Would it be possible to take Spice with us to Italy? More importantly, if possible, would it be the right thing for her? We quickly learned that, yes, it would be possible to take her to Italy. (You can too. Learn how.) Whether we could meet all the requirements in two short weeks was less clear. For me, it would have been hopeless, but Kelly was up for the challenge. Having served for several years as head of global marketing for Navteq and having lived in several European countries early in her career, she had learned how to cut through bureaucratic red tape and navigate international travel challenges. 

Spice near "The Mittens" in Monument Valley.
The question of whether it was the right thing for Spice remained. That was more complicated. It wasn't simply a matter of following the rules and completing a checklist. Rather, it required reflection and ultimately a perplexing decision. An experience with Spice from nine months earlier was instructive. 

In September of 2014, Spice appeared to be in a similar decline. With a trip already planned to the Southwest, ironically one postponed earlier that year due to a health crisis facing another of our dogs, Kelly and I decided to have Spice accompany us, shower her with love on the trip and say our final goodbyes immediately upon return. 

Spice, always stubborn and frequently uncooperative, had other plans. A level of vitality we had not observed in weeks returned. She relaxed in Sedona, roamed the mesas of majestic Monument Valley and at Sorrel River Ranch in Moab, Utah, she played peacefully and cheerfully along the banks of the Colorado River. Spice rode by our side along a stretch of historic Route 66 and, at one point, could be seen  standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona. We didn't change our minds about saying goodbye to Spice on our return to Chicago, she did. So, nine months later, with Spice as our most precious cargo, off we flew to Rome. 

Much like her trip to the Southwest months earlier, Spice was energized by her Italian adventure. She crossed the Ponte Vecchio in Florence, rode past Mt. Vesuvius in Pompeii, and walked along the ancient Appian Way. She strolled in the lovely meadows and manicured gardens above the Catacombs St. Callixtus and visited what remains of the major aqueducts near Rome. At Circus Maximus she stood in the exact spot where, centuries before, chariot races and other spectacles were held in front of audiences of as many as 250,000 Romans. At the top of Aventine Hill overlooking the city of Rome, Spice even made friends with another terrier  as the played in the Orange Garden at St. Sabina.
We knew, of course, her renewed vitality was only temporary. but were grateful for the extra time we had with her. We said our final goodbye to Spice on the afternoon of November 13, 2015. She was 17. Along with Teddy, Java and Penny, she remains in our Heart!

Spice at the Claudia Aqueduct

Spice Makes a Friend at St. Sabina
Spice Makes a Friend in St. Sabina's Orange Garden
Spice walking on the
 Appian Way
Scenes from an Italian Restaurant: Spice in Pompeii

See other photos from the  Italy and Southwest trips.
Painful But Necessary

Sometimes in life, individuals have to go through painful procedures in order to ensure long term health. The same is true of neighborhoods.

 Unfortunately, Lincoln Central and surrounding neighborhoods will be going through painful "Heart surgery" in 2017 to repair badly aging infrastructure. These infrastructure repairs will, no doubt, cause inconvenience. At times, the inconvenience will be significant. That has already been the case along Webster Street and other streets in our neighborhood. Yet, these infrastructure projects are necessary to ensure a healthy future for our neighborhood. 

One ongoing complication of these projects is that the construction is often done by third parties (cable, telecom and utility companies) that are outside the City of Chicago's various public work departments. While the City itself issues the permits necessary for these projects to occur, once the permits are received, these entities typically begin work with minimal, if any, outreach to our neighborhood or our Alderman's office. Far too often, the inadequate communication leads to a higher level of inconvenience. That is unacceptable.

Alderman Smith has made the departments overseeing the issuance of the permits aware of LCA's continued frustration with the lack of communication from these entities as well as her own frustration. She has requested increased community outreach prior to these construction projects breaking ground.  

In 2017, we will be working closely with the Alderman's Office to ensure greater transparency, coordination and communication for upcoming projects. It is unrealistic to expect that the inconvenience to our neighborhood will be eliminated. We will, however, try our hardest to help minimize unnecessary and avoidable inconveniences. We will share with you the information we have. If you have concerns about an on-going or upcoming project, please call us at 312.409.2783.

For now, here is what we know:

Water Main Projects

Webster, between Lincoln and Fremont

Currently the project has had a concrete foundation laid down to allow vehicles to access (it's not great, but passable) - the full restoration with asphalt will occur this Spring, once the asphalt plants open for the season (typically oaround mid-to-late April, but weather contingent). The curbs will be repaired at this time, as will general landscaping at this time. 

Burling, between Webster and Belden
Same as above. Expected completion in Spring when th restoration of the asphalt and landscaping and curb repair.

Dickens, between Lincoln and Halsted
Halsted, between Webster and Armitage
Burling, Dickens and Armitage
Orchard, Dickens and Armitage

No definitive start date has been given for the above projects but they are anticipated to start in the May or June time frame. May or June. They typically take about 8 weeks to complete with schedules impacted by weather.   

Hudson, Wisconsin and Menomonee 
Menomonee, Sedgwick and Cleveland
Willow, Larrabee and Sheffield

These projects are expected to commence at some point in 2017 but no more specific time frame has been given.

Telecommunications Projects 

Verizon Wireless | 400 Block of West Webster

The installation project has recently been completed with the exception of a single light pole installation, which is currently in process. The restoration will be in Spring.  

Special Note: Telecom related pole projects have been a frequent occurance throughout the 43rd Ward. The Alderman's office has been in touch with CDOT and the permitting office to address the glut of projects occurring near simultaneously. One challenging dynamic is that the various companies undertaking these projects are competitors. Unlike public utilities, coordination and cooperation between these firms can be difficult. As a result, several blocks in close proximity are often under construction in fairly quick succession. The Alderman's office has asked CDOT to more efficiently space out the approval permits to limit an an extended period of convenience.  


People's Energy | 600 - 700 blocks of Webster

The project is largely complete in terms of the infrastructure repairs. Full restoration to come in Spring once the plants open for the season
Street Resurfacing

Burling, Willow and Armitage 

No specific start date has been provided but the project is anticipated to begin sometime in late Summer or early Fall.

The Cortland Street bridge westbound lane and north sidewalk will be  closed until Friday, February 24th  for utility tunnel repair work.
  • Westbound car traffic is being detoured to Webster Avenue via Clybourn Avenue and Ashland Avenue/Elston Avenue.
  • Westbound trucks are being detoured to North Avenue via Clybourn Avenue and Ashland Avenue/Elston Avenue. 
  • Westbound bicycle riders may WALK their bikes on the southern sidewalk, taking care to give pedestrians the right-of-way.
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.