CAPS funding in danger; SSA expansion on hold

East Village Association membership meeting minutes
November 5, 2012
Submitted by Meghan Quinn

Business Minute
Layne Jackson, an East Village resident, artist and business owner for 11 years, spoke about new art studio, classroom and gallery at 1112 N. Ashland. Teaching is a substantial part of what she does and community work is an important part of her practice. She also teaches an after-school art program at La Salle II.

Jackson sponsors students from the neighborhood who enjoy art but don’t have many opportunities to learn it due to many school art programs being cut. She would love help from others who would like to sponsor children as well.

She will be adding another teacher soon to accommodate more classes. Jackson also just wrapped up a trunk show in her space and is always looking for more opportunities to showcase artists.

Jackson is currently looking for an assistant and would be willing to trade for classes, etc. Contact her if you are interested.

Check out her website at www.laynejackson.com for more information, including class schedules.

Principal Ernesto Matias of Wells High School
Principal Matias and Dr. Susan Nusbaum visited the meeting to talk about their fundraising efforts to build the Field of Hope at Wells High School. The plans include a soccer field, baseball/softball field, dog park, playground for children and screen for outdoor movie viewing.

They are looking to raise $2.5 million to $3 million by June 2013 to complete the project before the first snow falls in winter.

There will be zoned parking surrounding the new park during school hours and 30 to 35 new parking spaces on the edge of the park site.

Please attend a fundraiser for the Field of Hope from 6-9pm Nov. 28 at The Boundary. There will be a silent auction, music and hors d’oeuvres. All proceeds will fund the Field of Hope. For more information contact Susan Nusbaum at senusbaum1@cps.edu or 773-534-7864.

Principal Matias also wanted to invite all neighbors to stop by the school at any time to visit and learn more about Wells. He is always around and welcomes all to visit.

SSA 29/57 Expansion
At the last City Council meeting regarding the SSA expansion, Ald. Waguespack presented at least 100 signatures to extract Damen from the proposed expansion area. This was successful and led to people voicing opposition to Grand Avenue and Western Avenue, leading to their removal from the proposed expansion as well. The SSA expansion has now been put on hold due to concerns about proper outreach efforts to the community.

To increase transparency between all community groups, a series of meetings will be held throughout the year with the Chamber of Commerce and any neighborhood and community groups who would like to participate.

CAPS
Police Supt. McCarthy may cut the CAPS budget to $0 in 2013. Everyone is encouraged to write or reach out to their alderman to voice concern over this cut. Especially as the 13th District station is being closed, CAPS should be bolstered. EVA will draft a letter for people to sign in order to demonstrate our support for the CAPS program.

Pizza Hut Site
Caisson drilling will begin next and a tower crane is coming.

Chicago Avenue Site
Chicago Grand Neighbors Association is against the proposed upzoning of the site, but not against its development. Chris Fifield of Fifield Development was at the meeting and stated that the developers had figured out a way to make the project work within the current zoning requirements on the site (39 units, 35,000 square feet of retail). They are currently working on drawings and will return to EVA at a later date to present the new proposal. They understand the impact on Commercial Park and plan to work with the community to make the project beneficial for everyone. They are going to commission a traffic study in order to address concerns about the alley adjacent to the park.

Empty lot at Chicago & Noble
The site is said to be a convenience store prospect with surface parking. EVA has voiced its desire to Ald. Walter Burnett and Proco Joe Moreno for a pedestrian street designation at this site.

LaSalle II
The school will redefine the Wolcott playground to incorporate an outdoor classroom. There have been concern about people using the grass as a dog area, which is a sanitation and safety issue. A member pointed out that school code states you can't have dogs on school property unless it is a service animal.

Empty lot at Chicago & Wood
Three lots on the corner at 1806 W. Chicago were listed for sale, with reputed interest from a condo developer with past projects in Bucktown and Wicker Park.

Liquor Moratorium
Most neighborhood groups in the area are against lifting the liquor moratorium on Ashland from Division to Augusta. The West Town Chamber of Commerce is for it. Ald. Moreno has been looking for tools to control liquor sales differently, such as downzoning on Ashland, to encourage new businesses but not ones that might negatively impact our neighborhood with packaged liquor sales. A member pointed out that one of the worst times to grant a business a liquor license is when they need it to remain open.

EVA Newsletter
EVA would like the newsletter and website to be a forum that all members can use to discuss news and events. Please contact Stephen Rynkiewicz if you have anything you would like to be publicized.

Commercial Park
There will be a holiday party on Dec. 8. Suzi Wahl will be posting info on the EVA Facebook page so keep an eye out for that. There is also free yoga in the park at 6:30pm every Thursday evening.

Local Business
Scott Leischer of Adventure Stage Chicago, told us about the new play Six Stories Tall, which is playing Nov. 10 through Dec. 13. See the EVA website for a neighborhood discount.

The next EVA board meeting will be at 6:30pm Nov. 12 at West Town Bakery.

Meeting commenced 7:09pm, adjourned 8:20pm

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