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Uptown Chicago Commission Newsletter
October 2008
Please attend our October 14th Public Safety Meeting
UCC logo
UCC has planned an Uptown-wide public safety meeting for Tuesday, October 14th at St. Augustine College.
Each Uptown block club president will make a brief presentation describing ongoing club activities and public safety concerns / initiatives in his or her geography.
The 20th and 23rd Police District Commanders will introduce their Uptown CAPS Beat Facilitators and describe their combined efforts in addressing public safety issues across Uptown.
Our intent is to have those organizations currently working on public safety issues share information with a broader audience - and encourage more Uptown stakeholders to take active roles.
We have several months of cold weather ahead in which to take actions that will make Summer 2009 safer for everyone.
The meeting begins at 7pm in the Charlie Chaplin Auditorium.  St. Augustine College (the former Essanay Studios) is located at 1333 W. Argyle.  Like Truman College, no dedicated parking is available.  This location is walkable for many residents and can be accessed by CTA buses along Broadway or Clark.

More Security Cameras for Uptown Hot-Spots

 Neighborhood Watch Sign
Prior to the Labor Day weekend gang-related shooting and murder, there were three police cameras installed in Uptown and connected to the 911 center.  They are located at:
  • Goudy School
  • Argyle and Winthrop
  • Wilson and Sheridan

A fourth camera was installed at conclusion of the holiday weekend - at Lawrence and Winthrop.

The police commanders and Alderman Smith have requested four more cameras be installed with City funding (either CPD or aldermanic menu monies).  These cameras will be located at:
  • Lawrence and Sheridan
  • Winona and Sheridan
  • McCutcheon Elementary School on Sheridan
  • Clarendon Park

The block club presidents and beat facilitators desire four additional cameras - to be deployed at locations identified by the commanders.  Initial locations may include: 

  • Wilson and Broadway
  • Wilson and Magnolia
  • Sunnyside and Broadway
  • Broadway across from the U-Haul

These cameras would also be directly connected to the 911 center.  We've requested that Uptown's SSA #34 consider allocating funds for these cameras over time.  We've had some initial conversation, and more consideration will be given as the SSA budget is finalized.

Business Partners' new public safety committee has taken up the topic of private security camera usage.  It gathered information from its membership and is contemplating creating a group discount purchasing program. 
State Legislators give consideration to Methadone Clinic regulations 
UCC and Business Partners prepared information on the distribution of methadone clinics throughout Illinois and film footage of the street scene which occurs outside Uptown's two clinics.  We found approximately 50 clinics operating in the state, 25 of which are in Chicago. The only two northside locations are situated near one another, on either side of Stewart Elementary School.  There are no specific zoning or licensing regulations at the City level.
We asked State Senator Heather Steans and State Representative Greg Harris to investigate state-level regulations related to methadone clinics and determine if there is a need for some common sense regulation.  Alcohol and methadone are both controlled substances.  It seems to us that similar restrictions should exist regarding proximity to schools and houses of worship.
Our state legislators have taken the matter under consideration and are expected to communicate with residents prior to the next legislative session.
State Legislators plan follow-up Town Hall meeting 
State Senator Heather Steans and State Representative Greg Harris have convened two smaller meetings since their Public Safety Town Hall meeting this summer.
Their role going forward will be to provide very visible support to public safety initiatives throughout the community.  They've reached out to stakeholders who do not regularly engage in CAPS and block club activities - and are working to improve interaction on this important matter to all who live and/or work in Uptown.
Heather and Greg desire to:
  • support the efforts of informed and active stakeholders,
  • expand the pool of organizations working the issue, 
  • and let those closest to the problems of public safety set the course of action.

They will host another Public Safety Town Hall meeting on Wednesday, October 22nd at 7 pm at Truman College.  They will introduce four people recruited to work on aspects of public safety - and they will provide sign-up sheets so residents can step up and join the efforts of these working groups.

Communication and participation activities will be coordinated by UCC's Cindi Anderson.  We expect to communicate regularly about public safety matters to an expanding base of community members.  We will leverage the existing CAPS and block club structures - and work to engage other community organizations in these efforts.
Business activities will be coordinated by Business Partners' Christie Hahn.  Business Partners has recently launched a public safety committee.  This group has conducted informal public safety surveys of Uptown business owners.  The major areas of concern are not surprising: aggressive panhandling, loitering, public drinking and urination, gang activity and drug use.
Youth activities will be coordinated by Alternatives' Judy Gall.  They will solicit public safety ideas from area youth - and try to connect community residents with existing youth programming.
Policy considerations will be coordinated by Chicago Coalition for the Homeless' Randall Doubet-King.  Area residents are invited to engage in these public safety policy discussions.
Labor Ready hearing scheduled for November 19th 
The Uptown community raised $20,000 to file suit against the City, the Zoning Board of Appeals and Labor Ready - in opposition to plans permitting a day labor service on Sheridan Road, north of Lawrence Avenue.
The related hearing has been scheduled for November 19th.  There will be no opportunity for public comment or other participation, so we will not be organizing residents to attend.  The judge will review transcripts of the original ZBA hearing, as well as the text of our appeal and brief.  Attorneys representing both sides will respond to questions from the judge, but this legal matter is essentially a review of the written record.  The judge is not expected to rule at the hearing's conclusion.  We will communicate the decision as soon as we receive official notification from the court.
UCC to host Election Night event 
Vote ButtonWe hope you will join your neighbors to watch the results of this most unusual election cycle roll in!!!
We will be gathering at The Spot, 4437 N. Broadway, at 7:30 pm. 
Donations are $25 at the door and 2 drink tickets will be provided with admission.  (Please see coupon for entree special at bottom of newsletter.)
Peace Garden Planted 
 Peace Garden Before
 Planting Photo 2
 Planting Photo 1
The Lake Side Area Neigbors' Association enjoyed perfect weather and a large turnout for its Peace Garden planting effort.
A CrimeWatch film crew was on hand to capture images of young and old alike very much enjoying themselves.
Buena Pumpkin Neighbors 

1904 monument

Buena Park Neighbors will once again ensure a safe trick-or-treating experience for its area's children.

From 6-8 pm on Halloween evening, block club members and police officers will be on hand to direct children (and their parents) to households participating in Trick-or-Treating.  The Buena Circle playlot will be "haunted" by actors from National Pastime Theatre.
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2 for 1 entree special
Two for One entree special is available Monday through Saturday. 
Offer not valid with other promotions or coupons, and expires November 30, 2008.
Coupon must be printed and presented in person.