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e-Newsletter Index

March e-Newsletter

Welcome to Uptown Chicago Commission's monthly newsletter. Comments, feedback and suggestions for articles are welcome. Please email us at uptownchicago@sbcglobal.net.

in this issue:

News from the President

Bill Hersh and I managed to sneak in one last meal on closing day of the Uptown Snack Shop. Lots of folks, including many UCC members, stopped by to wish the Phillos Brothers, along with Sandy and Karen, their best as they continue on to their next adventure. Everyone singing Auld Lang Syne that last day was especially touching.

"Uptown is great because of the many people dedicated to improving the quality of life for all." From Keitha Benkowski who has worked with the Girl Scouts in Uptown for the last 38 years to those who participated in the latest Wolf Pack Walk around Uptown Baptist Church in February, you will find UCC members frequently at the heart of efforts to make Uptown better for everyone. Isn't that what a great community is all about?
----- James Cappleman

Public Safety

A hearty group of neighbors braved the elements on Saturday, February 11th to conduct a Wolf Pack Walk around the Uptown Baptist Church block. Armed with pens, paper and warm clothes to ward off the snow, we recorded an intensive inventory of broken curbs, damaged sidewalks, potholes, graffiti, overgrown trees as well as several sanitation violations. Over thirty service requests were generated that went directly to the 311 center. Special thanks go out to Irma Perres from the 23rd District CAPS Office for organizing this event. Look for a cleaner and greener Sheridan Road this Spring.

A forum on sex offender laws and issues was held on February 23rd at Illinois Masonic Hospital. Representatives from the Attorney General's Office, Cook County State's Attorney's Office and the Chicago Police Department were on hand to explain the most recent legislation regarding sex offender registration and restrictions on housing.

We recently learned that current state law restricting child sex offenders from living within 500 ft. of a school, playground or child care facility does not apply to the Wilson Men's Club at 1124 W. Wilson. The law applies only to facilities with programs directed exclusively at persons under the age of 18. The Head Start Program, playground and alternative high school across the street from the Wilson Men's Club share space with Truman College.

The 23rd District Police Department has been instrumental in helping to resolve these issues. The UCC is extremely grateful for the extensive amount of staff hours and efforts that the police department and other concerned organizations have spent on this project. The UCC will be sponsoring a similar forum in the near future.

A special training for Court Advocacy Volunteers will be held on Saturday, March 11, 2006 at CPD Headquarters, 3501 S. Michigan, 9am - 11:30am. Speakers include judges, prosecutors from the Cook County State's Atty's Office and Pets Are Wonderful Support (PAWS). This is a great opportunity to learn about the powerful effect that the community can have on the judicial system. For further information contact the CAPS office at 312.747.9987.

A Continental breakfast will be served.

The Gang Intelligence unit of the CPD has requested that court advocates and other volunteers from across the city attend the next court date of Kenyatta White, 9:30 am, March 9, 26th & California, Rm 208. Mr. White had over 25 gang members attend his last court date to try to intimidate the witness and the community. Although this is not an Uptown case, the 23rd District Court Advocacy Subcommittee and liaison officers are dedicated to attending this case and will arrange transportation if enough community members are interested in attending. Contact Officer Ron Tanaka at the 23rd Dist at 312.744.0064 for further information.

Newz in the 'Hood

Uptown Snack Shop closed its doors after 47 Years
The neighborhood spot, at the corner of Leland and Broadway, received a 30-day notice from the new building owner the beginning of February. The 53-seat diner served its last meals on Saturday February 25. Brothers Alex, Pete and Ted Phillos opened the restaurant in 1959, and all were there to close the doors 47 years later. UCC bids them a fond adieu.

Wilson Yard
Wilson Yard will no longer include the proposed multiplex theatre according to the Feb. 28 edition of Crain's Chicago Business. Chicago-based Kerasotes Show Place Theatres LLC has dropped plans to open a 12-screen movie theater after deciding that the construction costs would be too high.

The project's developer, Holsten R.E. Development Corp., is moving forward without the theater. Holsten said the change will allow him to add about 8,000 square feet of street-level retail space to the project. And Target Corp, may now put parking on top of its store instead of underground, as originally planned.

Dog Owner Information
Dog owners now need special permits and tags for their dogs if they want to use the Chicago Park District's dog parks.

The permit and tag costs $5 per dog, down from the $35 originally discussed. You should be able to get this tag from your vet. To get a permit and tag, a dog's owner must prove that the dog has a current rabies vaccination, and has been vaccinated for distemper, hepatitis, Para influenza,
parvovirus and bordetella vaccine, or evidence of vaccination tithers.

Owners must also have a City of Chicago dog license. The permits are valid for a single calendar year, from Jan 1 to Dec. 31 and can be used at any Chicago Park District dog park.

Parking Permit Information
For those who live in Parking Permit areas. You can purchase temporary guest passes at the Alderman's office. They are $5 for 15 passes. If you need a Residential Permit Parking Sticker (good for 1 year) you will need to go to the City Clerk's office.

Nick's Uptown
Nick's Uptown, is rumored to be expanding its business and opening its third location in the storefront most recently occupied by the Third Age furniture store on West Wilson Avenue.

Look for it to open this spring!

Upcoming Events

The Uptown Neighborhood Council (UNC) is sponsoring a neighborhood meeting with a representative from State Representative Larry McKeon's office and John Paul Jones of the Neighborhood Capital Budget Group to discuss the Wilson Yard and the Wilson EL CTA Station.

The event will be at 7pm, Tuesday, March 7th at the Jane Addams Hull House located at 1136 West Wilson.

There will be a Cat Adoption Day on Saturday, March 18 from 12p-4p at Soggy Paws, 1148 W. Leland, in conjunction with the rescue organization Tree House Animal Foundation.

UCC's 3rd Annual Kentucky Derby Party will be held Saturday May 6th - check back for more information

20th and 23rd Districts

  • Beat 2311: March 7, 2006: 7pm-8pm: Truman College, 1145 W. Wilson Ave

  • Beat 2312: March 21, 2006: 7pm-8pm: 4645 N. Sheridan Rd.

  • Beat 2313: April 12, 2006: 7pm-8pm: Clarendon Park Fieldhouse

  • Beat 2322: April 22, 2006: 7pm-8pm: Buena Park Library

  • Beat 2323/2324: March 15, 2006: 7pm-8pm: Faith Tabernacle, 3750 N. Halsted St.

  • Beat 2024: April 20, 2006: 7pm-8pm: Margate Park Fieldhouse

  • Beat 2033: April 4, 2006: 7pm-8pm: Methodist Home, 1415 W. Foster Ave.


Send information about neighborhood news, activities and upcoming events to: uptownchicago@sbcglobal.net.

Get Your Girl Scout Cookies!!!

Long time UCC Director Keitha Benkowski has also been a long time Girl Scout leader in Uptown. For the next couple of weeks on Saturday from 10AM - 2PM, you will find her with some Girl Scouts selling cookies in front of Jewel (at Sheridan and Montrose).

Stop by and buy!

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