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News From Uptown Chicago Commission
July 2006

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

in this issue
  • Letter from the President
  • Public Safety
  • Newz in the 'Hood
  • Upcoming Events:
  • Clean and Green Contest

  • Public Safety
    police camera

    SECURITY CAMERA UPDATE: A couple of months ago, 23rd District Commander Gary Yamashiroya asked UCC Public Safety Chair Richard Thale to accompany him to Chicago Police Headquarters as the Commander gave a progress report on crime in the 23rd Police District. Based on criminal activity and the success of a 4th major drug bust in Uptown in the last 7 years, a decision was made to install a security camera at Magnolia & Wilson. The camera targets the storefronts and parking lot at Magnolia Plaza, where much of the recent drug dealing activity has taken place.

    The camera can be moved throughout the 23rd District based on criminal activity and has the ability to focus on noise made by the sound of gunfire. Security cameras placed elsewhere have been linked to a steep decrease in crime in the areas in Edgewater and Rogers Park, where they have been in place for several months.

    SEX OFFENDER UPDATE: The 20th and 23rd Police Districts continue to work dilligently to address the UCC's concerns regarding sex offenders living within close proximity to playgrounds, schools and day care centers.

    Recently, the ISORT (Illinois Sex Offender Registration Team) conducted a sweep of the north side of the City. Aided by officers of the 23rd District, they discovered a convicted sex offender residing at the Hotel Chateau, 3838 N Broadway. The offender had failed to register as sex offender and was residing in a building next to a children's playlot. The offender has been charged with a felony and his case is set for trial on August 11th at Cook County Court House located at 26th & California.

    GRAFFITTI UPDATE : The Uptown Ace Hardware store at 4654 N Broadway continues to suffer damage to their property from graffitti taggers. Recently, an alert neighbor notified the police of tagging in progress at this location and an arrest was made. The offender is due in Court at Belmont & Western on August 2, 2006 at 1:30 P.M.

    COURT ADVOCACY DATES: Community residents are requested to attend court cases as Court Advocates. Requests have been made to attend the following cases:

    Theodore Alverson has been charged with Criminal Tresspass to Land. Mr. Alverson has been a chronic offender in the Uptown area for a variety of offenses. His CTTL case is July 26th, 1:30 P.M. at the Court House at Belmont and Western

    Benjamin Johnson has been charged with the brutal sexual assault that occurred on the 4100 block of N Sheridan Rd. He has also been charged in connection with the recent sexual assault that occurred on the 600 block of W. Addison. Although it is at an early stage in the prosecution, we feel it is important that the community show support for these victims by their presence in the court room. Mr. Johnson is currently in Cook County Jail. His next court date is July 27, 9:30 A.M. in Rm 308 at the Court House at 26th & California.

    The most recent Crimewatch story airing in Chicago Municipal Television highlights a Court Advocacy success story featuring volunteers from our Uptown neighborhoods. To view episode #294, Strength in Numbers, click on the link below:

    National Night Out Against Crime: Give crime and drugs a going away party an August 1st! Please join the Officers of the 20th and 23rd Districts on August 1, for a nationwide version of our monthly CAPS meetings. The event is designed to strengthen our neighborhoods thru police-community partnerships and collaboration. Food, music, safety tips and games for kids will be provided. The 20th District gathering will be at 7 P.M. at Charlie Chaplin Auditorium at 1345 W. Argyle. The 23rd District gathering will be at 6 P.M.- 9 P.M. at Montrose Beach (north of the Beach House), 4400 N Montrose Harbour Dr.

    Newz in the 'Hood
    save a house

    HISTORIC BUILDING in DANGER The 117-year old George Harvey Residence at 600 W. Stratford Place in the LakeView neighborhood is planned for demolition to make way for a multi-unit condominium building. The Harvey house is thought to be the only remainng wood-frame building designed by the renowned Chicago firm of Adler and Sullivan, the architects of the Pilgrim Baptist Church, (which was recently destroyed by fire), and many other Chicago landmark buildings. If you are interested in how to help, or for more information, please visit http://landmarks.org/pdfs/harvey_house_alert.pdf Photo Credit: Preservation Chicago

    WILSON YARD: UPDATE The News-Star reported that work on the foundation for the new Aldi supermarket near Broadway and Sunnyside was to begin the end of June, but no evidence of any construction has yet been observed, and in fact the machinery that was on the site has been removed. The new store will be located between the McJunkin building and Sunnyside.

    On July 26th, the City Council is scheduled to vote on an ordinance that would require "big-box" retailers to pay employees at least $10 an hour and $3 in benefits by July 1, 2010. Target has threatened to pull out of all new Chicago sites if this passes. After the Kerasotes Movie Theatres backed out of the Wilson Yard development earlier this year, this possible change could require the entire development, including the housing component, to go back to the drawing board.

    Last Spring, Peter Holsten reported to Crain's Chicago Business that if Target failed to sign their letter of intent, he would pursue another big box retailer such as Home Depot. UCC would ask for more community input before such a decision would be made.

    Before the debate over the proposed ordinance developed, Ald. Shiller committed an additional, undisclosed sum of TIF dollars to remodel three low-income buildings near the Wilson Yard. No date for this remodel has been set. Voice of the People will be the new managers of these buildings.

    Nick's on Wilson at 1140 West Wilson has opened!. To long-time Uptown-ites, this was the former home of the infamous Wooden Nickel. UCC has high hopes for this new incarnation. Nick Novich the owner is also the owner of Nick's, The Note, and Nick's Uptown. He has applied for a late hour liquor license to remain open on Sundays until 5am, and on Mondays through Saturdays until 4 am.

    Nick's at Irving Park & Sheridan has long been a strong supporter of the community. Buena Park Neighbors Block Club raves about their help with their annual Halloween and Easter Egg Hunt yearly events. Please remember to support a retail establishment that also supports the community.

    Upcoming Events:

    46th WARD ZONING CHARRETTE: Saturday, July 29th from 10am to noon at Truman College. Join Alderman Shiller and the 46th Ward Zoning Task Force in a dynamic discussion of zoning changes, principles, and guidelines for future development and land use in the 46th Ward.

    SHERIDAN PARKS 12th ANNUAL YARD SALE: Will be held on August 5th and 6th rain or shine. From 9am-3pm. SELL, BUY and SOCIALIZE!! For those interested in participating, please email LTANGO1@uic.edu with your name, phone # and and the address where you'll be selling.

    UPTOWN CAPS MEETINGS: 20th and 23rd Districts

    • Beat 2311: August 1, 2006: 7pm-8pm: Truman College, 1145 W. Wilson Ave
    • Beat 2312: August 15, 2006: 7pm-8pm: 4715 N. Sheridan Rd.
    • Beat 2313: August 9, 2006: 7pm-8pm: Clarendon Park Fieldhouse
    • Beat 2322: August 3, 2006: 7pm-8pm: Buena Park Library
    • Beat 2323/2324: September 20, 2006: 7pm- 8pm: Faith Tabernacle, 3750 N. Halsted St.
    • Beat 2024: August 17, 2006: 7pm-8pm: Margate Park Fieldhouse
    • Beat 2033: August 1, 2006: 7pm-8pm: Charlie Chaplin Auditorium, 1345 W. Argyle St

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

    Clean and Green Contest
    BPN Clean Green

    As part of the City's Clean and Green Day on May 13, UCC sponsored prizes to promote the beautification of Uptown. Two awards worth $250 each were to be given toward landscaping materials and supplies. Due to weather conditions several block clubs decided to postpone their Clean and Green day until June 3rd. So, the prizes were split. Based on the May 13 event, Lakeside Neighbors and Dover Street Neighbors, split a $250 prize. And on June 3rd Beuna Park Neighbors walked away with the second $250 prize.

    Letter from the President
    Brian, James

    Summer is in full swing, especially with Brian Wells, owner of Crew Bar & Grill at 4804 N. Broadway. Brian told me that people from all over the world came to his bar the week of the Gay Games. I caught this photo with him as he was racing off to another event.

    A recent edition of the Tribuneís Red Eye mentioned the top neighborhoods known for diversity, and you can probably guess, Uptown was right there among them. These days when itís so easy to distrust others who are different from us, itís the Gay Games that can remind us that diversity is what underscores our true strength as a community. People are not always going to agree with one another when it comes to the Wilson Yard, the right mix of affordable housing, retail development, and whether or not to support the Gay Games. What we can all agree on is that itís our values of respect for one another that will ultimately lead us to finding that balance in a neighborhood we all call home.

    ----- James Cappleman

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