Archive for June, 2012

More notes from recent meeting on June 4th…

I had posted some notes just after our most recent meeting. However, neighbors Mary Stamler and Sharon Banis took more detailed notes which I wanted to share with you here.

Have a wonderfully safe summer! And if there are any block parties you’d like to post about, please let me know!


Volunteers for the distribution of meeting notices are needed for Paulina and Hermitage,
the west sides of the 4500 and 4600 blocks. Rebecca’s blog, which she explained,
acts as a large public posting to the rest of the ward. The blog could be expanded
to post information about activities in the ward, such as those that take place at the
American Indian Center on Wilson Avenue or at the Lillstreet Gallery at Montrose and

Block parties were discussed as a means of having more people involved in ward
The 4500 block of Hermitage has sponsored such an event, organized by a few neighbors.
Rebecca distributed the sample form “Petition to Hold a Block Party” available at the
Alderman’s office and on-line. Signatures of 75% of residents of the block (or blocks)
involved would be required. A permit would also be needed to close off the streets, with
a month leeway in both cases. The city does not provide services such as wooden horses
for this purpose; however, blue bins or a car could serve to bar entry to car traffic. It also
does not provide cleaning services after the event.

A second suggestion was made that entire blocks could be involved in a rummage sale,
which would also require permission to block off participating streets. Rebecca felt a
flyer distributed seven days in advance of the event would serve to notify neighbors who
might wish to take part in such a sale..She also noted that the sale of food or drinks and
an admission charge are not permitted.

The new calendar for CAPS meetings is now available.. These meetings are to be held
on the second Tuesday of every month at Chase Park, Ashland and Leland, rather than
every three months as they have been for the last few years. This frequency is a definite
plus for residents, as it allows us to know our beat officers and to make our concerns
heard. Residents are encouraged to attend, even when there are seemingly no major
problems in the neighborhood.

Recent developments, as well as those projected were discussed.
The new grid system for garbage collection is replacing the former by-ward
Basic changes were made to ward permit parking. Signs reflecting these changes
should have been in place by June 1. There are no 24 hour permits, and the new
city stickers should reflect the revised ward numbering system.
A new green garden with individual plots available to residents has been
developed in the vacant lot adjoining the brown line stop at Montrose and
Ravenswood. Find more information at CHICAGO WARD 47.COM .
July 1 is the scheduled date for the demolition of the interior of the former
Ravenswood Hospital at Winchester and Wilson Avenues, with that of the
exterior beginning September 1. The opening of the Lycee Francais is projected
for the 2015 school year.
Montrose at Ravenswood under the Metra tracks will be closed for another month
on the east side, while the west side will be closed for two more years.

Meetings continue regarding the new Mariano’s Fresh Foods at Lawrence
and Ravenswood. The matter is now in the hands of the city’s Building
Administration. Mariano’s is adament about opening at this location, but the
situation could be tied up for years, despite Alderman Pawar’s daily requests for
The Ravenswood Art Walk is scheduled for the last week of September.
However, this year it will be limited to the east side of the street, with boundaries
reduced from Irving Park to Lawrence and with fewer outdoor exhibits.
A meeting schedule is available on-line for Friends of Ravenswood School
Information concerning criminal activity in the area is available
at “” and at “”
The plan for making Lawrence Avenue more pedestrian friendly and more
attractive has been selected after input from residents. The plan chosen was the
work of Rebecca- congratulations!)
Senior volunteers are being sought to act as representatives to a Senior Council.
Ward residents should be more alert to the needs of seniors who might need
assistance with chores, or who could benefit from being checked on, for example,
in extremely warm weather. Such a program would offer an opportunity to fulfill
required service hours by local high school students.
If the panhandlers at Lawrence and Ravenswood become aggressive, call 911

Rebecca, in closing, noted that the Ward Council Meetings are held every six-to-
eight weeks. It was agreed that a similar schedule should be maintained for our local
organization. It is our intention to distribute notices in a timely fashion, prior to the next
meeting in August.

Notes from Neighborhood Meeting Monday June 4,2012

As we head into summer, East Ravenswood Neighbors met last week to discuss a some items for the season the notes are below…

1. Block Parties: An excellent way to have fun and get to know your neighbors! I passed out petitions so that neighbors could organize their block, if you’d like to do so please go to the Ward office to pick one up or contact 65% of the block needs to agree to the event because of the street closure. Once you have that then you can the Ward fill out an application for the party. They ask that you plan a month ahead of time. For more detailed information please click here.

If block parties aren’t your thing, you can organize a garage sale on your own or with some neighbors. However, a permit is also required. You can find more information and apply by clicking here or by contacting

2. Senior Council: In addition to the Ward Council, the 47th Ward is creating a Senior Council to address issues concerning the seniors in our Ward such as creating a phone tree and making the neighborhood more accessible for this growing population. Area 5 is looking for a representative. If you are interested in learning more, please contact Dara at

3. State of the Neighborhood Association: People seemed generally happy with the the blog, emails and frequency of the meetings. I will give more notice of meetings so that people can plan for it. The reason we always do Monday nights is because All Saints graciously opens their doors for us.(Thanks All Saints) If Monday night is extremely inconvenient I can find another space to mix it up. But most importantly, we need Volunteers! The number of canvassers to flier the blocks to let neighbors not on our email to come to meetings and join the email list have dwindled and less people are knowing about the blog and meetings. Please help spread the word! And if you’d like to write something for the blog about our awesome neighborhood please don’t hesitate to let me know. We have so many exciting things in our community from Lillstreet to All Saints Church (the oldest wood frame church in Chicago) to the American Indian Center, let’s celebrate it by sharing the story with everyone!

Another thing people have noticed is the rise of rats in our alleys. If you see one please contact 311 and the ward office. The more people who tell them there is a problem the more likely they are going to do something about it.

4. CAPS: Another way to get involved in the community is by going to CAPS meetings which will now be held monthly at Chase Park. Please refer to the previous blog post for the schedule and the sidebar to the right of this post to learn more about CAPS. The more people that know about what is going on with the police and crime in our neighborhood the more we can look out for one another. 

5. Mariano’s and Lawrence Avenue Streetscape: The Mariano’s developers are still waiting for the green light from the City’s building commission. The Lawrence Ave. Streetscape is slated to start this summer.

6. Lycee Francais: They are going to begin demolition of Ravenswood Hospital in July. They will be starting from the inside and working outwards. They won’t begin construction on it for awhile, but they want to free up the lot and relieve it of the vandalism and trespassing that was occurring in the space. They are hoping to open the school in the Fall of 2015.

7. Montrose Construction: Will be going on until mid July. In addition to repaving it, Metra is reinforcing the retaining wall at that intersection. There are two seasons in Chicago: Winter and Construction. I know it feels inconvenient but our neighborhood will be stronger for it:) If you have questions please contact You can also check the website to see a more up to date schedule.

8. Things to look forward to: It was suggested at the meeting to invite the Alderman to attend one of our neighborhood meetings. We’ll nail that down for our next meeting in the early Fall.

9. Have an excellent and safe summer and please spread the word of the blog and email list at the block parties!!!


CAPS (Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy) meetings are going to be monthly, Yay! So go if you can, meet our local police officers, learn what crimes are happening in our area and how to add more eyes and ears to our community. They need our help.

For East Ravenswood, which is in BEAT 1912 (covering Irving Park to Lawrence, Clark to Lincoln), our meetings will be held at CHASE PARK (4701 North Ashland Avenue) at 7pm on the following dates:

June 19
July 17
August 21
September 18
October 16
November 20
December 18

If you do not live in East Ravenswood, you can find the schedule by clicking here and contacting your district police office .

Below is from Alderman Brendan Reilly’s website, I think it gives a good understanding of CAPS and why it is important to attend meetings.

“CAPS is a partnership between police, community leaders, business owners and local residents and is the foundation of the City’s community policing philosophy. CAPS brings together the police, the community, and other city agencies to proactively identify and solve neighborhood crime problems, rather than simply reacting to problems after the fact. Problem solving at the neighborhood level is supported by a variety of strategies, including neighborhood-based beat officers; regular Beat Community Meetings involving police and residents; extensive training for both police and members of the community; more efficient use of city services that impact crime; and new technology to help police and residents target crime hot spots.

With CAPS, police officers continue to enforce the law and respond rapidly to serious crimes and life-threatening emergencies. But CAPS recognizes that the police alone cannot solve the city’s crime problems. It takes a combined effort of police, community, and City government working together.”

To understand more how CAPS works, please click here.