Do you ever wonder what your 49th Ward Service Office does all day? This weekly newsletter, written by your service office staff members*, will give you a taste of the regular and non-traditional things we work on.
The seven staff team members handle over 150 inquiries each day. Some are routine, like requests for pothole repair, snow shoveling complaints, landlord/tenant concerns, and questions about events we’re hosting. Others require a little more creativity, sensitivity, or persistence. This week, we have partnered with residents of a senior building to collaborate on a bed bug education program so residents feel comfortable reporting possible infestations without stigma.
In this issue:
- We hear you: Business attraction efforts
- Parks: Leone Beach Park update
- Infrastructure: Morse/Ashland water main construction
- 311: Tree services
- Acts of kindness: R Public House supports Between Friends domestic violence agency
- Save the date: Upcoming events
- In case you missed it: Events this week
We hear you: Business attraction efforts. Vibrant business districts help make Rogers Park a livable neighborhood and we agree with you that we must work to bring strong businesses to our community and support those that are already here. We hear you and are redoubling our efforts to fill vacant storefronts, grow new neighborhood entrepreneurs, and seek out new businesses. Here are some of our recent collaborations:
- We participate on the Rogers Park Business Alliance (RPBA) Business Attraction Committee, a group of local business owners and neighborhood volunteers engaged in bringing new businesses to Rogers Park able to serve all in our diverse community. Staff Assistant Mike Land sits on the committee, which met recently with the general manager of a well-known independent North Side family restaurant to see if they are interested in opening an additional location. We will give the restaurateur a neighborhood tour in the next couple of weeks and will keep you posted on the outcome.
- Pop-up shops are creative partnerships between building owners and young entrepreneurs. We already have one building owner on Clark who is working with a local business owner for temporary use of a storefront and are looking forward to building on these kinds of collaborations.
- Storefront open houses feature key available spaces in each of our main business districts. These are already bearing fruit. One of these led to the opening of Yamon Jamaican Grill at 1636 W. Howard St.
We welcome your suggestions for how to support our existing local businesses and fill vacant storefronts with new like-minded establishments. Do you know a business looking to relocate? Please let us know!
The Little Park That Could – Leone Beach Park. Over the past several years, community members have worked to re-imagine and redevelop Leone Beach Park at Touhy and the Lake. The plan is to complement Leone and Loyola Parks’ existing programs with expanded nature education and engagement with the unique lakefront landscape.
This group of neighborhood volunteers has met with Park District Superintendent Mike Kelly to discuss their vision for staffing, programming, landscaping and redevelopment of the field house. Superintendent Kelly is supportive of their efforts. While the Park District identifies funds for a full redevelopment, Superintendent Kelly committed to creating a new summer youth camp at Leone, which debuted last summer, and landscaping the park with native lakefront species to enjoyed from new walking paths installed in 2018.
The Leone Park volunteer group formed the Leone Beach Park Advisory Council (LBPAC), which meets the third Thursday of each month at 6:30 p.m. at the Loyola Park fieldhouse. We are appreciative of the service of Rogers Parkers Ann Whelan (LBPAC President), Claire Epperly (Vice President) and Bob Fuller (Secretary and 49th Ward Staff Assistant).
The Leone Beach PAC has been sponsoring nature education programs for the past three years. This past Saturday marked the annual “Winter Trudge,” where more than a dozen neighbors braved the cold to learn about the beautiful and dynamic winter lakefront (see photo).
Leone Beach nature events are held on the fourth Saturday of the month and are led by local experts, times TBA. For more information, contact the LBPAC by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
- May 25th – Spring Bird Migration walk
- June 22nd – Oak Undergrowth plant walk
- July 27th – Tree Identification walk
- August 24th – Rock Identification
- September 28th – Fall Bird Migration walk
- October 26th – Dune walk
Crews this week finished transferring water service for all buildings on the 1500 block of Morse to the new water main. Similar work was completed last week on Ashland.
Now crews are covering trenches with a concrete cap until portions of both streets can be resurfaced in the spring when the asphalt plants reopen. Thanks for your patience on this important project!
311: Tree services. City Forestry crews have been working in our neighborhood in the last week, both trimming trees and removing dead or diseased trees. Next week they will remove stumps. Let us know if you would like a tree planted on the parkway in front of your home or property by replying to this email.
Acts of kindness: R Public House to support Between Friends. The beloved local watering hole, R Public House, is collaborating with Chicago’s Metropolitan Brewing and five other organizations across the country to launch a new beer in honor of International Women’s Day on Friday, March 8.
As part of this event, the businesses involved will support non-profits working on women’s issues. Here in Rogers Park, RPH owner, Renee Labrana, has partnered with Between Friends, an agency dedicated to breaking the cycle of domestic violence and create a community free of abuse. Stay tuned for more details on the event, coming soon!
Save the Date: Upcoming events
• Friday, February 22, 5:00-7:00 p.m.: Follow Me on Friday to Pho Spicier Thai Cuisine and Audio Archaeology, on Devon and Wayne
• Saturday, April 27th, 10:00 a.m. till 2:00 p.m. Shred-a-thon! 7356 N. Greenview. Stay tuned for more details.
Thank you to all who joined us for the “Quantum Dee” sculpture ribbon cutting including (in photo, l. to r.) Michael Dimitroff, Manager of Arts for the Chicago Park District; Eastlake Terrace residents Joe Maschek and Tom Heineman; Therese DeTolla, President of the Greater Eastlake Terrace Park Advisory Council; Jack Heineman; David Kogan, a member of the community task force committee that selected the artist; Davis McCarty, the artist who designed and built the sculpture; and Joanna Goebel, Curator of Public Art at the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.
Please let us know how we can more effectively support you. Also, share any thoughts you have about this email by hitting reply. Thanks for all that you do to make Rogers Park the rich, vibrant community that it is.
Yours very truly,
49th Ward Service Office Staff
* Your 49th Ward Service Office Staff is here to serve:
Wayne Frazier (infrastructure issues)
Mike Land (business, zoning, and property tax issues)
Cecilia Salinas (bilingual Spanish/English; Participatory Budgeting coordinator and immigration issues)
Ann Hinterman (housing specialist and Glenwood Sunday Market manager)
Bob Fuller (legislative aide)
Dan Murphy (ward Streets and Sanitation superintendent)
Kevin O’Neil (police and schools issues)