Browsing articles from "October, 2014"
Oct 24, 2014
Comments Off on We’re Looking Out For You!! Halloween Fest Saturday!

We’re Looking Out For You!! Halloween Fest Saturday!

We hope to see you Saturday at the GWCA Halloween Fest! Costume Parades begin at 1:30 at either the corner of Cuyler/Greenview or Pensacola/Greenview. Parade Marshalls will lead the parades down the sidewalk on Greenview and merge at Warner to kick-off the Fest. The Fest is free to all GWCA Members and runs from 2:00-4:00pm. We should have BOO-tiful weather! Come and hang out with your neighbors!!!

Oct 20, 2014
Comments Off on GWCA Meeting – Tuesday October 21st 7 pm at Lake View High School

GWCA Meeting – Tuesday October 21st 7 pm at Lake View High School

GWCA Meeting:  7 pm October 21st, Lake View High School Social Room.  Enter off Greenview or parking lot via Irving Park.  Use entrance with canopy.  Tribune editor and author Matt Nickerson will discuss his book on Lake View Township from 1837 to the present.  Book signing too.

Crime:  We have had some bike thefts, garage breakins, neighbors reporting they noticed people had been in their yards and     four home breakins since April (blocks are 1400 Cuyler, 1500 Belle Plaine, 4200 Greenview and 4100 Clark).  1.  Please attend the GWCA meeting Tuesday October 21st.  2.  LIGHTS ON DUSK TO DAWN.   Please light your front and rear entry all year.      3.  REPORT ALL CRIME.  4.  Please review the following Crime Prevention Tips & Contacts.

GWCA Crime Prevention Tips & Contacts 5-2014

REPORT ALL CRIME  and suspicious behavior

· Call 911 immediately and report suspicious behavior that is happening now.  Say “this is happening now”

Suspicious activity

· Someone ringing doorbells attempting to gain entry or requesting money. May have a story

· Someone looking into houses or cars

· Someone being followed

· Someone removing recycling paper (identity theft)

· Impaired driver

Crime in progress:  If you are a victim of a crime that just happened (report immediately and request and keep a copy of the report):  Provide location, number of people, what is happening, description of suspect(s) (hair, complexion, glasses, facial features, height, weight, hat, cap, jacket and slacks), direction of escape, type of auto and license plate number.

Prior Crime:  Call 311 if you see evidence of a prior crime. Request and keep the 311-report number.

Graffiti: Photograph and report all graffiti immediately.  Use Chicago Works app on “itunes” or “googleplay” to submit 311 requests and report graffiti. 311 also forwards a copy to our alderman. Chicago works handles requests for 26 most common city service requests. Or call 311 directly.

Keep your keys, phone and ID in your pocket, not in a purse · Be aware of your surroundings when walking, biking, shopping, dining · Wear a whistle. Three whistle blasts signal someone needs help. Repeat · Lock all doors even if you’re gardening

Inventory and photo all items and inscribe your drivers license number on electronics. Maintain one inventory off site.

Use your shredder · Don’t leave sunglasses or items of value visible in your car

Establish a phone tree of neighbors on either side and across the street and alley from you · Make sure your doors and windows are visible to neighbors.

LIGHTS ON DUSK TO DAWN ALL YEAR. Light your entries dusk to dawn all year. Don’t install privacy fences as they create hiding places.

Contacts · 19th District Police: Main number 312.744.8420 · 19th District Police: Community Policing M – F 312.744.0064 · CUBS Game Hotline: 866.427.3869 · Lake View High School Police Officer: 773.534.5443

GWCA (Graceland West Community Association) Boundaries are Montrose to Irving Park, Clark to Ashland. Please join!

Oct 19, 2014
Comments Off on GWCA HALLOWEEN FEST! This Saturday, October 25th at Warner Park

GWCA HALLOWEEN FEST! This Saturday, October 25th at Warner Park

Mummy’s, bring your Ghouls and Goblins out to GWCA Halloween Fest this Saturday, October 25th from 2:00pm-4:00pm.

The festivities begin at 1:30pm with the Costume Parade. Choose a location that works best for you: Cuyler/Greenview or Pensacola/Greenview. The two parades will merge at Warner and march together into the Fest.

AMAZING prizes donated from local businesses will be awarded for Best MUMMY (Or Best Traditional Halloween Costume) ADULT and KID, Best MOMMY Costume (We all know this takes some effort), Most Spook-tacular Home-made Costume ADULT and KID, Most Original Costume (Non-Theme Related) ADULT and KID, and one prize for Spookiest/Best Decorated House in the Hood!

The Crazy, Cool Waxed Hand Man will be there! The waxed hands are $5 each, please purchase your ticket at Check-in. Visit the site at to learn more about this fun activity.

In addition, there will be games for the kiddos, a delicious Graveyard Goody Bar for food and drinks — and sign up for the Corn Hole Tournament! Spook-tacular fun for the whole neighborhood!

This event is free for all GWCA Members. Not a member? Become one at Halloween Fest! We are in great need of help with set-up. If you’re available on the 25th, from 12:00pm-1:15, email Libby Christopoulos at


Oct 18, 2014
Comments Off on GWCA announces MEMBERSHIP CARDS and Business Discounts.

GWCA announces MEMBERSHIP CARDS and Business Discounts.

Pick up your GWCA membership card at the October 21st GWCA Meeting, 7 pm, Lake View High School Social Room. Enter through the canopy entrance off the track on the Greenview side of Lake View.  Parking lot via Irving Park.

Businesses listed below are giving discounts to GWCA members with their membership card or discount card printed for GWCA. The discounts can’t be combined with any other offers.  Thanks for supporting GWCA. We hope you enjoy this benefit.

ASADO Coffee – 10% discount.  1432 West Irving Park

Cullen’s Bar & Grill – 10% discount.   3741 North Southport.

Galter Life Center – $240.00 initiation fee is waived for GWCA members.  Galter has aquatics, spa, health and wellness, children’s swim classes, adult classes and events. It is Chicago’s first and only medical fitness facility. (Childcare services available when you’re working out, see website for details).  5157 North Francisco, 773.878.9936

Seattle Sutton Healthy Eating – discount.  2946 West Montrose, call Susan for details.  312.267.9940

Southport & Irving / SIP – 11% discount.  4005 North Southport, 773.857.2890

Oct 15, 2014
Comments Off on GWCA Council – Aldermanic Update Report 10-7-14

GWCA Council – Aldermanic Update Report 10-7-14

GWCA Council Meeting, October 7, 2014 Aldermanic Update Report: Thank you to Alderman Ameya Pawar, Jim Poole, Dara Salk, Ernie Costentino, (Bill Higgins, now at CDOT) and Brad Gregorka and 2014 GWCA Council Members and Committee Chairs including Donna Forsberg, Dr. Steve Bines, Karen Dudley, Karin Stevens, Terry Baublis, Larry Witry, Mark Nehring, Dave Fon, Janice Horwich, Barb Sullivan, John Bjork, Laurie Gillman and Brad Zerman (in order of terms) and all other supporters. STATUS / FOLLOWUP NEEDED SHOWN IN BOLD


· (January – May) Berteau to Grace / Ashland to Clark has a long-standing liquor license moratorium. Alderman received multiple requests for package liquor licenses and requested input from GWCA and SNA.

· (July) Use of Parkway Application. $50.00 All Purpose Permit Application on Alderman Pawar’s website. If one applies for and receives a permit for a parkway improvement and the improvement is approved, the city will reimburse for damage caused by work to the parkway. Alderman Pawar and staff asked GWCA to act on a permit request on Berteau and develop neighborhood guidelines. The GWCA council and council emeritus developed neighborhood guidelines. POST TO GWCA WEBSITE

Crime, Safety, Health, Traffic, Parking, Flooding, Infrastructure

· (October – November 2013) Many landscapers are blowing leaves onto streets rather than hauling them away. GWCA Council worked with Alderman’s office to notify some condo associations and property owners of leaf disposal ordinances.

· (December 2013) First frozen street leaf / gutter cleanup to reduce intersection flooding and improve winter street crossing safety. 27 GWCA volunteers. Coordinated with GWCA and Streets and San via Alderman’s Staff. NOTE: 2014 CLEANUP MOVED TO MOVED TO NOVEMBER 22ND. GWCA & LVHS VOLUNTEERS NEEDED & coordinate w 47th Ward for special Streets & San pickup via Alderman’s office. Half of these leaves are from landscapers, who blow them onto the street. The other half are from trees that shed after the last city street cleaning.

· (January – present) Rats: Working with Aldermanic staff regarding areas with persistent problems.

· (January – present) Alley and Alley Apron conditions. All on Ward Survey. Follow-up.

· (February – ongoing) Complaints re Berteau Greenway, dropped sewer, roundabout and Berteau traffic safety issues reported, addressed, monitored. Contra flow bike lane not usable November through March because of frozen packed leaves. CUB’s game and event traffic and parking issues at south end of neighborhood.

· (February – present) Extensive gang graffiti began in February on Montrose, Ashland, and the area on and around LVHS including the alley between Ashland and Greenview north of Belle Plaine and the alley east of Greenview between Cuyler and Irving Park and 1500 block of Berteau. Ashland Water Main construction deterred much gang graffiti in September.

· 1400 block of Cuyler, 1500 block of Belle Plaine and 4200 block of Greenview – break-ins. Increased reports of bikes stolen and people apparently being in yards. GWCA, SNA and Alderman’s office worked with Police Commander and Community Relations regarding crime issues. GWCA re-wrote crime prevention tips, coordinated info with Alderman’s office, and included in 2014 Membership Drive packet. COMPLETE MEMBERSHIP / CRIME PREVENT TIPS & LIGHTS ON DUSK TO DAWN OUTREACH

· (May – ongoing) GWCA and SNA updated crime prevention tips and launched joint crime prevention awareness program on Ashland and Irving Park. GWCA, SNA, Alderman’s office and Commander coordinated efforts. MORE VOLUNTEERS NEEDED IN ORDER TO COMPLETE IN 2014

· (Ongoing) CUBS game and event issues o Out of town dirty diesel tourist busses continue to park with engines running on Irving Park and Clark Street before and during CUBS games and events ignoring air quality regulations. ONGOING NEIGHBORHOOD AIR QUALITY HEALTH RISK especially to infants, children and seniors. o Day game parking stress, Belle Plaine and south o Belle Plaine used to avoid Irving / Ashland light o Event Tour Busses and vendors use Belle Plaine and alley east of Greenview as shortcuts o Lack of police response on game and event days o More sports bars, less regular businesses. South of Irving becoming a drinking destination neighborhood o (May) Alderman Pawar asked GWCA to develop a CUBS Impact Statement regarding games and events. ACTION NEEDED by GWCA

· (June) GWCA, Notified GWCA, Alderman and Principal that Greenview and Belle Plaine residential parking for LVHS campus no longer meets the 1996 neighborhood agreement of 8 am to 4 pm. Signs were changed with no neighborhood notification and now restrict parking from 7 am to 4:30 pm. ACTION NEEDED

· (July) Alderman Tunney asked to stage limos for Billy Joel and other concerts on Irving Park. We surveyed businesses and council members Belle Plaine and south. All agreed to a two-event test. FAILED. NIGHTMARE. DO NOT REPEAT. WAS REPEATED IN SEPTEMBER WITHOUT NOTIFICATION TO OUR ALDERMAN, BUSINESSES OR GWCA.

· (September) Ashland (Irving Park to Montrose) Water Main Project begins. Notification, coordination and status reports from Alderman’s office. Community concerns addressed. GWCA Council Meeting, October 7, 2014 Lake View High School

· (March – August) LVHS Campus Park play lot equipment broken and Community complaints are going to Alderman’s Office. GWCA located some original 1995 – 1996 project documents. Alderman’s office took charge of getting these repairs made. Campus Park was dedicated in 1997. This was a pilot program and joint effort by the City of Chicago, Park District and CPS with initial funding and ongoing maintenance from all three stakeholders.

· (March – present) Planned renewed LVHS partnering with Lake View and was added to April LSC agenda. Meeting postponed one month as a result of Principal transition and we were back on agenda in May. GWCA planned Principal Grens introduction at July GWCA Meeting, LVHS participation in GWCA Garden Walk, participation by Principal Grens, LSC and student volunteer participation at GWCAFest, reestablishing GWCA meetings at LVHS, LSC meeting participation, October Community Forum at LVHS or Open House, Fall Street Leaf Clean-up. *See GWCA May LSC Meeting Handout.

· (May) Alderman Pawar discussed his concern that long-term families in GWCA and SNA neighborhoods (and elsewhere) are moving out of the Ward and city if their children don’t get into a select enrollment school. He sighted a lack of awareness about much of what LVHS offers and asked that GWCA partner with LVHS. Also, what do we think about offering tutoring? We updated Pawar regarding our community partnership with former Principal Feaman, and let him know a former GWCA Council Member served on the LVHS LSC for many terms. Discussed the multi-year volunteer tutor program from GWCA and other neighborhoods surrounding Lake View, which offered tutoring in algebra, geometry, calculus, trig, biology, chemistry, physics, constitution, Mandarin and French. We discussed holding some GWCA meetings again at LVHS. Also discussed our recent partnership outreach and that we had been scheduled on the agenda for the April LSC meeting. Established GWCA LVHS Committee / active volunteers.

· (May) Two Lake View HS students received Gates Scholarships, which will pay for Undergrad, Grad School and Doctorates if in IT. No other high school in the country had two winners. 52,000 students competed for these scholarships. · (June) GWCA asked by Alderman’s office to have table at September Autumn Green Fair at LVHS

· (June – present) LVHS Campus Park Mosaics (One Red Wing and bench mosaics) are deteriorating. Discussed with Principal Grens and LSC. Research reason mosaics failed and address. GWCA FUND RAISER?

· (August) Encouraged LVHS to participate in GWCA Garden Walk. Principal Grens conducted an Architectural Tour of Lake View, which we had video taped by a GWCA resident and nationally acclaimed Videographer, Steve Sullivan.

· (August) Alderman spearheaded establishment of Lake View Partners, a 501c3 to help support Lake View High School. August launch meeting had massive turnout including Microsoft and DePaul partners and many volunteers.

· (August) Lake View High School Beautification Day – volunteers. 100 volunteers, including Alderman Pawar, GWCA and Lake View Partners spent the morning putting finishing touches on the high school for the start of school. GREAT SUCCESS!!! DISCUSS POSSIBLE GWCA SCHOLARSHIP FOR 2015. Alderman Pawar’s Office will contribute too.

· (September) Autumn Green Fair at LVHS. We included this event in the calendar we delivered to 1,200 households with the help of LVHS LSC members and GWCA volunteers in July. Unfortunately we only received the final event information a week prior to the event, too late to recruit volunteers for a GWCA table. Amazing opportunity to introduce GWCA and SNA to neighbors attending if the venue is LVHS again.

· (October) Lake View High School Partners meeting (please let GWCA know you joined so you’re added to GWCA LVHS Committee) Discussed “Ambassador Guide: School-at-a-Glance” and “Lake View High School, Chicago’s Premier Neighborhood High School” STEM, Humanities, Music & Visual Arts. Discussed Inaugural Committees. All are welcome to join this 501c3 that supports Lake View. Lake View High School Fair on October 22nd and Open House on November 1st. LVHS Partnerships include Microsoft, DePaul, Northwestern,

· October GWCA meeting to be held at LVHS. Continued synergy between Lake View High School and GWCA community with GWCA Halloween Party on October 25th and GWCA Street Leaf Clean-up on November 22nd.

· (November) Lake View High School Open House, November 1st. VOLUNTEERS NEEDED. · (November 22) Lake View High School will partner with GWCA for the Street Leaf Clean-up with some of the volunteers. GWCA & LVHS VOLUNTEERS NEEDED

Events GWCA conducted that needed permits through the Alderman’s Office:

· Garage Sale – Spring and Fall

· GWCAFest – September

Oct 13, 2014


GWCA members, you just received a flyer.  GWCA Calendar on one side.  Halloween Party on reverse side.  Don’t forget to have LIGHTS ON DUSK TO DAWN on your front porch and rear entry ALL YEAR for safety and to make ours a welcoming neighborhood.

• Tuesday October 21st GWCA Meeting 7 pm in LVHS Social Room.  Enter off Greenview through the door with the canopy off the track.  After a brief business meeting, Tribune editor and author Matt Nickerson will discuss his book, Lake View, which chronicles the history of West Lake View from 1837 to the present and includes 200 photos.  Book signing too.  John Bjork is the contact at

• Wednesday October 22nd, Lake View High School Fair 5-7 pm.  Janice Horwich is the contact at

• October 25th, GWCA Halloween Party, 2-4 pm at Warner Park and Gardens. Email Libby Christopoulos to volunteer at  $5.00 entry fee / free to GWCA members (can join at event).

• Saturday, November 1st Lake View High School Open House, 11 am-2 pm.  Janice Horwich is the contact at

• Saturday November 22nd, GWCA Street Leaf Cleanup, meet at the LVHS track at Belle Plaine and Greenview at noon. Bring a rake, shovel and 15 trash/leaf bags. Wear work gloves. Email Larry Witry at to volunteer or just show up

• Sunday December 7th, GWCA Meeting, Holiday Party, Cookie Exchange and refreshments, 2 pm, at Ease Wellness Center, 1437 West Montrose. Dave Fon is contact at

Oct 9, 2014
Comments Off on GWCA Fall Leaf Clean-up

GWCA Fall Leaf Clean-up


Come out and meet your neighbors


We will be meeting at the corner of Greenview and Belle Plaine on November 22 at 12:00PM.  Bring your rakes, brooms and shovels, work gloves and 10 – 15 trash / leaf bags.  If you have extras, please bring them to share.  You can also help by getting a group of your neighbors together and work on your block.  If you know of a trouble spot where water accumulates after a storm, let me know so that those spots are addressed first.  If you have any questions or want to sign up please Email Larry Witry at   


Prior to the 22nd, could you please also cleanup any remaining street leaves not cleared by city street sweeping in front of your house so they don’t migrate to the intersections, clog the sewers and contribute to street, vehicle and basement flooding?  THANKS!!


Upcoming Events

  1. GWCA Annual Yard / Garage Sale

    June 2 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
  2. GWCA Annual Yard / Garage Sale Rain Date

    June 3 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

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