Thursday, April 23, 2009

Earth Day Event a BIG Success!!!

PHOTOS: Top - TUBWHP member Rich Karwowski straps on his waders to clean up the ponds .
Middle: The Roeser's Bakery Family gathers around a tree planted in memory of John's father.
Bottem: The TUBWHP crew poses in front of the Stable after a successful clean-up.
Approximately 25 friends and neighbors showed up to help The United Blocks of West Humboldt Park perform their annual pond clean-up during the 2009 Earth Day Event at Humboldt Park. The weather was great, and the pond wasn't nearly as full of debris as in past years(hopefully a sign of more good things to come). However, a large pile of hypodermic needles was discovered in the area. One possible bi-product of the nearby clinics and needle exchange programs in the area.
After the clean-up, the crew headed over to the Boathouse to rest and have lunch in the sunshine. Over 500 people attended, and spread out over the entire park to clean up litter and mulch trees for the upcoming season. About 20 volunteers from the nation-wide volunteer group, "One Brick" were also on hand to beautify our park - thanks One Brick!!!
Also, the Tree Keepers organization was on hand to tend to some trees, educate some new naturists, and plant a couple of trees. Two of these trees were in memory of folks who have passed away that were very interested in Humboldt Park.
The United Blocks of West Humboldt Park also partnered with Growing Pride (the garden club of Humboldt Park) to have a table for kids activities during the afternoon. The kids were taught how to replant flowers into an individual container to be brought home. The flowers can then be planted at home, or given to mom for Mother's Day.
All in all, it was a great turnout, great weather, and the park now looks........ GREAT!!!
As a reminder, April 25th is Mayor Daley's annual "clean 'n green" day. So any folks that want to clean up their alleys or streets can contact Streets and Sanitation to get brooms, shovels, etc.
Simply call 311 and tell them you want to participate, and they will get you set up. Or just use your own brooms and shovels. Either way, lets make our neighborhood beautiful!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Humboldt Park Advisory Council Meeting Re-Cap

Each park in Chicago has the right to have an "Advisory Council" to help guide decisions by the Park District in regards to that particular park. The Humboldt Park Advisory Council (HPAC) meets on the 3rd Thursday of the month at 6:30 PM at the Fieldhouse. Anyone can become a member, but must attend 6 of the previous 12 meetings in order to vote during the annual board elections.

Here is a re-cap of the Humboldt Park Advisory Council (HPAC) meeting from April 16th 2009:

The HPAC currently has zero dollars. In order to open a bank account, HPAC would either have to spend the money to become a 501c3 non-profit, or go under the Parkways Foundation Charter and use their status. Also, in order to open a bank account, there needs to be a minimum of $100. Questions arose about going to the aldermen for a donation to reach the $100 minimum: Manny Flores would be willing to pitch in. However Billy Ocasio, Rey Colon, would not be able to at this time.

There will be a committee started for fundraising, and one of the first events to raise money would be a banquet on the veranda of the fieldhouse.

There have been over 300 children registered to play little league baseball at the new "Little Cubs Field" (registration is almost filled, $100 per child). The field is almost complete, but because of the added cost to make it handicapped accessible, there is no money to improve the washrooms(which are in a nearby almost 100 year old building). The field is also available for rentals, at $65 per 2 hour slot. This is meant primarily for other little leagues, because the filed is too small to accommodate adult leagues. There is an opportunity for concessions to be sold there, and the HPAC is putting in a bid to sell concessions as a way to fund raise. The field is set to open on Saturday May 16th.

HPAC will be contacting senior citizens to see if there is something that the park should be doing for them, such as different activities and classes.

Apparently the fieldhouse has a roof that leaks, and has leaked for some time. It was the general consensus that HPAC should NOT have to raise funds for the repair, and that the Park District itself should repair the roof. HPAC President Lucy Roman has sent a letter to the Superintendent asking for the repairs. No word back yet.

This brought up the general discussion of the budget for Humboldt Park. Park supervisor Nereida Aviles stated that Humboldt Park is the 3rd highest income producing park in the central region, primarily because of all of the baseball and softball leagues. However, Humboldt Park is not getting proportional monies back from the Park District for its' budget. The board will try to get a Representative from "Friends of the Park" to come and explain exactly what the revenue and budget is for Humboldt Park. Nereida also stated that she doesn't even know how much money is taken in from all of the festivals being held in the park.

A question was raise about recording the HPAC meetings. A member suggested that these meetings should be conducted under the rules from the "Open Meetings Act of Illinois" and therefore attendees should be able to record the proceedings. The board will look into this.

Finally, there was presentation concerning the "Sundays Parkways" events held twice in 2008. This was a day when the boulevards were shut down for 4 hours on a Sunday so bikes and pedestrians could roam from Logan Square to Little Village without the threat of cars . Approximately 10,000 people attended each day. This year the organizers are looking to hold the event on one day instead of two, and have it on a Saturday instead of Sunday. Several people spoke up questioning the move. We'll see what happens.

The next HPAC meeting will be in Thursday May 21st at 6:30Pm at the Fieldhouse, 1402 N. Humboldt Blvd. See listing on calendar for google map.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Join Us At The CAPS Appreciation Dinner

The 14th District will be having its' annual CAPS Appreciation Dinner on Tuesday April 28th. The dinner will be held once again at the Armitage Baptist Church, 2451 N. Kedzie Ave.
The event starts at 6Pm with dinner, soft drinks, and a meet n' greet so you can get to know your 14th District police officers. After that, there will be some awards and announcements from Commander Martinez.

Humboldt Park has come a long way in recent years, and credit is due to our local officers. This is a great chance to meet some of the "big brass", as well as voice concerns up the chain of command.

There is no cost for this event, so feel free to join us and tell your neighbors. Please R.S.V.P. to the CAPS office at 312-744-1261

Saturday, April 11, 2009

New user group for Humboldt Park residents

This site, is meant to be a place to contact The United Blocks of West Humboldt Park (TUBWHP), a place to look for upcoming meetings and events, and a place to see what's going on in the neighborhood. Everyone is welcome to contact us with questions or news, however, at this time isn't a chat site. Some of you have asked about that feature, and I think the best bet right now is a new site I just heard about, called Humboldt Park Neighbors.

One of my neighbors let me know about this new web group, so feel free to check it out and become a member. We (TUBWHP) have signed up, and hope you do as well. Here is the link.

Happy Easter !!!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Humboldt Park Earth Day Clean-up Saturday April 18th

Each Spring hundreds of volunteers show up to help get Humboldt Park ready for another season of beaches, baseball, and bar-b-ques. This annual spring cleaning is actually a two part event for Earth Day, and is part sprucing up and part family-fun activities. This year's event will be held on Saturday April 18th at 9AM , and will kick-off at the Humboldt Park Boathouse, 1359 N. Humboldt Blvd.

Volunteers should sign up at the boathouse, get a free t-shirt, a free lunch ticket, and a job assignment. Mostly volunteers either pick up litter and debris left from the long winter or spread mulch around trees and shrubs to beautify and help nurture them. Either way, it is a casual way to pitch-in and meet your neighbors.

This year once again, The United Blocks of West Humboldt Park will volunteer as a group to clean up all of the ponds near the Stables located at Division St. and Humboldt Blvd. TUBWHP members and volunteers will meet at the Association House 1116 N. Kedzie ave at 9 AM and walk over together. Pictured above are members and volunteers from a recent Earth Day Event.

There is no need to RSVP; there is plenty of FREE parking: and high school students can sign up to get "service hours" for their help. Lunch will be served, and there will be entertainment and kid-friendly activities in the afternoon. Tools will be provided, but remember to bring work gloves and dress for the weather - we clean rain or shine!!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Spring Break Movie Event - "Seven Pounds"

Since the Chicago Public Schools are on Spring Break this week, the 14th District is sponsoring a youth movie event. The movie, "Seven Pounds" starring Wil Smith, will be presented on Friday April 10th at 7PM at the 14th District Auditorium, 2150 N. California Ave.

The movie is shown FREE of charge, and there will be popcorn and refreshments on hand as well.

For more information, please call the 14th District at 312-744-1261.

United Blocks of West Humboldt Park April Meeting Results

The United Blocks of West Humboldt Park(TUBWHP) meets on the first Thursday of the month at 7PM at Association House 1116 N. Kedzie. This is immediately following the CAPS Beat 1121 meeting, which starts at 6PM.

TUBWHP will once again volunteer to participate in the Humboldt Park Earth Day Clean-up and Celebration on Saturday April 18th. Our volunteers will meet in front of Association House at 9am and walk over to the ponds near the stables at Division St and Humboldt Blvd. Rich Karwowski will put on his hip waders and clean the pond from the inside, while the rest of us will clean it from the outside. Please join us in this rewarding and fun day. Dress appropriately for the weather and wear work gloves. We will get help again this year from "One Brick", a group of volunteers that helps with many projects throughout the city. Make them feel welcome!!!

TUBWHP will also donate $50 to put on a flower planting booth for the kids that afternoon.

We are still trying to get the Farmers Market finalized for this summer. Anyone interested in selling their own veggies or manning the booth should contact glenn(click on contact area at right side of this page).

TUBWHP is planning a Summer Season Kickoff Party for the new playlot near Kedzie and Division, date to be determined.

We are also looking at dates for a block party this summer, in late July or early August. We need volunteers for the block party committee, so please sign up!

We will also plan on having a FUNdraiser in the fall. In the past we have had some great wine tastings. Any ideas for this falls FUNdraiser??? Let us know.

Thanks for reading, and we'll see you on the 18th!!!

Friday, April 3, 2009

CAPS Beat 1121 Meeting Update

The CAPS Beat 1121 monthly meeting (for the people that live South of Division Street) is held on the first Thursday of the month at 6PM at Association House 1116 N. Kedzie (see calendar for future meetings).

At this month's meeting, the beat officers reported that there was about a 30% increase in arrests over the previous month. This is GREAT news. WHY? At first, it would be easy to say that crime is up - that's not really the case. Beat 1121 extends from Division Street on the North all the way down to Garfield Park on the South and encompasses a large drug infested area near Chicago Ave. In that area, there is perpetual crime associated with the drug dealing. So, there wasnt more crime on the beat , they just CAUGHT more offenders. Now, this area is South of the boundaries for TUBWHP, but the problems there can spill over into our area, so it is a good thing that the police are being succesful there.

The officers cite 2 reasons for this increase; first, Beat 1121 residents have been really persistant in giving DETAILED information to the officers as to crime on their blocks (this comes in the form of exact addresses, times of day, makes and models and license plate numbers of cars being used in drug trafficking etc.); second, there is an added task force working the area. This means more cars on the street to respond to 911 calls and more cars to sneak around and catch the persons in the act. Either way, it's great to see more arrests going into the warmer seasons.

On an odd note, it was reported that there have been several instances of gangbangers actually tee-ing up golf balls in alleys and trying to hit cars driving down the alley for fun. Keep your eyes open for golf balls laying around in your alleys or yards.

And to repeat a warning from the Beat 1422 meeting, there have been reports of gangbangers throwing rocks and bottles at cars (for no apparent reason) near Division Street and Spaulding.

Next meeing will be on Thursday May 7th at 6PM at Association House 1116 N. Kedzie.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

CAPS Beat 1422 April Meeting Recap

The CAPS meeting for Beat 1422 (North of Division Street) is always on the first Wednesday of the month at 7PM. The meeting location alternates between the Hispanic Housing Office at 1402 N. Kedzie and Simons Park at 1640 N. Drake. (check our calendar for exact dates and places).

At this month's meeting, there seemed to be more good news than bad. First the bad. With the effort to push gangbangers and drug dealers away from the 3300 blocks of Crystal and Potomac, it seems that more problems have emerged near Division and Homan. Several complaints of gangbangers intimidating and harassing pedestrians and people waiting at the bus stop were reported. Even more alarming was the rise in harassment to passing vehicles. This has come in the shape of throwing rocks at passing cars, intimidating drivers waiting at the red lights, and in a few cases suspects waiving guns at drivers. PLEASE KEEP YOUR WITS ABOUT YOU AT THIS INTERSECTION, AND REPORT ANY ILLEGAL ACTIVITY TO 911.

There continues to be a large gangbanger presence and drug dealing going on at the 3300 block of Evergreen. Please report any loitering, drinking on the public way,and drug dealing to 911.

And now some good news. With the help of Police Officers Roger Williams and Brock Merck, the junk commercial trucks located at 1216 N. Kedzie on the vacant lots have disappeared. Through the efforts of writing tickets and pressuring the owners of the vehicles, the officers let it be known that West Humboldt Park is NOT the place to dump your problems anymore!!

And now the GREAT news. 4 incidents have resulted in arrests; one of our neighbors that had been threatened was vindicated when the alleged perpetrator was apprehended; next, some graffiti "artists" were arrested in the act(these people were admitted gangbangers spraying gang symbols) near North Ave. and Drake; and finally 2 seperate vehicle stops resulted in confiscated handguns- the guns were loaded, and the people arrested were gangbangers from outside of our neighborhood looking for trouble.

Thank You and congratulations to the brave men and women of the 14th District.

Please don't forget, the 14th District CAPS Appreciation Dinner will be held on Wednesday April 29th from 6PM to 9PM at Armitage Babtist Church, 2451 N. Kedzie. RSVP by calling 312-744-1261. (See calendar ).

Next Meeting will be on Wednesday May 6th at 7PM at Simons Park 1640 N. Drake.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Beverly Neighborhood Decides Enough is Enough with Out-of-Control Event

As many of you have heard, the South Side Irish Parade Commitee has decided to cancel next years pararde, see link here for story.

Imagine that: hundreds of thousands of drunks coming to a small residential neighborhood; public intoxication; dozens and dozens of arrests; traffic gridlocked to unsafe levels; public urination; countless residents leaving their neighborhood to escape the violence,noise,and mayhem..........................

Don't forget, less than 90 days until the 2009 Fiesta Boricua.

Friday, March 27, 2009

"Growing Pride" Garden Club gets set for planting season

As we say goodbye to winter the Humboldt Park garden club, "Growing Pride", is planning for another busy summer growing season. Growing Pride is made up of Humboldt Park gardeners that participate in a number of horticultural activities. One of the main purposes of the club is to maintain the many community gardens in our neighborhood. Also, the members work on their own home gardens to grow healthy vegetables and beautify the area with front yard flower gardens. Some of these veggies are sold at the West Humboldt Park Farmers Market, held on Saturday mornings starting in mid-July.

The club also helps maintain Humboldt Park through the annual Earth Day Event. (pictured above is Growing Pride President Lydia Molina spreading mulch in Humboldt Park in a recent Earth Day Event). This year's Earth Day Event will be held on Saturday April 18th, from 9am-3pm. Volunteers will be cleaning up debris and mulching the many trees in our beautiful park. Please show up at the Boathouse, 1359 N Humboldt Blvd. to sign in, lunch will be provided. For our school aged youths, the time spent at the Earth Day Event can go towards service hour requirements.

The United Blocks of West Humboldt Park volunteers as a group each year and cleans out the ponds near Division St. and Humboldt Blvd. If you wish to help us clean the ponds this year, please meet at the Association House 1116 North Kedzie ave. at 9AM and walk over to the ponds with us.

Growing Pride meets on the 3rd Wednesday of each month at the Humboldt Park Boathouse, 1359 North Humboldt Blvd. at 6:30PM. Everyone is welcomed to attend.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

New condos at North and California are ready!

The new condo building located at 2800 West North Avenue is finally ready for buyers to check it out. The building has been dubbed "The Silver District" and is richly appointed. These are 2 bedroom/2 bath units overlooking Humboldt Park, built in a modern style. There are 4 models available to view. Check out this article for more info and photos of the models and roof top deck!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Progress on Little Cubs Field at Humboldt park

As you can see by the photos, "Little Cubs Field at Humboldt Park" is getting close to completion. This project comes to our beloved Humboldt Park through the generosity of the Chicago Cubs Major League Baseball Team. The groundbreaking ceremony was held in August 2008, and in attendance was Cubs' pitcher, Carlos Zambrano.
There will be a little league specifically designated to play in this new field, but other little leaguers will get a chance to play there too. Also, the field is available for rental for other groups such as the scouts or little league ballplayers from other areas. We have been in contact with the Chicago Cubs, and they tell us that Opening Day will be sometime in May 2009.
We also received details about the field at the monthly meeting of the Humboldt Park Advisory Council (HPAC). They meet on the third Thursday of the month at 6:30pm in the Fieldhouse, and the meeting is open to all. PLAY BALL!!!!!

Thanks For Visiting !

As we get this blogsite up and running, please watch for additions and improvements. The main purposes of this site is to: give everyone a way to communicate with The United Blocks of West Humboldt Park (TUBWHP); let everyone see upcoming meetings and events via our calendar; and report on meetings our TUBWHP members attend. If you have an event you want posted let us know. If you have a meeting report you want to share, send it to us!
Thanks, Glenn Brettner
Exec Co-Director
United Blocks of west Humboldt Park

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Welcome to United Blocks of West Humboldt Park!

Welcome! I am here with Miguel Nogueras at the offices of the Spanish Action Committee of Chicago (SACC) creating our new blog site. As The United Blocks of West Humboldt Park moves forward, we want to reach as many of our friends and neighbors as possible - and hopefully this new tool will do just that.
Thanks for visiting,
Glenn Brettner
Executive Co-Director
United Blocks of West Humboldt Park