Neighborhood Throngs to Development Plan Launch; Council Members Elect Expanded Board

Development workshop participants discuss neighborhood assets and concerns during the July 18  launch of the McKinley Park neighborhood plan project.
Development workshop participants discuss neighborhood assets and concerns during the July 18 launch of the McKinley Park neighborhood plan project.
Published July 19, 2018

The neighborhood development plan for McKinley Park officially launched to the public at the Wednesday, July 18, meeting of the McKinley Park Development Council, attracting nearly 100 local residents, business owners, stakeholders and representatives from elected office and community groups. This cadre of neighbors worked together through the first neighborhood development plan workshop from the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP), which in 2017 awarded the council a Local Technical Assistance project to develop the neighborhood plan.

At the top of the meeting, the council moved forward with its organizational development, holding member elections for five new board member candidates, all of whom were elected to the board. Anabel Abarca, Dan Covarrubias, Mario Diaz, Liz Grez and Jonathan Lazatin join founding board members Tony Adams, John Belcik, Samantha Belcik, Kara Breems, Dayna Calderón and Justin Kerr as the first full board of directors for the council.

Read more: Neighborhood Throngs to Development Plan Launch; Council Members Elect Expanded Board

Aquinas Caps Hugely Successful Year with Student Awards Celebration

Maria Liduvina Patino and Guadalupe Rodriguez celebrate their receipt of the Sister Claudia Hinds Scholarship at Aquinas Literacy Center's student celebration.
Maria Liduvina Patino and Guadalupe Rodriguez celebrate their receipt of the Sister Claudia Hinds Scholarship at Aquinas Literacy Center's student celebration.
Published July 18, 2018

The Aquinas Literacy Center at 1751 W. 35th St. is enjoying the summer after a successful year of educating adult English learners, the first in its new, expanded home at 35th and Wood streets. The center's recent Student Awards Celebration highlighted the achievement of eleven of its graduating students, as well as feted the volunteer tutors and Aquinas staff and supporters with an evening of food and celebration.

Students Maria Liduvina Patino and Guadalupe Rodriguez received special attention and awards of the Sister Claudia Hinds Scholarship. Both were noted as exceptional pupils with consistent attendance, engagement in supplemental classes and expanded learning through computer instruction. The scholarship program, created to honor the Adrian Dominican Sister who founded the center, will go toward continuing Patino's and Rodriguez' education in English.

Read more: Aquinas Caps Hugely Successful Year with Student Awards Celebration

Neighborhood Development Plan Launches This Week in McKinley Park

Published July 16, 2018

The long-awaited public launch of the McKinley Park neighborhood's development plan takes place at 6 p.m. this Wednesday, July 18, at the McKinley Park Development Council Meeting. The neighborhood development plan, a project of the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) implemented by the council, brings professional resources and expertise to solicit community feedback, study the area and then issue foundational guidance for development. If you are a McKinley Park resident, business owner or stakeholder, get yourself to the National Latino Education Institute this Wednesday to ensure your voice is heard on these critical community issues.

Local ecologists will give kids and families a peek at the diverse flora and fauna of the McKinley Park lagoon at Outdoor Ecology Education the morning of Saturday, July 21. Meet at the stump circle for this fun and muddy education session, which dovetails off the park cleanup activities of the McKinely Park Stewardship Day, also on Saturday morning. Both events come courtesy of the hard-working volunteers of the McKinley Park Advisory Council.

Read more: Neighborhood Development Plan Launches This Week in McKinley Park

Muñoz Debuts Environmental Notice Proposal at Fiery Town Hall Meeting

Illinois 1st District State Senator Antonio "Tony" Muñoz announces State Bill 3623 at the Tuesday, July 10, town hall meeting.
Illinois 1st District State Senator Antonio "Tony" Muñoz announces State Bill 3623 at the Tuesday, July 10, town hall meeting.
Published July 13, 2018

At his town hall meeting on Tuesday, July 10, Illinois 1st District State Senator Antonio "Tony" Muñoz announced a proposed state bill to mandate notice of new community sources of pollution, a response to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency's flubs in conducting timely outreach about the new MAT Asphalt plant project at 4010 S. Damen Ave.

If passed, State Bill 3623 would mandate that the agency send notice to elected officials within 15 days of application of a permit for "any type of facility, equipment, vehicle, vessel or aircraft that will impact air or water pollution." Currently, the agency notifies community leaders as part of their environmental justice program using internal procedures and standards without force of law. Because of an oversight at the agency, only two weeks were provided for community notification about the MAT Asphalt plant project before its permit was granted.

Read more: Muñoz Debuts Environmental Notice Proposal at Fiery Town Hall Meeting

Neighborhood Development Plan Project Set to Launch for McKinley Park

Marz tap room manager Jennifer Wandro explains Marz and the brewing business at the June 20, 2018, meeting of the McKinley Park Development Council.
Marz tap room manager Jennifer Wandro explains Marz and the brewing business at the June 20, 2018, meeting of the McKinley Park Development Council.
Published July 12, 2018

The McKinley Park Development Council continues to push forward neighborhood development with regular meetings and this month's launch of the neighborhood development plan, a project the council won in 2017 from the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP). The public outreach phase of the neighborhood development plan kicks off the evening of Wednesday, July 18, at the monthly council meeting, when local residents, business owners and community stakeholders can begin providing their feedback about how the neighborhood should best develop.

The July council meeting both culminates the first phase of work and organizing for the development plan, and pushes forward council development with the voting in of the council's full board of directors. The council's June 20 meeting at Marz Community Brewing Co. included introductions of existing and prospective board members, updates on neighborhood development proposals and the lowdown on the Marz brewing business, accompanied by free samples of Marz beer.

Read more: Neighborhood Development Plan Project Set to Launch for McKinley Park