McKinley Park Neighborhood Crime Plummets in Late Winter

12th Ward Alderman George Cardenas speaks on neighborhood issues at the March 13, 2019, meeting of Beat 912 of the Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS).
12th Ward Alderman George Cardenas speaks on neighborhood issues at the March 13, 2019, meeting of Beat 912 of the Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS).
Published April 2, 2019

Although a plague of gang graffiti has continued to infest the McKinley Park neighborhood, crime statistics for late winter were astoundingly low compared to averages, a notice happily shared by Chicago Police Department officer Jason Sollis at the March 13 meeting for Beat 912 of the Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS)

"The numbers are absolutely phenomenal," Sollis said, noting that the period of February 13 to March 13 saw only one reported violent crime in the neighborhood and a single significant non-violent crime.

Read more: McKinley Park Neighborhood Crime Plummets in Late Winter

No Foolin': April Begins in McKinley Park with Yucks, Birds and Civics

Published April 1, 2019

This week in the McKinley Park neighborhood, the Yeast Party Comedy Night again returns to Marz Community Brewing Company on Thursday, April 4. Attend for stand-up from hot rising comics, including Naomi Spungen, Skyler Higley, Whitney Chitwood and Sohrab Forouzesh in the monthly comedy night hosted by Clare Austen-Smith.

Who's your pick for Chicago mayor? Watch the election results at the Election Night Party on Tuesday, April 2, at Marz Community Brewing Company. Hosted by the Chicago Reader and Lumpen Radio, the event features live election coverage by Ben Joravsky and Maya Dukmasova, paired with spinning of an all-vinyl playset from DJ Sadie Woods.

Read more: No Foolin': April Begins in McKinley Park with Yucks, Birds and Civics

Grant Offers a Grand to Disabled Entrepreneurs

Roel Cano, second from right, accepts his 2018 Boost Award from committee members Andrew Fogaty, Hussein Bhanpuri and Laura Martinez.
Roel Cano, second from right, accepts his 2018 Boost Award from committee members Andrew Fogaty, Hussein Bhanpuri and Laura Martinez.
Published March 28, 2019

The 36Squared Business Incubator, home to the McKinley Park neighborhood's Small Business Development Center, is again offering grants to disabled entrepreneurs through its Boost Awards. The program, which is accepting new applications through May 31, 2019, will award funding of up to $1,000 to individuals who have a disability that poses a challenge to success in the business world.

"It's very hard to find grants for people with disabilities," said 2018 Boost Award winner Justin Cooper, who used his grant to fund new equipment for his video production business. "The grant has really come in handy."

Read more: Grant Offers a Grand to Disabled Entrepreneurs

Greene Elementary Celebrates Staff Awards, School Accolades and Kindergarten Rollout

The staff of Nathanael Green Elementary School congratulate Principal Shelley Lugo-Cordova, in red at the center of the group, for her award of Educator of the Year from the McKinley Park Civic Association.
The staff of Nathanael Green Elementary School congratulate Principal Shelley Lugo-Cordova, in red at the center of the group, for her award of Educator of the Year from the McKinley Park Civic Association.
Published March 27, 2019

Nathanael Greene Elementary School, one of the McKinley Park neighborhood's local-enrollment schools in Chicago Public Schools (CPS), lauded its principal, Shelly Lugo-Cordova, for winning Educator of the Year from the McKinley Park Civic Association and teacher Adrian Echevarria for being named the Urban Initiatives Coach of the Year.

These awards land alongside recent accolades and updates at Greene Elementary, including a top-most 1+ school ranking from CPS, a Gold Circle of Quality Award from ExeleRate Illinois and the start of a brand new Kindergarten program next fall.

Read more: Greene Elementary Celebrates Staff Awards, School Accolades and Kindergarten Rollout

Community Garden Plots Sell Out Within Days

Plots at the McKinley Park Community Garden at 3844 S. Damen Ave., Chicago, lie fallow, awaiting seasonal attention and planting from garden members.
Plots at the McKinley Park Community Garden at 3844 S. Damen Ave., Chicago, lie fallow, awaiting seasonal attention and planting from garden members.
Published March 26, 2019

All plots have been reserved at the popular McKinley Park Community Garden, which opened its 2019 reservations on Saturday, March 23. Within days, the two dozen available garden bed spots were sold out, part of the kickoff of the growing season and springtime events.

The public is welcome to attend and participate in two upcoming garden events: On Saturday, April 20, the garden hosts its Spring Work Day, when gardeners and friends will get together to prep the common areas and garden beds. On Saturday, May 18, the Organic Plant Sale offers new veggies for spring planting and serves as a major fund-raiser for the garden.

Read more: Community Garden Plots Sell Out Within Days