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Apr 16 / Bryan

“Raise the Roof” Fundraiser: April 25 & 26


St.William Parish will host “Raising the Roof” on April 25 & 26 to raise funds to repair the roofs of the parish church, rectory, grammar school and convent. The two nights feature comedy, musical guests, food, raffles, a Chicago Media Auction and participation by Chicago celebrities. Friday’s guests include singer Vince Amore, WGN-TV reporter Maggie Carlo and ABC-7 meteorologist Phil Schwarz. Saturday’s show features rocker Chris Minardi, radio-tv personality Lise Dominique and Matt Spiegel from AM-670 The Score.

The centerpiece of the show is the local-themed comedy of The Harlem Nights Players (above). “Mont Clare Magic” pokes fun at life in Montclare: “politics, potholes, pay to park, block parties, yard sales, traffic circles, gangs… we cover it all,” says the group’s founder, writer, and director Jeff Kwit.

Auction items include an appearance on Jonathon Brandmeier’s radio show, a Bears sculpture from Garry Meier, and weather art from Tom Skilling. The raffle features a 39″ HDTV, a Blu Ray Disc Player, gift cards, dinners, gift baskets, and more.

Tickets are $5 in advance at St.William Rectory (2600 N. Sayre) thru April 24. Tickets will be $7 at the door on show nights. “Raising the Roof” takes place in Liebrich Hall, 2559 N.Sayre April 25-26. Doors open at 6pm, the show starts at 7pm. “This is not your father’s church fundraiser,” promises Kwit.

Apr 3 / Tom

Summer Camp at Rutherford Sayre Park

Sign up for camp beginning this Monday and mark your calendar for June 28, Neighborhood Day in the ParkRS Camp 2014

Apr 2 / Bryan

LSC Elections 2014

Elementary school LSC elections are Monday, April 7, 2014 from 6am – 7pm. High School LSC elections are Tuesday, April 8, 2014 from 6am- 7pm. Parents, staff and community members are welcome to vote at their local school. Bring two forms of ID.

In 2012, published a roundup of candidates for local schools’ LSC elections. This year, the list doesn’t seem to be available to the public, but we’re still trying to collect all the candidate information we can. (The election is Monday, April 7). If you’re a candidate for the LSC at Sayre, Lovett, Locke, Burbank, or Steinmetz, we’d be happy to include a link to your candidate statement. Please send a PDF file (or a link to a web location) to The list below contains the principals as listed on the CPS site, and Community Representative information from a list shared by 36th Ward Aldermanic candidate Alonzo Zaragosa, plus a few other candidates that contacted

UPDATE: WBEZ filed a FOIA request (why on Earth is that necessary for a public election!?) to get a full list of LSC candidates. Our list has been updated based on that list. (WBEZ’s story also makes some interesting observations about politically- and charter-connected candidates, irregularities at some schools, and other notable candidates.)

Steinmetz Academic CentreSteinmetz Academic Centre

3030 N. Mobile Ave.
(All of Galewood/Montclare)

Principal (automatically appointed)

  • Stephen Ngo

Community Representative Candidates: (2 positions)

Parent Representative Candidates: (6 positions)

  • Teresa I. Garcia
  • Maria L. Hernandez
  • Maria del Carmen Macias
  • Manuel J. Masso
  • Jose R. Quiles
  • Leokadia A. Samulak
  • Josefina Silva

Teacher Representative Candidates: (2 positions, elected by staff)

  • Marcie E. Buckmaster
  • Lorraine L. Frierson

Non-Teacher Staff Representative Candidate: (1 position, elected by staff)

  • Sophia J.Matarazzo

Student Representative Candidate: (1 position, elected by students)

  • Emily M. Santiago

Josephine Locke Elementary SchoolJosephine Locke Elementary School

2828 N Oak Park Ave.
(N of Fullerton Ave., E of Harlem Ave., S of School St., W of Narragansett Ave.)

Principal (automatically appointed)

  • Graciano Ortega

Community Representative Candidates: (2 positions)

  • Juan Reyes
  • Mary Catherine N. Shamoon

Parent Representative Candidates: (6 positions)

  • Theresa M Flores
  • Bienvenido Lopez
  • Eva Marquez
  • Susan Moser
  • Lina Rizkallah

Teacher Representative Candidates: (2 positions, elected by staff)

  • Dino P. Poulakos
  • A. K. Van Lysebettens
  • Michol M. Whitney

Non-Teacher Staff Representative Candidate: (1 position, elected by staff)

  • Carmella D. Shamoon

Harriet E. Sayre Language AcademyHarriet E. Sayre Language Academy

1850 N Newland Ave.
(N of North Ave., E of Harlem Ave., S of Fullerton Ave., W of Nashville Ave.)

Principal (automatically appointed)

  • Suzana Ustabecir

Community Representative Candidates: (2 positions)

Parent Representative Candidates: (6 positions)

  • Harriette D. Coleman
  • Joseph V. McDermott
  • Jennifer A. O’Connor
  • Michael J. Purcell
  • Matthew J. Quilty
  • Evarista S. Rodriguez
  • Christy L. Smith-Hall

Teacher Representative Candidates: (2 positions, elected by staff)

  • Lori L. Ray
  • Paul E. Thomas

Non-Teacher Staff Representative Candidate: (1 position, elected by staff)

  • Madeline Lee-Troche
  • William Liddell

Joseph Lovett Elementary SchoolJoseph Lovett Elementary School

6333 W Bloomingdale Ave.
(N of North Ave., E of Nashville Ave., S of Metra tracks, W of Marmora Ave.)

Principal (automatically appointed)

  • Leviis Andres Haney

Community Representative Candidates: (2 positions)

  • Willie Thurmond
  • Ella Wilder

Parent Representative Candidates: (6 positions)

  • Sylvia Allen Hoover
  • Barbara Ford
  • Tionn Johnson
  • Lisa Mccullum Neal

Teacher Representative Candidates: (2 positions, elected by staff)

  • Sharon D. Crowder
  • Carmen H. Ketchum

Non-Teacher Staff Representative Candidate: (1 position, elected by staff)

  • Benita S. Dorsey

Luther Burbank Elementary SchoolLuther Burbank Elementary School

2035 N Mobile Ave.
(N of Metra tracks, E of Normandy Ave., S of Fullerton Ave., W of Central Ave.)

Principal (automatically appointed)

  • Hiram Broyls

Community Representative Candidates: (2 positions)

  • Jenny Arroyo
  • Socorro Zurita

Parent Representative Candidates: (6 positions)

  • Hermelinda N. Flores
  • Flores, Martha
  • Sugey Lara
  • Jose G. Rangel
  • Antonia Villafranco

Teacher Representative Candidates: (2 positions, elected by staff)

  • Dorcas I. Leverenz
  • Antonia Nevarez

Non-Teacher Staff Representative Candidate: (1 position, elected by staff)

  • Diana F. Hernandez

Information is accurate to the best of our research, please consult the CPS website or the statements posted at your local school for the official statements and the most up-to-date information.

Mar 28 / Neal

Show Your Support for a Galewood Mariano’s

Roundy’s Corp is considering opening a Mariano’s Supermarket on the Sears property at North Avenue and Harlem Avenue.  Mariano’s is highly coveted by many shoppers and can be a catalyst for positive change along our commercial corridor.  Show Roundy’s  the community supports a market by signing the online petition.   This is a wonderful opportunity for our neighborhood.  Please consider signing today!

Mar 27 / Neal

Trailside Museum April Programs

The Forest Preserve District of Cook County’s Trailside Museum of Natural History, 738 Thatcher Avenue in River Forest, has released its April program schedule.  Advanced registration is required for some programs.  Register in person or by calling 708-366-6530.   Enjoy the museum’s wide variety of programs for adults, families and children.

Nature Story Time Nature-inspired stories, crafts and activities. For children ages
3 – 6 w/adult. $1/child. Thursdays, April 3 & 17, 10:30 am

Morning Bird Walks A casual guided walk for birdwatchers. All levels welcome. Limited number of binoculars available to lend. No groups. Fridays, April 4 & 18. Saturday, April 12, 10 am.

“Bone” Appétit Join us at feeding time to learn about Trailside’s outdoor resident animals. Saturday, April 5 and Sunday, April 20, 1 pm.

Naturalist’s Choice An afternoon of nature activities and crafts. Drop-in family program. Sunday April 6, 1 – 2:30 pm.

Fabulous Frogs Learn about the life cycle, ecology, and identification of native frogs. Discussion will be followed by a visit to our pond to look for frogs. Adults and children ages 8 and up; registration required by 4/10. Sunday, April 13, 1 pm.

Homeschool Connections – Plants Homeschoolers will learn about plants and their role in the ecosystem through discussion and hands-on activities. Children 8-12 w/adult; registration required by 4/14. Wednesday, April 16, 2 – 3:30 pm.

Morning Fitness Hike A brisk, one-hour guided hike on our trails. Adult program; dress for the weather and rough trails. Saturday, April 19, 9 am.

Woodland Walk for Earth Day A guided hike in the springtime woods. Family program; registration required by 4/18. Sunday, April 20, 1 pm.

Origins of the Forest Preserves Learn how the nation’s first Forest Preserves were created in a time of great conservation and social change. Adults and teens; registration required by 4/21 Thursday, April 24, 7 pm.

Morning Wildflower Walk A guided walk to learn about the life and lore of local spring wildflowers. Adult program. Friday, April 25, 10 am.

Spring Wildflower Walk A guided walk to view the delicate blooms of our local woodland wildflowers. Adults and children 8 and up; registration required by 4/25. Sunday, April 27, 1 pm

Weekday Nature Walk Join us as we explore on our local trails. Tuesday, April 29, 1pm.

Mar 26 / Neal

Galewood Arts Organization Hosting Benefit

Please support a worthy arts organization this week.

If you walk due north of our block and cross the street (a courageous act, given the traffic), you’ll run almost straight into Local-Motions at 6272 W. North.

Joe and I never really noticed their storefront until we met D’Lana O’Neal, the founder and executive director. Talk about dedicated. Knowing that nothing does more to build young people’s character and confidence than the arts, she left a full-time job teaching in a Chicago public school to found Local-Motions with her own savings. She and her husband later sold their Galewood home and moved to a less expensive area when the going got tough. (You can learn more about D’Lana and Local Motions on the website: We were so impressed, we agreed to serve on the Local- Motions board.

15 years later, Local-Motions is going strong, bringing arts-related programming to at-risk youth in Austin, Galewood and Oak Park. It has grown to a staff of nine, with after-school, weekend, summer and intercession programs at the North Avenue and satellite locations. But Local-Motions needs funding more than ever to keep doing all the good work they’re doing now and all the good work they want to do in the future.

That’s where we come in. Please join us on Friday, March 28th, for a benefit performance of “The Monologues of My Hips” by Lanita Joseph Dance at 8 PM, Harold Washington Cultural Center, 4701 S. Martin Luther King Drive, Chicago. Through a series of entertaining monologues and explosive dance numbers, “Monologues” explores stories related to body image and self-esteem. A $50 ticket includes a pre-show reception at 7 and door prizes. Call 773.622.3267 or buy online: Let us know if you plan to attend and we’ll put together a couple of car pools.

If you’re not able to attend the benefit, please donate what you can:


All the best,

Co-founder, North Avenue Neighbors Association of Oak Park

Mar 25 / Tom

Garden Club Galewood Montclare March/April events

Spring is here!
Our next meeting is this Saturday March 29 at 9:30 am in the Rutherford Sayre Park field house.
The topic is Soils 101
We will have a Master Gardener from University of Illinois Extension talk about how to prepare your soil for the new growing season. If the weather cooperates and the snow continues to melt, we’ll have a hands-on demonstration.
Please RSVP or send regrets to

In April, we’ll be hosting Earth Day cleanup at Rutherford Sayre Park on the 26th in the morning.
This will be a family event and if you have a school/youth group, we’d love the participation. Contact us at

Mar 19 / Bryan

Sayre FFO Candidate Forum this Thursday

Sayre Language Academy will hold a Local School Council candidate forum this Thursday, March 20, 2014 at 6pm in the auditorium. Parents, staff, and the community are all encouraged to attend, and also to vote in the LSC election on Monday April 7th (also Parent/Teacher Conference Day). More info from CPS.

Mar 18 / Bryan

Vote Today!

Candidates greet last-minute votes at Sayre Language Academy Please remember to vote in today’s primary election, polls are open 6am to 7pm. Find sample ballots and voting locations at the Chicago Board of Elections website.

If you’re not following the races, endorsements are available from many sources. summarizes various local bar association endorsements. The multi-partisan Independent Voters of Illinois/Independent Precinct Organization (IVI-IPO) also endorses candidates. Alderman/36th Ward Committeman Nick Sposato posted his endorsements on Facebook. And the Chicago Tribune has collected extensive interviews and endorsements.

Mar 15 / Neal

Dance Performance To Benefit Local Youth

There will be a benefit performance of “The Monologue of Hips” by Lanita Joseph Dance on Friday, March 28, at 8 PM, Harold Washington Cultural Center, 4701 S. Martin Luther King Drive, Chicago. Through a series of entertaining monologues and explosive dance numbers, “Monologues” explores stories related to body image and self-esteem. The performance will benefit and honor Galewood not-for-profit Local Motions for its 15 years’ service providing arts programming to at-risk youth in Austin, Galewood and Oak Park. $50 tickets include a pre-show reception at 7 and door prizes. Call 773.622.3267 or buy online. If you’re not able to attend, please consider a donation.

Mar 14 / Neal

Beware of New Speed Cameras

Thank you to Alderman Sposato for the following alert:

Today, March 10th speed cameras will be operational at 3115/3116 Narragansett and 6443/6514 Belmont.

After installation and testing, the cameras will begin issuing warning notices. The warning phase lasts for 30 days and after the warning phase, the cameras will issue citations.

Mar 12 / Neal

Support a Mariano’s Supermarket in Galewood

The following letter is from local attorney Larry Andolino. Mr. Andolino is a long-time community resident and has been active in promoting Galewood for decades.

We have a great opportunity to join together once again to make a positive impact on our community and in a refreshing change of circumstances we can support a positive commercial use instead of fighting against negative uses.

Mariano’s Foods is exploring opening a store near North and Harlem Avenue! This is welcome news for this community especially after our hard fought battle against EZ Pawn. As we are all aware, we have been in a constant battle to prevent the deterioration of our business district from poor zoning choices to allow liquor stores and pawn shops that have a negative impact on our economic development and home values.

Sadly, as of late, these negative uses have taken center stage under the guise that the uses are ok because “they fill vacancies”. It has been the community that has had to join together to fight these harmful uses because the officials charged with protecting us will not do so. Mariano’s is exactly the type of development that this community needs. Grocery stores are essential components of livable and well-functioning communities and can enhance their broader economic and social health.

This store will bring jobs to the community, reasonable prices, and healthy foods.. What our community needs and desires is a thriving family friendly business district, with anchor establishments that will encourage further growth and development.

Mariano’s is the type of business that can accomplish this goal and be catalyst to bring other positive uses to our community. This store would help boost the area’s economic vitality and attract additional investment and development to the Austin community. We can be known for having an upscale and respectable grocery store in our business district instead of a community of pawn shops and liquor stores.

Just as we came together as a community to express our dissatisfaction with poor and haphazard economic development, we should come together to encourage the type of business our community needs and desires. It would be helpful if we could all take the time to sign our online petition in a show of support for this potential store. If we show an overwhelming initiative to express our support of this use directly to Mariano’s, it may be the deciding factor in ensuring this business takes up residence is our community.

This proactive course of action has worked before. It was community outreach directly to Starbucks Corporate that persuaded Starbucks open on North Avenue. There is no reason why this will not work again and we have a great opportunity to show our support.

We as a community must not only be proactive in safeguarding our commercial district, property values and safety, but must also be proactive in encouraging the developments we seek to come to our community. The best indicator as to whether there is a need and market for a business is the people that will patronize it. Please be sure to take a few minutes out of your day and place a call or email to our potential new neighbor in a show of support. Together, we can have a say and proactively shape our community and business district.

Larry Andolino