Broad Shoulders Update

news and information for cmun dev advocates in metropolitan Chicago

Forbidden Root: In the brewers’ own words

East Village Association members will vote Monday on whether to support zoning and licensing changes for the Forbidden Root brewery to operate at 1742-50 W. Chicago Ave. Rootmaster Robert Finkel and brewer Robert (BJ) Pichman describe their proposal.

Forbidden Root will be the first botanical brewery in the country, crafting its brew around all natural herbs, roots and spices. It would like to open its headquarters, brewery and tap room in the long vacant former Hub Theater at 1746 W. Chicago Ave. As a “Benefit” corporation, it intends to donate all of its profits from non-consumable merchandise to worthy not-for-profit causes, initially the Green City Market.

Forbidden Root proposes locating its brewery and R&D operations in the rear of the building. The capacity of the on-site brewery will be limited and larger-scale brewing and bottling will occur at a remote location. The front portion of the building will be refurbished to provide an inviting tap room where customers can experience the company’s products. Seating capacity in the tap room would be limited to 150 persons. A small area for the sale of Forbidden Root products also will be located in the front portion of the building. The on-site retail sale of packaged alcohol will be limited to Forbidden Root brand products or products created in collaboration with Forbidden Root.

The production portion of the Forbidden Root proposal requires the rezoning of the property from B1 to C1. Forbidden Root has agreed to pursue such rezoning under a Type 1 rezoning, which keys the rezoning to specific plans and also to specific operations parameters. The on-site sale at retail of alcohol will require lifting the tavern moratorium in effect along Chicago Avenue from Ashland to Wood. The entire area covered by the moratorium is zoned B1. As taverns are not permitted in B1 zoning, lifting the tavern moratorium will not open the door to additional taverns in the area. The package liquor moratorium in effect for the same area is not currently proposed to be modified.

Forbidden Root will bring a unique, responsible and exciting new business to Chicago Avenue. A long-vacant building will be refurbished and returned to productive use. Forbidden Root is pursuing the needed approvals in a fashion that addresses all concerns raised about its proposal. It has agreed to make the conditions and limitations on its operations part of its approvals. As a community and environmentally conscious company, Forbidden Root will be positive addition to the area and revitalization of the long vacant Hub Theatre will further enliven Chicago Avenue.

Written by Stephen Rynkiewicz

July 24th, 2014 at 10:37 pm

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Wellsapalooza: Wells High School Field of Hope fundraiser

Written by Stephen Rynkiewicz

July 24th, 2014 at 10:37 pm

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EVA Monday: Ashland BRT vote

Bus lanes along Ashland Avenue will be up for a vote at Monday's East Village Association meeting.

Members will vote on the CTA's Ashland Bus Rapid Transit as currently proposed: "Based on information EVA now has, is EVA for or against the Ashland BRT?"

Reflecting concerns about the design, the EVA board last month left open the possibility of revisiting the issue if the plan changes.

And changes are likely. The $160 million Ashland BRT proposal would restrict inner lanes to buses and emergency vehicles. Medians would stay in place. Bus stops would replace the left-turn lanes.

The city's new transportation commissioner, Rebekah Scheinfeld, now wants to keep left turns on some intersections. As the CTA's planning officer, Scheinfeld was responsible for the original design.

EVA's board identified several issues with the CTA's current design:

  • The design slows car traffic on Ashland by 10%.
  • Congestion and reduced parking would harm local businesses.
  • Traffic is likely to rise on streets adjacent to Ashland.

A 2016 completion was planned for the first phase between Cortland Avenue and 31st Street. But funds for engineering studies, construction and operation would first have to be lined up.

The Wicker Park Committee last week discussed working with the CTA on a better design.

That's essentially been the EVA position in nearly a year of debate: Great if it works, but can it work?

Meetings and blog posts coached members on how to be heard in the environmental assessment required for federal funding. (I filed my own comments.) EVA encouraged members to attend last year's Ashland BRT open houses.

Members also discussed an alternative express-bus plan from the Randolph/ Fulton Market Association, without committing to either proposal.

Monday's meeting starts at 7pm in the Happy Village, 1059 N. Woloctt Ave.

Written by Stephen Rynkiewicz

July 24th, 2014 at 10:37 pm

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Answers from Red States for Our Broken Criminal Justice System

Left, right or center, few dispute that our criminal justice system is broken. But two new and thrilling victories this month are giving real hope to activists who want more effective and humane crimes policies.  In a largely "red" state," Missouri, Governor Jay Nixon signed the popular and thoroughly bi-partisan "Ban the Ban" bill into law. The act, supported by Metropolitan Congregations United and MORE2, will end the food stamps ban for those jailed on drug convictions faced. During the floor vote a visibly moved state legislator said that thanks to personal visits by faith-based leaders and formerly incarcerated people, she now understood why food stamps are so important to those who are trying to stay sober. And in an even more "red" state, officials in Fulton County Georgia voted to "Ban the Box,"  the infamous question on employment applications "Have you ever been convicted...".  This move will dramatically help once incarcerated people to get jobs. Faith-based ABLE, and 9 to 5's coalition to pass this measure has been wildly successful: earlier this year, the City of Atlanta and Dekalb County adopted nearly identical legislation.  Let's hope Wisconsin becomes the next state to jump aboard this encouraging bandwagon.

Written by Rooflines

July 24th, 2014 at 4:45 pm

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Announcing the 2014 Bike Commuter Challenge winners!

For the last 23 years, the Active Transportation Alliance has created thousands of new bike commuters each year through the Bike Commuter Challenge. The Challenge promotes bike commuting as an activity that is easy, fun and environmentally-friendly.

Throughout the Challenge’s long history, it has been under the enthusiastic guidance of the Team Leader – our bike commuting evangelists – to create and recruit teams that have set new records for participation nearly every year.

Tuesday night Active Trans honored this year’s team leaders and winning teams as part of the 2014 Bike Commuter Challenge Awards Party at DIRTT Environmental Solutions. Jerome McDonnell, host of WBEZ’s Worldview, emceed the event and entertained attendees with his Bike Commuter Challenge dioramas and sharp wit. Attendees shared their Challenge stories over Revolution Brewing beer and Chipotle.

A big thank you to all the more than 6,000 Bike Commuter Challenge participants that made this the best Challenge yet. We rank winners in the Bike Commuter Challenge based on the percentage of employees who biked to work during the Challenge, the new website also tracked other valuable data:

• Total teams: 946 (more than twice last year’s number!)
• Total participants: 6,190 (5,277 last year)
• Total female participants: 42% (43% last year)
• Total new participants: 936 (15% of total)
• Total number of bike commutes: 151,895 (20,000 last year)
• Total miles biked: 151,960 (110,000 last year)
• Total pounds of C02 saved: 148,920
• Total calories burned: 7,446,042
• Most miles biked by a single commuter: 347 – Fred Stanton @ Allstate Insurance Northbrook Campus (329 last year)
• Biggest team: 300 - Groupon (204 last year)
• Most team commutes: 906 – Northwestern University (1,223 last year)
• Most team miles: 9,794 – Northwestern University (5,500 last year)

Everyone who participated in the Challenge is a winner, but here is the official list of this year’s winning teams. Congratulations to the 2014 Bike Commuter Challenge winners!

Bike Related Business
<5 employees: Warren Cycling & Scott Padiak & Associates
5-24 employees: REI – Northbrook
25-99 employees: REI – Lincoln Park
100-499 employees: SRAM

Education
<5 employees: Northwestern Medicine – Hospital Campus & Hive Chicago Learning Network
5-24 employees: University of Chicago Flow Lab
25-99 employees eSpark Learning
100-499 employees: Old Town School of Folk Music
500+ employees: The Museum and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago

For Profit
<5 employees: Nancy Veloo Photography, Wargaski Violins, Tzer0, Data Everywhere, Nolan Collaborative, GrandBox & Pines of Edgewater
5-24 employees: moss::, Sam Schwartz Engineering & Cyclone Energy Group
25-99 employees: Studio Gang Architects
100-499 employees: Upshot Marketing
500+ employees: Orbitz

Non Profit/NGO
<5 employees: AEA
5-24 employees: Plant Chicago
25-99 employees: Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance
100-499 employees: Center for Neighborhood Technology + Elevate Energy
500+ employees: Field Museum

Public Agency
<5 employees: State Rep. Elaine Nekritz District Office
5-24 employees: Alderman Deb Mell, 33rd Ward Office
25-99 employees: CTA Planning
100-499 employees: Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning
500+ employees: US Environmental Protection Agency

The Bike Commuter Challenge is sponsored by WXRT, Revolution Brewing, Portland Design Works, Clif Bar, Dark Matter Coffee, SRAM, Village Cycle Center, The Chainlink and the City of Chicago.

Written by espotts

July 24th, 2014 at 4:44 pm

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Wayne Township on the way becoming the first township in Illinois to adopt a bike plan

Last week, Wayne Township residents and elected officials came together to brainstorm ideas for making the six-community area in Chicago's Northwest Suburbs safer and more accessible for cyclists.

The enthusiastic crowd identified opportunities for new side paths, trail connections, on-street bicycle lanes and signage pointing the way to shops and downtowns.

Residents enjoy riding the trails in the area – such as the Illinois Prairie Path – but expressed frustration about “not being able to get to them.”

They also mentioned barriers at crossings such as Schick Road and Rt. 59. DuPage County recently finished a path on Schick Road starting west from Bartlett High School, but it stops short of Rt. 59.

As one resident said, she wants kids to be able to bike from the neighborhood across Rt. 59 to the Bartlett Library, less than a mile away.

Attendees also debated the pros and cons of various policies and programs that could be implemented in the future. Their input will be used to inform plan recommendations.

Through this plan, the township hopes to build stronger connections between the portions of communities it encompasses – Wayne, West Chicago, Bartlett, Hanover Park, Carol Stream and St. Charles – and ensure that all residents are able to bike as a mode of transportation.

Did you miss the meeting but still want to weigh in? You’re in luck – we are running an online survey now through the end of August. 

Photo Credit: Laurie Nowak

Written by hmschady

July 23rd, 2014 at 10:57 pm

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Subsidizing the Upper Middle Class?

On June 30th, CapitalNewYork.com published an article titled "Defining Affordability Upward," about Upper West Side Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal and her battle to create &ldquo;affordable&rdquo; housing for families earning over $150,000 per year.&nbsp; According to Councilwoman Rosenthal, these &ldquo;are the families that took a chance on the neighborhood a few decades ago and made it what it is today. They&rsquo;re not rich, just upper-middle class.&rdquo;&nbsp; In April, she negotiated for 20 units in a new housing development for households earning between 175 percent and 230 percent of New York City&rsquo;s median income, equivalent to $147,000 to $193,000 per year for a family of four.&nbsp; Her rationale is that without &ldquo;middle-income&rdquo; housing, the Upper West Side will become a place for just the very rich and very poor. Rosenthal&rsquo;s prioritization of housing for people earning significantly above average raises the question: &ldquo;What benefits are we reaping, as a society, from subsidizing housing for our upper-middle class citizens?&rdquo;&nbsp; Researchers tell us that affordable housing for lower-income families has numerous benefits, particularly when that housing is in a mixed-income&nbsp;environment&nbsp;like TF Cornerstone&rsquo;s Upper West Side development&nbsp;(see image) is. It boosts children&rsquo;s school achievement, cuts down criminal involvement, improves parent and child health, raises employment rates, ameliorates mental and emotional illness and decreases addictive behavior.&nbsp; In other words, affordable housing is a powerful remedy for the family trauma and social maladies associated with poverty. But what benefits can we expect from price-restricted housing for upper-income earners?

Written by Rooflines

July 22nd, 2014 at 8:45 pm

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Getting Together—Using National Gatherings to Learn from Each Other

Given our national economic climate and the growing recognition of collaborative, place-based and culturally-grounded approaches, it is only fitting then that the theme of the National CAPACD 14th Annual Convention was "The Movement for Economic Justice: Changing the Narrative Together," which requires us to live the theme of the Administration for Children &amp; Families (ACF) Native Grantee Meeting&mdash;"Honoring Our Commitments to Native Families and Communities: Today and Tomorrow." The National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development (National CAPACD) is a national intermediary dedicated to addressing housing, community, and economic development needs of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities. ACF's Administration for Native Americans (ANA) works to support all Native Americans, including federally recognized tribes, American Indian and Alaska Native organizations, Native Hawaiian organizations as well as Native populations in the territories of Guam, American Samoa, and the Northern Marianna Islands, to build their self-sufficiency. Both of the gatherings thus provided a forum for diverse communities across the nation to come together to discuss the challenges their families are facing&mdash;often shared due to systemic and structural issues&mdash;and the unique ways each community is taking grassroots and community-based approaches to addressing these challenges.&nbsp;

Written by Rooflines

July 21st, 2014 at 3:45 pm

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Creating Collaborative Spaces to Support Grassroots Solutions

Given our national economic climate and the growing recognition of collaborative, place-based and culturally-grounded approaches, it is only fitting then that the theme of the National CAPACD 14th Annual Convention was "The Movement for Economic Justice: Changing the Narrative Together", which requires us to live the theme of the Administration for Children &amp; Families (ACF) Grantee Meeting&mdash;"Honoring Our Commitments to Native Families and Communities: Today and Tomorrow." The National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development (National CAPACD) is a national intermediary dedicated to addressing housing, community, and economic development needs of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities. The Administration for Native Americans (ANA) falls under the U.S. Department of Health &amp; Human Services and ACF and works to support all Native Americans build their self-sufficiency, including federally recognized tribes, American Indian an Alaska Native organizations, Native Hawaiian organizations as well as Native populations in the territories of Guam, American Samoa, and the Northern Marianna Islands. Both of the gatherings thus provided a forum for diverse communities across the nation to come together to discuss the challenges their families are facing&mdash;often shared due to systemic and structural issues&mdash;and the unique ways each community is taking grassroots and community-based approaches to addressing these challenges.&nbsp; Many of these approaches are grounded in cultural values, which is also what helps them to resonate across cultures. An exciting ongoing conversation from the National CAPACD convention is how long standing community development organizations could reconnect with their community organizing roots by building relationships with an influx of younger community organizing groups. This sort of intergenerational transfer of knowledge and mentoring are the essence of many of the projects shared at the ACF Native American Grantee Meeting that will help us as we reimagine a regional food system that restores ancestral abundance and knowledge. Conferences and conventions are always such a bear to put on and those relationships that come out of it are sometimes more important than the workshop sessions themselves. For example, the County of Hawai&lsquo;i has begun to learn from the holistic approaches of the Pacific Asian Consortium in Employment (PACE) and the Little Tokyo Service Center, both out of Los Angeles in determining how to provide wrap around financial empowerment services in a way that is place-based and culturally grounded. An always ongoing question is how do you best create spaces for both structured networking and relationship building? This is a critical question that needs to be addressed with thought and care in the structuring of any convention or conference so that there can be opportunities for support, tough yet honest conversations, inspiration, collaboration for the grassroots organizations that are implementing place-based and cultural-grounded approaches to address family self-sufficiency and resiliency. These are the efforts that will push us towards a truly just system that is relevant as it meets families where they are at to achieve their vision of genuine wealth.

Written by Rooflines

July 21st, 2014 at 3:45 pm

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8th Annual Wright Ride – August 17, 2014!

Wright Ride logoEnjoy the charm, beauty and architectural character of the near western suburbs at the 8th Annual Wright Ride on Sunday, August 17, 2014.

The Oak Park Cycle Club, The Oak Park Regional Housing Center, and Visit Oak Park invite you to sponsor the Wright Ride 2014. One of the best ways to discover the delights of Chicago’s near western suburbs is on two wheels. A family-friendly event, the Wright Ride is not a race, but a leisurely jaunt through some of Chicagoland’s most beautiful tree-lined and architecturally rich communities. Cyclists of all abilities are welcome: whether you’re a novice, casual cyclist, or experienced long-distance rider, there’s something here for everyone. A plus is that cycling is an eco-friendly way to tour the wealth of historically significant homes and structures through the area.

With a choice of 10, 30, 50 and 62-mile routes, riders will be able to take in the scenery and charm of as many as 10 communities, including Oak Park, River Forest, Riverside, and Western Springs, with more than 25 intriguing landmarks – including a dozen designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. All routes begin and end on the newly renovated Marion Street in Downtown Oak Park – giving participants the opportunity to take advantage of the wide-range of dining experiences and specialty shops that set Oak Park apart.

Ticket Info:
Adults – $25 ($30 day of ride)
Children under age 12 – $5
Get your tickets online here!

OPRHC logo Visit OP OP Cycle Club

Written by Julie Chyna

July 20th, 2014 at 2:54 am

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