Berwyn's Arts Blog
Sunday, July 29, 2007
City Council Meeting Recap, July 24, 2007
The meeting started off quite disappointingly. Alderman Phelan changed his vote from the last meeting on implementing health insurance to all city employees. What this had meant was simple: all city employees, per their union contracts, would have to pay for the first time, monies out of their own pockets; a deductible, co-pay for medicine, etc. Very modest mind you. For whatever reason, because none was given, the Alderman changed his vote. This means that $400,000.00 that would have been saved, can not now go towards the hiring of new police officers.

Having said the above, at the Special City Council meeting on Tuesday, July 31, 2007, there will be on the agenda an item by certain Alderpeople to hire 2 new additional police officers. With what money, I do not know. The people who want the new officers, as I do, voted against the health insurance implementation. So, apparently, these alderpeople want to bankrupt our city.

In other news, requests by certain liquor establishments to be able to stay open until four pm, were shot down. Some sanity prevails.

Question: how much should the city pay for holiday decorations?

The Finance Director keeps making changes to have run the city in a financially and prudent way. Yet, only by a 4 to 3 vote did her latest implemenation pass. She simply wants to do correct accounting.

And, that is pretty much it. Out of 48 items, the above is what is relevant. Stay tuned to see how the Special Meeting goes on Tuesday. This is ameeting to re-structure the city's debt and if it passes, we will be able to build a parking garage in the Depot District and to build a new firehouse on 16th Street.


Friday, July 27, 2007
Saturday in the Depot District
Saturday, July 28, 2007, come to the Depot District. Start at the Open Market in the morning and then check out the sidewalk sales, special lecture at Serendipity Antiques, music, anniversary party at Over the Rainbow(ice cream) and more. Or not.

Happening all morning and into the late afternoon.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Neighborhood Watch Barbeque and The Spindle
Sorry for the long posting.

Tonight, Wednesday, as previously announced, is a barbeque at Proksa Park from 6 to 8 pm. This is being sponsored by the Neighborhood Watch Program. Come, eat and meet those that attempt to keep us safe.

Below was sent to me:

Save the Spindle Bike Ride


Friday July 27, Chicago Critical Mass participants are proposing to ride from the Picasso to the Spindle to save a cultural landmark in Berwyn, IL.

A beloved public sculpture is set to be toppled over to make way for yet another Walgreens "convenience" store, but public resistance is mounting to keep Cermak Plaza’s iconic Spindle sculpture standing.

The Spindle, aka Car Spike or Kabob, was created by California-based artist Dustin Shuler. His sculpture is the most notable of a variety of giant public art works that give Berwyn's Cermak Plaza it's unique charm. The car spike was featured in a memorable scene in the movie "Wayne's World", which helped cement the sculpture as an American icon and put Berwyn Illinois on the pop culture map, so it's pretty easy to see why local residents are angry about corporate interests erasing their town's identity.

Berwyn, it's not too late to take a stand! Participants of Chicago Critical Mass are proposing to send a cavalry of cyclists to protest this kind of predatory corporate development, which whitewashes our communities and trades civic pride for shareholder profits. When the Spindle is torn down and replaced by a Walgreens store, part of Berwyn dies and a sacred community space will look no different from any other stripmall in any other town. The participants of Chicago's Critical Mass will not quietly pedal by as corporations deface our communities transforming the world into a characterless monoculture.

Why would a group of cyclists care about a monument to car culture?Perhaps we see the Spindle as a prophetic symbol of a future where cars are reduced to fossil remains as they go the way of the dinosaurs that fueled them. We know the car spike will become more meaningful and infinitely more valuable when America finally closes this dark chapter of unsustainable living and ecological destruction. It is an Ozymandias for the industrial age, mocking the moral insanity of planned obsolescence and providing a deliciously twisted look into our throw away junk culture.

Now the dark forces of indifference, convenience, and profit are conspiring to dispose of this great work of art, but what the Spindle's opponents have not bargained for is that great art connects with people in subtly profound ways as we emotionally connect with our cultural landscape and develop a sense of pride for the spaces and places we call home.
Chicago Critical Mass bike rides have been gathering at the base of the Picasso sculpture in Daley Plaza the last Friday of every month for the last 10 years, we understand how public art and space can galvanize a community.

If some greedy developer and heartless corporation came along and tried to take our sculpture and plaza, we would raise hell. Critical Mass has no leaders or formal structure, so I cannot say for certain that cyclists will vote on Friday to ride all the way out to from the Picasso to the Spindle. However, the word on the street is the citizens of Berwyn need some back up to help preserve our cultural heritage and save an important work of art, and many of us can't wait to storm Berwyn's Cermak Plaza.

What we want: an end to cultural identity theft. If Walgreens and Concordia Realty Management want to move the Spindle, they should help the Berwyn Arts Council pay for it's restoration, transportation, and installation. It's time corporations stop turning our communities into company towns that resemble board games filled with generic pop-up box stores that make every city and town look the same.

We invite the citizens of Berwyn to join us at the base of the Spindle this Friday July 27 around 7:30pm. We are working to help you get the story out and to make corporations and developers accountable to the communities they claim to serve.

Act now by signing the Save the Spindle Petition at the website for the Berwyn Arts Council, and check back often as fund raising t-shirts will be available for sale online soon! Click here to stay informed on the latest efforts to Save the Spindle!

Steven Lane
Critical Mass Participant and Website Volunteer July 22, 2007
Join hundreds of Chicago cyclists at Daley Plaza (Washington & Dearborn) every last Friday of the month.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Berwyn After Hours, Thursday, 7-26-07

Join the Berwyn Development Corporation and Tiger O’Stylies
as we as we host another ‘Berwyn After Hours’. Enjoy networking and
socializing with BDC members, Berwyn business owners and residents.

Thursday drink specials include:

$1 bud light drafts
$1 old style bottles
$2 whiskey shots
$2 margaritas
$3 import bottles

Appetizers will be provided.

Come join us and remember to bring a friend!

Hosted by:

Berwyn Development Corporation and Tiger O'Stylies

Thursday, July 26, 2007

5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Tiger O’Stylies
6300 West Ogden Ave.
Berwyn, IL 60402

Monday, July 23, 2007
No Smoking Law
Pity. Not! I do not always agree with Springfield, but obviously, I believe in this law. Should be a tremendous revenue-generating source for Berwyn. I am sure no facility in Berwyn will abide by the State law. Illinois joins 22 other states I believe.

State smoking ban signed
Updated: 9:15 PM

Beginning in January, 2008, the new law will kick smokers out of bars, restaurants and just about every other public place.

Feel free to read my original posting below:

City Council, Feb. 27, 2007 Addendum

I forgot. The smoking ordinance was passed. I voted against it, since it really does not do anything to clean up the air. Alderman Ramos also voted against it.

Bottom line, you can smoke in bars, bowling alleys, coffee shops and in bar area of restaurants. You can smoke in bingo facilities and beer gardens.

So, bottom line, all the private interests were catered to.

If the State passes a law against smoking that is like Cook County's law, then apparently, Berwyn will lose all of its businesses. And, according to the non-scientific and anecdotal evidence, every bar, restaurant, coffee shop and bowling alley will go out of business in the State of Illinois if Illinois passes a comprehensive no smoking ordinance. Bunk is all I can say.

Smokers-continue to smoke as you have. I am not sure why this new ordinance is entitled "establishing clean indoor air standards...", when all it does is do just the opposite.

Second hand smoke is only a myth in Berwyn.And, to top it all off, here is the section on bar areas: Bar areas must be separately vented, if feasible, and be situated so that air from the Bar Area is not drawn in or across any nonsmoking areas. My bet is it will never be feasible.

July 10, 2007 City Council Meeting
Great things happened at this meeting!

We are getting bids on the oversight of the parking garage in the Depot District.

A multi-family license will now be required for all those property-owners that own 5 units or more in one building. This means that the City will have the right to inspect the public parts of the building and some of the units in the building. Great stuff!

People will now be allowed to have six foot fences, that is, five solid feet and a one foot trellis at the top.

The Depot District now has a retail overlay component, which means the City is striving to push retail development in the Depot District.

There will now be more reasons to have your vehicle impounded in Berwyn besides the noise ordinance. Bottom line, if you value your vehicle, do not break the law.

The best news is that Berwyn will have a regional housing authority, run by the Oak Park Regional Housing Authority. This means that landlords will have an incentive to have nice buildings and that tenants will have a place to go to to find rental housing. I like to call it a tenant clearing house.

Next meeting, Tuesday, July 24, 2007.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Neighborhood Watch Barbeque
Tonight, Wednesday, July 18, 2007, from 6 to 8 pm, at St. Mary of Celle, 1428 Wesley, there will be a bbq sponsored by the Police and the Neighbrhood Watch program.

This will be a great way to meet police officers in a casual setting and discuss what is on your mind.

There will be three total: next Wednesday, July 25, 2007, in Proksa Park and the next Wednesday, August 1, 2007, at Freedom Park.

See you there, or not.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Berwyn's Very Own
After 2 years of working towards his dream, Miro is finally having his first professional art opening in a downtown gallery (River North area).

If you or anyone you know is out on the (down)town Friday evening, July 13, 2007, swing by to enjoy some art. They would appreciate the support.

Details:David Leonardis Gallery (River North)217 Huron St., Chicago

Opening Reception - Friday, July 13th 2007 6 - 10pm

His work in this gallery is modern (more pop art-ish) and affordable. For more info and a glimpse at his style, please check out his website at www.artmirochicago. com.

Saturday, July 14, 2007, another of Berwyn's very own: Kara Kesselring, playing at the Old Town School of Folk Music Folk & Roots Festival 12:30-1pm with group "Sugarcreek Road" (Folk/Country/Americana) Lincoln Square, Chicago.

Check it all out.

Saturday, July 07, 2007
City Council Meeting, June 26, 2007
The security system contractor for the parking deck in the Depot District was approved. Getting closer every day.

The price of fines for handicap parking went up.

Finally, the Sedgwick/Century Station development should begin building again. Harris Bank should take over the new building shortly and begin the buildout.

There were 44 itmes on the Agenda.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007
Cruise Night, July 3, 2007
Come on down to the Depot District for another Cruise Night. Enjoy ice cream, refreshments and food at the local establishments, then view the amazing vehicles.

Or not.

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