By Daniel Patton | Staff Writer
GEMS Academy preschool program
GEMS World Academy will launch an Early Childhood unit for 3-year-olds beginning next Fall. The full-day, five-days-a-week program will educate young students in the Lower School, where the existing pre-kindergarten and kindergarten classes are located. Enrollment is open to children who will turn 3 by December 31, 2016. For more information, contact GEMS admissions office at (312) 809-8910.
2016 Halloween Parade announced
The Chicago Cultural Mile will host this year’s creative and family-friendly Halloween celebration on October 22, 2016. The event will begin as an afternoon festival from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Sir George Solti Garden in Millennium Park and then transmogrify into a spectacle parade along Columbus Dr. from Balbo St. to Monroe St. The occasion is designed to thrill both kids and adults by celebrating Halloween as an “artist’s holiday” that will include “craft and dance workshops, live performances and a kids’ costume procession.” Participating institutions include the Field Museum and The Art Institute of Chicago; artists and organizations include Louder Than a Bomb and Silent Theatre Company. Visit www.chicagoculturalmile.org for more information.
1st District issues theft / robbery alert
The Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS) issued on January 28 an alert notifying taxicab and uber drivers in the 1st Central District that an increased amount of theft and robbery has been reported during the month of January. The incidents frequently involve perpetrators working in groups, the report notes, on both sides of the vehicle. While a “ruse” distracts the driver (such as someone “handing out flyers”), accomplices on the opposite side of the car “open the front passenger door and take the driver’s phone.” Citizens who wish to report additional information should call the Bureau of Detectives at (312) 747-8384.
Commissioner of Streets & Sanitation addresses concerns
Charles L. Williams, Commissioner of Chicago’s Department of Streets & Sanitation, toured the New Eastside with resident David Sudler to investigate the neighborhood’s infrastructure on Wednesday, January 28.
“David is an extremely knowledgeable individual,” said the Commissioner, who also reviewed several of Sudler’s photographs of “drainpipes on Wacker Drive that are supposed to be transporting water away from the streets.”
Although he discovered that many of the issues fall under the responsibility of other departments like CDOT, the Commissioner told New Eastside News that “We’re going to connect him to the right department and get the job done.” He also may contact building owners to initiate additional repairs for which they are responsible.
“We try very hard in the city of Chicago to be proactive,” he explained. “But if a citizen sees something, he or she is welcome encourage he or she to reach out to 311.”
Sudler, the neighborhood’s unofficial gardener and builder of the Wacker Drive igloo that created a sensation in January, enthusiastically reported that CDOT had begun repairing some of the drainage pipes within two days.
“They were true to their word,” he said.
The January CAPS meeting concluded with residents expressing concerns about drag racing on Lower Wacker Drive and marijuana use within high-rise condominiums. Below is a summary of their comments:
- · The sound of “cars doing donuts” still emanates from the lower streets despite city efforts to deter the illegal automobile activity;
- · The affects of marijuana smoke that seeps into residential hallways is not only illegal but also a health risk.
CPD officers indicated that they can patrol the lower streets more strictly but encouraged residents to contact their building associations about marijuana smoke because the time and expense required to obtain proper search warrants is frequently unavailable.