Tuesday, April 17, 2012

April Meeting on Thursday the 19th

This Thursday, the 19th, we will be holding our April meeting at the Humboldt Park field house at 6:30. Please join us to hear about upcoming events at the park and share any comments or concerns you may have regarding programs and services in Humboldt Park.

We also plan to vote on two amendments to our Advisory Council by-laws that address who can vote in Executive Board elections and define the different categories of members (voting, non-voting, etc.).

REMINDER: this Saturday is a big day in the Park, with the Earth Day Clean-up and Earth Day 5k run both starting in the morning, with the race beginning at 8 am and the clean-up beginning at 9 am. Festivities for the clean-up will take place at the field house this year.

Minutes from the March Advisory Council meeting:

Humboldt Park Advisory Council (HPAC)
Minutes for Meeting of March 15, 2012
Location: Humboldt Park Field House
Judith Renn, Edwin Diaz, Treasurer Maggie Martinez, Tanja Deshida, Nancy Diaz, Jose Quintana, Maribel Quintana, Vice President Glenn Brettner, Liz Rios, Morgan Tomaso, Berthold Boone, Luis Diaz, Richard Karwowski, Maria Gordils, Lucy Gomez Feliciano, Amy Vega, Mikey Sanchez, Daniel Velasquez, Kurt Gippert, Alex Huebner

Meeting called to order at 6:40 p.m by President Ruth Pena; attendees introduced themselves.

  • ·       President Ruth Pena mentioned that she continues to receive phone calls from people making inquiries about the park and requested that her phone number be taken off of the Park District’s website. Area Manager Cynthia Rosario responded that she was working on having her number taken down.

  • ·       Maggie Martinez had nothing to report; no money was made or spent. Once the concession stand opens they will have the usual expenses
  •  Brian Hacker reported that he purchased a digital voice recorder and copies of Robert’s Rules of Order for all the members of the Executive Board, and that he is submitting receipts for these purchases to Maggie for reimbursement.

Minutes from February’s meeting were read and approved with changes. Motion made by Sergeant at Arms Nancy Diaz to approve the minutes and seconded by President Glenn Brettner.

  • ·       Secretary Brian Hacker gave a brief report on the Friends of the Park’s Park Advisory Council Conference at the South Shore Cultural Center, which he attended with Maggie Martinez and Lucy Gomez Feliciano. He discussed points from a presentation given by the Park District on permitting requirements, another on PAC fundraising by Marie Poppy of Wiesman Park, and another by Erma Tranter of Friends of the Parks on PAC best practices.
  • ·       Maggie Martinez added that it was a great opportunity for networking with other members of Park Advisory Councils and an informative event.

  • ·       Bonnie Tawse acknowledged that the crowd in attendance for the meeting was knowledgeable of the project and some of the members have been actively involved in the Bloomingdale Trail for a long time, like Alex Huebner, Lucy Gomez Feliciano and Maggie Martinez. She complimented Maggie on her eloquent comments at the last meeting regarding involving the community in the project and added that the audio of the comment is posted on the Grid Chicago website.
  • ·       There are three phases of developing the Bloomingdale Trail, with cooperation from three City agencies – the Park District, CDOT and the Department of Housing and Economic Development. The Trust for Public Land is also a partner with these city agencies. The first phase was to write the framework plan to make recommendations for concepts and ideas.  It ended a week prior at a community meeting. Phase two is now beginning and will address the design of the Trail. The Trust for Public Land will handle the outreach of the second phase and they plan to go out into the surrounding communities to get feedback, besides having the usual large public meetings. If anyone has suggestions on how they can best reach community members they can send an email to info@bloomingdaletrail.org. There are no dates for public meetings yet.
  • ·       The current plan has eight access parks to the Trail, but this is not final. There could be more options dependent on funding. They are encouraging the creation of PAC’s for all of the parks that provide access to the Trail.
  • ·       Lucy Gomez Feliciano commented that the Mayor just held a press conference to announce funding for the Bloomingdale Trail. She added that the construction of the trail is expected to add 1,200 jobs and that the project has been given high priority to open in 2014. The entire 2.7 miles of the trail are expected to be open at the same time. She added that it is expected to stay open until 11 pm and will not be gated shut after this time, which raises safety concerns.
  • ·       Glenn Brettner brought a copy of a Tribune article regarding Mayor Emanuel’s announcement of funding for park projects across the City.
  • ·       An advisory council member inquired about the proposed park at Bloomingdale and Kimball. Bonnie responded that there will definitely be a park built there on a parcel at the intersection of the two streets.

  • ·       Park Supervisor Jesus Perez passed out a hard copy of his report with dates for upcoming events in the park.
  • ·       There is a new program starting in April that is a soccer youth training program that will teach children from local grammar schools with partner Soccer for Success.
  • ·       The new bathroom stall in the women’s washroom was just installed and open.
  • ·       An advisory council member asked whether there is any news about what restaurant will be in the Boathouse this summer. Cynthia Rosario responded that she does not know which applicant was chosen to lease the space but that there will be a restaurant in the space this year.
  • ·       Advisory council member Kurt Gippert asked whether they Puerto Rican fest would only be four days this year rather than the usual six. Amy Vega responded that it will take place on Thursday through Saturday. Kurt asked what the reasons for shortening it are and Amy responded that the cost of the festival was a factor, as well as cuts to the City budget.
  • ·       Brian Hacker asked whether the two major music fests coming to the park this summer, World Latin Music Fest and Riot Fest, were approved for alcohol sales. Jesus Perez responded that they don’t know about this yet.
  • ·       Nancy Diaz mentioned the article passed out by Glenn Brettner about funding for parks and asked what this funding would mean for Humboldt Park and particularly structural repairs to the fieldhouse. Cynthia Rosario responded that the fa├žade of the building would be repaired. Nancy asked whether a new roof would be installed. Cynthia responded that she does not know.

  • Youth Jamboree - Amy Vega described the children’s race that the Puerto Rican Parade Committee of Chicago (PRPCC) hosts every year in the park the week before the Puerto Rican Festival. Community organizations and non-profits take part in the event and set up tables to offer information. In previous years the event took place at the boathouse but this year they are looking at hosting it at Little Cubs Field to offer more athletic and fitness events for the youth. She submitted a letter to the Advisory Council offering the opportunity to partner with the PRPCC for this event. Ruth Pena asked what it would require for the Advisory Council to be a partner in this event and Amy replied that it is an opportunity to be an exhibitor at the fair that is part of the event and get free exposure. The date of the event is June 9th. Amy asked that the Advisory Council respond with a letter if they are interested in cooperating in this event. Brian Hacker responded that he would be willing to set up a table at the event to offer information on the Advisory Council, get people to sign up for the email list and hand out water. Ruth Pena made a motion to partner in the event, Brian Hacker seconded the motion and a majority of members approved the vote.
  • Alcohol permits for summer festivals - Maggie Martinez voiced her concern that the Park District would issue permits for alcohol for the two major music festivals coming to the park this summer and asked Amy Vega if she would have alcohol at the Puerto Rican Festival. Amy responded that she applied for alcohol permits for a beer garden in the park on Friday and Saturday. She added that she does not expect to be approved, which will cause her to lose a substantial amount of money. She said that she knows the other two music festivals – Riot Fest and the World Latin Music Fest – historically serve alcohol at their events and if they are granted permits to sell alcohol this year that it will be the first time in 30 years that alcohol is sold at an event in the park. Ruth Pena asked what power the community has in whether or not the festivals receive the permits and Cynthia Rosario responded that she could provide the appropriate contacts to send letters to them. Kurt Gippert commented that he feels the Park District should make the decision based on the past histories of the respective festivals. He then asked whether the sale of alcohol at the festivals would raise money for the park. Glenn Brettner responded that the revenue made from alcohol sales at festivals goes to the park District central office for redistribution and no share of it is reserved for the location at which it is sold. Rich Karwowski made the comment that if alcohol is allowed at the large festival in the Park that it would cut down on the amount of people bringing their own alcohol into the park illegally because of the greater security presence.
  • Earth Day events – Maggie Martinez announced that the Earth Day Clean-up will be centered at the field house. Two trees will be planted in the park in honor of Maggie Daley and Francisco Colon, who is the brother of former Advisory Council President, Lucy Roman. There will be entertainment and food but volunteers are needed for the cleaning. Large groups should sign up with the Friends of the Park website. There is no budget for the event, everything is based on donations from volunteers and local businesses to the Block Club Federation.  The clean up event will begin at 9:00 a.m. and the race will begin at 8 a.m. Glenn Brettner recommended that the Advisory Council offer information and a sign up sheet for the Earth Day events.
·       Brian Hacker made a motion to move the votes on the amendment by-laws to the April meeting. This was seconded by Ruth Pena and a majority of members approved the motion.
  • ·       Open forum

o   Cythia Rosario announced that because of the unseasonable nice weather the parks have been very busy before the maintenance crews have been expanded for the warmer months.
o   Jose Quintana commented that there is an area on North Avenue near the Burger King that floods during rain storms.
o   Morgan Tomaso asked why many of the lights in the center of the park are not lit in the evenings and commented that this is a safety concern for runners like herself. Jesus Perez responded that there are electrical repairs that need to be made on some of the lamps, which requires work underground. Cythia Rosario responded that the lights are on timers that need to be set for each grid, which needs to be done manually, and it is likely an issue related to daylight savings time. Nancy Diaz added that Superintendent Mike Kelly told her that all the globes on the park lamps had been replaced.
o   Tanja Deshida asked if there is anything the Advisory Council can do to enforce recycling in the park more strictly because many people throw garbage in the recycling containers. Cynthia Rosario responded that the recycling company comes separately to empty the cans but it is difficult to enforce. There are new cans that are being rolled out in more places, like the entrance to the field house, that have garbage on one side and recycling on the other. Cynthia added that it makes it difficult that many of the recycling containers are black and look too similar to the waste containers. Tanja Deshida recommended that the Advisory Council should consider a sticker that differentiates the recycling containers from the waste containers. Glenn Brettner responded that if she is willing to bring a design to a future meeting, the Advisory Council could discuss the possibility of offering funds to get them printed. Brian Hacker questioned whether this would be affective when the recycling containers are not consistently placed next to the waste containers.
o   Kurt Gippert asked whether the Park District was doing anything to provide electricity to the food vendors so the noise and exhaust from the generators could be eliminated. Cynthia Rosario responded that this would be addressed in the new contract and efforts are being made to address this issue.
o   Maggie Martinez announced that the concession stand did not get the grant to put in a garden.
o   Nancy Diaz asked if the Park District had broken ground on the new lights for the baseball diamonds and Cynthia Rosario responded that this had not happened yet.

Nancy Diaz made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 8:20 p.m.; this was seconded by Maggie Martinez.

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