Community Blog

21 Things a Burglar Won’t Tell You:

1. Sometimes, I carry a clipboard. Sometimes, I dress like a lawn guy and carry a rake. I do my best to never, ever look like a crook.
2. The two things I hate most: loud dogs and nosey neighbors.
3. I’ll break a window to get in, even if it makes a little noise. If your neighbor hears one loud sound, he’ll stop what he’s doing and wait to hear it again. If he doesn’t hear it again, he’ll just go back to what he was doing. It’s human nature.
4. I’m not complaining, but why would you pay all that money for a fancy alarm system and leave your house without setting it?
5. I love looking in your windows. I’m looking for signs that you’re home, and for flat screen TVs or gaming systems I’d like. I’ll drive or walk through your neighborhood at night, before you close the blinds, just to pick my targets.
6. Avoid announcing your vacation on your Facebook page. It’s easier than you think to look up your address.
7. To you, leaving that window open just a crack during the day is a way to let in a little fresh air. To me, it’s an invitation.
8. If you don’t answer when I knock, I try the door. Occasionally, I hit the jackpot and walk right in.
9. Of course I look familiar. I was just here last week cleaning your carpets, painting your shutters, or delivering your new refrigerator.
10. Hey, thanks for letting me use the bathroom when I was working in your yard last week. While I was in there, I unlatched the back window to make my return a little easier.
11. Love those flowers. That tells me you have taste…and taste means there are nice things inside. Those yard toys your kids leave out always make me wonder what type of gaming system they have.
12. Yes, I really do look for newspapers piled up on the driveway, and I might leave a pizza flyer in your front door to see how long it takes for you to remove it.
13. If it snows while you’re out of town, get a neighbor to create a car and foot tracks into the house. Virgin drifts in the driveway are a dead giveaway.
14. If decorative glass is part of your front entrance, don’t let your alarm company install the control pad where I can see if it’s set. That makes it too easy.
15. A good security company alarms the window over the sink. And the windows on the second floor, which often access the master bedroom and your jewelry. It’s not a bad idea to put motion detectors up there too.
16. It’s raining, you’re fumbling with your umbrella, and you forget to lock your door-understandable. But understand this: I don’t take a day off because of bad weather.
17. I always knock first. If you answer, I’ll ask for directions somewhere or offer to clean your gutters. Don’t take me up on it!
18. Do you really think I won’t look in your sock drawer? I always check dresser drawers, the bedside table, and the medicine cabinet.
19. Helpful hint: I almost never go into kid’s rooms.
20. You’re right: I won’t have enough time to break into that safe where you keep yourvaluables. But if it’s not bolted down, I’ll take it with me.
21. A loud TV or radio can be a better deterrent than the best alarm system. If you’re reluctant to leave your TV on while you’re out of town, you can buy a $35 device that works on a timer and stimulates the flickering glow of a real television. (find it at
For more information contact the 19th District Community Policing Office at 312-744- 0064

Buena Park: A Safe and Friendly Place to Live on the North Side of Chicago by Marissa Levigne

This article was written by Marissa Levigne for her Communications 205 course at Loyola University.

Voted by Chicago Magazine as one of the top 11 places to live in Chicago, Buena Park is
one of the safer neighborhoods on the north side thanks to its location and a local organization, Buena Park Neighbors.

In between Lake Michigan and Graceland Cemetery, Buena Park lies at the southern end of Uptown. It is a pleasant, safe place to live according citizens and local officials.

However, this wasn’t always the case.

In 1986 Buena Park had problems with loitering and prostitution taking place from Buena Avenue to Belle Plaine. It wasn’t until concerned community members decided to step in that crime began to subside and the community members became more involved.

In an effort to combat crime, Buena Park Neighbors was formed in 1986 to rid these
issues of loitering and prostitution. With increased police presence and closing liquor stores in the problem areas, Buena Park saw a decrease in crime.

Gene Tenner, current facilitator for community policing at Buena Park Neighbors said, “We became more active around 2010. We wanted to do more than just be content with the safety of our neighborhood. Our goal was to get people to know each other, to be more clean and green, and to get community members involved.”


Tenner attends all of the CAPS meetings where Chicago Police announce recent burglaries, assaults, batteries, and any other crime statistics that occurred in the neighborhood. They also discuss any other issues in the neighborhood such as where suspicious characters are hanging around and how to keep your home safe.

Tenner said that the turn out at these crime status meetings is usually low. “We don’t get a lot of attendance at the meetings, because there’s not a lot of crime. Five to six people usually show up, which I believe is a testament to the safety of Buena Park.”

Tenner believes that the reason for the low crime rates in Buena Park compared to other
neighbors in Chicago, is mostly because it lies between a cemetery and the lakefront. The
physical dimensions leave almost no east or westbound escape route for criminals.

Luis Rosendo, 22, a Buena Park citizen said, “I’ve been here my whole life. I know that
there are issues with gang violence and other crime further north of here. I have also been reading a lot online of robberies taking place in Lakeview and Wrigleyville.”

Another resident of Buena Park who has lived there just under two years, Jason Paul, 26,
said his only issue with Buena Park is the spillover of “drunk Cubs fans and partiers” coming from Wrigleyville.

“It’s nice here,” Paul said, “We get some drunks every now and then when the Cubs play,
but once you hit Montrose Avenue and north of there it gets pretty sketchy.”

Tenner believes that community association has a correlation to the safety of Buena Park.

“There is a lot to be said for neighbors helping neighbors,” Tenner said.

He believes that bringing the neighbors and community together is important because if
more people know each other, he or she is more likely to “cover your back.” Tenner added, “I lucked out by choosing to live here, not all neighborhoods in Chicago
are as community oriented as Buena Park.”

President of Buena Park Neighbors, Lisa von Drehle, said, “I started about 5 years ago. I
got involved because I had an idea that we should have a neighborhood festival, and the
president of Buena Park Neighbors at the time, Bill Petty, told me to get it going myself, so I did.”

von Drehle has been the president of Buena Park Neighbors for two years now and thinks the only downfall is the lack of a commercial strip of stores and restaurants. Since it is mostly residential, stores are isolated and von Drehle said she would really like to see a breakfast and lunch spot open up, or a town square where all the stores are located.

Fortunately, even this minor issue will start to be resolved. According to Chicago
Magazine, the former Maryville Academy building, on Montrose Avenue and Clarendon
Avenue, will be turned into retail space and should be complete by 2018.

von Drehle said they hold four general meetings a year. They discuss topics such as local
businesses, fitness, and politics. The meetings are open to the public and they usually get around 90 to 100 people in attendance.

Buena Park Neighbors has an environmental committee, called Buena Green, and an
events and social committee. Their continued efforts help to keep Buena Park a safe and friendly place to live on the north side of Chicago.

A quick couple things for your calendar –
Chef’s blackboard menu will prominently feature swine of all kinds (prosciutto, mortadella, pork belly & more) served in a variety of unique ways, to be enjoyed as you partake in our lovely, Free Rosé Wine Tasting. No tickets to purchase, simply walk-in.

Wed, May 10, 6:30-8:30p
Brunch with an exclusive Bowen Arrow Diamonds & Designs Trunk Show. Take this time, while brunching & sipping bottomless mimosas, to shop for beautiful, custom-designed jewelry. Reservations accepted and recommended. Please call 773-404-8955 during business hours or 

Oh, and have you tried our…
The perfect after-work pop-in:  $5 glasses of wine, $5 beers, $7 cocktails & martinis + exclusive $5-$7 small plates. Weeknights, 5-6:30p
Join your neighbors for a Neighborhood Nightcap: Cheese or chocolate board served with a glass of wine, whiskey or digestivo, 15 for one | 25 for two. Every evening, 9p+
Oops! We almost forgot…

Our sidewalk cafe is now open. Enjoy brunch in the sun and dinner under the stars.
WEEKEND BRUNCH IS A HIT!  Delicious breakfast & lunch dishes, brunch cocktails, bottomless mimosas, and a loaded gourmet Bloody Mary bar – all with our own special twist! Saturday + Sunday, 11a-3p
THE BAR AT PR They’re back! The house fave cocktails you’ve been craving all winter plus some new, delicious concoctions; seasonal beers and patio-weather wines, plus a full rosé list for your sipping enjoyment.
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PR | Italian Bistro, 3908 N. Sheridan Rd, Sheridan Station Corridor, Chicago, IL 60613

Chicago Market Letter of Support

To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing in enthusiastic support of Chicago Market's plan to open a full-

service, community-owned cooperative grocery store on the North Side of

Chicago/in Uptown at the Wilson Red Line Stop on the CTA (the "Gerber

Building").  As an active community resident and member of (GROUP NAME) in

Uptown, I fully support Chicago Market's mission and vision. Having this local,

sustainable food co-op in our neighborhood will provide a tremendous benefit to

Uptown residents.

I believe the store's cooperative business model and promotion of local foods

support better health, a cleaner environment, and a sustainable local economy. I

believe Chicago Market will connect consumers with their food production in a

way that benefits both the community and our local economy.

Chicago Market will add dozens of jobs in Uptown. It will host educational

classes and workshops. It will be a vibrant community hub and a perfect match

for this revitalized building.

Chicago Market’s mission is to provide as much of the breadth, depth and variety

of Midwest food as is produced by the region's diverse farmers and local food

producers.  It will provide farm-to- table transparency; educate the community;

and support sustainability and integrity in all areas, including environmental

stewardship, fair labor practices and cooperative principles.  As it accomplishes

its mission, Chicago Market's success will mirror Uptown's rebirth.

I fully support Chicago Market and I believe it will infuse Uptown with a much-

needed economic boost, as well as adding richness and depth to our





Block Club/Community Group:_____________________


You Can Help Bring Chicago Market, A Community Co-Op Grocery Store to Uptown

Chicago Market, A community co-op grocery store, is in the process of applying to the CTA to lease a location at the Wilson stop on the Red Line, otherwise known as the Gerber building.

This iconic building has graced the Uptown landscape since the 1920’s. Now that the renovation of the Wilson stop is nearly complete, work will soon begin on the Gerber building, and we think this is an ideal location for Chicago Market.

In case you haven’t heard of Chicago Market, it’s a community-owned grocery store with a focus on local and sustainable foods. Anyone will be able to shop at Chicago Market, but Owners will receive discounts and profit-sharing rebates and have a voice in how the store is run.

Chicago Market has been organizing since 2014, has 900 Owners (including many in your neighborhood) and is now hoping to open in Uptown.

Chicago Market Co-op has been seeking an appropriate site for the last year and a half, and the Gerber building is perfect for us.

It may not happen (we expect to be competing against many established chain businesses like Dunkin Donuts and Popeyes), but if we succeed in bringing this great store to Uptown, we will need lots of community support.

That is why we are reaching out to you now.

Time is of the essence, since we have to submit our proposal by June 9th.

How you can help:

1. Write a letter of support (I have included a sample here; please feel free to use it in whole or in part) for Chicago Market that we can include in our proposal. We’re happy to sit down with you or anyone from your organization to give you more details on our plan.

2. Hold a meeting for your block club that we can attend and discuss our proposal.

3. Announce and promote the community meetings that we will be holding in the next two months. We’ll have more on that as we confirm dates and venues.

4. Become an Owner of Chicago Market.

5. Go to our website and sign our “Wilson CTA petition.

Please visit our website to learn more, and please feel free to contact me via email or by phone 402-306-1721.
Thank you,

Bill Petty
Treasurer, Chicago Market Coop
Bill Petty
Chicago Market Board of Directors

Chicago Market – A Community Co-op
Local. Sustainable. Yours.

“Nearly 50” – Pride Arts Center celebrates its first Pride Month on Broadway with 30 days of plays, readings and special events

On the cusp of the 50th Anniversary of the seminal gay play The Boys in the Band Pride Arts Center presents a slate of readings, productions and special events that look at gay works past and present. Staged readings are The Boys in the Band by Mart Crowley (1968) and Jumpers for Goalposts by Tom Wells (2015), a British play about homophobia in sports. Limited run productions include David Pevsner’s solo show Musical Comedy Whore, and BEDS, a double-bill of classic plays Jerker (1986) and Two Boys in Bed on a Cold Winter Night (1995). Special events include a staged reading of The Great Trans* Play Contest winner, SheFest, an evening of performances featuring queer women, Queer Bits Film Festival and the Broadway in the Broadway Cabaret. The celebration will conclude with Unity in Dance with choreography by members of the Gus Giordano Dance Company. Performances will be in The Broadway, Pride Arts Center, 4139 N. Broadway, except as noted.

Visit or call 1800 737 0984 for more information.

911 vs. 311 – When to call 311 and when to call 911?

911 vs. 311 – When to call 311 and when to call 911?

The primary functions of 311 are to:

o  Provide information about city services and events
o  Process requests for city services such as missing signs, graffiti, burned out street/traffic lights, leaking water mains, pot holes, etc.
o  Process non-emergency police requests when there is no offender on the scene and there is no immediate threat to safety or property, and/or a report is all that is needed such as a theft or criminal damage that has previously occurred.

    Call 911 for emergencies and other situations that require immediate police and/or fire response. Call 911 for Police Services …
  When there is a crime in progress or one has just occurred
o  When there is an immediate threat to life or safety
o  When the services of a police officer are required on scene at that moment; such as a disturbance, or parking violator that is blocking a garage, driveway, hydrant, handicap space, etc.

    Call for Fire Services…
 When there is a serious or life threatening medical situation
o  When there is a fire or hazardous material incident/spill
o When there is a trapped person
Remember – If you need an officer or an ambulance immediately do not call 311; call 911.
    For more information contact the 19th District Community Policing Office at 312-744-0064 or