Tuesday
Oct102017

SOAR Speaker Series

SOAR is pleased to introduce the first of its three part Speaker Series. The first session is Food for Thought. Speaker Series programs will feature noted Streeterville residents, SOAR friends and celebrated Chicagoans speaking out on a wide variety of timely, informative and entertaining topics. Like the Farmers Market, Town Hall meetings and Social Wednesdays, the series will foster one of the most important goals of the organization, to "Build and Celebrate Community" by encouraging community involvement and recognizing talents, contributions and success.
 
With that in mind, the Speakers Series will launch on Tuesday, November 7, when Hungry Hound Steve Dolinsky discusses "Speaking Out on the Chicago Food Scene." Through his longtime and frequent broadcasts (ABC-Chicago/Channel 7), blogs and personal appearances, Dolinsky has proven his chops as one of Chicago's most trusted restaurant critics and knowledgeable food historians. He will give an overview of trends and a brief survey of Streeterville's time-honored and new eating establishments-some of which might be new to even the most frequent diners in the audience. Learn more about Steve Dolinsky here http://www.stevedolinsky.com/
 
We believe, along with Julia Child, that "People who love to eat are always the best people". They include those who shop the Farmers Market, whose success largely rests on people enjoying each other's company to share fresh and local food.
 
Topic               Speaking Out on the Chicago Food Scene  
Speaker          Steve Dolinsky
When              Tuesday, November 7
Time                Registration: 6pm
Program:        6:30pm
Location         Park Hyatt Chicago
                        800 N. Michigan Grand Salon-Lower Level
RSVP              Current members click here to register.
Not a member?  
Please click here to join or contact us at 312.280-2596. We are offering a special first-time member rate of $50 for those who join by November 2. At the door or after that date membership will be full price of $75.  
 
Dine before or after the program and enjoy a 25% discount at NoMi Kitchen, the fine dining restaurant at the Park Hyatt. To take advantage of this offer please mention the SOAR SPEAKER SERIES when you make your reservation on OpenTable or when you call the restaurant at (312) 239-4030.
 
The Speakers Series is generously sponsored by DK Condo and Wintrust Bank. We are grateful to them for recognizing the value of SOAR's goals to build and celebrate community. We sincerely thank our hosts, the staff at the Park Hyatt Hotel for making this event possible. 

 

Tuesday
Oct032017

SOAR Annual Meeting

SOAR held its 42nd Annual Meeting at the Museum of Contemporary Art on Monday September 25th  to a full house. Members in attendance were fortunate to hear comments from both Streeterville Aldermen (42nd  Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly and 2nd Ward Alderman Brian Hopkins) as well as 26th District State Representative Christian Mitchell. Terry deGuzman, MCA Chief Operating Officer welcomed SOAR members. We thank the MCA for their warm hospitality. 
 
The theme of the meeting was #onlyinstreetervile, a salute to the uniqueness of the neighborhood and to SOAR's new social media initiatives. A map of Streeterville landmarks and institutions was shared to display Streeterville boundaries and illustrate the uniquness of the neighborhood while demonstrating why it is important for SOAR to represent the residents of Streeterville in this urban landscape surrounded by Lake Michigan and the Chicago River.  
 
Despite our successes this year, we have many areas to work on in the coming year. We must continue to focus on safety initiatives, ensure that our parks are useable and in tip top shape, and we also need to continue to educate, advocate and inform on behalf of Streeterville residents.   
 
Now entering into our 43rd year, we expect to continue our successes and expand our community efforts in the fulfillment of our mission and goals for the Streeterville Neighborhood!
 
We Build and Celebrate Community!  Thank You! 
_____________________________________________________________________________

Highlights from our Annual Meeting

Here are highlights of remarks by our special guests, all of whom included tributes to SOAR for longtime service to the community:


Left to right, State Representative Christian Mitchell, Alderman Brendan Reilly,      Alderman Brian Hopkins and Terry de Guzman

 

Representative Mitchell plans to re-introduce his bill to curb motorcycle and siren noise in the coming session. His previous attempt was blocked by the motorcycle lobby in Illinois. 

Alderman Reilly announced that as a result of his actions in light of recent violence around the underpass to Navy Pier, the Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) and the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) will install a security camera at the corner of Ohio and McClurg and another on Ohio, mid-way between McClurg and Inner Lake Shore Drive. This is in addition to the closure of the underpass in late evening-early morning hours. Alderman Reilly is developing his menu of priorities for 2018 and urges residents to email him with descriptions and photos of trouble spots in the neighborhood; he also welcomes reports when neighbors observe suspicious incidents. Contact him at office@ward42chicago.com
 
Alderman Hopkins reported that Chicago Police District 18 has added six patrol officers and noted his efforts, along with Alderman Reilly's, to increase that number. He praised the Midnight Circus performances and Lake Shore Park and saluted Park Advisory Council David Kostelansky (story elsewhere in this issue), commenting that proceeds will be directed to upgrading the playground. Alderman Hopkins also announced that a portion of the restored Lake Shore Park Field will likely be a dog-friendly area.
 
Ms. deGuzman noted that the MCA has hosted the SOAR in the past, and now includes 12,000 square feet of redesigned space accommodating the learning and social activities "at the heart of the MCA." She briefly described the 50th Anniversary events taking place on October 21 and 22 (story elsewhere in this issue) and a special event for neighbors to be held in November. 
      
Howard W. Melton:
SOAR's outlook is positive
Financial Report Noting that membership dues accounted for more than half of SOAR revenue for 2016-17, Treasurer Howard W. Melton reported a positive year in terms of fundraising, sponsorship and special events. The organization is in good financial health. Click here for the full financial report.
 
Board News Officers re-elected by the Board of Directors for 2017-18 are President Deborah Gershbein, Vice PresidentBrian Butler and Treasurer Howard W. Melton; newly-elected Secretary is Clare Hennessy. Thanks to Bob Levin, who served several years as Secretary and remains on the Board.
 
Joel Brosk was newly-elected to the Board. Joel and his wife, Carol, have lived in Streeterville for 13 years  
Joel Brosk
and have been SOAR members for 10 years. He is a real estate attorney involved in a variety of commercial and industrial development and currently serves as general counsel to ServerCentral, an internet and cloud service provider to clients including Mesirow, ABN/Amro, Angie's List and the Cook County Treasurer. Joel has volunteered for the Farmers Market, Artisan Market and neighborhood clean-up, among other SOAR activities. Carol is co-chair of the SOAR Garden Club. We welcome Joel to the Board.
 
Mary Baim
Longtime Board member Mary Baim chose not to run for election this term and was named Board Emeritus. Among SOAR roles Mary took on with energy and enthusiasm were Chair of the Nominating Committee, Co-chair of the Artisan Market, which she co-founded. Earlier this term, David Lewin resigned from the Vice Presidency and the Board to focus on his family and legal practice. We will miss Mary's passion and David's counsel and wish them well.
 
Awards SOAR Vice President Brian Butler assisted with the presentation of the 2017 P.I.V. (Positively Invaluable Volunteer), Beautification and Green Ribbon Awards at the meeting.
P.I.V. Awards These honor volunteers who demonstrate a high degree of personal dedication, leadership
Charlie Wojciechowski, Deborah Gershbein, Linda Avery. Irene Newman was out of town and unable to receive her award in person
in a significant SOAR endeavor and a high standard of community service. Winners chosen by the Board of Directors for 2017 were: Linda Avery,honored for the technical skills she brings to SOAR special events, including the Artisan Market and the Blueprints Gala and for her innovative contributions to the first Farmers Market Kitchen Pop-Up this year; Charlie Wojciechowski, the highly respected reporter for WMAQ/NBC Chicago who lends his talent and professionalism as moderator of SOAR Town Hall meetings featuring Streeterville's Aldermen, State officials and other government officials; Irene Newman, who brought her many diverse interests and professionalism to SOAR as Treasurer of the Board, member of the Financial Committee and co-founder of the Artisan Market.
 
Beautification Awards Criteria for the SOAR Beautification award are landscaping that contributes to the overall quality of life in Streeterville, shows substantial improvements in quality and interest, 
Representatives from Beautification Award winners chosen in three categories by member voting, pictured with Deborah Gershbein, are, left to right, Valentine Sobirov, Assistant Property Manager, 600 N. Lake Shore Drive (Residential); Scott Greenberg, Owner, EMC2 (Commercial), and Steve Haemmerle, Executive Vice President, Design and Construction, Navy Pier. (Institutional.)
demonstrates creativity, color and interest, is well maintained and cared for and inspires those in other Streeterville buildings to improve their own landscaping. 
            
Greening and Sustainability: Green Ribbon Award This award recognizes an existing building in Streeterville with outstanding environmental practices and honors a condominium/co-op or rental building that has demonstrated the highest standards of performance with regard to greening and  
Presenting the Green Ribbon Award to 401 E. Ontario representatives is Deborah Gershbein. Accepting  are, left to right, Greg Kersting, Association President; Laura Hull,  Property Manager; Jim Stoller, President and CEO, The Building Group, and Marc Emmanuel, Chief Building Engineer.
sustainability. The first-ever Green Ribbon Award was chosen by members of the Greening and Sustainability Task Force with counsel by the City of Chicago's Energy Efficiency program, Retrofit Chicago.The winner was 401 E. Ontario Condominium Association, which has shown high performance and notable improvement in sustainability through energy efficiency measures, resource, waste, and water management and achieved a significant energy efficiency score of 88 out of 100.  
 
 All Annual Meeting photos by Chicago Corporate Photography & Video 

 

Wednesday
Jul262017

Message from the President: Summer in the City

Bob Johnson, Deborah Gershbein,
Commander Paul Bauer
Chicago is a great place to be in the summer months. Streeterville is at the top of the list with its many local attractions: the Lakefront, Chicago River, Navy Pier, Parks, and Michigan Avenue, just to name a few. We also enjoy many wonderful restaurants, cultural attractions, world-class shopping and, of course, the SOAR Farmers Market and SOAR Gardens at Lake Shore Park. SOAR works to keep Streeterville one of the very best neighborhoods in Chicago. While so many residents and visitors are enjoying the season, SOAR continues to fulfill its mission to preserve, promote and enhance the quality of life and community everyday. How does SOAR participate in doing this? We have a committed Board of Directors Task Force Committees and volunteers that work on behalf of the neighborhood in many different ways. We keep a close eye on neighborhood activities to ensure that they are appropriate for residents and visitors. If we see a potential problem, we don't hesitate to speak up. We take our responsibilities quite seriously. For example, we recently contacted Alderman Brendan Reilly with regard to keeping Streeterville safe and sound (see the story below.)
 
Streeterville is a community of over 30,000 residents who share this densely populated area with visitors, businesses, institutions, recreational attractions and retail establishments. In order to make certain that balance is maintained in this mixed-use community, it is essential that SOAR remain the voice of residents to build and celebrate community. We thank our members for your loyal support! If you are not a member yet, please take the time to renew (click here) or join today (click here).  Enjoy the summer!
 
As always, I will be happy to hear your ideas and respond to your questions and comments when you reach me at dgershbein@soarchicago.org
 
Deborah Gershbein
President
 
SOAR Position Statements
The SOAR Board of Directors recently sent letters to Alderman Brendan Reilly (Ward 42) regarding safety issues in South Streeterville. The first pertains to securing the underpass at Ohio Street, following recent fatal gun violence. The second, which was directed to Local Liquor Control Commissioner Shannon Trotter, objects to granting a tavern license to a prospective establishment with a history of abuse of the privilege. Click here to read the letters. Your comments are welcome at info@soarchicago.org  Click here for a link to an article in DNAInfo
THIS JUST IN..........  We just received additional correspondence from Alderman Reilly updating Streeterville residents about the latest information about Firewater Saloon and their recent community meeting where they failed to invite SOAR or the Alderman. Please click here to read the letter.

 

Tuesday
Jun062017

Opening Celebration and Chef Demo

The Opening Was Grand! The SOAR Farmers Market 2017 Season Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony was held on June 20 on the Plaza of the MCA (Museum of Contemporary Art.) Debby Gershbein, President of SOAR, Terry DeGuzman, Chief Operating Officer of the MCA, and Alderman Brian Hopkins (Ward 2) welcomed the crowd of shoppers and thanked representatives of this year's sponsoring organizations. Terry remarked on the positive sense of community motivated by the Market. Alderman Hopkins pointed out that, about 65 miles from Streeterville's urban center, farmers are growing the produce, flowers and ingredients for prepared food offered at the Market. Some of the Farmers for this market drive over 2 hours to and from their farms to offer farm fresh produce for shoppers. Following the ribbon-cutting Marc and Maureen Schulman and their staff served complimentary slices of a custom-designed Eli's Cheesecake. 
Opening Ceremony
©2017. Sarah Matheson Photography. All Rights Reserved.
______________________________________________________________________________
 
Putting It Together The first Chef Demonstration of the season on June 27 featured Bistronomic chef Martial Noguier, who creatively combined a variety of fresh ingredients sourced from the Market's local farmers including Nichols Farms and Bennison's Bakery. Chef Noguier pleased the crowd with his fresh pea & Capriole goat cheese tart with summer vegetables.The recipe can be found on our website here.  
Join us on Tuesday, July 11, when Chef Ricardo Jarquin, Travelle at the Langham Hotel, will be on "center stage" at the SOAR Information Tent.

With the exception of next Tuesday, the July 4th National Holiday, the Market will be held from 7:00 am to 2:00 pm through October 31. For a complete list of vendors click here go to here For a look at the farmers' seasonal produce and floral selections at the Market, click here. Don't forget to keep up with Farmers Market news on our Facebook page and website. Stop by the SOAR Information Tent to say hello to SOAR volunteers and sponsor representatives when you are shopping. To volunteer contact Office Manager Carole Thomas cthomas@soarchicago.org    
 
We Nourish Community!
 

                                    
                                                

Monday
May012017

Safety and Sound Management in Streeterville

   
Safety in Our Streets The SOAR Board of Directors supports recommendations proposed by Alderman Brendan Reilly (Ward 42) following the shooting on East Ohio in the early morning of Sunday, June 18. Read the story here.  We are in touch with the Alderman and with Chicago Police District Commander Paul Bauer regarding these steps and others that might be taken with regard to overall safety in our community. 
 
Fire Safety As representatives of one of the most successful downtown high-rise communities in the world, SOAR offers condolences to the survivors and families of the victims who lived in Grenfell Tower in West London. In light of that tragedy, the following safety tips are recommended by the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) http://www.nfpa.org/
  • Get to know your building
  • Get to know your building manager
  • Keep your residence fire safe
  • Should you stay or evacuate? In non-combustible buildings, fires are more likely to be contained to a unit or space.  If the fire is not in your unit, you are usually instructed to stay in your unit, if possible, and call 9-1-1
  • Do not use elevators!
  • Search "high-rise fire safety tips" online to read about detailed specifics