SOAR Social Wednesday at Coco Pazzo CafĂ©

Coco Pazzo Café recently moved from its longtime location on St. Clair to 212 E. Ohio, just east of Michigan Avenue. Jack Weiss and the staff took with them the name, the murals, the warmth and hospitality and the best of the menu choices. The restaurant hosted more than 80 appreciative SOAR members at a reception on March 8. Thanks a million, and best of luck in the new location. Here are some of the event-goers:
Marco Villavicencio, Jack Weiss, Debby Gershbein, David Hampe
JoAnne and Howard Melton, Michael and Amy Kraynak
Lisa Robertson, Mary Alex Japczyk, Kim Lawson, Bobbi Meyers 
Minglei Blumenthal, John Keefe

Alderman Hopkins Town Hall News

Alderman Brian Hopkins took the opportunity to make major announcements to more than 150 Streeterville residents and other stakeholders at the 2nd Ward/Streeterville Town Hall. The event was held on Tuesday, February 7, at Hilton Chicago Magnificent Mile Suites. Following are highlights from his presentation. Complete coverage will run in next week's SOAR eNews, scheduled to deliver on Thursday, February 23.

Moderator Charlie Wojciechowski and Alderman Brian Hopkins

*  Softball league playing at Lake Shore Park will be relocated to other City parks in order to better serve the needs of the community. Alderman Hopkins recognized the efforts of the Lake Shore Park Advisory Council and its President David Kostelansky, that contributed to the Chicago Park District Commissioners' decision.


Charlie Wojciechowski-NBC Channel 5, Heather Gleason-Chicago Park District,
Deborah Gershbein-SOAR, Alderman Brian Hopkins, John Chikow-The Magnificent Mile Association, Commander Paul Bauer-Chicago Police Department

*  State Representative Christian Mitchell (26th District) introduced a bill to strengthen penalties for motorcycle riders who exceed speed and noise regulations. The bill also calls for reducing emergency vehicle siren noise throughout the state. To read more click here. Representative Mitchell can be reached at 773.924.1755 or via his website.

*  Looking ahead long range, Alderman Hopkins showed the latest renderings for the proposed revitalization of Lake Shore Drive, including eliminating the curve at East Lake Shore Drive and developing land for recreation. For more information click here.

Focusing on the Growth of Streeterville

Message from the President
Priorities change and, as neighbors, members of the SOAR Board are aware of the most critical issues at any given time. For many years, SOAR's emphasis was on monitoring the real estate development that sparked the tremendous residential growth in Streeterville over 40+ years. This year, the Board took a closer look at the issues associated with that growth. While we continue to operate task forces on a wide variety of topics, the Board believes that three issues are most critical in 2017: Traffic, Safety and Parks, all the result of the tremendous growth Streeterville has experienced.
TRAFFIC Growth in residential, institutional and commercial real estate continues to cause gridlock in Streeterville. The Traffic Task Force  will be working closely with the Chicago Department of Transportation, Alderman Brian Hopkins and Alderman Brendan Reilly and developers to help monitor and fix what isn't working and plan more effectively. Traffic Task Force Co-Chairs are Judy Aiello Fantus and David Lewin. Judy was the Assistant Manager for the City of Evanston for 25 years, intimately involved in Evanston's redevelopment and traffic plans.

SAFETY  Bob Johnson heads the Safety Task Force. He is a former fire chief and volunteer firefighter familiar with the concerns of residents, the challenges of living in a mixed-use community and the opportunities to work closely with first responders. He and members of the task force will be both proactive and responsive with regard to addressing safety for individuals and for residential buildings here. The Task Force will work closely with the Chicago Police Department and private security forces in the neighborhood to make certain that Streeterville continues to be one of the safest neighborhood in the City of Chicago.
PARKS  Streeterville is lacking in per capita green space. We need more public parks and open spaces for residents to play, rest and reflect. All of the 10+ public parks here require attention to better suit the needs of residents. Karen Burnett, Chair of the Parks Task Force, has been involved with parks since she joined the Board. She and the task force will work closely with the Chicago Park District, our local Advisory Councils, Alderman Hopkins and Alderman  Reilly and the SOAR Greening and Sustainability Task Force, whose Chair is Jay Lubinsky.
Each of the task forces will bring programs to members and the community this year and I hope you will attend. But I urge you to do more: join one of these capable and committed leaders to help bring about change. You will find their contact information below. Meeting dates, times and locations can be found in SOAR eNews and SOAR eWeekly. If you are a member, feel free to stop in, meet, greet and participate.
On behalf of the SOAR Board, I thank those of you who contributed generously to the 2016 Annual Appeal.
As always, I will be happy to hear your ideas and respond to your questions and comments when you reach me at

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