Generations of Making History With BAPA

By Maureen Gainer Reilly

A few months back I became the BAPA Board President, carrying on a bit of a family tradition. My dad, Bill Gainer, was BAPA President back in the 1980s.

It may seem unique, but it’s really such a typical Beverly/Morgan Park story of seeing generations of families engaged in and committed to the neighborhood. They raise children who grow up, move away and then return when it’s time to raise their own families.

The Beverly/Moran Park I am enjoying with my children is even better than the one I grew up in. That is in large part due to the dedication of people like my parents.  My mom was forever stretching out the kitchen phone cord as she simultaneously cooked dinner, planned the Snowflake Ball, chaired the Home Tour or followed up on whatever event she was running.  Being a nurse at Little Company and having 6 kids wasn’t enough to keep her busy?

My dad was eternally dragging us to a community meeting (or wake), and was involved with BAPA for years when he worked at AT&T.  The investments made by my parents and countless others like them can be seen in the stable, safe, healthy and diverse neighborhood we see today.  I am grateful they made Beverly/Morgan Park such an attractive destination! Today, we see a wave of new people with no family connection to the area buying houses. These new neighbors have brought an energy and vibrancy to our local retail, culture and entertainment.  I mean, have you been to The Frunchroom or the Beverly Art Walk? Add these events to the Southside Irish Parade, Ridge Run, Home Tour, Breast Cancer Walk, Bikes & Brews and many other events and you have a neighborhood unmatched by any in the City or suburbs.

I joined the BAPA Board because it’s time for my generation to step up and invest the same time and energy as my parents did so that one day our children will be drawn back here to buy a house and raise a family.

The issues the neighborhood faces today are different than the ones my dad and BAPA faced in the 1980s and 90s, but the volunteer needs are the same.  A new generation of volunteers fortifies BAPA, but also ensures that this venerable community organization continues to respond to the ever-changing needs of our neighborhood and our neighbors.

Volunteering is also a way to connect and strengthen the area through the relationships forged through BAPA, school, church and community organizations. One downside of an incredibly tight knit community like ours is that newcomers can feel isolated or unwelcome. BAPA can be the bridge to connect new and old residents so that everyone is at the table and has access to all the amenities.

The perfect first step in engagement is joining your Civic Association.  What is a Civic Association? Think of it as the group of your immediate neighbors who come together to take care of your few square blocks and watch out for each other. These small groups feed into BAPA which, as the umbrella organization, supports, promotes and strengthens the entire neighborhood. Active civic associations have been part of our community’s success since the late 1960s. When the Civic Associations are strong, BAPA is strong. Please consider joining your association.  Call the BAPA office at 773-233-3100 to get connected.

With everything there is to see and do in our community — and with so many opportunities to get involved — I look forward to meeting you soon!

Village Viewpoint – June 2017

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Today, I am filled with gratitude! Together we experienced another great set of events for our community!! Thank you to all those who participated and volunteered to make the Beverly Hills/Morgan Park Home Tour and the Ridge Run and Memorial Day Parade huge successes.

These events bring over 5,000 people together in our community and would not be possible without the 300 volunteers who step up each year to help. More than ever we count on volunteers to support the BAPA staff and make these events special. Every May I am humbled by the thousands of participants and volunteers who connect with our community through BAPA. It is truly inspiring! THANK YOU!

The Beverly Area Planning Association’s mission is “to sustain and enhance Beverly/Morgan Park as a safe, culturally diverse Village in the City with increasing home values, high quality schools, thriving commercial areas and a low crime rate.” But more than that, our mission is to highlight the neighborhood to potential investors, attract new neighbors and continue the tradition of excellence this neighborhood as long enjoyed. To me, year after year the events presented in May and throughout the summer complete this mission.

In addition to volunteers these events would not be possible without our generous sponsors who love this community as we do. Please take time to support those businesses that support our community and the Beverly Area Planning Association.

Looking forward to June and the summer is very exciting as well! As the weather warms we will see the parks and libraries fill up with kids for summer programs and, hopefully, take time to enjoy our community. Each Thursday in June beginning June 8, meet us at the 103rd Street Metra for free Family Fun Nights. There will be food, entertainment and lots of fun for the family! Also mark your calendars for Bikes and Brews, the 15th annual Beverly Hills Cycling Classic, Fri., July 14 at 107th and Longwood. Most of all have a safe and happy kick off to summer! I look forward to seeing everyone!

All the best,

Margot

Beverly Hills Cycling Classic: Bikes & Brews

Join us on Fri., July 14 when the Beverly Area Planning Association (BAPA) presents the 15th Annual Beverly Hills Cycling Classic: Bikes and Brews. The start/finish and festival grounds are centered at Beacon Therapeutic Center, 107th and Longwood Drive, with the race course running in a one-mile loop between 105th Place and 108th Place, Longwood Drive to Hoyne and Seeley avenues.

On the schedule of the Prairie States Cycling Series Intelligentsia Cup, the local event features four exciting pro/am races sure to provide plenty of action for spectators all around the race course.

The Bikes and Brews festival opens at 4 p.m. and features craft beers from Lagunitas and other favorite breweries.  The expanded Kids Zone includes a game truck, bike activities from the Pedalpushers and more. Food trucks include the Roost Carolina Kitchen serving friend chicken and homestyle fixings. Live music starts at 8 p.m.

The Racing

Founded in 2012 as the Prairie State Cycling Series, the Intelligentsia Cup brings competitive bicycle racing to the Chicago metro area, featuring top-level professional and elite amateur athletes. The Beverly Hills Cycling Classic is day one of the nine-day series. The Beverly Hills Cycling Classic will host a Masters’ race, women’s race and two men’s races.

Area residents are invited to ride their bikes to the event and join the fun for a ½ mile family ride on the race course. All riders must wear helmets! Free bike valet will be provided at the festival site.

The Bike Raffle

Tickets to BAPA’s Bike Raffle are now on sale. Don’t miss your chance to win a brand new bike donated by Beverly Bike and Ski.

The Sponsors

Beverly Bike-Vee Pak Racing Team returns as presenting sponsor. Underwritten by Beverly Bike and Ski and Vee Pak Manufacturing, the racing team is composed of several amateur riders who compete in races throughout the area.

Also sponsoring the event are Mike Haggery Buick – GMC – Volkswagen, Beverly Bank & Trust, the 19th Ward Youth Foundation, Smith Village, AT&T, Beverly Bike and Ski, The Beverly Review,

BAPA hosts the Beverly Hills Cycling Classic as a community-building summer event, the suggested donation for admission to the Bikes & Brews festival area is $5 and supports BAPA’s community-based programs.

For more information or to volunteer to help with Bikes and Brews, call 773-233-3100 or email bapa@bapa.org.

Free Family Fun Nights Start June 8

Make a date with your kids for Family Fun Nights, Thursdays, June 8, 15. 22 and 29, 5:30 to 7p.m., across from the Metra Station adjacent to the Beverly Bank parking lot, 1908 W. 103rd St.

Every week a different theme will be celebrated with special guests, activities, music, fun and food. Little Company of Mary Hospital will be handing out giveaways to the kids and doctors will be available to talk about family health.

On June 8, Miss Jamie’s Farm will hold a Rootin’ Tootin’ Hoedown with songs and activities sure to appeal to all her barnyard buddies. Jamie performs at parties around Chicagoland, and is a favorite among kids and their parents.

The DJ John from Beverly Records will be playing the tunes for a Dance Party on June 15.

The June 22 event features No Business Like Show Business, a performance by the Storybox Improv Theater. Actors will create a story from an audience suggestion in this imaginative and fully improvised show.

On June 29, families will join in the official Summer Kick-Off Party! Music and lots of fun activities are in store as we celebrate everyone’s favorite time of year.

Each week Pedalheads will be offering tips on bike safety and more, and Calabria Imports will be selling food and beverages. Bring your chairs and blankets, and get ready for a good time!

Family Fun Nights are co-sponsored by the Beverly Area Planning Association (BAPA), Little Company of Mary Hospital, University of Chicago Medicine/Comer Children’s Hospital, Beverly Bank and Trust, 19th Ward Youth Foundation, Calabria Imports, People’s Gas and Mike Haggerty Buick-GMC-Volkswagen.

Family Fun Nights will be presented as planned, weather permitting.

Ward-Wide Programs Promote Healthy Summer Activities

Local organizations are coming together to make sure people in the 19th Ward have a healthy summer. Free activities range from programs and seminars to training and healthy cooking demonstrations.

Partnering to sponsor the programs are 19th Ward Ald. Matt O’Shea, State Sen. Bill Cunningham, State Rep. Fran Hurley, BAPA, Smith Village, Humana, Sports & Ortho Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine, MetroSouth Medical Center, TreadFit, Southtown Health Foods, JenCare Senior Medical Center, ATI Physical Therapy, Southside Knockout and Fit Code.

The Healthy Summer Campaign schedule includes: and Running Excels Running Club, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6 p.m., and Saturdays, 7 a.m., Running Excels, 10328 S. Western; Preventing & Treating Diabetes, Sat., June 3, 2 p.m., MetroSouth Health Center, 11250 S. Western; Strength Training for Runners, Sun., June 4, Cosme Park, 9201 S. Longwood Dr. (bring yoga mat); Self-Defense Seminar, Thurs., June 8, 6 p.m., Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences, 3857 W. 111th St.; Strength Training for Runners, Sun., June 11, 9 a.m., Barnard Park, 10431 S. Longwood Dr.; Senior Citizen Chair Yoga, Thurs., June 15, 1 p.m., 19th Ward Office, 10402 S. Western; Tabata in the Park, Sun., June 18, McKiernan Park, 10714 S. Sawyer; Senior Citizen Health Fair, Mon., June 19, 10 a.m., Mount Greenwood Park, 3721 W. 111th St.; Women’s Self-Defense Class,  Mon., June 19, 6 p.m., St. Xavier University Shannon Center, 3700 W. 103rd St.; Managing Stress and Energy With Nutrition, Tues., June 20, 7 p.m., Southtown Health Foods, 2100 W. 95th St.; Strength Training for Runners,. Fri., June 23, 9 a.m., Beverly Park, 2460 W. 103rd St.; Metabolic Core Conditioning, Sun., June 25, 9 a.m., Prospect Park, 10940 S. Prospect Ave.; and Healthy Cooking with Chef Gautham Rao, Tues., June 27, 7 p.m., Smith Village, 2340 W. 113th Pl. Find schedule in the 19th Ward Quarterly

Free smoothies will be provided to participants at outdoor sessions courtesy of Southtown Health Foods and BAPA. Additional information available at mattoshea@the19thward.com.

BAPA Member Profile: The Riordan Family

Ann Marie and Dan Riordan are new BAPA members who decided that membership was the clear way to support the neighborhood. “We love the Beverly community and we’re so proud to be residents,” Ann Marie said. “We are so impressed with the work Margot [Holland] has done as BAPA director and the direction she’s taken the organization. That motivated us to be BAPA members.”

The Riordans take part in many BAPA-sponsored events in the community, but it’s the Ridge Run that holds a special place in their family tradition. “The Ridge Run is the highlight of our Memorial Day weekend. We run it, along with our four kids, and it’s a great community event that we all really look forward to,” Ann Marie said. Tommy (16), Jack (14), Nora (12) and Nicholas (9) all run the 5K with their parents, typically with energy to spare.

Tommy attends Reavis High School in Burbank, part of District 220 which Dan is the superintendant of. Jack, Nora and Nicholas attend Christ the King School, where Ann Marie is principal. “We obviously love Beverly, and CK is a big part of it,” Ann Marie said.

Ann Marie loves the fact that so many generations of people have brought up their families in Beverly/Morgan Park. While neither Ann Marie nor Dan grew up here, they hope that their kids decide to keep up the neighborhood tradition of moving back to start their own families.

The Riordans credit BAPA for keeping them, and the rest of the community, on track to maintain the neighborhood and community as a whole. “BAPA concentrates on beautification and getting us together for social events, which is so important,” Ann Marie said. “BAPA helps us all keep our focus; we all want the same goal and without BAPA driving it, I don’t know how organized we would be in accomplishing all of the initiatives that BAPA does.”

BAPA Member Profile” The Duggan Family

Paul and Debbie Duggan, along with their twin 16-year-old daughters, have made their family home in Beverly/Morgan Park since 1980. The Duggans are avid supporters of BAPA and are happy to support the organization that puts our community on the map.

“It’s a great community organization that adds value to the Beverly area,” Paul said. “It’s a voice for the village and it helps represent the neighborhood’s needs and wants.”

The Duggans particularly look forward to the Ridge Run and Memorial Day Parade. “I love the community spirit; these types of community events bring a good feeling and you know that we live in a unique place,” Paul said.

Paul recognizes BAPA’s publicity efforts that bring attention to our South Side neighborhood. “People [further north] don’t always know what Beverly is, but when they find it they fall in love with it. Beverly is a nice community with large lots and the Metra runs through it, making it a great place to live since it’s easy to get downtown.”

When the Duggans adopted their daughters from China, Paul was particularly aware of the way the community welcomed the girls into the fold. “It’s a neat place to raise a family because it’s so inclusive. The nature of our community is that everyone’s welcome. I think BAPA contributes to that feeling of inclusivity in the community,” he said. “There are a lot of adopted kids from all over in this neighborhood, and each one is welcome. We’re very lucky to live here and I have no intentions of ever leaving!”

BAPA Member Profile: Tom & Mary Ellen Fahey

Tom and Mary Ellen Fahey worked hard to raise their five children in Beverly/Morgan Park, and still found a lot of time to give back to the community in a variety of ways. Mary Ellen served on BAPA’s Board of Directors and was an integral part of revamping BAPA’s bylaws.

“We feel BAPA is all about being in a place where you’re putting your money and energy into an organization that benefits the neighborhood,” Mary Ellen said. “BAPA is the centerpiece of the community and it’s responsible for bringing neighbors together.”

Mary Ellen cites the events BAPA puts on as important pieces to further build a sense of camaraderie among Beverly/Morgan Park residents. “The activities that BAPA sponsors are truly community-building,” she said, adding that many neighbors enjoy getting together after the Ridge Run, truly taking the event back home to build relationships with each other.

As an avid volunteer, Mary Ellen looks forward to helping out at the Ridge Run and Home Tour each year and encourages others to get involved as well. “We all have to try to do a little something in the neighborhood, when we can,” she said.

 

Put Your Passion into Action

By Mary Jo Viero, BAPA Community Organizer

Everyone is passionate about something.  For me it’s trees. I love trees. I take pictures of them all the time. I go out of my way to walk past certain trees in the neighborhood. My favorite tree is a gingko that I planted in my back yard so I can see it when I am doing dishes. Trees are my passion, and I use my passion to try to make our neighborhood a better place. Over the course of the last two years, I helped to facilitate the planting of more than 50 trees in four different areas of the neighborhood.

Some people are passionate about schools and other neighbors are passionate about safety. Many people I know are passionate about the local businesses and our parks. Neighborhood beautification is important to countless people I talk to.  Perhaps you like planning social events or volunteering.  All of these passions can be put into action to improve our community.

How? You can start by talking to your neighbors — maybe they are passionate about the same things you are.  Many areas of the neighborhood have civic or homeowner associations, and other areas need them. If you call me at BAPA (773-233-3100), I can put you in touch with the people in your group. BAPA is passionate too! We have programs that address safety, schools, beautification, economic development, home preservation and parks.

Working with neighbors who share your passion is rewarding on many levels. We can help you put your passion into action!

Ask Roberta: Resolving Neighbor Disputes

By Roberta Kleinman, BAPA Coordinator of Property Preservation Services

Q: Help! My neighbor’s dog barks all night long and is ruining my sleep. How do I get the dog to stop barking without making an enemy of my neighbor?

A: BAPA often receives complaints from homeowners who are at the end of their proverbial ropes because of some neighbor’s annoying behavior. Typical examples of complaints (some actual and some theoretical) include a resident who works nights and needs to sleep during the day, but has a neighbor who practices his electric guitar all day long. A family has installed an access door that allows their three dogs to go out at all hours of the day or night, but when a raccoon ventures into their back yard at 3 a.m., the ensuing commotion rouses the entire block from its sleep.

Then there’s the couple with the big, organic vegetable garden whose neighbor’s above ground pool has collapsed, flooding the garden with 16,000 gallons of chlorinated water. Twice. Or the homeowner with the beautifully manicured lawn who can’t abide the rusting array of non-functioning vehicles he sees among the dead shrubbery and foot-tall weeds in his neighbor’s yard. The list of ways in which a neighbor may, intentionally or unintentionally, provoke another’s ire is virtually endless, while the courses of action our society sanctions for responding to such provocation are much more limited.

BAPA’s mission does not officially include resolving disagreements that arise between neighbors. But we believe it is in the community’s best interests to ensure that people have a place where they can talk over their complaint about a neighbor, so that a small problem doesn’t fester until it turns into a raging feud. Depending on the situation, BAPA staff may provide suggestions and referrals for various types of resources and remedies.

If excessive daytime noise is the problem, we’ve found that a pair of earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones can take the edge off a neighbor’s discomfort without risking an unpleasant confrontation. If the parties are still on speaking terms, the mediation of a neutral third party, such as a local minister, might be helpful. For more complicated disputes, we often direct the parties to free mediation services provided by the Center for Conflict Resolution, 11 E. Adams St., Chicago (312-922-6464.)

If someone is physically injured, or his or her residential property sustains actual damage, as a consequence of conduct engaged in or authorized by a neighboring homeowner, the former may initiate a claim against the latter (with or without legal assistance) seeking recovery from the latter’s homeowner’s liability insurance. Referrals to qualified attorneys are available from any of the area bar associations in the area, e.g., the Chicago Bar Association’s Lawyer Referral Service (312-554-2001.) For residents of limited means, information about free (pro bono) or low-cost legal services may be obtained by visiting the website of the Chicago Bar Foundation at http://chicagobarfoundation.org/find-legal-help.

Of course, if the complaint concerns an unsafe condition at a nearby property that could have adverse consequences on the well-being of the complainant’s family, it would be advisable to consult an attorney experienced in employing litigation strategies that go beyond the typical demand for mere monetary damages, including, for example, certain equitable or injunctive remedies that may be required to eliminate a particularly offensive private nuisance of this nature. When a violation of one or more of the city’s relevant municipal codes is believed to have occurred, a phone call to 311 or the 19th Ward Office, or a report made online to the city’s web site, will start the wheels of an investigation rolling. Finally, when criminal conduct is suspected, one or more anonymous calls to 911 to report the allegedly illegal activity will draw the police department’s attention, and that alone may be sufficient to put an end to certain undesirable activities.

Beyond employing the foregoing examples of government-sanctioned remedies, there are legal limits to what actions a long-suffering neighbor may take, with or without BAPA’s assistance. When all else fails, BAPA’s best advice to anyone who may have a complaint about a neighbor is to form a block club. Members of a block club may establish voluntary noise restrictions, property maintenance standards and other behavioral guidelines that, when accepted by a majority of the residents of the block, would be enforced simply through the power of peer pressure. Peer pressure is sometimes the best, and occasionally the only, way to bring a difficult neighbor into line with everyone else on the block.

Disclaimer: Opinions presented here are the author’s alone, and may not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Beverly Area Planning Association. Be advised that the author of this column is not a licensed attorney. The information contained in this article is general in nature and is not intended to, and should not, be relied upon by you, the reader, as personal legal advice or a legal opinion concerning your particular situation. The information also may not necessarily reflect the most current statutory or municipal code developments. You should always seek assistance from qualified legal professionals and other knowledgeable real estate experts when dealing with decisions affecting your residential property.