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Upcoming Meeting Agenda


03-Dec-2014
7:00 p.m. at Full Circle Architect..

December 2014 RNA Board Meeting

7:00 p.m. at Full Circle Architects, 737 Saint Johns Ave.

A G E N D A

Ravinia Neighbors Association Board Meeting 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, December 3rd

Agenda to be posted soon.

NOTE: We encourage participants to keep their discourse short and to the point so our board meetings can be completed in about an hour. Please bring an extra copy of this agenda for any guests who may attend.

Meeting Minutes Archives


14-Aug-2014
M I N U T E S Ravinia ..

August 2014 RNA Board Meeting

M I N U T E S


Ravinia Neighbors Association Board Meeting
Thursday, August 14, 2014


Carolyn Cerf called the meeting to order at 7:00 P.M. at FULL CIRCLE Architects, 737 St. Johns Avenue

In Attendance: C. Cerf, R. DeLong, A. Lohmolder, E. Tarm, D. Purington, R. Wolff, Mike Babian, Davis Schneiderman (*FT), Julie________(*FT), Kris_______(*FT) , Dan Baigelman (host & owner of Full Circle Architects) (*FT = first time attendee)

Board Members Absent: Lisa Temkin, Jean Meier

(R. Delong serving as secretary for first part of meeting in J. Stern’s absence, A. Lohmolder to serve for second half.)

President’s Report – C. Cerf stated we needed to review bylaws to make sure we held elections at appropriate time.

Treasurer’s Report - See separate budget numbers presented by Aaron Wolff.

Resignation & Election of New Treasurer Formal resignation of Ronnie Wolff and presentation of plaque to acknowledge his service.

Carolyn Cerf motioned that Michael Babian be appointed new treasurer, Doug Purington seconded, and the motion was unanimously passed.

Event recap – Carolyn Cerf reported that 8/7/14 Jens Jensen film in Jens Jensen park drew 150 people/ $715 in donation that offset approx. $900+ expense as movie screens etc are not customarily donated.

Newsletter update

Status of the proposed development of 515-555 Roger Williams was discussed. Doug reported from city meeting. Individuals who attended spoke for and against the plan. The split vote of 3-3 by the Design Review is considered a negative (not passing) going to City Council. The developer, Al Klairmont, may opt to resubmit to D&R or go straight to city council.

As prompted by a question by an attending new member, the process of the RNA was reviewed as it responded to a city request to give its position on the proposed development. It was clarified that the Board had voted to support with caveats set forth in a detailed letter prepared by C. Cerf with input from board members shared via emails. The letter was explicit in presenting positions as those of individual board members and not the membership at large, as the time frame for a response fell before the next scheduled meeting. The membership was informed of the development and position submitted by the board. Members who cared to respond shared views via email and at the next scheduled meeting. One member who strongly disagreed was given an opportunity to present a dissenting view on the front page of the next issue of My Ravinia. Upcoming city meetings and opportunities for members to share their own views with the city were publicized by the RNA.,/p>

The member asking for clarification (D. Schneiderman) urged that the RNA would be consistent in the process of how members were represented in official RNA positions citing the Rosewood Beach issue where members had been heard from prior to the announcement of an official RNA position. Discussion included general agreement that city processes moved slowing enough, and needed to move slowly enough to allow our own sound processing and that the RNA could better negotiate time required to submit official positions to the city.

A. Lohmolder made a Motion: that official RNA positions on developments in Ravinia would not be given prior to discussion at a regular meeting of the membership and without prior notice to the membership that the discussion was to take place. R. Wolff seconded the motion which passed unanimously.

Attendee, Julie _______ related her dissatisfaction that the building was proposed to be 4 stories high, which she feels does not fit with the smaller scale of the neighborhood.

C. Cerf read a statement prepared by J. Meier in her anticipated absence. The letter reflected Jean’s personal misgivings regarding the 515-555 development and suggested that the RNA rescind its declared position. Attending board members felt her misgivings had been put forth in the detailed letter submitted and that it was not appropriated to rescind the position given by the RNA board. It was agreed that going forward the RNA would continue to inform the membership of developments and their opportunities to express individual opinions to city bodies as the process moves forward.

Business District Liaison’s report was given by E. Tarm who explained that the newly hired Ripple marketing firm was delaying the “roll out” of marketing efforts with new Ravinia branding until spring of 2015. At this time some of the new signage can be in place at the start of the streetscape development. Disappointment was expressed by some that the merchants would need to wait for this marketing support intended to bring in more business from outside Ravinia, yet Eve did not feel there was much that could be done given that long (5 hr.) meetings had been held to try to work this out. With much turnover in city staff it was harder to make progress and Ripple determined that a later big “roll out” was preferred over smaller efforts (which might be pushed sooner.)

Eve also clarified that the $90K put into the special marketing fund each year for 3 years was not the “budget” for Ripple, but that Ripple needed to submit costs for proposed work/ actions.

Membership report was given by D. Purington who stated his spring membership drive had kicked off May 5th with a special mailing and concerted efforts to contact and regain past members. His spectacular results are reported as follows:

  • Individual mailings to non-members = 1,007
  • Number of streets represented = 46 in and around Ravinia
  • Cost of mailings = $705.00
  • Monies received from mailings = $1, 480.00
  • Total monies received during campaign = $3,680
  • Number of new members (households) = 44
  • Number of new members (individuals) = 70+
  • Number of renewals = 69 households
  • Number of 2014 members who haven’t renewed = 32 (Doug reports he’s still working on these)
  • Number of households still on database = 279
  • Number of individuals still on the database= 450
  • Number of email addresses (members = 228 (82%)
  • Number of email addresses (city officials) = 28
  • Total email addresses 256

Other Issues

D. Schneiderman related his experience as a residence on Broad Street where work is being done on sewers/ streets. He was concerned that city had contacted him stating that dye tests indicated that his downspouts were improperly tied to sewer. Upon hiring his own plumber on advice of neighbors, he discovered that 3 of his downspouts were perfectly good. Others were aware or suspected similar discrepancies and felt that it was advisable to be involved and questioning on these matters. C. Cerf related that the Director of Public Works, Ramesh Kanapareddy is a good person to contact with concerns as he is knowledgeable and respectful in his dealings with residents.

Meeting ended about 9:00 pm with many members staying to enjoy ice cream cake in celebration of the service given by our departing treasurer, Ronny.

05-Jun-2014
M I N U T E S Ravinia ..

June 2014 RNA Board Meeting

M I N U T E S


Ravinia Neighbors Association Board Meeting
June 5, 2014


Carolyn Cerf called the meeting to order at 7:03 P.M. at the Design Quartet showroom at 595 Roger Williams Avenue

The meeting was called to order by Carolyn Cerf at 7:03 p.m. in the Design Quartet showroom at 595 Roger Williams. In attendance, besides Cerf, were Ray DeLong, Amy Lohmolder, Doug Purington, Harold Rafson, Jeff Stern, Lisa Temkin and Aaron Wolf. Also present were associate members Michael Babian and Josh Nanus, Ravinia-based architect Dan Baigelman and Go Green Highland Park representative Andrea Amend.,/p>

Treasurer Aaron Wolf, having previously announced his intention to give up that position, said he would stay on until August and would be willing to train whoever was chosen to replace him. He said there was $4,824 in the RNA’s checking account and $5,230 in a CD for a total of $10,054 in assets. Michael Babian agreed to take on the job of Treasurer, and was given conditional approval. Amy Lohmolder presented a bill from the city for police assistance at the September 2012 Ravinia Block Bash in the amount of $345, which Wolf later paid.

In his Membership report, Doug Purington said he started a month ago to solicit potential new members and membership renewals by email and personal letters. The results to date have been 11 new members and 34 renewals, making a total of 397 members and 248 households after sending out 505 mailings. He said 26 per cent of the responses came through Paypal, and turned in a check for just under $1,500.

Responding to a question from Cerf, Purington said RNA-sponsored events don’t ordinarily generate much new membership, observing that only four renewals were received at the Ravinia Night Out May 22 at Jeff Cohen’s Photo Studio on Roger Williams, though as many as 70 people showed up for the event. Purington said he planned to send another renewal notice out in about a month.

Cerf said the city was about two months behind on retaining a PR firm to promote the Ravinia Business District, and that it won’t be until June 19 that Elyse Bombacino, the person who was hired, will be able present her plan to the City Council. She only recently began talking to businesses to get their ideas. Harold Rafson suggested that RNA point out to Bombacino that in a recent Highland Park magazine article about Ravinia seven of the advertisers were from outside the RBD, so that it would appear we get support from throughout the community.

Cerf said no major events were likely to be planned by the city for the Ravinia area this year, and that we should consider doing something on our own to raise funds and the profile of RNA. She had a number of ideas, such as sponsoring an organic workshop; organizing a “night out” at Ravinia Park; having progressive dinner/garden parties, or co-sponsoring an event with the Farmers’ Market. It was agreed that anything to do with the Market would need the approval of Lydia Davis, who has said in the past that she doesn’t like working with non-profits. Mike Babian agreed to be the liaison with Davis inasmuch as his grandfather was instrumental in bringing the Farmers’ Market to Ravinia several years ago.

In response to Cerf’s request for comments on which plan to support, the only one to be ruled out was the progressive dinner. Lisa Temkin noted that Chicago-born filmmaker Carey Lundin had just come out with a 90-minute documentary on Jens Jensen, and that RNA might try to arrange a showing for area residents, which could be done in Dan Baigelman’s offices on St. Johns Avenue. This idea appeared to have widespread approval from members in attendance.

Regarding the proposed Al Klairmont development at the former 7-11 site on Roger Williams Avenue, Purington showed new drawings that reflected changes since the first rendering. He attended a recent meeting of the Design Review Commission, where he learned of plans to provide 12 enclosed parking spaces opening onto the alley behind the building. Combined with outdoor parking already designated for residents, this would make available a total to 53 spaces. He said DRC members gave unanimous (6-0) approval to the parking plan, landscaping and lighting, but were split on the bulk size of the building (3-3).

Purington said the current plan calls for the upper three floors of the building to accommodate 24 two-bedroom and six one-bedroom rental units, of which five were to be designated affordable housing, plus 6,100 square feet of retail space on the ground floor, which could be divided into six or fewer shops. He said RNA sent a letter to the city in support of the plan with certain conditions, that RNA would keep tabs on how it develops, and that the Planning Commission would hold a hearing on it June 17. It was his impression that the Mayor and City Council were in favor of the project.

In the discussion that followed, Rafson said he was concerned about the bulk of the building, while others recommended adding detail to the structure and possibly providing a setback for the top floor so it would blend in better with the community. Purington said Klairmont indicated he would not move ahead with the project if he had to change the bulk of the building, while Temkin was skeptical of Klairmont’s ability to provide services in buildings he already owns. It was generally felt there was not enough information yet about the project.

Guest Andrea Amend of Go Green Highland Park works in Ravinia and said her organization was part of a consortium trying to address sustainability and environmental issues in the northern suburbs, and that they would like to work with us on recycling, etc.in the community.

In his Newsletter report, Ray DeLong said that after the April 3 meeting he contacted people who write for the newsletter, asking them to think about the proposed extra issue and provide him with topics they might write about. Since then he received one article and the promise of one other. This limited response led him to think it was unrealistic to consider producing three newsletters a year, especially in view of the difficulty of securing ads in the absence of an ad taker. He recommended expanding the next issue to 12 pages to include two or three more articles than usual, and asked everyone to suggest topics to write about.

While members reluctantly accepted DeLong’s proposal, Purington promised an article on new businesses for the next issue, which would have a deadline of August 1, with publication planned for late August or early September. It was agreed that a new ad person was needed who would be proficient with a computer and would respond in a timely way to emails from merchants. Cerf said the job would only require about eight hours of work over eight weeks. She also said she had ideas for more articles which she would send to DeLong.

Cerf said RNA would have a table at the Stupey Cabin Picnic from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on June 7, where Amy Lohmolder would have information and materials needed to plant organic gardens. Other members were welcome to join her.

Under Other Business, Temkin said a demolition permit had been submitted for a home at 450 Woodland. There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:45 p.m.

03-Apr-2014
M I N U T E S Ravinia ..

April 2014 RNA Board Meeting

M I N U T E S


Ravinia Neighbors Association General Meeting
Thursday, April 3, 2014


The meeting was called to order by Carolyn Cerf at 7:15 p.m. in the home of Ken and Lisa Temkin at 660 DeTamble Avenue. In attendance, besides Cerf, were Ray DeLong, Annette Jacobson, Amy Lohmolder, Jean Meier, Doug Purington, Jeff Stern, Eve Tarm and Lisa Temkin. Also present were Ravinia resident Josh Nanus and State Farm representative Mike Babian.

In her President’s report, Cerf said she had met with two shoreline home owners recently who were concerned about how the Rosewood Beach redevelopment project would affect their properties. Based on the report of a consultant they hired, they believed the Army Corps of Engineers’ plan would lead to erosion of their property, and were considering going to court to make sure ACE and the Park District would take care of future maintenance issues resulting from the project. While RNA has always wanted the Park District to follow through on what they promise, it was decided not to take a stand on this private issue for now.

In the absence of Aaron Wolff, Carolyn Cerf gave the Treasurer’s Report, which indicated RNA had a bank balance of $4,824 and a CD valued at $5,230, for total assets of $10,054. She also said Wolff has offered his resignation as Treasurer, and that she and Annette Jacobson would follow up with him for confirmation of this as soon as possible. Mike Babian offered to take on some Treasurer duties if Wolff should indeed step down.

In his Membership Report, Doug Purington said he had collected $535 for ads for the Newsletter, and another $40 for one new membership, more than offsetting the $468.50 spent for the Newsletter. He planned to begin his drive for renewals and new members the week of May 5. He said membership currently totaled 289 households, but that 89 had not yet renewed.

Cerf said a breakfast was scheduled at City Hall on Saturday, April 12, for new city residents, and that she and Eve Tarm will represent RNA at the event.

Purington said he had been working with Web master Karlson Rapp to learn more about the system so he (Doug) could do more to update the site himself.
A discussion then followed on the question of whether RNA should publish more than two Newsletters a year, while recognizing this would place a heavier burden on Ray DeLong to attract more writers and on an ad manager to solicit more ads.

Lisa Temkin and Josh Nanus suggested having more articles about Ravinia history, such as the Historical Society regularly manages to place in the Trib Local. Purington said he would write about local businesses. Temkin offered to do a piece on architect Robert Seyfarth, whose work will be celebrated this fall by the Historical Society with a house walk featuring homes he built here.

Regarding subject matter, Nanus felt Newsletter articles should be more informative and less opinionated about what was happening in the Ravinia area, which Cerf supported, pointing out that she felt it necessary to balance Annette Jacobson’s critical piece on the proposed development at 515 Roger Williams with an article indicating RNA’s general approval of it. DeLong disagreed, saying it was good to have differing opinions about things, which Purington thought was helpful in showing RNA was more open-minded than some might think.

Cerf commented that Ravinia photographer Jeff Cohen might be willing to take portraits of local people for the Newsletter. She said an ad manager was still needed to handle that aspect of Newsletter production, and that she would write a task list for anyone who accepts that position to follow. Jean Meier wanted to write about Jens Jensen’s home on Dean Avenue, which is now in foreclosure. DeLong said his immediate need was for volunteers to help send out the current Newsletter, which Jacobson, Meier, Cerf, and Mike Babian offered to do. It was decided to publish three newsletters a year, with a 12-page issue due this July.

In recognition of RNA’s interest in community issues, Cerf said Deputy City Manager Ghida Neukirch offered to sit down and discuss Al Klairmont’s proposed apartment development at 515 Roger Williams to fill us in on what it entails. Cerf also said that plans for the Ravinia Block Bash were on hold because Economic Development Assistant Carolyn Hersch indicated the City may hold a special event at about the same time to promote projects planned for the Ravinia Business District. Amy Lohmolder asked if there was to be a Neighbors’ Night Out this year, suggesting it might serve as a replacement for the Block Bash.

Eve Tarm said there was not much to report about the Business District except that the property at 615 Roger Williams, across from the Walgreen’s store, was still up for sale, and that the Ravinia Coffee Station on St. Johns Avenue was planning an official ribbon cutting with musicians to celebrate its opening, even though it has been open for several months. It was noted that the shop has a neon sign on its back wall that may be at odds with some city regulations, and that Barbara Cates was no longer the City’s liaison to the RBD Advisory Group.

Cerf said construction was expected to start this year on new signage that the City has planned for the Business District. She also said that the Park District has decided not to rebuild the stairs from Rosewood Park to the Beach because of higher than expected cost estimates. Nanus said the repaving of Broadview, near his home south of Roger Williams, was expected to be completed later this year.

There being no further business, Cerf ended the meeting at 8:55 p.m.

06-Feb-2014
M I N U T E S Ravinia ..

February 2014 RNA Board Meeting

M I N U T E S


Ravinia Neighbors Association General Meeting
Thursday, February 6, 2014


Carolyn Cerf called the meeting to order at 7:15 PM at 973 Burton Avenue

In attendance, besides Cerf, were Ray DeLong, Annette Jacobson, Amy Lohmolder, Jeff Stern, Eve Tarm and Aaron Wolff. Also present were Nail Shop owner Rita Beyge; Mike Babian, from State Farm Insurance; Liz Gaonach, of @Properties, and Ravinia resident Josh Nanus. Reporter Greg Trotter covered the meeting for Trib Local.

In her President's report, Cerf said the Village House celebration at Ravinia School on the 100th anniversary of its establishment November 22 was a real success, and had attracted more than 200 guests. RNA funded the replacement of lighting in the school gym and later presented a check for $384 to School District 112, which may be used to help support Ravinia School's music program

Referring to other RNA-sponsored events last year, Cerf said the Ravinia Neighbors' Night Out was a well-attended thank-you to the community for its support, aided by donations of food and beverages from local businesses. Regarding the Rosewood Beach project, she said RNA's involvement had a beneficial influence on the final design, and that the Park District had decided to keep the beach closed while construction was under way. Provisions were being made to allow H.P. residents to use Glencoe beach during the next swim season.

Cerf said that while RNA's presence makes an impression at City Hall, city officials continue to say that any progress on streetscape work along Roger Williams Avenue must await the city's replacement of century-old water mains under the street. Due to the process involved, completion of utility improvements cannot be expected for a few more years.

In her Business District report, Eve Tarm said the improvements are expensive and overwhelming, and will have to be broken up into stages. It's not only about finding the funds, but also about minimizing disruptions to businesses along the street. She said there is no money to do all the work at once. Cerf said the Ravinia improvements are now being viewed by the city as part of a citywide business district plan, even though Ravinia has been trying the longest to get attention. She said the best we can do initially when we interact with decision makers is to aim for things like signs highlighting the RBD that can be created and erected without waiting for other things to get started.

H.P. native Jason Brown's presence at the Sochi Olympics was commented on.

In his Treasurer's report, Ron Wolff said there was $4,824.69 in RNA's checking account, though there were some uncashed checks still outstanding, and that as of December 31, 2013 the C.D. was valued at $5,228.24, bringing RNA's net worth to $10,052.93.

Amy Lohmolder said the November 22, 2013 Village House Centennial was a more amazing event than she had anticipated, and that we can learn lessons from how people back then could accomplish what they did. She marveled at the interest 80-year-olds showed by their attendance, and suggested using Ravinia School for future events as a way of bringing the school and the community closer together. She said it would be especially useful to have a larger venue when discussing such issues as the Klairmont development of the former 7-11 property on Roger Williams, allowing more people to get involved. Cerf concurred, noting that other public meeting spaces in the area were less suitable.

Cerf suggested Saturday, September 13 as the date for the next Ravinia Block Bash, since that would not conflict with any Jewish holidays or festivities in Highwood. She asked for help and ideas on how to proceed, noting that area businesses want things to happen on both sides of the tracks. Josh Nanus said problems getting food vendors to participate in the past might be resolved by bringing in food trucks. Also, while Bruce Chudacoff has offered to provide sound and stage equipment, Cerf wants to get more people involved with such things as securing permits from the city and Park District. While some favored providing wine and beer this year, others said it would distract from the focus on families and require extra permits.

Regarding publicity and the website, Cerf said Doug Purington is willing to send out board meeting notices to the community. She made a motion that was approved by voice vote of members present to pay $12.99 to $15.99 a month to create a Constant Contact account for sending out notices. She said it looks more professional and would also allow us a link to documents on the website.

In a Business District update, Cerf said there would be a ribbon cutting at 1 p.m. on Thursday, February 27 at the Design Quartet kitchen design shop at 595 Roger Williams. The Mayor and Chamber of Commerce will take part, though it was noted that a lot of businesses don't see the value of joining the Chamber since they rarely have events outside the downtown area. Cerf reported that the city would provide $90,000 for marketing the RBD in the coming year.

Cerf handed out copies of the design and floor plan of Al Klairmont's proposed development at 515 Roger Williams, which included parking around the building, but not underground. She said Klairmont is asking the city for a variance on existing parking regulations, and that the plan had space for five shops at ground level with 30 residential units above. Tarm said there should be a reasonable balance between residential and business parking. Nanus said some are never satisfied about adequate parking, and believed an increasing number of tenants want/use fewer cars and parking spaces, especially as many communities move toward pedestrian-friendly, non-vehicular transportation plans.

While Klairmont's proposal has not yet reached the Plan Commission for approval, Cerf said she stands behind her conditional support for it, saying RNA wants to be a positive voice in the community. She agreed with Wolff on the need to educate the public about it, possibly by arranging meetings at Ravinia School, noting that "RNA's credibility is grounded in members' faith in our organization." Lohmolder noted that how you market a meeting can determine how many will attend, suggesting we open any meeting up beyond regular RNA membership. Cerf then asked that those who would like to hold such a meeting be the main ones to organize it.

In proposing a letter to the editor, Annette Jacobson said the development, as planned, has no connection to the scale, shape, or design of the building across from it east of the train tracks, and has no sense of balance. She credited Don Miller and Dave Hanus with bringing about improvements in the design of the condo at 578 Roger Williams, and suggested that RNA could push for similar changes in the plans for the Klairmont project. It was suggested that architects be invited to any meetings where design issues might be brought up.

In his Newsletter report, Ray DeLong said the next issue would come out in late March at the earliest. He expected to write the lead story on the Klairmont project, and said he would leave the subjects of other articles up to the writers involved because they do a better job when making the choice themselves. It was reiterated that we still need an ad sales person.

Photos of the ongoing construction at Rosewood Beach were then passed around for all to view.

There being no further business, Cerf adjourned the meeting at 9:20 p.m.

05-Dec-2013
7:30 p.m. at 852 Judson. A G E N D..

December 2013 RNA Board Meeting

7:30 p.m. at 852 Judson.

A G E N D A

Ravinia Neighbors Association Board Meeting 7:30 p.m. December 5th

Agenda to be posted before Meeting

NOTE: We encourage participants to keep their discourse short and to the point so our board meetings can be completed in about an hour. Please bring an extra copy of this agenda for any guests who may attend.

01-Aug-2013
7:30 p.m. at Ravinia Metra Station..

August 2013 RNA Board Meeting

7:30 p.m. at Ravinia Metra Station, 700 St. Johns

A G E N D A

Ravinia Neighbors Association Board Meeting 7:30 p.m. Thursday, August 1, 2013

  1. Call to Order
  2. Membership Update
  3. Treasurer's Report
  4. Newsletter Update
  5. Ravinia Village House Celebration
  6. Discussion of By-laws
  7. Timely Updating of Website
  8. Business District Report
    • Hertz Parking in Walgreens lot
  9. Train Station Report
  10. Discussion of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' plans for Rosewood Beach
  11. Cancellation of Block Bash
  12. Other Business
  13. Adjournment
NOTE: Participants are asked to keep their discourse short and to the point so our meetings can be completed in a timely manner. Please bring an extra copy of this agenda for prospective guests.

06-Jun-2013
M I N U T E S Ravinia ..

June 2013 RNA Board Meeting

M I N U T E S


Ravinia Neighbors Association General Meeting
Thursday, June 6, 2013


The meeting was called to order by Carolyn Cerf at 7:40 p.m. in the Ravinia Metra station at 700 St. Johns Avenue.

In attendance besides Cerf were Ray DeLong, Amy Lohmolder, Doug Purington, Jeff Stern, and (later) Eve Tarm. Guests in attendance were Jean Meier and Lisa Temkin.

Doug Purington provided the Membership Update, indicating he had received $1,025 from three new memberships and 27 renewals, along with a $50 one-time donation. He said the renewal rate stood at only 39 percent, representing 79 households, but that he would continue to encourage more renewals.

In the absence of Aaron Wolff, Jeff Stern gave the Treasurer's Report, indicating there was $3,853 in the RNA's checking account and $5,227 in a CD for a total of $9,080 in the treasury.

Purington said that after reviewing membership records recently, he concluded that more than $50,000 has been collected in membership fees, mostly in increments of $20 annually, in the 10 years since he joined the RNA in 2003.

A discussion then followed over where RNA has and should spend its funds, such as community projects like helping restore and maintain the train station, and in creating events such as the Bash.

Regarding the Newsletter, Ray DeLong spoke of continuing to rely on a corps of dedicated writers. Stern said he would have written about plans for a new fire station in the Ravinia area, but that the location has yet to be finalized.

In an update on the nomination of candidates for positions on the RNA Board, Cerf said Lynne Jungman was stepping down, and that Jean Meier had agreed to accept nomination for service as a member at large. Cerf said there was a need to nominate one more person for that position. Lisa Temkin said she was interested, but had other commitments that currently limited her availability, and asked about what was required in terms of time and service.

Cerf spoke of a perception that officers of RNA were chosen from among a limited group of insiders, and that the system needs to be more transparent. According to bylaws, an election would have to be held before the end of June. After much discussion, Monday, June 24 was chosen as the date for a special meeting to elect officers for the coming year. Purington said he would email notices to the entire membership on Monday, June 10, to send in nominations by Monday, June 17, for candidates who would be up for election on June 24.

With Eve Tarm not yet in attendance, the Business District Report was deferred.

Cerf then discussed the Ravinia Block Bash scheduled for Saturday, September 21. She said there had been 130 "likes" on the website regarding the event, and that she was trying to streamline the process for running it. Cerf handed out sheets outlining the event and providing information for vendors who participate. She said she had already had two meetings with area businesses, and that she was looking for more sponsors and volunteers. She also said she was told that street work on Roger Williams Avenue would be completed in time for the Bash.

Cerf said area business people were reluctant to bring their wares out into the park, but would rather take part at their locations in the business district. She is asking a fee of $50 from participating vendors, but might consider dropping it for those who were already members. Deadlines for participation are listed with the instructions.

Amy talked about holding an event on November 22 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Ravinia Village House and celebrate the Women's Club of Ravinia, whose goals of promoting civic interest and pride were comparable to those of RNA. She said the Village House once stood on the site of the current Ravinia School gym, and that there would be a charge of $325 to hold the event at that location. Cerf moved to allocate up to $500 for that purpose, but that could not be voted on for approval owing to the absence of a quorum.

Eve Tarm said she still wanted to plan an event to honor Don Miller after he recovers from surgery, and suggested it might even be held in the same location as the party that was originally intended for that purpose on May 23 at the former wine shop at 595 Roger Williams Avenue.

Reporting on the condition of the Ravinia Metra station, Stern said he had met at the station June 3 with Ramesh Kanapareddy, the city's new Director of Public Works, to discuss maintenance issues involving the historic building. He pointed out the obvious need for exterior painting, including undercoating around the base of the station, deteriorating roof tiles, and the desirability of providing more suitable benches for commuters awaiting trains inside.

He said Kanapareddy agreed to include the paint job on his department's budget request for next year, along with roof work, while pointing out that he had other priorities to consider. He said RNA might want to ask its members to sponsor benches that could have plaques honoring their participation. Temkin reminded everyone that the style and color of the benches might have to be run past the Historic Preservation Commission to make sure they conform historically. Cerf suggested pursuing foundations to support these efforts.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 9:15 p.m.

04-Apr-2013
7:30 p.m. at 353 Flora Place. M I..

April 2013 RNA Board Meeting

7:30 p.m. at 353 Flora Place.

M I N U T E S


Ravinia Neighbors Association General Meeting
April 4, 2013


Don Miller called the meeting to order at 7:41 p.m at 353 Flora Place

Present were Carolyn Cerf, Ray DeLong, Lynne Jungman, Amy Lohmolder, Don Miller, Jeff Stern, Eve Tarm and Aaron Wolff.

With Don Miller having announced his retirement from the Presidency of the RNA (My Ravinia, Spring 2013), Vice President Eve Tarm presided over the meeting, which was called to order at 7:41 p.m.

In the absence of Doug Purington, Tarm deferred the Membership Report to the next meeting.

In his Treasurer's Report, Aaron Wolff said there was $4,170 in the RNA's bank account, with a check for $422 for printing the Spring Newsletter still outstanding, leaving a balance of $3,748. With a CD valued at $5,225, total assets amount to $8,973.

Reporting on the recently published Spring Newsletter, Ray DeLong said there had been enough material to fill eight pages, and thanked Lynne Jungman for helping to get copies mailed out. He also said the next newsletter would be due out in six months.

Amy Lohmolder said November 22 will mark the 100th anniversary of a "village house" that was opened next to Ravinia School, suggesting that RNA might want to commemorate the occasion for the way it brought residents of the community closer together in a social setting. Carolyn Cerf said it would be great if RNA had an educational fund to stage events for this purpose. Jeff Stern reminded everyone that November 22 will be the 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination, so it would not be a good day to celebrate anything.

Tarm said more people were needed to keep the website updated because it gives everyone in the community an idea of what RNA does, and provides more information about issues brought up in the newsletter. She said it was also important to keep the business directory up to date. Lohmolder said the website is valuable when RNA is involved in something, and noted that while Karlson Rapp was doing a great job with it, she felt she had to help him understand the point of it, and that it was too much for her to handle alone.

In a discussion about the newly vacated president's position, Tarm said Don Miller is to be thanked for "everything," that she would like to see him take on a role as "chairman," or something similar, and that others need to step in to serve. She also praised Jungman for her contributions as a director at large. Suggestions were made about ways to honor Miller for his years of service, preferably with a social event that would bring together neighbors and prospective new members. Cerf said she would look for a venue.

Cerf also said she will need help putting together another Block Bash, and that she would call for an exploratory meeting for that purpose after the April 9 election. She was looking for four or five people to do the work and a budget to fund it, and suggested the weekend after Labor Day as a likely date for the event. She said Elise Bombacino, who has handled special events in Highwood, has indicated her willingness to help out. Tarm said it was OK to reach out to any business, not just in Ravinia, for support. She also suggested getting in touch with Carolyn Hersch and Alyssa Knobel for possible help from the city.

In her Business District Report Tarm said Merlo Restaurant was aiming to take over space in the adjacent former kitchen and bath shop at 595 Roger Williams for a party room. She also said that while the former wine shop at 597 Roger Williams is now empty, the storefront on the northwest corner of Roger Williams and Pleasant may become home to a Mediterranean restaurant, and the former medical building at 615 Roger Williams is being converted into offices for GB Transportation, a trucking company with 32 employees. Regarding the Farmers Market, Tarm said Lydia Davis had stepped up again to run it.

Tarm said there was now $873,000 in the TIF fund, and that the city is exploring ways to move ahead with the Ravinia Business District streetscape plan and break it up into stages. A utility study has revealed that a water main under Roger Williams Avenue needs to be replaced, and will be done using city funds. The RBD advisory committee and city staff have recommended that the streetscape plan be implemented in short-, mid- and long-term phases since there are not enough funds to proceed all at once. The streetscape improvements are to follow the replacement of the water main for cost efficiency and to make the entire process less disruptive for the business district.

As a short-term goal to show the community that the plan is taking off, it has been suggested that a bicycle kiosk be installed at the south end of the parking lot north of Roger Williams to improve connectivity with the bike trail there. If this is approved by the City Council, the work could start this summer. The more difficult issue will be how to stage the work on the water main and streetscape, and in which part of the business district to start. Also at issue is whether construction drawings for the entire streetscape plan should be drawn first.

Tarm said the RBD advisory committee and city staff agreed at their recent meeting that it was important not to delay the issue of signage for the district. Also discussed was the need to keep up the momentum to form a special service area in the RBD to generate marketing funds for local businesses that would be used in a coherent way with the branding suggested for the streetscape.

Cerf lamented the city's choice of a sign directing drivers on Green Bay Road at Roger Williams to continue north to the central business district, rather than toward Ravinia. Tarm and Cerf agreed that new signage should not be put off until other work is completed, and that temporary signs should be put in place as soon as possible.

After suggesting that Doug Purington send out a mass email to solicit new members and candidates for new leadership at the RNA, Tarm ended the meeting at 9:36 p.m. Miller offered to hold the June 6 meeting at his home, 281 Woodland.

25-Oct-2012
7:30 p.m. at 281 Woodland Road the..

October 2012 RNA Board Meeting

7:30 p.m. at 281 Woodland Road the home of Don Miller.

A G E N D A

Ravinia Neighbors Association Board Meeting 7:30 p.m. Thursday, October 25, 2012

  1. Call to Order
  2. Membership Update
  3. Newsletter Update
  4. Treasurer's Report, including annual audit
  5. Presentation by Energy Impact Illinois
  6. Business District Report
  7. Review of Ravinia Block Bash
  8. Discussion of Rosewood Beach developments, including strategy for defeating Interpretive Center at November 5 meeting of the Design Review Commission and at meetings of the Transportation Commission and City Council; also proposals for reaching out to commission members.
  9. Other Business
  10. Adjournment
NOTE: Participants are asked to keep their discourse short and to the point so our meetings can be completed in a timely manner. Please bring an extra copy of this agenda for guests who may attend.

20-Jun-2012
M I N U T E S Ravinia ..

June 2012 RNA Board Meeting

M I N U T E S


Ravinia Neighbors Association General Meeting
Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Don Miller called the meeting to order at 7:35 p.m. at home of Jean Meier, 948 Judson Avenue

Present besides Miller and Meier, were Ray DeLong, Lynne Jungman, Amy Lohmolder, Doug Purington, Al Richman, Jeff Stern, and Aaron Wolff. Also attending were Peg Laemle, Elliott Miller and guest Katie Wiswald.

Miller introduced Katie Wiswald, the newly appointed chairman of the Highland Park Business and Economic Development Commission, also known as BEDC, who explained the commission's role as a volunteer group dedicated to gathering information from all nine of the city's business districts to make recommendations to the City Council on their behalf.

Most pertinent to the Ravinia area was the Ravinia Business District Association, which BEDC was working with together with Carolyn Hersch to decide how best to utilize the TIF money that has been accrued for the Ravinia streetscape and other upgrades for the area. The goals were to tie the east and west portions of the business district more closely together, encourage building owners to keep their properties up, and check to see if any underground infrastructure needed to be improved before a streetscape project would be undertaken. Wiswald said the TIF had accrued $819,000 as of December, 2011, and that the streetscape was estimated to cost between $2 and $5 million, but that the city's chosen developer, Strand and Hitchcock, was still gathering information on what to have in it, so no one could predict what the final cost would be until a final plan was developed.

Elliott Miller said Jens Jensen's work with the Rosenwald estate should be considered in connection with the streetscape, and should be brought to the attention of the public for its input before going for City Council approval. He also suggested boosting property taxes in the RBD as an additional funding source.

In his Treasurer's Report, Aaron Wolff said that as of May 31, the RNA had $4,256.52 in its checking account and $5,222.63 in a CD for a total of $9,479.15.

Miller discussed the need to renew RNA's liability insurance for community events such as the Block Bash.

Amy Lohmolder announced that she and Ray DeLong had gone to a Park District meeting Monday and filed a Freedom of Information Act request for information on (1) comments from the public for and against the district's plans for Rosewood Beach; (2) what solicitations the PD put out on the subject; (3) the proposed location of the Interpretive Center, and (4) how the Task Force was put together.

Don Miller said previous requests for information from the PD had been difficult to obtain because of delaying tactics, such as claims that office equipment wasn't working, and noted that what information was provided was incomplete.

Lohmolder said the footprint of the proposed Interpretive Center represented 68 percent of the square footage of all the buildings planned for Rosewood and that the IC had nothing to do with the purpose of a bathing beach. Lynne Jungman said the PD's planning appeared backwards in that the structures were to be built before the Army Corps of Engineers was to come in and rebuild the beach.

Purington observed that the PD on May 15 changed the designation of the IC from Interpretive Center to Beach House in an apparent effort to obscure its intended use, but that the grants to fund it had required calling it an IC. He said there would be a workshop meeting on the issue Thursday (June 21) at the Park District headquarters, and urged everyone to attend even though public input would not be solicited.

Lohmolder emphasized the need to keep reminding the PD of the importance of transparency and of the clear desire of area residents for improved amenities at Rosewood, such as restrooms/changing rooms, concessions and a lifeguard facility, all of which are supported by RNA. She said the P.D. still has not broken down estimated construction costs to identify how much the above-mentioned facilities will cost vs. the proposed IC. She also claimed the PD was continuing to portray the project as being paid for by grants and Park District reserve funds, rather than by a tax on area residents, which she said was essentially untrue.

Lohmolder said the PD's plans must still be approved by the Design Review Commission and the City Council so that the RNA and others would still have the opportunity to have their positions heard. Jean Meier said RNA shouldn't trade name-calling with opponents of its views, reminding everyone of the right to differ on public issues.

Discussion of the website was tabled until the next meeting.

Carolyn Cerf said the next Ravinia Block Bash was set for 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Saturday, September 8, and that she still needed help to plan and carry it out.

Jeff Stern said the Ravinia train station remained in dire need of a paint job, that the city had no funds for it in the current budget, and that the Public Works Department was discouraging volunteers from doing any work there.

Miller said letters from the city indicated an ordinance on signs prohibiting cars from stopping or standing on certain streets would be brought up soon.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 9:05 p.m.

19-Apr-2012
M I N U T E S Ravinia ..

April 2012 RNA Board Meeting

M I N U T E S


Ravinia Neighbors Association General Meeting
Thursday, April 19, 2012


Don Miller called the meeting to order at 7:37 p.m. at 948 Judson Avenue.

Present, besides Miller and Meier, were Carolyn Cerf, Ray DeLong, Lynne Jungman, Amy Lohmolder, Doug Purington, Jeff Stern, Eve Tarm and Aaron Wolff. Also attending were Gerry Field, Paul Quillen, Debra Rade and Jon Shabica.

In his Membership Update, Doug Purington said he just gave $430 to Treasurer Aaron Wolff, which included $30 for a new three-year membership from Tony Blumberg, who also donated an additional $50, three renewals for $60 and $270 for ads. Purington noted that RNA had collected $45,000 since August, 2003, and said he would send out emails and personal letters in early May regarding 90 memberships due to expire at the end of June. Individual memberships were up 7 to 396, associate members increased by 2 to 42, while a gain of 4 raised total household memberships to 243. About 85 percent now have email addresses.

For his Treasurer's Report Aaron Wolff said there was $4,730.02 in the checking account plus $5,221.84 in a CD for a total of $9,951.86, not including the $430 he had just received from Purington.

Ray DeLong provided a copy of the next edition of the My Ravinia Newsletter, which was finished and would be printed shortly. The lead article will be a piece by Annette Jacobson on the Park District's plans for Rosewood Beach. There is also a biography of Elliott Miller by Jeff Stern and an article by Lynne Jungman about a Sears house on Burton that recently underwent major renovation. On the last page is an update on RNA accomplishments over the past 11 years. DeLong asked for another volunteer to help prepare the newsletters for mailing.

Miller introduced Jon Shabica, the public policy person at Shabica & Associates, a geological engineering firm based in Northfield, who talked about shoreline issues in connection with the Park District's plans for Rosewood Beach. He said his firm recently finished a trout stream project with the Park District for the end of Ravine Drive, which involved working with homeowners and the U.S. Corps of Engineers in what he called the first such effort of its kind in the Great Lakes. He said that, contrary to popular belief, the lake was within two or three inches of all-time low levels, partly as a result of a heavily engineered shoreline aimed at slowing beach erosion. He said that in Highland Park the sand moves north and south in a floating environment, and that building small offshore islands, though expensive, could control it. He said the possible impact of a building along the lake, as proposed by the Park District, would depend on how it might be built.

Eve Tarm talked about meetings scheduled by the Park District for 7 p.m. May 2 at the West Ridge Center, and at 1:30 p.m. May 6 at the Heller Nature Center, where the Rosewood Beach plans would be presented for public review, which she urged everyone to attend. She said that would be the time to voice concerns over plans for the interpretive center that would take away some of the beach, as well as parking, would block views and really had nothing to do with the beach. Tarm said Don Miller's letter to the editor will help bring support for RNA's views.

Miller pointed out that Doug Purington has a huge database, which he could use to send out a press release based on Miller's letter combined with comments that have been received critical of the interpretive center. He said it needed a little editing, but should go out soon in order to meet various newspaper deadlines. Doug agreed to make the changes right away and send it to other RNA Board Members for comments before sending the release out to the media.

Debra Rade was asked to discuss her concerns about sanitary sewer lining repairs the city required 47 Ravinia homeowners to pay for in 2008, but which it later rescinded without refunding any of the payments already made. She said Nancy Rotering herself once opposed the plan before becoming mayor, and passed around an excerpt from the 2012 City Budget which appeared to indicate that sewer improvements were part of the city's 10-year master plan.

Rade said tree roots ands other things that were invading neighbors' sewers could be diminished by rodding out the sewers, rather than by the much costlier city plan to put in larger pipes. She said that while the city had stopped asking residents to fund sewer improvements while the economy was still weak, it had not completely ruled out such plans. She asked the RNA and the rest of Highland Park to be vigilant and vocal in opposing any requirement that residents pay for infrastructure improvements she thought the city should pay for itself.
Miller asked Rade to provide Doug with information he could send to members.

In her Business District report, Eve Tarm said the tea house would open in May, along with a florist shop, leaving as the only vacancies the storefront across from Walgreens and the former nail shop at 473 Roger Williams.

Farmers Market vendor Paul Quillen said the insurance policy for the market had RNA's name on it and needed an up-to-date address, since it still showed Lydia Davis' address at 678 Judson. Purington suggested asking Joe Palminteri for his advice on whether to have separate policies for RNA and the market. Quillen said he would check with Palminteri himself and Jean Meier offered to follow up. Miller said anything done in RNA's name needed to be passed by the Board.

In his Train Station Report Jeff Stern said the city had no funding to paint the station this year, that liability issues would keep volunteers from using ladders, and that the city's lowest estimate for the work was something over $7,000.

After calling the next meeting for June 14, Miller adjourned the meeting at 9:12 p.m.

16-Feb-2012
M I N U T E S Ravinia ..

February 2012 RNA Board Meeting

M I N U T E S


Ravinia Neighbors Association General Meeting
Thursday, February 16, 2012


Don Miller called the meeting to order at 7:31 p.m. at 597 Roger Williams Avenue

Present were The meeting was called to order at 7:31 p.m. by Don Miller at the Ravinia Wine Shop, 597 Roger Williams Avenue. Present, besides Miller, were Carolyn Cerf, Ray DeLong, Peg Laemle, Adam Natenshon, Doug Purington, Al Richman, Jeff Stern, Eve Tarm and Aaron Wolff. Also attending were Alyssa Knoble, Chairman of the Highland Park Business and Economic Development Commission; City Councilman Dan Kaufman, Rita Beygel, Lydia Davis, Gerry Field, Stan Miller, Sharon Norberg, Kathy O'Mera and Bob Richter.

In his Membership Update Doug Purington reported five new resident members and eight renewals. Regarding businesses, 11 were new or renewals, providing RNA with 80 percent membership or 36 out of 45 businesses in the district.

Miller introduced Alyssa Knoble, the new Business and Economic Development Commission (BEDC) chairman, who has been working with different entities within the city to coordinate marketing and business development-related efforts in all nine of the city's business districts. She applauded Ravinia business owners and landlords for getting together as a group and thanked the city's Economic Development Assistant Carolyn Hersch for her help in that regard. Knoble said the Ravinia group had met in February and that the next meeting was set for 9 a.m. March 7 at Raquel's. A meeting of the Ravinia Business District Alliance was set for March 1 to discuss TIF money and the streetscape.

Other topics the BEDC focuses on include business approval processing, permits, small business improvement grants, etc. Knoble said a major BEDC goal was to recommend a joint marketing plan for the entire city. She noted that the Ravinia Business District TIF has a 23-year life span, that it was only in its fifth year, and that it currently has $819,000, while accruing $175,000 per year. Barbara Case was the contact person who could provide further information.

In the absence of Amy Lohmolder, a discussion of the Mission Statement Revision was postponed until the next meeting on April 19.

In his Newsletter Update, Ray DeLong said he planned to put out a list of topics that he would ask writers to choose from in preparing articles for the spring edition, which he would like to have ready to print before the end of March.

Aaron Wolff reported a total of $9,819.10 in the Treasury, which included a CD valued at $5,221.01 and $4,598.09 in a checking account. Purington then handed him $318.25 in recently received membership renewals.

In her Business Report Eve Tarm welcomed the renewed city interest in business districts, and said the streetscape was still the most important interest of Ravinia businesses and residents in trying to provide a general "Ravinia Look," including signage and landscaping. She said the Chamber of Commerce had approached her, saying they too wanted to do something in the R.B.D., perhaps in connection with the Ravinia Block Bash. Tarm said Rita Beygel had moved her nail shop to 473 Roger Williams and that Belle Fleur would expand into her former location. She said the former Ravinia medical building is on the market still in the short sale stage and hopes something worthwhile will occupy the site. The adjacent building at the corner of Pleasant has a different owner, who is trying to lease the ground floor space.

Sharon Norberg, owner of the Wine Shop, said there had been some plumbing issues at the former Post Office, which had slowed its conversion to a tea room, but that she expected continuing construction to allow it to open in April.

Purington said he was on the RNA website with Karlson Rapp in regard to the merchants' directory, noting that he would have immediate access that would enable him to make quick changes in the business district area of the website as necessary. Tarm said the website is ready to be launched, and that RNA would be going out to businesses soon to solicit their advertisements. She also said a reoccurring payment plan could be set up with Paypal at a cost of $20 a month.

Miller asked Lydia Davis to speak on a topic that had just come up involving the Ravinia Farmers Market. She said a disgruntled vendor from Morton Grove was trying to take over the market and turn it into a cooperative. He has filled an application for a permit with the city, and the issue was scheduled to come up before the City Council on February 27. Lydia and her son, Edward, felt they had done a good job over the years, and such a change, if it is approved, would alter the entire atmosphere at the market. She said the vendor was upset at being asked not to return to the market this year because he had ignored repeated requests not to park where he was blocking a private driveway.

Davis said that at least three of the other vendors indicated they would not participate if he was in charge. Cerf asked if this issue was tied into the reported effort by the city to stage the market on Saturdays instead of Wednesdays. Davis said that wasn't the case, but that none of the vendors would come if it was held on a Saturday. She thought there would be little incentive to have it then, since many nearby towns already held theirs on Saturdays. She expected other vendors to write letters to the city urging rejection of the application. Purington and others agreed to attend the Council meeting to support Davis.**

Regarding Rosewood Beach, Tarm indicated that while there had been many positive developments, the big problem was that an unnecessary interpretive center on the beach is still in the plans. She said the whole project would soon be put before public and that it would be critical for residents to voice their opinions regarding the interpretive center at these meetings. The Park District selected a task force, mainly of architects, to pick a designer for the type of functions the district wanted to see on the beach. Woodhouse, the chosen designer, has worked on beaches before and appears sensitive to the issues, which include beaches as well as buildings, and are being addressed by both the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Park District. According to the proposals, guards, restrooms and concessions would be in separate small buildings. The Engineers would redesign the beach and take care of most of the landscaping. Tarm said the Army Corps project for actual improvements to the beach and the landscape has a budget of $6 million, of which the Park District would cover 35 per cent by dipping into its plentiful reserves. She said both parts of the project were expected to be completed by late 2013, assuming the building part was finished in 2012.

Elliott Miller spoke about prospects for a house tour, suggesting a virtual tour to include both existing homes and home sites once occupied by Ravinia artists.

Carolyn Cerf presented suggestions for another Ravinia Block Bash, and handed out sheets of things that needed to be done, including signing up volunteers to be team leaders, do publicity, find sponsors, plan activities, and coordinate vendors. Though the event would be held in the fall, planning had to start early. She asked members in attendance to fill out her forms and get them back to her soon.

In regard to the Ravinia train station, Jeff Stern said the city does not have any money to repaint the station exterior this year, but that a source at the Public Works Department would provide estimates on the cost of doing the job in case RNA was interested in providing funding. Cerf thought the work should be more of a community project, and Stern was asked to check with the city to find out if it could be done by volunteers while recognizing that liability was an issue. Cerf suggested a Ravinia preservation business that might offer help with the project.

Miller introduced Debra Rade, who spoke about the city's requiring 47 area residents in 2008 to pay around $250,000 of their own money for sanitary sewer improvements, and wondered whether this program had been removed yet from further consideration as part of the city's master plan for sewers. She said only one councilman agreed to meet with her on this issue, and asked for RNA's help to get the new City Council to compensate the 47 residents in some way. Miller suggested that she attend the next RNA meeting to further state her case.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:03 p.m

** This issue was later taken off the City Council agenda for February 27.

08-Dec-2011
M I N U T E S Ravinia ..

December 2011 RNA Board Meeting

M I N U T E S


Ravinia Neighbors Association General Meeting
December 8, 2011


Don Miller called the meeting to order at 7:40 pm at 353 Flora Place.

Present were Ray DeLong, Lynne Jungman, Amy Lohmolder, Elliott Miller, Al Richman, Eve Tarm and later, Carolyn Cerf. Absent were Publicity and Membership Director, Doug Purington, Recording Secretary, Jeff Stern and Aaron Wolff, Treasurer

Membership up date not available at this meeting. Doug will supply at later time.

Newsletter: Ray DeLong confirmed that number to be printed would be 400. Asked members to begin thinking regarding future articles. Two possible articles could be the new house recently constructed on Burton which has an interesting history and another on Elliott Miller a noted historian on Ravinia, its residents and architecture.

Treasurer's Report. Not available at this time. However, board confirmed that a donation to ALS in honor of Myna Rose had been approved in the amount of $100.00. Lynne Jungman will ask Treasurer Ron Wolff to issue.

Mission Statement Update: Postponed till next meeting.

Business District Report: Eve Tarm had good news regarding a business opening in the former post office on Roger Williams. Billy Corgan, founder of the group "Smashing Pumpkins" will renovate and open an entertainment and restaurant venue extending into the open space at the rear of the building. Bill Corgan, is a resident of Highland Park. On the down side, the space formerly occupied by "Look Alike Solutions" is now vacant.

Update on Park District and Rosewood Beach: Eve stated that last meeting for the design committee will be next Wednesday. Public meetings on the beach/building have not yet been officially scheduled. There is continued concern regarding the Park district's desire for a large structure on the beach despite many residents' wishing otherwise.
Elliott Miller spoke about Jens Jensen's concept of a council ring for use as discussion for nature and that an interpretive center could be a modest outdoor space. Other discussion was around using already available buildings for such a venue, for example the yacht club building at Park Ave. or the building at Ravine Ave. beach, or the existing Heller Center. Concern of RNA and many H.P. residents is that the Park District is unrelenting in its publicity campaign to proceed as it desires. The fight is not over and Eve will keep us updated.
Amy suggested letters to H.P. News expressing continued discontent the Park Dist. Plan.

2012 Events: Carolyn Cerf stated her willingness to oversee a Block Bash for the coming year in late summer. Believes it will be easier to organize now that the trial run was successful.
Elliott expressed interest in organizing and leading an historic tour in spring or early summer for next year as a second RNA event. He noted that the period between 1900 and 1940 was a particularly interesting time with an influx of artists of many disciplines. Elliott and Amy both spoke of the significance of the Village House built on grounds of Ravinia School.
There was enthusiastic support for both of these events.

Village Concept. Don Miller briefly explained the concept of helping older adults remaining in their homes via community and neighbor support. Don, Lynne and Eve had attended various meetings related to this idea both locally and in Evanston. As a result of this fact finding it was determined that we would not pursue, recognizing that in the Highland Park community most needs for older adults were being met.

Other business. The street scape was briefly brought up and it was reported that a newly formed organizational structure was essentially starting anew.

The meeting was adjourned at approximately 9pm. Next meeting will be in February of 2012.

20-Oct-2011
M I N U T E S Ravinia ..

October 2011 RNA Board Meeting

M I N U T E S


Ravinia Neighbors Association General Meeting
Thursday, October 20, 2011


Don Miller called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. at 353 Flora Place

In attendance, besides Miller, were Carolyn Cerf, Ray DeLong, Lynne Jungman, Amy Lohmolder, Doug Purington, Al Richman, Jeff Stern, Eve Tarm and Aaron Wolff. Also attending was Lisa Temkin, who is a member of the Highland Park Historic Preservation Commission.

In his Membership Report, Doug Purington said over $700 had been turned in for memberships since the August meeting. He said RNA had reinstated Paypal as an option to sending in a check. He reported one new three-year membership via Paypal and one renewal. Since the August meeting the number of individual members has gone up by 18, households by 11, and associated emails by nine, meaning that around 85 percent of households now have email addresses. He said membership was now 380 vs. 497 in January 2010, with households down from 299 to 231. While the Block Bash had brought in $900 in renewals and new memberships, he asked for help in recruiting more members.

Regarding the Newsletter, Ray DeLong said a miscalculation on his part had resulted in a higher than normal number of issues being printed. He suggested recycling extra copies, but was advised by Jeff Stern that the extras were needed at the train station to resupply the RNA literature container at the kiosk outside. Others suggested leaving copies at the Library and various local businesses.

For his Treasurer's Report, Ron Wolff said there was $9,572 in the bank, mostly in CDs. $4,352 was in the checking account, with all bills paid except for $315, which would be sent to the Police Department next week for service at the Bash.
He was expecting a check back from Signs Now for $845 due to duplicate billing.

In a debriefing report on the Ravinia Bash Carolyn Cerf said there had been a problem with the power distribution, which she had anticipated but couldn't avoid.
She said several people had asked if it would become an annual event, and Don Miller suggested it should. Amy Lohmolder advised not to commit to the same events every year. Doug Purington brought up the issue of how many events we could adequately prepare for and run effectively in a year's time.

In her report Eve Tarm said there was nothing new that she was aware of in the Business District. Purington said he had heard that a tea room was planned for the former Post Office building on Roger Williams Avenue, but Tarm said that has been known for some time. Purington said he wants the city to permit sidewalk sandwich board advertisements to help attract customers to shops. Tarm then discussed the new RNA Facebook page and its potential uses.

Regarding the Park District's plans for Rosewood Beach, Tarm said three architectural firms were among the finalists chosen to design new facilities. The finalists worked off of the Park District plan to have a beach house with an interpretive/conference facility on the beach, preferably in the area allocated for this on a Park-District-provided plan. All three had recommended multiple structures instead of one large one. The winning firm was Woodhouse. The Park District staff will present this to the Board and enter into a contract with the winner. The task force will then meet with Woodhouse again to discuss possible alterations prior to bringing it to the public. The district will then have three meetings for public input before making the final decision to proceed.

Lisa Temkin, wife of former RNA Treasurer Ken Temkin, joined the meeting to discuss a possible historic tour of the Ravinia/Braeside area some time in 2012 or 2013 with support from RNA. Tarm offered to help organize such an event with Temkin. Temkin was also responding to Tarm's request for information from members of the Preservation Commission about subjects of historic interest involving Ravinia that could be used on the RNA website. Temkin referred to Julia Jonas, Jean Sogin and Elliott Miller as possible sources of information.

Tarm reported that Elliott Miller had told her he was working on a Writers and Artists of Highland Park bus tour for a Spring 2012 event for the Historical Society, and was looking for RNA help along with joint sponsorship. It was suggested that RNA should pursue this as a RNA-sponsored event for 2012, and that there should be cooperation with the Historical Society and the Library in promoting future events of interest to the community. Motions to support Elliott Miller's event and approach the other two groups to coordinate promotional efforts were proposed by Don Miller and approved by voice vote. Purington suggested that the RNA make an organizational donation of $200 to the Society to show our interest in working together. Cerf mentioned the prospect of a program on van Bergen homes in Highland Park as an example.

Don Miller brought up the subject of lateral sewers in Ravinia, and the average of $5,000 that the city had collected from each of 40 homeowners in the area for a project the city later found money to pay for from other sources. He said the homeowners are asking for their money back, but that city officials contend they cannot pay for past mistakes.

Regarding the Metra train station, Stern said the city had changed its plans about the vending machines RNA wanted to place behind screens outside the south end of the building. While the beverage machine has already been removed and will not be replaced, the snack machine is to remain in place inside the station and will continue to be used to dispense daily parking lot permits. The station exterior needs repainting, which Stern planned to discuss with Bob McCraren.

After Amy Lohmolder said she wanted to discuss proposed changes to RNA's Mission Statement at the next meeting, the meeting was adjourned at 8:57 p.m.

17-Aug-2011
M I N U T E S Ravinia ..

August 2011 RNA Board Meeting

M I N U T E S


Ravinia Neighbors Association General Meeting
Wednesday, August 17, 2011


The meeting was called to order by Don Miller at 7:40 p.m. in the home of Lynne Jungman at 353 Flora Place.

In attendance, besides Miller, were Carolyn Cerf, Ray DeLong, Lynne Jungman, Amy Lohmolder, Jean Meier, Doug Purington, Jeff Stern, Eve Tarm and Aaron Wolff. Also in attendance was Sharon Stein.

In his Membership update, Doug Purington reported that he had collected around $1,000 in membership renewals, etc. He also said there had been 29 percent non-renewals, representing 63 households, and that four members of the City Council had indicated they would join, but had not yet put in for membership. Purington said he had asked for help in phoning delinquent members, but had received no offers. He said he had no recourse but to drop those not renewing.

He expects current membership to drop from 220 to 157 households, which was the lowest in his memory. He said RNA's new year starts July 1, and that he begins sending out notices May 1, allowing ample time for renewals to be sent in. Miller showed samples of the 2,800 jumbo postcards that would be sent out soon highlighting the association and its achievements. They include application forms, and he urged those in attendance to take some to hand out.

In his Treasurer's Report, Aaron Wolff said there was $5,214 in the RNA's CD and another $4,300 in the checking account. The $1,000 reported by Purington would be added to the checking account shortly.

Don Miller asked for a motion to approve the revised by-laws, which had been sent out via email for members to consider some time ago. The motion, made by Lynne Jungman and seconded by Doug Purington, was approved by voice vote.

Regarding RNA's city-approved plan to screen vending machines outside the Ravinia Metra station, Amy Lohmolder reported a development that eliminated any reason for the project to proceed. She said the city now planned to phase out the vending machines altogether and find a new way to dispense parking coupons, which was the main reason the machines were installed to begin with.

Carolyn Cerf gave an update on plans for the RNA-organized Ravinia Block Bash, scheduled to run from noon until 5 p.m. on Saturday, September 10, at the north end of Brown Park along Roger Williams between Burton and the tracks. She urged everyone to sign up for any one of a number of activities where help was needed, as identified on forms she was providing.

Lynne Jungman said she had an offer from "Omar," the Good Humor man, to sell his goods at the site, with the understanding that he will not continuously play his company's siren call tune from his truck. Cerf said she had also obtained the services of an entertainer who teaches children how to make musical instruments from recycled plastic. Cerf said she had two previously produced RNA banners redone by Signs Now for $80 to advertise the event. They will be hung from lamp poles on Roger Williams at the entrance to the parking lot at Pleasant.

Cerf also said she had arranged for merchants on Roger Williams to get permits so they could display their offerings on the sidewalks in front of their businesses. She is working on a treasure hunt and raffle, and has arranged for traffic control to be handled by volunteers from the Community Emergency Response Team. She brought flyers and urged everyone to put them up at area businesses, and said she was also looking for more sponsors for the event. Jungman suggested leaving as many flyers as possible at the homes of neighbors with children.

Cerf announced that the RNA had lost its non-profit status and offered her services as a paralegal to regain it. It apparently lapsed in September, 2009.

In her Business District report, Eve Tarm said the City Council had not yet discussed the Ravinia Business District Alliance's recommendations, now scheduled for consideration at a meeting on September 12. She said there was a new business operated by Brian Sugarman next to Piero's Pizza on Broadview that provides advice and technical support to owners of Macintosh equipment. She said that Sara McLoudrey, who presented herself to us at the June meeting, had decided not to move ahead with plans to open a dog training facility here.

Regarding the plans for Rosewood Beach, Tarm thanked everyone for their support, for circulating petitions, and for attending meetings involving that issue. She said the effort to get the Park District to change their plans is very difficult because they seem determined to build an interpretive center on the beach. She then presented a certificate of appreciation to Henry Davies, Amy Lohmolder's son and a student at Red Oak School, who secured 185 signatures on petitions calling upon the Park District to reconsider their plans for changes at the beach.

Tarm said the apparent purpose of the Task Force set up by the Park District was simply to select the designers, keeping all the same elements in the building. She said the Task Force portrayed objectors to the plan as just area neighbors, and that they needed to do what Highland Park wants, not just what they want. Tarm said that Liza McElroy, Park District Executive Director, claimed area residents indicated they wanted a building at the beach, whereas it was Tarm's impression that they had simply asked for "improvements" to be made there. She said the Task Force would meet next at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, August 22, at the West Ridge Center, and urged anyone who was interested to attend.

After setting the next RNA meeting date for Thursday, October 20, at Lynne Jungman's home, Don Miller adjourned the meeting at 9:02 p.m.

20-Apr-2011
M I N U T E S Ravinia ..

April 2011 RNA Board Meeting

M I N U T E S


Ravinia Neighbors Association General Meeting
Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Don Miller called to order at 7:40 p.m. at Ravinia Metra Station.

Present were Carolyn Cerf, Ray DeLong, Peg Laemle, Amy Lohmolder, Jean Meier, Don Miller, Adam Natenshon, Doug Purington, Al Richman, Jeff Stern, Eve Tarm and Councilwoman Terri Olian.

Miller introduced Carolyn Cerf as the RNA's new Advertising Director, noting that Al Richman had asked to be relieved of that responsibility. Cerf said one of her goals would be to try to get the Ravinia Business District leadership group to move ahead on identifying and pursuing ways to improve the district.

In his Membership Report, Doug Purington said there had been no substantial change in memberships, and that renewal notices would go out the first week in May via email and personal notes. A jumbo card was being prepared to send to 2,600 households in Ravinia to get new members or renewals.

Ray DeLong reported that the cutoff date for advertising in the Spring Newsletter would be April 30. He expected to use articles by Amy Lohmolder and Peg Laemle, and one by Elliott Miller on the history of the area.

Eve Tarm said Karlson Rapp was working on changes to the website, which he is redesigning. Doug Purington suggested holding a separate meeting with Carlson for ideas on how to change the website. Al Richman said greater effort needs to be made to advertise the website, and suggested businesses might make coupons available on it for slow periods. Amy Lohmolder said the website should carry useful information, such as train and bus schedules and school activities, and might also be used to promote events at the Botanic Garden. Tarm noted that there has never been a website editor.

In the absence of the Treasurer, the Treasurer's Report was bypassed.

In presenting the Business District Report, Tarm talked about the work that had been done thus far to move toward implementing the Ravinia Business District Market Study by the city, which had incorporated ideas people had talked about. She noted that the Mayor had convened a leadership group which had amended the playbook included in the market study. This group of a dozen or so members had held monthly meetings for six months to determine issues that were relevant to the business community, leading to the formation of a six-member advisory committee. Over the next six months the committee came up with bylaws for a not-for-profit organization to be called the Ravinia Business District Alliance, which would lead the work of invigorating the Ravinia Business District, create a job description for a part-time executive director who would report to the Alliance, and establish a budget for using the TIF funds, all of which would be brought to the City Council for its approval.

Tarm said the advisory committee's position had been to focus the major part of Ravinia TIF funds on improving the streetscape in the Business District, and that the other main issue was revitalization. She said the committee had also felt that an executive director who could devote at least 20 hours a week was needed to do an effective job of reaching out to businesses. Once approval is given by the City Council, the next step would be to find and hire an executive director. Tarm outlined the job description for an executive director, suggested ways to advertise the position and proposed budget and implementation timelines.

Tarm said a date had not yet been set for bringing the advisory committee's draft documents before the City Council for its approval. Once that is decided, this information will be posted on the city website. Tarm promised to send out an email as soon as she can confirm the posting, and encouraged all RNA members who are able to do so to attend the Council meeting where it will be presented.

Ray DeLong said he was not sure he could continue as editor of the newsletter, and Don Miller indicated he didn't want to be President forever, saying a lot of work was needed to attract more volunteers to keep RNA an effective force.

Jeff Stern said there was nothing new to report regarding the Metra train station.

Amy Lohmolder said no new events had been planned yet, but that she would like to get the community involved in a project to build the screens that had been talked about to disguise the vending machines outside the station. Carolyn Cerf offered to help Lohmolder in her efforts. Don Miller spoke of an Art in the Park event suggested by James Paradiso.

Doug Purington said there was a need to have more focused meetings, that committees should be established to summarize developments so momentum won't be lost due to the infrequency of regular meetings, and that we should consider going back to meeting once a month. Al Richman suggested that the idea for a welcome wagon by merchants for new residents that was never acted upon should be reconsidered. Terri Olian said the RNA should focus more on staging events.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:37 p.m.

16-Feb-2011
M I N U T E S Ravinia ..

February 2011 RNA Board Meeting

M I N U T E S


Ravinia Neighbors Association General Meeting
Wednesday, February 16, 2011


The meeting was called to order at 7:35 at Ravinia Train Station.

Present were Phylis Bagman, Carolyn Cerf, Ray DeLong, Paul Frank, Lynne Jungman, Peg Laemle, Amy Lohmolder, Derek Norman, Jean Meier, Don Miller, Adam Natenshon, Doug Purington, Karlson Rapp, Eve Tarm, Ken Temkin, Al Richman, Dave Wigodner and Ron Wolff

After introductions were made by each, Adam Natenshon invited members to visit their home’s newly installed geothermal heating system.

Don Miller presented a Plaque of Appreciation and an antique model car to Ken Temkin for his service as treasurer of the RNA.

Eve Tarm read a 3 point report from an absent James Paradiso regarding a possible summer art fair at Jens Jensen Park. Steve Meyer has been contacted, as has Carolyn Hersch, who said this would be a wait and see proposition.

Amy presented her proposal for a free and civil speech festival the third or fourth week in September to involve children and/or Ravinia residents. She read the RNA’s Mission Statement, which she felt in sync with such an event. She also mentioned the work our library’s Julia Jonas has done on early Ravinia residents who were fervent practitioners of civil discourse. After a comment period which included mentions of work of the ACLU and of an earlier RNA re-enactment of an 1897 debate on the pros and cons of Ravinia becoming a part of Highland Park, Amy agreed to meet with Lynne Jungman and Jean Meier to flesh out a concrete proposal to be presented at our April meeting for approval.

Doug Purington gave a membership update. May will be the date he sends out renewal requests. We currently have 360 members and 217 households. Ray DeLong gave a newsletter update, stating that there was a roadblock in advertising, as our volunteer, Joy Largent, quit after the fall issue and there was no new ad person. Eve suggested we combine merchant membership renewals with merchant advertising requests, as she felt that having two visits to the merchants was confusing to them. Carolyn Cerf volunteered to be the advertising person after the April 5th election.

Eve Tarm gave a business district report. We are doing better on our business strip than Elgin, which she visited Sunday and which has many more vacancies in their downtown area. We are getting a kitchen design store and a wine shop. Still vacant is the space that sold wigs; the P.O., which the landlord says the USPS still has a lease on; and Shelton’s, which the owner has yet to decide on, as it has not been so long since his mother died. Eve also gave a TIF update. Approximately $644,000 is available. She is attending a City meeting tomorrow during which the group will decide on a job description for a part time executive director to help coordinate elements of the TIF.

Regarding the architectural screening to mask the exterior machines at the train station, Dave Wigodner reported he is on hold.

Eve announced we have a new webmaster – Karlson Rapp. He has researched templates that would make the RNA website run more efficiently, be easier to maintain, and perhaps do more tasks for us, e.g. a non-paypal means of processing memberships. Dave Wigodner made a motion that Karlson would study the implementation of an organizational management provider, such as Wild Apricot, or other templates, and subsequently implement a new website design. Ron Wolf seconded. There was one abstention; the rest voted yes. The fees should be around $50/month.

Don Miller requested Jean Meier and Ron Wolff to look at our amended Bylaws before they are to be presented for a vote at the next meeting. They agreed to do this.

Two City Council candidates presented their qualifications and interest in being on the council – Carolyn Cerf and Paul Frank.

Eve announced there would be a March meeting at which the two mayoral candidates would be present, and a March 6 meeting, 9:30 A.M., at the Highland Park Country Club at which all candidates will speak.

Phylis Bagan spoke as a representative of a group that opposes the District 113 Referendum appearing on the April 5th ballot.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:15.

08-Dec-2010
M I N U T E S Ravinia Neighbo..

December 2010 RNA Board Meeting

M I N U T E S


Ravinia Neighbors Association Meeting
Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Don Miller called the meeting to order at 7:37 p.m. in his home at 281 Woodland Road. In attendance were Ray DeLong, Peg Laemle, Amy Lohmolder, Don Miller, Adam Natenshon, Doug Purington, Al Richman, Jeff Stern and Eve Tarm.Also attending were Councilman Terri Olian and PATCH editor Jacob Nelson.

In his Membership Report, Doug Purington said the number of individual memberships was up by 7 to 358, and households were up by 4 to 215. Email addresses were up by three, maintaining at 85 percent the level of members with email addresses. He reported receiving one two-year membership renewal and the sale of a copy of the Ravinia station print for $50. Regarding the number of households in Ravinia, Purington said there were 2,600.

Ray DeLong reported that the Spring Newsletter would be out around the time of our next meeting, which is scheduled for February 16. With Al Richman stepping down as ad chairman, DeLong said Joy Largent, a friend of Carol Willis, will be taking over that responsibility.

While asking members in attendance if they favored having another Garden Walk in 2011, Miller said he had 16 potential sites lined up, of which 10 would be new and 6 would be repeats from the past year. Beach and lakefront park locations from the 2010 walk would not be included. When asked, he said 80 to 90 people attended the past year’s walk, and that he was satisfied with that number, calling it a good beginning and a draw for new members.

Al Richman said the issue should be whether the event had created such overwhelming interest as to warrant a repeat next year or not. Peg Laemle said the reaction she observed was nothing like that. Competition from a similar walk in the same time frame was seen as a reason to avoid scheduling two the same year. Also to be considered was the need for buses when houses are of any substantial distance apart. The consensus was that a different type of event would be more suitable next year.

Purington said he had discussed the condition of awnings on Roger Williams Avenue shops with Carolyn Hersh, and that some needed to be cleaned and others replaced. He considered some an eyesore. Terri Olian said TIF funds were now estimated at around $470,000, and that some of that might be considered for the awning improvements and redeveloping parts of the business district west of the Metra tracks.

Purington said that if TIF funds were used for a new streetscape west of the tracks, the business district would succeed in drawing more customers only if the businesses themselves did a better job of improving their properties. He said better lighting and banners might also help. Eve Tarm said a women’s accessories shop and a kitchen design studio had opened in the former Ravinia Plumbing space at 595 Roger Williams. She also said Walgreen’s was surveying customers to evaluate their service staff, and that the Ravinia Business District Alliance would meet in January to decide what their priorities should be and whether they should hire an executive director.

Regarding Rosewood Beach, Tarm said the Park District had sent out notices about a public meeting to clarify its plans for the beach, but had at last minute postponed the meeting over news they had received regarding some possible additional funding. While the district apparently still has the original beach building RNA objected to in its plans, they said they might obtain the funding needed to provide more of the things the community indicated it wanted on the beach. Over 130 Highland Park residents had signed the RNA electronic petition thus far, and dozens more had made strong e-mail comments against the Park District building plans for Rosewood earlier, before the Design Review Commission discussed it.

Tarm said it was important to convey that the RNA initiative was aimed at improving the beach in a sensible way, and that the poor condition of the Highland Park public beaches in general called for better maintenance and stewardship instead of building massive unnecessary permanent structures, such as was proposed for the narrow sandy beach at Rosewood. She noted that access to Central Beach from the park on top of the bluff has been indefinitely closed, the yacht club building there is not in good repair, and the beaches and coastline are badly eroded. She hoped the Park District would listen to what people are telling them loud and clear, and that they would find the RNA petition and hundreds of comments people have made regarding Rosewood Beach helpful in understanding what the people really want there.

She said the petition clearly outlined improvements that would be necessary, such as restoring the significantly eroded coastline; intensifying bluff restoration and clearing undergrowth to provide views from the bluff; removing the wide asphalt drive on the beach and restoring the ravine path; removing and deemphasizing steel structures on the beach; replacing the dilapidated pier, and other efforts that would restore the natural look and beauty of the beach. The only permanent structure needed for the beach would be for public bathrooms. If there were a need and a good vendor for concessions, this could be done on a more temporary basis later.

Councilman Olian suggested that face-to-face meetings to discuss the future of Rosewood Beach with Park District officials might be a more effective way to achieve the desired results, and was supported in her efforts by the members.

Adam Natenshon presented renderings of what he thought could be done with the stairway leading to Rosewood Beach and other possible improvements. He said the Park District may be more willing to listen to the community now that they have been made aware of the negative reaction petitioners had to their plans. He also suggested more meetings with the District.

Miller asked for volunteers to help update the RNA by-laws. Jeff Stern and Ray DeLong agreed to be on the committee.

Stern said there was little new to report about the Ravinia train station, and that it appeared funding constraints would prevent the city from making screens to disguise the vending machines and painting the station’s exterior. Olian suggested RNA do the work as a community project, which was approved by all those present. Stern said he would ask Bob McCraren of the Public Works Department for the city’s OK. Natenshon agreed to help work on the project.

Aaron Wolff said that despite increased sales in 2010, the Ravinia post office would not be reopened, and that the City Council would discuss a ban only on hand-held cell phone at its January 10 meeting.

There being no further discussion, the meeting was adjourned at 9:40 p.m.

06-Oct-2010
M I N U T E S Ravinia Neighbo..

October 2010 RNA Board Meeting

M I N U T E S


Ravinia Neighbors Association Meeting
Wednesday, October 6, 2010



04-Aug-2010
M I N U T E S Ravinia Neighbo..

August 2010 RNA Board Meeting

M I N U T E S


Ravinia Neighbors Association Meeting
Wednesday, August 4, 2010



24-Mar-2010
M I N U T E S Ravinia ..

March 2010 RNA Board Meeting

M I N U T E S


Ravinia Neighbors Association General Meeting
Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Don Miller called the meeting to order at 8:03 p.m. at the home of Carol and Paul Willis at 360 Woodland Road.

Present were Ray DeLong, Lynne Jungman, Peg Laemle, Amy Lohmolder, Don Miller, Doug Purington, Al Richman, Jeff Stern, Dave Wigodner and Carol Willis. Willis is now a board member-at-large, replacing Nancy Rotering.

For his Membership update Doug Purington reported that nothing had changed. He commended Al Richman for securing six new ads for the newsletter, which brought in $420.

In his newsletter update, Ray DeLong said the next issue was almost ready for the printer and would have12 pages, owing to extra ads and editorial content.

Miller said Eve Tarm was unable to attend to give her Business District report, but that a Baker Boys baking outlet will occupy the former Sloppy Jo's at 733 St. Johns, and that interest had been shown in establishing either a Mexican or Greek restaurant in the former medical office space on the northwest corner of Roger Williams and Pleasant. There was also speculation about a new tenant for the former Ravinia Plumbing property at 595 Roger Williams.

Miller called attention to the meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. April 6 at the Ravinia School to review the TIF-related marketing report on the Business District, and urged everyone to attend.

Reporting on efforts to save the Ravinia Post Office, Peg Laemle said it might be six months before anything is known because of the number of closures that are threatened. Citizen activity has included the collection of signatures on petitions by Braeside resident Rosie Roseman at Walgreen's and Metra train stations. An estimated 500 signatures may have been collected there and at area businesses.

Amy Lohmolder had nothing to report on environmental issues. In his train station report Jeff Stern said he had noticed paint chipping off the outside walls of the station and would check to see if there were any plans to repaint this summer.

Dave Wigodner said he was working on a map of sites on the Garden Walk planned for July 18, which could be used for the newsletter, postcards and flyers. A discussion followed on plans for the walk. Purington will supply a list of current members who will be able to participate and bring family and/or guests for free. Also discussed were the assignment and responsibilities of helpers and docents.

After setting the next meeting for June 2, the meeting was adjourned.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:52 p.m.

27-Jan-2010
M I N U T E S Ravinia ..

January 2010 RNA Board Meeting

M I N U T E S


Ravinia Neighbors Association General Meeting
Wednesday, January 27, 2010


The meeting was called to order at 8:10 p.m. at the home of Carol and Paul Willis, 360 Woodland Road.

Present were Amy Amdur, Michael Bloomquist, Ray DeLong, Al Klairmont, Peggy Laemle, Alisa Leander, Amy Lohmolder, Don Miller, Marcia O'Hara, Doug Purington, Jeff Stern, Eve Tarm, Dave Wigodner, Carol Willis and Aaron Wolff.

In his Membership Report, Doug Purington said there were 3 new members and 8 renewals, with $330 collected. He noted a steady drop in membership renewals, from 92% three years ago to 85% two years ago to 71% last year. He said overall membership stood at 497, and included 299 households.

Eve Tarm said business owners should want to support RNA, that finding new members was only part of the issue, and that renewals were also important. Amy Lohmolder suggested that meetings should be more social and fun events, rather than just business meetings. Given the economic situation and the fact there was nothing really bad happening in the neighborhood to get people upset, Dave Wigodner thought it was amazing we had as many members as we do. Carol Willis suggested having a committee devoted to keeping membership up. She felt many people didn't understand why RNA exists or what it does. Doug thought it was important to keep merchants informed of what was going on. Don Miller recommended that Lohmolder, Wigodner and Willis form a committee to plan special events to help raise awareness of and membership in the RNA.

In his report on the Newsletter, Ray DeLong said he had been fine-tuning the form to be used for soliciting advertisements, and that for now half-page ads would be retained. The possible enlargement of the newsletter from 8 to 12 pages that was discussed at the last meeting would depend entirely on the amount of copy being presented. He noted that the last issue carried almost the same amount of editorial space as ads. He predicted that the spring issue would be out by the end of March. Al Richman, who arrived late for the meeting, was still in charge of selling ads, but DeLong said Al had asked for another person to assist him who could eventually take over the job. Carol Willis said she has found a volunteer, and expects to have the person on board soon.

Regarding the possible closing of the Ravinia branch of the H.P. Post Office, some members thought there was nothing that could be done about it, but Don Miller said Mayor Belsky and Congressman Kirk were working to keep it open. Miller suggested spreading awareness of the issue by having someone write an article emphasizing the importance of the Post Office to the community. In the absence of Ken Temkin, no Treasurer's Report was presented.

In her Business District Report, Eve Tarm said that despite the poor economy, there were no new vacancies in the district, but no fewer, either. She said the convenience of the Ravinia Post Office was important in attracting new business while the downtown facility was inconvenient and often crowded. She urged everyone to sign petitions being circulated to keep the Ravinia office open. Peg Laemle said the amount of business the Ravinia Post Office handles would influence any decision, and that it needed to take in a minimum of $1,200 a day.

Tarm said the market study for the TIF District has been finished and that the city was planning a meeting at the Ravinia School at 7 p.m. February 11 to discuss it. Miller said Mayor Belsky asked Tarm to represent 2,600 area residents at the event. Tarm also said a prospect had been found for the Ravinia Plumbing building at 595 Roger Williams, but that the landlord wanted to charge the same rent as in better times. She also said the auctioning of condos in the Burack-built structure on Green Bay Road showed good real estate deals can still be made.

Responding to Miller's introduction, Al Klairmont said he had been asked to serve on the committee dealing with the TIF District, but that much more money would have to be collected before anything substantial could be accomplished.

In the absence of Harold Rafson, Eve Tarm said that in regard to environmental issues, there was an initiative from the neighbors around Brown Park that there should be better screening in the parking lot west of the Ravinia Station to keep car headlights from disturbing residents on Burton Avenue. A city Public Works team was to check the situation out next week to see what was really needed.

In his train station report, Jeff Stern said he and Miller had moved the Ravinia Neighbors Newsletter holder from the west to the east side of the station kiosk, and moved it up higher to keep it from being damaged by commuters who were leaning against it while sitting along the base of the kiosk waiting for their trains.

Miller said Amy Amdur, a director of the Port Clinton Arts Festival, had offered to help plan NRA's proposed Garden Walk, which was to include eight or nine area homes. He suggested sending out a postcard with a map showing garden sites, and that the event should be free to all members, who could bring up to six guests free as an incentive to sign up. Non-members would pay $20 admission, which could be applied toward RNA membership. Miller said Debbie Blanks and Lydia Walker, who weren't at the meeting, are considering chairing the event. The walk is to be held from 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, July 18. Details will follow, and plans are to be finalized at the next meeting, which is set for March 24.

Miller asked for and received approval to endorse a city plan to extend parking until 10 p.m. as a benefit to Ravinia restaurants during the festival season. Purington agreed to support Aaron Wolff in trying to persuade the City Council to ban all driver use of cell phones.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:10 p.m.

11-Nov-2009
M I N U T E S Ravinia ..

November 2009 RNA Board Meeting

M I N U T E S


Ravinia Neighbors Association General Meeting
Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Don Miller called the meeting to order at 7:35 p.m. at the home of Carol and Paul Willis at 360 Woodland Road.

Present were Ray DeLong, Peg Laemle, Amy Lohmolder, Don Miller, Al Richman, Jeff Stern, Eve Tarm, Ken Temkin and Dave Wigodner, and Carol and Paul Willis.

Don Miller commented that 330 Newsletters – the highest in his memory – had been sent out as the Fall 2009 edition.

In discussing a proposed Garden Walk for next year, Miller floated the idea of sending out a jumbo postcard in the spring to advertise the event, which would be aimed at increasing membership and raising funds. He said the format for staging a Garden Walk was relatively simple, but would require stationing a number of people to watch the houses as well as the property outside.

Miller anticipated including eight to ten gardens in the event, which would be held on a Sunday in late July or early August. He suggested printing leaflets with a map pinpointing the address of each garden rather than taking on the expense of a booklet with advertising. He recommended having participants checked in at each garden on an honor system after pre-paying for their tickets. RNA would pay for a sign to be posted at the entrance to each garden on the walk. RNA Board Members would bring and man a table and chairs at each location.

Miller proposed that homeowners who open their gardens for the walk be given automatic membership in the RNA, although he thought many were likely to be members already. He said admission should be free to current RNA members and their families. Non-members would be signed up at the door and charged $20 for admission and one-year's membership. He compared this favorably to garden walks in other communities where admission could be as high as $45.

Miller said the four gardens he was recommending for inclusion in the walk were within three blocks of each other. He would like to expand that number to eight, but noted that any garden being considered must be one that is not visible from the street. Otherwise, there would be nothing novel for visitors to see.

Dave Wigodner said that before our next meeting in January we should identify additional gardens for the walk, since it was too soon to address other issues. Jeff Stern mentioned the need to check any proposed date for the Garden Walk carefully to make sure it does not conflict with any other popular local event.

In his Newsletter update, Ray DeLong commended Al Richman for his efforts to bring in ads, noting that the latest issue had 57 inches of copy vs. 53 inches of ads. In light of this, he suggested enlarging the next edition from 8 to 12 pages. According to the printer, he said that the extra pages plus the addition of 150 more copies would add only about $150 to the $500 cost of the current issue. DeLong was very satisfied with the current layout of the ads, and recognized that anyone who might replace Richman may not have the same degree of success. He said quarter page ads seemed to be the most sought after. He noted that four writers provided all the copy that could be used in the current edition, that there had been photos with each article, but that they could not all be used. He encouraged others to write articles, but couldn't guarantee they would all get in. A discussion then followed about whether publication of the Newsletter should be limited to the website or should continue to be printed and mailed out. A decision was made to await Doug Purington's input before pursuing the matter further.

Ken Temkin presented the Treasurer's Report, saying there was $7,687.78 in the RNA account, of which $5,100 was in a CD and the balance in checking. Expenses were around $700, which included $461 to print the Newsletter, $150 for postage and $75 to put the Newsletter on the website.

Regarding the Business District, Eve Tarm said a new business was opening today at 467 Roger Williams called the Calm Massage and Therapy Center. They were excited to be in Ravinia and signed up with a $50 RNA membership. She said Abigail's Restaurant remains very busy while Trattoria is less busy, and both the Sloppy Joe's and a storefront next to the Bank of Highland Park remain vacant. Also, the former Ravinia Plumbing building has a temporary occupant.

Dave Wigodner discussed recent developments regarding the Ravinia TIF district. He said a city meeting scheduled for August had been postponed due to the Art Fair, and that in October, a draft report of a market study that had been undertaken was received. He said there would be a meeting January 13 on the subject that will offer a public forum so residents can have input in the process, and that a committee would be appointed by the mayor to handle aspects of it.

In his Train Station Report, Jeff Stern invited members to consider a new message for the smallest of the picture frames RNA purchased to decorate the station walls, suggesting something to tout RNA and its role in the community. He noted that the water fountain in the station still doesn't have enough pressure to be usable and that the screens that were intended to disguise the vending machines outside the south end of the station still haven't been built. Miller said the lights over the kiosk outside the station have never been turned on, and that he had reattached the RNA Newsletter rack in a new location on the kiosk. A discussion about signs in the windows of vacant Ravinia businesses followed. Al Richman's idea for RNA to list helpful tradesmen was left for future discussion.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:38 p.m.

27-May-2009
M I N U T E S Ravinia ..

May 2009 RNA Board Meeting

M I N U T E S


Ravinia Neighbors Association General Meeting
Wednesday, May 27, 2009


The meeting was called to order at 7:30 p.m. at Jens Jensen Park.

Present were Amy Lohmolder Davies, Ray DeLong, Michael Harding, Peggy Laemle, Don Miller, Doug Purington, Harold Rafson, Alvin Richman, Jeff Stern, Eve Tarm, Ken Temkin, David Wigodner and others from the general public.

Josh Bloom and Kennedy Smith of the Community Land Use and Economic (CLUE) Group outlined their plans for conducting a Market Analysis to determine the types of businesses deemed desirable for the Ravinia Business District and what area residents were looking for. Bloom said the study would include input from Ravinia Festival staff and would result in a final report in four to five months. Kennedy said their work would also determine what uses might come from the facilities that were available in the district, and that it was possible that only a few options would be viable. She pointed out that there wasn't any one thing that might revitalize the area, and that their report would suggest roles for everyone to play.

Carolyn Hersch, of Highland Park's Office of Economic Development, reviewed the City Council's 2005 approval of a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District to replace aging infrastructure and revitalize Ravinia. She also elaborated on the process that led to the city's Request for Proposals (RFP) in December, 2008 for a Market Analysis, which brought about the selection of the CLUE Group to do the work.

The re-election of all current RNA Board officers was proposed and approved by voice vote of all members in attendance.

Treasurer Ken Temkin said RNA had $5,998.00 in its account, and that there had been $600 in expenses since his last report, mainly for mailing and the Spring 2009 newsletter.

Regarding membership, Doug Purington said he had received $1,000 in checks during the current membership drive, and that mailings would go out soon for renewals.

In the Business District report, it was noted that Abigail's Restaurant on Roger Williams Avenue had been written up in Chicago Magazine.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:15 p.m.

19-Nov-2008
M I N U T E S Ravinia ..

November 2008 RNA Board Meeting

M I N U T E S


Ravinia Neighbors Association General Meeting
November 19, 2008


The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m.

16-Jul-2008
M I N U T E S Ravinia ..

July 2008 RNA Board Meeting

M I N U T E S


Ravinia Neighbors Association General Meeting
Wednesday, July 16, 2008


The meeting was called to order at 7:06 p.m. at Belle Fleur, 487 Roger Williams Avenue.

Present were Gerald Field, Peg Laemle, Amy Lohmolder, Jean Meier, Don Miller, Elliott Miller, Doug Purington, Al Richman, Nancy Rotering, Paul Rubenstein, Paul Silverman, Jeff Stern, Ken Temkin and Dave Wigodner, and H.P. Park District Commissioner Elaine Waxman.

Rick Stumpf, Director of Parks & Planning, and Steve Meyer, Special Projects Manager, of the H. P. Park District, presented a progress report on the plans for revitalizing Rosewood and Central Park Beaches, which have been outlined in public meetings over the past two years. A referendum to fund the plans will be on the ballot in the November 4 election. The total public cost for improving both beaches is estimated at $32 million, or $67 per $100,000 of assessed valuation on each home in the city. Harbor improvement costs will be raised privately. Meyer noted that the funding included a 20-year maintenance authorization.

A discussion on the issue of benches with backs for Jens Jensen Park was moderated by Paul Silverman, of the Friends of Jens Jensen Park. This was due to an issue, raised by Doug Purington, that a neighborhood resident could not sit comfortably in the park on the new flat stone benches. The intention of the discussion was for various stakeholders to state their thoughts

  • Elliott Miller, a Jensen Historian and former member of the Highland Park planning commission, discussed the use of stone backs on some benches by Jensen and his son-in law, Marshall Johnson. Elliot also indicated that benches would need to be secured and would likely need to be set in a location with underlying flagstones.
  • Rick Stumpf, Director of Parks & Planning of the Park District of Highland Park, briefly discussed their ideas for this issue. The Park District does not currently see a need for benches with backs in Jens Jensen Park.
  • Several inner circle members of the RNA discussed park usage and whether the bench issue may be impacting park use.
  • Paul Silverman will prepare an article on this issue for the next RNA newsletter and determine if there is a need to perform a survey of the community to determine support.

Al Klairmont, the head of Imperial Realty and owner of business properties in Ravinia, spoke about what RNA might want the Ravinia Business District to be. He said Ravinia would never be like downtown Highland Park or like it was years ago when three gas stations provided a variety of servicing for autos. He didn't think Ravinia should be the dry cleaning, nail salon or hairdressing capital of the North Shore, but rather pedestrian friendly and successful by fulfilling a niche, such as becoming a restaurant row. He said condominiums would help in that regard, but that there was no short-term fix to solving Business District problems.

Amy Lohmolder was congratulated for her Earth Festival program at the Ravinia Metra station on May 3. She was not prepared to provide a report on the outcome of the event, but said she appreciated support from RNA and the community, and expected to organize similar Earth Day activities in the future.

Regarding the 10th anniversary of RNA coming up at the end of the year, Don Miller asked for suggestions on how to mark the occasion. It was decided to establish a committee for that purpose.

In his Membership Report, Purington said he had collected $2,500 since the last meeting, which included funds from 37 new members, of whom eight were past members, and 42 renewals. The 2008 non-renewals were twice as many as last year, or 61 vs. 31, which was a cause for concern. Purington said there was a new person running the Allstate Insurance office, and that its membership had been extended until 2010. He also said Councilman Steve Mandel sent in $50, that Bob's Deli in Braeside was expected to open in September, and that Chuck Wenk had given a nice write-up of the Belle Fleur shop based on an RNA e-mail.

In his Treasurer's Report, Ken Temkin said RNA had $1,800 in the bank plus a $5,000 CD. He also said that the Earth Festival brought in $7,100 vs. $6,700 in expenses, for an overall gain of $400.

In his Train Station report, Jeff Stern noted that the station windows had been nailed shut by the city for security reasons, but that the city had also washed the windows. Don Miller described the ceremony held July 11 at the Ravinia fire station for Firefighter Donald Knoll upon his retirement after 40 years of service, and about the plaque from RNA that we presented to him.

The meeting was adjourned after setting Wednesday, September 17, as the date for the next meeting, with the location to be announced later.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:34 p.m.