Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Police Seeking Other Victims of Buddhist Monk Accused of Child Sexual Assault in 2001-02

A cold case involving the sexual assault of minors is heating up, and the police are looking for more information from the public.

In the period between 2000 and 2002, two children were allegedly sexually abused in a classroom at the Wat Phrasriratanamahatatu Chicago Buddhist Temple, at 4735 N Magnolia (one block directly west of the Pancake House).

The abuser is named as Sripai Biadnok, a Buddhist monk who taught Thai language and culture at the school. The minor victims took classes at the school at the time of the alleged assaults.

According to CWBChicago, Biadnok was arrested recently in Las Vegas and has been extradited to Chicago to face charges. He is being charged with Predatory Criminal Sexual Assault and Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse.

The police are looking for information and other possible victims. At the time of the alleged Uptown assaults, Mr. Biadnok was in his early 30s, had a slim build, a height of 5' to 5'2", with black hair (shaved), and brown eyes.  He wore the traditional orange robes of a Buddhist monk.

The alert released by the police says, "If you have any information/questions about this incident or any other incident involving the subject of this alert, call the Special Investigations Unit at (312) 492-3810."

Saturday, February 16, 2019

The Baton Show Lounge Sets Uptown Opening Day

According to its Facebook page, the last show at the legendary Baton Lounge's original Clark Street location will take place on February 24th.

On March 1st, the Uptown chapter begins.

Meet Your Montrose Beach Neighbor

Thank you to reader Bill Biederman for his photos of a beautiful wild coyote, taken near The Dock restaurant at Montrose Harbor on Friday afternoon.

Coyotes are everywhere in Chicago, with at least 500 tagged and tracked within the city limits. Despite this large population, however, according to the Urban Coyote Research Project, "There has not been a single coyote bite or attack reported on humans in northeastern Illinois."

Unless a coyote is aggressive or fearless, the best advice is to leave them alone. Don't approach them, or leave food out, or let pets run free. See "How To Avoid Conflicts With Coyotes" for more information.

Given the proximity of this guy to the Montrose Dog Beach, we'd recommend taking your pups to to Puptown instead for a few days.

Development News In The 48th Ward

From Ald. Osterman's latest weekly newsletter:

"If you traveled along Broadway near Argyle this week, you may have noticed a giant crane dropping the HVAC system at 5050 N. Broadway.  This building is the first phase in what will ultimately be a 700-unit residential development by Cedar St., and will include 15% affordable units on site.  This project will bring new residents to our community who will enjoy and support the vibrant Argyle business district, and will enjoy TimeLine Theatre, who is moving their headquarters to 5033-35 N. Broadway, across the street.

Cedar St. is putting the finishing touches on another nearby residential project at the former Agudas Achim Synaogue at 5029 N. Kenmore. This project includes 40 residential units, with 10% affordable units on site. The project is a renovation of a beautiful building in our community.  There will be a grand opening celebration for the community in the coming weeks,  I will share more information as it is available."

My Chocolate Soul Packing Up For A Move To Gotham; Wish Them Luck At A Saturday Open House

The owner of My Chocolate Soul, Ramona Thomas, is moving to New York and taking her wonderful concoctions with her. We wish her much luck and success, but it is certainly a loss for Uptown and our sweet tooth!

On its Facebook page, there is a notice: "We're closing our retail store in Chicago and moving to NYC. Our last day is Friday 2/15. Join us for a thank you open house Sat 2/16, 12-4 pm. We love you Chicago--thank you for everything!!!"

Best of luck to Ramona and her future endeavors. Thank you for bringing sweetness (both in your personality and in your creations) to Uptown.

My Chocolate Soul is located at 4442 North Broadway.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Research The Candidates, and GO VOTE!

The Sun-Times distributed candidate questionnaires to all who are running in the upcoming city elections. The paper has published the candidates' responses, and voters who are still making up their minds can read them here.

Below are the links for the replies of aldermanic candidates in the three wards encompassing Uptown. Early voting is open now; the election is on Tuesday, February 26th. Vote, y'all!

46th Ward:

47th Ward:

48th Ward:

Incumbent 47th Ward alderman Ameya Pawar is running against two other candidates for City Treasurer, as well:

The Latest On The Clarendon Park Fieldhouse; Comments Invited

From Ald. Cappleman's newsletter today:


The Chicago Park District held a community meeting on Feb. 4 to unveil four options for the Clarendon Park Community Center, 4501 N. Clarendon.

Two of the options were for renovations to the existing building and two were for new construction. One of the new construction options would allow the existing community center to remain open during construction of a new community center on an adjacent site, which means indoor park programming would not be interrupted or temporarily relocated.
Photo courtesy of Chicago Park District.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

See The CPD's Latest Technology At An Open House At The 19th District

According to CBS, "In addition to the ShotSpotter technology, [Strategic Decision Support Centers] allow officers to monitor a network of surveillance cameras, license plate recognition software, the location of police units, and incoming calls for service. The screens inside each center are updated every 30 seconds, and the rooms are staffed 24 hours a day.

Investigators also work with the University of Chicago Crime Lab at each nerve center to analyze crime data and develop predictive crime-fighting strategies.

Police have said the tools are directly responsible for reductions in murders, shootings, carjackings, burglaries, robberies, and more."

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Early Voting For City Election Is Open Now

Early voting for city elections has come to the neighborhoods! From now through Monday, February 25th, you can vote at any early voting polling place in the city. 

We're hearing it takes just a couple minutes to vote: the only offices on the ballot are Mayor, City Clerk, City Treasurer, and Alderman.

The list of all polling places is here. The ones closest to Uptown are
  • Truman College (1145 West Wilson)
  • Welles Park (2333 West Sunnyside)
  • Edgewater Branch Library (6000 North Broadway)
  • Merlo Branch Library (644 West Belmont). 
For downtown workers, you can vote at the Loop Super Site (175 West Washington) or the Museum of Broadcast Communications (360 North State).

Early voting hours are:
  • Monday, February 11 - Saturday, February 16: 9am-5pm
  • Sunday, February 17: 10am-4pm
  • Monday, February 18 - Friday, February 22: 9am-7pm 
  • Saturday, February 23: 9am-5pm
  • Sunday, February 24: 10am-4pm
  • Monday, February 25: 9am-5pm (seven sites, including Welles Park, will be open until 7pm)

But wait, there's more!
If you want to vote by mail, your request must be received by February 21st. Instructions are here.

If you aren't registered to vote, you can register and vote at the same time. Be sure to bring two forms of ID, one of which must show your current address.

If you want to go old school and vote on Election Day (Tuesday, February 26th), you must vote in your precinct. Polls will be open from 6am until 7pm. You can make sure you're registered here, and check your polling place too.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Sheridan Park SRO To Undergo $8.7M Renovation

4707 N Malden, The Miriam (Google)
A 66 unit SRO (Single Room Occupancy) is set to undergo an $8.7M renovation at 4707 N. Malden.

Mercy Housing operates the building known as "The Miriam" and serves women in the area needing supportive services.

Mercy has operated out of the building since 1991.

The construction permit lists the work to be completed for the $8.7M pricetag:

"Renovation of existing 66 SRO units as per plans. Renovation includes new mechanical system, revisions to fire sprinklers configuration, new elevator, new 1st floor layout with amenity spaces, insulation of exterior walls, new roof, new windows, kitchen and bathroom updates and other cosmetic updates."

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Turning Back Time On Broadway

The way most Uptowners remember the building at 4647 N. Broadway
4647 N. Broadway after an extensive renovation and nearing completion
We've been following the progress on the rehab of a building that had certainly seen better days. But now, the future looks even brighter for 4647 N. Broadway, a building that was most recently home to the Army Surplus Store for many years.

MDT Architects and Formed Space painstakingly cataloged each piece of damaged terra cotta and brick and where necessary, refabricated it. The entire facade was removed, restored, and put back together. The building had been covered in blue siding since sometime BEFORE 1961, according to a photo on Chicago-L.org.

The restoration is winding down as second floor windows have been installed. First floor windows and doors are next on the list. The building is slated to become communal workspaces on the ground floor, with the second floor becoming private offices along with a recording studio.

We are told that the "Indian Chief" building at 4629 N. Broadway is next on the renovation list with work there beginning this spring.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Spoil Me Salon Presents Valentine's Day Specials

Spoil Me Salon's Valentine's Day specials. (click to enlarge)
Gift certificates are also available. Spoil Me Salon is located on the SW corner of Broadway and Leland. Visit their Facebook page here.

Free Legal Help At McCutcheon Elementary School

LAF (Legal Assistance Foundation) operates 4 free community legal clinics that are open to the public, one of which is located in the Uptown neighborhood, at the John T. McCutcheon Elementary School once per month. They are open to anyone and everyone needing assistance.