Friday, July 21, 2006

Household Chemical Waste Collection

The Solid Waste Agency of Lake County (SWALCO) has scheduled a Household Chemical Waste collection event for Saturday, August 12th, which will allow residents to dispose of chemical wastes such as oil-based paints, used motor oil, paint remover, antifreeze and household batteries. The collection will be held at Wolters Field, 1080 Park Avenue West, from 8:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. For more information please call SWALCO at (847) 336-9340, or visit the agency's website.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Senator Garrett helps Citizens deal with Com Ed

State Senator Susan Garrett's office will serve as a liaison between Commonwealth Edison and local residents who have incurred losses because of lengthy power outages.
Anyone who experiences food spoilage because of loss of electricity is entitled to file a claim form with Commonwealth Edison, requesting reimbursement for the loss.
The claim form is available by calling ComEd at 1-800-334-7661 or online at their parent company Exelon’s web site. The easiest way to access the form online is to go to, then enter the search term “claim form.” The first result will be a PDF file of the claim form. There is also a link to the form on Senator Garrett’s web site (
Anyone who is unable to obtain the form online is welcome to contact Senator Garrett’s office at (847) 433-2002 to request a copy.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Electronics Collection Program

The City of Highland Park will hold a collection event for outdated, broken or unwanted household electronics on Saturday, August 19th from 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. at the Police Firearms Training Facility, 1180 Half Day Road. The event will be open to household electronics only; no commercial, governmental or institutional materials will be accepted. Click here for a list of accepted electronics. For more information, contact Brandon Wright at (847) 926-1030.

Apple Tree Moves to the Karger Center

Apple Tree Theater is moving to the Karger Center and has signed a two year lease with the City of Highland Park. While we had slated the Karger for demolition after the construction of the new recreation center and the county health clinic, Mayor Michael D. Belsky has led this effort to keep Apple Tree vital and in Highland Park.

I wish Apple Tree all the success and hope the Karger use will allow them time to make long range plans for their future.

Apple Tree was rented the space for basically the cost of maintenance and was given 25 employee permits for parking. Last night I did ask staff if there was adequate parking in the area and was told yes but first come, first served.

Highland Park High School LED Sign on Vine

HPHS PTO has proposed a Illuminated LED Sign on Vine Ave. The proposal is for the sign to be 7 feet off the ground so you can read the bright amber LED sign on Vine in both directions. Every Councilmember except yours truly supported this signs height and illumination.

While I am all about compromise and am willing to give a little to get some, I do not think this type of sign has any place in Highland Park and especially in a residential neighborhood. Now if the High School has one, will the elementary schools be next? Next will be our other governmental bodies and the religious institutions. Then we can start allowing them in our commerical districts.......... If these signs are good for our KIDS, it can be good for the Community, and might also generate more sales tax dollars. How much commercialization of our community and information jamming (good taste or not) can we endure?

I think these signs are ugly, non-compatible with the historic image we try to embrace, and an intrusion into the quiet lifestyle we try to promote especially in our residential neighborhoods.

All that being said this sign request was sent back to Design Review for another look at approval with a note that the Council did not object to height or the illuminated sign as proposed. The wisdom of our Design Review commission was to deny the request 4-2. Now if this will pass at the DRC or upon denial at the Council, I would hope it would be at least turned off shortly after dusk and when the schools are not in session.

While this individual sign does not show the worst case scenario, I hope this is not the spark that causes a city wide use of these signs.

Report on Lakefront Street Access

Several Council meetings ago I had asked staff to look into the paper streets we have that dead end at the Lakefront. The City Council concurred and staff has submitted a report showing the 27,800 sq. ft. of PUBLIC LAND that can be used for Lake Michigan viewing and access. A copy of the report is available at community development and is called "Lakefront Right of Way Inventory and Analysis". (847-432-0800)

The Prospect Ave. lakefront piece is currently encumbered by a possible lease agreement that in any case will last no longer than 2010. Corporation Council is looking at the lease document to see if access and public use can happen sooner. This encumbering on Prospect Ave. by a private property owner caused this larger discussion to occur. This event has opened the eyes of many to the possibilities of a much larger community sharing of these wonderful community assets.

Please keep informed on our ongoing lakefront planning discussions and view the ongoings on the Park District at : .