Friday, May 18, 2012

May 18th Roundup

Greentown Highland Park is moving along with dates set for October 18th and 19th at the Art Center of Highland Park as well as our Community House. We are looking at having movies, healthy and local grown foods, and many speakers to motivate us into action.....
Annual Festival of Fine Craft will be held on June 22 - 23, 2012. Great event I would suggest we all attend. The Art Center which shares our Cultural Arts Campus with the Community House is located between Park and Elm on Sheridan Road.
Our City Recycling Dropoff accepts Electronics, Fluorescent bulbs, Styrofoam, household batteries on Tuesdays and Fridays from 7am-1pm at our Public Service Campus at 1180 Half Day Road.
Ravinia Business District is the subject of a new street scape design, utility evaluation and planning to move forward to create vibrancy and provide a foundation for improvements. Ravinia Neighbors Association has taken a lead role in this endeavour.
Honored some great citizens, younger and older, for their great environmental work. Rebecca Grill (trout release), Howard Hill(Presidential Innovation Award), [Jonny Cohen, Tommy Mills, Griffin Rutstein(Greensheids project team)] Thank you for providing this leadership!!
The house on 1864 Green Bay (property between Sunset foods and Elm) was bought by the City for possible reconfiguration of roadway entrance into Renaissance Place Garage.


Over 200MPG in my Nissan Leaf

Getting over 200MPG with my real-time metering. My All Electric Leaf under the City's Aggregation rate of 4.836 cents/kw gets about 168MPG. Yes, here are the facts..... I have been paying 2 cents a KW for electricity after 1am using my Leaf's charger and my real time metering. For this Calculation I will use the HP aggregation cost of 4.836 cents / kw plus 4.9 cent equipment charge. My carwings says I am getting 4.1 miles per kw. If I drive 15000 miles per year the cost would be 356 dollars. YES>>> $356 dollars. Now if you drive a 30mpg gasoline auto and pay $4/gal for gas the same 15000 miles driven, it will cost you $2000... So lets see Gas Vs Elec. , 30MPG vs 168MPG and $2000 Vs $356. I made my choice, what is yours?

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Rosewood Proposal Almost Perfect

The Park District of Highland Park is responsible to protect and provide our public decent beachfront for the residents. Growing up in HP, I remember the great summers down a Park Avenue swimming beach, having a great time with my family and friends.
The Rosewood proposal creates many great amenities for our community including a protected and an expanded shoreline, a recreational beach, a swimming beach, and naturalization of beachfront with native grasses. Structures include washrooms, guard station, and a refreshment stand.

The big rub to many neighbors and residents is the interpretive center being placed on the beach.To a few the interpretive center is a no go period because of the cost. My personal belief is Rosewood is not the best place for the interpretive center but am a strong supporter of one in Highland Park. My belief is that it could work better at several alternative sites like the Yacht club at Park Avenue, Ravine Drive, Open Lands at Lake Shore Preserve, or at some Park on top of the bluff.

We have been talking about a place to celebrate our Lake Michigan for many years and I am a strong supporter of such a facility. Lake Michigan is the greatest blessing we share next to our residents. 70 percent of us is Lake Michigan water and we should teach our children and ourselves to understand and celebrate its existence by means of the proposed Interpretive Center. We should be exploring for a place it can work instead of fighting over it where it is currently proposed.

Forest Preserve should not ignore Partnership

Just read the LCFPD press release on an open house for public input on Fort Sheridan. Only problem is that they are still ignoring the request of their grantor's (Highland Park, Highwood, and Fort Residents) to have a face to face discussion on this matter.

Again, the land was conveyed to Lake County with monetary consideration fully paid for by the residents of the Town of Fort Sheridan and the political advocacy of Highland Park and Highwood in exchange for a 18-26 million dollar golf course consideration and maintenance. Without those two components the land would have never been transferred.

It is time for the LCFPD to stop the disinformational spin and begin to negotiate with its community partners. A unilateral release of the covenant will never be accepted by the City of Highland Park, Highwood, or the residents of Fort Sheridan for no other offer of consideration has been made or accepted.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Recycling Task Force

The Natural Resource Commission Chairman Bill Bogot will lead the Recycling Task Force to work with property owners, condo owners, and property managers to fine tune our recycling production. We need to provide every condo and apartment resident, office employee, and retailer the ability to recycle. At this time several buildings and condominiums do not have recycling services for their residents and tenants.. Considering that recycling under our commercial franchise agreement is virtually free and will always will save you money. There is no reason not to trade in the big trash dumpster for  two smaller ones. One for recycling and one for trash.

Looking forward to finding residents that are willing to help advocate better recycling strategies. If you want to help us achieve more recycling opportunities in condos and offices please contact me. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!!!

Dave Knapp, City Manager of Highland Park

David Knapp has become our City Manager.  He has previously served as the City Manager for Cupertino, Los Gatos, California, and Boulder, Colorado. Mr. Knapp holds a Masters Degree in Systems Management and a second Masters Degree in Education, both from the University of Southern California.
His top priorities are providing high quality service, keeping costs low, and fostering constructive two-way communications with residents. His incredible wealth of knowledge and broad experience will serve Highland Park well.

Mr. Knapp’s experience in community building in Cupertino earned him the League of California Cities Award for the Advancement of Diverse Communities. In addition, Mr. Knapp has led efforts to improve service and lower costs by having interactive on-line services, webcasting of council and commission meetings and a questions/issues/concerns tracking system. During his tenure in Cupertino, the City received yearly budget and financial reporting awards, the annual Kosmont Cost of Doing Business ”Very Low-Cost City” rating and an International Personnel Management Association Outstanding Small Agency Organization of the Year award.

Bloom Street Rebuild is coming

Several years ago neighbors on Bloom approached the city to deal with a deteriorated street and flooding issues. At our April Council meeting we approved a contract to repave the street, install 12 and 24 inch storm water sewers, and increase the size of the water main for more pressure.

This follows last years alley improvement where new impervious concrete was installed along the alley that parallels Waukegan and travels North from Bloom.

Nice to be able to finally address the neighborhood concerns and improve this infrastructure.

Public Safety is our Primary mission

The City Council has a dynamic mission as your elected representatives creating policy and making decisions on your behalf. Public Safety is on the top of the list of what we consider our primary responsibility.

Last week we ordered an independent fire inspection of several public facilities to determine if they were safe to be occupied. This was prompted by questions raised and brought to the attention of the City Council. Our Fire Chief Pat Tanner has accompanied this inspection team and they had determined that the Highland Park Theater and the Port Clinton parking garage had failed those fire safety inspections. Fire Chief Pat Tanner recommended and the Highland Park City Council concurred that the facilities were not safe and should be temporarily closed.

Along with the help and leadership of our new City Manager Dave Knapp, we will get this stuff corrected and back on line in short time. Final reports are coming in, repairs will be ordered, and I am confident the safety will be restored and the garage and theater will again be open as soon as possible. More info from city press release....