The President’s Message

February for MBRA brings the topic of change. The bylaws require the selection of a nominating committee to develop a new slate of board members for the next year beginning in May. If you have a desire to serve, please raise your hand and let us know. People with a commitment to serve will get things done for all of us.

Other upcoming events that will need volunteers are the MBRA potluck on May 7 and the second annual River City Marathon May 18. Also under consideration is some type of our involvement with the Children’s Home to provide revenue for them and mentoring opportunities for all of us.

Our neighborhood is alive with change. Although there is disappointment with Aldi’s moving from our area, we support efforts from the city and the neighborhood to find a suitable and sustaining grocery to fill the need in South Town. Many times we only bemoan the losses and forget the additions.

The West Main Street area has seen recent additions such as, Studios on Sheridan, the Fieldhouse Bar and Grill, Broken Tree Coffee, Haddad’s Restaurant, the Church Mouse, Leaves N Beans, Random, Main Statement, Excel Recycled Office Furniture, Comprehensive Prosthetics and Orthotics, Las Delicias Helados and Peoria Next Innovation Center.

We are blessed to have old and new businesses that have invested in our area.

Next membership meeting is Wednesday, Feb 5, 2014, West Minster Church 7:00pm.

Next board meeting Tuesday, Feb 11, 2014, 1602 W Moss Ave, 7:00 pm (Michele Lindsey’s home).


Jim Evenhuis, President

Moss Bradley Residential Association


Hats Off to the 2013-14 “Greens Team”

The Moss-Bradley neighborhood is full of ‘do-ers’—people who are ready and willing to get a job done! The do-ers came out again this season in full force to make our neighborhood festive for the holidays and then to clean it up after the New Year!

Many thanks to the 2013-14 Greens Team! The prep-team included Rod Lorenz cutting wires; bows refreshed by Jan Krouse, Michelle Funk, Matt Kindred and Remy Winget; and Bruce Zilkowski helping cut greens. The following people helped hang and/or remove over 2,300 feet of roping on the Moss-Bradley lightposts: 10 enthusiastic members of the PKA Fraternity, Joe Merkle, Aaron, Isaiah, Levi, and Magda Amstutz, Nathan Friederich and Adam Konrad, Jim Evanhuis, Kayla, Anthony and Lucy Speck, Tom and Deb Dougherty, John and Barb Timmerman, Nick Cowley, Wayne Johnson, Rick Melby and Michelle Funk, Bruce & Joseph Zilkowski, Brian Buralli and Maureen Matthews, (with Cottage District helpers), Joe Vilmos, and Michael Covert.

We’re always looking for new helpers. Both hanging and removing greens takes only a few hours of your time on a Saturday morning! If you’re interested in joining us, mark your calendars for the Saturday before Thanksgiving 2014—the date (weather permitting) we plan to hang greens for next season! Again, thanks to this terrific group of neighborhood volunteers!

Joanne Bannon and Ed Tarbuck

Events at the Franciscan Recreation Complex

Open Pickelball

  • Tuesdays, 5:30-7:30 p.m., ages 18 +
  • Tuesdays & Thursdays, 1-3 p.m., ages 50+
  • Cost is $3 per visit, or $25 for a 10-visit punch card

Drop-in Yoga

  • Mondays, 6:30 p.m
  • Tuesdays, 10 a.m
  • Wednesdays, 6:30 p.m
  • Fridays, 9:30 a.m
  •  $4.50/class Ages 16+

More Information

Thru the Windshield

How do we look to those passing by? Observations…questions…hopes…concerns
by Marjorie Elise

There are certain facts that occur to us…and surprise us…and prove to be so true that we wonder why we didn’t know it before now. Here are a few that shouldn’t have surprised me:

  •  If you pass a plate of cookies and fudge, the  fudge goes first!
  • Taking down holiday decorations isn’t as much fun as putting them up
  • Lego sets seem to take up a lot of time for fathers and mothers. Aren’t these supposed to be for kids? And if they are for adults why are there l00 teeny-tiny required pieces in each set that immediately get lost under the table or behind the sofa cushions?
  • Snow and ice are both just frozen water but snow is fun and romantic and good while ice is treacherous, dangerous and bad. Why?
  • If you have a drawer full of A, AA, AAA and D batteries, why does the toy require the XYZ variety?
  • Simple outdoor holiday decorations for a house are so much more attractive than the Disneyland over-the-top displays.
  • A big party is great….so much fun for everybody, but what about  that phone call that says ‘come on over right now for a glass of wine and some cheese…and maybe stay for chili if you’d like’…that’s the greatest!
  • We are surrounded by need and sickness and sadness every day of the year….and do nothing about it. But when a disaster occurs we rise to the occasion, open our wallets, give of our talents, and bring food where needed. Why don’t we heal the sick, feed the hungry and comfort the afflicted just because we can… and tomorrow and next week? What a world this would be!

Latest from St. Mark’s School

Pre-K Open House

Wednesday, February 26 from 5-7 p.m. Bring your 3-4 year olds and meet our Pre-K teachers, see the classroom and learn more about our early education program. Your children will love St. Mark’s School!

Open Enrollment

St. Mark’s School is currently accepting new students for the 2014-2015 school year. There are many benefits to joining our school community!

Contact the school office for more information.

St. Mark’s School 711 N. Underhill Peoria IL 61606 •  676.7131 •

The Central Illinois Jazz Society

Submitted by: Dick Marsho, President

Sunday, February 16

Presents: CIJS House Band at 6:00 p.m.

Guest Group: Peoria Jazz AllStars at 7:15 p.m.

Admission: $5.00 Members | $7.00 Non-Members | Students are free

The Peoria Jazz AllStars is an auditioned all-city “big band” comprised of dedicated students from the three public high schools: Manual, Peoria High and Richwoods. This prestigious group was founded by and under the direction of Mary Jo Papich from 1993-2001, Bernie Potter from 2001-2004 and Julie Traenkenschuh from 2004-2010. The group is currently directed by Andy Tinsman and performs throughout the year at concerts, jazz festivals and civic events including the Alzheimer’s Walk, Fine Arts Fair and Celebrating Seniors.

Past performances include: At the Montreux and Umbria Jazz Festivals in ‘00, Live on Stage in Branson in ‘01, Disney’s Magic Music Days in ’03, at the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio in ‘06, at Sea World and the Arneson Theater at La Villita in San Antonio, Texas in ’07 and at the IBM Atrium and on the Flight Deck of the USS Intrepid in New York City in ‘09.

They are also one of 40 of America’s most talented high school big bands selected by the International Association of Jazz Educators from 20,000 bands.

For more information on how to book the band or to make a donation please call Andy Tinsman at 672-6600 or e-mail

For more information call 692.5330 or visit For more information about our location, visit

Food and beverages are available for purchase.

Additional Dates:

  • Sunday, March 16:
    • 6:00 p.m. – Central Illinois Jazz Society House Band
    • 7:15 p.m. – David Hoffman and Friends
  • Sunday, April 20
    • 6:00 p.m. – Central Illinois Jazz Society House Band
    • 7:15 p.m. – Bradley Jazz Ensemble

Courtyard Estates of Peoria

Courtyard Estates of Peoria is proud to announce a monthly bingo event every first Friday of the month. The February event will be held the 7th from 9:30-11 a.m.

This is an open event to any individuals 65 or better. This event is FREE and is located at the former Jumers at 117 N. Western Ave. There will be cinnamon rolls and coffee provided.

For additional details please contact 674.2400 or visit

Items of concern: Are we the masters of our destiny?

by Marjorie Klise

As we look out over a new year it is always wise to look at those issues that  cause concern for the neighborhood. We are fortunate to be well organized in the West Bluff. We have the strength to address our concerns. We may be able to find solutions. Two of these concerns that need our attention are grocery shopping and internet service. We are losing the neighborhood Aldi’s store and our area is not served by AT&T as far as fiber optic availability is concerned.

Aldi’s has been a vital part of this neighborhood’s grocery shopping for several years. It is a convenient place to shop. It is small enough to allow us to get in and out efficiently. It has wonderful fresh produce, quality canned goods and unique ‘specials’ to perk up our dining experience. This store provided the only national chain shopping opportunity between Harmon Highway and the 4200 block of Sheridan or the 3300 block of Sterling. We have seen what happens to neighborhoods that have no stores and it is not a good sight! Can we do anything to re-attract this business to our area?

The second issue is that AT&T provides many of us with our Internet connection. But it has been noticed that this service is very slow and below normal power. According to one of their technicians who came to my house to investigate this deficiency, AT&T has chosen to target their resources and install fiber optic potential in the northern end of Peoria…and they have NO plans for updating those of us who live in the West Bluff. Large institutions (i.e. Bradley University) have their own program so they aren’t pressuring AT&T for that update. We can certainly sign up for Comcast or other cable connection (which have their own problems) but why should we have to?

Please plan to attend our monthly neighborhood meetings where we can voice our preferences as to how we should address these two areas. We are presently under-served as far as vital services are concerned. As a group we are strong. As individuals our needs and opinions are easily over-looked.

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Moss Bradley Residential Associations or its Board of Directors

Greater Peoria League of Women Voters Candidate Forum

Greater Peoria League of Women Voters Candidate Forum on Feb. 8, 2014

A League of Women Voters of Greater Peoria candidate forum featuring two races and information on an important referendum, all on the March 18 primary ballot, will take place from 10:15 a.m. to noon on Saturday, February 8, 2014, at the North Branch of the Peoria Public Library 3001 W Grand Parkway, Peoria, 61615.

The candidates include two Democrats seeking to become the Democratic party nominee for Congress in the 18th District 150 School Board in the 3rd presented on the sales tax referendum which would provide funding to all schools in Peoria County.

The following start times will take place:

18th Congressional District candidates, 10:15 a.m.

PSD 150 candidates, 11 a.m.

School tax referendum, 11:45 a.m. (15 minutes allotted for pro and con)

Questions will be taken from the audience. The event is free and open to the public.

The Costume Trunk


This March, The Costume Trunk will be celebrating its 33rd year at their present Main Street location. Prior to opening there in 1981, they had a small magic and novelty store at 1218 W. Main St. – in the old Varsity Theatre building. And prior to that, the first business was located on the second floor of the old Rialto Theatre in downtown Peoria. So they’ve been in the area since 1977.

“I’ve always enjoyed being part of this neighborhood,” says Steve Spain, owner of The Costume Trunk. “The proximity to downtown, Bradley University, I-74, and the historical neighborhoods; make it a perfect location. I’d like to thank all of the surrounding neighborhoods for supporting my business; and I’ve always tried to be a good business neighbor.” Steve was very honored and humbled to receive the 2013 West Bluff Pillar Award.

Steve would also like to thank his many customers – the most interesting, talented, and creative folks in our area.

Read more about The Custome Trunk by visiting

The President’s Message

Welcome 2014!! In retrospect our neighborhood had an eventful 2013. New crosswalks, stop signs and speed limits… a great Moss Avenue Sale…an enjoyable 4th of July celebration…a daunting challenge of the sale of Washington School. Also not to exclude the transition of the gas station at Main and Western by the Greenway Fund, which helps the entire neighborhood. And finally noting the RNNC event this past season and the transition of the newsletter from hard copy to digital. For all involved a BIG THANK YOU!!

A special thanks to Joanne and Ed for another Hanging of the Greens event. Although the temperature was cold the hospitality and fellowship was warm and fun.

Our Holiday Party was well attended, even though the venue was different and the night was snowy. Thanks to the staff at the Studios on Sheridan for providing the facility and hospitality.

A reminder of upcoming dates…the MBRA membership meeting will be held in the regular location on Wednesday January 8th. Our guest speaker will be Jody Smith Brown from the Children’s Home Association. The Board meeting will be on Tuesday January 14th at Jim’s office.

One last reminder. The Bradley Police will be patrolling our neighborhood over the Holidays.  They will be watching and visiting off campus student housing in our area.  A big thank you goes to the Bradley Police for this effort.

Happy New Year to all!!

Jim Evenhuis,
President MBRA

Un-hanging of the Greens

Time flies when we are celebrating the holidays, doesn’t it? We’ll meet to wrap up the holidays by removing the greens at 10:00 A.M. on Saturday, January 4! (Please note time change to 10:00–hopefully the sun will warm the January air by then!)

This is usually a fairly quick project so if you are available, come with your ladder, work gloves, and wire cutters. Trucks for green pick-up are needed as well. Meet at Ed and Joanne’s (1705 W Moss) for a cup of coffee, team and street assignments!

  • Un-hanging of the Greens
    • 10 A.M. Saturday, January 4, 2014
    • Weather permitting–we’ll adjust the date if we have too much ice or snow
    • Ed and Joanne’s house: 1705 W Moss

Thanks to all who help with both the hanging and unhanging of the holiday greens!

Thru the Windshield

How do we look to those passing by? Observations…questions…hopes…concerns
by Marjorie Elise

The New Year brings snow and frigid temperatures and time for reflection. The days darken before dinner and we hurry indoors to the security of hearth and home. The gardens and lawns can wait for spring before we need to return to their care. We have the luxury of a slower pace. So the subject of gratitude comes to the fore. It is good to take the time to list the many ways that we are gifted and blessed:

Many hours given by our MBRA officers and board to keep our neighborhood thriving.

Ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

Scrumptious food at potlucks and parties.

Shade trees and gardens and landscaping works of art.

Bradley University’s lectures, recitals and services to our community.

Restoration of historic homes to honor our predecessors and reward our progeny.

Awesome ideas that come from free and open monthly meetings.

Deceased friends who taught us well and left their mark.

Leadership of city council members who care about our issues.

Eager volunteers each and every time they are called upon.

Young families without whom we would dry up and fade away…welcome!

Indeed, we are blessed and grateful.

Washington School Update


Washington School Update

Peoria School District 150 has indicated its intent to sell the former Washington School located at 830 W. Moss Avenue. In the near future the City of Peoria will issue an RFP for prospective buyers.

At a special meeting on December 4 the MBRA membership discussed criteria that could be used to evaluate proposals for future use of the facility.

After a productive discussion, members were asked to indicate their preferred priorities for the criteria. The resulting priority list is given, with the criterion regarded as most important listed first.

• The business/operating plan is of high quality and capitalization is adequate to complete the plan.

• The plan implies permanent occupancy.

• The plan uses the entire facility.

• The impact on traffic is consistent with a residential neighborhood location.

• Landscaping and proposed changes to the building’s exterior are appropriate to the historic district and the surrounding environment.

The Central Illinois Jazz Society

Submitted by: Dick Marsho, President

Sunday, January 26

Presents: CIJS House Band at 6:00 p.m.

Guest Group: Super Session, featuring Paul Weddle at 7:15 p.m.

Admission: $5.00 Members | $7.00 Non-Members | Students are free


Super Session consists of Paul Weddle on saxes, Jason Hattermann on keyboards, Cortez Banks on drums, Dave Plunk on bass, Mike Nellas on guitar and sometimes Keith Boswell on congas. They play smooth jazz, Latin and standards. There’s a lot of energy and dynamics.

The band really mixes it from beautiful ballads to up-tempo scorchers. They are always fun to hear and provide a little something for everyone.

The Central Illinois Jazz Society (CIJS) House Band will play during the first set, under the leadership of Larry Harms. The CIJS House Band features outstanding jazz musicians from the area. They will entertain you with a mixture of jazz styles.

For more information call 692.5330 or visit For more information about our location, visit

Food and beverages are available for purchase at this live jazz program.


Additional Dates:

  • Sunday, February 16:
    • 6:00 p.m. – Central Illinois Jazz Society House Band
    • 7:15 p.m. – Peoria Jazz AllStars
  • Sunday, March 16:
    • 6:00 p.m. – Central Illinois Jazz Society House Band
    • 7:15 p.m. – David Hoffman and Friends