The President’s Message


May signals the end of another “membership year” which is highlighted by our Annual Pot Luck Dinner. There are a number of items to touch upon as we come to this point of time.

First, we all need to extend our thanks to two members who have served in leadership roles on the MBRA board. Jim Evenhuis and Dr. Jim Adams will be moving off of the board. Both have made major contributions and assumed leadership roles during their terms. Dr. Adams had served as Treasurer while Jim has served as Vice President and President. On behalf of all of us-thank you for your dedication and leadership!

This departure opens the door for two new board members who are certain to bring a new voice to MBRA. These individuals, along with the slate of officers, will be presented for membership approval at the Annual Meeting on May 6th.

The summer will also bring a number of activities. The city of Peoria will be supplying a dumpster for a neighborhood clean up on Saturday, May 16th, from 8 AM – Noon in the 1600 block of West Barker.

The 35th Annual Moss Avenue Antique Sale & Festival  takes place on Saturday, June 13th from 8 a.m.- 3 p.m.  And we have our annual July 4th celebration planned for Saturday, July 4th, starting at noon on the grounds of the Pettengill-Morron Moron House.  Along with this celebration will be the children’s bike parade and the dedication of a new monument at Tri-Corn Park.

As a reminder, there are no membership meetings June – August. We will return to our meeting on Wednesday, September 2nd.  Our program that evening will include presentations from the Peoria Symphony Orchestra and Steve Fairbanks, Neighborhood Development Specialist, City of Peoria. Our membership meeting for October will include a presentation from Joe Dulin, Zoning and Code Enforcement with the City of Peoria. Joe will be talking about a number of items including renters and landlords – and answering questions – which I am certain we will have a number of.

Enjoy the summer!


Message from Councilman Chuck Grayeb

chuck-grayebSpring is here! Neighborhood associations are planting flowers and trees all over the West Bluff and Second District. I hope to see some of you at the Great American Cleanup Events this Saturday.

I will be delivering two Mayoral Proclamations at Dayspring Park this Saturday, to acknowledge all the work done there by volunteers and the Nolans.

Columbia Terrace North NA continues its great efforts. Bernadine Nolan deservedly won the Ted Bannon Brick Award!!!! 

Conrad Stinnett and Bernie Goitein are indefatigable in their quest to reorganize Calvin Coolidge and Whittier Schools into K8 schools. I believe they are getting a meaningful dialogue going on both sides of Western Street.

Signal optimizers are about to be installed to better move traffic throughout the West Bluff. Metrics will then be done again.

Uplands leaders and PW Staff are working with me to see if new water pipes for the 400 homes (there) can continue to be served by new pipes in reconstructed green alleys. This will require special permission from the IEPA.

Exciting new vibrancy continues with new business initiatives along the revitalized West Main Corridor, drawing attention in a recent Journal Star business article.

New suitors have stepped forward to acquire Washington School.

The Randolph/ Roanoke area needs extensive repair of their lights. Two new LED bulb colors are available. They will soon decide what hue they want.

Congratulations to Marilyn Trinder for earning the Mayor’s Award for her many years of service to the RR neighborhood and our entire community. I am pleased with progress occurring in the West Bluff. We have a District second to none!

As always, it is a pleasure to serve you!

Best, Chuck

MBRA Annual Dinner and Membership Meeting

The month of May is packed with countless special events…Mother’s Day, graduations, Memorial Day picnics, music recitals, year-end school activities, and, of course, the MBRA Annual Dinner and Membership Meeting!!

Please be sure to mark your calendars and join us for this special neighborhood tradition. In addition to fellowship with friends and neighbors, we’ll be treated to entertainment featuring a Peoria Jazz All-Stars Combo.

MBRA Annual Dinner & Membership Meeting

Wednesday, May 6, 2015 at 6:30 p.m.
Westminster Church Fellowship Hall

Please bring a side dish or dessert (to serve approximately 8) and your own plates and utensils. Meat and beverages will be provided.

MBRA Membership Dues

The Moss-Bradley Residential Association is a non-profit organization chartered in 1973 whose purpose is to maintain a desirable residential district and to preserve the architectural and historical heritage of our area.

Annual dues are $12 per year and are due by May 1st every year.

Please send your payment and the form to:

Moss-Bradley Residential Association
Sid Ruckriegel, Treasurer
1230 W. Moss Ave, Peoria IL 61606

2015 Membership

The Greenway Annual Fundraiser

We live in a neighborhood with a view! The river view, a walk down Moss Avenue and our beautiful streets, and a drive, or a walk, through the Greenway. The Western Avenue Greenway was conceived as beautiful view, a park to accent the neighborhood along Western Avenue. We mean to continue those efforts, to keep the Greenway green, and to grow the Greenway into a meaningful part of your community.

We rely on the support of neighbors and friends. Why? Many believe that we’re fully funded by the Park District, the City, the State, or from corporate grants. In fact you are our only source of funding. With your help, and volunteer efforts, the Greenway has grown into a wonderful addition to the West Bluff. With your continued support the Green-way provide the wonderful views that make our neighborhoods a great place to live.

We work hard to preserve, to maintain, and to grow the Greenway, to add value, color and stability to our neighborhoods for many years to come.

Help us keep the Greenway green. Won’t you stand up an support the Greenway, volunteer to join us in the gardens, and please be generous. Your membership, your contributions, and your efforts make where we live a greener, better, and beautiful place.

Join the Greenway today.

Please sent contributions to: The Western Avenue Greenway Project, C/O Peter Getz, 1306 w. Moss, Peoria, IL, 61606.

If you need any other information, or have any question, please contact Peter Getz at 309.472.7712, or

The Central Illinois Jazz Society May Concert

The Central Illinois Jazz Society

CIJS House Band at 6:00 p.m.

Carl Anderson and His New Orleans Jazz Band  at 7:15 p.m.

Sunday, May 17, 2015
The Starting Gate Banquet Room, located in Landmark Recreation Center
3225 N. Dries Lane, Peoria
(Parking is available in Landmark lot and across Dries Lane)

Carl Anderson and His New Orleans Jazz Band is a regular favorite for the Central Illinois area. Carl is joined by six other seasoned, traditional jazz musicians to bring back this truly original jazz style to our area. His group has performed all over the area, including appearances at the Decatur Jazz Festival / Juvae Jazz, Jimmy’s Bar and Grill, Tin Pan Alley Restaurant, Bernardi’s North, the Central Illinois Jazz Society and private parties. For more specifics, you can log onto their Web site at for their complete schedule and details. The group recently released their third CD, “Second Line”, which will be available at the program. Carl is also a founding member of the Central Illinois Jazz Orchestra, a big band that performs throughout the area.

Carl selected the very best players he could find for his traditional jazz group. The band members currently include musicians from Illinois and Iowa. The group includes Carl on trombone, Todd Kelly on trumpet, Craig Bullis on clarinet, Denny Schielein on piano and vocals, Jeremy Clark on drums, Jason Shea on string bass and tuba, and Lance Dieckow on banjo.

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.

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

The Central Illinois Jazz Society is a non-profit organization that is open to anyone who enjoys jazz. You do not have to be a musician to be a member or to attend our programs. Please consider joining the Central Illinois Jazz Society and supporting live jazz.  

Peoria Park District Summer Camps Registration is Open

Kick off the summer right with summer camp at the Peoria Park District! We have many camps all over the district that are sure to fit your needs for your child this summer. The Franciscan Recreation complex hosts Camp Zone and Camp Zone for “early learners”. Camp Zone is filled with games, water, magic, arts and fishing that your child will love.

Cost is $110 a week for Peoria residents, and $120 a week for non residents.

Register at the Noble Center in Lakeview Park and pick up a Day Camp flyer at any Peoria Park District facility.

Community Garden Announcement

Submitted by: Martha Willi

You are probably aware of the movement to create garden spots in the midst of the city, and the movement to grow fresh food locally.

There is a garden plot in the Western Avenue Greenway which has been in use for several years as a garden area.

In 2015 we are again offering plots for individual use. The plot size is roughly 10 feet by 12 feet.

The plots will be assigned on a first come, first served basis.

Depending on the number of people applying, there may be more than one plot available per family.

The garden is located in the Greenway segment between Laura and Bradley. The garden area is accessible from the alley and area for parking is available.

Come take a look.

Please call Martha  at 674.4500 for more information if you are interested.

Community Garden

Western Avenue Greenway Project

Western Ave Greenway Project

Tricorn Park Tribute Set for July 4th

by Mary Ann Armbruster

The Moss-Bradley Residential Association Fourth of July celebration will include a dedication of a new plaque in the Tricorn Park commemorating the installation of the Murray Baker flagpole forty years ago on July 4, 1975. The event marked the beginning of the neighborhood’s celebration of the USA Bicentennial year of 1976.

The plaque honors Eleanor Heinz-Dries and Shirley and John Patrick Hanley who gave Tricorn Park its name and facilitated the placement of the flagpole which is over 70 feet tall and was moved from the Eleanor’s backyard  at 1222 W. Moss to the park by the Hanleys’ steel fabricating  company, Lucas Steel.

The grassy triangle at the corners of Moss, Barker, and Duryea that became Tricorn Park has been a fixture of the Moss-Bradley neighborhood since the 1890’s. Over the years, many neighbors have helped to support and maintain the park. Norma and Ray Ellington and Carol Johnson were major  caretakers for more than two decades. In 1986, Norma and Ray supervised a fundraising project in which over 125 bricks were sold to neighbors, engraved with names and mottos, fired with the assistance of the Bradley University Art Department, and placed in the park. In 1991 the park was awarded a Peoria City Beautiful award.

In 2005, a major restoration project was spearheaded by Dr. Jim Adams and  realized through contributions of many neighbors and friends. A  re-dedication ceremony was held in November 2008. and a plaque placed to honor contributors. Since then, Dr. Adams has devoted many hours to maintenance of the park.

In addition to the engraved bricks in the parks, some other items of interest are the three corner limestone pillars from a residential property on Madison Avenue. They were donated by Judge Coney and moved by the Hanley family. Limestone benches in the park once graced homes in the neighborhood as thresholds. They were donated by Don Schue and the Livengood family.

The new plaque commemorating the placement of the Murray-Baker flagpole was first proposed by Mary Ann Middleton, a Moss Avenue neighbor who was a long-time champion of our historic neighborhood. She participated in the planning for the plaque up until her death in May, 2014.

The Moss-Bradley Residential Association invites all of our neighbors and friends to join us on July 4, 2015 to honor all of the residents who have contributed to the vigorous history of the Tri-Corn Park, and in particular Eleanor Heinz-Dries and Shirley and John Hanley.   

Sources for this article include The West Bluff Word, and brochures produced by Moss-Bradley Residential Association.

The May Review

by Bonnie Mason

Books-5-15I  became a huge fan of vinegar the night I inadvertently poured hot vinegar (can’t remember why I even had hot vinegar-already tried cold vinegar) in a porcelain sink that I had spent years trying to clean and voila a clean sink appeared!

So the book Vinegar: 100’s of Household Uses was of immediate interest. Written by Maria Constantino and Gina Steer this book is an impressive compilation of solutions to problems like water circles on dark wood furniture, ridding my brick sidewalk of weeds, antiperspirants – that often contain aluminum thought to cause dementia… I don’t “hate”  much , but I really don’t like chemicals in my house at all, ever The only problem with my resolve to get rid of chemicals is that they work… But evidently so does vinegar!

Published by Flame Tree Publishing, 2014, the book has found it’s way to the Bargain Dept. at $7.98.

I have reviewed the following book before, but a long time ago and I love this book. It is especially appropriate for Springtime – a perfect Springtime gift: Illinois Insects and Spiders, illustrated by Peggy MacNamera.

It is vital for several reasons not the least of which  is that all the illustrations are breathtakingly beautiful and detailed watercolors, 28 plates of them. The text is written by Field Museum curators and collection managers that identify the species and reveal their interesting behaviors and unique habitats.

The text “marries art and entomology in a unique introduction to the science of natural history.” It really must be seen to be appreciated. Published by the University of Chicago Press, 2005 (not much change in insects in the ensuing years), paperback, it sells for $16.00.

Deborah Ruddell, local author – you may remember her from Today at The Bluebird Cafe – has once again joined forces with Joan Rankin illustrator from the same, and created  an equally priceless book of poetry for children entitled The Popcorn Astronauts and Other Biteable Rhymes.

Whimsey! This book is the material definition of whimsey. Joan Rankin’s watercolor illustrations bring  Debby’s beyond clever and silly poetry to life. My favorite The Gingerbread House Makeover verse two: and picture now a healthy house admired from coast to coast, adorned with corn and carrot sticks and built of whole wheat toast… The book is precious, filled with fun.

The suggested age lists four to eight years, my thought is that anyone with a sense of delight will appreciate it! Published by Simon & Schuster, 2015, it sells for $17.99.

I just read a quote I shall hold in my heart forever: It is far better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring, which brought to mind my favorite line from Bob Hope’s Thanks for the Memories: “You often were a headache, but you never were a bore”. Amen.

I think of the truly unique people I know, how I love them all. Not one of them could be accused of being a bore -ever. Now that the weather is conducive to being outside Chauncey and I get to walk the neighborhood that I am delighted to say is full of them – Hooray!

Fly those flags, put the porch furniture back out. The Moss Avenue Sale can’t be far off! As always find good books & READ! Summer is on the way! God bless America… And you…