Presidents Message

This past June marked the 36th anniversary of the Moss Avenue Sale & Festival (MASF).  The neighborhood was filled with thousands of visitors who shopped from countless   vendors, snacked on fare from local favorites and listened to a wide variety of music that emanated from front yards and porches.

The sale has adapted to its audience and grown in size & revenue over the years in great part to the MASF committee under the leadership of Jan Krouse.  She tirelessly leads her committee and works directly with vendors to ensure a smooth running operation.  Thank you Jan!

This year’s sale was another success, with net earnings of approximately $9,500.

So what becomes of the revenue earned through the sale?

Originally intended to support the hanging of seasonal greens during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday, the program has evolved to support other neighborhood initiatives specific to maintaining and promoting a quality of life.  As a board, we believe it is vital for us as an organization to reinvest in our neighborhood to help maintain and preserve its historic nature.  As we prepare the annual budget in March, we solicit input from membership as to what programs they would like to see us undertake.  Once those programs are defined, we budget for them accordingly and do not make any real investment until after the revenue from the MASF has been realized.  Only then are investments made.

Projects in recent years have included placing decorative stop sign posts throughout the neighborhood, support for the Western Avenue Greenway, and a sizable investment in the Moss Bradley Revolving Fund.  We think you will agree that these initiatives and others in the future enhance the quality of life in our neighborhood and in Peoria generally.

Proceeds from the sale also support the regular activities of our Association, such as the annual display of holiday greens on neighborhood light poles, the neighborhood potluck and annual meeting, and the July 4th Celebration.

This year’s proceeds will allow us to support the infant care program at Westminster Church which allows young mothers to complete their education, the preservation efforts at the Hale Memorial Church on High Street at Main, and a new MBRA tree program that reimburses neighborhood residents for planting trees along the streets within the MBRA boundaries.  Details for this program can be found here.

On behalf of the Moss Bradley Residential Association I wish to thank all of you for your continued support of our neighborhood through your cooperation with the annual Moss Avenue Sale and Festival – especially those of you who provide your front yard for the vendors.  The availability of yards to accommodate dealers is the most important factor in the Sale’s recent success.  Without more space the Sale and the benefits it brings will be unable to grow.  The Sale is likewise dependent on dozens of volunteers who help plan the event, monitor street barricades to restrict traffic during the Sale, erect No Parking signs, and contribute in many other ways.  Many of your neighbors contribute their time and energy to the Sale.

Thank you to everyone for making this one of Peoria’s premiere Summer events and showcases our neighborhood to thousands of people.



MBRA Tree Replacement Program

The Moss Bradley Residential Association Board of Directors is pleased to announce the launching of a Tree Replacement Program.  This program is designed to replace street-facing trees that are diseased have been damaged by storms or removed by city crews due to disease.  This program is intended to continue the beautification of our entire neighborhood.

Guidelines are as follows:

  • Property owners who plant trees in the parkways or in an equivalent front yard space adjacent to and inside the sidewalk will be reimbursed for part of the cost of the planting.  MBRA members can be reimbursed up to ¾ the cost, non-members up to ½ the cost, with a maximum reimbursement of $375 per tree and 2 trees per property.
  • Owners may be reimbursed for both the cost of the tree and installation costs if done by landscaper/nursery personnel.
  • Trees should be selected from the list below.
  • In selecting a tree, check the mature height and width of the tree to ensure it properly fits the planting area.  Be aware of power lines, street lights, sidewalk, street site lines and the potential for a mature tree to impact these items.
  • Installations on all streets within the Moss Bradley neighborhood boundaries are eligible for reimbursement.
  • Property owners who choose to install trees are responsible for contacting utility locating services to make certain the proposed locations will not put underground utility services at risk.  To do so, please call JULIE at 800.892.0123.
  • Property owners who choose to install trees should educate themselves on proper planting methods including staking the tree for only one year, soil amendments, mulching, watering frequency and general maintenance including pruning.  Resources for planting and care of your trees can be found at any local nursery or online.
  • This program will be in place during the fall planting season of 2016, until available funds are exhausted. Trees can be planted until the ground freezes solid.  Owners considering installing trees and seeking  reimbursement should contact MBRA Treasurer, Sid Ruckriegel, at 309.303.0083 or to check availability of funds and to indicate an intent to plant trees.  Owners will be informed if the number of planned installations may exceed the funds available in 2016.
  • Owners who install trees should recognize the importance of watering their new trees for at least the first year after planting.
  • Owners seeking reimbursement should send a copy of the paid invoice to MBRA Treasurer, Sid Ruckriegel at 1230 W. Moss Ave, Peoria, IL 61606.

Recommended trees:

  • Hedge Maple
  • Autumn Blaze Maple
  • Norway Maple
  • Bald Cypress
  • ‘Fastigiata’ European Hornbeam
  • Common Hackberry
  • Ginkgo
  • Thornless Honeylocust
  • Bur Oak
  •  Red Oak
  • Lacebark Elm
  • Japanese Zelkova










Councilman Chuck Grayeb

chuck-grayebGreetings!  Hope you have had a wonderful summer as we begin the inevitable march toward the Fall and back to school time.

Road projects continue in our neighborhoods all over District Two, and, by 2017, over 20 million dollars will have been spent rebuilding our infrastructure in District Two, the heart of our City. Additional interventions are occurring on Moss and traffic circles are being built in the Cottage District.

Bradley University will soon commence a ninety million dollar project on West Main, thereby converging the Schools of Business and Engineering under one roof. This will mean many jobs for our people and place Bradley in a superior position to attract the best and brightest students from all across the globe.

We will carefully monitor our one – way Fredonia street pattern and hope it is a win-win for the neighborhoods and the Whittier schoolchildren.

I am also very excited about the new Douglas A. MacArthur Bridge Project commencing in 2018. I am visualizing  ornamental walls, retained finials, and more attractive light fixtures, making it a wonderful and attractive gateway to both Districts 1 and 2.

For the most part, it has been a routine and safe summer with minimal public safety issues. As all of you know, I will always place the funding of public safety as the highest priority for our City. We will soon have yet another 2nd Second District Resident Officer at 220 W. Republic. Thank you Andrew Rand and AMT for making it happen! At the Bannon House, home of yet another Second District Resident Officer, Adrian Aguilar, we have had a great upgrade to the home, which now has a fresh paint job.

I hope to soon see repaired red brick streets in the Armstrong-Ellis and Randolph/ Roanoke neighborhoods where we have succeeded in ousting slumlords and are now seeing significant new investment.

You will be seeing many changes coming to Main and Sheridan to enhance pedestrian connectivity along the vibrant and surging West Main Entertainment and Shopping Corridor.

Would we really want to live anywhere else? District Two is on the move and we will continue to make our area the best place to live in our City.  Moss/ Bradley is already an award winning neighborhood! We are yet to reach the pinnacle but we are continuing the climb.

Thank you, Councilors Jensen and Ruckriegel, for being great leaders and helping me as I strive to provide the highest level of  service for our constituents.

Best wishes, Chuck


Moss Bradley Residential Association Annual Awards

At the Annual Membership Meeting and Potluck Dinner held in May, MBRA members

recognized individuals who have or are making a difference in our neighborhood through their time commitment or improvement of their property.  Two awards were established to recognize such individuals: Volunteer of the Year and MBRA Beautification Award.

The Volunteer of the Year Award was established to recognize an individual for their record of involvement not only within Moss Bradley but also for community involvement which serves the interests of the neighborhood.

The Awards Committee was pleased to announce the 2015 recipient of the Volunteer of the Year Award was Paul Masick.


The MRA Beautification Award was established to recognize homeowners that have made exterior improvements  or have maintained their property in a manner that has enhanced the appearance of the property and of the surrounding neighborhood.

The Awards Committee was pleased to announce the 2015 recipients of the MBRA Beautification Award was Andrew and Mary Muir.

Congratulations to all three recipients as they are truly deserving of these recognition’s.


Peoria Symphony Orchestra Season Preview

Untitled-1Welcome to the 119th season of the Peoria Symphony Orchestra – the fourteenth oldest symphony orchestra in the United States. We are proud of our musical heritage and the diverse mix of music we have been providing to symphony lovers in Peoria and all throughout central Illinois.

Ramsey Lewis Quartet and the PSO, Saturday September 17

The PSO‘s 119th season opener brings together the legendary three-time Grammy Award winning pianist Ramsey Lewis, the Ramsey Lewis Jazz Quartet, and the PSO for an evening of jazz, featuring his Concerto for Jazz Trio and Orchestra.  Chicagoan Lewis has released over 80 recordings and is the artistic director of Jazz at Ravinia Festival. With a Midas touch in reaching a wide audience and a career spanning decades he continues to inspire millions with his music.

Prodigies Saturday, October 22

In a program featuring the music of three famous prodigies, Mendelssohn, Mozart, and Beethoven, the PSO also welcomes piano prodigy Harmony Zhu for her debut with the Peoria Symphony Orchestra.

Russian Masters Saturday, November 19

The PSO continues its Great Cities Series with music from Moscow in Russian Masters. The program includes Glinka’s Ruslan and Ludmilla Overture, Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No. 1, and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4.

Gershwin Matinee Sunday, January 22

Bring the whole family for a visit to 1920s America! The PSO and Classical Kids Live present an energetic musical revue of the life and music of George Gershwin, followed by two of his most beloved works, Rhapsody in Blue and An American in Paris .

Romance Saturday February 11

Two-time Grammy Award winner, Broadway and opera vocalist, Sylvia McNair, teams up with renowned pianist Kevin Cole. They join the PSO for music from the American Songbook, including Gershwin, Porter, Bernstein, and  Sondheim.

Nights in the Gardens of Spain Saturday, March 11

The rich, romantic music of Spain, beckons you. Experience the passion as acclaimed pianist, Jorge Federico Osorio returns to the PSO in triumph.

Heroic Spirit  Saturday, April 28

This program features two of the greatest works of musical history – Johannes Brahms’ soaring Violin Concerto and Ludwig van Beethoven’s passionate, monumental Symphony No. 3. The thrilling violin virtuoso, Arnaud Sussmann makes his PSO debut in the Brahms.

Jubilation!  Saturday, June 3

A Baroque celebration! Bach, Handel, and Vivaldi bring joy through their inspiring, bright music! Join us in celebrating the kick off to our 120th Anniversary season.

For tickets or more information, please visit

Jazz Vespers at Westminster Church


With the coming of the fall season, Westminster Church, 1420 W. Moss Avenue, looks forward to the return of the weekly Jazz Vesper service.  Although we kept the service alive during July and August with a service on the patio once each month, we look forward the weekly schedule and the comfort of the Sanctuary for the fall season.

We meet at four in the afternoon each Sunday beginning on September 11, 2016.  The service is Vespers … the ancient worship hour of the late afternoon where prayers were said, and scripture contemplated in the beauty of a glorious worship space.  So we continue this wonderful tradition dating from the middle ages, only updated with some wonderful jazz.  Hymns, original compositions and jazz standards all come into play as part of our worship together.  David Hoffman and his outstanding quartet ‘raise the roof’ in praise and thanksgiving.

The format remains basically the same as last season with a forty minute window for the service.  We will sing hymns and spiritual songs … read from the Word … hear a short homily and hear a lot of wonderful music!  This season we will be following a narrative lectionary which highlights all the great stories of the Bible.  We will build our worship around those stories and their impact on our lives today.  Although we are Presbyterian by affiliation, everyone is welcome at this service, and it is particularly designed so as to be inclusive without being shallow.  Those who already have a deep faith will be moved, and those who seek to enrich their spiritual life, but don’t know quite what to do … we are here to accompany and encourage you on your journey.

It has been remarkable to watch this service evolve into an integral part of the worship life at Westminster. Sunday afternoons seem a bit empty without this upbeat ending of the day. So be with us as we begin for the fall season on Sunday, September 11 at four.  Virtually everyone receiving this Moss-Bradley Newsletter is in easy walking distance of Westminster.  Take a nice Sunday afternoon walk and drop in on our service.  You will be glad you did … particularly if you like jazz at all!

The Splendor of Autumn


Every autumn we revel in the beauty of the fall colors. The mixture of red, purple, orange and yellow is the result of chemical processes that take place in the tree as the seasons change from summer to winter.

During the spring and summer the leaves ­­have served as factories where most of the foods necessary for the tree’s growth are manufactured. This food-making process takes place in the leaf in numerous cells containing chlorophyll, which gives the leaf its green color. This extraordinary chemical absorbs from sunlight the energy that is used in transforming carbon dioxide and water to carbohydrates, such as sugars and starch.

Along with the green pigment are yellow to orange pigments, carotenes and xanthophyll pigments which, for example, give the orange color to a carrot. Most of the year these colors are masked by great amounts of green coloring.

But in the fall, because of changes in the length of daylight and changes in temperature, the leaves stop their food-making process. The chlorophyll breaks down, the green color disappears, and the yellow to orange colors become visible and give the leaves part of their fall splendor.

At the same time other chemical changes may occur, which form additional colors through the development of red anthocyanin pigments. Some mixtures give rise to the reddish and purplish fall colors of trees such as dogwoods and sumacs, while others give the sugar maple its brilliant orange.

The autumn foliage of some trees show only yellow colors. Others, like many oaks, display mostly browns. All these colors are due to the mixing of varying amounts of the chlorophyll residue and other pigments in the leaf during the fall season.

As the fall colors appear, other changes are taking place. At the point where the stem of the leaf is attached to the tree, a special layer of cells develops and gradually severs the tissues that support the leaf. At the same time, the tree seals the cut, so that when the leaf is finally blown off by the wind or falls from its own weight, it leaves behind a leaf scar.

Most of the broad-leaved trees in the North shed their leaves in the fall. However, the dead brown leaves of the oaks and a few other species may stay on the tree until growth starts again in the spring. In the South, where the winters are mild, some of the broad-leaved trees are evergreen; that is, the leaves stay on the trees during winter and keep their green color.

Temperature, light, and water supply have an influence on the degree and the duration of fall color. Low temperatures above freezing will favor anthocyanin formation producing bright reds in maples. However, early frost will weaken the brilliant red color. Rainy and/or overcast days tend to increase the intensity of fall colors. The best time to enjoy the autumn color would be on a clear, dry, and cool (not freezing) day.