President’s Message

What Goes Around, Comes Around.

I was recently reflecting back on a “Thru the Windshield” Marge Klise wrote in 2015 and noted a number of items that have particular relevance today.

In her musings, her first statement, “We have lost many of our beautiful large trees in the last few years,” is appropriate as MBRA continues to promote our tree replacement program which was instituted in 2016.  If you are in need of replacing a tree, you can still take advantage of the program.  Details can be found here.

Marge went on to state, “Have you noticed the presence of new young families? Children out playing? We need your fresh ideas….and your strong bodies.”

Yes, yes and yes! We continue to attract young people, who find the entire Moss Bradley area to be a wonderful place to raise a family and live a rich, full life.  Her final statement in that phrase is key…”we need your fresh ideas.”

As the neighborhood continues to evolve we need to have the input of our newest neighbors and encourage you to actively participate by becoming a member, if you are not one already, having a voice at our membership meetings, and being an active participant with events and activities.

One of her final observations was about the lot at Union Hill and Moss and having it progress into an inviting entrance to our neighborhood.

If you attend the special membership meeting on Sunday, August 20th, you will hear of plans by a residential contractor to develop the property at Union Hill and Moss with historically appropriate townhomes.  More details are certain to follow in the coming weeks and we will work to communicate with all of you as the plans go before the Historic Preservation Commission and the city of Peoria  We will share email information and make it an agenda item at our September Membership meeting on Wednesday, September 6th.

Marge was a wise, insightful person, who obviously was clairvoyant.

What Goes Around, Comes Around.


Councilman Chuck Grayeb

I hope all of you are having a wonderful summer. Much is happening.

It looks like there is bipartisan support to reject any attempt to close the Science Research Lab on North University. This is great news as this lab helps contribute 100 million dollars per year to our local economy. The Bradley University Convergence Center work is ongoing. This is a four year, 100 million dollar investment in District Two by one of our top employers. Much development continues on West Main.

As I write this, we have high hopes that the Central Illinois Ballet will occupy the Foster/Jacob Building with anywhere from 60 to 100 students, six days a week. The Renaissance Park Association continues to do great work along West Main, with the flowers and colored pots their latest initiative.

Much work will be coming to West Main as we work hard to ink a CSO agreement with the EPA.

Other business expansion on West Main is in the planning stage. Prodigious efforts continue with the Western Avenue Greenway and it is looking good! All in all, things are looking great in the Moss/ Bradley area. The gas station at Main and Sheridan is now associated with the Mobil Oil Consortium and looks better. The Monster Pawn folks exceeded their authority, as of this writing, and I have asked Staff to continue to review what rights and permissions we as a City have as it pertains to this project in the West Main Form Based District.

Lock your cars up. There has been an epidemic of car crimes, City-wide.

On a positive note, the congregants of the Buddhist Temple have done fabulous interior work and would like any of us to visit and meditate.

I wish all of you the best and I am privileged to be your Councilman.


Best to all!


MBRA Tree Replacement Program

The Moss Bradley Residential Association Board of Directors is pleased to announce the continuation of the 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.
  • 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 by dialing 811.
  • 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 2017, 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 email him at 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 2017.
  • 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.



What I Did On My Summer Vacation

by Mary Ann Armbruster

A friend offered a suggestion almost a year ago – England in August.  “Quilts and Treasures of England.”  What? I can hardly thread a needle to sew on a button…but wait,I don’t have to be a quilter and I don’t need to sew…I can just go and instead of the grand finale at the Birmingham Quilt Show, I can go see Pre-Raphaelites and The Staffordshire Hoard at the Birmingham Museum of Art!  I can hang out with my good (quilter) friend, Melissa and visit Stratford Upon Avon, Cambridge, Bletchly Park.   OK, sign me up.

We’re met at Birmingham airport by the Treasures group leader, Martha, and 21 other “mature” women, along with Collie, Martha’s husband, and Darren, the Coach driver – two very daring and patient men.

The group is excited to be in England, land steeped in history, art, music, architecture.  So, first things first (after the restrooms): Cadbury’s Chocolate World.  Well, ok, mildly excited about hundreds of variations on chocolate bars, including hats, teapots, animals, and any other thing you can think of, made of chocolate.

On to Stratford Upon Avon, and the beginning of ten days featuring a grand tour of English homes through the ages, plus two cathedrals, the University of Cambridge, and Bletchley Park, interspersed with rolling hills, charming villages, lots of sheep and cows, wining and dining  in tea rooms and pubs and including a canal boat dinner cruise and a lavish meeting of The Pudding Club.

The homes ranged from the relatively humble Shakespeare’s birthplace and the cottage of his wife, Anne Hathaway, to Blenheim Palace, home of the Duke of Marlborough and birthplace of Winston Churchill.  In between some cozier ones were the charming Hemington Grey Manor, home of children’s author, and quilter, Lucy Boston.  Her daughter-in-law still lives there and gives tours and manages the garden.  Another impressive cottage was Sulgrave Manor, ancestral home of George Washington built by our first President’s “5 times” Great grandfather who became wealthy in the wool business and put his home in the midst of fields of sheep.

Oxburgh Hall is a 16th century moated manor out in the middle of nowhere, filled with paintings and books, and includes  a “priests hole” a very secluded hiding place for the persecuted Catholic clergy during the reign of Elizabeth I.

Two celebrations of the Pre-Raphealites and the Arts and Crafts movement are the Wightwich Manor and the William Morris childhood home at Waltenstowe which now offers an impressive exhibit of the work of Morris and his company.  Wightwich is the Tudor style  home of Theodore Mander, a partner in a successful family business making varnish and paint, who built it in the late 19th century for his second wife, Flora, and is full of furnishings, art and decorative elements from the Arts and Crafts movement.

Our three hour walking tour of Cambridge University was undeterred by a few morning showers.  We toured the beautiful Queens’ College dining hall, resplendent with William Morris tiles and stained glass windows and tables set for a wedding reception with bouquets of white roses.  We ambled about Trinity College, famous for Henry VIII and Stephen Hawking,  the Walnut Court, the mathematical bridge, watched students and tourists punting on the Cam, and in the town visited the oldest church, St. Benet’s with its 1000 year old tower, and the Eagle Pub where the discoverers of DNA, Crick and Watson took nourishment daily, and where RAF and American flyers during WWII covered the ceiling with drawings and signatures, now historically “listed”, preserved by the British.

Our tour included another World War II site, Bletchley Park, the setting of the movie The Imitation Game about Alan Turing and hundreds of  code breakers who worked in secret to decipher German war codes.  The quiet village and countryside surroundings belie the intense work that was done in the huts of the Park.  Alan Turing’s office and the Bombe machine are impressive reminders of the work done there.

Equally inspiring and impressive is the 20th century Coventry cathedral built among the ruins of the bombed out shell of the old cathedral destroyed by a German bombing raid in WWII.  Our second cathedral tour was the ancient Ely Cathedral with the Octagon, a miracle of medieval engineering replacing a tower which fell in 1322.  It’s on the site of the monastery founded here in 673 AD by St. Etheldreda and a blend of old architecture and modern sculpture.  The Lady Chapel remains unrepaired after the damage done during the reign of Henry VIII when statues were removed, and figures in the alcoves beheaded.

Our tour ended in Birmingham where the huge

exhibition hall housed the Festival of Quilts.  Even a

non-quilter could admire the beautiful work done in a huge variety of styles, colors and sizes.  After a visit to the quilts which are so much more than just bed covers, I joined friends from the tour and took advantage of the very modern railroad transportation to go into the city of Birmingham and take a “Big Brum Open Top Buz” sightseeing tour, and of course, a visit to the Museum of Art and it’s amazing collection of Pre-Raphaelite paintings and the exhibit of the Staffordshire Hoard, the largest collection of Anglo-Saxon gold and silver ever discovered, found in 2009 in a field near the village of Hammerwich.


Fortunately, our trip,  involving 12 hours of flights from Birmingham to Amsterdam to Detroit and back home to Peoria, went smoothly, with good weather and plenty of in-flight distractions including snacks and movies. To quote our tour leader, Martha, “We will carry home with us memories of shared experiences, new knowledge and warm friendships, all stitched together like a quilt of many colors and textures.”


Peoria Symphony Orchestra 120th Season

The Peoria Symphony Orchestra’s 120th Anniversary season begins Saturday, September 23, 2017, at 7:30 pm in the Peoria Civic Center Theater with Reflections.  The concert features Bernstein’s Candide Overture, Brahms amazing Piano Concerto No. 1. 2017 and ends with Mussorgsky’s masterpiece Pictures at an Exhibition featuring projected images of the original artwork that inspired the music.

A first for Peoria!  Join us Saturday, October 21, 2017 at 7:30 pm in the Peoria Civic Center Theater and experience the original musical film LA LA LAND in Concert like never before. The audience will  see the complete film with the score performed live by the PSO.

On Saturday, November 18, 2017 at 7:30 pm at Grace Presbyterian Church, the PSO features Serenade for Strings, featuring Tchaikovsky’s famous and beloved Serenade for Strings. Pianist Orion Weiss returns to Peoria to perform Ernest Bloch’s hauntingly beautiful Concerto Grosso No. 1.

Winter Dreams is the title of the program on Saturday, December 16, 2017 at 7:30 pm in Riverside Community Church. PSO Concertmaster Marcia Henry Liebenow performs Winter from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Tchaikovsky’s rousing Symphony No.1 “Winter Dreams” opens the program followed by works fromMozart, Haydn, Vaughan-Williams, and more.

On Sunday, January 14, 2018 at 3 pm in the Peoria Civic Center Theater the popular innovative ensemble Time For Three performs with the PSO in a special matinee concert.  This groundbreaking, category shattering trio transcends traditional classification, blending classical, gypsy and jazz idioms in “mash-ups” that ingeniously combine Beethoven, Mozart, and Mahler with the Beatles, Lady Gaga, and others. “

Make a night of it with romance from around the world and two Peoria favorites! Join the PSO on Saturday, February 11, 2018 at 7:30 pm in the Peoria Civic Center Theater for our annual Romance concert. The popular local band, The BraziLionaires, enflame your passions with Latin rhythm in their symphony debut. After the concert, and back by popular demand, the Jim Markum Swing Band will perform in the lobby as we enjoy drinks and dancing at the Post-Concert Party!

On Saturday, March 10, 2018 at 7:30 pm at Grace Presbyterian Church the PSO presents American Classics. Three pieces by Barber; Adagio for Strings, Capricorn Concerto, and Knoxville, Summer of 1915 will be performed.

The Eternal City comes to Peoria as the PSO continues its Great Cities Series with Great Cities: Rome on  Saturday, April 28, 2018 at 7:30 pm in the Peoria Civic Center Theater. Rome comes alive in three masterpieces: Mendelssohn’s vivacious Symphony No.4 “Italian;”Martucci’s gorgeous The Song of Memories (La canzone dei ricodi) and Respigi’s inspiring The Pines of Rome brings the 120th season to a triumphant finish.

Individual and season tickets are available online at


Stop Speeding In Your Neighborhood

By HRG Engineering & Related Services


Municipal officials frequently get calls from their residents about speeding on local streets. People are worried that they or their children might get hit by a car, or a dangerous vehicle collision could occur. These are valid concerns that need to be addressed. Unfortunately, many residents think stop signs are the way to fix the problem, and they pressure their officials to post them on their street.

But stop signs do not reduce vehicle speeds. They are meant to indicate who has the right-of-way when traffic is coming from different directions, and state DOTs require municipalities to conduct a stop sign warrant analysis to make sure the intersection meets the conditions necessary to require a complete stop. If a municipality installs a stop sign where it is not warranted, it can present liability concerns, and studies indicate that stop signs are not effective for reducing speed anyway.

Drivers respond more to roadway conditions than signage – especially if they feel that signage is in conflict with those conditions. In study after study, drivers who come to a stop-controlled intersection with no other traffic in the area frequently roll through the sign, slowing down for a few seconds rather than coming to a complete stop. Then they often speed up more aggressively after moving through the intersection to make up for lost time.

A study conducted in Michigan by Richard Beaubien and published by the Institute of Transportation Engineers showed that placing stop signs along a roadway increased driver speeds, rather than decreasing them, and studies in Boulder, Colorado, and California have had similar results.

Lowering the speed limit below typical roadway safety standards is also ineffective because most drivers travel at a speed they deem typical for the roadway conditions, rather than constantly checking their speedometer against speed limit signs.

So what can you do to stop speeding on your local roads?
Institute a neighborhood traffic calming program that emphasizes community involvement and combines education and enforcement with engineering techniques such as speed humps.

Educate residents with a community awareness campaign
Studies and enforcement data history indicate that the majority of speeding on local roads is done by drivers who live in those neighborhoods, so a community education campaign that includes articles in the municipal newsletter or posters at community gathering places (such as schools, libraries, and recreation centers) can be very effective at increasing awareness and reducing speeds. Articles in the local newspaper or community magazine can also be helpful if the problem is significant enough to warrant it, and yard signs reminding people to slow down reinforce the point.

Back it up with enhanced enforcement
When educating the public about a speeding problem in your neighborhood, it’s important to tell them why you want to reduce speeds (including information on any crashes that may have occurred or the compromised safety of pedestrians). It’s also important to connect your education effort with enhanced enforcement by police and let people know that tickets will be issued. Education by itself will not deter speeders for long; the threat of fines is necessary to reduce speeding over the long haul.

Control speed with engineering devices, as needed
While education and enforcement can help reduce excessive speed in most situations, sometimes drivers need an extra nudge or reminder to slow down. A traffic engineer can help you install measures that will encourage or even force drivers to slow down such as speed humps, rumble strips, traffic islands, road narrowing, and pavement markings.

A comprehensive traffic calming program like this that combines education, enforcement, and engineering design can be very successful at eliminating speeding on local roads, but governing requires the consent of the governed. Therefore, the effectiveness of a traffic calming program depends most of all on how invested the community is in making it work. This makes community involvement from the earliest stages very important.

Many communities find it helpful to create a committee of residents to address traffic concerns in the neighborhood. The committee can provide information on speeding and other traffic issues and work with the municipal officials, their retained engineer, and police to devise a strategy to address them. All final decisions are made by municipal officials, but the committee plays a significant role in advising them and helping to determine a solution.

Working as a team, municipal officials, law enforcement, and residents can make roadways safer for the entire community.

Westminster Presbyterian Church

Gathering at the Well: Our Stewardship of the World’s Water, Fellowship Hall, Saturday, September 30 from 10:00 AM – 1:30 PM 

Westminster will host a seminar on issues surrounding this most critical natural resource. Two speakers will address water issues at both the local and global level. Scott Reeise, chief engineer for the city of Peoria, will address local concerns. Dr. Yunus Salami, an engineering professor at Bradley University and head of the local chapter of “Engineers Without Borders” will address global water issues. After each presentation, there will be question and answer period. There will be a 45-minute lunch break between the two speakers for lunch catered by Avanti’s. The seminar is free, but donations will be accepted to help with the cost of the lunch. To register, call the church office (309-673-8501) or sign up online at

Two Piano Jazz, Sunday, September 10, Sunday , 4 PM

The 2017 – 2018 season of the Gretchen R. Iben Arts Series at Westminster Church will kick off with a concert of great Jazz for Two Pianos.  Derel Monteith of the Derel Monteith Trio will preside at one piano, and John Campbell, now resident in Bloomington, but the world famous as a professional jazz pianist will preside at the other piano.  The exciting sound of two pianos is always a treat, and jazz in this form is most particularly attractive.  Derel and John will be joined by well-known Central Illinois artists including Jason Bannon on drums, Andy Crawford on bass, as well as Larry Harms on reeds and the nationally known trumpeter, David Hoffman rounding out the group.  But the focus will definitely be on the two pianists and their keyboard wizardry, bringing us traditional jazz tunes, popular music and a few standards all to delight the listener.

This concert is a prelude to Westminster’s Jazz Vesper Services which start up again for this season on Sunday afternoon, September 17 at four.  Each week David Hoffman and his friends from the Central Illinois Jazz Community bring first-class jazz as a worthy offering of music before God.  Some congregational songs are included as well as prayers, scripture and a short homily by Pastor Denise Clark-Jones.  The roots of jazz are deeply embedded in the church, and in this service, we return this great American art form to the place where it started.  Come and join us … both for the concert on September 10 and also for the Jazz Vespers which will run throughout the academic year.

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 have been 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 2016/17 recipients of the Volunteer of the Year Award were Ed Tarbuck and Joann Bannon.

The MBRA 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 2016/17 recipient of the MBRA Beautification Award was Wayne Johnson.

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