The President’s Message

Jan 2015Happy New Year!  I hope your holidays were filled with friends, family and wonderful memories.

As we settle into 2015 and look forward to the coming year, we have a number of projects that await us. One of the pressing issues that is present is the disposition of the Washington School. As noted in a December email as well as in this issue, the Montessori Children’s Home of Peoria withdrew their offer for the purchase of the building. I believe the sentiment of our membership is disappointment that this didn’t work out as a school is a logical choice for use of the building and adds so much to the purpose of our neighborhood. We will work closely with Councilman Grayeb, Councilwoman Jensen and city staff to finding a suitable owner for the building.

One of our other projects will begin this spring. As you may have noted over the past few years, the neighborhood, particularly along Moss Avenue, has seen the installation of period-specific stop sign posts.  The installation of these posts, which has been funded through the proceeds of the Moss Avenue Antique Sale & Festival, have added to the overall appeal of the neighborhood. Our plans for 2015 include requesting some additional stops signs deeper into the neighborhood along W. Ayres, W. Callendar, W. Barker, and along W. Windom in the Cottage District.  Along with that, we are designating the area bounded by Moss, Western, Barker and Institute to have the current industrial stop sign poles replaced with period-specific poles similar to those along Moss Avenue.  All of this is contingent upon city approval.

I wish all of you a prosperous New Year!

Brian Buralli

Washington School Update

Washington School Update from Chris Setti, Assistant City Manager, Peoria

In July, the City Council approved the sale of District 150 property on Moss Avenue to the Montessori Children’s Home of Peoria. Since then, Montessori has been working with their staff, a design professional and contractors to understand the physical improvements needed to make the property their new home. Unfortunately, their Board has determined that they cannot afford the budget that would be required. While City staff tried to work to identify potential grant opportunities, the gap was too wide. On December 15, 2014, Montessori officially withdrew their offer. We have been in contact with District 150 which is still amendable to our arrangement to market the property. We will be bringing a revised Intergovernmental Agreement to the City Council for approval on January 13, 2015.

Message from Councilman Chuck Grayeb

chuck-grayebI feel that Peoria is on the verge of renewed economic vitality. I look forward to a Caterpillar announcement and the many construction projects underway in 2015. Overall, I believe the Second District is better than it was a year ago. I will not rest until every single slumlord is punished and held accountable. Demolition by neglect is unacceptable and antithetical to the continued health and well being of our heritage and historic neighborhoods. I reject the notion that repopulating our trees is a frill. I look forward to new trees being planted to replace the unsafe and diseased trees. We appropriated money to achieve that goal during our last Council Meeting of 2014. As Don Luebbe, one of our great leaders has pointed out, trees are a draw for many to our neighborhoods, and add character, and serve to clean our air. I have requested that the stop sign be removed at the top of Union Street hill and I thank Dr. Lorenz for his work on this. A better approach will be used. I look forward to unveiling some potential strategies to further calm the MBRA area and will bring the engineers to our January Meeting.

When you read this, the fate of Montessori may well have been decided. Many have worked with the leadership at Montessori to help deliver financing and flesh out grant opportunities. At the end of the day, if it does not happen, we still have Principal John Meredith Cox, Kate, and a new baby, living in our area,  as active members of MBRA. As the year winds down, I find the City experiencing a cascade of violence and shootings, for an otherwise better year than 2013. We are using our listening posts to see if there is a common thread to many of these incidents.

I am thankful for the privilege to serve and wish to thank the Adams’ for hosting such an outstanding holiday party. I want to acknowledge the strong partnership and assistance Councilmember Beth Jensen has brought to our collective endeavors. We work as a team!  I wish all of you a Happy Holiday Season and pray for all of you, your families,  and those you love. We know that our friends on the BU Hilltop continue to make things better. On behalf of the Mayor, City Staff, and the City Council, best wishes for a great 2015!

St. Mark’s School and Bradley University: A Winning Combination

St. Mark’s School and Bradley University: A Winning Combination

St. Mark’s School and Bradley University continue to grow their relationship with several partnerships over the past months. Our school was the primary community clinical site for the Bradley nursing program. Nursing students provided health care to students and staff. They also held a Pediatric Health and Safety Fair with 17 interactive booths.

Staff development, an important theme at St. Mark’s, was furthered by a 6-week Assertive Discipline training taught by Dr. Jana Hunzicker and Jane Cushing from Bradley. This inservice focused on the importance of structure, consistency, and building relationships with students and their families. Teachers were able to share classroom situations and receive ideas about how to improve the learning environment.

Bradley hosted the St. Mark’s Literacy Fiesta at Westlake Hall. Students rotated through educational and fun stations working collaboratively with Bradley education students.

Come Have a Super Time at Souper Trivia!

St. Mark’s will hold our annual competition of wits, Souper Trivia, on Friday, January 16. Come by the school and enjoy soup, snacks, and adult beverages as we have a fun time answering questions from a host of interesting categories. We’ll form teams that night, or bring a team of people and give it your best to win the coveted Souper Trivia Championship Trophy. Doors will open at 5:30 pm.

Beth Jensen named as a 2104 Women of Influence

InterBusiness Issues recently announced the 2014 class of Women of Influence. Moss Bradley resident Beth Jensen was named as one of the women who is building the “future of our community, advocating for the underserved, preparing the next generation of workers, and guiding their organizations through rapidly changing times. Their spheres of influence vary with their life stories and career paths, but all are making a significant impact in central Illinois.”

Congratulations to Beth on this prestigious and well-deserved recognition!Beth Jensen

“Everyone has their own side and truth – if you understand that and listen, you can understand where the other person is coming from and use that to find common ground.”

The Central Illinois Jazz Society

Submitted by: Dick Marsho, President

The Central Illinois Jazz Society
Serving Central Illinois Since 1978

Illinois Central Jazz Train at 6:00 p.m.

Kevin Hart and the Vibe Tribe with Special Guest Jonny Beckett at 7:15 p.m.

Sunday, January 25, 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)

Kevin Hart and the Vibe Tribe had an exciting summer of performances throughout the region, including Music Under the Stars at Miller Park, Sounds of the Connie J. Link Amphitheater Concert Series, Medici Craft, Beer, & Jazz Street Fair, Peoria RiverFront CEFCU Center Stage Jazz Series, Lock Stock & Barrel, and An Evening of Jazz with a Side of Bacon and Kegs. For this CIJS performance, Kevin on vibes will be joined by Adam Wilhelm on piano, Mikel Combs on bass, Tom Marko on drums, and special guest Jonny Beckett on saxophone.

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

Upcoming Events: February 15 & Marc 15