Miller Message february 2015 news from around the miller beach community Strip club on Rt 20 rejected When Panicos Kaloghirou and Mike Scandura purchased the former Pandora’s property on Rt. 20 near the toll road interchange and applied for a permit to again operate a strip club there, they aroused a great deal of comment, mostly negative, in the Miller community. Despite the wide-spread opposition to the proposal, only a handful of people actually attended the January 6 meeting of the Gary Common Council to display their disapproval. George Rogge, as President of the Miller Business Association, and Eric Reaves, President of the Miller Citizens Corp., spoke in opposition to the strip club because it was in conflict with the broader plan to develop this area as a family-oriented tourist destination. Councilwoman Mildred Shannon and Mayor Freeman-Wilson also spoke against the proposal, which the city council unanimously rejected. (MBA), has arranged for a debate by candidates for the First District seat on the Gary City Council, to be held at Temple Israel on Montgomery Street on March 10 at 6:00 pm. All the candidates for the office will be invited. Rogge is trying to recruit a high-profile moderator for the event. BAGEL BRUNCH AT THE TEMPLE. Temple Israel on Montgomery Street will hold its annual Bagel Brunch on Sunday, February 22, from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. The menu will include bagels and lox, blintz soufflé, desserts, and more. Cost is $10 at the door or $8 in advance. The event will also include a book sale. In addition, books will be on sale on Friday, February 20 from 7:00 to 10:00 pm. FEBRUARY 2015 MCC MEETING THE NEXT MCC BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING WILL BE HELD ON MONDAY, FEBRUARY 10, AT 7:30 PM, IN THE MEETThe most significant comments at the meeting came ING ROOM OF THE MARQUETTE PARK from Mayor Freeman-Wilson, who strongly endorsed UNITED METHODIST CHURCH ON proposals for the development of the Miller community, GRAND BLVD. MCC members are invited to including the retention and improvement of the Miller attend and participate. South Shore station. Events at the Gardner Center February 13-15: LOVE LOST AND FOUND. The MBACD will conduct an art show and benefit honoring the work of William Kauslauskis, known as “Mr. K”, which he created in the dim light of his basement. His artwork is being sold and all the proceeds will go to support the Arts District. Hours for the show will be from 6:00 to 9:00 pm on Friday, February 13; from 6:00 to 9:00 pm on Saturday, February 14 (with opening reception) and from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm on Sunday, February 15. February 21: MOVIE NIGHT. A screening of the documentary film “I AM DIVINE” about American actor, singer and drag queen Harris Glenn Milstead, with an introduction by Larry Lapidus, Tickets are $12 at the door, and include refreshments. Saturday, February 21, 2015 at 7:00 PM. February 28 and March 1: Two-day POP UP art display and sale, featuring arts, crafts and vendors. Saturday, February 18 from 11:00 to 6:00 pm and Sunday, March 1 from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. Miller business news . . NEW SPECIALTY SHOP. Debra Carrington, who was well received as the manager of Marquette Park several years ago, has opened a new lifestyle boutique “Summer Colony”, featuring women’s apparel and accessories, men’s accessories and home accessories. The shop is located at 632 South Lake Street, Upper Level (next door to 18th Street Brewery). Hours are 11:00 to 5:00 Thursday to Saturday, 12:00 to 5:00 Sunday, and other days by appointment only. LOOKING TOWARD VALENTINE’S DAY. The Lake Street Gallery is having a Valentine’s Jewelry Sale from February 1 through the 14th. Then, for the entire month of March, Lake St. Gallery is celebrating its 22nd anniversary with a special sale, 22% off any one purchase. As Valentine’s Day approaches, Indie Indie Bang Bang will be offering chocolates and flowers. The Beach Café will have a special dinner menu for Valentine’s Day, and corned beef and cabbage for St Patrick’s Day. The Miller Bakery Café is also accepting reservations for Valentine’s Day (427-1446). HELP WITH TAXES. H&R Block is opening a local office at 6009 Melton Road, just around the corner from Lake Street, to help local residents make out their tax returns. Duly noted . . . . CITY COUNCIL ELECTION. George Rogge, representing the MCC and the Miller Business Association Contact the MCC between meetings at P.O.Box 2645, Gary, IN 46403, or e-mail [email protected] You can also visit the MCC website at www.millercitizenscorp.org. KNIGHT CITIES CHALLENGE. The Knight Foun- dation is investing $15 million over the next three years in projects to revitalize 25 cities in decline around the country. The project started by requesting ideas, described in 150 words or less, which could make a positive difference for the cities involved. More than 7,000 ideas were submitted, from which 126 finalists have been selected. These finalists are now developing their ideas more fully, and the actual grant winners will be announced later in the spring. One of the finalists is Miller resident Nancy Schoon, whose project, “Creatives for the Good of Gary” suggests spurring creative industries by partnering artists and creative professionals with local entrepreneurs to help build, brand and promote businesses. Schoon is now working out details of how to implement the ideas. Three other Gary proposals are also among the finalists. CELEBRATE THE GOSPEL. Enjoy music and food when Bethel Lutheran Church hosts Gospelfest, Sunday, Feb. 22 at 3 p.m. Call the church for details, 938-6677 A WOLF IN THE PARK. Several persons have reported sighting a wolf in Marquette Park. Just so you know. VACANT PROPERTIES ASSISTANCE. The City of Gary has received a grant from the Center for Community Progress Technical Assistance Scholarship Program (TASP), which will help local leaders develop new strategies to deal with property blight, vacancy and abandonment. The organization will offer recommendations to the City’s Department of Redevelopment on how to improve data collection and how to use data to inform blight elimination and neighborhood stabilization strategies. Each of the four selected cities will receive assistance from a team of national experts. Technical assistance here in Gary will take place throughout the first half of 2015 and may include staff training, legal and policy analysis, and reports with recommended changes. THEATER WITH MILLER CONNECTIONS. Miller resident Corya Channing is directing a play, Love Letters, by A.R. Gurney, that follows the lifetime correspondence of Andrew and Melissa, which Channing describes as “spicy, funny and surprising.” The letter readers include a number of Miller people, notably Chuck Hensel, who will be on stage February 13. Performances will take place at Cloister in the Woods, 1101 Park Drive in Munster on two weekends, February 13 to 15 and February 20 and 21. For additional details, contact Corya Channing at [email protected] SOUTH SHORE NEWS. The Northern Indiana Com- muter Transportation District (NICTD), which operates the South Shore Line, has a new General Manager and a new long-range plan, which includes the retention of the Miller South Shore station. Proposals being discussed would provide for residential and commercial development adjacent to the station, by changing the path of Rt. 12. More information will be available later. OAK SAVANNAH PROJECT. The Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and the Save the Dunes Council invite the public to join in stewardship days at Miller Woods to assist with the Oak Savanna Restoration Project. The National Lakeshore will host a stewardship day every fourth Saturday of the month. The next date will be Saturday, February 28 from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm at the Douglas Center on Lake St. If you are interested in learning more about the project and its ecological significance, or if you would like to help the National Lakeshore restore over 500 acres of oak savanna in Miller Woods, join in these monthly events. For more information, contact Ted Winterfeld (219395-1661; [email protected]) or Rachel Veronesi (219-395-1844; [email protected]) PROPERTY DONATIONS. Miller resident Tom Collins has donated to the Miller Beach Arts and Creative District (MBAD) the commercial property on Lake Street occupied by Curves and the COP office. Former resident David Hale Jr. has similarly donated the fire-damaged property next to the Miller Bakery Café. The MBACD has formed a committee to determine how the properties can best be used. TITTLE’S EYESORE. Eric Reaves reports that the Gary Redevelopment Commission has agreed to demolish the remnants of the collapsed former supermarket at Rt. 51 and Rt. 20, and they have the money to do this. Let’s hope this pans out. Neighborhood Spotlight is on The Legacy Foundation has awarded the Miller Community a grant under its Neighborhood Spotlight program, and the Miller Beach Arts and Creative District (MBACD) is managing the program. They have hired Jessica Renslow as “Community Builder” and the first training session for participants in the program was held on January 29. The MBACD will organize volunteers to conduct interviews, during the next six months, with residents, business owners, and others who have an opinion on what will make Miller a better place to work and live. They want to reach a broad spectrum of people from every demographic group. If you would like to volunteer to be interviewed or suggest someone else to be interviewed, or just want more information, contact Karren Lee by e-mail at [email protected] The next Spotlight meeting is set for February 17, time not yet determined. Marquette Park receives award The City of Gary has received the 2014 Award of Excellence from the Indiana Park and Recreation Association (IPRA). Marquette Park was the featured honoree when he award was presented to Park Superintendent Lori Latham at a special awards banquet at the IPRA state Conference in Michigan City in January. The IPRA, founded in 1916, presents Awards of Excellence each year to honor efforts in the fields of Parks and Recreation, with winners being evaluated by their peers in the industry. The award does not mention the small army of volunteers who have been working day in and day out to transform the park from an attractive concept to an eyecatching reality. Our local leaders, like Carol Smith of the MCC Shoreline Committee, Karin Crane of the Miller Garden Club, George Rogge and Sue Rutsen of the Aquatorium Society have enhanced our park and our community by recruiting other workers and by getting their hands dirty, picking up trash, planting flowers, pulling weeds and performing a multitude of tasks which the city does not have the resources or the will to perform. Hats off to all of them.
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