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The Mayor, LSK and Biz License Reform

Having the Mayor visit us was a surreal experience.  There's so much energy around him-- security, personal aides, communications folks-- then Alderman, staff working on whatever he's announcing, TV, press, the public-- jockeying for attention.  All this energy swirls around, and there's the Mayor at the center of it-- calm and charming.  As personable as he is, you can't help but have that "OMG-I'm-talking-to-THE-MAYOR-feeling."

So long since Health Commissioner's Visit

It's been over five months since Health Commissioner Bechara Couchair visited LSK and met with food business owners.  What's happened since that visit?

Our steady stream of health inspections has stopped.  The "new" head of Food Protection that attended the meeting, Sandra Alfred, has already left her position, returning to a post in the Animal Care & Control Division. So the Head of Food Protection is once again a vacant post, as it had been for 1.5 years before Sandra Alfred briefly filled it.

Health Commissioner's Meeting a Good Start

I would describe our meeting Tuesday with Health Commissioner Choucair (SHOE-care) as constructive and loaded with potential.  Over 30 members of the food business community made time to offer suggestions and begin what I hope will be ongoing diablog on how to work together in fine fashion.  THANK YOU to everyone who came, I am continually inspired by the food community in Chicago.  

Health Commissioner Visiting LSK Tues, Nov 1, 11am

CDPH Commissioner Choucair will visit Logan Square Kitchen on Tuesday, November 1st at 11:00am.  The visit will last about 45 minutes.

Meeting with Health Commissioner Choucair

My thanks for Health Commissioner Choucair for meeting with me yesterday.  It was the first time I met him personally, and my suspicions were confirmed.  I met an energetic, positive, hard-working, solution-oriented leader.  He had read our petition at, and everyone's comments.

Equal Protection? Not in Chicago

Chicago's new Shared Kitchen User Ordinance takes effect today.  It's written to regulate just two food facilities in Chicago, out of over 20,000.  Our experience over the past two years is unfortunately remaining consistent, with a heavy hand and regulations that would be front page news if restaurants had to live with them:

Good news, Bad news

LSK appearance in Administrative Hearings yesterday resulted in a finding of 'not liable'--  so no fine.  Note the court does not find you 'innocent'.  There is no right or wrong in administrative hearings, only liable or not liable.  It acts like a court, but when I requested the Judge order CDPH to issue a new, clean inspection report, her response was, "I can't do that." Whaaaa?  A court with no remedy?

LSK in Court Today fighting baseless violations

Logan Square Kitchen will be appearing at the Administrative Hearings Building, 400 W. Superior St., Room 107 at 1pm today in response to a Health Dept violation issued August 2, 2011.  Here's our submission to the City of Chicago Law Dept. and Administrative Hearings Judge. 

Chicago Health Dept. - LSK is officially FED UP

LSK has been inspected 19 times in 2 years.  Law requires two a year.  We've been inspected five times more frequently.  We're off to court this Thursday, August 25th to contest a $500 ticket for a groundless violation that we view as retaliation for questioning a Health Dept. supervisor's decisions.  We are officially FED UP. Here's a document that details our most recent experience.  Want to help?

Logan Square Farmer's Market -- The Saga

Friday, May 20th, the Logan Square Chamber of Commerce and Alderman Rey Colon signed an agreement concerning the operation and support of the 2011 Farmer's Market.  I helped secure this agreement as a neutral facilitator.  I appreciate the opportunity to serve my neighborhood.  As many people have asked what happened, and the details of the agreement, I'm sharing them here. 

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