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CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS - LOOP, LINCOLN PARK, LINCOLN SQUARE, NORWOOD PARK, OAK PARK
Jennifer Garrity - Dean's Team Customer Service CoordinatorLOOP 

A new era in mass transit began in Illinois Monday.  Senior citizens ride buses and trains for free. 

Several riders claim they didn't need the benefit, saying the old half-fare system was good enough, others cited the tough economy and fixed incomes as reasons to make every penny count.

"I feel guilty, but I'm delighted," said Robert Remini, 86, after taking a free ride on Metra. "I was raised in the Depression, so I feel that saving money is important."

A professor emeritus at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Remini normally drives to work from Wilmette.  He was happy to save money for gas and parking in addition to train fare.  Click here for more facts.

LINCOLN PARK

Lincoln Park Zoo will spend approximately $12 million on its historic South Pond next winter, in an effort to make the landmark cleaner, deeper and more inviting for its visitors.

The renovation, approved by the Chicago Park District Board Wednesday, is scheduled to begin in October and finish in time for the paddle-boat season in 2009.

"We want to restore it and make it a more natural environment," said Sharon Dewar, a zoo spokeswoman. "It's taking away the concrete and steel and making it a more natural environment that will be host to native wildlife."

The water's edge, now made up of concrete and sheet pilings, will be replaced with a more natural, gradually sloping landscape.  It also includes a boardwalk above the shoreline.

Next spring, vegetation will be planted that will filter out toxins in order to maintain the pond's water quality.  Click here for the entire story.

LINCOLN SQUARE

It's spring cleaning time at Griffins & Gargoyles Antiques.  This quaint shop in Lincoln Square specializes in European antiques, accessories and pine reproduction furniture. Through March, everything in the shop is 20 percent off to make room for a new shipment of merchandise.  Tables, armoires, corner cupboards, garden pieces and sideboards are among the items.  Click here for more information.

NORWOOD PARK

Norwood Park School students earned the Silver Award overall at the annual Chicago Public School's ballroom dancing competition at the Chicago Cultural Center Feb. 28. They were proud and honored to have earned the highest score in the waltz portion of the contest.

The Shoop Academy, on the Far South Side was this year's overall winner.

The Norwood Park students also practiced last month at Norwood Park Evangelical Lutheran Church, 5917 N. Nina Ave.  Click here to learn more.

OAK PARK  

The redevelopment of the Colt Building, which could dramatically change Oak Park's skyline, is down to two options.

Two developers, Avalon Bay Communities and Mid-America Development Partners, are vying to renovate the building at 1125-1133 Lake Street.  Residents will hear from their representatives at an open house Wednesday from 7 to 9 p.m. at Village Hall.

Both plans call for demolition of the stressed building and construction of a new street.  In addition, both include plenty of new retail space, luxury apartments and a parking garage on the surface lot now tucked behind the English Tudor buildings along Westgate Street, one block south of Lake.  To read the two proposals, click here.

JENNIFER GARRITY & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO

Posted: Thursday, March 20, 2008 11:53 AM by Dean's Team

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