JPAC officers nominated for reelection

“It wasn’t vandalism,” shouts Jackson Park Advisory Council (JPAC) member Kenny Newman during the Nov. 11 meeting as he objects to the use of the word “vandalized” in the meeting agenda. (Photo by Marc Monaghan)

Contributing writer

The Jackson Park Advisory Council’s (JPAC) monthly meeting featured a discussion of lake levels and nominations for council offices amid a boardroom setting.

When JAPC President Louise McCurry called the session meeting to order Monday evening, she was sitting at the head of a formidable wooden conference table in the high-ceilinged wood-paneled main conference room of the Hyde Park Bank building, quite a contrast to the institutional cream-colored meeting room of the Jackson Park Field house where the group usually meets.

McCurry opened the session by reporting the initial results of a survey of damage by waves and high lake levels to the lakeshore revetments of the park, and on JPAC’s efforts to continue the assessment and pursue solutions to mitigate the damage. As part of JPAC’s continuing efforts, McCurry put out a call for volunteers to help document lakeshore revetment erosion issues by taking photographs, and sending the images of the damages, with location descriptions, to

McCurry reported on the use of and vandalism to the Little Free Libraries that JPAC member Erin Adams and others had set up in several places within the park.

McCurry then praised the Obama Foundation’s new plans, revealed during the Oct. 28 and 29 Obama Summit, for an accessible playground on the grounds of the proposed Obama Presidential Center (OPC).

Then McCurry criticized the actions of supporters of Protect Our Parks (POP), who had wrapped red ribbons around trees in an Oct. 26 protest of the proposed OPC. Another JPAC member, Kenny Newman, shouted: “It wasn’t vandalism,” referring to the word “vandalized” in the meeting’s agenda.

Armani Thomas also spoke, discussing his experiences working with youth on the south and west sides of Chicago. Armani also solicited guidance from the JPAC as he sets up a PAC for Pullman Park, 11114 S. Indiana Ave.

JPAC non-voting member Ray Johnson discussed the White City tours that he and others lead, which take place weekly from May to October in Jackson Park (  He also described a free tour app for the park, Jackson Park In Your Pocket, which can be downloaded through the story-telling app maker Vamonde.

As the last action on the meeting’s agenda, nominating committee chair Jerry Levy took nominations from the floor for offices that will be filled by election during the JPAC’s regular Monday, Dec. 9, meeting. The four current officers were nominated for reelection: McCurry for president, Anne Marie Miles for vice president, Greg Powell for treasurer and Gary Ossewaarde for secretary.