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Fire seminar reveals vital information

By Ron Cohn

Tom Devaney A modest audience of about 25 was on hand for the residential high-rise life safety presentation on Saturday morning, Oct. 13. However, if residents had known what was in store, every seat in the Windjammer Room probably would have been occupied. In addition to the steps you should take to stay safe in a fire emergency, Chicago Fire Department public education officer Tom Devaney passed along some vital information not covered in previous seminars.

Even before she introduced the CFD veteran, making his first appearance at Malibu East, Social Committee chair Sandy Chaet’s eyes widened at his first piece of new information, which is not a matter of fire safety, but of an unexpected benefit to residents. [more...]

Management Report: November 2018

By Violette Deschamps, Malibu East Manager

Office Hours 2019 BUDGET: The budget was mailed to all owners on Oct. 3 for consideration and comments. It is anticipated that the Board of Directors will adopt the budget at its November meeting, to be held on Nov. 27. Owners should submit any questions in writing before then, or attend the Board meeting to voice them.

RECYCLING: Waste Management started to bill extra monthly charges to the Association for contaminated recyclables or non-recyclable items found in dumpsters. Surprisingly enough, we still find meat bones and other food waste, adult diapers and underwear, syringes, pizza boxes contaminated with cheese or sauce inside, dirty containers, flimsy plastic bags, Styrofoam, and hazardous contaminants such as paint. Malibu East will make a big step forward in its recycling program if all residents make a conscious decision to read and observe the instructions listed on the signs posted in the bulk rooms. [more...]

State of the Association

By Marcel Molins, President

Marcel Molins Another year and counting. Again management and the Board have been very busy with all sorts of projects and issues. My job is to provide you with an overview of the projects and the status of the Association. The chairs of the committees will provide greater detail on some of the projects, activities and future endeavors.

You all have suffered, some more than others, with the noise and the inconvenience resulting from the repairs and maintenance work being done on the façades and the balconies. Given the age of the building, the need for the repairs is quite understandable. One only needs to walk around Sheridan Road or downtown to see that many buildings have the same problem. This year, we encountered a problem with the façade of the business center. It had not been properly constructed and it has to be completely redone as you may have seen. We discovered also that the west wall of the tower, the one on Sheridan Road, has some potential major issues. The chair of the committee, Carl Chadek, will give you a full report. [more...]

Breaking news: WGN-TV's Sean Lewis tells (almost) all

By Tracy Poyser

Sean LewisHere I was, a bit daunted by agreeing to interview and photograph a skilled interviewer/news anchor and report on a professional reporter – our neighbor Sean Lewis, a Malibu East resident since 2009, an Emmy-award winning journalist and anchor of WGN-TV/Channel 9’s Saturday and Sunday morning news, in addition to reporting for WGN News throughout the week. But, as soon he opened the door to the A/B combination unit he shares with his WGN colleague and friend, Chicago’s favorite weatherman Tom Skilling, Sean’s easy smile and sunny personality put me at ease.

Plus, he had help from Waldo the cat, a.k.a. Bubba, a two-year-old adoptee he met while hosting the Annual PAWS Chicago Fur Ball Gala at the Drake Hotel a couple of years ago. “It was love at first meow,” Sean confesses, and I had to agree. He’s just about the cutest little black fur ball ever, with distinct white markings for personality. [more...]

A passionate (M)ad man with a Don Draper touch

By Tracy Poyser

Anita and Ron CohnIf you’re like me, you still miss your weekly dose of the 2007-15 AMC television series “Mad Men” with its compelling characters and brilliant plot twists and turns, especially its enigmatic protagonist Don Draper, portrayed by Jon Hamm. So, imagine what he might have become in later years, given the chance of growing older, wiser and still full of humor and creative energy even when life’s adversities hit him straight on. Our Malibu East neighbor Ron Cohn personifies all of that – and interviewing him for this profile made three hours pass quickly, with a desire to find out more. [more...]

Meet Malibu East's administrative assistant

By Lori Ziesmer

Growing up in Brighton, a small suburb of Ann Arbor, Mich., with a population around 7,500, Melody Keegan dreamed of living in a larger city. Her father’s job moved the family several times over the years. When her father’s work brought him to Chicago, and it was time for Melody to consider colleges, she selected Columbia College to stay close to her family.

Melody lived in five states (Minnesota, North Dakota, Michigan, Texas and Illinois) before graduating from college. After living in Chicago now for more than seven years, Melody feels grounded here and that there is not a reason for her to move again. [more...]

Employees honored for 135 years of service

By Tracy Poyser

It’s a special holiday tradition at Malibu East, and one that I’ve been privileged to photograph and witness for quite a few years now. Every year it’s a joy to participate in Malibu East’s festive employee recognition luncheon in our Windjammer Room, and this year was extra special because of the number of combined years of service by our honorees – 135 years of dedicated work.

Board members were on hand with Social Committee chair Sandy Chaet and property manager Violette Deschamps to host the occasion and express their personal thanks, not just to the seven award recipients, but all of our loyal employees. Of course, not all of them could be on hand at the same time to enjoy the delicious catered lunch buffet that started the festivities. From noon to 2:30 p.m., plentiful platters of salad, pizza, pasta, chicken, Italian beef, chicken fajitas, Spanish rice and sweet treats left no one hungry, and that was accompanied by easy camaraderie and banter among those present. [more...]

Paws, whiskers: Condo living through eyes of our pets

By Tracy Poyser

Captain MorganWe humans make up the majority of Malibu East building residents, and we know how to get our voices heard and concerns resolved. But, about 50% of our condo units are home to four-legged residents who speak in woofs and meows, and feel that their two-legged neighbors don’t know enough about them. And, they get really embarrassed when they get in trouble with their custodians/parents because they did something perfectly doggy or catty, or can’t figure out what those mysterious rules of the building are supposed to mean.

My own pets are of the stuffed, low-maintenance persuasion, but I love speaking to their live counterparts and am auntie and sitter to a couple of fabulous felines. [more...]

Our Captain's Walk neighbors: An underrated resource

By Tracy Poyser

Captain's WalkEven though our Captain’s Walk, the commercial mini-mall on the lower level, is only an elevator ride (or a few stair steps) away, I bet many of our residents don’t know much about the individual enterprises and the professionals calling it their business home. And, it’s the connector between Malibu East and the neighboring Malibu condo building at 6007 N. Sheridan, whose residents enjoy access to the Captain’s Walk via an elevator for their exclusive use. For businesses relying on a pedestrian clientele, the indoor access by residents in the two buildings’ 850-plus condo units can be a great advantage. [more...]

Meet Violette Deschamps - our property manager

By Lori Ziesmer

Violette DeschampsMalibu East is one of the largest high-rise buildings on Sheridan Road, containing more than 867,000 square feet of space in the residential tower. Including the parking garage and the Captain’s Walk mall, the building encompasses close to one million square feet of space needing to be maintained and managed. We have been fortunate to have dedicated boards of directors over the years to oversee and plan for the long-term upkeep of our building. [more...]

Very different life paths led to historic marriage

By Beth Robinson

Ron Dorfman and Ken Ilio
Ron Dorfman and Ken Ilio (from the Chicago Gay History Project)
With cake and about 100 guests, Ken Ilio and Ron Dorfman, longtime residents of Malibu East, celebrated their marriage in a reception at Phil Stefani’s 437 Rush, formerly Riccardo’s, in January. The location had special significance for Ron, who had spent many hours there with fellow journalists after hours.

Ken and Ron had made history as the first gay men to legally marry in Illinois when a Catholic woman priest conducted their wedding ceremony in the Northwestern Memorial Hospital chapel in December. Coincidentally, the first gay women to marry in Illinois (Nov. 27), Vernita Gray and Patricia Ewert, also were Malibu East residents. (Vernita died at home March 18 at age 65 after a long battle with breast cancer.) A judge had granted both couples the right to marry before the Illinois gay marriage law takes effect, due to health considerations. Ron Dorfman had a serious heart condition and passed away at home Feb. 10 at age 73. [more...]

A special Thanksgiving for special neighbors

By Tracy Poyser

Vernita Gray and Pat EwertUnless you turned off your radio and TV and didn’t read any local or national papers in the days surrounding this year’s Thanksgiving, you won’t have missed the exciting news about two very special Malibu East neighbors. By court order, longtime Chicago activist Vernita Gray married Pat Ewert, her partner of five years, on Nov. 27, making them the first same-sex couple in the state’s history to be legally married within Illinois. Their touching and joyous ceremony was performed in their Malibu East apartment by Judge Patricia Logue, former head of Lambda Legal Midwest and a longtime lesbian activist, in front of about 25 family members and friends. [more...]