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Management Report: September 2018

By Violette Deschamps, Malibu East Manager

Office Hours $200: Despite multiple articles written on the subject, there are a number of pet owners who do not report to management or the door staff whenever their pets urinate or defecate in the common areas, inside and outside. Due to the frequent reoccurrence of such incidents, particularly in the hallways and on the sidewalk and ramp by the main entrance, and the complaints that have been brought to the attention of the Board of Directors, the Board has made the decision to apply administrative and cleaning fees of $200 per pet incident, starting Sept. 10. The fees will be billed to the on-site owners whose pets are responsible for such incidents, and to the off-site owners of units where the pets of their tenants are found to be responsible for such incidents. Residents can avoid the fine if they report these incidents to the door staff or management as soon as they happen. [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...]

Meet 1920 poster girl of Malibu East seniors

By Tracy Poyser

Ruth-BettyOn Jan. 5 of this year, a very special, beloved resident of our Malibu East village, Ruth-Betty Spilky, celebrated her 98th birthday in the Windjammer Room with some 45-50 of her close friends and neighbors, many from the Emanuel Congregation just south of us on Sheridan. Her trusted companion/caregiver for the past 11 years, Josephine Banjoc, also an accomplished singer, serenaded Ruth-Betty with several songs, some together with Aida Calvopina, while other guests shared their favorite Ruth-Betty stories and anecdotes.

The birthday girl’s friends, including Aida and Sandy Chaet and other neighbors and members of our Social Committee, had set up a luscious table with a variety of sweet treats and pastry temptations. And, Ruth-Betty did the honors of cutting not just one, but two birthday cakes for her guests. There was only one symbolic candle for her to blow out (98 would have melted the frosting), but her smile lit up the room better than any candles – and I hope her photo reflects her wisdom and joy. [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...]

State of the Association

By Marcel Molins, President

Marcel MolinsAnother year and counting, and once again a year with many projects and a lot of work. My task is to give you an overall view of the work done and to be done, and the other officers of the Board and the chairs of the committees will provide you with more specific information.

First, I will mention some of the projects that we all saw, such as the completion of the modernization of the elevators. As it is to be expected in a major project of this nature, there have been a few problems. Compared to how it used to be, I continue to be impressed when I see how quickly I go from my 25th floor to the Lobby. [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...]