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Checks for Charity, Wolf Point Updates at Residents Association Meeting

RIVER NORTH — In spite of the open bar, the crowd at John Barleycorn on Kinzie Street Tuesday night for the 2012 River North Residents Association meeting was fairly subdued — until the topic of dog poop came up.

WHen Cmdr. William Dunn, the newly-appointed head of the 18th Chicago Police district, introduced himself and overviewed the status of River North crime and enforcement, an outspoken attendee interrupted the news that aggravated battery and burglaries are down and theft and simple battery remain a problem.

"It wouldn't hurt to ticket a few dog owners...They don't have to defacate everywhere they want without notice," he said, and applause and laughter followed. Perhaps realizing he might be foreshadowing headaches for the neighborhood's new top cop, he added, "But welcome to the area."

The evening also included a brief address from Alderman Brendan Reilly (42nd), which touched on recent developments in the proposal to construct a multi-purpose building at Wolf Point on the river front.

Reilly explained that the issue was deferred from its scheduled Nov. 27 hearing to ensure that more research could be done into the possible impact on the neighborhood.

"We didn't just hit pause and walk away," he said, before previewing a plan to target Wells Street for commercial development in 2013.

RNRA President Mike Riordan presented a $2,500 to Rebecca Fritz, a representative of Gilda's Club Chicago. Gilda's club is one of four local nonprofits the association supports, joined by Open Books, Friends of the Parks and The Anti-Cruelty Society.

The evening also included an overview of real estate tax assessments from James Field, a real estate attorney with Field and Goldberg, LLC, and the reelection of board members, all of whom were retained.