With every end marks a new beginning. As we enter 2017, I want to wish you and your family health and happiness in the new year. I hope you are able to celebrate the holiday surrounded by loved ones.
Holiday Office Hours
Please note that my office will have abbreviated hours over the holidays. Those hours are:
- Saturday, Dec. 31, through Monday, Jan. 2 – closed;
- Tuesday, Jan 3 – 9 am to 4 pm.
Normal office hours will resume Wednesday, Jan. 4. Please also note that there will be no Ward Night on Jan. 3.
Holiday Refuse Collection Schedule
Please note these important changes to the refuse and recycling schedule due New Year’s Day on Sunday, January 1.
During this respective holiday week, all city-collected refuse will be serviced Tuesday through Friday. Residents should ensure all black refuse carts are accessible throughout the week of collection, and not solely on their regular day of collection.
Waste Management will also be collected Tuesday through Saturday during the holiday week. Residents should continue to put out their blue recycling carts throughout the week according to their typical collection schedule.
We appreciate your patience as our Streets and Sanitation works hard to collect all refuse.
CTA Will Offer Free Train & Bus Rides on New Year’s Eve
Are you planning on ringing in the New Year by celebrating with a few drinks? Be responsible and take advantage of free public transportation.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 28 people in the United Stated die in an alcohol-related vehicle crash every day. During the New Year holiday, this number dramatically increases to 54 deaths per day.
To encourage Chicago residents to use safe, alternative modes of transportation, Miller Lite will sponsor the free ride program for its fifth year. Last year, the CTA provided more than 113,000 free rides on New Year’s Eve.
The free ride program will run from 10 pm on December 31 until 4 am on January 1. In addition, the CTA’s hours will be extended and there will be more frequent service on some bus and train routes.
Recycle Your Christmas Tree Jan. 3 Thru Jan. 21
Rather than throwing away your Christmas tree, consider recycling it instead. Starting January 3rd through January 21, there will be 24 tree recycling locations across the city.
The city’s tree recycling program diverts thousands of trees from filling up landfill space and allows environmentally-conscious residents a green alternative to dispose of their trees.
The closest recycling location for 45th Ward residents are:
- Portage Park, 4100 N. Long;
- Norwood Park, 5801 N. Natoma; and
- North Park Village, 5801 N. Pulaski.
Please make sure your tree is free of tinsel and other ornaments before taking it to a recycling location.
Chicago’s Free Tax Preparation Assistance Program Opens in January
Eligible individuals and families with children could receive up to $6,896 from the federal and state Earned Income Tax Credit alone, not including other valuable credits. Many Chicagoans may not claim all the income tax credits they deserve without the help of knowledgeable preparers, however.
Families earning up to $55,000 or individuals earning up to $30,000 are eligible to take advantage of the city’s free and confidential income tax assistance at 19 sites across Chicago.
Volunteer tax preparers certified through IRS-approved training will assist eligible tax payers with federal and state income tax returns for the 2016 tax year. Sites will be open between late January and mid-April 2017. For specific information on location and site hours, visit the Tax Prep Chicago website. The closest site for 45th Ward residents is at Wilbur Wright College, 4300 N. Narragansett. Their hours are:
- Mondays from 5 pm to 8:30 pm January 30 thru April 17;
- Fridays from 10 am to 4 pm February 3 thru April 7; and
- Saturdays 9 am to noon January 28 thru April 8; finally
- This location will be closed on February 20, April 14, and April 15.
Last year, the City of Chicago’s free income tax assistance helped 20,000 families and individuals receive $31 million in tax refunds and credits. This added income not only has a direct impact on the lives of Chicago residents – it also helps sustain small businesses, strengthens neighborhoods, and infuses millions of dollars into the local economy.
For more information and to view additional locations, visit the Tax Prep Chicago website.
Shared Cost Sidewalk Program Opens Jan.10
Homeowners interested in splitting the cost of sidewalk replacement with the city can join the Shared Cost Sidewalk Program. The program allows homeowners to have new sidewalks installed at a significantly reduced cost over what they would pay a contractor.
The Chicago Department of Transportation will open the 2017 Shared Cost Sidewalk Program at 12:01 am Tuesday, January 10, 2017. Those interested should call 311 or log onto the 311 website. Applications made prior to this date will not be accepted.
This is a very popular program that fills up within days. Do not delay enrollment if you are interested.
2018 Participatory Budgeting Cycle
As I mentioned in an earlier newsletter, my office is taking the 2017 Participatory Budgeting cycle off due to changes in the Chicago Department of Transportation’s Aldermanic Menu schedule. We’ll use the time to focus on improving the process, increasing participation, and making important infrastructure improvements in 2017.
Participatory Budgeting provides a unique opportunity to determine how your tax dollars are spent and is most effective when residents become engaged. As such, we are always seeking and welcoming to new potential committee members. It is a great way to become more involved in your community and affect substantive change.
Those interested in becoming involved in the Participatory Budgeting process are encouraged to email my office or call 773-286-4545.
Together, we can make the 45th Ward an even better place to live!
The Filament Theatre Presents: The Adventures of Robin Hood
Somewhere near you, there is a band of brothers fighting for justice – seeking to rid the land of evil and return hope to the mistreated.
It’s a tale that’s been told a thousand times, although never quite like this. There are heroes and villains, sword fights and explosions, love and loss. A cast of two breathes new life into the beloved tale of The Adventures of Robin Hood with exuberance, athleticism, and heart.
Performances begin January 14th at the Filament Theatre, 4041 N. Milwaukee. Shows will run at 11 am and 3 pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Tickets cost $25 each and can be purchased online.
Forest Preserves Picnic and Camping Permits Open Jan. 3
From birthdays, reunions, and special event gatherings to planning an exciting weekend camping excursion, the Forest Preserves of Cook County offers a variety of ways to reconnect with loved ones and nature throughout the year.
Online and in-person picnic permit sales for 2017 will open at 8 am on Tuesday, January 3. Picnic permits are required for groups of 25 or more. In addition to saving time by purchasing permits online, visitors can view information such as site availability, grove maps, and the various fees associated with grove rentals.
In addition to picnic permits, all 2017 camping date are available beginning at 8 am on Tuesday, January 3. Camping reservations for the Forest Preserves’ five campgrounds will be accepted fro April 1 through December 31. Camping reservations can be made online, or by phone at 855-YES-CAMP (937-2267).
People may also apply for permits in person at the Forest Preserves General Headquarters, located at 536 N. Harlem in River Forest. Permits can be purchased from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm on business days. Those applying in person must have a valid state ID or driver’s license. Additionally, picnic permits will be available for in-person purchase at the Dan Ryan Visitor Center, 8700 S. Western in Chicago, from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm every Friday in January beginning on January 6.
Accepted payment methods for permits are cash, check, or credit card. Applicants are encouraged to begin completing their permit application immediately upon arrival to expedite wait time and to have two or three additional locations in mind in case their first choice is not available.
Annual Helping Hands Campaign
Now through January 6, I am partnering with Commissioner John Fritchey’s office for the Annual Helping Hands Campaign.
My office is collecting toiletries to help our neighbors in the most need. Toiletries can include toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo, conditioner, laundry detergent, diapers, feminine hygiene products, deodorant, soap, and more.
Donations can be dropped off at my office located at 4754 N. Milwaukee during office hours. You can email my office at email@example.com if you have questions or for more information.
Apply to Become a Chicago Police Officer
Are you interested in making a real difference in our community? If so, consider becoming a Chicago Police Officer.
The Chicago Police Department is looking for Chicago residents 18 and older to become part of a team working to make a lasting difference in our communities. The Chicago Police Department offers a competitive salary and benefits in a career that offers a lot of pride.
The Police Department is hosting a Training Academy Open House for interested applicants. Attendees will be able to interact directly with police officers and sample parts of the pre-recruitment test. These will take place from 10 am to 2 pm on January 14 and January 28 at 1300 W. Jackson. More information on the free Open House is available online.
Applications are now open online and must be completed by January 31, 2017. The test to become a police officer will be held on April 1st and 2nd, 2017 at McCormick Place, 2301 S. King.
Thanks for reading,
Tues., Jan 3, 10-11:30 am, Wilson Park, 4630 N. Milwaukee. Celebrate the snow, the cold, and the holiday season with some Winter Projects and Crafts! Kids 6-11 years old. Register: online using activity code 189278. $5/kid.
Tues., Jan 3, 12-1 pm, Eden United Church of Christ, 5051 W. Gunnison. Consultant David Angel will host an hour of guided reflection and sharing about hopes, goals, and resolutions for the New Year during the Brown Bag Lunch Discussion. More info: call 773-283-5557. Free.
Tues., Jan 3, 6:30 pm, Six Corners Association, 4041 N. Milwaukee, #301. Get involved to make a difference in your community by attending a Six Corners Association Committee Meeting. Promotions meets at 6:30 followed by design at 7:30. Free.
Fri., Jan 6, 6 pm, Independence Tap, 3932 W. Irving Park. Enjoy an evening full of great music withStann Champion followed byMore Tuba Please at 8 pm. Cost of purchases.
Sat., Jan 7, 2:45 pm & 5:30 pm, St. Edward School, 4343 W. Sunnyside. With the help from Windy City Music Theater, St. Edward School is excited to perform James and the Giant Peach. More info and tickets: online. $3/17 and under; $5/adult.
Tue., Jan 10, 11-11:30 am, Oak Street Health, 4848 W. Irving Park. Join Oak Street Health forNational Cut Your Energy Cost Day and learn great ways to keep dollars in your wallet. Free.
Tue., Jan 10, 12 pm, Eden United Church of Christ, 5051 W. Gunnison. Join neighbors for aBrown Bag Lunch to discuss the importance of intergenerational relationships. Ms. Hope Chernich, Director of Youth Programs, will host the discussion. RSVP requested: firstname.lastname@example.org. Free.
Tue., Jan 10, 12-1:30 pm, Circuit Court of Cook County Elder Justice Center, 50 W. Washington, Courtroom 2005. Learn about Power of Attorney for healthcare and property during a Powers of Attorney and Advanced Directives: When, What, & Why? seminar. Register: Call 312-603-9233. Free.
Tue., Jan 10, 7 pm, Kilbourn Park, 3501 N. Kilbourn. Learn what you can do about crime during the 1731 beat CAPS meeting. Find your beat at the 17th district beat map. More info: 312-742-4588. Free.
Wed., Jan 11, 7 pm, Athletic Park, 3546 W. Addison. Learn what you can do about crime during the 1732-1733 beat CAPS meeting. Find your beat at the 17th district beat map. More info: 312-742-4588. Free.
Fri., Jan 13, 9 pm, Independence Tap, 3932 W. Irving Park. Join neighbors for Fretknot Friday open mic and the Vandabobs.Cost of purchases.
Sat., Jan 14, 10 am-2 pm, 1300 W. Jackson. Learn more about the Chicago Police Department and interact directly with police officers during a Training Academy Open House. Sample parts of the pre-recruitment test. More info: online. Free.
Sat., Jan 14, 7 pm, Copernicus Center, 5216 W. Lawrence. Kick off the new year with a rousing selection of polkas, waltzes, and marches during A Night in Vienna Paderewski Symphony. More info: 773-313-9157 or 773-467-9000.Main Floor/$44-$59; Balcony/$36-$54.
Sat., Jan 14, 8 pm, Independence Tap, 3932 W. Irving Park. Stay warm with delicious drinks and good music during the The And Four concert. Cost of purchases.
Wed., Jan 18, 12-1 pm, Oak Street Health, 4848 W. Irving Park. Guest speaker Dr. Steven Arculeo, DC will be at the clinic to discuss new solutions for common aches and pains during a Knee, Hip, and Back Pain Presentation. Free.
Wed., Jan 18, 7 pm, Community Room at 16th District Station, 5151 N. Milwaukee. Learn what you can do about crime during the 1624 beat CAPS meeting. Find your beat at the 16th district beat map. More info: 312-742-4521. Free.
Thur., Jan 19, 7-8:15 pm, Location TBD. Meet neighbors and get involved in the community during the Jefferson Park Forwardmonthly meeting. Agenda and more info: online. Free.
Fri., Jan 20, 8 pm, Independence Tap, 3932 W. Irving Park. Gear up for Mardi Gras with some New Orleans style music during theFour Stars Brass Band concert.Cost of purchases.
Sat., Jan 21, 8 pm, Independence Tap, 3932 W. Irving Park. Enjoy great rock music during the Lord Stanley concert. Cost of purchases.
Tue., Jan 24, 1-2 pm, Oak Street Health, 4848 W. Irving Park. Hear care managers provide some practical tips for Fighting the Winter Blues. Free.
Thur., Jan 26, 6 pm, Copernicus Center, 5216 W. Lawrence. The Cook County Board of Appeals and my office is hosting aProperty Tax Appeal Workshop in the auditorium. Free.
Fri., Jan 27, 8 pm, Independence Tap, 3932 W. Irving Park. What’s better than punk music? Punk Polka music. Join friends for a fun-filled night during thePunkaholics concert. Cost of purchases.
Sat., Jan 28, 10 am-2 pm, 1300 W. Jackson. Learn more about the Chicago Police Department and interact directly with police officers during a Training Academy Open House. Sample parts of the pre-recruitment test. More info: online. Free.
Sat., Jan 28, 8 pm, Independence Tap, 3932 W. Irving Park. Enjoy some eclectic folk music during the Ice Bombe, Rent Party, Cody & Chickenfat Klemzer Orchestra concert. Cost of purchases.
Sun., Jan 29, 10 am-2 pm, Copernicus Center, 5216 W. Lawrence. The Jefferson Park Sunday Market hosts their winter market in the annex space at the Copernicus Center. There will even be a cash bar to make those brunches a little more interesting this winter. Cost of purchases.