Please note that due to the holidays, there is no Ward Night Dec. 19, Dec. 26, or Jan. 2. Ward Night will resume Jan. 9. I hope you enjoy the holidays.
Are you in search of unique gifts for your loved ones this holiday season? Shop for homemade gifts and delicious treats, and grab a beer from the 45th Ward’s very own Lake Effect Brewery, during the Jefferson Park Winter Sunday Market this Sunday, Dec. 17.
The market runs from 10 am to 2 pm in the Copernicus Center Annex, 5214 W. Lawrence. Find more information at the market website. Hope to see you there.
Beginning December 11 through January 9, residents of Jefferson Township can submit their property tax assessment with the Cook County Board of Review via their online portal. Residents may also pre-file before the township opens on December 11 via the online portal.
To assist residents with the process of submitting an appeal,Commissioner Michael Cabonargi and I will be hosting a Property Tax Appeal Workshop. Staff members from the Cook County Board of Review will be available to help answer questions on the process and help with submitting paperwork.The workshop will take place on Monday, December 18, at 6:00 pm at the Copernicus Center, 5216 W. Lawrence.
Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas is accepting online prepayments of next year’s First Installment property tax bill. For taxpayers who prefer to pay by mail or in person, Pappas will also enable taxpayers to download and print a prepayment bill themselves.
The improvements are being made as the number of prepayment requests surges this year.
Under state law, 2017 First Installment taxes, due March 1, 2018, are 55 percent of the prior year’s total tax. To prepay, taxpayers must have their 14-digit Property Index Number (PIN), which can be found at the top of the most recent tax bill, near the amount due. Taxpayers can also use their property address to look up their PIN at the treasurer’s website.
Here’s how to prepay:
• Online at the treasurer’s website and select “Prepay Your 2017 Taxes.” You can use your bank account or credit card to pay.
• By mail—Send the prepayment bill and your payment to: Cook County Treasurer, PO Box 805436, Chicago, IL 60680-4115.
• In person—Submit the prepayment bill and payment at a Chase branch bank or the Treasurer’s Office, 118 N. Clark St., Room 112, Chicago.
Find more information at the treasurer’s website.
The first Ventra cards, issued in 2013, will begin to expire Dec. 31, 2017. As a courtesy, Ventra will send email notifications to registered customers two months before their cards expire. The email notifications will ask customers to confirm their current mailing address so they can receive their free replacement card through the mail.
If you haven’t already, register your card at the Ventra website with your current address, and a new card will be mailed to you for free. Registering allows customers to manage their accounts via the Ventra app or online, protects balances if cards are lost or stolen, allows for the setup of autoload of unlimited-ride passes or transit value, provides account notifications, and more.
If you’ve already registered your Ventra card but have moved since 2013, be sure that Ventra has your current address bylogging into your account or by calling customer service at (877) 669-8368.
Because customers who do not register their Ventra cards will lose unused balances on their account once the card expires, CTA strongly recommends customers to register their cards ahead of time.
Ventra is also discontinuing the prepaid debit function Dec. 31. Customers who have opened prepaid debit accounts as a part of their Ventra accounts can transfer funds to new prepaid debit cards. Customers can also spend down their prepaid balances, transfer their funds to a new prepaid debit card, or have their funds returned to them via check.
For more information, visit the Ventra website.
Please be aware that beginning this month, Department of Water Management crews will install a new sewer main at the intersections of Argyle and Natoma and Argyle and Rutherford. The old sewer main dates back to 1936 and needs to be replaced.
With crews working in the street, there may be closures or traffic restrictions for safety reasons. However, residents will always be able to reach their homes or businesses. Outside of working hours, a travel lane will be left open for local traffic only.
“No Parking” signs will be posted as needed during work hours (generally 7 am to 4 pm). Parking outside those hours will be allowed, but cares will need to be moved by the start of the next workday. Crews will try to reserve as much parking as possible.
My office and the Department of Water Management understand that construction always involves inconveniences and noise. Crews will do everything possible to maintain residents’ quality of life throughout this project and will conduct themselves as good and thoughtful neighbors in the course of their presence on the street.
If you would like to receive regular email updates about the project, you can register online for the WaterALERT program. Simply enter your name, email address, and the project identification number. The project identification number for this sewer main replacement is 7242.
By signing up for WaterALERT emails, you will be notified as the project enters each new construction phase – from mobilization of equipment onto the site, to the installation of new pipes to the final restoration of the street. The Department of Water Management estimates the new sewer main will be installed and the street will be concrete capped by spring 2018.
Should you have any questions or concerns, you can either ask the construction foreman on the project site, email my office, or call the DWM Office of Public Affairs at 312-744-6635.
Thank you for your ongoing patience as these important infrastructure improvements are made.
The annual Irving Park Community Food Pantry holiday drive is underway. The 2017 holiday toy distribution will take place on Wednesday, December 20, from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm, in the lower level of the Irving Park United Methodist Church at 3801 N. Keeler.
In order to make this effort a reality and for things to run smoothly, the food pantry is in need of helping hands from volunteers. They anticipate serving approximately 300 children between the ages of 0-12 this holiday season.
Below is a list of times and dates that volunteers are needed to assist this effort. If you are available to lend a hand, please email Sara Yoest at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, December 18 from 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Volunteers are needed to sort and count toys
You do not need to stay the entire time. Any time you can give is greatly appreciated!
Tuesday, December 19 from 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Volunteers are needed to set up the toy room for the holiday distribution. This includes displaying toys, stocking stuffers, and any socks/hats/gloves that they will be distributing.
You do not need to stay the entire time. Any time you can give is greatly appreciated!
Wednesday, December 20 from 8:30 am – 1:00 pm
The pantry will open to clients from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm for the holiday distribution. Volunteers are needed to staff the toy room, help clients “shop” and help with clean up. Toy room volunteers are asked to arrive by 8:30 am so instructions can be provided. Toy room volunteers are asked to stay until 1:00 pm to help with packing up any remaining toys and clean up.
Thank you for your help with this holiday tradition. If you have any questions or would like to volunteer, contact Sara Yoest at email@example.com.
Now in its 6th year, the Filament Holiday Special has become a beloved tradition to kick off the holiday season.
At 2:00 pm and 5:00 pm on Saturday, December 16, friends and families can gather for a screening of two holiday classics, Charlie Brown Christmas and How the Grinch Stole Christmas, at the Filament Theatre, 4041 N. Milwaukee. Filament adds its own special flare to these screening by having your favorite actors voice the characters and with live music provided by the Slap Happy Jazz Trio.
Tickets cost $18 and are available online.
The Independence Park Advisory Council is hosting a specialBreakfast with Santa ahead of Christmas. This is the perfect opportunity for your kids to let him know what’s on their wish lists this year. Make sure to bring a camera to capture the moment.
There will also be plenty of fun activities to pass the time, including an inflatable house, art projects, face painting, and more!
The event takes place on Sunday, December 17, from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm in the main fieldhouse at Independence Park, 3945 N. Springfield. Tickets are available to purchase online and cost $15 for adults and $12 for children aged 12 and younger. Make sure to purchase your tickets in advance as limited seating is available.
Save the date for Schurz High School’s Winter Holiday Family Event Tuesday, December 19, from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm at Carl Schurz High School, 3601 N. Milwaukee.
The day will be jam-packed with family-friendly events sure to get you in a festive mood, from arts and crafts to a free concert, and everything in between! Donations will also be accepted for their food, toy, and clothing drive.
For more information, view the event on Facebook.
Di’s Den, 5100 W. Irving Park, is giving back to our community this holiday season by participating in the annual Toys for Tots Christmas campaign.
Drop off your new, unwrapped children’s toys between now and December 19 and help a child enjoy this holiday season. No toy weapons will be accepted.
If you have any questions, you can call the owner, Jan Wilson, at 773-736-7170.
Do you have an exceptional neighbor or know a business person, community activity, or youth member who is dedicated to the amelioration of the Northwest Side? If so, nominate them to be featured as a 2018 Northwest Side Hero.
The Jefferson Park Chamber of Commerce, Six Corners Association, Jefferson Park Forward, the Gladstone Park Chamber of Commerce, and my office have partnered with local resident Nora Kerr and her business Memoir For Me to share the stories of our local heroes. The northwest side of Chicago is filled with remarkable individuals, and now is the chance to tell a story to a larger audience.
Nominees must be either a resident or owner/employee of a northwest side business or organization. For the purposes of this project, Memoir For Me is defining the “northwest side” as north of Addison and west of the Kennedy Expressway. There are no age restrictions.
Nominations can be completed online and will be accepted now through December 31, 2017.
Thanks for reading,