Are you in search of unique gifts for your loved ones this holiday season? Shop for homemade gifts and delicious treats made by 32 local crafters during the Independence Park Holiday Craft Fair this Saturday, December 9, from 10:00 am until 3:00 pm n the Independence Park field house, 3945 N. Springfield. Santa will even make a special appearance between 12:00 pm and 2:00 pm hear what’s on kids’ wish lists this year.
Statement on 4500 N. Laporte Fire
The news of a neighbor passing away in his home in the 4500-block of North Laporte on Thursday evening is devastating. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends as they grieve their loved one.
Just before 9:00 pm that night, firefighters were called to a home after a man accidentally started a fire in his kitchen. Firefighters arrived quickly on scene and were able to extinguish the fire. Crews indicated that they did have trouble accessing the kitchen due to an excessive amount of debris throughout the home. The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Thank you to Fire Engine 108 on Milwaukee and Laramie for your quick action on this tragic incident.
I would like to take a moment to remind residents of basic fire safety tips that will help keep them and their families safe:
- The U.S. Fire Administration recommends that you test your smoke detector at least once a month and change batteries at least twice a year. A good way to help remember to change your batteries is when you change your clock for daylight savings time in the fall and again in the spring.
- Keep a working smoke alarm in every bedroom in the house. Half of home fire deaths happen between 11 pm and 7 am, when most people are asleep.
- Keep a fire extinguisher in or near the kitchen and make sure you know how to operate it in the event of a kitchen fire.
- Never throw hot grease in the garbage can. Instead, let it cool and dispose of it in an old coffee can or other metal container.
- If you do have candles in your home, make sure to extinguish them after use. Wider and shorter candles are recommended are less likely to tip over.
- Know how to extinguish a fire based on the type. For a grease fire, do not put water on it. Instead, turn off the source of heat (e.g. burner) and attempt to remove oxygen from the flame (e.g. by covering it with another pot or lid). If that fails, dump a generous amount of baking soda on it.
- For electrical fires, you will need to turn off the power to the electrical system. If you are unable to cut off the power source, use a Class C-rated extinguisher. If you are able to cut the power source, use a Class A or dry chemical extinguisher. Always make sure to keep electrical systems clear of dust, trash, and spider webs.
- Make sure to come up with a fire escape plan for your household. This includes not only how to get out of the house in the event of a fire, but identifying a designated area to meet once outside.
- In the event you do catch fire, follow the Stop, Drop, and Roll technique. Do not run if your clothing catches fire. Instead, stop where you are, drop to the ground, and roll. Make sure to visit a hospital immediately to treat your burns.
- Do not hesitate to call 911 in the event of a fire – even if you believe the fire has been successfully extinguished. It is better to have the fire department inspect the household and confirm that it has been put out than having it spread.
Community Alert: Attempted Child Luring
At approximately 2:15 pm on Monday, December 4, a dark-colored SUV pulled alongside two female juveniles outside of a school located on the 5200-block of North Park Avenue. The driver in the vehicle told the girls to “come here”. The two female victims were able to flee and alert a school staff member. The vehicle then drove off southbound on Rutherford Avenue.
The offender is described as a white male between 20 and 30 years old. He was wearing a black sweater and had a tattoo, possibly of a skull, on his neck. The vehicle is described as a dark blue or gray SUV, possibly a Ford Explorer.
If you have any information about this incident, please call the Area North Bureau of Detectives at 312-744-8200. Anonymous tips can also be submitted online.
Fly Quiet Plan to Go Before the CDA and FAA for Final Approval
On Friday, I voted to permanently implement the Fly Quiet Rotation plan.
After tracking the number of noise complaints throughout the two rotation tests, the ONCC indicated a spike in complaints last December after the first test concluded and again in October after the second test concluded. Throughout both test periods, the ONCC received overwhelmingly positive feedback and data about the program.
Similar to the two preliminary tests, today’s vote was to implement a plan that rotates the runways used between 10:00 pm and 5:00 am on a weekly basis. The runway rotation balances the night time noise that is shared by all communities surrounding O’Hare rather than being concentrated over our neighborhoods.
Today’s 51-8 vote means the plan will now go to the Chicago Department of Aviation, who will then make a formal request to the Federal Aviation Administration for final approval.
As a member of the ONCC and the ad-hoc Fly Quiet Committee, I am pleased with the collaborative efforts put forward by the CDA, the ONCC, the FAA, and FAiR Chicago to improve the quality of life for those living in our community.
Appeal Your Property Taxes Dec. 11 Through Jan. 9
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.
Rutherford/Natoma Sewer Main Replacement
Please be aware that beginning this month, Department of Water Management crews will to 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.
Volunteers Needed for Irving Park Community Food Pantry Holiday Toy Distribution
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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
6th Annual Holiday Special at the Filament Theatre
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.
Breakfast With Santa Dec. 17
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.
Winter Holiday Family Event at Schurz Dec. 19
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.
Annual Overnight Parking Ban Now in Effect
Chicago’s annual Winter Overnight Parking Ban is now in effect as of Friday, December 1 at 3:00 am. The parking ban, indicated throughout the city with signage, will be enforced along 107 miles of critical arterial streets through March 31, 2018. The parking ban does not allow vehicles to park on marked arterial streets from 3:00 am to 7:00 am, regardless of snow.
In the 45th Ward, the Winter Overnight Parking Ban impacts Foster east of Central, Milwaukee south of Foster, and Central south of Elston.
Cars violating the overnight parking ban prevent critical routes from being fully plowed and salted when it snows. Vehicle owners are also eligible to receive a minimum $150 towing fee, a $60 ticket, and a storage fee of $20 per day when they violate the overnight parking ban.
In addition to the overnight parking ban, there is another parking ban that goes into effect when at least 2 inches of snow falls on the street. Drivers parked during that time on those streets will be eligible for ticketing or having their cars relocated so plows can clear the streets. Streets with a 2 inches of snow parking ban are indicated with signage.
For an interactive map indicating streets affected by both winter parking restrictions, visit The Chicago Tribune’s website.
12 Hours of Christmas Holiday Film Fest Dec. 10
The Six Corners Association and the Portage Theatre are partnering to kick off the holiday season by featuring all your favorite holiday movies on Sunday, December 10, from 11:00 am to 11:00 pm at the Portage Theatre, 4050 N. Milwaukee.
Enjoy all the holiday classics, from It’s a Wonderful Life toElf and everything in between.
Tickets cost only $15 for adults and $10 for children 12 and younger. The full line up and tickets are available online.
CTA Holiday Train
The CTA holiday train returns this season to add a little extra cheer and joy to the residents of Chicago.
Thursday, December 7, through Saturday, December 9, the Holiday Train will make its appearance on the CTA Blue Line.
View the full holiday bus and train schedule at the CTA’swebsite.
Irving Park Community Foods Pantry Holiday Donation Drive
The Irving Park Community Food Pantry has begun gathering donations for their holiday distribution on December 20. They are seeking contributions of funds, food, and fun (i.e. books and toys) to make the season brighter for those in our community who need a helping hand during the holiday season.
On December 20, the food pantry hosts a special distribution where clients receive the makings for a full holiday dinner and can take home a gift for each of their children along with a book and a stocking stuffer.
For these special distributions, they are especially in need of juice, stuffing, cranberry sauce, canned yams and vegetables, instant potatoes, cake mixes, Jell-O, and pumpkin pie filling.
They typically disseminate about 400 toys to children (up to 12 years old). For some, it will be the only gift they receive. They are making a special request for gifts for older children (10 to 12 years old), especially boys. In the past, soccer balls and basketballs have been popular options. In the past, they have also run out of books for all ages early in the distribution day.
Unwrapped new toys and food donations can be brought to the Pantry at the Irving Park United Methodist Church (3801 N. Keeler) on Wednesdays from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm or on Tuesday evenings. Donations can also dropped of at my office (4754 N. Milwaukee) during office hours.
The deadline for contributing toys is Friday, December 15. Volunteers are needed to collect toys, organize the toy room, and help with the toy distribution on December 20. For more information, contact Sara Yoest email@example.com.
Di’s Den Accepting Gifts for Toys for Tots
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.
Enrollment for Affordable Care Act Insurance Open Thru December 15
2018 enrollment for insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act opens on Wednesday, November 1.
2018 open enrollment is shorter than in previous years, so it’s important to act quickly. If you don’t act by December 15, you can’t get 2018 coverage unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.
For more information on open enrollment, important deadlines, and plans and prices, visit the Affordable Care Act website.
Pace Route 270 Bus Stop Changes
In preparation for preliminary work on the new Pace Pulse Milwaukee route, Pace is temporarily moving some stops in Niles on Route 270.
The southbound stop at Milwaukee and Main will move from the northwest corner to the southwest corner. The southbound Oak Mill stop will move to the southwest corner of Milwaukee and Oakton. And the northbound Milwaukee and Harlem stop will move to the northeast corner of Milwaukee and Howard.
Find more information, and sign up for route alerts, at the Pace website.
2017-2018 Emergency Heating Repair Program Now Open
The 2017-2018 Emergency Heating Repair Program is now open. It will remain open through March 30, 2018, or until funds are exhausted.
Eligible properties must be located in Chicago, habitable, owner-occupied, and not at risk of foreclosure. This is a one-time service program for single-family, one to four units, and owner-occupied properties located in the city of Chicago. Any owner-occupied property that has received this service in the past will be ineligible to receive service again.
Households earning 80% or less of the Area Median Income (AMI) are eligible to participate in the program. The total gross income of all owners and other household members shall be included and may not exceed this limit. The gross incomes of all adults, 18 and older, who reside in the property are included in determining income eligibility.
If the owner sells, transfers title, or no longer occupies the unit within one year of the grant, the owner will be required to pay the balance of the loan from the time of transfer to the loan ending period date.
Applicants can download the application package and view eligibility requirements on the Department of Planning and Development’s website.
Northwest Side Hero Nominations Now Open
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.
Help a Hitch Student in Their Battle Against a Brain Tumor
Amar is a sixth-grade student at Hitch Elementary school who enjoys basketball, comedy, and wants to be an engineer when he grows up. In May, Amar and his family received devastating news that he is suffering from a brain tumor on the lower part of his brain and along his entire spine, causing painful headaches and threatening his life.
His family found a specialist treatment facility in Texas that drastically increases his chances of overcoming this massive tumor and eventually returning home to Chicago where he can return back to his childhood. The treatment facility, however, does not accept Amar’s health insurance, resulting in exorbitant medical bills.
Please consider making a donation on Amar’s GoFundMe page so he can continue to courageously fight for his life.
Thanks for reading,
Sat., Dec 9, 10 am-3 pm, Independence Park Fieldhouse, 3945 N. Springfield. Shop for homemade gifts by 32 local crafters, enjoy delicious treats from the bake sale, and visit with Santa between noon and 2 pm during the Independence Park Holiday Craft Fair.Free.
Sat., Dec 9, 10 am-4 pm, Portage Park Field Gym, 4100 N. Long. Shop homemade gifts from various vendors, listen to live cello music. Kids craft table and food for purchase available. Free holiday tree lighting event near the playground. $1/adults; Free/12 and younger.
Sat., Dec 9, 10 am-6 pm, Irving Austin Business, 6000, W. Irving Park. Meet Santa and support local businesses during the Irving Austin Business District Passport Holiday Walk. More info: online. Cost of purchases.
Sat., Dec 9, 11 am-12 pm, Portage-Cragin Branch Community Room, 5108 W. Belmont.Kids with special needs are invited to interact with books, song, and play during a Sensory Story Time. For children up to 12 years old. More info: 312-744-0152. Free.
Sat., Dec 9, 11 am-1 pm, Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 N. Knox. Enjoy the sounds of the season by Kathy Cowan and Friends, sip tea, and indulge in sandwiches and cookies during the annual Christmas Tea event. $25/adults, $8/children 12 and under.
Sat., Dec 9, 5 pm, St. John’s Episcopal, 3857 N. Kostner. The St. John’s Choir and the St. Johns Children’s Choir present beautiful music as they share stories of scripture and their 132 years of history during a specialcelebration of the the new accessible entrance. More info: 773-725-9026. Free.
Sat., Dec 9 7-9:30 pm, Copernicus Center, 5216 W. Lawrence. The Copernicus Center hosts Unwrap Christmas, a fun and heartwarming musical production that celebrates the spirit of Christmas in all of us. 38-piece orchestra including 7 vocalists and a 5-member children’s choir. More info and tickets: online. $12.50-$50.
Sun., Dec 10, 2 pm, Irving Park Lutheran Church, 4100 N. Harding. The Irving Park Fine Arts Committee presents An Octave AboveHoliday Concert. Reception with artists to follow concert. Free.
Sun., Dec 10, 5 pm, LaVilla Restaurant, La Strada Room, 3632 N. Pulaski. RSVP forOIPA’s annual Holiday Party. This year they’re shaking things up by going on a field trip. Limited to 80 spaces, so RSVP by December 1 with the number of adults, kids (ages 6-12) and wee ones (5 and under) via email. Free to OIPA member. Cash donations accepted at the door to help defray additional costs of the space.
Tue., Dec 12, 10 am-4 pm, Humboldt Park Fieldhouse, 1400 N. Sacramento. HMS Host is hosting a Chicago O’Hare Airport Job Fair. Apply for open positions as a barista, cashier, cook, host, or dishwasher. Qualified candidates are encouraged to apply onlineprior to the event to expedite an on-site interview. Please dress professionally and bring your resume to the job fair. Free.
Tue., Dec 12, 6 pm, CTA Headquarters, 567 W. Lake. Attend a public hearing for the CTA 2018 proposed budget. Public input welcome. Free.
Wed., Dec 13, 7 pm, Dunham Park, 4638 N. Melvina. Learn what you can do about crime during the 1622 beat meeting. Find your beat at the 16th district beat map. More info: 312-724-4521. Free.
Thur., Dec 14, 5-7 pm, Fannie’s, 5040 W. Montrose. Get in the holiday spirit with the classic family-fund activity of makingGingerbread Houses at Fannie’s. Fannie’s will host the gingerbread making workshops every Thursday in December before Christmas. $5/house.
Fri., Dec 15, 7 pm, St. Viator Parish, 4170 W. Addison. Get into the holiday spirit during the Handel’s Messiah and Holiday Music.Free.
Sat., Dec 16, 9 am, 17th District Community Room, 4650 N. Pulaski. Teens can discuss how they can fight crime during a Peer Jury – Youth Beat Meeting. More info: 312-742-4588. Free.
Sat., Dec 16, 2 pm, Portage-Cragin Branch, 5108 W. Belmont. The Unity Club Band of Lane Tech High School, under the guidance of Javier Payano, will play holiday favorites during a Holiday Concert. More info: 312-744-0152. Free.
Sun., Dec 17, 10 am-2 pm, Copernicus Center, 5216 W. Lawrence. The Jefferson Park Sunday Market kicks off their winter market in the annex space at the Copernicus Center. There is even a cash bar to make those brunches a little more interesting this winter. Cost of purchases.
Sun., Dec 17, 11 am-1 pm, Fannie’s Cafe, 5040 W. Montrose. Enjoy a delicious brunch and meet Santa during Fannie’s Brunch with Santa. More info: online. Cost of purchases.
Sun., Dec 17, 3 pm, Copernicus Center, 5216 W. Lawrence. Enjoy an international sing-along of English, Polish, and Czech carols with excerpts from the Messiah and other traditional holiday favorites during the 2nd Annual Christmas Spectacular. More info:online. $35, $25, and $15. $5 discount for children and students.
Mon., Dec. 18, 6 pm, Copernicus Center, 5216 W Lawrence. Appeal your property tax assessment during the Property Tax Assessment Appeal Seminar. Bring a copy of your second installment tax bill. Hosted by Board of Review Commissioner Mike Cabonargi and sponsored by Ald. Arena, state Sen. John Mulroe, state Rep. Robert Martwick, and county Commissioner Peter Silvestri. More info: (312) 603-5560. Free.
Mon., Dec 18, 7:30 pm, Location TBD. Meet neighbors and discuss ways to become more involved in your community during thePortage Park Neighborhood Association monthly meeting. More info: online. Free.
Tue., Dec 19, 11 am, 17th District Community Room, 4650 N. Pulaski. Meet officers and receive helpful resources during a Senior Citizen’s Meeting. More info: 312-742-4588.Free.
Wed., Dec 20, 10 am, St. Bartholomew School, 4910 W. Addison. Children ages 2-4 are invited to join their parents or caregivers for Christmas Craft and Story Time. Please RSVP by Dec. 18: 773-282-9373. Free.
Wed., Dec 20. 5:30-7:30 pm, Wintrust Bank, 6336 N. Milwaukee. The Gladstone Park Chamber of Commerce hosts their Annual Holiday Party. Hors D’Oeuvres, wine, and beer. RSVP by Dec. 18 to Cathy Voight viaemail or at 773-756-6206. $15/person.
Wed., Dec 20, 6:30-7:30 pm, Portage-Cragin Branch, Community Room, 5108 W. Belmont.Kids, parents, and other family members join for crafts, games, projects, and stories during the Family Fun Night. More info: 312-744-0152. Free.
Wed., Dec 20, 7:30 pm, 17th District Community Room, 4650 N. Pulaski. Learn what you can do about crime during the1722-1723 beat meeting. Find your beat at the 17th district beat map. More info: 312-742-4588. Free.
Thur., Dec 21, 5-7 pm, Fannie’s, 5040 W. Montrose. Get in the holiday spirit with the classic family-fund activity of makingGingerbread Houses at Fannie’s. Fannie’s will host the gingerbread making workshops every Thursday in December before Christmas. $5/house.
Thur., Dec 21, 6 pm, Harry’s on Elston, 5943 N. Elston. The Gladstone Park Neighborhood Association hosts their annual Holiday Party. Join friends, family, and neighbors to celebrate each other and enjoy the holiday season. Cost of purchases.
Thur., Dec 21, 7 pm, Location TBD. Meet neighbors and get involved in the community during the Jefferson Park Forward monthly meeting. More info: online.Free.
Sun., Dec 24, 10 am-2 pm, Fannie’s, 5040 W. Montrose. Take a break from all the holiday cooking and enjoy a Christmas Eve Brunch at Fannie’s. Cost of purchases.
Sat., Jan. 13, doors open 5:30 pm, show at 7 pm, Our Lady of Victory Parish Hall, Laramie & Sunnyside. Our Lady of Victory presentsElvis Tribute, Featuring Ronnie Vegas. Admission includes beef sandwich, salad, chips, dessert. Beer and wine cash bar. More info and tickets: [ElvistributeOLV.brownpapertickets.com]Event website. $25.