Please be aware that in observation of Lincoln’s Birthday, my office will be closed Saturday, February 11, through Monday, February 13. We will reopen on Tuesday, February 14, at 9 am.
Also, please be aware that there will be no Ward Night on Tuesday, February 14. I will be spending quality time with my wife and family for Valentine’s Day. I encourage you to do the same while patronizing one of our wonderful local businesses. #LoveYourLocal
Deadline Extended for Senior and Senior Freeze Exemption Applications
Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios announced that his office has extended the deadline for the Senior Citizen Exemption and Senior Freeze Exemption renewal applications for Tax Year 2016. Savings from these exemptions will appear as deductions on the 2017 Second Installment Property Tax Bills mailed this summer. The extended application deadline is March 1, 2017.
Seniors must reapply annually for both the Senior and Senior Freeze Exemptions in order to continue to receive the deductions on their Second Installment Property Tax Bills.
To qualify for the Senior Citizen Exemption for Tax Year 2016, the property owner must have:
- been born prior to or in the year 1951;
- owned the property, or have a lease contract which makes them responsible for the real estate taxes; and
- used the property as a principal place of residence.
To qualify for the Senior Freeze Exemption for Tax Year 2016, taxpayers must have:
- been born prior to or in the year 1951;
- a total household income of $55,000 or less for [income] Tax Year 2015;
- owned the property or had a legal, equitable, or leasehold interest in the property on January 1, 2015 and January 1, 2016;
- used the property as a principal place of residence as of January 1, 2015 and January 1, 2016; and
- been liable for the payment of 2015 and 2016 property taxes.
Those who don’t qualify for the Senior Freeze Exemption because they exceed the income level may still be eligible for the Senior Exemption. The Senior Exemption has no income restrictions.
Seniors receiving the Senior Citizen Exemption will automatically receive the Homeowner Exemption. Seniors receiving the Senior Freeze Exemption automatically receive both the Homeowner and Senior Citizen Exemptions.
Eligible seniors, who have never applied for the Senior and/or Senior Freeze Exemptions in the past, may visit theAssessor’s website and download an application or contact the Assessor’s Office at 312-443-7550 and request a form be mailed to them. Applications for the Homeowner Exemption and additional exemptions are also available online.
Tragic Death of Community Teen
I am deeply saddened at the shooting death of Alvin Stoll. My prayers are with his family. The incident remains under investigation, and I have let CPD Commander Looney know that he has the full support of my office in whatever the 16th District needs at this time.
This murder is particularly shocking, as the 16th District has one of the lowest murder rates in the city. It also has one of the highest murder clearance rates on the rare occasion that an instance like this does occur, thanks to the excellent work of the detectives in our area. I am confident that our detectives will do everything they can to find the perpetrator.
As alderman, I have advocated relentlessly over the past 6 years to bring more manpower to the 16th and other districts that impact the 45th Ward. While we have successfully brought more officers to our area, we remain committed to fighting for additional resources to stop gun violence in our neighborhoods once and for all.
Community Alert: Residential Burglaries
The 16th District has reported several burglaries in Jefferson Park that occurred during the month of February.
During the incidents, the unknown burglars broke into apartments and homes through windows and doors. The burglars stole jewelry, cash, and other miscellaneous items. The incidents occurred at:
- The 5800-block of North Medina at 3 PM on January 14;
- The 5400-block of North Mulligan between 8:15 AM and 8:45 PM on January 26;
- The 4800-block of North Mulligan between 4:00 PM February 1 and 1:00 AM February 2;
- The 5500-block of North Melvina between 9:00 AM and 4:37 PM February 2; and
- The 6200-block of West Gregory between 12:30 PM and 1:50 PM February 2.
Please be aware of this pattern of burglaries and alert your friends, family, and neighbors about these crimes. Please make sure to look all windows and doors and be aware of individuals soliciting products or services on behalf of any governmental agency or utility company.
If you see any suspicious activity, call 911 and provide a detailed description, including any vehicle description, license plate information, and direction of flight if known. If you have any information about these break-ins, please contact the Area North Bureau of Detectives at 312-744-8263.
Soup and Bread for Carlson’s
Take a break from winter hibernation, join friends and neighbors, and enjoy a steaming bowl of soup and thaw out with Carlson’s Soup & Bread — all for the good of neighborhood programs.
Dinner will be from 5 PM to 7 PM on Sunday, February 12, in the gym at Irving Park Lutheran Church, 4057 N. Harding.
Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and teens, $5 for kids 3-12 years old, and free for children under 3.
Plans Unveiled to Alleviate Overcrowding at Northwest Side Schools
On Wednesday night, alongside Mayor Emanuel and State Representative Martwick, I unveiled a $36 million plan to address school overcrowding on the Northwest Side.
The announcement included a $24 million plan to renovate Prussing School, 4650 N. Menard, and add a permanent eight-classroom annex to address the chronic overcrowding issue. This announcement was made in front of a diverse audience of parents and students, representing 36 countries and 27 languages. In a school where 63.5% of students qualify as low-income, I am very proud of this investment in their future.
The plan also includes a new pre-kindergarten center at the old St. Cornelius School, 5252 N. Long Avenue. Last year, St. Cornelius, along with other area Catholic schools, merged into the new St. Francis Academy, making it an ideal location for the pre-K center. The new center will open up space in the regions’ elementary schools, including Beaubien, Hitch, Prussing, and Farnsworth.
Finally, the announcement included plans for new turf fields at Schurz, Hitch, and Farnsworth schools. Turf fields have lower maintenance costs and save water, making this a fiscally responsible investment for these schools.
I am proud to usher in these changes to our schools and to continue to collaborate with the Mayor and CPS in developing comprehensive plans to address overcrowding on the Northwest Side.
Liberty Tax Partners with the Irving Park Community Food Pantry
Liberty Tax Service, 4900 W. Irving Park, has again partnered with the Irving Park Community Food Pantry, 3801 N. Keeler. For every tax return completed through February 28, Liberty Tax will donate $5 to the food pantry.
The hours of operation are 9 AM to 9 PM Monday through Friday, 9 AM to 5 PM Saturdays, and by appointment on Sundays. Call 773-286-6900 for more information or to schedule an appointment.
CTA Seeks Artist for Montrose Blue Line Station
The Chicago Transit Authority is looking for an artist to create permanent public artwork fro the Montrose Blue Line station, which was recently renovated as part of the Your New Blueproject.
Now through March 3, the CTA is accepting qualifications from artists who have an interest in seeing their art enhance the public space at the Montrose Blue Line station. Local, national, and international artists are invited to apply. Prior public art experience is not a requirement.
Applicants are asked to submit their qualifications and portfolio for consideration per the instructions in the Request for Proposal (RFP) posted on the CTA’s website. Submissions must be delivered in person or by mail no later than 3:#0 PM Friday, March 2, to CTA Headquarters, 567 W. Lake St., 2nd Floor Bid Office, Chicago, IL, 60661.
Interested artists are invited to attend a pre-bid meeting on Monday, February 6 between 6 PM and 7:30 PM at the Mayfair Branch Library, 4400 W. Lawrence, where CTA personnel will provide additional program information and answer questions.
Members of the community will have an opportunity to meet the selected artist/artist team and provide their input before work begins on the proposed artwork renderings. Additional meeting details will be announced in the coming months.
Find more information about CTA’s public art program online.
Fannies Spread the Love Donation Campaign
Join Fannies Cafe, 5040 W. Montrose, for their Spread the Love Campaign.
Now through February 14, Fannies is collecting items for local homeless shelters and. Help reclaim old purses, bags, and book bags to fill with care packages to donate to Chicago’s homeless population. Fannies is looking to fill the care packages with hand/feet warmers, hygiene products, wet wipes, tissues, snacks, toothbrushes/toothpaste, first aid essentials, chapstick, cough drops, lotion, hats, gloves, mitten, scarves, and more.
Fannies will also collect various items for Chicago Canine Rescue to help animals in need. Chicago Canine Rescue is in need of bandages, grain-free dry adult and puppy food, paper towels, non-latex gloves, large garbage bags, one-gallon Ziploc bags, Kong toys, frozen chicken breasts (unseasoned), white rice, heartworm preventative, and flea and tick preventative.
For more information, call Fannie’s at 708-320-2294.
Become a Recreation Leader with the Chicago Park District
The Chicago Park District has open part time positions for recreation leaders. The part time position pays $12.82 per hour and is year round.
People interested in sports and working with children are encouraged to apply online. Use JobID 3008 in Community Recreation when applying.
Van Gogh Cafe Returns in March
The popular immersive theater experience, Van Gogh Cafe, returns this March.
10-year-old Clara knows that anything is possible after ligthning strikes and the food starts to cook itself. After a neighboring possum displays magical powers, she doesn’t question if magic will happen – but when. This family-friendly production is appropriate for people aged 8 and older.
In the fall of 2016, the event sold out at Community Tavern. This time around, the Filament Theatre will partner with Fannies Cafe, 5044 W. Montrose, to offer audiences this unique experience.
Performances will take place March 11 through March 26. Tickets are $45 for adults and $30 for children. The ticket price includes a prix fixe menu inspired by the story.
View the event online for scheduling information and to purchase your tickets.
Save the Date for Hands to Help’s Annual Trivia Night
Hands to Help Ministries is excited to announce they will be hosting their annual Trivia Night at 7 pm on Friday, April 28, at the Filament Theatre, 4041 N. Milwaukee. This community event and fundraiser will continue to support services and activities that break the cycle of homelessness in our community.
Hands to Help is offering early bird pricing for this fun-filled evening. Purchase an individual ticket now for $45 each or a table (seats 8) for $350. The event has a history of selling out, so buy your tickets now!
For more information, email Gayle firstname.lastname@example.org or call 773-599-0502.
Request for Qualifications Now Open for 50×50 Year of Public Art Project
2017 has been declared as the Year of Public Art. As such, the city is seeking artists for a 50×50 public arts project.
The 50×50 initiative was inspired by Chicago’s 50 wards and the 50th anniversary of two of the city’s most iconic public artworks – the Picasso in the Daley Plaza and the Wall of Respect, which once stood on the South Side.
Artists – including painters, photographers, and sculptors – interested in brightening and enhancing the city are invited to submit their qualifications for the project online before February 24.
More information on the Year of Public art -including a year of exhibitions, performances, tours, and other public events – can be found at the Department of Cultural Affair’s and Special Event’s website.
Chicago’s Free Tax Preparation Assistance Program Now Open
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.
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.
Shows run at 11 am and 3 pm on Saturdays and Sundays at the Filament Theatre, 4041 N. Milwaukee. Tickets cost $25 each and can be purchased online. Use the code ARENA15 for a 15% discount on tickets!
Thanks for reading,
Sat., Feb 11, 2-3 pm,Portage-Cragin Library, Community Room, 5108 W. Belmont. Build literacy skills and engage the senses with books, song, and play duringSensory Story Time. Limit to 12 children. Register at the branch. Free.
Sat., Feb 11, 6 pm, St. John’s Episcopal Church, 3857 N. Kostner. Celebrate Darwin’s birthday with Science and Faith: A Bishop/Biologis Embraces Both. This will be a moderated discussion with retired Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori. Free.
Sun., Feb 12, 10 am, Eden United Church of Christ, 5051 W. Gunnison.“The Character of Choice” will be the theme of Girl Scout and Boy Scout Sunday. The worship service will feature leadership by young people from the troops based at Eden Church. A reception and brief program featuring a video presentation, skit and song will follow the service. Free.
Mon., Feb 13, 7 pm, Irving Park Baptist Church Basement, 4401 W. Irving Park. Learn how you can become more involved with the community by attending the monthly Old Irving Park Associationmeeting. Free.
Tues., Feb. 14, 12-1 pm, Eden United Church of Christ, 5051 W. Gunnison.Rev. Jacki Belile hosts this week’s Lunch N Learn. The topic will be “Self Care: Why Wellness is Not Selfish”. Bring a brown bag lunch. Beverages provided.Free.
Wed., Feb 15, 3-4:30 pm, BACP City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle, Room 805. Anthony Bertuca goes through the application process during a How to obtain a Sidewalk Cafe Permit. Register: via email or call 312-744-2086. Free.
Wed., Feb 15, 7:30 pm, 17th District Community Room, 4650 N. Pulaski.Learn what you can do about crime during the 1722-1723 Beat Meeting. Find your beat at the17th district beat map. More info: 312-742-4588. Free.
Thur., Feb 16, 7-9 pm, Smokey’s BBQ, 5481 N. Northwest Highway. Meet neighbors and get involved in the community during the Jefferson Park Forward monthly meeting. Guest speaker: Merry Ellen from the Historic Chicago Bungalow Association. Agenda and more info:online. Cost of purchases at Smokey’s.
Fri., Feb 17, 9:30-11 am, BACP City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle, Room 805. Sandra Cavato Insurance Agency hosts a Everything You Need to Know About Business Insurance. Register: via email or call 312-744-2086. Free.
Sat., Feb 18, 2-4 pm, Portage-Cragin Library, Community Room, 5108 W. Belmont. Do you and your family need to get out of the house? Join the library for Family Play Time. For families with kids 3 and older. Sign up at the branch. Free.
Sun., Feb 19, 2-4 pm,Muslim Community Center, 4380 N. Elston. Meet our Muslim neighbors during an Open House to celebrate friendships, new and old. Face painting, henna design, and tasty food. Free.
Mon., Feb 20, 7:30-9 pm, TBA, Meet neighbors and discuss ways to become more involved in your community during the Portage Park Neighborhood Association monthly meeting. More info:online. Free.
Wed., Feb 22, 3-4:30 pm, BACP City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle, Room 805. Charles Krugel, a Human Resource attorney, hosts a Hiring the Best Employees and Managing Employee Behavior. Register: via email or call 312-744-2086. Free.
Wed., Feb 22, 7 pm, Congregational Church of Jefferson Park, Basement Auditorium, 5320 W.Giddings. Meet neighbors and dsicuss how to improve your community during the Jefferson Park Neighborhood Association monthly meeting. Free.
Wed., Feb 22, 7 pm,Portage park Senior Center, 4100 N. Long.Learn what you can do about crime during the 1624 Beat Meeting. Find you beat at the 16th district beat meeting. More info: 312-742-4521. Free.
Thur., Feb 23, 10-11 am, Archdiocese of Chicago Food Service, 5343 W. Roscoe. The Illinois State Board of Education in partnership with the Archdiocese of Chicago host aSummer Food Service Programinformation session. RSVP: 800-545-7892.Free.
Thur., Feb 23, 12-1:30 pm, Cook County Elder Justice Center, 50 W. Washington, 20th Floor, Courtroom 2005. Attorney Lynette Lewis and Community Outreach Specialist Theresa Chandler host aSeniors’ Guide to Property Tax Savings seminar. RSVP: 312-603-9233.Free.
Thur., Feb 23, 7 pm, Krueger Hall at St. Bartholomew, 4910 W. Addison.Learn what you can do about crime during the 1634 Beat Meeting. Find your beat at the 16th district beat map. More info: 312-742-4521.
Fri., Feb 24, 9:30-11 am, BACP City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle, Room 805. Eric Sternberg of the Center for Economic Progress & Yolanda Ruiz of the Internal Revenue Service host a Tax Issues for Self-Employed Individuals and Businesses workshop. Register: via email or call 312-744-2086. Free.
Sat., Feb 25, 9:30 am,Austin-Riving Library, Community Room, 2nd Floor, 6100 W. Irving Park. Join fellow gardeners and neighbors for thePortage Park Garden Club Meeting. This is the annual planning meeting. Please bring non-perishable items and canned goods to the meeting to donate to the St. Vincent de Paul/St. John’s Lutheran Food Pantry. More info:email organizers.Free.
Sat., Feb 25, 7-10 pm, Independence Tap, 3932 W. Irving Park. West Walker resident Chris Gombas and his band mates of The Stop Gap Measurewill perform at theWest Walker Winter Social. Bar snacks and a cash bar. RSVP by Feb. 20 to Cindi Webber via email or at 773-539-8346.Cost of purchases.
Sun., Feb 26, 10 am-4 pm, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, 2430 N. Cannon. There are so many ways to give back to your community in 2017. Save the date to find one that’s right for you at the 5th Annual Chicago Volunteer Expo. Whether your passion is the environment, the arts, or social justice, there’s a volunteer opportunity waiting for you. Free and open to all.
Mon., Feb 27, 5:30-8:30 pm, The TapRoom at Lagunitas Brwing Co, 2607 W. 17th St.UpBeat Music and Arts, a Chicago not-for-profit that mentors students ages 5-17 through music and art, is hosting an UpBeat on Tap fundraiser. Proceeds benefit UpBeat to provide programming and scholarships. Ticket price include tasty BBQ from Smoke Daddy. 21+. Tickets:online. $20/advance and $25 at the door.
Tues., Feb 28, 7 pm, Rosedale Park, 6312 W. Rosedale.Join neighbors to learn how you can participate in supporting your community during the Gladstone Park Neighborhood Association meeting. Free.