Looking for something to do this holiday weekend? The Field Museum, 1400 S. Lake Shore, is offering free admission through the end of February to Illinois residents. Bring valid proof of residency to gain access to one of the world’s largest premier natural history museums.
Please be aware that in observation of President’s Day, my office will be closed Saturday, February 18, through Monday, February 20. We will reopen on Tuesday, February 21, at 9 am.
Gateway Apartments Approved by Chicago Plan Commission
On Thursday, the Chicago Plan Commission approved the proposal to build a four-story mixed-use apartment building at 5201 W. Lawrence.
The proposal is for the lot that has remained vacant for more than a decade across from the Copernicus Center. The building will act as a gateway to Jefferson Park, offering a more aesthetically appealing site as people enter the neighborhood from the Kennedy Expressway.
The plans call for 39 apartment units on top of street-level retail space. Also included in the plans are a plaza and 62 parking spaces.
This is the first piece of the revitalization efforts in Jefferson Park. By reasonably increasing density near the transit center, we increase the buying power of the neighborhood to support local businesses.
Help Vaughn Students get to D.C.
A special needs teacher at Vaughn High School is raising money to take students on a trip to Washington, D.C.
These students have a wide range of disabilities, including intellectual disabilities, autism, emotional disabilities, physical disabilities, and more.
With many of the students coming from high poverty and high crime areas, this field trip presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Visit the GoFundMe page to make a contribution.
It’s Pothole Season!
With the weather warming, we will see more potholes develop. We can help our streets stay smoother, longer if we get them filled early. But the city crews need your help in locating them. Please call 311, my office (773-286-4545) or download and use the SeeClickFix app for iPhone or Android to report them. The sooner we know about them the sooner we can get them filled.
Tacos and Board Games Feb. 28
What’s better than Taco Tuesday? Taco Tuesday and board games!
Six Corners and the Filament Theatre are hosting a Social after Six event featuring tacos and board games from 5:30 PM to 9:30 PM on Tuesday, February 28, at the Filament Theatre, 4041 N. Milwaukee.
Tickets are $5 in advance or $10 at the door. The event will be BYOB with tacos at $1 each. For more information and to purchase tickets, view the event on Facebook.
Neighbors’ Winter Night Out Feb. 27
Jefferson Park Forward was tasked with hosting this year’s Neighbors’ Winter Night Out. This ongoing tradition of bringing neighboring communities together is a fantastic opportunity to gather with friends, meet new people from the area, and support a local business.
Join Portage Park Neighborhood Association, Old Irving Park Association (OIPA), and Jefferson Park Forward at Galvin’s Public House, 5901 W. Lawrence, from 7-10 PM on Monday, February 27, for great company and irresistible drink and food specials.
View the event on Facebook for more information.
Macbeth Comes to Six Corners
All Stars Theatre Company takes the audience through the story of the detrimental effects of power hungry political ambition in their rendition of Macbeth.
This murderous tale, directed by Ellen Cribbs, will be featured at the Filament Theatre, 4041 N. Milwaukee, February 17 through March 5.
View the event online to purchase tickets and view showtimes.
Join the Art Side Out Parade Club
You’ve seen their unforgettable costumes before in parades. Well, now you can get in on the action!
Meet neighbors, tap into your creative side, and have a ball by joining the Parade Club. Learn more and sign up online.
Host a Foreign Exchange Student
Do you enjoy showing guests around Chicago? Want to get your kids more globally-engaged? Consider becoming a homestay host!
WorldChicago is seeking short-term homestay hosts for six exchange programs this spring and summer. Hosts provide a bed, meals, and a glimpse into everyday life in America. Young professionals take part in fellowships weekdays from approximately 9am to 5 pm, with evenings and weekends free to spend with their hosts.
Homestay hosts include families of all shapes and sizes, single professionals, retirees, returned Peace Corps volunteers, travelers, teachers, city dwellers, suburbanites, and more — all united by a common interest in learning about the amazing diversity of the world’s cultures, while sharing a piece of their own.
Learn more and sign up on WorldChicago’s website.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com or call 773-599-0502.
Request for Qualifications Extended to March 10 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. The RFQ application deadline has been extended to Wednesday, March 1.
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 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.
Sat., Feb 18, 4-5:30 pm, Club Belmont, 7844 W. Belmont.The Belmont Heights Awareness Organization is hosting a Crime Prevention and Awareness Gatheringby bringing together neighbors, schools, and businesses within the community. Raffle prizes. Free.
Sun., Feb 19, 1-3 pm, Josi’s Frozen Yogurt, 4032 N. Milwaukee. Special needs families are invited to attend the monthlyNo Apologies Needed meet up at Josi’s. In order to participate, at least one child in the family must be diagnosed with a phsyical or mental disability. The shop will be closed to the public and lighting will be turned down for those with sensory processing issues. More information: online.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.
Mon., Feb 20, 6 pm,Six Corners Association, 4041 N. Milwaukee #301. Join Six Corners for aSpecial Events Meeting to discuss 6 Corners BBQ Fest.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 discuss how to improve your community during the Jefferson Park Neighborhood Association monthly meeting. A representative from the Citizens Utility Board will be attending. Bring your utility bill with any questions. 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 Program information 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, 6 pm, St. John’s Episcopal Church, 3857 N. Kostner. Enjoy delectable food fromThe Cajun Connoisseurfollowed with lively and festive music from Joe Lill during this year’s Mardi Gras Party. There will be a cash bar with alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Tickets: online. $30 for dinner. Dancing is 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.
Mon., Feb 27, 7 pm,St. Robert Bellarmine, 4646 N. Austin. The SRB Spirit Garden needs you! They are seeking gardeners of all experiences to join the SRB Meeting to learn more. Free.
Tue., Feb 28, 5-7:30 pm, 4057 N. Harding.Indulge on regular or Swedish plancakes served with a choice of lingonberries, maple syrup, or apple topping during a Fat Tuesday Pancake Supper. Comes with a side of sausage. Make sure to check out the bake sale before you head home. Money will go to fund children’s summer camp. More info:online. $10/adult, $5/children 12 and younger.
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.
Wed., Mar 1, 4-10 pm, Trattoria Porretta Ristorante, 3656 N. Central. Help raise money for a local school during theTrattorria Porretta Fundraising Night. 15% of all sales, including dine-in, carry out, and gift cards, will benefit Vaughn High School, which is dedicated to serving students with disabilities. Cost of purchases.
Sat., Mar 4, 2:30-4:30 pm, Old Irving Brewing, 4419 W. Montrose. Join Chicago Fringe Festival as they celebrate and announce the final list of artists and organizations that will be performing in the 2017 festival during the Festival Lottery Party. More info: online. Free.
Sun., Mar 5, 12-5 pm,4447 N. Lowell. Join neighbors for theMcNulty/Kelly Corned Beef Dinner.Cost of purchases.
Tue., Mar 7, 11 am,Community Room atthe 17th District Police Station, 4650 N. Pulaski. Learn about victims’ rights during a Domestic Violence Meeting. More info: 312-742-4588. Free.
Tue., Mar 7, 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.
Tue., Mar 7, 7 pm,Independence Park Bungalow, 3945 N. Springfield. Join neighbors to learn how you can participate in supporting your community during aGIPNA Board Meeting. Free.
Wed., Mar 8, 7 pm,Athletic Field, 3546 W. Addison. Learn what you can do about crime during the 1732-1733 beat meeting. Find your beat at the 17th district beat map. More info: 312-742-4588. Free.
Sat., Mar 11, 1-3 pm,Chicago Read MHC, 4200 N. Oak Park.The National Alliance on Mental Illness is hosting an Open House Fundraiser for Chicago Read.Admission is free, contributions collected.
Sat., Mar 11, 1 pm-Midnight, Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 N. Knox.Celebrate all things Irish at the annual St. Patrick’s Festival. Music, food, fun, and more! More info: online. Cost of purchases.
Sat., Mar 11, 7 pm, Irving Park Lutheran Church, 3938 W. Belle Plaine. Meet neighbors and play games during Game Night in Fellowship Hall. Free.
Tue., Mar 14, 7 pm, Kilbourn Park, 3501 N. Kilbourn. Learn what you can do about crime during the 1731 beat meeting. Find your beat at the 17th district beat map. More info: 312-742-4588. Free.
Thur., Mar 16, 7 pm, TBD. Meet neighbors and get involved in the community during the Jefferson Park Forward monthly meeting. More info: online.Free.
Sat., Mar 18, 6 pm, St. Robert Bellarmine, 4646 N. Austin, Eastwood Entrance.Join neighbors and congregation members for aSpaghetti Dinner.$5/kids 5 and under, $7/6 and older.
Sun., Mar 19, 9 am, St. Robert Bellarmine, 4646 N. Austin. Enjoy sweet treats and coffee during theSweet Table Bake Sale. Free samples and coffee. Accepting baked goods in Kernaghan Hall kitchen on Mar. 18 from noon to 3 pm. More info: email Trina Eifert or call 773-286-6240. Cost of purchases.
Mon., Mar 20, 7:30 pm, Location 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.
Tue., Mar 21, 11 am,17th District Police Station, 4650 N. Pulaski. Seniors are invited to meet officers during aSenior Citizens’ Meeting. Free.
Wed., Mar 22, 7 pm, Community Room at the 16th District Police Station, 5151 N. Milwaukee. Learn what you can do about crime during the 1623 beat meeting. Find your beat at the 16th district beat map. More info: 312-742-4521. Free.
Sat., Mar 25, 6:30 pm-Midnight, 4447 N. Lowell. Win great prizes during this luau themed Big Red Auction for St. Edwards. Cost of purchases.
Tue., Mar 28, 7 pm, Rosedale Park, 6312 W. Rosedale.Meet neighbors and get involved in the community during the Gladstone Park Neighborhood Association monthly meeting. Free.
Wed., Mar 29, 7 pm, Basement Auditorium of the Congregational Church, 5320 W. Giddings. Meet neighbors and discuss how to improve your community during the Jefferson Park Neighborhood Association monthly meeting. Free.