Enjoy unlimited samples of soup and bread while listening to the musical stylings of the Indy Jam Band. There will be a raffle, a craft room for kids, and much more to keep you entertained throughout the event!
The event will take place on Sunday, February 25, from 5:00 pm until 7:00 pm in the Irving Park Lutheran Church gym, 4057 N. Harding. Tickets cost $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and teens, $5 for kids ages 3-12, and free for kids under 3. All proceeds will go to benefit Carlson Community Services, a 501(c)3 non-profit connecting the Irving Park community with programs that enrich lives through education, culture, and service. Carlson’s programs include the Magic After-School Place, Three Brothers Garden, and Irving Park Fine Arts Concert Series.
Community Meeting for Lake Effect Brewing Proposal March 8
I am pleased to announce an exciting development proposal for one of the oldest remaining firehouse buildings in the city. The development would mean an expansion of local craft beer brewer Lake Effect Brewing Co. and would restore historic details to the former Jefferson Park firehouse, which sits on the southeast corner of Ainslie and Lipps. Lake Effect would be the ground-floor tenant, brewing beer on-site and offering a tasting room. The developer, Ambrosia Homes, plans to invest $2.4 million in the city-owned property, which was built in 1906.
Ambrosia Homes is seeking a zoning change from B3-2 to C1-3, which would permit a brewery on the ground floor, as well as three residential floors above. The nine apartments would be two-bedroom, attracting professionals who seek easy access to the nearby Jefferson Park Transit Center. The design would retain the current building while adding two floors and re-installing some architectural elements that were previously removed. Ambrosia Homes is not seeking any city financial assistance for this proposal.
Lake Effect has become a neighborhood fixture since opening at 4727 W. Montrose Ave. in 2011, notably brewing 45th Ward Pale Ale using hops grown within the ward. They would continue to maintain that location, in addition to the Jefferson Park firehouse site where patrons could sample Lake Effect beers and enjoy an outdoor seating area.
Please join me for a community meeting at 6:30 pm on Thursday, March 8, in King’s Hall (3rd floor) at the Copernicus Center, 5216 W. Lawrence, to learn more.
Jefferson Park Forward Special Beer Release Party March 2
On Friday, March 2 at 5:00 pm, join Jefferson Park Forward and Lake Effect Brewing Company for a special beer release party. Their inaugural collaboration will be at Windsor Tavern, 4530 N. Milwaukee.
The new brew, Sheehan’s Farmhouse Ale, won first place in Jefferson Park Forward’s first home brewer’s contest. Winning home brewer Phil Collins worked with Lake Effect’s brew master, Clint Bautz, to scale up his recipe for distribution.
Following the release party, the beer will be available on tap or in bottles at neighborhood locations. Visit Jefferson Park Forward’swebsite for the full list or follow the Jefferson Park Forward andLake Effect Brewing Company Facebook pages for updates.
Murphy Students Preform Mary Poppins
Get your tickets now! Murphy Elementary School students have been hard at work practicing lines, rehearsing songs, learning choreography, and having fun to perform Mary Poppins! The musical is based on the Disney movie and Tony-award-winning Broadway hit including live music, all in the Murphy Auditorium. There were so many students who turned out to participate that Windy City Performs split them into two separate casts.You are welcome to come to either or both productions!
Mary Poppin’s Jr. Ensemble (Performed by Grades 1-2):
Wednesday, Feb 28th at 5:30 (FREE)
Mary Poppins Ensemble, Ticketed Performance (Performed by Grades 3-6):
Friday, March 2nd at 6:30
(Children 8th grade and under: FREE, All others: $5 each)
Tickets only cost $5 each and can be purchased online.
Flower Arrangements at Keeler Gardens
Join Keeler Gardens, 3631 N. Keeler, for an afternoon of flowers and foliage on Saturday, March 10, from 1:00 pm until 4:00 pm.
They will have an abundance of dried flowers and branches for you to choose from, four colors of eucalyptus, tow different yarrows, birch branches, yellow and red dogwood, curly willow, and some unique accents like lotus flower seed pods and botanicals adorned with glitter.
Although there is no formal registration, Keeler Gardens is asking that you RSVP as they can only accommodate 20 participants. They ask that you also consider a suggested donation of $20. You can find more information and RSVP at the Facebook event.
Prussing Annex Construction Underway
I’m pleased to announce that the first phase of construction of a new annex space at Prussing Elementary, 4650 N. Menard, began this Thursday.The new annex is expected to be completed by November this year.
This is just one component of a $36 million plan I unveiled in February 2017, to provide additional resources to 45th Ward schools and address overcrowding on the Northwest Side.
In fall 2017, a new turf field was installed at Hitch Elementary, 5625 N. McVicker. The new fields at Schurz High School and Farnsworth Elementary are well underway, with draft designs presented to the Farnsworth community just this week.
More information about what the $36 million plan entails is available at my website.
Disney II ABC Auction
Starting on March 5, Disney II Educational Foundation Inc. will be auctioning off a number of fun and unique items to raise money.
You can show your support by either donating an item to the bid, becoming a sponsor, or purchasing a ticket to the final event.
The final auction will take place on Saturday, March 10, from 7-11 p m at Biagio, 4242 N. Central. Buy your early bird tickets onlineor in person before February 24.
Support the Jumpin’ Jellies in the 18th Annual Polar Plunge
The Jumpin’ Jellies, comprised of coaches and athletes from our local Independence Park, are gearing up for the 50th Annual Special Olympics Chicago by jumping in Lake Michigan during the 18th annual Chicago Polar Plunge!
Please consider making a tax-deductible online donation to help support the athletes. Any amount is appreciated, and your donation can make a big difference in continuing the Chicago Special Olympics’ mission of building communities of acceptance and inclusion for all people. More than 7,000 individuals enjoy programs throughout the year, and your donation will have a direct impact on enhancing the experience of these superstar athletes.
The 18th annual Polar Plunge will take place on Sunday, March 4, at 10 am at North Avenue Beach, 1601 N. Lake Shore Drive. For more information on how you can participate in the Polar Plunge, please visit the Chicago Polar Plunge website.
Senior and Senior Freeze Exemption Deadline Extended
The Cook County Assessor’s office has extended the deadline for the Senior Citizen Exemption and Senior Freeze Exemption application for Tax Year 2017 from February 7 to March 2, 2018. Any application postmarked by Friday, March 2, will be on time.
Savings from these exemptions will appear as deductions on the 2017 second installment property tax bills mailed this summer.
Seniors must reapply annually for both the Senior and the Senior Freeze Exemptions in order to continue to receive the deductions on their second installment property tax bills.
To qualify or the Senior Citizen Exemption for Tax Year 2017, the property owner must have:
- been born prior to or in the year 1952
- owned the property during 2017 or have a lease or contract for 2017 which makes them responsible for the real estate taxes
- used the property as her or his principal place of residence in 2017
Please note: The new law will increase savings this year for the Senior Exemption from $5,000 to $8,000 in Equalized Assessed Value (EAV). It is important to note that the exemption amount is not the dollar amount by which a tax bill is lowered.
EAV is the partial value of a property to which tax rates are applied; it is the figure on which a tax bill is calculated. The Assessor does not set tax rates. The savings for a Senior Citizen Exemption is calculated by multiplying the exemptions savings of 8,000 by the local tax rate.
To qualify for the Senior Freeze Exemption for Tax Year 2017, taxpayers must have:
- been born prior to or in the year 1952
- a total household income of $65,000 or less for [income] Tax Year 2016
- owned the property or had a legal, equitable or leasehold interest in the property on January 1, 2016 and January 1, 2017ol
- used the property as her or his principal place of residence as of January 1, 2016 and January 1, 2017
- been liable for payment of 2016 and 2017 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 never applied for the Senior and/or Senior Freeze Exemption in the past may visit the Assessor’s website and download an application or contact the Assessor’s Office at 312-44307550 and request a form be mailed to them. Applications for the Homeowner Exemption and additional exemptions are also available online.
Apply for a Share the Warmth Grant from Peoples Gas
As of February 1, customers will no longer need to provide a matching payment in order to receive a Share the Warmth Grant.
This grant program is administered for Peoples Gas by the Community and Economic Development Association (CEDA). Share the Warmth provides heating grants to limited and fixed-income households. Eligible customers can receive grants of up to $200 on their bills.
To apply, call the Community and Economic Development Association (CEDA) at (800) 571-2332 or use the CEDA Energy Service Site Locator to find the application site nearest you. Applicants are required to submit:
- Proof of household income or any financial assistance for the past 30 days for all members of the household over age 18; and
- Your current residential heating bill.
More information on eligibility requirements and application sites are available at the Peoples Gas website.
Election Judges Needed
The Chicago Board of Elections is looking for election judges to serve during the primary election on March 20. The pay is $125, plus $45 for attending a training.
I hop you’ll take the opportunity, if you are able, to help further democracy and serve as an election judge. Apply online or download an application for this personally rewarding job at the Board of Election website, or pick up an application in my office, 4754 N. Milwaukee.
Apply to Become a Police Officer
Applications to become a Chicago Police Officer will be open through February 28. The exam will be on Saturday, May 5, at McCormick Place, 2301 S. King Dr.
This is an opportunity to serve your community and pursue a meaningful career. Chicago police officers will be eligible for healthcare benefits, tuition reimbursement, uniform allowances, a retirement plan, and a competitive salary.
You must be at least 20-years-old by July 31, 2018 to apply. More information and applications are available online.
Greencorps Chicago Job Training Program
Greencorps Chicago is actively recruiting people that enjoy working outdoors and are looking to begin a career path.
Greencorps is a paid green-industry job training program of the Chicago Department of Transportation in partnership with WRD Environmental. Trainees receive classroom and hands-on training in horticulture, tree care, ecological restoration, and environmental health and safety.
Those interested in this training program must meet the following eligibility requirements:
- At least 18 years of age
- City of Chicago resident
- Pass on-going drug screening
- Able to meet physical requirements of the work
- Able to work Tuesday through Friday and occasional Saturdays, 7 am – 4 pm
- Pass a background check
For more information or to register for an open house, call 312-746-9777.
File Your Taxes with Liberty Tax & Support the Irving Park Food Pantry
Liberty Tax Service, 4900 W. Irving Park, has partnered with the Irving Park Community Food Pantry, 3801 N. Keeler, again this tax season as a way to give back to our community.
For every person who files their tax return with Liberty Tax through February 28, they will donate $5.00 to the food pantry. Their tax professionals can answer all your questions about your return, including a program to receive your return quicker for qualified recipients.
Liberty Tax Service is open from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm Mondays through Fridays, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm on Saturdays, and available by appointment on Sundays through the tax season. For questions or to schedule an appointment, call (773) 286-6900.
Pay Your Property Tax Bill Online
As of January 22, property owners who use their bank accounts to pay their tax bills online will no longer have to pay a $1 fee. The removal of the fee is to encourage taxpayers to use the convenient electronic payment system. In 2016, 485,000 property owners successfully paid their tax bill online.
To pay your 2017 property tax bill online, visit the Cook County Treasurer’s website and select the “Make an online Payment” option. For property owners paying their taxes using a credit card, third-party processing fees still may apply.
Property owners may also opt to receive future tax bills by email by selecting the “eBilling” option. Please note that by selecting to receive bills via email, you will no longer receive a bill in the mail.
Property owners may also obtain a copy of their tax bill by selecting the “Download Your Bill” option. Taxpayers can print that bill and use it to either pay by mail or in person.
First installment property tax bills for the tax year 2017 are due March 1, 2018.
Chicago’s Free Tax Preparation Assistance Program Now Open
Eligible individuals and families with children could receive up to $7,202 from the federal and stated Earned Income Tax Credit alone, and that’s not including other valuable credits. Many Chicagoans may not claim all the income tax credits they deserve without the help of knowledgeable preparers.
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 18 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 2017 tax year. Sites will be open between late January and mid-April 2018. For specific information on location and site hours, visit the Tax Prep Chicago website.
The closest sites for 45th Ward residents are:
Wilbur Wright College, 4300 N. Narragansett
- Fridays from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm February 2 through April 13 (closed March 30); and
- Saturdays from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm January 27 through April 14 (closed March 31)
Mather’s – Portage Park, 3235 N. Central
- Thursdays and Firdays from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm February 15 through April 13 by appointment only (call 888-600-2560)
Mathers – Norwood Park, 7134 W. Higgins
- Mondays from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm February 12 through April 9 by appointment only (call 888-600-2560)
Last year, the City of Chicago’s free income tax assistance helped 20,000 families and individuals receive $30 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 theTax Prep Chicago website.
Concrete Form Builder Apprenticeship
Beginning Tuesday, February 27, through Thursday, March 22, the Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters Apprentice & Traning Program will be accepting applications for future concrete form builder pre-apprenticeship training classes.
Each candidate must present the following documents at the Apprentice Program Office – 1256 Estes Avenue, Elk Grove Village, Illinois – between the hours of 9:30 am and 4:00 pm Monday through Friday, no later than Thursday, March 22:
- Letter of recommendation on a local union letterhead signed by an officer;
- Must have attained the age of 17 (driver’s license or state I.D. card required);
- Copy of high school diploma, high school diploma transcripts (must have official school seal – 8 credits minimum), or copy of G.E.D. certificate;
- Copy of Social Security Card or receipt showing duplicate card has been applied for;
- Veterans – form DD214 copy;
- A $25 non-refundable application processing fee. Money orders and cashiers check only. No cash will be accepted.
All (6) above-listed documents must be submitted at the time of filing or the candidate will not be permitted to file an application.
Further details will be mailed to each applicant regarding the required pre-test session and aptitude test dates.
Thanks for reading,
Sat., Feb 24, 8-11 am, Community First Medical Center, 5645 W. Addison. Come for your Cardiac Check-Up. Cholesterol screenings, blood glucose, body mass index, osteoporosis screenings. Consultations with dietitians and pharmacists, chest pain information, refreshments,and a 2-week fitness center pass. Fasting strongly recommended 12 hours before screening. Register: 773-282-7000. $40.
Sat., Feb 24, 7:30 pm, St. Bartholomew, Krueger Hall, 4910 W. Addison.The Mikey O’Comedy show will host a Stand Up for St. Barts!fundraiser. Enjoy a fun night out in the community and support St. Bartholomew School. Food and drink available for purchase. Cash bar. Tickets: email organizers. Doors open at 6:15 pm.$25.
Mon., Feb 26, 7:30 pm,Community First Hospital, 5645 W. Addison, 7th Floor, Conference Room C. All are welcome to join for the Portage Park Neighborhood Association’s community meeting. This is their annual meeting for members. Members will be voting for officers. PPNA President, Patricia Conroy, will be giving the annual report. Free.
Tue., Feb 27, 7 pm, Pasta D’Arte, 6311 N. Milwaukee. Meet neighbors and get involved in the community during theGladstone Park Neighborhood Associationmonthly meeting.Free.
Wed., Feb 28, 10:15-11 am,Jefferson Park Branch, 5363 W. Lawrence. Join in on the fun duringPreschool Story Time. Stories, rhymes, songs, STEAM activities, and crafts. 3-5 years old. More info: 312-744-1998. Free.
Wed., Feb 28, 11:15-11:45 am,Jefferson Park Branch, 5363 W. Lawrence. Join in on the fun duringBaby and Toddler Time. Mother Goose rhymes, stories, and songs for babies and toddlers from birth to 36 months. More info: 312-744-1998. Free.
Wed., Feb 28, 7 pm, Portage Park Senior Center, 4100 N. Long.Learn what you can do about crime during the1624 beat meeting. Find your beat at the45th ward map. More info: 312-742-4521. Free.
Wed., Feb 28, 7 pm,Congregational Church of Jefferson Park, Basement Auditorium, 5320 W. Giddings.Meet neighbors and discuss how to improve your community during theJefferson Park Neighborhood Associationmonthly meeting. Michael Reeb, Procurement Manager, and Elizabeth Lopez, Volunteer Coordinator, from Habitat for Humanity and ReStore Chicago will give insights into their organization.Free.
Fri., Mar 2, 3 pm,Josi’as Frozen Yogurt Cafe, 4032 N. Milwaukee. As if you needed an excuse to eat froyo, well now you have one! A portion of all frozen yogurt purchases will benefit St. John’s Lutheran School during the St. John’s Lutheran School Family Night. More info:online. Cost of purchases.
Sat., Mar 3, 6:30-11 pm, Klairmont Kollections, 3111 N. Knox. Support a local school while enjoying dinner, music, dancing, vintage car viewing, raffles, and a silent auction at the St. Viator Spring Soiree. Tickets: online.$85.
Sun., Mar 4, 5-10 pm, Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 N. Knox.Celebrate St. Patrick’s with the 11th annualWearing of the Green Dance; the official kick-off to the St. Patrick’s Day season. Dancing, live music, raffle prizes, cash bar, and dinner catered by Harrington’s Deli and Catering. Reserve your space by February 26:online or 773-282-7035 ext. 10.$45.
Tue., March 6, 7 pm,Independence Park Bungalow, 3900 N. Hamlin.Join neighbors to learn how you can participate in supporting your neighborhood at the monthlyGIPNA Board Meeting. Free.
Thur., March 8, 1-6 pm, Wilbur Wright College, Atrium, 4300 N. Narragansett.There will be aFree Screenings and Health Fairevent. Kidney disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, HIV/STDs, vision, and hearing screenings. Talk about your results with a nurse or doctor. Simple manicures and basic mens’ haircuts. Giveaways. Free.
Sun., March 11, 8 am-1:30 pm, St. Robert Bellarmine Church, Kernaghan Hall (basement), 4646 N. Austin. St. Robert Bellarmine and St. Cornelius Boy Scout troops will be hosting their 16th Annual Pancake Breakfast and Raffle. Tickets can be pre-ordered at the school. Make checks payable to Pack 3949.$6/advance; $7/door; free/5 years and younger.
Mon., March 12, 7 pm, Irving Park Baptist Church, Basement, 4401 W. Irving Park.Meet neighbors and discuss how to improve your community during the Old Irving Park Association meeting. More info: online. Free.
Tue., March 13, 7 pm, Oriole Park, 5430 N. Olcott.Lean what you can do about crime during the1613 beat meeting Find your beat at the45th Ward beat map. More info: 312-742-4521.Free.
Tue., March 13, 7 pm, Kilbourn Park, 3501 N. Kilbourn. Learn what you can do about crime during the 1731 beat meeting. Find your beat at the 45th Ward beat map. More info: 312-742-4588. Free.
Wed., March 14, 7 pm, Athletic Field Park, 3546 W. Addison. Learn what you can do about crime during the 1732-1733 beat meeting. Find your beat at the45th Ward beat map. More info: 312-742-4588.Free.
Thur., March 15, 7 pm, Location TBD. Meet neighbors and get involved in the community during theJefferson Park Forward monthly meeting. More info: online. Free.
Sun., March 18, 10 am-2 pm,Copernicus Center, Annex Space, 5214 W. Lawrence. TheJefferson Park Sunday Market continues 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., March 18, 2 pm, Irving Park Lutheran Church, 4100 N. Harding.The Irving Park Fine Arts Committee presents Ling’s Classical Strings.Free.
Mon., March 19, 7:30 pm, Location TBD. Meet neighbors and discuss ways to become more involved in your community during thePortage Park Neighborhood Associationmeeting. More info: online. Free.
Wed., March 21, 7 pm, 16th District Police Station, Community Room, 5151 N. Milwaukee. Learn what you can do about crime during the 1623 beat meeting. Find your beat at the 45th Ward beat map. More info: 312-742-4521. Free.
Wed., March 21, 7 pm, 17th District Police Station, Community Room, 4650 N. Pulaski. Learn what you can do about crime during the 1722-1723 beat meeting. Find your beat at the45th Ward beat map. More info: 312-742-4588.Free.
Tue., March 27, 7 pm, Pasta D’Arte, 6311 N. Milwaukee. Meet neighbors and get involved in your community during theGladstone Park Neighborhood Associationmonthly meeting.Free.
Wed., March 28, 7 pm,Congregational Church of Jefferson Park, Basement Auditorium, 5320 W. Giddings.Meet neighbors and discuss how to improve your community during theJefferson Park Neighborhood Associationmonthly meeting.Free.