Please be advised that in observance of Pulaski Day, my office will be closed on Monday, March 5. It will re-open on Tuesday, March 6, at 9:00 am.
Also, please be advised that there will be no Ward Night on Tuesday, March 6. The next Ward Night will be on Tuesday, March 13, from 5-7 pm at the ward office. I apologize for any inconvenience.
Free Yard Signs
My office now has free yard signs reminding neighbors to leash and clean up after their pets available. Due to a limited number of signs, we can only provide one sign per yard while supplies last.
Swing by my office, 4754 N. Milwaukee, during office hours to pick one up!
Community Alert: Criminal Sexual Abuse
Please be aware that on February 22, at approximately 5:00 pm, a 23-year-old woman was inside a local grocery store on the 4600-block of West Irving Park when she was approached from behind and inappropriately contacted by an unknown offender.
The offender is described as an African American male, between 30 and 40 years old, and 5’6″-5’8″ tall. He weighed between 140-170 pounds with a medium build. At the time of the incident, he was wearing a black jacket, a gray hooded sweatshirt, and dark colored sweatpants.
If you have any information about this incident, please contact the Area North Detective Division at 312-744-8261 and reference JB 161 845.
Independence Park Tree Walk March 17
Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a tree walk in Independence Park!
Openlands TreeKeepers Program Manager Al De Reu will lead a tour to see and discuss newly planted as well as mature trees. The tour will focus on tree identification, the importance of trees, and appreciation.
Meet outside the eastern entrance of the fieldhouse located at 3945 N. Springfield at 11 am on Saturday, March 17. Please dress for the weather. This event is open to the public but people should register in advance so that Openlands know how many people to expect.
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.
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.
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 ticketsonline or 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.
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.
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.
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., March 3, 9 am,Mercy Home, West Loop Campus, 1140 W. Jackson. Mercy Home will be hosting a Friends First informational session for individuals interested in mentoring at-risk youth ages 9-17 in the Chicago area. Learn more about Friends First: onlineor call 312-738-6368. Free.
Sat., March 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., March 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 monthly GIPNA Board Meeting.Free.
Thur., March 8, 12-1:30 pm, Cook County Elder Justice Center, 50 W. Washington, Courtroom 2005. The senior enrichment seminar series hosts an End of Life Choices: Funeral Pre-Planning seminar. RSVP: 312-603-9233. Free.
Thur., March 8, 1-6 pm, Wilbur Wright College, Atrium, 4300 N. Narragansett. There will be a Free Screenings and Health Fair event. 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.
Fri., March 9, 9-11 am, Beard School, 6445 W.Strong.Parents and families of Beard School are invited to the first ever Parent Literacy Fair. The focus will be on parent learning, where parents can learn how literacy affects their child’s brain. There will be a two session and a book fair available. For more info and to register contact Beard School at 773-534-1228. 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 their16th 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 the 1613 beat meeting Find your beat at the 45th 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 the45th 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 the1732-1733 beat meeting. Find your beat at the 45th 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 the Jefferson 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 the Portage 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 the45th 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 the 45th Ward beat map. More info: 312-742-4588. Free.
Thur., March 22, 12-1:30 pm, Cook County Elder Justice Center, 50 W. Washington, Courtroom 2005.The senior enrichment seminar series hosts A Senior’s Guide to Property Tax Savings seminar. RSVP: 312-603-9233. Free.
Tue., March 27, 7 pm, Pasta D’Arte, 6311 N. Milwaukee.Meet neighbors and get involved in your community during the Gladstone Park Neighborhood Association monthly 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 the Jefferson Park Neighborhood Association monthly meeting. Chicago attorney Elizabeth Jurkacek will speak on a relatively new statute which provides a modest option on how property owners can transfer their real estate upon death without probate. Also, Jacob Dimuzio from Turning the Page, a North Lawndale organization, will discuss their commitment to link public school, families, and the community in receiving valuable educational resources.. Free.