Support our local Boy Scouts this Sunday by attending the St. John’s Lutheran Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts annual Spaghetti Dinner fundraiser.You can either dine in or take out a delicious plate of spaghetti during this event.
The event only only costs $6 a person (or free for children 5 and younger). It will take place on Sunday, March 25, from 12:30-2:00 pm in the gym at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 4939 W. Montrose.
Jumping Jack Application Opens March 26
Jumping jack applications for the 2018 season will open on Monday, March 26, at 9:00 am. The Jumping Jack Program only operates on Saturdays and Sundays from May 28th through August 28th and is determined on a first come, first served basis. Applications must be completed online and will not be accepted in paper form, email, or fax.
More information on block parties is available at my website.
Street Sweeping Schedule Now Available
The Department of Streets and Sanitation will begin their residential street cleaning schedule starting in April. Street cleaning runs through November.
The city hangs bright orange temporary parking restrictions the day before sweeping service is scheduled to begin. Those who fail to move their vehicle between the restricted hours, between 9 am and 2 pm, will be eligible to receive a $60 ticket.
The street sweeping schedule is available to view at the 45th Ward Map. This handy tool also has recycling pick-up dates, beat maps, and more useful information for 45th Ward Residents. The map is also available to view on the homepage of the 45th Ward website.
Annual Clean & Green April 21
Join your neighbors for Chicago’s annual citywide Clean and Green Day of Service at 10 am on Saturday, April 21. This is a great opportunity for individuals and community groups to pitch in to help beautify our neighborhoods.
This year, we will be focusing on the following areas in the 45th Ward:
- Along Avondale from Lawrence to Laramie and nearby areas (e.g. Transit Center)
- Along Avondale between Pulaski and Irving Park
- Under the Irving Park Blue Line viaduct
In addition to the supplies available at my office, the Department of Streets and Sanitation will provide rakes, brooms, shovels, and bags. Please bring your own work gloves and wear clothing that you don’t mind getting dirty.
To sign up, contact my office via email at email@example.com or call (773) 286-4545 by Friday, April 13.
Spring Planting Weekend at Keeler Gardens
Keeler Gardens, 3631 N. Keeler, received an overwhelming donation from Lurvey Garden Center in Des Plaines and the Chicago Flower and Garden Show. Help them on Saturday from noon until 5 pm and on Sunday from about noon until 6 pm working in the garden and on the patio. It may be cold on Saturday, so dress appropriately. If you have your own garden gloves and tools, feel free to bring them. Keeler Gardens could also use any cardboard boxes for one of the projects they’ll be working on.
Attendees will learn a bit about design, specific plants, and planting procedures. Even if you don’t want to get your hands dirty, you are welcome to swing by to be a cheerleader.
Beaubien Spring Fling April 28
Beaubien Elementary is hosting its annual Spring Fling fundraiser on Saturday, April 28, from 6:00 pm to 11:00 pm at Biagio’s, 4242 N. Central.
Enjoy and evening full of delicious appetizers, dinner, dessert, and raffle prizes, including a 7-9 vacation at the Pineapple Beach Club in Antigua (valued at $2,100). The event will also include a silent auction featuring a wide variety of items including experiences, memberships, and tons of other goodies.
Can’t attend or feeling extra generous? Organizers are still accepting donations – gift cards of any amount are welcome as in-kind donation. Join local businesses such as Distinct Bath & Body, the Filament Theatre, and Backlot Coffee in supporting one of your local public schools.
Senior & Senior Freeze Exemption Deadline Extended to March 30
The Cook County Assessor’s office announced that they will extend the deadline for the Senior Citizen Exemption and Senior Freeze Exemption renewal applications and new applications for Tax Year 2017 to March 30, 2018. Any application postmarked by March 30 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 deductions on their second installment property tax bills.
To qualify for 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, 2017
- 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 websiteand 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.
Be a Bunny for the Irving Park Community Food Pantry
The Irving Park Community Food Pantry, 3801 N. Keeler, will begin to give out Easter baskets to their clients’ children up to 12-years-old leading up to Easter on April 1.
In order to do this, they need your support! They are accepting medium-sized baskets and donated items to fill them. Consider donating any of the following fun dollar store items:
- Plastic eggs filled with jelly beans or change
- Snacks such as juice pouches, crackers, breakfast bars, and microwave popcorn
- Wrapped candy
- Bubbles, Nerf balls, Yo-Yos, pinwheels, etc.
- Easter pencils, erasers, toys
- Small stuffed animals
- Stickers, crayons, markers
- Little books and activity pads
- Medium-sized plastic or fabric baskets that stack easily
If you have any questions or want to arrange how to drop off donations or filled baskets, email Megan Tormey firstname.lastname@example.org.
Schurz Mini Maker Faire Applications Due April 3
The popular Shchurz High School Mini Maker Faire returns on May 5!
This popular event draws families from throughout Chicago to the neighborhood to see the unparalleled festival showcasing the creativity and innovation of artists, musicians, inventors, crafters, scientists, hackers, technophiles, and more.
The Makers Faire is accepting applications for exhibitions through April 3. Visit the Maker Faire website to learn more about the festival and to apply.
Olive’s Garden For the Hungry Fundraiser April 7
Olive’s Neighborhood Garden for the Hungry is hosting its annual fundraiser on Saturday, April 7, from 3 to 6 pm at Rabbit’s Bar & Grill, 4945 W. Foster. There will be raffles for items donated by local businesses, and a cash prize!
Proceeds from the fundraiser will go towards purchasing seeds, plants, and supplies for the upcoming growing season. The food grown in the garden helps serve 70-80 families per week at the Northwest Church of Christ’s food pantry.
Contact Andy at email@example.com or at 773-502-4651 to buy raffle tickets, donate a prize, become a sponsor, or for more information.
Six Corners Community Spring Clean Up April 7
Join the Six Corners Association and 2112 Chicago on April 7th for their annual Community Spring Clean Up!
Community volunteers will pick up trash, clean sidewalks, and spruce up landscaping around the Six Corners area. All community members are encouraged to participate.
This is a great opportunity to get involved in the community and boost the neighborhood’s overall attractiveness for residents, customers, and visitors.
The morning of Saturday, April 7, at 9:30 am, volunteers will meet at Lydia Home, 4839 W. Irving Park, for coffee, donuts, and supplies. Volunteers are encouraged to wear old clothing that can get dirty and bring work gloves. Volunteers will work until roughly 12:30 pm.
More information is available at the Facebook event.
Volunteer for the 2019 Participatory Budgeting Cycle
After our largest voter turnout from last year’s cycle, my office and our Participatory Budgeting volunteers are gearing up for another round!
Participatory Budgeting provides a unique opportunity to determine how your tax dollars are spent on various infrastructure projects throughout the neighborhood. It is most effective when community members are engaged in the process. It is a rewarding experience to see in a tangible way how your efforts and vote can make a big difference in your community.
We are always seeking new volunteers to help the process and provide additional perspectives throughout the cycle. If you are interested in joining a dedicated team of community members to affect substantive change in your ward, email my office at Ward45@cityofchicago.org or call (773) 286-4545 and ask for Leslie.
Citizen Police Academy
Do you have a strong connection to your community and want to make a difference? Apply to join the Citizen Police Academy.
The spring session of the Citizen Police Academy will begin on April 10, and will run for ten weeks through June 12.
The Chicago Police Department is looking for individuals with strong community ties who will be good ambassadors for the department. Participating citizens will receive a condensed version of CPD recruit training.
Classes meet every Tuesday from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm at the Education and Training Division at 1300 W. Jackson. Participants are required to commit to attending at least 8 of the 10 sessions.
For more information or an application, please contact the 16th District Community Relations Office at 312-742-4521 or atCAPS.firstname.lastname@example.org. Those interested in the 17th District can contact the 17th District Community Relations Office at 312-742-4588 or at CAPS.email@example.com.
Money Available for Businesses in Jefferson Park
Jefferson Park businesses looking to spruce up their storefronts or do any remodeling should apply for a $100,000 city grant. I will be hosting a meeting about this great city program at 10 am Thursday, March 29, at Weston’s, 4872 N. Milwaukee Ave.
The $100,000 grants – not a loan — are available through a city-funded program called the Small Business Improvement Fund (SBIF). All sorts of building repairs and improvements are eligible for SBIF funding, including improvements to windows, sign structures, plumbing, and electrical systems, as well as interior build-outs and HVAC and ADA upgrades.
To be eligible, the business must be within the Jefferson Park TIF District, which runs along Milwaukee between Montrose and the Kennedy Expressway, and branches out along Lawrence between Linder and the Kennedy. The application deadline is April 30. If you have any questions or cannot make the meeting, call my office for more information.
Learn more about SBIF at the SBIF website.
Save the Date – Child Safety Seminar April 17
16th District Police are hosting a seminar entitled Keeping Your Child Safe: A Conversation about Sexual Abuse and Internet Safety. The seminar is Tuesday, April 17, at 7 pm, at the Copernicus Center, 5216 W. Lawrence.
Speakers will include Det. Charles Hollendoner of the Special Investigations Unit, and retired social worker Tom Plach.
I hope you’ll be able to make it to this important seminar on protecting our children.
Play-Doh Collection at 16th District Police Station
16th District Police, along with 36th Ward Ald. Gilbert Villegas, are collecting Play-Doh to benefit the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. Please drop off unused packages of Play-Doh at the 16th District Police Station, 5151 N. Milwaukee, through March 30.
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, through April 13 (closed March 30); and
- Saturdays from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm, through April 14 (closed March 31)
Mather’s – Portage Park, 3235 N. Central
- Thursdays and Fridays from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm, 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, 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.
Thanks for reading,
Sun., March 25, 12:30-2 pm, St. John’s Lutheran, Gym, 4939 W. Montrose. The St John’s Lutheran Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts host theirannual Spaghetti Dinner fundraiser. Dine in or take out.$6/person; Free/5 and younger.
Mon., March 26, 5 pm, Culver’s, 4939 W. Irving Park. The Easter bunny is making an appearance at Culver’s. Your kid can have theirPicture with the Easter Bunny and enjoy a delicious $3.99 kids meal. More info: online.Cost of purchases.
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, 9 am-1 pm, Columbus Park, Gymnasium, 500 S. Central. The Chicago Department of Aviation is hosting a Community Career Fair. O’Hare and Midway are hiring in airlines, cargo, concessions, hospitality, security, and more. Free.
Wed., March 28, 5-8 pm, Culver’s, 4939 W. Irving Park.YMCA will be on-site serving food forCulver’s Night. 10% of sales will be donated to the Irving Park Y scholarship fund. More info: online.Cost of purchases.
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.
Sun., Apr 1, 8, 9, & 11 am, St. John’s Episcopal Church, 3857 N. Kostner.Enjoy coffee, treats, and an Easter Egg Hunt following each service at St. John’s Episcopal. Free.
Tue., Apr 3, 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.
Mon., Apr 9, 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.
Wed., Apr 11, 7 pm,Dunham Park, 4638 N. Melvina. Learn what you can do about crime during the 1622 beat meeting. Find your beat at the 45th ward map. More info: 312-742-4521.Free.
Wed., Apr 11, 7 pm,Athletic Field Park, Fieldhouse, 3546 W. Addison. Learn what you can do about crime during the1732-1733 beat meeting. Find your beat at the 45th ward map. More info: 312-742-4588.Free.
Thur., Apr 12, 12-1:30 pm, Cook County Elder Justice Center, 50 W. Washington, Courtroom 2005.The senior enrichment seminar series hosts aManaging Evictions and Code Violations: Useful Tools. RSVP: 312-603-9233. Free.
Sat., Apr 14, 11 am-12 pm, Portage-Cragin Branch, 5108 W. Belmont.Children up to age 12 are invited toSensory Story Time. Build literacy skills and engage your senses with books, song, and play. Designed to work for kids with special needs. Free.
Mon., Apr 16, 6:30 pm, Portage-Cragin Branch, 5108 W. Belmont. NEIU Varsity Band hosts aBig Band Concert.Free.
Mon., Apr 16, 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., Apr 18, 6:30 pm, Copernicus Center, 5216 W. Lawrence. Join neighbors and friends for theNational Veteran’s Art Museum Spring Icebreaker. Catch up with friends, generate support, and raise awareness for veteran-made fine arts in the community. More info: online.$20/advance.
Wed., Apr 18, 7 pm,17th District 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 map. More info: 312-742-4588. Free.
Thur., Apr 19, 1-4 pm, 17th District Police Station, Parking Lot, 4651 N. Pulaski. The 17th District Police Station is hosting aShred-A-Thon. Bring old sensitive documents and help prevent identity theft. More info: 312-742-4588. Free.
Thur., Apr 19, 7 pm,Location TBD. Meet neighbors and get involved in the community during the Jefferson Park Forward monthly meeting. More info:online. Free.
Sat., Apr 21, 11 am,Biagio, 4242 N. Central. The St. Cornelius Ladies Guild is hosting their annual Spring Luncheon. Entertainment by Kym Frankovelgia. More info: call June at 773-267-1774 or Priscilla at 312-806-5168.
Sat., Apr 21, 2 pm,Portage-Cragin Branch, 5108 W. Belmont. Join in for a spirited Sing-A-Long. Old Town School of Folk Music teaching artist Mary Peterson and Linda Smith will take participants on a journey of tunes.Free.
Tue., Apr 24, 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., Apr 25, 12-1:30 pm, Cook County Elder Justice Center, 50 W. Washington, Courtroom 2005.The senior enrichment seminar series hosts aFinancial Literacy: Managing and Protecting Your Assets seminar. RSVP: 312-603-9233. Free.
Wed., Apr 25, 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. Free.
Wed., Apr 25, 7 pm,Portage Park Senior Center, 4100 N. Long. Learn what you can do about crime during the1624 beat meeting. Find your beat at the 45th ward map. More info: 312-742-4521. Free.
Wed., Apr 26, 7 pm,St. Bartholomew, Krueger Hall, 4910 W. Addison. Learn what you can do about crime during the 1634 beat meeting. Find your beat at the 45th ward map. More info: 312-742-4521.Free.
Sat., Apr 28, 10 am-2 pm, O’Brien Water Reclamation Plant, 3500 Howard St., Skokie. The MWRD and DEA are partnering to host aNational Prescription Drug Take Back Day. Bring your human or pet meds to safely dispose of them during this event. Free.
Sat., Apr 28, 2 pm,Portage-Cragin Branch, 5108 W. Belmont. Relive a time when radio was king during anOld Time Radio Classics Live. Those Were the Days Radio Players from Norridge will perform famous radio skits. Free.
Sat., Apr 28, 7 pm,Irving Park Lurtheran Church, Gym,4057 N. Harding. Support a local non-profit that helps our most vulnerable neighbors by attending the Hands to Help Trivia Night Fundraiser. More info: online.$50/advance individual; $60/individual at the door; $400/table that seats 8 and a bottle of wine.
Sun., Apr 29, 10 am-2 pm, Copernicus Center, Annex Space, 5214 W. Lawrence. TheJefferson Park Sunday Markethosts their final winter market in the annex space at the Copernicus Center. There is even a cash bar to make your brunch a little more interesting. Cost of purchases.