Many seeds are in the ground and ready for roots at Olive’s Neighborhood Garden for the Hungry. This Saturday, volunteers will spend the week-end planting, and on Sunday, volunteers will be watering.
If you’re interested in lending a hand, stop by the corner of Laramie and Gunnison or give Andy Brecklin a call at 773-502-4651.
This is a perfect excuse to get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather that has finally graced us with its presence.
Two New Starbucks Locations Coming to the 45th Ward
I am pleased to announce progress on both Starbucks’ locations planned for the 45th Ward.
The location planned for the former Brown’s Chicken site at Lawrence and Central received a building permit last week. Starbucks plans on rehabbing the existing building and using the existing drive through to bring the first Starbucks to the Jefferson Park neighborhood. This lot serves as an ideal location for this sort of use and is yet another milestone for the ongoing revitalization of the Jefferson Park neighborhood.
The Starbucks planned for Cicero and Berteau began construction this week. This location will have a drive-thru option as well as an outdoor seating area for pedestrian traffic. With the recent openings of Culver’s, Binny’s, Retro Fitness, Distinct Bath and Body, Fischman’s Public House and Bottle Shop, Frunchroom, and more – Starbucks is another victory in the economic development efforts of the Six Corners shopping district.
In 2015, Zillow conducted research on the “Starbucks Effect”. This research found that home values for properties within a quarter-mile of a Starbucks rise faster than those that aren’t. The research also stated that Starbucks can act as a harbinger to developers, nodding to them that a neighborhood is up-and-coming. With the strides made in both the Six Corners area and the Jefferson Park neighborhood in recent years, the Starbucks developments confirm that we are headed on a path towards positive economic development; and I am excited and energized to usher in more progress throughout the ward.
Austin Avenue Sewer Main Replacement
Please be aware that beginning this month, Department of Water Management crews will begin to install a new sewer main in the 5900 and 6000-blocks of North Austin Avenue. The old sewer main is over 100 years old and needs to be replaced.
With crews working in the street, there may be closures or traffic restrictions for safety reasons. However, residents will always be able to reach their homes or businesses. Outside of working hours, a travel lane will be left open for local traffic only.
“No Parking” signs will be posted as needed during work hours (generally 7 am to 4 pm). Parking outside those hours will be allowed, but cars will need to be moved by the start of the next workday. Crews will try to reserve as much parking as possible.
My office and the Department of Water Management understand that construction always involves inconveniences and noise. Crews will do everything possible to maintain residents’ quality of life throughout this project and will conduct themselves as good and thoughtful neighbors in the course of their presence on the street.
Should you have any questions or concerns, you can either ask the construction foreman on the project site, email my office, or call the DWM Office of Public Affairs at 312-744-6635.
Thank you for your ongoing patience as these important infrastructure improvements are made.
Film Notice: 3800 N. Kildare
Optimus Productions will be filming a commercial on the 3800-block of North Kildare on Tuesday, May 8.
In order to park essential vehicles and equipment, the west side of Kildare Avenue from 3826 to 3856 will be posted as a No Parking/Tow Zone on Tuesday, May 8, from 9 am to noon.
Optimus Productions will work closely with the Chicago Film Office and the Chicago Police Department to ensure a safe and positive film experience.
If you have any questions, you can contact the City of Chicago Film Office at 312-744-6416.
Friends of the Jefferson Park Library Book Drive and Sale
Jefferson Park Forward and Eden United Church of Christ have partnered with the Jefferson Park Branch library to host a book drive and sale.
Through May 30, you can drop off books, CDs, and DVDs in good condition at the Jefferson Park Branch library, 5363 W. Lawrence. The Friends of the Jefferson Park Library will then host a sale to help raise funds to purchase tables, bulletin boards, and CD holders for the library.
The sale will take place on Thursday, May 31, from 3 pm until 7 pm; on Friday, June 1, from 10 am until 4 pm; and on Saturday, June 2, from 10 am until 4 pm. Teachers can receive a special 50% discount on June 2 from 1 to 4 pm.
If you are interested in volunteering, they are seeking volunteers to set-up, help with the sale, and clean-up afterward. Those interested can sign-up at the Jefferson Park Forward website.
This is a great opportunity to build community while raising funds for our local library, support the environment by promoting recycle and re-use, and help promote a love of reading and learning.
Schurz Maker Faire May 5
Schurz High School, 3601 N. Milwaukee, is hosting their annual Mini Maker Faire on Saturday, May 5, from 10 am to 4 pm at the school.
This festival showcases the creativity and innovation of artists, musicians, inventors, crafters, scientist, hackers, technophiles, and more. The participants come from all across the city and county, as well as student and faculty participants from Schurz. To get a taste of what sorts of projects are showcased, view a video from 2017’s World Maker Faire on YouTube.
The event is open to families, students, and thinkers of all ages. More information about the event and how you can get involved is available online.
Host an On the Table Discussion
Over the past four years, tens of thousands of Chicago-area residents have come together to participate in the Chicago Community Trust’s On the Table, an annual forum designed to elevate civic conversation, foster new relationships, and inspire collaborative action across the region. These conversations will continue with On the Table 2018 on Tuesday, May 8.
The Chicago Community Trust’s goals are to inspire action and spark real change. On the Table has already made a real impact – including a grassroots campaign about tolerance reminding us that “Hate Has No Home Here,” creating and printing a coloring book to help victims of sexual assault, organizing new winter coat and book “giving events” at neighborhood libraries, creating a proven alternative to the emergency room that provides mental health assessment and peer support, and more.
On the Table is inviting YOU to host a mealtime conversation with your network. You can register online at their website.
Previous On the Table conversations have been enlightening and thought provoking. I look forward to engaging with community members once again this year for these important discussions.
Suds After Six May 10
The Six Corners Association is partnering with Distinct Bath And Body, 4046 N. Milwaukee, and Fischman Public House & Bottle Shop, 4060 N. Milwaukee, to host a Social After 6: Suds After 6event on Thursday, May 10.
Start the evening at Distinct Bath and Body at 6:30 pm for a soap making demonstration. After the first demonstration, head over to Fischman’s for a wine and cider tasting. Appetizers will also be available during the tasting. Then head back over to Distinct Bath and Body at 7:30 pm for a second soap making demonstration. Josi’s Frozen Yogurt, 4032 N. Milwaukee, will also be on site during the demonstrations to give away mini cones!
Tickets only cost $15 and are available to purchase online. Make sure to purchase yours in advance, as they won’t be available to buy at the door.
Shred-a-Thon May 12
Need to shred old, sensitive documents? I’m partnering with Midway Moving to host a Shred-a-Thon.
You can help prevent identity theft by bringing these documents to the Hoyne Bank parking lot, located at 4729 N. Milwaukee (on the corner of Milwaukee and Giddings), on Saturday, May 12, between 10 am and 1 pm.
Spring Volunteer Orientation at Keeler Gardens
Keeler Gardens, 3631 N. Keeler, is looking for volunteers. Join them on Saturday, May 12, 10:00 am-11:30 am to hear more about how you can help.
Bob Dylan’s Birthday Bash May 19
The Filament hosts their sixth annual Bob Dylan Birthday Bash and Benefit Concert on Saturday, May 19, at 7 pm at the Filament Theatre, 4041 N. Milwaukee.
There will be birthday cake, a cash bar, raffle and silent auction items, and plenty of great live music to boot.
More information and tickets are available to purchaseonline. Individual tickets and VIP tables of 4 are available.
Irving Park Community Food Pantry Neighborhood Walk May 19
The Irving Park Community Food Pantry, 3801 N. Keeler, is organizing a walk through the Old Irving Park neighborhood to raise funds and generate awareness of hunger in our community.
Neighbors and friends will meet at the Food Pantry at 9 am on Saturday, May 19, and walk about 1.7 miles through the neighborhood. The route should take about 30 to 40 minutes to complete.
Those interested in participating can ask friends, family, and neighbors to sponsor them. Toiletries, food, and socks donations will also be collected to add to the pantry’s stock for clients.
Schools, church groups, neighborhood associations, and individuals are encouraged to participate to build a stronger community and support an organization that works tirelessly to give back to our neighbors in need. Students will be eligible to receive two hours of service time for participating.
Chicago Fringe Festival Presents Five Fifths of The Rocky Horror Show May 24
The Chicago Fringe Festival is back for their totally unique take on the cult classic The Rocky Horror Show.
Five local theater companies will come together to reinterpret, redefine, and reimagine the classic film into one unforgettable show.
Tickets cost $35 if purchased before May 15 and are available online. After May 15, ticket prices raise to $40. The price includes two cocktails, food, and access to a special Chicago Fringe Festival board-sponsored wine raffle and silent auction.
Tickets to this popular event sell fast, so make sure to secure yours today!
Aoife Gallagher Benefit June 3
Twelve year old Aoife Gallagher fights a debilitating disease called Leukodystrophy. Aoife’s form of the disease is so rare, only 250 people worldwide have been diagnosed. This neurologically degenerative disease has no cure.
Diagnosed more than 10 years ago, Aoife has lost the ability to walk and talk and depends on her paents and 10-year-old brother Fionn for her every need. After years of medical treatment, Aoife had a recent major setback that required intensive care treatment for more than three months.
Aoife is a student at Disney II Magnet School on Chicago’s Northwest side. Aoife’s father, John Gallagher, hails from Crossmolina, CO. Mayo, Ireland. Her mother is Margaret McIntyre, and her brother Fionn plays for the Windy City Gales Irish youth football team for which John coaches.
On top of the emotionally and physically intense years of medical procedures and extensive medications, this ordeal has resulted in a sizable financial burden for the family.
A benefit to support this resilient family will be held on Sunday, June 3, from 3-8 pm at the Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 N. Knox.
If you are interested in sponsoring the event, you can find a donation commitment form on my website.
Become a Meal Site for Chicago Children this Summer
Thousands of kids in Chicago rely on school for regular meals. During the summer months, those meals disappear. Currently, only 16% of the children who rely on free or reduced-price school meals receive meals when school is out of session.
Food Service Professionals (FSP) is helping community leaders with the know-how they need to start summer meal sites. FSP participates in the Summer Food Service Program sponsored by the USDA. The program helps fill the gap during the summer months. If your organization is interesting in being a feeding site or adding meals to your existing youth program, contact Kelly Lothian with FSP email@example.com or at 773-385-5111.
The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles Now Open
Friends of all ages are invited to a seaside party to experience the heartfelt whimsy and captivating wonder of The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles. Once again, Filament Theatre has created an environment where kids and their adults can play together as they enter a world full of all the warmth and surprise of a message in a bottle.
Your favorite Filament actors adapt this award winning children’s book to the stage where they are joined by musical accompaniment by Tim McNulty. Audiences are encouraged to come early and stay after the performance to play and explore the themes of the show.
The show will run through June 3 at the Filament Theatre, 4041 N. Milwaukee. Tickets cost $12 to $17.50 and are available to purchase online online. Consider purchasing a two show package to save 25%.
One Summer Chicago Applications Open Thru May 21
The City of Chicago’s One Summer program will return this summer, providing the city’s youth with over 30,000 jobs and internships this summer. Now through May 21, youth ages 14 to 24 can apply online.
The One Summer program connects Chicago’s youth with valuable work experience, helping them realize their full potential and work towards a brighter future.
Learn more and apply online.
Silver Star Banner
The Cook County Office of Veterans Affairs is seeking applicants for the 2018 Silver Star Banner Program, which recognizes service members and veterans of the United States Armed Forces who have been wounded or became ill while serving in a war zone.
Interested service members and veterans must meet the following requirements:
- Any Armed Forces personnel either currently serving honorably or those who have served honorably from ANY war; or
- Any Armed Forces personnel that has been wounded or contracted a serious illness and could be rated at least 10% disabled by the Department of Veterans Affairs. All wounds, injuries, or illnesses must have originated in a war zone.
Those interested must complete a Silver Star Service Banner request form, available online. Applicants must also include a short biography with details regarding their injury and the war zone in which it occurred. The request form must be signed and returned to the Cook County Office of Veteran Affairs no later than Friday, May 11.
Questions can be directed to Bill Browne via email atBill.Browne@cookcountyil.gov or via phone at 312-603-6423.
Northwest Home Equity Assurance Program
Our local real estate market has almost bounced back from the 2008 crash. A great way to ensure that you hold onto that value is by registering with the Northwest Home Equity Assurance Program.
The program already collects a small tax from almost every residential property in the 45th Ward, but to be eligible, you need to have your property appraised and sign up. After 5 years, and as long as the property is well maintained, the program guarantees the value of your property from the time of the appraisal, except in cases where market conditions are impacting the entire city.
You can double check that you live in the program service area on this map. To learn more, call the Northwest Home Equity Assurance Program at (773) 622-0700.
Thanks for reading,
Sat., May 5, 12-4 pm, Independence Park Fieldhouse, 3945 N. Springfield. The Greater Independence Park Neighborhood Association is hosting the 11th annual Fine Craft Fair just in time for Mother’s Day! The fair will feature original handmade craft items including, jewelry, textiles, glass, ceramics, pet products, apparel, home accessories, and more. All work is original and handmade by local artisans. If you are an artist and would like to participate, pleaseemail organizers.Cost of purchases.
Sun., May 6, 8 am-12 pm, Irving Park Lutheran Church, Gym, 4057 N. Harding. Enjoy a delicious meal during the Boy Scout Pancake Breakfast. Cost of entry applies.
Tue., May 8, 1:30-3:30 pm, Jefferson Park Branch, 5363 W. Lawrence. The Illinois Secretary of State’s Office hosts a Rules of the Road Review Course. This course is designed to give drivers – especially senior citizens and persons with disabilities – the knowledge and confidence needed to renew or obtain a driver’s license. The course combines an explanation of the driving exam with a practice written exam. Register: call 312-744-1998. A minimum of five people must be registered for the course. Free.
Tue., May 8, 3:30-4:30 pm, Beard School, 6445 W. Strong. Beard Preschool is hosting an Open House. Staff will be giving tours of the preschool classrooms and answering questions. If your child is going to be 3 or 4 years old by September 1, they can apply for full day, half day, blended classrooms, or special education preschool programs. More info: 773-534-1228. Free.
Tue., May 8, 7 pm,Oriole Park, 5430 N. Olcott. Learn what you can do about crime during the 1613 beat meeting. Find your beat at the45th Ward map. More info: 312-742-4521. Free.
Tue., May 8, 7 pm,Kilbourn Park, 3501 N. Kilbourn.Learn what you can do about crime during the1731 beat meeting. Find your beat at the 45th Ward map. More info: 312-742-4588. Free.
Wed., May 9, 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., May 10, 12-1:30 pm, Cook County Elder Justice Center, 50 W. Washington, Courtroom 2005.The senior enrichment seminar series hosts a Social Security: Rights, Responsibilities, and Deadlines seminar. RSVP: 312-603-9233. Free.
Sat., May 12, 10-11:30 am, Keeler Gardens, 3631 N. Keeler. Keeler Gardens continues to grow. As they grow, they need some help. They will host a Spring Volunteer Orientation to learn more about the specific needs of Keeler Gardens and match your skills and desired learning to projects that can help you connect with nature. Space is limited to 30 volunteers Sign uponline. Free.
Sat., May 12, 7 pm,Irish American Heritage Center, Erin Room, 4626 N. Knox. The Irving Park Fine Arts Committee presents Once in a Lifetime: Judy & Liza at the London Palladium. More info and tickets:online.$25/advance; $35/door.
Mon., May 14, 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., May 16, 11 am-12 pm,Portage Park Satellite Senior Center, 4100 N. Long. Want to make Portage Park more age-friendly? If so, please join in learning how a village project is trying to help isolated seniors in the community, and how you can become a volunteer during the Portage Park Village Meeting.Free.
Wed., May 16, 7 pm, 16th District Station, Community Room, 5151 N. Milwaukee. Learn what you can do about crime during the 1623 beat meeting. Find your beat at the45th Ward map. More info: 312-742-4521. Free.
Wed., May 16, 7 pm, 17th District Station, Community Room, 4650 N. Pulaski.Learn what you can do about crime during the1722-1723 beat meeting. Find your beat at the 45th Ward map. More info: 312-742-4588. Free.
Thur., May 17, 7 pm, Location TBD.Meet neighbors and get involved in the community during theJefferson Park Forward monthly meeting. More info: online. Free.
Fri., May 18, 8:30 am, St. Edward School, 4343 W. Sunnyside.Registration is open the the 4th annual Big Red Run. This event will feature a 5k and a 1 mile fun run/walk on Chicago’s northwest side. After the run, stay for games, activities, and celebratory food & drink. All proceeds will fund St. Edward School, The Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter #242 Chicago, and Juvenile Diabetes. More info: online.Free.
Sat., May 19, 8 am-12 pm, Eden United Church of Christ, 5051 W. Gunnison. Eden United hosts its2nd annual Pancake Breakfast. Menu includes pancakes, sausage, applesauce, orange juice, milk, and coffee. Tickets: email organizers or call 773-283-5557. $5/ticket by May 17; $7/door; free/kids under 5.
Sat., May 19, 9 am-4 pm, West Walker, Save the date for the annual West Walker Garage and Yard Sale. Event will happen, rain or shine! Cost of purchases.
Sun., May 20, 9 am-1:30 pm,Copernicus Center, Parking Lot, 5216 W. Lawrence.Come out to theSpring Community Flea Market/Garage Sale. 30+ vendors, water and coffee available to purchase. Event will happen rain or shine. Sponsored by the Jefferson Park Chamber of Commerce, the Copernicus Foundation, and the Jefferson Park Neighborhood Association. More info: 773-282-3879. Cost of purchases.
Sun., May 20, 10 am, Harvest Christian Center Chicago, 4020 N. Tripp. Harvest Christian Center will host Chaplain Valerie Saviano as a guest speaker during their morning service. More info: online.Free.
Mon., May 21, 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.
Thur., May 24, 12-1:30 pm, Cook County Elder Justice Center, 50 W. Washington, Courtroom 2005.The senior enrichment seminar series hosts a Navigating Foreclosures: What Happens When You Get Served with Foreclosure Papers? seminar. RSVP: 312-603-9233. Free.
Tue., May 29, 7 pm, Pasta D’Arte, 6311 N. Milwaukee. Meet neighbors and get involved in your community during the Gladstone Park Neighborhood Associationmonthly meeting.Free.
Wed., May 30, 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 Associationmonthly meeting.Free.