I’d like to take a moment to recognize and honor all of our military veterans this Veterans Day. Our veterans have selflessly sacrificed to serve our country and protect our freedoms during war and peacetime, and it is our obligation to earnestly say thank you not just on Veterans Day, but every day.
Please be aware that observance of Veterans Day, my office will be closed on Friday, November 11, and Saturday, November 12. We will re-open the following Monday, November 14.
Honor Veterans this Weekend with the National Veterans Art Museum
Celebrate and honor our veterans this Veterans Day weekend by attending an exhibit at the National Veterans Art Museum, 4041 N. Milwaukee. The museum houses more than 2,500 works of art by more than 255 artists from veterans across all wars. The artwork allows the public a unique perspective into the controversial subject of war, and offers insight into the psyche of combat veterans and the very real impact war leaves on its survivors.
The Vonnegut’s Odyssey exhibit will open on Veterans Day, November 11. This exhibit features the artwork of famed author Kurt Vonnegut Jr. The exhibit captures the complex and challenging transition that many veterans face when returning home from war. Vonnegut was influenced during his service in the military during World War II. Vonnegut’s Odyssey will run through May 6, 2017. There will be extended hours to view the exhibit (from 10 am to 9 pm) on Veterans Day.
At 2 pm on Saturday, November 12, artists Carma Park, Scottie Kersta-Wilson, and Ginger Jensen tell the real stories of men and women who have experienced the horrors of war in their The Poet’s Eye, The Artist’s Voice performance. This performance is in its ninth year and has received rave reviews for the unique and poignant way these experiences are shared. The performance is free and open to the public.
For more information on the museum and other exhibits, visit the National Veterans Art Museum’s website or call 312-326-0270.
Fourth Annual Wine & Cheese Party on November 19
What’s better than enjoying some wine and cheese? Supporting the community while drinking delicious wine and eating delectable cheese.
From 4 pm to 7 pm on Saturday, November 19, GIPNA hosts their fourth annual Wine & Cheese Party at the Independence Tap, 3932 W. Irving Park. This fundraiser benefits John B. Murphy School and the Independence Park Farmers Market.
Last year GIPNA made a $10,000 donation to Murphy School, which enabled them to continue their arts and music programs. This year, GIPNA plans on continuing to support Murphy school as well as help cover some of the costs of the beloved Independence Park Farmers Market, which costs GIPNA more than $3,000 each summer.
In addition to all the feasting and fun, there will be raffles, a silent auction, and a Neighbors Wine Basket. Tickets are $40 in advance or $45 at the door. Tickets can be purchased online.
Register Your Child for Winter Break Camp
Chicago Parks District’s Winter Break Camps registration is now open.
Kids can enjoy their school break with other kids their age in a fun and supervised environment at an affordable cost. Campers will participate in recreational activities, arts and crafts, sports, and more.
Most camps run the weeks of December 21 and December 28 and are for children ages 6 through 12. The times vary, but most are at least six hours long.
For more information, to view the winter camps, and to register, visit the Chicago Park District’s website.
Taxi Access Program Now Available
Effective November 1, the Taxi Access Program (TAP) requires all Chicago taxi providers to accept TAP cards. TAP, managed by PACE, provides ADA Paratransit eligible riders the option of using taxis at reduced rates for same-day trips that begin within the City of Chicago.
Those with a disability or health condition that prevents them at times from using fixed bus routes or rail services and are certified as being eligible for ADA Paratransit services by the RTA are eligible to apply for TAP.
To apply for a TAP card, simply complete and return a TAP card mail order form or request one by calling 800-606-1282 and press option four.
For more information and to download the TAP card mail order form, view the TAP user guide online.
Emergency Heating Repair Grant Applications Now Open
The 2016-17 Emergency Heating Repair Program is now open through April 1, 2017, or until all funds have been exhausted. You can download the application package online.
Eligible properties must be located in Chicago, habitable, owner-occupied, and not at risk of foreclosure. This is a one-time service program for single-family, one to four units, and owner-occupied properties located in the city of Chicago. Any owner-occupied property that has received this service in the past will be ineligible to receive service again.
Households earning 80% or less of the Area Median Income (AMI) are eligible to participate in the program. The total gross income of all owners and other household members shall be included and may not exceed this limit. The gross incomes of all adults, 18 and older, who reside in the property, are included in determining income eligibility.
If the owner sells, transfers title or longer occupies the unit within one year of the grant, the owner will be required to pay the balance of the loan from the time of transfer to loan ending period date.
Applicants can also download the application package and view eligibility requirements on the Department of Planning and Development’s website.
Chicago Property Tax Rebate Program
Through Wednesday, November 30, eligible Chicago homeowners affected by the increase in property taxes can apply for the City of Chicago Property Tax Rebate Program.
Chicago homeowners with a household adjusted gross income of $75,000 or less earned in 2015 that saw an increase in the city portion of their most recent property tax bill compared to last years, may be eligible to apply for a rebate to offset the property tax increase.
Homeowners must apply for the rebate in person at any of the 26 neighborhood processing locations, including City Hall. For residents of the 45th Ward, the closest rebate locations are:
– 3401 W. Foster, open Monday through Friday from 11 am to 6 pm and on Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm;
– 6100 W. Irving Park, open on Monday and Wednesday from noon to 7 pm, on Tuesday and Thursday from 10 am to 5 pm, and on Friday and Saturday from 9 am to 4 pm; and
– 3160 N. Milwaukee, open Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm and on Saturday from 9 am to 3 pm.
I encourage all property owners in the ward to review the checklist of eligibility requirements and required documentation before visiting a rebate processing center. Applications are available to download online or available for pick up in the Ward Office, located at 4754 N. Milwaukee. Completed applications and all required documentation must be returned to a processing center.
Visit the city’s website for more information on eligibility requirements, documentation requirements, additional neighborhood processing locations and hours, rebate amounts, and supplemental grant opportunities.
Irving Park Food Pantry Holiday Donation Drive
The Irving Park Community Food Pantry has begun gathering donations for its two holiday distributions, this month and on December 21.
They are asking for contributions of funds, food, and fun (i.e. books and toys) to make the season brighter for those in our community who need a helping hand during the holiday season.
In November, the food pantry provides clients with their regular weekly distributions and with additional meat and trimmings for a Thanksgiving dinner. On December 21, they hold a special distribution during which clients will receive the makings for a full holiday dinner. They also allow clients to select a gift for each of their children, along with a book and a stocking stuffer.
For these special distributions, they are especially in need of juice, cranberry sauce, canned yams and vegetables, instant potatoes, cake mixes, Jell-O, and pumpkin pie filling.
They typically give out about 400 toys to children (ages infant to 12). For some, it will be the only gift they receive. They especially need gifts for older children (age 10 to 12), especially boys. In years past, they have received far fewer gifts for that demographic. Soccer balls and basketballs are popular options. They have also found that these older boys enjoy biographies, books related to sports, and other nonfiction books.
Unwrapped new toys and food donations can be delivered to the Pantry at the Irving Park United Methodist Church, 3801 N. Keeler, during office hours. To check office hour times, call 773-283-6262.
Donations can can also be delivered when the Pantry is open on Wednesdays from 9 am to noon and on November 8 from 6 to 7:30 pm. Some local businesses also help collect donations. You can find a list of those businesses by visiting the Pantry’s Facebook page.
The deadline for contributing toys is Friday, December 16. Volunteers are needed to collect toys, organize the toy room, and help with the toy distribution on December 21. For more information or to volunteer, email Sara Yoest at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Year of Public Art Submissions
2017 has been declared the Year of Public Art, which will celebrate the city’s iconic public art while investing in all 50 wards to bring more local talent and art work to our neighborhoods.
The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) invites submissions from artists who live or work within the city limits to the exhibition The Subject is Chicago: Places, People, and Possibilities. The exhibition seeks submissions that illuminate most vividly the experience of living in Chicago. Artworks in all media (including painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, new media, and installation) will be considered and selected by an external jury as well as DCASE Visual Art curatorial staff.
The application is currently open via the CaFÉ online system. The application deadline is Sunday, November 13, at midnight.
Jefferson Park SBIF Application Open Through November 30
Alderman John Arena invites local small businesses to apply for the $260,000 recently made available through the city’s Small Business Improvement Fund (SBIF). These funds can go towards storefront and building improvements, including awnings, build-outs, and more. Grants can be rewarded up to $150,000.
Businesses within designated areas of the Jefferson Park neighborhood have until November 30 to submit an application. Applications are available to download online.
For more information, contact the Alderman’s office at 773-286-4545.
Fall Leaves and Yard Debris Refuse
Please remember that it is illegal to blow leaves into the city streets. When leaves are disposed of in our streets, it clogs the drains and makes it so street sweepers cannot effectively clean the streets. Instead, please bag leaves and yard debris for the Department of Streets and Sanitation to collect.
As part of the citywide effort to clean up leaves before winter, the Department of Streets and Sanitation (DSS) is coordinating dedicated bagged leaf and other yard waste collection trucks this fall to assist residents in clearing their yards, parkways, and storm drains of leaf debris.
Through November 30, residents can call either 311 or my office at 773-286-4545 to request separate bagged leaf collection.
Laves and other yard waste should be left in the alley or at the curb for collection, and bagged separately from garbage in the black carts and separately from recycling in the blue carts. A DSS truck will collect the bags based on 311 requests and take it to be composted.
DSS will continue street sweeping throughout the fall to capture leaf debris in the streets and to curtail draining issues during the winter. Residents are also encouraged to clear curb lanes and areas around storm drains.
To learn more about bagged leaf collection, visit the Department of Streets and Sanitation’s page on the city’s website.
Hands to Help Amends Seafood Dinner Fundraiser Opportunity
Hands to Help Ministries, The Fish Guy, and Wellfleet are partnering to provide supporters with a unique opportunity to enjoy the best seafood in Chicago. For $125 a person, you have the opportunity to enjoy mouthwatering seafood prepared by the renowned Chef Leo Bari. The prix fixe menu will feature Blini, Oysters Leo, Sturgeon Caviar, Tataki, Sashimi, and more.
Hands to Help Ministries works with the homeless population on the Northwest Side to connect them to housing. They also help those on the brink of becoming homeless by connecting them with a variety of resources, including housing referrals, job referrals, financial assistance, faith organizations, and more. This fundraising opportunity will help them in their tireless efforts to help Chicago’s most vulnerable citizens.
The prix fixe menu cost $125 per person. Dinner will be on Thursday, November 17, at Wellfleet, 4423 N. Elston. To purchase your seat, email Hands to Help’s Executive Director at email@example.com.
Feedback Needed for Fly Quiet Rotation Test
The Chicago Department of Aviation is still compiling data, including submitted surveys, for the Fly Quiet Rotation Test. We are now half way through the six-month pilot program, and your feedback is paramount in determining a balanced long-term solution to jet noise pollution.
This plan rotates the O’Hare Airport runways used at night every week. The plan also limits the use of the airport’s longest runway, reducing the noise for the residents who live near the south side of the airport. This runway, however, is still available for landing for larger cargo planes.
The O’Hare Noise Compatibility Commission (ONCC) needs accurate information from residents impacted by jet noise pollution. This means, they need residents to take the time to complete the online survey. This survey will serve as one component in measuring the rotation plan’s effectiveness in abating aircraft noise.
Once the rotation test is completed on December 25, the Fly Quiet Program will return to its original format. The ONCC will then make an educated recommend whether to continue the Fly Quiet Runway Rotation plan permanently. It can only do so, however, if it has all the test data information and surveys.
Please take a moment to complete the survey online. You can also learn about the test plan, see the weekly rotation schedule, and view weekly reports about nighttime runway usage while online.
Northwest Side Hero Nominations Now Open
Do you have an exceptional neighbor or know a business person, community activist, or youth member who is dedicated to the amelioration of the Northwest Side? If so, nominate them to be featured as a 2017 Northwest Side Hero.
The Jefferson Park Chamber of Commerce, The Six Corners Association, and my office have partnered with local resident Nora Kerr and her business Memoir For Me to share the stories of our local heroes. The northwest side of Chicago is filled with remarkable individuals, and now is the chance to tell our story to a larger audience.
Nominees must be either a resident or owner/employee of a northwest side business or organization. For the purposes of this project, Memoir For Me is defining the “northwest side: as north of Addison and west of the Kennedy Expressway. There are no age restrictions.
Nominations can be completed online and will be accepted now through December 31, 2016.
Thanks for reading,
Sat., Nov 12, 5:30 pm, Our Lady of Victory School Hall, 4434 N. Laramie. Holy Name Society hosts their Annual Bingo Event. Over $1,500 in prizes. Food and beverages available for purchase. Must be 18 to play. $15 pays for all 14 games.
Tues., Nov 15, 8 am, More Than a Cafe, 3235 N. Central.Guest speakers Jeff Rose of Mather LifeWays and Megan Visk of Peoples Gas join for the Portage Park Chamber of Commerce monthly networking meeting.Complimentary breakfast. Registration requires. RSVP: email organizers or call 773-777-2020. Free.
Tues., Nov 15, noon-1 pm, Eden United Church of Christ, 5051. Bring a brown bag lunch to the new Lunch N Learn Series. Rev. Jacki Belile presents the topic Energy Leadership. More info: email organizers. Free.
Tues., Nov 15, noon-1:30 pm, Richard J. Daley Center, 50 W. Washington, Courtroom 2005.The Elder Justice Center presents a Senior Awareness: Prescription Drug Misuse and Adverse Effects seminar. To register: call 312-603-9233. Free.
Tues., Nov 15, 5:30-8:30 pm, Lagunitas Brewing Company, 2607 W. 17th Street. The Chicago Police Memorial Foundation hosts their Operation Santa Fundraiser. This will allow the CPMF to deliver gifts and Christmas cheer to the families of fallen and severely injured Chicago police officers. Raffles, food, cash bar. Tickets: online. $10 suggested donation.
Tues., Nov 15, 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.
Tues., Nov 15, 7 pm, Latvian Community Center, 4146 N. Elston. Join neighbors for the West Walker Civic Association General Meeting. Free.
Wed., Nov 16, 3 pm, Uptown Public Library, 929 W. Buena.Chicago Advocate Legal presents Know Your Rights Training. Featuring percentage, security deposits, and school discipline. Free.
Wed., Nov 16, 3-4:30 pm, City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle, Room 805.Tajuana Ross, The LinkedIn Professor and Blue Ocean Logic Group Associate, hosts a Building a Trusted Business Brand on LinkedIn workshop. Register: email organizers or call 312-744-2086. Free.
Wed., Nov 16, 6-8 pm, Horner Park Field House, 2741 W. Montrose. The Chicago Sustainability Leaders Network (CSLN) is hosting a Let’s Talk Trash: Recycling in Chicago seminar. Brainstorm creative solution to reduce contamination in Chicago’s blue bins. RSVP: online. Free.
Wed., Nov 16, 6:30-8 pm, Branch Community Church, 6125 W. Foster. Boys and girls attending kindergarten through 5th grade are welcome to join AWANA Clubs every Wednesday. Free.
Wed., Nov 16, 7 pm, Independence Park, 3945 N. Springfield. Join community members for the Independence Park Advisory Council’s monthly meeting. Free.
Wed., Nov 16, 7 pm, 16th District Station Community Room, 5151 N. Milwaukee. Learn what you can do about crime during the 1623 Beat CAPS meeting. Find your beat at the 16th district beat map. More info: 312-742-4521. Free.
Thur., Nov 17, 9-11 am, St. Edward School, 4043 W. Sunnyside. Prospective students in grades Pre-K through 8th are invited to attend an Open House. Tours start in the main school building. More info: email organizers. Free.
Thur., Nov 17, 5:15-8 pm,Location TBD. Meet friendly neighbors and enjoy some great beverages during Gladstone Park Neighborhood Association’s Thirsty Third Thursdays. Free.
Thur., Nov 17, 7-8:15 pm, Location TBD. Meet neighbors and get involved in the community during the Jefferson Park Forward monthly meeting. Agenda and more info online. Free.
Fri., Nov 18, 9:30-11 am, City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle, Room 805.Business Bragger teaches how to craft the right message for social media during an Art of the Social Sale workshop. Register: email organizers or call 312-744-2086. Free.
Fri., Nov 18, 2-3 pm, Oak Street Health, 4848 W. Irving Park. Join the Oak Street Health family in giving thanks during a Thanksgiving Gathering. Music, treats, and socializing. Invite friends. More info and RSVP: call 773-724-6200. Free.
Sat., Nov 19, 4-8 pm, Buckley Hall, 4447 N. Lowell. St. Edward Boy Scout Troop 904 hosts their Annual All-You-Can-Eat Pasta Dinner. Proceeds will benefit scout camping trips and other activities. $10/adults, $7/children 10 and younger.
Sun., Nov 20, 3:30 pm, Trinity Lutheran Church, 5106 N. LaCrosse. Several area churches hold their joint annual Ecumenical Thanksgiving Service. Collection of money and non-perishable food items for the Northwest Church of Christ Food Pantry. More info: email Jacki or call 773-655-4357. Free.
Mon., Nov 21, 7:30 pm,Filament Theatre, 4041 N. Milwaukee. Join neighbors for the monthly Portage Park Neighborhood Association meeting. More info: online. Free.
Tue., Nov 22, 10 am-noon, Oak Street Health, 4848 W. Irving Park. Hear USA will be onsite to offer free Hearing Screenings. More info and RSVP: call 773-724-6200. Free.
Tues., Nov 22, noon-1 pm, Eden United Church of Christ, 5051. Bring a brown bag lunch to the new Lunch N Learn Series. David Angel presents the topic Strategic Planning. More info:email organizers. Free.
Wed., Nov 23, 6:30-8 pm, Branch Community Church, 6125 W. Foster. Boys and girls attending kindergarten through 5th grade are welcome to join AWANA Clubs every Wednesday. Free.
Tues., Nov 29, 7 pm, Rosedale Park, 6312 W. Rosedale. Meet neighbors and get involved in the community during the Gladstone Park Neighborhood Association monthly meeting. Free.
Tues., Nov 29, 7 pm, Kilbourn Park, 3501 N. Kilbourn. Learn what you can do about crime during the 1731 Beat CAPS meeting. Find your beat at 17th district beat map. More info: 312-742-4588. Free.
Wed., Nov 30, 3-4:30 pm, City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle, Room 805.Charles Krugel – a Management Side Labor, Employment, and Human Resources Attorney – hosts a Social Media Workplace Polices, the Law & Litigation workshop. Register: email organizers or call 312-744-2086. Free.
Wed., Nov 30, 6:30-8 pm, Branch Community Church, 6125 W. Foster. Boys and girls attending kindergarten through 5th grade are welcome to join AWANA Clubs every Wednesday. Free.
Wed., Nov 30, 7 pm, Basement Auditorium of Congregational Church, 5320 W. Giddings. Join neighbors for the monthly Jefferson Park Neighborhood Association meeting. Representatives from Grassroots Animal Rescue (cats/kittens) will give a presentation. Free.
Fri., Dec 2, 7 pm, Chopin Plaza, Intersection of Milwaukee/Elston/Melvina.The Gladstone Park Chamber of Commerce and the Gladstone Park Neighborhood Association host a Tree Lighting Ceremony. Socialize with neighbors as the neighborhood is brightened with holiday cheer and decorations. Free.
Sat., Dec 3, 1-4 pm, Kilbourn Park, 3501 N. Kilbourn. Meet other teens and practice your skills during a Girls’ Volleyball Jamboree. Must RSVP one week before event. RSVP and more info: call 773-685-6454. Free.
Tues., Dec 6, 7 pm, Independence Park Bungalow, 3945 N. Springfield. Join neighbors to learn how you can participate in supporting your community during the GIPNA Board Meeting. Free.
Thur., Dec 8, 7-9 pm, Riis Park, 6100 W. Fullerton. Meet other teens and and show off your skating skills during a Teen Ice Skating event. Must RSVP one week before event. RSVP and more info: call 773-685-6454. Free.
Sat., Dec 10, 2-9 pm, Norwood Park Train Station, 6088 N. Northwest Highway. The Norwood and Gladstone Chambers present Winter Fest. Photoshoot with Santa, food, sleigh rides, holiday crafts, tree lighting ceremony, live holiday choir, hot chocolate, spiced wine, and businesses open late to shop. Cost of purchases.
Sun., Dec 11, 2-8 pm, Norwood Park Train Station, 6088 N. Northwest Highway.The Norwood and Gladstone Chambers present Winter Fest. Photoshoot with Santa, food, sleigh rides, holiday crafts, tree lighting ceremony, live holiday choir, hot chocolate, spiced wine, and businesses open late to shop. Cost of purchases.
Wed., Dec 14, 4-7 pm, Wilson Park, 4630 N. Milwaukee. Kids ages 6-11 can participate in sports, games, and crafts while parents shop during a Drop N Shop. Please pack a dinner.$5.
Wed., Dec 14, 7 pm, Dunham Park, 4638 N. Melvina. Learn what you can do about crime during the 1622 Beat CAPS meeting. Find your beat at the 16th district beat map. More info: 312-742-4521. Free.
Wed., Dec 14, 7 pm, Independence Park, 3945 N. Springfield. Join community members for the Independence Park Advisory Council’s monthly meeting. Free.
Thur., Dec 15, 7 pm, Location TBD. Meet neighbors and get involved in the community during the Jefferson Park Forward monthly meeting.Agenda and more info: online. Free.
Sun., Dec 18, 9:30 am-1:30 pm, Copernicus Center, 5216 W. Lawrence. The Jefferson Park Sunday Market kicks off their winter market in the annex space at the Copernicus Center. There will even be a cash bar to make those brunches a little more interesting this winter. Cost of purchases.
Mon., Nov 19, 7:30 pm, Location TBD. Join neighbors for the monthly Portage Park Neighborhood Association meeting. More info: online. Free.
Wed., Dec 21, 4-7 pm, Wilson Park, 4630 N. Milwaukee.Kids ages 6-11 can participate in sports, games, and crafts while parents shop during a Drop N Shop. Please pack a dinner. $5.