The holiday season is upon us, and this week presents the perfect chance to get in the mood. Join Jefferson Park Forward and I for the annual Holiday Sparkle event at 5 pm Thursday, December 7, at the Jefferson Park Transit Center.
This is the perfect event to put the sparkle in your holiday season. Santa will make a special appearance with his sleigh as we light the holiday lights, sing festive songs with the Schurz school choir, sip hot cocoa, and enjoy delicious treats from Fannies, Gale Street Inn, Mariano’s, and Sicilia Bakery.
I hope to see you there. .
Annual Overnight Parking Ban Starts 3 am Friday, Dec. 1
Chicago’s annual Winter Overnight Parking Ban begins Friday, December 1 at 3:00 am. The parking ban, indicated throughout the city with signage, will be enforced along 107 miles of critical arterial streets through March 31, 2018. The parking ban does not allow vehicles to park on marked arterial streets from 3:00 am to 7:00 am, regardless of snow.
In the 45th Ward, the Winter Overnight Parking Ban impacts Foster east of Central, Milwaukee south of Foster, and Central south of Elston.
Cars violating the overnight parking ban prevent critical routes from being fully plowed and salted when it snows. Vehicle owners are also eligible to receive a minimum $150 towing fee, a $60 ticket, and a storage fee of $20 per day when they violate the overnight parking ban.
In addition to the overnight parking ban, there is another parking ban that goes into effect when at least 2 inches of snow falls on the street. Drivers parked during that time on those streets will be eligible for ticketing or having their cars relocated so plows can clear the streets. Streets with a 2 inches of snow parking ban are indicated with signage.
For an interactive map indicating streets affected by both winter parking restrictions, visit The Chicago Tribune’s website.
Light Up Gladstone Park Dec. 1
Help Gladstone Park Neighborhood Association and the Gladstone Park Chamber of Commerce kick off the holiday season during the annual Light Up Gladstone Park event on Friday, December 1.
Starting at 7:00 pm at Chopin Plaza, the intersection of Milwaukee and Elston Avenues, neighbors will meet to light the tree, sing carols, meet Santa, enjoy refreshments, and more.
This family-friendly event is free and open to the public.
St. Viator Winterfest Dec.1 – Dec. 3
Get in the holiday spirit during St. Viator’s annual Winterfest. Neighbors are invited to snack, skate, sip, and shop during this annual event sponsored by Haymarket Pub & Brewery.
The event will include an ice skating rink, the Mistletoe Market craft fair, fresh wreaths and trees, a jumpy house, movies, food, and drinks.
The event will take place at the St. Viator Recreation Center, 3644 N. Kedvale. The hours are 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm on Friday, December 1, 11:00 am to 9:00 pm on Saturday, December 2, and 9:00 am to 4:00 pm on Sunday, December 3. View the event on Facebook for more information.
12 Hours of Christmas Holiday Film Fest Dec. 10
The Six Corners Association and the Portage Theatre are partnering to kick off the holiday season by featuring all your favorite holiday movies on Saturday, December 10, from 11:00 am to 11:00 pm at the Portage Theatre, 4050 N. Milwaukee.
Enjoy all the holiday classics, from It’s a Wonderful Life toElf and everything in between.
Tickets cost only $15 for adults and $10 for children 12 and younger. The full line up and tickets are available online.
CTA Holiday Train
The CTA holiday train returns this season to add a little extra cheer and joy to the residents of Chicago.
Thursday, December 7, through Saturday, December 9, the Holiday Train will make its appearance on the CTA Blue Line.
View the full holiday bus and train schedule at the CTA’swebsite.
Irving Park Community Foods Pantry Holiday Donation Drive
The Irving Park Community Food Pantry has begun gathering donations for their holiday distribution on December 20. They are seeking 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.
On December 20, the food pantry hosts a special distribution where clients receive the makings for a full holiday dinner and can take home 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, stuffing, cranberry sauce, canned yams and vegetables, instant potatoes, cake mixes, Jell-O, and pumpkin pie filling.
They typically disseminate about 400 toys to children (up to 12 years old). For some, it will be the only gift they receive. They are making a special request for gifts for older children (10 to 12 years old), especially boys. In the past, soccer balls and basketballs have been popular options. In the past, they have also run out of books for all ages early in the distribution day.
Unwrapped new toys and food donations can be brought to the Pantry at the Irving Park United Methodist Church (3801 N. Keeler) on Wednesdays from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm or on Tuesday evenings. Donations can also dropped of at my office (4754 N. Milwaukee) during office hours.
The deadline for contributing toys is Friday, December 15. Volunteers are needed to collect toys, organize the toy room, and help with the toy distribution on December 20. For more information, contact Sara Yoest email@example.com.
Di’s Den Accepting Gifts for Toys for Tots
Di’s Den, 5100 W. Irving Park, is giving back to our community this holiday season by participating in the annual Toys for Tots Christmas campaign.
Drop off your new, unwrapped children’s toys between now and December 19 and help a child enjoy this holiday season. No toy weapons will be accepted.
If you have any questions, you can call the owner, Jan Wilson, at 773-736-7170.
Enrollment for Affordable Care Act Insurance Open Thru December 15
2018 enrollment for insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act opens on Wednesday, November 1.
2018 open enrollment is shorter than in previous years, so it’s important to act quickly. If you don’t act by December 15, you can’t get 2018 coverage unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.
For more information on open enrollment, important deadlines, and plans and prices, visit the Affordable Care Act website.
Pace Route 270 Bus Stop Changes
In preparation for preliminary work on the new Pace Pulse Milwaukee route, Pace is temporarily moving some stops in Niles on Route 270.
The southbound stop at Milwaukee and Main will move from the northwest corner to the southwest corner. The southbound Oak Mill stop will move to the southwest corner of Milwaukee and Oakton. And the northbound Milwaukee and Harlem stop will move to the northeast corner of Milwaukee and Howard.
Find more information, and sign up for route alerts, at the Pace website.
2017-2018 Emergency Heating Repair Program Now Open
The 2017-2018 Emergency Heating Repair Program is now open. It will remain open through March 30, 2018, or until funds are exhausted.
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 no 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 the loan ending period date.
Applicants can download the application package and view eligibility requirements on the Department of Planning and Development’s website.
Northwest Side Hero Nominations Now Open
Do you have an exceptional neighbor or know a business person, community activity, or youth member who is dedicated to the amelioration of the Northwest Side? If so, nominate them to be featured as a 2018 Northwest Side Hero.
The Jefferson Park Chamber of Commerce, Six Corners Association, Jefferson Park Forward, the Gladstone Park Chamber of Commerce, 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 a 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, 2017.
Help a Hitch Student in Their Battle Against a Brain Tumor
Amar is a sixth-grade student at Hitch Elementary school who enjoys basketball, comedy, and wants to be an engineer when he grows up. In May, Amar and his family received devastating news that he is suffering from a brain tumor on the lower part of his brain and along his entire spine, causing painful headaches and threatening his life.
His family found a specialist treatment facility in Texas that drastically increases his chances of overcoming this massive tumor and eventually returning home to Chicago where he can return back to his childhood. The treatment facility, however, does not accept Amar’s health insurance, resulting in exorbitant medical bills.
Please consider making a donation on Amar’s GoFundMe page so he can continue to courageously fight for his life.
Thanks for reading,
Sat., Dec. 2, 9 am-3 pm, Pope Francis Global Academy South Campus, 6143 W. Irving Park. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are over, but there is a great opportunity to shop for great gifts at the Pope Francis Global Academy Mistletoe Market. Local artisans and gifts for all ages. More info: Email PFGA Parents Club.
Sat., Dec 2, 9 am-3 pm, Malcolm X College, 1900 W. Jackson. Kevlars to Careers hosts aWelcome Home Event. Resources and symposium to prepare veterans, active duty personnel, and reservists/National Guard for a seamless transition to civilian life. Free.
Sat., Dec 2, 8 am-7 pm, Congregational Church of Jefferson Park, 5320 W. Giddings.The Guild of the Congregational Church of Jefferson Park and Eden United Church of Christ presents a Holiday Bazaar. There will be raffles, lucky tree, bakery booth, granny’s attic, crafts and gifts, and jewelry and gems. Breakfast will be from 8-9:30 am. The bazaar will open at 9 am. Food and refreshments available for purchase throughout the day.Cost of purchases.
Sat., Dec 2, 10 am, Irving Park Lutheran Church, 3938 W. Belle Plaine. Join friends and family for the annual Hanging of the Greens.Free.
Sat., Dec 2, 11-11:30 am, Portage-Cragin Branch, Community Room, 5108 W. Belmont.Children ages 4 and older are invited to have fun as women from the Junior League of Chicago read books, act out stories, and sing songs during the Mad Hatters event. Stick around afterward to make a hat to take home. More info: 312-744-0152. Free.
Sun., Dec 3, 8 am-2 pm, Buckley Hall, 4447 N. Lowell. Get in the holiday spirit during theannual Cookie Walk, Santa’s Breakfast, & Christmas Tree Sale. Free.
Sun., Dec 3, 9 am-9 pm, Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 N. Knox. Celebrate the holidays at the Irish American Heritage Center during a Christmas Bazaar. Tickets for breakfast are $15/adults and $5/children 12 and under.
Tue., Dec 5, 3:30-8 pm, Old Irving Brewing Co., 4419 W. Montrose. Friends of Vaughn partners with Old Irving Brewing Co. to host a Happy Hour Fundraiser. Local craft beer, food, fun, bags tournament, silent auction. Funds raised provide technology and transportation for students with disabilities. More info and tickets: online. $25/advance, $30/door.
Fri., Dec 8, 12-1:30 pm, Cook County Elder Justice Center, Courtroom 2005, 50 W. Washington. The senior enrichment series hosts a Senior Driving: Tips for the Active Senior. Register: 312-603-9233. Free.
Sat., Dec 9, 10 am-3 pm, Independence Park Fieldhouse, 3945 N. Springfield. Shop for homemade gifts by 32 local crafters, enjoy delicious treats from the bake sale, and visit with Santa between noon and 2 pm during the Independence Park Holiday Craft Fair.Free.
Sat., Dec 9, 11 am-12 pm, Portage-Cragin Branch Community Room, 5108 W. Belmont.Kids with special needs are invited to interact with books, song, and play during a Sensory Story Time. For children up to 12 years old. More info: 312-744-0152. Free.
Sat., Dec 9, 11 am-1 pm, Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 N. Knox. Enjoy the sounds of the season by Kathy Cowan and Friends, sip tea, and indulge in sandwiches and cookies during the annual Christmas Tea event. $25/adults, $8/children 12 and under.
Sat., Dec 9, 5 pm, St. John’s Episcopal, 3857 N. Kostner. The St. John’s Choir and the St. Johns Children’s Choir present beautiful music as they share stories of scripture and their 132 years of history during a specialcelebration of the the new accessible entrance. More info: 773-725-9026. Free.
Sun., Dec 10, 2 pm, Irving Park Lutheran Church, 4100 N. Harding. The Irving Park Fine Arts Committee presents An Octave AboveHoliday Concert. Reception with artists to follow concert. Free.
Sun., Dec 10, 5 pm, LaVilla Restaurant, La Strada Room, 3632 N. Pulaski. RSVP forOIPA’s annual Holiday Party. This year they’re shaking things up by going on a field trip. Limited to 80 spaces, so RSVP by December 1 with the number of adults, kids (ages 6-12) and wee ones (5 and under) via email. Free to OIPA member. Cash donations accepted at the door to help defray additional costs of the space.
Wed., Dec 13, 7 pm, Dunham Park, 4638 N. Melvina. Learn what you can do about crime during the 1622 beat meeting. Find your beat at the 16th district beat map. More info: 312-724-4521. Free.
Sat., Dec 16, 9 am, 17th District Community Room, 4650 N. Pulaski. Teens can discuss how they can fight crime during a Peer Jury – Youth Beat Meeting. More info: 312-742-4588. Free.
Sat., Dec 16, 2 pm, Portage-Cragin Branch, 5108 W. Belmont. The Unity Club Band of Lane Tech High School, under the guidance of Javier Payano, will play holiday favorites during a Holiday Concert. More info: 312-744-0152. Free.
Sun., Dec 17, 10 am-2 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 is even a cash bar to make those brunches a little more interesting this winter. Cost of purchases.
Sun., Dec 17, 3 pm, Copernicus Center, 5216 W. Lawrence. Enjoy an international sing-along of English, Polish, and Czech carols with excerpts from the Messiah and other traditional holiday favorites during the 2nd Annual Christmas Spectacular. More info:online. $35, $25, and $15. $5 discount for children and students.
Mon., Dec. 18, 6 pm, Copernicus Center, 5216 W Lawrence. Appeal your property tax assessment during the Property Tax Assessment Appeal Seminar. Bring a copy of your second installment tax bill. Hosted by Board of Review Commissioner Mike Cabonargi and sponsored by Ald. Arena, state Sen. John Mulroe, state Rep. Robert Martwick, and county Commissioner Peter Silvestri. More info: (312) 603-5560. Free.
Mon., Dec 18, 7:30 pm, Location TBD. Meet neighbors and discuss ways to become more involved in your community during thePortage Park Neighborhood Association monthly meeting. More info: online. Free.
Tue., Dec 19, 11 am, 17th District Community Room, 4650 N. Pulaski. Meet officers and receive helpful resources during a Senior Citizen’s Meeting. More info: 312-742-4588.Free.
Wed., Dec 20, 6:30-7:30 pm, Portage-Cragin Branch, Community Room, 5108 W. Belmont.Kids, parents, and other family members join for crafts, games, projects, and stories during the Family Fun Night. More info: 312-744-0152. Free.
Wed., Dec 20, 7:30 pm, 17th District Community Room, 4650 N. Pulaski. Learn what you can do about crime during the1722-1723 beat meeting. Find your beat at the 17th district beat map. More info: 312-742-4588. Free.
Thur., Dec 21, 6 pm, Harry’s on Elston, 5943 N. Elston. The Gladstone Park Neighborhood Association hosts their annual Holiday Party. Join friends, family, and neighbors to celebrate each other and enjoy the holiday season. Cost of purchases.
Thur., Dec 21, 7 pm, Location TBD. Meet neighbors and get involved in the community during the Jefferson Park Forward monthly meeting. More info: online.Free.
Sat., Jan. 13, doors open 5:30 pm, show at 7 pm, Our Lady of Victory Parish Hall, Laramie & Sunnyside. Our Lady of Victory presentsElvis Tribute, Featuring Ronnie Vegas. Admission includes beef sandwich, salad, chips, dessert. Beer and wine cash bar. More info and tickets: [ElvistributeOLV.brownpapertickets.com]Event website. $25.