13 Apr 2014, 9:57pm

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News From The 50th

Dear Neighbor,

Devon Avenue is about to get a much needed facelift. The beginning of the Devon Avenue Streetscape is almost here! Phase One of this ambitious project will begin this week and will focus on Devon between Sacramento and California. The entire project will eventually revitalize Devon Avenue all the way from Kedzie to Leavitt.

Planning the Streetscape has involved years of work from people throughout the community. Now that the project is finally set to begin, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the 50th Ward residents and community groups for all their hard work and valuable input, as well as the business owners who gave so much of their time to make sure the Streetscape reflects the unique characteristics of our neighborhood. Devon is a true international marketplace, and I look forward to helping transform the avenue into a destination that will attract shoppers from all over the City of Chicago and beyond!

The Streetscape will make Devon safer, brighter, greener and more beautiful. Highlights include brand new infrastructure, street furniture and decorations to identify the business district. Please click here for more information about the planned improvements.

On Sunday, I was pleased to sponsor the 50th Ward Paper Shredding and Electronic Recycling Event together with State Senator Ira Silverstein, the West Ridge Chamber of Commerce, WRPCO, Devon Bank and Peoples Gas. Identity theft is a very real threat, and safely discarding confidential documents is a vital step towards protecting yourself. I would like to thank everyone who came out to take advantage of this resource.

Also on Sunday, I attended the Assyrian New Year Parade on Western Avenue. The 50th Ward is home to a large Assyrian-American community and it was wonderful to celebrate this festive event together with so many of our neighbors!

On Tuesday, I was proud to take part in a special safety meeting for members of the Muslim community. I would like to thank Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, Des Plaines Police Chief William Kushner, Evanston Police Chief Richard Eddington, Morton Grove Police Deputy Chief Brian Fennelly, 49th Ward Alderman Joe Moore and Matthew Ramadan, deputy executive director of the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago, for participating.

The 50th Ward has a large Islamic population and it was important to discuss safety issues unique to this community. I want to thank everyone who attended.

Also on Tuesday, I attended a meeting of the Indian Boundary Park Advisory Council. Playing outdoors is the best way for our children to stay healthy and fit, so I am especially pleased to see such active community support for our parks. I would like to thank the group for the kind invitation.

On Tuesday evening, I attended a banquet held by the Illinois Premier League Cricket Conference (IPLCC). Cricket is a sport that is culturally significant to a large segment of the 50th Ward, and I am very pleased to support our neighborhood’s very own cricket league. I am excited to announce that a new cricket field is being constructed at Warren Park, and the league will begin this summer. For more information about the IPLCC, please click here.

This Tuesday is Tax Day. Please note that unless you have requested an extension, you must file your Federal and State tax returns before midnight on April 15.

Eligible working families can receive free tax filing assistance through the City of Chicago’s Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Campaign. To find a free tax preparation site near you, please visitwww.taxprepchicago.org. Most sites will be open until April 15.

EITC, Earned Income Tax Credit, is a benefit for working people who have low to moderate income. Eligible families can receive a Federal EITC of more than $6,000 and an Illinois EITC of more than $600. The average EITC recipient receives a refund of $2,200.

Each year, approximately 100,000 eligible households in the City of Chicago do not claim the EITC, leaving as much as $200 million in unclaimed dollars that could help individuals provide for themselves and their families. It is not too late to take advantage of this asset. For more information and to see if you qualify, please visit the IRS website here.

Passover begins this Monday evening. I want to wish the 50th Ward’s Jewish community a very happy Pesach!


Debra L. Silverstein
Alderman, 50th Ward

Street Sweeping Weekly Schedule

The following areas of the 50th Ward will be swept during this upcoming week:

  • Section 5 – April 11 and 14
  • Section 11 – April 15 and 16
  • Section 6 – April 17 and 18

Section 5 encompasses the area between Sacramento to the west, Western to the east, Touhy to the north and Lunt to the south.

Section 6 encompasses the area between Sacramento to the west, Western to the east, Lunt to the north and Pratt to the south.

Section 11 encompasses the area between Western to the west, Ridge to the east, Devon to the north and Glenlake to the south.

Chicago Park District Summer Day Camps

The Chicago Park District is the hot spot for kids this summer. For the ultimate summer camp experience, look no further than your local park!  With a variety of camp offerings, you are sure to find an option to match your needs.

Camp programs can be found at more than 200 parks throughout the city where children enjoy water fun, field trips, athletic activities and cultural experiences. Registration for summer camps is now open, so search for the program that best meets your needs. You can view camps and create your wishlist now by clicking here.

Online registration is now open. In-person registration begins on Saturday, April 12 for most parks, with some parks beginning on Monday, April 14.

Camp starts on June 23 and ends on August 1.

Civic Orchestra Chamber Concert

Join the Chicago Park District for a free chamber concert by the Civic Orchestra of Chicago at Indian Boundary Park. The concert will be on Sunday, April 13.

The Civic Orchestra Woodwind Ensemble will perform classical music in an event designed for a youth audience. Audience members are encouraged to ask the musicians questions during the interactive portions of the performance. All Civic concerts are free.

The concert is open to the public, and tickets are not required. This free event will be held at Indian Boundary Park, 2500 W. Lunt, from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call the park at (773) 764-0338.

Senior Enrichment Seminar – Reverse Mortgage and Predatory Lending

Join the Circuit Court of Cook County’s Elder Justice Center for a free senior enrichment seminar to learn about Reverse Mortgage and Predatory Lending. This free event will feature a lecture by Attorney Kelli Dudley of the Law Offices of Kelli Dudley, and Liz Caton, housing counselor at the Northwest Side Housing Center.

The event will be on Thursday, April 17 from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Richard J. Daley Center, 50 W. Washington Street,  Room CL-115 on the Concourse Level.

The topics discussed will be:

  • The pros and cons of reverse mortgages
  • How to avoid predatory lending and mortgage scams

To register for the event, please contact the Elder Justice Center at (312) 603-9233.

Amazing India

Celebrate Indian culture together with your neighbors from all over the City of Chicago! Amazing India, part of the Neighborhoods of the World series, will be held at Navy Pier on Sunday April 13, from noon to 3 p.m. in the Crystal Gardens, 600 E. Grand Avenue.

The event will be presented by ComEd in partnership with the Indo-American Heritage Museum and the Consulate General of India.

Neighborhoods of the World is a special event over the course of eight weeks to celebrate the many cultures of our world-class city by enjoying authentic live music, dance performances, cuisine and folk art from various ethnic Chicago communities. These event are free and open to the public. They will be held on Sundays until April 13. For more information, please click here.

Find Your Unclaimed Assets

The State of Illinois currently has $1.7 billion in cash, plus contents from Illinois bank safety deposit boxes, which need to be returned to Illinois residents. Most assets are transferred to the state after they have been inactive for at least five years.

Through the I-Cash program, the Illinois State Treasurer’s Unclaimed Property Division connects state residents with their unclaimed property. One in eight Illinois residents has an asset to be claimed in I-Cash. Assets include everything from stocks and CDs, to safe deposit boxes and valuables.

It is easy to discover if you have assets waiting for you. Residents have nothing to lose, and everything to gain, by searching the I-Cash website. Discovery is a simple, three-step process:

  1. Enter your name in the online search field.
  2. If it is a match, fill out and submit the online claim form.
  3. Receive your property or cash and enjoy what you have discovered.

Within weeks, residents are reconnected with their cash or assets. To find out more, please visitwww.icash.illinois.gov.

History of Soldier Field

Join the Rogers Park/West Ridge Historical Society for a special presentation on the history of Soldier Field. This multimedia event will be on Saturday, April 19 at 1 p.m. at the Rogers Park Library, 6907 N. Clark.

The history of Soldier Field tells the story of Chicago. Sports and architecture fans alike will love to hear author Liam Ford discuss the history of Soldier Field, based on his book Soldier Field: A Stadium and its City. He will give a multimedia presentation on how this amphitheater evolved from a public war memorial into a majestic arena that helped define Chicago, with rare photographs and documents unearthed in his research.

For more information, please visit www.rpwrhs.org, email info@rpwrhs or call (773) 764-4078.

Free Classes with JVS Chicago

Join Jewish Vocational Service (JVS) Chicago for free computer classes to help you improve your job skills.

The computer classes are on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. between May 5 and May 28. Topics will include: Basic Computer Operations, Basic Microsoft Word, Basic Microsoft Excel and Basic Microsoft PowerPoint.

All classes will be at the JVS office at 6526 N. California. Registraion will be from April 28-30. For more information, please call (773) 743-5638.

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

Join the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) for National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, April 26.

In the past, the public was encouraged to dispose of unwanted or expired drugs by flushing them down the toilet, but we now realize that these contaminants can end up in our streams, lakes and groundwater. Proper disposal of medicine is good for the environment and is integral to ensuring the drugs are not used improperly or illegally.

The MWRD is collecting unwanted and expired medication at the O’Brien Water Reclamation Plant at 3500 Howard Street in Skokie on April 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Alternatively, you can dispose of expired and unused prescription and over-the-counter drugs at any Chicago police station throughout the city. The closest police station is located at 6464 N. Clark Street. For a complete list of drop-off locations, please click here.

Citywide Clean & Green

Join neighbors around the city to beautify our community. On Saturday, April 26, you and community groups in our neighborhood can come together to make a difference by taking part in the citywide Clean & Green Volunteer Clean-Up Day.

For more than two decades, Chicagoans have teamed up to clean up our city and recycle accumulated litter and trash. All you have to do is sign up and join your neighbors to clean our community! The city will work with you to provide all the brooms, rakes, shovels and bags needed to get the job done. For more information, call the 50th Ward Office at (773) 262-1050.

You can register for the Clean & Green online here.


Monday, April 14

Tuesday, April 15 – Wednesday, April 16
 Devon Avenue Office Closed – Downtown Office Open
WhenApr 15 – 16, 2014
DescriptionThe 50th Ward’s Devon Avenue Office will be closed in commemoration of the Jewish holiday of Passover. The 50th Ward’s downtown office will be open to provide any needed City services. You can reach us at (312) 744-6855.
Thursday, April 17

 Art Institute of Chicago Free Thursday Evenings
WhenThu, April 17, 5pm – 8pm
Where111 S. Michigan Avenue Chicago IL 60603 (map)
DescriptionThe Art Institute of Chicago is free to Illinois residents every Thursday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. http://www.artic.edu/aic/

 Chicago Children’s Museum Free Thursday Evenings
WhenThu, April 17, 5pm – 8pm
WhereNavy Pier — 700 East Grand Avenue (map)
DescriptionThe Chicago Children’s Museum is free to all visitors every Thursday evening from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Kraft Free Family Nights. For more info, visit www.chicagochildrensmuseum.org