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Spring Ahead
to Plan                             

Tips to Protect Your Pet
a young coyote strolling through  death valley
Living with Urban Coyotes


Spring sightings of adult coyotes and their pups will no doubt cause concern, if not raise fear, in residents who may feel a threat by their presence. Because they are predators and depend on small rodents for their survival, coyotes occasionally kill livestock, poultry, and domestic pets, especially when they live in large numbers or in close association with people. 


The best way to allay fear and put concerns in perspective, is to educate the public about the nature, habits and behavior of these valuable members of the wildlife community, and to alter our own habits and behavior in response.


*The following information is provided courtesy of the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County: 


Coyotes prefer to be as far from humans as possible, but as with other species, a loss of habitat has left them few choices. To prevent problems in your yard, you must eliminate two main attractants: food and shelter.

  • Do not encourage coyotes by feeding them. The majority of cases of bold or aggressive coyotes occur when people feed wildlife. 
  • Keep pet food and water dishes inside.
  • Do not allow spills to accumulate below bird feeders.
  • Keep grills and barbecues clean. Even small food scraps may attract animals.
  • If possible, do not keep garbage cans outside.
  • Use enclosed compost bins, not exposed piles. Do not add pet waste, meat, milk or eggs.
  • Keep ground clear of fruit from trees.
  • Protect vegetable gardens with heavy-duty fences.
  • Use welded wire to prevent animals from accessing openings under decks, elevated sheds, concrete slabs and porches.
  • Use frightening devices, such as sirens, sensor lights, or motion-activated sprinkler systems or lights to discourage animals from approaching your house at night.
  • Clear all bushes and dense weeds near the home, where coyotes may find cover and small animals to feed upon.
  • Encourage neighbors to follow these steps to further prevent problems.

Coyotes are extremely adaptable and opportunistic, skills that enable them to survive in different habitats, including suburban neighborhoods. They travel along trails, ridges and waterways, defecating or urinating to mark their territories along the way. They are considered nocturnal, but it is normal for them to be active during the day.


Survival for coyotes is difficult, and they are known to kill foxes to remove territorial competition. Individual coyotes may view domestic dogs in the same manner, especially small dogs that tend to be aggressive toward larger canines. Male coyotes may also be drawn to domestic dogs in heat, as well as male dogs to female coyotes.


While encounters are rare, especially for larger dogs, and many are initiated by the dog and not the coyote, owners should always take a few simple precautions.

  • Walk your dog on a leash and keep your dog on a leash even when in your yard. Nearly all dog attacks by coyotes have been on dogs that are off-leash in their yard.
  • Never leave dogs unattended in your yard, and always keep them inside at night. Your yard is likely part of a coyote's territory.
  • Keep your yard well-illuminated when outdoors at night with your pet.
  • Keep cats indoors.
  • Coyotes can be creatures of habit. If you encounter one at the same place and time while walking your pet, change your route or the time that you walk.
  • To keep coyotes out of your yard, install 6-foot-high wire-mesh fencing extended at least 6 inches underground. Install a "roller" system at the top so animals cannot pull themselves over.

Further Resources From the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County: 


Watch the presentation by District staff on living with coyotes.


Learn about living with coyotes in DuPage County.


Watch "Being Coyote Wise: Living with Urban Coyotes". (Produced by the Colorado Division of Wildlife)


Read more about teenage coyotes here.


For more information about the District's volunteer monitoring programs, see the Natural Resource Management Volunteer Program page.



What's new on the Community Calendar? Activities, meetings and special events are being added daily. Please check it often to learn what's happening in the community.

You can also find this link at whenever you need the most up-to-date information.

If you're not subscribed to the City's free E-News service, you are missing valuable information on a variety of topics. Please take a minute to sign-up today. All it takes is your name and e-mail address, which is not shared; and you can opt-out at any time with the safe unsubscribe option. 

Spring Ahead, It's Time to Get Planning


Daylight Saving Time begins at 2:00 a.m. on Sunday, March 9, 2014. This is traditionally a time to check and/or change batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they are working properly. Make the most of the extra hour of daylight by adding an activity which further connects you to the community, helps a friend or neighbor, or brings added enjoyment to yourself and your family. This issue contains many suggestions to do so!

Save the Date for Upcoming Events 

Michael Browning Run to Remember Michael Browning Memorial 5K Run/Walk to Remember: April 19, 2014 - The West Chicago Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Lodge 85, in conjunction with the West Chicago Park District, is hosting the second annual event. Michael Browning grew up in West Chicago and graduated from West Chicago Community High School in 1987. He attended the College of DuPage and majored in Criminal Justice, dreaming of one day being a police officer in the city he grew up in and loved. He joined the West Chicago Police Department as a Police Cadet in 1988 and held that position until August 25, 1991 when he fulfilled his dream and took the oath to become a full-time Police Officer for the City of West Chicago.


Michael was killed in the line of duty on April 20, 1992, when he responded to the scene of a crime in progress. He was struck by the car that was being stolen from a local car dealership. Those interested in participating or donating to the event should contact Detective Robbi Peterson at


Blooming Fest: May 17, 2014 - A favorite event of gardeners, shoppers, families or anybody just looking for a day out in the sunshine! This year promises some new elements of art, exciting assortments of plants for sale, local entertainment and family-friendly activities. Meet your neighbors downtown for a "blooming good time" between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Click the box above to view the slideshow from the 2012 event! PLEASE NOTE: Crafters are wanted to participate in this year's event. If you are interested, or know someone who might be, please obtain an application today at! The deadline is April 11, 2014. Also available are applications for food vendors and West Chicago businesses. Visit the website under Forms for the correct application.
March 7...................Gallery 200 Reception
March 7...................Late Night at the Museum
March 9 ..................Daylight Saving Time Begins
March 9...................Dance Away the Blues
March 14 & 28.........Girls' Night Out Art Class
March 18.................General Primary Election
March 21.................Local Music Night
March 29 ................Coffee with the Mayor
April 4......................Gallery 200 Reception
April 4......................Late Night at the Museum
April 7......................State of the City Address
April 11 & 25............Girls' Night Out Art Class
April 18....................Local Music Night
April 19....................Michael Browning 5K
April 26....................Coffee with the Mayor
March 2.............. Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!
March 15............ Princess Breakfast Ball
March 16............ LEGO Club
March 18............ Story Mix for 3 to 6
March 19............ Homeschool Connections
March 22............ Super Science Saturday
March 23............ It's the Muppet Show
April 12............... Spring Egg Roll & Craft
April 16............... Homeschool Connections
April 19............... Super Science Saturday
April 22............... Story Mix for 3 to 6
April 27................LEGO Club
April 30................El dia de los ninos

or call (630) 231-1552
March 22................Grandparent/Grandchild
March 31 - April 4...Spring Break Camp
April 5.....................Under Water Egg Hunt
April 7 & 8...............Auditions for Peter Pan
April 11....................Teen Flashlight Egg Hunt
April 19................... Breakfast with the Bunny
April 19....................Egg Hunt sponsored by the American Legion and held at Reed-Keppler

For details visit West Chicago Park District or call (630) 231-9474 


Mayor's Message 
Mayor Ruben Pineda


The new construction of AutoZone that is taking place on the southwest corner of Main Street and Neltnor Blvd. has sparked residents' interest, and many have called the City to ask, "Why are we allowing another auto parts store in West Chicago?" I would like to take this opportunity to explain the City's role in the process leading up to a new business opening its doors in our community from several perspectives: the property owner entering into an agreement to sell or lease a parcel to an interested party and a new business' decision to locate within the community, including a little background about what goes into the decision of a business to locate within proximity of a similar business.


The City of West Chicago does not own the property in question and has no right to dictate the terms of the land sale. Other than making sure that correct usage per the zoning code is followed, it is the right of a property owner to decide what to do with her or his property. Because municipal Zoning Codes are very general, they do not control the kinds of stores or businesses that can locate in an area. A city's role in this new business development is limited to making sure that the business follows all local laws, which includes the building construction, parking lot paving and any other site improvements. In this way, the City provides a safe environment for local residents and visitors that shop and work in West Chicago.  


With a few exceptions, cities also do not control the total number of similar businesses in an area.  A Zoning Code provides only general rules, such as allowing retail stores to go into commercial areas like the Route 59 and Main Street area.  A retail store can sell shoes, auto parts, furniture, or other kinds of merchandise. 


It is important to understand the rationale of a business in selecting a location. When a business approaches a city with a commercial permit request, whether it involves an existing building or the construction of a new building, it is after extensive research about the location, traffic counts, ingress and egress, "rooftop count" (the number of households that would potentially support the business), and a city's reputation as a place in which to do business. These factors must justify the investment required in the effort to grow a business and make a profit. AutoZone's decision to locate in West Chicago is a free market choice, and it shows that they believe in the strength of the local economy.


Even when there is another similar establishment in proximity to the business, a business owner's research often supports the concept of "concentrated mass", which represents that there is a pool of customers for that type of business, and in fact enough to go around. More to the point, this concentrated mass works to bring more of these customers to an area where they will feel sure to have their needs met.


New stores such as AutoZone can also help other local businesses by bringing in more shoppers.  So, if someone comes to AutoZone, they might also pick up a sandwich at a nearby restaurant, buy something at the local hardware store, or make a purchase at the grocery store. Residual benefits to the community at large include the creation of jobs, more choices for the consumer based on price and service, and increased tax income.


Make sure to support local businesses; they are the backbone of the local economy!



Ruben Pineda


P.S. Please join me on Monday, April 7, 2014 at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall for the 2014 Annual State of the City Address. The Western DuPage Chamber of Commerce will be sponsoring the event and providing refreshments. This is an opportunity to learn more about the past year and what is being planned for the future of our City. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend. I hope to see you there!


City Services


Residents may dispose of an unlimited quantity of leaves during the week of April 21 - April 25, 2014 on their regularly scheduled garbage pickup day.  No stickers are required for leaves during this week; however, no other yard waste may be mixed in with them.  All leaves must be placed in a biodegradable "Kraft" yard waste bag or a 95-gallon yard waste cart.  Leaves will not be accepted in plastic bags or cardboard boxes. 


Yard waste collection will resume April 1 - November 30, 2014.  All yard waste that is not placed in a 95-gallon yard waste cart must be placed in a biodegradable "Kraft" yard waste bag with a universal sticker attached. 


The City's monthly brush pickup program, which runs May through November of each year, is scheduled to begin on May 5, 2013.  Brush must be placed at the curb no earlier than two days prior to the first Monday of each month. Limbs should be no larger than eight inches in diameter (length is unimportant), and neatly stacked with all butt ends in the same direction facing the curb line.  Limbs should not be bundled. This program is not designed for pickup of whole tree removals. For more information, please visit the City's website at


The annual Citywide Collection Event will be offered to residents on their regularly scheduled garbage collection day during the period of May 5 - 9, 2014.  If you live in a single or two-family residence, you must affix a total of eight "Refuse" stickers on your pile of ACCEPTABLE items (see examples below). 


Examples of "Acceptable Items" include, but are not limited to: garage and attic clean-out debris; barbeque grills; bicycles; carpeting, if rolled into sections not exceeding four feet in length and not weighing more than 50 pounds per roll; household construction materials (e.g., lumber, drywall, plywood, doors) if bundled or placed within 33-gallon refuse containers and/or not weighing more than 50 pounds; furniture; box springs and mattresses; and household fixtures excluding electronics (as described below).


Examples of "Unacceptable Items" include, but are not limited to: hazardous waste; tires; automotive parts, fluids and batteries (e.g., oil, transmission fluid, windshield washing fluid, starters, brake shoes, etc.); household batteries; oil based paint; pesticides; propane tanks; and large household appliances (refrigerators, washers, dryers, stoves, dishwashers).  Small household appliances (e.g., toasters, televisions, microwaves, computers, monitors, speakers, stereo equipment) are no longer acceptable items as they are now banned from Illinois landfills from all sources under penalty of law.   You may visit for more information on recycling the materials listed above. 


The City of West Chicago encourages all residents to do some spring cleaning and take advantage of this Program.  If you would like more information about this annual community improvement event, or if you have questions on acceptability of an item for pickup, please feel free to contact the event coordinator, Michelle Baldino, at (630) 293-2255.  




The City of West Chicago will be flushing fire hydrants this spring, weekdays, between 7:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. during the weeks of April 21 and April 28, 2014.  Signs will be posted in the areas one day prior to hydrant flushing.  Hydrant flushing maintains West Chicago's water distribution system and assures proper operation of hydrants in the event of an emergency. Unfortunately, discolored water can result.  This discoloration poses no health risk. However, please check the water before washing laundry. 



A rain barrel is an easy way to collect a consistent supply of clean, fresh water for outdoor use to water plants, to wash your car, or to top a swimming pool, FREE! The barrels are repurposed, industrial-sized food containers that would otherwise be shredded and possibly sent to a landfill. The tops are screened for safety, with a spigot and overflow pre-installed on the barrels. Barrels hold 50-60 gallons and come in multiple colors. Prices start as low as $58.50. Orders will be taken online by The Conservation Foundation from April 1 - May 31, 2014. Pickup will be on June 7, 2014 in the City Hall parking lot, 475 Main Street. Visit

Public Safety Matters


Spray and Pay Reward Program: This anti-graffiti program is designed to arrest and punish the offenders while at the same time rewarding citizens who help the police to combat it. The City's "Spray and Pay Reward Program" will give citizens up to $200 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of graffiti vandals. To be eligible for a reward through the program, simply call the hotline at (630) 231-1711 and follow the instructions. After submitting a claim form, notification of the status of the claim will be made. Claim forms are available at the West Chicago Police Station or by contacting the Graffiti Control Program hotline at (630) 231-1711. You may also complete and submit the form on the City's website under Forms.


Code Enforcement Reminders:

  • All Christmas lights must be removed from your residence no later than March 25.
  • With spring fast approaching, it's time to start thinking about that peeling paint on your property. Be a good neighbor and don't wait until you get a violation notice from the City.
  • April showers bring May flowers - and tall grass. Be sure to keep your grass cut to less than 8 inches.
  • The City strives to be diligent in identifying code violations and may send out notices to obtain compliance. However, while deadlines may be imposed, the issuance of a citation is generally considered the last resort. If you receive a violation notice and are unable to meet the deadline for any reason (financial, illness, etc.), contact the Community Development Department (CDD) at (630) 293-2200, x141 as soon as possible. Extensions to a deadline can be granted. Resources for obtaining assistance are also available depending on the circumstances.

Museum News
132 Main Street - (630) 231-3376 

Dance Away the Blues on March 9, 2014! The Friends of the West Chicago City Museum will be hosting its annual fundraiser at Tango Argentina from 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. Tickets are $15.00 and include lunch along with a dance lesson and open dancing. Tickets can be purchased at the City Museum.


"Where History and Progress Meet: a 'junction' of local history and art" continues through Saturday, April 12, 2014. It features contemporary art work inspired by West Chicago history. The exhibit can also be seen during the Late Night at the City Museum events on Friday, March 21, 2014 from 5:00 - 8:00 p.m. and Friday April 18, 2014 from 6:00 - 9:00 p.m.


The (Bi)Cycle of Life debuts at the Museum in April and coincides with the Cultural Arts Commission's latest Community Banner Art project. The exhibit will focus on the history of cycling in and around West Chicago and the connection it had and continues to have with surrounding nature.


Beginning in March, Museum hours are Wednesdays - Saturdays from noon - 4:00 p.m. 


The Cultural Arts Commission is working on a new concept for community art sharing. The event is called Artéculture, which is a play on the word horticulture, an attempt to connect the garden and art theme being planned for Blooming Fest on Saturday, May 17, 2014 from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. A sneak peek at Artéculture previews on Friday, May 16, 2014 during Local Music Night from 6:00 - 9:00 p.m. Artéculture is a grass-roots initiative which provides a showcase for the talents of all residents or those with a connection to West Chicago. The Commission's hope is to develop the art niche at the downtown garden festival by appealing to the art and craft enthusiasts, as well as gardeners, who attend Blooming Fest. Details on the submission of artwork will be forthcoming through a future press release and E-News distribution. Plan on becoming involved with Artéculture!

Jim Kirkhoff, a board member and Director of Development at Water Street Studios in Batavia, Illinois has agreed to jury the works of more than a dozen artists who have entered West Chicago's 2014 Community Banner Art Project themed The (Bi)Cycle of Life. His many contributions to the art community through Water Street Studios include initiating the community outreach/Art Flow program which provides free art education for children who come from underserved populations. With the help of funding from Boeing and the United Way, this program has provided over 100 scholarships since autumn 2010. "The West Chicago Cultural Arts Commission is delighted that an artist of Jim's caliber is willing to serve as a juror for the Community Banner Art Project", said Commission member Anni Holm. Kirkhoff, along with other regional arts leaders are organizing the Chicago Suburban Arts Conference, to be held in St. Charles, Illinois on May 3, 2014. The goal of the Conference, to bring together Chicago suburban arts organizations in order to foster a wider collaborative environment, greatly appeals to Commission members who hope to get involved.



Gallery 200
200 Main Street - (630) 231-9550  
Gallery 200/STUDIO
203 Turner Court - (630) 231-9550

Support the arts in West Chicago and take advantage of the many cultural offerings of Gallery 200, now a division of People Made Visible.

Local Music Night is set for the third Friday of each month in 2014 at Gallery 200/STUDIO. Upcoming dates include March 21 and April 18, 2014. It's free! Local singers, songwriters and musicians come out to share their musical talents in a coffee-house setting. Also, an element of visual art is often a part of the evening. Local Music Night starts at 7:00 p.m. and wraps up at approximately 9:00 p.m. after a half-hour of the ever-popular Open Mic segment. Visit for details on scheduled performers as they become available. 


Gallery Theater presents Neil Simon's classic play, Barefoot in the Park, which follows newlyweds Paul and Corie Bratter as they adjust to married life in a tiny Greenwich Village apartment. Paul is a straight-arrow lawyer who's wound a little too tight, while Corie is a free spirit who eagerly pursues fun. Aside from the five-flight climb and the hole in their skylight, the Bratters must also contend with eccentric neighbor Victor Velasco, who must go through their apartment to get to his. Corie hatches a plot to get her mother together with Mr. Velasco, but the evening goes awry and even casts doubt on the viability of the Bratters' new marriage, as Corie tries to loosen Paul up. A good start to that would be running "Barefoot in the Park". The cast includes West Chicago residents Gail Cannata and Mark Fortman. For details on dates and tickets reservations, contact Gallery Theater at



March Featured Artists - Art is the Heart of the City, a student art exhibit will consist of artwork from Pioneer, Turner, Indian Knoll, Currier, Wegner and Gary Elementary Schools as well as Leman Middle School. Visitors can expect to see a variety of both two and three dimensional media, representing a broad spectrum of styles and artistic periods/genres that are taught in grades 1 through 8. Artwork on display is representative of the quality art program School District 33 offers and demonstrates the creativity of our young artists. The Opening Reception is scheduled for Friday, March 7, 2014 from 5:00 - 8:00 p.m.



April Featured Artists  - The April Featured Artist series focuses on horses with Equine Artist Painters, a collective exhibit of painting medias and photography coordinated by former Gallery 200 member and watercolor artist Kristine Plum. A free Opening Reception on Friday, April 4, 2014, from 6:00 - 9:00 p.m. at the Gallery will include light refreshments and an opportunity to meet the artists. The exhibit will be on display April 3 - 27, 2014.



Artist Britta Renwick continues a series of Girls' Night Out classes that demonstrate how to design and construct an article of jewelry, followed by a social gathering with class participants at a downtown West Chicago restaurant while sporting the new creations. Participants can choose from four projects, including Double Drop Earrings, Double Drop Necklace, Scribbles and Loops Crocheted Necklace or Spiral Art Combo Creation on March 14 & 28, and April 11 & 25, 2014. Each class is held on Friday evening at 6:30 p.m. The cost is $15- $35 and all supplies are included. Designs will incorporate the latest styles as seen in Switzerland during the summer of 2013. To register, email


 Business News

The DuPage Airport Authority (DAA) has completed two key projects designed to enhance the operational capabilities of the Airport. First, after nearly 2 1/2 years of construction, the renovations to the passenger and crew facilities at the DuPage Flight Center have been completed. The renovations included upgraded passenger and crew areas, a new design for the Kitty Hawk Restaurant, and energy efficient lighting. The DuPage Flight Center operates in a very competitive environment in the Chicagoland area, and these renovations to the public areas of the building allow the facility to remain one of the best in country.


The second major project completed is the construction of a new Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting Station immediately north of the Flight Center Building. The DAA partners with the West Chicago Fire Protection District through an intergovernmental agreement to provide emergency response for the Airport. This new station enhances the response capability because it is in a more centralized location and replaces a building that had become functionally obsolete. 


Both of these projects contribute to a higher level of customer service and assist in marketing the airport to its users.



West Chicago's Changarro Cocina, a Mexican and Brazilian fusion restaurant located at 1400 South Neltnor Blvd., caught the attention of WGN-TV's Chicago's Best thanks to enthusiastic fan postings about the eatery on the show's Facebook page. The raves resulted in a shout-out on Chicago's Best Belly Warmer segment, where the restaurant's chicken tortilla soup was featured as a delicious winter warm-up on the February 2, 2014 show.


Chicago's Best host, Elliott Bambrough took the advice of the loyal followers who posted "The chicken tortilla soup at Changarro Cocina is AMAZING! and so is everything else on the menu!", and another that read, "Changarro's on Roosevelt Road in West Chicago has THE BEST Chicken Tortilla soup. While you're at it, also ask for the "Ensalada de Jicama" and a "Lomo con Pina" torta. You won't be disappointed, just full."


Bambrough visited the suburban restaurant and took viewers behind the scenes into the kitchen of Executive Chef Rigo Zamora for some light banter and a look at the ingredients and method behind the soup; followed by a sit down with restaurant owner Shawn Patel and a taste of the steamy bowl that has diners inspired.


The West Chicago restaurant has developed a strong following since opening and offers a unique approach to Latino cuisine. Changarro Cocina offers an inventive menu that includes memelitas, which are homemade corn "flat breads" paired with assorted topping ingredients like pork belly braised in roasted tomatillo salsa or Brazilian chopped beef with carrots, green beans and bacon; amazing tortas, or sandwiches, served with beans, cheese, spicy onion, avocado and mayo. The Lomo con Pina that is mentioned in one of the Facebook postings contains adobo marinated pork loin, grilled pineapple and lettuce.


While Patel admits to staying out of the kitchen, he tells Bambrough that he is quite capable behind the bar, where he mixes up such specialties as Caipirinhas, Brazil's national cocktail, in several varieties as well as fresh fruit margaritas and more.


Those who missed the broadcast featuring Changarro Cocina, may view it here:



Chicago's Best: Changarro Cocina
Chicago's Best: Changarro Cocina


Changarro Cocina, located at 1400 S. Neltnor Blvd., is open Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 11:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.; Friday and Saturday from 11:00 a.m. - 11:00 p.m.; Sunday from 11:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.; closed Tuesday. Call (630) 231-0200 or visit for more information, reservations or directions.       


Important Numbers
City Council: 
Fire Administration
(630) 231-2123
Fire Emergency
Police Administration
(630) 293-2222
Police Response

City Administration
City Hall
(630) 293-2200

Ruben Pineda
Nancy Smith
City Clerk
Michael Guttman
City Administrator 
Ward 1 
Lori Chassee     (630) 231-8709 
James Beifuss   (630) 231-0584

Ward 2 
James Smith      (630) 231-1524 
Don Earley         (630) 231-3060

Ward 3 
Laura Grodoski  (312) 925-9241 
Alton Hallett       (630) 254-7112

Ward 4 
Al Murphy             (630) 231-4624  
Sandy Dimas        (630) 293-5170

Ward 5 
Kurt Meissner       (630) 231-9302 
John C. Smith, Jr. (630) 293-3802

Ward 6 
Rebecca Stout      (630) 293-7335 
Mark Edwalds       (630) 632-6670

Ward 7 
Matt Fuesting        (630) 762-1996 
John Banas           (630) 762-9762
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