33rd Ward News
November 21, 2013

Dear Neighbor, 

This has been a busy week so far, with no signs of stopping.

First, while I'm glad our ward was relatively unscathed during Sunday's storm, our thoughts are with the communities downstate who endured worse weather. As far as the 33rd Ward goes, there was some street flooding in the ward, but that receded quickly.

As some of you may have heard, part of Belmont was closed during the first part of this week to address a safety issue with an unstable steeple at Concordia Evangelical Lutheran Church. The steeple has now been removed, and the roads are open. Thanks for your patience during this process. We are grateful for the hard work of the crews who worked day and night to rectify the situation.

Concordia Evangelical Lutheran Church has been a cornerstone of the community of Avondale for over 100 years, and we were happy to see the bell tower saved. We look forward to working with the church to make it whole again.

Yesterday I was proud to attend Gov. Quinn's signing of the marriage equality bill. This has been a long time coming, and I'm glad to see Illinois come down on the right side of history.

Thank you to everyone who attended our 33rd Ward Open House. We look forward to doing more events like this. We'd love to make sure that as many people as possible learn about and attend our informational and recreational events. Please encourage your neighbors to sign up for our newsletter on our website or on our Facebook page.

As always, this newsletter is for you, so if there are topics or events you would like us to cover, please let us know by emailing us at info@33rdward.org.   


Take care,
Ward News:

Ward Office Info: 
3649 N. Kedzie Ave.
Chicago, IL 60618
Phone: (773) 478-8040 
Fax: (773) 478-8006

Office Hours:
Sunday: Closed
Monday: 9 - 5pm
Tuesday: 9 - 5pm
Wednesday: 9 - 7pm
Thursday: 9 - 5pm
Friday: 9 - 5pm

1st Saturday of every month: 9am - 12pm
COMMUNITY ALERT: False Charity Solicitor

We have gotten reports of an individual approaching people in the ward claiming to be soliciting funds for what has turned out to be a fake charity.

Please be wary of people coming to your door or approaching you on the street for funds. Any legitimate charity should be able to give you a website to which you can contribute at a later time. If you are harassed by anyone claiming to work for a charity, please alert 311 immediately. Be safe.
HISTORIC DAY: Gov. Quinn Signs the Marriage Bill into Law

Congrats to everyone who worked hard for this, and to all of the families who will now enjoy the rights and protections of legal marriage in Illinois.
Gov. Quinn
UPDATE: Progress on Abandoned Elston Project

From Alderman Deb Mell:

Unfortunately, we've all become familiar with this abandoned project at 2964-68 N Elston:

But I have good news:
  • My staff and I attended Housing Court for the long-vacant and stalled development at Elston and Rockwell (2964-68 N Elston) on Monday, along with Catherine from the Avondale Triangle Neighborhood Association.  
  • In court, Vince Cordos announced that his company has purchased the property and intends to complete the project by summer of next year. Cordos Development was granted a permit to remove the parapet, install a roof, and winterize the building within 45 days. During that time, they will prepare updated plans and permits to finish the project. A status date in January was set to monitor progress of the development.

A big thank you to Catherine and all the neighbors who have closely followed this project.

WINTER WEATHER: Checking In on Local Seniors

As cold weather approaches, we're asking you to keep the senior citizens in your family and in your neighborhood in mind.

Be mindful that seniors can often use extra assistance during the winter months. Here are some ways to lend a hand:
  • Offer to shovel the steps and sidewalks of your senior neighbors.
  • Offer to de-ice cars exposed to the elements. 
  • Check on those you haven't seen in a while, especially after winter storms.
  • Make sure they have a plan for meal delivery if they are unable to go grocery shopping on their own. 
  • Remind your senior neighbors to have their carbon monoxide detectors checked; offer to help them change the batteries.
  • Inquire about weather-preparedness of their cars. 
  • If heavy snowstorms cause power outages, check to see if their home is warm enough; if not, please take them in. If you cannot, call us or 311. 
  • Seniors citizens are particularly susceptible to Seasonal Affective Disorder and Depression during the winter months, when the sun goes down earlier and during the holiday season when they're thinking about loved ones who have passed away. Please visit your older neighbors, and invite them to gatherings when you are able.
  • For small home repairs for seniors, particularly those related to mobility and safety, you can contact Bickerdike Redevelopment Company for assistance; they have been a delegate agency for the City of Chicago's Senior Accessible Repairs for Seniors (SARFS) program for over 20 years. 

If you are concerned about the safety of a senior citizen and need additional help, please call us or 311 to find out about available services; always call 911 for life-threatening emergencies.  

THANKSGIVING HOURS: 33rd Ward Office Closed 11/28 & 11/29

Our 33rd Ward office will be closed on Thursday, November 28th, and Friday, 11/29th, for the Thanksgiving Day holiday. We'll reopen bright and early on Monday, December 2nd.

Enjoy your holiday!
33rd WARD FUN FACT: Diversey Avenue

Did you know that Diversey Avenue was named for Michael Diversey, an American beer brewer? He was a German immigrant who established Diversey Beer Brewery, which eventually became The Chicago Brewery. No wonder we have such a rich history of beer brewery in our city.

Diversey and his wife Angela are buried in St. Boniface Catholic Cemetery.

PROPERTY TAX APPEAL WORKSHOP: Tuesday, Dec 3rd, 7:00pm

Alderman Mell, IL State Representative Jaime Andrade Jr, and Commissioner Michael M. Cabonargi are hosting a Cook County Board of Review Property Tax Appeal Workshop on Tuesday December 3rd, 7:00pm, at the Horner Park Field House (2741 W. Montrose.)

Jefferson Township is open for appeals from November 21, 2013, through December 20, 2013. This will be your last chance to appeal your 2013 property taxes, payable in 2014. Please bring your 2012 second installment property tax bill to assist in the appeal process.

LOOKING GOOD: Beautification in the 33rd Ward

Great news! A formerly weed-strewn spot on North Francisco was recently renovated, and a new tree was planted. See for yourself what a difference a tree can make:
AFTER: 2900 N. Francisco
BEFORE: 2900 N. Francisco




Some facts about this tree from Jeff Brink, Senior City Forester and Certified Arborist for the Chicago Department of Transportation

  • According the National Tree Benefit calculator, in the first year alone this Patriot elm will provide $70.00 in annual overall benefits, intercept 222 gallons of storm water, increase property value by $59.00, conserve 11 kW/ hours of energy, reduce natural gas and oil consumption by 4 therms, and sequester 54 lbs of CO2.
  • Assuming a 1/2" of annual growth, this tree will have paid for itself within seven years, contributing significant environmental benefits to the area and urban forest.
  • If this tree is cared for and grows to 8 inches, it will provide $115 in annual benefits

Concordia Place provides quality, licensed children's programs, including Early Learning (for children 6 weeks to 36 months) and Preschool (for children 3-5 years.)

Their NAEYC-accredited programs are full-day, year-round, and you can apply at any time during the year.

Two additional two-year-old classrooms are being added at the Seeley location starting in January 2014. Their certified teachers follow the Illinois Early Learning Standards and Teaching Strategies Gold curriculum, and all programs offer a sliding tuition scale. There is also an active after-school program and enrichment programs for teens, adults and seniors.

To learn more, go to ConcordiaPlace.org.
REMINDER: Bag Your Leaves for City Collection 
As seen during last weekend's storm, it is essential that fall leaves be gathered and discarded appropriately to avoid sewer clogging and flooding in the streets.

This week, the Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation will continue to pick up leaves raked, bagged, and left beside your regular garbage cans.


Check here to see which day your bags of leaves will be picked up.  


Thanks for all you do to keep our community beautiful!

People's Gas Project: 
  • Work is being completed in the following areas and should be completed by 12/6: 
    • On Sacramento (from Addison to Cornelia)
    • On Cornelia (from Sacramento to Albany)
  • Keep an eye out for parking restrictions to avoid towing.  

Lighting Improvements on Spaulding & Christiana: 

  • Work is almost finished on Spaulding (Elston to Irving Park) and Christiana (Waveland to Irving Park).
  • Update: New lights are up and running; old poles will be taken down by then end of this week. Old foundations will be broken down and concrete will be restored within the next two weeks, weather permitting.   
  • Parking restrictions will remain in effect as needed.  
  • Please continue to watch for temporary 'No Parking' signs to avoid towing.
Water Main Work on Sacramento / Cornelia / Henderson:  
  • The Chicago Department of Water Management is replacing an over 80-year old sewer main to improve drainage and reduce risk of flooding in the following areas:
    • N. Sacramento Avenue (from Addison to Cornelia)
    • W. Cornelia Avenue (from Sacramento to Albany)
    • W. Henderson Street (from California to 720' west)  
  • Please watch for 'No Parking' signs. 
  • Projected end date for this project: January of 2014, but we're hearing it could be finished as early as mid-December. 
  • More information on our website.

Water Main Work on North Sawyer (Montrose to Berteau):

  • The Chicago Department of Water Management is installing a new sewer to improve access to water for the purposes of fire prevention and domestic use.  
  • This work will take place on North Sawyer, between Montrose and Berteau.
  • This project starts this month (November 2013).
  • Projected end date for this project: January 2014; restoration of the street and sidewalks is scheduled for May of 2014.
  • Please watch along Sawyer for signs related to parking restrictions.  

We're glad to see these improvements being made in our ward.  

Thanks, as always, for your patience. 


Date: Tuesday, December 3rd, 7:00pm
Event: Cook County Board of Review Property Tax Appeal Workshop
Location: Horner Park Field House (2741 W. Montrose)
More information:
This event is hosted by Alderman Mell, IL State Representative Jaime Andrade Jr, and Commissioner Michael M. Cabonargi. Flyer here.

Date: Wednesday, December 4th, 8:30 - 9:30pm
Event: Bateman Elementary School Science Fair
Location: Bateman Elementary School (4220 N. Richmond)
More information: Join the Bateman Elementary students, teachers, and families as they look at this year's projects. Keep up with Bateman on their website and on Twitter.

Date: December 6th - 14th
Event: Peterson Garden Project Holiday Market
Location: Peterson Garden Project Learning Center (4642 N. Francisco)
More information: This event will feature local artists, and 15% of all proceeds go to the community garden effort. Learn more at the Peterson Garden Project website or on their Facebook page.

Date: Saturday, December 7th, 1:00 - 4:00pm
Event: A Visit From Santa
Location: Christian Funeral Home (3100 W. Irving Park)
More information: Kids can get their pictures taken with Santa. Free gifts for them, as well as milk and cookies (and coffee for the adults.) Learn more here.

Date: Saturday, December 14th, 10:00am - 4:00pm
Event: First Annual Hibbard Elementary Flea Market & Craft Fair
Location: Hibbard Elementary (3244 W. Ainslie)
More information: Learn more by calling (773) 534-5191.
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