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Update on Sunday Shooting Incident in River North

May 5, 2014

 

Dear Neighbor:    

  

I am writing to provide you with an update regarding the very disturbing shooting incident on Erie Street near Montgomery Ward Park early Sunday morning. At approximately 3:00 a.m. on Sunday, May 4th a shooting occurred in the River North neighborhood near the intersection of Kingsbury and Erie. According to reports, the four victims were alleged gang members who were passing through the neighborhood when a group of individuals riding in another vehicle fired upon them. All four shooting victims were hospitalized and police are currently searching for suspects. 

  

While this crime is under investigation by the Chicago Police Department (CPD), the police have informed me this appears to have been an isolated incident. The Police Department believes those involved in this incident were alleged gang members driving through River North, after having spent their evening in other parts of the city.     

  

My top priority is to ensure the safety and security of downtown residents, visitors and tourists. I have been working with the 18th Police District to secure additional police resources in this area of River North. Since Sunday morning, the 18th District has assigned extra patrols in the neighborhood and will monitor this area closely.     

  

Please help the 18th Police District preserve safety in River North by immediately calling 9-1-1 if you witness any suspicious behavior or anything out of the ordinary.  After reporting the incident to 9-1-1, please contact my Constituent Office at office@ward42chicago.com or by calling (312) 642-4242, so that my staff can follow-up with the Police Department on your behalf.  

 

I believe that any crime committed in downtown Chicago's 42nd Ward is one crime too many. We are very fortunate to live in one of the safest neighborhoods in all of Chicago - which is why this rare shooting incident is particularly disturbing to local residents. We will share more information from CPD regarding this incident as it becomes available.

 

As a River North resident (and your alderman), please know that I am working closely with the Chicago Police Department to ensure our community has the police resources necessary to prevent these types of incidents from occurring in the future. With your help in reporting any suspicious behavior or illegal activity in real-time, I know we can maintain River North's reputation as a welcoming and safe place to live, work and play.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

Brendan Reilly

Alderman, 42nd Ward

 

 

Here are some steps you can take to help be part of the solution:
  • Call 911 immediately.If you witness an incident or suspicious activity, call 911 immediately. Calls of Service are analyzed daily so that the police can identify hot spots to assign additional officers.  
  • When calling 911 provide a detailed description of the individual(s) including approximate height, weight, clothing or other unique characteristics. If you choose, your identity can remain anonymous. The police stressed that they give no additional or less weight to an anonymous call so you may choose to identify yourself as a "concerned citizen" and your report will be given the same weight as any other call.
  • Participate in Community Policing (CAPS) Program and report public safety concerns directly to local beat officers at monthly CAPS meetings. CAPS offers residents the opportunity to address crime and safety issues directly with the beat cops who patrol their neighborhood. If you would like further information regarding upcoming CAPS meetings, please visit my website at www.ward42chicago.com.

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Alderman Reilly Offers Alternatives to Proposed Property Tax Hike: Suggests Pursuing Blended Approach of State Support and Local Reforms

April 25, 2014

 

Alderman Brendan Reilly offered several options that could help pay down the City of Chicago's massive pension liability without requiring a $750 million property tax increase over the next five years. Reilly said he is answering the Mayor's call for alternative proposals from aldermen who are reluctant to support the currently proposed property tax increase.

 

"I do not believe a $750 million property tax increase on Chicago homeowners and businesses will assist our city's economic recovery," Alderman Reilly said. "The City Council has a responsibility to work with the Mayor to make the tough choices to implement meaningful pension reform and our options are limited. That said, I am committed to support the Mayor by working to identify a broader blend of revenue options to stabilize these funds, rather than place nearly the entire pension burden on the local property tax base. I believe these ideas could help reduce that burden."

 

As Vice Chairman of the Committee on Budget and Government Operations, Alderman Reilly has worked to serve as a voice for fiscal responsibility - voting against raids on long-term reserve funds and the spending-down of the Parking Meter Lease proceeds. During his first-term, Reilly voted against 3 of Mayor Daley's 4 budgets because they failed to consolidate city agencies and reduce bureaucracy.

 

Alderman Reilly outlined the following options to be considered for further discussion as potential components of a blended revenue solution for pensions:

 

Increase Local Government Distributive Share

Local municipalities across Illinois are struggling to meet their basic obligations and many are facing pension crises as severe, or worse, than Chicago's. The General Assembly is currently negotiating the State Budget. Increasing the Local Government Distributive Share would provide much-needed relief to the City of Chicago and municipalities across Illinois. By increasing the Local Distributive Share by just a modest one quarter of a percentage point - local governments could dedicate that new revenue to fund a portion of their pension obligations.

 

Increasing the Local Distributive Share by .25% each year, over the next five years, would generate an additional $750 million for local municipalities. The City of Chicago receives roughly 21% of local distributive funds. This proposal would provide Chicago with an additional $157.5 million over the next five years and that new funding could be strictly dedicated to stabilizing the city pension systems.

 

The City Council and Mayor's Office should directly engage the legislative leaders and members of the General Assembly to adopt the distributive share increase in this year's State Budget. Such an increase would benefit municipalities across Illinois making it less likely to get bogged-down in regionalism and partisanship.

 

Consider Amending Tax Increment Finance (TIF) Statute for More Flexibility

In addition to pursuing an increased Local Distributive Share, the City of Chicago should also consider supporting an amendment to the Illinois TIF statute to allow local governments to dedicate up to 50% of new TIF revenue to making payments into the City of Chicago's pension systems. Presently, when a TIF is created or there is any growth in increment, all revenue is deposited into the TIF fund. By dedicating up to 50% of existing and future TIF funds to pension liabilities could provide a steady revenue stream to the pension systems, while preserving at least half of uncommitted TIF funds for economic development and infrastructure investment.

 

In order to know the revenue potential of a TIF Amendment, the City of Chicago would need to more specifically identify existing TIF commitments to develop a more accurate accounting of undedicated TIF proceeds. Conservative estimates have shown hundreds of millions of dollars in uncommitted TIF funds. TIF funds are currently diverted from local taxing bodies - but by redirecting up to half of these proceeds for the express purpose of making pension payments, the City could use existing resources to help relieve pressures to impose higher property taxes.

 

Further Explore the "TIF Expiration Bond" Proposal

Last week Greg Hinz of Crain's interviewed veteran City of Chicago financial officer, John McCormick, regarding his proposal to issue bonds from revenue of expiring TIF districts. Other municipalities have issued "TIF Expiration Bonds" and if the City of Chicago were to pursue this option, it could finance roughly $2 billion in bonds. According to McCormick, expiring TIF districts generate annual revenue of at least $63 million for the City of Chicago and roughly $139 million for CPS by 2024.

 

Chicago's 154 TIF districts use revenue from increasing property values within their borders to fund economic development projects and improve infrastructure. TIF districts expire after 23 years. When TIFs expire, the new tax revenue resulting from higher property values in the districts is returned to local taxing bodies like the Chicago Public Schools, Chicago Park District, the City of Chicago and others.

 

Some who are opposed to the concept of using "TIF Expiration Bonds" are confusing the practice with an irresponsible fiscal policy implemented by Governor Blagojevich called "Pension Obligation Bonds" that were used to replace (not supplement) existing pension payments with bond proceeds, which wrongly allowed general funds to be diverted for new programs and spending initiatives.

 

Unlike "Pension Obligation Bonds" - "TIF Expiration Bonds" would instead be used to supplement (not replace) pension obligations. Roughly $2 billion in "TIF Expiration Bond" proceeds could be used solely to "attack the principal" by making massive lump payments now to quickly cut Chicago's unfunded pension liability and drive down the cost of annual pension payments needed to stabilize the systems.

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Automated Speed Enforcement on W. Chicago Ave -- Starting Immediately

May 2, 2014

 

Please be aware that a Chicago Department of Transportation's (CDOT) Automated Speed Camera has become operational on W. Chicago Ave. between State and Dearborn.

 

This location has been designated as a Children's Safety Zone (Frances Xavier Warde School) with the following enforcement parameters:  

Speed Limit:
On School Days (Monday through Friday)
-- 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.: 20 miles per hour (mph) speed limit when children are present; and the posted speed limit when no children are present
-- 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.: 30 mph speed limit


Citations:
$35 for vehicles going 6-10 miles over the speed limit 
$100 for vehicles going 11+ miles over the speed limit

All infractions captured by the cameras during their first 30 days of operation will trigger a warning letter.  If a vehicle does not receive a warning during the first 30 days, the first violation in a specific zone will result in a warning.  All subsequent violations will result in a citation.    

 

The camera will begin issuing citations on May 30, 2014.  Please be aware of this location and your speed to avoid receiving a ticket.

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Domestic Visitors to Chicago Reached Nearly 47 Million in 2013

May 2, 2014

 

Mayor Emanuel and Choose Chicago recently announced the domestic visitation numbers for 2013. Chicago hit an all-time record with 46.96 million visitors in 2013, a gain of 4.4 percent over 2012!

 

With 2013 overseas visitation expected to increase to more than 1.4 million visitors, the City is on its way to meeting the mayor's goal of attracting 55 million visitors by 2020. The annual visitation goal was recently increased from 50 million to 55 million. Achieving this will result in 30,000 additional jobs related to the tourism industry and hundreds of millions of dollars in additional revenue into the city of Chicago.

 

Overnight leisure visitation fueled the growth with a record 18.65 million visitors, a gain of 3.8 percent over 2012. Overnight business visitation remained stable at a 10-year high of 7.23 million.

 

Furthering the path towards reaching this goal, Choose Chicago booked 78 conventions and trade shows at McCormick Place in 2013. Of the 78 events booked, 60 were new events with 18 events retained business, a 22.4% increase from 2012. This momentum is further amplified with recent production performance with the newly deployed Sales team at Choose Chicago finishing the first quarter of 2014 with 508,027 room nights booked, which is the highest Q1 production since the reforms - a 71.5% increase from Q1 2013 production.

 

Chicago's hotel community benefited from the increase in 2013 visitation with record performance. Room demand set a record with 9.889 million rooms occupied, a gain of 2.3 percent over 2012. Hotel occupancy was 75.28%, a gain of 0.2% over 2012, surpassing the previous record of 75.18% in 2007 when the market had over 1.9 million fewer room-nights.

 

The 26.9 million domestic and expected overseas visitors who stayed in Chicago hotels generated $105.92 million in Chicago Hotel Tax Revenue, a 4.9 percent increase over the 2012 tax receipts.

 

To read the full press release, click here.

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Taste of Chicago's Bud Light Stage to Showcase a Variety of Local Rising Stars and Established Musicians in Grant Park, July 9-13 

May 2, 2014


The popular Bud Light Stage at the 34th Annual Taste of Chicago will offer five days of top local talent from up-and-coming as well as established Chicago artists, July 9-13 in Grant Park. The FREE admission stage will be located at the south end of Taste of Chicago at Columbus and Balbo, with live music from noon to 7:45pm during the five-day festival.

 

Wednesday, July 9 - Musical Variety Day: A special tribute to celebrated genres of music, including singer and songwriter Sara Masterson taking the stage at 1:30pm performing compositions from her recently released album, Always the Beautiful.

 

At 4:45pm, Taste goers will enjoy a performance from the to-be-determined winning band of RedEye's Rock 'n' Vote contest. The stage will close with local rock band, The Autumn Defense, debuting music from their recently released LP album titled, Fifth at 6:30pm.

 

Thursday, July 10 - Rock & Pop: Chicago indie-rock band The Locals will perform at 1:30pm. With their most recent single release, Stereostatic Funicular, the band garnered attention from fans of popular bands The Pixies and Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and the Locals are heading straight to the top.

 

Indie pop band Pet Lions will woo the crowd with their infectious track list at 3pm, including th new release, Popular Nature. Newly formed band Marrow featuring former members of indie band Kids These Days performs at 4:45pm.

 

Friday, July 11 - Blues & Soul: Soul singer veteran Marvin Smith performs at noon. Toronzo Cannon brings his own brand of Chicago blues to the stage at 3pm. Stan Mosley, a Chicago blues and soul icon performs at 6:30pm.

 

Saturday, July 12 - Dance: The all-day dance party/concert will feature music from some of the finest DJs, Electronic/Pop and Latin musicians. At 3pm, Chicago's own DJ Andre Hatchett will take the stage sending audience members into a dancing frenzy. As part of the Chosen Few DJs along with older brother Tony Hatchett, Andre has established himself as a premier Chicago DJ.

 

Following Hatchett is the dynamic duo of Pyro Fighter at 4:45pm. Best known for their song LMFAO which debuted on MTV's Jersey Shore and the movie Worst.Prom.Ever, the duo has since expanded their track record and currently they hold the record for the longest dance party playlist in the Guinness Book of Records. The party continues with electronic band Gemini Club at 6:30pm. The popular band is notable for their unconventional, yet exciting performance styles by remixing music from their previous concerts to ensure that not one concert is the same.

 

Sunday, July 13 - Country/Americana: The Blind Staggers will deliver a rattling performance at 3pm. With a perfect blend between classic Americana and punk rock, the Blind Staggers has impressed live audiences since their formation in 2009. The Bud Light Stage closes for the 2014 with the new voice of country music, Logan Mize at 6:30pm. In addition to his recent Workin' and Drinkin' Tour, the Kansas native has been in the limelight guest starring in two-nationally watched television appearances which has introduced him as the new face of country.

 

The 34th Annual Taste of Chicago is July 9-13 in Grant Park with hours 11am-9pm, Wednesday - Friday and 10am-9pm, Saturday and Sunday. For more information on the FREE admission festival, call 312.744.3316 or visit tasteofchicago.us.

 

View the complete Bud Light Stage schedule here.

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CDPH Encourages Parents to Protect Their Children Through Vaccination

May 2, 2014

 

In recognition of National Infant immunization Week, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) raises awareness of the importance of childhood vaccination by reminding parents to follow the recommended immunization schedule.

 

Each year, numerous vaccine-preventable illnesses are reported in Illinois. Certain diseases, such as measles, are making a comeback as some parents choose to either delay or decline vaccinations for their children.

CDPH's Immunization Program works to prevent the spread of illness by vaccinating adults and children for protection against a wide variety of diseases. These diseases can be especially serious for infants and young children. Coverage levels for most vaccines are at or near all-time highs. However, in 2012, Chicago coverage levels for preschool aged children (19-35 month olds) dipped below 90% for measles (87%) and whooping cough (79%) vaccines. This suggests that 13-21% of young children in Chicago may not be fully protected against these serious diseases.

Vaccine-preventable diseases still circulate in the United States and around the world. One example of the seriousness of vaccine-preventable diseases is an increase in measles cases or outbreaks that were reported in 2013. Data from 2013 showed a higher than normal number of measles cases nationally and in individual states, including an outbreak of 58 cases in New York City that was the largest reported outbreak of measles in the U.S. since 1996. There is an ongoing need for parents to be vigilant with vaccination schedules to ensure these outbreaks are contained as much as possible or eliminated altogether.

Vaccines are among the most successful and cost-effective public health tools available for preventing disease and death. They not only help protect vaccinated individuals, but also help protect entire communities by preventing and reducing the spread of infectious diseases. Diseases that vaccines protect against include chickenpox, diphtheria, measles, mumps, pertussis, polio, rubella, tetanus, hepatitis B, hepatitis A, rotavirus, haemophilus influenza type b, pneumococcus and influenza. For the 2014 infant immunizations schedule, visit: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/easy-to-read/child.html.

To get your child vaccinated, talk to your healthcare provider. If you do not have a healthcare provider, call 3-1-1 or go to cityofchicago.org/health to find a Fast-Track Immunization Clinic.

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2014 Spring Quarter Senior Life Enrichment Guide

April 25, 2014

 

The Spring issue of the Chicago Department of Family and Support Service's Senior Life Enrichment Guide is now available! Inside the guide, seniors will find information about health and wellness, educational, recreational and many other types of events, trips, classes and lectures, along with schedules and registration details.  Most of these are free or at a nominal cost.

 

May is Older Americans Month, and this year's theme is "Safe Today. Healthy Tomorrow."  Encouraging seniors to remain active and independent for as long as possible, this issue highlights the many free health services and wellness events at senior centers throughout the City, including monthly visits by the wellness nurses, social workers, dietitians and pharmacists on our senior wellness teams to help older Chicagoans stay healthy.

 

The contents of the guide are also posted online at www.cityofchicago.org/fss.  Further information about DFSS services and programs is available by calling the Aging and Disability Resource Network (ADRN) at (312) 744-4016.

 

Spring Quarter Senior Life Enrichment Brochure

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Chicago Named as a Top Global City in 2014 A. T. Kearney Global Cities Index

April 19, 2014

 

The City of Chicago ranked seventh on the list of top global cities of today and tomorrow as part of A.T. Kearney Global Cities Index. This is the third major ranking that lists Chicago in the top 10 global cities.  Others include the IBM World's Most Competitive Cities Report, and the Economist Intelligence Unit.

 

Chicago joins other international cities such as New York, London, Paris, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Beijing, Singapore and Washington, D.C. in this prestigious ranking. Researchers rank cities according to 26 metrics across five dimensions, including Business Activity, Human Capital, Information Exchange, Cultural Experience, and Political Engagement.

 

The Global Cities Index ranking creates an unmatched perspective into global cities. It provides a view of current performance and future potential; identifies trends from six historical results; analyzes the performance of 84 cities representing all regions; and measures a holistic set of metrics and indicators mostly at a city level.

 

To read the full press release, click here.

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DREAMer Students Eligible for City-funded Internships, Volunteer and Job Opportunities

April 19, 2014

 

Mayor Emanuel recently announced that for the first time, the City of Chicago is opening up nearly 23,000 City-funded internship, volunteer, and job opportunities for undocumented students, or "DREAMers."

 

Applications are now being accepted for approximately 500 City internships, volunteer, and job opportunities offered year-round, 30 Mayor's Office Fellowships, as well as more than 22,000 opportunities to participate in summer jobs, internships and job training programs offered through the One Summer Chicago program.

 

With this initiative, the Mayor's Office of New Americans and Department of Family and Support Services worked to identify and eliminate administrative barriers to employment and internship enrollment of DREAMers, and also train staff and public agency partners about the nuances surrounding deferred action documentation.

 

The City will begin training its staff to ensure they are well equipped to help immigrant students receive accurate and helpful information about opportunities available to them. DREAMers in high school and college will be able to apply to approximately 500 volunteer and internship opportunities offered by the City year round and gain valuable experience in municipal government. In addition, graduate students with deferred action and work authorization who are interested in learning about municipal government and public policy will be able to apply to the Mayor's Office Fellowship program this upcoming fall.

 

Parents and students can learn more about the internship, volunteer, and job opportunities offered by the City of Chicago by visiting the Mayor's Office of New Americans website or calling 3-1-1.

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Automated Speed Enforcement at Ogden Plaza Park

April 11, 2014

 

Please be aware that a Chicago Department of Transportation's (CDOT) Automated Speed Camera will be operational at 319 E. Illinois beginning Monday, April 14
 
This location has been designated as a park zone (Ogden Plaza Park) with the following enforcement parameters:  

Speed Limit: 30 mph 
Times Effective: 6am to 11pm 
Days Effective: 7 days a week

Citations:
$35 for vehicles going 6-10 miles over the speed limit 
$100 for vehicles going 11+ miles over the speed limit

All infractions captured by the cameras during their first 30 days of operation will trigger a warning letter.  If a vehicle does not receive a warning during the first 30 days, the first violation in a specific zone will result in a warning.  All subsequent violations will result in a citation. 
The Ogden Plaza Park camera will begin issuing citations May 13, 2014.  Please be aware of this location and your speed to avoid receiving a ticket. 
 
For more information about the City's speed cameras, please visit the following links:
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Additional 13 Miles of Resurfacing of City Arterial Streets to Counter Winter's Toll

April 11, 2014

 

The City will add $15 million in funding to the 2014 arterial street repaving plan for an additional 13 miles of repaving.

Last month, the Mayor announced that City agencies and private utilities plan to resurface a total of 333 miles of arterial and neighborhood streets and alleys in 2014. The additional funds will add to the overall program and provide flexibility for CDOT to respond more quickly to deal with the effects one of the worst winters in history.

The $15 million for paving is surplus funding from the past several years that was available from federal grants. Repaving projects are eligible to be funded by these grants.

CDOT is using $2 million to implement an expanded program of heavy duty patching for streets that do not need a full resurfacing, but have shown deterioration from winter.

DWM plans to increase their workload in 2014, to installing 85 miles of new water mains, 21 miles of new sewer mains, relining 51 miles of sewer mains, and install 15,000 new water meters. DWM will also repave 133 miles of roadway.

In 2014, CDOT plans to repave nearly 100 miles of arterial streets, 90 miles of residential streets and five miles of alleys. Gas, electric and telecommunication utilities are expected to repave 20 miles of streets as part of their infrastructure work.

With better coordination on infrastructure improvement projects through CDOT's Project Management Office, both departments and the utilities worked together to reduce the amount of project conflicts that would open up a street more than once. By setting new standards for restoring the public way after construction, the various utilities resurfaced more miles of Chicago streets.

In 2013, the City realized a savings of approximately $14 million through the coordination of projects with utilities and the requirements that they fully restore the roadways after their construction projects.

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Divvy Puts Spring Fleet Back on the Street at All 300 Stations

April 11, 2014

 

Divvy, Chicago's bike share system, is fully prepared for the upcoming busy spring and summer cycling seasons by releasing 700 bikes that were in winter storage back into the system at its 300 stations.

 

In just nine months of operations, Chicagoans and visitors to the city have taken more than 900,000 trips and have collectively ridden an estimated two million miles, passing the milestone yesterday.

 

In an effort to encourage more Chicagoans to try Divvy for the first time or purchase an annual membership, Mayor Emanuel declared that April 21-27 would be "Divvy Week" in Chicago. During that week, all 24-hour passes, regularly $7, will be available for just $5. Chicagoans who sign up for new annual memberships would receive Chipotle gift cards, and other prizes and promotional discounts would be made available to current Divvy members.

 

The system typically keeps at least 2,500 of its 3,000 bikes out at one time, but reduced that number to 1,800 over the winter during the slower season. Once a month, Divvy bike checkers and mechanics put each bike through a routine maintenance check to ensure it's safe for riding.

 

The spring weather comes as Divvy celebrates an estimated two million miles ridden since it launched just over nine months ago on June 28, 2013. In that time, 907,883 trips have been taken by more than 15,000 annual members and 140,000 24-hour pass holders. In the first week of April alone, riders took more than 25,000 trips as temperatures rose above 40 degrees.

 

In a recently conducted survey, Divvy annual members said they were highly satisfied with Chicago's new bike share service, and claim to save an average of more than $760 a year on commuting expenses by riding a bike rather than using cars, taxis or other forms of transit.

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Chicago Public Library Launches New Website with Expanded Online Offerings!

April 11, 2014

 

Mayor Emanuel and the Chicago Public Library (CPL) recently launched a new online experience for all library patrons, including a redesigned website, an improved library catalog and greater accessibility and convenience. After several months in beta format to complete testing and allow patrons to become accustomed to new features, the new online platform is now live at www.chipublib.org!

 

Users will immediately notice the more customer-friendly features, including the ability to create a unique user name and PIN, keep a history of what they have checked out and a wish list of what they want to borrow in the future. Users can also rate titles, as well as write and read reviews of books, movies and music - visible not only to other CPL patrons, but also to the community of the 200 libraries around the world currently using BiblioCommons' catalog platform. This website is the first of its kind to fully integrate all aspects of the patron's online library interactions, and will improve the user experience and accessibility to materials.

 

The website's homepage cards, which offer a variety of content including book lists, upcoming events and blog posts by librarians, will help patrons discover all the interesting and innovative collections and services offered by CPL. This information is easily shared on social media so that all Chicagoans can benefit from these offerings. The new website also adapts to any screen size, like smart phones and tablets; the responsive design ensures users have the same experience-- no matter the mobile device. Free apps will also be available for iPhone/iPod Touch and Android.

 

The site lays the groundwork for enhanced community engagement in large-scale Library programs, like One Book, One Chicago, YOUmedia and teen services and the Summer Learning Challenge.

 

Also included in the launch of the new website are two great new online offerings, Zinio and Hoopla. Zinio offers patrons the opportunity to download more than free 150 digital magazines from the Library's website - and keep them on their device for as long as they like, no return necessary. Hoopla offers free streaming movies, television, music and audiobook titles which can also be downloaded for later viewing.

Since 1873, the Chicago Public Library has encouraged lifelong learning by welcoming all people and offering equal access to information, entertainment and knowledge through innovative services and programs, as well as cutting-edge technology. Through its 80 locations, the Library provides free access to a rich collection of materials, both physical and digital, and presents the highest quality author discussions, exhibits and programs for children, teens and adults.

 

To read the full press release, click here.

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42nd Ward Update: Sprinkler Mandate Update - Join Alderman Reilly by Signing Representative Feigenholtz's Online Fire Safety Petition

April 4, 2014

 

State Representative Sara Feigenholtz recently introduced The Feigenholtz Bill (Amendment #1 to House Bill 4609) that would require any sprinkler mandates to be first vetted by the entire General Assembly and establishes a Task Force to debate the issue through 2015. To view the legislation, please click here

 

The House Committee on State Government Administration approved Representative Feigenholtz's HB 4609 by an overwhelming 17-2 vote on March 26th. The entire House of Representatives will consider the legislation in the coming weeks. 

 

Representative Feigenholtz recently unveiled the Lakefront Coalition for Responsible Fire Sprinkler Policy petition to show community support for her bill. 

 

Alderman Reilly signed on to Representative Feigenholtz's online petition to share his support for this important measure. 

 

Alderman Reilly strongly encourages downtown residents to join him by signing Representative Feigenholtz's online Fire Safety Petition. These petitions will be shared with other members of the General Assembly to prove how important this issue is to Chicago homeowners and high-rise residents. 

 

Alderman Reilly appreciates all who have signed on to the petition, and encourages continued public input on this issue to ensure this bill's passage in the General Assembly. Please sign and share this petition with your friends, family, and neighbors. 

 

Prior information regarding the Sprinkler Mandate can be found here.

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Skills for Chicagoland's Future - a First-of-its-Kind Seasonal Talent-Sharing Initiative for Unemployed Cook County Job Seekers

April 4, 2014

 

Skills for Chicagoland's Future-a public-private partnership working to match businesses that have current, unmet hiring needs with qualified, unemployed job seekers-announced today a new partnership with Divvy, operated by Alta Bicycle Share, and Gap Inc. that will bring year-round employment opportunities to unemployed Chicago and Cook County job seekers.

 

Launching in April, the innovative "Optimum Employment" pilot program will creatively solve the challenges businesses face with hiring qualified, seasonal employees by linking seasonal positions at Divvy and Gap Inc. stores to create a 12-month employment opportunity for the unemployed.

 

Developed by Skills for Chicagoland's Future, Optimum Employment is a first-of-its-kind talent-sharing pilot solution for businesses seeking a dependable pipeline of qualified seasonal workers, while providing job seekers with predictable, long-term employment. For eight months (March-October), candidates will be employed as Divvy rebalancers, supporting bicycle distribution throughout Chicago during the program's peak months. Then, for four months (October-February), candidates will work as logistics associates at local stores, assisting with shipment, pricing, replenishment and selling during the peak holiday season. Unemployed individuals in the pilot group will begin employment at Divvy in late-April.

 

Skills for Chicagoland's Future will recruit and prescreen qualified, unemployed Chicago and Cook County residents to be considered for the pilot program. Divvy human resources representatives will interview the candidates first for employment beginning in April. Once they secure a job with Divvy, candidates will then interview with Gap Inc. for potential employment at one of the company's stores in October 2014. Candidates hired by Divvy will only convert to Gap Inc. hires after successfully completing their employment with Divvy and must also pass Gap Inc.'s application process.

 

Unemployed job seekers interested in the pilot program are encouraged to apply now at www.scfjobs.com for positions to begin in late-April. To be considered for the Optimum Employment program, candidates must be currently unemployed and reside in Cook County.

 

Chicago-area employers interested in meeting with Skills for Chicagoland's Future to learn more about their customized hiring solutions can contact biz@skillsforchicagoland.com  or visit www. skillsforchicagolandsfuture. com.

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Helpful Tips from the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection

April 4, 2014

 

Tips for Taking Taxicabs in Chicago:
  • Look for the City of Chicago-issued medallion on the taxicab hood.
  • A licensed Chicago taxicab number is four digits or fewer and matches the license plate digits, and is posted around the cab.
  • The driver must have his or her City of Chicago-issued public chauffeur license displayed.
  • The taxicab placard with payment rates must be displayed in the vehicle.
  • The approved credit card payment systems are mounted inside the cab, either in the front or the rear.
  • When paying by credit card, check the fee, including tip, before approving payment.
  • Portable, mobile credit card payment gadgets ARE NOT approved devices for accepting and processing taxicab fare payment in Chicago licensed taxicabs (Click to download the Know Before You Swipe! for downloadable flier).
The Department of Business Affairs & Consumer Protection (DBACP) reviews all cab complaints. To file a complaint or compliment, call 3-1-1 or visit www.cityofchicago.org/BACP.

 

How to Address a Problem Business in Your Neighborhood:

Are you concerned about a business in your neighborhood? The Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection wants neighbors to know what they can do and what action the City of Chicago can take to correct the problem.

Some of the steps include:
  • Call 9-1-1
  • Call 3-1-1
  • Document the nuisance issues
  • Work with the Alderman
  • Attend a CAPS meeting
  • Request a community meeting with the City
  • Take action and be heard 

The Problem Business flier offers more information that will help guide you on the steps to address a problem business.

 

How to File A Consumer Complaint With BACP:

As a community member, you may voice your complaints by calling 3-1-1 or though the Citizen Complaint Form. BACP can enforce the law best when people who file a complaint identify themselves, but we will also accept anonymous complaints.

 

BACP reviews complaints under the following categories:

  • General Consumer Complaint 
  • Consumer Fraud Taxicab Complaint 
  • Cable Television Complaint 
  • A Liquor License Establishment 
  • A Restaurant 
  • A Retail Store 
  • Taxicabs and Public Vehicles 

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2014 Construction Season Begins for Department of Water Management Infrastructure Improvement Projects

March 28, 2014

 

The Department of Water Management is starting its 2014 construction season under the Building a New Chicago infrastructure program, which will include 85 miles of new water mains, 21 miles of new sewer mains, 55 miles of sewers lined and 14,000 catch basins lined at a cost of $671 million.

 

Since 2011, the Department of Water Management has installed 177 miles of new water mains and 46 miles of new sewers. In addition, DWM has lined 140 miles of sewers and 47,701 catch basins, as well as installed more than 4,600 water valves and 5,000 new fire hydrants.

 

Announced in 2012, Building a New Chicago is a $7 billion infrastructure program over three years, and one of the largest investments in infrastructure in the City's history. The program will touch nearly every aspect of the city's infrastructure network and create more than 30,000 jobs during its three years. Building a New Chicago involves an unprecedented level of coordination between City Hall, multiple city departments and sister agencies, private sector utilities, and the public.

 

For a complete map of the DWM 2014 Plan, click here.

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Applications Now Accepted for ThinkChicago: Lollapalooza, a Program to Bring the Nation's Top Engineering and Computer Science Students to Chicago!

March 22, 2014

 

ThinkChicago: Lollapalooza is a four-day event to attract technology students from around the United States to move to Chicago after graduation. It introduces the City's fast-growing technology industry and one of the country's most popular musical festivals to some the nation's top technology and computer science students. In 2014, the program will expand from 100 students to 125 students. 

 

Organized by the City of Chicago, Chicago Ideas Week, World Business Chicago, 1871, and Lollapalooza, ThinkChicago: Lollapalooza invites university undergraduate and graduate students from around the country to attend a variety of events in Chicago.

 

Attendees of the ThinkChicago program will have a chance to visit and meet with the leaders of some of today's most innovative tech companies, meet industry leaders, visit business headquarters, and gain free admission to all three days of the Lollapalooza music festival.

 

Mayor Emanuel and Chicago-based technologists and entrepreneurs will host a series of discussions and panels to hear pitches from ThinkChicago students on tech solutions that could improve the quality of life for Chicagoans.

 

Past participants have been exposed to companies like GrubHub, Belly, kCura, 37Signals and Groupon, and speakers like Eric Lunt (BrightTag CTO), Dag Kittlaus (creator of Siri) and Harper Reed (Obama for America 2012 CTO).

 

ThinkChicago: Lollapalooza is seeking candidates who are enthusiastic about digital technology, computer science, innovation or entrepreneurship and have demonstrated a commitment to achievement and excellence in their field. ThinkChicago is opening the application to undergraduate and graduate students from engineering, computer science, and technology entrepreneurship programs at universities across the country.

 

Students may submit applications through April 30, 2014 by visiting www.thinkchicago.net. Participating students will be required to secure their own travel and lodging. Questions concerning the program can be submitted to info@thinkchicago.net. To learn more about ThinkChicago: Lollapalooza, click here to read the official press release.

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Pay-By Cell Option Available this Spring for Parking in Metered Spaces

March 22, 2014

 

Motorists will soon have a state-of-the-art mobile payment option for parking in metered areas throughout Chicago. The new pay-by-cell program will be introduced as part of a pilot program in the downtown area this spring and then rolled out throughout the City.

This new pay-by-cell technology will offer a number of time-saving conveniences:

 

  • Drivers will no longer have to make payments at the meter boxes if they choose. (Meter boxes will remain in place throughout the City, providing motorists with multiple options to pay). Printed receipts will no longer need to be placed on dashboards.
  • Drivers will no longer have to return to their car to increase their time allotment.

Motorists who purchase parking for two hours or more will pay no additional fees. Those paying for less than two hours will pay a 35-cent convenience fee, which is comparable to or less than similar fees in other cities.

 

The cashless option allows users to use the app to pay via credit or debit card. The system, available to iPhone and Android users, will also send users text message reminders 10 minutes prior to the expiration of their parking session, and allow them to pay for more time remotely.

 

To read the full press release, click here.

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Street Resurfacing Projects Expanded in 2014

March 14, 2014

 

Chicago will see an expanded streets paving program for 2014 to combat the pothole-filled condition of many arterial streets caused by the extremely harsh winter weather.

 

City agencies and private utilities plan to resurface a total of 333 miles of arterial and neighborhood streets and alleys in 2014.

 

Much of the funding for the additional roadway improvements will come from the State of Illinois, who will contribute an additional $14 million to repave 14 miles of arterial streets. The remaining $8 million in additional funding will come from selected Tax Increment Financing (TIF) districts and Corporate Fund savings.

 

Under Mayor Emanuel's Building a New Chicago infrastructure investment program, the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT), the Department of Water Management (DWM), private contractors and utilities will have resurfaced more than 1,000 miles of streets of streets from 2011 through 2014 (155 miles in 2011; 269 miles in 2012; 290 miles in 2013; and 333 miles in 2014).

 

DWM plans to increase their workload in 2014, to installing 85 miles of new water mains, 21 miles of new sewer mains, relining 51 miles of sewer mains, and install 15,000 new water meters. DWM will also repave 133 miles of roadway.

 

In 2014, CDOT expects to repave 85 miles of arterial streets, 90 miles of residential streets and five miles of alleys. Gas, electric and telecommunication utilities are expected to repave 20 miles of streets as part of their infrastructure work.

 

With better coordination on infrastructure improvement projects through CDOT's Project Management Office, both departments and the utilities worked together to reduce the amount of project conflicts that would open up a street more than once. By setting new standards for restoring the public way after construction, the various utilities resurfaced more miles of Chicago streets.

 

In 2013, the City realized a savings of approximately $14 million through the coordination of projects with utilities and the requirements that they fully restore the roadways after their construction projects.

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2014 Senior Sewer Rebate Renewal Applications Recently Mailed

March 7, 2014

 

Alderman Reilly reminds seniors to submit their annual renewal application for the Sewer Charge Annual Refund for Seniors.  Renewal forms were recently mailed out to previous applicants by the Committee on Finance.

 

New applicants can find information below on how to apply for the Sewer Charge Annual Refund.

 

Eligibility Requirements:

  • You must be 65 years of age, or older, as of January 1 for the year you are applying.
  • You must be the sole owner, or owner in joint tenancy, or tenancy in common of the property.
  • You must occupy the property as your principal place of residence.
  • You must own a townhouse, condominium unit, or cooperative apartment that shares a common water bill

Once your application is received by Alderman Reilly's office, it is introduced at the next City Council meeting and is forwarded to the Committee on Finance for review and processing. Please note that it can take 6-7 months to process the application.

 

If you are eligible to apply for the Senior Sewer Charge Annual Refund and have not yet submitted your paperwork, please click here for additional information, a list of the required documentation, and to download the application form.

 

Completed applications, and all necessary paperwork, should be submitted to:


Alderman Brendan Reilly   

121 N. LaSalle Street, Room 200   

Chicago, IL 60602

 

Please email rebates@ward42chicago. com with any questions about the Senior Sewer Annual Refund.

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Hyatt Moves More than 60 IT Jobs to Downtown Chicago

February 28, 2014

 

The global hospitality company, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, will relocate more than 60 Information Technology (IT) positions from a suburban location to its headquarters in downtown Chicago. The move will bring more than 60 positions held by both Hyatt associates and its IT vendors to the company's 200 West Monroe location. These positions range from application support to development.

 

Hyatt was recently named a "Top 100 Workplace" by the Chicago Tribune. Hyatt's new IT positions will join a flourishing technology community in Chicago, which is home to more than 1,500 digital technology companies that employ more than 40,000 people, an increase of 21 percent since 2013. Built in Chicago also reports that a technology startup is launched in Chicago every 24 hours.

 

Promoting and enabling greater levels of innovation throughout the regional economy is a key component of Chicago's Plan for Economic Growth and Jobs, a blueprint for accelerating the economy and adding jobs in Chicago. The Plan was initiated by Mayor Emanuel and is currently being implemented by World Business Chicago.

 

Similar to Hyatt's move, other companies, including Walgreens, Medline, Grainger, and Motorola Mobility, have relocated their technology divisions to the city in order to gain access to its unique talent pool. Public and private post-secondary educational institutions enroll more than 65,000 students in the Chicago Loop alone, and Chicago is home to two of the world's top business schools. Additionally, the most recent U.S. Census Bureau report showed Chicago residents over 25 with Bachelor of Arts degrees in computers, math, and statistics increased by 20 percent in 2012 (nationally, this figure increased by 4.6 percent).

 

To read the full press release, click here.

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850 N. Lake Shore Drive Recently Reopened as Luxury Apartments - an Adaptive Re-use Success Story!

February 14, 2014

 

Alderman Reilly is very pleased to report the successful adaptive reuse of an historic Streeterville building - the Lake Shore Athletic Club at 850 N. Lake Shore Drive.   

 

 

 

Alderman Reilly worked closely with the Chicago and Illinois landmark preservation community to designate and save a number of architecturally important historic buildings across downtown Chicago, including Jarvis Hunt's 1927 Lakeshore Club at 850 North Lake Shore Drive.  

 

Upon taking office in May 2007, the pending demolition of the Lake Shore Athletic Club was the first controversial development issue to hit the Alderman's desk. With a demolition permit filed five weeks prior to Reilly taking office, and a looming demolition deadline of July 16th, 2007, the Alderman immediately intervened to preserve the building. Six months after declaring his opposition to a proposal by Northwestern University and Fifield Development to demolish the historic Lake Shore Athletic Club, Alderman Brendan Reilly was able to announce the building had been saved from demolition and slated for renovation. 

 

After a thorough and deliberative community process, it was found that the building could and should be re-used.

 

Alderman Reilly is happy to report that after remaining empty for 9 years, 850 Lake Shore Drive reopened its doors in January 2014 as a luxury apartment building, adding to the distinctive "lakefront row" including designs by Lucien Lagrange and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.  

 

Together with restoration architects, Booth Hansen incorporated many historical elements in this newly designed 19 story building, including brass pieces and the chandeliers from the former ballroom - now converted into 850 Lake Shore Drive's social room. The re-use now features 198 luxury apartment units, of which most enjoy views of Lake Michigan, due to the building's half hexagon shape.


(Matthew Phillips of Integrated Development Group, Alderman Reilly and Joe Valenti of Valenti Construction at a 2010 event celebrating the construction of 850 n. LSD and removal of an antique silver chandelier from former dining room) 

 

(Mediterranean Dining Room, 1920s) 

 

 

(850 N. Lake Shore Drive current, from 850lsd.com/gallery)

 

Alderman Reilly continues to partner with Preservation Chicago and Landmarks Preservation Illinois, as well as the Chicago Department of Housing and Economic Development's Historic Preservation Division to review and landmark other important structures in downtown's 42nd Ward. 

Alderman Reilly has recently sponsored initiatives to consider landmark status for important buildings such as: The Gibbons and Steger Buildings, The Marina Towers, Northwestern's downtown Quad (Montgomery Ward Memorial, Weibolt Hall of Commerce, Levy Mayer Hall including McCormick Hall) and the Augustus Warner House in the Gold Coast to support the preservation of downtown Chicago's historic buildings.

Recent Press:
Chicago Magazine 1/30/14
Curbed 1/31/14

Previous Reilly Reports Stories:
Lake Shore Athletic Club Saved from Demolition 12/5/07
850 Lake Shore Drive Begins Newest Phase of Renovation 3/10/10
Lake Shore Athletic Club Re-Use Update 7/23/12

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Alderman Reilly: Cops Have New Tool to Combat Illegal Motorcycle Noise

May 2, 2014

 

Illegal Motorcycle Exhaust Noise Ordinance (SO2013-9451)  

Alderman Reilly is pleased to announce the passage of an ordinance that will help the Chicago Police Department address a major quality of life issue that impacts downtown residents and communities along the Lakefront: motorcycle noise.

 

Unfortunately, many motorcyclists alter their mufflers to be much louder than legal decibel levels, which contributes to noise pollution throughout Chicago, especially in downtown Chicago's skyscraper canyons. Altered mufflers can pose a serious detriment to the quality of life for anyone who lives along the Lakefront; they have been illegal for many years and constitute a violation of Chicago's Municipal Ordinance.

 

During the warm weather months, Alderman Reilly receives hundreds of complaints from downtown residents who report dozens of motorcycles at a time with altered mufflers drag racing on downtown arterial streets and along Lake Shore Drive. In other cases, groups of 25-30 motorcycles will congregate in one location to rev their engines.

 

Unfortunately, the previous Municipal Ordinance limited the Chicago Police Department's efforts in enforcing the motorcycle noise regulations - as it required coordination and cooperation with the Illinois State Police to issue citations.

 

Alderman Reilly's amendment will allow the Chicago Police Department to more easily enforce the law with a simple visual inspection of the muffler. In addition to improving the CPD's ability to enforce the ordinance, the amendment increases the fines for operating a motorcycle without a muffler from $100 to $500 per incident.

 

The Alderman looks forward to continuing his partnership with the 1st and 18th Police District to crackdown on illegal motorcycle noise and help preserve the quality of life for residents in downtown Chicago's 42nd Ward and neighborhoods along the Lakefront.

 

Click here to download the ordinance.

 

 

Counterfeit Parking Receipts and Valet License Ordinance (SO2014-2308)

In other City Council news, Alderman Reilly is pleased to report the passage of his Valet Parking Ordinance, which imposes significant additional reforms on this industry.

 

This ordinance increases fines for valet operators operating without a valid city license, which will range from a minimum of $2,000 up to $5,000.

 

It will revoke a valet operator's license if they are found in violation on three separate dates within any twelve-month period.

 

The ordinance also cracks-down on operators who use counterfeit parking receipts, and will revoke the license of operators who are found in violation of this ordinance.

 

Click here to download the ordinance 

 

Press:

Sun-Times 11/7/13

 

 

Pedicab Substitute Ordinance (SO2013-3397) 

Alderman Tom Tunney's Pedicab Ordinance was approved by the City Council on Wednesday, April 30.

 

Although Alderman Reilly supports many components of the ordinance, including the licensing, inspection, and insurance and safety requirement, he does not believe the ordinance goes far enough to address very real traffic and public safety concerns raised by the police commanders in the Central Business District (CBD).

 

The ordinance, as passed, includes downtown rush hour restrictions only for the CBD south of the Chicago River. Alderman Reilly believes the ordinance should have included morning and evening rush hour restrictions for pedicabs, north of the Chicago River where, in some cases, rush hour congestion is even worse than in the Loop.

 

Although Alderman Reilly is a supporter of this entrepreneurial industry, he has real concern regarding traffic impact and public safety on busy downtown streets.

Alderman Reilly predicts these new regulations will be burdensome for police officers to enforce in the 1st and 18th police districts. This creates a real concern, considering the myriad issues police officers must handle during the warmest weather months downtown - the very same months pedicab drivers seek to operate.

 

Click here to download the ordinance.

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Millennium Park Celebrates 10 Year Anniversary this Summer with Free Events and Exhibitions!

May 2, 2014

 

When Millennium Park opened on July 16, 2004, it transformed an industrial wasteland into Chicago's showplace for cutting-edge art, architecture, landscape design, music and more. Today, the 24.5-acre park is Chicago's second-largest tourist attraction - and the City will mark its 10th anniversary throughout the summer.

 

The Millennium Park 10th Anniversary Summer Celebration will feature dozens of FREE events and exhibitions including new, monumental sculptures by Spanish artist Jaume Plensa, designer of Crown Fountain; indie rock, electronica, jazz, classical and world music; films, simulcasts and documentaries shown on an outdoor, 40-foot LED screen; family activities; workouts and more.

  • Jaume Plensa: 1004 Portraits, June 18, 2014-October 2015 in the South Boeing Gallery and at Michigan & Madison features four monumental sculptures. The 19-foot and 41-foot sculptures are portraits of young girls created in cast iron and resin; they continue the story of the original 1000 portraits of local Chicago residents that illuminate the Crown Fountain every day.
  • Millennium Park: An Anatomy in Photographs, June 18, 2014-October 2015 will be installed across the Park in the North Boeing Galleries. The exhibit features over 50 images-including historical photographs; images of the Park before, during and after construction; and the work of numerous photographers who used the Park as their subject.  

Both shows are FREE and made possible by the Millennium Park Foundation; hours are 6am-11pm daily.

 

Live music under the stars has been a hallmark of Millennium Park since the beginning, and this summer is no exception. The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) and its partners are pleased to present a diverse lineup of Chicago artists as well as musical acts from across the U.S. and the globe.

  • Downtown Sound Series, Mondays, June 2 - August 11 at 6:30pm (no concert July 28) feature an eclectic mix of cutting-edge indie rock, pop bands, global sounds and rock veterans.  
     
  • Made in Chicago: World Class Jazz Concerts, Thursdays, July 24 - August 28 at 6:30pm , presents new and old jazz greats. Each concert begins with a short set by young, aspiring musicians from Chicago-area high schools as part of the Jazz Institute of Chicago's Jazz Links Ensembles and the Gallery 37 After School Matters Jazz Big Band.

Complete lineups for Loops and Variations, Downtown Sound and Made in Chicago: World Class Jazz will be announced soon. All performances are FREE, at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion.

  • 36th Annual Chicago Jazz Festival August 28-31, is a favorite Labor Day Weekend tradition. On Thursday, the festival opens at the Chicago Cultural Center before moving to the Jay Pritzker Pavilion for the Made in Chicago series finale. Friday through Sunday, enjoy performances on four stages featuring headliners Terence Blanchard, Rufus Reid, Gary Burton, Dave Holland, Tom Harrell, Cécile McLorin Salvant and the Sun Ra Arkestra. The Chicago Community Trust Young Jazz Lions Stage showcases high school and college ensembles on Saturday and Sunday on the Harris Theater's Rooftop Terrace.

 

The festival is produced by DCASE and programmed by the Jazz Institute of Chicago. Admission is FREE. For details, visit chicagojazzfestival.us.
  • 16th Annual World Music Festival, September 11-21, will feature major international artists and groups in a four-part, double-bill series at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park.  In addition, this 11-day festival includes performances in multiple venues throughout Chicago. These concerts are Thursday-Friday, September 11-12 at 6pm and Saturday-Sunday, September 13-14 at 3pm.

 

The festival is presented by DCASE and admission is FREE. For details, visit worldmusicfestivalchicago.org. Artists will be announced soon.
  • Grant Park Music Festival, June 11-August 16, Chicago's acclaimed outdoor classical music festival, celebrates its 80th season this year. The Grammy® Award-nominated Grant Park Orchestra is led by Artistic Director and Principal Conductor Carlos Kalmar and the award-winning Grant Park Chorus is led by Chorus Director Christopher Bell.
Most performances are Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, presented by the Grant Park Orchestral Association in partnership with the Chicago Park District and DCASE. Start times vary. For the complete schedule, visit gpmf.org.
  • Millennium Park Presents, May 25-September 6 (select dates), is a series of one-night-only performances curated by DCASE to showcase symphonic music, dance, opera, Broadway hits and more-performed by some of Chicago's best-loved cultural institutions. All performances are FREE, at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion.
  • Summer Film Series, Tuesdays, June 24-August 26 at 6:30pm. If outdoor movies are your thing, the is a must-see. Take a seat at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion or spread out a blanket on the Great Lawn to watch your favorite films on a state-of-the-art, 40-foot LED screen. The series is co-curated by DCASE and Millennium Park Foundation. Movies will be announced soon. Admission is FREE.
  • Jens Jensen The Living Green on Thursday, June 19 at 8pm. Join director Carey Lundin, WTTW11's Geoffrey Baer and Lurie Garden designer Piet Oudolf for this inspirational, award-winning documentary about the life and career of conservation hero Jens Jensen, which will be presented on Millennium Park's 40-foot LED screen.
  • Lurie Garden annual Plant Sale, Saturday, June 7, 10am-3pm, offers hands-on gardening tips, plant-based crafts for families, a book signing by Roy Diblik and two lecture-demonstrations: Raptors! on Tuesdays, June 24 and July 22 at 6-8pm and Wildlife! on Tuesday, August 19 at 6-8pm. For details, visit luriegarden.org.
  • Lurie Garden Tours, May 15-September 21. Free tours are offered throughout the summer, Thursdays and Fridays 11am-1:30pm and Sundays 10am-1:30pm. Take a 20-minute guided tour to learn about the Garden's design and history, perennial plants and wildlife. Or take a guided walk of the entire Park and learn more about its history, art and architecture-as part of the FREE Millennium Park Greeter Service offered daily, May 23-October 13 at 11:30am and 1pm. Greeter walks depart from the Visitor Information Center at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington Street. Space is limited to 10 people.
  • Target Family Fun Festival, June 23-August 24, 10am-3pm offers families fun all summer long with music, arts and crafts for kids of all ages. The daily schedule includes Wiggleworms® at 10am by the Old Town School of Folk Music, a Reading Circle at 11am and Family Performances at 1pm. Activity Zone partners change weekly. New activities this year include Movement Mondays, Mondays at 1pm, and Read All About It!, a reading and book giveaway Wednesdays at 11am. The series is programmed by the Millennium Park Foundation, under the tent at Chase Promenade North. Admission is FREE.
  • Summer Workouts on the Great Lawn, Saturdays, June 7-September 6. Workouts are 45 minutes with classes in Tai Chi at 7am, Yoga at 8am, Pilates at 9am and Zumba, a Latin-inspired calorie-burning dance fitness party, beginning at 10am.
  • Chicago Bike Week, June 13-20, is a celebration of cycling in the city with several FREE activities at the Park, including the Bike Chicago Film: Rushmore on Monday, June 16, 8:30pm at Jay Pritzker Pavilion; and Life Time Cycle Palooza, an outdoor spin class complete with DJ and a certified instructor on Thursday, June 19, 5:30pm at Cloud Gate. For details, visit bikechicago.us.
Millennium Park is located on Michigan Avenue, bordered by Randolph St. to the north, Columbus Dr. to the east and Monroe St. to the south. The Park is open 6am-11pm daily. For the latest news and events, visit millenniumpark.org, like them on Facebook and follow their Twitter, @Millennium_Park.

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Chicago Indoor Air Ordinance Regulating E-Cigarettes Now In Effect

May 2, 2014

 

The Chicago Clean Indoor Air Act now includes regulations on e-cigarettes.

 

 

Chicago's new regulation on e-cigarettes include a restriction on smoking or vaping of e-cigarettes, vape pens or e-hookahs in all enclosed public places and enclosed places of employment.

 

The places where smoking and the use of e-cigarettes is prohibited includes:

  • bars and restaurants;
  • shopping malls;
  • recreational facilities including enclosed sports arenas, stadiums, swimming pools, ice and roller rinks, arcades and bowling alleys;
  • concert halls;
  • auditoriums;
  • convention facilities;
  • government buildings and vehicles;
  • public transportation facilities;
  • coin laundries;
  • meeting rooms;
  • private clubs;
  • public restrooms;
  • lobbies; reception areas, hallways and other common-use areas in public buildings, apartment buildings and condominium buildings.
  • The ordinance also prohibits smoking within 15 feet of the entrance of these establishments.

The ordinance exempts private residences (except residences that are used as day care facilities or any other business to which the public is invited), some hotel and motel sleeping rooms, retail tobacco stores and vape shops.

 

Individuals who smoke in areas prohibited by the ordinance are guilty of an infraction punishable by fines up to $250.  

 

Additionally, the law reminds owners and managers of buildings and other spaces not covered by the ordinance that they may declare their buildings and other spaces to be smoke-free.

 

The ordinance is enforced by the Chicago Department of Public Health and the Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection.

 

All Chicagoans (as well as visitors to the city) who see violations of the Clean Indoor Air Act are encouraged to take action. Contact the manager of the business or building in question. Tell them what you saw, and give them a reasonable chance to investigate and address the situation. If they are unresponsive, pick up the phone and call 311 to report it.  

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Alderman Reilly Welcomes Motorola Mobility to 42nd Ward!

April 25, 2014

 

Earlier this week, Alderman Reilly joined Mayor Emanuel and other local leaders at the public unveiling of Motorola Mobility's New Global Headquarters at the historic Merchandise Mart!

 

 (Alderman Reilly, Senator Hunter, Mayor Emanuel at Motorola Public Unveiling)

 

(Illinois Senator Mattie Hunter, Illinois Senate President John Cullerton, Rhonna Frazin (Chicago Public Library President and CEO) and Rick Osterloh, President and COO, Motorola Mobility)

 

Motorola Mobility was founded in Chicago over 80 years ago as the Galvin Manufacturing Corporation at 847 W. Harrison Street. They were downtown until 1976, when they moved their headquarters to Libertyville, Illinois. After nearly forty years in the suburbs, the company has finally returned to Chicago as the Merchandise Mart's largest tenant.

 

The new headquarters encompasses more than 600,000 square feet, including 75,000 square feet of dedicated lab space, making it one of the premiere R&D and prototyping facilities in the world.

 

Motorola is a leading innovator in Illinois with approximately 2,000 employees. Their new downtown facility will strengthen the growing tech community in Chicago, fostering entrepreneurship and the next generation of technologists, and attracting the best and brightest minds to Illinois.

 

For more information, click on the following links to read the Official Motorola Blog and Mayor's press release.

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Headliners Announced for 2014 Taste of Chicago

April 25, 2014

 

The City of Chicago and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) are pleased to announce the lineup of performers at the Petrillo Music Shell for the 34th Annual Taste of Chicago, July 9 - 13 in Grant Park. Admission is free and festival hours are 11am-9pm Wednesday through Friday and 10am-9pm Saturday and Sunday.

 

Tickets for the seating area at the Petrillo Music Shell are scheduled to go on sale on May 22 at the Taste website, tasteofchicago.us. Ticket prices will be announced at a later date.

 

Wednesday, July 9: AWOLNATION will headline the Petrillo Music Shell to kick off the Taste of Chicago on Wednesday, July 9. The dynamic electronic rock band was formed and fronted by Aaron Bruno, formerly of Under the Influence of Giants, Hometown Hero and Insurgence. The alternative rock band Saints of Valory from Austin, Texas is set to open for AWOLNATION.

 

Thursday, July 10: Janelle Monáe, the award-winning songwriter, performer, producer and "avant-garde funkstress" will headline the Petrillo Music Shell on Thursday, July 10. The musical universe of Gary Clark Jr. opens for Monáe with his soulful sounds.

 

Friday, July 11: Nickel Creek, the Grammy® Award-winning root music trio is celebrating 25 years as a group and has returned to the stage after a seven-year hiatus. Twelve-time Grammy® Award-winner Emmylou Harris will also grace the Petrillo stage on Friday, July 11. Oklahoma native Parker Millsap will open the show.

 

Saturday, July 12: Chicago's Jeff Tweedy is one of America's most accomplished musicians and on Saturday, July 12 he will bring his brand of contemporary rock to Taste of Chicago. Additional artists will be announced at a later date.

 

Sunday, July 13: Aloe Blacc will bring the mega hit "Wake Me Up" and "The Man" from his recent album, Lift Your Spirit. With more than 250 million albums sold worldwide, reggae superstars the Wailers will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the release of the Legends album featuring their greatest hits when they open for Blacc on Sunday, July 13.

 

For more information on The 34th Annual Taste of Chicago, please visit tasteofchicago.us . 

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ComEd Smart Ideas Energy Efficiency During the Summer Guide

April 25, 2014

 

ComEd has put together a snapshot of the programs they offer their customers, including the NEST rebate program for residents and energy efficiency loans available to business customers.


To download the guide and learn more, please click here.

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Spring Improvements in the 42nd Ward! 

April 19, 2014

 

With the warmer Spring weather, 42nd Ward residents can expect to see many improvements in the next few weeks.

 

Clean & Green Citywide Volunteer Clean Up:

Chicago's official Clean & Green Day is scheduled for Saturday, April 26, 2014. For more than two decades, residents have teamed up with community groups and the City of Chicago to help beautify their communities by cleaning up and recycling accumulated litter and trash.

                  

On April 26, you and community groups in your area can make an immediate difference in your neighborhood by volunteering your time and efforts to take part in the annual Spring Clean and Green Day.

 

Residents who wish to participate can call 3-1-1 to be referred to the Clean and Green activities in their area.

 

Street Sweeping:

The Department of Streets and Sanitation (DSS) has resumed their seasonal street sweeping schedule.  DSS' fleet of street sweepers help to keep streets clean and prevent dirt and debris from entering the sewer system - ultimately allowing for better drainage during a rain storm.  To view the interactive map of the 42nd Ward's 2014 Street Sweeping schedule, click here.

 

Pothole Patching:

The harsh winter has taken its toll on many City streets. The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) continues to patch potholes to improve the condition of downtown streets. Alderman Reilly's office works with CDOT on a daily basis to identify and report potholes for prompt repair.

 

Chicagoans can track the fight against potholes and see a week's worth of CDOT's work on the City's Pothole Tracker application, which shows not only the calls for service but the number of potholes filled during each site visit.

 

To report potholes in your neighborhood:

Power-washing:

In the next several weeks, the Department of Streets and Sanitation will be targeting alleys and viaducts in need of cleaning. 

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Common Recycling Contaminates for Blue Cart Program

April 19, 2014

 

The City's Residential Blue Cart Recycling Program is making recycling even easier in every neighborhood and every community in Chicago.  While residents are eager to utilize the Blue Carts to keep the city clean, some common contaminates have found their way into the Blue Recycling Carts. Below is a list of common recycling contaminates that should not be in the Blue Cart. 

 

 Common Recycling Contaminates:

  1. Plastic bags: Plastic bags are not recyclable through the Residential Blue Cart Recycling program.   Even if the plastic bag has a recycling triangle on it, plastic bags cannot be tossed into the Blue Cart.  Rather, plastic bags can be dropped off at participating retail or wholesale stores with an in-store recycling program, like grocery store chains or pharmacy chains.     
  2. Shredded paper: Paper is recyclable, but shredded paper should not be recycled through the Blue Cart program.  Shredded paper cannot be properly sorted out of the recycling stream causing contamination.   
  3. Styrofoam-also, known as #6 Plastics: Styrofoam and other plastics with the #6 recycling triangle are not recyclable through the Blue Cart program. Common #6 plastics are the tops of your Starbucks cup, egg cartons and packaging foam.    
  4. Un-numbered Plastics are not recyclable:  If a plastic item does not include a recycling triangle, then the item is not recyclable.  Items like plastic storage containers, plastic hangers, plastic cutlery, CD cases and baby bottles are not recyclable.     
  5. Yard Waste: Yard waste is not accepted through the Blue Cart.  Yard Waste should be bagged separately and placed next to your black garbage cart for collection.    
  6. Electronics and Household Chemicals: Electronics like televisions and cell phones and household chemicals are not accepted in the Blue Cart program.  Electronics and household chemicals can be recycled at the City's Household Chemicals and Computer Recycling Facility located at 1150 N. North Branch.  For drop-off hours, visit their website.

To learn more about what items can be thrown into the Blue Recycling Cart, visit chicagorecycles.org.

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CTA and Pace Announce Full Ventra Transition Schedule

April 19, 2014

 

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) and Pace announced the transit systems will complete the transition to the new Ventra fare payment system by July 1.  The transition calendar has three phases:

  • May 1 - Customers can no longer buy magnetic stripe cards or autoload/reload Chicago Card/Chicago Card Plus
  • June 1 - Customers can no longer reload magnetic stripe cards or use Chicago Card/Chicago Card Plus
  • July 1 - Customers can no longer use magnetic stripe cards. Pace customers paying with cash will no longer be issued a Transfer Card. All customers will be transitioned to Ventra.

Chicago Card Plus customers enrolled in the CTA's Transit Benefits through their employers and O'Hare employees using the temporary O'Hare smart card are transitioning the first week of April, and will receive specific instructions through their employers. 

 

To assist customers who still need to transition, Ventra has a number of ways to make the process seamless:

  • Customers can obtain a Ventra Card at vending machines at CTA's 145 rail stations and at more than 1,000 retail locations in Chicago and the suburbs.
  • Ventra plans a number of balance transfer events throughout the city over the next three months. At these events, customers can transfer balances from valid magnetic-stripe cards and Chicago Cards, obtain and register a new Ventra Card (with no upfront purchase fee), and have their questions answered. These events will also assist customers who have been issued Reduced Fare and Ride Free Permits by the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA).
  • Chicago Card Plus customers who have not yet transitioned to Ventra will be able to do so conveniently online at ventrachicago.com. Early next week Chicago Card Plus customers who purchase a Ventra Card from a vending machine or retailer will be able to transfer their Chicago Card Plus balance online after registering their new card. (This excludes Transit Benefits customers, who will receive instructions through their employers on how to transition to Ventra if they have not yet done so.)

Later this spring, customers who wish to transfer unused balances on Chicago Card and magnetic stripe fare cards will have the option of mailing in their old cards and having any unused balance transferred to their registered Ventra Card. Details on this be announced in the coming weeks. 

 

Customers can visit ventrachicago.com for complete balance transfer rules and event dates, how-to-videos and frequently asked questions.

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Alderman Reilly Visits with 42nd Ward Neighborhood Groups

April 11, 2014

 

Alderman Reilly was recently invited to speak at the annual Streeterville Organization of Active Residents (SOAR) Town Hall Meeting last Wednesday, April 2nd at the Hyatt Chicago Magnificent Mile.  

 

The Alderman spoke on issues that are important to 42nd Ward residents including: sprinkler mandate, pension reform, upcoming legislation he is working on in City Council, traffic and safety concerns and infrastructure improvements.

   

 

 

 

 

Last month, Alderman Reilly was also invited to the Streeterville Chamber of Commerce's 25th Annual Meeting of Membership Celebration at the Ritz Carlton. Click here to read Alderman Reilly's congrats letter, which is printed in the 2014 Streeterville Community Guide.

 

Chamber President Mabel Buckner also presented the Alderman with a "Making A Difference" award at the March 13 celebration.

 

 

 

Alderman Reilly thanks Gail Spreen, SOAR President and Mable Buckner, Streeterville Chamber President and CEO for inviting him to speak to their members.

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State of Illinois Unclaimed Property I-Cash Program

April 11, 2014

 

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

 

It's easy for Illinois residents to discover if they have assets waiting for them. 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's a match, fill out and submit the online claim form.
3. Receive your property or cash and enjoy what you've discovered.

 

Within weeks, residents are reconnected with their cash or assets, allowing them to enter the next exciting phase of discovery - discovering how to use their findings. To find out more, visit:  www.icash.illinois.gov.

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Foodborne Chicago App Enhances Food Safety

April 11, 2014

 

Foodborne Chicago, launched one year ago, has helped hundreds of Chicagoans report food poisoning to the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH), resulting in 150 restaurant and food service inspections conducted by the city last year - inspections that otherwise may not have happened. Foodborne Chicago is a web application that uses Twitter to identify persons who believe they may have food poisoning, then flags those public tweets with CDPH for possible follow up.

 

Foodborne Chicago identifies public tweets from residents and visitors about food poisoning, then replies privately, providing assistance for the individual to file an online complaint through 311. An alert is then sent automatically to CDPH's Food Protection Program, which investigates the complaint and updates any actions through  Chicago's 311 Service Tracker

 

Last year, Foodborne Chicago classified over 2,600 tweets related to food poisoning in Chicago which led to 233 food poisoning reports submitted to CDPH. From those reports an additional 150 restaurant and food service inspections occurred. 

 

Foodborne Chicago was created by Smart Chicago and civic tech developers in partnership with CDPH. More information on Foodborne Chicago is available at www.foodbornechicago.org and on Twitter at @Foodbornechi.

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2014 Chicago Blues and Chicago Jazz Festival Artists Announced

April 4, 2014

 

31st Annual Chicago Blues Festival

"Blues by the Lake" in Grant Park

The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events is pleased to announce the complete line-up for the 31st Annual Chicago Blues Festival set for June 13 through June 15 in Grant Park. Click here to read the full press release.

 

This year the festival theme celebrates "Blues by the Lake," with three days of the finest blues music featuring headliners Carolina Chocolate Drops, Otis Taylor Band and a special celebration commemorating the centennial of John Lee "Sonny Boy" Williamson featuring Billy Boy Arnold and The Siegel-Schwall Blues Band with Sam Lay. Also headlining, Theo Huff, Willie Clayton, Bettye LaVette Nikki Hill, Aaron Neville and Dr. John.

 

The FREE admission Chicago Blues Festival is open from 11am to 9:30pm daily. The Petrillo Music Shell will feature headliners at 6pm-9:30pm on Friday, June 13 and Saturday, June 14. The stage will run 5:30pm-9:30pm on Sunday, June 15.

 

The popular day stages contribute to the festival's reputation as an internationally acclaimed event. Each stage features local and national blues musicians celebrating the genres rich tradition and heritage. Stages and performance times are: Bud Light Crossroads Stage, 11:15am-5:30pm; Jackson Mississippi Rhythm & Blues Stage, 11:30am-7:30pm and Pepsi Front Porch Stage, noon-5:30pm.

 

New this year, blues fans can enjoy the "Meet Me in Memphis Blues Pavilion" sponsored by the Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau. The dining pavilion will feature live music from 11:30am-4:30pm daily.

 

Leading up to the Chicago Blues Festival, May is "Blues Month" in Chicago featuring a number of preview performances at various Chicago Park District and Chicago Public Library locations throughout the city. Blues music will also fill the halls of the Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington St.) during May on select Tuesdays and Thursdays at noon - and a Blues Festival preview on Daley Plaza is set for Monday, June 9. The full schedule of preview events will be announced later this month.

 

For more information about the 31st Annual Chicago Blues Festival, please visit chicagobluesfestival.us. Join the conversation on Facebook (Chicago Blues Festival) and Twitter, @ChicagoDCASE  (#ChiBluesFest).

 

 

36th Annual Chicago Jazz Festival in Millennium Park

The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events also presents the headliners performing in Millennium Park for the 36th Annual Chicago Jazz Festival. The favorite Labor Day Weekend tradition will take place at the Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington St.) and in Millennium Park (201 E. Randolph St.), August 28-31, showcasing the very best of Jazz music from noon to 9:30pm daily.

 

Millennium Park headliners include: Terence Blanchard, Rufus Reid, Gary Burton, Dave Holland, Cecile McLorin Salvant and the Sun Ra Arkestra. The FREE admission Chicago Jazz Festival is produced by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) and programmed by the Jazz Institute of Chicago. The complete schedule will be announced at a later date.

 

For the latest information on the36th Annual Chicago Jazz Festival, visit chicagojazzfestival.us, Facebook  at Chicago Jazz Festival or twitter @ChicagoDCASE. To read the full press release, click here.

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IRS Warns of Pervasive Telephone Scam

April 4, 2014

 

The Internal Revenue Service warns consumers about a sophisticated phone scam targeting taxpayers, including recent immigrants, throughout the country.


Victims are told they owe money to the IRS and it must be paid promptly through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. If the victim refuses to cooperate, they are then threatened with arrest, deportation or suspension of a business or driver's license. In many cases, the caller becomes hostile and insulting.

 

Other characteristics of this scam include:

  • Scammers use fake names and IRS badge numbers. They generally use common names and surnames to identify themselves.
  • Scammers may be able to recite the last four digits of a victim's Social Security Number.
  • Scammers spoof the IRS toll-free number on caller ID to make it appear that it's the IRS calling.
  • Scammers sometimes send bogus IRS emails to some victims to support their bogus calls.
  • Victims hear background noise of other calls being conducted to mimic a call site.
  • After threatening victims with jail time or driver's license revocation, scammers hang up and others soon call back pretending to be from the local police or DMV, and the caller ID supports their claim.

If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, here's what you should do:

  • If you know you owe taxes or you think you might owe taxes, call the IRS at 1.800.829.1040. The IRS employees at that line can help you with a payment issue - if there really is such an issue.
  • If you know you don't owe taxes or have no reason to think that you owe any taxes (for example, you've never received a bill or the caller made some bogus threats as described above), then call and report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1.800.366.4484.
  • If you've been targeted by this scam, you should also contact the Federal Trade Commission and use their "FTC Complaint Assistant" at FTC.gov. Please add "IRS Telephone Scam" to the comments of your complaint.

The IRS encourages taxpayers to be vigilant against phone and email scams that use the IRS as a lure. The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information. This includes any type of electronic communication, such as text messages and social media channels. The IRS also does not ask for PINs, passwords or similar confidential access information for credit card, bank or other financial accounts. Recipients should not open any attachments or click on any links contained in the message. Instead, forward the e-mail to phishing@irs.gov.

More information on how to report phishing scams involving the IRS is available on the genuine IRS website, IRS.gov.

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Free Tax Help Available

April 4, 2014

 

Time is running out to take advantage of the City's free income tax assistance program before the April 15th tax filing deadline.

 

The City of Chicago offers federal and state income tax preparation and e-filing free of charge for families earning up to $50,000 or individuals earning up to $25,000 at sites across Chicago.

 

You'll also find out if you qualify to claim federal and Illinois Earned Income Tax Credits, the Child Tax Credit, and/or student financial aid for college. For eligible families, these federal and state credits could be worth more than $6,000 on their 2013 tax returns! But without the help of knowledgeable tax preparers, many Chicagoans will not claim all the income tax credits they deserve.

 

For more information about how to access the free tax assistance program, Chicagoans can:

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New Electric Bill Savings Available

March 14, 2014

 

The second half of the City's electricity aggregation agreement with Integrys Energy Services is expected to save as much as $24 million for Chicago residents and small businesses, while ensuring that all of Chicago's energy comes from non-coal sources.

 

Starting in May, the average participant in the aggregation program will see an average savings of $34 as compared to the expected ComEd effective rate, which is set to increase in June. The City's aggregation program has saved more than 720,000 Chicago households and businesses an average of $42 on their bills since February 2013, resulting in a total savings of $32 million to date.

Chicago is the largest city in the country to have purchased electricity in bulk on behalf of its residents and businesses. Through this use of bulk buying power, the City secured a coal-free power mix. This cleaner supply mix has resulted in a 16 percent reduction in the City's carbon footprint, removing the equivalent of 100,000 cars from the streets. Additionally, Illinois wind farms will physically generate 5 percent of the electricity provided through the municipal aggregation program.

The municipal aggregation program has also provided residents and small businesses with top quality service according to Ameresco, Inc., a third party validator retained by the City to test and validate Integrys' performance in administering the program. To view a scorecard of Integrys' performance in 2013, click here.

Customers will have an opportunity to opt out of the program via phone, mail, or web and return to ComEd. Opt-out letters will be mailed starting the week of March 17 and customers will have 14 days to decide whether they would like to opt out of the program before the new rate takes effect. Additionally, after the initial opt-out period, residents will still have the opportunity to leave the program at any time without charge, fee, or penalty. All current Chicago residential and small commercial members will be automatically enrolled in the program under the new price, unless they opt-out.

During the second year of Chicago's aggregation program, the pricing structure will shift to a demand-based electricity supply approach that is designed to result in lower rates for households that use less electricity. The new pricing will begin with the May 2014 meter read and is based on a two-part pricing structure, called "My Balanced Energy Plan." The plan produces lower rates for smaller electricity users by setting a low energy fixed price of 5.299 cents per kilowatt-hour and a monthly customer charge of $22.36 for single-family customers and $9.06 for multi-family customers. The City estimates that this structure will deliver the average customer $34 in savings over the final year of the program.

In addition to delivering savings to Chicagoans, the City's agreement will continue to offer the same consumer protection and environmental benefits negotiated under the City's aggregation program, including no hidden fees or exit fees and non-coal supply.

Integrys Energy Services will also be required to beat or match the ComEd price. If the Integrys effective rate for the average residential users rises above the ComEd rate, including the Purchased Electricity Adjustment (PEA), then Integrys will be required to match the price or send Chicago customers back to ComEd at the request of the City.

For more information, please go to http://www.integrysenergy.com/ aggregation/il-chicago/ or call 888-802-2885.

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Alderman Reilly Visits with 42nd Ward Neighborhood Groups

February 14, 2014

 

Alderman Reilly recently spoke at the 2014 River North Business Association (RNBA) Annual Meeting, held February 4th at the Allerton Hotel. Alderman Reilly was glad to participate in a special surprise bagpiper procession honoring France Langan, outgoing RNBA Chairman of the Board.

 

  

 

 

Last month, Alderman Reilly was also invited by the Fulton River District Association (FRDA) / Neighbors of West Loop to give a "State of the 42nd Ward" address.  

 

At the January 22nd event at OVIE Bar and Grill, Alderman Reilly discussed upcoming and current developments, new infrastructure improvements and other neighborhood updates in the Fulton River District and West Loop.

 

A summary of the event was chronicled in a recent FRDA/Neighbors of West Loop newsletter

 

 

Alderman Reilly thanks Sharon Romack, RNBA President and CEO, and Larry Gage, FRDA President for inviting him to speak to their members.

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Alderman Reilly votes "NO" on City's $1.9 Billion Borrowing Plan

February 10, 2014

 

Last week, the Chicago City Council approved a $1.9 billion borrowing plan by a 43-4 vote. The vote empowered the Emanuel Administration to issue up to $900 million in general obligation bonds (backed by property taxes) and doubled the city's short-term line of credit to $1 billion.

 

Alderman Reilly was one of the four aldermen who voted against issuing the $1.9 billion in new city debt obligations. Aldermen Robert Fioretti (2nd), Scott Waguespack (32nd) and John Arena (45th) accounted for the three other "no" votes against the proposal.

 

Alderman Reilly said he could not support authorizing the additional $1.9 billion in city debt for two reasons: (1) the sheer amount of bonding authority request was enormous; and (2) the lack of detail on how the Administration would spend the billions in bond proceeds.

 

According to Reilly, although the Administration provided a broad sketch of how the proceeds would be spent - it only accounted for how approximately 60% of the proceeds of the $900 million in general obligation bonds would be spent, leaving roughly $300 to $350 million uncommitted potential bonding authority without specific earmarks.

 

Vice-Chairman of the City Council Budget Committee, Alderman Reilly has worked with the Emanuel Administration to reform the City Budget, supporting efforts to: streamline bureaucratic functions; spend tax dollars with an eye toward "return on investment;" and implementing local pension reform to keep the system solvent and help restore stability to the City's long-term finances.

 

Despite his support for many of the Mayor's budget reforms and the targeted use of bonding authority to support critical infrastructure investments and refinancing costlier debt obligations - Alderman Reilly could not support granting the Administration this massive new bonding authority that saddles future generations of Chicagoans with billions of dollars of new debt.

 

Alderman Reilly believes we must tackle these difficult fiscal issues today, rather than "pay forward" this ongoing fiscal crisis to future generations of mayors, aldermen and Chicago taxpayers.

 

According to Reilly, addressing those challenges will require an honest discussion about the price of city government, spending priorities and a full accounting of the real costs to provide basic services taxpayers expect. In order for Chicago to remain solvent and grow, Reilly believes we must more narrowly define core services delivered by city government and be more creative and flexible in how we fund and deliver those services.

 

Alderman Reilly is committed to working with the Emanuel Administration to confront these unprecedented financial challenges head-on and chart a budget path to fiscal responsibility and stability.  Last week, the Chicago Tribune ran two compelling editorials regarding the ramifications of extending Chicago's long-term debt - one on Wednesday's Editorial Page LINK and another again on Sunday LINK

Here are other related local news reports regarding the borrowing plan:

Chicago Tribune  2/5/14
Chicago Sun Times 2/5/14
 

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Chicago Awarded Department of Defense Grant for Future Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDI)

February 28, 2014

 

Chicago was recently awarded a $70 million federal grant to build a Digital Manufacturing Design Lab (Digital Lab). An additional $250 million in public and private sector matching funds was raised to support the winning bid. This new center will change the face of research and engineering growth in the Midwest.
 
The Digital Lab will be the nation's flagship research institute in digital manufacturing. The lab will apply cutting edge computing technologies to address the manufacturing challenges faced by the Department of Defense (DoD) and transform manufacturing across the country. The computing technologies of the Digital Lab include mobile computing, cloud computing, and high performance computing. The Digital Lab will build online communities and leverage the power of networks and big data to reduce the time and cost of manufacturing, make the U.S. supply chain more competitive globally, and reduce acquisition costs for DoD.

Solutions developed at the Digital Lab have the potential to generate $35 billion in savings to the Department of Defense and $100 billion in value for its industry partners, including large manufacturers and small businesses. The breakthroughs in applying these new technologies will promote growth in the Chicago region's advanced manufacturing sector and create thousands of new jobs.

The Digital Lab will make technology accessible to small businesses, helping them compete. The Digital Lab will also integrate skills training for new digital manufacturing jobs into regional and national STEM education and workforce programs, reaching more than 2 million students and workers over the first 5 years through partnerships with trade associations, community colleges, and local economic development organizations.

 

To read the full press release, please click here.

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