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Celebrate the Holidays in the 42nd Ward!

December 4, 2015

 

PNC Bank Winter Wonderfest at Navy Pier

 

 

For the 15th year in a row, families from near and far will flock to Navy Pier and bask in seasonal bliss without bundling up. The PNC Bank Winter WonderFest returns on Saturday, December 5 with more than 24 rides and attractions and 170,000 square feet of entertainment for all ages.

 

New attractions this year include the Polar Extreme, a double-sided inflatable slide and obstacle course, interactive Arctic Peaks Climbing Walls and an expanded, Winter Rules mini golf course. Guests can also enjoy the popular Blackhawks ice skating rink, soar across the 40-foot Cliff Hanger, or take in the view from the top of the towering 50-foot-high indoor Ferris wheel.

 

In between cups of hot cocoa, visitors can drop in on Santa and his elves at the Claus residence, snap a photo on the Giant Holiday Howdy Horse or decorate a freshly baked sugar cookie.

 

Now Open through January 10, 2016

Click here for hours of operation and ticket information

Navy Pier

600 E. Grand Avenue

 

Readers of Reilly Reportscan also receive $2 off a Winter Wonderfest Activity Ticket by using the promo code: STREET2015

**Valid through online advance sales only**

 

For more information, visit navypier.com.

 

 

Christkindlmarket Chicago

 

 

Christkindlmarket Chicago celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2015! Recognized as one of the top holiday markets in the U.S., Christkindlmarket Chicago transforms Daley Plaza into a magical picturesque European Christmas village filled with candy cane striped wooden huts and twinkling lights that harkens back to the traditional holiday market in Nuremberg, Germany.

 

The Christkindlmarket hosts live entertainment and performances including school groups, professional singers, dance groups and much more. On weekends, the roaming Alpine Brass band with its festive German holiday music is sure to stir and awaken the spirit of the season in all. Special events include appearances by the Christkind (the namesake and symbol of the market), the annual Children's Lantern Parade, Theatre day and much more!

 

Open Now Until December 24, 2015

Sundays - Thursdays 11am - 8pm

Fridays & Saturdays 11am - 9pm

Christmas Eve 11am - 4pm

Daley Plaza

50 W. Washington Street

 

For more information, visit christkindlmarket.com.

 

 

Charlie Brown Christmas Show

 

 

Tis the season to celebrate everyone's favorite Peanuts pals as they dig past the commercialized gimmicks of presents and decorations to rediscover the true meaning of Christmas. Broadway In Chicago and Emerald City Theatre present the Charles Schulz classic, showing now through January 3, 2016. Through a pageant and a spindly tree, Charlie Brown and friends bring the holiday spirit back to life for families once again.

 

Select Dates through January 3, 2016

Click herefor showtimes and ticket information

Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place

175 E. Chestnut Street

 

 

Santa Sightings in the 42nd Ward!

 

Millennium Park

 

 

Santa's Midwest headquarters will open to children of all ages. They can inquire whether they have made his "nice" list, make gift requests and take photos. There is no charge to visit Santa, but you must take your own photos with your camera or smartphone.

 

Select dates through December 20, 2015

Saturdays and Sundays 12 noon - 6pm

Fridays before Caroling at Cloud Gate events 5pm - 6pm

Millennium Park Welcome Center

201 E. Randolph Street

 

 

900 North Michigan Shops

 

 

900 North Michigan Shops brings back the magic of the holiday season with the return of its naturally bearded Santa, sitting on a throne amongst custom holiday décor and a one-of-a-kind 50 ft tree glowing in the background. Each child who visits with Santa will receive a complimentary gift. Photos with Santa are available for purchase, with five different packages to choose from.

 

Now through Thursday, December 24, 2015

Click here for Santa's hours

900 North Michigan Ave., Level 3

 

 

Ice Skating in the 42nd Ward

 

 

Millennium Park Ice Rink

 

 

Don't miss the opportunity for ice skating at the one of Chicago's most popular winter destinations. For the last 14 years, the rink has drawn more than 100,000 skaters annually and is free and open to the public. The rink, located on Michigan Avenue between Washington and Madison Streets, will still offer skate rental for only $12.

 

Open Now Until March 6, 2016

Click herefor ice rink hours

McCormick Tribune Ice Rink in Millennium Park

201 E. Randolph Street

 

For more information visit millenniumpark.org.

 

 

Maggie Daley Park Skating Ribbon

 

 

In the heart of downtown Chicago, with the City's skyline as a backdrop, a ribbon of ice winds through a rolling landscape providing an ice skating experience unlike any other. The skating ribbon is dramatically different from typical civic ice rinks, creating a multisensory activity that is integrated into the landscape. Skaters can experience "alpine in the city" as they lace up their ice skates and follow a path twice the length of a lap around a traditional skating rink. Complementing the ribbon are places to enjoy a cup of hot chocolate and rent skates.

 

Open Now Until March 6, 2016

Click here for skating ribbon hours

Maggie Daley Park

337 E. Randolph Street

 

For more information visit maggiedaleypark.com.

 

For more exciting things to do and see this holiday season, visit choosechicago.com to see theHolidays in Chicago: 2015 Guide.

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Update: Lower Wacker Drag Racing

July 20, 2015

 

Two months ago, Alderman Reilly appealed to the Chicago Police Department (CPD) and Department of Transportation (CDOT) to identify infrastructure and enforcement solutions to help end dangerous weekend drag racing and skidding contests on Lower Wacker Drive in the New Eastside neighborhood.

 

On Friday afternoon, Alderman Reilly received CDOT's recommended infrastructure changes and he approved aldermanic menu funding for the installation of new barricades; speed-humps; and safety signage for Lower Wacker and requested the improvements be made as soon as possible. CDOT has indicated the infrastructure will be installed on Lower Wacker this week.

 

Based on recommendations from CDOT and CPD, the Alderman has also prepared ordinances for introduction at this month's July 29th City Council meeting to establish a "No Cruising Zone" in the area and a new late-night "No Parking/No Standing/No Stopping Tow Zone" along Wacker Drive between Stetson and Field Boulevard.  Both ordinances will provide the Police with more tools to prevent vehicles from cruising through (and gathering in) this area for drag racing.

 

Over the past several weeks, the 1st Police District has been responding to 911 calls-for-service related to drag racing and has also run enforcement missions on Lower Wacker Drive to issue citations for dangerous driving and other violations.

 

This past weekend, at Alderman Reilly's request, the 1st Police District conducted a comprehensive overnight mission on Lower Wacker - using a combination of tactical units and police overtime resources to assign 8 police squads to crackdown on drag racing and reckless driving. The mission lasted from late evening Friday until 3:00 a.m. on Saturday, resulting in a number of citations being issued.

 

Just 20 minutes after the 1st Police District concluded their mission on Saturday morning, there was a drag racing-related fatality on Lower Wacker. The incident involved friends in a Jeep and BMW, traveling westbound on Lower Wacker at a high rate of speed. According to reports, one vehicle swerved in front of the other, clipping its front end and sending both vehicles careening into support beams.

 

The driver of the BMW, Jose Luviano Jr., was transported to Northwestern Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead. The driver of the Jeep, Ivan Sanchez, was charged with one count of reckless homicide, one count of aggravated DUI, four misdemeanor counts of DUI and several traffic citations. Earlier today, Judge Chiampas ordered Sanchez held on a $150,000 bond with home confinement if he makes bail. He is scheduled to appear in court on August 7th.

 

On Friday, July 17th, the Chicago Tribune ran this story that included statements from Alderman Reilly, expressing his concern for public safety and worries that reckless driving could result in tragedy:

 

"Ald. Brendan Reilly told the Tribune he is pushing for 'strategically placed speed humps' and rumble strips, like those on the shoulder lane of highways, to stop drivers from racing or doing other dangerous stunts. He said he wants to 'put an end to this irresponsible behavior.'

 

"I understand people want to get their selfies and video footage, but at what cost?" he said. Reilly said he's seen a 'real uptick' of dangerous car activity in the past two years, which he partially blamed on Hollywood.

 

"I know this kind of behavior has been glorified by some popular movies like 'Fast and Furious,' but people need to remember those are movies with stunt drivers and controlled sets," Reilly said. "This is public infrastructure and driving like a movie star can end up with someone being killed."

 

Alderman Reilly extends his sympathy to Jose Luviano's family and hopes those who glorify and promoted illegal drag racing will learn from this horrible tragedy.

 

"I extend my sympathies to Jose Luviano's family and loved-ones for their loss - it was a senseless tragedy that could have and should have been avoided. And to those who still think drag racing is a crime without consequences: I'd encourage them to again review the details of this horrific incident and understand the profound impact this drag racing tragedy is now having on the Luviano and Sanchez families."

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Message from Alderman Reilly on Mariano Park

June 26, 2015


A number of neighborhood residents have contacted my office recently with concerns regarding the Chicago Park District concession at Mariano Park. I am writing to provide you with some important details about the coffee concession - which is under the sole discretion of the Chicago Park District, which operates independently of the City Council.

 

For over 10 years, Whispers Café has operated at Mariano Park under a concession agreement with the Chicago Park District. This agreement is about to expire, which prompted the Chicago Park District to solicit Requests for Proposals and competitive bids for the concession operation in Mariano Park.


The Chicago Park District and their management team are now reviewing competitive bids and will choose the next operator in Mariano Park. As Alderman, I do not play a role in the selection of the concession or operator for Mariano Park; I can only advocate and provide input on the matter.

 

It is my understanding that roughly 10 bids were submitted for the concession - including "Shake Shack," "Gibson's on behalf of Ralph Lauren" and "Whisper's Café." I also understand some of the bids submitted to the Park District would call for prepared meals and liquor.

 

As Alderman, I do play a key role in the liquor licensing process in the 42nd Ward. Please note that I will not support a liquor license in Mariano Park. Further, I do not support a cooking operation in the Park, which would require a much larger structure and far more frequent food deliveries and larger volumes of trash that accompany a prepared meal program.

 

I also have concerns regarding the larger building footprints that have been proposed for Mariano Park. I believe that the concession structure should be of a size similar to the existing, full footprint of the coffeehouse and outside vending envelope in the Park. I am sharing these concerns with Superintendent Mike Kelly of the Chicago Park District.

 

I strongly encourage you to contact the Chicago Park District to communicate your concerns regarding the future Mariano Park concession, as this is the agency with the jurisdiction over such matters.

 

You can­ call the Chicago Park District at: (312) 742-7529 or e-mail Mr. Michael Kelly, the General Superintendent and CEO of the Chicago Park District at: michael.kelly@chicagoparkdistrict.com.

 

It is my pleasure and honor to serve as 42nd Ward Alderman. I look forward to working with you in the future to help keep downtown Chicago a great place to live, work and play.

 ________________________________________________

 

 

 

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Annual Winter Overnight Parking Ban Now in Effect

December 4, 2015

 

Chicago's annual Winter Overnight Parking Ban on critical arterial streets is in effect until April 1, 2016.

 

There are 107 milesofcity streets considered critical arterial streets, and the nightly ban is in effect between the hours of 3:00am and 7:00am regardless of the presenceofsnow.

 

Violators of the Winter Overnight Parking Ban may face a $150 towing fee (minimum), a $60 ticket and a daily storage feeof$20. Vehicles in violation of the ban will be towed to Pounds 2 (10301 South Doty Avenue) or 6 (701 North Sacramento).

 

Please click on the following link to see a MAP of streets that are affected by the Overnight Parking Ban.


Overnight parking restriction signs are posted throughout the designated routes. Please be aware of these signs indicating the parking restrictions.

 

 

The 2 inch winter parking ban on marked arterial streets or "Snow Routes" is in effect year round to allow emergency vehicles and snow clearing equipment to pass. These parking restrictions are strictly enforced when snow accumulation of over 2 inches is present.

 

Please click on the following link to see a MAP of streets that are effected by the Arterial Street Snow Route Ban.


Arterial Street Snow Route parking restriction signs are posted throughout the designated routes. Please be aware of these signs indicating the parking restrictions.

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Alderman Reilly Secures Dog Access Through Grant Park

November 17, 2015

 

(click image to enlarge)

 

Today, Alderman Brendan Reilly announced that he has successfully negotiated a compromise with Chicago Park District Superintendent Michael Kelly to allow dog access through the northern portion of Grant Park near Maggie Daley Park and along the perimeter of the Cancer Survivor's Memorial.

 

"After months of negotiations, I am pleased to announce a compromise that will allow dogs and their owners to walk through and enjoy Chicago's most popular park, while also addressing the concerns of non-dog owners who worry for wear-and-tear on the new park and potential conflicts that could involve young children and dogs," Reilly said.

 

After many months of discussions with Superintendent Kelly, Alderman Reilly believes the new compromise agreement will address the needs of dogs and their owners seeking to walk through Grant Park to access the Lakefront, while respecting the wishes of non-dog owners by requiring all dogs to remain on-leash and on the designated "dog-friendly" pedestrian paths through the Park at all times.

 

"I want to thank Superintendent Kelly and his team at the Park District for working with me to strike a fair balance between the opposing interests in the Lakeshore East neighborhood," said Reilly. "I am thrilled that we could secure an agreement that will once again allow our four-legged friends to visit northern Grant Park, as they had for many years - while respecting the concerns of non-dog owners. Personally, I look forward to using these dog-friendly routes with our two Yorkies: Buster and Max."

 

Access will be provided in an efficient north-south pathway from two points on upper Randolph to Monroe Street. Dog owners can enter the park from either the eastern or western boundaries of Cancer Survivor's Garden, travel south along the Gardens to the curving pathway along Lake Shore Drive to the Monroe Street sidewalk.

 

Per city ordinance, all dogs on Park District property and in dog-friendly areas must be currently registered with the Chicago City Clerk's Office. Dogs must remain on-leash in public parks and owners are responsible for cleaning-up after their dogs and disposing of the waste properly.

 

To register your dog with the City of Chicago, click here to visit the Clerk's Office website.

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Marina City Landmarking Recommendation Unanimously Approved by Commission on Chicago Landmarks

November 6, 2015

 

Aderman Reilly is very pleased to announce that the final recommendation for landmarkingBertrand Goldberg's Marina City was unanimously approved at yesterday's meeting of the Commission on Chicago Landmarks!

 

 

Marina City, view to the northwest, 2012

 

With strong record of preservation and appreciation for the city's historic fabric since his tenure in 2007, Alderman Reilly immediately understood the importance of these iconic towers within the Chicago landscape. Citing their presence in every Chicago souvenir snowglobe, the prominence of their architect and contribution to the history of Chicago architecture, the case was easily made for landmarking.

 

Alderman Reilly also saw tremendous opportunity for the homeowners of Marina City with landmark designation. In the Chicago Zoning Code is a density bonus entitled, "Adopt-A-Landmark". This zoning density bonus allows developers of nearby parcels to "adopt" a landmark structure by entering into an agreement with that landmark building owner to assist with capital projects, typically for exterior elements/systems, that contribute toward the overall preservation and lifespan of the building. These capital projects must be "shovel ready" and pass eligibility criteria set forth by the Landmarks Division within the city Department of Planning and Development. Based upon a 2014 amendment to this bonus, Alderman Reilly widened the eligibility radius to include Marina City and several other landmarks. These beloved historic structures are now within the radius of several new development proposals where they could benefit from developer contributions for major preservation efforts.

 

The Commission's recommendation will be introduced to City Council in December, and be referred to the Committee on Zoning, Landmarks and Building Standards. At the Committee meeting where designation is considered, property owners or any member of the public may make an oral statement and/or present a written statement for the Committee's consideration. Upcoming Committee meeting agendas are posted on the City Clerk's website. After Committee, the landmarking will require a full council vote.


For more information about the landmark designation for Marina City, please visit the Department of Planning and Development, Historic Preservation Division's website.

 

About Marina City:

Marina City, located at 300 North State, was constructed between 1960 and 1967, and is considered an icon of Chicago architecture and urban planning. The Marina City complex consists of five interconnected but distinct components: two identical 60-story cylindrical residential towers, a saddle-shaped theater, and a 10-story commercial building, all of which are set on a four-story base with a marina fronting onto the Chicago River. With the exception of the theater, all of the structures in the complex are cast-in-place reinforced concrete construction.

 

This "city within a city," was the most ambitious and forward-thinking post-war urban renewal project in Chicago. It was the first development to layer residential, commercial, and entertainment uses into a dense high-rise complex in the center city.

 

Goldberg's comprehensive vision for Marina City introduced new ideas about form and structure and novel solutions for living and working in an urban environment. Marina City's success as a dense high-rise residential development anticipated the later transformation of downtown Chicago from a nine-to-five business district to a thriving and bustling residential and commercial community. The development's use of the Chicago River as an amenity was also years ahead of its time.

 

Marina City was the first planned development project in Chicago, and the first and largest federally-insured downtown housing project in the country. The scale and scope of the project was unparalleled at the time of construction. When they were completed in 1963, the residential towers were the tallest reinforced concrete structures in the world. Marina City was also Bertrand Goldberg's career-defining commission, catapulting him onto the world stage and solidifying his reputation as one of the most innovative architects of the twentieth century.

 

Stylistically, Marina City-in particular the designs of the residential towers and theater building-is an impressive and captivating example of the Expressionist Style within the Modern Movement in architecture. It marks the first built example of Bertrand Goldberg's use of the cylindrical form, which would become a hallmark of many of his subsequent designs.

 

Goldberg's design for the residential towers, which featured the repeated use of curving, petal-like shapes around a central cylindrical core, was unlike any design ever built in Chicago. The complex's location along the Chicago River only serves to heighten the visual impact of the towers, with their distinctive shape and rhythmic pattern of curved concrete balconies. Nearly 50 years after its completion, the buildings remain among the most distinctive structures in the City.

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Alderman Reilly Welcomes UNIQLO Flagship Store to Chicago's Magnificent Mile

October 30, 2015

 


(From L to R: Chicago Luvabulls, Shobi Khan, Larry Meyer, Alderman Brendan Reilly, Stacy Hamai, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Billy Dec, Tadashi Yanai and Scott Sonnenberg. Photo by Gustav Hoiland)

Last Friday, October 23, Alderman Reilly joined Mayor Emanuel and UNIQLO USA Vice Chairman Larry Meyer at the opening of the company's flagship store at 830 N. Michigan Avenue. This is the first store in the Midwest and second largest store in the nation with 60,000 square feet of retail space.
 
The store has created 400 jobs, including talented Chicago youth through UNIQLO's partnership with the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative, a coalition of leading U.S.-based companies committed to hiring at least 100,000 youth between ages 16 and 25 who are unemployed and not in school.
 
UNIQLO has also teamed up with the Chicago Bulls on a community program with After School Matters to host an art-related event and design contest.
 
Additionally, UNIQLO will work with the Museum of Science and Industry to sponsor events and free visits to the museum throughout the year as well as host in-store displays curated by the museum to feature extensions of the museum's seasonal exhibits.

   

 

Uniqlo Chicago will feature a full range of casual wear for men, women, children and babies along with seasonal collaboration items. For more information, click here to view the press release.

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Letter from Alderman Reilly Regarding Vacation Rental Applications  

May 21, 2015

Dear Neighbor,

 

Last week I attended the Zoning Board of Appeals hearing to consider the vacation rental application for 67 E. Cedar Street.  Although my objection was documented and reinforced with the Board and neighborhood residents since the first hearing in March, I felt strongly about standing in support of my constituents with concerns about the changing nature of their block. The transiency of "hotel use" along this low-rise, exclusively residential block is clearly incompatible with surrounding long-standing homeowners.  I am very pleased to report that the ZBA denied the application for Cedar Street last Friday.  

 

For those of you unfamiliar with the issue and the ordinance, I would like to share some important background.  I am the author and sponsor of the Vacation Rental Ordinance.   After nearly two years and 26 drafts, the city Law Department and I finally passed the legislation on the books today.  We underwent that painstaking process to protect downtown homeowners' largest investment: their residence.  I clearly understand the disruption of "hotel" transiency within predominantly residential blocks.   

 

And about the Zoning Board of Appeals: the "ZBA" is an independent body, appointed by Mayor Emanuel.  They review Specials Uses, taking Council input under advisement only. It is here that I appreciate the participation of concerned citizens, like those who attended last week's hearing to testify with me.  Community involvement at these hearings, is key.  They are designed for the very purpose of collecting neighborhood feedback in order for the Board to make an informed, responsible decision.  Up until the hearing for 67 E. Cedar, public turnout and submitted objection documents is typically low.    

 

I ask that those of you affected by this incompatible use now or in the future to actively participate in the public hearings.  The democracy of this process is delivered by the city to ensure the highest quality-of-life possible for you.  As your representative, I take issues like these very seriously and fight for the best possible outcome.  I am grateful to those who have joined me in this important work so far.

 

Sincerely,  

 

Brendan Reilly

Alderman, 42nd Ward 

_________________________________________________

 

Alderman Reilly Welcomes New Streeterville Whole Foods Market!

February 3, 2015

 

(From L - R: Alderman Reilly, Tom Marciniak, Edwin Morales, Laura Bucher, Matt Mell, David Schwartz, and Michael Bashaw)

 

Alderman Reilly participated in the official "Bread-Breaking Ceremony" last week to celebrate the opening of the new Streeterville Whole Foods Market at 255 E. Grand Avenue. To learn more about the store's unique offerings, click here to read the official press release.

 

The Streetervillle location is the first of seven new Chicagoland Whole Foods Markets planned to open in 2015. Another 42nd Ward store is scheduled to open Wednesday, March 25 in the West Loop at 1 N. Halsted Street.

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