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January 6, 2015 Snow Command Update and Winter Reminders

January 6, 2015

 

FULL SNOW PLOW FLEET DEPLOYED ON CHICAGO STREETS

 

Beginning last evening, snow removal vehicles focused on salting and plowing main routes and Lake Shore Drive to ensure streets are safe for motorists and emergency vehicles.  Once the snow stopped and main routes were clear, DSS redeployed the full fleet of over 280 snow plows and salt spreaders along with over 20 smaller 4x4 snow plows to all neighborhoods and side streets.


The over 300 snow plows will focus on salting and plowing neighborhood streets to ensure streets are safe and passable for motorists.

DSS continues to monitor weather conditions from Snow Command and will adjust resources as needed.

Safety is the City's top priority, and motorists are urged to be patient when driving during inclement weather, to be cautious and drive according to the conditions.

To view the snow fleet in real time with the Plow Tracker tool, visit www.chicagoshovels.org. For additional updates on snow removal efforts, follow the Department on Twitter @Streetsandsan.

 

WINTER REMINDER: Take Precautions During Cold Weather

 

Officials from the Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC), Department of Streets and Sanitation (DSS), other City departments and sister agencies, remind residents about City-offered services during the winter months and tips to avoid weather and health emergencies during cold and extreme weather.

 

OEMC urges residents to prepare for cold temperatures and snowy conditions throughout the winter by taking steps, such preparing emergency kits for residences and vehicles and stocking up on necessities, which will help in emergency situations or if weather conditions become dangerous.

 

The City of Chicago works with AccuWeather to monitor the weather on an on-going basis to prepare for extreme weather as early as possible should it occur, and continues to implement, coordinate and improve plans to adapt to changing conditions to keep residents safe during the winter season.

 

DSS manages snow removal for more than 9,400 lane miles of roadway and maintains a fleet of more than 280 snow removal vehicles, including 19 new snow plows and four new, smaller 4x4 snow plows for this winter. The City will begin the winter season with approximately 400,000 tons of salt stationed at 19 salt piles across the City. DSS monitors snow removal operations, road conditions and weather from the Snow Command center through access to over 1,400 citywide camera feeds, Doppler radar control, and atmospheric and road data sensors.      

 

This winter season, DSS and the Department of Innovation and Technology (DoIT) have improved communication with residents around snow removal operations through the online Plow Tracker tool. Residents will continue to be able to watch snow removal operations as plows began on main and arterial streets and then move to neighborhood streets once the snow has stopped. New this year, residents can view the direction of travel for all snow removal vehicles in real-time. Residents will also be able to view snowfall totals for each snow system and for the entire winter season.

 

Parking Restrictions and Overnight Bans

Motorists are advised that Chicago's annual winter Overnight Parking Ban is now in effect and will be enforced through Tuesday, March 31, 2015 from 3:00AM to 7:00AM, regardless of snow. Cars parked in violation of the Overnight Parking Ban prevent critical routes from being fully plowed and salted when it snows. During a snowfall, a build-up of snow next to parked vehicles on these routes further reduces traffic flow.

 

The Overnight Parking Ban impacts more than 100 miles of Chicago's streets and signage is permanently posted along the impacted streets. Violators will face a minimum $150 towing fee, a $60 ticket and a storage fee of $20 per day for the first five days. Vehicles in violation of the ban will be towed to Pounds 2 (10301 S. Doty Ave) or 6 (701 N. Sacramento).

 

Information for Homeowners, Renters

Officials reminded residents to be cognizant of weather conditions, heed the warnings given by experts, and recognize the implications of wind chill advisories, winter storm watches and warnings. Residents should know the signs and care of frostbite and hypothermia. Winter preparation information is available at www.alertchicago.com , including links to other local, state and federal resources.

 

The Chicago Department of Water Management (DWM) encourages residents to act now to make sure pipes in homes are properly insulated and not exposed to freezing air. This includes pipes in garages and unheated areas of the home. If pipes do freeze, do not use candles or any open flame to thaw them. Use a hair dryer or heating pad.

 

The Chicago Heat Ordinance mandates that landlords supply heat to rental units during cold weather months. From September 15 to June 1, the temperature inside a rental residence must be at least 68 degrees during the day. During the evening, the temperatures must be at least 66 degrees. The Department of Buildings encourages residents to first contact their landlords when these temperatures are not maintained and to call 3-1-1 if no action is being taken. During extreme cold weather, however, the Building Department's first priority is responding to heat complaints and it reassigns inspectors to handle the increased number of heat complaints.

 

The Chicago Fire Department (CFD) does not recommended using space heaters; however, if used, be sure they are UL certified and at least 3 feet from anything that can ignite. Use of a space heater in children's rooms should be monitored closely as children sometimes move them close to or into the bed with tragic results. If extension cords are used, they should be rated at 15 amps minimum and never put cords under carpet. With the added demand on furnaces and boilers, CFD also reminds residents are required by ordinance to have working carbon monoxide detectors to protect against carbon monoxide leaks from a heating system that could be fatal over time.

 

In heavy snow, CFD asks that residents shovel around hydrants so they can find them and hook a hose up faster in the event of a fire. Don't park within 15 feet of hydrants - the house you save could be your own.

 

Through www.ChicagoShovels.org, individuals can sign up to volunteer with the Snow Corp program which helps to pair volunteers with senior residents or people with disabilities who require assistance to shovel their sidewalks.

 

To help manage energy costs and ensure residential safety, Peoples Gas remind that you can winter proof homes by covering windows with plastic sheeting, applying weather stripping around doors, insulating hot water pipes and installing programmable thermostats. These weatherization measures are important tools during the heating season to help manage energy costs.

 

Have appliances serviced by qualified contractor. Keep heating, ventilation and metering equipment free from debris, snow & ice. Ensure natural gas appliances are correctly flued and have the correct ventilation to avoid carbon monoxide build up in living areas. Check/Install carbon monoxide detectors.

 

Peoples Gas, Community Economic and Development Association (CEDA) and ComEd will also host several utility assistance and community resource fairs to support those residents who are looking for help paying their energy bills.

 

The first fair is this Saturday, January 10, at Malcolm X College, 1900 W. Van Buren St. from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Representatives from Peoples Gas, CEDA and ComEd will be on site, along with a number of city, state and human services agencies, to provide information on programs and resources that are available to assist residents. CEDA will take applications on site for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and the Peoples Gas Share the Warmth program. Click here to download the event flyer.

 

Warming Centers

The Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) operates six Community Service Centers located throughout the city that double as warming centers during work weekdays when temperatures dip below 32 degrees. DFSS will monitor the weather and make operational decisions regarding warming center hours based on weather conditions and other circumstances in coordination with OEMC.

 

Those seeking a warm place to go after hours should call 3-1-1. Seniors or individuals with limited mobility may call 3-1-1 to request a ride to any of the centers. And individuals requiring emergency overnight shelter, or transportation to a shelter, should also call 3-1-1.

 

Links to warming center information and flyers in English, Spanish and Polish are posted on DFSS's website .

 

Red Cross Safety Tips for Bitter Cold Weather

Frigid air is predicted for the Chicago region this week and the American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois offers the following steps people can take to stay safe during this hazardous weather.

  1. Wear layers of lightweight clothing to stay warm. Gloves and a hat will help prevent losing body heat.
  2. Know the signs of hypothermia - confusion, dizziness, exhaustion and severe shivering. If someone has these symptoms, they should get immediate medical attention.
  3. Watch for symptoms of frostbite including numbness, flushed gray, white, blue or yellow skin discoloration, numbness or waxy feeling skin.
  4. Bring the pets indoors. If that's not possible, make sure they have enough shelter to keep them warm and that they can get to unfrozen water.
  5. Avoid frozen pipes - run water, even at a trickle, to help prevent them from freezing. Keep the thermostat at the same temperature day and night to help avoid freezing pipes.
  6. Do not use a stove or oven to heat the home.
  7. Space heaters should sit on a level, hard surface and anything flammable should be kept at least three feet away.
  8. If using a fireplace, use a glass or metal fire screen large enough to catch sparks and rolling logs.
  9. Turn off space heaters and make sure fireplace embers are out before leaving the room or going to bed.
  10. Learn how to treat cold weather related emergencies by downloading the free Red Cross First Aid App at redcross.org/apps.

More information about winter safety is available on redcross.org.

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Alderman Reilly Opposes Dog Ban in Maggie Daley Park

December 16, 2014

 

Dear Neighbor:

 

Over the past few weeks, I have received numerous inquiries from downtown residents regarding whether or not dogs will be allowed in the newly constructed Maggie Daley Park and recently renovated Peanut Park in Grant Park. The Chicago Park District has informed me of their decision to not allow dogs in Maggie Daley or Peanut Park.

 

It is important to note the Chicago Park District is a separate governmental entity and taxing body, appointed by the Mayor, which has its own budget and governance structure. The Chicago Park District operates and sets policies independent of the Chicago City Council. As such, I have no jurisdictional authority over Chicago Park District policies and procedures.

 

That said, I have asked the Chicago Park District to consider reversing their policy and allow leashed dogs to be permitted on the pedestrian paths in Maggie Daley Park and Peanut Park. I have appealed directly to Michael Kelly, General Superintendent and CEO of the Chicago Park District, to reconsider the prohibition of dogs in Maggie Daley & Peanut Park.

 

Because this is entirely a Chicago Park District decision, I strongly recommend you and other concerned residents, share your concerns directly with Chicago Park District Leadership.

 

Please direct your comments and concerns to these Park District officials:

 

Michael P. Kelly              
General Superintendent & CEO
Chicago Park District
541 N. Fairbanks
Chicago IL, 60611

                                                             

Dr. Bryan S. Traubert
President, Board of Commissioners
Chicago Park District
541 N. Fairbanks

Chicago IL, 60611

 

Please visit the following website for more information on how to submit your comments via email or at a board meeting: http://www.chicagoparkdistrict.com/departments/board-of-commissioners/speaking-at-board-meetings/ 

 

As the proud owner of two dogs (Buster and Max), I am very sympathetic to concerns about prohibiting dogs in the northern portion of Grant Park. I worked hard, with many residents from across Chicago to ultimately defeat Mayor Daley's ill-conceived plans to allow the development of a museum in Northern Grant Park. Given my history defending Grant Park, and ensuring it remains "forever open, clear and free" - I'm disappointed in the Park District's decision.

 

When sending your comments to Superintendent Kelly and President Traubert at the Chicago Park District, please be sure to copy Mayor Emanuel and me on all correspondence so that I may follow-up with Park District leadership on your behalf.

 

Brendan Reilly
Alderman, 42nd Ward

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Alderman Reilly Joins CIM Group for Block Thirty Seven Apartment Tower Groundbreaking

November 18, 2014

 


 

Last month, Alderman Reilly joined Mayor Emanuel and executives from CIM Group for a commemorative groundbreaking to celebrate the start of construction on CIM's 34-story, 690-unit apartment tower at Block Thirty Seven, located on State Street between Randolph and Dearborn Streets.

 

Set on the northern end of the block atop the five-story, 275,000-square-foot Block Thirty Seven retail center, the residential tower is the final phase of the development, creating a mixed-use property at this high profile State Street location. The sleek, glass-clad tower's recreation and relaxation areas are designed to take advantage of the sweeping city views with a fifth floor amenity deck with an outdoor pool and spa and a rooftop spa and fitness center.

 

Since acquiring Block Thirty Seven at 108 N. State Street in the heart of Chicago's retail corridor, CIM Group has been implementing its plan to reposition and enhance the center as an attractive destination for the community.   The company recently announced it is bringing an 11-screen AMC Dine-In Theatre to the fourth floor. The new theatres join the previously announced 22,000-square-foot sophisticated casual multi-concept dining hall to be created by Richard Sandoval Restaurants on the third floor and a signature new restaurant from the Lawless family on the ground floor at the corner of Randolph and Dearborn Streets.

 

To learn more, click here to read the full press release.

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Alderman Reilly's Council Recap on WGN Radio with Dean Richards

September 12, 2014

 

 

After City Council on Wednesday, September 10th, Alderman Reilly stopped by the WGN Bob Sirott & Marianne Murciano Show, guest hosted by Dean Richards for a recap of the Council meeting.  The Alderman discussed hot topics including Filming and Arts in Chicago, Speed and Red Light Cameras, as well as addressing City service requests.  

 

To listen to the interview, click here. Please Note: Alderman Reilly's segment begins at 1:04:08.

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Alderman Reilly Welcomes New Bennett Day School to the West Loop!

August 22, 2014

 

(Ald. Walter Burnett, Jr.; Kate Cicchelli, Co-Founder / Head of School;

Cameron Smith, CEO / Co-Founder; Ald. Brendan Reilly)

 

Earlier this week Alderman Reilly joined 27th Ward Alderman Walter Burnett Jr., at the Grand Opening and Community Open House Celebration for Bennett Day School, located at 657 W. Fulton Street.

 

 

(Ribbon Cutting for Bennett Day School)

 

Bennett Day School is a new Chicago two-year old through eighth grade school that is passionate about serving families a progressive education based on the Reggio Emilia collaborative approach of self-directed learning.

  

The school's innovative West Loop location provides opportunities for students to interact with the local community and be a part of Chicago's thriving downtown culture.   

  

For more information about Bennett Day School please visit: www.bennettday.org.

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Alderman Reilly Votes Against Weakening Legislative Inspector General

August 1, 2014

 

This week, Alderman Reilly voted against a proposal that would strip the Legislative Inspector General of his authority to investigate aldermen for allegations of campaign finance violations. The ordinance would shift those investigative duties to the Board of Ethics - the agency that is responsible for adjudicating these cases.

 

The Board of Ethics has acknowledged that investigating allegations of campaign violations would pose a conflict of interest, given the agency must ultimately determine the outcome of these cases.  Further, the Board does not have the resources or capabilities to conduct these investigations in a thorough manner.

 

On Wednesday, the City Council voted 42-6 to approve stripping the Legislative Inspector General of this investigative authority.  Alderman Reilly was one of the 6 aldermen who voted "no."  Alderman Reilly was joined by Aldermen Hairston (5th), Waguespack (32nd), Arena (45th), Fioretti (2nd) and Sposato (36th) in opposing the legislation.

 

Chicago Aldermen Cast a Brazen Vote for Self-protection 

Chicago Tribune Editorial - August 1, 2014

 

Just how dumb does the Chicago City Council believe its constituents to be?

 

Really, really dumb.

 

Aldermen on Wednesday approved an ordinance that weakens their own inspector general. They hope Chicago voters will believe the baloney that the City Council was merely "closing a loophole." That's quite a chunk of Oscar Mayer to choke down.

 

To review: The aldermen hired Inspector General Faisal Khan in 2011 to be their watchdog on ethics matters. When he arrived they gave him no investigative staff, insisted he get sworn statements from all whistleblowers (a surefire chilling effect), and told him he couldn't launch investigations without approval from the Chicago Board of Ethics.

 

That board, appointed by the mayor, has not issued a finding against an alderman in more than 25 years. During that time, more than 20 aldermen have been convicted of felonies.

 

And now, more of the same council self-protection as the aldermen further insulate themselves from Khan.

 

Until Wednesday, Khan had been doing the job of investigating complaints about aldermanic conduct. He has wanted the authority to initiate investigations, just like other inspectors general, rather than have to wait for signed, sworn complaints. Instead, the council gave that power to the do-little ethics board - which doesn't even want the responsibility.

 

Led by Ald. Patrick O'Connor, 40th - who, the Tribune reported Thursday, faces allegations that he violated the city's ethics rules - the council speedily passed an ordinance that limits how soon and how far Khan can go with his inquiries. And the ethics board now has the awkward roles of initiating investigations and also adjudicating them.

 

Was O'Connor, who knew there was an ongoing ethics probe into his fundraising, deliberately trying to thwart Khan? O'Connor denies that he was. O'Connor told the Tribune his ordinance strengthening the ethics board, a seven-member panel, had nothing to do with his case. O'Connor insisted he engaged in no wrongdoing.

 

"Unequivocally, no, there will not be any finding against me," he said.

 

Whatever the motivation here, why would council members make themselves look foolish by reducing Khan's authority to look at them?

 

Oh, yes. We remember: Chicago aldermen place top priority on protecting their collective behinds. They might occasionally battle it out on policy or budget issues, but there's one thing you can count on them to do in lock step: thwart transparency.

 

Khan says the council's vote now jeopardizes dozens of investigations he had been pursuing. Which is exactly what aldermen evidently wanted.

 

Since the day Khan arrived, the City Council has been largely uncooperative. Aldermen and staff members often don't turn over documents. They don't return messages. Sometimes, they don't even show up for scheduled interviews. Mayor Rahm Emanuel in the past has brushed off Khan's reports, at one point saying he had neither the "time or interest" to read them.

 

Some council members would love for Khan to resign out of frustration. In the meantime, they've voted to undercut him.

 

O'Connor's ordinance passed 42-6.

 

The aldermen who voted no: Bob Fioretti, 2nd; Leslie Hairston, 5th; Scott Waguespack, 32nd; Brendan Reilly, 42nd; Nicholas Sposato, 36th, and John Arena, 45th.

 

Ald. Natashia Holmes, 7th, was absent and Ald. Michele Smith, 43rd, did not vote.

 

If you live in Chicago and your alderman went along with this, he or she voted against better government and hoped you were too dumb to notice.

 

That vote might be the most revealing roll call of 2014. Remember it when your alderman's name appears on the February primary election ballot.

 

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Alderman Reilly Commends the Polk Family on their Legacy Gift to Navy Pier

July 18, 2014

 

 

(From L to R: Howard Polk, Sandra Polk Guthman, Bruce Bachmann from Polk Bros. Foundation Board of Directors; Marilynn Gardner, Navy Pier; Mayor Emanuel; Bill Brodsky, Navy Pier; and Alderman Reilly. Credit - Greg Keith Porter Imagery)

 

Alderman Reilly was honored to participate in the announcement made earlier this week for Navy Pier's $20 million Legacy Gift from Chicago's legendary Polk Family.

 

This donation will contribute to the dramatic transformation of the Pier, and marks marks the single largest private gift ever made to Navy Pier in its nearly 100-year history.

The Polk family gift will support the redevelopment of Navy Pier's 13 acre entrance - Gateway Park - and its new fountain, promenade and exciting performance lawns. The Polk family's generosity will be recognized by naming various elements in the new Polk Bros Park, which will serve as Navy Pier's green front door, inviting the public into a revitalized Pier.


As part of Polk Bros Park, the main promenade connecting the city with Navy Pier will be widened and enhanced with a Welcome Pavilion, which will house Park amenities, such as bicycle and skate rental. The new Polk Bros Park also will include two magnificent new performance spaces at its southern end to host live arts and culture events against the backdrop of the lake and spectacular Chicago skyline.

 

To read the full press release, see renderings and learn more about the Polk Family's commitment to Chicago, click here.

 

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Alderman Reilly Interview on Chicago Tonight

June 20, 2014

 

On June 10th, Alderman Reilly appeared as a guest on WTTW's Chicago Tonight, with two of his City Council colleagues: Alderman Michele Smith (43rd Ward) and Alderman George Cardenas (12th Ward), to discuss the pension reform bill signed by Governor Pat Quinn.  

 

 

 

A video of the interview is posted on the WTTW website.

 

Alderman Reilly looks forward to working with Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the City Council to continue to assemble a roadmap to navigate the City of Chicago through this very real pension crisis. 

 

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Alderman Reilly Unveils New Bronze Signs on Cultural Mile

June 20, 2014

 


 

Alderman Reilly recently participated in the Chicago Cultural Mile Association's official ribbon cutting and unveiling of the two bronze signs designation Michigan Avenue from Wacker to Roosevelt: Chicago Cultural Mile.

 

The new signage, on both ends of the Chicago Cultural Mile, spotlights one of the richest cultural, commercial and educational districts in the nation. The Chicago Cultural Mile is Michigan Avenue from the Chicago River south to Roosevelt Road, extending eastward to the Museum Campus. 

 

The Alderman congratulated the Chicago Cultural Mile for their work to recruit stakeholders along the Michigan Avenue corridor south of the Chicago River to join the organization and discussed his support for the Cultural Mile. "It has been a pleasure working with the Chicago Cultural Mile and their members to raise awareness of the many fantastic tourism attractions, retail opportunities and dining destinations on Michigan Avenue, south of the River.  There is a renewed sense of community spirit and collaboration along the Cultural Mile and I think that new energy will translate into a higher aesthetic for the corridor which residents, visitors and tourists are sure to notice and appreciate."

 

For more information about the Chicago Cultural Mile Association and its programs and links to partner websites, please visit chicagoculturalmile.org. To read the official press release, click here.

 

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Proposed "Breakwater" Entertainment Barge Not a Good Fit for Downtown Lakefront

June 14, 2014

 

This week, a local businessman unveiled a controversial proposal to anchor a 300-foot by 100-foot, "Breakwater" floating entertainment barge in Lake Michigan, approximately one mile off the Chicago Lakefront somewhere between Erie Street and Navy Pier.

 

Earlier this year, Alderman Reilly met with the owners to learn more about their concept.  Although the proposal is still in the conceptual stage, Alderman Reilly informed the "Breakwater" owners that he does not support anchoring this entertainment barge along the Chicago Lakefront between Oak Street Beach and Balbo along the Grant Park shoreline.

 

According to ownership, the vessel would have a capacity to hold 1,000-2,000 people and would include outdoor party decks, swimming pools and several taverns serving alcohol to patrons.  The concept presented to the Alderman included DJs, live music, parties and special events - with patrons depending upon water taxi service or private watercraft in order to access the venue.

 

Alderman Reilly and City public safety officials are concerned this large entertainment vessel could risk the safety of patrons and other boaters.  The Alderman questions the wisdom of offering boaters an "entertainment venue" in Lake Michigan where they can consume alcoholic beverages in a party atmosphere while operating watercraft.  Typically boating and alcohol do not make a good mix.

 

In addition to public safety concerns, Alderman Reilly believes this project could present a quality-of-life concern for Lakefront residents due to the noise impact of such a large entertainment complex near the Chicago shoreline.  Unfortunately, sound carries extremely well over bodies of water, as residents on Lake Shore Drive can report from their experience with past loud parties in the "Playpen" breakwater.

The tens of thousands of downtown residents who live along the Chicago Lakefront downtown would be directly impacted by this proposal.  The addition of an entertainment vessel in close proximity to the downtown Lakefront would likely negatively impact quality-of-life for thousands of residents nearby.

 

Alderman Reilly works hard to support new businesses opening in downtown Chicago, but some proposals are not always a good fit for the residential and mixed-use density in the downtown core.  Although this proposal may merit consideration at another location on Lake Michigan, Alderman Reilly cannot support siting the "Breakwater" entertainment vessel along downtown's Lakefront.

 

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Alderman Reilly Announces A. Montgomery Ward Dog Park Construction

June 6, 2014


Alderman Reilly is pleased to announce that construction has begun for a new and improved dog park at A. Montgomery Ward Park, located at 630 N. Kingsbury St.  The Alderman initiated this request over a year ago and was able to secure funding for the project with Tax Increment Financing (TIF).    

 

This dog-friendly area (DFA) has already been a hidden gem of the River North neighborhood, offering residents and visitors an open space where dogs can play and interact, leash-free, in a fenced-off open space.  While the DFA is the responsibility of the Chicago Park District to maintain, Alderman Reilly's office works closely with the Chicago Department of Streets & Sanitation and the Chicago Park District to ensure it is kept in good condition. 

 

Alderman Reilly co-hosted a community meeting with the River North Residents Association last September 24, 2013, to provide neighbors an opportunity to review the Park District's plans in advance.

 

Upcoming improvements include a new entry into the dog park, along with new fencing, dog-friendly running surfaces, retaining walls to keep gravel in place, a drinking fountain (complete with a water source at dog-level), as well as sewage and rainwater drainage systems.  Humans will enjoy new benches in the park, and ADA accessibility. Once the improvements are complete, A. Montgomery Ward Park will be one of the best dog parks in the entire City of Chicago.   

 

The new dog park is expected to be completed by the end of June (weather permitting).  

 

Alderman Reilly and Max and Buster, the Alderdogs of the 42nd Ward, are looking forward to celebrating the opening of the new dog park at an upcoming community event. Stay tuned to future Reilly Reports for updates on this exciting neighborhood amenity!

 

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Victory! High-Rise Sprinkler Mandate Defeated in Springfield. State Fire Marshal Abandons Controversial, Costly Regulations

June 3, 2014

 

Alderman Reilly is pleased to report that the Illinois State Fire Marshal has abandoned his plan to impose a high-rise sprinkler mandate through administrative rule-making. As previously reported in Reilly Reports, the State Fire Marshal tried to circumvent the General Assembly by advancing the high-rise sprinkler mandate through the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR).

 

State Representative Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago) countered by introducing House Bill 4609, which would require any sprinkler mandates to be first vetted by the entire General Assembly. The legislation would also establish a Sprinkler Task Force to debate the issue through 2016.

 

Due in part to overwhelming response from high-rise residents, the State Fire Marshal has agreed to work with the Illinois General Assembly to pass fire sprinkler installation laws through the legislative process. Because the Fire Marshal has agreed to work through the General Assembly on sprinkler-related issues, House Bill 4609 has been placed on hold. Click here to read Illinois Fire Marshal Larry Matkaitis' official statement.

 

Alderman Reilly is grateful to Representative Feigenholtz for her leadership on behalf of Chicago high-rise residents. The Alderman thanks all 42nd Ward residents and stakeholders who joined him in signing Rep. Feigenholtz's Lakefront Coalition for Responsible Fire Sprinkler Policy Petition, which collected more than 8,000 signatures over the past several weeks.

 

Thanks to your advocacy, any future proposed sprinkler regulations will be routed through the full democratic process in the General Assembly, requiring passage by majorities in both the House and Senate and then signed into law by the Governor. This change will ensure ample transparency, public debate and legislative approval of any future sprinkler proposals.

 

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Alderman Reilly Establishes Five New Food Truck Stands in the 42nd Ward

May 30, 2014

 

Earlier this week, the Chicago City Council voted to approve Alderman Reilly's ordinance to create additional food truck stands in the 42nd Ward. Chicago's food truck operators now have five additional mobile food vehicle stand locations to operate from in downtown Chicago.

 

Similar to a traditional loading zone, these dedicated stands will help food truck operators park safely in high-congestion areas where parking is scarce.   There will now be 30 dedicated food truck zones throughout Chicago.

 

The 5 additional food truck stands will be installed within the side of the block where each of the following addresses is located:

 

200 S. LaSalle Street

151 N. Franklin Street

185 N. Upper Columbus Drive

300 S. Wabash Avenue

105 E. Monroe Street

 

Food truck operators are now permitted to prepare "food to order" on board their trucks and have the opportunity to park for free in these proposed "food truck stands" in highly congested areas, as well as legal metered spaces that are 200 feet from a retail food establishment.

 

Each food truck will be able to park at one food stand or other legal parking spot for up to two hours.

 

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443 North Wabash Elevated Walkway Now Open!

December 23, 2014

 

Almost one year ago, Alderman Reilly was presented with a demolition permit for the former Lake Shore Athletic Club (LSAC) including the attached elevated walkway, located at 443 N. Wabash.  As many residents can attest, that walkway which connects Michigan Avenue to Wabash Avenue is heavily trafficked year round.   

 

Understanding that demolition would be more costly and take additional time, the Alderman negotiated the retention and necessary reconstruction of the walkway for continued public use.  Additional support beams and columns were installed and a new handrail was added on the north side where the walkway was previously connected to the LSAC building.

  

The walkway has been closed since February for public safety reasons but just re-opened last week----several weeks ahead of schedule!

 

Alderman Reilly would like to sincerely thank Zeller Realty Group for restoring access to this important public amenity and remaining a strong corporate leader downtown.



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Alderman Reilly - In the News! 

December 9, 2014

 

After the Special City Council meeting last Tuesday, December 2nd, Alderman Reilly stopped by the Bob Sirott and Marianne Murciano radio show on WGN for a recap on the Minimum Wage Ordinance.

 

 

To listen to the interview, click here.

 

 

Alderman Reilly was also a guest on the Bruce Wolf and Dan Proft Show on WLS this past Wednesday, December 3rd to talk about the minimum wage increase in Chicago.

To listen to the interview, click here.

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Alderman Reilly Celebrates Opening of Chicago Blackhawks Flagship Retail Store on Magnificent Mile!

October 14, 2014

 



(From L to R: John McDonough, Alderman Reilly, Jonathan Toews, Rocky Wirtz)

Last week, Alderman Reilly was on hand to welcome the new Chicago Blackhawks flagship retail store at 333 North Michigan Avenue with Blackhawks Chairman Rocky Wirtz, President & CEO John McDonough, VP & General Manager Stan Bowman and team Captain Johnathan Toews.

 

The project, developed by Wirtz Realty, transformed the landmark location into a 5,000 square-foot, two-story retail location at one of the most highly-trafficked locations in Chicago at the intersection of Wacker Drive and Michigan Avenue.

  

The new flagship store is equipped to host live radio and television broadcasts and features over 20 video screens with up-to-the-minute Blackhawks content, including live games. Three interactive touchscreens are located on the second floor of the Blackhawks Store and allow fans to play Blackhawks trivia and view franchise history and current player information.

 

Additionally, a green screen utilizing augmented reality technology provides fans with an opportunity to take photos with their favorite players - virtually at four United Center locations, including at center ice and in the Blackhawks locker room, and share them via social media.

 

Fans will have access to exclusive merchandise and custom-made jerseys at the Blackhawks Store. Over 30 new brands will be available, along with expanded women's and children's retail lines. Historical Blackhawks memorabilia will be on display throughout, and fans can purchase photographs and game-used items.

 

Click here to view the official press release.

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Alderman Reilly Honored with the Chicago Loop Alliance Foundation's Illumination Award!

September 26, 2014

 

Alderman Reilly was the honored guest at Chicago Loop Alliance Foundation's (CLAF) Illumination 2014: 10th Annual Gala this past Friday, September 19th, at the historic Palmer House Hilton.   

CLAF presented Alderman Reilly with their most prestigious Leadership award, the Illumination Award, which is awarded to "selfless Civic and Community Leaders who through their ideas, leadership and counsel have increased the experience and well being for the Loop businesses, residents and visitors." 

 

 (Alderman Reilly accepting CLAF Illumination Award - photo credit: Steven Gross)

 

Marty Stern, Chairman of the Board of Directors for Chicago Loop Alliance, acknowledged the Alderman for his work in making the Loop more accessible for commerce and tourism; sensitivity to the needs of businesses along its busy corridors; open communication with the community; and support of CLA and CLAF programs, such as alley activation and placemaking initiatives, which provide a unique urban experience for residents, businesses and tourists. 

 

 

(Alderman Reilly: Pam Capitanini, Italian Village; Dean Lane, Palmer House Hilton - photo credit: Steven Gross)

 

The evening's events were hosted by Pamella Capitanini of Italian Village Restaurants and Dean Lane of the Palmer House, and included over 500 business leaders in attendance in an elegant setting. 

 

The mission of the Chicago Loop Alliance Foundation (CLAF), a 501 (c) (3) corporation, is to develop, support and promote artistic, cultural, and public events that benefit businesses, individuals and stakeholders within the area served by the Chicago Loop Alliance (CLA).  

 

Alderman Reilly is proud to work with the Chicago Loop Alliance to enhance the character of the Chicago Loop, and to promote economic development and tourism in the area.

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Alderman Reilly Celebrates River North Dog Park Opening with Neighbors, Community Leaders and their Pets!

September 20, 2014

 

Last Saturday, Alderman Reilly was joined by Chicago City Clerk Susana Mendoza, Cook County Commissioner John Fritchey, State Representative Esther Golar, community leaders from the River North Residents Association (RNRA) and River North Business Association (RNBA), and neighbors to celebrate the official opening of the new dog park at A. Montgomery Ward Park.

 

(From L to R: Art Bryan, RNBA Planning and Advocacy Chair; Skip Weiss, RNBA Chairman; Commissioner John Fritchey; Alderman Brendan Reilly; Clerk Susana Mendoza; Karen Jones, RNRA Administrative Services Manager; Brett Bunke, RNRA Pet Owner's Committee Chairman)

 

 

 

 

(Kristin Reilly with Buster, Alderman Reilly with Max)

   

 

 

(From L to R: Cook County Commissioner John Fritchey, 12th District; Chicago City Clerk Susana Mendoza; Representative Esther Golar, 6th District; Alderman Brendan Reilly, 42nd Ward)

 

 

 

A. Montgomery Ward Park now has one of the best dog parks in the entire city. Alderman Reilly and Alderdogs Max and Buster look forward to enjoying the dog park with neighbors for years to come!

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Alderman Reilly Welcomes New Loop Walgreens!

September 12, 2014

 

Alderman Reilly joined Clerk Susana Mendoza and other community leaders at a ribbon cutting this morning for a new Walgreens store at 122 S. Michigan Avenue.

 

The new 16,000 square-foot Walgreens follows the company's new "well experience" format serving as a destination for health and daily living that offers a wide-range of products and services.   

 

The store's well experience format means every aspect centers on the idea of "well." At its core is the pharmacy where the pharmacist is made accessible to provide more counseling and services to patients. The pharmacy features an Express Rx pickup kiosk to allow customers to quickly pickup and pay for their refill prescriptions and a private health room for counseling and services including immunizations and health tests.

 

The new store has open air ceilings, lower shelving and efficient under-shelf lighting and offers an expanded selection of fresh foods, included fresh sandwiches and salads made daily, frozen yogurt and a coffee bar.  

 

The store also has a new beauty section with high-end, affordable health and beauty aids and the special U.K. Boots cosmetic products and their special No.7 cosmetic and beauty line.  Individuals and small businesses can take advantage of the new full digital photo lab complete with three self-serve kiosks with instant print.

 

The store's opening will create between 35 to 40 new jobs in the 42nd Ward.  This location, right across the street from the Art Institute, will service nearby residents and visitors to downtown attractions such as Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Millennium Park. 

 

(From L to R: Rob Ewing, Walgreens District Manager, Chicago Loop; Tippawan Chukrachang, Walgreens Store Manager; Alderman Reilly; Honorable Susana Mendoza, Chicago City Clerk; Karen Alexander, VP of Development, Chicago Symphony Orchestra; David Thurm, Chief Operating Officer, The Art Institute of Chicago; Shirley Tamm, Walgreens Pharmacy Manager; Donovan Pepper, Walgreens National Director, Local Government)

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181 W. Madison Receives $180,000 Rebate through ComEd Smart Ideas®

August 8, 2014

 

Earlier this week, Alderman Reilly helped present MB Real Estate (181 W. Madison) with a $186,750 rebate check for their participation in ComEd's Smart Ideas® Building Performance with ENERGY STAR® Commercial Real Estate program.

 

 

(From L to R: Susan Peters, Carrier Corp.; Andy Toy, ComEd; Jerry Palmere, MB; Alderman Brendan Reilly, Krystal Kurinsky, MB; Katherine Kocolowski, Carrier Corp.)


Smart Ideas® is designed to help multi-tenant office buildings become more energy efficient, overcome the barriers often preventing owners and tenants from investing in energy efficiency, and offer technical assistance to commercial building owners and tenants to take advantage of available incentives. Energy is one of the largest operating expenses for office buildings and ComEd's Smart Ideas® program helps buildings offset the capital investment needed for energy reducing projects. 

 

181 W. Madison is a Class A, 50-story office building owned by CBRE Global Investors, and leased and managed by MB Real Estate. For their part in the program, 181 W. Madison completed a chiller replacement of an existing 23-year old 1,100-ton chiller with a new energy efficient 1,350-ton chiller.  The new chiller will result in a decrease of more than 200,000 kwh/year, an annual savings of $20,000 with another $7,000 in savings due to a reduction in the maintenance contract.  The rebate from ComEd has reduced the overall project cost by 21%. 

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Alderman Reilly Welcomes New Walgreens Flagship Drugstore to the 42nd Ward's Iconic Wrigley Building

June 27, 2014

 

Earlier this week, Alderman Reilly joined representatives from the Magnificent Mile Association, Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce and Walgreens executives to celebrate the opening of Walgreen's new two-story, flagship drugstore in the north tower of Chicago's iconic Wrigley Building at 410 N. Michigan Avenue.

 

This landmark location is the company's 14th flagship store, and the third in Chicago. A unique design, the store's gradient color pattern and indirect lighting features complement the building's exterior. A mosaic floor motif of the building's famous clock welcomes customers as they enter off of Michigan Avenue.

 

Click here to read the full press release, which highlights all of the store's unique features.

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Alderman Reilly's Request for Landmarking of Three Steerterville Buildings Moves Forward

June 6, 2014

 

Over a year ago, Alderman Reilly submitted a letter of recommendation to the Landmarks Division of the Department of Housing and Economic Development proposing that three historic buildings in Northwestern University's Downtown (Streeterville) Campus be added to the registry of Chicago Landmark Buildings. Click here to view the Alderman's letter to Landmarks.

 

Alderman Reilly is pleased to announce that on June 5th, the Commission on Chicago Landmarks recommended to move forward in creating a new landmark district in the Streeterville neighborhood!

 

The Northwestern University Chicago Campus District in Streeterville is a group of finely-designed and detailed Gothic Revival-style buildings that comprise the historic core of Northwestern University's Chicago campus. Based on European medieval architecture of the 12th through 15th centuries, the Gothic Revival architectural style is one of the most important historic architectural styles in the history of Chicago.

 

The buildings in the Northwestern University Chicago Campus District were built to consolidate the university's professional schools, historically located in Chicago, rather than in the suburb of Evanston where the university's main campus is located. The Montgomery Ward Memorial Building, the largest of these, was built to house the Northwestern medical and dental schools. The Wieboldt Hall of Commerce originally housed the university's School of Commerce and also, starting in the 1930s, Northwestern's continuing education programs. The Northwestern School of Law occupied the smallest of the district's buildings, Levy Meyer Hall, built with the attached Gary Law Library.

 

Taken together, the Northwestern University Chicago Campus District forms a handsome enclave of gray limestone-clad, Gothic Revival-style buildings along the southern edge of Lakeshore Park that are visually distinctive within the context of Chicago's Near North community area and that exemplify Rogers' effort to create an attractive, planned campus on behalf of Northwestern.

 

The three buildings below were constructed early in Northwestern University's history, dating back to 1926. All three buildings are historically significant - including one of the first university skyscrapers ever erected in the United States. The gothic style of the buildings offers an architectural significance to the area.

 

Montgomery Ward Memorial, 309-329 E. Chicago Avenue - currently Northwestern's medical school.

 

 

Wieboldt Hall of Commerce, 339-343 E. Chicago Ave.- currently the J.L. Kellogg School of Management.

 

 

Levy Mayer Hall/Gary Law Library, 349-361 E. Chicago Ave. - currently Pritzker Legal Research Center and offices.

 

 

Alderman Reilly is grateful to the Commission on Chicago Landmarks for their leadership in the landmark designation of these buildings. Alderman Reilly also appreciates the Streeterville Organization of Active Residents' (SOAR) support in protecting and preserving these historic neighborhood buildings.

 

To learn more about these historic structures, click here to download the Department of Planning and Development's Landmark Designation Report for the Northwestern University Chicago Campus District.

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Alderman Reilly Experiences Tilt at 360 Chicago!

May 9, 2014

 

Yesterday, Alderman Reilly participated in a ribbon cutting for TILT - and was lucky enough to be one of the first to experience this epic new attraction at 360 CHICAGO (formerly John Hancock Observatory).

 

 

(From L to R: Robert Fioretti, Alderman 2nd Ward; Eric Deutsch; Jen Hoezle, Illinois Office of Tourism Deputy Director; Nichole Williamson, 360 CHICAGO General Manager; Don Welsh, Choose Chicago President and CEO; Alderman Reilly)

 

  

(Alderman Reilly Experiences TILT at 360 CHICAGO)

 

This one-of-a-kind experience features an enclosed glass and steel moveable platform that tilts outward to an adventurous angle, generating downward-facing views of Chicago - one thousand feet above The Magnificent Mile!

 

TILT is open to the public staring tomorrow, Saturday, May 10, 2014. To learn more, visit www.360chicago.com/tilt.

 

 

 

 

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