I was deeply saddened by the horrible storm and tornadoes this Sunday. According to reports, at least 16 tornadoes struck Illinois and northwest Indiana. Six people were killed, dozens were injured and hundreds lost their homes. My thoughts and prayers are with them, their families and all the victims of the storm.
The damage caused by the storm was devastating and many of our fellow Illinoisans now have to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives. Despite the horror, people are pulling together, volunteering and doing everything in their power to help their neighbors. I would like to share with you a link to one such inspiring effort. Please visit the Facebook page here
, where over 1,000 people have come together to help reconnect victims of the storm with lost photos and possessions, often found dozens of miles away.
If you would like to help, please visit www.redcross.org
to find more information about disaster relief. You can make a donation online, by calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Your donation helps provide food, shelter and emotional support to those affected by disasters.
I was also saddened by news of the extra-alarm fire at the strip mall near Peterson and Lincoln last Friday. The owners of For Eyes, Mid-America Furniture and American Mattress suffered a terrible loss. I am grateful that there were no injuries due to the severe fire, and I would like to thank the Chicago Fire Department and our heroic firefighters for their hard work in stopping it before it was able to spread.
On Wednesday evening, I held a bed bug workshop. Many 50th Ward landlords, tenants, condo owners and concerned homeowners were present to learn about the new Bed Bug Ordinance that will take effect on December 23. The Ordinance will require landlords and tenants to work together to combat infestation. It will require tenants to notify their landlord of an infestation immediately and cooperate in the eradication process and require landlords to respond with extermination services by a licensed pest control operator.
Nishaat Yunus of the Midwest Pesticide Action Center addresses the crowd
I would like to thank the Midwest Pesticide Action Center, Rogers Park Builders’ Group and all of the City of Chicago departments that presented at the meeting.
You can view the text of the Ordinance, Legislative Record #SO2012-8254, and its complete history at the City Clerk’s website here
One of the aspects of the ordinance is that, starting on December 23, landlords will be required to provide tenants with an informational brochure on bed bugs when signing a new or renewing an existing lease or other rental agreement. The brochure is available on the Chicago Department of Public Health’s website. You can download or view the brochure online here
. For more information, please call me at (773) 262-1050.
On Monday, I attended the grand opening of the Care 4 All Medical Center at 6346 N. Talman. The medical center provides geriatric and family practice care. The facility is wonderful, and I would like to thank them for the kind invitation.
Alderman Debra Silverstein and Dr. Nazneen Hashmi
Today is the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. President Kennedy left an important legacy for our country, and his murder in Dallas, Texas in 1963 was a tragic moment for America. Governor Pat Quinn has ordered flags at all State of Illinois facilities to be flown at half-staff today and is encouraging people across Illinois to commemorate the President’s death with a moment of silence at 1 p.m.
You can learn more about our nation’s 35th President at the website of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum here
. I encourage everyone to take this as an opportunity to learn more about President Kennedy’s life and legacy.
Debra L. Silverstein
Alderman, 50th Ward
Magnificent Mile Lights Festival
Start the holiday season early this year with the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival tomorrow, Saturday, November 23. The nation’s largest evening holiday celebration features family-friendly activities, concerts, fireworks and a tree-lighting parade marshalled by Mickey and Minnie Mouse.
The festivities go all day, starting at 11 a.m. and concluding with the fireworks at 6:55 p.m. For more information and a complete schedule, please visit the official festival website here
Last year, more than 1.2 million people came to the festival. The high volume of spectators and street closures for the parade can make driving a challenge. The easiest way to get to the Lights Festival is by train. Simply take the Red Line south to Chicago Avenue or Grand Avenue and walk east. For directions on how to reach the parade and a list of street closures, please click here
Daley Plaza Christmas Tree Lighting
Join the City of Chicago for the 100th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at Daley Plaza this Tuesday, November 26, at 5 p.m. The event will start with a music program, followed by the tree lighting at 6 p.m.
This is a special year as it celebrates the 100th anniversary of the City of Chicago’s first municipal Christmas tree that was lit on December 24, 1913 in Grant Park.
The Tree Lighting Ceremony will feature live performances headlined by Darlene Love at 5 p.m. Darlene Love is best known for her work with Phil Spector in the 1960s and for the holiday favorite, “(Christmas) Baby Please Come Home,” a song she has sung every year on the Late Show With David Letterman for nearly 30 years.
For more information about the ceremony and a complete history of Chicago’s Christmas Tree, please click here
Daley Plaza and Thompson Center Menorah Lighting
This Wednesday night, November 27, is the first night of Chanukah. Join Alderman Debra Silverstein for two Menorah lighting ceremonies downtown.
At 3 p.m., Governor Pat Quinn will be lighting the Menorah at the James R. Thompson Center, 100 W. Randolph Street. At 4:30 p.m., Mayor Rahm Emanuel will be lighting the Menorah at the Daley Plaza, 50 W. Washington Street.
Happy Chanukah to all!
Winter Bazaar for Red Door Animal Shelter
Join Red Door Animal Shelter for its annual Winter Bazaar – bigger and better than ever! Get your holiday shopping done by browsing great gifts at the vendor tables, walk the cookie aisle and buy homemade cookies of every variety and, back by popular demand, Santa will be available for photos with you and your pet. Photos cost $10 for a professional shot. Proceeds go to support the homeless animals at Red Door Animal Shelter.
The Winter Bazaar will be this Sunday, November 24, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Warren Park, 6601 N. Western. For more information, please visit www.reddoorshelter.org
or call (773) 764-2242.
Affordable Care Act Seminar
All business owners are invited to join the West Ridge Chamber of Commerce for a free workshop on the Affordable Care Act. Learn the basics every business needs to know.
The seminar will be on Wednesday, December 4 from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. at First Chicago Bank and Trust, 7555 N. Western. Continental breakfast will be served. The workshop is free, but there are limited spots available. Please call (773) 262-1100 to RSVP.
Citywide Outdoor Ice Skating Rinks
Get ready for a fun winter of skating in the parks! Work off that extra winter weight by visiting the Chicago Park District’s (CPD) outdoor ice skating rinks at Warren Park and throughout the city. Skating season starts November 29 and runs through February 23.
The closest rink is at Warren Park – 6601 N. Western. Admission for children and students is free; $3 for adults. Skates are available for rental for $6. For more information, please contact the park at (773) 761-8663.
New this year, most ice rinks will offer special programming, including introductory skating lessons and pick-up hockey games. Please call individual rinks to confirm participation:
Learn to Skate – Lessons will be offered before select open skate sessions at most rinks. Lessons are free for children, and will be included in the open skate admission price for adults.
Stick & Puck and Pond Hockey – This combined program offers 45 minutes of Stick & Puck, where you can practice your stickhandling, skating and shooting skills, followed by 45 minutes of Pond Hockey. Admission (includes skate rental) is $7 per person, $10 for adult and child.
Rat Hockey – Pick-up hockey games for adult players, 18 and older. Full hockey equipment is required, and slap shots are allowed, but no checking is permitted. Admission (includes skate rental) is $10.
For complete hours and a list of all eight locations, please visit the CPD website here
Local Production of ‘The Nutcracker’
Join the 50th Ward’s Performing Arts Limited as it puts on a production of “The Nutcracker!” Celebrate the season with your family by watching Clara's adventures in dreamland.
The shows will be on Saturday and Sunday, December 7 and 8 at 2 p.m. The Saturday show will be preceded by a Nutcracker Tea where your family can enjoy sweet treats and get to meet the Sugar Plum Fairy as well as other costumed characters. The Tea begins at 1 p.m.
The production will be at Northside College Preparatory High School, 5501 N. Kedzie. For more information, please visit www.performingartslimited.com
or call (773) 262-3262.
Santa Sunday at Saint Margaret Mary
Join Saint Margaret Mary School for its Santa Sunday holiday event. The festivities will include pictures with Santa, a pancake breakfast prepared by Boy Scout Troop 923, holiday gift tables and a book fair.
The event will be on Sunday, December 8 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Saint Margaret Mary Activity Center – 7341 N. Claremont. For more information, please visit www.smmschool.com
Metra Safety Poster and Essay Contest
All students, K-12, are invited to participate in the 8th Annual Metra Safety Poster and Essay Contest. This year's theme is "Get Smart: Look, Listen and Live." For the poster contest, one 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winner will be selected from each grade. For the essay contest, one 1st place winner will be selected from three grade groups: elementary, middle and high school.
The 1st Place award will be an iPad, 2nd Place will be $250 and 3rd Place will be $100. The deadline to enter is January 31.
The Safety Contest is part of Metra's effort to increase public awareness of lifesaving railroad safety practices. In addition to the prizes, winning designs will be distributed to more than 2,000 schools in Northeastern Illinois, featured in Metra's Safety Calendar, on the contest website, in station displays and on monthly tickets. Metra will also recognize the school who submits the most entries in the 2013-2014 Safety Poster Contest by awarding it a new computer.
For more information, please visit www.metracontest.com
50th Ward Children to Perform with the Moscow Ballet
Congratulations to two 50th Ward children selected to perform with the Moscow Ballet! The girls, eight-year-old Katrina Battung and seven-year-old Olivia Moroz, have been chosen to perform onstage in the upcoming performance of “The Great Russian Nutcracker” at the Rosemont Theatre.
The girls were selected from an open audition process and are to join 54 other young ballet dancers from Chicago and surrounding suburbs.
The show will be on Sunday, December 8 at 3 p.m. To purchase tickets, call Ticketmaster at (800) 320-1733 or visit www.ticketmaster.com
Fall and Winter Energy-Saving Tips
Keeping your house warm during the cool fall and cold winter months can be expensive. The U.S. Department of Energy suggests the following strategies to help you save money while staying nice and toasty. For a complete list of tips, please click here
Take Advantage of Heat from the Sun
Cover Drafty Windows
Open curtains on your south-facing windows during the day to allow sunlight to naturally heat your home, and close them at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows.
Adjust the Temperature
Use a heavy-duty, clear plastic sheet on a frame or tape clear plastic film to the inside of your window frames during the cold winter months. Make sure the plastic is sealed tightly to the frame to help reduce infiltration.
Install tight-fitting, insulating drapes or shades on windows that feel drafty after weatherizing.
Find and Seal Leaks
When you are home and awake, set your thermostat as low as is comfortable.
When you are asleep or out of the house, turn your thermostat back 10° to 15° for eight hours and save around 10% a year on your heating and cooling bills. A programmable thermostat can make it easy to set back your temperature.
Maintain Your Heating System
Seal the air leaks around utility cut-throughs for pipes ("plumbing penetrations"), gaps around chimneys and recessed lights in insulated ceilings, and unfinished spaces behind cupboards and closets.
Add caulk or weatherstripping to seal air leaks around leaky doors and windows.
Lower Your Water Heating Costs
Schedule service for your heating system.
Find out what maintenance is required to keep your heating system operating efficiently.
Replace your furnace filter once a month or as needed.
Water heating can account for 14% to 25% of the energy consumed in your home.
Turn down the temperature of your water heater to the warm setting (120°F). You'll not only save energy, you'll avoid scalding your hands.
Thursday, November 28 - Friday, November 29