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Showing posts from March, 2011

Andersen to merge into LaSalle II next year

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By Ronda Locke   Andersen Community Academy elementary school appears likely to close June 17. Chicago Public Schools interim chief executive Terry Mazany is addressing a $720 million shortfall in Chicago's $5.28 billion schools budget by closing a half-dozen low-enrollment schools. Andersen's remaining 61 students in grades 6, 7 and 8 will be offered slots at LaSalle II, the magnet elementary school that shares the Andersen building at 1148 N. Honore. To continue to operate with so few students would deny them better school options, Mazany said in the March 23 CPS announcement . Hans Christian Andersen school opened on the site in 1884, named for the author of "The Little Mermaid." For earlier grades, Pritzker School at 2009 W. Schiller already has replaced Andersen as the designated neighborhood school. Ald. Proco Joe Moreno is vehemently opposed to Andersen's early closing because of the timing. CPS is proposing this change in late March when Anders

Alderman, EVA open window of opportunity

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Ald. Proco Joe Moreno, chief of staff Raymond Valadez, EVA president Greg Nagel  Board meeting minutes for March 14, 2011 submitted by Dana Palmer Attendance: Board members Greg Nagel, Neal McKnight, KK Goh, Dana Palmer, Scott Rappe, Tom Tomek, Aaron Bilton and Stephen Rynkiewicz; non-board members Jennifer Baird, Ald. Proco Joe Moreno, Raymond Valadez. Meeting commenced 7:07 p.m. at Leona's 1936 W. Augusta Treasurer Transition KK Goh and Nicole Semple will meet this week to make transition of treasurer. Trees on Augusta Neal McKnight reported that the tree census is planned for April 30 and he will write an article for the newsletter to inform the neighborhood. He also reported that he will be working with Ronda Locke to round up kids from Noble Street charter school to help with the census to earn community service hours. It was also mentioned that the students from the Near North Montessori school are also interested in earning community service hours. The articl

Falafel king? Vegan fast food in Wicker Park

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Chicago's first Native Foods Café restaurant will anchor a 3-story building rising at the former Burger King site, 1480 N. Milwaukee. Scheduled to open this summer, the organic and vegan fast-food diner will include sidewalk seating along Honore Street. Ground has broken on the 9,200-square-foot building, said a statement from Marc Lifshin, a partner with builder LG Development.

Valuable tips on property taxes

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Sharpen your pencils for these takeaways from Monday's property-tax presentation by Greg Nagel of the Ask Nagel realty service and Aaron Bilton, deputy commissioner of the Cook County Board of Review: • Only 27% of homeowners challenge their taxes, which means the rest may be leaving money on the table. You can challenge your tax assessment every year and the county will either validate or lower the property value that sets your tax bill. • A Board of Review outreach program allows you to appeal your taxes for free by simply filling out a one-page document. A session will be scheduled for a future East Village Association meeting. • Homeowner and senior exemptions that lower the tax bill now must be applied for every year. Shockingly, 30% of eligible homeowners fail to take their exemption! More good tips are in the property tax handout from Nagel's presentation. Dues-paying EVA members will be able to download the handout from the OhSoWe announcement list. Watch your e-

EVA News: Tax talk, Pizza Hut orders, Wells farrago

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This post contains corrected links. Download the March newsletter for details on Monday's presentation on lowering your property taxes at 7 p.m. in the Happy Village Tavern, 1059 N. Wolcott. There's also news on developer plans for the Pizza Hut building at Division and Ashland, now in foreclosure, a Wells High School progress report, recycling tips and more. We'll see you at 7 p.m. Monday in the Happy Village at Wolcott & Thomas. In the future this newsletter will be distributed to members through the password-protected OhSoWe website. If you're an EVA member, answer the e-mail invitation to create a profile on the site, which will allow you to send messages to the entire group. If you're not a member, use the PayPal button on this page and chip in a few bucks to make your neighborhood better.

Taxes give appealing reason to meet Monday

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Time to pay property taxes — motivation enough to learn how your neighbors have lowered their tax bills. Members Greg Nagel and Aaron Bilton lend their professional expertise to a tax discussion at Monday's East Village Association member meeting. Nagel has developed apartment and condo buildings; Bilton, a former assistant state's attorney, has been appointed chief of staff to Board of Review Commissioner Michael Carbonargi. But if you've been successful appealing your property taxes you'll want to contribute as well. Since my days as a real-estate writer I've been filing an appeal like clockwork every three years as my home is reassessed. The first-installment tax bill is due April 1 this year and in March as usual next year. (Pay online here .) The session will cover the basics of how Chicago handles property taxes and the routes to appeal through the Cook County Assessor and Board of Review . Both agencies made do-it-yourself appeals easier, providing

East Village residency at issue (it's not about Rahm)

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As Rahm Emanuel sorted out his Chicago residency bona fides early this year, East Village Association leaders started to weigh what makes someone part of the neighborhood. If members agree in April, EVA voters must be East Village residents or property owners. They won't need to pull a wedding dress from their crawlspace as proof. The idea is that while anyone can support East Village, only those directly affected should cast ballots on community issues. Residency comes up often in connection with EVA votes because it has not been a requirement. Anyone who identifies with the neighborhood may (and should) join — I signed up as an Oak Parker searching the real-estate listings. But I couldn't vote immediately, because a monthlong cooling-off period was in place to discourage single-issue voters. Often newcomers arrive with development interests before the group. Votes for such things as zoning changes and special land uses are intended to advise the alderman on neighborhoo
Tom Tomek business card
Anselmo @properties business card,
Ask Nagel business card.