General Iron Closure Order
Flooding Issues
Dear Neighbors,

General Iron is closed indefinitely as a result of two explosions that occurred yesterday. Please read the General Iron Closure Order and view my previous newsletter here .

At a briefing this afternoon, the City reiterated the critical safety goals that General Iron will have to meet in order to potentially re-open. The city has installed four additional VOC monitors and will be installing additional particulate matter monitors.

Additionally, if and when General Iron moves to its new location, it will be subject to stricter regulations. Unfortunately, much of the visible dust and “fluff” that has caused such neighborhood concern is not regulated under federal or Illinois law.  To date, General Iron has not been found to have violated the PM 2.5 standards of its permits. To fill this gap, the city is working on new regulations. This is a welcome step, and one I wholeheartedly support.

It will only be a few short months before General Iron leaves our community - now is time to decide what will replace it. As our next article shows, we need an environmentally responsible response to COVID and our climate change issues.

The industrial site that is General Iron needs to converted into an asset that benefits all Chicago. That's just one reason why we deserve a commitment to the  North Branch Park & Preserve. T he Chicago River belongs to all of us, not just for some.
The Lake is High and the River is Flooding

These last few days have seen massive rainfall in the Chicago Area, compounding issues of historically high lake levels.

The situation is worsened by downtown flooding by the Chicago River itself, which is at its highest level in 60 years. NBC reported that the river overflowed its banks and flooded Wacker Drive, the River Walk and the River City parking garage (to its ceiling).

According to the Chicago Tribune, "Since meteorologists began collecting precipitation records in 1871, four of the top five wettest years on record occurred in the last decade."

According to the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, the Chicago metropolitan area saw between 6 to 8 inches of rainfall from May 14 to May 1. The National Weather Service reported that 7.88 inches of rain fell at O'Hare and 6.22 inches of rain fell at Midway. 8.19 inches of rain has fallen thus far in May, a near-record for the month.

To mitigate the impact of the storm on the Chicago River and on basement flooding, the MWRD reversed the flow of the Chicago Area Waterway System (that is, the Chicago River) to Lake Michigan. The Tunnel and Reservoir Plan (Deep Tunnel) is currently holding more than a billion gallons and most of the system is 100% full.

Yet, as you can see from the below Army Corps of Engineers chart, Lake Michigan and Huron, which are connected, are above their historic highs set in 1986, and may go higher. We need someplace else for the rain to go.

With all this rain, it is important both to keep water out of basements and to reduce the outflow into the lake. This is why you may see water retained in the streets for a longer than usual time. Please be patient, and let us know the locations.

What Else You Can Do:

Take the Overflow Action Day Pledge. On days of excessive rainfall, don't run the dishwasher and take other steps. You can learn more from Friends of the Chicago River.

Support Green Development. These overflow days make the need for open space more critical than ever, especially near the River. That's why we need the North Branch Park and Preserve. We will be discussing more on park plans in the future.
Community Meeting - Taco Bell Cantina: 948 W. Armitage
Thursday, May 21
6:00 p.m.

Join my office and Sheffield Neighborhood Association (SNA) at a virtual meeting to discuss a proposal by Taco Bell to operate a restaurant with an Incidental Consumption on the Premises Liquor License at 948 W. Armitage Ave.

The restaurant team will provide an overview of the concept and operations, and will answer questions from the audience regarding the proposed use. My office will be present at this meeting to monitor the discussion, take notes, and record your feedback.

Register using the link above.
Rules for Third Party Food Vendors
Effective Friday, May 22

The Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) announced new rules for third-party-vendors (like GrubHub) to disclose full costs upfront. Effective Friday, May 22nd, all third-party delivery companies will be required to disclose to the customer an itemized cost breakdown of each transaction, including the menu price of the food, any sales or other tax, delivery charge and tip, and any commission or service fee paid by the restaurant to the third-party delivery company.

These new rules were announced just prior to a City Council hearing about poor business practices at Grubhub and other delivery apps. During the hearing, GrubHub admitted that it sometimes listed restaurants on its platform with which it did not have agreements, a violation of the intellectual property of the restaurants. Chicago Eater has more.

For a full breakdown of the rules, please visit
Street Sweeping

The Department of Streets and Sanitation announced that signs are going to be posted for street sweeping schedule for the rest of season. You can see the May schedule here to see if your street is scheduled.

Please note residents will NOT get ticketed or towed for cars parked along cleaning routes. If you can move you car, please do so, or help neighbors who can't move their cars by raking the leaves underneath and pushing leaves into the street.

Please note: Some police officers mistakenly issued parking tickets today in Section 4D. The 18th District has ordered that the tickets be removed, but if you find a ticket, please take a photo of it, and send it to Here are the streets being swept today:

  • North side of Armitage from Clark to Orchard
  • South side of Dickens from Lincoln Park West to Howe
  • East side of Howe from Dickens to Armitage
  • North side of Webster from Lincoln Park West to Orchard
  • South side of Grant Pl. from Sedgwick to Geneva
  • North side of Belden from Lincoln Park West to Orchard
  • Both sides of Kemper from Orchard to Geneva

You can track street sweepers that are working in the community every day in real time  via the Sweeper Tracker tool.
As We Begin to Open, Wear a Mask
Chicago Sport & Social Says: "Wear a Mask"

Chicago Sport & Social , which organizes 130,000 members in social activities such as beach volleyball, soccer, and softball for adults, is sidelined by the coronavirus pandemic.

They know what it will take to get back to sports - a decrease in cases and a prevention of future outbreaks. So they say "Wear a mask whenever possible."

Are you a member of Chicago Sport & Social? Show your support by sending us your photos of you wearing a face covering to .

Chicago Sport & Social joins the long list of entities that support mask wearing when outdoors, including the Chicago Area Runners Association (CARA), and Illinois Medical Professionals' IMPACT and Masks Now Illinois .

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention strongly supports the rule, stating "CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission."

Chicago certainly fits that description. Please, wear a face covering when you are in public. Our Ward's sidewalks are very narrow - many are less than six feet wide. That makes social distancing impossible when walking down Halsted, Lincoln or Clark Street. And our dense population makes it highly unlikely you can walk down any street without running into someone you don't know.

Since maintaining social distancing is pretty impossible in our area - wear a face covering.
Sewing Masks for a Safe Chicago
Needs Your Help!

Sewing Masks for a Safe Chicago, which is based in our Ward, has delivered over 75,000 masks to organizations and first responders all over the City. They have supplied masks to all our CHA senior residents, and every social service agency in our Ward that has asked.

The need has not ended city-wide Please give generously to this group, which employs 55 tailors and seamstresses to make cloth face masks.

Sewing Masks for a Safe Chicago is founded by 43rd Ward resident Tanya Polsky, and she and her husband Michael have generously contributed to get this effort off the ground. Old Town resident Judy Carmack Bross wrote a profile in this month's Classic Chicago magazine.
Wear to Buy Face Masks and
other Personal Protective Gear

If you don't have sewing skills and need personal protective equipment (PPE), do not fret! The Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce has compiled a list of vendors producing PPE to use while outdoors practicing social distancing.

Visit the Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce page for details or to add your name to the list of vendors.
Support our Neighborhood Restaurants

Many of the restaurants that add so much to our community are struggling during this crisis. Please patronize our neighborhood businesses as much as possible and try to order directly from the restaurant.

We will be featuring our neighborhood's restaurants that are open for business in upcoming newsletters. If you are open for business, let us know.
#43 Wears Masks

It almost doesn't matter what it looks like as long as it shields your mouth and nose. Please continue sending photos of you wearing your masks! Send your photos to

Be safe and enjoy Spring. Wear A Mask!


Coronavirus Resources :

If you have any additional questions, please email:  or call 312-746-4835

The Doctor Is In: Ask Dr. Arwady.  Live-stream by Chicago Health Commissioner Allison Arwady, M.D., daily at 11:00 am on Twitter  and   Facebook Live .

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  2523 N Halsted  |  773-348-9500