JPNA hears presentation on clean energy, retirement
by BRIAN NADIG
Making Chicago a clean energy city and planning for retirement were among the topics discussed at the April 25 meeting of the Jefferson Park Neighborhood Association.
Sierra Club representative Alex McLeese said that the organization hopes "100 percent" of Chicago can be powered by clean, renewable energy by 2050. Last year Mayor Rahm Emanuel said that the city was committed to transitioning its municipal buildings to clean energy by 2025.
McLeese said that clean energy makes good economic sense in addition to the environmental benefits.
"The costs of wind and solar are plummeting, while fuel is soaring," he said.
The Sierra Club is seeking support for it 2050 goal from community groups to help show the City Council that residents want clean energy throughout the city. It is estimated that in the past decade, 12,700 premature deaths from fossil fuel pollution in the United States have been prevent due to the use of wind and solar energy, according to the Sierra Club.
Also at the meeting, financial planner Laura Bare of Waddell & Reed Financial Advisors reported that couples age 65 and older typically spend $275,000 on medical expenses during their retirement.
"A lot of people assume Medicare is free, and it really is not," Bare said. She added that Medicare premiums and other costs are deducted from one’s social security payments.
Information on one’s projected social security benefits is available at www.ssa.gov. At one time the Social Security Administration mailed out benefit summaries every 5 years, Bare said.
The meeting also included brief statements from two recently announced candidates for 45th Ward alderman. Former neighborhood association president Robert Bank, who once made an unsuccessful bid for the ward’s Democratic committeeman’s seat, and Andrew Meindl, a project manager for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, said that they plan to challenge Alderman John Arena (45th) in next year’s election.
It also was reported that volunteers are needed on Saturday mornings for the SRB Community Spirit Garden at Central and Higgins avenues, where 700 pounds of produce was grown and donated to a local food pantry last year. Those interested in helping are asked to stop by the garden between 9 a.m. and noon on Saturdays or call Peggy at 312-608-0841.
The association is co-sponsoring a community garage sale and flea market from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sunday, May 20, at the parking lot at the Copernicus Center, 5216 W. Lawrence Ave.
About 30 families will be participating.