Lasagna, tax exemptions, farmers’ markets, a brewery: Jefferson Park Forward discusses variety of issues
by BRIAN NADIG
Lasagna Love is a grassroots movement that has spread throughout the country.
As the name suggests, volunteers bake trays of lasagna and have them delivered to homes in which a family may be struggling financially or a parent can simply “use a night off,” said Northwest Side resident Alyssa Jefferies, a Chicago area leader for the nonprofit organization. She was a guest speaker at the May 20 virtual meeting of the Jefferson Park Forward.
The concept started in May of 2020 when a mother in California wanted to help families during the pandemic. “A year later there’re more than 20,000 chefs currently around (the country),” Jefferies said. “You can nominate someone for a meal.”
A tray of lasagna is an ideal food choice because there’s usually leftovers, covering more than one meal, Jefferies said. However, she said, other dishes are allowed, especially when a recipient has dietary restrictions.
More information is available at www.lasagnalove.org.
Also at the meeting, it was reported that Alderman James Gardiner (45th) has introduced an ordinance to lift the moratorium on the issuance of new packaged liquor licenses on Lipps Avenue between Lawrence Avenue and Gale Street.
The lifting would help the planned opening of Lake Effect Brewing inside the former Jefferson Park Firehouse at 4837-41 N. Lipps, which the city recently sold to a developer.
Plans call for the brewery to be housed on the ground floor and nine apartments above. A third floor will be added to the two-story structure, which was built in 1906.
Another guest speaker at the meeting was Jefferson Park Sunday Market organizer Merril Miller. She announced that the farmers’ markets would be relocating from Jefferson Memorial Park, 4822 N. Long Ave., to the north parking lot of the Irish-American Heritage Center, 4626 N. Knox Ave. in 2021.
The relocation will allow for the markets to better adhere to the city’s social distancing requirements, Miller said. The markets, which include produce, cheese, baked goods and coffee, will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on the second and fourth Sundays of the month from June to October.
“This is a completely volunteer-led event,” JPF president Maggie Daly Skogsbakken said. “A ton of work goes into it.”
In addition, representatives of the Cook County Assessor’s Office urged residents to make sure that they are taking full advantage of those exemptions, which reduce the assessed vale of a home, that they qualify for.
Information on the homeowner, senior, senior freeze, persons with disabilities, returning veterans, veterans with disabilities, long-time homeowner and home improvement exemptions is available at www.cookcountyassessor.com
In some instances exemptions are automatically renewed, and homeowners can file for missed exemptions, up to three years back.
It also was announced that members of Jefferson Park Forward participated in a survey on the infrastructure needs of the Jefferson Memorial Park.
The results were presented the following day at a meeting with Gardiner, the Jefferson Memorial Park Advisory Council and members of JPF and the. Jefferson Park Neighborhood Association.The top three needs, based on the survey results, were air conditioning for the fieldhouse, ADA accessibility improvements for the park and the renovation of the 140-year-old Esdohr House, which one housed the park’s craft shop.
Concerns were raised at the JPF meeting that a proposed artificial sports field would take up too much of the park’s green space.