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THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO - “FROZEN TO THE CORE” – CHICAGOANS HAVE OPTIONS!

There appears to be a bit of a lull in the action this weekend which may be attributable to the fact that we’re “frozen to the core” from an arctic blast that just won’t stop!! But, we’re Chicagoans and always have options regardless of being “frozen to the core!”

One option may be to head on over to Navy Pier (600 E. Grand Ave.) in the Streeterville neighborhood for the following Chinese New Year celebrations:

The Odyssey Chinese New Year Cruise sets sail from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. this Saturday with boarding beginning at 6:00 p.m. to welcome in the Year of the Goat with a dynamic evening filled with traditions and excitement that includes a delicious three-course menu, Chinese dishes, traditional decorations and festive entertainment! Not to mention the stunning skyline views!!

The Chinese New Year Lantern Festival will be held on Sunday from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Crystal Gardens as part of Navy Pier’s Neighborhoods of the World Series. Celebrate the Year of the Sheep with this lighting festival that also includes dance, music, performances, a marketplace featuring Chinese cultural vendors and artisans as well as family-friendly crafts such as lantern making, paper cutting and calligraphy. This is a perfect interactive family event you won’t soon forget! Another option to help you chill out and warm up may be the Brisk Brews Craft Beer Festival at 800 W. Waveland Ave. (Waveland and Halsted) in the Boystown neighborhood this Saturday with two taste sessions (1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. & 6:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.). This first-ever event will be held under a heated tent featuring tasting samples from 20-plus local and regional craft breweries with an estimated 50 small-batch beers being showcased along with DJ and music performances to get things warmed-up! Your ticket includes one wristband for entry to the tasting area, 15 3-ounce tasting tickets and a souvenir tasting glass!!

Perhaps you prefer a craft beer festival on a grander scale? Well, you’re in luck as the 2nd annual Naperville Winter Ale Fest returns to Frontier Park (3380 Cedar Glade Rd.) in Naperville (Chicago suburb) this Saturday from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Not only will this fest feature over 130 of winter’s best craft beers from craft breweries around the country, such as Argus Brewery, Boulevard Brewing Co., Dogfish Head, Leinenkugel Brewing Company, New Holland Brewing, Two Brothers Brewing Co. and a host of others, but will also feature live music from the “Four Star Brass Band” and food from Chicagoland’s favorite food trucks, such as Aurelio’s Is Pizza, Bear Creek Country Kitchen, Bridgeport Pasty, The Calle Wagon, OMango, PIKO, The Slide Ride and Toasty Cheese as well as a few other food vendors! Be sure to dress appropriately for this frozen tundra event!!

Finally, this event may be your only opportunity to pull it off. After all, we’re “frozen to the core” already! The 15th annual Chicago Polar Plunge returns to North Avenue Beach (1600 N. Lake Shore Dr.) in the Lincoln Park neighborhood on Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. to raise funds for the Special Olympics Chicago athletes. There is no registration fee; however, all plungers are required to raise a minimum of $175 and will receive either free parking at Lincoln Park Zoo or a free bus for teams of 20 or more, a warm towel when exiting the frozen water, a souvenir T-shirt, free photo downloads and complimentary food and non-alcoholic beverages at the post-plunge “Melt Down Party” inside the boathouse and in expanded heated tents! Prizes will be awarded as well to the top 3 individual fundraisers, the best 3 individual costumes, the best team costume and largest team with the team raising the most funds receiving a 2 hour party including food and drinks for up to 100 people on Shoreline Cruises! WOW!!

What’s Your Option When “Frozen to the Core?”

SUE MOSS & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO
CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS - LOOP, GOLD COAST, PORTAGE PARK, LINCOLN PARK, NAPERVILLE

LOOP

Tuesday's municipal elections saw a relatively low turnout of voters, according to various news sources. According to WBEZ, only about 33% of registered voters had participated. Chicagoland will have a second chance to weigh in their votes as many of our neighborhood Aldermen, as well as the Mayor, had failed to secure at least 50% in their favor, resulting in runoff elections that will occur on April 7th. Incumbent Mayor Rahm Emanuel secured 45% of the popular vote with runner up, Jesus "Chuy" Garcia, winning over 34% of voters. Thanks to DNAinfo.com who have compiled this interactive map that shows how the five mayoral candidates fared with votes by ward. We have a little more than a month's time to research and make informed decisions for runoff elections day.

GOLD COAST

There were six candidates running to replace 2nd Ward Alderman Bob Fioretti who had lost his attempt at opposing Rahm Emanuel for Mayor. 2nd Ward voters have chosen their runoff contenders to be Streeterville Organization of Active Residents (SOAR) board member Brian Hopkins and Chicago Bar Foundation board member Alyx Pattison. Mr. Hopkins received 29% of the ward's votes and Ms. Pattison, 24%.

PORTAGE PARK

The 45th Ward had three candidates running against incumbent Alderman John Arena. April 7th's runoff elections will see Alderman Arena facing off with police lieutenant John Garrido. Arena had received 45% of the voters' favor and Garrido, 39%.

LINCOLN PARK

The 43rd Ward also had three candidates running against their incumbent Alderman Michele Smith who had garnered 42% of the votes. She will be running against attorney and Mid-North Association board member Caroline Vickrey who received 36% of the ward's votes.

NAPERVILLE

Naperville is governed by a different mayor, therefore the town did not share the Feb. 24th municipal elections date. However they do share April 7th as their day to vote for their new mayor and eight other members of City Council. Naperville's current Mayor A. George Pradel has served in his position since 1995 but announced in 2013 that he will not be running for re-election in 2015. Four men are running to replace Mayor Pradel  - City Council member Doug Krause, former Carol Stream Fire District Lieutenant Marty Walker, Naperville dental office practice manager James Haselhorst, and City Council member Steve Chirico.

CATHY MALLERS & DEAN’S TEAM CHICAGO

KATHY'S HOME & GARDEN TIPS - THE BASICS OF PAINTING A ROOM

In the next two weeks we will be talking about painting a room. It’s relatively easy with some planning and a few basic skills. This week we will talk about preparing the walls and choosing brushes and rollers. Next week will be selecting paint and steps for a professional looking paint job.

Wipe down the walls with a solution of two cups bleach to a gallon of water. Wear rubber gloves and make sure to have plenty of ventilation. Always wash from floor to ceiling to prevent streaks. This will remove all sorts of dirt, dust, and even mold and mildew. Let dry thoroughly.

Use prepared spackle or similar product to repair any holes in the plaster. Clean out any loose plaster from the hole. Scrape out the back of the hole so the back is wider than the front. This will assure good patch fit. Fill the hole smoothing the surface with a medium width putty knife. If the hole is very deep do it in layers letting each layer dry completely between applications. Sand using sand paper wrapped around a block and stapled. Start at 100 or 200 grit and finish with 240.

Rollers are disposable and relatively inexpensive. But, do not buy the cheapest ones at the store. Choose rollers on the higher end, there will be less lint. Choose a fine pile for most smooth surfaces. For materials like stucco, brick or popcorn ceilings use a thicker pile roller.

Your brush is the most important tool in painting. A good quality brush will last many years with proper care. Choose a 21/2-3 inch brush for your cutting in and trim. Check the ends of the brushes for “flags”. These are split ends at the bottom of the bristle that hold the paint on the brush. Good brushes have at least half the brushes flagged.

Cleaning brushes properly will extend their life. Put the brushes on newspaper, don rubber gloves and squeeze out as much paint as possible. Latex paint brushes can be washed with warm water and dish detergent. Wash and rinse until they are free of pigment. Twirl the brush in your hand with the bristles down to shake off excess water. Place the brush back in its package. Hang by the brush handle to dry to keep the bristles straight. If you ever need to stop painting for a few minutes up to a few hours just wrap the roller in foil. This will keep it moist and ready to resume.

Next week- paint!

KATHLEEN WEAVER-ZECH & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO

TECHNOLOGY TIPS - YOUTUBE KIDS

For those of you with children, there are those times when your kids (especially young ones) find a video that is NSFW (not safe for work) and still watch it like there's nothing wrong. It's an awkward moment to be certain and also one that most parents try to avoid.

Last week, YouTube released YouTube Kids for mobile devices. This is not the first of its kind, but it is definitely a long awaited release. There are many other apps that have been in the marketplace for some time now, including Jitterbug.tv, Cakey, and PlayKids not to mention other apps that were built on top of YouTube - YouTube Videos for Kids, Playlist for YouTube, Kids Video Player for YouTube and more. It's expected that the apps built on top of the YouTube app will most likely lose a good portion of their audience. The most surprising thing about this is the amount of time it has taken YouTube to create their kid-friendly app for users.

According to YouTube's blog there is a lot to appreciate about this new app. First, there are many parental controls. You can set a timer that limits screen time. There are sound settings give parents a break from some of the background music and sound effects. The search settings allow you to turn-off the search option and only allow the kids to watch what has been preselected.

The content is designed for younger children who have already become quite adept at using their, ahem your, mobile device. The images are larger and in bolder colors. There is also a voice search function to help little ones who can not yet spell Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. While the site is great for your younger children, there are also elements that can help older children with different interests than Sesame Street. For example, if you need math help or want to build a model volcano, you'll find learning videos as well.

The app is available for free on both Google Play and Apple's App store.There are also plans to make it available on nabi and Kurio kids' tablets.

CATHY MALLERS & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO - NEW ORLEANS & HOLLYWOOD TAKE OVER CHICAGO!

Whether the weather cooperates this weekend or not, who cares, I’m tired of cabin fever already! There’s no better way to shake off ‘ole man winter than with New Orleans and Hollywood taking over Chicago!

The world’s largest indoor bar crawl, the Mardi Gras Bar Crawl, takes over Navy Pier (600 E. Grand Ave.) in the Streeterville neighborhood this Saturday (2:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m.) for Beads, Beers & Bars! Your Bar Crawl entry includes 8 bars along Navy Pier, two gift cards to participating bars for food or drink purchase, drink specials, live music, mask face-painting, games & prizes at participating bars, a complimentary Ferris wheel ride (weather permitting) and more! Please note that NO Walk Up Tickets will be available; however, there are still tickets available but not for much longer so don’t delay!!

Tickets sold out for Mardi Gras Bar Crawl? Well, the 7th annual BeadQuest Mardi Gras Pub Crawl takes place Saturday and begins at John Barleycorn (3524 N. Clark St.) in the Wrigleyville neighborhood at 12:00 p.m. It’s time to dress up in your best, wildest Mardi Gras outfit or costume, enter the costume contest at John Barleycorn’s at Noon, then crawl up Clark Street to visit the 18 participating bars where Bead Throwers will toss out strands of beads where it’s your mission to collect all beads numbered 1-10 for a chance to win one of over 100 great prizes! This festive event also includes a Cajun dish to sample at every bar, an “I Did It For The Beads” official T-shirt in purple or green and a pair of TBOX Fingerless Drinking Gloves. It’s an authentic Bourbon Street experience right on Clark Street here in Chicago! Hollywood strolls into town this Sunday evening with the 87th Academy Awards® (telecast begins at 7:30 p.m.) with the following viewing parties for that true Hollywood experience –

Hollywood on State: A Red Carpet Celebration held at the Gene Siskel Film Center (164 N. State St.) in The Loop beginning at 6:00 p.m. This celebration requires cocktail attire and consists of gourmet food and libations for a night of true Hollywood glamor as you watch the Academy Awards on a Big Screen in HD Telecast!

Oscars Viewing Party held at John Barleycorn (149 W. Kinzie St.) in the River North neighborhood from 6:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. Join Heartland Health Outreach for its 5th annual viewing party which features appetizers, drink specials, raffles and contests with proceeds benefiting Vital Bridges Center on Chronic Care. Be sure you “dress to impress” as well!

JDRF Red Carpet Party held at the Municipal and Dining Company (216 W. Ohio St.) in the River North neighborhood at 6:00 p.m. The Illinois Young Leadership Committee brings “Hollywood to Chicago” to celebrate the film industry’s biggest night – the Academy Awards – with multiple screens broadcasting the red carpet and awards action. Your ticket includes an appetizer buffet, an open bar, a silent auction of upscale items and the televised viewing while benefiting the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation!

New Orleans or Hollywood – Which Will End Your Cabin Fever?

SUE MOSS & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS - LINCOLN SQUARE, SOUTH LOOP, NORWOOD PARK, LAKEVIEW, EVANSTON

LINCOLN SQUARE

This week the semifinalists for the James Beard Awards, often called "The Oscars of Food", were announced. The awards are usually held in New York City but 2015 will be the first year that the Restaurant and Chef Awards will be presented in Chicago at the Lyric Opera House on May 4th. In the meantime, Lincoln Square's Baker Miller (4610 N. Western Ave.) has been named as one of the 25 semifinalists for the new category of Outstanding Baker and the nominees will be narrowed down to 5 finalists by March 24th. Now is the time to make a visit to their Bakery and Millhouse to see why they've been selected.

SOUTH LOOP

As if traffic around the Loop wasn't tough enough, be prepared for further delays as construction of an elevated parkway, connecting Grant Park and the Roosevelt CTA station, is expected to continue until August. Plans have been made for the parkway to be lined with trees for the enjoyment and safety of bikers and pedestrians to traverse from the South Loop to the new Grant Park Skate Park.

NORWOOD PARK

The Great Chicago Fire of 1871 is a historical event of common knowledge but have you heard about the Cold Storage Building Fire of 1893? Norwood Park Historical Society (5624 N. Newark Ave.) is hosting Raymond W. Johnson, who is best known as Chicago's History Cop, to enlighten the public about this lesser known event that was marked with heroism as much as tragedy. On Wednesday, February 25th, at 7:00pm Mr. Johnson will present on the 1893 Cold Storage Building Fire that occurred on July 10, 1893 at the World's Columbia Exposition. The event is free although donations would be appreciated.

LAKEVIEW

The Lakeview Chamber of Commerce has a new partnership with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to provide Onsite Consultation Services for those interested in furthering their business plans and management. The Chamber, located at 1409 W. Addison St., will hold an hour long Open House next Thursday, February 26th, at 10:00 - 11:00am to better explain these new services to the public. Plan to come in and see how this new partnership can benefit you and your small business.

EVANSTON

The temperature is brutal at the moment but that does not mean that we can't have fun. The City of Evanston Parks, Recreation & Community Services Department would like to invite you to their Winterfest this Saturday, February 21st, from 11:00am to 2:30pm at Canal Shores Golf Course (1030 Central St.). The golf course has been groomed to create a winter wonderland fit for cross country skiing, snowshoeing, beginner lessons, and other activities. Call 847-448-8252 to register and reserve equipment if you do not have your own. The website says that the deadline to make reservations was this past Monday but I've called to find that equipment is still available. Call now to register and reserve!

CATHY MALLERS & DEAN’S TEAM CHICAGO

NEW PRICE! REMARKABLE HORIZON HOUSE CONDO - UNOBSTRUCTED LAKE VIEWS!

http://www.dean-team.com/photos/chicago_homes_for_sale_by_deans_team/images/3928451/secondarythumb.aspxEdgewater, Chicago  -  Announcing a Price Reduction on 5733 North Sheridan Road, #13B a 1,400 sq. ft., 2 full baths, 2 bedrooms, 2 units per floor. NOW MLS $247,500 - GREAT VALUE!!

Property information

KATHY'S HOME & GARDEN TIPS - CLEAN THE ENTIRE HOUSE QUICKLY

You know the scenario, guests are coming over and there is no time to clean. The following tips are for a fast top clean. Deeper cleaning is different. Always start at the top surfaces, wiping dust off to fall down to the floor. Dust ceiling fans and door frames with an extendable Swiffer®. Keep going down to furniture surfaces and finish with floors. Vacuum hard surfaces as well as carpeting, this keeps down the dust flying in the air.

Kitchen- fill the sink with hot water and soap. Place all the removable stove pieces in the water to soak. Use a well squeezed out cloth or sponge to wipe down all the cabinets and counter tops. Rinse cloth or sponge frequently in hot water. Finish cleaning the stove and grates and replace. Spray down all the appliances with window cleaner and wipe down with paper towels. Clean the floor with a Swiffer® mop or a steam mop working from the far end.

Bathroom-Before you start in the kitchen, spray all bathroom surfaces down with appropriate cleaners. After finishing the kitchen come back to the bathroom and wipe down all surfaces. If you use cloths make sure you keep one designated for the toilet alone. I prefer to use paper towels on the toilet so no danger from contamination. Clean mirrors and rinse the tub. Use the mop from the kitchen to finish the bathroom floor.

Living room- Use the top down method here too. Ceiling fans down to furniture surfaces. Before this, clear all clutter from the room. Gather items for later organization in a storage tub and place in the closet. Vacuum all the furniture and floors. Use a Swiffer® mop on hardwood floors or similar floor product.

Bedrooms- make all the beds. Clean all clutter using the bin method that you did in the living room. On the furniture surfaces use a microfiber cloth and a dust spray, again working from top to bottom. Finish with vacuuming.

It’s easy to clean your house quickly with these hints and a few cleaners. Bathroom cleaner, window cleaner, dust spray and hot soap and water are all that’s necessary to clean the entire house. Just remember to work from the top down. Wipe down all surfaces and vacuum up all the dirt last.

KATHLEEN WEAVER-ZECH & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO

TECHNOLOGY TIPS - GLASSES FOR RENT

You can't tell by my photo but I'm actually a proud glasses-wearing individual. These days, glasses are also a fashion statement like no other time in history.

Now there is a new start-up called Ditto. Ditto is a website where you can find and purchase your eyeglass frames online. This is not unusual in any way since there are several sites that give this as an option. Now add the twist where you pay a monthly fee ranging from $19-$29 per month for your designer eyewear. 

This new program is called Endless Eyewear. It's been boiled down to "Netflix for designer eyewear." For your monthly fee, you select the glasses you would like delivered and they are sent to you. For those of us with a prescription, you  get new lenses each time you swap out your frames. Let's say you've decided you no longer like the frames you have and want to try something new. With this program, you simply choose your next set of eyewear. You'll send back the frames you already have and then voila you have a new set of glasses. The program also includes sunglasses and insurance for minor wear and tear.

Ditto created a new technology, called virtual try-on, which uses either your smartphone camera or webcam to create a 3D model of your face. The model is used so you can see how specific frames you choose will look on you.  With eyewear that can cost up to $800 for one year, this is definitely a more affordable way to get the eyewear you need without the heavy cost at one time.

CATHY MALLERS & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO 

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO - LOVE IS IN THE AIR! OR IS IT?

Valentine’s Day arrives this Saturday, and with it comes a day of showering your “Be Mine” with cards, candy, flowers, food – the list goes on! But wait, is love really in the air on Valentine’s Day?

Valentine’s Day in Chicago is actually known for a cold-blooded killing and obsessive love. Don’t believe me? Then check it out for yourself at the Guns & Roses Bloody Valentine Tour at 3:00 p.m. this Saturday with Chicago Hauntings Tours (600 N. Clark St. – Clark & Ohio Streets) in the River North neighborhood. This tour will show you the best and worst of Chicago passion in honor of the most famous Valentine’s Day in history. You’ll learn about some of Chicago’s most notorious crime legends from O’Banion to Capone as well as some of Chicago’s most legendary lovers which include the Drake’s “Woman in Red,” Luisa Luetgert the “sausage vat” victim and Resurrection Mary known as the world’s most tireless dance partner of all!

Centered around the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, the Mad Mobster True Crime and Horror Expo is a weekend anniversary festival held at the Chicago Hilton & Towers (720 S. Michigan Ave.) in the South Loop this Saturday (11:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.) and Sunday (11:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.). This expo features events such as The Bonnie & Clyde Exhibit and The Manson Exhibit; Panels & Screenings; a Miss Mad Mobster Pageant on Saturday night with a $500 cash Grand Prize; a vendor room containing a global collection of true crime and horror memorabilia along with Guests appearances by Barry Boschelli (author & friend of John Wayne Gacy), Brad Dourif (actor - Lord of the Rings, The Exorcist, Chucky), William Forsythe (actor – Untouchables, The Devil’s Rejects, Dick Tracy), John Russo (actor – Night of the Living Dead) and many others throughout the weekend!

For all you singles out there, it’s time again for the 16th annual Screw Cupid Pub Crawl this Saturday (8:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m. ending at 2:00 a.m.). Once again, you can start at any one of the participating bars, which are Redmond’s (3358 N. Sheffield Ave.), Durkin’s (810 W. Diversey Pkwy.), Duffy’s (420 W. Diversey Pkwy.), or McGee’s (950 W. Webster Ave.) all located in the Lincoln Park neighborhood. Besides plenty of fun, a food buffet at each bar, domestic drafts, Cupid punch and trolley transportation to all 4 bars is included with your pub crawl admission! Book now and screw Cupid!!

Those of you who still believe in the romance of Valentine’s Day, two beloved classics will be brought back to the big screen this Saturday at the Music Box Theatre (3733 N. Southport Ave.) in the Lakeview neighborhood at this year’s Valentine’s Day Celebration. The Princess Bride is a romantic comedy fairy tale and will be shown at 7:30 p.m. & 10:30 p.m. Come dressed up as one of your favorite characters from the movie for a pre-show costume contest complete with prop bags and more! Casablanca is one of the greatest romantic films of all time staring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman and will be shown at 1:00 p.m. A “Valentine’s Day Sweetheart Sing-Along” featuring a selection of favorite love songs with projected lyrics and accompaniment from the Music Box organ will take place prior to the viewing!

Finally, this year marks the 107th edition of the 2015 Chicago Auto Show which first staged in 1901 and is now the largest auto show in North America featuring a range of domestic & imported cars, trucks, experimental & concept cars along with a variety of auto-related exhibits!

Love Is In The Air – Or Is It?

SUE MOSS & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS - WEST LOOP, LINCOLN PARK, GOLD COAST, PORTAGE PARK, NAPERVILLE

WEST LOOP

Here's a great activity for the babysitter to take your 3 - 5 year olds while you go out for a romantic dinner tomorrow, Friday the 13th. Tots Valentine Party is a free event from 5:30 - 7:30pm at the Whitney Young School gym in Skinner Park (1331 W. Monroe St.). There will be music, dancing, games, food and inflatables to tucker your tykes out for bedtime. Follow the link to Register your child, call the babysitter, then make those dinner reservations!

LINCOLN PARK

This Valentine's Day can be fun for the whole family. Starting this Saturday, 2/14, Lincoln Park Zoo is offering their Animal Enrichment Workshops. Register your children, 3 years of age and older, to participate in creating edible playthings for the animals and then watch the animals enjoy these creations. There will be only 5 sessions from now until May that run 1:00 - 3:30pm on 2/14, 3/14, 4/11, 5/2, and 5/3.

GOLD COAST

There's a new taco franchise on the map. Velvet Taco is stretching its legs out to Chicago to open its third location at 1110 N. State St. The two other locations are in Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas. Their menu features homemade tortillas, unique ingredient combinations, and whole rotisserie chickens. Okay, Texas, let's see what you got! With a full bar and open until 2:00am in the "Viagra Triangle", it's sure to be the next hit in the neighborhood.

PORTAGE PARK

The election for mayor and city council is coming up on 2/24. The public is welcome to hear the mayoral candidates that have agreed to meet for a Mayoral Candidate's Forum on Monday, 2/16, from 7:00 -9:00pm at the Irish American Heritage Center (4626 N. Knox Ave.) Although the venue is not in Portage Park, it is being hosted by The Portage Park Neighborhood Association who chose the Irish American Heritage Center for its larger capacity. Mayor Rahm Emanuel has not yet responded to the invitation to attend but his challengers, 2nd Ward Alderman Bob Fioretti, Cook County Commissioner Jesus "Chuy" Garcia, philanthropist/entrepreneur Willie Wilson, and 3-time mayoral challenger William "Dock" Walls, are scheduled to be there and be heard.

NAPERVILLE

As a reminder for you to get ready for Paczki Day on Tuesday 2/17, DeEtta's Bakery (428 W. Fifth Ave.) is boasting nine varieties of Paczki this year for your pre-ordering needs. Get your pre-orders in by Saturday, 2/14, if you're having a party or simply stocking up.

CATHY MALLERS & DEAN’S TEAM CHICAGO

KATHY'S HOME & GARDEN TIPS - SAVE TIME, MONEY AND WATER (THAT MANY OF US PAY FOR) WITH THESE HANDY HINTS

Shop thrift stores and yard sales. Need more dishes for the holidays? Bargains found at yard sales bring a mismatched eclectic look to your table. Need kids’ clothes? Kids grow out of their clothes so fast that thrift stores are a no-brainer. Need a small table or lamp? Many fun vintage accessories can be found at thrift stores or yard sales. Looking to make some cash? Have your own garage sale, check with your local village hall to meet all city requirements.

Plant a garden. Fresh fruits and vegetables for very little money. Healthy and free of pesticides. Even a plot a few square feet large can yield a bounty of veggies. Google "container gardening" to get started.

Buy off-season. Make large purchases off-season. Buy a snow blower in April. Christmas decorations and luggage in January. Trees in the fall, best time to plant them anyway. The selection might be limited but the money saved will be worth it to shop end-of-season or out-of-season.

Do it yourself. Many household repairs can be done more affordably by the homeowner. Not handy? Any instructions to do any home repair can be found online. Or enlist the aid of a handy friend. Thinking of a home improvement? Things like a deck can be put up over a weekend with the help of a few friends. Supply lots of food and beer (for after!!). Make it a fun project.

Plan your meals for the entire week ahead of time. Take the sales circular from your favorite grocery store and plan meals around the sale items. Stock up on things you use weekly. Our store often has excellent prices but requires a minimum purchase, like four 12 packs of soda. It’s like getting 2 packs free. Soda has a long best-by-date so go for it.

Now for water consumption it’s easy to save with a few pointers. Shower instead of bathing, save 12-20 gallons. Turn off the water when brushing your teeth, save 3 gallons. Use a car wash instead of washing it yourself, save hundreds of gallons. An energy efficient washer pays for itself quickly by saving 20 gallons per wash. Let your grass grow longer, it will need less watering and will be a stronger lawn besides. Check for leaks. Fixing running toilets and faucets can save hundreds of gallons a year. Check out the United States Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, for more ways to save water.

KATHLEEN WEAVER-ZECH & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO

TECHNOLOGY TIPS - THE CHICAGO AUTO SHOW IS COMING

The Chicago Auto Show starts this weekend with the fundraiser on February 13 and then extends through February 22. It's an opportunity to view all sorts of vehicles including concept cards, dream cars and family haulers. You also have the option to take a ride on one of the nine tracks that will be available - three indoor and six outdoor.

This year the Auto Show is getting extremely technical with not only the hashtag #CAS15 but also with their new mobile app available in iOS and Android.

The app has a lot to offer anyone who is planning to attend the show. This is the first year that the show will have an app. It is designed to connect with you while at the show and even beyond that. For those people who download the app you'll get a commemorative cup in the Chevy Dealer's Chicago Blackhawks Family Fun Zone.

The app is designed to be your digital guide to the event providing a detailed map of all the exhibits. Since there is now a hashtag, you can view all social media centered around the event in addition to any blog posts. You get the daily schedule of any events happening. Finally, you have the ability to view videos provided by the various exhibitors.

One item that may be of interest to most folks is that you don't have attend the Auto Show to get the experience of all the new vehicles on display. There is a section dedicated to all the vehicles. You can view not only images but also other pertinent information about those vehicles should they be of interest to you. And if you missed anything you wanted to see, you have it all right there on your app.

The cost for the event is $12 for adults and $6 for Seniors and Children 7-12. Children 6 and under get in for free and must be accompanied by an adult. From February 14-21 the hours are 9am to 10pm. The final night, February 22, hours are 9am to 8pm. You can get discounted tickets at your local car dealer or participating Shell gas stations for weekday ticket purchases. If you are Fifth Third Bank ATM Card holder, you can receive a coupon for $4 off the full-price adult ticket. Just arrive early as they are only available for the first 5300.

CATHY MALLERS & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO

THIS WEEKEND IN CHICAGO - SNOW DAYS IN CHICAGO – BUSINESS AS USUAL!

What does one do when nearly two feet of snow is dumped on them at one time? Well, Chicagoans take a snow day and then go about their business as usual which is exactly what we’ll be doing this weekend even though there are still mounds of snow everywhere!

If you didn’t enjoy your snow day this past week, perhaps you’ll enjoy this, Snow Days Chicago, where eight professional snow sculptor teams from the U.S. and around the world come to Navy Pier and Polk Bros Park (600 E. Grand Ave.) in the Streeterville neighborhood to create masterpieces out of 10-foot blocks of man-made snow (although Mother Nature provided us with enough of the real stuff) to compete for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place cash prizes. There will also be five teams of student sculptors from Chicago area high schools creating their own work of “snow” art. This free festival takes place on Saturday (11:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.) and Sunday (11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.) along with fun activities for the kids, a snow sculpting competition, nighttime illuminations of the sculptures and much more! In addition, you can warm-up inside at the Family Pavilion and see the Shedd Aquarium’s Magellanic Penguins and enjoy their interactive Polar Play Zone booth each day from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Finally, the awards ceremony takes place February 7th at 6:00 p.m. in the Family Pavilion!

If you’ve had enough snow days already, the Cider Summit Chicago returns to Navy Pier’s Grand Ballroom (600 E. Grand Ave.) in the Streeterville neighborhood for its 3rd annual festival featuring over 150 ciders including regional favorites and international classics this Saturday with two tastings from11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. & 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. This event not only features the cider makers and owners who will be on hand to inform and guide you through your 4-ounce samplings, but also features specially selected food pairings, display booths by regional and national cider associations and a store with Cider Summit t-shirts and other merchandise for purchase! And, your $30 ticket (sold online only) includes 8 samples and a souvenir glass with proceeds benefiting Heartland Alliance!!

If you’re oblivious to snow days altogether, Candy Crush Crawl 2015 takes place this Saturday (12:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m.) at Red Ivy (3525 N. Clark St.) in the Wrigleyville neighborhood and seven other local bars that include Deuce’s, John Barleycorn, Country Club, Slugger’s, Moe’s Cantina, Old Crow and Rockwood Place all offering drink specials for ticket-holders. Be sure to get your Official Party Badge punched at each establishment because crawlers who visit all 8 bars can enter to win a SWEET prize at the closing ceremony! There’s also a Crazy Costume Contest where crawlers are encouraged to don their wild candy or Valentine’s-themed costumes as they strut down Clark Street which is transformed into CandyLand’s Rainbow Road!! A Free Swag Pack that includes a Candy Crush Crawl hat and a fanny-pack to stash all your candy will be given to the first 1,000 crawlers. Remember the theme:  Eat – Drink – Crush – Repeat!! Lastly, the Oakton Ice Arena (2800 W. Oakton St.) in Park Ridge will be hosting two family-friendly events this Saturday –

Frostival (11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.) featuring outdoor games and activities that include snow golf, sledding and a family snowman contest as well as cookie decorating and craft stations for the kids!

Pajama Party Public Skate (8:30 p.m.-9:50 p.m.) featuring a Valentine’s Day PJ Party where all skaters who wear their favorite (modest) PJs will receive half price admission and skate to love songs from the past!

What’s Your Snow Days Looking Like?

SUE MOSS & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO

CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS - LAKEVIEW, RAVENSWOOD, NORWOOD PARK, WEST LOOP, OAK PARK

LAKEVIEW

Keep this date destination on your list! 404 Wine Bar (2852 N. Southport Ave), an elegant vintage wine bar had undergone a makeover and reopened in December 2014. The decor includes decadently cozy looking leather sofas and fireplace for taking a wine trip around the world with their "continuously rotating Award-Winning wine list." It's nestled next to and shares the kitchen of Diag Bar & Grill and offers an eclectic selection of sandwiches, pizzas, tacos, entrees and more!

RAVENSWOOD

A new yoga studio has opened this week at 4845 N. Damen Ave. One Key Yoga is a witty name for a wonderful business model. Owner/Instructor, Gina Fitzpatrick, has honed her craft for 14 years instructing at various locations, being entrusted with a number of keys to studios all around the city. "One day," she professed to herself, "I'm going to go down to one key." This new studio space is the culmination of one hard-working individual's life work to bring affordable pay-per lesson yoga and pilates instruction to the community.

NORWOOD PARK

If you're looking forward to this year's Northwest Side Irish Parade which isn't until March 15th, then why not show your support and enthusiasm at the Parade Kick-Off and Fundraiser on Friday February 20th at Iron Horse Ale House (6158 N. Northwest Hwy.)? Tickets are $20 to enjoy a couple drinks, live music, and enter into the raffle. Save both dates and prepare for good times to come!

WEST LOOP

The Carmichael's Steakhouse marquee is impossible to miss in West Loop, however the Management has just announced that this 18 year landmark restaurant will be missed as of its projected closing day, March 20th. It's been a popular stop en route to sporting events at the United Center since 1997. Make sure to stop in for lunch or dinner before closing day.

OAK PARK

However you stand on the issue, it's a new year and this IS news. State OKs Oak Park marijuana dispensary.

CATHY MALLERS & DEAN’S TEAM CHICAGO

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