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December 28, 2012

Calling All Animal Lovers!
Shared Cost Sidewalk Program Reopens
Charity Begins at Home
Beat the Blues With Us!

Calling All Animal Lovers!
IMAGE: Kitty West Bucktown resident Vanessa Smetkowski is asking for your help with a sad situation right here in our own neighborhood.
Vanessa has been working with the Tree House Humane Society to clear a suspected West Bucktown hoarder home of an estimated 16+ cats. She has personally taken 8 of the cats to a low-cost clinic to have them neutered and vaccinated, but she is also looking for adopters and foster homes to get the kitties out of the house permanently.
IMAGE: KittySo far the owners of this house have been cooperative about accepting help with the cats, but the situation is unstable for many reasons, and the Anti-Cruelty Society's humane investigators will likely step in at some point. Vanessa, who has been helping to control Chicago's feral cat communities through TNR efforts (trap, neuter, return) since 2004, says she has "never seen a situation like this — it is shocking to me. The cats appear to be healthy, litter trained, and completely socialized. It would be absolutely tragic if they are just rounded up and killed."
If you are in a position to adopt or foster one of these cats (or know someone who is), please email Vanessa directly at You can also read her updates on the situation at Cats In My Yard, a blog chronicling her TNR efforts.  Also, even if you are not in a position to take on a kitty but would like to contribute to Vanessa's ongoing neutering and vaccination efforts, please note that there is a PayPal link for donations on her site.

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Shared Cost Sidewalk Program Reopens

IMAGE: Sidewalk
The Shared Cost Sidewalk Program is a popular service through which residents share the cost of sidewalk repairs with the City of Chicago. All property owners pay the same cost for a new sidewalk -- just $3/square foot, well below what a private contractor would charge.

The 2013 program opens to new applicants on January 1.  Applications will only be accepted through the City's 311 system (by phone or by clicking here).  Owner information and the property address must be provided at the time the request is made.

Participation will be on a first-come, first-served basis, so act quickly! Last year's program reached capacity on January 8. Please note that if you applied for the program in previous years, you must apply again in 2013.

For more details, please see the FAQ by the Chicago Department of Transportation.

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Charity Begins At Home

IMAGE: Maplewood Park FieldhouseJust a quick reminder that West Bucktown’s own Maplewood Park Fieldhouse has been selected as the beneficiary of the annual WBNA holiday charity drive this year.  We’ll be collecting cash donations at the Post-Holiday Blues Party, but we’re also encouraging folks to bring an item or two from the following “Wish List”:

  • Art kits -- the easier the better ( is a great source)
  • New or gently used toys and books
  • Cordless phone 
  • Hand soap, baby wipes, Kleenex
  • Fan for the summer months
As you can see, the park’s needs are relatively simple, but the rewards for the children are tremendous. Many thanks to the Nowak Family for kicking off our charity drive with the very generous donation of a TV/DVD combo!

If you are unable to attend the holiday party but would like to make a donation, please email to coordinate your gift.
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Beat the Blues With Us!

IMAGE: Post-holiday blues

Many thanks to Joe & Laurie Sabath and the staff at West On North for once again hosting the WBNA “Beat the Post-Holiday Blues” party on Saturday, January 26 from 5:00 to 8:00 pm. This popular event is open to all West Bucktown residents, young and old alike. We hope you and your family will join us in raising a glass (or juicebox!) to all that we’ve accomplished together as we look ahead to a promising new year full of friendship and fun.
West On North will get the party started with complimentary appetizers and drink specials (anyone remember last year's signature drink, the Blue Line Derailer?). Wha's more, the first round of drinks is on us for anyone who has paid their 2013 WBNA membership dues! (Click here to pre-pay via the WBNA website, or you can join/renew at the party.)  By popular demand, we’re also considering another “Re-Gift Raffle,” wherein several lucky winners take home such unwanted holiday fare as ugly sweaters, smelly hand lotions, stale fruitcakes, and more. 
Your RSVP isn’t necessary but is greatly appreciated for planning purposes. Please email to let us know if we should expect you!
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WBNA is the catalyst for positive change in West Bucktown. We serve the neighborhood bounded by West of Western, East of California, North of North Avenue and South of Armitage.

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P.O. Box 477282
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