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Aldermanic menu money provisionally approved for urban farm

Aldermen and the Chicago Department of Law admitted confusion on Wednesday about how City Council members may use funds from the aldermanic menu program.

Officials identify silvery substance at Indiana beaches

Forest Preserve hopes to use 100th anniversary as publicity springboard

Arnold Randall, superintendent of the Cook County Forest Preserve District, basked in the afterglow on Tuesday of the district’s 100th anniversary celebration, which took place at the Chicago Cultural Center last week. Some members of the Cook County Board of Commissioners, though, questioned whether Randall has maximized publicity for the Forest Preserve.

Council committee holds hearing on proposed plastic bag ban

Supporters and opponents of a proposal to ban city retailers from providing plastic bags offered extensive testimony measure during a Council Committee on Health and Environmental Protection meeting Tuesday, but there will likely be some changes to the ordinance before the committee votes on the measure.

Park District promises more neighborhood offerings this summer

Chicago Park District officials gave details at a Wednesday board meeting of their summer ‘Night Out in the Parks’ initiative, which is part of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s plan to provide more cultural offerings outside of downtown.

Adam Schwerner, director of natural resources at the Park District, promised that the summer initiative would deliver 750 citywide cultural and arts activities in 230 different parks. Those activities will include 200 total movies in neighborhood parks and six classical musical concerts in parks located throughout the city.

Council committee considers ban on potentially toxic driveway sealer

The Chicago City Council Committee on Finance held a hearing on Friday pertaining to an ordinance to ban coal tar sealants, which are used on parking lots and driveways. According to a recent series of studies, the sealants contain high levels of known carcinogens.

The committee adjourned without calling a vote on the ordinance sponsored by Ald. Edward Burke (14th), the finance committee chairman, and Ald. Will Burns (4th). Burns said that the committee will be “having a couple of substantive hearings” before taking a vote on the measure.

Preckwinkle announces sustainable energy initiative in Cook County

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle on Wednesday announced a plan to implement environmental initiatives designed to reduce the county government’s carbon footprint.

Preckwinkle’s announcement followed the recent release of a report from the Cook County Sustainability Advisory Council that outlined approaches the county can take to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050.


Summer program to connect students from CPS closing and welcoming schools

The Chicago Park District is planning a summer initiative to connect children who attend soon-to-be shuttered CPS schools with students from the schools they will be enrolled in this fall, announced district General Superintendent and CEO Michael Kelly on Tuesday.

While speaking at a City Club of Chicago luncheon, Kelly said that as part of the program, the district will invite children and principals from both the schools slated for closure and their “welcoming schools” to nearby parks to give students an opportunity to meet one another before the start of the school year.

Chicago saw less power outages, quicker response times in 2012

There were less power outages in Chicago 2012 than any other year since 1997, when the city began to review ComEd’s compliance with its franchise agreement with Chicago, according to the findings in the Annual Commonwealth Edison 2013 Summer Preparedness and 2012 Reliability Report.

Tony Abruscato named chair of Gateway Green