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Focus on Seniors

Tax Filing Help

The Evergreen Park Office of Citizens' Services offers a volunteer tax filing program in Room 110 at the Community Center, 3450 W. 97th St. E-filing and direct deposits are available. Call 422-8776 for an appointment. Counselors are volunteers and are available Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Assistance with circuit breaker, property tax exemption forms, and notary service is also available. Bring last year's federal and state returns, bank statements, and all forms showing income including social security, pension, dividends, interest and property tax bill. Business returns and complicated returns will not be accepted.

Rules of Road

The Worth Township Seniors will hold a free Rules of the Road class from 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. April 3, June 5, Aug. 7 and Oct. 2. Appointment must be made to attend; call the Worth Township Senior Room at 371-2900, Ext. 28. Worth Township Center is at 11601 Pulaski Road in Alsip.

Meals on Wheels

The Evergreen Park Office of Citizens' Services offers a Meals on Wheels program for village residents 60 years and older who are unable to prepare their own meals. Meals are delivered Monday through Friday. For more information call 422-8776.

55 and Up

Palos Hills residents 55 years and older meet from noon to 2 p.m. the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month at the Palos Hills Community Center, 8455 W. 103rd St. Tickets for events must be purchased one week in advance. Entertainment includes musicians, singers, luncheons, movies, plays and bingo.

Pinochle

The Worth Senior Pinochle club is seeking new members. Membership is free. Visit the group at the Worth Park District Terrace Centre, 11500 Beloit Ave., every Monday and Wednesday from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Games begin at noon. Call 448-1181 for information.

Travel Troubleshooter

By Christopher Elliott

A fee for lighting up in my rental? But I don't smoke

Q: My wife and I traveled to Las Vegas for a trade show. I decided to use my credit card points to cover my car rental through Dollar Rent a Car.

At the car rental desk I was pressured to take the optional insurance, but I told them I had checked with my insurance agent and that I was covered. After 10 minutes of saying "no" she insisted on making a copy of my credit card. I let her and went on my way.

I rented the car for five days, drove a total of 83 miles, and returned the car with a full tank. A Dollar employee checked the car when I returned it and said everything was "OK."

On my next credit card bill I noticed a $125 charge from Dollar, 19 days after the car was returned. I complained to Visa, and a month later I received a letter from Visa saying that Dollar claimed the car needed excessive cleaning due to pet hair, smoke and dirt). We don't smoke and we don't have a pet. Dollar refuses to remove the fee. Can you help? - Joe Galindo, Anoka, Minn.

A: Dollar should have notified you of any cleaning charges when you returned the car, not as a surprise on your credit card bill almost three weeks later. Even if Dollar suspected that you'd smoked a pipe next to your Great Pyrenees after a long day of hiking in the desert, it should have notified you promptly of the cleaning fee and offered evidence of your allegedly messy ways.

What kind of evidence? Well, photos would be a good start. A signed incident report, documenting the condition of the vehicle might work, too. You didn't get any such proof, and neither did your credit card.

But in disputing this charge, you took a shortcut, moving straight to a credit-card dispute instead of contacting the car rental company directly. I might have started with a brief, polite email to Dollar sent through its website, and if necessary, an appeal to a manager at the local or national level.

A credit card dispute removes an entire level of appeal. Think of it as taking your small-claims case directly to a higher court. And speaking of court, your only real recourse after losing a credit-card dispute is to take your case to court. That probably wasn't practical, given the amount of your claim.

I think you would have had a good chance of prevailing in court, by the way. Dollar didn't offer any documentation, as far as I can tell. It simply asked you, and your credit card, to take its word.

I contacted Dollar on your behalf, and it removed the $125 charge from your credit card.

( Christopher Elliott is the author of "Scammed: How to Save Your Money and Find Better Service in a World of Schemes, Swindles, and Shady Deals" (Wiley). He's also the ombudsman for National Geographic Traveler magazine and the co-founder of the Consumer Travel Alliance, a nonprofit organization that advocates for travelers. Read more tips on his blog, elliott.org or e-mail him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Christopher Elliott receives a great deal of reader mail, and though he answers them as quickly as possible, your story may not be published for several months because of a backlog of cases.)

History of the World

By Mark Andrews

Feb. 14: ON THIS DATE in 1929, the St. Valentine's Day Massacre took place in a Chicago garage as seven rivals of Al Capone's gang were gunned down.

Feb. 15: ON THIS DATE in 1923, the burial chamber of King Tutankhamen's recently unearthed tomb was unsealed in Egypt. In 1959, Fidel Castro became premier of Cuba.

Feb. 16: ON THIS DATE in 1804, Lt. Stephen Decatur led a successful raid into Tripoli Harbor to burn the U.S. Navy frigate Philadelphia, which had fallen into the hands of pirates. In 1948, NBC began airing its first nightly newscast, "The Camel Newsreel Theatre," a 10-minute program of Fox Movietone newsreel clips with anchor John Cameron Swayze providing voiceovers.

Feb. 17: ON THIS DATE in 1801, the U.S. House of Representatives broke an Electoral College tie and elected Thomas Jefferson president over Aaron Burr. In 1947, the Voice of America began broadcasting to the Soviet Union.

Feb. 18: ON THIS DATE in 1885, Mark Twain's "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" was published. In 2001, auto-racing star Dale Earnhardt Sr. was killed in a crash on the last lap of the Daytona 500.

Feb. 19: ON THIS DATE in 1878, Thomas Edison received a patent for his phonograph. In 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed an executive order giving the military the authority to relocate and intern Japanese-Americans.

Feb. 20: ON THIS DATE in 1809, the Supreme Court ruled that the power of the federal government is greater than that of any individual state. In 1965, the Ranger 8 spacecraft crashed into the moon after sending back thousands of pictures of the lunar surface.

( Mark Andrews can be reached via e-mail at mlandrews@embarq mail.com.)

What's Going On

Music at Post 991

The Marrs-Mayer American Legion Post 991, 11001 Depot Ave. in Worth, will present live music from 9 to midnight Friday, Feb. 15 and 8 to 11 p.m. every Friday and Saturday. For more information call 448-7006, Ext. 6. Performers will be Still Cruisin Band on Feb. 15, Dale Vargas on Feb. 22, Still Cruisin Band and an Elvis impersonator on Feb. 23, Karaoke night on March 1, Fabtones Red on March 2, Bobby Dunne on March 8, Roco Quinn on March 9, and Good OL'Daze on March 15.

Taste Wine

The Oak Lawn Park District's Stony Creek Clubhouse, 5850 W. 103rd St., will hold a wine tasting from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 16. Participants will sample a selection of wines with pairings. Wines will be available for purchase. Must be 21 years or older. Admission is $13. For more information call 398-6284 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Science Fun

Evergreen Park High School will hold its 2nd annual Science Family Fun Night from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21 for youths in kindergarten through eighth grade (must be accompanied by an adult). Event will feature hands-on science activities as well as demonstrations. RSVP by Tuesday, Feb. 19 to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 398-1301.

Career Fair

The Office of Career Services at Governors State University will hold a career fair for people interested in employment and internship opportunities in education and related fields from 2 to 5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21 in the school's Hall of Governors. Students, alumni and community members are invited to attend. Potential employers are invited to register as participants. The event is free and open to the public. Governors State is located at 1 University Parkway in University Park. For more information call 235-3974.

Embroiderers' Guild

The Beverly Hills Embroiderers' Guild will meet at 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19 at Oak View Center, 4625 W. 110th St. in Oak Lawn. The day meeting will feature "Fabric Framing Technique" presented by Dana Pyzik. The evening meeting will feature Part 3 "Elegance of Pulled Thread Embroidery" presented by Ronna Page. For information call 424-3189

Butterfly Man at OL Garden Club

The Oak Lawn Garden Club will meet at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 28 at Oak View Center, 4625 W. 110th St. in Oak Lawn. Speaker will be Bob Erlich, who will discuss raising Monarch butterflies. Erlich has successfully released thousands of butterflies over the years and volunteers at Lake Katherine's annual Butterfly Festival.

Library Notes

Chicago Ridge

The library and Iris Reading Corporation will present "Speed Reading" at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21. Learn how read faster, comprehend more and adjust to reading information on computer screens. Adults and students 12 years and older are invited to attend this free workshop. Call the library at 423-7753 for more information.

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The Chicago Ridge Library is at 10400 Oxford Ave. The phone number is 423-7753.

Evergreen Park

After School Homework Help is offered Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. Both teachers are bilingual (English and Spanish).

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The Evergreen Park Public Library is at 9400 S. Troy Ave. The phone number is 422-8522.

Green Hills

Erik S. Gellman will present five myths of late 1960s Chicago history at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20. Gellman will address the campaign of Martin Luther King Jr., the Democratic Convention of 1968, and the assassination of Fred Hampton as points of departure to understand the context of social change and its repression during the era.

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Teen Pizza & Movie Night featuring "The Avengers" will be at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21. There will be free pizza and pop. One winner will receive a copy of the movie.

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Family Movie Time featuring "Puss in Boots"will be at 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 22. Each attendee gets popcorn and lemonade.

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"How the Beatles Re-Imagined Rock 'n' Roll: 1967-1970" will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 26. Presentation will show the Beatles broadening their artistry, performance and promo clips, rare photographs, and unreleased audio of the group at work.

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Painting Owl Craft for youths 5 years and older will be at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28. Children can take home an owl craft bank.

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Adult Winter Reading Club through Feb. 25 will commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Prizes include a Nook Color, Kindle Fire, gift certificates to local restaurants and bookstores, and more. Register at the information desk or at greenhillslibrary.org.

Youth Winter Reading Club, "Reading is SNOW Much Fun!" for youths in kindergarten through eighth grade will be during the same period. Weekly prizes will be awarded. Register at the youth services desk or at greenhillslibrary.org.

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The library has an eBook service, Axis 360, through which users can download bestselling eBooks for as many as 21 days directly onto a device using the Blio software application. Titles automatically expire at the end of the lending period and there are no late fees. Place holds on items that are checked out. Service is only available to Green Hills cardholders. To start browsing visit http://ghpl.axis360.baker-taylor.com. For more information call 598-8446.

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The library is collecting first-person accounts of stories of military service to be donated to the Veteran History Project of the Library of Congress. The library is seeking photos, memoirs, and wartime diaries from World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, and the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. Call 598-8446 for more information.

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The library offers Freegal Music, a downloadable music service that provides access to the Sony Music Entertainment catalog. The catalog offers hundreds of thousands of songs in more than 100 genres of music.

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The library's Media on Demand program enables patrons to download best-selling and classic audiobooks, eBooks, music and video. No late fees. Works include best-selling novels, well-known classics and self-improvement guides. For more information visit mediaondemand.org.

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The library has a scanner available to the public. Pictures, documents, etc., can be scanned and sent to an email, printer or USB device.

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The library offers TumbleBooks!, a collection of animated talking picture books with fiction, non-fiction and foreign language titles, and read-alongs (chapter books with sentence highlighting and narration but no animation). Visit greenhills.lib.il.us or call 598-8446, Ext. 117, for more information.

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The Green Hills Public Library is at 8611 W. 103rd St. in Palos Hills. The phone number is 598-8446.

Oak Lawn

A coffee and recipe tasting with chef Kate Bradley will be Thursday, Feb. 21. Event will feature a review of recipes for mint chocolate shortbread, cappuccino muffins, spice cake and oatmeal cookies. Advance registration and $5 fee are required. Food samples will be provided. Sign up at the library's Reception Booth.

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A free jazz concert featuring Petra's Sweet Six will be from 2 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 17. Chicago jazz vocalist Petra Van Nuis teams up with five musicians to play the tight two-horn arrangements of Joe Policastro. The group's songs conjure up a sound reminiscent of jazz vocal recordings of the 1950s, full of flavor and feeling. No advance registration required.

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A free family movie, "Academy Awards Shorts," will be Monday, Feb. 18 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. It will feature an assortment of Oscar-nominated and Oscar-winning short animated films starring Superman, Bugs Bunny and more. Heart Failure in 2013

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Dr. Gregory Macaluso of Advocate Christ Medical Center will present "Heart Failure in 2013" at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20. Macaluso will discuss the signs and symptoms of heart failure, new treatment strategies, and when to see a specialist.

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Free screenings of "Trouble with the Curve" (PG-13) starring Clint Eastwood, Amy Adams and John Goodman will be at 2 and 6:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 25. An ailing baseball scout in his twilight years takes his daughter along for one last trip.

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"Awards Season at Your Library" for kindergartners through fifth-graders will be from 4 to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 26. Children can vote for their favorite character, book, illustrator and more each week at the Youth Services Desk. A limited number of guests will dress in their best awards outfit, walk the red carpet and have their pictures taken. Advance registration is required.

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"The Middlesteins" by Jami Attenberg is the February selection for Day & Night Reads, the library's bi-monthly book group for adults. Attenberg's novel centers on Edie and Richard Middlestein, who share a solid family life together in the suburbs of Chicago. But things are splintering apart, in part because of it Edie's fixation on food - thinking about it, eating it - and if she doesn't stop she won't have much longer to live. Discussions will be held at 2 and 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27.

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A free lecture on the opera "Rigoletto" will be at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 24. A member of the Lyric Opera Lecture Corps will explain the plot, play musical selections and give background on the composer.

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"Yo Ho Ho and a Bottle of Rum" with Food historian Cynthia Clampitt will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 26. Clampitt will discuss why pirates are associated with the Caribbean; the connection with coffee, tea and chocolate,; and how rum was involved in uniting the United States' original 13 colonies, and how it was one issue that led to the American Revolution.

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The library now offers movie check-out for free. Check-out periods are seven days with no renewals. Oak Lawn residents may check out up to 10 films at a time.

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The library offers "Temporary Online Patron Registration." Fill out a registration form at oak lawnlibrary.org/librarycards2.shtml, and visit the Circulation Desk within 14 days to receive a permanent card. Proof of residency in Oak Lawn is required.

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The library has the newest and most popular titles and resources in its collection of eBooks, Blu-Ray and DVDs (movies and TV series), CDs for a range of music interests, and hard copy books. The library also has a language learning program and databases. During September, new library card-holders will add a leaf to the tree in the Cook Avenue foyer and be eligible to enter a drawing for a book of their choice (one child prize and one adult/young adult prize up to $35 value each). Cards are available to Oak Lawn residents at the Circulation Desk. Bring an ID and proof of address.

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Books, tapes and CDs not found at the library can be requested online from another library. For more information call the Interlibrary Loan department or stop by the Help Desk on the first floor.

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"Images of America: Oak Lawn" by Oak Lawn Library local history coordinator Kevin Korst contains more than 200 photographs with captions and chapter introductions, and highlights the many aspects of Oak Lawn's history including Round- Up Days and the 1967 Tornado. The book is available for purchase at the library's Reception Booth for $21.99 (cash or check). Book sales benefit the Oak Lawn Community Library Foundation. A corresponding photo exhibit is on display and features more than 100 historic Oak Lawn images and dozens of artifacts. The display is in the Local History Room on the library's second floor. For more information contact Korst at 422-4990.

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The library offers "Accessible Archives," an electronic resource available at oaklawnlibrary.org.

Click on the "Research" tab and select the icon for "Accessible Archives." The collection features historic periodicals and books and provides eyewitness accounts and editorial observations of events, genealogical records, county histories and Godey's "Lady's Book" - a magazine published to entertain, inform and educate women of America. The Civil War collection is noteworthy and presents coverage based on various historical perspectives. The Oak Lawn Public Library is at 5300 W. 95th St. The phone number is 422-4990.

Worth

The library subscribes to Zinio, an online magazine stand that enables patrons to read magazines on computers, tablets or phones using web browsers and apps. Must have Worth Library card. Zinio is accessible at worthlibrary.com.

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The library offers Try-It Illinois, which allows access to 300 free databases from more than 40 vendors. Access Try-It at worthlibrary.com (login and password is available at the library).