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Archive for February, 2012

E-file Your Income Tax Forms

If you have not yet attempted to file your state and federal income tax forms electronically, be aware that e-filing has personal benefits. If you are receiving a refund, you can elect to have it directly deposited in to your bank account, and you will get your money much faster than if you wait to have a check sent to you.  By filing electronically and choosing direct deposit, the time lapse from submitting your form to getting your refund can be less than a week! And you will not be using any paper in the entire transaction.

 The IRS allows anyone to e-file their federal forms for free: Free File. 

The State of Illinois also allows e-filing: e-Services for Individuals and direct electronic deposit for refunds.

Make this the year you go electronic: save paper and time!

By julie collins on February 26, 2012 Categories: Uncategorized

Illinois Tax Rate Finder

Interested in where your sales tax goes when you make a retail or food purchase?  The Illinois Tax Rate Finder tracks the breakdown of state, county, and municipal taxes for all cities and towns in Illinois. Additional definitions for what specific taxes mean are in their online glossary.

By julie collins on February 25, 2012 Categories: Business, Consumer, Finance

Access to the Social Security Death Index

There is current legislation working its way through Congress which seeks to block public access to the Social Security Death Index.  The SSDI is a critical piece to genealogy and ancestry research.  More information about the SSDA Call to Action Kit provided by the Records Preservation and Access Committee is available.

By julie collins on Categories: Genealogy

Career Gateway: Job Seekers Guide offered by JVS Chicago

Job hunters will no doubt benefit from taking a good look at The Career Gateway: Job Seekers Guide, produced by JVS Chicago.  Jewish Vocational Service crafted an easily searchable online tool which directs job seekers to accomplish steps they need in their search.  Excercises are simple to follow, but essential in identifying contacts, giving realistic advice and encouragement to network with confidence.  There are helpful guides to develop writing and computer skills, prepare for phone and in-person interviews, personal budgeting, and sample scripts to start conversations with potential hiring managers.

While The Career Gateway is an excellent job site, it by no means takes the place for the personal service and consultation offered by JVS.  They have convenient locations and professional career guidance staff to help job hunters from all levels.  Their main office is at 216 West Jackson Blvd., Suite 700, Chicago, IL 60606. Please call or email for an appointment: jvschgo@jvschicago.org or (312) 673-3400.

By julie collins on Categories: Business, Employment, Jobs

Be the Next New Business Success Story – Join us at Canta Napoli on 1/24/12

The Village of Mount Prospect is seeking new businesses – with a focus on retail and restaurants. The Village is teaming up with the Mount Prospect Chamber of Commerce, Small Business Development Center, Mount Prospect Downtown Merchants Association and the Mount Prospect Public Library to help new businesses get established in Mount Prospect by providing a package of innovative economic development resources. Tools to help ensure business success in Mount Prospect – education, mentoring, marketing opportunities and contact with successful existing business owners – will be available through this program.

The groups are holding an information session for potential new business owners – an “Entrepreneur’s Café” – on Tuesday, January 24, at 9 a.m., at Canta Napoli Restaurant, 90 E. Busse Ave., Mount Prospect.

At this kickoff session Bonnie Richter, Director of Illinois Small Business Development at Harper College, will review the steps for launching a new business, explain where to look for funding sources, provide business plan templates, and address common issues faced by owners looking to start a new venture. The Village will then introduce its initiative to help ensure your success here in Mount Prospect. With the assistance of the Mount Prospect Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Merchants Association, and the Library, the Village has put together a package of innovative economic development resources that include education, mentoring, and marketing opportunities. There are also financial incentives for businesses interested in a downtown location.

For more information or to RSVP for the January 24 event, contact Clare O’Shea at 847/818-5312 or coshea@mountprospect.org.

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By julie collins on Categories: Business

Planning a Local Trip?

Trying to get from point A to point B around the city?  Yes, we can surely help you find the best way, and so can the RTA Trip Planner.

The RTA gets you where you’re going with three transit operators: the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) bus and rail system, Metra commuter rail (Metra map), and Pace suburban bus service.
Going a bit farther? Take a look at Amtrak to book train tickets or Greyhound.

By julie collins on Categories: Travel

Making the Most of LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the social media tool most thought of when it comes to professional networking.  But beyond creating an account, there are many users who underutilize its features.  To help direct you to the online training that will boost your profile and help you actively reach business contacts, please take a look at their Learning Center.  There you can easily find user guides and suggested steps for using LinkedIn as a job seeker. You may also register for one of their weekly and free webinar training sessions by clicking on Training Resources.

Another helpful site to create a resume using LinkedIn is from Inbound Marketing.

The Library continues to order current titles on different applications of social media and choosing which best serves you in your job search.

By julie collins on Categories: Employment, Jobs, Technology

Who Are My Cousins?

The following article was recently noted in Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter. 

A term often found in genealogy is “removed,” specifically when referring to family relationships. Indeed, almost everyone has heard of a “second cousin once removed,” but many people cannot explain that relationship. Of course, a person might be more than once removed, as in third cousin, four times removed.

In short, the definition of cousins is two people who share a common ancestor. Here are a few definitions of cousin relationships:

First Cousin: Your first cousins are the people in your family who have at least one of the same grandparents as you. In other words, they are the children of your aunts and uncles.

Second Cousin: Your second cousins are the people in your family who share the same great-grandparent with you.

Third, Fourth, and Fifth Cousins: Your third cousins share at least one great-great-grandparent, fourth cousins share a great-great-great-grandparent, and so on.

Removed: When the word “removed” is used to describe a relationship, it indicates that the two people are from different generations. “Once removed” indicates a difference of one generation, “twice removed” indicates a difference of two generations, and so forth.

For example, the child of your first cousin is your first cousin, once removed. That is, your cousin’s child would be “almost” your first cousin, except that he or she is one generation removed from that relationship. Likewise, the grandchild of your first cousin is your first cousin, twice removed (two generations removed from being a first cousin).

Many people confuse the term “first cousin, once removed” with “second cousin.” The two are not the same.

Keep in mind that you and a relative only need to share one grandparent to be first cousins, or share one great-grandparent to be second cousins, etc. If the ancestor in question had more than one spouse and the two of you are descended from different spouses, you are full cousins. There is no such thing as a “half cousin” although you will hear people use that term occasionally.

The following consanguinity chart may help to explain the relationships:

Cousins Table: A cousin is someone who shares a common ancestor with you. Use this chart to determine your relationship. 

 

Find your     ancestor here →


   Find your cousin’s ancestor here ↓

Grand-
    parents
G-
    Grand-
    parents
GG-
    Grand-
    parents
GGG-
    Grand-
    parents
GGGG-
    Grand-
    parents
Grand-
    parents
1st cousins 1st cousins
    1x removed
1st cousins
    2x removed
1st cousins
    3x removed
1st cousins
    4x removed
G-
    Grand-
    parents
1st cousins
    1x removed
2nd cousins 2nd cousins
    1x removed
2nd cousins
    2x removed
2nd cousins
    3x removed
GG-
    Grand-
    parents
1st cousins
    2x removed
2nd cousins
    1x removed
3rd cousins 3rd cousins
    1x removed
3rd cousins
    2x removed
GGG-
    Grand-
    parents
1st cousins
    3x removed
2nd cousins
    2x removed
3rd cousins
    1x removed
4th cousins 4th cousins
    1x removed
GGGG-
    Grand-
    parents
1st cousins
    4x removed
2nd cousins
    3x removed
3rd cousins
    2x removed
4th cousins
    1x removed
5th cousins

In the above chart, go across the top to find your ancestor: great-grandfather.
Next, go down the left column to find your cousin’s relationship to the same person: great-great-grandfather.

Now notice where the two intersect in the above chart: you and your new cousin are actually second cousins, once removed.

You may prefer to use an automated online tool to determine relationships. Ancestor Search has one that we found simple to use. Take a look at http://www.searchforancestors.com/utility/cousincalculator.html

Here are a few other terms you may encounter when determining relationships:

HALF – Means you share only one parent. Example: half-brothers may have the same father but different mothers, etc.

STEP – Not blood kin, but a close legal relationship due to re-marriage of a parent, such as step-mother, step-brother, step-son, etc.

DOUBLE FIRST COUSINS – Are first cousins twice, once on your father’s side and once on your mother’s side, since your father’s sibling married your mother’s sibling.

IN-LAW – They are not really blood kin but are treated as such because they married blood kin.

Example: Your mother-in-law is not really your mother but is treated as such because you married her daughter/son. In law, you and your spouse are considered “one”. Also your brother-in-law is your brother because your parents are also his parents, in “law” (mother-in-law, father-in-law, etc.).

KITH and KIN – “Kith” are friends and acquaintances whereas “Kin” are blood relatives or someone treated as such, in law.

By the way, it is estimated that everyone has approximately 4 trillion 20th cousins! In other words, everyone is related to nearly everyone else.

By julie collins on Categories: Genealogy

Using Census Data to Help Your Business

Participate in this online class right from your desk over your lunch hour.

Learn the basics about the layout of the new American Factfinder Census Data Tool. This webinar will focus on where to find demographic and economic data about geographies of your choosing, which will help make informed decisions when it comes to starting or managing a small business.

This program is free and open to all. Registration is required. Register online or by telephone at 224-543-1485. Email address required. After registering you will receive an email containing information about joining the webinar approximately one week prior to the event.

Presented by the US Census Bureau for the Vernon Area Public Library.

By julie collins on Categories: Business, Census