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Articles Archive for June 2008

Local Media »

[26 Jun 2008 | No Comment | ]

Court Affirms Right to Own Guns
The Supreme Court struck down a District of Columbia handgun ban and affirmed Americans’ rights to own firearms in the court’s first definitive pronouncement on gun rights in U.S. history

Local Media »

[26 Jun 2008 | 4 Comments | ]

On Tuesday Cardenas and aldermen Manny Flores and Toni Preckwinkle were flanked by activists from the Illinois Coalition for Immigration and Refugee Rights when they announced a City Council resolution condemning what Flores called the “race-baiting” portrayal of immigrants by right-wing TV news personalities.
Like all resolutions, this one is nonbinding—it functions as an official statement of outrage but doesn’t actually do anything about the issue.
Fair enough—legislative bodies at every level of government pass resolutions mostly so they can tell their backers they did. And in this case, no one in …

Local Media »

[26 Jun 2008 | No Comment | ]

Tribune Tower, the neo-Gothic landmark that adorns Michigan Avenue near the Chicago River, is on the market.
Tribune Co. Chairman and Chief Executive Sam Zell said Wednesday that he is exploring options for maximizing the value of the headquarters building, which houses the Chicago Tribune, as well as the Los Angeles Times’ home, Times Mirror Square.
Zell, who engineered the $8.2 billion deal that took media giant Tribune Co. private in December, would use proceeds from a transaction to pay down debt—if the price is right. He is asking a number of …

Local Media »

[26 Jun 2008 | One Comment | ]

In July 2004, state pension board member Allison S. Davis voted to turn over as much as $100 million in state workers’ retirement cash to an investment management firm.
Months after it won the lucrative deal at Davis’ urging, that investment firm hired Davis.
RREEF America REIT II Inc. agreed to pay the Chicago developer $30,000 a year to take a part-time post on its board of directors, even as Davis continued to serve on the Illinois State Board of Investment.

Local Media »

[25 Jun 2008 | No Comment | ]

The most alarming thing about Mr. Obama’s proposal is that the $250,000 threshold, above which the payroll tax would be applied, refers to household income, not individual income. So it’s quite deceptive when he claims that the $250,000 threshold will “ensure that lifting the payroll tax cap does not ensnare any middle class Americans.”
Suppose your household consists of you and your spouse, each earning wages of $150,000 per year. Currently, you are each subject to the payroll tax up to $102,000 of wages, so together you are taxed on $204,000. …

Local Media »

[25 Jun 2008 | 2 Comments | ]

The Illinois attorney general’s office, which began an investigation into the business practices of Countrywide Financial Corp. last fall, says it has found enough evidence of wrongdoing that it plans to file a civil suit against the mortgage lender and its chief executive, Angelo Mozilo.
The suit is expected to be filed Wednesday.
In a draft of the complaint, Illinois alleges that the company engaged in “unfair and deceptive practices” in the sale of mortgage loans. The 78-page document says the company loosened its underwriting standards, structured loans with “risky features” and …

From Blogs »

[25 Jun 2008 | No Comment | ]

Two of the world’s leading architects will design temporary pavilions in Millennium Park as focal points for the regional celebration of the 100th anniversary of Daniel Burnham’s influential Plan of Chicago next year.
London-based Zaha Hadid and Ben van Berkel of UNStudio in Amsterdam will create innovative structures that symbolize Chicago’s commitment to cutting-edge design and bold thinking about the future. The temporary pavilions will be centerpieces for the Burnham Plan Centennial, which includes hundreds of educational programs, arts events and open-space projects to recognize the 1909 Plan’s strong influence and …

From Blogs »

[25 Jun 2008 | No Comment | ]

Two of the world’s leading architects will design temporary pavilions in Millennium Park as focal points for the regional celebration of the 100th anniversary of Daniel Burnham’s influential Plan of Chicago next year.
London-based Zaha Hadid and Ben van Berkel of UNStudio in Amsterdam will create innovative structures that symbolize Chicago’s commitment to cutting-edge design and bold thinking about the future. The temporary pavilions will be centerpieces for the Burnham Plan Centennial, which includes hundreds of educational programs, arts events and open-space projects to recognize the 1909 Plan’s strong influence and …

Local Media »

[25 Jun 2008 | No Comment | ]

In a recent comment on a blog post, Paul N. Keller, one of my favorite TIF attorneys, suggested that I haven’t read the state’s TIF act.
Oh my god, that is just, like, so not true. The state’s TIF act is one of my favorite reads. I keep a copy of it by my bed and read a passage every night before I go to sleep. It’s terse, transparent, and immediately comprehensible to anyone with even a rudimentary understanding of English.

Our Columns »

[24 Jun 2008 | No Comment | ]

One of our recurring themes is that US monetary policy has been too loose for at least the last five years and that the rapid “emergency” interest rate cuts from September 2007 through April 2008 – implemented to address credit market turmoil – were a mistake.
Gold prices hovered around $665/ounce in the six months through late August 2007. By mid-March, gold had risen roughly 50% to above $1000/oz. and still stands at about $900/oz. today. In addition, oil, which had been at about $75/barrel last August, rose 85% …