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Articles Archive for July 2009

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[31 Jul 2009 | 8 Comments | ]

State Rep. Julie Hamos (D-Evanston, 18th Dist) officially announced her 10th Congressional District Democratic Primary candidacy yesterday afternoon at the Heller Nature Center, located on the North Shore, on the border between Highland Park and Lake Forest. It was an enthusiastic crowd of about eighty supporters there to cheer the 11th year State Rep’s entry into the race.
Stand by me
A number of elected officials whose constituents include at least some in the 10th CD were there to stand by Julie’s side, including State Senator Jeff Schoenberg (D-Evanston), State Rep. Elaine …

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[31 Jul 2009 | No Comment | ]

Lots of Charter School news this week, with contradictory policies coming down from both Washington DC and Springfield. Here is a primer:
The WSJ notes that the Federal Government will use $4.35 Billion in funding to “lure” the public school monopoly to provide better education, including charter schools, in a Race to the Top Program. The Journal also notes that Sec. Duncan, Pres. Obama and Sen. Durbin squashed a successful school voucher program in Washington DC.
Gov. Quinn signed a bill doubling the number of Charter Schools, making Illinois eligible …

Crime, Featured, Headline »

[31 Jul 2009 | No Comment | ]

Most people attribute the formation of Chicago’s Democratic machine to Mayor Richard J. Daley, who perfected the hierarchical spoils system during his 21-year reign. Real political junkies may trace its origins to Anton Cermak, who, as mayor from 1931 to 1933, created a formidable organization by divvying up jobs and contracts among different ethnic groups—or to “Bathhouse” John Coughlin and Michael “Hinky Dink” Kenna, two turn-of-the-century aldermen who consolidated their power by hooking up with the operators of gambling dens, saloons, and brothels. But historian Richard C. Lindberg argues that …

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[30 Jul 2009 | 7 Comments | ]

The President is having Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., generally
known as ‘Skip’, and the policeman who arrested him over for a beer
tomorrow at the White House in an appropriate attempt to reconcile the
unfortunate incident that occurred last week at Dr. Gate’s home.
I have only met Skip Gates once.  It was in either 1996 or 1997 at a
previous home he owned.  I was the guest of my friend Tom Ashbrook, at
the time a Neiman fellow.  Mary Schmich of the Chicago Tribune was also
there.  In fact Skip was hosting all the Neiman …

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[30 Jul 2009 | One Comment | ]

Next weekend, hundreds of Chicagoans will gather together under dark and cloudy skies and they will pay for the privilege of doing so.
No one need fear inclement weather, however, as the auditorium of the Music Box Theater, a vintage neighborhood theater on North Southport Avenue that first opened its doors to the public in 1929, features twinkling stars and projected clouds on its ceiling. Next week its main screen will be illuminated in glorious black and white as the “Noir City“ film festival comes to Chicago.
Film noir is a unique …

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[29 Jul 2009 | No Comment | ]

Reading Lynn Sweet’s column after Sunday Mass and a trip to Food for Less on Pulaski, where I saved hugely on groceries and home supplies in these our troubled times, I was struck that President Obama’s White House retainers are not unlike those who kept President Warren G. Harding ‘walking the floors at night.’ Lynn Sweet gave President Obama the exploding cigar question about legendary black scholar Henry L. Gates’ hissy-fit and cuffing by Cambridge Police Sergeant Jimmy Crowley.  Ouch.
What was, by Sweet, a very slow and delicate under-hand pitch …

Featured, Headline, Local Media »

[29 Jul 2009 | 6 Comments | ]

What do you think of an institution which, having sold out its soul, now laughs at an early editor-publisher who built it virtually from the ground up into an international force? An institution that exists today because of what he did? Not much, I’d dare say. To stand by one’s forebears takes character-but there is no character whatever…save one columnist…at The Trib because it is a hollow rag with pretense but no depth. The Sun-Times is a slimy whore but at least does not pretend to be anything else…and it …

Crime, Featured, Headline »

[29 Jul 2009 | 6 Comments | ]

At least 15 people were wounded in shootings on the South and West Sides Tuesday night and early this morning, according to police.
The attacks included the shooting of seven people in the East Garfield Park neighborhood, the shooting of two people in the Little Village neighborhood and the shooting of a carjacking victim on the South Side.
At least five people were wounded in other shootings, according to police.
In the East Garfield Park attack, a man ran out of a vacant lot on the south side of Walnut Street just before …

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[28 Jul 2009 | 2 Comments | ]

Apparently, public policy hath no fury like a CPA scorned.
In late 2007, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) imposed mark-to-market accounting on the US financial industry.  This required financial firms to value securities at market prices, and then account for any gain or loss as a change in regulatory capital.  Within a year, the US was in the middle of the worst pure financial panic in a hundred years.  Coincidence?  I think not.
On its surface, market-to-market or “fair value” accounting makes some superficial sense.  Markets usually provide transparent and verifiable …

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[28 Jul 2009 | 2 Comments | ]

So Chicago’s Sears Tower—the tallest actual building in North America—is now officially the Willis Tower, having fallen into the hands of a corporation named Willis. I’m pained by the name, not because I’m a sentimentalist, but because back in the ‘60s a man named Benjamin C. Willis was the hated personification of racism and segregation in Chicago (though adored by many).
When Marshall Fields became Macy’s I shrugged while others shed crocodile tears. It was abominable to name a ballpark U.S. Cellular, but we always called the old place Sox Park …