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Articles Archive for October 2016

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[24 Oct 2016 | No Comment | ]

* SJ-R…
Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration is awarding one-time bonuses worth a total of between $3 million and $4 million to non-union workers whose bosses say are doing exceptional work.
About 1,100 merit-compensation employees are in line to each receive a $3,016 bonus under the plan. […]
Rauner’s office said that left a potential pool of about 2,000 […]

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[24 Oct 2016 | No Comment | ]

The Windy City often is all but invisible to the media movers and shakers of the world. Oh, they might spy it out the window from 37,000 feet while jetting from New York to the coast. They may even stop at O’Hare long enough to change planes once in a while. But our turn to star as one of the world’s great cities comes rarely enough.

This year’s success by the Cubs may be changing that.

To be blunt: Let’s not blow it, folks.

Like a crucial catch disrupted by a fan last time the Cubs had lights in their eyes, we’re more than capable of making the wrong kind of news here.

Like a governor headed to prison after bragging that a Senate seat he had to sell—er, fill—was friggin’ “golden.”

More Cubs coverage:
Everyone wants to capitalize on pennant-winning Cubs
What CEOs could learn from Joe Maddon
Check out photos of Saturday’s historic win

Or losing a potentially very valuable museum that, whether you like “Star Wars” or not, could have given Chicago another draw in building a tourism business that’s crucial to workers without college degrees.

Or, the worst: the carnage in our streets. The impression that gangbangers can run around and shoot someone anytime they want, and no one can stop them. The image of racist cops shooting first and figuring out their story later. Efforts are underway to improve our collective performance on both, but that’s not the city civilized people want to live in, nor the message to send to the rest of the world.

Fortunately, there are other messages out there, and the world’s attention span is short.

The president of the United States, the most powerful person in the world, is from Chicago. Oh, he surely won’t be coming back. But he was bred and came of age here. And he comes back often enough that I can’t tell you what a thrill it is to look out the window of my cubicle overlooking Millennium Park and see the president’s helicopter fleet choppering past on the way to landing at Soldier Field.

Now, almost certainly, the next POTUS will be locally born and bred. That means, at a minimum, the city preserves a friendly ear in the places that count.

At the same time, Dick Wolf’s Chicago-based TV empire has the city in prime time three times a week, soon to be four and potentially five. Though the plots are up and down, they mostly involve good (if flawed) people trying to do their best in a sometimes hostile world.

You could say similar things about the city itself.

Enter the Cubs. Lovable losers no more. Stars in a way that (sorry, Rocky Wirtz) a hockey team never can be. Recipients of a national following that the White Sox can only envy. Heirs of Michael Jordan’s Bulls. (Go overseas, say “Chicago” and, if they don’t make like a guy with a Tommy gun, they’ll talk about the Bulls.) It’s almost enough to forget the broken Bears.

The kiddie crew at Wrigley clearly loves what they do. They’re clearly good at what they do. The city clearly loves them back. And I’m told that the number of shootings over the weekend was even down.

That, ultimately, is the point. While the Cubs send a message to the world—Chicago, despite its flaws, is a winning, fun place to be—it sends a message to the city, too:

Believe in yourself. Do what you need to do, act with passion and respect and, more times than not, things will work out.

On a lovely fall day, what more could the city ask for?

A World Series win?

Patience, folks. Patience. No riots afterward. No mayhem and drunken brawls.

Just enjoy.