Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Vacation Time

85 and sunny
Out of here for a week. I will be checking in from time to time. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

RJ is fed up and is not going to take it anymore.

The mother's son.
RJ Vanecko is so pipeing mad he is thinking about leaving his hideout in Santa Barbra and coming back to Chicago to set the record straight.
Tired of sitting on “the sidelines,” a nephew of former Mayor Richard M. Daley is fighting a mother’s request for a special prosecutor to reinvestigate the death of David Koschman, who died after a punch police say the nephew threw.
Lawyers for Richard J. “R.J.” Vanecko filed papers Monday asking to intervene in the case because Nanci Koschman’s lawyers suggested in a court filing last week that Vanecko may have confessed to striking the Mount Prospect man during a drunken confrontation in the Rush Street area on April 25, 2004.
Minutes after Koschman’s four friends were unable to identify Vanecko in a lineup, the friends say an unidentified detective told them they knew who had punched Koschman, according to sworn statements they gave to the Chicago inspector general’s office. One witness recalled being told that man was “bawling his eyes out. ... He didn’t mean for one punch to lead to all this.”
Vanecko’s attorneys say he never confessed and didn’t talk to the police or a prosecutor who was present at the lineup on May 20, 2004.
“The allegation of ‘a confession’ is a complete and utter fabrication wholly devoid of credibility or grounding in reality,” Vanecko’s attorneys, Terence P. Gillespie and Marc W. Martin, wrote in three separate court filings.
“I can unequivocally state that Mr. Vanecko was not in a room ‘bawling his eyes out,’ did not ‘apologize to detectives,’ did not ‘confess’ or make any substantive statements, admissions or implied admissions to law enforcement personnel,” Gillespie said in an affidavit.
Attorney Locke Bowman, who is representing Nanci Koschman, responded, saying “We stand by the accuracy of every statement in our memorandum.”
Cook County Judge Michael P. Toomin is set to hear oral arguments at 2 p.m. Thursday in Nanci Koschman’s request that a special prosecutor be appointed to reinvestigate the case and determine whether the police or the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office are guilty of “official misconduct” for failing to charge Vanecko, who ran away after throwing the punch that led to Koschman’s death 11 days later.
State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez is fighting the Koschman request, arguing that there’s no reason her office cannot continue an ongoing reinvestigation along with the city’s inspector general.
Vanecko’s attorneys are asking the judge to allow them to fight the Koschman petition.
“While Mr. Vanecko has remained on the sidelines, that stance must change,” they wrote. “A court order appointing a special prosecutor . . . would render Mr. Vanecko the subject of an extraordinary grand jury investigation conducted by private counsel.
“The petition for appointment of a special prosecutor should be denied.”
Koschman’s death was listed as an unsolved homicide until early last year, when a Chicago Sun-Times inquiry prompted the police to take another look at the case. They closed the case on March 1, 2011, determining that Vanecko punched Koschman but did so in self-defense without seeking criminal charges from Alvarez.
Vanecko’s attorneys in court papers accused the Sun-Times of being on a “witch hunt” and blasted the newspaper for last Thursday’s front-page headline: Did R.J. Confess?
“If that newspaper bothered to pick up the phone and call me . . . I would have told them they’re nuts. Nothing like that ever came close to happening,” Gillespie told WGN-TV Channel 9.
The Sun-Times called Gillespie’s office and emailed him and his partner last Wednesday. There was no answer at the law office, and the lawyers didn’t respond to the email. They did not respond to the Sun-Times’ requests on Monday either.

Imagine your son goes out for an evening on Rush street and comes back dead. What would you do? What would you do? Be honest.

Monday, March 26, 2012

His job is to lead, not react.

Has failed to lead.
One of the most sensible comments ever posted here.
Murph, what is more relevant to our integrated community is Obama stepping into the Trayvon Martin tragedy. What happened was horrible and tragic but for the President to inject himself and race into an already volatile situation, only serves to fan the flames of racial hostilities in this country and this community. Didn't our President learn anything about inappropriately injecting himself into these types of situations.In his failed "Beer Summit" nothing was resolved between the Black community and the law enforcement community? The President's actions appear to be a stupid campaign ploy or a dangerous and thoughtless knee jerk reaction to the incredibly stupid and deadly act of one cop wannabe. The President should allow the local and, if need be, federal criminal and civil law enforcement and court systems do their duties. Now we have the New Black Panther Party calling for race war, disguised as a bounty on this goof. Imagine if the KKK called for an illegal bounty on a Black offender of a white victim. The President should immediately denounce this hate group. We have come to far as a country and a community to let the insane actions of one disturbed individual ruin this progress. The President shouldn't serve to set back that progress. Many of our community's sons, students, players, neighbors, classmates, teammates and friends also look like Trayvon Martin.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Got Milk?

Drank milk from the Chicago Board of Education, when she was a kid.
“Do the math,” says Tim Cawley, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s chief administrative officer for Chicago’s schools. “A penny is $700,000.”
The beneficiary of those extra pennies is a joint venture of former competitors that, rather than continue to compete with each other, banded together under the name C&M JV1 Co. C&M has held the Chicago school milk contract for nine years, delivering milk to more than 600 schools.
Its revenues keep rising as federally funded school-meal programs have added breakfast and snacks. Last year, it was paid $16.2 million. This year, it’s to be paid as much as $20 million.
The joint venture has no employees, no equipment and no trucks. It subcontracts all of the work to other businesses — including three that have been involved in milk-contracting scandals in Chicago’s schools over the past two decades, a Chicago Sun-Times and Better Government Association investigation has found.
The joint venture is controlled by McMahon Food Corp., a Little Village company owned by members of the McMahon family. Longtime friends of Chicago Ald. Edward M. Burke (14th), the McMahons are among the handful of families that have held a stranglehold on Chicago school milk contracts for two generations now.
The milk business has been very good to the McMahons. But it’s not their only government business. They also have electrical and plumbing companies that do business with governments in Chicago and the suburbs. Altogether, since 2005, the McMahon family companies — McMahon Food Corp., Windy City Electric Co. and Plumbing Systems Inc. — have been paid more than $162 million by the Board of Education, the city of Chicago, Cook County and other governments.
McMahon Food and Windy City operate out of a warehouse at 2110 S. Marshall in Little Village owned by Frank J. McMahon, 64, of Chicago.
In all, McMahon, his younger siblings, other family members, their companies and business associates have given more than $1 million in campaign contributions to dozens of politicians since 1995. Burke — the powerful chairman of the City Council Finance Committee — has gotten the most: $164,100.
One of McMahon’s brothers, Anthony P. McMahon, 59, of Park Ridge, is a precinct captain in Burke’s ward organization. Anthony McMahon’s wife and sister-in-law own Windy City Electric, which is fighting an effort by City Hall’s inspector general to ban the company from getting city work, citing allegations of past fraud involving city contracts set aside for women-owned businesses.
Burke’s law firm has won property-tax cuts for McMahon’s warehouse.
Hired Chico’s firm
A former member of Burke’s City Council staff, attorney Gery Chico, heads a law firm that helped the McMahons and their partners strike their last two milk deals with the Chicago Public Schools — in 2008 and 2009.
Chico was the president of the Board of Education under Mayor Richard M. Daley from 1995 to 2001. In 1999, McMahon Food was involved in a minority-contracting scandal at CPS, refused to comply with subpoenas from the school system but continued to provide the schools with milk and never was disciplined.
Chico’s law firm represents the C&M joint venture between McMahon Food and C & C Dairy Inc., of Markham — both of which have been certified by government agencies as businesses that are owned and operated by women, a designation that allows them to get work set aside for women-owned firms.
The joint venture buys milk from Dean Foods and Bareman’s Dairy Inc., of Holland, Mich., and it hires four companies to deliver it:
McMahon Food, founded by McMahon’s father, now owned by McMahon and his five children — two of whom are assistant Cook County state’s attorneys. Daughter Bridget McMahon Healy, 29, has been company president since 2007, when she replaced her then-90-year-old grandmother, Catherine McMahon.
Frank McMahon’s lawyers say his mother or daughter has run the company for years. But, in a 1999 deposition, Frank McMahon testified that, even though his mother was the president of McMahon Food, he actually oversaw its day-to-day operations.
More recently, several politicians have identified Frank McMahon as “president” of McMahon Food in identifying him on campaign contribution records. Also, McMahon and his daughter both use his personal email address as a contact on government contracts.
“They have never seen a need to change the email address that they have used since the company started using email” in the early 1990s, McMahon’s lawyers say.
McMahon’s daughter is also secretary of the joint venture — a post she took in 2004, the year she graduated with a political science degree from DePaul University.
C & C Dairy, owned by Christine Stajszczak, of Palos Park. She’s also president of the joint venture. In 1990, her husband, Michael Stajszczak — then the company’s general manager — was indicted by a federal grand jury in a bid-rigging scheme involving CPS milk contracts. His case ended with a hung jury. The company was found not guilty.
Krystal Dairy, owned by Mary Hrascinski, of Homewood. Her husband, Bruce Hrascinski, was its president when, records show, the U.S. attorney’s office granted him immunity from prosecution in the 1990 bid-rigging investigation. Krystal is also certified as a woman-owned business.
Bob’s Dairy, of Franklin Park, owned by Robert Leonard, who’s been delivering milk to schools on Chicago’s North Side and Northwest Side since 1970, first as a contractor to the school system, now as a subcontractor to the McMahons.
Family feud
Frank McMahon’s first cousin, Daniel T. Frawley, filed a “whistleblower” lawsuit in federal court last July accusing McMahon Food, C & C and Krystal of actually being run by men, even though the companies are certified as being women-owned and -operated. As a result, Frawley says McMahon Food was able to obtain multimillion-dollar deals with Cook County government, including supplying dairy goods to the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center.
McMahon Food also has a $2.5 million-a-year subcontracting deal to supply milk to the Cook County Jail.
Frawley, 60, of Westchester, is awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty last year to a $4.4 million bank fraud.
Frank McMahon’s attorneys say Frawley’s claims are “not true” and amount to “an attempt to once again defraud someone out of something.”
Both McMahon Food and Windy City Electric were part of the CPS inspector general’s investigation of milk contracts in 1999. The companies refused to comply with that office’s subpoenas, prompting a lawsuit by the Board of Education, then headed by Chico. A judge ordered the McMahon companies to comply with the subpoenas. The McMahons appealed but then dropped the case.
The inspector general wanted to bar McMahon Food from future CPS business, but the school system’s law department refused.
Also coming under scrutiny in the CPS investigation was Ronald J. Blackstone, an African-American businessman who owned RJB Properties Inc. RJB had school milk contracts worth more than $18 million between 1993 and 2000 — “but instead acted only as a broker, arranging for other companies to produce and deliver milk to CPS,” including McMahon Food, according to court records.
“We didn’t have any trucks. We were doing some marketing, what I call government relations, those kinds of things,” Blacksone, now 74, recalled in a recent interview. “We didn’t get much money for it.”
During the time he had the school milk contracts, Blacksone — who was never charged nor faced any disciplinary action — was living with Blondean Davis, 62, then a high-ranking CPS administrator.
Chico — whose firm would go on to represent the McMahon-led joint venture after he left the school board — says he has “no recollection of the specific allegations” against Blackstone and that “no recommended actions” came of the inspector general’s probe.
When Blackstone bid on two janitorial contracts with the school system in 2003, after Chico’s departure, the school board rejected his bids, citing the inspector general’s milk investigation.
RJB sued the schools in federal court in 2003 — and lost — but has resumed doing janitorial work for CPS. In the last two years, the company has been paid $17 million, records show.
The same year that Chicago’s schools refused to do business with RJB, the McMahons formed their joint venture with C & C Dairy.
McMahon’s lawyers say creating the joint venture that now delivers milk to Chicago schoolkids “was suggested, proposed and encouraged by CPS . . . . CPS explained that they thought they could get better pricing and service if they made one award to one vendor for the entire city.”
Yet, last month, CPS was getting charged more for milk than several suburban school systems, a Sun-Times-BGA sampling found.
Among the districts paying less was Oak Park Elementary District 97, which buys its milk directly from Bob’s Dairy, one of the McMahon-C & C subcontrators in Chicago. Oak Park was paying Bob’s Dairy 22.8 cents for a half-pint of skim milk, 23.2 cents for 1 percent milk and 24.2 cents for fat-free chocolate milk.
In Chicago, the milk that Bob’s Dairy delivered to schoolkids — as a subcontractor for the joint venture — cost more: 23.69 cents for a half-pint of skim milk, 23.83 cents for 1 percent and 24.54 for fat-free chocolate.
The Board of Education can renew the milk deal for the next two school year. But Cawley says he’ll review the contract “to make sure we’re geting a good price.
“If we are paying more on a comparable basis, we’re going to dig into that and figure it out,” he says. “We’re energized to look at this . . . and drive this cost down.”
Andrew Schroedter and Robert Herguth work for the Better Government Association

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Election Results

Romney and Hurley. Did your person win? Why or why not?  Do you still think there is something wrong with the 19th Ward Machine?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Are Daley and Rahm at war?

The Sun Times is reporting that Rahm is taking Daley's deals apart. I don't think that was part of the deal. Rahm was not invited to the Daley family party at Chicago Cut last Saturday. I wonder what else is going on.
Now that Mayor Rahm Emanuel has reworked the sweetheart deal that former Mayor Richard M. Daley gave Lollapalooza, his lawyers will be back in court Monday trying to undo another Daley deal that Emanuel says is shortchanging taxpayers.

Emanuel wants to undo the concession agreement that Daley gave the Park Grill restaurant in Millennium Park. The restaurant has paid less than Emanuel thinks it should — a total of $2.4 million — in rent since it opened in 2003. Park Grill gets garbage pickup and natural gas courtesy of taxpayers, too.

Emanuel’s leverage: Park Grill operators James Horan and Matthew A. O’Malley want to sell the remainder of the 20-year concession agreement to Levy Restaurants for $8.8 million — but they need permission from Emanuel’s Chicago Park District board.


Emanuel’s argument: O’Malley and Horan got permission from the park district — but not Daley and the City Council — to operate on a city easement in Millennium Park, which means the restaurant has no legal right to be there. “Those are the kinds of grants only the City Council can give, and they have to be in writing,” says Stephen R. Patton, the city’s top lawyer.

But the restaurant’s lawyers say Daley met in his office with Horan and O’Malley to discuss Park Grill plans. Daley also attended the restaurant’s grand opening in 2003 and later signed off on its liquor license.
Both sides are back Monday before Cook County Judge Moshe Jacobius, who’ll decide whether he wants to hear more evidence in the case, which he has called “a difficult conundrum.” Jacobius recently delivered a blow to the Park Grill, ruling that the city indeed has an easement on the park district land where the restaurant sits.
Park Grill’s attorneys say if Jacobius ultimately rules in favor of City Hall, the restaurant will sue the park district for granting a concession deal on land it didn’t control.

Under the deal with Daley’s park district, the restaurant doesn’t pay its base rent of $275,000 a year until its clout-heavy investors, including Daley’s friends and relatives, recoup their investment of $7 million to build and open the restaurant.
The park district has received $2.4 million from the Park Grill, less than 3 percent of the $83.4 million the restaurant grossed between its November 2003 opening and Dec. 31, 2011. Park Grill’s revenues have fallen the past three years, reaching their lowest point last year.
Emanuel sued Park Grill on Dec. 1, at the same time park district officials were renegotiating their contract with Lollapalooza, a deal that had been negotiated by Daley’s nephew Mark Vanecko. A new deal was announced Wednesday when the concert festival’s promoters agreed to increase their payments to the park district and start paying amusement and liquor taxes.
  Tim Novak and Chris Fusco

Sunday, March 18, 2012

5 dead, 24 wounded, all in one night?

Is this cutback in manpower working?
CHICAGO (STMW)
– A man is dead and 16 people were wounded throughout the city during apparently separate shootings Friday night and Saturday morning.
A 42-year-old man was fatally shot in the head while in a vehicle Saturday morning in the Marquette Park neighborhood on the South Side, police said. He was driving in the 3100 block of West 53rd Street about 12:45 a.m. when several males on the street started yelling gang slogans at his car and shot at him as he passed, police said.
The Cook County Medical Examiner’s office identified the man as Joel Sanroman, 42, of the 5200 block of South Mozart Street. He was pronounced dead at 1:02 a.m., according to the medical examiner’s office.
Two men were standing in the 7400 block of South Blackstone Avenue about 1:20 a.m. when an unidentified gunman stepped from an alley and fired shots, police said.
One of the men, 22, was shot in the chest and is at Stroger Hospital in good condition. The other man, 21, is at Jackson Park Hospital and Medical Center in good condition.
A 20-year-old man was standing outside in the 6400 block of South Normal Boulevard at 1:50 a.m. when he heard shots and felt pain, police said. He was taken by a friend to St. Bernard Hospital and Health Care Center in “stable” condition with a gunshot wound to the pelvis.
A 21-year-old man was shot in the abdomen in the 5100 block of Maplewood Avenue at 2 a.m., police said. A vehicle fleeing from the scene crashed in the 4400 block of South Washtenaw Avenue. According to Fire Media Affairs, four people were critically injured with two taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn and two others taken Stroger Hospital. However, police indicated Saturday morning that only three people were hurt in the wreck, all hospitalized in stable condition. A female driver was taken to Christ and two males were taken to Stroger Hospital, according to police, who said no one had been charged yet.
About 2:45 a.m., two women in the 5700 block of South Lowe Avenue in the Englewood neighborhood were shot in the legs, police said. The women, 30 and 33, were taken in good condition to Stroger Hospital. They were standing with a group of people when an unknown offender shot in their direction from an alley, entered a vehicle and fled the scene, police said.
A man was taken to Stroger Hospital in critical condition after being shot about 5 p.m. in the Chatham neighborhood on the South Side, police said. He was shot multiple times in the 7800 block of South Langley Avenue, police said.A male was shot in the back about 6:15 a.m. on the Southwest Side, police said. The male, age unknown, was reportedly in the 4100 block of South Rockwell Street in Brighton Park when the shooting happened. Police were still on the scene as of about 6:40 a.m., and no information was available about the person’s condition or hospital.
Friday’s shootings started about 5 p.m., when a 34-year-old man told police he was shot in the ankle while standing in front of a store in the 5200 block of South Damen Avenue, police said. He reportedly drove himself to Holy Cross Hospital.
About 5:30 p.m., a 17-year-old girl and 20-year-old woman were shot in the 7700 block of South Essex Avenue, police said. The girl was shot in the hand and the woman suffered a graze wound to the nose. Both were treated at South Shore Hospital, police said.
One person was taken into custody, but no charges have been filed as of Friday night, police said.
A 22-year-old man sitting on his front porch was shot in the chest about 9:28 p.m. in the 11800 block of South Sangamon Street, police said.
The victim was on the porch with his friend when they heard shots and he realized he was shot, police said. A relative drove the man to Roseland Community Hospital, where he was transferred to Stroger Hospital in “stable” condition, police said.
About 20 minutes later, a 19-year-old man was shot in the head in the 6300 block of North Oakley Avenue, police said. The gunman called the man over to a vehicle before shooting him, police said.
About 10:10 p.m., a 40-year-old woman driving south was wounded in the buttock when a bullet came the door of her vehicle in the 1400 block of South Pulaski Road, police said.
A 36-year-old man was driving east in the 2100 block of West Fletcher Street about 11:15 p.m. when shots were fired at his vehicle from a passing white pickup truck, police said, citing preliminary information.
He was taken in “stable” condition to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center with a gunshot wound to the face, police said.

2 days left

Who are you voting for and why?

Friday, March 16, 2012

19th Ward, What's wrong with the machine?


The 19th Ward Dem Party has taken a definite left hand turn. Are you happy with that? Do they still represent your interest? If not, what do you plan to do about it?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Telephonegate.

Sheriff Dart
The other 19th ward blog is carrying a story about how inmates at the CC jail are being charged as much as much as $15.00 to make a collect phone call to their families. This is a disgusting raping of the indigent and I believe it has all the makings of  class A scandal.


The only question is, who brought this telephone company into the jail?


Great reporting.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Back to the State Rep Race

Who do you like? Who do you not like? Why? No vulgarity please.

So what did you think?

Please write in and tell everyone what you thought of the parade. Should we do it again next year?

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The parade was a success!

It came off without any major hitch. The planners did a great job. Thank You

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Attention parade-goers. This is a family parade and don't you forget it.

We the residents of the 19th ward are happy the parade is back. Not wanting to ever lose it again, there have been some rules made which are going to be enforced.
  • No drinking in the public way.
  • No urination in the public way.
  • No fighting.
If you break these rules, you will be arrested and transported to either Belmont/Western or Jefferson Park for processing.  Each block will be patrolled by off duty CPD.

Local residents with parties are urged to control their guest.

Thank you for celebrating our heritage.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Conner Lowery funeral details

Corporal Conner Lowry is to arrive at Midway Airport at 8:00am Friday morning, where a short, private military service will be held for his family. The motorcade carrying Corporal Lowry’s body will travel from Midway south down Cicero Avenue to 103rd St - See below for travel route.

Students from Brother Rice HS and Mother McAuley HS will line Pulaski and 99th street holding American Flags in Conner’s honor. The motorcade will stop directly in front of Br. Rice, where an Honor Guard will play Taps, with the trumpet played by a Br. Rice student who is a close friend of Conner’s family.

UPDATE: Lowry’s body is to arrive at 8 a.m. Friday at Midway Airport.
A procession will follow, from Midway Airport
south on Cicero Avenue to 103rd Street,
east on 103rd Street to Pulaski Road, then
north past Brother Rice High School,
east on 99th Street past Mother McAuley High School,
south on Central Park Avenue past Queen of Martyrs School and then
east on 103rd Street toward St. John Fisher School and Church.

Students and staff at the schools will line the streets for Lowry’s procession home.
Community members are also invited to line the processiona route in a show of respect.
Organizers suggest people be present along the route with American flags by 8:45 a.m.

Cpl. Lowry will lie in state from 2 to 9 p.m. Friday at
St. John Fisher Church at 10234 S. Washtenaw Ave. in Chicago.

A funeral Mass will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday at the church.
Burial is at Holy Sepulcher Cemetery in Alsip.
**PLEASE FORWARD THIS TO EVERYONE WHO LIVES NEAR THE ROUTE**
Thanks to Detective Shaved for this posting.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

State Rep Race

Is it my imagination or is it boring? Nobody is talking about anything.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Does anyone understand what this is about?

The Mayor of Chicago
Does anyone out there know what this is about? The last time we had something like this, all of the aldermen voted yea and we got the parking meter contract. It seems that the Mayor wants to convey public assets to some kind of private trust. It just sounds questionable.

Detective Shaves says
There was a reason why this country was founded on open governmental policies... From open meeting acts to the FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT...But when sneaky corrupt politicians form these not-for-profit groups, EVERYTHING IS PRIVATE, NO INFORMATION HAS TO BE OR WILL BE RELEASED. This is unf------believable! Rahm is circumventing the laws in place to keep government open to the tax paying people.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Monday his proposal to create a $1.7 billion “Infrastructure Trust” is not a license to either lease city assets or cherry pick projects to finance behind a veil of secrecy.
Because the trust would be set up as a 501 C-3, the tax designation for not-for-profit organizations, concerns have been raised about how transparent the selection process will be.
The Freedom of Information Act does not apply to non-profits. Neither does the Open Meetings Act or purchasing laws that require most construction contracts to be awarded to the low-bidder.
Others are concerned that the potential for a $1 billion investment from Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets, Inc, the Spanish-Australian consortium that paid $1.83 billion to lease the Chicago Skyway for 99 years, raises the possibility of selling off even more city assets.
That’s been a sore thumb ever since the 75-year, $1.15 billion deal that privatized Chicago’s 36,000 parking meters and set the stage for steep rate hikes and a disastrous transition to private control.
Emanuel campaigned on a promise not to revive the $2.5 billion privatization of Midway Airport that collapsed for lack of financing.
On Monday, the mayor tried to put those privatization concerns to rest before what he hopes will be a City Council vote on the issue next week.
“Nothing we’re doing changes running a transparent process. Second, the type of investments we’re gonna make are key for the city’s economic future and its competitiveness. Third, I’m gonna make sure this is just a [financing] vehicle,” the mayor said.
“Financing key infrastructure is usually either done by grants or by issuing more debt. This allows other people to invest and see a return while we continue to own all our investments. We will own all the schools that get new HVAC systems. We will own the Cultural Center in the future, which will get a new energy efficient policy that will pay back the investment. That’s all that’s changing.”
He added, “We’re getting a set of dollars that has been sitting on the sidelines now open to investing in our critical infrastructure. The ordinance ... will make sure there’s a transparent process in [choosing] the investments we’re gonna make. The first will be on energy efficiency throughout our public facilities. Anything we do has to meet the fundamental test that it is economically transformative for the city’s future.”
Last week, five financing giants including Macquarie made preliminary commitments to provide as much as $1.7 billion in “initial investment capacity.”
The Infrastructure Trust is expected to launch with $225 million in energy efficiency projects for government buildings, including the Cultural Center, the 911 center, the Woodlawn health clinic and Morgan Park High School.
In the case of “Retrofit Chicago,” it’s apparent how investors would get their return. By retrofitting 127 government buildings, the city expects to reduce its $170 million annual tab for energy consumption by more than $20 million while creating nearly 2,000 construction jobs.
But, many of the other projects the city is looking to finance will need to have their own financing streams.
That’s why the mayor specifically mentioned bus-rapid transit, where passengers could be asked to pay higher fares for faster rides.
On Monday, Emanuel shed no additional light on which projects he has in mind or what new user fees would need to be imposed to make certain investors get an attractive enough return.

Proves it again.

Dan Hynes
Smartest politician in the 19th Ward, proves it again.
CHICAGO (CBS)
— Former Illinois comptroller and gubernatorial candidate Dan Hynes is among the new appointees to the board of McPier, the joint City of Chicago and State of Illinois agency that oversees McCormick Place.
In a joint city-state news release Monday morning, officials announced the eight new appointees to the board, officially named the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel appointed four new board members, of whom Hynes was one. Gov. Pat Quinn appointed four more.
Hynes is now serving as senior vice president of Ariel Investments. He served three terms as state comptroller from 1999 through 2011, and ran an acrimonious campaign against Quinn in the Democratic gubernatorial primary in 2010.
Most notoriously in January 2010, Hynes’ campaign ran an attack ad showing archival footage of the late Mayor Harold Washington, speaking in 1987 about firing Quinn as city revenue director. The clip shows Washington calling Quinn “a totally and completely undisciplined individual.”
Critics were quick to point out that Dan Hynes’ own father, former Cook County Assessor Thomas Hynes, had been a harsh critic of Mayor Washington and had run against him in 1987 on the Chicago First Party ticket.

Monday, March 5, 2012

NEWS FLASH G-8 is cancelled.

They are moving it to Camp David and the city of Chicago will be saving $100 million.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

R.I.P. Conner Lowry USMC

Conner Lowry USMC
This story is about "one of the kids from the park"
The last time Grace Lavin saw her brother, Marine Cpl. Conner Lowry, it was via an Internet video call in January. From somewhere in Afghanistan, he teared up as they talked, looking very much like he missed home, she said.
Thursday afternoon, Lavin 17, came home from school to find the front door open and three Marines in the kitchen. She immediately knew why they were there.
Lowry, 24, died Thursday while conducting combat operations in Afghanistan's Helmand province, according to a Department of Defense release that offered no further details.
"It wasn't supposed to be my brother," Lavin said Friday from her family's home in Chicago's West Beverly neighborhood. "My brother wasn't supposed to die. He was supposed to come home. I thought it was always a myth that people died when they went to Afghanistan. I didn't think myths were supposed to come true. But this one did."
On Friday, yellow ribbons adorned trees in the 10000 block of South Washtenaw Avenue. American flags fluttered outside neighboring homes. A single black ribbon was hanging from the top of the flagpole at the family's home, where a Marine Corps flag also flew.
Inside, family and friends gathered to talk about the popular boy who his mother, Modie Lavin, said was well-known in the neighborhood.
"He was awesome, and a great Marine," his mother said. "He loved his friends. He had 100 best friends."
Lowry had been in Afghanistan since October and was scheduled to return to the United States around June, two months before his enlistment was up, said his brother, Brian Lavin, 33.
Like many Chicagoans his age, Lowry grew up idolizing Michael Jordan, his family said. His brother said Lowry was an "absolute sports fanatic" who owned an extensive collection of sports jerseys and loved Notre Dame.
His 6-foot-5 inch frame served him well as a football player at Brother Rice High School on the South Side. Principal Jim Antos described Lowry as a "spirited lad" with a lively sense of humor.
Lowry and Antos forged a friendly relationship during a school retreat. Later, Lowry would ask Antos about his experiences in the military during the Vietnam War.
Lowry is the second member of the Brother Rice Class of 2006 to die in Afghanistan, Antos said. Jared Stanker, 22, of Evergreen Park, died of injuries sustained from a roadside bomb in 2009.
"This kind of stuff is never easy," Antos said.
Lowry's family said they were initially surprised when he decided to leave college to enlist in the Marines in 2008. The family doesn't have a history of military service, but Grace Lavin said she thinks she understands why he made the choice.
"I think he wanted to something for himself and his country," she said. "He was meant to serve others."
The family was apprehensive, but tried to remain positive even as Lowry was deployed to Afghanistan Oct. 31.
"He was such a street-smart kid," his brother Charley Lavin, 34, said Friday. "I thought, he's sharper than the average Marine. He wouldn't put himself out there too much."
The week before Lowry shipped out, family members traveled to Camp Pendleton in California to visit. He told them he didn't want them to see him right before he left because it would be too hard for everyone, his sister said.
Charley Lavin lives near the base, and as the family got into cars to go to his house, Lowry insisted that Grace ride with him.
"He said, 'Grace, I love you,' with the most meaning I've ever heard," she recalled. "Almost in a way like, I need you to know this."
On Friday evening, family members were flying to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, where fallen soldiers and Marines are brought home.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

An important message from the alderman.

His Highness, Matthew O'Shea, Duke of Beverly, Knight of  Greenwood, Earl of Morgan, Alderman of the 19th ward and seeker of truth.

COMMUNITY MEETING

The South Side Irish Parade will be held on Sunday, March 11, 2012 at 11:00 am. This Sunday, March 4, 2012, there will be a meeting at the Beverly Arts Center at 6:30 pm for the immediate neighbors. At this meeting, members of the South Side Irish Parade Committee and the Chicago Police Department will outline plans for crowd control and public safety. This is the appropriate forum for residents to address any questions or concerns they may have about parking, public safety, and the zero tolerance policy for open alcohol.


There have been a number of changes to parade plans this year that will impact you as residents living near the parade route. Most significantly, in an effort to maintain public safety, there will be "No Parking" on Artesian Ave between 103rd St. and 111th St., and on Claremont Ave between 103rd St. & 107th St., from 6am-3pm. Any cars parked on the street during that time will be ticketed and towed to the City of Chicago Auto Pound Lot at 103rd & Doty.


If you have questions, but are unable to attend this meeting, please contact the South Side Irish Parade Committee at 773-916-7747 or info@southsideirishparade.org. Thank you very much for your patience and cooperation during this year's parade.
 

Friday, March 2, 2012

Whats the upside here?

And we are bringing G-8 to Chicago why?Chicago is looking to purchase “blast resistant” trash containers to “eliminate or significantly reduce fatalities, injuries and structural failures” in the event of “terrorist bombs.”
New York City routinely removes its downtown garbage cans during the New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square and other major events that have the potential to become terrorist targets.
But, it looks like Chicago has other plans as it prepares to play host to President Barack Obama and other world leaders during the NATO and G-8 Summits May 19 to 21 at McCormick Place.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration has issued a so-called “request for quotations” from companies interested in providing roughly 56 “blast resistant trash receptacles that would protect people, facilities and assets from various explosion effects.”
At the request of the city’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications, the document specifically states, “Bomb mitigation requirements are increasing to protect people, facilities and assets from various explosion aftermath, including fireballs, energy overpressure and fragmentation all of which will likely result from terrorist bombs.”
The office’s executive director, Gary Schenkel, could not be reached for comment.
The solicitation states that the office requires the new trash receptacles to mitigate the threat of: “primary fragmentation from materials in contact with the charge; secondary fragments from near the charge and pieces of trash receptacles should it fail and blast overpressure” and fireballs.
Interested contractors were advised that “explosive tests shall be conducted” and that “pre- and post-detonation photos along with video footage” must be submitted to the city along with their bids.
“Receptacles must have the capacity to contain and mitigate six pounds of pure TNT placed inside the receptacle,” the document states.
Deputy mayoral press secretary Jennifer Hoyle said the new trash containers would be located in “high-risk areas.” But, she played down the purchase by saying, “This is a replacement contract. We already have these.”
In March, 2011, then-Mayor Richard M. Daley’s administration awarded a $2.5 million contract to Massachusetts-based Big Belly Solar to provide at least 400 solar powered trash compactors in the central business district where pedestrian traffic is heaviest and trash bins need frequent pickups.
More recently, the Emanuel administration has talked about selling the rights to advertise on those downtown trash compactors to generate the $25 million in revenues from “municipal marketing” and sponsorship deals built into the mayor’s 2012 budget.
Much of the anxiety associated with hosting the back-to-back summits has centered around the international onslaught of protesters, the cost of containing them and the damage that may be caused by those demonstrations.
But, the impending purchase of blast resistant trash containers underscores the fact that an act of terrorism during the summits is a far greater threat.
The Chicago Sun-Times reported last month that Chicago Police officers facing off against protesters during the summits would be equipped with new face shields that fit comfortably over gas masks and include an air-tight seal to prevent officers from being blinded by liquids thrown at them.
The $193,461 emergency contract with Colorado-based Super Seer Corp. for the purchase of 3,057 shields marked the first use of the power granted to Emanuel to purchase goods and services for the summits — without City Council approval or competitive bidding — provided those items cannot be purchased under existing contracts.
The newspaper also reported that the city was soliciting bids for “riot gear and training aids” for the 30 horses in the Police Department’s Mounted Unit expected to play a key role in controlling crowds during the summits.