Thursday, May 31, 2012

Change and Reform

The Reformer?

Chicago firefighters “do a great job,” but they’re not “immune from the change and reform” needed to solve the city’s financial crisis and deliver “greater value” to taxpayers, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Wednesday.
Tom Ryan, president of Chicago Firefighters Union Local 2, has characterized the cost-cutting contract concessions the mayor is seeking from firefighters when their contract expires June 30 as “horrendous,” “insulting” and “ridiculous.”
Emanuel refused to respond in kind, nor would he discuss specifics of his proposal to target perks that, one union leader claimed, add $7,000 to the average firefighter’s annual paycheck.
He simply said that “change” and “reform” are required everywhere and that no interest group gets a pass.
“Our firefighters do a great job serving the city . . . They do hard work. We will make sure that they’re properly — not only compensated, but respected for the work that they do . . . [But] no part of the budget is immune from change and reform to get greater value for the taxpayers as well as greater service for the citizens of Chicago. . . . We’re not shying away from difficult decisions,” Emanuel said.
“You describe [the proposals] as cuts. [But] there are places that, while negotiations are private, that I would say are reforms.”
The mayor said he understands why Ryan has taken a hard line to protect the interests of his members.
But, he said, “I’ve got to make sure that the taxpayers and the residents are represented. That’s my role. . . . I respect what Tom has to do . . . But I’ve got to make sure that we’re making the changes that are necessary for the future and we’re not just doing things that we used to do because we used to do ’em . . . We’re not gonna do it just because we did it in the past.”
The Chicago Sun-Times reported Wednesday that Emanuel is seeking a laundry list of cost-cutting concessions from Chicago firefighters that take aim at such treasured union perks as holiday and duty availability pay; clothing allowance; pay grades; premium pay; the physical fitness incentive and the seven percent premium paid to cross-trained firefighter-paramedics.
Ald. Nick Sposato (36th), a former Chicago firefighter, sided with his union brethren.
“It looks almost like you’re looking at a 10 percent pay cut to me. That’s pretty drastic I think,” said Sposato, one of the big losers in the ward remap.
“The city starts here. The union starts there and, somewhere, they’ll come together and resolve all of this, I would hope, and cooler heads will prevail.”
The mayor’s plan does not include closing fire stations. But it would alter the minimum manning requirement that triggered the bitter 1980 firefighters strike.
The current contract requires that every piece of fire apparatus be staffed by at least five employees. Emanuel’s plan calls for all “double houses” that include both engines and trucks to be staffed by nine firefighters instead of 10.
Rookie probation would double—from nine months to 18 months.
And just eight months after denying plans to upgrade ambulance service in Chicago, Emanuel wants to covert the city’s 15 basic-life-support ambulances to advanced life support.
The plan would cost roughly $50,000 for every one of the 15 BLS ambulances. It would leave the city with 75 ambulances capable of providing the most sophisticated level of care.
Chicago currently has 60 ALS ambulances, each staffed by two paramedics qualified to administer intravenous medication. ALS ambulances are stocked with drugs and equipped with heart monitoring devices.
The 15 BLS ambulances are staffed by emergency medical technicians who undergo less training. BLS ambulances do not have medicine or monitoring equipment. They are only permitted to transport patients to hospitals.
Inspector General Joe Ferguson has estimated that Chicago taxpayers could save $57 million-a-year by reducing — from five employees to four — the minimum number of employees required to staff every piece of fire apparatus.
Ferguson has further estimated that the city could save $52 million-a-year by eliminating the duty availability pay that compensates both police officers and firefighters for being on 24-hour call. For firefighters, the perk costs the city nearly $14.3 million a year.
The inspector general pegged the annual uniform allowance at anywhere from $1,250 to $1,500 per firefighter, depending on the shift.
Chicago firefighters have been waiting for Emanuel to drop the other shoe ever since last fall.
That’s when the mayor made it clear he planned to take a hard line in contract talks — even though his own hero fire commissioner Robert Hoff was “deathly against” closing fire houses or reducing the minimum staffing requirement on fire apparatus.
Four months later, Hoff abruptly resigned, leaving firefighters without a champion.
The scary thing for firefighters is that the mayor’s proposed contract concessions come on top of his plan to solve the city’s pension crisis, which would take even more money out of firefighters’ paychecks.
Emanuel’s pension plan calls for a five percent increase in employee pension contributions; a 10-year freeze in cost-of-living increases for retirees; a five-year increase in the retirement age and a two-tiered pension system for new and old employees.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Ridge Run

5K starts tomorrow at Ridge Park, 9:30am. Come out and show your support for the runners.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

I think we found him.

The Real Deal

Check out Sneed's column from today. McCarthy is the real deal. He is what Chicago has been missing for decades. A leader. Someone who tries to do the right thing and is not afraid to get his hands dirty. History may show that Rahm Emanuel's greatest accomplishment was bringing Garry McCarthy to Chicago. 
Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy.
Like spontaneous combustion, the city’s focus was drawn to the man on a median strip at Cermak and Michigan Avenue on Sunday; a guy commanding from a frontline position-barking orders with a Bronx accent without helmet or shield or bulky body armor.
What they spotted was leadership, confidence and precision.
Where did he get such poise?
Consider this scene from the Pacific Theater of World War II, Guadalcanal: A young Marine is sitting against a tree — smoking a cigarette. Cleaning his gun. Sniper fire breaks out around him. The Marine finishes cleaning his gun and crushes out his cigarette on the ground before jumping in a foxhole.
When asked later what he was thinking, he responded: “Nobody makes Jim McCarthy do anything before he’s ready.”
Could this story about McCarthy’s father help explain why instead of being called on the carpet for what could have been a weekend of mayhem and violence, the younger McCarthy instead finds himself accepting the equivalent of a huge “Thank You” card for keeping his city safe?
Although McCarthy keeps deflecting praise, saying: “It was the troops ...The men. The women. The guys and gals who pulled this off”— it was McCarthy’s father who not only inspired him with leadership skills, but with an interest in military tactics.
“My father saw things that would curl your hair,” said McCarthy. “He was World War II U.S. Marine Corporal James J. McCarthy.”
“And for me it was a chain of command that taught me how to lead. It ended with my dad and began with the men who taught him; a bunch of heroic Marines.”
McCarthy’s father, a Marine in the Pacific campaign, “taught me what every Marine knows: ‘The troops eat first. The officers eat later. Your men always come first. That’s how it’s done in the Marine Corps.
“He taught me what his heroes — his battalion commander Chesty Puller and [Congressional Medal of Honor recipient] John Basilone — taught him: ‘Lead from the front. Your men always come first.’”
McCarthy’s father, also from the Bronx, died when he was 63.
“Luckily — and it was real luck, I was privileged to meet a few of the men my father fought with, and they told me stories about dad’s leadership on Iwo Jima, where John Basilone died.
“They said dad was John Wayne and Clint Eastwood all rolled into one.
“They told me what dad hadn’t. That he was a hero.
“They said they could still see him standing up in the middle of a firefight and lighting a cigarette and walking around and directing their fire.
“Or standing over a guy in the prone position who was firing too high-and pointing out Japanese positions.
“Dad learned his skills from the best: He was the next machine gun over from Basilone at the Battle of Bloody Ridge in Guadalcanal.”
Basilone used a machine gun to hold off a large number of Japanese troops at Guadalcanal after his unit was nearly decimated.
“You don’t get much better in learning skills and heroism than a guy like that — and dad’s Battalion Commander was Chesty Puller, the most decorated Marine in history.”
On Guadalcanal, McCarthy’s father was shot in the thigh and foot, suffered a broken jaw after taking the butt of a rifle to the chin, took shrapnel and was bayoneted in the stomach. He later was shot in the back at Iwo Jima and finally evacuated as the Japanese attacked his hospital.
“I was watching a baseball game in 1995 when I got a call from one of my dad’s buddies who heard I was trying to find information on his war years. ... He told me my dad could have been sent home much earlier because of his wounds, but chose to stay. That’s the character of the guy I learned leadership from.”
I told my mom about that the next day. I think she said, ‘Sonofabitch. ... Typical.’”
McCarthy’s father eventually became a New York police officer, and it was his police shield McCarthy inherited as a New York cop.
“You know, I love this city,” McCarthy said of Chicago. “Whenever I’ve had to go out of town, I can’t wait to get back.”
Hey, Garry, we’re just glad you’re here.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Strange, very strange.

What happened?
As reported on that other blog, a call for help went outto all police from CPD on Sunday, from a location about a block from Daley Center. The request for help was sent to Sheriff Dart and he responded by saying he had to think about it.

This is the kind of story you don't want to hear about.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Excuse my neglect.

This NATO thing really has me busy. I hope to back to normal Tuesday or Wednesday.

Friday, May 18, 2012

No coffee day?


Can't have a cup of coffee? Why? Why can we have a cup of coffee? Metra is pushing people around because they can. When NATO is over, people should boycott METRA. 
For Southlanders who hop aboard a Metra train Saturday, Sunday or Monday, there will be no morning coffee allowed, nor sack lunches, luggage or backpacks.
In some cases, that means no smiles, either.
“With no cup of coffee, I will not be a happy camper,” Donna Blackburn, of Frankfort, said as she waited to board a 6:36 a.m. train from Tinley Park’s 80th Avenue Metra station to Chicago earlier this week.
Those are just some of the restrictions being imposed on all Metra commuters Saturday through Monday during the NATO Summit in Chicago.
Riders — just like airport travelers — also might want to arrive earlier than usual because they may be subject to bag checks and other security screening. And once they reach downtown, they may have to take alternate paths to work or not journey as far if they go out for lunch.
Some workplaces are passing along such tips to workers, while others are shutting their offices for a day or two or letting folks work from home.
Elizabeth Hester, of Glenwood, won’t have that luxury, but said she will endure.
“I’ll do whatever I can. If I’m late, I’m late,” she said while waiting for her Metra train in Homewood. “I don’t like the fact that I can’t bring my lunch. (Metra) should have given us lunch vouchers.” NO LUNCH 
Some commuters at the 80th Avenue station said the restrictions are “ridiculous” or “a little silly.” Others disagreed.
“I’d rather they have too many restrictions that none at all,” said Julie McEnerney, of Tinley Park.
“It will be weird,” Frankfort resident Mark Jongsma said as he sipped coffee and clutched his lunch bag. “But it’s a good idea. There’s plenty of nuts out there.” A GOOD IDEA TO BAR LUNCH, YOU NEVER KNOW!
Many wondered how Metra will enforce all the rules.
Metra spokeswoman Meg Reile said all riders on the Electric District Line will be screened, since that train goes under McCormick Place, where the summit will be held. There will be “less formal” screening on the other lines, with law enforcement personnel on the platform and on board — some identifiable, some not, she said.
Everyone could be subject to search,” Reile said. “It’s just one (week)day. If you follow the guidelines, your trip will be as normal as possible.” EVERYONE SHOULD BE SEARCHED
‘Helpful hints’
Some downtown businesses have urged their employees to take extra precautions.
Dave Pecka, of Tinley Park, who works at a bank building adjacent to Union Station, said his firm has been giving employees “helpful hints” on handling the NATO event.
“We were told not to wear a suit and tie so that we blend in with the crowd,” he said.
Some workers at a downtown law firm were told that if they dressed up, they might be targeted by feces-throwing protestors.
Unable to brown-bag it, Karl Kosary was told to “stay close to the office” when he goes out for lunch. An information technician, he’s more concerned about not being able to tote his backpack, which contains his laptop and everything he needs to do his job. He is a bit worried about getting to and from his job at Wacker Avenue and Randolph Street and thinks information coming from Metra was “vague.”
I think they are overreacting,“especially on the Rock Island (line),” Kosary said. “I don’t see there being a lot of protestors here. We’re quite a ways from the ‘red zone,’ ” where large protests are expected.
To help secure the entire downtown area, Metra commuters will be allowed to carry only one bag, and it cannot exceed 15 inches by 15 inches by 4 inches deep — the most popular size laptop bag, according to Reile.
Some are wondering whether their laptop cases will meet those specs.
“I don’t plan on changing anything,” said Jessica Weiss, of Tinley Park, who works as a chef at a club that will house NATO attendees and said she has no choice but to go to work.
“I will have my headphones and my coffee. I don’t function without it,” she said.
Myron Murff, of Homewood, wondered whether riders would be arrested for carrying drinks or oversized bags onto the train.
“There’s really not enough detailed information,” he said. “I also don’t see what we gain as residents of this area, the city of Chicago included, from inviting these people to have this meeting here. It just seems like it’s more hassle than it’s worth.”
Tam Gibson, of Homewood, felt the same way, especially about being forced to buy drinks and lunch at downtown prices.
“I get it,” she said of the security measures. “It’s just causing a lot of congestion, a lot of concern — as far as us being consumers and trying to save money. They just raised Metra fares. It’s like they’re not sensitive to our economy, No. 1, and No. 2, it affects us as commuters.”
Day off, for some
Some Southlanders will be off Friday and/or Monday — some with pay, some without. Several, like Marianne Murphy, will be working from home.
Murphy, an engineer, said her firm has been preparing for months, solving connectivity issues to make sure employees can work remotely.
“The only downside is we can’t schedule any meetings. Gee, what a loss,” she said. “I think the restrictions and precautions are reasonable. You plan for the worst and hope for the best.”
Renee Buerger, a student from Orland Park, made alternate plans to avoid commuting. She has no classes Monday and planned to stay at the Lincoln Park residence of a classmate on Thursday and Friday.
“We’ll make the best of it,” she said.
For the most part, commuters were not overly concerned about the days to come. But Rolando Garcia, of Romeoville, was a bit worried about the potential for riots. He was just hired by a private security firm.
“This is my first big gig,” he said, anticipating 12-hour days for the next several days.
Alex Schusler, of Orland Park, said he will work from home Friday and Monday. And then ...
“It will be interesting to see what happens,” he said. “I hope my building is still there on Tuesday.”
Contributing: Nikki Arseneau

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


I am getting the feeling that what some of these protestors really want is just an old fashioned south side ass kicking. They may get it.  Keep in mind that many of these people are the children of those that brought us 1968. 
Police in riot gear lined a South Side police station Tuesday night when at least 100 protesters — many in the city for the NATO Summit — chanted anti-police sentiments and disobeyed police orders.
The protesters ­— many dressed in all black with black bandannas covering their faces — had marched about three miles to protest alleged global police oppression. The group started about 6:40 p.m. at Halsted and 50th Place and marched to the Deering District police station, 3501 S. Lowe.
Many South Side residents left their porches to join the group.
“This is a solidarity march for people who have been oppressed for years by the police,” said a 21-year-old Florida man who asked not to be identified.
He wore a pin on his hat that read “Occupy Rahm” and carried a flag representing the Anonymous movement.
By 8 p.m., the protesters stood outside the police station chanting, “What did they say in ’68? A billy club to the f - - - - - - head!”
Chicago Police officers in riot gear and on bicycles lined the outside of the station.
An older man from the neighborhood got into a scuffle with one of the protesters and suffered an apparent cut in his head. He was taken inside the station.
Another resident, 23-year-old Ray Jackson, yelled at a protester that the march was a waste of police resources.
The protester yelled back, “You fund NATO. You fund murder.”
The protesters left the police station by 8:30 p.m. and continued north on Halsted.
On their way to the police station, the protesters chanted, “From Chicago to Greece, f - - - the police” and disobeyed bicycle officers who ordered them to stay on the sidewalk. Many residents joined the march or applauded in agreement.
“I’m glad they got a march because the police are crazy out here,” said area resident Andre Gholston, 46. “They come out here roughing us up . . . sending innocent people to jail.”
The protest ended around 9:30 p.m. at Taylor and Halsted. Police reported no arrests.
Contributing: Michael Lansu

Franconello is reopening soon.

I can't wait. Good for the neighborhood. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Our leader is a fag. .

Vote him out, save the country.
The sooner we get this freak out of the White House, the better.  The whole thing has been one big scam. The wife, the daughters, the family vacations, the speeches about change. 

Anyone that advocates his re-election, from this moment on, should be looked upon with suspicion. 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Setting it straight.

How dare he?

I couldn't have said this better. What is most troubling is where are our local elected leaders? We haven't heard from them and they can't be found. They are scared of Rahm. 
t am writing in response to the May 8 editorial and the column heralding Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s preposterous new pension “plan.” The only words that come to mind after reading this report are …….. How Dare You!
How dare anyone suggest that retired public servants who are living modestly on a fixed income be threatened with a drastic reduction in their earned retirement security in order to fix a problem they had no hand in creating? Most of these individuals do not receive Social Security and depend solely on their pension incomes. They faithfully paid every cent of their pension obligations throughout their careers so that one day, when they could no longer perform their duties, they would be able to live out their remaining years with dignity.
We currently have over 500 firefighter widows living on less than $1,000 a month, a figure that by today’s standards means their annual income falls below the poverty line.
As for the mayor’s example of a 1995 retiree now making over $100,000 in pension benefits, I cannot find anyone in the Chicago Firefighters Union bargaining unit who retired in 1995 who receives $100,000 in pension benefits. Our rank-and-file members retire with far less pension income than was portrayed.
Mayor Emanuel correctly admitted that the city failed in its own responsibility to pay their portion of these pension contributions for decades. Yet, in the same breath, he insinuates that the only way to avert a fatal pension fund collapse, without receiving major concessions from those who already have paid their fair share, is to more than double Chicago’s property taxes. Raising property taxes is not the only option to shore up these funding levels, and many ideas have already been floated on how we can improve the funding ratios of all our pension funds. We know that a problem exists and realize a solution is necessary, but scare tactics are not the answer. In addition, the constitutionality of the mayor’s suggestions will also come into question and may need to be decided by the courts.
The mayor and others have often stated that it will take “shared sacrifice” to bring city pension funds to an acceptable funding status. But as I see it, by proposing the elimination or reduction of cost-of-living adjustments for current retirees, they are asking those who are most vulnerable and who have based the remainder of their lives on what was promised to them, to shoulder the bulk of this sacrifice. Our current and future retirees did not create this mess, but they are the ones now being asked to fix it.
Tom Ryan, presidentChicago Firefighters Union Local 2

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Obama is out of the closet.

Nobody should be surprised by Obama coming out in favor of gay marriage, there have been plenty of rumors about him.  This is just the latest indicator that America is F----- up. The truth is that most gays are mentally ill. Instead of getting them the help they need they are being told by our "leaders" that it's ok to be F----- up, we will back you. 
Just know that this cannot be not good for the future of our country. 
By Teri O'Brien -
As I’ve said many times, I think Barack and his apparatchiks drew the wrong conclusion from the 2008 election; specifically, that the American public is as stupid as a box of rocks. I can certainly understand why one might draw that conclusion, but it’s incorrect. The truth is that, thanks in part to guys like Richard Lugar and Kirk Dillard(“poor guy,” that Dillard) who gave Obama the political cover that enabled him to masquerade as a pragmatic, centrist uniting problem-solver, rather than the hard-wired left-wing Chicago politician that he is, the public was deceived.
Sadly for the One and his supporters, increasing numbers of people who voted for him in 2008 realize that they were lied to, not only by the Lame Stream Media, but by Obama himself. These are the people that are deserting him in droves. There is no greater evidence of the Obama campaign’s growing desperation than today’s “surprise” announcement in support of so-called same-sex marriage. Stop the presses. There’s a real jaw-dropper, from the guy whose administration said last year that it would no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act.
I told you on last Sunday’s show, right after the Critiquelator’s excellent commentary about Obama’s composite girlfriends, that Joe Biden’s risible comment on “Meet the Press,” citing “Will and Grace,” in support of redefining the word “marriage,” was no accident. It was deliberate, another dog whistle to one of the identity politics constituencies that they are counting on to win, in this case militant homosexuals. Bitter, single women who consider the government a substitute for a husband? In that case, the dog whistle was Hilary Rosen’s attack on Ann Romney. Check that box. Hispanics? Obama’s statement during his delightful Cinco de Mayo party last week at the White House, in which he stated he had the pens ready to sign the “DREAM act,” was a message to them. Check. For the gullible, wet-behind-the ears clueless kids, he jetted in to a couple of college campuses to tell them how cruel and unfair it is that other people don’t finance their worthless degrees in medieval French poetry, women’s studies and web design. Check. Clearly, the campaign understands that they have to energize every single member of each of these groups to have a prayer of winning. The strategy is get 100% of these folks to the polls, and count on lukewarm enthusiasm by Republicans come November.
As it turns out, Obama was assisted in this decision by some of those imaginary friends that Democrats love to invent. From ABC News: 
"It's interesting, some of this is also generational," the president continued. "You know when I go to college campuses, sometimes I talk to college Republicans who think that I have terrible policies on the economy, on foreign policy, but are very clear that when it comes to same-sex equality or, you know, sexual orientation, that they believe in equality. They are much more comfortable with it.”
Naturally, as always, when the Obama campaign feels threatened, they trot out their little kiddie human shields, who are “off limits” to everyone else, Malia and Sasha. 
You know, Malia and Sasha, they have friends whose parents are same-sex couples. There have been times where Michelle and I have been sitting around the dinner table and we're talking about their friends and their parents and Malia and Sasha, it wouldn't dawn on them that somehow their friends' parents would be treated differently. It doesn't make sense to them and, frankly, that's the kind of thing that prompts a change in perspective."
Really? So public policy about an issue critical to the future of civilization should be about what would or wouldn’t dawn on a ten-year-old and a thirteen-year-old? I haven’t heard such brilliant analysis since Jimmy Carter regaled us with his ten-year-old daughter Amy’s deep thoughts about nuclear proliferation
In the slobbering media celebration of the One’s “historic” “evolution” on this issue, they are forgetting that he was for so-called same-sex marriage before he was against it. 
Is it possible that there is anyone on the planet who is buying this load of BS ?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Watch your cars.

Area bounded by 103 to 107, Kedzie to Sacramento. Also, all along the Rock Island tracks. A group of thieves are working it for catalytic converters. May be the same crew. $500.00 to replace. Call 911 if you see any strangers walking or driving around.

This guy will say anything to get a vote. Total BS'er

Joe Biden

Vice President Joe Biden floated a possible trial balloon on Meet the Press on Sunday and said he is "comfortable" with the idea of gay "marriage." He might be hoping to lay the foundation for a major flip by the Obama Administration from its 2008 position opposed to gay marriage. In 1996, Barack Obama was campaigning for his first election to the Illinois State Senate but he later answered a questionnaire saying he was in favor of gay marriage but he flipped again in 2008 to opposition. But in 1996, Joe Biden was one of 85 senators from both parties who voted in favor of the Defense of Marriage Act that (DOMA) was signed that same year by President Bill Clinton. That law states is part:

 (a) IN GENERAL- Chapter 1 of title 1, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following: `Sec. 7. Definition of `marriage' and `spouse' `In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States, the word `marriage' means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word `spouse' refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.'
Advocates who lobby in favor of calling a gay partnership a "marriage" complete with a marriage licence from some local government always try to present their case as a matter of equal civil rights with heterosexual couples.  But they never seem to be able to come up with concrete examples of arbitrary and invidious distinctions between the rights of couples in tradtional marriages and gay partners.  Some often mumble something about visitation rights for patients in hospitals but fail to point out that such policies are mostly a thing of the past.  In fact, there are almost no legal rights of traidional married couples that cannot be duplicated in some way under other existing laws such as the right of joint tenants to get right of surivorship in jointly owned property which can be done by any two adults related or not.  Likewise, insurance benefits can usually be assigned to anyone related or not.  So why do some gay advocates insist on using the word "marriage" even though the PC term for most gay couples only ten years ago was "partner?"
The answer is that some gay advocates hope that a government-issued "marriage certificate" will somehow serve as a substitute for endorsement by society at large.  In other words, no one will have any legal right to refuse to endorse the "marriage" even for religious objections.  It will not be permitted for anyone to withold their approval of a gay "marriage" and that English word will change to mean exactly the same thing as the former sacrament of Holy Matrimony that was recognized in law by a marriage certificate issued by a county 100 years ago.  It is not the same thing of course but some gay advocates fool themeselves into thinking a surrogate certificate is the same thing and that makes them feel good because it is the best substitute they can find for universal social approval that is not obtainable.  So this is not a legal battle but rather a battle over language and social attitudes.  Gay people have the right to be free from violence and intimidation and various abitrary forms of discrimination, but some gay leaders do not want to acknowlege the rights of religious objectors to not approve of gay "marriage" using that word.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Cafe 103

It was a great place to go.
Recently we lost a very good restaurant. As it is a serious loss for the neighborhood, I wonder what really happened. The BR reported that landlord raised their rent after a deal to purchase the building  fell through. Does anyone out there know what the real facts are?

Rather than post possible reasons here, email me.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

NATO is good for Chicago?

I am just wondering about what type of benefit will be derived from all the road closures and disruptions. What about the cost of all this? It seems to me that if security is really the #1 concern, it  should have been held in a different locale. Camp David, DC, etc. 
Chicago residents, employees and businesses will be forced to endure road closures, parking restrictions and changes to city services and public transportation routes — and three Chicago museums will be forced to close for a day — to protect world leaders attending the NATO summit, the U.S. Secret Service announced Friday.
The inconveniences that Chicagoans have long anticipated will begin with parking restrictions at 6 a.m. Sunday May 13, one week before President Barack Obama and more than 50 world leaders are expected to gather at McCormick Place.
Another round of parking restrictions will kick in on Tuesday May 15 in “limited areas” near the convention center.
Road closures and pedestrian restrictions will take effect at midnight Friday May 18. Roads will re-open in time for the Monday evening rush hour.
In addition to the road closures and parking restrictions, there will be “intermittent traffic delays and temporary closures on interstate roads” as motorcades carrying world leaders make their way to and from McCormick Place and other events sites.
Hours before the Secret Service lowered the boom, Mayor Rahm Emanuel tried once again to convince city residents, employees and businesses it will be worth the headache to showcase Chicago on the world stage.
“I don’t minimize it. There will be inconvenience. There will be change for those three days. They’re making those plans to accommodate people in close proximity — the residents — and I don’t minimize there will be an inconvenience. But, we are not the only city to have had [world] forums,” the mayor said.
“I think we’re lucky to have this. It’s fortunate, given the economic opportunity here for this city. That said, they will lay it out. People will then be able to make adjustments for that Saturday, Sunday and part of Monday morning.”
Later Friday, officials told reporters at the city’s Office of Emergency Management that an actual fence around McCormick Place remains “under evaluation” and hasn’t been finalized.
“At this point, any businesses or any residents that would have been impacted by a hard perimeter have already been contacted by the United States Secret Service,” said Deb Kirby, chief of the Chicago Police Department’s Office of International Relations.
Frank Benedetto, special agent in charge of the Secret Service’s Chicago field office, said no residences are expected to be inside the proposed fence.
“All residents will be able to access their homes by vehicles,” Benedetto said. “All businesses will be open.”
Roadways that will see intermittent closures include the Kennedy Expy. between O’Hare Airport and downtown; Ohio from the Kennedy to Columbus Drive; Ontario from Fairbanks/Columbus to the Kennedy; the Ryan between the circle and I-55 and Roosevelt Rd., 18th Street and Canalport Ave. access from the outbound Dan Ryan Expy.
Another round of road closures and pedestrian restrictions kick in at 12:01 a.m., Saturday May 19 and will re-open in time for the Monday evening rush hour.
Those closures include: Lake Shore Drive between Balbo and 39th; I-55 between the Ryan and Lake Shore Drive; Columbus Drive at Balbo; Roosevelt Road between Michigan Avenue and Lake Shore Drive; Indiana between 21st and 25th; Calumet from Cullerton to Cermak; Prairie between 21st and 25th; 21st between Indiana and Calumet; Cermak from Michigan Avenue to King Drive; 24th Place and 25th Street between King Drive and State; Wabash from 24th Place to 25th Street; King Drive from 26th Street to Cermak; Moe Drive from 31st to Mines; 31st from Cottage Grove to Fort Dearborn Drive and Fort Dearborn Drive from 31st Street to Lakeside Center.
An entire week of parking restrictions will take effect, beginning at 6 a.m. Tuesday May 15, on the streets surrounding McCormick Place. Impacted streets include South Calumet Avenue between Cullerton and Cermak; South Prairie Avenue and Indiana Avenue between 21st and 25th; 21st Street between Calumet and Indiana; Cermak between Indiana and King Drive; 24th Place between Indiana and State; 25th Street between State and King Drive; and King Drive between Cermak and 26th.
At the museum campus, the Adler Planetarium, Field Museum and Shedd Aquarium will be open on Saturday May 19. But, parking will be limited to the top three floors of the Soldier field North Lot and the Adler lot. All of those lots will close with the museums at 5:30 p.m. Saturday. Vehicles that remain will be towed to an off-site lot.
At 6 p.m. Saturday, Northerly Island, formerly known as Meigs Field, will closed to vehicles and pedestrians, along with the “northern museum campus.”
The Planetarium, Field Museum and Shedd Aquarium will be closed on Sunday, May 20, opening day of the summit.
Streets around the museum campus, Willis Tower and the Cultural Center will also be closed during summit weekend, apparently for special events involving the world dignitaries.
Boat traffic will also be restricted during the summit on the Chicago River and on Lake Michigan in and around Burnham Harbor.
Although commuter rail lines that operate beneath McCormick Place will remain open during the summit, the McCormick Place stop will be closed on Sunday May 20 and Monday May 21.
“Other stations may be closed as needed,” the Secret Service said.
“Passengers should plan for delays as trains approach and pass through the McCormick Place stop due to necessary security measures.”
Changes to bus routes operating within the crazy quilt of areas restricted to vehicles and pedestrians “will be necessary,” the Secret Service said. Commuters were advised to check the CTA website for specific route changes.
The city will send text messages or voice mail alerts “related to extreme weather alerts, traffic disruptions, health alerts and major incidents.” To sign up, go to