Chicago News

Mayor Daley’s Turning Points

For most of my life, there’s been a Mayor Daley running Chicago. I remember that as a little kid, I didn’t even realize that “Mayor” was a title. When Mayor Richard J. Dailey died in 1976, there was a succession of short-term mayors, including Michael Bilandic (appointed by the city council), Jane Byrne (an insider […]

Cleaning Up the Snow

Chicago got hit by a pretty big snowstorm this week. I suppose I’d know just how big if I’d been paying attention to the news, but those people drive me crazy. What are they calling it? “Snowmaggedon”? “Snowpocalypse”? “Snowlocaust”? Bah. Look, it’s not that this wasn’t a big snowstorm. It was huge. It’s got to […]

They Should Have Rung the Bell

Here’s yet another tragic story of an elderly couple terrorized by gangs of local thugs in Chicago. With her husband already asleep, 84-year-old Anna Jakymek was just turning out the lights when she heard loud noises at the back and front doors about 11:30 p.m. Her initial thought was that her 89-year old husband had […]

Not Everyone Who Peeks Up Skirts is a Terrorist

This just in: International terrorists, no longer content with blowing up buildings, are now targeting parking lot lights in home center stores. This is a dangerous new development. Obviously Al Qaeda is jealous of our well lit parking lots and feel they can bring America to her knees by darkening our shopping experience one lamp […]

Chicago Dodges a Bullet

We lost the Olympics bid. Whew. Mayor Daley will now have to find a different excuse to raise our taxes so he can funnel cash to his buddies.

#3 With a Bullet

The Forbes list of “America’s Most Miserable Cities” is out and Chicago has moved up to number 3 from last year’s number 6 position. Lousy weather, long commutes, rising unemployment and the highest sales tax rate in the country are to blame for the Windy City being near the top of our list. High rates […]

Why They Are Corrupt

The Chicago Tribune has a story about Alderman Arenda Troutman that illustrates some different ways of looking at public corruption. It was the headline on the home page that caught my eye: Ex-Ald. Troutman pleads guilty in corruption case The former alderman admits taking cash to support zoning changes and permits for developers. Really? She […]

Officer Down

Well, this sucks: A 27-year veteran Chicago police officer was shot in the head and killed by a woman who grabbed his gun during a struggle outside a police headquarters on the North Side early Wednesday, authorities said. Officers who responded to the scene at Belmont and Western Avenues around 2 a.m. then shot the […]

We’re #1! We’re #1!

Our unique combination of demand, location, and anti-pollution chemistry rockets Chicago to the top once again: A national survey says the average price for regular gasoline rose about 17 cents in the last two weeks, with the highest price in Chicago at $4.07 a gallon. I keep telling myself it wasn’t foolish of my wife […]

No More Tobaggan Slides in Cook Country Forest Preserves

Cook County Forest Preserve District is tearing down the last of the toboggan slides: The last toboggan slides in the Cook County Forest Preserve District will come down despite an impassioned plea to preserve the historic attractions enjoyed by generations of city and suburban residents. The Forest Preserve Commission approved contracts Tuesday to demolish the […]

Some Advice for the New Top Cop

Unless the City Council does something other than rubber-stamp the Mayor’s nominee, former FBI agent Jody Weis will soon be the next police superintendent. As an observer and commentator and self-important blogger, I’d like to offer him the following advice: Your initial top priority should be to eliminate corrupt cops. Indict them, fire them, or convince them to […]

Tasering During a Welfare Check

The So-Called Austin Mayor blog links to a Sun Times column by Mary Mitchell about some Chicago cops who were called in to do a welfare check on 82-year-old Lillian Fletcher and ended up tasering her. I’m not particularly willing to let cops get away with stuff, and this sounds pretty awful, but…I think the cops might have […]

Traffic Enforcement Profiteering in Chicago

Yesterday I wrote about the moral perils of punishing people in a way that is profitable for the government. Today, the Gary Washburn of the Chicago Tribune gives me another example: Driving-related fines and fees provided the city treasury with more than $210 million last year. That represented about 4 percent of the 2006 budget, […]

A Labor Action by Cook Country Prosecutors?

They’re not allowed to strike, but some Cook Country prosecutors aren’t showing up to work today: As many as two-thirds of the 520 prosecutors staffing Cook County’s felony courtrooms are expected to be no-shows, officials in the state’s attorney’s office said. Prosecutors throughout the 835-lawyer office are being urged to attend today’s County Board meeting […]

April In the Windy City

Cops Gone Wild

The Chicago Police have been having a bad time in the media. You probably already know about the first incident: Officer Anthony Abbate attacked Karolina Obrycka, a 24-year old bartender at Jesse’s Shortstop Inn, because she wouldn’t serve him any more drinks. I should probably say “allegedly,” but there’s video of the incident so I […]

The Anti-War Protest That Wasn’t

Marathon Pundit notes this story: It’s a mix up that will cost tax payers tens of thousands of dollars. The anti-war demonstration at Washington Square was supposed to start at noon and the Chicago Police Department was ready. But the protesters were a no show, and police say it was a big waste of time […]

City of Tiny Testicles?

Nick Gillespie of Reason magazine has an article in the L.A. Times pointing out something that many of us here in Chicago have been trying not to notice: At some point in the film, the narrator—possessed of a tooth-rattling basso profundo usually reserved for more elevated art forms, such as NFL highlight reels — proclaimed, […]

Chicago’s Living Wage

Apparently, Chicago is on the brink of passing a “living wage” ordinance that would require large big-box stores like Wal-Mart and Target to pay employees a minimum salary of $10 per hour with an additional $3 per hour going toward benefits. One of the biggest problems with the “living wage” idea is that the Chicago […]

Jeff Fest 2006

I stopped in at the Jeff Fest (a.k.a. The Jefferson Park Community Festival) on the northwest side today. It’s one of the many festivals going on this summer in Chicago. (My photos can also be seen as a slideshow without the commentary.) Here’s Chicago’s most famous Elvis impersonator: A few more sites around the fest: […]

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