Monday, June 27, 2005

Articles I enjoyed today

Topinka fluff in Crains -- Tells us nothing new, really, just an FYI for those Topinka completists out there. Also in Crain's, an article about how Illinois could/should focus on being a leader in alternative energy. It makes a hell of a lot more sense than Blagojevich's idea of making Illinois a leader in the Homeland Security industry. It comes down to: do you stake your future in fear, or do you stake your future in progress? In the Tribune, I forget if it's yesterday's or today's, there's a piece on how some water department worker is handing out buttons that say "Jr." on them. Jesse Jackson Jr. claims he has nothing to do with it. By the way, one of my dog's little doggie friends, I found out, was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver while out on a walk with its owner. Since I came to Chicago 5 years ago, I have heard of dozens of hit-and-run incidents involving serious injury/damage to people, pets, cars, you name it. I really think it's an epidemic here. I would be interested to know what the death toll is, and how much hit-and-run property damage/injuries cost Chicago every year.

Daily Herald has nice parting shot of Wojcik...

Apparently state Sen. Kathleen "Kay" Wojcik (R) of Schaumburg, who will retire soon, pushed a law to curb "drive through" baby deliveries -- where a mother is sent home shortly after childbirth, mostly at the behest of insurance companies. With Wojcik's law, doctors and patients make the decision how long of a stay is necessary. On behalf of expecting parents everywhere, thank you Sen. Wojcik!

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Ever wonder if that $5 tomato you just bought is really "organic"?

From the AP:
    WASHINGTON - Some farmers are worried that a federal court ruling requiring that the Agriculture Department must come up with stricter standards for organic food will slow the fast-growing industry. Consumers advocates say the decision it will help ensure that people get higher-quality food when they buy products with the organic label. The U.S. District Court in Maine finalized a court ruling this month that bans synthetic ingredients in products labeled organic. Also, the ruling requires dairy farmers to feed their cows 100 percent organic feed during the transition to organic.
That's great. Since organic foods always cost way more than "frankenfoods", they should at least be held to higher standards.

Gidwitz a slumlord? Or have the Joliet casinos altered their business model

This from today's Chicago Sun-Times:
    A Chicago Republican seeking the governor's seat said Friday he is the target of a political attack about a low-income housing complex he partially owns that Joliet officials call a "hellhole." Ron Gidwitz, former head of the State Board of Education, contends the 356-unit complex called Evergreen Terrace is not a slum. "What we have here is essentially a political attack because the city fathers of Joliet would like to tear down housing that people who need affordable housing use and replace it with upscale real estate development," Gidwitz said. He spoke about the housing complex, located in Joliet across the Des Plaines River from Harrah's Casino.... "There are people that die there with great frequency. They die of bullet wounds, stab wounds. There are children who are raped there. There are young women who are raped there. There are older women who are raped there. There is a considerable amount of drug dealing going on," [Joliet Deputy City Manager James] Shapard said.
I hope Shapard cleared his statements with the city's parent companies, Harrah's and Emerald. After all, how will Harrah's survive without the low-income housing? I mean, sure, every once in a while you get a high-roller like Betty Loren, but for a casino, it's the poor and desperate that really pay the bills. It was, after all, Joliet's high concentration of the poor and desperate that made it such a natural location for a casino. In fact, Joliet was such a slum, the gaming board felt it could comfortably sustain two of the state's precious casino licenses. Now Shapard and the city want to get rid their little goldmine? Have they forgotten that low-rent buildings are filled with the same people who so gladly plunk down all they have for a chance at striking it rich? That it's those people who don't wisely spend money that powered Joliet's revitalization? Maybe it's a sign that the boats in Joliet are getting a little cocky, like they don't need poor people anymore. Maybe when casino council, er, I mean, city council runs the poor out of town, they'll be sure to send 'em somewhere that has Greyhound bus service so they can still get back to the casinos. But if Shapard really cared about a better life for people who live in the low-income housing development, he'd send a couple of squad cars over there every now and then, take the weapons, and throw the rapists and drug dealers in jail. And if he really cared about the future of Joliet, he'd do everything he could to sink those two boats.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Quigley gonna run!

I almost missed it in today's Chicago Tribune. It was a mere photo caption in the Metro section — not front page material, I guess. But Cook County Commissioner Mike Quigley is going to run for County Board President. This means that should he run, current President John Stroger will have some competition in the primary. Quigley, if you don't know, has led a band of insurgent Democratic commissioners, who have fought Stroger's needless tax hikes and wasteful spending and who blame Stroger for gross mismanagement at the county's forest preserves. For more information, visit Quigley's Web site at

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Quote of the Day

Quick, who said this quote (from today's Sun-Times): "How am I supposed to know the money was tainted? I don't know who gives the money. I didn't know. I still don't know how it got there, where it came from and how it ended up in my campaign. I don't know any of them." ...I know what you're thinking. That's gotta be Daley. I mean who else talks like that. Well, apparently Daley-speak is catching on. That quote was from Ald. Emma Mitts (37th) who was explaining that she had no idea how $7,800 from Hired Truck companies under federal investigation ended up in her campaign fund. Oh, and she can't refund the money because she put it back into the community, she says. In all fairness to Mitts, no one has time to investigate every company that makes a donation to make sure they're on the up-and-up. That's why it's best not to accept corporate donations.