Despite the massive size and scope of the project to widen the Tri-State, the Illinois Tollway board suggests new tolls and taxes won’t be needed – but history shows that promises related to tolls in Illinois haven’t held up in the past.
Safe spaces are not about learning or critical thinking. Safe spaces belong to education camps, where future bureaucrats are trained in the Orwellian shaping of language and the culling of threatening ideas.
With names such as the Chicago Board Options Exchange, Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Citadel, Discover, DRW Trading, JPMorgan Chase, Morningstar and Northern Trust, these financial titans lead this industry as some of the most respected firms in the world.
The battles stem from what FOP President Kevin Graham called the “unilateral expansion” of body cameras to all Chicago Police officers, and the Chicago Police Department’s proposed “disciplinary matrix” for “complaints registered” against officers.
With the City Council's blessing, the city has earmarked $16 million from Tax Increment Financing districts to spruce up commercial corridors in Austin, Back of the Yards, Bronzeville, Chatham, Englewood, South Shore, West Humboldt Park and West Pullman
lllinois failed to learn from a court-challenged Chicago ordinance when it tried to tax streaming services as part of the failed "grand bargain" in the Legislature, an attorney with a Libertarian justice advocacy group said recently.
Why is Byrd-Bennett, the former chief executive of Chicago Public Schools, going to spend so much time incarcerated? No-bid contracts. There are flaws with every process, but the city should be awarding contracts based on a company's value and performance, not political connections.
“It would be much like an ordinance proposed years ago banning any Chicago bank doing business with a Swiss bank resisting cooperation in reparations to victims of Hitler’s Holocaust,” said Ald. Edward Burke (14th), who is familiar with the proposal.
Great Wolf Resorts’ CEO Rubén Rodriguez calls the office “Wolf Den Chicago.” It’s home to 45 Great Wolf Resort “pack members” and has room to grow to 100 employees to accommodate future company expansion.
Touting stock-picking expertise in the face of an industry swing toward index-investing takes a certain amount of guts. But glance at graphs charting the performance of Harris Associates funds, and you understand why they're sticking to stock-picking.
When complete, the train car will serve as a focal point and casual place to sit on the green rooftop for employees and others. The deck will also have raised platform with views of the Chicago skyline, a green lawn and landscaped areas.
The invisible barriers that generally separate people by race and income in the Chicago region also appear to serve as barriers to population growth and job growth, critical factors for strong economic development.
In a region where home values have sputtered and many people have damaged or poor credit, who's writing mortgages? Marquette Bank, for one. Its small loans have been a staple since the bank opened in 1945 on the Southwest Side.
Chicago’s taxicab industry is likely to turn into a “Wild West” dominated by independent drivers, with fleets disappearing and the city losing control, after the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday dealt the struggling industry a final flow.
Comment: This event was a whitewash that the Chicago Fed and The Civic Federation should be ashamed of. The best presentation was from Harrison J. Goldin, a veteran of New York's turnaround in the 1970. He emphasized the importance of the first step -- honestly measuring the full depth of the problem. We haven't even done that, and conferences like this are part of the reason.
Comment: Hey Obama, you came to office with the stars aligned as they do only a couple times a century. You had both houses of Congress and all the political capital in the world, yet you didn't do squat for Chicagoans or anybody else, so spare us your wisdom.
The city contractor that allegedly “reserved jobs for individuals based on political considerations” is United Maintenance Co. Inc., according to City Hall sources and the alderman whose office blew the whistle on the firm.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Friday he is not about to strip aldermen of their cherished control over infrastructure projects in their wards and hand it to professional engineers in the Chicago Department of Transportation.
The CPS letter began with an accusation that Gov. Bruce Rauner "decided to attack those who need the most help." It continued with a claim that the governor, a Republican, blocked $215 million in funding for the city schools. It referred to the loss of the funding as stealing from the children.
Using an algorithm developed by a team at the University of Chicago, the city put reams of information, scattered among various departments, to work. With a predictive system that can point to the hotspots along its 550 miles of pipes, the city hopes to save millions of dollars a year by fixing mains before they break.
The Justice Department took its first steps on Friday to strip Chicago and Cook County of some crime fighting grants as part of a drive to deny federal money to so-called “sanctuary cities” shielding illegal immigrants.
The Illinois State Board of Education released data last year that showed almost one in four CPS teachers missed 10 or more days of school a year—most of those teachers serving low-income areas of the city.
Comment: How dare CPS for questioning time spent on their political work.
"We can't think of a worse way to spend a too-small pool of tax money than to split it into 50 equal parts and let 50 people decide how to use it. That's what Chicago does every year with $66 million in aldermanic "menu" dollars, allotting each of the city's aldermen $1.32 million for residential infrastructure needs in their wards."
Under pressure to reduce gun violence, the Chicago Police Department has increasingly used the parole-violation law as a tool to get convicted felons off the street – though in many cases they’ve been accused of nothing other than being around neighbors or long-time acquaintances, the Chicago Sun-Times found.
The National Park Service has grand plans in store for Pullman National Monument, but it could take years before visitors have full access to the former factory grounds as state and federal agencies first need to undertake a massive cleanup of contaminants left at the site from decades of rail car production.
A Cook County judge said Wednesday he plans to rule April 28 on Chicago Public Schools’ civil rights lawsuit against the state over school funding, a move CPS hopes will clarify whether it can keep schools open until June 21 or whether it will end classes three weeks early.
An ordinance currently sitting in committee, would require city departments to alert an alderman about each license application filed in his or her respective ward. The alderman could then veto any application as long as he or she provided a reason for denial. And if the alderman doesn't like the application, well . . . that is where the application dies.
Because of the bumblebee’s status, construction on a multimillion-dollar suburban Chicago road project has to stop. Court documents say the bee was found along the parkway’s route in the Brunner Family Forest Preserve.
The chairman of Chicago’s reinvigorated Board of Ethics on Tuesday accused aldermen of injecting a “very unhealthy secrecy into government for a privileged few” by changing the definition of “city employees” to exclude independent contractors.
Despite his campaign promise not to accept money from developers, records indicate Chicago Alderman Brendan Reilly received more than $72,000 from Magellan Development or its officers between 2011 and 2016, according to documents provided to Chicago City Wire by a source who requested to remain anonymous.
Specifically, figures drawn from U.S. Department of Transportation reports indicate that over the past decade, the total number of departing passengers dropped 1.5 percent at O'Hare even as it grew 8.1 percent nationally.
That leaves O'Hare far behind competing hub airports such as New York's JFK, Los Angeles International, San Francisco International and Dallas-Fort Worth.
"It is difficult not to be moved by the blight and sorrow of this town; impoverished, bypassed by the world, it is a part of America that is dying in plain sight. The people who live here are no different than their Appalachian cousins who are watching their own ways of life decay."
It costs Illinois municipalities $5 million to maintain park district police forces that cover areas already under the watchful eye of the regular police department, the Better Government Association reported recently.
Chicagoans have been burdened with a slew of new taxes and the full damage has yet to be felt. A state income tax hike, like the one proposed in the Illinois Senate’s so-called “grand bargain,” would only further harm struggling Chicagoans.
The influx of cases brought the total the panel is required to investigate to nearly 400, pushing the commission not only to reach out to established law firms, but also law school interns and even high school students, who do clerical work.
"We can't deal with those numbers the way we're set up now."
When the 95-story Vista Tower is completed in 2020, it will be the third-tallest building in Chicago, and at its very top will be a 7,000-square-foot duplex penthouse, currently offered for $17.1 million.
Comment: In fairness, it's too easy to run afoul of these rules. "Any form of written or verbal communications, including formal or informal in-person meetings, phone conversations and email communications can be considered lobbying." Many well intentioned people violate that regularly.
In two presentations at Elm Place Middle School, 2031 Sheridan Rd., Noguera will explain why he believes public school teachers should stop focusing on overall student achievement and instead pursue what he calls “equity,” or ensuring students of different races and ethnicities in their schools are achieving at the same level.
Noguera believes racially-biased teachers are to blame for the fact that white students consistently outperform black and hispanic students on standardized tests.
Local officials say they have been told there is a memorandum of understanding between the state of Illinois and the Iowa-Interstate Railroad, owners of the 53-miles of track between Wyanet, Illinois, and Moline, where the bulk of rehabilitation is needed to accommodate passenger service.
Six Chicago-area TV stations, including Fox-owned WPWR-Ch. 50, NBC's Telemundo outlet WSNS-Ch. 44 and PBS affiliate WYCC-Ch. 20, will be changing channels after selling their over-the-air broadcast frequencies to wireless carriers.
The combined Chicago TV frequencies sold for about $758 million in a Federal Communications Commission spectrum auction, which repurposed a chunk of the broadcast airwaves for wireless mobile use.
The Student National Pharmaceutical Association contends Carmita Coleman, Chicago State's interim dean of the College of Pharmacy, siphoned hundreds of thousands of dollars from the organization's bank accounts for clothes, food and trips during five of the years she was executive director.
"Knowledge of financial planning and management, as basic as it can be, seems meant for other kinds of people, leading other kinds of lives. The good news is that it's knowledge easily shared— and, shared at the right time in a person's life, it can make all the difference."
They live in worlds apart - some in crime-infested Chicago neighborhoods and others in million dollar north suburban homes. But they have more in common than you might think. A bus ride of less than 20 miles brought inner city high school students to the sprawling New Trier campus Thursday afternoon in the heart of one of the most affluent areas in the country.
The video of a passenger being dragged by an officer from a United Express flight shined an unwanted spotlight on the little-known police force that guards Chicago's two main airports and could threaten the agency's future.
A Cook County judge has been indicted for her alleged role in a mortgage fraud scheme, which took place a few years before she was elected to the Cook County bench.
A federal grand jury in Chicago returned an indictment against Jessica Arong O’Brien, accusing O’Brien of fraudulently obtaining mortgages and commercial loans to buy, refinance and maintain investment investment properties in Chicago.
The retirement incentive program was one way the district tried to sell its teachers' contract as a good deal for taxpayers. Initially, it would have cost the district as it paid out bonuses to retirees, but getting veteran, higher-paid teachers and aides off the district’s payroll could have produced up to $90 million.
Comment: Maybe it would be better to report as "news" anything truthful promised in Chicago about its finances.
An answer to the lingering question of when this school year will end for Chicago Public Schools could become more clear next week, when a Cook County judge will rule on a pair of motions in the district’s ongoing suit against Gov. Bruce Rauner.
While suburban school officials say it's prudent to build up reserves, critics complain about school districts levying more property tax money than they need. Stockpiling money means school districts can fund building or renovation projects without getting voters' OK in a tax-increase referendum.
Long-distance Amtrak service, including the historic New York-to-Chicago train that carries tens of thousands of Rochesterians to the Windy City each year, would be eliminated by President Trump's proposed budget.
The incident risks a backlash against United from passengers who could boycott the airline as the busy summer travel season is about to begin. For Chicago, it is another public relations nightmare, adding to its reputation as a city unable to curb a crime wave in some neighborhoods.
In the wake of the Day Without An Immigrant and Day Without Women strikes, and with other political protests yet planned amid the nation's currently charged political climate, employers may be wondering what their legal obligations are if employees miss work to protest.
100 to 200 protesters, depending on who is counting, descended on the Bank of America Building on South LaSalle Street, in effect looking for Saliba. His business offices are on an upper floor of the 45-floor structure.
But between the two pensions he'll collect, based on his service as mayor and city clerk and for the Waukegan Police Department, Motley, 66, will still make nearly six figures next year, according to a News-Sun analysis.
Scientists are exploring the cascade effect of major infrastructure failures. “The important thing isn’t what takes out an infrastructure asset but what happens afterward and the domino effect,” Argonne strategy and innovation director Megan Clifford told WGN.
Officially known as the Trump International Hotel and Tower, the 98-story skyscraper on Chicago's riverfront has become so popular with refugees because they are paid up to $18.00 per hour for entry-level jobs. That's according to a Chicago-based organization that helps refugees who are "fleeing war, terror and persecution."
Students would be prevented from graduating unless they can prove they have a post-high school plan in place, whether it's acceptance to a university, a trade school or a job offer in hand, under a plan announced Wednesday by Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
A push to change the system by some public officials has simply raised more questions, such as: Why would state lawmakers nearly unanimously pass a bill to shorten the timetable property owners have to pay their taxes, especially when it hits homeowners facing financial hardship? And why does this system exist in the first place?
"Keep busy doing something worthwhile by making other people happy. Keep looking up. There's always bad things but you can't dwell on them. I seldom think about the bad things. I choose to focus on the positive," she said.
Comment: Harmon forgot to mention that if bills being sponsored by his party pass, this money -- and other money already coming from Springfield -- would be mortgaged to bondholders. They would get first dibs if they need it. See the articles linked here and here.
“If you look at so many elements of education, and it’s so sad to see what’s coming — what’s happening in the country. Even the numbers, as good — you say we’re doing better, but the numbers in New York, the numbers in Chicago are very rough. The numbers in Los Angeles — the cities — it’s a very rough situation,” Trump said.
The 10,000-seat, $164 million basketball arena for DePaul University that will double as an “event center” for McCormick Place will open this fall with a pair of gala fundraisers, officials said Monday.
Westside Justice Center, embraced the spotlight offered by a tax relief campaign that began last month to help low-income homeowners at risk of losing their homes because they were unable to pay tax bills.
The Federal Savings Bank, whose chief executive was an economic adviser to Trump's presidential campaign, made about $6.5 million in loans in January to Manafort and his wife for a Brooklyn property, documents show.
Willie Wilson, the Chicago businessman, philanthropist and former mayoral candidate, who put $150,000 into a loan fund to help low-income Cook County residents avoid having their property taxes sold, turned that money into a gift.
For years, retiring police officers in west suburban Countryside had been given a one-time $850 pay bump that, through a controversial interpretation of Illinois pension law, dramatically boosted a retiree's pension. It has boosted the amount some retirees have individually collected over the years by more than $200,000.
It looks like our media continues to slavishly report what comes out of these credit rating “agencies” (paid by governments, for the “ratings”) as authorities, even after their contribution to the greatest financial and economic crisis since (at least) the Great Depression.
That email was Rahm's reaction to a Wirepoints article about what his budget address should say. That background is linked here. In my unhumble opinion, it's the suggested budget address that should be getting the attention, not the email.
The sea of empty lots that surrounds the stadium has seen little change in the dozen years since Bridgeview officials predicted that a new soccer stadium would transform into an economic engine for the area and pay for itself. That lack of development has forced the village to borrow furiously and raise property taxes drastically to meet its annual debt obligations. Property taxes for its 16,000-plus residents doubled between 2009 and 2013.
During 2015, the two pension plans for Chicago city employees paid out $999 million in retirement benefits to 29,286 retirees. During that same year, the two funds generated just $90 million in investment income.
Chicago’s reinvigorated Board of Ethics is flexing its muscle again—this time by threatening hefty fines against “independent contractors” employed by aldermen who fail to file statements of financial interest.
A reading of Chicago-area economic activity nudged higher in March to cap the strongest quarter in more than two years, a sign of the growing business optimism since the election of President Donald Trump.
Identical legislation, Senate Bill 14, was approved by the newly seated Illinois Senate on January 25, 2017 by a vote of 38-11. The legislation is currently in the Illinois House Personnel and Pensions Committee.
Cook County experienced a greater population loss than any other county in the United States between mid-2015 and mid-2016. Meanwhile, sunnier climes like Arizona and Texas continue too see a boom in growth.
Chicago's former legislative inspector general turned government watchdog has called on the mayor and Infrastructure Trust to explain how officials permitted large portions of city-owned buildings to be liened to a private bank to finance an energy upgrade project.
A bill that would give the Chicago Teachers Union the right to strike over more issues — including class size, length of the school day and layoffs — got the go-ahead from an Illinois House committee on Wednesday.
Chicago could be the “Goldilocks City” for early-stage companies. There is a massive capital opportunity from the volume of people, headquarters, and wealth in the Chicagoland area. Combine the opportunity with relatively inexpensive costs to operate the business – from both an HR and real estate perspective – and the environment may be “just right.”
Chicago is finally rising in the rankings of the 20 metro areas tracked by the Case Shiller home price indices. Forever we have been ranked 4th from the bottom (17th place) in terms of year over year home price appreciation but for January we rose to number 13 on the list.
Emanuel’s administration “did not appropriately account” for more than $4.5 million in fees collected from developers to build affordable housing, but is refusing to replenish the fund, the city’s inspector general concluded Tuesday.
S&P said the latest bill is likely to receive enough votes to overturn a subsequent veto based on strong bipartisan support for the original measure. But it noted that Chicago must still come up with additional money for pensions in 2023 when larger contributions will be needed.
"We are pretty confident or optimistic ….we would have enough votes to override," chief financial officer Carole Brown said in an investor call following Gov. Bruce Rauner's Friday veto of the original legislation written to put in place revised funding formulas for two funds.
The Chicago bill, vetoed by Rauner Friday, would have allowed city officials to lower the amount they have to contribute to two of their severely underfunded pension funds and pay more years down the road.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Monday a crackdown on “sanctuary” cities and states – of which Chicago is one – with a pledge to “claw back” or cut all Justice Department federal funds from localities sheltering illegal immigrants.
Not long after the Midway Airport deal was finally approved, restaurateurs with a stake in the winning proposal showed their love for Mayor Rahm Emanuel — in the form of big contributions to the mayor’s campaign fund.
Efforts to take a sworn deposition of former Mayor Richard Daley in a federal lawsuit over alleged Chicago police torture have hit a snag over an undisclosed medical issue Daley is reportedly suffering.
Comment: What hogwash. Get his corrupt butt into the court.
Comment: What's important here is that the bill lowered near term pension contributions required of the city but ramped them up over the next five years. Now, the city will be stuck with a bigger near term pension obligation.
New higher "surge pricing" at parking meters near Wrigley Field hasn't even kicked in yet, but a top aide to Mayor Rahm Emanuel told aldermen Thursday that the city could eventually look to broaden the program to areas around Chicago where parking is highly sought-after for other types of popular events.
Top mayoral aides met this week with developers planning to build 12,000 modular homes, along with a factory to manufacture them, on the 430-acre site of the old U.S. Steel South Works plant amid word that Mayor Rahm Emanuel is gung-ho about the project.
Cook County, Ill., which includes Chicago, saw the biggest numerical drop in population. It lost 66,000 more people to domestic migration than it gained. But this was partially offset by 18,000 people who moved in from outside the country.
“Um, I can’t even get my dog to stop peeing in the house,” he wrote. "It’s baseball — a pastime involving a lot of chance. If [Ben] Zobrist’s ball is three inches farther off the line, I’m on the hot seat for a failed five-year plan. And I’m not even the best leader in our organization; our players are.”
Comment: The modesty shown in that quote only affirms his glory. Confucius say, "The superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions." All hail Epstein.
Of the country's 10 largest cities, the Chicago metropolitan statistical area was the only one to drop in population between 2015 and 2016. The region, defined by the U.S. Census Bureau, includes the city and suburbs and extends into Wisconsin and Indiana.
Another whopper from Rahm: "I have a practice that my political and personal (business) stays on my private email and city business is on the government and that's how I operate," Rahm insisted in a TV interview.
The Chicago Board of Ethics chairman said Tuesday the panel will look into questions raised in a Chicago Tribune report about whether some emails to Mayor Rahm Emanuel's personal accounts crossed the line into lobbying and violated the city's ethics law.
Pockets of intense Trump support exist in the broad-shouldered city of deep blue Democrats, particularly in Brancato's Mount Greenwood on the Far Southwest Side, in Edison Park and Norwood Park on the city's Far Northwest Side and in sections of Sauganash/West Ridge on the North Side — neighborhoods with substantial populations of police and firefighters.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel took a “small step” by tripling the “grace period” before slapping motorists who blow through red lights with $100 tickets, but the change does not go nearly far enough, an influential alderman said Tuesday.
Chicago agreed to pay $91 million for the South Side site in 2009. It would have served as the Olympic Village, had Chicago prevailed with the IOC. Since then, taxpayers have shelled out more than $50 million, but the city still owes over $72 million because most of the payments went toward interest on the loan.
Cook County Commissioner Peter Silvestri, who for years moonlighted as village president of Elmwood Park, took on a new side job in 2013 — as a sales agent for a video gambling firm that, months later, began installing poker and slot machines in the west suburb.
Who serves on the board of a nonprofit meant to channel the benefits that flow from Barack Obama’s presidential library into surrounding neighborhoods looks increasingly important with the Obama Foundation indicating it will play more of a passive role in economic development.
The bill for high-end office space in Chicago rose almost 20 percent in 2016, the biggest increase in the U.S. and second-highest in the world.
Chicago's one-year jump is especially striking considering the city is typically known for less dramatic fluctuations in property values and rents than those seen in coastal markets such as New York and San Francisco.
In the nearly 50 years since a college professor first proposed a third Chicago airport in the south suburbs, the idea has been known by a number of names: the airport in the lake, Peotone Airport, South Suburban Airport, Hegewisch Airport.
Also, "boondoggle," "property theft" and "disaster," to mention just a few.
McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks wants a committee to work with county officials to trim at least $7.93 million from the 2018 property tax levy – a 10 percent cut that could affect what services the county provides to residents.
The maker of a high-tech Bluetooth-enabled personal intimacy device has reached a $3.7 million settlement with a woman, on behalf of classes of other plaintiffs, who had accused the company of improperly collecting private information in a class action complaint filed last year.
Amazon launched its online bookstore nearly 22 years ago. On Tuesday, it will open the doors of a brick-and-mortar store in Chicago's Lakeview neighborhood, giving customers a chance to test the e-commerce giant's take on offline shopping.
There are two squirrel species in Chicago, and they are very particular about where they live. Gray squirrels tend to live in ritzy neighborhoods, while fox squirrels thrive in more affordable areas. A local biologist thinks he’s finally figured out why.
My husband and our music store. Our store has had to cut employee hours due to the bullying, and soon we will have to cut our employee altogether. We will close at the end of April, because we are no longer willing to subject our staff, our customers, our neighbors and ourselves to the daily risk.
So, after 25 years, after a lifetime for my husband, we have to leave.
Read the comments on Crain's below her piece which validate her perfectly.
It’s rare to see anyone on college campuses – especially students – demanding to hear opinions that differ from their own these days. But at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, the student government recently passed a series of resolutions aimed at bolstering “viewpoint and intellectual diversity.”
Comment: A ray of hope! And it was initiated by students. Smarter than the faculty perhaps.
Perino's company posed as a legitimate woman-owned business, allowing Chicago-based Diamond Coring Co. to meet its requirements for hiring disadvantaged businesses in order to win a multimillion-dollar runway repair contract at O'Hare International Airport. Perino did no work for the bills submitted by her company.
Pearachute, the Chicago-based kids' activity booking platform launched last year by GiveForward founder Desiree Vargas Wrigley, found parents who use the service raising their hands to invest after the company used a Portal called Republic to launch an equity crowdfunding campaign.
Tribune analysis of the city's latest bond sale, a $1.2 billion offering earlier this year, shows that the mayor will continue to run the city with borrowed money, at great long-term expense, through the rest of his term in 2019.
Comment: The game remains the same -- deny, delay, extend, pretend, borrow, borrow, borrow.
Many regulations are regressive. Broadly speaking, this means they make the poor worse off. Occupational licensing regulations make it harder to get good jobs as barbers, florists, contractors, interior designers, and countless other professions. Zoning regulations tend to be regressive because they make it harder to build housing, thereby raising the price of rent. Environmental regulations often raise the price of energy, which consumes a disproportionate part of a poor person's budget.
Cook County leads the state in the highest-paid government workers, according to information posted by the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform (ICPR). The web post by the organization analyzed annual payroll expenditures in Illinois’ 102 county government counties using 2015 county government financial reports and U.S. Census data.
Only eight out of more than 250 Chicago-area ZIP codes had more than a slender sliver of their housing stock in foreclosure in February. That's according to data provided to Crain's Chicago Business yesterday by Attom Data Solutions, an online real estate data service based in Irvine, Calif.
Chicago Public Schools leaders and Chicago Teachers Union officials are tussling over who can rob city students of more class time in the upcoming weeks. Call it: The War of Bad — OK, Terrible — Ideas.
A proposed ordinance would increase the demolition fee for residential properties along the western part of The 606 and charge a "deconversion fee" that would essentially make it more expensive to tear down multi-unit buildings and build single-family homes in their place.
The health of city pension funds varies widely. The typical plan is 70% funded, but Chicago’s pension is just 23% funded. Indianapolis has the best-positioned plan at 98% funded, S&P Global Ratings says.
Pension liability as measured by the plans’ potential cost to taxpayers follows a similar trend. Chicago’s plan imposes the biggest burden by far, at $12,427 per Chicagoan. Indianapolis’ pension liability is just $66 per person.
Cullinan’s Stadium Club and Beverly Records sit next door to each other in the Chicago neighborhood of Morgan Park. The owners of the two businesses have been friendly since Dan Cullinan opened his bar and grill in 1989. But even Dan couldn’t imagine how John Dreznes of Beverly Records would rush in to help when Cullinan’s Stadium Club ran into financial trouble in late 2016.
Participants in a La Grange rally supporting Cook County's new laws imposing a minimum wage hike and paid sick time law are calling the event a victory because the Village Board will not seek to opt out of the laws.
An investigation by Project Six into Retrofit One shows how major parts of city-owned buildings were used as collateral for a private loan to fund the project. Project Six’s investigation also found millions of tax dollars being wasted on labor and overhead costs for work that easily could have been done by existing city maintenance employees.
Zachary Fardon may no longer be Chicago's top federal law enforcement officer, but on his way out the door Monday he left Chicago officials with a detailed look at the violence that he said left many in his office with a "sense of frustration and despair."
Comment: No, the cause is having children before you have a committed partner and the financial means to raise a child.
Paul Miller, executive director and president of the Haym Salomon Center in Northbrook, lambasted the media in general for not taking issue with Schakowsky, who was appearing at an anti-travel ban rally in Chicago when the picture was taken.
There were 62 condominiums listed for sale in the Trump International Hotel & Tower at 401 N. Wabash Ave. as of Friday afternoon. Take away the 14 listed "hotel-condos" likely owned by investors, and the tower still has double or triple the number of active listings of any other comparable condo building in Downtown Chicago.
Thrive Chicago says its new "reconnected" plan is aimed at both helping 10,000 people aged 16-24 who are neither in school nor at work, some of them potentially in trouble with the law, and improving on the help they get.
"We know this will be difficult for many of you, who put your students first, but please consider the powerful message it will send, highlighting to the world how much we do for our students on a voluntary basis," union leaders wrote to teachers.
Environmental groups and local public officials are condemning these proposed cuts and calling on Congress to not approve them. They would result in a drop in funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative from $300 million to $10 million.
Chicago taxpayers have paid $4.5 million in legal and consulting fees tied to the federal civil rights investigation triggered by the 2014 police shooting of Laquan McDonald — and the meter is still running.
After fighting in court to keep his private email accounts completely concealed from public view, Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Wednesday released a trove of messages from throughout his nearly six years in office and announced a new city ban on using private email to conduct official business.
Some politicians try to catch flies with honey. Chicago Ald. John Arena (D-45th) douses them with vinegar:
“I am not ready to cead (sic) this country to the racist, classist, knuckle-dragging and generally subhuman puddle of DNA that makes up the base of (President Donald) Trump supporters,” he recently wrote recently.
The remnants of failed Seaway Bank & Trust are changing hands again.
The owners of the Texas bank that acquired Seaway from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. in late January now are selling Seaway's branches and deposits to a North Carolina-based credit union.
Greensboro, N.C.-based Self-Help Federal Credit Union, which specializes in lending to low-income and minority customers and already owns a Chicago lender focused on Hispanics, will take over Seaway's franchise beginning in May.
Friday’s operation targeting low-level buyers was different from most drug busts. These addicts were given the choice to go into treatment instead of jail. Forty-one of them took the police up on their offer.
Based on extensive interviews with the inhabitants of the city’s badlands, We Are Chicago is part of a growing number of “serious games” focused on using the fun and interactive nature of games to tackle social justice issues such as poverty, the environment and the Syrian Civil War.
Taking advantage of state law allowing them to essentially ignore some dictates of Cook County’s government, a growing number of Cook County suburban communities are opting out of labor ordinances passed by the Cook County Board last fall.
After more than a century in the shadow of New York’s Big Board, the Chicago Stock Exchange has been short on cash and searching for relevance. Now the exchange, which handles less than half a percent of U.S. stock trades, is approaching the final hurdle in an audacious plan to become a player in international equity markets.
A recently-released faculty committee report also suggests establishing "free speech deans-on-call" trained to "deal with disruptive conduct" in order to ensure students are not prevented from expressing themselves on campus.
A massive project, which has been relegated to the drawing board for nearly 10 years because of a slow economy, finally appears ready to break ground in nearby Crete. The $230 million, 500-acre CSX Intermodal, to be located between in the Will County community of Crete, is expected to begin construction early next year, the developer said. The project is expected to provide 200 full-time jobs, as well as 100 to 200 construction jobs.
Chicago performed the worst across the board — registering the highest annual debt, pension post-employment benefits costs as a percentage of governmental expenditures and the highest debt and pension liability per capita.
In Chicago, the study found that people in the suburbs save an average of $18,472 per year by choosing to reside outside of the city. It’s an average of $1,539 in extra costs per month in housing and childcare costs for a city-centric families, according to the report.
If Fox River and Countryside Fire Protection District's upcoming referendum question seeking to increase the property tax levy by 95 percent fails, Fire Chief John Nixon said the District would likely fold within two years.
A venture of Randy Rissman, who sold Tiger Electronics to toy giant Hasbro nearly two decades ago, has struck a preliminary deal to buy the 31-story office tower at 150 N. Wacker Drive.
Rissman is now managing director of Leo Capital Holdings, a venture capital firm he founded in 2000. The Northbrook-based firm invests in "early and later stage private companies," with a focus on consumer-oriented technologies, according to its website. Grubhub, which is now publicly traded, is listed among Leo Capital's investments on its site.
Karen Lewis is president of the Chicago Teachers Union. She was a high school chemistry teacher in Chicago Public Schools for 22 years and is a co-founder of United Working Families, a citywide independent political organization.
A Tribune investigation last spring showed districts statewide were about $20 billion in debt, in part with the help of lawmakers who push through exceptions in the debt-limit law. The Tribune found that several dozen districts over the years have gotten permission to borrow more than their debt limit.
It ranked sixth among cities around the world among executives asked by KPMG to name three locations outside San Francisco/Silicon Valley that will be seen as leading technology innovation hubs in the next four years.
Shanghai ranked first, followed by New York, Tokyo, Beijing and London. Also tied with Chicago were Washington, D.C., and Berlin, followed by Tel Aviv and Boston. That's a big step up from last year's survey, when Chicago was tied for 18th.
As it prepares to embark on a sweeping overhaul of city streetlights, the infrastructure trust that Mayor Rahm Emanuel once hailed as a model of out-of-the-box thinking to jumpstart public works has proved anything but.
“It would be in the second installment that there is the possibility that they could see a big increase if their property was reassessed or if there was a major referendum by one of the taxing bodies.”
Where, some are wondering, was this ire when President Obama was in charge? Obama's policies, such as strict gun control measures, did little to curb the violence and may have even contributed to an uptick in crime.
CTA bus drivers racked up more than 400 red-light-camera and speeding-camera tickets the past two years while on the job, records obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times show — and taxpayers were stuck having to pay.
The once-great college basketball program that debuted at Allstate Arena with a roar 37 years ago is saying goodbye with a whimper. And the timing is bad for Illinois taxpayers. Wintrust Arena on the McCormick Place campus will be the new home of DePaul men's and women's basketball this fall.
The day after federal prosecutors said Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown received what they described as bribe money from an employee, Brown was collecting money in a different way - by selling political advice for nearly $200 a head.
Comment: The scary part is that she probably really does know how to get votes in Chicago.
Comment: Well, well, well. After all the dishonest claims that our group that criticized the seminar was funded by outside interests, look who helped the seminar's supporters. Hypocrisy is no obstacle to the intolerant left.
The 2015 heist of the 111 guns, as well as one in 2014 and another last September from the same 63rd Street Rail Yard highlight a tragic confluence. Chicago's biggest rail yards are on the gang- and homicide-plagued South and West sides where most of the city's 762 killings happened last year.
Former Chicago Public Schools chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett wrecked her career for virtually nothing, but the man to whom she illegally steered CPS contracts personally pocketed more than $5 million from the company at the heart of the scandal, newly released court documents show.
To create parking turnover that helps businesses serve more customers and reverse a 5 percent drop-off in ticket writing, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s 2017 budget called for having the city’s parking enforcement aides work in tandem with “contractor teams” on weekends.
The Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago on Wednesday announced Kelly Welsh, a former Obama administration official, will replace Ty Fahner as the business organization’s president. Welsh was General Counsel at the U.S. Commerce Department.
Over the past month, U.S. Sen. Richard Durbin, Gov. Bruce Rauner and all but one member of the Illinois congressional delegation added their muscle to the push for a western access point at O'Hare International Airport.
To the cheers of the police union, Sessions sent his strongest signal to date that he was more concerned about supporting demoralized police officers than he was about negotiating a consent decree culminating in the hiring of a federal monitor to make certain police reforms are implemented in a timely fashion, no matter what it costs local taxpayers.
City Hall today began to parcel out some of the money it raised by squeezing some downtown developers to contribute to a special neighborhood development fund in exchange for winning project approvals.
The city announced $9 million in grants will go to local businesses in eight shopping areas on the South and West sides. Each new business will get up to $250,000 for building renovation and related startup costs.
The requirements and difficulty of divesting from family business ties could force Ricketts to withdraw his nomination, two sources told CBS News. That move, the sources said, could come as early as Wednesday.
Chinese investors poured more than $2 billion into Chicago real estate the past two years after flying over the city forever. Yet just as Chicago finally is on the radar in China, two forces may keep more investors from landing here: President Donald Trump's tough talk toward their country and China's own tighter controls on money leaving the nation.
Comment: Also, foreign investors haven't so far been bothered by our fiscal problems, but whether that continues is an open question.
Led by Wilmette’s Mimi Rodman, the group’s executive director, Stand for Children Illinois has pivoted away from its mantra of “pro-parent” school reform and into a more polarizing arena.
Rodman’s efforts at New Trier represent the first time her Illinois chapter, its parent, Stand for Children, Inc., which spent nearly $17 million in 2016, or any of the group’s other twelve state chapters have expressly advocated for the right of public school teachers and administrators to promote their own political views to students.
Since 1903, the city's Museums in its Parks have received tax money to fund operations, and maintain and care for their buildings. This year, the 11 museums will receive a total of $30 million. It adds up: For instance, in 2015, tax levies accounted for just north of 10 percent of the Museum of Science & Industry's $46 million in revenue.
State Sen. Don Harmon, D-Oak Park, is one of the most powerful people in Springfield, talked about as a possible future president of the Illinois Senate.
He’s also a partner in a Chicago law firm that’s been paid more than $9 million in the past five years for doing legal work for state agencies, government workers’ pension funds and local governments whose citizens he represents in the Senate, a Chicago Sun-Times examination has found.
"The most discouraging thing Hargrove has learned since starting his organization is how many police departments around the country not only ignore the FBI’s data but also don’t bother sharing their data with the FBI at all. Among the offenders: the state of Illinois.... Hargrove recently reported that homicides were more likely to go unsolved in Illinois in 2015 than in any other state.... That dreadful clearance rate would seem to go a long way toward explaining Chicago’s notoriously climbing homicide rate, just as the president and others start searching for solutions."
Seven people were shot to death on Wednesday, five of them killed over two hours, including a woman who was eight months pregnant and had already picked out a name for her baby. Homicides had been lagging behind last year, which had been the deadliest in two decades. But by Wednesday evening, the city had recorded its 99th homicide two days earlier than it did last year, according to Tribune data.
The two groups are reaching out to talent in major markets in the United States, including Chicago, and around the world to find talented tech professionals interested in relocating to New Zealand's scenic capital city.
Officials around the country should watch closely and learn well from these mistakes: The mismanagement of public retirement programs can wreck a city, even in places that aren't already suffering from larger budgetary issues that go beyond their pension funds.
Proviso Township High Schools District 209 dramatically increased its spending over the most recent five-year period for which records are publicly available. Adjusted for inflation, the district’s budget increased 20 percent in that time period.
Over the same time, the property tax assessment levied by the district on homeowners increased by 69 percent.
The analysis uncovered 39 payments between Dec. 2011 and Feb. 2016 to Massachusetts-based SEED, or Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity, which states its mission is to train teachers to acknowledge white “oppression, power, and privilege.”
CPS’ first move comes Wednesday, when the board will vote to cut more than $100 million from its budget to fill a $215 million hole. Here’s an explainer on how CPS got to this point, what the district’s options are and what are the consequences.
A Texas developer plans to build nearly 500 homes on the site of the former Cabrini-Green housing complex, another big step in the city's long-running push to redevelop the Near North Side property.
The Chicago Housing Authority said its Board of Commissions has picked a team led by El Paso-based Hunt Development Group to develop 480 units of mixed-income housing on a 6.9-acre site at Larrabee Street and Clybourn Avenue. The project will include a 21-story tower, 32,900-square feet of retail space and several connected mid-rise buildings and low-rise townhomes, according to the CHA.
"This seminar, concocted by one of the nation's most prestigious schools, undoubtedly will become a template for other mass indoctrinations. It will blossom into the latest fad approved by America's education "experts" who have burdened America with so many failed school systems."
When Chicago Public Schools just put a freeze on half of every school’s remaining discretionary money to save $46 million, CEO Forrest Claypool blamed Gov. Bruce Rauner for the cuts, saying he has no regard for the city’s impoverished black and brown children.
But it turns out that the way Claypool decided to cut school budgets this time — by freezing the rest of every principal’s discretionary money — has hurt majority Hispanic schools at twice the rate of schools serving mostly white children, and cut poor schools at twice the rate of wealthier ones.
Comment: It's not true that "students are allowed to leave if they feel uncomfortable." Attendance is being coerced. It's a day of mandatory attendance. It's day of Spring sports tryouts. If you don't attend you are barred from those tryouts and other extracurricular activities. The school has, however, made parts of the day's seminar optional.
"PEG teaches that 'individualism'-- or assigning independent classroom assignments-- and 'future time orientation,' or planning ahead, are forms of 'cultural racism' that benefit whites over blacks." “It is our belief that the most devastating factor contributing to the lowered achievement of students of color is institutionalized racism.”
Highland Park H.S., Deerfield H.S., Evanston H.S. and Oak Park-River Forest H.S. are other schools in on the racket.
The Illinois State Board of Education said Friday it has reached a tentative settlement with the Chicago Urban League, who accused the agency almost a decade ago of violating students’ civil rights with the way it funds public schools.
In 2015, hotels and hotel lobby groups donated more than $85,000 to 22 Chicago aldermen. A year later, the city passed confusing and complex regulations on Airbnb and similar home-sharing services that allow people to rent out their private homes and apartments to individuals.
David Plouffe, a former Uber executive and Barack Obama's 2008 campaign manager, has been fined $90,000 by the Chicago Board of Ethics for illegally lobbying Mayor Rahm Emanuel on behalf of the ride-hailing company.
In his Facebook statement, “A Message Of Strength & Solidarity,” Bayless wrote: “Out of respect for our staff’s vote to support Thursday’s immigrant civil actions in Chicago and elsewhere, we are closing Frontera Grill, Topolobampo, Xoco and Fonda Frontera on Thursday.”
The shooting death of a 2-year-old Chicago boy and a 25-year-old man was streamed live on Facebook on Tuesday — a shockingly public display of the violence that has killed two children in less than a week in that city.
Is it to get travelers downtown a bit faster, or is it chasing a status symbol? London got private businesses to signal its competitiveness as a global city. If Chicago can’t, that’s a lot of money to pay for a signal.
Canadian engineering and architecture firm exp is moving its headquarters from the Toronto suburbs to downtown Chicago. They expect to add 150 jobs at its hew home, with future engineering, architectural, and technical positions to be filled by local talent and recruits from Chicago-area universities. They will join about 230 employees already working at exp's office in the Loop.
Citing the landmark education civil rights case Brown v. Board of Education, CPS railed against the state of Illinois for maintaining what it calls “two separate and demonstrably unequal systems for funding public education in the State: one for the City of Chicago, whose public school children are 90% children of color, and the other for the rest of the State, whose public school children are predominantly white.”
The complex had more shootings than any block in the city between June 2011 and June 2014, a Sun-Times analysis found. As the first housing cooperative operated and owned by African-Americans, Parkway Gardens was a model for urban development. It is now a textbook example of what happens when hope moves out and despair moves in.
Under fire for crossing the line into the privacy of peoples’ homes, Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants to water down his plan to regulate the burgeoning home-sharing industry to bolster the city’s chances of surviving a court challenge.
Sixty-two percent of Chicago families are financially insecure, meaning they have less than $2,000 in savings, according to a new report. This can lead to trouble recovering from a financial emergency or job loss, but it can also directly impact city budgets.
Why were CSU leaders spending money on expanding their mismanaged realm? Why weren't they focused instead on why their enrollment has plummeted by half since 2010? Or why CSU's six-year graduation rate is 11 — yes, 11 — percent?
For years now, workers at the city’s airports have complained they’re victims of wage theft and are paid poorly even when they get all that’s promised. Some contractors have settled federal lawsuits, including the janitorial company the city has paid about $100 million over the past five years.
The cash-strapped Chicago school system is overpaying by as much as $10 million for its new fleet of for-profit alternative schools for dropouts, according to a WBEZ analysis of a Chicago Public Schools audit.
Chicago sports teams have rolled the dice and are hoping for a big win if Illinois lawmakers decide they won’t have to pay workers’ compensation wage loss benefits to professional athletes beyond age 35.
"Microsoft Corp.’s decision to move its regional headquarters to downtown Detroit from the suburbs has talking heads all atwitter. Why stop there?
For the first time in who knows when, southeast Michigan and the reinventing city at its core can legitimately compete to become the regional headquarters of choice for the Midwest. That’s an honor for way too long owned by Chicago."
Chicago Cubs co-owner Todd Ricketts has been pressed for details about his fundraising efforts for two groups by three Democratic U.S. senators who will consider his nomination to be the No. 2 official at the Commerce Department.
"These 'check your privilege' brainwashing sessions have become commonplace at colleges. Parents don’t seem to know or care enough to protest. The New Trier parents’ group is a sign that resistance to deadening propaganda is alive and well — and polite."
Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Thursday outlined a three-year plan to create 40,000 jobs, in part, by forging ahead with a high-speed rail line between downtown and O’Hare Airport that steers clear of the $200 million Block 37 super-station.
Chicago’s Republican Party filed an ethics complaint Wednesday against schools CEO Forrest Claypool, charging that a letter he sent home to students this week blaming the governor for budget woes is “political propaganda.”
It looks like the biggest companies in Illinois will sit out a revenue revival expected to boost top lines at many major American corporations this year.
Sales at the 10 largest publicly traded companies here are projected to edge down 0.27 percent on average, based on analyst forecasts compiled by Thomson Reuters. That's an improvement over last year's average decline of 3.4 percent, but a far cry from the 5.9 percent average projected revenue increase for all companies in the Standard & Poor's 500 Index, according to data from Yardeni Research.
Amid a two-year budget fight in Springfield that has bruised it financially, and with a new hotel and basketball arena opening later this year, the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority today released a wide-ranging study it commissioned to quantify how much money it generates for Chicago and Illinois.
Chicago Bears legend Brian Urlacher – a player whose exceptional, bruising play on the field was accentuated by his clean shaven head – has rushed to sack a Florida medical practice the middle linebacker said has wrongly profited from baldly using Urlacher’s name and hair regrowth success to market his services.
The project — a joint initiative between the state and City Colleges of Chicago — repeatedly has stalled amid the state's budget crisis and disputes between the city and Springfield. Instead of being filled with students taking classes, the facility sits idle and empty, its future uncertain after years of delays that could cost taxpayers millions beyond the initial $45 million price tag.
About $28 million of the $51 million in planned savings will come by CPS halting planned expenditures on new textbooks, more technology, field trips, hourly employees and other items. An additional $5 million in planned spending on teacher training also is being frozen.
Cities, counties and states are gearing up for a costly battle over billions of dollars in federal funding after President Trump threatened to halt support for those that defy his ban on so-called "sanctuary cities."
The city of Chicago and the vendor to which the city paid $1.2 billion to install and run Chicago’s street parking meter system have been hit with a class action lawsuit, alleging the vendor and the city should be made to pay up for parking tickets wrongly issued to motorists who were actually legally parked after paying for their parking using the ParkChicago smartphone app.
A Cleveland minister's surprise comment to President Donald Trump on Wednesday that he had heard from "top gang thugs" in Chicago who wanted to meet with him to reduce the city's gun violence was quickly ridiculed by anti-violence groups here as likely to fail and certainly out of touch with longtime gang dynamics.
But Trump embraced the minister's remarks. "That's a great idea because Chicago is totally out of control," the president said of Scott meeting with Chicago gang leaders to reduce the violence.
Fitch Ratings took aim at its credit ratings competitor Moody's Investors Service in an unusual and blunt public notice on Wednesday with a report detailing disagreements over its analysis of the Chicago Public Schools bond payment protections.
At a meeting Wednesday with members of the African American community, President Donald Trump again talked about Chicago violence saying if city officials don’t take steps, “we’re going to solve the problem for them.”
“Because we’re going to have to do something… What’s happening in Chicago should not be happening in this country,” Trump said.
In an advisory issued Wednesday, Standard & Poor’s said its preliminary analysis of Trump’s executive order is “unlikely to immediately affect federal funding streams” to sanctuary cities because of “established statutory limitations of the executive branch withholding or deferring such funding.”
Comment: Looks to me like S&P sucking up to Rahm in hopes of more business. S&P is wrong on this. If Trump wants to whack Chicago over this, he has many ways to do it.
Chicago's fortunes are now more closely linked to the distressed district and a dysfunctional state government in what's known as "credit cluster risk," say market participants
Comment: Duh. What a sorry reflection on the muni bond community that they only now realize this. We've been saying here for years that you have to look on a consolidated basis at the overlapping units of government. An extreme case of The Silo Effect has been the norm with rating agencies and others in the muni bond industry, as we wrote earlier.
"You would think that with the Chicago area's low home inventory that our home prices would be taking off. They are advancing but not nearly as fast as the rest of the nation and we are in fact falling further and further behind the rest of the country."
Comment: This author, Gary Lucido, always does a particularly good analysis of the Case-Schiller Index, which is the only meaningful one on home prices.
Northwestern University has awarded nearly $165,000 to professors through two programs intended to "further their diversity initiatives" and help them explore “the psychological consequences of biases.”
Comment: Higher education has descended into a reliable source of comic entertainment. See Campus Reform's weekly roundup linked here.
More than 40 percent of the more than 30,000 refugees who have settled in various parts of Chicagoland since 2002 are from the seven countries specifically mentioned in Donald Trump's latest executive order.
Caterpillar Inc. announced today it will locate a limited group of senior executives and support functions in the Chicago area later this year and reaffirmed the ongoing importance of its presence in Peoria and Central Illinois.
For Kathy, the owner of a 90-year-old jewelry store in Berwyn, Illinois, every piece of her jewelry adds up to a larger, richer history about the business that she joined as a 16-year-old part-time employee and ended up running. A lot of small businesses are labors of love, but the story of Kathy and Hursts’ Berwyn Jewelers is a love story in more ways than one.
About 65 percent of African-American, Latino and Asian households in Chicago have so little savings and other assets that a sudden job loss, medical emergency or other income disruption would throw them into poverty within three months, according to a report on wealth inequities in the city.
Behold the legacy of the party of the underprivileged.
A new executive order signed by President Donald Trump sets up a showdown over immigration enforcement that could threaten at least $3.6 billion in federal aid this year for the city of Chicago and sister agencies, a BGA analysis shows.
Buried among the facts and figures in the Justice Department’s recent book-length report on the failings of the Chicago Police Department was a telling statistic: The rate of suicide among CPD officers is 60 percent higher than other departments across the U.S. An average of three officers will take their own lives each year.
Comment: No, it's going to take lots more than the usual game of funding for city projects, described here. That's especially true respecting Trump and the federal government. The real game will end up being changes to the federal Bankruptcy Code and legislation perhaps similar to Puerto Rico's.
Nationally, while wage-and-hour litigation, and related regulatory actions were on the rise in 2016, the monetary value of top employment-related class action settlements were on the decline last year. “Workplace class-action litigation has increased geometrically over the past decade,” said Gerald L. Maatman Jr, a partner at Seyfarth Shaw. “More often than not, it poses unique 'bet-the-company' risks for employers.
A Palatine bar that planned to offer a “Build-A-Wall” burger adorned with Mexican condiments has walked back on the special after receiving criticism from some saying it was offensive—though not everyone agrees.
Illinois residents burdened with falling home values and high property taxes are headed toward a cliff if Springfield doesn't do something soon to pull the state back from the precipice, said Wirepoints writer Mark Glennon.
The Chicago Public Schools (CPS) ended its last fiscal year with a bigger-than-expected deficit and will need to find new revenue or make major spending cuts in order to sustain operations over the long term, according to the district's annual audit.
British vacuum maker Dyson Ltd. is the latest global company to get in on the action in the trendy Fulton Market neighborhood in Chicago.
The company will relocate its U.S. headquarters from 600 W. Chicago Ave. to the brand new commercial development at 1330 W. Fulton St.T he company expects to add 100 jobs in the Chicago area along with the change of venue.
In an interview with Business Insider, he said his firm was doing its part by contributing to Chicago's public schools. Duffy said firms in cities across the US had a "moral responsibility" to play a key role in fighting societal ills, and he called community improvement a team effort.
As the city’s school board announces a third round of budget hearings to deal with still-private plans to close most of a $215 million budget gap, one member raised the possibility of shortening the school year.
Cash-strapped Chicago State University spent about $200,000 over the past two years to lobby state lawmakers, including contracts with consultants closely tied to legislative leaders whose inability to pass a state budget has contributed to the school's financial crisis.
Toni Preckwinkle campaigned for county board president as a tax slasher but later pushed new and increased levies. Debate rages over whether she has imposed enough austerity on county government to justify a course correction on taxes.
Comment: A/K/A to readers here as Taxwinkle or Peckerwanker.
Parents, teachers and disability rights advocates say new oversight protocols keep kids from getting services they need, while BGA analysis raises questions about Chicago Public Schools' claims that minority students are over-identified for special ed.
The far-reaching report gave statistics and data on many different aspects of the CPD, its operations and the problems with the department. Some of the important data from the DOJ report is in this article.
Comment: Project 6 is the new, privately funded government accountability task force in Chicago.
"As the economy recovers and energy prices go down and the older cohort of millennials starts to get married in larger numbers, residential patterns may change significantly, with important consequences for America’s politics and geography."
Comment: Will be interesting to see if that develops in Chicago, where millennials so far have shown little interest in the suburbs.
The proposed northern boundary in 1817 for Illinois, according to the study, was a "straight line from the southernmost tip of Lake Michigan (in Indiana) to the Mississippi River just south of the Rock River confluence with the Mississippi River."
In effect, Emanuel has said to Moody’s, if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. He bald-facedly ask them to quit reporting on us. This service rates our bonds so that investors know a little about what they are buying. We are at the bottom of their ratings, worst in the country....
It is time to say, if we don’t get concessions from the unions on the pensions, we cannot tax our way out of this fiasco. It is just a moral crime for anyone to be collecting a $400,000 pension for life. Pensions were never meant to make you rich.
So if Emanuel can get Moody’s to stop reporting on the financial condition of the city, perhaps no one will notice as we sink into oblivion. Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain, so to speak!
Huge salute to Mr. Hovany for writing this. So few in our financial community have had the courage to speak up. They know how bad it is, but most are crony capitalists cowering in fear of retribution. I'd move my banking to Wintrust except it's already there.
TV shows like FOX’s “Empire” and NBC’s “Chicago Fire,” “Chicago PD” and “Chicago Med” film in the state. That lineup is set to add “Chicago Justice,” which started filming in September. Online media services like Netflix and Amazon also air shows filmed in Illinois.
A Chicago-based advocacy group that has led a national crusade to expose sexual abuse by Catholic clergy is being sued by a former executive who claims the not-for-profit colluded with lawyers who sued the church in exchange for “kickbacks” on the multimillion-dollar settlements they won.
A Washington attorney whose law firm helped guide the city through the U.S. Justice Department’s investigation of the Chicago Police Department has been chosen by Mayor Rahm Emanuel to replace departing Corporation Counsel Steve Patton. Edward Siskel, a former deputy White House Counsel under President Barack Obama, also served as a deputy attorney general in the Department of Justice.
Yields topped out at 6.20 percent for bonds due in 2038 with an infrequently seen 6 percent coupon. The city's so-called credit spread over Municipal Market Data's benchmark triple-A yield scale widened to 347 basis points for bonds due in 12 to 17 years and to 339 basis points in 2038, according to MMD.
The Chicago Teachers Union and its allies launched a series of demonstrations at schools citywide Thursday morning, joining a national effort organized by education labor unions and left-leaning advocacy groups to repudiate President-elect Donald Trump and his pick to lead the U.S. Department of Education.
As Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Wednesday defended four unpaid furlough days just imposed on Chicago’s public schools, the Chicago Teachers Union announced plans to join national protests against school spending cuts.
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle on Wednesday stopped short of throwing the shortcomings of the Chicago Police Department at the feet of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, but said she wished he had done more, and done it sooner.
Comment: Best to distance yourself from Rahm if you want to run for mayor.
Adam McKay, who won an Oscar for his film "The Big Short," is executive producing a movie called "Crook County," based on the true story of the massive 1980s FBI sting in Chicago that took down dirty Cook County judges, sheriff's deputies, police officers, court officials and one state legislator.
The ride-hailing company said Wednesday it has expanded a program that allows riders to use commuter benefits debit cards for UberPool rides, which arranges rides with other passengers going in the same direction for a discounted price.
Vallas, known for transforming urban schools districts, called CSU’s financial and structural problems a “microcosm” of what he endured as CEO of Chicago Public Schools from 1995 to 2001. But he said he’s confident the university can endure a turnaround.
They will be joined by millions more around the country, the largest women’s march expected in Washington D.C. While organizers say it isn’t necessarily an anti-Trump rally, they aren’t sure there would have been a march had Hillary Clinton won.
Besides a tragic human toll, a far less traumatizing, but still damaging, byproduct of the violence is the erosion of businesses in neighborhoods wracked by violence.
Stretches of boarded up shops line thoroughfares and once booming retail epicenters are shells of their glory days. Poverty, depopulation and political neglect have played a role in suppressed development.
The obscure Bank of the Ozarks, based in Arkansas' capital, in the past six months has committed more than $430 million in construction loans for what will be the tallest building south of Willis Tower and a new 35-story structure to house CNA Financial. It also is one of two lenders bankrolling the redevelopment of the old Chicago Public Schools headquarters.
As the U.S. Justice Department asks Chicago to address deep flaws in police officers' use of force, a group of aldermen is accusing Mayor Rahm Emanuel's Law Department of enabling the misconduct and is asking federal authorities to investigate.
An almost comical case of point-missing arose again this week in Chicago, when the city awarded a $1.1 million preliminary planning contract to an engineering firm for a project in Woodlawn, one of the South Side neighborhoods that has become a killing field. Rahm wants to raise tens of millions of dollars to…watch out…build a luxury golf course in Woodlawn's Jackson Park.
Amtrak wants to enhance its route from Chicago to Milwaukee from seven round trips a day to 10 to accommodate increased ridership. You know what you’re getting, if you buy a house right next to railroad tracks. But some suburban homeowners say a proposal to expand an Amtrak line that will increase train traffic is too much.
“Consent decrees are traditionally very expensive for cities like Chicago. If they can work to resolve issues without paying a federal monitor hundreds of thousands of dollars and they can accomplish the same thing, that’s a good practice to save citizens money.”
Chicago is putting up for sale about 40 properties, most of them empty school buildings shuttered in the historic 2013 school closings, officials announced Thursday. Chicago Public Schools so far has sold only nine of the 50-some buildings closed in 2013 and found other purposes for five.
The Justice Department’s probe of Chicago Police misconduct found the Independent Police Review Authority used biased techniques to investigate officers — and police received poor training at all levels, the Chicago Sun-Times has learned.
Under the city worker pension plan, city taxpayers would contribute millions more a year to the municipal workers’ and laborers’ pension funds. To pay for the increased contributions, the City Council approved a new tax on city water and sewer service.
At least Trump didn't threaten to spit on reporters.
And he didn't get drunk and order underlings to remove a reporter's desk from the press area. Or announce that a reporter should get a whipping. Or verbally assault a reporter for his lack of hair. And he didn't suggest sticking the barrel of a rifle up a reporter's behind and then pulling the trigger to make his political point on gun control.
In Chicago, officials originally announced a plan in 2015 to place a nine percent tax on cloud-based services. As an extension of an existing personal property tax, the new proposal would cover both streaming video and services like general cloud-based streaming. After negotiations, the tax rate was reduced to 5.25 percent and went into effect Jan. 1.
An appeals court ruling in December determined that the village of North Riverside doesnt have an adequate reason for shorting the pension fund for several years prior to 2013 an issue that started in an administrative hearing and wound its way through the courts for more than two years.
Creamer was exposed by James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas as the key figure in a complex scheme involving a tactic called “bird-dogging,” which involved planting trained activists at Donald Trump’s campaign rallies and other Republican events. The activists were trained to provoke members of the audience into reacting violently, and to provide footage to the media.
Rahm Emanuel isn't happy with Moody's Investors Service, so he's trying to make the rating agency go away. Emanuel's administration disclosed Tuesday that the mayor formally asked Moody's to withdraw all of the city ratings. The disclosure came ahead of investor meetings set for this week. Moody's declined.
Comment: A reminder that ratings agencies are prostitutes, but they are forced prostitutes. If they try to be honest they'll be whipped, and certainly won't get hired. If you don't know how this business works, see the movie The Big Short.
The U.S. Justice Department will conclude in a report to be released Friday that the Chicago Police Department displayed a pattern and practice of violating residents' constitutional rights over years, a law enforcement official said Wednesday.
"I’ve come to understand that Chicago, and its surrounding areas, have become hell on Earth for any thinking person with a modicum of self-respect. This has become an insane, dangerous, soul-destroying place, and I’ve had enough."
Chicago is conducting a full court press with investors this week to promote its budget and pension funding gains ahead of a $1.16 billion general obligation sale.
Even if investors downplay the city's own looming fiscal pressures, its spread penalties next week could suffer from fallout from the Chicago Public Schools' fiscal woes and the state government's political dysfunction, market participants said.
Trump, with a little help from Congress, will have broad presidential powers to crack down on "sanctuary cities" that protect undocumented immigrants.
In what could become a major conflict between the new president and local governments, the showdown likely will result in legal challenges testing how far the White House can go in dictating its priorities.
According to CBRE, Chicago is slated to get 2,142 new rooms this year. In addition to the Marriott Marquis, Chicago will get a new trendy ACE Hotel in the Fulton Market District, a luxury Viceroy hotel in the Gold Coast, and a Nobu Hotel, co-owned by actor Robert De Niro.
The city will also welcome EMC2, part of the Marriott Autograph Collection. Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants’ former Hotel Burnham will be rebranded to The Alise Chicago, a StayPineapple Hotel.
“The bill essentially authorizes another property tax hike on the people of Chicago and sets a funding cliff five years out without any assurances that the city can meet its obligations,” Rauner spokeswoman Catherine Kelly said in a statement. “The governor cannot support this bill without real pension reform that protects taxpayers.”
Denis Lawlor was overheard giving rookie MWRD cop Daniel Varallo an unorthodox orientation to life on the job at the floodwater control agency’s Stickney plant in 2015, including the location of a secret room where officers kept a beer fridge, and calling another officer a “stupid Alabama hill n—–.”
There are stunning new crime numbers from the FBI: in Chicago, it isn't just murders and shootings that are up - it is all violent crime.
Newly-obtained FBI data show that the crime surge in Chicago goes beyond the end of a gun. Overall violent crime - an umbrella figure that includes murder, rape, robbery and assault - jumped significantly here the first half of last year, an increase more than four times higher than the rest of the nation.
It’s not a small problem. Zion is stuck with about 1,000 tons of extremely hazardous spent nuclear fuel rods. The rods sit inside stainless steel canisters encased in concrete on Lake Michigan’s shoreline, an option that environmentalists consider unacceptably inadequate because the waste is not in containers hardened sufficiently to withstand a terrorist attack or a direct hit by a fuel-laden commercial airliner.
It's unclear just how serious the mayor was being when he spoke at the event about the future of transportation. But even if Emanuel had his tongue in his cheek, taxi drivers and medallion owners may not see the funny side.
A bill to help salvage two city worker pension funds now heads to the governor, who has vowed not to sign it without pension reform. It provides for taxpayers and government employees putting more money into retirement systems that cover laborers and municipal workers. The Illinois House passed the bill in December. But Gov. Bruce Rauner won’t support the bill without pension reform.
Comment: Good for Rauner, but the scary part here is that Sen. Radogno is apparently negotiating on behalf of GOP against Dem Cullerton. Radogno has never understood pensions. Cullerton does, and he's a union tool. He will run circles around Radogno.
A Wicker Park elementary parent called out the Chicago Teachers Union over the weekend on a national stage, claiming the union stopped parents who volunteered to staff their children’s school library after its librarian was laid off.
"Chicago’s position at the bottom of the ranking is no surprise to anyone who follows municipal finance. The Windy City has become a poster child for financial mismanagement, having suffered a series of ratings downgrades in recent years. Aside from having thin reserves and large volumes of outstanding debt, Chicago is notorious for its underfunded pension plans.
The conference took place in the shadow of the 1,400-foot Trump International Hotel and Tower, with its giant embossed letters glistening above the Chicago River: TRUMP. Chicago’s single-digit temperatures meant anxious discussions took place among economists quite literally shivering in black or gray overcoats.
"We have an opportunity for you to win some money—$500 to be exact. If you are able to come up with a creative way to approach this negative perception, be it a video series, blog post, photo, or something else (and better) entirely… Keep in mind that the audience is a high school student and his/her family.”
Rahm Emanuel is pitching Wall Street investors on the latest city borrowing plan, a $1.2 billion package that, like previous versions, pushes hundreds of millions of dollars of debt into the future at higher costs to taxpayers.
Financial exchanges like CME Group and trading firms such as Citadel have generated tens of millions of dollars in new swaps business, and they'll be reluctant to let go of the new infrastructure built on Dodd-Frank's Title VII, which set up a framework for the regulation of swaps markets.
Zion is staggering. Crushed by the loss of half its property-tax base when the power plant was closed in 1998, it faces the foreseeable future as a nuclear waste dump. People can’t sell their houses because of the taxes so they rent them. About two-thirds of them are now rental units.
A Korean-American professor filed a lawsuit against the University of Illinois at Chicago last week, claiming that officials in his department “systematically harassed” him because of his ethnicity and forced him to teach a math class because he was Asian.
Obama betrayed his Chicago base too. "At the very least, I expected the City That Doesn’t Work to reap the socialist rewards of an Obama Presidency. His federal stimulus cost taxpayers $830 billion but is there one person on Chicago’s South Side that is any better off for it? What portion of Obama’s $9.9 trillion in added debt went to the poverty-stricken neighborhoods of Englewood or Ashburn Gresham? What benefit did they receive?"
Obama’s embrace of the Black Lives Matter movement has been a disaster for the city. As Mayor Emanuel said himself in 2015, commenting on the increased scrutiny of police — a result of BLM’s nationwide rise: “We have allowed our police department to get fetal and it is having a direct consequence … They have pulled back from the ability to interdict … they don’t want to be a news story themselves, they don’t want their career ended early, and it’s having an impact.”
“Three years ago we set a goal for Chicago to reach 55 million visitors by 2020,” Mayor Emanuel said. “We had an incredible and record-breaking year in 2016, but we are not stopping there," they mayor said.
CNN pre-empted its usual prime-time programming on New Year’s Day for a special two-hour film about the group Chicago. Only at the conclusion of the program did viewers get a subtle clue about the film’s origins. A credit line read: “Produced by Chicago.”
Comment: This article raises a good question, but it sure is ironic for the Washington Post to be criticizing CNN. Each has lost credibility.
Caterpillar will consider moving production of large wheel-loaders and compactors to its Decatur plant, and production of medium wheel-loaders to a facility in Little Rock, Arkansas. After manufacturing is moved out of Aurora, only an office for engineering and product support would remain open.
The “pursuit-rated” hybrid will be made at the company’s Torrence Avenue plant. The hybrid and another new police vehicle will be outfitted with police equipment at another Ford operation on the South Side. No information was immediately available about whether Ford would hire workers to make the new police vehicle.
Mike Shields is trying to reclaim his job as president of the Fraternal Order of Police — three years after being suspended for making the explosive charge that two police contracts handed down by an independent arbitrator had been “rigged” in the city’s favor.
Northwestern University students raised a Black Lives Matter flag above the student union Tuesday morning as many of them partake in a two-week program to focus on the activist movement. The program, hosted by several different student groups, will include a series of evening panels and discussions, as well as a candlelight vigil for lost black lives.
Comment: This was about an email exchange in which Rahm responded to our Wirepoints article, "The shock and awe budget address Rahm should have given." This article describes our piece as "radical." Just wait until they see the consequences of ignoring the need for radical reform. And you'd think the Sun-Times would at least give us attribution for our article, given that we send them tens of thousands of pageviews.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel's law department again has been sanctioned for withholding records involving a fatal police shooting, marking the eighth time in recent years a federal judge has formally punished the city for failing to turn over potential evidence in a police misconduct lawsuit.
U.S District Court Judge Joan Gottschall on Tuesday ruled that the city acted in "bad faith" when it ignored a court order and made little effort to provide documents to the lawyer for the family of 20-year-old Divonte Young, who was shot and killed by police in 2012.
Chicago's Honey Butter Fried Chicken is among a couple of dozen restaurants across the country to sign onto a new "sanctuary restaurant" movement meant to offer safe workplaces for immigrants, Muslims and other communities they feel are under threat in the current political climate. They place prominent signs that state "SANCTUARY RESTAURANTS: A Place At the Table for Everyone" at their establishments.
Comment: Let's just say it wouldn't be wise to park a car in front with a "Make America Great Again" bumper sticker.
Comment: Throw more money at violent communities -- that's what this article says -- the standard answer from a standard prog, Ben Joravsky. No, this is a social issue, too. Countless populations of poor people today and throughout history have been safer from violence than Chicago's today. Unless and until African-American communities themselves take ownership of the crime problem, it won't be solved.
Comment: This was part of the email exchange Rahm had about our Wirepoints article, "The shock and awe budget address Rahm should have given." We wrote about that email exchange here. The irony is that his claim about eliminating healthchcare coverage is bunk, as we wrote.
Chicago State University officials said the university will burn through cash reserves and eventually need to make additional cuts, according to documents sent to state officials responsible for funding.
“So what’s happening, and this is ironic, is that a movement with the goal of saving black lives at this point is getting black lives taken, because 80 percent of our murder victims here in Chicago are male blacks,” McCarthy said. “Less than half of 1 percent of all the shootings in this city involve police officers shooting civilians.”
The bill to sound-insulate a small test group of such older homes is averaging more than $101,000 per residence — four times the city’s $25,000 average for non-historic dwellings, records obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times show.
The city of Chicago paid out about $670,000 last year to plaintiffs in lawsuits alleging that officials violated open records law — nearly five times what the city paid in the previous eight years combined.
Deaths in Will County in 2016 attributable to heroin or fentanyl – the latter an increasingly common, far more lethal heroin substitute – stood at 75 as of Friday, O'Neil said. That was 42 percent higher than the previous record of 53 reported in 2012 and 2015.
Former Chicago Ald. Sandi Jackson, who is seeking a divorce from ex-U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., said in court filings this week that he has income of at least $10,250 a month while she is out of work and has been borrowing from friends and selling her belongings to stay afloat.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. offered a crucial lifeline to the ailing Chicago Public Schools by purchasing almost $1 billion of short-term notes from the junk-rated system in the last four months. When the New York-based bank put some of its holdings up for sale, nobody made the trade.
Comment: In other words, responsibility of the federal government to control immigration should be ignored and spread, instead, among the hodgepodge of different views taken by universities and colleges (as well as towns and cities, for which they also support sanctuary status). That's madness, even if you support normalization for non-criminal Dreamers and certain others (as I happen to). This is really just a reminder that the Sun-Times editorial writers are wackjobs.
The Chicago Stock Exchange moved closer this month to approval for its sale to a Chinese buyer, but a decision by the Securities & Exchange Commission remains, and that could trip up the deal in President-elect Donald Trump's administration.
Comment: For many of these communities effective rates remain suicidally high. Keep in mind as you read them that the average effective rate nationally in urban areas is just 1.5%. We've written extensively about this and will again shortly.
Rents have dropped in areas of downtown where there has been massive new construction of luxury high-rise apartment buildings, and rents are rising only modestly throughout the metropolitan area, according to Axiometrics, a Dallas firm that tracks rental data throughout the country.
Increasingly, at least in the centers of the greatest hipster infestation, minorities and working class families are being driven into less desirable areas, often further from work locations. This helps create new social tensions and, in many places, notably Chicago, more social unrest, and now the most murders in more than two decades. Overall, the rate of violent crime in urban cores remains almost four times higher than the national average, according to FBI data.
Comment: WTF? This may be the dumbest opinion piece of the year, though we still have a few days left. Most perplexing, it's not labeled as an opinion piece, which author Fran Spielman usually does when she occasionally steps aside from reporting (and she's a great reporter). In terms of the substance of this opinion, good grief. Rahm is toast.
"Chicago is going to be ground zero for the rest of the nation for how it deals with its pension stress," Danielle DiMartino Booth, a former Federal Reserve of Dallas. said. "All eyes are on the Windy City right now."
DiMartino Booth said she sees no option other than bankruptcy for Chicago.
Congressional members have been allowed to place family members on their campaign payrolls since 2001. The allowance stems from an opinion issued by the Federal Election Commission after a request from former Rep. Jesse Jackson (D., Ill).
Comment One alderman wondered aloud why the mayor fought so long and hard to keep them secret since there's no smoking gun and nothing new. That's because Rahm selected which ones to release! See the story immediately below this. Sheesh.
A report by apartment-finding marketplace ADOBO.com found that of the 50 largest metropolitan areas’ in and out-migrations, a bigger percentage of Chicago’s residents left the area than any other big city. In a 12-month period ending in July of 2015, the Chicagoland area lost .84 percent or nearly 7,900 people.
Chicago returns to the market in January with a general obligation deal that should benefit from the stabilization of three of its bond ratings.
Those ratings solidified because of the city's progress in developing a funding plan for its pensions, but Chicago's name remains tainted by a junk rating from Moody's Investors Service (MCO) and warnings that its pension ills are far from cured.
Illinois' richest man might as well have been wearing a Santa costume instead of his trademark somber business suit Wednesday morning when he announced a whopping $12 million present to Rahm and the city of Chicago.
Griffin agreed over a recent lunch with Emanuel to fork over the cash to fund the creation of two separate bike and pedestrian paths along the 18-mile Lakefront Trail.
The expansion proposal outlined late last week by the Illinois Department of Transportation would add high-occupancy tolled express lanes to relieve congestion and speed up traffic on Interstate 290, known locally as the Eisenhower Expressway.
("P3" is muniwonk for public private partnership.)
Chicago schools are a step closer to suffering midyear cuts for the second year in a row as the deadline for the Illinois House to override Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner's veto of $215 million for the Chicago Public Schools passed Friday.
Some watchdogs who monitor Farrakhan say his latest appeal is a desperate grasp at significance for a group far from its heyday. However, the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks extremism, has found black separatism growing alongside white supremacy, creating a more favorable environment for the Nation's teachings.
U.S. Representative John Culberson (R-TX) said existing law allows the Trump Administration to not only stop future funding to these jurisdictions, but actually take back past funding. Cook County is among the jurisdictions already certified as noncompliant.
Northwest Indiana has had some success luring companies from Illinois, but it's hardly a stampede and nothing like one would expect given the government dysfunction and fiscal problems in the Land of Lincoln.
Location didn't matter: Failures occurred in poor neighborhoods on the South Side as well as in affluent suburbs and the Gold Coast. Even the Walgreens at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in downtown Chicago failed its test.
Chicago’s busiest TV and film studio is getting another hand from the government: a property-tax cut that will shift an estimated $4 million burden onto other taxpayers over the next dozen years, according to a Chicago Sun-Times analysis.
Comment: We've hesitated before to publish some of these technical pieces by actuary Mary Pat Campbell, but our readers love them and they get lots of pageviews. Nice to have readers who aren't afraid of a little math.
Chicago and cities like it represent hope against the populist surge shown by the elections and Brexit, thinks the Financial Times.
Comment: What the FT doesn't get is that Chicago is broke and so is its model of government. It's not generating the growth and revenue needed to pay the bills it incurs. Same for many of the other big blue cities the FT thinks have it right.
The indictment grew from an investigation begun by Faisal Khan, the Chicago City Council's former watchdog. Remember him? Aldermen undermined Khan at every turn. They limited his investigative powers, openly mocked him and eventually squeezed him out of the job
The Trump transition team sent a list of 74 questions to the department seeking, among other answers, names of the 20 highest-paid employees at each lab and an accounting of scientific publications by lab staff over the last three years, plus memberships and other professional affiliations.
The Chicago Board of Education deal – led by Barclays and JPMorgan with Barclays running the books – was raised to $730 million from $500 million in the preliminary pricing circulated Thursday, indicating its strong reception. The district has board-approved authority to sell up to $840 million under the credit.
Evanston police will be banned from giving federal immigration officials access to anyone in police custody and they cannot allow ICE officials into their police headquarters.
Evanston made exemptions to all of these rules when an individual in police custody is a felon, has an existing criminal background or is a gang member.
The Evanston sanctuary city ordinance is even more restrictive than Chicago’s, Evanston Now notes, citing that under this ordinance, no city official will be allowed to obtain access to an individual’s immigration status unless mandated by a federal court.
The City Council voted 7-0 to approve an ordinance that says Oak Forest will opt out of the measures that would gradually increase the minimum wage to $13 and also require companies to provide up to five days of sick leave per year to their employees.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Wednesday opened the door to allowing candidates with minor drug and criminal offenses to become Chicago Police officers to attract minorities at a time of high crime and deep distrust.
Chicago has amended a city code to reduce the number of vacant buildings throughout Chicago, socking lenders and mortgage servicers with higher fees in the process, even as those lenders navigate the slow county judicial foreclosure process.
The city of Chicago has amended a city code to reduce the number of vacant buildings throughout Chicago, socking lenders and mortgage servicers with higher fees in the process, even as those lenders navigate the slow county judicial foreclosure process.
Comment: Two quotes summarize the problem: "Most aldermen, most politicians are hos," Chicago Ald. Arenda Troutman said on federal tape. And, as Kass points out: "Illinois' top employer isn't manufacturing. It's government, layers and layers of it, and that means many political mouths to fill."
An audit released Tuesday concluded that the city’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications had no “reasonable assurance that only approved personnel had accessed the surveillance system and used it appropriately.”
The city of Aleppo, Syria, has been called the most dangerous place on Earth. Last summer, three Chicago-area doctors, Dr. Zaher Sahloul, Dr. John Kahler and Dr. Samer Attar, traveled to the city to offer much-needed medical aid.
The Illinois Regional Transportation Authority Thursday will consider a $3 billion operating budget and $5.1 billion five-year capital plan that boosts spending next year but still falls far short of its needs as a new state capital program languishes amid the ongoing budget impasse.
On Monday morning, aides to Kurt Summers called around to reporters trying to drum up interest in the city treasurer’s speech to the City Club of Chicago. The address was pitched as a moment in which Summers would step out of the usual political comfort zone and call Chicago’s current state as he sees it, including bold talk on violence and the city’s finances.
Comment: This guy is politically ambitious, and awkwardly obvious about it.
If this year's corporate mergers and acquisitions activity is an indication, look for local companies and investors to pounce on new deals of all sizes and types, with some well-known hometown names involved too.
When asked if the University of Chicago is a “sanctuary campus,” a University spokesperson avoided the phrase but said several administrative offices are examining how a change in national immigration policies could affect the University and the community.
"Some people are definitely getting a huge $$ hit. Retiree health benefits have often been overlooked in the pension squeeze, as it had always been assumed that the local governments, at a pinch, could dump their retirees onto Obamacare or Medicare or whatever. It’s been a mixed bag in the courts so far, but it looks like Chicago may be making this one stick."
Chicago Public Schools is readying its inaugural sale under a new dedicated capital improvement tax crafted to provide a borrowing outlet it can present as insulated from both the district's operating struggles and the threat of Chapter 9 bankruptcy.
With legal opinions endorsing the bankruptcy-remote structure of its next deal, and an A rating in hand, Chicago Public Schools' new tax-revenue backed credit has a clear path to market access, though yield penalties will remain, market participants say.
He allegedly flipped the bird at a consultant who asked him if he would run for president in 2020. When somebody at the bar pointed out that The Hill reporter Megan R. Wilson was watching, Wilson wrote, Emanuel responded, "I don't give a f--- who she is."
Comment: Sheesh. What an arrogant little asshole he is.
Roosevelt University called it Stress Fest. Students could take a break from studying for final exams to sculpt Play-Doh, color, or decorate cookies. The school even brought in miniature horses to help students decompress. The University of Illinois at Chicago provided a bubble-wrapped room where students could chill out.
Kids today. Whatever happened to just getting drunk?
Comment: This is the guy who gave us that priceless open mic recording in which he says, about the water district, “Nobody here really gives a fuck. Everybody here is sleeping. The engineers, everyone that’s here on midnights. They are all fucking sleeping somewhere.” If you haven't listened to the tape, it's linked in our earlier article and illustrates the mentality that reformers are up against.
The real question is why he and those he describes haven't been criminally prosecuted.
Even if Mayor Rahm Emanuel manages to add nearly 1,000 cops in the next couple years, his promised surge of new hires would barely make up for the decline in the Chicago Police Department’s ranks on his watch.
The city insisted on using a controversial and now-abolished test of upper-body strength that was being challenged in federal court for discriminating against women. Now, Chicago taxpayers are paying a $3.8 million price for that decision in the form of back pension payments for 13 of them.
Comment: $3.6 billion, that's what's at risk. Trump has made clear that his sole focus initially will be on illegals who commit dangerous crimes. So, we'll trade $3.6B to save them from deportation? It's that simple.
In the new Wall Street, there are simply fewer jobs. Post-crisis rules to curb risk-taking and shrinking bond-trading revenues have compelled banks to cut costs. Electronic trading platforms have let clients bypass salespeople. In the past five years alone, the biggest global firms have cut almost 10,000 trading and investment banking jobs.
Comment: Haven't had a chance to look closely at the program, but somehow I'd bet the ranch that it will be yet another one that raises housing costs, hurts developers and has little impact on affordability.
Former Cook County States Attorney Alvarez stated, “Our legal conclusion is that Cook County lacks the home rule authority to enact a paid leave mandate for employers whether countywide or within unincorporated Cook County.”
Methode Electronics, a Chicago-based designer and maker of parts for automotive, appliance and other industries, on Thursday added the president-elect to its list of potential "risk factors."
Comment: C'mon, Tribune. It's time to strive for a little balance in your Trump coverage. Start by looking at what the markets are saying. This one is about risk of Trump's approach to NAFTA. Maybe you could point out that Trump's aides are now already saying he won't just rip it up, and he has no authority to do that anyway.
Fitch attributed the difference to its assessment "that the pledged revenues meet the definition of 'special revenues' under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code and therefore, bondholders are legally insulated from any operating risk of the board."
Comment: What many don't understand is that CPS, like so many other Illinois municipalities, is mortgaging every last conceivable asset. In this case, it's a particular stream of tax revenue. That makes the bonds secured, which are safe even in bankruptcy. But the problem is no assets are left free even in the event of bankruptcy, diminishing the hope that bankruptcy can accomplish much.
The preliminary prospectus for the debt indicates the Chicago Board of Education will issue $500 million of bonds secured solely by a capital improvement property tax and not by the district's general obligation pledge.
In an unusually public and blunt airing of a grievance, the Chicago Public Schools’ inspector general blasted CPS officials for impeding his investigation into “possible ethics violations” by the school system’s top lawyer.
A Chicago City Wire analysis of enrollments at 59 public high schools shows the essentially bankrupt Chicago Public Schools (CPS) district continues to operate dozens of facilities that are closer to empty than full.
Comment: This is mostly just Rahm's description of the meeting, mostly chest-pounding about immigration. The real story there is Trump's earlier comments: “We’re going to work something out that’s going to make people happy and proud,” Trump said. “They got brought here at a very young age, they’ve worked here, they’ve gone to school here. Some were good students. Some have wonderful jobs. And they’re in never-never land because they don’t know what’s going to happen.”
Since Abbott Park-based Abbott agreed to acquire Alere earlier this year for $5.8 billion, Alere has "suffered a series of damaging business developments" including the government eliminating the billing privileges of an Alere division; the recall of a product platform; and government investigations, among other things, Abbott said in a news release Wednesday.
"Their greatest fear is that they'll be caught on the street without a gun," Dart said. "They're not worried about being caught with a gun, but without a gun. There is a certain logic to it. They know the system, but that's not what they're afraid of."
A 23-member immigrant task force will “collaborate on mental health, legal services, diversity training for employers and education” to make certain the city is delivering “comprehensive services to immigrants, refugees and other disenfranchised communities,” officials said.
Nowhere will political power evaporate more dramatically at noon on Jan. 20 than in the third-largest U.S. city, a bastion of Democratic power that’s enjoyed special access to Washington during President Barack Obama’s eight years in the White House.
Comment: It sure doesn't help that so many Chicago Democrats have been screaming "racist," "hater," "homophobe" and all the rest at Trump and his supporters.
In 2015, the owners of the “Home Alone” house paid over $35,700 in property taxes, and by 2016, the property taxes on the home had climbed to more than $36,500. And this was with a homeowners’ exemption.
Leave it to Chicago to do the exact opposite of every other city in the US. Just when other cities are voting to embrace autonomous car development with open arms, Chicago's City Council could very well ban the things.
At a time when many Cook County employers are already feeling their purse strings tightening, two recent actions from the Cook County Board, mirroring similar actions taken by the city of Chicago, have prompted many to worry over their impact on businesses – and particularly in suburban corners of the county, far from Chicago’s city limits.
Chicago Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Evans said Monday that conditions seem right for a rise in interest rates, but he cautioned that with an improving economy, a major infrastructure-building program implemented purely to stimulate the economy could be ill-timed.
Northwestern President Morton Schapiro, who made $2.35 million in 2014, ranked No. 6 for total compensation that year, the latest for which figures were available. U. of C. President Robert J. Zimmer had the eighth-highest compensation at $2.05 million.
"Chicago isn’t the only government with a looming pension crisis. Numbers compiled by the Cook County Treasurer’s office and secreted my way show about a quarter of the government entities under the county umbrella have more retirees than they do employees."
Comment: The author, Shia Kapos, evidently isn't a Wirepoints reader if she finds this to be news.
The controversial move is aimed at saving Chicago taxpayers $107 million in annual costs that would have ballooned to $307 million by 2018 and $541 million by 2023 if left unchecked, a mayoral commission had warned.
But it means that roughly 10,000 city employees who started working for the city before April 1, 1986, and do not qualify for Medicare will be on their own to search for coverage that will be difficult or too expensive to find.
The bitter divorce between the once-powerful United Neighborhood Organization and the vast, government-funded charter-school network it created has been settled — at a cost to taxpayers of $4.5 million, according to records obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times.
Comment: Glad to know that, since I'm personally a big bird fan, but I haven't talked to a single person who has been to Northerly Island since Mayor Daley's 2003 predawn, sneak attack bulldozing Meigs Field there.
Comment: A 20-year Chicago police sergeant told me he thinks the new bodycam requirement for new cops will mean "the end of policing as we know it," and that Chicago will see a 30% increase in violent crime next year.
A spokesman for House Speaker Michael Madigan says Democrats did not have enough votes to override a veto from Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner that eliminates $215 million in aid for Chicago Public Schools' pension payments.
Senate Democrats used their supermajority Thursday to override the governor shortly after the veto but the House did not vote on the matter before adjourning for the year. Madigan spokesman Steve Brown says the assessment was they "would not be able to override."
When asked about Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education, Lewis said:
"Don't ask me why he picked her. I don't know who put her name on the list, but she's a nightmare. I mean, it's OK, we can occupy the (Department of Education). We've done it before, and I believe in direct action and mass movement. So, it'll happen."
Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Friday created a $1 million Legal Protection Fund to assist immigrants who are living in “anxiety and uncertainty” and threatened with deportation after the election of Donald Trump as president.
"Let me introduce you to two vicious Democratic Party operatives FBI agents should have quizzed and collared two months ago: [Chicagoan] Robert Creamer and The Hideous Scott Foval. These two creeps starred in Project Veritas’ video investigation of violent incitement during the political campaign."
Using its Democratic supermajority, the Senate quickly voted to overturn Gov. Bruce Rauner's move, but the House adjourned for the year Thursday evening without bringing the override question for a vote. Although the House has 15 days to try again, it's unclear if there is enough support in the chamber.