Wednesday, August 23, 2017

In the Midwest, Immigrants Are Stemming Population Decline – WSJ

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.

Cubs prez Theo Epstein named world’s greatest leader by Fortune – Chicago Sun-Times

“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 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,...

Sanctuary City Status Set To Be Renewed, Protection For Veterans Sought – Pilsen – DNAinfo Chicago

The City Council is poised to renew — for a second time since President Donald Trump took office — the city’s "sanctuary city" policy designed to protect undocumented immigrants from deportation.

Chicago area leads U.S. in population loss, sees drop for 2nd year in a row – Chicago Tribune

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.

John Kass: No speed limit on the Chicago Way – Chicago Tribune

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.

Ethics board to look into possible lobbying violations in Tribune report – Chicago Tribune

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 strong Trump support in deep blue Democrat Chicago – Chicago Tribune

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.

Funeral home directors call for law to reduce violence at funerals – Chicago Tribune

Among grieving families and friends mourning their lost loved ones are revenge-seeking gang members.

Sears Voices ‘Substantial’ Worry Over Staying a ‘Going Concern’ – TheStreet

The retailer, battling years of plunging sales, profits and cash flow, voiced concern about its ability to continue as a going concern in its annual report filed Tuesday evening.

Red-light changes nowhere near enough, alderman says – Sun-Times

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.

Tech jobs are on the rise in Chicago – Chicago Business Journal

The Chicago metro area added 10,000 tech jobs between 2013 and 2015, according to a Brookings Institute study, a 5.8 percent compound annual growth rate.

Chicago’s Failed Olympic Bid Still Draining City Finances – CBS Chicago

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.

Chicago real estate developer Edward Ross dies – Chicago Business Journal

A major figure for decades in Chicago real estate, he was also a first class guy. RIP.

Former KU and Chicago Bears great Gale Sayers is battling dementia – The Kansas City Star

Over time, the family came to realize people they trusted had taken advantage of him in various ways. “You have people who have a little less moral stature than you would like to see in society,” Sayers’ brother Roger said in a phone interview from Omaha, Neb.

Cook County Board member cashes in on video gambling boom – Sun-Times

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.

Obama Library Officials Say New Nonprofit Will Guide Economic Benefits – DNAinfo

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.

Cubs title a big factor in record $194M police and fire OT bill – Sun-Times

The city spent more than $18.8 million on overtime for public safety, traffic management and street cleanup during the Cubs’ march to their first World Series title in 108 years.

Chicago takes trophy for rising office rents – Chicago Tribune

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.

Judge orders Chicago Army veteran deported to Mexico – abc7chicago

Perez, 38, was a legal permanent resident when he joined the Army and said he thought he became a legal U.S. citizen when he enlisted. However, that was not the case. About four years after leaving the military, Perez served prison time for a felony drug offense which sparked the deportation proceedings.

It’s finally time to decide the fate of the proposed south suburban airport – Editorial – Daily Southtown

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.

Jack Franks wants McHenry County to reduce property tax levy by 10 percent – Northwest Herald

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.

Bluetooth-enabled vibrator maker settles digital privacy class action for $3.7M – Cook County Record

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 Books starts new chapter with Chicago store opening in Lakeview – Chicago Tribune

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.

Ending residency a sticky subject for generations – Sun-Times

Records show 63 cops have resigned because of complaints about residency since 1981. Another five officers were fired, with 23 more suspended and four reprimanded.

The Great Squirrel Mystery – WTTW

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.

Cook County hiked the minimum wage, but maybe not really for you – Sun-Times

The Cook County increase is supposed to put the suburbs in line with its largest city, Chicago, which gradually is raising the minimum wage to $13 an hour by July 2019. The city will go up to $11 from $10.50 on July 1. But many suburbs are pushing back, citing the toll a wage increase could take on small businesses.

Trump supporter: Chicago is “a city I can no longer call home.” – Opinion – Crain’s

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...

Northwestern student government endorses ‘viewpoint diversity’ – Watchdog.org

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.

Woman in construction front scheme gets 12 months – Chicago Tribune

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, a business for kids, now counts their parents as investors – Chicago Tribune

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.

Emanuel’s short-term budget solutions will cost $1 billion in interest – Chicago Tribune

A 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.

Trump, Rauner target business restrictions and rightly so – Opinion – Crain’s

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.

City set to enforce ordinance regulating short-term rentals – A.P.

Chicago officials are set to start enforcing a new ordinance that imposes tougher regulations on short-term rental companies like Airbnb after a federal judge's ruling in the city's favor.

Chicken Parm with a side of political profanity – Chicago City Wire

An owner of the River North landmark restaurant Club Lago has taken outspoken and sometimes inflammatory political positions that might alienate some customers and encourage others.

Cook County government employees paid double the state average, reform group says – Cook County Record

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.

‘Due or Die’: Thousands of Homes at Risk in Cook County Tax Auction – NBC Chicago

Cook County's treasurer says many homeowners have no idea their home is at risk.

Foreclosures shrink in Chicago Area – Crain’s

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.

First step to new CTA rail cars: Build the factory in Chicago – Chicago Tribune

Construction is expected to begin in Chicago this week on a Chinese state-owned rail company's assembly plant that will produce up to 846 new rail cars for the Chicago Transit Authority.

CPS and CTU: The War of Bad Ideas – Editorial – Chicago Tribune

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.

Rahm Emanuel, universities partner to lure tech entrepreneurs – Sun-Times

City Hall plans to announce that it’s forging a partnership with five Chicago-based universities to create what it calls Global Entrepreneur in Residence programs.

Gentrification Along The 606 Could Be Curbed Under New Law, Aldermen Say – Logan Square – DNAinfo Chicago

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.

City Pension Plans See Varying Rates of Success – Chief Investment Officer

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.

The Richest Man In Town – The Distance

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.

Supporters of minimum wage claim victory in La Grange – Chicago Tribune

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.

Chicago Infrastructure Trust put city equipment on lien to private bank, wasted millions in tax dollars – Project 6

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.

Here’s What Causes Violence And How To Stop It: Former Top Federal Lawyer – DNAinfo

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.

Schakowsky’s time with terrorist called into question – North Cook News

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.

Why Are So Many Trump Tower Condos For Sale Right Now? – DNAinfo

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.

Emanuel-connected group launches effort to employ 10,000 at-risk young Chicagoans by 2020 – Crain’s

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.

Chicago Union Tells Teachers: Protest Cuts By Refusing To Work Extra Hours – DNAinfo

"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.

Great Lakes Funding Threatened – WTTW

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.

Rahm was wrong: Students have been leaving Illinois for at least 15 years – Illinois Policy

Emanuel politicized Illinois’ loss of students to other states by placing the blame squarely on Rauner. Wrong.

Tab for DOJ probe of CPD — $4.5 million and counting – Sun-Times

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.

Emanuel releases private emails, ending court fight – Sun-Times

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.

”Knuckle-dragging and generally subhuman:” Northwest Side Chicago Alderman fires insults at constituents on social media – Chicago City Wire

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.

Chicago: A Compilation – Stump

For fellow number wonks, a collection of posts by actuary Mary Pat Campbell on Chicago's crisis.

Failed Seaway Bank gets yet another new owner – Crain’s

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.

Heroin buyers on Chicago’s West Side getting help, not handcuffs – Sun-Times

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.

The Video Game Trying to Stanch the ‘Carnage’ in Chicago – Politico

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.

A Chicago Phone Number To Buy Heroin Got 1,000 Calls A Day, Feds Say – DNAinfo

Chicago Police and federal prosecutors said Friday they’ve arrested 15 people involved in a heroin operation that included buyers first calling a hotline to set up a meeting spot.

Adapting to the patchwork: Communities, employers consider options in wake of Cook Co. labor rules – Cook County Record

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.

Chicago Wants to Be a Hub for China Stock Trading – Bloomberg

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.

Chicago Pension Woes Top Charts – Fidelity Investments

By The Bond Buyer's Yvette Shields: Chicago is a standout as the worst among its big city peers in key pension system measurements, according to a new S&P Global Ratings report.

Sugary drink tax would be a bitter pill to swallow – Illinois Policy

Illinois holds more than $66 million worth of stocks and bonds in PepsiCo, Coca Cola and Dr. Pepper Snapple alone.

University of Chicago proposes ‘free speech deans’ to prevent disruptive conduct – Campus Reform

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.

Rep. Will Guzzardi proposes rent control for Chicago – Crain’s

"I think it's the proper position of government to provide protections against the excesses of free-market capitalism," said Guzzardi, Comment: Whether to give equal time to wack jobs is a constant question for us on this site. The problem is we we'd be short of material if we didn't.

Construction set to begin on $230M intermodal; hundreds of jobs expected – Daily Journal

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.

Preckwinkle: GOP health care plan will ravage Cook County budget – Chicago Tribune

Comment: Lemme guess. Another tax increase needed for Toni Taxawanker.

S&P: Chicago worst among 15 major cities grappling with pensions – Chicago Sun-Times

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.

Report Finds How Much Money is Saved Living in Chicago Suburbs vs. City – NBC Chicago

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.

‘Slow and painful death’ for fire district without tax increase: chief – Elgin Courier

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.

Report: Chicago a winded city financially – Chicago City Wire

Chicago ranks near the bottom in fiscal strength from among 116 cities with populations of at least 200,000, an analysis by the non-profit group Truth In Accounting (TIA) has found.

Furby creator in deal to buy Wacker Drive office building from American Realty Advisors – Crain’s

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...

Chicago’s Growing Tech Community – Points and Figures

No doubt, the state is confronting huge financial issues caused by the Chicago Machine, but the tech community hums along. There are a lot of confluences of trends that are driving it.

Rauner: Drain TIF Funds To Fill CPS Deficit – DNAinfo

Emanuel has long resisted using TIF funds to bolster the CPS budget, saying that it was inappropriate to use money from a one-time revenue source to pay for school operations.

Karen Lewis: Invest in Chicago’s schools, teachers to reduce violence – Opinion – Chicago Tribune

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. Presented without comment.

Despite borrowing limit, tiny Skokie school district seeks to get around state law for new school – Chicago Tribune

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.

Soon-To-Be-Empty CPS School To Get $535,000 In Air Conditioners – DNAinfo

CPS is planning to spend $535,000 to install air conditioners in a school that will be empty before the summer.

Chicago in top 10 as future global tech hub – Crain’s

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.

Chicago’s Infrastructure Trust falls short of expectations – Crain’s

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.

Second-installment property tax bills may rattle some suburbanites – Cook County Record

“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.”

Mayor Emanuel Suddenly Criticizing White House For Not Helping Chicago – Townhall

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.

Tab for clout firefighter’s fight with Chicago cop: $1.6 million – Sun-Times

Chicago taxpayers have now spent more than $1.6 million as a result of a fight between a clout-heavy firefighter and a cop at a rescue scene five years ago, records show.

CTA buses rack up red-light, speed tickets; you pay – Sun-Times

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.

Basketball attendance sinking as DePaul heads downtown – Blogs On Sports – Crain’s Chicago Business

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.

Dorothy Brown Offers Political Advice — For A Price – Better Government Association

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.

National group’s backing of New Trier ‘white privilege’ seminar criticized – North Cook News

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.

Railroad thefts and guns: A deadly mix in Chicago – Associated Press

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.

Solomon’s take from companies in CPS fraud scheme: $5.68 million – Sun-Times

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.

Where Refugees Who Migrate To Chicago Come From – DNAinfo

Since 9/11, 15,037 refugees have moved to the United States, starting with Chicago as their first home, according to data from the U.S. State Department's Refugee Processing Center. Last year, 49 percent of Chicago's incoming refugees came from one of the seven countries — Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen — on President Donald Trump's travel ban list.

Weekend parking crackdown yielding thousands of tickets – Sun-Times

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.

Former Obama Commerce lawyer to head Civic Committee – Sun-Times

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. Question: Any experience with bankruptcy law?

Politicians rally for O’Hare western access—good for Chicago – Crain’s

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.

A Project That Could Double Heating Bills In Chicago Gets A Closer Look From Regulators -WBEZ

Chicago residents could see their gas bills skyrocket because of a controversial project from Peoples Gas to replace all its aging gas mains.

Emanuel may go it alone — without feds — to push police reforms – Sun-Times

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.

West Side Factory Aims to Beat the Pants Off Apparel Industry – WTTW

It's hard to believe now, but Chicago was once a hive of clothing manufacturers that kept sewing machines humming and immigrants employed into the early 1920s. Chicago Tonight visited a small company on the West Side of the city that is hoping to revive the Chicago apparel industry with a combination of American materials and immigrant know-how.

Chicago shops in struggling neighborhoods to get grants – Crain’s

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.

Trouble brewing for Deputy Commerce Secretary nominee Todd Ricketts – CBS News

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.

Chicago PMI jumps to two-year high in February – MarketWatch

A gauge of Chicago-area manufacturing shot higher in February, according to data released Tuesday. MNI Indicators said the Chicago PMI rose by 7.1 points to 57.4 in February, marking the highest reading in more than two years. It also was the biggest single month gain since January 2016.

Chicago worries China may reduce investment in city’s real estate – Crain’s

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.

Unreal: Chicago Names City Street After Terrorist – Townhall

On Wednesday, aldermen approved the measure honoring Lopez Rivera, the terrorist whose 70-year sentence was recently commuted by Barack Obama.

Veering left, education advocacy group pushes identity politics at New Trier – North Cook News

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...

For Chicago museums, it pays to be on public land – Crain’s

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.

Media Ignores Alliance Between Jan Schakowsky and Convicted Terrorist – The Observer

"I could never have imagined that the congresswoman, who represents one of the largest Jewish constituencies in the country, would be willing to share the stage with a killer."

Chicago Braces for an Austerity Double Whammy – CityLab

The state of Illinois and the Trump administration are both mulling potentially draconian budget cuts.

Phil Kadner: County says it has a real plan to help south suburbs – Sun-Times

Comment: Any plan will fail unless it addresses suicidal property taxes there that average 12.7% for commercial and 5.2% for residential.  

Senator Harmon’s law firm cashes in on state deals – Chicago Sun-Times

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. Comment: He's a Madigan-Cullerton wannabe.

Serial Killers Should Fear This Algorithm – Bloomberg

"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...

Homicides in Chicago outpacing last year after deadliest day so far in 2017 – Chicago Tribune

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.

Billionaire Pritzker Tells Men to Use Women’s Bathrooms to Protest Trump – Washington Free Beacon

A billionaire Democratic megadonor, who is exploring a run for governor, encouraged men to use women's bathrooms on Wednesday sparking criticism from transgender advocates and politicians.

Chicago could see tech talent drain if Wellington, New Zealand has its way – Chicago Business Journal

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.

Dallas Is About To Go Broke – Reason

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. Comment: Too late for Chicago.

Despite ‘Activist Fatigue,’ Chicago Community Addresses Manganese – WTTW

A group of Southeast Side residents and activists met Tuesday night to formulate a plan for confronting the latest threat of pollution in their community, one of Chicago’s most industrialized areas.

Spending, tax assessments soar in Proviso school district as elections loom – West Cook News

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.

New Trier paid second “white privilege” consultant $109K to train its teachers – North Cook News

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.”

Chicago Transit s Capital Problem – The Bond Buyer

The Chicago region remains thirsty for new public transit funds to address an estimated $37.7 billion 10-year tab for maintenance and capital investments.

How CPS’ Lawsuit Against Rauner Could Play Out -WBEZ

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.

How the Illinois Lottery Exacerbates Inequities in Chicago – South Side Weekly

Communities on the South and West Side buy disproportionately more lottery tickets but do not see returns to their schools.

CHA picks Hunt Development for Cabrini-Green redevelopment – Crain’s

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...

White Guilt Invades Elite Illinois High School – The Weekly Standard

"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."

New Trier High School’s Superintendent Has Lost Her Way – Video – Upstream Ideas

Comment: A pretty good two-minute summary of the New Trier controversy.

Hispanic CPS schools’ budgets cut twice the rate of white ones – Sun-Times

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...

New Trier’s ‘Racial Civil Rights’ Seminar Causes Uproar Among Parents – CBS Chicago

Leaders at Monday night’s meeting said it was too late to make changes.

New Trier ‘Racial Civil Rights’ Seminar Day Makes National Headlines – NBC Chicago

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.

Several hundred rally downtown against Trump – Sun-Times

Chants included: “From Palestine to Mexico, boarder walls have got to go!” Protesters listened to Sousaphones Against Hate and Baritones Resisting Aggression. They played “The Imperial March.”

New Trier H.S. paid $90K for group to instruct teachers on “understanding whiteness” – North Cook News

"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.

ISBE settles school funding lawsuit with Chicago Urban League – Sun-Times

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.

It’s Racial Indoctrination Day at an Upscale Chicagoland School – Wall Street Journal

"As administrators foist ‘social justice’ on 4,000 suburban students, parents plead for balance." New Trier High School has disgraced itself and the very concept of education.

Kadner: CPS faces uphill court fight for proper state funding – Sun-Times

Comment: Why should taxpayers put one dime into a school system dominated by a teachers union that fundamentally hates the economic system into which they are supposed to be teaching kids to function?

Chicago gang members say more police won’t stop the murders – Fox News

Great article with an inside look at gangs.

Chicago Public Schools ‘on the brink’ – Chicago Tribune

The rest of CPS' school year — aka budget year — is short. The district's finances are gravely out of whack. And a huge teachers pension payment comes due at the end of June. This is ugly.

List of Consumer Taxes in City of Chicago – Civic Federation

A compilation of selected consumer taxes, including rates and descriptions.

How $85,000 in political donations from the hotel lobby could be influencing Airbnb regulations – Project Six

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.

Uber lobbyist, Ex Obama aide David Plouffe fined for illegally lobbying Chicago mayor – Chicago Business Journal

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.

Rick Bayless To Close Restaurants Thursday In Solidarity With Immigrants – DNAinfo

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.”

Chicago Violence: Toddler’s Killing Is Captured on Facebook Live as City’s Pain Plays on a Loop – NBC News

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.

Chicago’s downtown apartment construction boom may be nearing peak – Chicago Tribune

The massive apartment construction boom in downtown Chicago is starting to show signs of saturation, and rents will likely start to decline by fall, Appraisal Research Counselors reported Tuesday.

Why Are Chicago Mayors So Obsessed with an O’Hare Express Train? – Chicago Magazine

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 firm EXP relocating HQ to Chicago – Chicago Business Journal

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.

CPS sues state over funding, says it violates students’ rights – Sun-Times

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.”

How Technology is Empowering Students in Chicago to Build Bright Financial Futures – Citi Blog

Comment: Chicago's MoneyThink is doing great work teaching financial literacy to young  people. Anybody think financial literacy is in short supply in Chicago?

Parkway Gardens ground zero for Chicago’s violence – Sun-Times

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.

Why We Love Chicago – Chicago Magazine

"We’re tired of our city getting knocked around. So we decided to punch back with this tribute."

How Chicago Police Department Can Address Suicide Rate Among Officers – WTTW

Another grim statistic in the DOJ report: an officer suicide rate drastically higher than the national average for police.

Emanuel waters down home-sharing rules to survive court challenge – Sun-Times

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.

Report: Evictions, Missed Payments Bite into City Budget – WTTW

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.

How Illinois pols enable failure at Chicago State – Chicago Tribune

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? Because no one stopped them, that's why.

Airport workers wish they could have detained Rahm – Opinion – Sun-Times

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.

CPS Paying For Re-Enrolled Dropouts, Even If They Cut Class – WBEZ

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.

Frederick Douglass and Black History Month – Points and Figures

"What a difference between what I experienced and what they are going to be forced to experience at New Trier High School."

Reform or distraction: Chicago sports teams seek workers comp changes for athletes in budget deal – Cook County Record

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.

Lincoln-Way student claims swimsuit discrimination – Daily Southtown

The complaint alleged that the district subjected female students to discrimination by charging them more than male students for swimsuits for physical education classes.

Who says Chicago must be business capital of Midwest? – The Detroit News

"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."

Emanuel’s New Infrastructure Projects Could Create 40,000 Jobs [Supposedly] – NBC Chicago

Comment: Failing to distinguish permanent jobs from temporary construction jobs borders on "fake news."

Senators question Todd Ricketts’ campaign fundraising ahead of confirmation hearing – Chicago Tribune

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.

Mona Charen: New Trier H.S. swings too far left on civil rights – Sun-Times

"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."

Emanuel vows to deliver O’Hare express trains Daley dreamed of – Chicago Sun-Times

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.

Trump Blames Violence In Chicago On ‘Undocumented Immigrants’ – DNAinfo

Trump on Wednesday blamed rising violence in Chicago on "undocumented immigrants," but gave no evidence to support his claim.

GOP files complaint over CPS’ ‘political propaganda’ letter – Sun-Times

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.”

Chicago Should Have Rent Control, State Lawmaker Says – DNAinfo Chicago

Groups across the city are pushing the state to ditch laws banning rent control in Illinois as rental markets in Pilsen, Logan Square and Hyde Park heat up. State Rep. Will Guzzardi (D-Logan Square) has introduced a bill in Springfield that would repeal a 1997 law passed under Republican Gov. Jim Edgar. Comment: Why not just send a letter to all apartment builders asking them to leave the state?

Illinois’ biggest companies to decline in revenue in 2017 – Crain’s

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...

McCormick Place economic impact report released from McPier – Crain’s

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.

Rahm Emanuel Tells Democrats To Stop Crying, Bend Over For “Long Haul” – Then Offers Subversive Advice On Dirty Politics – Zero Hedge

"Of course while waiting to regain power, the most effective thing congressional Democrats can do for the country is stop infighting - and then divide, divide, divide!"

Urlacher sues Florida hair doctor for baldly using his name to hawk transplants – Cook County Record

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.

All CPS students sent home with letter accusing Gov. Rauner of ‘cheating’ kids – CLTV

Comment: Do these clowns know that using public school resources for politicking is illegal?

Left Wing ‘Tea Party’ Growing in Chicago – WTTW

The movement is called Indivisible. The Chicago chapter is, according to organizers, one of 5,000 that have sprung up around the country since the election of Trump.

See How $46M In CPS Cuts Affect Your School – DNAinfo

A school-by-school breakdown of the $46 million in mid-year cuts announced by Chicago Public Schools Monday.

Stalled Olive-Harvey construction project on South Side a ‘travesty’ – Chicago Tribune

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.

As enrollment drops 50%, Chicago State University continues work on new $60M campus – Illinois Policy

"Lawmakers should address wasteful spending in higher education, which is hurting students, their families, instructors and taxpayers."

Coyotes removed from North Side park after residents fed them, let them play with pets – Chicago Tribune

Comment: If you were hoping this was something about Feds coming after aldermen, no such luck.

Blaming Rauner, CPS freezing $51 million more in school spending – Sun-Times

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.

Sanctuary Cities Order Foreshadows Turbulence for City Credits – The Bond Buyer

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."

City to get $20M from firm at center of red-light camera bribery – Sun-Times

The Arizona company at the center of a Chicago’s scandal-scarred red-light camera program has agreed to pay Chicago taxpayers $20 million to resolve the city’s claims.

Class action: ParkChicago app users owed money by city, vendors for bogus parking tickets | Cook County Record

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.

New Trier High School parents debate planned civil rights seminar – Chicago Tribune

Comment: This is a shallow article lazily done. Our own article on this is linked here.

Mapping $27 Billion In Federal Funding Of America’s Sanctuary Cities – Forbes

Washington, D.C., and Chicago, Illinois governments received the highest amount of federal funding per resident and, therefore, have the most to lose by maintaining their sanctuary status.

Mass Mooning Planned For Chicago Trump Tower, 100+ People To Drop Trou – DNAinfo

Hundreds of people on the internet say they're going to moon Trump Tower in an attempt to get its namesake developer-turned-president to release his tax returns.

Nine-year tab for Chicago Fire Dept. bias claims: $92 million – Chicago Sun-Times

Discrimination lawsuits involving the Chicago Fire Department’s hiring and promotions have cost taxpayers nearly $92 million over the past nine years.

Analysis: North Shore home values fall while property taxes soar – North Cook News

For a look at what’s likely to come, North Shore homeowners can just look up the road, where a feared future real estate apocalypse happening right now.

Fiscal Contagion: When Distressed Municipalities Put States and Local Clusters at Risk – Muninet Guide

Comment: "Credit cluster" is bondspeak for overlapping, intertwined government insolvency. Most of this article, as you might have guessed, is about the Chicago region.

Trump says it’s ‘great idea’ for pastor backing him to meet with Chicago gangs – Chicago Tribune

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...

Fitch Calls Out Moody s on Chicago Schools Analysis – The Bond Buyer

"This is uncharted. Very rarely except on panels at conferences would you have this sort of open debate or defensiveness." Comment: Cat fight! This is about as entertaining as it will get in the dull world of municipal finance.

Fitch takes on Moody’s over assessment of Chicago Public Schools – Reuters

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. Comment: Unprecedented as far as we know.

Trump calls Chicago violence ‘totally out of control’ – Sun-Times

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.

Sanctuary city order won’t threaten Chicago bond rating — yet – Sun-Times

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. If Trump wants to whack Chicago over this, he has many ways to do it.

Report concludes 1 Illinois home in 5 ‘seriously’ underwater – Northwest Herald

Comment: Good to see somebody in the regular media notice the data we've been harping about.

Another year, another “balanced budget” for the Chicago Public Schools -Truth in Accounting

Year after year, CPS claims a "balanced budget" but actual results show whopping losses. Comment: Just another example of why government "budgets" in general are fake policy, as we wrote recently.

City’s newest tobacco taxes violate state law: judge – Sun-Times

In a Jan. 20 ruling, Judge Ann Collins-Dole found that the city violated a 1993 law when it tried to impose taxes on cigars and smoking, smokeless and pipe tobacco last year.

Chicago’s O’Hare has a rare chance to boost airline competition – Crain’s

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his aviation chief have a rare opportunity to upgrade O'Hare International Airport while stoking competition among its airlines.

Credit Cluster Risk Stings Chicago on Pricing – Fidelity Investments

Chicago's widening spread penalties may not ease until the state cleans up its budget mess and Chicago Public Schools shores up its rocky finances. That's because the city'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 start talking about this now. We've been saying here for years that you have...

Case Shiller Monthly Index: Chicago Home Prices Falling Further Behind Nation

"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 doles out dollars for ‘diversity initiatives’ – Campus Reform

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.

Chicago Schools’ CAFR Comes With Warnings – Fidelity Investments

By The Bond Buyer's Yvette Shields. The CAFR (the actual financial statements) flags its reliance on borrowed money and its need for more state funding to stay afloat.

Northwestern medical students, faculty rally to try to save Obamacare – Reuters

Comment: Ironic that Northwestern University Hospital generally does not accept patients covered by plans offered through the Obamacare marketplace.

Refugees from Iraq, Burma top list in Illinois – Chicago Tribune

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.

Metra fare hikes to take effect in February – Illinois Policy

Metra’s plans to raise fares go into effect February, hurting commuters and failing to raise enough for stated capital needs.

Caterpillar to Establish Global Headquarters in Chicago Area – Press Release

Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) 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.

Diamonds Are Forever – The Distance

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.

27 solutions offered to curb rising property taxes in Illinois – McHenry Times

A task force has been put together to tackle the property tax issue and they have come up with 27 recommendations to make them lower.

The City of Chicago is about to ream you for more cash – ChicagoNow

Starting February 1st, you're going to be charged seven cents for each bag you get after shopping at a grocery store and at retail outlets.

Chicago’s racial wealth gap far worse than U.S. average, report finds – Chicago Tribune

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.

Chicago In Crosshairs Of Trump’s Sanctuary Cities Crackdown; $3.6 billion at risk – Better Government Association

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.

Back to That Same Old Place: Sweet Home Chicago – WTTW

Chicago and Illinois lost residents faster than any other state or major U.S. city in the last few years. But some are returning.

Grubhub CEO deletes his Twitter account after tangle with Trump supporters – Chicago Tribune

Matt Maloney , the CEO of Grubhub whose post-election email to employees sparked a Twitter firestorm by Donald Trump supporters, has deleted his account.

U. of C. Cutting Off Political Arm That Drove Urban Renewal, Fought Crime – DNAinfo

The university announced late Thursday that over the next year it will spin off the 65-year-old nonprofit into an autonomous group with less direct control by the university.

Protests for immigrants begin anew at O’Hare – Daily Herald

Protests continued Sunday night with hundreds again gathering inside and outside the international terminal.

Rate of suicides among Chicago Police a badge of high-stress job – Sun-Times

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.

Appeals panel: City of Harvey can’t argue its way out of paying police pension fund $7M – Cook County Record

Perhaps ending a dispute that dates back more than a decade, an Illinois appeals court has ordered the city of Harvey to pay more than $7 million to its police pension fund.

All detainees released from O’Hare after chaotic day at airport – Sun-Times

The chaotic day at the airport came a day after Trump signed the order barring refugees and green card holders from seven Muslim-majority nations from entering — or returning to — the country.

What Donald Trump and Bruce Rauner could do for Chicago – Greg Hinz – Crain’s

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.

Analysis: Property taxes rapidly eroding DuPage home values – Dupage Policy Journal

In Jan. 2007, the average Willowbrook home was worth $305,000. Eight years later, in Jan. 2015, it was valued at just $182,000.

Chicago law firm releases report noting trends in workplace class-action litigation – Cook County Record

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.

Suburban Bar Apologizes, Rescinds ‘Build-A-Wall’ Burger Special After Backlash – NBC Chicago

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.

Chicago’s Seaway Bank taken over by State Bank of Texas – Associated Press

Seaway Bank was once the largest black-owned bank in the U.S.

Why we shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss Trump on Chicago – Opinion – CNN

Comment: A college prof on CNN saying something nice about Trump.  How 'bout that?

Chicago Police Department Goes High-Tech to Fight Rise in Killings – NBC News

Comment: The tech solution that's ultimately key is simple -- birth control. Don't have a baby without a committed partner and the financial means to raise a child.

Dropping home values, high property taxes push Illinois toward financial cliff, analyst says – West Cook News

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.

Chicago’s Murder-Clearance Rate Falls to Historic Low – WBEZ

The Chicago Police Department last year solved fewer than one in five murders committed during the year, the lowest rate for that crime in at least a half century, according to new police figures.

Car thieves steal luxury cars in front of Naperville dealership employees – Naperville Sun

Similar crimes "are going on all over the Chicago area," Naperville police Cmdr. Lou Cammiso said, but police do not believe they are connected or the work of a single group.

Chicago school audit pegs FY 2016 deficit at $487 million – Reuters

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.

Dyson’s U.S. headquarters moving to Fulton Market development – Chicago Business Journal

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.

Property tax rebate program for Chicago homeowners turns into Rahm’s slush fund – Illinois Policy

Mayor Rahm Emanuel is spending money promised for rebates on police body cameras, a legal defense fund for undocumented immigrants and other programs.

John Kass: Trump transforms Emanuel into Mayor Zorro – Chicago Tribune

"Now he's Rahm who fights on behalf of Latinos to keep Chicago as a sanctuary city, protective of undocumented residents here in this country illegally."

CME Group’s CEO,Terry Duffy, on Chicago and big business moral obligation – Business Insider

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.

Appeals panel: City of Harvey can’t argue its way out of paying police pension fund $7M – Cook County Record

An Illinois appeals court has ordered the city of Harvey to pay more than $7 million to its police pension fund.

Can Trump Fix the Carnage That Is Chicago? – RealClearPolitics

For Trump and others, a strong federal hand might be the only answer, as it is when needed to “nsure the domestic tranquility” of “we, the people.”

Could CPS impose more unpaid furlough days? – Sun-Times

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.

Rahm: Chicago will remain sanctuary city despite Trump threat – Sun-Times

The question now is, how much, if anything, it will cost Chicago to remain a sanctuary city. And how much money Emanuel is prepared to lose.

Emanuel’s bait-and-switch property tax rebate – Chicago Tribune

Comment: "Fake policy." Rahm loves it.

Evanston, IL School District Employees Are At It Again – Fair Politics

Be thankful that your tax dollars aren’t funding the school system in Evanston, Illinois. If they were, you would be infuriated that they are being used to further a blatantly partisan cause.

Union Station Could Be Test of Chicago’s Future During Trump Administration – DNAinfo

If President Donald Trump is serious about his promise to rebuild the nation's infrastructure, Chicago officials have a plan ready to go that would modernize and expand Union Station.

Chicago State spends money to lobby state — which isn’t giving out money – Chicago Tribune

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.

Tax Hike Zigzag At Cook County Draws Mixed Reviews – Better Government Association

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 our readers here as Taxwinkle or Peckerwanker.

‘Pussyhats’ Lead To Pink Yarn Shortage After Packed Chicago Women’s March – DNAinfo

Pink yarn is running low at craft stores after thousands of women created "pussyhats" for the weekend Women's March.

Chicago Loses Another Gun Case – National Review

Allowing guns but banning gun ranges is not a legal way to circumvent the Second Amendment.

Critics: CPS Special Ed Policy Is ‘Delay And Deny’ – Better Government Association

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.

By the Numbers: The Department of Justice investigation on the Chicago Police Department – Project 6

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.

The Next Wave of Suburbanization? – The American Interest

"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.

Suburban school official quits after tweet calling women marchers ‘vagina screechers’ – Sun-Times

A northwest suburban school board member has resigned after a tweet in which he referred to women who attended Saturday’s anti-Trump marches as “vagina screechers.”

Chicago, Wisconsin? How We Almost Became Part Of Our Neighbor To The North – DNAinfo

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."

CPS building engineers say privatization effort will be costly – Sun-Times

“I know damn well they will not save any money,” said Bill Iacullo, president of the International Operating Engineers Local 143. “They’re wasting big-time money, and they know it.” Comment: Note the source.

250,000 People Protest At Women’s March On Chicago, Organizers Say – DNAinfo Chicago

The Women's March on Chicago Saturday was reportedly the third largest march of its kind outside Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles, organizers said.

Watch as Emanuel makes Chicago’s problems disappear – Letter – Chicago Tribune

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....

Shrinking McHenry County needs to cap and cut property taxes – Illinois Policy

Local officials’ failure to address skyrocketing property taxes has pushed residents out of McHenry County at astonishing rates.

Alderman demands Emanuel relax police hiring standards now – Sun-Times

Ald. Anthony Beale (9th) is pronouncing the unprecedented minority outreach campaign as doomed to failure without immediate changes to the hiring process itself.

Film industry generates half-billion in Illinois spending – Sun-Times

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.

Trump White House names and shames Chicago on Day One – Chicago Tribune

Just moments after Trump was sworn in, his team hit the go button on a revamped White House website that highlights the "thousands of shootings in Chicago last year alone."

Shrinking McHenry County needs to cap and cut property taxes – Illinois Policy

Local officials’ failure to address skyrocketing property taxes has pushed residents out of McHenry County at astonishing rates.

Former SNAP Worker Says Clergy-Abuse Group Colludes With Lawyers – CBS Chicago

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.

D.C. lawyer to become Emanuel’s next corporation counsel – Sun-Times

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.

Chicago Borrowing Yield Penalties Steepen – The Bond Buyer

Chicago's spread penalties in the primary market hit a new peak Thursday when it priced a $1.2 billion general obligation sale. The city's tax-exempt spreads landed at 339 to 347 basis points over the Municipal Market Data's AAA benchmark.

Chicago pays big market penalty for $888.7 million bond sale – Reuters

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.

CTU stages anti-Trump demonstrations at schools across Chicago – Chicago Tribune

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.

New Report Finds No Definitive Explanation For Chicago’s Rising Homicide Rate – WBEZ

Comment: The primary underlying cause is obvious -- having a baby before you are in a committed relationship and have the financial means to raise a child.

Mayor defends CPS furloughs as CTU joins school-cuts protests – Sun-Times

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.

Preckwinkle: CPD afflicted by ‘pervasive racism’ – Sun-Times

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 to produce ‘Crook County’ film about Chicago crime – Chicago Tribune

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.

Another big pike, really big: Fish of the Week in Chicago fishing – Sun-Times

Yeah, we know this isn't really important. But the Fish of the Week got lots of pageviews last week so here we go again.

A Big Drag: How Much Puffing In Illinois Costs Smokers – Downtown – DNAinfo Chicago

The habit will cost a smoker an estimated nearly $1.8 million throughout his or her lifetime, making Illinois among the costliest states in the nation for users, according to a new study.

Chicago bills itself as a ‘sanctuary city,’ but advocates worry about limits to protections for undocumented immigrants – Reader

Comment: There should be exactly zero controversy over whether illegals with serious criminal records are protected.

‘I Don’t Feel Safe At School No More,’ Sixth-Graders Write Ald. Lopez – DNAinfo Chicago

This is a place where children often see gangbangers as close friends. "Mr Lopez, don't blame the gangsters," the student's letter says. "My friend's family is mostly gangsters and they love me and I love them."

Opinion: 3 things Chicago must do to fight corruption – Sun-Times

The author, Faisal Khan, is CEO of Project 6 and former Legislative Inspector General of Chicago City Council.

Chicagoans can now take Uber carpools with pre-tax commuter benefits – Chicago Tribune

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.

Former rivals Rauner, Vallas unite for Chicago State overhaul – Sun-Times

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.

As many as 60,000 expected at Saturday’s Women’s March in Chicago – WGN

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.

Easy money – Part 2 on Oak Park’s incredibly profitable red-light cameras – OakPark.com

"Area red-light camera tickets a boon for clouted company."

Chicago’s Rise in Violence Hurting City’s Small Businesses – Fox Business

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.

Chicago Bond Quickie: Not Wise to Scrap with Rating Agencies – Stump

So… you promise to be more fiscally responsible… later. Yeah, that’s very convincing. We’ll believe you’ll stop scoop-and-tossing if you actually stop scoop-and-tossing. This is not a difficult concept.

Chicago’s hottest real estate lender is Bank of the Ozarks – Crain’s

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.

Chicago aldermen want federal investigation of city Law Department – Chicago Tribune

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.

New Trier High School Teaches ‘Blackenomics,’ ‘Trans-Rights,’ and ‘White Genocide Against Blacks’ – Breitbart

Comment: Many parents in this high school district are livid about this pathetic day of extremist propaganda, at which attendance is required.

Golf Comes to the Killing Fields in Chicago – The Weekly Standard

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.

Cook County Surpasses Emission Reduction Targets – WTTW

Cook County is ahead of schedule on its goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050, a new report shows. Comment: At what cost? Nodody knows. Nobody cares.

Chervon North America to move headquarters to Illinois – Illinois Policy

The company plans on moving its white-collar workforce to Naperville, while keeping its manufacturing plant in Michigan.

Amtrak seeks expansion but residents in north suburbs pushing back – WGN

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.

Emanuel agrees to negotiate consent decree that may never happen – Sun-Times

“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.”

Trump taps Steve Harvey to bring change to Chicago, other cities – Sun-Times

Harvey, who grew up in Cleveland, provided no details of what that help might entail, but suggested it could be similar to mentoring programs he is already involved in.

Dozens Of Empty Chicago School Buildings Hit The Market – WBEZ

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.

Des Plaines State Rep Moylan plays cheerleader for House Speaker Madigan. Literally. – North Cook News

Interesting  because it shows how a suburban leader can be co-opted by Madigan to do the bidding for Chicago, which is inverse to his own constituents' interests.

$400M property tax increase could save CPS finances: Moody’s – Sun-Times

A property tax increase of that size, through, would weaken the city’s “political and practical ability” to increase taxes to fund pensions and other city services, Moody’s said.

Streak Continues In Delivery Driver Robberies – CBS Chicago

An Amazon delivery driver was held up at gunpoint by two masked men at 84th and South Hermitage Tuesday morning, marking the 12th armed robbery of a delivery driver in Chicago since December.

This Is The Lowest Point A Human Can Go In Chicago City Limits – DNAinfo

No, no, it's not City Hall. It's the floor of the Calumet TARP Pumping Station pump rooms rest far below Chicago's Riverdale neighborhood at 400 E. 130th St.

Man’s Pledge To Leave ‘Soul-Destroying’ Chicago Unites Annoyed Chicagoans – DNAinfo

That guy who wrote the letter to the Tribune about leaving Chicago is actually from Indiana.

Feds: Chicago cop training poor, misconduct investigations biased – Chicago Sun-Times

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.

IL Congressman Gutierrez: Why I will not be at Trump’s Inauguration – Illinois Review

Our suggestion for a different: "Why I won't be getting any money for my district."

When Stuff is Fake – Points and Figures

"There is a lot of discussion of fake news these days. Welcome to the world of entrepreneurship." So true. Bullshit walks on many paths.  

Ill. Senate files backup bill for city worker pensions – Sun-Times

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.

Emanuel wants $1 billion from Trump for Union Station – Crain’s

Pretty please? And never mind all that stuff I said about racism and that you "play with dark forces."

Chicago Mayor Pushes Moody’s to Rescind City’s Junk-Bond Rating – Bloomberg

Comment: Big mistake by Rahm picking a fight on this. The rating agencies are already far too lax. Smart people know that and he'll trigger a backlash.

You think Trump’s news conferences are rough? Go to Chicago’s City Hall – John Kass – Chicago Tribune

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. That and more have happened in Chicago.

What’s Going Right in Chicago – Bloomberg View

Comment: Excellent overview of both parts of The Tale of Two Cities.

Could Streaming Video Services Be Taxed? – Int. Bus. Times

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.

North Riverside mayor laments ruling in fire, police pension case – Cook County Record

An appeals court ruling in December determined that the village of North Riverside doesn’t 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.

In Chicago, government is the problem – Opinion -The Hill

Chicago has an overwhelming number of problems that have no simple fix. Collectively, they make what would be a remarkable city the premier example of urban decay.

VIDEO: Disgraced Chicago Dem Robert Creamer, Front Row at Obama Farewell – Breitbart

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. Memo to Jeff Sessions: Sic 'em.

City aims to ease investor fears ahead of $1.16B borrowing – Sun-Times

“We acknowledge that there will be a need for future revenue increases." Hee hee.

Market Spreads Side with Moody’s as Chicago Picks a Fight – The Bond Buyer

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...

Official: Justice report on Chicago cops to find violations – State Journal-Register

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.

Letter: I’m leaving Chicago, and I’m never coming back – Chicago Tribune

"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."

A street paved with gold – stunning revenue from certain red light cameras – OakPark.com

The intersection of Harlem Avenue and Cermak Road, a "citation supernova," has generated more than $20.7 million in red-light camera citations since the start of 2014. Comment: Fellow victims of some of these know they are little more than  drive-by, random tax shots hitting you.

Analysis: North Riverside retired firefighters will collect $39 million more than they saved – West Cook News

In 2016 alone, the seventeen North Riverside retired firefighters collected at least $1.154 million in benefits-- nearly as much in a single year as they all saved combined during their careers.

Insiders’ deal to land Midway concessions delayed – Sun-Times

More than a year after a stampede of clout players put forward proposals, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration still has not closed a deal on a major planned revamping of Midway Airport’s concessions.

Chicago Readies Billion Dollar GO Deal – The Bond Buyer

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 can punish ‘sanctuary cities’ that protect undocumented immigrants – USA Today

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.

New hotels in 2017: New York, L.A., Chicago to get room boom – USA Today

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.

‘Returning to Where it All Began’: Obama Pens Heartfelt to Chicago Ahead of Farewell Speech – NBC Chicago

"Over the course of my life, I’ve been reminded time and again that change can happen." Yes, indeed.

New Trier High School Avoids Diversity Like the Plague

Brazenly partisan propaganda. Lakeshore liberalism at its worst. Comment: I let my son who is a student there think and decide on his own, but he'll be free to stay home that day.

Illinois governor pans state legislature’s bill for Chicago’s muncipal and laborers’ pensions – Reuters

“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.”

Cops caught talking about loafing, making racist remarks sue MWRD – Sun-Times

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—–.”

Wall-to-wall: FBI stats show all Chicago crime up – abc7chicago

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.

Editorial: Three ways to ease Zion’s nuclear waste dump burden – Sun-Times

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.

Emanuel: Divvy a bigger threat to cabbies than Uber – Chicago Tribune

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.

Amid $215M budget hole, CPS put out call for new charter schools – Sun-Times

Chicago Public Schools officials have issued a call for new charter schools amid a $215 million budget hole and a cap on new charter expansion.

City Hall dubs Rauner ‘Gov. Gridlock’ for pension bill stance – Chicago Sun-Times

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...

CPS Parent Calls Out Teachers Union Over ‘Library Lockout’ – WTTW

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.

Aldermen demand plan for unclaimed property tax rebate money – Sun-Times

The $20 million was set aside to inoculate the mayor and aldermen from at least some of the blame for a record $588 million property tax increase for police and fire pensions and school construction. Comment: The rebate was fake policy -- it was designed to fail and a political stunt.

Downtown Chicago office vacancy rate drops again – Crain’s

Downtown office landlords continued to distance themselves from the depths of the recession at the end of 2016, with the vacancy rate dropping to its lowest level in nearly 16 years. Now those building owners will find out if the rally has legs in 2017, as they brace for the impact of several new towers under construction or recently completed.

Chicago, New York in Worst Financial Shape Among Large US Cities – The Fiscal Times

"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."

Top Economists Meet in Chicago to Grapple With Public Disdain for Initiatives They Championed – Wall Street Journal

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.

University of Chicago Offers Reward To Downplay Chicago Violence – The Daily Caller

"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.”

Six years after Daley, Emanuel still using high-cost borrowing practices – Chicago Tribune

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.

Free tickets to Obama farewell speech listed for as much as $5K online – Chicago Tribune

Comment: I admit to wondering seriously whether I'm the one with a cognitive dissonance problem.

As Trump eyes Dodd-Frank, Chicago derivatives traders gear up for fight – Crain’s

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.

Chicgo airport traffic reaches a record high in 2016, continues to grow – Sun-Times

Top airline carriers increased their service in Chicago helping to drive a record 54.1 million visitors to Chicago in 2016 — a 2.9 percent increase over the previous year

Moral Bankruptcy Of Chicago’s Elites – Forbes

600 city vendors gave Emanuel $7 million in campaign cash during the past four years and received $2 billion in city payments since 2002. Comment: It's why the business community remained mostly silent while Chicago collapsed. Crony capitalism is pervasive.

Chicago’s tax on plastic bags seen as bust – Chicago City Wire

Chicago retailers are getting an extra month to comply with the city’s new checkout bag tax, but critics of the plan say it won’t produce its promised environmental benefits.

Zion’s nuclear fallout; still reeling from ’98 closing – Sun-Times

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 particularly well-done but sad article.

UIC Professor Claims University Forced Him To Teach Math Because ‘Asians Are Good At Math’ – Huffington Post

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.

As Obama exits scene, Chicago legacy debated – Chicago Tribune

A detailed look at his impact on the city.

The Library Lockout at Our Elementary School – Wall Street Journal

"When the librarian was let go, parents volunteered to help. But that’s a union job only, we were told."

Chicago is Breaking – National Review

"When a culture breaks, it falls to the police to keep order. When they pull back, people die. That’s the lesson of Chicago."

After Obama’s Betrayal, Trump Is Chicago’s Only Hope – The Daily Caller

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?"

How Blue America Is Failing Black Americans – The American Interest

Comment: Chicago and Illinois may be the worst, but others with unsustainable financial models will collapse, too. Their common denominator can't be denied: They're Democratic.

Blue State Blues: Hate Crime in the Chicago Obama Created – Breitbart

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,...

Mayor Emanuel Touts Chicago’s Record Tourism in 2016 – NBC Chicago

“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.

Why did CNN air a documentary about the band Chicago produced by band members? – The Washington Post

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.

Chicago’s gang violence catches highway drivers in crossfire – Reuters

Officials say gang violence is increasingly spilling over onto Chicago's expressways, with innocent drivers sometimes caught in the crossfire, while the state police force is shrinking.

Caterpillar considers moving 800 production jobs out of Aurora – Sun-Times

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.

Ford to make new police vehicle in Chicago – Sun-Times

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.

Ousted police union president trying to reclaim job – Sun-Times

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 flies Black Lives Matter flag – Washington Times

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.

Rahm says he ‘wasn’t bragging’ about cutting retiree health care – Sun-Times

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.

Chicago law department is sanctioned again for withholding police shooting records – Chicago Tribune

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...

Chicago’s Honey Butter Fried Chicken signs on to ‘sanctuary restaurant’ movement – Chicago Tribune

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...

New website makes it easy to fill charities’ specific needs – abc7chicago

Givetoothrs.com's mission is to connect non-profits with businesses and individuals who want to help by donating supplies, toys, and equipment among other posted needs.

A Trump tweet that doesn’t spark outrage in Chicago – John Kass – Chicago Tribune

Chicago is bleeding. And Chicago's Democratic president and the Democratic mayor are impotent to stop it, even in the Democratic city, in this dark blue and fiscally ruined Democratic state.

Despite Trump tweet, Chicago anti-violence options for feds limited – Associated Press

A look at the issue and some of the options that might be available.

The economic causes of Chicago’s violence – Chicago Reader

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.

Privatizing affordable housing and what Chicago has learned – Opinion – Carin’s

Comment: I can't find much "learning" in this article.

First Midwest Bank parent moving HQ to Chicago – Chicago Tribune

300 workers coming. Good news for a change.

Defiant Schakowsky broadcasts from House floor on Facebook Live – Sun-Times

Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., protesting a GOP drive to crack down on live streaming from the House floor, live streamed on Facebook Live from the House floor before the vote Tuesday. Comment: Wonder if she was soliciting contributions as part of it, as she did before from the House floor, a blatant rule violation.

City retirees outraged by Emanuel’s bragging health care email – Sun-Times

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 facing financial distress – News – A.P.

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.

Former Chicago police chief blasts Black Lives Matter – The Hill

“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.”

Costs soar in test program to insulate historic homes near O’Hare – Sun-Times

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.

Trump: Chicago should ask for crime help; Rahm did last month – Sun-Times

Trump did not offer what type of federal help he has in mind – or what he was prepared to do as president to help the city where he owns a major downtown hotel.

Chicago paid $670,000 in 2016 over lawsuits alleging open records violations – Chicago Tribune

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.

Cell-phone thieves target drivers sitting in downtown Chicago traffic – abc7chicago

Police warned drivers to stay alert in downtown Chicago after reports of people being robbed as they sit in traffic.

Heroin-related deaths up 42% in 2016 in Will County; DuPage numbers still out – Naperville Sun

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.

The Madigan plan for 2017: More failure, more bleeding – Editorial – Chicago Tribune

Will Democratic state reps re-elect Madigan as their speaker? Will they doom themselves to the punishing attacks that would follow such a vote?

Ex-Ald. Sandi Jackson says she’s borrowing from friends, selling belongings – Chicago Tribune

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.

Illinois Towns Face Tale of Two Minimum Wages – Fox Business

Several towns in Cook County, Illinois are balking at a minimum wage hike that will require local businesses to nearly double baseline salaries and provide paid sick leave for workers. Comment: Three minimum wage laws, actually. The real one is zero.  

Chicago Review of Books Among the Hysterical Opponents of Publishing a Right Winger’s Book – The Daily Caller

The Chicago Review of Books announced that it will not review a single Simon & Schuster title in 2017 in protest of a Milo Yiannopoulos book deal. Comment: Widespread, open contempt for freedom of expression is the modern left's most dangerous trait.

’60 Minutes’ Report: Chicago Crime Up, Police Response Down – CBS Chicago

"Once again, Chicago is making national headlines for all the wrong reasons. New York Times readers woke up Thursday morning to see a crime-related story about Chicago. Meanwhile, CBS news show '60 Minutes' is set to air a comprehensive look at crime here on Sunday."

Nobody Traded When JPMorgan Put Chicago School Debt Up for Sale – Bloomberg

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.

Uber, food trucks and Airbnb: Chicago’s 3 biggest over-regulation stories from 2016 | Illinois Policy | Illinois’ comeback story starts here

It’s no secret Chicago aldermen aren’t friendly to outsider businesses and innovative industries. Here’s a look at some of the most egregious examples from 2016.

Sun-Times editorial board: Make colleges a sanctuary from deportation threat

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.

Chicago Stock Exchange awaits SEC, Trump decision on sale to Chinese buyer – Crain’s

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.

Study Compares Property Tax Burden In Northeast Illinois – The Civic Federation

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.

Surge in Chicago rents may be starting to ease – Chicago Tribune

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.  

Cook County sheriff’s deputies investigated for allegedly lying on time cards – Chicago Sun-Times

Cara Smith, chief policy officer for Sheriff Tom Dart, divulged few details of the ongoing probe but confirmed 60 sheriff’s deputies are the target of an “alleged attendance fraud” investigation.

All Chicago police officers to wear body cameras by end of 2017 – abc7chicago

Comment: A 20-year veteran Chicago cop told me this will mean "the end of policing as we know it" and violent crime will probably increase 30%.

Progressives Have Let Inner Cities Fail for Decades. President Trump Could Change That. – The Daily Beast

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.

2016 was Rahm Emanuel’s comeback year – Sun-Times

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.

CPD’s Johnson decries ‘alarming’ rise in cops shot on the job – Sun-Times

This year, according to Guglielmi, officers have come under fire 31 times in Chicago, compared with 18 times in 2015 and 15 times in 2014. No Chicago Police officers have been killed this year.