Thursday, July 30, 2009

How to fix a looming city budget apocalypse in two easy links

Posted By on 07.30.09 at 07:32 PM

Sun-Times: "Chicago has a $519.7 million budget shortfall in 2010"

Progress Illinois: "As we recently pointed out, a document released by the city last month shows that Daley’s 150-plus TIF districts ended 2008 with $1 billion in aggregate unspent funds."

Acronym you won't find in either the Sun-Times's or the Trib's articles on the 2010 shortfall: TIF.

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Green jobs, compliments of the feds

Posted By on 07.30.09 at 07:04 PM

The “green” economy really is growing, even if it often appears to be happening a few dozen, federally funded jobs at a time.

U.S. EPA chief Lisa Jackson swung through town today to announce that the feds are sending about half a million dollars here to train people for work cleaning up some of the waste and wreckage of the industrial age.

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Graft and corruption: some backstory

Posted By on 07.30.09 at 06:53 PM

The Gambler King of Clark Street: Michael C. McDonald and the Rise of Chicago's Democratic Machine (Southern Illinois University Press), the new book from local historian Richard C. Lindberg, offers "a colorful glimpse of 19th-century Chicago that reveals quite a bit about why the city is still infected with graft and corruption," writes Mick Dumke in this week's Lit & Lectures Critic's Choice.

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The good old days: not as good as they tell you

Posted By on 07.30.09 at 02:02 PM

"In truth, the journalism era of [Ring] Lardner, Grantland Rice, and Damon Runyon was long on storytelling, short on actual probing, and done with a very selective use of facts. Figure it this way: The White Sox tossed the 1919 World Series, but it was not until almost a year later that the details were aggressively pursued by newspapers, which were a monopoly when it came to forming public opinion. It is no coincidence some of the best reporters of that era went on to become Hollywood screenwriters and novelists."

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"But the cavalry never came, and they are tired of waiting."

Posted By on 07.30.09 at 01:54 PM

Driftglass has a poignant interpretation of the Wal-Mart battle.

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Don't tell the mayor

Posted By on 07.30.09 at 01:14 PM

At least we only sold our parking meters....

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This weekend in shopping: a new Pilsen boutique, a "scandalous" sale, and more

Posted By on 07.30.09 at 12:56 PM


Get a sneak peek at the new Pilsen boutique, Workshop, from local designer Annie Novotny (of eco-conscious label Frei Designs), at a sale this weekend—she's clearing out samples and overstock in preparation for her official opening next weekend.

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Live from Chicago, it's Second City E.T.C.!

Posted By on 07.30.09 at 10:47 AM

For the first time since 1995, when Pinata Full of Bees shook up its traditional format, Second City has a show in which all the music and effects are performed live.

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

More food thought

Posted By on 07.29.09 at 10:52 PM


Recently buzzed-about dietary exposé Food, Inc. offered a glimpse into the sausage factory of corporate agriculture.

Ana Sofia Joanes's Fresh, screening Thursday at Pilsen's charmingly homey EP Theater, presents an alternative.

Joanes "celebrates the farmers, thinkers and business people across America who are re-inventing our food system," according to local promoter Matt Hoffman. Fresh features interviews with sustainable food advocates including The Omnivore's Dilemma author Michael Pollan, "grass farmer" Joel Salatin, and pro basketball player-turned-urban food activist Will Allen.

Fresh screens Thursday at 7:30 PM. Doors at 7. At the EP Theater, 1820 S. Halsted. $10 donation includes beer. RSVP here.

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Green for Green

Posted By on 07.29.09 at 07:29 PM

With today’s blessing from the City Council, the city and Exelon are moving ahead with plans to create the largest urban solar power plant in the country on the polluted site of a former factory. If successful, the project is likely to serve as a model for how rust belt cities can develop green jobs and infrastructure, and how it takes an outlay of taxpayer money and a promise of corporate profits to make it happen.

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