Journalists, meanwhile, tried to figure out if any of the shifting explanations for the plan were actually based in fact, since it was originally presented as a way to save money, then to improve school performance, then to cut the dropout rate. The answer: not exactly.
Meanwhile, Mayor Rahm Emanuel didn't attend any of the public hearings and was on a ski vacation when the closing list was released in March. Most recently, in the days leading up to the final decision, he largely avoided the public and the media.
In case you missed it, here's the schedule he kept in the week before the board's vote:
Hey, did you read:
• About "Why Food Stamp Use in Illinois Has Exploded"? —John Dunlevy
The 25 plaintiffs, represented by Logan Square attorney Michael Jaskula, filed suit this month in circuit court against the throwaway's codistributors, the Tribune and Valassis Communications of Michigan. Jaskula told Tribune reporter Robert Channick, "Our neighborhood gets flooded with these damn papers every week. It's ridiculous it had to come to this, but we need to get their attention to stop the distribution of this thing to people who don't want it."
One of the plaintiffs is Jaskula's wife, Diane Stoneman.
I advise Jaskula not to call me as a witness. I'm afraid the story I have to tell would weaken his hand. No one is impressed by hotheads who try to win their battles in court when it turns out more genteel forums are available.
There's one category you won't find on the ballot. Like last year, we're asking you to vote for Chicago's Best Chicagoan to Follow on Twitter . . . on Twitter. Tweet your suggestions using the hashtag #boctwitterer. The deadline for that category is the same as the ballot, so tweet away!
Apropos of nothing, here's a 14-year-old girl owning Eddie Van Halen's solo on "Eruption."
The governor recently revealed that tidbit in an interview with the Sun-Times editorial board.
My guess is that the mayor's in a snit 'cause the governor won't rubber-stamp his deal to set up a Chicago casino completely controlled by City Hall.
Just as the governor put the kibosh on the mayor's plans to shove public money at the Cubs to rebuild Wrigley Field.
And just as the governor might—if we're really, really lucky—block the mayor's cockamamy scheme to waste $55 million in property taxes building a basketball arena for DePaul University and hotel on the near-south side.
Hey, did you read:
There's no mention in the announcement of previously revealed plans to build, float, and burn effigies representing the thing each Chicago neighborhood most wants to get rid of.
Artplace America is "a collaboration of leading national and regional foundations, banks and federal agencies" that funds projects using art as a catalyst for community revitalization.
The Fire Festival grant is one of 134 Artplace is making this year.
Hey, did you read:
• That there are big bucks to be made off female anxiety, whether about breast cancer (the test for the BRCA mutation now made famous by Angelina Jolie is $3,000) or fertility
(yet another freeze-your-eggs-now proselyte has popped up, urging all women over 35 to undergo the $9,000-$13,000 procedure)? (Of course, neither is covered by insurance.) —Kate Schmidt
David Brooks began his column in last Friday’s New York Times with a quote from Clinton Rossiter comparing government to fire: "Under control, it is the most useful of servants; out of control, it is a ravaging tyrant." Brooks didn’t come right out and say that tyrant is now trampling our liberties, but he sees alarming signs. "Most government workers are amazingly dedicated and talented," he allowed, but there are too many others who "far from checking their own desire for control, have taken it out for a romp." His eye on recent IRS and Justice Department scandals, Brooks diagnosed a "culture of unrestraint" in Washington and worried that federal regulators writing new health-care and financial rules will "expand their reach beyond anything now imagined."
The job of a headline writer is to get to the point the careful columnist might have only hinted at. The headline over Brooks’s column said bluntly: "When Governments Go Bad."
That could be a headline ripped from today's pages, as students join parents and teachers to protest Mayor Emanuel's decision to close 54 public schools.
But in this case the protesting students were teenagers from 1963, and the mayor was Richard J. Daley.
They were protesting the segregation policy of cramming hundreds of students from city's then-burgeoning black population into rickety trailers rather than putting them in white schools with plenty of room.
Most of the protests were directed at school superintendent Benjamin Willis—the trailers were nicknamed Willis Wagons—but the power behind Willis was the first Mayor Daley.
In that regard nothing except the name has changed in 50 years. Today's CPS officials and board members are rubber stamps for Mayor Emanuel.