Monday, May 25, 2020

A fragile hope in Ford Heights IL – Washington Examiner

"It is difficult not to be moved by the blight and sorrow of this town; impoverished, bypassed by the world, it is a part...

Giant Puffball Mushrooms The Size Of Soccer Balls Grow Around Chicago – DNAinfo Chicago

The mushrooms can grow to massive sizes: A 5-foot, 50-pound specimen is on record, according to mushroomexpert.com.

Chicago aldermen don’t need licensing approval powers: Faisal Khan – Opinion – Crain’s

An ordinance currently sitting in committee, would require city departments to alert an alderman about each license application filed in his or her respective...

Analysis: CPS has overspent budget 15 years straight, by total $6.6 billion – Chicago City Wire

The Chicago Public Schools (CPS) have blown their annual budgets in 15 of the past 15 years by a collective $6.6 billion, amassing debt to continually increase spending on operations while district student enrollment has steadily fallen.

The Rebuilders: A set of pioneers is buying property on the South Side and in the south suburbs – Crain’s

They're staking a claim, hoping to recapture something that has been lost: a community that may not be prosperous now but could be again...

Teachers Claim CPS ‘Harassing’ Members Over Sick Leave – WTTW

The Illinois State Board of Education released data last year that showed almost one in four CPS teachers missed 10 or more days of...

Witness To Street Robbery Shoots Thief In The Butt As He Runs Away – DNAinfo Chicago

The thief is in the hospital, where his butt is listed as "stable." Comment: Fortunately, the shooter is unidentified, or he'd probably get charged and...

Detroit’s downtown revival is real, but road to recovery remains long – Chicago Tribune

So you think Chicago is a tale of two cities? The gulf between its booming downtown and its violence-plagued neighborhoods is nothing compared to...

Remembering P.J. Hoff: Chicago’s original weatherman with character – Robert Feder

Media professionals remember Hoff as “a balding everyman who illustrated his forecasts with cartoon drawings of Windy City characters, including the ‘Vice President in...

Woodpecker hitches ride through Chicago – YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Da2a_1JN7T8

Chicago Schools Miss Out On Retirement Incentive Savings – WBEZ

The retirement incentive program was one way the district tried to sell its teachers' contract as a good deal for taxpayers. Initially, it would...

Judge blasts Emanuel ally John Coli, Teamsters, orders $2.3 million payment – Sun-Times

Coli is was paid more than $347,000 in 2014, according to federal records. Local 727 also paid son John Coli Jr. nearly $257,000. Coli’s...

Chicago transit lending bill called bailout, risky for taxpayers – INN

"This language is horrific for the taxpayers of the state of Illinois," Rep. Jeanne Ives, R-Wheaton, said. "These state funds that are intercepted are...

Data Points: In the Chicago region, when white people leave jobs tend to follow – Metropolitan Planning Council

The invisible barriers that generally separate people by race and income in the Chicago region also appear to serve as barriers to population growth...

Harris Associates’ Oakmark Fund excels at stock-picking – Crain’s

Touting stock-picking expertise in the face of an industry swing toward index-investing takes a certain amount of guts. But glance at graphs charting the...

Redfin migration study suggests Chicagoans looking to stay

Among the dominant trends:  Chicago, Boston and Seattle had perhaps the most dedicated residents, with more than nine out of 10 local users planning to stay in the area. Comment: Interesting data, but whether this really shows intent to stay is questionable.

CSX Transportation prepares for rise in freight volumes – Crain’s

A freight "tsunami" is sweeping toward Chicago from the Eastern Seaboard, and a proposed train-and-truck facility in suburban Will County could help railroad CSX...

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...

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...

Google Building’s Newest Perk? A CTA Train Car On Its Roof – DNAinfo Chicago

When complete, the train car will serve as a focal point and casual place to sit on the green rooftop for employees and others....

Trump Tower among Chicago’s most desirable refugee employers – abc7chicago

Officially known as the Trump International Hotel and Tower, the 98-story skyscraper on Chicago's riverfront has become so popular with refugees because they are...

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....

Inundated with gunshot victims, Chicago doctors and nurses face ‘compassion fatigue’ – Chicago Tribune

Comment: A friend who interned at Cook County Hospital said their unofficial motto in the E.R was "The life you save may take your...

Chicago’s chronically-understaffed 911 center wracks up $6.9 million in overtime – Voices

Overtime crunch was made worse by "unconscionable" abuse of a Family Medical Leave Act that guarantees employees up to 12 work weeks of unpaid,...

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."

Voters in Evanston, Oak Park Support Property Tax Hike – CBS Chicago

Both districts said larger class sizes and the cancellation of arts and enrichment programs were real possibilities if the increases were not approved.

Chicago fintech, the rising star in innovation – Chicago Business Journal

With names such as the Chicago Board Options Exchange, Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Citadel, Discover, DRW Trading, JPMorgan Chase, Morningstar and Northern Trust, these financial...

”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...

New CPS borrowing deal costly, but it’s better than last time – Sun-Times

Comment: This borrowing was done as a private placement, a sign of CPS' difficulty accessing the usual bond market.

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...

Chicago Entices Companies to Return Downtown – WSJ (Subscription)

Nearly 90% of the more than 330,000 jobs created in Illinois from 2011 through 2016 were added in the metro area.

Chicago sees a surge of data center construction to support the cloud – Crain’s

Like the rest of the country, Chicago is enjoying a wave of construction of data centers, the big, nondescript industrial buildings that house the...

Judge to Rule on CPS, Rauner Motions Next Week – WTTW

An answer to the lingering question of when this school year will end for Chicago Public Schools could become more clear next week, when...

World trade: A Chicago story – Chicago Tribune

Democrats are chiseling a defeat that will be part of Obama's presidential legacy. But even more than that, they're cowering from competition. And we...

New ax throwing venue open in Chicago – Chicago Tribune

The second one in Chicago and a growing sport.

Testing Chicago MEABF to Destruction – Stump

A look at one of Chicago's pensions, the Municipal fund, by actuary Mary Pat Campbell.

Chicago should annex adjoining suburbs – Opinion – Chicago Tribune

Comment: Just a reminder that we post lots of things here that we don't necessarily agree with.

Houses taking longer to sell in Chicago – Crain’s

Single-family city homes that sold last month were on the market an average of 113 days, the longest selling time since February 2015, when...

Chicago — the rise and revolt of the city state – Financial Times

Chicago and cities like it represent hope against the populist surge shown by the elections and Brexit, thinks the Financial Times. Comment: What the FT...

Chicago to Q-C rail takes ‘pretty exciting step’ forward – QC Times

Local officials say they have been told there is a memorandum of understanding between the state of Illinois and the Iowa-Interstate Railroad, owners of...

Chicago State dean accused of taking $650,000 from national organization for personal gain – Chicago Tribune

The Student National Pharmaceutical Association contends Carmita Coleman, Chicago State's interim dean of the College of Pharmacy, siphoned hundreds of thousands of dollars from...

Faisal Khan: What has Chicago learned from the Barbara Byrd-Bennett scandal? – Opinion – Chicago Tribune

Why is Byrd-Bennett, the former chief executive of Chicago Public Schools, going to spend so much time incarcerated? No-bid contracts. There are flaws with every process, but the city should be awarding contracts based on a company's value and performance, not political connections.

Governor Rauner Vetoes Chicago Municipal and Laborers’ Pension Reforms – The Civic Federation

Identical legislation, Senate Bill 14, was approved by the newly seated Illinois Senate on January 25, 2017 by a vote of 38-11. The legislation...

Most of 2016 Increase in National Murder Rate Came From Chicago: Study – NBC Chicago

"Chicago alone was responsible for 43.7 percent of the rise in urban murders in 2016," the study finds.

Home Rules: Cook County awaits challenges to authority to mandate paid sick leave, boost min wage – Cook County Record

Former Cook County States Attorney Alvarez stated, “Our legal conclusion is that Cook County lacks the home rule authority to enact a paid leave...

Already-low Chicago police morale dips in wake of Dallas sniper killings – Chicago Tribune

"A lot of officers are like, 'This is the last straw. No more proactive anything,'" said a veteran sergeant who works on the South...

Court’s injunction of Advocate, NorthShore merger could have future ramifications for health care industry – Cook County Record

“I do think you’ll continue to see mergers that are supported at the state and local levels which the federal government, specifically the FTC,...

Just how far left are some Chicago teachers? WirePoints Original – Updated 11-29-12

Slapping labels like "commie" or "socialist" on liberals is badly overdone, but plenty of Chicago teachers apparently wouldn't mind. The Midwest Marxism Conference was...

Who’s lending to South Side homebuyers? – Crain’s

In a region where home values have sputtered and many people have damaged or poor credit, who's writing mortgages? Marquette Bank, for one. Its...

Justice Department moves against Chicago, other sanctuary cities – Chicago Sun-Times

The Justice Department took its first steps on Friday to strip Chicago and Cook County of some crime fighting grants as part of a...

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?

Illinois road project stung by judge’s endangered-bee ruling | The Seattle Times

Because of the bumblebee’s status, construction on a multimillion-dollar suburban Chicago road project has to stop. Court documents say the bee was found along...

Homeowners Trying To Lower Cook County Property Taxes Hit ‘Record High’ – DNAinfo Chicago

Based on the board's report for 2015, some 64.1 percent of appeals by property owners in the city of Chicago resulted in a tax...

Documents show Ald. Reilly accepted campaign contributions from Wanda Vista Tower developer – Chicago City Wire

Despite his campaign promise not to accept money from developers, records indicate Chicago Alderman Brendan Reilly received more than $72,000 from Magellan Development or...

Commentary: We left Chicago, just in time – Chicago Tribune

"This is why we left Chicago. This is why we call our move to the suburbs one of the smartest decisions we've made. This...

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...

Young Cubs fan gets emotional after receiving surprise tickets to Wrigley Field – ABC

In the beginning of the video, Kolt’s dad, Andy Kyler, said he was testing his work ethic that day, “and he never once complained,”...

Report: Chicago’s West Side is ‘Epicenter’ of Heroin Crisis in Illinois – WTTW

“The drug crisis in the suburbs ends when we help the West Side of Chicago and end the flow of drugs on the streets....

Obscene pay and bonuses at Navy Pier as attendance falls, remake is delayed – Sun-Times

Chief executive officer totaled $367,876; two others got total comp over $300,000. Navy Pier Inc. also paid her husband, Patrick Gardner, $80,353 that year...

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,...

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...

Judge orders end to police pension-padding tactic used by suburban officers – Chicago Tribune

For years, retiring police officers in west suburban Countryside had been given a one-time $850 pay bump that, through a controversial interpretation of Illinois...

Navy Pier makeover shrouded in secrecy – ChicagoNow

Officials at Illinois’ most popular tourist attraction are pushing the site’s largest renovation in decades. But are they taking taxpayers for a ride? It’s nearly...

Costs, delays mounting on taxpayer-backed suburban rehab project – Chicago Tribune

Nearly $7 million in tax money has been committed to converting the building into 24 mostly two-bedroom units — making it the most expensive...

Chicago wants to become a renewable energy powerhouse – CNBC

The commitment would make Chicago the "largest major city" in the U.S. to supply its public buildings with 100 percent renewable energy. Comment: Any info...

The next Greece may be in the U.S. – MarketWatch

When Chicago Public Schools announced on June 24 that it would borrow $1 billion to make a $600 million-plus pension payment due June 30...

State’s ‘illegal’ streaming tax described as rerun from Chicago – Sangamon Sun

lllinois failed to learn from a court-challenged Chicago ordinance when it tried to tax streaming services as part of the failed "grand bargain" in...

Former Uber executive runs afoul of Chicago’s lobbying rules, city hands down $90K fine – Cook County Record

Comment: In fairness, it's too easy to run afoul of these rules. "Any form of written or verbal communications, including formal or informal in-person...

Cook County judge indicted over mortgage fraud scheme – Cook County Record

A Cook County judge has been indicted for her alleged role in a mortgage fraud scheme, which took place a few years before she...

CHA joins critics of HUD housing voucher plan – Crain’s

The debate over the proposed rule underscores the predicament facing government officials as they try to end the cycle of poverty in urban areas:...

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...

Chicago Hides Critical Info On Illegal Immigrants From Feds – The Daily Caller

The city of Chicago moved forward to protect illegal immigrants through their municipal identification program in an effort to stifle the federal government’s move...

Emanuel’s Wrigleyville ‘surge pricing’ for parking could be just the beginning – Chicago Tribune

New higher "surge pricing" at parking meters near Wrigley Field hasn't even kicked in yet, but a top aide to Mayor Rahm Emanuel told...

Muslim volunteers give 5,000 turkeys to Chicago families – A.P.

A group of Muslim volunteers in Chicago has expanded a 16-year-old program in which it gives free turkeys to underprivileged families on the city's...

O’Hare growth badly lags peer airports – Crain’s

Specifically, figures drawn from U.S. Department of Transportation reports indicate that over the past decade, the total number of departing passengers dropped 1.5 percent...

City could deal blow to Trump wall contractors – Chicago Sun-Times

“It would be much like an ordinance proposed years ago banning any Chicago bank doing business with a Swiss bank resisting cooperation in reparations...

Single-Family Home Prices Are Highest Ever In 4 Areas Of Chicago: Study – DNAinfo Chicago

But citywide, single-family homes are still 23.4 percent below their highest levels in 2007.

GOP leader files ethics complaint over Chicago schools letter – Chicago City Wire

The CPS letter began with an accusation that Gov. Bruce Rauner "decided to attack those who need the most help." It continued with a...

Even being seen with gang member sends 1,000s to jail – Chicago Sun-Times

Under pressure to reduce gun violence, the Chicago Police Department has increasingly used the parole-violation law as a tool to get convicted felons off...

South Austin pastor John Abercrombie lives lavishly while West Side project languishes – Tribune

Obscene abuse of not for profit status: "Abercrombie's south suburban mansion luxury vehicles lining the driveway. The home features a plush movie theater and...

Ethics chief blasts aldermen for pushing ‘unhealthy secrecy’ – Sun-Times

The chairman of Chicago’s reinvigorated Board of Ethics on Tuesday accused aldermen of injecting a “very unhealthy secrecy into government for a privileged few”...

Chicago may cut summer school programs despite a surge in violence – The Guardian

The Chicago public school system may dramatically cut back summer school programs for their most vulnerable students this year, despite a surge in shootings...

United’s biofuels investment could bring refinery to Chicago – Crain’s

United Airlines is investing $30 million in a company that makes biofuels for airplanes, and that firm says it may open one of its...

Is Chicago ready? ‘The Doomsday Squad’ works to predict disaster – WGN-TV

Scientists are exploring the cascade effect of major infrastructure failures. “The important thing isn’t what takes out an infrastructure asset but what happens afterward...

Case Shiller Home Price Index Up Again in Chicago Area – ChicagoNow

Looking at the seasonally adjusted numbers it does seem as though the Chicago area is now performing better than most of the other metro...

Clout-rich janitor firm accused of job offer mess – Sun-Times

The city contractor that allegedly “reserved jobs for individuals based on political considerations” is United Maintenance Co. Inc., according to City Hall sources and...

Emanuel shoots down stripping aldermen of control over menu money – Chicago Sun-Times

Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Friday he is not about to strip aldermen of their cherished control over infrastructure projects in their wards and hand...

How Mathematicians in Chicago Are Stopping Water Leaks in Syracuse – Politico

Using an algorithm developed by a team at the University of Chicago, the city put reams of information, scattered among various departments, to work....

The damaging effects of Chicagoland’s latest tax hikes – Illinois Policy

Chicagoans have been burdened with a slew of new taxes and the full damage has yet to be felt. A state income tax hike,...

900 Chicago government buildings to switch to renewable energy – Chicago Sun-Times

Chris Wheat, City Hall’s chief sustainability officer, wouldn’t say how many of the 900 buildings will have space for “on-site generation” nor provide specifics...

$999 million out, $90 million in: Chicago pension funds see the abyss, shrug it off – Chicago City Wire

In 2015, the City of Chicago’s two employee pension funds paid out $999 million to 29,286 retirees. But, according to the Illinois Department of Insurance,...

BGA: Charter schools fined $1.8M for late pension contributions – Sun-Times

Though privately run, charters receive taxpayer money and are considered part of the Chicago Public School system. As such, charter employees with teaching certificates...

Exactly How Screwed Are Chicago Pensions? – Stump

"Very," says actuary Mary Pat Campbell.

Chicago Public Schools: Bonds, Budgets, and Tax Bites – Stump

"This has been the way — twiddle their thumbs, don’t do anything about the pensions, til.. OH NO IT’S AN EMERGENCY WE GOTSA PASS...

Northwestern prez: only ‘idiots,’ ‘lunatics’ oppose safe spaces – CampusReform

In his convocation speech to new students Monday, the president of Northwestern University promised to provide “safe spaces” while snidely criticizing anyone who disagrees.Morton Schapiro told students that those who deny the existence of microaggressions are "idiots," while those who dismiss the importance of trigger warnings are "lunatics." Comment: As an alum, I, for one, have already cut whatever ties I have there and emailed three trustees I know that they should fire this asshole summarily.

How the ‘Ferguson effect’ is destroying Chicago – New York Post

“I’ve been in Chicago all my life. It’s never been this bad. Mothers and grandchildren are scared to come out on their porch.”

Karen Lewis IS the Radical Faction of the Chicago Teachers Union – Illinois Mirror

The CTU has moved far to the left and far beyond its stated mission.

Parade of police abuse settlement continues — with $1M more – Chicago Sun-Times

The parade of settlements stemming from allegations of police abuse that cost Chicago taxpayers $30 million last year will continue next week, with $925,000...

300 layoffs at Chicago State University – Chicago Sun-Times

The layoffs, effective April 30th, trimmed just over a third — 35 percent — of Chicago State University’s administrative and non-faculty staff, sources said.

Legally Blind Couple Robbed at Gunpoint of Cash, Cane and Walker – NBC Chicago

Once a month Joyce and Roger Alexander walk from their South Side home to their local bank to cash their social security check and...

Charter school teachers remain in contract battle, could strike next week – Chicago Tribune

Three days after the Chicago Teachers Union called off its threat of a strike after reaching a tentative agreement with Chicago Public Schools, the...

Chicago Laborers and Municipal pension bill passes Illinois House, stalls in Senate – Reuters

Comment: So many late minute changes to these pension bills it will take a while to digest and report properly.

Chicago Reaches Plan to Shore Up Its Smallest Pension Fund – Bloomberg

More on the deal announced yesterday. We'll have our own analysis shortly.

Emanuel leads cheer for latest corporate HQ to move to Chicago – Chicago Sun-Times

Great Wolf Resorts’ CEO Rubén Rodriguez calls the office “Wolf Den Chicago.” It’s home to 45 Great Wolf Resort “pack members” and has room...

Lawyer, guns and liquor — gunplay for the country club set – Chicago Sun-Times

Joe Neveril’s fervent desire is to bring the Chicago area its first “guntry club,” which he describes as kind of a country club for gun enthusiasts.

Chicago’s ‘menu’ program for aldermen: 50 ways to waste your money – Chicago Tribune

"We can't think of a worse way to spend a too-small pool of tax money than to split it into 50 equal parts and...

Toxic soil at Pullman monument limits use of Chicago’s national landmark – Chicago Tribune

The National Park Service has grand plans in store for Pullman National Monument, but it could take years before visitors have full access to...

Political Scientist Dick Simpson On The Past And Present Of Chicago Machine Politics – Video — Upstream Ideas

Comment: Great, extended interview on the current nature of corruption in Chicago (though Simpson is far too sanguine about the city's financial straights).

A Chicago neighborhood’s endless battle to stop open air drug markets – The Guardian

Comment: THIS is the retail market Chicago protesters should be targeting, not Michigan Avenue or State Street. They would get a twofer -- lots...

Moody’s and Illinois — which comes first, the screw or the screwdriver? – Truth in Accounting

It looks like our media continues to slavishly report what comes out of these credit rating “agencies” (paid by governments, for the “ratings”) as...

Am I blue? No, but I have a right to speak, radio host argues – Chicago City Wire

Proft cited the apparent hypocrisy of critics dismissing his news outlets as not being objective while their own work is published by companies with...

Suspect charged in Illinois judge’s murder; not believed to have acted alone – Reuters

"The motive of this crime is robbery, which we do not believe was random, nor do we believe Smith acted alone."

Homicides In Chicago Eclipse U.S. Death Toll In Afghanistan And Iraq [Infographic] – Forbes

Since 2001, Chicago has experienced 7,916 murders (as of September 06, 2016). The number of Americans killed in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq...

Chicago municipal employees pension falls short – Greg Hinz – Crain’s

Comment: Nice job by Greg Hinz, not usually one of our favorites, on this close look at one of Chicago's pensions.

Marina City will be considered for landmark status – Tribune

Designed by architect Bertrand Goldberg and built in the 1960s, the modernist complex at 300 N. State St. will be recommended Thursday for preliminary...

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...

Chicago’s Woes Remain Despite Incremental Progress – Fidelity Investments

"Time is not about to run out for Chicago," said a Moody's spokesman at a panel discussion titled, "Are We On The Brink?" Comment: The...

Chicago Moves One Step Closer To Easing Restrictions on Gun Ranges – DNAinfo Chicago

The ordinance would allow gun ranges to operate in areas of the city where business, commercial and industrial uses are allowed — with a...

Emanuel labels Rauner the ’emperor who wears no clothes’ – Sun-Times

As for anything of substance in this exchange, nothing.

Robyn Gabel: Meet Illinois’ Maoist State Representative – New Zeal

Comment: No surprise to those of us who have to live under her, but holy crap -- read it. Not familiar with the author...

Decision On Closing Chicago Public Schools Early Rests On April 28 Court Ruling – WBEZ

A Cook County judge said Wednesday he plans to rule April 28 on Chicago Public Schools’ civil rights lawsuit against the state over school...

Chicago Teachers Union Pushing For Broader Strike And Bargaining Rights – WBEZ

A bill that would give the Chicago Teachers Union the right to strike over more issues — including class size, length of the school...

Viaduct Homeless Get Shelter Under Pilot Program – DNAinfo

A 51-year-old man has been homeless for more than a decade, spending the last seven years under the Lawrence Avenue viaduct, he said. "I cried...

Cook County workers will get 10.75% raise over 5 years – Chicago Tribune

About 2,650 workers represented by Service Employees International Union Local 73 will get raises totaling 10.75 percent over five years. In exchange, the environmental...

Blackstone boss Jonathan Gray likes Chicago’s ‘powerful urbanization story’ – Crain’s

Jonathan Gray, global head of real estate at Blackstone Group, is bullish on the city for the same reason many investors are: Big companies...

Carole Brown to be new Chicago CFO – Crain’s

Former CTA Chairwoman replaces Lois Scott.

Daley’s Michael Reese Hospital deal still costing taxpayers millions – Sun-Times

Chicago taxpayers have paid a wealthy North Shore family more than $24 million since June for the vacant Michael Reese Hospital property that former...

The 606: Converted Chicago railway line becomes park in the sky

A new public park and trail system will open in the US city of Chicago this weekend. The 606, so-called because of the Chicago...

Why McDonald’s and Walgreens should move headquarters to downtown Chicago – Crain’s

As other big corporations can attest, the road to recovery leads downtown.

Roskam moves to limit IRS seizure tool used in Hastert case – Crain’s

U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Wheaton, says his bill only would protect innocent taxpayers from having their bank accounts locked without notice and would not...

City contractor accused of ‘reserving’ jobs for alderman’s office – Chicago Sun-Times

"There has been speculation that city contractors may be picking up the slack by hiring candidates recommended by Chicago aldermen." Comment: "Speculation"? Why, yes, there...

CPS borrows $729M for capital projects; $215M pension fix expires – Sun-Times

The bonds can be used to fund only capital spending. They can’t be applied to day-to-day district operations or teacher pensions.

Food truck ruling to decide mobile food’s fate in Chicago – Chicago Tribune

Food truck owners and supporters are awaiting a ruling Monday that could vastly improve their ability to do business in Chicago, and permanently alter...

Tuition-Free IT Training Is Coming to the South Side – Chicago Inno

In the second quarter, Illinois employers posted 53,388 IT job openings, an 88% increase from the 28,312 jobs posted in the same period in...

Inspector general blasts CPS for impeding investigation – Sun-Times

In an unusually public and blunt airing of a grievance, the Chicago Public Schools’ inspector general blasted CPS officials for impeding his investigation into...

New Trier should focus less on race, more on economic inequality. That’s Problem One. – Opinion – Chicago Tribune

By Corey B. Brooks, pastor of the 1,500-member New Beginnings Church in Chicago's Woodlawn neighborhood.

New FOP president claims victory in early battles with city – Chicago Sun-Times

The battles stem from what FOP President Kevin Graham called the “unilateral expansion” of body cameras to all Chicago Police officers, and the Chicago...

Some aldermen give cold shoulder to utility tax hike for pensions – Sun-Times

Warning that a taxpayer “revolt is upon us,” aldermen on Tuesday gave the cold shoulder to Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s plan to raise utility taxes...

Alcohol bill aimed to help special interests, further status quo – Illinois Policy

An amendment to Illinois’ longstanding Liquor Control Act creates curious guidelines that seem likely to favor a few specific Chicago businesses, while keeping the...

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...

Regime Change Finally Comes to Orland Park and Tinley Park After Years of Scandal – Illinois Leaks

On April 4th 2017, fed-up voters in both Orland Park and Tinley Park toppled longstanding political regimes that have been embroiled in one scandal...

Employers have options handling employees skipping work to engage in political protests – Cook County Record

In the wake of the Day Without An Immigrant and Day Without Women strikes, and with other political protests yet planned amid the nation's...

CMK, Lend Lease plan 2,700 homes north of River City in South Loop – Crain’s

A development group that has been gobbling up South Loop land wants to build five towers with nearly 2,700 residential units on one site...

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...

Emanuel rushes to secure federal grant for CTA revamp before Obama leaves office – Chicago Tribune

Mayor Rahm Emanuel is racing the clock in President Barack Obama's final days in office to secure $1.1 billion in federal grants to revamp...

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."...

Rail service to Chicago could get the ax – USA Today

Long-distance Amtrak service, including the historic New York-to-Chicago train that carries tens of thousands of Rochesterians to the Windy City each year, would be...

Alinskyite Tactics, Robert Creamer [Jan Schakowsky’s Husband], and Us: Project Veritas – National Review

Comment: Chicago is its birthplace and, as this article says, "The deeper problem is the ideology behind all of this, which goes far beyond...

Suburban school districts holding millions of dollars more in reserve than state recommends – Daily Herald

While suburban school officials say it's prudent to build up reserves, critics complain about school districts levying more property tax money than they need....

The CHA’s great upheaval — a Sun-Times/BGA special report – Chicago Sun-Times

A well-researched, in-depth look at the Chicago Housing Authority.

City home contracts highest in 10 years – Crain’s

Buyers put more homes in the city under contract in recent weeks than during any comparable stretch of time since spring 2007, according to...

Khan is Back: Report Indicates 37 of 50 Chicago aldermen took illegal campaign cash in 2015 – City Limits

A July 18 report from Project Six, a new corruption watchdog headed up by former Chicago Legislative Inspector General Faisal Khan, finds more than...

Uproar Over United Video Imperils Chicago Airport Police – Bloomberg

The video of a passenger being dragged by an officer from a United Express flight shined an unwanted spotlight on the little-known police force...

6 Chicago TV stations will change channels after broadcast frequencies sold for wireless use – Chicago Tribune

Six Chicago-area TV stations, including Fox-owned WPWR-Ch. 50, NBC's Telemundo outlet WSNS-Ch. 44 and PBS affiliate WYCC-Ch. 20, will be changing channels after selling...

Asia’s Richest Man Is Building Chicago’s Priciest Penthouse – Bloomberg

When the 95-story Vista Tower is completed in 2020, it will be the third-tallest building in Chicago, and at its very top will be...

Chicago and cities in the age of Trump: Bruce Katz – Opinion – Crain’s

Comment: Good luck with this if the message from Chicago continues to be that Trumpism is racist, illegitimate, xenophobic, science-hating, etc.

Jackson Jr. copped to another possible crime, said he’d help feds – Sun-Times

But no indication what the crime is. Comment: This guy is a gift that keeps giving for reporters.

Chicago to require pharmaceutical rep licenses despite industry objections – Chicago Tribune

The Chicago City Council unanimously approved an ordinance Wednesday, over industry objections, requiring pharmaceutical sales representatives to carry a special license. Mayor Rahm Emanuel has...

Rahm’s private email still being filled by fans, foes, citizens – Chicago Sun-Times

Powerful people and average Joes are continuing to use Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s personal email to counsel, praise and lambast him, knowing full-well that their...

New charity plan robs from the poor – Opinion – Sun-Times

A critique of the “Benefit Chicago” initiative, a collaboration that aims to mobilize $100 million in impact investments for nonprofits and social enterprises in...

U.S. Supreme Court deals struggling taxi industry another blow – Chicago Sun-Times

Chicago’s taxicab industry is likely to turn into a “Wild West” dominated by independent drivers, with fleets disappearing and the city losing control, after...

Chicago, suburban students get together to solve issues plaguing the city – WFLD

They live in worlds apart - some in crime-infested Chicago neighborhoods and others in million dollar north suburban homes. But they have more in...

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...

Emanuel won’t move on local solution to pension crisis until Springfield goes first – Sun-TImes

Meh. What's the rush? Just tens of millions of more unfunded liability that run up each month on Chicago pensions.

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...

Illinois Tax Appeals Scam Is The Reason Why CPS Has No Money – ChicagoNow

"Why in the hell isn't the Illinois States Attorney Lisa M. Madigan not doing her sworn duty to rid the State of Illinois of such egregious conduct and Conflicts of Interest?"

Chicago employers relax office schedules, offer incentives to get people to vote – Chicago Tribune

To help get voters to the polls, some employers are relaxing workers' schedules, shutting down outright or dangling rewards to encourage voter turnout.

Paul Vallas, ex-public schools chief, dean picked for Chicago State post – A.P.

Board members tapped former Chicago Public Schools chief Paul Vallas Friday for an interim administrator post at Chicago State University, an appointment recommended by...

Big news for Chicago-area Obamacare insurance exchange: Cigna seeks to join – Chicago Tribune

One of the nation's largest health insurance companies plans to enter the Obamacare marketplace in the Chicago area for the first time, bringing new...

Chicagoans take triple hit on old Wrigley factory – Chicago Sun-Times

The abandoned factory that the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. left behind in Bridgeport has been like a wad of gum stuck to the shoes...

Caterpillar Names Deerfield, Illinois, as New Global Headquarters

The company expects about 100 employees to relocate this year, with about 300 people in the new headquarters when fully operational in mid-2018.

Editorial: Saving Chicago’s schools from financial ruin – Sun-Times

"If anybody knows a sure-fire way to save the Chicago Public Schools from bankruptcy, the whole city would love to hear it."

Moody’s takes dim view of police and fire pension override – Sun-Times

“While the new law does provide short-term budget relief by reducing these pension plan contributions by $220 million, Chicago pension contributions will now fall...

Chicago Trend encourages retail to open on South and West sides – Crain’s

The CEO of Chicago Trend, or Transforming Retail Economics of Neighborhood Development, says his new for-profit social enterprise company has three advantages that will...

Who’s responsible for the Chicago teachers’ pension fund? – MarketWatch

Comment: Good article, but it focuses only on contributions required by statute, which Springfield can change. The bigger question is who, if anybody, is...

Foundation funded state agency and 2 schools it saved – Sun-Times

A private foundation started by the late Walmart mogul Sam Walton and his wife has contributed heavily to the Illinois State Charter School Commission...

Casino owners jump on video-gambling bandwagon – Sun-Times

The number of video-gambling machines at Illinois bars, strip malls and other small venues is booming, growing from zero to more than 23,000 in...

Oak Forest won’t go along with Cook County minimum wage hike, sick leave plans – Daily Southtown

The City Council voted 7-0 to approve an ordinance that says Oak Forest will opt out of the measures that would gradually increase the...

Ending silence on ‘code of silence’ could be costly for city – Sun-Times

Acknowledging the unwritten code served a political purpose for the embattled Emanuel — and was the right thing to do, according to police accountability...

Chicago – The Best Incubator in America? – Venture Connects

Chicago could be the “Goldilocks City” for early-stage companies. There is a massive capital opportunity from the volume of people, headquarters, and wealth in...

Chicago pot calls Chicago kettle black again – Truth in Accounting

Rahm claims a balanced budge, but in each of the Emanuel years, the city has spent at least a billion dollars more than it...

Moved by elderly, disabled, Willie Wilson makes tax loans ‘gifts’ – Chicago Sun-Times

Willie Wilson, the Chicago businessman, philanthropist and former mayoral candidate, who put $150,000 into a loan fund to help low-income Cook County residents avoid...

$58,000 property tax on a $350,000 home in South Holland – Illinois Policy

Comment: We wrote a detailed article linked here about how suicidal property taxes are destroying the entire south suburban area.

Block 37 developer Freed associate pleads guilty in fraud case – Crain’s

Ah, yes, Block 37. Another lovely chapter from the Daley Administration.

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 —...

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.

Chicago passes new rules on Uber and Lyft – Illinois Policy

The city will require rideshare drivers to complete an online course before hitting the road, and will allow ridesharing platforms such as Uber and...

Iraq v Chiraq: How Chicago violence feels like a war – BBC News

"In Syria, there are a lot of young, under-employed or unemployed men who became part of rebel groups not just because they believed in...

Chicago on the Brink – City Journal

A retreat from proactive policing has unleashed mayhem in the city.

CPS still rents space for bureaucrats despite budget woes, empty schools – Sun-Times

Despite a $1.1 billion budget deficit and dozens of empty school buildings for sale, Chicago Public Schools still pays more than $680,000 a year...

Three properties in Chicago tell the fall and rise of commercial real estate from 2006 – Crain’s

Whatever the future holds, a look back at three local properties—a Rosemont hotel, a Loop office tower and a development site across from Grant...

Obama to deliver first post-presidency speech in Chicago – Associate Press

Comment: Hey Obama, you came to office with the stars aligned as they do only a couple times a century. You had both houses...

$3.8M in back pension payments for female black firefighters | Chicago Sun-Times

The city insisted on using a controversial and now-abolished test of upper-body strength that was being challenged in federal court for discriminating against women....

Rauner Vetoes Bill Giving Chicago More Pension Rope – McHenry County Blog

Important info from Rauner's statement: The cost to Chicago’s taxpayers of kicking this can down the road is truly staggering. Actuaries estimate that between now...

Big Soda digs in for a fight over proposed Cook County beverage tax – Chicago Tribune

As it has in other locales, the soda industry is digging in to fight a proposed sweetened beverage tax, which would add a penny-per-ounce...

Southwest Airlines Socked With $1.6M Fine For Midway Delays Last Winter – A.P.

Southwest Airlines is being fined $1.6 million for not letting passengers get off planes that were stuck on the ground during long delays at...

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....

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?

Some Trump detractors struggling with feelings of despair; comfort hugs at DePaul – Chicago Tribune

For a rather different reaction, the video linked here was huge on social media last night. Crass but hilarious, and probably in sync with...

DePaul Arena — Beautiful ‘game-changer’ or ‘foolhardy project’? – Chicago Sun-Times

The 10,000-seat, $164 million basketball arena for DePaul University that will double as an “event center” for McCormick Place will open this fall with...

Chicago Homeless Count At Ten-year Low – WBEZ

Chicago officials are touting numbers that indicate that homelessness in the city has hit its lowest point in more than a decade.

Amtrak plans Union Station makeover – Chicago Tribune

Amtrak is betting millions of dollars to transform Union Station into an entertainment and tourist destination, complete with restaurants and outdoor cafes, retail, a...

Waukegan Mayor Wayne Motley will collect two pensions when he retires – Lake County News-Sun

But between the two pensions he'll collect, based on his service as mayor and city clerk and for the Waukegan Police Department, Motley, 66,...

Orland Township to vote on seceding from Cook County – Daily Southtown

Comment: Just an advisory referendum and it will never happen, but still.... Dozens of other suburbs would love to do it.

Tax protests come to Chicago – Illinois Policy

Grassroots activists seeking tax reform are set to stage a protest at the James R. Thompson center in downtown Chicago Oct. 12.

Chicago’s Airbnb Rules Are Unconstitutional Many Times Over, Lawsuit Argues – Reason

The city of Chicago is violating constitutional rights, hurting communities, and punishing responsible home owners with its new rules for Airbnb and other short...

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,...

Traders Plan Supercharged Chicago-to-Tokyo Network – Bloomberg

Some of the world’s top trading firms have agreed to build a faster data transmission network between Chicago and Tokyo, according to a person...

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...

From the streets to tweets: The dangerous rise of ‘internet banging’ – Salon

If you want to get a real first-hand look at gang culture in Chicago’s South Side, all you need to do is scroll through...

Should North Shore public schools set lower academic, discipline standards for black and hispanic students? Activist to make the case. – North Cook News

In two presentations at Elm Place Middle School, 2031 Sheridan Rd., Noguera will explain why he believes public school teachers should stop focusing on...

In ‘Scary’ Episode, This Employer Is Hoisted in Effigy by Anti-Trump Agitators – Daily Signal

100 to 200 protesters, depending on who is counting, descended on the Bank of America Building on South LaSalle Street, in effect looking for...

Chicago could lose billions in sanctuary city fight with Trump – Crain’s

Comment: $3.6 billion, that's what's at risk. Trump has made clear that his sole focus initially will be on illegals who commit dangerous crimes....

Group warns of more property tax hikes for teacher pensions – Sun-Times

Taxpayers United of America: “These pensions are unsustainable. To fully fund these pensions, the Chicago City Council would have to drastically raise property taxes...

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.

A Four-Foot-Long Chicago Style Hot Dog Made This Chef’s Birthday Epic – DNAinfo Chicago

Trump's response: "Weak. Believe me, I could show you a yuge one."

Poll: Chicago Voters Sour on Rahm, Tax Hikes – Huffington Post

32% approval rating for Rahm. On the new water and sewer tax,he poll says 17.2% approve and 74.7% disapprove and 8.1% are dizzy with indecision.

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...

Obama’s Library: Experts Debate How Much Economic Boost Chicago Can Expect – NBC Chicago

Chicago would hope to replicate the growth in downtown Little Rock, Arkansas, after former President Bill Clinton built his presidential center there.

AG Sessions: Feds could ‘claw back’ funds from sanctuary cities – Sun-Times

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Monday a crackdown on “sanctuary” cities and states – of which Chicago is one – with a pledge to...

Emanuel, Pawar join forces on locally-driven TIF surplus policy – Sun-Times

They want a new, locally-driven policy aimed at methodically phasing out some of the city’s 146 tax-increment-financing districts and funneling the money to the...

Analysis: Lucas Museum push offers ammo for Emanuel’s critics – Sun-Times

Now, there’s a fresh example of the same tone-deaf, “Let ’em eat cake” approach that prompted critics to brand Rahm Emanuel “Mayor 1 percent”:...

Cook Co. commissioner wants all commissioners to take pay cut – abc7chicago

First District Commissioner Richard Boykin wants all 17 Cook County commissioners to voluntarily take an annual salary cut of $10,000 each. Comment: Keep going with...

Judge turns lights out on exotic dancers wage class action vs Pink Monkey club – Cook County Record

They alleged the establishment wrongly classified them as independent contractors and shorted them pay in the process.

Ethics Board flexes muscle against independent contractors – Chicago Sun-Times

Chicago’s reinvigorated Board of Ethics is flexing its muscle again—this time by threatening hefty fines against “independent contractors” employed by aldermen who fail to...

A Fix for the Culture Wars – Bloomberg View

Last month, the University of Chicago appeared to pick sides in the latest iteration of America's culture wars. But it was really announcing just...

Chicago bank tangled up in intrigue over ex-Trump aide Manafort – Chicago Tribune

The Federal Savings Bank, whose chief executive was an economic adviser to Trump's presidential campaign, made about $6.5 million in loans in January to...

Welcoming City Protections Bolstered For Undocumented Immigrants – DNAinfo

The new law bans "police officers and other city employees" from making threats to reveal illegal status to federal immigration officials, and also outlaws...

Want to help Chicago teens? Teach them finance. – Opinion – Crain’s

"Knowledge of financial planning and management, as basic as it can be, seems meant for other kinds of people, leading other kinds of lives....

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...

Judge Rules Against Fenwick’s Bid To Overturn Playoff Loss – CBS Chicago

Was hoping for a federal civil rights class action suit based on ball-strike calls during the playoffs.

The Donald & the Democrat; Burke saved Trump $11.7M – Chicago Sun-Times

A law firm headed by Ald. Edward M. Burke, one of Chicago’s most powerful Democrats, has helped Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and investors...

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...

Report: Best Places to Work in Chicago Area for 2015 – NBC Chicago

A new report has ranked the Best Places to Work for 2015 in the Chicago area and the top-ranked business not only offers employees...

Suicide by Self-Importance: Northwestern Univerisity – The American Interest

Of all the displays of political myopia and intolerance in the American academy over the past several years, this story may be the most...

Junk-rated Chicago schools plan new kind of bond issue – Reuters

The preliminary prospectus for the debt indicates the Chicago Board of Education will issue $500 million of bonds secured solely by a capital improvement...

Nearly half of Chicago residents can’t afford where they live, study says – Chicago Tribune

Almost half of adults living in Chicago are spending more than they can afford on their homes or apartments, and they have dealt with...

Chicago aldermen want guarantee new loan fund will boost needy areas – Chicago Tribune

The mayor included the Catalyst Investment Fund, which is the brainchild of city Treasurer Kurt Summers, in his 2017 budget. Summers likes to call...

After Puerto Rico’s collapse, is your city or state next? – Watchdog.org

"At No. 1, with no drumroll at all necessary, comes Chicago...."

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.

Deficit in Dallas: How One of the Fastest-Growing U.S. Cities Ended Up With Billions in Debt – Governing

The city has created a huge problem for itself -- one so big that bankruptcy isn’t off the table.

City rolls out revised O’Hare night flight plan – Sun-Times

City consultants Tuesday rolled out a revised version of their O’Hare Airport night flight plan — this one featuring weekly rotations of runways over...

Out-migration caused Lake County population to shrink by nearly 400 from 2015-2016 – Illinois Policy

Newly released census data show more than 5,100 Lake County residents moved to other U.S. locales last year, causing the county’s population to shrink.

Property tax brouhaha highlights work of Westside Justice Center – Chicago Sun-Times

Westside Justice Center, embraced the spotlight offered by a tax relief campaign that began last month to help low-income homeowners at risk of losing...

Chicago Small Businesses Targeted By ADA Lawyers Feel Cost Of Compliance – Forbes

Whether it’s the cost of compliance – in the form of handicapped restrooms, ramps, elevators or even simple signage – or the cost of...

Chicago treasurer’s speech doesn’t live up to aides’ hype – Chicago Tribune

On Monday morning, aides to Kurt Summers called around to reporters trying to drum up interest in the city treasurer’s speech to the City...

How bad are the City of Chicago’s finances? – Truth in Accounting

Scranton PA basically flunked its audit yet its bonds trade better than Chicago's. Hmm.

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...

After Midway deal, restaurateurs gave big to Rahm – Sun-Times

Not long after the Midway Airport deal was finally approved, restaurateurs with a stake in the winning proposal showed their love for Mayor Rahm...

Witching hour fast approaching for 10,000 city retirees – Sun-Times

The controversial move is aimed at saving Chicago taxpayers $107 million in annual costs that would have ballooned to $307 million by 2018 and...

2 Numbers That Show How Screwed Chicago’s Pension Plans Are – Reason

During 2015, the two pension plans for Chicago city employees paid out $999 million in retirement benefits to 29,286 retirees. During that same year,...

Minimum wage hike won’t hurt too much: Chicago’s J.B. Pritzker – CNBC

"As to what level you want to set that at, it shouldn't that's abnormally high. Everybody has to work with it," Pritzker said. "If...

Can Cook County help Chicagoans guess what’s coming? – Truth in Accounting

Cook County’s total reported debt more than doubled from what was reported for 2014, under the new rules. Its unrestricted net position (basically assets...

New Grants Available For Struggling Shopping Areas On South, West Sides – DNAinfo Chicago

With the City Council's blessing, the city has earmarked $16 million from Tax Increment Financing districts to spruce up commercial corridors in Austin, Back...

Rauner: No more kicking can on pensions – INN

The Chicago bill, vetoed by Rauner Friday, would have allowed city officials to lower the amount they have to contribute to two of their...

Students protest college funding at Chicago Symphony Orchestra – abc7chicago

The students targeted CSO donors Sam Zell and Kenneth C. Griffin as they chanted outside and made their way into the CSO lobby. Comment: Wake...

Success of Airbnb Prompts Talk of Regulation, Taxes in Chicago – WTTW

Since 2008, the house-sharing website Airbnb has allowed most anyone to turn their home into a hotel. The rates are frequently much lower than...

Video: Santelli Exchange – Trouble in muni-land – CNBC

Santelli interviews David Tawil, Maglan Capital president, about municipal bond and pensions.

What Chicago Will Tell Bond Investors This Week – The Bond Buyer

Chicago will say that it has turned the financial corner at its annual investor conference Wednesday, but it's a message obscured by the city’s...

Chicago net liabilities triple to $24 billion – Greg Hinz – Crain’s

Comment: You really can't make full sense of this until the city posts the full actuarial reports for the police and fire pensions for...

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...

Why Send A Firetruck To Do An Ambulance’s Job? – WBEZ

Getting answers can be difficult. That has a lot to do with the political power of fire departments and their unions — and the...

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.

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,...

With O’Hare Strike Set, Roots Of Dispute Lie In Rahm’s 2011 Janitor Deal – DNAinfo

As hundreds of workers prepare to strike Tuesday at O’Hare Airport as their fight over pay and benefits escalates, the dispute has its roots...

Protesters Plan To Shut Down Mag Mile On Black Friday, Again – Downtown – DNAinfo

"Black Friday's protest will aim to disrupt Chicago's busiest shopping day and draw attention to the problem of gun-violence, segregation, racism, and police brutality...

Chicago-area condo associations see wisdom in HOME Act – Chicago Tribune

Recent proposed legislation would allow homeowners who earn $115,000 or less in annual income (or $150,000 on joint returns) to deduct up to $5,000...

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...

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...

Chicago PMI nudges up in March to mark best quarter in more than two years – MarketWatch

A reading of Chicago-area economic activity nudged higher in March to cap the strongest quarter in more than two years, a sign of the...

Taxpayers may be out $8M on site tied to Daley nephews – Sun-Times

Over the past nine years, two nephews of former Mayor Richard M. Daley have been involved in separate plans to redevelop a rundown warehouse...

Trump’s Chicago skyscraper poses challenge for city’s tour guides – Sun-Times

If you need tips to keep this year’s holidays civil, look no further than Chicago’s tour guides, who have become masters at easing political...

Claims overwhelm commission investigating Burge torture – Chicago Tribune

The influx of cases brought the total the panel is required to investigate to nearly 400, pushing the commission not only to reach out...

Peer-to-peer car sharing growing fast in Chicago – Chicago Tribune

The services, which have exploded in popularity in the region over the last year, offer a low-cost alternative to rental companies like Hertz and...

Election hacking shouldn’t surprise you, says Chicagoan who was Obama’s former tech chief – Chicago Tribune

Political campaigns could be as vulnerable as businesses when it comes to hacking, says Harper Reed. In a February 2013 TED talk released online for...

Minors in Chicago authorized to sell and serve alcohol – Chicago Sun-Times

Minors working as cashiers at Chicago grocery stores will no longer have to summon their bosses to ring up the sale of a six-pack...

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....

How a pension can cost you at Social Security time – USA Today

Useful information on the interplay between Social Security and a public pension, using an example from Chicago.

Cubs Won’t Offer Aldermen World Series Tickets … And They’re Furious – DNAinfo

City officials ruled that accepting the tickets would violate ethics rules — and aldermen are mad.

Mishandling of energy project cost Chicago taxpayers millions, watchdog reports – Chicago City Wire

Chicago's former legislative inspector general turned government watchdog has called on the mayor and Infrastructure Trust to explain how officials permitted large portions of...

Rahm Emanuel email takes center stage in retiree health care case – Sun-Times

That email was Rahm's reaction to a Wirepoints article about what his budget address should say. That background is linked here. In my unhumble...

The Detroit Road Map for Puerto Rico – WSJ

Comment: Same for CPS and Chicago. Those who bankrupted us aren't the ones to manage the insolvency proceedings.

Chicago and Catalyze launch mHUB, a new home for upstart manufacturers – Chicago Tribune

“The goal is to really lower the barrier of entry to physical product development, and give entrepreneurs the tools, the equipment, the mentorship, the...

Northwest Indiana luring Illinois companies, but why so few? – Nwitimes

Florida is getting the most fleeing Chicago companies.

More tax money for Chicago’s booming TV, movie studio – Sun-Times

Chicago’s busiest TV and film studio is getting another hand from the government: a property-tax cut that will shift an estimated $4 million burden...

Some Noble charter schools gaining students; others projected to lose them per CPS – Sun-Times

Under CPS’ student-based budgeting, money is attached to students, so a school that gets more kids than it estimated ends up with more money,...

Regressive beverage tax would splash Chicago’s small businesses – Opinion – Crain’s

The author is president and CEO of the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Comment: Of course it would. Yet another example of why Chicago's supposed...

Chicago Bloat of Education: The Sequel – Editorial – Chicago Tribune

So how could an elected school board — democracy in action! — do any worse than the mayor-appointed board? Many ways.

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...

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.

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...

Two more towers planned for Loop, one with 83 stories – Crain’s

No doubt about it, downtown continues to thrive.

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...

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...

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...

To a few of the good guys behind the scenes in GrubHub’s formative years: Bravo – WP Original

April 9, 2013  By: Mark Glennon How did two young guys with a business plan become a two billion dollar public company in eight years? ...

Aldermen Propose Plan to Divest From Fossil Fuel Companies – WTTW

Thirty-nine aldermen have signed a resolution calling for Chicago pension funds to cut off any new investment in fossil fuel companies. Comment: These virtue signalling...

Here’s what the factory of the future could look like – Crain’s

With its gleaming Goose Island hub set to open next month, the new digital manufacturing institute's reason for being—funding research that will transform hundreds...

The 12 most in-demand jobs in Chicago for 2015 – Crain’s

http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20150117/ISSUE02/301179998/the-12-most-in-demand-jobs-in-chicago-for-2015

Chicago beats even Silicon Valley in tech-job growth – John Pletz Technology Blog – Crain’s Chicago Business

The number of tech jobs in the city rose 25.8 percent between 2010 and 2013, according to a report on the nation's top tech...

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...

How DePaul students missed out on a timely lesson about Trump – Editorial – Chicago Tribune

Tough talk, ugly speech — you've heard it all year from Donald Trump. His politically incorrect style of communication is everywhere, but it's harder...

Emanuel’s former chief of staff joins Uber – Sun-Times

The taxicab industry and its City Council allies have accused Mayor Rahm Emanuel of creating an unlevel regulatory playing field tilted to benefit Uber,...

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...

Donald Trump’s misguided assault on sanctuary cities — Chicago included – Editorial – Chicago Tribune

Comment: Wrong. Trump has said he is going after criminals only, who are among those protected by sanctuary city rules. The Tribune did not...

New app to alert undocumented immigrants of ICE raids – FOX32

Notifica allows undocumented immigrants to alert family, friends, and attorneys if they become victims of immigration raids from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Chicago: A Compilation – Stump

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

Wisconsin, Illinois Taking Input On Amtrak Expansion Between Milwaukee, Chicago – Wisconsin Public Radio

The two states are taking public comment on an environmental assessment for adding three round trips per day on Amtrak's Hiawatha Line, for a...

Seventh Circuit’s ruling in favor of pancake houses in tip credit dispute may resonate – Cook County Record

A decision in favor of Walker Brothers in suburban Chicago in a wage dispute over how much it pays its tipped staff could have...

Chicago Teachers Union Boots Chess Coach For Ignoring One-Day Strike – CBS Chicago

Comment: The CTU's statement on this says, "All members are well aware of what happens to strike breakers."  Uh huh.

How Chicago’s Streets Became the Wild West – Wall Street Journal

The Ferguson effect, failed city leadership and an ill-advised deal with the ACLU have made the city ever more dangerous.

Theo Epstein for mayor, to fix Chicago’s mess – Opinion – Chicago Tribune

Maybe baseball isn't exactly the same as running a major city or school district. But the traits that lead to success aren't that different...

New billion dollar project could make Fermilab leader in physics research — again – Chicago Tribune

"'People tell me, 'Jeez, that's a crazy experiment. You're gonna make a beam of particles and point it all the way to South Dakota?'"...

Valerie Jarrett Reveals Post-White House Plans – NBC Chicago

She said she wants to "continue to be a force for good.”

John Kass: Is Chicago really that corrupt? Yes – Chicago Tribune

Comment: Two quotes summarize the problem: "Most aldermen, most politicians are hos," Chicago Ald. Arenda Troutman said on federal tape. And, as Kass points...

Judge’s ruling reduces Election Day registration in Illinois – Sun-Times

A federal judge on Tuesday ordered the Illinois State Board of Elections to stop enacting Election Day voter registration, starting with this November’s contested election. Comment: Thank goodness for federal courts, where the rule of law still lives in Illinois.

Cook County property tax bills cause outrage – abc7chicago

"Our taxes increased fivefold," said William Phillips of Rogers Park. "I was expecting it to go up maybe twice as much but not four...

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...

Emanuel proposes water, sewer tax to shore up ailing pension fund – Chicago Tribune

Under Emanuel's proposal, the tax would be phased in over the next four years, with the average homeowners' bill increasing $50 each year until...

Rahm moves to reform some risky financial practices by city – Sun-Times

Emanuel unveiled plans to end or move away from four risky financial practices that his predecessor and political mentor, former Mayor Richard M. Daley,...

Chicago PMI at 50.4 in April vs. 53.0 reading expected – CNBC

The Chicago Purchasing Managers Index came in at 50.4 for April, missing economists' estimates and led by a decline in new orders and a...

Battle for Coding Talent in Cornfields of Illinois Lures CME – Bloomberg

By putting down roots in the cornfields of central Illinois, CME is drawing attention to the lengths that the giants of finance are going...

Longtime state Democratic political operative ensnarled in video controversy – Chicago Tribune

Robert Creamer, husband of Rep. Jan Schakowsky, has worked for a long list of dirtballs.

Inside the Chicago Police Department’s secret budget – Chicago Reader

The Reader has documented for the first time the full size and scope of CPD's civil forfeiture program—how much money it brings in and...

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...

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...

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...

‘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...

City Council unanimously approves transit TIF – Sun-Times

The City Council on Wednesday unanimously authorized a transit tax-increment financing district in hopes of nailing down $1.1 billion in federal grants to modernize...

Chicago PMI falls more than expected – Business Insider

The Chicago PMI reflects the health of the manufacturing sector in the Chicago area.

Cook County Pushes for Pension Reform – The Bond Buyer

Cook County's pension has only about half the funding it needs and its unfunded liability is growing by $1 million per day!

Chicago Teachers Union is going through an awkward radicalization – Slate

Comment: It's a radical political group masquerading as a union.

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...

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...

Chicago area railcar lessors and mixed economy – Crain’s

GATX derives the bulk of its billion-plus revenue leasing out a vast fleet of rail cars in North America. Business has been good of late...

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...

Chicago: Love it or leave it? Readers answer – Chicago Tribune

Reader responses to the Tribune's question.

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...

DuPage County population shrank by nearly 2,500 from 2015-2016 – Illinois Policy

Newly released census data show more than 9,100 DuPage County residents moved to other U.S. locales last year, causing the county’s population to shrink.

Rahm Emanuel gung-ho about U.S. Steel project, alderman says – Sun-Times

Top mayoral aides met this week with developers planning to build 12,000 modular homes, along with a factory to manufacture them, on the 430-acre...

Socialists Protest Trump, Capitalism In Chicago – The Daily Caller

The rally, which started at noon in Federal Plaza downtown and proceeded in front of the Trump Tower, was organized by the Chicago branch...

Chicago’s Rahm Emanuel Makes Strides After Shooting Protests – WSJ

"In recent months, Mr. Emanuel has zigzagged across the city with a series of moves that are beginning to reverse his political fortunes." Comment: We'll...

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...

Windy City residents blow town as Southwest populations rise – Chicago City Wire

Cook County experienced a greater population loss than any other county in the United States between mid-2015 and mid-2016. Meanwhile, sunnier climes like Arizona...

Cook County beverage tax spells end to soft-drink bargains – Chicago Tribune

Starting next July, the four-for-$10 deal will cost you $15.76 in Cook County. That's the price after applying Board President Toni Preckwinkle's new penny-an-ounce...

Oak Park seeks tax increase of nearly 9 percent – Oak Leaves

Comment: Oak Park is a very interesting case. Already highly taxed, they are one of the few making an honest effort to measure their...

How Airports Can Get Rid of TSA Screeners – Bloomberg

Major airports considering privatization.

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...

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...

Red-light and speed cam ticket suit could cost city $200 million – Sun-Times

Plaintiffs’ attorney Jacie Zolna said Circuit Court Judge Kathleen Kennedy’s ruling could ultimately force Chicago taxpayers to refund $200 million in fines and late...

Civic Federation report on Chicago Public Schools transparency issues

An Issue Brief on the Chicago Public Schools transparency -- or lack thereof.

Chicago casino in the works? – WGN-TV

Emanuel wants to use the casino money to shore up the city’s police and firefighter pension funds.

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...

Suburban woman celebrates 110th birthday by sharing 110 memories – abc7

"Keep busy doing something worthwhile by making other people happy. Keep looking up. There's always bad things but you can't dwell on them. I...

Chicago s Credit Fall Sparks Market Debate – The Bond Buyer

Chicago's downgrade to junk sharpened attention on the splits among rating agencies, sparking a spirited debate in the municipal market far beyond the struggles...

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...

Chicago teachers’ union opens door to another strike – WGN-TV

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Chicago Mayor Says City Back On Solid Ground – The Bond Buyer

"It's an assessment that some analysts and buyside representatives share – to some extent – but it ignores the concerns many retain over the...

CPS Solution to Fiscal Crisis in Chicago – Points and Figures

Certainly, a good educational system is essential to a well functioning city. But, it doesn’t have to be public and it doesn’t have to...

Park district police described as $5 million redundancy – Chicago City Wire

It costs Illinois municipalities $5 million to maintain park district police forces that cover areas already under the watchful eye of the regular police...

Emanuel, Cubs Quick to Note No Tax Dollars Used in Wrigley Renovations – NBC Chicago

The Ricketts family is spending nearly $600 million over five years to update the Friendly Confines.

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.

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...

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...

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...

Chicago’s Morningstar to compete with Moody’s, Fitch, Standard & Poor’s in rating corporate debt – Crain’s

Comment: Let's hope they go further and into the municipal bond market. Mornistar people are honest, and that business could use a new competitor.

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...

Rahm says Rauner’s veto tells Chicago taxpayers to ‘take a hike’ – Chicago Sun-Times

Translation: Rahm wants the can kicked on pensions until his term is over so he can blame somebody else.

How an investing giant taught Chicago kids financial literacy – Fortune

This is a rare feel-good story about financial literacy. In 1996, John Rogers, head of $11 billion Ariel Investments, helped start an elementary school...

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...

Girl Found in Forest Preserve May Have Been Left in Trash Can -NBC Chicago

This is not on a news topic we usually cover, but some things just cannot be ignored.

Foul-mouthed cop dumped from Metropolitan Sanitary District job – Sun-Times

Comment: This is the guy we wrote about who was caught on open mic saying, "Nobody around here really gives a fuck." He should...

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...

Emanuel wants CPS property tax hike but mum on spending specifics – Chicago Tribune

Comment: Scan credit card first. Check items bought later.

Emanuel advises Cubs to ‘take yes for an answer’ on Wrigley plaza – Sun-Times

Mayor Rahm Emanuel made it clear Monday he’s gone as far as he intends to go in relaxing rules governing the sale of beer...

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...

S&P: Sanctuary cities won’t see ratings dip with Trump order – A.P.

Comment: Maybe because that's who hires them and pays them.

Chicago high-speed trading firms draw overseas talent – Crain’s

Chicago's high-speed trading industry is so secretive, it's easy to overlook the worldwide magnet the city has become for the business.

The Vote is in for Chicago Growth at Conference on Fiscal Future – MuniNet

Comment: This event was a whitewash that the Chicago Fed and The Civic Federation should be ashamed of. The best presentation was from Harrison...

Trump called ‘risk factor’ in Chicago company’s SEC filing – Chicago Tribune

Methode Electronics, a Chicago-based designer and maker of parts for automotive, appliance and other industries, on Thursday added the president-elect to its list of...

Chicago police unions are fighting to destroy decades of complaint records – Illinois Policy

Tens of thousands of Chicago police misconduct files could be purged due to lawsuits filed by police unions.

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...