The [Friday] Papers
Our very own Natasha Julius wrote this to me during an e-mail exchange this morning about the Obama library. I thought it was worthy of sharing:
What's that old adage? Follow the what now?
Anyway, my understanding is that the UIC bid included two sites (originally three, but they nixed one - to my surprise - at Illinois Medical Center): one on the main campus to house the archives and a second in North Lawndale that would house a community development center. if I'm not mistaken, the RFP from the foundation heavily stressed community involvement, jobs incubation, having a long-term vision to transform the city, etc.
UIC is a land-grant institution; it serves, on the whole, a much less advantaged population than the private U of C. It has the space to house the archives on campus and there would be a direct transit link between the first site and the second via the Blue Line. The third site, if memory serves, was to house a research center. Not sure whether that was blended into the campus site or the North Lawndale site, but the bid had a comprehensive view of how to execute the foundation's stated vision on the ground in two neighborhoods that are still lagging relative to Hyde Park and even Woodlawn. It's pretty simple: If the Obamas want to do what their foundation says, they'll choose UIC. If they want to assist a private institution in its bid to take over more public land and expand its elitist footprint, they'll choose U of C.
I've been fortunate through friends and through work to get to know a little about both communities in question. No question both places could use more investment, so now it's a question of what sort of investment. Do you want to plop down a privately-run institution that removes land from public control and maybe offers a few construction and security jobs or do you want to partner with a public institution on a long-range effort to transform a struggling neighborhood?
Natasha issues this disclaimer: "I have an indirect personal connection to the UIC bid. I mean, I guess I have an indirect professional connection to the U of C bid as well, but still."
Meanwhile, our very own Tim Willette responds to my column on Thursday about park board vice president Avis LaVelle:
She's #2 - do you think she tries harder?
See what he did there?
Though LaVelle is the board's vice president, she is the park district's point person on this issue because president Bryan Traubert has recused himself on account of being married to Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker.
In a discussion with our very own Jim "Coach" Coffman this morning, we wondered why that was a conflict of interest. Because she owed her appointment to Obama? That's pretty weak. I speculated that perhaps the couple owns some property whose value would be enhanced by an Obama library in a particular location. Coffman thought it was simply Traubert's way of dodging involvement in a contentious issue.
By the way, that discussion took place as we embarked upon recording this week's Beachwood Radio Sports Hour, which is now in post-production and should be posted by late Friday afternoon or early evening.
The Beachwood Radio Hour is in pre-production.
See also: The U of C Makes Its Play For The Obama Library.
Extra Hours In School Have To Be Better Hours
Just like our teachers tried to tell Rahm.
Heavy Haul TV
Trucking through Chicago on I-94.
Beachwood Photo Booth
Horner Park Hot Dogs.
The Week In Chicago Rock
Is in pre-production!
The Beachwood Tip Line: For reals.
Posted on January 16, 2015