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The [Tuesday] Papers

"After a four-year court battle, a Chicago food truck owner on Monday failed in her effort to overturn what she calls 'burdensome' and 'damaging' rules governing mobile vendors in the city. The judgment likely will have a significant and lasting impact on Chicago's food truck industry, which has struggled to grow, in contrast to other U.S. cities," the Tribune reports.

"Food truck owners say the regulations, first passed in 2012, have hurt sales and caused many trucks to go out of business altogether. Those who remain say they're locked in hypercompetitive fights for parking at the most popular serving locations in the Loop, and are forced to adopt extreme strategies, like sending out cars to hold lunch spots in the early morning hours, or opting to serve in more food truck-friendly areas outside downtown."

I'm with the food truck owners on this one. I sense everyone but City Hall and the brick-and-mortar restaurants the city is protecting from competition are too. But alas:

"Cook County Circuit Judge Anna Helen Demacopoulos on Monday upheld two key components of the city's food truck ordinance: a rule that the trucks stay 200 feet away from restaurants or other businesses that serve food, like Walgreens, and a requirement that mobile vendors use a city-monitored GPS device. A lawsuit by [Laura] Pekarik, owner of the Cupcakes for Courage food truck, had argued that these rules were unconstitutional and damaged her business.

"The third main mandate of the ordinance, the requirement that food trucks may not park in any space for more than two hours, was not challenged in the lawsuit."

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I haven't researched the constitutional issues at play, but it's clear the regulations are overburdensome by design, hardly driven by safety and street congestion issues. To wit:

"City spokesman Bill McCaffrey said it is 'pleased with the ruling, which reaffirms that the ordinance strikes the right balance between the interests of food trucks and those of restaurants.'"

The only interest of restaurants is to keep competition away. By this logic, though, you may as well require one restaurant to stay 200 feet away from another restaurant - and only stay open two hours a day. I find it hard to see how a judge ought to be balancing the interests of food trucks against anything other than the public interest.

"Demacopoulos said in her ruling that the case pitted 'restaurants against the young pop star - the food truck,' but found that the law allows the city to 'balance' competition within its borders."

Really? It doesn't seem to me that the city's job is to balance competition within an industry. Encourage it, yes. Discourage it, no. Which is what these rules are really meant to do.

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According to Pekarik's lawyer, "Chicago is the only city of the top 10 metropolitan cities in the country to have these types of rules."

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This might not be Demacoupolos's worst ruling, however. From 2015:

"A Chicago Heights man charged with the 2012 murder of his live-in girlfriend will get to leave the state for Thanksgiving.

"Cook County Circuit Court Judge Anna Helen Demacopoulos on Thursday granted George Kleopa permission to travel to Florida for nine days to spend the holiday visiting his children."

Geez, at least keep the guy 200 feet from the kids and for only two hours at a time at that.

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On the other hand, see her ruling in the item Redacting Rahm from this column.

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Back to food truck madness. From August:

"Nearly four years after Chicago aldermen crafted a new law regulating food trucks, an investigation by the Chicago Sun-Times and ABC7 Chicago's I-Team has found the rules are frequently broken with violators seldom facing any consequences because enforcement by Mayor Rahm Emanuel's administration is so lax."

Next: Our joint investigation into people littering the city with newspapers.

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My guess is the administration was lax to enforce the rules because A) it had better things to do, and B) the rules exist for the discretion of the city to bring the hammer down at its convenience on behalf of a friend or to punish a foe.

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"But food-truck operators routinely violate those rules, the Sun-Times and ABC7 found. And the Emanuel administration rarely punishes them.

"For instance, in the 100 block of South Clark Street, a short walk from City Hall, reporters found the law is ignored virtually every weekday, with as many as a 13 food trucks lined up between Adams Street and Monroe Street."

Sounds like heaven to me. And now you've ruined it.

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There's a difference between being an investigative reporter and a tattletale.

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How Journalists Need To Go Beyond Fact-Checking Trump
"Trump's Twitter can't become the assignment desk of the national media. The burden of proof can't be on the media to disprove every crazy claim that the president-elect makes. The story here is the president-elect yet again made a baseless claim. That is the story. The story is that the president-elect is more factually irresponsible than any political leader in the United States in memory. That's the story. The details of exactly how this particular claim is false are really, at some point, a second-order concern."

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Is All The News Fake?
Read my comment on why this is a dangerous notion taking hold.

(You can also read my debate about this on Twitter this morning with Glenn Greenwald. You may have to follow us both to see the whole thing, but I intend to write it up for the site this week too.)

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Study Of Illinois Schools Shows Connection Between Bullying & Sexual Harassment
"For example, when youth are called "gay" or "fag," they start to sexually harass members of the opposite sex to demonstrate that they are not gay."

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The Delusions Of Sports Rituals
"Personal beliefs about luck and winning can be explained by the illusion of control, the gambler's fallacy, and beliefs in a supernatural force."

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The Weekend In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Deeper, EZTV, Lowhangers, Nakay, Rubblebucket, Cock Sparrer, Flatfoot 56, Brick Assassin, Saigon Kick, Steel Panther, Stevie Nicks, Kevin Devine, August Hotel, Jimmy Nick, Get Scared, Nonpoint, Escape the Fate, Through Fire, Fitz and the Tantrums, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Cage The Elephant, Weathers, and James Bay.

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Last Week In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Splatter, Robbie Fulks & Steve Dawson, Johnny Vomit, Weezer, Mipso, Kawabata Makoto & Tatsuya Nakatani, Spires That In The Sunset Rise, Text of Light (Lee Renaldo & Alan Licht), Summer Salt, The Mississippi Stranglers, Bev Rage and the Drinks, The Blind Shake, Thee Oh Sees, Blood Licker, Bleach Party, Clearance, Jollys, PPPMMM, and Swimsuit Addition.

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BeachBook

Winter Runner Slips And Falls After WGN Interview About How Safe Winter Running Is.

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How Multiculturalism Is Eroding Christmas.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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Revise those takes - again!

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Ease our pain.



Permalink

Posted on December 6, 2016


MUSIC - Blues Fest 2017.
TV - 'The Worst FCC I've Ever Seen.'
POLITICS - Minimum Wage Hikes Work.
SPORTS - On Joe Louis, Race And Sports Heroes.

BOOKS - The Blood Of Emmett Till.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Artist As Alchemist.


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