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The [Tuesday] Papers

"The tradition of Chicago City Council members enjoying near-complete control over property zoning questions within their wards took a hit Monday when a powerful Southwest Side alderman stepped in to at least temporarily halt a project favored by a colleague in a Northwest Side neighborhood," the Tribune reports (notebook item, because not as important as artificial news about a fake, meaningless prediction; scroll down).

"Ald. John Arena, 45th, was ushering through the Zoning Committee a controversial plan to rezone a parcel in Jefferson Park for construction of a self-storage facility."

That in itself is a bizarre move by Ed Burke, the alderman who stepped in to halt the project, but here's what particularly caught my eye:

Dozens of people had spoken against the idea over several hours - and a smaller group in favor of it - when 14th Ward Ald. Edward Burke abruptly took the unusual step of asking whether a majority of the committee's 18 members were on hand. When a head count revealed just seven aldermen still in chambers, Burke said that lack of a quorum meant the body couldn't consider the proposal. The committee adjourned, leaving the measure in limbo at least until next month.

That's never stopped the city council before, as shown in this award-winning investigative report that we published nine years ago.

And yet:

Burke insisted he called for a quorum because the high level of resident interest deserved a majority of committee members on hand to hear it, and because he had questions about whether Arena followed the proper steps when settling a lawsuit about the property with the developer.

"Our rules say we have to have a quorum, and so be it," Burke said after the hearing, though council committees routinely take votes with fewer than half their members on hand. "There apparently is a huge amount of interest in this, so shouldn't we operate under our rules if there is this much interest?"

That's never stopped you before, Alderman. And operating by the rules isn't optional depending on how many people show interest, unless I missed that part in the Illinois Open Meetings Act and the City Council's Rules of Order.

Chicago Spangled Spanier
"The man who ran Penn State amid allegations that assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was molesting young boys may now face jail time," CNN reports.

"Former Penn State President Graham Spanier was found guilty Friday of one misdemeanor count of endangering the welfare of a child. No date has yet been set for Spanier's sentencing. His conviction carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine."


Here's a roundup of Spanier's Chicago background - he grew up on the South Side and got his Ph.D at Northwestern - written at a time when I thought it was being ignored by the local press (not sure if they ever caught up or just weren't interested).


The Not Ready For Prime Time Players
Rich dudes running for governor. And some pretending not to be.


"Please don't put your dirty stamp of approval on me even though I desperately want every inch of support you can give me."


Predatory Policy
I'm old enough to remember when surge pricing was called gouging.


The Museum Blues
To follow up on Monday's lead item about the new blues museum coming to the Loop, I submit these final two paragaphs from the Tribune's account:

While some may contend that the more fitting location for such a museum would be in the city's African-American neighborhoods, Beauchamp said having it downtown is proper.

"The South Side or the West Side are definitely the rootland," he said. "That's where it happened. But you want the place to be centrally located, absolutely. The blues is so central to Chicago culture."

Being central to Chicago culture - in the past, not now - doesn't demand a central geographic location in any way. It's a museum - you'd think being located in the "rootland" would be part of the experience.

Certainly we have plenty of institutions central to Chicago's culture that aren't located downtown (start with the Museum of Science and Industry and go from there). A blues museum sure would look nice next to, oh, let's say a jazz museum and even a Star Wars museum in Bronzeville, or even on the still unbelievably undeveloped U.S. Steel site.

Locating every attraction downtown only serves to deepen the city's inequities, and to deprive our neediest neighborhoods of the investment opportunities besides currency exchanges and liquor stores they so desperately need.


Knowing Which Way The Wind Blows
As a follow-up to Monday's item "Don't Need A Weatherman," our very own Tim Willette submits this from Slate for your approval:

Last month, a new survey of members of the American Meteorological Society confirmed as much. It turns out that just about an equal percentage of meteorologists accept that human activity is the primary cause climate change (67 percent) as the general public (65 percent, from the similarly worded Gallup poll) . . .

Another reason for the low acceptance rates may have to do with who AMS members actually are. One thing they're not is all formally educated meteorologists - they're involved in a variety of weather-related fields (like local emergency management or teaching high school science).

Just 32 percent of respondents held a bachelor's degree or greater in meteorology, and only 37 percent considered themselves experts in climate science.

And meteorology degrees may not even help, as they typically do not require coursework in climate change science - though of course that shouldn't stop meteorologists and weather communicators from accepting the consensus of their more rigorously climate science-focused colleagues.

Additionally, respondents also skewed older (62 percent over age 50) and strongly male (82 percent), roughly in line with AMS membership. Previous surveys have shown that's also the demographic most likely to be skeptical of mainstream climate science, partly because of a bias known as the "white male effect" - the group is less risk averse than the general public.


Immigrants Deported Under Obama Share Stories Of Terror And Rights Violations
"Meeting some of the people affected by home raids then can help us understand how people are being targeted today."

See also:

* Bill Clinton Laid The Groundwork For Trump's Ugly Immigration Policies.

* Memo Reveals Rahm Emanuel Advised President Clinton To Achieve 'Record Deportations.'


The Weekend In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Super Sonic Space Rebels, Regina Spektor, The Evictions, Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band, Lonely Trailer, Southern Soul Assembly, Al Stewart, Alina Baraz, Dan Andriano, View of Destruction, UFO, Tantric, Saxon, Puddle of Mudd, Jim Messina, Andrew McMahon, Railroad Earth, and The Great Ache.


Call Out For The Cub Factor
Folks, Marty Gangler will not be able to write The Cub Factor column this season. If interested, let me know.


Call Out For LTR
Folks, I'm single again (it was complicated). If interested, let me know.



AP Classes Are A Scam.


Urban Homesteaders Win Cancellation Of Bogus Trademarks.


A sampling.

Is anything true anymore?



The Beachwood Tronc Line: Noted.


Posted on March 28, 2017

MUSIC - Chief Keef Changed The Industry.
TV - Vizio's Best Product Is You.
POLITICS - UIC: Soda Taxes Work.
SPORTS - More McCaskey Malpractice.

BOOKS - All About Poop.


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