The [Wednesday] Papers
"The Merchandise Mart has emerged as the likely destination of Google Inc., which is in talks for a lease that could exceed 500,000 square feet and would allow the technology behemoth to put a new stamp on the 82-year-old structure," Crain's reports.
"If it completes a deal, the Mountain View, Calif.-based company would become the largest tenant in the largest office building in Chicago.
"At Google's request, [Vornado Realty] would add a roof deck on the 4.2-million-square-foot Merchandise Mart, giving Google employees spectacular views along the Chicago River."
Also among Google's demands: Ping pong tables, a gym and your privacy.
The Mart is already the home to new tech hub 1871, which is a pretty crappy name for a venture innovating for the present and future. It also references a tragedy - the Great Chicago Fire - even though it's supposed to represent the city's recovery; you know, the grit and determination and coding it took to rise from the literal ashes.
Calling it first: The Geek Mart.
P.S.: "Google already leases more than 100,000 square feet nearby at 20 W. Kinzie St., where it employs about 450 sales and tech workers."
Also, neither the Quinn nor Emanuel administrations are hiring companies to check the eligibility of tax subsidy and TIF recipients. They already know most don't qualify.
"To appease squeamish aldermen, Emanuel said he plans to earmark revenue from his proposal to educate schoolchildren on the dangers of drug and tobacco use," the Sun-Times reports. "The money would come from the $100-to-$500 tickets that would be issued to people caught with 15 grams or less or marijuana."
There's a better way to appease squeamish aldermen, Rahm. Anything else is a waste of money.
Seriously, news reports should tell us how much 15 grams is. The uninitiated have no idea what this standard of enforcement entails. A joint generally has half a gram, though obviously there are no rules. You're probably talking 20 to 30 joints here. Or one Chonger.
Former police chief Phil Cline expressed his skepticism to the Sun-Times:
"What do you do with the marijuana? The officer still has to come off the street to inventory it. Does the officer keep it until their tour is over, then go into the station? Are they gonna test the marijuana before you go to the hearing to make sure it really is marijuana? If they don't test it, the person is gonna say it was oregano and get off. All those questions have to be answered. It's not as easy as writing tickets."
A) The officer has to come off the street now. Under this proposal, that's where it ends - no costly arrests and prosecutions that mostly go nowhere.
B) My guess is that anyone who pays the ticket admits to their guilt just like a parking ticket. Wanna fight the ticket? Take it to an administrative hearing.
Bridgeport Ald. James Balcer also unhelpfully weighed in:
"Could this lead to legalizing [marijuana]? Could it lead to more problems than we have with it - health issues, too? Let's be honest. Smoking isn't good for your health. Pot may be worse."
Yeah, not so much. And that doesn't even address cancer.
Electing James Balcer, however, has been proven to be hazardous to our health.
North Side Ald. Tim Cullerton also brought his brilliance to the proceedings:
"I'd like to see the people who smoke grass go out and cut the grass at vacant buildings."
If that's a joke, you need new writers, alderman.
"Do some physical community service work that's meaningful, instead of just getting off with a minor fine."
A) I'm not sure most people see a $100 to $500 fine "minor."
B) Isn't the city enforcing its already-existent Vacant Property Guidelines?
Get on it, alderman.
Chicago Dude Update
The Beachwood Tip Line: Ahem.
Posted on June 20, 2012
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