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The Weekend Desk Report

"Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Friday denied that development of the Old Main Post Office and a long-dormant site at Roosevelt and Clark was more evidence of downtown-centric development that leaves Chicago neighborhoods behind," the Sun-Times reports.

Well, I'd deny it too if you're going to frame it like that. Both those sites are long overdue for development. Neither somehow supplants needed neighborhood projects. Neither is optional, like, say, the siting of the Lucas museum, which would have been a better example to put to the mayor.

"These have been dormant for years. They pay minimal property taxes. When the Roosevelt and Clark property and the post office are developed, they are going to pay millions upon millions of dollars in property taxes, which will allow us to continue to make investments in basic services like after-school, summer jobs, increased policing," the mayor said.

This is both true and not. Presumably each development will deliver multiple millions to the city in the form of property taxes, but that remains to be seen - as does the inevitable costs to the city of each project. Also, "investment" is a word the mayor uses a lot because of the way it resonates with the public, but it connotes that the property taxes from these developments - still quite distant in the future - will somehow go beyond simply helping the city pay for itself. And of course he is not dedicating the proceeds directly into summer jobs or increased policing, which by the way is a phrase he's using to deceive the public into thinking these developments will somehow pay for increasing the size of the police force, which is something the mayor has repeatedly said he has no interest in doing.

Emanuel kept his cool when a television reporter asked what he had to say to unnamed "neighborhood critics" who claim that, "Once again, downtown's getting all the goodies" while "they get the shaft."

I'm not sure why he should get points for "keeping his cool," I mean, the man is the mayor and the media's job is to ask questions - even "tough" questions for a self-styled tough guy.

Also, you can feel the scorn dripping from "reporter" Fran Spielman's keyboard when she types "unnamed 'neighborhood critics,'" as if the mayor's critics aren't well-known by name and, according to polls, constitute the vast majority of the city. Note that "critics" are making a "claim," which is another way to marginalize those whose view is different than that of authorities and officials in power.

It's also a stupid question from the TV reporter, whom Spielman refuses to name but surely knows. Again, this is the wrong either-or example. You can't move the Old Post Office to Englewood.

But the mayor who is trying desperately to shed that "Mayor 1 percent" image was clearly exasperated.

"Just this week alone, we increased the bus service on the South Side, which has been an aspiration for 20 years but never been addressed. We're finally addressing it," the mayor said.

A link would have helped here, because that's a pretty big claim; instead I had to google "Rahm Emanuel South Side bus service" myself. Here's what I found from the Sun-Times itself:

"When we took the big risk of closing down the Red Line South and ... redeveloped something in four months that hadn't been done in 40 years, it wasn't about my credibility. It was about making sure people have a modern transportation system," Emanuel said, after announcing upgrades to a half-dozen South Side bus lines.

That's it. (I'm not going to go down the rabbit hole of fact-checking the 40-year claim.)

And from the Tribune, in the 12th of 16 paragraphs:

"The mayor also used Zopp's introductory news conference to reveal upgrades to four bus routes and two Green Line branches on the South Side."

So, yeah, let's not let him say he just solved a problem no one else was willing to take on in 20 years. He's making the marginal improvements year-by-year that every mayor makes. That's his job.


"Just two weeks ago, we were in Chatham with some major investments . . . "

There's that word again.

" . . . and the small business [help] I announced out there was one we had done in the Pullman area . . . The dichotomy of pitting one [neighborhood] against the other is not how businesses grow . . . You work at it at multiple levels - not one vs. the others. And I oppose the opposition because I think we're all in this together."

That's exactly what the opposition is saying.


"Emanuel has blamed his dismal showing among African-American voters in a recent New York Times poll on '40 years' of disinvestment on Chicago's South and West sides, not on the public furor over his handling of the Laquan McDonald shooting video."

This is so beyond reasonable, intelligent discourse I'm loath to respond, but the obvious point to make first would be that pre- and post-Laquan polling prove the point, and, second, that now he's blaming his dismal approval rating on the six mayors (not counting eight-day interim David Orr) who preceded him.

Also, here's a link to that poll that the innovative, digital-first entrepreneurial Sun-Times that for years was under the vision of technology genius Michael Ferro didn't provide.


"He's trying just about everything to reverse that trend and public perception and win back support from black voters who believe their unsafe neighborhoods have been left behind."

Black voters have unsafe neighborhoods, in this formulation. Not to paint with too broad a brush!

(I'm guessing that the more unsafe a neighborhood is, the less voters turned out, but I haven't looked that up. Beyond that, black voters were largely responsible for re-electing Rahm, and their neighborhoods weren't any less unsafe or left behind then as they are now.)


"The long-awaited progress on the two massive projects in the South and West Loop has the potential to generate millions in new tax revenue, even though both projects are likely to be completed under future mayors."

So Rahm will get to take credit for doing what no mayor did before or after him!


"On Wednesday, City Hall announced that Related Midwest was finally moving forward on development of a 62-acre riverfront site at Clark and Roosevelt that was once owned by convicted felon Tony Rezko, once a chief fundraiser for convicted ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich."

Isn't it far more salient that Rezko was once a chief fundraiser, political mentor and arranged neighbor of the president of the United States?

(See the various selections in Obamathon for a reminder.)


Beachwood Photo Booth: Railyards Rush Hour
Bumper to bumper.


Gonzo Hawk Harrelson, Doctor Of Journalism
In The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #102.


Obama Planning More Mass Deportations Of Immigrant Families
The president we have.


Schlupflochs For Everyone
How German tax law allowed American mutual fund investors, American fund companies and (naturally) American investment banks to all profit at the expense of German taxpayers.


The Week In Chicago Rock
Featuring: BANAL ANML, Del The Funky Homosapien, Cate Le Bon & Mega Bog, Black Mountain, When We Was Kids, Jonny Craig, Todd Rundgren, Art Alexakis, Graham Nash, Above & Beyond, and Nada Surf.


The Sound Opinions Weekend Listening Report: "Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys elevated pop music to new artistic heights with the band's 1966 masterpiece Pet Sounds. With its ingenious orchestrations and earnest lyrics, the album remains an enormous influence to this day. To celebrate its 50th anniversary, Jim and Greg present a Classic Album Dissection of Pet Sounds."


The CAN TV Weekend Viewing Report

Karina Mitchell Show

"Local artists give you an inside look at the Bridging Generations: Strong Men Getting Stronger exhibit at the South Side Community Art Center."

Sunday at 10:30 a.m. on CAN TV19


Impact of Youth Employment

"Elected officials, community leaders and youth provide testimony on the benefits of youth employment programs at this Illinois State Senate hearing."

Sunday at 3 p.m. on CAN TV21


Weekend BeachBook

Alternative Story Forms At The Washington Post.


U.S. Has Taken In Less Than A Fifth Of Pledged Syrian Refugees.




Weekend TweetWood


The Beachwood Tip Line: Developed.


Posted on May 14, 2016

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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