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Michael Jones

Free State of Jones

Michael Jones | June 26, 2016 | Chicago
Unremarked upon in Ken Burns terrific documentary about the Civil War, a group of Confederate soldiers, after surrendering at Vicksburg, were paroled, over the objections of William Tecumseh Sherman, by U.S. Grant. Grant's opinion was that they were so sick and disheartened by their experiences that they'd just go home....
Matthew Dietrich

Illinois Bond Deal a Good Deal Only in the Most Optimistic Interpretation

Matthew Dietrich | June 23, 2016 | Chicago
For many years, whenever I typed the words "Illinois credit downgrade" in an editorial or column, I could practically feel my readers' eyes glaze over. As important as a government's credit rating is, stories describing the state's descent from Aa3 to Baa2 and the nuances of the bond market hardly...
Miles J. Zaremski

Miles J. Zaremski | June 21, 2016 | Chicago
The title of this piece is the website for the 50th high school reunion for the class of 1966 at Evanston Township High School in Evanston, Illinois. It is to be held September 9-10 in the stunning rooftop Monaco Ballroom of the Doubletree Hotel (9599 Skokie Blvd.) in Skokie, Illinois....
Matthew Dietrich

Plenty of Anger, but Little Chance to Vent at Polls in November

Matthew Dietrich | June 20, 2016 | Chicago
With Illinois state finances in a shambles and our leaders -- who were elected to make hard decisions -- intent on postponing any hard decisions until after they're safely elected again in November, there's a lot of pent-up Illinois voter anger out there. The problem is, most voters won't have...
Roberta Lynch

A Billionaire Governor Says Protests Don't Matter. He's Wrong.

Roberta Lynch | June 20, 2016 | Chicago
"If protesting solved problems, Illinois wouldn't have any problems."
Irene Michaels

I On Beauty Chapter 18 - For Tresses Feeling Their Age

Irene Michaels | June 17, 2016 | Chicago
PHOTO COURTESY OF IRENE MICHAELS One of the most frightening experiences to me was when my hair was starting to fall out, I was absolutely beside myself. Although it's common to lose up to 100 strands of hair in a day, hair...
Stan Chu Ilo

Tribute to the Victims of the Orlando Shooting

Stan Chu Ilo | June 16, 2016 | Chicago
The deaths of these innocent brothers and sisters at Pulse Night club in Orlando is not only horrible but despicable. My heart bleeds in pain. All men and women of goodwill in the US and throughout the world are rightly appalled at this unmitigated tragedy.
Charles Knapp, Ph.D.

A Coalition Of Hope For Saving Imperiled Iguanas

Charles Knapp, Ph.D. | June 15, 2016 | Green
Although iguanas are vital to many ecosystems, they face serious threats. Deforestation and other human-caused disturbances such as predation and competition from non-native species, hunting, smuggling for the illicit wildlife trade, and unregulated tourism, have brought many species near extinction.
Matthew Dietrich

Citizen-Led Illinois Redistricting Reform Effort Notches Another Key Milestone

Matthew Dietrich | June 14, 2016 | Chicago
Opinion by Reboot Illinois' Madeleine Doubek How about some good news about citizens taking control of their own government? The citizen-led Independent Map Amendment initiative easily cleared hefty signature requirement hurdles, was deemed valid and won tentative approval Monday to appear on the Nov. 8...
Diana Rodriguez-Zaba

10 Simple Strategies for Outstanding Customer Service

Diana Rodriguez-Zaba | June 14, 2016 | Chicago
I remember very clearly the first time I really understood the importance of customer service. We were still a young company when floods hit Chicago back in 2010. All of our teams stayed busy, but my employees were especially concerned about an elderly client. The torrential rains had completely flooded...
K. Sujata

Envisioning Peace

K. Sujata | June 14, 2016 | Chicago
Chicago Foundation for Women joins the nation in honoring the lives of those lost in this weekend's deadly shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando. What would already be a horrific crime is made all the more devastating that it happened during Pride month, a time when we celebrate...
Andy Thayer

Don't Allow Haters Win in Orlando

Andy Thayer | June 13, 2016 | Chicago
The worst thing we could do right now is compound a horrible act of anti-LGBT hate by promoting anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant hate. To use the worst shooting tragedy in U.S. history to promote Trump-like behavior would be despicable.
Matthew Dietrich

Pat Quinn Pushes Chicago Term Limits, Elected Office for Chicago Consumer Advocate

Matthew Dietrich | June 13, 2016 | Chicago
Before serving as governor from 2009 to 2015, Pat Quinn was known as a rabble-rousing reformer who, most famously, led a 1980 citizen initiative that cut the membership of the Illinois House by one-third. A year and a half after losing the governor's race to Bruce Rauner, Quinn...
Matthew Dietrich

#DoYourJob, #ILBudgetNow: Use These Hashtags and Send a Message to Springfield

Matthew Dietrich | June 10, 2016 | Chicago
Events this week in state politics inspired us to begin promotion of two Twitter hashtags: #doyourjob and #ilbudgetnow. We hope you'll join us in using these tags to send a message to Springfield. A week that had started out with at least a glint of hope for progress on a state budget -- working groups of lawmakers said they were making progress behind the scenes -- rapidly devolved into sniping over blame for the budget crisis, a serious reprimand from two credit agencies and more sniping over who's to blame for the state's deteriorating credit rating. Lots of finger pointing today on Illinois credit rating downgrade. Let us agree that it was a team effort.— Mark Brown (@MarkBrownCST) June 9, 2016 This started Tuesday, when House Speaker Michael Madigan canceled the House's scheduled session on Wednesday because, he said, working groups of rank-and-file lawmakers were making progress on a temporary budget. On Wednesday, as those groups were working in the Capitol, Gov. Bruce Rauner held a press conference in his office in which he accused Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton of trying to sandbag work on a budget to create a crisis. Rauner said the two top Democrats wanted a crisis in state government -- especially one that would arrive if there's no K-12 school budget within a month and schools can't open in the fall -- so they could use it as leverage to pass a tax increase without implementing any of Rauner's business or government reforms. A few hours after Rauner met with reporters in Springfield, Cullerton did the same at the James R. Thompson Center in Chicago. He said he heard from Senate Democrats in the working group meetings that as they were trying to craft a stopgap budget based on the governor's own plan, they started seeing tweets on their phones from the governor's press conference. Cullerton said Rauner's campaign-style rhetoric is not helping the budget cause and urged Rauner to "take a break" and let the working groups work out a compromise. Senate Pres John Cullerton begins presser by congratulating Rauner on winning election - 18 months ago— Tony Arnold (@tonyjarnold) June 8, 2016 As if to remind Illinois taxpayers that their leaders' squabbling had real, adverse effects, Moody's Investors Service on Wednesday night downgraded the state's credit rating to two steps above junk status. On Thursday, S&P Global Ratings did the same. Both ratings agencies said Illinois' leaders had all the tools to repair the state's broken finances but political gridlock was preventing them from getting to work. It sounds so simple, right? That's what we're talking about after a challenging week in state politics on this week's "Only in Illinois." You can also listen to the podcast here or through iTunes: NEXT ARTICLE: Illinois transportation coalition warns 25,000 jobs could be lost without funding by July 1

Every Major Development in the Stanford Rape Case, in One Place

Kicker | June 13, 2016 | Chicago
The Stanford Rapist, Brock Turner. (jocelynbyrd/Flickr) On January 17, 2015, Brock Turner, then a student at Stanford University, raped an unconscious woman behind a dumpster. The sexual assault was witnessed by two grad students passing...
Tio Hardiman

Chicago Police Cannot Stop Killings

Tio Hardiman | June 10, 2016 | Chicago
The current strategies being implemented by the police have fallen short as it relates to stopping the killings on the front end.
Party Earth

The Water Circus is Coming to Town

Party Earth | June 13, 2016 | Chicago
Chicago is about to dive into the magical world of Cirque Italia, the first ever Italian water circus, when it returns to town with a brand new show June 9-12 and June 16-19. This amazing traveling, European-style circus is filled with...
Alexandra Starkovich

Summertime in Chicago Bucket List

Alexandra Starkovich | June 8, 2016 | Chicago
There is literally something to do every day in the summertime in Chicago. And I don't mean literally in the way most people use it. I mean every day, without fail, there is something going on.
Kanu Iheukumere

Fierce Conversations - Be Intentional About Developing Poor Communities

Kanu Iheukumere | June 8, 2016 | Chicago
Chicagoans weekly brace for news reports with the latest shooting death tally, public school funding crisis or failings on the part of elected officials. But they're not sitting idly waiting for answers. As common is the expectation of bad news, Chicago residents...
Matthew Dietrich

Taking Stock of Failure, Finding Ray of Hope From 2016 Legislative Session

Matthew Dietrich | June 7, 2016 | Chicago
For the second straight year, the Illinois General Assembly left Springfield this week without a budget in place for fiscal year that starts July 1. A year ago, when Gov. Bruce Rauner and the Democrats who control the Legislature first deadlocked over the FY 2016 budget, the situation today was unthinkable. A full year without any plan for state spending and revenue was unprecedented. But also unimaginable a year ago was that Rauner and the Democrats would enter FY 2017 not only without a balanced budget, but with a goal that in effect will prolong the budget standoff through calendar year 2016. After nearly a year of rejecting pursuit of short-term budget fixes -- which he said would take pressure off for business and political reforms -- Rauner on Memorial Day abruptly changed course. He endorsed a stopgap budget to carry state government through 2016 and urged House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton to pass a stand-alone K-12 school funding bill so school districts statewide can be assured of opening on time in the fall. A few days after Democrats in the House rushed to approve a budget from Madigan that was $7 billion out of balance, Cullerton attempted to pass it in the Senate, where it got a very unfriendly reception. Republicans railed against its massive unfunded spending while many Democrats rejected it both for its imbalance and the way Madigan forced it through the House. In an attempt to appease Rauner while also backing him into a corner, the Senate in the final minutes of the spring session passed a stand-alone K-12 bill, but it increased school funding by an astounding $900 million. That was far more than Rauner's original proposal, which increased funding by only $120 million. It passed in the Senate but failed miserably in the House, where suburban representatives questioned why $475 million of the increase would go to Chicago Public Schools. Thus our lawmakers left Springfield with neither a state budget nor a school budget in place. In the two days that followed the session's collapse, Rauner hit the road on a tour of Illinois to gin up support for a "clean" school funding bill and a broader, stopgap plan to get state government through the calendar year. In the process, he did some Chicago bashing that probably isn't a healthy addition to the process. We review the final days of the legislative session and look at what's to come on this week's "Only in Illinois." Despite all the bad news, we end this edition on a positive note thanks to the closing speeches of Cullerton and Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno. You can also listen to the podcast here or through iTunes: Next article: Superintendents rip Rauner on school funding ...
All posts from 06.26.2016