Monthly Archives: February 2014

Shovel the damn sidewalks!!!

From our dear village authorities:

Sidewalk shoveling required

Village ordinance requires property owners to remove snow and ice from the public sidewalk within 24 hours following any snow, sleet or freezing rain. Being a good neighbor is important, too, so property owners are urged to help those who may need help clearing a sidewalk. For more information on the shoveling requirement or help resources, call 708.358.5700 or email publicworks.

Being an inveterate walker, I have a dog in this fight. Do it!

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27-year-old man on a mission: “entire life” in politics

Was most impressed the other night, Feb. 25 — at the county board candidates forum — oddly enough by Ike Carothers, who got caught, took a plea, and at the forum defended himself plausibly (news accounts not reliable, “I paid the price”) and less relevantly (“I have been contrite . . .  I believe in a God that believes in forgiveness”).  If elected, he will demonstrate Democratic Party honesty about itself.

Was least impressed by Blake Sercye — Fenwick Fresh Face, Rahmfather’s pick, a glib fellow whose unbridled confidence oozes from every pore.

Only 27 years old? No problem: He withstood Rahm to his face, he implied. About what? Where? When? Publicly? Was it reported? Who else knows about it? He’s “young, not new,” has been involved in — what? politics? the community? — his “entire life.” He brings “new energy to the table.”

He’s master of the talking point. Solution for county jail problems? Reduce its population! (Let’s do that thing!) Don’t raise tax rates. Do promote a progressive income tax, sparing “the middle class.” County hospital? “Make it competitive.”

As a photogenic young black guy with Ivy League schooling, U of Chi law degree, now at a major local law firm, at a loss for no words — “clean, articulate,” to quote a current American statesman speaking of another rising star — whom does Sercye remind you of?

Add the unanimous endorsement and promised future help from Oak Park Dems, as they provided early in the career of the current U.S. president a few years back, and you have the progressive people’s choice, smart as a tack at repartee and with a work resume as long as your little finger.

More to come in reflections on this event, reported in adjunct fashion by Bob Skolnik and Michael Romain of Wed. Journal (“In big week, Sercye wins backing from Oak Park Democrats, Preckwinkle, Emanuel . . .”) but nowhere else that I can find . . .

Testing BlogJet

I have installed an interesting application – BlogJet. It’s a cool Windows client for my blog tool (as well as for other tools). Get your copy here: http://blogjet.com

“Computers are incredibly fast, accurate and stupid; humans are incredibly slow, inaccurate and brilliant; together they are powerful beyond imagination.” — Albert Einstein

Hedges as temporary pilot, Danny Davis had his chance, gun-totin’ mama

Oak Park’s new econ development creature to be headed for now by John Hedges:

Wes Venteicher of Chi Trib:

“My expectation for the next months is I don’t want to miss a heartbeat,” Abu-Taleb said. . . .

Phil Rockrohr of Oak L:

Hedges was the unanimous selection of the EDC’s executive committee, [its] release said. He will assume the position on Feb. 24, but only serve until the agency appoints a permanent executive director in a few months, it said.

Hedges was one of nearly 12 candidates reviewed by the board and the executive committee, the release said.

Like Holiday Inn, no surprises here. Businesslike boiler-plate report as befits business-development people.

Oak Park Newspapers at same session:

President Anan was asked by a woman who hesitated to put it but finally asked why Hedges? — whom Anan had roundly criticized, at least by implication, during their campaign.

Tiny pause by Anan, who knows how to use one, then: “Next question.”

Got a laugh, did not stop there.

“A lot is revealed about a man” in a campaign, he said. In any case, the choice was “for the village as a whole, regardless of how I feel personally.”

“Knowing what I know” about how government works, he said, “it takes time to find the right person.”

Hedges is a “temporary pilot” for this vessel of business development as it moves “from old to new.” He “is a placeholder, we know that.”

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He coulda been a senator:

[Rep. Danny] Davis noted that [then-Gov.] Blagojevich, who was convicted in a corruption case in 2010, including for trying to sell the U.S. senate seat once belonging to President Barack Obama, had offered Davis a U.S. senate appointment. Davis rejected the offer, which came after Blagojevich’s 2008 arrest.

“Knowing how people felt about him, I declined the appointment and said, ‘No Mr. Governor, can’t do it because I think the perception is so great in terms of how you have handled your office that a person would have a hard time getting elected,’” Davis said. “Although it would have been great to be a United States senator. Oh my God, it would have been wonderful.”

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It’s in the air they breathe . . .

What a story out of Detroit, where a gun-totin’ mama defended house and home and children from three punks, who fled.

We have no such heroines in OP or Chi area, do we? No one has fired a weapon in self-defense with such a result?

That’s one possibility. Another is, dare I say it? mine-run mainstream liberal bias, whereby gun-totin’ mamas are not really grist for the mill. Tsk, tsk.

Oak Park Democrats endorse for county commissioner Saturday 2 Feb.

Don Harmon is on a tear, is he not? Has he not been preternaturally active leading up to this election season, when he’s running unopposed (fancy that!) for relection to his automatic senate post?

There were town hall meetings last spring and summer, in which he exposed himself in unprecedented fashion to slings and arrows as the state writhed in fiscal agony; a meeting he called and promoted with multiple robocalls about the Eisenhower expansion; multiple letters to Wed. Journal in the shape of guest columns (again exposing himself, this time to online-comment scrums); more recently rallying his troops for call-athons to promote his and presumably others’ candidacies; and most recently an “urgent” Saturday-morning meeting (tomorrow) to endorse a county board candidate.

This last is part of an all-hands-on-board effort to block the candidacy of the felonious former alderman Ike Carothers, two years out of federal prison and eager to land new work in his chosen field of public service. Enough is enough, those in the know seem to be saying. How many ex-jailbirds can we Democrats take to our bosom? They give new meaning to the revolving-door theory of government, the smart guys and gals are telling each other.

At question is whether OP Dems will follow the just-this-week-announced, prestige-laden lead of Mayor Rahm E. and county board president Toni P. (also of OP president Anan Abu-T. and the 28th-ward alderman) and give the nod to the fresh-faced and super-credentialed Fenwick alum and one-time Emanuel campaign worker, Blake Sercye, praised for his alleged reformist leanings or, and here it gets really interesting, to Rep. Danny Davis’s onetime chief of staff Richard Boykin, the Oak Park and Bolingbrook home-owner who got himself a double homestead exemption when he deserved only one and backed a Republican for U.S. senate in — and whom Davis has endorsed, as did a group of West Side ministers, the Independent Voters of Illinois-Independent Precinct Organization, Sheriff Tom Dart, and the Chicago Federation of Labor.

Add to Boykin’s mysterious ways, however, questions as to where he lives — in Will or Cook county? — and whether he’s married or divorced from his Will County-residing wife. Other than these issues, which include an opponent’s threat to sue to block his incumbency if he wins, citing residency issues, Boykin’s slate is clear.

In any case, Harmon’s people can’t endorse both.They can stick with Boykin, the Danny Davis man, and stick it to Rahm, Toni, Anan, and the alderman or go with the fresh-faced former Fenwick friar. It’s been a long time since I waited eagerly to hear what’s decided at Woodbine and North — Dem Party of OP HQ — but that’s how it is in these troubled times.

Later: They unanimously endorsed Blake Sercye, who has clearly been picked as a rising star — another Obama? Stay tuned.

Secret agents sent by OP trustees

Anyone have a problem with this?

The village hired HOPE Fair Housing Center to study discrimination in Oak Park housing in 2013. The organization conducted “paired testing” by sending African-American and white renters to eight local management companies to ask about rentals.

The village hired people to be its agents with a view to work undercover to check up on citizens who rent housing in the village?

It’s come to that?

A little racial segregation, please

Blithe Spirit

Sean Connery at the 2008 Edinburgh Internation...

Black and white together not working out, says this Lancaster PA principal.

Bill Jimenez said the school noticed that black students were not performing as well as other students, and that research had shown that same-race classes with strong same-race role models led to better academic results.

Mr Jimenez admitted that no other students were divided by race at the school, but he added that academic data dictated the school take a different approach with its black students.

This is old research too. Shelby Steele‘s identical-twin brother Claude at U. of Mich. had results years ago showing that being with whites in class, that is, competing with them, threw black students off their feed. It’s here, I think, in a 1992 Atlantic article.

Or so I understood it at the time. Claude Steele chalks it up to stereotypes that are internalized by black students. A fair translation of…

View original post 148 more words

Oak Park property owners unfairly discriminatory? A comment

Here’s a thought about findings of racial and other discrimination in housing rental in Oak Park, based on this from the findings:

Despite the village’s reputation as “one of the truly integrated communities in the Chicago Metro area,” significant discrimination persists, the study states.

The thought? That being a truly integrated community calls for a certain amount of such discrimination, assuming, as the village board apparently did, that the findings are credible.

Historically, the village faced accusations of unduly “managing” integration in the ’70s, presumably lest “resegregation” be the norm. Consider Maywood.

I feel free to make this observation — admitting that I have not read the report but only about it and being opposed to unfair discrimination — because as a liberal community we are committed to considering all aspects of most issues.

Now you see concealed-carry, now you don’t:: D. Harmon’s proposal

A new twist on Sen. Harmon’s proposed twisting of concealed-carry to insert in the law the presumption of no-guns-allowed, as envisioned by a guns-fearing woman:

Nicole said she sees signs indicating gun-free zones are currently posted at her child’s pre-school, and finds them to be a frightening reminder of the tragic mass-shooting of young children in Newtown, Conn. in 2012.

She told FOX 32 news that Senate Bill 2669 would render gun-free zone signs redundant and unnecessary at places like her child’s school. She also said local businesses would benefit from posting positive signs as opposed to negative ones.

The positive sign would say guns allowed, presumption being not allowed. Progressive Dem sleight of hand, right?

Danny Davis answers a question. Finally.

Asked where he stood on the five-day week for mail delivery yesterday, Feb. 10, at the library, Rep. Danny Davis gave a litany of experts who had chimed in on the matter — lawyers, economists, and others, including “actuarians.”

It’s “an old issue,” he mused, picking his words with deliberation but ignoring the question. “Sometimes Congress quickly decides a thing, sometimes not,” he said.

Businesses, unions (as letter carriers), and other groups have opposed the change, he said — including Amazon, a major U.S. Postal Service customer, the USPS district supervisor, Peter Allen, added later.

“I’ve been in countries,” Davis continued, “where five women are put to clean a hotel room. In one of these, he asked the government host about this. “You Americans don’t understand. We believe that it’s important for as many to work as possible.’

“We have not reached that point,” Davis said, reporting the incident as something to ponder.

Addressing the five-day issue, he spoke of “the democratic process,” noted that he is “[only] one vote,” as if to plead his inability to influence its passage, speaking almost apologetically, as if unable to support a good thing.

He still hadn’t answered the question. The questioner asked again. Abruptly shifting his tone from philosophizing and reminiscence, he raised his head and said firmly, “No, I do not support the five-day week.”

It was a remarkable moment. Davis had called the meeting, to which maybe 75 people had responded. Complaints had multiplied, the postal service man had answered bravely and substantively. This was Davis’s constituency here. Being largely (but not all) Oak Parkers, odds are most had voted for him.

But he had fended off a direct question, there in front of voters and assorted public and postal officials and his own staff, who sat up front saying nothing, so that when he gave it, an odd silence descended for a few seconds on the gathering.

More later on his answer and why Danny Davis opposes killing jobs and offending major business interests with a shorter postal work week that gets directly at the service’s being shorthanded, if not at its being very badly managed for sections of his suburban constituency.