Mark Brown is a local news columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times who writes about everything from political corruption to family life. Roger Ebert once called …Read More
Former school teacher Toni Preckwinkle may have only been trying to get Rahm Emanuel’s attention with a sharply worded rap on his knuckles on the front page of this newspaper Friday. But in a city still unaccustomed to anyone talking back to its mayor, Preckwinkle’s …Read More
Appearing soon at a new 10,000-seat arena at McCormick Place: The Amazing Rahm, Grand Illusionist. He’ll razzle and dazzle you with mind-bending feats of job expansion, financial wizardry and most of all, public relations packaging. Was that our mayor last seen trapped in a glass-encased …Read More
The elephant in Room 201 of the Rolling Meadows courthouse Tuesday was what the judge handling the trial of Richard J. Vanecko might have to say about a judicial ethics investigation into the circumstances surrounding debts her ex-husband escaped through their divorce. Unfortunately, McIntyre said nothing about either the Sun-Times’ stories or a resulting Judicial Inquiry Board probe.
Search recent columns
David Coar served 16 years as a federal judge in Chicago, presiding over such important cases as the city patronage abuse trial of Robert Sorich. That doesn’t make Coar infallible in matters of law or judgment, but it does mean he’s someone to be regarded seriously. And I took it very seriously last week when Coar, serving as an independent hearing officer to the Board of Education, ruled that proposals to close two schools next year should be denied for failing to specifically address student safety issues involved in the move to a new school.
Two dozen aldermen pledged allegiance to Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s revamped parking meter deal on Thursday — barely 24 hours after receiving a thick stack of documents setting forth the actual agreement. Are they nuts or what? Mind you, this 24-hour period was their first opportunity …
Cicero Town President Larry Dominick wants us to take seriously his invitation to Tom Ricketts to move the Cubs to his west suburban community best known for its sordid political history. That’s not going to happen, but you can never blame a diehard Cubs fan for trying.
In an embarrassing postscript to a proud political career, memorabilia that had belonged to the late Cook County Board President John Stroger Jr. was put up for auction last summer after somebody failed to pay the bill on a storage locker in which it was being kept. Granted a reprieve when the auction failed to produce the minimum bid requirement, the old Stroger allies slipped in afterward and bought the materials from the storage scavenger who had originally claimed them.
Christine Henry used to know the name of nearly every homeless person living on Lower Wacker Drive and where they slept. That was several years ago, before her mobile outreach team and feeding truck from the Salvation Army was forced to abandon its work in the downtown area. On Friday evening, Henry and her team set out to renew old acquaintances and make new ones.
A lot of important people were embarrassed last weekend when Payton College Prep backed out of its baseball game with Brooks College Prep after some parents at the North Side school raised security concerns about sending their kids into the Roseland neighborhood at night. When important people are embarrassed, they start looking for a fall guy, and for a while at least, they thought they’d found one in Payton baseball coach William Wittleder.
While on safari in Africa, disabled Chicago police officer Charles T. Siedlecki bagged his share of big-game trophies and was famously pictured with one of them on the cover of this newspaper last year. But on Tuesday, it was Siedlecki who found himself in the crosshairs of city officials at a meeting of the Chicago Police pension fund.
The sun was just setting over Uptown one night last week when a tall, lanky Australian with more enthusiasm than just one continent could handle threw himself into the business of helping homeless Chicagoans. Tony Clark, 39, is co-designer of what he calls the backpack …
It’s not fair to the parents of Hadiya Pendleton to put them on the spot every time another young person falls victim to gun violence. But I called her father, Nathaniel Pendleton, just the same Wednesday, hoping to get his thoughts on the death of Cornelius “Cornbread” German, the latest 15-year-old felled by a bullet in Chicago. “I’m really sorry that another child has become the victim of gun violence,” Pendleton said.
Mark Brown: It may not be as easy to find a place in your heart for Cornelius “Cornbread” German as it was for Hadiya Pendleton. The two 15-year-old Chicago kids are bound by fate of being shot dead within blocks of President Barack Obama’s home. Hadiya was a high-achieving honor student from a middle-class, church-going family. Cornelius was a kid raised in poverty who hung with the wrong crowd and met his demise at a backyard dice game. That’s why Cornelius’ death Monday night is a test for this city.
Last week while I was in Florida on vacation, I stopped in a bar that still allows smoking and was immediately reminded of two things. One, I sure don’t miss breathing that smoky air. Two, I’ve always been out of step on the smoke-free issues, …
Monday’s federal income tax filing deadline could put anybody on edge, but for gay and lesbian couples, it can be a particular irritant. That’s because their IRS 1040 forms spell out in dollars and cents how they are regarded as second-class citizens by the U.S. …
Tom Vollman was a dog guy. For me and many other Chicagoans, he was THE dog guy. Vollman started his day Wednesday the way he always did. He rose early, fed the Great Dane and the mutt he was dogsitting, gave them their meds and …
The Chicago Police Department is installing two new private “changing rooms” with showers at its training academy to better accommodate transgender police recruits. A CPD spokesman said the facilities are for “anyone who may feel uncomfortable in the men’s or women’s showers,” and are not intended solely for transgender individuals. But the extreme sensitivity with which the department has handled my inquiries about the matter tells me this is not your everyday bathroom remodeling project.
The last two residents of the Abbott Hotel relinquished their rooms Friday with their bank accounts a little fuller after city lawyers helped force a settlement. Under terms of the agreement, the owners of the SRO building at 721 W. Belmont agreed to make an …Read More
The Chicago Fire Department ordered the Abbott Hotel, 721 W. Belmont, to be vacated by 3 p.m. Friday after inspectors documented for themselves the glaring safety hazards I reported in Thursday’s column. The decision to kick out the Abbott’s last remaining tenants was the only sensible solution given the reckless conduct of the building’s new owners from BJB Properties — who had shut off the heat and water and destroyed the fire safety systems with tenants still legally occupying their apartments. But I can’t help but feel that my column may have only served the purpose of helping the bullies
There are laws in this state about the proper way to rid a building of unwanted tenants, but they don’t seem to apply to the new owners of the Abbott Hotel, 721 W. Belmont. In an amazing display of arrogance, the building’s owners are performing a gut rehab of the four-story Wrigleyville walk-up with five of the apartments still occupied.