Chicago Sun-Times Latest news from the Chicago Sun-Times Online en-us (Editor) Newspapers Chicago Sun-Times 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ Quinn might be looking better to Rahm right about now: Brown ]]> Lead story image

Maybe this will finally convince Mayor Rahm Emanuel that he’s better off with fellow Democrat Pat Quinn as governor. Emanuel’s loyalties in the governor’s race have been the subject of much speculation given his contentious relationship with Quinn and personal friendship with Republican Bruce Rauner, who helped the mayor get rich during his brief stint in private business. Despite Emanuel’s public endorsement of Quinn, I can tell you I’ve certainly been among those who thought the mayor would prefer Rauner in the governor’s office. They speak the same language. But a rather blatant display of political opportunism by Rauner on … ]]> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 02:23:29 -0500 <![CDATA[ Remap leaves two incumbents fighting for Englewood Council seat ]]> Lead story image

The game of aldermanic musical chairs set off by the 2012 ward remap appears to be winding to a finish, at least on the South Side, with Toni Foulkes (15th) deciding she will challenge her neighbor JoAnn Thompson (16th) for re-election next year. Foulkes has told colleagues she will give up her 15th Ward seat, which was redrawn to give it a 68 percent Hispanic majority, to try to unseat Thompson in a ward that is now the home of many of her former constituents, sources tell me. I couldn’t get Foulkes to the phone to discuss her decision. Thompson … ]]> Tue, 22 Apr 2014 02:20:47 -0500 <![CDATA[ Mark Brown: Polar vortex helps man see the light ]]> Lead story image

Henry Williams can tell you the exact moment of his rebirth. It was Jan. 5, the first night of the polar vortex that plunged Chicago into a lethal deep freeze. ]]> Sun, 20 Apr 2014 02:34:08 -0500 <![CDATA[ Odds may finally favor a Chicago casino — if Madigan is dealing: Brown ]]> Lead story image

Some supporters and opponents of a Chicago casino seemed to be going through the motions at another hearing on the idea, but some political observers see the handiwork of House Speaker Michael Madigan in this latest effort. ]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 02:24:19 -0500 <![CDATA[ Emanuel may have allies in fight to fix police, fire pensions: Brown ]]> Lead story image

MARK BROWN: Mayors across the state have joined forces in hopes of getting relief from their own soaring police and fire pension costs if the Legislature moves to help Chicago. Their involvement creates both opportunities and complications for Mayor Rahm Emanuel as he tries to finish what he started with fixes to the pension funds of city municipal workers and laborers. ]]> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 02:22:57 -0500 <![CDATA[ This time of year, there’s end to vigils for those slain: Brown ]]> Lead story image

Monica Hresil stood forlornly Saturday afternoon on a West Lawn street corner holding a photo of her 18-year-old son murdered there on his way home from school more than five years ago. Surrounding her were family, friends and mothers of other young Chicago murder victims, who came to pay tribute to David Hresil’s memory and to help leaflet the neighborhood yet again seeking information about his killer. No matter where they live, Chicagoans have come to understand in recent years that the warm weather brings the start of the killing season in many city neighborhoods, as it did this past … ]]> Tue, 15 Apr 2014 02:18:19 -0500 <![CDATA[ Bruce Almighty meets Quinnocchio! Entertaining and informative ]]> Lead story image

If he were running against anybody else, Gov. Pat Quinn might have received a more lukewarm reception from the teachers union delegates who packed a hotel ballroom Friday to see his first campaign confrontation with Republican Bruce Rauner. After all, Quinn only recently approved cuts to teacher pensions in a move the union has sued to overturn as unconstitutional. In another unpopular move, he reduced classroom funding while trying to get the state back on its financial feet. But Quinn reminded delegates to the Illinois Education Association that the choice in the upcoming election isn’t between what they want and … ]]> Mon, 14 Apr 2014 18:52:51 -0500 <![CDATA[ Eviction bill deserves to get kicked to the curb: Brown ]]> Lead story image

Rep. Monique Davis has fought since 2009 to forestall being evicted from a Chicago Board of Education building she has used rent-free as her legislative office for the past 11 years. But when the shoe is on the other foot, the Chicago Democrat takes a dim view of tenants she says “game the system” to thwart landlords — such as her — in eviction court. At Davis’ urging, an Illinois House committee on Wednesday approved a measure she sponsored to make it easier for Cook County landlords to evict problem tenants. The bill would impose a 45-day limit for the … ]]> Thu, 10 Apr 2014 02:20:03 -0500 <![CDATA[ Protesters want Obama to keep promise, reform immigration law: Brown ]]> Lead story image

During my time as a newspaper columnist, I have found there is nothing that stirs some Americans to anger quite as much as the sight of a person of Latino heritage engaging in political protest. It drives them to distraction, especially if they think the protesters might be “illegal immigrants,” which is why I feel compelled to warn those folks they should prepare themselves for a very trying stretch. Immigrant rights protesters demonstrated Tuesday outside the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center in Broadview as part of what promises to be a stepped-up national campaign against President Obama’s deportation … ]]> Wed, 09 Apr 2014 02:24:05 -0500 <![CDATA[ History Museum shows lives spent working on the railroad ]]> Lead story image

MARK BROWN: Not too long ago, one of my nephews went to work for the railroad, which brought our family to four generations in railroading. My grandfather was a railroader. So were my father and two uncles. So were my own two brothers, one of whom is still at it. That’s why I didn’t see as I had much choice when I heard about the new “Railroaders” exhibit, which opened this weekend at the Chicago History Museum. I needed to see it. ]]> Sun, 06 Apr 2014 02:30:13 -0500 <![CDATA[ FBI files expose secret life of ex-Metra boss Pagano: Brown ]]> Lead story image

When Phil Pagano killed himself by stepping in front of a Metra train in May 2010, it already had been more than two years since the commuter rail agency boss last posted on his blog, But Pagano’s anonymous musings on everything from books to golf courses to the meaning of life are still preserved there in their original form, offering yet more proof of the Internet as a time capsule that bestows immortality in ways we do not anticipate. “Life Is Short — Smell the Roses” is a particularly haunting entry from Pagano, whose suicide amid scandal at age … ]]> Thu, 03 Apr 2014 02:50:24 -0500 <![CDATA[ Time to become the city that works at cleaning things up ]]> Lead story image

The city of Chicago’s street sweeping program opened for the 2014 season Tuesday, and may I just say, it’s not a moment too soon. Chicago looks like hell right now. Grit, grime and garbage that collected over the long, hard winter have left our beautiful city in dire need of a spring cleaning. The story is the same whether you’re in the neighborhoods or the Loop. The worst are the paved parkways and sidewalks in the commercial districts where the snowplows deposited a grungy collection of rocks, sand and dirt along with the snow. Close behind are the expressways, where … ]]> Wed, 02 Apr 2014 02:22:14 -0500 <![CDATA[ Minority voter groups not lined up behind redistricting proposal ]]> Lead story image

MARK BROWN: An effort to take legislative redistricting out of the hands of Illinois lawmakers is gaining steam but has failed so far to attract the support of two key organizations with a history of protecting minority voting rights: the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund and the Chicago Urban League. ]]> Tue, 01 Apr 2014 02:16:40 -0500 <![CDATA[ Quinn’s tax plan may sound familiar, but it isn’t ]]> Lead story image

For half a century, Illinois politicians have toyed with the idea of reducing property taxes by increasing the income tax to pay for schools. The so-called “tax swap” has been embraced at one time or another by everyone from pro-business Republicans to liberal Democrats — some of them more serious about it than others. In arguing his case last week for Illinois legislators to make permanent the state’s “temporary” tax hike, Gov. Pat Quinn invoked the memory of the most serious effort ever undertaken to actually enact a tax swap. “Jim Edgar and I don’t always agree, but he was … ]]> Sun, 30 Mar 2014 02:31:11 -0500 <![CDATA[ Brown: Quinn’s ‘guaranteed’ property tax refund costly for some homeowners ]]> Lead story image

MARK BROWN: Gov. Pat Quinn makes it difficult to be in his corner sometimes. The governor proposed a property tax refund Wednesday as the sweetener to help Illinoisans swallow his decision to make permanent the “temporary” income tax hike he signed into law in 2011. ]]> Thu, 27 Mar 2014 12:00:59 -0500 <![CDATA[ Keeping juveniles on sex-offender registry doesn’t make sense ]]> Lead story image

The Illinois Sex Offender Registry includes the names of more than 2,500 individuals who were found guilty of a sex offense as a juvenile — 70 percent of them required to carry the label for life. Because of the lifetime registration requirement, the list grows longer every year — even as the number of juveniles arrested for sex crimes in Illinois has been shrinking. These individuals go through life bound by the same restrictions as adult sexual predators — limiting where they can live and where they can go in public, even requiring that they provide a travel itinerary to … ]]> Wed, 26 Mar 2014 02:21:40 -0500 <![CDATA[ Nanci Koschman on lawsuit: ‘At least I’ll know I fought for him’ ]]> Lead story image

MARK BROWN: Nanci Koschman, who still blames herself for not having the strength to look into the circumstances surrounding her son’s death in its immediate aftermath, took responsibility for bringing the strongest accusations yet against those responsible for allowing the crime to go unpunished. ]]> Tue, 25 Mar 2014 07:48:14 -0500 <![CDATA[ You must read the fine print of Rauner’s term limits plan: Brown ]]> Lead story image

To the many thousands of Illinois residents who have signed petitions for Bruce Rauner’s term limits amendment in expectation of soon being rid of House Speaker Mike Madigan and his cohorts, I’m afraid you should have read the fine print. Even if the proposed constitutional amendment makes it on the November ballot for a referendum, and even if that referendum were to be approved by the voters, it doesn’t get rid of anybody in the Legislature for eight more years. ]]> Sun, 23 Mar 2014 02:32:01 -0500