Chicago Sun-Times Latest news from the Chicago Sun-Times Online en-us (Editor) Newspapers Chicago Sun-Times 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ Chicago numb to murder numbers ]]> Lead story image

I’m still searching for a kid named Larry Davis who would be about 15 by now. I told you about him last week, that I’d met him on the West Side in the gang territory known as Holy City and that his mother and siblings lived on West Cortez in 2010 when I met him. He was 11 years old then and already a weary soul surrounded by the sounds of gunfire. The summer I met Larry, there were 436 homicides in Chicago. CPD reports there has been a drop since then, with Chicago recording fewer — 415 — murders … ]]> Sun, 20 Jul 2014 02:29:01 -0500 <![CDATA[ Looking for Larry in ‘Holy City’ ]]> Lead story image

I’m looking for a kid named Larry Davis. Finding him has been harder than I anticipated. Larry should be about 15 by now. I say “should be” because in the shooting parts of this city, the teen survival rate is also not what it “should be.” I last saw Larry in 2010 when he was 11 and I was covering an anti-violence rally in the North Lawndale neighborhood outside of William Penn Elementary School. The same school that was on lockdown this June as a shooting victim lay bleeding in front of it. Nobody wanted little kids walking out of … ]]> Sun, 13 Jul 2014 02:24:44 -0500 <![CDATA[ What does the applause for Preckwinkle mean? ]]> Lead story image

Toni Preckwinkle, president of the Cook County Board, got a standing ovation Monday at the White Eagle Banquet Hall in Niles. Meaning? Quite a bit, I’d say, considering Preckwinkle is getting increasing pressure to run against Rahm Emanuel in 2015. The dinner at which Preckwinkle made a surprise appearance was the 40th Annual Ed Kelly Sports Banquet. The crowd of 700 was a racial and ethnic mix, though predominantly white, not unlike Chicago’s 47th Ward, where Ed Kelly ruled the roost for decades. Headliners included Bears’ legend Gale Sayers, Blackhawks legend Bobby Hull, daughters of boxing legend Muhammad Ali, Senate … ]]> Sun, 06 Jul 2014 02:29:57 -0500 <![CDATA[ How I learned from Howard Baker ]]> Lead story image

Howard Baker taught me a thing or two about reading a script in front of a camera. Yes, that Howard Baker. The one who died on Thursday at the age of 88. Son-in-law of the legendary Everett Dirksen of Illinois. Before he was Ronald Reagan’s White House chief of staff and George Bush’s ambassador to Japan, Baker was the U.S. senator from Tennessee. In 1978, he walked into the WSM-TV news studio in Nashville where I worked. He sat at the anchor desk I normally occupied. And he recorded a statement about why he, a Republican, voted to give the … ]]> Wed, 30 Jul 2014 06:35:09 -0500 <![CDATA[ Carol Marin: Wilders take to Lake Shore Drive ]]> Lead story image

I called 911. It was rush hour on Tuesday on Lake Shore Drive. I’d just rounded the curve, northbound, by Oak Street Beach and noticed a heavy presence of Chicago Police officers on bikes and in cars. And, if I’m not mistaken, on ATVs. The beach was throbbing with people on this warm summer day. Then, all of a sudden, I saw a pack of young people racing into traffic. Against the backdrop of flashing CPD blue lights by the North Avenue Beach house, I’d estimate 20 to 30 young men and women were running through the North Avenue/La Salle … ]]> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 06:41:18 -0500 <![CDATA[ Bruce Rauner’s game of chicken ]]> Lead story image

Running for governor should not be a game of chicken. It’s a waste of time and an insult to a voter’s intelligence. Yet, there was Bruce Rauner, the GOP candidate for governor, with his running mate, Evelyn Sanguinetti, posing with three caged soon-to-be roasted hens. An optic — yet another — offered this time to demonstrate how the state has allegedly wasted money to fly prairie chickens into Illinois at taxpayer expense. Except it’s not true. A combination of federal species preservation grant money and fees from hunting licenses paid for the effort to keep Illinois prairie chickens from extinction. … ]]> Wed, 16 Jul 2014 06:35:43 -0500 <![CDATA[ How not to pick a federal judge ]]> Lead story image

How do you become a federal judge? The simple answer is that a U.S. senator recommends you and the White House and Senate approve you. Will Jack Blakey, 48, soon be one? Probably. Blakey is widely regarded as a good man and a competent attorney. But is he the best choice for a lifetime appointment to this allegedly elite club? It’s a fair question. Especially given that U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, the man recommending him for the job, ignored his own handpicked, distinguished 16-member selection committee. They considered 50 applicants, interviewed 13 including Blakey. And picked four. Blakey was not … ]]> Wed, 09 Jul 2014 06:23:42 -0500 <![CDATA[ Singing a sad Springfield song ]]> Lead story image

That drip, drip, drip you’re hearing out of Springfield is the sound of Illinois drowning. Shall we sing the ways? ‘Up on the Roof’ Over at the Governor’s Mansion, the 44-year-old roof is gasping for life. Water is coming in. Plaster is falling down. Antique furniture has been yanked out of the third-floor Lincoln and Yates bedrooms and stored for safekeeping. Called the “people’s house,” this is the most irresistible metaphor for the neglect and corrosion of our fiscal state. This week two Republican state reps, Rich Brauer and John Cabello, spoke on the House floor about attending events at … ]]> Wed, 02 Jul 2014 14:38:21 -0500 <![CDATA[ Could Rahm lose race over bike lanes? ]]> Lead story image

A funny thing popped up in the recent, dismal Rahm Emanuel public approval poll. An unexpected voter complaint emerged. That complaint? Bike lanes. Surprised? Me too. The Mike McKeon and Associates’ poll for Early & Often, the Sun-Times’ political portal, was published two weeks ago. It said if the election were held now, Emanuel would get just 29 percent of the vote against potential contenders like County Board President Toni Preckwinkle (26 percent), Chicago Teachers Union head Karen Lewis (10 percent), Alderman Bob Fioretti (5 percent) and former alderman Robert Shaw (3 percent). Undecided was 27 percent. In other words, … ]]> Thu, 26 Jun 2014 06:39:27 -0500 <![CDATA[ As hiring oversight is set to end, alderman hires Todd Stroger ]]> Lead story image

CAROL MARIN: Brace yourself, citizens of Chicago. Todd Stroger is returning to a government payroll near you. Word that Stroger is being hired as a Chicago aldermanic contract employee comes on the heels of news this week that Michael Shakman, the nemesis of city patronage hiring, declared himself finally satisfied that real progress has been achieved in stopping the politically connected from latching on to city jobs. ]]> Mon, 23 Jun 2014 12:06:41 -0500 <![CDATA[ Firearms & fashion — how chic! ]]> Lead story image

If the past is any guide, leggy models in skimpy apparel will strut down the runway with lacy holsters and plastic handguns at the 2014 Firearms & Fashion Show. Two women sponsor this. ]]> Thu, 05 Jun 2014 06:48:41 -0500 <![CDATA[ Teachers with voice and muscle ]]> Lead story image

They are the ebony and ivory of teacher union leaders. Dan Montgomery at 50 is tall, white and studious looking. Perfect for the high school English teacher he once was and for the thoughtful union leader he has become. Karen Lewis is 60, not as tall, black and kinetic. Perfect for the chemistry teacher she once was and electric for the union leader she has become. Montgomery of Evanston is the president of the Illinois Federation of Teachers with 103,000 members. Lewis is the president of the Chicago Teachers Union, a subset of IFT, with 30,000 teachers and school support … ]]> Wed, 28 May 2014 06:36:17 -0500 <![CDATA[ Carol Marin: Fire cops in Koschman cover-up ]]> Lead story image

Though R.J. Vanecko this year admitted his guilt and served 60 days in jail, he is the only person in this whole horrible saga who’s been held legally or ethically accountable. ]]> Wed, 21 May 2014 06:32:59 -0500 <![CDATA[ Hillary, beware the word ‘invincible’ ]]> Lead story image

Even those of us who are rooting for a woman president realize Clinton needs a serious scrimmage to take on the road to Iowa, New Hampshire and all the way to California in the first week of June. ]]> Wed, 14 May 2014 06:35:31 -0500 <![CDATA[ Oh, when Obama ties up the town ]]> Lead story image

When the president comes to town, it’s a big deal. As it should be. Air Force One touches down, the president greets dignitaries, choppers downtown and a really big motorcade carries him around. People along the route wave, take photos and tell their friends, “I just saw the president.” Everybody’s happy. Eh, not everybody: jesslevins @jesslevins Worst traffic ever in Lincoln Park due to all street closures- ugh. Thanks for coming to dinner #Obama #Chicago On this particular trip, thousands were stuck along Lake Shore Drive and in Lincoln Park Wednesday night as an entire neighborhood was shut down so … ]]> Thu, 08 May 2014 09:40:11 -0500 <![CDATA[ Quinn, Rauner fail as cartoonists ]]> Lead story image

Cartooning is an art. The work of Sun-Times’ Pulitzer Prize-winning political cartoonist Jack Higgins and the creators of “The Simpsons” come to mind. They can cut through the clutter of complicated issues to make a serious point with cutting humor. But it’s a rare talent. So here’s hoping Gov. Pat Quinn and his Republican challenger, Bruce Rauner, figure that out sooner rather than later. Quinn, we are forced to remember, launched Squeezy the Pension Python in 2012. The diabolical orange creature was the governor’s way of showing how critics of his pension overhaul would squeeze state programs like education. It … ]]> Thu, 01 May 2014 07:08:07 -0500 <![CDATA[ Bob Shaw jumps in to fill a vacuum ]]> Lead story image

Damn. I wasn’t at Bob Shaw’s press conference on Thursday announcing he’s running against Rahm Emanuel for mayor in 2015. There are moments in Chicago politics you never want to miss. Friday I tried to track him down, but it wasn’t easy. Shaw’s voicemail was filled. His campaign aide’s voicemail was as well. What’s a reporter to do? I dialed the most reliable number I could think of. “Wallace’s Catfish Corner, can I help you?” said the voice on the other end of the phone. There are those who might dismiss Wallace Davis, the former 27th ward alderman who went … ]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 06:37:19 -0500 <![CDATA[ Carol Marin: On gay bashing — and my mistake ]]> Lead story image

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this column, posted online and in the early edition of the Chicago Sun-Times, contained inaccurate information. The Sun-Times regrets and apologizes for the error. I made a serious mistake in an earlier version of this column. It is a mistake that is mine and mine alone and for which I apologize to Dan Proft, political operative and WLS radio talk show host. What I said in that earlier column was that Proft’s Liberty Principles PAC had issued a homophobic attack mailer showing two men kissing with the line, “You can kiss the GOP goodbye … ]]> Thu, 10 Apr 2014 06:44:17 -0500