Chicago Sun-Times Latest news from the Chicago Sun-Times Online en-us (Editor) Newspapers Chicago Sun-Times 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ Standing up to the People of the Gun ]]> Lead story image

It’s a picture-perfect summer day, bright sun, sparkling skies. And here I am, stuck waiting for another press conference in another stuffy meeting room. Up front stood a bundle of boys and girls, 25 or so, preschoolers in pigtails, strapping youths sporting football jerseys, assembled at the podium, to pose with the politicians and preachers. What’s wrong with this picture? These kids should be in play lots, parks and backyards. They should not be props at a photo op at a West Side church, waiting for the boring adults to make boring their speeches. Perversely, this is the best place … ]]> Mon, 28 Jul 2014 02:14:34 -0500 <![CDATA[ Will progressives flop again? ]]> Lead story image

‘The Left Blows its Big Chance,” read the February 2011 headline. My column predicted that Chicago’s so-called progressives would fail in their crusade to win the 5th Floor of City Hall. Three weeks later, Rahm Emanuel was elected mayor of Chicago. Will they blow it again? The last time progressives took City Hall was in 1987, when Harold Washington, the only progressive mayor in the city’s history, was re-elected to a second term. His coalition of blacks, Latinos and white liberals never recovered from Washington’s sudden death that November. They can’t seem to manage the fundamental arithmetic of winning politics: … ]]> Mon, 21 Jul 2014 02:15:22 -0500 <![CDATA[ An architectural biennial for a South Side girl ]]> Lead story image

In my day, there were no architectural biennials. “Going to Grandmother’s” loomed large in my childhood. Visiting her gorgeous apartment building at 4304 S. Forestville, in Bronzeville. Playing in the flowering courtyard, swinging on the huge iron gate garnished with elaborate, overlapping geometric circles and Celtic crosses. I called them “curlicues.” Up to the apartment, little fingers tip-toeing across the carved ebony fireplace. I was well into adulthood when I learned that “Grandmother’s” was the Francis Apartments, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, and built in 1895 for white, middle class families. Later came racial change, then disinvestment and disrepair. The … ]]> Mon, 14 Jul 2014 02:13:33 -0500 <![CDATA[ So much for Obama R-E-S-P-E-C-T ]]> Lead story image

It seems to me that the attacks on this president come more often from people of high status and power. It should be beneath them. And do two wrongs make a right? ]]> Mon, 07 Jul 2014 02:14:42 -0500 <![CDATA[ Black voters darn smart in Mississippi ]]> Lead story image

LAURA WASHINGTON: For the first time in nearly two generations, African-American voters in the South helped swing a GOP election, nominating a white, old-line Republican pol to the U.S. Senate. In Mississippi. No wonder Limbaugh’s knickers are in a knot. ]]> Mon, 30 Jun 2014 02:17:33 -0500 <![CDATA[ Disparaging the president is uncalled for ]]> Lead story image

‘R-E-S-P-E-C-T,” the song goes. It is easy enough to spell, but for some vocal critics of President Barack Obama, it seems exceedingly hard to do. As the president moves toward the land of the lame ducks, his political enemies are calling for blood. That’s no shocker at this stage of a presidency. In this case, the cuts go deeper. For some, it is not enough to disagree. Some high-status public figures seem determined to demean, denigrate and ridicule the president of the United States. On June 12 the Speaker of the U.S. House stepped to a podium and insulted Obama … ]]> Thu, 24 Jul 2014 06:13:03 -0500 <![CDATA[ Rauner’s rainbow pitch off target ]]> Lead story image

It’s about the company you keep. Illinois GOP gubernatorial nominee Bruce Rauner wants minority voters to know they are in good company. His opponent, Gov. Pat Quinn, is exquisitely reliant on the minority vote. If Rauner can chip away 10 or 15 percent of that base, Quinn is sunk. That’s why Rauner has plowed beaucoup buckeroonies into slick TV commercials burnishing his image as a friend to the hoi polloi. “He will follow through on every promise he has made about education,” says Lula Ford, an African-American woman in one Rauner ad. “It’s a beautiful thing,” says Cornell Nelson, an … ]]> Thu, 17 Jul 2014 11:10:08 -0500 <![CDATA[ Just say where you stand, Bruce ]]> Lead story image

When it comes to mixing partying with politics, no one does it better. June 1 was marriage day in Illinois, the biggest day in gay rights history. The corks were popping, and so was the political rhetoric. On Sunday the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community made history as same-sex marriage became legal in Illinois. Nuptials kicked off around the state. Amid the festivities, LGBT advocates dispatched an “open letter” denouncing their new Enemy No. 1: Bruce Rauner. “Today, as we celebrate the official commencement of the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act, we honor those officials who stood for … ]]> Thu, 10 Jul 2014 06:15:27 -0500 <![CDATA[ Hillary brings her show to Chicago ]]> Lead story image

LAURA WASHINGTON: The Hillary Clinton bandwagon pulls into Chicago next week as she launches her latest adventure in self-promotion. Clinton’s book signing and speech confab June 10-11 is already blowing out of the headlines. It will be the first stop to push her new memoir, “Hard Choices.” To say she will arrive with a head of steam is an understatement. ]]> Thu, 03 Jul 2014 06:13:01 -0500 <![CDATA[ Here’s your say on Karen Lewis ]]> Lead story image

Last week, I wrote about Lewis’ mission to unseat Mayor Rahm Emanuel and conquer obesity. Readers weighed in. Most were polite — but no fans of Lewis. ]]> Fri, 27 Jun 2014 06:15:50 -0500 <![CDATA[ Karen Lewis gets in fighting shape ]]> Lead story image

They want him gone. If his re-election bid were held today, just 29 percent of registered voters would support Mayor Rahm Emanuel, according to a new poll commissioned by the Chicago Sun-Times. Karen Lewis is on it. The Chicago Teachers Union president is Emanuel’s most vocal and prominent critic. In the 2012 school strike, she beat him at his own game. Now she wants to take him out of the 2015 game. Lewis is fiery, aggressive, outspoken and articulate. She has been excoriated in the media, corporate boardrooms and the TwitterVerse. Some people don’t like women like that. Too bad. … ]]> Mon, 23 Jun 2014 12:05:05 -0500 <![CDATA[ Listen to The Nag, Gentlemen ]]> Lead story image

Take a few minutes. The Nag regularly rants in this space about staying healthy. All of us, and African-Americans especially, make too many unwise choices about our health. We suffer from high rates of maladies from obesity to diabetes to cancer, and it’s killing us. No rant today, but a request. Take a few minutes. Michael Adrian Hunter took a few minutes a while back. It saved him from “a miserable death.” In the spring of 2011, Hunter’s older brother urged him to stop by the “4 Men Only” Health and Wellness Fair. The annual event, hosted for 17 years … ]]> Fri, 13 Jun 2014 06:12:49 -0500 <![CDATA[ Mayor stirs summer of discontent ]]> Lead story image

It’s Rahm Emanuel’s hot mess. Crime is out of control, the summer is close at hand. The mayor faces heated discontent from unions, education activists and parents, particularly black folks. A year ago, Emanuel and his school board closed almost 50 public schools; most served black children on the South and West sides. Now comes his politically inexplicable decision to open an elite, selective-enrollment school. On the near North Side. Last month Emanuel and Chicago Public Schools officials announced that the Barack Obama College Preparatory High School will open in 2017. Built with $60 million in tax increment financing funds … ]]> Fri, 06 Jun 2014 06:11:11 -0500 <![CDATA[ News gives homeless short shrift ]]> Lead story image

They are everywhere, yet invisible. Huddled in a bus shelter, sprawled on the sidewalk, digging in a garbage can, living under a viaduct. We walk, sprint and stumble by. We might offer the guy a buck, but we won’t look him in the eye. Homeless people are a slice of humanity. About 116,000 Chicagoans were homeless during the last year, according to the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless. More than 40,000 were children. Have we written them off? The Illinois Humanities Council asked The Chicago Bureau, part of the Medill School of Journalism, to research the question. “The issue of … ]]> Thu, 29 May 2014 06:14:33 -0500 <![CDATA[ Lost story of Vivian Maier’s photos ]]> Lead story image

The documentary “Finding Vivian Maier” suggests there are many fascinating stories percolating just under the surface of ordinary life. You just have to look. Vivian Maier looked. The film, now showing in Chicago, tells the story of a nanny who lived and worked on Chicago’s suburban North Shore. In her spare time, she doubled as an uber-talented photographer. The film is graced with the sensational products of Maier’s unlikely avocation. The narrator, filmmaker/photographer John Maloof, opens in 2007 as Maloof peruses film negatives stored in a cardboard box that he bought at an auction. The box was labeled, “Vivian Maier.” … ]]> Thu, 22 May 2014 06:16:12 -0500 <![CDATA[ Three Dems fear politics of taxes ]]> Lead story image

Who gets it done first? Who will pay? Those are the big questions for Pat Quinn, Toni Preckwinkle and Rahm Emanuel as they converge on solutions to our pension crisis — and how to pay for it. Illinois politicians have long been a national butt of jokes about corruption, incompetence and greed. When it comes to pension reform, however, I give this unlikely trio kudos for stepping up and taking the heat. We must fix our broken system, meet the obligations we can, and modify the ones we can’t. Gov. Pat Quinn and the Illinois General Assembly pushed through pension … ]]> Thu, 15 May 2014 06:14:19 -0500 <![CDATA[ Aldermen targeted by progressives ]]> Lead story image

It’s April, spring is in the air, and hope springs eternal. Every spring comes two, perennial hopes, hopes Chicago knows best. One: A wish and a prayer, that this is the year, for my beloved Chicago Cubs. Back to that later. The other: A hope harbored by the city’s ever-present, ever-political dreamers. Call them reformers, progressives, change makers, discontents. Whatever you call them, they hope for change in City Hall. They are the people of Barack Obama, Carol Moseley Braun, Harold Washington, two men named Jesse Jackson. Over 30 years, they have inspired, promised, fulfilled, forgotten and revived hope, over … ]]> Thu, 08 May 2014 09:38:16 -0500 <![CDATA[ Missing plane lesson: Life is cheap ]]> Lead story image

Life is cheap. Even 239 lives. For four weeks, the world has been transfixed by the horrific disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH 370. The mystery deepens daily, the search increasingly desperate. As the stakes grow, nations around the world have responded with aid and resources, some in unprecedented ways. Last week the New York Times reported that “26 nations, many of them rivals, have opened up their territorial waters and airspace or have contributed closely held technology and surveillance data” to the harrowing search. That is as it should be. There were 239 passengers and crew aboard that state-of-the-art … ]]> Thu, 01 May 2014 06:56:07 -0500