Chicago Sun-Times Latest news from the Chicago Sun-Times Online en-us (Editor) Newspapers Chicago Sun-Times 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ Kelly’s role in revolt against Washington a shameful episode in pol’s career ]]>

Neil Steinberg’s lengthy interview with former Democratic ward boss Ed Kelly skips over what may be the most shameful episode in the once-powerful politician’s career. Following the 1983 Democratic primary election, when Harold Washington, an African-American, defeated both incumbent Jane Byrne and then-State’s Attorney Richard M. Daley, Kelly and his fellow Democratic committeeman Roman Pucinski organized and led a revolt of the North Side Democratic ward committeemen to support the Republican nominee Bernard Epton. They all carried their wards for the Republican. As another Democratic committeeman, George Dunne, admonished, it was the obligation of the committeemen to support the nominee … ]]> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 02:19:09 -0500 <![CDATA[ Reject plan to give unfair advantage to CPS grads in police, fire department hirings ]]>

The last thing any city department should do is implement policies that lower standards for employment. The randomized pass/fail hiring and CPS preference point for the Fire Department does just that. The city should hire the best qualified candidates regardless of where they grew up, went to school, or what their race/gender/religion status might be. The solution is not to harm those who didn’t attend CPS but assist those who do. It is time to bring back trade schools that emphasize fields where employment is needed and where the city can hire you. Why not create the Chicago High Schools … ]]> Tue, 19 Aug 2014 02:16:50 -0500 <![CDATA[ Criticisms against CHA performance need to go further ]]>

We urge the Sun-Times to take a stronger stand on the persistent performance problems plaguing the Chicago Housing Authority. As the Sun-Times notes in its Aug. 4 editorial, “Housing for the poor going unbuilt,” the problems at CHA are nothing new. Federal re-regulation has resulted in tens of thousands of Chicago families — primarily black and brown families — losing out on affordable housing opportunities that would have been available to them if CHA were properly overseen. The Sun-Times misses the mark when it laments the problems at CHA but then stops short of supporting an ordinance to hold CHA … ]]> Mon, 18 Aug 2014 02:17:11 -0500 <![CDATA[ UIC provost not demoted, just took another post ]]> Lead story image

A recent Sun Times article (“UIC administrator demoted after plagiarism flap,” Aug. 7, 2014) misinterpreted a change in administrative roles for a distinguished 30-year member of the faculty and administration at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). Last week, the campus announced that Lon Kaufman will step down as provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at UIC, and he will become assistant vice president in the university-wide office for health affairs. In short, Kaufman will move the considerable expertise he developed in overseeing the day-to-day operations of Chicago’s largest university across campus to help run the university’s increasingly … ]]> Sun, 17 Aug 2014 02:30:04 -0500 <![CDATA[ Consent searches could save lives ]]>

The Sun-Times editorial page has called for a ban on “consent searches” of vehicles by the police. Maybe the editorial writers should read their own paper. Especially on Mondays! That’s the day all the shootings from the previous Chicago weekend are reported. One can’t deny that from week to week most of this sadly occurs in the African-American and Hispanic communities. These same communities and their leaders have held rallies and marches condemning the violence and complaining the police are not doing enough. Yet the Sun-Times condemns a tool that could help. Occasionally the theory of “if it saves one … ]]> Fri, 15 Aug 2014 02:18:40 -0500 <![CDATA[ Illinois voters don’t know any better ]]>

Mark Brown has been covering Chicago and Illinois politics for a long time now and should know better. In his column on Wednesday, he stated, “Please tell me that people aren’t that gullible” in regards to falling for slick campaign ads. Illinois voters elected Blago twice, one time falling for the “What was Judy thinking?” smear campaign. They refuse to vote out House Speaker Mike Madigan. They vote for incumbents and criminals (Jesse Jackson Jr. and Derrick Smith) because they have absolutely no mind of their own. Illinois voters have to be the most gullible in the nation. True story: … ]]> Wed, 13 Aug 2014 17:20:01 -0500 <![CDATA[ Skilled carpenters ready to work on new housing ]]>

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) published a study in July claiming that “shortages of labor and subcontractors have become substantially more widespread.” This assertion came as a shock to the Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters and its nearly 40,000 members who are ready and willing to work right now. Shortages of qualified tradespeople were unheard of before 2008 when the homebuilding market was flourishing. In 2012, when the housing market began to improve, many residential builders chose to end their partnership with skilled craftsmen. Instead, they began to use cheaper, lower-skilled subcontractors who can provide cut-rate bids because … ]]> Wed, 13 Aug 2014 02:18:50 -0500 <![CDATA[ Iraq is a problem of our creation ]]>

Critics ask why the United States should intervene in Iraq when we did not intervene to stop other genocides, as in Rwanda and Sudan. The difference is that the current genocide of Christians and other minorities in Iraq is a direct result of U.S. policy in Iraq over the last 35 years. We supported Saddam when he oppressed the Iraqi people. We attacked Iraq when Saddam invaded Kuwait. We imposed devastating sanctions on Iraq to punish Saddam. We invaded Iraq as a result of the misguided claim that it was behind 9/11. And then we left Iraq in disarray. The … ]]> Tue, 12 Aug 2014 02:17:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Take care of our water supply to avoid a Toledo-like nightmare ]]>

A big thanks to the Chicago  Sun-Times for highlighting the  vital importance of protecting  Lake Michigan (“Don’t let Lake Michigan become another Lake Erie,” Aug. 5). The recent algae bloom off the shores of Toledo was cause for public alarm — and with good reason. Thankfully, it has ignited an important discussion about how to keep the Great Lakes safe. An algae bloom occurs rapidly and can wreak havoc on a region’s ecosystem and water supply. We cannot afford to take the relative health of Lake Michigan for granted. In many ways, we are doing the right things. At the … ]]> Mon, 11 Aug 2014 02:14:51 -0500 <![CDATA[ Burke: Toughen rail safety standards ]]> Lead story image

Chicago is the rail hub of America. More than 500 freight trains carrying 37,500 rail cars roll through our neighborhoods each day. A series of high-profile deadly accidents involving rail tank cars have appeared in the most vivid terms on television screens and in newspapers across our nation. And it has led to a clarion call, from small towns and large urban centers alike, for the federal government to impose stricter safety standards. Reacting to this pressure, the U.S. Department of Transportation recently drafted new regulations that would ban older, outdated rail tank cars or at least insist they be … ]]> Sun, 10 Aug 2014 02:29:06 -0500 <![CDATA[ Columnist has wrong idea on gangs ]]>

I disagree with Neil Steinberg’s July 28 column in every respect, including that today’s brand of basketball is a positive influence, but most especially that in many places joining a gang is obligatory, that kids have to if they want to stay safe, that gangs offer protection, love, respect, purpose. False, false. In truth, gangs offer no such things. They offer the opposite. Norman Bleed, Rockford Hamas will break ceasefire Once again, Steve Huntley has hit the nail on the head with his latest column. I don’t know if Hamas and/or the so-called “Palestinians” can survive too many more “victories” … ]]> Fri, 08 Aug 2014 02:16:34 -0500 <![CDATA[ U. of I. should admit more local students ]]>

I strongly disagree with the University of Illinois policy of admitting such a large percentage of foreign (mostly Chinese) students this year. I’m an alumnus of the Champaign-Urbana campus, and I can only imagine that if this policy had been in place during my time, my chances of admission would have been reduced. The U. of I. is a state-supported school intended for the higher education of Illinois residents, not Chinese and foreign nationals. It wasn’t created to educate other countries’ citizens with our tax dollars. All state services are created and should be intended for the people who inhabit … ]]> Thu, 07 Aug 2014 02:19:51 -0500 <![CDATA[ Illinois should put politics aside, help traumatized immigrant children ]]>

Since October, an estimated 57,000 unaccompanied children from Central America and Mexico have crossed the U.S. southern border. The government has been scrambling to deal with this humanitarian crisis, in part because the law allows more extensive immigration hearings for unaccompanied children from countries other than Mexico and Canada. Given a backlog in immigration courts, these children will spend an extended period of time in the United States. For many of these children, they are escaping extreme violence and poverty in their homeland and seek reunification with parents or other family members residing in the United States. Many have also … ]]> Wed, 06 Aug 2014 02:18:53 -0500 <![CDATA[ Milkweed critical for monarch ]]> Lead story image

Chicago’s ordinance against weeds is so broad that it excludes the plant that is absolutely crucial to the survival of the monarch butterflies — the milkweed plant. The monarch will lay its eggs only on plants that belong to the milkweed family. They are the only food source for monarch caterpillars — no milkweeds, no monarchs. Chicago’s weed ordinance is just one more strike against the declining monarch butterfly population. I commend those Chicago gardeners who risk outrageous fines in order to offset the monarch’s loss of habitat. Rita McCabe, La Grange Park Double ticket refunds I am happy that … ]]> Wed, 06 Aug 2014 22:51:15 -0500 <![CDATA[ U.S. needs to seek lasting truce in Gaza, lift Israeli blockade ]]>

Civilians have paid a horrific price in the ongoing violence in Gaza. I hope my members of Congress will work for a lasting cease-fire that includes lifting the Israeli blockade of Gaza. The U.S. has particular responsibility to help end the killing because U.S. weapons are fueling this conflict. The International Red Cross has called the blockade collective punishment against a civilian population. U.S. policymakers must call for lifting the blockade to ensure a durable cease-fire. While it’s imperative to address the immediate crisis, I also hope the U.S. will support long-term stability by shifting from a militarized approach in … ]]> Mon, 04 Aug 2014 02:16:39 -0500