Chicago Sun-Times Latest news from the Chicago Sun-Times Online en-us (Editor) Newspapers Chicago Sun-Times 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ Mayor’s hiring plan good for minority representation ]]> Lead story image

As chairman of the Aldermanic Black Caucus, member of the City Council Latino Caucus, and sponsors of a City Council resolution regarding preference for Chicago Public Schools graduates, we were shocked and disappointed to read Karen Lewis’ denunciation of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s plan to give CPS graduates a preference on referral lists for hiring future Chicago firefighters. (“Mayor’s plan for hiring firefighters just a ‘stunt,’” Aug. 19.) Everyone knows that minority representation in the Chicago city work force, especially its police and fire departments, has not been proportionate to our population. Many ideas have been tried to address this inequity … ]]> Fri, 26 Sep 2014 12:52:52 -0600 <![CDATA[ Why are we letting nameless threat keep us from seeing a movie? ]]> Lead story image

So, I guess that’s it. We can’t even see a movie, a goofy comedy, because of a faceless threat. They’ve won. Let’s just give the rule of the kingdom to the richest man and start bleating like the sheep we are, waiting for the slaughter. Free speech and representative democracy have left. Will the last American value in the building please turn off the lights? Please send me the film, Sony. I’ll show it at my house. Jim Koppensteiner, Wheeling Hypocrites on Cuba When President Richard Nixon “opened” Communist China, Republicans cheered his resolute statesmanship, welcoming new commercial opportunities, and … ]]> Fri, 19 Dec 2014 00:24:08 -0600 <![CDATA[ City can’t afford to continue losing victims to gun violence ]]>

Death rides Chicago streets. Even the wary fall victims. Death can be a sentence to the well meaning, the studious and the gifted. Chicago streets do not discriminate. Our cultural loss at so many dead bodies strewn and killed in playgrounds, in back alleys and parks cannot hide the lack of discrimination death wields. No one is safe. Its random causes cannot be controlled. It is a cultural phenomenon found on the borders of gang turf and across a city lost in a pretext of safety for all. When will it end? There is no solution. There is no optional … ]]> Thu, 18 Dec 2014 11:51:22 -0600 <![CDATA[ To avoid police-involved shootings, don’t resist arrest ]]> Lead story image

Attorney General Eric Holder knows how future [Michael] Brown and [Eric] Garner violence can be avoided: don’t assault a police officer; don’t resist arrest. I contend that a black officer would have acted no differently in either case. In fact, the supervising sergeant in the Garner arrest was a black female. Could Eric Holder be fanning the anger of the black community with 2016 in mind? Bet on it! John J. McCartney, Jr.,  Lower West Side Kudos on humane rat control It’s great to learn that Chicago may decrease the rat overpopulation by using highly effective sterilization methods that will … ]]> Wed, 17 Dec 2014 12:06:43 -0600 <![CDATA[ Police body cameras would protect citizens, cops ]]> Lead story image

Body cameras will protect police officers from people who lie. We have some outstanding police officers who do care for the rights of others. But one bad apple can spoil a whole barrel. If America can afford to send a rocket to the moon, America can afford these cameras for all police officers. Annette C. Smith, Pullman Get on board with U.S.-Russia rail Chinese President Xi Jinping announced a Silk Road Fund, for developing trade infrastructure with China. The Chinese have improved their infrastructure to the extent that there is continuous rail service from Chongqing with Duisburg, Beijing with Hamburg … ]]> Tue, 16 Dec 2014 10:48:18 -0600 <![CDATA[ Legislature should require local governments to balance budgets ]]>

In its report the “State of Bankruptcy,” the Better Government Association highlighted the “desperate” financial condition of local governments in Illinois. A 2013 study by Truth in Accounting found 103 of the 127 Cook County cities, suburbs, and villages had bills that exceeded assets available to pay those bills. These governments are in financial trouble, despite a state law requiring them to balance their budgets. Because of the use of outdated accounting practices by government leaders, budgets haven’t been truly balanced. These antiquated methods are based on cash accounting and do not achieve accounting’s most basic mission of matching revenues … ]]> Mon, 15 Dec 2014 02:14:42 -0600 <![CDATA[ Topinka was one of a kind ]]> Lead story image

Very sad to hear of the passing of Judy Baar Topinka. She was a one-of-a-kind politician who did her job without corruption and all the political malarkey we put up with in this state. She once took the time to send me a personal note about a letter that I had written to the Sun-Times about corruption in Illinois. Even sadder that she didn’t make history as the first female governor of Illinois, as the gullible voters fell prey to the campaign rhetoric of the charismatic Blagojevich. The breath of fresh air she brought will be sorely missed. Scot Sinclair, … ]]> Sun, 14 Dec 2014 10:47:37 -0600 <![CDATA[ Cheney fails to see morals, ethics really keep America safe ]]> Lead story image

Dick Cheney spoke words of wisdom when he stated, “How nice do you want us to be with murderers?” In truth, many of these tortured detainees were not yet tried and convicted, but Cheney said they were murderers, so I guess they must have been. Cheney said we are taking away the tools that make us safe. Again, he is dead wrong. We are merely arming our soldiers, our people, our generals, our country with a weapon stronger and more effective than any cat o’ nine tails once used by the master-at-arms on a ship. It’s called moral and ethical … ]]> Fri, 12 Dec 2014 10:07:00 -0600 <![CDATA[ Obama library should not be allowed on Chicago park land ]]>

I read with great interest Lynn Sweet’s Wednesday column: “Friends of the Parks: No park land for Obama library.” The ceding of public land for private purposes (also think of the Lucas Museum here) is something that should be above “public discussion”; it should be stopped in its tracks. Further, I disagree with Ms. Sweet when she calls the South Shore Cultural Center a “park crown jewel.” For me, that title goes to Wooded Island and its Osaka Japanese Garden, both of which I fear will be imperiled if the presidential museum and library are erected at, or near, Jackson … ]]> Thu, 11 Dec 2014 11:57:29 -0600 <![CDATA[ Using torture on terror suspects doesn’t work, must end ]]> Lead story image

In all the yapping from the conservative pundits saying releasing the Senate torture report just encourages hatred of Americans is a dangerous naïveté that reveals how clueless Americans are about what is being done in their names. Our use of torture is well known throughout the world and is a source of recruitment for terrorists. What is the source for this analysis: U.S. military officers. From the very start of the present stage of our torturing in the Middle East they immediately denounced the torture for its repudiation of what we stand for as a country and for the plain … ]]> Wed, 10 Dec 2014 02:19:11 -0600 <![CDATA[ Thank you for a poignant vignette ]]>

Thank you for publishing Harry Mark Petrakis’ poignant vignette Saturday. It was a welcome relief from the seemingly endless string of corruption, scandals, murder and international conflict dominating the news these days. Thanks to the Sun-Times, I have discovered a wonderful author. I would welcome human-interest prose, both fiction and nonfiction, as a regular feature in the Sun-Times. It could provide some emotional balance and a badly needed escape. Bravo. David Van Delinder, Genoa Right IDOT choice I support the Illinois Department of Transportation’s recent decision to remove graffiti on the Kennedy Expy. ASAP. Protecting drivers is more important than … ]]> Tue, 09 Dec 2014 11:59:07 -0600 <![CDATA[ Instead of inviting Bloomberg, enforce gun laws ]]> Lead story image

Contrary to what the Sun-Times thinks, Chicago does not need Michael Bloomberg and his paid volunteers. How about just enforcing some of the strictest firearm legislation in the country? For a city without gun stores, the idea that more restrictions are going to affect violent crime is ludicrous. Lock the criminals up and keep them there until their time is served. Maybe punishing the criminals would work better than rehabilitating them because quite frankly all that does is create repeat offenders. Edward W. Bernas, Highland Park You don’t want Bloomberg In an editorial, the Chicago Sun-Times has asked for Michael … ]]> Mon, 08 Dec 2014 02:15:06 -0600 <![CDATA[ Your votes, not candidates’ money, matter most in mayoral election ]]> Lead story image

I was both touched and troubled by Dan Mihalopoulos’ Dec. 3 piece on me, “Gadfly’s about-face changes complexion of mayoral race.” Calling someone a “gadfly” is actually high praise. The original “gadfly,” Socrates, once said society needs someone to “sting them and whip them into a fury in service of the truth.” Chicago needs that more than ever now, and I am very happy to oblige. Mihalopoulos’ petty personal potshots aside, I had every right to donate to my own campaign. He calls my busting of the campaign caps a “mockery of the law.” However, not once have I heard … ]]> Sun, 07 Dec 2014 02:40:13 -0600 <![CDATA[ A minor crime punished  with death ]]> Lead story image

I am white. I am upset about the recent grand jury decision to not charge the police officer who put Eric Garner in a fatal chokehold. What good will body cameras for police officers be if a video showing a man being tossed to the ground, being put into “what appeared to be a chokehold” and we hear him saying “I can’t breathe,” and the grand jury found there wasn’t enough evidence to bring charges? His crime? Selling single untaxed cigarettes! His punishment? Death. What a shame. Shirley Sax, Morton Grove Don’t fight with police President Eisenhower, when once asked … ]]> Fri, 05 Dec 2014 11:45:14 -0600 <![CDATA[ Giving ordinary citizens their say ]]>

When asked about the flood of big money into the mayoral election after contribution limits were lifted, Mayor Emanuel told reporters on Tuesday: “You’ve had your chance. I’m gonna have my chance to have my say.” The mayor missed the point — no one is worried about his ability to have his say. He is, after all, the mayor and sits on a massive campaign war chest. What an increasing number of people are worried about is the ability of ordinary citizens to have their say. Citizens, of course, can vote on Election Day but our options at the ballot … ]]> Wed, 03 Dec 2014 14:56:01 -0600 <![CDATA[ Minimum wage hike helps government ]]>

Just how much of a benefit is raising the minimum wage from $8.25 to $13.00 per hour? I’m a CPA so I thought I would check it out. A single mom with two small children working full-time would see her gross wages go up $9,880. After factoring in increased payroll and income taxes and reductions in earned income and child tax credits, that mother’s net take home only goes up $6,324. The remaining $3,556 is a benefit to the government through increased taxes and reduced credits. Multiply that out across the country. I’m not saying raising the minimum wage is … ]]> Thu, 04 Dec 2014 16:05:06 -0600