WBEZ | strike http://www.wbez.org/tags/strike Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Brazilians Clamor For Free Transportation http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2016-01-14/brazilians-clamor-free-transportation-114491 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Brazil%202.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="Demonstrators gather during a protest against the fare hike on public transportation in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016. The protests were organized by the Free Fare Movement, the same group that initiated mass anti-government demonstrations that filled streets across Brazil in 2013. (AP Photo/Nelson Antoine)‚Äč" /></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/242001728&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><span style="font-size:24px;">Brazil&rsquo;s economic woes </span><br />Protesters took to the streets of Sao Paolo last week over proposals to increase transportation fees on public transport. The protests became violent with people angry over the rising costs in the face of the country&rsquo;s growing economic troubles. Several cities and towns have also announced major cuts in their upcoming Carnival celebrations, an important cultural tradition. The cuts not only impact the size of planned events but all the businesses that supply things like costumes and other Carnival related items. We&rsquo;ll take a look at how the slowdown is impacting Brazilians with Marcelo Jarmendia, the founder and director of Brazil in Chicago. He&rsquo;s currently in Sao Paolo.</p><p><strong>Guest:</strong> Marcelo Jarmendia is the founder and director of Brazil in Chicago.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Global%20Activism%20.JPG" title="The Pardada Pardadi school helps girls in rural India get an education and eventually find employment. (Photo/Jerome McDonnell)" /></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/242001113&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><span style="font-size:24px;">Global Activism: Pardada Pardadi school supports young girls </span><br />In parts of rural India, it&rsquo;s considered &ldquo;a waste&rdquo; for girls to be educated and that girls should only help do family chores, housework and prepare for marriage and children. In many villages, girls are barred or discouraged from participating in athletics, or even simple play. <em>Worldview</em> continues its <em>Global Activism</em> in India series with a visit to a unique girls school an hour outside of Delhi in Bulandshahr, India. It&rsquo;s called Pardada Pardadi. It means &quot;great-grandparents.&quot; The phrase links to the care and support of the extended family. Pardada Pardadi initiatives help the girls, their families, and community. They pay families to send their girls to school and guarantees them a job upon graduation. This all girls school includes a customer service call training center and a garment manufacturing shop. They do micro-credit loans and artificially inseminate cows. The school is helped by India Development Service (IDS), a Chicago-based investment NGO. We&rsquo;ll talk about Pardada Pardadi with its CEO, Renuka Gupta. She&rsquo;ll introduce us to some of the students and give us a tour of the school.</p><p><strong>Guest:</strong> Renuka Gupta is the CEO of the <a href="http://www.education4change.org/">Pardada Pardadi </a>Education Society (PPES), a non-profit operating schools for girls in rural India, and has over 25 years experience in the field of social work.</p></p> Thu, 14 Jan 2016 17:15:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2016-01-14/brazilians-clamor-free-transportation-114491 More than 1,000 local nurses plan a strike http://www.wbez.org/news/more-1000-local-nurses-plan-strike-111915 <p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.38;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;">The nurses say it&rsquo;s not about money. They want to eliminate &ldquo;rotating&rdquo; shifts as long as 12 hours. Jan Rodolfo is with National Nurses United, the union that&#39;s been in contract negotiations with the hospital since last fall.<br /><br />&ldquo;We think it (the long shifts) lead(s) to medication errors,&rdquo; said Rodolfo. &ldquo;We know it leads to nurses falling asleep while they&rsquo;re driving on the way home.&rdquo;<br />&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.38;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;">The nurses union said their members want more staff and supervising nurses instead of managers. They said the hospital is looking at that option to lower costs. UCMC officials released a statement saying that, with average salaries at more than $100,000 a year, their nurses already make more than most local hospitals pay. Hospital official said they&rsquo;ll have skilled replacement nurses in the event of a strike.</p><p>The union says more than 1,500 nurses would go on strike beginning April 30th if negotiations break down. The next bargaining session is set for Thursday April 23rd.<br /><br />Follow WBEZ reporter Yolanda Perdomo on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/yolandanews">@yolandanews</a> &amp; <a href="https://plus.google.com/u/0/106564114685277342468/posts/p/pub">Google+</a></p></p> Tue, 21 Apr 2015 16:35:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/more-1000-local-nurses-plan-strike-111915 Can a deal put the Congress hotel back in session again? http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2012-12/can-deal-put-congress-hotel-back-session-again-104496 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/P1010844.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 799px;" title="" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">The Congress Plaza Hotel, a faded South Michigan Avenue jewel best known for its nine-year hotel workers strike could again shine under a plan to convert portions of the historic property into residences and retail.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">New Jersey-based newsletter <a href="http://www.realert.com/headlines.php?hid=160099">Real Estate Alert reported </a>Wednesday that a partnership led by New York investor David Aim has agreed to pay $275 million for the 120-year-old hotel at 520 S. Michigan Ave. The newsletter said the partnership seeks to &quot;boost revenues at the aging hotel over the next year or two, then redevelop the 1 million-square-foot complex and convert portions into residential condominiums and retail space.&quot; Businessman Albert Nasser Shayo has owned the property since 1987.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">The deal has the potential to bring good to the once-grand hotel. Built in 1893 as an annex to the Auditorium Hotel (now Roosevelt University) &mdash; the two buildings were once linked underground via a marbled-walled passageway called Peacock Alley &mdash; the Congress was once among the city&#39;s finer hotels. The 11-story edifice was designed by architect Clinton J. Warren, with matching 1902 and 1907 additions by Holabird &amp; Roche. The Congress has a well-written history of itself, particularly those heady early days, <a href="http://www.congressplazahotel.com/about-our-chicago-hotel/index.cfm">on its website.</a></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/72288378_aa673c8647_o.jpg" title="" /></div></div><p>The latter days have been less kind, however, as the 871-room hotel shows its age. In addition, local members of the hotel workers&#39; labor union Unite Here went on strike in June 2003 over the Congress&#39; plans for a seven percent wage cut. The group has walked the picket lines daily since then.</p><p>As part of the Historic Michigan Boulevard Landmark District, the hotel cannot be demolished or significantly altered without city approval.</p></p> Thu, 20 Dec 2012 09:25:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2012-12/can-deal-put-congress-hotel-back-session-again-104496 Teachers in suburban Chicago hit picket lines http://www.wbez.org/news/teachers-suburban-chicago-hit-picket-lines-104172 <p><p>CARPENTERSVILLE, Ill. &mdash; Classes are canceled for more than 20,000 students because of a teacher strike in a suburban Chicago school district.</p><p>About 1,200 teachers are off the job Tuesday in Community Unit District 300. The district includes more than 20 schools in several northwest suburbs, including Carpentersville, Algonquin, Dundee and Lake in the Hills.</p><p>Officials say 11 months of negotiations failed to produce an agreement. The district&#39;s last contract with the teachers expired July 1.</p><p>Union officials contend the district&#39;s teachers are underpaid compared to teachers in other suburban districts.</p><p>The two sides spent most of the day Monday in negotiations, but afterward district spokesman Jose Stevens said the two sides were about $2 million apart on salary.</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 04 Dec 2012 08:11:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/teachers-suburban-chicago-hit-picket-lines-104172 Chicago teachers to vote on contract http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-teachers-vote-contract-102823 <p><p>Members of the Chicago Teachers Union are scheduled to vote on the proposed contract reached after a seven-day strike last month.</p><p>The strike left more than 350,000 students out of class across Chicago. The teachers walked out Sept. 10 after months of tense contract talks in their first strike in 25 years.</p><p>The union represents 30,000 teachers and support personnel in the nation&#39;s third largest school district.</p><p>Union officials said they&#39;ll release results of Tuesday&#39;s vote on Thursday.</p></p> Tue, 02 Oct 2012 09:52:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-teachers-vote-contract-102823 Chicago teachers rock http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2012-09/chicago-teachers-rock-102377 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/teachers%202.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 310px; float: left; " title="I love teaching: Lincoln Park teachers gather after the morning picket line. (WBEZ/Jim DeRogatis)" /></div><p>I&rsquo;m tempted to start this rare departure from my usual beat at WBEZ with a musical crack recounting the most hateful thing that has been said about our mayor during his battle with the Chicago Teachers Union &mdash;&ldquo;<a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2012/09/11/160968342/chicago-mayor-emanuel-does-not-like-nickelback-spokesperson-says">RAHM EMANUEL LIKES NICKELBACK</a>&rdquo;&mdash; but this strike is no laughing matter&nbsp;(a<a href="http://www.redeyechicago.com/news/redeye-emanuel-spokeswoman-he-does-not-like-nickelback-20120911,0,392980.story">&nbsp;statement from a mayoral spokesperson</a>&nbsp;to&nbsp;<em>Red Eye&nbsp;</em>countered&nbsp;that Emanuel does not, in fact, like Nickelback).&nbsp;The real issue here, often obscured by all the noise from both sides, is vital to every parent in this city, and indeed the entire country: the future of public schooling.</p><p>My soon-to-be-16-year-old daughter was planning on marching in support of her teachers at Lincoln Park High School (pictured today on the front page of <em><a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/13/education/chicago-teachers-strike-enters-third-day.html?_r=1&amp;hp">The New York Times</a></em>) even before I broached the subject with her. For that &mdash; and for the three hours we spent walking and chanting with two of her classmates, other parents, their kids and what she said looked like every faculty member at the school &mdash; I never have been more proud of her.</p><p>The reportage and analysis of the issues I leave to my colleagues at WBEZ, in particular the tireless and brilliant Linda Lutton and Becky Vevea (if you want up-to-the-minute head&rsquo;s-ups on any and every development, <a href="https://twitter.com/WBEZeducation">@WBEZeducation</a> on Twitter is a must-follow). But&nbsp;I was too moved by the experience this morning &mdash; and too struck by how some of the things I witnessed did not jibe with much of the coverage I consume as a media omnivore &mdash; not to offer a few observations:&nbsp;</p><p>1. A poll commissioned by my former employer,&nbsp;<em>The Chicago Sun-Times,&nbsp;</em>may show that only&nbsp;<a href="http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/15081881-418/poll-47-of-chicago-registered-voters-support-teachers-in-strike.html">47 percent of Chicago voters support the strike</a>, but the ratio of drivers, bikers and pedestrians honking their horns, raising their fists in solidarity or shouting their support was more like four out of five or 80 percent, which, needless to say, was enormously encouraging to all of those educators in red.</p><p>2. The percentage of police cars, fire trucks, CTA buses, sanitation and other public works vehicles doing the same actually was, no exceptions, a very loud and extremely enthusiastic 100 percent. This underscores one bigger issue with the strike: Emanuel has, from the start, been strongly anti-union. His bullying when dealing with organized labor in every sector of city services makes it seem like he&#39;s forgetting the ideals of his party and the time-honored values of Studs Terkel&rsquo;s Chicago. (See Mark Brown, &ldquo;<a href="http://www.suntimes.com/news/brown/15090961-452/gop-candidates-are-giving-their-views-on-the-strike.html">GOP candidates side with Emanuel on strike</a>,&rdquo; or Carol Marin, &ldquo;<a href="http://www.suntimes.com/news/marin/15081962-452/rahm-emanuel-picked-this-fight-with-teachers.html">Rahm Emanuel picked this fight with teachers</a>,&rdquo; both in the <em>Sun-Times.</em>)</p><p>3. Every one of the two dozen teachers I spoke with at length did a better job of articulating the issues at stake and the reasons why they&rsquo;re on the street when they&rsquo;d prefer to be in the classroom than union president Karen Lewis or vice president Jesse Sharkey has done to date. As a media professional and a college English teacher, I&rsquo;d have to give Lewis and Sharkey a &ldquo;D&rdquo; as communicators.&nbsp;I&rsquo;d contrast their public statements to, say, those of the Chicago librarians&rsquo; reps when they fought the mayor last year. Those guys earned at least an &ldquo;A-&rdquo; for getting their message out loudly, clearly and with a consistent focus.&nbsp;The teachers union needs to perfect the way it presents its message, and quick. The court of public opinion will be every bit as crucial as the bargaining table in resolving these issues.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/strike%20flickr%20javier%20ayala.jpg" style="height: 200px; width: 300px; float: right; " title="(Flickr/Javier Ayala)" />So, what did the teachers at Lincoln Park High School say their gripes were?</p><p>No one mentioned money &mdash;&nbsp;not once. Nor did anyone say that principals should not have the right to fire negligent or ineffectual teachers. They&rsquo;re arguing that standardized test scores should not be the dominant factor in evaluating teachers, not when there is no &ldquo;standard&rdquo; in the countless challenges facing students outside the classroom in schools throughout this vast and diverse city, from the most troubled on the far South Side to the most privileged on the far Northwest.</p><p>The teachers I spoke to said that good teachers at schools closed because of declining enrollment or consolidation &mdash;&nbsp;many of them educators with years if not decades of experience and positive evaluations &mdash;&nbsp;should be first in the pool of those to be hired at other schools. Principals at these schools should not be able to go first to the cheaper first-year teacher just to put a body in a classroom. Hard work, good performance and consistent service should be considered and rewarded.</p><p>They&rsquo;re saying that resources such as libraries, school nurses, guidance counselors, social workers, arts and music materials and air conditioning are vital to the educational experience, and they&rsquo;re all being cut to the bone or were never there for students in the first place.</p><p>And, most importantly, they&rsquo;re saying that charter schools are <em>not </em>the answer &mdash; not when so many <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/news/marin/index.html">reliable reports</a> hold that charters have not been proven to be any better than public schools.&nbsp;</p><p><a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-09-11/news/ct-edit-strike-0911-jm-20120911_1_cps-teachers-cps-offer-chicago-teachers-union">A particularly anti-labor editorial in yesterday&rsquo;s <em>Tribune</em> made the city&#39;s real agenda here crystal clear</a>. The headline: &ldquo;Don&rsquo;t cave, Mr. Mayor. The strike is about who controls Chicago&rsquo;s schools, Chicago&rsquo;s future.&rdquo; The <em>Trib</em>&rsquo;s wrongheaded answer about what the mayor should do: &ldquo;Convert a much larger number of CPS schools into charter schools.&rdquo; (Charter schools, of course, are non-union, but then so is the <em>Trib </em>newsroom and editorial board<em>.</em>)</p><p>As a parent who believes in public schooling, it offends me to the core to see these educators being disrespected as they are.&nbsp;And it offends me even more that Mayor Emanuel has chosen to send his three children to one of the most expensive private schools in the country, the University of Chicago Lab Schools, <a href="http://www.ucls.uchicago.edu/admission/tuition/index.aspx">which costs an average of more than $25,000 a year per student</a>.&nbsp;This personal choice sends a very public message: The Chicago Public Schools are good enough for more than 400,000 of <em>your</em> kids, but they are not good enough for <em>mine</em>.</p><p>I honestly do not believe my daughter would have gotten a better education at the Lab Schools or anywhere else. And I believe the Chicago teachers deserve to be treated with the respect they&rsquo;ve earned for that.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><em>P.S. To bring it back to music, I&rsquo;d direct teachers on the picket lines <a href="http://blogs.suntimes.com/music/2012/09/playlist_union_songs_for_strik.html">to this playlist of 12 timeless rock songs in support of workers compiled&nbsp;by my friend, Sun-Times rock critic Thomas Conner</a>. Because nothing helps more than music when the time comes to hang tough.&nbsp;</em></p><p><em>Finally, a group of Chicago artists and musicians called &quot;Artists Stand With Chicago Teachers&quot; hopes to become a &quot;hub to express solidarity&quot; with teachers from the community I usually do cover; they plan a &quot;Rock for Teachers&quot; event on Sept. 22. You can show you second their efforts <a href="http://artistsolidarity.wordpress.com/">here</a>.)</em></p></p> Wed, 12 Sep 2012 15:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2012-09/chicago-teachers-rock-102377 Video: Day 1 of Chicago Teachers Union strike, teachers on the picket line http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-09/video-day-1-chicago-teachers-union-strike-teachers-picket-line-102306 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/striking teachers.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center; "><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="338" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/Tg1_awPAY6g" width="601"></iframe></p><p>On September 10, 2012, some 26,000 Chicago Public Schools teachers and staff went on strike. Here are some images of teachers striking at Lloyd Elementary School, Roosevelt High School and Kelvyn Park High School in Chicago.&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 10 Sep 2012 11:43:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-09/video-day-1-chicago-teachers-union-strike-teachers-picket-line-102306 Chicago teachers contemplate strike, but stop short of setting a date http://www.wbez.org/news/education/chicago-teachers-contemplate-strike-stop-short-setting-date-101892 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/schools620.jpg" title="Chicago teachers pick up picket signs outside Wednesday's House of Delegates meeting. (WBEZ/Linda Lutton)" /></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="http://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F57305415&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=false&amp;color=ff7700" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>Hundreds of Chicago Teachers Union delegates met Wednesday evening for an update on contract negotiations. And in a largely symbolic show of support for the union, they voted to give their president a power she already had: the ability to issue a ten-day strike notice at her discretion.</p><p>Reporters were not allowed into the meeting at Lane Tech High School, but printed materials given to delegates note the union and school district remain far apart on issues from pay to teacher evaluations.</p><p>Teacher Mary Fister from LaSalle Language Academy said she wasn&#39;t worried about a strike before she attended the meeting, but she was on the way out.</p><p>Earlier in the day, Chicago&#39;s Board of Education authorized the school district to spend up to $25 million on a strike contingency plan to care for and feed students if teachers go out on strike.</p><p>The board wants to end the automatic raises known as &quot;steps&quot; that teachers get for additional years of service. The union wants to protect those, keep out merit pay, and stop hikes on insurance premiums.</p><p>Union leaders also raised concerns that schools have not hired the extra teachers promised to staff the longer school day.</p><p>And union president Karen Lewis says the union is concerned about job security.</p><blockquote><p><strong>[:20]</strong> &ldquo;They&rsquo;re talking about restructuring the district. We have been hearing for quite some time that they are planning to close 100 schools. They have denied this in negotiations&hellip;. But if that&rsquo;s their plan I think they should tell people now and be honest and open about it,&rdquo; Lewis said outside the union&rsquo;s House of Delegates meeting.</p></blockquote><p>If the union wants to strike, it must give at least 10 days&rsquo; notice. Lewis said late Wednesday she does not know when or if she&rsquo;ll file such a notice. Delegates voted Wednesday to leave the decision up to her.</p><p>It would be up to the delegates to actually set a strike date, however. They&rsquo;re meeting again on Thursday, August 30. The union is running informational pickets--one teacher called them &quot;practice strikes&quot;-- all this week. And this weekend at least some delegates will attend workshops to learn how to run a strike.</p><p>As the teachers met, Lane Tech&#39;s football practice was getting out. A potential strike was on senior Jacob Suckrow&#39;s mind. &quot;As soon as they strike, we can&rsquo;t practice or anything. And then for however long they strike, every CPS school forfeits those games, and it makes everybody ineligible for state playoffs,&quot; said&nbsp; Suckrow.<br /><br />&ldquo;We just want to graduate on time and play football,&rdquo; senior Ian Rundquist chimed in.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><br />&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 22 Aug 2012 22:42:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/education/chicago-teachers-contemplate-strike-stop-short-setting-date-101892 Possible teacher strike casts shadow over approaching school year http://www.wbez.org/blogs/marcus-gilmer/2012-08/possible-teacher-strike-casts-shadow-over-approaching-school-year-101836 <p><p style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP_Photo_Sitthixay_Ditthavong.jpg" title="A student reflects the general mood between teachers and the city. (AP/Sitthixay Ditthavong)" /></p><div class="image-insert-image "><p><strong>Lead story:</strong> Even though school is in session for some Chicago Public Schools and a tentative deal between the city and the teachers union was reached earlier this summer, a strike still looms: Chicago Teachers Union members <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-chicago-teachers-take-contract-case-to-schools-20120820,0,3561254.story">picketed six schools yesterday</a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;pickets <a href="http://action.aft.org/c/468/p/salsa/web/common/public/content?content_item_KEY=10295">will continue throughout the week</a>. The pickets came after a 30-day &quot;cooling off&quot; period, implemented after July&#39;s tentative agreement between the union and the city, <a href="http://www.wbez.org/district-union-prepare-possible-strike-101823">expired over the weekend</a>. A&nbsp;strike could be announced at a special delegate session on Wednesday (though the CTU doesn&#39;t need such a vote to declare a strike).&nbsp;Due to a ten-day lead time required between the announcement of the strike and the beginning of the strike, the CTU <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/news/14611166-418/cps-union-both-prepare-for-possibility-of-teachers-strike.html">would have to announce a strike</a>&nbsp;by Thursday if they wanted to start before school begins Tuesday, September 4&nbsp;for the remaining two-thirds of CPS students. It seems that despite the previous agreement and progress in contract talks, the CTU is fully preparing to strike; if it turns out to be a bluff, it&#39;s a fully-armed one at that.</p><p><strong>Also: </strong>The media and the public brought hellfire and fury <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/marcus-gilmer/2012-08/rep-todd-akins-ridiculous-legitimate-rape-comments-101812">down</a> on Missouri Rep. Todd Akin, the GOP&rsquo;s senate candidate in that state. It&rsquo;s no surprise that by the afternoon Akin <a href="http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-missouri-rep-todd-akin-says-he-misspoke-on-rape-and-pregnancy-20120819,0,512566.story">tried to backpedal</a> so fast you thought he had a flux capacitor. But his <a href="https://i.chzbgr.com/completestore/12/8/20/-UT3h4yQXE-a04_J2C0png2.jpg">dumbassery</a> damage was done: Even members of his own party are&nbsp;<a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Latest-News-Wires/2012/0820/Republicans-urge-Akin-to-leave-Senate-race">calling on him to drop out</a> of the race. RNC Chair Reince Priebus even said that Akin had best stay away from next week&rsquo;s convention in Tampa. A&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2012/08/21/159501649/as-deadline-to-drop-out-nears-rep-akins-best-defender-is-his-opponent">deadline today</a> that would make a candidate switch easier is at 6 p.m.; still, Akin is&nbsp;<a href="http://www.politicususa.com/fox-news-freaks-todd-akins-refusal-quit-mo-senate-race.html">refusing to drop out</a>,&nbsp;ensuring that his campaign will likely go down in flames.&nbsp;</p><p>Look, I know politics is an insane business, but when even members of the Tea Party are embarrassed and <a href="http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2012/08/20/tea-party-express-calls-on-akin-to-step-down/">want you to drop out</a>, you done goofed up, son. Lest I leave this conversation without eviscerating Akin some more, I&rsquo;d be remiss not to point out <em>The Onion</em> <a href="http://www.theonion.com/articles/i-misspokewhat-i-meant-to-say-is-i-am-dumb-as-dog,29256/?ref=auto">doing what they do</a> oh so brilliantly.</p><p><strong>And then: </strong>It&rsquo;s been a year of crazy weather already so of course <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/videogallery/71893874/Weather/Interview-with-waterspouts-storm-chaser">we saw a bunch of</a>&nbsp;<a href="http://www.srh.noaa.gov/mfl/?n=waterspouts">waterspouts</a>&nbsp;over Lake Michigan yesterday. The city was never really in danger of tornados and waterspouts aren&rsquo;t uncommon (besides being pretty weak to begin with) so it looked more apocalyptic than it really was. The Spielberg version of <em>War Of The Worlds</em> was on TV this weekend and lightning triggered the alien attacks on our world then so if these waterspouts result in some kind of extra-terrestrial war, well, I warned you.&nbsp; &nbsp;</p><p><strong>RIP: </strong>Comedienne and actress <a href="http://www.avclub.com/articles/rip-phyllis-diller,84044/">Phyllis Diller</a>&nbsp;died Monday at the age of 95. As usual, <em>The A.V. Club</em> <a href="http://www.avclub.com/articles/rip-phyllis-diller,84044/">memorializes her</a> better than I ever could. And <a href="http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/movies/moviesnow/la-et-mn-0821-scott-death-20120821,0,5115040.story">memorials</a> for director Tony Scott continue to <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/21/movies/tony-scott-made-movies-as-a-maximalist.html">roll in</a> as the shock of his apparent suicide sinks in.</p><p><strong>Elsewhere: </strong>Rosie O&rsquo;Donnell is <a href="http://marquee.blogs.cnn.com/2012/08/20/rosie-odonnell-happy-to-be-alive-after-heart-attack/">recovering from a heart attack</a> &hellip; Remember years ago when Augusta National faced some heat over no female members? Well, that&rsquo;s no longer a problem as the club <a href="http://espn.go.com/golf/story/_/id/8284599/augusta-national-admits-condoleezza-rice-darla-moore-first-two-female-members">has now admitted two</a>, including Condoleezza Rice &hellip; Our own DeRo writes about&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2012-08/what-words-mean-101817">the impact of lyrics</a> in the wake of the Pussy Riot travesty &hellip; The RNC convention stage <a href="http://www.wtsp.com/news/topstories/article/269178/250/RNC-stage-is-unveiled">was unveiled</a> and it gives the Olympic Opening Ceremonies a run for its money &hellip; Speaking of the Olympics, the British Royal corgis are <a href="http://gawker.com/5936165/royal-corgis-bloody-up-princess-beatrices-beloved-terrier">taking their Olympic blues out</a> on other dogs &hellip; Our cool interactive graph shows you <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/10-years-cta-red-line-use-shows-increased-ridership-not-all-stations-101804">ridership numbers for the Red Line over the past ten years</a>, just in time for the <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-06-05/news/ct-met-emanuel-red-line-20120606_1_red-line-stations-garfield-station-cermak-chinatown">big South Side shut down</a>&nbsp;of 2013!&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</p><p><strong>Looking ahead: </strong><em>The</em> <em>Sun-Times</em> <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/14622305-761/will-chicago-areas-men-only-country-clubs-follow-augustas-lead.html">wonders</a> if area men-only clubs will soon follow Augusta National&rsquo;s lead &hellip; If things didn&rsquo;t look bleak before for Groupon, they do now,&nbsp;<a href="http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443989204577599273177326912.html">as investors bail</a>&nbsp;on the company &hellip; Edwards County is <a href="http://www.myfoxchicago.com/story/19325546/-exclusive">shunning the state&rsquo;s concealed weapon ban</a> &hellip; Beware <a href="http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Tainted-cantaloupe-sickens-17-in-Illinois-3801575.php">tainted cantaloupes</a> &hellip; The city is finally, slowly <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-dips-toe-%E2%80%98bus-rapid-transit%E2%80%99-101834">moving towards bus rapid transit</a> &hellip; <em>Chicago Magazine</em> <a href="http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/September-2012/The-Unsolved-Murder-of-Maywood-Police-Officer-Tom-Wood/">revisits the unsolved murder</a> of a suburban police officer &hellip; The violent weekend <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-august-chicago-homicide-20120821,0,4821017.story">tied this year&#39;s record for killings in a single day</a>&nbsp;on Saturday and pushed this month&#39;s murder count past last August&#39;s tally already ... Chicago Media Baron&trade; Robert Feder <a href="http://timeoutchicago.com/arts-culture/chicago-media-blog/15616221/cbs-2-celebrates-bill-walter-with-cupcakes-and-no-comment">has a great write-up</a> about the triumphs and struggles of CBS 2&rsquo;s mega-pairing of Kurtis &amp; Jacobson, two years later.&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</p><p><strong>Sports: </strong>Great, Stan Van Gundy runs his mouth and <a href="http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/bulls/post/_/id/9743/stan-van-will-rose-be-next-star-to-bolt">probably triggers</a> the Great Derrick Rose Panic &hellip; Ozzie <a href="http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/08/20/source-ozzie-marlins-to-visit-u-s-cellular-field-next-season/">could be returning to the South Side</a> via interleague play next year &hellip; <a href="http://chicagosidesports.com/can-horse-racing-catch-up/">A great feature</a> for local horse racing fans &hellip; The Chris Rusin Era <a href="http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120820&amp;content_id=37034740&amp;notebook_id=37034742&amp;vkey=notebook_chc&amp;c_id=chc">begins</a>, Cubs fans! We have hope! Again! &hellip; There are some pro teams in the area that win titles: the Chicago Bandits <a href="http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20120820/sports/708209640/">begin their title defense</a> when the National Pro Fastpitch softball tournament starts on Thursday in Rosemont &hellip; <em>Deadspin&rsquo;s</em> annual NFL preview with a, well, different perspective, <a href="http://deadspin.com/5935713/why-your-team-sucks-2012-chicago-bears">tackled the Bears yesterday</a>.&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Finally: </strong>I am blessed with a younger sibling (hi, <a href="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8438/7828686280_6cf78c2b72_o.jpg">Cynthia</a>!) and back in the day, we tortured each other. Which makes me love this prank that much more.</p></div><p style="text-align: center; "><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/c-DTQPBUJJ4" width="560"></iframe></p></p> Tue, 21 Aug 2012 09:09:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/marcus-gilmer/2012-08/possible-teacher-strike-casts-shadow-over-approaching-school-year-101836 District, union prepare for possible strike http://www.wbez.org/district-union-prepare-possible-strike-101823 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/IMAG0614.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The Chicago Teachers Union this morning kicked off what it says will be a week of informational picketing at schools, while Chicago Public Schools also began ramping up preparations for a potential teachers strike.</p><p>Horns blared out in support as cars drove by a line of teachers carrying picket signs and handing out flyers outside Azuela Elementary near Midway Airport.</p><p>On its web site and in emails to teachers, the union declared, &ldquo;Every CTU member MUST attend at least one picket!&rdquo; The union also assigned teachers who haven&rsquo;t yet started the new school year to picket outside schools that have.</p><p>Kimberly Bowsky, a teacher at Seward Elementary in Back of the Yards, said teachers need support from parents to get a fair contract.</p><p>&ldquo;We love their children, we support their children. The teachers and their union, we are the ones who are gonna fight for more resources in the classroom,&rdquo; said Bowsky.</p><p>Some parents responded coolly to the picket line their children had to walk by. But parent Marisa, who declined to give her last name, was sympathetic.</p><p>&ldquo;I volunteer in the school and they work so hard,&rdquo; she said, adding that one second grade teacher has a class of 37 children.&nbsp;</p><p>The district and union have agreed on terms of a longer school day, but are still talking about wages and rules around the rehiring of laid off teachers. The teachers&#39; contract expired June 30.</p><p>School starts for the majority of the district&rsquo;s schools the day after Labor Day.</p><p>A 30-day &ldquo;cooling off&rdquo; period expired over the weekend. It&rsquo;s possible the union could vote to file a 10-day strike notice as soon as Wednesday at a special House of Delegates meeting.</p><p>That same morning, the Chicago&rsquo;s Board of Education is set to consider a strike contingency plan. The school board agenda includes a resolution &quot;authorizing the development and implementation of a plan to provide student and family support in the event the Chicago Teachers Union chooses to strike.&quot;</p><p>&ldquo;We want to be prepared to provide critical services to children in our system who are most in need, and this would simply allow us to do that,&rdquo; said district spokeswoman Becky Carroll. The details of the contingency plan won&rsquo;t be made public until the board meets Wednesday, according to the district&rsquo;s web site.</p><p>Despite strike preparations, both sides say progress is being made in negotiations.</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 20 Aug 2012 14:17:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/district-union-prepare-possible-strike-101823