WBEZ | Chicago Infrastructure Trust http://www.wbez.org/tags/chicago-infrastructure-trust Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en City of Chicago plans to go green - using private funds http://www.wbez.org/news/city-chicago-plans-go-green-using-private-funds-104240 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/RS5313_IMG_6944-scr_0.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>The City of Chicago is moving forward with plans to use a huge private trust to fund infrastructure projects.</p><p>The trust hasn&rsquo;t found investors yet, but the board heard presentations from the Chicago Public Schools and facilities and water management departments Thursday. All three are planning large energy efficiency upgrades they want the trust to pay for.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s a reduction of energy, it&rsquo;s reduction of manpower, reduction of ongoing maintenance, it&rsquo;s an improvement in our carbon footprint,&rdquo; said Tom Powers, commissioner for the Chicago Department of Water Management, describing upgrades to an aging steam-powered water pump he said could lead to millions in savings.</p><p>The city currently has four steam-powered pumps which require around-the-clock staffing. The replacement station at Jardine would be &ldquo;one of the most green water pumping stations in North America,&rdquo; Powers said.</p><p>If the water management project is funded by the infrastructure trust, the savings would likely be used to pay back private investors. The trust&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/emanuel-announces-picks-infrastructure-trust-board-99981" target="_blank">five-person board</a> also heard presentations from lawyers hired by Mayor Rahm Emanuel&rsquo;s office on developing an initial request for qualifications from potential investors.</p><p>The city hopes to find investors willing to put in a minimum of $50 million dollars to be paid back as energy retrofits yield large savings.</p><p>&ldquo;We can&rsquo;t decide that we know for sure what the terms will be,&rdquo; said David Hoffman, the city&rsquo;s former Inspector General who is now on the trust board.</p><p>He played the role of watchdog at the meeting, questioning lawyers and department heads as to whether they were already accounting for the infrastructure trust funds in their budgets. All three city departments who presented were careful to say that any projects they had budgeted for in 2013 already had funding sources.</p><p>The trust has been the object of <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-inspector-general-given-power-investigate-infrastructure-trust-102075" target="_blank">ongoing scrutiny</a> because it was established to operate independent of City Hall and is now applying for nonprofit 501(c)3 status. Its status as an independent entity would exempt it from many of the transparency requirements city entities are subject to. When the ordinance establishing the trust was <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/unknowns-dont-derail-emanuels-infrastructure-trust-98520" target="_blank">first passed</a>, some aldermen worried that it could lead to lucrative private contracts being granted behind closed doors.</p><p>Other presenters at Thursday&rsquo;s meeting included David Reynolds, commissioner for the Chicago Department of Fleet and Facility management, and Pat Taylor, Chicago Public Schools Chief Property Officer.</p><p>Reynolds presented a proposal for a large project retrofitting and automating lights, repairing heating, cooling, and ventilation, and making structural efficiency improvements to city buildings including City Hall and the Chicago Cultural Center. Reynolds projected a project cost of $37 million that would result in $3.3 million in yearly savings on energy costs.</p><p>He said a structure that could provide large sums of up-front funding would be an ideal structure to allow pursuit of efficiency projects that are longer-term, such as replacing boilers in buildings.</p><p>Taylor echoed Reynolds as she explained a massive energy efficiency project already underway in the public schools. She hopes investors in the trust will be interested in reimbursing the costs in exchange for a promise of returns. She estimated $3 million dollars in annual savings in energy costs beginning as soon as March 2013.</p></p> Thu, 06 Dec 2012 16:07:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/city-chicago-plans-go-green-using-private-funds-104240 Chief Keef's taunting tweet has him in hot water http://www.wbez.org/blogs/marcus-gilmer/2012-09/chief-keefs-taunting-tweet-has-him-hot-water-102220 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/keef.jpg" title="Rapper Chief Keef (courtesy of the artist)" /></p><p><strong>Lead Story:</strong> Recently&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/marcus-gilmer/2012-08/young-immigrants-line-creating-extraordinary-scene-navy-pier-101755">I mused about</a> how some local rap artists, specifically Chief Keef, are emblematic of Chicago&#39;s violence problem. Now, police are looking into possible connections between Keef and <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/14964520-761/lil-jojo-murdered-in-chicago-police-now-looking-at-chief-keefs-tweets-source-says.html">the shooting death of one of his &ldquo;rivals</a>,&rdquo; Lil Jojo (aka 18-year-old Joseph Coleman). Police think the shooting may be part of a gang war between the Gangster Disciples and the Black Disciples, to which Keef has been tied. So far, there have been no solid connections between Keef and the murder, much less any charges. But Keef did draw attention from police for <a href="http://twitter.com/ChiefKeef/status/243233095120199680">a tweet following Coleman&rsquo;s death</a>:&nbsp;&ldquo;Its Sad Cuz Dat Nigga Jojo Wanted To Be Jus Like Us #LMAO.&rdquo; Of course, Keef later played the tired &ldquo;my account was hacked&rdquo; card. The story doesn&rsquo;t end there, though. Last night, Lupe Fiasco was dragged into the argument after <a href="http://www.fakeshoredrive.com/2012/08/video-lupe-fiasco-talks-chief-keef-rockie-fresh-chicagos-hip-hop-scene.html/">last week admitting</a> that the violence espoused by rappers like Keef scares him. Keef <a href="https://twitter.com/ChiefKeef/status/243470699031830531">responded</a> yesterday with a clear, mature volley: &ldquo;Lupe fiasco a hoe ass nigga And wen I see him I&#39;ma smack him like da lil bitch he is #300.&rdquo; And thus the discourse continues everywhere, including the media that&#39;s put Keef on a pedestal to begin with.</p><p><strong>Also: </strong>Wednesday&nbsp;night, former president Bill Clinton&nbsp;<a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/politics/ct-la-pn-clinton-dnc-obama-20120905,0,4840516.story">gave an impassioned (and really, really long) speech</a>&nbsp;at the DNC that concluded with the formal nomination of President Barack Obama to be the party&rsquo;s candidate for president. No surprise there. But local viewers may have had an &ldquo;<a href="http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/o-rly">O RLY</a>?&rdquo; moment during his speech. Talking of cooperation between Republicans and Democrats and how it can succeed, Clinton tossed off a few examples,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/05/us/politics/transcript-of-bill-clintons-speech-to-the-democratic-national-convention.html?pagewanted=all">including this</a>: &ldquo;Ask the mayors who are here. <em>(Cheers, applause.)</em> Los Angeles is getting green and Chicago is getting an infrastructure bank because Republicans and Democrats are working together to get it.&rdquo;</p><p>Really, Bill? I had no idea that the new infrastructure trust was a collaboration between Chicago Republicans (who are so rare they might as well be unicorns) and Democrats. I thought it was just another example of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/the-trust-fund-mayor/Content?oid=6036196">a mayor cramming a half-baked idea through the city council</a>, the consequences be damned. Like that successful parking meter deal.</p><p>The kicker: Immediately following that line, Clinton delivered his &ldquo;broken clock is right twice a day line&rdquo; and the camera &ndash; on MSNBC, anyway &ndash; panned to <a href="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v625/mdgilmer/rhamlaugh.jpg">a laughing Mayor Emanuel</a>. Because he always gets the last laugh. Dammit.</p><p><strong>And then:</strong> Alprentiss Nash, the man <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/marcus-gilmer/2012-08/yet-another-exoneration-reflects-ongoing-disturbing-trend-102101">just exonerated</a> of murder thanks to DNA evidence, was released after 17 years in prison for the crime he didn&rsquo;t commit. For his part, Nash seems to just be happy to be out of jail and doesn&rsquo;t appear to be bitter about his ordeal. In <a href="http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/local&amp;id=8799340">an interview with ABC 7</a>, he said, &quot;Now that I am free, why be bitter when life is so wonderful now?&quot;&nbsp;Nash says he&rsquo;s looking into going to culinary arts school and his attorney is weighing the options of a civil lawsuit against the city for wrongful imprisonment.</p><p><strong>RIP:</strong> <a href="http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/8343621/former-ravens-owner-art-modell-dies-87">Art Modell</a>, former owner of the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens at the age of 87. While Modell is responsible for many things in the NFL&rsquo;s history &ndash; including helping to negotiate the league&rsquo;s television contracts and collective bargaining agreements with players &ndash; he&rsquo;ll always be remembered for relocating the Cleveland Browns to Baltimore to become the Ravens in 1996, breaking the hearts of Browns fans. It was a move that has allegedly since kept him out of the Hall of Fame.<br />&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Elsewhere</strong></p><ul><li><a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/06/world/europe/putin-pulls-off-his-latest-feat-flying-with-migratory-birds.html?hp">Vladimir Putin or rugged outdoorsman beer spokesman</a>? You be the judge.</li><li><a href="http://www.latimes.com/news/science/la-sci-nfl-concussions-death-20120906,0,842879.story">According to a new study</a>, former NFL players are at a much higher risk of permanent brain diseases than non-players.</li><li>Things are getting interesting between China, Taiwan and Japan, <a href="http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20120906a1.html">all over ownership of an</a> island that is totally not the island from <em>Lost.&nbsp;</em></li><li>Someone thought it <a href="http://movies.yahoo.com/video/ymovies-6393699/christmas-story-2-trailer-30507222.html">was a good idea to make a sequel</a> to <em>A Christmas Story</em> and it&rsquo;s mercifully going direct to DVD.</li><li>In 35 years, the Voyager space probe <a href="http://www.npr.org/2012/09/05/160609488/after-35-years-voyager-nears-edge-of-solar-system">has traveled <em>11 billion miles</em></a> and is close to the edge of the solar system where, I assume, thar be dragons.</li></ul><p><br /><strong>Looking ahead</strong></p><ul><li>Jury deliberations <a href="http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/09/05/jury-to-begin-deliberating-drew-petersons-fate/">are underway</a> at the Drew Peterson debacle trial.</li><li>Rev. Jesse Jackson <a href="http://www.myfoxchicago.com/story/19455795/high-school-seniors-speak-out-about-potential-teachers-strike">doesn&rsquo;t think</a> the teachers will strike while Rahm is <a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/boys-bus/emanuel-defends-trip-charlotte-while-teachers-strike-looms-102195">busy defending</a> his trip to the DNC. And the teachers? They <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/14955840-761/teachers-monday-strike-date-still-on.html">still say it&rsquo;s on</a>.</li><li>That local governments are <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/another-illinois-city-prohibits-teens-tanning-102193">having to step in and take a role</a> in preventing teens from frequenting tanning salons makes me look deep inside myself and wonder where we all went wrong as a society.</li><li>As if <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/31/health/chicago-hotel-legionnaires-disease/index.html">Legionnaire&rsquo;s Disease</a> wasn&rsquo;t a big enough worry, <a href="http://www.sacbee.com/2012/09/05/4787861/dupage-county-now-has-12-human.html">West Nile isn&rsquo;t going anywhere</a>, either.</li><li>Chicago Weather Wizard&trade; Tom Skilling says we&rsquo;re gonna get <a href="http://blog.chicagoweathercenter.com/2012/09/05/storms-wallop-chicago-area-overnight-more-threaten-wednesday-ahead-of-biggest-temp-pullback-in-four-weeks-by-the-weekend/">a cool-down</a> this weekend.</li></ul><p><br /><strong>Sports</strong></p><ul><li>Former Bears QB Jim McMahon <a href="http://www.csnchicago.com/football-chicago-bears/bears-talk/Sports-Illustrated-features-McMahon-real?blockID=768219&amp;feedID=10330">appears in the cover story</a> for <em>Sports Illustrated</em> next week talking about his head injuries sustained during his playing career.</li><li>The Bulls and coach Tom Thibodeau have <a href="http://espn.go.com/chicago/nba/story/_/id/8342029/source-chicago-bulls-tom-thibodeau-resume-contract-talks">resumed talks</a> to extend the coach&rsquo;s contract (as well they should).</li><li>University of Illinois junior Tatyana McFadden <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/breaking/chi-mcfadden-2for2-in-paralympics-20120905,0,5325635.story">is collecting gold</a> at the Paralympic Games in London.</li><li><a href="http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/09/05/usc-walk-on-loses-scholarship-to-make-room-for-linebacker-recently-released-from-jail/">Lane Kiffin proves</a> why he&rsquo;s one of the biggest jerks in college sports.</li><li>Sox Watch: Still one game up after <a href="http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2012_09_05_minmlb_chamlb_1&amp;mode=gameday&amp;c_id=cws">yesterday&rsquo;s</a> win. Panic level: 6.5 out of 10.<br />&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;</li></ul><p><strong>Finally </strong></p><p>The history of the world in just two minutes. [via <em><a href="http://www.thehighdefinite.com/2012/09/our-story-in-2-minutes/">The High Definite</a></em>]</p><p style="text-align: center; "><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="450" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/MrqqD_Tsy4Q" width="600"></iframe></p></p> Thu, 06 Sep 2012 09:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/marcus-gilmer/2012-09/chief-keefs-taunting-tweet-has-him-hot-water-102220