WBEZ | Wrigley Field Chicago cubs http://www.wbez.org/tags/wrigley-field-chicago-cubs Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en With fracking bill on Quinn's desk, environmental groups hold out hope for revisions http://www.wbez.org/blogs/chris-bentley/2013-06/fracking-bill-quinns-desk-environmental-groups-hold-out-hope-revisions <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/fracking-wrigley.jpg" title="Outside Wrigley Field, members of The Illinois Coalition for a Moratorium on Fracking protest a regulatory bill that recently passed the state legislature. (WBEZ/Chris Bentley)" /></div><p>Amid a warbling Lowery organ rendition of &ldquo;Build Me Up Buttercup&rdquo; blasting from pre-game Wrigley Field, environmental groups gathered outside Wrigley View Rooftop to make their voices heard on pending <a href="http://www.wbez.org/tags/fracking" target="_blank">fracking</a> regulations.</p><p>The targets of their signs and chants were state governors in town for the Democratic Governors Association, meeting this week in Chicago. In addition to Gov. Pat Quinn, whose signature is expected soon on <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/bill-passage-illinois-fast-track-fracking-107488" target="_blank">a regulatory bill passed recently by the state legislature</a>, protestors watched for Maryland Gov. Martin O&rsquo;Malley and California Gov. Jerry Brown &mdash; two leaders similarly <a href="http://fuelfix.com/blog/2013/06/08/fracking-foes-push-california-governor-for-ban/" target="_blank">mulling over</a> whether to permit the controversial process for natural gas and oil extraction in their states.</p><p>While Quinn greeted news of the bill&rsquo;s passage by promising his signature, protestors pointed out the governor could veto certain provisions in the massive regulatory bill, sending it back to the General Assembly, even if he does not block its passage into law. Some environmental groups are still holding out hope for an outright ban on fracking in Illinois. <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/chris-bentley/2013-03/madigan-mell-push-two-year-ban-fracking-106109" target="_blank">Politicians previously floated bills calling for a two-year moratorium on fracking in both the house and senate</a>.</p><p>The groups, who are organized under The Illinois Coalition for a Moratorium on Fracking, cite relatively lax standards regarding setbacks, or how far from certain areas drillers are allowed to dig wells. Setbacks from rivers and lakes are only 300 feet in the regulatory bill, while environmental groups <a href="https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&amp;rct=j&amp;q=&amp;esrc=s&amp;source=web&amp;cd=2&amp;ved=0CDYQFjAB&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.dontfractureillinois.net%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2013%2F05%2FLobby-Day-Prof-bill-Rau-breaks-the-regulatory-bill-down-May21st.odt&amp;ei=RcO4UZ6sMcO9yQG2loGgCw&amp;usg=AFQjCNECR6_Hh092OBfhq16slDgUjXRBiA&amp;sig2=UqA_0xRoAbe6MgQIaanCsA&amp;bvm=bv.47810305,d.aWc" target="_blank">have called for a buffer zone 11 times wider</a>. They also challenge statements that fracking will bring significant revenue and jobs to Illinois, pointing out that <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-04-19/news/ct-biz-0331-fracking-state--20130331_1_severance-tax-tax-rate-tax-holiday" target="_blank">tax rates are low compared to other states and a relatively small portion of taxes collected go to drilling counties</a>.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/cubs-sign.jpg" style="height: 203px; width: 305px; float: left;" title="(WBEZ/Chris Bentley)" />&ldquo;There are serious holes in this bill,&rdquo; said Lora Chamberlain, a member of the moratorium coalition.</p><p>In the bill&rsquo;s year-long march towards becoming law, major environmental groups including the Sierra Club and Natural Resources Defense Council were given unusual access to a process typically maligned for ignoring such advocacy and consumer groups. Supporters of the bill say scrupulous collaboration with green groups resulted in the nation&rsquo;s toughest regulatory bill. Many of those groups support a moratorium publicly, but offered their guidance during the drafting of the bill rather than be shut out.</p><p>With Quinn on record&nbsp;&ldquo;look[ing] forward to signing the legislation,&rdquo; the groups looking for revisions or an outright ban have an uphill fight. Still, Chamberlain said, it&rsquo;s worth trying.</p><p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;re doing everything we can,&rdquo; she said.</p><p>As the assembled governors watched the Cincinnati Reds wallop the Cubs Tuesday, activists with <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/risingtide_chi/9022932362/sizes/z/in/photostream/" target="_blank">Rising Tide Chicago unfurled a banner in Wrigley</a> that read &ldquo;Don&rsquo;t Frack [Illinois].&rdquo;</p><div class="image-insert-image "><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/risingtide_chi/9022932362/sizes/z/in/photostream/" target="_blank"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/rising%20tide%20chicago.jpg" style="height: 450px; width: 610px;" title="(Rising Tide Chicago)" /></a></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><em>Chris Bentley writes about the environment. Follow him on Twitter at <a href="http://twitter.com/Cementley" target="_blank">@Cementley</a>.</em></div></p> Wed, 12 Jun 2013 14:43:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/chris-bentley/2013-06/fracking-bill-quinns-desk-environmental-groups-hold-out-hope-revisions Bleacher bums arrested in 1920 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/john-r-schmidt/2013-05/bleacher-bums-arrested-1920-107259 <p><p>On May 24, 1920 the Chicago police staged their biggest gambling raid in years. Forty-seven people were arrested at a single location&mdash;the bleachers at Cubs&rsquo; Park.</p><p>Club officials had been aware of the problem for some time.&nbsp;The gamblers had staked out their own section of the stands.&nbsp;Anybody in the park who wanted to place a bet knew exactly where to find the action.</p><div class="image-insert-image ">So undercover cops infiltrated the open-air casino.&nbsp;They wore various disguises&ndash;&quot;teamsters, sailors, soldiers, ice wagon drivers, sewing machine agents, bootblacks, farmers,&quot; the <em>Tribune </em>reported.&nbsp;They ate peanuts and drank pop like ordinary fans.&nbsp;They watched the gamblers operate.</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/05-24--image.jpg" title=" 'Five bucks says the runner on first doesn't score!' (Library of Congress)" /></div></div></div><p>The Cubs were playing the Phillies. Once the gamblers knew who was pitching, they could calculate the odds and accept wagers on the outcome of the game.</p><p>When play got underway, the action in the bleachers was even more intense.&nbsp;Now there was betting on each pitch.</p><p>&quot;Ten cents says he swings!&quot;</p><p>&quot;A dollar the pitcher changes his windup on the next one!&quot;</p><p>&quot;Two bits they send in a pinch-hitter the next time around!&quot;</p><p>&quot;Who wants ten dollars on the runner?&nbsp;Ten dollars says he streaks down to second!&quot;</p><p>At the end of the first inning, the undercover cops all stood up.&nbsp;In one voice, they announced: &quot;You&rsquo;re all under arrest!&quot;</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/05-24--LofC.jpg" title="'Okay--double or nothing the next guy doesn't score!' (Library of Congress)" /></div><p>The gamblers went meekly.&nbsp;One of them tried the sympathy angle. &quot;Do you want to break up a home?&quot; he pleaded to the nearest officer. &quot;My wife will get a divorce if she finds out about this.&quot;</p><p>The cop was unmoved. &quot;Six bits says she finds out,&quot; was his answer.</p><p>At the Town Hall Station, the 47 gamblers were charged.&nbsp;They were each released on $25 bond. Four of them didn&rsquo;t have enough money.&nbsp;They&rsquo;d have to spend the night in jail, and probably lose their night-shift jobs.</p><p>Then one of the other accused men stepped forward and posted bond for the four.&nbsp;He didn&rsquo;t know any of them, but that made no difference. &quot;I have faith in human nature,&quot; the Good Samaritan said. &quot;I&rsquo;m betting they show up in court.&quot;</p><p>What happened next?&nbsp;The papers lost interest in the story, and nothing more was reported.&nbsp;The final decisions are buried somewhere in a set of musty court files.</p><p>Cubs&rsquo; Park is now called Wrigley Field.&nbsp;Is there still gambling in the bleachers?</p><p>Wanna make a bet on it?</p></p> Fri, 24 May 2013 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/john-r-schmidt/2013-05/bleacher-bums-arrested-1920-107259