WBEZ | All Things Considered http://www.wbez.org/programs/all-things-considered Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en When Drug Treatment For Narcotic Addiction Never Ends http://www.wbez.org/programs/all-things-considered/2015-11-20/when-drug-treatment-narcotic-addiction-never-ends-113881 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/suboxone-1_custom-741a21ccdd0967bc6898f8cfe7d5b7a17187e37f-s1500-c85.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="res456793490" previewtitle="Addiction counselor John Fisher says prescriptions for medicines to help people wean themselves from opioid drugs are part of the appeal of the clinic he operates in Blountville, Tenn."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="Addiction counselor John Fisher says prescriptions for medicines to help people wean themselves from opioid drugs are part of the appeal of the clinic he operates in Blountville, Tenn." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/11/20/john-fisher-609e42419a5a87d6e65293b8240f7d12701ddba1-s1500-c85.jpeg" style="height: 465px; width: 620px;" title="Addiction counselor John Fisher says prescriptions for medicines to help people wean themselves from opioid drugs are part of the appeal of the clinic he operates in Blountville, Tenn. (Blake Farmer/NPR)" /></div><div><div><p>Opioids have a stranglehold on parts of the U.S. And where addictive pain medicines are the drug of choice, clinics for addiction treatment often follow.</p></div></div></div><p>Sometime these are doctor&#39;s offices where patients can get painkiller-replacement drugs, such as Subutex and Suboxone.</p><p>These medicines, brand-name forms of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMHT0000276/">buprenorphine</a>, can ease withdrawal symptoms and cravings for opiates. They can be prescribed in an office setting, unlike methadone. And the drugs, also mild narcotics, can block the pleasurable effects of opioids if people fall off the wagon and take them, which can help reduce relapses.</p><p>The drugs are intended to be used as stepping stones to getting clean.</p><p>&quot;I use the medication as fishing bait,&quot; says John Fisher, a self-taught counselor who runs Addiction Recovery Center of East Tennessee in rural Blountville, Tenn. The sign out front says the clinic specializes in &quot;addictionology.&quot;</p><p>&quot;We bring them in and try to taper them over time,&quot; Fisher says, adding that no one comes truly seeking treatment. They&#39;re looking for legal access to drugs. &quot;One-hundred percent of them are,&quot; he says. &quot;No one comes to sit in a group and hear the &#39;Kumbaya&#39; story. So that&#39;s fine.&quot;</p><p>Fisher&#39;s clinic has arrangements with two doctors who are able to prescribe buprenorphine to the patients. The treatment center isn&#39;t licensed like a typical outpatient rehab facility. The physicians in charge say they haven&#39;t seen the need.</p><p>The clinic, located in a Civil War-era cabin on a winding highway in northeast Tennessee, has roughly 120 patients. They&#39;re charged $500 for five weeks &mdash; cash only. The office doesn&#39;t accept insurance, citing the burdens of red tape and the fact that few patients have coverage anyway.</p><p>Clinic participants must attend weekly group meetings with Fisher, who is a recovered addict himself. He says two decades on drugs were all the training he needed to do this work.</p><p>Clients are told to get off any other illegal drugs, such as heroin or methamphetamine. The clients are tested for drug use during treatment and can be dismissed from the program if they regularly show signs of using something other than what they were prescribed.</p><p>Some patients stick around clinics for years. This one has just a handful of success stories in which addicts weaned themselves completely, says Dr. Mack Hicks, who writes many of the prescriptions.</p><p>The spotty results lead some to question how committed some of the clinics are to seeing people through to recovery.</p><p>&quot;You get this relationship built with them where they&#39;re just really legit drug dealers in a sense, in my eyes,&quot; says Heather Williams of Johnson City, Tenn. She has been clean for 11 months, after going through a cold-turkey program at a licensed drug-treatment facility. But she spent a year and a half and $300 a month at a clinic that wasn&#39;t licensed.</p><p>Ironically, buprenorphine itself can become a&nbsp;<a href="http://buprenorphine.samhsa.gov/faq.html#A31">drug of abuse</a>. And the medicine has street value. To pay for treatments, Williams says many people sell half their buprenorphine pills to get the money for the next doctor&#39;s visit.</p><div id="res456828000" previewtitle="Suboxone is an opioid-replacement drug that can reduce cravings and symptoms of withdrawal."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="Suboxone is an opioid-replacement drug that can reduce cravings and symptoms of withdrawal." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/11/20/suboxone-1_custom-741a21ccdd0967bc6898f8cfe7d5b7a17187e37f-s1500-c85.jpg" style="height: 412px; width: 620px;" title="Suboxone is an opioid-replacement drug that can reduce cravings and symptoms of withdrawal. (Brian Snyder/Reuters/Landov)" /></div><div><div><p>She&#39;s skeptical about the motives at some of the clinics. &quot;The relationship that I had with my doctor, it&#39;s just really a money racket for some of them,&quot; Williams says. &quot;I think somewhere they might have started out caring about your well-being and whether you&#39;re getting better or not. But he would go on vacation numerous times and show us pictures of him being in the Caribbean Islands, and I&#39;m sitting there thinking the whole time, &#39;I&#39;m helping fund this.&#39; &quot;</p></div></div></div><p>The local district attorney wants these kinds of operations reined in, but there&#39;s not much he can do without changing state law.</p><p>And the need for treatment is growing. &quot;If someone wanted to shut them all down &mdash; all the Suboxone clinics ... what do you think that would do in terms of all the people that are addicted? You know that&#39;s not going to cure the problem,&quot; Hicks says.</p><p>Hicks is a former pain pill user, too. He got clean in the mid-&#39;90s by going to an expensive inpatient treatment program that stepped him down off drugs in just a matter of days, though counseling continued for months.</p><p>Most people in this part of Appalachia can&#39;t afford to take that much time off from work and get that kind of care, though Hicks says that approach would be ideal.</p><p>&quot;They&#39;ve got to keep working some way,&quot; Hicks says. &quot;The only way to do that is by giving them a substitute like we do.&quot;</p><p>Drug-replacement therapy is a standard course of treatment for people hooked on opioids. But getting on&nbsp;<a href="http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/PostmarketDrugSafetyInformationforPatientsandProviders/ucm191520.htm">Subutex</a>&nbsp;or a similar drug isn&#39;t a silver bullet for pregnant women trying to minimize the drug dependency of their unborn child. In Tennessee, which has seen a spike in births of drug-dependent babies in recent years,&nbsp;<a href="https://tn.gov/assets/entities/health/attachments/Oct_2015_NAS_Monthly_Report.pdf">nearly three-quarters of all cases</a>&nbsp;this year involved a woman who had a legal prescription.</p><p>&quot;The babies withdraw just like an adult would,&quot; says Tiffany Hall of Jonesborough, who gave birth to drug-dependent twins this year.</p><p>Hall was a nurse who worked in the neonatal intensive care unit and took care of babies with&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMHT0024264/">neonatal abstinence syndrome</a>, the technical name for drug withdrawals. Hall knew better. But she had a drug problem herself. And the NICU is where her twins spent the first weeks of life this summer.</p><p>&quot;You stand there and you watch your own child go through something you&#39;re not willing or wanting to go through yourself, and you have to stand there and watch that, knowing that you did that to them,&quot; she says. &quot;It&#39;s awful.&quot;</p><p>Tennessee has a relatively new and controversial law that allows drug-using mothers to be prosecuted for giving birth to a drug-dependent child. But any mother who has a prescription for the drugs in her system is safe, no matter what kind of doctor prescribed the medication.</p><p>&quot;I ended up going to a Subutex clinic, and I thought I&#39;m OK now. I have a legal prescription. If the babies withdraw, it&#39;s all right because it&#39;s legal,&quot; Hall says. &quot;Still wasn&#39;t thinking about anybody but myself.&quot;</p><p>Hall got into a fully licensed program run by the nonprofit Families Free, which is focused on helping mothers kick their drug addiction. She&#39;s headed toward recovery and rebuilding her life, though she points out that there are less scrupulous clinics everywhere, including a stone&#39;s throw from the Families Free office in Johnson City.</p><p>But she accepts the temptation those clinics represent, since that&#39;s what every day will be like after treatment. &quot;I like having it there,&quot; Hall says. &quot;For me, it&#39;s accountability. Yes, it would be easy to go next door and come up with some kind of story to get whatever I may want, but I have to be able to hold myself accountable and say no. I&#39;m done with that. I don&#39;t want to do that anymore.&quot;</p><p><em>This is the third and <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/11/20/455924664/when-drug-treatment-for-narcotic-addiction-never-ends?ft=nprml&amp;f=455924664" target="_blank">final story in a series </a>that was produced by&nbsp;All Things Considered&nbsp;in collaboration with Nashville Public Radio reporter Blake Farmer.</em></p></p> Fri, 20 Nov 2015 16:12:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/all-things-considered/2015-11-20/when-drug-treatment-narcotic-addiction-never-ends-113881 The lessons learned from a scholar's incendiary tweets http://www.wbez.org/programs/all-things-considered/2015-10-13/lessons-learned-scholars-incendiary-tweets-113327 <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_793220529599.jpg" style="height: 360px; width: 540px;" title="In this Sept. 9, 2014, file photo, Steve Salaita, a professor who lost a job offer from the University of Illinois over dozens of profane, anti-Israel Twitter messages, speaks during a news conference in Champaign Ill. A federal judge ruled Thursday Aug. 6, 2015 that a lawsuit brought by Salaita, whose anti-Israel Twitter messages led the University of Illinois to withdraw a job offer, can continue. U.S. District Judge Harry D. Leinenweber dismissed four of Steven Salaita's accusations but decided that the bulk of his case could go on. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman, File)" /></p><p>A debate over academic freedom of speech was ignited in summer 2014 when the University of Illinois rescinded a job offer to a professor over a controversial set of tweets about the Israel-Gaza conflict. NPR&#39;s Kelly McEvers talks with the professor, Steven Salaita, about his experience.</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.npr.org/2015/10/12/448059178/the-lessons-learned-from-a-scholars-incendiary-tweets" target="_blank"><em>via NPR</em></a></p></p> Mon, 12 Oct 2015 17:19:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/all-things-considered/2015-10-13/lessons-learned-scholars-incendiary-tweets-113327 Superintendent Garry McCarthy discusses strategies to curb gun violence http://www.wbez.org/programs/all-things-considered/2015-10-09/superintendent-garry-mccarthy-discusses-strategies-curb <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Superintendent Garry McCarthy.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Earlier this week, members of the City Council&rsquo;s black caucus called for Superintendent Garry McCarthy to be fired. Murders in Chicago are up 20% compared to the same period last year. That&rsquo;s put additional pressure on McCarthy.</p><p>All Things Considered host Melba Lara spoke with the Superintendent from police headquarters and asked if pressure for an immediate fix ever gets in the way of long-term strategies.</p><hr /><p><span style="font-size:18px;"><strong>INTERVIEW HIGHLIGHTS</strong></span></p><p><strong>On what the public should do about gun violence</strong></p><p>I want to see a well-educated public that understands what&rsquo;s going on in this city and why it&rsquo;s going on. And I want the public to be as outraged about gun violence across the city of Chicago &ndash; not just the people in those neighborhoods that are suffering through it. And this concept of not in my backyard is just not good enough quite frankly and we&rsquo;ve been saying that the whole time also.</p><p>But until such time, as we get something done where people go to jail for possession of an illegal loaded firearm, they&rsquo;re incentivized to carry those guns. When the sanction from a gang is greater for losing the gun, than the sanction from the criminal justice system if we catch them with it, I mean the question is why don&rsquo;t you carry a gun?</p><p><strong>On whether or not immediate fixes to reduce the 20% increase in city&rsquo;s murder rate hinder long-term strategies</strong></p><p>I think that the problem is many people don&rsquo;t get the issue, and the political fix, many times, is not the medicine for the thing that ails us. It&rsquo;s like taking an Aspirin for a broken leg. There are ways to improve our performance that come from outside. For instance, we&rsquo;re looking at initiatives with City Hall about tree-trimming and lighting, and all of those things that we know contribute to crime&hellip;</p><p>But what needs to be fixed are the gun laws. It&rsquo;s that simple Melba, and I&rsquo;m not gonna let it go.</p><p><strong>On<a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-aldermen-demand-firing-police-superintendent-mccarthy-113191" target="_blank"> recent criticism</a> and communication between his department and City Council</strong></p><p>We&rsquo;ve set up a system here where you don&rsquo;t have to speak to the police superintendent to get something done. The district commanders should be acting as partners with the aldermen in the field to get things done. If as in the past, you have to call the police superintendent to get things done here, we have a totally dysfunctional method of addressing things &ndash; and that&rsquo;s why we changed it. I can&rsquo;t deal with 50 individuals on a daily basis. It&rsquo;s just impossible. And I have great relationships with most of the aldermen in this city. Some of them, unfortunately, I just don&rsquo;t get along with. You know maybe it&rsquo;s my fault, maybe it&rsquo;s not my fault. It takes two to tango as we all know and I do the best I can to accommodate everybody.</p><p><strong>On IPRA&rsquo;s recommended discipline for <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/ipra-fails-pursue-potential-crime-cops-caught-video-113018" target="_blank">police misconduct in salon raid video</a></strong></p><p>First of all, I think you need to watch the whole tape. She very clearly resisted arrest &hellip;and quite frankly the officer made a mistake.</p><p>The officer made a mistake and he&rsquo;s going to be punished for it.</p><p>If everybody lost their job every time someone said something stupid most of us would be out of business right now. Taking somebody&rsquo;s job is really, really serious. What&rsquo;s the cost of taking 25 vacation days from somebody? Means that you have to work 25 days for free, which is probably somewhere around eight- to ten-thousand dollars out of that officer&rsquo;s pocket. That&rsquo;s a pretty stiff penalty and you know, for language, um, it&rsquo;s probably appropriate in my mind.</p><p>The problem is they only recommended, and they actually negotiated a one-day suspension with the sergeant which in my book is unacceptable because the sergeant has more accountability than the detective. And if they did not take control of the situation, and if they allowed those behaviors to continue, he deserves a stiffer penalty. And the only penalty that I can give to him besides the one-day [suspension] that was negotiated with him is to move to fire him. It&rsquo;s not a good system quite frankly.</p></p> Thu, 08 Oct 2015 10:37:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/all-things-considered/2015-10-09/superintendent-garry-mccarthy-discusses-strategies-curb Sandra Cisneros crosses borders and boundaries in 'A House of My Own' http://www.wbez.org/programs/all-things-considered/2015-10-06/sandra-cisneros-crosses-borders-and-boundaries-house-my <p><p>For many students, Sandra Cisneros is required reading. She tells stories of working-class Latino life in America, particularly Chicago, where she grew up, and where she set her well-known book,&nbsp;<em>The House on Mango Street.</em></p><p>The meaning of home has been a central theme in Cisneros&#39; life and work. And in her new memoir,<em>&nbsp;A House of My Own</em>, she writes about leaving home, her parents&#39; house &mdash; without getting married, which was a shock to her father.</p><p>&quot;Unless you&#39;re exiled from your father&#39;s house for some transgression, you really are expected to live there,&quot; she tells NPR&#39;s Ari Shapiro. &quot;And if you don&#39;t marry, you&#39;re expected to stay there and take care of your parents. I&#39;m an only daughter in the middle of six brothers. And I think I did things that were rather shocking if I had been a man.&quot;</p><hr /><p><span style="font-size:20px;"><strong>Interview Highlights</strong></span></p><p><strong>On her father, an upholsterer</strong></p><p>My father was a craftsman, and I&#39;m a craftsperson, too. And I have the same standards of making things, putting them together and ripping the seams apart if they don&#39;t match. I think my father, as a&nbsp;tapiceros,&nbsp;an upholsterer, taught me a lot about mastering craft and taking the time to make something well if your name was going to be put on it. And, you know, I always admired that my father had this little business card that said &quot;Cisneros Upholstery: Custom Quality Furniture.&quot; And my dream was to have a card that said: &quot;Sandra Cisneros, Writer. Custom Quality Work.&quot; And I finally did it ... I showed it to my dad. And he was so &mdash; he looked like he was going to cry when he saw it.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/cisneroscover.jpg" style="float: right; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px; height: 414px; width: 280px;" title="Cover of 'A House of My Own.The much-loved author of The House on Mango Street presents a collection of true stories and nonfiction pieces, spanning nearly three decades, that, read together, paint an intimate portrait of a literary legend's life and career." /></p><p><strong>On her mother, whom she describes as a &quot;prisoner-of-war mother&quot;</strong></p><div id="con446352246" previewtitle="Related NPR Stories"><div id="res446352245">&nbsp;</div></div><p>She was an unhappy camper. My mom really wanted my life and didn&#39;t realize that she was opening the path for me to follow my dream. And then at the end of her life, I think she felt so unhappy that she had wasted her life, that she hadn&#39;t achieved what she had aspired to as a young person. And that dissatisfaction and that person that used to exist before she became a mother &mdash; you know, I understood her better at the end of her life. I could understand who she wanted to be and how we came into the picture and kind of thwarted her plans. She didn&#39;t realize what she&#39;d done. She could only see what she had not done.</p><p><strong>On writing about women&#39;s lives and stories</strong></p><p>You know, when I was a child, I always felt that I wanted to rescue my mom from the slights of her mother-in-law. She had a lot of pain that she opened up to me about as a little girl. And I always wanted to come to her rescue and, as I became a writer, to tell her story. But I felt always that my mother knew so little about her own mother and her own grandmother, and all of the women in the family just got erased, that I wanted to honor them as much as I could. Write about them, think about them, even though I didn&#39;t know their names, to somehow imagine their lives.</p><p><strong>On crossing borders and boundaries</strong></p><p>I guess I didn&#39;t realize I was gonna be crossing borders my whole life. Even in Chicago when I grew up &mdash; because I lived in the border zone between black and white communities. Usually in Chicago, it&#39;s so segregated, you have a brown corridor, to create a wall. And I didn&#39;t realize that growing up in Chicago, even then, I was living on the borderlands.</p><p>Maybe my job is to be an amphibian so that the water people and land people can understand each other. And I think, especially in this time, climate of fear, who better to travel between these two worlds than those of us who are mixed race, or&nbsp;<em>mestizos</em>.&nbsp;We&#39;re the diplomats, the ambassadors, so to speak, during the age of <em>susto&nbsp;</em>[fear].</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.npr.org/2015/10/06/446301433/sandra-cisneros-crosses-borders-and-boundaries-in-a-house-of-my-own" target="_blank"><em>via NPR</em></a></p></p> Tue, 06 Oct 2015 16:40:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/all-things-considered/2015-10-06/sandra-cisneros-crosses-borders-and-boundaries-house-my Progressive alderman blasts Emanuel property tax increase http://www.wbez.org/programs/all-things-considered/2015-09-03/progressive-alderman-blasts-emanuel-property-tax-increase <p><p>Mayor Rahm Emanuel is giving an early peek at his 2016 budget and it includes a hefty property tax hike - and other measures to raise revenue - mostly in the name of paying down the city&rsquo;s mounting pension debts. The City Council&rsquo;s Progressive Caucus put out a statement today blasting the mayor&#39;s 2016 budget plan, for squeezing Chicago&rsquo;s working class families. Alderman John Arena, a long-standing member of the Progressive Caucus joins Melba Lara to talk about this budget.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>(TRANSCRIPT)</p><div><div>MELBA LARA</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Alderman Arena, a property tax increase is not really a surprise for anyone who was paying attention during the race for mayor, but the scope of this seems unprecedented.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>ALDERMAN ARENA</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>It absolutely is and it&rsquo;s startling because the mayor was critical of his opposition about past property tax increases, so to take this step without looking at a broader picture on how we solve the budget crisis, and using the tax increase as a last and least effect on closing the gap seems just too quick.</div><div id="fb-root"><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.facebook.com/JohnArenaChicago/posts/990222041041471" target="_blank"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/caucus%20fb%20post.PNG" style="height: 560px; width: 540px;" title="A screenshot of 45th Ward Alderman, John Arena's official Facebook page is captured. The picture shows a post from the Arena, calling the public to action. (WBEZ)" /></a></div></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>MELBA LARA</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The Progressive Caucus has been saying today that the tax increase will disproportionately hurt working class families. What do you propose then to ease the burden on them?</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>ALDERMAN ARENA</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Well,&nbsp;we introduced some ideas to the mayor - a pretty wide-ranging mix of ideas. Some of them were as simple as imposing higher billboard fees. The billboard companies make huge profits on the advertising, and some of their fees are as low as $50-$200 and&nbsp;they&#39;re popping up all over the place. Those are the folks we should be going to first, instead of a pensioner who&rsquo;s going to see a reduction in benefits...as these challenges to the pension system go on; who have seen higher healthcare costs be imposed on them by the city and by the state; and then are going to be doubly hit because they&rsquo;re going to see a massive property tax increase. We&rsquo;re going to be forcing these folks into very difficult positions. Folks making less than $50,000 a year are going to be struggling to make ends meet.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>MELBA LARA</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>And Alderman Arena we&rsquo;re hearing a lot about of course the big property tax increase proposed, we&rsquo;ve heard about some fees going up...what about cuts?</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>ALDERMAN ARENA</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Well, that&rsquo;s&nbsp;a difficult&hellip;&nbsp;we&rsquo;ve been going through the budget and I know the mayor has done this and I will give him credit for finding ways to do that. But, what we see is it&rsquo;s becoming harder and harder to provide services in a timely manner. We look at things and keep saying &lsquo;oh we just have to keep cutting personnel&rsquo;, but at some point we get to the point where we&rsquo;re hitting bone - and I think we&rsquo;re pretty much there. This again has to be... a more nuanced approach than just a heavy hand of a straight property tax increase.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>MELBA LARA</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Alderman Arena, I did want to play this piece of tape from Mayor Rahm Emanuel who has said that these increases will be painful, but it will finally give the city a permanent fix for the nagging financial problems.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><blockquote><div><em>MAYOR RAHM EMANUEL (TAPE)</em></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><em>&ldquo;And by the time we&rsquo;re done, in the four years the structural deficit we inherited in 2011 will be eliminated. All the gimmicks and shenanigans that were built up in the system to mask what the real cost of our government was from&nbsp;&lsquo;scoop-and-toss&rsquo;,&nbsp;to raiding the rainy day fund, to borrowing from the future to pay for the present, to using one-time revenue sources - all those gimmicks will be out of the system, and we will have finally righted our financial ship.&rdquo;</em></div></blockquote><div>&nbsp;</div><div>MELBA LARA</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>That&rsquo;s Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and Alderman Arena, will this be a permanent fix?</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>ALDERMAN ARENA</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Well, whether it&rsquo;s a permanent fix still has to be determined. The idea of moving away from &lsquo;scoop-and-toss&rsquo; and policies that he continued from the previous administration without really having a plan for how&nbsp;we&#39;re&nbsp;going to recover those lost dollars except for going to a property tax increase, I call that bad planning.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>MELBA LARA</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>I know that some groups have suggested the city tap TIF [Tax Increment Financing] money. Is that an option that can be explored?</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>ALDERMAN ARENA</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Well,&nbsp;the mayor is codifying that we surplus 25%. I have...and my colleagues have called for a higher percent of TIF &#39;surplusing&#39;&nbsp;each year from the very beginning when I came into office; same time as the mayor. You know, I think 25% is meagerly, I think there&rsquo;s more money sitting there unused, we can move that up to 50% or 75% relatively quickly and help bring more money into the system. And again, we have to do this in an additive way. Find every single place that we can go to take money that&rsquo;s sitting idle and move it into our operating budget so that we make sure we have a property tax increase that&rsquo;s manageable and doesn&rsquo;t shut down our local neighborhood economies, because that&rsquo;s the biggest challenge I see here in the 45th Ward where we&rsquo;re starting to see some gains and new businesses opening, but if the seniors, if the local families here don&rsquo;t have discretionary money to get an ice cream cone, to get a meal out in the new businesses, we&rsquo;re going to start seeing closures again.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>MELBA LARA</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>upset Do you think you&rsquo;re going to be triggering an exodus from the City of Chicago?</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>ALDERMAN ARENA</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Well, I think Chicago is resilient and I think people have&nbsp;commitment&nbsp;to the city. We hear that a lot whenever we impose any kind of tax. I think Chicago is very diverse, I think it has a great economy. We have to be careful how we move that economy. Yeah, it&rsquo;s going to force some people to make hard choices. I think we&rsquo;re going to weather through this, and I think with the work the caucus is doing in bringing ideas to the table that are more equitable than just this sort of straight line tax, I think we can figure out a way by the time we get to a budget that we see as a final budget that gets voted on that it&lsquo;s not just this straight line tax.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>MELBA LARA</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Alderman Arena, you have proposed in the past a city income tax. Do you think that&rsquo;s workable?</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>ALDERMAN ARENA</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Yeah, we got some numbers back from the budget office when we presented this to them, and by their numbers, if you exempted the first 50,000 of income of all employees, a half a percent on income would bring in $190 million. And what&rsquo;s key about that is one, it protects the lower income brackets from exposure to this, and secondly, it&rsquo;s going to impose a tax on those&nbsp;commuters&nbsp;that come into the city, earn their salaries here, use our infrastructure and go back home. So it&rsquo;s a more diverse tax, it loops in a wider net if you will, and it protects that lower income bracket which is very important to the Progressive Caucus.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>MELBA LARA</div><div>Alderman John Arena of the Chicago City Council, thanks for talking with us today.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div></div><p>&mdash; <em><a href="https://soundcloud.com/wbez/progressive-alderman-blasts-emanuel-property-tax-increase" target="_blank">All Things Considered</a></em></p></p> Thu, 03 Sep 2015 17:54:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/all-things-considered/2015-09-03/progressive-alderman-blasts-emanuel-property-tax-increase 10 years later, Chicago Red Cross worker remembers Katrina efforts here http://www.wbez.org/programs/all-things-considered/2015-08-28/10-years-later-chicago-red-cross-worker-remembers-katrina <p><p>This weekend it will be 10 years since Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans. The Category 5 hurricane killed more than 1800 people and displaced hundreds of thousands.</p><p>Yvette Alexander-Maxie is Manager of External Relations for the American Red Cross of Chicago &amp; Northern Illinois. She was part of the team 10 years ago that played a big role in finding shelter for displaced Katrina residents. She joins host, Melba Lara.</p></p> Fri, 28 Aug 2015 17:28:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/all-things-considered/2015-08-28/10-years-later-chicago-red-cross-worker-remembers-katrina After two-year absence, father returns to son with an apology http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/after-two-year-absence-father-returns-son-apology-109400 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Frank and Jack.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>In 2009, Frank Tempone lost himself for a while.</p><p>At the time, he was living in Massachusetts with his wife and three sons. Miserable at work and uncertain about his marriage, he decided he needed to leave both for a time, and he accepted a job in Chicago.</p><p>His wife and his son Jack dropped him off and returned home without him. Although Frank would make occasional visits to his family, he was mostly separated from them for the next two years.</p><p>Frank visited the Chicago StoryCorps booth with Jack to talk about this difficult time.</p><p><strong>Frank</strong>: Do you remember when I left, do you remember how you felt? We were in the U-Haul truck.</p><p><strong>Jack</strong>: Yes. I remember when we were driving to Chicago, I saw the big buildings, and I said, &ldquo;Is this where you&rsquo;re going to live?&rdquo; And you said, &ldquo;Yes.&rdquo; When we had to leave, I started crying because I didn&rsquo;t want to leave, I didn&rsquo;t want to see you go.</p><p><strong>Frank</strong>: ... Is there anything you want to ask me about that time?</p><p><strong>Jack</strong>: How were you feeling once we left?</p><p><strong>Frank</strong>: I just felt lost. I felt lost for two years. And I knew I was hurting you, but I felt like I had to get myself straightened out first before I could be your dad again.</p><p><em>To hear the rest of Frank and Jack&rsquo;s story, and how Frank found his family again, click on the audio above.</em></p><p><em>Katie Mingle is a producer for WBEZ and the Third Coast Festival.</em></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="450" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Fplaylists%2F6250422" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 20 Dec 2013 08:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/after-two-year-absence-father-returns-son-apology-109400 Sisters struggle to reconcile feminist beliefs with Mormon faith http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/sisters-struggle-reconcile-feminist-beliefs-mormon-faith-109355 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/RS7417_chi000411_g1-scr_0.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago sisters Shannon and Didi Mehner describe themselves as Mormon feminists.</p><p>In Mormonism, women cannot hold the priesthood or assume certain leadership roles in the church. The Chicago sisters are troubled by this, and say they&rsquo;re fighting to change it ... within their church.</p><p>They visited the Chicago StoryCorps booth to talk about the challenges of reconciling feminism and faith.</p><p><strong>Shannon</strong>: I think I always knew I was feminist. I always kept my feminism kind of separate from my identity as a member of the Mormon church. And so I think when I got married is when it all came crashing together. I obviously love Nick, and I&rsquo;m really glad I got married, but a lot of your identity starts to feel like it sinks into your husband&rsquo;s identity.</p><p>Shannon decided to keep her maiden name, rather than to take her husband&#39;s.</p><p><strong>Didi</strong>: Shannon and I grew up with a dad who kind of always told us we could do whatever we wanted.</p><p><strong>Shannon</strong>: He is also extremely conservative, so when he gets mad about us being feminists, I always tell him that he created us, and made us this way.</p><p><em>To hear how Shannon plans to raise a &ldquo;raging feminist boy,&rdquo; and how she won a victory that both sisters say is a big deal in the Mormon church, click on the audio above.</em></p><p><em>Katie Mingle is a producer for WBEZ and the Third Coast Festival.</em></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="450" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Fplaylists%2F6250422" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 13 Dec 2013 08:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/sisters-struggle-reconcile-feminist-beliefs-mormon-faith-109355 Chicagoan shaped and scarred by her childhood as an orphan http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/chicagoan-shaped-and-scarred-her-childhood-orphan-109267 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Gina and Rosa again.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>When Rosa Salinaz was just three years old, her mother died in childbirth. Rosa&rsquo;s father, an immigrant stockyard worker, tried hiring babysitters, but taking care of the children proved too difficult.</p><p>All four siblings went to live in an orphanage where they had little interaction with each other. Rosa visited the Chicago StoryCorps booth where she was interviewed by her daughter, Gina Salinaz-Yacoub, about her experience as an orphan.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Gina</strong>: So what was life like in the orphanage?</p><p><strong>Rosa</strong>: &hellip; The first thing you noticed was the smell. It smelled like disinfectant. You got up around 6:30, and then we had mass around 7:00 &hellip; had&nbsp; breakfast, then you had your chores, then you went to school, had supper at 6:00, had study hour at 7:00, and then we were in bed by 9:00.</p><p><strong>Gina</strong>: So it was pretty regimented?</p><p><strong>Rosa</strong>: Yeah.</p><p>Rosa explained that they were taken care of in the orphanage by Benedictine nuns, some of whom were nice, and some of whom were not.</p><p><strong>Rosa</strong>: ... (crying) There&rsquo;s always one or two that could make it like hell.</p><p>To hear more about Rosa&rsquo;s experience in the orphanage, including her treasured visits with her father, and her thoughts on how the experience shaped her, click on the audio above.</p><p><em>Katie Mingle is a producer for WBEZ and the Third Coast Festival.</em><br />&nbsp;</p><iframe frameborder="no" height="450" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Fplaylists%2F6250422" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 29 Nov 2013 05:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/chicagoan-shaped-and-scarred-her-childhood-orphan-109267 Big sister shares tips on how to survive the loneliness of high school http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/big-sister-shares-tips-how-survive-loneliness-high-school-109219 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Lucy and Jennifer.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>When Lucy Zhuo left for college this fall, her little sister, Jennifer, didn&rsquo;t realize how much she would miss her. The two visited the Chicago StoryCorps&rsquo; booth recently to catch up.</p><p><strong>Jennifer</strong>: Honestly, it&rsquo;s been really lonely, since you&rsquo;re, like, my only sister ...</p><p>Jennifer said having her sister away at college was especially hard now because she&rsquo;s a sophomore this year, and is taking several junior classes. The other students are older than her, so she doesn&rsquo;t know them. She said the tendency of students to gossip limits what she shares with her friends.</p><p><strong>Lucy</strong>:.. I learned going into college how important it is not to get so sucked up into your work especially since your family&rsquo;s not around. You rely on your friends in college. You need to find those friends. You can&rsquo;t isolate yourself.</p><p><em>To hear the rest of Lucy&rsquo;s advice to Jennifer about how to survive (and even enjoy!) high school, click on the audio above.</em></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="450" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Fplaylists%2F6250422" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 22 Nov 2013 08:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/big-sister-shares-tips-how-survive-loneliness-high-school-109219