WBEZ | Governor Quinn http://www.wbez.org/tags/governor-quinn Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Illinois Senate passes ride sharing rules http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-senate-passes-ride-sharing-rules-110191 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/1Lyft (AP Photo - Jeff Chiu).jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Illinois senators have passed rules for the new, growing industry of &ldquo;ride sharing&rdquo; services, and they appear to be the strictest statewide regulations in the country so far. The package of regulations are contained in a <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-house-moves-rein-ridesharing-110011">House bill</a> and a trailer amendment bill, the latter of which will have to go back to the House before both arrive on Gov. Pat Quinn&rsquo;s desk for signing. The rules were largely championed by a coalition of Chicago cab companies, who claim their business has suffered as a result of the proliferation of ride sharing activity.</p><p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;re not trying to stop technology, and everyone that uses it,&rdquo; said Sen. Tony Munoz (D-Chicago), sponsor of HB4075 and its amendment trailer bill HB5331. &ldquo;The only thing we want to do is make it safer, regulate it fairly for everyone in the industry.&rdquo;</p><p>The rules would apply most immediately to services UberX, Lyft and Sidecar, which facilitate ride sharing primarily in the City of Chicago. The three California-based companies provide smartphone app technologies that allow people to use their personal vehicles for hire, much like taxis. So far, they have operated illegally, but a groundswell of consumer support and a fear of alienating technology companies has prompted local and state governments to consider ways to bring them into a regulatory framework.</p><p>Under the bills, commercial ride sharing companies would be required to carry primary commercial liability insurance equal to taxis, with a combined single limit per accident of $350,000. More critically, it eliminates <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/state-legislators-probe-rideshare-insurance-109857">concerns raised by several insurance associations in the state</a> over when that insurance policy would apply. Under the rules, the policies would be effective from the moment a ride share driver logs into the app to accept rides, until logging off. Previously, companies disputed whether their insurance policies should apply, or should apply at such a high level, during times that a driver may be logged onto their app, but not yet en route to or conducting a fare.</p><p>All ride share drivers would also have to carry distinctive registration plates and stickers on their vehicles.</p><p>More frequent drivers would be subject to additional rules, similar to taxi drivers. Those who offer ride sharing services more than 36 hours every two weeks, on average, would have to get public chauffeurs&nbsp; licenses, subjecting them to the same criminal background checks and drug testing as taxi drivers. The rules would allow a four-week grace period, during which these drivers may still offer ride shares while an application for a public chauffeur&rsquo;s license is pending.</p><p>Chicago drivers who average at least 36 hours every two weeks would also have to comply with the city&rsquo;s rules for taxis regarding the age of their vehicles. Currently, this means their cars could be no more than four years old, in most cases. These cars would also be subject to government safety inspections.</p><p>Despite fierce rivalry among ride share companies, they were united in their opposition to the Senate legislation.</p><p>&ldquo;The bill will prohibit insured and background-checked Lyft drivers with cars more than four years old, immediately eliminating 70% of Chicago&#39;s Lyft drivers,&rdquo; read an e-mail from Lyft. &ldquo;This will disproportionately affect low income drivers in the Lyft community who have come to rely on ridesharing as an important way to earn extra money to make ends meet.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;Today&rsquo;s vote in the senate will hurt consumers and limit transportation options across the state,&rdquo; wrote Uber Midwest Regional Director Andrew MacDonald, in an e-mailed statement. Uber is the company behind UberX, the ride sharing platform.&nbsp; &ldquo;We will continue to work with state and city officials to ensure uberX has a permanent home in Illinois for consumers to benefit from competition and much needed transportation options,&rdquo; he continued.</p><p>&ldquo;I think it regulates too far, and I think it sends a message that innovation will be kneecapped in Illinois if you compete against a powerful monopoly,&rdquo; said Sen. Matt Murphy (R-Palatine), during the debate preceding the floor vote. &ldquo;That&rsquo;s not the kind of message we want to send right now.&rdquo;</p><p>The Senate rules still allow local municipalities authority to regulate fare structures for ride sharing services. In Chicago, aldermen are <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/city-moves-regulate-rideshare-companies-109639">considering an ordinance</a> that gives the city authority to cap so-called &ldquo;surge pricing&rdquo; among some of the ride sharing services. The concept allows them to charge passengers more than the usual amount during times of peak demand.</p><p><em>Odette Yousef is WBEZ&rsquo;s North Side Bureau reporter. Follow her <a href="https://twitter.com/oyousef">@oyousef</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/WBEZoutloud">@WBEZoutloud</a>.</em></p></p> Fri, 16 May 2014 07:58:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-senate-passes-ride-sharing-rules-110191 Quinn gives local typhoon volunteers a lift http://www.wbez.org/news/quinn-gives-local-typhoon-volunteers-lift-109170 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Typhoon%20relief.JPG" style="height: 300px; width: 400px; float: left;" title="Governor Pat Quinn commended volunteers at the Rizal Center in Chicago for their efforts to send relief supplies to people displaced by Typhoon Haiyan. He said the Illinois Air National Guard has a plane ready to transport the goods, pending federal clearance. (Odette Yousef/WBEZ)" />Governor Pat Quinn delivered welcome news to a weary crowd of volunteers Friday during a visit to the Jose P. Rizal Heritage Center on Chicago&rsquo;s North Side. They have been working around the clock to collect and send relief supplies to the Philippines, ever since Typhoon Haiyan devastated part of that country over the weekend. Until now, volunteers had no way to transport those supplies overseas, but today Gov. Quinn offered a possible solution.</p><p>&ldquo;Our Air National Guard is headquartered in Peoria, Illinois, and we have a C-130 plane that&rsquo;s available to help deliver goods to the Philippines,&rdquo; Quinn told volunteers, &ldquo;but we must receive permission from the United States Department of Defense before we can commission that plane.&rdquo;</p><p>Quinn said his office has asked the Department of Defense for clearance, but had not yet heard back.</p><p>Still, the hope of state aid prompted tears of relief and cheers among the scores of volunteers, some of whom have been working 16-hour days in an ad-hoc operation that has been largely improvised.</p><p>&ldquo;I didn&rsquo;t sleep, because this is what I was wishing for, and I hope I&rsquo;m not dreaming,&rdquo; said Apple Umali, a coordinator of the efforts at the Rizal Center.</p><p>Umali said they have received roughly 200,000 pounds of donated canned food, medicine, and clothing, but the effort hit a snag when a military contractor that had promised to deliver some of the goods fell through. Without a way to get the supplies overseas, she and other organizers have said they are not accepting any more donations until further notice.</p><p>Still, the donations keep coming.</p><p>At one point, three black cars pulled up to the curb and dropped off several cases of Gatorade, courtesy of the Chicago Cubs.</p><p>&ldquo;We had no idea that this would turn out to be like this,&rdquo; said Michael Cruz, a tattoo artist who has volunteered every day this week. &ldquo;I put my home address when we began&hellip; as a drop-off place&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;I came home (to) a yard full of boxes.&rdquo;</p><p>Since then, sealed boxes have piled up in the Rizal Center parking lot, some stacks as high as 10 feet. Cruz said he and other volunteers have been getting by on just 4 hours of sleep a night. On Friday morning, someone brought in a few boxes of doughnuts to sustain them.</p><p>Outside, volunteers filled a shipping container with boxes of clothes, bound for a cargo ship that would arrive in the Philippines in 1-2 months. A truck was pulled into the parking lot, to be filled with immediate emergency supplies like food and medicine. Volunteers are hopeful that they will find a plane willing to carry the load to the Philippines much sooner.</p><p>Despite their exhaustion, Governor Quinn&rsquo;s visit sent a wave of new energy through the ranks of volunteers. Immediately, they turned to the matter of nudging federal officials toward securing permission to use the plane to carry supplies to Manila.</p><p>&ldquo;Start faxing, start e-mailing, start calling your local Senator, our two Senators, and our House of Representatives,&rdquo; urged volunteer James Villar. &ldquo;We need their help.&rdquo;</p><p><em>Odette Yousef is WBEZ&rsquo;s North Side Bureau reporter. Follow her <a href="https://twitter.com/oyousef">@oyousef</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/WBEZoutloud">@WBEZoutloud</a>.</em></p></p> Fri, 15 Nov 2013 17:25:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/quinn-gives-local-typhoon-volunteers-lift-109170 Gov. Quinn moving inmates into gyms at six prisons http://www.wbez.org/news/gov-quinn-moving-inmates-gyms-six-prisons-105547 <p><p>The Illinois Department of Corrections has told the union for prison workers that they plan to start housing men in the gymnasiums at six already overcrowded prisons.</p><p>The move comes as Gov. Pat Quinn plans to close Dwight Correctional Facility, requiring inmates to be shuffled around the prison system.</p><p>But the system is already overcrowded. There are 49,000 people being housed in facilities built for 33,000.</p><p>Anders Lindall is with the union representing prison workers. The union opposes closing Dwight and opposes housing inmates in gyms.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s not only unsafe in and of itself but it heightens tensions in the prisons that due to the crowding are already volatile,&rdquo; Lindall said.</p><p>&ldquo;Right now what we&rsquo;re doing is putting the cart way before the horse,&rdquo; said John Maki, the executive director of The John Howard Association, a prison watchdog group in Illinois.</p><p>Maki says in general his group favors closing prisons because in the past prisons have been overused to house those with mental illness and drug addiction. But Maki says you can&rsquo;t simply squeeze more people into less space.</p><p>&ldquo;Without a plan to safely and significantly reduce the prison population, I don&rsquo;t see how this can be a temporary fix.&nbsp; I think this will become the new status quo, which is dangerous for inmates but also for staff,&rdquo; Maki said.</p><p>In a written statement the Department of Corrections insists that housing men in gyms will be a temporary situation, though they don&rsquo;t outline any plan to relieve the already historic overcrowding that will be made worse by the prison closure.</p><p>For the last eight months WBEZ has had a standing request to interview Gov.Quinn about his prison policy. He has refused.</p></p> Fri, 15 Feb 2013 05:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/gov-quinn-moving-inmates-gyms-six-prisons-105547 School officials decry Quinn's pension-shifting plan http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-04/school-officials-decry-quinns-pension-shifting-plan-98654 <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/school%20hallway%20Mark%20Sardella.jpg" title="(Flickr/Mark Sardella)">Approximately $44 billion of Illinois’s underfunded budget is attributed to pensions owed to the Teacher’s Retirement System, according to the <em><a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-04-27/news/ct-oped-0427-zorn-20120427_1_teacher-pension-pension-costs-trs">Chicago Tribune</a></em>. Retired teachers earn 75 percent of their annual salary in pensions, with a 3 percent increase in benefits every year. &nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">That’s a pretty nice deal, if you're a retired teacher. As the state becomes increasingly unable to support that rate, however, there has been heightened disagreement over who should pay for it in the future.</div><p>Gov. Quinn -- and the majority of his pension reform panel --&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/economy/quinn-makes-pension-reform-push-98446">believes </a>that it should be the school districts. The districts, they argue, negotiate salaries and contracts, and should therefore have the responsibility of paying for them. The system already works this way in Chicago, and Quinn says the transition to this system throughout the rest of the state would be gradual.<br><br>School officials see things differently. They argue that shifting the burden doesn’t solve the pension problem from a systemic standpoint at all, and <a href="http://lemont.patch.com/articles/lemont-school-officials-speak-out-against-proposed-shift-in-pension-payments">call</a> Quinn’s plan an “unfunded mandate.” Since decisions about pension law are made at the state level, they argue, TRS pensions should be funded by the state. Estimates for what the cost to individual districts could be range from $750,000 to $18 million a year depending on size. School districts across the board, already running on lean budgets, say that property tax hikes and teacher layoffs would basically be guaranteed if pensions were their responsibility.<br><br>Other measures, like raising the retirement age to 67, would make the transition easier on the schools. State Sen. Mike Noland, who sits on the governor’s pension reform panel, said a 3 percent increase in input by teachers was also being considered. He believes that a serious analysis by the state of what the cost of the transition would be is the next step towards essential tax reform in Illinois.</p><p>Meanwhile, on Thursday evening in Naperville, TRS Executive Director Dick Ingram gave a presentation on the potential shift, and said that while raising the retirement age and increasing input are solid ideas, the governor has backed off the idea of having schools cover pension costs somewhat. “There's a lot of conversations that still need to take place,” said Ingram, according to the <a href="http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20120426/news/120429880/">Daily Herald</a>, “This is nowhere close to being a done deal right now. We're going to be sorting it out over the next six weeks, or perhaps longer.”<br><br>Monday on <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em>&nbsp;WBEZ's Michael Puente will give us the latest on how this issue is developing. For many school officials, it’s the <a href="http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20120419/news/704199955/">uncertainty </a>that is a problem, especially as they have to think about passing their own budgets in the future. Puente will sit down with School District 158 Superintendent John Burkey, whose board of education recently passed a resolution opposing the potential transfer.<br><br>“We’ve taken a lot of hits,” says Burkey of his district, where faculty has been on a 2-year pay freeze, and in which the average salary in considerably lower than elsewhere in the state. “There is nothing left to cut other than programs and teachers.” Even if given the power to levy a property tax hike to cover the pensions costs--which are estimated to be around $2.75 million per year in District 158-- Burkey says the taxpayers wouldn’t stand for it.<br><br>State Sen. Heather Steans will also drop by <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> to talk about the governor’s plans for pension reform. Steans, who has sponsored some minor pension reform bills in the Senate, will share her perspective from inside the negotiations.<br>&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 30 Apr 2012 10:24:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-04/school-officials-decry-quinns-pension-shifting-plan-98654 Rahm should get statue in Springfield...or Heavy D dies, rayon shirts half off at Chess King http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/2011-11-09/rahm-should-get-statue-springfieldor-heavy-d-dies-rayon-shirts-half- <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-November/2011-11-09/Heavy D &amp; The Boyz - Big Tyme - Front.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Mayor Emanuel has <a href="http://www.chicagonewscoop.org/emanuel-maintains-full-springfield-wish-list/">three big things he wants from Springfield</a>. 1) Casinos. 2) Speeding cameras and 3) a huge statue of him sitting on top of the statue of Abraham Lincoln. Okay, maybe not a huge statue, maybe the third was keeping the Mercantile Exchange in Chicago. I can't remember.&nbsp;</p><p>Anyway, he's pretty much locked up the speeding cameras and Quinn has compromised and says he would allow a casino in Chicago if they took slots at horse tracks off the table. Because, yeah, that's relevant. Does anyone go to the track anymore? If so, do you wear a fidora and smoke a cigar like a Grandpa?</p><p>We know that speeding cameras are looking like a done deal, even if some house members posture. And now the word is that the CME is putting the ultimatum on the table to the state of Illinois, essentially asking for their taxes to be cut in half or they are walking. And the state might give it to them. Wow, I wonder how that will sit with Occupy Chicago? The CME (which owns the Board of Trade) get taxed about $160 million right now and they are asking for $80 million from here on out. That's a lot of millions, right?</p><p>So will Rahm get it all? Pay attention. If he goes 3-3, I wonder if he'll be asking for a contract extension soon. And just imagine a statue next to the fairgrounds:</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-09/statue.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 399px;" title=""></p><p><strong>B story:</strong> This <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-ap-cain-accuser-20111109,0,856407.story">Herman Cain story is troubling on several levels</a>. Either this guy is a serial sexual harasser or these women are making up stories to take down a presidential candidate. I will defer to you for judgement either way, but if the truth ever does come out, we will have quite a bombshell story on our hands.</p><p><strong>C story: </strong>Travel day! Who wants to go to NYC with me? <a href="http://www.fly.com/Deal/?Id=CHI110711&amp;utm_source=tzoo&amp;utm_medium=nf&amp;utm_campaign=CHI110711">Yesterday, flights dropped to $67 round trip</a>. Seriously, I might just fly to NYC for a staff meeting. Sound good web team? Now, it's weird days/hours and it is Spirit Airlines, but $67? You could go next time there is an <em>Interview Show</em>. I went with Mark Bazer last month to do his show at Union Hall in Brooklyn. Here's his <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/mark-bazer/2011-11-08/brian-darcy-james-talks-shrek-smash-sisters-and-other-things-not-beginnin">interview with Broadway star Brian D'Arcy James</a>.</p><p><strong>D story: </strong>There is a fake Jim DeRogatis online selling demo records. Reviewers get review CDs (you know, the CD with the little notch on the side) and a dude is selling them, acting like he is Jim DeRogatis. The<a href="http://www.avclub.com/chicago/articles/jim-derogatis-is-selling-a-lot-of-record-company-p,64822/"> AV Club has the story</a>. I asked Jim for comment on this breaking story:</p><blockquote><p>Jeez, talk about a slow news day. As noted, it ain't me. I only sell exclusive Ryan Adams recordings online. (That was a joke.)</p></blockquote><p>If you are unfamiliar with the context of that joke, please please please familiarize yourself with this Chicago classic (NSFW):</p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/yoTUXBbaFjE" width="500" frameborder="0" height="369"></iframe></p><p><strong>Weather:</strong> It's raining again. But it is clearing up, maybe.</p><p><strong>Sports:</strong> The <a href="http://eye-on-baseball.blogs.cbssports.com/mcc/blogs/entry/22297882/33193046">Kansas City Royals have shown interest in Carlos Zambrano</a>. Not "we'll take him and pay him all that money" but more of "if you want to continue paying him but not have him play in Chicago, we have interest in taking him off your hands." Hey, it's a start.&nbsp; <a href="http://espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/story/_/id/7208376/reports-chicago-white-sox-free-agent-mark-buehrle-meets-florida-marlins">Mark Buehrle is meeting with the Florida Marlins</a>. Uh-oh White Sox fans. That's not a courtesy. That's Ozzie getting a quality left-hand starter and sticking it to his former team. The Bears are still not getting respect in the media. <a href="http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/story/16035154/power-rankings-pats-defensive-woes-start-with-belichick">CBS Sports did their power rankings</a> and have the Bears at 14th overall with the Detroit Lions at 6th and the Atlanta Falcons at 8th. Whaa? Didn't we beat the Falcons? At least <a href="http://espn.go.com/nfl/powerrankings/_/year/2011/week/10">ESPN has it reversed</a>.</p><p>Did you know that several <a href="http://espn.go.com/espn/thelife/videogames/blog/_/name/thegamer">Bears players get together and play Call of Duty</a>? Forte is the best (go figure). Although, Kellen Davis has better kill shot percentages.</p><p><strong>Kicker:</strong> Heavy D up in the limousine...if the limousine was heaven. I heard WGCI belting out a Heavy D mix this morning in memory of the rapper, who died yesterday at the age of 44. Heavy D was a seminal crossover rap artist that came to life on Yo MTV Raps! and quickly became a Top 40 hit that suburban white kids could use as an entry to a new kind of music. Almost every Heavy D song also sampled old R&amp;B songs, which made me giddy when I would hear those songs on V-103 after the fact (sorry, don't have a full handle on every classic R&amp;B song).</p><p>But it was the outfits that set him apart. Like this half and half suit in the classic "Is it Good to You" off the Juice soundtrack. They should have a sale at <a href="http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=52639583367">Merry Go Round</a> in his honor:</p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/2RZUuw5m6UM" width="550" frameborder="0" height="403"></iframe></p></p> Wed, 09 Nov 2011 14:42:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/2011-11-09/rahm-should-get-statue-springfieldor-heavy-d-dies-rayon-shirts-half- The $5 rules: Advice from off-off-off Loop theater pro to the IL GOP http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/2011-11-07/5-rules-advice-loop-theater-pro-il-gop-93806 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-November/2011-11-07/strawpoll.JPG" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-07/strawpoll.JPG" style="width: 492px; height: 369px;" title="Popcorn? For 5 bucks, I want chicken. (WBEZ/Sam Hudzik) "></p><p>What's up Illinois?!<a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/illinois-gop-paul-wins-presidential-straw-poll-93794"> Ron Paul in the house</a>! More than 3,600 people voted in the Illinois Republican straw poll over the weekend. The Ill. GOP needs cash, apparently to help with the 2012 election, so they charged people $5 to vote in this informal poll. Now, $5 might seem like it goes a long way (3,600x5=$18k) but party leaders really should've talked with some local off-Loop theater companies who actually have experience with $5 tickets before settling on that amount. Why? Because while $18,000 might seem like nice pull, my bet is the party overlooked a few things.&nbsp; Did you pay the door guy yet? How 'bout props? Did you have any props at your straw poll (straw hats, perhaps)? And do you have the rights to the "Straw Poll" script? And are you paying the actors (in this case, candidates)? And the wrap party? Did you pay for the wrap party?</p><p>My guess is that the Ill. GOP has about $1,200 left. My advice? Spend it on a new set.</p><p><strong>B story</strong>: <a href="http://gawker.com/5856928/heres-the-freaky-surveillance-equipment-chicago-police-are-using-to-spy-on-you/gallery/1">Gawker has a story about Occupy Chicago protesters accusing the Chicago Police Department</a> of installing eavesdropping equipment near their camp.</p><p><strong>C story</strong>: In my regular Monday morning "give me a break" segment, I focus on two of our state's esteemed leaders. <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-cardinal-quinn-dispute-20111107,0,4634777.story">Cardinal George and Gov. Pat Quinn got into a spat over the weekend</a>, and the rape victim at the center of the brawl (she was going to receive an award) has hurt feelings. Then the Cardinal backtracks, saying he didn't even know she was involved. Cardinal, let me explain: I've been in many shoving matches. If you want to have a shoving match with another dude, first thing you want to do is make sure someone isn't standing between you.&nbsp; That's just obvious, right? Fighters, am I right?</p><p><strong>D story</strong>: Wow, I guess it's good that no <a href="http://www.rollcall.com/news/mccaul_leaps_top_50_richest_members_congress-208231-1.html?pos=adp">Illinois Congressman is on the list of the top 50 richest members of Congress</a>? I wonder where Obama would rank if he were still in the Senate. Now, my question has to be: Do people who run for congress know that they can become millionaires? Is it sort of a move to take your financial status to the next level? Or are they rich before and just do it cause they are bored.</p><p>Remember when it was cool to want to be rich?</p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="369" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/Ztk9t_m1FpY" width="500"></iframe></p><p><strong>E story</strong>: <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/john-r-schmidt/2011-11-07/central-park-theater-chicagos-first-movie-palace-93727">John R. Schmidt gives us the story behind Chicago's first movie palace</a>. Greatest blog ever.</p><p><strong>F story</strong>: I'm sure it's a great show, <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/breaking/chi-eberts-movie-review-show-will-end-without-more-financial-backing-20111107,0,1767642.story">but isn't "lack of funds" the reason most shows on public media go away</a>? Ebert needs money and he has access to all the newspapers, who are writing up his financial conundrum like a news story. Weird. Well, this blog needs cash or it might go away too. Sneed, can you help?</p><p><strong>G story</strong>: Nope, Sneed is busy. She has a great bit from Friday - <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/news/sneed/8575767-452/fast-eddie-thisclose-to-release-from-federal-prison.html">Fast Eddie is close to getting out of federal prison</a>.</p><p><strong>Weather</strong>: So dark. So cold. So dark and cold. Remind me why I don't live in Phoenix again? Oh right, <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8W4Cx44XKZ4">the dust storms</a>.</p><p><strong>Sports</strong>: The Bears play another game on Monday Night Football tonight. They draw the Philadelphia Eagles, a team coined "The Dream Team" at the beginning of the season. The Eagles dropped mad cash in free agency to bolster the team, but have stumbled early. However, they just destroyed the Dallas Cowboys last week and all eyebrows are partially raised. Is this team legit? The Bears win tonight in Philly and we will be looking at a team that is sort of a carbon copy of the 2010 squad, which managed to get to the NFC Championship game. Now, I'll give the Bears a bit of credit. This is what we want from our NFL franchise. To be relevant late into the season. If they were 1-6 right now, nobody would care. But they are in the thick of it, so we have a national audience. Please, please, please Lovie - do not sh*t the bed tonight. We watched the other marquee games live up to their hype this weekend, so finish strong.</p><p>Right now, Chicago has switched back to Wildcat town, shunning the over-hyped Illini.The <a href="http://sports.espn.go.com/chicago/ncf/recap?gameId=313090158">Northwestern win over Nebraska was prime time</a>. The Wildcats under Pat Fitzgerald are always good for at least one or two games like this a year. How many are the Illini good for? And stinker award goes to the Blackhawks, who played their new arch rival Vancouver last night at the UC. <a href="http://espn.go.com/chicago/nhl/recap?gameId=400046901">Not a good showing</a>. They were blown out, 6-2. That's not what we want to see.</p><p>So to recap: We want to see the Wildcats. We don't want to see the Blackhawks. We hope to see more of the Bears.</p><p><strong>Kicker</strong>: This is the week of 11/11/11, which means that <a href="http://www.whoisamy.com/">Amy Krouse Rosenthal's Beckoning of Lovely project is due</a>. This film has been in the works for three years. Seriously, I remember we did a Writers' Block Party episode on 8/08/08, and the launch of the project in June 2008. She's having a big party/show release at 11am on 11/11/11 at Millennium Park. I'll be there!!!!!</p><p>Here's the first video that started it all. It's called <strong>17 things i made</strong>:</p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="369" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/o3eZvEIdmq4" width="500"></iframe></p></p> Mon, 07 Nov 2011 14:38:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/2011-11-07/5-rules-advice-loop-theater-pro-il-gop-93806 Occupy Chicago wins again! Bears listen to their demands to release Chris Harris http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/2011-10-27/occupy-chicago-wins-again-bears-listen-their-demands-release-chris-h <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-October/2011-10-27/AP110729060852.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>I'm going to start a new segment today called "Occupy-related media found on Facebook." There's really no way to tell if this stuff is real or taken out of context, so I preface my new segment with a disclaimer: This was found on Facebook. So take that with a grain of salt.</p><p>I saw this on a friend's post - a letter thrown out the window from the Chicago Board of Trade. This person doesn't like the protesters and has something to say about it (and the state of our economy). I linked it back to<a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/chicago/comments/lpy0b/just_got_back_from_a_rally_at_the_board_of_trade/"> Reddit where it has 400+ comments</a>, mostly arguing about how much teachers actually make.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-October/2011-10-27/reddit-letter.jpg" style="width: 570px; height: 376px;" title=""></p><p>So <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/occupy-chicago-protests-city-hall-93524">Occupy Chicago marched on City Hall yesterday to deliver a petition to Mayor Rahm Emanuel</a>. The petition is all about letting Occupy Chicago set up in Grant Park without being arrested. The mayor didn't come out, but a spokesperson did. If they don't hear anything from the mayor's office in two weeks, the protesters are threatening to come back again. I wasn't there yesterday, but did the protesters hit drums in that cavernous hallway? God that would have been annoying. I'm sorry, I'm down with protesting City Hall, but that's like honking your horn in Loop rush hour traffic. It may be justified, but that doesn't mean it still isn't super annoying.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>B story</strong>: The state legislature <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/news/8429910-418/illinois-senate-overrides-gov-quinns-veto-of-comed-rate-hike-bill.html">got to work yesterday and overrode the Governor Quinn veto on the ComEd smart grid</a>. What's that, you say? Well, ComEd wants state money to create a better grid for delivering electricity. They want to raise your rates per month for the next 10+ years to pay for it. They claim the smart grid technology will allow them to better deliver electricity - and allow consumers to better monitor its use. Quinn vetoed the bill this summer because he felt the legislation was just a way for the utility companies to raise rates on Illinois consumers. Critics believe that ComEd will never bring the rates back down once the smart grid is in place. I don't know.&nbsp; If there is one thing I believe Governor Quinn is experienced in, it's fighting the utility companies. That's really how he made his name. So if he can't win on this, what does that mean for legislation he isn't strong on? In this case, I believe in Governor Quinn's track record. And he was joined by our State's Attorney Lisa Madigan. They were trounced in the veto vote. That's why this might be a tough day for Illinois. Energy lobbyists: 1, Quinn/Lisa Madigan: 0.</p><p><strong>C story</strong>: The Chicago Childrens Museum's move to Grant Park has been officially <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-childrens-museum-20111027,0,7811576.story">'scuttled.'</a> I thought that was already a given? Is there a new editor in Chicago news who hasn't been paying attention during the last year? Did they transfer someone from marketing who is taking press releases or budget proposals as first time news? This is a footnote story, not a headline. Sorry, but when the museum said they were going to propose expanding at Navy Pier, what did you think that meant?</p><p><strong>D story</strong>: I didn't know that Alderman Dick Mell was an avid reader of <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/2011-09-28/attention-tax-man-here-are-few-more-suggestions-nex-taxes-wont-you-a">this here blog</a>. Yesterday, <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/news/cityhall/8435830-418/alderman-asks-whether-bikes-should-be-licensed.html">he recalled a post I did earlier (not by name) suggesting we license bikes</a>. If he starts fact-checking Wikipedia pages to the stars, then we might have a problem. For the record, I agree with the alderman. License bikes and ticket them if they don't stop at red lights and stop signs. Done. A trillion dollars and a city surplus. Glory days are here again. What can I say? I'm a taste maker.</p><p><strong>E story</strong>: <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/8435852-417/failure-to-shovel-snow-from-your-sidewalk-could-prove-costly.html">Alderman Tunney wants to ticket you if you don't shovel your snow</a>. You've been warned, deadbeat! Now, license dibs.</p><p><strong>F story</strong>: Zorn is covering the Cellini trial. Wants to know the <a href="http://blogs.chicagotribune.com/news_columnists_ezorn/2011/10/what-the-h-kind-of-job-is-levine.html?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+chicagotribune%2Fchangeofsubject+%28Chicago+Tribune+-+Change+of+Subject%29">right spelling and meaning</a> of wack job. Or is it whack job?</p><p><strong>Weather</strong>: Ah, the end of October. It's sideways rain time!</p><p><strong>Sports</strong>: <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/football/bears/chi-bears-release-veteran-safety-chris-harris-20111027,0,4423702.story">The Bears released Safety Chris Harris today</a>. Yikes, that's the end of the line for a guy who experts and fans believed was the permanent fix. Harris came in last year and solidified a position that was constantly underachieving. He started this year but got hurt and came back tentative. He must have had it out with coaching or something because he went from a leader of the defense to being cut in a matter of weeks. Ah, football. Lovie and Jerry Angelo seem to be very bi-polar with their players. Is Bears management disloyal? Last year, the Bears fell out of favor with their prized defensive tackle Tommie Harris. They unceremoniously cut DE's Alex Brown and Mark Anderson. Before that, they shipped their workhorse running back Thomas Jones and demoted and released star cornerback Nathan Vasher. This year, they balked on paying Olin Kreutz, Lance Briggs and of course, Matt Forte. Interesting picture.</p><p>Also, wasn't <a href="http://sports.espn.go.com/chicago/nfl/news/story?id=6646841">Chris Harris rather outspoken</a> (via Twitter) during the lockout? Payback.</p><p>Hey, if you want a great summary of the Bears vs. Bucs game from someone in attendance, <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/2011-10-24/bears-are-4-3-which-according-players-and-coaches-exactly-where-they">check out W Shane Oman's take</a>. He left a comment this morning on last week's wrap-up. Great read about experiencing football abroad.</p><p><strong>Kicker</strong>: Did you see the <a href="http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-10-26/jc-brooks-and-uptown-sound-deliver-some-21st-century-soul-93493">performance of JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound in our studios</a>? Great song and video, edited by Andrew Gill:</p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/31142601?title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;portrait=0&amp;color=b30000" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="601" frameborder="0" height="338"></iframe></p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 27 Oct 2011 13:53:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/2011-10-27/occupy-chicago-wins-again-bears-listen-their-demands-release-chris-h Quinn says McCormick Place union negotiations 'going well' http://www.wbez.org/story/quinn-says-mccormick-place-union-negotiations-going-well-91993 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-September/2011-09-14/quinn women.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Illinois Governor Pat Quinn says negotiations with McCormick Place union workers are still ongoing. They have been negotiating new labor rules after a federal judge found new labor reforms violated the union's contracts.</p><p>The governor had <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/quinn-meets-emanuel-mccormick-place-89668">previously threatened</a> to bring legislators back to Springfield early if talks with the union weren't progressing.</p><p>At McCormick Place on Wednesday, Quinn told reporters that negotiations are going well.</p><p>"I was just talking to some of the workers here, and when you have these luncheons and conventions, they get more income, they get more opportunity to earn a livelihood," said Quinn.</p><p>The governor wouldn't give any details about how negotiations are going. Officials are trying to find new work rules that make it less expensive for conventions to come.</p></p> Wed, 14 Sep 2011 19:42:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/quinn-says-mccormick-place-union-negotiations-going-well-91993 Quinn questions City Council backing of Chicago casino http://www.wbez.org/story/quinn-questions-city-council-backing-chicago-casino-91807 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-September/2011-09-10/RS3611_Blackjack Table_Getty_Joe Raedle.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>City Council members are coming out in support of a Chicago casino, but Illinois Governor Pat Quinn is questioning their position.</p><p>Aldermen approved a resolution at the city council meeting Thursday that calls for revenue from the possible casino to fund infrastructure projects. Quinn said he doubts aldermen have actually read the bill.<br> <br> "This is the same city council that approved a parking meter proposal. I live in Chicago, on the West Side there, and I don't think my neighbors are very happy with a 75 year old parking disaster," Quinn said.<br> <br> Mayor Rahm Emanuel has said the Chicago casino would boost the city's economy. He has promised the funds from the casino would create jobs and fund needed infrastructure projects, like his fellow city council members are touting. But Governor Quinn has said the mayor should hold off from making plans, as the bill has yet to reach his desk.</p></p> Fri, 09 Sep 2011 23:05:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/quinn-questions-city-council-backing-chicago-casino-91807 Education secretary supports longer school day http://www.wbez.org/story/education-secretary-supports-longer-school-day-91806 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-September/2011-09-09/photo.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan says a longer school day in Chicago is a no-brainer.</p><p>The secretary was in Chicago on Friday as part of a national bus tour to promote state education reform. Duncan spoke on a panel with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn on the last stop of his trip.</p><p>Duncan told reporters he wishes he could have made the school day longer when he was the CEO of Chicago Public Schools, as it is "hugely important."<br> <br> "To have Chicago have the shortest school day and the shortest school year amongst other big city urban districts, that's not a badge of honor. That's something we should be ashamed of," Duncan said.&nbsp;</p><p>The Chicago Teachers Union has said it's concerned about the quality of a longer school day. The union has said CPS could be violating union contracts by negotiating directly with teachers and has<a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/union-takes-legal-steps-against-cps-over-attempts-lengthen-school-day-91725"> filed legal action against the school district. &nbsp;</a><br> <br> Mayor Rahm Emanuel said there isn't any problem with individual schools voting for a longer school day.</p><p>"I think it's empowering parents, empowering children, and empowering teachers, since the teachers are taking the vote. They have the process to make that decision as is defined in the contract. This is exactly following the contract as drafted," Emanuel said.</p><p>Emanuel has offered financial incentives to schools and teachers to lengthen the day, and five schools have agreed to work outside the union to do it thus far.</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 09 Sep 2011 22:33:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/education-secretary-supports-longer-school-day-91806