WBEZ | teachers strike http://www.wbez.org/tags/teachers-strike Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Teachers go on strike in Evergreen Park http://www.wbez.org/news/teachers-go-strike-evergreen-park-102824 <p><p>Teachers in the south Chicago suburb of Evergreen Park are on the picket line.</p><p>The teachers in Evergreen Park District 124 walked off the job after contract talks broke down late Monday. Representatives from the district and the teachers&#39; union had been meeting for more than five hours but were unable to reach a deal.</p><p>The negotiators differed on issues including salary and efforts to tie teacher pay to student performance.</p><p>The strike is the first for the Evergreen Park district. It leaves nearly 2,000 students in five schools out of class Tuesday.</p></p> Tue, 02 Oct 2012 09:55:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/teachers-go-strike-evergreen-park-102824 Local bishop stages mock crucifixion of his own granddaughter to protest teachers strike http://www.wbez.org/blogs/marcus-gilmer/2012-09/local-bishop-stages-mock-crucifixion-his-own-granddaughter-protest <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/trotter_bishop_crucifixion.jpg" title="Larry Bishop mock-crucifies his granddaughter (Still via ABC 7 video)" /></p><div class="image-insert-image "><p><strong>Lead Story:</strong> Let&rsquo;s say you&rsquo;re a minister who isn&rsquo;t happy about the teachers strike (which, hey! is <a href="http://www.wbez.org/node/102502/">now over</a>!). One might assume, being a man of God, that you&rsquo;d offer to help negotiations or open up your church to host out-of-school children. But if you&rsquo;re Bishop Larry Trotter of the South Side&#39;s Sweet Holy Spirit Missionary Baptist Church, you protest the strike by <a href="http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/09/18/minister-crucifies-granddaughter-over-teachers-strike/">staging a mock crucifixion</a> using your four-year-old granddaughter. (<a href="http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/local&amp;id=8815197">ABC 7 notes</a> that other men helped hold the girl up and that she wasn&rsquo;t actually just &ldquo;dangling&rdquo; from the cross, so there&rsquo;s that.) About his symbolic gesture Trotter said, &ldquo;Our children are being neglected. Their hope is being crucified. Their education is being crucified and their future is being crucified.&rdquo; He didn&rsquo;t take sides, though, blaming everyone involved &ndash; Mayor Emanuel, the school board and the teachers union. Still, you have to admire the Bishop for sticking to the adage &ldquo;show, don&rsquo;t tell.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>Also: </strong>Just when you thought it was safe to move on, Jon Burge is back in our lives. <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-chicago-police-torture-20120919,0,253070.story">Five new cases</a> of alleged torture under the disgraced former police commander have been assigned to judges by the Illinois Torture Relief and Inquiry Commission. And there are still dozens more <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/hope-burge-torture-victims-still-prison-96080">Burge-related cases</a> for the commission to go through. The problem, as our own <a href="http://www.wbez.org/first-torture-commission-cases-may-be-last-102505">Rob Wildeboer reports</a>, is that funding for the commission has been halted. David Thomas, former executive director for the commission, said the commission needs around $250,000 a year for the next three years to finish the job. Given the findings of previous Burge-related investigations &ndash; not to mention <a href="http://www.wbez.org/tags/burge-trial">Burge&rsquo;s own trial</a> &ndash; and a <a href="http://www.wbez.org/four-men-chicago-cleared-1994-rape-and-murder-102444">number</a> of <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/marcus-gilmer/2012-08/yet-another-exoneration-reflects-ongoing-disturbing-trend-102101">other cases</a> in Chicago in which the convicted were later exonerated, the state needs to fund the commission to finish the work if it ever hopes to fully escape Burge&#39;s tainted legacy.&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</p><p><strong>And then: </strong>Because, as we&#39;ve already seen this morning, nothing fuels calm, rational discourse like religion, a new study by a Harvard scholar <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-rt-us-religion-jesus-marriagebre88h1cm-20120918,0,1549833.story">claims Jesus may have been married</a>. Karen King, Hollis Professor of Divinity at Harvard Divinity School, shared the discovery, based on information written on a small piece of papyrus; the writing includes the phrase, &quot;Jesus said to them, my wife.&rdquo; Not surprising, this has a lot of people kind of upset because it doesn&rsquo;t fit into the typical Western view of Jesus as a tall white, single dude with a long flowing beard (like any number of indie rockers out of Brooklyn). King also pointed out that historical evidence has failed to disprove Jesus&rsquo; long-disputed relationship status. Jesus couldn&rsquo;t be reached for comment but the relationship status on his Facebook profile reads, &ldquo;it&rsquo;s complicated.&rdquo;&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p><strong>RIP: </strong><a href="http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap1000000063643/article/steve-sabol-president-of-nfl-films-dies?module=HP11_headline_stack">Steve Sabol</a>, president of NFL Films, at the age of 69 from brain cancer. Steve, along with his father Ed, helped&nbsp;<a href="http://www.avclub.com/articles/rip-steve-sabol-driving-creative-force-behind-nfl,85118/">revolutionize the way</a>&nbsp;football games are filmed and presented. Most football fans are well acquainted with their&nbsp;<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zjbw6WSFqEw">Super Bowl recap films</a>,&nbsp;but Sabol&rsquo;s work went beyond that &ndash; his writing, production and creative oversight garnered him dozens of Emmy awards.<br />&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</p><p><strong>Elsewhere</strong></p><ul><li><a href="http://theweek.com/article/index/233461/mitt-romneys-claim-that-47-percent-of-americans-dont-pay-taxes-true-or-false">Fact-checking</a> Mitt Romney&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/marcus-gilmer/2012-09/romney-unplugged-causing-headaches-supporters-102478">now-infamous secretly taped speech</a>.</li><li>The Russians are hiding a <a href="http://io9.com/5944142/russia-admits-to-having-trillions-of-carats-worth-of-diamonds-hidden-in-an-asteroid-crater">boatload of diamonds in an asteroid crater</a> because that&rsquo;s what Russians do.</li><li>Berlin <a href="http://www.news.com.au/travel/news/welcome-to-berlin-sorry-no-entry-for-hipsters/story-e6frfq80-1226476268583">doesn&rsquo;t want you</a>, hipsters.</li><li>Jon Stewart and Bill O&rsquo;Reilly <a href="http://www.avclub.com/articles/you-can-pay-5-to-watch-jon-stewart-and-bill-oreill,85069/">will have a debate showdown</a> available via pay-per-view on the Internet later in October.</li><li><a href="http://gizmodo.com/5944411/iphone-5-meta+review-a-better-iphone-in-every-way">Reviews of the new iPhone</a> are rolling in, which I&rsquo;m sure will result in total agreement across Internet message boards.</li></ul><p><br /><strong>Looking Ahead:</strong></p><ul><li>The CTA&rsquo;s new Express Bus service has a new name: &ldquo;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/cta-announces-new-rapid-transit-jeffery-jump-bus-102494">Jump</a>.&rdquo; Van Halen and Kris Kross will fight to the death in a cage match to determine whose song gets to accompany promo material.</li><li>Chicago: one of the nation&rsquo;s&nbsp;<a href="http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20120915/ISSUE01/309159977/how-chicago-became-one-of-the-nations-most-digital-cities">most digital cities</a>.</li><li>A&nbsp;<a href="http://chicagoist.com/2012/09/18/muhammad_ali_interview_post.php">fantastic interview with Muhammad Ali</a>&nbsp;conducted by a New Trier High School student in 1967 has surfaced.</li><li>A Chicago Police officer has been arrested on&nbsp;<a href="http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/local&amp;id=8815093">charges of accepting a bribe</a>&nbsp;to&nbsp;dismiss a criminal case.</li></ul><p><br /><strong>Sports</strong></p><ul><li>Jay Cutler <a href="http://espn.go.com/chicago/nfl/story/_/id/8395148/chicago-bears-jay-cutler-bumped-jmarcus-webb">has sorta backpedaled</a> on his treatment of offensive tackle J&rsquo;Marcus Webb during the Bears drubbing at the hands of the Packers last week.</li><li>It&rsquo;s been such a bad year for the Cubs, even <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-talk-revolution-cubs-0919-20120918,0,7185905.story">their fictional titles are being taken away</a>.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</li><li>The Toronto Blue Jays&rsquo; Yunel Escobar <a href="http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/8395863/toronto-blue-jays-yunel-escobar-suspended-three-games-gay-slur-eye-black">was suspended for three games</a> for the homophobic slur he had written in his eye black in Spanish during a game on Saturday.</li><li>The Chicago Baseball Museum is now <a href="http://chicagobaseballmuseum.org/">a thing</a>.</li><li>Sox Watch: <a href="http://chicago.whitesox.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2012_09_18_chamlb_kcamlb_1&amp;mode=recap&amp;c_id=cws">A win over the Royals</a> keeps the Sox three games up on Detroit.&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</li></ul><p><br /><strong>Finally</strong><br />How did Mars go from a watery, Earth-like surface to its current red desert state? By losing its atmosphere. And how did <em>that</em> happen? Watch below and learn.</p><p style="text-align: center; "><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/GLrzH-Rnr1c" width="560"></iframe></p></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div></p> Wed, 19 Sep 2012 09:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/marcus-gilmer/2012-09/local-bishop-stages-mock-crucifixion-his-own-granddaughter-protest Weekend arrest is the latest in a line of terror plots - big and small - tied to Chicago http://www.wbez.org/blogs/marcus-gilmer/2012-09/weekend-arrest-latest-line-terror-plots-big-and-small-tied-chicago <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/cals.jpg" title="Cal's Liquors, one of the alleged targets of a terrorist attempt (Photo by Vincent Desjardins via Flickr)" /></p><p><strong>Lead Story:</strong> On Friday, federal agents <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/13/scott-walker-collective-bargaining-law_n_1204887.html">arrested a suburban teen on terrorism charges</a> after he allegedly tried to set off a bomb outside a downtown bar. The bomb was planted by undercover agents who had been in contact with the teen - who had bragged about his plans online &ndash; for several months. While officials haven&rsquo;t said which bar was the target, the owner of Cal&rsquo;s Liquors at Wells and Van Buren <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/news/15193205-418/chicago-terror-bomber-targeted-my-bar-co-owner-of-cals-says.html">told the Sun-Times</a> he believes his bar was the target. (Not to make light of the situation, but having visited both Cal&rsquo;s and Cactus, the much more popular bar next door, something tells me Cal&rsquo;s probably wasn&rsquo;t the main target.) While there are certainly echoes of <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2010-09-20/news/ct-met-wrigleyville-bomb-plot-20100920_1_car-bombs-phony-bomb-terrorism-plot">the 2010 arrest</a> of a man who attempted to plant a bomb in a Wrigleyville trash can and the <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2009/05/liberty-city-6-convicted">Liberty City six</a> who plotted to bomb the Sears Tower, there are also echoes of <a href="http://www.propublica.org/article/chicago-terrorism-trial-what-we-learned-and-didnt">the trial of Tahawwur Rana</a>, a local man who, along with David Headley, another local man, were charged in being minor accomplices in planning the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks as well as plotting attacks in Denmark in response to the <a href="http://topics.nytimes.com/topics/reference/timestopics/subjects/d/danish_cartoon_controversy/index.html">controversial cartoon</a> portraying the prophet Muhammad. Which brings us back full circle to the recent <em>Innocence of Muslims</em> <a href="http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/09/anti-muslim-film-nakoula-basseley-innocence-muslims.html">controversy</a> and ensuing attacks on U.S. embassies overseas.</p><p><strong>Also:</strong> Things are getting interesting around here with the ongoing teachers strike and its overlap with the union situation in Wisconsin, which itself <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/news/sweet/15153669-452/wisconsin-now-battleground-for-obama-romney.html">is now a battleground state</a> in the presidential election. With Mayor Emanuel&rsquo;s claim that he&rsquo;ll <a href="http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-09-16/chicago-teachers-decline-vote-pushing-strike-to-week-two">get a court injunction</a> to force teachers back into class, he&rsquo;s taking a hard anti-union stance that probably <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/13/scott-walker-collective-bargaining-law_n_1204887.html">feels familiar</a> to pro-union supporters from Wisconsin. In fact, a large group of <a href="http://www.wisn.com/news/south-east-wisconsin/milwaukee/Wisconsin-teachers-rally-in-Chicago/-/10148890/16620620/-/7djrvl/-/index.html?absolute=true">Wisconsin teachers joined</a> this weekend&rsquo;s CTU rally to show support even as <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/15/us/judge-strikes-parts-of-wisconsin-union-law.html">a judge struck down parts</a> of Wisconsin governor Scott Walker&rsquo;s controversial union busting law. The Wisconsin state attorney general <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/wis-ag-aims-enforce-union-law-appeals-17246171#.UFaGsbJlS8U">has already promised</a> to continue to fight the ruling through appeals. So as Emanuel&rsquo;s fight against the CTU gets notice north of the state line, his ties to Obama could prove a negative influence on Obama&rsquo;s fight to keep Wisconsin in the blue.</p><p><strong>And then:</strong> The city&rsquo;s violent year <a href="http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/09/16/4-dead-20-wounded-in-shootings-since-friday-night/">continued this weekend</a> with several more wounded and at least four dead from weekend shootings. Yet it was actually overshadowed by another violent incident that, while sensational, didn&rsquo;t prove deadly when an argument outside the State Street Macy&rsquo;s culminated in <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-man-pushed-through-macys-loop-store-window-20120916,0,6250733.story">one man throwing another through one of the store&rsquo;s windows</a>. Aside from the shootings and the State Street incident,<a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-2-stabbed-2-injured-in-hermosa-disturbance-20120916,0,5045727.story"> an incident in the</a> Hermosa neighborhood left two men stabbed and two women beaten. If there&rsquo;s any silver lining &ndash; and that term is obviously used loosely &ndash; at the halfway point, <a href="http://homicides.redeyechicago.com/">this month is still behind September 2011&rsquo;s murder rate</a>.</p><p><strong>RIP: </strong>New Orleans blues musician <a href="http://www.nola.com/music/index.ssf/2012/09/james_sugar_boy_crawford_new_o.html">James &ldquo;Sugar Boy&rdquo; Crawford</a> at the age of 77. No city weaves its music into its cultural tapestry quite like New Orleans and Crawford will forever be a part of it, namely for his song &ldquo;<a href="http://grooveshark.com/s/Jockomo/3LxjZM?src=5">Jock-A-Mo</a>.&rdquo; The song was later recorded by The Dixie Cups as &ldquo;<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bB3gQl2WFZI">Iko Iko</a>&rdquo; and other variations of the song have been covered by a legion of legendary artists. But <a href="http://www.offbeat.com/2002/02/01/james-sugar-boy-crawford/">Crawford&rsquo;s career</a> was deeper than just one song and also notable for the way it came to a tragic, premature end: he was pistol-whipped by police in a 1963 incident which resulted in brain injuries. In recent years, though, he had been making more and more public appearances, including taping a scene for an episode of the upcoming season of HBO&rsquo;s <em>Treme</em>.</p><p><br /><strong>Elsewhere</strong></p><ul><li>Four more U.S. troops <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-rt-us-afghanistan-attackbre88f00x-20120915,0,3022713.story">died in Afghanistan over the weekend</a>, the result of yet another &ldquo;insider&rdquo; attack in which Afghani allies have turned on U.S. troops. Meanwhile, a NATO airstrike <a href="http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/world_now/2012/09/afghans-eight-village-women-killed-in-nato-airstrike.html">reportedly killed eight village women</a> in Afghanistan.</li><li><a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-19617201">Escalating tensions between China and Japan</a> could soon have an impact on the United States.</li><li><a href="http://www.ajc.com/news/news/the-house-of-candler/nSBj6/">A fascinating look</a> at the trials and tribulations of the family of Coca-Cola founder Asa Candler.</li><li>Britain Prime Minister David Cameron <a href="http://www.sunnewsnetwork.ca/archives/sunnews/world/2012/09/20120916-132928.html">has fired his own cat</a> from its role as &ldquo;chief mouser&rdquo; of 10 Downing Street because of poor performance.</li><li>Check out <a href="http://www.theverge.com/2012/9/15/3331882/kepler-supernova-remnants-x-ray-image">this amazing, gorgeous photo</a>, a composite of x-ray images taken over 200 hours of observations of Kepler&rsquo;s supernova.</li></ul><p><br /><strong>Looking Ahead:</strong></p><ul><li>Yet another exoneration here in Chicago, this time of <a href="http://www.wbez.org/four-men-chicago-cleared-1994-rape-and-murder-102444">four men wrongly accused</a> of a 1994 rape and murder. And, thus, <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/marcus-gilmer/2012-08/yet-another-exoneration-reflects-ongoing-disturbing-trend-102101">the trend continues</a>.</li><li>Around 200 South Side residents <a href="http://www.myfoxchicago.com/story/19556084/south-side-residents-stage-silent-protest-against-gang-related-funerals-chicago">held a silent protest</a> of what they call dangerous gang-related funerals.</li><li>Chicago&rsquo;s Gay &amp; Lesbian Hall of Fame, the only such institution in the country officially recognized by local government, <a href="http://www.redeyechicago.com/news/local/redeye-chicago-gay-and-lesbian-hall-of-fame-to-induct-new-members-20120914,0,7512607.story">has announced its 15 inductees for this year</a>.</li><li>The <a href="http://chicagoist.com/2012/09/14/hip-hop_shows_some_love_for_obama.php">complicated relationship</a> between <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2012/aug/23/why-hip-hop-deserting-obama">President Obama and hip-hop</a> isn&rsquo;t going unnoticed this election season.</li><li>Congrats to Chicago&rsquo;s &ldquo;Top Chef&rdquo; Stephanie Izard who <a href="http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20120914/BLOGS03/120919977/chef-stephanie-izard-to-marry-craft-beer-expert-gary-valentine">recently got engaged</a> to craft brewmaster Greg Valentine</li></ul><p><br /><strong>Sports &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;</strong></p><ul><li>The <a href="http://espn.go.com/nhl/story/_/id/8388516/no-progress-day-1-nhl-lockout-passes">NHL lockout</a> has begun. <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/hockey/blackhawks/chi-blackhawks-postpone-fan-festival-20120916,0,1637010.story">Blackhawks fans</a>, you should get to know the Bulls roster because those will be the only games played at the United Center for a while.</li><li>After Brad Keselowski <a href="http://espn.go.com/chicago/story/_/id/8388167/brad-keselowski-wins-chicago-take-lead-chase">won yesterday&rsquo;s NASCAR Geico 400</a> at the Chicagoland Speedway, it was announced that next year&rsquo;s Chase for the Cup (the NASCAR playoffs) opener <a href="http://espn.go.com/chicago/story/_/id/8387246/chicagoland-speedway-host-nascar-chase-opener-again-2013">would be at the S</a>peedway for the third straight year.</li><li>The Bears <a href="http://espn.go.com/chicago/nfl/story/_/id/8381618/chicago-bears-bringing-back-rb-kahlil-bell-injury-matt-forte">brought back Khalil Bell</a> to help fill in for an injured Matt Forte.</li><li>Sox Watch: the Pale Hose <a href="http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/standings/index.jsp?tcid=mm_mlb_standings">remain two games up</a> on Detroit going into today&rsquo;s make-up game, the last regular season match-up between the two teams.</li><li><a href="http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/The-312/September-2012/The-Chicago-Cubs-Not-The-Worst-Franchise-in-Baseball-But-Close/">The Cubs <em>aren&rsquo;t</em> the worst franchise</a> in baseball, thank you very much.&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;</li></ul><p><br /><strong>Finally</strong><br />It&rsquo;s Monday so start the week with some amazing facts to blow your mind. [via <em><a href="http://cheezburger.com/42025473">The Daily What</a></em>]</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/6Ni5HOdGtzM" width="560"></iframe></p></p> Sun, 16 Sep 2012 21:42:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/marcus-gilmer/2012-09/weekend-arrest-latest-line-terror-plots-big-and-small-tied-chicago School strike: The great disconnect http://www.wbez.org/blogs/achy-obejas/2012-09/school-strike-great-disconnect-102338 <p><p>O&rsquo;Toole Elementary School sits on a quiet, sun-drenched block in Englewood on the first day of Chicago&#39;s teachers strike. Little tufts of grass poke through the concrete lots on which cars and kids are usually found. On the drive up Seely Avenue, maybe one-third of the houses are boarded up. In one abandoned apartment building a couple of blocks away, the boards are torn from the windows, the lock on a door is gone. A can of Coke rests on a window sill.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/strike%20signs%20AP.jpg" style="height: 208px; width: 300px; float: left; " title="Signs from the Chicago Teachers Union strike. (AP)" />More than 400 kids go to <a href="http://www.cps.edu/Schools/Pages/school.aspx?id=610108">O&rsquo;Toole</a>, almost all of them black, almost all of them low-income; about ten percent are special education students. O&#39;Toole is a neighborhood Math &amp; Science Initiative School but it&rsquo;s also on probation. For all the lead-up to Mayor Rahm Emanuel&rsquo;s new recess initiative, O&rsquo;Toole is woefully and clearly unprepared.</p><p>&ldquo;We don&rsquo;t have a gate around the building,&rdquo; said one of the striking teachers. &ldquo;How are you going to keep the little kids in? We don&rsquo;t have playground equipment. For the younger kids, you need monkey bars, you need equipment. For the older kids, you need a basketball hoop, tennis court &mdash; something for them to do.&rdquo;</p><p>The playground equipment was removed by a former principal, explains another teacher, because neighborhood men would gather on it at night and drink.</p><p>&ldquo;Now they just sit and drink on the concrete,&rdquo; she said.</p><p>Had the kids come back to school on time, they would have spent their recess under the watchful eye of school staff milling around outside.</p><p>And this spare scene &mdash; the empty school, the bare ungated yard, the red-eyed neighborhood man warily watching the teachers and sipping from a bottle in a bag at 10:30 in the morning &mdash; is the great disconnect between downtown, where the policies are dreamed up, and down on the ground, where they have to be implemented.</p><p>Something, you know, as simple as recess.</p></p> Tue, 11 Sep 2012 10:30:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/achy-obejas/2012-09/school-strike-great-disconnect-102338 Walsh and Berrios: Just a pair of crazy Uncle Joes http://www.wbez.org/blogs/marcus-gilmer/2012-09/walsh-and-berrios-just-pair-crazy-uncle-joes-102332 <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/walsh_AP.jpg" title="Illinois' Crazy Uncle Joe Walsh (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)" /></p><p><strong>Lead Story:</strong> There comes a point when you have to throw your hands up and give credit where it&#39;s due. So today, I give credit to Illinois&rsquo; Crazy Uncle&trade;, U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh. Sure, I&rsquo;ve gotten riled up about the outlandish things Crazy Uncle Joe has said in the past, but with his latest volley?&nbsp;<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/08/joe-walsh-sandra-fluke_n_1867469.html">Telling Sandra Fluke</a> to &ldquo;get a job&rdquo;? Taking another potshot at his opponent, Iraq War veteran Tammy Duckworth, by <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/06/joe-walsh-tammy-duckworth_n_1862349.html">saying she only cares about her outfit</a>? You, sir, are nothing if not the most consistent candidate out there. You know when to say when and not simply stoop to, &ldquo;Women love shopping, am I right, fellas? That and staying barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen!&rdquo; You may be misogynistic and <a href="http://news.yahoo.com/joe-walshs-racist-remarks-exemplify-gop-bigotry-blame-183800380.html">racist</a>, but don&rsquo;t let anyone ever tell you you&rsquo;re a flip-flopper.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Also:</strong> Hey, it&rsquo;s Illinois&rsquo; <em>other</em> Crazy Uncle Joe, Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios, and this time he&rsquo;s got a huge tax bill for his constituents because he&rsquo;s above ethics laws. Back in 2010 after he won re-election for his spot, Berrios <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-06-28/news/ct-met-cook-county-preckwinkle-berrios-20120628_1_assessor-joseph-berrios-son-and-sister-preckwinkle">added his sister and his son to his payroll</a> and has since claimed it&rsquo;s totally OK because ethics laws don&rsquo;t apply to some elected officials like him. Like with Walsh, I have to give Berrios credit for having the balls to say, &ldquo;Yeah, I did it, but it&rsquo;s totally OK!&rdquo; Berrios, who is also the Cook County Democratic Party chairman, hired a private lawyer to fight the charges and, you guessed it, <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/15000094-761/taxpayers-get-legal-tab-for-assessor-joe-berrios-ethics-fight-over-nepotism.html">that bill is being footed by taxpayers</a>, according to the <em>Sun-Times</em>. Berrios also has a <em>daughter</em> on his payroll (who hasn&rsquo;t come under scrutiny yet), and another daughter who <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/after-fraud-search-illinois-house-challenger-concedes-defeat-98719">just barely won her state rep seat primary</a> this spring. Illinois: The Clout State.</p><p><strong>And then:</strong> In the wake of the teachers&rsquo; strike, many local media outlets dug up a story from over the summer that seems all the more appropriate now: Mayor Rahm Emanuel&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/Felsenthal-Files/July-2011/Rahm-Emanuel-Chooses-the-U-of-C-Lab-School-for-His-Kids/">decision to send his own kids to the private University of Chicago Lab Schools</a>. That action by itself shouldn&rsquo;t stir much trouble for the mayor. But the tenor of that decision has changed dramatically, at least <a href="http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/chicago-mayors-kids-school-remains-open_652113.html">in the eyes of the media</a>, now that the public school strike&nbsp;and Emanuel&rsquo;s&nbsp;<a href="http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/09/10/mayor-rahm-emanuel-ctu-strike-totally-unnecessary/">attitude</a>&nbsp;towards the CTU are&nbsp;making&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/10/education/with-no-contract-deal-by-deadline-in-chicago-teachers-will-strike.html?_r=1&amp;ref=education">national headlines</a>.</p><p><strong>RIP:</strong> <a href="http://movies.yahoo.com/news/shark-expert-ron-taylor-dies-helped-jaws-034137356.html">Ron Taylor</a>, renowned Australian marine conservationist who helped with the filming of <em>Jaws</em>, at the age of 78. Taylor and his wife shot some footage of great white sharks later used by director Steven Spielberg in his legendary film. According to family members, Taylor and other shark-lovers often felt conflicted about their role in the film which terrified swimmers and beachgoers and portrayed the sharks as monsters.<br />&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Elsewhere</strong></p><ul><li>Authorities <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/la-na-nn-sikh-temple-shooting-video-20120910,0,6857228.story">have released video</a> of the deadly August shooting at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin.</li><li>While Mitt Romney barely got any movement out of his convention, early indicators are that President Obama <a href="http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/10/polls-slight-post-convention-bounce-for-obama/?hp">got at least a small bump</a> in the polls out of his, something reflected on the continually <a href="http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/">excellent reports from Nate Silver</a>.</li><li>Speaking of Obama, the pizza shop owner who is responsible for <a href="http://www.trbimg.com/img-504d04df/turbine/sns-president-obama-gets-bear-hug-20120909/600">the second-greatest photo</a> of this election year (<a href="http://s3-ec.buzzfed.com/static/enhanced/web05/2012/9/9/15/enhanced-buzz-22774-1347218736-5.jpg">the best goes to, of course, Joe Biden</a>) is now feeling <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/10/scott-van-duzer-big-apple-pizza-yelp-bear-hug_n_1871329.html?utm_hp_ref=elections-2012">the Republican backlash</a>.</li><li>Sweden: <a href="http://www.aljazeera.com/video/europe/2012/09/20129812148701922.html">the cashless country</a>?</li><li>Here&rsquo;s MC Hammer <a href="http://sfist.com/2012/09/10/photos_mc_hammer_handing_out_grille.php#photo-1">standing on a food truck barge</a> and handing out grilled cheese sandwiches to kayakers.<br />&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</li></ul><p><strong>Looking Ahead:&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </strong></p><ul><li>Our own Linda Lutton <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/whats-really-driving-teachers-strike-102331">continues to get the latest look</a> behind the CTU strike, now in its second day.</li><li>And you thought we were done with Blago!&nbsp;<em>The Sun-Times&rsquo;</em> Natasha Korecki, one of the <strong><em>best</em></strong> reporters in Chicago (non-WBEZ category, of course), has released a book about the Rod Blagojevich trial (<a href="http://www.agatepublishing.com/book/?GCOI=93284100104290">ebook edition, $5</a>!) in which she alleges Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/15003978-418/koreckis-book-jesse-jackson-jr-offered-to-arrange-blagojevich-a-pardon-from-obama.html">tried to arrange a pardon for Blagojevich Blag</a>&nbsp;via President Obama. Boom!</li><li>Would you like to look at the 171 TIF projects the city authorized from January 2000 through July 30, 2010? Of course you would. So go to <a href="http://derekeder.com/maps/chicago-tif/">this amazing website</a>.</li><li>Work continues on the north end of the Red Line with <a href="http://www.wbez.org/clarkdivision-red-line-station-renovation-begins-today-102307">the Clark/Division stop</a> getting a face-lift.</li><li>Speaking of construction, the <em>Reader</em>&rsquo;s Deanna Isaacs has a fantastic read on <a href="http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/northwestern-stoops-to-demolish-prentice-hospital/Content?oid=7412519">the ongoing Prentice Women&#39;s Hospital saga</a>.<br />&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;</li></ul><p><strong>Sports</strong></p><ul><li>Another victim of the teachers strike: <a href="http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/high-school/post/_/id/3136/ihsa-denies-waiver-for-cps-to-continue-athletics">Chicago Public Schools sports teams</a>.</li><li>The White Sox <a href="http://chicago.whitesox.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2012_09_10_detmlb_chamlb_1">got a huge win over the Detroit Tigers last night</a>, a good start to a four-game series that may go a long way to determining the AL Central champ. The Pale Hose now lead the Tigers by three games. &nbsp;&nbsp;</li><li>Bears fans: <a href="http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/09/09/cutler-to-fans-lets-tone-it-down-a-little-bit-in-red-zone/">Please be quieter when the Bears are in the red zone</a>. Thanks. Love, Jay Cutler.</li><li>The NFL has reportedly signed on those replacement refs <a href="http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/8363525/nfl-official-replacement-refs-schedule-weeks">through at least week five</a> of the regular season.</li><li>On Sunday, the Redskins beat my beloved Saints. Even more impressive: the Redskins&rsquo; long-snapper <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dc-sports-bog/post/sundberg-calls-broken-arm-the-worst-thing-ive-ever-put-myself-through/2012/09/10/c2b89946-fb52-11e1-b2af-1f7d12fe907a_blog.html">played the entire second half with a broken arm</a>.<br />&nbsp;</li></ul><p><strong>Finally&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</strong></p><p>The first teaser for Steven Spielberg&rsquo;s film <em>Lincoln</em>, starring Daniel Day-Lewis as the titular president, is out&hellip; and advertises the premiere of the film&rsquo;s first full trailer on Thursday. Weird. But whatever. This film is going to win <em>all the awards</em>.</p><p style="text-align: center; "><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/AqXiUdoKUVY" width="560"></iframe></p></p> Tue, 11 Sep 2012 08:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/marcus-gilmer/2012-09/walsh-and-berrios-just-pair-crazy-uncle-joes-102332 The strike is on http://www.wbez.org/blogs/marcus-gilmer/2012-09/strike-102292 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/teachers%20strike%20Lutton.jpg" style="height: 348px; width: 620px; " title="Teachers pick up 'on strike' signs Saturday at a 'strike headquarters' the Chicago Teachers Union has set up. (AP)" /></div><p><strong>Lead Story:</strong> It was a weekend full of long, heated negotiations late into the night. Then, CTU president Karen Lewis announced at a 10 p.m. press conference Sunday that <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-teachers-strike-after-talks-fail-102287">the strike was on</a>, the first teachers strike in the city in 25 years.&nbsp;The issues between the two sides are legion: a school-year calendar, longer school days, class size, etc. Yet during Lewis&#39; conference last night, many reporters kept pushing the question about pay and compensation, something Lewis even chastized reporters for. Rest assured, over the coming hours and days, <a href="https://twitter.com/wbezeducation">we&#39;ll hear much, much more</a> about the smaller nuances of the disputed talks as well as the bigger picture issues. While the sides are close to a deal in some regards, the general feeling is that this could be a while.</p><p><strong>Also:</strong> The NFL is back in full swing! The Colts&rsquo; Andrew Luck had a tough slog as the Bears overcame some early gaffes en route <a href="http://www.chicagobears.com/gameday/game/2012/regular1/">to a 41-21 clubbing</a> of Indy at Soldier Field on Sunday. The Colts struck first on an early Jay Cutler interception deep in Bears territory, the Bears rattled off 17 straight points to take a lead they wouldn&rsquo;t relent, driven by Cutler&rsquo;s 333 passing yards which included two touchdowns. New receiver Brandon Marshall was Cutler&rsquo;s favorite target, hauling in nine receptions for 119 yards and a touchdown. It was a solid game after a disastrous start, but things don&rsquo;t get easier: Next up is a trip to Lambeau Field Thursday night to take on the rival Packers on short rest.</p><p><strong>And then:</strong> After a summer of mystery, Illinois U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-09-07/news/chi-rep-jackson-leaves-mayo-clinic-20120907_1_mayo-clinic-sandi-jackson-congressman-jackson">left the Mayo Clinic</a>, where he received treatment for bipolar depression, and returned to his Washington, D.C. home with his family. Chief-of-staff Rick Bryant said he&rsquo;s &ldquo;hopeful&rdquo; Jackson will be back in Congress when it opens its fall session today, but there&#39;s no official word and his <a href="http://www.pjstar.com/free/x1903462983/Rev-Jackson-Son-shouldnt-rush-back-to-work">official return date is unknown</a>. Among those encouraging Jackson to take a slow path back to work is his father, Rev. Jesse Jackson, <a href="http://www.pjstar.com/free/x1903462983/Rev-Jackson-Son-shouldnt-rush-back-to-work">who denied the report</a> about him being back Monday. Still, the question remains: What of Jackson, Jr.&rsquo;s future?&nbsp; &nbsp;</p><p><strong>RIP: </strong><a href="http://www.laht.com/article.asp?ArticleId=571848&amp;CategoryId=12395">Francisco Fernandez</a>, the oldest man in Europe at the time of his death at the age of 111. Fernandez was born July 24, 1901 and is survived by three children, seven grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.<br />&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Elsewhere</strong></p><ul><li>With less than two months to go until the election, it&rsquo;s time to start <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/09/us/politics/obama-romney-battle-plans-set-for-final-charge.html?_r=1&amp;hp">focusing on the</a> factors that will determine the next president.</li><li>The <a href="http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-famu-hazing-20120909,0,6784806.story">awful story</a> behind a deadly marching band hazing incident at Florida A&amp;M.</li><li>Only 17 years after the fact, former prosecutor Christopher Darden decided it would be a good time to allege that Johnnie Cochran (now deceased) <a href="http://gawker.com/5941581/former-prosecutor-claims-oj-simpson-defense-team-tampered-with-infamous-glove">tampered with the infamous bloody glove</a> that O.J. Simpson just couldn&rsquo;t fit into during his 1994 double murder trial.</li><li>Who says NFL players aren&rsquo;t invested in the world around them? Late last week, Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe <a href="http://deadspin.com/5941348/?post=52490398">wrote a wonderful [albeit very profane] defense</a> of fellow NFL&rsquo;er, the Baltimore Ravens&rsquo; Brendon Ayanbadejo, who faced criticism from a Maryland state delegate for voicing support for the state&rsquo;s proposed initiative legalizing gay marriage.</li><li>The mysterious hum of Seattle? It&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2200485/Seattle-residents-plagued-constant-humming-noise-caused-Midshipman-fish.html">caused by fish</a>, apparently.<br />&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</li></ul><p><strong>Looking Ahead:&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </strong></p><ul><li>It looks like <em>Saturday Night Live</em> is once again dipping in to the Chicago talent pool to fill some vacancies. <a href="http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20120908/news/709089732/">According to reports</a>, Aidy Bryant and Tim Robinson, both of Second City and a slew of other fantastic comedy groups, have been tapped to join the cast this fall.</li><li>Another sign of the dry, hot summer&rsquo;s impact: Lake Michigan is <a href="http://chicagoist.com/2012/09/08/lake_low_water_levels_could_signal.php">down almost a foot</a> from its normal depth.</li><li>BP is <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-bp-pays-15m-in-claims-to-date-in-gas-recall-20120908,0,7740602.story">shelling out a lot of money</a> &ndash; and more to come &ndash; as a result of their tainted gas escapades.</li><li>Now that Drew Peterson has been found guilty of murdering ex-wife Kathleen Savio, <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/news/14999785-418/legal-experts-little-reason-to-charge-drew-peterson-with-stacys-murder.html">don&rsquo;t expect a charge any time soon</a> in the death of missing ex-wife Stacy Peterson.</li><li>Also not happening any time soon: <a href="http://www.myfoxchicago.com/story/19488742/armstrong-prohibited-from-running-chicago-marathon">Lance Armstrong running the Chicago Marathon</a>.</li></ul><p><br /><strong>Sports</strong></p><ul><li>The Simeon High vs. Morgan Park High football game on Friday night <a href="http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/local&amp;id=8802998">was canceled when a large fight broke out</a> amongst fans; one person was stabbed in the melee.</li><li>Cook County is <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-cook-county-to-fight-chicago-bears-amusement-tax-ruling-20120909,0,5660217.story">gearing up to battle a judge&rsquo;s ruling</a> that the Bears don&rsquo;t owe the county millions of dollars in amusement tax collections.</li><li>The White Sox <a href="http://chicago.whitesox.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2012_09_09_kcamlb_chamlb_1&amp;mode=recap&amp;c_id=cws">lost in extra innings to the Royals</a> yesterday but with the Tigers on a three-game skid, the Pale Hose are still two games up on Detroit heading into this week&rsquo;s huge four-game series at the Cell.</li><li>Darwin Barney&rsquo;s errorless game streak <a href="http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120909&amp;content_id=38148724&amp;notebook_id=38148726&amp;vkey=notebook_chc&amp;c_id=chc">reached 125 games yesterday</a> and he passed Ryne Sandberg&rsquo;s NL record of 123 earlier in the weekend. Next up: the major league record of 141 games.</li><li>It was a good weekend for <a href="http://sports.espn.go.com/chicago/ncf/recap?gameId=322520077">Northwestern</a>, <a href="http://sports.espn.go.com/chicago/ncf/recap?gameId=322522459">NIU</a>, and <a href="http://sports.espn.go.com/chicago/ncf/recap?gameId=322520087">Notre Dame</a> but a really bad weekend for <a href="http://sports.espn.go.com/chicago/ncf/recap?gameId=322520009">Illinois</a>.</li></ul><p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Finally</strong><br />In honor of yesterday&rsquo;s start to the NFL season (with two more games to go Monday night!), here&rsquo;s every NFL fan in 90 seconds.</p><p style="text-align: center; "><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/DoTEyxcxHuU" width="560"></iframe></p></p> Mon, 10 Sep 2012 08:30:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/marcus-gilmer/2012-09/strike-102292 Chicago teachers to strike after talks fail http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-teachers-strike-after-talks-fail-102287 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Pickets4horizontal_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><iframe frameborder="0" height="325" scrolling="no" src="http://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Fplaylists%2F2245041&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=false&amp;color=b21227" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>Chicago teachers went on strike Monday at midnight for the first time in 25 years after their union and district officials failed to reach a contract agreement despite intense weekend negotiations that the union said were productive but still failed to adequately address issues such as job security and teacher evaluations.</p><p>The two sides were not far apart on compensation, but were on other issues, including health benefits &mdash; teachers want to keep what they have now &mdash; and a new teacher evaluation system based partly on students&#39; standardized test scores, Chicago Teachers Union Karen Lewis said.</p><p>&quot;This is a difficult decision and one we hoped we could have avoided,&quot; she said. &quot;We must do things differently in this city if we are to provide our students with the education they so rightfully deserve.&quot;</p><p>Mayor Rahm Emanuel condemned the union&#39;s decision, and said the negotiations could be resolved if the two sides kept talking, &quot;given how close we are.&quot;</p><p>&quot;This is not a strike I wanted,&quot; Emanuel said. &quot;It was a strike of choice ... it&#39;s unnecessary, it&#39;s avoidable and it&#39;s wrong. &quot;</p><p>More than 26,000 teachers and support staff were expected to hit the picket lines early Monday, while the school district and parents carry out plans for keeping nearly 400,000 students safe and occupied while classes remain empty in the coming days in the nation&#39;s third largest school district.&nbsp;The union says pickets are scheduled for 675 schools and district headquarters today.</p><p>Both Emanuel and union officials have much at stake. The walkout comes at a time when unions and collective bargaining by public employees have come under criticism in many parts of the country, and all sides are closely monitoring who might emerge with the upper hand in the Chicago dispute.</p><p>The timing also may be inopportune for Emanuel, a former White House chief of staff whose city administration is wrestling with a spike in murders and shootings in some city neighborhoods and who just agreed to take a larger role in fundraising for President Barack Obama&#39;s re-election campaign.</p><p>As the strike deadline approached, parents spent Sunday worrying about how much their children&#39;s education might suffer and where their kids will go while they&#39;re at work.</p><table align="right" border="1" cellpadding="1" cellspacing="1" class="margin-top:15px; margin-bottom:15px; margin-left:15px" style="width: 280px; height: 600px; "><tbody><tr><td><p><a class="twitter-timeline" data-widget-id="244998145153572864" href="https://twitter.com/WBEZeducation">Tweets by @WBEZeducation</a> <script>!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");</script></p></td></tr></tbody></table><p>School officials said they will open more than 140 schools between 8:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. so children can eat lunch and breakfast in a district where many students receive free meals. The district asked community organizations to provide additional programs for students, and a number of churches, libraries and other groups plan to offer day camps and other activities. But it&#39;s not clear how many families will send their children to the added programs.</p><p>&quot;They&#39;re going to lose learning time,&quot; said Beatriz Fierro, whose daughter is in the fifth grade on the city&#39;s Southwest Side. &quot;And if the whole afternoon they&#39;re going to be free, it&#39;s bad. Of course you&#39;re worried.&quot;</p><p>Eric Ferrer, a cook, said his children can stay home Monday with his wife, who works in a store. But if the strike goes more than one day, they would have a problem &mdash; one that he sees no way to solve.</p><p>&quot;My wife is off tomorrow, (so) we can keep them at home,&quot; said Ferrer, as he sat in a McDonald&#39;s restaurant on the city&#39;s Southwest Side with his wife and their 8-year-old son and 3-year-old daughter. &quot;She works the next day (and) so do I.&quot;</p><p>School board President David Vitale first announced Sunday night that talks had broken off, despite the school board offering what he called a fair and responsible contract that would cover four years and meet most of the union&#39;s demands. He said the talks with the union had been &quot;extraordinarily difficult&quot; and that the&nbsp;school district made more than 20 offers to improve its contract proposal in the past few days.</p><p>&ldquo;There&rsquo;s only so much money in the system, there&rsquo;s only so many things we can do that are available to us, that we actually believe will not hurt the education agenda that we think is best for our children,&rdquo; said Vitale.</p><p>Emanuel said the district had offered the teachers a 16 percent pay raise over four years, doubling an earlier offer.</p><p>Lewis said she would not prioritize the issues, saying that they all were important to teachers.</p><p>That included concern over a new evaluation that she said would be based too heavily on students&#39; standardized test scores, which she said would be unfair to teachers because it could not adequately account for outside factors that affect student performance, including poverty, violence and homelessness.</p><p>She said the evaluations could result in 6,000 teachers losing their jobs within two years.</p><p>City officials said they did not believe that was true, but said the union would not tell them how they came to that conclusion.</p><p>Emanuel said the evaluation would not count in the first year, as teachers and administrators worked out any kinks. Schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard said the evaluation was mandated by state law but &quot;was not developed to be a hammer,&quot; but to help teachers get better.</p><p>Emanuel said the union should have postponed the strike because an agreement is close. He also said his negotiating team would be available all night if the union was willing to talk, but Lewis said negotiations would resume Monday.</p><p>The strike is the latest flashpoint in a very public and often contentious battle between the mayor and the union.</p><p>When he took office last year, Emanuel inherited a school district facing a $700 million budget shortfall. Not long after, his administration rescinded 4 percent raises for teachers. He then asked the union to reopen its contract and accept 2 percent pay raises in exchange for lengthening the school day for students by 90 minutes. The union refused.</p><p>Emanuel, who promised a longer school day during his campaign, then attempted to go around the union by asking teachers at individual schools to waive the contract and add 90 minutes to the day. He halted the effort after being challenged by the union before the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board.</p><p>The district and union agreed in July on how to implement the longer school day, striking a deal to hire back 477 teachers who had been laid off rather than pay regular teachers more to work longer hours. That raised hopes the contract dispute would be settled soon, but bargaining continued on the other issues.</p></p> Sun, 09 Sep 2012 10:05:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-teachers-strike-after-talks-fail-102287 Rahm's labor problem for liberals http://www.wbez.org/blogs/marcus-gilmer/2012-09/rahms-labor-problem-liberals-102144 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP080606048389.jpg" title="Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel's relationship with President Obama could get tested with a teachers strike. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File) " /></p><p><strong>Lead story:</strong>&nbsp; The Democratic National Convention kicks off in full today in Charlotte, North Carolina, with the party hoping to grab momentum back from the GOP and get an early lead in the two-month sprint to election day. That shouldn&rsquo;t be hard: The response to the GOP convention <a href="http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/03/sept-2-split-verdict-in-polls-on-romney-convention-bounce/">seems tepid at best</a>. Among the speakers at the DNC tonight is our own <strike>beloved</strike> mayor, Rahm Emanuel. His appearance makes sense as he was secret-keeper to the Clinton administration and spent the first 20 months of the Obama administration as its attack dog. But Rahm&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-rahm-emanuel-obama-20120902,0,2231716.story">appearance</a> will come during the toughest time yet of his mayoral term, one that threatens to undermine the efficacy of his vocal support for the party. While he stands before the delegates gathered in Charlotte to call for Obama&rsquo;s reelection, he&rsquo;ll also be dealing with the <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-labor-day-rally-in-daley-plaza-in-support-of-chicago-teachers-20120903,0,7221105.story">very real potential</a> of a teachers strike beginning next week, something that <a href="http://www.wbez.org/threat-cps-strike-reaches-dnc-charlotte-102145">hasn&#39;t escaped</a> those in Charlotte.</p><p>The potential strike wouldn&rsquo;t be as big a deal if it weren&rsquo;t for the fact that Rahm&rsquo;s position on the matter doesn&rsquo;t jive with his party&#39;s. If anything, Rahm&rsquo;s hard-line position on the Chicago Teachers Union is indicative of tendencies that make him seem less Scott Waguespack and <a href="http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/romneys-plan-for-schools-sounds-like-rahms/Content?oid=6860548">more Scott Walker</a>. Not only should Democrats find it hard to reconcile Rahm&rsquo;s union stance with their party&#39;s platform (and union support for Obama <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/04/obama-democrats-labor-unions_n_948319.html">hasn&rsquo;t been as steady</a> as the party would like), but his <a href="http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/rahm-emanuel-meets-with-gop-and-mitt-romney-donors/Content?oid=6801482">relationship</a> with <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-05-22/business/ct-biz-0522-confidential-emanuel-20110522_1_mayor-rahm-emanuel-private-equity-aid">corporations</a> should also give them pause, no matter <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-01-20/news/ct-met-rahm-emanuel-gay-marriage-0120-20120120_1_mayor-rahm-emanuel-gay-marriage-political-support">how liberal</a> he may be on other issues.</p><p>After the great Eastwood/Chair debacle last week, the GOP will be on its toes, watching for the slightest slip-up or contradiction. And if <em>I</em> notice this, surely the GOP does, too. The Chicago GOP, the Washington Generals of politics, have <a href="http://www.nbcchicago.com/blogs/ward-room/Chicago-GOP-Wants-Emanuel-to-Cancel-DNC-Speech-168369196.html">called on Rahm</a> to skip the convention in favor of focusing on issues at home like the pending strike and, oh yeah, <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/14899020-761/mayor-emanuel-defends-chicagos-handling-of-shooting-sprees.html">all of the shootings</a>. While that won&rsquo;t happen (though he is cutting <a href="http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/09/03/emanuel-cutting-short-trip-to-dnc-amid-teacher-contract-talks/">the trip short</a>), it&rsquo;s much more likely a teacher strike will. If the GOP is still looking for something to pounce on, they could do a lot worse than Rahm.</p><p><strong>Also:</strong> Bike crashes <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/14787906-761/two-wheel-trouble-bike-crashes-in-city-up-38-over-the-past-decade.html">are on the rise</a> in Chicago. To anyone who rides a bike in the city, as I do, this is not a surprise at all. IDOT only recently started including doorings &mdash; crashes that occur with high frequency and cause serious injury &mdash; in their statistics. (Full disclosure: Both <a href="http://www.wbez.org/users/ramer-0">my editor</a> and I have been victims of doorings.) There&rsquo;s plenty of things to point to for the increased incidents (poor road conditions, police indifference) but hopefully more people pay attention to this study than <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-08-22/news/ct-met-kass-0822-20120822_1_city-bike-miles-of-bike-lanes-rahmfather">to John Kass</a>.</p><p><strong>And then:</strong> Four years after his suicide, David Foster Wallace is back <a href="http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/dt-max-biography-of-david-foster-wallace/Content?oid=7303700">in the public eye</a>&nbsp;thanks to <a href="http://www.avclub.com/articles/dt-max-every-love-story-is-a-ghost-story-a-life-of,84453/">a new biography</a>.</p><p><strong>RIP</strong></p><ul><li><a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/02/arts/music/hal-david-oscar-and-grammy-winning-songwriter-is-dead-at-91.html?_r=1">Songwriter Hal David</a>, who passed away over the weekend at the age of 91 due to complications from a recent stroke. David, winner of Oscars and Grammy awards, co-wrote many popular songs over his career &ndash; including &ldquo;Raindrops Keep Fallin&rsquo; On My Head&rdquo; and &ldquo;What&rsquo;s New, Pussycat?&rdquo; &ndash; and had a successful stint co-writing hits with Burt Bacharach.</li><li>Chicago-born actor Michael Clarke Duncan, who died <a href="http://www.latimes.com/news/obituaries/la-michael-clarke-duncan-dead-0903,0,7426494.story">yesterday at the age of 54</a> from complications following a July heart attack. Duncan acted mostly in minor roles (notably in <em>Armageddon</em>) until he starred in <em>The Green Mile</em> in 1999, earning an Academy Award nomination.<br />&nbsp;</li></ul><p><strong>Elsewhere</strong></p><ul><li>Speaking of the Eastwood/Chair debacle, conservatives are <a href="http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0912/80591.html">trying to embrace the meme</a> and turn it on its head. Good luck with that, guys. We remember the last time <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCBfFMV5q78">someone tried that</a> and it ended so, so badly.</li><li>Power companies in the state of Louisiana <a href="http://www.nola.com/hurricane/index.ssf/2012/09/statewide_isaac_power_outages.html">are still struggling to restore power</a> to residents almost a week after Hurricane Isaac, which knocked out power to almost one million customers.</li><li>Once Louisiana gets its power back, residents can join in as the world buzzes about <a href="http://www.vanityfair.com/online/daily/2012/09/tom-cruise-scientology-marriage-katie-holmes">Scientology&rsquo;s wife auditions for Tom Cruise</a>.</li><li>Because we&rsquo;ve all been waiting for it with bated breath: <a href="http://gothamist.com/2012/09/02/philosopher_kanye_west_ponders_the.php">Kanye West muses</a> on use of the word &ldquo;bitch.&rdquo;</li><li>Hey, <em>The Adventures Of Pluto Nash</em>, I&rsquo;ma let you finish but <em>The Oogieloves</em> had <a href="http://gawker.com/5939963/the-oogieloves-breaks-records-for-box-office-failure">the worst box office opening</a> of all time.<br />&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;</li></ul><p><strong>Looking ahead</strong></p><ul><li><a href="http://deerfield.patch.com/articles/regional-police-report-drew-peterson-murder-case-drawing-to-a-close-cougar-sought-in-glencoe-and-more">Closing arguments</a> in the Drew Peterson case are today and that&rsquo;s great because when the biggest story of an already-surreal murder trial is <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-09-02/news/ct-edit-drew-20120902_1_peterson-jury-stacy-peterson-drew-peterson">the sartorial choices of the jury</a>, you know society is doomed.</li><li>There&rsquo;s joy over the <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/activists-rejoice-coal-fired-plants-shut-down-102129">impending closure of local coal plants</a> but concern over what will happen to the factory workers who are about to lose their jobs.</li><li>Because the city doesn&#39;t have enough issues, the CPD is now <a href="http://www.wlsam.com/Article.asp?id=2525308">concerned with a possible uptick in meth</a>.</li><li>Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. finally <a href="http://www.myfoxchicago.com/story/19443939/rev-anthony-williams-to-run-against-jesse-jackson-jr-for-2nd-district">has some competition</a> for his congressional seat.</li><li>For your fall brewing: <a href="http://www.buzzfeed.com/zekejmiller/white-house-releases-beer-recipes">some White House beer</a>.<br />&nbsp;</li></ul><p><strong>Sports</strong></p><ul><li>It was a bad holiday for the White Sox as <a href="http://chicago.whitesox.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2012_09_02_chamlb_detmlb_1&amp;mode=recap&amp;c_id=cws">a sweep</a> at the hands of the rival Detroit Tigers left them in a tie for first place. But a Tigers lost yesterday coupled with a Sox win over the Twins puts the Sox one up this morning.</li><li>As a lockout looms for the NHL, a few Blackhawks stars are already <a href="http://blogs.suntimes.com/blackhawks/2012/08/toews_kane_may_consider_europe.html">entertaining the idea</a> of playing overseas this season.</li><li><a href="http://espn.go.com/chicago/hot/?id=8311433">To play Urlacher or not to play Urlacher</a>: That is the question on the minds of Bears fan as the NFL season gets underway this week.</li><li>Might the White Mamba soon <a href="http://www.csnchicago.com/basketball-chicago-bulls/bulls-talk/Source-Scalabrine-in-line-to-join-Bulls-?blockID=763979&amp;#38;feedID=661">end his playing days</a> in favor of becoming an assistant coach?</li><li>While it may not have been the game local college football fans were necessarily focused on, <a href="http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/colleges/post/_/id/6670/bullock-rushes-to-forefront-in-iowa-win">Iowa edged Northern Illinois 18-17</a> before a crowd of 52,000 at Soldier Field on Saturday. A game with bigger BCS implications will happen at the stadium on October 6 when <a href="http://soldierfield.net/content/notre-dame-vs-miami">Notre Dame and Miami collide</a>.<br />&nbsp;</li></ul><p><strong>Finally</strong></p><p>When you combine the hall-of-fame honey badger&nbsp;viral video with clips from the inexplicably popular reality show about Honey Boo Boo, the pint-size beauty queen from Georgia, you get magic. (Warning: some naughty language)</p><p style="text-align: center; "><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="338" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/HTZwBg5m8Ho" width="600"></iframe></p></p> Tue, 04 Sep 2012 09:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/marcus-gilmer/2012-09/rahms-labor-problem-liberals-102144 Quinn signs landmark education bill http://www.wbez.org/story/quinn-signs-landmark-education-bill-87764 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-June/2011-06-13/Classroom Teacher_Getty_Sean Gallup.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signed a sweeping education overhaul into law Monday morning, paving the way for longer school days for Chicago students and making it harder for teachers to go on strike.</p><p>The law also changes the so-called "last hired, first fired" teacher seniority policy that districts used in deciding which educators to lay off. It also makes it easier for districts to fire chronically underperforming teachers.</p><p>The bill-signing ceremony at an elementary school in suburban Maywood was more grandiose than usual, complete with a marching bands colorguard team.</p><p>Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who has been a vocal supporter of the bill, touted a provision that would allow him to lengthen the day for Chicago public schools’ students, who he said now have one of the shortest &nbsp;[school] days in the country.</p><p>"We are now gonna have the ability to do what we have denied the kids of Chicago for generation after generation," Emanuel said. "When the governor signs that, that is going to end."</p><p>State Sen. Kimberly Lightford, the Maywood Democrat who sponsored the measure, touted the spirit of cooperation between unions, administrators and reform groups during negations.</p><p>Lightford acknowledged the new law makes it more difficult for teachers to go on strike, but she cautioned unions and management that such friction isn't good for students</p><p>"Transparency is there so all your dirty laundry will be aired out publicly," Lightford said. "No 'behind closed doors.'"</p><p>Officials and education reform advocates repeatedly praised the law as a national model, particularly because it was negotiated with relatively little acrimony, even as fights over collective bargaining for public workers have raged in other Midwestern states, such as Wisconsin, Indiana and Ohio.</p><p>But notably absent from Monday’s signing ceremony was Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis, who had characterized parts of the bill as an attack on teachers' collective-bargaining rights. Lewis did not attend the event because she was "busy focusing on the budget" ahead of a special school board meetin Wednesday, said union spokeswoman Liz Brown.</p><p>The union did have problems with the original proposal, but they were resolved when the General Assembly later passed some amendments, Brown said.</p><p>"We're glad to be looking forward to actually improving schools as well through lower class sizes and equitable funding," she said.</p></p> Mon, 13 Jun 2011 14:31:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/quinn-signs-landmark-education-bill-87764 Teachers and human rights advocates face government attacks in Honduras http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-04-05/teachers-and-human-rights-advocates-face-government-attacks-honduras-847 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-April/2011-04-05/90303072.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>While the protests in the Middle East continue to make news, the protests in Honduras barely make a ripple. The country’s divisions spilled out into the open in June 2009 when President Manuel Zelaya was removed from power by the military.</p><p>The administration of the current president, Porfirio Lobo Sosa, has taken a hard line against the opposition. The country has been embroiled in a month-long teacher's strike, which President Lobo declared illegal last week.&nbsp; Yesterday, he suspended 5,000 teachers for three months and he has threatened to fire and suspend more if they don’t show up for work today. The union says 40,000 teachers will return to work, but the strike is the just the tip of the discontent iceberg.</p><p>Gary Cozette is program director of the Chicago Religous Leadership Network on Latin America (<a href="http://www.crln.org" target="_blank">CRLN</a>). He published a <a href="http://www.crln.org/Cozette_Honduras_Feb2011_Report" target="_blank">report</a> on his latest visit to Honduras.&nbsp; Vicki Cervantes is from <a href="http://lavozchicago.blogspot.com/" target="_blank">La Voz de los de Abajo</a>, a Chicago-based Honduran human rights organization. They were both in the Central American country in January 2011.</p></p> Tue, 05 Apr 2011 17:08:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-04-05/teachers-and-human-rights-advocates-face-government-attacks-honduras-847