WBEZ | Tony Arnold http://www.wbez.org/tags/tony-arnold Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Illinois advancing measure to divest in companies boycotting Israel http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-advancing-measure-divest-companies-boycotting-israel-112037 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/State-Capitol-Front-1_WBEZ_Tim-Akimoff_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>An international movement to boycott Israeli companies is prompting Illinois state lawmakers to react. Legislators are advancing a measure, which has the support of Gov. Bruce Rauner, that would prevent state pension funds from supporting those who are boycotting Israel.</p><p>&ldquo;We, as a state, are making an affirmative statement that if you&rsquo;re going to boycott Israel, an ally of the United States, a democracy in the Middle East, then we are going to divest from you,&rdquo; said State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago), who&rsquo;s a sponsor of the bill.</p><p>Feigenholtz advanced the proposal out of the House Executive Committee Wednesday with unanimous support from both Democrats and Republicans. It still needs approval from the full House of Representatives. Last month, the proposal passed the Senate on a vote of 49-0, with three senators voting Present.</p><p>The bill calls for the creation, and monitoring, of a list of companies that boycott Israel so the state pension funds would know not to invest in those companies. Divesting is seen as an economic strategy to put economic pressures on those entities that aren&rsquo;t in line with U.S. -- or Illinois -- policies.</p><p>State pension funds already divest in companies that have ties to Iran and Sudan. Feigenholtz explained to lawmakers this week that adding companies that boycott Israel to Illinois&rsquo; divestment strategy would further align the State of Illinois&rsquo; policies with the United States&rsquo; foreign policies. Two years ago, state lawmakers failed in their attempt to create another divestment strategy in which the Illinois would cut ties with gun manufacturers in hopes those companies would be motivated to get on board with gun control measures.</p><p>&ldquo;We need to do our part to stand up to anti-Semitism, whenever and however it appears,&rdquo; Rauner said in a written statement about the bill.</p><p>With unanimous support from lawmakers so far, criticism of the bill has come mostly from individuals or groups watching the politically-charged debate involving Israel. Reema Ahmad lives in Chicago&rsquo;s Rogers Park neighborhood, and testified against the bill in a House of Representatives committee Wednesday.</p><p>&ldquo;It politicizes our pension systems,&rdquo; Ahmad said after the vote. &ldquo;International politics, regardless of how you feel about issues in the Middle East, have no place in our state politics and much less within our pension system. We need to get our own house in order.&rdquo;</p><p>Ahmad referred to a recent Supreme Court decision that rejected lawmakers&rsquo; attempts to restructure the retirement benefits of state employees. The now-defunct law was legislators years-long effort to save the state estimated billions toward its $100 billion pension debt.</p><p>Dave Urbanek, with the Teachers Retirement System, one of the pension funds potentially affected by this legislation, said they&rsquo;d not yet done an analysis of how much of the fund, if any, is invested in companies that boycott Israel. He said if the bill is passed, and signed by the governor, a monitoring board would have to comb through about $45 billion in investment assets for the teachers fund alone. Another pension fund for state university workers has more than $17 billion in investments. And it&rsquo;s not yet clear what mechanisms would be put in place for the pension funds to identify the companies that are in fact boycotting Israel.</p><p>But another critic of the measure warns that Illinois lawmakers are establishing policy based on recent high-profile efforts to boycott companies that do business in Israel. On its <a href="http://www.bdsmovement.net/bdsintro">website</a>, the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement defines itself as &ldquo;a strategy that allows people of conscience to play an effective role in the Palestinian struggle for justice.&rdquo; It encourages the use of &ldquo;various forms of boycotts against Israel until it meets its obligations under international law,&rdquo; which includes, &ldquo;ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands occupied in June 1967 and dismantling the Wall.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;While it doesn&rsquo;t directly affect the rights of individuals in the U.S. to engage in boycotts themselves, it does create a chilling effect,&rdquo; Dima Khalidi, the director of Palestine Solidarity Legal Support in Chicago, said of the bill in Springfield.</p><p>Khalidi defended the BDS movement as being motivated by human rights, and denies the protests against Israel are anti-Semitic in nature. She also criticized the scope of the proposal that&rsquo;s awaiting a full House vote, saying the bill includes language to not only divest in companies boycotting Israel, but also those that take economic action against companies &ldquo;in territories controlled by the State of Israel,&rdquo; according to language in Senate Bill 1761.</p><p>&ldquo;It applies to companies that not only boycott Israeli companies, but companies that operate within the occupied territory,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;It does have important implications for what is considered Israel.&rdquo;</p><p>Illinois lawmakers have acknowledged the proposal before them is a response to companies that take part in the BDS movement.</p><p><em>Alexandra Salomon, a producer for WBEZ&rsquo;s Worldview, contributed reporting for this story. </em></p><p><em>Tony Arnold is WBEZ&rsquo;s Illinois state politics reporter. Follow him </em><a href="https://twitter.com/tonyjarnold"><em>@tonyjarnold</em></a><em>.</em></p></p> Fri, 15 May 2015 09:13:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-advancing-measure-divest-companies-boycotting-israel-112037 The Road to Election Day http://www.wbez.org/news/politics/road-election-day-111832 <p><p>This is it: The conclusion of the historic mayoral runoff election in Chicago has arrived. WBEZ&rsquo;s political duo Lauren Chooljian and Tony Arnold have been following incumbent Mayor Rahm Emanuel and challenger Cook County Commissioner Jesus &ldquo;Chuy&rdquo; Garcia all around the city leading up to the April 7th election.<br /><br />On the last full day of campaigning, the candidates spent their time in the parts of the city where they&rsquo;re expected to do best. Emanuel ate breakfast in Lakeview and Garcia riled up supporters in Pilsen.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="450" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/199572170&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;visual=true" width="100%">&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/iframe&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;Listen to other snapshots of Emanuel and Garcia&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;rsquo;s days on the campaign path below.&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;</iframe></p><p>Listen to other snapshots of Emanuel and Garcia&rsquo;s days on the campaign path below.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="450" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/playlists/96308850&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><em>Lauren Chooljian and Tony Arnold are WBEZ political reporters. Follow them <a href="https://twitter.com/laurenchooljian">@laurenchooljian</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/tonyjarnold">@tonyjarnold</a>.</em></p></p> Tue, 07 Apr 2015 09:16:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/politics/road-election-day-111832 Illinois Supreme Court to hear arguments on pension law http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-supreme-court-hear-arguments-pension-law-111681 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Illinois_Supreme_Court.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>The Illinois Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments Wednesday on the constitutionality of a new state law that would reduce retirement benefits for state employees. At stake is Illinois&rsquo; unpaid pension obligations, which have risen to above $100 billion, in addition to the pension benefits that individual state employees&rsquo; say that they&rsquo;ve been promised through their years of work.</p><p>The lawsuits that were filed against the state come from labor unions representing a range of their members, from suburban and downstate teachers and employees of universities, to cashiers for the Secretary of State&rsquo;s office and state prison correctional officers.</p><p>They say they&rsquo;re protected by the state constitution from the cuts that were approved by a bipartisan mix of lawmakers and that was signed by then-Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn. Arguments at Wednesday&rsquo;s Supreme Court hearing are likely to be a high level of legal discourse.</p><p>Here is a short breakdown of the issues presented so far.</p><p><span style="font-size:24px;">The stakes</span></p><p>The State of Illinois owes more than $100 billion in pension debt. Money from an increase in the statewide income tax rate had been used to make some pension payments, but that tax rate dropped in January with the election of Gov. Bruce Rauner, who has said the state&rsquo;s taxes are too high.</p><p>Many other local governments within Illinois are closely watching how the Supreme Court rules on the statewide pension question. State lawmakers granted the City of Chicago the ability to change retirement benefits for workers and laborers for the city. The city has stalled, changing the benefits to other pension funds.</p><p>Many of Chicago&rsquo;s suburbs are also watching the Supreme Court&rsquo;s ruling as they also look toward restructuring retirement benefits for their police officers, firefighters and other municipal employees.</p><p><span style="font-size:24px;">The argument <em>for</em> the pension law</span></p><p>The Illinois Attorney General&rsquo;s office has been defending the pension law in court. Attorneys there have argued that although the state pensions have been underfunded for years, the debt is now so large that it puts the government funding of schools, public healthcare and road construction at risk.</p><p>They argue fundamental functions of state government could not be funded without changes to pension benefits for state employees.</p><p>The Attorney General has also said that the pension costs are continuing to increase. For example, they say in court documents that in 1999, the pension fund for suburban and downstate teachers had nearly $11 billion in unfunded liabilities. By 2013, that debt had increased to $55.7 billion.</p><p><span style="font-size:24px;">The argument <em>against</em> the pension law</span></p><p>Labor unions say the constitution is on their side because it says pension benefits &ldquo;shall not be diminished or impaired.&rdquo;</p><p>According to court filings, attorneys for the unions say the politicians running Illinois state government chose not to fully fund the pensions for decades, and now &ldquo;the State expects the members of those systems to carry on their backs the burden of curing the state&rsquo;s longstanding misconduct.&rdquo;</p><p>Individual employees affected by these pension changes, from teachers to child protection investigators, listed their expected annual pension upon retirement, and have calculated an estimated amount of retirement income they&rsquo;d lose if the law stands. Among some state employees, that number reaches the hundreds of thousands of dollars.</p><p><span style="font-size:24px;">Previous court ruling on the pension law</span></p><p>The unions won round one in court. Sangamon County Judge John Belz said in a written opinion:</p><blockquote><p>&ldquo;The State of Illinois made a constitutionally protected promise to its employees concerning their pension benefits. Under established and uncontroverted Illinois law, the State of Illinois cannot break this promise.&rdquo;</p></blockquote><p>Attorneys were able to expedite the case to the state Supreme Court.</p><p><em><a href="http://twitter.com/tonyjarnold" target="_blank">Tony Arnold</a> is WBEZ&#39;s state politics reporter. </em></p></p> Tue, 10 Mar 2015 16:06:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-supreme-court-hear-arguments-pension-law-111681 Labor unions celebrate judge's ruling against Illinois pension law http://www.wbez.org/news/labor-unions-celebrate-judges-ruling-against-illinois-pension-law-111148 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/springfield_0_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>An Illinois judge has ruled unconstitutional a controversial plan to reduce state employees&rsquo; retirement benefits.<br /><br />Labor groups sued the State of Illinois for passing a bill reducing their members&rsquo; pension benefits. The unions representing downstate and suburban teachers, university employees and most other state workers argued the state constitution says, specifically, that retirement benefits can&rsquo;t be diminished. On Friday, Sangamon County Circuit Court Judge John Belz agreed.</p><p>Belz quoted directly from the state constitution in his six-page decision, citing the passage that states retirement benefits &ldquo;shall not be diminished or repaired.&rdquo; He singled out components of the bill that narrowly passed the state legislature last year to explain why he was ruling against the state. For instance, the law changed cost-of-living increases certain employees receive in retirement, and put a cap on some employees&rsquo; pensionable salary.</p><p>&ldquo;The State of Illinois made a constitutionally protected promise to its employees concerning their pension benefits,&rdquo; Belz wrote in his decision. &ldquo;Under established and uncontroverted Illinois law, the State of Illinois cannot break this promise.&rdquo;</p><p>Labor unions representing employees who are in those retirement systems celebrated the decision.</p><p>&ldquo;The court granted us everything. The court saw it our way,&rdquo; said Dan Montgomery, president of the Illinois Federation of Teachers. &ldquo;This is an unambiguous, unequivocal victory for the constitution and for working people.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;Retirees who earned their modest security in retirement, they always paid their share. And they should not be punished for the failures of politicians,&rdquo; said Anders Lindall, a spokesman for the We Are One Coalition, a group of labor unions.</p><p>Attorneys who defended the bill acknowledged that it reduced benefits, but argued it is needed to deal with a $105 billion unfunded pension liability. Studies have shown that massive debt tied to Illinois&rsquo; retirement payments is the worst of any state in the country.</p><p>Gov. Pat Quinn, and those who supported the legislation, argue basic functions of state government are in danger if the pension law is found to be unconstitutional.</p><p>&ldquo;This historic pension reform law eliminates the state&rsquo;s unfunded liability and fully stabilizes the systems to ensure retirement security for employees who have faithfully contributed to them,&rdquo; Quinn said in a statement.</p><p>The Democratic governor was defeated in this month&rsquo;s election by Republican Bruce Rauner, who also released a statement asking the state&rsquo;s Supreme Court to take up the case as soon as possible.</p><p>The office of Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is defending the law in court. Her office said Friday that it will ask the state Supreme Court to expedite an appeal &ldquo;given the significant impact that a final decision in this case will have on the state&rsquo;s fiscal condition.&rdquo;</p><p>Meantime, Democratic Senate President John Cullerton is considering a plan, in case the state Supreme Court agrees with Judge Belz and throws out the law. Cullerton had pushed for a separate pension proposal that would ask employees to choose between earning state-funded health care coverage in retirement or receiving pay increases.</p><p>&ldquo;If they throw it out, we&rsquo;ll be back to square one and then we go back again to the alternative that already passed the Senate and when that passes, save some money that we can then pass on to education funding and whatever else we want to utilize that savings,&rdquo; Cullerton said Friday.</p><p>Legislators would have to re-visit Cullerton&rsquo;s proposal in a new General Assembly, after January&rsquo;s inauguration.</p><p><em>Tony Arnold covers Illinois politics for WBEZ. Follow him <a href="http://twitter.com/tonyjarnold" target="_blank">@tonyjarnold</a>.</em></p></p> Fri, 21 Nov 2014 17:19:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/labor-unions-celebrate-judges-ruling-against-illinois-pension-law-111148 Teachers union president vows to fight cuts to pensions http://www.wbez.org/news/teachers-union-president-vows-fight-cuts-pensions-109618 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/karenlewis.jpg" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid-4f4111df-eab0-88bc-9e92-a95991dd6897">The head of the Chicago Teachers Union on Friday said she will not accept cuts to retired teachers&rsquo; benefits as a way to ease the district&rsquo;s pension crisis; though she did detail some ideas for easing a funding shortfall of at least $8 billion.</p><p>CTU President Karen Lewis said she was &ldquo;horrified&rdquo; by the controversial overhaul of state worker pensions that became law in December. That law, which scales back benefits for retirees and increases retirement ages for younger workers, has been discussed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel&rsquo;s administration as a possible template for the ailing Chicago Teachers&rsquo; Pension Fund.</p><p>&ldquo;All right, you can cut pensions,&rdquo; Lewis said. &ldquo;Then what happens to those people? So this is not just about a spreadsheet piece, it&rsquo;s [about] what actually happens to the people.&rdquo;</p><p>Chicago is facing two big challenges with its teachers&rsquo; pension fund: a state-mandated $400-million spike in contributions next year and a system that is critically underfunded. The underfunding is due, in large part, to a decade-long contribution holiday - when Chicago Public Schools paid nothing toward its teachers&rsquo; pensions - that was followed by a few years of reduced payments.</p><p>In an interview with WBEZ on Friday, Lewis said simply delaying the payments is no longer an option. She suggested that CPS needs to reprioritize its budget in order to meet its required $600 million pension contribution next year, pointing to a <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/cps-approves-seven-new-charter-schools-109558" target="_blank">recent decision</a> by CPS&rsquo; board to approve several new charter schools.</p><p>&ldquo;You do have the money,&rdquo; Lewis said of the district. &ldquo;You have to choose to use it. It&rsquo;s a difference between not having the money, [and] having it and not wanting to do it.&rdquo;</p><p>Lewis declined to offer a specific plan for righting the Chicago Teachers&rsquo; Pension Fund, which currently has <a href="http://www.ctpf.org/AnnualReports/cafr2012.pdf" target="_blank">less than half</a> the money it needs to fulfill its long-term obligations. But she did hint at some things she wants to see in a final proposal, which would need approval from state lawmakers.</p><p>Lewis called for a restoration of the designated property tax line item that would exclusively fund Chicago teacher pensions. That&rsquo;s how the system was funded before 1995, when former Mayor Richard M. Daley gained authority over the public schools and that property tax stream was diverted into the district&rsquo;s main bank account.</p><p>And while she said she opposed any changes in benefits for current retirees, Lewis did not rule out changing the benefits of teachers who are still on the job.</p><p>&ldquo;We could have conversations about that,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;We could have significant conversations about that. But there are ways to not have to do that.&rdquo;</p><p>But currently, there aren&rsquo;t any conversations between the union and the Emanuel administration, according to Lewis.</p><p>&ldquo;We haven&rsquo;t been in negotiations for a while because the person who actually is in charge doesn&rsquo;t wanna be in negotiations,&rdquo; she said, referring to the mayor. &ldquo;He wants a bill.&rdquo;</p><p>The district&rsquo;s most recent offer included eliminating cost-of-living increases for retirees&rsquo; benefits and cutting the amount of money contributed to each teacher&rsquo;s pension by about a third, according to the union.</p><p>A CPS spokesman declined to talk specifics about the district&rsquo;s proposals.</p><p>&quot;For the last two years, the District has been working to reach an agreement with CTU on meaningful pension reform that protects the retirement security of our teachers while avoiding dramatic cuts to the classroom,&rdquo; said CPS spokesman Joel Hood. &ldquo;We have always been willing to sit down for discussions with the CTU.&rdquo;</p><p>Meanwhile, Emanuel budget spokeswoman Kelley Quinn said in an email Friday that the mayor meets regularly with state legislative leaders to discuss the city&rsquo;s agenda in Springfield, including pensions.</p><p>Emanuel and his allies in the state legislature have been emphasizing the need to fix Chicago&rsquo;s municipal pension crisis, now that state lawmakers finally passed a law addressing the state&rsquo;s massively underfunded pension systems. On top of the problem with its teachers pensions, City Hall also faces a crisis with its retirement funds for police, firefighters, laborers and municipal workers, which together, face their own nearly $19.5 billion funding shortfall.</p><p><em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/users/akeefe" target="_blank">Alex Keefe</a> is a political reporter at WBEZ. You can follow him on <a href="https://twitter.com/WBEZpolitics">Twitter</a> and <a href="https://plus.google.com/102759794640397640028">Google+</a>. Reporters <a href="https://twitter.com/WBEZeducation">Becky Vevea</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/tonyjarnold">Tony Arnold</a> contributed to this report.</em></p></p> Fri, 31 Jan 2014 17:42:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/teachers-union-president-vows-fight-cuts-pensions-109618 Afternoon Shift: Khaled Hosseini, independent film and Illinois Senate deadlines http://www.wbez.org/programs/afternoon-shift/2013-05-28/afternoon-shift-khaled-hosseini-independent-film-and-illinois <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/khaled.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Khaled Hosseini talks about the themes of morality and human relationships in his new book. How difficult is it to make an independent film in Chicago? Filmmaker Aemilia Scott and director of the Midwest Film Festival, Mike McNamara answer. WBEZ reporter Tony Arnold gives an update on Springfield.</p><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/afternoon-shift-khaled-hosseini-independent-films.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/afternoon-shift-khaled-hosseini-independent-films" target="_blank">View the story "Afternoon Shift: Khaled Hosseini, independent film and Illinois Senate deadlines" on Storify</a>]</noscript></p> Tue, 28 May 2013 10:58:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/afternoon-shift/2013-05-28/afternoon-shift-khaled-hosseini-independent-film-and-illinois 'Morning Shift': #80 The legislative session goes on http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-01-07/morning-shift-80-legislative-session-goes-104739 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/MorningshiftCopy_5_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-80-the-legislative-session-goes-on.js?header=false&border=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-80-the-legislative-session-goes-on" target="_blank">View the story "'Morning Shift': #80 The legislative session goes on" on Storify</a>]</noscript></p> Mon, 07 Jan 2013 09:37:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-01-07/morning-shift-80-legislative-session-goes-104739 Apologies and Attribution: The new breaking news http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2012-01-23/apologies-and-attribution-new-breaking-news-95744 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2012-January/2012-01-23/RS4540_AP110728144210.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Generations of reporters have used the phrase, "If your mother says she loves you, check it out." Though, it seemed over the weekend that maxim was ignored by some big news organizations when they reported former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno had died on Saturday - well before Paterno's actual death Sunday. So, what went wrong? Who’s to blame?<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jen-sabella" target="_blank"> Jen Sabella</a>, editor of the <em><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/chicago/" target="_blank">Huffington Post Chicago</a></em> and WBEZ news desk editor<a href="http://www.wbez.org/staff/tony-arnold" target="_blank"> Tony Arnold</a> and editorial consultant Carl Lavin joined <em>Eight Forty-Eight </em>to discuss how news outlets attribute and source their news in these days of aggregation. Lavin, who says the best time to be a journalist is now, recently outlined "<a href="http://carllavin.wordpress.com/2012/01/22/10-lessons-for-newsrooms-on-accuracy-and-apologies/" target="_blank">10 Lessons for Newsrooms: On Accuracy and Apologies.</a>"</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 23 Jan 2012 14:54:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2012-01-23/apologies-and-attribution-new-breaking-news-95744 WBEZ's Tony Arnold discusses the Tahawwur Rana verdict http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-06-10/wbezs-tony-arnold-discusses-tahawwur-rana-verdict-87684 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-June/2011-06-10/Rana AP Tom 2.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The jury has delivered a split verdict in the terrorism trial of Tahawwur Rana. On Thursday, a jury found Rana guilty on two counts: aiding a Pakistan-based terrorist group and plotting an attack on a Danish newspaper. But they acquitted the Chicago businessman on the third and most serious: helping to plan the 2008 attacks in Mumbai India, which claimed at least 164 lives.</p><p>WBEZ’s Tony Arnold was there for the verdict and spoke to <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em>'s about the decision.</p><p><i>Music Button: Kate Simko, "Strumm," from the Strumm </i><i>EP </i><i>(Kupei Musika)</i></p></p> Fri, 10 Jun 2011 13:59:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-06-10/wbezs-tony-arnold-discusses-tahawwur-rana-verdict-87684 Carol Mosely Braun holds press conference in front of blood-stain, hours after drive-by http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/carol-mosely-braun-holds-press-conference-front-blood-stain-hours-after-drive <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/moselybraun-bloodstain.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>I'm a little late, but maybe this could be a new segment for the blog - instead of a morning round-up, maybe I can gather interesting tidbits from reporters and ongoing stories and deliver you an afternoon report:</p><p><strong>Top Story</strong>:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/jim-reilly/navy-pier-getting-leased">Navy Pier is being leased to a not-for-profit</a>. According to Al Keefe's story today, the new not-for-profit wants to make the pier more &quot;family-friendly.&quot; No doubt that will include re-approaching the Chicago Childrens Museum, who's latest plan to move to Grant Park has been stymied by political forces. But no one mentioned the makeshift Thomas Train by the fudge shop. No word if renovations and expansion might be in the works for the odd, circular, indoor train.</p><p><strong>B story</strong>:&nbsp;Carol Mosely Braun held a press conference today at the site of a drive-by shooting to emphasize the need for better crime policies. The drive-by actually happened this morning and reporters and cameramen were treated to graphic blood stains on the street to punctuate her point. Now, I'm sure every crime reporter has seen their share of blood stains, but this wasn't a crime story, rather a press conference for a politician running for office. What do you think? Does this smack of exploiting victims or does it bring home the need for us to deal with violence on Chicago streets? Here's the picture of the stain, which was directly behind Mosely-Braun. Was this intended by the campaign? Or did the media, upon arrival, choose this spot because of the gruesome scene?&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img height="375" width="500" title="" alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-January/2011-01-05/moselybraun-bloodstain.jpg" /></p><p><strong>C story</strong>:&nbsp;Hey, WBEZ's Tony Arnold made the front-page of the Sun-Times today! He's so close to becoming recognized on the street:</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img height="600" width="450" title="" alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-January/2011-01-05/rahm-tonyarnold.jpg" /></p><p><strong>D story</strong>: You got to give it up for Sarah Jindra. Our traffic reporter took her flip camera and <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/video-sarah-jindra-gives-birds-eye-view-wacker-drive-traffic">recorded a video high-above Wacker Drive</a> to show the hot-spots, congestion and new alternative routes due to construction. For my money, best coverage of the construction to date. Kudos Jindra!</p><p><strong>Weather</strong>: Ooooh, it's cold. And whenever I&nbsp;wear a sports jacket, I&nbsp;can't get my puffy coat over it so I&nbsp;go without. So I've got a long, cold commute tonight.</p><p><strong>Sports</strong>: You know who else is awesome?&nbsp;Stacey King. The colorful color-commentator for the Chicago Bulls gave us a few minutes before a recent home game to help us better understand his awesome, off-the-cuff, wild-tongued phrases. He is <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/wikipedia-files-stacey-king">'King' of the Wikipedia Files</a>.</p><p><strong>Kicker</strong>: Are you serious? <a href="http://gapersblock.com/merge/archives/2011/01/05/vanilla-ice/">Butt-dialing</a>? I hope Wilmette outlaws butt-dialing.</p></p> Wed, 05 Jan 2011 19:40:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/carol-mosely-braun-holds-press-conference-front-blood-stain-hours-after-drive