WBEZ | Grant Park http://www.wbez.org/tags/grant-park Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Chicago Marathon registration opens today http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-marathon-registration-opens-today-105602 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/RS3685_Chicago Marathon 2008_Flickr_Pannecko.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Registration for the 36th annual Bank of America Chicago Marathon opened today.</p><p>Last year it only took a record breaking six days to fill the 45,000 spots.</p><p>The event is scheduled for October 13, starting and finishing in Chicago&rsquo;s Grant Park.</p><p>Will Bridge manages Universal Sole, a local runner&rsquo;s specialty shop.</p><p>He says the popularity of the Chicago marathon is pushing first time runners to commit early.</p><p>&ldquo;Every year we see people that are spectators that get excited and think &lsquo;I&rsquo;m going to do that next year&rsquo;,&rdquo; Bridge said. &ldquo;In years past they didn&rsquo;t really have to face that issue until June... now you&rsquo;re forced in February.&rdquo;</p><p>Bridge says he&rsquo;s betting registration will close out within a couple of days this year.</p><p>People registering today experienced problems on the website. The organizers of the marathon released this statement:</p><p>&ldquo;Some people have been experiencing error messages in the process of registering for the 2013 Bank of America Chicago Marathon. We are working with our registration partners at Active.com to resolve the situation as quickly as possible.&rdquo;</p><p>&nbsp;Registration for U.S. participants costs $175, and $200 for those outside of the U.S.</p><p>For more information, or to register, visit <a href="http://chicagomarathon.com" target="_blank">chicagomarathon.com</a>.</p></p> Tue, 19 Feb 2013 10:43:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-marathon-registration-opens-today-105602 Tribune: If severe weather hits, fans at Lollapalooza are screwed http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2012-08/tribune-if-severe-weather-hits-fans-lollapalooza-are-screwed-101374 <p><p>&nbsp;</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/1Lolla.jpg" style="height: 450px; width: 600px; " title="Bad weather at Lollapalooza in 2011 (Flickr/Robert Francis)" /></div><p>Four years ago, on the Monday after Lollapalooza 2008, the tornado sirens went off in the city of Chicago for the first time in the 20 years I&rsquo;ve lived here. Raised on the east coast, I was startled when my wife grabbed me by the hand to cower in the basement for 45 minutes until the all-clear. What would have happened, I wondered, if the warning tolled 24 hours earlier when 150,000 people were in Grant Park? (This year, the city has approved attendance of 300,000.)</p><p><a href="http://blogs.suntimes.com/music/2008/08/on_tornadoes_and_the_cops_new.html">I wrote a piece for the <em>Sun-Times</em> trying to answer that question</a>, but I had little luck getting an answer as city spokeswomen stonewalled me. The people in the northern end of the park, it seemed obvious, would be directed to the underground parking ramps below Millennium Park. But what of the 75,000 (now 150,000) filling Hutchinson Field, in front of Lollapalooza&rsquo;s main stage, and the rest of the southern end of the park?</p><p>Soldier Field, which would be locked, is a long hike across Lake Shore Drive, and the hotel basements on Michigan Avenue, which never could accommodate that size crowd, are no closer. In severe weather, the park would need to be cleared on short notice, without panic, and with clear directions on where people should go. Shouldn&rsquo;t the plan be publicized in advance?</p><p>At the time, police spokeswoman Monique Bond and Office of Emergency Management &amp; Communications spokeswoman Jennifer Martinez both assured me that the city had an evacuation plan&mdash;though neither would tell me what it was, because of &ldquo;terrorist concerns,&rdquo; they claimed.</p><p>In a hard-hitting story in today&rsquo;s <em><a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/music/lollapalooza/ct-met-lolla-emergency-plan-20120801,0,3917978,full.story">Chicago Tribune </a></em><a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/music/lollapalooza/ct-met-lolla-emergency-plan-20120801,0,3917978,full.story">written by Heather Gillers</a>&nbsp;&mdash;&nbsp;the paper&rsquo;s new investigative entertainment reporter who won nationwide acclaim in her last gig for her coverage of the Indiana State Fair stage collapse &mdash;&nbsp;the question of the specifics of the Grant Park evacuation plan still remains unanswered, as does another that had not occurred to me: Who will cancel or suspend the show and take control of an emergency evacuation if one is needed? Writes Gillers:</p><blockquote><p><em>The written plan is unclear on what would happen if the safety officials and the promoter are in conflict &mdash; a situation that can stifle quick decisions. That type of conflict likely contributed to tragedy in the weather-related collapse of a stage structure last year in Indianapolis.</em></p><p><em>An independent expert who analyzed what happened at the Indiana State Fair, where seven concert-goers were killed, said plans should leave no ambiguity about who makes the final call in an emergency.</em></p><p><em>&ldquo;It is not in the best interest of public safety to have ambiguity about who is responsible for the decision about whether the show should be delayed,&rdquo; said Charlie Fisher of Witt Associates, which conducted an eight-month independent assessment of emergency preparedness by the Indiana State Fair.</em></p><p><em>&ldquo;It should be very clear: &lsquo;This is who is going to make the call,&rsquo; and &lsquo;This is how the call is going to be made.&rsquo;&rdquo;&hellip;</em></p><p><em>Carol Cwiak, assistant professor of emergency management at North Dakota State University, said sometimes cities agree to emergency-weather plans that enlist promoters in decision-making because it makes the city a more attractive place to hold an event.</em></p><p><em>&ldquo;It will limit private-sector partners from wanting to come into those jurisdictions and do events if they feel like their control is removed,&rdquo; she said.</em></p><p><em>But she said cities should be careful when sharing that authority.</em></p><p><em>&ldquo;The promoter has a monetary interest,&rdquo; Cwiak said. &ldquo;They probably want to take care of people as well. But that&#39;s not their primary interest.&rdquo;</em></p><p><em>[Lollapalooza spokeswoman Shelby] Meade said: &ldquo;[Lollapalooza promoter] C3 has no financial incentive to, nor interest in, proceeding with a festival that would endanger fans.&rdquo;</em></p></blockquote><p>Can we really accept that, however, when for the last eight years, <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2012-07/grant-park-watchdogs-and-lollapalooza-hype-boone-talks-music-and">Lollapalooza has skimped on security and fencing, allowing large crowds of gate-crashers to rush the event &mdash; endangering fans and themselves?</a> The promoters have promised much tighter control of that issue this weekend. But, as with the weather, they have to date simply been lucky that serious injuries have been minimal, many concert professionals and industry watchdogs have said.</p></p> Wed, 01 Aug 2012 10:55:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2012-08/tribune-if-severe-weather-hits-fans-lollapalooza-are-screwed-101374 Grant Park watchdogs and Lollapalooza hype; Boone talks music and the Cultural Plan http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2012-07/grant-park-watchdogs-and-lollapalooza-hype-boone-talks-music-and <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/1303383825_193dc5d075_z.jpg" style="height: 743px; width: 550px;" title="(Flickr/new1mproved)" /></div><p>As usual in the days leading up to Lollapalooza, which takes place Friday through Sunday in its eighth year in Grant Park, the Chicago media has been in full-on hypemaster mode, with a particular emphasis on repeating promoters&rsquo; claims that there won&rsquo;t be an encore of the trashed grounds that took months to clean up in 2011, or the massive onslaught of freeloaders crashing the gates and trampling everything in their path&mdash;flower beds as well as paying customers.</p><p>Here is <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/entertainment/13996506-452/here-for-the-long-run-lollapalooza-makes-itself-at-home.html">Thomas Conner</a> and <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/news/cityhall/14020080-418/extra-fences-and-security-planned-to-combat-lollapalooza-gate-crashers-and-landscape-damage.html">Fran Spielman</a> in the Sun-Times and <a href="http://chicagoist.com/2012/07/27/expect_extra_fencing_security_at_lo.php">Chuck Sudo in Chicagoist</a>, to cite a few of the many recent stories repeating Texas-based promoters C3 Presents&rsquo; promises of more fencing and security, both to protect the park and to keep the non-paying customers out, complete with Chicago Park District Superintendent Michael Kelly and Bob O&rsquo;Neill of the watchdog group the Grant Park Conservancy cheerfully saying that this year, everything should be swell.</p><p>Stopping the fence-jumpers is no easy task, however. Last year, some of the groups that rushed the gates numbered 75 people or more, overwhelming security, according to this story in <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-08-07/news/chi-packs-of-fencejumpers-rush-lollapalooza-20110807_1_fence-lollapalooza-security-guards">the <em>Tribune</em></a> and numerous other accounts. This created a situation that was unsafe for people inside legitimately, as well as for the uninvited guests scamming/forcing their way in: <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/6925286-418/two-struck-seriously-injured-by-car-outside-lollapalooza.html">At least two were seriously injured in 2011</a> when they were hit by a car while dashing across Lake Shore Drive.</p><p>Security guards who worked the concert&mdash;the majority come from the local company S3 or <a href="http://www.safetyservicesystems.com/">Safety Systems Services</a>, which works for and partially is owned by Chicago concert mainstays Jam Productions&mdash;told me they saw concertgoers trying to climb up the railroad trestle at the southern end of the park near Hutchinson Field (&ldquo;These kids would have broken their necks if they fell!&rdquo;), as well as doing the flash-mob rush at the northern end of the park near the Art Institute.</p><p>None of this was a game: One guard was hit in the head with a bottle as a gate-crasher rushed him, and he suffered a nasty gash. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s only a matter of time before somebody gets killed&mdash;one of them, or one of us,&rdquo; the security staffer said. &ldquo;Grant Park just is too damn big to really secure, and this thing should be taking place somewhere in the middle of nowhere, like Dave Matthews last year.&rdquo;</p><p>Nevertheless, Lollapalooza has a contractual lock on Chicago&rsquo;s front yard&mdash;and not just through 2021, as the Sun-Times reported, but in perpetuity, given that the promoters and the city can extend the new deal annual forever, <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2012-04/city-releases-lollapalooza-contract-98324">as reported here</a>. And nobody seems to mind, least of all the group that traditionally voiced its objections to anything that took the very public park private, even for a short time.</p><p>&ldquo;There&rsquo;ll be much more fencing off of all the areas with sensitive landscaping. Flowers and bushes and things that can get trampled will be protected,&rdquo; Bob O&rsquo;Neill, president of the Grant Park Conservancy, told the Sun-Times. &ldquo;And there are a lot more precautions being set, much more diligence in auditing the before and after.&rdquo;</p><p>Lest any members of his group or other friends of the park remain skeptical about things, the Grant Park Conservancy Advisory Council is meeting at 6:30 p.m. tomorrow at Daley Bicentennial Plaza, 337 E. Randolph, to assuage their fears by answering the questions, &ldquo;How will Lollapalooza be different from last year? How will the park&nbsp;be restored? What are the benefits to Grant Park and Chicago&rsquo;s parks under the new arrangements?&rdquo;</p><p>That last question may be the thorniest, given that <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/jim-derogatis/2012-03-14/lollapalooza-finally-will-pay-what-it-owes-97309">Lollapalooza for the first time will be paying its full freight on amusement taxes</a>&mdash;to the city, and not to the (now non-existent) Parkways Foundation parks charity. Where will the money go from 2012? Nobody has said for sure yet, but there are many more pressing demands than new flower beds and benches in the midst of a budget crisis.</p><p>Meanwhile, more soothing but none-too-illuminating words are likely to be spoken at another meeting tonight, when Michelle Boone, Commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, and Angel Ysaguirre, her new deputy in charge of arts programming, talk about the much-ballyhooed Cultural Plan, no doubt for the first time being pressed on music therein&mdash;a natural, given that the session is being hosted by Grammy sponsors the Recording Academy (and taking place from 6 to 9 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom of the Sofitel Chicago Water Tower, 20 E. Chesnut.</p><p>The discussion will be moderated by Chicago music journalist Althea Legaspi, and it&rsquo;s free for Recording Academy members but $25 for the rest of us. <a href="https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dGdhTENoRUZjZWxRSjltY3Nlai1ZdXc6MQ">Tickets can be reserved here</a>.</p><p><strong><u>Earlier</u></strong></p><p>April 15: <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2012-04/new-lollapalooza-deal-blown-opportunity-98257">The New Lollapalooza Deal: A Blown Opportunity</a></p><p>April 17: <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2012-04/city-releases-lollapalooza-contract-98324">City releases Lollapalooza contract</a></p><p>July 16: <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2012-07/cultural-plan-music-specifics-nonexistent-100949">The Cultural Plan on music: Specifics non-existent</a></p></p> Mon, 30 Jul 2012 12:50:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2012-07/grant-park-watchdogs-and-lollapalooza-hype-boone-talks-music-and Axelrod hints at Obama 2012 election night party in Chicago http://www.wbez.org/story/axelrod-hints-obama-2012-election-night-party-chicago-96060 <p><p>A top political advisor to President Barack Obama is hinting that Chicago will again host a big election night party.</p><p>On November 4th, 2008, an estimated 70,000 people turned out in Chicago's Grant Park to hear Mr. Obama claim victory. Regardless of whether 2012 is again that festive for Obama supporters, a major election night event is standard.</p><p>Presidential advisor David Axelrod said Thursday that the location hasn't been discussed.</p><p>"But, you know, our [campaign] headquarters is here. The president's heart is here. So, you know, I think that will help guide our decision-making," Axelrod said.</p><p>Axelrod said he would like the festivities to be in Chicago.</p><p>In 2004, President George W. Bush held his re-election night party just a few blocks from the White House, though his campaign was based in the Washington suburbs.</p></p> Thu, 02 Feb 2012 20:17:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/axelrod-hints-obama-2012-election-night-party-chicago-96060 The Municipal Razor: The story of Chicago and the guillotine http://www.wbez.org/blog/john-r-schmidt/2012-01-16/municipal-razor-story-chicago-and-guillotine-95475 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//blog/photo/2012-January/2012-01-16/01-16--guillotine.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/blog/insert-image/2012-January/2012-01-11/01-16--Dimnet%20%28L%20of%20C%29.jpg" style="width: 287px; height: 340px; margin: 8px; float: left;" title="Abbe Ernest Dimnet (Library of Congress)">Crime was on the minds of Chicagoans on this January 16th in 1925.</p><p>The city was earning a reputation as the wildest metropolis in the world. In the past five years robberies had gone up 35%, while the numbers of rapes, bombings, and arson cases were rising at an alarming rate. In just the last two years, murders had more than doubled.</p><p>Many experts blamed the crime problem on the Prohibition act. Alcoholic beverages had been banned, and bootlegger gangs now controlled the liquor trade. Violence was part of their business. Everyday citizens were losing respect for the law, too.</p><p>Still, Prohibition wasn't going to be junked any time soon. So what could be done about Chicago's crime? A visiting priest had one answer.</p><p>Abbe Ernest Dimnet was the canon of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. He was a respected French author whose books were becoming popular in English translation. The abbe was stopping in Chicago on a lecture tour.</p><p>Mayor Lewis Shank of Indianapolis was also in town to give a speech to a business breakfast. Shank had said the way to fix Chicago crime was to hire smarter policemen. Dimnet thought that was only part of the cure.</p><p>"In France," the abbe said, "we would be horrified at such a crime wave that has deluged dry Chicago." Besides good police, the city needed good judges who were not afraid to enforce the law. And there was one more thing.</p><p>Chicago needed a guillotine.</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2012-January/2012-01-11/01-16--guillotine.jpg" style="width: 485px; height: 353px; margin: 8px; float: right;" title="">Dimnet admitted that chopping off heads was not exactly civilized. "However," he went on, "there is something in the utter finality of the descending blade of a guillotine that inspires a healthy respect for the law."</p><p>This was a far better way to deal with criminals than putting them in prison. Because of bleeding-heart reformers, many prisons had become as posh as a bachelors' hotel.</p><p>To be an effective deterrent, Dimnet said that the executions must be public. He thought the best location for the "municipal razor" would be in Grant Park.</p><p>Abbe Ernest Dimnet returned to Paris unharmed by his visit to Chicago. A few years later he wrote a best-selling self-help book in English titled <em>The Art of Thinking.</em></p><p>Prohibition ended in 1933. Despite Dimnet's advice, Chicago never did erect a guillotine in Grant Park. Instead the city used the site for Buckingham Fountain.</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 16 Jan 2012 13:15:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/john-r-schmidt/2012-01-16/municipal-razor-story-chicago-and-guillotine-95475 December 21, 1910: Open, clear, and free http://www.wbez.org/blog/john-r-schmidt/2011-12-21/december-21-1910-open-clear-and-free-94806 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//blog/photo/2011-December/2011-12-21/12-21--Lakeshore s from Randolph.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>When Chicagoans want to show off the beauty of our town, we take visitors to the lakefront. Most cities don't have such a spectacular front yard. That makes December 21st an important date.</p><p>Back in 1836 Chicago was still a village. The commissioners who were building the nearby Illinois &amp; Michigan Canal used their authority to make the lakefront public land. They ruled that it would be "a common to remain forever open, clear, and free of any buildings, or other obstruction whatever."</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-December/2011-12-12/12-21--Lakeshore s from Randolph.jpg" title="Lakefront at Randolph, 1903 (Library of Congress/Chicago Daily News)" height="316" width="490"></p><p>The lake came almost up to Michigan Avenue then. The order applied to the area east of the avenue, between Randolph and 12th Street (Roosevelt Road). In 1856 the Illinois Central Railroad built a trestle over the open water to a terminal at Randolph and Michigan.</p><p>After the 1871 fire, the city started dumping debris into the space between Michigan Avenue and the railroad trestle. This created a landfill known as Lake Park. Squatters' shacks sprang up, while the garbage mounds kept growing. For a few years the city's National League baseball team played their games on a corner the site.</p><p>By 1890 Lake Park was an eyesore. Mail-order tycoon Montgomery Ward had his office directly across from the park. Citing the 1836 decree, he brought suit to have the area cleared and kept open.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-December/2011-12-12/12-21--Ward.jpg" title="Montgomery Ward" height="310" width="211"></p><p>Ward's action was not popular. He was standing in the way of progress! Surely an ancient law enacted by a bunch of dead commissioners did not apply to modern conditions, and should be discarded! The case worked its way to the Illinois Supreme Court. The court ruled in Ward's favor.</p><p>Over the next twenty years, politicians and their allies tried various ways to evade the law. Ward beat them in two more lawsuits. Meanwhile, the park was renamed Grant Park and spruced up. Except for the Art Institute, there were no new buildings.</p><p>In 1910 the trustees of the proposed Field Museum of Natural History wanted to build at Congress Plaza. Ward sued again. On December 21 he was upheld again--finally, and definitively. The museum was later built on new landfill south of 12th Street.</p><p>Montgomery Ward died in 1913. Today he's looked on as a visionary, who saved the lakefront for the people of Chicago. So why isn't there a statue of him in Grant Park?</p></p> Wed, 21 Dec 2011 13:15:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/john-r-schmidt/2011-12-21/december-21-1910-open-clear-and-free-94806 Lollapalooza 2011 gets underway in Chicago http://www.wbez.org/story/lollapalooza-2011-gets-underway-chicago-90201 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//story/photo/2011-August/2011-08-05/Lollapalooza Crowd 2010_AP_Nam Y. Huh.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The Lollapalooza music festival kicked off Friday in Chicago's Grant Park, celebrating its 20th anniversary with more than 130 bands and an estimated 270,000 people in attendance during the three day event. The concert will feature headliners like Coldplay, Muse, Eminem, Foo Fighters and My Morning Jacket.</p><p>The record breaking attendance is sure to bring delays for pedestrians and drivers, according to Roderick Drew, spokespeson for the city of Chicago's Office of Emergency Management and Communications.</p><p>Columbus Drive from Monroe to Roosevelt will be closed until August 8th, and the west sidewalk on Lake Shore Drive from Monroe to Roosevelt also will be closed.</p><p>For residents who planned on catching a listen outside of Grant Park, Drew said they'd be out of luck.</p><p>"Pedestrian traffic will be redirected to the east side of Lake Shore Drive so if you don't have a ticket and you expect to be able to camp out on the sidewalk&nbsp; outside the event on the west side of that sidewalk you won't be able to do so," he said.</p><p>According to Drew, the Chicago Transit Authority will be providing extra train service to accommodate the massive crowds. He said drivers should expect delays due to Lollapalooza throughout the weekend.</p><p>Meanwhile, inside the park, Lollapalooza organizers have been planning for more than just crowds and music -- they've organized a few greening efforts as well. For the first time, the festival will be home to an extensive composting system. Lollapalooza organizers hired Pritchard Events to head the project.</p><p>"We have about 20 stations in the food courts where we have a compost manager and we have stations where there's a landfill container, recycling and compost, and we have a person standing at each one of those stations directing people on what to do," said David Mayer, director of sustainability for Pritchard Events.</p><p>But the composting doesn't end there. Mayer said he's worked with food vendors to use only compostable plates, silverware and kitchen utensils. He's even got some of his staff working in the kitchens at the food court to make sure food scraps are composted, too. Mayer said he wanted to make up for last year's unsuccessful greening endeavors.<br> <br> Concert goers will be swarming Grant Park until Sunday evening, when the festival comes to a close.<br> &nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 05 Aug 2011 21:03:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/lollapalooza-2011-gets-underway-chicago-90201 Horse urine, breathalyzers, media wars and ALL CAPS liberal bashing http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/2011-03-31/horse-urine-breathalyzers-media-wars-and-all-caps-liberal-bashing-84 <p><p>Today we have some great content on wbez.org to round out March. Seriously, I have over 10 blogs publishing today. All top notch (except this one, of course). Take a look around if you have time. May I suggest "<a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/cabrini/teardown-begins-last-cabrini-high-rise-84447">Top 5 dinosaur myths</a> from Clever Apes, <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/steve-dolinsky/2011-03-31/top-5-chicago-bars-serving-above-average-food-84103">Top 5 above-average bars</a> from Dolinsky and the <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/lee-bey/2011-03-31/skyscraper-jailhouse-harry-weese-de-luxe-compartments-sky-84478">jailhouse skyscraper</a> from Lee Bey.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/rotatingframe/5573349634/" title="full serve by Rotating Frame, on Flickr"><img alt="full serve" src="http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5226/5573349634_1397634710.jpg" width="333" height="500"></a></p><p style="text-align: center;"><sup>(Looks like I'm filling up with ultimate! Photo by Rotating Frame/Flickr)</sup></p><p><strong>Top story</strong>: I forgot this from last week, but did you see the story of Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel's favorite choice for police chief <a href="http://articles.philly.com/2011-03-24/news/29181749_1_dui-cases-breathalyzer-machines-hundreds-of-drunk-drivers">botching eight Philadelphia breathalyzers</a>? Apparently an officer (a lone officer, according to Charles Ramsey) was responsible for not properly calibrating eight breathalyzer machines and it was giving bad numbers. Therefore, the Philly police may have to throw out 1,100 drunk driving charges. So if you are a drunk driver in Chicago, Ramsey might be your guy.</p><p><strong>B story</strong>: <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chibrknews-longtime-chicago-magazine-editor-stepping-down-20110330,0,4300169.story">Richard Babcock is stepping down as the editor of Chicago Magazine</a>. He held the position for over 20 years and is moving on. The media vultures are circling, asking if <a href="http://www.chicagocurrent.com/articles/31504-Does-Chicago-mag-have-a-future-">Chicago can survive in this new media age</a>. Of course, <a href="http://twitter.com/ourmaninchicago/status/53206205438500864">Chi Mag takes offense</a>. Ooooh, media fight!</p><p><strong>C story</strong>: Alderman Brendan Reilly is on a hot streak! First, he succeeded in <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/23/chicago-childrens-museum-_n_839671.html">finishing off the Children's Museum's idea to move to Grant Park</a>. Then, he stepped up to the plate to put into law that <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/alderman-brendan-reilly/chicago-ordinance-cracks-down-smell-horse-urine-84506">horse urine be deodorized</a> on the spot where it falls. I remember Alderman Natarus (former 42nd Ward alderman) making a stink about horses and urine/diapers back in his heyday and the Chicago media (including me) laughing him off the City Council floor. But somehow, Reilly is serving his constituents on this very, very serious manner. Hey, you have to hand it to Reilly. His first two campaign points that won him the election were 1) Keep out kids, and 2) No more horse piss. I remember the campaign signs.</p><p><strong>D story</strong>: I don't want to be insensitive and this is mainly directed at the media: But how many times can it be the <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/cabrini/teardown-begins-last-cabrini-high-rise-84447">end of Cabrini Green</a>? I swear we've covered every building that has been knocked down with that emphasis.</p><p><strong>E story</strong>: Funny little point - yesterday, an NPR newscaster stumbled on the phrase "Tea Party-backed candidate..." She stumbled on the word "party" &amp; "backed" and irate listeners, callers and e-mailers thought she wanted to say "tea baggers" because according to their rants, she is a lefty, pinko, communist, elite, liberal, biased NPR scumbag. I'm paraphrasing, of course. The calls to our newsroom (it was a national newsreader, not us, but thanks for listening) reminded me of this gem of a comment, left on a post I did last week about Berny Stone:</p><p><strong>"I'm here to tell you that you ,Justin Kaufmann, aren't fit to discuss Berny Stone. You're a LEFT-WING PUNK blogging for a soon to be DEFUNDED Cesspool,NPR"</strong></p><p>May I respond?</p><ul><li>What's with conservative commenters and using proper names. I ran into this last time I ticked off this crowd. They must have been taught an SEO class on "how to drag one's name through the internet mud." Was that class offered at the Discovery Center, right after "How to use ALL-CAPS effectively."</li><li>LEFT-WING PUNK? I may be a punk, but left-wing is a bit much. I don't consider myself left or right wing, but the goal is to be in the center. I mean, who would want to be out on a wing? You don't hear of a core or heart or soul being in a person's arm or shoulder.&nbsp;</li><li>Finally - last I checked, Berny Stone was a liberal Democrat from Chicago. If I am a left-wing punk as you say, how would I not be fit to discuss Berny Stone? It took one sentence for you to contradict yourself. Awesome.</li></ul><p>Okay, so you've been served. Thanks for reading, though!</p><p><strong>Weather</strong>: Oh no, it's now supposed to rain and perhaps snow tomorrow for the Cubs' opener.</p><p><strong>Sports</strong>: The Bulls bounced back with a <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/sports/4587090-419/bulls-head-off-slippage-with-rebound-win-over-timberwolves.html">huge rout last night</a> to protect their #1 seed status in the Eastern Conference. In other news, Bruce Weber says there is no truth to rumors about him taking Oklahoma head coach job. Darn.</p><p><strong>Kicker</strong>: Now that @MayorEmanuel is taking a breather, may we turn our attention to our real mayor, White Sox Manager Ozzie Guillen. Comics and impressionists are working hard, including this gem on Vimeo where fake-Ozzie hosts a book club:</p><p><iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/21379297?title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;portrait=0&amp;color=b30000" width="600" frameborder="0" height="338"></iframe></p></p> Thu, 31 Mar 2011 13:51:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/2011-03-31/horse-urine-breathalyzers-media-wars-and-all-caps-liberal-bashing-84