migrant camp construction site
An aerial view of the migrant camp construction site at 3710 S. California Ave. on Dec. 5, 2023. Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Tuesday said the state is ending development of a proposed migrant camp in Brighton Park. Brian Ernst / Chicago Sun-Times
migrant camp construction site
An aerial view of the migrant camp construction site at 3710 S. California Ave. on Dec. 5, 2023. Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Tuesday said the state is ending development of a proposed migrant camp in Brighton Park. Brian Ernst / Chicago Sun-Times

Pritzker nixes Brighton Park migrant camp

An empty lot at 38th and California was all set to transform into a tent shelter for migrants in need of housing. Until it wasn’t.

Construction was underway at the Brighton Park site when the Pritzker administration ruled Tuesday that environmental concerns were too serious. As a result, no shelter will be built there.

On Reset this week, we got reaction from the local alderperson, Julia Ramirez, 12th Ward, who said she had “very mixed emotions” when she heard the news.

“I feel disappointed because we did all of this investment,” she said. “At the same time, I’m happy because…I didn’t feel like we were considering the toxic findings on the site.”

12th ward alderperson Julia Ramirez sits with her hands clasped at a Chicago City Council meeting.
Ald. Julia Ramirez (12th) voiced opposition to the construction of a proposed tent camp in Brighton Park because of the lack of communication and transparency from the Johnson administration. Ramirez and a staffer were accosted by her constituents due to frustrations about the lack of information surrounding the project at 38th and California. Ashlee Rezin / Chicago Sun-Times

In the Recap, we break down what happened and what it means for migrants and asylum seekers in Chicago. More than 26,000 of them have arrived since August 2022.

Burger King features large in Burke trial

Speaking of the Southwest Side, a Burger King in the nearby 14th Ward took center stage this week in the trial of former Chicago Alderman Ed Burke.

Did Burke extort the owner of the business by denying a driveway permit and pressuring the company that owned the site to hire Burke’s property tax appeals firm?

That’s what federal prosecutors have alleged.

Or does it all come down to a “computer glitch” as defense attorneys have argued?

In the Recap, we break down what lawyers had to say in court and where this trial fits in to the many, many corruption cases we’ve seen for public officials in Illinois.

Union Station is set for a re-do

Passengers wait in an atrium at Union Station with a giant Christmas tree decorated with ornaments and white lights in the center.
Union Station will receive a $93 million federal grant to to expand platforms and make them complaint with the Americans with Disabilities Act, as well as upgrade ventilation systems. Anthony Vazquez / Chicago Sun-Times

Meanwhile, Union Station is getting $93 million for upgrades from the federal government. But is it enough?

Amtrak had sought far more: a whopping $873 million.

We discuss what the money will be used for at the station, as well as other vital transportation news: Did you know you can rent a hot tub boat in Chicago?

As the Sun-Times headline so aptly put it, the watercraft is “a toasty spot to chill on the Chicago River” this winter. But it will burn your wallet. A 90-minute rental ranges from $278 on weekdays to $418 on holiday weekends.

Might be better to stick with a $2.50 ride on the CTA holiday train.

A CTA train is lit for the holidays, complete with lights and an animated seasons greetings sign.
The CTA holiday train slows down for a curve on the above ground L tracks in the Loop. Photo by Corey Kessler / Instagram: @kes_cor and @photosforFOODproject

GUESTS: Angela Rozas O’Toole, WBEZ Politics and Government editor

Simone Alicea, Executive Producer, City Cast Chicago

Quinn Myers, Block Club Chicago reporter covering Wicker Park, West Town & Bucktown

migrant camp construction site
An aerial view of the migrant camp construction site at 3710 S. California Ave. on Dec. 5, 2023. Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Tuesday said the state is ending development of a proposed migrant camp in Brighton Park. Brian Ernst / Chicago Sun-Times
migrant camp construction site
An aerial view of the migrant camp construction site at 3710 S. California Ave. on Dec. 5, 2023. Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Tuesday said the state is ending development of a proposed migrant camp in Brighton Park. Brian Ernst / Chicago Sun-Times

Pritzker nixes Brighton Park migrant camp

An empty lot at 38th and California was all set to transform into a tent shelter for migrants in need of housing. Until it wasn’t.

Construction was underway at the Brighton Park site when the Pritzker administration ruled Tuesday that environmental concerns were too serious. As a result, no shelter will be built there.

On Reset this week, we got reaction from the local alderperson, Julia Ramirez, 12th Ward, who said she had “very mixed emotions” when she heard the news.

“I feel disappointed because we did all of this investment,” she said. “At the same time, I’m happy because…I didn’t feel like we were considering the toxic findings on the site.”

12th ward alderperson Julia Ramirez sits with her hands clasped at a Chicago City Council meeting.
Ald. Julia Ramirez (12th) voiced opposition to the construction of a proposed tent camp in Brighton Park because of the lack of communication and transparency from the Johnson administration. Ramirez and a staffer were accosted by her constituents due to frustrations about the lack of information surrounding the project at 38th and California. Ashlee Rezin / Chicago Sun-Times

In the Recap, we break down what happened and what it means for migrants and asylum seekers in Chicago. More than 26,000 of them have arrived since August 2022.

Burger King features large in Burke trial

Speaking of the Southwest Side, a Burger King in the nearby 14th Ward took center stage this week in the trial of former Chicago Alderman Ed Burke.

Did Burke extort the owner of the business by denying a driveway permit and pressuring the company that owned the site to hire Burke’s property tax appeals firm?

That’s what federal prosecutors have alleged.

Or does it all come down to a “computer glitch” as defense attorneys have argued?

In the Recap, we break down what lawyers had to say in court and where this trial fits in to the many, many corruption cases we’ve seen for public officials in Illinois.

Union Station is set for a re-do

Passengers wait in an atrium at Union Station with a giant Christmas tree decorated with ornaments and white lights in the center.
Union Station will receive a $93 million federal grant to to expand platforms and make them complaint with the Americans with Disabilities Act, as well as upgrade ventilation systems. Anthony Vazquez / Chicago Sun-Times

Meanwhile, Union Station is getting $93 million for upgrades from the federal government. But is it enough?

Amtrak had sought far more: a whopping $873 million.

We discuss what the money will be used for at the station, as well as other vital transportation news: Did you know you can rent a hot tub boat in Chicago?

As the Sun-Times headline so aptly put it, the watercraft is “a toasty spot to chill on the Chicago River” this winter. But it will burn your wallet. A 90-minute rental ranges from $278 on weekdays to $418 on holiday weekends.

Might be better to stick with a $2.50 ride on the CTA holiday train.

A CTA train is lit for the holidays, complete with lights and an animated seasons greetings sign.
The CTA holiday train slows down for a curve on the above ground L tracks in the Loop. Photo by Corey Kessler / Instagram: @kes_cor and @photosforFOODproject

GUESTS: Angela Rozas O’Toole, WBEZ Politics and Government editor

Simone Alicea, Executive Producer, City Cast Chicago

Quinn Myers, Block Club Chicago reporter covering Wicker Park, West Town & Bucktown