No- the headline Bullet Points wasn’t an unintentional yet pervasively unfortunate headline, a la Fright 212, via the Sun Times. ( On Sunday? Really? Who is editing over there, robots?) I am not going to to parse the shooting gallery that is Chicago. When the police Commish is patting himself on the back, who am I to worry?
Bullet Point 1. Based on the warp speed with which homes are selling in our neighborhood, there IS a pilgrimage of parents taking Chicago’s violent neighborhoods and educational chaos to heart. My kids love their Ukrainian Village home and neighborhood with total passion. But when I asked them if they would EVER let their kids walk home from school alone, they had to mull and stew. And say NO. Their school is in play with the closings/assimilations, and how that will work out is not bankable yet. Do you gamble with your child’s safety and education so you can walk to a cool yogurt stand? Of course not. Is leaving a city you love a rite of passage for young parents? Taking the good students and committed parents off CPS rolls is a depletion of the city’s intangible asset: youth. The future is in play. This is beyond urgent.
Bullet Point 2. I think Deborah Mell will be a stellar alderperson. She has an affinity for public service, and has been forthright and fearless about her values.
Illinois seems to take “family business” seriously when it comes to passing down powerful positions. Messers Lipinski, the Daleys, the Madigans, the Mells- they all passed/shared the torch. I’m in too much of a hurry to discuss the efficacy of the players, but I perceive a strong disincentive for “outsiders” to bring fresh blood to Illinois politics. The status quo reigns. And come on now: Illinois governance has smelled putrid for decades. It is a bad status quo. It can be an act of selflessness to run for office, since you will be judged by the company you keep. When I was a trustee I met earnest, hard working, thoughtful legislators. They were stymied. Republicans could wrestle hard but they had minority status to provide cover. Pyrrhic battles, all. The Democrats use Madigan, basically capitulating to The Way Things Are. They don’t even battle. They crumble. We get the government we deserve because we have been trained to expect nothing. We get it.
We are wallowing in bilious debt. No concealed carry legislation that makes sense can be passed. Soon the wild west will arrive at a bar near you. Pensions will swallow up more than 20% of the state budget. (Really- our unfunded pension liability is approaching 100 billion). Schools will get less. Infrastructure will be ignored. Bond ratings will be lowered. Doctors will stop welcoming patients on Medicare because Illinois is such a tragic administrator, both in pitiful delays and small reimbursements. Yep. It’s a fine mess we are in. Both parties laugh at Quinn, a well meaning fellow without the blood lust or collegiality to propel us from the paralysis. He concedes his powerlessness. Can he really put a stop on checks for legislators? Will they care? Should we? Hell, I guess we don’t really have a choice in our governance until Madigan leaves and there is a vacuum of power.
Bullet Point 3. Staffing at Asiana Airlines seems extremely uneven. The crew in the cabins excelled in magnificent fashion. The cockpit crew- not so much. Until they broke through to aid with the evacuation. Which was a bit after the fact.
Bullet Point 4. Reporters and cameras were kept far from the Asiana crash site on Saturday, and social media completely scooped them. Victims were tech savvy and images and impressions circulated long before the TV outlets were up and running. Anchors asked every expert to speculate, then cautioned about speculation. Interviewed with rapt attention, then ultimate rudeness if a particle of information popped into their earpieces. Eventually, deprived of new information, victims to interview and compelling imagery, they just read tweets. Awful work.
Bullet Point 5. Summer weather postponed itself so we wouldn’t realize how hockey defined April-June in Chicago for a new generation of fans. We are twice blessed by the Blackhawks these last years. As an elder (crone? both hideous sounding titles) I can recall that these moments are sweet, fleeting and never promised. There were games I watched in person, one I viewed in a power outage, (thanks, generator) games I followed on Twitter to keep my heart from beating overtime, and one triple overtime in a suburban Detroit bar where my sister was ready to rumble. Then we won. Pfew. Memories. The journey would be as fun without the Cup- but mercy me- I love a united family fixation. This time Steve stayed home to podcast instead of going downtown for the parade. ( like he used to “broadcast” the Rose parade from the studio) The next generation of Dahls all worked the parade, hoisting cameras on the trollies to record this day of joyous mayhem for the Wirtz organization. (Note: My son Pat works for Banner Promotions now, in promotional support for the varying branches of Wirtz Corp.He needed extra tech support. The brothers did not refuse.) Yeah- it is shameless of me to have Henry in my post with the cup. But he is so cute and he seems to know already that there was magic in the air this year. Who knows how old he will be when it takes up residency again?
Finale for Today : A counterpoint to my own prior Bullet Point 2. Rosemont has benefitted from strategic nepotism in a spectacular way. They have an excellent status quo. Are there lessons for other governmental bodies to absorb? (Of course the O’Hare proximity and the deal to let Chicago annex O’Hare certainly sealed the future good fortune of this Don Stephens creation) The town itself is the family business, now helmed by Bradley Stephens. Rosemont rocks. The new MB Park at Rosemont dazzles in the winter as an ice rink, and hums with music in the summer. Denied a casino, they build a family-centric epicenter for food, music, comedy, movies and (soon) outlet shopping. They get a tollway exit to facilitate traffic control. They have a convention center with adequate reasonable parking with excellent dining options within walking distance. The Allstate Arena and the Rosemont Theatre can host major talent. Taxes are low. They run a FREE circulator bus during lunch hour to carry folks from the convention center to parking, dining and exercise. The Big Ten headquarters and museum is moving there in a TIF deal. The park at Higgins and River Road boasts an epic “photo op” with fountains galore and seasonal magic. The casino is just a hop skip and jump across the road in DesPlaines. To top the magic off, they have a damned Hummel museum. A great place to visit, to work and to live near. Well funded. What’s not to like?
Like the Blackhawks, the Stephens have One Goal, the Village of Rosemont, where the largest building bears Dad’s name. They will keep it all polished. Like the Cup.
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Tags: Asiana Airlines crew, Asiana Crash coverage, Bradley Stephens, Chicago Blackhawks, Chicago for kids, Chicago Schools, Daley, Deborah Mell, Donald Stephens, Governor Quinn, Hummel museum, Lipinski, MB Park at Rosemont, Mike Madigan, pension mess, Rosemont Illinois, Stanley Cup