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Saturday, July 11

Gapers Block

The Mechanics

Thu Dec 31 2015


If somehow you haven't seen the news anywhere else: Gapers Block is going on hiatus effective January 1. You can read the open letter from our esteemed editor-in-chief .

There have been many nice things said about Andrew and Gapers Block across Chicago media circles, including from Mike Fourcher and from Whet Moser. They provide a lot of context to why this is a big deal, and not just for the people immediately involved.

Now, I'm a Johnny-come-lately. I've been writing about politics here -- and, along the way, also about , , and -- for about two years. But I'm also here at the moment-before-hiatus, which means I get the chance to write about Gapers Block for Gapers Block. Sure, it's an exercise in the meta. But see: Gapers Block is all about Chicago, and Chicago is especially11选5图标下载 all about Chicago. It's all one huge ball of meta.

Phil Huckelberry

Thu Dec 17 2015


By11选5图标下载 Dave Stieber

If you haven't heard of Cedric Chatman, then you should know his name. Cedric is another tragic example of a and the city trying to cover up the murder. Cedric was killed nearly three years ago, almost two years before Laquan McDonald. To no surprise to anyone in Chicago, Rahm is currently trying to prevent the video from being released.

Black Americans being killed by police is not just a Chicago problem. This is an American problem.

Mechanics /

Mon Dec 14 2015


mayor rahm emanuelState Rep. La Shawn Ford (D-8) has filed legislation in Springfield which would provide for a mechanism for recalling the Mayor of Chicago. The bill is .

Ford's bill is of course not submitted arbitrarily. With a recent poll suggesting an outright majority of Chicagoans want Rahm Emanuel to resign, Emanuel being steadfast that he will not do so, and by which Emanuel might otherwise be removed from office, HB4356 could very well become a very hot topic in Springfield.

Phil Huckelberry /

Tue Dec 08 2015


By11选5图标下载 Susan Bandes

Mayor Rahm Emanuel says he didn't watch the video of a Chicago police officer shooting a citizen in cold blood because he then couldn't be asked about it. Which is the perfect Chicago move. In fact, it crystallizes the city's longstanding attitude toward police abuses: if nobody has access to information, nobody can be expected to act.

11选5图标下载 The body that's supposed to be keeping police accountable, the Independent Police Review Authority, does almost nothing to track patterns of police misconduct and brutality. When reviewing a complaint, it does not make inquiries into any previous complaints against the same officer. Although the agency says it now has an early warning system for repeat offenders, that system identified only six percent of the officers with 11 or more complaints.

Mechanics /

Thu Dec 03 2015


In the aftermath of the release of the video of the killing of Laquan McDonald, the calls for Mayor Rahm Emanuel's resignation keep coming in. Well, go ahead and add my name to the list. And you all can say it along with me:

Mr. Mayor, the public can have no faith in you at this point, and you need to resign.

That felt great, didn't it?

11选5图标下载Now, back to reality.

Phil Huckelberry /

Tue Nov 24 2015


GOP dissarayNate Silver is one of America's sharpest political analysts, so when he writes a piece like , it should raise some eyebrows. Silver doesn't come to a definite conclusion, but he does lay out a logical explanation of why "disarray" might be the right term to describe the current standing of the Republicans nationally. I would add that it could easily be extended to the situation in Illinois, where Governor Bruce Rauner seems to be alienating his own party, and where at a glance it would seem increasingly likely that Senator Mark Kirk will lose next November.

11选5图标下载Silver, though, also argues against the disarray argument, by making a fairly simple point: excluding the presidency, Republicans are winning a lot more than they're losing. Even here in Illinois, with Democratic supermajorities in both houses of the General Assembly, the reality is that the Republicans hold the governorship, one U.S. Senate seat, and eight of 18 U.S. House seats. The voting profile of the state would suggest that the Republicans should be doing far worse here.

So are the Republicans in disarray? I think the answer has to be yes. But does it matter very much? Maybe not. As bad as things may seem for the Republicans, they're nevertheless the majority party in the country, based on control of both houses of Congress, a large majority of governorships, and most state legislatures.

The party with the worst problems right now is the Democratic Party, and we can even see this playing out in Illinois.

Phil Huckelberry

Tue Nov 10 2015


carbon monoxide warning11选5图标下载The story made : over 80 students and staff from on the Northwest Side went to hospitals on October 30 because of carbon monoxide exposure. The official word is that the school boiler was the culprit, specifically a faulty gas regulator.

11选5图标下载There are a lot of questions which still need to be answered about the boiler. For two and a half years, administrators at Prussing have reported problems with the boiler. While none of those issues suggested the potential for a carbon monoxide leak, the trail of complaints is lengthy, and Chicago Public Schools officials have been put on notice that the school community expects a decision to come down this week that the boiler will not be "fixed" yet again, but outright replaced, and soon.

The other immediate issue raised regards the school carbon monoxide detectors, or the lack thereof. How did CO levels get so high without any alarm going off? The boiler room at Prussing was equipped with a detector. At this time, it is not clear why it did not go off. But the situation begs the question of why a school with 700 children had only one detector in the first place.

11选5图标下载As it turns out, there are some answers to be found in state law and Chicago building code, and they're not that great. For a city which prides itself on the most stringent fire codes in the country, the city code regarding carbon monoxide detectors is inadequate, and it is clear that CPS protocols regarding detectors don't even yet exist.

Phil Huckelberry

Mon Oct 26 2015


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