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Month: April 2024

The Ken Doll stadium does not belong on the lakefront

Brandon Johnson was giddy as a hormonally charged teen aged groupie at a rock concert over the McCaskey Ken Doll’s proposal for a stadium to ruin the lakefront. At a press conference with Ken Doll officials, he touted the $5-$6 billion dollar project and he will do anything to bring it to fruition.

“This is going to reinvigorate the entire city of Chicago,” Johnson said. “It will be the crown jewel of the city of Chicago.” (Chicago Tribune)

Ken Doll’s president, Kevin Warren, led the mayor by the nose and hawked benefits of the stadium like a cheap con artist, charlatan, and fraud. He is so glib he could sell snake oil to snakes.

The stadium, hotel, and other so-called improvements will not be the “crown jewel” of the city. They will be an ugly eyesore. The lakefront is the crown jewel of Chicago and Brandon Johnson is doing whatever he can to destroy it.

“They described a lush and reimagined Museum Campus with 14 acres of new parkland they claimed would add a worthy new chapter to the Burnham Plan.” (Sun-Times)

 Invoking the name of Daniel Burnham to build a repulsive structure is an insult to the father of the City Beautiful Movement in Chicago.

The McCaskeys are “willing” to put up over 2 billion dollars. The NFL will kick in some money. The McCaskeys want to bilk the taxpayers to finance the rest for their monument to fiasco. As I have written before, they could have had a new stadium over the past five decades. They refused to put up money or take out financing.

Why should the Ken Dolls despoil the lakefront? Why not use the former Michael Reese hospital property or partner with the White Sox and build on the 78? There are other large tracts of land in Chicago that would support a stadium and other amenities. Why the lakefront?

The McCaskeys ran away from Arlington Heights because they did not want to pay millions of dollars in property taxes to support local school districts. So, their scheme is to screw the taxpayers in Chicago. The majority will get no benefit from this monstrous plan.

With Mayor Brandon Johnson and his administration standing with the Bears, it is clear the city is willing to put private interests ahead of public benefit and cheer-on this ill-conceived and expensive effort to build a gargantuan domed stadium on Chicago’s lakefront… The size almost makes the Museum Campus buildings look like neo-classical LEGO blocks in comparison. (Lee Bey/Sun-Times)

Lee Bey is a noted longtime architectural critic in Chicago. While he likes the design rendering, he says the obvious. “It’s the right building but the wrong spot.

The mayor and the Ken Dolls made a major faux pas. They did not invite Governor Pritzker to their medicine show. They need his and legislative approval for this boondoggle to get off the ground. Good luck with that. Pritzker made his thoughts known. He is against the lakefront project. He believes money could be better spent providing critical services to the people. The state legislative leaders are not very warm to the project either. Warren will have to up his sales pitch to sell Springfield.

“How can a mayor — an allegedly progressive one, at that — allow a billion-dollar football franchise to build what it likes on the lakefront, then charge taxpayers for the privilege? It’s outright ridiculous.” (Lee Bey/Sun-Times/Emphasis mine).

Truer words were never spoken.

Mayor Brandon Johnson defends himself with myths

Lakeview resident, Dan Boland wants to establish a mechanism to recall Chicago mayors. He needs to get over 54,000 signatures on a petition to place the recall on the November ballot. Mayor Johnson blasted Boland’s effort. Johnson claimed the effort was from a “dude” in the suburbs. Evidently, Johnson thinks the Lakeview neighborhood is in the burbs. He knows nothing about Chicago neighborhoods.

“Johnson also attacked Boland’s motives, saying, “apparently the extreme right wing in this country, they are not very pleased with the fact that 60 percent of my administration are women, 43 percent of those who make up my administration are Black. (NBC Chicago)

Brandon Johnson’s go-to excuses for criticism or his failures are mythical right-wing, right-wing political rivals, mythical Trump voters, or racists. It is all he has to explain why the citizens of all races of Chicago are angry with his administration. No one cares about the diversity of his staff if the city that used to work is not working. There are no right-wing political rivals against him in Chicago yet. There will not be next time either. It is a myth. The big lie too.

Mr. Boland had help from former governor Pat Quinn, who has been a champion of recalls and term limits. Quinn is the furthest person from the far right-wing as anyone could be.

“So any individual who is somehow insulted by this progressive agenda that is being led by one of the most diverse cabinets in the history of Chicago — I just call into question anyone who would be motivated to see this type of transformation disrupted… “Apparently, they’re intimidated by the crew that’s with me right now. I plan on being here for the next 23 years.” (Sun-Times)

23 years? Brandon Johnson is at the height of hubris. Maybe he should look into the Good Book. Something about pride goeth before the fall. His arrogance and hubris will be his downfall.

People are not insulted by or care about his so-called agenda or the diversity of his administration. They are insulted and angry over his incompetence and refusal to answer questions or deflecting them with rambling bumbling combative nonsense like mythical right-wing or racism. His administration is neither accountable nor transparent. Promise made. Promise broken.

He should be reminded his polling ratings are in the toilet- at 20%. At the rate he is going, he may not be around after his first term, let alone 23 years.

I believe that current CTA leadership is failing Chicago riders, and that we need a new CTA President to lead the CTA to recovery.” (Ald. Matt Martin/47th)

The CTA is woefully mismanaged and the mayor does not care. The president of the CTA should have been fired during the Lightfoot administration. Since then, Dorval Carter got a raise to his already bloated six-figure annual salary. He now makes$376,065 a year. Governor Pritzker weighed in calling for a change in leadership at the  CTA. Johnson responded in his usual combative style justifying failure. “It’s my job to determine the leadership of the CTA, that is my job,” Johnson said when asked about Prizker’s comments. “If people want to be mayor, they should run for it.” (Block Club Chicago)

That statement sums up Johnson’s mayoralty. He is the boss. If he decides failure is an option, so be it. Johnson does not get that the citizens of this city, including those who voted for him, are tired of combative mayors and failure. Johnson is Lghtfoot, Emanuel, and Daley. all rolled into one. There is no difference. The same old same old.

It is time for the news media and citizens to fight back. We need more transparency, accountability, and less blaming the mythological figures for Fifth Floor failures.

Time goes by

Seventeen years ago today I retired from the Chicago Police Department and joined the KMA club after almost 30 years of service. I left the best job in the world. Every day was an adventure, education, and sometimes humor, even dark humor. I was lucky. I was not killed, seriously injured, fired (Came Close), or indicted (Came close).

I worked with and for great people. We took care of and cared for each other. There was camaraderie and esprit de corps. We did the things no one else wanted to do or could do. Some say we did God’s work. That is a lie. We did the work God did not want to do. Were we necessary? You are damn right.

The worst thing you could do was tell a citizen there was nothing you could help them. We were masters of applied psychology, quick thinking, and making people believe we solved their problems. Sometimes it was as easy as giving them the right phone number to call. Other times we relied on our wits.

Occasionally I reminisce and cannot believe some of the hair-raising things I/we did and survived. There were laughs and sorrows. Dealing with the public daily is one of the most difficult things imaginable. It is worse when people are mad at you for the problems they caused and expect you to solve them.

I worked in some of the poorest and wealthiest areas of the city. No matter what their station in life, people have the same problems. They are crime victims, fight with their spouses, and violate various laws. In effect, they are all the same. Working with many types of people, I learned how to converse with anyone. You cannot be shy and be a police officer. The gift of gab is one of the most important tools you have.

Being a Chicago police officer is an all-access pass to all the things you never wanted to see, feel, or experience. I saw and witnessed some horrible things that humans do to one another. Every time you think you saw the worst, human nature says hold my beer. Some of the worst things are either evil or recklessness. The horror inflicted on the most vulnerable among us is the worst..

I am still in contact with some of the people I worked with through social media or run-ins. Sometimes we play remember when. Most times, we are just happy to see each other and talk about our families, hobbies, or activities. Some have left us. I keep track of the police department through the news and a few police officersI know.

Though the job was good to me, the day I retired was joyful. I was ready after all that time to move on. I never looked back. I do get nostalgic occasionally. It does not last long. I look forward to creating fresh memories rather than dwelling on the past.

When I retired, I realized I did not have to be anywhere on time or worry about being late. I only have two speeds now, slow and stop.

Baseball City Hall Football

Thursday was Opening Day for baseball. Opening Day should be a national holiday, right up there with the good old Fourth of Juuuuly. Baseball is still the national pastime and deserves our deepest respect. I will watch any baseball game, regardless of who is playing. I love baseball.

Welcome back to the boys of summer. I only wish it was not so expensive to attend games. The tickets plus taxes, fees, and the cost of food and drink make going to games almost prohibitive. Once again, like all loyal fans, there is hope the Cubs or White Sox will go all the way to a championship.

“…the mayor first pushed back on characterizations of his reaction to the Bring Chicago Home referendum’s loss as “defiant…

…The mayor earlier last month brushed aside a looming defeat of the proposed tax hike to fund homelessness services by blaming its “cowardly” opponents and declaring, “I’m still here, still standing. And I will be punching back…

…If my advocacy is defiant, what does that say about the systems who wish to keep people without dignity and unhoused? I call it wicked,” Johnson said Monday. “And so that’s why we are demonstrating in the first 10 months of my administration that we are committed to ending homelessness. …” (Chicago Tribune)

Mayor Brandon Johnson is a sore loser. He is still carping about losing his Bring Home Chicago tax to raise money that would supposedly end homelessness in Chicago. Johnson does not realize that we cannot tax our way out of problems. Bring Home Chicago was never about ending homelessness. It was about punishing people, especially middle class and upper middle class people who invested in their homes years ago.

The mayor and his minions never explained in detail how that money would be spent, what the plan was, or anything else. Just threw a tax out there and the problem is solved. If handling the migrant/refugee crisis, spending hundreds of millions of dollars without a new punishing tax, is any indication of his solutions, I have my own solution, Go home Brandon Johnson.

The Mcaskeys, owners of the Chicago Ken Dolls want to build a huge domed stadium on the lakefront next to Soldier Field. They are willing to put up $2 billion dollars to build an ugly eyesore on our beautiful lakefront. This should be stopped dead in its tracks. The lakefront should be free from anything that would spoil its beauty. It is hoped the Ken Dolls will be held up in lawsuits into perpetuity.

The Bears had ample opportunities over the past five decades to build a stadium. There was plenty of vacant land throughout the city and on the riverfront. They would not put up the money. Now, they want to vandalize our lakefront for their folly and miserable team.

Maybe the McCaskeys should concentrate on building a winning team instead of a statistical minded team. City Hall should put a stop to this madness and the insanity of the McCaskeys. City Hall, JUST SAY NO to the lakefront.