The Nooner | Chicago news and beyond | November 1, 2011
Librarians staged a protest story-hour outside Rahm Emanuel's office yesterday.
The Nooner: Chicago news and beyond
Today’s news is about grave-robbers.
Is presidential candidate Jon Huntsman really fluent in Chinese?
Geoffrey Sant over at Slate debunks the oft-repeated claim that Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman is fluent in Chinese. Huntsman was Obama’s ambassador to China until recently; Sant is the director of the New York Chinese Cultural Center, among other things. Using the very few recorded instances available of Huntsman breaking out his Mandarin, Sant points out some major errors of grammar and usage. But, speaking as a mediocre Chinese student myself, I’m not nearly as ready to pooh-pooh Huntsman’s abilities. Is he perfectly fluent? No, he’s not. But is his Chinese-speaking ability both functional and impressive? Yes, yes it is. That doesn’t mean I’ll vote for the guy.
Leader of grave-resale scheme reports to jail
The manager at Burr Oak cemetery in Alsip, who masterminded a plan to dig up graves, dump the bodies, and resell the plots began serving a 12-year sentence today. Many of the bodies that were disinterred were dumped in a weedy lot. The desecration of the historically black cemetery was a shock to the community: Among other horrors, the original casket of Emmett Till, which had been slated for memorial museum, was found on the cemetery grounds with a family of possums living inside. Till was the 14-year-old who was lynched in 1955 for allegedly whistling at a white woman; Till’s death helped spark the civil-rights movement. His casket has since been acquired by the Smithsonian.
Chicago airports plan to go green
Both of Chicago’s main airports have announced eco-friendly plans for the future. O’Hare will be installing solar panels and building a station that will sell alternative fuels to both private and commercial vehicles. And Midway Airport is going to start composting, following in O’Hare’s footsteps on that front. The eco-fuel station will be located at Patton Drive and Higgins Road, outside the airport, and will offer electric charging as well as bio-diesel and ethanol.
Protests against library cuts
Librarians staged a sit-in/story hour outside Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office yesterday, to protest major budget cuts Emanuel has planned. Emanuel’s new budget would reduce library hours and lay off 284 library employees, including 24 librarians. Representatives of the libraries say that they will not have time for special programs, like children's story hours, if the cuts go through.