The Nooner | Chicago news and beyond | August 26, 2011
Collective bargaining by the Chicago Teachers' Union has not garnered happy results this schoolyear.
The Nooner: Chicago news and beyond
In today's news, Chicago teachers continue to fight belt-tightening measures.
No apple for teacher
The Chicago Teachers’ Union has rejected an offer from the Chicago Public Schools which would have offered them a two percent raise (half of what was promised in their contracts) in exchange for a longer elementary-school day. The Teachers’ Union is back to asking the CPS to honor their original contracts—which I’d say has a negative-one-trillion chance of happening. Let’s hope this doesn’t lead to a teachers’ strike.
Chicago suburb seeks to un-honor former Cubs GM
Park Ridge wants to kick a little sand in the eyes of Jim Hendry, who was just booted from the General Manager spot at the Chicago Cubs. Officials there are asking the Department of Transportation to remove the “Honorary Jim Hendry Way” signs that have marked Northwest Highway since they were put up there by Cubs fan and then-Governor Rod Blagojevich in 2009. They’ve got nothing against Hendry, say Park Ridge officials, but they were never asked if they wanted the signs in the first place—and now that both Hendry and Blago are gone, it seems reasonable have them taken down.
Gay republican sex scandals: I can’t even keep them straight (hah) anymore
This keeps happening, and it’s a little funny every time: A "straight," married, anti-gay republican legislator has been caught seeking gay sex—in this case offering to be a “sugga daddy” to an 18-year-old. Indiana State Representative Phillip Hinkle answered a Craigslist ad, offering a young man $80 for a couple hours of time at a hotel, with a $50–$60 tip for “a really good time.” Naturally, Hinkle has been an opponent to same-sex marriage. Isn’t that always the way? Hinkle has called the scandal “a shakedown.” He has not claimed that the email exchange (originally published in the Indianapolis Star) between him and the younger man is faked, and he has admitted to paying the man $80—but he has also said “I’m not gay.”
A bitter reminder about free press
As much lighthearted glee as I get from mocking politicians-gone-wrong, it’s still easy to forget how excellent it is that I have the freedom to do so in the first place. In Syria, for instance, where Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has been directing brutal crackdowns on protestors, the press faces risks and restrictions unknown to me. Most recently, Syrian government thugs kidnapped well-respected political cartoonist Ali Ferzat, beat him, broke his hands and left him by the side of the road. It puts things into perspective, doesn’t it? I'm thinking of you today, Mr. Ferzat. You can visit his Facebook page and wish him well.
Hurricane Irene media mania begins
While the North East braces for Hurricane Irene (landfall is expected in North Carolina tomorrow afternoon), the media is awash in pre-coverage. This photo of a shark swimming in a supposedly Irene-flooded Puerto Rico street? Fake. This photo of some genius taking a refreshing dip at the beach in the middle of Irene-induced waves? Real. I bet that guy’s mom made an angry phone call to him the second she got her New York Times this morning—this photo's on the front page today.