1 Block Away 2 Arrested

The wife and daughter head over to the Walgreens about 3 blocks away.  The daughter wants to walk; the wife insists on driving — smart move.

Two men have been arrested in connection with the robbery of a man’s iPhone outside a dry cleaning business in the Wicker Park neighborhood, authorities say.  …

The Thursday robbery happened about 5:15 p.m. when a 26-year-old man was texting on his iPhone outside a dry cleaning business at Wabasnia and Western avenues, according to police.  Two men approached him, at least one of them armed with a gun, and asked for the iPhone, police said.  …

Police were able to track the phone by its locator app to the area of Madison Street and Ashland Avenue, a few blocks from the United Center, police said.  The officers spotted the suspects in a car that was reported stolen, but one of them jumped out around the time police began pursuing it.  That man was taken into custody near Ashland and Washington Boulevard.

The other suspect headed west in the car on Madison, police said. The suspect stopped near Madison and Leavitt streets and abandoned the car, police said. He was arrested about a block away.

The perp was taken into custody at Madison & Oakley.  How do I know?  Because the wife saw the police running down the alley with their guns drawn catching the dude.  A txt message from someone on the job later confirmed two in custody.

Hardly the end of the story:

Detectives have been looking into a string of robberies that occurred recently in an area bounded by Ashland, Central Park Avenue, Division Street and Diversey Avenue.

A police alert about the pattern gave the following locations for the 12 attacks:

–3100 block of W. Fullerton, Dec. 4, 2011, 5:20 a.m.
–1800 block of N. California, Dec. 17, 2011, 6 a.m.
–1700 block of N. Central Park, Dec. 21, 2011, 6:15 a.m.
–1900 block of N. Western, Dec. 22, 2011, 11 p.m.
–2100 block of N. California, Dec. 24, 2011, 7:30 a.m.
–2000 block of N. Kimball, Dec. 31, 2011, 11:20 p.m.
–1500 block of N. Hoyne, Jan. 3, 2012, 3 a.m.
–1700 block of W. Wabansia, Jan. 4, 2012, 4:32 p.m.
–2600 block of W. Wellington, Jan. 6, 2012, 8 p.m.
–2100 block of N. Milwaukee, Jan. 8, 2012, 12 p.m.
–1500 block of N. Maplewood, Jan. 20, 2012, 8 p.m.
–1500 block of N. Milwaukee, Jan. 21, 2012, 2 a.m.

via Chicago Tribune.

In the 1980’s Wicker Park was a terrible place to live.  The park itself was one of many Heroin Squares that existed in the city (the “Midnight Express” still passes out clean needles on Saturday nights there.)  Over the years the place has gotten better.  But from the looks of things it’s beginning to slide back into the hell hole it once was.

This is disappointing for everyone.  The increase in the value of those homes provided a massive influx of tax revenue for the city (and county) which is used to support programs that help everyone; not just the rich.  Many of those who live there are single or married couples without children.  These are the “net givers”  in the system who pay tons of  taxes into CPS (it’s 2/3 of your property tax bill) and yet don’t have any kids in school.

We (the royal we, i.e. we all, myself included) need these people to stay in the city.  We need them to like where they live and feel safe.  If they move everyone suffers.  CPD really has to step-up it’s game and begin making more arrests for these sorts of crimes.  The State’s Attorney must begin to demand longer prison sentences for the perpetrators.   Probation is not enough for these types of crimes.  These guys have to do time.

There’s too much riding on it.  Crime must be brought under control.

Let’s all Welcome ThyssenKrupp to Chicago

As ThyssenKrupp plans to dramatically increase its presence in Chicago it’s finding out just what life here is really like:

… [T]he German-based ThyssenKrupp manufacturing company is facing allegations that company supervisors in the city created a hostile and intimidating work environment for an African-American employee.

A superintendant at ThyssenKrupp used the N-word “routinely” around African-American sales representative Montrelle Reese, according to a November finding by the state Department of Human Rights.

Another supervisor applied brown make-up to his face to make his skin tone darker during a skit at a sales conference in Indianapolis, according to the report, which concluded that there was “substantial evidence” that Reese was harassed because of his race.

Though the supervisor later claimed he was impersonating a rapper of Asian descent from the musical group Linkin Park, the skin-darkening showed the company “fosters an environment of accepted racial intolerance,” the report states.

via Chicago Tribune.

It goes without saying that there’s just no room for this.  We don’t care what flies in Germany; welcome to America.

That said… doesn’t it just seem like every time there’s some good news it’s immediately followed by a story about some moron doing something stupid?  We’re going to have to keep an eye on this story to see where it ends up.  If ThyssenKrupp is found not guilty in the end then it stands to reason that this Reese guy should get run out of town.

ThyssenKrupp (w/ 100 jobs) Coming to Chicago

We actually rock (and we kinda know it.)

Germany-based ThyssenKrupp, a diversified manufacturing company that makes elevators, auto components and carbon steel, will establish a regional headquarters for  North America in Chicago this summer….

The company did not seek financial incentives as it considered more than 20 cities around the U.S. for the regional headquarters.

“We’ve learned not to run where the incentives are or where there is the lowest tax rate,” Gessner said.  “We need the overall picture.  “Weighing in Chicago’s favor are its extensive air service and a highly skilled profession labor pool, Emanuel said.

via Chicago Tribune.

Any way you want to twist this it’s good news.  But sometime we forget the Chicago is a major player globally.  Yes, we have a political problem; and a pension problem; and a crime problem; and a few other little problems.  But so does every other major city on the planet.

… ok, our political and pension problems exceed anywhere else.  But sometimes we need to be reminded that we live in a global city with talent and opportunity that simply doesn’t exist anywhere else.  Well, that and it helps to be located in the middle of the country and have a really really big airport.

Illinois, the Greece of America

It all started with this story:

Even though the legislature and Gov. Pat Quinn last year imposed a temporary 67 percent state income tax increase, Quinn’s office expects to have a $500 million budget deficit this year.

Quinn is calling for a 9 percent cut in most areas of state government, except education and health care. But even with cuts at that level, the state would have a projected $800 million budget deficit for fiscal 2015, the year when most of the tax hike expires.  …

Looking at the bigger picture, the state has a backlog of about $8.5 billion in unpaid bills and owes about $27 billion in outstanding bonds. And then there’s the roughly $80 billion owed to the state’s public employee pension funds.

via Belleville News-Democrat.

Think about that: One Hundred Fifteen Billion Five Hundred Million Dollars.  I’m told there’s about 12.9 million people in Illinois.  So were looking at $8,953.50 per person.  That’s pretty astonishing!

And that story led to this story:

[W]hy aren’t we more worried about Illinois? It’s more or less the same size as Greece, its finances are in the same generally catastrophic shape, and its leaders are just as feckless and dishonest. It owes tens of billions of dollars to various investors and stakeholders and will clearly have to stiff many of them at some point.  …

How a state with a constitutional mandate to balance its budget can do this in the first place — and how an “unpaid bill” can be excluded from the annual budget — is a question for future prosecutors. But for investors it’s a clear sign that some sort of default is coming.

via: Dollar Collaspse.

Dare to dream that someone (cough cough Madigan) would go to jail on this mess.

Hat tip to SCC.