Tag Archives: Illinois

(1318) Suburban police violence

A brutal police shooting of a mentally ill man has rightly upset Mississauga in recent days. What the hell kind of ‘wellness check’ ends in a fatal shooting? Are we going down the same road as the likes of Chicago? If we are, what exactly is our excuse? Even if you are a really huge fan of police and take a harsh view of life how do you justify this kind of thing?

113 suburban cop shootings, zero discipline

Canadian cops keep killing people during wellness and mental health calls

(1172) Ferris Bueller face first into the economic meat grinder of American reality

Lake County, Illinois is apparently not what it used to be.  In the 1980s it had been well off for so long it was the natural setting for a flamboyant but really kind of annoying movie about the problems of an affluent white youth.  Half of the movie is an excuse to look at a red 1965 Ferrari 250 California GT and there’s also some whacky moments as young Ferris gyrates selfishly between parents, friends and his love object.  Why it ever became a cult classic, though, is beyond us.  Now, this not being a film blog anyway Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is only here as an entry point to a new Lake County that represents a changed American sprawl.  If it were made today this movie would have a more realistic title like Ferris Bueller’s Permanent Layoff.  The car would be a rotted out Geo Metro, too.
Ferris Bueller’s daily grind: how poverty in Chicago went suburban. On the surface, Lake County, Illinois – the setting for John Hughes’ 1980s films of affluent suburban angst – is all detached houses, swimming pools and malls. Hidden from view, though, is the growing need
image: Carmen B via Wikimedia Commons

(834) Sweet sufferin’ crap! Chicago needs what?

Katrina-noaaGOES12We almost dropped our iPod into our breakfast bowl of organic, gluten-free corn flakes when we read this one: a Chicago Tribune opinion piece day-dreaming (death wishing?) for a Hurricane Katrina-style storm to wreck the city and “reset” it.  Is this the level of public conversation as to how socioeconomic and political affairs are best handled in one of America’s greatest cities?  Yikes.

Maybe the author of this doozy is just trying to be an asshole a la Donald Trump or a Ford Brother?  That’s about the only hopeful angle we can come up with explaining this particular journalistic offering.  While we note the author has subsequently apologized for their tone deaf writ of idiocy it hardly need be pointed out that once something is printed it cannot really be unprinted.  And what was the Tribune thinking running such a thing in a metropolis already battered by climate change?  The lethal heat waves of 1995 and 2012 were covered by them, no?

We direct you to the piece via this item on chicagoist.com.

Tribune columnist says Chicago could use a Hurricane Katrina

image: NOAA via Wikimedia Commons/CC

(378) Chicago sees suburan poverty in 2011 census data

800px-Milwaukee_ave[1]Chicago’s bloggers and mass media have been commenting on the analysis of 2011 census data from the federal government by an area non-profit called the Heartland Alliance.  They’ve confirmed that suburban poverty is reason for concern and many Chicago area counties are part of this significant change. 

Posted to 312 the chicagomag.com staff blog is an article from this summer with a link to a mapping tool that displays the progress of Chicago’s suburban poverty from 1980 to 2010: How poverty moved to Chicago’s suburbs

Poverty increases fast in Chicago suburbs

Face of US poverty: these days, more poor live in suburbs than in cities 
Christian Science Monitor feature starts a look at the national picture of suburban poverty in Harvey, IL

Study shows minimum wage workers need to work 82 hours/week to afford rent
chicagoist.com posting with a link to study from National Low Income Housing Association

How poor we are: Chicago and the suburbs
Chicago is the World 

image: CTA bus on Milwaukee Avenue in 1981 by H. Zychowski via Wikimedia Commons

(223) Rethinking the corporate campus

Just as the smokestack and the skyscraper symbolized a particular kind of economic development so did the corporate campus.  These were all the rage for decades, groupings of commercial buildings deployed amid greenery and reached mainly by car.  The corporate campus was chosen by high technology industries in particular with the example of Microsoft in Redmond, Washington known internationally.  The corporate campus first took root near the larger, older centres and were eventually replicated all over North America.  They seem to have served their owners well enough in their day, allowing firms to secure, centralize and rationalize their operations on greenfield sites beyond busy and expensive cities.  They were seen as a way to control real estate and operational costs and as enhancers of corporate culture and performance.  Some were plunked down in urban areas, others are suburban with yet others built in the middle of nowhere.  Now the business campus has come in for a timely rethink.  The idea going forward seems to be not to fully segregate places of work from places of residence.  This reduces transportation costs and stress for workers which also goes a little lighter on the environment.  The result is healthier and easier for everyone.

Steps-from-work housing
NYT piece looking at planning efforts in Hartford, CT which add residential uses to a large corporate office corridor

Crain’s Special Report: Corporate campuses in twilight

photo: JonRidinger via Wikimedia Commons