Send the auto show to the suburbs


At some point walking to the Chicago Auto Show last week I came up with a profound question: What’s it doing in a neighborhood where cars aren’t necessary? Many of us carless people in the South Loop may want to look at automobiles for old time’s sake, or to see what it feels like to sit in a car again. But as much as I like having the enormous 101-year-old spectacle perking up the South Loop environment, it’s a fish out of water. A hubcap off the wheel.
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Changing our corrupt city's course


For many years, Chicago has been known as the most segregated city in North America. It is a source of shame. For just as many years, but more intently since the colorful Blagojevich trials, we have also been known the most corrupt city. Now based on a study by political scientists from the University of Illinois at Chicago, we have the statistics to confirm our dishonorable and notorious reputation.
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Riding off the beaten tracks


One great thing about hockey is the camaraderie. I’ve met some really interesting people through the league including a theater director, an economist, a franchisee, some teachers, as well as guys in pharma, auto and steel pipe sales.
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Sorting out the new ward boundaries


I’ve never seen my South Loop neighbors as emotional as they’ve been since the City of Chicago ward remap passed the city council 41 to 8 last week. The levels of both elation and despair have reached heights unsurpassed by the grandest of the grand opera. You can hear both cheers and the wails on the streets of Big Bill Dawson’s old stomping grounds.
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Judges for sale in Cook County


Hey bud, would you like to buy a judge? Judges in Illinois can be bought by cash or votes. The Central Committee of the Democratic Party of Cook County buys judges with the promise of votes, naming them to the party’s official slate in exchange for implicit support.
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New ward boundaries turn Chicago into political sausage


Well neighbors, here we are in the final stretch of legislative redistricting and reapportionment that takes place every 10 years after the census. Do you feel the excitement? I don't.
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Raoul's year in review

One view


Happy New Year! As we begin 2012, it's only fair that we reflect on 2011 and the progress we've made. Last year, as I traveled the district I noted that for some the holiday season is one filled with grief, sorrow, and loneliness because they've undeservingly lost a loved one due to Illinois' failed death penalty experiment.
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The conundrum of buying local


I guess you could say that the quest for “buying local” this Christmas season officially began in my South Loop social circles at a book club gathering several weeks ago. We had just finished reading Dr. Dale Moyer’s book The Flash and Outbreak of a Fiery Mind. We were impressed. We loved it.
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Shutting down Blagojevich apologists


Blagojevich's sentencing is being discussed heatedly around town, and everyone has an opinion. Is his 14-year prison sentence too long? In his defense, two arguments continually get repeated. One: he's no different from other politicians in what he did. The other: there wasn't any cost to his misdeeds - it was a victimless crime.
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Spreading holiday cheer in the West Loop


My family has nearly always had a real tree for Christmas. When I was a kid, we did everything from chopping one down in Wisconsin to crossing our alley and shopping at a local lot. But one way or another, it was our holiday tradition to go get a real tree and bring home some Christmas cheer.
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