Monthly Archives: February 2009

“Investors” Love Olympic Housing Plan, Rest Of Us – Not So Much

Sun-Times “On The Home Front” real estate columnist Don DeBat wrote in Friday’s paper:

Chicago’s $4.8 billion Olympic Games bid features details about a new neighborhood that is planned to house some 16,000 athletes and officials on the current site of Michael Reese Hospital on the Near South Side. Preliminary Olympic Village plans, drafted by architects at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, call for 21 high-rises, each about 12 stories high built in rows on grid-style streets on the 37-acre site of the shuttered hospital near 31st Street and Cottage Grove Avenue. Some 2,000 to 3,500 housing units are planned across the giant 128-acre Olympic Village neighborhood just south of McCormick Place. Plans also call the village to become a mixed-income residential community after the Games. As the economy improves, it is likely that a good percentage of the housing units in this brand new neighborhood could be sold to investors, rented during and after the games, and later converted to condominium ownership, experts say.

So – are you an “investor”? If so, lthen this plan is for you. If you’re a South Sider looking to keep your home or a Chicago tax payer looking not to get soaked by another city-fueled Ponzi scheme and developer bail out – then this deal is NOT for you.

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Reporter Looks at Bid Book, Urges Us Not to Believe Crap

Ben Joravsky, the political reporter for The Reader, took a look at the 2016 Committee’s Bid Book and came way skeptical.  Headlined “The $10.5 Million Mascot,” Ben fumes ”

With its 300-plus pages of bright pictures and cheery quotes, the bid paints a picture of a city free from potholes, budget deficits, CTA meltdowns, murders, school cuts, and politicians on the take—a town of happy folk who adore their mayor and yearn to host the games. “The athletes’ presence at the heart of the Games will inspire us all,” the bid reads. “We will feel their spirit. We will share their dreams. We will celebrate their achievements.”Look—I know the whole point is to spin the International Olympic Committee. But people, we live here! We shouldn’t be falling for this crap.

He asks the same questions we at No Games have been asking and shows the same stubborn desire for facts, not the b.s. that the 2016 Committee has been serving up. He concludes:

Still, not everything in the bid document is off the mark. Chicago, it notes, has “a strong and coordinated political structure.” I’ll say—so much so that no political or business leaders have uttered a peep about the many inconsistent and troubling parts of this bid. The civic community, the City Council, Governor Pat Quinn, Senator Richard Durbin, the General Assembly, even President Obama—all of them either believe what the mayor says about cost and risks or they’re too chicken to speak up. Frankly, I’m not sure which would be worse.

Chicago Takes Gold Medal in Olympic-Sized Corruption

Former Alderman Arenda Toutman was sentenced to four years in prison on Tuesday for mail fraud and tax fraud. Troutman is the 30th sitting or former Alderman to be convicted of corruption charges over the past 36 years! Mayor Daley first appointed Troutman to her office in 1990. The Chicago Sun-Times reports that U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald is pursuing a corruption case against Alderman Isaac Carothers (29th Ward).

Do you trust our City Council to provide proper oversight and review for the Mayor’s crooked and insider development deals? Our City Council is asleep at the switch and no one is watching the cash register.  Say “NO!” to the Olympics.

Bid Books Lie – London Games Cost Soar $8.5 Billion!

games_cost_chartWha’t wrong with this picture?

The Chicago summer games of 2016 are projected to cost less than the Sydney games of 2000?!

Oops. The London games were projected to cost $4.9 billion in their Bid Book. Now running at $13.5 billion!

Remember, this is Chicago. Soldier Field renovations. Monroe Street garage repairs. Millennium Park overuns.
The great Block 37 Project that gives and gives to developers, including the CTA Super Station to nowhere.

79% Say “NO!” to the Olympics

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79% of the 16,266 people who voted in the Chicago Tribune on line poll said “NO!’ to the 2016 Olympics.

Cast your vote!

Chicago makes the Top of the WRONG “Top 10” List

forbes Gee, thanks Mayor Daley and Cook County Board President Todd Stroger. Your                                mismanagement and fostering of corruption has landed Chicago the #3 spot in
Forbes Magazine’s list of “America’s Most Miserable Cities.

Lousy weather, long commutes, rising unemployment and the highest sales tax rate in the country are to blame for the Windy City being near the top of our list. High rates of corruption by public officials didn’t help either…

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois, which includes Chicago, has been very busy in recent years. They convicted 385 public officials of crimes over the past decade, a per capita rate that puts it in the bottom third of big U.S. metros.

The Northern District office boasts of recent successful prosecutions, including “a corrupt former governor of Illinois, Chicago officials who rigged city hiring, individuals who lied about their support of foreign terrorism, corporate executives who cheated public shareholders and traditional organized-crime bosses who were responsible for notorious murders.”

Illinois‘ record of public corruption, particularly in the governor’s office, is staggering. Five of the past nine governors have been charged with crimes, and three, as of now, have served time in prison. Whether former Gov. Blagojevich will do any jail time is still to be determined.

So, rather than spend tens of millions of dollars trying to bring the 2016 Olympics here, why don’t we clean our own house, fire the corrupt politicians and bring some sort of fiscal sanity to our city. Let’s do the basic block and tackling of running a clean, just and efficient city before we throw billions down the rat hole of an Olympic building spree.

NO TRUST, NO GAMES. NO ACCOUNTABILITY, NO GAMES. NO JUSTICE, NO GAMES.

Get No Games Tee-Shirts!

tee_shirts

People have been bugging us for buttons, tee shirts, buper stickers and signs. We’re on it! You can order No Games tee shirts in a variety of styles and sizes from Cafe Press. Other stuff is in design.

Got ideas for other designs or access to printing services? Email us at nogameschicago@gmail.com. Let’s make this a participatory sport!