Monthly Archives: May 2009

Indicted Alderman Wore Wire for Year – Who’s On The Tape?

As reported in the Sun-Times:

One of Mayor Daley’s closest allies on the City Council has been wearing a wire and secretly recording “public officials and real estate developers” for more than a year, a City Hall bombshell that was revealed in a federal court document Thursday.

Ald. Isaac “Ike” Carothers (29th) was charged Thursday with fraud and bribery for allegedly accepting $40,000 in home improvements and other gifts from a politically connected developer, but he has been cooperating with the feds since April 2008, according to court papers.

In  a possible all time low, Mr. Carothers will most likely follow his father, Alderman William Carothers, into prison. The elder Mr. Carothers was convicted on bribery and sent to prison in 1983 for threatening to block a $14.5 million Bethany Hospital expansion unless he received $15,000 worth of remodelling in his ward office.

Who else was caught on the wire bribing, lying, stealing, cheating, scheming, scamming and flim-flamming? Could anyone involved in the 2016 bid possibly be captured on tape doing corrupt activities that could get THEM indicted and sent to prison?

What other ongoing investigations could catch Olympic-related players in its net? mmmm. Wasn’t Jon Harris, the impeached and indicted governor’s top aide, also a former top aide to the mayor? And isn’t Mr. Harris cooperating with federal prosecutors?

Calling the International Olympic Committee – you may want to re-think your plans, as our city officials are under federal scrutiny on a number of fronts. Who knows who’s going to be taken down next?

ALDERCROOKS

In the last 36 years, 30 sitting or former aldermen have been convicted of corruption or other crimes. Here they are, along with the year each was convicted.

1. Fred Hubbard (2nd), 1973
2. Joseph Jambrone (28th), 1973
3. Casimir Staszcuk (13th), 1973
4. Joseph Potempa (23rd), 1973
5. Frank Kuta (23rd), 1974
6. Thomas E. Keane (31st), 1974
7. Paul T. Wigoda (49th), 1974
8. Donald Swinarski (12th), 1975
9. Edward T. Scholl (41st) 1975
10. Stanley Zydlo (26th), 1980
11. William Carothers (28th), 1983
12. Louis P. Farina (36th), 1983
13. Tyrone T. Kenner (3rd), 1983
14. Chester A. Kuta, (31st) 1987
15. Clifford P. Kelley (20th), 1987
16. Wallace Davis Jr. (27th), 1987
17. Perry Hutchinson (9th), 1988
18. Marian Humes (8th), 1989
19. Fred Roti (1st), 1993
20. Ambrosio Medrano (25th), 1996
21. Allan Streeter (17th), 1996
22. Joseph Martinez (31st), 1997
23. Jesse Evans (21st), 1997
24. John Madryzk (13th), 1998
25. Larry Bloom (5th), 1998
26. Virgil Jones (15th), 1999
27. Percy Giles (37th), 1999
28. James Laski (23rd), 2006.
29. Ed Vrdolyak (10th), 2008
30. Arenda Troutman (20th), 2008

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Tour Shows Off Parks and Venue Sites To Be Destroyed

As part of the “Great Chicago Places & Spaces” events of last week, Chicago 2016 and the Chicago Architecture Foundation sponsored a bus tour showing off the sites in our public parks and other sites that will be appropriated, ripped up and given to the 2016 games.

Time_OutWe sent along a No Games organizer to set the record straight. The parks belong to the PEOPLE of Chicago – not to the Mayor, not to the 2016 Committee and not to the IOC.

Olympics Bring Thought Police, KGB Tactics

No Games opposes the bid for the 2016 Olympics for three major reasons. The first two are financial and environmental. The third set of reasons are moral and civil. We see the games causing displacement and gentrification. But there are also serious civil liberties abuses that accompany the coming of the games. Here is a report from Vancouver that documents the operations of the Vancouver Police Department and the Vancouver 2010 Integrated Security Unity.

Security-noticeIt appears that Olympic host cities, Whistler and Vancouver are full of creepy crawlies these days, but it has nothing to do with bedbugs or rats.

Over the past few months, law abiding citizens along with dissenters of the 2010 Olympic Games have been visited in some form or another at home, at work, or by phone by the Vancouver 2010 Integrated Security Unit (ISU).

When you have a billion dollars security budget to play with, the sky’s the limit.

In Vancouver, members of the Olympic Resistance Network (ORN) have been pulled over by the VPD and asked to comply with a “random” identity check. Chris Shaw explains being pulled over by the VPD.

In another case, a 73-year old Surrey man wrote an unflattering letter to VANOC and received a visit by the Olympic police to try to discover his true intentions about the Games. In mid-January members of the RCMP’s 2010 Integrated Security Unit attempted to meet with and gather information from members of the Lil’wat at Mt. Currie.

Not only are Whistler residents being monitored by radar satellites and military aircraft, and on the ground by Google’s Street View, Olympic police are asking pre-selected residents to spy on neighbours and to report back on anyone who speaks out against the Games – like something out of a B-grade sci-fi movie.

In the past weeks, several Whistler residents have been approached by undercover ISU police officers and interrogated about their views on the Olympics. Given the level of discontent with current Whistler mayor and bureaucrats, and VANOC’s lack of transparency, the entire town could be under surveillance.

This is just a preview of things to come if we get the 2016 games. We say “NO!” to thought police,  police spies, surveilling citizens and other trappings of  dictatorship being considered for Chicago.

Summer Starts – Park District Cuts Access to Beach

As reported in the Chicago Tribune

The Chicago Park District will save $700,000 over the summer by trimming hours for the city’s 800 or so lifeguards, said Park District spokeswoman Marta Juaniza. Lifeguard times will be 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. instead of 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Swimmers face fines if they enter the water when lifeguards are not present.

Chicago’s approach is unique for a major city and is “manifestly unwise,” warned U.S. Lifesaving Association President B. Chris Brewster.

“The reason you’ve had lifeguards providing services at the time they have is because that’s when history shows they’re needed,” he said. “The failure or absence of lifeguards means potentially death or serious injury. It’s a bit unrealistic to expect that laws are going to resolve your public safety problems.”

Juaniza said Park District statistics show the eliminated beach hours came at times when people weren’t swimming, anyway. “We did do the research and discovered a lot of people weren’t coming to the beach until noon,” Juaniza said

But the city DOES have $500 million to back the 2016 games. The city DOES have $86 million to buy the Michael Reese Hospital site. How long will we put up with this incompetence and citizen rip off?

Sign Our New Online Petition – President Obama, Stay Home!

President Obama has pledged his support for the 2016 bid Sign our new online petition urging trhe President NOT to support Chicago’s bid for the 2016 Olympics and to stay home when the IOC votes in Copenhagen in October.

WHOOPS! London Olympic Village Now TOTALLY on the Back of Taxpayers

You can always trust the government when they tell you that the Olympics will entirely funded by private investment and that the tax payers will not be soaked for the private five-ring party, right? Well the 2012 London summer games just made a big WHOOPS! -as reported on Regen Daily:

The 2012 Olympic Village development is to be built with no private sector funding, the Government has confirmed.

In a meeting of the of the Ministerial Funders Committee – the body that oversees the budget of the games – it emerged that the project will continue to be designed and developed by Lend Lease, but that it will now be funded entirely from the public purse, a statement from Lend Lease said.

Dan Labbad, chief executive officer of Lend Lease Europe, said: “Lend Lease submitted a highly competitive bid which offered to invest equity of £150 million in the project but the government and the Olympic Delivery Authority have decided that the overall risk return criteria for this type of project in the current market environment is not conducive to private funding.”

THAT couldn’t POSSIBLY happen to Chicago taxpayers, our construction projects are ALWAYS on time and on budget and our real estate market is MUCH more robust than London’s, right?

Olympic Spokesman Says Waveland “Natural Home” for Tennis Venue

The heavy hand of the 2016 Olympic Committee was present at a community meeting last night in Lincoln Park.  A Planning Task Force of the Lincoln Park Advisory Council was to make a recommendation to the Council to oppose the placement of the 30,000 seat Olmpic tennis venue in the park on the site of the tennis courts at Addison and Lake Shore Drive adjacent to the Bill Jarvis Nature Preserve and Bird Sanctuary. The Task Force was prevented from bringing its recommendation to the floor by the Chair of the Council – who had requested the Task Force convene in the first place.

According to a report in the Chicago Tribune’s web site, 2016 spokesman Patrick Sandusky defended the site as the “natural home” for the tennis venue.

Here is the recommendation of the Planning Task Force that was NOT voted on last night:

“The Lincoln Park Advisory Council Planning Task Force opposes and will recommend that the full Council oppose the sitting of the 2016 Olympic tennis court venue at the Waveland Park area because:

(1)     It would seriously damage the bird sanctuary and adjacent nature area and the wild life therein,

(2)     It would destroy park land,

(3)     Cause a net loss of 7 tennis courts,

(4)     Cause a loss of approximately 100 trees.

(5)     Risk grave damage to this area by the presence of tens of thousands of spectators.”

Olympic boosters brought out some dozen people who had not been to a Lincoln Park Advisory Council meeting in a year or so. Alderman Helen Schiller even put in an appearance to ask that the Council take no action that would appear to oppose the Olympics. Gyata Kimmons, the head of the 2016 community relations department, spoke and promised that all park destruction and construction would be restored after the games.

Friends, the fix is in. The power of the 2016 Olympic Committee to squash any serious discussion of the negatives of the games is real and it showed up last night at the Notebaert Nature Museum.