Guest Columns

Why e-cigarettes need greater restriction

By ALD. WILLIAM D. BURNS (4TH) In January, I co-sponsored an ordinance to apply smoking restrictions to electronic cigarettes — namely, that e-cigarettes cannot be used in restaurants, bars and indoors. My father died 12 years ago at the age of 59 of a heart attack caused by a lifetime of smoking. Despite my father’s(…)

Why I pushed the pension bill

By STATE SEN. KWAME RAOUL (D-13) A legislator’s test of courage is not the 90 percent of votes that are easy, but the 10 percent that are not. The solvency of our pension funds, our declining bond rating, the quality of public education, essential state services and yes, the promises Illinois has made to its(…)

Take a stand on fracking regulations

By STATE REP. BARBARA FLYNN CURRIE (D-25) With the support of the Sierra Club, the Natural Resources Defense Council and other environmental advocates, the General Assembly approved and Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation last spring to regulate fracking operations in downstate Illinois. Hydraulic fracking differs from traditional methods of mining underground gas and oil as(…)

Shine a light on business

By ALD. WILL BURNS (4TH) Chicago — like the State of Illinois — is in fiscal crisis. Meanwhile, the Illinois Department of Revenue’s 2010 Annual Report states on page 14 that fully two-thirds of corporations operating in Illinois paid NO corporate income tax to the state. When the state grants tax breaks to large corporations,(…)

On corporate giveaways

By STATE REP. BARBARA FLYNN CURRIE (D-25) Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) asks for a state handout to facilitate the company’s decision to stay in Illinois. ADM is a Fortune 100 company with sales last year that reached nearly $90 billion. ADM would like to leave Decatur, its home of 44 years, and move to Chicago,(…)

Why I’m not running for governor

By STATE SEN. KWAME RAOUL (D-13) First, I want to convey my deep and lasting appreciation to the men and women, from communities throughout the state, who have expressed confidence in my ability to lead Illinois as its next chief executive. I am inspired by their determination to improve life for all our residents, and(…)

Pressure reverses sprinkler rule

By STATE REP. BARBARA FLYNN CURRIE (D-25) Below is a letter I sent to Gov. Pat Quinn about proposed new sprinkler system rules. After hearing from many constituents and legislators such as myself, Gov. Quinn asked the Fire Marshall to rescind his proposal late last week and the Fire Marshall complied. Thank you to everyone(…)

Founder on permission wall

Founder on permission wall

By DESI WOME First, a little basic history on the ongoing permission wall behind the Mobil gas station in Hyde Park. We always called it “the Mobil wall,” “53rd Street” or the “Hyde Park wall.” I started that wall in 1992. I got permission from the Mobil station. There was never a forged letter. People(…)