Monday, March 03, 2008

Silverstein Stumps for Obama, Brewer Stops Stone Project

Word is that Sen. Silverstein, our new Democratic Committeeman, was in Ohio yesterday knocking on doors for Barack Obama. Imagine a Democratic Committeeman from the 50th Ward doing that! Meanwhile, I hear rumors (and nothing more) that Ald. Stone is planning on returning to the Republican Party so he can run for alderman under the Republican banner. If this is true, I'd imagine that his Democratic Club will become the Republican Club of the 50th Ward. Makes sense to me.

What really stands out here, though, is that Ira has done in a couple of months more to help Democrats than Berny did in eight years. That's promising.

We got word late last week that Cook County Judge Leroy Martin Jr. issued a preliminary injunction stoping construction on a planned parking garage and condominium development at Rockwell-Devon:

Today’s court order is the latest in a series of setbacks for the controversial project and a significant victory for homeowners who filed suit in October to block the development. Homeowners allege the planned six-story mixed-use structure would violate restrictive covenants established to protect the residential character of their neighborhood. Deed restrictions recorded with the original subdivision in 1913 permit only residential structures on Rockwell and adjacent side streets. The same restrictions require that all buildings be set back from the property line. The homeowners’ lawsuit seeks to enforce the covenants through a permanent injunction. Today’s ruling means that no construction may begin before a final decision in the case.

You have to really wonder whether this monstrosity will ever get built. Proposed at the end of the housing bubble, I can't imagine people wanting to pay the prices that the developer wants -- or banks loaning money to such a controversial project. Brewer accuses Stone of ignoring city rules and regulations, as well as "the right of these homeowners to protect their neighborhood and their property values." It's good to have an advocate like Greg Brewer on the side of the neighborhood.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Local Soldier Killed by Roadside Bomb

Albert Bitton, 20, who joined the Army after graduating from Ida Crown Jewish Academy, was killed in Baghdad on Tuesday. His Humvee/ambulence was hit an improvised explosive device. He is survived by his wife, Melissa Handleman, his parents, Elie and Silvia, and his sisters, Jackie and Elizabeth.

Albert grew up in West Rogers Park and was scheduled to return home in January 2009.

"Bitton's family said the soldier's body was expected to return to Chicago this weekend, and services are planned for Tuesday or Wednesday."

Service: February 26 (Tue), 1 pm
Congregation Adas Yeshurun
3050 W Touhy Ave
Chicago, IL 60045

Interment: Memorial Park

Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Color of Rebuke

Red = Stone won 55% or more
Pink = Stone won 50%-54%
Green = Ira won 50%-54%
Lt Gr = Ira won 55%-64%
Lt Bl = Ira won 65%-74%
Blue = Ira won 75% or more

Ald. Stone may try to blame his crushing defeat on Congresswoman Schakowsky and the lakeside liberals, but it's apparent from the vote returns that he was rebuked across the 50th Ward. Peterson Park, hardly a bastion of lakeside liberals, voted overwhelming against Stone, as did Park Place and the nursing homes; this was a broad rejection of Stone shared across all the neighborhoods.

85% of the voters who came out voted in this race. Stone held on to less than half the vote he had received not even a year ago. Outside of three of the Winston Towers and precinct captain Saul Charak's precinct, Stone lost those precincts he had won in 2007. Which may answer the question of who the precinct captains were loyal to, Stone or the Mayor. Newly-elected Democratic Committeeman Ira Silverstein turned the 50th Ward blue!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Dolar Beats Stone!

The headline that many were waiting for:

Naisy Dolar: 4628 50th Ward
Berny Stone: 4549 50th Ward

Votes for delegate to the Democratic National Convention.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Ira Wins! Ira Wins!

It's a great day in the neighborhood. A man of integrity, spirit and a man who will not embarrass us has won election as Democratic Committeeman for the 50th Ward.

DEM - Ward Committeeman, 50th
37 out of 45 precincts (82.22 %)

Ira I. Silverstein 4,799 67.79 %
Bernard L. Stone 2,280 32.21 %

Ald. Stone's criminal organization, the Democratic Club of the 50th Ward, will no dount disappear. I think it safe to anticipate the return of the Regular Democratic Organization, the Democrats that Stone dissolved, to return to the 50th Ward.

It's a great day to be a democrat, to be alive in the 50th. If Stone resigns, his daughter is no longer the most likely replacement. And it's probable that Stone will not run for re-election as alderman. It's a GREAT DAY!

Let the race for 2011 begin!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Precinct Captain's Weather

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Daley asked Ald. Stone to resign as vice mayor

Seems that Berny Stone's version of why Mayor Daley is supporting St. Senator Ira Silverstein for Democratic Committeeman is a bit far fetched. The Sun-Times Columnist, Michael Sneed, who tends to be clued in to the comings and goings of the 5th floor, writes:

The snubbing/drubbing of Ald. Bernard Stone, who has been in office for 35 years, is a classic case of "Upset the mayor -- get tossed under the bus."

• • The story behind the story: Sneed hears Mayor Daley's decision not to back loyalist Stone, 80, for 50th Ward Democratic committeeman had its beginning long before Stone's vote against the 2008 city budget.

• • The first shot: Sneed hears rumbles that Daley sent an emissary from the city's Intergovernmental Affairs office to solicit Stone's resignation as vice mayor -- at the start of Daley's present term.

• • The upshot: Considering his long tenure and loyalty to Daley in the City Council, Stone believed the request to be out of line and refused.

• • The buckshot: Word is Daley, who has a long memory, chalked this up as "strike one" against Stone.

• • The backshot: Stone's subsequent "no" votes on the budget and property tax increases -- despite 18 years of tough political support for Daley (including on such issues as the controversial big-box ordinance) -- seem to be strikes two and three. Stone's big-box vote almost cost him his aldermanic seat last February.

Hugh Devlin, who doubles as an information central for many things in the neighborhood, is right when he says:

It is reasonable that Daley had an idea of the current investigation into voter fraud in the 50th, and knew it was actionable and ongoing, at the time Daley asked Stone to step down.

I'd take it a bit further. If the Mayor sent someone from the Inspector General's office to ask Stone to resign, then he definitely understood the implications of the investigation into Stone's criminal organization and was looking to separate himself from it. The Mayor has enough problems with governing the city; he doesn't need Stone's criminal activities to reflect poorly on him or on the city of Chicago.

None of us do.

Labels: , ,