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Whittier Elementary Thu Jun 30 2011
A story on the on-going fight over the Whittier fieldhouse (La Casita) at the Tribune relays the Chicago Public Schools line that they are being frustrated by left wing ideologues who keep changing their demands, while a piece at the RedEye (by GB contributor Yana Kunichoff) looks at the money involved as they relate to the parents' demands:
$1.4 million: allocated to Whittier by Ald. Danny Solis (25th) from the Tax Increment Financing funding.
$364,000: The money from the $1.4 million TIF fund allocated first to demolish, then renovate the field house.
$564,000: The total amount of money raised to build a new, green field house
$750: Prize money awarded to the Whittier Parents Committee by the Pilsen Environmental Rights and Reform Organization (PERRO) for the environmentally friendly design of the proposed La Casita.
Priceless?: More than 50 people came out last Friday at 5 a.m. to block the planned construction of the library in the school building instead of the field house and halted the construction for the day.
Reminiscent of the first Mayor Daley blaming all civil disorder on "outside agitators," the Tribune article casts the Board of Education as helpless in the face of irrational leftists:
"As a result of your continued opposition in allowing us access to the school, we have no other choice than to cancel construction of the library project this summer," Chicago schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard said Wednesday in a letter to the Whittier Parents Committee.
The weeklong delay in construction cost the cash-strapped district about $150,000, Chicago Public Schools officials said. And the protest group's ever-shifting demands have frustrated district leaders....Some have questioned who is behind the Whittier Parents Committee. Last week, seven mothers were among 30 protesters, who included members of the Chicago Teachers Union.
Who are the "some"? The article doesn't say, but I'm fairly certain it is "Someone at Brizard's office who said something like, 'Can we talk off the record?' and then said, 'Some people are wondering if this is all just a bunch of communists. For more on this, call Phil Mullins at UNO, which is now an appendage to the Mayor's office.'"
It's interesting for example that the article quotes Phil Mullins, considered by some to be the real powerbroker at UNO (who are the some? Oh, you know, just "some") and not its titular head, Juan Rangel. Rangel, of course, was among the first local backers of Rahm Emanuel and co-chaired his campaign. Which they may have had to mention had they quoted him.