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The hidden link twixt rail safety and Byron

Metra tries not to kill its customers. It really does. Say what you will about our commuter rail service: its jaw-dropping top-level mismanagement, creaky equipment and seasonal surprise at finding itself once again in a cold climate. But when it comes to sparing the hectic, harried, charmless lives of the commuters who travel its length, Metra is outstanding. 

 

Something smells in Little Village

If not for its unbearable stench, Collateral Channel would go unnoticed in Little Village. Covered by trees and brush, the slip of water on the north side of the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal is barely visible to traffic along 31st Street near Cook County Jail. But residents who live nearby cannot escape the smell produced by sewer overflows and a century of pollution. 

Mayor Rahm Emanuel at a City Council meeting on Sept. 10. On Thursday, he dropped plans to name a new selective enrollment high school on the Near North Side after his former boss, President Barack Obama. | Al Podgorski/Sun-Times Media

Emanuel is missing a larger issue with school name

Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s decision not to name a high school planned for the North Side in honor of President Barack Obama may keep the president’s name out of a nasty re-election campaign. But it won’t stop the mayor’s opponents from using the issue as part of the “tale of two cities” narrative that has grown since Emanuel was elected in 2011.

Off Message: Fioretti's mayoral prospects

Fresh off his announcement that he's running for mayor, Ald. Bob Fioretti stops by Off Message to talk with Natasha Korecki, Fran Spielman and Dan Mihalopoulos about why he's running, the hurdles he faces and how he plans to defeat Rahm Emanuel, $25 at a time.

John Crombie, owner of the Duke of Perth, works the North Side bar as Chicago Scots meet to watch the results of Scotland's vote on independence Thursday evening. | Richard A. Chapman/Sun-Times

Chicago Scots gather as they await results of independence vote

John Crombie, 59, who has owned the Duke of Perth bar for 25 years, is a native of Dundee, Scotland. He hopes the people vote for independence. But he understands the sense of unity many Scottish people feel with England.

CTU report: Layoff of 468 custodians will add to filth at schools

“The $260 million CPS is contracted to pay Aramark is apparently not going to be used to staff sufficient numbers of school custodians,” the report said. “Some of that $260 million will be wasted on the purchase of Zamboni machines that cannot move from floor to floor in schools without sufficiently sized elevators.”

Karen Lewis on CTU and mayoral run: 'Yes, I can do both jobs'

Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis said on Thursday she doesn't see a problem with staying put in her high-profile position with labor should she decide to run for mayor. "Yes, I can do both jobs," Lewis told E&O. "People act like I'm the only one in this office and that I do all these different things. We have a bargaining team of 75 people."

Let Common Core flourish in Illinois

Educators throughout Illinois have spent the past four years preparing for the new Common Core learning standards by developing curricula, adopting new textbooks and prepping themselves to teach challenging material. Yet just as Illinois is about to reap the rewards of this long planting season, some want to backpedal. This effort is led by the Chicago Teachers Union, which reversed its earlier support for these new standards.

Ald. Ricardo Munoz (22nd) says Cook County Democratic Party chairman Joe Berrios had no right to put the party’s resources at the disposal of the mayor. | Sun-Times file photo

Munoz: Democratic Party effort to help Rahm premature

Not all Democratic committeemen in Chicago are happy that the Cook County Democratic Party is helping Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s re-election effort. “The Cook County Democratic Party’s Chicago contingent has not voted to endorse anybody yet, and the party cannot circulate until there is an official endorsement,” says Ald. Ricardo Munoz (22nd).

 
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