Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Lake Effect News: "Shiller's Fishy TIF Deal"

Lake Effect News has quite a story about tomorrow's Wilson Yard TIF Task Force meeting ("The meeting is scheduled at the convenient hour of 8 a.m., when most Uptown taxpayers will be stepping over bums on the sidewalk to get to the Wilson el station on their way to work. At least this time, the alderman is giving more notice than the 24 hours she gave us last October when she amended the Wilson Yard TIF a second time.") and the realities of creating a fish farm in the old Salvation Army building ("[Fish Farm expert Doug Burdette:] 'If you’re going to use it to give jobs to the homeless and there are only three or four jobs at a fish farm and you don’t see a growth industry in this, where are they going to use that knowledge to grow fish?'") Read the entire article here. \

Update: Right in time for the meeting on Amendment No. 3, Shiller's office has released Amendment No. 1. Funny, it's been revised effective July 21, 2009. Still making changes to Amendment 1? Odd timing. Makes us suspicious. See it here.


  1. I love Lorraine's sleuthing skills but the bit about stepping over the bums was unnecessary. C'mon, Lorraine, you're better than that.

  2. Oh, and ...

    Teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.

    Take tax monies away from schools and city services to fund an under-sized aquaponics center, you might give a few people a job; but, the greater good still isn't properly served and that violates how TIFs are supposed to be used.

    Isn't there a different way to fund something like this w/o using city funds?

    Of course there is, silly.

    They're called Federal grants, and they're administered through the Department of Commerce.

    Specifically through NOAA:

    The National Marine Aquaculture Initiative.

    Small Business Innovation Research Program.

    Saltonstall-Kennedy Grant Program

    If not there, then how 'bout the USDA's Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES)?

    Too bad we don't have a environmentally friendly Chicagoan in the White House, or scattered throughout the administration, who might be willing to steer Federal funds to a project like this.

    All painful joking aside, within the span of a few minutes I was able to find a scattering of places to seek funding that don't involve TIFs.

    This either proves that Helen's brain isn't properly wired for creative solutions, or she's an abject liar.

    Or both.

    Either way, approving her request to amend the WYTIF is akin to giving a toddler a loaded handgun.

  3. I understand that some ideas seem ludicrous in the developmental stages, and turn out to be strokes of visionary genius....this ain't one of them! Whatever Helen smoked in the 70's is showing its effect!

    Sassy, I imagine that Lorraine's comment comes from experience...I've stepped over a few while trying to get around the Loreli...making my way to the Lawrence station.

  4. I agree that having to step over or maneuver around people is a fact of life here. However, I object to the word "bums" because words like that dehumanize.

    I don't expect everyone to agree but this is how I feel so I raised my objection. It wasn't necessary in an otherwise clever and informative article.

  5. Sassy, I am glad you do not expect anyone to agree with you....

  6. So what if Ald. Shiller gets her way and the city buys the building for her? Oh.My.Gawd! You can't raise fish there!? And it'll only employ three people?! Whatever shall we do with then? Hmmm. Hmmmm.

    This woman's motives are transparent, even if her TIF maneuvers aren't.

  7. A legal question here. If the city argued that the statute of limitations passed on the original complaint by FWY, would the amendment "reset the clock" on the entire WY TIF District, thus making the original complaint well within the S. of L.?

  8. This plan is so ludicrous it could float for a April Fool's prank. Too bad it isn't April...

  9. Sassy I agree,why de-humanize? Years ago there was a man who hung at the L at Irving & Sheridan who looked let's say like'Aqualung'. I found he was the heir to a North Shore fortune and a former professor at Northwestern U. Mental illness I heard from a man I knew back then.If we keep wasting resources we all may be sleeping on cardboard.

  10. Millions spent to open a fish farm to employ 4 homeless people? We might as well just grap 4 homeless off the streets and hand them each a few million!

  11. i wish
    i wish
    i wish i were a fish