article on aquaponics that mentions Ald. Shiller's next millions-of-our-property-tax-dollars pet project: the fish farm in the former Salvation Army Center at Broadway and Sunnyside.
Across the street from Schiller's [sic] office in Uptown is a boarded-up brick building that could one day be a hub of urban agriculture. Fish, probably tilapia, would be raised in large tanks in an organic aquaponic system, she envisions, and vegetables and herbs would grow under artificial lights. It could include a community kitchen and an educational center. A farmers market on the ground floor would sell the fish and produce.
All this talk of organic produce, a farmers market and fresh fish sounds so pretty, doesn't it? Maybe even a way to reimburse some of the tens of millions of dollars from 23 years of property taxes that are supposed to revitalize Uptown's economy.
But wait! What's this?
Both the Latino Union and the Chicago Coffee Confederation are generating outside support for Café Chicago. Alderman Helen Shiller has offered space within the proposed Green Center she and activists in Uptown are creating near Broadway and Sunnyside. This location would not only provide space for the roasting operation, but also establish a partnership with many other poor people’s organizations concerned with issues of justice and environmental sustainability.
We don't see how bringing a non-profit "poor people's organization" from Albany Park to Uptown is going to help turn around Uptown's economic blight... which is, after all, the justification Ald. Shiller gave for creating the TIF. Perhaps she can explain this to us, and why we have to search the web to find out how our property tax money is being flung around.
What are you really fishing for, Alderman? Those of us who are paying for the bait would like some answers.