Monday, March 11, 2013

Memory Lapse, Or Cheap Shot?

Oh, Helen.  To paraphrase Michael Corleone, Just when we thought you were out... you pull us back in.

There was an even-handed article about the recent political/social events in the 46th Ward in the Tribune over the weekend, entitled In Uptown, freshman alderman angers advocates for the needy. Challenges to Salvation Army food truck, 'cubicle hotels' split a gentrifying neighborhood.  In it, the author interviewed former alderman Helen Shiller, who took the opportunity to break her silence about Uptown.

Not surprisingly, she expressed a very low opinion of her successor and the job he's doing.  (Who knew that the inner Helen Shiller was really Dick Cheney?)  But what really made us chuckle was the derogatory shot she took at Ald. Cappleman's proposed policy to try to reduce the pigeon population:
Shiller questioned her successor's priorities last week, pointing to Cappleman's proposal to allow for fines up to $1,000 and up to six months behind bars for anyone caught feeding pigeons. He introduced the ordinance to the City Council after a woman known for feeding the pigeons in Uptown attacked him last summer, he said.

"I mean, we live in the city," Shiller said. "There are going to be pigeons."
Oh, Ms. Shiller, we'd hate to accuse you of forgetfulness.  Or of thinking Uptowners are stupid. Or of hypocrisy.  But someone needs to remind you that Cappleman's pigeon ordinance -- the same one you're mocking -- is the exact same one that you yourself introduced when you were alderman.

But don't take our word for it. Why not consult your own website,, which you still haven't taken down nearly two years after you became a "former" and a private citizen.  Right there, it says:
Pigeons.  Pigeons are another story.  Ald. Shiller is the co-sponsor of an ordinance that would ban the feeding of pigeons on the public way because it is unhealthy.  Pigeon droppings attract rats and contribute to the spread of disease.  Furthermore, bird experts agree that the feeding of any wild birds by people should be discouraged because it is unhealthy for the birds.  The ordinance was referred to the License Committee where it was deferred on January 8, 2008.
And the punishment you proposed for feeding pigeons, Ms. Shiller? Six months in jail and $1000 fine. Sounds familiar, maybe? Because that's the exact same punishment that Cappleman's proposed ordinance calls for.  The same legislation you're mocking in the paper today.

So here's some unsolicited advice, Ms. Shiller.  We're sure you won't pay any attention, as is your habit.  But, frankly, we'd rather not write about you any more.  So here goes: 

As we said the day you left office, "Time to pass the baton, put your feet up and enjoy being one of us again."  Taking a cheap shot at proposed legislation that is identical to your own makes you look petty and bitter.  Despite your website, you haven't been alderman for 22 months.  You live in the 47th Ward now.  You're a freaking lobbyist, even (you go, girl).   The 46th Ward has moved on.  We'd love to see you be able to do the same.


  1. Even-handed arguement? By my count there were at least 5 people who were anti-Cappleman interviewed vs. just the Alderman. I beg to differ with UU's opinion. I think it was pretty slanted against Cappleman..

    But great point of Shiller.. wonder what her minions will say about that..LOL

  2. Comments at the top instead of the bottom, good idea.

    Wow UU, you sure you want to attack Shiller? That is controversial, and pretty high and mighty of you (jk). :)

  3. Yea, I can't wait to hear what the Shiller supporters have to say about this. I really wish she would just go away. It's clear by her inability to stay out of the news that she was always in it for the attention, not to help the ward.

  4. Actually seems to be a fairly balanced (perhaps even Cappleman favored write up) article. While Shiller's contributions are contradictory at best to her own track record, this doesn't seem to paint the Alderman=Monster image that some other media has tried to do in the past week+.

  5. I will say Çappleman showed his asa and the whole city got a good look.

    UU can censor us all they want while downtown they listen to us and bury his shitshow legislation in the rules committee.

    But what do I know...carry on....

  6. Thanks for calling her on this. I hope the mainstream media pick it up!

  7. There was just an article in the Sun Times that a man owes the city of Chicago close to 15,000 in "drinking on the public way" tickets. Will this pigeon law be enforced??

  8. No mainstream media cares what Shipper did whenever. Cappleman is out there acting foolish and his name is becoming synonymous with bird guano.
    If you would like to read an informative article about why the media is picking onnour fastidious alderman read Neil Steinberg's piece on his ride with the pigeon lady.

    I voted for Cappleman and feel like and idiot for doing so. Will it be enforced someone asks.....wellnwhat do you think?

    Cappleman is becoming toxic in city hall to the detriment of this ward. What morons are advising him i would like to know.

  9. It makes you look bad when you censor unflattering comments for no other reason than they are critical. There is nothing wrong with pointing out that you look like you're the one that needs to pass the baton.

    Time to move on, UU, and all others that can't stop worrying about the previous alderman.

  10. Shiller is as clueless now as she was when she alderman. She wasn't (and isn't) unique in that regard among her former colleagues in the City Council. Too bad every ward doesn't have an "Uptown Update" coupled with an interested, proactive constituency/readership.

  11. Who is more bitter...

    Ald Schiller or Uptown Update?

    It's hard to tell.

  12. "It makes you look bad when you censor unflattering comments for no other reason than they are critical."

    Go ahead and admit it, Bronco Billy..

    Kudos to UU!

  13. I don't blame anyone, especially those who she claimed to champion, for being bitter about Shiller's tenure as alderman. Cappleman inherited a mess masterfully mismanaged by the same disorganized individual who could mock her successor for supporting a nearly identical initiative to the one she proposed only five years ago! Good luck to her in the 47th Ward.

  14. ChiTownPhilly, to answer your question, I would say Shiller, since she is the one that can't shut-up about things that are no longer any concern of hers. UU was responding to something she said, not the other way around. Shiller shuts-up about the ward, and UU doesn't bring her up.

  15. She was interview by the press!!! How is that all of a sudden "she is the one that can't shut-up about things".

    She was asked by a reporter. They came to her.

    Seriously. You people -have- to get over this. She's gone. You won. OK, now. Can we all stop this? This is ridiculous!

    I get that you hate her, but enough is enough.

  16. Shiller comes off as such a hypocrite here. And it's funny how all of the comments attacking Uptown Update for this post conveniently forget to address the post on its merits.

    I mean, really guys, Shiller attacked Cappelman for proposing the SAME EXACT ORDINANCE THAT SHE CO-SPONSORED!!!!! I think it's entirely appropriate for a blog like Uptown Update to call her on her b******t.

  17. Cheez whizz! The night of the living dead right in our midst! And just when we thought were were getting to be sort of normal.

  18. Actually the last sentence is the most importante part of the article.
    It is Rahm Emmanuel basically giving Cappelman the middle finger over Wilson mens club. That should be worth at least as much attention as old pigeon Bills.
    Did Shilller hook up with a out of staye farmer too i am getting old and cant remember.

  19. I'm surprised Shiller could pull herself away from her lobbying business to give a quote to a reporter.

    She's a private citizen now. Cappleman is the alderman. That's good enough for me.

    Somehow as I think of the task that we inherited on the day she left office I think of the movie "Deep Impact". The disaster movie from 1998 not the porn movie I supposedly starred in with the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders back in 1979. You folks have dirty minds!

    This speech the President (Morgan Freeman)gave at the end speaks to me. Perhaps it speaks to you. Perhaps I'm only hearing the voices in my head.

    "Still we were left with the devastation.........but the water receded. Cities fall, but they are rebuilt. So now, let us begin."

    Remember the past and learn from it, but look to the future. Shiller is past. Cappleman is now.

    The sun, perhaps behind some clouds, will rise tomorrow. There's no such thing as perfection in this life, but this bit of Beethoven comes close.

  20. Nice UU, citation to authority and everything. It is like the Jon Stewart show.

  21. Thanks UU for the informative posts as usual