Monday, May 14, 2007

This Was Sure to Happen

A week ago on a Sunday morning, an 18 year old was stabbed repeatedly on the 100 block of West Ohio. Unfortunately, that is not a shock.
Over the past few years, the gang bangers have spent weekend nights going up Ohio Street and hanging out at the Ohio Street pedestrian underpass. Residents wake up to broken bottles littering the streets. At times, we wake to ugly arguments outside our windows. The underpass in particular is often filled with broken glass.
When something like this occurs, it is easy to point fingers and at times, pointing fingers is just what needs to be done.
Let me point the first at the Chicago Police Department. I rarely see POs in the area at night. I don't think I have ever seen one near that tunnel.
Let me point another at the developers of the 600 North Lake Shore Drive project. They have a sales office on the south side of the street at Ohio and Lake Shore Drive. Those people should install a public refrigerator there. Nearly every morning we see the planters littered with Corona bottles and often those same bottles remain for days. When people are repeatedly doing illegal activity right outside your door, you need to do something. In addition, a scaffolding was put covering the entrance to the underpass. That provides the gangbangers with great cover.
We need a new law: If you are going to take over city streets and put up a scaffold, you are responsible for what happens underneath it. Don't want that responsibility? Don't build so close to the street.
Finally, we need to blame Burton Natarus.
All this started on his watch. There are many reasons that the voters tossed him on his fat rear in February, but issues like those above sure played a role.
Let's hope that Brendan Reilly takes a look at these issues when he is sworn in next week. The 42nd needs change and we are counting on him to deliver change.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Natarus Is Gone: He Was a Rat

For the most part, people are defined by themselves, their family, and their friends. Sometimes though, the people that we have no use for at all holds us together as an affirmation of who we are and what we stand for. Hunter S. Thompson had Richard Nixon. I have Burton Natarus.
That fact that the voters turned on Burton Natarus and kicked him out of office is no reason to avoid telling the truth about Burton Natarus. As Dr. Thompson did of Nixon, I have kicked Burton Natarus when he was up and I will kick him now that he is down and the people of the 42nd Ward are better for it.

You see, Burton Natarus was a rat.

Natarus spoke a lot about rats. Being one himself, he perfectly understood them.

Burton Natarus was a cheap hack who took a half of a million dollars from developers and for that money, he sold out the residents of the 42nd. The developers and their cash was who he served. Burton Natarus never did care what the development did to the 42nd. His only concern was for the campaign cash and for getting his fat rat-like mug on the television screens.

Those were the actions of a rat.
Burton Natarus admitted that he did not report crime since nobody would believe a word that he said. When you don't report crime because nobody would believe a word you say, you are a rat.

Burton Natarus claims that George Dunne was his role model.
He never acted like George Dunne.
George Dunne was always a gentleman and a class act. Even when you disagreed, George Dunne would treat you with respect.
George Dunne was the opposite of a Burton Natarus.
In contrast, Burton Natarus was a rat.

According to the Chicago Tribune, “for laughs” Burton Natarus told a cab driver that Natarus had caused the driver to lose his license. He thought that causing a poor man to lose his job was funny.
That is not funny. Causing harm to the little guy is not a joke. George Dunne would never have done such a thing.
Burton Natarus is no George Dunne. Instead, Burton Natarus is a rat.

On the night of the election, when the numbers showed that the voters had spoken and that Burton Natarus would be crushed, he refused to do the right thing. He refused to call Brendan Reilly and congratulate the winner.

In a democracy, that is what a candidate should do. Wish the winner well and hide the disappointment. That is what a class act would do. Natarus has stated that he will do nothing to ease the transition. It shows what he thinks of 42nd Ward voters.
Natarus will not help them by easing the transition.
He never cared about the voters, and it showed to the end.

Burton Natarus is not a class act.

Natarus claims that he is baffled that he lost. He shouldn’t be. Burton Natarus should ask his neighbors, if he doesn’t think he is too important to speak with them. You see, Burton Natarus’s neighbors voted for Brendan Reilly. Burton Natarus’s neighbors – the people who knew him best – saw that he was a rat and voted for Brendan Reilly.

The reason the voters threw Burton Natarus on the garbage heap is clear: Burton Natarus lost because, until the end, he was a filthy sewer-dwelling little rat who thought it was funny to pick on the little guy and who didn’t give a rat’s behind about the voters.

But Burton Natarus still doesn’t understand why he lost.