Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Hans Morsbach: "I am an old fart"

posted by chicago pop

In an interview with Dan Lambert of the Chicago Maroon (October 23, 2007), Hans Morsbach declares, "I am an old fart."

We're glad he's the one who said it.

Turns out, it's revealed in the interview that the Medici, fabled local business and graffiti backdrop, is about to become -- *GASP* -- a chain! (Actually, it was a chain for a while already, before it closed its location on Surf between Sheridan and Broadway a few years ago). Hyde Park's most prominent local businessman is replicating his success and perpetuating the global spread of corporate monoculture.

The Medici's new space will be a veritable beer hall for the more festive student body of Illinois State University in downstate Normal, where Morsbach hopes to propagate the elevated values that make Hyde Park distinct: "The main reason is economics. We can have liquor, and it is in a good location close to Illinois State University."

Helping undergrads get sloshed close to their dorms so they don't have to drive is truly admirable, but even better is being able to cash in on coed inebriation. "It's in a community where they appreciate me."

Everyone likes to be appreciated, especially when "the main reason is economics." Too bad that reason rarely applies in Hyde Park, at least outside of the Medici.

The interview ranges widely, and explains how the Medici became a retail outlet for various politically-branded forestry products from somewhere up north. But for the true Hyde Park political junkie, the blurb on Morsbach's involvement in the Save the Point Campaign is not to be missed. We'll quote it in full.

I am a troublemaker. I think some issues are just important to me, like Save the Point. I was very emotional about it. I was shocked that the University would side with destroying the limestone ambiance of the point; I still don't understand why they did it. I was also shocked that the city, the University, and a lot of the conservative Hyde Parkers were fighting the issue, which has tremendous popularity with many people. And I think we won the battle.

This statement is truly worthy of a Medici garbage pizza. It's a little bit of everything all messed up.

Take, for example, the idea that the "Hyde Parkers ... fighting the issue" were conservative. Now, being conservative by definition means not wanting change. So, wanting to keep the original (dangerous and decrepit) limestone, as Morsbach did, is the true conservative position. In contrast, wanting to change the revetments is not conservative. Wanting to change the revetments in accordance with modern standards of accessibility, safety, and durability, is a progressive position, and that was not Morsbach's position.

But businessmen can't be expected to be semantically fastidious, nor particularly astute analysts of local politics. Nor should we expect them to be historians, it turns out. Looking back on the outcome of the Point battle, Morsbach states "I think we won the battle." However, this comment seems to resemble a number of other rather satisfied remarks made in the interview -- "I'm proud to say my book is the bestselling one on forestry on Amazon"*(see below for fact-check) -- leading one to wonder if it's not a bit exaggerated.

And just what does it mean in Morsbach-speak to "win a battle?" It's clear that, on this Point, Hans is emotional about the issue; and that may in fact have been the problem. It's also clear that if any victories were had, they were Pyrhhic, on the order of the "strategic hamlet" strategy of pacifying the Viet Cong. To "save" the Point, we had to let it fall apart and watch funding disappear, which is how it remains. Some victory.

One garbage pizza, please!

*[On Morsbach's allegedly top-selling lumberjack tome, we'll quote one attentive reader: "As of noon today [Thurs. Oct. 25, 2007], it looks like Morsbach's "Commonsense Forestry" is actually #26 in the Forests & Forestry category for Amazon sales. Hmmm, that puts 25 other forestry books ahead of Mr. Morsbach's." (See comment section.) Feel free to check for yourself.]


Peter Rossi said...

Mr. More-bucks makes money due to his monopoly position in HP.

My guess is that the restaurant workers for the Medici earn less than those who work for White Lodging!

But this article does bring out an interesting point. The precinct where the Medici and most other 57th restaurants are is dry. Hyde Parkers shot themselves in this particular foot long ago. This makes is pretty hard for any decent restaurants to survive -- hence the Medici.

Peter Rossi said...

Mr. More-bucks also does what so many other Save the Pointers do -- he lies.

The City's plan is calls for the reuse of ALL existing LIMESTONE at the Point. Mr. More-bucks and his small band of fellow travelers consistently misrepresent this.

The plan Mr. More-bucks favors is -- DO NOTHING. this condemns the Point to a slow death.

BTW, has anyone actually seen Mr. More-bucks at the Point?

chicago pop said...

The comment about Point renovation being opposed by "conservative" Hyde Parkers, aside from being bizarre, points to an interesting analogy: that with the Pentagon of Donald Rumsfeld and his Iraq war.

Creating a disaster and then calling it a success was Rummy's trademark. There's a similar logic at work for anyone who thinks the Save the Point campaign was a success, or that they "won the battle." "Catastrophic success," perhaps, but do we need another one of those?

At least the Iraq war still has funding.

If these strong north winds keep up, the only thing that may be left of The Point by next spring will be Save the Point bumper stickers.

Famac said...

I still maintain if you took a block of limestone and a block of concrete and laid them side by side, no one could tell the difference.

I've also always maintained that the Point Savers have another secret ajenda which is to keep the Point exclusive to a very narrow demographic.

By keeping it as dangerous as possible (and unpatrolled) - families with young children, the elderly and weak swimmers are discouraged from using the Point.

LPB said...

As of noon today, it looks like Morsbach's "Commonsense Forestry" is actually #26 in the Forests & Forestry category for Amazon sales. Hmmm, that puts 25 other forestry books ahead of Mr. Morsbach's. Maybe even old farts should revisit the data for factual accuracy before making insupportable contentions (i.e., lies).

chicago pop said...

famac, I think you're right about the limestone vs. concrete. The only difference being concrete, it is true, doesn't have that charming, rustic look when it falls apart. That's what the Point Savers seem to like.

Which gets to a further point: I don't think Point Savers really care about who uses the point or which demographic. Everything I've learned suggests that their concern is mostly *aesthetic*. Note Morsbach's use of the term "limestone ambiance." Ambiance? Like he's talking about an Italian restaurant or something. None of the big wigs behind the Save the Point campaign are active users, nor do they seem to have a sense of the practical constraints involved. If anything is conservative ... if anything is *reactionary*, it's the Save the Point campaign.

Elizabeth Fama said...

C-Pop is right: the Save the Point group doesn't think about users at all, only aesthetics, and even their aesthetics are muddled since they don't have a unified alternative plan.

famac's point about a concrete block resembling a limestone block is a little misleading. The Point cannot be built of blocks, period, no matter what they're made of. Blocks can only be used decoratively, since the structure has to be steel and concrete (per the Army Corps of Engineers requirements), and since the government requires universal access.

As Peter Rossi points out: the Compromise Plan that the City proposed re-uses all of the existing limestone blocks as step-stones into the water, and as the top two (of four) tiers of the revetment.

So, unlike the Point Savers, the City actually HAS a unified, aesthetically pleasing plan.

chicago pop said...

Here's where Morsbach's book really stands as of this comment. Of course, these figures change hourly; he would do better to cite the total sales. Sales Rank: #156,967 in Books (See Bestsellers in Books)

Popular in these categories: (What's this?)
#19 in Books > Outdoors & Nature > Conservation > Forests
#35 in Books > Outdoors & Nature > Natural Resources > Forests & Forestry
#43 in Books > Professional & Technical > Professional Science > Agricultural Sciences > Forestry

Famac said...

Still, I give the guy credit for writing and publishing a book. I even worked on early drafts of it, believe it or not.

nate said...

Maybe Morsbach can sell his woodworking at the new Harper Court department store along with the stained glass, art supplies and apparel. :\

chicago pop said...

famac: you were a research assistant? That's quite a revelation. Yes, it's doing well; just not #1 at this moment (if it ever was).

nate: ha! you must be referring to that wonderful development proposal from Joseph Kelly in this week's Herald -- yes, the market for stained glass has got to be enormous -- and the Harper Court Torpedo Factory is just the place for it and Hans lovely woodcrafts!

Kim Hayward said...

Mr. Rossi, my guess is that you would be wrong about Medici employees. Why do you think we stay so long? Just the same, keep us out of your rantings about Hans. What is it with you and Chicago Pop? You guys obviously have some deep seeded resentment towards him. Why, because he's rich?("Mr. More-bucks"? Man, that is so old.)Yeah, he can a real pain in the butt. But, at least he puts his money where his mouth is and gets involved with the issues that are important to him. What have you two done lately? We get it, you don't like him. Who cares?

Elizabeth Fama said...

Hi Kim,

I know you didn't ask me, but I'll chime in anyway with my point of view.

I care a lot about the Promontory Point controversy, and I think Hans has been outspoken about it without truly understanding the facts. Then, the Hyde Park Herald adores him and deliberately allows his voice to be louder than opposing views that are better researched.

So, I'd say it's not a matter of not liking him, it's a matter of using this blog to reach the ears of people who may only have heard Hans's voice (and Jack Spicer's voice) on certain subjects.

Thanks for speaking up. I think lots of readers don't like what they see here, but lurk in the background, annoyed.

Everyone should feel free to voice their opinions here.


LPB said...

To Kim Hayward,

I don't think comments in this blog are targeting Morsbach due to any personal enmity. Rather, it is debating ideas, including those that Morsbach has gone on the record with. I interpreted the post as more of a critique of Morsbach's uninformed stance on the Point than anything else. But, to each his or her own, if you're reading it differently.

As for the Medici employees, it's great to hear from them. But, do not even get me started on the immense and utterly indefensible rudeness that I've been subjected to by a particular Medici Bakery employee. That is a whole other topic. And, as with the Co-Op, I've preferred to vote with my dollars by spending them elsewhere. I've personally been in the service industry for most of my working life (including time as a waitress and retail salesperson), and have NEVER yelled at a customer/client the way I was yelled at by your employee. If this twisted version of "service" is tolerable to Medici management, then you can thank your employee for running off a customer.

Famac said...

Kim said: "Mr. Rossi, my guess is that you would be wrong about Medici employees. Why do you think we stay so long? Just the same, keep us out of your rantings about Hans."

I think Rossi's point is legitimate. If you are going to criticize someone's wage practices, you open yourself up to the same analysis.

Back when I was working at the Medici, most of the jobs beside wait staff were minimum wage.

Managers might earn a living wage at the Medici, but you can't sell burgers at those prices without saving money somewhere -- and labor is typically the largest expense.

khs said...

I really enjoy the dialog on this blog and am appreciative of Chicago pop for getting it started and for Beth who keeps things fair and level headed, but bashing people really seems to go against the idea of progress. Factual statements and actual involvement seem as though they would be much more progressive than mud slinging. I absolutely understand pointing out Hans’s perceived inconsistencies but why the need to do so much bashing and name calling? A Liar? Come-on, does he really need to lye about a ranking of his book? It was #1 for more than a year after it was published.

Personally, I completely disagree with Hans on a number of neighborhood subjects but those have nothing to do with his businesses as has been alluded to by others.

Sure, of course the Medici Normal is “bigger, better, nicer, cleaner” – isn’t that what you do when you build a second business? You learn from your mistakes, perhaps have many more funds to do things the way you really want to

Not to mention, opening a business in a community that really wants you there and makes doing business pleasant; unlike Chicago where it may take three months to get a permit for a sidewalk cafĂ© or remodeling (assuming your U of C landlord will even allow you to make changes) all the while having to put up with your neighbors telling you exactly how you should be running your business that generally has absolutely nothing to do with turning any profits. Why wouldn’t you open a business in Normal?

Lpb, I’m the general manager of the Medici and while I’d love to say that our service is perfect I am well aware that it is not – my staff and I are working hard to improve the Medici in a number of ways. As many Hyde Park business people will attest to, the labor market on the south side is a tough one, even with reasonable wages. When issues have been brought to my attention, I deal with them and problematic employees tend to be ex-employees. I’m sorry to hear you are no longer a customer but perhaps you’d like call me and discuss your issues? I’m sure you’ll find that I’m a fairly reasonable person who is open to what you have to say. Specific feedback is the only way we can improve.

chicago pop said...

Thanks for weighing in, khs. I myself don't think Hans is a liar, and rarely accuse anyone of that (even Bush!) In the posts, we do satire, which is something that comes when you mix prominent personalities with a free press. Feel free to check our facts in the posts, or correct egregious characterizations. In the comments, though, it can get rowdier, and it's a balance of letting some get through to keep conversation going and then just shutting it down.

Kim Hayward said...

Hi Beth- I get all that and appreciate the use of blogs as a community sounding board. They work, obviously. Honestly,since I have my own issues with Hans, I may not have spoken up until Peter Rossi brought up Med employee's earnings. He shouldn't bring up something he knows nothing about as a way to insult Hans. It was insulting to us.

And to ipb...your service at the Medici had nothing to do with what I was talking about. I'm not sure I was the manager who dealt with the issue, but I'm sorry you had a bad experience. On the whole, the Medici has the best group of employees you could ask for. I will say this... customer service is not the job it used to be and because of that, finding the best employees for the job has become harder. The old saying, "The customer is always right" just isn't realistic anymore. It's much more difficult do to the fact that more people(and more personalities) are being served. Customers frequently demand the respect they're denying the person who's waiting on them. As a manager, it has become a real struggle to deal with customers who throw that double standard in my face. I've always said that everyone should have to work in the sevice industry as a life lesson. Mutual Respect 101.

chicago pop said...

Let me explain why Hans Morsbach is the subject of two recent posts (and a few previous ones) here at Hyde Park Progress.

It has nothing to do with his business ventures in the neighborhood.

It has to do with his NIMBY-ism, which is one of the central critical themes of this blog.

It is ironic that khs cites one of the difficulties of doing business at the Med as having to deal with neighbors telling you how to run a business.

That is exactly what Hans Morsbach has done regarding the proposed Marriott Hotel at Drs Hospital. If we consider engineering and compliance with federal regulations as "the business" of the Army Corps of Engineers, then its exactly what he's done with regard to reconstruction of the Point, and based on very unsound knowledge. The same is true for Harper Court, which is detailed in the most recent post.

Because of Mr. Morsbach's prominence in the neighborhood, his opinions on issues are heavily weighted -- by the Herald, the Maroon, and neighborhood old-timers, and others. Which is exactly why they need to be examined critically, as they are here.

Many of the Big Fish in the Little Pond of Hyde Park have gone a long time without having to face any serious opposition, let alone any irreverence regarding their position in the community.

That may be changing.

Famac said...

KHS said: "When issues have been brought to my attention, I deal with them and problematic employees tend to be ex-employees."

Don't I know it.

LPB said...


I would like to take my particular complaint offline with you directly. Kim Hayward does have a good point that every customer should know what it's like to be in the shoes of a service person. I would like to reiterate that I grew up in my family's restaurant business, started bussing tables at 12 years old, and continued to waitress through my teen years. I certainly know what it's like to try to take care of all types of customers. My own experience is also why I'm extremely appreciative of good service and happy to reward it.

Ironically, Kim Hayward *was* the manager that I spoke to about your employee yelling at me and blaming me for her own mistake. Unfortunately, Kim did not resolve the situation, in my view. As a result, I sent a detailed complaint letter, which I would be happy to share with you. Just let me know a good time to reach you at the restaurant and I can provide you with specific feedback.

Lastly, a little food for thought, I've never been treated with such rudeness at Istria, Starbucks, Valois, Salonica, Dunkin Donuts...the list goes on.

chicago pop said...

On the subject of customer service in Hyde Park, which was not the subject of this post, but is a hot topic on the blog nonetheless, it seems to me that any manager who does not care to offer customers the best possible service -- for whatever reason -- may be able to survive in the absence of serious competition, but not otherwise. We're talking a clientele of students and academics here, not hedge fund managers, corporate vp's and pit traders -- if staff can't handle these relatively benign folks professionally, then they won't survive a few new restaurants opening up a few blocks away that can.

The service at Istria is fantastic. Same at Homemade Pizza. Heck, they fawn over you at Piccolo Mondo. Any outfit that doesn't get on the service bandwagon once Hyde Park really starts to change will find its days are numbered.

Elizabeth Fama said...

On another topic that Kim raised...

Maybe everyone's getting tired of hearing me say this, but it's not necessary to be an "activist" to care about what happens in your community. In fact, knee-jerk activism is what has gotten Hyde Park in a lot of the scrapes that we're studying on this blog, so no one should underrate the simple act of talking. It's a huge problem in this community that people take sides on issues without fully informing themselves, and they do it while meaning well.

Also, I've said it once and I'll say it again: Chicago Pop treats this blog like a part-time job, while having a real job and a family. He can't run this thing and also hold picket signs, join boards, start petitions, and throw his money around for causes. I'd say his talents are being used well.

Famac said...

The internet is the new home of activism, anyway. The Democratic Party was quick to sieze on this in the last presidential election.

The fact that Medici employees are reading this blog and participating shows the fight has already been taken into the enemies backyard.

Famac said...

Kim said: "As a manager, it has become a real struggle to deal with customers who throw that double standard in my face."

I have to support Kim on this, I used to wait tables at the Medici on Harper. I was subjected to the rudest of behavior; often followed with "my change is the tip." Patrons would manufacture problems to try to get out of their checks all of the time.

Its useful to remember businesses have to take whoever walks in their door, and we aren't all polite. Its one of the realities of why its hard to run a business that caters to the general population in Hyde Park.

Its no accident that stores cited as having good customer service don't get involved in lengthy transactions with customers.

Famac said...

Oh, and in case anyone wants to say "things were different back then" - the property manager of my building was having such problems dealing with an owner serving on a committee in my building, that they wouldn't have a conversation with them without witnesses.

curtsy said...

My 5 year-old thinks "old fart" is VERY funny!

Elizabeth Fama said...

Curtsy, I take it that means your son feels better since his fever, which is good news.

Peter Rossi said...

Ms Hayward seems to be upset that I pointed out that Hans lies regularly regarding plans for the Point. He knows better, he has been told many times about the city's plan, but he continues to lie and call it call it all-concrete.

You can lie and get away with it in the Hyde Park Herald, but not here!

Also, it is ambundantly clear the Medici workers earn less than those at White lodging. Again, Ms. Hayward simply rants and does not dispute the point.

Instead of getting in a huff, if you dont' like what I say -- why not dispute the substance? The reason is that you can't!

Peter Rossi said...

Three cheers for lpb!!

I stopped going to the Medici Bakery as I was treated so badly by an employee.

I go to cafe istria where they actually seem to want to take my order.

Of course, this has nothing to do with the Point or the Doctor's hospital.

I do think it is hilarious that someone who pays his workes minimum wage has the gall to talk about the non-union shop at White Lodging.

Peter Rossi said...

Ms Hayward should know that have spent more time working on the Point Revetment than Mr. More-bucks has on counting his money!

seriously, I've spent 100s if not 1000s of hours on this over the last seven years. Several of us were able to get unprecedented concessions out of the City on this.

As for mocking the rich, I'm one of the those profit-mongering business school professors. I have nothing against the rich. I'm not a fan of the self-righteous, though!

Peter Rossi said...

finally, let me point out that Hans has written long letter to the Herald opposing the University's proposed hotels. This hotel development would include both a coffee shop and a restaurant that would provide direct competition for the Medici. Of course, he doesn't comment on this. He simply suggests that the university locate the hotels further away from his business interests.

He has also voiced his concerns about his "personal" parking space on Harper ave.

We have called him on his conflict of interests and his rather narrow minded view of parking on Harper Avenue as well.

But in the end, Ms. Hayward may be right -- as long as you know him, he is a bit of a harmless old blowhart. Unfortunately, not everyone has held him up to close scrutiny. Something we do on this blog for anyone in the community who opposed progress.

Peter Rossi said...

I do want to thanke Ms Hayward for one thing- she is right -- Hans More-bucks is getting tired.

what about Hans Moribund? sort of like the produce at University Market?

Hey, if Hans wants to call me Pete Concrete, I don't care. The problem is that he doesn't inform himself enough to debate the important questions for our neighborhood. It shows!!

chicago pop said...

For folks who weren't paying close attention to the lead in this article, we'll remind them that Hans' colorful self-attribution was stated in an interview with the Maroon -- if anyone doesn't like it, write them a letter.

J/tati said...

FWIW I've only had really positive customer service at the Medici Bakery and I'm there at least six days a week...

Elizabeth Fama said...

I really hope I don't upset anyone by saying this (sorry KHS!), but in my observations regulars who chat up the staff at the Med Bakery generally get friendly service. New or subdued customers get indifferent service.

This is a generalization, of course, but I believe it's a fair assessment. I think that Hyde Parkers are used to either accepting lukewarm service, or cajoling their service people to get friendly service. It's not unique to the Medici.

(P.S. I've worked as a waitress -- at the Medici no less! -- so I understand how difficult customers can be. But an ordinary, inoffensive customer shouldn't have to be known by name, or do a song and dance, to get friendly service.)

khs said...

Peter Rossi Said "I do think it is hilarious that someone who pays his workers minimum wage has the gall to talk about the non-union shop at White Lodging."

To the best of my knowledge I don't believe Hans has ever mentioned White Lodging's non-union shop and I also know he doesn't care about the competition a hotel restaurant would bring (I think we all agree that more businesses in Hyde Park are a Good thing).

Since I do process payroll at the Medici, I DO know that not one Medici employee makes minimum wage - even the starting wage for a dishwasher is much higher and most of our staff makes much more. It's difficult to hear these sorts of slams when those facts clearly have not been checked. (As a side, our employees actually get paid via a legitimate check, not under the table like MANY of the Hyde Park businesses do)

And I do think Elisabeth's assessment of the customer service in the neighborhood is fair (I myself have had similar experiences at some of the places many of you love) - but as I stated earlier, we're working hard on it and I welcome constructive feedback. I think there are so many other things to say on this blog rather than to rag on a Morsbach business.

J/tati, glad to hear at least one person on this blog enjoys coming to the Bakery!

chicago pop said...

You guys have rocking cinnamon rolls!

Elizabeth Fama said...

Aw, hey, everyone knows I go to the UM and the bakery regularly.

Peter Rossi said...


I stand corrected on the minimum wage. apparently, this is a new policy as former employees have said they get minimum wage.

The lowest wage White pays is $10 per hour. Are of Medici employees (not manageers) earning less than this amount?

Hey, I bought a mozerella sandwich at UM today. It took the deli employees a very long time to wrap it up and write $4.50 on it. The surly checkout guy wouldn't even look me in the eye. What about -- "thanks for shopping here" or "can I help you?"

khs said...

As long as I've been there no one has made minimum wage and many non management staff make more than $10.00/hr which not many of the other stores on 57th can not say. (Many pay minimum wage in cash which equates to a huge savings for the employer, not to mention being against the law)

As for your UM experience Peter, I'm sorry it was so awful. I did indeed have rocky crew today - we had a few emergencies and I was lucky to have a staff at all. But is this really what we're talking about here? I've waited on you myself a few times, so I know that's not the usual service you receive.

sorry Beth, your are one of the best customers, thanks.

Famac said...

I'll jump in to KHS' defense here.

You can't squeeze blood from a stone. You look for people to hire; you take the best that walks through the door.

Hyde Park is unique; we have the affluent and challenged. The Medici Bakery isn't hiring interns from the Business School.

When I was in High School, all my siblings worked at the Medici.

Now kids are too good to work. So when service is bad -- look in the mirror, and you'll find an answer.

Learning to work is as important as anything you learn in school.

Peter Rossi said...


no one says it's easy to run a service organization. This might be really a naive question, but can't you ask your checkout person to say

"can I help you check out?"

"is there anything else you need?"

"would you like a bag for that?"

"have a good day (or "have a good one")."

Is that too much to ask?

I really wish I didn't have to cringe when the UM or the Medici Bakery wondering who is going to insult me now.

khs has seen me in these stores many times and knows that I am always pleasant to her staff.

The contrast to Bonjour bakery is astounding. The people there actually say -- "can I help you". They listen to your order and they get it right.

Peter Rossi said...

It appears that there are quite a few folks out there that would like to express their opinions about the service (both good and bad) that they received in HP establishments.

HPP is thinking about a regular "service" audit feature in which we describe in detail the service experiences we encounter.

thanks to Kim, KHS, and famac for their great comments

Peter Rossi said...

to famac-

you don't need rich white kids to have good service.

But I would say that, BY FAR, the worst experience I ever had was when I tried to eat lunch at Bar Louie with my family and we had to walk out after 20 minutes after failing to convince any of the wait staff to serve us (they were happy to serve many other people and the place was 1/2 empty).

but for another time.

Peter Rossi said...

my FINAL comment.

to khs-

I always enjoy seeing you and I have no complaints when I have gotten lucky enough to be waited on my you. Quite the contrary, if I could guarantee that I would be waited on by someone like you -- you could raise the price of the turnovers and I'd be in there every day.

to khs and kim-

if I said that Hans pays his employees less than White Lodging, this is not at all a slam on the employees. It is clear than you two like working for Hans. That is to his great credit. I was merely pointing out the hypocrisy of his public statements, critising White Lodging while running his own non-union shop.

As far a mud-slinging, NO ONE in these 40+ comments has disputed that he LIES about the Point -- calling the Compromise Plan an all-concrete plan. He also wrote letters to the Herald contending that those who supported the City's plan were told to do so by the University. There are many more examples, but I hope you get the flavor. Here is someone who is un-constrained by facts or the truth. Face up to it.

This does not make him a bad employer. However, you have my profound sympathy, given that he doesn't seem to pay much attention to anyone but himself in the times I have seen him in action.

Elizabeth Fama said...

From my interactions with Hans, I would hesitate to say he deliberately lies in his public discussions, Peter. To me he seems to have a strong personality, and even if he only has a minimal (or sometimes incorrect) understanding of an issue, he feels he understands it well enough to speak forcefully on the topic. He genuinely doesn't know that he has made factual errors.

That's why we Hyde Parkers have to be careful about "delegating" our thoughts on controversial topics to other voices in the community: no matter how much they seem to care about an issue, they don't always get it right.

Famac said...

How the circle turns!

40 years ago, you would never hear someone say "don't trust anyone wearing a tie-dye shirt."

Peter Rossi said...


How do explain some one who write a letter to the Herald claiming that I ask for the IHPA to "withdraw" the Points "landmark status?" When this same person received a copy of the letter whcih was sent to the IHPA which merely said "take a look at the compromise plan?"

How do you expalin someone who sasy that the City's plan is all concrete when he has been present at presentations of that same plan?

I don't need any more evidence.

Peter Rossi said...

Boy was I wrong when I said that it was my final comment.

Some (including some of my dear friends) say I have gone too far in stating that Mr. Morebach lies about the City's plan regarding the Point, calling it an all-concrete plan when he knows better.

I apologize to Mr. Morebach and readers of the blog.

Mr. Moresbach "misrepresents" the Compromise plan. Much the same as President Bush misrepresented to the American people that there were weapons of mass destruciton in Iraq.

As for his fabrication of activities by myself and others in favor of the Compromise plan, let's just say that he had a temporary creative hallucination.

I did not realize that a plain fact would be so emotionally charged. In future, I will merely tell our readers the truth and contrast that to what various Establishment figures say. You can use the m-word or the l-word if you want, but I will leave out of my comments on this blog.

I will now do penance by forcing myself to read the last 20 Herald editorials.