Saturday, November 3, 2007

Herald's Chicken: Herald Reporters are Nowhere In Sight

posted by Peter Rossi

"Condo task force nowhere in sight" blares the lead headline in this weeks Hyde Park Herald (October 31, 2007). We have a classic example of the "no new is news" philosophy of the Herald. It turns out that this story is about the lack of progress of the "Condo Task Force" covened by Mayor Daley. By lack of progress, the Herald means that the task force hasn't yet met. Hmm, I've seen that before.

Why is this newsworthy? The story refers to only one resident of Hyde Park. There is no evidence that anyone else in Hyde Park gives a hoot.

But there is an issue here that escapes the sages at the Herald. There has been little progress in augmenting the housing stock in Hyde Park over the last 10 years. We need more development. Task Forces will not bring this about, though. At best, a task force will be an impediment to development -- another hurdle for developers to jump over .

It is curious that the Herald only draws attention to the lack of progress by task forces created by the evil Mayor Daley (hiss, hiss).

To save Herald reporters legwork for future "No News Is News" stories, we at Hyde Park Progress came up with our own list of community groups who have made no discernible progress. Just to be fair, we also include a couple of our elected officials

  1. There has been no progress on getting the Point revetment repaired since the "community task force" rejected the Compromise Plan in 2004-2005. The Save the Point web site has not been updated since August 21, 2006
  2. Senator Barack Obama promised a resolution of the Point issue in "six months" at a meeting in early 2006. Congressman Jessie Jackson Jr has promised funding for alternative plans for the Point -- still no funding more than two years after this was first reported in the Herald. The Point is in Alderman Leslie Hairston's ward; she appears to be disgusted with this issue as well. Still there is $24, 000,000 to be spent on improving a priceless neighborhood treasure and protecting it from the lake. Our elected officials are leaving this on the table (never leave anything on the table in Chicago!)
  3. The "working party" drawing up unsolicited alternative plans for the Doctor's Hospital
  4. The "community group" that is "meeting" about the McMobil development.

  5. Where is the Doctor's Hospital protest website promised in Letters to the Editor?
  6. Those in the community who are protesting the 53rd and Cornell and 56th and Cornell developments. Where are those people who are worried about their views and "congestion?"
  7. The Hyde Park Co-op hasn't made a stitch of progress extricating itself from life-threatening financial problems. Product quality and service have not improved either.

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