posted by chicago pop
Here's a question: what's the best way to get everyone's grandma a cavity search, courtesy of the Chicago Police Department, at Promontory Point?
Ask Jack Spicer or Don Lamb and anyone else on the poetically titled Executive Committee of the Community Task Force for Promontory Point. Because if weren't for them, everyone would have safe, legal swimming at the Point. Right now. Instead, on the Spicer/Lamb watch, the Point has become still more of a deathtrap, and the only real surprises are that no one has died yet, and that the CPD hasn't brought in more paddy wagons to cart away all the scofflaws.
The unwieldy and Kakanian title of our protecting Committee of pustchists attests to a sort of bureaucratic "short guy syndrome": the less of an argument you got, the longer you make the name of your committee. But the fact is, the Executive Committee of the Community Task Force for Promontory Point was offered everything in the Compromise Plan, and walked away back in 2005. Hyde Park's Sharm el Sheik, with its own Yassir Arafat -- in Birkenstocks instead of a keffiyeh.
In the years since this failure of leadership, the Point has become even more of an obvious safety hazard, more swimming grandmas have been ticketed, the clock is only ticking until someone dies on the broken rocks and exposed pilings, and now millions of taxpayer dollars for a "third party" study are going to be spent to essentially determine what we already know: that we need to Fix the Point. Using concrete and steel with limestone frosting.
But what the Army Corps folks who are doing the study (different Army Corps folks, guys from Buffalo, who somehow will have a different paradigm of revetment engineering) stand a chance of not concluding is what all the parties except the Executive Committee of the Community Task Force for Promontory Point were willing to accept in the Compromise Plan of 2003: reuse of all of the existing limestone, and legal, safe, ADA-compliant swimming access to the Lake.
But blowing through other people's money while you try to sort out your own problems is a classic Hyde Park tradition. We saw it up close with the Co-Op, and now we're seeing a gleeful example from representatives of the Executive Committee of the Community Task Force for Promontory Point and their hopes that a Federally funded, taxpayer subsidized study will relieve them of the need to realize how badly they screwed up.
Meanwhile, brainwashing missives worthy of the Myanmar junta, or even its elder Chinese cousin, continue to appear in the Herald, a journalistic zoo where facts roam unchecked, reminding us that the "rescue" and "preservation" of the Point are "in view," and suggesting that the Demolition-Clique, in a secret conspiracy with the exiled Concrete Cartels, had barges offshore ready to dump cement all over, and would have done so, were it not for the vigilance and stewardship of the Executives of our Community and their Committee.
If lack of legal swimming access is what the Herald and all the local grandmas are upset about, then there's clearly a local problem with recent historical memory, and the capacity to put 2 and 2 together. Certainly our local paper isn't helping. Because by now, as should be well-known, we could have had legal, safe, and ADA compliant swimming access, with all the old limestone to look nice, and all the concrete you need to keep Lake Michigan from eating the landfill. Had not the local practice of activism-as-performance-art prevailed.
Herald editors and disconcerted swimming grandmas should refresh their memories, and check to see if they ever put one of those "Save the Point" stickers on the bumper of their car.
Because, if they did, then they're getting what they asked for. Which is the latex finger of the CPD uncomfortably inserted where the sun don't shine.