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Daily Whale Originals

Elections to watch tomorrow—besides the governor’s race

As Election Day approaches, it seems that all eyes are on the highly contested race for governor. But with all the media attention and negative advertisements focusing on the gubernatorial candidates, voters in the Chicago area may not be up to speed on some of the other contested elections that will appear on their ballots.


Chicago startup ForeverCar pioneers online car warranty sales

Building upon the success of Groupon and other companies that have helped to establish Chicago as a hub for online entrepreneurs, ForeverCar set up shop in the Windy City and is looking to modernize the car warranty business. The e-commerce company offers vehicle service contracts to car buyers seeking an alternative to manufacturer warranties. ForeverCar aims to make it easy for a consumer to know exactly what is covered in their vehicle warranty by laying out all the details of its coverage up front.


Emanuel in tutu is latest installation at Far Northwest Side ice cream parlor

Ron Mondel, a self-described “keeper of the Americana ice cream parlor,” has dished out cold treats and warm vibes on the city’s Far Northwest Side for 47 years.

The décor of Mondel’s storefront differs from that of the average ice cream stand. Prominently on display in the front window of the Chocolate Shoppe in Forest Glen right now is an almost life-sized effigy of Mayor Rahm Emanuel adorned in a pink tutu.


Payments to college athletes on horizon, panel argues

Two longtime college football observers predicted Monday that Northwestern University’s football team would not unionize in the near future. But the pair argued there was a groundswell of support for reform of existing NCAA rules that would likely lead to changes that include pay for athletes playing college football and men’s college basketball, sports that generate millions in yearly profits for some universities.


Cook County Housing Authority director calls for housing credit legislation

Richard Monocchio, executive director of the Cook County Housing Authority, forcefully argued Monday for changes in federal law that would mean more money for housing assistance programs – and fewer tax breaks for homeowners.

At a City Club of Chicago luncheon, Monocchio lamented that the federal home mortgage interest deduction – which allows homeowners to write-off the interest they paid on home loans – amounts to $75 billion a year in lost revenue. 


Civic Federation and Fire Union heads agree on causes, if not cures, of pension ills

In a roundtable discussion on pensions at the City Club of Chicago Tuesday, Civic Federation President Laurence Msall and Chicago Firefighters Union Local 2 President Tom Ryan found much common ground.

Both Msall, whose prominent organization has long beaten the drum for public worker pension fund revamps, and union head Ryan agreed that it was mostly city government’s lack of payments that caused the firefighter’s pension unfunded liability to balloon to $3 billion.


Despite ordinance passage, efforts to combat Chicago petcoke up in the air

This week the City Council passed an ordinance sponsored by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Alderman Ed Burke (14th), and Southeast Side Alderman John Pope (10th) that amends city zoning law to ban development of new petroleum coke storage facilities in Chicago.

But the ordinance may play a minor role in efforts to deal with existing petcoke facilities, which store and transport giant mounds of black dust particles that are the byproduct of the oil refining process.


Deliberate Infrastructure Trust dips toes into pool retrofit

At the start of Thursday’s Chicago Infrastructure Trust Board meeting, Trust Executive Director Stephen Beitler said that CohnReznick LLP was picked as the nonprofit’s auditing firm after no other company submitted a bid.

The revelation appeared an opportune moment for Trust Board member – and former city of Chicago inspector general – David Hoffman to pounce. Some aldermanic critics of the Trust, who said the entity needed more transparency, applauded Hoffman’s board appointment in June 2012.

Torture reparations, paid sick days among city ordinances in limbo

At a press conference before an October City Council meeting, Aldermen Howard Brookins (21st) and Joe Moreno (1st) proposed the creation of a $20 million reparations fund for people allegedly tortured by former Chicago Police Department Commander Jon Burge.


Democratic Illinois House 10th District race one of few competitive primary contests

Before a February Chicago City Council meeting, Alderman Jason Ervin (28th) abruptly took the press podium outside council chambers and called on state Rep. Derrick Smith (D-Chicago) and Smith’s primary challenger, Eddie Winters, to both drop out of the Democratic primary election for Illinois House 10th District representative.