The Columbia Chronicle

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System out of murky waters

By Vanessa Morton

November 14, 2011

Cleanup is underway for parts of the Chicago River and connected waterways after years of research and recommendations from federal officials and environmental agencies.The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced on Nov. 6 its decision to approve new water standards for five segments of the Chicago and Calumet rivers. They were created after the EPA sent a letter to the state in May, demanding that parts of the rivers...

City Concerned

By Vanessa Morton

November 14, 2011

Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s effort to alleviate the city’s financial crisis has been dealt a setback as the public and City Council members called for changes in his 2012 city budget plan.A “Dear Rahm” letter—signed by 28 of the city’s 50 aldermen—was sent to the mayor on Nov.1. The letter expressed concerns regarding the proposed budget cuts to library funding, the consolidation of 12 mental health clinics into six,...

Fielding communities

By Vanessa Morton

November 14, 2011

A celebration was held on Nov. 5 as Mayor Rahm Emanuel joined the Chicago Park District, the Pritzker Traubert Family Foundation and representatives of various nonprofit organizations to dedicate three new athletic fields in communities across the city.“This creative public-private partnership provides a valuable investment in what matters to Chicago: Three new fields that will provide a community anchor, where families c...

Cannabis Ticketing

By Vanessa Morton

November 7, 2011

A proposed ordinance, if enacted, would change the way Chicago regulates marijuana possession, potentially raising revenue for the city and allowing police to focus on more serious crimes.Alderman Danny Solis (25th Ward) introduced the ordinance at a City Council meeting on Nov. 2, which would, in effect, decriminalize small amounts of marijuana. The “marijuana ticketing ordinance” would allow police to ticket those caught ...

The US goes Postal

By Vanessa Morton

October 31, 2011

In light of being trapped in the most severe financial crisis it has ever faced, the United States Postal Service has continued to find ways to downsize its expansiveretail network.Seeking public feedback on the proposed retail unit closings and consolidations at 12 Chicago District locations, the agency held a series of town hall meetings this month.The meetings were part of a process that began three months ago, after th...

CTA financially derailed

By Vanessa Morton

October 24, 2011

The Chicago Transit Authority may have found alternative solutions to financially stay afloat as it’s faced with a $227 million deficit in the upcoming fiscal year. CTA riders could dodge fare hikes and service cuts under a 2012 budget plan announced by CTA President Forrest Claypool on Oct. 19.However, according to a CTA press release, the only way the transit agency could prevent possible fare hikes and service cuts is t...

Change for more transparency

By Vanessa Morton

October 24, 2011

The Humboldt Park community came together on Oct. 18 to voice its concerns and address questions about the future of its schools to Illinois legislators and Chicago Public Schools’ officials.Rep. Cynthia Soto (D-Chicago.), a member of the Chicago Educational Facilities Task Force; and Sen. Iris Martinez (D-Chicago), also a member of the CEFTF, co-hosted a “Chicago Public Schools’ Actions and Facilities Policies” town h...

Power by numbers

By Vanessa Morton

October 17, 2011

The need for energy efficiency was agreed on as environmental activists, analysts and science professors were brought together on Oct. 11 to discuss sustainability issues globally and locally.Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Ill.), a member of the Environmental Health Committee and Sen. Heather Steans (D-Ill.), co-hosted an “Energy and Environment” town hall meeting at Loyola University Chicago’s Richard J. Klarchek Informatio...

Tighter budget belt

By Vanessa Morton

October 17, 2011

While Chicago is faced with a $635.7 million budget deficit for the upcoming year, the mayor is determined to bring the city out of its financial hole. Mayor Rahm Emanuel plans to save money through the use of creative reform methods, an increase in revenue taxes and cutbacks on spending.Emanuel unveiled a 2012 budget proposal at a City Council “special meeting” on Oct. 12, which included consolidating police and fire...

Emanuel: Off with the head tax

By Vanessa Morton

October 10, 2011

Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced a new plan at the City Council meeting on Oct. 5 that would help eliminate the Chicago Employer’s Expense Tax—also known as the city’s “head tax”—which prevents many medium and small businesses from starting and growing.The proposal would accommodate a pledge Emanuel made during his mayoral campaign that would rid Chicago of a tax that requires businesses to pay an additional $4 a year...

Renovation stations

By Vanessa Morton

October 10, 2011

El riders will see two more changes in their daily travels as the Chicago Transit Authority and Chicago Department of Transportation go forward with a number of large construction projects.Both agencies have worked together for 15 years in an effort to modernize subway stations throughout the Loop.Brian Steele, CDOT spokesman, said the CTA has been working with CDOT on a multi-year program that has been renovating numerous stati...

Cursive writing becoming extinct

By Vanessa Morton

October 3, 2011

With technology of the 21st century constantly evolving, it’s no surprise that communication has become substantially easier. As computers continue to infiltrate our lives, keyboards and screens have replaced pen and paper. While technology has made everything more convenient, the art of writing may be at risk of being forgotten.This is a problem, as educational institutions across the United States no longer require their eleme...

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