The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Dog cruise

The Chicago Anti-Cruelty Society is having a fundraiser that sounds like lots of fun:

Mercury Chicago Skyline Cruiseline Canine Cruise kicks off its 2007 season by hosting a fundraising cruise to support the important programs and services of The Anti-Cruelty Society. Join well-behaved, leashed Chicago pups and their companions on Thursday, June 28 from 7:30 p.m.-9:00 p.m. for a relaxing 90-minute lake and river cruise aboard the Skyline Queen.

Pups will get the royal treatment. A wind-in-the-face experience that can not be beat, all the comforts of home, including water bowls and a restroom, and delectable and doggy-licious treats courtesy of Dog-a-Holics. After all, sailing can make any pup hungry!

Admission to The Anti-Cruelty Society Canine Cruise is $35.00 per person, with or without a dog. Dogs are free. Since ACS is a non for profit, the $35 is a tax deduction.

The cruise will board at the southeast corner of the Michigan Avenue bridge at Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive (look for the blue awning). To make reservations, call (312) 644-8338, extension 307.

Learn more here: http://offleash.meetup.com/22/calendar/5913676/

Obama health-care proposal "smart and serious:" Krugman

Princeton economist Paul Krugman, writing in today's New York Times, says Sen. Barack Obama's (D-IL) health care proposal has "a lot to commend" but "not as comprehensive as [he] would have liked:"

You can’t be serious about health care without proposing an injection of federal funds to help lower-income families pay for insurance, and that means advocating some kind of tax increase. Well, Mr. Obama is now on record calling for a partial rollback of the Bush tax cuts.

Also, in the Obama plan, insurance companies won’t be allowed to deny people coverage or charge them higher premiums based on their medical history. Again, points for toughness.

Best of all, the Obama plan contains the same feature that makes the Edwards plan superior to, say, the Schwarzenegger proposal in California: it lets people choose between private plans and buying into a Medicare-type plan offered by the government.

Now for the bad news. Although Mr. Obama says he has a plan for universal health care, he actually doesn’t — a point Mr. Edwards made in last night’s debate. The Obama plan doesn’t mandate insurance for adults. So some people would take their chances — and then end up receiving treatment at other people’s expense when they ended up in emergency rooms. In that regard it’s actually weaker than the Schwarzenegger plan.

My proposed new neighbor

Now concluding the massive attack of pithy posts this morning, last night developers unveiled revised plans for the Orrington-Sherman-Church block in Evanston that will preserve the Hahn Building's façade and lower the proposed tower's height to 37 stories:

The proposal, from developers R.D. Horner & Associates and HSA Commercial Real Estate and the architectural firm Daniel P. Coffey and Associates, calls for the developers to rebuild the public plaza at Fountain Square and slip two levels of underground parking for the condominium high-rise under the public plaza.

The developers would demolish the existing Fountain Square building and replace it with a two-story restaurant building that would be topped with an expanded public plaza space, connected to the ground level plaza by an exterior stairway.

The tower would be supported on pillars rising over the landmark Hahn Building at midblock and the tower would be set back 9 to 10 feet from the Hahn Building's street façades and 16 feet from the north property line.

I think this is an improvement over the previous plan. I would be sad to see the Hahn building torn down; the Fountain Square building, on the other hand, is just plain ugly.

New development planned for downtown Evanston

Oh, dear. I can't wait until they start building this, just one block from my office:

Developers went public Thursday with their plan for another race to the sky, this one in downtown Evanston: A proposed condominium tower that would crack the 500-foot barrier and become the tallest building in Chicago's suburbs.
Sure to incite heated debate in a suburb already in the throes of a high-rise building boom, the plan calls for tearing down a two-story retail building on a triangular block bounded by Church Street, Orrington and Sherman Avenues, and replacing it with a sliver-thin, 49-story condominium tower sheathed in glass and metal.

Pity, because the building they're tearing down is actually quite charming. It gets "better:"

The plan also envisions tearing down a 1940s mid-rise office building at the block's south end and replacing it with a low-rise restaurant building whose footprint would be half as large. The developers still have to purchase that property.

I'm torn. I think Evanston has to grow taller, but the old buildings in its downtown are part of its charm.

Peter Sagal on the passing of a legend

I'm just now listening to the podcast of last Saturday's Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me! Host Peter Sagal had this to say about entertainer Don Ho, who died last week:

Sagal: He also did his patriotic part to populate his home state. He is survived by 10 children, 15 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren, and 2 great-great-grandchildren.
Adam Felber: Ho, Ho, Ho!
Sagal: I'm sorry, I was just thinking: He had all these babies...in diapers...that means dozens of nappy-bottomed Hos.

Oy.