Saturday coffee.

The Logan Square subway station on Labor Day morning. Red shirts heading down to the CTU rally.

It is a beautiful Fall-like morning in Chicago. A slight chill in the air, but the sky is cloudless and blue.

Last night we sat on the lawn at Ravinia and listened to Yo Yo Ma and The Knights play Schumann. The air was cool and damp last night too. But the sound of Yo Yo Ma’s cello was magical.

There is a guy on the Logan Square list serve who I have never met. He plays the role of the cranky old man chasing the kids off his lawn.

Yesterday he posted his take on the Chicago teachers contract negotiations:

I get it. To hell with the tax payers. What did the teachers do to earn 16% over 
the last four years while our fire & police only got 2% a year? Hold the line 
on wages. I’m tired of the school system taking the max year after year from my 
taxes. I never had a child in the Chicago school system so why should I pay 
taxes for it. Work the other issues out and stay on the job. You want to strike. 
Then strike. Your just lucky this is not Wisconsin and if you keep up then the 
people will vote in a state government and do what Wisconsin did. I support the 
teachers but anything more than 2% in this economy is greed.

– Joe Kopera

Now, Joe has a similar take on most social issues and most readers of the neighborhood list serve know to generally avoid engagement.

The picture I have at the beginning of this post gives you an idea of the views of most of Joe’s neighbors. The Logan Square stop on the CTA was filled with red shirts last Monday morning, all heading down to the huge rally in support of the teachers. We turned the Blue Line into the Red Line.

One Logan Square reader just couldn’t restrain herself however.

I will be at my son’s school on Monday morning with my children in tow teaching them about standing up for yourself.  I will also be teaching them about child labor laws and discussing how government works.  I think it will be a great civics lesson.  And I know that my children will make up their time in June.  Slightly inconvenient but if this yields a contract that allows our teachers who I entrust my children with every day a better working environment then I can postpone my vacation plans.  
I hope parents will come out in full force and please don’t forget to call JC Brizard and Mayor Rahm Emmanuel and ask them to settle with the teachers which will allow our children to get back in the classroom quicker.
Janet Meegan  

And then there was this on the list serve from my friend and neighbor Robin Potter.

Dear Neighbors: I am the General Counsel to the Chicago Teachers Union. Join with us and tens of thousands of teachers, parents and students to insure we have the Schools Chicago’s Students deserve. Check out our website to get accurately info or to get involved:

Today’s Tribune reports that an organization of Wall Street hedge fund managers is demonstrating against the Union and our children. Hedge fund managers do not teach our children.

Logan Square is with the teachers.

Probably not Joe though.

6 Replies to “Saturday coffee.”

  1. Hedge fund managers demonstrating against the Union? I thought they did that sort of thing with insulting signs in their high-rise offices or had secretaries to do it for them. That demonstration will be about as short as they would last in a CPS classroom.

  2. Good point, Joe Kopera: firemen and policemen also deserve to earn 16% more as well. It is obvious you don’t care about education for others, especially since you “never had a child in the Chicago school system” and you “pay taxes for it.”

    I bet you don’t like paying for social services, such as food stamps and housing for low-income citizens, school meals and low-income assistance, and for childcare assistance and the Children’s Health Insurance Program either; I bet you don’t like to pay taxes for the elderly or disabled poor and for federal retirees and veterans. I bet you want to receive your Social Security and Medicare, however.

    I assume you didn’t mind paying taxes for the past war in Iraq, and for bank bailouts caused by “greed,” however. I assume you don’t mind paying taxes for the current war in Afghanistan, or for corporate CEOs’ bonuses and their corporate “welfare” loopholes, or for the interest on the national debt and the dilapidated transportation infrastructure.

  3. “This is an open invitation to ALL Chicago parents to come and protest the Chicago Teacher’s strike tomorrow at 5PM, at Jackson and Lasalle St. Come at 5PM to organize against the CTU bullying our kids out of their schools and against the CTU placing our city’s children between them and their political squabbles with the city.”

    Wait a minute…who wrote this?

  4. A hedge fund demonstration? Huh? Those folks aren’t ever on the street. Perhaps they are paying someone to demonstrate? Like Rahm did for a while. Can you imagine a hedge fund trader out on the street? It defies imagination.

    As for Joe, poor, poor Joe. Perhaps he would like to get a scab survival kit and go teach for a day. It would be pretty easy since discipline would not be a problem for a guy like Joe. He could teach them all about not ever helping the sick or the poor or the children in the community. A non-helper, be independent name board for the children to admire. He could do it. Since he doesn’t do anything else. Ever.

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