The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

In The Shadow of Katrina

By Scott Smith on Sep 2, 2005 8:43PM

2005_09_02_paper.jpgIs there other news to discuss outside of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina? If there is, we’re having a hard time paying attention to it.

Despite occurring some 920 miles away, the tragedy in the Gulf Coast region has already become a local and state issue as the massive loss of life and property, the looming health and energy crises and the breakdown of the rule of law have a ripple effect across the nation.

If you haven’t already, consider a donation to the Red Cross or any of the other worthy agencies that are marshalling their resources. The Tribune’s McCormick Foundation will match fifty cents on the dollar for all donations up to a million dollars.

While you’re over at, you can check in on some of the follow-up stories on issues in the news over the last month. Like:

The Marshall Field’s Name Change: The Chicago City Council heard recommendations yesterday that they bestow landmark status on the historic building at State and Washington. Federated Stores, Inc. recently bought the store and have been considering converting it to a Macy’s to build a national brand. The Trib quotes Preservation Chicago president Jonathan Fine. "I don't think Chicagoans will ever accept it as a Macy's.” He’s got a point: we still have yet to get used to the words “U.S. Cellular Field” rolling off our tongues.

The George Ryan Tango: Federal prosecutors presented new allegations in court filings on Thursday that former Illinois governor George Ryan was engaged in “continuous criminal conduct” (which sounds like a Law and Order franchise) since the 1980s. Specifically, prosecutors charge that he diverted public funds for partisan use and approved state contracts that favored a family’s business. Look for additional court filings to reveal that Ryan was responsible for the words “Bitch Dog” showing up on that woman’s Comcast bill.

The James Meeks Incident: The Chicago Police Department’s Office of Professional Standards cleared a sergeant of wrongdoing during a traffic stop of State Senator James Meeks. The office found that officer was justified in the use of his gun but will be reprimanded for the use of profanity. Meeks responded by vowing to register 200,000 new voters to elect leaders who will change the nature of internal police investigations…in a parallel universe where that sort of thing is possible.