Archives for April 2011
Chicago bridge lifts start today
By Liam Ford
8:36 a.m. CDT, April 16, 2011
Anyone trying to get around downtown this morning may have to wait to cross the Chicago River as bridges go up on the first day of Chicago’s bridge lift season.
Bridge lifts accommodate sailboats moving from where they are housed during the winter months on the South Side, up the South Branch of the Chicago River to harbors along Lake Michigan.
Bridge lifts started along the South Branch about 8 a.m. and will continue until about 2 p.m. They are expected to impact downtown mostly between 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.
The lifts for boats headed outbound to the lake will take place every Wednesday and Saturday through June 29, according to the Chicago Department of Transportation. They are scheduled to start around 9:30 a.m. on Wednesdays and 8 a.m. on Saturdays; downtown will see bridges going up between about 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on Wednesdays, and 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. on Saturdays.
Dating back to the days when the Chicago River and other city waterways carried large amounts of commercial traffic, the city boasts more movable bridges than any other city in the world. Today, the total number of movable bridges is about 36, down from 43 in the mid-1990s.
The first bridge over the river, at Kinzie Street, was built in 1834, the year after Chicagoans elected their first village council. Most of the city’s bridges are bascule bridges, a type of bridge pioneered with the building of the Cortland Street Bridge, built in 1902, according to the Encyclopedia of Chicago. A bascule bridge uses giant counterweights attached to the shore ends of two interlocking bridge leaves to raise the bridge.
From Chicago Breaking News:
Looks kinda slow, eh?
Goose Island brewery announced its acquisition by Anheuser-Busch this week.
A stalwart sponsor of local sailing regattas, and the favored choice of local beer drinking afficionados, Goose island was once a proud symbol of business success and skillful brew mastery, throughout the “Windy City” and the entire region.
The news was heralded by the company as a necessary step toward expanding production capacity to meet the ever-growing demand, which surpassed the output of the local brewery facilities.
In answer to beer enthusiasts’ concerns about quality, a spokesperson explained, “a highly scientific analysis of the local beer will allow Anheuser-Busch to manufacture mass quantities of Goose Island beer, much like it currently produces Budweiser today. By carefully studying the flavors of local Goose Island beer, and learning how to duplicate it exactly in large-scale factory production facilities, Goose Island beer made by Anheuser-Busch will actually taste more identical and authentic than beer made by Goose Island ourselves!”
Other concerns, however, were left unanswered. Why couldn’t Goose Island expand its business and its facilities locally? The loss of another successful business in Illinois to acquisition by an offshore foreign interest reflects the unintended consequences of government which over-taxes, over-spends, over-regulates, and over-burdens individuals and businesses of all sizes.
The problem at the national level is demonstrated by the previous loss of Budweiser to an overseas company.
Similarly, the local obstacles to Goose Island’s accelerated growth are largely due to a system of corrupt government and its intrusion into private business enterprise in Chicago, Cook and Illinois over the last 80 years or more.
However, on an upbeat note, Goose Island announced that it will respond to the business changes with a new direction in marketing.
The 312 beer, named after the Chicago telephone area code, was created to identify Goose Island as a Chicago landmark, and differentiated itself by appealing to an initial audience of trendy city dwellers, who were early to discover and enjoy Goose Island beer, even if only by chance, being more conveniently available in the local environs of the city.
“Goose Island beer is no longer a Chicago beer,” remarked the spokesperson. “In fact, we are no longer an American beer. So it no longer makes sense to name our product based on silly rivalries between faux urban hipsters and suburban poser wannabe’s.”
“Chicago itself is a provincial backwater of political crime and corruption, which we no longer can afford to be closely associated with. Look at Illinois- it’s considered a joke by the rest of our own country. Clearly, that is not in our best interest to promote.”
“We must disavow our past local connections. We are now part of the global economy, forced out of both our hometown and our home country by bad policies which thwart true business growth and economic freedom.”
“We have chosen a new product identity, which preserves the original concept. Our new product identity also strengthens and acknowledges our ownership by an offshore foreign company.”
“Today we can announce that 312 Beer will be renamed after the international telephone dialing prefix, and be known as ‘011’.”
When asked if Goose Island had plans to craft a special forty ounce malt to be distributed by the Jesse Jackson family relatives’ Budweiser distributorship in Chicago, the spokesperson said, “no comment.”