23-May-13 A jury in downtown Chicago needed just one day to decide Donald Trump does not owe anything to an Evanston woman who claimed she was cheated in a deal involving two condominium units at River Norths Trump International Hotel & Tower.
Im gratified that this Chicago jury rejected my opponents misguided attempt to make this a Chicago versus New York case, Trumps attorney, Stephen Novack told Loop North News after the verdict. Instead, the jurors properly applied the law to the evidence presented at the trial.
Attorneys for Jacqueline Goldberg, the woman who was suing Trump, were expecting a verdict before the weekend. Reached Thursday morning long before the verdict, Jeffrey Kulwin said it looked to him like the jury was paying careful attention to the evidence during the trial and I would expect them to take the same careful approach during deliberations.
||The jury six women and two men, including one alternate juror returned the verdict at Dirksen Courthouse early Thursday afternoon. Opening arguments were just last week. Testimony was heard from current and former Trump executives, including Donald Trump (left), who spent most of the day last Wednesday on the witness stand.
The dispute was over the sale in 2006 of two condo units at the 92-story Trump Tower. Goldberg, an 87-year-old CPA, certified financial planner, and real estate investor, said she was persuaded to buy the units when told she would also own part of hotel facilities at Trump that could generate $5 million in revenue per year.
When Donald Trump exercised a clause in the purchase agreement allowing him to take back the hotel facilities, he offered instead to pay the condo association $500,000 per year to let him run the facilities. Goldberg said that if she had known they were going to do that, I would not have gone through with the sale.
Also an issue was a change in how units were rented to hotel guests. Originally, a computer assigned units equitably but over time the hotel manager was given discretion as to how they were assigned, a system Goldberg believed was unfair.
In addition to her $516,000 deposit, Goldberg was seeking damages totaling about $6 million.
18-May-13 (Above) About 20 Chicago architecture docents survey their world from the penthouse on the 89th floor of Trump International Hotel & Tower last Thursday.
The docents were guests of the hotel. They were given a presentation on the construction of Trump Tower by one of the buildings architects, Lucas Tryggestad, an associate director at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP, and Robert Prohaska, Trumps Director of Sales & Marketing.
I love talking about this building on my tour, one of the docents told Tryggestad. Docents are volunteers who have completed an advanced education program on Chicago architecture and only after study and practice are certified by the Chicago Architecture Foundation to lead tours.
(Below) Architecture docents tour the Trump penthouse, which is currently on the market for $32 million. (Click on images to view larger versions.)
Five notable things about Trump International Hotel & Tower by one of its architects...
- Skidmore, Owings & Merrill made its presentation on the building to The Trump Organization on September 11, 2001.
- The first sales office for Trump Tower was located in the old Chicago Sun-Times building when it still occupied the site.
- The Trump building takes up only about one-third of the overall site.
- The tower is built near a rail line of which a railroad company wants to maintain ownership. Once a year, according to Tryggestad, workers for the railroad have to drive a handcar down the track to show that it is still in use.
- The building has two levels that are below ground and not just below the surface of the Chicago River but almost to the bottom of the river.
|RT @Gene_Georgetti: Beautiful hotel & a great, great person. RT @TrumpChicago Thank YOU! @iidonije Thanks @TrumpChicago! [link] [14843 followers]|
(Above) A rendering, created by Lin Ye, of a procession of illuminated fiberglass sculptures floating along the Chicago River past Trump International Hotel & Tower. (Click on image to view larger version.)
24-May-13 The artistic but non-profit theater company Redmoon has been given another $250,000 to create a spectacular festival along the Chicago River next year.
ArtPlace America announced the grant on Monday. The money will help Redmoon produce The Great Chicago Fire Festival that will feature live music, acrobatics, fantastical machines, and a procession of illuminated fiberglass sculptures floating down the river.
Redmoon was among 54 artistic organizations selected from 1,200 applications by ArtPlace America. The money is in addition to $100,000 the City of Chicago will give the theater company for the festival that will take place in October 2014 and might become an annual event.
The Great Chicago Fire Festival will be unique, an event worthy of our world-class city, promised Mayor Rahm Emanuel in a news release.
||Jim Lasko (left), artistic co-director for Redmoon, says the grant will propel The Great Chicago Fire Festival into the hearts and minds of Chicagoans and the nation as a whole as we celebrate the unique character of this great city by engaging its citizens, its neighborhoods, its river, and its history.
Redmoon estimates the festival will cost between $1.2 million and $1.8 million.
Located southwest of the Loop, Redmoon has been commissioned to create public art events by the Art Institute of Chicago, Mayors Office of Special Events, and Millennium Park.
Related story: New festival next year will include Chicago River spectacle
(Above) The tour boat Star of Chicago on the Chicago River near Wolf Point last October. (Click on image to view larger version.)
12-May-13 A clean Chicago River would have substantial economic benefits for private businesses, their employees, and tax collectors, according to a study commissioned by Friends of the Chicago River.
Disinfecting sewage before it gets to the river, investing in public parks and green infrastructure, and similar projects would generate income, tax revenue, and jobs, according to Cardno ENTRIX, an environmental consulting firm with offices worldwide, including Barrington, Illinois, northwest of Chicago.
Projects either existing or planned would account for $8 billion in business revenue, $244 million in tax revenue, and 52,400 construction jobs, finds the study, followed by more money and jobs from operating and maintaining the projects.
For every dollar invested, the Chicago River would return 70 cents as business revenue, tax revenue, or personal income.
Investing in the Chicago River is good for the river and good for the region, said Margaret Frisbie, executive director of Friends of the Chicago River, a non-profit organization, in a news release. Besides the economic benefits, Frisbie says investing in the health of the river improves the quality of life for people and wildlife.
Results of the study, Our Liquid Asset: The Economic Benefits of a Clean Chicago River, were released on May 9.
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||13-May-13 A proposal by Mayor Rahm Emanual to offer free parking on Sunday but extend the hours the rest of the week during which the citys 29,000 parking meters have to be fed is not going over well with 42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly.
In his weekly newsletter on Monday, Reilly says he has heard from hundreds of constituents who object to the proposal to extend paid parking meter hours Monday through Saturday from 9 p.m. to midnight throughout most of the 42nd Ward to offset free parking on Sunday. The proposal was introduced at the city council meeting on May 8.
We all know nothing is truly free and this certainly applies to the Sunday parking proposal, says Reilly. Rest assured, families from every corner of the city will be paying for that free parking...when they visit downtown for dinner, a movie, or concert theyll pay to park until midnight. No matter where you live, youll pay for that free parking one way or another.
Reilly says offering free parking on Sunday could actually hurt local businesses because the spots could be occupied all day and not turn over for new shoppers.
Reilly calls the citys parking meter agreement with Chicago Parking Meters, LLC, flawed, disastrous. He says he has been meeting with municipal bond experts to determine how the city can buy out the agreement.
Photo: Sign in north driveway of Merchandise Mart, photographed in 2007.
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22-May-13 It has been 50 years since a 25-year-old lawyer, fresh from the University of Chicago Law School, started his own one-man law firm. Over the next five decades, he would be a powerful Chicago alderman, an unsuccessful candidate for mayor, and an inmate for ten months at a federal prison.
Edward Fast Eddie Vrdolyak is now 75 years old and has been out of prison for more than a year. His three sons are partners in the firm, based in River North and now known as Vrdolyak Law Group. The firm has 13 lawyers and 50 employees at three locations, including 741 North Dearborn Street. Reportedly, Vrdolyak is no longer an owner of the firm.
Specializing in personal injury, medical malpractice, and workers compensation cases, Vrdolyak Law Group has not been shy in recent years about promoting its winning cases. They claim their legal and consulting work has earned their clients more than nine billion dollars. On Wednesday, the firm sent out a news release, noting its golden anniversary.
1963 was also the year Vrdolyaks oldest son, Peter, was born. He and his brothers, John and Edward J., currently manage the firm their father founded.
||My sons have done a great job in taking what I left for them and bringing it to the next level, said Vrdolyak (left, in a photo from the late 1970s) in the news release. Its great to see them build upon that foundation of family values and helping those in need. Those virtues never go out of style, not even 50 years later.
In the 1970s Vrdolyak was alderman of Chicagos 10th Ward. He earned the nickname Fast Eddie for his ability to get programs pushed through the city council. In 1979, he managed the re-election campaign of Mayor Bilandic, who lost in a landslide to Jane Byrne. Three years later, with Byrnes help, Vrdolyak was elected chairman of the Cook County Democratic Committee. He quit that job in 1987 to run for mayor but was defeated by Harold Washington.
By 1988, Vrdolyak had turned Republican to run for Clerk of the Circuit Court but lost to the Democratic candidate. Undaunted, he ran for mayor the next year in a special election to complete the term of Washington, who had died, but this time lost to Richard M. Daley. That ended his political career, allowing him to focus on his law firm. But on May 10, 2007, Vrdolyak was indicted by a federal grand jury on eight counts of bribery, mail fraud, and wire fraud, over a real estate deal in the Gold Coast neighborhood. He pleaded guilty to a reduced charge and did ten months at a prison camp in Terre Haute, Indiana. He was released on November 17, 2011.
Related story: The Vrdolyak-Marina City connection
(Above) This 89 x 49 inch oil-on-linen drawing of the Chicago River by British artist Nathan Walsh is a view of the Chicago River from the Wrigley Building, specifically the first landing down from Michigan Avenue at upper left. A Wendella tour boat is docked. Trump International Hotel & Tower is at right. Across the river is Wacker Drive. The drawing is titled Chicago 7AM.
19-May-13 An elaborate drawing of the Chicago River by a British artist will be part of an exhibition at an art gallery in New York this year. Nathan Walsh captured three Chicago scenes in pencil and in person before completing the full-color versions in London last year.
The drawings will be displayed in November at Bernarducci Meisel Gallery on West 57th Street in New York. The 6,000 square foot gallery specializes in contemporary realist art by established and emerging artists.
(Above) Chicago 7AM as an early pencil drawing. (Below) Walsh at work on another drawing, Chicago in the rain. (Click on images to view larger versions.)
I am fascinated by the city, its visual complexity and constant state of flux, says Walsh on his web site. He says his goal is to present a painted world which in some ways resembles the world we live in.
Each work can take three to four months to complete and require hundreds of pencil sketches drawn on-site.
(Above) The 200 block of South Wabash Avenue on a rainy day is seen in this Walsh drawing, Central Camera.
Web site: Nathan Walsh
||18-May-13 (Left) Workers erect a large tent at Marina Citys Smith & Wollensky on Thursday. Four tents will cover the restaurants outdoor dining area at least through mid-July. The tents were first used in 2010 to protect patrons from potential debris from a nearby concrete restoration project.
(Below) Seen from the State Street Bridge, three tents are up in this image from mid-morning on Thursday. (Click on images to view larger versions.)
|LOOP/NORTH STOCKS||Symbol||Last||Change||Date||Time (CT)|
|AON PLC||AON||65.73|| 0.47||5/24||3:03pm|
|CME GROUP||CME||64.54|| 0.41||5/24||3:00pm|
|EXELON CORP||EXC||34.65|| 0.07||5/24||3:00pm|
|GATX CORP||GMT||51.46|| 0.44||5/24||3:03pm|
|GENERAL GROWTH PROPERTIES||GGP||21.54|| ||5/24||3:02pm|
|HYATT HOTELS CORP||H||40.91|| 0.43||5/24||3:04pm|
|INTEGRYS ENERGY GROUP||TEG||59.21|| 0.53||5/24||3:01pm|
|JONES LANG LASALLE||JLL||92.44|| 1.83||5/24||3:02pm|
|KEMPER CORP||KMPR||33.66|| 0.18||5/24||3:02pm|
|NORTHERN TRUST CORP||NTRS||57.31|| 0.20||5/24||3:00pm|
|OLD REPUBLIC INTERNATIONAL ||ORI||13.81|| 0.12||5/24||3:03pm|
|RR DONNELLEY & SONS CO||RRD||12.84|| 0.02||5/24||3:00pm|
|STRATEGIC HOTELS & RESORTS||BEE||8.13|| 0.03||5/24||3:01pm|
|TELEPHONE & DATA SYSTEMS||TDS||23.94|| 0.02||5/24||3:01pm|
|UNITED CONTINENTAL HOLDINGS||UAL||34.37|| 0.01||5/24||3:00pm|
Average price $41.34 $0.15 from previous day
||Steven Dahlman, editor of Marina City Online and Loop North News, is a writer and photographer who lives at Marina City. He has 35 years of experience as a professional journalist, writing for radio, television, newspapers, magazines, and websites. He was a radio news director, reporter, and anchor for more than a dozen stations and networks.
From 1984 to 1990, he was a regular contributor to ABC Radio Networks.
He is married to Dr. Carol Pandak, manager of the division at Rotary International that is eradicating polio.
Please send comments, complaints, corrections, suggestions, news tips, and questions to: email@example.com.
|Clear. High of 63F. Winds from the NNE at 10 to 15 mph.|
|Clear in the evening, then partly cloudy. Low of 46F. Winds from the ENE at 5 to 10 mph.|
|Partly cloudy. High of 64F. Winds from the East at 5 to 15 mph.|
|Partly cloudy. Low of 52F. Winds from the NNW at 5 to 10 mph shifting to the South after midnight.|
Chicago Weather from Weather Underground
May 25 The City of Chicago will honor our fallen heroes at its annual Wreath Laying Ceremony and Memorial Day Parade. The Wreath Laying Ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. at the Eternal Flame on Daley Plaza. The parade will step off at noon and proceed south on State Street from Lake Street to Van Buren Street.
May 25 Theres no better way to experience the dazzling Navy Pier fireworks displays than on a Shoreline Sightseeing Fireworks Cruise. Cruises start today and will run every Saturday to August 31 and every Wednesday from May 29 to August 28 with extra cruises on July 3 and 4. More info.
May 26 Free admission day at McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Washington Boulevard Bridge. Explore the Bridgehouse Museum, see the bridgeworks, and learn about the Chicago River. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Riverwalk on west side of Michigan Avenue.
May 27 The summers free Downtown Sound music series begins with with Marc Ribots Ceramic Dog and headline act, Lee Renaldo Band. 6:30 p.m., Millennium Park. More info.
May 28 Bacon Happy Hour, every Tuesday at Dicks Last Resort. 5-7 p.m. Just ask at the bar for a plate of bacon to go with your drink. Minimum purchase: Anything, from a Coke to a Big Ass Beer. Map. More info.
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|LaSalle Hotel Properties|
26.56 +0.06 5/24 3:04pm
|Live Nation Entertainment Inc|
14.10 +0.32 5/24 3:04pm