Archive for August, 2007

Chicago City Briefing for August

Thursday, August 30th, 2007

In this month’s edition of the Economist’s Chicago City Briefing:

The City of Chicago’s $5.5 billion dollar budget proposal is almost a quarter of a billion dollars in the red due to lower than expected real estate tax receipts. It is suspected that Mayor Daley may have to renege on a campaign promise not to raise property taxes. Otherwise, the city might close the gap with a combination of spending cuts, other tax increases such as cigarettes and layoffs of city employees.

The town of Bensenville has won a recent round in its fight to block the O’Hare expansion plans and the city has withdrawn the army of bulldozers and contruction equipment that was poised to demolish about 350 homes and empty businesses.

Elvira Arellano has been deported. She spent a year in sanctuary in Adalberto United Methodist Church on the Chicago West Side. Back in 2002, Ms. Arellano had been convicted of working under a false social-security number at O’Hare in 2002. She was supposed to appear before immigration authorities last year but instead hid out in the church for a year. She was arrested while speaking at a rally in Los Angeles.

The Chicago Reader has been sold to a Florida outfit – Creative Loafing. They intend to lay off Chicago Reader staff and cut the paper down to a single section from three. The sale includes the building on East Illinois Street near Snicker’s Deli.

The Chicago CTA is planning to raise fares and cut service. More information in the Chicago Sun-Times.

Each month’s edition of the Chicago City Briefing can be found here —

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Construction Writers Association

Thursday, August 30th, 2007

The Construction Writers Association (CWA) will meet at the Hotel Allegro, Chicago, IL, from October 10 to 12, 2007.  The association’s midyear meeting will feature a tour of the Lakeshore East development, an education session focusing on digital media, a session featuring construction-related topics, and an awards dinner.

CWA’s Thursday morning education session will include:  Judy Schriener, formerly editor of McGraw-Hill’s construction website, on writing for the web; Toni Antonetti of Public Relations Chicago on new tools available to writers; and blogging, podcasting, and other new techniques with John Usherwood, eChannel Commercial Manager, MPSD – Global Brand Management, Caterpillar Inc. A wrap-up session will cover the pros and cons of digital and print media.

The $4 billion Lakeshore East development site was the largest available urban acreage in Chicago.  Previously a 9-hole golf course made out of a wasteland, it covers 28 acres east of Michigan Avenue along the Chicago River. Magellan Development Group LLC is creating this luxury village including housing, retail, recreation, and a school.  Three residential buildings have been completed, and three more were nearing completion earlier this summer. The spectacular 82-story Aqua Building is currently under construction.  CWA attendees will visit with the developer and tour the site on Thursday afternoon.

Thursday evening will feature the CWA Marketing Communication Awards and Website and Electronic Communications Awards Dinner.

On Friday morning, the midyear meeting session will highlight the 82-story Aqua Building, designed to combine condos, rental apartments, a hotel and retail spaces.  Ron Klemencic, president of engineering consulting firm Magnusson Klemencic Associates, Inc., Seattle and Chicago; David Alexander of the James McHugh Construction Co., Chicago, IL; and James Loewenberg, AIA, co-CEO of Magellan will be on hand to discuss the Lakeshore East development. Design architect Jeanne Gang has also been invited.

Building Information Modeling, commonly called BIM, will also be introduced.  Mark Woodburn, AIA LEED AP, of DMJM Design will be a panelist.  A software supplier, building owner, and a contractor have been invited to participate on this panel.  We are  also planning a session with representatives of the Illinois Tollway, who will discuss open tolling and variable pricing proposals, concepts that are becoming popular throughout the US.

The CWA Board of Directors will meet on Wednesday afternoon at the Hotel Allegro.  Observers are welcome at this session.  A welcoming reception has been scheduled for Wednesday evening at the offices of Concrete Products magazine, published by Penton, in the IBM Building.  Reservations are needed for the reception due to building security, but there is no charge for Wednesday events.

Rooms at the Hotel Allegro will be $219 per night.  The reservation cut-off date is Friday, September 14, 2007.  To book, call 800-643-1500 and mention the “Construction Writers Association.”

Registration fees for members will be $125 for the Friday midyear meeting, which includes the Thursday evening Awards Dinner, and $125 for the Thursday morning education session – or $240 for both.  Nonmembers will pay $150 for each session or $290 for both.  Nonmembers are encouraged to join CWA for $100 individual annual dues and attend the meeting at member registration rates. There is no charge to attend the CWA Board of Directors Meeting, the welcome pizza party, or the Lakeshore East development tour.

Construction Writers Association is a non-profit, non-partisan, international organization for journalists, publicists, photographers, and marketing communications professionals serving the information needs of the construction industry. By providing opportunities for networking, education, recognition, and fellowship, CWA helps foster a strong community — and improve the quality of construction writing. CWA’s website is .discount cialis 20 mgbuy cialis professional 20 mg how to buy cialis online from canada cheap cialis online canada
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