Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A DAY IN THE LIFE (of Chicago): Will Hawaii reclaim Obama from 2nd City?

A part of me always wondered if Barack Obama and first lady Michelle would spend their retiring years living in Honolulu – deciding like many other people to live in a warm-weather climate for those Golden Years.

It would seem I’m not alone, as there already are people in Hawaii who are trying to get the Barack H. Obama Presidential Library of the future built on that Pacific Ocean island, instead of where many of us would have figured it to be located – in the Hyde Park neighborhood, possibly as part of the University of Chicago.

IT IS EARLY, so it should not be a shock that nobody in Chicago has taken much in the way of action to try to get the library located here. Which is why Hawaii officials are hoping that getting an early start will allow them to one-up Chicago.

The state Legislature earlier this year approved a resolution saying it thinks the Obama library should be in Hawaii – on account of the fact he was born and (largely) raised in Honolulu, and up until two years ago still had a grandmother who lived there.

Officials with the University of Hawaii, the alma mater of both of his parents, are creating study groups to pick a site for such a library/museum that would glorify the four (or eight) years of an Obama Administration.

Hawaii officials also will meet next week with officials of both the National Archives in Washington the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Ark., in hopes they can get advice about what they need to do in order to develop a proper presidential library.

ALL OF WHICH makes me wonder if Hawaii will get such a jump on Chicago that the city won’t have much of a chance to play catch-up when the time does come to give serious thought to where the Obama years are best remembered.

Personally, I think any Chicago site can hold its own to anything in Honolulu, particularly since I would think a site on the mainland in the city that is the transportation hub of the United States would be more easily accessible.

But when one considers that the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum is in an isolated place like Grand Rapids, Mich., Honolulu comes off as looking downright attractive. I would think the number of kooks who come forward to picket an Obama library/museum of the future in Hawaii would be fewer than in most places.

What other events were floating through the air along the shores of the southeastern corner of Lake Michigan?

HIZZONER JR. TELLS WEIS CRITICS TO PIPE DOWN: Mayor Richard M. Daley said he wishes people who are trying to make an issue out of Police Superintendent Jody Weis meeting with streetgang leaders would lighten up on their criticism.

Weis had a meeting last month at the conservatory at Garfield Park, in hopes of letting gang leaders know just how miserable federal prosecutors could make their lives if violence continues to be committed by gang members.

Aldermen Bob Fioretti and Joe Moore said earlier this week they think it is inappropriate to do anything that could be perceived as granting recognition to the gangs, with Fioretti saying it amounts to, “negotiating with urban terrorists.”

But Daley said Tuesday he is willing to have his police chief try anything if it can help reduce violence. “If you can save one life, you’ll sit down with anyone,” he told reporters.

NUMERO NOVENTA Y NUEVE: For the next month (or two, if the Chicago White Sox actually make it into the playoff picture), uniform number 99 will sit his dreadlocked buttocks on benches around the American League, and will hit an occasional home run on behalf of the South Side.

That will be Manny Ramirez, the man whom some baseball fans once thought would be a shoo-in for the Hall of Fame (along with one-time Boston Red Sox teammate David Ortiz), who officially joined the White Sox on Tuesday in Cleveland.

I doubt the Ramirez presence will make much of a difference when it comes to the lines of statistics, although his presence for the month of September will make what could be an otherwise dreadful month a little more entertaining. At age 38, Ramirez just isn’t what he once was with the bat.

Then, when Ramirez leaves for whatever cellar-dwelling ballclub is willing to give him a big-money contract for 2011 and beyond, we will be able to add Ramirez to the list of one-time star ballplayers (Steve Carlton and Ken Griffey, Jr., to name a couple of recent cases) who extended their careers on the South Side. And uniform number 99 will likely wind up being retired by default (since I don’t know who else would want to wear it).


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