NEWS

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October 17, 2007

HP Herald overload

I nearly had an aneurysm when I read the Hyde Park Herald's "editorial section" today. (Link is here, not stable.)Granted it is just more of the same, but they had been laying pretty low on the whole Doctors Hospital/Hotel issue for awhile now. Today they came out swinging.First, they had a staff editorial in which they call for "Hospital talks to include residents." It is never really clear what residents they are talking about, because they then go onto to talk about how a couple of historical societies that no one has ever heard of deserves a voice.I'm pretty sure that if the University and White Lodging (which would manage the hotels) included residents of Chicago or residents of Hyde Park, no one would care about losing the "sacred" Doctors Hospital. The Hospital is not a piece of "irreplaceable history of our community," it is an empty building that no one cares about. So I'm going to assume that by "residents" the Herald means, "us and a couple of historical society people."But if that isn't stupid enough, the Herald then goes on trying to show us just how valuable the Hospital is to a couple of preservationists. Turns out the building is rated as "potentially significant," by some survey, a classification that it shares with 10,000 other buildings in Chicago. The Herald, in all its wisdom, sees this as reason to save it. Last time I checked, it didn't make a whole lot of sense to block a project that would be good for the community, it's workers, and sick people at the real hospital in Hyde Park because a building is "potentially significant." Second, there is an inane letter to the editor in which Maryal Stone Dale discusses how she is so overwhelmed by all the change going on in Hyde Park. Two 15 story apartment buildings (which she calls skyscrapers) near the Museum of Science and Industry! (The construction of which she incorrectly attributes to the U of C.) A hotel! Dale also tries to take aim at the U of C magazine. She quotes this article as claiming the hotel is a "done deal." The only problem is that the article includes neither the word done, nor the word deal. Woops.Third, is a letter to the editor written by a group of presumably well off, paternalistic Hyde Parkers that want to keep the jobless unemployed instead of giving them the choice to work. They are concerned about all the jobs that the hotel will create that will somehow manage to keep people in poverty. This is insane!I think I've adequately dealt with this inane logic before:

The second part of the anti-hotel argument involves the past labor practices of White Lodging, the company that would manage the new hotels. This means that activists don’t like how White Lodging hasn’t allowed unionization in the other hotels it manages.So let me get this straight: There are presently no jobs created by the Doctors Hospital, and the U of C wants to put in two hotels, a Starbucks, and a restaurant that would create, oh I don’t know, more then zero jobs.This isn’t a case of a company coming in and potentially destroying union jobs, like Wal-Mart is often accused of doing. The U of C would be creating hundreds of jobs where there are none, and the community is upset because they aren’t union jobs. Talk about missing the bottom line.