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Morning shorts

Monday, Jul 30, 2007

* Some may remember Tim Ryan from his days working at Play it Again Sam’s. His death provides a human face to many of us who have heard or read about the homeless situation at Springfield’s Lincoln Library. Steve Brown knew Ryan from the old days and writes, “Timmy Ryan was a friendly, funny playful and, yes, sometimes obnoxious drunk. I met him at Play It Again Sam’s. His life had taken a wrong turn several years ago. But as far as I know he never hurt anyone. The altercation was over a box of sandwiches. The alleged attacker wanted the whole box. Timmy thought they should be shared with everyone. Arrangements are pending.”

From the SJ-R

The death of Timothy Ryan, a 45-year-old homeless man whose head was stomped on during an alleged attack by another homeless man, was a shock to those who stayed with both men outside Lincoln Library.

“It’s not like that’s commonplace by any means,” said Tim Hawker, a homeless man who often acts as a spokesman for many who reside at the library, where the beating occurred Thursday night. “Everybody is sorry. We’re going to miss Tim … It’s something you never want to see.”

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* Editorial: Smoke-Free Illinois win for workers, residents, visit

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- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - moz104 - Monday, Jul 30, 07 @ 8:59 am:

    I’ll give you a topic: Shoehorn is neither a shoe, nor a horn. Discuss.

  2. - Samuel Adams - Monday, Jul 30, 07 @ 9:03 am:

    Rhode Island is neither an Rhode, nor and Island.

  3. - jwscott72 - Monday, Jul 30, 07 @ 9:05 am:

    Did anyone see the Simpsons movie? I was under the weather this weekend and didn’t get to go.

  4. - Highland Online - Monday, Jul 30, 07 @ 9:07 am:

    See what happens when Paul leaves.

  5. - Uncomfortable Silence - Monday, Jul 30, 07 @ 9:08 am:

    Uh…nice weather we’re having, isn’t it?

  6. - Concerned Citizen - Monday, Jul 30, 07 @ 9:11 am:

    Too much beer on the boat yesterday??

  7. - hollyringo - Monday, Jul 30, 07 @ 9:14 am:

    Chickpeas…. not a chick, nor a pea.

  8. - moz104 - Monday, Jul 30, 07 @ 9:17 am:

    Holy Roman Empire was neither holy, nor Roman, nor an empire.

  9. - Cassandra - Monday, Jul 30, 07 @ 9:21 am:

    Looks like the massive CTA patronage bureaucracy will emerge unscathed from the new transit funding

    Such is the power of the Democrats’ 19th century
    approach to politics and government in this 21st century. Graft and patronage. It’s all about plucking the citizens.

  10. - Captain America - Monday, Jul 30, 07 @ 9:28 am:

    Obamarama: Interesting article in today’s NYT about Obama’s Illinois political history. Also according to the AP Newt Gingrich is predicting a Clinton-Obama as the likely Democratic ticket.

    Tribune has an excellent editorial on the Daley Inpsector General/Office of Compliance proposal shenanigans/ - related to city hiring. Personally , I think the Mayor and other political executives should be permiited to hire whom they want, after the candidates are vetted as being qualified by some objective third party. In addition, I think there should be a larger number of “Shakman-exempt” managemnet positions for the Mayor and other executives to fill. I also believe strongly in the civil service for rank and file employees. It’s just a matter of achiveing a proper balance between civil service and political hiring.

    Last but not least, there is a Tribune Story in the Metro Section about Rep. Julie Hamos’ heroic efforts to negotiate a veto proof majority for the 1/4 % RTA/PACE/CTA sales tax in the metropolitan Chciago area.

    Keep up the great work Julie!!!

    The Governor’s promise to veto this tax is truly unfathomable. The people that would be most hurt by his intransigence on this issue are the working people he professes to be representing. He works in mysterious ways.

  11. - Macbeth - Monday, Jul 30, 07 @ 9:28 am:

    “I say, what’s that?”


    “In the middle of the room.”




    “What is it?”

    “That, sir, is an elephant in the middle of the room.”

  12. - South of I-80 - Monday, Jul 30, 07 @ 9:28 am:

    I’m almost sorry that I was gone last week!!

  13. - Jerry - Monday, Jul 30, 07 @ 9:49 am:

    if the mass transit bill does not pass, Blago will never get another vote from me.

  14. - VanillaMan - Monday, Jul 30, 07 @ 10:01 am:

    I am really unhappy over the homeless situation in Springfield. We are not seeing our homeless cared for by our city administration. It is time to start picking them up, taking them to shelters, caring for them, and making it clear to them that until they get their lives in order enough not to be a vagrant on our streets, they are to stay with us so that they may live.

    I’m tired of the excuses to not do something. I’m tired of people claiming that government should do something then sit on their hands. I’m tired of people claiming that these people have rights to sit and rot in our public places, then sit on their hands.

    If we really cared about our homeless, we would pick them up, take them to our shelters, and care for them. We would not let them dictate to us the conditions. These people are often mentally or physically challenged, and are unable to make rational decisions regarding their needs.

    We are doing no one a favor otherwise. The ugly truth is that no one wants to deal with drunk, possibly violent, unhinged adults. The ugly truth is that even when they are being cared for by volunteers dedicated enough to endure their often abusive attitudes, these people often do not appreciate what is given them.

    I know. I have plenty of experiences as a child singing at the Garden Mission in Chicago, and as an adult giving time and money to Springfield’s food lines and shelters. It is easier to finger point at some government bureaucracy than it is to take personal responsibility with a homeless stranger.

    It is so easy to do nothing. We make it even easier when we self-righteously demand that someone else is responsible for them. But doing nothing is making the situation worst.

    Pick them up. Take them, by force, if necessary, to shelters that are clean, air conditioned, and provide them with safety. Leaving them lay on the park benches scaring off the tourists is cruel. They do not have rights to monopolize our public areas, or to turn them into overnight camping grounds. We do no one a favor by walking around them, but denouncing our community as heartless and uncaring. It is not.

    The current city administration is headed by a mayor with a business background in liquor and bars. He knows. He is not showing any compassion by ignoring the city’s homeless and allowing them to take over public areas. No - a lot of these guys will fight you over where they spend the night. Yes - they will claim that our shelters are not for them. They will claim anything to be allowed to continue making bad decisions for themselves. When you consider how little regard they have for their own personal responsibilities, you realize that you cannot expect them to have any regard for other’s needs.

    Pick them up by force if necessary, and do what is needed to help them. Doing otherwise is dangerous for all of us.

  15. - moz104 - Monday, Jul 30, 07 @ 10:02 am:

    agrees with Jerry. I kind of like being able to get to work and school, and by extension, get paid.

  16. - Big Al - Monday, Jul 30, 07 @ 10:11 am:

    Beer. It’s not just for breakfast anymore.

  17. - Not So Fast - Monday, Jul 30, 07 @ 10:24 am:

    Let’s go, Cubbies!

  18. - anonymous - Monday, Jul 30, 07 @ 10:28 am:

    Philibuster. It has nothing to do with a guy named Phil getting busted.

  19. - cermak_rd - Monday, Jul 30, 07 @ 11:50 am:

    Vanilla Man,
    The problem, as you alluded to, is that many of the homeless are not ready to or don’t want to deal with whatever problems they have. But they still have rights. The law does not have the ability to pick them up and forcibly put them in a shelter. They can pick them up for vagrancy and put them in jail, but I’m not sure that’s a better arrangement. If the homeless person’s emotional disability is bad enough, he can be committed, but, unless he’s violent, that’s unlikely. Because public areas are public, that means all of the public so the homeless are just as entitled to use the parks as everyone else even if they choose to use them 24/7. The only way to stop that is to have a closing time in the park for everyone, but the homeless would still be entitled to use the parks during opening hours.

    Under our laws, you can’t force the homeless to change.

  20. - Steve Brown - Monday, Jul 30, 07 @ 12:39 pm:

    Thanks for posting the comment about Tim. Perhaps it will spur some action on the issue. I understand it is very hard to help those who resist or refuse help. But it is not impossible. Ijust know the cost of prevention/treatment versus prosecution/incarceration has to be a lot less.

  21. - Ghost - Monday, Jul 30, 07 @ 2:10 pm:

    FYI there was a story in thee SJ-R on Saturday, quoting a radio interview with Madigan saying he thinks there could be a budget by tues or wed.

  22. - Cassandra - Monday, Jul 30, 07 @ 4:57 pm:

    I think San Francisco or Seattle has a program through which the homeless are placed in free or low cost housing and checked on periodically, social services were available on site but residents/former vagrants otherwise allowed to live as they please if they followed the rules of the building they lived in …examples given were alcoholics who were allowed to keep drinking.

    Assuming that many of these individuals are simply beyond significant rehabilitation, this approach makes more sense than having them live at the public library and forage for food. And apparently the program above reduced the (expensive) use of the local hospital emergency rooms for crisis care.

  23. - 312 - Monday, Jul 30, 07 @ 9:00 pm:

    Don’t know if the previous part came thru, but Timmy’s heart was always in the right place. I just wish, in many years of hindsight, there was something I could have done to help.

    If there’s a fund to make sure he’s not buried in a pauper’s grave, I’d like to contribute. Too little, too late — I know.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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