The election is just 18 short days away. The four remaining candidates for mayor of Chicago — Rahm Emanuel, Gery Chico, Carol Moseley Braun and Miguel del Valle—are hitting the streets, trying to get Chicago’s support. The economy weighs heavily into the debate, as the Windy City carries a multimillion dollar deficit. Move your cursor over each candidate’s head to see how they plan to stimulate the economy.
The financial meltdown began in 2007 and swept across the globe in 2008 and 2009. Chicago was not immune to the effects of The Great Recession, suffering double digit unemployment rates and a staggering amount of foreclosures. More than two years removed, the Windy City now appears to be on track toward recovery.
Want a quick primer on the meltdown and recovery? Take a look at Chicagoloopster’s economic timeline.
Photo: Stocks at the Chicago Board of Trade by Scott Olson/Getty Images North America
Photo: Chicago Board of Trade by mheisel, used under the Creative Commons license
Photo: Foreclosure sign by BasicGov, used under the Creative Commons license
Photo: ABOVE (stocks falling) by obknoxious, used under the Creative Commons license
Unemployment statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics
Quarterly earnings reports from the Medill News Service
On Thursday, city officials put a halt on bond sales that would drive further runway construction, as reported by the Chicago Tribune
The delay comes a week after two major airlines filed suit against the airport, claiming the $3.4 billion expansion would end up costing the airport and airlines more. The two airlines, United and American, have been struggling in light of the recession. Attorneys for the city filed a motion to have the suit dismissed in Cook County Circuit court.
Tensions reached a boiling point when the three parties – United, American and city officials – met in Chicago a few days ago in an attempt to reach common ground.
Senator Dick Durbin represented the city in the attempted mediation. While there were no developments from the meeting, Durbin had high hopes.
“I don’t want to presume what the answer is, but I think the two sides can sit down together and work it out,” Durbin told the Tribune. He went on to add his hope an agreement can be reached before Mayor Richard Daley leaves office in May.
Daley has not been shy about where he stands on the issue. Earlier this month, Daley defended the bond issue and expansion. In a separate Tribune article, Daley also made it clear why the expansion was necessary.
“We are not building the runways for the airlines today,” Daley said. “We are building the runways for passengers so there’s no delays in bad weather.”
In a report from the U.S. Department of Transportation, O’Hare ranked 10th out of the 28 busiest airports with the worst in delays. Midway came in dead last, according to a Fox Chicago News report.
More than 150 flights were cancelled out of O’Hare Wednesday due to the weather. Earlier this month, airlines cancelled over 500 flights as O’Hare got nearly half a foot of snow.
If you’re driving, taking the bus or just walking, you’re going to want to avoid the construction hot spots. Here are some of the areas getting work in the Loop at the moment. Tread with caution.
- Chicago Ranked the Most Road-Congested City
- CTA Prepared for Cold Weather
- Rolling Out the New CTA Train Tracker
- Metras New Quiet Cars: Boom or Bust?
- Braving Chicago’s Winter on Two Wheels
- CTA Train Tracker: What’s Chicago Saying?
- Parkin’ Yo’self in Chitown
- No Expansion for O’Hare as City Puts off Bonds Sale
Think you know how to stay healthy in the winter? Not worried about about catching that dreaded cold? Take our quick quiz to test your knowledge. We asked some health professionals about some common misconceptions about staying healthy in the winter.
The temperature drops, the jackets come out, and everyone begins worrying about staying health. The fears certainly aren’t unfounded. People are, in fact, most likely to have colds during the fall and winter, starting in late August or early September through March or April.
An estimated 5 to 20 percent of Americans contract influenza each year, according to the University of Chicago Medical Center, and during a one-year period it’s estimated that people in the U.S. will suffer one billion colds. The common cold, caused by a virus that inflames the membranes in the lining of the nose and throat, and there are more than 200 different viruses that can cause this.
Prolonged exposure to cold will inhibit the immune system, your first line of defense against colds. Winter also means an uptick in activity for certain viruses like the flu and strains of the common cold are more active during the winter months. Add to that the increased time spent indoors or in close contact with people during the colder months, and it’s not hard to see why so many people catch something undesirable during the winter season.
There are a variety of locations in the Loop where you can be vaccinated against the flu.
“It is very important people try to do anything to avoid these things,” said Dr. Scott Burger, a former emergency room doctor and current attending physician at Washington Aventis Hospital in Maryland.
In addition to the basics like keeping hand sanitizer ready to go or making sure not to share things, like cell phones, computers and drinking glasses, Burger also said to stand clear of those around with a cough or sneeze.
“Influenza can float through the air,” Burger said, while other viruses can hang in the air after a sneeze.
Another thing to keep in mind is to bundle up as much as possible. The body releases a lot of heat in the face and skull because of the tremendous blood supply there, so make sure to wear a hat and a scarf.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is also important to ward off the sniffles, Burger said.
In fact getting a light workout in if you are feeling under the weather can actually help fight off colds before they get worse. The increased heart rate gets the blood flowing, which will help move the virus out of your system.
And while the actual scientific-based health effects of that age-old cold remedy, chicken noodle soup, are hotly debated, there’s no question that a warm, nourishing soup can ease some of the discomfort. This recipe from Chicago Food Snob promises a great chicken soup, but if you don’t feel up to cooking, there are plenty of options in the Windy City to get your chicken soup fix.
Burger pointed out that if you are feeling under the weather and noticed some discolored mucus, you should hold off before rushing to the doctor’s office. It’s a common misconception, he explained, that it’s a sign the body need antibiotics, but that’s not always the case. Try to flush out your system with lots of fluids, use a vaporizer or neti pot. And call the doctor if the symptoms get worse or haven’t improved.
Above all else, Burger advised, get the flu shot. Contrary to popular rumors, you cannot get the flu from the shot and the shot is very effective.
According to the University of Chicago Medical Center, it’s especially important for elderly people and those with chronic medical conditions to get the influenza vaccine because the virus can cause complications that may develop into a more serious disease for those with compromised immune systems. Pregnant women, children and those who work in hospitals, nursing homes and chronic care facilities are also highly advised to get the vaccine.
If, despite your best efforts, you still manage to get sick, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend getting plenty of rest, drinking lots of fluids, and taking an over-the-counter pain reliever such as ibuprofen to help with pain or fever. Consult your physician before giving these medications to young children. Seek medical help if temperatures reach higher than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or symptoms last more than 10 days and/or aren’t relieved by over-the-counter medications.