- Created on 09 May 2013
Scores of members of Charter Parents United and supporters converged on downtown Wednesday near the Chicago Public Schools headquarters making their demands known to the school district.
The group wants CPS to provide “all families with the choice of a high-quality and safe public school.” The group also lambasted the dozens of Chicago aldermen who support a moratorium on the number of charter public schools in the city.
Ahead of Wednesday’s rally, several of the CPU members spoke at a recent Chicago Board of Education meeting.
“We want to make sure everyone hears our demand for equal treatment loud and clear. Charter Parents United has gathered over 5000 signatures so far in our petition drive and we will gather thousands more,” said Carlos Green, father of two who lives in West Pullman.
According to the organization, CPU is made up of families who chose Chicago public charter schools because they feel they offer the best public school education for their children.
“Why do our City Council members want to shut the schoolhouse door on what 53,000 students and their families know is the best option for them? Why do they want to deny the thousands of families on waiting lists the chance to attend a charter school,” said Toni Seas, CPU parent. “The aldermen should be focusing on what really matters to parents: providing more high-quality public school options, not less.”
- Created on 09 May 2013
MIAMI — Joakim Noah was ejected early in the fourth quarter, and Taj Gibson followed him to the locker room a few seconds later after getting two technicals of his own.
They had no desire to see the ending.
And really, who on the Chicago Bulls' bench could've blamed them?
"Things don't go your way, you're competitors, you want to go out there and do everything you can when you feel you're being cheated," forward Carlos Boozer said. "You're going to say something about it. But regardless we don't place the blame on anybody else, we put it on our shoulders and we'll play better."
After nine technical fouls, two ejections and a whole lot of extracurricular pushing and shoving, the end results were as follows: The biggest postseason win in Heat history, the biggest postseason loss in Chicago Bulls history, and tons of fresh venom pulsing through the veins of this now-tied Eastern Conference semifinal series. Miami won 115-78, a stunning outcome for a game that was basically back-and-forth for much of the first half.
That is, until the Heat started embarrassing the Bulls, and the Bulls started embarrassing themselves for good measure.
"No matter if you win by 20, 30, or one point, it's a 1-1 series," Heat star LeBron James said. "They came in and did their job. They got one on our floor and took home court. So, we've got to try to go Chicago and get it back."
Game 3 is Friday in Chicago, where the Heat will have to win at least one game if they're going to win the series.
Ray Allen scored 21 points in only 19 minutes, James finished with 19 points and nine assists, and the Heat led by as many as 46 points. Sure, the Heat have lost home-court advantage when they dropped Game 1. But this domination made the reigning NBA champions look like the clear-cut team to beat in this title race once again.
"Today, something was different," said Bulls guard Nate Robinson, who made 3 of his 10 shots. "Not just with our play, just today was just weird."
Noah and Gibson were tossed with 10:13 remaining, and the league will almost certainly review some of the things said and done in a game that was close for the first 20 minutes. The Bulls were called for six player technicals, the most by any team in a playoff game since Boston had that many against Indiana in 2005, according to STATS LLC.
"I don't know how many techs we got. ... I would call that not keeping your cool, not being very Zen," Noah said.
Boozer, who scored only eight points, said he didn't fault his teammates for speaking their minds — although cameras suggested that Gibson's language was more than a little colorful.
The Heat had three technicals assessed, a season-high for them.
Norris Cole scored 18 points for Miami, which got 15 from Dwyane Wade and 13 from Chris Bosh. The Heat led 42-38 with 3:42 left in the first half, before going on an absurd 62-20 run.
It was that one-sided. Miami shot 60 percent to Chicago's 36, outrebounded the Bulls 41-28, and enjoyed huge edges in points off turnovers (28-7) and fast-break points (20-2).
The only stat that Chicago dominated: Technicals, where the Bulls outpaced Miami 6-3.
"We got sidetracked and you can't do that," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. "We allowed frustration to carry over to the next play. ... You come in here, you're not going to get calls. That's reality."
Marco Belinelli scored 13 for the Bulls, who got 12 from Noah and 11 from Robinson.
For much of the first half, it was everything expected from a Bulls-Heat game, especially after Chicago took Game 1 on Monday night. It was physical — Udonis Haslem sent Robinson flying on the game's first possession, and Belinelli hammered Wade on the ensuing Miami trip, one that ended with Wade getting the first of the game's nine technical fouls for throwing the ball into the Bulls' guard.
James wore a T-shirt that said "Up To Me" before the game, and it appeared the message had some literal meaning. After being held to two first-half points in Game 1, he went 6 for 6 in the opening quarter of Game 2, as Miami took a 25-20 lead.
"I wanted to be aggressive," James said.
It was still close late in the second, before the Heat ended the half on a 13-3 run, one where Cole and Robinson looked like they were playing 1-on-1 — and the Miami guard was getting much the best of Chicago's postseason hero so far.
Robinson made a 3-pointer to get Chicago within 49-41, then turned and said some words toward Cole. So Cole quickly had an answer, hitting one corner 3-pointer over Robinson and letting him know about it, then making another 30 seconds later to give Miami what was then its biggest lead of the night.
Of course, it didn't stay that way.
"The whole game was frustrating," Gibson said. "We didn't really play good enough defense to kind of slow them down and stop them like we did in Game 1. I just got a little bit frustrated. I've got to compose myself a little bit better, just trying to be there for my teammates."
James didn't score in the third quarter — he missed all three of his shots — and still was dominant, with five assists in that period alone, as the Heat turned it into a laugher. They outscored the Bulls 30-15 in the third, stretching the lead out to 31 points as Chicago missed 13 of its 17 shots in the period.
"We're capable of much better and we're going to have to be a lot better," Thibodeau said.
Then in the fourth, with the game already lost, the Bulls lost what was left of their composure.
Noah got ejected and while that mess was being sorted out, Gibson got two more technicals and joined his teammate in the visiting locker room.
"I just wanted to let the referee, I wanted to let him know, how I felt about the game," Noah said.
Even TNT announcer Steve Kerr, a former Bulls player, questioned the officiating at that point.
"I don't blame Gibson," Kerr said as Gibson left the court, television cameras catching him direct a stream of what appeared to be profanities toward either referees, players or both.
The Heat never got that wrapped up in the shenanigans, or at least, didn't seem to be bothered by it all.
"Sometimes, it's going to be very physical," Wade said. "But it's the playoffs."
Wade said losing Game 1 was Miami's first true taste of adversity all season, and he was eager to see how the Heat responded. He said the team simply looked itself in the mirror and challenged itself to do better.
That being said, the job is far from done. Chicago's "Madhouse on Madison" now awaits, and by the time most players were dressed after the game Wednesday, Noah was already looking ahead to Friday.
"We didn't play well, but it's not the end of the world," Noah said. "It's 1-1, and it's going to be a big game in Chicago."
- Created on 08 May 2013
A former Chicago alderman has been arrested on charges she approached police officers outside a neighborhood district headquarters with a loaded gun.
Sharon Dixon was ordered held Tuesday in lieu of $25,000 on felony unlawful use of a weapon and possessing a firearm without a license.
Cook County Assistant State's Attorney Lorraine Scaduto says Dixon on Saturday had been walking in and out of the West Side police station when police noticed the holstered gun and her hand on the weapon.
Authorities say Dixon was arrested and taken to a hospital for psychological evaluation.
It wasn't immediately known if the 50-year-old Dixon has hired a lawyer.
Dixon, who lost her council seat in 2011, was arrested in 2009 for driving under the influence. The charge was later dropped.
- Created on 09 May 2013
Ironically, Kevin Ambrose didn’t want his friend to walk alone from the 47th Street train station by himself. So Tuesday night, the 19-year-old went to meet him, but ended up shot to death en route.
Police say Ambrose, who had just finished his first year at Columbia College Chicago, was shot in the back. His visiting friend, Michael Dye, said he saw Ambrose running near the train station and it wasn’t until he reached Ambrose that Dye realized his friend was shot and dying.
“I was the last person he saw and the last person he would talk to,” said Dye. “I’m still trying to process the fact that he’s gone.”
He was pronounced dead at Stroger Hospital.
Ambrose was a theater major at the college.
Police have no one in custody in the case.
- Created on 08 May 2013
MIAMI — Jimmy Butler got into the Chicago starting lineup about six weeks ago, his break coming when a slew of Bulls were dealing with injuries.
He hasn't come off the bench since.
And lately, he hasn't been on the bench at all — literally.
Butler's role right now is to be the Bulls' ironman. NBA regulation games last 48 minutes, and even the guys with the biggest workloads get a little break every now and then. But Butler has played every second of Chicago's last three games, and going back to when he entered Game 5 of his team's first-round series against Brooklyn for the final time, he's been on the court for the last 148 minutes, 29 seconds of Bulls' basketball.
"It's all about the rest that you get in between," Butler said. "I feel like I'll do whatever it takes for this team to win."
His consecutive-minute streak will almost certainly grow Wednesday night, when he's scheduled to start Game 2 of Chicago's Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Miami Heat. Barring injury or foul trouble, it would not be a surprise if Butler played all 48 minutes again, given how banged-up and depleted the Bulls are on the perimeter these days.
So, go figure. A player from Marquette is one of the biggest stories after one game of this Chicago-Miami series, and his name is not Dwyane Wade.
"He's in shape," said Wade, who scored 1,281 points in his two Marquette seasons — four points more than Butler had in his three seasons there. "The guy is in shape. To be able to play that many minutes in a row, obviously a lot of guys can't do that. And still be aggressive on the offensive end, and defensively be able to guard different guys, he's special in that sense. That's why Marquette chose him."
Butler scored 21 points and grabbed 14 rebounds in Chicago's Game 1 win over the reigning NBA champions on Monday night, just the fifth double-double of his young career. Most impressively, though, he spent virtually the entire game guarding Miami's LeBron James, now a four-time MVP who tried to barrel through the slimmer Butler on a number of occasions.
James scored 24 points, and simply overmatched Butler at times down the stretch. But Butler never backed down, and the Bulls got their Game 1 win.
"He does what we need," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said.
That's why the Bulls used the final first-round pick of the 2011 draft on Butler, who typically plays either shooting guard or small forward for the Bulls.
A year ago, he averaged 2.6 points in 42 regular-season games and was on the floor for only four minutes — total — in Chicago's six postseason contests. Now he's a starter, and more than that, he's starting to look like a star in the making.
"He came in with a defensive mindset, but he's got a lot of intangibles," Thibodeau said. "Strength, body balance, discipline, intelligence, multiple-effort mentality, really works at it, great work ethic. And I think when you have those type of qualities you continue to improve. So he's gotten better and better."
Thibodeau was asked if he considered giving Butler even a brief rest in Game 1. He shook his head.
Anyone who's followed the Bulls' rotation in recent weeks shouldn't be surprised by that development.
Since March 24, the date that Butler was inserted into the starting lineup again after spending virtually the entire season as a reserve, Butler has played 910 minutes — by far the most in the NBA over that span. Bulls forward Carlos Boozer is No. 2 at 829. And to put Butler's workload over the last six weeks in even more perspective, consider that Miami's Ray Allen leads his team with 480 minutes played over that stretch.
When Butler left the Bulls' team video session in their posh hotel Tuesday, he found a comfy-looking chair, grabbed a seat and relaxed for the next half-hour.
The rest of his itinerary for the day looked like this: As little as possible.
"Maybe sit outside in the sun," Butler said. "But definitely stay off your feet. You've got to take care of the things that take care of you."
He looked both spent and exhilarated after Game 1. Beating the champions and the NBA's top overall seed in these playoffs, in their building, when your team is a colossal underdog will do that.
"I was tired, but I was excited," Butler said. "Adrenalin still pumping. Big win down here in Miami, and that's definitely hard to do. So when I did shut it down, I definitely did get some rest."
Good thing. He'll need it.