The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

La Crèperie to reopen thanks to Duke of Perth owners

Colin Cameron, owner of Duke of Perth (my remote office) told me a couple weeks ago that this was in the works, but swore me to secrecy. Now that it's in Crain's, it's out there:

If you've been mourning the loss of La Creperie since it closed Aug. 22 when its owner retired, take heart: The iconic little French bistro at Clark and Diversey is scheduled to reopen, most likely in December.

Duke of Perth proprietors Colin Cameron, his cousin Jack Crombie and Jack's wife, Pam, have purchased the property from Germain Roignant, who opened the restaurant in 1972 with his late wife, Sara.

Mr. Roignant's son, Jeremy, and his wife, Yasmina Ksikes, who'd managed La Creperie for the past five years, intended to take the concept and name with them to Los Angeles. That changed with Jeremy's death from a heart attack on Aug. 1.

Mr. Roignant, now 75, says that when Mr. Crombie first asked him about becoming a partner in reopening the restaurant, he was hesitant because he'd been planning to retire to his home in Brittany, France. “But I hadn't been happy about the place closing after 41 years,” he says, “and when we hinted on our Facebook page that it might reopen, we got a very positive reaction from customers.”

Now a partner, Mr. Roignant says he'll probably work the dining room Wednesday through Sunday evenings and some afternoons. He won't be the only familiar face—he estimates that four dining room staffers are returning. Juan Aranda, who started as a dishwasher/prep cook/busboy in 1991 and was promoted to head cook two years later, will be back in the kitchen. This is a plus, since he knows all the recipes, which haven't been written down.

One of my favorite pubs buying one of my favorite restaurants? Perfect.

Quinn/Vallas 2014

I did not see this coming:

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has named former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas as his Democratic running mate for next year's election.

Vallas, an unsuccessful candidate for the Democratic nomination for governor in 2002 against Rod Blagojevich, fills the vacancy on the ticket left by incumbent Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon's decision to run for state comptroller next year.

After leaving CPS, Vallas headed public schools in Philadelphia, New Orleans and, most recently, Bridgeport, Conn. A Connecticut judge has ruled that Vallas did not hold the proper qualifications to be superintendent of the state's largest school system.

There also may be questions about Vallas' eligibility to run here. The state constitution requires statewide candidates to be Illinois residents for at least three years before the election. Voting records, however, indicate Vallas has been registered to vote from an address in Palos Heights since 2008. Vallas requested a 2010 Republican primary ballot, but did not actually vote, according to the Cook County Clerk's office.

I mean, it's not like we're mooting Rob Ford, but this one has me scratching my head...

Roll on, Divvy

Chicago's bike share program could become the nation's largest, thanks to Federal subsidies:

There are currently 300 Divvy stations up and running around Chicago, with 100 more stations in the works to be installed by next spring. Officials from the Chicago Department of Transportation said Wednesday they’ve secured a $3 million federal grant to build 75 additional stations next year, bringing the total to 475 by next year. The grant comes from the US Department of Transportation’s Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program.

So far, the U.S. DOT has provided $25 million dollars in federal grant funding toward the Divvy bike share program.

There’s been some criticism that Divvy stations are concentrated downtown, and don’t serve the south or west sides of the city. CDOT Commissioner Gabe Klein, speaking to alderman at his department’s city budget hearing Wednesday, said they’ll bring Divvy to Englewood by spring, and with this grant, they’ll be able to expand the program farther in all directions.

Klein also mentioned that Oak Park and Evanston could be joining the system next year.

The first head rolls

The person most directly responsible for the debacle is "retiring:"

The chief information officer at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, whose office supervised creation of the troubled federal website for health insurance, is retiring, the Obama administration said Wednesday.

The official, Tony Trenkle, will step down on Nov. 15 “to take a position in the private sector,” said an email message circulated among agency employees.

As the agency’s top information officer, Mr. Trenkle supervised the spending of $2 billion a year on information technology products and services, including development of, the website for the new health insurance marketplace.

Sibelius, though. Why's she still around?

About frickin' time

The Illinois legislature has finally, finally, approved marriage equality:

Gov. Pat Quinn said he intends to sign the bill, which would take effect June 1. It's the Democratic governor's latest step in taking Illinois in a more liberal direction. Under Quinn in the past three years, Illinois has banned the death penalty, legalized medical marijuana, provided driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants and approved civil unions.

Resolving the gay marriage question also allows state leaders to get a divisive issue off their plates before next year's big statewide election, even as long-standing financial issues headlined by the state's $100 billion public worker pension shortfall remain unresolved.

The vote Tuesday capped a year in which prospects for gay marriage often were dim. The proposal failed in a January lame-duck session, but the Illinois Senate provided new hope on Valentine's Day by passing the measure. There was no House vote at the end of spring session in late May, leaving both sides to spend the summer and fall lobbying lawmakers. The first week of veto session came and went without a vote last month, and with candidate filing for next year's election just weeks away, some expected no resolution until next year.

Also yesterday, Democrat Terry McAulliffe beat Republican Ken Cucinelli for Virginia governor, ending almost 30 years of Republican rule in the state. But the final vote came a lot closer than expected, suggesting that the debacle hurt McAulliffe.

Singapore Airlines ends Flights 21 and 22

The flights, between Newark, N.J., and Singapore, is the longest in the world:

The two all-business-class flights, which operate between Singapore and Newark, New Jersey, take around 19 hours and cover 15,300 km. But late last month, Singapore airlines announced that it would be cancelling the services, along with another between Singapore and Los Angeles that is almost as long.

The title for the world's longest flight...will now shift to Qantas, which operates a 13,800 km service between Sydney and Dallas.

Hey, wait a minute: Qantas is a oneworld carrier. How many frequent-flier miles does that cost again? Here it is: 37,500 for coach, 62,500 for business, and 72,500 for first. Each way.

I'll keep saving them.

Things I need to keep track of

Completely swamped today by a production error on an application I hardly ever work on. The problem was around something I'd written, but not caused by anything I wrote; still, it fell to me to fix the problem, which caused me to fall behind in everything else.

I have a bunch of Chrome tabs open with things I probably can't get to today:

That is all for now.

EF6 "The default RetryManager has not been set" problem

Aw, buggre alle this for a Larke.

I'm all in favor of upgrades, but for Foucault's sake, don't break things. I'm trying to upgrade a .NET project to Entity Framework 6, and I want to smack the developers.

Under previous versions, you could set the retry manager through configuration. This was really helpful for unit testing, when you might want to change the configuration and have the application block load a transient fault handler automatically.

With Entity Framework 6 (EF6 — yes, this is blatant SEO), you have to set up the default transient fault handler in code:

public void TestFixtureSetup()
	var strategy = new FixedInterval("fixed", 10, TimeSpan.FromSeconds(3));
	var strategies = new List { strategy };
	var manager = new RetryManager(strategies, "fixed");

I mean, really? With EF6, you've got to put this code in every unit test sequence in your solution. Basically, that means you need to put it in every unit test file. Before, it had its own defaults.

Despite being all in favor of upgrades, I do get impatient when (a) the upgrade breaks existing code and (b) the entity performing the upgrade is one of the wealthiest entities in the history of business.

All right, then. Bring on the copy pasta...

Favorite morning of the year

Since we moved the end of Daylight Saving Time to the first week of November, sunrises at the end of October are later than those in mid-December. Yesterday's sunrise was the latest sunrise in a year, and will be the latest until 2016. (The sunrise on 6 November 2010 was the latest until 2021, so it really could be worse.)

In Chicago this morning, the sun rose at 6:26, the same time it rose on September 12th. It won't rise this early again until March 3rd—but then a week later we shift the clocks again so we get another 6:26 sunrise on April 6th.

National Geographic had not one but two articles on DST this weekend. Any conclusions? Some people don't like it and others do. The only conclusion I draw from reading both is whether DST benefits you depends on a lot of factors, geography preponderating.

I still don't know why we moved the fall switch from end of October to beginning of November in 2007. We want daylight for Hallowe'en? I really, really hate getting up before dawn, which wouldn't happen before Thanksgiving if we still used the pre-1986 (1st Sunday in October) rules; even the 1986-2006 regime (4th Sunday in October) would minimize it. Europe, including the UK, change their clocks the last Sunday in September and the last Sunday in March. That seems to work best for northern, cool climates—like Chicago. Maybe Illinois should go its own way, then?

Toronto: looks like Chicago, but has Detroit politicians

Sometimes, Canadians and Americans seem so much alike. The problem becomes trying to determine which Americans and Canadians you mean.

Exhibit: Police in Toronto have recovered a video they allege shows mayor Rob Ford smoking crack. (Ford's lawyer said it was pot—even though weed may also be illegal in Ontario.)

A friend who lives there just sent me new polling data that shows Canadians have a sense of humor:

A new poll released Friday shows Mayor Rob Ford’s approval rating has actually climbed since the announcement by Police Chief Bill Blair that a highly reported video does exist.

The Forum Research poll taken on Thursday shows that Mayor Ford’s approval rating has climbed slightly, sitting at 44 percent.

[Poll spokesperson Lorne Bozinoff added,] “We asked if he should resign or not, a large majority, 60 percent said yes.”

The poll also revealed that a staggering 98 percent of the people polled had heard about the alleged crack video.

No word from the pollsters whether people approve of Ford strictly for entertainment value.