Reaching into the New Year…

John Hanc

Welcome to the February edition of Central Standard Time. I am so glad you’re here. There is much more planned for the coming weeks, so stay tuned.

February’s cover image is courtesy of Paul Chen. This is what happens when one of Chicago’s finest videographers walks the streets on a foggy day. More of the city can be seen on his page.

The world moves forward on the coattails of the obsessed, the driven, the inspired and tenacious humans around us. Beings unable to put down the pen, the paintbrush, the instrument, the book, the stats; they stay up later than they should and rise early to refine their physical being and mental processes. Here are some of the obsessed and driven people we know. Sit with us, then write your own story.

Marc Piane reflects on nature and nurture in “Origin“.

I encourage everyone to visit and pledge to the Marc Piane MS Fundraiser:


Don’t miss Brule Eagan’s “A Radio Life.” My buddy has too much fun and he’s not finished.

Steve Buschbacher recently underwent a knee replacement. He immediately underwent the best physical therapy, his drum kit and Philadelphia band, Bluestime, in “Feeding My Soul.”

Erin Denk returns! I wouldn’t stop asking (the poor woman rolls her eyes). Though I asked for good reason. Erin’s amazing art is a given and her writing is always a gift of insight. Check out “A Creative Life.”

Billy Denk also relented to my requests and penned “Inspiration.” My first impression of Bill, the musician, will always be remembered as a constant flow of invention, his story reveals how it happened.

We travel with Tom DeMichael through the sacred time of Sixteen-inch Softball, the clincher. The more you played, the softer it became. The farthest I ever saw this powder-puff get hit, Tom was at bat. I don’t know a greater embodiment of the sport, but “Why Baseball?

In Search of the Lost Chordis John Zielinski at his finest. It’s about the need to create.

Uh oh! Chef Geoff has a knife in his hand and he’s headed for the kitchen. We celebrate the return of good meals in Food #1.

Grab a mug of your favorite beverage. I’m down with Kenya AA right now, the world is good. Have a seat at the virtual table and join the conversation. As always, feel free to speak up and let the writers know your thoughts. You can CONTACT me, anytime.

Some nights I lie awake and think of audio signal paths, wondering if anyone else is this insane. Of course… too many to count.



Here we go! The Illinois gubernatorial election approaches with an overload of baggage. The term of Bruce Rauner has been an unfolding disaster. We are in massive debt; “downstate” passionately desires Chicago to secede from the rest of the rest of Illinois (up to the point of revenue generation); public education slides toward bankruptcy; Mike Madigan exercises a refinement of “Boss politics” (a Daley family legacy); and the state infrastructure is crumbling before our eyes. Pensions are at risk and no one can figure out how to pass a budget. Every poll I’ve seen ranks Illinois as one of the worst run, most corrupt states in the union. Charming.

We need to stop and reflect on the consequences of being a Blue Dog/Democratic state. It has done the people of Illinois little good. More than the classic tax-and-spend characterization of Democrats, the party, by accident or intent, stumbles over itself at every crooked turn. Springfield is a snake-pit of no-bid contracts, deal making, and kickback opportunism. Four of the last seven governors have been jailed. Rod Blagojevich (D) was convicted of numerous corruption charges in 2011, including allegations that he tried to sell or trade President Barack Obama’s old Senate seat. Dan Walker (D), governor from 1973 through 1977, pleaded guilty to bank fraud and other charges in 1987 related to his business activities after leaving office. Otto Kerner (D), governor from 1961 through 1968, spent three years in prison after being convicted of bribery related charges. George Ryan (R) was found guilty and jailed for fraud and racketeering charges as both Secretary of State and governor. A tenured felon.

How can we forget the venerable Secretary of State (’65-’70), Paul Powell (D)? Though his salary was never more than thirty thousand dollars per year, when he died, his room was found to contain eight-hundred thousand dollars in cash and checks kept in shoe boxes, briefcases, and strong boxes, as well as nineteen cases of whiskey and one million dollars in racing stock, leaving an estate of 4.6 million. During his tenure, fees for automobile licensing and registration were made to “Paul Powel-Secretary of State” or simply “Paul Powell.” That made it simple!

Party affiliation pales in the presence of the black hole of corruption that permeates our state. Republican State Rep. Jeanne Ives faces fellow Republican Rauner in the primary. At a recent event, she argued the solution to the state’s gun violence was having “more fathers in the home.” While this is tone-deaf to the complexity of the issue, it doesn’t appear to be color-blind. Some of the Democratic contenders are State Senator Daniel Biss and Chairman of the University of Illinois board of trustees Chris Kennedy. The spigot of campaign spending from candidate J.B.Pritzker borders on obscene. The historic truth is “money does not make for sound governing policy.” Toss in a handful of insignificant and third-party aspirants, you have a circus.

The only event with as much entertainment value is the coming Chicago mayoral election. Big fun ahead!


  • J. Tortorici