Sneed: Newly named Jane Byrne Park now in full bloom

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The freshly adorned Jane Byrne Park. | Provided photo

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Happy Mother’s Day!It’s up, finally!

It’s done.

The city’s legendary Water Tower Park has finally sprouted a new sign honoring the city’s nearly forgotten only female mayor.

The stamp-sized garden plaza, which houses the city’s most famous survivor of the Great Chicago Fire, is now known as Jane Byrne Park.

“It’s unbelievable,” said Bryne’s daughter, Kathy.

“I got a text from the mayor’s office it was done and grabbed a cab to go over there right away,” she told Sneed late Friday afternoon. “I had hoped it would be done before her birthday on May 24 — but now it’s ready for Mother’s Day!

“I just stood there and cried. All her favorite flowers . . . daffodils, tulips, all in bloom at once . . . like a miracle. Lilacs and irises coming alive. I was stunned.”

“All I could think was: “Happy Mother’s Day, Mama Jane. I finally got you a present you liked!”

In 2014, this column began campaigning for a memorial for our nearly forgotten mayor, who held office from 1979 to 1983.


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Former Gov. Pat Quinn, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Ald. Ed Burke led the charge to honor her memory. Quinn renamed the Circle Interchange after her shortly before Byrne died.

“So now here is this beautiful park . . . which seemed to spring out of nowhere . . . which Mother loved and watched out of her window,” Kathy said.

“My son Willy and I will go there Sunday — on Mother’s Day — and he will salute the grandmother he called ‘Mamie,’ and I will surely cry again.

“Mike, thank you so much. None of this would have happened but for you.”


So, in keeping with all things Trump, Sneed hears the big bucks boys from Illinois are sitting on their wallets.

• Translation: They are not coughing up the cash for Donald Trump.

“I don’t see anybody doing that . . . yet,” said former Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron Gidwitz, who has raised tons of cash for the party and $7 million at one fund-raiser alone for President George W. Bush.

“Trump may not be able to win Illinois, but he needs us for the money,” Gidwitz said.

“Big money comes out of Illinois. Trump needs to fund his presidential bid, which is going to cost a fortune.

“During George W. Bush’s two presidential runs, he took 20, 30, 50 million bucks at a time out of the state. Republican donors give lots of money to a national candidate.”

Stay tuned.


Trump’s tweet gets tweaked!

Reporters with a long lens espied a pic of Trump’s ex-wife Marla Maples peeking out from under a pile of newspapers nesting under a taco bowl photo accompanying the Donald’s Cinco de Mayo tweet about loving Hispanics.


Trump-a-dump . . . 

Hey! Hey! Holy Cow!

Imagine the political debate going in the Ricketts family household — now that Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts just endorsed Donald Trump!

Strike one & two: Trump blasted the Ricketts’ matriarch Marlene and brother Todd for supporting an anti-Trump campaign — and tossed brickbats at the Chicago Cubs.

Cub owner Tom Ricketts was not only flummoxed by Trump’s anti-dugout discourse, but sister Laura Ricketts is an Illinois superdelegate for Hillary Clinton.

Strike three? Nawww.

Hello, Donald . . . 

A Sneed reader asks:

“If Donald Trump is elected president, will he cede all control of his massive business holdings to someone else to manage, or will he, instead, split his time between running his businesses and running the country?


J.A., Oak Forest.

Anita’s reversal . . . 

Pssst! Anyone who thinks Rahm Emanuel pressured Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez into her change of heart last week by asking for a special prosecutor in the Laquan McDonald murder case, think again.

Not true.

The duo are a don’t-invitem item.

“They don’t really talk to each other,” a top Sneed source said.

Amy’s rule . . . 

Sneed is told Chicago’s first lady Amy Rule is hoping to close a deal on 26,000 new summer jobs this year for at-risk youth.

Rule, who has been recruiting businesses as head of the city’s summer jobs program — “One Summer Chicago” — not only has been dialing through her Rolodex — but also successfully hit up the Chicago Cubs, Hyatt Hotels, Navy Pier and Potbelly to provide more summer jobs for Chicago’s young people.

• With the school year winding down and temps heating up, it’s hoped the program will temper the city’s summertime violence.

Sneedlings . . . 

I spy: Cubs pitcher Kyle Hendricks, spotted dining at Gibsons Steakhouse last Saturday night. . . . Saturday’s birthdays: Earl Thomas, 27; Chiara Ferragni, 29; and Alexander Ludwig, 24. . . . Sunday’s birthdays: Enrique Iglesias, 41; Nyle DiMarco, 27, Carol Carroll, priceless; and a happy Tuesday birthday to John Gorman, ageless.

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