Alderman Brookins with a police sketch of his assailant.
You’ve probably read about the unfortunate and ironic case of 21st Ward alderman Howard Brookins, whose ward includes parts of Gresham and other Southwest Side neighborhoods. Last month in City Council Brookins railed against “aggressive squirrels” who have been chewing through city-owned garbage cans, and he called for a crackdown.
Then on November 13 when Brookins was riding his bike on the Cal-Sag trail, one of the bushy-tailed rodents jumped into the spokes of his front wheel. This kamikaze action cost the animal its life but also caused the alderman to crash. Was it a coincidence – or payback?
What’s not so funny is that Brookins sustained a broken nose, a fractured skull, and lost several of his teeth. He’ll need additional surgeries and months to fully recover. Fortunately the alderman, who recently got out of the hospital, hasn’t lost his sense of humor. “I can think of no other reason for this squirrel’s actions than that it was like a suicide bomber, getting revenge,” he told the Tribune.
At Streetsblog Chicago’s monthly reader meetup next week, we’re going to raise a toast to the bike-friendly politician and sign a card wishing him a speedy recovery. Here’s the skinny:
December Streetsblog Chicago Reader Meetup
Wednesday, December 7, 6-8 PM
EZ Inn, 921 N. Western Ave.
The bar can be reached via the Western, Chicago, and Division buses. There’s a Divvy station right around the corner on Walton, just east of Western.
This cozy venue has a great beer selection, and there’s always interesting music playing. They don’t serve food but feel free to bring your own.
Our meet-ups are always a great place to network and talk transportation with other walking, biking and transit fans. We look forward to discussing the South Red Line extension, the recently passed TIF to fund the Red and Purple Modernization project, and whether or not those bike riders who crossed at North/Damen/Milwaukee with a walk signal deserved to be ticketed.
We hope to see you there. Until next week, watch out for squirrels.
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