For the past few weeks, I have been writing about people attending the Budget Hearings that will be happening next week Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. That is the premiere opportunity for Chicagoans to speak to the mayor about anything that they want.

I have been out of town for the past few weeks. Worse, as a person who is a “news junkie,” I have had limited access to a computer and the Internet. So every time I’ve been able to get online, it was interesting.

I was browsing a number of papers when one article caught my attention. The Chicago Police Department (aka Mayor Daley) announced that any vendor selling items without a permit at the Bud Billiken Day Parade would be required to shut it down or get a ticket.

Wow! Every day in Austin and across a lot of Chicago streets, we have unlicensed people selling food from carts that they park on sidewalks-carts that don’t have any running water, carts that have open bottles of mayonnaise in 90-degree weather with flies flying about and no method of refrigeration, carts that are filled with food products where we have no idea of the sanitary conditions in which the food was prepared. And yet even though it has been going on for over half-a-year, the city waits until the Bud Billiken Day Parade to begin to implement an enforcement action. Interesting!

Admittedly, I have been out of town for the past couple of weeks, so some of those unlicensed vendors like the ones at North and Cicero avenues in front of Walgreens, or at Laramie and Thomas, may be gone. Also the man who sits at Cicero and Grand Avenue every Sunday and sells fruit out of a box-the big green fruit he cuts with a knife and sticks a straw into. He too may be gone. Because when the city cracks down on black folks during our one-day parade for doing the exact same thing other ethnic groups do on a Daley … oops, I mean daily basis, then I am sure its nothing personal against us.

Speaking of the Bud Billiken Day Parade, I saw a news report about a tow truck company that erected signs after cars had parked and then began to tow them. Of course, our mayor might need to hear a few choice words from you on that subject. From what I read, it did sound like it was a targeted attack against those in our community who drove to the South Side to see the parade and then wound up paying hundreds of dollars in fines to get their cars back.

And speaking again of Bud Billiken Day, isn’t that the parade the black community loves because it signals the end of summer is almost here and our little black boys and girls should be getting ready to go back to school? But wait! Isn’t the first day of school supposed to be the one that’s being boycotted? So if the first day of school is to be ignored, why didn’t the parade get cancelled or boycotted as well? It was interesting to see and hear that Rev. Al Sharpton came to Chicago and endorsed the boycott but also marched in the parade. Seems a bit … nope, it is hypocritical to be a part of a back-to-school parade celebration when the children are being told to boycott school.

Lastly, on my blog site, someone posted the comment that New Trier doesn’t give out books. Rather, the parents buy the books. Now that is an activity that those supporting the boycott should advocate. It would guarantee that each child had a brand-new, up-to-date book. Parents would be less willing to accept the “I left the book at school” excuse when it was time for the child to do their homework and it might free up about $500 per child to be used toward other school needs.

Budget hearings schedule:

n Aug. 19 – Falconer Elementary School, 3020 N. Lamon Ave.

n Aug. 20 – Central West Regional Center, 2102 W. Ogden Ave.

n Aug. 21 – South Shore Cultural Center, 7059 S. South Shore Dr.

Registration starts at 6 p.m. and the hearings start at 7 p.m.