Monthly Archives: October 2017

S.C. Johnson To Aquire Method, Which Manufactures Soap In Pullman

fotolia1021S.C. Johnson recently announced that is has signed an agreement to acquire Method and Ecover. These consumer brands are part of the San Francisco-based home care company People Against Dirty.

“Method and Ecover have a strong tradition of innovation and delivering on consumers’ needs,”Fisk Johnson, Chairman and CEO of SC Johnson said in the press release. “They are a great complement to SC Johnson’s trusted lineup of iconic brands.”

According to the company press release, the deal will need to clear U.S., U.K., and German regulations, but S.C. Johnson is unable to release the details of the acquisition.

Belgium-based Ecover makes eco-friendly cleaning products, according to Chicago Tribune. But Chicagoans may be more familiar with soap company Method; the company opened a factory in the Pullman community in 2015.

About one-third of the world’s soap is used in the United States, and Method brought some of this production to Chicago. According to Chicago Tribune this move was part of the redevelopment of Pullman Park. A Walmart opened in the area shortly before the Method factory, but the soap manufacturing plant was a significant push for economic development, Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives President David Doig said in a statement to Chicago Tribune.

“[Method has] done a great job in hiring from the neighborhood,” he said. “They’ve really taken a lot of efforts to provide job training, so I think we’re hopeful S.C. Johnson will keep that tradition going.”

According to Chicago Tribune, city and state funding build the $30 million factory, and People Against Dirty employs about 90 people there. Since the opening of the plant, other initiatives have sprouted to bolster area development and create jobs. Gotham Greens, a New York City company, opened a rooftop farm above the Method Factory. Chicago Tribune reports that Whole Foods Market will open a distribution center in Pullman later this year.

Construction Workers Break Ground on Elevated Pedestrian Path

tree-2814653_960_720With a market share of around 10%, the United States is the second largest construction market worldwide. But the new project that just broke ground in Chicago, which is well known for elevated trains, aims to connect many towns through an elevated pedestrian path, according to Curbed Chicago.

The 312 RiverRun pedestrian path is part of a winding ‘network’ of running paths that opens new doors for Chicago residents. In a recent survey by Urban Land Institute, 50% of respondents said that walkability is either the top or a high priority in where they would choose to live, and this path, which will extend across 95 acres, will help the neighborhoods of North Center, Irving Park, Avondale, and Albany Park travel by foot much safer and easier than was previously possible.

Like the famous High Line in New York City, the new pedestrian path could even become a major attraction for residents and visitors alike.

In addition to enhanced walkability, the 95 acres of 312 RiverRun will allow for the increased support for every athletic activity currently supported by the Chicago Park District. This includes fitness center, tennis courts, softball fields, playgrounds, wheelchair accessible baseball fields, an indoor ice skating rink, the mountain bike/BMX trail, boat houses, an outdoor pool, and more.

“Investing in bike and pedestrian paths are an essential part of making our communities greener and healthier,” said U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL). “The Riverview Bridge will connect vibrant neighborhoods and give residents across the city safe and convenient access to some of Chicago’s world class parks and recreational opportunities. This project is a great example of what can happen when local, state, and federal officials work together to improve transportation infrastructure.”

The construction of 312 RiverRun began with the groundbreaking of Riverview Bridge, which extends over Chicago River’s North Branch and underneath the Addison road bridge. The newer bridge will serve as a brand new connection for runners, cyclists, and pedestrians alike in the paths in California Park to the north and Clark Park to the South.

The new Riverview Bridge, which will reach more than 1,000 feet long and 16 feet wide when construction is finished, will be the longest pedestrian river bridge in the city of Chicago. With an elevation of more than 18 feet, it has the ability to accommodate recreational boaters as well. Its specific access points remain unobstructed, which eliminates the demand for residents to cross major streets, ultimately making the city safer.

Epstein Global is the design team behind the construction of the Riverview Bridge. As a Chicago engineering firm, they also designed Midway Airport’s redevelopment in addition to both the south and west expansions of McCormick Place Convention Center.

The construction of 312 RiverRun is expected to be finished by the end of next year.

Anti-Puppy Mill Law Upheld in Chicago Federal Court Ruling

A Chicago law prohibiting pet stores to sell puppies obtained from puppy mills has been upheld in a federal appeals court. The federal court found that the city’s policy goals, including reducing financial support to these large mill-style breeders, are legitimate governmental concerns.

This ruling was made at the same time California Governor Jerry Brown began looking at a bill that is trying to achieve this, for the first time, at the state level. The court dismissed claims from pet stores that the law went against the U.S. Constitution’s Commerce Clause.

A string of similar rulings by other federal courts went against the claims of Congressmen Steve King, R-Iowa, and Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., whose bills attempt to get rid of state and local rulings that protect animals from cruel practices. The Congressmen have implied that the laws they’re trying to purge are unconstitutional.

These Congressmen have also consistently voted against efforts to strengthen rules and regulations against horse slaughter, aggressive confinement of farm animals, and other animal welfare standards.

Countering the allegation that these laws are unconstitutional, federal courts have found that these state and local laws are well within their rights to regulate the sale of animals and animal products, as well as the conditions in which said animals were raised.

In Illinois and Texas, federal courts upheld the right of states to prohibit horse slaughter and the sale of horsemeat for human consumption. It was ruled that these states did not act in conflict with federal meat inspection laws.

California’s law banning the sale of force-fed foie gras has been reinforced, stating that under the federal Poultry Products Inspection Act, force-feeding is not an “ingredient requirement”. Under this law, California has the right to regulate activity it deems cruel to animals, especially geese, ducks, and chickens, which Americans consume 90 pounds of every year.

Overall, approximately half of the 11 federal courts of appeals have ruled in at least one case by approving states’ rights to ban products of animal cruelty. These courts are sending a message to opposers, saying proposals to strip states of their animal cruelty prevention rights is a threat to the Constitutional system.