Monday, November 30, 2009

Huckabee Pardon (Suspect Still at Large)

Suffice it to say that Huckabee's political career is probably toast.

What should also be toast is early parole and pardons for those found guilty of violent offenses involving weapons, peace officers, senior citizens and domestic related. The Arkansas legislature looked into curtailing the governor's power after 74 of Huckabee's 77 clemency recommendations were rejected as being "without merit."

On a better note:
  • A suspect in the slaying of four police officers who were gunned down in a suburban coffee shop was surrounded by police at a Seattle house early Monday, wounded and possibly dead, police said.

    Negotiators were trying to communicate with Maurice Clemmons, 37, using loudspeakers, explosions and even a robot to try to prod him from hiding. At one point, gunshots rang through the neighborhood, about 30 miles from the original crime scene.

    "We have determined that in fact he has been shot," said Ed Troyer, a spokesman for the Pierce County Sheriff. "He may be deceased from his gunshot wound."
Hopefully, this is so.

UPDATE: Suspect still on the loose, although reports are he is wounded and seeking medical assistance from friends. Hopefully, each and every one of them is charged as a accessory after the fact. It's probably too much to hope that Washington state executes a few of them, too.


Street Cleaning Tickets

Evidently, Shortshanks's people ran out of money in the street cleaning budget, so all those blocks that have permanent signs (No Parking Tuesdays for Street Cleaning) are NOT to be ticketed from this point until next year sometime. When the Department tells you NOT to enforce posted signs, something must be seriously out of whack.

Which is fine and dandy if they're really out of money - Daley's spending habits seem to belie this crying poor all the time. But not having street cleaning done during the fall? When leaves are thickest in the street gutters? And over the sewer caps?

Does anyone recall anything that usually happens around this time of year? White stuff? Falling from the sky? And what happens to this slushy mess after plowing and salting? And if the gutters and sewers are clogged, what happens the next time it drops below freezing? Or it snows again?

It's going to be like last winter, but on an even more massive scale. Better make sure your car suspension is up to snuff.


Not Good News

  • Bargains proved to be the key to luring shoppers into stores over the Black Friday weekend.

    According to a survey by the National Retail Federation, 195 million shoppers visited stores and websites over the holiday weekend. The number is up 13.4 percent from last year’s 172 million shoppers.

    But while the number of shoppers was up, average spending was down over last year. It’s estimated that dollars spent per person dropped 17 percent from a year ago’s $372.56 to $343.31.

  • U.S. consumers spent significantly less per person at the start of the holiday season this weekend, dimming hopes for a retail comeback that would help propel the economy early in 2010.

    The lackluster spending could pressure retail stocks on Monday as some investors were looking for a stronger showing compared with a year earlier, when consumers were being hammered by the recession and credit crunch.
And Obama wants to nationalize one-seventh of the national economy after spending almost $2 trillion dollars in 10 months?


Furlough Calendars and More

The boys over at have updated their tool section. They even have a calculator available to figure retro wages which, based on the way Daley is acting lately, are a foregone conclusion.

Their link is in the right hand margin.

And all comments saying "no retro" will be deleted. You can say "we told you so" at a later date.


Global Warming - Still Dead

And as predicted, the lame stream media is still doing just about everything in it's power to ignore the events of the past few days. This story has Europe in an uproar and most of the info is filtering out through the British press:
  • The Times Online - all of the scientific data, you know, that stuff they collect and then are supposed to submit for "peer review" to see if it stands up? Destroyed.
  • The Telegraph UK - scientists refusing to release any data so others can set up models and see if the results track across alternative theories.
  • The Telegraph UK again - the "climategate" e-mails, all discussing how to get around FOIA requests and how best to destroy incriminating e-mails and files. The writers have already admitted the e-mails are genuine.
  • The Guardian (UK) reveals the BBC had the e-mails for a month - and didn't do anything with it until other news outlets started asking questions.
  • New Zealand had uncovered it's own falsification of scientific data.
Can someone stuff a sock in Al Gore now? He's made millions on bullshit scientific data, won an Oscar for a movie based entirely on falsehood, and is attempting to force everyone to buy CFL light bulbs that can't even light a room and necessitate an EPA Superfund response should you break one in the living room.

The science isn't "settled." Global warming isn't a foregone conclusion. Global warming may in fact be a good thing as more land becomes livable and farm capable. Carbon dioxide isn't a "poison" as so many greenies want you to believe - plants needs it to create (tada!) oxygen and plants are thriving as never before.

We know a bunch of people are going to give us flak for writing about this. But this is directly related to Obama's "Cap and Trade" effort that would have gutted an already hurting US manufacturing sector and stopped a weak economic recovery in it's tracks. It also would have been overly intrusive into everyone's lives by forcing you to buy certain products solely because the government decided "it's the right thing for you to do."


Rumor Has It...

...that City Hall is abuzz with the sound of Xerox machines running off hundreds of copies of amended IRS tax returns:
  • The Internal Revenue Service is looking for nearly 3,600 Illinoisans — but not for the reasons they probably think.

    The IRS owes those folks money, on average more than $1,000 apiece.

    Sue Hales is spokeswoman for the IRS in Illinois. She says the postal service has returned almost 3,600 refund checks to the agency as undeliverable.

    Those undelivered checks are worth more than $3.6 million.
We heard Shortshanks himself is filing an amended tax return next week along with all of his staff, family and at least 1,000 registered voters from various cemeteries. All of them will donate their windfalls to the Machine of course.


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Parkland, Washington Ambush

Four cops killed in a coffee shop before their shift started. One report says all of the officers were Pierce County Sheriffs. This would probably be a sizable percentage of their watch if true.
Prayers only in this thread. We will update if and when possible.


Bears & Vikings

Do we even dare to hope?

By the way, we're going to stop posting about Blackhawks games since they lost their winning streak after we praised the ownership.


Favorite Time of Year

No, it's not the Christmas music - that becomes grating after a while.

It's Winter Parking Time!
  • The city's Winter Overnight Parking Ban begins Tuesday.

    There are 107 miles of city streets [..] considered "critical arterial streets." Beginning at 3 a.m. Tuesday, there's no parking on those streets from 3 to 7 a.m. The ban ends April 1.

    There are 107 miles of city streets [...] considered "critical arterial streets." Beginning at 3 a.m. Tuesday, there's no parking on those streets from 3 to 7 a.m. The ban ends April 1.
This year promises to be especially entertaining with all sorts of "pay boxes" cutting into neighborhood parking and the new overnight bans here and there. Expect the TMA's, Streets and Traffic Units to be out in full force with tow trucks galore.


Daley Lied?

  • Mayor Daley is going on the offense in arguing for his beloved Tax Increment Financing program — but experts say he is being less than truthful about what critics dub a “shadow budget.”

    Daley has held news conferences and conducted radio interviews about “TIF”s in recent weeks. But in just 2 1/2 minutes during one radio interview, experts say Mayor Daley told a number of falsehoods about the controversial economic development tool.

And the article points out the most egregious lies. It's a great read. Shortshanks is rapidly losing his grip on reality.

Go read it all.

Labels: ,

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Cop Injured by Squad

  • A Chicago police officer chasing a shoplifting suspect on foot was injured by a police vehicle responding to the scene on the Northwest Side tonight.

    The officer was being treated for non-life-threatening injuries and the suspect was being questioned after being captured by other officers tonight, police said.

    [...] One officer who began pursuing the shoplifting suspect on foot was struck by a police vehicle that responded to the scene [...]. The suspect was arrested, and the officer was being treated at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center...

The officer is expected to recover. Careful out there.


Dorothy Brown Told "No"

Shortshanks's lap dog and voter splitter, Dorothy Brown, was told to drop her challenge to Toddler's petitions:
  • Cook County Board President Todd Stroger will stay on the ballot for the Feb. 2 Democratic primary election after rival Dorothy Brown’s campaign dropped a challenge to Stroger’s nominating petitions.

    The embattled incumbent filed fewer signatures than his challengers, and it took him longer to collect them.

So one of the Daley's has something up their sleeve by allowing Stroger to remain on the ballot so far. Either they're going to allow three black candidates to fracture the minority vote so O'Brien gets the nomination or someone else will be told to drop out before the ballots are printed.

We can't imagine they're going to let the republicans win.


Dumb Luck

Sometimes, luck is just being in the right place at the right time with a little helpful geography.
  • It took Google Earth, a little deer psychology and a freak shot.

    But bow-and-arrow hunter Joe Graber's persistence may have won him a coveted Boone and Crockett Club trophy for killing one of the largest deer this season in Illinois - a 25-point buck.

    The 35-year-old Edwardsville construction worker had caught glimpses of the monster whitetail in Madison County for years. And recently, he used Google Earth to map likely paths it used.

    It wandered down one of those paths as Graber waited on Oct. 26. His shot deflected and the arrow ended up going through the deer's ear. The startled animal slipped off a cliff, into a creek and drowned.
We might be a little embarrassed to be telling that deer story at the bar this winter.


Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday Specials

Shortshanks specials this Friday:
  • One "bean" - scrap metal value $43.12
  • One airport - $1 billion or best offer
  • Park land, open and free (museum optional) - best offer
  • "merit" promotion of your choice - see Rugai for price list
What's left to sell?


Hawks on a Tear

Eight in a row?

Four-for-four on the circus road trip so far?

Three shorthanded goals against San Jose on the way to a 7-2 pasting?

Hossa gets two goals in his first game of the season following surgery?

Thank you Rocky Wirtz.


Chicago Unemployment

We're sure conventions fleeing the city aren't helping matters any:
  • The jobless rate in the Chicago metropolitan area rose to 10.4 percent in October from 10.1 percent in September and spiked from 6.1 percent in October 2008, the Illinois Department of Employment Security reported Wednesday.

    The area shed 178,600 jobs over the year, the biggest of all metropolitan areas, followed by the Lake County-Kenosha area, which lost 12,300 jobs.

And mortgages?
  • Twenty-one percent of homes in the Chicago metropolitan area were underwater -- worth less than the mortgages being paid on them -- at the end of the third quarter. That is according to a report from California-based First American CoreLogic.

    A total of 324,448 properties in the Chicago area had negative equity.

Still a long road ahead. Maybe too long.


Why Truth in Sentencing Matters

Served half his sentence, then took under a month to find a gun on parole and shoot at the police:
  • Charges have been filed against a parolee police called a "possible suspect" in a police involved shooting at a hot dog stand Monday afternoon on the Far South Side.

    Kenneth Brown, of the 7100 block of S. South Chicago Ave., who police said was a "possible suspect" in the incident that occurred Monday at 3 p.m. at Jim's Original hot dog stand, 16 E. 95th St., was arrested because he fit the general description of the offender.

  • Police said Brown was convicted in 1994 for an armed robbery, sentenced to 30 years and was on parole for it at the time of his arrest Tuesday at 9337 S. Wabash Ave.
Someone e-mailed that this was one of Governor Quinn's "early parolees" but we can't locate any evidence of that. He doesn't fit the profile of a "non-violent" offender, but appears to have served 15 years of a 30 year sentence. At this point we're assuming he's just a regular piece of shit criminal who should have served something a lot closer to the 30 year sentence rather than 15 years.


"Reduced Service" Day

  • Friday is scheduled to be a "reduced-service" day in Chicago, where as a money-saving move the city will shut down most city services, leaving only a skeleton crew to handle emergencies and conduct necessary business such as collecting revenue.

    About 11,000 workers are expected to stay home the day after Thanksgiving and again on Christmas Eve. The first of the three reduced services days in 2009 was Aug. 17.

    City workers also have been taking furlough days throughout the year to help reduce payroll costs.

For some reason, this includes shutting down half the fueling stations in the city so squads and fire equipment have to travel miles out of their areas to refuel, contributing to backlogs, increasing response times and reducing backup. We thought the automation of the fueling stations would have eliminated the need for shutting them down at all (it's automated, see?) but that doesn't seem to be the case.

On a brighter note, about three-quarters of the exempt staff are taking their mandatory furlough days this long holiday weekend and for some reason, the Districts and Units are operating seamlessly. Useless meetings are down, reductions in paperwork are reported and somehow, operations continue without a hitch.

Next year, mandatory furlough days are going from 12 to 24 for exempts. We'd propose expanding that to 48 days at a minimum. It seems to be working wonders.


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Chicago Christmas Tree

Was that about the lamest Daley Plaza Christmas Tree lighting last night or what?


Happy Thanksgiving

Sure, we complain on this site a little bit. And our readers complain a bit.

But we have some semblance of health, the checks are still clearing the bank, Daley is on the ropes. There's plenty to be thankful for.

Don't let your guard down as shorthanded as we are. Have a safe holiday.


Arizona Common Sense

  • On Tuesday, the Department of Economic Security began requiring urine tests for adult welfare recipients whom officials had "reasonable cause" to believe were illegally using drugs.

    The tests are mandated by a new state law that prevents DES from giving cash assistance to adults who test positive for illegal-drug use. Officials believe the bill, which the Legislature passed during its third special session, could save the state $1.7 million a year in cash assistance.

It might save $1.7 million a year? Anyone have the rate of drug usage in Chicago? Because we imagine testing here could save $1.7 million A DAY.


Asshat of the Week

Once again, Bobby Rush is a moron:
  • “Justice has not prevailed and justice has not been done,” U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL) told reporters after the sentencing.

    [...] Rush questioned the emergency response to the incident, which authorities say began with a security guard using pepper spray in the crowded club. That triggered a rush to the front exit of the building that left the victims trapped on the stairwell.

    Rush also wondered “if this [club] had been predominated by white citizens whether or not riot police would have been called rather than rescue police.”

Could someone let us know what rescue police are? Or riot police for that matter? Is this some heretofore undiscovered clout unit of the Chicago Police Department we are unaware of?

One could also wonder what all those black politicians and businessmen were doing covering for an illegal club that operated under their protection for months, maybe years without permits, licenses, insurance, evacuation plans, inspections, etc.

But that would be racist according to Bobby Rush.


Blogger Problems & Blogger Milestone

Evidently, e-Blogger has been having a couple of issues we're discovering via trial and error. Some comments are being deleted, lost in cyberspace or listed as published when in fact, they aren't. Furthermore, if you closely read the time stamps on comments, they are out of whack badly in places. These are all things we can't control, so we're all going to have to wait for the Blogger people to fix it. Last time this took a few weeks.

On a happier note, we passed 16 million page views Wednesday. And if traffic holds up over the weekend, we'll pass 8 million visitors sometime Friday, Saturday at the latest. Thanks for everyone's visits and contributions. We couldn't do it without you.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Pension Board Meeting

Anyone have the info on Tuesday's meeting?

An entry in the comment section states that the retiree rep Hauser and the Lieutenant rep Maloney sided with the City appointees on a number of procedural motions:
  • Today at the Pension Board Meeting PO Mike Shields and Sgt. Mike Lazarro made 2 motions. 1 was for a vote of no confidence against John Gallagher, and the 2nd was to put a letter of admonishment in John Gallagher’s file for playing secret squirrel regarding Weis and Co. and our Pension Fund. All 4 of our ELECTED TRUSTEES were present, only 3 of mayors appointed trustees were present. Both motions were voted down because RETIRED PO KEN HOUSER AND LT. JIM MALONEY sided with Gallagher and the city’s trustees with a 2-5 vote denying the motions.
We also heard a rumor that the head of IPRA is in our pension somehow? Supposedly, Gallgher refuses to release any sort of list of who is actually paying into our pension and stunts like J-Fed and Co. sneaking in the backdoor demonstrate a definite need for absolute transparency regarding Pension Board dealings. These cockroaches have been operating in the dark for far too long and something needs to change in light of the sad state of our underfunded pension.

And evidently, Hauser and Maloney need to be removed by their respective voting blocs, too.


$1 Million - and More?

One of the amusing things about being the police is how some people treat you like you aren't even there. If they're in a car, they stop 10 feet before the line, they signal lane changes a block away, they pause at green lights. They aren't ignorant of your presence - they're trying to be nonchalant.

But sometimes, people really don't see you, don't think you have ears, or maybe they don't care if you overhear something they figure you must already know because, hell, you're a cop, you know everything already.

First, you have Sneed's column Tuesday:
  • Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez is seeking to raise the $250,000 bail of Sgt. Pallohusky to $1 million "because it's thought Pallohusky, who was a big gambler, stole a lot more money than the original report of $600,000," said a source.
  • Sneed is told 38 "hefty-sized" trash bags filled with financial documents were seized indicating the thefts "may have exceeded $1 million," the source added.
Coincidentally, a cop is on an upper floor of 26/Cal after reading this very article. Two individuals in suits are in the elevator with him chatting about the "nine years worth of Time Due slips seized at Pallohusky's home." They see the cop with a slip and joke, "You better make sure you turn that in."

Obviously, they were a little ignorant of the fact that you always turn in OT slips. But one has to wonder about the "nine years" worth of slips seized by the State. This is getting uglier by the minute.


Oh God No!

  • A Chicago police spokesman said two officers have been reprimanded after an investigation into an Internet video of behavior at the G-20 summit in Pittsburgh in September.

    Chicago police spokesman [...] said reprimands were issued to a department chief as well as a commander. Police wouldn't release their names.

Two officers? That's a bit misleading.

How about "two gold star exempts who should have known better if they had actually read the General Order about Processing Persons Under Department Control and gotten a promotion based on a test containing that order."

A bit wordy, but a lot more accurate. And once again, two completely different systems of accountability.


"Shortshanks" Custer

  • Nebraska and 37 other states are supporting a challenge to Chicago’s ban on handguns.

    The U.S. Supreme Court said earlier this fall that it would hear the lawsuit four people filed challenging the city ban.

    One of the plaintiffs, Otis McDonald of Chicago, said he wants to own a firearm within city limits so he can protect himself in his home.

Daley is going to lose this one and lose it badly. But by golly, he's going to spend tax money defending this hill until the very last Indian scalps his still twitching corpse.

Actually, that's kind of a pleasing image.


Casinos Bankrupt?

  • Don Barden said he's planning no layoffs at his two Majestic Star Casinos in Gary following his company's filing Monday for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

    Majestic Star Casino LLC claims in a petition filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware to owe Gary $7.45 million, naming the city as its 10th largest creditor. The filing also arrives while state lawmakers are considering a move to land-based casino gambling in Indiana.

On one hand, this gives pause to the push for a casino here in Chicago as the solution to all of Shortshank's money problems.

On the other, it's a great opportunity for a professionally run organization to step up and open a legit casino that is a model for casinos world wide.

Hahahahahahahaha. Professionally run casino in Chicago? We amuse ourselves sometimes.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Easy Question

  • You could call it a tale of two streets. One of them is perfect; freshly resurfaced with nice sidewalks and curbs. The other is a mess.

    They're just a block apart in the same ward in the Beverly neighborhood. As 2 Investigator Pam Zekman reports, residents in the 19th Ward were pretty angry over how their alderman has been spending a special fund intended for ward improvements.

    They wanted to know why does one street get help and not the other?
We know! We know!!
  • So what's the difference between Bell Avenue and Leavitt Avenue? The local alderman, Virginia Rugai, lives on Bell.
We saw that answer on Final Jeopardy the other day!


$2.1 Billion?

Shortshanks is missing out on a great opportunity. Toddler, too:
  • Governor Pat Quinn helped launch the Illinois firearm deer hunting season and promoted the economic and quality-of-life benefits of nature-based tourism and outdoor recreation during a visit to Pike County Saturday.

  • Tens of thousands of deer hunters were in the field in West-Central Illinois and throughout the state Friday through Sunday for the first three days of the firearm deer season, the release said.

  • There are more than 1.1 million hunters and anglers in Illinois, according to the release. The two sports provide a statewide economic impact of $2.1 billion annually and support more than 22,000 jobs.
Open up some of these Forest Preserves in the city and surrounding suburbs to hunting so the deer aren't running into traffic or starving to death. Bow hunting at the least.


Caught on Camera

Twinsburg, Ohio.

The suspect is removed from a vehicle, searched and his pockets emptied onto the hood of the squad car. About 12 seconds into the video, he eats what is thought to be the hold up note:

Funny stuff.


Fake Signatures?

Toddler barely got enough signatures as it was. Now Fox32 finds out a bunch are fake?
  • There's a long history of "ghosts" populating political payrolls in Illinois. But a Fox Chicago News investigation has found another political phantom at work-- writing phony signatures and addresses on nominating petitions for Cook County Board President Todd Stroger.

    The questionable signatures are among nearly 200 collected by Cedric Giles, a friend of Stroger's who holds a $111,000 management job at the Cook County Bureau of Health.

    Fox Chicago News found vacant lots at some of the addresses of listed on Giles' petitions. In other cases there was no one matching the signature living at the given address. At 3740 West Douglas there was no Linda Henderson. Instead, there is a Revolutionary War statue in the middle of a boulevard.
Sounds like an ACORN-type scandal. Maybe Toddler can be knocked off the ballot before he even gets to the primary?

Yet another example of the media doing the job they should have been doing 20 years ago.


Monday, November 23, 2009

AdMin Fax Screwup

As most coppers know, every month openings are posted to Districts and some Units where spots are available for bid. Bids are open for a few days, closed, then successful bidders move around on Change Day. Most times the bids are 3 pages - rules on bidding, openings, and a signature page. On rare occasions it runs to a fourth page. But the fourth page was never like this.

Here's the cover sheet - note that the AdMin Fax was originally supposed to be three pages long:

And here's page four, a memo (that probably wasn't supposed to see the light of day) listing what openings are to be posted for bid and what we can only assume is an actual real number of how many openings the district is short:

In case you can't read it, the list is as follows:
  • 004 District 5 (openings) -41
  • 005 District 3 (openings) -13
  • 006 District 3 (openings) -14
  • 014 District 2 (openings) -29
The first question we have is did they manage to fill all 40 openings in 003 last month since they don't even have a single opening listed? We didn't see 40 transfers headed that direction.

The next question is if 004 has 5 spots open for bids but they're really 41 officers short, wouldn't it follow that if 003 had 40 spots open for bid, they were actually 328 officers short? Parking must be easy as pie in 003!

In any event, the four districts listed are a combined 97 officers short and the Department is only letting 13 officers move around? And expanding those numbers, the entire "600 officer shortage" must be concentrated in the Patrol Division. So what about the Detective Division? We heard they're short a few hundred. Sergeants are short a hundred, lieutenants are short almost 50 and captains are around a dozen.

That "600 short" is looking more and more like a slight "miscalculation." And the shortages are a safety issue - not just for cops, but citizens, too.


PB&PA Officials Resign

  • On 22 November, 2009, the Board of Directors of the Chicago Police Sergeant’s Association held a special meeting to discuss recent events effecting the organization. At the meeting the board took the following action:

  • The Board accepted the resignation of John Pallohusky effective immediately.
  • The Board accepted the resignation of Mary O’Toole effective immediately.
  • Vice President Robert Kirchner has assumed the office of President immediately.
  • Sgt John Stahl from the Inspection Division, who worked as an accountant before joining the Police Department, was appointed as Treasurer.
We know we have a lot of sergeants (and lieutenants, captains, gold stars and Mike Masters) reading the blog and we are as sickened as they are that fellow cops could even be accused of perfidy like this.

We also stand by our previous statement that J-Fed's comparison of the accused as "Bernie Madoff" is misguided at best...
  • Madoff stole around $18 billion from ten or more thousand people, ruining countless lives. This sergeant stole dues money from 1,200 fellow cops, not retirement nest eggs
...and prejudicial to a potential jury pool at worst...
  • Madoff ruined lives from coast-to-coast and was rightly painted as a monster.
Those commentators ripping us for making part of this story about J-Fed's inappropriate statements must not remember he is supposed to be the Superintendent of Police, not the State's Attorney, not the Judge and certainly not the jury. Even Shortshanks has had sense enough to keep his mouth shut about this one.


Ha Ha Ha!

Now this is some funny stuff, we don't care where you live:
  • The folks in Canaryville love red light cameras during the Holidays. All you got to do is put the family in the back of the pick-up truck, run the red light at 47th and Halsted and you got yourself a Christmas card picture. Cheaper than going to Sears.
We're loading up the pick-up now with the kids dressed in their Christmas finest.


Olympic Candles?

Is it true that the candles passed out at the "2009 Festival of Lights presented by Mayor Richard M Daley" had stickers strategically placed over "Chicago 2016" logos?

It would truly be amusing if so.


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Exercise in Futility?

Bears are three-point dogs at home tonight and pretty much 100% pooches with the offensive line.

The Blackhawks on the other hand are looking pretty sharp the past few weeks, winning 6 in a row including the first two of their Circus road trip by convincing 7-1 and 5-2 margins.

They're playing tonight on the west coast, so after the Bears dig themselves a hole at halftime, we'll be switching over.


We Can Only Hope

  • Mayor Daley's decision to blame the media for Oprah Winfrey's career-altering choice to pull the plug on her syndicated talk show after her 25th season is preposterous. But it's also incredibly revealing.

    When the mayor said, "You keep kicking people, and people will leave," he just might have been talking about himself. Daley has been on the warpath about the media in recent months -- to the point of aggressively challenging reporters.

Challenging? Here's a mayor, born into privilege, silver-spoon and all, never had to dirty his shoes walking to school, barely passed, may not have even passed the bar exam without a bit of "help," moved from one political job to another, never on his own achievements but on the backs of others' skills, jumps into the mayor's job because someone died and gets an almost free ride for two decades and then some from the media.

Now he's pissed because some people are finally noticing the emperor has no clothes and hasn't had any for twenty-plus years? Get over yourself Shortshanks. Has anyone seen the Tribune advertisements about how they're "keeping an eye" on the political class? If the Tribune and it's ilk had been keeping an eye on Daley for the past twenty years, we wouldn't be in this cesspool we're currently drowning in.

Any halfway decent politician can sweep into the 5th Floor next election. We only hope Shortshanks is giving serious thought to leaving. Maybe even in handcuffs.


What Did He Say?

How many years was this doofus with the feds? And he said what?
  • Police Supt. Jody Weis labeled Pallohusky the "Bernie Madoff" of the sergeants' association, referring to the New York financier sentenced to 150 years in prison for stealing billions of dollars from investors.
Huh? Madoff scammed tens of thousands of people out of billions of dollars in a Ponzi scheme of epic proportions. This is an alleged theft of $600,000. A largish amount by regular folks standards, but only two years salary for J-Fed.

You'd think he'd have learned the difference working with the feebs. They're mostly accountants nowadays. The only thing J-Fed seems to have learned is how to (A) go for the flashy statement, (B) get the soundbite on the news, and (C) listen to what Masters says because he's the guy the mayor sent over to keep an eye on shit.


Another "Duh!" Moment

  • Cars and trucks slammed into each other 28 times at Western Avenue and 63rd Street in 2006, the year before the Daley administration installed red-light cameras there in the name of safety. In 2008, the year after cameras went in, accidents at the Southwest Side intersection soared to 42, according to state data.

    It was not an aberration. Cameras are said to reduce accidents, but collision records compiled by the Illinois Department of Transportation indicate that accidents increased at many city intersections the year after red-light cameras were installed. In fact slightly more intersections saw an increase than a decrease, the data show.
This has been noticed time-after-time in most studies that at camera intersections, people tend to "panic stop" lest they get a ticket. And given today's abysmal state of driving ability, tailgaters and speeders, rear end collisions increase dramatically in these instances. A number of states have ended up pulling red-light cameras from service because of the marked increase in accidents.

Also noted in the article (and pointed out here a few years back) is the dramatic falloff in revenue on a per-camera basis as drivers get used to the controlled intersections.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

McCormick Place is "Broken"

  • For the third time in two weeks, the high cost of doing business with McCormick Place has cost the city another important trade show.

    Now Jerry Roper, one of the most respected convention veterans in Chicago, is not pulling any punches as he offers advice to halt the exodus.

    "It's broken at McCormick Place and we have to fix it," Roper told CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine.
This on the heels of another show cancellation. And what's causing all these massive costs?
  • "There's no doubt in my mind that that should not have taken place," Roper said. "You have union issues, and you have shows leaving, and you've got pressure from either legislators (saying) 'Do this for me, do that for me. I want to get one of my friends or relatives a job there.'"

    Six-figure-salary jobs. Combing McPier's $300 million budget, we found 45 of 500 McPier employees have annual salaries of more than $100,000. That's nearly 1 in 10, compared to 1 of every 30 city of Chicago employees earning more than $100,000.
But we thought the mayor said hiring was all fixed and the federal monitor could leave town? Wait a's all fixed? Or it's all "fixed"? Suddenly, everything becomes clear.


Where the Money Goes

  • They come from miles away for free treatment at Stroger Hospital, and if you live in Cook County, you're paying for it.

    And it's not just in Illinois. Doctors and hospitals from all over the Midwest are telling patients without insurance to go to Stroger.

  • In 2008, 26,000 patients came from the Collar Counties; 25,000 were from downstate counties; 1,800 came from Indiana; and 5,200 were from other areas.
$50 million worth of subsidizing the downtrodden of other counties and other states. $50 million could have saved the Toddler a lot of heartache in the media and in his own Board Meetings. Hell, you save $50 million in these times and you're on your way to re-election in a landslide. As it is, every idiot commissioner who isn't raising a stink about this deserves to lose their jobs.

Labels: ,

Masters Tribute Video

Honoring the mayor's eyes and ears:


Global Warming is Dead

Links here...



Watch the mainstream media ignore this.


Friday, November 20, 2009

What the F!@#????

  • A Chicago Police sergeant was arrested this morning on allegations he stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Chicago Police Sergeants' Association, a source said.

    The sergeant, whose name was not disclosed, is a member of the association, the source said.

    He was the target of a joint investigation by the Chicago Police Department and the Cook County state’s attorney’s office.

    Officials are expected to reveal more details of their investigation this afternoon.

Supposedly, $600,000 in union funds was diverted to some property scam out-of-state. The sergeant is the president of the Sergeant PB&PA and more officials may be involved.


Police Shooting

  • Chicago police shot and critically wounded a man tonight in the city's Ravenswood neighborhood.

    No officers were injured in the shooting around 9:30 p.m. in the 5100 block of North Leavitt Avenue, police said.

    Officer responded to a report of a man with a knife and shot the suspect, reportedly a man in his 30s, police spokesman [...] said. [Police spokesman] didn't know if a knife was recovered at the scene.

We don't know about you, but we always look for the "No officers were injured" line first. Good job Officers.


Clown College

Found on the walls of numerous roll call rooms:

Feel free to print and post on yours....if it isn't there already.


Cozzi on the Bracelets

A message from Bill:
  • Even though I have major problems, I will survive I want to thank all of you guys that are making the $10 donations to the families of our fallen brothers and sisters. John Northen told me about the sky blue wristbands that just started circulating throughout the department... I love you guys! I also hear that the CPD and CFD are showing much more UNITY during these stressful times..

    You don't know how precious your cards and letters are to me. John asked me this forced choice question: What makes my otherwise miserable existence down here a thousand miles away from home: Without a doubt, that's easy: MAIL CALL! I am so grateful to SCC and SLC for prominently posting my mailing address at the top of their blog sites. John also told me that at the FOP meeting Tuesday night, a full house unanimously believes my mailing address should appear in the December FOP Newsletter. With thanks to Mark Donahue and Greg Bella, I have been receiving the newsletters at Oakdale. Aside from that and your letters and barring national news, I have no idea what's happening in Chicago and the CPD. I can't receive subscriptions to the Tribune and Sun-Times because of the distance. Oakdale will not accept newspapers unless they come directly from the publishers.

    I have reached my alloted limit for paperback books. Please hold off until John informs you otherwise.

    I can't deny it. I'd like to be upbeat but I''m depressed, homesick, lonely and isolated. Basically, I keep to myself. I agree with John. I have no idea why the Bureau of Prisons sent me down to this miserable place rather than Oxford, Wisconsin. In order, I get the distinct impression that most of the other inmates do not like police officers, Northerners and certainly Chicagoans, Catholics and people of Italian ancestry. Again, your mail has made me stronger and I will survive.

    Please wear the wristbands and donate to the families of our murdered police officers.
    When you gather around your Thanksgiving feast with loved ones next Thursday, I will be thinking of your kindness.

    Have a Happy Thanksgiving. God bless you!

    Bill Cozzi


Bye Bye O

Oprah makes it official:
  • Winfrey plans to tell viewers on Friday's show that she will retire the Chicago-based syndicated gabfest at the end of her current contract, which runs through the 2010-11 season, her 25th on national TV. It's going to be a long goodbye.

    Harpo Inc., Winfrey's company, on Thursday confirmed her move to end the program that spawned a multimedia empire, making her one of the country's wealthiest and most influential people and giving rise to several best-selling authors and other daytime talk shows.
While not as big an impact as some of the conventions at McCormick Place, Oprah is a tax generating entity. All those restaurants and coffee shops throughout the 012 District did largish business with all the suburban housewives coming in for a day on the town with Oprah.

Death by a thousand cuts is still dead. And that's Chicago's economy circling the drain.


CPS Attendance Soars

  • Some Chicago Public School students are absent from the classroom for 95 days. That's more than half the school year. CBS 2 [...] has been crunching those unbelievable numbers, and they are staggering.

    CBS 2 looked into neighborhood schools. It seems Marshall High on Chicago's West Side posted some of the worst attendance numbers. In 2008, the average days absent per student totaled 95. It was 75 at Harper, 72 at Robeson and 71 at Clemente...
So how many of these brilliant scholars are being counted on the first day of school so Daley Inc. can get all sorts of Title I money and then the kids are never seen or heard from again...that is, until they're gunned down. Suddenly, they're "another Chicago Public School casualty" that is used to smack the Police around for not doing enough to "save this poor child."

Once again, we're going to point to the community and the lack of family structure as the beginnings of this failure. The schools merely have bad material to work with, no matter how many pretty charts Huberman comes up with. He did the same thing with the CPD and it had the exact same effect on crime that it's having on the CPS - zero.


More $$$ Shortages

Tickets up, but revenue down?
  • Money collected from Chicago parking tickets is down ... way down.

    Revenue dropped nearly $4 million this summer compared to the same time last year.

    That's interesting especially considering that city officials say they handed out 12,000 more tickets this summer.

    Last week, the Web site reported the city has started booting cars with more than two unpaid tickets in an attempt to collect some of that money.

Trouble in River City.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Pension Board Meeting Alert

From the comments:
  • Pension Board Rep Mike Shields said he needs support at the next pension board meeting to ensure that the civilian high ranking members trying to steal from our pension fund are indeed forced out.

    The next scheduled meeting of the Pension Board is November 24th Tuesday, 0900 hrs. at Policemen’s Annuity and Benefit Fund
    221 North LaSalle Street Suite 1626
    Chicago, Illinois 60601
Remember, someone let these feds into our pension fund in the first place. Shields needs our help to ensure it not only stops, it stops ever happening again. We don't doubt that there are more than a few civilians who were snuck into the pension fund on the orders of Shortshanks. Police pensions should be for police only - not hacks and feds flown in under the radar.

Labels: ,

Police Board on the Hot Seat

  • The civilian Chicago police board responsible for disciplining officers has backed the police superintendent's recommendations for terminating officers only 37 percent of the time, though the city's top cop has recommended firings in 97 percent of the cases, according to the report by the Chicago Justice Project, which advocates public access to justice-related information.
Then an aldercreature wants them to explain themselves:
  • Chicago’s disciplinary board for police officers would have to explain its votes for the first time and would see its compensation slashed under an ordinance introduced today by Ald. Robert Fioretti (2nd).

    Fioretti is reacting to a recently released report by the Chicago Justice Project that showed four of the Chicago Police Board’s nine members missed more than 20 percent of the board’s meetings over the last decade.

    “They get stale serving on these boards,” Fioretti said. “They look at it as a place to show up and get a paycheck. The board needs fresh blood.”

Funny he should mention "fresh blood." We've been getting quite a few reports that "fresh blood" is going to be the least of the Police Board's problems in short order. And remember, the entire Board is appointed by one person - there are no layers of insulation between him and them.

Labels: ,

Relief is on the Way!

Plans are on the board to hire 86 (that's eighty-six) new recruits sometime between now and Christmas.

That's assuming that there are
  • eighty-six names still on the list,
  • eighty-six people who can pass the drug and power tests,
  • eighty-six people who have waited through about three years of no hiring movement whatsoever,
  • eighty-six people who are willing to disrupt their lives to the extent necessary to become the police in an economy where not only are jobs scarce, formerly "recession-resistant" jobs such as the police, fire and municipal employees are being forced or requested to take off massive amounts of time and a retirement future that is about as bleak as an Antarctic winter day.
And that will just about cover the 591 vacancies and hold the Department through the upcoming 2010 budget year when 1,000 more police become eligible for retirement.

Welcome aboard recruits! Don't mind the water rising in your steerage compartments. It's all part of the charm.


Another Trade Show Gone?

  • Chicago's standing as a trade show center faces yet another pummeling as the National Restaurant Association weighs whether to take its 2012 trade show elsewhere, according to sources close to the negotiations.

    An exit by this McCormick Place star--a top show here for more than a half-century--would be a third brutal punch to the city, which in the past week lost two other shows.

    The plastics industry trade show, a triennial event, announced Tuesday it will move its 2012 and 2015 shows to Orlando after nearly four decades in Chicago. And the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society last week said it would move its 2012 annual meeting to Las Vegas.

    Both cited the cost of doing business in Chicago as the major factor in their decisions.

The Restaurant people haven't verified this one yet, but the fact that they're only committed to Chicago through 2011 speaks volumes and gives them unprecedented leverage in making their decision. The plastic industry trade show said they'll save $20 million by not showing up and they're similar in size and scope to the Restaurant convention.

We could actually be witnessing the dissolution of the last of the Rust Belt cities before our very eyes. An even bigger blow could be the 2010 census if Illinois loses another few seats in Congress.


Huberman in 2002

A reader with a sharp eye and an even sharper memory dug up this little beauty from Crain's in 2002. Sounds an awful lot like the puff piece Crain's just did on Masters:
  • Paperwork, the bane of every beat cop's existence, will be shelved for good here.

    "Within 12 months, the Chicago Police Department will go completely paperless," says Ron Huberman, a uniformed officer who carries a gun and two master's degrees. "I am 100% confident Chicago will be the leader in police technology."

    Already, Chicago police officers can mine a database with 4 million arrest records to track down a suspect by nickname or the description of a tattoo.

    Mr. Huberman, who heads the office of information and strategic services, is working with California-based database software giant Oracle Corp. to put a laptop in every squad car, extending the computer revolution to all aspects of police work.

    That means detectives will start working a case five minutes after the beat officer files a crime report, instead of three days later, says Mr. Huberman. "They will spend more time solving crimes."

    The technology vision starts with Police Superintendent Terry Hillard, but Mr. Huberman's job is to make it work on the street.
So evidently, we went paperless in sometime in 2003, We have laptops in every squad car...oops, we mean every Tahoe, and the Detective division is working cases 5 minutes after we submit a report on AIRA.

That 5 minute window doesn't begin until we locate a Sergeant to approve the case report in AIRA, who spends 25 or 30 minutes attempting to locate the report after it disappears into cyberspace, and the hour or two the report bounces back and forth between rejections and final approval. And that doesn't include the massively overloaded and shorthanded Detective Division that hasn't seen a Detective promoted in 2 years and counting now. How's that clearance rate looking compared to 2002? 33% and falling? Wow.

And meanwhile, Huberman has gone through two more non-police jobs while simultaneously attempting to steal a police pension. Amazing.

Labels: ,

J-Fed Wants an Extension

According to a few comments, an e-mail and at least one carrier pigeon letter, J-Fed is in negotiations for a contract extension, touting the low number of homicides on his watch.

At this point, we wouldn't bet against Daley giving it to him. The only thing that may justify not extending his stay would be his salary that far outpaces even the mayor's paycheck.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Attention SCC Fan

Contact us ASAP. Use e-mail link.

UPDATE: We have located the individual to whom we needed to speak to. Thanks for all the concerned e-mail. And don't worry, we've deleted all your e-mail addresses as we always do - we don't usually send them to overseas spammers.


Med Examiner Blames Police

Not only was this one of the fastest (if not THE fastest) declaration of suicide we've seen in a long time, it's also the quickest in blaming the police - not from some play cousin wasn't on the scene - but from an actual government employee involved in the investigation:
  • The medical examiner says, after a complete autopsy with two police detectives present, all the forensic evidence leads to suicide. The police department does not want to make that same conclusion, however, until it is ready to tell Michael Scott's family that a thorough police investigation was conducted.

    Tuesday, the medical examiner says that investigation began with the police breaking the law.
That is a hell of an accusation to make right off the bat. The body is barely cold and the M.E. comes out with "it was suicide" and "the police broke the law." And how did they break the law?
  • "Moving the body from a scene without notifying the medical examiner is actually a violation of our ordinance," said Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Nancy Lynne Jones.
So the time stamps are off? We're pretty sure someone in 018 called the M.E. There wasn't any doubt the M.E. was going to want the body. Could we get some clarification on this? Because Doctor Jones is throwing out a bombshell here and remember, she works for an office that once declared that a TASER had killed a subject, completely disregarding the fact he had three times the lethal dose of methamphetamine in his system. All to facilitate a lawsuit.

She's hanging her hat on this tidbit:
  • "This was a hard, contact-range gunshot to the head, which means the gun was held against the head and pressed into the head, which is something we see in suicides," Jones said.
Yeah, you see that in gangland-style executions, too. We're just throwing that out there. Has anyone seen a GSR report on Mr. Scott?

Labels: ,

Another Oddity

Not only do you have the police brass actively holding up closure on this case...:
  • But police brass decided not to close the investigation after speaking with friends and family, all of which had serious concerns that Scott -- a man with seemingly few troubles and no outward signs of distress -- wouldn't have killed himself.

    Police note that no suicide note was found on Scott's person or at his home. They're in the process of searching his Blackberry, the Sun-Times says.

(we're sure they're waiting a day or two for mail deliveries to family, friends and media)

You have this interesting bit of tape:

There's a whole series of these things on showing Arne Duncan, Danny Davis, Rickey Hendon all in the company of one Michael Scott.

Just what the hell is happening around here? Besides business as usual we mean - there's just an undercurrent of something. Something very wrong.


Another Nail in the Coffin

Chicago's convention business continues it's slide into irrelevance:
  • McCormick Place is losing a second key piece of its convention business within a week, as the plastics industry trade show has decided to move to Orlando for 2012 and 2015 after nearly four decades in Chicago.

    The announcement this morning comes on the heels of a decision by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society last week to move its 2012 annual meeting to Las Vegas.

    Plastics show officials said they expect the decision to yield up to $20 million in savings for exhibitors and attendees, with about half that coming from savings in travel-related costs.
Imagine that - saving $20 million just by not even showing up in Chicago. If that isn't the saddest commentary on Daley's Chicago, we don't know what is.



Don't know how this one slipped past us. Don't know why the media isn't giving it bigger coverage either:
  • State Representative Annazette Collins was robbed at gunpoint by a masked man on Chicago's South Side.

    The legislator from Chicago was with her sister walking near 61st and Woodlawn around 8 p.m. Sunday. They told police a gunman wearing a black ski mask and skull cap demanded a purse. He took Collins' bag and fled on foot.

    Neither woman was hurt.

    Investigators say the theft happened in a courtyard that was unsecured because of a glitch due to the new area code that requires 11-digit dialing.

Just kidding! We know exactly why no one is giving this big coverage. And so does everyone reading.


A Real Enforcement Tool

Someone grew a brain at Council Chambers evidently:
  • People caught driving on a revoked or suspended license in Chicago could soon have their cars impounded.

    An ordinance to take that action was approved today by the Chicago city council's police and fire committee. A previous, similar proposal failed because the Department of Streets and Sanitation did not have sufficient room for impounded vehicles.

    The new ordinance goes before the full city council Wednesday.

Now will it pass the full Council? Remember, this is going to come down on those who think that driving is a right, not a privilege. And on owners who lend their cars to people who shouldn't be anywhere near a bicycle, let alone a vehicle. This could be interesting.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

J-Fed's Handler

Masters Masters Masters:
  • A lean policy wonk with a Harvard Law degree and a master's in international relations from Cambridge at the cop house?

A Harvard law degree? A Cambridge masters degree? And he's stuck here in Chicago as a civilian in a police job? Must have been a truly lousy lawyer. How do you feel about this J-Fed?
  • Mr. Weis says it was he who wanted Mr. Masters: "I can count on him for what I really need: honest feedback. And that's hard, historically, in a department where, whatever the superintendent says, it's done."
Hahahaha. Oh lord, you must have earned every cent of your over-inflated salary the day you said those phrases - did it hurt? Did you need a shower afterward? Did you gargle with battery acid? Oh, and this Department was always run by the First Deputy...until Cline got here. Just so you don't look like more of a completely out-of-touch boob next time.

Continuing on:
  • A meticulous bureaucrat who was a teenage troubleshooter for former Alderman Bernie Hansen (44th)...

Teenage troubleshooter? Meticulous bureaucrat? Gee, what's not to love? He has "Machine hack" tattooed all over his body. Which makes him what, boys and girls?
  • "He's sort of like the eyes and ears of the superintendent, even if he's with the superintendent," says Alderman Walter Burnett...
That makes him a spy. For Shortshanks. Is he still running around with a pistol?

"Earned, Not Given" our asses.

UPDATE: At the request of Crain's Chicago Business, we've removed the copyrighted photo of Masters (Masters Masters). We've also removed most of the full text of the linked article so as to fall into the realm of "fair use."


4 and 2 Signed

NOTE: Post originally published 10:15 pm on 16 November - we moved it up near the top since it's very fresh and affects 80% or more of the Department.

Taking effect on 10 January. Here's how it affects everyone immediately:
  • · 17 November: publish notice

    · 17 - 24 November: submit watch selections

    · 25 November - 02 December: process watches and make new day off group assignments

    · 02 December: post watch selections

    · 03 - 17 December: select furloughs

    · 17 - 22 December: process furloughs

    · 23 December: post furlough selections


Cozzi Bracelets

A worthy cause:
  • You've expressed your outrage.
    Please show your support.

    We are now selling light blue rubber bracelets for Bill Cozzi. Some say, "Free Bill Cozzi" and some say "Remember Bill Cozzi." Bracelets will be sold for $10.00 each.

    The original intent was to raise money for Bill and put it into an account for when Bill gets released from prison. If Bill was unable to collect, the beneficiary of that account would be the Police Memorial Foundation. After talking to Bill and his family, Bill is declining the money but is asking that all proceeds go directly to the Police Memorial Foundation.

    Bill was a big supporter of the Police Memorial as he ran the 5K and donated money to the Foundation. What a kind and generous act on his part to think of the Police Memorial Foundation instead of himself while he is going through such a difficult period in his life.

    The selling of the bracelets will serve 2 great purposes. Wearing it will show support for Bill and buying it will support the Police Memorial Foundation.

    Please remember what happened to Bill can happen to any one of us and it's important not to forget about each other.

    These are being sold by a group of people who feel it's important to remember. Today is the first day of the sale. Bracelets will start filtering out to the districts this week. Of course, you can find them in Bill's old district.

    They will also be sold tomorrow, 17 November at the union meeting and in the union store.

    It would be a great show of force for all of us to stick together and wear these. Thanks for your support.


Is It Just Us...

...or was this about the quickest determination of "suicide" in a Chicago death investigation in recent years?
  • The death of Chicago School Board President Michael Scott was ruled a suicide this afternoon by the Cook County Medical Examiner's office. He died of a gunshot wound to the head, officials said.

Of course, the web Scott operated in is now a hotbed of conspiracy theories. The list of people interviewed in the Sun Times article is a veritable "Who's Who" of political intrigue and insider connections:
  • A stunned Rev. Jesse Jackson showed up at the scene...
  • U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, the former CEO of the Chicago Public Schools, issued a statement...
  • Ron Huberman, who replaced Duncan as schools CEO, was at Scott’s Near West Side condominium this morning to offer condolences to family and friends. He was joined by schools spokeswoman Monique Bond...
  • Cook County Board President Todd Stroger issued a statement...
The list of aldercreatures is extensive, too. And then there are the intriguing parts:
  • Scott was Daley’s long-time go-to guy but raised eyebrows earlier this year when he disclosed to the Sun-Times that he had been subpoenaed by a federal grand jury investigating how students were selected for the system’s elite selective-enrollment high schools.
  • In August, he was forced to answer questions about his involvement in a development proposal near the the proposed Douglas Park Olympic site.

    He insisted he would not profit from the deal.

  • On Monday, Carothers cut off a conversation with a reporter when asked whether he had recorded any conversations with Scott.
Questions, and more questions. Especially about that wire Ike was wearing.

UPDATE: Even John Kass is wondering - especially about the location, location, location:
  • And in Monday's daylight, after the TV cameras had left, it seemed reasonable that Scott could have easily made his way there.

    But the night before, in the dark, it would have been all but unnavigable. He would have had to walk right under the cement counterweight for that old drawbridge, then scramble underneath an iron fence, then down a little embankment overgrown with weeds and strewn with trash.

    He'd have walked over broken bottles, old rags from some homeless wanderer. There was a syringe on the ground.

    Scott would have walked out along part of the cement river wall running under the bridge. It is about 5 feet below street level, next to an old boarded-up bridge house. It's quiet, even in the day. At night it would be all but silent.
Even J-Fed contributes to the conspiracy!
  • "We know what the ME ruled," said Police Superintendent Jody Weis. "But there are a lot of questions out there."


More Magic Money

  • Chicago will be free to demolish hundreds of abandoned homes in suburban Bensenville to make way for new runways at O’Hare Airport, thanks to a $16 million settlement advanced by a City Council committee Monday.

    Peace has been in the works since last spring, when Frank Soto unseated Bensenville Village President John Geils, who led the charge against O’Hare expansion.

    [...] That includes traffic and landscaping plans and demolition controls, including temporary fencing. The Daley administration has also agreed to repair and replace Bensenville’s stormwater and wastewater infrastructure if it’s damaged during demolition.

If past history is any indicator, there are cost overruns even in knocking down empty buildings whenever Shortshanks is involved. This open-ended agreement to "repair and replace" seems to be rife with potential for "overruns."

But it is nice to see the Shortshanks's golden goose is still laying million dollar eggs.


Monday, November 16, 2009

Petition Total - 11,012 (UPDATE - 11,187)

We knew this was a quixotic endeavor. 122,000 signatures in 20 days was a near impossibility.

That being said, with no organization, no warning, no real motivation but disgust and anger with a system that has bled the city and taxpayers for decades and an aldercreature talking out of his ass, we managed to motivate a gathering of 11,000 signatures in 20 days. For a blog that generates 10,000 hits a day, that's not a bad showing. 11,000 votes can make a difference.

First up, thanks must be expressed to Sgt. John Northen (retired). John volunteered to collect, bind and submit the petitions. While we didn't reach the magic number, without his stepping up to be the person in front of the curtain, we wouldn't have had even this small showing. Hopefully, he inspires some others to take their place at the head of what may become a grass-roots-type effort the next time around.

Second, the circulators. You weren't willing to take the word of naysayers and pessimists of which there were plenty in our comment sections and in the field. Many of you probably had your doubts (well-founded doubts) but you did the work anyway. The longest journey starts with the smallest steps and this was a small step. A better organization with more time may very well make the difference next time. Hopefully that organization is being created right now.

A special thanks goes out to the Chicago Fire Department. They were overrepresented in their signatures and in their collecting of signatures. A lot of good-natured teasing goes on between our departments along with some underlying resentments. We have to learn that we are on the same side of many issues, and together we can make some lasting changes that will benefit all of us.

And finally, the signers. Whatever your motivation, courage, disgust, vengeance, putting the pen to paper is the simplest and most powerful of acts. Voting is another. Participation is the key and you participated.

We'll be posting on the effort again shortly and where we might be able to take it in the future. Thanks to everyone who participated. Believe us, it wasn't a waste of time. Not by a long shot.

UPDATE: An additional bunch signatures were received by Sgt. Northen this morning. Had this been actually filed this AM with the Board of Elections, they'd have been out of the running, but as we can't file so shortly, we'll add them to the total.

UPDATE: With a final hand delivery, the total became 11,187.


CBS 2 Declares War?

Looks like someone was cleaning out the old storage rooms at Channel 2 and located a set of testicles in a drawer that everyone had forgotten about.

First you have Pam Zekman doing a rehash of Fran Spielman's 29 October article pointing out the Department is short 600 officers. Combined with IOD, Medical and Limited Duty, the city is regularly short around 2,000 officers daily. Zekman dresses up her "investigation" with video and actual victims who have experienced the effects of the shortages firsthand - that's what television does, so we don't begrudge her that.

Then you have the Kurtis and Jacobson reunion. The newscast itself was a ratings stunt to recapture the old glory years, but Walter threw in a few punches with a return to his "Perspective" years, hammering Daley for making a whole bunch of stupid moves in recent months. Shortshanks was so upset that he had to throw in a few shots of his own the next day, which probably means Walter landed a few haymakers. Walter is no friend of the police and has his own axes to grind due to numerous drunk driving incidents and other arrests during the 1970s and 80s, but he did a good job rattling Daley's cage.

Now Jay Levine has a piece detailing the overabundance of "middle management" making 6-figure incomes while hourly workers are having hours cut, holidays canceled and being forced to take furlough days by the truckload:
  • Too many bosses.

    That's how some describe efforts to cut the city's budget by laying off workers. Hourly workers are feeling much more of the pain than their six-figure-salaried bosses.

    [...] The bosses weren't talking -- nor were the bosses' bosses -- about what we found in the mayor's $6 billion budget. In three departments alone, more than 200 top managers are each pulling in around $100,000 a year.

    Mayor Daley dedicated a restored railroad bridge Friday – a $4 million project he called investing in the city's infrastructure.

    Also on hand was the commissioner of one of three departments who employ 20 deputy Commissioners; 18 assistant commissioners and 25 assistants to the commissioner.

    "We don't believe we have an excessive number of managers within the Department of Transportation," Acting Transportation Commissioner Thomas Powers said.
Could it be a new day is dawning in the Chicago media? CBS might be testing the waters to see if there's actually a market for negative stories about the political class? Walter and Bill used to preside over a station that was in the business doing hard hitting investigative reporting. Nowadays, it's hard to tell which media outlet, print, radio or television, is buried deepest in Daley's ass. Hopefully, someone was looking for some fresh air and found a way out.

Labels: ,

Quotas Are Back in 017

That's what we hear at least:
  • My sources tell me that the 017th District 3rd Watch W/C (KB) is calling officers in & telling them that if their activity does not improve he will have to place them in the "Personnal Concern" Program. Is this action a threat making the 3rd Watch a Hostile Work Enviroment, an EEOC Complaint or both. Is he acting on his own or with the Commanders Orders? Just asking??

  • please address this scc,officers in 017 dist. called in by 2nd watch comm. 3rd watch comm.about performance, giving neg reviews.. this is a hostile work enviroment. activity, activity, numbers. numbers
We aren't sure, but this doesn't seem to rise to the level of a "Personnel Concern." Let's see...Administrative Order 05-04 - Personnel Concerns Program, Section V-C (we're summarizing here:)
  1. sustained excessive force CRs
  2. four instances of "program eligible conduct" from the "Nondisciplinary Intervention Pilot Program
  3. sustained domestic violence CRs
  4. sustained intoxication CRs
  5. sustained penalties of 10 days or more
  6. five sustained CRs in 5 years
  7. two performance grades below a 76 (which hasn't been done in 10 years or more)
  8. one performance grade below a 70 (again, a defunct system)
  9. two SPARs for being AWOL
  10. psych evaluation
  11. Behavioral Intervention System failure
Nope, nothing in there about activity. In any case, always request Union representation, a witness if possible and notification in writing and make sure the captain cites the appropriate section of Administrative Order 04-05.

Sounds like the captain is about to make a whole bunch of coppers very happy this Christmas. Sounds like the Commander might be on the hook since he's allowing this to go on.


Passing the Time

The guys over at had a bit of fun with this picture:

Channel 2 picked up on the story. It seems that most of the tickets were written by Streets and Sanitation supervisors for street cleaning violations and the Department of Revenue who ordered a tow from the wrong address and then forgot about it. The district wrote a few tickets, too, but seeing the tow numbers written on the car, probably assumed the tow had been ordered.

We're pretty sure most cops have a certain area, a certain block, maybe even a certain car they zero in on for a short time and just tag it for days on end to pass the time.

Pardon our laughter, but this is funny as hell.


Unlucky #3

What is it about the number 3 that seems to be so unlucky as of late?
  • Aunt Bea was the #3 in the Department when her property was the target of a search warrant that turned up guns, drugs and her daughter;
  • Steve Peterson carried the label of #3 in media reports when his house was broken into and his property was stolen;
  • the 003 District has been posting 30 or more openings (40 last police period) for over half-a-year and can't fill a single on of them;
  • J-Fed has a 3-year contract;
  • J-Fed makes three-hundred thousand a year;
  • FBI has three letters;
We're sure there are more instances of "3" having a bad connotation, at least as far as the Department is concerned. Have fun with it.


Newer Posts.......................... ..........................Older Posts