Saturday, December 31, 2011

Celebrate Safely

Be careful tonight. Please. All joking aside about "amateur night" and other such nonsense. An amateur can cause as many problems as a professional.

Be safe.


$10,000 Reward

  • The police Memorial Foundation is offering a $10,000 cash reward for information leading to an arrest; call 1-888-YPO-SHOT (976-7468). The foundation's representative at the press conference said it is giving Lewis' family a $50,000 check in coming days.

And if the story couldn't get impossibly sadder...

  • Lewis, who McCarthy said has received 81 commendations for his police work, had proposed to his girlfriend, Tamara Tucker, only after asking her 18-year-old son, Keyonta Thomas, for permission. On Christmas morning, Lewis pulled her son aside and asked for her "hand in marriage," said Thomas, 18.

    "I am just at a loss for words," said Thomas, who said he saw Lewis as a father.

    "He was just as a father (to me). ... He took me in as his child."

    Ron Tucker, Tamara's father, also mentioned that the couple had just gotten engaged Christmas Day.
Funeral arrangements to be posted shortly.


Tax Cut!

  • Starting Sunday, the next time you dine out or buy a big screen television in the Chicago area you should find a little extra change in your pocket.

    That’s because the dawn of the New Year means Cook County’s sales tax falls a quarter cent. In most parts of Chicago, the combined city, county and state sales tax rate falls from 9.75 percent to 9.5 percent on all retail purchases except groceries.

    Likewise, taxes on a restaurant tab will fall a quarter cent but will vary depending where you dine out. Restaurants inside a special taxing district that includes downtown Chicago will see taxes fall from 11 percent to 10.75 percent, for example.

    But don’t get too excited: Chicago retains the dubious distinction of having the highest sales tax rate of any big city in the nation.
Now....where to spend our gains. Not Chicago, and certainly not Cook County. Suggestions?


Friday, December 30, 2011

And If That Wasn't Bad Enough...

We're taking this one down for now. The amount of conflicting information available at this time leaves us little recourse.


Thursday, December 29, 2011

Officer Down

Channel 9 reporting an off-duty officer shot, transported in critical condition to the hospital. We're trying to find out details.

Prayers for the Officer.

UPDATE: Breaking News link. Austin and Division neighborhood.

Stroger Hospital.

UPDATE: The Officer has died of his wounds:
  • A off-duty Chicago Police officer died after being shot Thursday evening while working security at a grocery in the West Side Austin neighborhood, police said.

    He was shot during a robbery around 8:30 p.m. at M&M Quick Foods in the 1200 block of North Austin, officials said.

    The officer died at Stroger Hospital, officials said.

    Jerod Dent, 25, who lives near the store, said the officer had just been hired about a week ago after the store was robbed about three weeks ago.

Regular posting will be suspended tonight. Sarcasm & Silliness have a time and a place and unfortunately, this isn't it.


Assailant Shot, Killed

  • Police responding to a domestic incident on the Southeast Side early Wednesday shot and killed a man who allegedly lunged at them with a knife.

    The fatal police-involved shooting happened about 1:40 a.m. in the 9500 block of South Avenue L, according to Scott Ando of the Independent Police Review Authority.

    Officers were responding to a domestic disturbance in a third-floor apartment and saw a man armed with a knife as they walked in, according to a statement from police News Affairs. The officers announced that they were police and ordered him to drop the knife. He then lunged at them and the officers fired at him, the statement said.

    The man was fatally wounded, the statement said. The officers were not injured, and the knife was recovered at the scene.
Good job officers. Expect lots of calls from Chuck Goudie though - he thinks you're out of control.


Taste of Chicago

  • Taste of Chicago will be chopped in half to a five-day event next summer, and the city's annual smorgasbord will be moved to the middle of July from its traditional late June start.

    The festival will run from July 11 to July 15 in Grant Park, according to a news release from the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.

  • Cultural Affairs officials said they would consider shortening the event in an attempt to move the Taste back toward profitability, and that the focus would remain on the food served by local restaurants in Grant Park, rather than on big name entertainers like Stevie Wonder who have appeared at Taste in years past.
Good call shortening the fest, moving it away from the 04 July week, and limiting the number of restaurants. But they still aren't charging admission or fencing off the area - bad call. We'll have to see how it all shakes out. At least the ashes and wreckage from the G-8/NATO summits will have had time to cool off.


XO Order Out

You can find it in the Automated Directive section of the Department Intranet or from home at the Department website. We're going to read the whole thing in short order, but here's something someone found just scanning the order:
  • Sergeants will be going to the academy next week to get 8 hours of training to do the work of the Watch Commander . . opps.. "District Station Supervisor".

    8 HOURS????????

So no more Desk Sergeants, but they want Sergeants to do Watch Commander work? And not at Captain's rate? We're sorry, but the PBPA ought to be fighting this and the FOP ought to be backing them. If the city can force people to do jobs that they aren't qualified for, well, let's just say that opens up all sorts of cans of worms in the future that really ought to stay closed. We have contracts for a reason.


Rumors Heat Up

That time of year:
  • This just overheard.
    True to his Management Style in New Jersey and New York, G-Mac, with the just given approval from Tiny-Dancer 9.5, is going to rotate at least 10 District Commanders and 5 Unit Commanders by the beginning of the New Year.
    He believes that no Commander should be in any one place too long. If your C.O. has been in place for three years or better say bye bye.

No idea if there's anything to it, but it helps to keep the bosses nervous.


Look at All the Savings

Has anyone been totaling up how much money is being saved by the lack of snow?
  • No expenditures on salt;
  • No snowplow OT;
  • No tearing up the streets, curbs, light poles, parked vehicles;
  • No extra maintenance/wear-and-tear on equipment;
  • No de-icing and associated costs at either airport;

Maybe they can apply this windfall to the pension shortages. Or send us a rebate.


Snickers Returns

  • Following a legal battle, a retired Chicago police officer is reunited with his dog in Iowa.

    Days after Jim Sak moved to Aurelia, Iowa, to be near his ailing mother, a meter reader reported Sak and his wife to city officials because their dog looked like a pit bull. Aurelia has a ban on all pit bulls.

    Snickers is a service dog. Sak suffered a stroke in 2008 and counts on his pet to keep him safe.

    He sued the town to get his dog back and won.

    Wednesday, Snickers was back home with his family.

Thanks to everyone who signed the petition and called Jim with expressions of support.


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Crime is Down...

Crime is down....

Crime is down....

Crime is down...must keep repeating:
  • Two people were killed and five others wounded when shots rang out at a fast-food restaurant in the Englewood neighborhood on the South Side this evening, authorities said.

    The gunman had gotten into an argument with a person outside the Church's Chicken restaurant near 66th and Halsted streets, then chased the person inside and opened fire about 6:5

    Surveillance video appears to show the intended target trying to run away through a crowd of people, police said. No one was in custody, police said.
Nothing short of carpet bombing will ever solve Englewood.



  • Gov. Pat Quinn called Sears’ store closings regrettable but said he wasn’t second-guessing the legislation he signed in to law days ago giving the Hoffman Estates-based corporation a series of tax incentives to keep its headquarters in Illinois.

    “We expect the headquarters to stay here and the jobs to be here, that’s what the agreement is all about,” Quinn told reporters Tuesday morning after an unrelated event at the Thompson Center in downtown Chicago. “The fact they have to close some stores around the country, that isn’t good news, but it doesn’t directly affect this agreement.

"directly" in that the corporate structure will remain exactly as it is, despite the downsizing of over 100 stores across the country? Because everyone knows corporate America behaves in exactly the opposite way Economics 101 tells us they must to stay solvent.


Opposite Ends

A bit of sporting humor today. Five Bears were named to the Pro Bowl:
  • Matt Forte's season ended Tuesday when the Bears placed him on injured reserve but the day brought some good news as the running back was named to the Pro Bowl for the first time in his career.

    Forte becomes the first offensive player general manager Jerry Angelo has drafted in 10 years to be selected to the all-star game, although he can't play because he was placed on IR with a sprained MCL in his right knee. Angelo now has selected eight Pro Bowl players in the last nine drafts.

    Forte was one of five Bears players named to the NFC squad, joining linebackers Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs, cornerback Charles Tillman and special teamer Corey Graham. Like Forte, Tillman and Graham are first-time selections.

Of course, the Bears are in the midst of a 5 game losing streak and are headed home after Sunday's final regular season game. We're sure that each of these selections would give it all up for a healthy lineup and a shot a the playoffs.

In the meantime, on the other side of town:

  • It took the Blackhawks 36 games to reach the 50-point mark. The last time they did it in 36 contests was in 2009, the season that ended with the Hawks hoisting the Stanley Cup.

    Let the comparisons begin.
OK, they're going to go far in the playoffs this year. How far? Lord knows....Lord Stanley that is.


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

No PAX 501?

Someone in the comment section posted this:
  • 28 Years of service and this is the first time in my career NO Pax 501 Holiday Message.

That just screams low-class. Anyone see any sort of holiday greetings from the command staff? Yeah, us either.


More Wilding?

Sporadic reports popping up in the comments about a number of teens, fresh from studying for the semester tests next month, are experiencing a rash of over-exuberance and are causing a whole boatload of problems in the area of Chicago and Michigan Avenues.

Anyone on scene able to verify?


Police Station Attacked!

  • Police say an intoxicated man drove his car into an exterior concrete wall at the Gresham District police station on the 7800 block of South Halsted Street early Monday morning.

    Nobody was injured, Chicago Police News Affairs

Now imagine that was a Vehicle I.E.D. If a drunk can get close enough to hit the building, imagine someone intent on harm.


They Got Cameras, Right?

If there's any place that has more cameras than a CTA platform or station, we'd like to know so we can avoid them also. And aren't cameras supposed to prevent crime?
  • A man was found shot at a South Loop “L” station this evening, police said.

    A 21-year-old man suffered a gunshot wound in the upper torso in the attack in the 1100 block of South State Street about 7 p.m., said Chicago Police News Affairs Officer Darryl Baety. The man was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in serious-to-critical condition, according to the Chicago Fire Department.

Remember, it's 100% safe on the CTA. Come downtown! Spend money!


Monday, December 26, 2011

Sworn Limited Duty Program

This popped up all over the comment sections just prior to the weekend. After enjoying our holiday, we did a little research into and here's what we have found:
  • Employee Resource Order #E03-01-03 was issued and takes effect on the first of the year;

  • Convalescent Duty is out, done, vanished;

  • To be placed in the "Limited Duty" status, you must be able to handle a gun; walk without the assistance of a cane, crutch, brace; be able to subdue an "active resister;" and drive a squad car;

This is not replacing the I.O.D. or Medical Roll. It seems to be more for long term recovery/long term illness people. The catch is that you are granted a total of 365 days on limited duty for your entire career. Once that's done, so is your career.

We've heard you have to apply for the "Limited Duty" status and if you don't make it, well...Back to the Beat with you. Discuss in this thread - we're sure we've missed something important.


Victim Fights Back

  • The tables were turned on a would-be iPhone robber who was pursued by the victim – a former wrestler – into the Loop’s Miller’s Pub after the attack on a southbound Green Line train early Saturday, police said.

    The victim was on his way to his Bronzeville neighborhood home on a southbound Green Line train in the Loop area about 1 a.m. and had his iPhone out when 20-year-old Christopher Dunn tried to take it, police said.

    A police source said Dunn “clocked him (the victim) hard in the temple,’’ but the victim -- in his mid 20s and a former wrestler -- fought back and the two “tumbled” out at the Adams Street station.

    The victim held on to his phone and Dunn apparently began to realize the man was overpowering him, so he fled down the “L” stairs and into Miller’s Pub, 134 S. Wabash Ave., police said.
But remember - downtown is safe. Nothing there to stop the tourists from coming there and spending money, right? Sadly, this is going to become the norm as Rahm guts the Department down to 8,000 bodies.


Brewing Scandal?

From the comments:
  • I guess the stupidity just doesn't stop. Ill keep it simple.... a grand jury that was conducted in rockford in reference to cpd just wrapped up. This time its pointed at narcotics... I guess some people will just never learn... the arrests and news are to break this week... and no, this is not a "you heard it here first". I feel disgusted to have heard the details about this story through the grapevine today... Just when the sos caper was rapping up we are are gonna get hit with this whopper. Way to go narcotics!!

Nothing like starting the year off on the wrong foot. And a contract year at that.

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Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

God bless us, everyone.

Merry Christmas from all of us here to all of you out there today. Be safe and get home to what's really important.


G-8 Problems?

  • Presumably as part of his long-term plan to run for president, Mayor Rahm Emanuel managed to bring the unique but risky combination of the international G8 and NATO summit meetings to Chicago next May.

    There is some obvious prestige for the city in hosting these events, though the economics are dubious. But there would be even more glory for Emanuel if all went well — even moderately well — considering that history shows much violence and damage stemming from the massive protests these meetings generate and battles between police and protesters.

    We don’t yet know all the details of how Emanuel plans to handle the protests: Will he easily grant the protesters marching and meeting permits, including adequate space proximate to the G8/NATO meetings? Will he make efforts to assure their voices will be heard? After all, Time magazine just named protesters everywhere the “persons of the year.”

    I don’t think we need these “prestigious” events held here, but it’s a done deed. What troubles me more is the first move Emanuel is taking by proposing a series of threatening, and repressive — if not outright dangerous — ordinances.

Of course, the Slum Times posts it in their Saturday edition, on Christmas Eve, so if the complete Doomsday scenario actually occurs, they'll be claiming, "We covered this possibility!"


Give the Points

Green Bay is favored by an even dozen points.

Take the Packers and don't worry about the dozen. The Packers are going to be gunning to avenge last week's perfect season spoiler by the lowly Chiefs and who better to take it out on that their oldest Central Division rival?


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Where Are the People Going?

Because they are leaving Illinois in droves:
  • Illinois residents are fleeing the state. When people leave, they take their purchasing power, entrepreneurial activity and taxable income with them. For more than 15 years, residents have left Illinois at a rate of one person every 10 minutes.

    Recent data from the Internal Revenue Service shows that, in 2009, Illinois netted a loss of people to 43 states, including each of its neighbors – Wisconsin, Indiana, Missouri, Kentucky and Iowa. Over the course of the entire year, the state saw a net of 40,000 people leave Illinois for another state.

    The data reflects a continuation of a trend of out-migration from Illinois that has lasted more than a decade. Between 1995 and 2009, the state lost on a net basis more than 806,000 people to out-migration.

    When people leave, they take their income and their talent with them. In 2009 alone, Illinois lost residents who took with them a net of $1.5 billion in taxable income. From 1995 to 2009, Illinois lost out on a net of $26 billion in taxable income to out-migration.

It also took representation out of Washington. And a helpful map to drive home the point:

How bad does it have to be that people are actually moving to Alaska from Illinois? The mosquitoes weren't bad enough in Minnesota, so they went farther?


Cutting Retiree Benefits

  • Retired police and firefighters from Central Falls, R.I., have agreed to sharp pension cuts, a step thought to be unprecedented in municipal bankruptcy and one that could prompt similar attempts by other distressed governments.

    If approved by the bankruptcy court, the agreement could be groundbreaking, said Matthew J. McGowan, the lawyer representing the retirees.

    “This is the first time there’s been an agreement of the police and firefighters of any city or town to take the cut,” he said, referring to those already retired, who are typically spared when union contracts change. “I’ve told these guys they’re like the canary in the coal mine. I know that there are other places watching this.”

    As cities, towns and counties struggle with fiscal pain, there has been speculation that they could shed their pension obligations in bankruptcy. Some have said it might, in fact, be easier for local governments to drop those obligations than it is for companies, which use a different chapter of the bankruptcy code.
Granted, this is a agreement, probably one of those "all or nothing" type deals that forced the retirees to take what they could get so they didn't end up with a court battle that might net them nothing at all.

You can bet the bank Rahm has already run some of these numbers and is watching the outcome of this very closely.


Two For One

Rezko gets to serve his sentences concurrently, meaning he'll be out long before Blago and even though he might be able to shed a lot more light on influence peddling that Blago ever could:
  • Convicted political fundraiser and businessman Antoin “Tony” Rezko will not spend any extra time in federal prison for a business fraud scheme after agreeing not to appeal his conviction in the case — or his conviction in a wider-ranging political corruption case.

    U.S. District Judge James P. Zagel sentenced Rezko Thursday to 7½ years on charges he schemed to get a fraudulent loan to prop up his Papa John’s Pizza franchises in Illinois and Michigan.

    But Zagel agreed to make the sentence concurrent with a 10½-year prison term Rezko received last month for corrupting state boards and state government under former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
We're guessing he'll do 8 years barring a pardon.

Oh, and he gets to do his sentence outside of Peoria in Pekin, IL. How convenient.


Friday, December 23, 2011

Police Shootings Up

  • This has been a tumultuous year for the Chicago Police Department. A new superintendent shook up long-established units, thousands of city cops got new assignments, and, according to new stats from the Independent Police Review Authority. Deadly force is up significantly in 2011.

    Chicago police officers were involved in more shootings the first nine months of this year than all of last year. Up to today, according to police records, officers here have shot 59 people, killing 22 of them -- nearly twice as many as last year. In all of 2010, Chicago police-involved shootings claimed 13 lives.

    Fraternal Order of Police officials say the increase in shootings by officers is a result of understaffing and of gang and drug units being gutted -- all of which F.O.P. spokesman Pat Camden says allows more guns to stay on the street.

At least Pat is out there explaining exactly why the numbers are up. And it's the fault of the criminals, not the police as Goudie implies.


Heartless Town

  • For 32 years, nearly half as a tactical officer, Jim Sak was a cop chasing down bad guys on the streets of Chicago.

    Now that he’s retired and living in tiny Aurelia, Ia., the townsfolk are chasing him — to get rid of “Snickers,” a five-year-old Pit bull-mix service dog he needs after suffering a debilitating stroke that left him with no feeling on the right side of his body.

    On orders from the Aurelia City Council, a heartbroken Sak has shipped his beloved protector off to a kennel just outside of the Iowa town where he moved last month to be closer to his ailing, 87-year-old mother-in-law. If he hadn’t gotten rid of Snickers, city fathers had threatened to seize and destroy the dog.

This isn't a stray. Or a fighting dog. We're assuming (quite safely) that the dog was trained and qualified by an organization that tests for temperament, compatibility and socialization skills.

Someone mentioned the Americans With Disabilities Act covers "helper" animals. That might be important seeing as how the City of Aurelia's attorney has stated the following:

  • George Wittgraf, an attorney representing the Iowa town, said Aurelia is “simply exercising its authority to protect and preserve the rights and property of its residents — whether or not that’s trumped by” federal law.
They feds always love when they run into someone like this. It makes them salivate. In the meantime there's on online petition at this link here. They're looking for 5,000 signatures (they've gotten just over 10% of that so far) and you have to leave a bit of personal info to get your name on the final document.


Oh No! Weather!

Seriously, this happens every year. In fact, it happened about the same time last year.
  • Snowfall in the Rockies, strong winds in the West and soaking rain in the South caused problems for holiday travelers on the first official day of winter, forecasters said on Thursday.

    A snowstorm swept across Colorado overnight, dumping up to 10 inches of snow in the Denver metropolitan area and up to two feet of snow in the foothills west of the city, according to the National Weather Service.
Wait a minute....this is the western US? In the Rocky Mountains? During December?


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Thank You for Your Patience

We have been hit by the bug that is going around. Please be patient; comments will be moderated as we are able. Open post for now.


Chicago Magazine Again

Watch out Chicago Reader. It looks like Chicago Magazine is starting to build some sort of rival to investigative reporter Ben Javorsky. The most recent article on the ties between Chicago gangs and politicians was a good start. Now they're putting two and two together with maps and wondering why they get four while the politicians are telling them it's actually five.

Here's a map of Chicago gang "territories:"

Somebody decided to overlay it with a map of Chicago homicides:

And then some other wise guy decided to compare that to the list of failing Chicago Public Schools:

If this keeps up, we might actually see a new generation of real investigative reporters pointing out uncomfortable truths to the masses, the political masters and even ::gasp:: their editors!

That's when the trouble will really start.


A Slider and a Nice Chianti

  • Here’s something to make the food slide down a little easier: White Castle, the 90-year-old hamburger chain, is testing wine and beer in one of its restaurants in central Indiana.

    The wine — a choice of two reds and two whites — comes in “a nice plastic cup, (with) the look of an elegant cocktail glass,” says White Castle spokesman Jamie Richardson.

    You’ll pay $4.50 for a one-serving bottle, he said.

    Or, there’s beer, including a seasonal microbrew — “A nice complement to the pulled pork with barbecue or a double cheese burger,” Richardson said. Beers start at $3.

    Alas, the concept isn’t coming to Chicago any time soon, Richardson said.

    The alcohol is being tested at a Lafayette, Ind. location that combines a traditional White Castle burger joint with a Blaze Modern BBQ, a new restaurant concept also being tried out.

A nice plastic cup and a bag of sliders. It just screams "high class."


What the...?!

Shaved had this up earlier. We thought it was someone's idea of a punchline gone bad. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on your sense of humor), it appears to be 100% true:
  • A case of brotherly love in South Carolina turned deadly after a young man agreed to eat cocaine hidden in his older sibling's buttocks, then died of an overdose.

    Deangelo Mitchell is seen in a police car video guilting his brother into ingesting the illegal substance because, he is heard saying, "I can't get no more strikes."

  • The 20-year-old eventually gives in. Deangelo can be seen removing something from his backside, then Wayne leans down and eats the drugs, police said.

    [...] A short time later, he was dead. Deangelo said his brother ate about an ounce of cocaine, authorities said.

An ounce of blow? That'll ruin your day.

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Cross Your Fingers!

  • Calling Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s bluff, the Hispanic Caucus has drafted a new Chicago ward map that cuts the City Council in half — with 25 wards nearly evenly divided between blacks, whites and Hispanics.

    The 50-member City Council is currently comprised of 22 whites, 19 blacks, eight Latinos and Ald. Ameya Pawar (47th), who is of Indian descent.

    The 25-ward map drafted by the Hispanic Caucus includes eight majority white wards, eight majority black wards, seven majority Hispanic wards, one Hispanic “influence” ward and one black influence ward.

    That more fairly represents a city now 32.9 percent black, 31.7 percent white and 28.9 percent Hispanic, according to Ald. Danny Solis (25th), chairman of the City Council’s Hispanic Caucus.

    “If it was 25 wards, we would be much better and more fairly represented because you’re starting from scratch. This would be welcomed by the caucus and me,” Solis said.

Not only is this an opportunity to cut waste, spending, redundancy in services along with the reduced size of a bloated Chicago political scene, it provides a unique opportunity for putting a boatload of politicians in jail as everyone jockeys for position, skeletons come out of the closet and deals are made over tapped phone lines. The entertainment value alone would be worth the attempt.

And there's no downside for the Hispanic caucus. They go from around 16% representation to almost 33% and then they trust demographic trends and "sanctuary" policies to give them an outright majority within a decade. They'll still have to wheel-and-deal to get the extra six votes or so for a 13-12 majority, but that's a lot easier than what exists at the moment.

Rahm may have made a misstep here - or the most brilliant misdirection since D-Day.


Got What He Deserved

  • A Park Ridge police officer acted within reason when he beat a suspect who grabbed his groin and refused to let go, police commanders said.

    Frank Slowik, 44, of Westmont was arrested early Dec. 15 outside Dominick’s, 1900 S. Cumberland Ave., said Park Ridge Police Lt. Duane Mellema.

    Officers were called to the store at 3:20 a.m. for a report of a possible shoplifter and encountered a man, later identified as Slowik, running from a store employee.

    Mellema said one of the police officers ran after Slowik, grabbed him and wrestled him to the ground.

    As the officers tried to restrain him, Slowik grabbed a second officer’s groin and refused to let go, Mellema said. The officer then struck him several times in the face with his hand in an effort to get him to release his grip, Mellema said.

Of course, the Slum-Times headline says "Suspect Beaten..." completely obscuring the fact that the jagoff was an assailant, intent on causing lasting permanent harm to the officer. The picture is great though:

All things considered, he got off pretty lightly. Nice job Park Ridge.


This Can't End Well

So you have a pension fund. It's doing poorly. In fact, it's the worse funded pension in the entire United States. It's losing money, lots of money, so what do you think the logical course of action might be?

  • The Illinois Teachers' Retirement System — the worst-funded major pension plan in the U.S. — is pumping more of its assets into higher-risk investments while using accounting methods that some pension experts say understate its funding shortfall.

    Springfield-based TRS, the state's largest pension provider, plans to allocate about a third of its $37.8-billion portfolio to alternative investments such as private-equity and hedge funds, a four-month Crain's investigation of TRS holdings and practices finds. These unconventional assets typically dangle the potential for higher returns, but only because they also carry greater risks and fees. TRS is shifting its portfolio while it's still developing an in-house risk-management system.

    Gunning for bigger returns exposes the plan to the possibility of bigger losses, further jeopardizing the pensions of 362,121 former and current teachers. The system, which has just 46.5% of the assets it needs to cover promised payments to retirees, is counting on an 8.5% annual return, which many portfolio managers and investors, including Berkshire Hathaway Inc.'s Warren Buffett, say is unrealistically high. If TRS banked on a 7.75% return — the rate that two other Illinois public pensions lowered their forecasts to this year — its assets would equal only 43% of obligations. That would swell its shortfall to $50.1 billion from $43.5 billion.

Lose another $7 billion - in a state that's how many billions in the hole? Detroit is looking like it might be a move up. Illinois and Chicago are rapidly headed toward Port-Au-Prince territory.


Oh, To Be Clouted

  • The City Hall practice of assigning public employees to work for the clouted After School Matters organization will end in January, according to the city's cultural affairs office.

    A Tribune review found two salaried city workers handling duties related to fundraising for the charity founded by Maggie Daley, the late wife of former Mayor Richard Daley.

    Responding to inquiries from the paper about the status of the employees in Mayor Rahm Emanuel's 2012 budget, the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events said the employees would be recalled to city duties beginning Jan. 1.

How about "recalled to city duties immediately and reimbursement sought from the so-called charity"? After all, it looks like this "charity" was a money laundering operation seeing as how people getting massive city contracts were making equally massive donations to an organization with a connected party in charge.


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Hey Look! Money!

  • Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration will announce Monday its cost-cutting has been more effective than projected: $83 million or $8 million more than the $75 million Emanuel targeted when he took office.

    Emanuel told department heads when he took office in May that he wanted them to cut all non-essential contracts for city services by 6 percent.

    He expected a few of them to come in and complain that it could not be done. None did. So instead of just $17.5 million in savings over what was budgeted, that brought in $23.8 million, Budget Director Alexandra Holt told the Sun-Times Saturday.

No word on how much of that "savings" is offset by "giveaways," "tax breaks," "connected contracts" and "raises to Rahm's people."

The article also has this gem in it:

  • “The city is still in a financial crisis,” [Civic Federation President Laurence] Msall said. “It still has a structural deficit. We estimated that at $650 million, and we think about two-thirds of that is eliminated in 2012. And there is still the ticking time bomb of under-funded pensions. But clearly Mayor Emanuel and his team are moving the city in a positive direction with this.”
That sounds ominous.


Echoes of Shortshanks

Still costing Chicago money, and again with the parking meter fiasco:
  • While Chicago’s infamous parking meter lease deal quietly celebrated its third anniversary the first week of December, the city was releasing documents chronicling more evidence the privatization of the city’s more than 36,000 parking meters turned out to be more costly for taxpayers than originally imagined.

    Financial statements, released by the Chicago Inspector General’s office via their Open Chicago government transparency initiative, reveals what many critics of the lease deal had feared–the city would end up owing or paying Chicago Parking Meters, LLC millions of dollars in compensation when any sort of change or activity by the city impacts parking meter revenue for the company.

    Financial statements for the company show that CPM has billed the city an additional $2,191,326 in “True-up Revenue” through the end of 2010. has a very in-depth report on how all these costs are being calculated and Chicago is getting stuck with astronomical additional charges.

A year or more back, someone sent us a series of pictures of streets where literally, hundreds and hundreds of meters had been installed, but never seem to be used - 13th Street or 14th Street between Ashland and Western - in what was supposed to be the new medical district. Does anyone know if these spots are playing into some future payout to the Chicago Parking Meter LLC people? Because the minute someone starts building a new hospital or research facility over there, those meters can be labeled "out of service" and the city will be on the hook for how many millions more?


Nickel and Diming

  • A North Side alderman wants to scale back Mayor Emanuel’s $2-a-day “congestion fee” for parking in the city’s garages and lots, so that it only applies during weekday business hours when congestion is an issue.

    Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) introduced the surprise ordinance at Wednesday’s City Council meeting, just weeks after Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s budget plan and $28 million “congestion fee” were unanimously approved by the aldermen.

Wait a minute....Tunney voted for the congestion fee before he was against the congestion fee? And what, pray tell, is his sudden objection?

  • Tunney said it doesn’t make sense to charge the congestion fee 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, when the city has invested millions of dollars in the theater district and is trying to encourage people to shop and dine downtown.
Well well well. You'd think a business owner and restaurateur would have realized that customers are kind of the point of even being in business. They provide profit to the business and tax money to the city. But he joined the other brain-dead idiots on the City Council in unanimously approving the additional fee.


Monday, December 19, 2011

Operation Santa

  • A caravan of police vehicles with flashing lights rolled through the suburbs and Chicago’s Northwest Side on Saturday.

    Some motorists might have thought a foreign dignitary was in town — at least until they saw the “Operation Santa” placards on the doors of the former Secret Service limo in the middle of the procession. The limo carried Santa and Mrs. Claus to the homes of six families of Chicago Police officers killed or seriously injured on the job.

    The first stop: Darien and the home of India Gordon. Her [...] husband, Officer Michael Gordon, was killed in 2004 when the squad car he was riding in was struck by a drunk driver. “We’re doing the best we can,” she told Police Supt. Garry McCarthy. “Seven years, it’s still hard.”

God Bless the families left behind, especially during the holiday season.

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Cops Injured in Wreck

  • Three police officers were injured this morning after a man looking for a way home allegedly stole a taxi cab in the Gold Coast neighborhood and then struck a police car as he was fleeing, police said.

    The incident was reported at 7:37 a.m. outside a Starbucks coffee shop at Dearborn and Division Streets when the cab driver flagged down a police officer to report that his cab had just been taken while he was inside the coffee shop, said Chicago Police Department News Affairs Officer [...]

    The man then drove the cab east on Division Street before turning south on State Street and then west on Walton Street when he went through a red light and struck a squad car carrying two officers with the Mass Transit Unit....

Not what you'd expect on a Sunday morning. Best wishes for a speedy recovery officers.


Unoccupy Chicago

  • 'Why would anyone want to live in Illinois?" So muses Curt Wooters, who works for the state and helps his dad run the family's sporting-goods store in Findlay, 200 miles south of Chicago. Imagine California without the sunshine, New York without the cultural elan, New Jersey without Chris Christie. That's Illinois.

    Mr. Wooters has another five years before he can retire, but he's advising his kids to leave the state after college. He's also talked with his dad about closing their shop because it costs too much to run a business in Illinois these days. Plus, "the customers are leaving town."

Chicago is sucking the life out of Illinois.


And in This Corner....

What the heck is going on in 013?
  • 013th District Watch Commander see's stars in broad daylight!

  • Off Topic: A sergeant from the Wild 013 punched the asshole Lt. S. From 3rd watch. IAD already here investigating! Stay tuned.....

  • Did LT DS get cold cocked by mild mannered sgt RS in the 013th District WC's office?

Leadership is sorely lacking if the white shirts are fighting among themselves.


Bears Win!

  • The Green Bay Packers’ perfect season came to a crashing halt against the struggling Kansas City Chiefs, who had just fired their coach and were starting a new quarterback.

    Proof again that nothing can be taken for granted in the NFL.

    Kyle Orton threw for 299 yards to outduel Aaron Rodgers, and the Chiefs rallied behind interim coach Romeo Crennel for a shocking 19-14 victory on Sunday that ended the Packers’ 19-game winning streak. It was their first loss since Dec. 19, 2010, at New England.

Maybe this is it? Nope, that's former Bear Rex Grossman leading the Redskins to victory and pretty much destroying the New York Giant's playoff hopes:

  • Rex Grossman threw a touchdown pass and the Redskins put a major hurt on the Giants and their playoff hopes with a dominating 23-10 victory Sunday in a game in which New York showed little desire with much on the line.
Well at least the ex-Bears had a good Sunday.


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Bears Favored? Again?

This hasn't worked out lately. Vegas has them as 3.5 favorites, but the only thing even keeping them in the game lately is the defense and those guys have got to be getting tired. Three games left and the playoffs a quickly fading fantasy.

What say the readers?


Why Would He Think That?

A dope dealer paying bribes to attorneys thought the money was headed somewhere else:
  • An admitted drug trafficker assumed the $15,000 he allegedly paid two attorneys more than a decade ago was used in part to pay bribes to Ald. Ed Burke (14th) and others to get the zoning on his Southwest Side property changed to build apartments, according to a motion by federal prosecutors.

    The dealer, Saul Rodriguez, is a government witness in the trial of former Chicago Police Officer Glenn Lewellen and five other men charged with drug conspiracy.

  • At a friend’s suggestion, Rodriguez met with two attorneys to speed things up. One lawyer suggested they get Burke on the phone and made a call, which Rodriguez assumed was to Burke. The other attorney allegedly told Rodriguez “this will be done shortly,” according to the government motion.

    Rodriguez said one of the attorneys told him the rezoning would cost about $15,000, and the money had to be paid to the lawyers before he could see Burke, according to the government motion.

    Rodriguez told federal agents he made the payment to the lawyers and met briefly with Burke, who said the rezoning would be no problem, according to the government’s motion. The City Council approved the rezoning in February 2000.

So he did meet Burke, but can't say for sure any money went to Burke, even though the rezoning went through. We'd hate to assume that anyone went back on their word - after all, if you buy a politician, he really ought to stay bought.


Remap Some Reductions

The Police Department is losing three districts and two detective areas in the ongoing remapping.

The Fire Department is rumored to be closing more than a couple of fire stations starting next year.

And the City Council?
  • Mayor Rahm Emanuel says he thinks aldermen will stay “laser-focused” on reaching agreement on a remap plan to keep taxpayers from financing an expensive court fight.

    As WBBM Newsradio [...] reports, Mayor Emanuel says he is optimistic aldermen will agree – and the remap issue won’t have to be decided in court.

Two-hundred-thousand people left the city last decade, but we aren't seeing any sort of reduction in aldercreatures. 311 has lightened the actual need for many of the aldercreatures' ward functions, but Chicago maintains what we believe is the largest City Council in existence.

Shared sacrifice and all that? Don't make us laugh.


Saturday, December 17, 2011


Once again, an entitlement mentality among politicians who think they're better than the people they're supposed to be working for:
  • How would you like a police chauffeur to give your kid a ride to school, or give you a lift to the gym?

    FOX Chicago News and the Better Government Association found one elected official using her police perk for more than the public's business.

    Chicago Treasurer Stephanie Neely is getting a free ride in an M-plated, unmarked, police car – by a full-time city cop.

This doesn't happen without permission from on high. And it's exactly what you thought it would be:

  • Around 6:30 on a Friday morning the officer drops Neely off at her South Side home after what looks like an early-morning trip to the gym.

    On a snowy Thursday, he was spotted bringing in her garbage can from the curb.

    The car is frequently parked for long stretches outside her home - at least once in the middle of the afternoon. The footage gathered includes the driver sitting outside the house, just reading a book.

    When they do move, it's at speeds so fast that FOX and the BGA couldn't keep up without getting pulled over ourselves.

Golly, it's just like having your very own butler/servant. And the part that made us smile most?

  • But here is what really caught investigators by surprise: Neely's son getting into the M-plated car all alone for a police chauffeured drive presumably to school.
Our readers could name half a dozen gold stars right now that use their city cars and city gas to do exactly the same thing. In fact, we can name a few that use their city cars and city gas to drive their kids to suburban schools. Anyone want to imagine what the liability would be if something bad happened?


Dispatcher Layoffs

Anyone else think the backlogs will get worse when they can't man the consoles at OEMC?

    Police, Fire and EMS Operators, Dispatchers and Supervisors being demoted and laid off from Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management

    CHICAGO, Illinois — The City of Chicago has agreed on its 2012 budget, which contains layoffs to 911 Operators.

    Cuts have been made to the front line of defense in Chicago. 911 Operators answer and dispatch equipment to any Police, Fire and EMS emergency and these cuts will effect the normal daily functions for emergency responses. Manpower shortages will lead to longer wait times for someone to answer an emergency call, which may lead to increased response times. Without these trained personnel available to answer the phones, the citizens of Chicago should be prepared for severe changes in the 911 experience.

    The Supervisors, Dispatchers and Call Takers take their jobs seriously and are greatly concerned about these cuts. In a statement, organizers of the protest said: “We do our job with pride and professionalism and fear that these cuts will make it that Emergency Services in Chicago will be inadequate, therefore endangering the health and well being of the Citizens and their property.”

    For more information on Occupy OEMC, visit, on Facebook, or send an email to

    About Occupy OEMC

    This group is comprised of 911 Operators and Citizens that are concerned about the dangerous situations these cuts to the Operations floor can mean to Chicago
Pretty soon, we'll only be handling hand-wavers because there won't be anyone to answer the phones or dispatch the jobs.


Who Screwed the Pensions?

  • Illinois' pension system was in precarious enough shape in 1994 that Democrats and Republicans came together to solve a crisis threatening the state's financial future.

    The agreement they forged was supposed to take politics out of pension funding by requiring a steady stream of payments over the next 50 years. The law was billed as an "extraordinary measure" that would finally force the Legislature to fulfill its "constitutional responsibility" to hundreds of thousands of state workers past, present and future.

    The promise proved to be an empty one.
The politicians did it? Who would have guessed?

Go read the entire article. It's a long piece but it explains a lot of what went on the last seventeen years.


Friday, December 16, 2011

Not Again?!?!

Please let this be a joke:
  • The superintendent met last night, Wednesday night, with about 60 parolees at the Relectory in Columbus Park. He asked them not to shoot at each other. Every boss in the department was there which meant they out numbered the parolees. I hope he asked them not to shoot at us, or did he forget that part. Parole agents rounded them up and ordered them to show up or it would be a violation of their parole. Complete joke of a meeting, please don't shoot. On a side note, is the superintendent's driver from Chicago? Does he really need a gigantic GPS on his dashboard. At least throw it on the seat before you pull up so it looks like you know what your doing!
If true, we're going to have to start calling this guy McJ-Fled.


Captains Sell Out Again

No idea what they got for their vote, but it looks like they've managed to screw lieutenants, sergeants and police officers from ever earning Out-of-Grade pay again.

They also sold out all the promotion lists since the city isn't going to promote to fill vacancies anymore to save themselves money. They can just order people to work as Acting Desk Sergeants, Acting FTO's, "Station Supervisors" (formerly Watch Commanders) and lord knows what else.

Who's got the scoop on this one?


Never Enough

  • Former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley has joined Coca-Cola Co.'s board of directors effective immediately, the beverage giant announced Thursday.

    "Mr. Daley brings significant public policy expertise and experience in creating sustainable growth opportunities for businesses and communities to our company," Coca-Cola Chief Executive Muhtar Kent said in a statement.

    As a non-employee board director, Daley's compensation will amount to $175,000 a year, with $50,000 in cash and $125,000 in deferred stock units.
And we actually used to like Coke.


Thanks For Not Shooting?

Can you imagine thanking a gang banger and wishing them a Merry Christmas for not shooting at you, your co-workers or your family? Or how about teaching your kid that these gangssters are worthy of any sort of respect, despite the fact that they traffic in poison, degrade the neighborhood and deal in death?

This woman is doing exactly that in Uptown:
  • I have lived in Uptown since the mid eighties. It is different now. Back then it was a bonified ghetto, with burnt out buildings, drunks to step over on the sidewalk and children of drug addicts playing on the streets in rags. Over the years it has changed. Like much of the North side of Chicago it has been gentrified. Starbucks and Borders, condos and a Target. Only there are still gangs.

    [...] The Black P Stones are a few blocks away on Magnolia, and they battle the Uptown Vice Lords who live on our street. In the summer the Vice Lords hang out near our building, behind the school. I hate that they are selling drugs, I hate that their leaders send younger members like so much cannon fodder to kill one another. Lives ruined, mothers crying for dead children. Gangs are easy to hate. It is easy to see the insanity of what they do.

But this woman isn't hating them. She's teaching her kid to respect them:

  • In the summer my family walks to where the P Stones hang, a park across the street from Starbucks that has a big water fountain. They are there with their families. The dads play basketball and the kids play with my kids in the water. The adults get a kick out of Jude, my big autistic son flapping and laughing in the water, and Eden, my eight year old, runs around with the other kids. Once one of the men made a joke about Eden’s bright red hair, and he scowled at the group of men, not wanting to be singled out.

    I brought Eden over and had him apologize. These members of the P Stone nation were incredulous, this lady making her kid apologize to them. “Just trying to teach him to be respectful,” I explained. Not because they were P Stones, or because this was their park. Because they were humans, people, who God loves and have mothers and children and matter. How am I going to teach my son that the homeless man on the corner matters if I deny the humanity of someone in a white tshirt? I didn’t say that. Mr. P Stone smiled at me, and nodded respect to my husband.

Respect? Highly doubtful unless your husband was packing a pistol or a something. And then she's thanking them for not shooting her husband, even though they just shot at least one person on her block:

  • Uptown is my home, just like the guy with the white tshirt at the park. Just like him I have sin, and a mother who loves me, and I need some direction, somehow to make sense of this sinful, broken world. Merry Christmas, Mr. P Stone. Thanks for not shooting my husband, and try to stay safe. Hope to see you next summer at the park. God loves you, and I am guessing your mother does, too. Take care.
We realize some people hold out faith in the general goodness of mankind and all, but the naivety on display here is just a-fucking-mazing. Man is an animal - a thinking animal - and will exploit other men to that end 999 times out of 1,000. Thanking a gang banger for destroying your neighborhood, shooting bystanders, poisoning the neighbor's kids, burglarizing your home and robbing you of your hard-earned material possessions? Darwin awaits.


Blago to Rehab

  • Convicted former Gov. Rod Blagojevich wants to enroll in a substance-abuse program at a federal prison outside of Denver, a move that could shave up to a year off of his prison sentence.

    Blagojevich’s legal team, however, has downplayed the request, briefly mentioning the drug program by only its acronym in court Tuesday, resulting in hardly anyone noticing among a throng of reporters. And then, a day later, the attorneys declined to comment at all.

    But the move raises questions about whether Blagojevich suffers from a real substance-abuse problem or is simply angling to reduce his stiff 14-year sentence.
The only addiction we see Rod having is an inability to shut the hell up and stop putting his own foot in his mouth. Which, incidentally, we'd like to see more of so maybe some investigator makes a run at Shortshanks, Madigan or another Machine politico.


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Shots Fired at Police in 011 (UPDATES)

  • No Chicago police officers were hurt when a gunman opened fire on officers on the city's West Side, authorities said.

    The shots were fired at Harrison District officers at about 10 p.m. Wednesday in the 1100 block of North Keystone Avenue in the West Humboldt Park neighborhood, police said.

    Police had no details, but said the shooter remained at-large late Wednesday.

    Numerous officers, including the district's commander, remained at the scene gathering details on the shooting, according to one district officer.

Be careful out there.

UPDATE: This is the second incident nearby within 12 hours, maybe less. 014 Tact was shot at near Spaulding and Division in broad daylight. That just about qualifies as Humboldt Park proper instead of this "West Humboldt Park."

UPDATE: One in custody:
  • Chicago police have arrested a man who they say pointed a handgun at officers on the city's West Side.

    Officers fired shots on the gunman, missing him, but taking him into custody after a brief foot chase at about 10 p.m. Wednesday in the 1100 block of North Keystone Avenue in the West Humboldt Park neighborhood, police said.

Keep safe.


Unholy Alliance

Linked below is the entire Chicago Magazine article outlining the rather cozy and completely corrupt partnership between numerous aldercreatures and Chicago street gangs.

It opens thusly:

  • A few months before last February’s citywide elections, Hal Baskin’s phone started ringing. And ringing. Most of the callers were candidates for Chicago City Council, seeking the kind of help Baskin was uniquely qualified to provide.

    Baskin isn’t a slick campaign strategist. He’s a former gang leader and, for several decades, a community activist who now operates a neighborhood center that aims to keep kids off the streets. Baskin has deep contacts inside the South Side’s complex network of politicians, community organizations, and street gangs. as he recalls, the inquiring candidates wanted to know: “Who do I need to be talking to so I can get the gangs on board?”

    Baskin—who was himself a candidate in the 16th Ward aldermanic race, which he would lose—was happy to oblige. In all, he says, he helped broker meetings between roughly 30 politicians (ten sitting aldermen and 20 candidates for City Council) and at least six gang representatives. That claim is backed up by two other community activists, Harold Davis Jr. and Kublai K. M. Toure, who worked with Baskin to arrange the meetings, and a third participant, also a community activist, who requested anonymity. The gang representatives were former chiefs who had walked away from day-to-day thug life, but they were still respected on the streets and wielded enough influence to mobilize active gang members.

It names names and pulls few punches. Taxpayer funded venues were used for recruitment and organization. Favors were solicited and promised. In other words, everything Chicago is covered. A good read. We'd even call it a must read.


This Will Show Them!

Thank god the mayor is finally taking the reins into his hands and showing McStreetlights how to run a world class city! If this doesn't keep control of the streets, then we don't know what will:
  • Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants to raise fines for resisting police as the city gears up for anticipated protests that will come with the G8 and NATO summits to be held in Chicago next May.

    Protesters found guilty of resisting a police officer or aiding escape would have to pay a maximum fine ranging from $200 to $1,000. Currently, the range is $25 to $500.

    The proposal introduced at today's City Council meeting also would allow Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy to deputize officers with other agencies, including the FBI and Illinois State Police.

And pay no attention to this little paragraph:
  • The proposal also would appear to give the mayor greater power to sign contracts related to planning security and logistics without City Council approval.
Chicagoans can sleep peacefully in their beds knowing that the Ramn-inator will be fining protestors and anarchists back into the Stone Age. It's almost revolutionary.


Guess Who's Out?

  • A man who once knocked out a woman’s teeth in the South Loop when she refused to give him a cigarette was arrested again this week when he threatened to kill a man while panhandling in the Uptown neighborhood, according to Chicago police.

    Derrick King, 50, was cited by critics of the state’s early prison release program when he threatened a woman in 2009, a day after getting out of prison for the brutal attack against Jennifer Hall on her birthday in August 2008.

    King was sent back to jail after the second incident and was released late last year. He has been arrested on misdemeanor charges three times since then.
This piece of garbage is a poster child for "Three Strikes," Concealed Carry and a ready-made poster child for a law-and-order type campaign to beat Quinn and any other soft on crime liberal asshole who believes in rehabilitation for someone like Derrick King is worth the time, effort or cost.

And look where he's hanging out. Uptown!


Prepared for Disaster? Ha!

From Yahoo News, this gem:
  • Disasters come in all shapes and sizes. Tornadoes and tsunamis, hurricanes and hail storms. The list of natural disasters is long, but the list of non-natural disasters is probably longer. Nuclear meltdowns, terrorist attacks and pandemic flus.

    Hurricanes have recently hit New York and New England, heat waves have descended on Moscow and massive floods have occurred in Australia. Let’s face it: life is a dicey proposition. In the context of catastrophes, you can run, but you cannot hide. That’s the bad news. The good news is that society has pioneered a powerful survival strategy. It has three parts: planning, more planning and still more planning.

    In this department, some U.S. cities are more equipped than others to survive the full spectrum of worst-case scenarios the universe has in store for them.

The least well prepared cities:

  • Pittsburgh; Fresno; Birmingham; Seattle; Albequerque

The best prepared?

  • Washington; Albany; Chicago; Dover; New York
Chicago? Seriously? With a grade of 97.3 out of 100? Who the hell is running this bullshit? The criteria must be set pretty low. We honestly can't remember feeling less prepared for a disaster, especially in light of the upcoming G-8/NATO summits with a mere 8 hours of training to prepare over 75% of the department.


Parking Tab Climbs

  • If Mayor Rahm Emanuel was looking to score political points using Chicago’s widely despised parking-meter lease, he’s found a platform in Chicago Parking Meters LLC’s demand for $13.5 million in compensation for motorists’ use of disability placards and license plates to park for free.

    “I just don’t write blank checks to companies that say that’s what we owe. I’m gonna be the taxpayer watchdog,” the mayor said Tuesday. “Now, they may say that’s what we owe. But, just because they submit it doesn’t mean that’s what we’re gonna pay. We’re contesting that right now in a series of discussions with the company.”

    Whether the issue might end up in court is unclear. An Emanuel spokeswoman said that the city has come up with an estimate that’s “significantly less” than $13.5 million. But both the city and parking-meter company have refused to discuss the negotiations further.

What's truly hilarious (and truly ought to be the subject of a recall or concerted challenger to every alder-asshole who voted for this abortion of a lease) is that Chicago Parking Meters LLC gets to choose what dates they count used parking spaces and how they "estimate" the total cost over the total year. We mean, it's not like they have a vested financial interest in their own estimated bill or anything like that, right? Fox guarding the hen house indeed.

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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

015 Demolished

Someone sent us this from the other day. We aren't sure if the job is done yet, but it tugged at our nostalgic side:

If you were lucky enough to serve in one of the tiny, cramped, ancient stations of yesteryear, you know exactly what we mean.


Even More Crime

  • An acquaintance of a man slain on the West Side last night reportedly came back to the scene this morning and shot four men in retaliation, one of whom died tonight, police said.

    The unidentified 34-year-old man lived in the 4400 block of West Jackson Boulevard but he was pronounced dead at Mount Sinai Hospital, police said. His condition was initially described as "grave,'' according to police.

    A lone gunman who is an acquaintance of 18-year-old Onay Lundy who died in last night’s attack shot the four men today “in retaliation’’ for his killing, police said.

So one dead last night, friends go get their guns, four more get shot with one dying at the hospital. The behavior seems so..... so..... so....

If there was only a word that Neil Steinberg could teach us to use in situations like these.


Rahm Apologizes in Advance

Not to the Police and Fire Departments that are going to get a royal screwing next summer. No, he apologizes to everyone who might be inconvenienced by the G-8 and NATO summits:
  • Mayor Rahm Emanuel is apologizing ahead of time for those who may be inconvenienced when NATO and the world leaders of the G8 gather in Chicago next spring.

    WBBM Newsradio [...] reports the mayor acknowledged Tuesday that some people who scheduled weddings, bar mitzvahs, ordinations and other events downtown next May might feel compelled to change those dates because of the NATO and G8 summits and the expected protests.

    Emanuel said he’s sorry for any disruption the summits and protests might cause, but he also said he believes normal activities can take place during those days and any disruptions will be worth it.

    “For our city that is trying to attract investments and companies; that’s a big opportunity. I apologize up front for any disruption,” Emanuel said. “But I think also we are a big city, a big metropolitan area; people will … be able to be accommodated with their events.”

You think he finally sees what we've been seeing for months now?


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Politicians Hooked Up With Gangs?

  • In light of the recent gang violence in Uptown, Chicago Magazine could not have picked a more relevant time to publish their investigation of Chicago politicians and their connections to gangs. In the recently released January 2012 issue, the article details several different Chicago alderman and their connections to gangs, in addition to publishing a map of gang territory in Chicago.

    The 46th ward is featured prominently in this article. Former 46th ward Alderman Helen Shiller is the one of the primary aldermen featured in the article. The article spotlights Helen's connection to twin brothers, Rahiem and Rahmon Ali, two leaders of the Gangster Disciples. Rahiem had over forty arrests before his death. What attorney was defending him in court? The former 46th Alderman's son, Brendan Shiller.
Well this would explain more than a little of the violence currently wracking the Uptown neighborhood.

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Quoting Rudyard Kipling

This is as amusing as it is timely:
  • “I have struck a city - a real city - and they call it Chicago... I urgently desire never to see it again. It is inhabited by savages.” Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936; Nobel Prize for Literature 1907)
We didn't realize that we and Mr. Kipling shared a Nobel Prize in our pasts. And that Mr. Kipling was evidently an astute observer of the Chicago condition.


Are Cameras Worth It?

We're pretty sure that the answer is no. At least in any reputable study, that's what the answer would be. This article seems to rehash some of the stuff we covered months ago, but it's a slow news day and we need some filler:
  • In May 2010, a 30-year-old Pakistani-American drove his Nissan Pathfinder into one of the most scrutinized urban spaces on the planet and parked along the curb.

    In the hours that followed, more than 80 city surveillance cameras – as well as dozens of private cameras, constant media feeds and amateur tourist videographers - failed to capture an image of Faisal Shahzad and his suspicious, fertilizer-packed SUV in Times Square. All those electronic eyes couldn't even provide police investigators an image of the suspect

Without some to watch and interpret the video feed, all you have is a lot of taxpayer money pissed away to no end. Some other points:

  • London city data revealed that police were no more likely to catch the perpetrators of crimes committed in camera-dense areas than in other boroughs, suggesting no link between more cameras and better crime solving.

  • In Chicago, the country's most extensive, integrated network, cameras in Humboldt Park correlated to a 12 percent decline in overall crime, including a 33 percent reduction in drug offenses and robberies and a 20 percent drop in violent crime. Meanwhile, a second Chicago area of study, West Garfield Park, saw no crime drop.
The study never addressed a couple of issues:
  1. The FBI won't accept Chicago statistics in their annual report on crime. Why would the camera study people trust anything coming out of these bean counters?
  2. Most importantly, what role did gentrification play in the crime reduction around Humboldt Park? If you price the gang bangers out of the neighborhood, they aren't around to do robberies, burglaries and murders.

Smoke and mirrors, but the mirror is cracked and the smoke is rapidly dissipating.


More Crime

And the weather just keeps getting nicer. We might have ourselves a bloodbath:
  • Two men and a woman were wounded in a Monday afternoon shooting on the South Side. The shooting happened about 3:55 p.m. in the 1900 block of East 73rd Street, said police News Affairs...

  • A teenage boy is dead and a woman was seriously wounded Monday evening during a shooting in the Albany Park neighborhood on the Northwest Side. The shooting occurred at 7:46 p.m. in the 3100 block of West Montrose Avenue, said police News Affairs...

Crime is down across the board though.


Monday, December 12, 2011

Suicide by Cop Incident

  • Chicago police shot and killed a man at an 'L' station Sunday night when they said he pointed two pistols at officers.

    A spokesman for the Fraternal Order of Police said it appeared to be a gunman may have committed "suicide by cop."

    The incident began with officers responding to calls of a man with a gun at the Western/Cermak Pink Line station in the 2000 block of South Western Avenue at about 8 p.m., according to police and FOP spokesman Pat Camden.

    When officers from the Monroe District arrived, they found the 55-year-old man holding a gun to his own head, Camden said. The officers tried calming the man into dropping the weapon and ending the standoff. But the man then pulled a second handgun and pointed both at officers, Camden said.

    The officers, put in a "defensive posture," fired their weapons, striking the man. He was later pronounced dead, Camden said. His identity wasn't immediately released.

The officers came to no harm and no innocent member of the public was injured. These situations are too common so always be aware. Well done officers.

Steinberg Spouts Off

You'd think he'd learn to keep his mouth shut after a while. But he's got to jump on McStreetlight's lap and start dry humping his leg. Some highlights:
  • True, Garry McCarthy, the new police chief — just marking six months on the job — is an outsider, and that was supposed to be the kiss of death. But not being from Mount Greenwood would be counterbalanced, I thought, by his heroic 9/11 credentials.


    McCarthy spoke at the City Club Monday. Given the ability of the angry, racist, misogynist, whiner faction of the CPD (a sliver, I like to think, but who knows? It isn’t like you can take a poll) to bellyache, I assumed that had McCarthy already become a Weis-like figure of contempt, I’d have heard about it.

    Again wrong.

Of course, Steinberg cites no alleged examples of the supposed angry racist misogynist whining. We were never contacted by him and we assume Shaved wasn't either. And seeing as how ourselves and Shaved account for some tens of thousands of clicks per day, you'd think he'd offer us a chance to defend or justify our sites. Shaved is a bit rougher around the edges, but like ourselves, he doesn't intend to prove (and certainly isn't obligated to prove) that even a single visitor spouting off in the comment section is, in fact, a Chicago Police Officer. We know we have trolls pretending here. We know the Occupy people mounted a concerted effort to get their messages into our comment sections.

  • To test my hunch, I pulled on hip boots and took a wade in the septic stream of cowardly, anonymous thuggery that passes for police dialogue online. Golly. Journalistic standards plus basic human decency forbid me from even alluding to the catalog of misbehavior that various cheezed-off cop sites lay at McCarthy’s feet, already predicting — no make that yearning for his departure (is there a moderate, non-brutish cop site I’m missing? Because you’d think that some cops — most, one hopes — would bristle at allowing their foulest elements to tarnish the image of police officers 24/7, and set up such a site — perhaps).

This from a guy who regularly writes columns so off the wall that he has to close the comment section lest someone hand him his ass - verbally speaking of course.

Has Steinberg even done any homework on McJerseyShore? His confrontation with other police officers over a ticket given to his daughter? His liberal use of the "n-word" when confronting other officers? His freewheeling attitude toward weapon discharges while intoxicated? Not to mention the growing number of stories here in Chicago.

Cops hate a phony. Especially a phony who talks down to other cops. And a phony with an attitude a mile wide who thinks policing was invented in New York late last century?

This actually explains Steinberg's attraction to G-Mac. McCompStat is a phony and a bully, plain and simple. And so is Neil - just ask Mrs. Steinberg.


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