Thursday, October 31, 2013

Test Proctor is Felon with UUW Conviction

An SCC Reader Exclusive:

Late breaking news from the Sergeants Exam, and you aren't going to like it (via e-mail):
  • Thought you might find this both very interesting and very disturbing. My Proctor at the Sergeant's Test had "Hater" written all over his face, and he made me feel like I do when I see guys that I've locked up in the past when I'm off duty.

    So I decided to do a bit of research on my Proctor. Data Warehouse confirmed his identity.

    [...] the guy that was checking [police] ID's (I was smart enough to give him just the CPD I.D.), had his name tag / ID exposed. His name was PARIS, Clay. The same Clay Paris that I found in Data Warehouse. Clay Paris has the IR #1596144, and he is a CONVICTED FELON...


    REFERENCE CPD RD# HS-498-070

    So here we have a convicted felon checking officers' IDs - some of [whom] unknowingly provided [this] asshole with their DL's with home addresses.

    [Anyone] can confirm this by simply checking his IR# thru Data Warehouse. This is unacceptable that the City has hired convicted felons in such a sensitive roll. 
We noticed there were issues with the coat check (and bathrooms)(and climate control), so people ended up leaving coats lined up on the walls nearby. Hopefully your coat wasn't out-of-sight or missing anything sensitive after the test, but isn't anyone doing background checks on these "proctors?"  A felon with a stolen police gun assisting in monitoring an exam for cops?

We suppose it's the best we can expect from Rahm and McCarthy.



    • The family of Chicago police Officer Richard Francis dropped their heads Wednesday night as they heard a jury had convicted a woman with a reported history of mental illness of the veteran police officer’s 2008 murder.

      Jurors deliberated for about five hours before finding Robin Johnson, 50, guilty of first-degree murder of Francis. That carries an automatic life sentence, along with aggravated discharge of a firearm toward another police officer.
    Thanks to everyone who showed up. Rest in peace Officer Francis.


    Question for the Statistic Keepers

    • A Kenosha man has been charged with first-degree homicide in the death of his girlfriend, who was found over the weekend in a car trunk near the Greyhound station in the South Loop.

    • An autopsy showed she had died of blunt neck trauma caused by an assault. Police said they believe Ziemendorf died in Kenosha and was driven to Chicago.
    So is someone trying to make sure this is counted as a Wisconsin homicide? Or are we counting it here? Because as a commentator pointed out, it was just a month or so ago that two bodies were found in a suburban forest preserve and the killer admitted that he murdered the ladies in Chicago, but you won't find those numbers in the Chicago totals. It would be awfully suspicious if Rahm and McCrimeIsDown were actively shipping murders out of the city limits.


    Rahm to Spend Another Million

    • Four years after sinking Venetian Night to save $300,000, City Hall has set aside $1 million for a “Great Chicago Fire Festival” along the Chicago River that will culminate in floats being set on fire.

      Testifying Wednesday at City Council budget hearings, Cultural Affairs and Special Events Commissioner Michelle Boone also disclosed that her budget includes an extra $3.6 million because the city is “accelerating the payment of debt” issued to build $475 million Millennium Park.

      Plagued by cost overruns and add-ons that more than tripled its original budget, Millennium Park will turn 10 in 2014. The city is in the process of planning a celebration for the showcase park that has emerged as one of Chicago’s most popular tourist attractions.
    Here's a thought - instead of lighting this million dollars on fire (which is pretty much what they're doing), how about they light these floats on fire and run some of them down 63rd Street and a few others down Madison through the west side? The urban renewal opportunities might actually make up for the million dollars.

    Labels: ,

    One Goes to Jail

    • A contractor who hid the ownership stake two of former Mayor Richard M. Daley’s closest relatives had in a sewer company that got millions of dollars worth of city business was sentenced Wednesday to 17 months in prison.

      Anthony Duffy, 49, deliberately left out the names of Daley’s son Patrick Daley and nephew Robert Vanecko when he listed all of the owners of his business, Municipal Sewer Service, in financial disclosure forms he filed with City Hall in 2003, and then he lied about it in an FBI interview.

      If that silent omission was at the heart of the case, the former mayor’s connection to it was the elephant in the room during the sentencing hearing on Wednesday.

      Though Judge Milton Shadur found time during the 21/2-hour hearing to discuss philosopher Immanuel Kant, biblical King Solomon and historic British court practices, the former mayor himself was only referred to obliquely.

      Duffy’s deception was motivated by “political concerns, because the media would become involved” and was not done with the “intent of concealing any crime,” Duffy’s attorney, John Meyer, said in one of several coded references to Mayor Daley.
    This guy couldn't speak up and maybe put a Daley and a Vanecko behind bars? Watch where he lands after his 17 month stint at Club Fed.


    Wednesday, October 30, 2013

    Closing Arguments at Francis Trial

    Change of room to accommodate a larger audience - let's not disappoint:
    • Closing arguments will be held tomorrow. Robin Johnson is not only being charged with the murder
      of Rick Francis, but with the attempt murder of 4 other officers who responded and were backing
      Rick up that night.

      This could be ANY one of us, at ANY time, at ANY point in our careers- OUR families could be the ones in that courtroom- Rick's family needs and really appreciates the support

      Date - Wednesday - 30 October 2013
      Time- 10:30
      Room- 400 * note the room has been changed*

      This is a larger courtroom - We need to fill it
    ISP had a trooper there the other day. Thank you sir.  It only takes a few minutes to stop by, and there's plenty of time between calls, motions and conferences.



    Jim Mullen has reached his initial fundraising goal of $25,000 in just a week. The Kickstarter fee also appears to have been covered by generous donations also, so Jim has the seed money for an expansion into other markets.

    Many thanks to all who participated here, on other social media, word of mouth and at least one PR person who wandered in and sent out a a bunch of letters to media-types across the spectrum.

    Jim has an update up on the site:
    • Hi all! I can barely believe how this campaign is shaping up. I feel incredibly blessed and fortunate to know that there are so many people out there who have taken an interest in helping me share my mom's apple sauce with a whole lot more people. A massive THANK YOU goes out to everyone who has pledged and helped spread the word!
      The AMAZING news is that I hit my initial $25,000 goal!!! I officially have funding for a good deal of my upfront production costs for the following states: Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Florida, Arizona, Kansas, Texas & Illinois.  

      The even MORE AMAZING news it that we still have a bushel basket full of time left (32 days!) which opens up a world of possibilities. I want to share some exciting things we can still accomplish before the campaign ends on [December] 1st:

      -From $26,000 to $35,000 I can finish art and label printing for individual cups (3 cups per pack) and the much requested and anticipated no sugar added version of Mom's Apple Sauce.

      -From $36,000 to $60,000 I can introduce individual cups into all 15 states and test the no sugar version in select markets.

      If I am fortunate enough to reach those goals I will be sending you the scoop on what can be accomplished with more pledges. Infinite thanks to all!
    If you have even run a small business, there are always hiccups or expenses that pop up from time to time. Any additional monies would ease those bumps and smooth the road that Jim has been paving since he was wounded in the line of duty.

    You, the readers, continue to amaze us, even after 8 years of blogging. Keep up the great work.


    Whoops - Wrong Car Dude

    We always figured it was easier robbing strangers - not these brain surgeons though:
    • Four men were arrested overnight Sunday after they tried to hijack a car belonging to an off-duty police officer, county prosecutors said.

      [...] The off-duty officer told the officers who arrested the men that he was driving in the alley on Yates Boulevard when they surrounded his car and Herron pulled out an object that appeared to be a firearm.

      "Get up out of this [bleep], this ain't no joke," Herron allegedly said to the driver. The driver replied that he was a police officer, and showed his assailants his own firearm.

      One of the alleged offenders, apparently recognizing the man, said, "Oh [bleep], he is the police, he stays right up the street," according to the police report. The four men fled down the alley while the off-duty officer called 911. They were arrested just after midnight Monday morning.
    Amazingly, each one of the four was just about to turn his life around...after this last car jacking.


    Tuesday, October 29, 2013

    Fair, Impartial and Totally Secret

    Last week we posted this:
    • If you're interested, and you should be, the charges filed against the FOP President regarding "the letter" not being filed despite repeated warnings to do so, will be heard by his own hand-picked committee this evening at 1700 hours.
      Outrage to be vented shortly thereafter.
    Shortly afterward, we received word that the hearing was delayed one week until today, 29 October without explanation.

    Now comes word that the entire hearing is closed to the membership. Board members only.

    We're going to go out on a limb here and say that this is outrageous. Anyone disagree?


    Comedy Gold

    • Pam Kehaly, president of Anthem Blue Cross in California, said she received a recent letter from a young woman complaining about a 50% rate hike related to the healthcare law.

      "She said, 'I was all for Obamacare until I found out I was paying for it,'" Kehaly said.
    This after California health care companies announced that they are canceling the policies for over 279,000 people and that number may rise to over 500,000 shortly.

    If only someone had been there to warn everyone about what was coming, you know, to be the adult and point out the shoddy accounting and economic impossibilities of this entire disaster.


    Krokodil Hoax?

    All the media stories, all the Department teletypes being issued and computer alerts being generated - and no one can point to a single proven instance of this drug turning up?
    • The hunt for krokodil continues as tests conducted in recent days on a suspected sample of the so-called flesh-eating drug came back negative, federal officials said.

      An announcement two weeks ago by a Joliet doctor who said he treated three patients who showed the telltale rotting flesh associated with the toxic, home-brewed opiate — made from mixing codeine tablets with solvents like gasoline or acids — has sparked media coverage. A week later, a Crystal Lake hospital reported treating a krokodil user, and reports have cropped up across the country.

      But whether the U.S. faces a horrifying new drug or merely an urban legend is hard to say, and confirmation of cases may not come for months or years, if ever.

      Jack Riley, special agent in charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration's Chicago office, said doctors and victims in the Chicago area have been interviewed by law enforcement.

      In a sweep modeled after the agency's successful search for the source of deadly fentanyl-tainted heroin some six years ago, 200 DEA agents across five states have made finding krokodil a top priority, Riley said.

      "We have run quite a few buys in the city and suburbs," Riley said "What the lab tells us is it's just heroin."
    If the feds are throwing money around, you can bet it's more than "quite a few buys" that they're doing. And before someone accuses us of helping spread the panic, our interest was purely selfish in that more dead junkies means less crime across the board for police to handle, and we hope to share that bit of good news with as many coppers as possible. Besides, we're insignificant.


      Monday, October 28, 2013

      Court Appearances

      Could use some friendly faces at a couple places:
      • It would be a great show of solidarity for any off-duty officers and/or detention aides to come to the Dirksen Building, room 2201, Monday the 28th and/or Tuesday 29th.

        In 2004, May Molina, a female arrested for PCS with intent to deliver, died in the 19th District lockup. The family is now suing seven members of the CPD (there were eight, but one died) - one retired Captain, one detention aide, and five sworn officers - and the City. Initially there were more than twenty Department members named as defendants. The trial is going into its fourth week.

        The coroner was barred from testifying... Mystifying.
      So how do they have anyone testify as to cause of death? Seems like grounds for an appeal almost immediately.

      And the Francis trial continues Monday:
      • Trial for Officer Rick Francis

        [...] His trial began last Monday and the turn out for the offender has been very good. The turn out for Rick has been minimum at best- there have been an average of 5-7 officers in attendance- majority who are coming off their midnight shift and staying in court all day- The family and P.O's from 019 appreciate all who have stopped in but this woman who took one of our own (with his own gun) should not have more support than Rick's family. They are not going with an insanity defense because she knew very well what she was doing-

        Please try and come to court this week- The Defense will begin their arguments Monday
        Monday- October 28, 2013
        Time- 11:00 am
        Room -302
      Swing by. Leave your number with someone upstairs and swing by for 15 or 30 minutes on break from your courtroom.


      60% of the Way There

      Four days in and Jim Mullen's Kickstarter project to expand his apple sauce business has over $16,000 raised out of $25,000 needed.

      Monday is our big day for visits and eyeballs and there's no promotional exam on everyone's mind, so let's get to it.

      CLICK HERE to make a donation. They take anything over a dollar, so give what you can.

      We've gotten a few e-mails that people are sharing this on various social media sites and Channel 2 did a post on their website. We don't know if it hit the airwaves or not.


      Slow, but not Stopped

      The coming fall hasn't had any effect on crime because McCompStat says the weather doesn't have anything to do with crime. That being said, it was a pretty average weekend for shootings and killings:
      • Two people were killed and 12 people were injured during shootings across the city since Friday afternoon.

        A 17-year-old boy was shot and killed early Sunday in the Albany Park neighborhood on the Northwest Side, police said.

        [...] Saturday evening, a 39-year-old man was killed while standing on an Auburn Gresham neighborhood sidewalk.
      Working the way to 400 steadily.

        Labels: ,

        Sunday, October 27, 2013

        Welcome Back Inspectors!

        Any surprises?
        • New Captains/XO's/Inspectors

          Cesario back to 606
          Pigott back to Academy
          Lott to 018
          Klich to 015
          Chambers to 010
          Looney to 019
          Judon and Sanchez inspectors

          Loughran, Murphy, Deveraux and Nieves back to unit of assignment until a captain spot opens up.

          Also Ryan from 019 and Anderson from 010 are now inspectors

          Exempt moves:

          Deputy Chief Calloway from Area South to Academy
          Cmdr patty Walsh from 005 to Deputy Chief Area South
          Lt Larry Watson from 003 to Commander of 005

        Taking it Easy

        A relaxing Sunday - no studying, no Bears, no pressure.

        Plus, we're hung over tired....very tired from all the relaxing.

        Open post in the meantime.

        And be sure to stop over at Kickstarter - we wrote about Jim Mullen's efforts yesterday. Scroll down a few posts and see it or click this link RIGHT HERE to give Jim a hand up. As of tonight, he was just over halfway to his goal.


        Chicago Style

        It was only a matter of time until something like this was revealed:
        • First Lady Michelle Obama’s Princeton classmate is a top executive at the company that earned the contract to build the failed Obamacare website.

          Toni Townes-Whitley, Princeton class of ’85, is senior vice president at CGI Federal, which earned the no-bid contract to build the $678 million Obamacare enrollment website at CGI Federal is the U.S. arm of a Canadian company.
        The Machine is alive and well and living in DC.


        Saturday, October 26, 2013

        Kickstarter for Mullen's Applesauce

        • Kickstarter is full of projects, big and small, that are brought to life through the direct support of people like you. Since our launch in 2009, 5 million people have pledged $843 million, funding 50,000 creative projects. Thousands of creative projects are raising funds on Kickstarter right now.
        In essence, it's "crowd fundraising" for projects that otherwise wouldn't always attract big money investors. And now, one of our own has a project going:
        • My name is Jim Mullen. On October 16th, 1996, my life changed in a major way. I was a Chicago police officer in the Rogers Park neighborhood and one night, I was shot in the cheek and spine while on duty. I was instantly paralyzed and dependent on a respirator to breath. In that moment my life changed forever. I was in the ICU at Northwestern Memorial Hospital for 2 months, and spent 4 months at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago before returning home and bound to a wheelchair. My new reality inspired a passion in me for proving to everyone that life is what you make out of it. Ever since that day, I've remembered that life is precious and dreams are worth chasing.

          I was having a medical scan of my heart one day at Northwestern Hospital, what I refer to as one of my regular “tune-ups,” when the lady doing the scan told me about her barbecue sauce company. Growing up, my mother, Audre’s, apple sauce was a hit with everyone. And because of her, I know what good, home cooked food tastes like. She was a self-taught chef, and we used to tease her about how her apple sauce was so good that she should bottle it. Even when I was just a kid, I used to joke around and say, “It’s like apple pie without the crust!”

          Later that evening when I came home after my medical scan, I decided I would follow my dream and start my own food company. After all, my mother made the best apple sauce in the world, and I wanted to share my mom’s apple sauce with the world by getting it on the shelf of the grocery store, HAPPY FOODS, where she use to take me when I was little. All I have wanted to do is to make her happy, and this is my way of sharing a piece of her with others. When life gives you apples, make Apple Sauce.
        In short, Jim needs $25,000 by 01 December. The website says he's raised about 20% of that in 3 days. We're betting he can reach that goal with days to spare if our readers chip in. You can sponsor as little as a buck, but really - we get 15,000 hits a day here. Even if it's only 7,500 people visiting twice and they each kick in $2, Jim's at 80% of his needed capital. We're dropping a bit more than the minimum and we'd ask you to think about it, too.

        Head over there and help one of our own trying to make his dream happen.

        Labels: ,

        Sergeant Exam Today

        Hope you all get a good night of sleep.

        Open post to discuss the test and testing process as we all come down from a few intense months of studying.

        Bring pocket money - reports are that parking is being charged at $21 for the day. Add in the test fee ($25) and the coat check (a few bucks) and we're already in the hole.

        Good luck.


        PPO Assignments

        Word is that some "heavy" people weren't happy with the district assignments given to certain PPO's, so you know what happened next.

        The list that came out Thursday was canceled.  The new list came out Friday in the late morning with a whole lot of changes.

        Welcome to the Department kids. Twenty years and maybe a pension. Good luck.


        Friday, October 25, 2013

        Another Knife Wielding Assailant Killed

        • A woman who was taken to a hospital with serious injuries following a police shooting in the Roseland neighborhood has died, authorities said.

          A police-involved shooting took place in the 10900 block of South Eberhart Avenue about 6:40 p.m., said Chicago Police News Affairs [...], who said she had no further information about the incident about 7:30 p.m. The Cook County medical examiner's office was notified that the woman died, but did not have yet have detailed information.

          Early information was that the woman was holding a knife when police arrived on scene and refused to put it down, according to WGN-TV.

          A woman who suffered a gunshot wound was taken in serious to critical condition to Advocate Christ Medical Center about 7:30 p.m., according to the Chicago Fire Department's news office.
        If you have a knife and an Officer tells you to put it down, maybe you ought to do exactly that. In the meantime, well done Officers.


        Crime is.....Up? Wait a Minute....

        • The violent crime rate went up 15 percent last year, and the property crime rate rose 12 percent, the government said Thursday, signs that the nation may be seeing the last of the substantial declines in crime of the past two decades.

          Last year marked the second year in a row for increases in the crime victimization survey, a report that is based on household interviews.

          The 2012 increases were driven by a rise in crimes that were not reported to police, a category frequently involving less-serious offenses. Simple assaults also rose. The rate of property crimes increased due to a rise in theft.

          "One year of bad news is something you notice but don't necessarily draw conclusions about. Two years of bad news suggests it might be time to start worrying," said Carnegie Mellon University professor Jonathan Caulkins.
        Golly. Not to brag, but we guess we were pretty much right all along and Rahm, Garry and the whole New York crew was wrong.

        Labels: ,

        Double the Overtime

        • Mayor Rahm Emanuel's 2014 budget more than doubles the amount initially set aside for police overtime this year, reflecting the increasingly high financial cost of trying to tamp down gun violence on city streets.

          The new spending blueprint anticipates $71 million in overtime for police next year, compared with the $32 million the mayor budgeted for 2013 — an estimate the city rapidly blew past in response to a wave of murders and shootings that drew unflattering national attention.

          City budget director Alexandra Holt predicted that much of that 2014 overtime would be spent on saturation policing efforts in so-called impact zones, mostly South and West side neighborhoods that have borne the brunt of the bloodletting. By the time 2013 ends, Holt estimated the city would chalk up more than $40 million in overtime for impact zone policing.
        • Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants to deep-six a stealth City Council account that some aldermen used to put family members, campaign operatives and those with political baggage on the public payroll without detection until the Tribune exposed the practice.

          The $1.3 million secret fund, which dates back decades at City Hall, is zeroed out in the 2014 budget proposal the mayor unveiled Wednesday.

          The change, however, will save only about $6,000. That's because the money is being spent to create a council office of financial analysis and to beef up regular aldermanic expense accounts — which some aldermen also have used to hire relatives, lease office space from their own relatives and even lease luxury cars.

          The idea is to make hiring by aldermen more transparent. Employees paid through the stealth account did not show up on the city payroll, but those hired through expense accounts do. The move also could help the city comply with a federal court order, known as the Shakman decree, that bans taking politics into consideration for most city hiring.
        Those speed cameras must be way more lucrative than Rahm is letting on.


        Pot Tickets Up in Smoke

        Honest to Pete, does anyone ever ask the street coppers what they think of these things before they roll out another disaster?
        • Chicago Police issued just 1,117 tickets for small amounts of marijuana in the first 14 months of decriminalization — and the cash-strapped city has collected only 21 percent of the $310,755 in fines, records show.

          “The ticketing process is an administrative pain in the butt. It’s so much easier to do a marijuana arrest the old-fashioned way” or just let it go, said [some guy at the] Fraternal Order of Police....

          The sobering news that pot tickets have been a bust is tucked away in the 2014 Budget Overview for the city’s Department of Administrative Hearings.

          From Aug. 4, 2012, the day ticketing began, through Sept. 24 of this year, police issued just 1,117 tickets. Defendants were found liable in 832, or 81 percent, of the 1,035 cases resolved.

          City hearing officers have assessed $310,755 in penalties, but only $67,256, or 21 percent, of those fines have been collected. That’s a drop in the bucket compared to the $1 million that proponents predicted the city would easily collect in just one year.
        A million dollars in fines predicted.....and we'll bet they spent that million last year, too, even before they had it in hand. The testing kits, inventory procedure, having to void out everything if the test was negative AND still spend the time inventorying was all nonsense. And no one asked actual street cops what they thought of all this.

        And Solis, the softball behind this idea, isn't done with it yet:
        • But Solis said Thursday he’s so disappointed about the results, he’s arranged a meeting with police Supt. Garry McCarthy to find ways to convince officers to “take it more seriously” and write more tickets.

          “I thought police would accept it more because they wouldn’t have to go through the process of arresting and booking somebody. I thought the free time they would get would have them more on the streets and in our neighborhoods. I also thought it would generate some revenue the city really needs,” Solis said.
        You thought wrong Danny. You took a relatively simple procedure, a quick arrest, complaints and inventory and turned it into a logistical nightmare involving chemicals, testing, two or three inventories, a ticket, and non-suit for negative testing. Dumb.


        Gas Prices Going Up

        • A fire at the Citgo oil refinery in southwest suburban Lemont late Wednesday sent flames shooting high into the night sky, sparked concern among citizens — but caused no injuries.

          The fire started about 7:40 p.m. in the refinery’s crude oil unit, which was immediately shut down, according to a statement issued by Citgo spokesman Pete Colarelli.
        Prices probably up twenty or thirty cents by this time next week.


        Thursday, October 24, 2013

        Tax the Bikes!

        Speculation here and elsewhere is becoming reality....or an attempt is being made:
        • Mayor Rahm Emanuel's vision of Chicago as a bike-friendly metropolis found itself in the cross hairs of an alderman's proposal for a $25 bike tax Wednesday.

          South Side Ald. Pat Dowell, 3rd, floated a plan to charge bike owners an annual $25 registration fee as a way to raise millions of dollars next year and provide an alternative to the mayor's proposal to hike cable television taxes to bring in about $9 million. Dowell also said she wants to require bikers to take a "rules of the road" safety class.

          Emanuel, who this month led a bicycle tour of the Logan Square neighborhood as part of Chicago Ideas Week, said he would look at Dowell's plan. But he then linked his pro-cyclist agenda with recent success in drawing technology firms to the city, and essentially laid out why he almost certainly won't support the idea.
        Once the door has been opened though.....

        This idea will percolate and they'll figure out some way to make up the fall off in gas taxes and fines.


        Rahm Outraged

        • A furious Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Wednesday likened media attacks on his Chief Financial Officer Lois Scott to the “drive by hits” that drove him out of the “crap town” that is Washington D.C.

          “I left Washington because I think it’s a crap town that deals with peoples’ reputations and character as drive-by hits…I’ve seen friends in the Clinton administration who did nothing wrong have both their legal bills run up and their character defamed where you can never get your reputation back,” he said.
        That's rich, coming from a guy who pretty much went around destroying reputations via innuendo and character assassinations on a daily basis working for the Clintons. Amazing how history only begins when it isn't him doing the destroying.

        And we haven't seen one thing in the media about the entire Lois Scott/Amer Ahmad kerfuffle that isn't true. He was recommended for the job by Scott, he did have pending investigations going on in Ohio about crooked bond issues and connected firms being rewarded, and we cited an article discovered by a right-leaning blog that showed how all of this was going on in plain view.

        Fran Speilman of all people gets a dig in a Rahm that won't get her invited to any barbecues soon:
        • Ahmad’s stunning July indictment in an alleged $500,000 kickback and money-laundering scheme in Ohio has lifted the veil on the selection of firms that ride the gravy train of city bond business.

          It’s long been a highly-politicized process that has allowed Chicago mayors to reward their friends and campaign contributors with hundreds of thousands of dollars in annual fees for work as bond counsel, co-counsel and financial advisers.

          The City Council signs off on the pinstripe patronage list. But the selections are made by the mayor’s office in general and Scott in particular.

          Emanuel made millions in the back-scratching world of investment banking after leaving the Clinton administration. He responded to Ahmad’s indictment by flatly denying that he should have known about his former comptroller’s alleged wrongdoing as deputy treasurer of Ohio.
        We'll bet this new found spine of Fran's lasts all of a week.


        "Turban" Durbin at it Again

        • The White House on Wednesday disputed Sen. Dick Durbin's assertion that a House Republican leader insulted President Barack Obama while negotiating with the president over the partial government shutdown.

          But Durbin, an Illinoisan who is a friend and ally of the president, stood by his story, according to numerous media reports.

          In a Facebook post Sunday that remained up Wednesday night, Durbin wrote:

          "Many Republicans searching for something to say in defense of the disastrous shutdown strategy will say President Obama just doesn't try hard enough to communicate with Republicans. But in a 'negotiation' meeting with the president, one GOP House Leader told the president: 'I cannot even stand to look at you.'"

          Obama spokesman Jay Carney, speaking Wednesday to reporters, said he looked into Durbin's account and spoke to somebody who was at the meeting, and "it did not happen."
        Durbin wasn't even at the meeting in question, but "heard" this story third hand....a friend of a friend. And how big a douchebag do you have to be that the White House press secretary goes on national TV and says you're pretty much a liar making shit up?


        Wednesday, October 23, 2013

        Assailant Shooting (and More)

        • Chicago police officers shot and killed a man moments after he stabbed a supervisor in the face in the Rosemoor neighborhood, according to authorities

          The sergeant, 46, is in serious condition at Advocate Christ Medical Center. His wounds are not life threatening, according to the Chicago Police Departent.

          The supervisor and two other officers responded to a call from a woman reporting a man with a knife in a home in the 200 block of East 107th Street on the Far South Side about 10:25 p.m. Tuesday, according to Patrick Camden, spokesman for the Fraternal Order of Police.

          They forced entry into the home after hearing a woman scream and the sergeant, who was first to enter, was stabbed several times in the face. A statement from the Chicago Police Department identified the sergeant as a 19-year veteran assigned to the Calumet Police District on the Far South Side.

          The other two officers pulled the sergeant back outside and the suspect was able to barricade himself in the home, Camden said.

          After calling for an ambulance, the two officers, who smelled gas and kicked in some basement windows to ventilate the building, re-entered the home and found the suspect downstairs near a furnace. Camden said the man charged at them with the knife and the officers shot the suspect, who was dead at the scene.
        Very very well done Officers. Definitely above and beyond. Hopefully, the sergeant is doing better - speedy recovery to him.

        • A Northwest Side haunted house had some scares it didn't plan for this weekend when several people were arrested for disorderly conduct, and one for punching an off-duty police officer in the face, county prosecutors said.

          Two people charged with crimes were brought through the Cook County Criminal Courthouse Monday afternoon after being arrested at the "Catacombs," a haunted house at Saint Pascal in Portage Park.

          Noelle Siewarine, 19, was charged with aggravated battery, disorderly conduct, and resisting arrest after she allegedly spit on a police officer's face while he was arresting her boyfriend for disorderly conduct on Sunday afternoon.

          According to the police report, Siewarine was shouting "[bleep] you police," at officers and other haunted house patrons while standing in line and making obscene gestures.

          Siewarine was released on a $10,000 I-bond with electronic home monitoring by Judge Adam D. Bourgeois Jr., who said, "You don't get to go around spitting in the face of police officers and get to just walk out of jail."
        And at the same location just a day earlier:
        • One day earlier, Carlos Rivera, 25, was arrested and charged with aggravated battery to a police officer after he allegedly punched an off-duty officer working security at the haunted house in the face.

          Rivera, of the 3000 block of North Karlov Avenue, was with his wife and children when the victim, in his capacity as security guard, tried to escort the wife off the premise for disorderly conduct, prosecutors said. Prosecutors said the wife appeared to be intoxicated and was behaving disruptively.

          Rivera punched the man in the face once, according to court records, and then several times again after the man identified himself as an off-duty officer. The 28-year-old man was treated for a fractured skull and other injuries at the Resurrection North Hospital.
        Work a side job, probably mostly as a favor to your local parish, get a fractured skull. Speedy recovery to the Officer. Saint Pascal's is where the Cardinal came from if we aren't mistaken. Looks like Portage Park is emblematic of the problems surfacing across 016.

        Labels: ,

        New FTO Grievance

        The City just can't leave these guys alone. Every single time there is an effort to create a legit FTO program to train the new guys and gals, the Department goes and make it even less desirable to do the job:
        • The Lodge was notified of a Bureau Patrol order issued by Chief Wayne Gulliford on Friday. This order states that Field Training Officers will be credited with .75 hours of overtime for the completion of a Daily Observation Report. It goes on to say that if an FTO is assigned more than one recruit, the FTO will continue to only receive .75 hours of overtime.
        Due to the already massive shortage of FTO's, they have been puting PPO's with FTO's two and three deep. They actually had to order special SUV's without cages so that there weren't cops riding around in the back seat like prisoners.

        And for all this double training, double responsibility, double paperwork, the Department decides to take away the compensation that they lured these folks in with in the first place. Way to go! How long did this FTO program last this time? Not even a year? And a class action grievance is the end result with rumblings of a mass resignation of FTO's in the offing.

        The Department is under orders to make a 10% cut in the budget this year. Figure no new cars, probably a lot more foot patrols for the new kids, less training, overtime cuts in the units/Detective Division (again), and who knows what else.

        Make the job work for you boys and girls, because it isn't getting any easier or any more fun.


        "Counting On" Fines, Fees

        • Mayor Rahm Emanuel is counting on $120 million in fines from red-light and speed cameras — and $10 million more from higher parking fines and impounded vehicle storage fees — to balance his $6.97 billion 2014 budget, aldermen were told Tuesday.

          “You’re basically telling motorists, `You’re not welcome in the city of Chicago.’ It’s pretty onerous on drivers,” said Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd) on the eve of the mayor’s budget address to the City Council.

          If anything, Waguespack and others believe the $60 million estimate from speed cameras is a low-ball figure.

          They point to the 204,743 warning notices churned out by speed cameras installed around four parks in just 40 days during a recent test run. That would have generated $12.2 million in fines if those cameras had been playing for keeps, which they are now.

          “You could tack on another $10 million or $20 million. The intersections they’ve picked are going to be extremely lucrative,” Waguespack said.
        "Lucrative." Let that put to rest any speculation that these devices are anything except revenue generators.

        And what happens when people just stop coming to the city? Maybe instead of staying overnight at a hotel (tax), grabbing dinner at a fancy downtown restaurant (tax tax), and seeing an expensive show in the theater district (tax tax tax), people rent a movie, catch a suburban show or just don't come to Chicago? No sales tax and no opportunity to fine the crap out of them.


        The "Children" Again

        • Twenty-nine students were arrested this morning following a disturbance at Percy L. Julian High School on the Far South Side in the city's Washington Heights neighborhood.

          Shortly before 10 a.m., police were called out to a disturbance at the school located at 10330 S. Elizabeth St., said Police News Affairs [...].

          Police arrived at the school and got the brawl under control, but three female students and 26 male students were arrested....
        Any idea how many man-hours, transport vehicles, processing time this little escapade took?


          Rahm's Gun Bill Pulled

          Someone counted the votes and realized Zalewski's bill was going to fail and embarrass Rahm, so he pulled it:
          • Mayor Rahm Emanuel's plan to impose mandatory minimum sentences for illegal gun possession was pulled from a House panel's agenda Tuesday for further negotiations after it faced almost certain rejection from state lawmakers.

            Rep. Mike Zalewski, D-Riverside, made the decision to yank the measure from the House Judiciary Committee, saying progress was being made to allay fears of gun-rights advocates that law-abiding citizens who make a simple mistake could face mandatory prison time under the Democratic mayor's plan.
          Those with legitimate concerns are trying to point out the problems in the bill's language:
          • Gun rights advocates fear the legislation is written so broadly that it would catch far more than gang members and other hardened criminals. Rep. Brandon Phelps, D-Harrisburg, the leading gun rights voice in the legislature, said the unintended consequences of the legislation need to be addressed.

            "If we want to go after the criminals and the bad guys, there's a way to do that and a way to write it," Phelps said. "I want to make sure that we protect the first-time offenders that make a mistake — an honest mistake."
          But the liberal gun grabbers (like McRahm'sHandUpHisAss) are having none of that "making sense" stuff:
          • McCarthy dismissed fears of gun rights advocates who have pointed out scenarios in which a law-abiding person could mistakenly face prison time, contending that prosecutors would have discretion on the charges they level. But he also had little sympathy.

            "People aren't realizing that the awesome burden of carrying a firearm doesn't leave room for the hypothetical," he said.

            "This isn't like your car keys that are in your pocket or a ChapStick or chewing gun or your wallet. It's a firearm that's capable of killing somebody, and the awesome burden that surrounds that is not being paid attention to here and that's what we really have to start," he said.
          And you never know when a raging streetlight is going to jump out of the shadows and attack you either. This is the last guy in existence who should be lecturing anyone about the "awesome burdens" of carrying a weapon.


          Tuesday, October 22, 2013

          Francis Trial

          The homeless woman has some piece-of-shit lawyers presenting some off-the-wall, fucked up theories on this murder of one of our own:
          • An attorney for a woman on trial in the murder of a Chicago police officer in 2008 suggested today that the shooting was accidental after the officer body-slammed the woman and the two struggled physically.

            In opening statements at the trial of Robin Johnson, Assistant Public Defender Brendan Max repeatedly described his client at the time as “distressed and confused” and said surveillance video would show that it was not her intention to kill the veteran officer.

            "You'll be able to tell that nobody grabbed anyone's gun," Max told the jurors during some 15 minutes of opening remarks. "At the most what happened here was the struggle for a gun."
          No one grabbed the officer's gun, but somehow he ended up dead by his own weapon? Is this fucking lawyer really going to push this theory?

          And she continued to not hold the gun or point it at responding officers who shot her numerous times? Seriously?

          The trial continues today, Room 302 at 26th and California. Stop by after you get your continuance date.


          FOP Hearing (UPDATE - Date Change)

          If you're interested, and you should be, the charges filed against the FOP President regarding "the letter" not being filed despite repeated warnings to do so, will be heard by his own hand-picked committee this evening at 1700 hours.

          Outrage to be vented shortly thereafter.

          UPDATE: According to various comments, the date has been changed to 29 October (Black Tuesday for all you children of the Depression era). Does anyone know if it's still 1700 hours?


          Rahm Raising Taxes on Everything

          The standard fallback position for every single democrat - and starting position, now that we think about it:
          • Chicago’s cable television customers will see a modest increase in their monthly bills, thanks to a modified amusement tax exemption tied to Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s 2014 budget.

            To raise $9 million for enhanced cultural programming and chip away at a $338.7 million shortfall, Emanuel wants to increase — from 4 percent to 6 percent — the amusement tax tacked on to monthly cable bills.

            Chicago’s two-tiered amusement tax was increased by 1 percent in 2005 and by 1 percent again in 2009. It now stands at 5 percent for mid-sized venues and 9 percent for large sporting events. The lower tax rate applies to live theatrical, musical and cultural performances in venues with more than 750 seats. Smaller theaters are exempt.

            Until now, cable customers have enjoyed a 5 percent exemption and paid just 4 percent. Under Emanuel’s plan, the exemption will drop to 3 percent, forcing cable customers to pay a 6 percent amusement tax.
          "...enhanced cultural programing"? Again, government sticking its hand into our pockets for endeavors that cannot succeed on their own. How about just lining out that particular item and maybe funding things necessary to a fully functioning municipality?


          McCormick Place Losing Again

          • Chicago has lost another trade show as the BIO International Convention announced Monday it is moving its 2016 convention to San Francisco, cancelling plans to hold the major biotech conference in Chicago that year.

            The convention is the world's largest event for the biotechnology industry, regularly attracting more than 15,000 attendees from all over the world.

          • Last Thursday, the body that manages McCormick Place and Navy Pier was informed of the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show's decision to move its 2014 show to Las Vegas, to coordinate with the International Builders show.

            Chicago’s convention business has come under pressure in recent years as it has become known for high costs. Since easing union rules at McCormick Place in 2011, however, it has snared some new convention business, most recently the Dealernews International Powersports Dealer Expo.
          We like to see some side-by-side comparisons of business/conventions lost versus replacement events. Do they even exist?


          DePaul Money only from Minorities

          • Protesters opposed to using controversial tax-increment financing to help fund a new DePaul University basketball arena confronted Dennis Holtschneider, the university’s president, as he addressed a luncheon of business and civic leaders near downtown Chicago on Monday.

            A pair of protesters at the luncheon at Maggiano’s restaurant in River North suddenly stood up as Holtschneider was taking questions and shouted that DePaul’s agreement to be involved still comes at the cost of basic city services, and asked him to respond directly.

            “The city and the African-American and Latino communities are footing the bill,” one protester said.
          We've been as loud as anyone protesting this TIF money going to fund a privately run university, but if we knew it was only exploitative of minorities, we wouldn't have cared nearly as much. (/sarcasm off) Where do they find these idiots?


          Monday, October 21, 2013

          New York 7 - L.A. 10

          • A father was killed and his 15-year-old son was grazed by a bullet this weekend in a deadly shooting that ended Los Angeles’ 10-day streak of no homicides in the city, authorities said.
            The father -- identified as Rene Balbuena -- was responding to a Craigslist ad for a cellphone with his son about 7 p.m. Saturday, according to Los Angeles police Sgt. Rudy Alaniz.

            Balbuena was there to buy a cellphone, Alaniz told NBC4 Sunday night.

            The pair was sitting in a car at 92nd Street and Gramercy Place in South Los Angeles when two men -- believed to be those who posted the ad -- walked up and opened fire into the car, Alaniz said.
          So the question for Rahm now becomes, "What is McCarthy doing wrong?"

          Labels: ,

          Costly Loss

          So two medium offenses met two less than stellar defenses and a 45-41 scoring-fest takes place. The Bears also lost so many players to injuries that we think we saw the entire defensive line was the second team at one point.

          McCown looked good though, even if the defense was one stop short of winning the game.

          Bye-week next.


          Dart Federal Lawsuit

          • John Maher, was Assistant General Council to Sheriff Tom Dart. Maher was also a Lieutenant Colonel in the military. When he was called on by his country to serve Sheriff Dart took exception and questioned Maher's loyalty. Maher was then fired by Dart after completing his deployment.. Dart then justified his firing by making false allegations against Maher including but not limited too, Rosemary Nolan entering Maher in LEADS charging him with theft for a Sheriff's employee ID the same Day Robert Egan sent him notification to turn over his Credentials. Undersheriff Zelda Whittler told Maher that Sheriff Dart lost trust in him for serving his Country. Maher also alleges Sheriff Dart had investigators go through his personal belongings looking for dirt on him.
          There's a copy of the complaint linked on the site.


          Sunday, October 20, 2013

          What a Dumbass

          • Former Mayor Richard M. Daley says he doesn’t remember much about the planning of Millennium Park, his wildly over-budget project that has become one of Chicago’s civic treasures.

            The sprawling downtown park, with its gleaming stainless-steel sculpture known as “The Bean,” is seen as one of his crowning achievements. Daley, though, shrugs it off. He says it wasn’t even his idea to build the $475 million park, instead crediting Daniel Burnham, the legendary planner who created Chicago’s master plan more than a century ago

            As Chicago’s longest-serving mayor, Daley had a reputation as a micromanager and stickler for details. But he recalls little about the many meetings he attended to plan the park and not much either about its controverisal restaurant, the Park Grill, according to a transcript of an often-contentious deposition the former mayor gave Aug. 29 at the law offices of his attorney Terrence Burns.
          Sure, blame the guy who has been dead 100 years. It's certainly hard to believe this guy ran a major American city into the ground and retired without doing prison time.


          Pick 'em

          No points this week on the Bears vs the Redskins.

          Yes, we said "Redskins."

          Talk about your distractions foisted upon the low information voters.


          Raise Taxes!

          • Mayor Rahm Emanuel plans to propose increasing the city cigarette tax by 75 cents to help plug a budget gap and provide more free vision care for low-income Chicago Public Schools students, a City Hall source said Saturday.

            The increase would leave Chicago with the nation’s highest total cigarette taxes. The administration expects to collect an additional $10 million, with $8 million going toward the budget shortfall and $2 million to expand a program that provides free eye exams and glasses to students who fail vision screenings, the source said.

            The cigarette tax hike money represents only a fraction of the city’s estimated $339 million budget hole for next year. Even as City Hall was preparing to print budget documents on Sunday in advance of the mayor’s Wednesday budget address, there still was uncertainty over whether Emanuel will propose an increase in the city’s amusement tax on movies, plays, musical performances and sporting events.
          He thinks they're going to collect another $10 million? Or is this another of those "budgetary projections" that have zero basis in reality and actually end up collecting maybe 40% of their estimate, leaving taxpayer on the hook somewhere else?

          Anyone going to Indiana next week?


          Saturday, October 19, 2013

          New Source of Revenue Needed

          • Chicago’s fast-approaching pension crisis should be solved—not by cutting employee pensions and imposing annual property tax increases, but by finding “new sources of revenue,” the City Council’s Progressive Caucus said Friday.

            Mayor Rahm Emanuel is struggling to close a $338.7 million budget shortfall that will balloon to $1 billion next year without a painful mix of new revenues and employee concessions.

            That’s when the city is required by state law to make a $600 million contribution to stabilize police and fire pension funds that now have assets to cover just 30.5 and 25 percent of their respective liabilities.

            Emanuel wants the Il. General Assembly to impose annual property tax increases on Chicago homeowners and businesses, but put off the balloon payment for police and fire pensions until 2023 to give the city and its unions time to hammer out employee concessions.

            On Friday, the City Council’s Progressive Caucus staked out a dramatically different position.

            In a statement, the eight-member Caucus argued that the “manufactured crisis” was created by “decades of failure” to make “timely, regular and full payments” to city employee pension funds.

            “It is a failure arising from mismanagement and possible corruption in the oversight of those funds,” the statement said.
          Gee, if only there were some massive cash source, something that hadn't existed before that would magically result in a cash a giant pool of untapped money. Almost exactly like a TIF fund. Or maybe if Rahm had something to an airport! Or possibly a new revenue stream...something like a casino!

          Oh wait, it's Chicago. Wring concessions from anyone, take care of the connected, maybe the feds will bail us all out.


          Edge of the City Crime

          • Three 15-year-old boys face robbery charges after they used toy guns to hold up a woman and a 14-year-old girl in the O’Hare neighborhood Thursday night, police said.

            The three boys were arrested at or near the Cumberland Blue Line station a within about 15 minutes of the robberies, which took place just after 7 p.m. Thursday, said Chicago Police News Affairs [...]. Police had to chase one of them onto the CTA right-of-way to catch him, causing a brief shutdown of Blue Line service.

            One of the robberies took place in the 8700 block of West Bryn Mawr Avenue a little after 7:05 p.m., when a group of teens approached a 31-year-old woman, showed a weapon and demanded property from her..... They took the woman’s backpack and cell phone and fled.

            About the same time, a 14-year-old girl walking in the 5400 block of North East River Road—about a block away from the other robbery—was approached by a group of teens, and one of them displayed a gun and announced a robbery. The group took a smartphone and earphones from the girl and ran off.

            A few minutes later, officers located five teenage boys at the Cumberland Blue Line station, and quickly caught several of them..... One of the 15-year-olds who later was charged got off the Cumberland platform and ran onto the Blue Line tracks before he was caught.....

            In the boys’ possession police found a backpack with two toy guns that matched the description of those used in the robberies.
          Word from 016 is that all three apprehended were from Englewood and the surrounding area. Anyone?


          Friday, October 18, 2013

          Small Changes

          Another shifting of the deck chairs reaching our ears from the halls of 35th Street.

          Not "BIG CHANGES." Not even "Big Changes." Small.

          Anyone have the word on who went where?


          Knife Wielding Assailant Killed

          Officer is fine:
          • A Chicago police officer killed a man who authorities said was waving a butcher knife during a domestic disturbance early Friday morning.

            The officer was taken to Mercy Hospital and Medical Center for observation, shook up after the shooting but otherwise uninjured, authorities said.

            A spokeswoman for the Cook County medical examiner's office identified the man as Felix Valdez, 44.

            The shooting happened about 1:10 a.m. in the 3200 block of South Halsted Street, on the same block as the parking garage for the 9th District police station. Valdez lived in the apartment where he was shot.
          Very well done Officer.


          Tony, Is That You?

          • A high-ranking Chicago Police Department official was forced to resign in recent months after making “intentionally false and deliberately incomplete” statements under oath during an internal investigation, according to Inspector General Joe Ferguson.

            The explosive information is contained in a quarterly report that coincides with Ferguson’s reappointment to another four-year term.

            As always, the report merely includes a summary of pending and concluded investigations and does not identify the targets.

            It simply states that a “senior official” in the Police Department made “intentionally false and deliberately incomplete material statements” to the inspector general’s office while under oath, violating the municipal code, Police Department regulations and city personnel rules.
          Odds on favorite is Carothers. We can't think of any other really obvious ones with the links to corruption, jailed aldercreatures and unexplained sudden leavings.

          Now how about a judge with the same connections?


          Oh Joy!

          • An Englewood man calls the opening of the new South Side Red Line a “blessing.” Mayor Rahm Emanuel dubs it a “historic” investment for the South Side.

            After 154 days of construction and thousands of rerouted trips for thousands of riders, the CTA will reopen the Red Line between Cermak-Chinatown and 95th Street on Sunday at 2 a.m.

            “This is a new Red Line and a new day for the South Side of the city of Chicago,” Emanuel said Thursday at the 47th Street Red Line station, one of nine stations shuttered since May 19.
          Hopefully, the warm season is over, but still, be aware boys and girls.


            63 Officers Suspended

            • Eleven months after a November 2012 car chase that involved 104 police officers and ended with two deaths, Cleveland Police Chief Michael McGrath has announced that 63 of the officers will be suspended.

              Of the 104 officers, 75 broke rules and 63 were suspended for excessive speeding and failing to request permission to take part in the chase, McGrath said Tuesday.

              The 13 officers who fired the 137 shots are not among the suspended, though they may still face disciplinary and possibly even criminal charges, authorities said.
            If the chase tapes aren't already out there, they probably will be shortly. This must have been some egregious shit to have 104 officers involved, 63 suspended and a number of supervisors suspended, demoted or terminated. And criminal charges still pending? Holy crap Batman.


            Was He a Tourist?

            • A 55-year-old Arkansas man was shot dead early Thursday when a trip in a friend’s car went awry.

              Robert Franklin died shortly after his friend rushed him to John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County with four gunshot wounds to the back just before 4 a.m., authorities said.

              Police said the friend told officers the two got lost while driving around during the early morning hours. Police said it is unknown where the shooting happened because the driver was lost.

              The friend told police they stopped to ask for directions, but a man climbed into the car, pulled out a gun and robbed them, police said.
            No location for the shooting - are they going to push it off to Cicero or Stickney?


            Thursday, October 17, 2013

            Aldercreature Pushes for Retro

            • A Northwest Side alderman whose ward is home to scores of Chicago Police officers urged Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Wednesday not to use a paperwork mistake made by the police union president to deny rank-and-file police officers their automatic right to a retroactive pay raise in 2012.

              Ald. Mary O’Connor (41st) said she introduced the resolution at a City Council meeting in response to concerns voiced by police officers who have called her office and stopped her on the street.

              “People feel there’s a rift between the mayor and the FOP president and they’re caught in the crossfire,” O’Connor said Wednesday.

              “The perception out there is that they are going to lose income because of a deadline that was missed. That should not be the case. It’s a clerical error made by their representative, but it impacts 10,000 police officers. It has an impact on their livelihood and their families. That would not be fair to the police.”
            Now if we could only get 25 more aldercreatures to vote for this, we might get somewhere.


            Once Again, a Racial Divide

            And the NRA position lines up more with that of the black aldercreatures, though for different reasons:
            • Mayor Rahm Emanuel has touched a nerve with his demand for a mandatory minimum, three-year sentence for gun crimes with a requirement that defendants serve 85 percent of their sentences.

              That much was obvious Wednesday when a City Council bitterly divided along racial lines went on record urging the Illinois General Assembly to impose stiffer sentences for gun crimes.

              The resolution talked about truth-in-sentencing. It made no mention of the three-year minimum. But it triggered a debate aldermen were itching to have.

              White aldermen were all for the bill championed by Emanuel and Police Supt. Garry McCarthy.

              African-American aldermen had such reservations, they threatened to send the resolution back to committee. They argued that mandatory minimum sentences failed miserably in the war on drugs and a similar approach to gun crimes would result in more of the same.
            So the African-American aldercreatures oppose the law on the basis that too many black and brown folks/people will bear a disproportionate brunt of the penalties because....well, they aren't saying it's because a disproportionate amount of black and brown persons are committing the crime. They don't want you to look at that. Just ignore that fact that police are targeting guns crime, not black/brown crime, and remember guns are evil!

            And the NRA position:
            • The National Rifle Association is stepping up its campaign against a proposed gun control measure in Illinois that supporters argue will help combat and prevent street violence by increasing penalties for gun crimes.

              The bill, sponsored by Democratic state Rep. Mike Zalewski, calls for more time behind bars for possessing illegal weapons. It increases penalties for unlawful use of weapons, including by felons or gang members. It would make probation less likely, imposing minimum prison sentences of three years in many cases. It would also require that offenders serve at least 85 percent of their sentences, up from 50 percent.

              The NRA's Institute for Legislative Action wrote in a website post that the bill will jeopardize concealed carry in Illinois by imposing tough penalties for individuals who carry a firearm without a concealed-carry permit or firearm owner's identification card.

              "This specific provision incorrectly targets otherwise law-abiding citizens, rather than deterring violent criminals with harsher penalties," the group said in an Oct. 10 statement.
            The NRA recognizes that decent people, especially those living in crime-ridden neighborhoods might have more need of a gun than those in lower crime areas. And due to the racial makeups of crime-ridden neighborhoods, the decent people are going to be disproportionally minority. That isn't the NRA's contention - the NRA doesn't mention race in their position - that's our observation of reality.

            And that is greatly amusing to us, that an organization painted by the left as a rich, white, oppressive, Republican stalwart is actually fighting for the Rights of poor, minority, victimized Democrats to be able to protect themselves without being subject to a three-year prison minimum for first time offenders who might not understand all the intricacies in the new laws governing Concealed Carry and gun ownership.

            This is a very exploitable opening for the NRA to peel away a section of a monolithic voting bloc. Pro-gun, pro-self defense, pro-responsible gun owners who happen to be black? That would terrify Rahm more than anything we can think of at the moment.


            Englewood versus "Bait Car"

            Bait Car comes to Englewood - guess who wins?

            Englewood - 1; TRU Network - 0


            Wednesday, October 16, 2013

            Crime Stats Are Not to be Believed

            • You won't hear Lakeview's top cop talk statistics at community meetings anymore — even if numbers suggest that crime is down from the year before in the neighborhood.

              Town Hall Police Cmdr. Elias Voulgaris said the biggest way to tell if things were going well was listening to feedback from residents. Besides, many in the community didn't believe police numbers anyway, he said.

              "You'll notice I didn't bring up stats," he said at a recent community policing meeting. "No one believes the stats. The biggest barometer is feedback."

              It was a rough summer for Voulgaris. At a heated August policing meeting, residents both decried the statistics showing crime was too high — a beat in Lakeview led the city in robberies — and questioned whether the official data could be believed.

              Crimes are only documented when the victim files a report, and some neighbors and a well-read neighborhood crime blog, Crime in Wrigleyville and Boystown, frequently point out that not all robberies are documented.
            Perception is part of the key to people "feeling safe." The other part is actually being safe, having a visible patrol presence, being seen making arrests, performing traffic stops, and interacting with the public. That isn't happening in most "safe" neighborhoods because the manpower has been stripped (or retired without replacement) from those areas.

            Add in a massive reclassification of crime, increased response times to discourage reporting of crime, making the 3-1-1 (Alternate Response) a nightmare to navigate through and you have all the makings of betraying trust with the community when they can see the uptick in crimes with their own eyes and they no longer believe your numbers.

            Most of the credit is due to the Crime in Wrigleyville and Boystown blog. They have been relentless in their coverage of robberies blowing up across what is one of the biggest night life spots in Chicago. Perhaps they can kill CompStat in the process.

            Labels: ,

            NYC Ends Streak of No Killings

            • An 18-year-old man shot and killed on a Brooklyn street Monday ended a seven-day stretch with no homicides, police records show.

              The unidentified teen took a bullet to the back near 53rd St. and Avenue J in Flatlands about 10:15 p.m.

              Emergency workers rushed the bleeding victim to Kings County Hospital, where he died. No arrests were immediately made.

              NYPD data shows it was the first killing in a week. Cops investigated eight murders during the same week last year, according to the records.

              It was the longest murder-free period since the nine days from this past Jan. 17 to Jan. 25 — a streak that coincided with a bitter cold snap, officials said.
            Cold snap? Weather affects crime? Who knew?

            Anyone know what Chicago's longest streak is without a killing? We recall three different occasions where it was trumpeted to the media that Chicago went 24 hours without a shooting, but actual homicides?

            Labels: ,

            Englewood Overrun by Rats

            • The rats in the 7000 block of South Parnell Avenue have become a problem, Ruthie Shivers said. A big problem.

              Shivers, 83, said she no longer barbecues or lets her small dog, Bella, play in her backyard.

              "I'm afraid if I let her in the backyard she will be attacked by those rats," she said.
            Rats are a fact of life in the big city. But you can make your neighborhood less "rat-friendly" if you make some effort.
            • Residents said they have called the Streets and San several times since July, but nothing has happened.

              "All they say is 'We'll look into it and get back to you.' One time I was told when I called that it is the owner's responsibility to clean up the site," Shivers said.

              Bill McCaffrey, a spokesman for Streets and San, said he didn't know what residents were told and did not know if the city has the authority to clean up private property. He said he'd look into the problem.

              Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6th) said it is true that the city cannot trespass on private property to clean it up, even if it's abandoned.
            So it's no one's problem evidently. But everyone knows exactly who's to blame:
            • "People Downtown think because we live in Englewood we are a bunch of savages, [that] we do not care about where we live, but they are wrong," said Robert Coley, 62. "The city could easily come out here and clean up these lots and send the bill to the owner. But because it's Englewood, they have a 'I couldn't-care-less' attitude. We pay taxes, too, and deserve better."
            The neighborhood could do something about it, too. Rent a dumpster, bait the property, fill the holes, stop dumping trash onto abandoned property, tell your neighbors to stop it, and send the bill to the owners or alderman's office. Expecting the government to come in and fix things isn't a solution. Well, unless you promise to vote for them.

            Which someone must have done - DNAInfo reports that the city came in and cleaned up everything. We'll bet a dollar that it's a fucked up again before the snow flies.


            Tuesday, October 15, 2013

            A Glimpse of the Future

            Thanks to Wal-Mart and Xerox, we now have a preview of what will happen when the system fails. And fail it will - it's an unsustainable scheme. First, a bunch of EBT cards (electronic food stamps) failed to read a balance:
            • Customers staged a disturbance, took unpaid for groceries and walked out of a Mississippi Walmart after they were unable to use their food stamp cards on Saturday.

              People in 17 states found themselves unable to buy groceries with their food stamp debit-style cards Saturday after a routine check by vendor Xerox Corp. resulted in a system failure.

              The mini riot, happened at the Walmart in Philadelphia, Miss. Shortly thereafter, managers decided to temporarily close the store.
            And then when the system was fixed, numerous cards started reading "no limit." Any guesses as to whether people did the honest thing or did they try to take advantage? C''re (mostly) know exactly what happened:
            • Wal-Mart Stores Inc and Xerox Corp blamed each other on Monday after Louisiana food stamp recipients stripped bare the shelves of some Walmart stores when a computer glitch left their debit cards with no limits.

              Managers of Walmart stores in the small, north Louisiana towns of Springhill and Mansfield alerted police on Saturday night that throngs of shoppers had flooded into the stores and were buying groceries using electronic benefit cards that contained no credit limits.

              EBT cards are debit-type cards issued under the state's food stamp program and coded to show the amount of money available for individuals to spend. Food stamps are a federal government subsidy program for low-income people that is administered by the states.

              When word got out Saturday that the EBT cards were showing no limits, card holders rushed to area Walmarts to take advantage.

              "Some people had eight or 10 shopping carts full of groceries," Springhill Police Chief Will Lynd said on Monday.
            We sure the Department has a plan in place in case something like this happens around here.


            No Guns at NFL Games

            Because, you know, there have been so many dozens of shootings involving cops at NFL events:
            • A new NFL policy bans off-duty law enforcement officers from taking their guns into stadiums.

              As CBS 2′s [...] reports, many officers are calling foul, and fan support for the policy is mixed.

              First it was the NFL’s new bag policy not scoring any points with fans this season. Now, the league’s ban on off-duty officers carrying weapons into stadiums is coming under fire.

              “It’s a terrible idea because you have so many people who coming to a stadium that if an incident happens, how are the police supposed to protect and serve?” Bears fan Jeff Atkinson says.

              In a statement, an NFL spokesperson says: “We believe that the interest of public safety is best served by limiting the number of weapons inside stadiums to those required by officers that perform specifically assigned law enforcement working functions and game-day duties.”
            Which would be all well and good....if the NFL actually owned all the stadiums. In many cases, they don't. They lease/rent the facilities from a city, state or sports authority. Soldier Field is Park District property, so Park District rules ought to apply.

            Texas handled this with its usual level headedness:
            • The National Football League has implemented a new stadium policy that would ban off-duty police officers from carrying guns into games…except in the state of Texas.

              According to the NFL memo, “off-duty officers who attempt to bring firearms into an NFL facility will be denied entry.”

              But a Texas state law overrides the NFL policy. As long as officers attending the game check in at a specific gate and inform Security where they are sitting – they can have their gun.

              Ron Pinkston of the Dallas Police Association says that the Texas law is sensible.

              “Our officers are 24/7, on or off duty, and if they run into a critical incident – they are required to take action” says Pinkston. “Our officers will be allowed to carry their weapon into [the] Stadium and other football stadiums in the State of Texas due to Texas law.”
            We know a bunch of people who used to side job for various security firms inside Soldier Field and other stadiums, usually in those fluorescent jackets, and to a man they related that they were unarmed. In this day and age of the big splashy terrorist attack, the Texas solution would seem to be the sensible option.

            Labels: ,

            One Bidder

            • Federal officials considered only one firm to design the Obamacare health insurance exchange website that has performed abysmally since its Oct. 1 debut.

              Rather than open the contracting process to a competitive public solicitation with multiple bidders, officials in the Department of Health and Human Services' Centers for Medicare and Medicaid accepted a sole bidder, CGI Federal, the U.S. subsidiary of a Canadian company with an uneven record of IT pricing and contract performance.

              CMS officials are tight-lipped about why CGI was chosen or how it happened. They also refuse to say if other firms competed with CGI, or if there was ever a public solicitation for building, the backbone of Obamacare’s problem-plagued web portal.
            Gee, a Canadian firm with no competing bids for a program that is supposed to somehow run fully one-sixth of the US economy. What could possibly go wrong....besides everything.


            Here's Part of Your Raise

            • Former Mayor Richard Daley offered in inside look at Maggie Daley Park Monday.

              The space in Grant Park is still under construction, and is dedicated to Daley's late wife who lost her nine-year battle with metastatic breast cancer on Thanksgiving Day in 2011.

              Daley led an Ideas Week tour of what will be Chicago's newest park and offered NBC 5 exclusive access.
            You can bet Channel 5 isn't going to ask a single question about the parking structure repairs underneath that make up a large part of that #55 million.


            Monday, October 14, 2013

            City Cries Poor....But....

            Some insight:
            • off topic.

              City crying broke over the NATO 6th day award. They have filed an extension to pay order with the courts allowing them a 364 (one day short of a year which is the limit for an extension) to pay the award. If successful that means that expect the pay for the 6th day wont come until just about 1 year from the arbitration award which was about a month ago... What say you FOP?????

              10/12/2013 02:36:00 PM

              Wait a minute, didn't the City get money from the Feds to cover the cost. Also, hasn't the City been spending "leftover" NATO money on other projects?
            There was a few million left over from NATO. We don't think all of it was Federal money - there are rules for Federal money and if you misspend it, there are penalties (usually). But Rahm has been giving it away to community groups and parks, knowing that this arbitration hearing was to be decided at some point and it probably wasn't going to be decided in favor of the City.

            Hopefully, the FOP points this out to the Arbitrator or whomever is hearing the City's request for extensions. Poor planning on Rahm's part isn't our problem. Getting paid in a timely fashion for work we did over a year-and-a-half ago is.


            Um....Duh? Again.

            Guess what the eggheads at the U of C discovered? If there is actual punishment, real honest-to-goodness penalties for committing crime, people usually stop committing crime. Honest! And if there is no punishment, then guess what they do?
            • Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s argument for stiffer firearms sentences is bolstered by a new study showing gun possession offenders placed on probation are more likely to get re-arrested for murder than other felons, his police superintendent says.

              The University of Chicago Crime Lab studied whether those convicted of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon — a gun possession charge — have higher arrest rates for murders and non-fatal shootings than other felons.

              Using Chicago Police arrest data, the study found that aggravated UUW offenders were four times more likely to be re-arrested on murder charges and nearly nine times more likely to be locked up for nonlethal shootings than other felons.
            Golly. If these guys spent as much time studying pathogens, their effects on human physiology and how to reverse it, as they do on something a Probationary Police Officer is taught his first week on the streets, we'd have a cure for cancer already.

            There is a bill before the legislature to increase the penalty for felons caught with guns, but as usual, Chicago pols have screwed up the language and the NRA has helpfully pointed out how a simple change would actually garner their support for the bill:
            • A bill backed by the Emanuel administration and Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez would raise the mandatory minimum sentence for aggravated UUW from one to three years and would require offenders to serve 85 percent of their sentences — a “truth in sentencing” provision.

              [...] Todd Vandermyde, a lobbyist for the National Rifle Association in Illinois, said he remains opposed to the legislation because he’s concerned first-time offenders could get trapped in the same net as felons.

              [...] Vandermyde said he doesn’t have a problem with boosting the penalties for felons caught with guns. But he’s worried about first-time offenders getting three-year prison terms.
            Well, you can pretty much be sure that they'll never change the wording now. God forbid the NRA makes sense.

            Labels: ,

            Good Behavior a Headline?

            Amazing. These rapscallions behave for once, and it's a top story on ABC News:
            • Rival high schools meet on the football field in a game that is closely watched, but not only for the final tally on the scoreboard.

              Students from Rich Central and Rich South were involved in a recent brawl that put their schools in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons and left nearly a dozen students facing charges.

              [...]It's the first football game between the competing suburban Chicago schools since a brawl broke out late last month between students from the two high schools.

              [...]Parents, friends and supporters were able to attend the much-anticipated game after the school district reversed its decision banning all spectators from the stands citing safety concerns.
            Isn't that what kids are supposed to do at school football games? Behave, enjoy the game, cheer your team on, maybe some good old fashioned jeering back and forth across the field, your marching band and cheerleaders maybe with some not-so-subtle chants back and forth?

            Sorry. Reminiscing. A simpler time we suppose.


            Sunday, October 13, 2013

            Still an Asshole

            • One of the “NATO 3” protesters facing trial on terrorism charges from protests during last year’s NATO Summit in Chicago has been charged with aggravated battery, accused of squirting a shampoo bottle filled with urine and feces on a Cook County Jail guard.

              Prosecutors said Jared Chase squirted the officer with the substance from inside his jail cell on Oct. 4.

              Chase, 29, of Keene, N.H., appeared in court Saturday and was ordered held on $100,000 bail.
            Remember, "peaceful" protestors. He probably just heard that Cook County runs their sentences concurrently instead of consecutively, so he figures he's safe from additional time.


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