Saturday, May 30, 2015

It's About Time

  • A week ago, rapper Shaquon Thomas posted a video making fun of a rival gang while pretending to hold a gun in his hands.

    "You don't even know how to shoot," Thomas rapped in the video, titled "Shooters."

    Early Friday, the 20-year-old Thomas was gunned down about a block from where he recorded that video on the streets of Uptown. It's an area where three street gangs --
    [...we aren't listing the names of the gangs - SCC] -- have been locked in a long-running feud. Thomas was a [great disappointment], according to police.

    Around 1:35 a.m. Friday, he was with a friend in the 4800 block of North Kenmore Avenue when a gunman walked up and started shooting, authorities said. Thomas was hit twice in the back and taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 3:01 a.m.
It's too bad they didn't kill him sooner, but it wasn't for lack of trying:
  • It was at least the third time someone had tried to kill Thomas in the last year and a half, according to police. The other two times, innocent bystanders died.
That's just great - two other statistics because this waste of protoplasm couldn't do the right thing and just take his bullets. Jesse? Al? Louis? WVON? You want to comment on this shit?

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Hey Look! Openings!!!

Don't blink or they'll be gone!
  • Police Officers

    001 - 2 openings
    008 - 2 openings
    014 - 2 openings
    017 - 2 openings
    018 - 2 openings
    019 - 2 openings
    020 - 2 openings
    022 - 4 openings
And all you FTO's have a chance to move, too!
  • FTO Openings

    005 - 2 openings
    012 - 3 openings
    014 - 2 openings
    017 - 2 openings
    019 - 1 openings
    020 - 3 openings
Move while you can - these might be the only opportunities until winter.

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Merit Nominations Out

They are making a new class of sergeants on the heels of these last 31.

Make your phone calls.

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Something is Going On....

  • BALTIMORE (WJZ)–A young child, killed in a double shooting in southwest Baltimore just as another young victim is released from the hospital, with a bullet still in his leg. Police say it’s all part of a disturbing and growing trend.

    A mother and her young son gunned down in the city. Now, frustration grows as violent crimes– claim more lives and police say more and more children are getting caught in the crossfire.
Shootings involving children in Baltimore up 500%....hmmmm.

What could it be?
  • WASHINGTON - A local reporter was shot and killed Wednesday night in the District.

    Charnice Milton, 27, was found suffering from a gunshot wound in the 2700 block of Good Hope Road in Southeast around 9:40 p.m. She was taken to the hospital where she died.

    [...] Her family is asking for those responsible to do the right thing and turn themselves in.

    “What we do know is that out of cowardice, a young man grabbed my daughter and put himself between the bullet and his life,” said Ken McClendon, the victim's father.
Nope, that's not it. Something else....

Something obvious:
  • Inside what looks like an ordinary storefront is the headquarters for a youth group. Community leaders are hoping it will help stop the rise in gang youth crime.

    The NYPD has set its sights on dismantling the gangs police say are largely responsible for the shootings and murders in the city.

    [...] While overall crime is down almost seven percent, shootings are up 7.1 percent so far this year. Murders are up 15.3 percent. Even with the increase, it's a much lower number than the 1980s and 1990s.
Oh well, it'll come to us.

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Spin the Economy!

  • The economy got off to an even weaker start this year than first thought, the government reported Friday, as economic activity contracted amid a disappointing trade picture and continued caution on spending by businesses and consumers alike.

    The 0.7 percent decline in economic output in the first quarter of 2015 was a reversal of the initial 0.2 percent advance for the period reported last month by the Commerce Department.
Um....when the economy contracts (or shrinks), you don't call it a "weaker start." Going backwards isn't starting at all. But Obummer handing off an economy with no wheels, gas, engine and 98 million people not working isn't going to get Shrillary elected.

But hey, Crime is Down....somewhere.....we think....no, not here....no, not Baltimore either.....

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Friday, May 29, 2015

Where's the Police?

  • The owner and founder of a luxury consignment shop in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood had a pointed question after thousands of dollars worth of handbags were swiped from the store Wednesday: "Where is our police protection?"

    Corri McFadden was visibly frustrated in recounting how repeated calls to 911 went unanswered after three men -- two of them dressed as women -- ran off with bags from Louis Vuitton, Celine and Givenchy from the eDrop-Off store on the 2100 block of Halsted Street.

    "This is a problem," she said.
It's been a problem ma'am. For years now. We've been pointing it out for a long time. 9-1-1 is notoriously understaffed, given their overtime budget-busters year after year. And as for the "Where is our police protection?" question, people in the affluent neighborhoods have been wondering that for a long time. You just haven't been paying attention.
  • Security cameras recorded the latest incident. Receptionist Mary Kate Farley said she felt uneasy immediately after she buzzed the three men through the locked entry.

    "You get a gut feeling the second that happened," she said.
Yeah, just ignore that intuition and sixth-sense. It's racist!
  • The thieves got away, and while there was a noticeable police presence in the area after the incident, McFadden and her staff all claim the response was severely delayed. Further, she said what one officer told her will stick in her mind as long as the crime itself.

    "One officer looked me in the eye and said, 'You need to get your conceal and carry,'" she recalled.
That's just bad advice there and whoever gave it ought to take some remedial Academy time. You're going to get this store owner in trouble.

But this last line is a sad commentary on what policing has become:
  • A Chicago police official said the response was based on three facts: it was a retail theft, there were no weapons, and no one was injured.
We'll bet money that when the call came in, it was a robbery-in-progress, because the store owners aren't usually hung up on legal terminology. That should have gotten a decent response. The lack of weapons wasn't verified until later and the owner chased them for a few blocks, which also should have generated a heavy response, too.

But if, as we suspect, there just weren't any officers to send, it being afternoon and either (A) shift time and/or (B) school dismissal time, then guess what? The police aren't coming anytime near soon enough and you better think about investing in a man-trap door, on-scene security, chaining the merchandise down or voting for someone who isn't slashing the police numbers in your neighborhood.

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Here's Part of the Gambling Bill

  • Chicago would get a city-owned casino and be allowed to keep all revenue for seven years to help make ballooning pension payments, and new casinos would be added throughout the state under legislation expected to be introduced Thursday in the Illinois Senate.

    Democratic Sen. Terry Link plans to present a gambling expansion bill before the Senate executive committee, said Rikeesha Phelon, spokeswoman for Senate President John Cullerton.

    In addition to a new Chicago casino, the legislation would add casinos in Chicago's south suburbs, Rockford, Vermilion County and Lake County. It also calls for smaller "satellite" casinos, with between 400 and 600 slot machines that could be located in Decatur and far southern Illinois.

    Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has pushed for a Chicago-owned casino as a way to address a multibillion-dollar public-pension shortfall. The state sees new gambling as a source of much-needed revenue.
A seven-year-exclusivity.....but Rahm is pushing for a multi-year delay in applying any money to the pensions. Just one question there....
  • Why?
What could possibly be more important that removing the massive pension obligation from Chicago's balance sheet? If Rahm gets his hooks into any casino money, along with tacit agreement from the unions to delay the immediate payment of monies owed (owed by law), you can bet the farm that the pensions will never see anything close to what is needed to mend what the politicians broke.

Never.

Additionally (and in spite of the current casino glut) the bill authorizes how many new casinos and so-called "satellite" casinos? Casinos that could potentially draw customers away from the Chicago establishment. This is a sop to get the downstate votes for a city casino because, let's face it, Illinois is pretty much cornfields, cows and Chicago. And unfortunately, Chicago is also the biggest problem in Illinois, an 800-pound gorilla which also happens to be incontinent.

We are under no illusions about casino riches - people don't get rich gambling at casinos and cities seldom get rich if they have casinos. Vegas is Vegas because it's a destination city. Atlantic City is the antithesis of Vegas...when you get there, you're still in New Jersey.

Chicago is for the most part, a destination city. It has international draw, a solid history, decent tourist traps, museums that are the envy of many, architectural wonders, etc. It isn't Vegas, but it certainly has more going for it than Atlantic City. Tapping into that with a decently run casino would provide a reasonably steady revenue stream for a short while, perhaps even boosting the destination potential with conventioneers, tourists, big name acts, etc.

The problem is "decently run" and "Chicago" appearing in the same sentence. This Senate Bill is a prime example of a poorly thought out idea.

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Someone to Verify? UPDATE)

If true, this should have the local, state and national lodges in an uproar:
  • Twice in the last week I was listening to WVON, 1690 on the radio, and they took calls from people who said police officers wearing white, blue and brown should be killed. One caller, mad about the SOS photo, even said officers kids should be targeted and killed. The radio station let these conversations go on and did not cut them off. Be careful out there...

  • If you need to hear the comments about the WVON radio station talking about killing police officers kids, in retaliation for the SOS photo, it was on the station 28 May 15, around 0830hrs.
Can anyone confirm?

(comments to be heavily moderated here, so don't waste your time with crap you know won't get published) 

UPDATE: It seems WVON has pulled the podcasts for the date and time listed above. We may have touched some nerves.

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Dart Gets a Grant

  • Cook County Jail could have fewer non-violent offenders in the future.

    The MacArthur Foundation announced Wednesday that it's giving the county $150,000 in the form of a planning grant to help achieve the goal.

    The Chicago-based foundation is also giving grants to 19 other jurisdictions around the country.
That's the entire article. While we realize the MacArthur Foundation is entitled to grant its largess to any individual or organization it deems worthy, giving cash to a government entity, especially one as crooked as Cook County and to a jail-keeper who pleads his house is "overcrowded" while closing numerous wings of the jail, thereby achieving a political end via mismanagement, is somewhat questionable.

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Thursday, May 28, 2015

cBS Discovers Drugs in Chicago

Maybe the organizers of RiotFest are having second thoughts?
  • [21 May 15] The new home of Riot Fest is already home to junkies, CBS 2 has learned.

    A viewer said the park is littered with used hypodermic needles. And sure enough, that’s just what CBS 2 [...] found.

    Those discarded needles are just feet from where children play. It took a news crew less than a minute to find the dangerous debris.
And a followup yesterday:
  • [26 May 15] Today, CBS 2 [,,,] returned to Douglas Park and found more needles in the park, but unlike last week when it took a day for Chicago Park District crews to pick up the needles CBS 2 reported, there were crews already on the lookout for the dangerous drug paraphernalia.

    They are in the corners, in the crevices and on the ground mixed in with leaves: needles and empty baggies that once held drugs.

    Today, Park District employees used gloves and a special receptacle to dispose of some of the debris.
This has been one of the biggest heroin spots in existence for decades, but cBS is just figuring this out now when a bunch of white people will be using the park for a music festival that produces a massive number of ...[irony alert!]... drug overdoses!

Good thing there are two hospitals within walking distance and four more just a stone throw away.

Hey, we were just wondering - did anyone over at the Parks waive the fees for RiotFest the way they just did for the NFL?

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Parks Give Away a Million

  • The Chicago Park District waived a $937,500 rental fee and a security deposit for the NFL to use Grant Park when it held the draft in the city from April 30-May 2, the Chicago Tribune reported Wednesday afternoon.

    An outdoor fan festival dubbed “Draft Town” was held in Grant Park, and it was a large selling point for mayor Rahm Emanuel to help persuade the NFL to move its big event from New York City to Chicago this this year for the first time since 1964. By all accounts, the fan festival went over well, with more than 200,000 estimated to have attended the draft and an NFL spokesman saying of how it all played out, “It far exceeded our expectations.”

    Perhaps part of that glowing review was because the use of Grant Park was free. Typically, it would cost around $1 million to host an event the size of the NFL Draft, the Tribune reported, but the this was a different circumstance because it was deemed a benefit to the public.
The city is pleading "broke" at every opportunity. Rahm is holding clandestine meetings with public employee unions trying to circumvent a state law requiring a $500+ million payment to shore up pension funds neglected for years under his predecessors and lately, his administration.

Yet, someone somewhere waives a $1 million rental-and-insurance fee from an organization that generates $10 billion in revenue per year. That's something like one-ten-thousandth of it's total revenue flow. We'd certainly like to meet whoever made that decision. So would a lot of taxpayers.

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Another SOS Scandal?

This time, over a photograph that's around 15 years old:
  • An offensive photo that cost a Chicago police officer his job has been made public as he fights in court to rejoin the department.
If you haven't seen it, you can find it. Once again, we're sure this will surface and resurface for years to come in order to paint a picture of the CPD that serves a political end just like the Abbate tape.

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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Awards Luncheon

Honoring many many heroes, including the Police Medal:
  • Whenever Chicago police Officer Javier Alonso sees the bullet hole in his right leg, he thinks about the night of June 6, 2014.

    That was when he and fellow Officer Michael M. Wrobel were shot during an exchange of gunfire with a man police had just pulled over on the Far South Side, on suspicion that he was armed with a gun.

    Wrobel was shot in the chest but was saved by his bulletproof vest. Despite his injury, Wrobel got into his car, drove through the line of fire and helped the wounded Alonso into the vehicle before driving him to a hospital.
  • In 2010, Officer Thomas Wortham IV was killed during a gun battle outside his family's home. His father, retired police Sgt. Thomas Wortham III, ran outside and tried to save his son.

    Sgt. Wortham received a standing ovation when he was honored with the superintendent's Award of Valor.

    "I accepted this reward, award, for all the parents who have lost someone," Sgt. Wortham said.

    In 2010 thieves attempted to steal Wortham's son's brand new motorcycle while it was parked outside the family's Chatham home.

    Wortham's police officer son was shot and killed in the ensuing gun battle. Wortham shot two of the robbers, killing one of them and identified the suspects in the getaway car.

    "I did nothing no other parent would have done in the same situation," he said.
We would respectfully say that you did far more than another parent would even be capable of in that situation, sir. Once again, our sympathies on your loss.

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Pension News

  • Mayor Rahm Emanuel is trying to solve his police and fire pension problem by paying less upfront, taking longer to pay off the debt and getting some of the money to cover what the city owes from a Chicago casino.

    The approach is designed to soften a massive financial hit expected next year, when the city is required to increase its payments into the two pension funds by $549 million as required by a 2010 state law. That's equal to nearly one-sixth of the city's yearly operating budget and accounts for the bulk of a 2016 budget shortfall now pegged at nearly $1 billion.

    Emanuel, however, wants to hit the reset button. Instead of paying the additional $549 million next year, the city would spend significantly less than that. Then the city would start to increase how much it puts into the police and fire pension systems over a number of years while also spreading out its payments over a longer period of time.
This whole bill is looking to be a rush job, possibly introduced later today. We've expressed our reservations and demanded that the unions make the mayor follow the law. If the whole thing goes belly up before the summer recess, then what?

The unions should be asking for the moon. We should have actuary reports and professionals giving us reams of data, charts, graphs, etc. We should have agreements signed by politicians and reviewed by actual lawyers. This reeks of political pandering to over-eager amateurs looking ahead to the next election - a sure recipe for disaster.

Pay attention to the next few days boys and girls. It's all of our futures being gambled with.

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Mass Tact Exodus

Ric Flair moves out, a new "4-times-merit" boss is brought in, he brings in his people, and suddenly everyone wants out:
  • The new tact lt. in 007 is making a great impression. Two whole teams including the sergeants are putting in to-forms to go back to the watch. The Watson crew is not very popular. Just wanted to get this out there before E.O. could spin it that he "dumped " them because there is no way his ego will be able to process this. The one team leads the city in UUW arrests and was told that's not good enough ...... " you need to hit more singles".
  • 2 tact teams in 007 all put in to-forms to go back to the watch. New bosses are not working out...
  • To the hard working officer who so badly wants to work tact. Come to the 7th district because there are numerous tact and sgt positions available. No one is interested in working tact in 007. See you soon.
Twenty officers and two sergeants all wanting out at the same time in one of the busiest districts in the city, an area that regularly leads the homicide count for the past decade. This mass exodus would appear to be what we call a "clue" in these parts. Now, we're aware tact is a voluntary assignment and most of the positions are filled by invite only.

But it's rather telling that movement of this size, and all at one time, all under a new regime would be nodded at by downtown without any sort of fallout. It's not like shootings are down in Englewood.

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Ghost of Royko

Martin Preib again, putting so-called "journalists" to shame:
  • It was 1992 when Mike Royko headed over to a downtown apartment to meet with Jon Burge’s representatives.

    Jon Burge was a Chicago Police Commander on the south side of Chicago facing accusations that he tortured confessions from suspects in murder cases.

    The purpose of the meeting was for Royko to finally sit down and pore over the facts of the infamous Wilson murders from 1982, the murder of two police officers that gave rise to what is now known as the wrongful conviction movement.

    Royko spent the afternoon gathering first the facts of the murders, then the long history of the criminal case and the claims by Wilson and his attorneys that Wilson had been tortured by Burge and his men.
And Royko, no particular friend of the Department, pretty much found that the juries had gotten it right, time and time again.

As usual, read it all, including Royko's article outlining his findings. The conversion of these murdering scumbags into "wrongfully convicted" individuals should be appalling to anyone with half-a-brain.

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Violent Weekend = Guns are Bad

  • Mayor Rahm Emanuel says he’s been in touch with the families of the dozen people killed by gunfire this weekend, including a four-year-old girl. He also talked to reporters and police about the more than three dozen people wounded as well, reports WBBM [...]

    [...] He says it will take more than police officers to quell the violence, it will take community action and it will take stronger gun laws.

    “It is not just about how many police you have, it is about the quantity of guns that are on the street so we actually have gun laws that back up the men and women we just recognized,” Emanuel said.
And the number of lawful gun owners contributing to the mayhem this weekend?
  • zero
Did anyone see the Department information bulletin issues earlier this week? The one where one-hundred-eleven pistols and short-barreled rifles were stolen from a rail car in the 004 District this past April? That was the first we heard of it - 111 guns and nary a mention in the press that we saw. Nor a mention from Rahm about how criminals get guns.

Did Rahm regale the press with complaints about how Prickwrinkle and Dart are emptying the jail? Or how judges are giving light sentences for gun possession...boot camp in some cases? Or how so many shooters and victims seem to be out on parole or electronic monitoring when they get tangled up in gun crimes again and again and again? Or how the community seems to condone this violence by their silence and semi-organized resistance to any form of cooperation with the judicial system?

Move on Rahm...you know that phrase? Move on.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

And the Weekend Totals Are...(UPDATE)

We had set the bar at sixty for the entire 3-day weekend - there's a science to the whole thing.

Channel 7 had nine dead, thirty-two wounded:
  • Nine people were killed and at least 32 others-including a 4-year-old girl-have been wounded in shootings across Chicago this Memorial Day weekend, police said.
Forty-one total, but they stopped counting at 9:30 AM Monday.

Channel 5 had nine dead with thirty-six wounded:
  • The official start of summertime in Chicago began violently, with nine people dead and at least 36 others injured in shootings across the city.
Forty-five total, but NBC stopped counting when the 10:00 News began, missing a few more.

The Sun Times went as far as twelve dead and 39 wounded:
  • Twelve people were killed and at least 39 — including a 4-year-old girl — were wounded in shootings across Chicago this Memorial Day weekend, police said.
Fifty-one, but no finish time is listed.

The Tribune has an article up - twelve dead, forty-four maimed:
  • A teenage boy and two men have been killed and at least three other people have been wounded in separate shootings since midmorning Monday in Chicago, police said.
Which would put us in the ballpark of fifty-six casualties.

So, we're going to have to ask the only authoritative website in Chicago for a true accounting of the weekend mayhem. HeyJackass.com is the only place for real crime statistics. We'll ask that the numbers be accounted for from Friday afternoon until at least midnight Monday-into-Tuesday morning. As soon as the moderators from HeyJackass post in the comment section, we'll get it posted and begin paying out the winnings.

UPDATE: HeyJackass.com has the Official Totals:
  • Good morning SCC,

    We are going to settle on 57 - 12 killed and another 45 wounded from Friday afternoon through early Tuesday morning. This would make it the bloodiest weekend since last 4th of July's epic shitshow.
And we're still three weeks from the official beginning of summer.

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How About "Stop Treating Him?"

  • A talented teenage basketball player unable to post bond on a low-level burglary charge ended up ingesting screws, needles, a 4-inch piece of metal and other objects while behind bars, leading the jail to spend more than $1 million in medical care on him.

    Authorities at Cook County Jail told the Chicago Tribune that the case of 17-year-old Lamont Cathey highlights the hazards of institutionalizing impressionable youths, some of whom have mental health issues.

    "This case to me is a perfect example of the failure of the criminal justice system," the jail's executive director, Cara Smith, told the newspaper. "It's been a crushingly sad and very frustrating case."
Um, how exactly did the criminal justice system fail him? Did the criminal justice system make him burglarize that building? Is the criminal justice system forcing him to eat metal objects? Did the criminal justice system deny his parents [plural] the ability to come up with bail money or his church or someone? Some prospective college recruiter couldn't come up with the dough?

Seems to us that a criminal is exactly where he belongs. And if you stop treating him for eating metal objects, the situation will sort itself out in short order. One way or the other.

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What a Mess!

Bodies everywhere, records set, it's a complete and total disaster.

What? No, not Chicago - Baltimore:
  • With five and a half hours left in the Memorial Day Weekend in Baltimore, they have had 27 shootings of which at least 9 were fatal, making it the bloodiest weekend in Baltimore this century.  The mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, prosecutor and black activist, Marilyn Mosby, and Chief of Police Batts as well as the rioters and looters in Baltimore have all done their damnedest to separate those abusive cops from the innocent citizens minding their own business on the streets.  They got their wish and the streets are running red with blood.
You can tell this article isn't from some left-leaning media outlet. Baltimore is likely to experience some of the worst numbers in recent years, numbers so bad that CompStat would be hard pressed to explain or excuse them.

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Monday, May 25, 2015

Uniform and Appearance Changes?

An e-mail from a reader:
  • SCC,

    Word from a friend that the Department is about to change a whole bunch of uniform specs:

    They already outlawed the shorts thank god. Now, no more knit hats in winter or baseball caps in summer. It's the saucer or the Rocky-the-squirrel hats at all times.

    Also, all exposed tattoos will be covered while on-duty, just like New York. McCarthy had to cover his and everyone knows the NYPD is the only way.

    Word is also that the FOP was told to shut up about this and not to raise a fuss. If that's true, why do we have a Uniform and Equipment Committee at FOP sucking up money if they aren't even going to have a voice for this?
Anyone hear about this?

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New Idea - Raise Fees!

  • Chicago homeowners have managed to avoid suburban-style garbage collection fees, but those “spoiled” days may be coming to an end, the newly elected chairman of the City Council’s Black Caucus said.

    “I hate to say it. I know there’ll be a lot of pushback. But a nominal fee may be something we have to look at” to solve the $30 billion pension crisis, said Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6th).

    “All over the country and in smaller municipalities, they do pay for garbage collection. In Chicago, free garbage collection is something we’ve become accustomed to. But just like not having a sales tax on services, those days may be over. We have to look at it to balance the books.”
We're trying to find the article posted last year some time, but it showed that garbage collection in Chicago runs something like $280 per ton. The suburbs number was under $70 per ton. If anyone knows where that article is. let us know. It was in Crain's or the Wall Street Journal or some other business paper.

It's almost as if City garbage is akin to transporting gold....kind of like the dead bodies where some Ohio company was moving bodies for $120 bucks per and they won the Chicago contract and moved dead Chicagoans at over $900 per stiff.

And of course, in the 6th Ward, if the citizens don't want to pay for garbage removal, they'll just throw it in the vacant lot next door or in the alley.

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005 Boss Speaks Up

And will probably get launched in short order:
  • I know mike Pigott takes a beating on the blog but he stood up for his guys big time at compstat today!!!!!

    Sup said he thought the 10 hour days were great for 5, Pigott said i disagree, our spike in crimes are right around the time the guys are hitting the 9-10 hour mark. Supt told him to adjust his starting times to which Pigott related he has tried but was told no by MLAS.

    Chief Tracy told dep johnson to not just look into it but get it done!!!!

    Career wise, not good to out someone, but forget all that, Pigott was stand up today.
We also noticed that someone commented 4 sergeants left 005 this past change day - three specifically over the 10-hour day, one for a unit spot. Anyone care to confirm? We know no one from Patrol has left because the Department hasn't posted a single opening in 5 months now.

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Sunday, May 24, 2015

Casino Deal Coming?

From the comments:
  • SCC:

    I was at the sergeant’s union meeting Thursday night.

    You may have heard the radio commercials that state the City of Chicago wants its own casino.

    It turns out that all 5 public safety unions’ (FOP 7, Fire Local 2 and the 3 PBPA Units) met with the City this week. The city has proposed that a casino will in fact be built. Sources say the votes are there to push it through in the state legislature.
    Initially it would be a rush job and be placed at someplace McCormick place and eventually a new one would be built from the ground up.
    ALL casino funds would go DIRECTLY to the police and fire pensions without the city getting their hands on it. (Hopefully that will be in writing.)

    Here is the catch.. the city wants a five year grace period on paying the full amount due by December for the police and fire pension funds. The way it looks the unions will vote yes on this deal.

    It would be smart for the city and our unions to put out commercials countering the negative radio commercials bashing Chicago and state the reason the Casino is necessary; to fund the public safety pensions.

    The reason for the current negative commercials is because there are plenty other towns that want Casinos.
    The commercials state that Chicago is trying to screw the “children”; probably because these other towns like Waukegan wish to use the cash from their casinos to fund education.

    The bottom line is Chicago has the biggest hole to plug because of the pension fiasco.
Sounds almost like a good deal....except for one thing:
  • Here is the catch.. the city wants a five year grace period on paying the full amount due by December for the police and fire pension funds. The way it looks the unions will vote yes on this deal.
That raises all sorts of red flags.

Rahm had trouble winning this last election. He's also decided to govern as if he weren't running again, which is actually very likely. And we all know how "gentlemen agreements" come to Chicago to die.

And a five year window - we imagine the initial shiny new-ness will be all worn off the casino by that time, meaning revenues are going to be...dropping!

We also imagine Rahm and his lawyers will stick in some language about the pension money coming out of "net profits" after the "capital improvements" of the actual facility are paid off or some nonsense, anything to keep us from seeing a dime long past the 5 year window. We don't trust Rahm any farther than we could throw him.

Here's a bit of free advice to Dean and Ade and whoever is in charge over at the Lieutenants organization - you have Rahm over a barrel. Demand he follow state law - make him bleed. There may never be another opportunity. The casino is a wonderful idea, but at the moment it's a pipe dream. Nothing has been passed. Not a damn thing.

The only thing on the books right now is a City obligation to fund the pension by whatever means necessary. He can alleviate the financial pain later, but right now, he is on the hook. DO NOT let him off of it based on a fantasy casino that doesn't even have a life on paper yet.

Look at Block 37 - how many years has that been vacant? Michael Reese Hospital grounds? Vacant and costing the city $200 million it doesn't have. Big plans die under Chicago pols. Bring Rahm to heel first.

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Another $62 Million Pissed Away

  • Ending a costly court fight that City Hall blundered into, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration has paid more than $62 million to settle a dispute with the private operators of four city-owned parking garages downtown, records show.

    The payment last month ended City Hall’s long and unsuccessful legal fight against claims from investors in the four privately operated garages under Millennium Park and Grant Park.

    The dispute dates back six years. That’s when aides to former Mayor Richard M. Daley mistakenly approved a parking garage in the new Aqua building at 225 N. Columbus Dr.
Rahmn of course, exacerbated the problem by appealing the initial award, despite the contract that specifically said how disputes were to be mediated...kind of like the Second Amendment fights that the city lost over and over and over....and kept appealing and losing.

It's almost like the city wants to make plaintiff attorneys rich.

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Bloody Weekend So Far

  • A 4-year-old girl playing outside a South Side party was shot in the head Friday evening after someone opened fire from a passing car. The sun hadn't yet set on the traditional first night of summer before the anguished cries of a mother pierced the air, and Chicago faced another senseless act of violence against a child.

    Twenty people were shot and two people killed around the city between Friday afternoon and late Saturday.
Crime is down. The Department is up to strength. Guns are the problem. Something something something.

Over/Under for the long weekend is 60.

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Saturday, May 23, 2015

Weed to be (Nearly) Penalty Free

  • Police won’t be able to arrest Illinoisans for having small amounts of marijuana if a bill passed by lawmakers gets Gov. Bruce Rauner’s signature.

    On Thursday, the Illinois Senate joined the House in passing a bill that makes possession of 15 grams or less of marijuana a noncriminal offense. Instead, police would issue a ticket and a fine of no more than $125.

    The Senate also sent Rauner a bill that would extend the state’s delayed medical marijuana program, which has an imminent expiration date.

    But it’s unclear whether Rauner will sign the pot bills.
Anyone else suspect this has a lot to do with the profit numbers coming out of Seattle and Denver? The politicians smell money.

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40 Winks Catches 40 hours

Well, 42.5 under the 4-and-2.

Is he eligible for an appeal?

UPDATE: The reason everyone is complaining that this seems excessive is that most of us remember a certain west side commander who used to actually bring a pillow to work and we don't recall her ever taking a hit for anything she ever did....including running illegal First Amendment Investigations while at IAD.

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More Millions

  • The 606, a 2.7-mile-long park on the former train tracks, is set to open June 6, and Paige and others believe it could have a dramatic effect on the surrounding communities. While buzz and excitement build up to the long-anticipated opening, so does trepidation from some who wonder if they will be able to enjoy its benefits.

    Unlike at train-to-park conversions in New York and Paris, Chicago's 606 will allow pets and bikes, Paige, a docent at the Chicago Architecture Foundation, points out proudly.

    "They're going to have festivities, and police are going to patrol it, and it's going to be lighted at night, and they're going to sweep the snow off in the wintertime," Paige said. "What they're doing there is a wonderful thing. It's going to be a great resource for the neighborhoods."
  • The first two blocks of the Chicago Riverwalk's $100 million extension are set to open Saturday, raising the curtain on an urban playground of kayaks, Tiki bar cocktails and floating concert stages.

    Mayor Rahm Emanuel is expected to announce Friday the western expansion of the Riverwalk from State to Clark streets, as well as a one-block addition to LaSalle Street that will open in early June.
But he wants "reform." Remember, Chicago doesn't have a revenue issue - Chicago has a spending problem.

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Friday, May 22, 2015

Municipal Bankruptcies

  • If you're short on money and can't pay your bills, you can go to court and declare bankruptcy. But that legal tool is not available to cities and school districts in Illinois.

    Now, some politicians, including Governor Bruce Rauner, are looking to change that. They are pushing for a new law that would give government bodies the ability to declare bankruptcy in the face of crushing pension debt.

    The numbers are staggering.

    Let's start with the state: Illinois has 111-billion dollars in unfunded pension liabilities, while the city of Chicago has 20-billion dollars and another nine and a half billion for Chicago Public Schools.

    Plus, billions more are owed by suburban villages and school districts, which is why some believe part of the solution to Illinois' pension crisis is bankruptcy.
That's not a solution - that's an invitation to continue to spend recklessly and trust a bankruptcy court to rescue the legislature from those unchecked bad decisions.

You know what might work? Pension funds are essentially creditors - how about surrendering assets to the funds and allowing them to run the money-generating aspect of things for a while? The Chicago Police Department's O'Hare International Airport sounds catchy. Maybe the Chicago Fire Department's Navy Pier or the Chicago Teacher's Union McCormick Place Convention Center and Casino. They certainly couldn't do much worse than the city does at running the places and at least the massive amounts of revenue would be directed exactly where they should be in the first place instead of connected pockets.

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Chicago Growing Again?

  • The city of Chicago gained just under 6,000 residents in the year that ended July 1 — better than the decline of the previous decade, but well below the growth in most other big American cities.

    And the figures weren't much better in the suburbs, as once high-flying edge cities such as Joliet, Naperville and Aurora saw their population growth slow to a crawl or even decline.

    According to new estimates released overnight by the U.S. Census Bureau, the population of Chicago proper grew to 2,718,782 on July 1, up 5,862 since July 1, 2012, or about 0.2 percent. The city's population has increased by about 23,000 since the 2010 census, or just under 1 percent.
The Crain's article notes this isn't scientific by any means, relying mostly on tax filings and such, which might not take into account things like kids moving back in (or out) of mom's and dad's place or illegal immigrant populations. We don't see any survey of moving companies which might have a better feel for ingress and egress of the city population, but we know one thing that will drive city growth steadily backwards in short order - the coming tax burden to be forced on the population by pension obligations and possible municipal bankruptcies.

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There Goes the Neighborhood

  • Whites are moving back to the American city that came to epitomize white flight, even as blacks continue to leave for the suburbs and the city's overall population shrinks.

    Detroit is the latest major city to see an influx of whites who may not find the suburbs as alluring as their parents and grandparents did in the last half of the 20th century. Unlike New York, San Francisco and many other cities that have seen the demographic shift, though, it's cheap housing and incentive programs that are partly fueling the regrowth of the Motor City's white population.
A social scientist might observe that these things run in cycles. If so, might we be seeing similar changes in Englewood, North Lawndale and other locations that have a recent history of pale populations?

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Thursday, May 21, 2015

FOP Meeting Fail

Tuesday there was an FOP meeting. During it, Dean Angelo pretty much failed to answer a single question honestly or competently. From the comment section, we got this:
  • Highlights from FOP meeting yesterday:
    Mr. Angelo speech:
    -says he was misquoted in the paper but admitted everyone needs to "share" (pension debt). Never explained how non-property owners will "share".
    -avoided question and never gave a definition of "non-discressionary personnel" in the comp time agreement. (Doesnt everyone "share" already with taxes?)
    -says the "15%" elective time off (Dean's agreement) has problems. Never addressed why he signed off on it.
    -Sabich from 009 knew more about this agreement than dean.
    -refused to identify the person in HR/MLAS by name.
    -denied negotiating pension with Emanuel but when asked if Emanuel is lying, "No".
    -Admitted he hasn't submitted any new legislation, even though he campaigned on it.
    -said if you want a by-law change, you have to see him and he will help write it.
    -cameras coming to 015 next.
    -admitted to being a witness to part of Shields lawsuit.
    -was told not to mediate and to sue Shields for lossed overtime. (Everyone agreed).
An e-mailer related that Dean made four proposals for pension relief, but the media only quoted the one regarding raising property taxes. Um, duh. The media does Rahm's bidding Dean, not the FOP's. And now Rahm has you known as the guy proposing raising property taxes. Nice job there.

As to the HR/MLAS person being unidentified, we still haven't seen an answer to the question posed in our comment section asking if you do/did in fact live in the same neighborhood and attend the same school as Don O'Neill, head of MLAS. That might be the answer everyone is looking for.

If the Department is misinterpreting and misapplying the 15% time due memorandum of understanding, why isn't it being grieved? We do have lawyers on staff, right?

Most amusing was the 10-hour day survey. This little handout wasn't helpful:


Keep in mind - this was the survey conducted by the CITY, not the FOP. We have no idea what the questions were, but from various reports from 005, they were loaded so that the city got the responses they wanted, not the responses that would reflect an honest assessment of the program. There was no word from Dean if the FOP planned to consider their own survey - he kept referring to the survey as if he was accepting the findings without rebuttal or exploration. 58% isn't a very good indicator of anything. Addressing the survey itself, we got these points from various e-mailers:
  • As we've stated here many times, the start times suck. 
  • The time between the end-of-tour and court is going to result in more deviations and more unsuccessful prosecutions.
  • Of course, tact and saturation units prefer the schedule - they aren't tied to the radio and they're ducking early.
With this type of leadership, Dean might be the last president the FOP ever has in Chicago.

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This was Prophetic

  • City Treasurer Miriam Santos made a last-ditch attempt Tuesday to stave off a move by her former political patron, Mayor Richard Daley, to cut her power and remove her from overseeing more than $8 billion in politically sensitive city pension fund investments.

    At a news conference in Chicago, Santos said the city`s four pension funds were being mismanaged, and she issued a list of proposed reforms.

    ``The pension funds will be Chicago`s S&L crisis 20 years from now if we continue down the road of mismanagement,`` she said. ``There is a lack of accountability that must be addressed.``

    Standing beside former U.S. Sen. Adlai Stevenson, who supported her efforts, she said most pension funds are underfunded, and she warned that property tax payers could be asked to make up the difference in the future.

    Santos, who also said she wanted to stay on the boards that oversee the pensions so she can be an independent voice, then left the city for more lobbying in Springfield, where the General Assembly is holding its fall veto session.

    But her tactic may fall short, because Daley operatives in the Illinois Senate said they were set to push a bill Wednesday that would, among other things, give Daley the option of removing Santos from the pension boards and replacing her with someone who will follow instructions.
And everyone remembers what happened to Miriam Santos, right? Daley got his "... someone who will follow instructions" and we've been paying the price ever since. Everything Santos predicted would happen...has happened...with astonishingly exactitude, so any claims that this was "unforeseen" or "circumstances beyond control" are pretty much lying to us all.

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Ex-Commander Trial Delayed

Prosecutors move to delay - something came up?
  • An unexpected move in court Wednesday by prosecutors in the case against Chicago police commander Glenn Evans as they requested and received a delay in the start of the trial.

    It was scheduled to begin June 22.

    Prosecutors said, “something has come up,” but did not give specific details.

    Apparently, the Chicago Police Department’s Internal Affairs division is conducting an investigation that may have some bearing on the case.
McJersey was not seen nearby supporting his brass.

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Pay-to-Play

  • One month after receiving a $20,000 contribution from one of the world’s largest producers of ethanol, Chicago’s most powerful alderman on Wednesday breathed new life into his plan to require Chicago gas stations to offer motorists a higher ethanol blend of fuel known as E-15.

    At the start of every new term of the City Council, aldermen approve a resolution that kills all pending legislation from the old Council. It’s a way to clean the slate and start again.

    That’s what happened Wednesday at the second official meeting of the new term. Monday’s inauguration was technically the first.

    But the “kill resolution” that Ald. Edward M. Burke co-sponsored keeps alive the E-15 ordinance by excluding “any matter ordered to be deferred and published on or after Dec. 10, 2014.”
Which just happens to be a major issue to the ethanol producer.

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Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Yeah, we saw it.

Sure, you all did, too.

If you didn't, you can find it.

Shit happens - we aren't going to defend it.

He'll take his hit like anyone else.

Unless he's connected.

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Shots Fired At/By the Police

  • Chicago police officers exchanged gunfire with suspects on the city’s South Side. The officers reportedly heard gun shots fired at about 9:15 p.m. Monday and saw two people running down the street near 61st and Laflin in Englewood.

    The officers chased the suspects and took them into custody.

    No one was hit by the gunfire; however an officer was slightly injured during the chase.
Speedy recovery wished to the injured. Be careful Officers.

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