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The [Friday] Papers

The Chicago Plan Commission approved what appears to be one of the most unpopular civic proposals in city history last night by a 13-2 vote. The dissenters: Doris Holleb and Lyneir Richardson.

I will have a beer in honor of each of them tonight at the Beachwood - and maybe a beer in dishonor to each of the others.

Then I will be up early in the morning to appear on a Society of Professional Journalists panel on citizen journalism, at DePaul. The panel starts at 8:30 a.m. in Room 161 of the Schmitt Academic Center.

If you're up early - or just getting in - come on by.

Programming Note
I'll be over at Division Street later today. Watch this space tomorrow for The Weekend Desk Report. And tune in to 848 on Monday morning to hear about the joint investigative report that will appear here and on ChicagoTalks that morning.

Today's Best People In Chicago
From Mick Dumke at Clout City:

"Doris Holleb: The University of Chicago trustee and professor of economics and urban planning has served as a consultant to the city's planning department and an education, economics, and cultural adviser to the Carter, Reagan, and Clinton administrations. Her husband, Marshall, is a widely respected preservationist and attorney who has donated thousands of dollars to numerous political campaigns, including those of aldermen Smith and Banks.

"Lyneir Richardson: Richardson is a registered City Hall lobbyist for General Growth Properties, a real estate firm that develops, owns, and manages shopping malls in 45 states. The firm has received hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks around the country, according to a study by SEIU, which has been in a pissing match with it over procedures for unionizing employees."

Today's Worst Person In Chicago
"Some proponents were bused in by The Woodlawn Organization - founded by Leon Finney Jr., who sits on the Plan Commission," the Tribune reports.

"'I'm here as a Plan Commission member, and I'm only going to comment about what we're doing here as a Plan Commission member,' added Finney, who confirmed his group arranged the buses."

So that's where all those kids came from.

From Michael O'Connor:
How does the Trib report that Leon Finney, Jr. founded The Woodlawn Organization? As far as I know he founded a rib joint. The group's own website denotes its history as follows:

In 1960, a group of religious and block club leaders brought together a coalition of more than 100 neighborhood associations, religious institutions and civic organizations to fight against the occurring deterioration. Contrary to what many believed, Woodlawn had a organized a number of neighborhood resources. As one of the group's leaders, Reverend Dr . Arthur M. Brazier noted, "The idea that black communities were disorganized was really a fallacy." With the assistance of Saul Alinsky, a well-known community organizer, the Temporary Woodlawn Organization (T.W.O., later to become The Woodlawn Organization) began to lead a unified movement for self-determination in the community. Dr. Brazier was founding president of the organization.


Another reader sends this link and says Finney's father was the rib guy.

And The Foie Gras Played On
"The number of Illinois households receiving food stamps has reached a record level, with almost 1.3 million people relying on the program to pay for daily staples such as milk, bread and eggs," the Tribune reports.

Rainbow Coalition
Barack Obama is against gay marriage. The California Supreme Court just ruled that gays be allowed to marry. Does Obama disagree with the court's decision?

Everywhere A Sign
"In another shot at Gov. Blagojevich, the Illinois House voted overwhelmingly Thursday to ban state officeholders from having their names appear on tax-subsidized billboards and electronic signs promoting government programs," the Sun-Times reports.

"The legislation, which passed 109-1 and now moves to the Senate, stems from the $480,000 purchase and installation of 32 signs bearing Blagojevich's name promoting I-Pass lanes along the Illinois tollway system. The signs were installed in the midst of the governor's 2006 re-election campaign."


I wonder who the poor sap is who stuck with the guv.

"The only no-vote belonged to Rep. Kenneth Dunkin (D-Chicago), a Blagojevich loyalist who said there is value in having an officeholder's name emblazoned on signs promoting state programs."

Kenneth Dunkin, today's second worst person in Chicago!

Dunkin, as you might recall, was last seen sponsoring a bill that would have fined pedestrians talking on their cell phones while crossing the street.

Weapons Grade
The police department's plan to arm itself with M4 assault weapons just gets weirder. The Sun-Times reports that officers who want to get the guns will have to pass a physical fitness test.

"If you are gasping for breath, the weapon could waver up and down," spokesperson Monique Bond said.

Um . . . okay.

"The plan is to deploy the weapon over the next one to three years, Bond said. The M4s have not been bought yet, she said."

This seems to give credence to the notion advanced here recently that this sounds more like a public relations exercise than an immediate response to the current wave of gang violence.

Or maybe it's just another hammer J-Fed is using to achieve his real goal: a guest spot on Work Out.

Post Pre-Modern
"Art! Sometimes we don't get it."

Oy Gras
From Beachwood reader Sonja Foxe:

Re Joe Moore: "What am I, chopped liver?"


The Moore Report.

The Beachwood Tip Line: Pass the latkes.


Posted on May 16, 2008

MUSIC - Holiday Hullabaloo.
POLITICS - IRS Lax On Tax Cheats.
SPORTS - SportsMonday: Bears' Real Goat.

BOOKS - Frederick Douglass: Prophet Of Freedom.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Persuading Midwestern Climate Change Skeptics.

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