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The [Friday] Papers

"ComEd has concluded that clout and favoritism played no role in the company's decision to deliver a generator to the home of Chicago's No. 2 man at O'Hare Airport to restore power during a violent August storm," the Sun-Times reports.

"First Deputy Aviation Commissioner David Ochal resigned his $155,604-a-year job in the wake of the scandal, allowing him to escape a mandatory interview by the city's inspector general."

I think the question here is obvious: Why did Ochal resign if nobody did anything wrong?

ComEd says it interviewed 17 witnesses and reviewed e-mails, voice mails, outage records and phone records, but that Ochal refused to be interviewed.

Again: Why?

Naturally, John Kass wants to know too. Kass notes that it took ComEd 63 days to complete its investigation. Seems to me it could have been wrapped up in a week.

But maybe these things are more complicated than I know.

Kass is struggling to understand too. He chalks it up to "a stupendous Chicago political miracle . . . a series of rather amazing coincidences."

Including the amazing coincidence that Ochal "found a new job with a company that has sold at least $20 million worth of airport equipment to the city."

House Odds
I'm all for investigations of the CHA and, in particular, its Plan for Transformation, but I'm scratching my head a bit at this one from the Tribune this morning:

"For all the talk of weaving public housing residents into the fabric of the city, the Chicago Housing Authority's ambitious Plan for Transformation includes this inconvenient fact:

"When the plan is complete,nearly 1 of every 10 of those families will live more than 100 blocks south of the Loop, tucked amid landfills, industrial parks and a sewage treatment plant."

So more than 90 percent won't? Isn't that tremendous progress?

Besides that, the plan was never to weave public housing residents into the fabric of the city - that would be scattered-site housing - but to weave the city's middle- and upper-class into the neighborhoods hosting public housing by building new market-rate homes to sit aside those that are subsidized.

Polluted Skies
That $3 million overhead projector.

Midway Malarkey
"Chief Financial Officer Paul Volpe said quick approval was needed to beat the change in administrations in Washington," the Sun-Times reports.

Because an Obama administration would never go for it? Please.

That's Stella!
Catching up with this stellar item from Tuesday:

"I have to say something about the new generation of concertgoers.

"Why is it that folks are so self-serving and feel they have the right to stand up throughout an entire concert without any regard for the folks sitting behind them? This columnist thinks this is the epitome of rudeness. I can see standing up intermittently during a concert . . . but to stand up for the whole performance is crazy and downright rude! What is the point of having chairs? And why can't you swing and sway in your seat?

"You are forced to stand for at least two hours or more in order to see anything or just look at the monitor closest to your seat. So bringing your parents or a handicapped person to a concert means they won't be able to enjoy it like the rude people blocking their view. So, sit your a-- down!

"Yeah, I said it!"

Can't you kids just dance in your seats?

Lancelot Inc.
A big story up in Minneapolis has a local connection:

"An Illinois-based investment fund and its management firm have filed a federal racketeering lawsuit in Minneapolis against Tom Petters, his companies and business associates, alleging that the fund lost 'in excess of $1 billion' in a fraud scheme headed by Petters," the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports.

"Lancelot Investors Fund and Lancelot Investment Management are seeking more than $1 billion in damages in the suit, which was made public Wednesday."

Lancelot Investors Fund is based in Northbrook.

"Meanwhile, investors and a Royal Bank of Scotland Group unit filed their own suits against Lancelot Investment Management and its hedge funds for lending the money to Petters' company."

The lawsuits are filed in Cook County.

"The FBI claims Mr. Petters ran a scheme that defrauded investors of millions," Crain's reported this week. "Among the scams was a business venture to supply consumer electronics to major retail chains, but a federal investigation uncovered no inventory. Mr. Petters also holds a minority stake in catalog retailer Fingerhut and owns Sun Country Airlines, a regional carrier that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last week.

"RBS claims in its suit that Lancelot provided funding for Mr. Petters' fake electronics business, and that puts the Northbrook investment firm in default of its loans."

Cremation FAQs


The Beachwood Tip Line: Now in XXL.


Posted on October 10, 2008

MUSIC - A Plan To Pay Musicians.
TV - Jonathan Pie: Back To School.
POLITICS - 5 Things An Angry Old White Man Wants To Say.
SPORTS - Triple Crown Tomato.

BOOKS - How The Post Office United America.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Premature Ejaculation Market Exploding Quickly.

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