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The [Friday] Papers

Okay, let's try to sort this out:

"The 911 tapes from North Avenue Beach released to the Tribune by Chicago police include reports of stolen bikes, dehydrated patrons and people walking in traffic on North Avenue and Lake Shore Drive. But they do not describe any violence or threats."


But WLS reports that "[T]he 911 calls include complaints about fights involving dozens of people at Oak Street Beach and North Avenue Beach."



"Friday morning, an Office of Emergency Management spokesman told WLS News the city always told the truth when it said the North Avenue Beach closure was because of people being overcome by hot weather.

"The spokesman says that one ambulance was called to the North Avenue boat house to respond to a report of a person overcome by hot weather, and says that ambulance was then overrun with up to a dozen people who also were overcome by the heat.

"He says that ambulance called for more ambulances which had trouble getting through the large crowds, which is why he says the city made the decision to close North Avenue Beach.

"The spokesman also told WLS that after the incident, reporters never specifically asked Police Supt. Garry McCarthy about violence at Oak Street. [Emphasis mine]

"He says even if they had, McCarthy might not even have known at the time about the 911 reports of violence at Oak Street Beach.

"He says McCarthy was answering questions about what happened at North Avenue, not Oak Street."


Are you any clearer than you were before the 911 tapes were released? Me either.

For one thing, the only way to know if the Oak Street incidents were significant is to compare them to other weekends - or other Memorial Days. Maybe that was par for the course.

For another, the only way to know what went into McCarthy's thinking would be to resurrect any and all conversations he had with his staff - and the mayor's office.

The only thing that bothers me about McCarthy's rant against the NRA is the sneaking suspicion that he was merely playing to the crowd.

After all, it was just a few weeks ago that he told aldermen that "My goal is to bring the gun debate back to the center. I think that we have abolitionists on one side and I think that we have NRA and those kind of folks on the other side, and frankly it's too polarizing a debate, and 95 percent of the country is somewhere in between."

Foreclosure City
Chicago's tsunami - except this disaster was man-made.

Party City
According to this Southwest pilot.

Before the Mike Quade of last season, Jim Riggleman was the last Cubs manager I actually liked. The cross he had to bear was demonstrating in his first managing job in San Diego that he was very good coaching young players on bad teams.

Upon his surprise resignation on Thursday, my mind flashed once again to the enduring memory and indelible image I have of Riggsy.

I was assigned by Newsweek to follow Sammy Sosa around for a couple of weeks in 1998 during the Great Home Run Chase. After one game I went to at Wrigley, I remember Riggleman facing the media gaggle from behind his desk in his locker room office with a paper plate of fried chicken and fixings in front of him.

He answered every question patiently without ever touching his food, as if it would have been rude to eat while being interviewed. He must have been famished. I wanted to scream "Eat! Eat!"

He always seemed like a class act to me. I think he just got tired of being treated as if he wasn't.

"On Friday, October 7, at Chicago's Congress Theater, a Danzig 'Legacy' performance will be taking place as part of Riot Fest 2011," AltPress reports. "At the show, Glenn Danzig will reunite for a performance with members of his post-Misfits band Samhain, and he'll also be doing an onstage reunion with his Misfits bandmate Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein."

Paris Hilton arrived at LAX with a friend from Chicago amidst a report that she wants her own hotel chain.

She would call it "Hilton."


Her friend from Chicago is:

A) Named Pritzker
B) Billy Dec
C) Jay Cutler
D) Pete Wentz

"A man has pleaded guilty to conspiring to hack into computer servers and steal e-mail addresses and personal information from iPad users," AP reports.

"Daniel Spitler and another man were arrested in January and accused of tricking AT&T's website into divulging more than 100 000 e-mail addresses, including those of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, film mogul Harvey Weinstein and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, then the White House chief of staff."

FOIA that iPad!

The End of Horse Racing Is Near
"Gambling revenue is down across the board and throwing more banana peels at it is not going to help," our man on the rail Thomas Chambers writes.

The Week in WTF
Ebert, Preckwinkle, Lake County and wieners.

The Week in Chicago Rock
Monday, Monday. And Monday. Monday.


The Beachwood Tip Line: Front seat or back.


Posted on June 24, 2011

MUSIC - Millions Of New Guitar Players.
TV - "One America News" is AT&T.
POLITICS - When Wall Street Came To My Mobile Home Park.
SPORTS - Tonyball, Bears On The Run, Eyes On The Sky & More!

BOOKS - China Holding Swedish Publisher.


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