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The [Friday] Papers

"With a record $540 million Mega Millions jackpot in play, Illinois picked the right week to become the first state in the nation to sell lottery tickets online," AP reports.

"It took only three minutes for the first online lottery ticket to sell once the system went live at 7 a.m. Sunday. By Thursday evening, more than $425,000 worth of tickets had been sold online, and officials expected sales to increase by the hour as people take their shot at Friday night's record prize.

"Internet sales on Thursday alone amounted to just more than $64,000 by evening, while the day's retail sales topped $3.2 million."

I don't doubt that selling lottery tickets online will increase sales by exploiting the suckers-too-lazy-to-go-to-the-store demo, but this report is missing some important comparisons. For example, a certain level of online spending will simply replace retail spending - it isn't all new.

And I'm not at all sure we should be happy that the state has found another way to essentially steal money from its citizens. The house always wins - and when the house is in effect the taxpayers the house always loses too.

NATO Protest Permit Doomed
By Chicago's unique political math and a familiar hearing officer.

The Koschman Case
"A judge questioned Thursday how the police concluded that Richard J. 'R.J.' Vanecko, a nephew of then-Mayor Richard M. Daley, acted in self-defense when he delivered a deadly blow nearly eight years ago, noting that five witnesses have given sworn statements denying that the victim, David Koschman, was physically aggressive," the Sun-Times reports.

"'Certainly, none of these statements lend credence to that conclusion,' Cook County Circuit Judge Michael P. Toomin told a lawyer for Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez, who's fighting a Koschman family petition seeking to have a special prosecutor investigate the case. 'There's utterly no evidence he was physically aggressive. Where does the claim of self-defense have its genesis?'

"Jack Blakey, the state's attorney's special prosecutions chief, said 'we have conflicting evidence' about Koschman's behavior."

Which is just one of many reasons to appoint a special prosecutor.


"The Sun-Times has reported the police found 'missing' files last summer, including a handwritten note that read 'V DAILEY SISTER SON.' Toomin asked Blakey about that.

"'Even if you draw the most sinister conclusion, it points to corruption in the police department, not the state's attorney's office,' Blakey said."

Which is just one of many reasons to appoint a special prosecutor.


Toomin is expected to hand down his decision on April 6.

Rahm vs. Junior
"These infrastructure investments mean that, in three years, O'Hare's capacity will grow by the size of Midway's total capacity," Rahm said Thursday talking about his proposed Infrastructure Trust. "That is the same as building a third major airport for Chicago but, in my view, far more cost-effective and strategic."

Message sent.

But wouldn't it be more strategic to make O'Hare more efficient and build new capacity on the side of town that needs the economic development the most?


See also: "Mayor Rahm Emanuel faces a tough sell in getting airlines at O'Hare to start talking about the last phase of the long-planned airport expansion."

Just like Daley did.

Trust Him
"The Infrastructure Trust is expected to launch with $225 million in energy efficiency projects for government buildings," the Sun-Times reiterates.

"In the case of 'Retrofit Chicago,' it's apparent how investors would get their return."

It is? Call me a dummy, but I don't get it.

"By retrofitting 127 government buildings, the city expects to reduce its $170 million annual tab for energy consumption by more than $20 million while creating nearly 2,000 construction jobs."

So a private investor puts up some or all of the money to retrofit city buildings and the city kicks back a big enough portion of its savings to provide a profit?

And that's a better deal than the city paying for the retrofit itself and keeping all the savings, which presumably is more than the cost?

Help me here, people.


"But many of the other projects the city is looking to finance will need to have their own financing streams. It's why the mayor has specifically mentioned the city's plan to build 16 miles of bus-rapid transit on Jeffery Boulevard this year and add a similar route in the Central Loop next year.

"Implied but not stated is that passengers could be asked to pay higher fares for faster rides. High-speed internet service could also be financed by a fee paid by businesses and individuals."

So the idea is that the city can't afford to do the exact same thing themselves because they can't front the money or go into the bond market? So private investors are given a crack at what sound more like infrastructure amenities than infrastructure per se?

Smells like teen parking meters.

Earth To Heartland
General Motors Decides Climate-Change Is Real, Chicago Think Tank Weeps.

Morbid Curiosity
The iconography of death at the Chicago Cultural Center.

The Week in Chicago Rock
They played at a venue near you. We have the video.


The Beachwood Tip Line: Iconographic.


Posted on March 30, 2012

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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