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The [Friday] Papers

1. CTA Plans No Fare Hikes, Service Cuts Next Year.

Will make up for it with slower trains, more derailments.


2. Ventra Plans To Work Next Year.


3. Please hold while we take credit for (barely) doing our job.


4. A Modest Transit Proposal: Put The Public In Public Transit.

"This is a story about the failure of the city to treat its transit assets as a public service," our very own Natasha Julius writes.

"This failure, which continues to color transportation policy to this day, leaves the entire system vulnerable to the whims of politics and profit."

Fourth in a series.



From the Active Transportation Alliance:

In another sign that Metra is run by politics and not dedication to better transit, the agency voted yesterday at the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning to support the Illiana Expressway and to spend at least another $80 million more in public money on the project. Pace voted similarly. The vote in support of the Illiana passed 11 to 8 and would have failed if Metra and Pace voted No.

"Our region's transit system is undermined by transit agency board members whose main allegiance is to the people who appoint them and not to creating better transit," said Ron Burke, executive director of the Active Transportation Alliance. "Yesterday's vote is another example of that fact. The Illiana Expressway is a train wreck for transit, and Metra and Pace voted for it anyway."

The Illiana would be funded by state transportation dollars and tolls, and is planned as a highway bypass around the region in southern Will County, miles from all but a few transit routes. It would tap into a very limited pool of regional transportation funds, leaving less money for transit repairs, the CTA Red Line extension, Union Station modernization and other crucial transit projects.

"CTA and Metra can't afford to properly maintain their trains and buses, and most people in the Chicago region don't use transit because it doesn't get them where they need to go," said Burke. "There is no excuse for Metra and Pace giving money away to the Illiana, which will serve fewer people than the CTA's Ashland bus route. The public's trust in Metra and Pace is further shaken, and it's more clear than ever that reforms are needed."

Worth noting, from the Trib:

"The vote was clearly a disappointment for the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, the organization created by the legislature to oversee land use and transportation planning for Northeastern Illinois."

You know, the agency charged with analyzing data and policy independent of politics and making decisions based on the entire region's interests.


5. This Just In: White Sox Do Something Interesting.

Longtime readers - and even new readers, I suppose - know that I'm allergic to hype. But sometimes it's justified. Here's my half of an e-mail exchange I had this morning about the White Sox signing Jose Abreu.

It's huge! It's what the Cubs should have done. Puts White Sox back on the map!
* * *
In one move the misery of last season is now replaced by hope!
* * *
I'm shocked!

First, Rick Hahn seemed to be saying he was going to follow what Theo is doing, so I didn't think they'd lay out such a big contract. Second, it's a big contract! Those are out these days, but this guy apparently is Puig-plus. It's always a risk. He could break a leg tomorrow or simply not pan out in the bigs, but that's life! I think it's an amazingly excellent move for the Sox, and I can't believe they got him. I wonder what the market was like ... the last three teams he was reportedly considering were ... not good ... Houston and someone else bad I can't think of right now.

He immediately becomes a core player. Learn something, Theo!

With Avisail Garcia, they are suddenly regenerating themselves. Still a lot of holes to fill, but with one move they've turned the ship around, in my opinion!

And I hate the White Sox.


By the way, the link for this item is to a column by Rick Morrissey of the Sun-Times. The Sun-Times website has been driving me crazy for weeks now, as it frequently does, by freezing my browser as it loads . . . and loads . . . and loads. I don't know if they're running some hellacious script over there, but I'm not going back for awhile. So if they have an exclusive about, say, the indictment of Rahm Emanuel, you won't hear it from me until the news appears elsewhere.


6. The PR Wizards of Oz.

Without going to the Sun-Times site I have become aware that Rick Telander has joined David Kaplan's little bandwagon on behalf of bringing Ozzie Guillen to the Cubs.

Here's just one reason why that's a nonstarter:


7. Vanecko worse than we've imagined.


8. The College Football Report: Dregs Against The Spread.

"This week we search for opportunity and entertainment amidst the dregs of the college football world: The winless, the hapless, and the generally dispirited teams languishing in the basements of their respective conferences, hanging out with lowlifes like our perennial least favorites, the Kentucky Wildcats, who hurt us as children and continue to hurt us as adults. (Where have you gone, Joker Phillips? A lonely College Football Report turns its eyes to you.)

"It turns out some bottom-dwellers have also posted remarkably poor records "against the spread" (ATS). This, to us, is interesting."


9. The Week In Chicago Rock.

Including: Fozzy, ¡Mayday!, Watain, Fiona Apple with Blake Mills, Bell X1, BOY, Bill Callahan, Circuit Des Yeux, Dustin Walker, Islands, Headhunterz, Dave Mason, The Weeknd, Ginger Baker, Tree, Ritualz and Hanson.


10. Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Wires.


The Beachwood Tip Line: Illin'.


Posted on October 18, 2013

MUSIC - A Plan To Pay Musicians.
TV - Jonathan Pie: Back To School.
POLITICS - Chicago Lawyers vs. CPD.
SPORTS - I've Had It.

BOOKS - How The Post Office United America.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Against Germophobia.

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