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The [Friday] Papers

"Removing everything from Chicago's closed schools will cost $10 million more than the district originally signed on for," Linda Lutton reports for WBEZ.

"The price tag for moving desks, chairs, books, computers, and everything else out of 43 shuttered school buildings is now $18.9 million, more than double the original $8.9 million contract."

"Tom Tyrrell is the Chicago Public Schools official overseeing school closings. He says one thing explains cost overruns:

"The volume of stuff that we ended up moving was three times higher than we estimated it was going to be. It was stunning how much more was in the schools than we anticipated."


"Costs went up by $850,000 when students from closed schools enrolled in schools other than those the district had designated."

What about the other $9.1 million? That's more than an underestimate, it's moving malpractice.


"Tyrrell says CPS has made use of the movers to handle additional work, like 11 new 'co-locations' where two or more schools share the same building. And he says other costs associated with closings are coming in under budget. Tyrrell says the overall costs of closing the historic number of schools - which includes things like transition coordinators, 'integration' events between closing and receiving schools, and social-emotional learning programs - will remain unchanged at $78 million."

So somehow CPS has made up that $10 million elsewhere. Riiight.


"CPS hired the Ohio-based logistics firm Global Workplace Solutions in April to handle the massive move. At the end of August, just as school was starting, Chicago's board of education voted to increase the maximum spending allowed on the logistics contract, and the district quietly amended the contract in mid-September to pay GWS $10 million more. The increase has not been reported in the media."

From the Beachwood vault, April 12:

"Hope [Global Workplace Solutions is] better at logistics than websites: Their last two news entries were from 2010 - one of them introducing their new website's mission to 'provide timely delivery of information.'"

If you click through now, you'll see that their news section is now 404ed.

GWS does, however, still tout that it provides "a consistent, sustainable business process that minimizes risk, reduces cost and improves quality."

Oh, and sometimes misunderestimates a project by 53 percent.

Related: What is CPS doing with all that stuff from schools they closed?


See also: Don't Tell Rahm!


And: "I'm willing to listen to any person's perspective, but I won't be intimidated by someone who's paid to control the press."


Billy Goat Block Bust
"Laurance Freed, the beleaguered developer of the Block 37 mall in the Loop, and a business associate were indicted [Thursday] on federal fraud charges that they lied to the city and banks to obtain funding," Crain's reports.

"The charges against the pair involve Joseph Freed's redevelopment of the former Goldblatt's department story in Uptown, a project that was funded in part with tax-increment financing (TIF) from the City of Chicago. Mr. Freed and Ms. Walters made the false statements between March 2008 and February 2011, when Joseph Freed 'was in the midst of a severe liquidity crisis' that 'threatened the company's future,' according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office.

"To help fund the project at 4700-4740 N. Broadway St., the city issued $6.7 million in TIF notes. An entity led by Mr. Freed used the commitment as collateral to secure what was ultimately a $9 million loan from Cole Taylor Bank, as well as a $150 million revolving line of credit from a group of lenders led by Bank of America Corp., according to the indictment.

"The problem was that the Freed venture had 'double-pledged' some of the TIF collateral to both lending groups, and the two executives concealed that information from the Bank of America-led group, the indictment says. They did so to prevent a $105 million default with the lenders and to obtain a $10 million loan modification, according to the indictment."


Here's the indictment.



From 2011:

"Laurance Freed, whose family-owned firm is beset by foreclosure lawsuits, is facing a criminal probe over the alleged forgery of his sister's signature on a $1.4-million loan guarantee.

The criminal investigation came to light last month in a case filed by the University of Wisconsin's endowment against Mr. Freed, his sister and his brother to collect an unpaid $6-million loan on a shopping center in Madison, Wis."

From 2012:

"An Illinois appellate court has upheld Cook County Circuit Court Judge Margaret Brennan's decision to hold Chicago developer Laurance Freed in contempt for wrongfully transferring almost $5 million in the Block 37 foreclosure suit."


Shilling Shiller
"Former independent Ald. Helen Shiller (46th) is lobbying her former colleagues to become the new $130,000-a-year City Council Financial Analyst," Fran Spielman reports for the Sun-Times.

Accompanied by a photo with her palling around with Richard M. Daley.

Shiller was independent when she started her run as an alderman, but certainly not when she ended it.

The "independent" apellation is not only unnecessary, but untrue.


"Ald. George Cardenas (12th) said Shiller was 'independent for many years,' even though she 'did what she had to do'' and ultimately reached a political accommodation with Daley."

She did what she had to do.


Spielman herself writes near the bottom of her story that "Ultimately, Shiller was co-opted by Daley, became a committee chairman, supported his budgets and programs and ended up endorsing Daley for re-election in 2003.

"Daley returned the favor by supporting the Shiller-backed Wilson Yard project, among others. He also stopped putting up candidates to run against her."

So why not lead with "Former co-opted Ald. Helen Shiller . . . ?"


The [Bobby Rush] Papers
(D-AT&T, Mugabe).

The Obamacare Paper Pileup
Paper is proving to be a problem.

Beachwood Photo Booth: American Breakfast
Chicken, tacos and auto insurance.

Clowneys, Couchees & Coaching Carousels
Plus: One of the best traditions in all of sport.

In The College Football Report.

The Weekend In Chicago Rock

Trivium, Noveller, MS MR, The Kills, Panic! At The Disco, Portugal. The Man, 30 Seconds To Mars, Avril Lavigne, Paramore, Fifth Harmony, Icona Pop, Drake, Devildriver, Conditions, and King Krule.


The Beachwood Tip Line: Don't be krule.


Posted on December 13, 2013

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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