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The [Friday] Papers

"Last year, the General Assembly voted to create a school security task force," WUIS reports.

"With the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary fresh in their minds, the members were to research best practices from other states, and present ideas for new laws for school safety.

"But only a handful of the slots on the committee were ever filled, they never met, and never proposed any safety measures by the Jan. 1 deadline."

Well, you know what they say: Talk is cheap but the consequences of cynical political rhetoric can be quite expensive.

Fight Club
"As the top public officials in Illinois boxing, Ron Puccillo and Joel Campuzano were charged with making sure the state's professional fighters played by the rules. But a state investigation reveals that the two operated more like the owners of a private club, handing out favors and showing little regard for state law," the Tribune reports.

"The report, made public this week, offers a look at a chaotic and dysfunctional agency little concerned with safety or fairness, run by two officials who investigators said were 'inexplicably unaware' of the legal requirements of their jobs.

"The investigation found that while running the Illinois Athletic Commission, Campuzano and Puccillo collected unauthorized fees from license applicants - affirming a finding from a Tribune investigation that these cash fees were regularly extracted from boxers and others looking to receive licenses."

P.S.: I couldn't find the report this morning and the Trib didn't link to it. Maybe it's behind a pay-to-playwall.

That's CPS!
"Chicago Public Schools officials said Thursday that they are starting to see success in efforts to dismantle a much-criticized zero-tolerance policy toward discipline and want to expand initiatives to reduce student suspensions to privately run charter schools," the Tribune reports.

"A revised student code of conduct put in place in 2012 eliminated out-of-school suspensions for all but the most serious infractions and also did away with mandatory 10-day suspensions. District officials said that contributed to a nearly 11 percent drop in the number of suspensions for high school students over those two years. They could not produce total numbers."

How about a zero tolerance policy for consistently being unable to produce reliable data?

Emma & Ike
"A Chicago alderman has thrown her support behind convicted former Ald. Isaac 'Ike' Carothers as he attempts to make a political comeback - and history - by becoming what one expert said would be the first area public official to return to elected office after doing time for corruption," the Sun-Times reports.

"Documents filed with the state Board of Elections indicate Ald. Emma Mitts (37th) is the campaign chairwoman of the Friends of Ike Carothers committee, the political organization behind Carothers' bid for an open Cook County Board seat."

Ah, together again!

"The Tribune reports that federal authorities are examining the deal as part of an investigation into how zoning decisions are made in City Hall," I wrote in 2008.

"Of course, Gutierrez is one just one end of the deal; Daley is on the other end. City planners told Daley they opposed the Boender project. Yet, a compromise favorable to Boender passed the mayor's Chicago Plan Commission; naturally, Boender was represented by zoning lawyer James Banks, the nephew of Big Bad Bill Banks, who conveniently enough is the chairman of the city council's zoning committee.

"Alds. Ike Carothers and Emma Mitts also deserve special mention. As reported by the Trib, Carothers compared the development, which would include a 14-screen movie theater and 187 homes, condos and townhouses, to the proposed Calatrava Spire. Mitts, meanwhile, put a down payment on one of Boender's homes, though she ultimately couldn't follow through."


"The money Carothers pocketed might seem like small change," I wrote in 2010, "but consider:

"The zoning change had another, more personal economic impact. Prosecutors said that change meant an extra $3 million in Boender's pockets," the Tribune reports.

"Others benefitted as well, according to court records filed Monday. Boender hired Carothers' brother, Anthony, for security at Galewood Yards. The records also state that Red Seal Development Corp., Boender's partners in the project, employed Ald. Emma Mitts' daughter as a laborer and used Gutierrez's sister-in-law to sell real estate."


"[Deborah] Graham, meanwhile, already works for Daley as a city planner when she's not carrying his ill-fated gun control legislation in Springfield. She replaces convicted corruption peddler Ike Carothers, which figures.

"'After going through the motions of taking resumes on the city Web site, Daley picked someone who wouldn't have been state representative if Carothers hadn't decided to pull out all the stops to get her elected in 2002, with some help from Carothers' wholly owned subsidiary in the 37th Ward - Ald. Emma Mitts,' Mark Brown writes."

See also: When Emma & Ike Stalled Police Board Reforms.

A Real Taste Of Chicago
"Emanuel wants to raise Taste of Chicago ticket strip by 50 cents."

Also proposed:
* Speed cameras for walking too fast near children.
* Napkin user fees.
* Charter food booths to provide patrons with "choice."
* TurkeyLegTracker!
* Exit fees.


* Specially trained City/Taste employees to escort you through unsafe sections of the Taste. - Ed Hammer

The Political Odds
Updated to reflect recent developments.

Is The Most Interesting Man In Chicago . . .
. . . Martellus Bennett?

Beachwood Photo Booth: Marie's Golden Cue
Speaks for itself.

The Chicago Grand Slam
This is an experiment.

The Week In Chicago Rock
Featuring: The Black Angels, JC Brooks, New Politics, Quiet Revelry, and Robbie Fulks and Liz Carroll.


* Disbarred Chicago Attorney Now Suspended From Practicing In Minnesota.

* Recognizing Illinois Olympic Athletes.

* Newton's Laws Of Motion Vs. Red-Light Cameras.



Grotto is a Tribune reporter, and I'm inclined to take his word for it.


Real answer: The feds didn't want anything to do with this stinker.


The Beachwood Tip Line: Odor-free.


Posted on February 7, 2014

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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