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The [Friday] Papers

"Hundreds of Chicago public schools collectively need more than $3 billion in repairs - including leaky roofs, unreliable boilers, and decaying windows that are made worse year after year as critical needs are deferred," Sarah Karp reports for WBEZ.

That's three times as much as Elon Musk says he needs to spend to build the O'Hare HyperLoop (which is what I'm going to call it, though I considered Hype o' Loop). Which means it's about equal given Chicago's penchant for change orders, delays, kickbacks and fuck-ups that basically triple the cost of any project around here.


I'd rather see those schools fixed than indulge a fantasy of getting folks from downtown to O'Hare in 12 minutes. I'd rather see those schools fixed even if Musk's plan turns out not to be a fantasy. But where's the fun - and campaign content - in that? Where's the ego gratification of a mayor whose signature projects (the largest mass school closings in U.S. history; the Infrastructure Trust; and, um, well, that's it) have been busts.

It's not as if the travel time to O'Hare on the Blue Line is one of the city's most pressing problems. Or even one of the city's 100 most pressing problems.

And yes, I understand the Musk project will purportedly be financed without tax dollars (LOL). It's not a perfect equation. But it does show where the mayor's head is at.

But I digress.


"And yet, school staff, parents, and students have no way of knowing when -- or if -- their buildings will ever get attention from the cash-starved school district.

"At the same time, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who oversees the school district, is actually spending money on facilities. But relatively little of it goes to building upkeep and repair. About 60 percent of the $3.4 billion budgeted for Chicago Public Schools facilities since his election in 2011 has gone for new building, for additions, to improve technology, or to renovate schools to bring in new programs, according to CPS data.

"Most of the $3.4 billion comes from issuing bond - debt that CPS will be using taxpayer money to pay off for decades."

Sure. But that debt will be cutting edge!


"Just last month, Emanuel announced plans to spend $75 million for new and renovated high school science labs.

"We are going to the Tesla era from the Sputnik era," Emanuel said as he announced the investment, which was not included in the $189 million capital repair budget the school district had released just two weeks earlier. Emanuel and school district officials say they plan to borrow more money in coming months.

He said having state-of-the art labs will help students envision careers in the sciences.

CPS CEO Janice Jackson stood by the mayor during the announcement. She said providing new labs across the district is an issue of equity.

But balancing the mayor's dictates with the critical needs in existing buildings is becoming increasingly difficult for school district officials. At the May Chicago Board of Education meeting, a group of students from Washington High School on the Southeast Side confronted board members about the sorry state of their school.

"The roof has been leaking for years, and at this point, is falling apart," Kimberly Esquivel told board members. The school's temperature control system is so out of whack, she said, that on the day juniors took the SAT college entrance exam some were sweating, while others were shivering.

Real governing is the mastery of the mundane. That's where people live - repaired roofs and clean classrooms and the details of daily life. Grand gestures is where politicians live - alongside the moneyed class where schools are already pristine and there's no time to waste getting to the airport for a European vacation or a business trip where every minute lost is one less minute of opportunity to rip off workers, taxpayers and/or consumers.


"Rothschild and others also point out that Emanuel will announce projects, like the science lab renovations or recent news of plans to accommodate universal full-day preschool, that are not mentioned as a priority in the master plan.

"The plan doesn't even lay out how CPS is going to address overcrowding. Looking at the top 10 most overcrowded schools in 2013, two have gotten new modulars, and one has gotten an annex. The rest have gotten nothing.

"Meanwhile, several schools lower down on the overcrowding list have gotten additions."

Sure, but Rahm's priorities are not the same as everyone else's. He's got his own list.


Well, It Is 'Concealed' Carry
"The state police know nothing about the nearly 40 shootings by people with concealed carry licenses since Illinois became the last state to allow them four years ago," the Tribune reports.

"A Tribune review found that most of the shootings have been in public places in the Chicago area, and half the cases have involved concealed carry holders firing to defend themselves or someone else from robbers. At least 11 people have been killed, including a man with a license who tried to fend off carjackers on the West Side.

"The state police have not collected any information that might improve the training of license holders and possibly better protect them and the public - a reform suggested by police and gun instructors interviewed by the Tribune."


FYI: "In Illinois, more than 265,000 people have licenses, about 2 percent of the adult population."


Depo Men
"Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson recently said under oath that he was unaware of any 'code of silence' in his department that shields officers from the consequences of misconduct," the Tribune reports.



The real news, though, was buried at the end of the article.

"Lawyers also asked Emanuel about the suit the city's lawyers filed late last year that sought to shift blame and some financial liability for Jones' death from the city onto LeGrier's estate. After the Tribune reported on the suit a few hours after it was filed, the city quickly dropped it. Emanuel apologized, saying he did not know of the litigation beforehand but found it 'callous.'

During the deposition, Emanuel did not directly answer questions as to whether he ordered lawyers to drop the suit and said the questions would be better put to Siskel.

Asked why he felt it was insensitive for the city to sue LeGrier's estate, Emanuel said, "Look, I'm not a - I'm not a lawyer, as I think we've well established by now, and I don't understand the litigation process."

So under oath, Emanuel refused to repeat what he told reporters at the time - that he wasn't aware of the (astonishing) lawsuit the city filed against LeGrier's family in the death of their son.

That's your lead.


Also, Rahm claims that - after seven years as mayor - he doesn't understand the litigation process.

I'll tell you what, he understands it well enough to know how to give a bullshit deposition.


New on the Beachwood today . . .

Recall! Winter Sausage Poultry & Meat
The Official Sausage of the Detroit Tigers! Distributed in Illinois.


The Week In Chicago Rock
Is in pre-production.


The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour
Is in pre-production.



#screenprinting #AnySquared #LoganSquare #chicago

A post shared by Tim Inklebarger (@timinklebarger) on



"Ethiopian Airlines has become the first African carrier serving Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. The airline began nonstop service between O'Hare International Airport and Addis Ababa's Bole International Airport on June 11, 2018."


A sampling.








The Beachwood Tronc Line: Visualize whirled pee.


Posted on June 15, 2018

MUSIC - Chief Keef Changed The Industry.
TV - Vizio's Best Product Is You.
POLITICS - UIC: Soda Taxes Work.
SPORTS - More McCaskey Malpractice.

BOOKS - All About Poop.


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