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The [Monday] Papers

"Wm. Wrigley Jr. Cos., in a move it said will provide 'enhanced prospects for growth,' confirmed this morning that it has agreed to be acquired by privately held candy-industry giant Mars Inc. for $80 a share, or $23 billion," the Tribune reports.

Which joke will get more play, Mars Field or Snickers Stadium?


Here's an idea: Mars should buy the Cubs too.

Kosuke Fukudome's at-bat taking too long? Have a Snicker's!

Sign of the Times
"The yellow-and-orange bus would stand out anywhere even without the giant letters proclaiming its purpose: A handful of buyers have showed up to board the 12-seat shuttle parked at Woodfield mall amid the drizzle on a recent Saturday morning," the Tribune writes.

"As they take their seats, the home shoppers are handed a slick binder listing the repossessed properties they will see in the next two-and-a-half hours. 'Welcome to Chicagoland's Premier Foreclosure Tour,' it says. 'Today we visit Hoffman Estates and Schaumburg.' A few minutes after 11 a.m., the bus pulls onto Golf Road, and they're off.

"Not long ago, many people viewed shopping for a foreclosed home as a distasteful act, a form of benefiting from someone else's misfortune and misery. As thousands of distressed properties have glutted the market nationwide, driving down home prices for the first time in generations, that stigma appears to have greatly lessened, or maybe disappeared."

Gun Play
"Daley Backs Plan To Give Assault Rifles To All Cops."

"Gang Leaders Back Plan To Give Assault Rifles To All Foot Soldiers."

Say they won't be outgunned by police.

Root Causes
"A reinvigorated gang war over territory south and west of downtown is at least partly to blame for the rising mayhem that is ensnarling ever-younger schoolchildren on neighborhood battlefields," the New York Times reports. "An overwhelming majority of Chicago's public school students - some 85 percent, according to federal statistics - live in poverty."

Just stop and think about that for a second. Eighty-five percent of Chicago's public school students live in poverty. Eighty-five percent. That, my friends, is the issue.


"Police officials refused to release up-to-date murder and shooting statistics," the Trib reports, "saying those numbers won't be official until the middle of next month."

See, for now those kids are only unofficially dead.

Pay To Play
The Tribune does the math:

* Donations of exactly $25,000 given to Gov. Rod Blagojevich since 2000: 235. (Compared to 14 to his predecessor.)

* Percent of those donations that came from someone who later got a state contract, job or board appointment: 75.

Dale's Bow
"His Most Vile Tax Is A Toll On Belief."

Free Speech Costly
"Of the 20 finalists to sit on a new nine-member board to oversee Cook County hospital operations, 16 have contributed money to Illinois politicians," the Sun-Times reports.

"A Stroger spokeswoman said politics won't determine who is selected, adding it's 'incorrect and illegal' to 'infer that there is a direct connection between contributions to elected officials and the names submitted.'

"'A donation to an elected official is an act of free speech,' Stroger spokeswoman Ibis Antongiorgi said."

A) And she can't help it if some acts of free speech are louder than others.
B) And if that's how much free speech costs, so be it.

Hooker Hell
"Every reliable study of women working in prostitution finds that more than 90 percent have been victims of childhood sexual assault," a DePaul researcher tells the Trib. "Most entered the sex trade in their teens, after fleeing abuse and having no other way to support themselves. Many are alcohol and drug dependent."

Speaking Latin
"A Cook County judge ruled Friday that work can continue on a controversial soccer field in Lincoln Park but refused to guarantee that the private Latin School will have priority use of the park space," the Tribune reports.

Circuit Court Judge Dorothy Kinnaird made the call.

"Kinnaird also criticized the [park] district for not holding enough public hearings. 'There is something very troubling about the case,' she said, citing 'secrecy' and 'lack of information' provided to residents.'"


Nugget: "Under a 2006 agreement, the Park District would have to reimburse Latin School for the design and construction fees the school has spent if the project is terminated."

And Park District officials will automatically be enrolled in Negotiating Skills for Dummies at the Discovery Center.

Ain't That America
"The United States has less than 5 percent of the world's population. But it has almost a quarter of the world's prisoners," the New York Times reports.

"Indeed, the United States leads the world in producing prisoners, a reflection of a relatively recent and now entirely distinctive American approach to crime and punishment. Americans are locked up for crimes - from writing bad checks to using drugs - that would rarely produce prison sentences in other countries. And in particular they are kept incarcerated far longer than prisoners in other nations.

"Criminologists and legal scholars in other industrialized nations say they are mystified and appalled by the number and length of American prison sentences.

"The United States has, for instance, 2.3 million criminals behind bars, more than any other nation, according to data maintained by the International Center for Prison Studies at King's College London.

"China, which is four times more populous than the United States, is a distant second, with 1.6 million people in prison."


"San Marino, with a population of about 30,000, is at the end of the long list of 218 countries compiled by the center. It has a single prisoner."

Ask Beachwood
Oh for godsakes, Conflicted Catholic, just do it already!

God wants you to, trust me.

Poll Position
"15% Say They've Driven Drunk"

84.9% say they lie to pollsters.

The Beachwood Tip Line: Unofficially.

Posted on April 28, 2008

MUSIC - Holiday Hullabaloo.
POLITICS - IRS Lax On Tax Cheats.
SPORTS - SportsMonday: Bears' Real Goat.

BOOKS - Frederick Douglass: Prophet Of Freedom.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Persuading Midwestern Climate Change Skeptics.

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