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The [Monday] Papers

By Steve Rhodes

"You're less likely to get murdered, shot, stabbed, robbed or raped on Chicago streets so far this year," the Sun-Times reports this morning.

"But the city's nearly 9 percent across-the-board crime decrease touted by police - including a 3 percent dip in violent crime - doesn't tell the whole story about crime in Chicago neighborhoods, a Chicago Sun-Times analysis of district-by-district crime data shows."

And that analysis hardly tells the whole story either.

The drop in crime in Chicago isn't unique to our city. It's happening all over the country, and despite what police officials say, no one knows why. Particularly in such tough economic times, the drop in the crime rate is a mystery.

"Maybe it is time to call in one of those clairvoyants who help detectives solve the case. Because no one else can explain what criminals have been doing in the first half of 2009," the New York Times noted on Sunday. "

"[F]rom New York to Los Angeles to Madison, Wis., major crimes, violent or not, are down between 7 percent and 22 percent over the same period last year," the Times reports.

And nobody seems to know why.

*

"One reason for the lack of answers is lack of money, said Alfred Blumstein, a prominent criminologist at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. 'The National Institutes of Health spends $400 million a year on dental research,' he said. 'The National Institute of Justice spends $50 million a year on criminal justice research'."

Lawyers in Love
From the ABA's annual meeting in Chicago, via the ABA Journal:

* Starr Giddy Over Sotomayor.

* Patrick Fitzgerald: Reporters Must Obey When Ordered To Reveal Sources.

* Holder, Gay Marriage And Health Care On ABA House Agenda.

Duncan's Domain
"You get to see how sincere Duncan is in lamenting the youth violence that's become pretty much constant in Chicago over the last few years, and you get to see how candid he is in criticizing his own work and that of the rest of the city in addressing the issue," Alexander Russo writes of the video of Arne Duncan's appearance before the Sun-Times editorial board last week.

"Kudos for candor and sincerity. But you also get to see that Duncan doesn't really seem to have great ideas for what to do about the problems that Chicago and other big districts are facing."

Mag Wag
The 10 least - and most - expensive magazine subscriptions around.

Trade Talk
What the other sides are saying:

"The only thing left to negotiate was travel expenses for Peavy's family so they can visit him in Chicago while living and attending school in the San Diego area. Axelrod said the White Sox agreed to a 'six-figure' deal that includes 'six to eight' trips a year, plus a home large enough for the entire family.

"Peavy called it a potential 'deal breaker,' adding: 'The most important thing in my life is being a daddy'."

*

"Axelrod sent the text message granting Peavy's approval for the trade at 12:58 p.m."

*

". . . it is the 22-year-old Poreda who is considered the prize of the deal. He is 6-foot-6, left-handed and throws a fastball regularly clocked just under 100 mph. Some rate him Chicago's top pitching prospect."

*

But did Kenny Williams overpay? The phone actually wasn't ringing off the hook in San Diego and the Padres were in a tough spot financially.

"If Peavy's contract made sense when it was signed, on a day the Dow Jones Industrials closed at 13,473.90, it has since come to represent the irrational exuberance of a baseball bubble. With the economy in severe recession and the Padres in full retreat, even a recent Cy Young Award winner begins to look like an extravagance. With a $15 million salary due in 2010, Peavy's paycheck could have represented more than one-third of the Padres' entire player payroll.

"Thus when White Sox GM Ken Williams called Towers Friday to revisit the deal Peavy had vetoed in May, he probably didn't have to do all that much beyond offering to pick up the payments. During the Padres' last homestand, Towers had met with Peavy and his agent, Barry Axelrod, for the purpose of reiterating the urgency of unloading the club's most costly contract.

"Towers was in no position to dicker. Not with Williams dangling deliverance. Were Williams more closely attuned to the Padres' financial plight, he might have been able to acquire Peavy for a bag of balls and a rosin bag to be named later.

"'This might have been the only deal out there,' Axelrod said. 'He's not going to be as big a bargain this off-season as he was last off-season, and we had trouble finding suitors then.

"'Our analysis became (that) maybe this is the only deal they can make. Maybe you're not going to get the Cardinals or the Dodgers or the Astros or the Cubs. Maybe this is going to be the only exit from San Diego'."

*

The Detroit Free Press says the White Sox were losers in the trade-deadline wars: "They acquired a potential ace in Peavy but had to give up three major league-ready pitchers and another pitching prospect. Peavy vetoed a trade to the Sox earlier in the season, is currently on the DL and is owed $56 million through 2012."

*

The Minneapolis Star Tribune says that "Detroit was the immediate winner in obtaining Jarrod Washburn, a free agent-to-be who should make 13 starts for the Tigers before the end of the schedule."

But also says . . .

"The White Sox were the long-term winners - getting Jake Peavy perhaps for September, and then through 2013 if they choose to keep him that long."

SportsMonday
"People - repeat after me: Training camp is meaningless," Jim Coffman writes. "Of course the Bears have to get their work in, but in terms of people watching the practices or media talking to players and coaches and determining anything definitive about the team? Does not happen."

The Cub Factor
Memo to the new guys: There isn't a Gatorade cooler anymore. Don't ask.

The White Sox Report
"Endorsement No-Brainer: White Sox defense for the Monty Hall problem: the result appears absurd but is demonstrably true."

Gubernatorial Blues
Biz To GOP: Borrring!

Blair Hull Sighting
Candidate C in the Blago indictment.

Port Blago
Name still towers over shipping district.

-

The Beachwood Tip Line: Reign o'er me.



Permalink

Posted on August 3, 2009


MUSIC - The Weekend In Chicago Rock Including Riot Fest Highlights.
TV - 24 Hours With WYCC.
POLITICS - Wolfpack vs. Obama.
SPORTS - Joe Maddon's Magical Mystery Tour.

BOOKS - Why Al-Qaeda Is Still Strong.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Beachwood Photo Booth: Mural Man.


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