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The [Monday] Papers

"Chicago has become increasingly attractive in the areas of business and trade, but it has lagged in attracting international meetings, partly because the city has not promoted itself aggressively, said Richard Longworth, a senior fellow at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs," the Tribune reports.


"When Chicago gets a NATO summit and a Nobel Peace Prize laureates meeting, it brings people to Chicago," Longworth said. "It's not going to erase the Al Capone or Michael Jordan memory overnight, but it raises the city's profile in an area where we really need it - being in the world spotlight."

First, why would we want to erase the memory of Michael Jordan? Talk about someone who raised our international profile. Second, Al Capone isn't going away any more than Abe Lincoln; get over it already. Third, um, the most powerful person on the planet is from here - as are most of his cronies. Doesn't that count for something, even if he did pull the G8 summit out from under us? Fourth, can everyone around here stop acting like insecure teenagers desperate for attention from the popular kids? New York City is New York City. It just is. And if you're coming from the other side of the globe, Los Angeles is a good place to come ashore. Finally, rinky-dink is as rinky-dink does. And too often, that's Chicago. Let's work on ourselves, huh? Being a great city is a lot more attractive than just trying to pretend.

Bad Data In, Lousy Public Policy Out
"Flawed or incomplete accident data compromise city transportation experts' ability to make good decisions about where to target spending for safety-related traffic fixes and install red-light cameras, the researchers in the city-commissioned study concluded," Jon Hilkevitch reports for the Tribune.

"State records show that Chicago data on traffic crashes have been wildly inaccurate over the years, with deaths underreported by as much as 179 percent, while the volume of angle crashes often associated with running red lights has been inflated by one-third in a snapshot taken six years ago.

"More than 70 percent of crash reports filled out by Chicago Police Department officers were missing important data, and 30 percent had errors, according to the research conducted by the Illinois Department of Transportation at the city's request in 2008, based on 2006 data."

I wonder how accurate their crime reports are.


"Experts at CDOT have been aware of the problem for at least four years. They expressed concerns in writing in 2008 that bad data compromised their ability to make sound decisions on where to best focus road safety spending and position red-light cameras, records show.

"Blaming sloppy police record-keeping and an absence of quality control over data, the experts concluded that city numbers on crashes were way off.

"In 2006, for example, they said the city counted 63 traffic deaths in Chicago while a state database they considered far more accurate put the number at 176 deaths. That same year, records show, the city reported 1,594 victims of serious injuries in crashes in Chicago; the state pegged it at 3,337."

What's even more galling is how badly Rahm Emanuel didn't want you to know this.

"The internal alarm over untrustworthy crash data was first raised by officials at CDOT and the Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications in a 2008 white paper, three years before Emanuel became mayor. Last month, his administration refused to release the document to the Tribune, saying it was exempt from disclosure under the state Freedom of Information Act.

"The state, however, did turn over the city's findings in response to a similar open-records request. "

See also: Rahm Caught Lying About Speed Cameras

Rahm's Pants Still Aflame
"Mayor Emanuel Thinks He Voted."


Just add it to chasm I call The Moneyball Mayor's Credibility Gap, featured most recently here and here.

Hogan's Heroes
"From beginning to end, the crises that led to University of Illinois President Michael Hogan's downfall lasted about three months," Jodi S. Cohen reports for the Tribune.

"But that relatively short period of turmoil - which culminated in Hogan's resignation last month - left a stack of bills that could reach $250,000 for consultants who helped manage the situation. Among other costs, the university expects to pay $4,000 for two meetings Hogan had last month with an executive coach."

Couldn't he have just read the book? Or asked someone from the business school to meet him for a beer?


"While the immediate crisis is over, the university is now paying bills to several outside consultants and companies that helped with everything from legal advice to communications strategy. The bills include $160,582 combined to the law firm Jones Day and the forensic data analysis firm Duff & Phelps for investigating the circumstances around the anonymous e-mails.

"At least $40,000 will be paid to Jasculca Terman, a public relations firm that was hired in January to help with crisis communications surrounding the investigation and the release of the investigative report."

It was a pleasure spinning you! Please pay promptly.

"Neither Troyer nor Hogan will be held personally responsible for the costs. Both plan to remain at the university as tenured faculty members; Hogan's salary will be $285,100 a year, while Troyer's will be $109,000."

I guess they've never seen this commercial.

"Peter Mancusi, who concentrates on crisis communications with the international public relations firm Weber Shandwick, said companies, universities and other large organizations need to be careful to protect their images."

Instead of changing their realities.

"Your reputation is one of the most important things you have, so the extent you . . . think carefully and strategically about what you are going to do to protect that reputation, especially in a time of crisis, is really important," Mancusi said. "It is not a question of just fancifully spinning something."

It's fancifully spinning something and getting the victims to pay for it!

"The university's contract with public relations firm Jasculca Terman began in January. While the firm originally was hired to help with crisis communications regarding the anonymous e-mail incident, it then helped with the announcement of Hogan's resignation. The firm helped prepare communications materials and monitored media.

"The university paid the firm $13,468 for work done in January and expects to be billed at least that much for February and March, Hardy said.

"The university paid management consultant M.J. Jiaras, of Integrated Coaching Solutions, $4,000 for his work in March. Jiaras could get another $15,000 during the next five months if he continues working with the university, according to his contract. The contract is currently 'paused,' Hardy said."

Can't we fast-forward it to the end?

"Hogan met twice with Jiaras to discuss 'effective organizational governance and management,' Hardy said. Topics included how to work successfully with faculty, administrators and other key groups. They met for about two hours each on March 10 and March 17."

That's $1,000 an hour.

Memo to students: If you want to pay off your student loans, major in Executive Coaching.

The Weekend in Chicago Rock
Including some Record Store Day appearances.

Can You Dodge A Paintball?
The MythBusters exhibit is here.

The Humbler's Perfecto
In The White Sox Report.

Note: SportsMonday will appear tomorrow as SportsTuesday; The Cub Factor will return next week.

Artist Alley
Wrapping up Chicago Comic Con.

Matt Foley And Ozzy Osbourne
Together in Chicago.


The Beachwood Tip Line: Down by the river.


Posted on April 23, 2012

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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