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The [Monday] Papers

If you haven't made Election Night plans yet - like dousing yourself in gasoline and lighting yourself on fire - an invite to be a guest at this program hosted by Jim DeRogatis has saved me from running head first into the TV at the first mention of an exit poll, and maybe it can save you too.

Otter Fodder
"Once listed as endangered in the state, otters are increasing in number, according to wildlife officials who say the population is now big enough to support an annual harvest," the Tribune reports in "River Otters Being Trapped In Illinois For First Time Since 1929."

Congratulations, otters! Now that you've survived extinction and grown your population back to a healthy number, we're gonna slaughter you!


One otter fights back.

Bill Foster Is A Weasel
Not even the Otter Defense can help you here, Bill.

Private Building Commission
"As the man responsible for overseeing construction of Chicago's new schools, libraries, police stations and even a new harbor along the lakefront, James McConnell commands a salary from Chicago taxpayers higher than anyone at City Hall makes," the Sun-Times reports in "Why Do Chicago Taxpayers Pay This Man More Than The Mayor?"

"That includes Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who recently agreed to extend to a fifth year the lucrative no-bid contract that will pay the politically connected construction-management firm where McConnell is executive vice president more than $95 million by the time it runs out next year."

The answer: Because somehow extending a lucrative no-bid contract to a clout-heavy construction dude somehow saves us money?

That's what one official - actually the executive director of the Rise Group, which apparently gets big chunks of building commission business - says.

"[By comparison] She points to the construction of Millennium Park, Daley's crown jewel, which ended up costing $475 million - three times its orginal budget."

Funny, city officials under Richard M. Daley always tried to argue that there weren't any cost overruns at Millennium Park; the plan just changed.

Also, the public building commission and it's fave contractor apparently don't save us money.

[I]n the only case in which a direct comparison can be drawn, the cost of building a project through the commission and its private contractor was higher. That involved the construction of a new residential treatment unit at the Cook County Jail. Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle decided the county could build it cheaper - a move she says saved taxpayers $1.3 million in management fees that she says are too high.

"It's been more expensive to put things out through the Public Building Commission," says Owen Kilmer, a spokesman for Preckwinkle, who, as the head of the Cook County Board, also is one of the 11 members of the Public Building Commission's board.

Preckwinkle, by the way, was just named one of Governing magazine's public officials of the year - though they once conferred the same honor on Daley for his "pragmatic solutions to the most pressing urban problems."

How are those solutions working out? Badly enough for his predecessors to also win the award for cleaning them up!


Finally, and off-point I know, I was under the impression that Rahm was only taking $1 in salary. No?

Library Fantasy Come True
"As vice president of the Chicago Public Library's board of directors, Cherryl T. Thomas helps decide when new libraries are needed and where they are built," the Sun-Times reports.

"And as president of Ardmore Associates LLC, the company she founded after leaving a City Hall post in the late 1990s, Thomas is paid to help oversee construction of those new library buildings."

It's like a Festivus miracle! Only around here we call it a Chicago coinkydink.

"Ardmore - which City Hall has certified as being owned and operated by a woman and a minority - is a subcontractor to the Rise Group."

I, personally, would like to issue a much-belated welcome to our new Rise Group overlords.

Splash Down
When I saw that Marty Casey of the Lovehammers had "a tale to tell" in today's Splash, I finally got it: Splash has gathered the most aggressively annoying people in Chicago in one place and our job is to watch them drown. Brilliant! Haters gonna click.

Board Games
"Chicago's nonprofits say they're eager to diversify their boards, but their attempts to add more minority and female members have produced only modest results so far," Crain's reports.

That's what happens when your search for women and minorities is limited to women and minorities who think like white men.

Trinity Tale
"The uproar over Wright's quotes traumatized Trinity," the Irish Times reports.

I'll say.

"Rev. Joan Harrell, director of public communications . . . demanded that I sign an agreement not to take recordings, photographs or notes or talk to parishioners."

Excuse me, Joan, but point of theological fact: If God didn't want parishioners to talk, He woudn't have given them mouths.


"She accompanied me at all times."

But there was only one set of fingerprints.

Presidential Politics
* Obama Has Granted Clemency More Rarely Than Any Modern President.

* Poverty, Power & The Public Airwaves.

* QT: Election Special.

And A Peanut Shall Lead Them
SportsMonday: Titan of the Takeaway.

Weird Fiction, Twisted Poetry
Rooster-Footed Devils.

The Weekend In Chicago Rock
An exceptionally strong one.


The Beachwood Tip Line: Exceptional.


Posted on November 5, 2012

MUSIC - Madonna vs. Moderna.
TV - Sundays With The Military-Industrial Complex.
POLITICS - Private Equity In The ER.
SPORTS - Suspicious Betting Trends In Soccer.

BOOKS - China Holding Swedish Publisher.


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