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The [Monday] Papers

"In one suburb, weeds grow chest-high on long-dormant youth baseball diamonds. And the village's water is drawn from wells so laced with a toxic chemical that the state had to drag in a new filtration system," the Tribune reports.

"They are the kinds of problems that could prompt a village to hike taxes, and Sauk Village did just that in recent years, raising them even higher than the tax-capped town is usually allowed.

"But the extra cash hasn't gone to the ballfields or to the water system.

"Instead, the money is going to pay off a gleaming Village Hall - for which officials borrowed big to build, without seeking voter approval."

Suburban governments, in turns out, are reckless and arrogant too, as the Tribune has been reporting.

(See, for example, Fire Stadium Burning Taxpayers.)


"In northwest suburban Lakewood, the town decided to get the special loan in 1991 to buy a golf course," the Tribune reports.

"At the time, officials from the small suburb said a sports management firm projected that the course would pay for itself. Some residents remained skeptical, including Roger Reid, who recalls going with a small group to the Village Board meeting to ask for assurance that taxes would not go up because of the deal.

"We were assured - up and down and sideways - that, 'This is not going to go on your tax bill,'" Reid recalled.

"Then Lakewood residents were hit with the catch in the law: If projections are off, taxes can go up.

"Turns out, the town's projections were so far off that the golf course couldn't even pay a penny toward its loan payment for six years. And, by the time the bond was paid off two years ago, records show, 53 percent of it was paid off through higher taxes, not the projected golf-course profit."

Passage Of The Year Nominee
"Daley offered the money that CME said they didn't request to keep ICE from doing something that they said they had no intention of doing," Ben Joravsky writes for the Reader.

"Effectively, Mayor Daley offered your property-tax dollars to give one billion-dollar corporation a leg up on another billion-dollar corporation in a bidding war to buy out a third billion-dollar corporation."

Click through for the ugly details.

Garden Party
"Back when former Gov. George Ryan was letting lawmakers pass out grants to boost the economy and build political support, a young state senator named Barack Obama secured $100,000 in state money to help a not-for-profit group create a botanic garden in Englewood," the Sun-Times reports.

"Now, more than a decade later, Illinois state officials are still trying to recover that grant, which they say the garden's developers misspent. And the effort isn't going well."

Click through for the ugly details.

Oscar Wiener
"Made in China are three little words that really rile Scott Siegel," Crain's reports.

"He believes cheaper overseas labor brought a tragic end to his family's ownership of R.S. Owens & Co., a small manufacturer that has made the Oscar and Emmy awards for more than 30 years."

Click through for the ugly details.


Maybe Hollywood's liberal elite have something to say about the labor source of their vanity trophies?

The Chicago Shark
Shark Tank's Lori Greiner is a Gold Coast gal who used to work in the Tribune newsroom.

The NHL Is Back
But our very own Jim Coffman thinks the owners still need to be punished.

In SportsMonday: An Even-Up Call For NHL Fans.

The Political Odds
We've added the latest list of no-names to the board.

Trial Balloons
In today's installment of QT.

Electric Highways & Sweet Dreams
In our Local Music Notebook.

Poetry, Harold Washington & Chicago's Cable Cars
In Local Book Notes.

The Weekend in Chicago Rock
Including a song about lawyers.


The Beachwood Tip Line: Electric dreams.


Posted on January 7, 2013

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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