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The [Monday] Papers

"A group representing city and suburban homeowners seeking relief from increasing airplane noise called today for Chicago Aviation Commissioner Rosemarie Andolino to resign or for Mayor Rahm Emanuel to fire her," the Tribune reports.

I doubt that's gonna happen, but Rahm needs to give her a swift kick in the butt.

Leaders of the Fair Allocation in Runways Coalition said they issued the demand because of "mounting frustration over the lack of response from Mayor Emanuel'' to meet with them to discuss possible remedies concerning "the ceaseless airplane noise'' since air-traffic patterns were changed last fall at O'Hare International Airport.

The Tribune requested a response from Andolino and the mayor.

Andolino has rejected requests from the coalition and U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley, D-Chicago, to consider expanding the airport's voluntary "fly quiet'' overnight program for pilots, so it would start at 9 p.m. nightly instead of 10 p.m. She also turned down the idea of O'Hare air-traffic controllers more widely altering the use of runways at night to spread out jet noise instead of concentrating it over one or two air corridors.

This is the sort of thing that gets mayors unelected. I mean, besides all the other things.

Alternate: Mayor Emanuel: Alienating Chicago one constituency at a time.

Loop Alliance
"On his first day in office in 2011, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel signed an executive order saying he wouldn't accept campaign donations from contractors doing business with the city," the Better Government Association reports.

"But taking money from employees of those contractors? A different story by Emanuel's standards."

For example:

Emanuel banked $18,100 last December from attorneys at Sidley Austin LLP - six months after the Chicago law firm started working for the city on a heater case involving the Chicago Police Department.

To be clear, the firm hasn't given Emanuel a penny. But the firm's attorneys have been awfully good to the mayor.

In all, they donated $57,100 to Emanuel's campaign fund since late 2010, shortly after he announced he was running for mayor. Just over a third of that total, or $21,100, arrived after the city hired Sidley Austin.

I'm not sure if there's a connection but that's a pretty big loophole - one that Rahm doesn't want to discuss.

The BGA asked whether Emanuel would consider broadening the order to include employees of city vendors, too - plugging what's a pretty sizable loophole.

"I won't have a comment for you on this," the spokeswoman says.

And so much - again - for the new transparency.

David Hoffman, the city's former inspector general, also is a partner at the firm (as well as a BGA board member). Hoffman endorsed Emanuel for mayor in February 2011, shortly before Hoffman joined Sidley Austin.

But that support had nothing to do with the city's decision, the city spokeswoman says, adding Corporation Counsel Stephen Patton picked Sidley Austin because of Lassar's "reputation for independence and thoroughness."

"The mayor had no involvement in the decision," she adds.

Hoffman did not return phone calls.

Lassar was among the attorneys who donated to Emanuel last December, chipping in $1,000 as part of a fund-raiser for the mayor. Sidley Austin attorneys attended the event, but officials said the firm did not host it.

Lassar declined to comment for this story, as did Carter Phillips, chairman of Sidley Austin's executive committee.

If Sidley is doing anything wrong, why is everyone there so afraid to talk?

A) They're doing something wrong.

B) They're afraid Rahm will get mad if they talk.

C) All of the above.

Schooling Student-Athletes
"More than one of every four employees of the Illinois High School Association - the governing body for high school sports in Illinois - gets more than $110,000 a year in pay and benefits, according to Internal Revenue Service records," the Sun-Times reports.

Sidley Austin had no comment.

Just kidding.

Doesn't Sidley Austin sound like the nerdy superhero of an animated show on Adult Swim?

Anyway, clearly looting the joint:

IHSA executive director Marty Hickman received a $204,840 salary plus $16,528 in health insurance benefits, bringing his compensation to $221,368. The association also reported $77,198 in deferred compensation for Hickman, which he describes as "the present value of the pension benefit payable over my lifetime earned during that year."

Six of the association's other 24 employees got between $112,893 and $134,501 in salary and benefits. Each holds the title of assistant executive director and oversees different sports and business functions.

IHSA officials are peddling the familiar refrain that salaries need to be high enough to attract and retain top talent. Does it seem like they are composed of top talent? Me and my buddies will do the job twice as well for half the pay.

Also, if every state high school association pays exorbitant salaries, they can all say they need to do it to compete against each other. It's a racket.

On Friday, for example, the Sun-Times reported:

Between 2006 and last year, profits from the tournament fell by 29 percent, government records filed by the IHSA show. Revenues - mostly from ticket sales - decreased by 17 percent between 2009 and last year.

IHSA spending on salaries and employee benefits, meanwhile, is up 21 percent in just one year's time, according to the private, not-for-profit group's most recent filing with the Internal Revenue Service.

That's not cool.

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And this:

"Since it's not a government body, the IHSA isn't subject to the Illinois Freedom of Information Act, which would require it to make public individual royalty and sponsorship agreements. Such deals netted the organization $647,633 last year."

Why isn't it a government body? It's governing agency of state high school athletics!

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Finally, that revenue drop seems to indicate they're doing a lousy job:

"Even as pack-the-house players like Derrick Rose, Jabari Parker and Marcus Jordan led their teams to state titles in recent years, the Illinois High School Association has seen revenues and profits from its marquee state boys basketball tournament plummet."

High school basketball in Chicago is super hot. The IHSA is not.

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The Hippest Trip Around The Globe
This week in Beachwood International with The Angry Aussie, we travel to Qatar, Rio, the Ukraine, West Antarctica, North Korea and Australia in order to inform and entertain you the way no other podcast can.

And ICYMI:

The Beachwood Radio Hour #7 including Clemente's Awesome Archers, Rahm's Falling Fortunes with Kari Lydersen, I Am A Tour Guide with J.J. Tindall, Why The Chicago Sky with Jim "Coach" Coffman, The White Sox Change The Guard with Roger Wallenstein, and A Preakness Preview with Tom Chambers. Music by Sister Speak and Rodriguez.

Kangaroo Court Suit Settled
Kids have rights too.

Beware Sharks & Urban Chickens
The problem with ABC and WGN. In Local TV Notes.

Coach Q Is Queasy
On the edge of unhingement. In SportsMonday.

Bye Bye Beckham
Hello, Micah Johnson. In The White Sox Report.

The Cub Factor
Will appear on Tuesday.

Another Awesome Weekend In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Disappears, Lana Del Rey, Haim, Ashanti, Black Stone Cherry, Punch Cabbie, Break of Reality, Seether, Cameron Ford, the Blasters, Tennis, Juiceboxxx, Phosphene, Matrimony, Empty Isle, Chiodos, Our Last Night, and The 7th Year.

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BeachBook
* When Great Lakes Ice Doesn't Melt.

* Everyone Should Know Just How Much The Government Lied To Defend The NSA.

* How Jane Byrne Foretold The Parking Meter Lease Future.

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TweetWood

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The Beachwood Tip Line: Point and label.



Permalink

Posted on May 19, 2014


MUSIC - Blues Fest 2017.
TV - The Queen's Speech.
POLITICS - Psychopath CEOs Destroy Value.
SPORTS - Why Todd Frazier Should Lead Off.

BOOKS - The Fresh Air Fund's Complicated Racial Record.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - The Great Lakes Have Tsunamis.


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