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The [Monday] Papers

"The luxury helicopter that crashed Sunday morning in California, killing all nine people on board including former NBA star Kobe Bryant, was once owned by the state of Illinois," Ben Orner reports for Capitol News Illinois.

What a weird, local twist.

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"The Sikorsky S-76B helicopter was built in 1991, according to the Federal Aviation Administration's aircraft registry. The state of Illinois used it from 2007 to 2015, according to helicopter information database Helis.

Under the direction of former Gov. Bruce Rauner, the state sold the helicopter along with four other surplus aircraft in 2015 for $2.5 million. Rauner said selling the aircraft "also avoided an additional $1 million in inspections and repairs," according to an Associated Press story after the sales.

The winning bid for the helicopter was $515,161, placed by user "Jimbagge1," according to a listing on the state's online auction website, iBid. Both the aircraft and its two engines had just under 4,000 hours of airframe time when the copter was sold.

At the time of the crash, the registered owner of the helicopter was Island Express Holding Corp of Van Nuys, California, which registered it a month after it was won at auction.

The state of Illinois previously attempted to sell the helicopter in 2014, but receive zero bids, according to that auction's iBid listing.

Ultimately, this isn't meaningful at all. It's just . . . weird.

Kobe Commentary
Obviously, the death of Kobe Bryant, his daughter and the others on that helicopter, who have mostly been consigned by the media to the "others" bin if mentioned at all, is a tragedy. I will confess that before the encomiums rolled I didn't realize how much Bryant apparently meant to Los Angeles, the NBA and, um, others. Perhaps that's because the first thing I think of when I hear the name Kobe Bryant is his rape case in Colorado. He almost certainly did it - he seemed to admit as much in the apology letter that helped settle his case.

That doesn't make his death any less of a shock, but I'm almost as shocked at the outpouring of statements from certain quarters that ignore his ignominy - especially while praising his apparently sincere dedication to women's sports (perhaps that came about not only because of his daughter but to make amends for his past?). It strikes me as awfully tone deaf. I had to search Twitter for "Kobe" and "rape" to see if I was the only one who remembered the case. To wit:

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And so on.

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On the other hand . . .

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And then there are the recalls of legacy-burnishing stories of how he "rebuilt" his life, as if his victim didn't need to rebuild her life.

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Just think how this makes his victim feel.

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The New York Times obit, "Kobe Bryant's Brilliant and Complicated Legacy," seemed like it would strike the right tone.

Bryant, who died with his daughter Gianna in a helicopter crash on Sunday, was an unquestioned basketball great, but his legacy is not so straightforward.

It didn't. The sexual assault doesn't appear until the 17th paragraph of a 24-paragraph piece. And then it only gets that one paragraph - without so much as a link to a summary of the case, the findings, his "apology."

Instead, Bryant is cast as "the central and enduring figure in one of the most gripping soap operas in modern professional team sports," apparently for the tension between him and Shaquille O'Neal and not, for example, the rape case (nor buying his wife a $4 million ring as a peace-offering to save his marriage, which remains vulgar as hell).

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With all due respect and sorrow, there is more to life than sports and celebrity. We all have lives of worth. The woman in Colorado, wherever she is now, has a life of worth, one perhaps irretrievably damaged by our star. Let us stand up for her now, too.

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What happened Sunday was stunning and sad, and much of the grief absolutely genuine. But I also find a portion of the public mourning by public people to be performative and offensive. It would be different if Kobe more fully came clean and more fully accepted the consequences of his actions. He didn't.

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New on the Beachwood . . .

Why Your Zodiac Sign Is Wrong
Astronomy vs. astrology.

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ChicagoReddit

DuSable High School basketball team, 1962. from r/chicago

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ChicagoGram

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ChicagoTube

Old Style The #1 Beer in Wisconsin and Chicago (1982)

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TweetWood
A sampling of the delight and disgust you can find @BeachwoodReport.

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The Beachwood Loose Lips Line: Sink ships.



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Posted on January 27, 2020


MUSIC - Bill Withers In The Beachwood.
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BOOKS - Saul Tillock's Chicago Blues.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - NASA At Home.


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