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The [Thursday] Papers

I don't know much about Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart, so it's tough to say how much his bold decision to stop enforcing foreclosure evictions is motivated by the great headlines he's sure to garner nationwide and how much is motivated by his desire for true justice of a sort a sheriff rarely gets to invoke, but in this case I'll judge him righteous until proven guilty even if it makes me look like a chump. After all, it sure sounds like the right thing to do.

The basic gist - as I understand it - is that Dart's deputies all too often have been trying to evict tenants who have made their rent payments because of unscrupulous landlords. Dart finally said enough is enough.

The back story is what fascinates me.

"I've come to this point after spending the last year trying to work with the banking industry, even asking the Legislature to pass a bill requiring them to - at a minimum - let us know if any children, disabled or senior citizens live at the home, so we can connect them with social services," Dart writes himself in the Sun-Times. "That effort was killed by banking industry lobbyists."

That sounds like territory ripe for further reporting.

True enough, only a third of foreclosure evictions involve renters, according to the Sun-Times's own story. The paper reports that that fact has Cook County Judge Dorothy Kirie Kinnaird, who is in charge of the Chancery Division that handles foreclosure evictions, wondering why Dart is ceasing all such evictions.

It's a good question, and Kinnaird also notes that "he has communicated more [to the media] than he has to the court."

But at least he now has everyone's attention.


Also, Mark Brown identifies the "real heroes" - from Albany Park - behind Dart's decision.

Garbage In, Garbage Out
"During a 10-ward, 10-week surveillance, Inspector General David Hoffman found that waste and falsification of time in the Bureau of Sanitation is 'systemic and pervasive and extends to all wards,' aided and abetted by poor supervision by layer upon layer of middle management," the Sun-Times reports.

If you think about that for a minute, you realize Hoffman is saying the bureau is thoroughly slothful and corrupt.

"Of the 145 laborers whose daily movements were tracked, investigators' did not see a single laborer doing a full day's work," the paper notes.

Streets and Sanitation Commissioner Michael Picardi blamed "a few bad apples."

Question to Picardi: Which of the 145 are the good apples?

Lou Phillips of the Laborers Union Local 1001 called the investigation a witch hunt.

Sorry, Lou. Witches put in a full day's work.

Phillips also accused Hoffman of working with Mayor Daley to use the investigation as groundwork for budget layoffs.

Not likely, given that Hoffman is persona non grata to Daley, though it's always possible the boys in City Hall called in the tip. But why not just man up and say you're sorry?

Still, the Tribune editorial page is wrong when it says that "Hoffman's report couldn't come at a worse time for Daley or his workforce."

Actually, Hoffman's report couldn't come at a better time for Daley - for just the reasons Phillips notes in terms of layoffs.

Finally, the Tribune says that "This debacle belongs to the mayor."

As opposed to all the others?

Drunk Test
Google Goggles rules.

Deer Meat
"Chance of hitting a deer in Illinois: 1 in 196," the Springfield State Journal-Register reports.

The Beachwood Inn's Bob Stepien comments:

"They should start a deer education program. This would teach the deer the proper way to cross a road. Perhaps funding for street lights and crosswalks at deer crossings. When the deer need to cross the road they push the button in order to change the light. This would cut down on deer fatalities and insurance cost on car repairs. Somebody should float this by the government, I'm sure there is somebody who would approve it."

We could probably get an earmark for the funding.

Changing the Channel
"It's now all Obama all the time on Dish Network's channel 73. Senator Obama's campaign has bought this channel 24x7 between now and election day," Rich Samuels reports. "Paid political programming dates from the earliest days of broadcasting, to be sure. But this has to be some sort of first."

The Cub Factor

Beer Fear
Who even knew a shortage like this was possible?

Pontiac RIP
It kinda sucked but I'm sure it was better than what will replace it.

Ferdy's Film Frenzy
We continue blurbing Marilyn Ferdinand's coverage of the Chicago International Film Festival. Follow the link for the full review and other event information.

Snow: Among the thriving film industries of Eastern Europe, Bosnia-Herzegovina's has consistently provided courageous and inventive stories that tell the rest of the world what has happened and is happening in this scarred region. Now we have another beautifully wrought film - the winner of the critics' week grand prize at this year's Cannes Film Festival - about the survivors of the tiny Muslim town of Slavno who saw all its males, including young boys, rousted from their beds and taken off to be slaughtered. Snow takes place in a time out of time. Real-life events occur, but the handful of residents who have lost fathers, husbands, and children live in a kind of limbo, wishfully thinking and dreaming that their men somehow escaped unharmed or clinging to bitterness over their ruined lives. What they don't know is that a strange confrontation will change the fate of all the villagers and enable them to get on with their lives.

Here's the trailer (with French subtitles):


The Beachwood Tip Line: Gray like an autumn day.


Posted on October 9, 2008

MUSIC - Lyric Opera Strike An Old Story.
POLITICS - USA Today's Op-Ed Disaster.
SPORTS - Beachwood Sports Radio: Kanye, Chili, Jimmy, Tarik.

BOOKS - Conway Barbour & The Black Middle Class.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Recall! Malone's Pork Head Cheese.

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