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The [Tuesday] Papers

By Steve Rhodes

Stay tuned, folks, we'll be posting a terrific investigative project involving the CTA - reported by our favorite Columbia College class - sometime around 1 p.m. today.

UPDATE: And here it is:

* INVESTIGATION: The Inaccessible CTA.

"A three-month investigation of the CTA found that 41 percent of the handicap-accessible train stations could not be fully used by customers in wheelchairs, calling into question whether the nation's second-largest mass transit system is doing what it should for hundreds of thousands of disabled Chicagoans," Kaitlyn McAvoy reports.

* SIDEBAR: Disabled And Downtown On The CTA.

"Five of the CTA's 10 busiest train stations cannot accommodate a customer in a wheelchair, and that's perfectly legal under the nearly 20-year-old Americans with Disabilities Act," Eli Kaberon reports. "Just four of the 10 elevated stations in and around the Loop - the CTA's hub that hundreds of thousands of people pass through each day - are equipped with elevators, while the other six Loop stations, including Quincy and Adams & Wabash, two of the city's 15 busiest stations, are not accessible.


Meanwhile, here's what else we have today:

* A Hawks Hat Trick. On to the conference finals.

* Introducing our new series of salad bar reviews. First up: La Villa, where the sneeze guard is adequate without being intrusive.

* "I dig honky tonk songs about that place between diminished and extinguished capacity," Beachwood tapster Brian Page writes of his More Booze compilation featured in today's Playlist.

* Policing the pols. In our Ready For Reform series.

* Join The Beachwood Book Club!

Pageant Poop
With all the hullabaloo about Miss California, I thought I'd check in with Miss Illinois.

The reigning Miss Illinois is Ashley Bond, a 24-year-old who grew up in Streamwood and now lives in Chicago. Like her predecessor, Bond is a Chicago Bulls Luvabull. She also works at Gibson's.

No word on whether she favors gay marriage.

No nude photos have been located, but Wikipedia once had an entry for an Ashley Bond from Sheffield, England, who was an "erotic model."

Also according to Wikipedia, a Miss Illinois hasn't become Miss America since 1974. The Miss Illinois from 1973 also won, and both did quite well in their respective Miss Universe pageant as well.

Playboy Problems
Speaking of gender anachronisms, Playboy is doing so poorly that it might be taken off the New York Stock Exchange, a TV news report just said.

And then a Fox Chicago reporter ask a man-on-the-street if he could imagine life without Playboy. I bet he could much easier than life without Internet porn . . .


From a Facebook friend:

FRIEND: "I wonder if they had pictures of clothed women, would circulation pick up?"

COMMENTER: "Then it's just Maxim."

Court Jesters
I don't understand this notion of choosing someone from the "real world" for the Supreme Court. Shouldn't judges be, um, judges? You don't put someone on the Supreme Court because you think they're super-smart or they'll give you the outcomes you want. You want cogent legal thinkers. Maybe an academic, or someone who has demonstrated some facility with the law - a great prosecutor or noted defense attorney. But to just choose someone because you think they're wise? I don't get it. It's a judicial branch of government, not the Jedi Council.

Olympic Sense
"Why don't lawmakers - in Springfield, in City Hall, the 50 Chicago aldermen - who voted to underwrite the worst-case scenario have some skin in the game too?" University of Chicago economist Allen Sanderson writes on today's Trib Op-Ed page.

He's right, of course. Lawmakers were willing to put our skin in the game, but not theirs.

"That is," Sanderson writes, "if each of these politicians were to be personally liable for, say, $100,000 apiece, taxpayers could sleep more soundly. The same should hold for Chicago 2016 officials: What if each members signed a binding agreement to provide $100,000 toward any cost overruns or revenue shortfalls?"

I'm sure Pat Ryan, being an old insurance hand, would find a way to deny any claims anyway.

Waiving Away Ethics
If you can exempt anyone you want, does the rule really exist?

Stroger Counts To Four
That's all he needs in the veto war. He must already have them.

He Is The Senator
Burris sloooooowly learning his job.

Search Perch
"Every new online search service must face the inevitable question: 'Is it better than Google?'" the New York Times reported on Monday.

"WolframAlpha, a powerful new service that can answer a broad range of queries, has become one of the most anticipated Web products of the year. But its creator, Stephen Wolfram, wants to make something clear: Despite the online chatter comparing it to Google, his service is not intended to dethrone the king of search engines.

"'I am not keen on the hype,' said Mr. Wolfram, a well-known scientist and entrepreneur and the founder of Wolfram Research, a company in Champaign, Ill., that has been quietly developing WolframAlpha."

Secrets of the Beachwood
No. 2 now posted.


The Beachwood Tip Line: Lost, searched and found.


Posted on May 12, 2009

MUSIC - Lyric Opera Strike Settled.
POLITICS - USA Today's Op-Ed Disaster.
SPORTS - SportsMonday: Come On, Vic!

BOOKS - Chicago Book Haul: The Dial.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Chicagoetry: West Town Blues.

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