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The [Tuesday] Papers

By Steve Rhodes

Danny Solis, the 25th Ward alderman who recently replaced Bill Banks as chairman of the zoning committee, got an amazing letter to the editor published in the Tribune this morning. Let's take a look.

"Chicago recently celebrated the opening of the retail component of Block 37," Solis writes. "The long-vacant block, located across from the former Marshall Field's State Street flagship, continues to be a flash point of competing views on real estate development and the role of government.

"Block 37 is a shining example of what government and business can accomplish together. When the city first acquired Block 37 in 1989, State Street had lost its patina as one of the world's best shopping districts. At the time, State Street was at risk of becoming vacant. City leaders needed to make difficult choices."

Yes, Block 37 is a shining example of what government and business can accomplish together. It only took 20 years to open a store there!

"Today Block 37 and State Street are a bustle of vitality and activity. Without the city's investment in Block 37, State Street could have become a historic zone of emptiness."

So . . . without 20 years of emptiness on Block 37, State Street could have become empty as well?

"City leaders must think long-term no matter how tough the economy, no matter how stressful the moment."

Like all those stressful economic moments in the roaring 90s. Good thing we got through that.

"Though Block 37 has been challenged by real estate crises and recessions, the city's reason for investing remains sound: to improve Chicago for ourselves and our children."

And for the last 20 years, the Block 37 boondoggle has provided extraordinary moments of comic relief for ourselve and our children. Mission accomplished!

"Block 37 is a testament to hope. Foundations for the CTA station and the final build-out are in place. It is on these foundations we can anchor our optimism for the future."

About that CTA station . . .

About that final build-out . . .


Memo to the Tribune: Just because an alderman sends you a letter doesn't mean you have to publish it. Tell him (or her) to go submit to questioning by one of your reporters instead.

Juvenile Politics
My friend Tracy Siska, of the Chicago Justice Project, offers his top five reasons why Gov. Pat Quinn's denial of access to WBEZ of juvenile corrections facilities is ridiculous.

Superior Internet Journalism
The Tiger Woods Sponsorship Dance Card.

Snow Job
In yesterday's item about this Carol Marin column, I forgot to include this gem:

"[O]n Dec. 1, before the arctic blast, this is what the city assured in an e-mail about frigid weather:

"'The new pay and display boxes are installed in cold climates worldwide and operate in winter . . . '"


"[W]hen Carol Marin, one of Chicago's elite news reporters can't get a solid answer out of the DOR, you know something is seriously wrong," The Parking Ticket Geek writes at
The Expired Meter.


The Expired Meter is also running a countdown clock to new parking rates on its upper left rail.

Ad Note
Buying an ad on the Beachwood obviously doesn't buy you an editorial mention as well, but I do want to draw your attention to the eVoter ad we're running over there on our right rail because it's kind of a fun thing and a public service that will become more useful as eVoter grows their site. Give it a spin.

Bull Bryant
John Jackson wonders in the Sun-Times what life might have been like for the Bulls if they had traded for Kobe Bryant when it appeared they had the chance to do so.

I don't have time this morning to do a clip check, but enough sports media figures in this town were so down on the idea of bringing in Kobe that I wrote this (item 4) on August 1, 2008:

"The same people who think the Bears shouldn't go after Brett Favre are the same people who thought the Bulls were better off without Kobe Bryant."

Thank you. Thank you very much.

Lovie Baker
Lovie Smith thinks he owes it to the fans to go all-out trying to win every game left in this dreadful season. He's wrong. With the Bears now officially eliminated from playoff contention, he owes it to fans to give some fresh faces some playing time and experiment with schemes and play-calling if doing so will help the team's prospects for next year.


Because the fans will be here long after he's gone.


Lovie's situation is reminiscent of Dusty Baker's final year with the Cubs. Jim Hendry decided to fire Baker mid-season, but thought he owed it to Baker to let him finish out the season. What did Hendry owe to the fans? Baker kept putting players on the field whom he knew wouldn't be with the team the following year to finish with the best possible record for his baseball card, regardless of how it impacted the Cubs' seasons to come.

That's one reason why you fire coaches in mid-season. Agendas being to operate at cross-purposes.

Placing Blame
"The Bears and Bulls are a mess, creations of managements whose desire is to succeed but whose methods of achieving such are twisted by fatal judgments," our very own George Ofman writes. "One maddening move is followed by another and then, another. You clamor for change but instead are served the same putrid smelling dish you want to send back to the kitchen. And that's the problem: The cook!"

Thomson Terrorist Card Not Playing
Tough guys got their facts wrong anyway.

The Political Odds . . .
. . . have changed. Brown in the lead but Preckwinkle's race to lose.

In Action!
The Flaming Lips.


The Beachwood Tip Line: Realize.


Posted on December 15, 2009

MUSIC - Millions Of New Guitar Players.
TV - "One America News" is AT&T.
POLITICS - When Wall Street Came To My Mobile Home Park.
SPORTS - Tonyball, Bears On The Run, Eyes On The Sky & More!

BOOKS - China Holding Swedish Publisher.


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