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The [Tuesday] Papers

By Steve Rhodes

Rod Blagojevich appearing on The Apprentice would make more sense if the show was hosted by Dick Mell, don't you think?

*

"Blagojevich's charity: the Children's Cancer Center in Tampa," AP reports. "It got $10,000 from his wife Patti Blagojevich's participation in the ABC reality show I'm a Celebrity . . . Get Me out of Here! It took that money after two other charities passed.

"'Being in Tampa, Florida, we're not really aware of what's going on in Chicago,' spokeswoman Shannon Hannon Oliviero said."

A) The Internet hasn't gotten to Florida yet
B) It's not like it's been a huge national story or anything
C) Look, we want the money

*

Olivier is a former promotions director for Clear Channel Radio Tampa. And the chairwoman of the Tampa hospital is a former reality show participant herself. So the Blagos found the right folks.

*

Reminder:

"On October 8, Blagojevich told a person described only as 'Individual A' that he was willing to make $8 million available for Children's Memorial Hospital, but 'I want to get [Hospital Executive 1] for 50.'

"Individual A felt that Blagojevich was talking about a $50,000 campaign contribution from the hospital's chief executive officer and that the $8 million referred to a recent commitment by Blagojevich to secure state funds via 'some type of pediatric care reimbursement.'

"Intercepted phone conversations between Rod Blagojevich and others indicate that Rod Blagojevich is contemplating rescinding his commitment of state funds to benefit Children's Memorial Hospital because Hospital Executive 1 has not made a recent campaign contribution."

*

True, the Apprentice money goes to a good cause. But it also enables Blago's defense. If everyone refused his entreaties, presumably Blago wouldn't be able to appear on the show and we'd all be better off for it.

Quinn Bin
"Gov. Pat Quinn has been trying to appoint a Latino to the ICC for months, and he finally found somebody," Rich Miller reports.

*

"Quinn pointed out straight away that Flores, now 37, is the first Mexican American to be named to the ICC chairmanship, then downplayed that as a factor in his selection," Mark Brown writes. "However, City Hall sources say Quinn's office shopped the job to at least two other Hispanic politicians before settling on Flores, a pretty clear indication that he wanted to use the post to shore up his support with Hispanic voters."

*

"It is the second time since becoming governor last year that Quinn, who faces a Feb. 2 primary challenge for the Democratic nomination, has tapped a Chicago Latino alderman for a top post," the Tribune reports. "In May, Quinn named then-26th Ward Ald. Billy Ocasio as a senior adviser on Latino affairs.

"Quinn dismissed the notion the appointments were aimed at appealing to Hispanic voters."

O'Brien's World
"We're running strictly a positive campaign here," Terry O'Brien told reporters just before unveiling a negative ad.

Diner Dumped
"The property owners say a 'casual' restaurant offering some 'organic' food would open in Standee's place, after they determined the diner was not the best option for the site at 1133 W. Granville Ave.," the Tribune reports.

"'The partnership did not originally set out not to have Standee's there,' said Rae Ann Cecrle, a board member at the Edgewater Development Corp., which co-owns and manages the property. 'We wanted to have Standee's upgrade themselves, but ultimately did not consider the current operator to be a solid investment.'"

You know, like maybe Standee's could have started serving organic food and Starbuck's. And gotten rid of that garish sign.

"[Adolfo] Suastegui, who has run Standee's for about 11 years, said he hopes to reopen the restaurant nearby in March. 'The new place will have the same food, same hours and same people,' he said.

"But the big, lighted sign - which has beckoned many a North Side resident, college student and late-night wanderer - will be gone. Suastegui said he sold it to an Indiana man for $500."

Rae Ann Cecrie, you are today's Worst Person in Chicago.

*

The Save Standees! Facebook page has 1,371 members. The Close Standee's Facebook page has 26 members. Huh, which customer base would you rather have?

*

I can't begin to tell you how many things are wrong with the Close Standee's crowd's mission statement:

"Save Standee's? Really? Why on Earth would any of you want to do that?

"I mean, come on. Sure, Standee's sounds awesome when you're drunk/high/hungover/all of the above, but still. Go sober and it's a completely different experience. The food is sub par, the wait staff is inattentive and slow, and the prices are unreasonably high for the overall quality of the establishment. Come on people, it's just diner food, and that's the only reason that people like it when under the effects of mind-altering substances. Try Delux Diner, or the iHop that's nearby. After all, when's the last time I ate 17 pancakes at a STANDEE'S all-you-can-eat-pancakes during February? Never, that's when."

I'm tired of being oppressed by people who don't get it.

*

"Edgewater is losing another piece of its heart, maybe even its soul," Lorraine Swanson writes at Lake Effect News in an account easily superior to what the Trib pulled together. "As of 6 p.m. Jan. 3, 2010, Standee's iconic sign will shine no more on Granville Avenue.

"Like all things about to be lost, a beloved parent, a faithful old dog, or the end of an era, fans of Standee's have been trekking into the gritty diner to wrap their arms around the burgers, the voices, the hash brown skillets, the fake Tiffany Coco-Cola lamps, as if grabbing tightly enough, they can stop Standee's from slipping into the vapors of memory."

Check out the photos, the slide show and the comments.

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COMMENT 9:14 A.M.: From Beachwood reader Jeff:

So if the Edgewater Development Corp. is involved how much do you want to bet the new organic diner gets TIF money? The end result is an existing business will get a push out onto the street from taxpayer money.

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The Beachwood Tip Line: Steak and eggs.



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Posted on January 5, 2010


MUSIC - The Weekend In Chicago Rock.
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POLITICS - Obscene Healthcare CEOs.
SPORTS - TrackNotes: Lazy Hazy Crazy Dog Days.

BOOKS - The Origins Of Environmental Bullshit.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Daisies.


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