The [Tuesday] Papers
1. Rush played at Northerly Island last night; we have a brief video and hope to see more posted on YouTube in the next 24 hours so we can bring it to you.
2. Boy, the Cubs stink. How does Lou keep his job? We've got some theories.
3. Konerko may not have been picked - yet - for the All-Star game, but Weep Not For Paulie.
4. FBI agent Pete Cullen "headed one of the most expansive corruption wiretaps in city history," the Sun-Times notes.
Cullen retired last week after a career that put him smack dab in the middle of Chicago's inglorious history.
5. Why did the city split its traditional and massive Fourth of July fireworks show into three? To avoid the bad PR of gang fights and other incidents marring the city's reputation for, um, safety.
That much has become apparent; police chief Jody Weis said as much at a press conference on Monday.
Perhaps that was a wise move, but the mayor has been awfully disingenuous about it.
"The city's financial crisis was initially cited as the reason for the scaling down, but Mayor Daley later said he always favored multiple sites," the Sun-Times reported when the change was announced.
Really? And he didn't have the power to make that reality until now?
And how, exactly, does having three shows instead of one save money?
Then the city offered up another reason dreamed up in PR meetings.
"The idea behind these shows instead of one is to offer it to more communities throughout the city," spokescreature Veronica Resa said - promising beyond logic that the three displays would be "no less grand" than previous Grant Park extravaganzas.
Apparently the good citizens of Daleyville have to be shielded from the fact that jamming a million people into one downtown space on a hot summer night creates a public safety problem that the Chicago police can't handle. Just say it.
6. Taste of Chicago vendors are pissed - not just about the fireworks but about an earlier closing time this year that city says saved it $200,000 (presumably in security costs).
"The highlight of the food fest has usually been the big fireworks display along the lakefront July 3rd, but this year there were three smaller neighborhood displays on July 4," ABC-7 reports.
"Charlie Robinson and his Number One Ribs are a big part of the Taste of Chicago, but he says this year's changes to the annual food fest's big night made a big difference.
"'It affected the entire Taste, the entire Taste, not only me, or other vendors, but it was the beer sales, the beverage, everything was affected,' said Robinson."
7. "He's as American as hopscotch," Sneed wrote on Sunday about a World War II vet.
I didn't know hopscotch was iconically American.
That's because it's not.
"No one knows where hopscotch began," according to the Virtual Museum of Canada. "Chinese texts make mention of it as early as 2357 B.C. Whether inscribed on sepulchres in Egypt, Greece or elsewhere, the game has always used the same rectangular or spiral plan."
"Hopscotch began in ancient Britain during the early Roman Empire," according to Streetplay.
"There are many other forms of hopscotch played across the globe," according to Wikipedia. "In Spain it is called Rayuela. In Latin America, golosa. . . In Poland, it is called klasy, meaning classes. In Italy it is called campana (meaning bell), or mondo (meaning world). In the Netherlands and Flanders, Hinkelen. In Bosnia, Croatia and Serbia, it is called skolica, meaning little school. In Malaysia, the most popular variant is called tengteng. In Mexico, it is called bebeleche (or mamaleche) meaning drink milk or avioncito meaning little plane (probably because of the shap'). In Puerto Rico it is called peregrina (meaning pilgrim). In Romania the game is called sotron and is widely played by children all over the country. In Brazil it is called amarelinha. The name evolved from marelle, the French name for the game . . . In Breton, the name is reg or delech. The Albanian variant is call is called rrasavi, which is composed of two words: rrasa (the flat stone, an object used to play the game) and vi (line, a reference to the lines that comprise the diagram of the course)."
8. "In many cases, the increase in the cost of fun - during the last 10 years - has far outpaced the rise in the cost of living (about 27 percent) for the same time period," the Sun-Times reports - while leaving itself out of the equation.
The paper raised its price to 75 cents a copy this year - and no one can say it's anything but a worse product than it was when it cost a quarter. The cost of the Sunday paper also just went up 25 cents, from $1.50 to $1.75.
10. Behind Chicago's Eye. Thank you, Sparta, Wisconsin!
11. "Could one possibly invent a game in which kids get less exercise?" our very own Jim Coffman writes. "No wonder baseball has bounced back of late - it is the perfect game for fat-assed America."
12. "Two firms awarded contracts by Cook County President Todd Stroger's administration can't be found on state or county business registries, yet they received upfront payments in deals that investigators are now looking at, according to state and county officials and documents obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times," the paper reports.
"They include a public relations contract given to a company by the name of Urban Rapport for $24,975 'to build awareness of the department's (Department of Environmental Control) energy and conservation program,' according to a letter written by Stroger's Deputy Chief of Staff Carla Oglesby to green light the contract.
"But a check of state and county records shows that Urban Rapport, run by convicted felon and hip-hop promoter Terrell 'Shorty Capone' Harris, isn't a registered businesses in Illinois - a requirement of businesses doing contract work for Cook County.
"Harris couldn't be reached for comment. His phone number on the contract was disconnected and, as WFLD-Channel 32 first reported, the West Loop business address he gave is home to another firm that didn't know of Harris or Urban Rapport.
"A similar contract to spread the word about the county's green initiative was given to Arrei Management Inc., once owned by Stroger's beleaguered chief of staff Oglesby and dissolved in 2008, state records show."
I provided the link to the Fox Chicago story, of course. The Sun-Times doesn't know how to do that yet.
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Posted on July 6, 2010
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