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The [Tuesday] Papers

"Metra's longtime chief was supporting two other households in addition to his own, leaving his wife with staggering debts after he took his life, according to a lawyer for Phil Pagano's widow," the Tribune reports.

"James Mullally, who represents Barbara Pagano, made the disclosure in federal bankruptcy court last week, claiming that she was left with more than $1 million in debts.

"Saying he didn't want to get involved in 'innuendo and hearsay,' Mullally said that 'in addition to the household in Crystal Lake . . . Pagano had not one, but two additional households, one in Palatine and one in downtown Chicago,' according to a court transcript.

"It wasn't known who belonged to those households. Mullally on Monday declined to provide any names or details. Nor would he say if Barbara Pagano had determined who might belong to the 'other households.'"


Too soon?

Freudian Slip
"U.S. customs officials have seized 30,000 Cuban cigars shipped from Europe to O'Hare International Airport in the last two weeks and are inspecting another 70,000 they suspect are from Cuba," the Tribune reports.

"The flood of the popular contraband is the biggest seen at the Customs and Border Protection's Chicago field office, which typically seizes 10 to 12 cigars a week at the O'Hare international mail facility, officials said Monday."


"'Wow!' said Neil Mehra, who has owned Hubbard & State Cigar Shop in Chicago for more than a decade."


"'We Googled 'buy Cuban cigars' and found several (European) sites, the majority of which say they don't have any trouble sending them to the U.S.,' [customs spokesman Brian] Bell said. Some had a disclaimer saying vendors couldn't guarantee cigars wouldn't get seized by customs officials, he said."

Naughty List Grows
"A 3-foot-tall Christmas decoration of a penguin with a Santa hat was stolen between 3 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Nov. 29 in the 1100 block of Wydown Court," TribLocal Naperville reports.

That 70s Plane
"[E]mployees of United Airlines selected this 1972 livery for an upcoming retrojet to celebrate its proud past."

Green Parties
"In 2008, Chicago billionaire Kenneth C. Griffin described the 'hometown pride' that led him to invite the fledgling presidential candidate Barack Obama to speak to employees at his hedge fund, and beyond that, to raise more than $200,000 to help see Obama elected," ABC News reports.

"But recently published campaign finance records suggest that his hometown pride has faded. After Obama pushed through major financial reform, some leaders of the investment community like Ken Griffin have voiced their displeasure by serving as big-money backers of Republicans in 2010. A fresh batch of campaign finance and tax records show Griffin and his wife - herself a hedge-fund manager - combined to give $500,000 to American Crossroads, the so-called Super PAC organized by Karl Rove to defeat Democratic candidates in the mid-term elections."

No word on whether Obama just won Griffin back.


Barack Obama is who I said he was.


Am I rewarded? No, I'm nearly bankrupt.


If I've learned anything in my 20-plus years as a journalist, it's that being right, being ahead of the curve and being ethical is a deadly recipe for failure.

Bizarro Chicagos
"Fencing is up and the bricks are coming down at the site of the last River Street Hotel in Moose Jaw," Discover Moose Jaw reports.

"The Little Chicago Development Company started demolition of Nevada Nickels Monday with crews tearing into the west side of the building. The area is fenced off with an a pile of rubble laying in what used to be the parking lot.

"A 103 room hotel with 11 corporate suites, shops and tourist type attractions are expected to replace the historic buildings according to the developers . We've been told the hotel, modeled after the Lexington Hotel in Chicago, should be up by 2012."


"Lawrence's Old Chicago restaurant, 2329 Iowa St., is about to become an old memory," the Lawrence, Kansas Journal World & News reports. "A manager and multiple employees at the restaurant confirmed the Lawrence location will close on Friday.

Chicago Police Will Taser Just About Anyone
Gawker reports.

Book Hook
"An American independent bookseller has set up a blog warning consumers about the 'beast' that is Amazon, despite being a judge for a prize sponsored by the retail giant," The Bookseller reports.

"Jeff Waxman, of 57th Street Books and the Seminary Co-op Bookstores in Chicago, bills Against Amazon as 'an online archive to educate consumers about the problems and politics of doing business with the beast.'"

Book Nook
"The Chicago City Council has spared the Chicago Public Library from the budget knife," Library Journal reports. "And if that were not unusual enough in these hard times, the CPL will also be hiring in preparation for the opening of four new branches this spring."

The Programming Note
The rest of the Beachwood will return on Wednesday.


The Beachwood Tip Line: Book it.


Posted on December 7, 2010

MUSIC - Madonna vs. Moderna.
TV - Sundays With The Military-Industrial Complex.
POLITICS - Private Equity In The ER.
SPORTS - Suspicious Betting Trends In Soccer.

BOOKS - China Holding Swedish Publisher.


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