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The [Tuesday] Papers

"The head of Chicago's police department is acknowledging that sometimes police are too busy to respond to shootings," WBEZ reports.

Too busy doing what?!

Aren't the police supposed to be too busy responding to shootings to do, um, other things?

"A resident of the Woodlawn neighborhood said sometimes when she calls 911 to report shootings, she is told no officers are available. [Police chief Garry] McCarthy agreed that's a problem."

Come again?

"There are too many 911 calls in the system for us to respond to every one," McCarthy said. "And if our officers are tied up on a lower-level priority, then they're not available to reply to your shots-fired call."

I'm flabbergasted. I mean, of all the problems I would pin on the CPD, I wouldn't have guessed this one - even though I've argued long before it was fashionable that the force wasn't big enough.

"McCarthy insisted that the number of police is not the only issue."

Wait. What?

"He said the department is trying to figure out how to be more efficient, so officers are available to respond to 'priority calls,' like shootings."

Yeah, get right on that. My God.

The Rahm Show
"Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel got several earfuls from residents during a public meeting on the city's budget. The tightly controlled event Monday night unraveled a bit when Emanuel was confronted by a laid-off city employee," WBEZ reports.

"[A] woman who claimed to be one of the more than 70 traffic aides laid off this summer complained about her financial problems. That prompted an extended back-and-forth between the mayor and labor union members.

"'I'm responsible to the city taxpayers and the city residents,' Emanuel said, prompting audience members to yell that they, too, were taxpayers.

"'I didn't say you weren't,' Emaniel replied. 'I didn't say you weren't.'"


I wonder how the economic cost of laying off a city worker compares to the benefits of paring the city budget.


"The stated purpose of the meeting was this: find ways to trim the city's estimated $635 million budget deficit. At Kennedy-King College in Englewood, Emanuel did get some money saving ideas.

"'Can you stop printing the mayor and elected officials' names on doors, buildings, etc.?' read City Colleges Chancellor Cheryl Hyman, who acted as the moderator of the event.

"The mayor replied 'yeah' to that suggestion, but sounded skeptical it would make a dent in the city's financial problems."


Maybe it would be enough to hire back some traffic aides.


But seriously, here's what pols do: When they don't like a budget cutting idea, they argue that it will hardly make a dent considering the size of the problem, as if a single idea isn't valid if it doesn't solve the budget in one move. But when they do like a budget cutting idea, especially one with great PR value, they talk up how every little bit helps and this is an example of the measures they're taking.

I'd love to see an estimate of how much money the city would save - or would have saved - by not putting Rahm's name on everything that used to have Daley's name on it versus some of Rahm's own highly touted small-bore budget moves.


For example:

"The mayor also referred to his move, announced late Monday, to cut the salaries of members of five city panels, including the Chicago Police Board," the Sun-Times reports. "Salaries will also be tied to meeting attendance. The move, he said, will save $314,000." ($307,000, according to the Tribune.)

That's a great move. Bravo. But I have a feeling it cost the taxpayers more than $314,000 to put Rahm's name on everything.


Of course, Rahm announced the move at the meeting in part with the hope that the press would use it in their leads - or at least to help shape in some way a narrative of action. Who knows when the real decision was made; it could have been weeks ago.


"We've been doing smoke and mirrors on the budget," Rahm said, according to the Tribune's account.

By "we" Rahm can mean nobody other than Richard M. Daley. I wish someone would force him to say it.


Emanuel "encouraged an 'honest' conversation," according to the Sun-Times.


"The mayor's aides screened, selected and, in many cases, asked the questions submitted Monday night," according to ABC 7.


FOIA Findings Forum
The results are in: What are we gonna do about it?

Why The Bears Won't Be A Playoff Team
Plus: Who's hot, who's not, and a secret Bears backup plan.

Chicago's Oldest House . . .
. . . Is Turning 175.

Remembering David "Honeyboy" Edwards
Last of the Great Delta Bluesmen.


The Beachwood Tip Line: On shuffle.


Posted on August 30, 2011

MUSIC - Chief Keef Changed The Industry.
TV - Vizio's Best Product Is You.
POLITICS - UIC: Soda Taxes Work.
SPORTS - More McCaskey Malpractice.

BOOKS - All About Poop.


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