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The [Tuesday] Papers

"Kraft Foods plans to cut 1,600 positions from its North American division this year as it prepares to split into two companies, the Northfield-based packaged foods giant announced Tuesday," the Tribune reports.

"As part of its restructuring, Kraft will shut down its center in Glenview, which is home to the company's test kitchens."

That's a bummer. Test kitchens are cool.

From a 2006 Tribune Q&A with a Kraft test kitchen manager:

Q. When you interned in the Kraft Kitchens, was the experience what you'd expected?

A. Yes. I washed dishes, cleaned a lot of ovens and did a lot of food preparation.

Nobody likes to do grunt work. But doing the chopping and preparing is where you learn the most. My favorite part is interacting with people about the food they're eating.

It was very challenging. We wanted to do the recipes exactly the way consumers would do them at home.

With grilling recipes, that meant climbing out the window onto the lower-level roof of the downtown Chicago building where our kitchens were at that time. That way we could test recipes on grills like consumers would at home.

Back to today's Tribune:

"A Kraft spokesman said the company has yet to make a decision regarding the future of its Northfield headquarters."

Uh-oh. Here we go again.

"Both new companies will be located in the Chicago area."

Still.

*

"The Oscar Mayer management center in Madison, Wis., will remain the site for the Oscar Mayer business unit."

And a test kitchen.

Hardly Working
"U.S. Reps. Bobby Rush and Luis Gutierrez of Chicago have racked up so many absences from the House floor that their voting records are among the worst in Congress," the Tribune reports.

"Rush has missed 13.2 percent of the votes in his congressional career, the fourth-worst record among current House members. Gutierrez has missed 11.6 percent of votes, which ranks him as the seventh-least-frequent voter in the House."

Here's the coup de grace:

"Rush and Gutierrez, both Democrats who entered Congress in 1993, turned down interview requests from the Tribune, leaving the explanations to their staffs."

Maybe they were busy at a get-out-the-vote rally.

*

Congressional votes aren't the end-all be-all, but the Trib does a pretty good job destroying the lame excuses offered by the likes of Rush spokesperson Renee Ferguson, a former local TV reporter who once described her job as "looking to see if there is a larger pattern to a singular event."

*

She also said:

"I may ask the client to shoot (video) undercover for me."

Wow. All sorts of issues there. Then again, perhaps we could ask her to shoot undercover video of where Rush is when he's supposed to be voting.

Emperor Rahm
Score one for the 99%.

Maybe losing Crain's was the key.

See also: The Rest Of Chicago Fights For Its Rights.

Feeling Moody
We're No. Last.

Billy Club
"Two weeks after former state Sen. William Marovitz settled federal insider-trading allegations last summer over his sale of Playboy stock, he gave up his work as an outside lawyer for two Chicago city pension funds - and applied for a city pension even though he wasn't a city employee," the Sun-Times reports.

"Marovitz - a lawyer and longtime Democratic Party leader in Illinois who is separated from his wife, former Playboy chief executive officer Christie Hefner - already gets a government pension of $102,480 a year for the 20 years he served as a state legislator and member of the Illinois Pollution Control Board.

"He was seeking a second government pension - which would have paid an estimated $50,000 a year - for the 27 years he did legal work for two City Hall pension funds.

"One problem: He was never a city employee, just a lawyer in private practice whose clients included two city pension funds.

"That was the view of city pension officials including Mayor Rahm Emanuel's two top financial advisers. They unanimously rejected Marovitz's application for a city pension.

"'We voted against Mr. Marovitz receiving a pension because there were serious questions about whether serving as a part-time, outside counsel satisfied the state law requirements that determine what defines an employee who is eligible for a pension,' Emanuel's city comptroller, Amer Ahmad, and chief financial officer Lois Scott said in a written statement. Ahmad and Scott also serve on the pension board."

Well, whatever gave Marovitz the idea that he could get a city pension without having held a city job?

"Marovitz was seeking a pension deal similar to the one that was granted in 1998 to then-Mayor Richard M. Daley's brother-in-law, Dr. Robert M. Vanecko, when Vanecko - then chief of staff at Northwestern Memorial Hospital - gave up his side job as the city pension fund's medical adviser."

Oh.

"Vanecko, who still works at Northwestern, gets a $77,000 yearly government pension, which so far has paid him a total of $875,000.

"So why did City Hall under Emanuel deny Marovitz the same deal Vanecko got from the Daley administration?

"'Different board, different time,' says city Treasurer Stephanie Neely, one of the pension board members who voted against granting Marovitz a city pension. 'Just because they did it doesn't make it right. Should we make the same mistake?'"

It was hardly a mistake, Stephanie, but how interesting not just that the skeletons keep falling out of Richard M. Daley's closet - truthfully, they weren't much hidden while he was in office - but that the locals are suddenly so at-ease to finally acknowledge our former emperor was naked.

But where were you when?

Praising Daley as an "outstanding leader for the people of Chicago" and "a great personal mentor to me" in a statement that has vanished from the treasurer's website.

*

An aside: Please don't settle.

*

Back to the story:

"Marovitz and Vanecko didn't return calls."

*

It gets even better:

"Marovitz, as the pension board's attorney, was present when Vanecko's pension was approved by a 5-0 vote. The five were: the second Mayor Daley's chief financial officer, Walter Knorr; Daley's city comptroller, Phoebe Selden; city Treasurer Miriam Santos; board secretary Iacullo; and trustee John Briatta, who, like Vanecko, is a brother-in-law of Cook County Commissioner John Daley. Briatta went to prison as a result of the federal Hired Truck Program investigation for taking bribes.

"Vanecko, 76, has three sons. The oldest, also named Robert Vanecko, landed a deal to manage $68 million in city pension money that's been under investigation by a federal grand jury. Middle son Mark Vanecko helped Lollapalooza concert promoters land a 10-year deal with the Chicago Park District under which they don't have to pay city amusement taxes on the Grant Park festival. And youngest son Richard J. 'R.J.' Vanecko was the subject of two investigations by the Chicago Police Department for throwing a punch that resulted in the death of David Koschman in 2004, though he wasn't charged."

When Jazz Was King On The South Side
And NBC came to investigate.

Blowmaggedon
In Other Words, This Isn't A News Event At All! (But WGN Reporter Strains To Make The Most Of It).

Cubs Cult Holds Annual Induction Ceremony
Children prepared for lifetime of delusion, disappointment.

Homeless Honey
Land sold out from under the Chicago Honey Cooperative.

-

The Beachwood Tip Line: Swing into action.



Permalink

Posted on January 17, 2012


MUSIC - PJ Harvey Wins Pitchfork.
TV - 24 Hours With Velocity.
POLITICS - Reminder: U.S. Health Care Sucks.
SPORTS - World Roller Derby Day.

BOOKS - Trump's True Believers.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Land After Frac Sand.


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