The [Tuesday] Papers
Clown state, bro.
1. The ultimate bureaucratic bungle:
Including the service of investigating the cause of your death.
Well, I wouldn't say wasted, but yeah, not good.
3. I know some of you are waiting for me to weigh in on the Journatic saga; the main point I want to make beyond reiterating the obvious fact that the organization is ethically bankrupt is how it's apologists misunderstand what reporting actually is by trying to sell the notion that the mundane aspects can be outsourced so reporters can be freed up - if you believe the propaganda - to do more enterprise work. Only people who have never been real reporters or worked in real newsrooms would fail to understand how important the drudgery of a reporter's daily tasks is to enterprise reporting; that's what reporting is, and where the best ideas germinate.
But my piece isn't quite ready yet. Hell, I still have a Chicago News Cooperative post on the make, among other media pieces (I support the Sun-Times decision to stop endorsing candidates!) that have yet to see the light of day. I can't do it all and right now I've got a couple outside assignments that require maximum focus, so as frustrating as it is to me, everyone will just have to be patient - or send money to make things a little easier.
4. "Over the last 22 years, during which 125 of the 140 teams in the five largest U.S. professional sports leagues have built or refurbished home stadiums - most using public subsidies - evidence shows the facilities rarely, if ever, live up to their 'measurable economic boost' billing," Danny Ecker writes for Crain's.
That's what the data shows. Study after study after study. But what's a few hundred million dollars of taxpayer money between friends?
"The Wrigley Field rehab is a case that Chicago-based SportsCorp Ltd. President Marc Ganis calls 'unlike any other situation in the nation' because of Wrigley's status as a privately held asset that has a measurable effect on tourism . . .
"'No other facility is as important an economic engine,' Mr. Ganis says of the 98-year-old stadium's role in the North Side neighborhood. According to the Cubs, about 30 percent of ticket sales come from outside Chicago."
Doesn't that really cut against public subsidies? The privately held asset is doing good for all of us just the way things are - and the Ricketts are already investing a sliver of their fortune to wring even more revenue out of the ballpark and the neighborhood. Aren't they the last people who need a public subsidy?
Joe Ricketts is one of the 500 most wealthiest individuals in America.
5. "Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Monday proclaimed his shrunken and revamped Taste of Chicago a success and said he plans to do more of the same next year," the Sun-Times reports.
"It's one of the best-attended we ever had," Rahm said.
"Overall, attendance was 1.2 million or an average of 240,000 for each of the five days. That's up 5,000-a-day from last year's draw of 2.35 million over 10 days, which was down 11 percent from 2010 and 37.5 percent from the event's 2006 and 2007 heyday."
Also, please see: Marc Schulman, the president of The Eli's Cheesecake Company, comments on my Taste of Chicago item in yesterday's column.
6. The city "relocated" 17,000 vehicles last year, the Tribune reports.
"For many reasons, the city moves vehicles at any time of day, often with little or no notice, and afterward makes no attempt to contact the cars' owners."
I have known this nightmare more than once - before my (beloved) car was actually stolen for reals - and I'm still pissed.
7. "The University of Illinois will offer seven free online courses this fall, giving students around the world a chance to sample an education that costs thousands of dollars in tuition on campus," the Tribune reports.
"The courses won't count toward a degree, however."
They will, however, count toward a job at Journatic.
8. Headline of a Sun-Times story I refuse to read and won't even link to: "Margot Pritzker Has Idea For Curbing Summer Violence."
Not so sure about that, but we hear these ideas are still in the mix.
"I abhor your trash TV but will defend to the death my right to take campaign contributions derived from its earnings."
11. More on this Crain's piece on Toni Preckwinkle that I mentioned in yesterday's column:
She seems to actually enjoy her job, attacking problems and forging consensus. Todd Stroger didn't seem to like the job at all, which could explain why he spent so much time at the East Bank Club. Preckwinkle says she's planning to run for re-election and, unlike with Stroger, it's not because she doesn't have anything better to do; it's because she wants to continue reshaping the county's operations.
Again, that's not to say there aren't blemishes on her record; there are.
Preckwinkle also doesn't seem to have much patience for the inane questions reporters often ask - or questions that demonstrate their lack of knowledge about the subject at hand. I enjoy this. At the same time, though, Preckwinkle's prickliness in this area sometimes crosses the line into an arrogance and impatience surprising for a former high school teacher.
True, competence is a low bar. Joe Berrios got the tax bills out on time! But this is Illinois, and she's not a clown in a state filled with them.
For example, back to Crain's:
"Yet: Mr. Stroger isn't impressed. 'She's fired some people who had outstanding records to replace them with 28-year-olds who never have done a thing except come from the University of Chicago and read a book,' he says."
And then he squirted water out of his lapel.
The Beachwood Tip Line: Clowny.
Posted on July 17, 2012
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