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The [Tuesday] Papers

"When City Council budget hearings start today, Mayor Rahm Emanuel's finance officials are sure to point out that his spending plan for next year would balance the books without an increase in taxes, fees and fines," the Tribune reports.

"But that doesn't mean city government won't be taking a bigger bite from the pocketbooks of residents, property owners and visitors - taxpayers will be paying more thanks to new or higher fees and fines set in motion some time ago."

In other words, to quote the Tribune headline, Emanuel's no-hike budget plan isn't quite so.

Water bills will rise and parking meter fees will increase.

"Neither of those will help reduce next year's budget shortfall, which is estimated at $298 million. But the rollout of speed cameras near schools and parks, which the administration estimates will pour $20 million to $30 million into city coffers, is being counted on to help close that gap.

"Emanuel also has proposed to shift $3.8 million in property taxes that once flowed into special taxing district funds to day-to-day city and Chicago Public Library operating expenses. Absent that shift, the city's overall property tax burden would have dropped, city officials acknowledged."

No matter. Rahm has already gotten breathless coverage of his magical no-cost-to-you budget from other media outlets he plays footsie with.

Meter Feeder
Gee, what a coincidence. Seventeen months into his mayoralty, Rahm Emanuel orders an audit of the city's parking meter lease just as news breaks that rates will rise once again.

Northwestern's Magic Spin
Ald. Brendan Reilly buys it.

Lynn Becker doesn't.

Reality Check
"Downtown Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd) acknowledged Monday that there is a perception of rising crime on Chicago's Near North Side, that 'perception is reality' and that more bike patrols are needed to help reverse that negative image," the Sun-Times reports.

Is perception reality? No. That way lies madness.

"We can throw around all sorts of police statistics to show that various crime rates are dropping. But if people don't feel safe walking down the street or spending time in a park in the neighborhood, then we have a problem," Reilly said during a luncheon address to the City Club of Chicago.

We can throw facts around all we want but what's important is how people feel!


And why do they feel that way? Could it be that even when crime goes down the amount of media coverage stays the same?


If bike patrols are the answer, the question isn't very serious.

Reality Checkmate
"Police torture victims who are still serving time behind bars now have some renewed hope thanks to a $160,000 federal grant that will reopen the Illinois Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission," WBEZ reports.

"That commission was established to systematically go through the cases of men in Illinois prisons who say they confessed to crimes only after they were tortured by former Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge and his men."

Or we could spend the money on bike patrols to make some rich people feel better about unreality.

Super Lotto Shuffle
Gary Fencik Elected Illinois Lottery Control Board Chairman

So start playing 43 a lot.

Smiley To WBEZ: Stop Lying
No room for expanded political discourse on public radio.

Luc Longley Is In India
For some, the journey never ends.

Livin' In Da City: Chiraq
In Local Music Notebook.

E-Books Alert
About the Tribune's new initiative.

The Way He Sees Chicago
Day in the life.


The Beachwood Tip Line: Feed the free meter.


Posted on October 16, 2012

MUSIC - Lyric Opera Strike Settled.
POLITICS - USA Today's Op-Ed Disaster.
SPORTS - SportsMonday: Come On, Vic!

BOOKS - Chicago Book Haul: The Dial.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Chicagoetry: West Town Blues.

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