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The [Tuesday] Papers

"With the heat on in the high-profile David Koschman homicide case, the original Chicago Police Department case file - a file that had been presumed lost, then suddenly surfaced - ended up in a brick bungalow on the Northwest Side," the Sun-Times reports.

"It was taken there by the owner of the home, Lt. Denis P. Walsh, a well-connected cop with a troubled past who's now been tied to four instances of missing records in the case, for which former Mayor Richard M. Daley's nephew Richard J. 'R.J.' Vanecko began serving a 60-day jail sentence Friday after pleading guilty Jan. 31 to involuntary manslaughter.

"The file had been missing for months - possibly years - when it mysteriously turned up one summer's night three years ago on a shelf in the police station at Belmont and Western.

"The officer who reported finding it? Walsh."

Go read the whole thing and wonder, once again, if Dan Webb is now part of the conspiracy for not charging any cops or supervisors and cutting Vanecko a lenient deal.

Metra Marty
"As an independent alderman fighting the Chicago Machine and a public interest lawyer arguing in appellate court, Martin J. Oberman never held the gavel. But he will starting Friday, when he takes the center seat for the first time as chairman of beleaguered Metra," the Sun-Times "reports" in a lazy puff piece full of journalism's worst conventions (note how an independent study project in college is tied to his pursuit of the Metra job - as if!)

Most egregious is how the Sun-Times skips a salient entry in Oberman's resume in its effort to assure readers our new Metra chairman is a reformer on a white horse.

"While the South Side Independent movement as a whole is expected to support Washington for mayor, several North Side Independent and some time allies of Dobry and Bloom, including Alderman Marty Oberman of the 43rd Ward and State Senator Dawn Clark Netsch, are expected to support Daley," the Chicago Maroon reported in 1982 - and just happened to republish this week as part of a historical issue.

That episode is a bit of blind spot for the Sun-Times - and something Oberman seems eager to help them forget.

"By turning to Oberman, Emanuel will be replacing an African-American Metra board member with a white one," the paper reported last fall.

"Oberman noted that he was one of only five white aldermen who supported the city's first black mayor, Harold Washington."

Right - only after Washington beat Daley and incumbent Jane Byrne in the Dem primary, and then, of course, won the general. How courageous!

(Tribune pre-primary headline, 1983: "Daley Vows Access To Records, Gains Oberman's Support.")

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What's odd about Oberman's embrace of Richard M. Daley was that he apparently really was a thorn in the side of Richard J. Daley. Was it Richard M.'s stellar performance as Cook County State's Attorney that led Oberman to his side?

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See also this Papers column from September, which could be titled Oberman [Hearts] Rahm.

But aren't you charmed by Marty's bow ties?

County Seat
"Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle are expected to weigh in Tuesday on a West Side Democratic primary contest for county commissioner, backing a young first-time candidate in a crowded field that includes a former alderman who did time for political corruption," the Tribune reports.

"The rare public show of support in a down-ballot contest from two of the city's heaviest hitters is a good get for Blake Sercye, a little-known 27-year-old attorney with a prominent Chicago law firm."

This actually sounds like the least worst thing.

"[T]he March 18 contest for the 1st District County Board seat is a far-from-ordinary campaign. Among the five Democrats running is ex-Ald. Isaac 'Ike' Carothers, who got out of federal prison two years ago following a conviction for bribery and tax fraud but still is considered a political force in the 29th Ward . . .

"Also running are attorney Richard Boykin, a former chief of staff to U.S. Rep. Danny Davis; Ronald Lawless, who owns an insurance and financial consulting firm and has made previous unsuccessful bids for public office; and Brenda Smith, a West Side activist."

Here's a taste of Boykin for you.

And Smith? She used to be Carothers' chief of staff.

Shirley You Can't Be Serious
"Temple The Template For A Child Star," Bob Greene Neil Steinberg Chris Jones wrote for the Tribune on Sunday. "Unlike Twerkers Of Today, She Left Her Kiddie Image Cemented In The Public's Consciousness, Kept Up Dignity."

Um, right.

Reading assignments for Jones:

* Shirley Temple Black's Earliest Movies Are Really Hard To Watch.

* Working Boys And Girls.

* The Sexualization Of Shirley Temple.

Just for starters.

(I wonder if it's significant that those three pieces were written by women . . . )

Jones does flick at the truth about Temple before oddly rationalizing it away so as not to disrupt his utterly banal thesis:

"Some critics have observed this week that Temple, who looks like a miniature woman on-screen, was always objectified in complex ways. Still, in the early 1940s, when Temple would have needed a redo that would have involved the repudiation of the image she'd cultivated, the great minds at the powerful talent agencies were less sophisticated at such reinventions, which require not only consent from multiple parties (and the audience) but also a great deal of careful planning."

Yes - as dramatic a redo as, say, Hannah Montana into Miley Cyrus. But that doesn't count in Jones's mind because image-makers were so much less talented then! (Itself a questionable assertion.)

Illinois Department Of Children
"Gov. Pat Quinn's new director of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services pleaded guilty to stealing from clients of a West Side social service agency and later became embroiled in a child-support battle over a daughter he said he never knew he'd fathered, records show," WBEZ reports in conjunction with the Sun-Times.

"Arthur D. Bishop, 61, had a felony theft charge pending against him when then-Gov. Jim Edgar's administration hired him as a DCFS caseworker in 1995. He'd been accused of bilking patients of the Bobby E. Wright Comprehensive Community Mental Health Center out of more than $9,000, fighting the case for more than two years before pleading guilty to a reduced charge of misdemeanor theft."

Bishop has maintained his innocence despite that plea. Meanwhile, DCFS spokeswoman Karen Hawkins says "We believe it's inappropriate to raise decades-old issues that have long been resolved and have nothing to do with his performance as director."

Hawkins may have a point, though it's never inappropriate to raise issues. It's only inappropriate to not adequately respond to them. Bishop could have sat down with reporters, told his side of the story, and discussed his career since then.

Instead, he "declined to be interviewed for this story."

Which is what really makes him unsuited for the job in my book.

*

"The governor appointed Arthur Bishop because of his decades of excellent work and respected leadership at the Departments of Juvenile Justice and Children and Family Services," Quinn press secretary Brooke Anderson said. "The governor feels he has the right experience to lead this very difficult agency."

Okay. But did the governor know of Bishop's past? Did he discuss it with him? Was Bishop properly vetted? We just want to know. How and why did Bishop get a pass on a serious allegation of the sort that ends many folks' careers in public service? Is that really inappropriate to ask?

After all, it's a difficult agency.

Obamacarefulwhatyouwishfor
"More than 200,000 low-income Illinoisans have applied for new coverage under Medicaid, the state-federal health insurance that was expanded in Illinois and several other states as part of the Affordable Care Act," the Tribune reports.

"But for certain members of that group, the new coverage could come with strings attached.

"A little-known wrinkle in the federal health insurance expansion could put at risk the house and other assets of those ages 55 to 64 should they require substantial and expensive health care treatments."

Fruit Belt
"John D. Jackson lives in the heart of the Corn Belt, where most of the corn has nothing to do with sweet kernels on the cob," the New York Times reports.

"His farm in Southern Illinois typically grows field corn, the high-starch variety that is turned into ethanol and cattle feed. He also works as a logistics manager for Archer Daniels Midland, the agricultural giant that produces the other big artifact of this crop: high fructose corn syrup.

"But on 10 of his 700 acres, Mr. Jackson broke from this culture of corn last fall by planting something people can sink their teeth into. With a tractor and an auger, he drilled four-foot holes in his soil, added fertilizer and put in 48 apple trees bearing Gold Rush, Jonagold, Enterprise and the sweet-tart blushing globe called the Crimson Crisp. This year he plans to add more apple trees, blackberry bushes and possibly some vegetables."

Read through to find out why.

U Of I Hospital Caught Shilling For Surgery Robots
Some appearing in white coats weren't even doctors.

Chief Keef: Psychedrillic
Cough syrup, cancer and Kanye.

BuzzFeed Chicago
Which Mary Schmich column are you? I got weather.

Cubs Have New Attitude!
Not.

Good Times' New Beats
Chicago anthem updated.

Death Of The American Trial
Clarence Darrow meets Leslie Nielsen.

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Permalink

Posted on February 18, 2014


MUSIC - The Week In Chicago Rock.
TV - Vizio Settles Spying Complaints.
POLITICS - WikiLeaks Reveals Staggering Breadth Of CIA Hacking.
SPORTS - Beachwood Sports Radio: Butt Fumbles.

BOOKS - Bannon, The Best And The Brightest.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Beachwood Photo Booth: Descending Darkly.


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