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The [Tuesday] Papers

To all those who took the #broomchallenge last night and stood their brooms up:

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Shredding Lettuce
"Despite repeated complaints about metallic odors drifting into surrounding neighborhoods, city health inspectors only cited General Iron Industries once during former Mayor Rahm Emanuel's eight years in office," the Tribune reports.

"The same city department ticketed the North Side scrap yard five times during the past two months - the latest signs that General Iron's once-formidable clout at City Hall is slipping away as Mayor Lori Lightfoot reviews policy and enforcement decisions made by her predecessor."

And that's not all.

"Previous inspections largely absolved General Iron of any wrongdoing. But during all five of the recent visits, a health inspector said she observed 'untreated emissions' escaping the company's pair of massive scrap shredders along the Chicago River near Clybourn Avenue and Cortland Street."

Meanwhile, in his new book, "Emanuel, former two-term mayor of Chicago and White House Chief of Staff for President Barack Obama, offers a firsthand account of how cities, rather than the federal government, stand at the center of innovation and effective governance."

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Back to the Trib:

"The company is fighting back. 'Not only are the city citations inconsistent with the results of the recent tests performed for the state and federal EPAs, but they came after at least two years of regular, weekly city inspections without any violations,' Randall Samborn, a General Iron spokesman, said in a statement."

Randall Samborn, the former longtime spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney's Office here infamous for never commenting (on the record, at least), you are Today's Worst Person In Chicago.

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Samborn, by the way, doesn't work directly for General Iron. He's a hired mouth.

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Samborn is engaged in "strategic communications," the strategy in this case being how to absolve a polluter of endangering the health of those who live near his well-paying client.

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Of course, sometimes to communicate strategically is to not communicate at all.

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For example, Samborn didn't make himself available to answer questions - like about this:

"E-mails obtained by the Tribune highlight cordial relationships between Emanuel's lieutenants and the Labkon family that owned General Iron through four generations. The former mayor also was the top recipient of the more than $500,000 in campaign contributions to local politicians from family members, who hired a former top aide to Emanuel as one of their City Hall lobbyists.

"One previously undisclosed favor involved Emanuel's health commissioner, Julie Morita, who urged City Hall to pressure leaders of the University of Illinois at Chicago to quash the release of a pilot study of air quality near General Iron, the e-mails show. A UIC researcher had installed monitoring equipment around the scrap yard at the behest of a neighborhood resident, and the testing found elevated levels of lung-damaging particulate matter downwind from the scrap shredders.

"I will be following up with the dean of the UIC School of Public Health," Morita wrote in a May 2018 e-mail to Robert Rivkin, who served as deputy mayor under Emanuel. "You may need to engage the (UIC) chancellor if you want this to be stopped."

You may need to "engage" the chancellor of a public university that their school of public health is overly concerned with public health.

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"On their way out of City Hall, top Emanuel aides gave the scrap merchant permission to keep operating until 2022 on riverfront land that local aldermen are pushing to convert into a city park. Lightfoot ordered General Iron to abandon the North Side by the end of this year instead."

There's more; go read the rest.

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University Of Illinois Sexual Misconduct Survey
"A new University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign survey finds most students who experience sexual misconduct don't tell anyone," Illinois Newsroom reports.

"The survey was sent to 12,500 graduate and undergraduate students in spring 2019. Of the 2,076 people who responded, roughly 1 in 5 women and 4% of men said they've been sexually assaulted since coming to the U of I."

Frankly, those numbers sound low to me.

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Jose's Way
In The [Monday] Papers, I pointed y'all to reporting from the Daily Herald about new Illinois Tollway director Jose Alvarez's penchant for hiring his old CHA pals to high-paying jobs, some newly created, at the tollway.

A Capitol Fax commenter posted a link to this 2013 Washington Post article that establishes precedent:

A D.C. government agency paid a Chicago consulting firm $89,995 for one day of work at a recent city education conference, a fee that included a half-hour keynote speech, three 45-minute parent workshops and hundreds of copies of parenting books.

The Office of the State Superintendent of Education hired the firm without soliciting or considering other bids, according to an agency spokeswoman. The agency sponsored the Sept. 7 conference in an effort to reach out to parents, using D.C. tax dollars to pay the Chicago firm even as many speakers that day - as well as the keynote speaker at the same conference in 2012 - volunteered.

The payment to SPC Consulting is about $12,000 more than the average D.C. Public Schools teacher earns in a year, and is more than three times the "living wage" - $26,000 per year - that Wal-Mart would have been required to pay employees under a bill that Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) vetoed this year. It's also higher than the $50,000 that former D.C. schools chancellor Michelle Rhee, arguably the most widely recognized education figure in the country, charged for individual speaking appearances in 2011.

The superintendent's office is responsible for citywide education policies, and the agency funnels federal and local funds to city schools. The agency selected SPC Consulting based on a recommendation by Chief of Staff Jose Alvarez, a top agency official who has played a leadership role during months of turnover, and who knew the firm and its founder from a previous job in Chicago.

Emphasis mine, for those who wanted to jump right to the payoff.

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Bonus:

"SPC Consulting is headed by Sunny P. Chico, a former U.S. Education Department official who contracts with school systems. She is married to lobbyist Gery Chico, who ran for Chicago mayor in 2011 and serves as chairman of the Illinois State Board of Education."

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New on the Beachwood . . .

Kris Bryant's Future Bar Trick
The Cubs have met the enemy - and it is them.

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ChicagoReddit

The good: Rage Against The Machine at the United Center on 5/19/20. The bad: Chicago is the only US stop where Run the Jewels will NOT be opening. What the hell? from r/chicago

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ChicagoGram

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ChicagoTube

Death Tour at Reggies last week.

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BeachBook

The Supreme Court Is As Complicit As The Senate.


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TweetWood
A sampling of the delight and disgust you can find @BeachwoodReport.

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These people will never learn. The MSM doesn't budget. Their minds are closed. Same true locally.

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The Beachwood Tips Over Line: A clean sweep.



Permalink

Posted on February 11, 2020


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PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - The Tao Is To Chill.


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