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The [Tuesday] Papers

Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) is today's Worst Person in Chicago.

"Tunney got cell phone ticket, handed over driver's license - but police gave it back after he made a call," the Sun-Times reports.

Maybe that's just one of the perks of the job - like Cubs playoff tickets.

But here's the best part: Tunney told the Tribune that police priorities might be in the wrong place. "We have time in the middle of the day to pull over a person for use of a cell," Tunney said.

Why is that the best part?

Because Tunney voted in favor of the cell phone ban when it was enacted in 2005 - over critics who said that maybe the police ought to spend their time on more important things than pulling people over in the middle of the day for using a cell phone.

What's next, Joe Moore getting caught serving foie gras for Thanksgiving?


And certainly Tunney's accomplice, Town Hall District Cmdr. Gary Yamashiroya, has bought himself a suspension.

Tax and Pony Show
What's Daley's game?

It's hard to believe he misjudged what the reaction to his proposed tax-laden budget would be so badly. Was he too distracted by the Olympics and his foreign travels? Usually he calls the aldermen into his office while the budget is being crafted to keep any debate private so he can present a budget that will be passed unanimously. What went wrong this time?


Anderson Gansner of Lakeview offers the mayor a few alternatives.

Cooked County
"[A] critical presentation today from the health community concluding that the county hospital system has been so mismanaged [will propose that] control should be put in the hands of an independent medical panel," the Sun-Times reports.

The Tribune puts the story atop page one.

Maybe we should put control of the entire county in the hands of an independent panel.

Community Policing
Daley style.

Mr. Wizard
"Tax Barrage Destroys The Myth Of Mayor Daley As Wizard Of Finance."

Welcome aboard! But the fairy tale conceit is property of John Kass.

Gut Rot
Crain's declares that the tax fight is "A defining moment for aldermen: It's gut check time."

Now it's gut check time? After 18 years of this guy? Maybe gut check time should have been after the 1995 heat wave, or the Duffs scandal, or the Millennium Park fiasco, or at some point during the Jon Burge mess. This is nothing.

And believe me, if we have to depend on the guts of our aldermen, we'll end up with taxes on opening our mail and turning on our TVs.

Peg Burke writes: My own favorite tax was the one where I was charged for an ambulance to take me from 126th and Torrence to Christ Hospital on Labor Day after I managed to crash my bicycle into a curb.

Okay, I live just outside the city. But, I don't pay enough sales tax and parking fees? My landlady didn't pay enough property tax when I did live in Chicago? My company doesn't pay a head tax for the privilege of having me work downtown?

Brother. This is proof that the city will, in fact, nickel and dime you right to death.

Exclusive Chicago
"More than a year after the The Korea Times-Chicago left its former Albany Park building for the suburbs, the Northwest Chicago neighborhood still struggles to hold onto its Korean-American population," reports Creating Community Connections.

"'The time had come for us to leave. Most of our subscribers had already left the neighborhood for the suburbs, and we couldn't serve them as well if we stayed in the city,' said Sean Kwon, a managing editor at the Korean language newspaper, the oldest in the city. 'Chicago has become a very expensive city for many of them to live in over the last few years.'

'Gary Medina, a spokesman for Ald. Richard Mell (33rd), sees the neighborhood's redevelopment in a more positive light.

"'When Korean immigrants started moving here in the 1980s, they basically brought Albany Park back to life. Before, there had been a lot of empty storefronts. Now that's not the case,' Medina said."

So good riddance to those who did the hard work. This is New Chicago.

I told my folks four years ago that the cost of paying for Modern Chicago was coming due in about five years (so I'm a year off) and when it does, it won't be pretty. And this is just the tip of iceberg, I'm willing to bet. Things are being talked about such as tolls, not just for driving into downtown, but over any major thoroughfare - a sense that the true cost of driving is not really being borne by the users. You can best believe the gas tax in Illinois (and Chicago gets its share of it) will go up from the 20 cents a gallon or whatever it is to 40 cents. NY is already there and Massachusetts is considering a similar move. Illinois will do the same at the moment is politically safe to do so. Parking downtown is going to take a tremendous upward spike as more taxes are layered on. The Sun-Times had a piece on the 'corruption tax' in Chicago. But there is also the 'waste and inefficiency tax' that consistently layers millions of dollars extra on every public project that's being built. The bills are coming due.

Olympic Transit
"A national spotlight will be focused on the Chicago area's mass-transit crisis just days before the scheduled first round of CTA 'doomsday' service cuts when a congressional committee holds a hearing on the city's transportation needs for the 2016 Olympic bid," the Tribune reports.

Methinks the mayor's travel plans to China and Korea - canceled to deal with the budget - could be back on just about then.

Don't forget to catch up with the Chicago International Film Festival over at Ferdy on Films, a Beachwood blog.

The Beachwood Tip Line: Give a little bit.


Posted on October 16, 2007

MUSIC - Who's Next In Chicago Rap.
TV - Tribune-Nexstar Deal Is Bad News.
POLITICS - Big Soda Hates You.
SPORTS - The Ex-Cub Factor.

BOOKS - Wright Brothers, Wrong Story!

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - The Bad News About Human Nature.

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