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The [Wednesday] Papers

A Beachwood reader writes:

"There was a book I read in the 80s, pretty good police novel, can't recall the name. In it, the detectives are staking out a suspects home in Spanish Harlem. One policeman looks at his watch and says, 'It's 3 o'clock, whatever the Board of Education is doing to hold down the New York City crime rate is about to end'."

And still, today the Sun-Times reports "Teen Is 29th CPS Student Killed This School Year."

The lead?

"A 15-year-old boy was shot to death near his South Side home this week, Chicago Police said."

Near his South Side home.

As I wrote on Monday, a Sun-Times editorial last week said noted that "Bryan Samuels, the top CPS official who oversaw [a] data analysis, found the shootings were typically much closer to the victim's home than to his or her school. The median distance from the shooting to the victim's home was 0.4 miles, while the median distance to the victim's school was 1.2 miles.

"CPS also found that 70 percent of the shootings took place between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. - outside the hours of the school day and after-school programs."

The Sun-Times story goes on to say:

"Now police are investigating the death of another Chicago teen. Jonathan Wilson, 17, was shot Sunday night in the 5000 block of West LeMoyne and died Tuesday. It was unclear whether he was a CPS student."

Apparently he won't be added to the count if he isn't.


"The drug gangs are involved in most of the dead kids in Chicago every year - not the city's public schools," George Schmidt writes at Substance News.

"If anything, the public schools are one of the last safe havens in many communities."

But the impression we get from using the CPS metric is that public schools are both dangerous and to blame for youth violence.

"For the past five years, with the general cooperation of Chicago's corporate media," Schmidt writes, "Chicago has shifted responsibility for the deaths of young people from the city's failure to eliminate the huge drug gangs to the schools."

Now, I wouldn't go so far as to say this has been a conscious strategy; I don't doubt the mayor's passion when it comes to guns and gangs, though I'm not a big fan of his policies. But in effect, to at least some extent, Schmidt is right. Once you frame the issue around how many CPS kids are killed, CPS becomes the focal point for not only blame but solutions. That's neither CPS's job nor within its capabilities.

Chief Jody
"Last fall, Weis announced, at a major media event, that CPD was establishing what students quickly called a 'snitch line'," Schmidt adds. "Supposedly a way of bringing high tech into the fight against school violence, the project quickly became a local joke. What people said was that Weis's snitch line is a sure fire way to get kids killed. I was at that silly press conference last fall at Dyett when Weis and Duncan announced the number to call. Then they announced that students who called in crime tips would get a 'reward.' Then they announced that all calls would be anonymous.' Then someone asked how they could give an award if the calls came in anonymously.

"And everyone stared at everyone else."

Sealed Deal
"Don't believe every judge who said your criminal record would be sealed," the Chicago Reporter says. Their investigation tells you why.

Let's Ask Cusack, Too!
The Tribune thought this David Schwimmer quote was worthing blowing up and placing on the cover of its Live! Section: "Willis Tower, huh? The Willis Tower? That's a bummer. But I guess it's their prerogative. They should call it something like The Building Formerly Known As Sears."

Oh Schwimmer, you're killing me!

No, really, you're killing me. Please go away.

And memo to the Trib: stop it.

Reel Deal
"Leo Burnett imported Los Angeles directors and personnel to shoot footage for Chicago 2016 Olympic 'bid films' aimed at showing the International Olympic Committee's Evaluation Commission that Chicago is a city worthy of hosting the Olympics," Ruth Ratny reports at REEL CHICAGO.

"Although Leo Burnett and its Chicago 2016 Olympic (OC) client bypassed Chicago production companies to shoot beauty shots of their city, they twisted some local vendors' arms for the lowest possible rates for last week's shoot."

Smoke Up, Johnny
Electronic cigarettes - or E-Cigs - are here.

News Stews
* Quinn vs. Blago. Disgracing the dine-and-dash.

* The Trash Man's Gamble. Why Al Sanchez took the stand.

* Sanchez Gets Cross. Oops.

Al Capone by Cesar Calderon


The Beachwood Tip Line: Cross-examined.


Posted on March 18, 2009

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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