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The [Wednesday] Papers

By Steve Rhodes

"Six months after state health officials declared their investigation of cancer rates in south suburban Crestwood was almost complete, they have yet to release the results," the Tribune reports.

"The Illinois Department of Public Health, which earlier had failed to notify Crestwood residents their municipal water supply was contaminated with toxic chemicals, declined to answer questions about the cancer study."

Private citizens decline to comment. Public officials refuse.

"The agency also has rejected the Tribune's requests for cancer data filed under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act."

"In a letter rejecting one of those requests, Damon Arnold, the state health director, had said the study would be released to the public in July. Now agency officials say it won't be officially available until sometime next year, leaving residents guessing if their decades-long exposure to carcinogen-laced tap water contributed to health problems."

I wonder if Arnold would feel differently if any members of his family lived in Crestwood.


Arnold is a Blagojevich appointee who previously worked for the city. In 2007, the American Red Cross of Chicago presented him with a Military Hero Award.


"The study still is 'under peer review and revision,' Melaney Arnold, a department spokeswoman, wrote in an e-mail response to questions."

Sigh. More with the e-mail. Get her on the phone and ask her a) what that means; b) is this the usual process; c) does this lack of urgency indicate there is nothing for Crestwood residents to worry about; d) how she things the residents of Crestwood feel about review and revision and; e) why is Arnold refusing to answer questions himself.


Melaney Arnold is no relation to Damon Arnold. I checked.

Trend Setters
"Experts cautioned against blaming or crediting any one person or strategy for a one-year crime trend, but Weis and other department officials said several efforts launched this year have chipped away at the violence," the Tribune reports.

"City gang teams were reorganized, and they were given a new mission: more search warrants and fewer street-corner drug investigations. They were also told to ramp up their use of informants so they could make more informed arrests.

"In the districts, commanders and community members say they've been working - from tracking gang anniversary dates to dog-walking - to make a difference on the blocks where they police and live."

All fine and good, but . . . New York City is about to mark its lowest murder rate on record.


"Still, because Chicago's homicide total brings the city in line with declines experienced here and nationally throughout much of the decade, some suggest the more compelling question could be what happened in 2008," the Tribune reports.

"'(Last year) was the anomaly,' said James Alan Fox, a professor of criminal justice at Northeastern University in Boston. 'This year is part of the pattern'."

Thank you.

The Other Fitzy
I don't know if former U.S. Sen. Peter Fitzgerald secretly decided against running for re-election in 2004 because he was really just bored and wanted to go home instead of the generally accepted and well-documented notion that the Illinois Combine and the national Republican party machinery wanted him out because he wouldn't play ball, as Neil Steinberg writes today.

I'm pretty sure Steinberg doesn't know either.

Fitzgerald didn't come home, by the way; he stayed in Virginia.


Steinberg argues in favor of keeping incumbents in Washington long enough to deliver the pork; a senator "is an investment," he writes. And that's why the gone-rogue Mark Kirk is his man.

Martin Chronicles
Speaking of Andy Martin, if you're not following @BeachwoodReport, you missed this one yesterday: "WBBM: News and weather on the eights, slurs and sleaze on the nines."

Studs And Duds
The NFL in fantasy review.



The Beachwood Tip Line: Dream a little dream.


Posted on December 30, 2009

MUSIC - Millions Of New Guitar Players.
TV - "One America News" is AT&T.
POLITICS - When Wall Street Came To My Mobile Home Park.
SPORTS - Tonyball, Bears On The Run, Eyes On The Sky & More!

BOOKS - China Holding Swedish Publisher.


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