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The [Wednesday] Papers

"A recent federal audit of stimulus spending in Illinois schools calls for improvement in state oversight, noting that two of the three districts examined by auditors - including Chicago - did not track any spending of so-called State Fiscal Stabilization Funds," Catalyst reports.



"In an unusual effort to solicit public input on the budget, Gov. Pat Quinn yesterday proposed $2 billion in cuts to education along with grim revenue estimates for a state awash in $13 billion of red ink," Catalyst also reports.

"Notably missing from revenues are some $3 billion in federal stimulus funds sent to schools since 2009, a loss that is part of what national observers call a 'stimulus funding cliff' that threatens school districts across the country. In Chicago, where Quinn's cuts would mean perhaps a $200 million shortfall, it's unclear how well officials have prepared."



Does it ever get better? Do people ever learn? Why must we keep watching the same movie over and over again? It's not hard to be competent, is it? To do the right thing? Just do it!



Stormy Weather
Speaking of things that never change . . .

"In my home city of Milwaukee, or in Chicago or Boston, snow is not news to most of us," Jeff Cole writes at PR 101 (h/t: Spencer Maus). "Yet, every time the forecast calls for snow to fall, the local television stations treat the event as if aliens were invading."

Memo to local station directors: Re-imagine your weather coverage. Step 1: Get real. Step 2: Show us cool stuff. Step 3: Website for local weather geeks. Step 4: Put my check in the mail*.

*Available for consulting.

Dear Jack Higgins
Speaking of weather, the Tribune's Michael Hawthorne separates global warming fact from spin today. Clip and save.


Um, actually, if this is true it only goes to further prove the planet is warming.

As I've written before, growing up in Minnesota we knew that the closer the temperature got to 32 the more likely we'd have snow. That's where the phrase "too cold to snow" came from.

Hired Trucker
Speaking of things that never change . . .

"Former Hired Truck kingpin Michael Tadin has snared a three-year, $39.4 million contract to operate and maintain one of three waste transfer stations that Mayor Daley once attempted to lease," the Sun-Times reports.

"Tadin is the perennial city trucking magnate whose $1.25 million loan to a security company co-owned by Ald. Patrick Huels (11th) forced the 1997 resignation of Daley's former City Council floor leader. Tadin's trucking company had received a $1.1 million city subsidy with Huels' help.

"Tadin was the undisputed king of Hired Trucks, emerging from the pack, even after City Hall accused the company of over-billing and agreed to spread the wealth to other firms."


But didn't Tadin once say . . .

"The new contract appears to fly in the face of Tadin's 2004 pledge to wash his hands of city business.

"But, he said, 'We never precluded ourselves from public work. We were talking about Hired Truck.'"

Really? If the Sun-Times put links in their stories, they could have linked to that pledge. At least they should have looked it up. Like I did. See for yourself.

(This piece didn't even show up in their "Related Blog Posts," which is a failure to add value and even monetize its archives, which is one aspect of the so-called long tail.)

Trib Toot
Speaking of the long tail . . .

The Trib is getting in the game.

The Daley Show
Speaking about city contracts again . . .

"If Mayor Daley wants to empower Chicago's corruption-fighting inspector to investigate aldermen, he should give the City Council something in return: oversight over city contracts, alderman said Tuesday," the Sun-Times reports.

"Daley took the power away shortly after taking office and has resisted periodic attempts to snatch it back amid a steady drumbeat of contract cronyism. The mayor has long argued that contract oversight would literally require the Council to meet every day."

Because that's how often he gives them out to pals like Tadin?

Goodbye, American Gothic People
Majestic and kickbutt.

Catchers Report
And who will gain from Joakim Noah's injury. Both in Fantasy Fix.

1980s Chicago Radio Memories
It starts with Scott Loftus's Real Precious Metal on WVVX and ends at a tiny Zion radio station, but transverses Ozzy, the Stones, the Cubs, Jesse Jackass, the Cubs, and the venerable Thirsty Whale.


The Beachwood Tip Line: Thirsty.


Posted on March 3, 2010

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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