The [Wednesday] Papers
Our man in fantasyland Dan O'Shea delivers his usual weekly installment of excellence in Fantasy Fix: The LaHair Conundrum, but the rest of the Beachwood is off today and will return tomorrow.
The [Tuesday] Papers
1. "A family favorite, the Chicago Kids & Kites Festival moves to a later date this year taking place on Saturday, May 19, 2012, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Cricket Hill in Lincoln Park (Lake Shore Drive and Montrose)," the city announced last month. "As this year's festival is scheduled to coincide with the arrival of representatives of the NATO countries, why not take inspiration from their visit? NATO will provide pictures of flags and fun facts about the countries they represent, and will also be providing this year's free kite kits."
In the shape of drones.
3. "Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) on Monday declared his opposition to key elements of Mayor Rahm Emanuel's plan to help the Cubs wring $150 million more in advertising and sponsorship revenues out of Wrigley Field and surrounding streets to minimize any taxpayer contribution toward renovating the 98-year-old stadium," Fran Spielman reports for the Sun-Times.
Note how Spielman accepts - and promotes - the notion that the mayor's plan will "minimize" taxpayer subsidies to an enormously wealthy family and their private business.
Of course, really minimizing any taxpayer "contribution" would mean to not give the Ricketts family a taxpayer handout in the first place.
"Tunney then referred to the Cubs' revised plan to build a long-stalled triangle building adjacent to Wrigley promised, but never delivered to residents in exchange for a bleacher expansion."
Just be patient; the triangle building expansion is still in AAA and Cubs management doesn't want to rush it.
"Dennis Culloton, a spokesman for Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts, responded to the alderman's opposition.
"'We're trying to work with Ald. Tunney, but the Cubs just want the same flexibility to save Wrigley Field as the Red Sox had with Boston,' Culloton said. 'The Red Sox owners saved Fenway through outfield signage and creating Yawkey Way and, in so doing, created great economic value for the community and won two World Series. The Cubs - which create $650 million in economic impact to the city, county and state each year - would like the same treatment that Boston afforded the Red Sox.'"
Yeah, Boston can't really afford the treatment it gave the Red Sox; don't ask us to do the same.
4. "When President Obama addressed the American Society of News Editors convention last month, the real news was what didn't happen," Edward Wasserman writes in the Miami Herald.
"The watchdogs didn't bark. No discouraging word from the gathering of 1,000 of the country's top news people, facing a president whose administration has led a vigorous attack on journalism's most indispensable asset - its sources.
"Obama took office pledging tolerance and even support for whistleblowers, but instead is prosecuting them with a zeal that's historically unprecedented. His Justice Department has conducted six prosecutions over leaks of classified information to reporters. Five involve the Espionage Act, a powerful law that had previously been used only four times since it was enacted in 1917 to prosecute spies.
5. "Asking budding entrepreneurs where they'd like to build their next startup often elicits the same three-word response: New York City," Alex Fitzpatrick writes for Mashable.
"Over the past four years, there's been a 40% spike in startup financing in 'Silicon Alley' - a bigger increase than anywhere else in the U.S.
"Cities around the world are increasingly looking at New York, rather than San Francisco or Silicon Valley, as a model for nurturing startup growth through policymaking and urban planning."
Chicago is not cited in the article - and rightly so.
6. "Sen. Kirk Dillard, R-Hinsdale, has argued for years that much of Illinois' Medicaid problem could be solved by rooting out waste and abuse," AP reports. "He says experts believe 10 percent of Medicaid money is spent improperly, which would amount to nearly $1.5 billion in Illinois.
"Unfortunately, there's little evidence to support that claim."
There never is - unless you put a dollar figure on how often Republicans make inflated claims of the amount of waste and abuse in programs such as Medicaid.
7. "When it comes to rail traffic, Chicago is America's speed bump," John Schwartz writes in the New York Times.
"Shippers complain that a load of freight can make its way from Los Angeles to Chicago in 48 hours, then take 30 hours to travel across the city. A recent trainload of sulfur took some 27 hours to pass through Chicago - an average speed of 1.13 miles per hour, or about a quarter the pace of many electric wheelchairs."
8. "I've long felt that it's close to obscene to play the most intimate, raw sounds of shock and pain experienced by those experiencing the effects of crime, given how little news value  recordings have," Eric Zorn writes for the Tribune.
"And the fact that we can - that 911 recordings are part of the public record - doesn't mean we should."
10. "Downtown workers may experience casual Friday and casual Monday later this month when the NATO summit arrives," Ryan Ori reports for Crain's.
"Workers at some Chicago office towers are being encouraged to dress down to avoid being targeted by protesters during the meeting of world leaders May 20 and 21. Safety procedures in some high-rises include the recommendation that employees set aside suits, ties and anything with corporate logos.
"Tenants in the office building at 1 E. Wacker Drive received a memo encouraging them to stay away from wearing suits, urging workers to 'look like a protester.'"
12. Replacing Marilyn.
The Beachwood Tip Line: Both upper and lower cuts.
Posted on May 9, 2012
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