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The [Wednesday] Papers

Yesterday's news tomorrow.

1. "Only $623 million remains from the $2.98 billion paid to the city after former Mayor Richard M. Daley privatized the Chicago Skyway and Chicago parking meters," the Sun-Times notes.

"The windfall was supposed to last for 99 and 75 years respectively and replace the continuing income once generated by those assets."

Richard M. Daley, now bringing his financial acumen to Coca-Cola.

2. "Daley's pace of change in the schools was too slow for reform advocates," the Tribune reports.

"Susan Crown, who has pushed for an education overhaul and runs a foundation on digital learning, told the Tribune last month that reform under Daley was incremental in 'a system that needed disruption as opposed to tweaking.'"

Really? That's the first time I've heard that complaint - and it's ridiculous on its face.

The pace of change at CPS under Daley was frenetic. Paul Vallas and Gery Chico ripped the place apart, for both good and ill, and then Arne Duncan came in and undid some of it and did some other stuff and the Ron Huberman came in and tried to do a CompStat thing and if anything, the pace has been too fast in terms of determining what makes sense and sticking with it rather than jumping from fad to fad without addressing the system's underlying problems.

Or maybe Crown just means the schools haven't been privatized fast enough.


One of the commenters notes that "the article only quoted 'school reform' (read - union busting) advocates." I was struck by that as well; when it comes to education, "reformers" are almost always union-hating conservatives advocating for more charter schools, merit pay and the like. And that is their right. But the word "reform" can be confusing when "privatizers" might be more accurate, and it doesn't leave room for those advocating for liberal reform that is actually liberal.

3. Such as the Illinois Lottery?

4. I join the Parking Ticket Geek in applauding this Street Cleaning Samaritan.

In my neighborhood, the orange signs that went up on our trees every month to warn of impending street cleaning was the visual cue for everyone to move their cars. Then those orange signs were replaced with permanent signs poled into the ground that just became part of the visual clutter; many of us never remembered to move our cars and we ended up paying mightily for it.

E-mail and text alerts came along to save the day in my ward, but given the digital divide, it's not a solution for every ward.

I also want to commend the Samaritan for his signwork. Note the continuing consistency of using orange, plus the easy-to-read clean and understandable lettering, as opposed to the often undecipherable messaging of the real deal. Bravo.

5. "Illinois' legislative watchdog closed an investigation into how someone besides state Sen. Jacqueline Collins voted her switch in late May, casting the 30th and deciding Senate vote for a gambling expansion package that she said she opposed," the Sun-Times reports.

"In a letter released Tuesday, Legislative Inspector General Thomas J. Homer said he decided no evidence existed that whoever voted errantly on the gambling bill while Collins (D-Chicago) wasn't at her desk did so 'maliciously.'

"'While there is ample evidence that someone other than Sen. Jacqueline Collins voted her switch, there is insufficient evidence to establish who actually voted her switch or that the offender did so maliciously,' Homer wrote."

It was just an honest, irreversible mistake.

"Homer said he interviewed Collins, the Senate parliamentarian, the legal counsel to Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont) and state Sen. Donne Trotter (D-Chicago) 'to determine whether reasonable cause existed to believe that a violation of any ethics rules or laws has occurred.

"'Following my investigation and careful consideration, I have determined to close the investigation without further action,' Homer wrote."

I have not determined just what happened, therefore I will close the investigation!

"Collins said she was in the back of the Senate chamber getting an aspirin for a headache when her voting switch was cast the wrong way.

"In her absence, she said, 'Trotter was monitoring my switch.'"

So Trotter did it.

"Homer said in his interview with Collins, she 'indicated to me that she does not know who voted her switch, and Senator Trotter denied to me that he voted her switch.'"

Then who did, Trotter? You were the monitor.

"Homer went on to write, 'Senator Collins explained that it is common for staff or another senator to vote the switch of a member who is away from his or her desk when the roll is taken. She did not believe that the matter under review was that unusual or merited an investigation.'"

Except that whoever did it didn't vote on her behalf but against her wishes. Unless that's just what she wants us to think.

"Neither Collins nor Homer returned messages Tuesday seeking comment on the closure of his legislative probe."

Maybe somebody else picked up their phones.

6. Rahm's Fiscal House.

Not in order.

7. The Chambers Report: How Bush And Obama Undermined America.

Game didn't change after all.

8. For Chicago's Crafty Kith And Kin.

Folk art at the Art Institute.


The Beachwood Tip Line: Crafty.


Posted on August 1, 2012

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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