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The [Wednesday] Papers

"Cook County commissioners will consider a proposal Wednesday to cut a $41,640 check to finally settle up with the city of Chicago for years worth of unpaid parking and traffic tickets issued to people driving county vehicles," the Tribune reports.

"The check would cover more than two decades' worth of outstanding traffic fines, according to a news release from Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. And Preckwinkle says she will go after the employees who were driving when the tickets were issued to try to recoup the money.

"The amount, $41,640, covers the full cost of all the unpaid traffic tickets still on the books, minus any late fees and penalties that have accrued over the years, according to Cook County spokesman Frank Shuftan.

"It covers 773 tickets for speeding, illegal turns, red light violations, parking in restricted zones or at expired meters, and invalid vehicle registrations, according to Preckwinkle's office."

I must be losing my touch because I can't think of a single clever thing to say about this. Sometimes the absurd really does speak for itself.

Easter Basket
"University of Illinois trustees on Thursday approved a $180,000 bonus for outgoing university president Robert Easter ahead of his retirement next year," the Tribune reported last week. (I just saw the story today, underneath a piece about a new president being named.)

"The one-time bonus is on top of Easter's current salary, which was increased to $478,558 this fall when university employees got raises. The bonus, approved during the board's meeting at the University of Illinois at Chicago campus, is to be paid within 30 days."

Here's my favorite part:

"The decision to award Easter a heftier bonus is in line with the university trying to prepare the public for the likelihood that the next president could get a higher salary. Former president Michael Hogan, who left in 2012 amid a scandal, was paid $651,000 plus a retention bonus."

I'd say the university has prepared the fuck out of the public.

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"The average compensation for Big 10 presidents is about $780,000."

Which is about the same cost of a woman's virginity, Busta Rhymes' overdue taxes, or Cincinnati Bengals guard Mike Pollak, if it makes you feel any better.

10th District Freeze-Out
Illinois Rep. Brad Schneider, one of 10 House Democrats who lost reelection, stood before his 200 fellow congressional Democrats during a glum gathering Thursday to say goodbye and thank you," Politico reports.

"When he finished, Schneider, a bespectacled and mild-mannered former business management consultant, was taken back by the reception. 'Run again! Run again!' many of his colleagues chanted."

Our very own Tim Willette: "In a Nietzschean eternal recurrence, Schneider and Dold are going to replace each other every two years until the end of time."

Solving McPaul
"The publicly financed arena planned for a site near the McCormick Place convention center on the Near South Side is a bad idea that just keeps getting worse," Joe Cahill writes for Crain's.

Cost overruns would be easier to swallow if the entire project weren't based on such unrealistic assumptions. Among the whoppers underlying McPier's financial projections: DePaul's mediocre men's basketball team will enjoy a renaissance, drawing 9,500 fans a game, not the 1,900 it pulled in at Allstate Arena in suburban Rosemont last season. Another is the assumed appeal of a mid-sized arena to conventions, rock bands and other forms of entertainment that McPier hopes will keep it hopping during the 300-plus days every year that DePaul won't be playing basketball there.

"We all know that this was sold on the basis of assumptions that were not realistic," says stadium finance consultant Marc Ganis of Sportscorp Ltd. in Chicago, who dismisses the project as "the arena without a purpose."

Yet those assumptions are all that stands between McPier and millions in operating losses and debt coverage shortfalls. McPier directors, under the guidance of CEO Jim Reilly, seem to believe that wishing will make it so. I'm sure Mayor Rahm Emanuel's strong backing of the plan has something to do with their willingness to suspend disbelief.

Here's an idea: Replace the arena with the Lucas museum. Two problems solved.

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BeachBook
* Black McDonald's Operators Association To Donate 350 Turkeys To Needy Families.

The news here to me is that there's a Black McDonald's Operators Association.

* No One In Chicago Is Longing For The Return Of Lovie Smith.

I don't think this is true, though I'm certainly not. Poll the locker room.

* Northwestern Players Were Goddamned Psyched About Getting Chik-fil-A.

So awesome I'm just gonna go ahead and embed the video here.

* NBC Chicago Alum Don Lemon Strikes Again, This Time Wondering Why Woman Alleging She Was Raped By Bill Cosby Didn't Bite Bill Cosby's Penis.

* The Lake Effect: How Nature's Greatest Snow Machine Works.

* The Coyote Building In Repose.

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Permalink

Posted on November 19, 2014


MUSIC - Fan Note: Malcolm Young's AC/DC.
TV - Trump FCC Opens Corporate Media Merger Floodgates.
POLITICS - Illinois GOP Puts Voter Data At Risk.
SPORTS - The Connor Barf Game.

BOOKS - Inside The Book Of The Dead.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Record Waterfall At Two Rivers.


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