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The [Wednesday] Papers

Fourteen-year-old Roberto Duran, of Little Village, became the the 32nd Chicago Public Schools student killed in the last school year on Monday evening- the 24th to die by gunfire.

Father Michael Pfleger led a march last night, joined by the mayor and other dignitaries.

It's a familiar sequence of events, one we have been watching for years. It always leaves the public with the uncomfortable question: What can be done? How can this madness be stopped?

Some people want to blame the Chicago Public School system. It's not the fault of CPS. The schools can't be full-time sanctuaries for our children.

Others, including the mayor, speak passionately about tougher gun control. They are right, but that alone won't solve the problem.

As I said on WTTW's Week in Review last Friday, nobody wants to talk about poverty. Or about the mayor's social services budget. Or about the way our most distraught neighborhoods and desperate citizens always come last.

The city announced on Tuesday that it is considering a plan to spend more than $120 million - funded through park district bonds - on three new harbors that would add 2,230 new boat slips. One of the proposed harbor locations is a potential Olympic site.

Meanwhile, Channel 7 reported this last night: "As Chicago looks to host the 2016 Olympic Games, a new study finds that over the last 20 years more than 2 million people have been displaced as a direct result of the Olympics. Many were low-income renters who were forced out when rents soared soon after a city was awarded the Olympics."

What are our true priorities? How much of a commitment to our children has really been made?

It's not just the city or civic leaders, either. The emoting media also don't exactly staff the city neighborhoods that would cut into the demographic profile they like to sell to advertisers.

What can be done? Action. Commitment. Priorities. Lamentations aren't enough.

Corporate Media Lament
"Our ultimate responsibility is - as is the goal of all stockholder enterprises - to grow stockholder value."

- Cyrus Freidheim, CEO of the Sun-Times Media Group, at Tuesday's annual meeting

Social Service Budget
I could create a few jobs for $5 million.

Where do I go to draw up a Beachwood TIF?

Crime Writing
Okay, one more time: a hate crime is one motivated by hate and intending to terrorize not just the immediate victim, but others by dint of their race, sexual orientiation, or religion. Black people who commit horrible crimes against victims who happen to be white do not qualify. Nor do white folks who commit crimes against victims who happen to be black. A hate crime is like domestic terrorism.

Why is that so hard to understand? What is the deep, defensive, bitter, reflexive psychology that drives this kind of response?

The Obama Letters
"As a state senator, Barack Obama wrote letters to city and state officials supporting his political patron Tony Rezko's successful bid to get more than $14 million from taxpayers to build apartments for senior citizens," the Sun-Times reports.

But Obama didn't know anything about Rezko's slum properties in his district.

Speak No Evil
Obama's press secretary responded in a written statement. Answering questions directly is so unpresidential.

Power Grab
Bob Reed persuasively argues why the state legislature should freeze utility rates for now so it can go back and solve this mess the right way, rather than just making it worse.

Lake Shoreistan
Speaking to Crain's about the proposed demolition of the Lake Shore Athletic Club, David "Buzz" Ruttenberg, chairman of Chicago Developer Belgravia Group Ltd. said: "One hopes the alderman will take a position and lead rather than abrogating responsibility to community groups. When an alderman follows a show of hands, that's kind of a form of anarchy."

A) Yes, the kind called democracy.
B) I prefer fascism.
C) Aldermen should follow a show of money instead.

Ready To Be President
Obama had a lot to learn when he became a United States Senator, The Politico reports. So he was put through school.

"The seminars also reflected Obama's newness to the Senate and to national policy debates. Though he had offered some policy planks during his Senate campaign - such as raising fuel emissions standards and pressing for universal health care - he was not entirely familiar with decades of congressional close combat on key issues.

"However, his aides were quick to brush aside any notion that Obama was, as some Democrats like to portray President Bush, in need of a basic education on matters of national policy."

Product Placement
The Sun-Times publishes a press release from U.S. Cellular.

Green Queen
The mayor wants you to turn off your water while you brush your teeth. And that's important. But Carol Marin says "[I]t's time to finally establish a citywide, comprehensive recycling program beyond the experimental blue cart program that operates in only seven wards right now."

Remember when environmentalists were considered crazy tree-huggers? Remember when Howard Dean and Dennis Kucinich were thought to be a little nuts about the war? Think about who you think is crazy today who will turn out to be right in the future. Open your mind. Maybe this guy - or this guy - is onto something.

Mount Lou
As foreseen here, Lou Piniella mismanaged his multitude of lineup changes so badly last night that he used Carlos Zambrano as a pinch hitter in the 11th - with Jason Marquis standing by.

Wilco and Out
Wilco's turn to darkness doesn't end with Volkswagen, as I found out watching AMC last night.

For a Lousy Buck
"It's the city of Chicago vs. the hot dog vendor. And vs. the carnival workers. And a Giordano's restaurant. And throw in a travel agency too.

"All have operations in buildings at 300-308 W. Randolph that City Hall wants to see torn down.

"The Daley administration wants to replace the three low-rises with a small park that would enhance a 46-story office building the John Buck Co. will put up next door," the Sun-Times reports.

The Beachwood Tip Line: Action-oriented.


Posted on June 13, 2007

MUSIC - Spring Awakening Wake-Up Call!
TV - Exclusive! Rahm's New TV Gig.
POLITICS - The Political Odds UPDATED.
SPORTS - NHL: CTE Not Our Fault.

BOOKS - Stan Lee, Flawed Hero.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Chicagoetry: I Am Iron Man.

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