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The [Wednesday] Papers

"A big-city police chief likely to become a finalist for Chicago Police superintendent has threatened to withdraw his name if the Police Board publicly identifies the three top candidates, a top mayoral aide said Tuesday," the Sun-Times reports.

"If we get a top candidate who says, 'I'm gonna withdraw if you disclose my name' because he's afraid he'll lose his job if he's not the one, what are we supposed to do?" says police board president Demetrius Carney.

I'll tell you what to do: Tell the candidate that the Chicago Police Department is seeking a new police chief at a time of great public distrust and transparency is one of the key attributes the city needs right now. Any candidate not dedicated to an open process and a transparent department is not the right candidate for Chicago.

Besides, consideration to be the Chicago police chief ought to do nothing but impress the candidate's current bosses. Unless there's more to the story than we're being told.

Search and Rescue
How good do you feel about Demetrius Carney?

Me either.

Carney's police board has already had its first group of three finalists rejected by the mayor.

That might say as much about the mayor - who has seen two of his last three choices for police chief go down to scandal - as the police board, but clearly something is awry.

"Above all, Carney is looking for someone who can restore public confidence in the department," Fran Spielman wrote in the Sun-Times a few weeks ago.

I'd say Carney is, above all, looking for the candidate that the mayor has already chosen.

Above all, someone should restore public confidence in the process.

Security Breach
Regarding organizers of the Nativity scene at Daley Plaza using a black cable to bolt baby Jesus to the manger floor to prevent theft, our very own Tim Willette asks:

"Why don't they just nail baby Jesus's hands and feet to the cradle?"

Textbook Response
"Two weeks ago, Sen. Clinton said she wouldn't attack fellow Democrats," Obama spokesman Ben LaBolt says. "But her poll numbers have dropped, so the Washington political textbook dictates that she attack the candidate who's on the move."

Unlike Obama, who refused to go on the attack despite desperate entreaties from his wealthiest donors upset about his flagging campaign.

Oh, wait . . .

YouTube BoobTube
A Beachwood preview of the GOP debate tonight.

Tax Facts
"So who are this year's losers?" Ben Joravsky wrote recently. "Poor residents of neighborhoods like Garfield Park, Lawndale, Englewood, and the Near West Side. My initial analysis shows that when the tax bills come out, any day now, those folks will be looking at tax hikes as high as 100 percent.

"As gentrification creeps into ther neighborhoods their property values go up. But rising property values don't always correlate with rising income. As taxes rise, a lot of people will have to choose between borrowing to pay their taxes, selling their property, or going into foreclosure.

"Who's being spared while the West and South Sides get scalped? Huge swaths of the Northwest and Southwest Sides and some neighborhoods on the North Side, including mine. Yes, that's right, lucky me - I'm only facing a one percent hike on my next bill. I love you, Mayor Daley!"

Dear Hyde Park Co-Op
You are old and you are broke. But you are not beloved. In Cate Plys's Open Letter.

StereoTyping
"I don't know a single woman who isn't yearning for a fashion stylist," Tribune fashion advisor Ellen Warren wrote recently.

I do.

Zell's Bells
"Tribune 'Baffled' By Twists At FCC."

Again. Do they ever learn?

This is exactly what got them in trouble in their big Times-Mirror deal; the FCC's loosening of regulatory rules allowing for cross-ownership of newspaper and television stations in the same market never came to fruition.

"I'm sure the Tribune guys aren't happy with [FCC chairman Kevin] Martin, former chairman Reed Hundt told the Trib. "But they structured a very tenuous deal here, and they knew they were going to have to squeeze through a hole."

More Ridiculousness
Devin Hester is a crazy cat. The Beachwood Ridiculous Affairs Desk explains.

Miller Time
Yes, I'm catching up on some things here today.

So . . . how does Sun-Times business editor Dan Miller still have his job?

As Phil Rosenthal reported earlier this month, Miller lent his name and his credibility as a journalist to a letter originating "From the Desk of Dan Miller, Business Editor, Chicago Sun-Times" in support of the Heartland Institute's campaign questioning global warming.

In the two years previous to joining the Sun-Times, Miller oversaw publications for the Heartland, Rosenthall reports, and is friends with Heartland president and chief executive Joseph Bast (whose columns sometimes appear in the Sun-Times, and sometimes in the business section).

This makes Miller's letter even more egregious because he is not only doing the Heartland's bidding, but he has close personal ties to the organization.

Miller's previous stint on the Illinois Commerce Commission adds to the proposition that his position as business editor is entirely untenable. Plus, the section sucks.

*

Bast, by the way, has responded on the Heartland's website by calling Rosenthal's column "unprofessional" and "potentially libelous."

Which is both unprofessional and as potentially libelous as anything Rosenthal wrote, which is to say not very. But the irony content is high.

Duncan Donuts
Yesterday I referred to crazy talk by Arne Duncan about making Chicago Public Schools the best district in the nation, but I couldn't find the original reference. Now found.

It came from the Reader's Harold Henderson, who in turn had found Duncan saying this to Catalyst: "Our goal is to become the best school system in America . . . not 10 years from now, but literally in the next two years, we have a chance to do that."

Let's try not totally sucking first before pretending Chicago schools on the whole can be better than New Trier within two years.

Find and Replace
Here's a fun exercise: Take this Deborah Douglas column and read it exchanging the words "black" and "gay" for each other.

Or just consider for a moment a column that started like this:

"Black activists made a big hairy deal this week when Sen. Barack Obama hired racist gospel singer John Whiteman to lead some fund-raising concerts in South Carolina this weekend.

"So what."

Earth to Beavers
Bill Beavers is today's Worst Person in Chicago. It's not even funny.

Okay, it's a little funny. Because if Todd Stroger was a white man, he wouldn't be the Cook County board president. He'd be selling shoes at Macy's. And it wasn't John Stroger's whiteness that got all his sham budgets passed over the years. No, actually it really isn't funny.

COMMENT 9:37 A.M.: From a faithful Beachwood reader with good reason to remain anonymous:

If for no reason than pure devilment, I have to quibble with your line in today's Beachwood that Todd Stroger would be selling shoes at Macy's if he were a white man. Let's see . . . Todd comes from a politically-connected South Side family from a politically-connected neighborhood; his father's clout helped him to elected office then, ultimately to he office held by his father. Hell, if Todd Stroger were white, he wouldn't be selling shoes, he'd be MAYOR!

RESPONSE: You are absolutely right. I stand corrected. I knew something wasn't quite right about that line, but I couldn't figure out what. Now I know. Thank you, sir.

The Beachwood Tip Line: Tubular.



Permalink

Posted on November 28, 2007


MUSIC - The Week In Chicago Rock.
TV - Slow TV Chicago.
POLITICS - Dangerous, Low-Wage Industries Depend On Immigrants, Refugees.
SPORTS - Beachwood Sports Radio: Dear Cubs, Make It Stop.

BOOKS - Meet Chicago's American Writers Museum.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Beachwood Photo Booth: Mail Call.


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