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« May 2014 | Main | July 2014 »

June 30, 2014

The [Monday] Papers

"Before he was paid more than $146,000 for work on Gov. Pat Quinn's scandal-plagued anti-violence initiative, Benton Cook III says he spent four years as a 'media production director' for political candidates," the Sun-Times reports.

"His biggest client, as it turns out, was his wife, Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown, records show."

Not that there's anything wrong with that - except for the sneaking suspicion that Brown found a way to increase her household income by transferring fundraising dollars to a shady job for her husband, much in the same way that Jesse Jackson Jr. paid his wife monthly consulting fees.

Beyond that, Cook comes off essentially as a scammer in this article. Go read it and come back; I'll be waiting.

Beat Up Brucey
"Fifty years after the Civil Rights Act became law, the Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. on Sunday called on African-Americans to dwell less on prayer and instead focus on taking matters into their own hands in the continuing fight for equality," the Sun-Times reports.

"Praying will not get my relative out of jail. Praying will not get my student debt relieved. Praying will not get me a job," Jackson said, leading the congregation at the New Covenant Missionary Baptist Church, 754 E. 77th St., in a testimonial. "We are free, but not equal."

"But while Jackson called on African-Americans to continually strive for equal treatment, he directed special ire at members of the Republican Party who he said want to do away with government-sponsored social welfare programs.

"And he did so while Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner - who also spoke to the congregation Sunday - was in the church looking on."

Okay, but the best part is at the very end of the story:

"Jackson, a Democrat who twice ran for president in 1984 and 1988, said Rauner was a guest of the church's pastor. Jackson said he and Rauner had a 'courtesy' conversation earlier in the morning.

"He's working diligently to try to impress to people that he can identify with them," Jackson said of Rauner. "I respect what he's doing."

"On his way out of the church, Rauner was asked about his appearance at the event. 'We are visiting with church leaders around Chicago, talking about opportunities in education and, uh . . . ' he said, trailing off as a campaign staffer intervened.

"As he climbed into a car, Rauner did not respond when asked what he thought of Jackson's remarks from the pulpit."

Bruce Rauner began his remarks at the church by repeating his mantra that he wasn't a politician. He ended his visit dodging reporters with the help of a campaign staffer and a waiting car. That's your lead, folks!

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Stand Against Spying
Congressional grades and airship activism.

The Cub Factor: Warped Tour Continues
The Cubs had a rare Sunday off due to worries that congestion from the Pride parade would be too much for the city to bear, as well as the fact that the Cubs don't deserve to play on a day devoted to pride.

The Internet's Own Boy
The story of Highland Park's Aaron Swartz.

Duke Sucks
Find out why in The Chambers Report's return to the Beachwood.

The White Sox Report: Against Clubhouse Chemistry
For on-field performance.

Elephant And Worm vs. Comcast
Saving Chicago public access TV.

SportsMonday: MLB Asleep At The Switch
Don't look back 'cause soccer is gaining on you.

The Weekend In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Twin Peaks, Regular Fucked Up People, The Boxers, Gravity Waves, The Wet, Son of a Gun, Karen Clark-Sheared, Anthony Brown & Group Therapy, Moses Tyson Jr., Mississippi Mass Choir, Will Phalen, Dreezy, The Lucks, Mary Allen and the Percolators, Side/Action, The Opposition Party, Ringo Starr, Naked Raygun, the Dead Kennedys, Al Scorch, Ziggy Marley, Max Schneider, The Stone Foxes, Gareth Emery, Dark Star Orchestra, The Unswept, Empire of the Sun, A Great Big World, and Johnnyswim.

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BeachBook
* Members Of Chicago-To-Cleveland Heroin Pipeline Case Start Appearing In Court.

* Obama: Wrong On Cell Phone Searches And More.

* Obama's TPP Trade Officials Received Hefty Bonuses From Big Banks.

* Chicago Developer Takes On $1 Billion Union Square Redevelopment.

In Boston.

* Illinois Legislative Watchdog Steps Down.

A far more interesting interview than that headline suggests; go read it.

* Debunking The Conventional Wisdom About Conventions.

* The Making Of Teddy Goalsevelt.

He's Chicago ad man Mike D'Amico.

* Logan Square Artist Censored By Local Landlord.

At Milwaukee Avenue Arts Fest.

* Oz-Some Flying House Starts Tales Spinning.

Thanks to a Chicago storm-chaser.

* Heart 'O' Chicago Tote Bag.

* Black Science Blog.

South Side proprietor.

* Despite Food Network Win, Taco Stand Struggles.

Traffic slow at West Dundee food court.

* The Deafening Silence of Chicago's Beethoven Festival Musicians.

Afraid to ask for pay.

* Airline Crash Lawyer Defends Here Ways.

Chicago's Monica Kelly.

* Derrick Rose Is A Douche.

And after all those grades we changed for him.

* The NSA Revelations All In One Chart.

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TweetWood

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The Beachwood Tip Line: Bronx cheering.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:28 PM | Permalink

The Warped Tour

Whoa, whoa, whoa!

"I said the other day, if we want to win 15 in a row, we'd definitely be open to it," Theo Epstein said of holding on to Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel.

If the Cubs won the next 15, they'd be 49-46. You'd be looking at one of those 83-win seasons Theo hates so much.

Of course, Theo knows this team isn't capable of winning 15 in a row. And it's not like an 83-win season thrills us. But it just goes to show how warped this whole thing is.

The Week In Review: The Cubs lost two of three to the Reds and split with the Nationals by losing both ends of a doubleheader on Saturday. They had a rare Sunday off due to worries that congestion from the Pride parade would be too much for the city to bear, as well as the fact that the Cubs don't deserve to play on a day devoted to pride.

The Week In Preview: The Cubs take their league-worst road record to Boston and Washington, D.C., this week. They will return still holding the league's worst road record.

Wrigley Is 100 Celebration: For 100 times over each of the next three days, the media will mention Theo Epstein's Red Sox as a model for the Cubs, no matter how inapt the analogy.

Theo Condescension Meter: 10.

"We've played a lot better lately in the big leagues. We had the best record in the National League for a month stretch there up until a couple of days ago."

Yes - when they were 11-7 in June's first 18 games. First, that's hardly a record to trumpet. Second, they finished month 14-17.

Jed Hoyer Condescension Meter: 10.

Tells James Russell to fuck off.

Prospects Are Suspects: Cubs Hope Hamstring Issues Are In The Past For Soler.

That's Ricky: "Renteria claimed he wasn't superstitious but said he declined to check on Arrieta's well-being after running the bases because he hadn't spoken to him during his perfect game bid."

Laughable Headline Of The Week: Theo Had 'No Choice' In Rebuild.

Mad Merch: The first 10,000 fans to the next game at Wrigley will get Brett Jackson bobbleheads the Cubs just found in their warehouse.

Billy Cub vs. Clark Cub: Clark has a parody account. Billy doesn't need one.

Advantage: Billy.

The Junior Lake Show: Let's just put more doors in the outfield. Sheesh.

Mustache Wisdom: "What I am going to tell you is the economics of the game are really, really strong right now. I want all of the players like Jeff to get the most money they can. The market dictates the value of a player. I commend Jeff for sticking to his plan and staying strong. He and his agent have a game plan. He sees things going on as far as contracts for players who are the same age he is and have the same stuff he has. Why would you not want best value for yourself at the prime of your career?"

Wishing Upon A Starlin: "We're playing a lot better than last year," Castro said.

On this day in 2013, the Cubs were 35-45. Today they are 34-46.

Ameritrade Stock Pick of the Week: Shares of Sunday games off trade higher after a positive experience yesterday.

Shark Tank: Jeff Zambrano.

Jumbotron Preview: 5,700 square-feet of the visiting World Series champs, the Milwaukee Brewers.

Kubs Kalender: Wait 'til next year 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020.

Over/Under: Number of games Edwin Jackson wins the rest of the season: +/- 3.

Beachwood Sabermetrics: A complex algorithm performed by The Cub Factor staff using all historical data made available by Major League Baseball has determined that Jake Arrieta will soon suffer a season-ending injury while Travis Wood will finish the season with an ERA over 5, leaving Edwin Jackson as the staff ace seeing as how Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel will be traded.
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Hashtag Cubs All Manny, All The Time.

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The Cub Factor: Unlike Alfonso Soriano Starlin Castro, you can catch 'em all!

The White Sox Report: Know the enemy.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 11:23 AM | Permalink

Stand Against Spying

A coalition of 22 organizations from across the political spectrum today launched StandAgainstSpying.org, an interactive website that grades members of Congress on what they have done, or often not done, to rein in the NSA.

Led by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Sunlight Foundation and Greenpeace, the coalition aims to inspire constituents to hold their elected officials accountable on mass surveillance reform, as well as give lawmakers the opportunity to improve their positions. Using a report card-style format, the grading criteria included whether the legislator was a sponsor of the USA FREEDOM Act or, in the case of the House of Representatives, voted for the "Amash Amendment" to defund NSA mass surveillance. Legislators had multiple avenues for receiving high marks.

Of the 100 senators and 433 representatives included, 241 members (45 percent) received "A" grades. However, 188 members (35 percent) flunked the scorecard, while another 77 members (14 percent) received question marks for taking no measurable action.

Website visitors can enter their zip codes to look up their congressional members' scores. They then are encouraged to tweet directly at their members of Congress, thanking them for defending privacy or asking them to do more in the fight against mass spying. Additionally, all visitors can sign an open letter to President Barack Obama urging him to end the mass surveillance programs immediately, without waiting for Congress to act.

"We must hold members of Congress accountable by making clear to the public who in Congress is standing up for surveillance reform, who is acting as a roadblock, and who is failing to take a stand," EFF activism director Rainey Reitman said. "More Americans than ever now think the NSA has gone too far. The American people - and frankly people all over the world - can't wait any longer for Congress to rein in the NSA."

EFF built StandAgainstSpying.org after analyzing the key NSA reform bills in Congress and weighting the prominent proposals on the degree to which they would end mass data collection. Sunlight Foundation technologists populated the site with data from its repository of congressional actions.

"Just as the Internet has become an avenue for surveillance, it is also a mechanism for the public to hold the government accountable for its unchecked secrecy," said John Wonderlich, policy director at the nonpartisan Sunlight Foundation. "People care about secrecy and state power and are willing to stand up and demand reform."

More than 18 groups and companies with diverse interests joined Greenpeace, EFF, Tenth Amendment Center and Sunlight Foundation as partners in launching StandAgainstSpying.org, including Association of Alternative Newsmedia, Bill of Rights Defense Committee, Council on American-Islamic Relations, Demand Progress, Fight for the Future, FreedomWorks, Free Press Action Fund, Freedom of the Press Foundation, Libertarian Party, Liberty Coalition, Open Media, PEN America, reddit, Restore the Fourth, Taskforce.is, TechFreedom and ThoughtWorks.

The launch of the scorecard also coincided with a joint campaign by Greenpeace, EFF and TAC to fly an airship over the NSA data center in Bluffdale, Utah, which carried a sign that read "NSA Illegal Spying Below" with a link to StandAgainstSpying.org.

Greenpeace flew its 135-foot-long thermal airship over the data center early Friday morning.

8.14.68_utah_airship_flight.1051.jpg(ENLARGE) Credit: Greenpeace

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"Rights rise or fall together," Greenpeace senior IT campaigner Gary Cook said. "Greenpeace has learned firsthand that people cannot protect their right to clean air and water if our civil rights - including the right to free association and the right to be free of unreasonable searches - are stripped away."

"The public needs to be brought into the Congressional debate around surveillance reform happening right now," Reitman said. "We're flying an airship over the Utah data center, which has come to symbolize the NSA's collect-it-all approach to surveillance, and demanding an end to the mass spying. It's time for bold action in defense of our privacy."

"Our right to privacy is not a partisan issue. It's a human rights issue," said Michael Boldin, executive director and founder of the Tenth Amendment Center. "This coalition gives great hope for the future because it shows that people across the political spectrum can set aside differences to work together for common cause."

Greenpeace is a co-plaintiff on a lawsuit filed against the NSA by a broad coalition of membership and political advocacy organizations, represented by EFF, for violating their First Amendment right of association by illegally collecting their call records.

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See also: The NSA Revelations All In One Chart.

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Previously:
* U.S. Supreme Court Limits Cell Phone Searches.

* EFF To Court: There's No Doubt The Government Destroyed NSA Spying Evidence.

* House Committee Puts NSA On Notice Over Encryption Standards.

* Which Tech Companies Help Protect You From Government Data Demands?

* Lawsuit Demands DOJ Release More Secret Surveillance Court Rulings.

* Human Rights Organizations To Foreign Ministers: Stop Spying On Us.

* What The Proposed NSA Reforms Wouldn't Do.

* Technologists Turn On Obama.

* Dear Supreme Court: Set Limits On Cell Phone Searches.

* EFF Fights National Security Letter Demands On Behalf Of Telecom, Internet Company.

* Eighth-Grader Schools The NSA.

* You Know Who Else Collected Metadata? The Stasi.

* Today We Fight Back.

* The Day We Fight Back.

* FAQ: The NSA's Angry Birds.

* Jon Stewart: The Old Hope-A-Dope.

* Four Blatantly False Claims Obama Has Made About NSA Surveillance.

* EFF To DOJ In Lawsuit: Stop Pretending Information Revealed About NSA Over Last Seven Months Is Still A Secret.

* Judge On NSA Case Cites 9/11 Report, But It Doesn't Actually Support His Ruling.

* Edward Snowden's Christmas Message.

* Jon Stewart: Obama Totally Lying About NSA Spying.

* Presidential Panel To NSA: Stop Undermining Encryption.

* The NSA Is Coming To Town.

* 60 Minutes We Can't Get Back.

* Why Care About The NSA?

* NSA Surveillance Drives Writers To Self-Censor.

* Filed: 22 Firsthand Accounts Of How NSA Surveillance Chilled The Right To Association.

* Claim On 'Attacks Thwarted' By NSA Spreads Despite Lack Of Evidence.

* Obama Vs. The World.

* How A Telecom Helped The Government Spy On Me.

* UN Member States Asked To End Unchecked Surveillance.

* Government Standards Agency: Don't Follow Our Encryption Guidelines Because NSA.

* Five More Organizations Join Lawsuit Against NSA.

* A Scandal Of Historic Proportions.

* Item: NSA Briefing.

* The Case Of The Missing NSA Blog Post.

* The NSA Is Out Of Control.

* Patriot Act Author Joins Lawsuit Against NSA.

* Obama's Promises Disappear From Web.

* Why NSA Snooping Is A Bigger Deal In Germany.

* Item: Today's NSA Briefing.

* NSA Briefing: It Just Got Worse (Again).

* Song of the Moment: Party at the NSA.

* It Not Only Can Happen Here, It Is Happening Here.

* What NSA Transparency Looks Like.

* America's Lying About Spying: Worse Than You Think.

* Obama Continues To Lie His Ass Off About The NSA.

* The Surveillance Reforms Obama Supported Before He Was President.

* America's Spying: Worse Than You Think.

* Has The U.S. Government Lied About Its Snooping? Let's Go To The Videotape.

* Who Are We At War With? That's Classified.

* Six Ways Congress May Reform NSA Snooping.

* NSA Says It Can't Search Its Own E-Mails.

* Does The NSA Tap That?

* Obama Explains The Difference Between His Spying And Bush's Spying.

* FAQ: What You Need To Know About The NSA's Surveillance Programs.

* NSA: Responding To This FOIA Would Help "Our Adversaries".

* Fact-Check: The NSA And 9/11.

* The NSA's Black Hole: 5 Things We Still Don't Know About The Agency's Snooping.

* Defenders Of NSA Surveillance Citing Chicago Case Omit Most Of Mumbai Plotter's Story.

* Obama's War On Truth And Transparency.

* ProPublica's Guide To The Best Stories On The Growing Surveillance State.

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See also:
* Jimmy Carter: America's Shameful Human Rights Record.

* James Goodale: Only Nixon Harmed A Free Press More.

* Daniel Ellsberg: Obama Has Committed Impeachable Offenses.

* Paul Steiger: Why Reporters In The U.S. Now Need Protection.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 11:01 AM | Permalink

SportsMonday: MLB Asleep At The Switch

Allow me to be one of the many pointing out to baseball that it probably shouldn't look back at this point because soccer is gaining.

I'm not sure I know anyone who would rather watch a mediocre, routine-yet-endless regular-season major league baseball game instead of a routine, coming-in-comfortably-under-two-hours World Cup soccer game.

Now sure, you can try to argue that the World Cup happens only once every four years, and that if this was baseball's World Series going up against it in the ratings, it would be different . . . except you would stop arguing that pretty quickly, wouldn't you? Because what ails major league baseball ails major league post-season baseball even more, i.e., the inability of players and teams to play anything close to crisp, pleasingly paced contests even when they aren't a slugfest.

You have to wonder if Commissioner Bud Selig actually watches games anymore. Because if he did, surely he would have come up with a plan to speed things up by now. Come on, Bud! Either get on it or get out (resign). Average games are too damn long and playoff and World Series games are even worse.

It seems ridiculously obvious: to start, limit the number of times hitters can step out of the batter's box during an at-bat (one is plenty) and enforce a rule allowing pitchers to take more than 10 seconds to deliver a pitch only once during that same window (an individual at-bat). Set up a shot clock/pitch clock if you have to.

This should have been tried five years ago.

I have another question for good old Bud. Does he ever watch NBA basketball games? The NBA Finals that just concluded were spectacularly entertaining and the ratings were good. That was the case despite the fact that the overall competition was a blowout.

Part of it was that so many sports fans thoroughly enjoyed watching LeBron and his minions get crushed. But part of it was also that the NBA has fiddled and fiddled with some of the basic rules governing play, and it has seemingly settled on a winner with the current format, i.e., allowing some zone defensive play but enforcing an illegal defense rule that forces players to not linger in the paint for too long.

A half-dozen years ago, the NBA found itself with a problem: its rules against zones had resulted in way too much one-on-one play. Isolation plays were killing the game. So the league did something about it. Will MLB?

Any true fan of basketball will tell you that the brand of basketball the Spurs played in the finals was not just spectacularly successful, it was also wonderfully aesthetically pleasing.

So baseball, start fiddling already, would you? What is the problem other than a geezer of a commissioner who seems paralyzed by the fact that revenues keep growing? More and more money is still pouring in, he must be saying to himself; I better not screw it up. This is the way the game has been for more than a century, how dare I change it.

Except of course big changes have been made through the decades. You may recall they decided on using a different basic set of rules in the American League back in the '60s and that has worked out OK (although at some point the MLB should probably decide if it is going to play with a DH or not).

The money is pouring in primarily because sponsors are struggling to figure out what to do with the resources they've set aside to try to woo twentysomething males other than what they've always done, i.e., spend it on advertising on the longtime big three sports in the US (football then basketball then baseball).

If baseball isn't careful, during the next decade it will find itself outside that Big 3 looking in. Major League Soccer is such a fundamental joke because, of course, it couldn't be more of a minor league (the world's major leagues funnel their best teams into the Champions Cup competition in Europe every year). The MLS's Chicago situation is particularly telling; partly because of political incompetence and partly because of simple expedience, the team built its soccer-centric stadium in suburban Bridgeview a decade or so ago.

The problem, of course, is that in Chicago, the major league teams (Bears, Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs, Sox) play in the city and the minor league teams (the Wolves, the Sky - sorry WNBA) play in the suburbs.

Anyway, the World Cup business bounce for the MLS probably won't have tremendous impact in Chicago because of local factors. But it will have impact nationwide. And if baseball doesn't get its act together, who knows how long it might be before soccer is seen as the third biggest sport in the country (hockey is Canadian, OK? I will always separate it from the Big 3 in the U.S.).

Hey baseball, wake up!

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Jim "Coach" Coffman is our man on Mondays. He welcomes your comments.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:58 AM | Permalink

The Chambers Report: Duke Sucks

The Price Of Silence: The Duke Lacrosse Scandal, The Power Of The Elite, And The Corruption Of Our Great Universities, by William Cohan.

This huge volume (almost 700 packed pages) is an often tedious, yet nevertheless riveting account of the biggest scandal in the history of American collegiate sports. For 14 months, beginning in early 2006, the so-called "Duke Lacrosse Rape Case" commanded the attention of the entire nation. It seemed to have everything: sex, race, spoiled preppy jocks, over-the-top faculty, sheep-like administrators, clueless trustees, a ravenous press, corrupt law enforcement authorities, unscrupulous lawyers and judges, North vs. South, white vs. black, wealth vs. poverty, and, very much in the mix, a university that millions of Americans loved to hate. Part of Duke's problem in the 21st century is that its ambitions have far outgrown any semblance of the sleepy Southern school that even long ago already seemed to some to embody all that many people despised about that benighted region of the country. As The Price Of Silence strives to show, the university has now completely lost its way.

Lacrosse is a sport long adored in parts of the American Northeast, which is also home to most of our leading male prep schools, among them Delbarton School, the Catholic jewel of wealthy Morristown, New Jersey. A lacrosse power attended by the exceptionally privileged sons of Wall Street titans, Delbarton has for decades been feeding its best to the Ivy League universities . . . and to wannabes like Duke. Delbarton grads figure prominently in this story. So handsome and worldly are these teenage Northern gods replanted in the American South that in recent years they have taken control of Duke's undergraduate social life, at the very time the school has been most anxious to join H-Y-P, Stanford, and others at the apex of the American college pyramid. As author Bill Cohan (himself a Duke graduate, like this reviewer) reports in these many pages, the university would now stop at nothing to keep pace with its dream of dominating not just its own region, but the United States itself by becoming "world-class" (a mantra lately heard often in Durham) in athletics and academics alike.

Central to this drive was former North Carolina Governor, U.S. Senator, and Duke President Terry Sanford and his insatiable need to, above all else, raise money for the university by any means available (see Daniel Golden, The Price Of Admission: How America's Ruling Class Buys Its Way Into Elite Colleges - And Who Gets Left Outside The Gates). When the drive reacted almost chemically with the rise of Coach Mike Krzyzewski's soon-to-be unstoppable basketball program, the recruitment of celebrated liberal faculty through expensive raids elsewhere (who would prove to be no friends of spoiled rich jocks from Eastern preppydom), and a shocking turn south in on-campus moral practices, the formula for almost certain disaster was in place. Within 20 years Duke would evolve into very much the school that non-Dookies love to hate - rich, spoiled, ambitious, arrogant, totally unable to view itself objectively. By 2006, it was the lax boys - surprisingly, not the more famous basketballers - who were fully in control of the campus where sex was now everywhere and promiscuous "hooking-up" went on non-stop. Seemingly everyone partied every night from Thursday through Sunday, and adults did nothing to temper this ongoing bacchanalia. Although some faculty were appalled by the blatant anti-intellectual atmosphere controlled by the frats and the jocks - and a few even said so - the hapless administration seemed powerless to do anything.

Into the breach, in June 2004, stepped a new president, Richard H. Brodhead, a Yalie darling who had been recruited by many schools, and it was Duke that got him. Brodhead appeared to embody precisely the glamour, pedigree, savoir faire, and smarts that the on-the-make university so desperately hoped to emulate. But it was not to be. The unprepared Brodhead was immediately tossed into the deep end of the pool by an unprecedented $40 million offer to Coach K to abandon little Durham and repatriate in La-La Land as new head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers (the driving force behind the extraordinary offer was apparently Lakers star Kobe Bryant, a long-time Krzyzewski-admirer who often said that if he had played college ball it would have been at Duke).

Cohan describes this as virtually a ploy on Coach K's part to diminish the dazzling new president and put him in his place by showing who really was - and would remain - in charge at Duke. Brodhead, terrified that the celebrated coach might depart just as he was coming in, played his obsequious role flawlessly, kneeling at least as deeply as any other K-worshipper in publicly urging Mike to stay at home. In retrospect, he never recovered from this first lesson in humility. Many at Duke - including outspoken ESPN basketball analyst Jay Bilas, a star on Krzyzewski's first of 11 Final Four teams - saw him as entirely unworthy from this early moment on.

Two years later, the lax boys threw a party at their-Duke-owned house just off the school's Georgian East Campus. The ostensible excuse for the party was that it was spring break and the team was obliged to remain on campus to prepare for the upcoming NCAA national lacrosse championship, which many saw them as favored to win. Ranked second in the nation, the boys were living up to their reputations in every way - winning on the pitch, making decent grades in questionable majors, bedding the best women, drinking all the while . . . basically just being cool and doing whatever they chose to do. This particular party was fueled further by $10,000 in cash for "lunch money" by their coach Mike Pressler, national lax "Coach of the Year" the previous season.

To add life to their party, the boys hired two "dancers" for $400 each to provide entertainment. Crystal Mangum, a single mother, and Kim Roberts accepted the invitation and the mayhem was on. By the end of the evening, Mangum had claimed that she had been brutally raped by from two to 20 of the Duke players (all of them white), one of whom she said employed a broomstick as a tool. Mangum's claim instantly went viral, soon to the entire nation.

At first everybody within hearing seemed quick to assume the guilt of the boys - everyone from Brodhead and his unctuous Board of Trustees, the press from the New York Times to the Durham Herald-Sun, news vultures from Nancy Grace to Selena Roberts, half the Duke faculty, and, above all, Mike Nifong, a little-known lawyer who wanted to be Durham's new district attorney.

Once the story was spread, it wouldn't go away, even after negative DNA tests were returned and countless contradictory tales had surfaced about what may or may not actually have happened that evening. Despite mounting evidence that there had been no rapes, that Mangum was either a liar or delusional, that Nifong was corrupt and irresponsible, and that the three boys whom he indicted for rape were "innocent," as proclaimed by the court in a judgment rarely rendered (courts typically find defendants "guilty" or "not guilty," hardly ever "innocent," a personal characteristic beyond proof), few people seemed to care, at least not for months.

In the end, only Nifong went to jail (for one night), the boys were released, Duke bought them off for a reputed $100 million (thus the title of Cohan's book), Nifong was disbarred, Brodhead's ineptitude was rewarded with a new five-year contract courtesy of the trustees who had hired him (after all, the university was in the midst of a mega-billion dollar capital campaign!), and Duke appeared to emerge from it all largely unshaken. Both applications and donations to the university spiraled sharply up the very next year.

Appalled by all of this, an angry Cohan (author of three best-selling books on business) here spins out an undisciplined mess of a tale, replete with repetitiousness, redundancy, and sloppiness. Still, the story remains so sordid that his abominable book cannot be put down. You read on, despite yourself. In the end, everyone having anything to do with the tale comes out a loser - most of all Duke University itself (whatever the continuous rise in its numbers). There is little left to admire about it, not even its saintly basketball coach who was largely silent throughout the ordeal.

But so what?! Despite the venality of every player - including the spoiled preppies, viewed still by many as anything but "innocent," especially after their shockingly greedy lawsuits - the story ends up with no real lesson, no true "meaning" to be learned. An already rich Duke got even richer, more spoiled kids than ever clamored to be admitted, and US News and World Report continued to rank the disgraced institution and its obviously weak leadership, faculty included, as the seventh-best "research university" in the United States (tied with MIT and Penn). In the five years since the "rape/lax scandal," the firing of the coach, and the temporary shutdown of the lacrosse program, it was business as usual in Durham, with Duke winning three national lax championships in that brief period of time.

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Bob Chambers was born in North Carolina and educated at Duke (BA), Yale (BD), and Brown (Ph.D). He was an English/American Studies professor at Yale and Dean in Davenport College (home of both Bushes, I regret to say), Dean of Arts and Sciences at Bucknell, President of Western Maryland College (now McDaniel College) near Baltimore for 16 years, and Provost/Dean at Trinity College of the University of Melbourne in Australia for a year-and-a-half. For five years he was a senior consultant with Marts & Lundy, Inc, perhaps the premier firm helping colleges, universities, and prep schools raise money.

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Previously in The Chambers Report:

* Steve Jobs vs. Jack Kennedy

* The Last Boy Of Summer

* Melville, Elvis And Baseball

* A Tale Of Three Cities

* How Obama And Bush Undermined America

* Ayes For Atheism

* Paterno.

* Some Guys Have All The Luck

* Tony LaRussa And The Art Of The Cliché.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:06 AM | Permalink

Elephant And Worm: Save Chicago Public Access TV!

"Comcast is trying to leverage themselves into a position where they can close Chicago's public access cable studio CAN TV. If it weren't for CAN TV, we wouldn't be ON TV! Help spread the word and many thanks to our loving audiences. We want to do another season!"


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"EWTV LIVE airs on Chicago Cable Channel 21 and streams at cantv.org/live on Tuesdays at 3:30 p.m."

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See also: Elephant & Worm Educational Theatre Co.

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And: Aldermen Send Strong Signal To Comcast.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:46 AM | Permalink

The Internet's Own Boy

"The Internet's Own Boy depicts the life of American computer programmer, writer, political organizer and Internet activist Aaron Swartz. It features interviews with his family and friends as well as the internet luminaries who worked with him. The film tells his story up to his eventual suicide after a legal battle, and explores the questions of access to information and civil liberties that drove his work."


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Previously:
* Aaron Swartz Laid To Rest.

* The Day We Fight Back.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:38 AM | Permalink

The Weekend In Chicago Rock

You shoulda been there.

1. Twin Peaks at Animal Kingdom on Saturday night.

A fundrager for Lemon.

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2. Regular Fucked Up People at Animal Kingdom on Saturday night.

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3. The Boxers at Animal Kingdom on Saturday night.

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4. Gravity Waves at the Double Door on Thursday night.

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5. The Wet at the Double Door on Thursday night.

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6. Son of a Gun at the Double Door on Thursday night.

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7. Karen Clark-Sheard at Gospel Fest on Sunday night.

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8. Anthony Brown & Group Therapy at Gospel Fest on Saturday night.

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9. Moses Tyson Jr. at Gospel Fest on Saturday night.

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10. Mississippi Mass Choir at Gospel Fest on Saturday night.

"But the biggest musical surprise of the evening came during the Mississippi Mass Choir's set. Even though youth predominates this vocal ensemble in terms of numbers, the most vibrant soloist was 81-year-old Mosie Burks. Her voice exuded raw enthusiasm and emphasized spirit over surface polish, which became even more forceful when she performed a classic gospel holy dance."

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11. Will Phalen at the Milwaukee Avenue Arts Fest on Sunday.

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12. Dreezy at Reggies on Saturday night.

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13. The Lucks at the Red Line Tap on Saturday night.

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14. Mary Allen and the Percolators at the Red Line Tap on Saturday night.

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15. Side/Action at the Red Line Tap on Saturday night.

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16. The Opposition Party at the Milwaukee Avenue Arts Fest on Sunday.

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17. Ringo Starr at the Chicago Theatre on Saturday night.

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18. Naked Raygun at Smith's Downtown in Mishawaka, Indiana on Friday night.

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19. Dead Kennedys at Bottom Lounge on Friday night.

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20. Al Scorch at the Hideout on Friday night.

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21. Ziggy Marley at the Vic on Sunday night.

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22. Max Schneider at Martyrs on Saturday night.

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23. The Stone Foxes at Subterranean on Friday night.

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24. Gareth Emery at the Concord on Friday night.

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25. Dark Star Orchestra at Park West on Friday night.

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26. The Unswept at the Hideout on Thursday night.

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27. Empire of the Sun at Chive Fest at Soldier Field on Saturday night.

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28. A Great Big World at the House of Blues on Friday night.

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29. Johnnyswim at Thalia Hall on Saturday night.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:25 AM | Permalink

June 29, 2014

Against Clubhouse Chemistry

There's the popular baseball story about Rickey Henderson, the game's all-time best leadoff man, being reunited with John Olerud when Henderson joined the 1999 New York Mets. Henderson, who was all about himself, said some pretty goofy things during his 25-year career but none quite as revealing as when he saw Olerud, a fine first baseman and hitter in his own right, wearing a batting helmet in the field.

Rickey asked Olerud about the helmet, and his teammate disclosed that he needed the protection because of a childhood aneurysm. "I knew a guy when I was with Toronto who did the same thing," Rickey allegedly said.

"That was me, Rickey," said Olerud. "That was me."

The story's validity has since been challenged, but the veracity is not as important as what it represents. Henderson was famous for a number of skills in his Hall of Fame career - he scored more runs and stole more bases than anyone in history - but no one ever accused him of being "good in the clubhouse."

That operative and over-used term has become more prevalent today than, for instance, labels like "five-tool player" or "lights-out stuff." Assuming that Henderson had little idea about Olerud's identity, one can conclude that familiarity with his teammates wasn't too high on Rickey's priority list. And it's not a stretch that, given their druthers, Henderson's colleagues would have much preferred a first-inning home run - he hit 81 - as opposed to hanging out with the guy over dinner.

When the White Sox last week released inept left-handed reliever Scott Downs and ate the remaining portion of his $4 million salary, catcher Tyler Flowers called Downs "a veteran, a leader, a guy people could turn to, especially with some of the younger guys in the bullpen. He was a good part of what we have going on as far as the team chemistry, the shenanigans we get into in the clubhouse."

Forget that the guy couldn't pitch. Theoretically the Sox signed Downs, a 13-year veteran who had a number of good seasons with his five previous teams, with the idea that he could retire left-handed hitters. The last one he faced was Chris Davis Wednesday in the fateful eighth inning in Baltimore with the Sox leading 4-0.

Downs walked Davis to load the bases with two outs. In came Javy Guerra, who generally has been effective, to serve up a game-tying home run to Nelson Cruz. The Sox wound up losing 5-4 in 12 innings, spoiling a sparkling performance by starter Hector Noesi.

I could be wrong, but I thought that Downs flashed a smile at Davis standing on first base as Robin Ventura took the ball from him. He battled Davis to a 3-2 count before walking the reigning American League home run champ - the 15th walk Downs yielded this year in just shy of 24 innings. As the lone lefty in the Sox bullpen, his 6.08 ERA meant that Ventura really didn't have a southpaw in a pinch. That's nothing to smile about.

Unless you're a former professional baseball player, you've never spent any time with a group of 25 young men, living and working together for seven months a year. Many days begin mid-afternoon and often stretch close to midnight. Road trips usually last at least a week. You stay at the same hotel, you have meals with teammates; proximity to one another is a way of life.

However, all of us have toiled in the workplace and spend many hours in the company of our co-workers. We enjoy the company of some of therm. We try to avoid others who drive us nuts. We are loyal to bosses who treat us well. We detest those who basically don't give a damn whether we're part of their team.

In a perfect world, all of us would enjoy what we do whether playing major league baseball or selling used cars. In reality, people complain about their work. Not all of us all of the time, but there are instances that piss us off when we would clearly prefer to be doing something else. Life can be exceptionally challenging when we are stuck in a work situation that we truly dislike.

But we show up. We like to eat. Maybe our personal "clubhouses" aren't pleasant places, but our well-being and that of our families dictate that we hang in there until we can attain a better opportunity. That's the way it is for most of us.

So as baseball fans, do we need to be concerned about the clubhouse atmosphere? Of course not. What interests us is performance. We're in awe of Jose Abreu and his 25 home runs in his first 69 games. Does it matter that he speaks a different language than Gordon Beckham and may not be his bosom buddy? Not in the least. We simply don't care. Do we wish that Beckham was hitting higher than .261? You betcha.

With the exception of a handful of players - Paul Konerko, Alexei Ramirez, Beckham, John Danks, Chris Sale, Alejandro De Aza, and Adam Dunn - the Sox roster is filled with guys who haven't played on the South Side for more than three years. Names like Casper Wells, Deunte Heath, Tyler Greene, Hector Santiago, Simon Castro, Dylan Axelrod and others are distant memories even though they spent time with the Sox just last season.

Nine players - remember Felipe Paulino, Donnie Veal, or Erik Johnson? - from this season's Opening Day roster are either gone or disabled. Maikel Cleto departed with nary a peep a few weeks ago. If he was "good in the clubhouse," I missed it. I do know that he walked 15 batters in 14 innings. He could have been buying post-game pizzas, sandwiches and drinks and still no one would have been sorry to see him go.

Rosters, especially on teams like the Sox who are struggling to find the right combination, are in flux. It's nice if everyone gets along, but there's no guarantee that the man dressing in the next stall will even be there a week later.

Feeling accepted and part of the team is nice, but money can be a stronger motivator. When someone like Eric Surkamp is called up from Charlotte to replace Downs, he clearly recognizes that this is his chance to make some serious bank. Surkamp responded last week, pitching in all four games in Toronto without giving up a hit. In Sunday's sterling 4-0 shutout of the Blue Jays, Surkamp retired the side in order in the eighth inning, something that hadn't happened in three weeks.

Jose Quintana, the king of no decisions, finally had a bullpen that protected the lead after he blanked Toronto for seven innings to earn his fifth win, lowering his ERA to a respectable 3.44.

The Sox scored just 13 runs in the four games in Canada, yet won three of them thanks to a bullpen without Downs and a closer named Zach Putnam and not Belisario. The three wins brought the 11-game road trip to a close with a 4-7 record. Considering the Sox lost the first five games, the weekend's victories couldn't have come at a better time.

Meanwhile, it's improbable that another team will sign Downs, who at 38 can walk away from the game having earned almost $31 million. Regrettably, he never pitched in the postseason despite being an effective relief pitcher for a number of years and apparently contributing a positive presence in the clubhouse.

I tried to think of a player who was a nightmare of a teammate, someone who had the ability to make the clubhouse as unpleasant as humanly possible. Milton Bradley came to mind.

In his 12 seasons, the volatile outfielder played for eight teams. He was traded five times and released twice. The Cubs kicked him off the team in 2009 after he was quoted in the press, saying, "You understand why they haven't won in 100 years here."

Yet his employers paid him $48 million to play a game in which he hit over .300 three times. What's more, he was a member of two teams - the 2004 Dodgers and the Athletics of 2006 - that went to the postseason.

Bradley may have been a son of a bitch in the clubhouse, but he was a pretty decent hitter. He was fortunate it wasn't the other way around.

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Roger Wallenstein is our man on the Sox. He welcomes your comments.

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1. From Dave Martel:

I enjoyed your comments today about Ricky Henderson. I think the year was 2000 (I was a Mets fan back then before moving to Red Sox Nation) and the Mets were trying to stay alive on or about the last day of the season. The Mets had clawed their way back from a five-run deficit and were on the verge of winning in the ninth (or maybe it was the tenth). In the dugout the players were at the top step, urging on their comrades to make something good happen. Throughout that emotion, Ricky was in the clubhouse playing cards (his partner might have been Bobby Bonilla). There was outrage when the defeated players entered the clubhouse and saw Ricky. I recall one of the players commenting, "There were guys crying down there - and he's playing cards."

Anyway, next month I'm taking two of my grandsons on an MLB road trip which includes the White Sox v. Royals the afternoon of July 23. I'll be using your blog to do my pregame homework.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 10:32 PM | Permalink

June 28, 2014

The Weekend Desk Report

"The city of Chicago's promise of summer savings on electric bills for most residents appears to be so much hot air," Crain's reports.

"Mayor Rahm Emanuel's recently renegotiated contract with Integrys Energy Services to provide power to 720,000 households and small businesses will cost average Chicago homes more in June and July than if they were still with Commonwealth Edison Co. if typical consumption patterns hold."

There goes the electricity users voting bloc.

Durbin Loses The Plot
From Dick Durbin's newsletter this week:

Too often we hear about corporations that evade taxes, ship jobs overseas, or do not pay their employees enough to support themselves or their families. These are the companies that are given millions of dollars in tax breaks under our current system.

The result is the loss of good paying U.S. jobs. Low wages force more and more working families to rely on safety net programs such as SNAP, Medicaid, child nutrition programs, Head Start and LIHEAP, just to survive, while many of their employers turn record profits.

At the same time, there are many responsible employers who treat their workers fairly while operating successful businesses. Yet, they don't always get tax breaks like the bad actors. Employers that provide American jobs with fair wages and good benefits should enjoy a more favorable tax treatment than those unwilling to make the same commitment to U.S. workers.

I want to recognize the good work that many companies do and put the tax code on their side. This week, I will introduce the Patriot Employer Tax Credit Act. This bill would reward the most deserving companies by acknowledging their commitment to U.S. workers and is paid for by closing a tax loophole that incentivizes companies to ship jobs overseas. This loophole costs the U.S. Treasury Department about $50 billion annually.

So far, so good.

But wait, there's more!

Patriot Employers would receive a tax credit equal to 10% of the first $15,000 in qualified wages for U.S. workers, if the employer meets the following criteria:

* Invest in American Jobs

* Pay Fair Wages

* Provide Quality Health Insurance.

* Prepare Workers for Retirement

* Support Our Troops and Veterans

* Create a Diverse Workforce

Small businesses should have a fair shot at qualifying for Patriot Employer status too. My bill makes it easier for small employers to take advantage of this tax credit by allowing companies with fewer than 50 employees to qualify if they are headquartered in the U.S., are not inverted corporations, provide health care, and pay fair wages OR help fund their worker's retirement.

So instead of just closing loopholes and forcing all companies to pay taxes, Durbin wants to level the playing field by giving everyone else a tax break too! Why not just eliminate taxes for everybody? USA! USA!

In my book, Patriotic Employers are those who pay their fair share of taxes. I don't find it necessary to incentivize companies further by giving away taxpayers' dollars for supporting our troops. The government should support the troops, set a standard for fair wages, and provide health insurance. Let's stop getting it backwards.

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The Weekend Desk Tip Line: Role reversal.

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The Beachwood Radio Hour
Lakeshore Wars.

Working the narrative arts. Keywords: George Lucas, Rahm Emanuel, Wayne Newton, Navy Pier.

The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour
Backing In The Front Door.

The U.S. backs into the next round by losing just one of three, unlike a bunch of other teams going home. Plus: The Bulls' Puzzling Draft Day & This Week In The Sky.

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This Week In Juvey Hall
Including: CPS code of conduct, Rahm's graffiti bridge, Quinn's never-ending scandal, Dixmoor Five Fallout, the EU's children and more.

Please support the Chicago Bureau's Indiegogo campaign.

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The Sound Opinions Weekend Listening Report: "It's never too early to start making lists! Tune in for The Best Albums of 2014 . . . so far. Later, Jim and Greg review a new contender by Hüsker Dü founder Bob Mould."

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The CAN TV Weekend Viewing Report: CAN TV is an independent nonprofit established by the City of Chicago in 1983 as the public's space on cable television free of commercials, filters, and censors.

Chicago African Summit

United African Organization brings scholars, legislators and advocates together for a dialogue on critical topics facing Africans abroad and their descendants, including U.S. policy, refugee and immigration issues, health care, and growing small businesses.

Sunday at 9:30 a.m. on CAN TV21.

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Harvey School District

Students from the #152 Harvey School District swing with the sounds of Big Band music and celebrate an award-winning teacher from their school.

Sunday at 1 p.m. on CAN TV19.

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BeachBook
* Entire Park District Board Placed Under Citizen's Arrest.

In Central Illinois; backed by sheriff.

* Blue Jays' Mark Buehrle Keeps Rolling Along.

10-4, 2.52 ERA with first-place team.

* Chicago Residents Split On Showering At Electric Forest 2014.

It's in Michigan, after all.

* Who's Aboard The 230-Foot Super Yacht In Muskegon Lake?

Rumored to be a Chicagoan.

* Jabari Parker Heeds NBA's Call, Bypassing Formal Mormon Mission.

Chicago teen to serve Milwaukee Bucks instead.

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TweetWood

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Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 10:32 AM | Permalink

June 27, 2014

The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #6: Backing In The Front Door

The U.S. backs into the next round by losing just one of three, unlike a bunch of other teams going home. Plus: The Bulls' Puzzling Draft Day & This Week In The Sky.


SHOW NOTES

00: The Way The World Cup Works.

10:32: The Bulls' Puzzling Draft Day.

* Dougie McBuckets.

20:40: Jose Abreu The Only Interesting Thing Left To White Sox Season.

26:23: This Week In The Sky.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 2:37 PM | Permalink

The Beachwood Radio Hour #12: Lakeshore Wars

Working the narrative arts.

Keywords: George Lucas, Rahm Emanuel, Wayne Newton, Navy Pier.


SHOW NOTES

00: Strawberry Rock Show

1:21: Welcome, George Lucas!

3:20: Richard M. Daley Likens McCormick Place East To The Berlin Wall.

17:00: Exclusive! How Chicago Landed The Lucas Museum.

21:10: Soldier Field As The Millennium Falcon.

23:15: Wayne Newton Was Here.

23:58: Wayne Newton's Plastic Surgery.

25:50: Navy Pier Inc.

34:45: Please Support The Chicago Bureau.

* The Week In Juvenile Justice.

42:25: The Worst Possible Way To Watch The World Cup.

STOPPAGE TIME: 2:40

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 1:02 PM | Permalink

The [Friday] Papers

"The City Council's most powerful alderman will sit out the legislative debate on Mayor Rahm Emanuel's plan to give movie mogul George Lucas free lakefront land to build an interactive museum to avoid a conflict posed by a threatened court challenge," the Sun-Times reports.

"Ald. Edward Burke (14th), chairman of the City Council's Finance Committee, is the husband of Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke.

"If Friends of the Park follows through on its threat to file a lawsuit blocking the project, the appeal could go all the way to the state Supreme Court."

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Might have been worth nothing that Burke didn't recuse himself when it came to the ill-fated proposal to move the Chicago Children's Museum into Grant Park.

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Also, how does Burke explain not recusing himself from all council business?

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The Beachwood Radio Hour
Lakeshore Wars.

Working the narrative arts. Keywords: George Lucas, Rahm Emanuel, Wayne Newton, Navy Pier.

The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour
Backing In The Front Door.

The U.S. backs into the next round by losing just one of three, unlike a bunch of other teams going home. Plus: The Bulls' Puzzling Draft Day & This Week In The Sky.

Beachwood Photo Booth: Fantasy Hair Design
Family Hair Cuts.

The Week In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Ramshackle Glory, Bob Mould, Hall & Oates, Cat Power, Radioactivity, Ginger Baker, Kal Marks, The Sueves, Mean Jeans, Frankie Teardrop, Swans, The Doobie Brothers, The Lonely Biscuits, The Fray, and Rufus Wainwright.

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This Week In Juvey Hall
Including: CPS code of conduct, Rahm's graffiti bridge, Quinn's never-ending scandal, Dixmoor Five Fallout, the EU's children and more.

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BeachBook
* Use Of Drones For Killing Risks A War Without End, Panel Concludes In Report.

* Lurking Inside Obama's Secret Drone Law: Another Secret Drone Law.

Related:

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TweetWood

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The Beachwood Tip Line: Conflicted.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 10:46 AM | Permalink

The Week In Chicago Rock

You shoulda been there.

1. Ramshackle Glory at Township on Monday night.


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2. Bob Mould in Millennium Park on Monday night.

* Kot: "The 80-minute, 23-song concert reaffirmed Mould's place in rock history."

* Loerzel: Photos.

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3. Hall and Oates at Ravinia on Sunday night.

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4. Cat Power at Ravinia on Wednesday night.

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5. Radioactivity at the Empty Bottle last Saturday night.

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6. Ginger Baker's Jazz Confusion at City Winery on Monday night.

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7. Kal Marks at Situations on Sunday night.

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8. The Sueves at Township on Monday night.

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9. Mean Jeans at Township on Monday night.

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10. Frankie Teardrop at Township on Monday night.

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11. Swans at Lincoln Hall last Saturday night.

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12. The Doobie Brothers on Montrose Beach last Saturday night.

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13. The Lonely Biscuits at Schubas on Tuesday night.

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14. Rufus Wainwright at Ravinia on Wednesday night.

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15. The Fray on Northerly Island on Thursday night.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:37 AM | Permalink

Beachwood Photo Booth: Fantasy Hair Design

Family Hair Cuts.

fantasyhairdesignbw.jpg(ENLARGE FOR PROPER VIEWING)

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More Chicago photography from Helene Smith.

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Helene on Twitter!

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Meet Helene!

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Stationery, iPhone cases, hoodies.

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Listen to Helene talk about Photo Booth; starts at 57:54.

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Previously:
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Man Grilling
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Yum Yum Donuts
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Father's Day
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Vintage Airmaster
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Time
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Window Shade
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Illinois Slayer
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Fire Escape
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Golden Nugget
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Hollywood, Chicago
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Flag Man.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Van In Flames.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Fluid Power Automation.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Corn Dog.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Stop The Killing Car.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Backyard.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: A to Z Things.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Swedish Diner.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Rothschild Liquors.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Silos.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Wires.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Orange Garden.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Irving Park Guy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Pigeons.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: O'Lanagan's.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: For Rent.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Marie's Pizza & Liquors.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Mori Milk.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: American Breakfast.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: A Chicago Christmas Postcard.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Holiday Harold's.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Family Fun.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Snow Bike.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Nativity Scene.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Old Warsaw.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Deluxe Cleaners.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Marie's Golden Cue.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Die Another Day.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Sears Key Shop.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Window Dressing.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Jeri's Grill.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Barry's Drugs.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Liberty.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Kitchen.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Golden Specials.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: We Won The Cup.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bartender Man.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Blue Plane Blues.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Finest Quality.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Family Guy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Girls Wanted.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Skokie Savanna.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Signpost.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Old Man And The Tree.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Street Fleet.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Citgo Story.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:14 AM | Permalink

June 26, 2014

The [Thursday] Papers

Another layer to Bruce Rauner's lies about his daughter's admittance to Payton Prep was revealed last night, but here's the deal: We already know he's lied - repeatedly - about this.

What is so odd - and this happens so often on the national level - is the media's stance (particularly that of the punditry) that it will be satisfied only when the candidate puts forth a plausible enough story, though untrue, that everyone will move on, instead of just calling a liar a liar. Then he'll be graded on his public relations, such as "He should've just come up with this version of untruth in the first place."

It's not that Rauner needs to "get his story straight" or that further clarification is needed; it's that he lied. Starting with that premise changes the questions. For example: "Mr. Rauner, why won't you just tell us truth about what happened with your daughter?"

Or: "Would you have any problem at all with someone doing what you did to get their child admitted to an elite school even if it meant your daughter was therefore displaced, even if her credentials were better?"

Instead, we get various versions of "Critics say you used clout to get your daughter into Payton. For the umpteenth time, how do you respond?"

And for the umpteenth time, Rauner gives a pat answer and everyone moves on.

We all know what happened. And we also know that the U.S. Secretary of Education, at the least, let it happen. Let's stop pretending otherwise.

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Please Support The Chicago Bureau
See the Indiegogo campaign here.

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So You're Saying The U.S. Has A Chance?
Get ready for the most dramatic bore in U.S. soccer history.

U.S. Supreme Court Finally Gets One Right
Get a warrant, cellphone searchers.

U.S. Supreme Court Again Gets One Wrong
Tells Aereo to drop dead.

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BeachBook
* Charter Schools Suck Up Billions, Perform Poorly, Attract Bond Market.

And the ingenious response:

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* Chicago Lawyer Gets 15 Years.

"A Chicago-area lawyer and accountant labeled by the government as history's most prolific and unrepentant tax cheat was sentenced Wednesday to 15 years in prison, and the judge bemoaned the 'incredible greed' of some of America's wealthiest people for taking advantage of the tax shelters he peddled."

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* SEC Stops Harvey, Illinois, From Selling Municipal Bonds.

Fraud afoot.

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* You've Never Heard of Norm Woodel, But You've Heard His Voice.

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TweetWood

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There's never an egg-timer around when you need one.

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The Beachwood Tip Line: Druggats accepted.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:57 AM | Permalink

U.S. Supreme Court To Aereo: Drop Dead

"The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that Internet TV streaming service Aereo is violating copyright law - a move that experts say could affect other Internet services," AP reports.


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Previously:
* TV-Over-Internet Coming To Chicago. (No. 4)

* Aereo Stuck At The Gate?

* Item: Window To A World.

* The Supreme Court Doesn't Understand How TV Works.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:59 AM | Permalink

So You're Saying The U.S. Has A Chance?

The USMNT finish Group G against European powerhouse Germany. What lineup do Jesse Marsch and Matt Doyle expect? How will Jurgen Klinsmann change his tactics? And who do the experts pick to advance?


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See also:

"Can two defensively suspect teams settle on a needed draw?" the Washington Post wonders.

"If Team USA and Germany simply equal each other's goal tallies, both sides will go through to the knockout rounds. In most cases, it would be expected that the two sides should line up in highly defensive formations and show little adventure, committing only the minimum number of men to any attack. If both sides play defensively, the draw will come regardless of any conspiracy.

"The problem is, neither side is built to play the sort of boring, unadventurous soccer such a fixture requires."

*

Get ready for a nail-biter, says Time.

*

Mashable's ultimate preview.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:37 AM | Permalink

Supreme Court Sets Powerful Limits For Cell Searches, Fails to Protect Internet Streaming

In a groundbreaking decision on cell phone privacy, the court set powerful limits for police searches of cell phones, ruling in two consolidated cases that law enforcement must get a warrant before accessing the data on an arrested person's cell phone. The Electronic Frontier Foundation filed amicus briefs in both of the cell phone search cases that were at issue in Wednesday's decision.

"These decisions are huge for digital privacy," EFF staff attorney Hanni Fakhoury said. "The court recognized that the astounding amount of sensitive data stored on modern cell phones requires heightened privacy protection, and cannot be searched at a police officer's whim. This should have implications for other forms of government electronic searches and surveillance, tightening the rules for police behavior and preserving our privacy rights in our increasingly digital world."

In its opinion, the court confirmed the importance of the warrant requirement, writing "Our answer to the question of what police must do before searching a cell phone seized incident to an arrest is accordingly simple - get a warrant."

EFF also filed an amicus brief in American Broadcasting Companies v. Aereo, a case where TV-streaming company Aereo was innovating when and how consumers watch television programs. The court decided, incorrectly we believe, that Aereo needed copyright holders' permission to stream free over-the-air broadcast TV shows, creating new uncertainty for cloud storage systems and other new technologies that transmit content.

"With this ruling, the Supreme Court said that technology companies can't rely on the words of the Copyright Act - companies can follow the letter of the law but still get shut down if a court decides that their business is somehow similar to a cable company," said EFF staff attorney Mitch Stoltz. "This decision will make it harder for new independent media technologies to get launched and funded without the blessing of major media companies, and that's a loss for all of us."

EFF will have in-depth analysis of both these cases on its Deeplinks blog coming soon.

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See also: U.S. Supreme Court To Aereo: Drop Dead.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:20 AM | Permalink

June 25, 2014

The [Wednesday] Papers

Yeah, instead of celebrating the George Lucas museum "win," it would be interesting if the media didn't act like part of the team and took a view that wasn't from the vantage point of the downtown elite, perhaps something like this: "Rahm Plans To Violate Lakefront Ordinance."

After all . . .

*

Once again, we will now be treated to a stage play called "Laws Are For The Little People."

*

Then again, that's how Rahm got into office in the first place.

*

I felt a disturbance in the Force last night. It was as if the entire city had been told these weren't the droids we were looking for.

Quid Pro Yoda
Beachwood Exclusive! How Chicago Landed The Lucas Museum.

Asked And Answered
Dear Tribune: No, but I could build a better newspaper.

Mental Health Break
Excuse me, I have a phone call to make.

Stripped Down
"Owners of a south suburban strip club sued Tuesday to reopen their business, saying the city of Harvey overstepped its authority in shuttering their club," the Tribune reports.

"Harvey Mayor Eric Kellogg told the Tribune earlier this month that he originally didn't know the business, which advertised itself as 'Chicago's newest gentlemen's club,' was a strip joint.

"Kellogg voted in favor of granting Club Assets a liquor license but reversed course and shut the business down this month shortly after a story on WGN-TV showed scantily clad women dancing inside."

See, Kellogg thought it was a club full of gentlemen. He would go there himself sometimes and wonder, "Why are all these women hitting on me?"

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Chicago Well-Represented
Best Reporting On Children With Post-Traumatic Stress.

Ugh, An Axelrod Autobiography
Plus: My Chicago Apartment & Spider-Man's Local Lawyer. In Local Book Notes.

Wayne Newton Was Here
Plus: World Cup Watching & A New Blues-Jazz Channel. In Local TV Notes.

Fantasy Fix: Running Men
The best value in a stolen base specialist is not who you think.

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BeachBook
* Corpse Flower Begins Blooming At MSU.

And a Chicagoan is there!

* Blackhawk Statue Needs Restoration.

* Field Museum To Return Aboriginal Tasmanians' Skulls To Descendants.

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TweetWood

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The Beachwood Tip Line: Universal.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:36 AM | Permalink

June 24, 2014

Exclusive! How Chicago Landed The Lucas Museum

"Star Wars creator George Lucas has selected Chicago over Los Angeles and San Francisco as the future home of his collection of art and movie memorabilia," the Tribune reports.

Using the Force, the Beachwood has obtained the exclusive inside story behind this development. To wit:

1. It was a quid pro yoda.

2. City Hall promised unlimited access to Sneed.

3. Diverted Blair Kamin's attention by putting up Trump sign.

4. Granted permission to use Soldier Field as the new Millennium Falcon in next movie.

5. Rahm appeared as a hologram in Lucas's bedroom one night saying he was his only hope.

6. Told Lucas that LA and San Francisco weren't the droids he was looking for.

7. It turns out that Lucas is Rahm's father.

8. Revenge of the TIF.

9. Who can resist Rahm's charm?

10. Ari Emanuel absolutely had nothing to do with it. Also, these aren't the droids you're looking for.

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Comments welcome.

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1. From Marty Gangler:

LA and San Francisco underestimated the power of the Dark Side.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 10:08 PM | Permalink

Fantasy Fix: Running Men

This year was supposed to be the Year of the Speedster, otherwise known as Reds rookie outfielder Billy Hamilton, whose minor league stolen base numbers were so alarming that some fantasy experts had him ranked inside the overall top 50 players.

So, how is Hamilton faring?

Well, he's not looking quite like Ricky Henderson or Lou Brock or even Vince Coleman. He doesn't even lead the majors in SBs, an honor that goes to one of this season's surprise fantasy performers - Dodgers middle infielder Dee Gordon, who has swiped 30 bases.

However, Hamilton's 31 SBs are good for second place, and his .276 average through the season's first 70 games is adequate enough to keep him in fantasy lineups. And because SBs carry some extra weight in fantasy rankings, he is pretty much making good on those overall top 50 predictions.

Still, a stolen base specialist like Hamilton or Gordon can be a tough call on draft day or even as a mid-season pickup. With one of these guys, you can win the SB category more often than not regardless of who else you have. However, you will also need a bench stacked with power and average - the top eight base stealers in MLB collectively have 21 HRs, or one fewer than White Sox slugger Jose Abreu.

If you're looking for multicategory value among the top SB men, the best of them may be neither Hamilton nor Gordon, but Astros second baseman Jose Altuve, who is third in MLB with 26 SBs, but also carries a red-hot .336 BA and an .821 OPS (the latter courtesy of 23 doubles). For that reason, I think I'd rather have Altuve than Hamilton or Gordon.

Expert Wire
* Bleacher Report features hot pickups for the week, including SB specialist James Jones of the Mariners.

* Sporting News has injury updates on some fantasy stars.

* KFFL.com sizes up the White Sox closer situation after another blown save. But, really, if you're banking on White Sox closer for fantasy value, you might as well give up now.

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Dan O'Shea is our man in fantasyland. He welcomes your comments.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:20 PM | Permalink

The Best Reporting On Children With Post-Traumatic Stress

When people think of post-traumatic stress disorder, they often focus on military veterans. But there's growing evidence that PTSD is also a serious problem for American civilians, especially those exposed to violence in their own neighborhoods. Researchers in Atlanta found that 1 out of 3 inner-city residents they interviewed had experienced symptoms consistent with PTSD at some point in their lives.

We've put together a collection of some of the best reporting on PTSD in children and teenagers exposed to community violence. The stories here take a nuanced look at the intersection of trauma, poverty and racism. Not all stories about PTSD in high-violence neighborhoods meet that standard. This May, a local CBS affiliate released a segment on trauma in Oakland youth that referred to PTSD as "hood disease." The anchor who used that term on air later apologized.

Among our recommendations here are magazine stories, radio segments, a book based on a doctor's interviews with shooting victims, and a documentary film. You can also see our selection of the best reporting on PTSD and the U.S. military.

Brain Development Altered By Violence, Washington Post, May 1999.

After the Columbine shootings, this article looked broadly at post-traumatic stress among American children. "The Columbine students are the lucky ones," the story concluded. "Most child witnesses to violence in America live in inner cities, where shootings occur repeatedly, and where parents often are as traumatized by them as children. And counselors rarely come calling on them in the aftermath of horrors, as they have in Littleton."

Children Who Survive Urban Warfare Suffer From PTSD, Too, San Francisco Chronicle, August 2007.

Eleven-year-old Tierra's brother was murdered two weeks before she began sixth grade. She wrote her brother's name on the cover of her notebooks. Her grades dropped. She started getting into fights. And she wasn't the only one: At her San Francisco middle school, a third of students said they had seen or knew someone killed with a gun. A look at how post-traumatic stress affects children's school performance - and at the difficulties of getting treatment.

The Poverty Clinic, The New Yorker, March 2011 [subscription required].

Experiencing traumatic events at a young age doesn't simply affect a child's emotional health. There's increasing evidence that childhood trauma is linked to serious medical problems in adulthood. A look at how a clinic in San Francisco's Bayview neighborhood is trying to treat toxic stress in children and transform how we think about pediatric care.

Doctor Works To Get Young Men Out Of 'Wrong Place', NPR, February 2010.

In the early 1990s, as violence in America reached unprecedented heights, Dr. John Rich watched as young black men returned repeatedly to Boston City Hospital's emergency room with life-threatening wounds. Many doctors and nurses assumed that the young men were doing something to get themselves shot. Trying to understand how to prevent more violence, Rich began interviewing the young men after they had left the hospital. He found that many of the patients were suffering from post-traumatic stress - and that the reasons they had been shot were not what he had expected. NPR interviews Rich, who was awarded a 2006 MacArthur genius grant, and provides an excerpt from his book, Wrong Place, Wrong Time: Violence in the Lives of Young Black Men.

Welcome To The City Of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Philadelphia Magazine, August 2012.

Between Jan. 1, 2001 and May 29, 2012, a total of 18,042 people were shot in Philadelphia - and 3,852 were murdered. That's more than the number of Americans killed in the war in Afghanistan. Steve Volk looks at the burden of violence on a single city, tracing personal stories, along with the emerging research from Philadelphia's trauma experts.

In Country, In City, This American Life, January 2013.

Reporter Alex Kotlowitz interviews two men with post-traumatic stress: an Afghanistan war veteran and a young man who was shot in one of Philadelphia's most dangerous neighborhoods.

Children Of Violence, Los Angeles Times, September 1989.

What happens to children who have to step over dead bodies on their way to school? Four years before gun violence in America reached its peak, the Los Angeles Times did an in-depth story about the impact of shootings on children in South-Central Los Angeles. The story looks at early interventions, including what may have been the nation's first "grief and loss" program for elementary children.

Harper High School, Parts One and Two, This American Life, February 2013.

At Chicago's Harper High School, 29 current students and recent alumni were shot over the course of a single year. Starting in late summer 2012, reporters from This American Life spent five months at Harper. They document how teachers, students and parents dealt with the constant threat of violence, how they tried to heal from past tragedies - and how they worked to prevent more shootings. PTSD is not a central focus of the story, but it's very much in the background.

The Interrupters, Kartemquin Films, 2011.

In Chicago's most dangerous neighborhoods, "violence interrupters" try to understand the unfolding conflicts between local teenagers and prevent them from escalating into killings. The role of trauma is one of the themes of the film. The full documentary is worth watching. You can also start with the trailer, or read an Essence Magazine profile of Ameena Matthews, one of the violence interrupters featured.

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For resources on understanding the symptoms of PTSD and finding treatment you can consult the National Center for PTSD's guide to helping children and teenagers, and their guide to PTSD caused by community violence.

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Related coverage: The PTSD Crisis That's Being Ignored: Americans Wounded In Their Own Neighborhoods, Chart: Trauma Hospitals Fail To Screen fFr Civilian PTSD, and Myth Vs. Fact: Violence And Mental Health.

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Comments welcome.


Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 3:31 PM | Permalink

The [Tuesday] Papers

In truth, this column may not get back to is regular rhythm until July. Life has interfered in several ways, all at once. Doing the best I can.

The Wild Hare Prevails
Plus: By The Way, Which One Is Earth? And: The Orwells, Straight Outta Elmhurst. In Local Music Notebook.

BeachBook
* Chelsea Clinton: 'I Tried To Care About Money But Couldn't.'

She just moved into a $10 million apartment.

* Obamacare Leaves Nursing Homes Waiting On Millions Of Dollars.

Maybe be like Chelsea and stop caring about money.

* Maureen Dowd Is Just The Worst.

* Illinois State Police Buy Secret Stingrays.

* Liberal Donor Group Shared Photos Of Feared Reporters At Chicago Gathering.

Maybe be more concerned about secret stingrays instead.

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TweetWood

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The Beachwood Tip Line: No more secrets, Marty.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:07 PM | Permalink

Local Book Notes: Ugh, An Axelrod Autobiography

"BELIEVER: My Forty Years in Politics, by David Axelrod, will be published on February 10," Playbook reports.

Ugh.

From the release:

"Whether as a child hearing John F. Kennedy stump in New York or as a strategist guiding the first African-American to the White House, Axelrod shows in Believer how his own life stands at the center of the tumultuous American century."

So it's all about him!

"Believer begins in the inimitable world of 1960s New York, but rapidly moves west.

"As a young newspaperman in the Chicago of the 1970s and 1980s, Axelrod reported on the dissolution of the last of the big city political machines, along with the emergence of a black, independent movement that made Obama's ascent possible. Seeing the golden age of Chicago journalism collapse, Axelrod switched careers to become a political strategist, working for path-breakers like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, and morally-conflicted characters like John Edwards. For better and worse, Axelrod helped to redefine the techniques by which modern political campaigns are run."

Umm, okay.

"The heart of Believer is devoted to Axelrod's twenty-year friendship with Obama."

Of course it is.

"Axelrod offers a deeper and richer profile of this extraordinary figure - who in just six years vaulted from the Illinois State Senate to the Oval Office."

And we all see now what a terrible idea that was.

"In . . . sharing his life and work over the decades, Axelrod ultimately traces the continuing evolution of the Democratic Party and the country."

Into cynical Wall Street patrons.

*

This is still the best thing ever written about David Axelrod.

Ex-Pat's PENmanship
"Ian Stansel, who moved to Cincinnati in 2012, is a finalist for the PEN American Center's top literary awards, the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize, for his short-story collection, Everybody's Irish. The award is $25,000 to the author of a debut work of fiction," the Cincinnati Enquirer reports.

"His book is nine short stories, eight set in Illinois (he's originally from the Chicago area)."

My Chicago Apartment
"My Apartment in Chicago, written by Chicago resident and teacher Jack Murphy is a fresh, innovative and eclectic self-published chapbook that stretches the limits of even the 'hybrid-genre,'" Jaclyn Bauer writes for Chicagoist.

"With his raw tone, colloquial verbiage and proclivity for provoking thought, Murphy encapsulates avant-garde literature in all of its aspects."

Spider-Man's Local Lawyer
"Lawyers for both sides in a case under consideration by the United States Supreme Court have cited a book by a professor at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago," a press release says.

"Professor Daryl Lim's book, Patent Misuse and Antitrust: Empirical, Doctrinal and Policy Perspectives, has been used in briefs about a dispute over royalties from a superhero toy."

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:20 AM | Permalink

Local TV Notes: Wayne Newton Was Here

"A surprise performance on the Chicago River by Wayne Newton was part of an advertising campaign for Las Vegas that kicked off in Chicago on Friday," Steven Dahlman reports at his Marina City Online.

"Backed by eight showgirls and seven show guys, Newton sang his signature tune 'Danke Schoen' on board the tour boat Bright Star, owned by Shoreline Sightseeing."

You'll want to click through to see the photo.

*

"Wayne Newton visited WGN-TV in the morning and performed 'Danke Schoen' on a boat on the Chicago River," the Tribune reports.

"Later, Newton and a group of backup singers performed at the marquee outside Wrigley Field, and Newton threw out the first pitch at the Cubs game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

"The Vegas carolers also performed at Union Station, Pioneer Court and Buckingham Fountain to promote tourism to the casino capitol."

Okay. But Dahlman reports that "Friday's stunt was organized by WGN-TV, which is owned by Tribune Company, and broadcast live its morning news program." (Emphasis mine.)

Please, tell me more! Seems problematic.

*

"The morning crowds were also privy to Newton appearing live on WBBM, followed by multiple appearances on WGN," a Las Vegas press release states.

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See also:
* Ace Wayne Newton Takes Mound At Wrigley Field.

So the whole package.

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World Cup Watching
"The World Cup has taken its place among the very largest sporting events for American television audiences," the Wall Street Journal reports - alongside a photo of Chicago fans watching in Grant Park.

"Sunday night's face-off between the U.S. and Portugal drew 18.2 million people on ESPN, the network said, more than the total audience for all but one of the World Series games on Fox last year and more watched than any of the NBA Finals games on ABC this year, according to Nielsen."

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"When we get back to the hotel and we hear about Grant Park in Chicago having 10,000 fans out to watch the game and friends and family are sending pictures and videos of what's going on, it can't help but push you on because we want to make every person watching back home proud of us and proud to watch our team," midfielder Michael Bradley told AP.

Pretty sure it was 20,000; Bradley's terrible Cup continues.

Jazz & Blues Channel
"From Miles Davis's trumpet to Buddy Guy's guitar, the signature sounds of jazz and blues are now coming to Chicago cable viewers through CAN TV," the station has announced.

"A new partnership between CAN TV, Chicago's public access television network, and WDCB Public Radio (90.9fm) launched on Thursday, June 12th, at noon with a live co-production from downtown Chicago at PianoForte. Blues pianist Barrelhouse Chuck showcased his blues an boogie-woogie piano style. The event could be heard live on CAN TV42 and WDCB, and seen live on CAN TV27.

"The kick-off continued during Chicago Blues Fest weekend and beyond with CAN TV42 featuring WDCB programming 24 hours a day as part of its interactive bulletin board service. Local viewers call this service for on-demand access to job openings, digital literacy classes, health screenings, volunteer opportunities, and cultural events from hundreds of local nonprofit organizations.

"'This partnership combines the timeless qualities of jazz with timely information from nonprofits throughout the city,' said CAN TV executive director Barbara Popovic. 'We are excited to expand the audience for public media on multiple platforms.'

"'Jazz and blues music is a big part of Chicago's history and identity," says WDCB station manager Dan Bindert. 'And the audience is very diverse, so we're thrilled to be teaming up with CAN TV, which reaches such a wide cross-section of Chicago residents.'"

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 7:28 AM | Permalink

Local Music Notebook: The Wild Hare Prevails

"Chicago's famed Wild Hare reggae club finally has the OK to host live music at its new Lincoln Park location," reports.

"The club was originally denied its license at a hearing brought by petitioners from the neighborhood.

"In August, a Cook County judge ruled that the club, which had operated in Wrigleyville for 25 years, had been wrongly denied its license.

"The City of Chicago quickly appealed that ruling and the case had been stuck in court until Friday's granting of the license."

Which is great, but commenter Scott is right when he says the story contains "no explanation for the crux at the end. What happened? Did the courts reject the City's appeal or did the City drop it?"

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Previously:
* One Love, Wild Hare.

* The Wild Hare vs. Wrightwood.

Boat Accident Kills Local Guitarist
"Bob Bielarz, a guitarist for the Chicago-based nu-metal band No One and who also played with cover bands in the Southland, was among the three boaters who died after their boat collided with a barge late Friday on the Calumet Saganashkee Channel," the SouthtownStar reports.

"The body of Bielarz, 39, of Orland Park, was recovered at 10 a.m. Monday about 11/2 miles west of the Worth boat launch, Illinois Department of Natural Resources spokesman Chris Young said.

"The bodies of his wife Viengsavanh Bielarz, 40, and their friend, Jeremy Muzika, 33, were recovered from the water Saturday afternoon, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's office and the U.S. Coast Guard. Neither was wearing a life jacket, according to the Coast Guard. They died of drowning and multiple injuries after the boat collided with a 66-foot barge, an autopsy found Sunday."

This Week In Duh
"When Catching Hottest Bands, Beware Of Masses Doing The Same."

By The Way, Which One's Earth?
"Verdine White thought he had it all planned," the Ottawa Citizen reports.

"He was all of 18, and saw a future in music ahead. 'I was going to make $50,000 a year in Chicago, find a little house, play in the classical world and maybe moonlight on weekends playing in cover bands,' White recalls.

"'But my plans got changed,' the bassist says.

"On June 6, 1970, White accepted his older brother's invitation to move to Los Angeles and play in his band. That older brother was Maurice White and that band was Earth, Wind & Fire, which was just getting started."

Straight Outta Elmhurst
"Just a few years ago, Mario Cuomo, 20, was a teen fresh out of York High School who couldn't get a job at Buffalo Wild Wings," My Suburban Life reports.

"'It just kind of like played into my favor that I just had to work harder at this,' said The Orwells frontman, Cuomo, following the rock band's second appearance on Late Show with David Letterman in less than six months.

"The five York graduates, including Matt O'Keefe, cousins Dominic Corso and Cuomo, and the Brinner twins, Grant and Henry, performed at Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Tennessee last weekend and released a new album June 3 in the U.S. called Disgraceland, which aside from nodding at the King of Rock-n-Roll is also a commentary on the band's suburban roots.

"'That's where all the songs were made,' said Cuomo, who just moved to Chicago after the band's return from Bonnaroo."

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:55 AM | Permalink

June 23, 2014

The [Monday] Papers

"Chicago's Navy Pier - touted as the biggest tourist attraction in Illinois - has long been a patronage haven where political insiders turned for jobs and lucrative deals to sell everything from expensive meals to gumballs," Tim Novak reports for the Sun-Times.

"Who was cashing in used to be a matter of public record. It no longer is, since the state of Illinois and City Hall turned over operation of the government-owned pier to a private, not-for-profit group three years ago for $1-a-year rent.

"Navy Pier Inc. doesn't have to explain how it's spending $115 million in government bonds that were sold to pay for a face-lift for the 98-year-old pier, either."

This, of course, is one of the chief problems with privatization - be it the lottery or charter schools: Public money without public accountability.

The irony in this case is that James Reilly, the major domo in charge of the public agency overseeing Navy Pier, asserts that the move was made to rid the Pier of patronage.

"[D]espite Reilly's assertion, former Mayor Richard M. Daley's handprints are all over Navy Pier Inc. Five months before Daley left office in May 2011, his former chief of staff John Schmidt incorporated Navy Pier Inc. The deal for NPI to take over control and governance of the pier was signed a month before Daley departed City Hall, taking effect in July 2011. Also, NPI's board includes Daley's daughter, his former campaign manager, two of his former chiefs of staff, his one-time top City Hall lawyer and civic leaders who were longtime Daley supporters."

And John Schmidt wanted to be attorney general.

*

"Navy Pier Inc. won't say who its employees are or what they're paid, though many previously worked for McPier.

"Documents NPI filed with the Internal Revenue Service show the not-or-profit has four employees making higher pay than Gov. Pat Quinn, who appoints half the members of the McPier board.

"Top employees have gotten big raises - in addition to bonuses as high as $37,500 - since Navy Pier Inc. took over, the records show. Among them is the son of Daley's longtime political adviser Tim Degnan."

As I discuss with J.J. Tindall on The Beachwood Radio Hour #11: Soul Of A New Chicago Machine, the patronage is all pinstripe these days. Put Shakman on that!

Even our corruption is inequitable now.

*

"Says William Brodsky, the Chicago Board Options Exchange executive board chairman who also chairs Navy Pier Inc.: 'My goal is to make sure these people are compensated fairly. I have no qualms about the way we're compensating people.'"

So that's where our tax break is going to - making sure rich people are compensated fairly.

Because, first, let's be "fair" to them. If there's not enough left to be fair to everyone else, so be it.

*

"Beside a roster of pier employees and salaries, Brodsky also declined to make public contracts that Navy Pier Inc. has signed with restaurants and other vendors - all public information before his group took over in July 2011.

"I don't know if we want to create the precedent in giving these things out," Brodsky says. "I want to operate this as a business."

But you're not a business! Plus, the business you are running is subsidized by taxpayers! Both Ways Brodsky!

*

"We are not a public entity in the true sense. We're more like the Museum of Science and Industry or the Lincoln Park Zoo."

Except you're not. Ish.

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Go read the rest of it, if you've got the stomach for it.

*

Related:

"State and local governments across America are handing over control of critical public services and assets to corporations that promise to handle them better, faster and cheaper, but too often outsourcing not only fails to keep this promise, it undermines transparency, accountability, shared prosperity and competition - the underpinnings of democracy itself."

That from a state representative in Arkansas.

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Egypt's Shame
From the Committee to Protect Journalists.

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SportsMonday: The Future Is Surprisingly Now
The initial plan for US Soccer went out the window 30 seconds into this tournament.

The White Sox Report: Not Soup Yet
Unwatched pot not boiling anyway.

*

The Cub Factor will appear on Tuesday.

The Weekend In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Foxy Shazam, Thy Antichrist, Guided by Voices, Bobby Bare Jr., Jonathan Richman, Strand of Oaks, Cheap Trick with Tom Morello and Scott Lucas, the Swans, FM Supreme, Bloodkin, Blood On The Dance Floor, Tedeschi Trucks, Tigers Jaw, F/i, Honky Tonk Parade, Jennifer Hudson, Bad Sports, Mila J, eighth blackbird, Michael Ward-Bergeman, and Ryan Joseph Anderson.

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BeachBook
* Tom Morello: How The Cubs Can Win The World Series.

* Did This Oak Lawn Restaurant Really Say 'Shut Up Fat Girl?'

* Phoenix Museum Moves Bolo Tie Collection; Includes Gift From Chicago Collector.

* The Mystery Of Stoppage Time.

* Chicago Tastee Freez.

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TweetWood

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The Beachwood Tip Line: Tastee.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:17 PM | Permalink

SportsMonday: The Future Is Surprisingly Now

The US Soccer mindset coming into this World Cup was to play for the future. At this point it couldn't be clearer that they need to play for right now.

After defeating Ghana and tying Portugal 2-2 yesterday, the US needs a win or a draw versus Germany to automatically go through to the elimination round. Or they could lose and still go through as long as Portugal or Ghana don't beat the other AND make up an overall goal-differential deficit to the US on Thursday.

Portugal (five goals back due mostly to its 4-0 loss to Brazil) can't do it unless they win big (or huge) and the US loses big (or huge). Ghana (-2) would tie the goal differential standings if it wins 1-0 and the US loses 1-0. But if that happened, the US would still win. The second tiebreaker is total goals scored and at this point the US has four and Ghana has three. So the two 1-0 results would mean a tie in that tiebreaker. The third tiebreaker is head-to-head goal-differential and the US wins that one.

The aforementioned initial plan to focus on getting young players playing time in big games to benefit them in the future was in place long before the tournament started. More than six months back, national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann gave an interview to a reporter for the New York Times magazine in which he said the US would not win the World Cup in Brazil this year.

Some have slammed the coach for his defeatism while others have praised his truth-telling. I lean toward the latter. Some people love to reference the US hockey team's upset of the Soviet Union in the Lake Placid Winter Olympics in 1980 on its way to a gold medal, the story that was depicted in the movie Miracle. They have pointed out that legendary coach Herb Brooks sure as heck never disparaged his team's chances.

To those people I would say . . . that was 34 years ago already! If we can't come up with a more recent example of a cliched, never-say-die sports story with a happy ending, folks should just go ahead and concede the other side of the debate.

Who knows what Klinsmann was thinking when he made the statement. It was such a weird situation in that he gave the interview way back when and then the story wasn't published until the weeks leading up to the Cup. He apparently had not repeated the sentiments he mentioned to the magazine reporter in the many, many press conferences he had had since. But he did assemble a World Cup roster that was heavy on young, unproven talent.

So it is hard to believe that Klinsmann had some master plan (it was more likely he made a flip remark in a situation where it was understandable that he had his guard down). If he did and his intent was to take the pressure off his charges by declaring that they didn't have a chance in the hopes that they would play free and easy soccer, well, that went out the window in all of 30 seconds.

That was the amount of time it took for the US's Clint Dempsey to score that beautiful early goal against Ghana and in doing so declare that the US was playing for keeps. The team did not react terribly well to that score, allowing Ghana to dominate possession for about 75 minutes afterward. Ghana finally tied the game after having the far better of the play during that time. But then the US turned it back around and in the end worked a little magic with Graham Zusi's perfect corner kick and John Brooks' winning goal.

After that game, not enough was made of the fact that shortly after his score, Dempsey was on the wrong end of an aggravatingly awkward play by a Ghanian defender that resulted in him getting kicked in the nose and having it broken. I guarantee that the vast majority of soccer players would have bowed out at that point, but Dempsey knew the US was in dire straits after Jozy Altidore was forced to the sideline by a torn hamstring. If the team had been forced to use not one but two of its three substitutions (all that are allowed per game) before the first half of the first half was over, it would have had a major, major problem.

So he soldiered on and finished the game. One of the reasons the national team has had considerable success with Dempsey in a leading role is that his teammates sense that he is willing to do anything in his power to make a big play or do whatever it takes to give his team a better chance. After all, the US is competitive in international competition after international competition (with the 2006 World Cup the one glaring example of that not being the case) despite virtually always competing with fewer players who play professionally in one of the great leagues in the world. Those would be the European leagues (for example the Spanish, Italian and British) that feed into the annual Champions Cup tournament.

Dempsey playing through a broken nose in one game and his coming back to star after that injury in another added two more awesome chapters to his rapidly growing case for being perhaps the greatest American soccer player ever.

Dempsey is the big reason to play for right now. This is almost certainly his last go-round at the World Cup. He is 31 and has a successful Premier League career behind him, featuring six great years at Fulham and one final strong season scoring big goals for Tottenham Hotspur. Last year he came back home to the Seattle Sounders. His career actually stands in sharp contrast to that of the goat of these games so far for the US: Michael Bradley is counted on to be a leader in the midfield but he played poorly against Ghana and it was his turnover that sent Portugal on their way to the crushing tying goal in the last minute on Sunday.

Bradley had seemingly established himself in Europe after signing a contract with Roma in Italy in 2012. But things didn't go perfectly and the 26-year-old Bradley apparently felt as though his best move was to sign with Major League Soccer's Toronto franchise at the start of this year. The problem was that in so doing, Bradley was essentially demoting himself to the minors just when his career in Europe should have been heating up.

Anyway, perhaps his poor play will motivate Bradley to try harder to get back to the major leagues of soccer rather than just accepting the decent money with Toronto. More importantly, perhaps his poor play will drive him to better things Thursday versus Germany. Game time is 11 a.m.

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Jim "Coach" Coffman is our man on Mondays. He welcomes your comments.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 11:29 AM | Permalink

The Weekend In Chicago Rock

You shoulda been there.

1. Foxy Shazam at Lincoln Hall on Saturday night.

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2. Thy Antichrist at the Cobra Lounge on Saturday night.

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3. Guided by Voices at Green Music Fest on Saturday night.

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4. Bobby Bare Jr. at the Green Music Fest on Saturday night.

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5. Jonathan Richman at SPACE in Evanston on Friday night.

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6. Strand of Oaks at the Hideout on Saturday night.

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7. Cheap Trick with Scott Lucas and Tom Morello at Hot Stove, Cool Music at the Metro on Friday night.

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8. The Swans at Lincoln Hall on Sunday night.

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9. FM Supreme at the Double Door on Thursday night.

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10. Bloodkin at Martyrs' on Thursday night.

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11. Blood On The Dance Floor at Mojoes in Joliet on Friday night.

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12. Tedeschi Trucks at Northerly Island on Friday night.

JamBase: Photos and review.

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13. Tigers Jaw at Subterranean on Friday night.

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14. F/i at Borelli's for the PRF BBQ on Saturday night.

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15. Honky Tonk Parade at the Hideout's "A Day in the Country" on Sunday.

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16. Jennifer Hudson at Chicago Pride Fest on Saturday night.

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17. Bad Sports at the Empty Bottle on Saturday night.

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18. Mila J at the Shrine on Friday night.

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19. eighth blackbird and Michael Ward-Bergeman at Millennium Park on Thursday night.

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20. Ryan Joseph Anderson at SPACE in Evanston on Thursday night.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 10:24 AM | Permalink

Not Soup Yet

My friend Patrick dropped by Friday evening, enticed more by the chops sizzling on the barbecue than the prospect of watching the Sox drop the second of four straight losses to the Twins over the weekend.

Settling in front of the tube, he asked me whether I watch the whole game. "Well, yeah," I uttered. "Of course I do," thinking, "Don't most people?"

My pal is also a Sox fan, but the color of his team is red, not white. So I couldn't fault him for being more enthused about the meat on his plate rather than the chances of Hector Noesi holding the Twins in check. But still.

Patrick was long gone when the Sox tied the game with two runs in the top of the ninth only to see former South Sider Eduardo Escobar slide across the plate in the bottom of the inning as a potential win evaporated, giving the Twins the 5-4 edge. In the four games, Minnesota outscored our guys by a measly five runs.

Pouring over the Sun-Times on Saturday morning, I couldn't help but wonder whether my friend's question the night before was the one most people would ask. Who is watching?

An estimated 20,000 fans jammed Grant Park on Sunday to watch the World Cup match between Portugal and the USA on a screen, another event I watched in its entirety. So I had lots of company for that one.

But the lead story in Saturday's sports section was about the retirement of Bears' long snapper - I'd like to meet the guy who coined that term - Patrick Mannelly. Please understand that someone like Mannelly - even though he played just a few downs a game - deserves respect for risking life and limb for 16 years in the NFL. But featured coverage in the middle of June?

In a fantasy world, let's suppose that Sox utility man Leury Garcia inexplicably played 16 seasons on the South Side before announcing his retirement in the middle of the football season. You think that would be the lead sports story?

While the White Sox aren't exactly the soup du jour in Chicago these days, perusing Friday night's box scores suggested that people elsewhere recognize that we're in the midst of an entertaining baseball season.

At Yankee Stadium, 46,197 saw New York top Baltimore. Attendance in Cleveland (33,545), Kansas City (38,475), Cincinnati (33,103), Colorado (41,238), St. Louis (44,061), Washington (36,608), and Arizona (29,295) indicate that heading to the ballyard on a Friday night in June remains an attractive proposition. The Sox and Twins played before 32,071 in Minneapolis, though the Sox are averaging 20,354 at home this season, third worst in the majors behind Cleveland and Tampa Bay.

While the emergence of Jose Abreu and leadoff man Adam Eaton has given Sox fans optimism for the future while providing a fine dose of immediate entertainment, a big problem for this club is its lack of ability to put together a streak. (Check that. I refer to a winning streak. We know that they're very capable of losing a bunch in a row.)

Most of the season - which will pass the halfway point this week with games in Baltimore and Toronto - the Sox have been flirting with the .500 mark. Fans of other teams such as Kansas City can rationally think, "We're hanging in there. If we can just put together a winning streak, we might be able to catch the Tigers."

Of course, that's exactly what the Royals did recently when they won 10 in a row. When the streak began, the Royals were in fourth place, five games behind Detroit. When it ended, they were leading the division by a game-and-a-half. Now they've lost four straight while the Tigers have won four in a row to re-gain the lead.

Anyone watching the Sox - hello, out there - realizes that starting pitching dictates that they might win as many as four in a row, which they've done once this season, but a longer streak is just about impossible. Chris Sale obviously is capable of winning consistently, but one or more amongst John Danks, Noesi, Jose Quintana and Andre Rienzo would step in and lay an egg to derail any momentum the team might create.

It doesn't take a master's in math to understand - barring a slugfest - those five starters would each most likely have to pitch two solid games in a row for the Sox to win 10 straight, and that's not about to happen. In the Royals' recent streak, their team ERA was 2.90, which says it all.

The White Sox club of 1967, when they finished with an 89-73 mark, is interesting when considering streaks. The team was in first place as late as September 6th before finishing fourth, just three games behind the Red Sox. This from a group that hit only .225 with 89 home runs, averaging just 3.28 runs per game. (This year's numbers so far are .256/75/4.38.)

However, the '67 Sox ran off 10 straight wins in May and only once lost as many as five in a row. (The present club has lost four straight games five different times this season!)

With pitchers Tommy John, Joe Horlen and Gary Peters making approximately two-thirds of the team's starts, the Sox didn't have to hit much to be competitive. The team's ERA was a sparkling 2.45, and opponents hit an anemic .219.

What that team couldn't do was draw fans. Attendance across baseball was much less in those days, but I sat in Comiskey Park along with just 12,664 other fans the last Friday of that season when the Sox still were mathematically in the race. Attendance that night was right at the season's average for the Sox. Apparently fans weren't enthralled with a steady diet of 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 games.

What was disheartening about last weekend's sweep in the Twin Cities - it's been 20 years since the Sox lost four straight on the road to the Twins - is that they had just completed a homestand with two wins over the San Francisco Giants, who came to town with the best record in baseball

Danks pitched well in Tuesday's 8-2 breather, backed by homers from Gordon Beckham and Dayan Viciedo.

And the he bullpen held on just long enough in Wednesday's 7-6 win as Sale beat Giant ace Tim Hudson on a day when Sale struggled. Ronald Belisario, who's been better lately, stranded the tying run on first base in the ninth inning to record his seventh save on 10 opportunities.

Of course, Belisario didn't get a chance to save anything in the Twin Cities. Perhaps the most distressing bullpen performance occurred on Friday after an RBI single by pinch hitter Paul Konerko and a run-scoring double by Eaton tied the game at four in the top of the ninth. (The Sox have scored more ninth inning runs than any team in the league.)

After getting the first hitter in the bottom of the inning, Daniel Webb walked the eighth- and ninth-place batters in the Twins' lineup. When was the last time that happened?

Scott Downs was summoned to retire the leadoff hitter, Danny Santana, but Belisario couldn't get Brian Dozier, whose opposite-field single to left scored the game-winner.

I don't blame Belisario so much as Webb who put the runners there in the first place.

One bullpen pitcher who has performed admirably of late is former starter Scott Carroll. Since losing his spot in the rotation, Carroll has pitched in six games out of the bullpen since to a 1.83 ERA over 19-plus innings.

Meanwhile, Rienzo has been looking more like, well, Scott Carroll as a starter. Maybe it's time for those two to switch places. Manager Robin Ventura would have little to lose in doing so since Rienzo has lost his last five starts. C'mon, Robin, make a move.

Our fellows now sit at a season-low six games under .500 as they scratch, claw, and grind to find a way to put together a steak. We suspect that isn't likely for the reasons already discussed. Nevertheless, there are those of us who will keep watching. Most of the time it will be for the entire nine innings.

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Roger Wallenstein is our man on the Sox. He welcomes your comments.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 7:30 AM | Permalink

June 21, 2014

The Weekend Desk Report

"The Illinois Tollway is poised to award a hefty construction contract to a New York-based firm that admitted committing fraud in connection with minority hiring for a tunnel project in that city," the Tribune reports.

So they'll fit right in.

Past Performance, Future Behavior
A former head of the Illinois Board of Higher Education racked up $6,500 in extra car rental fees and walked away from his post with $32,000 beyond his contract and a 'misleading' news release on his departure, according to reports released Friday by the state's Executive Inspector General Ricardo Meza," the Sun-Times reports.

"George W. Reid was forced to resign from the board in 2012 for misusing his state-owned vehicle, among other things, but the board sent out a news release indicating he had stepped down for personal reasons . . .

"The board had hired Reid for $193,000 a year, knowing he'd had his contract voided from Kentucky State University after he used university money there to pay for personal items, including a trailer hitch for his boat and a cat scratching post."

I guess patronage really is over 'cause now we're importing bad guys based on their resumes.

Who's Zoning Who?
The chairman of the city's Zoning Board of Appeals thinks it's "within the realm of possibility" that the Cubs go on a 62-game winning streak.

Trump L'oeil
"Trump Says He's Coming To Chicago To See His Sign."

Can't he see it from there?

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No, but seriously, the sign is fine. And Chicago is ridiculous. More on that on this week's Beachwood Radio Hour.

The Beachwood Radio Hour: Soul Of A New Chicago Machine
Including: The FAA Lied, Carrot Top Was Here and Donald Trump Played Us.

The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour: Samardzija vs. Cutler
Including: What About The Bulls? This Week In The Sky, and U.S. Soccer Has Already Exceeded Expectations.

Beachwood Photo Booth: Citgo Story
And . . . action.

The Week In Chicago Rock
Featuring: King Khan and the Shrines, Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers, Low, Robby Krieger, Black Flag, Lydia Loveless, Red Mass, Angel Olsen, Robbie Fulks, The New Sex and Drugs, The Orwells, Queen with Adam Lambert, Tea Tsunami, The Script, Meshuggah, The Fall of Troy, Empires, Tegan and Sara, Logic, and Needtobreathe.

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The Week In Juvenile Justice
Including: Delinquent To Death, 300 Minutes In Kane County, School Restraint Shocker, Truancy Tragedy, Slender Man Q&A, The Florida Files, Reforming West Virginia and India, and Execution in Iran.

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The Weekend Desk Tip Line: L'oeil-ish.

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BeachBook
* The Tribune Turned Down George Will's Ridiculous Rape Column.

Good for them; I almost made this the lead item today.

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The Sound Opinions Weekend Listening Report: "Singer-songwriter Angel Olsen shares her dramatic tunes of heartbreak and humor. Later, Jim and Greg review the new album from singer Lana Del Rey."

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TweetWood

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Also a fierce obstacle as Obama's chief of staff; see, for just one example, "Democrats Point The Finger At [Rahm] For Immigration Reform's Poor Progress."

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Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:05 AM | Permalink

June 20, 2014

The Beachwood Radio Hour #11: Soul Of A New Chicago Machine

Plus: The FAA Lied. Donald Trump Is Taking Us For A Ride. And Carrot Top Was Here.


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SHOW NOTES

0:00: Strawberry Rock Show.

2:15: The FAA Lied.

7:39: The 41st Ward is Ald. Mary O'Connor's; Patrick O'Connor is in the 40th.

14:43: Carrot Top Was Here.

19:00: Queen with Adam Lambert on the West Side.

21:40: Soul Of A New Chicago Machine.

23:45: Noelle Brennan began monitoring city hiring in 2005.

29:00: Mesirow Madigan.

35:07: Donald Trump Is Coming To Chicago.

43:28: Jello Biafra Covering Wesley Willis.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 3:40 PM | Permalink

The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #5: Jeff Smartypants vs. Jay Butt-Head

In this edition: What About The Bulls? Our Hero: Jeff Samardiza. This Week In The Sky. U.S. Soccer Has Already Exceeded Expectations. And more!


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SHOW NOTES

00: Louuuuuu!

00:38: What About The Bulls?

02:01: The Swoony Sox.

03:19: Major Tom (Coming Home).

03:31: What Would Abraham Lincoln Say About The Cubs?

05:45: Earth below us.

05:54: Hero and Zero of the Week.
* David Haugh.

* Rick Telander.

06:43: Beautiful Delilah/The Earl.

06:50: World Cup.
* U.S. vs. Ghana.

* U.S. vs. Portugal.

* Jozy Altidore.

16:32: The Week in The Sky.
* Get Well, Elena Delle Donne.

* The Miracle That Is Jessica Breland.

18:29: Dudley Do-Right Theme Song.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 3:05 PM | Permalink

The [Friday] Papers

It's 5 p.m., so this is the column. I have to say, I think we're finally figuring out how to do the Radio Hour.

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The Beachwood Radio Hour: Soul Of A New Chicago Machine
Including: The FAA Lied, Carrot Top Was Here and Donald Trump Played Us.

The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour: Samardzija vs. Cutler
Including: What About The Bulls? This Week In The Sky, and U.S. Soccer Has Already Exceeded Expectations.

Beachwood Photo Booth: Citgo Story
And . . . action.

The Week In Chicago Rock
Featuring: King Khan and the Shrines, Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers, Low, Robby Krieger, Black Flag, Lydia Loveless, Red Mass, Angel Olsen, Robbie Fulks, The New Sex and Drugs, The Orwells, Queen with Adam Lambert, Tea Tsunami, The Script, Meshuggah, The Fall of Troy, Empires, Tegan and Sara, Logic, and Needtobreathe.

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The Week In Juvenile Justice
Including: Delinquent To Death, 300 Minutes In Kane County, School Restraint Shocker, Truancy Tragedy, Slender Man Q&A, The Florida Files, Reforming West Virginia and India, and Execution in Iran.

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BeachBook
* Getting The Gang Back Together: Thrash Was From Chicago.

* Chicago Photographer Making Good In Dallas.

* Photos Of Downtown Buildings With Signs On Them Besides Trump's.

* Chicago University To Offer League Of Legends Scholarships.

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TweetWood

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The Beachwood Tip Line: Zing.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:05 AM | Permalink

The Week In Chicago Rock

You shoulda been there.

1. King Khan and the Shrines at the Empty Bottle on Monday night.


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2. Nicki Bluhm & the Gramblers at City Winery last Saturday night.

See also: Photos, including their appearance at Taste of Randolph.

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3. Low from last Saturday night at the Subterranean.

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4. Robby Krieger at Reggies on Tuesday night.

See also: Krieger with Black Flag.

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5. Richard Thompson at Millennium Park on Monday night.

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6. Lydia Loveless at the A/V Club on Tuesday.

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7. Red Mass at the Empty Bottle on Monday night.

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8. Angel Olsen on Letterman on Monday night.

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9. Robbie Fulks at the Hideout on Monday night.

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10. The New Sex and Drugs at the Elbo Room on Sunday night.

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11. The Orwells at Reckless on Monday night.

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12. Queen with Adam Lambert at the big hockey arena on Thursday night.

* Legaspi: Queen, Adam Lambert Bring Back The Glam.

* Rolling Stone: 5 Things We Learned.

* Elbel: Queen, Adam Lambert Rock Tour Kick-Off.

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13. Tea Tsunami at the Elbo Room on Wednesday night.

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14. The Script at Ravinia on Wednesday night.

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15. Meshuggah at the Vic on Sunday night.

* Alarm: "Swedish metal quintet Meshuggah took over Chicago's Vic Theatre with Between the Buried and Me last Sunday, searing the stage with its intense, intricate drum patterns and churning, mathematical riffs paired with a truly insane light show. The performance was part of the band's current 25 Years of Deviance tour - a celebration of the groundbreaking technical work and rhythmic mayhem that has exploded from their instruments for the past quarter-century.

"The band played tracks from its entire discography, including songs that rarely have been heard live, while alternately blinding and colored lights throbbed in perfect sync with the rapid-fire beats."

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16. The Fall of Troy at Mojoes in Joliet on Sunday night.

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17. Empires on Letterman on Tuesday night.

* "It was a blur," singer Sean Van Vleet told the Trib's Luis Gomes. "The quickest two minutes and 50 seconds of my life. It was super fast."

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18. Tegan and Sara at the Vic on Wednesday night.

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19. Logic at the House of Blues on Wednesday night.

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20. Needtobreathe at the House of Blues on Sunday night.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:14 AM | Permalink

Beachwood Photo Booth: Citgo Story

And . . . action.

citgopedestriansorigbw2.jpg(ENLARGE FOR PROPER VIEWING)

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More Chicago photography from Helene Smith.

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Helene on Twitter!

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Meet Helene!

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Stationery, iPhone cases, hoodies.

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Listen to Helene talk about Photo Booth; starts at 57:54.

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Previously:
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Man Grilling
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Yum Yum Donuts
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Father's Day
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Vintage Airmaster
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Time
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Window Shade
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Illinois Slayer
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Fire Escape
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Golden Nugget
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Hollywood, Chicago
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Flag Man.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Van In Flames.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Fluid Power Automation.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Corn Dog.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Stop The Killing Car.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Backyard.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: A to Z Things.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Swedish Diner.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Rothschild Liquors.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Silos.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Wires.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Orange Garden.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Irving Park Guy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Pigeons.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: O'Lanagan's.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: For Rent.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Marie's Pizza & Liquors.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Mori Milk.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: American Breakfast.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: A Chicago Christmas Postcard.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Holiday Harold's.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Family Fun.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Snow Bike.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Nativity Scene.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Old Warsaw.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Deluxe Cleaners.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Marie's Golden Cue.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Die Another Day.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Sears Key Shop.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Window Dressing.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Jeri's Grill.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Barry's Drugs.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Liberty.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Kitchen.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Golden Specials.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: We Won The Cup.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bartender Man.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Blue Plane Blues.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Finest Quality.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Family Guy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Girls Wanted.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Skokie Savanna.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Signpost.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Old Man And The Tree.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Street Fleet.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 7:27 AM | Permalink

June 19, 2014

The [Thursday] Papers

"Federal officials released incorrect and incomplete information about how new O'Hare International Airport flight paths would affect residents during a legally required period of public comment, the Chicago Sun-Times has found," the paper reports.

"Nearly three-quarters of the figures in one key table - on the now-contentious issue of what percentage of traffic each runway will carry - were quietly changed online months after public hearings ended, the Sun-Times discovered."

Um, what?

"Some changes doubled, tripled and even quadrupled the percentage of flights the runways were predicted to direct over Bensenville, Wood Dale, the city's 41st Ward and Schiller Park by the time the $8 billion O'Hare Modernization Program is completed."

Holy freakin' cow. Well, that explains a lot.

Not addressed in the article: What did Rosemarie Andolino know and when did she know it?

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Back to this infuriating story:

"The Sun-Times found that the Federal Aviation Administration had the figures to calculate the actual number of flights each runway would carry but never produced those numbers at the legally required public hearings in 2005 on its draft environmental impact study of the project."

So are the current flight paths illegal? The entire O'Hare overhaul? Lawsuits to come?

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"The Sun-Times' discoveries help explain why some city and suburban residents now contend they were blindsided by the blitz of planes that greeted them after the Chicago Department of Aviation completed the first phase of its O'Hare overhaul and finally launched a dramatic change in flight paths last Oct. 17.

"The big switch shifted air traffic from mostly diagonal runways to mostly parallel ones that now bring far more jets over city and suburban areas directly east and west of O'Hare. Another parallel runway is due to open in 2015. A second runway, as well as a runway extension, is being planned for completion in 2020, but funding is uncertain.

"The findings emerge after the Sun-Times reported last week that the FAA did not hold any of its legally required public hearings in areas due for the worst jet noise."

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"FAA spokesman Tony Molinaro said the original runway percentage table was ultimately 'corrected' but he could not explain why it was changed or say for sure how it was referred to at February 2005 public hearings."

He could not say because he's just a spokesperson, not a policy- or decision-maker. Put his boss on the phone!

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"If the FAA had released the predicted number of flights before its required hearings, the meetings would have been mobbed, [Jac Charlier, a leader of the Fair Allocation in Runways coalition] said . . .

"Instead, even the FAA conceded hearing turnout was 'very light.' Held in two areas due for less jet noise and a third unaffected by FAA noise predictions, the hearings resulted in comments that were as much as four-to-one in favor of the city's proposal, according to FAA calculations."

So the hearings with fake data were held in locations getting the best end of the deal and residents who attended, probably bussed in by the FAA, were in favor!

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"Molinaro said a resident who had questions about [a fake noise counter] map could have asked experts standing near it."

You mean the residents from areas set to get less noise according to the fake data? What would they have asked the experts standing by - if this was fake data they were being presented?

Go read the whole thing.

Carrot Top Was Here!
Asking for his airplane charts back.

But no, seriously, he was here.

The Insider Trader's Daughter
Plus: A Chicago singer's perfect song, a new local pop scene, a Tribune photographer with a very good question, how a recording studio here saved the Guess Who, a new Chicago (the band) album, and more, in Local Music Notebook.

BeachBook
* Angry Outtakes From Mike Ditka's 1993 SNL Appearance.

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TweetWood

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The Beachwood Tip Line: On time, under budget.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 11:06 AM | Permalink

Carrot Top Was Here

And there. And there.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 10:37 AM | Permalink

Local Music Notebook: Insider Trader's Daughter

1. Hieroglyphic Being.

"Jamal Moss, better known by his stage name Hieroglyphic Being, grew up in the Pullman neighborhood of south Chicago, where each day was 'Russian roulette,' he said, and the murder rate was double what it is now," the Lafayette, Indiana Journal & Courier reports.

Moss left home after graduating high school at the age of 16. He was accepted into Northwestern University, but his foster parents couldn't afford tuition. So Moss trekked to the north side of town and "hustled," selling mixtapes on street corners and working as a bouncer in underground clubs. He slept on the beach. He kept himself clean.

"Nobody's going to help you if you stink," he said. "I wasn't one of those gutter punks."

The tapes he sold were the cheapest he could get hold of - cassettes from drug stores, VHS tapes from second-hand clothing shops. He didn't make beats at first, but instead experimented with soundscapes.

"It was more therapeutic than anything," Moss said.

Ambient background music this was not. As Moss learned to play with textures and melodies, those soundscapes morphed into a blend of experimental and acid-house music, beats that both pay tribute to and defy the 1980s Chicago house music of Frankie Knuckles.

After three years of living on the streets and beaches, Moss matriculated at Northwestern University. He graduated with a major in cultural anthropology and a minor in ethnographic film studies.

Now Moss, 40, is known as Hieroglyphic Being, one of the hottest DJs in the underground/IDM scene in Chicago. He's also the proprietor of Mathematics, an independent and cooperative record label supporting avant-garde electronic artists.

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A set from the Boiler Room a year ago.

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2. Judge: Lady Gaga Did Not Rip Off Chicago Songwriter.

No, she ripped off Madonna.

3. How A Chicago Recording Studio Saved The Guess Who.

4. The Island Of Misfit Toys.

5. The-Drum Are Building An Amazing Experimental Pop Scene In Chicago Whether They Want To Or Not.

6. Photo Gallery: Spring Awakening 2014 At Soldier Field.

7. Gospel Singer Kefee Is Dead.

"The singer, who was reportedly pregnant, fell into a coma while on a flight to Chicago, in the United States of America, where she was working, making videos amongst other things."

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The Life of Times of the Branama Queen.

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8. Insider Trader's Daughter.

"Family tragedy, a teenaged runaway, living in an abandoned cabin in the woods. It may read like the lyrics to a song, but it's singer-songwriter Courtney Yasmineh's reality.

"When I was 16 in Chicago, my dad was indicted for insider trading," Yasmineh said.

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Here's her band's SXSW video.

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9. A Brief Conversation About Chicago Rapper/Singer Tink's Perfect Song.

10. Trib Photographer: Why Is There Still A 3-Song Limit At Concerts?

11. Archive of the late Bob Abrahamian's WHPK soul show.

12. Now: Chicago XXXVI.

"Chicago frontman Robert Lamm says the band added the word 'Now' to their album's Roman-numeral title to emphasize that it's current music. The rocker explains that many people just assume that what Chicago does is all what you hear on classic rock radio, or that Chicago is some dinosaur-like presence on the tour circuit,' and they 'wanted to kind of change that perception.'"

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The album drops July 8th. Here's a preview.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 7:07 AM | Permalink

June 18, 2014

The [Wednesday] Papers

1. "In Chicago and in Dallas, the hottest job for the first part of the year was accountant/financial analyst, a job that has a 2.8 percent projected growth rate in the Windy City and 4.3 percent in Dallas for the next six months."

The City, too, may be hiring in this sector.

2. Could This Also Be A Way To Get Rid Of The Trump Sign?

3. Jim McMahon On His Dementia, Depression.

4. "Federal lawsuits against the makers of AndroGel and other testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) products will be consolidated in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, where the first cases were filed this year," DrugWatch reports.

Mike Ditka was not available for comment.

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Alternate: Sammy Sosa was not available for comment.

5. "St. Louis has some of the lowest hourly parking rates in the nation. For example, some areas of Chicago charge $6.50 per hour for metered parking, while other areas charge $4.00 per hour. St. Louis charges $1.00 per hour for metered parking in downtown. A ticket for an expired parking meter in Chicago is $65. A ticket for an expired parking meter in St. Louis is $10."

6. Pizza Hut Exec Betrays His Roots.

7. "It is sometimes forgotten that President Franklin D. Roosevelt once wanted to order marines to occupy the Chicago Tribune's tower."

8. "Enough with the calls," the Detroit Free Press reports.

"That's what one consumer is telling Kohl's in a federal lawsuit that claims the department store is stalking her and harassing her by phone over an overdue credit card bill, calling her at all hours of the night over what she calls a measly $20.

"They started harassing me over $20 and I was like, 'Screw it, oh well,' " said Lisa Ratliff, the 29-year-old plaintiff from Ypsilanti who got so fed up with the phone calls she sued over them. "It's really annoying if you're trying to get things done or you're trying to sleep or you're working or spending time with your family . . . I just want them to stop harassing me."

"Ratliff said she was going to pay the bill but got so irritated by the repeated calls that she decided against it. Instead, she's suing over Kohl's collection practices - tactics that she claims are prohibited under federal law.

"In a lawsuit filed Monday in U.S. District Court, Ratliff's lawyers claim that Kohl's violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, a 1991 law that makes it illegal to call a cell phone using an auto dialer or prerecorded voice without the recipient's consent. The lawsuit, filed by the Krohn & Moss Consumer Law Center in Chicago, is seeking damages under the act, which allows victims to sue for $500 per violating call - or up to $1,500 per call if they can prove the party knowingly violated the law."

I added the Krohn & Moss link.

9. Suburban Bars Offering Drink Specials For World Cup Watchers.

No matter how much you drink, though, you're still in the suburbs.

10. And finally, Today in Duh*.

* Concept by Natasha Julius.

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The Cub Factor: What Abe Lincoln Would Say
The Core Four and seven years from now . . .

Eddie At Bonnaroo
He cleanses his soul with youth.

God Bless The Golden Arches!
Hot Lead, Cold Iron and The Dance of Death.

Divas, Drunks And Who Dick Cavett Despises
Including why CNN needs Son of Svengoolie.

Catching Up With Blues Fest
Sole shaking precious moments.

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BeachBook
* Willis Tower Owners Cracking Up.

* Brandon Marshall, Everybody.

* Whatever Happened To Leslie Lemke?

* Occidental Declines To Make Bid For Obama Library.

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The Beachwood Tip Line: One of a million.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 10:08 AM | Permalink

Local TV Notes: Divas, Drunks & Who Dick Cavett Despises

1. Dick Cavett Despises People Who Don't Own TV Sets.

"Cavett, 77, will be honored Saturday night with 'A Salute to Dick Cavett' at the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago. The event kicks off a three-month exhibit featuring a video retrospective of Cavett's talk show career."

2. Who's A Diva, Who Was Drunk On Jay Leno's Tonight Show.

"Dennis Rodman was chronically late. And even though he did the show 28 times, he was always a headache for producers. When limousines no longer worked, the crew chartered a private helicopter to fly him from his home in Newport Beach, just an hour's drive from Burbank, to ensure his on-time arrival."

3. People Who Hate News Are In Charge Of The News.

"When CNN first signed on, it was greeted by a chorus of skeptics," Frasier Moore writes for AP.

"Not just doubt about Ted Turner's vow that his all-news network would be there long enough to cover the end of the world. A bigger question resonated: Was there really enough news to fill 24 hours of airtime, day after day?

"As CNN marks its 34th birthday this month, a harsh truth endures: No, there really isn't, at least not enough to get viewers to stick around awhile. The flow of news doesn't conform to the needs of TV programmers, and there are irksome stretches when nothing much is going on that can satisfy TV's visual demands and keep viewers glued to the screen."

*

Right. There's just not enough going on in the world to fill a news channel 24/7! At least nothing of interest to viewers!

The inability to program a 24-hour news channel is attributable only to a lack of imagination, lack of resources and, quite simply, a lack of any intelligence whatsoever. I bet I could program a dozen 24-hour news channels and draw ratings. Just imbicilic.

4. Happy 35th Anniversarsy, Son Of Svengoolie!

CNN should have you anchor a news segment.

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5. Chicago City Council To Comcast: End The Delays And Support CAN TV.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:09 AM | Permalink

Local Book Notes: God Bless The Golden Arches!

1. Hot Lead, Cold Iron.

"Mick Oberon is a PI in 1932 Chicago, much along the lines of Mike Hammer or Sam Spade. Well, except that he uses a wand instead of a gun whenever he has a choice; he can do magic and only illusion keeps people from seeing his pointy ears."

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See also: Ari Marmell.

2. Chicago Graphic Novelist Corinne Mucha Gets Over Her First Big Romance in Get Over It.

'I mean, I want to get married someday," Corinne Mucha's boyfriend told her, a few months after persuading her to give up her life on the East Coast and follow him to Chicago. "Just not to you."

"Chicago came two years after Mucha and Sam, whom she began seeing at RISD, graduated. A cartoonist himself, Sam was invited to work on a film project in Chicago. Mucha followed without having 'a life plan.'

"She worked as a barista ('at this super-hippie cafe') and worked on her art, developing her unique, playful drawing style. She got over Sam and grew to love Chicago on her own. Comic books, chapbooks, and full volumes followed, including the young-adult graphic novel Freshman: Tales of 9th Grade Obsessions, Revelations, and Other Nonsense and the chapbook The Monkey in the Basement and Other Delusions.

"She also continued her teaching job: She teaches comics courses for kids and adults and develops programs for students at Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art."

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See also: Corrine Mucha Comics.

3. Hillary Is Nice to Rahm in Her Bland New Memoir.

"The former Secretary of State once engineered Emanuel's demotion in the White House, but now they're a mutual-admiration society."

4. Closing The Cloud Factories.

The latest from Kari Lydersen (Mayor 1%) documents the long and arduous journey toward the 2010 closings of the Fisk and Crawford coal plants in Pilsen and Little Village.

5. Thornton Township's First Lady Of Olympic Track.

"Thornton Township High School student Betty Robinson was late for her train after school one day in 1928," Steve Metsch writes for the SouthtownStar.

Charles Price, a biology teacher and assistant track coach at Thornton, stood on the station platform. He saw her running to catch the train in Harvey and thought she had missed it.

Imagine his surprise when she soon sat beside him on the train.

"He's in shock. He asks, 'you ever run before? Come after school and I'll time you.' That's all it took. Whammo. Next thing you know, she's an Olympic star," Rick Schwartz, 71, the eldest of Robinson's two children, said.

The book is by Joe Gergen, from Northwestern University Press.

6. Exploring Chicago Blues.

"Growing up in Chicago, Rosalind Cummings-Yeates can't remember when she first heard the blues being played. It was all part of the music - advertising jingles, her grandmother's records and songs on the radio - she remembers swirling around her when she was young. Experiencing

"But I remember vividly the first time I recognized blues in popular music," Cummings-Yeates writes in the introduction of her recently released book, Exploring Chicago Blues: Inside the Scene, Past and Present (History Press 2014; $16.99) with forward by Billy Branch. "I was watching Elvis perform 'Hound Dog' and I recognized echoes of the blues in the lyrics, the delivery and the rhythm. Except this music Elvis was singing wasn't exactly what I recalled blues sounding like."

Instead, Cummings-Yeates, who holds a BS in mass communications from Illinois State University, a MS in journalism from Roosevelt University and writes a monthly blues column "Sweet Home" for the Illinois Entertainer, had hazy recollections of "Hound Dog" performed in a much different way - as a song being belted out full-throttle by a woman.

Cummings-Yeates appears at the Edgewater Branch of the Chicago Public Library on Saturday at 1 p.m.

7. Dance Of Death Recounts Genius, Complexities Of Guitarist John Fahey.

"Teenager Leo Kottke, while trying to buttonhole another musician backstage, heard a note that blew his mind and still resonates for him today.

"I can still hear that big bong of a thumb on the E string . . . It was Fahey. It was Fahey yet to be . . . which I'm thinking is all we'll ever know of him."

"Many musicians and listeners would nod their heads in agreement with Kottke's reaction, which Steve Lowenthal reports in his excellent biography, Dance of Death: The Life of John Fahey, American Guitarist. Fahey's guitar playing knocked people out; his odd personality and self-destructive behavior made them scratch their heads."

Published by Chicago Review Press.

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The Dance of Death.

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8. Root, Branch And Blossom: Exploring Early 20th Century Black Cultural Achievement, 1893-1930.

"Researchers chronicling contributions made by early African American artists and intellectuals in Chicago will present groundbreaking evidence of an arts scene that flourished long before the Harlem Renaissance or Black Chicago Renaissance during a public forum being held June 18 at Roosevelt University."

A book of essays is forthcoming.

9. God Bless America And The Golden Arches.

"He arrived to the country and settled in Chicago.

"Zafiris worked in the restaurant of a Hilton Hotel in Chicago, he said, and eventually wanted to open his own. In 1962, his nephews visited him one day for lunch, but they wanted to eat at a McDonald's - not at the hotel restaurant where he worked, he said.

"As soon as I saw the golden arches, I fell in love with it," he said smiling. "There were these nice young people with uniforms and it was so clean."

Zafiris said he and a coworker, who was also from Greece, decided to open their own McDonald's. They applied and were each prepared to put down $10,000 of their own money. Their application was accepted, but Zafiris said they were told they had to own a McDonald's in another state since there was already a branch in Chicago.

So he went west.

10. The Book Of Unknown Americans.

"The lines of Cristina Henriquez's first book were written on a movie schedule at the Magnolia theater in Dallas.

A recent graduate of Northwestern University and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, Henriquez was tearing tickets, making popcorn and reading under the counter during slow day shifts.

The first draft of "Ride," a short story included in Henriquez's first book, Come Together, Fall Apart (2006), was written on the job.

"I would stand at the little pole where you tear someone's ticket and let them into the theater," Henriquez says by phone from her home outside of Chicago. "On the back of the schedule, I would be writing stories. When people would come up, I would flip the paper over so no one could see."

Henriquez has since moved back to her home state, Delaware, and then on to Chicago. But she'll return to Dallas, her home of three years, on Friday to promote her new novel, The Book of Unknown Americans, which was released earlier this month by Knopf.

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See also: Cristina Henriquez.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:02 AM | Permalink

Chicagoetry: Eddie At Bonnaroo

EDDIE AT BONNAROO

Eddie cleanses
His soul with

The youth he brings
And the youth he finds.

He's at Bonnaroo
(The youth he is)
With his daughter's crew
And I marvel.

I can
Hardly imagine
A festival rock show
With my dad.

Anymore?
I can hardly imagine
A rock festival

At all.

Been there,
Done that

(In the popular parlance).
It's not bitterness.

It's satiation
And respect.

I struck
While the iron
Was hot

With white light
And white heat.

This time
I stayed in town
To work

Knowing I would miss
My favorite work bro.

He had
A deep, solid groove
To attend to,

Bringing his youth
And finding his youth,

And I'm hip
To that.

I'm glad
My dad
Wasn't there

For Zep
At the Stadium in '77

Or the Stones
At Soldier Field in '78.

If he would have been
Up for it
That might
Have been different.

He was hip
Unto himself
And unto
His time.

Rightfully:
Not up
For Zep.

Any more than I
Would have been up
For George Shearing

At Trenier's
Back then.

Now?
That's where I'd be
In a New York Minute

(In the popular parlance):

Grooving to George
Shearing at Milt Trenier's

With my dad,
Admitting it wasn't
Until I read Kerouac's

"The Subterraneans"
That I understood
About George.

Not forcing myself
To a festival,

Not re-living
My youth
But celebrating

The soul

I put into it,
And was allowed
To put into it,

Was taught
To put into it.

With the youth I brought
And the youth

I found
I got me

Some satisfaction.

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J.J. Tindall is the Beachwood's poet-in-residence. He welcomes your comments. Chicagoetry is an exclusive Beachwood collection-in-progress.

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More Tindall:

* Chicagoetry: The Book

* Ready To Rock: The Music

* Kindled Tindall: The Novel

* The Viral Video: The Match Game Dance

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:25 AM | Permalink

June 17, 2014

What Abraham Lincoln Would Say

Just like the Cubs' major league team, The Cub Factor has been on a bit of a hiatus the last couple of weeks. Unlike the Cubs' major league team, we're back. The Cubs, on the other hand, won't return until 2018 at best.

The Week In Review: The Cubs lost three of four in Pittsburgh, won two of three in Philadelphia and opened a three-game set in Miami on Monday night with a win. Winning, of course, is counter to the plan, which is to change the Cubs culture of losing.

The Week In Preview: Two more against the Marlins before the Pirates come in for three over the weekend. Also, the selloff is about to begin, so the Cubs will get considerably worse in order to get better.

Wrigley Is 100 Celebration: This week the Cubs pretend for the 100th time that they are interested in signing Jeff Samardzija to a long-term deal.

What Abraham Lincoln Would Say: "Core Four and seven years from now . . . "

Mad Merch: On Sunday, the first 5,000 children to the park will get a Mr. Potato Head keychain. Because children have to have somewhere to keep their car keys.

Note: This is not a joke. To wit: 50x50_potatohead.jpg

Prospects Are Suspects: Through Sunday, Javy Baez had gone 0-for-his-last-19, with eight strikeouts.

Meanwhile, Sullivan on Soler: "Signed to a nine-year, $30 million deal on June 30, 2012 and given a spot on 40-man roster, the Cuban outfielder has played in only seven games at Double-A Tennessee this season because of a right hamstring injury after missing action with a fractured left tibia in 2013."

That's half of your Core Four right there.

That's Ricky! "I don't know if [Olt's'] strikeouts have historically been where they're at, they probably are," Renteria said.

Well maybe you should know that!

According to Jesse Rogers: "At 35 percent, his strikeout ratio actually is higher than it ever was in the minors, including last season, when he had vision problems. It was 30 percent then; from 2010-12 it was right around 24 percent, so it has gone up a considerable amount."

Laughable Headline Of The Week: Marlins' Patience Sets A Good Example For Cubs.

First, the Marlins have won two World Series championships in their 21 years of existence. Second, they did so by buying bushels of free agents. Third, having failed in their last attempt to repeat the formula, they changed course immediately and now sit one game over .500 and one game back in the NL East. So, pretty much the opposite of the Cubs.

Trade Bait "Don't believe all the trade rumors out there regarding Cubs starting pitching," Gordon Wittenmyer reports. "Contrary to one national report, sources say the Cubs are not making all of their starting pitchers except Travis Wood available."

So Wood is available too? I mean, who would be untouchable?

the spin or isn't judging the speed or trajectory."

Ameritrade Stock Pick of the Week: Trade Rumors are beginning what is expected to be a 45-day ascent.

Jumbotron Preview: 5,700 square-feet of the name TRUMP.

Kubs Kalender: Wait 'til next year 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020.

Over/Under: Number of Cubs starting pitchers traded before July 31: 2.5.

Beachwood Sabermetrics: A complex algorithm performed by The Cub Factor staff using all historical data made available by Major League Baseball has determined that next year's Core Four will be different than this year's Core Four.

The Cub Factor: Unlike Alfonso Soriano Starlin Castro, you can catch 'em all!

The White Sox Report: Know the enemy.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:42 PM | Permalink

Catching Up With Blues Fest

Finishing what we started.

1. Dr. John.


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2. McKeough: The Blues Festival Was All About Feeling, From High To Low.

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3. Precious Moments.

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4. Chris Gill and the Sole Shakers.

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5. Trib Blues Fest Photo Gallery.

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6. Luca Chiellini.

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7. Cahl's Juke Joint Photos And Blog Post.

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8. Trance.

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9. Tyrannosaurus Chicken.

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10. Buddha Blue Band.

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11. Otis Taylor at Chicago Music Exchange while in town for Blues Fest.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 11:36 AM | Permalink

The [Tuesday] Papers

"A federal judge declared Monday that Chicago can finally be trusted to keep politics out of government hiring, releasing City Hall from a 42-year-old court settlement that was supposed to ban patronage - often with mixed results," the Tribune reports.

"The end came quickly at a two-hour hearing Monday, after years of failed efforts to end the decree that began with former Mayor Richard J. Daley, whose patronage army prompted the case, and continued through his son, Richard M. Daley, who saw top aides sent to prison for running an illegal hiring scheme. And it provided a timely victory for Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who was praised for stepping up efforts to end political hiring."

Sure, Rahm, pull the ladder up behind you.

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Has anyone asked David Axelrod if he thinks the city will suffer as a result of this turnabout?

Beat Up Brucey
Bruce Rauner spent more money on his watch than he did putting together his budget proposal.

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Team Rauner says this was just the executive summary; the rest is still being transcribed from the crayon it was written in on the back of a Denny's menu.

*

That's the last time he hires Vonnegut.

Chicago In The World
* "Hundreds of people dressed in tie-dye attire took a trip back in time Sunday to an era of free love, flower children and psychedelic music," the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.

"The sixth annual Hippiefest, held outside the Peabody Auditorium, gave some the chance to relive memories from their youth, while giving younger generations a taste of the counterculture that swept the nation in the 1960s.

"Clad like a rainbow from head to toe, Mitch Mitchell of Chicago said the festival brought back memories of his own experiences during the decade."

* "Brian Sloan quit his job as a lawyer to start a sex toy business that generates over $1 million a year, and he did it without office space or full-time employees," Business Insider reports.

"He and his collaborators at Very Intelligent E-Commerce, Inc. have skipped the usual distribution methods, focusing solely on internet sales. The company's most recent product, a sex toy for men (NSFW), launched as an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign. It turned heads and raised over $260,000 - far more than its $45,000 goal - in the process."

Here's the money shot:

"I had a few jobs in law school - one was working at the Cook County Murder Taskforce - the public defenders for people charged with murder in Chicago, and the other one was in a kind of fancy boutique firm in Chicago. Doing murder defense was super interesting but not well-compensated. The work I did at the boutique firm was better paid but uninspiring."

* "An Amtrak passenger who climbed out or fell from a moving train was found in a wooded area of southeast Missouri with a broken leg," AP reports.

"Iron County Sheriff Roger Medley says the unidentified woman was reported missing Saturday night on the Texas Eagle train from Chicago to San Antonio."

* "Sports equipment maker Wilson is targeting up to 15 percent jump in annual sales in China, where tennis has grown rapidly on the back of the success of star players like Li Na," the Shanghai Daily reports.

"Wilson last month opened its first five stringing centers in China, in partnership with Belgium's Luxilon Industries NV, which provide high-end strings for racquet sports.

"The centers are in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Chengdu and Wuhan, the hometown of Li Na, ranked world No. 2 by the Women's Tennis Association.

"Chicago-based Wilson also sees the online market as a key distribution platform in China."

* "Peter Ruhry got what many other drug abusers never get: a second chance," the Wall Street Journal reports.

"Mr. Ruhry grew up in Nassau County, in a home without drugs. He started using drugs in April 2007; two years later, in May 2009, he overdosed on heroin, said his mother, Angie Ruhry.

"He was 21 years old, taking summer classes at Mansfield University in Pennsylvania.

"At some point between his home and the hospital, first responders gave Mr. Ruhry a shot of naloxone, a medication that is an antidote to opioids found in heroin and some prescription drugs, his mother said.

"After the overdose, Mr. Ruhry worked on making himself a better person, his mother said. He went to rehab [and] started a new job at an inventory company in Chicago."

The story, however, doesn't have a happy ending. Click through to see what Ruhry's mother is doing about it.

BeachBook
* Pilsen Real Estate Empire Torn Apart By Family Fight.

* L'Oreal Moving Ethnic Products Research Center Out Of Chicago.

* Injured Hair-Hanging Circus Acrobats Hire Chicago Law Firm After Failed Human Chandelier Stunt.

* Why Did NBC Pay Chelsea Clinton $600,000 A Year?

* Chicago Connections On World Cup Roster.

* The Source May Be Anonymous, But The Shame Is All Yours.

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TweetWood

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*

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The Beachwood Tip Line: Magma Laude.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:19 AM | Permalink

June 16, 2014

SportsMonday: What About The Bulls?

As the NBA finals came to an end Sunday night, one question in particular demanded an answer: How does it all impact the Bulls?!

The short answer is: Not much. NBA teams operate in realm of the possible, and it will be simply impossible for the Bulls to build a roster similar to the one that enabled the Spurs to so thoroughly dominate the Miami Heat in a way we can only dream about.

And let me just say, how much fun was that to watch? Sure, we definitely don't like the Heat in general and LeBron James in particular around here, so it certainly didn't kill us to watch them go down in flames. To be sure, I'm no fan of the Spurs either, but you had to tip your cap to that team and the wonderful way it played basketball in this series.

You also have to tip your cap to the unselfish veterans who made this possible. Everyone knows that Tony Parker and Tim Duncan in particular could have made more money if they had hit the free agent market at some point in the last decade. Duncan's deal in particular is illuminating. The man who now is quite simply one of the five best big men (a category containing all centers and power forwards) in NBA history, was paid $10 million this season. That meant he made just $361,000 more than Tiago Splitter.

Hopefully Bulls leaders Joakim Noah and Derrick Rose took note of the Spurs stars' willingness to sacrifice grabbing every last dime during contract negotiations. I'm confident Noah would do the same if he trusted management (and I think he mostly does at this point) and believed that his team wasn't far from true championship contention. Rose is another story for another day.

But in terms of emulation, the Bulls will still have to follow the Miami model. You know, the one that has resulted in four straight trips to the Finals and a pair of championships?

The first way the team could emulate the Heat would be if it could sign LeBron James as a free agent. And while a part of me says I would rather have my team try to be the next team that can beat the Heat, or whoever James signs with if he signs with someone else this offseason, a fan has to keep a reasonably clear head. If he does, he knows that if there is any chance in the universe LeBron would sign with Chicago then the team would need to give him a decent chance to do so. But unless we hear that is a possibility in the next week (and it almost certainly isn't), the team has to move on pretty quickly.

And where do you move on to? You add a third star. And by third star, I mean third star. Why would Carmelo Anthony or Kevin Love come to the Bulls if Noah wasn't going to be here? It will not happen.

My preference is definitely Anthony, and the latest reports seem to indicate that Anthony is leaning toward leaving the Knicks and that the Bulls are seriously in contention for his services.

Certainly Anthony, 30, is five years older than Love, but Love is if anything an even worse defender than his fellow forward. Also, Love can't play anything but power forward. Anthony would have to play the 4 a decent amount of the time but he would give the Bulls more flexibility at both ends.

Anthony also has a more diversified and athletic offensive repertoire.

Really the only question about Anthony is whether he will be willing to take less money to play for someone else. And if he is telling people he is ready to leave the Knicks, he is already acknowledging he would take less because the Knicks can offer him considerably more in a max contract than anyone else because they are his current team.

So if Anthony is leaving, it makes much more sense that he will work with whichever team signs him to make his contract work with the other contracts that team has. Right now, the Bulls offer him the best chance to do so. The Rockets are the team most often listed as the other leading suitor for the forward, but they have to make difficult moves to get into position to really be in the running. Reports this past week said Miami will try to get in on Anthony but A) anyway you slice it, playing with James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh would force a pay cut of a historic proportions and B) Anthony simply doesn't work with that group.

And the Heat are going to try to find a fourth wheel for the guys who have brought them two championships, doesn't it make more sense for them to go after a point guard or a center?

If Anthony is willing to leave the Knicks, there is a great chance his best option will be the Bulls. Can Gar Forman and John Paxson avoid screwing it up?

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Jim "Coach" Coffman is our man on Mondays. He welcomes your comments.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:46 PM | Permalink

The [Monday] Papers

On Mondays, I go to the Sun-Times first when preparing this column because their "Watchdogs" piece usually qualifies as the lead item. This week is no different.

"When Mesirow Financial Services - a Chicago company that manages millions of dollars in pension funds for the state of Illinois - and its partners wanted to fight the property taxes on their new skyscraper, they called the law offices of Illinois House Speaker Michael J. Madigan," Tim Novak reports.

You can see where this is going.

"Madigan's law firm saved the Mesirow group more than $1.7 million in real estate taxes by persuading Cook County officials to slash the value of the River North building by 60 percent soon after it opened nearly five years ago."

If one were to give the benefit of the doubt to everyone involved, one could surmise that Cook County officials goofed - by a magnitude of 60% - in assessing Mesirow's building. One could then surmise that Mesirow merely got what it deserved. One could further surmise, then, that the system worked.

Let us, briefly, surmise that. Who in Cook County is going to get fired for doing their job so badly? Making a 60% mistake - and making such "mistakes" over and over and over, which fills Madigan's pockets - is surely a fireable offense.

Of course, we all know that incompetence isn't likely the problem here; it's clout.

Mesirow no longer owns the building at 353 N. Clark that still serves as its headquarters. But the law firm of Madigan & Getzendanner has continued to save Mesirow money by getting the tax bills lowered for the building's owner.

Madigan's firm has gotten Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios - chairman of the Cook County Democratic Party and a political ally of Madigan, the chairman of the Illinois Democratic Party - to slash the skyscraper's value, arguing it hasn't been particularly profitable, in part because of 'generous rent abatements' Mesirow agreed to give its tenants, including Mesirow itself.

Over the past three years, Berrios' assessment cuts have saved the building's new owner, Tishman Speyer, nearly $15 million in real estate taxes that otherwise would have been passed on, which passes the tax bills on to Mesirow and other tenants, records show.

And another tax cut is on the way. Madigan got Berrios and the Cook County Board of Review to again slash the estimated value of the property early this year.

Michael Madigan was just re-elected as both the chairman of the state's Democratic Party and the Speaker of the Democrat-led House.

A lot of local Democrats spend a lot of time bellyaching about Republicans, both in Illinois and on the federal level, but they are curiously silent when it comes to their own party here at home. Whatever happened to hope and change?

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"Madigan says it wasn't a conflict of interest for his law firm to win the tax breaks for Mesirow - which has been paid more than $9 million over the past five years to manage state pension funds that now total more than $300 million and another $5.2 million for financial and insurance services to the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority and other state agencies."

Everything outside the political arena - and many things inside it - is a conflict-of-interest for someone as powerful as Michael Madigan. And we all know it. Yet, the show goes on.

*

"The speaker also says he's done nothing to help Mesirow - where his son Andrew Madigan is a company vice president - get state business."

Please. Merely signing Mesirow on as a client helps them get state business.

*

"The speaker's son started at Mesirow as an intern in 2008. Mesirow says he now works in 'business development for all lines of insurance,' often involving suburbs including Blue Island, Burbank and Cicero."

I refer you now to The Speaker's Son.

*

"Madigan's six-lawyer firm specializes in getting property-tax cuts for Chicago skyscrapers, hotels, shopping malls, car dealers and many others. Mesirow is one of the few clients that has contracts with the state of Illinois.

"Mesirow says Madigan's firm didn't represent the company itself but, instead, an affiliated entity, 351 Mortgage Loan Borrower LLC. That company - formed by Richard Stein, a Mesirow senior managing director, to build the skyscraper for Mesirow - has never gotten state business, Mesirow's Deborah S. Kripes says.

"Mesirow has had state contracts for more than a decade."

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The Beachwood Radio Hour!
Trumping The News.

The Illinois State Senator Too Rich For His District
Eschews Harvey for Flossmoor.

The White Sox Report: Shifty
And Swoony. And TGIM.

The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour!
No, Cubs, No!

An Absolutely Amazing Weekend In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine, Wussy, Lionel Richie, Magik Markers, JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound, The Jezabels, Silver Apples, Wreckmeister Harmonies, World Party, MAMA, Flesh Panthers, Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Bettye Lavette, the Michael Angelo Band, the Detroit Cobras, Gabriel Kelley, Ha Ha Tonka, The Preatures, MS MR, Toupee, Huey Lewis, Markus Schulz, Romeo Santos, Knife Party, Destroid, Pretty Lights, Diplo, Tiesto, Robbie Rivera, Jimmy Nick, The Yolks, Son of a Gun, The Soft Jolts, Apotekergarden, Eric Prydz, and Aaron Neville.

Low and Richard Thompson also played, but I couldn't find any video documenting either.

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BeachBook
* ICYMI: The Week In Juvenile Justice.

* Medicaid Applications Keep Piling Up In Illinois.

* Mill Workers Beat CEO To Death; Son Lives In Chicago.

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TweetWood

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The Beachwood Tip Line: Most Ever.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 10:36 AM | Permalink

Shifty

You tell a six-year-old, playing his first season of tee ball, to play second base, and the kid most likely will run out to his position straddling the bag in the middle of the infield. The fledgling infielder, he of the concrete mind, figures second base means second base. Same with first and third. For the little newbies, telling them to play a base means just that - go right to the base, put your hands on your knees, and get ready to field a ground ball.

Of course, the coach/parent proceeds to direct the little guys exactly where to position themselves, correcting the silly - but logical to a six-year-old - notion that the basemen play directly on each base. In the best of Little League worlds, this is done with sensitivity and love rather than, "Where the hell do you think you're playing?!?"

This positioning of players, beginning at a tender age, is a transient concept. In the very early days of the game, fair and foul territory hadn't been defined, so players would position themselves willy-nilly wherever they thought the ball was likely to be hit. But the genuine inventor of the rules, Alexander Cartwright, introduced in 1845 a field shaped like a diamond - as opposed to a square - along with the idea of foul lines so that just one player, the catcher, resided outside of fair territory.

Of course, that changed things rather drastically. There must be documentation about the positioning of the second baseman back in Cartwright's day, but assuming that those boys sized up the infield and arranged the defenders to cover as much real estate as possible is not unreasonable.

If any of those pioneers could observe today's sabermetric game, no doubt they would ask a lot of questions when a hitter like Adam Dunn strides to the plate. Shifting three infielders to the right side, leaving the left side basically unprotected, is common practice for many more hitters than just Dunn.

In Sunday's frustrating 6-3 Father's Day loss to the Royals - the Sox left 13 men on base and received yet another poor starting performance from Andre Rienzo - Dunn's only hit was more or less of a checked swing where the ball rolled lazily into left field for a single. It appeared that Dunn did this deliberately. If he can perfect this skill, the guy might hit .350.

Over-shifting is not a new concept. In 1946, Cleveland manager Lou Boudreau employed it against Ted Williams in the most famous positioning of players until that time. Lot of good that did. Williams, who had missed the three previous seasons while serving in the military in World War II, returned to hit .342 - two points below his lifetime average. He also led the league in walks, something he did eight times. Only Barry Bonds, Rickey Henderson and Babe Ruth drew more career bases on balls than Williams. If you didn't want Williams getting a hit, walking him was a lot more effective than the shift.

But Williams also claimed that he made adjustments. "For a period I did defy [the shift] because I was right on the plate and I was pulling everything," he said in a 1993 interview with Bob Costas. "But then when they put seven guys over there, I was hitting too many balls at them. So I did have to change. I got advice from one of the greatest hitters, Paul Waner, who said all you have to do is move a little bit away from the plate so that everything is away from you and you're forced to go that way [to left field]. I was right on it."

In Sunday's game, the Royals stacked the right side on Dunn while the Sox used a similar shift on another left-handed hitter, Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas. The sabermathematicians list Moustakas as the sixth most likely major league hitter to pull the ball. Dunn isn't even in the top 25. Royals' catcher Salvador Perez comes in at No. 22, although the Sox played him pretty much straight up.

The only shift that would have worked on Perez on Sunday would have been to put center fielder Adam Eaton three-quarters of the way up the bleachers where Perez's blast landed in the third inning. Following a hit batter and a walk, it turned out to be the game-winner. All with two outs.

Moustakas is another story. Is he hitting .178 because of the shift? In four years with the Royals, Moustakas has steadily regressed from .263 his rookie season. He was even sent to Triple-A earlier in the season. Rienzo walked Moustakas twice on Sunday - did I mention this was a frustrating loss? - before he smacked a line drive over the shift for an eighth-inning single.

When Moustakas puts the ball in play, it goes to the left side just 16 percent of the time. His career could hinge on being able to use the entire field. You'd think he would do everything possible to adjust his swing. He's no Ted Williams, but he's headed for Omaha unless he at least tries to be like Teddy Ballgame.

Sox Swoon
Last week began with two inspiring wins over Detroit, including a rousing 8-2 beauty on Wednesday when the Sox scored seven times in the sixth inning to tag Justin Verlander with the loss. The Sox trailed the front-running Tigers by just a game-and-a-half. But our guys haven't won since, suffering another weekend sweep at the hands of the Royals. It's the third time this season the Sox have lost four in a row.

The secret might be to play only Monday through Thursday. Since the beginning of May, the Sox are 5-16 on weekends. They have dropped seven straight weekend series'. Of course, a four-day work week is about as likely as Adam Dunn dropping a bunt down the third-base line.

The Sox woes go far beyond Dunn's challenges. After hitting .354 the first month of the season, Tyler Flowers has gone into one of the worst slumps in memory. He's hitless in his last 22 at bats with an eye-popping 18 strikeouts. He's 2-for-30 this month. The Sox have pitchers who could perform better.

Dayan Viciedo is 4-for-40 in his last ten games with no RBI. With him batting seventh and Flowers ninth, and Alejandro De Aza - he finally reached the Mendoza Line at an even .200 - sandwiched between them, you may as well fast forward to the next inning to see if our guys can score.

In addition, aside from Chris Sale and John Danks, the starting pitching is a mess. Jose Quintana yielded hits to the first five batters he faced in Friday's 7-2 loss as the Sox were trailing 5-0 before they even had a chance to swing the bat.

In Saturday's 9-1 embarrassment, Hector Noesi was sailing along in a scoreless tie in the fourth inning when the Royals scored five times. An error by third baseman Leury Garcia didn't help, nor did Viciedo's futile attempt to catch Moustakas' pop fly - yes, he hit the ball to left - that Alexei Ramirez might have easily caught. Noesi couldn't pitch over the miscues, giving up a walk and five hits before being replaced by Javy Guerra. It was an ugly inning.

Finally, the Royals have hit the fewest homers of any team, just 35 for the season. Yet Eric Hosmer touched Rienzo for a two-run shot in the first inning before Perez gave Kansas City a 5-1 edge in the third. The pressure of always trying to play catch-up baseball is a formula for failure.

Today is a welcome day off from baseball; instead, the Sox play a charity golf event at Harborside to benefit pediatric cancer research. Then the San Francisco Giants visit The Cell on Tuesday and Wednesday before the team hits the road for an 11-game trip.

While the Giants have the best record in baseball, Sox fans needn't fret. San Francisco has a three-game losing streak of its own. Furthermore, the Sox are 13-7 on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, including 6-3 at The Cell. Danks and Sale will be pitching. Sounds like a piece of cake.

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Roger Wallenstein is our man on the Sox. He welcomes your comments.

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1. From Mark Schaeffer:

I've long ago accepted the big donkey for what he is . . . give me 30 HR's and 90-100 RBI's and I'll look the other way on the BA and strikeout totals.It had to be hard to write Dunn's name with Ted Williams' in the same sentence. My guess is everything off the tee at the golf outing today by Dunn will be pulled RIGHT!

2. From former Carolina Leaguer Mike McLaughlin:

Your Dunn/Williams shift story reminded me of a story that my Gastonia Manager, Don Leppert told us. Leppert was with Washington and Boston came to town. All the flap about Williams needing to hit to left was going on, including in the local papers. He hit everything to right in BP, and hit four doubles to left in the game, just to show he could, if he thought he needed to.

Junior Lake with the Cubs swings through so many pitches just like so many who don't use the whole field. You probably saw a replay of a homer Stanton of the Marlins hit to right that was hit so hard, and it was a curve ball. They then showed the distribution of his 19 or 20 homers, and it was almost equal from left to right.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:38 AM | Permalink

The [Amazing] Weekend In Chicago Rock

You shoulda been there.

1. Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine at Reggies on Saturday night.


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2. Wussy at the Red Line Tap on Friday night.

Loerzel: Photos and blog post.

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3. Magik Markers at the Bohemian National Cemetery on Friday night.

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4. JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound at the Double Door on Friday night.

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5. The Jezabels at Lincoln Hall on Friday night.

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6. Silver Apples at the Bohemian National Cemetery on Friday night.

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7. Wreckmeister Harmonies at the Bohemian National Cemetery on Friday night.

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8. World Party at City Winery on Thursday night.

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9. Lionel Richie in Tinley Park on Sunday night.

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10. MAMA at Cole's on Saturday night.

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11. The Flesh Panthers at Cole's on Saturday night.

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12. The Chris Robinson Brotherhood at Park West on Saturday night

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13. The Michael Angelo Band at Mojoes in Joliet on Friday night.

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14. Gabriel Kelley at City Winery on Friday night.

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15. Bettye Lavette at Blues Fest on Saturday night.

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16. The Detroit Cobras at Cobra Lounge for Motoblot on Saturday.

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17. The Preatures at the Metro on Saturday night.

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18. MS MR at the Metro on Saturday night.

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19. Toupee at Situations on Friday night.

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20. Huey Lewis at the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond on Friday night.

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21. Markus Schulz at Chicago for a Spring Awakening aftershow on Friday night.

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22. Romeo Santos in Rosemont on Friday night.

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23. Knife Party at Soldier Field for Spring Awakening on Friday night.

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24. Destroid at Spring Awakening on Friday night.

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25. Pretty Lights at Spring Awakening on Saturday night.

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26. Diplo at Spring Awakening on Saturday night.

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27. Tiesto at Spring Awakening on Friday night.

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28. Robbie Rivera at Castle for a Spring Awakening aftershow on Saturday night.

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29. Jimmy Nick at Rosie O'Hare's Public House in East Dundee on Saturday night.

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30. Ha Ha Tonka at the 6 Corners BBQ Fest on Saturday night.

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31. The Yolks at Bric-a-Brac Records' one-year anniversary party on Saturday.

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32. Son of a Gun at Bric-a-Brac on Saturday.

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33. The Soft Jolts at Bric-a-Brac on Saturday.

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34. Apotekergarden at Mojoes in Joliet on Saturday.

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35. Eric Prydz at for Spring Awakening on Friday night.

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36. Aaron Neville at Blues Fest on Sunday night.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 7:11 AM | Permalink

June 14, 2014

The Illinois State Senator Too Rich For His District

"Illinois State Senator Napoleon Harris is required by his state constitution to live within the boundaries of the district he represents. But he is rich - and the district he represents is poor. So what's an ex-football star to do? The Chicago Tribune has been investigating just that. The Resident discusses."


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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:38 PM | Permalink

The Beachwood Radio Hour #10: Trumping The News

Donald Trump's New Sign vs. Federal Surveillance Of Entire Neighborhoods. Plus: Rob Ford's Chicago Way, Walgreens' Greed, The Illinois Obamacare Gravy Train, and our exclusive look inside Chicago's bid to host the 2015 NFL Draft.


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SHOW NOTES

1:25: Phil Lee at the Hideout on Monday night.

12:40: Talk about ugly.

13:00 Ode to an Eyesore.

14:17: Mortgage Street.

24:48: Morgan Delt at the Empty Bottle on Monday night.

26:00: "The Obama administration has been quietly advising local police not to disclose details about surveillance technology they are using to sweep up basic cellphone data from entire neighborhoods, The Associated Press has learned."

31:05: The [Thursday] Papers: Rob Ford's Chicago Way, Walgreens' Greed & The Illinois Obamacare Gravy Train.

42:57: Exclusive! Inside Chicago's Bid To Host The 2015 NFL Draft.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 1:29 PM | Permalink

The Weekend Desk Report

If NBC needs another bullshit correspondent, the Weekend Desk is available for half the price.

Market Update
All signs indicate the next big crash will come in the sub-Prime working conditions market.

Blues
The CTA and Metra have announced they'll run longer trains to accommodate traffic for this weekend's Blues Festival. Which should help everyone who doesn't live in Hegewisch.

Blanks
Taxi drivers joined train workers in Paris this week, meaning the French capital is almost as inaccessible as Hegewisch.

Rogues
You know, if FIFA is serious about relocating its quadrennial controversy- and corruption-fest in 2022, we think we know just the place.

Frank Talk
Finally, Mayor Emanuel, if you want to learn how to throw a ton of shade on your predecessor while still appearing charming and accessible, let this guy show you how it's done.

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The Weekend Desk Tip Line: Charming and accessible.

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The Beachwood Radio Network
* The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #4: No, Cubs, No!

"The most interesting thing about the White Sox is that they're interesting. Plus: The shocking NBA Finals, the inauspicious opening of the World Cup, the horse racing world post-Chrome, and our exclusive report inside Chicago's bid to host the 2015 NFL Draft."

* The Beachwood Radio Hour #10: Trumping The News.

"Donald Trump's New Sign vs. Federal Surveillance Of Entire Neighborhoods. Plus: Rob Ford's Chicago Way, Walgreens' Greed, The Illinois Obamacare Gravy Train, and our exclusive look inside Chicago's bid to host the 2015 NFL Draft."

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The Week In Juvey Justice
Including Chicago's Fragile Juncture, Ohio's Heartless Felons, Michigan Magic, The Florida File, Minor Mules, The Indian Express and more.

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TweetWood

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The Sound Opinions Weekend Listening Report: "Guitar virtuoso Richard Thompson of Fairport Convention joins hosts Jim and Greg in the studio for an interview and live performance. Later, Jim and Greg review the new album by fellow guitar rocker Jack White of The White Stripes."

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The CAN TV Weekend Viewing Report: CAN TV brings you local, relevant issues from Chicago's neighborhoods and communities. See what's happening around the city in education, the arts, government, cultural events, social services and community activities.

A Salute to the Chicago Blues Fest

LIVE-6-12-INDEX.jpg

Blues pianist Barrelhouse Chuck performs and shares his story at this event produced by WDCB Public Radio and originally covered live by CAN TV.

Sunday at 6 p.m. on CAN TV19.

Posted by Natasha Julius at 8:11 AM | Permalink

June 13, 2014

The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #4: No Cubs No!

The most interesting thing about the White Sox is that they're interesting. Plus: The shocking NBA Finals, the inauspicious opening of the World Cup, the horse racing world post-Chrome, and our exclusive report inside Chicago's bid to host the 2015 NFL Draft.


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SHOW NOTES

8:00: I should've noted that Jose Veras is available.

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10:20: Spurs Rout Heat In Game 4 For 3-1 NBA Finals Lead.

* Heat A Record Six-Point Underdog With James For NBA Finals Game 5.

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15:19: Brazil Opens World Cup With Controversial 3-1 Win Over Croatia.

21:06: Brazilian National Anthem.

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22:14: Brazil's president booed.

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22:45: Ghana Ready For World Cup Rematch Against U.S.

29:08: The Burden Of Being Messi.

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31:27: Exclusive! Inside Chicago's NFL Draft Bid.

34:42: Allen Sanderson.

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38:39: California Chrome owner apologizes.

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43:00: The 2014 Belmont Stakes.

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49:58: TrackNotes: America's (Drugged-Up) Horses, California Chrome & Betting The Belmont.

59:10: Saratoga's Opening Day.

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STOPPAGE TIME: 4:45.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:51 PM | Permalink

The [Friday] Papers

It's always fun fighting with Donald Trump but let's not take our eye off the ball.

Mokena Soldier
"Private Aaron Toppen of southwest suburban Mokena died in what could be one of the worst friendly fire accidents of the 14-year-old war," WGN-TV reported Wednesday.

"The 19-year-old army private, deployed in March, was one of five US soldiers killed in a coalition air strike in southern Afghanistan."

Toppen's remains are now back on U.S. soil.

Boeing [Hearts] China
"Boeing Co. won its biggest order from a Chinese carrier as China Eastern Airlines Corp. agreed to buy 80 737 jets valued at $7.4 billion," Bloomberg reports.

"China Eastern, the nation's third-largest airline, will buy a mix of 737-800 and upgraded Max models, to be delivered starting in 2016, the company said in a statement to the Shanghai stock exchange. The carrier is also selling 15 older 737-300s and five 757s back to the planemaker, according to the statement."

CPS On The Side
"An ethics panel for the Baltimore County School Board has found that the superintendent Dallas Dance violated rules when he took a side job as a consultant for a company doing business with the Chicago Public School System," WBAL Radio reports.

And what was that side job?

"Over the summer, Dance agreed to train 10 Chicago principals once a month for $15,000 for a company called SUPES Academy," WBAL previously reported.

Which has ties to CPS chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett.

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Beachwood Photo Booth: Street Fleet
Logan Square.

The Week In Chicago Rock
Featuring Phil Lee, Elvis Costello, Eagulls, Kelis, Omar Souleyman, Cheatahs, Morgan Delt, Earring, and Ben Ottewell.

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The Beachwood Radio Network
This weekend's podcasts are in production!

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BeachBook
* Summer Knight Training At Medieval Times.

* Chicagoan Unwittingly Buys A Banksy For $60; Set To Cash In.

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TweetWood

See the item X Men for background.

*

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The Beachwood Tip Line: Break room.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:08 AM | Permalink

The Week In Chicago Rock

You shoulda been there.

1. Phil Lee at the Hideout on Monday night.


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2. Elvis Costello at the Copernicus on Wednesday night.

* Loerzel: "Elvis Costello played solo for close to 2 1/2 hours tonight at the Copernicus Center, an old movie palace in Chicago's Jefferson Park neighborhood. He opened with one of my favorites, 'Jack of All Parades,' from his great 1986 album King of America, and later returned to that record for another outstanding selection, 'Suit of Lights.' He played most of the hits that you'd expect as well as a lot of obscurities."

* Gendron: "Elvis Costello didn't take an easy or predictable route Wednesday at a sold-out Copernicus Center. Seemingly on a mission to connect the common threads of popular music styles from the past century, the singer/guitarist performed a marathon 145-minute show touching on every facet of his adventurous career. Focusing on deep-catalog material, Costello displayed his unwavering commitment to excavating the memories, meanings and mysteries held in song - a pursuit he implied in '45,' an ode to the significance of vinyl singles."

* Guarino: "An evening with Elvis Costello playing 32 songs spanning four decades over two hours and 30 minutes: That probably describes a dream scenario for anyone who's followed him over the years, but it happened. At the Copernicus Center Wednesday, the songwriter performed a solo show surrounded by guitars and a keyboard, topped by a lime-green fedora and armed with nothing to promote other than a career of feisty, wordy, and luminous songs."

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3. Eagulls at Beat Kitchen on Tuesday night.

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4. Kelis at Park West on Monday night.

* Kot: "Kelis, the girl whose milkshake once brought all the boys to the yard, was back in town Monday at the Park West. 'Milkshake,"'her massive 2003 hit, was still on the menu, but its blend of sex, defiance and drums is now just one ingredient for a multifaceted artist. The singer made the most of a voice that lives in the basement, with its husky tone and dark shadings. She adapted it to countless styles with a six-piece band flexible enough to go wherever she directed with a flick of a hip or a nod. The energetic performances were at times undercut by languorous pacing, as Kelis paused to chat with fans she recognized from Instagram exchanges and other tour stops. Yet this conversation-in-the-living-room aura suited an intimate show that was all about the comforts of domesticity and motherhood."

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5. Omar Souleyman at Millennium Park on Monday night.

* Loerzel: "Syrian singer Omar Souleyman cast a strange spell as he performed Monday night on the Jay Pritzker Pavilion stage in Millennium Park. He did not make any especially flamboyant gestures as he strolled the stage - and yet, he has a commanding presence. A contingent of Syrian or Arab-American fans was going a bit nuts in the seats near the stage. And plenty of people who don't know a word of Arabic or Kurdish, like me, were getting into the music, too. As usual, the Millennium Park security guards were on a buzzkill mission, insisting on getting people out of the aisles when they tried to dance. A lot of people managed to dance anyway, mostly by standing in front of their seats. The mood was festive."

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6. Cheatahs at Beat Kitchen on Tuesday night.

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7. Morgan Delt at the Empty Bottle on Monday night.

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8. Earring at the Empty Bottle on Monday night.

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9. Ben Ottewell at Bottom Lounge on Thursday night.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 6:49 AM | Permalink

Beachwood Photo Booth: Street Fleet

Logan Square.

streetfruit.jpg(ENLARGE FOR PROPER VIEWING)

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More Chicago photography from Helene Smith.

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Helene on Twitter!

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Meet Helene!

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Stationery, iPhone cases, hoodies.

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Listen to Helene talk about Photo Booth; starts at 57:54.

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Previously:
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Man Grilling
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Yum Yum Donuts
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Father's Day
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Vintage Airmaster
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Time
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Window Shade
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Illinois Slayer
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Fire Escape
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Golden Nugget
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Hollywood, Chicago
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Flag Man.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Van In Flames.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Fluid Power Automation.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Corn Dog.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Stop The Killing Car.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Backyard.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: A to Z Things.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Swedish Diner.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Rothschild Liquors.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Silos.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Wires.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Orange Garden.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Irving Park Guy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Pigeons.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: O'Lanagan's.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: For Rent.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Marie's Pizza & Liquors.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Mori Milk.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: American Breakfast.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: A Chicago Christmas Postcard.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Holiday Harold's.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Family Fun.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Snow Bike.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Nativity Scene.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Old Warsaw.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Deluxe Cleaners.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Marie's Golden Cue.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Die Another Day.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Sears Key Shop.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Window Dressing.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Jeri's Grill.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Barry's Drugs.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Liberty.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Kitchen.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Golden Specials.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: We Won The Cup.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bartender Man.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Blue Plane Blues.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Finest Quality.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Family Guy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Girls Wanted.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Skokie Savanna.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Signpost.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Old Man And The Tree.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 6:22 AM | Permalink

June 12, 2014

The [Thursday] Papers

"The latest chapter [of the Rob Ford saga] involves Chicago-based outfit RR Donnelley and Sons, which, according to the Globe and Mail, the brothers Ford were helping get the inside track on the city's lucrative printing contract," NOW Toronto notes.

"According to the Globe, there were meetings involving the company, the Fords and senior city staff, at which the message was implied, if not given directly, that the boys from Chi-town would be a good fit for Toronto."

And vice versa!

"What the mayor or his brother failed to mention in those meetings is that [Ford family company] Deco stood to gain. Turns out the Fords were in their own talks with RR Donnelley about that company referring some of its business to Deco."

Forget Toronto, boys. It's time you came to Chicago and played in the big leagues.

At The Corner Of Greedy & Venal
"One of America's best-known stores may soon decide that it's no longer American. If it does, you will pay the price and feel real sick about it," Frank Clemente of Americans for Tax Fairness writes.

"Walgreens pharmacy is in every way an American company. It was founded in Chicago in 1901 and maintains its headquarters in Illinois. It has 8,200 stores with locations in all 50 states. Walgreens had sales of $72 billion last year - a quarter from U.S. government-sponsored health programs.

"Yet Walgreens' management is considering a plan to renounce its status as an American corporation. The reason for this unpatriotic maneuver? By moving its official corporate address to a foreign country - in this case Switzerland, a tax haven - it may dodge $4 billion in federal taxes over five years, according to equities research firm estimates described in a report by Americans for Tax Fairness. The rest of us will be stuck with the tab."

Boondoggle Bonanza
"The campaign to promote President Barack Obama's health care law in his home state of Illinois has been one of the nation's costliest with a $33 million contract for work by high-priced public relations experts," AP reports.

"An Associated Press review of hundreds of pages of documents finds more than 90 people billed at least $270 an hour under a contract with few built-in restraints."

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Exclusive! Inside Chicago's NFL Draft Bid
Jenny McCarthy, Michael Sneed and the Admiral.

The Political Odds
Updated to reflect recent developments.

Langford, Liberace & Chicago's Teen Whisperer
Plus: Stories from Canaryville. In Local Book Notes.

Keef & Knuckles
Plus: Pelican, Andre Harris and OTF NuNu. In Local Music Notebook.

Nationality Doubtful
A war on borders comes to the Art Institute.

U.S. Coach: World Cup Win 'Not Realistic'
Also weighs in on Cubs, climate change.

Before Arnold
Whatchyou talkin' 'bout, Harris Bank?

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BeachBook
* Whistleblower Org Says It Will Go To Jail Rather Than Turn Over Keys.

* Cook County Has Too Many Elected Leaders To Ever Enact True Justice Reform.

* New Beers Might Come Faster After Federal Rule Change.

* Chicago Ad Agency Fires 'Difficult' Panera.

* Hillary Kicks Off Produce Convention In Chicago.

* Young Black Bear Making His Way Across Illinois.

* Many Priced Out Of City Living.

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TweetWood

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The Beachwood Tip Line: Monitored solely for quality control.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 10:34 AM | Permalink

Local Music Notebook: Chief Keef's Eviction, Frankie Knuckles Tribute & Pelican's Abyss

1. Chief Keef Evicted From Highland Park Home.

"Chief Keef's Instagram site tells the story: 'Lookin For Houses.' The South Side rapper, whose legal name is Keith Cozart, was evicted Tuesday from his rented mansion in Highland Park, police said."


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2. Chicago Hip Hop Community Reacts To OTF NuNu's Death.

"A 21-year-old man fatally shot in Chatham Saturday afternoon has been identified as McArthur Swindle, a rapper who performs as OTF Nunu, and the cousin of prominent Chicago rap star Lil Durk."

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3. The City Of Chicago's Tribute To Frankie Knuckles.

See also: The Logan Square mural.

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4. R.I.P. Chicago House Producer Andre Harris.

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5. How Pelican Bounced Back From The Burned-Out Abyss.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:54 AM | Permalink

When Gary Coleman Pitched Harris Bank

The year was 1977 - before Coleman landed the role of Arnold on Diff'rent Strokes.

Deets here.


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See also: The Museum Of Classic Chicago Television.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:38 AM | Permalink

Local Book Notes: Langford, Liberace & Chicago's Teen Whisperer

1. Jon Langford at Printers Row Lit Fest on Saturday.

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2. The Teen Whisperer's Chicago Connection.

"In late 2006, the writer John Green came up with the idea of communicating with his brother, Hank, for a year solely through videos posted to YouTube," Margaret Talbot writes for the New Yorker.

"The project wasn't quite as extreme as it sounds. John, who was then twenty-nine, and Hank, who was three years younger, saw each other about once a year, at their parents' house, and they typically went several years between phone calls. They communicated mainly through instant messaging.

"Hank was living in Missoula, where he'd started a Web site about green technology. John was living on the Upper West Side while his wife, Sarah Urist Green, completed a graduate degree in art history at Columbia. He had published two young-adult novels, Looking for Alaska, in 2005, and An Abundance of Katherines, in 2006, and was working on a third. Like the best realistic Y.A. books, and like The Catcher in the Rye - a novel that today would almost certainly be marketed as Y.A. - Green's books were narrated in a clever, confiding voice. His protagonists were sweetly intellectual teen-age boys smitten with complicated, charismatic girls. Although the books were funny, their story lines propelled by spontaneous road trips and outrageous pranks, they displayed a youthfully insatiable appetite for big questions: What is an honorable life? How do we wrest meaning from the unexpected death of someone close to us? What do we do when we realize that we're not as special as we thought we were?

"Green was more forgiving toward adults than Salinger was, but he shared Salinger's conviction that they underestimate the emotional depth of adolescents. Green told me, 'I love the intensity teen-agers bring not just to first love but also to the first time you're grappling with grief, at least as a sovereign being - the first time you're taking on why people suffer and whether there's meaning in life, and whether meaning is constructed or derived. Teen-agers feel that what you conclude about those questions is going to matter. And they're dead right. It matters for adults, too, but we've almost taken too much power away from ourselves. We don't acknowledge on a daily basis how much it matters.'

"Y.A. novels are peculiarly well suited to consideration of ethical matters. It seems natural when a high schooler like Miles Halter, of Looking for Alaska, is depicted struggling to write essays on topics like 'What is the most important question human beings must answer?' Miles is equally preoccupied with girls and with collecting the dying words of famous people. (His favorite: Rabelais's 'I go to seek a Great Perhaps.') Though Looking for Alaska sold modestly, it won the Michael L. Printz Award, the American Library Association's honor for best Y.A. book of the year. At the time, Green was living in Chicago, working at the association's magazine, Booklist, where he had reviewed books in a peculiar constellation of subjects: conjoined twins, boxing, and theology."

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"Upon graduating, he moved to Chicago, where he eventually ended up at Booklist. He was hired to do data entry, but he found mentors in the editor-in-chief, Bill Ott, and Ilene Cooper, a staff editor who also wrote children's and young-adult books. Cooper said of Green, 'He was a horrible slob, and he didn't do his job all that well,' recalling that he failed to send out checks to freelancers. 'He was smoking but trying to quit, so he was chewing tobacco, which was kind of gross. But he was so engaging, and he would want to talk about things like our place in the universe.' Green's older colleagues chided him for what Ott called 'some of his outrageous young-person pronouncements,' such as the claim that black-and-white movies are a waste of time. Ott said that he and Cooper, who are now married, saw him through a 'Sorrows of Young Werther-like downturn' after a girlfriend dumped him; Green told me that Ott ordered him to watch the profoundly silly 1950 film Harvey, which both lifted his spirits and cured him of his antipathy toward black-and-white. Eventually, Ott started assigning Green reviews, and Cooper did several edits on the manuscript of Looking for Alaska, which she passed along to her publisher, Dutton.

"When Green was twenty-six, he met Sarah Urist, who was managing an art gallery in Chicago. She had been three years behind him at Indian Springs, and they became reacquainted through the woman Green was then dating - Sarah's sparring partner at a boxing gym. After Green and the girlfriend broke up, he and Sarah started a friendship with a large epistolary component. 'We e-mailed back and forth for a year and talked about everything,' Green said. 'It was one of the most invigorating conversations I can remember having.'"

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3. Stories From Canaryville And Beyond.

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4. Book Bindery Service In Chicago And Wisconsin.

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5. Liberace: An American Boy.

"A piano prodigy becomes a wildly popular middlebrow entertainer with an innovative show in television's early years. He packs houses in concert halls around the world and tries to keep his gay sexuality hidden within his glittery persona, famously going to trial to protect the secret. Our free e-book for June, Liberace: An American Boy by Darden Asbury Pyron, is as entertaining as the man himself, and an extraordinary window into gay and American culture in the midst of change."

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6. It's Time To Get Angry About AIDS Again.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:42 AM | Permalink

Exclusive! Inside Chicago's NFL Draft Bid

Speculation is growing that next year's NFL draft will be held in Chicago.

The Beachwood has obtained a copy of the bid Rahm Emanuel has filed with the NFL. Here are the highlights:

* $1 million pledged to media effort led by David Axelrod to convince Chicagoans they should feel better about themselves because a bunch of rich guys are coming here to party.

* Talking points already distributed to local TV news reporters, including these suggested questions to visitors: "How do you like Chicago? Do you like Chicago? What's your favorite thing to do in Chicago? Do you like the restaurants in Chicago? Howzabout being in Chicago?"

* Gift bags will include VIP passes to Alinea and the Admiral.

* Mike Ditka will open the proceedings with a ceremonial chewing gum toss.

* Jenny McCarthy will give every team owner five minutes in the closet.

* A perimeter around downtown and the Near North Side will be sealed off to keep out the wrong element, like people who live here.

* The Art Institute lions will be remade to feature Roger Goodell's head.

* The Blue Line will be renamed the Goodell Line for the duration of the event.

* Rahm Emanuel will only ask each team owner for a campaign contribution twice. Or maybe three times, max.

* University of Chicago sports economist Allen Sanderson will be disappeared for three months surrounding the draft to prevent him from pointing out that estimates of the event's economic benefits are grossly overstated.

* Michael Sneed won't need to be told to keep track of hot spots visited by NFL contingent.

* Bulldozers will carve massive "50" onto Northerly Island surface.

* Cook County criminal justice leaders will open an auxiliary courtroom and lockup at the Palmer House Hilton to discretely handle any incidents that may arise.

* The city will file for a temporary restraining order keeping Crane Kenney and Tom Ricketts at least 1,000 yards from the event.

* Steve Fuller to present Golden Clipboard Award at predraft reception.

* Using the word "concussion" during the event will constitute a terrorist offense.

* The city pledges to use the 3-D printing lab at Harold Washington Library to produce a Soldier Field big enough to host a Super Bowl.

- Nick Shreders, Tom Chambers, Mike Luce, Tim Willette, Steve Rhodes

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 4:48 AM | Permalink

U.S. Coach: World Cup Win 'Not Realistic'

Also from Jurgen Klinsmann:

* Cubs rebuilding plan "not realistic."

* Defeating Rahm Emanuel "not realistic."

* Preventing climate change "not realistic."

* Destroying hopes and dreams "totally within realm of possibility."


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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:07 AM | Permalink

Nationality Doubtful

"As a young man, renowned Magnum photographer Josef Koudelka risked his life and his freedom to capture daring images of the Soviet-led invasion of Prague in 1968.

"In this video he discusses these and many other gripping photographs from Josef Koudelka: Nationality Doubtful, his first U.S. retrospective since 1988. Through September 14."


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See also:
* Josef Koudelka's Wikipedia page.

* Josef Koudelka's Magnum portfolio.

* Wall Street Journal: Josef Koudelka's Photos Turn Life Into Fable.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:02 AM | Permalink

June 11, 2014

The [Wednesday] Papers

Catching up . . .

"Gov. Pat Quinn's administration has long said its troubled, $54 million anti-violence program didn't spend a dime before the governor's 2010 general election, despite opponents contending it was a rush-job, 'political slush fund,' the governor used to drive critical voters to the polls," the Sun-Times reported Friday.

"New e-mails obtained by the Sun-Times, however, indicate the administration had attempted to move large amounts of tax dollars into the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative three weeks before the Nov. 2 election, a critical period when Quinn was in a tough contest against Republican challenger Bill Brady. Quinn eventually prevailed, winning by about 31,000 votes."

This story reminds me of the Curie ineligibility story and even Derrick Smith's conviction for accepting a bribe of relative chump change: "Everybody" does it but you never know if you're going to be the one to get caught. It's like someone has to be sacrificed to the gods of corruption every once in awhile in order to maintain some sort of cosmic balance to the system. The formula seems to include one alderman a year - and this year might include a governor.

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"Attempts to move the money onto the streets early on failed, however, when there were 'insufficient funds' ready to pay for the new initiative."

Pat Quinn didn't get to the bank on time and bounced a State of Illinois check.

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"In response to the Sun-Times inquiry, Quinn's administration denied that it controlled when the money was released.

"'The governor had no involvement in the timing of any grantee payments,' spokesman Grant Klinzman said."

The governor had no sense of urgency about funding the anti-violence program at all!

See, when you do something wrong, every answer backfires.

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X Men
"Chicago doesn't assign red 'X' signs to just any vacant or abandoned building; a sign is a visual cue that a structure is structurally unsound and that firefighters and other first responders should take precautions when responding to emergencies there," WBEZ explains. "It's also an extra reminder for anyone who might wander into a vacant building - which is illegal already - that they should stay out."

Also, it means don't land here because the airport was closed at midnight by a madman.

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The best part of WBEZ's report is this:

"[W]e encountered hard questions about the program that supports red 'X' signage, including whether the city's doing enough to communicate its intentions. We also turned up some surprising news: This program, meant to save the lives of first responders and others, has run out of money."

Maybe Pat Quinn will free up some funds now that he's in another dogfight for his job.

Alternate: Well, if we didn't have to pay that fine for closing Meigs . . .

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Fantasy Fix: Mining The Minors
Got Baez?

The Week/Weekend In Chicago Rock
Catching up with Bare Mutants, Make Overs, Robbie Fulks, Yann Tiersen, The Menzingers, J Mascis, NRG Ensemble, Lindsey Stirling, Jamie Cullum, Deanna Devore, Deap Valley, First Aid Kit, Threatening The Order, Devildriver, Vampire Weekend, Cults, Cher, Dacor, The New Mastersounds, The Mavericks, Christopher Willits, Don Felder, Styx, and Foreigner.

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BeachBook
* Oh Yeah! Check out the lobby of Kraft's headquarters in Northfield..

* Burton Cummings (The Guess Who) doing the Family Guy theme song at City Winery.

* 1977 Harris Bank commercial featuring Gary Coleman.

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TweetWood

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The Beachwood Tip Line: Standard.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:10 AM | Permalink

June 10, 2014

Fantasy Fix: Mining The Minors

The major league debut of Gregory Polanco against the Cubs on Tuesday night caused a run to the waiver wire in many fantasy baseball leagues, even by teams with no immediate need for an outfielder.

How can a newbie cause so much fuss? Look no further than last year's in-season debut of Yasiel Puig - or the debuts in recent weeks of George Springer, Jon Singleton and Oscar Taveras. Puig was last year's overnight sensation, while Springer was this spring's, with 12 HRs and 35 RBIs in just 47 games. Singleton already has a grand slam to his credit in just a week of service.

Polanco was 63% owned in Yahoo! leagues as of Tuesday night, so there's still a little time to get in on the action.

So, who's next? Here are a few possibilities if you want to start the bidding before they get to The Show:

* Archie Bradley, SP, ARI: It looks pretty certain that Bradley will be called up at some point by the struggling Diamondbacks, but probably not until after the All-Star break, as he recovers from minor injury. He wasn't pitching great in AAA before he went down, but 23 strikeouts in 24 innings suggest some fantasy value.

* Javier Baez, SS, CUBS: Yes, he's had a rough late spring after he wowed in spring training, but has been hitting well over .300 in a recent spate of games and though you'll find many doubters, I think the Cubs will call on him as soon as they make their first trade. That could mean as early as late June. In any case, Baez has the better shot at being called up soon than Kris Bryant, though everyone seems to be lusting after Bryant at the moment.

* Maikel Franco, 1B/3B, PHI: He had 31 HRs and103 RBIs at A and AA levels last year, and with the Phillies falling fast in the NL East, he is probably just weeks away from getting the call.

Expert Wire
* CBS Sports.com evaluates Bradley, Baez, Franco and more prospects.

* Bleacher Report has hot waiver wire pick-ups for this week.

* SI.com looks at Ryan Zimmerman's new-found OF eligibility.

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Dan O'Shea is our man in fantasyland. He welcomes your comments.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 10:11 PM | Permalink

The Week/Weekend In Chicago Rock

Catching up on a week and weekend of Chicago rock missed due to the move of Beachwood HQ.

1. Bare Mutants at Situations last Wednesday night.


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2. Make Overs at the Whistler on Thursday night.


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3. Robbie Fulks at Millennium Park on Monday night, June 1st.

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4. Yann Tiersen at Bottom Lounge on Saturday night.

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5. The Menzingers at Bottom Lounge on Friday night.

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6. J Mascis at Subterranean on Sunday night, June 1st.

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7. NRG Ensemble at the Hideout last Wednesday night.

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8. Lindsey Stirling at the Riv on Friday night.

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9. Jamie Cullum at Park West on Saturday night.

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10. Deanna Devore at Park West on Saturday night.

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11. Deap Valley at Park West on Thursday night.

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12. First Aid Kit at Park West last Wednesday night.

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13. Threatening The Order at Bobby McGee's in Chicago Ridge on Saturday night.

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14. Devildriver at Mojoes in Joliet last Wednesday night.

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15. Vampire Weekend at the UIC Pavilion on Thursday night.

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16. Cults at the UIC Pavilion on Thursday night.

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17. Cher in Rosemont on Saturday night.

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18. Dacor at House of Blues a week ago Sunday night.

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19. The New Mastersounds at House of Blues on Saturday night.

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20. The Mavericks at Thalia Hall on Sunday night.

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21. Christopher Willits at Millennium Park on Thursday night.

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22. Don Felder at Northerly Island on Friday night.

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23. Styx at Northerly Island on Friday night.

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24. Foreigner at Northerly Island on Friday night.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 3:02 PM | Permalink

The [Tuesday] Papers

"A week after Curie High School won the city basketball championship, a Chicago Public Schools investigation revealed that seven Curie basketball players had been ineligible for the entire season because the correct paperwork hadn't been filed," the Sun-Times reports.

"The Sun-Times' No. 1-ranked team was stripped of its city title and 24 victories for the season.

"Now, a Sun-Times investigation has found that CPS officials can't say for sure that basketball players at every school - including the top teams - were eligible."

Also, a renewed effort by the Sun-Times to mention the Sun-Times in every paragraph.

It also might be of more interest to readers that Curie was ranked second nationally than first locally.

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But on to the real story:

"[T]he school district is missing most of the paperwork required to show team and player eligibility, documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request show. The district ignored initial requests for the data and later released it."

So virtually the whole district was ineligible.

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"The lack of accountability regarding the academic eligibility of student-athletes raises serious questions about the academic success of the students, the lessons the students are learning from school leaders and what it means for the future of the players, education experts said."

I wish I wasn't so distracted by the construction of this article. I really dislike when something passively raises questions - and then reporters and/or their editors find it necessary to attribute that something to "experts" they have sought out to validate that something passively raises questions. Just say it! Or don't - we get it. The fact that CPS apparently doesn't keep academic eligibility records for its athletes stands on its own. It doesn't need to raise any questions outside of the obvious: Why? Who is responsible for this? What are the ramifications?

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"Though the CPS sports administration department is required by CPS bylaws to have official computer-generated eligibility sheets on file for each team for every game, the district only could provide 46 of those sheets on file - despite the 460 scheduled conference games this school year that should have produced 920 certificates.

"But there is at least one instance where each team in the game followed the rules and submitted the correct paperwork, according to CPS records. That game was played by Roosevelt and North-Grand high schools."

The word "but" should be used to show a counter-point, not a point that reinforces the previous assertion, as is the case here. So it would be more appropriate to write that "In fact, there was only one game all year when the correct paperwork was filed."

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"Apparently, no forms were on file for any of the 31 games in the city championship tournament, which Curie was forced to forfeit."

So the whole tournament should have been forfeited.

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"CPS officials only could provide the Central Office Records Sheet, a form submitted at the start of the season listing eligible players, for 30 of the 96 CPS boys basketball teams.

"Some of the documents, which were redacted by CPS, appeared to be unsigned. None of the forms appear to be from teams in the top conferences, the Red South and Red West. At least two teams from the Red Central, DuSable and King high schools, submitted the forms."

So who is in charge of the CPS sports administration department? Isn't that the person responsible for this? We aren't told. Instead, we get prepared statements from Barbara Byrd-Bennett and spokesman Joel Hood. In other words, CPS officials refused to answer questions but the Sun-Times let them pretend they did.

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It's pretty clear from the reporting that eligibility requirements have pretty much never been enforced - except when absolutely necessary.

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"Why are we the only team being penalized?" Curie coach Mike Oliver said. "Why out of all these years were we the only ones getting penalized for not turning in sheets?"

1. Good question.

2. Lesson: You don't get a free pass to disregard the rules just because everyone else is disregarding the rules. You never know when you're the one who will get caught. Just do the right thing - and if that puts you at a competitive disadvantage, so be it. Become an advocate for a level playing field, as it were. Raise the standards for everyone else instead of lowering them for yourself.

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Must-Read
Death Of Soul Music Collector, Preservationist "Devastating To Chicago Cultural History."

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BeachBook
* Vodafone Exposes Government Wiretapping.

Don't become numb and normalized to the drumbeat of these revelations; outrage should increase daily. Then again, most of these revelations aren't on your local newspapers' websites, so maybe less chance of numbness or outrage accruing that I imagine.

* 17 Student Groups Pen Open Letters On The Toxicity Of Mass Surveillance To Academic Freedom.

Not numb yet.

* Documents Show How Clinton Leaked Names Of Court Nominees.

Playing the media for the suckers they are.

* The Dangers Of A World Without Net Neutrality.

Do you really want Comcast to decide?

* Northwestern Nearly Tripling The Size Of Ryan Field Video Board.

Also changing name to Ricketts Field.

* About 900 Illinois Veterans Requested, Didn't Get Care.

We take care of our own.

* Wheeling Woman Breaks Into Stranger's Home, Demands Beer.

Hey, the door wasn't locked. Plus, beer.

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TweetWood

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Hint: Ron Wyden only presses questions for answers he already has but is prohibited from publicly revealing himself.

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The Beachwood Tip Line: Tip spelled backwards is pit.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:50 AM | Permalink

June 9, 2014

SportsMonday: Lay Off LeBron

No rational person believes that LeBron James was at fault for the cramps that tormented him at the end of Game 1 of the NBA Finals, a game his Miami Heat lost 110-95 to the Spurs last Thursday.

It was the work of the poster child for irrational sports commentary, Skip Bayless - and the response to it - that perhaps best illustrated just how ridiculous criticism of James was on Friday.

So why do so many headlines this morning say something along the lines of "LeBron answers critics with powerful performance in Heat bounce-back victory (98-96) Sunday?"

If we all agree that the original criticism was idiotic, then how about we all also agree that we aren't going to use it for facile follow-up headlines that don't bear even the tiniest bit of scrutiny? LeBron James played a great game when his basketball team had to have it - again. As it progressed, he sure as heck didn't have a chance to worry about whether his performance was sufficiently good to answer the snipers.

Local baseball was bad enough this past weekend (remember with the Cubs that when they win like they did last week that's the worst because their "plan" is still to unload the good players at the trade deadline - success now will just make that more painful) that I decided to turn the attention of this usually hyper-local column to the national sports scene. Especially since that scene is all about the NBA Finals.

Many of my fellow basketball fans are hoping, hoping, hoping James and the Heat will falter this time around. I suppose I won't be unhappy if the Heat fail to three-peat but I can't bring myself to root for the Spurs either. The main thing I'm rooting for is more of this amazing match-up, and the split of the first two games was a good start.

One big reason I don't root for the Spurs is that I'm not a fan of coach Gregg Popovich. I've written before about how annoying I find it that people forget the story of how he started his coaching run in San Antonio. In 1997 he absolutely screwed previous coach Bob Hill in a Machiavellian bit of maneuvering that also involved another thing that always ticks me off - tanking games.

When David Robinson was sidelined by a back injury early in the '96-'97 season and a Spurs team that had averaged more than 60 victories the previous two seasons started 3-15, then-general manager Popovich hatched a plan. He would ensure his team could do nothing but tank the season, thus earning a great draft pick. And then the coup-de-grace: he would fire Hill and take the coaching job for himself.

Sure, that meant sticking it to the fans who had already paid thousands of dollars for tickets for games later that season, but oh well. Robinson was ready to come back to the lineup sometime around the middle of the season but Popovich had him stay on the sideline. He was lucky enough that Chuck Person and Sean Elliot also suffered significant injuries. And the Spurs finished 20-62. They were awarded the first pick, Hill was fired, Popovich took over and Tim Duncan was drafted.

Popovich has had a victorious run ever since. Sure, he's probably a good coach but it would be great to see him have to manage just one season without Duncan. He was a big part of the Spurs' choke last season (blowing a five-point lead in the final few seconds of what would have been a Finals-clinching Game 6 win).

And wasn't it ironic that perhaps his biggest mistake in that game was to leave Duncan on the bench during Miami's last two possessions. The Heat twice managed to secure critical offensive rebounds that led to James and Ray Allen three-pointers that first cut the lead to two and then tied the game with less than three seconds left in regulation. It is a good bet that Duncan would have grabbed at least one of those caroms and the Spurs would have been golden. Instead, Miami went on to win in overtime and do the same in Game 7.

The rematch is off to an awesome start. Game 3 starts at 8 p.m. Tuesday night.

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Jim "Coach" Coffman is our man on Mondays. He welcomes your comments.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:30 AM | Permalink

West Coast Woes

This was supposed to be fun.

The idea of blowing Saturday's 5-0 eighth-inning lead with Chris Sale headed for another masterpiece wasn't part of the new plan. The package wasn't advertised to include Jose Abreu swinging and missing pitches in the dirt as he struck out four times. After taking two of three at Dodger Stadium earlier in the week, certainly a split of the six games played in Los Angeles and Anaheim wasn't asking too much.

Apparently it was. Toss in Sunday's 4-2 limp effort, concluding the three-game sweep at the hands of the Angels, and one can't blame Sox fans for thinking, "Is that all there is?"

Three games doesn't make a season, so all the clichés - "You have to have a short memory" and "Play them one at a time" - now are required.

Before looking at the brighter side, Saturday's heart-breaker bears one more painful review. Sale was doing just that - sailing along. He didn't allow a hit until Josh Hamilton singled in the fifth inning, the first hit by a left-handed batter that Sale had given up all season. Lefties were 0-for-33 before Hamilton's hit.

After six innings, the Sox ace had fanned five and walked one in addition to Hamilton's single. He retired the first two hitters in the seventh before David Freese and Hamilton managed back-to-back singles. Sale responded by striking out C.J. Cron.

However, Erick Aybar doubled to open the fateful eighth, and he was driven home on Chris Iannetta's base hit. So that made four hits in the last five batters. The Sox lefty had thrown 98 pitches to that point. If Sale wasn't losing it - his fastball still was 95-plus - maybe the Angels were figuring him out. Maybe it was time for manager Robin Ventura to pat him on the back, say, "Great job," and summon a bullpen that has been quite solid recently.

Post-game, though, Ventura said, "You're not going to pull him out the way he's going there. You have to let him have his game."

Of course, we now know that an Alexei Ramirez error (he couldn't get the ball out of his glove) and another single loaded the bases for Mike Trout, whom Sale later called "the best in the league." And we are painfully aware that Sale dueled Trout for seven pitches before Trout drove Sale's offering far into the night over the left-center field wall to tie the game at 5.

That's when Ventura replaced Sale with Jake Petricka, still with no outs. Petricka retired the first two Angels he faced but then gave up a run on three straight singles. The Sox went down in order in the ninth, and the Angels earned an unlikely 6-5 victory.

On Sunday's telecast, Hawk Harrelson and Steve Stone supported Ventura's decision, and I haven't noticed any second-guessing of Ventura's reasoning, especially by folks like me who never have walked in Robin's shoes.

However, one of the attractions of the game is to think along with the manager and either applaud his moves or conclude that - to be kind - he was sorely mistaken.

A somewhat similar situation occurred Sunday in Tampa Bay where King Felix Hernandez of the Mariners was lifted by manager Lloyd McClendon after seven innings of a scoreless tie. The King had given up four hits to that point while walking one and striking out a career-high 15, including the last two hitters in the seventh with the lead run on third base. He had thrown exactly 100 pitches.

McClendon, who seems to be doing a decent job in Seattle this season after managing the Pirates for five years to a .430 winning percentage, said that the stress of stranding the runner on third took enough out of Hernandez for him to make a change.

The Mariners scored five in the ninth for a 5-0 win.

Two games. Two of baseball's elite pitchers. Two different approaches by the managers. Two different outcomes. Is this a great game or what?

Of course, the Sox had a much merrier time when visiting Dodger Stadium before the dismal trip to Orange County. Jose Quintana easily could have beaten Clayton Kershaw on Monday had his teammates not made a couple of errors, turning a 2-0 lead into a 5-2 loss. All of the Dodger runs were unearned.

However, the Sox rebounded for impressive 4-1 and 2-1 wins, meaning that Sox pitching yielded just two earned runs in 27 innings. Abreu came back from two weeks on the disabled list by stroking two homers and driving in five runs in the first two games.

At the invitation of my nephew Lester, I went out to see the two Sox wins in Los Angeles at baseball's third-oldest park. When the Dodgers moved to Los Angeles in 1958, they played four seasons at the Los Angeles Coliseum before moving into the state-of-the-art, 56,000-seat Dodger Stadium in 1962.

(In the 1959 World Series, the Sox and Dodgers drew crowds of more than 92,000 for all three games played at the Coliseum. The Dodgers helped celebrate 50 years in Los Angeles in 2008 by returning to the Coliseum for a pre-season exhibition with the Red Sox. Using all the seats, they drew 115,300.)

There is much to like about Dodger Stadium. It still goes by its original name. Even when the team suffered under the McCourt ownership, they didn't sell the name in a city where "marketing" is a way of life. Size does matter at Dodger Stadium with four decks - that's an "e" not an "i" - rising above the field in Chavez Ravine. Since the stadium doesn't sit on a hill but rather in a hill, upon entering you more or less discover the ballpark. Driving and walking to the entrances give no hint of what lies embedded in nature.

While not being of brick and mortar, Vin Scully is arguably the gem of the Dodger experience. His countenance appears on the video boards prior to the game as he provides background and current records and then says, "Don't worry about the numbers, just sit back and relax and enjoy the game." His commentary on the death of Don Zimmer last week was trademark Scully: simply outstanding.

Of course, Dodger Stadium has deficits - like no beer vendors. You need to visit the concession stand to purchase 24-ounce cans of a variety of brews, most of which cost $12. A Super Dodger Dog was especially disappointing. Skinny. No grilled onions. A Wonder bun. Woeful.

Super Dodger Dog.jpg

And, yes, beginning in the sixth inning, the Dodger (un)faithful start departing, purportedly to beat the traffic. Crowds announced at 44,477 and 45,540 on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively, numbered maybe half that by the time the ninth inning rolled around.

"Where are they going?" I asked Lester. "Don't they know that Belisario is our closer? He played here. They should know better."

Maybe I should, too. Belisario retired all six batters he faced in two consecutive saves for John Danks and Hector Noesi, who hadn't recorded a victory in more than two years. Noesi is one of those guys the Sox nabbed off the junk heap earlier this season when the Rangers, who had purchased him from the Mariners, decided he couldn't pitch and put him on waivers.

General manager Rick Hahn hasn't had much success with guys like Felipe Paulino or Frank Francisco, broken-down, unwanted pitchers looking for one last chance to show they still have something left. But Noesi has averaged six innings in his last six starts with a 3.46 ERA. He was especially tough against the Dodgers with men on base, stranding eight runners over six innings.

Noesi will have to continue his effectiveness this evening when Detroit comes to The Cell for the first of four games. The resiliency of this season's White Sox has been praised time and time again. They score a lot of runs late. They're never out of a game. After a disheartening three losses in Anaheim, we'll see just how resilient the Sox are beginning tonight.

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Roger Wallenstein is our man on the Sox. He welcomes your comments.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:57 AM | Permalink

June 7, 2014

TrackNotes: America's (Drugged-Up) Horses, California Chrome & Betting The Belmont

With California Chrome, jockey Victor Espinoza, trainer Art Sherman and owners Steve Coburn and Perry Martin attempting to become the 12th group in history to win American Thoroughbred horse racing's Triple Crown, there is going to be a lot of attention paid to the game this weekend.

Some of it will the kind horse racing does not want, but the kind it most certainly needs and deserves as the result of its behavior.

This Belmont weekend could very well be a monumental crossroads for the very future of racing in America - a California Chrome win or not.

You'll hear poetic wax on 'Chrome being "America's horse," and learn about the cute endorsements/exploitations with the horse's "shoe deal" or the breathing strip giveaway. And the rags-to-riches story of how the California cowboys have only about $12,000 into a horse that has earned them more than $3.45 million will be on a veritable loop in NBC's television coverage.

But at the same time, the Belmont Stakes will run on the heels of yet another report, this one by HBO's Real Sports, about the widespread use of drugs in horse racing. That is, legal drugs that are regulated in however many ways in however many states that sanction horse racing.

A big one is Lasix, a diuretic that horsemen say prevents the horse from bleeding in the lungs in a race when, more probably, it purges fluid - weight - from a horse to make it lighter. Disgraced trainer Scott Blasi, top assistant to one of the most winning trainers of all time, Steve Asmussen, said as much in a controversial video released by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

If the video showed nothing else, and even if you decry PETA's methods, it does show that these trainers know Lasix, which is used nearly universally on race day in America, to be a performance enhancing substance.

That's just one of the many medications horses are subjected to in their racing careers.

How do we personally process all of this?

It can be called a rationalization or, perhaps, hypocrisy. These things have been going on forever, we say. Hell, they only fairly recently banned milkshakes, a bicarbonate of soda cocktail given to horses to improve their oxygen processing. And steroids are now banned.

Optimistically, Jerry Bossert of the New York Daily News reports that again this year, horses will be closely monitored in the days leading to the race: "[A]ll horses participating in the Belmont Stakes must be on the grounds by noon on June 4 and will be subject to out-of-competition drug testing."

Trainers will be required to provide complete veterinarian records for the three days before the race and horses will be watched constantly in those days. Blood samples will also be taken for testing. Notice the limitation to "horses participating in the Belmont Stakes."

These measures were enacted only in 2012 when trainer Doug O'Neill, with pending drug suspensions already hanging over his head, brought in I'll Have Another for his shot at the Triple Crown. The New York Racing Association cracked its whip, seeking to demonstrate it's toughness with O'Neil and all the others.

And it looked like the system worked. The vet records showed an intense regimen of treatment for an assortment of ailment(s). Maladies O'Neill said he didn't even know about! We'll never know, but we can hope that O'Neill and owner J. Paul Reddam were "persuaded" to scratch the horse, which they did the day before the race.

The dirt on racing has been dished and it's as serious as a two-dollar bet. This is a golden opportunity for racing to admit it has a problem and to seek help. If the states won't get together on standard regulations for the sport, getting just a couple of the bigger states to begin truly banning these drugs will force others to do so. Can't run in New York AND Maryland AND Kentucky because of drug bans? The horsemen will scream for standardization.

Racing is not an "it," and that is the problem. It is an amorphous jumble of tracks and corporations and state regulatory bodies. If any one of the giants among these takes a strong stance - takes up a crusade - that business as usual is over, such as with drugs, inconsistent regulations, inconsistent wagering and customer service, change might truly be possible.

If California Chrome wins the Triple Crown, so much the better. But don't just call it a nice, positive story that the game needed and move on. Use it as an opportunity, under the full scrutiny of those who might turn into fans and those who despise the game, to show that racing seeks to heal itself. And then follow through!

The traditional racing trade press won't do it. So, Tom Hammond and Jerry Bailey and Randy Moss and Bobby Costas, I dare any one of you to talk about it Saturday.

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This is the 13th time since Affirmed's Crown in 1978 that a horse has come into the Belmont Stakes with a chance for racing's ultimate trifecta. Some of the highlights:

* 1979: The best of this group, Spectacular Bid finished third behind Coastal in the Belmont. What was it? The safety pin they found in his foot the morning of the race or the theory that 19-year-old jockey Ronnie Franklin sent him too early on the backstretch and burned him out? With a lifetime record of 30-26-2-1, some say the 'Bid was one of the best horses ever, let alone to not win the Triple Crown.

* 1989: After interrupted training between the races and kicking his trainer, Charlie Whittingham, in the head days before the Belmont, Sunday Silence was easily beaten by Easy Goer, who recorded the second fastest Belmont ever behind, of course, Secretariat.

* 1997: Silver Charm, beginning the first of three straight years of 'Crown hopefuls, suffered a tough-beat Belmont to Touch Gold, who had stumbled in the Preakness.

* 1998: In one of the closest Belmonts in history, Real Quiet was beaten a large nostril by Victory Gallop, ridden by Gary Stevens, who had been aboard Silver Charm the year before. Stevens will be on the sidelines this year.

* 2002: Kicking off another three-year string of 'Crown attempts, War Emblem, winner of the Illinois Derby in the last hurrah for Cicero's old Sportsman's Park, (with 'Chrome's rider Victor Espinoza aboard) stumbled at the start, gained the lead at the head of the stretch, then faded to eighth as 70-1 Sarava shocked. 'Emblem, who had just come under the tutelage, and ownership, of Bob Baffert, was a speed merchant who never figured to get the 12 furlongs.

* 2003: This was a fun year. New York-bred gelding Funny Cide romped by almost 10 lengths in the Preakness. His downfall in the Belmont figured to be a lights out gallop in the week before the race and an inability to relax in the mud at Belmont. He finished third behind Empire Maker. The bevy of owners in his syndicate would ride to the races in a charter, of course: a yellow school bus.

* 2004: My most disappointing Triple Crown, Smarty Jones ran a tremendous race - if it had been at 11 furlongs and change. After suffering a severe head injury in a starting gate training accident in July of his two-year-old year, Smarty rebounded to win Aqueduct's Count Fleet in early 2004. Trainer John Servis took the Razorback route as Smarty parlayed the Southwest Stakes, Rebel Stakes and the Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park to head into the Kentucky Derby the first to be undefeated since 1977's Crown king Seattle Slew. After a record 12-length win in the Preakness, Smarty entered the Belmont still perfect. You can believe either that Smarty was bullheaded or rank, or you can believe that third-tier jockey Stewart Elliot sent him way too early on the backstretch, but he ran each of the first three quarters faster than the last. His middle half-mile was faster than Secretariat's (he has Secretariat in his blood lines)! But what a gutty performance. It took Nick Zito's little Birdstone about every Belmont inch to run down Smarty, but he did, and paid $74 to win. The Belmont crowd fell silent and the disappointment was so palpable, racing scion Marylou Whitney needlessly, but sincerely, apologized to the crowd and the world for denying the Triple Crown. Disappointingly again, Smarty Jones was retired after the Belmont, severe ankle bruising being cited. I'm still reeling over that too.

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Attention! Have your pencils and scorecards ready:

1. Medal Count: He pretty much bopped around the Triple Crown trail before settling at Keeneland, with an off-the-turf win in the Transylvanian and a hanging second in the Blue Grass Stakes, both on the synthetic. He had a lot of early Derby buzz but bombed in the Fountain of Youth and had to stop short in heavy traffic in the Kentucky Derby stretch. He'll have to take a big step up overall and huge step up on dirt on a course he's never seen. His sire being Dynaformer is his only asset.

2. California Chrome: A first-time/long-timer on a Manhattan radio show wondered: "If he wins the Triple Crown, might we say he's the best horse ever?" Um, no.

The pros are that he has proven that he is the best three-year-old male right now, he has won on dirt and synthetic on five different tracks, he seems able to dictate his own trips, he is reportedly in good condition and sticking to his normal routine, and he should have great foundation after six races this year and 12 lifetime. The cons are that his Kentucky Derby win was the slowest in 40 years, the Preakness win was a diminishing length-and-a-half, he's probably just the best of a bad bunch, he had dream trips in the Derby and Preakness, he is the son of Lucky Pulpit who didn't win much and never won past 5.5 furlongs (!), and he could be tired after six races this year and 12 lifetime. Derby and Preakness runnersup Commanding Curve and Ride On Curlin, respectively, are no great shakes when measured by stakes wins.

Don't ask if he'll win the Triple Crown, first ask if he'll win the Belmont. Odds are, no. The sharps are predicting that the fractions will be moderate, with Samraat and Tonalist attempting to set the pace, that there will be no suicidal pace to fall apart and run into. DUH, never happens in the Belmont anyway. Post position is not too much of a factor because the race is so long.

I say the two-hole does not favor 'Chrome. What is he going to do? His best move, with luck, will be to bide time next to Medal Count among the leaders, concede the lead to a couple of pacesetters, get into third or fourth position, and calmly make his way around the track. Save ground on the rail? Move out two lanes? Depends on traffic and how the track is playing.

What if the inexperienced Matterhorn on his outside and/or Commanding Curve, who wants to win, jump up and suddenly 'Chrome finds himself behind and boxed by three or five horses or worse? Which is not his M.O. The race could and maybe should set up for him, but he'll have to work to make that so.

I figure he'll need at least a couple dipsy doodles in the long race and with a full mile-and-a-half to run, will that burn up too much of the famous knockout punch he'll need down the long Belmont stretch? What about Victor Espinoza, whose experience, including two previous Belmonts, is very limited at Big Sandy? Will he panic up into the first turn or backstretch to keep 'Chrome in sight of the leaders? Or will he have so much patience that he ends up in the last car of the train? It's a long race; a lot will happen. And don't bet on him (at a low price) because you want him to win or, worse, you want a Triple Crown.

Don't laugh, Captain Obvious, but California Chrome will have a lot of work to do and if he can do that, maintain over the longest of distances and fend off inevitable tough challenges from others, he will be a deserving winner. A Triple Crown horse who was not bred to do it!

It's a conundrum. I don't think he can be considered among the pantheon of great horses or even great Triple Crown winners. But if he wins Belmont on Saturday, they'll never be able to take away from him an immortality that better horses have been unable to achieve since Affirmed.

3. Matterhorn: An epic mountain to climb and not a sherpa in sight. Lay down a couple Washingtons and then say "yodel le he hoo!" to them. I hope he doesn't mess up the 2 horse.

4. Commanding Curve: He could be the second favorite, based on his recovery from a troubled trip in the Derby to get up for second and paying $31.80. He's working well but he'll need to improve significantly from the Derby. He has shown closing ability, which could prove handy in a moderate pace where the glory seekers up front just might be tiring. At 15-1 on the morning line, if he stays there, it's a good price for a horse capable of winning and worth inclusion. Beware of the talking-head NBC wiseguys. They may drive down his price.

5. Ride On Curlin: Son of the fantastic Curlin (sire of last year's Belmont winner Palace Malice) out of a Storm Cat mare, Ride On Curlin is like the best man who organizes the bachelor party but has to be the designated driver, in the Derby. Then gives a truly moving and poignant toast at the Preakness reception but calls the bride Stacy instead of Tracy.

He hasn't won since just after college bowl season. Calvin Borel made his Derby about himself by falling back and taking him to the rail and then had to go back outside, finishing seventh. Joel Rosario had to be careful on Pimlico's tight turns but got him chugging just a little too late to catch 'Chrome. I think he benefits in this race by having some of the better three-year-olds elsewhere for various reasons. He has a six-race foundation in 2014, just like CC, and Belmont veteran, the premier John Velazquez aboard. The wedding festivities are over, but now he has to go back to work on Monday morning. He'll be getting married himself someday and the boys will high-five him all over the place. Just not this weekend. See how he looks in the post parade and if he stays at the 12-1 morning line or better, go for it.

6. Matuszak: Tooz? Whaddya doin' heah?! At 50-1 or better, trainer Bill Mott is thrilled with his progress and Mike Smith rides. Hey, go ahead. But be ready to give a toodle loo to a couple more Washingtons.

7. Samraat: Good news and bad news. Sired by Noble Causeway (Giant's Causeway). Dam sire is Indian Charlie, whose distance pedigree is famous for its nonexistence. But Samraat is a tryer whose wins in his first five races - none more than 8.5 furlongs - caught a lot of buzz. He was beaten 3.5 in the Wood Memorial to Wicked Strong, who will be tough here. With an aggravating trip in the Derby, he finished fifth by nearly six lengths; toss it and he's where you want him to be after skipping the Preakness, IF he can possibly go 12 furlongs. He'll want to be a part of the early festivities on the lead, but to win, he'll have to absolutely steal it while somebody else sets up a major diversion.

8. Commissioner: Son of A.P. Indy (Seattle Slew) out of a (Belmont-winner) Touch Gold mare, his angle is pedigree. Coming out of a Fountain of Youth clunker, wouldn't you have liked to at least see him beat the distance-challenged Midnight Hawk in the Sunland Derby? Did he simply hate the Oaklawn going in the Arkansas Derby? Is his second to Tonalist in the Peter Pan, still four lengths back, possible only because of a sealed (very wet) track? How many excuses does this guy get? He's only got one speed, so his only chance is to get close up, stay clear, and let the 12 furlongs do it for him. But he should be good value.

9. Wicked Strong: Or he might be the second favorite. Trainer Jim Jerkens has got to have high hopes in this race for the son of Hard Spun (Danzig) out of a Charismatic mare. Wicked is 1-for-2 at Belmont and seems like a New York kind of guy. Having to go where it's warm, he bombed at Gulfstream early in the year, returned to The Apple and won the Wood Memorial by nearly four over Samraat and Social Inclusion, who wisely ducked out of this race and landed in the 7-furlong Woody Stephens earlier in the day. He ran well in the Derby, finishing fourth by nearly five after encountering the standard Derby traffic. His impressive style in the Wood was very reminiscent of 'Chrome's. Rajiv Maragh needs to realize that. Why not dance with the star and tango around the track right with him? And Wicked' took the Preakness off! Just pray his odds stay at or above the ML 6-1. Include.

10. General a Rod: This is the kind of horse that if I toss him, I'll get ashed like a Kingsford briquette. His second in the Fountain of Youth was nice enough. There was a lot to like with his two-length third in the Florida Derby in a race he probably needed. Then he gets caught in the silly traffic of the Derby and gets cut off by the ridiculous run to the front by Ria Antonia in the Preakness. He's either demoralized, or he's learning. I'll take the latter at a big price, and Rosie Napravnik up. I just hope he isn't tired. I should have seen Birdstone, but I won't take my eyes off of this one. I just feel like I want to trust him one more time.

11. Tonalist: Or THIS one might be the second favorite. In a race this long, I don't see a problem with the outside post. But I do see a problem with this Tapit colt in only his fifth race and his second off a 10-week layoff. Sure, he won the Wood Memorial by four. But the track was sealed and that 103 Beyer Speed Figure might be a questionable result. And it might be a giraffe Beyer, high but a one time thing that screams bounce. We don't know. His works at Belmont are so-so. Tapit for distance pedigree is a negatory. His price may be way too low. But what if he's just some precocious upstart who simply doesn't obey his elders? Maybe a couple of Washingtons to cover, but I'm leaning more with "Beat it kid, you bother me."

* * * * *

I'm going to have two dollars on everybody. And a lots/with/lots exacta. Watch the odds and see how many bet on California Chrome and how odds on the others (should) hold up. Commanding Curve and Wicked Strong are real contenders, along with Ride On Curlin. I will play a few exacta boxes with and without California Chrome. The mile-and-a-half is the great equalizer. Obviously a grinding race. Medal Count might contend, with hope on a General a Rod price. Wager-wise, a win by California Chrome is a mundane event, but a loss should pay.

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Tom Chambers is our man on the rail. He welcomes your comments.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 2:32 PM | Permalink

The Weekend Desk Report

MONDAY PROGRAMMING NOTE:

Things are still out of sorts at the old/new Beachwood HQ. Hopefully this is the last day of madness.

Here's what we have so far, and then we'll see how the rest of the day develops:

* White Sox Report: West Coast Woes.

Including a disappointing Dodger Dog.

* SportsMonday: Lay Off LeBron.

Where witless Skip Bayless goes, the rest of the sports media follows.

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The Weekend Desk Report
Congratulations to Wisconsin on being dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century.

Market Update
Breaking news: It's good to be rich in Chicago.

Ward Of The City
Putting aldermen in charge of truancy is a pretty good idea. Of course, they'd have to know where their ward is first.

No More Tears
No more justice either.

Naked Ambition
Gotta admit, this headline seemed way more exciting.

Same Old Way
So it's been a couple of months now; how's that new way of doing things working out?

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The Weekend Desk Tip Line: Old and new.

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The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour!
Post-Mortem Blackhawks, Pre-Mortem Kubs & Mortem World Cup.

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TrackNotes
America's (Drugged-Up) Horses, California Chrome & Betting The Belmont.

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Beachwood Photo Booth
Old Man And The Tree.

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The Week In Juvenile Justice
Wisconsin stabbing, Baltimore curfew, Maryland monitoring, Massachusetts first, Iowa limbo, the Russian penis test, the British parent exclusion zone and more in our weekly review of juvey justice here and abroad.

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BeachBook
* When KISS Played Fremd High School (And Rush Opened).

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TweetWood

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The Sound Opinions Weekend Listening Report: "Paging the Rock Doctors! Jim and Greg help a fellow physician find the perfect surgery soundtrack. Plus, Steve Wynn and Scott McCaughey, members of supergroup The Baseball Project, talk about America's two favorite pastimes: Baseball and Rock 'n' Roll. Then, Jim and Greg review the new album from indie songstress Sharon Van Etten."

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The CAN TV Weekend Viewing Report: CAN TV brings you local, relevant issues from Chicago's neighborhoods and communities. See what's happening around the city in education, the arts, government, cultural events, social services and community activities.

Juvenile Justice Symposium

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Educators, experts and politicians including Fenger principal Liz Dozier share their perspectives on the causes of and solutions to violence in Chicago. The Illinois Judicial Council and Criminal and Juvenile Justice Clinic at the University of Chicago Law School hosted this event.

Sunday at 9 a.m. on CAN TV21.

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Mystic Vibes: History of Jamaican Migration

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Jamaican Ambassador Dr. Bryan K. Basil traces the migration of Jamaicans to the United States, from the Civil War through its peak in the '60s and '70s.

Sunday at 9 p.m. on CAN TV19.

Posted by Natasha Julius at 8:13 AM | Permalink

June 6, 2014

The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #3: Blackhawks Post-Mortem, Kubs Pre-Mortem & World Cup Mortem

Plus: How the White Sox are out-rebuilding Theo.

And: The Bears report for OTAs.

That's really all we say about that.


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See the Beachwood Radio Network archives.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 7:36 PM | Permalink

Beachwood Photo Booth: Old Man And The Tree

An instant classic.

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More Chicago photography from Helene Smith.

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Helene on Twitter!

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Meet Helene!

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Stationery, iPhone cases, hoodies.

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Listen to Helene talk about Photo Booth; starts at 57:54.

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Previously:
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Man Grilling
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Yum Yum Donuts
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Father's Day
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Vintage Airmaster
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Time
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Window Shade
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Illinois Slayer
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Fire Escape
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Golden Nugget
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Hollywood, Chicago
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Flag Man.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Van In Flames.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Fluid Power Automation.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Corn Dog.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Stop The Killing Car.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Backyard.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: A to Z Things.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Swedish Diner.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Rothschild Liquors.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Silos.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Wires.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Orange Garden.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Irving Park Guy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Pigeons.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: O'Lanagan's.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: For Rent.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Marie's Pizza & Liquors.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Mori Milk.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: American Breakfast.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: A Chicago Christmas Postcard.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Holiday Harold's.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Family Fun.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Snow Bike.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Nativity Scene.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Old Warsaw.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Deluxe Cleaners.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Marie's Golden Cue.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Die Another Day.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Sears Key Shop.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Window Dressing.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Jeri's Grill.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Barry's Drugs.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Liberty.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Kitchen.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Golden Specials.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: We Won The Cup.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bartender Man.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Blue Plane Blues.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Finest Quality.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Family Guy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Girls Wanted.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Skokie Savanna.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Signpost.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:28 AM | Permalink

June 5, 2014

The [Thursday] Papers

FRIDAY PAPERS PROGRAMMING NOTE: They will be late due to final push of Beachwood HQ move. Weekend podcasts also now in production.

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1. In honor of Derrick Rose . . .

2. "The budget also included language that authorizes $35 million in school construction in Chicago, funds that will be used to pay for a 1,200-student school in Madigan's political home turf in the 13th Ward near Midway Airport," the Sun-Times reported last week.

It will be called Michael Madigan's Magic Money Magnet.

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"'I haven't read the language of the amendment,' Madigan [said] in response to a question about a bill he sponsored making the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum its own state agency."

So only two of the three "Rs" taught at the new school.

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Actually, writing won't be taught either; it'll just be arithmetic and map-making.

3. "When Chicago Public Schools officials unveiled school budgets for next year, they promised more money for schools that suffered through this year's budget cuts," the Tribune reported last week.

"But a month after the budgets were released, school officials and parents say the increased per-pupil funding for the 2014-15 school year mostly cover teacher raises and rising costs, and that cuts to programs and staff this year will not be restored."

Michael Madigan was not available for comment.

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"As neighborhood schools continue to experience a budget crunch, parents complain that Mayor Rahm Emanuel has allocated money for a new Obama College Prep selective-enrollment high school."

Barack Obama was not available for comment.

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"Like other grammar schools, [Belding Elementary] is also grappling with how to provide staff to fulfill two policy changes: a mandatory 90 minutes of physical education per week per student and two hours of arts programs each week for every student. The physical education requirement will increase over the next two years."

It doesn't take the Advanced Math Club at Belding to understand that doesn't add up.

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Hiram H. Belding was not available for comment.

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"[I]f no action is taken to extend the state income tax increase, the CPS budget faces further tightening. The Governor's Office of Management and Budget predicted this month that if state lawmakers fail to maintain the current tax rate, CPS stands to lose $224 million."

Michael Madigan's Magic Money Magnet was not available for comment.

4. "Police are preparing use a tactic first developed to handle roaming protests during the NATO Summit two years ago to deal with a growing number of groups of teenagers attempting to wreak havoc on downtown streets and along the lakefront as summer sets in," CBS 2 reports.

They're gonna try to entrap them?

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"McCarthy said police responded to a handful of incidents already this past weekend.

"'Over the weekend, we had at least five or six examples of large groups of kids coming off the CTA, that we escorted around basically like NATO protesters, which is the tactic that we used last year that was so effective,' McCarthy said.

"Police formed cordon lines around the groups of teens and followed them around to prevent them from causing trouble."

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BeachBook
* Americans Starting To Doubt President Obama Is A Good Boss.

* Relatives Of Americans Killed By Drone Strikes: No Justice In U.S. Courts.

* Inside The Mark Buehrle/Dioner Navarro Partnership.

* Showdown Over Secret-Court Documents In Chicago.

* The Single Most Insufferable Response To Gawker's Vice Media Story.

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The Beachwood Tip Line: Designated.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 7:56 AM | Permalink

June 4, 2014

The [Wednesday] Papers

"Nanci Koschman waited too long to sue Chicago Police officers and Cook County prosecutors for failing to charge a nephew of former Mayor Richard M. Daley with killing her son, David Koschman, according to lawyers trying to get her civil-rights lawsuit thrown out," the Sun-Times reports.

Right. She should have sued before that file was found.

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"The mother could have sued when news reports revealed that Vanecko was involved, according to Vincent J. Connelly, a private attorney hired by City Hall who argues in a court filing Tuesday that the city and 21 police officers should be dropped from the case."

Or, and just hear me out here, the city could have come clean when news reports revealed that Vanecko was involved. Just sayin'.

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Do us all a favor, Rahm: Don't harass Nanci Koschman on our account. We'll pay the settlement. Or better yet: Go collect the money from your pals and the pals of the Daley family. They owe us all that - and they owe Nanci Koschman that in spades.

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"Nanci Koschman's 'failure to [sue sooner] is the cause of her injuries, not the purported cover-up,' Connelly wrote."

Tax dollars funded that argument. Vincent J. Connelly, you are Today's Worst Person In Chicago.

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"He has the full package: he's a lawyer of enormous talents and a tremendous human being."

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Jimmy Fallon was just about to ask about Koschman when he ran out of time and had to get to Jonah Hill.

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"And then I thought, fuck Nanci Koschman! You should've sued when you had your chance!"

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"Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez also argues Koschman waited too long to sue her, her chief of staff Dan Kirk and her predecessor Richard Devine," the Sun-Times also reports.

Of course she does.

In other news, Darren O'Brien waited too long to resign.

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"Jonah Hill apologizes on the Tonight Show after learning the hard way that gay slurs are never cool to invoke."

Then Rahm told Hill to take out his fucking tampon.

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("Jonah Hill apologizes" description is from NPR's Eric Deggans' LinkedIn page; had a linking issue.)

Game Of Little Chance
So, basically, the problem is that not enough Illinoisans are throwing their money away on the virtual impossibility of winning the lottery.

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In an alternate universe, the headline is: Officials Laud Increase In Cognitive Skills.

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Maybe Illinois oughta move to Manila.

City Of Night
Chicago is in many ways the most ironic of cities, and becoming a City of Lights would make it even more so for a town that likes to keep so much of its business in the dark.

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Alternate: I wonder how much of the bidding and building process will be done in the dark.

Ricketts Racket
Even Cubs radio goes minor league.

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Theo Epstein promises a better broadcast in five years.

Fantasy Fix
Is The Captain Still Clutch?

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BeachBook
* Bank Of America Says Picketty Is Right.

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TweetWood

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The Beachwood Tip Line: Clutch.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:55 AM | Permalink

June 3, 2014

Fantasy Fix: Is The Captain Still Clutch?

Derek Jeter turns 40 in three weeks. Can a fantasy case be made for Captain Clutch in this, his final season?

I had Jeter listed as a sleeper at SS in my pre-season ranks, though based really only on his career-long tendency to do something great at exactly the right time.

I wasn't expecting a heck of a lot, and if you took a chance on Jeter, you haven't gotten much at all: .267 AVG, 1 HR, 11 RBI, 1 SB. He also hasn't been the everyday player Yanks manager Joe Girardi suggested he would be this season.

Jeter is currently available in about 65% of Yahoo! leagues, and has probably been more of a drop than an add recently. However, if you believe there's any magic left, the time to pick him up is getting near. Throughout his career, July has been Jeter's best month as a hitter - a .326 career clip during that month. August is almost as good - .322. Jeter recently collected a four-hit game facing the White Sox at the Cell, so maybe he's remembering this, too.

Jeter continued to retain fantasy relevance the last few years, without doing much more than being a very good hitter who drove enough runs and stole enough bases that he was always delivering in one stat category or another. Can he do it one more time?

Expert Wire
* SI.com looks at hot pick-up Oscar Taveras, the Cards' new call-up.

* Bleacher Report has your top 10 waiver wire pick-ups this week.

* ESPN looks at hot prospects with the MLB draft coming up later this week.

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Dan O'Shea is our man in fantasyland. He welcomes your comments.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:57 PM | Permalink

The [Tuesday] Papers

Moving is hell.

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BeachBook
* The Tamale Guy's Status.

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TweetWood

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The Beachwood Tip Line: Bada bingaroo.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:08 PM | Permalink

June 2, 2014

The [Monday] Papers

I'm still overextended - and exhausted - due to my move (and other obligations) over the weekend, so The Papers won't return today after all. I'm just trying to hold it all together, people.

As usual, though, we still have fresh Beachwood content. To wit:

* SportsMonday: The Blackhawks' X Factor Begins With An O.

* The White Sox Report: Draft Danger.

* Editor's Note: I know our sports news feed is broken. It's on the list.

* U.S. Destroyed NSA Spying Evidence.

* The Weekend In Chicago Rock.

Featuring: Savage Sister, Jackie Greene, The Bannermen, High on Fire, Ex-Cult, Running, The Westies, New Rose Alliance, Nones, Infamous Crew, Pseudogod, Yacht, Gipsy Kings, and Staind.

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BeachBook
* Chicago Footwork Denmark.

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TweetWood

*

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The Beachwood Tip Line: Tipsall.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:06 PM | Permalink

SportsMonday: X Factor Stars With An O

The Kings triumphed by the tiniest margin imaginable last night. Los Angeles secured its victory after the teams battled to a tie at the end of regulation. The Kings have made a habit of taking series' to the limit during these playoffs, clinching three straight with game 7 victories on the road.

But even for them, last night was close. It was the first time they had gone to overtime in the do-or-die series finale. And while the Kings had the better of the play during the extra period leading up to the game-winning goal, the Hawks had chances as well. The kind of flukey, fluttering goal that happened to bounce off Nick Leddy and just over the shoulder of Corey Crawford could easily have happened at the other end.

What was the factor that pushed the Kings over the top?

It wasn't goaltending, or goal-scoring, although in the end of course the visitors did manage that one final, one-goal margin. I think the most surprising thing about this series was the Hawks' inability to hold leads. Hell, they practically set a record for that in last night's game alone, squandering 2-0, 3-2 and 4-3 leads.

This was the worst we've seen the Hawks defensive corps play over an entire series during the championship era (the first year of which was the first Stanley Cup season that ended in 2010, of course).

And fatigue had to be a factor. In other words, I blame the Olympics!

Three of the Hawks' four top defensemen didn't just play in the energy-sapping international tournament in Russia in the middle of the season; Duncan Keith (Canada), Niklas Hjalmarrson and Johnny Oduya (both Sweden) took that tournament to the limit, with Canada knocking off Sweden in the Olympic finale. A total of 10 Hawks participated over all.

The Kings only had six players participate in the Olympics and only one of their core defensemen made the finals. That would all-world Drew Doughty, who starred on the blue line for Canada. Defenseman Slava Voynov also participated but his Russian team bowed out early (the quarterfinals).

The Hawk defense simply wasn't its usual oppressive self in the playoffs and especially against the Kings. I actually support NHL players competing in the Olympics if they want to - the hockey tournament in Sochi was seriously entertaining after all.

But there was a price to be paid for participating in an intense tournament in the middle of the season while most of the league was taking a couple weeks off, and the Hawks finally paid it. They were actually lucky they didn't have a problem with more injuries suffered by Olympic participants - at least that we know about. One of the elements of a hockey season post-mortem is finding out what injuries the players didn't officially report during their runs through the post-season.

The bottom line is, it was amazing the Hawks made it as far as they did. Crawford didn't have a great series against the Kings (he was also tremendously unlucky, especially in last night's game as fluky goal after fluky goal just managed to cross the goal line). But he won the Wild series almost single-handedly with great performances in the final few games. And he was also a big difference-maker in the first round against the Blues. Quite simply, Crawford has proven he can back-stop a champ and he got better this season.

There is always a certain amount of roster turnover from year to year in sports, especially in a league with a rock-solid salary cap. Next year's Hawks will have at least somewhat of a different look.

But let me cast my vote (and Stan Bowman, I know you're out there wondering exactly what your plan should be this offseason) for the team making the fewest changes possible. I love this group's chances next year after a nice, relaxing off-season and playing in a regular season in which all the players will play the same number of games all the way through.

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Jim "Coach" Coffman is our man on Mondays. He welcomes your comments.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 11:46 AM | Permalink

Draft Danger

Excuse me if I'm not overjoyed that the White Sox have the third overall choice in Thursday's major league amateur draft.

For one thing, this is just another reminder that only the Astros and Marlins had a worse record than our athletes last season, and only a masochistic goofball wants to be reminded of the disastrous 2013 season. Since the Sox pick right before the Cubs, we also must face the fact that the guys on the other side of town were a wee bit less laughable as our Sox a year ago.

Yet there are other circumstances associated with the number 3 pick that concern me.

More likely than not, the Sox will select a pitcher. Already high school kids who throw as hard as 100 mph along with the top college pitchers who are clocked in the 90s have been receiving rave reviews from the scouts who make recommendations to their bosses.

The Sox struck oil four years ago when they got Chris Sale in the first round with the 13th overall pick. Sunday's complete game performance, a 4-1 win over San Diego hiking Sale's record to 5-0 and bringing the Sox back to .500 at 29-29, wasn't notable so much for Sale's nine strikeouts, no walks, 100 pitches, and the final 14 Padre hitters going down in order. No, the fact that San Diego got two hits and scored a run was more noteworthy. That's how good Sale has been.

Despite a stint on the disabled list last month, Sale is healthy. But with every whiplash of his golden left arm, you can bet that general manager Rick Hahn hopes and prays he stays that way. Is it not unreasonable to worry that if Hahn selects one of the aspiring pitching phenoms, the kid will develop arm problems requiring surgery long before he ever reaches the South Side?

Unless you've been following nothing but the Blackhawks, you know that legions of pitchers are nursing elbow scars from all the Tommy John surgeries performed so far this season. If for some reason Steve Ballmer decides not to buy the Los Angeles Clippers, no doubt one of those doctors who have been repairing pitchers' elbows and shoulders will be in a good position to ante up the $2 billion price tag for the team.

Listening to all the discussion and explanation for the recent rash of pitchers' injuries, one believable theory is that the damage often is done before the age of 12.

"Part of the injury can be explained by kids throwing too much too actively at an age when their bodies are still developing," pitching instructor Travis Kerber, who pitched professionally for the Gary RailCats, told me last week. For the past two years, he's been a head instructor for Elite Baseball Training after working at the Bulls/Sox Academy for 10 years. Kerber's youngest student is 7.

Kerber describes pitching as a "high-level athletic movement that you ask [kids] to perform repetitively when they're not ready to do it. Younger kids don't always have the coordination that a higher athlete has. Sometimes we just work on stability and coordination and timing."

Living in an age of specialization, the parent who thinks his kid is the next Chris Sale - or even Scott Carroll - may be tempted to go beyond simply encouraging his child.

"[You have] parents who are very competitive," Kerber said. "A lot of kids throw too many pitches per outing without enough time between outings. Kids are pushed past the point where even they are not comfortable."

Tony Cogan, who grew up in Highland Park and pitched at powerhouse Stanford before being drafted in the 12th round by Kansas City in 1999, took just two years to make the Royals' roster in 2001 as a relief pitcher.

"I played in travel ball," said Cogan last week, reflecting on his childhood experiences. "I don't think it was nearly as intense as it is now. The pressure, the politics, and the amount of games picked up in seventh- or eighth-grade. My sense is that it wasn't what it is now. It was still fun, a game. Obviously it was very competitive; I lived and died with it. I don't think that it was as intense as it is with bigger pressure from parents, coaches, and all the politics with the feeder systems. They were there, but they just weren't as intense."

Cogan began private lessons for pitching when he was in junior high. Throughout his schoolboy, college, and early professional career, Cogan said, "I never missed a game in my life." Once the 2001 season ended, the Royals insisted that Tony pitch in the Puerto Rican winter league even though he wanted to return home for some R&R after the season.

"I was a starter down there in Puerto Rico," he related. "I never really got much rest or recovery or much of an offseason after my first big-league season. I went to spring training the next year, but I didn't last long in big-league training and was sent down to [double-A] Wichita. I had good numbers, made the All-Star team, but there was something missing. I knew I wasn't as sharp as I was in the past. In the middle of the season, I began to feel a little bit of fatigue and pain."

Cogan's elbow was sound, but his shoulder wasn't. Two surgeries followed, but his career wasn't over. Cogan pitched for five more seasons in the independent Northern League. He and Kerber were teammates at Gary for two seasons, forming half of the team's four-man starting rotation.

Cogan is convinced that the winter of pitching in Puerto Rico resulted in his shoulder breaking down. "Without knowing for sure, had I not gone to Puerto Rico that winter and gone into spring training well-rested and ready, I think that I never would have gotten injured," he said.

Pitch counts have become as much a part of the game as double plays and sacrifice flies. But the numbers are far more accurate for starters than relievers who frequently throw a bunch of pitches warming up on days even when they don't enter the game.

"Roberto Hernandez was our senior guy in the bullpen, and he thought they were throwing me too much or not paying attention to how many times I would get up in a game and not pitch," said Cogan. "As it was, I was a rookie, and I was eager and wanted to hone the craft. So I was trying to get loose with maybe twice as many pitches. I was trying to get exact. They [his bullpen teammates] were saying, just get loose, don't get exact. So I probably threw a few too many in that respect, but I never felt a hint of pain or weakness during that season."

The pitchers who will be drafted on Thursday have been scrutinized for a variety of talents, but none quite so much as how hard they throw. If a scout forgets his razor or deodorant for a trip, it's no big deal. But misplacing his radar gun could cost him his job.

"Everyone wants to know exactly how hard they're throwing," said Kerber. "The threshold for Tommy John surgery is 80 to 85 miles an hour. This is a sign of higher risk of breaking down. My job is to take these kids and identify the issues that might cause them breaking down."

Kerber points to the days when radar guns didn't exist, when there were no indoor training facilities, and baseball was a seasonal game.

"There's something to be said for back in that time period when a lot less people were indoors doing something," he said. "They were out being physical every day, climbing trees, just being outside. Bob Gibson throwing 30 complete games will never happen again. Is it because baseball wasn't as much as a year-round thing? [In high school] we probably played 15 games in a season. We played only played 35 games a year. Now kids are playing 90 games a year at the 10-year-old level. We moved on to other sports, basketball and football."

Does Kerber think that decades ago pitchers didn't get sore arms? Far from it. "Back then if you got hurt, you just stopped playing," he noted.

Of course, the most famous of those was Sandy Koufax, who retired in 1966 at the age of 30 after going 27-9 with a 1.73 ERA. He pitched 353 innings that year.

Then there's Big Ed Walsh, a Hall-of-Fame pitcher for the White Sox. You don't see his number painted on the façade behind home plate at The Cell because Walsh pitched before players had uniform numbers. He won 40 games in 1908. You read that correctly. That year he pitched 464 innings, which seems crazy until you learn that this total ranks only 105th all-time for innings pitched in a season. Guys with names like Old Hoss, Pud, and Kid pitched half their teams' games, amassing more than 600 innings in the pre-modern (before 1900) era.

Whether Walsh tore his ulnar collateral ligament or his labrum will never be known. What we do know is that Big Ed won 182 games by the time he was 31 and just 13 thereafter when he was a seldom-used broken-down right hander who left the game when he was 36.

Walsh didn't learn his trade from instructors like Travis Kerber advising him on mechanics, flexibility, stability and kinetics. He simply threw a baseball as hard and as accurately as he could, which, when you think about it, is what still happens today. Even with pitch counts and the careful care assigned to stars like Chris Sale, the repetitive stress and strain are unnatural. Body parts are asked to do things for which they were not designed.

Let's hope that Rick Hahn's top draft pick is one of those gifted young hurlers, destined for stardom, blessed with the metabolism, luck and fate necessary to keep all those muscles, ligaments, tendons and whatever else is under the skin intact and healthy.

What's more likely is that there will be some 38th-round pick who never reaches 90 on the gun, pitches well into his 30s with nearly 200 career wins, never misses a start, and who has a no-hitter and perfect game on his resume. Someone like Mark Buehrle.

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Roger Wallenstein is our man on the Sox. He welcomes your comments.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 10:06 AM | Permalink

The Weekend In Chicago Rock

You shoulda been there.

1. Savage Sister at the Hideout on Saturday night.

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2. Jackie Greene at Lincoln Hall on Saturday night.

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3. The Bannermen at the Elbo Room on Saturday night.

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4. High on Fire at Do Division Fest on Friday night.

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5. Ex-Cult at the Empty Bottle on Thursday night.

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6. Running at the Empty Bottle on Thursday night.

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7. The Westies at City Winery on Friday night.

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8. New Rose Alliance at the Burlington on Friday night.

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9. Nones at the Burlington on Friday night.

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10. Infamous Crew at Mojoes in Joliet on Thursday night.

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11. Pseudogod at Beat Kitchen on Friday night.

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12. Yacht at Millennium Park on Thursday night.

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13. Gipsy Kings at the Chicago Theatre on Sunday night.

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14. Staind at the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond on Friday night.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:43 AM | Permalink

EFF To Court: There's No Doubt The Government Destroyed NSA Spying Evidence

The Electronic Frontier Foundation told a federal court Friday that there was no doubt that the government has destroyed years of evidence of NSA spying - the government itself has admitted to it in recent court filings.

In a brief filed in response to this illegal destruction, EFF is asking that the court make an "adverse inference" that the destroyed evidence would show that plaintiffs communications and records were in fact swept up in the mass NSA spying programs.

EFF filed its first lawsuit challenging illegal government spying in 2006. The current dispute arises from Jewel v. NSA, EFF's 2008 case that challenges the government's mass seizure of three kinds of information: Internet and telephone content, telephone records, and Internet records, all going back to 2001.

EFF's brief notes that the government's own declarations make clear that the government has destroyed five years of the content it collected between 2007 and 2012, three years worth of the telephone records it seized between 2006 and 2009, and seven years of the Internet records it seized between 2004 and 2011, when it claims to have ended the Internet records seizures.

"The court has issued a number of preservation orders over the years, but the government decided - without consent from the judge or even informing EFF - that those orders simply don't apply," said EFF legal director Cindy Cohn.

"Regular civil litigants would face severe sanctions if they so obviously destroyed relevant evidence. But we are asking for a modest remedy: a ruling that we can assume the destroyed records would show that our plaintiffs were in fact surveilled by the government."

The government's reinterpretation of EFF's lawsuits and the preservation orders came to light in March, when government lawyers revealed secret court filings from 2007.

In these filings, the government unilaterally claimed that EFF's lawsuits only concerned the original Bush-era spying program, which was done purely on claims of executive power. Without court approval, much less telling EFF, the government then decided that it did not need even to preserve evidence of the same mass spying done pursuant to FISA court orders, which were obtained in 2004 for Internet records, 2006 for telephone records, and 2007 for mass content collection from fiber optic cables.

"EFF and our clients have always had the same simple claim: the government's mass, warrantless surveillance violates the rights of all Americans and must be stopped. The surveillance was warrantless under the executive's authority and it is still warrantless under the FISA court, as those orders are plainly not warrants." said Cohn.

"The government's attempt to limit our claims based upon their secret, shifting rationales is nothing short of outrageous, and their clandestine decision to destroy evidence under this flimsy argument is rightly sanctionable. Nevertheless, we are simply asking the court to ensure that we are not harmed by the government's now-admitted destruction of this evidence."

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Previously:
* House Committee Puts NSA On Notice Over Encryption Standards.

* Which Tech Companies Help Protect You From Government Data Demands?

* Lawsuit Demands DOJ Release More Secret Surveillance Court Rulings.

* Human Rights Organizations To Foreign Ministers: Stop Spying On Us.

* What The Proposed NSA Reforms Wouldn't Do.

* Technologists Turn On Obama.

* Dear Supreme Court: Set Limits On Cell Phone Searches.

* EFF Fights National Security Letter Demands On Behalf Of Telecom, Internet Company.

* Eighth-Grader Schools The NSA.

* You Know Who Else Collected Metadata? The Stasi.

* Today We Fight Back.

* The Day We Fight Back.

* FAQ: The NSA's Angry Birds.

* Jon Stewart: The Old Hope-A-Dope.

* Four Blatantly False Claims Obama Has Made About NSA Surveillance.

* EFF To DOJ In Lawsuit: Stop Pretending Information Revealed About NSA Over Last Seven Months Is Still A Secret.

* Judge On NSA Case Cites 9/11 Report, But It Doesn't Actually Support His Ruling.

* Edward Snowden's Christmas Message.

* Jon Stewart: Obama Totally Lying About NSA Spying.

* Presidential Panel To NSA: Stop Undermining Encryption.

* The NSA Is Coming To Town.

* 60 Minutes We Can't Get Back.

* Why Care About The NSA?

* NSA Surveillance Drives Writers To Self-Censor.

* Filed: 22 Firsthand Accounts Of How NSA Surveillance Chilled The Right To Association.

* Claim On 'Attacks Thwarted' By NSA Spreads Despite Lack Of Evidence.

* Obama Vs. The World.

* How A Telecom Helped The Government Spy On Me.

* UN Member States Asked To End Unchecked Surveillance.

* Government Standards Agency: Don't Follow Our Encryption Guidelines Because NSA.

* Five More Organizations Join Lawsuit Against NSA.

* A Scandal Of Historic Proportions.

* Item: NSA Briefing.

* The Case Of The Missing NSA Blog Post.

* The NSA Is Out Of Control.

* Patriot Act Author Joins Lawsuit Against NSA.

* Obama's Promises Disappear From Web.

* Why NSA Snooping Is A Bigger Deal In Germany.

* Item: Today's NSA Briefing.

* NSA Briefing: It Just Got Worse (Again).

* Song of the Moment: Party at the NSA.

* It Not Only Can Happen Here, It Is Happening Here.

* What NSA Transparency Looks Like.

* America's Lying About Spying: Worse Than You Think.

* Obama Continues To Lie His Ass Off About The NSA.

* The Surveillance Reforms Obama Supported Before He Was President.

* America's Spying: Worse Than You Think.

* Has The U.S. Government Lied About Its Snooping? Let's Go To The Videotape.

* Who Are We At War With? That's Classified.

* Six Ways Congress May Reform NSA Snooping.

* NSA Says It Can't Search Its Own E-Mails.

* Does The NSA Tap That?

* Obama Explains The Difference Between His Spying And Bush's Spying.

* FAQ: What You Need To Know About The NSA's Surveillance Programs.

* NSA: Responding To This FOIA Would Help "Our Adversaries".

* Fact-Check: The NSA And 9/11.

* The NSA's Black Hole: 5 Things We Still Don't Know About The Agency's Snooping.

* Defenders Of NSA Surveillance Citing Chicago Case Omit Most Of Mumbai Plotter's Story.

* Obama's War On Truth And Transparency.

* ProPublica's Guide To The Best Stories On The Growing Surveillance State.

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See also:
* Jimmy Carter: America's Shameful Human Rights Record.

* James Goodale: Only Nixon Harmed A Free Press More.

* Daniel Ellsberg: Obama Has Committed Impeachable Offenses.

* Paul Steiger: Why Reporters In The U.S. Now Need Protection.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 7:51 AM | Permalink

MUSIC - Christgau Loves Chicago Neonatologist.
TV - Amazon & The Way Of The World.
POLITICS - Yes On Vouchers For After-School Programs.
SPORTS - The Ex-Cub Factor.

BOOKS - Writers Under Surveillance.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Original Warrior.


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