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The [Friday] Papers

1. "A stretch of Milwaukee Avenue in the Near Northwest Side neighborhood of Wicker Park was granted preliminary landmark designation Thursday by the Commission on Chicago Landmarks 16 years after advocates first proposed the distinction," the Tribune reports.

The commission wanted to wait until Milwaukee Avenue brimmed with condos, boutiques, and valet parking before calling it a landmark.

2. It will be called the Greater Historic Condo District.

3. A gentrification museum is planned too.

4. Ever get the feeling the fix is in?

5. State senate president Emil Jones accused reporters of fabricating stories about his family and their state jobs and contracts, even as, behind closed doors, he referenced Richard J. Daley's famous defenses of efforts to help his own family with jobs and contracts.

6. Barack Obama is right: His biggest enemy is cynicism.

7. Republican presidential candidates squared off at the Ronald Reagan library last night beneath a huge frickin' airplane to argue about who had bigger balls. Emil Jones won.

8. "Patti Blagojevich, who owns a realty firm, picked up a new job as an "employee" of Appraisal Research Counselors," the Daily Herald reports. "The Chicago-based firm is owned by Eugene Stunard, who's given $3,538 to Blagojevich's campaign fund since 2002. Employees of the firm gave another $3,000 to Blagojevich's fund. The firm has gotten $17,700 in state work since 2003 from the Departments of Natural Resources and Revenue.

"A government watchdog group said Patti Blagojevich's new job raises eyebrows after three years of similar stories.

"What's amazing to me is the fact that at least how it's been reported, all of her commissions have come from businesses and individuals who are campaign donors or have state business," said Jay Stewart, executive director of the Better Government Association. "You can call it a coincidence if you like, but when you see it year in and year out, it seems to become more than a coincidence."

9. Dear Paul McCartney: Stop it. Please.

10. "After three grueling days in federal court, former Illinois Gov. James Thompson stepped off the witness stand Thursday with his competence as a Hollinger International director in serious doubt but without wavering from his story that he was duped," the Tribune reports.

"Thompson also seemed to equivocate between statements he made on the stand and past statements made to law enforcement agents and others."

Yes. Quite.

11. The Tribune corrects a recent story about its own executives. Turns out chief executive Dennis FitzSimons is only in line for $38.3 million if he leaves after Sam Zell takes over. Also, the Tribune regrets erroneously referring to FitzSimons as "an incompetent greedhead without a journalistic bone in his body with absolutely no concern for the public interest, democracy, or the city's civic health." The paper clarifies that it meant FitzSimons is both "incompetent" and a "greedhead," but is very much a "competent greedhead," if you want to read it that way.

12. John Kass is back on his "Southern-fried Hillary" kick, but my God, she lived in Arkansas for 17 years and has a husband with a drawl. It's nonsense. I find Obama slipping into church cadence and talking about Cousin Pookie a bit more suspect.

13. If you're not reading The Cub Factor, you ought to be. Updated every Monday.

14. "We've also been working to install lightbulbs that last longer and save energy. And that's something that I'm trying to teach my daughters, 8-year-old Malia and 5-year-old Sasha."

Does anyone really believe Obama is having conversations with his five-year-old about longer lasting lightbulbs?

15. Tribune public editor Tim McNulty mulls over the possiblity of the paper publishing an electronic afternoon edition without mentioning that the Sun-Times is now doing exactly that.

16. Illinois Entertainer media columnist Cara Jepsen muses (in print, not yet online) on the ramifications of the Tribune Company's sale of the Cubs and, maybe, its broadcast units:

"That possibly means one day the Cubs will no longer be seen on WGN-TV or heard on WGN radio - or play at Wrigley Field.

"It boggles the mind.

"It would be like State Street without Marshall Field's.

"Like Steve without Garry.

"Like Mancow without a Chicago morning show."

17. Also noted by Jepsen:

"The Tribune will also sell its 25 percent stake in local sports cable channel Comcast SportsNet Chicago, which means that other outlets may be able to carry the local 24-hour news channel, CLTV News.

"It's currently carried exclusively on Comcast because of the Tribune Company's part ownership in Comcast Sports Net.

"So most Chicagoans - those who subscribe to a competing cable company (or have no cable at all) - have not been able to get the station.

"And who says consolidation hasn't benefited the consumer?"

18. Speaking of media consolidation, who knew it could be so funny?

19. Ebertfest reviews worth your while.

20. When I wrote earlier this week that perhaps a CTA 2016 Committee was in order, I didn't realize the Reader's Whet Moser was already on the case.

The Beachwood Tip Line: Consolidated.


Posted on May 4, 2007

MUSIC - At Home Chicago Blues.
TV - Virtually Funny Family Guy.
POLITICS - The Hamburglar Of Passion.
SPORTS - Olympic Atheletes Dying Under Weight Of Gold.

BOOKS - Machiavelli's Prince Charming.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Joan Mitchell's City Landscape.

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