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March 30, 2018

The Week In Chicago Rock

You should been there.

1. Tiger Hatchery at the Hideout on Tuesday night.


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2. Melkbelly at Thalia Hall on Wednesday night.

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3. Lightning Round at Thalia Hall on Wednesday night.

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4. Flaw at Livewire on Thursday night.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:00 PM | Permalink

The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #194: Chicago Accountant Upstages Loyola, Cubs, White Sox

Scott Foster Is The Emergency Backup Goalie We Need. Plus: Cubs Opener A Perfect Preview Of The Season To Come; White Sox Opener A Perfect Preview Of The Season To Come; and So You're Saying Loyola Has A Chance?


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SHOW NOTES

* 194.

* 1:30: Scott Foster Is The Emergency Backup Goalie We Need.

* Tales Of NHL Emergency Backup Goalies - EBUGs.

* NHL 911: Emergency Goalies No Longer A Phone Call Away.

* Every save Scott Foster made on his way to being named the No. 1 star of the game:

* Scott Foster's post-game interview:

* A 10-key.

11:20: Cubs Opener A Perfect Preview Of The Season To Come.

* Ian Happ opens the 2018 MLB season:

* Schwarber's Day: Adventures In LF, Long HR.

* Lester On His Tough Outing: 'No Excuse For It.'

* Chris Gimenez Caught Off Guard By Roster Decision.

* Heyward Not In Friday's Lineup.

Plus: Albert Almora gets the start in CF, leads off.

* Anthony Rizzo Goes Deep Calling For Stricter Gun Laws.

"You're talking about somebody who stops by pediatric oncology units on the way to games in Chicago,'' Epstein said.

* Ha ha, Javy . . .

* 3 a.m.:

* Baez vs. Russell.

* The bullpen.

37:55: The Ex-Cub Factor.

* Jason Motte.

* Peter Bourjos.

* Munenori Kawasaki.

* Mike Olt.

* Matt Szczur.

* Jorge Soler.

* D.J. LaMahieu.

After recording the show, former Cubs prospect Billy McKinney was called up to the bigs by the Yankees to replace Aaron Hicks, who was placed on the 10-day disabled list. McKinney was acquired from the A's by the Cubs along with Addison Russell and Dan Straily for Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel.

The Chicago Cubs traded starters Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to the Oakland Athletics for shortstop prospect Addison Russell, outfield prospect Billy McKinney, and pitcher Dan Straily. The Yankees acquired McKinney from the Cubs in the Aroldis Chapman trade, along with Gleyber Torres, Adam Warren and Rashad Crawford.

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Renaming Coffman Union.

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44:26: White Sox Opener A Perfect Preview Of The Season To Come.

* The man with the golden hair:

* Half a dozen dingers:

* Big(ish) Game James.

* Big Tim Anderson.

56:59: So You're Saying Loyola Has A Chance?

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STOPPAGE: 12:17

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For archives and other Beachwood shows, see The Beachwood Radio Network.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 2:35 PM | Permalink

March 29, 2018

How Does This Keep Happening?

The racist, xenophobic, anti-Semitic, violent climate we find ourselves in these days manifests in many ways - starting at the top with the toxic rhetoric coming out of Washington to the latest police slaughter of an unarmed African American in California to the n-word showing up in an ad selling boots on Groupon.

This week, Groupon was forced to apologize after a third-party vendor used the n-word in an ad to describe the color of suede boots for sale on the site. Groupon said that as soon as company officials became aware the word was being used, both the product and the vendor were pulled.

"We are appalled," a Groupon VP said.

So are we. How does this keep happening?

In 2017, Walmart had to pull an ad that used the n-word to describe the color of a wig cap. Walmart blamed the ad on a third-party seller and apologized.

Also, this week, beer giant Heineken, under pressure, pulled its "sometimes, lighter is better" commercial, which depicted a bartender sliding a beer down a bar. The bottle bypassed several dark-skinned black people, before stopping in front of a woman with a much lighter complexion.

We are sick and tired of insults, slurs and apologies.

These giant companies have major public relations departments, ad agencies and, presumably, professional systems in place to vet ads and sellers. They must do better.

The use of racially insensitive language and images appears to be a marketing device. We don't think it is a mistake. We know it is an insult.

Enough.

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Links added by Beachwood.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 1:19 AM | Permalink

March 28, 2018

The [Wednesday] Papers

Heading over to my Bucktown timeshare today for another Weekend at Benny's.

For those not in-the-know, that means I'm pet-sitting the World's Greatest Cat again at the condo he shares with my friend Dr. Nick and his lovely wife, Julie. I get to "share" it a few times a year and watch over Benny when Nick and Julie travel. It's like Uber for extremely part-time, exclusive cat-sitters with one client who is actually a friend who leaves beer in the fridge for me.

Now, I'm not really a pet person. And I'm definitely not one of Crazy Cat People who basically own the Internet. But Benny is a real piece of work.

bennyselfie.jpg

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I'll be there through Sunday morning. You can still reach me all the usual ways, it's just one neighborhood over!

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I'll still post to the site while I'm in Bucktown, and I did make a couple late posts yesterday I will point you to for now:

Obama Library Already Displacing Residents
Guess who's already raising rents $200 a month, for starters?

+

The Political Odds
Updated to reflect recent developments.

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This just in from the departing Dr. Nick: "Picked up some Old Style Talls for you."

This is my vacation, folks! Spring Break 2018!

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Why "Dr. Nick?"

Well, one time back in the day I discovered some weird red markings on my side. It wasn't a rash, but it covered a pretty large area. It sort of looked like I had fallen asleep on a grill. So naturally I went to the bar - and by "the bar" I mean the Beachwood Inn, because what other bar is there or has there ever been, really - for a diagnosis, and my pal Nick delivered without wavering an inch: "Shingles."

I mean, Nick was adamant. He knew. He'd had it. There was no doubt in his mind.

The next day I went to my doctor for a second opinion, and to get whatever treatment was required. My doctor is a master diagnostician, by the way. I mean, you can say "Hi Doc!" and he knows what you have immediately. He's that good.

Me: So, I know you hate to hear this as much as you hate to hear that I looked up my symptoms on the Internet, but my friend at the bar diagnosed me with something last night and I thought I'd come to you for a second opinion.

Doc: You don't have shingles.

Me, astonished: How did you know he said shingles?

Doc: Because that's what everyone says.

*

My doctor took a look at my side and said it looked like I had brushed up or leaned against something that was causing irritation - not poison ivy, per se, but something like that, be it plant or industrial toxin.

I vaguely recall possibly being prescribed some sort of cream but I'm not totally sure of that; I might have actually had to do nothing but let it go away. Which it did after a few days.

But ever since, my buddy's been "Dr. Nick" to me.

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By the way, Nick is also the King of Airport Beer. He's traveled quite a bit over the years and always posts to Facebook what he's trying at the airport bar. I've encouraged him for years to make a coffee table book out of those posts, but so far to no avail. Maybe Beachwood Media will self-publish that project. Anyone wanna give me a hand?

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Nick is also from Kansas, so he's really excited about the Final Four. Big Royals fan, too.

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Have a great trip, Nick and Julie (and relatively new son Dimitry, whom I assume is going with!).

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 2:11 AM | Permalink

March 27, 2018

Obama Library Already Displacing Residents

Tenants who live in the Jackson Park Terrace Apartments, across the street from the proposed Obama Center, are already facing a rent increase ranging from $100 a month to more than $250 a month.

"[Obama] heard that we would not be displaced but my rent is going up next week," said Cindy Lee, a Jackson Park Terrace tenant and longtime neighborhood resident. "I don't want to move now that the Obama Center is coming, but with this rent increase I may have no choice."

The building is owned by politically connected Leon Finney, who has put up "We Trust Obama" signs on the housing development.

Tenants and the CBA Coalition and allies are calling for a city ordinance to protect residents against displacement before the Obama Center plans are approved. The Plan Commission is expected to approve the Obama Center at next month's Plan Commission meeting.

The Obama Library Community Benefits Coalition will join with tenants facing rent increases in a protest Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. at 6357 South Cottage Grove.

Following the protest, tenants and allies will take their demands to Ald. Leslie Hairston's 5th Ward meeting at 6 p.m. at 6940 South Merrill Avenue. Tenants and the Community Benefit Coalition are demanding that Alds. Willie Cochran and Hairston and Mayor Rahm Emanuel pass a Community Benefits Agreement to protect longtime residents from being pushed out.

The Lift the Ban Coalition, which in the elections last week won overwhelming support for rent control, will also join the CBA Coalition to demand a CBA ordinance and rent control legislation to protect longtime residents like those at Jackson Park Terrace.

Since 2014, community groups, now numbering two dozen, have been organizing to stop the displacement of longtime African-American residents from the neighborhood surrounding the Obama Library. Since President Obama has said that he will not sign a private Community Benefits Agreement, organizers have been calling for a Community Benefit Ordinance that would benefit all residents and apply to the Obama Center, University of Chicago and other developments in the surrounding area.

Beyond the rent increase at Jackson Park Terrace, the Obama Library CBA Coalition points out that the threat of displacement is neighborhood-wide. A Redfin study found that property values in Woodlawn in 2017 went up by 23 percent. A Chicago Rehab Network study found that 62 percent of Woodlawn residents already pay more than 30 percent of their income in rent, making them rent burdened and at risk of displacement.

The Institute for Housing Studies at DePaul found that 14,000 more units of low-income affordable housing would need to be built to meet the demand in the area surrounding the Obama Center.

Community Benefit Ordinance activists want an ordinance that would freeze property taxes for longtime residents in the area, set aside 30 percent of new housing construction for affordable housing, and require other developers like the University of Chicago to invest in job training and local hiring. The proposed Ordinance provisions are published on their website: ObamaCBA.org.

The Obama Library CBA Coalition is a group of diverse community organizations. Coalition members are: Kenwood Oakland Community Organization; the Poor People's Campaign; Southside Together Organizing for Power; the Black Youth Project 100; Bronzeville Regional Collective; UChicago for a CBA; and the Westside Health Authority.

Our ally members include: Alliance of the South East; Brighton Park Neighborhood Council; Chicago Jobs Council; Chicago Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights; Chicago Rehab Network; Chicago Teachers Union; Chicago Women in Trade; Friends of the Parks; Indivisible Southside; Metropolitan Tenants Organization; Service Employees International Union Healthcare Illinois/Indiana; Standing Up for Racial Justice; Reparations at UChicago; Voorhees Center for Neighborhood Improvement; the Wolfpack; and Woodlawn East Community and Neighbors.

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Previously:

* Why No Community Benefits Agreement For The Obama Library?

* Rhymefest Leads Obama Library CBA Effort.

* Jackson Park Community Football Team Holds What They Fear Will Be Their Final Homecoming Game On Field Where Obama Library Set To Be Built.

* "Woodlawn resident and community organizer Haroon Garel notes that 'the Obama Foundation has been very responsive when concerns were raised by wealthier white neighbors, such as condo associations and preservationists, in agreeing to make millions of dollars of infrastructure changes by moving the parking lot underground. However, when low-income working Black families demand a Community Benefits Agreement and guarantees against displacement we are ignored.'"

* "President Change needs a reported $175 million in taxpayer-funded roadwork for his 'library' but refuses to sign a Community Benefits Agreement (while chuckling that rents will go up 'a little' around Jackson Park but dislocated residents are out of luck because, oh well!)"

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 7:35 AM | Permalink

The [Tuesday] Papers

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ChicagoGram

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ChicagoTube

Meet The Chicago River's Trash Robot.

TIL: Chicago River jellyfish = condoms.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

Alex Jones is right about one thing: There's a war on for your mind.

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*

*

*

*

Several vacancies on this seemingly prime block; I have a killer (non-Beachwood) idea if someone has the capital. HMU!

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Killing me softly.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 3:31 AM | Permalink

March 26, 2018

The Weekend In Chicago Rock

You shoulda been there.

1. Ross The Boss at Reggies on Friday night.


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2. Alvvays at the Metro on Friday night.

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3. Cro-Mags at the Brauerhouse in Lombard on Friday night.

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4. Hannah Ellis at Joe's Bar on Saturday night.

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5. Devin Dawson at Joe's Bar on Saturday night.

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6. Dixie Dregs at the Vic on Saturday night.

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7. Hieroglyphic Being at the Co-Prosperity Sphere on Saturday night.

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8. Matchess at the Owl on Sunday night.

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9. Jeremiah Chiu at the Owl on Sunday night.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:54 PM | Permalink

WYCC Is Back, Sort Of?

"Chicago public TV station WYCC-Ch. 20, which went off the air in November, is set to return next month thanks to a channel-sharing agreement with former rival WTTW-Ch. 11," the Tribune reports.

"The new channel, dubbed WYCC MHz Worldview, will borrow a portion of WTTW's airwaves beginning at 5 a.m. April 23 to run the full slate of international dramas and newscasts that formerly aired on one of WYCC's secondary digital channels."

Good.

*

"Viewers may have to hunt to find the station's new home. WYCC, which went dark Nov. 27, will broadcast on Channel 20.1, but over-the-air viewers will need to re-scan available channels to pick up the new frequency. Chicago-area Comcast subscribers will be able to watch WYCC on Channel 372."

Oh.

*

"WYCC will air everything from Swedish drama Missing to France 24 Live as part of the renewed affiliation with MHz Worldview, a Virginia-based public TV network. WYCC's primary channel - a mix of local shows and PBS staples - is gone for good."

Oh.

*

So, I guess I'm confused. The full slate of WYCC programming is back, but just on a harder-to-find channel? Or will just some shows be featured but not the "mix of local shows and PBS staples" that was shown on WYCC's now-gone-forever primary channel?

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Previously:

* Use FCC Airwaves Auction To Strengthen Journalism And Serve Local Communities.

* 24 Hours With WYCC.

* Goodbye, WYCC.

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Comments welcome.

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1. From Chad Rubel:

WYCC had three channels: 20-1 was PBS programming; 20-2 indigenous from Canada; 20-3 mix of international news and drama. Only the latter channel will return. That will be on 20-1 and 372 on Comcast.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:50 AM | Permalink

The Rebuild Returns

We interrupt this program - that being the euphoria up on Sheridan Road - to remind our readers that we have a baseball season returning on Thursday when The Rebuild continues for the White Sox, starting in Kansas City.

The past couple of months had been a wasteland as far as local sports were concerned until the unheralded Ramblers - the local papers hardly covered Loyola until it was clear they were going to the Tournament - awakened a city thirsty for something to cheer about.
Hope has turned into reality for the college hoops team in Rogers Park.

As far as the Sox are concerned, there is a tinge of hope, but it has yet to spring eternal. Yet most fans are more than willing to sit back, observe on television rather than at the ballpark, and wait.

We know this is working. At least we think it is.

All one has to do is investigate the defending World Series champion Houston Astros. This is the way things are accomplished. Not long ago, the Astros lost 324 games in three seasons, 2011-13. By 2015 they finished 86-76. Last season's 101 wins led to the Series triumph.

Jeff Luhnow came over from the Cardinals prior to the 2012 season to assume the reins as Houston's general manager much like Theo Epstein did in 2011 for the Cubs on the North Side. The formula for both young executives has become very familiar - one that obviously is being followed by Sox GM Rick Hahn.

MVP Jose Altuve already was wearing an Astros uniform when Luhnow arrived, but he added Marwin Gonzalez (2012) and pitcher Dallas Keuchel (2012), who won the Cy Young in 2015. George Springer was next (2014), and then came Carlos Correa (2015) along with other prospects and trades that reaped the likes of Carlos Beltran, Brian McCann and Josh Reddick.

One scenario says that the Sox are moving much faster than either Houston or the Cubs. One indication came last July when Hahn fleeced Epstein by swapping Jose Quintana for Eloy Jimenez, right-hander Dylan Cease, and two other minor leaguers. Quintana is a solid No. 2 or 3 in a club's rotation but not an ace. The Jimenez Watch will begin immediately with fans hoping to see the slugging outfielder, the fourth-ranked prospect in all of baseball, in a Sox uniform by mid-July. Cease is rated the Sox' fourth top prospect, thanks primarily to a fastball that can reach 100 along with a sharp-breaking curveball.

Already contributing to Jimenez's mushrooming stature is the home run he hit three weeks ago against the Cubs. Sidelined with knee tendinitis but feeling lots better, Jimenez had just one at-bat in the spring games when he begged manager Rick Renteria to pinch-hit against the team that dealt him. His opposite field blast got the attention of people from both sides of town. May we suggest a walk-up song for the Dominican prospect? How about John Fogerty's "Centerfield." Oh, put me in coach, I'm ready to play, today seems appropriate.

In past seasons, we watched every fifth day as Quintana recorded more no-decisions than any other pitcher in baseball. The 2-1 and 3-2 defeats were de rigueur. Compare that to an image of the 21-year-old, 6-foot-4, 205-pounder patrolling left field and hitting fifth in the lineup. Forgive us if we're overly eager.

Also consider that Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez, two right-handers, are starting the season in the team's rotation. Is that worth Adam Eaton, whom Hahn dealt to Washington for the pair of pitchers? Without question.

Sourpuss Chris Sale will be Boston's Opening Day pitcher, and he'll challenge once again for the Cy Young Award. But Hahn got Yoan Moncada in the deal, along with fireballer Michael Kopech. Advantage White Sox.

Moncada modestly broke in last season with a slash of .231/.331/.730, but he hit .276 in September and has continued on that pace during spring training. The guy looks like he could play point guard in the NBA or wide receiver in the NFL. It seems inconceivable that he won't jump-start the offense this season batting leadoff in Renteria's order.

So what should we expect for 2018? The latest Las Vegas Over/Under for wins lists the Sox at 71 - or six more wins than a year ago. That should be doable.

A year ago on Opening Day, Melky Cabrera was in left field, Jacob May in center, and Avisail Garcia in right. Todd Frazier played third, Tim Anderson at short, Tyler Saladino at second, and Jose Abreu at first. Quintana was the pitcher with Omar Narvaez behind the plate.

Garcia, Anderson and Abreu are holdovers. Will Garcia hit .330 again? Probably not, but he's a legitimate major league hitter as is Abreu. And Anderson, another impressive athlete, is just 24 and figures to keep improving.

Melky, still an unsigned free agent, gets the nod over Nicky Delmonico, who will be in left on Thursday, but May failed miserably at the beginning of last season, going 2-for-36. The grandson of Lee May and grand nephew of former Sox Carlos May was playing in Charlotte a month into the season.

May's eventual replacement Adam Engel, who can go get the ball in the mold of Ken Berry and Aaron Rowand, hit just .166 a year ago, but he's had a hearty spring, slashing .383/.453/1.155 with four homers. He won't hit .166 again.

Yolmer Sanchez will be the third baseman on Thursday because he's the best the team has. Nevertheless, Sanchez had a fine year in 2017, and Frazier never lived up to the hype he earned in the National League.

New catching addition Welington Castillo, a veteran at age 30, hit .282 with Baltimore last season, slugging 20 homers. Narvaez will back him up, giving the team an upgrade behind the plate.

Cody Ashe was the DH on Opening Day. Matt Davidson is a genuine improvement.

The Sox ranked 12th in the American League last season in runs scored. They should improve on that this year.

The pitchers will dictate how far that improvement goes. A year ago, the five starters were Quintana, James Shields, Derek Holland, Miguel Gonzalez and Dylan Covey. Shields is the Opening Day designee this season despite being 9-19 with an ERA of 5.99 in parts of two seasons with the Sox. Gonzalez returns, and he'll be joined by Giolito, Lopez and Carson Fullmer. At least the rotation is a breath of the future instead of place-holders.

If 71 wins is the target, the bullpen has to perform better than it looks on paper. A year ago there were real, live major league pitchers such as David Robertson, Zach Putnam, Tommy Kahnle, Anthony Swarzak, Jake Petricka, Dan Jennings and Nate Jones. Only Jones remains from that group. He's joined by journeymen Joakim Soria, Luis Avilan, Danny Farquhar and Gregory Infante. Add Juan Minaya and Aaron Bummer, and you have the potential for many late-inning collapses.

However, keep in mind that the Tigers and Royals will provide 38 games of competition for the Sox. Last season the South Siders were 20-18 against their division weak sisters. They should do better than that this year because those two clubs are in rapid decline. Against frontrunners Cleveland and Minnesota, our athletes went 13-25, a low target to shoot for this season.

Also, the Sox face all five teams from the National League Central this season. The Cubs and Brewers are formidable, but the Reds and Pirates are not. The Cardinals figure to be middling. So there could be some success in that regard.

A bit more than an hour after Loyola tips off against Michigan on Saturday, the Sox will be playing in Kansas City. No one will be watching. But if the young talent on the South Side begins to come of age later this summer, that won't be the case and 71 wins should be within reach.

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Former Bill Veeck bar buddy Roger Wallenstein is our White Sox correspondent. He welcomes your comments.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:39 AM | Permalink

Chicagoetry: Death In Chicago

Death in Chicago

God died and
I started to lie:

Little white ones, at first,
And then the compunction escalated.
Like: it wasn't God but
My mother

Who died.

Now her voice, her being,
Has transmuted into the birch, elm and oak

Standing guard along
My borough lanes: each has become
A chorus of sparrow tongues,

Like a movie is a symphony
Of faces, with the eyes
As soloists.

Then my coffeemaker died and that's
A calamity if not a catastrophe
Of a different order but a calamity

Nonetheless. Think of it:
Absolutely the start of an improvised new life.

My father's voice has always been there,
More steady, more dour and so
I shall assign it

To the expressway next door.

Like a rapids of wind
And metal.

It is a fact that grief metastasizes
The instant the memorials are concluded
And everyone goes home.
Then the triggers:

Old commercials, movie dialogue, song titles,
The angle of sunlight

When the next cricket chirps.
If you're at work you have to eat it:
At home, you let it come,

You absolutely must
Let it come.

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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

* The Viral Video: The Match Game Dance

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:24 AM | Permalink

SportsMonday: And Now We Wait

So what the heck are we supposed to do for the next five days?

Loyola makes the Final Four and everything is all "Woo-Hoo! What a Victory! Donte Ingram, Clayton Custer, Marques Townes, Ben Richardson, Cameron Krutwig, Aundre Jackson and Lucas Williamson are the best players ever and Porter Moser is the best coach ever!"

And then, "Now they don't play again for a full week?"

I almost just said "the players" in the second paragraph rather than listing their names, but then I realized that would have made me a member of the Cult of the Coach that still permeates the college game in colossally irritating ways. As former Jets and current Arizona State football coach Herm Edwards once said: "The players win the game!"

Well, actually, Edwards once said - memorably and repeatedly - to reporters in a conversation about late-season, winning-by-losing for better draft picks: "You play to win the game!"

He was talking about not tanking for draft picks, but it is easy to imagine the outspoken coach-turned-analyst-turned-coach making the simple change seen here.

A coach receives deserved credit for putting players in position to succeed in a variety of contexts. But the players have to execute everything. The coach does not do so many of the other things that are attributed to him by lazy analysts who seem to barely learn the players' names before they start filling commentary time with soliloquies about how great the coaches are - again and again and again.

Where was I? Oh yeah . . . I would imagine that when this tournament schedule was set up by the television networks - i.e., they told the NCAA what to do and then the NCAA did what it was told but then lied and said it was doing it because it had decided to do so - they had some primary excuses.

The first one would have to be the idea that the student-athletes involved can spend this week studying.

As if! The idea of players staring at a potential national championship next weekend settling in with the books in the coming week is completely laughable. It is even more so considering that these players compete for Loyola University and the week leading into Easter is usually break time at Catholic schools.

But of course, TV wants the semifinals on Saturday afternoon and evening and then the big finale all by itself (in terms of the lack of significant on-screen competition) on Monday.

So we wait . . . and wait . . . twiddling my thumbs now . . . and then we are forced to do one of the things I hate most in current sports media: extended previews. That would be the previews that so frequently contain an overload of fluff and then finish with predictions that are so often wrong. Yuck!

Nevertheless, let's talk about Michigan, starting with point guard Zavier Simpson. Quite simply, the Z-man doesn't mess around. He is one of the best perimeter defenders in all of college basketball. And in case Simpson's play isn't scary enough, there is also his savvy. He possesses veteran wisdom despite being all of a sophomore.

What caught my eye in particular was when Simpson was informed that one of his opponents heading into the Sweet 16, Texas A&M guard T.J. Starks, had said he believed he was "unguardable." When that comment was relayed to Simpson, he responded with something along the lines of, "Of course he said that," and "What is he supposed to say, that someone can guard him?"

Well played, Mr. Simpson, well played. And to Loyola point guard Clayton Custer, well, go get him big fella! And make sure your teammates know you will need some help. After all, I believe Mr. Custer would concede that there are in fact a few people in college basketball who can guard him, at least some of the time.

Michigan is a formidable opponent because of Simpson's awesome perimeter defense, talented 6-11 forward Mo Wagner's great all-around game, and coach John Beilen's ability to get the most out of his kids year after year (please notice that I mentioned two players first and then the coach - that's the way to do it people!).

Half this tournament is about the chalk (culminating in Kansas versus Villanova) and half is about the dogs. The Wolverines don't qualify as complete canines but they still weren't the choice of many to make it this far.

My prediction is that Loyola squeaks past Michigan in the semifinal with yet another last-second shot; maybe this time it is sixth-man extraordinaire Aundre Jackson who tips in the winner. And then in the second semifinal, Kansas and Villanova engage in a triple-overtime thriller.

And finally on Monday, the Ramblers hang on against an exhausted squad of Jayhawks or Wildcats and win it all. And sports are canceled in Chicago for at least the following week. And . . . I guess that's enough for now.

If we're going to make a prediction, let's predict glory.

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Jim "Coach" Coffman welcomes your comments.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:53 AM | Permalink

Court: Let Forest Park Vote!

On March 16th, the Illinois Appellate Court 1st District overturned the finding of the Electoral Board of Forest Park and the Cook County Circuit Court ruling that tossed all 276 sheets containing 2,840 valid signatures from a citizens' petition that would allow residents Forest Park residents to vote on the ballot question, "Shall Video Gaming be Prohibited in Forest Park?"

The appellate court found that despite six sheets having erroneous headings, the rest of the petition sheets exhibited substantial compliance with Illinois election law. Thus, this binding referendum is now allowed to continue to the ballot.

The court also found that the local election board was not to hear on Rule 6 motions and to place the question on the ballot for the November 6 election. This will be the first time in Illinois a vote will be held on video gaming after it has been introduced into a municipality.

"We are working to give the citizens a vote on video gambling as provided for in the [state] gaming law and as they have repeatedly expressed a desire to do so," said Let Forest Park Vote President Jordan Kuehn. "We have been stopped by the local election board as well as our elected officials. More people have signed this petition than voted for the last two mayoral candidates combined. The people want to vote."

Backstory: A group of local citizens, organized under the political action committee Let Forest Park Vote on Video Gaming, submitted a petition to the Village of Forest Park to place video gaming on the March 2018 ballot.

According to Illinois gaming law (230 ILCS 40/70), signatures from 25 percent of registered voters are required to put a binding referendum on the ballot which allows citizens to vote on whether they want video gambling in their town.

The Cook County Clerk confirmed on January 17th that Let Forest Park Vote had 2,840 valid signatures, or more than 25 percent of registered voters in Forest Park.

The local paper, the Forest Park Review, has covered the most recent developments in this story here.

Chronology: In 2012, video gambling (using the term "video gaming") was legalized statewide under 230 ILCS 40/70. Only the Village of Winfield has passed a binding referendum (in 2012) to keep video gambling out.

In 2013, Forest Park citizens voted two-to-one against video gambling in a non-binding referendum.

In 2016, a citizen group submitted 2,267 valid signatures for a binding referendum on the question "Shall Video Gaming be Prohibited in Forest Park?" which were found by the Electoral Board to be just below the threshold of 25 percent. The village council voted to approve video gambling in October 2016.

Later in 2016 and throughout 2017, Forest Park citizens collected 2,840 valid signatures for a new petition effort for the same question. This petition was filed on December 18, 2017, with the Forest Park village clerk.

In early 2018, the petition was challenged by James Watts, owner of O'Sullivan's Public House in Forest Park. At a January 17th records exam, the Cook County Clerk certified that 3,522 signatures were submitted, 1,256 objections were submitted, and 2,840 signatures were found to be valid, which is a greater percentage than the minimum required threshold of 25 percent of registered voters in Forest Park.

On January 23rd, the electoral board in Forest Park ruled that the petition should be dismissed because six headings of the submitted sheets varied from the rest of the petition. The circuit court agreed with this decision. However, the appellate court reversed both decisions in a decisive manner.

The events leading up to the inception of this petition drive are chronicled by the Forest Park Review in its 2016 Story of the Year.

Let Forest Park Vote on Video Gaming is a political action committee formed by a group of Forest Park citizens with the purpose of organizing a citizens' petition to bring the question of the legality of video gaming to the ballot in Forest Park. Jordan Kuehn is the president of the committee and Kristin McCoy is the treasurer.

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Previously: The Battle Of Forest Park.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 7:23 AM | Permalink

The [Monday] Papers

On December 6th, the Loyola Ramblers upset the nation's No. 5-rated team, Florida, in Gainesville, 65-59.

At least it was deemed an upset then; now we know better as the Ramblers are one of four teams left vying for a national championship.

"None of Loyola's current players were alive the last time the Ramblers upset a top-5 team," NCAA.com's Andy Wittry wrote then. "That was in 1984, when Loyola (IL) beat No. 4 Illinois 63-62 in a season in which the Ramblers advanced to the Sweet 16, where they fell to No. 1 seed and national runner-up Georgetown."

In fact, Wittry led with that.

He ended with this:

"Don't look now but Loyola is now 9-1 with just two games left before the start of conference play."

Four days later, the Beachwood Sports Department first took note of the season the Ramblers were having at the 45:08 mark of The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #178.

If I recall correctly, I opened the segment by asking Jim: "Is Loyola good?"

We've been covering the Ramblers ever since, to the best of our little operation's ability - meaning mostly on our sports podcast and in Jim Coffman's SportsMonday columns, though I've added a few observations of my own in this space and on social media.

My favorite entry in our Ramblers archive is probably The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #192: Let's Go Hobos!, when we bemusedly discussed the origin of the Ramblers mascot - he was a hobo - and posited Jonah Hill as the new Bo Rambler. I also noted that by then I was already tired of the Sister Jean storyline; just chill, people. My god, nobody knows how to ruin a good thing like the thirsty, ravenous, bigfoot media. Sometimes just a wink is all you need.

Me and Jim also ended up spending the first 51:15 of our latest sports podcast, The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #193: The Suddenly Charming Loyola Brand, talking about the Ramblers.

"Don't expect a campus windfall no matter what ill-informed journos tell you," I wrote in the Show Notes, to tease a significant part of the discussion. See the links there supporting that case.

Now we've got a seemingly interminable wait until the Hobos play again - we're interchangeably calling them the Hobos, because it's just so great, though also offensive, though not as offensive as the Redskins - as Jim notes in his column today. That's plenty of time to catch up with our Ramblers archive, presented here in chronological order.

December 10, 2017: Segment: The Loyola Ramblers Exist!

December 22: Segment: Can Loyola Ramble To The Dance?

January 5: Segment: Loyola Was A Mirage.

February 9: Segment: Help Us, Loyola, You're Our Only Hope.

February 15: Segment: Ramblers On A Roll.

February 28: Segment: Loyola's To Lose.

March 5: Ramblers 'R' Us.

March 9: Points Of Origin: Your Loyola Ramblers.

March 12: Loyola Living The Dream.

March 16: Let's Go Hobos!

March 19: Sweet Seeds.

March 21: Take Loyola.

March 22: Make. It. Stop.

March 23: The Suddenly Charming Loyola Brand.

Today: And Now We Wait.

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New on the Beachwood today . . .

Chicagoetry: Death In Chicago
God died, and I started to lie.

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Court: Let Forest Park Vote!
This would be the first time in Illinois a vote will be held on video gaming after it has been introduced into a municipality..

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WYCC Is Back, Sort Of?
I'm confused.

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The Weekend In Chicago Rock
Is in pre-production, as is last week's The Week In Chicago Rock, sorry!

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The White Sox Report
We know this is working. Don't we?

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ChicagoGram

#neveragain #marchforourlives #chicagomarchforourlives

A post shared by Nuria (@nuri_elena_bea) on

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ChicagoTube

At Chicago's March For Our Lives, by the Chicago Maroon.

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BeachBook
A sampling.

How Should I Rewatch Roseanne?

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What Does A Presidential Building Look Like?

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Even more important than the (enraging) Harvey Weinstein saga that leads this piece is the larger story of how one NYPD official revamped that department's Special Victims Unit. Remarkable.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Analyze this.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 6:27 AM | Permalink

March 24, 2018

The Weekend Desk Report

"So many people are expected to head to Washington, D.C., on Saturday morning that the March for Our Lives might turn into a standing room-only rally. That will make the student leaders on stage even more important to the success of the protest. The names of those who will be giving speeches have been released, and notably, the March for Our Lives speakers will all be younger than 20 years old," Joseph D. Lyons writes for Bustle

"They'll be joined by performers - some of whom do qualify as adults - but the activists taking the mic are all 19 or younger. The top headliners are the Marjory Stoneman Douglas students who organized the event in a response to the Valentine's Day shooting at their high school. Theirs are names you'll recognize: Emma Gonzalez, David Hogg, Cameron Kasky, and more.

"In addition to the MSD students, there will be others from across the country who have been affected by gun violence. A number of them are from Chicago, including Alex King, a senior at Chicago's North Lawndale College Prep High School. His nephew was killed in a drive-by shooting in 2017."

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Another speaker from Chicago: Tre Bosley, who leads Michael Daly's report in the Daily Beast:

"Anyone who knew to listen might have heard a murdered musician playing his distinctively pulsing bass from on high as the five buses embarked from Saint Sabina Church in Chicago for the March For Our Lives in Washington at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

"On board the second bus with a draft of a speech he was to give at Saturday's gathering was 19-year-old Trevon 'Tre' Bosley, who had been just eight when his remarkably talented older brother was gunned down in a case of mistaken identity in 2006.

"Terrell Bosley had been a rising star in the Chicago gospel scene nicknamed 'Mr. Music' as he often played at three or more churches on a weekend. He summoned uncommon feeling from his bass guitar, his right hand working the frets and his left the strings, the opposite of the usual for a righty. He would arrive two hours early to rehearse for a service and was taking a break in the parking lot at the Lights of Zion church when shots rang out."

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The third Chicago speaker will be Mya Middleton, who just spoke about her experience to Chicago Tonight.

"There are days where I can still see the gun vividly in my face and his dark jeans and his jacket," she said. "I still remember the day, it was very cold, and I still get chills. I can be very hot and all of a sudden my body will just turn frigid and I'll get cold just thinking about it."

"Middleton turned to writing as a coping mechanism, pouring her thoughts and fears from her past onto paper. She's now a member of After Schools Matters' creative writing program and said this outlet has helped her deal with the trauma."

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Marches will also take place around the country, of course. Chicago's march kicks off from Union Park at 11 a.m.

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The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #193: The Suddenly Charming Loyola Brand
But don't expect a campus windfall no matter what ill-informed journos tell you. Plus: Cubs Camp Breaking Badass; Gee Oh Lito!; Fox Spox; Don't Even Think About It, Ryan Pace; and Schweinsteiger.

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The Political Odds
Updated to reflect recent developments.

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The Week In Chicago Rock
Is in pre-production.

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Weekend ChicagoGram

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Weekend ChicagoTube

PM Magazine Chicago: Behind The Scenes Of M*A*S*H (1981).

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Weekend TweetWood

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The Weekend Tronc Line: You don't know Bo.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:03 AM | Permalink

March 23, 2018

The Week In Chicago Rock

You shoulda been there.

1. General Joystick at the Burlington on Sunday night.


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2. Blue Steel at the Burlington on Sunday night.

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3. Hatebreed at the Forge in Joliet on Tuesday night.

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4. Kelly Lee Owens at Schubas on Tuesday night.

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5. Carmen Villain at Schubas on Tuesday night.

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6. Dying Fetus at the Forge in Joliet on Wednesday night.

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7. Crowbar at the Forge in Joliet on Wednesday night.

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8. Acacia Strain at the Forge in Joliet on Wednesday night.

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9. Stanley Clarke at City Winery on Wednesday night.

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10. Stella Donnelly at the Empty Bottle on March Thursday night.

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11. Matador! at Martyrs' on Thursday night.

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12. Lil Skies at the House of Blues on Thursday night.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:46 PM | Permalink

The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #193: The Suddenly Charming Loyola Brand

But don't expect a campus windfall no matter what ill-informed journos tell you. Plus: Cubs Camp Breaking Badass; Gee Oh Lito!; Fox Spox; Don't Even Think About It, Ryan Pace; and Schweinsteiger.

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SHOW NOTES

* 193.

* Aundre Jackson.

* Culpepper: Take A Tour Of Loyola Chicago, Which Wasn't A Sports School Until Last Week.

It's that Mike Ross, a senior Illinoisan biophysics major and the student president of Ireland's, the stylish student-run pub beneath the Damen Student Center, said this: "We don't even open the bar on the weekend, and that's why I was a little bit hesitant to open the bar Saturday because I was worried nobody was going to show up." (People did, in packed droves.) It's a certain intimacy, as when Donte Ingram hit the winning shot last Thursday against Miami and one of the Ireland's staff members said, as Ross recalled it, "Oh wow, Donte just hit that shot. He was in my business class yesterday."

* Coffman, 2015: Cinderella Spoilers.

They almost pulled it off.

The NCAA almost rigged the tournament well enough to completely shut out teams from non-power conferences from the Sweet 16. That way they keep the teams from the prime money-making major conferences front and center in the national sports fan consciousness for another year.

The fat cat bureaucrats at the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the selection committee who dictate how the tournament will be structured pretend to value the underdogs. They give lip service to the Cinderellas. Then they set it up so under-seeded mid-majors run into under-rated power conference teams time after time. Or they simply screw mid-major teams like Murray State, which won 20 games in a row during the regular season and has an impressive record of tournament success during the past decade.

Citing an RPI in the 60s, tournament organizers left Murray State out of the bracket entirely after the team was upset in the final of its conference tournament. The big problem with this is that Murray State can't jack up its RPI because teams from the conferences that would help them do that won't play them during the non-conference portions of the regular season.

One team overcame. A Wichita State squad (from the Missouri Valley Conference) which knows all about power teams refusing to even step on the court, scored the ultimate victory (78-65 over Kansas) on Sunday This was the Shockers team that was rated in the Top 10 for much of last season, had another great campaign this time around and yet still somehow didn't warrant better than a 7th-seed in the Midwest Region.

Wichita State knocked off the chickenshit Jayhawks program that has desperately tried to maintain dominance in the schools' home state in part by refusing to play the team from the smaller school.

* NCAA Study Finds All But 20 FBS Schools Lose Money On Athletics.

* Myth: College Sports Are A Cash Cow.

* College Football's Top Teams Are Built On Crippling Debt.

* Athletics Departments That Make More Than They Spend Still A Minority.

* Athletics Cost Colleges, Students Millions.

* Fritz Kaegi is a Haverford man!

* Loyola, Porter Moser In Talks About 'Ripping Up Old Contract' For Richer Deal.

51:15: Cubs Camp Breaking Badass.

* Injury-free.

* Leadoff Man To Be Named Later: Ian Happ.

* The Ex-Cub Factor: Dan "Vogey" Vogelbach, Scott "Feldy" Feldman, Trevor Cahill, Christian Villanueva, Justin Grimm, Darwin Barney.

1:02:47: Gee Oh Lito!

10343: Fox Spox.

* Coffman: "They actually hired him to talk on television!"

* Rhodes: "He just spent three years lying to the media every single day!"

* 1:06:25: Don't Even Think About It, Ryan Pace.

1:09:14: Schweinsteiger!

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STOPPAGE: 10:23

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For archives and other shows, including the new Beachwood Radio Interview Hour, see The Beachwood Radio Network.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 3:03 PM | Permalink

March 22, 2018

CPD Going Under 10-Point Review

The Office of the Deputy Inspector General for Public Safety (Public Safety) is announcing its first list of initiated projects related to police and police accountability functions and operations in the City of Chicago.

Public Safety supports the mission of the Office of Inspector General by conducting independent, objective inspections, evaluations and reviews of police programs and operations, as well as by issuing public reports and making recommendations to strengthen and improve public safety.

Its goals include fostering trust and improving interactions between Chicago Police Department officers and the communities they serve through assurance of constitutional policies and practices, within a system of operational accountability that fully identifies and supports the needs of the community and the members of CPD. Public Safety is examining the following issues:

1. Evaluation of CPD's Gang-Related Designations and Tracking.

Public Safety is assessing CPD's standards and practices for determining gang affiliation and the consequences of being identified as gang-affiliated. The "gang database" in Chicago has prompted public concern regarding the potential for significantly adverse impacts on those designated as "gang-affiliated."

2. Evaluation of Departments' Compliance with the City of Chicago's Video Release Policy.

Public Safety is evaluating whether CPD and the Civilian Office of Police Accountability have identified and released all materials associated with serious use of force incidents as required under City policy (60 days to publicly release these materials unless they receive a one-time 30-day extension), devised and implemented in response to the recommendation of the Police Accountability Task Force.

3. Review of CPD's Grievance Process.

Public Safety is conducting a comprehensive review of the grievance process for sworn personnel, identifying and assessing patterns in how its various facets shape disciplinary outcomes.

4. Evaluation of CPD's Compliance with Body-Worn Camera Internal Review Procedures.

Public Safety is evaluating whether CPD is complying with its October 2017 revised internal review procedures for districts equipped with body cameras.

5. Evaluation of the Recruitment, Selection, Placement, and Training of CPD School Resource Officers (SRO).

Public Safety is evaluating CPD's recruitment, selection, placement, training and evaluation of more than 200 officers serving in SRO positions in over 70 Chicago Public Schools.

6. Evaluation of the Bureau of Internal Affairs' (BIA) Professional Development Practices.

Public Safety is evaluating how BIA supports its investigators' professional development by examining their retention and career trajectories, as well as the training and incentives available to them.

7. Evaluation of CPD's Compliance with the Firearm Owners Identification Card (FOID) Act.

Public Safety is evaluating CPD's compliance with Department policies and procedures implementing provisions of the State of Illinois FOID Act.

8. Evaluation of the Strategic Subject List (SSL).

Public Safety is evaluating the accuracy, integrity and use of CPD data in the compilation of its SSL and its Custom Notification Program, to determine whether the data is used in a manner that respects civil rights. Some sources estimate that more than 400,000 individuals are identified on the SSL which, according to CPD directives, prompts the Custom Notification Program to refer social services and community partners to individuals who are likely to be "party-to-violence."

9. Review of CPD's Secondary Employment Policy Practices.

Public Safety is conducting a review of CPD secondary employment policy and practices regulating extra-duty employment and off-duty employment for more than 13,000 active personnel.

10. Evaluation of CPD's Record Management System (RMS) and Production of Records.

Public Safety is studying CPD's RMS to identify where and how various records are stored and produced for stakeholders. Public Safety will compare CPD's RMS to best practices and examine potential consequences of record management failures and incomplete production of records, including constitutional violations and operational inefficiencies.

"Independent oversight identifies opportunities to improve public safety by fostering public confidence and trust through constitutional policing and better police community relations, assuring that curative reforms are consonant with best practices and are implemented effectively and fully," said Inspector General Joseph Ferguson. "Oversight is most effective when it incorporates the perspectives of the members of the communities CPD is sworn to protect and serve."

The Office of Inspector General will be co-hosting "Community Conversations" with organizations throughout the city to provide the opportunity for residents to give first-hand accounts of their experiences with the subjects identified on the projects list.

Thursday, March 22nd
The "Gang Database"
Co-hosted with Brighton Park Neighborhood Council Back of the Yards College Prep
2111 W. 47th St.
6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Monday, April 9th
School Resource Officers and the "Gang Database" Co-hosted with the Chicago Westside Branch NAACP Legler Library
115 S. Pulaski Rd.
6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, April 11th
School Resource Officers and the "Gang Database" Co-hosted with the Chicago Westside Branch NAACP Austin Library
5615 W. Racine Ave.
6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Additional dates and locations on the North and West Sides are forthcoming. If you are interested in hosting or attending future "Community Conversations," please contact MEstrada@igchicago.org. If you are unable to attend one of the listed events and you have suggestions, complaints, firsthand accounts, documents, videos, photographs or questions related to these and other topics around policing and police accountability, please contact us at (866) 448-4754 or reportcorruption@igchicago.org.

Follow @ChicagoOIG on Twitter for the latest information on how OIG continues to fight waste, fraud, abuse and inefficiency in Chicago government.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:17 PM | Permalink

Take Loyola

The Ramblers have been underrated all season.

The Wolfpack miss their point guard.

That's the word from Steve Fezzik, who picked Loyola to get here in the first place. With Brad Powers, from Las Vegas.


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From SteveFezzik.com:

"Steve has always been a unique guy, an extroverted Math Geek. A Chess Candidate Master (and High School State 2nd-place finisher), later a Fellow in the Society Of Actuaries, Steve was a Vice President for a Major Los Angeles Insurance Company 1995-2001.

"However, his passion was always getting the edge over the casinos. Throughout the 1990s Fezzik would travel almost every weekend in the fall to bet football in Nevada. By the late 1990s he was making more per hour doing this, than his regular job, and enjoying it much more.

"In 2001, Fezzik moved to Las Vegas and stayed under the radar initially. However, his success in high-end sports betting tournaments put an end to that. During the decade Fezzik won six major sports betting tournaments, winning close to a million dollars!

In perhaps the most notable achievement public sports betting achievement ever, Fezzik won the Las Vegas Hilton SuperContest in back to back seasons (2008 and 2009) besting a field of over 300+ each time. This contest is widely regarded at THE World Series of Sports Betting, and Steve is the only two-time winner!"

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About Brad Powers, whom we suspect is from Chicago because of the way he says "Lie-oyola:"

"Brad's educational background includes a cum laude graduate degree from Bowling Green State University with a B.S. in Journalism."

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 4:36 AM | Permalink

My Twitter Advertisers

A couple weeks ago my Twitter feed was suddenly inundated with ads - many of them up to a year old. In an effort to figure out what was going on, I stumbled upon the ability of Twitter users to request a list of advertisers who have included them among their tailored audiences. So I requested my list. Here is what Twitter sent me. (Kraft Singles? BabiesRUs? Calvin Klein? Boy, Twitter advertisers, you don't know me at all!)

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Tailored audiences

These advertisers have included you in one or more tailored audiences. Tailored audiences are often built from email lists or browsing behaviors. They help advertisers reach prospective customers or people who have already expressed interest in their business.

You can opt out of tailored audiences and other interest-based advertising in your personalization and data settings. Find them at twitter.com/personalization. This will change the ads you see on Twitter, however it won't remove you from advertisers' audiences.

@0898jonnyt @76
@7eleven @8cyrus8
@ABC @ABCDesignated @ABCNetwork @ABCSharkTank @AETV
@ATT @ATTBusiness @Acura @AlmondBreeze @Always @Angels @AnimalKingdom @Applegate @Aspiration @AudienseCo @BBCAMERICA @BankofAmerica @BasketsFX @BernieSanders @BestBuy @BlueJays @Braves @BravoWWHL @Brewers @BringItLifetime @Bryant_Jones21 @Burberry
@CBS @CBSNews @CDKGlobal @CNN @CanonUSApro @Cardinals @CellPressNews @ChappyCPGA @Charmin @Chase @ChaseforBiz @ChickfilA @ChipotleTweets @ChoiceHotels @Cisco @CiscoRetail @CitizensBank

@ComedyCentral @Conoco @ConstitutionCtr @CriticsChoice @Cubs
@DAVHQ @DNB_Marketing @DancingABC @DarkMushroomAU @DaveSumter @Dbacks @DeccaGold @DellEMCDSSD @DellEMCECS @DellEMCIsilon @DellEMCScaleIO @DenizDenzo @DetroitMovie @DeusEx
@Digiday @DisneyAulani @DisneyMoana @DisneyPixarIT @DisneyStudiosLA @DnBUS @Dodgers @DosEquis @DriveMaven @EE @EllisonCampaign @EmpireFOX @EnlightPhotofox @ExactOnline @FXBusa @FX_Canada @Fanatics @FandangoNOW @FantasticBeasts @FastFurious @FiftyShades @Ford @FreeEnterprise @GarantiOne @Gatorade @GenMillsCereal @Gett
@Gett_UK
@Glade @GovMikeHuckabee @HBO
@HISTORY @HairsprayLive @HaloTopCreamery @Heart_of_Vegas @Hired_HQ @HistoryVikings @Holidayclaims0 @HomeDepot @Honda

@HubSpot @Huck16Response @ImmoVerkauf_de @Indians @IndieSoundMusic @IntelBusiness @IranFrontPage @ItComesAtNight @JackBox @JaguarUSA @JetBlue @JobBank_GC @Jobs_Emplois @JohnathanBarnes @JournoFreelance @KHWhatNow @KayJewelers @KevinBekker @KevinFromWorkTV @KimKardashian @Kohls @KraftSingles @LandRoverUSA @LasMayores @LethalWeaponFOX @LinkedIn @LiveNation @LongHornSteaks @LoveHipHopVH1 @LoveMyPhilly @LowridersMovie @METRx
@MLB
@MLBJapan @MLB_Mexico @MTV
@Mariners @MarketChorus @Marlins @Mastercard @MastercardBiz @MazdaUSA @McDonaldsCanada @Mets
@Microsoft @MidClassStrong @MileIQ
@Monster @MorganMovie @MorganStanley @MrPeanut @MrWorkNl @MyRoyalUK @NBCBlacklist @NBCChicagoFire @NBCChicagoMed @NBCFirstDates @NBCGrimm @NBCLilBigShots

@NBCTheVoice @NBCTheWall @NBCWorldofDance @NFIB
@NJ_Jobs
@NRCC
@NRSC @NYTimesWordplay @NatGeoChannel @NatGeoGenius @NatTurnerFilm @NationalGridPR @Nationals @NewYorker @Nickelodeon @Nike
@NoProp61 @ODC_Ads_Testing @OfficialEsterC @OldSpice @Orioles @OurTurnNJ @Outback
@PBS
@Padres @Pampers @PanoramaNYC @ParkHyatt @Phillies @Phillips66Gas @Pirates @PlymouthRock @Pokemon @Porsche @Poshmarkapp @Pringles @QueenOfKatwe @REI
@Rangers @RapidSOS @RaysBaseball @RealLunchables @RealTimers @RedSox
@Reds
@Rockies @RosewoodFOX @Royals
@SFGiants
@SYFY @SalvationArmyUS @SamsungMobile @SamsungMobileUS @ScandalABC @ScottBaldridge @SeesoTV @Seevibes @SeniorCareQuest @Sensodyne_US

@SharknadoSYFY @Showtime @SinexBrand @SoFi @SoundCloud @SportChek @Spotify @SpotifyBrands @SprintLatino @SquawkCNBC @StarWarsIT @Starbucks @SteveBraunIN @StoveTop @SyfyTV @Sysomos @TEConnectivity @TEDxCESalonED @TIAA
@TIDAL @TLBOmovie @TUMStweets @TabooFX @TakenNBC @TeenMom @TheBHF @TheCW_Legends @TheCaptain11 @TheEconomist @TheMist @TheRealSonReal @TheSandwichBar @TheTimMcGraw @TideNFL @ToppsDigital @ToysRUs @Travelers @Twins
@Twitter @TwitterBusiness @TwitterMktLatam @TwitterMktgDACH @TwitterMktgFR @TwitterSafety @TwitterSurveys @UPS @USAFRecruiting @USChamber @UpflowApp @VICE
@Vevo
@Viacom @VidRetal @VirginTrains @Virgin_TrainsEC @VisaDeveloper @VolvoCarUSA @Wallapop_US @WalmartToday

@WaltDisneyWorld @Warcraft @Warcraft_DE @Warcraft_ES @Warcraft_FR @Warcraft_RU @WavesAudioLtd @WebSummit @Wendys
@Wharton @WhenWeRiseABC @Windows @WishShopping @Wix @WonderWomanFilm @YETICoolers @Yahoo @YahooFantasy @Yankees @_superted @airbagrecall @alexmk
@aliwong @alpinto @amazon @amazonmusic @amediacompany @aperolspritzita @archerfxx @astros @athena_Insight @atomtickets @audible_com @axon_us @baristabar @beguiledmovie @belk @blackhatmovie @bmwcanada @boostmobile @buxtonwater @chelseaschild @chevrolet @chicagojustice @chipsmovie @ciszek
@classy @copromote @crimsonpeak @daoness @dashboardapp @davematthewsbnd @dotDomain @flightdelays @fusiontv
@garanti @getdotstore @geteero @gifkeyboard

@goldenvoice @gorilla_busines @hbonow @hellothinkster @hulu @iDeaUSAus @impelo_io @jcpenney
@kfc
@knubben @kraftcheese @kraftmacncheese @krispykreme @kroger @lifetimetv
@lsb
@mashable @matchgameabc @maxmara @mayankjainceo @mazurkamedia @meshfire
@mint @monsterhunter @moonlightmov @msft_businessCA @mybetcom @natgeowild @netflix @nexa_gaming @nexa_life @nikeaustralia @nikebrasil @nikejapan @ninjawarrior @nycHealthy @nytimes @offerup @olivegarden @oscarmayer @oscon
@ostatus @pandoramusic @paramountnet @parikhronak @petegarber @pixelsguy @pizzahut @playbookplus @playlist @poojamuhuri @qdoba
@reachnj @realDonaldTrump @redlobster @rjacoby @schoolsEDU @sethrobot @sgrocott

@sheenadesa @shipcoalition @slurpee @sokap1 @splinter_news @sprint @strongbowuk @tararichards @tdomcerio @teachagirl @thebookofhenry @thedailylinechi @theforestisreal @thewordchanges @thexfiles @tigers @transformers @trevordotnet @trivago
@trove @vacaturetweetz @verizon @virginmedia @whitesox @wixxy @youngin

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:31 AM | Permalink

The [Thursday] Papers

Make. It. Stop.

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I can't even with the bobbleheads.

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New on the Beachwood today . . .

Take Loyola
+1.5.

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The Political Odds
Updated - again - to reflect recent developments.

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OIG All Up CPD's Butt
10-point plan.

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My Twitter Advertisers
You don't know me at all!

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ChicagoGram

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ChicagoTube

RARE 10-Pin, Pin-in-Pin Tubular Lock Picked (Chicago Lock Co.).

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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He's such a dishonest fuck.

See this too.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Dear diary.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:24 AM | Permalink

March 21, 2018

Snoop Youth Football

"In this clip, Snoop Dogg talks about starting his youth football league and the impact that it has had over the last decade-and-a-half.

"Snoop also discussed the future of football, particularly due to the groundbreaking CTE research. He believes that teaching the game the 'right way' can help prevent many of the brain related injuries that come from football.

"Later on, Snoop revealed that many of the coaches for the Snoop Youth Football League are ex-gang bangers. Snoop talked about the impact that these men and their personal histories have on the youth that they coach on and off the field."


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See also:

"Coach Snoop is a documentary series produced in part by Snoopadelic Films (yes I'm serious) which documents a season in the life of Snoop Dogg as he coaches his team Snoop's Steelers in the Snoop Youth Football League (YSFL)," the Daily Edge reports.

"In particular the series revolves around four young boys, Maximus 'Max' Gibbs, Jaylin 'J-Roc' Smith, Sammy 'Shady' Green and Aaron 'Tupac' Ulloa.

"Each of the boys is going through some form of hardship with Max's father walking out on him and his mum, J-Roc's mother being killed in a hit and run, Aaron losing his sister in a car accident and Sammy struggling in school while living with his grandparents."

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 2:49 PM | Permalink

The [Wednesday] Papers

What a night.

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The pollster is also a friend of Fioretti's, according to Ahern, who tweeted that nonetheless it squared with other numbers she was seeing and hearing. Preckwinkle won with at least 62 percent of the vote. Will there be any accountability? No. That's not how the media works.

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Thread.

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ChicagoGram

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ChicagoTube

Chicago 5 y Vanessita la Niña de la Cumbia - UN POCO LOCO.

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TweetWood
A (non-primary) sampling.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Exit strategy.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 10:42 AM | Permalink

March 20, 2018

The [Tuesday] Papers

Now we wait.

* Illinois 2018 Primary Campaign Notebook 1: MAGA, Mendacity & Moby Mike.

* Illinois 2018 Primary Campaign Notebook 2: Chris Kennedy's Confusing Campaign.

* Illinois 2018 Primary Campaign Notebook 3: Who Is Biss? Pensions, Passes & Pussy Riot.

* Illinois 2018 Primary Campaign Notebook 4: The Plutocratic Pol.

* Illinois 2018 Primary Campaign Notebook 5: Pat Quinn, Really?

* Illinois 2018 Primary Campaign Notebook 6: The 3 Worst People On The Ballot.

* The Political Odds.

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New on the Beachwood today . . .

Chicago's Bar Mitzvah King
"Kareem Wells grew up in a rough neighborhood in Chicago. He started selling drugs when he was 14 and dropped out of school two years later. Still, he never let his love of music go. When he got a call to perform at his first bar mitzvah, his whole life changed."

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The Windy City Rollers Season Opener!
Facing their toughest opponent yet . . .

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The Weekend In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Clan of Xymox, Imbecile Missile, OMD, HotLips Messiah, Some Kind Of Nightmare, Michael Schenker Fest, They Might Be Giants, WOTE, Gangstagrass, Bad Bunny, Kid Rock, Radiator Hospital, Screaming Females, Bunny, Moonrise Nation, Waco Brothers, Cinchel, and Pirate Electric.

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ChicagoGram

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ChicagoTube

Hurricane Evacuees Find Home In Humboldt Park.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: There it is.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 11:36 AM | Permalink

Chicago's King Of Bar Mitzvahs

"Kareem Wells grew up in a rough neighborhood in Chicago. He started selling drugs when he was 14 and dropped out of school two years later. Still, he never let his love of music go. When he got a call to perform at his first bar mitzvah, his whole life changed. Now, as Chicago's go-to local entertainer, Wells is the reigning King of the Mitzvahs. Today, he's so popular that his gigs are booked three years in advance."


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"For those who do manage to snag him, Wells doesn't come cheap," Jeff Ruby wrote last fall for Chicago magazine. "Though he's reluctant to publicize his fees, people talk; party packages with him personally emceeing start at $7,500. That includes sound, lights, a DJ, and two dancers. The price goes up if you want additional dancers and amenities such as a stage or 'silent cocktails,' where each guest receives a pair of multichannel, multicolored headphones and three DJs play simultaneously on separate channels so the guests can choose to listen to hip-hop, pop, or music from the '80s and '90s.

"Wells, who is 43, makes enough from all this to keep more than 30 people on his Flow payroll and still afford a $100,000-plus Tesla SUV, a four-story house in West Town, a high-rise apartment on the Gold Coast, and a bar on Manhattan's Upper West Side. When he went to Vegas for a recent vacation with his wife, a choreographer named Evelyn Rice Wells, and their 19-month-old daughter, they flew on a private jet. How much exactly does he rake in? Wells smiles sheepishly and says, 'It's a lot.'"

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Kareem Wells' TEDx Chicago talk.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 2:25 AM | Permalink

Windy City Rollers Season Opener Approaches!

Join the Windy City Rollers (#25 in the world, #1 in Chicago) in our season opener on March 24 as we begin our road to championships!

Doors open at 5 p/m. At 6 p.m, Third Coast (Windy City Rollers - Chicago, IL) will clash with the South Shore Roller Girls (Hammond, Indiana). Then it's WCR vs. WCR as the Windy City Rollers All-Stars/Second Wind team splits up and goes head-to-head.

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Plus: Awesome Ivy King Cup 2018 Photos Here And Here.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:25 AM | Permalink

March 19, 2018

The Weekend In Chicago Rock

You shoulda been there.

1. Clan of Xymox at the Bottom Lounge on Saturday night.


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2. Imbecile Missile at Liar's Club on Friday night.

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3. OMD at the Vic on Sunday night.

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4. HotLips Messiah at Liar's Club on Friday night.

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5. Some Kind of Nightmare at Liar's Club on Friday night.

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6. Michael Schenker Fest at the Concord on Saturday night.

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7. They Might Be Giants at the Vic on Saturday night.

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8. Walk Off The Earth at the Aragon on Friday night.

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9. Gangstagrass at SPACE in Evanston on Sunday night.

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10. Bad Bunny at the Rosemont arena on Friday night.

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11. Kid Rock at the Blackhawks arena on Friday night.

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Catching up with . . .

Radiator Hospital at Lincoln Hall on March 10.

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Screaming Females at Lincoln Hall on March 10.

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Bunny at the Hideout for the SXSW Sendoff on March 10.

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Moonrise Nation at the Hideout for the SXSW Sendoff on March 10.

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Waco Brothers at the Hideout for the SXSW Sendoff on March 10.

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Cinchel at Record Breakers on March 10.

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Pirate Electric at the Natural Law Club on March 10.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 6:30 PM | Permalink

Illinois 2018 Primary Campaign Notebook 6: The 3 Worst People On The Ballot

The three most noxious candidates on the ballot.

Joe Berrios, chairman of the Cook County Democratic Party: Nepotism. Ethics. Campaign finance. Dirty tricks. Oh, and generally being a piece of shit.

Supporting him? Rahm, Pritzker, Madigan, Preckwinkle, Burke, White, Gutierrez.

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Dan Lipinski: "Rep. William Lipinski (D-Ill.) has orchestrated a plot - to unfold on Tuesday - that will virtually guarantee handing his seat to his son, Dan, an assistant professor of political science at the University of Tennessee," Lynn Sweet reported for the Sun-Times in August 2004.

"Lipinski is taking his name off the ballot for re-election to the House. On Tuesday, the Democratic political bosses in Lipinski's 3rd Congressional District will agree to replace him on the ballot with his son Dan . . .

"The nomination is tantamount to election because the Republican candidate, Ryan Chlada, is regarded as a Lipinski plant who has so little campaign activity that he has not filed any reports with the Federal Election Commission . . .

"The Democratic bosses who are expected to select Dan Lipinski as the replacement nominee make up the remnants of the old-time Chicago-style political machine. By going along with the selection of Dan Lipinski, they will be paying the elder Lipinski back for his support of their families' past, present and future political ambitions . . .

"The power to name Lipinski's replacement rests with Lipinski, who is also the 23rd Ward committeeman; Ald. Ed Burke, the 14th Ward committeeman; Cook County board member John Daley, the 11th Ward committeeman; former Cook County Assessor Thomas Hynes, the 19th Ward committeeman; Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, the 13th Ward committeeman, and Bridgeview Mayor Steve Landek, the Lyons Township committeeman."

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Just a taste from the Beachwood vault:

November 2006:

Emanuel "said he would recommend that Rep. Dan Lipinski be given the slot he covets on the Transportation Committee."

Emanuel is also holding slots for any other Lipinski relatives who need work.

November 2008:

Newspaper editorial boards like to blame the voters for not throwing the bums out, but then they always endorse the bums. Both the Tribune and the Sun-Times have endorsed Dan Lipinski, thus validating the slimy way he got into office and the sleaze surrounding his stay there.

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See also: Congressman's Decisions Benefit Dad's Lobby Clients.

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Bob Fioretti: This seems to have been forgotten in coverage of this scoundrel's race.

"Unsuccessful mayoral candidate Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd) says he's endorsing Mayor Rahm Emanuel for reelection over challenger Jesus 'Chuy' Garcia in the April 7 runoff," the Sun-Times reported in 2015.

"Fioretti, who earlier this month retracted his promise to endorse Garcia, plans a joint public appearance Sunday afternoon with Emanuel, aides said . . .

"On the eve of the Feb. 24 city election, Fioretti told the Chicago Sun-Times he would support 'anybody but Rahm' if Emanuel didn't get the majority vote he needed to avoid Chicago's first every mayoral runoff.

"'If there is a runoff, I will support whoever the challenger is,' the alderman said then. 'We need a change. Chicago is headed in the wrong direction under this mayor.'"

Not only that, but Fioretti had been the city council's loudest critic of Rahm since the day Rahm took office - so much so that Rahm had his ward eliminated in redistricting.

So why the 180? Well, it didn't take long for after Fioretti's endorsement that Rahm helped him retire his campaign debt.

Fioretti later got wiped out in a state senate race.

And yet, here he is, with the support of the police union and the Rev. Jesse Jackson.

In Chicago politics, wonders never cease.

Neither do the creeps.

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See also:

* Illinois 2018 Primary Campaign Notebook 1: MAGA, Mendacity & Moby Mike.

* Illinois 2018 Primary Campaign Notebook 2: Chris Kennedy's Confusing Campaign.

* Illinois 2018 Primary Campaign Notebook 3: Who Is Biss? Pensions, Passes & Pussy Riot.

* Illinois 2018 Primary Campaign Notebook 4: The Plutocratic Pol.

* Illinois 2018 Primary Campaign Notebook 5: Pat Quinn, Really?

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 3:00 PM | Permalink

Illinois 2018 Primary Campaign Notebook 5: Pat Quinn, Really?

Let's take a look at the (sorry) field of state attorney general candidates.

DEMOCRATS:

Kwame Raoul: The frontrunner from Day One hasn't exactly run a confidence-building campaign; he's been exposed as a creature of the Machine, if there was ever any doubt. CTU-endorsed. AFL-CIO-endorsed. His race to lose, but lose it he may.

Pat Quinn: Really? I mean, I just can't believe it. I didn't think he had any support left after giving us Rauner, but there he is. A lesson in making your own luck by refusing to go away. Victory in sight.

Sharon Fairley: Will she demand a drone and new carpet if she wins?

Nancy Rotering: She's been taken far more seriously than I ever would have imagined; she's the mayor of Highland Park. What am I missing?

Jesse Ruiz: I thought he'd get more traction, but he hasn't been able to distinguish himself in any meaningful way. Maybe because he's a hack.

Renato Mariotti: Stick to Twitter.

Aaron Goldstein: "Aaron Goldstein says his role during the Blagojevich trials should not be a campaign issue - that everyone charged with a crime deserves an attorney," WBEZ reports.

Which is true as far as it goes, but a lot of folks need talented attorneys a lot more than Blagojevich did.

Not only that, but Goldstein didn't merely defend Blagojevich, but asserted his innocence. And yet:

"It gave me a front-row seat into the underbelly of Illinois and the issues of corruption and really an important issue for me as attorney general would be holding people accountable, to making sure we root out corruption."

Is that an admission of his client's guilt?

Scott Drury: Is he seeing polling we're not, because some dude just dropped a cool mil on him.

REPUBLICANS

Erika Harold: Bruce Rauner's hand-picked choice, so . . .

Gary Grasso: He wants to use the office go to after corruption, the opioid epidemic, and fix pensions.

I'm not sure that's really what the office is about. There are two ways, really, to approach the office. Republicans tend to focus on criminal justice issues - enforcement and legislation. Democrats tend to focus on consumer issues. One thing the office isn't really designed to do, despite the rhetoric we hear every four years: root out public corruption. In Illinois, at least, we tend to leave that to the FBI and federal prosecutors, which is probably for the best given the interconnected swampiness of our state's political culture.

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Missing: The future of the Public Access Counselor's office. It started out as a relatively good idea, though what's really needed is real teeth in our state's public information laws. But it's devolved into just another feckless, under-resourced outfit.

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See also:

* Illinois 2018 Primary Campaign Notebook 1: MAGA, Mendacity & Moby Mike.

* Illinois 2018 Primary Campaign Notebook 2: Chris Kennedy's Confusing Campaign.

* Illinois 2018 Primary Campaign Notebook 3: Who Is Biss? Pensions, Passes & Pussy Riot.

* Illinois 2018 Primary Campaign Notebook 4: The Plutocratic Pol.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 1:15 PM | Permalink

SportsMonday: Sweet Seeds

One sad result of the Sweet 16 run by that local team folks have been talking about is that, going forward, fewer locals will be stumped when asked to identify the only Chicago team to win an NCAA men's basketball tournament. That trivia question has been almost as good as "What is the second-most popular participatory sport in the world?" The first is soccer, of course. The second is . . . badminton.

The answer to the first question was and is Loyola University. And not only did the Ramblers win it in 1963, they did so with the first title-winning team to feature African-American players. (A few years later, Texas Western (now Texas-El Paso) was the first squad with five black starters to win it all.)

If nothing else comes of the current Ramblers run, fans can celebrate a renewed focus on the program's shining moment 55 years ago.

The history-making Loyola team was coached by the not exactly well-liked George Ireland, who populated his team with black (four of whom were starters) and white players because they gave him the best chance to win, not because he was striving for social justice.

Now the question is, how do the Ramblers win another one? Or at least make a Final Four? What is remarkable is that doing the latter will not require defeating another team seeded in the top four in the Southern Region. No. 11 Loyola took care of No. 3 Tennessee, UMBC knocked off No. 1 Virginia, No. 2 Cincinnati lost to Nevada and No. 4 Arizona was blitzed by Buffalo.

The Bearcat vanquishers from the Silver State are next up for the Ramblers. The local team faces the seventh-seeded Wolf Pack of Nevada on Thursday at 6:07 in Atlanta. The other regional semifinal is a battle of the Wildcats - former Illinois coach Bruce Weber's No. 9 Kansas State versus No. 5 Kentucky.

Normally the latter team, a forever basketball powerhouse, would be the prohibitive favorite. But this is a tough Kentucky team to figure out. At one point this season, these Wildcats lost seven of 11 games.

Meanwhile in Manhattan - Kansas that is - Weber's bunch was barely squeaking into the Dance. But after a win over Creighton in the first round, they out-uglied University of Maryland Baltimore County in the worst game (in terms of overall quality of play) of the tournament so far, a 50-43 brickfest, on Sunday.

The point of all of this is that while it will be very tempting to say the Ramblers have already accomplished everything anyone could have hope they would accomplish, so who cares what happens next, the truth is that they have a great chance to go further.

As for the field overall, there is certainly a sense that this is the year of the underdog. But a few fundamental favorites remain. In particular, it appears that no one is nearly as good as East Region No. 1 Villanova, which is seeking its second title in three years.

And either Duke or Kansas will probably make it out of the Midwest Region. They are the top two seeds heading into semifinal action in Omaha this weekend. Then there is the West, where Gonzaga and Michigan have been good the last three or four years of course (remember the Zags in the final last year?) but very few people picked them to make the Final Four. I wouldn't bet against Texas A&M or Florida State to rise up and beat their higher seeded foes in the upcoming semis.

So now we'll see if Loyola can they take advantage of a chance to face a lower-seeded team in the Sweet 16 than they saw in either the first or second round. And if they can do that, well, wouldn't a date with Kentucky be about as cool a match-up as a fan could enjoy?

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:52 AM | Permalink

Illinois 2018 Primary Campaign Notebook 4: The Plutocratic Pol

"Here's an issue on which rich Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and J.B. Pritzker - by far the wealthiest of the Democrats aiming to unseat Rauner next year - find common ground," Dan Mihalopoulos reported for the Sun-Times last fall.

"Both Rauner and Pritzker are fans of a state tax-credit program for rich investors in startup companies in Illinois.

In fact, Pritzker is more than just a supporter of the program - the venture capitalist has profited handsomely from it.

Pritzker's companies have gotten tax credits worth more than $1.9 million over four years through the Illinois Angel Investment Tax Credit program, records show.

As he did when his big property-tax breaks were revealed earlier this year, Pritzker says he's merely availed himself of what the law offers him.

And who writes those laws - and at the behest (and campaign contributions) of whom?

"It diminished a little bit of a very high risk," Pritzker says of the tax credits his companies got.

Great. The taxpayers diminished your risk. Are you really good with that? Because that tells us a lot about what's in your heart.

Pritzker says it's a fair deal for the rest of the state's taxpayers - especially given that an estimated 85 percent of the startup companies supported by the program's participants will fail.

Two of the companies Pritzker says he invested in through the tax-credit program - Signal marketing company and SpotHero, a parking-reservation service - are now thriving, with hundreds of employees in Chicago.

Of Signal, Pritzker says, "I took the chance of investing in them when nobody else had."

And, at the time he invested in SpotHero, he says, "They had nothing - no product, no revenue."

He wouldn't go so far as to say he wouldn't have invested in those companies if not for the state tax credits, saying only that the program factored into his decisions.

"I think it's good public policy to have those incentives there," Pritzker says.

Except it's obvious that Pritzker didn't need to be incentivized by taxpayers' hard-earned dollars to be persuaded to invest. in SpotHero and Signal. That's horrible public policy.

Under the state angel investor program, four Pritzker businesses got a total of more than $1.2 million in tax credits in 2012. He got more state tax credits in 2013, 2014 and 2015, when two of his companies claimed a total of more than $537,000 in credits.

That's nothing to JB, but a lot of money to the rest of us.

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Separately, from the Trib:

"Asked why Pritzker paid no Illinois income tax in 2014, Slayen said the candidate 'made personal venture capital investments in Illinois companies, which qualified him for angel investment tax credits.'"

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And then, of course, there was this one:

In May, Sun-Times reporter Tim Novak reported that Pritzker had saved nearly $230,000 on his property taxes by arguing that a Gold Coast mansion he bought for $3.7 million, began to renovate and then halted the work was "uninhabitable."

Hey, he was only availing himself of what the law offered!

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Pritzker is the Establishment's candidate, and I must say I've been wrong in asserting that was only because of his checkbook. It's also because he can be counted on not to rock the boat.

When you refuse to criticize Joe Berrios, much less endorse a challenger, you are truly Mike Madigan's and Ed Burke's guy.

"I'm not revealing who I voted for or who I'm supporting in that race," Pritzker said, in the campaign's final debate.

W. T. Actual. F.

"Oh my gosh," Chris Kennedy exclaimed in a truly genuine moment. " If you can't take a position on whether Joe Berrios should be re-elected . . . you shouldn't be the governor of the state of Illinois."

Agreed. Case closed.

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Pritzker: "I don't think we should be getting involved in Democratic primaries - we're running one ourselves."

We should just get involved in Republican primaries!

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But seriously, Pritzker can't possibly mean he hasn't or won't and shouldn't ever pick sides in a Democratic primary. That's such a disingenuous punt.

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Reminder about Berrios: Nepotism. Ethics. Campaign finance. Dirty tricks. Oh, and generally being a piece of shit.

Game over, in my book.

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I guess this claim isn't ludicrous enough for his pants to be on fire, but they're awfully warm.

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Not to be underappreciated: Pritzker is building a machine by spreading his dollars around to various Democratic organizations, including the campaign committees of amenable Chicago aldermen. He is poised to essentially become the state party leader, officially or not.

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Social. Impact. Bonds.

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I don't remember Pritzker coming out against Rahm closing 50 schools. Did I miss that?

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Disclosure: I knew JB just a smidgen back in the day when we both regularly attended a monthly lunch of political types at Gene & Georgetti's. Just based on my interactions there, I found JB to be a pretty likable guy, but who knows. I also met him for lunch once and we discussed the possibility of him helping to finance this site. That never happened, of course, but I thought I should mention it. (He encouraged me to add sections that would attract luxury advertisers, like travel, which wasn't really in line with my vision of the site or my business plan - not that I would have necessarily rejected his money. I figured if I got money from him I would then seek out a rich Republican to also contribute in order to balance out potential accusations of a resulting political slant. It turned out I never had to worry about that because the whole thing just fizzled out.)

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See also:

* Illinois 2018 Primary Campaign Notebook 1: MAGA, Mendacity & Moby Mike.

* Illinois 2018 Primary Campaign Notebook 2: Chris Kennedy's Confusing Campaign.

* Illinois 2018 Primary Campaign Notebook 3: Who Is Biss? Pensions, Passes & Pussy Riot.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:43 AM | Permalink

The [Monday] Papers

I'm cranking out as many campaign notebooks as I can before the polls close on Tuesday. Here's what I have so far:

* Illinois 2018 Primary Campaign Notebook 1: MAGA, Mendacity & Moby Mike.

* Illinois 2018 Primary Campaign Notebook 2: Chris Kennedy's Confusing Campaign.

* Illinois 2018 Primary Campaign Notebook 3: Who Is Biss? Pensions, Passes & Pussy Riot.

* Illinois 2018 Primary Campaign Notebook 4: The Plutocratic Pol.

* Illinois 2018 Primary Campaign Notebook 5: Pat Quinn, Really?

* Illinois 2018 Primary Campaign Notebook 6: The 3 Worst People On The Ballot.

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Also new on the Beachwood today . . .

* Why Bland American Beer Is Here To Stay.

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ChicagoGram

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ChicagoTube

Chicago 1950s.

By Craig Wynn Photo.

"8mm reel shot by my Irish grandfather while visiting family in Chicago."

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BeachBook

He stepped up. Click through to read how.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:59 AM | Permalink

Illinois 2018 Primary Campaign Notebook 3: Who Is Biss? Pensions, Passes & Pussy Riot

Look, he has the Pussy Riot endorsement. That's almost good enough for me. Almost.

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First, what was Carlos Ramirez-Rosa all about? Really? And I don't mean that because he's socialist, I mean that because he's a 29-year-old first-term Chicago alderman.

And then this. I know it seems like ages ago, but it's worth remembering and reflecting upon.

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Biss has a legitimate shot at winning the nomination Tuesday.

That's a far cry from when Chicago magazine asked a few months ago if he had considered dropping out due to low polling numbers. (At that point, Pritzker had spent $7 million; he's now spent $70 million and he's in the exact same place in the polls. Maybe he should've been the one to drop out!)

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Then there was the math thing. I came away from this thinking maybe he wasn't a great mathematician but hardly upset. Should I have been? Really?

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Then there was the CTA card thing. You know what? His explanation makes sense. He confused weekly passes with monthly passes. It adds up. The media's overheated response doesn't.

And yet, there's the Tribune's closing profile leading with it!

"Daniel Biss, a former assistant mathematics professor at the University of Chicago, has touted his experience with numbers as a key reason Democratic voters should nominate him for governor. So when the Evanston state senator was asked the price of a monthly CTA pass during a recent debate, he made some quick calculations.

"Let's see, my Metra pass has now come pretty close to $50 a month. So a monthly CTA pass I would guess is probably around $35," Biss said.

"The actual cost is $105 - a miscalculation that pulled at the very threads of the brand Biss has spent the last year carefully cultivating. He's running as the "middle-class candidate" against a billionaire heir and entrepreneur who's writing big campaign checks and a millionaire developer born into an American political dynasty."

What the Tribune didn't tell its readers? That's not the monthly cost of a Metra pass, either, and he owns one! That's the weekly cost.

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I've been a regular CTA user for 25 years and I have no idea how much a monthly pass costs. I've never bought one. I'm a pretty intense reader of the news, including news about fare hikes, and I still don't know. I also live in Chicago, not Evanston. It's silly. Ask the Tribune's editor how much a monthly pass is!

Beyond that, you know who's out-of-touch? Reporters! When Pritzker, in that same debate, said the cost of a week of child care was $150 to $400, my Twitter timeline filled up with journos howling about how much more expensive their care was than that. But statistics showed that Pritzker was right. I subsequently learned that the majority of those using child care, on salaries far lower than that of our local newspaper folk, use less than gold-plated services.

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P.S.:

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It's almost as if the media is working extra hard to write critically of Biss. I'd be satisfied with a serious vetting of his legislative record, but the stuff they're getting him on is ridiculous.

For another example, from an AP fact-check:

STATE SEN. DANIEL BISS: "Our financial sector has grown and grown and grown and the rest of the economy has shrunk and the rest of us are being overtaxed because we haven't figured out how to tax the financial sector," Biss said. "To say that we can't tax the financial sector is to say that we will continue overtaxing middle-class families and that I will never accept."

THE FACTS: Taxing financial transactions would be difficult to enforce in Chicago, the world's biggest center of trading in agricultural and financial futures and options.

Is it really a fact that a financial transaction tax would be difficult to enforce?

Biss wants to impose a new tax on the buying and selling of commodities and financial contracts traded on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and other exchanges, which he says could generate $10 billion to $12 billion annually. Kennedy and Pritzker say it isn't feasible.

Trading experts say imposing it would drive the hyper-competitive markets out of Illinois, something traders could do easily because most of the transactions are done electronically and the markets are global.

Of course "trading experts" say that. And maybe it's true - and maybe it's not! If it's true that the markets could operate anywhere because it's all electronic these days, why are they still here now? Wouldn't it be cheaper for, say, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange to relocate to, say, Mississippi?

That point is underscored by what happened in 2011, when the CME Group Inc., which operates the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and other businesses, threatened to move from Illinois and got a tax break from the Legislature. Biss voted for the tax break as a state representative, which was estimated to have saved the exchanges about $85 million a year.

This is an argument taken up by Pritzker - and one that has, at least purportedly, mystified Biss, who points out that these are two separate issues. I think Biss is right!

First: "Biss says he supported the measure because, as part of the deal, the Legislature that same day approved a second measure that provided about $110 million in tax breaks for families, including an increase in Illinois' earned income tax credit."

Okay, so his argument there is that he accepted a compromise, I suppose. Personally, I don't like using, say, "tax breaks for families" to give cover to a corporate giveaway. I wouldn't have made that vote.

But when Kennedy complained in the last WTTW debate that Biss was being a hypocrite because he wanted to install a new tax to claw back what he supported giving away, well, that sounds savvy to me! Not only that, one can believe that one tax is unfair to a business and vote to give that business a break while believing that another tax on that business is appropriate to levy.

The coverage also ignores the fact that a financial transactions tax isn't some crazy idea that Biss thought up himself but an idea that has been around for a long time now, and has a fair amount of support.

Finally, what's crazier than a financial transactions tax is taking it off the table before starting, instead of bringing the exchanges to the table and exploring what can be done to create a fairer system for everyone.

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Even if you think Biss is hypocrite on the financial transactions tax, that's nothing compared to the hypocrisy of Pritzker and Kennedy on an issue of far more import: the (non-)release of their tax returns.

This video pretty much says it all:

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Biss is the policy wonk in the race.

From the Sun-Times' endorsement of Pritzker:

"We want to express our respect for the five other candidates, and we believe that one other in particular - state Sen. Dan Biss - could be a creative and effective governor. His command of the intricacies of public policy is unmatched."

If you sense a "but" coming, you're right . . .

"But, ultimately, Pritzker's achievements in both the private and public sectors overshadow Biss' more limited legislative achievements."

Really? Why not just tell us the truth instead of trying to rationalize a public policy argument.

"And, frankly, Pritzker offers Democrats their best chance to defeat Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner - or Rep. Jeanne Ives, Rauner's opponent - in the November general election. He has the funding (billionaires usually do), the organizational support and the responsibly progressive agenda."

Close, but no cigar. Let me fix your real argument for you.

"And, frankly, Pritzker offers Democrats their best chance to defeat Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner - or Rep. Jeanne Ives, Rauner's opponent - in the November general election. He has the funding (billionaires usually do), the organizational support and the responsibly progressive agenda.

Just say it. Own your choice. "Right now, getting Bruce Rauner out of office is more important than policy differences, expertise or any of the other traditional arguments we'd make when offering an endorsement. We can't afford to take any chances, and Pritzker's money offers us the most security in reaching our top goal: denying Rauner a second term." Just say it. It's not necessarily an unjust position. But don't cloak it in bullshit.

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I'm not even as bullish on Biss as that editorial is - I have far less confidence that he could be an effective and creative governor. I just hate the disingenuousness.

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On pensions: Then. Now.

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"I would say that my position has always been, 'There's the Pritzker-Madigan wing of the Democratic Party, there's the progressive independent wing of the Democratic Party,' " Biss said in an interview with the Tribune. "I've always been in the progressive independent wing, which means I've always been willing to work with any Democrat to advance the party's goals, including Democrats from my wing and the Democrats from the Madigan-Pritzker wing. And I've always been aggressive in intraparty fights to stand up for my vision of a grassroots Democratic Party."

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"After Biss launched his bid for governor, his mother contributed $100,000 to his campaign fund. His brother, a pianist, kicked in $20,000. "

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"What I say to folks is that a lot of politicians think they are the smartest person in the room, but Daniel is, in fact, the smartest person in the room," Northbrook Democrat Elaine Nekritz told the Tribune. "But he also listens well, cares to learn the details of policy, and those are qualities that are not always so obvious in other elected officials around the state."

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"Biss has called on Madigan to resign as state party chairman following questions about how the speaker handled harassment allegations against two of his top political operatives. Biss has criticized Pritzker for failing to demand that Madigan step down.

"Pritzker has noted that Biss voted for Madigan as speaker when Biss was in the House, and ran the Leading Illinois For Tomorrow super PAC, which was funded by Madigan and other top Democrats. The group ran ads seeking to tie Rauner and Illinois Republicans to Donald Trump. Other contributors included Pritzker, who gave $350,000, and Kennedy, who gave $50,000.

"Biss said he did not talk with Madigan about the super PAC effort, noting that doing so would be a violation of federal election laws. He bristles at the suggestion that working on the same side as Madigan in the past suggests 'there's a contradiction there.'

"'Not only is there not a contradiction, there's no sense in being a progressive independent Democrat if you're not also a Democrat, if you're not also willing to work with Democrats in support of the party's goals. There's not even a smidgen of tension. On the contrary, you've got to do the one if you're going to do the other,' Biss said.

"'My job is to win elections for Democrats in November, to win elections for progressive and independent Democrats in primaries, and advance those visions simultaneously and to work with everybody to advance an agenda that I think is good for the state of Illinois.'"

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Look, I don't even like Biss! But when I reviewed the coverage of the campaign for this post, I was struck by how often I thought he was treated unfairly by the media. Maybe that's the result of trying to be equally critical of each candidate - despite the fact that Kennedy and especially Pritzker have fare more to scrooten, to use a term coined by Richard M. Daley.

Or maybe it's the media's instinct to knock down anyone who expresses and kind of earnestness.

I just know that Biss's head-exploding exasperation during that last WTTW debate as two plutocrats who have refused to release their tax returns accused him of being the cynical poser we don't really know seemed awfully genuine to me.

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Biss's endorsements.

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See also:

* Illinois 2018 Primary Campaign Notebook 1: MAGA, Mendacity & Moby Mike.

* Illinois 2018 Primary Campaign Notebook 2: Chris Kennedy's Confusing Campaign.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 2:05 AM | Permalink

Why Bland American Beer Is Here To Stay

Although craft beer has experienced explosive market growth over the past 25 years, the vast majority of Americans still don't drink it.

Only about 1 in 8 beers sold in America is a craft beer.

For the first time, the three best-selling beers in America are light beers: Bud Light, Coors Light and Miller Lite. Bud Light alone has a greater market share than all craft beers combined.

So while the selection has broadened dramatically, most people's tastes have not.

Even craft beer companies are adjusting to this reality: A recent Chicago Tribune article noted that craft breweries are releasing beers that are "less hoppy and in-your-face" in order to appeal to the majority of Americans who prefer "big corporate lagers."

In other words, they're brewing blander beers.

How did Americans come to prefer such bland beer? As an economic historian, I've extensively researched the political economy of alcohol prohibition, and the unique history of the U.S. temperance movement might bear some responsibility for country's exceptionally bland beer.

Lager Bier Craze vs. Teetotalers

Unlike European countries with beer preferences and styles that have evolved over centuries, America lacks a homegrown brewing tradition.

The classic American beer is an "adjunct pilsner," which means that some of the malted barley is replaced with corn or rice. The effect is a beer that's lighter, clearer and less hoppy than its counterparts in countries like England, Germany and Belgium.

In colonial America, English-style beers and ales predominated, but rum and then whiskey were the drink of choice. Cider, easier to make at home, overtook beer by the early 19th century.

However, the American beer market grew during the great mid-19th century wave of German immigration. German lagers were an immediate hit, partially because the German brewing method of bottom fermentation - which involves a relatively long fermentation period and cold storage - made for a more consistent, storable product than top-fermented ales. The lagers were also mellower, though they were dark and hearty compared to what would become popular later.

lagerbier.jpgA print from the 1800s promotes 'lager bier' as a 'healthy drink' and a 'family drink'/Library of Congress

But the "lager bier craze" dovetailed with another big trend: the temperance movement, which at various times sought to reduce problem drinking, reduce drinking more generally and eradicate alcohol consumption completely. From 1830 to 1845, the temperance movement gained momentum as more and more Americans were taking voluntary "temperance pledges" and giving up spirits and cider.

German brewers always maintained that beer was a "temperance beverage," unlike ardent spirits such as whiskey. And indeed, European temperance movements did tend to regard beer as relatively harmless.

But activists in the American temperance movement - which by then had become more about abstinence and intertwined with evangelical Protestantism - didn't buy the argument. The 1850s saw the first big push for state-level prohibition laws, which ended up being passed in a handful of states. Those laws didn't last for a variety of reasons (including the Civil War), but they did serve notice to the brewers that they needed to work harder to convince the public that beer was a temperance beverage.

Perfect For A Midday Drink

In the 1870s, American beer would become mellower still with the advent of a new type of lager: the Bohemian pilsner. Clearer, lighter and blander than the Bavarian lagers that had previously dominated the market, pilsners looked cleaner, healthier, more stable and less intoxicating.

As an 1878 issue of the trade publication Western Brewer noted, Americans "want a clear beer of light color, mild and not too bitter taste."

Brewers and drinkers who wanted to avert the temperance movement's gaze naturally chose light pilsners over dark lagers. But lighter beer also was a good fit for the long hours of American factory workers, many of whom ate at saloons between shifts. Coming back to work drunk could get you fired, so if you wanted a beer or two with the salty saloon fare, the weakest beers were the best bet.

Pragmatism and personal taste soon became intertwined. In 1876, Anheuser-Busch introduced Budweiser - whose rice adjuncts produced an even milder beer - to great success. Pabst Blue Ribbon, with its corn adjuncts, became a national sensation as well.

In 1916, Gustave Pabst, the son of Pabst Blue Ribbon's founder Frederick Pabst, told the United States Brewers Association that "the discrimination in favor of light beers (is strongest) in those countries where the anti-alcohol sentiment is strongest."

Nonetheless, the drumbeat of the temperance movement started getting louder.

Prohibition Leaves Its Mark

By the late 19th and early 20th century, the temperance movement had returned in force. Efficient organizing campaigns by the Woman's Christian Temperance Union and the Anti-Saloon League led to a new wave of state and local prohibitions and, finally, a push for national prohibition.

National constitutional prohibition, as decreed by the 18th Amendment and the Volstead Act, was devastating to the beer industry in the short term. But in the long term, it further laid the groundwork for a nation of bland beer drinkers.

Careful estimates by economist Clark Warburton found that alcohol consumption during Prohibition may have actually risen for wine and spirits but fell by two-thirds for beer, which was harder to conceal. Although Prohibition may have introduced a generation of young people to cocktails, they had hardly any exposure to beer - and certainly hadn't acquired the taste for hearty beer.

In March 1933, eight months before the 21st Amendment repealed Prohibition, Congress modified the Volstead Act to allow the production of "non-intoxicating," low-alcohol beer and wine, with a maximum of 4 percent alcohol by volume.

The new, watered-down beer was a huge hit with the public, which hadn't tasted a full-strength legal beer since 1917. Dark beers and ales had accounted for some 15 percent of the market before World War I. But in 1936 their share was just 2 to 3 percent. In 1947, researchers at Schwarz Laboratories analyzed the alcohol, hop and malt content of American beers in the 1930s and 1940s and remarked that many of these early post-repeal beers were "too hoppy," "too heavy and too filling" for consumers' tastes. The report noted "a corrective trend" in which brewers sharply reduced their hop and malt content.

More adventurous brewers and drinkers were also stymied by post-Prohibition laws. State and federal policies effectively banned homebrewing, and most states required a "three-tier" system of brewers, distributors and retailers that made it more difficult to make and market specialty beers.

The blandification of American beer continued for another 70 years. During World War II, American troops got 4 percent alcohol beer in their rations, exposing yet another generation to the joys of weak beer. The hop and malt content of beer fell sharply and steadily over this period. Hop content fell by half from 1948 to 1969, and the rise of "lite" beer in the 1970s accelerated the trend. Hop content fell 35 percent from 1970 to 2004.

Despite the phenomenal rise of craft beer, light beers are still dominant. The craft beer explosion is a remarkable story, but perhaps we should stop calling it a revolution.

For now, bland beers are still king.

Ranjit Dighe is an economics professor at the State University of New York Oswego. This article was originally published on The Conversation.

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Comments welcome.

The Conversation

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:41 AM | Permalink

March 18, 2018

Illinois 2018 Primary Campaign Notebook 2: Chris Kennedy's Confusing Campaign

Here's how it started:

The son of the slain Robert F. Kennedy used a speech to the Illinois delegation to the Democratic National Convention to sharply criticize Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, fueling speculation that the man with the famous political bloodlines might commit to running this time around after previously weighing campaigns for the U.S. House, U.S. Senate and governor.

But after Kennedy wrapped up his polished address, he showed little savvy with the collection of reporters awaiting him outside a hotel banquet room to ask whether he would challenge Rauner in 2018.

"I said what I was going to say inside today," he said, "and the rest of the convention I'm going to spend listening and learning from other people."

Kennedy then walked toward a waiting elevator, but a crush of Chicago reporters followed him in, not satisfied with the non-answer.

"This is sort of ridiculous, please," Kennedy pleaded.

"What's ridiculous is you don't answer questions," WFLD-Ch. 32 reporter Mike Flannery shot back. "You've run four or five campaigns in the gossip column. Are you running for governor or not?"

"I don't have to address you. Please leave the elevator and let me go to my meeting. Please do that. Have some decency," Kennedy responded. "What have you become? Please, please."

A furious Kennedy then left the elevator and headed to a nearby stairwell. Chicago Sun-Times reporter Lynn Sweet then chased him into the stairwell doorway requesting to take a photograph of the businessman, who obliged with an awkwardly forced smile.

Dude.

So why the getaway?

Kennedy said he thought his message to the delegation spoke for itself and that he refuses to participate in media scrums that are the regular stuff of politics and public office.

"People turn into animals in that environment, and they are asking ridiculous questions, acting like bullies . . . It's a bullshit way to conduct each other's business," he said.

Kennedy said he would rather do one-on-one interviews with every reporter than one hallway press conference.

Kennedy wasn't wrong about the behavior of media packs, but boy was he wrong about how to handle it. Can you imagine him as governor? Can you really?

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Not that Kennedy is just an innocent naif. Jacobin did the deepest dive into his track record, and it's not pretty. Some anti-Establishment revolutionary.

Not all of Kennedy's business success has comported with his stated progressive values. For more than 20 years, Kennedy has served on the board of trustees of Ariel Investments' Mutual Fund. Ariel Investments is headed by John Rogers, a close Obama associate (he's currently serving on the board of directors of the incipient Obama Foundation) and a big believer of aiding poor black communities by helping them start hedge funds.

Kennedy currently serves on its Management Contracts, Executive, and Governance Committee and chairs its Audit Committee. Kennedy's involvement with Ariel has been profitable for him, bringing him $89,000 in 2014 alone.

But the Ariel Mutual Fund has invested in companies that are a far cry from the progressive image Kennedy is now presenting. One company is Verizon, which has a history of misleading its customers, paying little in taxes, aiming to outsource jobs and cut worker pensions and disability payments, and for a time assisted the U.S. government in spying on its customers.

Others include tobacco giant Philip Morris (which, aside from being a tobacco company, has been accused of profiting from child labor), Acacia Research (a patent-licensing company that was recently accused by Apple of being part of an antitrust conspiracy with Nokia, another company Ariel invests in), and private equity firm Blackstone, which the fund has invested in since at least as far back as 2012, the same year it began buying up foreclosed homes around the United States (including in Kennedy's stomping ground of Chicago) and virtually operating as a slumlord. In 2012, Ariel had invested just shy of $37.5 million in the firm.

Perhaps most glaring is Ariel's longtime investment in a variety of fossil-fuel companies at the same time that Kennedy touts himself as something of an eco-warrior.

Let us know pause to reflect on the statement Kennedy posted to Facebook when he announced his campaign.

I'm running for governor to bring radical change to Illinois. But insiders are working to silence our campaign because we threaten the status quo.

The political establishment doesn't want to hear the truth and they don't like me because I'm the one telling it.

The truth about what? Your Ariel investments? Shhhh!

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Not only that, but the political establishment has wanted Kennedy to run for public office for years - although this year they weren't as pleased once they settled on JB Pritzker as their guy. So, awkward.

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Back to Jacobin:

Along with the rest of his family, Kennedy has also continued to benefit from a piece of accounting wizardry that has inoculated his family's wealth from taxes. As Carol O'Donnell of Forbes outlined, the Kennedys have long used "dynasty trusts" to both protect their wealth from the greed of individual family members, as well as shield it from the government's busy hands.

But upon selling Merchandise Mart to Vornado Realty in 1998, the family also potentially avoided paying capital gains tax on the sale by entering into an "operating partnership unit" with the company, giving the Kennedys an ownership stake in Vornado. This also means that individual Kennedys have been reaping millions of dollars in dividends for years. Given that Chris Kennedy was the Vornado Realty Trust's executive officer from 2000 to 2011, it's likely he did, too.

It's quite likely we'd know for sure if he released his tax returns.

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One thing's for sure: Kennedy is lucky in a way that Pritzker is in this race, because he's drawn the bulk of attention when it comes to questions about family fortunes.

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Finally, a tease:

Perhaps the clearest example of Kennedy's potential governing style can be found in his time at the University of Illinois, whose board of trustees he chaired from 2009 to 2015. During that time, Kennedy repeatedly rolled over - or even tacked to the right - at the slightest hint of controversy. Kennedy's e-mails, some of which were released in past document dumps and others recently obtained through a Freedom of Information request, give some of the behind-the-scenes details of these incidents.

You'll have to click through to the Jacobin piece for the rest

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I can say this: I don't feel like I heard enough about Kennedy's doings at U of I as I should have.

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"The 52-year-old sold his ownership of the Merchandise Mart in 2012 and now spends his time running a grocery nonprofit, Top Box Foods," the Tribune reported.

Not in 2015 he didn't. According to a tax filing for that year that the Sun-Times' Dan Mihalopoulos looked at, Kennedy only averaged two hours a week working for Top Box.

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"Kennedy was interested in hunger issues," the Tribune reported, "which is how he explains ending up with a job at a small grain elevator buying corn and soybeans for farmers, which later evolved into a position as an ADM runner at the Chicago Board of Trade and Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Later, he got an MBA at Northwestern University and became president of the Merchandise Mart, which was owned by the Kennedy family until it sold the building for $625 million in 1998."

I don't get how any of that follows from being interested in hunger issues - including the grain buying.

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This would be an effective line of attack against Rauner, if true:

Kennedy said his experience in luring firms to the Merchandise Mart proves that 'I know what it takes to get more companies to move to Illinois . . . And to get them to expand once they've arrive."

And it didn't take any items from Rauner's "turnaround agenda" to do it, he added.

"Not one of the 5,000 or so tenants and exhibitors that I deal with, businesses that employ people and pay taxes, not one ever asked me about the prevailing wage, or right to work, or redistricting, or tort reform," Kennedy said to applause.

Query those tenants!

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Media fail: the Kennedy campaign's health insurance.

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From "Rep. Rush Son, Brother On Chris Kennedy Payroll:"

"Jeffrey Rush in 2008 was sentenced to six months in the Kane County Jail and three years probation after pleading guilty to official misconduct for having sex with female inmates. Jeffrey Rush was fired from his $54,408-a-year job as assistant supervisor of security at the Fox Valley Adult Transition Center in Aurora in Sept. 2007. Congressman Rush persuaded Gov. Blagojevich's administration to hire his son because of law enforcement and supervisory experience, the governor's office said after his firing."

WTF?

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This was Kennedy's best moment - and the only one that made me take a second look:

Our major city, Chicago, is using a strategy of selective containment where we're allowing violence to continue as long as it only continues in certain neighborhoods. We have an '80-8 Rule,' where 80 percent of the violence occurs in just 8 percent of our city . . . We're cutting off resources to push people of color out of our city and perhaps out of the way of economic development.

We've closed 18 public schools in Bronzeville alone. That neighborhood just south of the Loop, there along the beaches of Lake Michigan, is the next great development play in Chicago. It will be a development play, but not for the residents who have lived there for years and years, and who are being pushed out. But instead, for a new wave of gentrification that defines a city which, as it gets smaller, is becoming whiter.

I don't believe that violence is being allowed to continue purposely in some neighborhoods, but I do believe it's a natural consequence of the policies that have been purposely pursued by at least the last two mayors. Otherwise, he's spot-on.

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(Well, maybe this was his best moment. Certainly the best mic drop of the campaign - maybe any campaign.)

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From The Steve Cochran Show, via Capitol Fax:

SC: The headlines are blaring, 'Forced Gentrification by the Mayor.' And if people don't read the full story, the headlines make it sound like you're calling the mayor a racist who's kicking black folks out of the city. So, let's start there. I want to give you a chance to clarify those remarks - if they need clarifying.

CK: Well, I'd say this: I don't know what's in the mayor's heart. I don't know what he's thinking on this issue. What I do know are the results.

That's the very definition of institutional racism - it doesn't require that individuals be bigots.

CK: The results are Chicago is becoming smaller and as it becomes smaller, it's becoming whiter. In neighborhoods predominately lived in by African-Americans, we're closing schools, we're closing mental health clinics. We're forcing people to live in food deserts, forcing them to live in pharmacy deserts, allowing crime to skyrocket. And, the combination of those forces would push anybody out of the city.

Whether it's an act of omission or an act of commission, it doesn't really matter. There is only one mayor and he sets the tone at the top. This is occurring under his watch so, one way or another, he needs to be held responsible.

Maybe that's the office you should be running for.

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Then again, no. Because this makes no sense.

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Nonetheless, Joravsky: "Chris Kennedy got it right: people of color are being pushed out of Chicago intentionally. The gubernatorial candidate nailed the whole point of Mayors Daley and Emanuel's economic development programs."

Maybe Kennedy's just a late bloomer.

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Maybe not.

Look, the guy is Not Ready For Prime Time.

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But what are you going to do about it?

In the Democratic Party all the money really flows at the behest of the Speaker of the House and if you cross swords with him that flow of money will be cut off.

If you look at how I'll react to that, well you can see, you can see from the history of the primary, what's happened during this election. I spoke truth to power, I said what Mike Madigan is doing is not illegal but it should be. And that money was cut off. I was threatened by him, I was told not to speak out against him by people associated with the party. And I said 'No, I'm gonna speak the truth, what's happening with the property tax racket is destroying our schools, dooming the next generation to a life of economic servitude.'

I spoke out against Rahm Emanuel and what's happening in the City of Chicago, and my donors dropped.

So who are you backing for mayor this time around?

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This kind of came and went, but it's pretty startling - especially given his railing against insiders:

"One project from his time at the Mart that Kennedy doesn't talk about is a nearly half-billion-dollar public-private partnership to build a convention center and medical mart in Cleveland, which Kennedy brokered through a family friend. The friend was among local politicians who gave Kennedy's company a no-bid contract and pushed through a controversial sales tax hike to pay for the project, which now sits largely empty and has failed to bring in the promised revenue, a Tribune review of the deal found."

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Separately: "Kennedy's exact portion of his family's haul from the sale of the Merchandise Mart is unknown, and he's declined to answer questions about his personal net worth. Partial tax returns Kennedy released last year showed that he had $1.2 million in taxable state income in 2016.

"When pressed by reporters last summer, Kennedy said his financial situation was 'significantly different' than Pritzker's and that it required him to seek 'the individual support of residents of our state.'"

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Bill Daley was Che Kennedy's finance chair.

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Finally, this unforgettable moment:

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See also:

* Illinois 2018 Primary Campaign Notebook 1: MAGA, Mendacity & Moby Mike.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 4:53 PM | Permalink

Illinois 2018 Primary Campaign Notebook 1: MAGA, Mendacity & Moby Mike

First in a series: The GOP candidates for governor.

Ah, the irony: Incompetent serial liar vs. Trumpist.

Undercovered - and underappeciated - about the Jeanne Ives campaign (perhaps because reporters love a close race and would love to see an upset just for the drama of it, as well as an earned dislike of the sitting governor) is that she's not just a hard-right, rock-ribbed conservative, but a full-fledged Trumpist.

"Republican gubernatorial candidate Jeanne Ives spoke at the [MAGA] rally because she wants voters to know she voted for President Trump and still strongly supports him," Northern Public Radio reported in November, as just one example. "She said, 'I believe in the policies that he's implemented to date. I believe in following our federal laws. I believe in arresting illegal immigration so that we can support workers in our state first.'"

She backs Trump through-and-through. And the sitting governor whom she's challenging is not about to make an issue of it. That's where we're at, as they say.

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The Tribune's Rick Pearson, to his credit, recently saw a flaw in Ives' support of the president. Pearson writes:

When Republican state Rep. Jeanne Ives explains to voters why she's challenging Gov. Bruce Rauner in the primary election, she cites the honor code of her West Point alma mater: "A cadet will not lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do."

The governor, Ives contends, lied to her and other social conservatives in 2014 when he said he had no social agenda, and she points to his signature on a law to expand abortion rights.

At the same time, however, the Wheaton legislator has embraced Trump and urges what she calls the "silent majority" that elected him to rise up against Rauner.

Trump's lies in office are well-chronicled - just Wednesday he boasted that he made up facts on trade during a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Trump also has a history of cheating, including his affair with actress Marla Maples that broke up his first marriage, and the current fallout from $130,000 paid by his lawyer to a porn star who goes by the name Stormy Daniels as "hush money" about an alleged affair.

How does Ives reconcile campaigning on an honor code that prohibits lying and cheating as a rationale to take on Rauner, while not only tolerating but actively promoting Trump? Asked that question recently, Ives paused for several seconds.

"For me, it's a personal affront to what Gov. Rauner has done because I'm part of that Republican caucus he lied to, OK?" she said. "So, it's a very personal thing. That's the thing. I can affect him (Rauner) and the outcome of this election. I can't necessarily affect Donald Trump."

Hey Jeanne, West Point called and left this message:

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Then there's Ives' infamous opening ad, already in the annals of Illinois politics as one of the most horrific ever broadcast, even surpassing Jim Oberweis in his helicopter above Soldier Field complaining about "illegal aliens." ("I've made statements in commercials that I've regretted, and I've said so," he has since said.)

Let us not forget who Jeanne Ives is:

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Now, about Rauner.

What is there left to say? We already know what a liar he is. Here's just the latest entry, from Capitol Fax:

I think we may have a new "Pants on Fire" award for Gov. Bruce Rauner, who said this in Champaign yesterday ...

"Polls are pretty irrelevant. I don't pay any attention to them," [Rauner] said with a laugh.

Laughing at a question is almost always one of his "tells."

Perhaps Rauner's biggest Pants on Fire lie? Pretending to not know what "pants on fire" means (Reporter: "It means that it's not only false, it's ludicrous . . . ") - or, more like, evading with dismissive scorn what fact-checkers tend to find when verifying his many truth-challenged statements. That alone shows the same dismissiveness to Illinoisans whose lives have been absolutely mangled by his single-minded pursuit of Moby Mike.

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"It's important that my focus, my focus is on defeating Madigan and Pritzker," Rauner said last week. "A hundred percent, that's where I spend all my time and my attention . . . My time is a hundred percent, all of my message, all of my time, my attention is focused on Madigan and Pritzker."

Maybe give at least 5 percent of your time to those poor veterans in the Quincy home? My god.

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Also pretty laughable: Rauner running ads calling Ives "Madigan's favorite Republican."

"The truth is, Ives has been so anti-Madigan in the House that it has hurt her ability to get anything done," Rich Miller writes. "Her opposition to him is almost comical. Nobody, and I mean nobody who knows even a smidgen about the General Assembly would ever say Ives is 'Madigan's favorite Republican,' as one of Rauner's ads claims. They'd strap you in a strait-jacket and haul you off if you tried. She's been battling Madigan since before Rauner first ran for governor."

The problem, from an earlier Miller post:

"I'm getting reports from the doors of average voters saying the same thing. That 'Who's really behind Jeanne Ives?' ad of Rauner's is doing its job. Ives doesn't have the cash to effectively counter it, so she's getting buried by it."

I guess there'd be some irony in Ives losing to a candidate's audacious lies, given her support of the president, but the whole thing has me in despair.

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Not that you can count on the Democrats to behave honorably. Instead, they're turning to fake ads to influence the primary - for Ives.

I can't support anything designed to confuse and deceive voters - and that's just what the Democratic Governors Association is trying to do with an ad campaign pretending to oppose Ives based on her conservative positions in an attempt to boost conservative turnout in favor of Ives.

Why not just really go for it, DGA, and offer Ku Klux Klan members rides to the polls?

Democrats are playing with fire. Do you really want to further activate whatever Trump forces exist in Illinois (a state that has thus far not been fertile to Trump, just as it was not fertile for the Tea Party)?

As much as Democrats would also relish an Ives primary victory - based on the unproven notion that she'd be an easier opponent (certainly a less-moneyed one) than Rauner - it's worth asking if working to make that happen is a good moral choice. None of this is good for democracy - especially one that seems like it's crumbling. Pulling another thread from our already frayed civic life only hastens its demise.

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Next: The Democratic candidates for governor: Two and a Half Rich Men. (The half is a stretch if we think of the half as Biss, but not so much if we think of Pritzker as one-and-a-half rich men - at least - all by himself.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:23 AM | Permalink

March 17, 2018

The Weekend Desk Report

For completists, there was no column on Friday.

Plenty of political commentary @BeachwoodReport. I hope to have more on the site today and through primary day on Tuesday.

New on the Beachwood since Thursday . . .

The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #192: Let's Go Hobos!

Starring Jonah Hill as Bo Rambler. Plus: New Bears Free Agent Haul Replaces Old Bears Free Agent Haul; Score Card; Grimm Reaper; White Sox Boo-Boos; Fire Fail; Tick-Tock, Blackhawks Clock; and Diva Delle Donne.

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The Man Who Made March Madness A Monster Moneymaker
And the ubiquitous phrase he used to do it - and came to regret.

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We Killed Some Folks
The astonishing death toll in Iraq.

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Event: Celebrating And Contextualizing Queer Fashion
"The program includes a panel discussion and fashion show featuring an array of head-turning designs that flip the script on gender norms and celebrate young contemporary fashion designers."

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From the Beachwood Music Desk . . .

The Week In Chicago Rock
Featuring: The Dollyrots, The Midnight, Nonnie Parry, Lights, temp., Nekrogoblikon, Allegaeon, Langhorne Slim, Eric Johnson, Blue Oyster Cult, The Eagles, and James McCoy Taylor.

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Catching up with . . .

The (Previous) Weekend In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Hot Snakes, Goosed, The Amazing Heeby-Jeebies, Justin Nozuka, Atom Meets Bomb, Chicago Land Musicians, Uriah Heep, Demi Lovato, Pink, and G-Eazy.

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The (Previous) Week In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Pussy Riot, Malon, Betty Who, Municipal Waste, Exodus, Dirkschneider, Ty Dolla, So\una, and the Adams, Dorr, Foley, Lyons quartet.

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Weekend ChicagoGram

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Weekend ChicagoTube

K-Mart & Carol, 1992.

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Weekend BeachBook
A sampling.

It doesn't always get better in time. Heartbreaking. Someone who seems so sweet, with such a loving mother, in so much pain.

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Democrats' Surrender On Torture Nearly Complete.

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Weekend TweetWood
A sampling.

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The Weekend Desk Tronc Line: Get busy dyin'.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 10:43 AM | Permalink

March 16, 2018

The Week In Chicago Rock

You shoulda been there.

1. The Dollyrots at Beat Kitchen on Thursday night.


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2. The Midnight at Lincoln Hall on Thursday night.

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3. Nonnie Parry at the Hideout on Tuesday night.

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4. Lights at House of Blues on Monday night.

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5. temp. at the Hideout on Tuesday night.

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6. Nekrogoblikon at the Wire in Berwyn on Wednesday night.

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7. Allegaeon at the Wire in Berwyn on Wednesday night.

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8. Langhorne Slim at SPACE in Evanston on Tuesday night.

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9. Eric Johnson at the House of Blues on Thursday night.

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10. Blue Oyster Cult at Tivoli Theater in Downers Grove on Thursday night.

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11. The Eagles at the Bulls/Blackhawks arena on Wednesday night.

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12. James McCoy Taylor at Tivoli Theater in Downers Grove on Thursday night.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 6:59 PM | Permalink

The Iraq Death Toll 15 Years After The U.S. Invasion

March 19 marks 15 years since the U.S.-U.K invasion of Iraq in 2003, and the American people have no idea of the enormity of the calamity the invasion unleashed. The U.S. military has refused to keep a tally of Iraqi deaths.

General Tommy Franks, the man in charge of the initial invasion, bluntly told reporters, "We don't do body counts."

One survey found that most Americans thought Iraqi deaths were in the tens of thousands. But our calculations, using the best information available, show a catastrophic estimate of 2.4 million Iraqi deaths since the 2003 invasion.

civilian_deaths_0.jpgMen load the bodies of people recovered from the rubble of a house in western Mosul, Iraq in 2017. More than 200 were killed in the U.S. bombing/Cengiz Yar

The number of Iraqi casualties is not just a historical dispute, because the killing is still going on today. Since several major cities in Iraq and Syria fell to Islamic State in 2014, the U.S. has led the heaviest bombing campaign since the American War in Vietnam, dropping 105,000 bombs and missiles and reducing most of Mosul and other contested Iraqi and Syrian cities to rubble.

An Iraqi Kurdish intelligence report estimated that at least 40,000 civilians were killed in the bombardment of Mosul alone, with many more bodies still buried in the rubble. A recent project to remove rubble and recover bodies in just one neighborhood found 3,353 more bodies, of whom only 20 percent were identified as ISIS fighters and 80 percent as civilians. Another 11,000 people in Mosul are still reported missing by their families.

Of the countries where the U.S. and its allies have been waging war since 2001, Iraq is the only one where epidemiologists have actually conducted comprehensive mortality studies based on the best practices that they have developed in war zones such as Angola, Bosnia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Guatemala, Kosovo, Rwanda, Sudan and Uganda. In all these countries, as in Iraq, the results of comprehensive epidemiological studies revealed 5 to 20 times more deaths than previously published figures based on "passive" reporting by journalists, NGOs or governments.

Two such reports on Iraq came out in The Lancet medical journal, first in 2004 and then in 2006. The 2006 study estimated that about 600,000 Iraqis were killed in the first 40 months of war and occupation in Iraq, along with 54,000 non-violent but still war-related deaths.

The U.S. and U.K. governments dismissed the report, saying that the methodology was not credible and that the numbers were hugely exaggerated. In countries where Western military forces have not been involved, however, similar studies have been accepted and widely cited without question or controversy. Based on advice from their scientific advisers, British government officials privately admitted that the 2006 Lancet report was "likely to be right," but precisely because of its legal and political implications, the U.S. and British governments led a cynical campaign to discredit it.

A 2015 report by Physicians for Social Responsibility, Body Count: Casualty Figures After 10 Years of the 'War on Terror,' found the 2006 Lancet study more reliable than other mortality studies conducted in Iraq, citing its robust study design, the experience and independence of the research team, the short time elapsed since the deaths it documented and its consistency with other measures of violence in occupied Iraq.

The Lancet study was conducted over 11 years ago, after only 40 months of war and occupation. Tragically, that was nowhere near the end of the deadly consequences of the Iraq invasion.

In June 2007, a British polling firm, Opinion Research Business, conducted a further study and estimated that 1,033,000 Iraqis had been killed by then.

While the figure of a million people killed was shocking, the Lancet study had documented steadily increasing violence in occupied Iraq between 2003 and 2006, with 328,000 deaths in the final year it covered. ORB's finding that another 430,000 Iraqis were killed in the following year was consistent with other evidence of escalating violence through late 2006 and early 2007.

Just Foreign Policy's "Iraqi Death Estimator" updated the Lancet study's estimate by multiplying passively reported deaths compiled by British NGO Iraq Body Count by the same ratio found in 2006. This project was discontinued in September 2011, with its estimate of Iraqi deaths standing at 1.45 million.

Taking ORB's estimate of 1.033 million killed by June 2007, then applying a variation of Just Foreign Policy's methodology from July 2007 to the present using revised figures from Iraq Body Count, we estimate that 2.4 million Iraqis have been killed since 2003 as a result of our country's illegal invasion, with a minimum of 1.5 million and a maximum of 3.4 million.

These calculations cannot possibly be as accurate or reliable as a rigorous up-to-date mortality study, which is urgently needed in Iraq and in each of the countries afflicted by war since 2001. But in our judgement, it is important to make the most accurate estimate we can.

Numbers are numbing, especially numbers that rise into the millions. Please remember that each person killed represents someone's loved one. These are mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, sons, daughters. One death impacts an entire community; collectively, they impact an entire nation.

As we begin the 16th year of the Iraq war, the American public must come to terms with the scale of the violence and chaos we have unleashed in Iraq. Only then may we find the political will to bring this horrific cycle of violence to an end, to replace war with diplomacy and hostility with friendship, as we have begun to do with Iran and as the people of North and South Korea are trying to do to avoid meeting a similar fate to that of Iraq.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 6:23 PM | Permalink

Event | Celebrating And Contextualizing Queer Fashion

From Masc4Masc camouflage of the '70s to DIY club kids of the '80s to dandies through the ages, turning heads ain't nothing new. Explore queer fashion at the Chicago's History Museum's Out at CHM event "Celebrating and Contextualizing Queer Fashion."

The event takes place on Thursday, March 22, at the Chicago History Museum. The program begins at 6:30 p.m. while a reception kicks off the event at 5:30 p.m.

The program includes a panel discussion and fashion show featuring an array of head-turning designs that flip the script on gender norms and celebrate young contemporary fashion designers.

The following participants* will explore how we've arrived at today's Instagram-fueled hypervisible boom in queer fashion and more:

  • Sky CubaCub, creator of Rebirth Garments, specializing in Trans, gender queer and disability-specific needs in lingerie and swimwear.
  • Ciera Mckissick, founder of AMFM, a lifestyle brand and incubator space based in Chicago; and Dapper Ball, a 2017 sold-out event that celebrated masculine off-center fashion in the queer community.
  • Kelly Reddy-Best, queer fashion historian and assistant professor in Apparel, Merchandising and Design at Iowa State University.

This is the first of three programs in the Out at CHM 2018 series. The next program, "Undocumented and Queer," will take place on Tuesday, April 24.

Now in its 15th year, the Museum's popular and provocative series delves into the storied history of Chicago's LGBTQ communities. This season, the programs explore the connections between activism of the past and today and how calls to action propel cultural disruption.

Admission to each program is $20 for the general public and $15 for Museum members and students. To purchase tickets and for program and panelists updates visit chicagohistory.org/outatchm.

* All event participants are subject to change.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:08 AM | Permalink

The Man Who Made March Madness A Monster Moneymaker

In a legendary South Park episode lampooning the NCAA, the character Eric Cartman asks a university president if he can purchase some of his "slaves" - er, "student-athletes" - who play men's basketball.

"How do you get around not paying your slaves?" Cartman wonders.

The outraged university president kicks Cartman out of his office. But if the president were being honest, all he would have to do is utter one name: Walter Byers.

wbyers.jpgWalter Byers/Jim Bourdier, AP

Byers served as the NCAA's first executive director from 1951 to 1988. During this period, the NCAA evolved from an insignificant advocate of athletic integrity into an economic powerhouse.

One critical piece of this growth was the creation of a narrative about the amateur purity of college sports. Byers, who made "student-athlete" part of the American lexicon, played a central role in this enterprise. The NCAA, meanwhile, would become increasingly reliant on March Madness to finance its operations.

March Madness Money

Contrary to popular belief, college football provides the NCAA with almost no revenue.

A landmark 1985 U.S. Supreme Court decision found that TV revenues for college sports would go to the various athletic conferences rather than to the NCAA. The NCAA still "regulates" college football. It just doesn't get a piece of the pie.

The same is true for regular season and conference tournament college basketball games. Only March Madness makes money for the NCAA because it is run by the NCAA and schools are "invited" to play in it. Indeed, for many years schools often chose to play in what was once the more prestigious National Invitation Tournament, which, because it was held in New York City, received much more of the media attention that colleges craved.

By the end of the 1960s, though, the NCAA tournament started to become more appealing to colleges than the NIT. Under Byers' quiet direction, the NCAA invited a larger number of teams to its tournament and paid all of their expenses. This subsidy was made possible by the organization's then-significant broadcast revenue from college football (which would subsequently end with the 1985 supreme court ruling). The NIT couldn't compete with this business model and eventually faded to second-class status.

Just how important is March Madness to the NCAA's current financial health? The annual tournament generates roughly $900 million a year, good for more than 80 percent of the NCAA's total annual revenue.

The NCAA uses the bulk of its income to run the organization, give payments to conferences, and subsidize non-revenue sports championships.

Even so, the NCAA accumulated a surplus in 2014 of $81 million. Tournament revenue is slated to reach $1.1 billion per year after 2025.

It wasn't always that way. In the 1970s, the tournament itself probably cost more than it made, although there is only scant anecdotal data on this. In 1982, the tournament generated about $17 million. Thus, tournament revenues increased 5,200 percent over 35 years, significantly outpacing inflation.

Expanded competition for broadcast rights, fueled by the birth of cable channels like ESPN, turned this once sleepy tournament into the NCAA's organizational cash cow.

The 'Student-Athlete' Is Born

But this moneymaker might not have developed at all if Byers hadn't coined the term "student-athlete" in the mid-1950s.

The term emerged as the NCAA defended itself in a worker's compensation claim by the widow of Ray Dennison, who had died in 1954 while playing football for Fort Lewis A&M in Colorado. His widow likened college football to a full-time job, and argued that his death should be covered by state labor laws.

Byers and the NCAA's lawyers countered that Dennison was a "student-athlete" participating in an extracurricular activity that just happened to be more dangerous than, say, singing in the glee club. The courts agreed with the NCAA.

Since then, Byers' "student-athlete" moniker has become the semantic centerpiece for the NCAA's claim that college sports is inherently noncommercial. You'll rarely hear anyone in the college sports industry not use the term "student-athlete" when referring to varsity players.

Regrets, He Had A Few

Whether there really is such a thing as a "student-athlete," the idea behind the phrase has served the NCAA well for over 60 years.

It allows the NCAA to advertise college basketball as a fundamentally different product than professional basketball - and a better product at that. They can say that March Madness isn't filled by professional athletes and team owners only interested in making a buck. Rather, the participants are student-athletes who simply love playing the game.

Throughout the tournament, the NCAA will regularly tout the fact that 97 percent of student-athletes won't become professional athletes. Video vignettes air during commercial breaks and on jumbotrons reminding fans that these players ask questions in class and will one day put away their uniforms and sports equipment in favor of lab coats and briefcases.

But the student-athlete moniker isn't just about selling a product. It's about maximizing the revenue from these products. By claiming that college sports is educational rather than commercial, the NCAA can maintain its IRS 501(c)(3) tax-free status. If subjected to federal and state taxes, the $880 million of March Madness revenue could be reduced by 40 percent or more. (The NCAA also doesn't have to pay property taxes on its palatial headquarters in Indianapolis.)

ncaahq.jpgNCAA HQ/Michael Conroy, AP

One of the great ironies in all this is that Byers eventually learned to loathe the college sports behemoth he helped create.

In his 1997 autobiography, Byers lamented that modern college sports were no longer a student activity - that they had instead become a high-dollar commercial enterprise. He argued that athletes should have the same rights as coaches and be able to sell their skills to the highest bidder.

In short, he came to agree with Cartman: The term "student-athlete" is merely a euphemism used to ensure schools and the NCAA can maximize their profits.

Rick Eckstein is a sociology professor at Villanova. This article was originally published on The Conversation.

-

Previously:

* Relevant Excerpt: The Cartel: Inside The Rise And Imminent Fall Of The NCAA.

* In Scandal After Scandal, NCAA Takes Fall For Complicit Colleges.

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Comments welcome.

The Conversation

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 3:36 AM | Permalink

The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #192: Let's Go Hobos!

Starring Jonah Hill as Bo Rambler. Plus: New Bears Free Agent Haul Replaces Old Bears Free Agent Haul; Score Card; Grimm Reaper; White Sox Boo-Boos; Fire Fail; Tick-Tock, Blackhawks Clock; and Diva Delle Donne.

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SHOW NOTES

* 192.

:24: Go Hobos!

* President Chalk.

* Underdog reversal.

* ESPN Tournament Challenge: "To our gamers' credit, they were high on Loyola-Chicago in their brackets. Not only did 35.6 percent of brackets pick this upset, but more brackets picked No. 11 Loyola-Chicago (9.5 percent) to make the Sweet 16 than for all of the No. 7s, No. 8s, No. 9s and No. 10s except No. 8 Missouri and No. 10s Butler and Texas."

* Enough with Sister Jean already.

* "Attack."

* Buffalo Bulls!

* SEC Country: Tennessee Match-Up Issues With Loyola.

* Tribune: Iconic Hobo Is Rambling Once Again At Loyola: Old Mascot Revived As Team Heads Into NCAA Tournament.

* Our choice for Bo Rambler:

jonah-hill-7.jpg

21:30: DePaul Women Also Win First Round Game!

22:04: St. Xavier Women Make NAIA Final Four Before Bowing Out.

22:22: New Bears Free Agent Haul Replaces Old Bears Free Agent Haul.

36:30: Score Card.

* More white, more male, more douchey!

52:45: Grimm Reaper.

58:13: White Sox Boo-Boos.

59:34: Fire Fail.

* Tribune: Soccer Stadium Deal Kicks Bridgeview Taxpayers In The Teeth.

1:02:28: Tick-Tock, Blackhawks Clock.

* Kaner on Panarin: "I had chemistry with a player like I never had chemistry with anyone before. That player's gone now."

1:05:44: Diva Delle Donne.

* Tribune: "When the Sky hired Amber Stocks, the new coach called for a championship culture. 'They're looking for players who are truly passionate about this team, I realized. Yet there's a little voice in my head saying that that's not me.'"

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STOPPAGE: 8:15

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Cubs Web Special!

* BRYANT: "In a span of three years, Kris Bryant has suffered the disappointment of not gaining a spot on the Cubs roster he and his teammates strongly believed he deserved and watched former ace Jake Arrieta wait 4 1/2 months before signing with another team as a free agent.

"Those incidents piqued Bryant's interest in labor issues to the point that he has become the Cubs' player representative to the Major League Baseball Players Association. Bryant anticipates plenty of dialogue Thursday when he and his teammates meet with Executive Director Tony Clark and other MLBPA officials . . . The Cubs' decision to send Bryant to the minors for 12 days at the start of the 2015 season delayed his eligibility for free agency until 2022 instead of 2021 -- the last year of the current CBA. Bryant said he and his teammates will watch closely how teams manipulate players' service time.

"(My type of situation is) something that probably should be brought up in the next CBA negotiations so that doesn't happen again," Bryant said. "I've been through it and it wasn't a fun thing, knowing that I earned (a roster spot and didn't get it).

He's still mad about it. As he should be. The media gave Theo a pass on this; we didn't.

* HAPP: "Chicago Cubs outfielder Ian Happ is hitting the cover off the ball as he tries to win the team's lead-off hitter role, but his 2018 contract is creating a bit of buzz in camp.

"That's because Happ, who hit 24 home runs and drove in 68 RBI in his rookie season, became the first player with three or fewer years of MLB experience during Theo Epstein's regime in Chicago to have his contract renewed instead of simply agreeing to a new one with the team.

"The technicality means that Happ and his representatives couldn't come to an agreement on a salary with the Cubs, and the team opted to simply renew his deal at $570,000, according to reports."

The Cubs are getting their core players at bargain basement baseball prices.

* RUSSELL: "The throws that occasionally would tail and dip now head toward the chest of first baseman Anthony Rizzo.

"And the chatter regarding a position switch involving Cubs shortstop Addison Russell has subsided for now.

"Thanks to an increased emphasis on fundamentals and offseason work, Russell's right shoulder appears as strong as it has been since he switched from second base in August 2015."

* ARRIETA: "After a dreary first half last season, Arrieta had a 2.28 E.R.A. in 12 starts after the All-Star Game and earned the Cubs' only victory in the NL Championship Series. But there were troubling signs: according to Fangraphs, his average fastball last season was 92.1 miles per hour, down from 94.6 m.p.h. in his Cy Young season.

"Though he pitched well enough to make the NL All-Star team in 2016, his ERA and FIP rose to 3.10 and 3.52, respectively, and his strikeout and walk rates both moved in the wrong directions (from 27.1% to 23.9% for the former, and from 5.5% to 9.6% for the latter). His WAR fell to 3.8.

"And most of those numbers were even worse in 2017: 3.53 ERA, 4.16 FIP, 23.1% K rate, 7.8% BB rate (an improvement!), 2.4 WAR. His three-year innings trend, from 228.0 to 197.1 to 168.1, told its own story, with those 52.2 innings in October perhaps responsible for the declining peripherals; meanwhile, his home-run rate tripled, from an unsustainable 0.4 per nine in 2015 to 1.2 in 2017. And then there's the velocity: via Pitch Info, Arrieta's average two-seamer velocity fell from 95.3 in 2015 to 94.4 in -16 to 92.4 in -17, with his four-seamer dipping from 94.9 to 92.6 in that span, and his secondary pitches losing a couple of mph as well.

"Arrieta did offer a glimpse of his top form via an 11-start run in July and August, during which he recorded a 1.69 ERA, though his 3.49 FIP in that span was more telling; he whiffed just 21.8% of hitters in that interval and rode a .217 BABIP as far as it would take him. A right hamstring strain wrecked his September, but he was solid in two postseason starts, the last of them the team's lone victory over the Dodgers in the NLCS."

THE EX-CUB FACTOR

* "Dave Martínez was very complimentary of the work Miguel Montero has done in Nationals camp. Said that he got a bad rep last year with the Cubs, but that he really knows Miggy's competitive spirit and that he's been working well with his new teammates. Montero is competing for the backup catcher job in DC." (Marlie Rivera, ESPN)

* "The Chicago Cubs have named Chris Denorfia as a special assistant to the president/general manager. They've also hired Matt Murton as a baseball operations assistant."

* "Koji Uehara has agreed to a one-year, $1.87M contract with the Yomiuri Giants. The 42-year-old right-hander spent 10 years with the Giants, working mostly as a starter, before coming stateside in 2009."

* "The only sure bets to crack the Marlins' season-opening rotation are Dan Straily and Jose Urena, leaving 10 candidates for three spots."

* "Arodys Vizcaino, Braves closer. He was traded to the Braves for Tommy La Stella on November 16, 2014. On July 30, 2012, Vizcaíno was traded along with right-handed pitcher Jaye Chapman to the Chicago Cubs for left-handed pitcher Paul Maholm and outfielder Reed Johnson." (I can't locate the link/source for this, sorry!)

* "Gleyber Torres, the team's top prospect and likely second baseman of the future, has had a rough time at the plate, hitting.150."

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WRIGLEY DUGOUTS, WTF? "The dugouts will be moved 28 ft towards the foul poles to help accommodate the new 1914 Club." (Jesse Rogers, ESPN Chicago)

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For archives and other Beachwood shows, see The Beachwood Radio Network.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:17 AM | Permalink

March 15, 2018

Exclusive! Official Illinois Bicentennial Beer Entries

"Gov. Bruce Rauner today joined state Rep. Tim Butler and Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder, both Bicentennial Commissioners, to debut the first cans of the Official Bicentennial Craft Beer at Binny's in Springfield. '1818 Prairie State Farmhouse Ale' is now available at most Binny's, Jewel-Osco's, HyVee's and other select retailers statewide," the governor's office announced Wednesday.

"Hand of Fate Brewing Co. of Petersburg was chosen to create the special birthday brew after winning the Bicentennial craft beer contest at the Illinois State Fair in August."

The Beachwood I Team has learned, however, that '1818 Prairie State Farmhouse Ale" may have been clouted in, because after all, how could all of these great entries lose?

* Madigale.

Made with sweet hops from the 22nd district planted with all the loving care of a fake primary opponent.

* Blago Beer.

Made with grains that are fucking golden.

* 1819.

Named after the number of Illinois pols who have ended up in prison.

* IRA IPA.

Drink up this replacement for your pension!

* O'Deals.

The consummate Springfield beer, threshed in the nation's finest Combine and served in the best back rooms in the state.

* Pat's Pilsner.

Inspired by former Governor Pat Quinn, with a long finish that seems like it will never end.

* Governor Lite.

A concoction mixing creations invented by lieutenant governors over the years who had too much time on their hands.

* Old Style.

Dedicated to former Governor George Ryan, for those who prefer a bitter aftertaste.

* Colt 44.

Because Illinois couldn't afford Colt 45.

* IOU.

Created especially for the state's social service organizations, IOU's special feature is that the cans are empty, and probably will be for years. In fact, they will never be full though they might on occasion be filled with a few ounces left over from the state's new Amazon Incentive brew.

* University of Illinois Ale.

Made from amber waves of brain drain.

* Pabst Blue State Ribbon.

Made by the same central committee that chooses our judges.

* Lucky Lotto.

Only one of five cans doesn't contain Malort; that's the gamble.

* Coinkydink Cider.

A clouty entry distributed by the Wirtz Corporation.

* Illinois Handshake.

Only one batch will be made, and then distributed to a select group of people along with a wad of nonsequential bills.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:11 AM | Permalink

March 14, 2018

The [Thursday] Papers

Exclusive! Official Illinois Bicentennial Beer Entries
From Blago Beer to Madigale to Pabst Blue State Ribbon!

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Debate State
The media consensus that Chris Kennedy won last night's Democratic gubernatorial candidates debate blows my mind. After all, at one point during the proceedings I tweeted:

Here's a few tweets that show why I thought Kennedy's showing was actually awful - and mind you, you can't get a feel for his (again) awful temperament, but just think of Kennedy's infamous elevator incident. He's still that guy.

*

*

Note: Mr. Suddenly Anti-Establishment is the only one in favor of a Chicago casino, a regressive tax the Establishment craves.

*

I'm not for Biss - I'm not for anyone - but he did actually spend those seven years legislating. Where the hell has Kennedy been? (Answer: He's been "not that into politics.")

*

*

At least Pritzker's been in the thick of it.

*

So is every solution that challenges power, at first. Think about how many fights Kennedy wouldn't have fought and ask if that's the person you want as governor.

*

How much more do you need to know?

*

At least the crooks got something done!

*

I just don't get Kennedy's appeal at this point. He's bumbled his way through the entire campaign. He has no record to speak of. For all his supposed fire last night, he told a couple of whoppers.

As for Pritzker, the sole rationale for his campaign is his checkbook. Nonetheless, he's still the most commanding presence, for whatever that's worth.

I also thought he did quite well with the questions thrown at him about his offshore holdings. He didn't appear defensive to me at all. I found his answers to be persuasive. That doesn't mean they're true, but the problem was that moderator Phil Ponce wasn't properly enough prepared and familiar with the details of the story about Pritzker's holdings that the Tribune reported that morning to adequately press Pritzker on his responses.

To wit:

But then, I guess it's damaging to Pritzker when a newspaper decides to write a headline like this based on desperate rhetorical attacks it must believe are true.

*

By the way, I wish the Trib had completed this reporting sooner and not just a few days before Election Day, but then again it's difficult, complicated reporting, I get that. It also shows, again, why I hate early voting. Reporting up until Election Day - or even just things candidates do or say - always has the potential to sway voters. It would be interesting to see a study of voters who regretted their early choices because of information they learned later.

*

Finally, Biss is getting beat up for expressing idealistic notions that should instead be seen as normal, such as such revolutionary ideas that there's too much money in politics and rich people shouldn't benefit from a skewed property tax system that in turn badly hurts the poor and middle class.

I'm not sold on Biss but I find the nature of the attacks on him from Pritzker and Kennedy to be telling.

That's not to say he'd be a good governor. I don't know that. He's more of a gamble than Pritzker, who is the safe choice, if you will. Biss's challenge has been to pass the "able to beat Rauner's money" and "up to the job" tests in people's minds. Only a few days left - and still a lot of undecideds. No one has closed the deal.

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To the consensus: Maybe the mainstream media mindset values spluttering in two directions outside of any context more highly than I do. Unlike the other candidates, Kennedy didn't demonstrate a fitness for office or offer any sort of agenda. Pritzker's pocketbook has done more for Illinois already than Kennedy's name. Which isn't to say I like everything Pritzker has spent his money on, but that I don't find Kennedy to be in his league - or Biss's. And I don't like Biss either!

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The Great School Walkout Of 2018

*

*

*

*

*

*

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See also:

* DIY Gunshot Treatment In Chicago.

"Ujimaa Medics trains locals kids as young as 12 on how to treat gunshot wounds and how to manage crowds at the scene of a shooting."

* G Herbo On Almost Getting Shot In The Head, Bullet Hole In His Hat, And Moving Out Of Chicago.

Witnessed his first murder when he was 8.

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Flint Town
"An alarming portrait of cops, politics and a reeling city."

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Today's Worst Company In America

*

*

*

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See also:

* Bloomberg: United's Quest To Be Less Awful. From 2016!

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So it turns out:

* CNN: United Airlines Had The Highest Rate Of Pet Deaths In 2017. And In 2016. And In 2015.

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Look for the usual articles about crisis management, quoting corporate communications folks explaining to reporters how United should spin their ongoing PR disaster (as opposed to management experts explaining how United should fix itself):

* Marketing Dive: United Airlines Sees 140% Increase In Negative Social Chatter.

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Like this:

* United Airlines Shows How To Make A PR Crisis A Total Disaster. From 2017!

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ChicagoTube

United Airlines commercial, 1992.

"Nothing is more Chicago."

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ChicagoGram

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BeachBook
A sampling.

How An Art Collective Is Mercilessly Pranking Germany's Far-Right Politicians With Guerilla Works.

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Why Your Pharmacist Can't Tell You That $20 Prescription Could Cost Only $8.

*

A Journey Through A Land Of Extreme Poverty: Welcome To America.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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*

*

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Dank.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 3:17 PM | Permalink

The [Wednesday] Papers

Wow, things were kind of touch-and-go there for a few days, I thought I was having an aneurysm, if that's a thing you can "have."

I think I'm okay now, relatively speaking, I mean, I've been having issues for awhile now, including weird head stuff, and then one day I thought that nasty flu had finally caught up with me, but after sleeping most of Monday afternoon I magically returned to something approaching normal. My kind of normal, not everyone else's.

So let me try to jump back on the horse now and begin to catch up, especially with our local primaries. First, Bruce Rauner.

It's really something when a governor has garnered such a reputation for lying that he earns a headline expressing surprise when he actually tells the truth.

Other recent news (not opposing campaign) headlines:

* Another Bruce Rauner Fairy Tale.

* 'Un-Edited' Blagojevich Tape Is Actually Heavily Edited In Rauner Ad.

* 3 Years Later, Rauner Tells Similar Incomplete Story.

* Rauner Falsely Claims Yet Again That He Introduced Three Balanced Budgets.

(This oft-repeated claim earned a Pants on Fire rating from PolitiFact Illinois.)

* And that ad claiming that primary opponent Jeanne Ives is Michael Madigan's favorite Republican? Heisted from the Tribune's Eric Zorn:

"The governor is in full Pinocchio mode," wrote Crain's columnist Greg Hinz, calling one particular spot "the most inaccurate ad" of this campaign season.

Opinion editor Jim Slusher of the Daily Herald called that same claim "utterly laughable" and "perhaps the most ludicrous of the accusations being posited this campaign cycle."

"Hyperbole and exaggeration are commonplace in political ads, but this . . . struck us as not just over the top but over the moon," wrote PolitiFact Illinois in an extended examination of the gobs of mud Rauner is hurling at Ives. They "turn credibility and rational argument inside out. That is why we give them our lowest possible credibility rating, Pants on Fire!"

None of this should come as a surprise to anyone. In October 2014, I wrote this:

Rauner has made so many fantastical claims that it's hard to pick one as more easily disproven as another. As I've said before, Rauner is running a deeply disingenuous campaign almost wholly based on falsehoods gilded by the art of evasion, spin and reversal.

That wasn't just hyperbole; it was based on fact. I also bashed Pat Quinn plenty back then, and deservedly so, but largely for reasons that had little to do with truthiness.

The record on Rauner has been well-documented, if not sufficiently reinforced. Go read what I wrote then for the laundry list that had accumulated before Rauner had even won the election, and marvel at where we are at now.

And don't forget the intervening deceits that show Rauner's habit of falsity isn't just a campaign tic. Since he got elected, it's been much the same - false claims of meetings with legislative leaders, of mystery Democrats who have expressed their support to him in secret, lying to a Cardinal, and even more consequentially, bungling the state's response to a Legionnaire's disease outbreak at a Veteran's Home and subsequently dissembling about it.

The pattern is clear, and people are who they are. Bruce Rauner has revealed himself. No matter what else one may think about him, the absolute truth is that he's a serial liar.

*

The editorial endorsements of Rauner basically say he's a failure and we don't like him, but holy shit Jeanne Ives is nuts. That's about right, but another option for newspapers would be to skip endorsing in that race altogether.

After all, if honesty is the most bedrock principle of journalism, how can a news organization stand behind a liar?

Then you're not better than congressional Republicans standing by Donald Trump instead of carving their own path.

Personally, I'd rather have an honest officeholder whose positions I disagree with than a dishonest officeholder whose positions I agree with. Why? Because an honest person can be engaged honestly, and that's what democracy depends on. If it didn't, none of us would be in journalism, because what's the point if we didn't believe the truth mattered most? A dishonest officeholder may hold positions you agree with today, but what about tomorrow? And what is the long-term effect of the erosion of trust in the system? We're seeing what it is.

*

It's a bit of a cliche to say that a political person has behaved so badly they have made another reprehensible person seem sympathetic, but I can't be the only one who indeed finds Jeanne Ives reprehensible yet hopes against hope that she can pull off the upset. The danger is that she actually wins office - remember all those Democrats hoping Trump would win the GOP nomination so they could whip him in the general election. On the other hand, she might be a less elusive opponent as governor and more amenable to cutting deals with legislators, who knows.

*

Not that I support any of the Democrats. They're horrible too. But comparatively, I have my preferences. I'll write about those in the coming days.

*

Back to Rauner, this item on Rich Miller's Capitol Fax blog struck me:

Rauner Says He's Been An NRA Member "For Many Years," Claims Politics Played No Role In Veto

The governor was asked this morning on WJPF: "Aren't you a member of the NRA?" His response . . .

"I am. I am. I have been for many years."

I have been looking around Google for a while now and I don't think he's ever admitted to that before. Not saying he hasn't said it. I just don't remember it and can't find it.

I searched the archives of the Tribune and Sun-Times this morning and came up empty.

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See also:

* Bruce Rauner's Secret Government.

* "He doesn't know where the baloney comes from. Which is baloney."

* Item 2: When Does Rauner Get The Trump Treatment?

* Beachwood Election Guide 2014: "[Y]ou are not to vote for Bruce Rauner. Take it from fellow Republicans Jim Edgar and Kirk Dillard (and Bill Brady). The man has just run the most disingenuous campaign this side of Obama '08 and Emanuel '10 and must not be rewarded for it."

(Substitute link for Edgar because the Sun-Times links in this item are, predictably, dead. How right was that guy?)

* Oh, there's also this "Pants on Fire!" about his "evolving immigrant narrative."

And this list is not exhaustive, believe me.

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Well, I was going to catch up with all the candidates today but it's already 1 p.m., so I'll post this and get to work on the rest of them.

In the meantime, here's some other awesome Beachwood content since I last posted on Thursday:

The Beachwood Radio Interview Hour #3: Hoodoo Voodoo With Professor Pear Tree
Smoking in the bathroom, hanging out with trouble-making friends, drinking beer and calling in a bomb scare. Oh, and graduating high school at 16 and going on to become a religion scholar. Meet DePaul's Lisa Poirier.

(I don't know if I like that headline. I kinda don't. Suggestions?)

*

RECALL! Heartland Catfish
Nuggets, shanks and Texas Roadhouse splits.

(These were shipped to Illinois, people.)

*

'63 Boycott
"In 1963, 250,000 students boycotted the Chicago Public Schools to protest racial segregation. '63 Boycott connects the forgotten story of one of the largest northern civil rights demonstrations to contemporary issues around race, education and youth activism."

(I feel like this post could have been stronger. I was just doing the best I could in recent days.)

*

The Soul Of America's Media
There ain't much of one, people.

(I'm not that thrilled with this post because it could have been a lot better, but hopefully you get my point.)

*

The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #191: Ramblers 'R' Us
Repping Chicago. Plus: Embarrables; Qbit; Schweinsteiger!; Kyle Fuller Is Transitionally It; The White Sox' $26 Million Man; The Happster; and a Cubs Web Special.

See also: SportsMonday: Loyola Living The Dream.

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A Plea: Do What Katherine Gun Did
A hero whose name you should know.

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County Fairs Urge Rauner To Release Funding
"Local county fairs provide both measurable economic benefits and immeasurable community benefits to Central and Southern Illinois communities."

*

Flint Town
"An alarming portrait of cops, politics and a reeling city."

*

Free Press Sues The FCC For Dramatic Reversal Of Media Ownership Limits That Pave Way For Media Mergers
"The filing comes as the FCC is weighing the Sinclair Broadcast Group's proposed takeover of Tribune Media, which would give Sinclair a broadcast reach far in excess of congressional and FCC limits on national and local media ownership."

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Unclamp.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 11:49 AM | Permalink

Flashback: G Herbo On Almost Getting Shot In The Head, Bullet Hole In His Hat

"In February 2018, G Herbo and two other men were arrested after their limousine driver informed police that some of his passengers had weapons. G Herbo was observed in the rear driver-side passenger seat placing a handgun in the seat rear pocket; it was a Fabrique National loaded with rounds designed to penetrate body armor. None of the three had firearm owner's identification cards, and all three were charged with aggravated unlawful use of a weapon."

Shortly after that incident, VladTV posted this:

"In this VladTV Flashback from 2017, G Herbo discusses moving out of Chicago and how being away from home is more conducive to him as an artist.

"Herbo talked about how the negativity surrounding Chicago, particularly the Southside and Eastside respectively, is 'too polluted.' He said that you have to leave the house with the mentality that your life is at stake in Chicago.

"He went on to discuss some early traumatic events in his past, such as witnessing his first murder at 8-years-old as well as a near-death encounter when a bullet missed his head by inches."


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"Painting a bleak picture of his hometown throughout, G Herbo encapsulates the pain and lack of hope that has crippled the Windy City for far too long," XXL writes.

*

Herbo's out of jail.

*

Pitchfork last fall:

"The Chicago rapper has earned his role as a leader of rap. His latest album recalls the best records of the '00s graced with a singular kind of songwriting that sounds inarguably like the present."

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 2:51 AM | Permalink

DIY Gunshot Treatment In Chicago

"In 2017," Vice notes, "[Chicago] had 3,457 shooting victims - 246 of which were children.

"To make matters worse, Chicago's South Side - where many of these shootings take place - doesn't even have a trauma center with the ability to treat adult shooting victims.

"To help combat these shortfalls, a grassroots community organization known as Ujimaa Medics has stepped in.

"Ujimaa Medics trains local kids as young as 12 on how to treat gunshot wounds and how to manage crowds at the scene of a shooting.

"Rodney Lucas traveled to Chicago to meet one of the organization's co-founders and see their training firsthand."


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See also:

* The Trace: Meet The 'Neighborhood Medics' Trained To Save Chicago Shooting Victims Before Ambulances.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 2:49 AM | Permalink

Flint Town

"From an American dream to an American crisis, Netflix's new original documentary series, Flint Town - the story of Flint, Michigan through the eyes of the city's police department - explores the struggles of living in a constant state of emergency and the team of underdogs fighting against all odds to save the city."


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"The filmmakers of Netflix's new Documentary Flint Town stopped by Sway In The Morning to talk about how the series came about and what is really going on in Flint."

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See also:

* Guardian: Flint Town: Netflix Docu-Series Shines Light On The Harsh Reality Of U.S. Policing.

* Vulture: Flint Town Is An Alarming Portrait of Cops, Politics, And A Reeling City.

* PoliceOne: The Sad Face Of Flint.

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Previously:
* The Best Reporting (So Far) On The Flint Water Crisis.

* Item: Flint Hint.

* How Al-Jazeera America Reported The Flint Water Crisis - A Year Ago.

* A Flint Journal Reporter Explains How The Water Crisis Happened.

* Race Best Predicts Whether You Live Near Pollution.

* How The EPA Has Failed to Challenge Environmental Racism in Flint - and Beyond.

* We Helped Uncover A Public Health Crisis In Flint, But Learned There Are Costs To Doing Good Science.

* Michigan's Top State Health Official Among Five Charged With Involuntary Manslaughter For Role In Flint Water Crisis.

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Plus:

The Unjust Coverage Of The Flint Water Crisis.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 2:42 AM | Permalink

March 13, 2018

The Beachwood Radio Interview Hour #3: Hoodoo Voodoo With Professor Pear Tree

Smoking in the bathroom, hanging out with trouble-making friends, drinking beer and calling in a bomb scare. Oh, and graduating high school at 16 and going on to become a religion scholar. Meet DePaul's Lisa Poirier.


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SHOW NOTES

* It means Pear Tree!

* The Blue Ribbon Glee Club.

* Lisa's Rate My Professor page

* Research interests and frequently taught courses.

8:15: 'The Weird Things That People Come Up With.'

* Dorothy Day: 'Perhaps the most famous radical in American Catholic Church history.'

* The Catholic Worker.

* Larry Mamiya.

* Charles Long.

* Syracuse Department of Religion.

* Union Theological Seminary.

18:20: 'Incidental Native American Heritage.'

* Fitchburg, Massachusetts.

* The French-Canadian mill towns of New England!

20:16: Sweet Briar Interlude.

* "She who has earned the rose may bear it."

21:11: The Path To DePaul.

* 10 years and tenure at Miami of Ohio, but: "I don't want to die here."

* "The job at DePaul sounded like it was written for me."

* Ethnobotany!

24:12: What Is DePaul Like?

* "I love it."

* "Every classroom is a multicultural classroom."

* Haitian Vodou and Jamaican Rastafari.

29:50: Religion, Gender, and Kinship in Colonial New France.

* Working on new book about native women and mourning - how those in the 17th- and 18th-century handled bereavement due to colonialism and loss ritually.

* "Bereavement on a never-before-seen scale . . . "

* At the Newberry: "As a collection of general Americana, the Newberry's Edward E. Ayer Collection is one of the best in the country and one of the strongest collections on American Indians in the world."

34:50: Reading Against The Text.

* "It's essential for postcolonial scholarship."

36:36: How did you become who you are?

"I was totally a weird little kid."

"How weird - super weird?"

"Yeah, I think so!"

40:00: Bad Kids: "We just tore the place up."

* Smoking in the bathroom, hanging out with trouble-making friends, drinking beer and calling in a bomb scare. Oh, and graduating high school at 16.

42:42: When she first saw Devo: "This is the future, man!"

* Jim Carroll.

* The Clash.

45:52: Finding The Blue Ribbon Glee Club.

47:20: Opening for Mac Sabbath (And Galactic Empire).

* "Music can transcend all sorts of divides, can't it?!"

50:09: The Tongue In The Tribune.

* The tongue in The Devil's Advocate:

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Our discussion ended slightly prematurely as the Blue Ribbon Glee Club filtered in for practice that night, so I asked Lisa later about her own religious beliefs beyond her Catholic childhood. What, if anything, did she believe today? Here's what she told me in a Facebook message:

Oh, damn, that . . . question is a doozy! For a long time, I thought that because I study folks that have a relationship with sacred power, I need to respect that, but I didn't need to have some kind of relationship with sacred power myself. These days, although I still don't think about sacred power as some actual old guy in the sky, I don't think that scientific rationalism is sufficient, and that since I define religion as any given orientation to the cosmos, I have to admit to myself that I think there is something beyond the laws of physics operating in my understanding of my own cosmos.

As a scholar, I also vehemently reject any definition of religion as "belief in something." That kind of definition originated from European Christians, and it is patently inapplicable to tons and tons of people whom scholars would consider to be practitioners of religions. So no, I don't "believe in something." But I also recognize the potential existence of sacred power, which might manifest itself in a myriad of ways that I might never understand.

Fair enough!

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Notes:

* The next Blue Ribbon Glee Club show is the first Monday of April at Cafe Mustache, not the first Monday of March, which passed before I could get this podcast posted. You're all invited!

* Lisa has not yet recorded the David Bowie podcast she mentioned, so I cannot provide a link. But I will add it later when it becomes available!

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Lisa Poirier:

lisainterview.jpg

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Bad Kids.

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Clash Web Special!

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Previously:

* The Beachwood Radio Interview Hour #1: Liz Mason Is Awesome Dot Com.

Welcome to this Chicago zine queen's ass-kicking life of ever-evolving freakdom.

* The Beachwood Radio Interview Hour #2: Nan Warshaw Is A Heroic Refugee Resettler.

A life of sin, punk rock and social action.

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For other Beachwood shows, including the The Beachwood Radio Hour archives and The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour, see The Beachwood Radio Network.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:38 PM | Permalink

'63 Boycott

"In 1963, 250,000 students boycotted the Chicago Public Schools to protest racial segregation. '63 Boycott connects the forgotten story of one of the largest northern civil rights demonstrations to contemporary issues around race, education and youth activism."

The Chicago Teachers Union screened '63 Boycott on Monday night and held an accompanying panel discussion.

Film clip:


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Trailer:

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Identify participants and upload your story.

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On Facebook.

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On Twitter.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:39 AM | Permalink

The Soul Of America's Media

A recent Axios newsletter item:

First look: Jon Meacham on racism, extremism

meacham.jpg

Random House has moved up publication of Jon Meacham's The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels to May 7.

Walter Isaacson, history professor at Tulane University and author of Leonardo da Vinci, Einstein, and Steve Jobs: "Jon Meacham explores the extremism and racism that have infected our politics, and he draws enlightening lessons from the knowledge that we've faced such trials before. We have come through times of fear. We have triumphed over our dark impulses."

Ken Burns, filmmaker: Meacham offers "the sublime and calming reassurance that as threatening as so much of the present moment seems, Americans have weathered such storms before and come out on the other side with fresh and progressive horizons. This is a beautifully expressed and convincing prayer to summon our own 'better angels' to meet the obvious challenges of today."

Here's my problem, and it's the same one I knocked Barack Obama for when he would say (often) that America would survive this or that because we had before - except not everyone survived! People have died because of war, lack of health care, injustice, homelessness, and so on. Who is the we? Elites. People who are protected. The rest are cannon fodder - both militarily and economically.

Isaacson: "[Meacham] draws enlightening lessons from the knowledge that we've faced such trials before. We have come through times of fear. We have triumphed over our dark impulses."

A lot of folks did not survive times of fear. Rich white men like Meacham have, but then, they were mostly the perpetrators of what we had to survive! This is such a privileged view.

Burns: "Americans have weathered such storms before and come out on the other side with fresh and progressive horizons."

Again, many Americans have not been able to survive "such storms;" some of our fellow citizens are not surviving such storms as I type this. Who are the "we" who have triumphed over our dark impulses? And who is the "our?"

Similarly, I've heard mayors and other civic leaders beam with pride about the challenges Chicago, greatest city on Earth, has overcome. But our streets run with blood. Not everyone has overcome.

This is such a dismissive view from the top. And there ain't much soul there.

For more on Meacham, just go to the Daily Howler and put his name in the search. DH author Bob Somerby calls him the Parson.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:36 AM | Permalink

March 12, 2018

The Weekend In Chicago Rock

You shoulda been there.

1. Hot Snakes at Thalia Hall on Friday night.


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2. Goosed at Livewire on Saturday night.

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3. The Amazing Heeby-Jeebies at the Montrose Saloon on Saturday night.

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4. Justin Nozuka at Bottom Lounge on Friday night.

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5. Atom Meets Bomb at the Natural Law Club in Blue Island on Saturday night.

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6. Chicago Land Musicians at the Wire in Berwyn on Sunday night.

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7. Uriah Heep at the Arcada in St. Charles on Sunday night.

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8. Demi Lovato at the Rosemont arena on Friday night.

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9. Pink at the Bulls/Blackhawks arena on Friday night.

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10. G-Eazy at the Aragon on Friday night.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:29 PM | Permalink

TrackNotes: Pointing Toward The Derby

"Hey Lefty, how's the ol' ham hock today?"

"Doin' good Skip. Ready to go."

After two batters, Lefty starts windmilling his shoulder and shaking his arm, and the Skipper begins to think maybe Lefty was lying to him. But, hey, he's a competitor!

But Bolt d'Oro, or any other horse for that matter, can't talk, so trainer Mick Ruis did his yakkin' for him. Bolt' will never be called on to testify.

Repeating the mantra he threw out between the Breeders' Cup Juvenile in November and Saturday's San Felipe Stakes (Grade II, 8.5 furlongs, dirt, $400,000), Ruis said Bolt' (1-1) wasn't 100 percent for the prep for the Santa Anita Derby.

"Eighty percent, I'd say. Yeah, I'll say he was about 80 percent," Ruis said after the winner's circle photo snap.

If you believe that, and no good horseplayers will, that means he's a monster. Add the 20 percent and he'll be invincible, right?

The son of Medaglia d'Oro and the A.P. Indy mare Globe Trot got the 50 Kentucky Derby qualifying points that goes to the winner, but he didn't win the race. Another top Derby contender, Bob Baffert's McKinzie (3-2), won but was disqualified to second after a magnificent battle from the turn to the wire. Then his rider, Hall of Famer Mike Smith, took another bashing Monday.

Lombo, setting a quickish pace, dragged McKinzie along with him once they got sorted out while Bolt d'Oro stalked a few lengths back. On the turn, Bolt' made a great move three wide to introduce himself to the festivities, and the top two then bon voyaged the rest.

On the very corner of the turn, Javier Castellano aggressively cornered Bolt' through the curve and in doing so nearly threw McKinzie into the rail, or worse. Just like any other officiating replay, the stewards said they couldn't definitively tell if there was a foul there. Gee. Zuz.

Now locked together, the two dueled the entire stretch, but Bolt' just could not edge McKinzie. Intermittently whipping left handed on the rail to keep McKinzie from crashing into it, they drifted out a bit and made what I though was minimal contact with Bolt' more than once.

Twice in the stretch, Bolt' had run into McKinzie's right rump, throwing him off balance. As if to say "Oh YEAH?" Smith strongly tried to take more real estate for himself to protect them from the rail and moved outward. It was like the guy throwing the second punch getting the unsportsmanlike flag.

After the race, Smith was not happy. And I agree with him.

"That last hit, where he hit me in the (butt), he turned me out," Smith said. "I was just trying to ride my own race, and he was on top of me. At the quarter pole, after the quarter pole, and through the lane, he hit me and turned me out. I mean, he's got the whole racetrack and he's on top of me on the fence."

On television, Smith said "(Castellano) must have had a real good story."

Baffert was direct. "That's some shit," Baffert said. "I'm shocked, after the way he hit us at the top of the stretch. I don't know what they're looking at, but apparently (Castellano) talked them into it."

After the scolding in front of the whole class Saturday, Smith took a yardstick to the knuckles Monday and was suspended for three racing days starting March 18.

The amazing part is how subtle the whole episode was, except for the first bump, on the turn. Castellano was absolutely tormenting Smith and McKinzie, clearly trying to intimidate them into submission. If Smith drifted out, babyface J.J. also drifted in, and got away with it. Castellano knew he wasn't going to win and, tough as nails, took the law into his own hands.

If you don't believe me, ask Calvin Borel, who took serious issue after a bonehead move by Castellano - who threw the first punch here - nearly got horses and riders killed in the 2010 Breeders' Cup Marathon.

Don't cry for any of them, however. Health willing, both will be in the gate on May 5. Secretariat, in 1973, was the last horse to win the Gotham and the Kentucky Derby.

I don't even try for the Academy Awards, but for the Derby, it's not only more enjoyable but kind of mandatory, wagering and all, to have seen all of the 20 entries before the big day. Saturday was a big day for that.

It started out badly, as my primary wagering platform would not even come up. All I could get was that little computer blob puppet with Xs for eyes. All I could see was dollar signs - my dollars - flashing in front of my eyes and into the cybersphere. There might be hope as today they say it's "maintenance." Good thing I have three accounts.

In the Grade III Gotham (Grade III, one mile, dirt, $300,000) at Aqueduct, Enticed (3-1), another son of Medaglia d'Oro and the Mineshaft mare It's Tricky, looks potentially enticing for Churchill Downs as jock Junior Alvarado was gearing him down late in a nearly three-length win over 35-1 Old Time Revival.

Enticed, not enjoying the easiest of trips, stayed with it and took control in the final furlong and breezed to the wire. The big angle with him is Medaglia d'Oro and Mineshaft in his lineage. He should be able to run all day.

You can look at Free Drop Billy, who ditched the Fountain of Youth last week to run here, two ways. He ran wide most of the way and rallied from eighth to finish third, seven lengths back. He'll have to prove something next time, but this shows grit. On the other hand, race analyst Andy Sterling shouted during the runout, "Free Drop Billy? Ffftt, get him off the (Triple Crown) rails!"

Quip turned in a powerhouse, professional performance to win the Tampa Bay Derby (Grade II, 8.5 furlongs, dirt, $400,000) at 19-1 over Flameaway (6-1). Always in it, Florent Geroux had his hands full in controlling the beautiful colt. Shadowing 8-5 favorite World of Trouble all the way from the second turn, Quip then took on Place horse Flameaway before the eighth pole and dashed away powerfully, getting his length margin of victory right at the wire.

The next two Derby points qualifiers will be Saturday's Rebel Stakes from Oaklawn Park, Hot Springs, Arkansas and the lesser Jeff Ruby Steaks at Turfway Park, Florence, Kentucky.

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Tom Chambers is our man on the rail. He welcomes your comments.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 4:38 PM | Permalink

SportsMonday: Loyola Living The Dream

When I was in my 20s, my buddies and I would head to the old Hi-Tops almost kitty-corner to the southeast entrance at Wrigley (Addison and Sheffield) for the first round of the NCAA tournament. This was in the early '90s.

The games would begin around noon and we would hang in for about five hours of basketball before we would come stumbling out into the early evening setting sun with a decent idea of whether we had a shot at winning our pool that year.

Those were some seriously good times, when I still cared intensely about March Madness - when the team that I loved when I was a middle-school fanatic walking to DePaul games in Lincoln Park during the glory years of 1978 to 1984, was still in the mix. In the latter year, I went to college but the love affair continued (my school, suburban Philadelphia Haverford, is a Division III distance-running powerhouse; basketball? not so much). I was still all about the Blue D-Men (that's what the nickname should be, not the Blue Demons. I'll be happy to explain why if we ever run into each other at a bar).

For a couple years in a row during my college tenure, our spring break lined up with the Dance. I would head down to my grandparents' house in Falls Church, Va., and when the tournament began on the Thursday of that week, I would settle in to watch live games on the still young ESPN from noon 'til midnight.

And then that glorious sports network would show taped games from midnight back around until noon the next day. I don't think I ever stayed up past 4 a.m. but it was a ridiculous feast of college basketball. My grandparents must have thought I was a little nuts but as long as I was good for lunch at lunchtime, they didn't worry too much - that I know of.

I'm bringing all of this up because after a long run of not caring at all about the tournament - my general feeling about college basketball continues to be that it is great except for the fact that it is fundamentally corrupt - I am excited to see Loyola take the floor on Thursday.

The Ramblers, who broke a 33-year streak of futility by qualifying for the tournament last weekend with a Missouri Valley conference tournament championship, take on Miami at 2:10 p.m. on Thursday in Dallas, as part of the Southern Regional. Hi-Tops on Sheffield is long gone but there must be somewhere a bunch of us can meet to take in the game. Oh wait, my daughter has her high school soccer season opener at 4:45 at Loyola (she plays for Lane) that day. So I don't think I can meet you all at a bar.

I'll still be watching the Ramblers as long as I can, though, and they will have an awesome opportunity to shock the Hurricanes and advance to a Saturday second-round match-up against fourth-seeded Tennessee or a fellow Cinderella. A win in that game will mean a spot in the Sweet 16.

We will read plenty about the Ramblers in the coming days. They are a delightful group of local players and outsiders. There was plenty of conversation about the various members of this awesome team at the start of the weekend although there was one significant absence from our Friday podcast due to a memory lapse on my part. In the aftermath of that stumble, let me just say to junior guard Marques Townes, I will never forget your name again.

Townes is the transfer from Fairleigh Dickinson in New Jersey who hit the biggest shot of Arch Madness (the Missouri Valley Conference tournament) for the Ramblers. In the waning minutes of their semifinal against Bradley the Saturday before last, Loyola failed once, twice, three times to extend a tenuous two-point lead. Finally, after Bradley also missed its third straight chance to tie it or take the lead, Townes lined up a three-pointer, fired, and drained it, giving the Ramblers a five-point lead that would hold up until the end. They went on to pull away from Illinois State in the final.

And now they have been living the dream for a week, capped off by yesterday's NCAA Tournament selection party at the Gentile Center in the middle of Loyola's lakeside campus.

They will have as good a chance as anyone to extend that dream into next week.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:55 AM | Permalink

March 10, 2018

RECALL! Heartland Catfish

Heartland Catfish Company, an Itta Bena, Miss. establishment, is recalling approximately 69,016 pounds of Siluriformes fish (catfish) products that may be adulterated with a residue of public health concern, specifically leucomalachite green, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service announced Friday.

The various fresh and frozen, raw, intact Siluriformes (catfish) products were produced on February 16, 2018. The following products are subject to recall:

* 30-lb. packages of fresh "Catfish Whole Bloody 32 oz. & Up" with Daycode 021618 and Product Code 05411.

* 30-lb. packages of fresh "Catfish Whole Bloody 40 oz. & Up" with Daycode 021618 and Product Code 05161.

* 15-lb. packages of frozen "5 - 7 oz. Catfish Fillet Split" with Daycode 021628-1 and Product Code 3872686.

* 15-lb. packages of frozen "Catfish, Fillet 2-3 oz" with Daycode 021618-1 and Product Code 11010.

* 15-lb. packages of frozen "Catfish, Fillet 2-3 oz" with Daycode 021618-4 and Product Code 11010.

* 15-lb. packages of frozen "Catfish, Fillet 3-5 oz" with Daycode 021618-4 and Product Code 11020.

* 15-lb. packages of frozen "Catfish, Fillet 4-5 oz" with Daycode 021618-4 and Product Code 11490.

* 15-lb. packages of frozen "Catfish, Fillet 4.75-5.75 oz" with Daycode 021618-1 and Product Code 11180.

* 15-lb. packages of frozen "Catfish, Fillet 4.75-5.75 oz" with Daycode 021618-4 and Product Code 11180.

* 15-lb. packages of frozen "Catfish, Fillet 5-7 oz" with Daycode 021618-1 and Product Code 11030.

* 15-lb. packages of frozen "Catfish, Fillet 5-7 oz" with Daycode 021618-4 and Product Code 11030.

* 15-lb. packages of frozen "Catfish, Fillet 7-9 oz" with Daycode 021618-1 and Product Code 11040.

* 15-lb. packages of frozen "Catfish, Fillet 9-12 oz" with Daycode 021618-1 and Product Code 11050.

* 15-lb. packages of frozen "Catfish, Fillet 12 & UP" with Daycode 021618-1 and Product Code 11060.

* 15-lb. packages of frozen "Catfish, Fillet 4-5 oz Split" with Daycode 021618-1 and Product Code 11910.

* 15-lb. packages of frozen "Catfish, Fillet Irregular" with Daycode 021618-1 and Product Code 81000.

* 15-lb. packages of frozen "Catfish, Fillet Irregular" with Daycode 021618-4 and Product Code 81000.

* 15-lb. packages of frozen "Catfish Nugget" with Daycode 021618-1 and Product Code 31000.

* 15-lb. packages of frozen "Catfish Nugget" with Daycode 021618-4 and Product Code 31000.

* 15-lb. packages of frozen "Catfish Portions 3-5 oz" with Daycode 021618-1 and Product Code 21606.

* 15-lb. packages of frozen "Catfish Portion 3-5 oz" with Daycode 021618-4 and Product Code 21606.

* 15-lb. packages of frozen "Catfish Shank Fillet 3 - 5 oz." with Daycode 021618-1 and Product Code 574636.

* 15-lb. packages of fresh "Catfish Shank Fillet 2-3 Dry Pack" with Daycode 021618 and Product Code 10010.

* 15-lb. packages of fresh "Catfish Shank Fillet 3-5 Dry Pack" with Daycode 021618 and Product Code 10020.

* 15-lb. packages of fresh "Catfish Shank Fillet 3.4-4.4 Dry Pack" with Daycode 021618 and Product Code 10480.

* 15-lb. packages of fresh "Catfish Shank Fillet 5-7 Dry Pack" with Daycode 021618 and Product Code 10030.

* 15-lb. packages of fresh "Catfish Shank Fillet 5&UP Dry Pack" with Daycode 021618 and Product Code 10240.

* 15-lb. packages of fresh "Catfish Shank Fillet 6-15 Dry Pack" with Daycode 021618 and Product Code 10400.

* 15-lb. packages of fresh "Catfish Shank Fillet 7-9 Dry Pack" with Daycode 021618 and Product Code 10040.

* 15-lb. packages of fresh "Catfish Shank Fillet 7-9 Dry Pack*" with Daycode 021618 and Product Code 10042.

* 15-lb. packages of fresh "Catfish Shank Fillet 9-12 Dry Pack" with Daycode 021618 and Product Code 10050.

* 15-lb. packages of fresh "Catfish Shank Fillet 10-12 Dry Pack" with Daycode 021618 and Product Code 10360.

* 15-lb. packages of fresh "Catfish Shank Fillet 12 UP Dry Pack" with Daycode 021618 and Product Code 10060.

* 15-lb. packages of fresh "Catfish Whole 5-8 Dry Pack" with Daycode 021618 and Product Code 00080.

* 15-lb. packages of fresh "Catfish Whole 7-16 Dry Pack" with Daycode 021618 and Product Code 00185.

* 15-lb. packages of fresh "Catfish Whole 7-13 Dry Pack" with Daycode 021618 and Product Code 00190.

* 15-lb. packages of fresh "Catfish Whole 8-16 Dry Pack" with Daycode 021618 and Product Code 00130.

* 15-lb. packages of fresh "Catfish Whole 8-16 Dry Pack*" with Daycode 021618 and Product Code 00132.

* 15-lb. packages of frozen "Catfish Whole 2-6 oz" with Daycode 021618-1 and Product Code 01070.

* 15-lb. packages of frozen "Catfish Whole 5-8 oz" with Daycode 021618-4 and Product Code 01080.

* 15-lb. packages of frozen "Catfish Whole 7-9 oz" with Daycode 021618-1 and Product Code 01040.

* 15-lb. packages of frozen "Catfish Whole 7-9 oz" with Daycode 021618-4 and Product Code 01040.

* 15-lb. packages of frozen "Catfish Whole 11-13 oz" with Daycode 021618-1 and Product Code 01100.

* 15-lb. packages of frozen "Catfish Whole 13-15 oz" with Daycode 021618-1 and Product Code 01110.

* 15-lb. packages of frozen "Catfish Whole 15-17 oz" with Daycode 021618-1 and Product Code 01120.

* 15-lb. packages of frozen "Texas Roadhouse Catfish Splits" with Daycode 021618-4 and Product Code 11920TX.

* 15-lb. packages of frozen "Texas Roadhouse Catfish Splits" with Daycode 021618-1 and Product Code 11920TX.

The products subject to recall bear establishment number "EST. 45777" inside the USDA mark of inspection. These items were shipped to retail locations in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Texas and Vermont.

The problem was discovered on March 8, 2018, after routine FSIS sampling results revealed violative levels of the chemical leucomalachite green in the products.

There have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about an injury or illness should contact a healthcare provider.

Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.

FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers.

Consumers and media with questions about the recall can contact Danny Walker, Heartland Catfish Company, at (662) 254-7100.

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Consumers with food safety questions can "Ask Karen," the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours a day at AskKaren.gov or via smartphone at m.askkaren.gov.

The online Electronic Consumer Complaint Monitoring System can be accessed 24 hours a day at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/reportproblem.

NOTE: Access news releases and other information at FSIS' website at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/recalls.

Follow FSIS on Twitter at twitter.com/usdafoodsafety or in Spanish at: twitter.com/usdafoodsafe_es.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 5:36 AM | Permalink

March 9, 2018

The Week In Chicago Rock

You shoulda been there.

1. Pussy Riot at Subterranean on Tuesday night.


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2. Malon at Reggies on Thursday night.

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3. Betty Who at 1st Ward on Thursday night.

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4. Municipal Waste at Bottom Lounge on Sunday night.

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5. Exodus at Bottom Lounge on Sunday night.

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6. Dirkschneider at the Forge in Joliet on Wednesday night.

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7. Ty Dolla at the House of Blues on Thursday night.

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8. So\una at the Wire in Berwyn on Thursday night.

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9. Adams, Dorr, Foley, Lyons Quartet at Quenchers on Wednesday night.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:18 PM | Permalink

The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #191: Points Of Origin | Your Loyola Ramblers

Repping Chicago. Plus: Embarrables; Qbit; Schweinsteiger!; Kyle Fuller Is Transitionally It; The White Sox' $26 Million Man; The Happster; and a Cubs Web Special.


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SHOW NOTES

* 191.

:30: Points Of Origin! Your Loyola Ramblers.

* Coffman: Ramblers 'R' Us.

Who they are and how they got here:

* Porter Moser: From Naperville, lives in Wilmette.

* Donte Ingram Hopes To Inspire A Chicago Recruiting Wave At Loyola.

* Young's Lucas Williamson Chooses Loyola For Basketball.

* Best Friends Clayton Custer, Ben Richardson Reunited In Loyola Backcourt.

* Algonquin Center Cameron Krutwig Commits To Loyola.

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Also:

* Haugh: DePaul's Dogged Doug Bruno.

* Revere Park. It's all gym!

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32:10: EmbarraBulls.

* NBA Warns Bulls to Stop Resting Healthy Players Robin Lopez, Justin Holiday.

* Niko! Averaging 16.8 points over last 10 games.

39:48: Illini On Ice.

* University Of Illinois Releases Hockey Feasibility Study.

* Brush Back, by Sara Paretsky.

41:45: Qbit.

* Blackhawks Thinking About How Now Can Affect The Future.

46:04: Schweinsteiger!

* New Additions Have Fire Feeling Hopeful.

"If you talk about what it means for Chicago, I just hope that more people love playing soccer and they love watching us," Schweinsteiger said. "We want the people getting in the car, drive 45 minutes to Toyota Park, sometimes an hour. Go there with the expectation that this team is enjoyable to watch."

Plus:

And:

* The Globe.

49:40: Kyle Fuller Is Transitionally It.

* Tagged!

* Ryan Pace Trigger Alert: Free agency starts Monday.

53:54: The White Sox' $26 Million Man.

* Luis Robert Shows Off His Massive Power With Spring Grand Slam.

56:44: The Happster.

* Turning Heads.

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STOPPAGE: 4:22

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Cubs Web Special!

* Miles: Will Javy Baez Finally Rule At Second Base?

"The 25-year-old is a force in the field, and he has played six positions in his young career. He seems to be getting there at the plate, as well. Last year, he put up a line of . 273/. 317/. 480 with 23 homers and 75 RBI. He also walked only 30 times while piling up 144 strikeouts in 508 plate appearances.

"The Cubs would love to see Baez develop more plate discipline and get his on-base percentage higher. The OBP in 2016 was . 314."

* BenZo!

"In 128 games, Zobrist had a line of . 232/. 318/. 375 with 12 homers and 50 RBI. In 2016, the line was . 272/. 386/. 446 with 18 homers and 76 RBI. Zobrist's line-drive percentage was down 6 percent last year, and his OPS-plus dropped from 121 in 2016 to 79 last year."

"I think he has his mental edge back," manager Joe Maddon said. "Two consecutive trips to the World Series (in 2015 and '16) and then almost again last year, it's not easy to do. I think he has been refreshed . . . I think he's really ready to rock and roll and I think you'll see a younger mental version of Zo."

But his back problems will be "ongoing." Will play a lot of outfield this season to take the strain off. So he's essentially your fifth outfielder and backup second baseman. (He's also getting in some work at first base to back up Anthony Rizzo, if need be.)

* Jon Jay Is A Royal Now.

"Jay, who'll soon turn 33, is fresh off of another solid season. He has not been as productive of late as he was earlier in his career with the Cardinals, but gave the Cubs 433 plate appearances of .296/.374/.375 hitting in 2017. A quality baserunner who is at least a near-average center fielder, Jay would optimally function as a fourth outfielder at this stage of his career."

* Gimenez vs. Caratini.

Meanwhile . . .

"Catcher Taylor Davis, a longtime minor leaguer who debuted with the Cubs last September, has been shut down the last week because of a concussion suffered when hit by a foul tip during live batting practice.

"The popular Davis only began regular daily activities, such as walking outside and eating a normal lunch, Wednesday, five days after being injured. As for when he'll return to the field, 'I have no idea,' he said. 'That's all out of my hands. I'm just thankful I feel better. [On Wednesday], I felt like a human being again.'"

* Upon Further Review: Kris Bryant's 2017.

"Maybe the most impressive number is that he played in 151 games last year despite pain from finger and ankle injuries. Those injuries, particularly the finger, may have contributed to the drop in power.

"Bryant's wins above replacement (WAR) of 6.7 was third in the NL behind Washington's Anthony Rendon and Miami's Giancarlo Stanton, both of whom weighed in at 6.9."

* THIS JUST IN: JOE MADDON CHOKED IN THE 2016 WORLD SERIES.

Forgot to get Pedro Strop up in Game 6.

* Jake Arrieta is still unsigned.

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For archives and other shows, see The Beachwood Radio Network.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 3:20 PM | Permalink

A Plea: Do What Katherine Gun Did

Daniel Ellsberg has a message that managers of the warfare state don't want people to hear.

"If you have information that bears on deception or illegality in pursuing wrongful policies or an aggressive war," he said in a statement released last week, "don't wait to put that out and think about it, consider acting in a timely way at whatever cost to yourself . . . Do what Katharine Gun did."

If you don't know what Katharine Gun did, chalk that up to the media power of the war system.

Ellsberg's video statement went public as this month began, just before the 15th anniversary of when a British newspaper, the Observer, a partner of the Guardian, revealed a secret NSA memo - thanks to Gun. At the UK's intelligence agency GCHQ, about 100 people received the same e-mail memo from the National Security Agency on the last day of January 2003, seven weeks before the invasion of Iraq got underway. Only Gun, at great personal risk, decided to leak the document.

If more people had taken such risks in early 2003, the Iraq War might have been prevented. If more people were willing to take such risks in 2018, the current military slaughter in several nations, mainly funded by U.S. taxpayers, might be curtailed if not stopped. Blockage of information about past whistleblowing deprives the public of inspiring role models.

That's the kind of reality George Orwell was referring to when he wrote: "Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past."

Fifteen years ago, "I find myself reading on my computer from the Observer the most extraordinary leak, or unauthorized disclosure, of classified information that I'd ever seen," Ellsberg recalled, "and that definitely included and surpassed my own disclosure of top secret information, a history of U.S. decision-making in Vietnam years earlier."

The Pentagon Papers whistleblower instantly recognized that, in the Observer article, "I was looking at something that was clearly classified much higher than top secret . . . It was an operational cable having to do with how to conduct communications intelligence."

What Ellsberg read in the newspaper story "was a cable from the NSA asking GCHQ to help in the intercepting of communications, and that implied both office and home communications, of every member of the Security Council of the UN. Now, why would NSA need GCHQ to do that? Because a condition of having the UN headquarters and the Security Council in the U.S. in New York was that the U.S. intelligence agencies promised or were required not to conduct intelligence on members of the UN. Well, of course they want that. So, they rely on their allies, the buddies, in the British to commit these criminal acts for them. And with this clearly I thought someone very high in access in Britain intelligence services must dissent from what was already clear the path to an illegal war."

But actually, the leak didn't come from "someone very high" in GCHQ. The whistleblower turned out to be a 28-year-old linguist and analyst at the agency, Gun, who had chosen to intervene against the march to war.

As Gun has recounted, she and other GCHQ employees "received an e-mail from a senior official at the National Security Agency. It said the agency was 'mounting a surge particularly directed at the UN Security Council members,' and that it wanted 'the whole gamut of information that could give U.S. policymakers an edge in obtaining results favorable to U.S. goals or to head off surprises.'"

In other words, the U.S. and British governments wanted to eavesdrop on key UN delegations and then manipulate or even blackmail them into voting for war.

Gun took action: "I was furious when I read that e-mail and leaked it. Soon afterwards, when the Observer ran a front-page story - 'U.S. Dirty Tricks To Win Vote On Iraq War' - I confessed to the leak and was arrested on suspicion of the breach of section 1 of the Official Secrets Act."

revealed_us_dirty_tricks.jpg

The whistleblowing occurred in real time. "This was not history," as Ellsberg put it. "This was a current cable, I could see immediately from the date, and it was before the war had actually started against Iraq. And the clear purpose of it was to induce the support of the Security Council members to support a new UN resolution for the invasion of Iraq."

The eavesdropping was aimed at gaining a second - and this time unequivocal - Security Council resolution in support of an invasion. "British involvement in this would be illegal without a second resolution," Ellsberg said. "How are they going to get that? Obviously essentially by blackmail and intimidation, by knowing the private wants and embarrassments, possible embarrassments, of people on the Security Council, or their aides, and so forth. The idea was, in effect, to coerce their vote."

Gun foiled that plan. While scarcely reported in the U.S. media, the revelations published by the Observer caused huge media coverage across much of the globe - and sparked outrage in several countries with seats on the Security Council.

"In the rest of the world, there was great interest in the fact that American intelligence agencies were interfering with their policies of their representatives in the Security Council," Ellsberg noted. A result was that, for some governments on the Security Council at the time, the leak "made it impossible for their representatives to support the U.S. wish to legitimize this clear case of aggression against Iraq. So, the U.S. had to give up its plan to get a supporting vote in the UN." The U.S. and British governments "went ahead anyway, but without the legitimating precedent of an aggressive war that would have had, I think, many consequences later."

Ellsberg said: "What was most striking then and still to me about this disclosure was that the young woman who looked at this cable coming across her computer in GCHQ acted almost immediately on what she saw was the pursuit of an illegal war by illegal means . . . I've often been asked, 'Is there anything about the release of the Pentagon Papers on Vietnam that you regret?' And my answer is 'Yes, very much. I regret that I didn't put out the top secret documents available to me in the Pentagon in 1964, years before I actually gave them to the Senate and then to the newspapers.' Years of war and years of bombing. It wasn't that I was considering that all that time. I didn't have a precedent to instruct me on that at that point. But in any case, I could have been much more effective in averting that war if I'd acted much sooner."

Gun "was not dealing only with historical material," Ellsberg emphasizes, she "was acting in a timely fashion very quickly on her right judgement that what she was being asked to participate in was wrong. I salute her. She's my hero. I think she's a model for other whistleblowers. And for a long time I've said to people in her position or my old position in the government: 'Don't do what I did. Don't wait till the bombs are falling or thousands more have died.'"

By making her choice, Gun risked two years' imprisonment. In Ellsberg's words, she seemed to be facing "a sure conviction - except that the government was not willing to have the legality of that war discussed in a courtroom, and in the end dropped the charges."

As this month began, Gun spoke at a London news conference, co-sponsored by ExposeFacts and RootsAction (organizations I'm part of) and hosted by the National Union of Journalists.

Speaking alongside her were three other whistleblowers - Thomas Drake, Matthew Hoh and Jesselyn Radack - who have emerged as eloquent American truth-tellers from the NSA, State Department and Justice Department.

The presentations by the four are stunning to watch:

Their initiatives, taken at great personal risk, underscore how we can seize the time to make use of opportunities for forthright actions of conscience. This truth is far from confined to what we call whistleblowing. It's about possibilities in a world where silence is so often consent to what's wrong, and disruption of injustice is imperative for creating a more humane future.

Norman Solomon is a longtime media critic whose books include War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death and Made Love, Got War: Close Encounters with America's Warfare State. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 1:41 PM | Permalink

Free Press Sues The FCC For Dramatic Reversal Of Media Ownership Limits That Pave Way For Media Mergers

WASHINGTON - Free Press has joined Common Cause, Communications Workers of America and the Office of Communication, Inc. of the United Church of Christ to file suit against FCC efforts to repeal local media ownership limits.

The petition for review, just filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, explains that the agency has failed to consider the impact of its decisions on localism, diversity and competition in broadcast ownership.

In particular, the petitioners highlight recent FCC decisions to relax cross-ownership and local television limits and its decisions not to properly account for stations' use of Joint Sales Agreements and Shared Services Agreements (JSAs and SSAs) to evade ownership limits.

The filing comes as the FCC is weighing the Sinclair Broadcast Group's proposed takeover of Tribune Media, which would give Sinclair a broadcast reach far in excess of congressional and FCC limits on national and local media ownership.

"The Pai FCC is a gift to the broadcast industry, as the commission bends over backwards to give favors to massive media conglomerates like Sinclair," says
Free Press Deputy Director and Senior Counsel Jessica J. González.

"What's more, the FCC is attempting to ram through this deregulation without doing its homework. The Third Circuit Court of Appeals has directed the agency - three times - to examine how its media ownership rule changes impact broadcast ownership diversity. Shamefully, and in direct violation of the court's orders, no proper evaluation has occurred.

"Meanwhile, people of color own a pathetically low number of broadcast stations in the U.S., and consolidation makes it much more difficult for broadcasters of color to enter the market. This latest move by the Pai FCC is patently discriminatory.

"In effect, our filing says enough is enough to an agency that keeps failing to do its homework and fulfill its statutory mandate. This FCC seems intent on looking the other way as people in the U.S. brace for a new wave of media mergers. Runaway consolidation gouges newsrooms and hurts communities - especially marginalized communities that more often depend on broadcast TV for local news. The courts must step in to avert this impending disaster and protect the public from Pai's pro-consolidation plans."

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Previously:
* Item: Former Trump Aide Joins Sinclair.

* Trump's FCC Chair Continues To Shaft The Public, Offer Major Handouts To Big Media.

* Trump-Friendly Sinclair's Takeover Of Tribune TV Stations Brought To You By Trump's FCC Chairman.

* Jonathan Pie, TV Reporter! Make The Air Fair.

* 'Maybe The Worst FCC I've Ever Seen.'

* A Pair Of Decades-Old Policies May Change The Way Rural America Gets Local News.

* Tribune's Disastrous Sale To Sinclair.

* Lawmakers Demand Answers About FCC's Favoritism Toward Sinclair.

* Can Anyone Stop Trump's FCC From Approving A Conservative Local News Empire?

* Sinclair's Flippant FCC Ruling.

* FCC Presses Sinclair For Answers On Tribune Merger.

* Trump FCC Eliminates Local Broadcast Main Studio Requirement In A Handout To Sinclair That Will Harm Local Communities.

* Trump's FCC Chairman Announces Plan To Scrap Media Ownership Limits Standing In Way Of Tribune-Sinclair Mega-Merger.

* Lisa Madigan et al. vs. Sinclair-Tribune.

* Local TV News Is About To Get Even Worse.

* Trump's Secret Weapon Against A Free Press.

* With Massive Handouts To Sinclair, FCC Clears Path To New Wave Of Media Consolidation.

* Trump FCC Opens Corporate Media Merger Floodgates.

* FCC Wraps New Gift For Sinclair.

* FCC Inspector General Investigating Sinclair Rulings.

* Behind Sinclair's 'Project Baltimore.'

* Don't Be Fooled By Sinclair's Shell Games.

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See also:

* Sinclair Broadcast Group Solicits Its News Directors For Its Political Fundraising Efforts.

* FCC Plans To Fine Sinclair $13.3 million Over Undisclosed Commercials.

* Sinclair's New Media-Bashing Promos Rankle Local Anchors.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:55 PM | Permalink

March 8, 2018

County Fairs Urge Rauner To Release Funding

Links by Beachwood.

SPRINGFIELD, IL - Illinois legislators and county fair officials gathered at the Statehouse to showcase the positive economic benefit county fairs bring to the state and urge the Governor to release $1.4 million in funding that was appropriated as part of the FY18, which passed last year.

The Illinois Association of Agricultural Fairs highlighted the results of a University of Illinois Extension Department of Community and Economic Development study, which found that county fairs bring $170 million annually to the state's economy and support 1000 non-fair related jobs.

"Local county fairs provide both measurable economic benefits and immeasurable community benefits to Central and Southern Illinois communities. I urge the governor and his administration to do the right thing and release this funding, which will help downstate communities that have struggled in the recent past," said state Sen. Dave Koehler (D-Peoria).

County fairs are distinguished from other events in state statute because of their agricultural component. Researchers divided the state into three geographic regions and, within each zone, all county fairs were sorted according to their estimated attendance. A cross section of fairs were also studied, taking geographic location into account. The selection process produced a sample and data set that would best represent all fairs across the state.

The economic study results show $170 million is spent in the state annually as a result of our county fairs, with $90 million being spent within the actual fairgrounds and the other $80 million in ancillary sales in local communities.

The money spent within the fairgrounds, including gate fees, event tickets, food, carnival passes and entertainment is only one of seven categories studied to determine the economic impact of the fair. The other six ancillary categories focused on money spent in the local economies outside of the fairgrounds and included outside purchases of food (restaurants, diners, etc.), transportation (fuel, rental cars, convenience stores), retail (grocery, merchandise, hardware), lodging (hotels, campgrounds) and commercial services (laundry, mechanics, healthcare).

"What is important about these numbers is that it shows that county fairs are economic engines in our state, especially in rural areas, many of which are economically disadvantaged and have limited employment opportunities," said Marvin Perzee of the Iroquois County Fair.

"County fairs are an economic stimulus across the state, especially in rural areas. I encourage the governor to recognize the important role they play in our communities and release the funding immediately," said state Sen. Heather Steans (D-Chicago).

"County fairs provide a venue for competitions, which raise the bar for the development of agricultural products within the state. Youth programs of 4-H and FFA are imperative to insuring future generations continued dedication to farming," said Ken Tyrell of the Sandwich Fair.

"From a socioeconomic as well as agribusiness perspective, I think it is important to point out that county fairs are the backbone of our agricultural communities in the State of Illinois. The money the State has appropriated to them is an investment in our agricultural economy and needs to be released," said state Sen. Jil Tracy (R-Quincy).

List of Impacted Fairs:

Adams Co. Fair Assoc.
Bond Co. Fair Assoc., Inc.
Boone Co. Fair Assoc.
Brown Co. Fair Assoc.
Bureau Co. Ag. Board
Calhoun County Fair
Carroll Co. Fair Assoc.
Cass Co. Fair Assoc., Inc.
Champaign Co. Fair Assoc.
Christian Co. Ag. Fair Assoc.
Clark Co. Fair Assoc.
Clay Co. Ag. Fair Assoc., Inc.
Clinton Co. Ag. Assoc., Inc.
Coles County
Crawford Co. Fair Assoc.
Cullom Junior Fair

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:33 PM | Permalink

The [Thursday] Papers

MONDAY UPDATE: Maybe. Or maybe Tuesday. I'm having issues. I might be sick, for one thing. (Don't call, mom, I'm probably not dying - though one never knows.)

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FRIDAY NOTE: The Papers will appear next on Monday.

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New on the Beachwood today . . .

Illinois Audubon Society Acquires Unique Wetland In Southern Illinois
Round Pond.

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'This wetland rich area contains high quality bottomland hardwood forests and deep water swamps with old growth bald cypress and tupelo gum timber, a variety of breeding birds of forested wetlands, such as the Swainson's warble, a heron rookery, rare plants including water hickory, American snowbell, winged sedge, cypress-knee sedge, swollen sedge, narrow-leaved sunflower and narrow-leaved crabapple.'

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On This Day In . . .

2015: The Beachwood Radio Hour #47: What Chicagoans Aren't Being Told.

Homan Square, the NSA, the CIA, Trans-Pacific Partnership. Plus: Pander bears in a runoff and where Brian Williams hid the news.

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2011: Obama Makes Indefinite Detention And Military Commissions His Own.

Prisoners held in indefinite detention at the Guantanamo Bay camp will periodically be reviewed by a board and have a "personal representative" to advocate for them. But the system, similar to what was in effect under the Bush administration, does not bring President Obama closer to shutting Gitmo.

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ChicagoGram

passing this everyday never gets old 🏡

A post shared by Chicago Blogger | TW Baker (@wittandstyle) on

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ChicagoTube

University Of Chicago To Stop Running Yerkes Observatory.

See also from the Lake Geneva News, "Keeping You Current Since 1872": Yerkes Observatory Closing After 100 Years On Lakefront.

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BeachBook

Alabama Is Home To The Worst Poverty In The Developed World.

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Get Me Outa Wakanda!

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TweetWood
A sampling.

Rahm fundraising.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Walkable.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:58 AM | Permalink

Illinois Audubon Society Acquires Unique Wetland In Southern Illinois

SPRINGFIELD, IL. - The Illinois Audubon Society has acquired 347 acres in Pope County with assistance from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation.

The property, known as Round Pond, lies in the Coastal Plain Natural Division of Illinois in an ancient channel of the Ohio River.

This wetland rich area contains high quality bottomland hardwood forests and deep water swamps with old growth bald cypress and tupelo gum timber.

The tract borders an existing 206-acre Illinois nature preserve owned by The Nature Conservancy.

"Acquisition of this property will now protect all of the land associated with the Round Pond Natural Area and provides the opportunity to expand the portion of the site that is presently designated as an Illinois Nature Preserve," said Audobon executive director Jim Herkert.

"Once again the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation has played a major role in protecting important natural areas in our state. We are honored to partner with them in protecting this site and the high quality wetlands it contains."

JW-Picture_edited-1-369x400.jpg

The Illinois Audubon Society plans to provide public access to the site and is currently developing a public use plan.

Round Pond provides habitat for a variety of breeding birds of forested wetlands, such as the Swainson's warbler and also includes a heron rookery.

Several rare plants also are known from the site including water hickory, American snowbell, winged sedge, cypress-knee sedge, swollen sedge, narrow-leaved sunflower and narrow-leaved crabapple.

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The mission of the Illinois Audubon Society is to promote the perpetuation and appreciation of native plants and animals and the habitats that support them. The Society is an independent, member supported, not-for-profit, statewide organization.

Founded in 1897, the Society is Illinois' oldest private conservation organization with 2200 members, 18 chapters and 19 affiliate groups.

The Illinois Audubon Society has protected nearly 5,000 acres by investing $11 million to protect land and water throughout Illinois.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:44 AM | Permalink

March 7, 2018

El Rancho Grande

At Beat Kitchen last month.


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Family profile:

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Singing the National Anthem at a Bulls game:

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At the Old Town School of Music in November:

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At America's Got Talent in August:

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Freddy Fender doing "El Rancho Grande."

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:29 AM | Permalink

The [Wednesday] Papers

"Last year, the Cook County Sheriff's Office said it objected to 1,130 applications for concealed carry licenses, mostly filed by residents in suburban Chicago. Most of those objections were for domestic violence or gun arrests. Despite the objections, a state review board ruled 90 percent of those people eligible to legally carry a gun, according to the sheriff's office," WBEZ reports.

"This system of object-and-review started when Illinois lawmakers were forced to hastily craft a concealed carry law after a federal court threw out the state's concealed carry ban in 2012. What they came up with is unlike any other system in the country. It's meant to provide concealed carry licenses expediently to those who qualify, while keeping licenses from potentially dangerous people. But both Chicago-area police and residents said the law is doing neither of those things."

Here's where a bad situation is made unconscionably worse:

"State officials, who are the only ones who have access to comprehensive concealed carry objection information, have refused to make almost any of it available - and the monthly data they send to Gov. Bruce Rauner's office is misleading."

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Political implications:

State Sen. Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago), who helped negotiate Illinois' concealed carry law and is currently running for Illinois attorney general, defended the legislation's goals of balancing the interests of gun control and gun rights. But he admitted the bill isn't perfect.

"We were - pardon the pun - negotiating this under the gun," Raoul said. "And we had to do that in the context of a legislature with a diversity of views."

When presented with the high rate at which the board issued a license despite objections by local police and the long wait times some applicants have suffered, Raoul said he was open to reconsidering the law.

"Reviewing things is always smart," Raoul said. "I think if we got everything perfectly right in the legislature the first time, there would probably be no need for a legislature by now."

That's a - pardon the pun - cop out. It's one thing to pass a flawed bill that can always be tweaked later, it's another to pass a bill that doesn't actually come close to doing what it's supposed to do. That's arguably worse than having not passed a bill at all, because we've all been led to believe that something has been done.

A better answer would be to sincerely pledge a vigorous effort if elected state attorney general to fix the problem. I didn't hear that.

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Why is Raoul running for AG? Here's what he told 'BEZ:

"I've been serving in the legislature since 2004. I've had an opportunity to advance legislation in a wide variety of areas: law enforcement reform, criminal justice reform, victims rights, voting rights, access to healthcare. But all I can do is advance policy. I can't enforce that policy . . . In the AG's office you can do both. You can advocate for the enactment of policy, and you can use the power of prosecution and civil litigation to enforce that policy."

This was your chance to press that case!

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Dart Board
"Cook County is making strides in reducing its jail population by reducing the number of people detained solely because they can't afford bond. Now Sheriff Tom Dart, who has been a proponent of bail reform, thinks the pendulum may have swung too far," Curtis Black writes for the Chicago Reporter.

"Dart issued a letter Feb. 22 saying the increase in electronic monitoring assignments for individuals charged with gun crimes raises public safety concerns. The letter also announced that his office would begin an additional review of judicial orders of release, referring them back to court if individuals are deemed a security risk.

"Dart wrote that since an order by Chief Judge Timothy Evans (requiring that bonds be set at amounts that defendants can afford) went into effect in September, the number of individuals facing gun charges and assigned to electronic monitoring has risen from 2 percent to 22 percent. 'This population calls for additional community supervision to ensure safety,' Dart wrote."

Black dissects Dart's move nicely - with some assistance from a couple of Dart frenemies (at best).

"Evans' office noted that 'the population we are talking about [consists of] pretrial defendants who are presumed innocent until proven guilty.' [Cook County Board President] Preckwinkle noted that gun possession is not an inherently 'violent' offense: 'Many possession cases do not involve a victim.'

"Preckwinkle added that only five of 195 individuals facing gun charges who were released since Evans' order went into effect have been rearrested on gun charges. The numbers provide no evidence of an increased public safety threat from the new policy, she said. Preckwinkle gently reminded Dart of 'our responsibility to keep these stories in perspective and not contribute to sensationalizing them.'"

Ouch.

"Pushback, less gentle, also came from Cook County Public Defender Amy P. Campanelli. 'This is outrageous,' she wrote Dart, accusing him of 'usurping the power of the judiciary.' 'Sheriff Dart is violating the constitutional right of all these clients to have bail set and court orders followed according to law,' she wrote."

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Cock Rock Block

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New on the Beachwood today . . .

Exclusive! Inside The Bears' New Downtown Office
Another Beachwood Special Report.

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Wisconsin Vs. Chicago Cont'd
Ramen, washing machines and the El.

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NRA TV Is Way Worse Than You Think It Is
"As a researcher of online extremism . . . "

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14 Ways To Keep Youth With Mental Health Conditions Out Of Jail
"Of the nearly 30,000 youth arrests and 11,000 youth admissions to local jails in Illinois each year, research consistently suggests that approximately 70 percent meet the diagnostic criteria for having a mental health condition." Here's what to do about that.

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The Autobiography Of Classic TV Director Jerry London
His resume includes Hogan's Heroes, Rockford Files, Happy Days, Brady Bunch, Six Million Dollar Man, Mary Tyler Moore Show, more than 40 Movies-of-the-Week and 11 blockbuster miniseries. He promises "unflinching candor and wit" about "the closed-door deals [and the] absurd antics of the famous and near disasters on exotic locations and film sets all over the world."

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El Rancho Grande
Meet Cielito Lindo Family Music.

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On This Day In . . .
A sampling.

2011: The Beachwood Celebrity Death Watch.

Seriously thinking of bringing this back. This one featured Patrick Kane, Billy Corgan, Richard M. Daley, Ed Burke, Charlie Sheen, Jay Cutler - you know, the usual suspects.

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2012: The [G8] Papers.

Right. The weather.

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2013: Rahm's Class Size Wars.

CPS steps in it.

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2014: Tweeting Chicagoland | Episode 1: Oh My Lord, I Hate It Already.

"The next #Chicagoland segment shows a shirtless Rahm riding a grizzly bear through the Loop singing 'Here Come the Hawks!'"

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2016: Tribune Logic: Elected School board Would Lead To The Status Quo.

"You might think, based on a rare, overwhelmingly bipartisan vote in the Illinois House on Thursday, that creating an elected Chicago Board of Education is a terrific idea. After all, what else would get a landslide 110-4 vote in the usually fractious House?" the Tribune editorial page asks.

Impeaching Blago?

In other words, a no-brainer so no-brainery that even the Illinois General Assembly in almost near-unanimity thinks it's a terrific idea.

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ChicagoGram

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ChicagoTube

Chicago History Fair 2018: The Black Arts Movement.

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BeachBook

Another Haley Bennett Joint.

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Follow The Money.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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He's not wrong.

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A Rockford professor.

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Maybe they have their hands full with the anti-Semites in the White House that you are so quiet about.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Con carne.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 2:38 AM | Permalink

NRA TV Is Even Worse Than You Think. Way Worse.

As the National Rifle Association comes under pressure from victims' groups and gun control advocates, internet companies like Amazon, Apple and YouTube are finding themselves uncomfortably close to the center of the controversy. These are among the companies that currently stream the NRA's official video channel, NRA TV.

NRA TV has become a central focus in what could be a threshold moment in the national gun debate. In the wake of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that claimed 17 lives, a consumer activist movement has worked to peel back the tight grip the NRA holds over the country's gun policy. The effort has driven some airlines, insurance companies, car rental companies and banks to sever their commercial and professional ties with the NRA. Now gun control activists are turning their full attention to the Internet.

loeschconvo.png

In the world of online politics, it's not unusual to find videos inciting hostility. On Feb. 12, just days before the Parkland shooting, one such video on YouTube featured a pundit smashing a sledgehammer through a TV set that featured liberal commentators, later declaring, "If we want to take back this nation from socialists who are out to destroy it . . . you better believe we'll be pushing the truth on them." But that video was not the seething production of an obscure far-right blogger. It was the latest episode of the official video channel of the NRA.

NRA TV is not merely a platform for promoting Second Amendment rights or engaging gun enthusiasts. As a researcher of online extremism, I'd contend it has become one of the web's most incendiary hotspots for stoking outrage at liberal America, attacking perceived enemies like Black Lives Matter and the Women's March, and promoting the message that America is under threat from the so-called "violent left" - an especially alarming term, coming from a gun lobby.

What Is NRA TV?

Given the channel's association with the NRA, a newcomer to NRA TV might reasonably expect information on gun safety, Second Amendment rights and a community for firearms enthusiasts and collectors. Its focus is none of those things. Instead, visitors find a virtual hornet's nest of hard-right politics.

nratvconvo.png

In my work, I came across NRA TV while tracking far-right and far-left groups' activities on Twitter. One such group had retweeted a video from NRA TV featuring host Dana Loesch calling the mainstream media "the rat bastards of the earth" whom she was happy to see "curb stomped."

The acidic tone of NRA TV represents an astonishing evolution of an organization that began as a rifle club to promote marksmanship. Even the NRA of the 1980s, which ran TV ads on the right to bear arms, would be hard to recognize as a forebear to today's version.

A TV ad from the NRA from the 1980s.

My study of 224 NRA TV videos and tweets over two months in 2017 found that only 34 dealt with topics related to direct gun advocacy or gun ownership. The remaining 190, or about five out of every six posts, were trained on perceived political enemies, trading the core mission of gun rights for incessant attacks on "crazed liberals" and "hateful leftists."

It is hard to recall an NRA that once viewed itself as a bipartisan body. Its current online hosts warn that opponents of President Donald Trump will "perish in the political flames of their own fires."

Even more provocative is the portrayal of the NRA's declared adversaries, framed not as political foes, but as ideological and even existential threats. The Women's March is labeled "a bigoted, fake feminist, jihad-supporting" movement, while Black Lives Matter is described as "a dangerous, hateful, destructive ideology."

The dystopian picture that NRA TV portrays includes government officials encouraging violent protests against conservative groups, and a media-sponsored "war on cops." The NRA believes it must be ready to defend itself and the country against these and other forces.

twitnra.png

In a video that streamed to NRA TV's 260,000 Twitter followers in August 2017, host Grant Stinchfield asked his audience,

"What scares me more than the North Korean crazed tyrant? The violent left and the crazed liberals who lead them. They like North Korea also pose a clear and present danger to America . . . Make no mistake, the lying leftist media, the elitist cringe-worthy celebrities, and the anti-American politicians - who make up the violent left - don't just hate President Trump, they hate you."

The insinuation that left-wing forces are out to destroy the country by sabotaging its institutions is a demagogic refrain with echoes of the anti-communist McCarthy era. But it is particularly unsettling when it emanates from a lobby that simultaneously promotes the necessity of gun ownership. Which brings us back to Amazon.

Pulling The Plug

After another shooting at an American high school at the hands of a 19-year-old with an AR-15, the gun-control advocacy movement has turned its attention to its chief opponent, the NRA. The strategy is to dislodge the influence of the NRA by going after its support system. That has led activists to Amazon, Apple, Roku and other services that stream NRA TV content. While other companies support the NRA financially, these internet giants provide perhaps a more valuable currency in their prominent platforms that allow the NRA to distribute its message.

Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America is one organization leading the charge for internet companies to drop NRA TV, citing "its violence-inciting programming."

The group is joined by some of the survivors of the Parkland shooting, such as David Hogg, who is encouraging people to boycott tech companies that carry NRA TV.

A petition on Change.org, with 240,000 signatures as of March 1, is simultaneously calling on Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to purge NRA content from his site's offerings.

And on Twitter, #dropNRATV is gaining steam, even as the channel continues to host controversial content.

The growing wave of consumer activists has effectively placed the internet's biggest gatekeepers in the middle of America's gun debate. As web hosts, their power to amplify or quiet controversial messages is unmatched in the modern media landscape. But in many ways, this is not strictly a gun issue. Rather, a closer look at NRA TV suggests that this is also an issue of community standards, which are well within a web host's domain.

In recent months, YouTube and Twitter have each demonstrated a willingness enforce stricter terms of service prohibiting hateful, dangerous or abusive material from their networks.

So the real question that these internet companies now face is whether an NRA tirade about American liberals posing a "clear and present danger" is legitimate gun advocacy, or barefaced incitement.

Adam G. Klein is an assistant professor of Communication Studies at Pace University. This article was originally published on The Conversation.

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Previously on the Beachwood: NRA TV.

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Comments welcome.

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1. From Steve Rhodes:

Do movies and video games cause violence the way conservatives say they do? I don't know, but NRA TV seems far more dangerous and inciteful than anything coming out of Hollywood. Maybe the NRA is proving the conservative thesis true - and therefore should knock it off.

The Conversation

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:34 AM | Permalink

Wisconsin Workers, Chicago Commuters And The Cost Of Living

A state government-funded ad campaign aimed at recruiting younger workers to move to Wisconsin from Chicago touts cost of living as a critical advantage.

Indeed, the phrase "cost of living" pops up regularly in discussions about economic development at both the state and local levels, and at the personal level, in families' discussions about career opportunities and financial futures.

But cost of living isn't a standardized, hard-and-fast mathematical concept. And looking into how it's defined and applied to specific places reveals less about empirical economic differences and more about the nuanced and fluid ways in which people make decisions about money, opportunity and lifestyle.

To get the obvious out of the way: No reasonable person can dispute that it's more affordable, on the whole, to live just about anywhere in Wisconsin than the Chicago area. It's an economic fact of life that it is more expensive in some geographic areas than others to buy or rent a home, stock up on groceries, get around by car or public transit, pay for basic utilities, obtain child care and healthcare services, and enjoy leisure activities like dining out or live music.

Just about any of cost-of-living calculation will largely rest, and reasonably so, on housing costs. However, there's no one standard formula for how to use that information to determine cost of living.

"There's a number of different ways to look at it," said Matthew Kures, an economist with the University of Wisconsin-Extension's Center for Community and Economic Development. "Cost of living is typically kind of the market basket of goods that people typically use on a daily basis, but really one of the biggest drivers of cost of living differences is housing costs. When people think of the price of a gallon of milk or the price of a gallon of gasoline, there's certainly a regional difference between those costs, but the biggest driver is going to be housing costs."

Cost-of-living calculations play an important role in the discussion Wisconsin is having in its attempts to retain and attract more young workers - which in recent years has been a struggle.

Calculations May Vary

The Wisconsin Legislature is moving to provide more funding for the ad campaign, which is managed by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation. It's likely to keep emphasizing that it's cheaper overall to live just about anywhere in Wisconsin than in Chicago, or another big-city setting.

A variety of consumer-facing online tools help illustrate how specific cost-of-living numbers can be a bit mushy.

For instance, the cost-of-living comparison tool on Sperling's Best Places, a city-ranking consulting company, indicates that living in Chicago is 32 percent more expensive than living in Milwaukee, and that a $50,000 annual income in Milwaukee has the same buying power as $65,933 in Chicago.

CNN Money's cost-of-living calculator doesn't spit out an overall percentage difference, but claims a $60,161 income in Chicago would equal a $50,000 income in Milwaukee.

A similar comparison tool on consumer-finance website NerdWallet mysteriously doesn't offer information on Milwaukee, but does allow comparisons for Madison, Green Bay, Eau Claire and Marshfield. This calculator indicates that Chicago's cost of living is 14 percent higher than Madison's, and that a $56,992 income in Chicago is needed to equal a $50,000 income in Madison.

Among a few tools intended to help people gauge the financial implications of a move, there's a difference of more than $5,000 in comparisons between Chicago and Milwaukee. For somebody in their 20s or 30s, contemplating a move from one to the other, that spread might signal the need for some tough decision-making, especially if they don't have savings and/or is paying off student debt.

Granted, someone moving for a new job is often motivated by a higher pay rate than what they're earning currently. If the new job is a move upward with higher pay, gaps in consumer cost-of-living calculations makes them less helpful in figuring out what kind of lifestyle that enticing pay bump will buy in a new locale.

These Milwaukee-Chicago comparisons are still similar in the bold strokes, yet have some notable differences - for instance, CNN and Sperling's Best Places both show that utilities and healthcare are actually cheaper in Chicago than in Milwaukee.

COL comparisons
Infogram

Two online cost-of-living calculators - CNN Money and NerdWallet - cite the same data source. Each is based on data from the Council for Community and Economic Research, a national membership organization focusing on regional economies known as C2ER; its quarterly Cost of Living Index is as close to an industry-standard metric as one can find. Sperling's Best Places' list of data sources does not mention C2ER, and representatives at Sperling's did not respond to requests for comment. These calculators are doing their own research, either through hands-on data-gathering or cobbling together government data on factors like housing and income.

Federal agencies like the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics or U.S. Census Bureau do not issue cost-of-living calculations. However, these and other agencies gauge and release information about a variety of economic factors relevant to to cost of living. The Consumer Price Index, issued by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, charts the cost of common goods and services over time and across geographic areas; the Social Security Administration calculates its adjustments with this data. Other government agencies use "cost-of-living adjustments" to make sure that public employee salaries and some public-benefit payouts keep pace with inflation. The U.S. Department of Commerce's Bureau of Economic Analysis releases biennial figures about income and geographic price parity at state and regional levels. And the Census Bureau gathers and analyzes data on incomes and housing costs. However, none of these figures provides the type of tidy summation that C2ER is offering.

Jennie Allison, a program manager with C2ER, said its Cost of Living Index relies on the voluntary participation of local governments across the country to source data. The index's formula looks at the cost of about 60 different kinds of goods and services across categories that range from housing to veterinary care to fast food. One admitted flaw is that a different mix of cities may participate from one quarter to the next, so the Cost of Living Index doesn't have the same capacity to show trends over time as, say, the Consumer Price Index.

The costs that C2ER accounts for in determining cost of living in a given place represent a complex mix of needs and wants. For the third quarter of 2017, for instance, the calculations span 57 different items or services and assigns different weights to each. The highest-weighted items include rent, mortgage payments, gasoline, prescription drugs, power bills and repairs for a home washing machine. The lower-weighted items are all over the place, and include tennis balls, bowling, ground beef, hamburgers, peaches and toothpaste.

"The items do occasionally change to best represent the good and services currently available and what people buy," Allison said. "Given that, an updated item will still represent the same category - for example, in 2015 we updated vegetable oil to extra virgin olive oil, however, it still represents cooking oil."

Allison noted that the calculations change based on assessments of how relevant a particular good or service is at present. "This year we have updated the bowling item and are now pricing a drop-in yoga class, since it is more representative of how professionals spend their leisure time," she said.

Where WEDC Got Its Numbers

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation's marketing campaign in Chicago implies that the advantages of the Badger State aren't simply limited to lower costs, but that there's a quality of life difference as well. One video ad cuts between a couple cooking dried ramen packets at home in Chicago and dining out on sumptuous high-end ramen in Milwaukee. (WisContext's own informal research suggests that, in either city, packaged ramen brands like Maruchan are dirt-cheap and meals at a nice ramen joint are moderately pricey.) Other ads argue that because Wisconsinites have shorter commutes, they have more time for outdoor activities and social gatherings.

workforce-migration-costofliving-wedc-advertisement-chicago-mobile-ramen.jpgWisconsin Economic Development Authority

WEDC spokesperson Mark Maley said its data sources for the marketing campaign include Sperling's Best Places and RENTcafé, an apartment rental and property management service. The latter source provided the figure that rent is 42 percent cheaper in Milwaukee than in Chicago, which translated into an ad that juxtaposed a crowded "third-floor walk-up" in Chicago with a loft in the rapidly developing Historic Third Ward neighborhood just south of downtown Milwaukee. RENTcafé's own rental market data draws a distinction between luxury and non-luxury rentals, and it's not clear where the Third Ward apartment pictured in the ad ad would fall.

workforce-migration-costofliving-wedc-advertisement-chicago-mobile-loft.jpgWisconsin Economic Development Authority

Looking at RENTcafé's 's market trends for Milwaukee and Chicago, it's not clear where on WEDC got its specific figures. Overall, rents in Chicago are higher than rents in Milwaukee. Using RENTcafé's s figures for overall average rents, WisContext found that Milwaukee rents are about 38 percent lower - close, but not quite the figure WEDC cites. This could be due to market fluctuations over time, and it's also possible that WEDC pulled its numbers from an earlier data set when rents were at slightly different levels in each city.

Sperling's Best Places cites an array of government agencies and private sources for its data. RENTcafé's 's data, meanwhile, comes from its sister company, a real-estate research firm named Yardi Matrix, said RENTcafé spokesperson Andreea Curean. Yardi Matrix's data largely comes from its own research, she explained.

"Rental rates are gathered by surveyors representing themselves as prospective renters, by telephone survey, from market-rate properties with [50 or more units]," Curean wrote in an e-mail. "Properties incorporating a portion of low income households (i.e. IDA bond financed, or tax credit, properties), with the majority (or a significant component) of units rented competitively, are also included in rent surveys, reflecting competitive market rents not impacted by subsidy requirements."

Like other sources that provide cost-of-living-related information for specific places, RENTcafé's is only claiming to capture a subset of the relevant numbers one might consider when making a move.

"Our studies focus on the real estate market, and unfortunately not on the entire cost-of-living in a specific area," Curean said.

Additionally, because the research RENTcafé's uses accounts just for apartment buildings with 50 or more units, it misses rentals in smaller buildings, older houses that have been divided into flats and single-family house rentals - and there are plenty of each in both Milwaukee and Chicago. Of course, these rentals will also tend to be more expensive in Chicago than in Milwaukee, and Curean asserts that they'll follow the same geographic variations as rentals in larger buildings.

What Younger Workers Really Want

It's simply the nature of marketing that a campaign like WEDC's speaks to experiences and narratives more than it does to data-driven decision-making. Many of the ads are running on the Chicago Transit Authority's mass-transit elevated trains and subways, and tell an implied story about bedraggled commuters who'd find relief and fulfillment if they moved to Wisconsin.

Riding "the L" might be stressful, but a Chicago Reader report published in late February 2018 found that plenty of the city's riders still prefer it to living in a place without robust rapid transit. Predictably, commentators in Chicago have lambasted the ad campaign, critiquing a perceived air of generational disconnect and questioning why the CTA is running ads that cast aspersions on public transit. A story in The Outline presented evidence that the ads deliberately target only a certain demographic of younger Chicagoan - those who are white and upwardly mobile. In the wake of the Reader's story, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that even a couple of Milwaukee business figures had qualms about the ad campaign.

workforce-migration-costofliving-wedc-advertisement-chicago-bike.jpgWisconsin Economic Development Corporation

The bigger question is how well various cost-of-living figures support the broader argument Wisconsin's economic development officials are trying to make to younger workers: The state is an advantageous place to move to (and move back to), for both lifestyle and career reasons. Just as these numbers can't capture all the tangible and intangible factors people consider when picking a place to live and work, a marketing campaign doesn't represent the more complex conversation that goes into steering a state's economic future.

"We're talking a lot about the kind of supply side for labor - how do we get individuals here from other places to become part of communities - but I think we also have to focus on the demand side as well," said Matthew Kures with UW-Extension. "Are we creating the types of jobs and types of career advancement opportunities that young people want?"

Another part of the narrative that might be resonating less and less with time is the notion of making a big move at all.

"People are just simply less mobile than they used to be," Kures said. "People are more rooted in place for a variety of reasons."

People who do move might choose to live in a bigger, more expensive city for access to what UW-Madison economist Tessa Conroy calls "thick labor markets" - areas where there's a high concentration of employers and opportunities - in addition to amenities ranging from cultural events to natural beauty. And sometimes the opposite trade-off makes sense.

"You can imagine for some families, for example, for their income to go further is really meaningful and they might want to have a lower cost of living somewhere else even if it means giving up those amenities," said Conroy, who is also an economist with UW-Extension's Center for Community and Economic Development.

Jennie Allison of the Council for Community and Economic Research acknowledged that to really use that organization's data, a person considering their future job and lifestyle choices will be thinking about much more than the bare numbers.

"I guess wherever you live there's trade-offs, right?" Allison said. "You can say, why would someone want to live in a higher cost-of-living area when you could obviously live somewhere that's a little cheaper, but I think that's where some personal preferences are in play - you want to live based on what amenities are important to you, and of course there are other factors."

This post originally appeared on WisContext, a partnership between Wisconsin Public Radio, Wisconsin Public Television and Cooperative Extension.

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See also: Chicago vs. Wisconsin.

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Previously in Wisconsin:
* Song of the Moment: On, Wisconsin!

* Wisconsin Cheese Production Continues To Grow.

* Wisconsin's Specialty Cheesemakers May Be Better Off Than Other States.

* Tips For Growing Blueberries In Wisconsin.

* Amid A Boom, Wisconsin Cranberry Growers Look To Future Markets.

* The Top 10 Wisconsin Insect Trends Of 2016.

* Wisconsin's Penokees Are A Geologic Gem.

* Wisconsin Researchers Aim To Make Cows Happier.

* Wisconsin And The Extinction Of The Passenger Pigeon.

* The Life Of Land After Frac Sand.

* Blueberry Maggot Fly Poised To Expand In Wisconsin.

* Efforts To Boost Marten Numbers In Wisconsin Meet Ongoing Failure.

* How To Raise A Pizza.

* RECALL! Wisconsin Pork Sausage Patties.

* Making The Most Of Wisconsin's Autumn Garden Harvest.

* Who Is Stealing Wisconsin's Birch?

* How To Harvest And Process Wisconsin's Edible Tree Nuts.

* Lakes, Cheese And You.

* When Oshkosh Was Sin City.

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Comments welcome.

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1. From Steve Rhodes:

Photo I sent to Scott Gordon while he was researching this story, from the shelves of my bodega:

ramenscott.jpg

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:23 AM | Permalink

The Autobiography Of Director Jerry London (Hogan's Heroes, Rockford Files, Happy Days, Brady Bunch, Six Million Dollar Man, Mary Tyler Moore Show)

As one of the most prolific directors in Hollywood, Jerry London's career spanned over 40 years and saw him direct more than 350 episodic television shows.

London was also at the helm of over 40 Movies-of-the-Week and 11 blockbuster mini-series, including Emmy Award-winning Shogun and Ellis Island.

London directed some of the biggest stars in Hollywood, such as Charlton Heston, Gregory Peck, Whoopi Goldberg and Annette Bening.

In his new book, From I Love Lucy to Shogun . . . and Beyond: Tales From the Other Side of the Camera, London and his writing partner Rhonda Collier humorously detail the story of how a scrawny kid standing in the middle of the tennis courts at Alhambra High School in the San Gabriel Valley went on to become one of the most sought-after directors in television history.

With unflinching candor and wit, their book leads the reader through the closed-door deals, absurd antics of the famous and near disasters on exotic locations and film sets all over the world.

londonbook.jpg

"I wanted to offer a director's view of what goes on behind the scenes in television production," London says. "I think people will find that what really happens can be quite an eye-popping adventure."

Blurbs:

"Brilliant! I couldn't put it down . . . This book is for anyone who has ever wondered what happens on a set when the cameras aren't rolling! A laugh-out-loud page turner." - Jane Seymour

"Jerry London is a legend in our business. He writes the way he directs, with pace and energy, and tells a great story . . . This is a glorious read!" - Liam Neeson

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Local angle:

* London directed the 1981 movie Chicago Story, featuring Dennis Franz.

* In 1995, London directed an episode of Chicago Hope called "A Coupla Stiffs."

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Jerry London directorial highlight reel:

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Killdozer:

Which spawned the band of the same name, formed in Madison and signed to Chicago's famed Touch and Go label.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:16 AM | Permalink

Exclusive! Inside The Bears' New Downtown Office

"After hiring a new coach to turn around the team's fortunes, the Chicago Bears are making a move of a different kind, announcing plans to move offices from Soldier Field to Wacker Drive," the Tribune reports.

"The NFL franchise has leased almost 11,000 square feet at 123 N. Wacker Drive, where it plans to move about 30 workers currently based at Soldier Field, the team said. The office is expected to open this summer.

"The deal in the 30-story tower, located in one of the most prestigious pockets of Chicago's office market, will not affect the football franchise's Halas Hall headquarters in suburban Lake Forest, where the team has about 185 employees."

The Beachwood's I Team has the deets:

* Memorial Jay Cutler cigarette machine.

* Memorial animatronic John Fox lying to reporters.

* "George's South Parking Lot Cafeteria."

* "Ryan's Free Agent Money Ball Pit."

* All coffee pots filled with Folger's Crystals, courtesy of Virginia.

* 1985 Wayback Machines on every floor.

* World's most simplistic floor plan, aligned with playbook.

* The Mitch Trubisky Chapel, where employees are invited to pray daily.

* Every year a different floor will be in a rebuild.

* No parking passes; this organization is committed to the run.

* Everybody reports to Ted Phillips. Just like in the old office.

* Blue shirts; orange pants.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:08 AM | Permalink

14 Ways To Keep Youth With Mental Health Conditions Out Of Jail

SPRINGFIELD, IL - A state task force has delivered a final report recommending 14 action steps to deliver needed services and help keep youth with mental health conditions out of jails and prisons.

"Of the nearly 30,000 youth arrests and 11,000 youth admissions to local jails in Illinois each year, research consistently suggests that approximately 70 percent meet the diagnostic criteria for having a mental health condition, and at least 20 percent live with serious mental health condition, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depression, and other conditions that severely impair their ability to function," according to the report by the Illinois Mental Health Opportunities for Youth Diversion Task Force.

"Frequently, a youth's disruptive or illegal behavior is related to symptoms of a mental health condition that has gone undetected and untreated," the report states. "Instead of treating these instances as an opportunity to connect these youth to effective community-based mental health services they are too often directed toward law enforcement. These youth - the majority who have lives already marred by racism, poverty, and violence - then cycle through jails, probation offices, courts, and prisons. The opportunity to divert youth early is wasted, and youth end up in a system that is ill-equipped to provide the necessary treatment."

The task force recommended made the following recommendations:

COMMUNITY DIVERSION FROM THE JUSTICE SYSTEM

The state should:

1. Improve mental health screenings for early identification of youth at risk of mental health conditions.

2. Invest in early intervention for serious mental health conditions and maximize Medicaid and private insurance benefits.

3. Expand screening and provide adequate funding for the Illinois Comprehensive Community-Based Youth Services program, which is a statewide network of well-qualified professionals responding 24/7 to youth and families in crisis.

4. Provide training to help community members recognize the signs and symptoms of mental health conditions and identify resources for services and treatment.

INITIAL CONTACT WITH LAW ENFORCEMENT AND DETENTION

The state should:

5. Encourage training and expanded use of Crisis Intervention Teams to improve the outcomes of interactions between law enforcement and individuals living with mental illness.

6. Implement a diversion program that avoids the use of arrests for misdemeanor offenses committed by youth living with mental health conditions.

7. Help implement best-practices to assess the mental health of youth at arrest.

8. Create a pilot project to evaluate effectiveness of police releasing youth through "station adjustments" as an alternative to referring the case to juvenile court.

JUVENILE COURTS

9. Illinois should expand the use of juvenile mental health courts to connect more youth with support services and appropriate treatment.

REENTRY TO COMMUNITY AFTER INCARCERATION

To help youth returning from prison succeed, the state should:

10. Restore funding for the Mental Health Juvenile Justice Program, which contracts with community mental health agencies to provide services to improve the clinical condition of those youth.

11. Ensure eligible returning youth are enrolled in Medicaid before their release.

12. Make certain there is no interruption in services and needed medication after release.

13. Make certain returning youth avoid homelessness by helping them secure housing and income upon release.

14. Develop a case management system to track not just recidivism rates but also data that would inform taxpayers about whether their dollars are protecting public safety and helping youth become crime-free and productive adults.

Created by state statute in 2017, the task force was charged with developing an action plan for new or expanded diversion programs aimed at you living with mental health conditions in Illinois. Task force members include state legislators and representatives of law enforcement and mental health service providers.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:00 AM | Permalink

March 6, 2018

Chicago's Year Of The Dog

Catching up with Chicago's recent Chinese New Year's celebrations, a new exhibit at the Art Institute and the latest corporate apology spree.

1. Lanterns.

"A lantern procession organized by the Art Institute of Chicago to coincide with a new exhibition featuring Chinese art took place in Maggie Daley Park."


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2. Face-Changing.

"A troupe of southwest China's Chongqing Chuanju Theatre performed in Chicago during citywide Lunar New Year celebrations.The iconic stunt of face-changing enthralled local audience."

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3. Kung Fu.

"Chinese Kung Fu highlights Chicago Bulls' home court to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year on February 22. During the half-time show, more than 140 performers from the local Chinese community put on Chinese Kung Fu, Dragon dance and Chinese ethnic dances, which elicited a standing ovation from the audience."

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4. Parade.

"瑞芬中學美中校友會2018農歷新年唐人街花車斿行."

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At the Art Institute:

Introduction - Mirroring China's Past: Emperors, Scholars, and their Bronzes.

*

"Featuring over 180 objects in various media, this exhibition is the first to study in depth the tradition of collecting ancient Chinese bronzes, offering a new understanding of these revered objects."

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See also:

* Bloomberg, 2018: Mercedes Joins Apology Spree To China For Dalai Lama Quote.

* Forbes, 2016: The Apology To China: Another New Routine In Doing Business.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:59 AM | Permalink

When Parents Cheat To Get Their Child Into A "Good" School

Antwan Wilson, the chancellor for D.C. Public Schools, agreed to leave his post last month after news broke that he had flouted his own school enrollment policy. Wilson sought to bypass the extremely competitive school lottery system in order to transfer his daughter to a higher-scoring school. The reaction from the city council and the public was harsh, swift and widespread. Having lost the support of his boss, Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser, Wilson stepped down, eventually agreeing to a six-month severance package.

Despite his position, Wilson did what an uncounted number of parents do daily: He sought to transfer his child to a higher-performing school. Public school superintendents are expected to enroll their children in their own school district to gain public trust. Wilson and his wife felt that the performing arts school his eldest child attended wasn't a good fit. The neighborhood school the Wilsons are zoned for only had 1 percent of its students meet math expectations on last year's standardized exam and 6 percent in reading. So Wilson's wife coordinated with the deputy mayor of education, Jennifer Niles, to transfer their daughter to Woodrow Wilson High School, popular in the district, which has 22 percent of its students meet expectations in math and 54 percent in reading. Wilson High has a waiting list of 639 families.

AntwanWIlson.jpgAntwan Wilson/Astrid Riecken for the Washington Post via Getty Images

Many consider it good parenting to lie, wield political power and circumvent rules if it gets your child into a "good" school. Wilson may have been given a pass - except that one of his first acts as chancellor was to draft stricter school enrollment guidelines to reduce fraud and bias. It was in part as a response to accusations that his predecessor, Kaya Henderson, shuttled children of influential parents into the district's higher-performing schools.

Many urban districts have one - that exclusive school that everyone wants their kids to get into. They are often zoned in wealthy neighborhoods. And many of them have admissions criteria in which parental income could easily serve as a proxy. It's really hard to tell if the school is good or wealthy. Student achievement as measured by standardized tests is highly correlated with income, the neighborhood you live in, as well as the child's prior achievement. Meaning, researchers can predict test scores by how much a family earns, where they live and students' prior results on tests. There are other predictors, but those are clairvoyant.

Researchers and parents reflexively conflate wealthy and good and associate diversity with failure. In doing so we mistake what really makes a good school: effective teachers, learning and a positive school community. And we are reluctant to see what benefits diversity can bring at scale.

We have found ways to make wealthy enclaves the North Star of districts, either by creating zones in economically homogeneous neighborhoods or by using selective admissions tests. Schools that yield higher test scores by filtering out lower ones aren't really "good." Though, to be fair, if the magnet or selective schools magically went away, overall district outcomes wouldn't change that much. But their presence does reinforce a positive reputation, often unearned, that can lead to greater resources, such as unique academic offerings, student clubs and other social supports. Thus exclusivity indirectly rewards these schools. Worse, selective schools keep us from understanding what constitutes a good school.

Teachers of low-income students could very well be more effective, but it's difficult to know, because our frame of success is corrupted by the steps we will take to crowd out undesirables.

The call is loud for value-added measures, which consider student improvement over time as a dominant factor in school performance scores. The theory is that if we can properly measure students' growth, schools and teachers will be evaluated fairly and be put on a more level playing field.

I would love to see more of these measures developed. But we need to stop kidding ourselves. Most of us don't want to create good schools through the development of quality teachers, prepared students and engaged families. And as Antwan Wilson's behavior demonstrates, none of us want our children to learn with someone who is perceived to slow down our kid's progress.

Test scores are not so much for students as they are for parents. The reality is that middle- and upper-class parents want symbols of our social status. We need schools to act like the gated communities we live in, and school performance scores are one way of doing that.

The real crime Wilson committed is that he modeled a behavior that cities desperately need to end. After decades of white flight to the suburbs, people are moving back to the urban core. Lower-income residents in certain neighborhoods feel the painful economic impact of rapid migration back to cities. Gentrification, congestion and the cultural changes they bring are disrupting historic communities in Washington, D.C., and other cities. This is an opportunity to take advantage of the new diversity, and to have public schools actually look like the public. We can have diverse, effective neighborhood schools. But parents must believe in ethics, and understand that the rules apply to them.

Segregated communities have long used schools as weapons to maintain housing discrimination. However, wherever there is diversity, there's an opportunity to push back against the systems that create underfunded, low-performing schools. In addition to value-added measures, we can create metrics that discourage the socioeconomic and racial divides that help produce bad schools.

Wilson was wrong. We should expect our school leaders to follow the rules, especially the rules they are instrumental in making. But how hypocritical does it make us to find fault with him, when he's doing the same thing we are?

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Previously by Andre Perry:
* Black And Brown Kids Don't Need To Learn 'Grit,' They Need Schools To Stop Being Racist.

* Why Black Lives Matter Should Take On Charter Schools.

* Don't Be Surprised If Colin Kaepernick Prompts More Schoolchildren To Sit For The Pledge Of Allegiance.

* "Wraparound" Services Are Not The Answer.

* Youth Aren't Props.

* NOLA's Secret Schools.

* Poor Whites Just Realized They Need Education Equity As Much As Black Folk.

* Letting Our Boys Onto The Football Field Is A Losing Play.

* America Has Never Had A Merit-Based System For College Admissions.

* Don't Ever Conflate Disaster Recovery With Education Reform.

* Black Athletes Can Teach Us About More Than Just Sports.

* Charter Schools Are Complicit With Segregation.

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Comments welcome.

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1. From Steve Rhodes:

What made Bruce Rauner's clouting of his unqualified daughter into Payton High School all the more outrageous, besides his constant lying about it, was that he wasn't even "saving her" from a low-performing school; instead, it was that she didn't want to go to her hometown New Trier High School, only reputedly one of the best in the country.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:42 AM | Permalink

How To Shoot The Perfect Free Throw

Some 20 years ago, my colleague Dr. Chau Tran and I developed a way to simulate the trajectories of millions of basketballs on the computer.

We went to the coaches and assistant coaches at North Carolina State University, where we are based, and told them we had this uncommon ability to study basketball shots very carefully.

Their first question was simple: "What's the best free throw?"

Should the shooter aim towards the front of the hoop or the back? Does it depend on whether the shooter is short or tall?

freethrow.jpgSmall differences account for a shooter's consistency/Aspen Photo, Shutterstock

Math offers a unique perspective. It speeds up the amount of time it takes to see the patterns behind the best shots. For the most part, we discovered things that the players and coaches already knew - but every so often, we came across a new insight.

Simulating Millions Of Shots

From a mathematical viewpoint, basketball is a game of trajectories. These trajectories are unique in that the ball's motion doesn't change much when it's flying through the air, but then rapidly changes over milliseconds when the ball collides with the hoop or the backboard.

To simulate millions of trajectories without the code taking too long to run, we tried any trick we could think of. We figured out how to go from modestly changing motion to rapidly changing motion, such as when the ball bounces on the rim or off the backboard. We learned how to turn large numbers of trajectories into statistical probabilities. We even created fictitious trajectories in which the ball magically passes through all of the physical obstacles (hoop, backboard, back plate) except for one, to see where it collides first.

trajectory.jpgHow a mathematician sees a free throw/Larry Silverberg

The free throw was the first shot that my colleague and I studied in detail. In close games, teams can win and lose at the free throw line. What's more, the free throw is uncontested, so perfection in the free throw can pay off big. Top teams tend to shoot the free shot well.

Our program could tell us what chances the shooter had in sinking a free throw - and help us figure out what the shooter was doing right or wrong.

Breaking Down The Free Throw

We studied the free throw for about five years.

One of the first things we learned from our simulations and by watching TV footage was that players with the same consistency can shoot free throws with anywhere from 75 percent to 90 percent accuracy. The difference was that the 90 percent players were being consistent at the right shot - the best trajectory.

The fate of a free throw is set the instant the ball leaves the player's fingertips, so we looked closely at the "launch conditions" of the shot. The ball is located at some height above the floor. It has a rate at which it is spinning backwards (called backspin), and it has a launch speed and a launch angle. Since the shooter never launches the ball the same way, small differences account for a shooter's consistency.

We found that about 3 hertz of backspin is the best amount; more than that does not help. It takes about 1 second for a ball to reach the basket, so 3 hertz equates to three revolutions in the air, from the instant the ball leaves the player's hands to when it reaches the basket.

Next, assuming the player releases the ball at 7 feet above the ground, a launch angle of about 52 degrees is best. In that angle, the launch speed is the lowest, and the probability of the shot being successful is the greatest. At 52 degrees, the shooter can be off a degree or more either way without a large effect on the shot's success.

However, launch speed is quite the opposite. It's the hardest variable for a player to control. Release the ball too slowly and the shot is short; release it too fast and the shot is long. A player needs to memorize the motion of their entire body during release to impart the same speed consistently.

All else being the same, players who release from higher above the floor have a higher shooting percentage. That's interesting, because our coaches at NC State and others I have talked say that taller players tend to shoot the free throw worse than shorter players do. It seems that the shorter players must try harder.

The last release condition was the most surprising: the aim point of the free throw. We found that the player should aim the ball to the back of the rim. Basically, the back of the rim is more forgiving than the front of the rim. At a release height of 7 feet, the gap between the ball and the back of the ring should be less than 2 inches. A small gap is best whether launching at low or high release heights.

Lessons Learned

So what does this all mean for players out there aspiring to improve their free throw?

Our research suggests that players should aim the ball beyond the center of the rim. Launch the ball at a high angle and as high above the ground as possible. (The ball, at the highest point of its arc, should reach the top of the backboard.) Line up the ball to eliminate the side angle. And try to launch the ball with smooth body motion, to produce a consistent launch speed.

In the past few years, we've expanded our work to study where the best bank shots strike the backboard and developed a tool for anyone who wants to perfect it.

With tournament play approaching, I'm reminded of how competitive the game has become, and how it has truly become a game of inches. As an old basketball player, like many of you, I enjoy watching the game - and, every so often, catching a glimpse of that perfect free throw.

Larry M. Silverberg is a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at North Carolina State University. This article was originally published on The Conversation.

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Comments welcome.

The Conversation

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:59 AM | Permalink

The [Tuesday] Papers

New on the Beachwood today . . .

The Weekend In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Ghost Town, Watain, Old 97's, Doyle Bramhall II, Canadian Rifle, Pegboy, Oraloo, and Gentle Leader XIV.

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The Consequences Of Cheating School Admissions
Many consider it good parenting to lie, wield political power and circumvent rules.

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How To Shoot The Perfect Free Throw
Aim toward the front of the hoop or the back? Release early or late? Spin rate? These engineers figured it out.

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Chicago's Year Of The Dog
Catching up with Chicago's recent Chinese New Year's celebrations, a new exhibit at the Art Institute and the latest corporate apology spree.

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On This Day In . . .

2012: When Obama Pulled The G8 Summit Out Of A Scared, Overwhelmed Chicago.

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2013: When The Emanuel Administration Peddled Unbelievable Class Size Bullshit. (Assignment Desk: Update!)

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2015: Avondale Chicken.

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2017: The Weekend In Chicago Rock.

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ChicagoGram

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ChicagoTube

Nixon (with Daley) in Chicago, 1974.

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BeachBook

Secret NYPD Files: Officers Can Lie To Juries Or Brutally Beat Civilians And Still Keep Their Jobs.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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Agree. Plus, it's poorly executed - it would be one thing to do some kind of overnight blog that went beyond crime and had some panache; it's another to write a few one-sentence crime briefs and brand them as some big thing.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: With reservations.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:39 AM | Permalink

March 5, 2018

The Weekend In Chicago Rock

You shoulda been there.

1. Ghost Town at the Wire in Berwyn on Friday night.


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2. Watain at the Metro on Friday night.

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3. Old 97's at Thalia Hall on Thursday night.

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4. Doyle Bramhall II at City Winery on Thursday night.

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5. Canadian Rifle at Chop Shop on Saturday night.

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6. Pegboy at Chop Shop on Saturday night.

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7. Oraloo at Moe's Tavern on Friday night.

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8. Gentle Leader XIV at Sleeping Village on Saturday night.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 2:45 PM | Permalink

The [Monday] Papers

Here's the Beachwood's abbreviated but still exclusive Oscars coverage.

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New on the Beachwood today . . .

The Illinois Libertarian Convention Over The Weekend Was Apparently Bonkers
By the former pro wrestler who would've won the gubernatorial nomination if he only thought to bring his wife to the proceedings to break a tie . . .

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NRA TV
Dear Lying Media: Your time is running out!

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SportsMonday: Ramblers 'R' Us
Loyola is in.

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This Day In . . .
A sampling. More at our Facebook page.

2015: The Chicago media's shameful reaction to the Homan Square story. Hey, if you don't want to believe the airtight reporting, debunk it with airtight reporting of your own. Funny, no one did that.

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And then local journalists refused to comment to the Columbia Journalism Review. Sheer gutlessness all the way around.

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2014: Obama Sends Man Working In Legal Marijuana Clinic To Prison.

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2014: The Ongoing, Decades-Long Mystery Of How Sneed Remains Employed.

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ChicagoGram

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ChicagoTube

The Media's Story, But Not The Community's Truth.

"Chicago's black and brown neighborhoods are depicted and looked at as dangerous. Lacking work programs, positive resources for the youth and community at large, many outsiders looking in only get a small glimpse of what is really happening. Real Chi Youth reporter Chelsea Berry interviewed Joe Black, a community filmmaker and Lee Edwards, a local reporter for the Austin Weekly to gain insight on their understanding of the media's role in creating these narratives. They discussed how to tackle reporting on the problems facing communities by engaging community members in order to tell more accurate stories."

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BeachBook

The Lottery Hackers.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

See also:

"As a shining symbol of democracy, the United States capital is not ordinarily a place where coronations occur. So news that the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, the eccentric and exceedingly wealthy Korean-born businessman, donned a crown in a Senate office building and declared himself the Messiah while members of Congress watched is causing a bit of a stir," the New York Times reported in 2004.

"One congressman, Representative Danny K. Davis, Democrat of Illinois, wore white gloves and carried a pillow holding one of two ornate gold crowns that were placed on the heads of Mr. Moon and his wife, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, at the ceremony, which took place March 23 and capped a reception billed as a peace awards banquet."

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This Day in 2014.

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LOL, 2016.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: One turntable and a microphone.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 11:43 AM | Permalink

SportsMonday: Ramblers 'R' Us

Loyola did it!

And so did Lipscomb, Radford and Murray State. On Sunday they all advanced to the Dance, otherwise of course known as the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball tournament that begins in a week-and-a-half. The underdogs are set.

Loyola is the focus around here. The Ramblers' move to the Missouri Valley Conference five years ago finally paid off as they earned their first invite to the national tournament since 1985 with an automatic bid by dint of a 65-49 over Illinois State to claim the conference tournament crown.

But there are plenty of other great stories as well. Lipscomb, a smallish Christian school in Nashville, makes its first-ever trip to March Madness. The Bisons won the ASUN conference championship by playing a delightful brand of run-and-gun basketball. They scored 108 points in their conference final!

Radford (located in its namesake town a little more than 30 miles southwest of Roanoke in western Virginia) barely scored half as many points in the Big South final, but that was enough to beat Liberty 55-52 on a buzzer-beating three-pointer.

And Murray State (Murray, Kentucky) thumped Belmont to win the Ohio Valley 68-51.

Back to Loyola. One of the best things about this team is its players' points of origin.

Pride of the South Side Donte Ingram (a senior from Simeon) earned the Most Outstanding (Tournament) Player award after scoring 18 for the Ramblers on Sunday.

The Ramblers' best young player is freshman Lucas Williamson, who at this time last year was suiting up for the West Side's Whitney Young. Williamson has come off the bench for Loyola this year but he figures to move into a starting role soon.

And the suburbs are spoken for by 6-9 starting center Cameron Krutwig. Williamson's fellow first-year man has come a long, long way this season, dropping 35 pounds since leaving Jacobs High School in Algonquin behind. He is still plenty beefy and he has led the Ramblers in rebounds.

Add in a couple kids from suburban Kansas City - conference MVP Clayton Custer and MVC Defensive Player of the Year Ben Richardson - and a transfer from Fairleigh Dicksinson in New Jersey, Marques Townes, and you have the core of a team that finished the year with a 28-5 overall record.

Now they get to kick back, relax and await the NCAA selection show next Sunday, when they will find out who they will play and where.

As will Michigan, who won the Big 10 tourney on Sunday. Initially I thought having the Big 10 tournament in New York City was a terrible idea. But then they sold out the Garden for the semifinals on Saturday and a friend who was there said it was quite a scene, especially when his alma mater held off Michigan State to reach Sunday's final. Then yesterday Michigan held on against Purdue to win their second straight Big 10 tournament title. If you didn't know already, John Beilen can coach. Michigan is 10-1 in its last three conference tournaments.

Meanwhile, Loyola was playing in front of a relatively sparse crowd in the final of Arch Madness in St. Louis. But what those onlookers lacked in numbers, they made up for in spirit, especially when they rushed the court after Loyola's win.

The Big 10 took their big event to New York in the aftermath of adding Rutgers to the conference a number of years ago. A big reason for increasing the membership at that time was theoretically pulling in viewers for the Big 10 television network from New York, which is just up the pike from Rutgers.

Except I have yet to speak with anyone who believes there is any sort of Rutgers fan hub in the big city. The main thing the Scarlett Knights have provided the Big 10 so far is wins, i.e., the team never finishes among the leaders in the conference in football or men's basketball.

Anyway, the conference tournament madness continues all week. A few of the directional schools in Illinois still have longshots at Big Dance invites (they will have to win their conference tournaments) but it is looking like Loyola will be the only team from Illinois to advance.

It is far from an impressive number but hey, one team from Illinois is way better than none.

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Loyola Conference Championship Highlights.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 11:34 AM | Permalink

NRA TV

"NRATV is a revolutionary new network that broadcasts in streaming HD 24 hours a day. On it, you can watch live news updates and interviews at the top of each hour and browse 22 original series to watch episodes on demand 24/7. Enjoy the world's most comprehensive video coverage of Second Amendment issues, events and culture on Apple TV, Roku, Google Chromecast, Amazon FireTV and on NRATV.com."

1. "Dear lying media. Your time is running out."


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2. Common At The Oscars: What About Chicago?

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3. Schools Deserve Same Security As Hollywood Galas.

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4. We Must Harden Our Schools.

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5. The Violence Of Lies.

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See also:

NRA TV: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 11:02 AM | Permalink

The Illinois Libertarian Convention Over The Weekend Was Apparently Bonkers

Links added by Beachwood.

BLOOMINGTON, IL - In what normally is an ordinary, boring, third-party nominating convention turned into a battle royale free-for-all as the Libertarian Party voting members convened to Bloomington's Parke Regency Hotel this past weekend.

Running for the gubernatorial nomination were two first-timers and former pro wrestler and former GOP congressional candidate Jon Stewart, who was making his fourth attempt at public office.

After the first round of voting, Matthew C. Scaro was eliminated, and the frontrunner, Navy veteran Kash Jackson, failed to received over 51% of the vote, which moved the voting into a second round between Jackson and Stewart.

As tensions grew, the jumbotron slowly revealed the second round results . . . and it was a tie!

"At that point, the entire room erupted into chaos, cheers and confusion," said Stewart campaign manager Donny Henry. "There has never been a tie in our party's history, and with the contentious race between the candidates, this just added fuel to an already roaring inferno of ill feelings."

Tensions remained high as members then realized that three of Jackson's people were locked out of voting because they had left the room.

Then the true heartbreak moment came when former gubernatorial candidate Chad Grimm (a Stewart supporter) revealed that he was unable to get a second-round ballot because he misplaced his badge, so he could not vote and thereby give Stewart the nomination.

"It broke my heart but I felt bad for Chad and it's my fault too for not bringing my own wife, who could have sent me over the top for a win," Stewart said.

[Editor's Note: D'oh!]

"But to come from behind and to then be tied speaks volumes about my team, and I really think my public support for President Trump really turned off many Libertarians and Kellyanne Conway's failure to provide me assistance, I believe in the end, cost me the governor's seat."

As the third and final round of voting concluded, the embattled Jackson won the nomination by four votes. "Don't let anyone tell you that one vote doesn't count, it does," Jackson told the crowd of enthusiastic supporters.

The Libertarians still have an uphill battle as they must turn in three times as many signatures as the GOP and Dems to place their slate of candidates on the ballot in November.

"We plan on turning in over 50,000 signatures, but you never know how many will be enough after the challenges, it is a really unfair struggle," decried Krysta Walker, the Illinois Libertarian Party's Ballot Access Director.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 10:05 AM | Permalink

March 4, 2018

The Weekend Desk Report

Here's some stuff from my aborted Friday column, which I didn't finish due to entirely foreseen circumstances.

New on the Beachwood since then . . .

The Week In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Dr. Death Crush, Microcosms, VoA, A Flock of Seagulls, Anthrax, Killswitch Engage, Havok, Tight Phantomz, Sabaton, No Warning, American Nightmare, Romeo Santos, Oh Sees, Sean Green, Moth Cock, Papa Roach, and Julian Kirshner, Matt Murphy & Joe Suihkonenat

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The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour: More Flames And Bat Flips
Fixing baseball. Plus: The Boys Of Spring; The Ex-Cub Factor; The White Sox Are Also Participating In Spring Training; The Bulls Are The New White Sox Who Are The New Cubs; Blackhawks Even Sadder This Week Than Last Week; The Bears' Deja Rebuild; and Arch Madness!

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TrackNotes: The New Math
"Horseplayers don't have inconsequential mock drafts, it's cash on the barrelhead, one minute to post," writes our man on the rail, Tom Chambers. "Whodoya like? And you'll have your answer in about two minutes. No combines or mandatory voluntaries. Yes, it's a lot of pressure. It's made me wonder if I really do have a problem."

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What Does Research The NRA Is Stifling Really Show?
A new report has the answer.

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The Scientist And The Forger: Probing A Turbulent Art World
Local angle: a former Art Institute student who later "donated" a fake to the museum.

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YouTube Comments Deliver: The Hayley & Snot Affair
Just a cartoon?

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On This Day In . . .

2015: The Homan Square Papers.

"I'm confused. First the problem was that it couldn't be happening or our local reporters - who had been told it was happening and passed on the story - would know. Now it's that everyone knows it's happening, but it's not happening at Homan but all over the city. So it's happening everywhere except where the Guardian reported! Therefore, not a story."

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2016: Tronc's Top Tribbie.

"Unasked of [new editor Bruce] Dold: Does it trouble you that Michael Ferro dipped into the Sun-Times newsroom when he was the principal owner there and meddled with the paper's political coverage to an extent that highly respected veteran reporter Dave McKinney chose to leave? Does it bother you that veteran Capitol Fax publisher and syndicated political columnist Rich Miller 'was dismissed by the Sun-Times after penning a column critical of Mr. Rauner?' Does it concern you that "Ferro ha[d] been exerting pressure on editors regarding coverage of Rauner?"

The truth: Dold's conversative stewardship of the editorial page got him the editor's job, which is problematic to say the least.

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2012: Obama's FOIA Fail.

"Simply empty words."

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2012: Selling NATO and the G8.

"'The cost of the event is huge - $30-million in London, $18-million (U.S.) in Pittsburgh, more than $1-billion in Toronto - while the payoff is growing less obvious.'

"As it will in Chicago as well. Elites will love hobnobbing with elites, but the touted economic benefits will evaporate as quickly as they have for any town that's hosted the Olympics. It's part of the prepackaged rhetorical sell job, but it's just not reality. Elites just wanna have fun but they can't say that."

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2017: Arby's Introduces Chicago-Style Beef Dip.

"Roast beef on a supper roll."

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ChicagoGram

Have you seen Scabby the Rat around?🐀 He was created in 1990 so the Chicago bricklayer union could make a point. 🚫⚠️ . Scabby has been uglying up the sidewalks throughout the country in front of union-unfriendly businesses since. ✊ . Big Sky Balloons in Plainfield, Illinois, makes Scabby in several sizes, from 6 ft to 25 ft, the most popular being the 12 ft model pictured here. ❤️ . Scabby is in front of Michigan Plaza here but I don't know which of the many businesses they were protesting. . . . . . . #colormechicago #union #rat #inflatable #chicago #chicagogram #chicagoig #chicagoland #chicagolife #chicagoshots #chigram #chitown #choosechicago #enjoyillinois #explorechicago #igchicago #igerschicago #illinois #ilovechicago #insta_chicago #instachicago #likechicago #mychicagopix #chicityshots #chicagopulse #chicagohistory

A post shared by Color Me Chicago (@colormechicago) on

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ChicagoTube

La Luz Gallery.

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BeachBook

A Stellar Piece Of Reporting Now A Book: A True Story Of Rape In America.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight is losing $6 million a year more than the Beachwood. Who's the real success?!

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Easy livin'.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 5:39 AM | Permalink

March 2, 2018

What Does Research That The NRA Doesn't Want Funded Show?

The non-partisan RAND Corporation's sweeping new analysis on gun policy in the U.S. reveals that gun violence would be reduced with stricter laws restricting access to firearms - but also stresses that efforts to complete research on the issue have often been stymied by a lack of resources, due to a funding freeze that was pushed by the National Rifle Association decades ago.

Despite the lack of research to draw from, RAND's findings did point to the conclusion that laws to prevent children from accessing firearms can decrease suicides and unintentional injuries or deaths and that universal background checks would lead to a drop in suicides and violent crimes. Concealed-carry and stand-your-ground laws - both backed by the NRA - were also found to increase violent crimes.

However, the group's two-year effort to understand the precise impact gun control policies - and lack thereof - have had on the safety of American communities, was frequently frustrating, as researchers "consistently found inadequate evidence for the likely effects of different gun policies on a wide range of outcomes," according to the study, Gun Policy in America.

gunshow.jpgA row of firearms at the Fort Worth Gun Show in 2014/Russ, Flickr

The RAND Corporation points to a 1996 measure passed by Congress, known as the Dickey Amendment, which slashed $2.6 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's budget shortly after the agency published a study on the risks associated with having a gun in the home.

The funding cut was equal to what the CDC had been spending on firearm injuries research, and was the result of demands by the NRA, which saw the agency's study as "anti-gun" policy advocacy.

"I think that had an effect not just on government research but on all research," Avery Gardiner, co-founder of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "I think potentially a whole generation of public health research has been affected by the Dickey Amendment."

"To improve understanding of the real effects of gun policies, Congress should consider lifting current restrictions in appropriations legislation, and the administration should invest in firearm research portfolios," concluded the RAND Corporation.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.

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See also from ProPublica: What Researchers Learned About Gun Violence Before Congress Killed Their Funding.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 6:38 PM | Permalink

The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #190: More Bat Flips

Pace of play pablum. Plus: Flaming Fastballs & Exploding Bats; Spring Cubs; The Ex-Cub Factor; The White Sox Are Also Participating In Spring Training; The Bulls Are The New White Sox Who Are The New Cubs; Blackhawks Even Sadder This Week Than Last Week; The Bears' Deja Rebuild; and Arch Madness!


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SHOW NOTES

* 190.

:55: Flaming Fastballs, Exploding Bats And Mic'd-Up Caps.

* MLB's Pace Of Play Rules For 2018.

* MLB Teams To Make $50 million Each From Disney Purchase Of BAMtech.

* Was Fox's Glowing Puck The Worst Blunder In TV Sports History, Or Was It Just Ahead Of Its Time?


* Ghost viewers!

* TV take:

* Joe Maddon Goes Deep On Impact Of Limiting Mound Visits.

* Gonzalez: Willson Contreras Working To Improve Pitch Framing By Refining His Skills As A 'Receiver.'

20:22: Spring Cubs.

* Haugh: Out Of Thin Air, Tyler Chatwood Hardly A Fifth Wheel For The Cubs.

* Jon Lackey Lester.

* BenZo.

* Gonzalez: Ian Happ Happy Now After Learning To Adjust To The Cubs On The Fly Last May.

* Ian Happ: The Fourth Beatle.

* Gonzalez: Kris Bryant Wants To Take A Simpler Approach To Hitting This Season.

* Buddy Bryce.

33:47: The Ex-Cub Factor.

* Junior Lake sighting!

Lake is on a minor-league deal with the Mariners.

* Seattle Times: Dan Vogelbach's Got His Smile Back, And He's Hoping It Will Help The Mike Montgomery Trade Pay Off.

* Detroit Free Press: Tigers' Travis Wood Out For Season With Torn ACL, Meniscus.

37:03: The White Sox Are Also Participating In Spring Training.

* White Sox Prospect Jake Burger Out For Season With Ruptured Achilles.

* White Sox Having Difficulty Keeping Top Prospects On Field.

* Hector Santiago Glad To Be 'Back Home' With White Sox.

* Welington Castillo Returns To Chicago With 'Newfound Respect.'

45:10:The Bulls Are The New White Sox Who Are The New Cubs.

* Are NBA Teams Utilizing 'Inverse Analytics' To Aid Tanking?

50:41: Blackhawks Even Sadder This Week Than Last Week.

* Blackhawks Lose 7th Straight Road Game After Giving Up 7 Straight Goals.

* Blackhawks Have Eyes On Future After Dealing Ryan Hartman And Tommy Wingels.

* Arty:

56:55: The Bears' Deja Rebuild.

* Pace restarts the clock:

LOL.

* Who?

* Pouring one out for Matt Forte.

1:03:35: Arch Madness!

* Loyola's To Lose.

Note: After this podcast was recorded but before it was posted, Loyola beat UNI 54-40 in the opening round of their conference tournament.

* Meanwhile, about that DePaul arena . . .

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STOPPAGE: 10:52

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For archives and other shows, see The Beachwood Radio Network.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:54 PM | Permalink

The Scientist And The Forger: Probing A Turbulent Art World

Following the success of The Scientist and the Forger: Insights into the Scientific detection of Forgery in Paintings, written by Egyptian scientist and educator Jehane Ragai and published in 2015, World Scientific Publishing is releasing, a new and somewhat different, second edition in March, which deepens the reader's journey into the intriguing underworld of the greatest art crimes to date.

Through a series of case studies, Ragai plunges the reader into the tensions and intricacies of an alternately booming and cooling international art market, highlighting in the process the plights of the expert, the collector and the auction house.

How can we determine whether it was Leonardo's hand that created Salvador Mundi? How can we prove that a suspected Pollock is a forgery? How can Man in a Black Cravat be seemingly incontrovertibly attributed to Lucien Freud, despite this artist's adamant refusal to recognize it as one of his own

How can we safeguard the art market for present and future generations? And can a psychological interpretation shed light on the perplexing behavior of Ann Freedman, the former president and director of the Knoedler Gallery?

Building on the first edition, these are some of the questions that Ragai uses to reveal how art historians and scientists collaborate conclusively to authenticate paintings or demonstrate that they are forgeries.

forger.jpg

She not only equips the reader with an update on fast-evolving scientific techniques used to detect forgery in art (described for the lay person in a separate chapter ), but also provides a holistic understanding of an art world shaped both by history and by rapidly changing views and trends, and one in which some enigmas persist: As that of La Bella Principessa continues to baffle, do we have enough reason to hope that we shall one day know her true story?

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Local angle:

Screen Shot 2018-03-02 at 8.33.36 PM.png

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From the New Yorker's "The Giveaway:"

Leininger sent an e-mail to members of the American Alliance of Museums asking if anyone had received gifts from Landis. "In the first hour, I had about twenty people contact me," he said. By the next day, he was able to determine that several museums held the same painting. "There's an Alfred Jacob Miller that's at six or seven institutions," he said. "The Lépine is five places, including the Art Institute of Chicago and the Art Museum at the University of Kentucky, and there's a Marie Laurencin self-portrait in five places. When I give my director this information, she's, like, 'Oh, my God, take down that Valtat now!' " They did, and they put back the Renoir.

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Landis was sent to the Menninger Clinic, in Topeka, Kansas, where he stayed for a little more than a year, leaving when he was nineteen. His doctor thought that he might like to draw for Hallmark Cards, which was in Kansas City. To prepare, he attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In drawing class, he was told, "We don't want you to slavishly copy. We want you to interpret." Partly to get away from the cold winter in Chicago, he moved to San Francisco.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 7:56 AM | Permalink

The Week In Chicago Rock

You shoulda been there.

1. Dr. Death Crush at Crown Liquors on Tuesday night.


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2. Microcosms at Crown Liquors on Tuesday night.

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3. VoA at the Empty Bottle on Tuesday night.

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4. A Flock of Seagulls at the Brauerhouse in Lombard on Sunday night.

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5. Anthrax at the Forge in Joliet on Tuesday night.

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6. Killswitch Engage at the Forge in Joliet on Tuesday night.

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7. Havok at the Forge in Joliet on Tuesday night.

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8. Tight Phantomz at the Empty Bottle on Sunday night.

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9. Sabaton at the House of Blues on Tuesday night.

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10. No Warning at the Bottom Lounge on Sunday night.

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11. American Nightmare at the Bottom Lounge on Sunday night.

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12. Romeo Santos at the Bulls arena on Wednesday night.

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Catching up with . . .

Oh Sees at the Empty Bottle's Music Frozen Dancing on February 17th.

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Sean Green at Pinky Swear on February 23rd.

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Moth Cock at the Hideout on February 24th.

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Papa Roach at the UIC Pavilion on February 24th.

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Julian Kirshner, Matt Murphy and Joe Suihkonenat at Elastic on February 23rd.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 7:41 AM | Permalink

YouTube Comments Deliver: The Hayley & Snot Affair

American Dad, "Jenny Fromdabloc."

Comments edited ever so slightly for grammar and such.

Spooky Puppy Demon: When I first saw this I felt bad for Snot and disliked Hayley for rejecting him, especially for that idiot. But now that I'm older I understand that people have a right to how they feel and that buying a woman or a man a bunch of stuff or devoting all your time to them doesn't mean you that person HAS to love you back. Woman or man you can't force feelings for someone you know has feelings for you. Jeff is still an idiot and I was happy that he was gone and pissed when he was brought back, but if Hayley loves him then that's her.

Omni: It's a show smh🤦‍♂️

Jennifer Lee: You've really over thought American Dad.

Tatiana Schneider: Guys are so dumb 😂

Panda Shy: How's he dumb for having an opinion?? It's a good view to have, characters are allowed to be criticized, it's what you expect when becoming an animator, artist or comedian. Get used to it :/.

Noah M: Spooky Puppy Demon yet you haven't figured out that it's just a cartoon.

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See the rest of the debate here!

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 3:02 AM | Permalink

March 1, 2018

TrackNotes: The New Math

I don't know that the four of us could have been called whizzes in arithmetic - we were there when they came up with New Math, although the penguins appropriated the name but just kept teaching numbers - but we've gotten by nicely.

Before any formal gazintas or cipherin', my two brothers had batting averages, on-base percentages and earned run averages down cold. My sister spent a long time in the consumer banking sector, where just one of her many duties was to tell people that if debit overtakes credit, kind of like a pace meltdown, they will be overdrawn. She then had to tell them by how much and which particular ATM hit took them out of the money. It was all right there in the numbers.

I squeaked through high school algebra, but then had to take it twice in college to fulfill the requirement. I was pretty good at geometry, although it was well before I fully grasped that eight furlongs is a mile and once around at Arlington. And if you called it Obround Park or Discorectangle Race Course, you wouldn't be wrong. Or that getting a mile at Belmont includes a long beginning tangent (the chute) with only one pure curve, if the horse could stay in its lane, like Secretariat did. It came in handy when I realized the old Nad al Sheba in Dubai was something of a scalene triangle with complex radii on the turns, although Cigar aced it without a 60-cent protractor, just a saddle on his back and Jerry Bailey checking his work.

Don't know if any of it helped, but it didn't hurt, as now I know how to read the Racing Form. There's not really a lot of math involved, except maybe adding up win or loss streaks and the money, of course. And M(aiden) = 0(wins).

It's more about tendencies, such as the consistency of workout times, pace trends, position at the calls, willingness to close or not. The data is really just there, stated. Jockey and trainer percentages, together and separately. Leparoux up, it's a Show horse. Velazquez up, he's a Win horse. But that's not math, just a hunch.

When it comes to the Triple Crown, more acutely this year than ever, I'm not sure any of this vast acquired knowledge will be worth a bent horseshoe. Don't get me wrong. It's a lot better than a B.A. in Public Hygiene from the Dean Smith Center for Infinitely Broad Studies, but I'm just itching to put to good use everything I learned from professors Bennie, Red, Anita, Tall Gregg, Paki and The Teach. It's just getting tougher and tougher to do.

The problem? These horses, with focus here on the 3-year-olds, don't run anymore. If you can't see how a horse might do third race off the layoff because there are only two races, it's tough. If you can't see any kind of parabolic tendencies, it's tough. You can only hope to get enough races - and we don't - to see how a horse might do in mud or slop. And don't get me started on horses facing each other head-to-head in any number of races before the Derby.

Master Achiever, Stop the Music, Angle Light, Champagne Charlie and the great Sham butted heads with Secretariat on a regular basis. Later on, he regularly saw Cougar II, Our Native and Big Spruce.

I must cite Daily Racing Form national handicapper Mike Watchmaker, who, starting with a look back 50 years at the permanently controversial 1968 Kentucky Derby (the first part of his piece is in the always-interesting category, and I remember that race), came across stats on just how much they raced back then.

Comparing today's racing to those days, the Wayback Machine would blow its Intels in the calculation.

Scroll down and you'll see that fully four of the '68 Derby starters had more than 20 total starts going into the gate. Eight more were in double figures, only two less than 10, but with eight each. In just their 3-year-old years going into the Derby, four had raced 11 times and nine more had raced at least five times. Captain's Gig ran only three times in '68 before the first Saturday in May. That would be considered a very healthy race tab today.

Scroll further, and you'll see the projected starts for 2018's Derby bunch.

My Boy Jack skews the average with a projected 10 starts before the Derby. Flameaway (9), Bravazo and Free Drop Billy (8) and four more at seven, seem respectable, in a wimpy 2018 kind of way.

But look at the projections for races this year leading up to the Derby. Four of them look like they'll run four times this year, once a month. WOO-HOO! Five of them look to run only twice! And you've heard this before: Two wiseguys, Justify and Magnum Moon, are both looking to be the first horse since Apollo in 1882 to win the Derby without having raced at two.

So I started wondering, what has been the long, slow trend since Dancer's Image's days? Keep in mind, Watchmaker has free access to all past performances while I only found a website that charges $8 per horse for a 48-hour look see. I have just a few of my own archives.

Secretariat ran nine times as a 2-year-old in 1972, winning eight, but with one disqualification. Big Red ran three times before the Derby, starting in the March 17 Bay Shore after a freshening from the year before. But he compressed those three in the weeks before the Derby and you know the rest. Keeping in mind he was racing for money, he ran 12 times at three.

In 1976, Seattle Slew, with a September start, ran three times at two. Similar to Secretariat, he compressed three starts in the weeks before the Derby and his Triple Crown sweep.

In the next cycle, Affirmed ran nine times at two, participating in and winning many of the premier East Coast juvenile races. He went west in 1978 and hit the San Felipe/Santa Anita Derby/Hollywood Derby trifecta. Twenty days later, he began his march in Louisville, the start of what became the epic Affirmed/Alydar Triple Crown trilogy. They met 10 times lifetime, Alydar winning three.

Spectacular Bid ran nine times at two and, in 1979, started five times before the Derby. He won in Kentucky and at the Preakness, but couldn't last in the Belmont after "stepping on" a large safety pin before the race. After the Belmont, he lost only once in his 14 remaining races, to Affirmed in the '79 Jockey Club Gold Cup.

Move ahead to 1988 and Sunday Silence ran three times - no stakes races - at two. The next year, he ran three times, winning the San Felipe and Santa Anita Derby in the run-up to the Churchill Downs. He won the Derby and Preakness and was beaten soundly in the Belmont by archrival Easy Goer. 'Silence ran three more times that year and twice at four before retiring with an injury.

Silver Charm ran three times at two in 1996 and prepped through the three-race Santa Anita Derby circuit. He scored head wins in the Derby and Preakness and lost in an epic Belmont to Touch Gold. He ran only once more that year, but had many impressive wins, including the Dubai World Cup, to finish with 24 races lifetime.

Funny Cide scored three wins against state-bred competition in New York and then was most assuredly on the improve in the Holy Bull, Louisiana Derby and Wood Memorial before taking the Derby and Preakness. After losing the Belmont, he just kept racing, although the fact he is a gelding probably had a lot to do with it. All told, he finished 38-11-6-8.

Smarty Jones cracked his skull in the starting gate, so he got a late start and ran twice at two. He ran a balanced four-race campaign before winning the 2004 Derby and Preakness and getting run down by Birdstone in a heartbreaking Belmont. Soon after that, they said he was hurt and he never ran again.

The wonderful but ill-fated Barbaro ran only twice at two and twice into the Derby. He slammed the 2006 Derby and then suffered the leg fracture in the Preakness that eventually killed him.

I'll Have Another ran three times at two in 2011 and only twice coming into the Derby, including a Santa Anita Derby win. Getting no respect, he won the Derby and the Preakness but was scratched the day before the Belmont with an injury and never ran again.

Keeping in mind that because they didn't think, in part, that he had a worthy pedigree, California Chrome ran for his money. He ran seven times in a long 2-year-old campaign. He took the Santa Anita route, running three times into Kentucky, and won the first two legs of the Crown. He ran three more times that year, and add 11 more lifetime, including a win in the World Cup. 'Chrome's relative workhorse race tab is just one more argument for his greatness.

Our darling Triple Crown winner American Pharoah himself ran only three times at two and did not appear in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile because of injury. He took the Arkansas road to the Triple Crown, winning the Rebel and Arkansas Derby. After the Crown, he took two months off and then won the Haskell and was nipped by Keen Ice in the Travers. Two months after that, his final start became his transcendent win in the Breeders' Cup Classic.

For perspective, 2017's Derby winner, Always Dreaming, ran only twice at two and was a maiden going into the chase. He needed and got a win in the Florida Derby to set the stage for his Kentucky win. He was the first since Brokers Tip in 1933 to take the Roses without a win at two. While he ran and lost in the Preakness, Belmont, Jim Dandy and Travers, he was found to have ulcers. He's been training for an undetermined 2018 debut.

This all comes up because Saturday is Fountain of Youth Stakes Day at Gulfstream Park. This direct prep to the Florida Derby signals that the Road to the Roses is really open now. Time to pay attention.

But what's this we see?

Good Magic, the Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner on the hinky Del Mar course in November - and that's a factor to me - is favored at 7-5. He ran three times last year and not yet at all in 2018. It looks like all he'll have is this one and the Florida Derby going into Louisville. For this race, we really don't have any idea who he is.

Second favorite is Strike Power at 4-1. He's looked very strong with wins in both of his two races. Free Drop Billy, 9-2, has the most foundation in this race with five races at two and a second in the Holy Bull a month ago. What a throwback!

It's easy to see we'll never have the volume of the old days to help with handicapping. I would say it hurts the game, but the overlords don't see it that way. Derby weekend and the Breeders' Cup are doing landmark handle. The owners run their animals relatively little and make the big bucks in the breeding shed.

But it's still tough to spot trends and tendencies, gauge a 3-year-old's development. The Kentucky Derby itself is of little help. Most of the time, it takes until after the Triple Crown races are in the books.

Horseplayers don't have inconsequential mock drafts, it's cash on the barrelhead, one minute to post. Whodoya like? And you'll have your answer in about two minutes. No combines or mandatory voluntaries.

Yes, it's a lot of pressure. It's made me wonder if I really do have a problem.

Not the 1-800-GAMBLING kind. More of the bet construction, parlay kind, staying power over a full card.

Off the insurance grid, I talked to my primary account wagering provider. She told me I could find all the support I need, just the skill tools it will take to put me in a better place, from this guy.

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Thomas Chambers is our man on the rail. He welcomes your comments.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:03 PM | Permalink

The [Thursday] Papers

Today's political commentary:

Note: Bill Daley is Chris Kennedy's finance chair.

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Of course, I want change too - my kind of change!

What these candidates are really selling isn't change at all, of course. It would be lot more honest if they just said, "I pretty much like things the way they are! Just a few tweaks, put a personal stamp on things. For example, I like birds! So more money for bird stuff."

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There are a few candidates - incumbents, more like - who have run on the status quo. Richard M. Daley ran on "More Daley Stuff!"

In that sense, Rahm will run again on "More Rahm Stuff (But With More Pretend Listening)!"

Then again, Rahm has been running from Day One on a more technocratic and less hacky status quo shrouded in the rhetoric of change but substantively undifferent from what came before.

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Toni Preckwinkle is running for re-election on her record of competency, which actually makes her a change candidate given the history of the office.

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Aldermanic candidates and incumbents in Chicago don't run on change/same but on for mayor/against mayor, though which one they choose can depend on their sense of the voters' mood.

But for the most part, change (and its corollary, reform) has been in for a very long time. Democrats in some districts with the exact same records as Machine hacks wear the mantle of reform for branding purposes, and are often treated by the media as "good guy" pols, but they aren't substantively different from their hoarier colleagues.

Even Chuy Garcia put his arm around Luis Gutierrez, just as Preckwinkle continues to bless Joe Berrios and Barack Obama endorsed Daley (and in fact, the Machine candidate every single time over the reform candidate) and stocked his presidential administration with the likes of Rahm, Bill Daley and Combine Republican Ray LaHood.

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Even the incumbent Republican governor is running on a change platform. And so is his primary opponent!

The ballot is stocked with change candidates - every single one of 'em!

But that's not the same as a ballot stocked with real change. You're really choosing between Democratic and Republican versions of the status quo.

That's not to say there wouldn't be a real difference between, say, a Pritzker governorship and four more years of Bruce Rauner; there would be! Just like there'd be a real difference between a Hillary Clinton presidency and what we have now.

But, Donald Trump notwithstanding, the underlying structures don't tend to change, so we have the same narrow debates every election and the system is ultimately preserved.

To wit:

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That's not to say there hasn't been progress, though maybe not as much as we think:

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Perhaps what real change we have seen has come from the ground up, forcing "leaders" to give only as much ground as politically required.

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Possibly related:

Just add this to the list of inequities documented in recent years ("___ While Black" including walking).

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Also possibly related:

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Meanwhile . . .

Reminder: Jeff Bezos is the world's richest man. Chicago has offered Amazon more than $2 billion in taxpayer subsidies to locate their "second headquarters" here.

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And:

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Oh, and President Change needs a reported $175 million in taxpayer-funded roadwork for his "library" but refuses to sign a Community Benefits Agreement (while chuckling that rents will go up "a little" around Jackson Park but dislocated residents are out of luck because, oh well!).

And oh well again! One man's egoistic legacy project trumps public land.

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That huge O'Hare airport expansion? Just think if even a slice of that kind of dough was sunk into a South Suburban airport. Talk about a game-changer.

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That's enough for now. Methinks I hear an homage to Bob Stinson right out of the gate on today's Now Playing selection:

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On This Day In . . .

2015: The Beachwood Radio Hour #46: Explaining Chicago's Black Site.

Homan Square for Dummies.

THIS IS PRETTY GREAT, PEOPLE, GIVE IT A LISTEN!

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2016: Dear Hollywood: Chicago Investigations That Should Be Made Into Movies Ala Spotlight.

RATED F for FUNNY.

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ChicagoGram

COOL!

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ChicagoTube

Really cool stuff from the UIC Library's Special Collections.

WOW!

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BeachBook

Gibson's Failed Modernist Experiment: The Origins Of The Flying V.

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Google Blocks The Sex Pistols, Guns N' Roses.

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The Warriors' 70-Year-Old Truth Teller Is Former Bulls Assistant Coach Ron Adams.

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How Corporate America Is Artificially Suppressing Wages.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

So 43 percent remain unconvinced - and half of those are still hoping it's true.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Change agent.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:33 AM | Permalink

MUSIC - The Weekend In Chicago Rock.
TV - Larry Smith TV In Winthrop Harbor.
POLITICS - How You Can Help Border Families.
SPORTS - White Sox Not Who You Think They Are.

BOOKS - Demystifying The Big House.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - The Acoustic Cool Breeze Pot Head Test.


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