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« February 2017 | Main | April 2017 »

March 31, 2017

The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #146: Chicago Mirages

Don't believe the March Mirotic. Plus: The Bullshit Bears; Something About The Blackhawks' Gas Pedal; The Cubs' Smug Factor; White Sox Not Even Good At Being Secondary; The Chicago Fire Now World Cup Contenders; and NCAA Tourney Notes.


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SHOW NOTES

* 146.

1:12: The Mirotic Mirage.

* Do not be fooled.

* Hoiberg: The Worst.

* Bring on the Cavs!

8:42: The Bullshit Bears.

* Ryan Pace.

* John Fox.

* George McCaskey.

* Media apologists rebuild the narrative.

23:19: Something About The Blackhawks' Gas Pedal.

* Shoutout to the Jacksonville, Illinois, Buffalo Wild Wings.

* Conference finals or bust.

32:43: The Cubs' Smug Factor.

* Make it stop.

* The Cub Factor is over.

* The bullpen and the bench.

* Here's How Much More Expensive Being a Cubs Fan is in 2017.

* Let Harry Caray rest in peace.

* Ed Burke Urges Cubs Not To Create Their Own TV Network.

(See also: Ed Burke's Curious Quorum Question.)

54:32: White Sox Not Even Good At Being Secondary.

* SI Baseball Preview.

* Tyler Kepner's preview.

* Boo:

57:18: Chicago Fire Now World Cup Contender.

* See item No. 9.

1:01:44: NCAA Tourney Notes.

Plus:

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STOPPAGE: 3:02

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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 2:50 PM | Permalink

The 2017 Fantasy Fix Draft Guide, Pt. 4: 76-100!

The hour is growing late, and the Cubs are about to embark on their defense of the 2016 World Series Championship, so these are my final pre-season rankings. Two more Cubs herein, and even a pretty good Pale Hose hurler (though he'll probably be hurling elsewhere soon).

76) Billy Hamilton, OF, CIN; OF Rank: 25 - During the first half of last year, his value tanked as he couldn't get on to steal bases and was hit by injury, but he hit .293 with a .369 OBP after the All-Star break and ended the year with 58 SBs. No other value here, but maybe he's turned the corner.

77) Evan Longoria, 3B, TB; 3B Rank: 9 - Was sliding into insignificance before 2016, but somehow came up with a career-high 36 HRs and 81 total extra-base hits. 98 RBI was nice, too, though it's been years since he posted 100+ and isn't likely to as part of another cruddy Rays team.

78) Adam Jones, OF, BAL; OF Rank: 26 - Has never blossomed into the 30 HR/100 RBI/20 SB/.300 AVG, though he hit 29 HRs last year and hasn't hit fewer than 25 since 2010. Last year's .265 AVG was a career-low for a full season and injuries and age seem to have sapped his SB value.

79) Carlos Martinez, SP, STL; SP Rank: 18 - Seems like he's going to get a Cy Young at some point, and could be the bargain of the year at this rank if he starts off strong. Last year, he was 6-6 on May 31 after a crazy run of five straight wins followed by five straight losses, but went 10-3 the rest of the way. Just 25 years old.

80) Anthony Rendon, 3B, WAS; 3B Rank: 10 - Last year's 20 HRs, 85 RBI, 12 SBs, .270 AVG was close to - but not quite - the comeback season we expected after he missed 2015 with injury. Think he could be a 25/85/20/.290 player. Had a bit more value as a 2B/3B last year, but likely at 3B all this season.

81) Albert Pujols, 1B, LAA; 1B Rank: 15 - 37 years old, but has some buzz coming off a hot spring and surgery that supposedly fixed nagging foot problems. 31 HRs, 119 RBI last year makes him like a great bargain this late. No longer hits much for AVG, but we'll see if he keeps Father Time at bay.

82) Jonathan Lucroy, C/1B, TEX; C Rank: 4, 1B Rank 16 - A bit lost in his move from MIL to TEX last season was the fact of his career-high 24 HRs and catcher position-leading 81 RBI. Also, had .539 SLG and .885 OPS after he was shipped to TEX, and a pretty good spot to grab a top five fantasy catcher.

83) Jose Quintana, SP, WHITE SOX; SP Rank: 19 - The Sox's new ace for as long as he remains in town is a consistent, safe fantasy option to keep team ERA and WHIP in check. His sub-200Ks/season history and the fact of being on a rebuilding team limit his value, but c'mon, he's headed for Yankees, right? Right?

84) Cole Hamels, SP, TEX; SP Rank: 20 - Still flashes big fantasy outings from time to time, and is a borderline 200-K pitcher. WHIP and ERA have been mostly ticking upward for years, yet has had double-digit wins and 190+ Ks in eight of 11 seasons, so a set-him-and-forget-him fantasy rotation guy.

85) Masahiro Tanaka, SP, NYY; SP Rank: 21 - Still wondering if we've seen his best. While 2016 was easily the best and healthiest of his three-year MLB stint -14 wins, 165 strikeouts, 3.07 ERA, 1.08 WHIP - it seems like he's still feeling out MLB, and an improving NYY squad could help him win more.

86) Eric Hosmer, 1B, KC; 1B Rank: 17 - He's never had enough HRs to land among the top tier of 1Bs, but tried his best last year, tallying career-high 25 HRs, 104 RBI. But those numbers seemed to come at the expense AVG, which sank to .266, second-lowest mark of his career.

87) Julio Teheran, SP, ATL; SP Rank: 22 - Much in demand last year after three straight years of double-digit wins, he notched only seven for a bottom-feeding team. Ks have fallen slightly for three straight season to 167 last year, though 1.05 WHIP was a career-best. Lot of people still think he's got a big breakout coming.

88) Kenta Maeda, SP, LAD; SP Rank: 23 - 28-year-old rookie from Japan started well but finished 3-5 in final six weeks of the season before getting shelled in the postseason. Still, could be a big bargain here if he builds on 16 wins, and might be a 200-K starter he makes 200 IP (179 Ks in 176 IP last year.)

89) Willson Contreras, C/OF, CUBS; C Rank: 5, OF Rank: 27 - Sure, Schwarber is the No. 1 catcher on pure hype, but Contreras put up real numbers last year - 12 HRs, 35 RBI, .282 AVG, .845 OPS in 250 ABs - that translate well to a full season. Spring HR binge has fantasy owners salivating, but we'll see.

90) Gerrit Cole, SP, PIT; SP Rank: 24 - 19-win, 202-K campaign in 2015 made him a hot pick last year, but injury derailed hopes. Could certainly flash 2015 numbers again, but hard to rank him any higher right now after seven wins, 98 Ks and just 116 innings of work last year.

91) Wade Davis, RP, CUBS; RP Rank: 3 - Struggled at times during injury-shortened 2016, but managed 27 saves with a 1.87 ERA. The Cubs often played Screw the Closer last year by piling up big leads late in game, but expect Davis will get many more opportunities this year, and would peg him for 40-45 saves.

92) Zach Britton, RP, BAL; RP Rank: 4 - Now famous for remaining on the bench as his team lost the Wild Card game, he was 47-for-47 in save chances, with a 0.84 WHIP and ridiculous 0.54 ERA. Tough to repeat those stats, and BAL may not even get a chance to not use him in the postseason this year.

93) Edwin Diaz, RP, SEA; RP Rank: 5 - 18 saves last year in limited, mostly late-season action, but an attention-grabbing 88 Ks in 51 IP that make him seem like the next Kenley Jansen or Aroldis Chapman, which is a good thing for a closer to be.

94) Roberto Osuna, RP, TOR; RP Rank: 6 - He had 36 saves in 42 chances last year, which is not bad for a 21-year-old, or actually any closer. Probably needs fewer blown saves to break into the top five at closer. A 0.93 WHIP and 82 Ks in 74 IP are his other big numbers.

95) Aaron Sanchez, SP, TOR; SP Rank: 25 - 15-2 record in his first full year as a starter. His 3.00 ERA is pretty solid for the AL, while Ks figure of 161 in 193 IP is not so glitzy. Still, he was incredibly consistent for a young starter, and interested to see if he misses more bats this year.

96) Mark Trumbo, OF, BAL; OF Rank: 28 - How can the MLB HR leader be ranked this low? Despite 47 HRs last year, no real team wanted to sign him either, and he ended up back in BAL. Similar to big power/low average teammate Chris Davis, but without the 1B positional value.

97) Adrian Gonzalez, 1B, LAD; 1B Rank: 18 - Last year's 18 HRs and .784 OPS were career lows and even otherwise solid 90 RBI were his lowest since 2006. Not even smacking doubles like he used to with 31 last year, fewest since 2009. Yet, should still hit .280+ and we'll buy on likelihood of 100+ RBI.

98) Danny Duffy, SP, KC; SP Rank: 26 - Went from an end-of-rotation guy to the top with a career-best 12 wins and 188 Ks in 179 IP while lowering his WHIP from an ugly 1.39 in 2015 to 1.14. Not 100% sold he takes the next step to 15+ wins and 200 Ks, but could be a draft steal if he does.

99) Justin Turner, 3B, LAD; 3B Rank: 11 - Great waiver pick-up last year as he suddenly turned from a contact-hitting utility man to a power-hitting everyday player. 27 HRs, 90 RBI, though middling .275 AVG and coulda-been-better .832 OPS. Extra value as 1B/3B last year, but only looks like a 3B right now.

100) Dustin Pedroia, 2B, BOS; 2B Rank: 11 - The Little Engine That Could (c'mon, let's make that nickname happen) posted a .318 AVG on 201 hits, both highest since his 2008 MVP season, along with 15 HRs, 74 RBI, 105 runs and .825 OPS - all his highest marks in those fields since 2011.

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Previously:
* The 2017 Fantasy Fix Draft Guide, Pt. 1: Bryzzo!

* The 2017 Fantasy Fix Draft Guide, Pt. 2: Schwarbs!

* The 2017 Fantasy Fix Draft Guide, Pt. 3: The Professor!

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

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 1:56 PM | Permalink

The [Friday] Papers

"The leader of a Chicago-based environmental group said a 'perfect storm' of funding problems will force it to close for good on Friday," WBEZ reports.

"Over the past 16 years, Chicago Wilderness doled out more than $11 million in grants to nearly 200 conservation groups and businesses in Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan, said Chicago Wilderness Executive Director Suzanne Malec-McKenna.

"The funding went toward initiatives like protecting ecosystems around the southern shores of Lake Michigan to native plant and animal conservation."

Rauner's role: "The funding started to decline the last few years, Malec-McKenna said, largely thanks to Illinois' state budget woes that resulted in cuts to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources."

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Beachwood Photo Booth
Handicapped Milk Jug Zone.

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The Week In Chicago Rock
Featuring: They, Lil Debbie, Rec Riddles, Lucille Furs, RXM Reality, Unmanned Ship, Time, Crunchy, My Double Life, Movement, Senses Fail, Nails, Amorphis, Swallow The Sun, Hollyn, Richard Ashcroft, Eric Lindell, Cornmeal, and Bon Jovi.

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The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #146: Chicago Mirages
Don't believe the March Mirotic. Plus: The Bullshit Bears; Something About The Blackhawks' Gas Pedal; The Cubs' Smug Factor; White Sox Not Even Good At Being Secondary; The Chicago Fire Now World Cup Contenders; and NCAA Tourney Notes.

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BeachBook

Why Men Rape.

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Barton Gellman: Is The Trump White House Spying On The FBI?

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The Wrongest Profession.

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What Some Colleges Are Doing To Quietly Help The Undocumented.

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Did Northwestern Basketball Run Off Johnnie Vassar?

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Here's How Much More Expensive Being A Cubs Fan Is In 2017.

Ha ha, White Sox.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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Users created a lot of the most popular Twitter features, and really figured out how to make it useful. The company has just been along for the ride.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: We'll keep the lights on.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 1:39 AM | Permalink

Beachwood Photo Booth: Handicapped Milk Jug Zone

Parking lot series.

milkcarphotobooth.jpg(ENLARGE FOR PROPER VIEWING)

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More Chicago photography from Helene Smith.

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Helene on Twitter!

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Meet Helene!

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Stationery, iPhone cases, hoodies.

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

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Previously:
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Man Grilling
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Yum Yum Donuts
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Father's Day
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Vintage Airmaster
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Time
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Window Shade
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Illinois Slayer
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Fire Escape
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Golden Nugget
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Hollywood, Chicago
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Flag Man.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Van In Flames.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Fluid Power Automation.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Corn Dog.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Stop The Killing Car.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Backyard.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: A to Z Things.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Swedish Diner.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Rothschild Liquors.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Silos.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Wires.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Orange Garden.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Irving Park Guy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Pigeons.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: O'Lanagan's.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: For Rent.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Marie's Pizza & Liquors.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Mori Milk.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: American Breakfast.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: A Chicago Christmas Postcard.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Holiday Harold's.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Family Fun.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Snow Bike.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Nativity Scene.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Old Warsaw.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Deluxe Cleaners.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Marie's Golden Cue.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Die Another Day.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Sears Key Shop.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Window Dressing.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Jeri's Grill.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Barry's Drugs.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Liberty.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Kitchen.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Golden Specials.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: We Won The Cup.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bartender Man.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Blue Plane Blues.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Finest Quality.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Family Guy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Girls Wanted.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Skokie Savanna.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Signpost.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Old Man And The Tree.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Street Fleet.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Citgo Story.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Fantasy Hair Design.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Garage.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Clark Stop.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Pole Position.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Window Dressing.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Geometry.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Found Love.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Fill In The Blank.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Vacuums Of The Night.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Dumpster Still Life.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Wagon Master.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Intersecting West Rogers Park.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Penn-Dutchman Antiques.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Cow Patrol.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Backstage Chicago.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Skully Bungalow.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Francisco Frankenstein.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Long Cool Heat.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Smokers' Mast.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Big Fat Phone.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Happy Day.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Alley Men.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Holiday Show!
* Beachwood Photo Booth: You've Got Mailbox.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Broken Window Theory.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Dali Logan.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Svengoolie.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Horner Park Hot Dogs.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Cubs Rehab.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: 20th Century Schizoid Man.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Men On Vans.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Penn-Dutchman Is Done.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Snowy Lincoln.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Waiting Room.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Avondale Chicken.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Winter's End.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: The Friendly Skies.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Boyhood Buzzer Beater.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: J Date.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: International Window Lady.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Shanghai Inn.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Open For Business.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Andersonville Unplugged.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: 3-Flat.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Evanston Turkey.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicagolandia.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Eat At Odge's.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Deitch Pharmacy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Sud-Z Bubble.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bands Wanted!
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Belmont Tavern.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Superheroic San Luis Freeze.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Evanston Oasis.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Lyndale Food & Jewelry.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Lincoln Tap.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Book Window.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Alco Dude.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Ballin Drugs.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Don't Worry, Be Cookie.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Four Trey.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: The Office.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: America From Inside The Golden Nugget In Ravenswood.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Cellphone Repair.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Boots 'N' Grill.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Sunrise Strip.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: At The Corner Of Glad And Happy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Uptown Autumn Night.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Diner.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Mid-Century Modern Halloween.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Autumn Station Wagon.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Betty's & Nick's.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Ohio House Impact.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: End School Zone.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Portage Park Peek-A-Boo.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: South Side Sundown.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Susie's Drive-Thru.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Holiday Ham.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Food & Liquor, Milhouse.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: O'Hare Blue Line Man.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Schwing!
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Ad Deluxe.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Jesus At The Drive-In.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: The Tanks Of Avondale.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Conveyance Belt.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bonk.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Esquire In The Night.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Nick's Meat Market.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Keep Havin A Good Day.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Knock Knock.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Man At Marie's.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bonneville.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Logan Bags.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Stairwell.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Blue Velvet.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Court Is In Session.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: DLER ALKY.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Railyards Rush Hour.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Stop Killing People.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: America, Summer 2016, Part 1.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Greystone Chicago.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: You Are Beautiful.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Auto Part Overlords.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bearground.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: America, Summer 2016, Part 2.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Skyway Sculpture.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: The Dome Car.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Hello, St. Joe.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Revolution Books.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Driveway.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Proceed To Checkout.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Summer Ghost.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Daily Double.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: We Are Moving.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: America, Summer 2016, Part 3.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Sunny Day Tap.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Ashland & Pawn.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Party Store.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Donuts.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: AAA Sales.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: House Rule.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Butcher Boy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Endorsement.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: American Ghost.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: I Voted.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Pink(ish) Cadillac.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Stuffed With Sadness.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Air.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Economy Heating.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Season's Greetings.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: American Housemates.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: We Have Fresh Goat.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bartcam.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Gaslight.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Urban Wheat.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Embassy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Lincoln's Cozy Corner.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Old Glory.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bowling Night.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Red Lion, Red Hots.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: House Sitting.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: A Jukebox Is Not A Democracy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Descending Darkly.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:55 AM | Permalink

March 30, 2017

The [Thursday] Papers

Let's interact with the news.

1. The Jesus And Mary Chain: 'Pop Is Dreadful. Switch On A Radio, I Guarantee It'll Be Garbage.'

I always hate seeing this familiar refrain, as if what gets played on the radio hasn't mostly been garbage for decades. That's never where the best music is found. It sucks, but it's true. If only the complainers in the industry would do something about it, like buy a chain of radio stations or put some dollars behind efforts like our local CHIRP Radio, which is pretty excellent. We could five more stations like it in the market - if we should even care about over-the-air radio anymore. (CHIRP is planning to launch terrestrially at 107.1FM sometime this year.)

2. Greatest Rise In Heroin Use Was Among White People, Study Says.

Therefore, we should have empathy with these addicts, and treat them medically, instead of angrily punishing them criminally like we do black people.

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I don't deny the rising use of heroin, but I'm also a bit immune to (and skeptical) of media coverage thereof, because I've been reading about it for so long it's hard to discern the proper context. I worked on a Newsweek cover story about heroin in the 1990s - this one? - and I worked hard interviewing a cross-section of recovering users, including a suburban plumber, for example, amidst pledges from the editors, which I passed on to my subjects, that we wouldn't do the "heroin chic" thing, and instead were making a sincere effort at understanding the issue.

Then the editors did the heroin chic thing. Every reporter knows that sick feeling in their stomach when their bosses have sold them - and their subjects - out.

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Long a media favorite: "Heroin Plague, Newsweek, 5 July 1971. This article criticizes, but takes part in the media frenzy resulting from the spread of the heroin plague out of black neighborhoods and into white suburbs."

3. Michael Irvin investigated in sex battery case

I can't help but be reminded of my national scoop on a Michael Irvin sexual assault allegation. My chief reporting tool was knowing how to work a bar:

4. This one's too easy, but here we go: But there are plenty of bad times, and this is one of them.

Plus, I find it hard to believe Soldier Field's capacity (whose fault is that?) is preventing the McCaskeys from making a profit.

5. Chicago Light Overhaul To Cost Double That Of New York's.

I really don't know if that's meaningful because the story doesn't dig into City Hall's explanation. But I do know this is meaningful:

"The mayor also said the four-year switch to 270,000 energy efficient LED lights will be managed by city's transportation department, not the privatized infrastructure trust he once touted as central to innovative public works plans . . .

The infrastructure trust, which has had the lighting overhaul on its to do list since 2013, acted as a procurement manager for the project and helped the city select Massachusetts based Ameresco as the lead contractor. The deal still requires City Council approval.

That role for the infrastructure trust is far different - and reduced - from how Emanuel proclaimed it would be when he launched the initiative 2012 with former President Bill Clinton by his side.

Hailing the trust back then as a model of out-of-the-box thinking, Emanuel said it would find innovative ways to attract private investors to pay for infrastructure projects. The idea was to free taxpayers from cost and risk.

Instead, as the Better Government Association has reported, the street lighting project will be financed with city bonds and other public financing - the traditional way of paying for infrastructure.

Leslie Darling, the trust's executive director, said at a press conference Tuesday that the trust helps the city "do major initiatives that wouldn't be possible otherwise."

Name one.

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See also:

* BGA: Trust Or Bust? Emanuel's 'Breakout' Infrastructure Plan Delivers Little.

* BR: The [Infrastructure Bank] Papers (Or, Smells Like Teen Parking Meters).

* BR: Infrastructure Bank Critics Have A New Villain And His Name Is Joe "Proco" Moreno.

* BR Item (2013): Rahm's Trust Is A Bust.

And so on. Peruse the Beachwood archives at your leisure.

6. Proposed Museum Wants To Use Sports As 'Bait' For Learning.

"Lapides wants a site for the museum fairly accessible for tourists staying downtown."

What was I just saying?

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For a Chicago magazine article in the oughts suggesting a to-do list for Mayor Richard M. Daley, I including an item called "Build Comiskeyville," and I'm almost certain I included locating a Chicago baseball museum there, I'm just too tired to dig out the print piece right now to confirm my memory; it's not on the Web.

7. Biggs: As Content As Bears Sound With QB Situation, They Must Draft One.

"We're going to draft the best players available, wherever that may be," Pace said. "And if it's a quarterback, it's a quarterback. But we're going to take the best players available. Right now, I like the way Sanchez blends with Glennon and with Connor."

I know I'm hardly the first or only one to make this complaint, but really? Who kidnapped the Ryan Pace who came here saying his philosophy was to draft a quarterback every year, and who is the guy banking on Mike Glennon, Mark Sanchez and Connor Shaw?

8. So The Last Two Years Haven't Been What He Thought They Would.

9. Which Chicago Reporter Asked This?

I couldn't find a name in any of the accounts I reviewed (the question got international play). We sure protect our own. (And apparently it was the first question out of the gate.)

UPDATE: Awful Announcing identifies the reporter as Derek Henkle of AFP, who is possibly also an engineer at WGN?

10. Media Slims Down: Publishers Are Building Audiences In Discrete Verticals.

This has been what I've preached from day one; the only problem now is how many vertical/niche opportunities are being missed - particularly by newspapers - from lack of imagination. I've still got about a dozen in my back pocket that I couldn't find funding/partners for - and some of them are pretty killer, I'll go to my grave saying!

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Whistling past graveyards.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:07 AM | Permalink

March 29, 2017

Better Locker Rooms: It's Not Just A Transgender Thing

Several cases working their way through the legal system have placed a national spotlight on the issue of transgender access to bathrooms.

While some states have taken steps to allow access based on gender identity, many are considering legislation that restricts bathroom use by the sex assigned at birth.

Most of these court cases also apply to student-athlete access to locker rooms and question schools' obligations to provide appropriate facilities as well as the rights transgender athletes have to access these facilities.

The result has been considerable debate over how to accommodate the needs of transgender athletes. As researchers who focus on diversity and inclusion in sport, we see significant changes in the ways trans athletes are treated and believe there are pragmatic solutions available that will serve all athletes.

The Changing Landscape Of Trans Athletes

While legislative battles over transgender rights have been focused on school bathrooms, the issue of transgender rights in the entire sporting world is not a new one. Changes at higher levels indicate a shifting, more trans-inclusive sport landscape.

The International Olympic Committee, which for a long time was recognized as having one of the most exclusionary policies in sport, recently made some influential and groundbreaking changes. The old policy allowed transgender Olympians to participate only if they had transitioned via sex reassignment surgery, had completed at least two years of hormone therapy and could provide legal documentation of their transition.

In November 2015 (just two months before the Rio Olympics) the IOC changed course. Finding the previous trans policy to be unsupported by scientific evidence and recognized as excluding - rather than including - trans athletes, the committee revised it: Trans men (athletes assigned female sex at birth and who identify as a man) can compete without restriction. Trans women (athletes assigned male sex at birth and who identify as a woman) can compete as long as they have testosterone levels below a certain threshold.

The IOC is not alone in shifting to a more trans-inclusive approach. The NCAA implemented a new policy in 2011. At colleges and universities across the United States, trans women can now compete against other women as long as they have had at least one year of hormone treatment.

Interestingly, it's in the context of high school athletics where trans athlete policies vary the most. The majority of state high school athletic associations permit athletes to compete according to their gender identities.

A handful, however, have more restrictive policies than the IOC or NCAA. In these cases, transgender students are often prevented from competing in the category that matches their gender identity. One such state is Texas, where a 17-year-old transgender boy, Mack Beggs, recently won the high school state championship in girls' wrestling, as he was required to compete based on the sex listed on his birth certificate.

beggs.jpgMack Beggs/AP

Locker Rooms And Facilities

As with policies governing their participation in high school sports, policies influencing trans athletes' use of locker rooms vary considerably by state - and even by school. In some cases, trans athletes may be restricted to use facilities congruent with their sex assigned at birth. In other cases, they're restricted to separate facilities specifically for them.

To illustrate, consider the case of a high school in Palatine, Illinois. There, a transgender female athlete was permitted to play on girls' teams, but she was excluded from the girls' locker room. The locker room contained private changing areas that the student intended to use. Nevertheless, she was forced to use a private changing area located in another part of the building. The Department of Education found this exclusion to violate the student's civil rights and eventually reached an agreement with the school district that now permits the student to access the girls' locker room.

Why Does It Matter?

Specialized, private facilities can magnify the potential for isolation. In the now-infamous case of Gavin Grimm, he was asked to use a retrofitted broom closet and nurse's restroom because he was a transgender student.

grimm.jpgCalvin Grimm/Steve Helber, AP

In such cases, the transgender students may internalize the message of their unequal worth. Such isolation also physically separates trans athletes from much of the bonding and planning that goes on among teammates in a locker room.

It is not just transgender students who are affected. All others are privy to these cues. When this happens, observers are likely to adopt views that transgender persons are lesser than their peers.

The Best Option: Inclusive Locker Rooms

A more inclusive option is to allow all athletes to access facilities - including locker rooms - that are consistent with their gender identities.

Two objections, however, are sometimes raised to gender-inclusive locker rooms: safety and privacy.

Arguments around safety are sometimes expressed as a concern that transgender individuals themselves are a threat to cisgender female users of the locker room. Other times, it's fear of the alleged risk posed by non-transgender men - the belief that men may take advantage of the inclusive policy to enter the girls' locker room without restriction.

Neither of these concerns, however, has any empirical basis. The latter, in fact, reflects an illogical presumption that a sign on the door keeps criminals out of locker rooms.

Privacy, on the other hand, is a relevant consideration, but not a reason to exclude transgender athletes from gender-appropriate locker rooms. Rather, privacy is a concern for many students faced with the prospect of communal showers and large undifferentiated changing areas. It would seem that most individuals - irrespective of their gender identity and expression - don't want to change in the open or bathe in gang showers.

gangshowers.jpgGenerally disliked/Wikimedia Commons, I. Sacek

To alleviate the discomfort that all students - transgender and cisgender alike - might experience in such settings, as new schools are built, new locker rooms across the country are being designed with privacy in mind, with individual showers and changing areas available for any student. Meanwhile, existing locker rooms can be effectively and inexpensively retrofitted with privacy screens, as was done at several schools in New York.

Many institutions and sport governing bodies recognize this as best practice that promotes not only the inclusion of transgender athletes, but any athlete with a preference for modesty.

The national governing body for collegiate intramural and recreation offers guidance that addresses both transgender athlete needs and the needs of all students:

"Transgender student-athletes should be able to use the locker room, shower, and toilet facilities in accordance with the student's gender identity. Every locker room should have some private, enclosed changing areas, showers, and toilets for use by any athlete who desires them."

Given the problems associated with open locker room concepts, the answer for better services, privacy, and trans inclusion all revolve around better locker room spaces.

The Answer: Inclusive Principles For All Athletes

It's possible that the courts will soon clarify the obligation of education institutions to accommodate transgender students' use of segregated facilities. Regardless of the outcome, sport associations in the educational context and beyond can, and in our view should, continue to lead the way toward more inclusive practices and spaces for all athletes.

George B. Cunningham is a professor of sport management and director of the Laboratory for Diversity in Sport at Texas A&M University . Erin E. Buzuvis is a law professor and the director of the Center for Gender & Sexuality Studies at Western New England University. This article was originally published on The Conversation.

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Comments welcome.

The Conversation

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 4:04 AM | Permalink

The [Wednesday] Papers

The key excerpt from the Metropolitan Planning Council's The Cost of Segregation, which is getting a fair amount of media buzz:

Chicago's present-day segregation did not occur overnight and it was not a process that occurred "naturally." Private and public policies and programs built our divides: Restrictive housing covenants. Urban renewal. Redlining. Predatory lending and the massive foreclosures that followed. Illegal discrimination against housing voucher holders. It is not merely by chance that public school quality closely follows the racial composition of the student body, or that after the housing bubble, property values have recovered or even risen in well-to-do, largely white communities while they remain well below for much the South and West sides of Chicago.

It didn't occur naturally, and it won't be solved naturally.

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Overlay this report with those of the Police Accountability Task Force, the U.S. Department of Justice investigation into the Chicago Police Department, and every map of Chicago illustrating socioeconomic well-being, public health issues, poverty, violence, school closings, mortality, economic development and neighborhood vitality, and you see Chicago, and America, for what it is: Cruel and ultimately indifferent.

To which I say to our political and civic leaders: Where's the plan?

Resolving the city's segregation and inequities should be front and center of every decision City Hall makes, embedded in policy, not just in its own bucket stuck in a corner to be touched upon from time to time, mostly when politically necessary. It should touch every policy, because in Chicago, every policy touches upon the whole stinking mess.

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Oh, here's one:

"Mayor Rahm Emanuel's administration 'did not appropriately account' for more than $4.5 million in fees collected from developers to build affordable housing, but is refusing to replenish the fund, the city's inspector general concluded Tuesday," the Sun-Times reports.

Click through to see the mayor spin and pivot.

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I'm reminded of a college paper I wrote for an honors ethics course about my then-girlfriend's father, who worked at a community bank. Besides his regular duties, he was the one who injected ethics into every policy the bank adopted. That fascinated me. It was simply a matter of asking who would be impacted by each policy and how, and then determining if what was at hand was the right thing to do, not just from the standpoint of the bank's profits or convenience, but from the standpoint of the community. It was simply a matter of introducing that question into the discussion, and it turned out it wasn't that hard to do. It was simply the right thing to do. I admired him greatly, and still do.

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Perhaps the plan could have included a blues museum and a Star Wars museum in Bronzeville, as I've written, the Peotone airport, and a better idea for the U.S. Steel site.

Certainly it wouldn't have included Rahm's mass closings of schools, mostly in poor black neighborhoods.

Sorry, I'm not impressed with the number of construction cranes downtown, or our return on VC investment.

None of that is going to change the equation.

We need a plan, threaded through everything the city does.

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Personal Notes

Sorry for the self-indulgence, but I need a confidence boost right now. Plus, fun. And I need to do some career-type boosting every once in awhile, which comes as you scroll down.

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By the way, selfish neighbors and hyper-permitted parking played a role. Won't tell the story here now, but someday, when the pain finally recedes. I loved that car.

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Want more? Wait for the book. (Anyone want to offer me a book deal - with an advance?)

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As I Was Saying, Most Of What People Believe Isn't True.

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Memories: Me And Becky Carroll.

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Journalistic Integrity.

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My Old Press Box Columns For Chicago Magazine.

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Better Locker Rooms
It's not just a transgender thing.

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BeachBook

Taxpayers Pay Millions In Bonuses To Outgoing Lottery Firm's Staff.

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Lottery Manager Still On Job After Firing.

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Case Against Couple Accused Of $45 Million Health Care Fraud And Keeping Indentured Servant Fizzles.

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The Reclusive Hedge-Fund Tycoon Behind The Trump Presidency.

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Panic Spreads In Iraq, Syria As Record Numbers Of Civilians Are Killed In U.S. Air Strikes.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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Yup. Reminds me that sources close to the Beachwood said comments were being overvalued when the new media boom hit, and those sources, namely, me, were right. And yet, engage, engage, engage. Most people don't have more time to give to the news; working on delivering news more efficiently and respectfully of that was always a central problem in the business. Should every citizen make more time for the news? Certainly. But demanding - begging - more and more of readers' time is not the way to do it, unless you are satisfied with readers who have too much time on their hands and many axes to grind. Engagement has to be woven into the threads of the news - ProPublica (yes, disclosure, I've applied for a job at ProPublica Illinois) has found innovative ways to do that, with great intelligence and respect. But only in niche subject areas with experts, hobbyists or other highly interested parties are digital exchanges productive, and that almost always excludes politics.

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Try engaging with this:

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Systems engaged.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:43 AM | Permalink

March 28, 2017

The [Tuesday] Papers

"The tradition of Chicago City Council members enjoying near-complete control over property zoning questions within their wards took a hit Monday when a powerful Southwest Side alderman stepped in to at least temporarily halt a project favored by a colleague in a Northwest Side neighborhood," the Tribune reports (notebook item, because not as important as artificial news about a fake, meaningless prediction; scroll down).

"Ald. John Arena, 45th, was ushering through the Zoning Committee a controversial plan to rezone a parcel in Jefferson Park for construction of a self-storage facility."

That in itself is a bizarre move by Ed Burke, the alderman who stepped in to halt the project, but here's what particularly caught my eye:

Dozens of people had spoken against the idea over several hours - and a smaller group in favor of it - when 14th Ward Ald. Edward Burke abruptly took the unusual step of asking whether a majority of the committee's 18 members were on hand. When a head count revealed just seven aldermen still in chambers, Burke said that lack of a quorum meant the body couldn't consider the proposal. The committee adjourned, leaving the measure in limbo at least until next month.

That's never stopped the city council before, as shown in this award-winning investigative report that we published nine years ago.

And yet:

Burke insisted he called for a quorum because the high level of resident interest deserved a majority of committee members on hand to hear it, and because he had questions about whether Arena followed the proper steps when settling a lawsuit about the property with the developer.

"Our rules say we have to have a quorum, and so be it," Burke said after the hearing, though council committees routinely take votes with fewer than half their members on hand. "There apparently is a huge amount of interest in this, so shouldn't we operate under our rules if there is this much interest?"

That's never stopped you before, Alderman. And operating by the rules isn't optional depending on how many people show interest, unless I missed that part in the Illinois Open Meetings Act and the City Council's Rules of Order.

Chicago Spangled Spanier
"The man who ran Penn State amid allegations that assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was molesting young boys may now face jail time," CNN reports.

"Former Penn State President Graham Spanier was found guilty Friday of one misdemeanor count of endangering the welfare of a child. No date has yet been set for Spanier's sentencing. His conviction carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine."

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Here's a roundup of Spanier's Chicago background - he grew up on the South Side and got his Ph.D at Northwestern - written at a time when I thought it was being ignored by the local press (not sure if they ever caught up or just weren't interested).

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The Not Ready For Prime Time Players
Rich dudes running for governor. And some pretending not to be.

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"Please don't put your dirty stamp of approval on me even though I desperately want every inch of support you can give me."

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Predatory Policy
I'm old enough to remember when surge pricing was called gouging.

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The Museum Blues
To follow up on Monday's lead item about the new blues museum coming to the Loop, I submit these final two paragaphs from the Tribune's account:

While some may contend that the more fitting location for such a museum would be in the city's African-American neighborhoods, Beauchamp said having it downtown is proper.

"The South Side or the West Side are definitely the rootland," he said. "That's where it happened. But you want the place to be centrally located, absolutely. The blues is so central to Chicago culture."

Being central to Chicago culture - in the past, not now - doesn't demand a central geographic location in any way. It's a museum - you'd think being located in the "rootland" would be part of the experience.

Certainly we have plenty of institutions central to Chicago's culture that aren't located downtown (start with the Museum of Science and Industry and go from there). A blues museum sure would look nice next to, oh, let's say a jazz museum and even a Star Wars museum in Bronzeville, or even on the still unbelievably undeveloped U.S. Steel site.

Locating every attraction downtown only serves to deepen the city's inequities, and to deprive our neediest neighborhoods of the investment opportunities besides currency exchanges and liquor stores they so desperately need.

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Knowing Which Way The Wind Blows
As a follow-up to Monday's item "Don't Need A Weatherman," our very own Tim Willette submits this from Slate for your approval:

Last month, a new survey of members of the American Meteorological Society confirmed as much. It turns out that just about an equal percentage of meteorologists accept that human activity is the primary cause climate change (67 percent) as the general public (65 percent, from the similarly worded Gallup poll) . . .

Another reason for the low acceptance rates may have to do with who AMS members actually are. One thing they're not is all formally educated meteorologists - they're involved in a variety of weather-related fields (like local emergency management or teaching high school science).

Just 32 percent of respondents held a bachelor's degree or greater in meteorology, and only 37 percent considered themselves experts in climate science.

And meteorology degrees may not even help, as they typically do not require coursework in climate change science - though of course that shouldn't stop meteorologists and weather communicators from accepting the consensus of their more rigorously climate science-focused colleagues.

Additionally, respondents also skewed older (62 percent over age 50) and strongly male (82 percent), roughly in line with AMS membership. Previous surveys have shown that's also the demographic most likely to be skeptical of mainstream climate science, partly because of a bias known as the "white male effect" - the group is less risk averse than the general public.

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Immigrants Deported Under Obama Share Stories Of Terror And Rights Violations
"Meeting some of the people affected by home raids then can help us understand how people are being targeted today."

See also:

* Bill Clinton Laid The Groundwork For Trump's Ugly Immigration Policies.

* Memo Reveals Rahm Emanuel Advised President Clinton To Achieve 'Record Deportations.'

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The Weekend In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Super Sonic Space Rebels, Regina Spektor, The Evictions, Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band, Lonely Trailer, Southern Soul Assembly, Al Stewart, Alina Baraz, Dan Andriano, View of Destruction, UFO, Tantric, Saxon, Puddle of Mudd, Jim Messina, Andrew McMahon, Railroad Earth, and The Great Ache.

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Call Out For The Cub Factor
Folks, Marty Gangler will not be able to write The Cub Factor column this season. If interested, let me know.

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Call Out For LTR
Folks, I'm single again (it was complicated). If interested, let me know.

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BeachBook

AP Classes Are A Scam.

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Urban Homesteaders Win Cancellation Of Bogus Trademarks.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

Is anything true anymore?

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Noted.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 4:09 AM | Permalink

March 27, 2017

The Weekend In Chicago Rock

You shoulda been there.

1. Super Sonic Space Rebels at Quenchers on Saturday night.


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2. Regina Spektor at the Chicago Theatre on Friday night.

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3. The Evictions at Reggies on Thursday night.

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4. Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band at Reggies on Friday night.

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5. Lonely Trailer at Township on Saturday night.

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6. Southern Soul Assembly at Thalia Hall on Friday night.

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7. Al Stewart at City Winery on Thursday night.

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8. Alina Baraz at Lincoln Hall on Thursday night.

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9. Dan Andriano at Subterranean on Saturday night.

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10. View of Destruction at Martyrs on Saturday night.

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11. UFO at the Arcada in St. Charles on Saturday night.

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12. Saxon at the Arcada in St. Charles on Saturday night.

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13. Tantric at the Arcada in St. Charles on Friday night.

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14. Puddle of Mudd at the Arcada in St. Charles on Friday night.

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15. Jim Messina at City Winery on Sunday night.

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16. Andrew McMahon at the House of Blues on Friday night.

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17. Railroad Earth at the Vic on Saturday night.

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18. The Great Ache at Moe's Tavern on Friday night.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:37 PM | Permalink

The [Monday] Papers

"Chicago blues will soon have a downtown museum dedicated to telling its story. The Chicago Blues Experience, a privately run, 50,000-square-foot facility, is slated to open in spring 2019 near Millennium Park," Crain's reports.

Not to be too obvious, but shouldn't the museum be in, oh, say, Bronzeville, where it might spur some economic development in a neighborhood that needs it, not to mention closer to its roots - perhaps a walking tour could be included. Nobody ever learns, the city suffers, and people scratch their heads at the seemingly unsolvable problems we have that are eminently solvable.

Or am I missing something?

Don't Need A Weatherman
"When the temperature in Chicago hit 70 degrees in February this year, meteorologists were having a ball," Jake Smith reports for WBEZ.

"It just keeps getting better and better!" exclaimed Steve Baskerville of CBS Chicago.

But when Curious Citizen Mark Mesle saw all that sun in the forecast, he had mixed feelings. "It was a beautiful day and I went to the park," he admits. "But I also just genuinely worry. I have a 2 ½ - and a 4 ½ -year-old [child]. And it scares the hell out of me in terms of, what's this going to be like in 2050? Are they going to be OK?"

In other words, the unseasonably warm weather had Mark thinking about climate change. But those meteorologists he saw on the news weren't mentioning it - which Mark (who runs a website that encourages people to contact their local meteorologists about climate change) saw as a missed opportunity.

"Few people I know can name a climate scientist in Chicago, but almost everybody knows Tom Skilling, or their local meteorologist. And they have credibility," he said.

So WBEZ asked six local meteorologists if they were talking about climate change on the air, and if not, why not. What an excellent idea!

Sadly, only one meteorologist - Skilling - cooperated.

Of the other five, "Two of them declined to talk about the politically-charged issue on-the-record, and three more ignored our calls and e-mails."

My only complaint is that WBEZ didn't name those five. I can't for the life of me understand why you wouldn't hold them to account the way we do other, non-media public figures.

But click through and read what Skilling said - I'm certain you'll find it instructive in several ways.

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Call Out For The Cub Factor
Folks, Marty Gangler will not be able to write The Cub Factor column this season. If interested, let me know.

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Call Out For LTR
Folks, I'm single again (it was complicated). If interested, let me know.

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From the Beachwood Sports Desk . . .

TrackNotes: On Saturday, We Saw 'The Greatest Horse Since Secretariat'
A horse, and a race, of a lifetime.

The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #145: The Butt Fumble Bears
Lake Forest, Loserville. Plus: The Butt Fumble Bulls; Jerry Krause Was Right; Blackhawks Grinding Against Bad Teams; The Charmed Life Of Clean-Living Kris Bryant; Cubs Playing Match Game With Starters; Joe Maddon's World Series Managing Even Worse Than We Thought; Contracting Tim Anderson; Fire Get Schweinsteiger; A Team To Root For; and UIC's Tiny Dance.

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BeachBook
A sampling.

And Now A Few Words On Behalf Of The Worst Writer In Chicago.

I added some additional commentary in the Facebook comments.

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Don't Fight Lies With Lies.

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Chicagoans Take Triple Hit On Old Wrigley Factory, Courtesy Of Ald. Patrick Daley Thompson.

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Chicago Cops Who Escaped Punishment For Serious Wrongdoing Because Officials Lost Track Of Their Cases.

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White Sox Prospect Yoan Moncada Eats Up to 85 Twinkies A Week.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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Read the comments, replies and documentary evidence offered under the tweet, please.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Last resort.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 8:15 AM | Permalink

Immigrants Deported Under Obama Share Stories Of Terror And Rights Violations

Although it is difficult to get exact numbers, some estimates show Immigration and Customs Enforcement home raids have never resulted in more than 30,000 apprehensions in any given year. At that rate, it could take 366 years for immigration agents to remove all 11 million undocumented migrants using home raids.

I contend immigration raids are not intended to deport large numbers of people. Instead, my research has shown that they are primarily effective in spreading fear among immigrants.

On Jan. 25, President Donald Trump issued an executive order promising to increase the number of ICE agents from 5,000 to 15,000. If enacted, this expansion could increase the number of these apprehensions to 90,000 a year.

The ICE agents who conduct home raids are charged with detaining and deporting criminal aliens and fugitive aliens. A fugitive alien is a noncitizen who failed to appear in immigration court. A criminal alien is any noncitizen convicted of a crime. In many cases, these raids result in the detention and sometimes deportation of immigrants who are neither criminal nor fugitive aliens - these are what ICE calls "collateral arrests."

When Barack Obama took office in 2009, immigration home raids were commonplace. Over the course of the Obama administration, ICE agents gradually began to exercise more discretion. Importantly, they stopped making collateral arrests.

During the first two years of the Obama administration, I interviewed 147 people who had been deported. The current wave of raids under the Trump administration hearken back to that time. Meeting some of the people affected by home raids then can help us understand how people are being targeted today.

Melvin: Criminal Alien

Melvin moved to the United States in 1986, when he was 18 years old. He came to join his father, who had left him in Guatemala when he was a small child.

(Melvin, like the other names used in this piece, is a pseudonym. The University of California ethical guidelines require me to protect the identity of deportees I interviewed.)

Melvin apprenticed in the flooring business and eventually opened up his own shop. After a decade, he was bringing in $15,000 a month and he, his wife and their two children lived comfortably in northern Virginia.

Melvin had run into trouble with the law in 1995, when he was charged with involuntary manslaughter and hit-and-run after he hit a dead body on the highway. He said he drove away because he was scared - a decision he acknowledges was poor. The manslaughter charge was dropped when forensics revealed the body was already dead when Melvin ran over it, but Melvin still served a year for the hit-and-run.

In 2005, immigration agents arrived at Melvin's door. Melvin was reading a book to his son when his wife answered the door. Melvin explained what happened next:

"They actually had to pull a gun on her because she was getting aggressive and, said 'So, you're gonna leave me with my kids here? He's the head of the house. You're gonna take him? . . . They said, 'I'm sorry. We're just doing our job.'"

A legal permanent resident of the United States, Melvin spent $15,000 on legal representation, but to no avail: He served several months in immigration detention, and then ICE sent him back to Guatemala. His wife and children sold everything and joined him.

Unfortunately, the upheaval involved in moving to a new country put stress on their marriage. After about a year-and-a-half, they divorced, and Melvin's wife came back to the U.S. with the kids. She works in a gas station and lives with her mother now, a far cry from the five-bedroom home she and Melvin once shared.

Vern: Fugitive Alien

In 1991, when he was 20, Vern left Guatemala for the United States, where he applied for political asylum. Back home, he had received death threats for attempting to organize a union. The Immigration and Naturalization Service issued him a work permit while his case was being processed, and he began to work in a frozen food plant in Ohio.

He married a Honduran woman, Maria, who was also applying for political asylum. They received work permits every year for seven years, which allowed them to continue working legally. Their first child was born in 1996.

In 1998, Vern received a notice from the Immigration and Naturalization Service stating that he should leave the United States - his asylum application had been denied. Vern was devastated. He had established a life in the United States, and he had few ties to Guatemala. He decided to stay, in the hope that his wife's application would be approved and she could apply to legalize his status. They had another child.

Vern did everything he could to avoid problems with the police - he never drank and followed the law at all times. He learned English and tried to blend in as much as possible.

One Sunday morning, as the family was preparing for church, Vern heard a loud knock at the door.

"They called from outside: 'Maria Lopez, this is immigration. We need to talk to you.' Maria didn't have nothing to fear, so she went down. They asked, 'Does your husband live here?'

When Vern appeared, ICE agents handcuffed him and put him in their car. His wife and two children were devastated as they watched Vern being taken away. Because Vern had already been ordered deported, he was not given the opportunity to explain to a judge why he had not followed his deportation order. Eight days later, Vern was deported to Guatemala.

Maria had to figure out how to get by with her minimum-wage job. Vern had to learn to readjust to Guatemala City - which he had left 18 years earlier.

Maximo: Collateral Arrest

A Dominican citizen who lived in Puerto Rico, Maximo shared an apartment in San Juan with two other men - a Venezuelan and a Puerto Rican. One morning in 2010, they heard banging on the door. Maximo tried to sleep through it, but the banging got louder. Finally, he got up to answer the door.

Just before he reached the door, the people knocking decided to break it down. Maximo found himself surrounded by several armed officers, some wearing "ICE" jackets. The agents didn't indicate that they had a warrant for the arrest of a specific person. Instead, they demanded to see all occupants of the house, pointed guns at them and ordered them to sit on the floor. When they asked Maximo for identification, he gave them his Dominican passport. They asked if he was in the country illegally, and he said he was.

Maximo was arrested and taken to an immigration detention center. He signed a voluntary departure form and was deported to Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic two days later. A voluntary departure allowed Maximo to be deported quickly. He could have asked for an immigration hearing, but he would have had to spend months in detention awaiting his hearing, and his chances of gaining legalization were slim.

Although Maximo was undocumented, he had constitutional rights against unreasonable search and seizure, and those rights were violated. Law enforcement agents have the authority to break down your door if they have a search warrant and you do not open the door. However, immigration agents almost never have search warrants. The warrants they secure are administrative warrants that do not permit them to enter houses without the consent of the occupants.

Home raids tend to happen early in the morning to ensure the targets are home. In many cases, this means that these raids happen when the whole family is home and children have to watch their parent forcibly removed from the home. In some cases, these children will never see their parent again.

I believe these raids are an ineffective means of immigration law enforcement, yet are effective at spreading fear and tearing families apart.

Tanya Golash-Boza is a professor at the University of California-Merced. This article was originally published on The Conversation.

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Previously:

* Immigration Raids Send Chill Through Little Village.

* This Is What A Deportation Raid Is Like.

* Illinois Immigrant, Labor, Legal Leaders Condemn ICE Raids.

* Chicago Activists Tell Undocumented Immigrants Not To Open Their Doors.

* A Shameful Round-Up Of Refugees.

* U.S. Government Deporting Central American Migrants To Their Deaths.

* Tell President Obama To Stop Deporting Refugees.

* Immigrants Arrested In U.S. Raids Say They Were Misled On Right To Counsel.

* Obama Planning Huge Deportation Sweep Of Immigrant Families.

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Comments welcome.

The Conversation

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:11 AM | Permalink

March 26, 2017

TrackNotes: On Saturday, We Saw 'The Greatest Horse Since Secretariat'

Man o' War, the original Big Red, is considered one of, if not the, greatest Thoroughbred race horses who ever lived.

You'll get a thoughtful debate by fans of the other Big Red, Secretariat, with one advantage being that there are still people alive who saw Secretariat.

We cry that horses don't run enough over too few years, but Man o' War himself never raced past three years old. He won 20, lost one, famously, to Upset. Man o' War, carrying 15 more pounds, zigged, Upset zagged, and the race was pretty much over. Fifty more yards, however . . .

We still vicariously enjoy Man o' War these days through Tiznow, a direct descendant and one of today's best sires. And we can pop in the DVD any time we want to enjoy Seabiscuit, with the climactic match race with War Admiral, Man o' War's son and a great sire himself. The circular tidiness of this all is most satisfying.

As if they could, our jaws gaped that much more Saturday, when race announcer Terry Spargo, in the runout, declared "We are seeing the Man o' War of the 21st century!"

On Saturday, Arrogate, in one of the most important races on the planet, ran the 10 furlongs of a lifetime in the Dubai World Cup at the magnificent Meydan Race Course. Group I, $10 million purse, $6 million to the winner. The son of Unbridled's Song, out of the Distorted Humor mare Bubbler, is now the richest race horse ever at more than $17 million, current or past dollars be damned.

A race by any horse in any lifetime. And how happy it is to say, our lifetime.

His race life? That's what sets you right down on your britches. Because without being greedy, we don't know what his future holds. Only he does, if they let him, and he's not saying.

Nose down coming out of the saddling shed, it looked like shyness, but he was protecting himself. He seemed to know, to be able to look down and away from the noise and the crowd and the buzz and the deafening hush that people, race fans, at Meydan and all around the world threw at him. Think he doesn't understand when people act differently when he walks into the room? SHHH, there he is, in loud and quiet voices.

All we do, rather foolishly, if you think about it, is project, divine the feelings and thoughts of the horse. But as much as he could, he told us yesterday what he was thinking.

These horses are very intelligent, so I'm thinking they just want to keep it simple: Let me run. And in this race, the biggest of them all, for money he doesn't understand even though money is a huge reason why they race, he was smart and neat and tidy, minutes later having to do all of the filthy, dirty, nasty work he had to do to win.

Arrogate was magnificent.

His jockey, Hall of Famer Mike Smith, his guardian, if you will, who got here knowing these things, said as much. "He gets better (at the pre-race)."

This was no la-di-da. He had a horrible trip, starting immediately in the first and second steps out, where races can be and are almost always lost.

"He's used to having a gate human (in the starting gate chute) and he didn't see one. He was looking all around," Smith said. Welcome to racing in a foreign land. No lead ponies, unless you beg for one, and no gate attendants.

The 9 horse, he didn't stumble, not unaware or anything, he just didn't launch. Keen, but not in a bad way, he's above that, Arrogate tried to make up for it right away and was immediately pinched, bumped mere steps out of the gate. He quickly was last in the field.

Smith, what were you thinking? This is where races, no matter who you ride, are lost.

Having ridden so many great ones, and aren't we lucky to have seen it, Smith channeled the lady.

"I missed the break completely," Smith said. "I said, 'I'm just going to ride him like Zenyatta. I had no choice but to just sit there and let him collect himself."

Zenyatta, one loss ever, consecutive wins in the same atmosphere as Citation, was an amazon of a filly and mare, who took furlongs to build up her planetary momentum. She loved last place, got going, got them in the final hundred yards, or better sometimes.

On the backstretch, Arrogate was clear, but six or seven lanes outside. He probably ran the equivalent of an extra furlong.

Chicken, egg. Smith was relaxed and Arrogate was relaxed and Smith . . .

Finally in his element on the turn, don't blink, because Arrogate inhaled several as he made his move. "There he goes!" I'll tell you I yelled. Reminiscent of Secretariat's move in the first turn of the Preakness.

You just knew, right then, the race was over. The track just disked back to normal after a day of rain, Arrogate worked his damned way into the stretch where, in his last step on the turn and his first step in the stretch, he was bumped again. Just a nuisance to him, straight ahead focus, job at hand.

Gun Runner, who would have needed 10 furlongs of Arrogate calamity to win this one, was going strong, primed for this race. Any other race without this horse, Gun Runner wins. He gave it everything.

Freedom, Arrogate just absolutely poured on the coals two-plus lengths.

Bob Baffert, who nearly died in Dubai after a heart attack in 2012, is a changed man who understands, and appreciates, better than he did before. Once steely, now he savors.

He was incredulous, flabbergasted, right alongside us all.

"I was thinking, 'Maybe I shouldn't have brought him. Maybe he's getting tired.' . . . I thought, 'If he can't win, Mike will take care of him and not abuse him.'"

The silver-maned cool dude, eyes as big as saucers, was at once speechless, but also tripping to describe it.

"I thought then, 'If he wins this race, he's the most incredible horse I've ever seen,'" he said.

This from a man who trained American Pharoah and so many others. Had already won this race twice, with Silver Charm in 1998 and Captain Steve three years later.

His entire life passing in front of his eyes, and with the utmost respect for 'Pharoah, Baffert went there.

"He's the greatest horse since Secretariat."

Pausing to realize what he just had said, knowing what it meant, Baffert, with the wonderment we all had, blurted to the interviewer and all who could hear, "Can you believe he won that race??!!"

He was on our level, my level. Fandom. Just watch and enjoy it. In the end, that's all we can do.

On one hand, it's simple. Arrogate is just plain damned fast. With all of his trouble, he ran this race in 2:02-1/5. Pretty cool for 11 furlongs, oops, this was a 10-furlong race. He annihilated the Travers and Saratoga record last summer. The boy can run. And that's something in any league.

But there's more. He seems to know one thing: win. But he can do it in the most creative ways. Smith said he geared him down at one point, letting him gather himself.

Many, many horses at that point would have given up. Or worse, their riders would have given up. Smith let Arrogate tell him what he wanted to do, what he had left. Big Boy and Little Man. They listened to each other. You could see it.

In the head-on shot coming down the final 350 meters, Arrogate looked only ahead, straight ahead.

I know I've waxed many times here, for good reason. You're nothing if not sincere, and I won't take any of it back.

But Arrogate's and Smith's and Baffert's performances Saturday made it a race for the ages.

It's all right there, forever.

He was the 9 horse. Watch it as many times as it takes to see what they did.

You'll enjoy it, I promise.

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Tom Chambers is our man on the rail. He welcomes your comments.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 4:34 PM | Permalink

March 25, 2017

The Week In Chicago Rock

You shoulda been there.

1. Monsieur Perine at Thalia Hall on Wednesday night.


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2. The Sonics at Reggies on Thursday night.

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3. Subele at the Emporium on Sunday night.

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4. Carnifex at Bottom Lounge on Wednesday night.

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5. Moose Blood at Bottom Lounge on Tuesday night.

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6. Jason Letkiewicz at the Empty Bottle on Sunday night.

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7. Bebe Rexha at the Metro on Monday night.

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8. George Thorogood at the Arcada in St. Charles.

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9. October Bird of Death at Quenchers on Wednesday night.

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10. Duck Brown at the Emporium on Sunday night.

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11. When We Was Kids at the Cubby Bear on Thursday night.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 6:00 AM | Permalink

March 24, 2017

The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #145: The Butt Fumble Bears

Lake Forest, Loserville. Plus: The Butt Fumble Bulls; Jerry Krause Was Right; Blackhawks Grinding Against Bad Teams; The Charmed Life Of Clean-Living Kris Bryant; Cubs Playing Match Game With Starters; Joe Maddon's World Series Managing Even Worse Than We Thought; Contracting Tim Anderson; Fire Get Schweinsteiger; A Team To Root For; and UIC's Tiny Dance.


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SHOW NOTES

* 145.

:40: Lake Forest, Loserville.

* What's Happening With Colin Kaepernick?

8:18: The Butt Fumble Bulls.

9:07: Organizations Do Win Championships.

Ofman: Jerry Krause Was Right.

13:00: Blackhawks Grinding Against Bad Teams.

* Corey Crawford Stands On Head To Steal One.

15:37: The Charmed Life Of Clean-Living Kris Bryant.

24:35: Cubs Playing Match Game With Starters.

27:44: Joe Maddon's World Series Managing Even Worse Than We Thought.

31:40: Contracting Tim Anderson.

35:42: Fire Get Schweinsteiger.

* A Fire Rescue Plan.

45:05: A Team To Root For.

47:09: UIC's Tiny Dance.

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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 5:17 PM | Permalink

The [Friday] Papers

Passages from the latest interview of the greatest artist of all time:

"I was born in Duluth - industrial town, ship yards, ore docks, grain elevators, mainline train yards, switching yards. It's on the banks of Lake Superior, built on granite rock. Lot of fog horns, sailors, loggers, storms, blizzards. My mom says there were food shortages, food rationing, hardly any gas, electricity cutting off - everything metal in your house you gave to the war effort. It was a dark place, even in the light of day - curfews, gloomy, lonely, all that sort of stuff - we lived there till I was about five, till the end of the war."

*

"Rock and roll was indeed an extension of what was going on - the big swinging bands - Ray Noble, Will Bradley, Glenn Miller, I listened to that music before I heard Elvis Presley. But rock and roll was high energy, explosive and cut down. It was skeleton music, came out of the darkness and rode in on the atom bomb and the artists were star headed like mystical Gods. Rhythm and blues, country and western, bluegrass and gospel were always there - but it was compartmentalized - it was great but it wasn't dangerous. Rock and roll was a dangerous weapon, chrome plated, it exploded like the speed of light, it reflected the times, especially the presence of the atomic bomb which had preceded it by several years. Back then people feared the end of time. The big showdown between capitalism and communism was on the horizon. Rock and roll made you oblivious to the fear, busted down the barriers that race and religion, ideologies put up. We lived under a death cloud; the air was radioactive. There was no tomorrow, any day it could all be over, life was cheap. That was the feeling at the time and I'm not exaggerating. Doo-wop was the counterpart to rock and roll. Songs like 'In the Still of the Night,' 'Earth Angel,' 'Thousand Miles Away,' those songs balanced things out, they were heartfelt and melancholy for a world that didn't seem to have a heart. The doo-wop groups might have been an extension, too, of the Ink Spots and gospel music, but it didn't matter; that was brand new too. Groups like the Five Satins and the Meadowlarks seemed to be singing from some imaginary street corner down the block. Jerry Lee Lewis came in like a streaking comet from some far away galaxy. Rock and roll was atomic powered, all zoom and doom. It didn't seem like an extension of anything but it probably was."

*

"From 1970 till now there's been about 50 years, seems more like 50 million. That was a wall of time that separates the old from the new and a lot can get lost in this kind of time. Entire industries go, lifestyles change, corporations kill towns, new laws replace old ones, group interests triumph over individual ones, poor people themselves have become a commodity. Musical influences too - they get swallowed up, get absorbed into newer things or they fall by the wayside. I don't think you need to feel bummed out though, or that it's out of your clutches - you can still find what you're looking for if you follow the trail back. It could be right there where you left it - anything is possible. Trouble is, you can't bring it back with you, you have to stay right there with it. I think that is what nostalgia is all about."

*

"I'm sure it has, there's always some precedent - most everything is a knockoff of something else. You could have some monstrous vision, or a perplexing idea that you can't quite get down, can't handle the theme. But then you'll see a newspaper clipping or a billboard sign, or a paragraph from an old Dickens novel, or you'll hear some line from another song, or something you might overhear somebody say just might be something in your mind that you didn't know you remembered. That will give you the point of approach and specific details. It's like you're sleepwalking, not searching or seeking; things are transmitted to you. It's as if you were looking at something far off and now you're standing in the middle of it. Once you get the idea, everything you see, read, taste or smell becomes an allusion to it. It's the art of transforming things. You don't really serve art, art serves you and it's only an expression of life anyway; it's not real life. It's tricky, you have to have the right touch and integrity or you could end up with something stupid. Michelangelo's statue of David is not the real David. Some people never get this and they're left outside in the dark. Try to create something original, you're in for a surprise."

*

"Minnesota has its own Mason Dixon line. I come from the north and that's different from southern Minnesota; if you're there you could be in Iowa or Georgia. Up north the weather is more extreme - frostbite in the winter, mosquito-ridden in the summer, no air conditioning when I grew up, steam heat in the winter and you had to wear a lot of clothes when you went outdoors. Your blood gets thick. It's the land of 10,000 lakes - lot of hunting and fishing. Indian country, Ojibwe, Chippewa, Lakota, birch trees, open pit mines, bears and wolves - the air is raw. Southern Minnesota is farming country, wheat fields and hay stacks, lots of corn fields, horses and milk cows. In the north it's more hardscrabble. It's a rugged environment - people lead simple lives, but they lead simple lives in other parts of the country too. People are pretty much the same wherever you go. There is good and bad in most people, doesn't matter what state you live in. Some people are more self-sufficient than other places - some more secure, some less secure - some people mind their own business, some don't."

*

"I was traveling down a different path and already my consciousness had been recast. I had heard Lenny Bruce and Lord Buckley and had read Ginsberg and Kerouac, so I had a heightened sense of being. I was hanging out with a different crowd too, more stimulating and free-spirited - real live poets, rebel girls, folk singers - it was a self-ruling world, aloof and detached from the mainstream. I had been bailed out of the past and had broke free, I wasn't going to go back to that other place with button down shirts and crew cuts for anyone or anything. "

*

"Because of the pressure to conform."

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Beachwood Photo Booth: Descending Darkly
Something wicked this way comes.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Passages.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 7:18 AM | Permalink

Beachwood Photo Booth: Descending Darkly

Something wicked this way comes.

20170320_211620_resized.jpg(ENLARGE FOR PROPER VIEWING. Protip: Then click again.)

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More Chicago photography from Helene Smith.

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Helene on Twitter!

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Meet Helene!

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Stationery, iPhone cases, hoodies.

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

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Previously:
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Man Grilling
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Yum Yum Donuts
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Father's Day
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Vintage Airmaster
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Time
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Window Shade
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Illinois Slayer
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Fire Escape
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Golden Nugget
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Hollywood, Chicago
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Flag Man.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Van In Flames.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Fluid Power Automation.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Corn Dog.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Stop The Killing Car.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Backyard.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: A to Z Things.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Swedish Diner.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Rothschild Liquors.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Silos.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Wires.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Orange Garden.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Irving Park Guy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Pigeons.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: O'Lanagan's.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: For Rent.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Marie's Pizza & Liquors.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Mori Milk.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: American Breakfast.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: A Chicago Christmas Postcard.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Holiday Harold's.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Family Fun.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Snow Bike.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Nativity Scene.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Old Warsaw.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Deluxe Cleaners.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Marie's Golden Cue.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Die Another Day.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Sears Key Shop.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Window Dressing.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Jeri's Grill.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Barry's Drugs.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Liberty.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Kitchen.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Golden Specials.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: We Won The Cup.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bartender Man.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Blue Plane Blues.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Finest Quality.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Family Guy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Girls Wanted.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Skokie Savanna.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Signpost.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Old Man And The Tree.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Street Fleet.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Citgo Story.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Fantasy Hair Design.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Garage.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Clark Stop.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Pole Position.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Window Dressing.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Geometry.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Found Love.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Fill In The Blank.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Vacuums Of The Night.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Dumpster Still Life.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Wagon Master.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Intersecting West Rogers Park.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Penn-Dutchman Antiques.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Cow Patrol.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Backstage Chicago.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Skully Bungalow.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Francisco Frankenstein.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Long Cool Heat.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Smokers' Mast.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Big Fat Phone.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Happy Day.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Alley Men.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Holiday Show!
* Beachwood Photo Booth: You've Got Mailbox.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Broken Window Theory.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Dali Logan.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Svengoolie.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Horner Park Hot Dogs.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Cubs Rehab.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: 20th Century Schizoid Man.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Men On Vans.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Penn-Dutchman Is Done.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Snowy Lincoln.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Waiting Room.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Avondale Chicken.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Winter's End.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: The Friendly Skies.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Boyhood Buzzer Beater.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: J Date.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: International Window Lady.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Shanghai Inn.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Open For Business.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Andersonville Unplugged.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: 3-Flat.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Evanston Turkey.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicagolandia.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Eat At Odge's.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Deitch Pharmacy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Sud-Z Bubble.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bands Wanted!
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Belmont Tavern.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Superheroic San Luis Freeze.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Evanston Oasis.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Lyndale Food & Jewelry.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Lincoln Tap.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Book Window.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Alco Dude.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Ballin Drugs.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Don't Worry, Be Cookie.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Four Trey.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: The Office.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: America From Inside The Golden Nugget In Ravenswood.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Cellphone Repair.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Boots 'N' Grill.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Sunrise Strip.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: At The Corner Of Glad And Happy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Uptown Autumn Night.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Diner.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Mid-Century Modern Halloween.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Autumn Station Wagon.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Betty's & Nick's.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Ohio House Impact.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: End School Zone.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Portage Park Peek-A-Boo.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: South Side Sundown.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Susie's Drive-Thru.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Holiday Ham.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Food & Liquor, Milhouse.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: O'Hare Blue Line Man.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Schwing!
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Ad Deluxe.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Jesus At The Drive-In.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: The Tanks Of Avondale.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Conveyance Belt.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bonk.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Esquire In The Night.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Nick's Meat Market.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Keep Havin A Good Day.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Knock Knock.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Man At Marie's.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bonneville.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Logan Bags.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Stairwell.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Blue Velvet.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Court Is In Session.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: DLER ALKY.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Railyards Rush Hour.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Stop Killing People.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: America, Summer 2016, Part 1.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Greystone Chicago.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: You Are Beautiful.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Auto Part Overlords.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bearground.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: America, Summer 2016, Part 2.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Skyway Sculpture.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: The Dome Car.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Hello, St. Joe.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Revolution Books.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Driveway.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Proceed To Checkout.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Summer Ghost.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Daily Double.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: We Are Moving.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: America, Summer 2016, Part 3.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Sunny Day Tap.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Ashland & Pawn.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Party Store.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Donuts.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: AAA Sales.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: House Rule.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Butcher Boy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Endorsement.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: American Ghost.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: I Voted.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Pink(ish) Cadillac.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Stuffed With Sadness.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Air.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Economy Heating.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Season's Greetings.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: American Housemates.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: We Have Fresh Goat.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bartcam.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Gaslight.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Urban Wheat.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Embassy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Lincoln's Cozy Corner.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Old Glory.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bowling Night.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Red Lion, Red Hots.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: House Sitting.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: A Jukebox Is Not A Democracy.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 2:31 AM | Permalink

March 23, 2017

The [Thursday] Papers

The point of an anecdotal lead is to give a human, or specific, example that people can relate to as a way to explain an overall trend without starting your story with a bunch of cold, dry stats.

The anecdotal lead so often goes astray, however, when instead of the describing the typical, it describes an extreme, an outlier. Or it describes something that has nothing to do with the data at hand at all.

Such as this from the Tribune's "Chicago Area Leads U.S. In Population Loss, Sees Drop For 2nd Year In A Row:"

Patrice Bedford had never questioned raising her baby in Chicago.

But on a springtime stroll during the first trimester of her pregnancy last year, a heightened sense of smell - piqued by pungent neighborhood odors - made her view the city differently.

The city's expensive, she said. Public schools face an unfolding financial crisis and the violence is "terrifying and frightening" to a parent-to-be. It didn't take long for Bedford, 28, to realize it was time to pack up and leave her Roscoe Village home.

She, her husband and their son, now 6 weeks old, are preparing to move to Denver this summer.

"We've been to Colorado before and visited so many times, and just remembered how astonishingly clean and how fresh the air was and easy to breathe," said Bedford, who has lived in Chicago for five years. "I felt like I couldn't breathe anymore in the city."

There is no data as far as I can tell to support the notion that the Chicago area is experiencing dramatic population losses because of the way it smells or the lack of freshness in the air.

As far as the other reasons glanced over - the high cost of living, the ongoing crisis of CPS, crime - the data is unclear.

"Of the country's 10 largest cities, the Chicago metropolitan statistical area was the only one to drop in population between 2015 and 2016. The region, defined by the U.S. Census Bureau, includes the city and suburbs and extends into Wisconsin and Indiana," the Trib reports.

"Census data released Thursday suggests the root of the problem is in the city of Chicago and Cook County."

Fair enough. But this caught my eye:

"By most estimates, the Chicago area's population will continue to decline in the coming years. Over the past year, the Tribune surveyed dozens of former residents who've packed up in recent years and they cited a variety of reasons: high taxes, the state budget stalemate, crime, the unemployment rate and weather."

I'm not sure how many former residents equal "dozens" - why not just say the number? - but that's hardly statistically sound. And there's nothing we can do about the weather. (I'd also like to know where these former residents moved to, in order to compare taxes, crime and unemployment rates.)

Also, this:

"Experts say the pattern goes beyond just the Chicago region. For the third consecutive year, Illinois lost more residents than any other state in 2016, losing 37,508 people, according to U.S. census data released in December.

"Nearly all the cities that lost population in 2016 are located in the Midwest or northern parts of the country. Those cities, which are in smaller metropolitan areas, include St. Louis, Milwaukee and Pittsburgh.

"There's this big regional thing going on. It's not about what's wrong with Chicago - if anything, it's what's wrong with the Midwest or the Northeast," said Rob Paral, a Chicago-based demographer.

So it's not Chicago's ongoing problems with schools, crime and smelly air? Not according to the experts, just according to former residents with a wide range of reasons for leaving.

I'm not denying the trend of population loss around here, obviously. I'm just trying to understand the reasons beyond my own intuition.

Maybe, then, this buried paragraph is important:

"Chicagoans are heading for the Sun Belt states - those with the country's warmest climates, like Texas, Arizona and Florida. During the years after the economic recession of the mid-2000s, migration to those states paused but started up again because warmer states in the South and West have affordable housing and better job opportunities."

Now, perhaps, we're getting somewhere - somewhere which makes the anecdotal lead used here even less relevant. Consider this from Bedford: "I don't even have a job yet or a place to live."

So the Trib reports that the migration to the Sun Belt is due to affordable housing and job opportunities, yet their seemingly affluent anecdotal matriarch doesn't even have a job or home where she's going.

It gets worse:

"The exodus to warmer states is led by the Chicago region's black population, in search of stable incomes and safe neighborhoods. More than 9,000 black residents left Cook County between 2014 and 2015.

"No group is leaving the county as much as they are," Paral said. "The loss of African-Americans is really a big factor."

This has been true for at least a decade, as I understand it, maybe longer.

And yet, the Bedfords? Though you can never really know, from their photo my guess is they consider themselves white.

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Chicagoetry
Ray Rayner & Friends.

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BeachBook

How Sears CEO Eddie Lampert Cashes In As Stores Cash Out.

See also: Saving Sears.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: 6/5.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 7:16 AM | Permalink

March 22, 2017

Chicagoetry: Ray Rayner & Friends

Ray Rayner & Friends

Somewhere in the back
Of my life

Is a small television studio-
Much smaller than it appears
On the air-

Where the infinite world
Of a children's program
Runs continuously.

I believe all of us
Has a studio like it: with a Captain,
A Sargent, a Mister, even

A Soupy, supervising
Cartoons, comedy and crafts
For kids.

My man was Ray,
First thing on weekday mornings
From WGN-TV ("2501 W.

Bradley Place,
Chicago, Illinois 60618").
In note-strewn coveralls

He read viewer mail
With a floppy-eared, golden dog,
Cuddly Dudley,

A puppet of course
But no less real for it.
Just ask Mrs. McGillicuddy!

Invisible Chauncey contributed
As well, with crafts
That Ray re-made so badly

We couldn't help but feel
We always did it better.
He had a pet duck, Chelveston,

That didn't seem to like him much,
Also known as
Chelveston Le Duke.

Chelveston would chill
In his tub while a hit song
Played.

Or Ray would mime along.
Alan Sherman was a specialty.
Once Ray, in Beatle wig, via

"Special effects" split into four

Identical images,
Mimed along to
"I Want to Hold Your Hand."

And the vulgar, violent,
Vibrant Warner Brothers cartoons,
Rife with adult references

I didn't care to get,
Including my first introduction
To the classic tune

"Blues in the Night."
Bugs is singing
To a buzzard that had

And Italian accent:
"My momma done told me
A buzzard is two-faced . . . "

Decades later
I finally got the reference.

Ray'd recap the
Baseball games with a
Double-billed hat,

Sox on one side,
Cubs on the other.
They'd run traffic reports

From Flying Officers Ed
And Irv to canned film footage
Of expressway traffic.

And let's don't forget
Visits to Lincoln Park Zoo
With Dr. Lester Fisher.

If you got up too early

A strange, somber man
Named Orion talked about
Hog futures and

Fertilizers. It was like
Stumbling into church or something,
Nothing funny about it.

You definitely wanted
To wait for Ray.
Somewhere in the back

Of my life
That program plays
Continuously,

And I bet
Everyone in my generation
Has that channel

Running on.
A peanut gallery,
A dancing bear,

A grouch who lives
In a garbage can.

A world unto itself,
To a great extent protected
From reality

Though not perfectly,
Like on Sesame Street
When Mr. Hooper

Died and they had
To explain death
To Big Bird,

Or when Ray's
Flying Officer Irv
Was killed when

His traffic copter crashed.
Somehow the adults
Helped us understand

To the extent possible.
Somewhere in the back
Of our lives

Some of the adults
Got together and used television to
Try to ease us into it,

Into the fact of each day,

Into the rituals
Of each season,
Into life itself,

Grown men and women
With a job to do,
A burden to bear,

A generation to raise.

I mean to salute them
Because for me it's still working,
Somewhere in the back

Of my life.

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

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More Tindall:

* Chicagoetry: The Book

* Ready To Rock: The Music

* Kindled Tindall: The Novel

* The Viral Video: The Match Game Dance

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 1:15 PM | Permalink

The [Wednesday] Papers

"Sears Holdings Corp. suffered its worst stock decline in six weeks after acknowledging 'substantial doubt' about its future, raising fresh concerns about whether a company that was once the world's largest retailer can survive," Bloomberg reports.

"Sears added so-called going-concern language to its latest annual report filing, suggesting that weak earnings have cast a pall on its ability to keep operating. The 131-year-old department-store chain, which has lost more than $10 billion in recent years, was cited last year by Fitch Ratings as a company at high risk of defaulting."

Not to make light of a disaster long in the making, but back in January, amidst discouraging Sears news, Beachwood Labs got to work on a recovery plan for a post that got lost in the shuffle. Here's that post now:

Saving Sears
The Sears death spiral continues.

"Sears Is Running Out Of Rotting Assets To Sell To Stay Alive," The Street reported over the weekend.

"Sears Is 'One Sick Puppy,' And There May Be No Remedy," Marketplace reports.

The company is a madhouse on the edge of bankruptcy, according to a devastating Business Insider account.

So Beachwood Labs is swinging into action. Our ideas for saving Sears:

* Whatever you do, don't sell Craftsman! Oops.

* Change the company's name to Yahoo!, a designation which should be available soon. Add another exclamation point to signify the company name's second life: Yahoo!!

* Start selling booze. For the working man. Working man's booze. Sears & Beers.

* Change the concept to Sears Americana: Where America Shopped. Each store would be a tribute to an imaginary past, marketed to the white working class. Expand the overall inventory - as in the inventory of overalls.

* Rename the company Marshall Field's.

* New celebrity endorsers like that Bruce Springsteen cover band that bailed out of Trump's inauguration.

Yeah, that's as far as we got.

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P.S.: Oh shit, we did this six years ago!

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Fantasy Fix Draft Guide Pt. 3: The Professor!
Guess who's No. 59?!

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TweetWood
A sampling.

He should know, they were at the same meeting.

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*

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Elementary.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 4:38 AM | Permalink

March 21, 2017

The 2017 Fantasy Fix Draft Guide, Pt. 3: The Professor!

We're getting so deep into this fantasy baseball draft list that there are closers in this set of rankings - well, ok, not until the very end. But still.

51) Wil Myers, 1B/OF, SD; 1B Rank: 9 OF Rank: 18 - Breakout 2016 with 28 HRs, 94 RBI, 28 SBs, 99 runs, so this potential 30/100/30/100 man could get drafted much higher, but .250s average and a tendency toward long slumps between hot streaks makes him feast or famine.

52) Adrian Beltre, 3B, TEX; 3B Rank: 6 - He'll turn 38 a few days into this season, but had nice visit to the Fountain of Youth last year, clocking 32 HRs, 104 RBI, his most in both categories since 2012. Stopped stealing long ago, but can still hit around .300.

53) Stephen Strasburg, SP, WAS; SP Rank: 12 - Injury-shortened season as usual, but still posted good numbers: 183 Ks/147 IP, .218 BAA and 1.10 WHIP (both his best since 2013) and stayed in the saddle long enough for 15 wins. Even just 175 IP should mean 200+ Ks.

54) Christian Yelich, OF, MIA; OF Rank: 19 - 21 HRs, 98 RBI, 9 SBs, .298 AVG. We expected fewer HRs, but more SBs. The AVG was spot-on, though he slumped late in the season. Like Myers above, a breakout 2016 means he could be off the table inside the top 50.

55) Gary Sanchez, C, NYY; C Rank: 2 - As with Schwarber, there's more hype than a proven track record, but I'm buying anyway. 20 of his 60 hits in 201 ABs were HRs, and 1.033 OPS. Yankee lineup is packed with young power, and he could be the best of the bunch.

56) Buster Posey, C/1B, SF; C Rank: 3, 1B Rank: 10 - .300+ AVG, .800+ OPS and 90 RBI potential always has made up for lack of HRs, so .288 AVG, .796 OPS, 80 RBI and career-low 14 GRs is concerning, but if you're not buying Schwarber/Sanchez hype, he's your man.

57) Todd Frazier, 1B/3B, WHITE SOX; 1B Rank: 11, 3B rank: 7 - Didn't take him long to take advantage of the Cell's HR-friendly aspects. 40 HRs, 98 RBI, 15 SBs would be worth more with an AVG higher than .225 and OPS north of .767, but good bet for 35-40 HRs again.

58) Andrew McCutchen, OF, PIT; OF Rank: 20 - Once very consistent and a top five fantasy guy just two year ago, he posted career lows in RBI, SBs and AVG. Final line of 24 HRs, 79 RBI, six SBs, .256 AVG doesn't sound bad, but SBs and AVG now down three straight seasons.

59) Kyle Hendricks, SP, CHI; SP Rank: 13 - 16 wins, 2.13 ERA and 0.98 WHIP of the champs. 170 Ks in 190 IPs lessen his fantasy value, as does likelihood of rest this year for the WS Game 7 starter, but he's still trending upward and could be a candidate to increase Ks per 9 IP.

60) Chris Archer, SP, TB; SP Rank: 14 - Want 225+ Ks guaranteed this late in the draft? Archer's done it two straight years, and will again if he banks 200 IPs. Ugly 9-19 record and career-worst 4.02 ERA are his baggage, but value would jump if he's traded to a better team.

61) Carlos Carrasco, SP, CLE; SP Rank: 15 - Tanking in the ranks as we speak with some spring arm soreness and possible DL trip to start season, but could reach 200 Ks even without 200 IP, and CLE is good enough to get him 15 wins even in just 20-25 starts.

62) David Price, SP, BOS; SP Rank: 16 - Very likely early season DL stint also has his value sinking. Postseason woes get attention, but has 225+ Ks, 15+ wins in three straight seasons, and another great BOS team will help him, but still unsure how long he'll be sidelined.

63) Chris Davis, 1B, BAL; 1B Rank: 12 - Like Frazier, a 40-HR threat with a sub-.230 AVG. His 38 HRs, 84 RBI, 99 runs and 88 walks provide some value, but Davis is less consistent week-to-week than Frazier and for now lacks the 1B/OF dual eligibility he had last season.

64) Jacob deGrom, SP, NYM; SP Rank: 17 - Struggled with injury last year, so people are leaving him on the draft board longer this spring, but in 2015 he struck out 205, with 14 wins, a 2.54 ERA, and most impressive, a 0.98 WHIP, and has looked 2015-ish in spring training so far.

65) Hanley Ramirez, 1B, BOS; 1B Rank: 13 - 147 games played was his most since 2009, so maybe not surprising he posted 30 HRs, his most since 2008, and 111 RBI, a career-high. Still wondering if we can trust him after so many lost seasons, but he seems to love life in BOS.

66) Ian Kinsler, 2B, DET; 2B Rank: 7 - 28 HRs and .831 OPS were both category-best since 2011. Can usually be counted on for 13-15 SBs and a .290 or so AVG, but we'll be surprised if he hits for that much power again. 20 HR/20 SB threat is there if you're an optimist.

67) Yoenis Cespedes, OF, NYM; OF Rank: 21 - 31 HRs, 86 RBI offered solid power value if you want those stats from your outfield, but came down a bit from his 35 HRs, 105 RBI in 2015. AVG dipped a little to .280, and lacks SBs, but a consistent power threat for sure.

68) Justin Upton, OF, DET; OF Rank: 22 - Another big power bat. Matched career high with 31 HRs last year, but 87 RBI, nine SBs show he's far from the 30/100/20 threat he once was. AVG slid to .246 last year, and also notoriously streaky with his HR production.

69) Khris Davis, OF, OAK; OF Rank: 23 - Yes, you can find a 40-HR threat this low on the list (and there's still at least one more to come). 42 HRs, 102 RBI built on power displayed when he previous sporadically in MIL, so it looks real. Take him now if your roster lacks HRs.

70) Matt Kemp, OF, ATL; OF Rank: 24 - Shipped out of SD, this notoriously slow starter had himself a year, with 35 HRs, 108 RBI, most since 2011, the year he lost the NL MVP to the drug-enhanced Ryan Braun. Maybe a repeat in order if ATL gives him RBI opportunities.

71) Jean Segura, 2B/SS, SEA; 2B Rank: 8, SS Rank: 8 - Dangerously low rank for 20 HRs, 33 SBs and .319 AVG. Revived his career hitting leadoff with ARI last season, but not sure he can do 20/30/.300 again, as ARI has a top-five hitter-friendly park, but SEA is in the bottom five.

72) Matt Carpenter, 1B/2B/3B, STL: 1B 14, Rank: 2B Rank: 9, 3B Rank: 8 - 21 HRs, 68 RBI, 81 runs were far drops from 2015 numbers, but he missed 33 games with injuries, and could prove a sneaky threat for 20+ HRs, 80+ RBI and 100 runs.

73) Dee Gordon, 2B, MIA: 2B Rank: 10 - Couldn't find consistency at the plate after PED suspension last year, yet still managed 30 SBs. He need to hit higher than last season's .268 to be the 50 SB threat he was before the suspension.

74) Kenley Jansen, RP, LAD; RP Rank: 1 - LAD is being picked by many to have the best regular season record in MLB this year. That means tons of opportunities for a guy who had 47 saves, 1.83 ERA, ridiculous 0.67 WHIP and even more ridiculous 104 Ks in just 68 IP.

75) Aroldis Chapman, RP, NYY: RP Rank: 2 - Can't say I'm high on him after he looked pretty tired in the postseason, yet Yankees will be good, he excelled in his brief earlier stretch with them, and has potential for 40+ saves, 100+ strikeouts, sub-2.00 ERA and sub-1.00 WHIP, making him a lock as a top three reliever.

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Previously:
* The 2017 Fantasy Fix Draft Guide, Pt. 1: Bryzzo!

* The 2017 Fantasy Fix Draft Guide, Part 2: Schwarbs!

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

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 3:35 PM | Permalink

March 20, 2017

SportsMonday: Hawks Hot As An Avalanche

The Hawks are as hot as hot can be. It's a wonder the ice at the United Center hasn't . . . oh, let's not do that. How about something along the lines of . . . they are as hot as a team in any sport can be after notching their 17th victory in their last 20 games Sunday over the Avalanche 6-3.

In so doing, the Hawks became the first team in the Western Conference to officially clinch a playoff spot. And they moved to seven points ahead of the suddenly ice cold - sorry - Minnesota Wild in the Central Division race, 99-92.

The Wild is also second in the race for overall home ice advantage in the conference. Next up is the race for overall home-ice advantage in the NHL, and there there is still work to be done. The Washington Capitals and Columbus Blue Jackets have both scored 100 atop the Eastern Conference.

At least we can have some fun with "Avalanche," can't we? Let's make it a fill in the blanks: the Hawks scored an . . . of goals in the second half of the third period, rallying from a 3-1 deficit by first scoring three goals in 34 seconds and then adding on two more in the final 10 minutes.

The Hawks have piled up a significant amount of goals this season but this was the first time they've scored five in a period, let alone in less than half a half period.

I have to figure the guys who were covering the game had their game lead all set as the teams skated through the motions of what looked like it would end up being a disappointing but far from crushing setback as the first half of the third period played out.

"It turns out the Hawks can't quite win them all . . . " they might have written, or "No matter how good the Hawks are, they won't beat even the worst of NHL teams if they don't play better then they did Sunday."

Then . . . look out skiers! The massive ridge of snow up the mountain just gave way! Scott Darling earned the win between the pipes despite a mediocre performance. He did manage a few big saves to not let the game get totally out of hand but Corey Crawford doesn't have anything to worry about as far as the lead goaltending job goes.

At the other end, the Hawks have so far weathered the storm and then some in the absence of Artem Anisimov, the center who is out of the lineup until at least the last week of the regular season with what appears to be a high ankle sprain. They have received a big boost from a rookie, John Hayden, who went from playing his fourth season for Yale earlier this year to scoring goals, making assists and playing physical hockey between Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane.

I'll bet he is feeling as though his life has worked out about as well as he could have hoped at this point. If the Hawks can keep this thing going like they are now for the next few months in pursuit of a fourth Stanley Cup since 2010, their fans will know how he feels.

Tourney Notes
There may have been some significant upsets during the second round, but the Power 5 conferences got exactly what they wanted over the weekend.

The Sweet 16 contains 15 teams from the B1G, Big 12, Pac 12, SEC, ACC and the Big East. And the Big East is an honorary Power 5 in basketball. In other words, all of the teams from the mid-major conferences have been eliminated except for one, and there is a sizable chance that the biggest and most profitable basketball programs will again take all the spots in the Final Four.

The selection committee had to know it couldn't completely screw West Coast Conference champ Gonzaga this year. Despite the team's lack of strength of schedule, which exists mostly because teams from the Power 5 won't schedule them, everyone knew the one-loss team was one of the best in the country and it was given one of the top four seeds.

Its path to the Final Four won't be easy - next round foe West Virginia is called Press Virginia because it is so good at full-court defense - but thank goodness the Zags give fans of something other than the sorry-assed status quo (if Kentucky faces North Carolina in the Final Four it is time for a boycott) something to root for.

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Jim "Coach" Coffman welcomes your comments.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:45 PM | Permalink

The Weekend In Chicago Rock

You shoulda been there.

1. The Revivalists at the Concord on Saturday night.


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2. Brian Johannesen at the Hideout on Friday night.

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3. Vince Staples at the Metro on Friday night.

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4. The Infamous Stringdusters at Park West on Friday night.

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5. Born of Osiris at the House of Blues on Sunday night.

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6. Volumes at House of Blues on Sunday night.

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7. Ex Okays at Chop Shop on Saturday night.

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8. ADT at Situations on Friday night.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 11:57 AM | Permalink

The [Monday] Papers

"You might have heard this one before," Lee Provost writes for the Ottawa, Illinois Times.

"Believe it or not, the South Suburban Airport may be closer to becoming a reality that anyone thought.

"At least according to U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly, who's congressional district includes the proposed site as well as the Kankakee area."

I wish I could believe. I have been a longtime supporter of the South Suburban Airport, more typically known as Peotone.

Just to kind of bookend my reasoning, in 2002 I wrote in a Chicago magazine article about Richard M. Daley that if he "were less concerned with hoarding political power and more concerned about the broader needs of the region, the airport mess would have been solved already. In 1986, a state study determined that Chicago would need a third airport by 2000. How right that study turned out to be."

In 2014, I wrote for Crain's how building Peotone could actually save lives. I still believe that.

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The Weekend In Chicago Rock
Featuring: The Revivalists, Brian Johannesen, Vince Staples, The Most Infamous Stringdusters, Born of Osiris, Volumes, ADT, and Ex Okays.

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From the Beachwood sports desk . . .

The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour
Northwestern Still Sucks. Plus: Directionless Bulls Now Also Wadeless; Bears Sign More Guys; Joe Trump?; Blackhawks Still Blackhawks; Chicago Fire On Fire; and The White Sox Are Still Boring No Matter What Coffman Says.

TrackNotes: Out Of Hiberation
Gigolo Nation.

The White Sox Report: Renteria's Record
Right man for the job?

SportsMonday: Hawks Hot As An Avalanche
Melting Georgia asphalt.

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BeachBook

The Secret Behind Shrinking Corned Beef.

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Alpine Valley Closed For Summer.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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I was asked, and I answered.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Us and them.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 11:28 AM | Permalink

March 19, 2017

Renteria's Record

According to Baseball Reference, there have been 698 major league managers, beginning (alphabetically) with Manny Acta and ending with Don Zimmer.

Of course, some only managed a game or two, such as White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper, who went 1-1 after Ozzie Guillen was fired with a couple of games remaining in 2011.

The dean was Connie Mack, who skippered the Philadelphia A's for 53 seasons and never got fired, which was understandable because he owned the ballclub.

Some men toil for years in the minor leagues awaiting a chance to lead a big-league team, while others, such as Guillen and the recently departed Robin Ventura, were knighted with one of the now-30 such jobs available without ever having managed previously.

Hall of Famer Earl Weaver spent 12 seasons managing in the minors before being promoted to the Orioles' head job in 1968, where he remained for 17 years, winning four pennants and one World Series.

Bobby Cox, fourth on the all-time list with 2,504 victories, managed for six seasons in the Yankees organization before assuming the reins of the Braves in 1978, the first of his 29 seasons as a big league manager.

Third on that list is Tony LaRussa (2,728), whom White Sox owner Bill Veeck hired mid-season in 1979 for what turned out to be a 33-year career in the dugout. Veeck, whose primary income derived from owning the White Sox, was losing money, and LaRussa, just 34 at the time, came cheap. Then again, Veeck, usually a shrewd judge of talent, no doubt recognized that LaRussa had the skill and intelligence to succeed.

Cleveland's Terry Francona, who came within a rain delay of winning a World Series last November, earned his chops in the White Sox organization, managing four seasons at South Bend (one) and Birmingham (three), where he did his damndest to turn Michael Jordan into a baseball player. After leading the Phillies for four seasons (1997-2000) and never finishing above .500, Francona took over the Red Sox in 2004 and won two World Series' in eight seasons.

All of which indicates that there are a few different paths to becoming a winning major league manager, a journey now facing new White Sox skipper Rick Renteria.

Renteria is cut from the Cox-Weaver-Francona mold, as opposed to a younger, inexperienced candidate. Similar to numerous major league managers, his playing career was nondescript, covering parts of five seasons in which he hit .237 as a utility player. He was traded or released six times.

At 55, Renteria has become a respected baseball lifer. He managed eight seasons in the minors in the Marlins and Padres systems, and in 2011 was bench coach in San Diego, the same job he had last season with the White Sox.

Perhaps his most impressive recommendation is that Theo Epstein hired Renteria to manage the Cubs in 2014. Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer had worked with Renteria when both were in San Diego, where Hoyer was the GM. Apparently Hoyer liked what he saw. Succeeding the sacrificial lamb, Dale Sveum, it seemed that Renteria was hired to steer the Cubs to the next level.

Nearing the end of their rebuilding mode in 2014, Renteria guided the Cubs to a 73-89 mark. Anthony Rizzo was the only regular on that club who remains a fixture on the North Side. Renteria's lineup included players like Chris Coghlan, Nate Schierholtz, and Darwin Barney as the organization awaited the development of prospects, free agent signings, and trades which eventually led the former Lovable Losers to the Promised Land.

Let's assume for a moment that Joe Maddon had not become available because of a glitch in his contract in Tampa. Epstein and Hoyer must have had more than a degree of confidence that Renteria could lead the Cubs to baseball's elite. We can only guess whether he would have done so. What we do know is that Renteria wouldn't have been hired by the Cubs' wonder boys if they didn't feel he was the man for the job.

As far as wins and losses are concerned, Renteria's minor league record - 539-583, a .480 percentage - doesn't merit a second look. But keep in mind that these were the Marlin and Padre organizations, not exactly famous for a plethora of post-season appearances.

Renteria managed mostly at low levels, such as Brevard County in the Florida State League and Lake Elsinore in the California State League.

Only in 2007 - his final year of minor league managing - did Renteria handle a Triple-A team, Pacific Coast League's Portland (OR) Beavers, who finished 28 games under .500.

However, winning championships is not necessarily the goal of minor league baseball. Developing players is, and in that regard, Renteria turned in a commendable job.

For instance, on each of his 2004 and 2005 Lake Elsinore teams, 10 prospects eventually appeared in major league games.

He managed future major leaguers Chase Headley and Nick Hundley in 2006, and at Portland, Maine in 2001, an astounding 23 of his players reached the show, including pitchers Josh Beckett - winner of 138 big league games - and Jason Grilli, each of whom became legitimate big league pitchers.

Also in Renteria's minor league resume is a connection to the 2005 world champion White Sox. Pablo Ozuna, the team's par excellence utility man, played on Renteria's Portland, Maine 2000 team, and Geoff Blum made a two-game rehab appearance at Lake Elsinore in 2005. A few weeks later at the trade deadline Blum was sent to the Sox, where his heroic 14th-inning home run gave the Sox the lead in Game 3 of the World Series.

One White Sox prospect, pitcher Carson Fulmer, provided insight into Renteria's leadership last Saturday. Fulmer wasn't impressed with some of the calls by the home plate umpire, and he let him know about it. Out came Renteria to support the kid, and the skip wound up spending the remainder of the game in the clubhouse.

"I definitely have a manager who respects us all and has our backs, and it just tells you a lot about who we have pushing us in the direction we want to be going," said Fulmer, who will probably start the season in Charlotte. "Our manager is here for us. He's a great guy that, like I said, respects all of us and you know we play for him as well. [T]here's a sense of security there having a manager that will do that for you. We all respect him for what he does on a daily basis."

Not to belabor the point, but that's a bit of a different message than the one coming from the clubhouse last spring upon the abrupt departure of Adam LaRoche. It's also about as far as you can get from the Chris Sale scissors episode last season.

Couple Fulmer's comments with the fact that Renteria can literally speak the Latin players' language, along with the new manager's experience mentoring young players and his apparent respect that he's earned from the lowest levels of minor league baseball to his seat in a major league dugout.

The Sox may not compete with the big boys this summer, but they seem to have the right man to lead them for now and into the future.

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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 7:02 PM | Permalink

March 17, 2017

TrackNotes: Out Of Hibernation

The other guys in the Beachwood Sports Department have been doing all the heavy lifting lately.

When large animals attack, like the Bears and Bulls, the crew has hunted down the angles. We heard about the joys of spring training, wait in the paddock for the Cubs and Sox, the Hawks seem on cruise control, we hope, and even the departure of Elena Delle Donne. Also, I really enjoyed watching the Lady Vikings of Geneva High School take the 2-A title in last-shot, total clutch, thrilling fashion in both the semis and the final.

We also saw some real drama in Wrigleyville, even before the first nacho cheese melt.

Thank goodness, I don't believe we've ever heard "Coming out of the (Bear)Cubs Den to pinch hit is . . . " They'll still be coming out of The Dugout, or will they? Not even Jon Taffer, America's Barchangel, dealing with the biggest mook since Mookie Wilson, could save a Wrigleyville bar, within a Dave Kingman blast from home plate, that couldn't make money during the season! It was a way better train wreck than Piratz, but then, we are the championz!

I had to postpone sawing logs until after the Pegasus World Cup Invitational in late January. The weeks after that were exhale, decompress, rest and savor the performances of Arrogate and California Chrome last season.

It feels a little like coming out of hibernation.

And lo and behold, we're already approaching the far turn preparing for the May 6 Kentucky Derby and the rest of the Triple Crown. Before I knew it, 'twas time to learn about a whole 'nother group of three-year-olds.

You never know what to think coming out of the old pied-a-terre after a short winter's nap. It's unnerving, trying to learn who these horses are and speculating about what they can do. And it's nothing but speculation, all the way to post time, when you have to pin the tail on the wager. You assume these contenders will run for the roses in May, but you know many will not. They drop off the trail, requiring a lot of swivel-hipped handicapping.

Gunnevera looked awfully good by a visually impressive five lengths in the March 4 Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream, the prep for the April 1 Florida Derby. He showed Derbyesque acumen in coming from last and beating Practical Joke, who was equally impressive in winning both the Hopeful and the Champagne last year as a juvenile.

Irish War Cry, an early Derby darling, finished a dull, to say the least, seventh.

Can't get your hopes up about any horse, especially this early in the season. Two examples still sting. I was real excited about Fountain-Florida Derby winner Quality Road in 2009. He never ran a Triple Crown race. And Eskendereya the next year got me goin' after winning the Fountain of Youth, then the Wood Memorial. He was injured in training before the Derby and never ran again. More recently, Uncle Mo, who has become one of the new young stars of the breeding barn and broke Secretariat's record in the Champagne (two-year-olds) at Saratoga, scratched the day before the Derby in 2011.

Tapwrit ran a stakes record 1:42-2/5 in last Saturday's Tampa Bay Derby, winning by another visually stunning four lengths plus. Like Gunnevera, Tapwrit, son of super sire Tapit and the Successful Appeal mare Appealing Zophie, overcame adversity while setting up for the finish, which will hold him too in good stead for the Derby stampede.

It must be noted, however, that McCracken, wisest among the earliest Derby wiseguys and at the top of the first Derby Futures pool, missed the Tampa race after hurting himself in training after winning the Sam F. Davis prep for this. He's apparently training well now and will have to use the suddenly important and once-again relevant Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland April 8 as a singular prep for Kentucky.

We'll need to see some quality then out of the son of Ghostzapper, one of the greatest horses, with some of the worst health, of the 21st century. He could sprint (Vosburgh Stakes), go a mile (Metropolitan Mile) or stretch out (Breeders' Cup Classic). Healthy, one of the greatest I ever saw. He was my wi-fi handle until 'Pharoah came along, so do you believe me now?

But I digress, again.

In the third race of his life and second on dirt, Girvin gritted out a two plus-length win in the Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds Feb. 25. It's the prep for the April 1 Louisiana Derby.

Did Girvin beat anybody in this race? We often have to find out in the next race. We'll see, but Girvin has nouveau royalty in his blood lines with sire Tale of Ekati, Sunday Silence(!), and throw in Sky Beauty, Orb, Life At Ten and Devil May Care and you're really dropping names now.

Want anther one? Trainer Joe Sharp has the distinct luxury of his wife, (Please Come Back) Rosie Napravnik breezing Girvin in the morning workouts. Remember that one year (2013?) when she seemed to win every race at the Fair Grounds meet?

Bob Baffert's Mastery was masterful in winning the Grade II San Felipe last Saturday, and would have become the "It" horse after the wire seemed to pull him like a magnet in a 6-3/4 length win. Just a few long strides later, Hall of Fame Jockey Mike Smith eased him to a stop, jumped off and unsaddled the son of Candy Ride. He broke a condylar bone in his left front and underwent successful surgery Monday. He may run again, but it's way to early to tell. If his form had held, and with a 105 Beyer Speed Figure in this race, he would have been a cinch to be the Derby favorite.

Classic Empire, he of the same Pioneerof the Nile parentage as American Pharoah and winner of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile last November, looks to be having heaps of physical problems after his early buzz. He emerged after a fourth in the Feb. 4 Holy Bull with a foot abscess and has apparently had some back problems. Trainer Mark Casse is pointing him to either the Blue Grass or the Arkansas Derby. I wouldn't bet yet on him getting to either race and I probably wouldn't bet on him even if he does get to the gate.

Baffert will send American Anthem, probably now his biggest Derby threat, Saturday in the Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn. I'll be watching Wayne Catalano's Uncontested, a son of Tiz Wonderful, in the same race. The horse apparently displaced his palate in the Southwest Stakes prep for this and is said to be working lights out now. I've seen horses who have recovered from this malady run great, which I can dream he will at morning line 10-1 or better.

We're also pulling for Catalano, who won a gazillion races at Arlington and Hawthorne back in the day. I beamed when he won the 2006 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies with Dreaming of Anna. He won the same race two years later with She Be Wild and took the Juvenile Fillies Turf in 2011 with the great Stephanie's Kitten.

Much of his Chicagoland success came for the claimer dropper, Frank Calabrese, who would claim a $10,000 horse and run him in a $4,000 claimer purely for the win, and the many owner titles that followed. It was a real love-the-winning/hate relationship for the two and they eventually parted, with Catman getting opportunities he deserved.

So while we're in a bit of a quiet period now, as the preps for the Derby preps wind down, all hell breaks loose April 1 with the Louisiana Derby and Florida Derby. We'll have a prep trifecta April 8 with Aqueduct's Wood Memorial, Keeneland's Blue Grass Stakes and the Santa Anita Derby. The Arkansas Derby hits April 15.

And while Churchill Downs Inc. erased the April 22 Illinois Derby from Kentucky Derby prepdom, the race has evolved into a tuneup for the Preakness Stakes.

Gigolos
Is it possible for a Thoroughbred race horse to be a gigolo?

In the strict sense of the word, no, because they don't get the money. But many of them, including two of racing's biggest stars are certainly acting like it. And what of their "connections?"

It was announced earlier this month that American Pharoah will be jetting to Australia in July to "participate" in the southern hemisphere breeding season, with a return to Coolmore Ashford Stud's Lexington, Kentucky base late this year. He is expected to demand a fee of $50,600.

While 'Pharoah's initial fee was announced at $200,000 for each live foal, it's been reported that the actual amount might be more like $100,000. Coolmore is not currently revealing his North American fee. The 2015 Triple Crown and Breeders' Cup Classic winner became a sire for the first time just this past January.

And only Thursday, we got the news that California Chrome will be shuttling to Chile on a three-year contract for the southern hemisphere season. 'Chrome is reportedly getting a $40,000 booking fee. No report on his South American fee.

This is important as the owners strike while the breeding dollars are hot. Their racing reputations are currently sky high, while neither one of them has had any progeny run yet. For example, Uncle Mo's breeding value is growing steadily after producing successful runners like 2016 Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist, Mo Tom, Outwork, Forget Me Not, Royal Mo and Unbridled Mo.

It will spread their lineage in those southern hemisphere areas, including Asian breeders who will ship their mares to Australia. You never say American lineage is better than any other, especially for turf racing, where the Europeans rule. Breeders want pedigree, wherever it comes from.

These two wild and crazy guys have it all right now.

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Tom Chambers is our man on the rail. He welcomes your comments.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 3:33 PM | Permalink

The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #144: Northwestern Still Sucks

Hard to root for from this precinct. Plus: Directionless Bulls Now Also Wadeless; Bears Sign More Guys; Joe Trump?; Blackhawks Still Blackhawks; Chicago Fire On Fire; and The White Sox Are Still Boring No Matter What Coffman Says.


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SHOW NOTES

* 144.

:20: Northworstern Gets Lucky Win.

* A Vanderbilt Brainfart Made History For Northwestern.

* Le'Veon Bell Rips LaVar Ball Over Michael Jordan Comments With Embarrassing Facts.

8:35: Directionless Bulls Now Also Wadeless.

13:40: Bears Sign More Guys.

16:22: Joe Trump?

* Did this interview actually take place or did I imagine it? Having trouble finding it.

21:41: Blackhawks Still Blackhawks.

25:00: Chicago Fire On Fire.

* What Is Atlanta United Doing So Right That The Chicago Fire Are Doing So Wrong?

27:31: The White Sox Are Still Boring No Matter What Coffman Says.

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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 1:53 PM | Permalink

The Week In Chicago Rock

You shoulda been there.

1. Ween at the Aragon on Thursday night.


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2. The Dollyrots at Reggies on Thursday night.

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3. Carpenter Brut at Thalia Hall on Monday night.

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4. Power Trip at Reggies on Sunday night.

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5. Blue October at House of Blues on Thursday night.

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6. Cash Cash at the Aragon on Wednesday night.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:36 AM | Permalink

Beachwood Photo Booth: A Jukebox Is Not A Democracy

House rules.

jukeboxpb.jpg(ENLARGE FOR PROPER VIEWING)

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More Chicago photography from Helene Smith.

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Helene on Twitter!

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Meet Helene!

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Stationery, iPhone cases, hoodies.

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

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Previously:
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Man Grilling
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Yum Yum Donuts
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Father's Day
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Vintage Airmaster
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Time
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Window Shade
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Illinois Slayer
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Fire Escape
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Golden Nugget
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Hollywood, Chicago
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Flag Man.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Van In Flames.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Fluid Power Automation.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Corn Dog.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Stop The Killing Car.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Backyard.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: A to Z Things.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Swedish Diner.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Rothschild Liquors.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Silos.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Wires.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Orange Garden.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Irving Park Guy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Pigeons.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: O'Lanagan's.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: For Rent.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Marie's Pizza & Liquors.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Mori Milk.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: American Breakfast.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: A Chicago Christmas Postcard.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Holiday Harold's.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Family Fun.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Snow Bike.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Nativity Scene.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Old Warsaw.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Deluxe Cleaners.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Marie's Golden Cue.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Die Another Day.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Sears Key Shop.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Window Dressing.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Jeri's Grill.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Barry's Drugs.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Liberty.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Kitchen.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Golden Specials.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: We Won The Cup.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bartender Man.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Blue Plane Blues.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Finest Quality.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Family Guy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Girls Wanted.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Skokie Savanna.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Signpost.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Old Man And The Tree.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Street Fleet.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Citgo Story.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Fantasy Hair Design.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Garage.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Clark Stop.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Pole Position.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Window Dressing.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Geometry.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Found Love.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Fill In The Blank.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Vacuums Of The Night.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Dumpster Still Life.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Wagon Master.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Intersecting West Rogers Park.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Penn-Dutchman Antiques.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Cow Patrol.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Backstage Chicago.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Skully Bungalow.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Francisco Frankenstein.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Long Cool Heat.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Smokers' Mast.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Big Fat Phone.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Happy Day.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Alley Men.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Holiday Show!
* Beachwood Photo Booth: You've Got Mailbox.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Broken Window Theory.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Dali Logan.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Svengoolie.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Horner Park Hot Dogs.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Cubs Rehab.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: 20th Century Schizoid Man.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Men On Vans.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Penn-Dutchman Is Done.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Snowy Lincoln.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Waiting Room.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Avondale Chicken.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Winter's End.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: The Friendly Skies.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Boyhood Buzzer Beater.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: J Date.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: International Window Lady.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Shanghai Inn.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Open For Business.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Andersonville Unplugged.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: 3-Flat.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Evanston Turkey.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicagolandia.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Eat At Odge's.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Deitch Pharmacy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Sud-Z Bubble.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bands Wanted!
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Belmont Tavern.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Superheroic San Luis Freeze.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Evanston Oasis.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Lyndale Food & Jewelry.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Lincoln Tap.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Book Window.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Alco Dude.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Ballin Drugs.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Don't Worry, Be Cookie.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Four Trey.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: The Office.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: America From Inside The Golden Nugget In Ravenswood.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Cellphone Repair.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Boots 'N' Grill.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Sunrise Strip.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: At The Corner Of Glad And Happy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Uptown Autumn Night.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Diner.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Mid-Century Modern Halloween.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Autumn Station Wagon.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Betty's & Nick's.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Ohio House Impact.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: End School Zone.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Portage Park Peek-A-Boo.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: South Side Sundown.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Susie's Drive-Thru.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Holiday Ham.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Food & Liquor, Milhouse.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: O'Hare Blue Line Man.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Schwing!
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Ad Deluxe.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Jesus At The Drive-In.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: The Tanks Of Avondale.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Conveyance Belt.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bonk.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Esquire In The Night.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Nick's Meat Market.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Keep Havin A Good Day.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Knock Knock.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Man At Marie's.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bonneville.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Logan Bags.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Stairwell.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Blue Velvet.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Court Is In Session.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: DLER ALKY.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Railyards Rush Hour.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Stop Killing People.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: America, Summer 2016, Part 1.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Greystone Chicago.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: You Are Beautiful.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Auto Part Overlords.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bearground.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: America, Summer 2016, Part 2.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Skyway Sculpture.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: The Dome Car.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Hello, St. Joe.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Revolution Books.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Driveway.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Proceed To Checkout.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Summer Ghost.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Daily Double.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: We Are Moving.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: America, Summer 2016, Part 3.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Sunny Day Tap.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Ashland & Pawn.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Party Store.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Donuts.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: AAA Sales.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: House Rule.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Butcher Boy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Endorsement.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: American Ghost.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: I Voted.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Pink(ish) Cadillac.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Stuffed With Sadness.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Air.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Economy Heating.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Season's Greetings.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: American Housemates.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: We Have Fresh Goat.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bartcam.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Gaslight.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Urban Wheat.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Embassy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Lincoln's Cozy Corner.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Old Glory.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bowling Night.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Red Lion, Red Hots.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: House Sitting.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 5:02 AM | Permalink

The [Friday] Papers

I need work, projects, assignments, collaborations. Here is my extended resume/clips/bio/career interests. Now, in this SlideShare version, the links don't work, though you can click through and download it and then you're good to go. Also, I'll just place a linky Word for Mac version below this one as another option.

Steve Rhodes Resume 2017 from Steve Rhodes

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Here's the linky Mac for Word doc:

RhodesResume2017.doc

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Now, perhaps the biggest problem I had was picking out specific Papers columns to show, as well as other Beachwood work. I'm going to work on that; if you have any favorites or suggestions, let me know.

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I'll place a more proper version, or at least the downloadable linky version, on the site soon as a permanent addition.

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Sometimes I supply URLs in cover letters, sometimes not. Personally, I'm not sure I see the utility of cover letters in most cases. These days, a lot of applications are automated forms anyway. And, of course, for a lot of folks their website is their resume, filled with samples.

The linky resume is something I've been doing for years. I don't know if the editors reading it agree, but I think it's quite effective.

Anyway, one change you are likely to see on the site in the coming weeks/months is a more personal slant, at least on the rails, in terms of me showcasing more of my own work.

Onward.

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Beachwood Photo Booth: A Jukebox Is Not A Democracy
House rules. (Enlarge for proper viewing and the picture becomes clear.)

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The Week In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Ween, The Dollyrots, Carpenter Brut, Power Trip, Blue October, and Cash Cash.

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The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour
Is in pre-production.

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BeachBook

CNN's Trump Coverage Just Following The Money, As Usual.

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Reining In The Warrantless Wiretapping Of Americans.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Not amused.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:58 AM | Permalink

March 16, 2017

The [Thursday] Papers

"For years, Chicago has patched up budget deficits with long-term borrowing - an expensive habit that Mayor Rahm Emanuel inherited, perpetuated and has vowed to break," the Tribune reports.

"But a Tribune analysis of the city's latest bond sale, a $1.2 billion offering earlier this year, shows that the mayor will continue to run the city with borrowed money, at great long-term expense, through the rest of his term in 2019."

I can't wait for the next mayor, who undoubtedly will be one of the current mayor's biggest cheerleaders, to assume office and immediately blame Rahm for the mess he or she has inherited, declaring that the old way of doing business is over.

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The Trib's major findings:

* The majority of the money will be used for budget relief and come at a very high cost. Almost all of the additional costs, however, do not kick in until after the end of Emanuel's current four-year term. By paying only interest for the first several years of the loan, Emanuel can use the funds borrowed this year to smooth out budgets through 2019 at minimal expense.

* Some of the money will be used to refinance previous borrowing but at a higher interest rate. The main advantage for the city is that it kicks the costs further into the future. In all, taxpayers are on the hook for $1.1 billion in interest on the loan, which will cost $2.3 billion to repay over 20 years.

* The city will continue to rely on borrowed money to pay legal settlements, turning to a new stockpiling strategy rather than trying to pay these costs out of its regular operating revenues as many municipalities do. Borrowing this way adds $120 million in interest costs to the $225 million set aside for settlements.

Next, Rahm finds more parking meters to sell.

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BeachBook

Meet The Man Who Calls Journalists On Their Own B.S.

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Chicago-Style In Lilburn, Ga.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Seriously.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 5:41 AM | Permalink

March 15, 2017

The [Wednesday] Papers

In the last few days, having read articles about Rachel Maddow's booming popularity in the Trump era, I once again became disheartened. Why? Because as I wrote in a note to myself about a possible post, Rachel Maddow is a master propagandist masquerading as a journalist.

I won't rehash the Maddow disaster that unfolded last night; you can catch up with that in plenty of other places, though I found this summary from Columbia Journalism Review's morning newsletter to be a good start:

A media frenzy began with a single tweet, and for once it didn't come from the president. Last night, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow set the political media spinning with a 7:36 post: "BREAKING: We've got Trump tax returns. Tonight, 9pm ET. MSNBC. (Seriously)." As speculation kicked into overdrive and MSNBC added a countdown clock to its broadcast, Maddow clarified that her information came from a 2005 return.

The scoop Maddow referenced belonged to Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and longtime Trump chronicler David Cay Johnston, who had received two pages of the president's 2005 taxes "over the transom." The documents showed that Trump wrote off more than $100 million in business losses, and paid an effective tax rate of 25 percent on reported earnings of $150 million. But MSNBC viewers wouldn't learn that information until almost two hours after Maddow's initial tweet.

After what felt like an interminable wait, Maddow began her show with a customary monologue, providing background on Trump's refusal to release his taxes and telling viewers why they should care. The soliloquy dragged for 20 minutes, through the first commercial break, without any documents being produced, frustrating many viewers. "If you have news, Rachel, please tell us. Soon," ESPN's Bob Ley tweeted. "I'm not young."

And that was just the first. What Maddow produced was barely useful; two pages from a random year that showed Trump paying a relatively acceptable tax rate, even if it did come from the Alternative Minimum Tax provision. The remaining lack of context basically left these documents as a lead to follow, not a finished product of journalism.

But then, cable news is entertainment, not journalism. Never forget that.

Previously in Rachel Maddow Sucks:

* What I Watched Last Night: Blago.

* How Rachel Maddow And The New York Times Enable The Looting Of The Nation.

* MSNBC Is Worse Than Fox. See the links, as well, to the "Who Is Rachel Maddow" item at the bottom of this post.

* Rachel Maddow Has Been Pulling This Shit For Years.

* The Continuing Horror That Is Multi-Million Dollar Rhodes Scholar Rachel Maddow.

* How Does Rachel Maddow Keep Her Job?

* Rachel Maddow Continues To Be A Major League Poser.

* Rachel Maddow Is The Biggest $7 Million A Year Poser Going. As Jon Stewart Would Say, Stop Hurting America.

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Amusing Ourselves To Death
Ha ha, Poop Dogg, but the real discussion here has to be the point about taxes. It's not that anyone should pay more than they are legally required to do so. The IRS doesn't want you to do that. They tell you all the ways to lower your tax bill; the federal government offers all kinds of deductions. The problem is that the wealthy have multitudes more ways to reduce their tax bills, procured through lobbyists and campaign contributions working their way on elected officials. (See the work of Barlett & Steele, which should be required reading of every American.) It's like saying, so what Bill Jones only paid a penny in taxes on $8 trillion in income, that's what the law says he can do. He'd be a dummy to a pay more! Well, who wrote that law and why?

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BeachBook

Obama's "Transparency" Cost Us Millions.

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Health Inspections: Chicago Gyro & Dogs.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Eyes on the ball.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 3:06 AM | Permalink

March 13, 2017

SportsMonday: Snubbed

Every year, mid-major men's basketball teams get snubbed by the tournament selection committee in part because their schedule isn't difficult enough. Last year the leading snubee was Monmouth. This year it is Illinois State.

And every year, those teams respond that they would have a more difficult schedule if the teams from the major conferences would schedule them. The teams from the most prominent conferences won't do that because those sorts of games don't matter much if they win and hurt a great deal if they lose.

Why won't the NCAA change the system to address this issue and find a way for more crowd-pleasing smaller school to make the tournament? Surely no one believes that money isn't a driving factor, do they?

This year it wasn't just Illinois State not getting in, it was the ludicrous seed given to their primary rival, Missouri Valley champ Wichita State. The Shockers were seeded a ridiculous 10th despite a ton of tournament success the last five years and another great season this year. Illinois State's exclusion from the tournament sucked. Wichita State's seed is indefensible.

There is only one obvious conclusion: this sucker is rigged to ensure power conference teams populate all the spots in the Final Four year after year after year.

That happens despite the fact that everyone loves an underdog. Everyone but the people with stakes in the most famous teams that is.

Sports fans want a real Cinderella to make it to the Final Four. The money programs (the ones with the highest profit margins) make sure that virtually never happens by doing things like making it almost impossible for Wichita State to win the four in a row it would take to do so.

The treatment of the Missouri Valley Conference is just the latest outrage. And it pales in comparison to the tried-and-true fact that the stars of this multibillion dollar enterprise, the ones who provide all the entertainment (despite all of the attention the idiot commentators give to coaches rather than to players) and take all the risks, receive no compensation other than free classes.

I would say that isn't exactly an American, capitalist, free-market system, but obviously the most wealthy American citizens only support capitalist, free-market systems when they can ensure that they will stay wealthy. So I'm not holding out hope that the people who profess to care about that sort of thing will intervene here.

When I was in college, I twice traveled from Philadelphia to my grandparents' home in suburban D.C. for Spring Break. It was nice to see my family, see the variety of birds that visited the bird-feeder in the backyard, take walks with my granddad and enjoy precisely prepared sandwiches for lunch and classics for dinner.

But the main reason I went down there was that the tournament started during the second weekend of the break and my grandparents didn't mind if I settled in at noon on Thursday and then again Friday and watched first-round game after game after game until midnight.

Back then, ESPN showed live first-round games throughout the day and evening and then from midnight to noon showed the tape-delayed games they hadn't been able to broadcast live. Then on Saturday and Sunday I watched most of the second-rounders.

In my 20s, I spent many a first-round afternoon into early evening at Hi-Tops when it used to be on Sheffield. A group of us would watch the games with one eye while keeping the other on our brackets, but the best times were always when a Cinderella rose up and knocked off a favorite. Those were some great times but I can barely remember them now.

These days the big college basketball fan in my house is my almost 18-year-old son. A few years ago he adopted Northwestern as his favorite program (his parents went to Haverford and Wesleyan, so he had to go elsewhere) so this spring has been especially fun most of the time (less so when Northwestern was dropping games to teams like Illinois, but whatever).

When Northwestern wins, he is happy of course. So I'll be rooting for Northwestern in Salt Lake City on Thursday.

But the main thing I am rooting for is for some team to finally step up and say, you know what, this is ridiculous. Everyone is getting rich off this stuff except for the players. Someone needs to take a stand, so we will go ahead and do it and refuse to play our game unless we get some assurances that responsible people will at least begin a process leading to a better way to seed the tournament and compensate players.

I cannot resist a longshot.

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Jim "Coach" Coffman welcomes your comments.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:19 PM | Permalink

The [Monday] Papers

Editor's Note: The Papers will continue in the abbreviated form you've seen a lot of recently for the foreseeable future, though I intend to still include an item of the day or multiple items on some days when circumstances warrant and I have the time and energy. I will also still write the occasional long column. But on a lot of days, it will be like what it's been lately. I have to pull back. I hope to write about what's happening with me and the site, which will continue, though not as robustly, in the coming weeks. (I'm not dying or anything, it's not that dramatic.) I hope you'll still keep reading, even if the column/site isn't what it used to be. A further explanation is forthcoming. Thanks.

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The Weekend In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Lever, Phantogram, Thigh Master, Colin Hay, Nikki Lane, Lisa/Liza, Panic! At The Disco, SOAP, Joe Bonamassa, Greg Kihn, Cheap Trick, PHO, Sons Of An Illustrious Father, Divino Nino, Sarah Reeves, and Steven Malcolm.

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BeachBook

How Profitable, Billion-Dollar Companies Pay No Taxes, Part One Zillion.

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10 Of The Worst Cars Ever Tested By Consumer Reports.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Dashing.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 10:56 AM | Permalink

The Weekend In Chicago Rock

You shoulda been there.

1. Lever at the Burlington on Friday night.


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2. Phantogram at the Riv on Friday night.

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3. Thigh Master at the Hideout on Friday night.

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4. Colin Hay at Thalia Hall on Friday night.

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5. Nikki Lane at Lincoln Hall on Saturday night.

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6. Lisa/Liza at the Metro on Thursday night.

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7. Panic! At The Disco on Rosemont on Friday night.

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8. Soap at Durty Nellie's in Palatine on Friday night.

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9. Joe Bonamassa at the Chicago Theatre on Friday night.

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10. Greg Kihn at the Arcada in St. Charles on Friday night.

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11. Cheap Trick at the Genesee in Waukegan on Friday night.

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12. PHO at the Tonic Room on Friday night.

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13. Sons Of An Illustrious Father at the Tonic Room on Saturday night.

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14. Divino Nino at Chop Shop on Friday night.

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15. Sarah Reeves in Rosemont on Friday night.

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16. Steven Malcolm in Rosemont on Friday night.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:16 AM | Permalink

March 10, 2017

The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #143: An Incompetent, Money-Grubbing Shitshow

The Bears are ridiculous, and not in a Devin Hester kind of way. Plus: Blackhawks Playoff-Ready; Bulls Irrelevant; Solving Sammy Sosa; Maddon Wearing Thin; and Something About The Chicago Fire.


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SHOW NOTES

* 143.

:30: An Incompetent, Money-Grubbing Shitshow.

* The cap.

* Alshon.

* The cornerbacks.

* Item: Follow The Bears' Money.

* Markus Fucking Wheaton.

* Coffman defies!

* Hoyer, Barkley.

* Cutler, Glennon.

* Okeydoke:

* A bunch of guys.

* Rhodes: The wrong kind of coach, an inexperienced general manager, shitty owners and they raised ticket prices.

* The draft.

* Bernstein, Goff.

24:00: Blackhawks Playoff-Ready.

* What matters: seedings.

* What doesn't: home ice.

29:20: Bulls Irrelevant.

31:20: I Hate Northwestern.

* Some Illinois stuff too.

36:15: Solving Sammy Sosa.

* The interview.

* Both sides should come clean.

39:30: Joe Maddon Also Jesus Christ.

* But wants us to believe he never reads his contracts.

41:47: Please No More Bartman, We're Begging You.

* Send him a World Series ring and let the whole thing die.

43:30: So The Whole Bullpen Was Pissed At Maddon!

* Add Rondon, Strop to the list.

* Maddonizing.

52:42: Hammel Time.

* Rhodes: Even though they won the World Series, I still want truth.

57:37: Something About The Chicago Fire.

-

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

-

Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 1:46 PM | Permalink

The Week In Chicago Rock

You shoulda been there.

1. Expire at Subterranean on Thursday night.


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2. Kings of Leon at the Bulls arena on Wednesday night.

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3. Architects at Reggies on Wednesday night.

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4. Mod Sun at Reggies on Thursday night.

-

Catching up with . . .

The Crombies at Reggies on March 4th.

-

Greg Graffin at Lincoln Hall on March 4th.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:27 AM | Permalink

The [Friday] Papers

I still have some personal and business issues to take care of, so I'm just going to take the week off instead of doing a half-assed job just to get a column up every day. I'll still be posting the work of our other contributors, and some social media recaps. Otherwise, I'll plan to re-start the Papers on March 13.

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Beachwood Photo Booth: House Sitting
Good dog.

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The Week In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Expire, Kings of Leon, Architects, Mod Sun, The Crombies, and Greg Graffin.

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The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour: An Incompetent, Money-Grubbing Shitshow
The Bears are ridiculous, and not in a Devin Hester kind of way. Plus: Blackhawks Playoff-Ready; Bulls Irrelevant; Solving Sammy Sosa; Maddon Wearing Thin; and Something About The Chicago Fire.

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BeachBook

Bears Release Quarterback With Highest Whining Percentage In NFL History.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

*

*

*

+

So, yeah, corrupt media.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Telling it so.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 2:35 AM | Permalink

Beachwood Photo Booth: House Sitting

guarddog.jpg(ENLARGE FOR PROPER VIEWING)

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More Chicago photography from Helene Smith.

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Helene on Twitter!

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Meet Helene!

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Stationery, iPhone cases, hoodies.

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

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Previously:
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Man Grilling
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Yum Yum Donuts
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Father's Day
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Vintage Airmaster
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Time
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Window Shade
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Illinois Slayer
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Fire Escape
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Golden Nugget
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Hollywood, Chicago
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Flag Man.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Van In Flames.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Fluid Power Automation.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Corn Dog.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Stop The Killing Car.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Backyard.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: A to Z Things.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Swedish Diner.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Rothschild Liquors.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Silos.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Wires.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Orange Garden.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Irving Park Guy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Pigeons.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: O'Lanagan's.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: For Rent.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Marie's Pizza & Liquors.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Mori Milk.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: American Breakfast.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: A Chicago Christmas Postcard.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Holiday Harold's.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Family Fun.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Snow Bike.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Nativity Scene.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Old Warsaw.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Deluxe Cleaners.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Marie's Golden Cue.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Die Another Day.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Sears Key Shop.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Window Dressing.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Jeri's Grill.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Barry's Drugs.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Liberty.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Kitchen.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Golden Specials.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: We Won The Cup.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bartender Man.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Blue Plane Blues.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Finest Quality.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Family Guy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Girls Wanted.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Skokie Savanna.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Signpost.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Old Man And The Tree.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Street Fleet.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Citgo Story.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Fantasy Hair Design.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Garage.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Clark Stop.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Pole Position.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Window Dressing.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Geometry.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Found Love.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Fill In The Blank.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Vacuums Of The Night.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Dumpster Still Life.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Wagon Master.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Intersecting West Rogers Park.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Penn-Dutchman Antiques.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Cow Patrol.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Backstage Chicago.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Skully Bungalow.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Francisco Frankenstein.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Long Cool Heat.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Smokers' Mast.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Big Fat Phone.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Happy Day.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Alley Men.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Holiday Show!
* Beachwood Photo Booth: You've Got Mailbox.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Broken Window Theory.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Dali Logan.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Svengoolie.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Horner Park Hot Dogs.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Cubs Rehab.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: 20th Century Schizoid Man.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Men On Vans.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Penn-Dutchman Is Done.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Snowy Lincoln.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Waiting Room.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Avondale Chicken.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Winter's End.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: The Friendly Skies.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Boyhood Buzzer Beater.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: J Date.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: International Window Lady.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Shanghai Inn.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Open For Business.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Andersonville Unplugged.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: 3-Flat.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Evanston Turkey.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicagolandia.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Eat At Odge's.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Deitch Pharmacy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Sud-Z Bubble.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bands Wanted!
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Belmont Tavern.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Superheroic San Luis Freeze.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Evanston Oasis.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Lyndale Food & Jewelry.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Lincoln Tap.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Book Window.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Alco Dude.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Ballin Drugs.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Don't Worry, Be Cookie.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Four Trey.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: The Office.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: America From Inside The Golden Nugget In Ravenswood.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Cellphone Repair.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Boots 'N' Grill.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Sunrise Strip.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: At The Corner Of Glad And Happy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Uptown Autumn Night.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Diner.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Mid-Century Modern Halloween.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Autumn Station Wagon.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Betty's & Nick's.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Ohio House Impact.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: End School Zone.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Portage Park Peek-A-Boo.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: South Side Sundown.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Susie's Drive-Thru.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Holiday Ham.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Food & Liquor, Milhouse.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: O'Hare Blue Line Man.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Schwing!
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Ad Deluxe.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Jesus At The Drive-In.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: The Tanks Of Avondale.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Conveyance Belt.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bonk.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Esquire In The Night.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Nick's Meat Market.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Keep Havin A Good Day.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Knock Knock.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Man At Marie's.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bonneville.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Logan Bags.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Stairwell.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Blue Velvet.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Court Is In Session.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: DLER ALKY.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Railyards Rush Hour.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Stop Killing People.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: America, Summer 2016, Part 1.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Greystone Chicago.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: You Are Beautiful.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Auto Part Overlords.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bearground.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: America, Summer 2016, Part 2.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Skyway Sculpture.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: The Dome Car.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Hello, St. Joe.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Revolution Books.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Driveway.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Proceed To Checkout.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Summer Ghost.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Daily Double.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: We Are Moving.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: America, Summer 2016, Part 3.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Sunny Day Tap.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Ashland & Pawn.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Party Store.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Donuts.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: AAA Sales.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: House Rule.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Butcher Boy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Endorsement.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: American Ghost.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: I Voted.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Pink(ish) Cadillac.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Stuffed With Sadness.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Air.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Economy Heating.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Season's Greetings.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: American Housemates.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: We Have Fresh Goat.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bartcam.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Gaslight.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Urban Wheat.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Embassy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Lincoln's Cozy Corner.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Old Glory.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bowling Night.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Red Lion, Red Hots.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 1:51 AM | Permalink

March 9, 2017

The [Thursday] Papers

I still have some personal and business issues to take care of, so I'm just going to take the week off instead of doing a half-assed job just to get a column up every day. I'll still be posting the work of our other contributors, and some social media recaps. Otherwise, I'll plan to re-start the Papers on March 13.

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WikiLeaks Reveals Staggering Breadth Of CIA Hacking
With more revelations to come.

-

BeachBook

Feds Would Rather Drop A Child Porn Case Than Give Up A Tor Exploit.

*

'Drunk TED Talks,' Conceived In Chicago, Receives Cease-And-Desist From TED.

-

TweetWood
A sampling.

The Trump Administration.

*

*

*

-

The Beachwood Tronc Line: Exploits.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:43 AM | Permalink

March 8, 2017

The 2017 Fantasy Fix Draft Guide, Pt. 2: Schwarbs!

Spring continues to spring surprises on us. Last week, I lavished praise on Trea Turner, 2B/OF, WAS, who is entering his second season with huge hype. The hype will only get bigger now that he is probably going to play SS for the Nats.

That position eligibility won't be reflected on fantasy rosters until a week or two into the season, but the triple eligibility makes Turner that much more valuable as the No. 2 SS and arguably as high as No. 11 overall. Since the addition isn't yet official for fantasy, and I do things by the book, you might want to make a note of it. In other words, as you print out my rankings, as I'm sure you all do with religious devotion, slot in Turner as the No. 2 SS between Manny Machado and Corey Seager, and bump everyone else down a spot.

Now, where were we?

Rankings 26-50:

26) George Springer, OF, HOU; OF Rank: 9 - Power stats of 29 HRs, 89 RBIs last year were exact same as top 20 player Charlie Blackmon, but the latter's 17 SBs and .324 AVG to Springer's 9 SBs and .261 are the difference. Springer is the younger player with the higher ceiling, still working things out, but possibly a bargain if you get him late third round.

27) Robinson Cano, 2B, SEA; 2B Rank: 3 - Continues to put up gaudy stats and last year's 39 HRs (career high), 103 RBI (highest since 2013) and 107 runs (highest since 2012) scream top 20, but zero SBs, sub-75 extra-base hits subtract a bit from overall value, and he's 34.

28) A.J. Pollock, OF, ARI; OF Rank: 10 - People forget he was a top 10 candidate going into last season before being lost to injury. His 2015 stats, including 20 HRs, 39 SBs, 39 doubles and 192 hits are sticking with us even though he showed little in a late-season return last year.

29) Corey Kluber, SP, CLE; SP Rank: 6 - Typically not high on SPs for fantasy when they pitched deep into the previous postseason (see No. 35 and 36 below). Kluber did have 18 wins, 227 Ks in 215 IP, though his 18-win 2014 season was followed by a 9-win stinker in 2015, and Ks have dipped three straight years, but CLE will get him wins, and he's still a top 5-6 strikeout SP.

30) Freddie Freeman, 1B, ATL; 1B Rank: 6 - Hype train left town, so he responded with 34 HRs, 102 runs, 178 hits (all career-highs), 91 RBI, .302 AVG. Blistering Sept. saw .385 AVG, and 49 RBI came after Aug. 1. Nice pick here if you pass on top-tier 1Bs, but could also go five picks sooner.

31) Edwin Encarnacion, 1B, CLE; 1B Rank: 7 - He joins a CLE team that really could have used his slugging stats in the World Series. Career-high 127 RBIs and 99 runs boosted value last year, and 42 HRs tied career-high, but that's the extent of fantasy value for sub-.275 hitter with no speed.

32) Giancarlo Stanton, OF, MIA; OF Rank: 11 - Off-season photos of beast-mode training may get some even more excited about this exit velocity superstud, and 40 HR, 100 RBI threat is ever-present, but injury-plagued career continued last year as AVG slipped to .240. He also lacks SBs.

33) Brian Dozier, 2B, MIN; 2B Rank: 4 - Shocking rank for 42 HRs, 99 RBI, 104 runs, 18 SBs. Sadly, .268 AVG was career-high. Crazy streaky (23 HRs in Aug-Sept), and despite trade rumors remains with still lowly MIN. Will certainly go higher in many leagues, but hard to trust week to week.

34) Trevor Story, SS, COL; SS Rank: 6 (Assuming Turner gets his SS notch, Story is No. 7; promise this is the last time I'll mention it.) - Surprising start made him the top fantasy player no one drafted. 27 HRs, 72 RBI, .909 OPS, and 51 of 101 hits were for extra bases - all in just 97 games. Might have gone 40/100 if he hadn't lost the last two months to injury.

35) Jon Lester, SP, CUBS; SP Rank: 7 - The fact this guy had a huge 2016 and pitched into November makes me tremendously happy in reality, though very cautious as a fantasy drafter. It's not just potential fatigue, but likelihood Cubs will try a six-man rotation and rest top arms frequently. Last year's 19 wins, 197 Ks, .244 ERA, 1.02 WHIP probably the absolute ceiling for 2017.

36) Jake Arrieta, SP, CUBS, SP Rank: 8 - Erratic, but still top 10 fantasy production in 2016. Looming free agency could motivate. Like Lester, might be hard for him to get enough starts and IPs for 18 wins, but could surpass 200 Ks after 190 last year if he gets back his 2015 second-half mojo.

37) Daniel Murphy, 1B/2B, WAS; 1B Rank: 8, 2B Rank: 5 - Extended 2015 postseason sizzle, amassing .347 AVG, .985 OPS, 25 HRs, 104 RBI, 47 doubles (all career highs), and made a great case for MVP. SB threat that once gave him extra value has faded, but who cares?

38) J.D. Martinez, OF, DET; OF Rank: 12 - Injury-shortened season kept him from repeating his 38 HR, 102 RBI 2015 season, though he somehow managed a career-high 35 doubles in 120 games, along with 22 HRs, 68 RBI, .307 AVG and .908 OPS. Binge hitter who will win weeks on his own.

39) Nelson Cruz, OF, SEA; OF Rank: 13 - Who has more HRs than any other player the last two seasons? With 87, Cruz tops a bunch of names higher on this list, but lacks SBs. Good threat for 100 RBI and 100 runs, too. Maybe a bargain here behind Stanton and Martinez.

40) Carlos Gonzalez, OF, COL; OF Rank: 14 - HR production fell to 25 after surprising 40 in 2015, but 42 doubles last year were a career-high. Once a 30 HR/30 SB threat, he no longer steals, but still has great potential to be a 30 HR, 100 RBI guy with a .280s AVG.

41) Roughned Odor, 2B, TEX; 2B Rank: 6 - Big breakout in 2016, with 33 HRs, 88 RBI, 14 SBs, 89 runs, suggesting a higher ranking, though .271 AVG and sub.800 OPS leave me wanting more. If he has more HRs and SBs to give, he could very well work his way into the top 25.

42) Yu Darvish, SP, TEX; SP Rank: 9 - Could easily leading MLB in Ks, and may touch 20 wins with a solid club behind him, but has not had more than 144 IP since 2013. No. 50 below would offer similar stats with likely less injury risk, but Darvish's ADP says someone will take him here.

43) Ian Desmond, OF, COL; OF Rank: 15 - Four-time 20 HR/20 SB achiever after 22 HRs, 86 RBI, 21 SBs, 107 runs last year. Theoretically, COL is a great landing place for his power, though loss of SS eligibility and sub-.800 OPS force him outside the top 40.

44) Jose Abreu, 1B, WHITE SOX; 1B Rank: 8 - He's slid fast from being fantasy top 10 material, but 25 HRs, 100 RBI still put him on short list of players achieving at least that in each of their first three seasons. Career-high 183 hits, too. If young Sox surprise, he could rise along with them.

45) Kyle Schwarber, C/OF, CUBS; C Rank: 1, OF Rank: 16 - I've not seen him ranked the No. 1 catcher elsewhere, and his main body of work last year was his impressive, but small sample in the World Series. Hitting leadoff won't help RBI, but will give him more at-bats than many catchers. He could leverage that to lead catchers in HRs, OPS and runs scored. Yes, I'm serious.

46) Johnny Cueto, SP, SF; SP Rank: 10 - Still waiting for the Game 5 NLDS start at Wrigley, His 18 wins, 198 Ks last year fell short of his 2014 career bests, but would surprise no one if he reels of 20 wins and 200+ Ks. That would be a pretty nice bargain toward the end of Round 5.

47) Jonathan Villar, SS, MIL; SS Rank: 7 - Huge year from a past fantasy hype machine that pretty much everyone had written off as a bust. The wow number was an MLB-leading 62 SBs, as speed became MIL's trademark. He also had 19 HRs, 63 RBI, 92 runs and lot of other career-highs, though also whiffed 174 times and our trust in another 60 SB campaign is a little shaky.

48) Gregory Polanco, OF, PIT; OF Rank: 17 - Would have netted 20 HR/20 SB season, possibly 30/30, if not for injury. 22 HRs, 86 RBI, 17 SBs still were good, though sub-.800 OPS could use work.

49) Kyle Seager, 3B, SEA; 3B Rank: 5 - Career highs of 30 HRs, 99 RBI, 89 runs, .278 AVG and .859 OPS last year, the latter two being pretty unimpressive for career highs. Interesting split: Against lefties, .227 AVG/.728 OPS; vs righties, .307/.932. So, value swings sharply day to day. Lack of SBs, too, but nice power stats if you don't take one of the four 3Bs likely to go in the first round.

50) Justin Verlander, SP, DET; SP Rank: 11 - Led AL with 254 Ks, his most since 2009. 1.00 WHIP was lowest since 2011, 16 wins most since 2012, so why is he sitting outside the top 10 SPs? Not trusting he'll repeat those numbers at 34, though a nice 200+ K source if you don't have one.

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Previously:
* The 2017 Fantasy Fix Draft Guide, Pt. 1: Bryzzo!

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

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 11:00 AM | Permalink

The [Wednesday] Papers

I still have some personal and business issues to take care of, so I'm just going to take the week off instead of doing a half-assed job just to get a column up every day. I'll still be posting the work of our other contributors, and some social media recaps. Otherwise, I'll plan to re-start the Papers on March 13.

-

Fantasy Fix Draft Guide Pt. 2: Schwarbs!
A most unexpected ranking.

-

Peabody Agrees To Collateral For Mine Cleanup Costs
Impact includes Illinois, where fear was company would walk away.

-

BeachBook

MUST-READ: The Ways To Destroy Democracy.

-

TweetWood
A sampling.

*

*

-

The Beachwood Tronc Line: Concurrent.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:37 AM | Permalink

WikiLeaks Vault 7 Reveals Staggering Breadth Of 'CIA Hacking'

WikiLeaks on Tuesday released what it claims is the largest leak of intelligence documents in history. It contains 8,761 documents from the CIA detailing some of its hacking arsenal.

The release, code-named "Vault 7" by WikiLeaks, covers documents from 2013 to 2016 obtained from the CIA's Center for Cyber Intelligence. They cover information about the CIA's operations as well as code and other details of its hacking tools including "malware, viruses, trojans, weaponized 'zero day' exploits" and "malware remote control systems".

One attack detailed by WikiLeaks turns a Samsung Smart TV into a listening device, fooling the owner to believe the device is switched off using a "Fake-Off" mode.

The CIA apparently was also looking at infecting vehicle control systems as a way of potentially enabling "undetectable assassinations," according to WikiLeaks.

One of the greatest focus areas of the hacking tools was getting access to both Apple and Android phones and tablets using "zero-day" exploits. These are vulnerabilities that are unknown to the vendor, and have yet to be patched.

This would allow the CIA to remotely infect a phone and listen in or capture information from the screen, including what a user was typing for example.

This, and other techniques, would allow the CIA to bypass the security in apps like WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram, Wiebo, Confide and Cloackman by collecting the messages before they had been encrypted.

If it is true that the CIA is exploiting zero-day vulnerabilities, then it may be in contravention of an Obama administration policy from 2014 that made it government policy to disclose any zero-day exploits it discovered, unless there was a "a clear national security or law enforcement" reason to keep it secret.

Another potentially alarming revelation is the alleged existence of a group within the CIA called UMBRAGE that collects malware developed by other groups and governments around the world. It can then use this malware, or its "fingerprint," to conduct attacks and direct suspicion elsewhere.

Year Zero

According to WikiLeaks, this is only the first part of the leak, titled "Year Zero," with more to come.

WikiLeaks' press release gives an overview on the range of the hacking tools and software, and the organizational structure of the groups responsible for producing them.

WikiLeaks hasn't released any code, saying that it has avoided "the distribution of 'armed' cyberweapons until a consensus emerges on the technical and political nature of the CIA's program and how such 'weapons' should [be] analyzed, disarmed and published."

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange made a statement warning of the proliferation risk posted by cyber weapons:

There is an extreme proliferation risk in the development of cyber "weapons." Comparisons can be drawn between the uncontrolled proliferation of such "weapons," which results from the inability to contain them combined with their high market value, and the global arms trade. But the significance of "Year Zero" goes well beyond the choice between cyberwar and cyberpeace. The disclosure is also exceptional from a political, legal and forensic perspective.

There hasn't been time for there to be any validation that what WikiLeaks has published is actually from the CIA. But given the scale of the leak, it seems likely to be the case.

WikiLeaks has indicated that its "source" wants there to be a public debate about the nature of the CIA's operations and the fact that it had, in effect, created its "own NSA" with less accountability regarding its actions and budgets.

This release of documents from the CIA follows on from a much smaller release of some of the NSA's "cyber weapons" last year. In that case, the hackers, calling themselves the "Shadow Brokers," tried to sell the information that they had stolen.

At the time, it was thought that this hack was likely to be the work of an insider but could have also been the work of the Russian secret services as part of a general cyber campaign aimed at disrupting the U.S. elections.

This release also follows the much larger release of NSA documents by Edward Snowden in 2013.

While WikiLeaks may have a point in trying to engender a debate around the development, hoarding and proliferation of cyber weapons of this type, it is also running a very real risk of itself acting as a vector for their dissemination. It is not known how securely this information is stored by WikiLeaks or who has access to it, nor how WikiLeaks intends to publish the software itself.

WikiLeaks has redacted a large amount of information from the documents - 70,875 redactions in total - including the names of CIA employees, contractors, targets and tens of thousands of IP addresses of possible targets and CIA servers.

Damage Done

The damage that this release is likely to do to the CIA and its operations is likely to be substantial. WikiLeaks has stated that this leak is the first of several.

How the CIA chooses to respond is yet to be seen, but it is likely to have made Assange's chance of freedom outside the walls of the Ecuadorian Embassy even less likely than it already was.

U.S. intelligence officials have declined to comment on the disclosure by WikiLeaks, in all probability because they would need to analyze what information has actually been posted and assess the resulting damage it may have caused.

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David Glance is the director of the UWA Centre for Software Practice at the University of Western Australia.vThis article was originally published on The Conversation.

-

Comments welcome.

The Conversation

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 3:26 AM | Permalink

Peabody Agrees To Collateral For Mine Cleanup Costs

U.S. coal miner Peabody Energy said on Monday it has agreed to set aside collateral to cover future mine cleanup costs as part of its bankruptcy reorganization plan, ending its controversial use of "self-bonds."

For decades the largest U.S. coal companies have used a federal practice known as "self-bonding," which exempts companies from posting bonds or other securities to cover the cost of returning mined land to its natural state, as required by law.

Concerns over how Peabody, the world's largest private-sector coal miner, would finance about $1 billion in self-bonds when it emerges from bankruptcy protection had led a series of complaints over its reorganization plan.

Under a deal announced on Monday, Peabody said it had arranged for $1.26 billion in third-party bonds and $14.5 million in a state bond pool in Indiana, one of the states where it held self-bonds, to fully satisfy its financing requirements.

"This is an important step to protect taxpayers and the environment. It was the right thing to do. It's also another example of how credit markets and banks seem to be more willing to open up their books to coal companies," said Clark Williams-Derry of the Sightline Institute, a climate and energy think tank.

A year ago, a slump in coal prices had driven some of the largest U.S. coal companies into bankruptcy. Peabody had warned that the financial strain of having to replace all of its self-bonds would eat into its liquidity.

Today, a spike in demand from China and a more favorable outlook under President Donald Trump have provided a short-term boost for the industry.

Peabody will seek U.S. Bankruptcy Court approval in St. Louis next week for a plan to cut more than $5 billion in debt and exit Chapter 11 in April. The third-party bonds for mine cleanups will become available upon bankruptcy emergence.

Peabody also holds self-bonds in Wyoming, New Mexico and Illinois. It announced a temporary financing deal with the four states in July to cover a portion of the risk that it will walk away from mine clean-up obligations while in bankruptcy.

Rival Arch Coal and Alpha Natural Resources also replaced their self-bonds on active mines when they exited bankruptcy last year.

In a statement, Peabody Chief Executive Officer Glenn Kellow said he was pleased with the bonding solution but left the door open to using self-bonds again in the future, should circumstances warrant.

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Previously:
* Bankruptcy Lawyers Strip Cash From Indiana Coal Miners' Health Insurance.

* Impact: Plan To Divert $18 Million From The Health Insurance Of Retired Indiana Coal Miners To Pay Bankruptcy Lawyers Is Dead.

* Big Company Spins Off New Company. Loads It Up With 8,400 Retirees. New Company Goes Bankrupt. Retirees Lose Benefits.

* Peabody Preparing To Shift Mine Cleanup Costs To Public?

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:06 AM | Permalink

March 7, 2017

The [Tuesday] Papers

I still have some personal and business issues to take care of, so I'm just going to take the week off instead of doing a half-assed job just to get a column up every day. I'll still be posting the work of our other contributors, and some social media recaps. Otherwise, I'll plan to re-start the Papers on March 13.

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Turning Stamps To Jobs
A WPA-type program should be the one of the first violent crime reduction strategies.

The Pace Of The Game
Maybe it's time that MLB sheds its inferiority complex and celebrates the three hours that folks can spend at the ballpark with friends and family, watching a ballgame, eating a hot dog, and drinking a beer.

The Weekend In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Screaming Females, AJR, TrollPhace, Mind Over Mirrors, John San Juan, The Lacs, Demun Jones, Uli John Roth, Dokken, Goatwhore, Sting, Lethal Shock, Overlords, The Radio Dept., Surfacant, Fee Lion, and Spa Moans.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

How much will the white working class save?

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But when spinning/dissembling/lying is normalized, even praised when well-executed, isn't a Trump inevitable? Just dispensing w/etiquette.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Minus the etiquette.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:30 AM | Permalink

March 6, 2017

The Weekend In Chicago Rock

You shoulda been there.

1. Screaming Females at the Empty Bottle on Sunday night.


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2. AJR at Bottom Lounge on Saturday night.

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3. TrollPhace at the Concord on Friday night.

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4. Mind Over Mirrors at the Constellation on Friday night.

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5. John San Juan at the Park West on Thursday night.

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6. The Lacs at Durty Nellie's in Palatine on Thursday night.

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7. Demun Jones at Durty Nellie's in Palatine on Thursday night.

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8. Uli Jon Roth at the Arcada in St. Charles on Saturday night.

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9. Dokken at the Genesee in Waukegan on Saturday night.

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10. Goatwhore at the House of Blues on Saturday night.

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11. Sting at the Aragon on Friday night.

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12. Lethal Shock at Cobra Lounge on Saturday night.

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13. Overlords at the Elbo Room on Friday night.

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14. The Radio Dept. at Thalia Hall on Saturday night.

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15. Surfacant at Club Rectum on Saturday night.

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16. Fee Lion at Club Rectum on Saturday night.

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17. Spa Moans at Club Rectum on Saturday night.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:51 PM | Permalink

The Pace Of The Game

I love greasy, juicy hamburgers along with an abundant mound of generously salted french fries. I'd eat them a couple of times a week except for the fact that I'm not interested in gaining 40 or 50 pounds while diminishing my life expectancy. I lost a full head of hair years ago, and I wouldn't mind getting it back, but not at the risk of popping pills that have multitudes of side effects that those TV ads warn us about.

No, I can't have it both ways, but apparently major league baseball thinks it can.

Three years ago in a move that slows down ballgames MLB introduced replay review - an innovation requiring an average of about a 2 1/2 minutes per review - in order to ensure that plays on the field would be accurately called. Last season fans waited through approximately 1,500 reviews, or about five every eight games.

So last week it was time to speed up things. In a laughable countermove, the four-pitch intentional walk, which occurred in about one-third of games last season, took its place in baseball history.

So which is it, fellas? Slower or faster? You can't have it both ways.

Stated another way, fans spent almost 64 hours last season while the blockheads in blue with the headphones standing on the sidelines waited for word from New York to determine the final outcome of a particular play. Depending on which manager issued the challenge, the paying customers are entertained by the Beatles' "Let It Be" or Sheryl Crow singing "A Change Will Do You Good." Whoopee!

In reality, the tossing of four balls for an intentional walk already was a speed-up mechanism in the sense that the pitcher didn't have to look for a sign from the catcher; he took less time to deliver the pitch; and he gave the baserunners a cursory glance.

Furthermore, the unexpected - a baseball staple and an intriguing part of the game - always was a possibility when four balls were lobbed from the mound. A wild pitch wasn't unheard of, nor was an offering a bit too close so that the hitter put the ball in play. Both occasionally happened, adding to the special quality of the game. You never know.

Barry Bonds was walked intentionally 120 times in 2004. As Giants fans booed, hollered and basked in their abuse of the opposing pitcher and manager each time, there always was a slim chance that the enhanced Bonds would reach out and deposit a slow ball into McCovey Cove. The walks also resulted in an astounding .609 OBP that season and an OPS of 1.278 which created all kinds of conversation and interest.

So eliminating the four-pitch intentional walk not only is a misguided excuse to speed up the game, but it also detracts from the drama of baseball. Sort of like blaming Smokey the Bear for forest fires.

A century ago, big league ballgames took about an hour and 47 minutes. Today they last a few minutes over three hours, or a bit shorter than a pro football game. which, according to Quartz, averages 3:12, of which about 11 minutes features game action.

There are two obvious reasons why a ballgame's time has almost doubled. One is television. Franchises couldn't survive - and millionaire ballplayers wouldn't exist - without the national and regional TV revenues. On the other side, the video people need big-time advertising dollars to meet their costs, and baseball affords numerous money-making breaks between innings and during pitching changes.

In addition, prior to TV, pitchers were expected to start and finish every game. The concept of set-up men and closers didn't appear until decades later. Bullpens had no flame-throwers. They were occupied by failed starters, declining veterans, and rookies who needed to prove themselves.

Last season Chris Sale led the American League in complete games with six. Johnny Cueto was the National League leader with five. Sale's complete games averaged just over 2 1/2 hours. He dispatched the Astros on May 11 by a 2-1 score in two hours, 11 minutes. Similarly, the average time Cueto required for his quintet of complete games was 2:32.

Hence, if the commissioner wants shorter games, bring back the complete game, and limit the number of pitchers a manager can use.

Of course, that is pure folly. Effective bullpens are a prerequisite for successful teams, and fans love to see an Aroldis Chapman and others enter a game with their 100-mph fastballs. It's even more exciting when one of them is hit 400 feet.

If MLB is looking for an antidote for the three-hour game, maybe limit the number of warm-up pitches allowed to a reliever. If you have four or five of these guys coming into every game - eight or ten combined for both teams - give them four pitches off the mound instead of eight. After all, they already have thrown 20 or 30 pitches in the bullpen before being summoned. That's enough to be ready to compete.

While we're at it, get rid of replay review. Human error is part of any sport, be it a dumb move by an athlete or a blown call by an official. Jackie Robinson was out on his steal of home in the first game of the 1955 World Series. although the umpire Bill Summers ruled otherwise. Jackie knew it. Yogi Berra, who went absolutely berserk, knew it. In the long run, it made no difference because the Yanks won the game, although Brooklyn won the Series.

Robinson steals home.jpg

The call stood and resulted in one of the most iconic moments (and photographs) in baseball history, all because of the intrepid Robinson and human error. It all would have been erased with replay review.

Good teams overcome adversity. During a long season, the calls even out. Excitement doesn't mount when a game is interrupted for up to six or seven minutes while faceless and nameless people hundreds or thousands miles away make a final decision.

What beguiles older fans like myself is baseball's consistent self-consciousness about how much time fans will spend at the ballpark or in front of their TVs watching the games. The executives keep making excuses for the pace of the game. You don't hear the NFL commissioner moaning about the slow pace of his sport. Try sitting in Soldier Field on a frigid December afternoon watching a horrible team idled by yet another TV timeout. The empty seats last season spoke for themselves. Yet where was the outcry to shorten the game?

Baseball's excuse is that younger fans find the game boring. Let's assume that the honchos at MLB know how many kids come to the park as well as follow their teams on TV.

My own research, arrived at by attending a couple of dozen games each season, is that kids at Sox Park have a great time. Whether it's actually watching the game, looking for themselves on Fan Cam, dancing between innings to hip-hop, cheering the sausage race, or screaming for a free t-shirt that's thrown into the seats, the crowd at Sox Park - meager as it might be - includes plenty of young folks and families.

My Beachwood colleague Jim Coffman, president emeritus of the Welles Park youth leagues on the North Side, e-mailed to me, "Last year we had more than 1,500 kids participate in our baseball and softball programs. This year we will have more. Youth baseball is alive and well in the big city."

Drive past just about any park this summer at 6 o'clock in the evening, and you'll see the diamonds full of kids playing ball. Call it the Cub Factor if you wish, but the bottom line is that kids appear to be playing baseball just like they have in years past.

Maybe it's time that MLB sheds its inferiority complex and celebrates the three hours that folks can spend at the ballpark with friends and family, watching a ballgame, eating a hot dog, drinking a beer, and enjoying a Sox victory. Well, maybe that's hoping for too much. But piling grilled onions and pickles on that red hot ain't so bad.

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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 8:02 PM | Permalink

New WPA Stamps Are a Good Reminder To Bring Emergency Public Employment Infrastructure Programs To Violent Neighborhoods

The United States Postal Service is issuing a set of 10 new stamps on Wednesday to commemorate the 1930s Works Progress Administration (WPA).

The Emergency Relief Appropriation Act of 1935 was passed by the US Congress and signed into law by President Roosevelt, creating the WPA.

The purpose was to provide public employment slots to build public infrastructure (roads, bridges, schools, post offices, etc.) at prevailing wages, and in the process preserve skills, self-respect, and bolster aggregate demand.

The 10 stamps showcase 10 of the projects or purposes of the WPA. Their topics include providing wage work opportunities, encouraging work safety, promoting domestic tourism, and building tennis courts, zoos, airports, national parks, hiking trails, and docks.

stamps.jpg

As a professor of economics with an interest in the economics of crime, and seeing the standstill in addressing the violent crime spikes in some of Chicago neighborhoods as well in other cities, it appears to me that a WPA-type program should be the one of the first violent crime reduction strategies - to both be a source for job slots for youth living in violent prone neighborhoods and to augment public infrastructure.

My version would restrict the program to youth between the ages of 16 and 21 living in high violent crime neighborhoods and who are not in school nor have a job. A key aspect of this would be the option of WPA job slots in places outside the neighborhood and urban area with a residential and tutoring component.

Providing the option for youth to exit local gang influence would a big improvement for many. The human capital goal of this WPA program would be get participants leaving the program back into school leading to college or to a job or an apprenticeship program. For those with a business or hustling inclination, there would be a Micro-Entrepreneur track proving a mentor and hands-on experience in selling or running a small business.

In Chicago, I am aghast that there is an official public community street market which has more 150 empty vendor spaces that youth could be recruited for to earn extra money and learn about business. Such markets could be created all over the city.

Jobs alone for at-risk youth won't make violent neighborhoods safe, but it would be a first step to make them safer. Other realms of policy changes to improve violent prone neighborhoods should include: decriminalization of drug offenses that emphasizes treatment over punishment, social work training for police, increased use of civilian patrols; school curricula for political activism, non-violence, and dispute resolution; and a basic minimum income policy.

Because the job market is presently so tight, now is not to time for a WPA program for the general population. But there is a need for WPA programs targeted to youth who are structurally unemployed where there is a mismatch between skills and job slots and between place of residence and location of employment.

Most high violence neighborhoods have unemployment rates for youth that are at Depression levels and where job prospects do not lead to middle class career futures. A goal must be not just jobs but career trajectories that lead to good jobs: middle class wages and benefits, a chance for advancement, and interesting work.

There are policy tools from our American past that can be profitably used again but adapted to today's circumstances. If the federal government is in paralysis, states should take up the slack. Diverting prison budgets to this WPA program would seem a good reallocation. Either you pay for this violence reduction now or you pay for it later. A New Deal WPA for at-risk youth can and should be created.

Steve Balkin is a professor emeritus at Roosevelt University.

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Previously by (or including) Steve Balkin:
* The Maxwell Street Muddle.

* Maxwell Street Malfeasance.

* City Needs New Policy For The Maxwell Street Market: An Open Letter To Mayor-Elect Emanuel.

* The Maxwell Street Market Vendors Association Wants You To Like Them.

* The Olympic Bid That Could Have Been.

* Lil Scotty: 'Give Him His Flowers While He Lives.'

* Remembering Lil Scotty: Bluesman, Buttonman.

* Remembering Lacy Gibson, Master Bluesman.

* Here's To Bobby Too Tuff.

* Continuing The Political Revolution.

* Reducing Chicago's Violence: A 10-Point Plan.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 1:25 PM | Permalink

The [Monday] Papers

I still have some personal and business issues to take care of, so I'm just going to take the week off instead of doing a half-assed job just to get a column up every day. I'll still be posting the work of our other contributors, and some social media recaps. Otherwise, I'll plan to re-start the Papers on March 13.

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Chicagoetry: Ballistics Exonerates The Furies
Or is it just bullet spray/From a passing Chevrolet?

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 5:00 AM | Permalink

Chicagoetry: Ballistics Exonerate The Furies

Ballistics Exonerate the Furies

Some balletic storm of wind
Has stayed the mind.

From dark silence
Comes the shadow-play

Of a short ballet.
Or is it just bullet spray
From a passing Chevrolet?

Life is a nightmare of relentless fury,
Like a windstorm on Jupiter,
Like a pulsar in dead space,

Like a black tear on a red face,
A skull of diamonds in full grimace
In the mezzanine

At a guillotine.
As I say, life is a nightmare of relentless fury.

O joyous delirium!
Listen: All that is good
Is even better now,

Every miracle more miraculous.

Let the wind clear the storm,
Let the ballet fill the silence,
Let the black tears daub

The red diamonds.
Let mind resurgent mobilize the palliatives:
Streetlights become mobiles

By Alexander Calder, the sky
Like a painting by Gerhard Richter
In his gray period,

The franchise cluster at Harlem & the Ike
Like a painting
By Peter Blake, Andy Warhol

Or Ed Ruscha,
The stack of Volvos
In a glass tower there, clearly

Jeff Koons,

Robins and jays
By Tony Fitzpatrick,

My fellow bar-flies
By Robert Guinan.

Perhaps I am singularly damned,
Indicted by the gods,
Targeted by the Furies

For heinous transgressions
Traceable only to me.

Some balletic storm of mind
Has stayed the wind.

Ballistics exonerate the Furies.

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

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More Tindall:

* Chicagoetry: The Book

* Ready To Rock: The Music

* Kindled Tindall: The Novel

* The Viral Video: The Match Game Dance

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:50 AM | Permalink

March 3, 2017

The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #142: Ungolden Bulls

Big win signifies nothing. Plus: How Oduya?; Follow The Bears' Money; Don't Sleep On Illinois; and Putting The Spring In Spring Training.


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SHOW NOTES

* Actually, it's show 142.

:37: Bulls Hardly Golden.

* When a big win isn't really a win at all.

* The Taj trade.

* Is Cameron Payne The Bulls' Point Guard Of The Future?

* Rhodes: Win one for the Zipser.

* Front office fail:

* Coffman: Source says Jimmy Butler has to go.

* Noah's Knees.

25:54: How Oduya?

* Coffman: Hot Hawks Getting Schmaltzy.

* Hawks Extend Rozsival, Tootoo.

* Richard Panik, everyone:

34:20: Follow The Bears' Money.

Biggs: Ranking The NFL's Top 25 Free Agents.

* P.S.: Marc Trestman Hired As Argonauts coach; Jim Popp Named GM.

55:00: Don't Sleep On Illinois.

59:54: The White Sox Report: Putting The Spring In Spring Training.

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STOPPAGE: 3:34

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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 12:59 PM | Permalink

The [Friday] Papers

Here's some stuff.

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New on the Beachwood . . .

Beachwood Photo Booth: Red Lion, Red Hots
Anchor Bar, Grand Rapids.

The Arby's Chicago-Style Beef Dip
The YouTube reviews are in.

Big Pharma's Academic Greed Team
Look who's getting rich defending $84,000 lifesaving drugs that few can afford.

Putting The Spring In Spring Training
In Roger Wallenstein's White Sox Report.

The Week In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Nine Pound Shadow, Lee Fields, Spa Moans, Knocked Loose, Dada, The Ides of March, and Chicago Jim.

The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour: Ungolden Bulls
Big win signifies nothing. Plus: How Oduya?; Follow The Bears' Money; Don't Sleep On Illinois; and Putting The Spring In Spring Training.

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BeachBook

Five decades of shitty terrorism reporting.

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An Illinois Court Just Didn't Get It: We Are Entitled to Expect Privacy In Our Smart Meter Data, Which Reveals What's Going On Inside Our Homes.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

Screen Shot 2017-03-03 at 9.55.54 AM.png

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Screen Shot 2017-03-03 at 9.56.46 AM.png

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Pot shot.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:55 AM | Permalink

The Week In Chicago Rock

You shoulda been there.

1. Nine Pound Shadow at Thalia Hall on Wednesday night.


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2. Lee Fields at Thalia Show on Tuesday night.

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3. Spa Moans at Crown Liquors on Sunday night.

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4. Knocked Loose at Subterranean on Tuesday night.

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5. Dada at Park West on Thursday night.

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6. The Ides of March at City Winery on Wednesday night.

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7. Chicago Jim at Crown Liquors on Sunday night.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 7:53 AM | Permalink

Big Pharma Quietly Enlists Leading Professors To Justify $1,000-Per-Day Drugs

Over the last three years, pharmaceutical companies have mounted a public relations blitz to tout new cures for the hepatitis C virus and persuade insurers, including government programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, to cover the costs.

That isn't an easy sell, because the price of the treatments ranges from $40,000 to $94,000 - or, because the treatments take three months, as much as $1,000 per day.

So to persuade payers and the public, the industry has deployed a potent new ally, a company whose marquee figures are leading economists and health care experts at the nation's top universities.

The company, Precision Health Economics, consults for three leading makers of new hepatitis C treatments: Gilead, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Lake Bluff's AbbVie.

When AbbVie funded a special issue of the American Journal of Managed Care on hepatitis C research, current or former associates of Precision Health Economics wrote half of the issue.

A Stanford professor who had previously consulted for the firm served as guest editor-in-chief.

At a congressional briefing last May on hepatitis C, three of the four panelists were current or former Precision Health Economics consultants. One was the firm's co-founder, Darius Lakdawalla, a University of Southern California professor.

"The returns to society actually exist even at the high prices," Lakdawalla assured the audience of congressional staffers and health policymakers. "Some people who are just looking at the problem as a pure cost-effectiveness problem said some of these prices in some ways are too low."

Even as drug prices have come under fierce attack by everyone from consumer advocates to President Donald Trump, insurers and public health programs have kept right on shelling out billions for the new hepatitis C treatments, just as Precision Health Economics' experts have urged them.

With a battle looming between the industry and Trump, who has accused manufacturers of "getting away with murder" and vowed to "bring down" prices, the prestige and credibility of the distinguished academics who moonlight for Precision Health Economics could play a crucial role in the industry's multipronged push to sway public and congressional opinion.

While collaboration between higher education and industry is hardly unusual, the professors at Precision Health Economics have taken it to the next level, sharpening the conflicts between their scholarly and commercial roles, which they don't always disclose.

Their activities illustrate the growing influence of academics-for-hire in shaping the national debate on issues from climate change to antitrust policy, which ultimately affect the quality of life and the household budgets of ordinary Americans - including what they pay for critical medications.

The pharmaceutical industry is digging in, with one of its trade groups raising an additional $100 million for its "war chest."

For years, it has spent millions of dollars lobbying politicians, hoping to enlist their support on a wide range of legislation. It has similarly wooed doctors, seeking to influence what they research, teach and prescribe. Now, it's courting health economists.

"This is just an extension of the way that the drug industry has been involved in every phase of medical education and medical research," said Harvard Medical School professor Eric G. Campbell, who studies medical conflicts of interest.

"They are using this group of economists it appears to provide data in high-profile journals to have a positive impact on policy."

The firm participates in many aspects of a drug's launch, both advising on "pricing strategies" and then demonstrating the value of a drug once it comes on the market, according to its brochure.

"Led by professors at elite research universities," the group boasts of a range of valuable services it has delivered to clients, including generating "academic publications in the world's leading research journals" and helping to lead "formal public debates in prestigious, closely watched forums."

Precision Health Economics may be well-positioned to influence the Trump administration - Tomas Philipson, an economist at the University of Chicago and the third co-founder of Precision Health Economics, served briefly as a senior health care adviser for the Trump transition team. He did not respond to requests for comment.

Scott Gottlieb, reportedly a candidate for commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, is a clinical assistant professor at New York University School of Medicine and a former "academic affiliate" of Precision Health Economics.

Although it's hard to gauge the firm's precise impact, associates of Precision Health Economics have often waded into the political fray. Last fall, big pharma spent more than $100 million defeating a California referendum that would have controlled the prices of both generic and name-brand drugs.

Testifying in September at a state Senate hearing on a generic drug, co-founder Dana Goldman steered the discussion to name-brand drugs, such as the hepatitis C treatments, arguing that their prices should not be regulated.

"We have to ensure access to future innovation, and that's going to require some recognition that if someone develops an innovative drug, they're going to charge a lot for it," Goldman said.

Prescription drugs on average cost more than twice as much in the U.S. as in other developed nations. That's mostly due to name-brand drugs. They represent 10 percent of all prescriptions but account for almost three-quarters of the total amount spent on drugs in the U.S. Their prices have doubled in the past five years.

The U.S. grants drugmakers several years of market exclusivity for their products and remains one of the only industrialized countries that allows them to set their own prices.

These protections have allowed the pharmaceutical industry to become one of the economy's most profitable sectors, with margins double those of the auto and petroleum industries.

To justify the value of expensive drugs, the professors affiliated with Precision Health Economics rely on complicated economic models that purport to quantify the net social benefits that the drugs will create.

For one industry-funded hepatitis C study, Lakdawalla and nine co-authors, including three pharmaceutical company researchers, subtracted the costs of the treatment from the estimated dollar value of testing all patients and saving all livers and lives. By testing and treating all patients now, they concluded, society would gain $824 billion over 20 years.

Critics have at times questioned the assumptions underlying the consultants' economic models, such as the choice of patient populations, and suggested that some of their findings tilt toward their industry clients. For example, some have tried and failed to reproduce their results justifying the value of cancer treatments.

Precision Health Economics allows drugmakers to review articles by its academics prior to publication in academic journals, said a former business development manager of the consulting group. Such prior review is controversial in higher education because it can be seen as impinging on academic freedom.

"Like other standard consulting projects, you can't publish unless you get permission from the company," the former employee said.

Carolyn Harley, senior vice president and general manager of the firm, said that pre-publication review was not company policy, but "in some cases, client contracts provide them the opportunity for review and comment before submission."

Said Lakdawalla: "I have never published anything that I am not comfortable with or prepared to defend, nor have I ever been asked to."

Goldman says the firm's research is independent, and its clients don't influence its findings. "From my perspective it's very clear: I say things that piss off my sponsors, I say things that piss off the detractors," he told ProPublica. "People are coming to us because they have an interest in sponsoring the research that's generated. These are our ideas. This is how you get your ideas recognized."

He said his consulting work does not involve setting prices of specific drugs, and his academic research focuses only on categories of drugs, rather than on particular brands.

The professors' disclosure of their ties to the firm and to the pharmaceutical industry in scholarly articles is inconsistent; sometimes extensive, sometimes scanty. Members of Precision Health tend to reveal less about their paid work in blogs, public forums like conferences, and legislative testimony.

At the Capitol Hill briefing last May on hepatitis C drugs, Lakdawalla didn't mention his affiliation with Precision Health Economics, though it was listed in the journal issue, which was provided to attendees.

"Conflicts are always a concern, which is why it is important to be transparent about study methods - that way they can be scrutinized and debated in the academic literature," said Lakdawalla, adding that he has disclosed his ties to the firm in at least 33 publications over the past three years.

Goldman said he and other academics at Precision Health Economics disclose their ties whenever appropriate, but typically journal editors and conference sponsors decide how to make that information available.

"I wear two hats," Goldman said in an interview. "And I try to reveal what that might mean in terms of perceived conflict of interest."

The issues at stake aren't just academic. Goldman says that pharmaceutical companies need to reap financial rewards from the enormous time and expense they invest in developing better medical treatments.

Yet the high prices of some drugs have left government health programs strapped, or forced them to limit coverage. For example, one promising hepatitis C treatment is so expensive that some state Medicaid programs have chosen to cover its cost for only the sickest patients.

"Triage, triage, triage," said Emily Scott, a Tennessee factory worker with hepatitis C who was denied coverage for the new treatment. "They set their price so high that we poor folks can't afford it."

Despite such cases, four researchers from Precision Health Economics warned last month that any government controls on drug prices could actually shorten the average American's life by two years by discouraging development of new drugs.

"As the pace of innovation slows, future generations of older Americans will have lower life expectancy relative to the status quo," they wrote in an article - funded by the pharmaceutical trade group PhRMA - published in the Forum for Health Economics & Policy, of which Goldman is the editor-in-chief and co-founder. More than half of the editors listed on its masthead are current or former consultants at the firm.


Just after Goldman completed his Ph.D. in economics at Stanford in 1994, he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. He was 29. With a pump he wears every day, he takes insulin to treat the disease."I would pay hundreds of thousands of dollars if I could take one pill that would make me better," Goldman said.

His desire for a cure led to a new scholarly interest: the economics of medical innovation. Because there were few government funders for research in the field, he turned to industry. In 2005, Goldman established the firm with Lakdawalla and Philipson.

The headquarters of Precision Health Economics sits in a West Los Angeles office building flanked by palm trees, about 10 miles from Goldman's academic center at USC. Goldman's assistant at USC is also an executive assistant at the consulting firm.

Daniel Shapiro, director of research compliance at USC, said that both Goldman and Lakdawalla were in compliance with the university's standards on consulting.

Precision Health Economics has counted at least 25 pharmaceutical and biotech companies and trade groups as clients. The roster includes Abbott Nutrition, AbbVie, Amgen, Biogen, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Celgene, Gilead, Intuitive Surgical, Janssen, Merck, the National Pharmaceutical Council, Novartis, Otsuka, Pfizer, PhRMA, rEVO Biologics, Shire and Takeda. The firm has 85 staff members in nine locations.

Over the years, the founders recruited an impressive cadre of high-profile academics to consult for these clients. Early in 2016, the firm boasted more than two dozen academic advisers and consultants from top universities on its website. (The site later stopped identifying professors by their university affiliations.)

The list of associates has also included some policy heavyweights who recently left the government, including a top official from the Congressional Budget Office, a senior economist from the White House's Council of Economic Advisors, and an FDA commissioner.

About 75 percent of publications by the firm's employees in the past three years have either been funded by the pharmaceutical industry or have been done in collaboration with drug companies, a ProPublica review found.

Some academics worry that a tight relationship with industry might suggest bias.

"I personally find, when your enterprise relies so substantially on a particular source of funds, you will tend to favor that source," said Princeton economist Uwe Reinhardt.

Goldman says his industry connection has helped him ask better questions. "The right way to do these things is not to push away the private sector, but to engage them," he told ProPublica. "If we end up with a world where everyone who has a voice in a debate must be free of perceived bias, we lose the importance of the diversity of ideas."

In a later interview, he added, "You have to separate the appearance of the bias with actual bias."

These ideas were recently echoed in a piece he wrote with Lakdawalla for The Conversation.

"To be sure, collaboration with industry supplements our income through consulting fees," they wrote. "But no matter who funds our research - foundations, government, or companies - we apply the same template to our work. The ivory tower is not always the best place to understand the social benefits of treatments, the incentives for medical innovation, and how aligning prices with value can aid consumers."

Engaging the private sector has indeed boosted Goldman's income. According to federal conflict of interest forms filed last year, when he served on an advisory panel to the Congressional Budget Office, Goldman earned consulting income from the firm in the range of $25,000 to $200,000, on top of his income as a USC professor. He also has more than $500,000 in equity in the firm. Precision's Harley says Goldman and Lakdawalla each have equity stakes of less than 1 percent, indicating that the firm is worth at least $50 million. Lakdawalla and Philipson have not publicly disclosed their consulting incomes.

In April 2015, Precision was acquired by the privately held biotech company Precision for Value. Terms weren't disclosed.

value1.jpg(ENLARGE)

Precision raised its profile in 2013 when the president's annual economic report cited a cancer study by several of the firm's principals and consultants. To some critics, though, the study showed how industry funding can taint academic research.

Originally published in Health Affairs, where Goldman also serves on the editorial board, the study found that Americans paid more for cancer care than Europeans but had better survival gains.

As the study acknowledged, it was funded by Bristol-Myers Squibb, a company that at the time was developing a much-anticipated cancer treatment that was priced at more than $150,000 per year when it eventually came on the market. All three founders of Precision Health Economics were listed as authors of the Health Affairs article, alongside one of their employees, yet none of the founders disclosed their ties to their consulting firm in the published study.

In an interview, Goldman said this might have been an "oversight."

Goldman later e-mailed ProPublica to clarify that the journal was aware that the study was a Precision Health Economics publication and that Goldman and his co-founders were affiliated with the firm. Goldman has published more than 25 articles and letters to the editor in Health Affairs since co-founding Precision, and only five have listed the connection.

"This affiliation is clearly not a secret and I include it where relevant," Goldman wrote in the e-mail. "The bottom line is that disclosure policies vary across journals, journal editors, and over time. Definitions of what is 'relevant' are also subject to their own judgments."

Donald Metz, executive editor of Health Affairs, said the journal followed its policy of leaving disclosure to the "authors' discretion." Its editorial staff did not exclude any information on conflicts or affiliations that the authors provided alongside their draft, he said.

As the cancer study gained national recognition, its methodology and findings came under fire. Researchers from Dartmouth College tried and failed to reproduce the results. Cancer care in the U.S., their research found, may actually provide less value than cancer care in Europe, considering cost.

"We know that [the U.S. health care system] is more disorganized and disorganization is more expensive, so it's surprising to believe that the U.S. would perform better in a cost-effectiveness sense," said Samir Soneji, one of the authors of the counter-study and an assistant professor of health policy at Dartmouth. The science in the original study, Soneji says, was "questionable."

Soneji was not alone in his criticism. Aaron Carroll, a pediatrics professor at the Indiana University School of Medicine, reviewed the methodology and concluded that the Precision researchers had used measure that can frequently be misinterpreted.

Instead of relying on mortality rates, which factor in a patient's age of death, the study employed survival rates, looking at how long people live after diagnosis. Cancer screening, which can increase survival rates, is more frequent for some cancers in the U.S. than in other countries, Carroll says.

"When they wrote that paper using survival rates, they were clearly cherry picking," Carroll told ProPublica. "If the arguments are flawed and people keep using them, I would be concerned that they have some other motive."

The Precision team has defended their use of survival rates in a published response to the Dartmouth study, writing that they "welcome robust scientific debate that moves forward our understanding of the world" but that the research by their critics had "moved the debate backward."


Precision has become a prominent booster of a new way of setting drug prices: based on their overall value to society. Value is determined by comparing the drugs' cost with their effectiveness in saving lives and preventing future health expenses.

Pharmaceutical companies have traditionally justified their prices by citing the cost of research and development, but recent research on drug pricing has challenged this argument. Many of the largest drug companies spend more on sales and marketing than on developing their drugs.

And notably, one researcher has found that about 75 percent of new molecular entities, which are considered the most innovative drugs, trace their initial research funding back to the government.

"There is substantial evidence that the sources of transformative drug innovation arise from publicly funded research in government and academic labs," said Aaron Kesselheim, an associate professor at Harvard Medical School whose research looks at the cost of pharmaceuticals. Pharmaceutical pricing, he says, is primarily based on what the market can bear.

Many early proponents of value pricing, including American health insurers, saw it as a way to rein in drug prices. Some nations, particularly those with national health systems, rely on official cost-effectiveness analyses to decide which drugs to pay for. Overpriced drugs are sometimes denied coverage.

This powerful negotiating tool has helped keep drug prices down abroad.

Efforts to establish similar practices in the U.S., however, have been stymied by lobbying from patient groups, many of them funded by the pharmaceutical industry, contending that value pricing could lead to rationing of health care.

More recently, though, the industry has used academic consultants to help it redefine the concept of "value" to justify its pricing.

At the congressional briefing on the new hepatitis C drugs, Harvard Medical School associate professor Anupam Jena, a Precision Health Economics consultant, suggested that part of a drug's value is earning enough profit that pharmaceutical companies are enticed to develop treatments for other diseases. Otherwise, Jena said, "you don't incentivize innovations that actually deliver value, and so the next cure . . . may not be developed."

Princeton's Reinhardt said pricing drugs based on this notion of value could give the industry carte blanche to charge whatever it wants.

"If you did value pricing and say it's okay for the drug companies to charge up to what the patient values his or her life to be, you are basically saying that the pharmaceutical companies can take your savings," he said. "American society will not stand for that."

Not long after the controversy over its cancer research, Precision became embroiled in another academic spat related to a client's product. This time, it was over a breakthrough treatment that, injected one to two times per month, could help millions of Americans with high cholesterol.

At the $14,000-per-year price set by one of its makers, Amgen, the PCSK9 inhibitor could also hike the nation's annual prescription drug costs by an unprecedented $125 billion, or 38 percent. Its price in the U.S. is twice as much as in the U.K.

The U.S. price of the drug has come under vigorous attack from the nonprofit Institute for Clinical and Economic Review. ICER, which began as a small research project at Harvard Medical School, studies the cost-effectiveness of drugs, balancing their value to patients against the impact of their cost on society.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services proposed a new rule in March 2016 that includes the use of value-based pricing studies, specifically citing the work of ICER.

The industry has attacked many of the institute's studies, particularly those that find a treatment is overpriced. Some patient groups have contended that ICER emphasizes cost savings because it receives funding from health insurers. However, foundations are ICER's biggest source of funding, and it is also supported by the pharmaceutical industry and government grants.

The pharmaceutical lobby has similarly attacked the Drug Effectiveness Review Project, a coalition of state Medicaid agencies and other payers, accusing it of using its studies to justify "rationing."

ICER concluded in 2015 that the new cholesterol treatment, the PCSK9 inhibitor, should cost about one-fifth what Amgen is charging. A few months later, Philipson, the Precision Health Economics co-founder, and Jena wrote an op-ed in Forbes, citing the institute's research and deriding its approach to value pricing as "pseudo-science and voodoo economics."

Only Philipson disclosed his ties to Precision Health Economics, and neither academic disclosed that Amgen was a client of the firm.

After being asked by ProPublica about the lack of transparency, Forbes added a disclosure statement to the Op-Ed.

"Manufacturers of PCSK-9 inhibitors and novel treatments for hepatitis C, such as Amgen, Gilead, and Abbvie, are clients of Mr. Philipson's consulting firm, Precision Health Economics, for which Dr. Jena also works," the publication noted. "In general, the pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies which retain Precision Health Economics benefit from higher drug prices."

Goldman, along with Precision employees and two Harvard professors, including Jena, published their own study on the cholesterol drug in the American Journal of Managed Care, where Goldman serves on the editorial board. They found that the new cholesterol drugs were indeed cost-effective at the listed prices. The article disclosed the authors' ties to Precision Health Economics and the source of funding: Amgen.

The drug is "not cheap, but it's a good deal" for patients who need it, Goldman said, after his team's economic models calculated its net value between $3.4 trillion and $5.1 trillion over 20 years.

ICER's finding that the PCSK9 inhibitor was overpriced was later affirmed in a related study published in the peer-reviewed Journal of the American Medical Association, or JAMA.

Associates of Precision again rushed to Amgen's defense. Philipson and an Amgen executive wrote a letter to the editor of JAMA to dispute the study's conclusion that the price should be about $4,500 per month, less than a third of the drug's average price.

The two studies made different assumptions that shaped their conclusions. Dhruv Kazi, one of the authors of the JAMA study and an associate professor at the University of California San Francisco, said that the Precision Health Economics study assumed that there were fewer eligible patients who would take the drug, lowering the cost to society. It also posited that they had a higher risk of cardiac events, like heart attacks, boosting the drug's value as measured in lives saved.

"This is an example where you would end up assuming that the population is at higher risk than is true for the real world population and that would make your drug look better," Kazi said. "It's not a wild idea to think that a cost-effectiveness study funded by industry would look more favorable" to the industry's viewpoint, he said. "If that weren't the case, they wouldn't fund it."

Jena said the patient population for the Precision study more accurately reflected the real world. And that one should not automatically assert that a study is "invalid or flawed" because of industry funding, he added.

The JAMA study "over-exaggerated the cost" of the drug and "unnecessarily rang 'alarm bells,'" said Amgen spokeswoman Kristen Neese.

Amgen has ties to all three founders of Precision Health Economics. Working for other firms, Philipson has twice testified as an expert witness for Amgen, defending the company's rights to drug patents, according to his curriculum vitae.

The other two founders, Goldman and Lakdawalla, are principals at the Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics at USC, which received $500,000 in late 2016 from Amgen for an "innovation initiative," according to public disclosures.

Goldman said the funds were unrestricted and could be used at the center's discretion. Robert Bradway, the CEO and chair of Amgen, is on the advisory board of the university center, and Leonard Schaeffer, a professor at USC and the namesake of the center, sat on Amgen's board of directors for nearly a decade.

With funding from Amgen, the Schaeffer Center hosted a forum in Washington, D.C., in October 2015 on the affordability of specialty drugs. Before a panel focused on the new cholesterol treatment, Goldman cautioned against lowering drug prices.

"We know that the pricing of these treatments is often controversial," he told the crowd of policymakers, which included Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), a physician who sits on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. "If we dropped all the prices today, in the long run, we wouldn't have any innovation."

The PCSK9 inhibitor's price inhibits access for some patients who need it. Scott Annese, a 50-year-old computer technician from South Daytona, Florida, has diabetes and a total blood cholesterol level topping 260. After he suffered a heart attack and had two stents inserted in his left coronary artery, his doctor prescribed a statin, a low-cost drug to lower cholesterol. However, the statin combined with his diabetes to cause painful side effects, including muscle aches, cramping, and soreness in his legs that incapacitated him, he said. Amgen's drug, his doctor told him, was the only other option.

But Annese, who makes $13.50 an hour, couldn't afford the new drug. He doesn't have health coverage through his job and says Obamacare, especially with its rising premiums, is too expensive for him. He tried to get insurance through Medicaid, but he earns too much to qualify. His last option, he said, is Amgen's patient assistance program, which he has applied for. His application is pending.

"If you're in the industry to help people, you're not helping them if you raise the drugs to the point that they can't afford it," said Annese. "The drug companies are hurting the people who need it most."

Gilead Sciences' $84,000 list price for its highly effective treatment for the hepatitis C virus prompted dozens of state Medicaid programs and prison systems to restrict treatment to only the sickest patients.

A congressional investigation in 2015 found that Gilead, which purchased the drug from a smaller pharmaceutical company, had set the price of the treatment at the peak it thought the market could bear, more than double what the drug's original developers had suggested.

"Gilead pursued a calculated scheme for pricing and marketing its hepatitis C drug based on one primary goal, maximizing revenue, regardless of the human consequences," said Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR)., when he presented the findings of the congressional investigation.


While Precision Health Economics often portrays itself as an advocate for wider access to vital medications such as the hepatitis C drugs, the high price of those drugs forces some payers, such as the Medicaid programs, to ration them. As a result, the professors may influence who ultimately gets the drug and who doesn't.

The impact is reverberating in the rugged hills of eastern Tennessee, where hepatitis C is spreading due to the opioid epidemic. Because the virus can be asymptomatic for years, only a fraction of those infected know they are carriers, leading many to spread the potentially fatal liver disease unknowingly, mostly by sharing needles.

Over the past seven years, the number of acute cases of hepatitis C in Tennessee has tripled. The state has estimated that more than 100,000 residents are likely to have a chronic version of the disease without realizing it.

Just last year, the state issued a public health advisory addressing the crisis, but the rates of infection continue to rise.

It took years for Emily Scott, the factory worker from the Cumberland Gap region of eastern Tennessee, to find out she had the virus. After donating blood in January 2016, she received a certified letter from the blood bank informing her that her blood could not be accepted because it had tested positive for hepatitis C.

20170223-emily-scott-1200x630.jpegEmily Scott/Ben Corda for ProPublica

She didn't believe the letter at first, hoping they had mistaken her blood with that of another donor. After all, she had never experienced any symptoms. But a local doctor re-ran her blood work and her diagnosis was confirmed.

Like many in her community, Scott, 26, had battled an addiction to drugs, mostly painkillers, and she had used syringes in the past for her highs. She'd been clean for the past four years but believes that she contracted the disease through her drug use.

"I made some mistakes," said Scott. "But I didn't ask to be sick."

Shortly after her diagnosis, Scott learned from a television advertisement that the new drugs had a cure rate of 90 percent. But getting the treatments would prove elusive.

Raising two sons on her own, Scott barely supports the family with her weekly income of about $350 from sewing shirts at an apparel factory. She is one of more than 11,000 Tennesseans on Medicaid who have been diagnosed with hepatitis C, according to the most recent state data. If all of them received the new medication, the state estimated that it would cost over $1.6 billion, more than double what Tennessee's Medicaid program spends on drugs in a year.

"There isn't an endless bank account," said Darin Gordon, Tennessee's former Medicaid director, who was in charge when the hepatitis C cure was launched. "States have to balance budgets, and this came in and hijacked our budget."

Tennessee quickly limited the treatments to the sickest patients. After reviewing the scientific literature, Gordon's medical team determined that it was only medically necessary to treat patients whose livers had begun to show scarring, a sign that the disease had progressed beyond the initial latent stage. Even if patients' conditions stabilize while they await the treatment, they are still contagious. Once the treatment is finished, they no longer can spread the virus.

Under this policy, less than 10 percent of diagnosed Medicaid patients have been treated, still costing the program more than $100 million in the past two years.

Patients like Scott, whose liver has no significant scarring, were forced to wait for the disease to progress before being prescribed any of the new drugs. The state denied Scott's request for the cure in March 2016.

But she wouldn't let that stop her. She appealed and was granted a hearing in Knoxville, which she had to attend by phone because it was a two-and-a-half hours' drive from her home. She explained to the judge that she was a single mother of two young boys and could not risk her health declining. A few days later, she received a court order in the mail, denying her access to the treatment.

By forcing Tennessee Medicaid and other public payers to delay coverage, the high price of the hepatitis C drugs incurs a social cost. While waiting to become sick enough for treatment, patients may transmit the disease. Some, including Scott, begin to feel symptoms like fatigue and muscle pains, which may hinder their ability to work.

"The drug companies do not have people's interest in mind, they have money in mind," Scott said. "It's not fair that they are playing with people's lives."


Since the firm's sale in 2015, Precision Health Economics' three founders have taken roles in its parent company. Goldman is an executive economist at Precision for Value and chairs an advisory board focused on "value and evidence." Lakdawalla is the chief scientific officer, and Philipson is listed as chief economist and the chair of the strategy and innovation board.

value2.jpg(ENLARGE)

On its website, Precision for Value lays out how it can help biotech companies with "preliminary pricing, access, and evidence strategy" and "launch price strategy."

The company says that it can "pressure test" a company's proposed messaging strategy on value with key stakeholders and determine how willing the market might be to pay future drug prices.

Under its new ownership, Precision recently launched a group focused explicitly on assessing the value of innovative drugs. The firm's three founders are involved with this Innovation and Value Initiative, which bills itself as an "unparalleled convergence of academic leaders and scientific experts."

Lakdawalla serves as executive director of the initiative. On the initiative's health advisory panel, which is supposed to steer the research agenda, Goldman and Philipson sit alongside mostly executives from pharmaceutical companies and trade groups.

The initiative also has a scientific advisory group for internal peer review. All of its members are current or former Precision consultants or staffers.

Lakdawalla said in an e-mail that all of its projects "either undergo academic peer review at a journal, or include an external peer reviewer outside [the firm]."

To promote the new initiative, Precision has launched an extensive advertising campaign, sponsoring content in Health Affairs, writing Op-Eds in the Washington Post and Forbes, and even buying ads on Google.

In a phone conversation, Goldman was asked whether the stratospheric drug prices bolstered by the professors at Precision deprive low-income patients, like Emily Scott, of vital treatments. He responded that it's important to take a longer-term view.

"You worry about access for the people for whom there is a treatment," he said. "I'm worried also for the access for people for whom there isn't a treatment."

ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for their newsletter.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:59 AM | Permalink

Beachwood Photo Booth: Red Lion, Red Hots

Anchor Bar.

20170216_192257_resized.jpg(ENLARGE FOR PROPER VIEWING)

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More Chicago photography from Helene Smith.

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Helene on Twitter!

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Meet Helene!

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Stationery, iPhone cases, hoodies.

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

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Previously:
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Man Grilling
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Yum Yum Donuts
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Father's Day
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Vintage Airmaster
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Time
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Window Shade
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Illinois Slayer
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Fire Escape
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Golden Nugget
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Hollywood, Chicago
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Flag Man.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Van In Flames.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Fluid Power Automation.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Corn Dog.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Stop The Killing Car.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Backyard.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: A to Z Things.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Swedish Diner.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Rothschild Liquors.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Silos.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Wires.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Orange Garden.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Irving Park Guy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Pigeons.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: O'Lanagan's.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: For Rent.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Marie's Pizza & Liquors.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Mori Milk.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: American Breakfast.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: A Chicago Christmas Postcard.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Holiday Harold's.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Family Fun.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Snow Bike.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Nativity Scene.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Old Warsaw.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Deluxe Cleaners.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Marie's Golden Cue.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Die Another Day.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Sears Key Shop.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Window Dressing.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Jeri's Grill.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Barry's Drugs.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Liberty.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Kitchen.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Golden Specials.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: We Won The Cup.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bartender Man.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Blue Plane Blues.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Finest Quality.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Family Guy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Girls Wanted.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Skokie Savanna.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Signpost.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Old Man And The Tree.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Street Fleet.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Citgo Story.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Fantasy Hair Design.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Garage.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Clark Stop.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Pole Position.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Window Dressing.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Geometry.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Found Love.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Fill In The Blank.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Vacuums Of The Night.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Dumpster Still Life.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Wagon Master.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Intersecting West Rogers Park.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Penn-Dutchman Antiques.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Cow Patrol.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Backstage Chicago.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Skully Bungalow.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Francisco Frankenstein.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Long Cool Heat.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Smokers' Mast.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Big Fat Phone.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Happy Day.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Alley Men.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Holiday Show!
* Beachwood Photo Booth: You've Got Mailbox.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Broken Window Theory.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Dali Logan.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Svengoolie.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Horner Park Hot Dogs.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Cubs Rehab.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: 20th Century Schizoid Man.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Men On Vans.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Penn-Dutchman Is Done.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Snowy Lincoln.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Waiting Room.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Avondale Chicken.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Winter's End.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: The Friendly Skies.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Boyhood Buzzer Beater.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: J Date.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: International Window Lady.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Shanghai Inn.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Open For Business.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Andersonville Unplugged.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: 3-Flat.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Evanston Turkey.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicagolandia.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Eat At Odge's.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Deitch Pharmacy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Sud-Z Bubble.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bands Wanted!
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Belmont Tavern.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Superheroic San Luis Freeze.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Evanston Oasis.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Lyndale Food & Jewelry.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Lincoln Tap.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Book Window.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Alco Dude.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Ballin Drugs.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Don't Worry, Be Cookie.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Four Trey.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: The Office.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: America From Inside The Golden Nugget In Ravenswood.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Cellphone Repair.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Boots 'N' Grill.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Sunrise Strip.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: At The Corner Of Glad And Happy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Uptown Autumn Night.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Diner.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Mid-Century Modern Halloween.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Autumn Station Wagon.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Betty's & Nick's.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Ohio House Impact.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: End School Zone.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Portage Park Peek-A-Boo.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: South Side Sundown.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Susie's Drive-Thru.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Holiday Ham.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Food & Liquor, Milhouse.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: O'Hare Blue Line Man.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Schwing!
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Ad Deluxe.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Jesus At The Drive-In.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: The Tanks Of Avondale.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Conveyance Belt.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bonk.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Esquire In The Night.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Nick's Meat Market.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Keep Havin A Good Day.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Knock Knock.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Man At Marie's.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bonneville.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Logan Bags.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Stairwell.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Blue Velvet.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Court Is In Session.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: DLER ALKY.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Railyards Rush Hour.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Stop Killing People.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: America, Summer 2016, Part 1.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Greystone Chicago.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: You Are Beautiful.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Auto Part Overlords.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bearground.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: America, Summer 2016, Part 2.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Skyway Sculpture.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: The Dome Car.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Hello, St. Joe.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Revolution Books.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Driveway.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Proceed To Checkout.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Summer Ghost.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Daily Double.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: We Are Moving.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: America, Summer 2016, Part 3.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Sunny Day Tap.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Ashland & Pawn.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Party Store.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Donuts.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: AAA Sales.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: House Rule.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Butcher Boy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Endorsement.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: American Ghost.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: I Voted.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Pink(ish) Cadillac.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Stuffed With Sadness.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Air.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Economy Heating.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Season's Greetings.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: American Housemates.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: We Have Fresh Goat.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bartcam.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Gaslight.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Urban Wheat.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Chicago Embassy.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Lincoln's Cozy Corner.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Old Glory.
* Beachwood Photo Booth: Bowling Night.

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 12:01 AM | Permalink

March 2, 2017

The YouTube Reviews Are In | Arby's Chicago-Style Beef Dip

Part of the new Big City series.

1. "I think they call that a gardenaire."


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2. "Chicago was big in the '70s and '80s."

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3. "Pineapple?"

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4. "Roast beef on a supper roll."

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5. "Look at the box - it's professional."

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Comments welcome.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 11:59 AM | Permalink

March 1, 2017

The [Wednesday] Papers

You Cretins Are Going To Get Thousands Of People Killed.

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Meanwhile . . .

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America, delete your account.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Search and destroy.

Posted by Beachwood Reporter at 9:43 AM | Permalink

MUSIC - Song Of The Moment: Alabama.
TV - Media Consolidation To Get Even Worse.
POLITICS - Offshore Leaks Database.
SPORTS - Beachwood Radio: Broken Bears; Cubs' 7-Year Itch.

BOOKS - Inside The Book Of The Dead.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Lakes, Cheese & You.


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