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Morning shorts

Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009

* Lower Standards

An investigation by The Chicago Reporter found that Illinois is arguably the worst state in the nation for black senior citizens seeking quality nursing home care. There is just one home in Illinois rated “excellent” by the federal government when more than 50 percent of the home’s residents are black. In Illinois, these facilities get the worst federal ratings and on average have more violations than facilities where a majority of residents are white. And in Chicago, on average, these homes have more medical malpractice and personal injury lawsuits. People in white homes got better care than those in black homes, even if both were poor.

* State minimum wage going up a quarter

* Auto sector drives down Midwest manufacturing to lowest point in 15 years: Chicago Fed

* Streets and Sanitation commissioner replaced

Under fire for lavish snow removal spending, lax field supervision and allegations of continued personnel abuses, Streets and Sanitation Commissioner Michael Picardi was swept out today in a City Hall housecleaning.

Mayor Daley replaced Picardi with former Chicago Police officer-turned-Transportation Commissioner Tom Byrne, a Daley favorite summoned to City Hall in 2005 to clean up a Transportation Department hard hit by the Hired Truck and missing asphalt scandals.

* Chicago Streets and Sanitation Commissioner Michael Picardi replaced

* Chicago Streets and Sanitation Commissioner Ousted

* Sears tests program for jobless shoppers

Sears Holdings Corp. is planning to give customers who lose their jobs a break on appliance purchases, part of an effort to spur sales amid the economic recession.

Sears customers who spend at least $399 on its Citibank-issued credit card for appliances and related merchandise between July 6 and Aug. 1 will receive help on payments if they are out of work 60 days to a year after making the purchase.

One-twelfth of the purchase price will be credited to their accounts for every month they are unemployed. The full debt will be forgiven for customers who find themselves jobless for more than a year, and they will be able to keep the appliance.

* DOJ cautious about United Airlines alliance

* UAL bond pricing shows liquidity stress: analysts

* Daley to introduce ordinance to renew city’s set-aside program

* Daley to ask feds for money to hire cops

Mayor Richard Daley says Chicago will ask the federal government for $106 million so the police department can hire 400 officers.

The request for federal stimulus money comes at a time when hiring at the department has slowed to a crawl because of struggling economy. The number of officer vacancies has climbed to more than 400 and the union says it could climb to 800 by the end of the year.

* CHA mixed-income building has class clash

* Red-light camera loses backer

Bucking a national trend of putting in cameras to catch red-light runners, northwest suburban Schaumburg may get rid of its only red-light camera system because it doesn’t do enough to prevent accidents.

* Union doesn’t ‘look kindly on concessions’

AFSCME rep says workers willing to find other ways to save Peoria County money; health insurance funds one idea

* Metra breaks ground on station near Sox park

More than a year behind schedule, Metra broke ground today on a new station at 35th Street on the Rock Island District Line to serve White Sox fans and college students while giving neighborhood residents another mass-transit option.

The station, at 35th and Federal Streets, is expected to open in the fall of 2010, at least a full year later than what Metra officials said when they announced the project in 2008.

* Finally, a Metra station for the Cell

* Residents Debate Best Use of Land Along Chicago’s Lakefront

* IDOT to relieve some holiday traffic

Travelers hitting the roads for the Independence Day weekend are getting some traffic relief in Illinois.

The Illinois Department of Transportation says it’s suspending some construction-related lane closures. Lanes will be reopened Thursday to Sunday.

* Press release: IDOT details road construction

* $2.6 million going to 3 Ill. health centers

AURORA, Ill. - Three health centers in Illinois will share $2.6 million in federal stimulus money.

U.S. Rep. Bill Foster announced Monday that the centers in Aurora, Elgin and Rock Falls would receive the money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Of the money, $1,147,645 will go to the Visiting Nurse Association in Aurora, $880,000 will go to the Greater Elgin Family Care Center and $616,240 will go to the Whiteside County Health Department and Whiteside County Community Health Clinic, Inc. in Rock Falls.

- Posted by Mike Murray        

  1. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jun 30, 09 @ 10:36 am:

    If Picardi was incompetent he should lose his job. But he must be a member in good standing of the corrupt Daley Democratic Machine, the one Chicago residents are so fond of supporting with ever higher taxes. So, Picardi gets to go back to his old job, likely at the same salary as the Commissioner job, and a lot less work. A little embarrassment and then he coasts on to a megabucks pension….again, paid for by Chicago’s tax-loving citizens.

    The wages of political corruption and incompetence in Democratic Chicago are good wages–that is,lifetime jobs, high salaries, great free benefits and lush pensions.

  2. - Will County Woman - Tuesday, Jun 30, 09 @ 11:35 am:

    i can believe and have no doubt that nursing home quality is poor for blacks in illinois. i have observed for myself how insurance network providers engage in redlining/racial steering practices.

  3. - Ill_will - Tuesday, Jun 30, 09 @ 11:39 am:

    And which free benefits are you referring to? City employees pay into their health care, and retirees pay as much as 50% of their health care costs. Plus deductions and co-pays. Pensions are good, but there is no social security for City employees based on City time.

    Not all make high salaries, whatever you mean by high. Your feelings and opinion in the first paragraph are yours to hold. Don’t mix your arguments needlessly.

  4. - Wumpus - Tuesday, Jun 30, 09 @ 12:19 pm:

    i bet the nursing home issue is more socioeconmic than anything

  5. - Ghost - Tuesday, Jun 30, 09 @ 1:20 pm:

    Franken is now officialy in the Senate/

  6. - Lee - Tuesday, Jun 30, 09 @ 1:26 pm:

    So who will be the new transportation commissioner if Byrne is headed to Streets and San?

  7. - Brian Costin - Wednesday, Jul 1, 09 @ 1:39 pm:

    Mayor Larson was completely negligent on red light cameras. He was informed 9 months ago, before the cameras were installed, that they did not provide a safety benefit. His turning off was entirely politically motivated.

    I thought you might be interested to get the full back story on the Schaumburg Red Light Camera’s.

    Mayor Larson was repeatedly warned about the lack of safety benefits from red light cameras prior to installing by the Schaumburg Freedom Coalition and others. He only changed his stance once political pressure became too harsh. Feel free to contact me at the linked website if you have any questions.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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