* In full transparency, I’m only here to show my wife and parents that my journalism degree wasn’t a waste of time and money. But my being here has allowed Rich to take some time off in order to…
We may not have any Oscar pictures this Friday, but we can always count on Oswego Willy to have Tom Cross golfing material at the ready. As we’ll discuss in another post, Willy, you appear to have your work cutout for you this cycle.
* OK, enough of that for now. Let’s get to some headlines…
* No movement in IL pension reform: “What the pension committee has been trying to do all summer is patch a hole in the Titanic,” John Tillman, director of the Illinois Policy Institute, said. Tillman, who wants the state to adopt a 401k style system, said the committee is mired in the status quo.
“While they have met and talked and conversed they have not entertained a single proposal that would fix the structural problems with the current system,” Tillman said.
Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Dan Rutherford is not optimistic the conference committee process will produce pension reform, and predicts the issue will not go away any time soon.
“My sense is the next pressure point is going to be the election,” Rutherford said.
* Day care operator sentenced to probation for pocketing state subsidies
* Mayor Emanuel grounds Midway privatization plan: sources: With only two bidders remaining on the runway, one of the competitors “dropped out” this week, convinced the joint-venture would not be able to meet the mayor’s demands. Another source familiar with the negotiations identified the bidder that walked away as the team that includes Industry Funds Management of Australia and Manchester Airports Group.
That would have left the city with only one bidder for a transaction estimated at $2 billion. Emanuel was simply not willing to forge ahead under those circumstances.
The source refused to identify which of the joint ventures had dropped out of the competition a few weeks before formal bids were due.
Bloomberg news has identified the two bidding groups as Great Lakes Airport Alliance, a partnership between Spain’s Ferrovial and Macquarie Group that leased the Chicago Skyway for 99 years, and a team that includes Industry Funds Management of Australia and Manchester Airports Group
* Emanuel halts Midway privatization bidding
* O’Hare-area residents’ bid to stop runway expansion, noise falls on deaf ears
* GateHouse Media headed for Chapter 11, then new company
* Sun-Times: GIVE WISER PRISON POLICIES A CHANCE: We need political leaders of all stripes to support the idea of diverting nonviolent offenders to destinations other than prison. It’s an issue easy to demagogue because some people who leave prison inevitably again commit crimes, no matter how carefully the risks of release are assessed.
* Thomson prison funding may fall prey to budget battle: Congress must approve the funding and include it in a budget for the new fiscal year that starts October 1. But with another debt ceiling fight looming, funding for the prison could get caught up in the partisan crossfire….It’s unlikely the House and Senate will agree to a budget before October 1.
A temporary spending plan known as a continuing resolution will be enacted if a budget can’t be agreed and Sen. Durbin said that would put the Thomson project “on hold.”
* Feds reduce charges against Blagojevich go-between
* More Burge torture settlements: $12.3 million
* $12.3 million settlement in police torture case spares Daley from testifying
* Study: Tax breaks available to nearly 1 million
* Pat Brady: Gay marriage good for business
* Walsh Hoping for Increased Progress in AFSCME Talks
* Pinstripe patronage at city hall should be taken ‘out of the hands of one person’: alderman
* Gillespie: Why students should quit whining about college costs
* DuPage chief selects Metra appointee: Zediker, 41, a Naperville Republican, served on the County Board for three years but lost his seat in last year’s election.
* Metra attorneys say board member did not harm agency: Schaffer acknowledged that he gave Clifford a document prepared by the agency’s attorneys about three weeks before Clifford wrote a scathing memo alleging that two other board members engaged in political back-scratching. The accusations led to an $871,000 separation agreement with Clifford and spurred two ethics investigations and five board resignations.
But in a letter sent to board members this week, agency lawyers said Schaffer did not ignore his legal or ethical responsibilities when he sent Clifford information related to the CEO’s performance evaluation. Schaffer believed he was acting in Metra’s best interests by sharing the document, which Clifford would have access to anyway in his role as the agency’s highest-ranking employee, according to the legal opinion.
* Local officials beam over interchange progress
* Tri-State access at I-57, 147th Street tears down 50 Posen homes
* Is the billion dollar Illiana Expressway worth building?
* Aldermen to vote on gun-free ordinance for restaurants that serve alcohol
* Niles Trustee Insists Leaning Tower Can Be Saved
* Cary Plant Fined $262,000 Following Explosion
* Utilities director: Quincy has no choice but to raise water rates for EPA mandate
* Enrollment down slightly, but more diverse at ISU
* Heartland enrollment drop hits budget
* SJ-R: State retirees should respond to CMS letters
* East St. Louis to lay off 17 firefighters when funds run out