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READER COMMENTS CLOSED FOR THE WEEKEND

Friday, Jul 28, 2006

Talk at you Monday!

Here’s your Illinoize fix:

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      


Question of the day

Friday, Jul 28, 2006

It’s Friday, so it’s time to change gears.

Have you vacationed any place special in Illinois this summer? Describe your experience.

- Posted by Rich Miller   26 Comments      


The “City that works” a potential national laughingstock

Friday, Jul 28, 2006

My Sun-Times column this week is a bit of a departure for me. I blog about Chicago and Cook County politics, but I don’t often write about them, unless they have a state connection. This one has no such connection.

Most pundits have decided that they no longer want Mayor Daley’s political machine running things, but almost no thought has been given to what could happen if the “enemy” is ever vanquished.

It’s a little bit like the debate over enforcing democracy in the Middle East. Is the end result worth the chaos?

Unlike Iraq, there won’t be gun battles in Chicago’s streets if the Machine finally falls, but there will be plenty of political chaos.

And for those of you too lazy to click through and read the whole thing but still motivated enough to post comment, this is in no way a pro-machine column.

- Posted by Rich Miller   39 Comments      


Governor criticized for slow response to devastating storms

Friday, Jul 28, 2006

Did the governor drop the ball during the aftermath of the Metro East storms last week? The governor was on vacation last week, and it wasn’t until Saturday that his IEMA director arrived on the scene - three days after the first major storm hit. On Wednesday, the governor finally asked President Bush to declare five counties a federal disaster area.

The move by Blagojevich was made a week after Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt’s decision to activate the National Guard and five days after Bush’s emergency declaration on Friday covering St. Louis…

Meanwhile, the local emergency management guy is upset.

“Whenever Ameren tells you this is something like four times bigger than anything they’ve had, that ought to tell somebody something,” said Jack Quigley, director of Madison County’s Emergency Management Agency. “Why they weren’t moving faster on getting federal aid here, I don’t know.”

The local Democratic state Senator is fuming mad.

State Sen. William Haine and state Rep. Dan Beiser, both Alton Democrats, penned a curt letter Wednesday afternoon asking for the state to act on the federal aid request as soon as possible. Haine said he had been told that state officials were questioning whether to seek aid at all because the storm’s damage might not be severe enough.

“The state director said to me that there wouldn’t be an application,” Haine said. “I don’t know how they could possibly conclude that we don’t meet the requirements at this stage.”

And the governor has yet to visit the region.

A spokesman for the governor said Wednesday that he would visit the Metro East area soon but provided no details.

I got about ten e-mails a day from the governor’s office after Hurrican Katrina hit the Gulf coast describing everything the guv was doing for residents of other states. He ought to get on the stick.

How big were last week’s storms?

The National Weather Service believes seven tornadoes touched down in the St. Louis area last week as part of two storms that ravaged the region.

Scientists have analyzed the damage from the storms that hit July 19th and again two days later. They believe tornadoes touched down July 19th near Bunker Hill on the Missouri side of the Mississippi River, and Edwardsville on the Illinois side.

The Friday storms spawned at least five tornadoes, including two just south of Troy, Illinois.

The storm’s straight-line winds were almost tornado-like. The Weather Service believes winds reached up to 90 miles per hour.

And then there’s this.

Some of the tons and tons of debris from last week’s storms began going up in smoke Thursday.

The fire could last until Wednesday, said East St. Louis Fire Chief William Fennoy, who supervised the start of the burn.

He had no estimate on how much debris would be burned, but the city’s application filed with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency sought permission for burning 300,000 cubic yards of material.

The debris is mainly from East St. Louis, Cahokia, Centreville, Alorton and Washington Park. Another burn site is planned in Granite City.

- Posted by Rich Miller   37 Comments      


What the heck is going on here?

Friday, Jul 28, 2006

Jenner & Block defends IDOT against a lawsuit filed by former IDOT workers who say they were illegally fired. Jenner & Block decides it wants off the case. Attorney General Lisa Madigan, the state’s top lawyer who officially represents the state in all legal matters and who appointed Jenner & Block to the case in the first place, asks the firm for its files. Firm says No. Lisa asks why. Firm says IDOT’s chief legal counsel ordered it not to hand over the files. No reason for IDOT’s order given.

Then things get bizarre.

Matt Vanover, a Transportation Department spokesman, defended the agency’s refusal to give Madigan the lawsuit files.

He said IDOT wants to continue using Jenner & Block, which has handled the case for nearly two years. Vanover said IDOT is the defendant and should be the one to decide what attorneys to use.

Despite Jenner & Block’s request to withdraw, Vanover said the firm has agreed to stay on the case. The attorney general’s office said it had never heard that claim until Thursday.

Huh?

- Posted by Rich Miller   45 Comments      


Is the 10th District in play?

Friday, Jul 28, 2006

Cook and Rothenberg differ on the 10th District race between incumbent Mark Kirk and Democrat Dan Seals.

The Cook Political Report, a Washington-based non-partisan on-line analysis of congressional races across the country, now lists the 10th District race as one of 54 Republican seats nationwide that could be competitive in November. The seat is still listed as “likely Republican,” the least competitive of three categories identified in the report. It was previously considered a safe seat. […]

“We’re watching it,” said Nathan Gonzales, political editor of the Rothenberg Report. “We met with Seals and thought he was a good candidate but right now we don’t see the seat being in danger,”

Amy Walter, senior editor of the Cook Political Report, said “the reality is Mark Kirk is very difficult to beat one on one” during a normal election year and he’s still favored to win the race at this point. […]

[However] “It’s not really about Mark Kirk or Dan Seals,” she said. “It’s about the political climate.”

Read the whole thing. This is a very good political story from a suburban weekly. That’s not a common thing.

Also, take a look at a recent bipartisan poll of the 50 most hotly contested congressional races in the country, 40 of them which are Republican. [pdf file] It’s not great news for the nation’s majority party.

- Posted by Rich Miller   53 Comments      


Morning shorts

Friday, Jul 28, 2006

· The I-Team investigates *999, a state-funded emergency call service that critics call confusing, dangerous and a waste of tax dollars.

· Editorial: State must protect patients from felons in nursing homes - Agency has not looked into a single case

· Chicago Federation of Labor President Dennis Gannon threatens “World War III” if Daley vetoes big box ordinance.

· Downtown march to demand better teachers

· Gas prices arise in gubernatorial race

· “Neither Gov. Rod Blagojevich nor his challenger, Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka, responded directly to a candidate survey from an anti-gambling group. Instead, both sent letters about their positions on gambling to Illinois Church Action on Alcohol and Addiction Problems. ‘They (the letters) are very vague and leave a lot of wiggle room,’ said ILCAAAP Executive Director Anita Bedell.” Read the governor’s letter here, Topinka’s letter here.

· “Nobody in an oversight position at the Illinois tollway or the governor’s office knew about plans to spend nearly a half-million dollars on the big blue signs that advertise Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s name to thousands of motorists a day on Chicago-area toll roads, the toll authority’s chairman says.”

· Ameren debt ratings downgraded - ‘Political and regulatory environment’ in Illinois played into decision

· Blagojevich grants clemency to dying woman

· Officials feud over agency merger

· “llinois Central College will join other community colleges in a lawsuit against Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan over her interpretation of a state ethics law.”

· Editorial: Failed festival blows the whistle on budget deals

· The governor’s pet ferret

- Posted by Rich Miller   12 Comments      


« NEWER POSTS PREVIOUS POSTS »
* Our sorry state
* Unsolicited advice
* "What we are being asked to do is cut off vital organs"
* GOP gearing up for 2018
* Kennedy can't or won't explain misleading property tax claim
* 69 percent say Illinois on wrong track, 69 percent say budget is most important issue
* New Poll Shows 76% of Illinois Voters Oppose Increased Data Collection Legislation
* Another hostage warns of imminent demise
* HDems say they want to work in "good faith" with Rauner
* Senate Dems try to go it alone with their own budget plan
* Broken promises, broken state cause bond downgrade in Quincy
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* The Latest: Senate Dems float less-severe budge.....
* The Latest: Senate Dems float less-severe budge.....
* The Latest: Senate Dems float less-severe budge.....


* The Latest: House Democrats propose college grant program
* Illinois to receive $1.2M of Target data breach settlement
* Excerpts from recent editorials in newspapers in Illinois
* Expiring law could leave Route 66 towns without key funding
* Chicago area school to send new diplomas after finding error
* Springfield developer, lobbyist pitch downtown casino
* Cook County board president to seek third term next year
* EXCHANGE: Veteran says unit remained vulnerable after war
* Authorities: Boy dies after truck rolls over him in Illinois
* Authorities: Boy dies after truck rolls over him in Illinois

* Illinois Senate plans to vote on budget today
* Museums team up for reflection on former Gov. James Thompson
* Workers' comp changes could face Illinois Senate vote
* Sangamon among counties in jury diversity pilot project
* Developer Chris Stone pushing for casino in downtown Springfield
* Developer Stone pushing for casino in downtown Springfield
* Push to rename road after late Macon County sheriff
* Tricky, unpopular budget at crux of Senate 'grand bargain'
* Blagojevich attorneys ask for another appeals court hearing
* Rauner administration denies it planted false info about school funding reform

* Sears gets breathing room with loan, pension deals
* Ex-McDonald's CEO Thompson buys control of a pizza chain
* Public finance campaign bill picks up momentum
* Booth alum donates $20 million to school's Social Enterprise Initiative
* Delay on Obamacare subsidy decision leaves insurers in limbo


* Target to pay $18.5M to settle data-breach lawsuit
* 30 more surveillance cameras to be installed around Wrigley Field
* Six violent robberies reported in Greater Grand Crossing
* Pass Fair Elections Act to fix broken Illinois
* Expiring law could leave Route 66 towns without key funding
* Sponsors pull out of NY Puerto Rican parade over Oscar Lopez Rivera
* Man killed in crash in unincorporated Palos Park
* Senate Dems try to go it alone on budget, again
* Spacewalking astronauts pull off urgent station repairs
* President Donald Trump’s $4 trillion budget arrives on Capitol Hill


* All aboard: Joliet Rocket steamin' into town
* A guide to 2017's suburban Chicago summer festivals
* Cubs to pay $1 million for security cameras outside Wrigley
* Manchester police hunt for accomplices of suicide bomber who killed 22
* 'Domestic incident' leaves couple fatally shot, third person injured: Woodridge police
* Ex-CIA chief concerned over Trump campaign Kremlin contacts
* 2018 mock drafts don't see Bears improving much
* LINDA C. BLACK HOROSCOPES for 5/23/17
* Omarr's daily astrological forecast, For release 05/23/17 for 05/23/17
* Yes, these NBA playoffs have stunk so far. So what?


» 2 More Leaks Found Along Dakota Access Pipeline
» Springfield Casino? A Businessman Likes The Odds
» Bevy Of Bobcats: Thriving Animals Poised As Next Urban Pest
» New York Parade Organizers Support Honoring Puerto Rican Nationalist
» Durbin: Too Early For Talk Of Impeachment
» Finding Closure: Cook County Families Get a Chance to Find Missing Loved Ones
» Mayor: More HIV Positive Chicaogoans Than Ever Receive Treatment
» Illinois’ Medicaid Problems Could Jeopardize Money For Schools, State Workers, Attorneys say
» CPD To Delay Start Of New Use-Of-Force Policy
» CPD Defends Start Date Of New Use-Of-Force Policy


* Illinois Senate plans to vote on budget today
* Museums team up for reflection on former Gov. James Thompson
* Workers' comp changes could face Illinois Senate vote
* Sangamon among counties in jury diversity pilot project
* Developer Chris Stone pushing for casino in downtown Springfield
* Sounding the Alarm: Entrenched politics require real reforms in Illinois
* Marc Thiessen: Leakers who revealed Israel as intelligence source did far more damage than Trump
* Developer Stone pushing for casino in downtown Springfield
* Push to rename road after late Macon County sheriff
* Sounding the Alarm: A look at Illinois' financial crisis


* Alton Police Department announces numerous drug-related arrests
* PODCAST: Mike Haile remembers Dave Shaul
* Gov. Rauner to host end-of-session update on Facebook live
* PODCAST: John Paul remembers Dave Shaul
* Mt. Olive man dies Monday after being thrown from motorcycle
* I-74 closed after police chase
* Nombo's comfort foods and more join food truck scene in the Q-C
* A look back at the Quad-City Times of the 1940s
* Smithton District 130 Superintendent Susan Homes is resigning
* Security increased after bomb threat at PBL


* NAMI Northwest Suburban honors longtime volunteer
* Police: Husband, wife dead in Woodridge apartment shooting
* Music notes: Scott Stapp unplugs at the Arcada
* Roger Moore, star of 7 James Bond films, dies at 89
* IN Forecast

* Batavia resident announces candidacy for 1...
* House GOP takes first steps to undo financ...
* Jim Walz Will Challenge Randy Hultgren for...
* PHOTOS: Protesters stage die-in at Randy H...
* Protesters continue die-in at US Rep. Rand...
* US Rep. Randy Hultgren's office the scene ...
* Second Democrat announces bid to unseat Hu...
* Local Republicans, Democrats praise appoin...
* Batavia resident, teacher hopes to challen...
* Teacher raised in Yorkville running agains...

* Durbin compares Trump to former governor R......
* Durbin Asks Feds for Help with Gun Violenc......

* Duckworth votes against Branstad as ambass......
* Democrat Senator Asks NSA for Security Det......

* 20 for 20: Illinois REALTORS® hit every member of state’s congressional delegation
* Look for Illinois REALTORS® April housing report Wednesday
* Campaign website launched, June 28 fundraiser set for Scott McKenna
* Durbin compares Trump to former governor Rod Blagojevich, and other Chicago news
* Campaign website, June 6 fundraiser set for Judge Myron Mackoff
* McMaster.
* Alderman Arena. We better have his back.
* Immigrants In Detention Centers Are Often Hundreds Of Miles From Legal Help
* The [Tuesday] Papers
* Buena Park Circle's Summer Entertainment Schedule Announced


* Illinois Awarded Funds to Offer Advanced Training on Detecting Impaired Driving
* Illinois EPA Announces Upcoming Household Hazardous Waste Collection Events
* IEMA Highlights Emergency Preparedness for People with Access and Functional Needs in May - Ready Illinois website offers preparedness tips for people, caregivers
* First Lady Launches Illinois Family Connects
* Governor and Lt. Governor Unveil 2016 Journal of Local Government Shared Service Best Practices

  
* Baffling Moto G5S gets rendered in trio of paint jobs with all-metal construction
* [Deal] Take $50 off the Moto Z Play, buy it for $399
* Duet Display for iPad Updated With New Pro Features
* Pinterest brings full dish recognition to its Lens camera search
* Apple Expands iTunes Carrier Billing to France and Turkey
* Apple predictably tops another customer satisfaction report, but the iPhone SE leads the device pack
* Instagram Makes It Easier to Search Stories Through Locations and Hashtags, Adds Archival Feature

* White Sox can't solve Greinke in opening loss
* Covey seeks first win vs. Corbin, D-backs
* Gonzalez sees positives despite 5th straight L
* Diamondbacks 5, White Sox 1: Too much Zack Greinke
* White Sox can't solve Greinke in opening loss
* Moncada in Chicago for checkup on thumb
* Rodon frustrated but 'close to normal' in rehab


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