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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 »
* Question of the day
* Here we go again...
* Who raised what in AG race?
* Warning issued over putting medically fragile children in Medicaid managed care
* Schakowsky, Gutierrez endorse Lipinski's Democratic opponent
* Rauner tied to Greitens, Pritzker tied to Blagojevich
* Some states looking for ways around federal tax law
* *** UPDATED x2 - Pritzker, Rauner, RGA respond *** Watch Dem candidates appear at Sun-Times
* Poll: Rauner leads Ives 65-21
* Not the governor's greatest day
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Kennedy needs to dig deeper, but can he?
* The fight for second place
* Group offers possible fix to problems with Rauner's AV
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* 2 Illinois governor candidates spend $28M in pa.....
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* Chicago trader accused of killing friend, dumping body
* Illinois sheriff helping people find opioid antidote drug
* Judge keeping some documents secret in Hastert lawsuit
* Ex-Ataris bassist indicted, accused of telemarketing fraud
* Rock bassist indicted, accused of telemarketing fraud
* Suspect in terror-related case claims 'combatant immunity'
* 2 Illinois governor candidates spend $28M in last 3 months
* Chicago group sues US Steel over Indiana plant's discharges
* 2nd case of measles confirmed in person who was at O'Hare
* Illinois woman gets 15 years for crash that killed teen

* 2 Illinois governor candidates spend $26M in last 3 months
* 2 Illinois governor candidates spend $28M in last 3 months
* Statehouse bill would connect rural schools to high-speed internet
* Statehouse bill would connect rural schools to high speed internet
* Education officials want to double state budget for schools
* University of Illinois trustee seat has been empty a year
* Rauner campaign: 'Governor believes David Duke is a racist'
* Rauner defends amendatory veto of school funding bill
* Rauner signs bill to focus on needs of female prison inmates
* Rauner tours Lincoln prison, touts reforms helping female inmates

* Here's Latinicity's new sit-down restaurant
* Paul Vallas says he's 'seriously considering' running for mayor
* Poll finds Rauner way ahead of GOP challenger
* Dow set to close above 26,000 for first time
* Dow closes above 26,000 for first time


* No one injured in Aurora house fire
* Drunken driver facing multiple charges after crashing into bench in Riverside
* Pair of burglaries reported at South Shore businesses
* Dear Abby: Boyfriend keeps stalling on popping question
* Mother of child killed in 2017 crash with CTA bus sues her driver, CTA
* Horoscope for Jan. 18, 2018
* Northwestern’s down year continues with 71-65 loss to Ohio State
* Bulls can try and copy the Warriors system, but talent remains a huge gap
* 2 burglaries in 2 days reported in same Grand Crossing block
* Schweinsteiger signs one-year deal to return to Fire


* Warriors down Bulls 119-112, tie team record with 14th straight road victory
* Fact check: Trump's 'Fake News Awards' focused on reports that were wrong — and quickly corrected
* Two shot in Albany Park
* Quarterback's death permeates NCAA convention discussions
* Bastian Schweinsteiger re-signs with Fire for 2018 season: 'I love this city, this sport and winning'
* Government shutdown threat remains with divisions over immigration, military dollars
* Trump allegedly told porn actress she reminded him of Ivanka during their affair
* Gay couple who ordered wedding programs got pamphlets about Satan instead, lawsuit says
* Archdiocese: 5 Catholic schools to close, several parishes merge
* Warriors respect talent and potential of Bulls' Lauri Markkanen


» A Prescription For Fruits And Veggies: One Solution To Food Insecurity in Illinois
» A Call For Transparency
» 2 Illinois Governor Candidates Spend $26M In Last 3 Months
» State Board of Education: Double School Funding Now
» Lawmakers Demand Fast Internet For Rural Schools
» 2 Dreamers Discuss Helping Other Immigrants Amid Uncertainty
» Rauner Spokesman: 'Governor Believes David Duke Is A Racist'
» Rauner Signs Law To Help Women Behind Bars
» A Poor Neighborhood In Chicago Looks To Cuba To Fight Infant Mortality
» Democratic Candidates In Lockstep At Justice Forum


* 2 Illinois governor candidates spend $26M in last 3 months
* Our View: Focus on cost-cutting, then turn to taxes
* 2 Illinois governor candidates spend $28M in last 3 months
* Statehouse bill would connect rural schools to high-speed internet
* Education officials want to double state budget for schools
* University of Illinois trustee seat has been empty a year
* Rauner campaign: 'Governor believes David Duke is a racist'
* Our View: Dubious tariff endangers newspapers' future
* Byron York: Paul Manafort has a point
* EJ Dionne: Will Trump exhaust our democratic capacities?


* '12 Strong' movie tells story of elite 'horse soldiers,' including Cahokia man
* Suspect barricades himself in car after police chase
* Parent who used SWIC childcare reacts to elimination of program
* Norman 'Jay' Elkins
* Margaret Maxine Stone
* LeClaire home offers beautiful views of the river
* Free workshop explains cancer
* David 'Hacksaw' Flannigan
* Paul D. 'Ike' Lincoln
* Jerrel Charles Mulvey


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* Exports, consumers drive China's 6.9 percent growth in 2017
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* City Council Approves Cappleman-Sponsored Program To House Homeless
* Life In Chicago: Grant Fraud, Boot Bribery & Unnecessary OT
* Can The Winter Olympics Save The World?
* Gutierrez offers Kelly an apology, and all it took was the White House chief of staff implying Donald Trump, misspoke
* At The Illinois Holocaust Museum | Speak Truth To Power
* Happy Anniversary, La Patisserie P!
* Watch a BellyQ bartender make a newfangled old-fashioned using dancing fish flakes
* Activists clash with aldermen over community benefits at Obama Presidential Center hearing, and other Chicago news
* The [Wednesday] Papers
* Fix Illinois by breaking the state apart? A gubernatorial candidate makes the case.


* 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

  
* Winter iPhone 8 and iPhone X demand forecast to be down
* Huawei integrating Android Messages app for SMS/RCS
* Apple’s future, iPhone addiction plans, Project Fi Unlimited & more – Pocketnow Daily
* Apple gives out $2,500 in stocks to most employees
* YouTube’s new monetization policies are cracking down on smaller channels
* Apple to Lease New Office Building in Culver City
* ASUS joins Project Treble with ZenFone 4 Android Oreo update

* Collins ranked MLB's No. 9 catching prospect
* With maturity comes lofty expectations for Eloy
* Pirates rebuild not met with enthusiasm
* Moncada guiding Robert during mini-camp
* White Sox announce player development staff
* Robert at ease during Sox hitters mini-camp
* Moncada guiding Robert during mini-camp


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