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Morning Shorts

Friday, Oct 30, 2009

* Illinois improves school test scores but many districts fall short of federal targets

* Easy tests make kids look smarter than they really are

A new federal study out Thursday — the same day Illinois released its 2009 test results — evaluated fourth- and eighth-grade math and reading tests in all states and ranked them according to rigor. The passing bars for Illinois’ tests ranked near the bottom, especially in math. Just three states had eighth-grade math tests that were easier to pass.

This means Illinois students get to look good without actually doing well.

Experts in Illinois have long suspected this, particularly after the state changed its tests in 2006.

* Illinois school test scores: Income-based gap proves hard to close

Schools try to narrow the divide with strategies such as mentoring, double periods for math and reading

* Illinois Tollway expects boost in revenues after reconstruction projects are done

More people are expected to use the Illinois Tollway next year — and boost revenues — as a massive reconstruction project comes to an end.

The Illinois Tollway estimates it will collect $51 million more in tolls and toll evasion recovery in 2010 than it collected this year.

* Helping taxpayers (but not the mayor!) understand the property tax system

Mayor Richard Daley sputtered the other day as he expressed his confusion about the hike in property taxes Chicagoans are seeing in their mailboxes this week.

“I-I-I-I don’t understand it,” he said at a news conference. “I just don’t understand it. Because everyone’s value has gone down, I don’t care where you go. … I-I want to ask (Cook County Assessor James Houlihan) how he does it. That’s the whole issue … I don’t get it.”[…]

Not that I believe Daley is confused in the least. He has operated the levers on this byzantine system for the 20 years he’s been mayor, and it has funded his empire. He understands darn good and well what an assessor does and what causes property tax bills to rise.

Most important, he understands that, in all probability, you, an average person who smacks his forehead twice a year when the bill arrives, actually don’t understand it — don’t “get” whom to blame.

Here’s a short primer in Q & A format, no sputtering:

* Daley Is the man who knows too little

* Chicagoans taxes up 9 percent, Obama’s taxes up 1 percent

Obama does pay more in property taxes than most politicians in Chicago and Cook County do, the Chicago Sun-Times found by examining online copies of the tax bills that Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas mailed out this week. But Obama’s seeing one of the smallest increases among Cook County politicians. […]

• Mayor Daley’s tax bill is up 3.52 percent on his South Loop townhouse. That’s $464.37 above what he paid last year.

• Cook County Board President Todd Stroger’s tax bill is up 3 percent on his Avalon Park bungalow, costing him another $41.63 this year.

• Gov. Quinn’s taxes are up more than 13 percent for his two-story Georgian home in the Galewood neighborhood on Chicago’s Northwest Side — $377.11 over last year.

* Will County property tax ruled illegal

A property tax Will County has collected for more than a decade to help pay for its juvenile detention center is “illegal” because the county never got approval from voters, the Illinois Supreme Court found Thursday.

* City Clerk tells aldermen residential permit parking needs ‘total review’

Testifying today at City Council budget hearings, del Valle said there is a “dire need” for a “total review” of residential permit parking that has “mushroomed” out of control.

“It keeps growing. It keeps getting more complicated. And it keeps getting frustrating. . . . I get frustrated when I see people going to a Cubs game. No city sticker on their vehicle, but they’ve got a residential parking pass,” del Valle said.

“Do they have a friend who lives in the ward who gave them a pass? Maybe. But they’re not using the . . . sticker to visit the friend. They’re using it save money to go to a baseball game.”

Ald. Richard Mell (33rd) agreed that Chicago created a monster when it established residential permit parking and it’s time to rein it in — possibly by wiping the slate clean and starting over with a different set of rules.

* Review permit parking, Chicago city clerk urges aldermen

* Will Co. judge eats his words — but gets a good meal out of it

* Sting nets over 100 people on drug, gun, prostitution charges

Hoping to find fewer cops and more customers, Chicago-based drug and gun dealers allegedly began setting up shop at suburban motels along Mannheim Road near O’Hare Airport.[…]

But that business climate changed abruptly with a series of recent police raids that resulted in more than 100 people being arrested on drug, gun and prostitution charges, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said Thursday.

* More than 100 arrested in ‘Operation Room Service’

* Police misconduct allegations up almost 19%

* Agency urged reprimand for Supt. Jody Weis

Chicago’s police watchdog agency recommended a reprimand last year for the city’s top cop, Supt. Jody Weis, for endorsing then-Sen. Barack Obama last year during the presidential campaign, according to records released today.

Chicago’s Independent Police Review Authority found that Supt. Jody Weis “impeded the police department’s operations and was inattentive to his duty in that, while in uniform and on television, he made comments that favored a particular political candidate.”

* Furloughs jeopardize public safety

* Cook County to take appts. for H1N1 shots

* Air pollution tests at North Side school show no high levels, but more testing is planned, EPA says

St. Josaphat School sits near factories with some of the highest risk scores in the country

* Company holiday parties become casualty of downturn

Sixty-two percent of employers responding to the survey said they’ll host holiday parties this year — down from 77 percent a year ago and 90 percent in 2007.

And nearly 30 percent of those that are holding parties say they’re cutting back, the survey found, trimming their party budgets by 10 to 20 percent on average.

* Bridgeport tops trick-or-treat spots

* Soldier from Evergreen Park killed in Afghanistan

- Posted by Mike Murray        

3 Comments
  1. - wordslinger - Friday, Oct 30, 09 @ 9:27 am:

    The Mannheim Road strip has been wide open forever. The article makes it sound like drugs, guns and prostitution are a relatively new phenomenon. They’re not.

    There’s a good reason it’s remained unincorporated all these years.


  2. - Wumpus - Friday, Oct 30, 09 @ 9:51 am:

    Musician, Obama Prophet, police, is there anything that Sting can’t do?


  3. - Will County Woman - Friday, Oct 30, 09 @ 10:09 am:

    I really like Tom Dart. He is a fine example of a public servant. He is just driven by the work that he does, or at least that is the way he come across. Would things be different if he were running for re-election opposed? Perhaps. But, he set things up so that he will likely never be [seriously] opposed for any office he seeks. In his current role, he has a history of results and accomplishment behind him, and at the end of the day it is about what you have or have not done and the impact of your action or inaction.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Open thread 2
* Open thread
* DHS slammed after care disrupted for "thousands" of mentally ill
* Mendoza wants emergency Deloitte contract review
* The plot thickens on Rauner's AV
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Important update and a supplement to today’s edition
* Frerichs: Don't use new federal rules on 529 programs for state taxes
* "Watchdog" flatly denies getting money from Illinois Policy Institute, but group funded 98 percent of budget
* Governor promised "superstar" appointee a year ago, hasn't delivered
* Chicago survives the first cut in Amazon HQ2 sweepstakes
* Rauner to air entire Blagojevich/Pritzker audio this weekend
* Adlai III endorses Biss
* Yesterday's stories

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* Champaign man pleads guilty in teen's 1985 assault, stabbing
* Illinois school officials seek double state education aid
* Indiana city denies wrongful conviction amid lawsuit
* 80-year-old accused of bank robbery has decades-old record
* Lawyers support man's lawsuit in wrongful murder conviction
* U of Illinois trustees approve 4th-straight tuition freeze
* Chicago mayor vows to step up Amazon second headquarters bid
* U of Illinois withdrew 35 job offers after background checks
* Chicago man dies 4 years after suffering gunshot to head

* Mendoza to keynote Women's March Saturday in Springfield
* Chicago mayor vows to step up Amazon second headquarters bid
* Under the Dome Podcast: More Blago-Pritzker talk, Rauner confirms Duke is racist
* Rauner to air extended ad of Pritzker, Blagojevich on wiretap
* U of I withdrew 35 job offers after background checks
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* Chicago a finalist for Amazon's second headquarters
* 2 Illinois governor candidates spend $26M in last 3 months
* 2 Illinois governor candidates spend $28M in last 3 months

* Data center company sues Aurora over telecom tower
* Here's how the 20 HQ2 contenders stack up
* Here's how the 20 HQ2 wannabes stack up
* Crate & Barrel ends five-decade Mag Mile run
* American Airlines expanding O'Hare flights


* Lawyer: OJ Simpson is golfing a lot, staying in Las Vegas
* Natalie Moore: Obama Presidential Center must preserve soul of Jackson Park
* Parents of 13 children charged with years of torture, abuse
* LETTERS: Don’t use Dreamers as bargaining chips
* Since 1 Hollywood sign is good, would 2 be even better?
* Prosecutors want to call 19 other accusers at Cosby retrial
* Man tries to abduct 11-year-old girl walking home from school in West Pullman
* It’s time for the Bulls to start unleashing Zach LaVine heading into Week 2
* Justin Timberlake is still trying to explain ‘Nipplegate’: video
* Police: Woman stabbed mother during domestic dispute in Wilmette


* Man pleads guilty to '85 stabbing death of DuPage girl, will get 80 years in prison
* LINDA C. BLACK HOROSCOPES for 1/18/18
* Amazon narrows list of headquarters cities to 20 finalists
* University of Illinois freezes in-state tuition for fourth year
* Parents of 13 malnourished children charged with years of torture and abuse in California, could face up to life in prison
* Alsip man killed in 'targeted' shooting near Oswego, officials say
* Zimbabwe opposition leader dies in helicopter crash in New Mexico
* Holy Cross School to close due to low enrollment, operating deficit
* Projecting the White Sox's 25-man roster
* Man convicted of double murder as juvenile is freed after 21 years in prison


» 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


* Chicago mayor vows to step up Amazon second headquarters bid
* Under the Dome Podcast: More Blago-Pritzker talk, Rauner confirms Duke is racist
* Rauner to air extended ad of Pritzker, Blagojevich on wiretap
* U of I withdrew 35 job offers after background checks
* Frerichs: Can't get tax break for using college savings plan on private K-12 tuition
* Illinois governor to air extended ad of rival, Blagojevich on wiretap
* Chicago a finalist for Amazon's second headquarters
* 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


* Man tortured into confession will walk free in Illinois
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* Fire disrupts lunch service at Memorial Hospital
* Standoff suspect fled in stolen car after holding man at gunpoint, police say
* Illinois governor to air ad of rival, Blagojevich on wiretap
* 26-year police veteran tapped to lead Moline Police Department
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* Man to serve 9 years for dealing hundreds of grams of fentanyl in less than a year


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* Former Rauner staffer seeks public access to First Lady's emails about abortion bill
* Chicago alderman tees off about illegal immigrants on Tucker Carlson
* State Rep. McSweeney endorses Ives over "failed Governor" Rauner
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* Illinois Awarded Funds to Offer Advanced Training on Detecting Impaired Driving
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