Tuesday, May 26, 2015

And the Weekend Totals Are....

We had set the bar at sixty for the entire 3-day weekend - there's a science to the whole thing.

Channel 7 had nine dead, thirty-two wounded:
  • Nine people were killed and at least 32 others-including a 4-year-old girl-have been wounded in shootings across Chicago this Memorial Day weekend, police said.
Forty-one total, but they stopped counting at 9:30 AM Monday.

Channel 5 had nine dead with thirty-six wounded:
  • The official start of summertime in Chicago began violently, with nine people dead and at least 36 others injured in shootings across the city.
Forty-five total, but NBC stopped counting when the 10:00 News began, missing a few more.

The Sun Times went as far as twelve dead and 39 wounded:
  • Twelve people were killed and at least 39 — including a 4-year-old girl — were wounded in shootings across Chicago this Memorial Day weekend, police said.
Fifty-one, but no finish time is listed.

The Tribune has two articles up - one listing forty-nine shot:
  • Chicago's violent weekend began Friday afternoon when, in the span of three hours, three people were shot in Englewood, another person was wounded in East Chatham and an 81-year-old woman and a relative were hit by gunfire as they sat on a porch in Gresham, taking a break from a wake.
  • A teenage boy and two men have been killed and at least three other people have been wounded in separate shootings since midmorning Monday in Chicago, police said.
Which would put us in the ballpark of fifty-five maimed by gunfire.

So, we're going to have to ask the only authoritative website in Chicago for a true accounting of the weekend mayhem. HeyJackass.com is the only place for real crime statistics. We'll ask that the numbers be accounted for from Friday afternoon until at least midnight Monday-into-Tuesday morning. As soon as the moderators from HeyJackass post in the comment section, we'll get it posted and begin paying out the winnings.

Labels: ,

How About "Stop Treating Him?"

  • A talented teenage basketball player unable to post bond on a low-level burglary charge ended up ingesting screws, needles, a 4-inch piece of metal and other objects while behind bars, leading the jail to spend more than $1 million in medical care on him.

    Authorities at Cook County Jail told the Chicago Tribune that the case of 17-year-old Lamont Cathey highlights the hazards of institutionalizing impressionable youths, some of whom have mental health issues.

    "This case to me is a perfect example of the failure of the criminal justice system," the jail's executive director, Cara Smith, told the newspaper. "It's been a crushingly sad and very frustrating case."
Um, how exactly did the criminal justice system fail him? Did the criminal justice system make him burglarize that building? Is the criminal justice system forcing him to eat metal objects? Did the criminal justice system deny his parents [plural] the ability to come up with bail money or his church or someone? Some prospective college recruiter couldn't come up with the dough?

Seems to us that a criminal is exactly where he belongs. And if you stop treating him for eating metal objects, the situation will sort itself out in short order. One way or the other.

Labels: ,

What a Mess!

Bodies everywhere, records set, it's a complete and total disaster.

  • With five and a half hours left in the Memorial Day Weekend in Baltimore, they have had 27 shootings of which at least 9 were fatal, making it the bloodiest weekend in Baltimore this century.  The mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, prosecutor and black activist, Marilyn Mosby, and Chief of Police Batts as well as the rioters and looters in Baltimore have all done their damnedest to separate those abusive cops from the innocent citizens minding their own business on the streets.  They got their wish and the streets are running red with blood.
You can tell this article isn't from some left-leaning media outlet. Baltimore is likely to experience some of the worst numbers in recent years, numbers so bad that CompStat would be hard pressed to explain or excuse them.

Labels: ,

Monday, May 25, 2015

Uniform and Appearance Changes?

An e-mail from a reader:
  • SCC,

    Word from a friend that the Department is about to change a whole bunch of uniform specs:

    They already outlawed the shorts thank god. Now, no more knit hats in winter or baseball caps in summer. It's the saucer or the Rocky-the-squirrel hats at all times.

    Also, all exposed tattoos will be covered while on-duty, just like New York. McCarthy had to cover his and everyone knows the NYPD is the only way.

    Word is also that the FOP was told to shut up about this and not to raise a fuss. If that's true, why do we have a Uniform and Equipment Committee at FOP sucking up money if they aren't even going to have a voice for this?
Anyone hear about this?

Labels: ,

New Idea - Raise Fees!

  • Chicago homeowners have managed to avoid suburban-style garbage collection fees, but those “spoiled” days may be coming to an end, the newly elected chairman of the City Council’s Black Caucus said.

    “I hate to say it. I know there’ll be a lot of pushback. But a nominal fee may be something we have to look at” to solve the $30 billion pension crisis, said Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6th).

    “All over the country and in smaller municipalities, they do pay for garbage collection. In Chicago, free garbage collection is something we’ve become accustomed to. But just like not having a sales tax on services, those days may be over. We have to look at it to balance the books.”
We're trying to find the article posted last year some time, but it showed that garbage collection in Chicago runs something like $280 per ton. The suburbs number was under $70 per ton. If anyone knows where that article is. let us know. It was in Crain's or the Wall Street Journal or some other business paper.

It's almost as if City garbage is akin to transporting gold....kind of like the dead bodies where some Ohio company was moving bodies for $120 bucks per and they won the Chicago contract and moved dead Chicagoans at over $900 per stiff.

And of course, in the 6th Ward, if the citizens don't want to pay for garbage removal, they'll just throw it in the vacant lot next door or in the alley.


005 Boss Speaks Up

And will probably get launched in short order:
  • I know mike Pigott takes a beating on the blog but he stood up for his guys big time at compstat today!!!!!

    Sup said he thought the 10 hour days were great for 5, Pigott said i disagree, our spike in crimes are right around the time the guys are hitting the 9-10 hour mark. Supt told him to adjust his starting times to which Pigott related he has tried but was told no by MLAS.

    Chief Tracy told dep johnson to not just look into it but get it done!!!!

    Career wise, not good to out someone, but forget all that, Pigott was stand up today.
We also noticed that someone commented 4 sergeants left 005 this past change day - three specifically over the 10-hour day, one for a unit spot. Anyone care to confirm? We know no one from Patrol has left because the Department hasn't posted a single opening in 5 months now.

Labels: ,

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Casino Deal Coming?

From the comments:
  • SCC:

    I was at the sergeant’s union meeting Thursday night.

    You may have heard the radio commercials that state the City of Chicago wants its own casino.

    It turns out that all 5 public safety unions’ (FOP 7, Fire Local 2 and the 3 PBPA Units) met with the City this week. The city has proposed that a casino will in fact be built. Sources say the votes are there to push it through in the state legislature.
    Initially it would be a rush job and be placed at someplace McCormick place and eventually a new one would be built from the ground up.
    ALL casino funds would go DIRECTLY to the police and fire pensions without the city getting their hands on it. (Hopefully that will be in writing.)

    Here is the catch.. the city wants a five year grace period on paying the full amount due by December for the police and fire pension funds. The way it looks the unions will vote yes on this deal.

    It would be smart for the city and our unions to put out commercials countering the negative radio commercials bashing Chicago and state the reason the Casino is necessary; to fund the public safety pensions.

    The reason for the current negative commercials is because there are plenty other towns that want Casinos.
    The commercials state that Chicago is trying to screw the “children”; probably because these other towns like Waukegan wish to use the cash from their casinos to fund education.

    The bottom line is Chicago has the biggest hole to plug because of the pension fiasco.
Sounds almost like a good deal....except for one thing:
  • Here is the catch.. the city wants a five year grace period on paying the full amount due by December for the police and fire pension funds. The way it looks the unions will vote yes on this deal.
That raises all sorts of red flags.

Rahm had trouble winning this last election. He's also decided to govern as if he weren't running again, which is actually very likely. And we all know how "gentlemen agreements" come to Chicago to die.

And a five year window - we imagine the initial shiny new-ness will be all worn off the casino by that time, meaning revenues are going to be...dropping!

We also imagine Rahm and his lawyers will stick in some language about the pension money coming out of "net profits" after the "capital improvements" of the actual facility are paid off or some nonsense, anything to keep us from seeing a dime long past the 5 year window. We don't trust Rahm any farther than we could throw him.

Here's a bit of free advice to Dean and Ade and whoever is in charge over at the Lieutenants organization - you have Rahm over a barrel. Demand he follow state law - make him bleed. There may never be another opportunity. The casino is a wonderful idea, but at the moment it's a pipe dream. Nothing has been passed. Not a damn thing.

The only thing on the books right now is a City obligation to fund the pension by whatever means necessary. He can alleviate the financial pain later, but right now, he is on the hook. DO NOT let him off of it based on a fantasy casino that doesn't even have a life on paper yet.

Look at Block 37 - how many years has that been vacant? Michael Reese Hospital grounds? Vacant and costing the city $200 million it doesn't have. Big plans die under Chicago pols. Bring Rahm to heel first.

Labels: ,

Another $62 Million Pissed Away

  • Ending a costly court fight that City Hall blundered into, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration has paid more than $62 million to settle a dispute with the private operators of four city-owned parking garages downtown, records show.

    The payment last month ended City Hall’s long and unsuccessful legal fight against claims from investors in the four privately operated garages under Millennium Park and Grant Park.

    The dispute dates back six years. That’s when aides to former Mayor Richard M. Daley mistakenly approved a parking garage in the new Aqua building at 225 N. Columbus Dr.
Rahmn of course, exacerbated the problem by appealing the initial award, despite the contract that specifically said how disputes were to be mediated...kind of like the Second Amendment fights that the city lost over and over and over....and kept appealing and losing.

It's almost like the city wants to make plaintiff attorneys rich.


Bloody Weekend So Far

  • A 4-year-old girl playing outside a South Side party was shot in the head Friday evening after someone opened fire from a passing car. The sun hadn't yet set on the traditional first night of summer before the anguished cries of a mother pierced the air, and Chicago faced another senseless act of violence against a child.

    Twenty people were shot and two people killed around the city between Friday afternoon and late Saturday.
Crime is down. The Department is up to strength. Guns are the problem. Something something something.

Over/Under for the long weekend is 60.

Labels: ,

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Weed to be (Nearly) Penalty Free

  • Police won’t be able to arrest Illinoisans for having small amounts of marijuana if a bill passed by lawmakers gets Gov. Bruce Rauner’s signature.

    On Thursday, the Illinois Senate joined the House in passing a bill that makes possession of 15 grams or less of marijuana a noncriminal offense. Instead, police would issue a ticket and a fine of no more than $125.

    The Senate also sent Rauner a bill that would extend the state’s delayed medical marijuana program, which has an imminent expiration date.

    But it’s unclear whether Rauner will sign the pot bills.
Anyone else suspect this has a lot to do with the profit numbers coming out of Seattle and Denver? The politicians smell money.


40 Winks Catches 40 hours

Well, 42.5 under the 4-and-2.

Is he eligible for an appeal?

UPDATE: The reason everyone is complaining that this seems excessive is that most of us remember a certain west side commander who used to actually bring a pillow to work and we don't recall her ever taking a hit for anything she ever did....including running illegal First Amendment Investigations while at IAD.


More Millions

  • The 606, a 2.7-mile-long park on the former train tracks, is set to open June 6, and Paige and others believe it could have a dramatic effect on the surrounding communities. While buzz and excitement build up to the long-anticipated opening, so does trepidation from some who wonder if they will be able to enjoy its benefits.

    Unlike at train-to-park conversions in New York and Paris, Chicago's 606 will allow pets and bikes, Paige, a docent at the Chicago Architecture Foundation, points out proudly.

    "They're going to have festivities, and police are going to patrol it, and it's going to be lighted at night, and they're going to sweep the snow off in the wintertime," Paige said. "What they're doing there is a wonderful thing. It's going to be a great resource for the neighborhoods."
  • The first two blocks of the Chicago Riverwalk's $100 million extension are set to open Saturday, raising the curtain on an urban playground of kayaks, Tiki bar cocktails and floating concert stages.

    Mayor Rahm Emanuel is expected to announce Friday the western expansion of the Riverwalk from State to Clark streets, as well as a one-block addition to LaSalle Street that will open in early June.
But he wants "reform." Remember, Chicago doesn't have a revenue issue - Chicago has a spending problem.


Friday, May 22, 2015

Municipal Bankruptcies

  • If you're short on money and can't pay your bills, you can go to court and declare bankruptcy. But that legal tool is not available to cities and school districts in Illinois.

    Now, some politicians, including Governor Bruce Rauner, are looking to change that. They are pushing for a new law that would give government bodies the ability to declare bankruptcy in the face of crushing pension debt.

    The numbers are staggering.

    Let's start with the state: Illinois has 111-billion dollars in unfunded pension liabilities, while the city of Chicago has 20-billion dollars and another nine and a half billion for Chicago Public Schools.

    Plus, billions more are owed by suburban villages and school districts, which is why some believe part of the solution to Illinois' pension crisis is bankruptcy.
That's not a solution - that's an invitation to continue to spend recklessly and trust a bankruptcy court to rescue the legislature from those unchecked bad decisions.

You know what might work? Pension funds are essentially creditors - how about surrendering assets to the funds and allowing them to run the money-generating aspect of things for a while? The Chicago Police Department's O'Hare International Airport sounds catchy. Maybe the Chicago Fire Department's Navy Pier or the Chicago Teacher's Union McCormick Place Convention Center and Casino. They certainly couldn't do much worse than the city does at running the places and at least the massive amounts of revenue would be directed exactly where they should be in the first place instead of connected pockets.

Labels: ,

Chicago Growing Again?

  • The city of Chicago gained just under 6,000 residents in the year that ended July 1 — better than the decline of the previous decade, but well below the growth in most other big American cities.

    And the figures weren't much better in the suburbs, as once high-flying edge cities such as Joliet, Naperville and Aurora saw their population growth slow to a crawl or even decline.

    According to new estimates released overnight by the U.S. Census Bureau, the population of Chicago proper grew to 2,718,782 on July 1, up 5,862 since July 1, 2012, or about 0.2 percent. The city's population has increased by about 23,000 since the 2010 census, or just under 1 percent.
The Crain's article notes this isn't scientific by any means, relying mostly on tax filings and such, which might not take into account things like kids moving back in (or out) of mom's and dad's place or illegal immigrant populations. We don't see any survey of moving companies which might have a better feel for ingress and egress of the city population, but we know one thing that will drive city growth steadily backwards in short order - the coming tax burden to be forced on the population by pension obligations and possible municipal bankruptcies.

Labels: ,

There Goes the Neighborhood

  • Whites are moving back to the American city that came to epitomize white flight, even as blacks continue to leave for the suburbs and the city's overall population shrinks.

    Detroit is the latest major city to see an influx of whites who may not find the suburbs as alluring as their parents and grandparents did in the last half of the 20th century. Unlike New York, San Francisco and many other cities that have seen the demographic shift, though, it's cheap housing and incentive programs that are partly fueling the regrowth of the Motor City's white population.
A social scientist might observe that these things run in cycles. If so, might we be seeing similar changes in Englewood, North Lawndale and other locations that have a recent history of pale populations?


Thursday, May 21, 2015

FOP Meeting Fail

Tuesday there was an FOP meeting. During it, Dean Angelo pretty much failed to answer a single question honestly or competently. From the comment section, we got this:
  • Highlights from FOP meeting yesterday:
    Mr. Angelo speech:
    -says he was misquoted in the paper but admitted everyone needs to "share" (pension debt). Never explained how non-property owners will "share".
    -avoided question and never gave a definition of "non-discressionary personnel" in the comp time agreement. (Doesnt everyone "share" already with taxes?)
    -says the "15%" elective time off (Dean's agreement) has problems. Never addressed why he signed off on it.
    -Sabich from 009 knew more about this agreement than dean.
    -refused to identify the person in HR/MLAS by name.
    -denied negotiating pension with Emanuel but when asked if Emanuel is lying, "No".
    -Admitted he hasn't submitted any new legislation, even though he campaigned on it.
    -said if you want a by-law change, you have to see him and he will help write it.
    -cameras coming to 015 next.
    -admitted to being a witness to part of Shields lawsuit.
    -was told not to mediate and to sue Shields for lossed overtime. (Everyone agreed).
An e-mailer related that Dean made four proposals for pension relief, but the media only quoted the one regarding raising property taxes. Um, duh. The media does Rahm's bidding Dean, not the FOP's. And now Rahm has you known as the guy proposing raising property taxes. Nice job there.

As to the HR/MLAS person being unidentified, we still haven't seen an answer to the question posed in our comment section asking if you do/did in fact live in the same neighborhood and attend the same school as Don O'Neill, head of MLAS. That might be the answer everyone is looking for.

If the Department is misinterpreting and misapplying the 15% time due memorandum of understanding, why isn't it being grieved? We do have lawyers on staff, right?

Most amusing was the 10-hour day survey. This little handout wasn't helpful:

Keep in mind - this was the survey conducted by the CITY, not the FOP. We have no idea what the questions were, but from various reports from 005, they were loaded so that the city got the responses they wanted, not the responses that would reflect an honest assessment of the program. There was no word from Dean if the FOP planned to consider their own survey - he kept referring to the survey as if he was accepting the findings without rebuttal or exploration. 58% isn't a very good indicator of anything. Addressing the survey itself, we got these points from various e-mailers:
  • As we've stated here many times, the start times suck. 
  • The time between the end-of-tour and court is going to result in more deviations and more unsuccessful prosecutions.
  • Of course, tact and saturation units prefer the schedule - they aren't tied to the radio and they're ducking early.
With this type of leadership, Dean might be the last president the FOP ever has in Chicago.

Labels: ,

This was Prophetic

  • City Treasurer Miriam Santos made a last-ditch attempt Tuesday to stave off a move by her former political patron, Mayor Richard Daley, to cut her power and remove her from overseeing more than $8 billion in politically sensitive city pension fund investments.

    At a news conference in Chicago, Santos said the city`s four pension funds were being mismanaged, and she issued a list of proposed reforms.

    ``The pension funds will be Chicago`s S&L crisis 20 years from now if we continue down the road of mismanagement,`` she said. ``There is a lack of accountability that must be addressed.``

    Standing beside former U.S. Sen. Adlai Stevenson, who supported her efforts, she said most pension funds are underfunded, and she warned that property tax payers could be asked to make up the difference in the future.

    Santos, who also said she wanted to stay on the boards that oversee the pensions so she can be an independent voice, then left the city for more lobbying in Springfield, where the General Assembly is holding its fall veto session.

    But her tactic may fall short, because Daley operatives in the Illinois Senate said they were set to push a bill Wednesday that would, among other things, give Daley the option of removing Santos from the pension boards and replacing her with someone who will follow instructions.
And everyone remembers what happened to Miriam Santos, right? Daley got his "... someone who will follow instructions" and we've been paying the price ever since. Everything Santos predicted would happen...has happened...with astonishingly exactitude, so any claims that this was "unforeseen" or "circumstances beyond control" are pretty much lying to us all.


Ex-Commander Trial Delayed

Prosecutors move to delay - something came up?
  • An unexpected move in court Wednesday by prosecutors in the case against Chicago police commander Glenn Evans as they requested and received a delay in the start of the trial.

    It was scheduled to begin June 22.

    Prosecutors said, “something has come up,” but did not give specific details.

    Apparently, the Chicago Police Department’s Internal Affairs division is conducting an investigation that may have some bearing on the case.
McJersey was not seen nearby supporting his brass.



  • One month after receiving a $20,000 contribution from one of the world’s largest producers of ethanol, Chicago’s most powerful alderman on Wednesday breathed new life into his plan to require Chicago gas stations to offer motorists a higher ethanol blend of fuel known as E-15.

    At the start of every new term of the City Council, aldermen approve a resolution that kills all pending legislation from the old Council. It’s a way to clean the slate and start again.

    That’s what happened Wednesday at the second official meeting of the new term. Monday’s inauguration was technically the first.

    But the “kill resolution” that Ald. Edward M. Burke co-sponsored keeps alive the E-15 ordinance by excluding “any matter ordered to be deferred and published on or after Dec. 10, 2014.”
Which just happens to be a major issue to the ethanol producer.



Yeah, we saw it.

Sure, you all did, too.

If you didn't, you can find it.

Shit happens - we aren't going to defend it.

He'll take his hit like anyone else.

Unless he's connected.


Shots Fired At/By the Police

  • Chicago police officers exchanged gunfire with suspects on the city’s South Side. The officers reportedly heard gun shots fired at about 9:15 p.m. Monday and saw two people running down the street near 61st and Laflin in Englewood.

    The officers chased the suspects and took them into custody.

    No one was hit by the gunfire; however an officer was slightly injured during the chase.
Speedy recovery wished to the injured. Be careful Officers.


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Remember - Chicago is Broke

But someone coming home from court to day saw this going up on Roosevelt Road:

Those were being placed on light poles up and down Roosevelt, dozens upon dozens. This, in a neighborhood that if we aren't too far off the mark, has accounted for nearly 2,500 homicides and tens-of-thousands of maimings during our careers.

No money for pensions, but Rahm can decorate one of the most violent neighborhoods in Chicago, in Illinois and in the United States.


40 Years Ago

  • Much of what Carolyn Cali-Brick knows about her father comes from faded memorabilia and the brittle, yellowed pages of newspaper clippings.

    Once every 10 years, that picture expands when the “brotherhood” gathers, as it did Tuesday in a Park Ridge church — men with silver or thinning hair, bum knees, and shuffling gaits — to remember Chicago Police Officer Joseph P. Cali.

    “We’re often the ones who receive the brunt of the protesters and the violence, and people seem to forget that police officers are husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, children,” said retired Chicago policeman Walter Dudycz, commemorating the 40th anniversary of Cali’s death from a sniper’s bullet. “And this is just a reminder that we are part of the community.”
Dudycz drove Cali to the hospital where he died, sniped while he was writing a parking ticket. His killer walked out of prison in 1986 - a mere 11 years after the killing. That is a crying shame.


Cop Cleared in Lawsuit

  • A civil trial jury ruled on Tuesday that a Chicago police officer did not use unjustified force in the 2011 fatal shooting of an 18-year-old black man.

    Plaintiff Wanda Edwards was seeking unspecified damages for the death of her son, Parise Mercer, in a trial that began last week against a backdrop of rising scrutiny over police conduct toward African Americans.

    Officer [...], the defendant, who also is black, was trying to arrest Mercer after a July shooting outside a restaurant. Authorities said Mercer ran and pointed a gun at [the officers]. Both officers fired and Mercer was struck by one bullet in the back and died.
What did we predict not even three weeks ago? That news reports will start pointing out the race of the officers involved because of all the riots, looting, burning, etc., and here it is, not even a month later.

The usual accusations were made of planted guns, altar boys and excessive force - the jury voted 8-0 in favor of the police defendants, so evidently there are some sane people serving on civil juries and some lawyers who can field a decent case.


Here's an Idea!

  • Chicago Park District officials said Tuesday they are asking Riot Fest organizers to look at moving the lively three-day festival to another park, such as Douglas Park on the Near West Side.

    Last month, Ald. Roberto Maldonado (26th) pushed for the eviction of the festival from Humboldt Park after alleging $150,000 in promised park repairs tied to last year’s festival hadn’t been completed.

    “The Chicago Park District has urged Riot Fest organizers to consider alternate locations to Humboldt Park. Douglas Park is among them,” said Jessica Maxey-Faulkner, a spokeswoman for the park district.
They must really want to kill this festival if they're sending it to the west side.


Completely Expected

  • City crime spike. A dramatic increase in violence in Baltimore. Dozens of shooting and murders in the last few weeks following the riots last month.

    [CBS Balitomore] reports some are concerned police are hesitant to crack down after six officers were charged in the death of Freddie Gray.

    [...] ....one of 96 homicides in Baltimore this year–an undercurrent of violence that’s up almost one-third from this time last year.
37 homicides in 30 days - those are big city numbers there.


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

RIP Emily

  • Emily Beazley, the 12-year-old girl who talked to Taylor Swift and got to serve as a Chicago cop during a public battle with cancer died Tuesday morning.

    Emily’s mother, Nadia Beasley, posted a message about the Mount Greenwood girl’s passing on her Facebook page: “My beautiful Emily got to use her angel wings. She fought hard to the end. Her last gift to me was passing peacefully.”
There is no greater tragedy than a parent having to bury their child.

Condolences to the Beazley family.


There's No Money! ::bullshit::

This comment appeared earlier today:
  • "...it's State Law, backed by the Illinois Constitution..."

    How does this argument hold up when there simply is no more money left in the coffers? Conjure it up out of thin air?

    Better wake up...
Chicago is a $7.3 BILLION dollar entity. It jumps to 8.9 billion when grant funds are included from various sources. Illinois is a $70+ billion boondoggle when everything is figured in.

The trouble isn't that there isn't any money - there is plenty of money.  The trouble is that no one is spending it responsibly. We've outlined it here plenty of times and sometimes a reporter strays off the reservation and actually points out some fiscal malfeasance, but that's rare.
  • construction hasn't slowed and Rahm is proposing more - why is that?
  • we explained the crooked contracts where taxpayers are getting fleeced to the tune of tens of millions a year, hundreds of millions over the years by paying someone an extra 10-to-30% just because they are approved minority vendors;
  • ridiculous taxes that drive shoppers away from Chicago - water tax, soda tax. etc;
  • more taxes, not to mention the labor, that cost Chicago millions in convention business;
  • golden pensions that people got solely by birthright, fortuitous marriage, payoffs or as hush-money;
  • payouts to middle men for losing pension money
Need we go on? We still haven't seen an enterprising reporter or an enterprising FOP member with a lot of time on their hands dissect the city budget. We've seen isolated sections of the budget at various times - do you know how many people in there are listed as "assistants" or "deputy director" or "assistant to an assistant"? We've seen dozens in all sorts of departments. That screams "padded payroll" to us and many others. Where are the efficiency experts taking apart those budgets?

Then let's get into the fraud aspect. Whoa Nelly.

Then let's hit the "assistance" sections of the budget:
  • housing assitance
  • gas/electric/water/sewer/phone bill assistance
  • job training
  • back-to-school expenditures - without any sort of means testing
There's always plenty of money for that for some reason. It's high time government was forced to re-prioritize its spending habits.


Meanwhile, in Chicago....

All the national headlines were about the biker shootout in Texas. Nine dead, eighteen wounded, over 150 arrested and it's a giant deal because, "BIKERS!"

Not covered by the national networks though...:
  • Two men were killed and at least 47 other people — including an 81-year-old woman — were wounded in shootings across Chicago between Friday afternoon and Monday morning.
But hey, you know, that's just a typical weekend in Chicago - forty-nine shot, two of them dead. Nothing to see here, move along, Rahm has money to spend.


No More "Intimidating" Equipment

  • In a surprise announcement coming nine months after police in riot gear dispelled racially charged protests, President Barack Obama is banning the federal government from providing some military-style equipment to local departments and putting stricter controls on other weapons and gear distributed to law enforcement.

    The announcement comes after the White House suggested last year that Obama would maintain programs that provide the type of military-style equipment used to respond to demonstrators last summer in Ferguson, Missouri, because of their broader contribution to public safety. But an interagency group found "substantial risk of misusing or overusing" items like tracked armored vehicles, high-powered firearms and camouflage could undermine trust in police.
On one hand, there are entire production lines of "civilian" equivalents for most of the equipment used in a riot situation. On the other, the material available is outdated or redundant for the military and ends up sitting in warehouses collecting dust. Taxpayers ought to be happy it can be "re-purposed" instead of shipped of to some fith-rate third-world military at a later date.

Maybe a happier paint scheme would quiet the critics who view police as "too threatening." Something in pink and yellow we suppose. It would also make the "tactical gear queers" stop thinking that they're like Delta Force and remembering that they're police officers first.

But the fact remains that policing has changed as the threats internally have evolved. ISIS threats are a regular thing now. The Boston bombings were most likely a harbinger of things to come. Lone wolf attacks involving foreign-trained individuals in military-style camps are possible, to say nothing of the intentionally created racial-strife in democrat-controlled urban environments. A "disproportionate response" to these types of threats isn't intimidating - it's obligated to demonstrate an ability to restore order to the rule of law when disorder is the aim of the lawless.


Rahm Sworn At

  • Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel will be sworn into his second term in office Monday at the Chicago Theatre. His wife and children attended, as did former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley and former U.S. President Bill Clinton.

    Clinton and Emanuel have a long history together. In 1992, Emanuel moved to Little Rock, Arkansas, to work for then-governor Clinton. The mayor later served in senior positions in the Clinton White House during the former president's two terms.
Well, that should be the next-to-final nail in Chicago's coffin. Perhaps Rahm is hoping Hillary will give him some good tips on cattle futures to invest pension money in.


Monday, May 18, 2015

Rahm's Plan for Chicago - SPEND!!!

  • He has big plans for the second term he fought so hard and spent so much to win.

    Get high-speed rail from downtown to O’Hare Airport started.

    Bring top chefs’ restaurants to O’Hare’s domestic terminals.

    Build a shared police and fire training academy.

    Possibly clean house at the Chicago Board of Education in the face of an ongoing federal investigation.
Usually when you're out of money, you stop spending it. At least until you know the next check is on the way...or cleared. Not this money manager though! He knows best!

His Sun Times Q and A is an eye-roller:
  • Q: The wording of the Supreme Court ruling was so strong. Haven’t you lost your leverage with police and fire unions?
    A: I’ve said since Day 1 . . . that this day of reckoning was gonna come. We can’t put it off. Which is why I went so hard on getting both Laborer and Muncipal [pension fund reforms] done. And we are having right now healthy discussions with police and fire on how to resolve their pension security needs in a way that does not unfairly burden taxpayers.
Dean, you reading? Even the media acknowledges Rahm lost leverage. You damn well better be bending him over a barrel and hold him to the law passed in Springfield. Rahm has no power to adjust the pension - it's State Law, backed by the Illinois Constitution. We certainly hope that retirees don't have to sue the FOP for negotiating something that is supposed to be legislated.
  • Q: If you’re wrong, what happens?
    A: I’m not gonna go in to court tactically with a public position, “The mayor says, ‘If we’re wrong here . . .’ ” But more importantly, we don’t believe we’re wrong.

    Q. You must have a Plan B.
    A: We believe we’re right. . . . I don’t think it’s the appropriate thing to discuss a Plan B while you’re going to court on Plan A.
Wow, no Plan B. That is a forward thinker boys and girls. You just can't get that type of leadership anywhere...it's a special kind of Chicago-stupid, like what's in the White House right now.

Here's a revelation:
  • Q: Is [McCarthy] staying for the four years?
    A: Yeah.
Damn. That throws off the over/under betting across the board. In any event, go read it all. Like we said, brilliant leadership here - damn the torpedoes and full speed ahead. Rahm doesn't care if he's headed for the cliff, he just wants to get there as quick as possible.

Labels: ,

No Shortages! Trust Us!

  • After a series of attacks and anti-Semitic threats, Jewish families in West Rogers Park have lined up their own security force of off-duty Chicago police officers to patrol the neighborhood.

    But the neighborhood's top police officers are unhappy about the move, saying they don't want residents to get a false sense of security.
Newsflash "top" police officers - they are less secure, and they can prove it. The uptick in hate crimes, the graffiti, robbery, thefts, etc. Crime is about perception. The community perceives that they are unsafe and are moving to take steps.

Wait until you see what some are saying:
  • "It was brought to our attention there was a group of citizens in the area that don't feel the police are serving the community the best we can," said Sgt. Shawn Sisk, who leads the district's community policing office. "We can't stop that from happening; however, we're not going to support it. We don’t want that to send a false sense of security to the neighborhood."
Um, a highly visible number of officer on patrol is a deterrent in itself there Sherlock. And the community isn't feeling it. So they reach outside the Department hierarchy to remedy the situation, by hiring members of the Department that they obviously know and trust and ...get this...pay them out of their own pockets to make them feel safer!

And what about the manpower issues?
  • But resident Andrew Glatz said the private patrols were not meant as an affront to the police department, but rather a complement. He said the trained officers know what to look for when out on patrol.

    "Given the cutbacks ... we just felt it was imperative to us to give extra eyes and ears to the police," Glatz said, comparing the move to patients at "wonderful hospitals" who might hire private nurses.
Cutbacks? There were cutbacks? Oh wait, that's just a direct way of saying what the city calls "reduction by attrition" where they don't open bids so people might be able to bid to a relatively nice assignment in a quieter district. We heard that the manpower numbers in the entire 024 District are well under 200 cops. For comparison purposes, a busy District like 007 will field more officers on any given day (even with one-third of officers RDO and another 7% on furlough) that 024 has on an entire watch.
  • But the police — in one of the safest districts in the city — implored residents to stop the patrols.

    Richard Concaildi, the CAPS beat facilitator for the area, encouraged residents to rely on 911 when they feel unsafe or witness suspicious behavior.
Didn't a few south side aldercreatures start up neighborhood patrols made up of off-duty cops to patrol business areas and politically sensitive blocks? And weren't these officers paid from a special fund collected from businesses, churches and interested citizens? And weren't the officers from the nearby district and therefore have a pretty good working knowledge of exactly what was going on?

But here's a CAPS weasel saying "rely on 911!" The community isn't stupid, they've seen the reductions in manpower, they feel the violence/intimidation getting worse, their still willing to put out a little extra money for protecting their families, but this moron wants them to rely on a system and an organization that they feel has already failed them. That is some dumb shit.

And stop fucking with coppers' side-jobs.


Time to Fence Off Englewood

  • A bullet shattered the window of an ambulance as paramedics were working on a patient Sunday evening in the West Englewood neighborhood.

    The ambulance, operated by the Chicago Fire Department, was shot about 5:40 p.m. in the 5600 block of South Bishop, according to fire department spokesman Will Knight.

    The bullet shattered the driver’s-side window, and a large caliber slug was found in the cab portion of the ambulance, the statement said. Two paramedics were treating a patient in the back at the time of the shooting, the statement said. No one was shot.
So if the paramedics feel unsafe (provably unsafe), and refuse to go into what is essentially a combat zone, we imagine the outcry would be rather large. But really, can you blame them? We expect this sort of thing and train for it, but paramedics and firefighters? They're there to attempt to save lives.

Screw it - they want a ride to the hospital, find a jitney cab.


Biker Lives Matter!

  • A shootout among rival motorcycle gangs at a popular Central Texas restaurant left nine bikers dead and 18 injured, and it sent panicked patrons and bystanders fleeing for safety, a police spokesman said Sunday.

    The violence erupted shortly after noon at a busy Waco shopping center along Interstate 35 that draws a large lunchtime crowd. Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton said eight people died at the scene of the shooting at Twin Peaks restaurant and another person died at a hospital.
Thanks to CompStat-Waco, these will all be listed as self-defense, death investigations or mutual combatants. Waco crime will not rise and crime is down! Police may have killed one or more of the gang members and the investigation continues.

Amazingly, according to the article, not a single innocent was so much as winged during the entire episode.

Labels: ,

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Another Reason Illinois is Broke

Along the lines of the below Navy Pier article, they're paying for poor performance:
  • The only thing Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner wants to say about his state’s pension system is that he thinks the required payouts are so burdensome, there should be a constitutional amendment that would allow him to cut them.

    Rauner himself is a former private equity executive who managed hundreds of millions of dollars from public pension funds (including some in Illinois). As the pension funding crisis has become increasingly acute, he has avoided talking about how his own industry may have contributed to the crisis: specifically, through high fees and underperformance -- and, according to a new report, influence peddling.

  • This new study suggests the involvement of placement agents in pension investments may have significantly worsened pension liabilities in states that were already facing substantial gaps between what they’ve saved for workers’ retirement and what they are contractually obligated to pay out in benefits.

    In Illinois, where Rauner is pushing retirement benefit cuts, the trend is illustrative. There, the $18.9 billion Illinois State Universities Retirement System (SURS) used placement agents for 15.6 percent of its private equity investments -- which then underperformed the pension fund’s other private equity investments by -9.2 percent. The underperformance may have cost the system hundreds of millions of dollars, money could have been used to shore up the plan’s funding.
The middle men get rich, while public employees get fleeced - twice. Read it all - the article ties in California, New York and Virginia under-performing funds along with Illinois.


In Any Other Business...

Under-performance is usually grounds for change, but only in the private sector:
  • Navy Pier’s big makeover is more than a year behind schedule. Attendance has fallen. But top executives still took home big bonuses, newly released records show.

    Nine Navy Pier Inc. executives were given bonuses totaling nearly $350,000 in 2013, according to the latest report to the Internal Revenue Service filed by Navy Pier Inc., the private organization that runs the government-owned tourist attraction.
You want a look at clout-on-steroids, check out this article. Millions in revenue benefiting a very small, select group of connected individuals, and don't even get us started on the untraceable cash running through there.

NOTE: We're going to see a bunch of comments ripping cops for getting "generous" salaries and under-performing. You can measure how many garbage cans get picked up, or how many service requests get filled, how many yards of concrete get poured or trees cut down or potholes filled. You can't have it both ways - either cops are lazy and getting paid way too much or we're doing a great job according to CompStat and getting paid way too little. Police work isn't measurable like that, though everyone is trying.


Mope-Rah at it Again

She is so close to actually breaking through on something. You can see it, but she just can't make the last connection:
  • There is much praise for good Samaritans.

    These strangers often put their own lives at risk trying to save others from peril.

    Sometimes, the news media or the police recognize these heroic efforts, but quite often good Samaritans disappear without anyone ever knowing their names.

    In 2013, two unidentified good Samaritans foiled a rape attempt near a CTA Orange Line station by coming to the aid of an 18-year-old woman who was thrown to the ground in the attack.

    Last week, we saw a very different response to a situation in which it was clear someone was in desperate need of help. A young woman riding a CTA Red Line train alone in the early hours of the morning was trying to fight off a rapist when the train pulled into the North/Clybourn stop, and a man got on.

    According to the woman, he attacked her, pulling down her pants and underwear. She was screaming for help when the stranger stumbled onto the scene.

    But instead of trying to make the attacker stop, or pushing the emergency call button, or even dialing 911, the man turned around and left the train.
Mope-rah heaps scorn on the witness. Rightfully? Who knows. Most people aren't that good in a one-on-one encounter. We certainly aren't as good as we used to be so many years ago...time robs us of vision, reflexes, recovery time, etc. It happens to all of us. Mope-rah doesn't describe the age or condition of the "failed" hero.

Would we have intervened? Most certainly. But we would have had something that the good Samaritan probably didn't have, something that would equalize the odds, especially if he was frail, untested, hesitant about his odds taking on an assailant in an empty train car with no one else around to help, something that he was banned from carrying on a CTA train. Remember, when seconds count, the police are only minutes away - more so in the Mass Transit Unit.

But Mope-rah doesn't make that leap, probably for the same reason the stranger turned away from a criminal act in his presence. You can almost feel the inner-conservative begging to come out of Mope-rah's shadow. Maybe one day....


..........................Older Posts