Joan Higginbotham South Sider!

Astronaut Joan E. Higginbotham, graduate of Chicago's Whitney Young High School, prepares for space shuttle flight.

One of our very own South Siders! Congratulations Joan!

Born: Aug. 3, 1964, in Chicago

Education: The 1982 Whitney Young High School graduate has an electrical engineering degree from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and masters' degrees in engineering management and space systems from the Florida Institute of Technology.

Career: Higginbotham began her NASA career as a payload electrical engineer at the Kennedy Space Center in 1987. She was selected as an astronaut candidate for NASA in 1996.

Cubs or Sox? White Sox What kind of question is that?

Joan Higginbotham

And Bobbie Steele telling like it is, on her side.
Steele's side

""Both I and president-elect Todd Stroger endorse this," retiring Board President Bobbie Steele said. "It is in the best interest of Cook County employees, as well as the citizens of Cook County, to promote fair and lawful employment."

Oh Please!, how stupid do you think Cook County Citizens are? What about your jobs? Your friends and family's jobs? Who is this going to apply to? Who will get exceptions? Who already has exceptions? You both can start right away with yourselves. Look Lady and Twerp it's impossible for me to find anyone on the South Side happy with either one of you. There are too many of us good and fluffed up with both of you.
Cook County gets a Job Monitor

And of course Forrest Claypool had a comment:

This is more a settlement of a civil action than a landmark political event," Claypool said. "The real reform is coming from the U.S. Attorney's office."

And John Daley is not happy with our Governor.
John Daley, Cook County Commissioner, 11th District

George Ryan needs prison

George Ryan ex-Governor, wins one today, looses one today. Sorry his picture is not straight, but niether was he.

Looses pension

But he is free to get another job

What would Steve Neal think of all of this? And then news is not in on the Steele situation. Bobbie Steele will get a really nice pension. Will her son Robert be in her vacant Commissioner post soon? Who will be in Todd's 8th Ward Alderman position? Will it be William Beavers daughter?

Will Jesse Jackson Jr.'s wife go for William Beavers 7th Ward Alderman's position? Now that William Beavers left his Alderman position to get appointed to the vacant Commissoner seat?

Bobbie Steele what's up?

Bobbie Steele has a closed door meeting today on Cook County hiring practices.

And what else will come up? Your son replacing you? Please!

Mayor Daley expected to annouce he is running for re-election


State Board meets today concerning convicted Governor Ryan's Pension

Ryan's lawyer ex-Governor Jim Thompson fighting for pension

Bobbie Steel resigns post

It's Official Bobbie Steele resigns!
Rumors have it she will take a position on Todd Stroger's transition team, no need to go into an alley and make a deal you can do right out in the open.

Steele officially resigns
By Mickey Ciokajlo Tribune staff reporter
Published November 28, 2006, 4:36 PM CST

Outgoing Cook County Board President Bobbie Steele today officially resigned the county commissioner seat she was re-elected to earlier this month, a move that will let her double her annual pension.Steele, who has served on the board since 1986, was re-elected Nov. 7 to another four years as a county commissioner. She has also served as president of the board since Aug. 1 after commissioners picked her to fill the unexpired term of former board President John Stroger, who retired after suffering a stroke.

By resigning as board president and not returning for another term as commissioner, Steele, 69, will collect a pension based on her outgoing salary as board president, instead of her lower commissioner pay. The move will double her annual pension to $136,000 a year. The resignation is effective Thursday.Steele is expected to ask the committeemen in her district, which includes portions of Chicago's West and South Sides, to select one of her sons, Robert B. Steele, as her replacement on the County Board.A spokesperson for Steele declined to comment.
Copyright © 2006, Chicago Tribune

Sure why not ! Ambrosio Medrano convicted in Silver Shovel is out of the pokey and ready to run for Alderman!

Ambrosio Medrano

Ambrosio Medrano - 25th Ward

If you can follow all the relationships between City Hall and Cook County and back again:

Mayor Richard Daley refuses to comment on Sorich

Go Sox

Some things never fail to surprise me. The South Side baseball team is much better than the North side baseball team. And property taxes are going up.

Taxes going up in Cook County and Chicago? Surprise!

Some things are, well a little of a surprise. Like Dorothy Tillman Alderman of the 3rd Ward is actually getting real competition for 3rd Ward Alderman next election. Her running mate, Mell Monroe is starting with the fact that she spent so much money on sculptures when her Ward desperately needs the money in so many other areas.
My early memories are of Dorothy Tillman and one of her big hats are Dorothy grabbing a painting off the wall of the Art Institute and heading out the door. There was so much film of Dorothy in one her biggest hats hanging onto the painting and pushing her way out of the Institute. The picture was of the late Harold Washington in ladies underwear, painted by an art student of the Art Institute. OK so anything Dorothy does should not surprise anyone? This was the first sign that Dorothy paid attention to the arts. For non-Chicagoans, Dorothy Tillman is never without a hat, she infamous for them. Is she on the Art committee?

With the group we have in Cook County government and City Hall we don't have a lot of dull media days.

Mell Monroe

Dorothy Tillman art appreciation


I know the CPS teachers worked hard for their money. I went through the Chicago Public Schools and saw first hand.

As if the Chicago Public School teachers retiring don't have enough to worry about

CC Budget cuts at Stroger Hospital

Is it the upcoming season or is it given the fact that Illinois Attorney General, Lisa Madigan has been looking closely at how much indigent care, tax exempt Hospitals have been giving, or not giving?
This should come at no surprise that the Hospitals bordering, or right across Wood Street from Stroger Hospital have decided to help out.
Interestingly enough the County Budget has to be passed in February, and is it being worked on? Will they cut where they need to, add where they need to or have nurses making 6 figures on overtime pay alone?

U of I, Rush Hospital Help out John Stroger aka Cook County Hospital

Unbelievable amounts are paid in overtime each year

Lisa Madigan upset with Hospitals

Lisa Madigan looking closely at tax exempt Hospitals

Madigan on Hospitals

Quote unquote"Todd Stroger: The Most Ignorant Politician in Human History"

I can see Todd Stroger is getting quite a fan base, even before officially taking office.

Todd Stroger not looking good

Movement of pols between the county and city

And to think if there were not so many coverups and lies about John Stroger's condition, Forrest Claypool would be the new Cook County President.

Now Steele will have a press conferance next week

If Steele is successful in persuading committeemen to appoint her son, it will be the last step in a complicated seven-person family shuffle touched off by John Stroger's stroke just before the primary election.

John Stroger's longtime ally, Ald. William Beavers (7th), persuaded committeemen to appoint John Stroger's son Todd to replace John on the November ballot as the Democratic candidate for board president, while Beavers became the candidate for John Stroger's old 4th District seat on the board.

Beavers plans to ask Mayor Richard Daley to appoint Beavers' daughter and longtime chief of staff, Darcel Beavers, as his replacement on city council. Todd Stroger is expected to ask the mayor to appoint Michelle Harris, now the county board secretary and a longtime friend of the Stroger family, as his replacement in council as 8th Ward alderman.

Claypool derided the move as nepotism at the same time that he said voters probably would accept it.

"It seems nowadays the only people eligible for office in Illinois are the children or in-laws of elected officials," Claypool said. "It's like the royal privileges of 18th century England imposed on Illinois taxpayers."

Family business at the County and City

And if you missed Todd's Acceptance speech:

Ald. William Beavers (7th), whom Todd Stroger called "my godfather," said he played an instrumental role in rallying the party behind Stroger. Aiding Stroger will be Beavers, who was elected Tuesday to John Stroger's former commissioner's seat on the County Board. Beavers intends to retire from the City Council and hopes Daley will appoint his daughter, Darcel, to his seat.

Michelle Harris, an aide to the late Ald. Lorraine Dixon (8th), is expected to get Todd Stroger's City Council seat

Billboard wars

Views from the South Side.

Just a reminder that the alderman's race is around the corner:

9th Ward billboard war breaks out Alderman blocks ads; challenger incensed

By Gary Washburn
Tribune staff reporter
November 24, 2006

A dispute over billboards has broken out in Chicago's 9th Ward, one of the first brouhahas in what is expected to be a contentious campaign season leading up to February's aldermanic elections
Challenger Earick Rayburn contends that Ald. Anthony Beale has used his political muscle to have Rayburn ads removed from three billboards in the South Side ward. Meanwhile, Beale, who denies the claim, has sent a letter to Illinois Atty. Gen. Lisa Madigan questioning whether money from a not-for-profit organization can be spent on Rayburn's political campaign.
The dust-up dates to August when INTERCEPT NOW, a non-profit community group, signed a seven-month contract with United Billboard Co. of Park Ridge for three spots to promote the organization, said Stephany Spaulding, an INTERCEPT board member.
The group, whose operations so far have been funded from the pockets of its board members, paid United $5,000 up front, Spaulding said.
The trouble started after INTERCEPT decided to change the ads on the three billboards earlier this month to tout the candidacy of Rayburn, one of the organization's seven board members. Within days, his message was papered over.
United Billboard's president "offered me a refund, but I don't want a refund," Spaulding said. "I want my billboards."Spaulding charged that Beale used his influence to bully the company.
The alderman denied that, though he acknowledged calling a United Billboard salesman.
"Basically my conversation to him was that I had reserved all of the billboards in July," Beale said. "When I saw a political billboard go up, I said, `I thought I had all the billboards tied up.' He said, `You do.'"
The salesman, John Williams, said a new salesman for the company granted the INTERCEPT contract in August without realizing the company had signed an agreement with Beale on July 19 to reserve billboards for his political ads beginning in late December.
Though there are multiple boards at the three locations where INTERCEPT rented advertising space, United's policy is to allow the ads of only one candidate per race at any spot, Williams said.
Moreover, the community group overstepped its bounds by switching to the Rayburn ads, Williams said. Because it is not-for-profit, INTERCEPT received a cheaper rate than what a political advertiser would have been charged, he said.
Beale's complaint about the use of INTERCEPT funds for political purposes has been received by the attorney general's office, said Cara Smith, a spokeswoman for Madigan.
"These types of inquiries about charitable organizations are routine," she said. "Our process is to look at whether they should be registered with us and what rules should apply to them."
Spaulding said the INTERCEPT/Rayburn camp is undeterred.
If the billboard company doesn't reverse course, "we are looking into a lawsuit," she said.
If past aldermanic contests are a guide, similar disputes between competing campaigns will crop up with increasing frequency as the Feb. 27 election gets closer.
On Monday, challenger Mell Monroe has scheduled a news conference to question how Ald. Dorothy Tillman (3rd) has spent city infrastructure improvement funds in her South Side ward.
Labor and business interests are expected to help fuel some of the battles in the election.
The Chicago Federation of Labor and the Service Employees International Union plan to fund sympathetic candidates in selected races, while the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce has acknowledged it will back candidates of its own.

Anyone with certain Chicago zip codes may want to attend this meeting

Thanksgiving day parade

For people not in Chicago, things may come as a surprise in our Thanksgiving day Parade, that we have to stop the El trains (special CTA crew in bright yellow vests) to pull the balloons under the El tracks so the sparks from the trains don't pop them,a pizza truck instead of a float, and a fish driving a coast guard boat.
For me it's no surprise that Bobbie Steele will decide to retire on Presidential pension and name one of her children as a replacement. But now we know which one.
Bobbie Steeles anoints Son as Commissioner
Also rumor has it that Bobbie Steele will end up in another County Job while collecting pension at 130k something a year, instead of about 70K something a year commissioner pension, to be on Todd Stroger's transition team.

There is too much nepotism in Illinois politics. You have to be a relative of somebody to hold public office and I think that's wrong and it's not a very healthy in a democracy," said Commissioner Forrest Claypool, (D) Chicago

But her son Robert was already a Chicago Park District Administrator, and who will get his job? Now he is going from the City to the County. Will someone from the County or City replace him? Will it be a relative of one of these?

My predictions for Commissioners not going to take it easy on Todd are, Peraica, Claypool, Quigley, Moreno, Maldonado, and Silvestri.
Those I predict that are going to take it easy on Todd are, John Daley (yes he is Richard M. Daley, mayor's brother), Sims, Murphy, Collins, and Steele (Bobbie). Others I can not decide on, but am anxiously waiting to see include Butler, Gorman, Hansen, Goslin, Suffredin, and Robert Steele. These are not my New Year's predictions because the next County Board meeting is Dec. 6th.

Todd Stroger with bonus Lance Tyson

Todd Stroger is not even in office yet but, breaks first campaign promise to get rid of Gerald Nichols, whom Bobbie Steele put on suspension when the Feds started looking at him. But it gets better, when Todd was a State Representative he sponsored a $12,000 grant for Nichols daughter, for college.
Now Todd's new chief of staff will be Lance C. Tyson, who previously worked for Mayor Daley in the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs where he represented the city before the Illinois General Assembly.
Stoger's transition team leader will be former Chicago Buildings commissioner Mary Richard-Lowry.

Cultural Center

The Chicago Cultural Center.
This is located on Michigan Avenue and Randolf.
There are many art displays going at any given time on each floor.

Marshall Field's

Macy's in the Marshall Fields Building windows. I just don't remember Mary Poppins in the Jungle or a Gingerbread House?

So far the city is paying attorney fees for those accused in the hired truck scandal.
Also fees paid to Noelle Brennan are pretty steep.
It's just getting more costly to live in the city

Marshall Field's

The Marshall Fields clock is at State and Washington.

Inside Macy's (Marshall Fields)

Cook County commissioner Joseph Moreno will be investigated first.
One thing about Moreno, he seems to have always done in homework before going into the County Board meetings. He was one of the commissioners not afraid of anyone on the board. I hope this investigation does not come of anything because he will be one of the commissionerss to make Todd Stroger squirm.


CC meeting with President Bobbie Steele

Todd Stroger already breaking campaign promises by bringing Nichols back. Nichols who is under Federal investigation for being patronage chief.

First promise by Todd broke

As I watched the last Cook County Board meeting, and watching Todd in the audience looking like a spectator, not taking any notes.......I worry,really worry. Alderman, uh um soon to be commissioner Beavers next to him no pen in hand either.
Forrest Claypool brought up a very good point "Why do we keep approving proposals, contracts etc. When they are still in negotiations?" He also brought up the that this will be something he is will work on in the next term. Go Forrest!
Mike Quigley then asks President Steele how far along are they on the next budget that is due in February? Of course Mike Quigley pointed out "I know you have not had a lot of time" Yes and President Steele pointed out "Yes there has not been much time". Yes, there has not much time because of all the questions, and questionable activity leading up till John Stroger's resignation. But President Steele did point out that they were working on it.
Something commissioner Moreno pointed out that when the County bids on contracts and does not pay right away they factor this in when they compensate vendors for this. Let's pass the budget on time so we have less of this, and work on the Accounts payable, purchasing end to stop it as well
I will give Steele this, she does move the meeting along and on agenda. Somehow I can not picture Todd doing half as well.

Dirksen Building

At least the people at 216 S. Dearborn Cast Iron Flamingo are looking at things in Cook County. Maybe they will reserve a room for them across the street at the Dirksen Building. DOJ looking into Cook County Activity

Greek Town

Greek Town Chicago, Halsted Street

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