This came as no surprise



I have been to this parade quite a few times. The last time was a couple of years ago. I have not gone since. St. Patrick's day has fallen on the week of Spring break for College kids more often than not. The last couple of times I was at this parade, it was worse than Halloween when I was down at college. The only exception is the green costumes instead of others. This is not a family, or kid friendly event anymore. This year 54 people were arrested, and only 7 were Chicago residents, one arrested person was as far away as Arkansas. 11 police were assaulted. This parade is in a neighborhood. One of the neighborhoods is Beverly, which is the "Gold Coast" area of the South Side, and I can hardly believe they put up with this for so long.
The other neighborhoods; Morgan Park, and Mt. Greenwood are full of Chicago Police and Firemen, who also would not want this in their neighborhoods.

I have witnessed the intoxicated, rowdy college kids in big herds, drinking out of cups (certainly not non-alcoholic beverages), using language and behavior you would not want young children to see. I have seen the makeshift relief stations in alley's and behind parked cars.

True, college kids are looking for a party when they are off on Spring Break and can't afford the usual party destinations for break, but this has been their biggest cheap Spring break party events.

There are many bars and liquor stores along the parade path. One liquor store owner said he makes close to $30,000 on that day alone. Yes, there are a lot of business owners who will miss the huge income of liquor sales that this event brings.

But I do feel for the residents, a lot of them I know personally. I know a lot of them have a lot of garbage to pick up during and after the event, mostly beer cans all over their property. Many have found piles too big for any dog to produce in their alleys, along with the stench from liquid waste.

For many residents who live within a few blocks of this event this has not become a fun event to look forward to, rather to brace for now.

I think that if it weren't for the fact that this coincides with Colleges Spring breaks, that this might be more of a family friendly event, like the Bud Billiken parade when the college students have already gone to school.

I also think there were more incidents than normal because the downtown St. Patrick's day parade was the day before and this was just an extention of that party. This could of brought a lot of people in since Chicago had St. Patrick's day for the whole weekend, I can't remember the last time that happened. Many years the downtown parade on Columbis was the weekend before or after the South Side parade, maybe that is why the arrests were lower?

At least downtown, there are not bars directly on the parade route on Columbus. Maybe this helps? But there certainly are enough college kids at this event, obviously intoxicated, but maybe because there are more police? The Columbus day parade expects a big outcome, maybe the South Side parade did not think it the audience would grow so much?

Maybe an Easter Parade? The Bud Billiken is still safe for children, the College kids are back to college then. The Thanksgiving parade is tame, but usually it is way too cold to stay too long afterwards, or even beforehand. The committee for this parade is looking for another event, I am sure it will be when college kids are back at school.



South Side St Patrick's day Parade endsOne woman wrote that our newspaper's photographs inaccurately portrayed the parade as being a family-friendly happy event. She described watching a young man and woman having sexual intercourse on a side street.

I confess, if our photographers missed that shot, shame on them.

In any event, the woman said she yelled at the youngsters to "find a room." They looked at her but never stopped fornicating.

"Sounds like people were having a really good time," I replied.

The woman, a local resident, didn't see it that way.

I've been hearing complaints about the parade for years from people in the Beverly, Morgan Park and Mount Greenwood communities.

People can be seen drinking in the streets out of bottles, cans and Big Gulp paper cups. People urinate in the alleys and on lawns. Drunks swear at passers-by, make rude comments to neighborhood women and sometimes get into fights.

I heard all of this because the former editorial page editor for this newspaper, who had the office next to mine for years, lived in Beverly. He hated the parade. Or at least, he hated the people who came to see the parade.

Airports and Casinos


There is already a private airport where Quinn, and Jesse Jr. want to put one

With all the budget problems in this state and other programs being cut, why is the third Chicago land airport still an issue? There is already an underutilized airport out there. Even with Governor Quinn donating part of his salary back to the state, calling a hold on funds for this airport should be first.

Governor Quinn says he lives down in Springfield, I find this hard to believe. He was double interviewed by Carol Marin and Phil Ponce on Monday. They both fired questions at him, one right after another. Governor Quinn answered all of them. I thought it was pretty brave of Quinn to have these two both interview you at the same time. But Quinn was right Chicago tonight is a fair and balanced news show and that's why he was there.

It seems like at least two if not three times a week Quinn is in Chicago. I find it hard to believe he is spending a whole lot of time in Springfield living in the mansion, as he says he had to do some dusting when he moved in. Pat Quinn said they also cook for him in the mansion, and that was a perk.

On Casino's: It's no wonder everyone wants one, when the Empress in Joliet burned down there went 875 jobs for the area along with $1 trillion in sales tax revenue for Joliet. Casino's are definitely big money makers. It's nice to know that the employees will be paid their tips and salaries for the first 90 days. But what happens after 90 days?

Then there was the guilty verdict of Al Sanchez, all while Chicago fell to the last place for consideration for the Olympics. We had protesters come out against the Olympics this week, and they had many valid reasons why we don't need it in Chicago. It is a cost we will be paying for years to come.

We had people in Chicago wait hours,in the rain, and stand in lines that were many blocks long for a few low paying positions. I find it hard to believe that there are any unfilled positions anywhere in this town.


People came from all over for the few available jobs
The Wit Hotel, which will open in about two months, has 300 positions to fill. The line stretched out of the Oriental Theater, down State Street and into a nearby alley, there's no shortage of applicants.
And, the competition is steep. The nation's unemployment rate is about 8-percent, which means more and more people are looking for jobs.


Three years ago, Bult bought Sanger Field, a little country airport near his Monee home that had seen better days. That the old general aviation airport was among the approximately 5,000 acres IDOT had marked for purchase for the state's airport didn't stop him.

Bult expanded the runway to 5,000 feet - making it capable of accommodating corporate jets. Hangars with 132 slots for planes were added.

The old farmhouse that acted as Sanger Field's terminal will be replaced this spring by a hulking stone-and-timber building with a pilots lounge, a workout area and a wing of conference rooms. It stands out as the one building that resembles a ski lodge among the corn and soybean fields of eastern Will County.

Bult likes the location so much he's moving in. His family will live in an adjoining house with seven bedrooms, each with their own bathroom.
The total investment in Bult Field: $37 million.

He's not stopping, either. In the next few weeks, Bult will break ground on two new hangars that will cater to his business clientele. He wouldn't share, but Bult indicated the biggest companies in Chicago are interested in Bult Field as their new home airport.

"It's all about convenience," Bult said. "When you want to fly somewhere, the first thing you look for is what is the most convenient way to get there."

But dealing with Bult won't be convenient for Quinn.
The governor is vowing to spend $100 million to buy the remaining 3,275 acres needed for the state's airport. That's on top of the $24 million spent so far to buy 1,951 acres.
Bult's investment means the price for buying out his property and the surrounding landowners is going up dramatically.

If the state's airport ever is built, co-existing could be a problem. There would be inevitable airspace conflicts between the two airports.
One would think Bult is standing on his runway, sticking his tongue out and waving his fingers at IDOT, but he insists that's not the case.

He said the only time he got ticked off was last year, when IDOT submitted an airport layout plan to the Federal Aviation Administration that showed Bult Field connected to the state's airport. Bult Field would handle the smaller aircraft, with the state taking care of the commercial side.

Bult viewed it as a hostile takeover.
"It was extremely presumptuous," he said. "How do you hook up to somebody else's private property without a letter or a piece of paper or something?"

The attitude has made Bult a folk hero to his neighbors and other opponents of the project - a distinction he could do without.

"If the state bought Bult Field, bulldozed it and built a viable runway and a hangar for me, I wouldn't care," Bult said. "My beginning goal and my end goal was to have a quality airport here."

Bult pulled it off.
No governor has shown he can do the same, but the promises keep coming.

Empress fire
Frank Quigley, general manager of Empress Casino, said owner Penn National Gaming also has agreed to pay half of the tips some employees would have made during that time.
"I do not believe it will take 90 days for our operations to get up and running," Quigley said during a Monday afternoon news conference.

In the meantime, workers will be encouraged to spend their time volunteering in their communities, Quigley said. Empress and Penn National are working out plans for the employees to help several organizations.

The complex's 875 workers were able to collect paychecks Monday morning. An office in the casino complex has been transformed into a makeshift office for the company's human resources department.
It's believed that work on a $50 million renovation project may have caused the fire, which was spotted by a Joliet paramedic moonlighting at the casino about 10 a.m. Friday.

The Empress Casino was opened in 1992 by a group of local investors. They sold to Horseshoe Gaming in 1999. Later, the Illinois Gaming Board forced a sale to Argosy Gaming, which merged with Penn National in 2004.

The Empress is the second-largest taxpayer in Joliet, second only to Harrah's Casino. Last year, Empress reported $184 million in gambling revenue, paying taxes of $10.9 million to Joliet and

$52.6 million to the state. City officials said Joliet will lose $25,000 each day the casino's doors are closed.

Al Sanchez, former Streets and Sanitation Chief found guilty

Former city Streets and Sanitation chief Al Sanchez, 61, was convicted on four of seven mail fraud counts that accused him of helping reward political campaign workers with city jobs and promotions.

Sanchez, who acted as a coordinator in Daley's once powerful Hispanic Democratic Organization, is among the most powerful Daley aides to be felled by prosecutors in a probe that grew out of the Hired Truck investigation. A former top aide to Sanchez, Aaron DelValle, also was convicted of lying to the grand jury about his role in the scheme.

As the verdict was read, Sanchez, whose department controlled about 4,000 jobs, stared at the judge without expression, hands folded before him. He later stood by his testimony in which he denied calling the shots when it came to personnel.

"Today is not a fair day," Sanchez told reporters. "I did my job as I was supposed to do. I don't think I should



A new edition to the South Side Parade Is this doctor is such need of business that he has stooped to this?
One can only hope Judge Evans can at least make things better for the children in the Juvenile detention center. Maybe he can get the shot fairy to come in?


That's what happens when you're building an eight-foot-tall character for a float in the South Side Irish St. Patrick's Day Parade.

While his wife Colleen watches, Dr. Scott Hanlon puts the finishing touches on the Shot Fairy, which will adorn his float in Sunday's South Side Irish St. Patrick's Day Parade.


"It's going pretty well. There's a lot of chicken wire and paper mache," he said after taking a break from painting with son Brody.

Hanlon and his family built and painted a fairy that will be on a float Sunday promoting his new business.

Hanlon, a family physician with Evergreen Medical Ltd., will soon start ShotFairy.com, a company that uses the tooth fairy as inspiration.

Much like its dental counterpart, the shot fairy will come into children's homes when they are sleeping.

But instead of leaving money beneath the child's pillow in exchange for a baby tooth, the shot fairy will leave a lollipop after she gives the child an inoculation.

The shot fairy on the float will be dressed as a nurse. She'll have wings. In one hand she'll hold a lollipop. In the other, she'll hold a syringe.

"It's a gentle approach," said Hanlon, who turns 40 on St. Patrick's Day.

Sometimes, he said, giving a shot to a fearful child is anything but gentle.

"There are times - ask any nurse - there are times when you need three or four people to hold down a child for a shot," Hanlon said.

Hanlon said the company should be up and running by April, along with his Web site, www.shotfairy.com, that's under construction.



Illinois has more Nuclear power plants than any other state, so this is no suprise that we have more nuclear waste than any other state.

I have so many questions about the next story. First off why would you call the Police knowing that this is going to hit the news? First off Gary Skoien is the current GOP chief of Palentine Township, was a former aide to former Governor Thompson, lead a battle against Mayor Daley, and was on the Metra board. He was known in this state. Next question, why would you bring questionable guests into your home? And into the Children's playroom? And why didn't DCFS take these children away from both parents, and not just the Mom? Why didn't Gary's friends help protect him? Why he just leave so she could not hit him? This is just another Toxic political event in this State, but I can bet Daley has had a hard time wiping that smile off his face once he heard about this. I am sure Daley is not the only one smirking ear to ear either.




What put a big smile on Daley's face

Inverness Police say former Cook County Republican Chairman Gary Skoien admitted having two prostitutes in his children’s playroom when his wife walked in on him early Sunday morning.
The allegation is in a domestic battery report from Skoien, 55, against his 36-year-old, 5-foot-4-inch, 110-pound wife. He said she beat him with her fists and an electric guitar.

But Skoien said the police report inaccurately stated that he had prostitutes in his home. Skoien said he and a friend were talking in the playroom when his wife came down and began beating him.
Eni Skoien spent two nights in a lock-up before being released on a $10,000 personal recognizance bond.

The police report said Skoien had cuts and blood on his hands and there was blood on the walls and stairs near the playroom.
The police report said Skoien “told [the responding officer] he did in fact have prostitutes with him in the playroom when his wife caught him.” The playroom looked like “a struggle of some kind took place there...There were items turned and tossed around the room,” the report said.

“That’s how it was reported to us,” Barrington/Inverness Police Deputy Chief Jerry Libit said.
Allies of Mayor Daley blasted Skoien four years ago when he offered a $10,000 “bounty” four years ago for information that would lead to Daley’s conviction on corruption charges.

The remark got Skoien fired from his real estate job, cost him a seat on the Metra board and prompted calls for his ouster as party chairman, He survived a re-election vote, serving from 2004-2007 as chairman of the GOP, which has not elected a member countywide in 17 years.
Current Republican Party Chairman Lee Roupas said, “It’s an extremely disappointing and unfortunate situation, if the allegations prove to be true.”

Skoien was an aide to former Gov. Jim Thompson and serves as Palatine Township Republican Committeeman.
He said he and his wife of 13 years have been living in separate sections of the house for a while and getting counseling but that he went to police after she hit him last Tuesday while he was brushing his teeth.

“I went to the police to find out what I should be doing,” he said.
On Sunday night, he said his wife was driven home from a function and she went to bed. Skoien called a friend who came over and they were talking in the playroom when his wife woke up and began beating him with her fists and “a hard heavy electric uitar,” he said.
“I called police because I thought I was going to be killed,” Skoien said.

Skoien went to talk to the arresting officers Wednesday after his stories hit the news, trying to convince them that he did not confirm his wife’s contention that she found him with prostitutes.
“If there were hookers, I’m not sure why the police didn’t arrest me -- that’s illegal too,” Skoien said.

He said the officer stuck to his contention that Skoien nodded in affirmance when told his wife’s version of events. Skoien said he disagrees.

Skoien obtained an order of protection that prohibits his wife from having any contact with him or their three children, ages 5, 7 and 8, he said
Palatine Township GOP chief

Peraica will not be a potted plant


As only Peraica could do

I only wonder if this will catch on? I would love to really know what is going through everyone's mind when they are at these meetings. Not that Tony Peraica has ever been silent, and kept his opinions to himself. But it would be nice to know what the other's are thinking? But would the other Commissioners do this? I don't see Bill Beavers, when he is there, and awake doing this. I really think Forrest Claypool would have a lot to twitter, so would Mike Quigley, but soon Mike Quigley will be in DC. Which make me wonder will someone get annointed to Quigley's post until the next election? If so who?


I actually like the idea of our elected officials twittering; I hope more Cook County Commissioners will consider doing this. I actually would like to see more do this, the Alderman, the Illinois State, the Illinois Senate, the US Senate and House. The possibilities are endless, the
information would be enormous.


Twitter with Tony

"Meet Cook County Commissioner "Tweetie."

That's the handle outspoken Republican Tony Peraica uses in posting his live play-by-play of County Board meetings on Twitter, the online micro-blog that's all the rage.

» Click to enlarge image

Commissioner Tony Peraica with his laptop computer at the County Board meeting.
(Rich Hein/Sun-Times)



RELATED STORIES
Commissioner tweets at meeting
Last month, Peraica started posting short messages -- called "tweets" -- during board meetings about everything from contract votes and political bickering to his opinions and wisecracks in 140 characters or less.

With a few strokes of the keyboard, he's part legislator, part reporter and part talk-show host.

"I think it's important to keep the public informed about what's going on with the board as it happens," Peraica said. "This is a wonderful technology that enables us to keep in touch with 600 to 700 people who care about what happens at the meeting."

During Wednesday's County Board meeting, Peraica posted 15 tweets, including updates on major votes, mild self-promotion and a jab at Commissioner Mike Quigley, who won the 5th Congressional District Democratic primary the night before.

Peraica said his goal is giving his constituents more details about how their tax dollars are spent than they'll find in the media.

County Board President Todd Stroger said Peraica should probably pay closer attention to what's going on during meetings rather than "twittering his thumbs."

"I think it's strange," Stroger said. "It doesn't sound kosher. He probably shouldn't be typing while we're doing business. Maybe that's why he can't remember how he voted on things two weeks ago."

Peraica, however, says he can pay attention and post his thoughts, no problem.

"I'm multitasking all the time," he said. "My entire life, I had to do two or three jobs, law school, kids, family. You get used to it after a while."

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