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Three over coffee.

June 20, 2009

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Saturday morning across the Big Lake is beautiful. The huge storm that came at us last night has moved east. All evening reports of tornado warnings scrolled along the bottom of the TV as we listened to Obama give a funny speech on CSPAN to the TV and Radio reporters. But there were so many weather related scrolls, maps and warnings on the screen that you could barely see Obama.

On the other hand, it should mean something that the most entertaining thing on TV on a Friday night is the president speaking at a dinner. We had thought about going to the local tavern to hear a band called The Usuals. But given the weather and the fact that they didn’t start until 11PM made us think twice, even if 11PM here is 10PM on our Chicago time watches.

Dodging the downpours, teachers protest the Arne in Chicago.

PURE reports that 45 teachers and parents protested outside the Hyatt yesterday morning. Inside was the Arne Duncan hawking his charters and turnarounds to an Advance Illinois breakfast. AI is headed by Republican former governor Jim Edgar and Da Mayor-in-law Bill Daley.

Arne repeated his whopper about North Lawndale College Prep’s graduation rate (claiming it to be 97% when it is really 46%), and he did it during the Q and A session when the school’s co-founder, AI executive director Robin Steans, was standing right next to him. So, we don’t have enough good models, and we have to lie about the ones we promote as good models. But it sounds as though Arne wants quantity and not quality when it comes to turnarounds and charters.

They are fools and thieves in Springfield. They hurt real people.

The Southtown Star’s Phil Kadner reports on Beverly Kowatch, 73 of Tinley Park. Her daughter is blind, developmentally disabled and living in a special home run by a social service agency.

There’s no way Kowatch is going to be able to deal with her daughter at home.Then again, the state may not follow through on its doomsday budget cuts.It could operate on that six month budget for the next few months without a tax hike.If that turns out to be the case, the governor has caused millions of people throughout this state to needlessly fear the worst. All I know for sure is that the Democrats could have avoided this mess by passing a real budget this spring. They didn’t. So now the political games are running in overdrive.Whatever happens, Kowatch is a victim. She’s really worried about how she’s going to care for her daughter. And then I realize I’m reacting like an elected official. These people are really hurting. Someone ought to make that clear to the politicians.

City Hall approves Congress Hotel expansion, screwing hotel employees who have been on strike for six years.

Solidifying his anti-union cred, Da Mayor’s Plan Commission approved a $20 million hotel expansion at the Congress where Unite-Here union members have been on a historic six year strike.

Progress Illinois:

Ald. Rick Munoz (22nds Ward) has reintroduced legislation in the City Council that would require hotels to notify potential guests of a strike. “It’s really a consumer protection bill,” he tells us. “When I travel … I don’t want to cross a picket line, and I think people should be informed if one exists.” Munoz is working with members of the Finance committee to set a hearing date for his bill, which has already attracted 42 co-sponsors. Strassel tells us the union won’t back down from their campaign, either. “The city has a question to answer about how to deal with hotels in the coming months,” says Strasell. “We will be there every step of the way.

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