Keith Moreland to join Cubs booth, Pat Quinn erases news history, Borders closes more Chicago stores

February 16, 2011

A story: Let's take a quick break from municipal politics and focus globally. Well, at least the State of Illinois. Today, Governor Pat Quinn will release his budget proposal for the state and all signs point to big borrowing and super cuts (not hair cuts, just social services). We are airing the speech today at 12noon. Here's hoping that Quinn goes off-book or just decides to rant. He seems to half-write his big speeches, which  often devolve into some version of a high school principal at an assembly, trying to remember the new recess rules. Nobody likes to hear the principal talk. This one may hurt.

B story: Speaking of cuts, yesterday Quinn signed the repeal of free rides for seniors on the CTA. Remember how big of a deal this was for Blagojevich? All that doomsday, all that political posturing over what the state legislature and the governor would put in the budget. How the CTA couldn't move forward with state funding unless they gave away the free rides?  It forced the CTA to throw up political statements on bus and train PA systems. It was a huge mess that grabbed everyone's attention. And with one Quinn cursive-stroke, our history is rewritten. I feel like I just broke up with a girlfriend. Sorry, Free Rides for Seniors, it's not you - it's me. Man, I wasted a few good years of my life.

C story: This American Life found the original recipe for Coca Cola. If you haven't listened to the story, go over to thislife.org and help in breaking the site.

D storyBorders is closing a slew of book stores in Chicago area, including the Uptown store. Wasn't that store supposed to be the savior of the Uptown neighborhood? When Border's moved into the renovated (and long vacant) Goldblatt's space, it was taken as both a watershed moment for the neighborhood and a high watermark for the economic boom. Translation:  "I'm gonna FLIP that condo!!" In less than 15 years, the store is gone. 

Weather: Dibs is over. Dick Mell and Streets & San will personally take your chair and/or paint cans and toss them in the trash. So if you are looking for a new spring line of furniture, now might be the time to walk the side-streets of Ravenswood.

Sports: Derrick Rose will start in this week's NBA All-Star game. I am not a huge fan of basketball, but even I know a team that features Lebron James, Dwyane Wade, Derrick Rose and Dwight Howard will be a fun team to watch. Wow, there's a lot of talent in the league right now and our Chicago Bull is standing tall. If Rose continues to be associated with these players, we might be seeing our first superstar since Kosuke Fukudome.

Speaking of sports, WGN just announced that Keith "Zonk" Moreland will be the new color commentator for Cubs radio. Moreland was a major part of the only Cub team to matter in the last 25 years, the 1984 Cubs. He replaces Ron Santo, who died this past year.

Kicker: And I thought I had the market cornered on funny snow videos. This one from friend Steve Delahoyde and the fine folks at Coudal. They climb to the top of the heap. Literally.