Top story: (doing my best WBBM news impression): Rat populations might climb this summer as Chicago redeploys members of Streets and Sanitation's rodent division to help with street sweeping and garbage. That's total Daley: move around a couple units so real simple stuff gets crappy so Chicagoans will remember how great he Daley was. Haha! Of course, that's absurd, but still, it does come a month before the switchover.
But check out this quote from Matt Smith, spokesperson for Streets and San:
"The reason that we have to shift workers around is because there are 309 workers who don’t come to work every day or are on reduced duty assignments because they are on various forms of leave. Of those 309 workers, 202 are members of Local 1001. On any give day in our Bureau of Sanitation, which handles refuse collection and residential street sweeping as many as 30 to 35 sanitation laborers call off every day with absences that are not scheduled."
So is this why Republicans want to get rid of unions? Because they take too many unplanned sick days? Just come out and say that and avoid any talk of taking away workers' rights and people would be much more understanding.
B story: So much in the news, so much in the news - it turns out we have a new billboard on the South Side that says something about abortion and aborting leaders, accompanied by a photo of President Obama. I love that the pro-life group from NYC with the controversial billboards sprung for a spot in SoHo. The Chicago group does 58th and State. Which is South, but not SoHo.
C story: Rosie! Rosie! Rosie! Out with Oprah and Jerry Kleiner, in with Rosie and Grant and Stephanie. What's hilarious, though, is that both the Trib and Sun-Times (online) don't have the story of Rosie coming to Chicago on their home page anymore. One and done. No follow up here? Come on, Robert Feder goes on vacation and the whole city just shuts down? I can't wait for Feder to return.
Weather: It's supposed to be 40 for the Cubs' opener on Friday. You will not see me going to a baseball game or resuming any baseball activities til Memorial Day.
Sports: That being said, I'm super excited about baseball this year. I really like Mike Quade because he reminds me of my friend Tom. And that's gotta be an awesome clubhouse if he's anything like my friend Tom. And on the South Side? Ozzie is in rare form and the Sox have assembled a squad that is showing up in the top 10 in the season-opening power rankings. Nice pull! And Kenny Williams has done exceptional work. Alex Rios was a reclamation project. Alexei Ramirez was a cast off Cuban import. And then there's free agent superstar Adam Dunn. He's a younger Thome. It's obvious to me that Ozzie likes this type of team. They wanted a replacement for Thome's spot in the lineup. And they went and got him. And finally, Jake Peavy. If he comes back to anywhere like he was in SD, Kenny Williams deserves a lifetime extension. If he doesn't, then Kenny gets a B-. That's not bad, but it could have been an A.
Kicker: Clever Apes is all about "why dinosaur myths die hard" today in our WBEZ science segment. The centerpiece of the story is a performance from our studios from Chicago comic Dan Telfer. Telfer did his dinosaur bit in front of our live, studio (office) audience. I love the bit! Here it is from YouTube in a comedyclub, with swearing, if interested (over 300k views too, I might add):