Attention Chicago mainstream media: Pothole season is in full swing!
A story: Let me be the first in the media to whip this fine city into a frenzy: Potholes are becoming a problem. Of course my findings are anectodal and unscientific, but I've lived here long enough to know when it's pothole season. And this year is starting to look pretty bad. There's a pothole that spans the length of the Grand Avenue bridge (over the North Branch of the Chicago River). There's another nasty one on Halsted. And there are a few more dotting several north side arteries. So what to do? Do we just sit back and hold our complaints until there is a big crater on Lake Shore Drive? Or until Phil Rogers at NBC 5 does an expose? I'm ready to pitch in. What can I do, city?
B story: Former Cook County Board President Todd Stroger is filing for unemployment. There is a movement by county officials to block the request, because Stroger is basing his unemployment number on the salary he pulled as an elected official. That's kind of awesome. Poor Todd. All he is asking for is a percentage of his past six figure income. I gotta ask: Has Stroger ever had a job that wasn't "elected?" He told me in a past interview that he once worked at the Chicago Park District. Base it off of that salary from over a decade ago. He probably still made 70k picking up soccer balls after open gym. But still, that might be a better salary to base unemployment on.
C story: God love the Chicago Bulls! 3-0 against the Miami Heat? What a great gift the franchise has handed the fans. After this past summer, you would have believed the Bulls would have to forfeit games against LeBron and company. But 3-0? Winning close games? And when do the Bulls get the primetime ABC Sunday slot? Get ready Bulls fans, all sorts of good will be coming your way. And I don't mean CG bulls knocking over a CG bus. I'm talking deep into the playoffs.
D story: What in the world is happening in Dolton, Illinois? For years, Mayor Shaw ran the town with alleged corruption and nepotism. The Shaw family is finally bounced from town and the new mayor pledged to right the ship. He starts by following the Shaw rules, trying to hire his daughter. Best part?
Mayor Lewis would not comment on the contract, but he recalled nasty local politics that have long simmered in Dolton. He said Victor Shaw, son of the late Dolton Mayor William Shaw, formerly worked at the Dorchester and no one criticized him for being on the village payroll.
So now you say Shaw did things right and you are just following in his footsteps? Riiiiight.
E story: The lead singer of The Strokes sang the F word on SNL. I heard it live but couldn't find any record of it during initial searches online. I ended up finding it on music sites and some forums dedicated either to music or to SNL. How did I not hear about it in the Tribune? Seriously, for months the Trib would post mindless wire stories about how funny Saturday's episode was, but this week? Nothing. MAKE UP YOUR MIND.
Weather: Not bad out. Not bad for early March.
Sports: The Blackhawks are on an eight game winning streak. Just at the right time. I will say this: if you thought the West Loop was hopping last spring, just wait until you throw in a Bulls march to the championship. To find the last time that the Bulls and Blackhawks both had realistic shots at winning championships at the same time in the same stadium, you'd have to go back to the old Madhouse on Madison Street in the late 80s when Jordan, Pippen, Sam Vincent, Jeremy Roenick and Chris Chelios roamed the hallways.
Kicker: It's Casimir Pulaski Day folks. What does that mean for you? Well, if you are Polish, you get a day to reflect. If you are a city worker, you get a day of rest. If you are everybody else, you have to wait a day to renew your drivers license. But the post offices are open!
What am I going to do? I'm going to drive the length of Pulaski while listening to this essay, performed by my friend Kate (playing her teenage character Zoe) back in the Schadenfreude radio days. It's called "Ask Me About Pulaski":