A story: Did I read this right? The Illinois House put in a bill to roll back some of the smoking ban for regulated businesses? We would be the first state in the union to repeal restrictions on the ban. I'll bet it was because of the water lobby. See, if they let you smoke in casinos, bars or restaurants, you will have to come home and shower to get that stink off you. Therefore, you use more water. Boom! I've uncovered a scandal!
B story: It's time for Justin's breakdown of a confusing news story!!!!
Today's breakdown is for the story about Mayor Elect Rahm Emanuel's desire to hire Philadelphia Police Chief Charles Ramsey. But see, he can't just hire a guy. Not in Chicago. A while back, the Chicago Police set up a board to "recommend" candidates for police chief. And the kicker (and by Chicago law) is that the mayor must choose from those recommendations. Daley always went around it by essentially telling the police board to recommend the person he wanted. He would do this by denying the recommendations until they recommended his guy. In this case, will Mayor Elect Rahm Emanuel have enough clout with the police board to do the same thing? He has put it out in the media that he wants this guy from Philly. But he also says he would follow the letter of the law. So it will be interesting to see if Ramsey is recommended. Welcome to Chicago (police) politics.
C story: There was a study released that says that Daley had it easy when it came to the City Council during his tenure. This study comes out at a peculiar time, as the city gets ready for what undoubtedly will be a different political landscape. What I don't get is why it was so easy for Daley? Alderman are human beings with power. Any governing body will want to flex muscle from time to time, so why didn't this body of government? What made them go against their human nature? What did Daley do to squash that instinct? I asked Alderman Ed Bus (53rd) about this study. Bus has been an alderman for 40-45 years and served under both Daleys. He boasts that he is the only alderman to vote with Daley on every single ordinance the mayor has ever supported. "Why would you want to vote against Daley?" said Bus. "That just seems like a lot of work. And then he gets mad at ya and stares wit dat snarl. He's like a dog that won't let go of that piece of prime rib you dropped under the table. Nobody wants to put your fingers near that mouth. Same concept."
D story: If I were a TV news reporter or editor, I would definitely follow up with the people who I shoved cameras at when they got off flights from Japan. Wait a few days and talk to them again. I wonder what the post tramautic stress is from settling back in to their daily lives in Chicago after experiencing such horrific natural disasters?
Nah, that would take up time from the commercial breaks.
E story: Nate Dogg died yesterday. He was 41. Which is like 90 in rapper years.
Weather: I'm sure you've seen this, but this is a crazy map showing what Chicago would look like if hit by the Japanese tsunami (hat tip to Chicagoist, and creator Kelly T). The red area would be affected by the tsunami, the blue area is the reach of the Chicago fire:
Sports: We're number #1! We're number #1! We're the number #1 seed! For now! The Chicago Bulls haven't had the best record in the East since a certain player named Toni Kukoc came off the bench to spell Ron Harper. Last night, the Bulls manhandled the Wizards to take a half game lead over the Boston Celtics for the #1 seed. There are still a few games left, but the Bulls schedule is pretty tame down the stretch, with games against Atlanta, Memphis and a bunch of underachievers. The #1 seed means that the Bulls won't have to face the Celtics or Heat til the Eastern Conference Finals.
Kicker: It's a cubicle party! Our sister station Vocalo has hired legendary Chicago DJ Jesse De La Pena to oversee music. Jesse spins throughout Chicago and used to DJ sets for the famed Liquid Soul shows at Elbo Room and Double Door back in the mid-90s. Welcome to the building Jesse. Here is the introductory video shot for Vocalo by Samuel Vega: