Threatened CTA employees, soot from the Koch brothers and the rest of the day’s news

SHARE Threatened CTA employees, soot from the Koch brothers and the rest of the day’s news
SHARE Threatened CTA employees, soot from the Koch brothers and the rest of the day’s news

1 Union busting

The head of the Amalgamated Transit Union, which represents CTA employees, says the city needs to postpone the rollout of Ventra until the kinks get ironed out. Robert Kelly says his people are getting cussed out by commuters every day and could be “put in harm’s way” if the CTA goes through with some of its planned Nov. 15 deadlines. Hey, at least they’re not Kathleen Sebelius. [Sun-Times]

2 Black rain

The rain has stopped and snow isn’t here, but residents of the Southeast Side say they’re still seeing precipitation. Black precipitation. Four homeowners along the Calumet River filed suit yesterday against three operators of petroleum and coal refiners, alleging that a stiff wind can coat their lawns and homes with up to a quarter-inch of soot. Oh, and one of the properties is owned by the Koch brothers, who also own almost everything around you. [Sun-Times]

3 Ghost phone

Before the iPhone and Android, there was a neat little gadget called the BlackBerry. Grid’s Andy Inhatko thinks there’s still time for for the fading product, whose market share has shrunk to just 1.5 percent, to turn things around. He details what needs to happen to keep the BlackBerry from going the way of the car phone and the rotary dial. [Grid]

4 Looming layoffs

Dominick’s announced yesterday that it plans to shutter any Chicagoland stores it’s unable to sell by the end of the year. Which, from the looks of it so far, means most of them — so far, it’s only sold four locations, all to Jewel-Osco. That means Chicago could be in for its largest round of layoffs in years. Dominick’s employs 6,600. Here’s hoping they find more buyers. [Crain’s]

5 Going into overtime

Police Supt. Garry McCarthy says the city is on target to spend about $93 million in police OT this year. Like so many other things in our fine city, that’s way, way over budget — nearly three times the $32 million that the city had planned to dole out in OT this year. McCarthy brushed aside City Council accusations that the force was understaffed, claiming that it’s cheaper to pay out for extra hours than to hire more officers. He also brushed aside complaints from aldermen about his refusal to accept help from the State Police, the widespread sale of loose cigarettes, and why there appear to be more officers in the Loop than crime-ridden neighborhoods. Again, at least he’s not Kathleen Sebelius. [Sun-Times]

6 The other Jackson

As brother Jesse settles into his new digs, Yusef Jackson is going about his business. Yusef told the Sun-Times he plans to sell his Bud distributorship to a Tennessee family. According to industry experts, Jackson built the business well during his 16 years at the helm, including becoming the city’s largest Goose Island distributor. [Sun-Times]

7 Minuscule enrollment

Now, back to Kathleen Sebelius. According to documents released by Republican Congressman Darrel Issa, a grand total of 248 Americans signed up for health insurance plans in the first two days of availability. The administration has enlisted experts at Google and Oracle to get the website on its feet by the end of the month. [Reuters]

8 Apples to iPhones

The farmers market, the last place in the world where people don’t stand around staring at their smartphones, now has several apps to change that. One of them, Chicago’s Foodlander, is late to the game and relies on vendors entering their inventory into the data portal themselves. In spite of that, it looks like it’s catching on, and winter could provide a boost. [Grid]

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