Spew it, Pruitt!
President Donald Trump’s new Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt, rumored to have the Chicago Regional EPA on his eraser list, hits East Chicago Wednesday to check out the lead contamination clean-up at the EPA impacted site in Indiana.
But, as of late Monday, Pruitt was not planning to visit the EPA regional headquarters in Chicago he may be planning to move to Kansas!
• Translation: Sneed is told it’s got the EPA folks shaking their heads in Chicago, especially since word started wafting that Pruitt was considering attending the Cubs-Brewers game Wednesday afternoon.
• Buckshot: “Since Administrator Pruitt plans to visit the area, he should also come to the Chicago EPA headquarters, where hundreds of EPA employees work just a 30-minute drive from where he will be,” said Michael Mikulka, president of Local 704 of the American Federation of Government Employees.
“He should sit down with the EPA employees and answer their questions about how these cuts will impact their work, and the environment.”
• The big question: Will Pruitt play ball … or will he head for the ball game?
It was not ludicrous!
But, in fact, Ludacris was there, along with Chance the Rapper and T-Pain, and Big Bird and a bastion of partygoers celebrating Chance’s 24th birthday Sunday night.
And as per usual these days with Chance, the party was all for charity.
Held at River North’s Studio Paris Nightclub, the event raised more than $100,000 to benefit Chance’s charity, SocialWorks.
The birthday boy, who spent beaucoup time with friends and fans at his table, got up on stage with T-Pain and Ludacris where they all performed “All I Do Is Win!”
“What a night! Chance was congratulated not only for his successes, but for his amazing charity work,” a partygoer said.
“It was a huge success with Chance’s ability to rally the community to donate for a great cause,” Studio Paris managing partner, R.J. Melman said. “We were honored to have been chosen by Chance as the place to throw his party.”
Before the main event, the party started at il Porcellino’s back room with a private reception held for Chance and his buddies.
Three guys from Chicago . . .
Actor Gary Sinise, who received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame Monday, may have been lauded for his brilliant acting career — but it was Sinise’s dedication to the American soldier that brought down the house.
• To wit: Fellow Chicago actors/best buddies Joe Mantegna and Tom Dreesen, who attended the event, called Sinise a hero. But for a special reason. “Joe’s tribute about Gary’s dedication to our troops had us all in tears, including Gary,” Dreesen said.
“We have done many shows together for our troops and as an American and as an ex-GI I’m honored to know him and to be called his friend. There are many members of his family who have been in the service, but it was when he went to Iraq and all the troops called him “Lieutenant Dan” after the character he played in the movie ‘Forrest Gump,’ that he really got into it,” added Dreesen.
• Who knew? “It’s amazing! Gary has done more shows — at least 40 a year — for the troops and has now done more than Bob Hope ever did! In my opinion, Gary, who was born in Blue Island, lived in Harvey and then grew up in Highland Park, is the greatest supporter of our troops living today. He is our greatest living patriot.”
It’s a Wrap!
Sneed has learned Illinois Sports Facilities Authority CEO Lou Bertuca, who was appointed to that position in one of former Gov. Patrick Quinn’s last acts in office, is leaving.
The formal announcement of Bertuca’s departure from ISFA, the state agency that manages Guaranteed Rate Field — home of the White Sox — is expected Tuesday.
Bertuca, who will be replaced by his ISFA chief operating officer Anthony O’Neill, is credited with helping land a mega-concert in September that was headlined by Chance the Rapper and featured Kanye West, Alicia Keyes and John Legend. That event broke the stadium’s all time attendance record.
“He also helped recruit the first football game — NIU — to take place at the ballpark,” ISFA chairman Manny Sanchez said of Bertuca.
“He performed above and beyond the excellence required,” added Sanchez, who was appointed by Gov. Bruce Rauner. “Thanks to Lou, this became more than just a baseball stadium — it’s a destination for special events, concerts and much more.”
Bertuca is pulling up stakes to join his pregnant wife — Uber executive Brooke Anderson, Quinn’s former press secretary — who has been re-located to San Francisco.
“Leaving Illinois is bittersweet,” he said. “I was born here, went to college here, completed my MBA here and have spent my career here. But it’s time for that adventure.”