Showing posts with label CHICAGO. Show all posts
Showing posts with label CHICAGO. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 05, 2017


Kandi Burruss

The Broadway company of the Tony Award-winning, record-breaking hit musical Chicago, which recently celebrated its 21st Broadway anniversary, will welcome Grammy Award-winning Singer-Songwriter, Actress & TV Sensation Kandi Burruss (Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of Atlanta”) making her Broadway debut in the role of “Matron “Mama” Morton” for eight weeks only, January 15 – March 11, 2018, at the Ambassador Theatre (219 W. 49th St.).

Currently headlining a sold-out nationwide tour with her mega-popular group XSCAPE, Grammy Award-winning, multi-platinum selling, singer, songwriter, TV personality and entrepreneur, Kandi Burruss-Tucker’s influence can be felt everywhere. Not only is she behind countless hit records and a star on the TV smash “The Real Housewives of Atlanta;” Kandi is also thriving in business with her own companies, Bedroom Kandi – an adult line, TAGS Boutique – luxury women’s apparel, Raising Ace – a baby line inspired by her son Ace, Old Lady Gang - a southern eatery, and other ventures.”

The production currently stars Tony Award nominee Charlotte d’Amboise as Roxie Hart, Olivier Award Winner & Original Cast Member Leigh Zimmerman as Velma Kelly, YouTube sensation and Broadway star Todrick Hall (through January 14th only), Raymond Bokhour as Amos Hart, LaVon Fisher-Wilson as Matron “Mama” Morton and R. Lowe as Mary Sunshine.

With a legendary book by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse, music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb, Chicago is now the #1 longest-running American musical in Broadway history.

Produced by Barry and Fran Weissler, Chicago is the winner of six 1997 Tony Awards including Best Musical Revival and the Grammy Award for Best Musical Cast Recording.

Directed by Tony Award winner Walter Bobbie and choreographed by Tony Award winner Ann Reinking, Chicago features set design by John Lee Beatty, costume design by Tony Award winner William Ivey Long, lighting design by Tony Award winner Ken Billington, sound design by Scott Lehrer and casting by Stewart/Whitley.

Set amidst the razzle-dazzle decadence of the 1920s, Chicago is the story of Roxie Hart, a housewife and nightclub dancer who murders her on-the-side lover after he threatens to walk out on her. Desperate to avoid conviction, she dupes the public, the media and her rival cellmate, Velma Kelly, by hiring Chicago’s slickest criminal lawyer to transform her malicious crime into a barrage of sensational headlines, the likes of which might just as easily be ripped from today's tabloids.


Tickets for Chicago are available through, by calling 212-239-6200, and in-person at the Ambassador Theatre (219 W. 49th St.; New York, NY) box office. Regular box office hours are 10 am to 8 pm Monday through Saturday, and Noon to 7:00 pm Sunday.

Friday, November 17, 2017



The Broadway company of the Tony Award-winning, record-breaking hit musical Chicago, which celebrates its 21st Broadway anniversary this week, will welcome YouTube sensation and Broadway star Todrick Hall in the role of “Billy Flynn” for seven weeks only, November 30, 2017 to January 14, 2018, at the Ambassador Theatre (219 W. 49th St.). Tony Award nominee Tom Hewitt will play his final performance in the role on Sunday, November 26.

Todrick Hall is a singer, songwriter, dancer, actor, choreographer, playwright, costume designer, “American Idol” finalist, star of his own MTV show and viral YouTube sensation (2.7M subscribers, 400M views). Hall recently released his first visual album, Straight Outta Oz, which debuted as the #2 pop album. Broadway: The Color Purple, Memphis, Kinky Boots. Hall has opened “The Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards”; been a judge on “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and “Gay for Play”; choreographed videos for Beyoncé; written and starred in the Virgin America safety video, Fiat commercials and the theme song for the new online version of “Sesame Street.” Upcoming: Behind the Curtain: Todrick Hall.

Chicago also currently stars Tony Award nominee Charlotte d’Amboise as Roxie Hart, Olivier Award Winner & Original Cast Member Leigh Zimmerman as Velma Kelly, Raymond Bokhour as Amos Hart, NaTasha Yvette Williams as Matron “Mama” Morton (LaVon Fisher-Wilson returns to the role of “Mama” on Monday, November 20) and R. Lowe as Mary Sunshine.

With a legendary book by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse, music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb, Chicago is now the #1 longest-running American musical in Broadway history.

Produced by Barry and Fran Weissler, Chicago is the winner of six 1997 Tony Awards including Best Musical Revival and the Grammy Award for Best Musical Cast Recording.

Directed by Tony Award winner Walter Bobbie and choreographed by Tony Award winner Ann Reinking, Chicago features set design by John Lee Beatty, costume design by Tony Award winner William Ivey Long, lighting design by Tony Award winner Ken Billington, sound design by Scott Lehrer and casting by Stewart/Whitley.

Set amidst the razzle-dazzle decadence of the 1920s, Chicago is the story of Roxie Hart, a housewife and nightclub dancer who murders her on-the-side lover after he threatens to walk out on her. Desperate to avoid conviction, she dupes the public, the media and her rival cellmate, Velma Kelly, by hiring Chicago’s slickest criminal lawyer to transform her malicious crime into a barrage of sensational headlines, the likes of which might just as easily be ripped from today's tabloids.


Tickets for Chicago are available through, by calling 212-239-6200, and in-person at the Ambassador Theatre (219 W. 49th St.; New York, NY) box office. Regular box office hours are 10 am to 8 pm Monday through Saturday, and Noon to 7:00 pm Sunday.

Monday, October 06, 2014


Christopher Wheeldon’s Swan Lake in Chicago
Carol Stone With Laura Kofoid

Brooke Hubbuch And Maria Pinto

Greg Cameron And Mary Galvin

Recently more than 200 guests joined The Joffrey Ballet Women’s Board as they celebrated the upcoming Joffrey premiere of Christopher Wheeldon’s Swan Lake in Chicago. The Luncheon raised more than $75,000 to support The Joffrey Ballet’s performances and programming.

The elegant luncheon began with a champagne reception at 11:30am at the newly opened RPM Steak located at 66 West Kinzie Street, Chicago. President Obama was spotted later in the evening dining at the venue.

Elizabeth Yntema And Noren Ungaretti
Co-chaired by Women’s Board members Kathleen Henson, of Henson Consulting and Ellie Forman, of Mesirow Financial, the afternoon featured “Stories of a Leading Swan” — an intimate conversation with Joffrey dancer and leading Swan, Victoria Jaiani and the Joffrey’s Artistic Director Ashley Wheater led by Hedy Weiss, Theater and Dance Critic for the Chicago Sun-Times. Guests, comprised of Chicago’s foremost business and civic leaders and philanthropists were treated to a special gift from Burberry’s new cosmetic line and had the chance to win luxurious prizes from Fabbri Furs, Jewelry by Rosalina, The Joffrey Ballet, Leah Chavie Skincare Boutique, Maria Pinto’s M2057 collection, Neiman Marcus Michigan Avenue, RPM Steak, Southwest Airlines and Tory Burch. Floral designs were provided by A Perfect Event and the co-chairs and Joffrey dancers were adorned with Jewelry by Rosalina.

Monday, August 11, 2014



Lionel Richie

Emirates celebrated the launch of its daily, nonstop service to Chicago with a gala event at the city's historic Navy Pier on Wednesday, August 6, 2014.

Emirates Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer Adel Al Redha and Chicago Deputy Mayor Steven Koch were joined by more than 500 VIP guests to commemorate the opening of Emirates' ninth U.S. gateway.

Guests were greeted by Emirates cabin crew and treated to cold hand towels, traditional dates, Arabic coffee, cocktails and canapés, and music by Chicago's Jazz Couture.

Chicago TV personality served as emcee and the event program included performances by Chicago-based violin troupe Ken Arlen's Sirens and award-winning singer-songwriter Lionel Richie.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


Magic And Cookie Johnson

Power couple Magic and Cookie Johnson cover the July 2014 issue of EBONY magazine where they exclusively discuss weathering the storm around the recent controversy concerning Donald Sterling, their nonstop business endeavors, how they keep their love going as empty nesters and living a fulfilled life with HIV.

Following the heels of the media frenzy brought on by Sterling’s remarks, Magic discusses when he first caught wind of the racist remarks made by the owner of the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers.

“I’m glad that I was able to stand up for our people and be the voice,” said Magic regarding the situation.

The Johnsons, who have been married for 22 years and dated 14 years prior, are also a couple with proven longevity. The two get intimate with EBONY on how they have made their love last.

“We had our ups and downs,” admitted Cookie. “We had a period where we were about to separate. There was a point where I was home all the time; he was working,” she continued. “Sometimes you start growing apart a little because he’s seeing new adventurous stuff. He’s out in the world. He’s growing. [But] I’m stagnant.”

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


Story By: G. H. Harding

LL Cool J

CHICAGO ARRIVES AT GRAMMYS --- The Grammy Awards always are look for a way to be a mix of today's music along with appearances from a number of classic artists of the past; just yesterday Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr were announced as performers. Macca will have his band, and I predict Starr will come on with them.

Also announced were collaborations between Metallica and Lang Lang, Nile Rodgers and Stevie Wonder joining Pharrell and Daft Punk, and Chicago playing with Robin Thicke.

Amazingly, this will be the first time that Chicago has ever performed on the Grammy stage. Their album, Chicago Transit Authority, is being inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame this year. In addition, it is the first time Metallica has appeared on the Grammy's in 23 years.

Others who will perform include Katy Perry, Lorde, Kendrick Lamar and Imagine Dragons, Pink and Nate Ruess of fun, and a special performance by Merle Haggard, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson and Blake Shelton. LL Cool J will once again host.

It’s amazing to me to witness these so-called brilliant collaborations. With the state of the music business at an all-time low, the producers (and NARAS’ whiz-bang Neil Portnow) figure that if there was ever a time to front-load everything … this is it. But, in reality, these are many of the same old faces. I'd love to see something really creative, like The Monkees playing with Carole King and James Taylor, or Crosby, Stills and Nash, re-uniting with Neil Young.

The Grammy's are Sunday, January 26 from the Staples Center in Los Angeles and broadcast by CBS.

THE STRAITS RETURN --- Dire Straits' Alan Clark and Chris White, with five hand-picked, world class musicians - Terence Reis, Steve Ferrone (from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers), Mickey Féat, Adam Phillips and Jamie Squire – are set to perform at venues in the United States starting in late February as The Straits.

Dire Straits’ legacy is alive and well thanks to the musicians who made history with the band. Keyboard player and former Dire Straits member and producer Clark began the process two years ago in Rome. “Dire Straits' sax player Chris and I were having breakfast beside a pool one beautiful, sunny morning when I declared we were going to form The Straits,” says Clark.

Having been a part the hugely successful, multi-million selling Dire Straits, Clark was acutely aware of the huge responsibility they were undertaking, and the need to get it right. “So, next we needed a band. There was only ever going to be one drummer: Steve Ferrone, probably the best rock drummer in the world. We'd played together for some years when we were in Eric Clapton's band and he is godfather to my son and daughter. As for a front man, I'd always thought it would be impossible to replace the huge talent that is Mark Knopfler until I discovered the brilliant Terence Reis.

Next we needed a bass player, so Mickey Feat was recruited on bass,” adds Clark. “As for the additional keyboard player role, I watched Jamie Squire grow up - his family were neighbors of mine in a village in Northumberland - and develop into the amazing multi-instrumental singer/songwriter he is today. Suddenly we had a band, and what a band!"

Knopfler led the amazingly successful band Dire Straits which he co-founded with his brother, David in 1977.

After Dire Straits disbanded in 1995, Knopfler went on to record and produce seven solo albums; including the wondrous Sailing To Philadelphia, where he harmonized with James Taylor on the title track as well as dueting with Van Morrison. He has also composed and produced film scores for eight films, including Local Hero (1983), Cal (1984), The Princess Bride (1987), and Wag the Dog (1997).

CLOSING NOTES: Broadway’s Donnie Kehr and Tony-award winning actor Christian Hoff (Jersey Boys) visited the Stephen Sondheim Theatre last night to see Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. Kehr is in director Clint Eastwood’s big-screen-version of Jersey Boys due in June …

The Backlist’s return to NBC Monday night (“The Good Samaritan”) was a bit offbeat for sure, but, boy does James Spader chew the scenery. He is, without a doubt, the best actor on TV right now,. Brilliant episode … and, the inclusion of Johnny Cash’s “The Man Comes Around” didn't hurt either …

Just finished Robert Evans’ The Fat Lady Sang memoir; his follow-up to The Kid Stays In The Picture. What a book about Hollywood! If that scene fascinates you at all … give this a read. From Rosemary’s Baby to stories about Jack Nicholson and Roman Polanski, it’s a page-turner…

Great shot of Micky Dolenz and Charlene Tilton (Dallas) on the Internet from Monday's ALS benefit in L. A. ...

M. A. Cassata's Essential Cher Vol. was such a success on the e-book route, that she is preparing Volume 2. Find out more HERE....

Tonight at Gallery 151 in NYC, the new photo-book Bruce Springsteen In Focus 1980-2012, is properly launched with an unparalleled gallery collection of memorable and iconic Springsteen photography from a perspective only Deborah “Jersey Girl” Rothenberg could offer.

Selected by the Wall Street Journal as one of its “best photo books for Fall,” called “amazing” by the New York Daily News, this book is a must have all fans, chronicling The Boss from “The River” tour to “The Wrecking Ball” tour and many Jersey Shore haunts in-between. Through more than three decades of concert tours in national and international arenas and stadiums, as well as impromptu Jersey Shore club appearances, Rothenberg has created what the Hollywood Reporter calls “the ultimate look at a man who … is ‘always grinning’ whenever he is captured in his happy place - the stage.”

The book also has received major coverage from, L. A. Weekly, and Sirius XM, among others. Expected tonight, recording artists Marcus Goldhaber and Dayme; PR-pashas David Salidor and Randy Alexander; among others. More on Friday …

Marvel's Ant-Man was always a favorite. Sure, a scientist who develops a serum to make him shrink to the size of an ant ... and, control them, may seem far fetched (and, it does!) ... but, the movie version, with Paul Rudd as the main character, has now locked in both Michael Douglas and Michael Pena. Visionary-director Edgar Wright will be directing and actresses Rashida Jones and Bryce Dallas Howard are also in the mix. Wow is an understatement. 

Saturday, April 06, 2013



Kevin Berlin's "Woke Up On The Wrong Side Of Bed"

Kasia Kay Art Projects is pleased to present Woke Up On the Wrong Side of the Bed, Kevin Berlin's second solo exhibition with the Gallery. This show follows a breakthrough year for Kevin Berlin with major shows in London, New York and Miami with Kasia Kay Art Projects Gallery. The exhibition features a selection of new large oil on canvas paintings, the artist's most uncensored works to date.

Among the works are Berlin's signature style, mostly black and white, cocktail party scenes such as "The Lonely Girl," "Woke Up on the Wrong Side Of Bed" and the monumental canvas "The Striped Dress." Highlights include a sneak preview of the artist's new "Uncensored" series including several versions of his "F*** YOU" (expressed in English, Italian, and Russian languages) cigarette paintings, packs of Marlboro and Camel with a new interpretation of the warning label.

Kevin Berlin is an internationally recognized artist of enormous talent, with a great eye for bringing to light various intriguing global issues. Whether the subject is cash, cigarettes, cocktail parties, or tigers, his artwork engages the viewer with economic, social and political situations of the day. Berlin's unique style reflects his outlook as "witness" to global popular culture.

Kevin Berlin

Woke Up On the Wrong Side of the Bed
April 11 - May 10, 2013

Opening reception: Friday, April 12th, 6-8PM.

kasia kay art projects gallery

215 N. Aberdeen St., Chicago IL 60607
P. 312- 944-0408 

Berlin is also well known for his sculptural and performance work. The following are links to the artist's performances featured by Kasia Kay Art Projects Gallery at various internationals art fairs:

Tuesday, September 04, 2012



Story By: Kathy Posner

Kathy Posner

Kathy Posner's View
My friend Linda, whose head spins and she spits green soup when I write a mathematical blog, loves when I post a story about me. This blog is for her. I have lived a very luxurious life in a million dollar plus condominium on Michigan Ave. I recently sold the condo because I did not need such a huge home with four bathrooms! It is just me performing daily ablutions, so why did I need four different spots to squat? I decided that I would now rent. It is incredible how much less expensive renting is than owning, but that story would have to include mathematical equations which would only upset Linda. So just trust me on that statement. After only two days in my new apartment on Wacker Drive, which has a magnificent view of the Chicago River and Lake Michigan, I am discovering how ”real people” live. At my old building I think there were more service people than residents! I did not have to do anything from changing a light bulb to putting away my Peapod groceries. There was always someone who would do whatever I needed done. I could pull my car up to the front of the building, get out, go upstairs and all my packages would magically appear at my condo door and my car would be parked for me.

In the real world, one has to pull their car up to the front of the building, get out, get a cart, put items on the cart, take them upstairs, return the cart and park the car. I feel like a horrible elitist snob, but I don’t like doing that! I need others to do that for me. I am spoiled.

At the old place, there were 200 units and many of them were “in town” homes so the owners were rarely around. I never saw anybody. The new place has 500 units and I see people in the hallways, the elevators, the lobby, the mailroom and I don’t like that. One has to smile and be polite to these strangers that I have no desire to make my friends. The 103rd episode of Seinfeld perfectly explains exactly how I feel. Watch this video clip from the show.

I know my lifestyle in a high rise right off Michigan Avenue, with a doorman, a health club, a WiFi salon, an indoor park and other amenities would be considered luxurious. But I don’t have what I need most and that is a personal staff.

I am sure after a few weeks I will ferret out the building’s maintenance people who will assist me for a hefty tip. Until then, I will have to tie my own shoe laces.

Monday, July 16, 2012



Kathy Posner Found Faisal Khan But Can You?

Disgruntled Kathy Posner

I have been writing about Chicago Legislative Inspector General Faisal Khan since his office was created last year. In April I decided to try contacting Mr. Khan and could not find him anywhere. No City of Chicago resource that I called or contacted had any idea who he was. I wrote about it on April 4th in a blog called, “What Happened to Chicago’s Legislative Inspector General?”

Mr. Khan read my blog and contacted me. I was very impressed with his credentials and have great hopes that he will do a fantastic job in fulfilling his mission.

The picture on this blog is a copy of a sign a friend recently gave me telling me that she had heard it was supposed to be posted in all Aldermanic offices. My first thought was I wonder if anyone posted the sign and my second thought was does the City of Chicago now know who Faisal Khan is?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012



 Kathy Posner

Last year I wrote a blog about summer etiquette that listed the important rules of how one should comfort themselves when the temperature is high. I find it necessary to repeat those tips again because of a phone call I received from my friend Jill. She reached out to me because there was not one single woman on the street or in her office who was wearing panty hose besides herself and it bothered her for the same reasons it bothers me. She asked me to re-run my rules about how should conduct themselves when temperatures soar.


1. I find it disgusting when women wear dress shoes without stockings. Sandals I can barley tolerate, but pumps without hosiery? What is so difficult about putting on panty hose in the summer? Most women’s legs are pale and pathetic and I don’t want to look at stubbly legs. Plus, having bare feet encased in leather shoes without stockings creates a sweating situation that leads to smelly feet. Offices, stores and restaurants are air conditioned!! Put on stockings!

This is how your feet look! 

2. I can tolerate sandals without hose but, really, with the exception of going to the beach, do people really need to wear open toed footwear? I don’t want to see people’s dry, cracked heels and the corns on their toes. Have some pride! If one is going to wear sandals, make sure the feet are pedicured (men also!) and free of bunions and bumps.

3. No woman over the age of 21 should ever wear anything sleeveless in public unless they are hospitalized with IV needles in their arms or at the beach. (see note 5 on not going to the beach)

4. Capri pants are also a fashion horror! Does that missing few inches of cloth at the hem of trousers keep one cooler? No! Women look pathetic in short pants. Only Lord Fauntleroy could get away with wearing them.

How is this attractive? 

5. There is no reason to ever go to the beach (see note 3 for dressing at the beach). Why would anyone want to lie out in the blazing hot sun and be forced to use a porta-potty to “freshen up.” Plus swimming in a lake or ocean is repulsive. Fish and other creatures live in the body of water one might swim in and it is not only their personal porta-potty, but where they procreate! You want to put your face in that? Might as well lick the floor at the CTA station if you want to wallow in germs.

6. Steaks and hamburgers grilled over charcoals certainly do taste better than when broiled in a kitchen’s oven. But who wants to eat outside in the heat with bugs? It is okay to attend a backyard barbecue as long as one is allowed to eat inside where it is air conditioned. My friend Karen has a yearly summer event and I love attending, but I eat my food at her dining room table with utensils as any civilized person should. Picnics in the woods are totally insane! (see porta-potty #5)

7. Avoid going outside as much as possible if one lives in an urban environment with sidewalks. Aliens land in the summer and populate cities. I know they are visitors from outer space because they are always stopping in the middle of the sidewalk and looking skyward obviously trying to locate their Mother ship.

If you think about it, summer is just winter reversed. Winter is cold outside and heated inside; summer is just the opposite. No big deal! If one acts the same as they did in winter, they will not make a fool of themselves in summer by trying to do crazy things like walking on a beach or getting a tan.

"In Winter I get up at night and dress by yellow candle-light. In Summer quite the other way, I have to go to bed by day."

Robert Louis Stevenson

Tuesday, June 19, 2012



Story By: Kathy Posner


In November of 2009, I wrote a blog about the financial woes of the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) At the time I quoted Jon Hilkevitch of the Chicago Tribune, who had written, “The average fare collected by the CTA is 98 cents, according to the transit agency. It takes into account full-priced fares, reduced fares, passes and free rides. The cost for the CTA to provide service averages $7 per ride, including some capital costs such as maintenance and some system improvements. The cost per ride jumps to $9.90 if major projects such as the ongoing Brown Line capacity-expansion project or the planned extensions of the Red, Orange and Yellow/Skokie Swift Lines are factored in, CTA officials said.”

Since costs have not gone down for the CTA in the past three years, I feel safe in using those per ride numbers in my upcoming analysis of the CTA’S latest deal with Groupon. Followers of this blog are well aware that for years, since Groupon started doing business, I have mathematically proven how the company’s business model cannot sustain itself and the company will eventually implode. There are too many postings to put the links here. But in the case of the recent CTA deal, Groupon won and the taxpayers who support the CTA got screwed!

The Deal:

(1) CTA sold Groupon 250,000 three-day passes for $7.53 or a total of $1,882,500. The normal price of a three-day pass is $14.

(2) If the CTA had sold those passes for the full price of $14, the agency would have received $3,500,000.

(3) So at first look, the CTA had gross revenues of $1,617,500 LESS than they would have received if the passes had been sold at full price. Is this starting to sound like the debacle of selling off Chicago’s parking meters?

The CTA said they were happy to do the deal because the three day passes don’t sell well. Of course the CTA does not sell a lot of three day passes because CHICAGOANS—the people who support the CTA through their tax money- would buy monthly passes if they were using buses. Three day passes would be used by tourists coming for a short visit. There are fewer tourists than there are locals using the buses, so it makes sense that few three day passes are sold.

It is financially better for the CTA if tourists do not buy three day passes because then the agency would receive full fare for every ride they take instead of a discounted fare.

Saturday, June 16, 2012




SUNDAY, JUNE 17th, 2012

 Mob Wives Chicago

The women are kicked out of the bar after the fight between Pia and Christina and the only thing left are extensions on the table.

The fight at The Wit takes an even uglier turn, and after it’s over Christina finds herself not only on the outs with her former best friend Pia, but also shunned by Renee and Nora. Shaken up, Christina seeks advice from Leah on how to deal with the aftermath. After some tough talk, Christina decides to confront Nora and Pia. Equally shocked and hurt by the behavior of her friend, Pia struggles to make sense of it all while continuing to fend off the badgering of an increasingly hostile and judgmental Renee. Meanwhile, Renee is confronted by an old nemesis of her own, her ex-husband who is seeking sole custody of her youngest daughter, Isabella. And, as she begins her journey to find out the truth behind her father’s mysterious death and burial, Nora offers emotional support to both, Renee and Pia, with mixed results.

Photo Courtesy Of: VH!


John Mahoney With Betty White

Chicago's broadcasting elite gathered at the Museum of Broadcast Communications on North State Street to celebrate the museum’s 25th anniversary. Betty White was the gala's featured hostess.  

Reflecting on their years in the spotlight were long-time broadcaster Hugh Downs, actor John Mahoney of Frazier fame and a long time Chicago resident. Also in attendance was famed radio host Mancow Muller, civic leader Kathy Posner, nationally renowned author of "The Art of Beef Cutting" Kari Underly, along with many local stars of broadcasting.



 Engineer Kathy Posner

McDonough Associates, Inc. describes itself on its web site as “a full-service engineering/architectural firm with a professional and technical staff of approximately 135 employees.” But on the site’s link to “Latest News” the stories about the company’s recent travails are not included.

Last week, Sun-Times reporters Chris Fusco and Tina Sfondeles, chronicled the story of how McDonough Associates had blatantly over-billed the Illinois Department of Transportation. They pointed out that a July 2011 auditor’s report had “… questioned why McDonough employee bonuses, payments of dividends to the firm’s shareholders and other expenses were recorded as “overhead costs” even though those expenses appeared to have little to do with the work performed. Those expenses included “dinners, golf outings, Christmas luncheons and professional baseball and basketball game excursions involving IDOT employees.”

Bill Grunloh, the state procurement officer who oversees transportation contracts said that, “$46.5 million was improperly included by Contractor in its overhead computation for bonuses and dividends. Grunloh’s report said, “The overbilling took place over the majority of the last decade and ended in a multimillion-dollar overbilling balance . . . . The magnitude of the overbilling and the inability of such a business to prevent this kind of activity is . . . staggering.”

William B. Sullivan, the McDonough attorney, disputed the findings. “My client does not agree that any theft occurred,” Sullivan said. “

The Tribune reported that, “Since 2002, the state, the tollway agency and City of Chicago have paid more than $330 million to McDonough for engineering work, according to online databases maintained by the state and city.”

Tuesday, June 12, 2012



Kathy Posner


As the summer months heat up, so do tempers and the number of violent gun related killings. On Saturday, June23rd, Chicago will hold its annual summer gun turn-in program - "Don't Kill A Dream, Save A Life." The point of the program is for citizens to turn in any illegal weapons they have with no questions asked. Thousands of guns are turned in every year—in exchange for gift cards. Firearms are worth a $100.00 gift card and replica and BB-guns may be turned in for a $10.00 gift card.

Chicago has long believed in the value of Gun Turn-In days, a program run by the Chicago Police Department’s Community Policing Office and faith and community-based organizations, to decrease the number of guns on the streets Without getting into a debate on gun control, which seemingly has no unanimously agreed upon answer, there is still debate as to whether this voluntary program is affordable to the Police Departments hosting these events.

For the most part, at least in the state of Illinois, guns confiscated by police officers, whether taken from an illegal owner or confiscated as evidence in a crime investigation, are ordered by state law to be destroyed. The destruction process, governed by the ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms) includes breaking down the gun and melting the steel, literally never to be identifiable as a gun again. To do this, however, has a cost.

Police departments and sheriff’s departments across Illinois are tasked with taking these firearms, in many cases thousands of confiscated guns at a time, to a legally licensed destroyer or steel smelter and then cataloging and tracking the official destruction of each and every gun. In many cases, this process costs the departments money to have this process completed, but in the best cases, it costs only hours and hours of officer time. This is time that should be used by officers to tend to other duties, duties that can directly translate into the immediate safety or rescue of a civilian in distress.

So why, when there is a company like Law Weapons &Supply who is willing, able and eager to provide this service for free to any and all police and sheriff’s departments in the state of Illinois, would any department continue to destroy these guns by traditional means? Law Weapons is offering to serve these officers and their departments by providing all transportation, all record keeping, all tracking, all official documentation of destruction and all physical handling of these weapons at absolutely no charge to the departments, saving them countless hours of officer time by relieving them of this long and arduous task.

Not only would these departments be taking advantage of a service offered by a locally owned business, increasing relations along the way, but they would be saving themselves countless hours of work and tremendous headaches in the accounting, disassembly and official destruction of confiscated firearms, not to mention any monetary cost involved whatsoever. Law Weapons & Supply is a small federally licensed gun dealer, started by local police officers and security professionals who literally want nothing more than to serve our local and state police departments wherever they can and help out in whatever way they are able.

It seems to me that if a private, locally owned and operated company, fighting for survival in today’s marketplace is willing and eager to assist our local and state law enforcement at absolutely no charge with any of the many tasks for which they are already understaffed, there should be no question.

Monday, May 14, 2012



 Zip Car

My condo building owns the garage on which the building sits. Unit owners can not own individual spaces but our monthly parking price is less than what we charge non-resident parkers. Because we allow hourly parking also, the garage is a revenue stream for the building in the same way parking in city-owned lots is revenue for the city. But there are some problems in both cases when outside deals are made.

In my building, if a non-resident wants a reserved space the fee is $389/month. But the Board made a deal with Zip Car that they get two spaces at only $220/month per space. That is a yearly loss of revenue of $4,056 to the buildings coffers. The Board’s explanation for this seemingly “inside deal” was that it made it convenient for residents who don’t have their own personal car to have easy access to the automobile sharing service Zip Car provides. So those people who do own a car and have to pay a higher parking price, gas, repairs, license fees, etc. are subsidizing those who do not. That seems unfair to me.

Last week the Chicago City Council Committee on Housing and Real Estate approved the lease of city-owned parking spaces to the car sharing company, I-Go. If the full City Council approves the deal next week, I-Go's agreement will be valid through Dec. 31, 2016. The company will receive 10 parking spaces across five city-owned parking lots. The lots are located at 2418 W. Division St. in the 26th Ward, 740 N. Ashland Ave. and 1311 N. Moorman St. in the 1st Ward, 2019 W. Lawrence Ave. in the 47th Ward, and 5430 W. Gale St. in the 45th Ward. Each lot will supply two parking spaces.

Since during the length of the lease, the city is expected to receive $50,000 in revenue it sounds like a good deal until one hears the monthly per space price of the deal, only $85 per car! I also learned that last year, the city executed the same type of agreement with Zip Car. There is no tax-paying citizen in the City of Chicago who gets to rent a parking space at that low a fee. Because I don’t know the exact price those monthly spaces usually rent for, I cannot estimate the exact loss of revenue if the car companies had to pay the full price like everyone else does. I do know though that the deal is unfair to car-owning tax-payers who can’t get a price like this.

I guess we need to hire our own lobbyists to protect our rights.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012



 Smug Kathy Posner

Sue Kupcinet, president of the Kathy Posner Fan Club and loyal, daily blog reader, asked me to do a follow up on some stories I wrote about. Because she performs many tasks as President of the Club, how could I turn down this simple request? If I did, she might stop answering all the fan mail! So this blog is for Sue.


On Wednesday, March 28th, I wrote about how my friend Lisa was having a problem redeeming a gift certificate at a beauty salon. This seemingly innocent posting had nothing to do with important worldly issues of the day, yet it received 42 comments-- more comments than any other posting in the three year history of the blog.

It was a simple story. Lisa had received a $200 gift certificate as a present but when she tried to make an appointment at the salon, they would not make one without her giving a credit card number over the phone. Lisa did not want to do that and came to me for help. She wanted me to “trash” the salon.

I could not turn Lisa down because she is the friend who has accompanied me to the hospital at check-in every one of the twelve times I have had a surgical procedure. Since I have checked-out all twelve of those times, I feel Lisa is my good luck charm so I could not turn her down.

The posting had very successful results. By the afternoon of March 28th, the salon owner had called Lisa and begged her to “call off the dogs.” So many people had posted complaints on the salon’s web site it had crashed and their Facebook page was littered with nasty remarks. The owner agreed to let Lisa make an appointment without giving her credit card number.

Lisa has not gone to the salon yet because she is worried that they might do the equivalent of “spitting” in her food. She thinks she will spend the gift money on products instead.


On April 18th, I wrote three stories about money.One of them had to do with my being upset that the Sun-Times had raised its home delivery subscription price from $107 to $169 a year or 57%. They also wanted payment a year in advance and who knew if the newspaper would still exist in a year!

I went on-line and discovered I could buy a yearly subscription for only $91 if I were not already a subscriber. The only catch for me was that I would have to cancel my home delivery for three months to be able to take advantage of the offer.

I called the Sun-Times subscription department and gave them two options. They could either give me the $91 price now or I would cancel. They turned me down. This made no sense to me because newspapers are desperate for subscribers and each one is golden. But I was going to stick with what I wrote and cancel the paper when my current subscription expired in May.

Last week I received a call from the Sun-Times subscription department saying they heard I was upset and they were willing to give me a year’s subscription for the $91 price. I accepted the offer.

I was feeling very smug thinking some high executive at the paper had heard about my blog but then I learned the truth.

Loyal blog reader Cheryl Lewin had passed my posting on to an advertising executive at the paper who wrote her. 

“Hi Cheryl, It was good to hear from you, but only until I got to the part where we pissed off a loyal reader; thank you SO MUCH for calling this situation to my attention. “ I am not going to share the name of the ad exec because I don’t think it would be fair for everyone to start bothering him about their subscription pricing. I have to protect my sources!


On March 27th I wrote about my fear that the State of Illinois was looking into legislation that would outlaw plastic bag. I love plastic bags and did not want to see this happen. Instead it looks like Senate Bill 3442 would create a recycling act and the bags will be not be banned.

Synopsis As Introduced:

"Creates the Plastic Bag and Film Recycling Act. Requires manufacturers of plastic carryout bags to register with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and pay to the Agency an initial registration fee and annual registration renewal fee. Prohibits a manufacturer from selling or offering to sell plastic carryout bag in the State unless the manufacturer is registered with the Agency and its name is printed on the plastic carryout bags it manufactures. Requires each manufacturer to develop, and submit to the Agency, a plan to support the collection and recycling of plastic carryout bags and plastic film product wrap. Prohibits retailers from purchasing plastic carryout bags from manufacturers under certain circumstances. Sets forth duties of the Agency. Creates penalties for violations of the Act. Encourages manufacturers to include recycled content in the plastic carryout bags that they produce."


Lisa will be able to carry home her salon products in a plastic bag, the Sun-Times will be delivered in a plastic bag and I will have a convenient way to suffocate the next person who makes me mad!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Chicago's Kathy Posner

First some background for those not from Chicago. In 2007, the City of Chicago introduced the Blue Cart Recycling program. This is a program for people who live in a single-family home, 2-flat building or 3 or 4-flat building. According to the web site of the Department of Streets and Sanitation,” Recyclables are picked up and transported in specially designated recycling trucks to avoid contamination with regular garbage. Materials are taken to a city-approved recycling center where they are sorted into separate materials, called commodities, then baled or packaged for delivery to manufacturers who reprocess or reuse the materials to make new products.”

Materials that are accepted by the program are:

•Glass: jars and bottles,•Metal: cans, aluminum foil and pie tins,•Paper and Cardboard (flattened): Cereal boxes, paper towel rolls, cardboard (flatten all boxes), junk mail, magazines, catalogs, telephone books, paper bags, office paper and file folders, newspaper and inserts, paper greeting cards, wrapping paper,•Plastic: bottles and containers (# 1-5, 7 accepted), plastic beverage rings.

Currently there are approximately 600,000 homes that qualify for Blue Cart Recycling, but only 240,000 are part of the program. Last week, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced that the remaining 340,000 Chicago households that don’t have curbside recycling will get it by the end of 2013. According to the Chicago Tribune,” The administration says it can afford to expand the recycling program because pickup has become more efficient in the six months since two private firms started competing with city crews.”

The Sun-Times reported, “A service that cost the city $4.77 for every blue cart collected before the competition is now being provided by city crews for $3.28 a cart including the sale of recyclables and by private contractors for $2.70 a cart, officials said. That’s a $2.2 million savings over a six-month period.”

IT IS NOT A $2.2 MILLION SAVINGS, IT IS A LOT MORE! Did the city have 4 year-olds with a rudimentary understanding of mathematics calculate the savings? The true savings are astounding and I can’t understand how my figures are so totally different from what the city claims.

Here are the simple statistics:

(A) 240,000 households at $4.77 means that each pick up costs $1,144,800 when it is performed by city workers at the old cost.

(B) The program calls for a pick up once every week, so that means there are 24 pick ups in six months which gives a cost of $27,475,200 at the old rate.

(C) 240,000 at $3.28 which is the more efficient city rate, means each pick up costs $787,200 or $18,892,800 for six months.

(D) 240,000 at $2.70—the private haulers rate-- means each pick up costs $648,000 or $15,552,000 for six months.


(A) The old city six month pick up costs compared to the lower efficient city pick up costs are $27,475,200 vs. $18,892,800. That is a savings of $8,582,400.

(B) The old city six month pick up costs were $27,475,200 and the private haulers rate is $15,552,800. That is a savings of $11,922,400.

I know I am not wrong, so I cannot figure out why the city is saying there is only a savings of $2.2 million!! Even if the pick up is only once every two weeks, the resultant savings are still greater than $2.2 million. Emanuel is gloating about how much money the privatization has saved taxpayers, but his bragging numbers are wrong. How come nobody else has figured this out? Whose calculator is wrong? I don’t think it’s mine.

Thursday, April 05, 2012



Kathy Posner

Last November I wrote a blog about how the Chicago City Council had finally hired a Chicago Legislative Inspector General, 18 months after the ordinance to create the job was passed. Because the current Chicago Inspector General (IG) is banned by ordinance to investigate Aldermen, a new office had to be created just for the purpose of investigating allegations of misconduct by Aldermen, Aldermanic staff or members of the City Council. Selected for the job was Faisal Khan, a former New York City attorney who had been Inspector General at New York City Department of Investigation. I wondered what has happened to him since last November when a friend recently asked me if I knew how to reach Khan.

Remember that the Chicago City Council only appropriated $60,000 to run the office. Alderman Joe Moore (D-49) said at the time that the part-time salary and no staff authorized for the new inspector general in the 2012 budget supports his claim that Khan will “end up being window dressing.” He also said, “I don’t know the man. I will assume he’s a man of utmost integrity. But it doesn’t matter how much integrity and independence you have. If you don’t have the tools to do the job, then you are going to be ineffective. And it does not appear he’s been given the tools to do the job.”

There has not been a single story in the news about Kahn in the last six months. That made me wonder, "Is he doing his job?"

I went to the City of Chicago web site and looked for his office. It does not exist. I went to the city employee directory and he is not listed. I called the city information hot line at 311 and asked how I could reach Faisal Khan. The operator did not know who he was. I told her he was the Legislative Inspector General. She said she did not have any listing for that office.

What if I wanted to report misconduct? I could not find him through official City of Chicago channels, so I went to Google. I found Khan’s LinkedIn listing I know I found the correct Khan because this is what was written:

“Legislative Inspector General"
City of Chicago
Government Agency; 10,001+ employees; Government Administration industry
November 2011 – Present (6 months) Chicago

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

Creation of the first Office of the Legislative Inspector General for the city of Chicago; Investigating allegations of, but not limited to, fraudulent, corrupt or criminal activity, conflicts of interest, unethical conduct, misconduct, and incompetence of City of Chicago Aldermen and employees of the Chicago city council; Work in conjunction with the United States Department of Justice and other federal and state investigative agencies in furtherance of OLIG investigations and prosecutions; Determine and designate appropriate resources and techniques towards initiation of investigative matters, as well as develop rules, regulations, and guidelines for investigative practices; Formally disclose, report, and issue various extensive reports delineating outcomes of investigations, audits, evaluations and inspections to all relevant parties; Conduct extensive legal research of federal, state, and local criminal, civil, and administrative codes and laws for compliance purposes. “
He certainly has a lot of responsibilities for a part time employee with no staff and no office in City Hall!

I finally found out how to reach Khan from a posting he had put up on in February in response to a comment someone had made about Chicago being such a corrupt city.

“Hello -
I am the Legislative Inspector General for the City of Chicago. The Office of the Legislative Inspector General is charged with investigating allegations of misconduct by Aldermen, Alderman staff, and/or members of City Council.
If you have any complaints or allegations of impropriety against any Alderman and/or their staff, please contact me at my office. Since this Office has only recently been created, we are still in the process of making ourselves readily available to members of the public. However, the complaint process is up and running, and as such, I can be reached at The office hotline number is (312) 744-2312.

If there is anything I can assist you with, please do not hesitate to contact me. Please also feel free to forward this contact information to anyone. I look forward to hearing from you.”

Since 1972, when there was no Inspector General investigating City Council, 29 current and former Chicago aldermen have been sentenced to jail. No wonder no permanent office has been set up for him and he is not listed in the Chicago employee directory, it is obvious Aldermen don’t want people to be able to easily find him.

But now you know how, just in case.

Read more from Planet Posner HERE.....

Editors Note: We wonder if Kathy Posner called the number she found or does it even work?