Illinois credit rating sucks, which is unfortunate for the Sucker State, because it needs to borrow millions of dollars to pay its bills. This means that the state is paying a premium for the loans, which are going to be used to improve roads, bridges and schools. As a product of Illinois’ public schools, I can honestly say that the $900 million in new bonds it is issuing will not be enough. Whether this is because we are too poorly educated to figure out how much money is actually needed, or because it really isn’t, no one can say.
Friendly’s recently made a splash on the internet with their 1500 calorie Grilled Cheese BurgerMelt, which, as we already reported, is not an entirely original creation. It is perhaps, the first time we ever had to look at actual nutritional information for the thing, however. Anyway, our friends at Chicagoist point out that there’s a local place that was serving this burger, with the touching addition of a mustard dollar sign on the bun, about a year and a half ago. They call it “The Blago” burger, after disgraced former governor Rod Blagojevich.
Know what’s more important than you not having your car towed and having to pay a $160 tow fee? Secret deodorant commercials! At least that’s the message Chicago sent back in September when they put up signs about a film shoot tow zone only 3 hours before the towing was to begin.
A class action lawsuit has been filed against the City of Chicago on behalf of people whose cars were impounded as part of a police investigation — and then charged outrageous fees to get their vehicles back. The lawsuit covers 15,000 people whose cars were impounded by the city over a five year period.
Know what people don’t like? Chicago privatized parking meters. Now a public interest group is suing the city, claiming that Daley didn’t have the right to lease the meters to a private company for an “excessive period,” that that tax payer dollars shouldn’t go towards police to enforce meters owned by a private company. They also say that the city can’t force the Illinois Secretary of State to suspend licenses for failure to pay tickets issued at private meters.
The Illinois attorney general’s office has filed suit against a Chicago-based rental property listing service for allegedly “charging consumers a membership fee for access to a property database populated largely with fraudulent or outdated rental listings.”
Will sponsored pot holes sell chicken? KFC seems to think so. They’ve asked the City of Chicago if they can fix potholes — in exchange for including a white stencil saying the spot was “Re-freshed by KFC.”
The Chicago parking meter saga continues today with a post from theexpiredmeter.com, a blog about Chicago parking tickets and how to fight them. The post has photos of parking meters being spray painted, destroyed and otherwise defaced. Guess people aren’t too thrilled with paying 28 quarters for 2 hours in the Loop…
The evidence is purely anecdotal, but it seems that some unrest might be brewing in the City of Chicago. Now that the Mayor has leased the city’s parking meters to a company that jacked up the rates, people might be staying home rather than feed the meters — which now take as many as 28 quarters for 2 hours.
The Chicago Sun-Times is reporting that Mayor Richard M. Daley of Chicago is trying to get “quickie” approval for a proposal to privatize the city’s parking meters. Under the 75 year lease, Chicago’s 36,000 parking meters would be controlled by a partnership that includes Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners and LAZ Parking. This partnership will, naturally, raise prices. Critics of the proposal say that charging $6.50 an hour by 2013 to park downtown would hurt local businesses.
Mimi Zidan owns the Lucky Mart in Pekin, IL, where a pricing mistake resulted in a mob of gas thirsty customers, rushing to take advantage of pumps that were dispensing gas for only $0.35 per gallon. You’d think she’d be upset about losing so much money, but she’s not.
Reader Sandra thinks Feeny Dodge in Elgin, IL should rethink this advertisement, which is disguised as a traffic ticket.
If you’re from Chicago and have ever parked an automobile, this has probably already happened to you 6 times and you’ll be wondering why this story is even newsworthy. Feel free to go get a sandwich. For the rest of the country… The Chicago Sun-Times is reporting that hundreds of people who drove to the 79th annual Bud Billiken Parade got a nasty surprise when they found that a towing company had posted a notice after the parade started and towed all of their cars.
The Chicago Public School system has given a car to a 12-year-old in recognition of her perfect attendance over a three month period. “By attending school every day within any one of three time periods, a total of 189,115 students were eligible for the Dodge Caliber, which was donated to CPS by Clear Channel and South Chicago Dodge.” We suppose giving cars to 12-year-olds is one way to advertise your car dealership. [Chicago Tribune]
Reader Dave asks an interesting question. Should GameStop be charging sales tax on an XBOX live membership card? Generally speaking, only “tangible goods” are subject to sales tax, though every state is different.
Consumers in Illinois have a new gift card law coming into effect next month, says the Springfield State Journal-Register. The new law will prohibit gift cards from expiring within 5 years of being issued.
Under the new law, the recipient of a $50 gift card — for example — will be able to spend the entire $50, said the measure’s House sponsor, Democratic Rep. Jack Franks of Woodstock.
Lisa Madigan, the attorney general of Illinois, is investigating subprime mortgage lender Countrywide “as part of the state’s expanding inquiry into dubious lending practices that have trapped borrowers in high-cost mortgages they can no longer afford,” says the New York Times.
Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) is the Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government, which recently held hearings about the state of toy safety in the U.S. What did Sen. Durbin take away from those hearings?