No optimism for "Dark Knight" ride

Posted by Sean Stangland on Tue, 05/20/2008 - 18:46

First things first: If you haven't read Marni Pyke's great story about Field Museum archaeologist Ryan Williams, please do. It's a fun, informative read, and has more than few tips of the fedora to "Indiana Jones" fans.

Now, onto Gurnee, and Six Flags Great America, which hosted a media preview of its new Dark Knight ride today. The Dark Knight Coaster (hereafter TDK) is an indoor ride of the "wild mouse" variety, which means riders don't board a train, like on traditional steel and wooden coasters, but instead board a single car that typically holds 2-4 people. Early pictures and video suggest TDK's cars hold four people. Wild mouse rides are typically tame, depending on sudden small dips and turns for thrills. Theme Park Insider reports the ride will serve 600 guests an hour.

Chicago's Inside Pitch

Body by Anderson

Posted by scotgreg on Tue, 05/20/2008 - 18:35
Why did the White Sox rush out of the clubhouse on Tuesday afternoon almost 30 minutes earlier than usual? Big meeting on the field? Major announcement? Team photo? None of the above. The Sox filed out early in order to catch outfielder Brian Anderson's workout video on the Jumbotron at U.S. Cellular Field. "I'm just going to wear it,'' Anderson said from the dugout while his teammates lounged and laughed in the outfield grass. "I make fun of people all the time, so it's about time somebody gets me back.'' That "somebody'' was White Sox catcher Toby Hall, who acquired the video of Anderson working out near his off-season home in San Diego. It was pretty basic stuff _ Anderson lifting weights, doing cardiovascular work, even rolling a giant truck tire.

Suburban Political Recount

Cheaper gas or pork projects -- the choice for House GOP members

Posted by JP on Tue, 05/20/2008 - 16:58

On Tuesday morning, House Republican lawmakers gathered in a Capitol news conference room to demand the state's sales tax on gasoline be removed to help working families cope with $4-a-gallon gas.

On Tuesday afternoon, former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert, a Plano Republican, appeared in the same news conference room to announce a proposal that would finance $31 billion worth of road construction that numerous lawmakers on both sides of the Illinois Capitol aisle have been clamoring for.

The catch?

Hastert's plan uses that gasoline sales tax money as the financial backing for the borrowing needed for such a massive undertaking.

Suburban Political Recount

Progress or purgatory?

Posted by JP on Tue, 05/20/2008 - 16:06
Former U.S. House Speaker Denny Hastert and SIU President Glenn Poshard were scheduled for a 2:30 p.m. news conference to announce the latest plan for billions of dollars in state-sponsored construction spending. It's 4 p.m. and they're no where to be seen. When last spotted, they were headed into the governor's office, like so many construction advocates before them. For weeks, Hastert and Poshard have emerged from similar meetings to tell reporters "good progress" was made on reaching a deal on how to pay for the construction spending.

Chicago's Inside Pitch

This Marmol is good, the best reliever in baseball

Posted by Bruce on Tue, 05/20/2008 - 14:34
Props to reader mlp who properly pointed out that us scribes should have made more of Carlos Marmol's relief appearances in last night's 7-2 Cubs victory over the Astros. The reader is right. All Marmol did last night was come into the game in the eighth inning with nobody out and two Astros on base. The score at the time was 5-2 Cubs, and guess who was coming up for Houston? Miguel Tejada, Lance Berkman and Carlos Lee. The result: popout, strikeout, groundout. Aramis Ramirez hits a 2-run homer in the ninth. Cubs win. Now about Marmol. It says here he's the best relief pitcher in baseball. Bar none. Marmol's fastball is good and his slider is a candidate to be banned in several states.

Suburban Political Recount

Playing politics with the pump

Posted by JP on Tue, 05/20/2008 - 11:55

House Republicans had a news conference this morning to tell reporters about their idea to get rid of the state’s sales tax on gasoline. The move could save motorists upward of a quarter per gallon IF the station operators pass along all the savings.

Illinois imposes a sales tax on the total price per gallon. That tax is atop other gasoline taxes. The gasoline taxes, in theory, pay for road construction. The added sales tax can pay for anything in state government.


Spielberg is still one of the greats

Posted by Sean Stangland on Mon, 05/19/2008 - 21:44

In recent years, it has become almost fashionable to use the words "overrated," "sentimental" and even "terrible" when talking about Steven Spielberg. The Internet geek community has been particularly harsh to the most successful director of all time, and more specifically to the way he ends his movies.

Chicago's Inside Pitch

No loss for adjectives

Posted by Bruce on Mon, 05/19/2008 - 17:37
What, is the Astros' Lance Berkman up for the Heisman Trophy? The Astros today put out a packet of info about Berkman's "remarkable start" and his "stellar career." The packet is titled, "Lance Berkman: Four-time all-star: 2001, 2002, 2004, 2006; four-time player of the week, including twice in 2008." Try saying all that without taking a breath. This week, however, NL player of the week honors went to the Cubs' Alfonso Soriano for his big-league leading 7 homers, 14 RBI, 1.258 slugging percentage and 39 total bases. I asked my Cubs people if they were preparing a similar packet, and they said no. Alfonso will never win the Heisman that way.

Suburban Political Recount

Obama declared "fittest"

Posted by JP on Mon, 05/19/2008 - 14:55

Men’s Fitness Magazine has named Barack Obama as one of its 25 Fittest Guys In America.

Suburban Political Recount

Big picture, Local focus

Posted by JP on Sun, 05/18/2008 - 22:02

Last week, we – Amber Krosel, Nick Shields and myself – set out to talk to every lawmaker from the Daily Herald’s circulation area. By week’s end we’d touched base with almost everyone. More than 40 interviews later, they’d painted a fairly, but not completely, gloomy picture of getting done on time with a balanced spending plan for the next state budget year, which begins July 1.

A tally of the lawmakers’ quotes can be found here.


But if you want to know what those representing your specific part of the suburbs said, below is a lengthy list broken down by those representing Cook, Lake and DuPage counties along with the Fox Valley.