Gov. Pat Quinn to OK speeding cameras near city schools, parks
By MICHAEL SNEED email@example.com February 3, 2012 8:08PM
Gov. Pat Quinn
Updated: March 6, 2012 8:13AM
It’s a go!
Sneed has learned Gov. Pat Quinn is giving a thumbs up to a controversial bill to protect children as well as fill the city’s empty coffers.
To wit: Quinn is giving Chicago the green light to install speed “safety” enforcement cameras around schools and parks, which could generate a fortune in city fines!
$$$$: The bill, which was backed big time by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, calls for fines of $50 or more for cars going 6 to 10 miles over the limit near schools and parks. Driving more than 10 miles over the limit triggers $100 fines. Last year, Chicago earned $69 million from red-light violators caught by curbside cameras already in place.
Backshot: Installing new cameras has been a hot-button issue for Quinn, who had to weigh child safety versus privacy issues caused by camera glut.
Backshot II: Emanuel had been cautioned by Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy and Chicago Public Schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard that the city has a speeding problem “unique from other cities,” which was endangering kids.
Background: “The governor spent two months studying the ramifications of this bill,” said a source. “Some critics feared cameras would blanket the city, but the bottom line for the governor was the same for the mayor: it all came down to safety. ... Quinn came back to an old quote from scripture: ‘If you save one life you save the world,’ and ultimately he felt the safety of children comes first.”
Sureshot: Quinn had until Monday to veto the measure. If he had done nothing, it would have become law on July 1st.
Abbey blab ...
To those of us hooked on the hit PBS series “Downton Abbey,” which airs during the dreadfully boring Super Bowl — Sneed has a little tittle-tattle:
◆ Aunt Blabby reports: Actress Shirley MacLaine, who plays the rich American mother of Lady Grantham in the upcoming third season this September — will trade bitchin’ barbs with the ineffable Brit actress Maggie Smith, Lady Grantham’s mother-in-law! Well, she who controls the shekels, controls the Granthams!
Super Bowl bits ...
Attention: Super Bowl food addicts: What’s been called “clucking amazing” on the Internet is the ingestion of 337 chicken wings by a guy named Takeru Kobayashi at “Wing Bowl 20” in Philadelphia.
◆ The goofball with the garbage gut won $20,000 for his fete, which ostensibly is still working its way out of his system.
Super Bowl hits ...
Actor Jack Nicholson may be addicted to attending L.A. Lakers basketball games, but he had a rather blunt response to a press query about attending this year’s Super Bowl. “I’d rather drink bleach,” said the outspoken thespian.
Beyonce blab ...
Is this a case of Blue Ivy connivvyvy? Parents of Blue Ivy, the newly born baby daughter of singers Beyonce and Jay Z, have filed a U.S. Patent application to protect the baby’s name — and claim the right to use it for future products? Superstar steps.
Roseanne run ...
Now comes word comedienne Roseanne Barr, who spends a lot of time at her macadamia nut farm in Hawaii, tweeted she is running for the Green Party presidential nomination. Be still my tongue.
Pigskin patter ...
Sneed’s item Thursday explaining the average time the ball is in play during the Super Bowl is about 11 minutes netted this note:
“In regards to your insult against lack of action in football games. How many minutes does a chess piece move during a chess game? It’s watching the adjustment and counter moves of each team that makes it interesting. Have a good day.” Dan B.
The Kennedy legend...
Dateline: Camelot ... Just when you thought you knew it all, along comes something new: Rory Kennedy , who was born after her great, late father Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated, told a Sundance audience viewing the upcoming HBO documentary on her famous mom, Ethel Kennedy, that her father slid down a bannister at the White House when President John F. Kennedy and wife, Jackie , moved in. There ya go.
Condolences to the Sun-Times’ Bob Shea on the death of his mother, Dorothy ... Getting ribbed: PR maven extraordinaire Janet Diederichs was surrounded by close pals Leslie Hindman, Robert Cooke, Dr. Linda Huang, Cathleen Johnson, Alice and Anne Tucker, Jim Gacek and Bob Loveman at a very trendy birthday dinner Wednesday night at Chicago q. ... Today’s birthdays: Bobby Brown, 43; Hank Aaron, 78; Andrew Greeley, 84; Cristiano Ronaldo, 27; Michael Sheen, 43; Jennifer Jason Leigh, 50; Christopher Guest, 64; Barbara Hershey, 64, and Roger Staubach, 70 ... Monday’s birthdays: Kris Humphries, 27; Axl Rose, 50; Tom Brokaw, 72; Natalie Cole, 62; Zsa Zsa Gabor, 95; Rip Torn, 81, and Mamie Van Doren, 81.