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Did street gang activity really close North Ave. Beach?

Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy  |  Sun-Times files

Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy | Sun-Times files

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Updated: September 11, 2011 12:22AM

Top cop tip . . .

Dateline — The Men-in-blue Line: Sneed hears Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s vigorous defense of the decision to close down the crowded North Avenue Beach on Memorial Day might be based on something more than beach patrons suffering from heat exhaustion.

Street gangs!

◆ To wit: Sneed is told Mayor Emanuel “also” supported acting Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy’s decision to close the area because a growing number of loitering street gang members from different parts of the city had invaded the beach.

◆ Translation: “The CPD was very concerned about an ever-enlarging number of loud, obnoxious and rude gang members who the cops feared might clash,” said one of two cop sources.

◆ Hot stuff: “A gang presence down there is a growing concern and couple it with hot weather, it might have erupted into something horrifying. What beach do you know that closes down because of the heat? These gang members don’t set up shop with blankets and fruit baskets.”

◆ Hmmm: Is that another reason why Mayor Emanuel said: “If they didn’t take those steps, there would be a different set of questions here — a whole other set of questions.”

Sign ’em . . .

Adding salt to the sauce: The infamous leftover Gino’s East pizza dispatched by GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney and his lunch mates to Barack Obama presidential headquarters in Chicago last week — also contained Romney’s autograph!

◆ “He signed it with a Sharpie marker,” said State Treasurer Dan Rutherford, who is heading up Romney’s Illinois campaign. “Everybody carries one in this business.”

The royal set . . .

Well, well . . . do tell. The newly married royal couple, Prince William and Kate Middleton — who are now referred to as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge — requested Philadelphia cream cheese and brussels sprouts be placed in their honeymoon suite in Seychelles.

Isn’t that something?

◆ Check out the July issue of Vanity Fair on every little thing you wanted to know about Wills & Kate, whom Sneed hears affectionately call themselves “Willie” and “Baby.”

The royal set II . . .

A royal pickle: What’s a duchess to do? Word is Kate Middleton is having a hard time figuring out whether to be accompanied on her trip to Canada — and her first U.S. visit — with a lady-in-waiting. Wardrobes can be so cumbersome, but it does destroy the notion of a common sense girl who doesn’t spend a ton on clothes, don’tchaknow.

◆ The solution? Sister Pippa, who is now making tabloid headlines since the royal coupling, was rumored a month ago to be considering the job. But, then again, one wouldn’t want to be upstaged by a younger sister.

Bad boy central . . .

Marital maniac/muscleman Arnold Schwarzenegger spent Memorial Day in Malibu in the lonely depot probably wishing he really was the “Terminator” who could terminate his marital woes.

A Jolie jot . . .

It’s the Pitts: Actress Angelina Jolie had this to say to the London Telegraph about her significant other, Brad Pitt: “Physically he’s a real man . . . in all things that it means.”

The Quinn bin . . .

Don’t invite ’em items: Gov. Pat Quinn, who has unsuccessfully tried to make an “X” with a Sharpie marker in his casino/budget battle with Senate Leader John Cullerton, is persona non grata these days with top Dems. He and Cullerton have flexed their muscle over the state budget — and Cullerton is showing he has more sinew.

I spy . . .

Actor Kelsey Grammer dining at RL restaurant Monday.

Sneedlings . . .

Today’s birthdays: Sen. Kirk Dillard, 56; Alanis Morissette, 37; Heidi Klum, 38; Ronnie Wood, 64 and Morgan Freeman, 74.

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