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Chicago Teachers Union chief Karen Lewis going on vacation?

Karen Lewis

Karen Lewis

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Updated: September 29, 2011 12:32AM


A strike may be looming if Chicago teachers’ salaries aren’t increased, but it reportedly is not deterring Chicago Teachers Union chief Karen Lewis from going on a planned vacation. Hawaii?

◆To wit: Liz Brown, a CTU spokeswoman tells Sneed: “She [Lewis] has a private life and all of us need to take a vacation some time.” Although it was unclear when Lewis was actually leaving on vacation, word is she had scheduled it for this weekend.

◆Buckshot: Sneed hears Lewis sent new schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard an ultimatum demanding negotiations on teacher salaries Wednesday night. “If Brizard wanted to meet with her for a cup of coffee immediately, it might be difficult if she’s in Hawaii,” said a source.

◆Backshot: Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s new Chicago School Board shocked the union Wednesday when it announced the system did not have cash to cover a 4 percent raise for teachers.

The Royal Set ...

Prince William and wife, Kate, the commoner, have decided NOT to hire servants at this time . . . Prince Andrew is apparently this/close to stepping down as Britain’s global trade ambassador because of his lack of common sense in choosing friends who are gunrunners, sex offenders and a former wife who drew headlines for attempting to sell business access to him.

Getting Smooted?

Julianna Smoot has . . . worked for President Barack Obama for the past five years.

Julianna Smoot has . . .raised tons of cash for Obama’s political war chest.

Julianna Smoot has . . . served as White House social secretary when her predecessor, Desiree Rogers, got dusted.

Julianna Smoot is . . .the brains behind the recent fund-raising pitch to donate $5 to join a lottery for a chance to sit down for dinner with the president and swap stories.

Is Smoot being smited?

In her fund-raising plea/pitch, Smoot tooted: “I’ve worked for President Obama for almost five years — but I’ve never actually sat down for dinner with him. That’s why I’m excited about [and maybe a little jealous of] the opportunity you have to join the President for dinner.”

◆Gee whiz, Mr. President. Give a hoot. Invite Smoot. It sounds like she’s earned a place at the table.

The Edwards File ...

In case you missed it, indicted former Dem presidential hopeful John Edwards was smiling big-time while posing for a U.S. marshal’s mugshot. The guy has chutzpah!

The Palin File ...

Bristol Palin, Sarah’s eldest daughter/single mom of toddler Tripp, has been an eyeblink resident of Arizona.

◆To wit: Bristol, who purchased a $172,000 home in Maricopa, Ariz., last December, is now planning to rent it out for $1,400 a month, according to a report in the Arizona Republic.

◆The Big Question: Where’s she going? Moving into Mom’s new Scottsdale mansion . . . or heading to California to tape a reality TV show?

The Sudan struggle ...

From dirt roads to toll roads?

Sneed’s item Boutros Magaya, the Republic of South Sudan’s new infrastructure chief, met with Illinois Tollway’s chief engineer Paul Kovacs last week to talk about how to build roads in this new African nation comprised primarily of dirt roads netted this reader response: “You sure it wasn’t the other way around and we were trying to learn how to improve our roads from a Third World country?”

I spy ...

Billionaire investor Warren “The Oracle of Omaha” Buffett spotted at Gibsons Monday . . . Golfer Nick Faldo d ined at Hugo’s Monday . . . Ramona and Sonja of “Real Housewives of New York” at Bistronomic Tuesday . . . Gov. Pat Quinn spotted at One North Kitchen & Bar Wednesday night.

Sneedlings ...

Watch for rocker Jim Peterik to spend Father’s Day at Arlington Park, where he’s expected to sing his trademark tune “Eye of the Tiger.” . . . Today’s birthdays: Venus Williams, 31; Dan Jansen, 46; Joe Piscopo, 60; Barry Manilow, 68 and Newt Gingrich, 68 . . . Saturday’s birthdays: Carol Kane, 59; Isabella Rossellini, 59; Roger Ebert, 69; Paul McCartney, 69 and Yvonne Whitaker and Bruce DuMont and Andy Shaw, all ageless.

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