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Opportunity for laid off traffic control aides

We reported today that Emanuel’s plan to hire about 120 traffic control aides (prior reports have put the number at 100, but OEMC officials said it was 120 at the budget hearing) for the Red Line reconstruction project is moving forward.

Fioretti v. Emanuel

On Monday Ald. Robert Fioretti (2nd) spoke at a City Club of Chicago luncheon where he criticized the Emanuel administration for various CPS-related matters, including school closings and the approval of charter schools. This is not the first time Fioretti has disagreed with the mayor.

New life in the enterprise zone

A number of Chicago’s enterprise zones were granted a slight reprieve by the City Council’s finance committee earlier today. These special districts, which offer a range of tax exemptions and credits, are generally regarded as a good thing — though some believe that they are underutilized in Chicago.

Big fish in a big pond

Thursday’s MWRD hearing on the Wilmette Harbor contract was a somewhat somber affair, as board members weren’t eager to leave the meeting room with the future of the harbor’s lease still in the air.

More on the PACE program

As reported Wednesday, 28 states and Washington D.C. have enacted legislation authorizing PACE programs, which allow municipalities to provide loans to homeowners and businesses to finance renewable energy and energy efficiency improvements.

Check out the list, as well as more information about the program, at www.pacenow.org.

-Jani Actman

School closures to improve education? Up for debate

CPS head Barbara Byrd-Bennett matched the passion of her detractors at the Board of Ed today in arguing for 54 school closings.

But the actual facts behind these proposed closings – like whether they will really improve the education of elementary school students – are hard to say at this point.

Midway ad deal passes amid talks of privatization

Emanuel and it appears the City Council are moving forward on new ad deals for Chicago’s two airports, even as the city mulls selling off Midway to the private sector.

More about the Chicago Dental Society’s report on lack of access to dental services

On Thursday we reported about steps the Cook County Health and Hospitals System is taking to improve access to dental services for the uninsured and underinsured. The report by the Chicago Dental Society mentioned in yesterday’s article revealed some shocking statistics regarding the shortage of public dental clinics in the county:

Riverwalk project long time in making

As reported today, Emanuel and LaHood said the city has secured the money needed to extend the Riverwalk. Plans were rolled out last October for the six-block extension.