You are on page 1of 2

MORRISSEY:Bulls escape after defense shows up |




Turn to Page 16A for the first piece of our four-part growth chart

$ 1 . 7 5 C I T Y & S U BU R B S, $ 3 E L S E W H E R E | A P R I L 1 7 , 2 0 1 1 | L AT E S P O RT S F I NA L | S U N T I M E S. C O M | H O P E F U L


3 4 0 PA G E 5 2 A


Cops dodge Koschman questions

After all our stories, theres much we still dont know | PAGE 22A



I can tell you that Rod can be his best defense, brother says of ex-gov | PAGES 10-11A


Easing stigma of mental illness

Catherine Zeta-Jones praised for making her bipolar struggle public




John Barron Publisher Tom McNamee Editorial Page Editor


Don Hayner Editor in Chief Andrew Herrmann Managing Editor

Sleepy controllers, Biden just like us

aybe we dozed off, but we havent noticed a lot of people giving Vice President Joe Biden much grief for nodding off during President Obamas budget speech last week. And while federal officials are right to take seriously recent reports of air traffic controllers falling asleep on the job, the controllers havent been getting much backlash from the public, either. Why? Because weve all been there. The average adult needs seven to nine hours of sleep a night. But more than one-third of adults in the United States get less than that, and 38 percent doze off at least once during the day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A survey released last month by the National Sleep Foundation found that more than half of Americans experience sleep problems, such as waking in the middle of the night, every night or almost every night. Not getting enough sleep may not seem like a big deal. But the serious consequences of sleep deprivation are well-documented: Each year, more than 100,000 car crashes and 1,550 deaths occur as the result of drowsy driving, according to a conservative estimate by the National Highway Traffic

Safety Administration. Studies have shown that health care professionals are more likely to commit serious medical errors when they dont get enough sleep. And chronic sleep loss increases a persons risk of weight gain and developing diabetes, heart disease and depression. Chances are, you already know what it takes to sleep better: Set a sleep schedule and stick to it; exercise regularly, and avoid heavy meals, caffeine or alcohol before hitting the sack. The National Sleep Foundation also has a few other tips that may be less obvious. For instance, 95 percent of Americans reported using some type of electronic device, whether its a television, a laptop or a video game, in the hour before they go to bed. Not only do these devices stimulate the brain, but exposure to artificial light before bed can delay the release of a sleep-inducing hormone. So, its a good idea to make your bedroom a tech-free zone. People who find themselves lying awake in bed for more than 20 minutes also should try getting up and doing something relaxing in dim light until they feel sleepy. Bidens poorly timed nap, though easy to play for laughs, should be a reminder that most of us could use a little more shut-eye.

Cops dodge Koschman questions


Get facts right on teacher pay

he battle to lengthen Chicagos shamefully short public school day has begun. In this fight, we stand firmly behind Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel. He said Friday he wants schools to be open each day another hour or an hour and a half. But if Emanuel hopes to persuade teachers to go along, he would be wise to get his facts exactly right. Emanuel said that the Chicago Teachers Union in 2007 rejected a 6 percent raise in exchange for adding 45 minutes of instructional time. But others say differently. A CPS insider says school officials offered a 6 percent raise for the first year of the contract and 4 percent for each remaining year in exchange for working an extra 45 minutes a day. That was turned down. The final contract included 4 percent raises without any change in the school day. CTU spokesman Liz Brown says that notes of an April 3, 2007, bargaining session show CPS officials asked for 45 more minutes and said no money was attached to it. The next time Emanuel argues for a longer day, lets hope he has his facts nailed down.

ozens of stories Two editorials. Six Jack Higgins cartoons. And, as of this writing, six columns. Thats the Chicago Sun-Times tally so far of what we have published on the perplexing, tragic story of David Koschman, the 21-year-old man from Mount Prospect who died of head injuries seven years ago. And of Richard R.J. Vanecko, the then29-year-old nephew of Mayor Daley and White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley, who threw the punch that ended Koschmans life. It happened in 2004 in the pre-dawn hours along the bars on Division Street where, according to police, everyone was drunk, profanities were exchanged, and the lone punch that was thrown was not intended to kill. But it did. Why devote so many words and so much time to this arguably old story? Because were not getting answers to important questions about how the cops and prosecutors handled this heater of a case. And about whether justice collided with clout to control the outcome. Weve hit what I call the FOIA

Stone Wall. FOIA stands for the Freedom of Information Act, one of the most important tools in a reporters toolbox when it comes to finding out what government knew and when it knew it. Authorities, by law, are obligated to respond. But in Illinois, despite socalled FOIA reforms, public officials are expert at invoking exceptions, loopholes and strategies for dodging legitimate requests. Since February, the Sun-Times investigative team, led by reporters Tim Novak and Chris Fusco,

Public officials are expert at invoking exceptions, loopholes and strategies for dodging legitimate FOIA requests.
has filed more than a dozen FOIAs of Chicago Police Department, the Cook County States Attorneys Office and other agencies. But the Chicago Police Department is doing everything it can to stall or stop the release of unredacted reports, street files and lineup photos that could perhaps explain why it took the cops a full 25 days after Koschman was hit and 14 days after he was dead to set eyes on Vanecko at Area 3 police headquarters. The police, in all that time, never tried to pick him up. We dont know why Vaneckos companions, who initially lied about not knowing him or being with him

that night, were not held accountable. We still dont know who dispatched the states attorneys head of felony review to Area 3 to interview witnesses. Or why not a shred of paper, logbook or telephone records can be produced to document what investigative steps were taken by prosecutors. The head of felony review doesnt drop into police stations unless the case is a very big deal. We are not the only ones banging our heads against the FOIA Stone Wall. Last week, the Readers excellent reporter, Mick Dumke, filed suit against Mayor Daley and the Chicago Police Department for stonewalling on his requests for basic information such as details of the mayors schedule and data about homicides and police deployment. The reasons given for denying these requests are not justified under the states FOIA, Dumke told me Friday. It makes my blood boil, said Cindi Canary, director of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform. Though the states FOIA law was reformed in 2009, Canary says, When a situation is as highly politicized as [the Koschman case], the stone walls seem to reappear. And to make matters worse, she said, the Legislature wants to roll back the measly reforms that are in place. This isnt a battle, its a war. Its not going away. Neither is the Koschman case.