The New York Times has an excellent story today about food health inspection processes and scoring systems throughout the country: "A Stir Over Plan to Grade New York City’s Restaurants". The news peg is that next year the City of New York is moving from a number score to a letter-scoring system, and they are going to require that restaurants post the score in their restaurants.
There was a ton of good stuff in this article about the current state of inspections across the country. One issue is that raw inspection reports are widely available all over the Web, but the results of hearings-- which is where the restaurant owner has a chance to respond to any violations-- are not. As you can imagine, that rubs restaurant owners the wrong way, as they indictment is always public, but their side of the story is not.
Not fair, flat-out. Public health agencies should publish the results of hearings along with the results of inspections.
Here's a super-detailed document posted today to the City of Chicago Web site:
I take a significant amount of pictures in natural areas in and around Chicago. Lincoln Marsh runs along the Prairie Path between Winfield and Wheaton in the western suburbs of Chicago. Absolutely beautiful. Here's the entire set.
Here's some news from the Chicago Department of Public Health. In case you're in a hurry, here's the best gross-out line: "Today’s inspection was triggered by a person who called 311 to allege that restaurant staffers were using cooking utensils to kill mice. No such activity was observed by CDPH today."
Here's some news from the Chicago Department of Public Health. This news has rats in it.
If I were you, and I wanted some good food at a restaurant named after a figure in Middle East history, I'd go to Aladdin's-- just around the corner at 614 W. Diversey Pkwy; very good food.
Based on my day job, I receive dozens of email messages per day with super-specific and sometimes inane content relating to 11 cities across the country. I love that.
Today I received a remarkable email from MecklenburgNewsNow@mecklenburgcountync.gov. It had a simple subject line: "Mecklenburg County Budget Cuts Effective Immediately". And it had a remarkable attachment-- a Microsoft Word document accounting for the $20,069,175 in budget reductions that the County is implementing. They list every single Department, and every dollar that is being reduced. They tell, in plain language, how they're going to reduce the budget for that department, and give the name of every single program that will be affected by the cuts.
It is an honest, grown-up document. One that talks in real terms about the decisions that they're making for upwards of 800,000 people. Here's an example of their flat-outedness:
They show exactly where the reductions are incomplete:
The Library was asked to also identify an additional $367,858 in reductions.
They tell you who to call if you don't understand something:
Questions about this document should be referred to Hyong Yi, Management and Budget Director, at 704-336-6945.
Complete text after the jump. Thank you, Mecklenburg County. We need more of this.
At least there weren't any cockroaches.
The Chicago Department of Public Health cited Aroma on Randolph last year for allowing smoking. Now they've got them dead to rights on the cockroach front. Again.
There was a new lottery posted by the NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development last week. Here's more info: