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Isabel’s morning briefing

Monday, Jan 23, 2023 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* Good morning! It’s Monday and here’s your roundup…

    * Tribune | Chicago radio’s Lin Brehmer, a longtime WXRT DJ, has died at 68: Sunday morning came with snow, and with sorrow, in the form of the news of the death of Lin Brehmer, the hugely popular, buoyant and beloved host on Chicago radio’s WXRT-FM 93.1. The 68-year-old had previously spoken publicly about his treatment for prostate cancer. Sunday morning, fellow WXRT host and friend Terri Hemmert informed listeners of his death and said in part in a statement, “We must inform you that we all lost our best friend. Lin Brehmer fought cancer as long as he could. He passed early this morning, peacefully, with his wife (Sara) and son (Wilson) by his side.”

    * Tribune | Illinois poised to require paid leave for workers: ‘Don’t we think that should be a basic human right?’: Pritzker has said he plans to sign the bill, which would make Illinois one of more than a dozen states with paid-leave policies. The measure would take effect next Jan. 1 and require an hour of paid leave be granted for every 40 hours worked, with employees able to accrue five days of leave every year.

    * Jim Dey | Filing indicates appeasing Madigan was often complicated: The rule at ComEd, the filing asserts, was to do whatever it took to keep the powerful Chicago Democrat happy. In return, ComEd knew from experience, Madigan wouldn’t block ComEd-favored initiatives in the legislature. But what happened if ComEd couldn’t make Madigan happy?

    * Sun-Times | Put ComEd, Peoples Gas rate increase requests under the microscope: Consumer advocates are calling the avalanche of rate increase requests “preposterous.” The Illinois Commerce Commission will need to work overtime to ensure consumers aren’t hit with unfair price hikes.

    * Daily Herald | Too naughty to drive: Why Illinois rejected nearly 400 license plate requests in 2022: There are nearly 1 million vehicles on the road with vanity or personalized license plates issued by the Illinois secretary of state’s office. But there are 7,387 alphanumeric combinations requested for such license plates over the years that will never make it to a vehicle’s bumper, including 383 rejected in 2022 alone.

    * Michael Sneed | Jim Durkin’s shining career had its share of comical miscues : “I worked hard to ensure my identity when I entered the Legislature,” said Durkin, one of eight brothers raised by an Irish Catholic labor union Democrat father in Westchester. “Then… during the last days of my first session…. a senior Republican approached me on the floor and asked me to get her a cup of coffee! In a second, I was mistaken for a House page. My big splash had evaporated.”

    * The Atlantic | What the Tech and Media Layoffs Are Really Telling Us About the Economy: Google’s parent company, Alphabet, today announced that it plans to cut 12,000 jobs, joining a tech-and-media layoff list that already includes Microsoft, Meta, Amazon, Salesforce, Snap, Twitter, and Warner Bros. Discovery. According to one estimate, roughly 130,000 people have been dismissed from their jobs at large tech and media companies in the past 12 months. That’s roughly equivalent to the total number of people who worked at Apple before COVID hit.

    * Center Square | More court action expected after temporary restraining order issued against Illinois gun ban: There are other pending cases. One state-level case is in Crawford County. That awaits a judge assignment. A federal case in the Southern District of Illinois has yet to schedule a hearing

    * Bloomberg | Citadel’s $16 Billion Win Tops Paulson’s Greatest Trade Ever: Ken Griffin’s Citadel churned out a record $16 billion in profit for clients last year, outperforming the rest of the industry and eclipsing one of history’s most successful financial plays. The top 20 hedge fund firms collectively generated $22.4 billion in profit after fees, according to estimates by LCH Investments, a fund of hedge funds. Citadel’s gain was the largest annual return for a hedge fund manager, surpassing the $15 billion that John Paulson generated in 2007 on his bet against subprime mortgages. This was described as the “greatest trade ever” in a subsequent book of the same name by Gregory Zuckerman.

    * Triibe | 2023 before the polls: Meet Chicago’s black mayoral candidates: Mayor Lori Lightfoot is running for a second term. But there are eight other candidates vying for her seat. In our profile series, Before the Polls, we sat down with each Black mayoral candidate to see if they have what it takes to lead Chicago into an equitable future.

    * WMBD | Illinois lawmaker introduces psychedelic therapy legislation: State Rep. La Shawn Ford (D-Chicago) has introduced legislation to create a state-regulated psychedelic therapy program. The Compassionate Use and Research of Entheogens Act (CURE) Act would legalize psilocybin, the psychedelic compound found in magic mushrooms, in licensed medical settings.

    * AP | Lawmakers seek to bar insurrectionists from holding office: New York, Connecticut and Virginia are among states where proposed legislation would prohibit anyone convicted of participating in an insurrection from holding public office or a position of public trust, such as becoming a police officer.

    * SJ-R | Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko, director of Illinois State Museum, passes away: Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko, who headed the Illinois State Museum since 2019, died Saturday, according to a statement from the Illinois Museum Association Board. She was 50. Catlin-Legutko recently had been appointed by President Joe Biden to the Route 66 Centennial Commission. The centennial of the Mother Road is in 2026.

    * Tribune | $5.5 million grant aims to expand tourism in 12 more underrepresented neighborhoods: This year, Choose Chicago was awarded $5.5 million more by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events to strengthen and expand the program, adding 12 new community areas, making a total of 30 neighborhoods that will benefit from the efforts to promote tourism.

    * Sun-Times | Lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic can make Illinois healthier than ever: The numbers have left us numb. We have started to shut COVID-19 out of our lives. But the threat remains. COVID-19 took the lives of more than 200 Illinoisans in December, more deaths than from Ebola in the entire world last year. Many of those deaths were preventable. It is time to remind ourselves that in 2023, we have effective tools we didn’t have in 2020. And we have something even more powerful: knowledge and experience. We know now what can protect us: a vaccine, a timely test, a pill, a mask, a portable air filter, an open window or just staying home if sick.

    * Journal Star | Why you might see a helicopter flying over the Illinois River this month: The U.S. Geological Survey will start sending out a helicopter towing a large hoop to make low-level flights over the Illinois River Basin as part of ongoing groundwater studies.

    * Sun-Times | Brookfield Zoo offers opportunity to name hissing cockroach after an ex for Valentine’s Day: The zoo is giving donors pledging $15 the chance to name a cockroach after an ex. Names will be posted on a naming board outside the Hamill Family Play Zoo.


  1. - Former ILSIP - Monday, Jan 23, 23 @ 8:43 am:

    I’ll admit it, I chuckled when I saw that last story.

  2. - Lurker - Monday, Jan 23, 23 @ 8:47 am:

    And I chuckled at Ms Ford and her mushrooms. Maybe we can put these two ideas together somehow? 😳

  3. - lake county democrat - Monday, Jan 23, 23 @ 8:50 am:

    The Atlantic story is a large piece of the 2nd most important issue of our era: tech disruption. Between AI passing the Turing Test to advances in 3D printing to robotics advanced enough to replace crop pickers (if not at an economic scale), what are people going to do for a living in the future? The GOP has no answer and the Dems split: one really awful (”we’ll fund community colleges so people can retrain”) one better but unshaped (AOC “tax the robots”, misc. calls for UBI).

  4. - JS Mill - Monday, Jan 23, 23 @ 8:58 am:

    =what are people going to do for a living in the future?=

    Someone has to fix the robots.

  5. - James the Intolerant - Monday, Jan 23, 23 @ 9:05 am:

    RIP Lin Brehmer. A first class guy and our best friend.

  6. - Rabid - Monday, Jan 23, 23 @ 9:06 am:

    Griffin just spent fractional currency in the primary ?

  7. - lake county democrat - Monday, Jan 23, 23 @ 9:06 am:

    JS Mil - har! But this reminds me of the 90s when everyone thought IT software jobs were recession proof and then a huge chunk got outsourced to India. The only jobs I know that seem to have a constant demand are health care (doctors/nurses) and accountants (needed in good times and bad). Though within tech, friends tell me AI people aren’t losing their jobs - that companies willing to bet on future demand and don’t want to try to compete for talent later.

  8. - SAP - Monday, Jan 23, 23 @ 9:15 am:

    That Lin Brehmer news hit hard. Bleep cancer.

  9. - Ducky LaMoore - Monday, Jan 23, 23 @ 9:29 am:

    “Someone has to fix the robots.”

    There will be robots for that. 1/2 snark

  10. - workingfromhome - Monday, Jan 23, 23 @ 9:35 am:

    I am so sad about Lin. He was more than just a DJ. He loved his music and life and that came through on air. A treasure.

  11. - 47th Ward - Monday, Jan 23, 23 @ 9:38 am:

    Lin Brehmer was a big part of my life for the past 30 years. So sad to lose him, I can only imagine how hard it must be for his family and his actual friends. There is a huge void in my radio dial that will never be filled. Chicago lost a legend.

  12. - Donnie Elgin - Monday, Jan 23, 23 @ 9:39 am:

    “There will be robots for that”

    Von Neumann self-replicating robots

  13. - Dirty Red - Monday, Jan 23, 23 @ 9:50 am:

    = “When Gov. Bruce Rauner was sworn in, I sat next to Mike Madigan on the stage,” he said. “And the minute Rauner took his hand off the Bible and officially took office, Madigan nudged me and proclaimed: ‘HE is gone! HE is finally gone!’…referring, of course, to former Gov. Pat Quinn, whom he detested.” =

    And then what happened?

    Great column by Michael Sneed this past weekend. Thanks for posting it here. The House GOP will miss Durkin and the staff that left with him.

  14. - Steve Rogers - Monday, Jan 23, 23 @ 9:59 am:

    Sad to hear about Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko. 50 is a pretty young age, and she was doing a nice job rebuilding and rebranding the Illinois State Museum after the Rauner disaster.

  15. - Anyone Remember - Monday, Jan 23, 23 @ 10:00 am:

    John Paulson’s $15 Billion, adjusted for cost of living, would be $21 Billion + … . Just sayin’ … .

  16. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jan 23, 23 @ 10:07 am:

    You’re likely not going to find a bigger fan of Jim Durkin, but we’d all be remiss, however, as Durkin joked it all up with Sneed, for a whole General Assembly, the thoughtful and caring Durkin hurt the most needy and most vulnerable, and with the ousting of Steve Andersson, Durkin sided with the hurting of Illinois and used discipline when, as was his right as Leader, no doubt, those who fought against the pain to save Illinois.

    You can’t celebrate the legacy without acknowledging the real forced pain and the decision to withhold a budget from this state for a whole, seated General Assembly, and running that next cycle celebrating that choice.

  17. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Monday, Jan 23, 23 @ 10:16 am:

    “Jim Dey reads some court filings and speculates about their meaning” would be my summary.

  18. - Paddyrollingstone - Monday, Jan 23, 23 @ 10:23 am:

    Agreed about Lin Brehmer. What a loss. The only other Chicago cultural icon I could compare with him would be Mike Royko. May he sit at the right hand of God.

  19. - cermak_rd - Monday, Jan 23, 23 @ 10:25 am:

    Don’t forget, someone has to transport the robots to where they are needed. AI may be able to summarize a text paragraph and propose suggestions etc. but it can’t drive according to the various accidents caused by assistive driving.

  20. - JS Mill - Monday, Jan 23, 23 @ 10:38 am:

    =JS Mil - har!=

    =There will be robots for that. 1/2 snark=

    The robotic work force is not joke, but there are still tasks that have to be handled by humans and we are decades away from automated repair.

    The system will not be self aware for while humans. Please board the buses outside.

  21. - Amalia - Monday, Jan 23, 23 @ 11:20 am:

    the loss of Lin Brehmer hurts really hard.

  22. - Annon3 - Monday, Jan 23, 23 @ 11:22 am:

    Lin and Mary made an otherwise miserable morning commute bearable. He will be so missed.

  23. - Blue Dog - Monday, Jan 23, 23 @ 12:44 pm:

    heck. if they make robots and AI equipment like they do weed eaters and leaf blowers, you won’t fix em as it will be cheaper to buy new ones.

  24. - Excitable Boy - Monday, Jan 23, 23 @ 12:52 pm:

    - And I chuckled at Ms Ford and her mushrooms. -

    That would be Mr. Ford and his mushrooms.

  25. - thisjustinagain - Monday, Jan 23, 23 @ 1:03 pm:

    Just remember, AI hardware is built by the lowest bidder as well as the software. What could possibly go wrong? :)
    Sunshine actually appeared a few times so far today
    in 60827.

  26. - Dotnonymous - Monday, Jan 23, 23 @ 3:29 pm:

    When robots can fix robots…will they need humans?

    AI may not get the joke…that may be on us?

  27. - Stuck in Celliniland - Monday, Jan 23, 23 @ 3:44 pm:

    ==Sad to hear about Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko. 50 is a pretty young age, and she was doing a nice job rebuilding and rebranding the Illinois State Museum after the Rauner disaster.==

    Shocked and stunned to learn about this news early this morning. Prayers and thoughts and condolences go out to her family, friends, and ISM and other professional colleagues.

    I’m surprised that the flags have not yet been lowered half-staff, not even at the ISM, in memory of CCL. This would be fitting and appropriate to honor and remember her memory.

  28. - SAP - Monday, Jan 23, 23 @ 3:45 pm:

    ==When robots can fix robots…will they need humans?

    AI may not get the joke…that may be on us?==

    See also, Terminator.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Afternoon roundup
* Meanwhile… In Opposite Land
* State school superintendent warns CPS for fourth time over illegal student restraint
* Bears stuff
* Fun with numbers (and history)
* Giannoulias takes legal action against Coinbase
* Question of the day
* DCFS "On-the-Spot Hiring" event in Rockford drew double the expected crowd
* Open thread
* Isabel’s morning briefing
* * Live Coverage * Jimmy Weiss trial
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