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Afternoon roundup (Updated)

Monday, Nov 20, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Press release…

Illinois ranks among states with most dangerous intersections

    • More than a third of traffic accident deaths in Florida happen at intersections
    • New York has the second highest rate in America, while neighboring New Jersey is third
    • National, nearly one quarter (24.47%) of crash deaths happen at an intersection

New research has revealed that Illinois is the state with the tenth highest percentage of deaths from crashes at intersections.

The study by Florida Personal Injury Lawyers Anidjar & Levine, analyzed the latest available data from FARS on the number of deadly crashes at or related to intersections, compared against the overall number of deaths from vehicle accidents in each state.

It revealed that Florida tops the list as the most dangerous, with 35.11% of all deaths from vehicle accidents occurring at an intersection or related to one. Out of the 16,503 traffic deaths that occurred in Florida between 2017 and 2021, a total of 5,794 involved a junction, which is the highest ratio out of all 50 states, making it the most dangerous for intersections in the country.

In second place is New York, where 34.06% of all traffic accident deaths in the five-year period involved an intersection. The state saw a total of 5,106 death, and 1,739 resulted from an incident at an intersection. This is considerably higher than the national average, which stands at 24.47% of vehicle accident deaths being intersection-related.

New Jersey has the third highest rate of traffic deaths at intersections, as 988 of it 3,030 deaths were the result of accidents at crossroads – a rate of 32.61%.

Minnesota ranks in fourth place with a rate of 31.99% intersection-related crash deaths, based on 1,985 total deaths between 2017 and 2021, of which 635 were caused by an incident at a junction.

According to the data, 28.46 percent of traffic deaths in Illinois occurred at intersections - 1,611 out of 5,661 - from 2017 through 2021.

Drivers need to be more careful, of course, but IDOT and local governments also need to do a whole lot better with their designs.

* Tribune

Earlier this year, Los Angeles hiked a transfer tax imposed on pricey real estate purchases, a move designed to generate revenue to fund homeless services.

The measure, which hits both commercial and residential properties, bears a striking resemblance to the “Bring Chicago Home” proposal up for a citywide vote next March, and has so far failed to fill Los Angeles coffers.

Luxury home sales, the mainstay of a market home to Hollywood stars, popular recording artists and entertainment executives, plunged in the first few months after the new law took effect in April, leaving the city far short of its fundraising goals, at least for the first six months. […]

Called Measure ULA, it taxes buyers at much higher rates than what Bring Chicago Home proposes. The California measure increases transfer taxes to 4.45% for all properties costing between $5 million and $10 million, and to 5.95% for properties worth more than $10 million.

What’s happened is that the full tax kicks in for the entirety of the sales price if it sells for more than $5 million. Now, scroll way, way down in that long story and you’ll see the Chicago proposal is different than LA’s in two key ways

To further answer critics, the Johnson administration evaluated the transfer tax hike in Los Angeles and reformed the proposal put forward by the Bring Chicago Home coalition, she added.

The mayor proposed a new three-tier system, including a roughly 20% tax cut for properties priced below $1 million, a move Grigsby said would cover about 95% of sales. Properties between $1 million and $1.5 million would pay a 2% tax, while properties priced higher than $1.5 million would pay 3%.

And if a property is sold for $1.1 million, instead of smacking the buyer will the full tax, they would only pay the higher rate on $100,000, and pay the lower rate on the remaining $1 million.

Properties with agreements to provide affordable housing will be exempt from the increases.

Still, it’s complicated. The governor’s proposed graduated income tax also reduced taxes for most people, but voters saw it as a slippery slope to higher taxes for everyone and it was killed. Then again, the Fair Tax found favor with 71 percent of Chicago’s voters.

* Press release…

The League of Women Voters (LWV) of Chicago presented Illinois Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias with its “Making Democracy Work” Award, recognizing his “committed and visionary leadership” that ultimately strengthens our democracy.

LWV honored Giannoulias for his role in crafting and passing landmark legislation aimed at banning book bans in Illinois earlier this year. The first-in-the-nation initiative has served as a model for other states in the fight against censorship and vitriol that libraries and librarians have faced nationwide.

Giannoulias, who also serves as the State Librarian, has been a staunch advocate of the public’s Right to Read.

“In presenting this award, we not only honor Secretary Giannoulias’ contributions but also extend our gratitude for his dedication to a cause that resonates deeply with all of us here,” LWV President Jane Ruby said. “Secretary Giannoulias’ tireless advocacy for HB2789 echoes the League’s own mission to empower citizens and strengthen the democratic process.”

* Press release…

Attorney General Kwame Raoul announced a settlement with Colony Display LLC (Colony) that resolves allegations Colony entered into no-poach agreements and engaged in wage fixing with three staffing agencies. The settlement requires Colony to pay more than $1 million to compensate temporary workers who were impacted by the unlawful activity.

“Illinois workers ultimately pay when employers collude to keep wages down. I am pleased that this settlement includes compensation for workers who were impacted by unlawful activity that limited wages and job opportunities,” Raoul said. “We will not tolerate companies collaborating to take advantage of workers, and my office is committed to enforcing laws that protect workers’ rights and access to fair wages and opportunities to better provide for their families.”

In 2020, Raoul’s office filed a lawsuit against three staffing agencies – Elite Staffing Inc., Metro Staff Inc., and Midway Staffing Inc. – and Colony. Raoul alleged the staffing agencies formed an unlawful agreement to refuse to solicit or hire each other’s employees (commonly known as “no-poach” agreements), and to fix the wages paid to employees. Colony allegedly facilitated the unlawful agreements by acting as an intermediary between the parties to communicate about the agreement and assist in enforcing the no-poach agreement.

Raoul’s lawsuit further alleged that the staffing agencies eliminated competition and harmed temporary workers in Illinois by interfering with their ability to seek better employment opportunities, wages and benefits.

Under the terms of the settlement entered in Cook County Circuit Court, Colony agrees to pay $1.2 million that will be used, primarily, to compensate temporary workers impacted by Colony’s alleged role in no-poach and wage-fixing agreements. Additionally, Colony agrees to refrain from conduct that would violate antitrust law and to implement measures designed to ensure that affected workers can return to work at Colony and its staffing agencies. The settlement also requires Colony to implement compliance measures and prohibits the company from engaging in certain conduct that would violate antitrust laws.

…Adding… Press release…

Illinois Senate Deputy Minority Leader Sue Rezin (R-Morris) has been officially elected President of the National Foundation for Women Legislators (NFWL).

“It is truly humbling and an honor to be chosen by the members of the National Foundation for Women Legislators as their new president,” said Senator Rezin.

Senator Rezin was chosen by the NFWL’s nominating committee to be the next president earlier in the year and was voted into the position during the organization’s annual conference that took place last week in Orlando. She will serve as NFWL President from Nov. 2023 through Nov. 2024.

“The NFWL provides elected women an opportunity to collaborate in order to advance public policy ideas that will make a positive difference in the lives of their constituents,” continued Senator Rezin. “I look forward to this new role within the organization as we strive to assist and empower elected women throughout the nation.”

The National Foundation for Women Legislators, which was first organized in 1938, is a group of more than 5,000 women elected officials from the state, county, and local level across the nation. The NFWL’s mission is to provide resources to elected women for leadership development, exchange of diverse legislative ideas, and effective governance through conferences, state outreach, educational materials, professional and personal relationships, and networking.

For more information about the NFWL, visit

* Isabel’s roundup…

    * Tribune | ‘I perceived it as a threat’: Former Field Museum higher-up tells jury about Ald. Ed Burke reading her the riot act over dropped internship application: Half an hour after the call, Bekken emailed her boss with the subject line, “We have a problem,” explaining that Burke was irate over the internship snafu. Though Burke had no direct jurisdiction over the Field Museum’s pricing, everyone at the museum knew he took a keen interest in it and could make it difficult to pass, Bekken testified.

    * Bloomberg | Pritzker chases every federal dollar with new $1 billion EPA bid: “We literally are going after every dollar that’s available,” Pritzker, a scion of the Hyatt hotel fortune, said in an interview. “We should get better than our fair share.” Illinois has recently created a task force to lure federal dollars. That public-private partnership, known as Innovate Illinois, is bidding for the EPA funds with Chicago-based nonprofit National Community Investment Fund. They are also working with the private sector.

    * Sun-Times | Data center developer Compass hopes business will hum at old Sears site: A source said Compass is planning something that could be classified as a mega project, providing about 250 megawatts of power for users, typically multiple companies that need to manage internet data. It’s similar in size to projects the company has in the Dallas-Fort Worth and Phoenix areas. The project is likely to get a warm reception from Hoffman Estates officials. “We welcome data centers,” Palm said. “We changed our zoning to make data centers a permitted use in certain districts.”

    * Tribune | Residents call Chicago report that maps neighborhood pollution flawed because calculations don’t include industrial corridors: Not considering industrial corridors has resulted in blatant inconsistencies, according to Michael Cailas, an associate professor at University of Illinois at Chicago’s School of Public Health. “Because of the methodologies (the city) applied, some census tracts that should be environmental justice neighborhoods are not considered so,” he said.

    * Block Club | City Goes After Companies That Owe $15 Million In Rat-Related Tickets After Illinois Answers/Block Club Investigation: The move by the city comes just weeks after an investigation by the Illinois Answers Project and Block Club Chicago showed how the city was failing in its battle against rats, including how the city wasn’t collecting fines issued to the biggest debtors. At the top of the list were the network of companies that have had ties to Suzie B. Wilson, of Northbrook, which amassed more than $15 million in unpaid debts on hundreds of mostly vacant properties located on the city’s South and West sides.

    * Crain’s | Revamped former Motorola Mobility campus hits the market: The offering will reveal how much investors crave corporate campuses in the suburbs that have been revamped with modern amenities and new tenants. Such properties look attractive to real estate firms if they come with stable cash flow from long-term leases with high-credit tenants.

    * Crain’s | Evanston officials frustrated by ‘chaotic’ stadium vote, opaque negotiating process: Council members told Crain’s that there was never any formal process to negotiate a community benefits agreement between the City Council and the university, but rather a piecemeal process spearheaded by the city’s mayor, Daniel Biss, and Ald. Jonathan Nieuwsma, 4th, who said discussions between him and the school over the foundations of a benefits agreement began in the summer and included phone calls, emails and in-person meetings with NU representatives.

    * WLDS | Davidsmeyer, Tracy Blast Pritzker Plan To Provide Additional Aid to Chicago Migrant Crisis: Davidsmeyer and Pritzker’s viewpoints did intersect, saying the federal government had failed to step in and assist with the work. Pritzker placed blame on Congress for not acting, while Davidsmeyer pointed the finger at President Joe Biden’s administration.

    * WJBD | New member of Marion County Health Board willing to sign orders to keep health department services in place: Marion County Health Department Administrator Melissa Mallow is breathing a sigh of relief. She told WJBD-WSIQ that a newly appointed member of the health board has agreed to become the department’s medical director and sign about 200 orders that allow the department to provide many of its services and vaccinations. […] Board member Brock Waggoner has led the effort to replace the health board members because the health department followed the Governor’s guidelines during COVID-19 which he says led to businesses and schools having to close.

    * Sun-Times | Former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Michigan home spray-painted with the word ‘Nazis’: Emanuel was not at the cottage at the time. “Our family is very proud of how our friends, neighbors and the community have rallied to our support and in a singular voice in condemning hatred and bigotry,” Emanuel told the Sun-Times in a text message.

    * Tom Kacich | Red Grange, political hitman: For 26 years after the legendary 1924 game against Michigan, Grange’s name was never associated with politics or the administration of the UI. But suddenly, at the August 1950 Illinois Republican Party convention in Peoria, a group of downstate party chairmen overturned the nominees named by a UI Alumni Association committee and substituted Grange’s name for that of Chester Davis, a Chicago banker and lawyer who had previously served as a UI trustee.

    * Homewood-Flossmoor Chronicle | Dropped insurance means no racing car for H-F High students: Homewood-Flossmoor High School has a 1997 Ford Mustang built for racing, but students can’t work on or drive the car because it has no insurance. The car is the pride of the H-F Auto Club. Students have taken the car to Byron Dragway near Rockford. In the 2022 race season, the Mustang raced twice at Byron.

    * Daily Herald | Escaped African serval cat dies after its capture in Vernon Hills neighborhood: While searching, officers came across others who appeared to be looking for something. They turned out to be the owners, Holubetz said. With the owners’ assistance, the skittish animal was captured at about 10 p.m. several hundred feet from its home. […] Though the serval later died of injuries, no person or animal appeared to have been harmed by it.

    * WCIA | Lost elk roams Illinois, report sightings to game warden: There is a traveling elk on the loose who has been spotted near Springfield, Illinois. The timing couldn’t be better—you can convince your children that it’s one of Santa’s reindeer now that it’s here—but if you spot it, you should notify the game warden in your county immediately. According to Bond County game warden William Wichern, the elk’s journey began near Coulterville, south of I-64. The latest report places it near Sangchris Lake in Springfield, Illinois.

    * The Southern | Scientists turn invasive carp into traitors to slow their Great Lakes push: Agency workers turn carp into double agents by capturing them, implanting transmitters and tossing them back. Floating receivers send real-time notifications when a tagged carp swims past. Carp often clump in schools in the spring and fall. Armed with the traitor carp’s location, agency workers and commercial anglers can head to that spot, drop their nets and remove multiple fish from the ecosystem.

    * WaPo | World’s richest 1% pollute more than the poorest two-thirds, Oxfam says: According to Oxfam’s report, carbon emissions of the world’s richest 1 percent surpassed the amount generated by all car and road transport globally in 2019, while the richest 10 percent accounted for half of global carbon emissions that year. Meanwhile, emissions from the richest 1 percent are enough to cancel out the work of nearly 1 million wind turbines each year, Oxfam said.


  1. - ArchPundit - Monday, Nov 20, 23 @ 2:56 pm:

    I’m only surprised that New Jersey isn’t in the lead, but given the time I’ve spent in the listed states it checks out.

  2. - Demoralized - Monday, Nov 20, 23 @ 3:10 pm:

    My wife comes from a country with lots of round-a-bouts. Once you are used to them they are great.
    Keeps traffic moving. Of course
    Americans would never get used to that but it might be a solution to some of these problems.

  3. - Rich Miller - Monday, Nov 20, 23 @ 3:11 pm:

    ===Americans would never get used to that===

    I dunno. Wally’s has one, which is about as mainstream USA as you can get.

  4. - duck duck goose - Monday, Nov 20, 23 @ 3:14 pm:

    A couple takeaways from the intersection story: (i) I’m shocked that intersection deaths were as low as they were. I would think that, far and away, most accidents happen at intersections. What is missing from the data is the total number of crashes vs. total intersection crashes.
    (ii) Illinois does better than most similarly situated states in this data.
    (iii) I’m not sure what’s gained by comparing total traffic deaths to intersection deaths. Any number of factors, including number of interstates (which reduce high-speed intersections), can dramatically tweak the results.
    (iv) This is a “study” done by a plaintiffs’ law firm. Taking statistic analysis from the plaintiffs’ bar is like taking black-jack advise from the pit boss. There’s probably an agenda involved.

  5. - Norseman - Monday, Nov 20, 23 @ 3:16 pm:

    I’m surprised Missouri wasn’t higher given how poorly they drive down here. The only thing I can think of is that folks are more cognizant of the likelihood that bad driving in an intersection could get you shot from road rage.

  6. - NotSoCivilEngineer - Monday, Nov 20, 23 @ 3:22 pm:

    I have never been more proud to be from Central Ilinois than to read Rich write ==I dunno. Wally’s has one, which is about as mainstream USA as you can get.== I’m gonna use that one the next chance I get.

  7. - DuPage Saint - Monday, Nov 20, 23 @ 3:24 pm:

    For some reason Kane County is big on round a bouts. Just put one in on Main Street Batavia

  8. - Say What? - Monday, Nov 20, 23 @ 3:26 pm:

    A typical 4 way intersection has 32 points of conflict plus 24 vehicle to ped conflicts. A roundabout is 8 and 8. obviously a vast improvement plus most all the accidents are slow moving leading to property damagae but fewer injuries.

  9. - Lulu in Lake - Monday, Nov 20, 23 @ 3:37 pm:

    Right on red is a huge hazard, to be honest. I always wonder what would improve if we eliminated that. It’s not like it actually fulfills the original purpose, which was fuel savings during WWI.

  10. - Bear3 - Monday, Nov 20, 23 @ 3:59 pm:

    Really like the highlight and of course the separating of items!great job All and rich and Isabella

  11. - H-W - Monday, Nov 20, 23 @ 3:59 pm:

    Re: WLDS Story

    I can’t tell if the quote by Senator Tracy is blatant bigotry, hypocrisy, or just a cry for attention.

  12. - Larry Bowa Jr. - Monday, Nov 20, 23 @ 4:07 pm:

    Gonna pop a few corks at my house when Ed Burke gets convicted. Could not happen to a better person, to spend time in a cage at the end of his life. I wonder if his taxpayer funded security detail will accompany him inside.

  13. - We've never had one before - Monday, Nov 20, 23 @ 4:19 pm:

    >>>>>happen at intersections

    and water is wet.

  14. - Donnie Elgin - Monday, Nov 20, 23 @ 4:27 pm:

    “while properties priced higher than $1.5 million would pay 3%. ..And if a property is sold for $1.1 million, instead of smacking the buyer will the full tax, they would only pay the higher rate on $100,000, and pay the lower rate on the remaining $1 million.”

    It may be popular but will it be a net benefit over the long run? Buyers better like Chicago Zip codes as it will cost them thousands more compared to other affluent towns. In many other communities, only the seller picks up the transfer tax and it is generally much lower. Chicago splits it – but the new proposed 3% scheme will make it much worse. Sellers will have to lower the prices on high-end properties to offset the new tax and to be competitive with similar properties in the burbs.

  15. - West Sider - Monday, Nov 20, 23 @ 4:30 pm:

    “I perceived a threat”- sweet Lord. I have no love for Burke- but the Musium Director called to solicit a favor. She just didn’t get the answer she was looking for initially. In Chicago that’s called feedback.

  16. - Larry Bowa Jr. - Monday, Nov 20, 23 @ 4:55 pm:

    “the Musium Director called to solicit a favor”

    They were seeking city authority to raise admission prices. Why do you think they believed Ed Burke was in the way of that? If you can answer this you’ll be on the cusp of understanding why he’s sitting in front of a federal jury today and tomorrow and the day after that.

    “In Chicago that’s called feedback”

    We’re about to find out what a jury think it’s called. I’m going to let them have the last word on Ed Burke.

  17. - FormerParatrooper - Monday, Nov 20, 23 @ 5:02 pm:

    Between distracted drivers, pedestrians with heads down and on phones, post covid driving culture and the general lack of patience in most people, I am surprised the numbers are this low.

    No matter where I drive in the US, people seem to have lost their minds behind the wheel and pedestrians are clueless about paying attention at crosswalks when they bother to use them.

  18. - Rich Miller - Monday, Nov 20, 23 @ 5:03 pm:

    ===Why do you think they believed Ed Burke was in the way of that?===

    They said they believed he’d be a problem because he also fought against another hike at a different museum.

  19. - Excitable Boy - Monday, Nov 20, 23 @ 5:14 pm:

    - Wally’s has one, which is about as mainstream USA as you can get. -

    They are all over Indiana and Wisconsin. They’re fine if people use them properly but many don’t.

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