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Isabel’s afternoon roundup

Wednesday, Jan 24, 2024 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* Oops

…Adding… Welp

* Politico

— NEW AD: The Bring Chicago Home campaign is launching its first ad encouraging voters to check yes for the Ballot Measure 1. The ad features all the buzz words that voters might be drawn to, including “cutting taxes” and “ensuring the rich pay their fair share.” And it addresses the main point: helping homeless get out of the cold and into homes. That ad has already started appearing on Hulu, YouTube and other digital platforms. Watch it here

— TWO-FER: Congressmen Sean Casten (IL-06) and Bill Foster (IL-11) are scheduled to take part in a combined candidate forum along with primary challengers to their reelection bids. Details here

— Vidal Vasquez will remain on the ballot for the Democratic primary in the 21st House District, according to the Board of Elections. He’s challenging incumbent state Rep. Abdelnasser Rashid.

* Rockford Register Star

Winnebago County Juvenile Detention Center officials have implemented a new disciplinary system, made major staffing changes, hired therapists and altered policies in the wake of an alarming June inspection that raised concerns about excessive confinement.

Some of the measures had already been in progress and others were accelerated by the annual audit conducted by the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice.

It found youth detainees at the 48-bed Winnebago County facility in Rockford at 5350 Northrock Drive were locked in their cells for hours at a time, many weren’t getting access to required education and that some had access to water cut off when misbehaving juveniles flooded their rooms.

Although the Department of Juvenile Justice has no authority to enforce its findings, 17th Circuit Court Director of Court Services Debbie Jarvis said it was taken seriously.

Some corrections — like ending the practice of shutting off water to cells of misbehaving youth who clogged their toilets with sheets, clothes or books — were taken in response to the report.

* Tribune

If you stop by the Field Museum right now and find yourself in the Alsdorf Hall of Northwest Coast and Arctic Peoples, or the Robert R. McCormick Halls of the Ancient Americas, you will notice something about the display cases: Several are covered up.

That in itself is not unusual — who hasn’t been to a museum and seen a display case displaying nothing? What’s unusual is the reason: On Jan. 12, federal regulations concerning the exhibition and study of Native American remains and sacred artifacts were tightened, to bring teeth and clarity to a set of rules that languished for decades.

The revised regulations are sweeping: They demand museums speed up the process of repatriating Native American “human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects or objects of cultural patrimony,” establishing ownership and lineage between museum collections and Native American descendants, returning anything requested. Museums must update their inventories of Native American remains and funerary objects within five years. Also, curators can no longer categorize such items as “culturally unidentifiable,” thereby holding them indefinitely. Tribal knowledge and traditions must be deferred to.

Moreover, institutions must get “free, prior and informed consent” from Native tribes before the exhibition or research of sacred artifacts. According to a Field Museum statement, the covered displays hold “cultural items that could be subject to these regulations,” and will stay covered “pending consultation with the represented (tribal) communities.” (The Field also noted it does not have any human remains on display.)

* Here’s the rest…

    * McLean Chronicle | Decatur’s Deering versus Bloomington’s Erickson in 88th House primary: With the district a solidly red enclave politically, the primary election will determine the next state representative, as no Democrat filed nominating petitions. Deering is endorsed by the retiring Caulkins, and Erickson is endorsed by retired State Sen. Dan Brady, a longtime political force in the Bloomington-Normal area.

    * WBEZ | Army Corps plans $1 billion barricade to deter invasive carp at Illinois and Des Plaines Rivers: Invasive carp is shorthand for a family of giant fish that can out-eat, out-grow and out-reproduce native fish. In parts of the Illinois river, researchers say there’s more carp than anywhere else on the planet. The furthest upstream populations of the carp are approximately 14 miles downstream. But Whitney and other scientists worry that there’s increasingly an opportunity for the carp to make it through and disrupt the food web inside the Great Lakes. Carp could decimate the entire recreational and commercial fishing industry that has sprung up around the lakes that’s valued at $7 billion annually.

    * Post-Tribune | BP tank leak spreads chemical odor across Indiana, Illinois communities: In the days following the incident, residents of nearby communities in Indiana and Illinois — including Crete, Steger, Tinley Park, Oak Forest and Posen — took to social media and contacted 911 to complain of an odor they described as strong and gas-like.

    * Crain’s | Measure to ban natural gas in new buildings stumbles out of the gate: Ald. Brendan Reilly, 42nd, and Ald. Anthony Napolitano, 41st, sent the ordinance to the Rules Committee when it was introduced, meaning the supporters of the measure will have to take a vote to redirect it to a joint-committee of the Environmental Protection Committee and Zoning Committee where it can be put up for a vote.

    * Tribune | National Endowment for the Arts gives more than $1.6 million in grants for art projects in Illinois: The grants include funding for art projects, research awards, literature fellowships, and Challenge America grants, which seek to reach historically underserved communities.

    * WSPY | Sugar Grove Trustee Gets Deal from Kane State’s Attorney for Forgery Charges: Under the deal, Michels will only have to pay just over $1,500 in fines, complete a theft awareness program, and avoid arrest. If he abides by the agreement, which includes conditions such as not breaking any Illinois laws, the state’s attorney’s office will dismiss charges against him. The deal also appeared to stipulate Community Service to be performed. No documents were found in the court records explaining the extent of the community service. WSPY asked the Kane County States Attorney for comment on what the extent of community service would be and the Kane County States Attorney’s Office refused to respond.

    * DE | The state of SIU’s buildings a cause for concern: The maintenance log, obtained under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act, shows the types of concerns that have prompted students and faculty to call campus maintenance. They include dozens of instances of plumbing troubles, water damage, heating and cooling issues, mold, insects and more spanning from 2019 to 2022. In total, facilities management fielded 16,384 different requests over that time frame.

    * Block Club | Residents Of Humboldt Park Tent Encampment Are Finding Homes, But More Help Is Needed: Officials with the city’s Department of Family & Support Services and the Department of Housing have hosted three accelerated moving events since May to get residents enrolled in a rapid rehousing program, leaders said. Fifty-six people have found permanent housing, and another 30 are finding new apartments or are in negotiations with providers, city officials said at a community meeting this month hosted by Ald. Jessie Fuentes (26th).

    * Shaw Local | Marengo, Harvard enact laws to deter surprise migrant drop-offs: The ordinance is about ensuring safety, and is not meant to be punitive, city leaders said. “The city of Marengo hasn’t had any issues in regard to this, but we want to be prepared just in case,” Radcliffe said. “Better safe than sorry. We don’t envision getting this, but just in case, we have something in place to cover this.”

    * Sun-Times | Council’s Budget Committee chair wants to fire head of financial analysis office: The stand-off began on July 14, when Williams said he was summoned to Ervin’s office and told the newly-appointed Budget chair was “going in a different direction and I’m putting you on administrative leave” with pay. “He took all my credentials and access away. I would love to come to work. I wasn’t allowed to come to work,” Williams, 50, said Wednesday.

    * Daily Herald | Mount Prospect resumes effort to shut down source of bad odors: Prestige Feed Products, 431 Lakeview Court, recently installed equipment intended to mitigate odors coming from the factory. But village attorney Allen Wall told Cook County Judge Clare Quish that neighboring businesses and residents continue to file complaints. The village has requested a preliminary injunction requiring Prestige to halt operations until it can get the odors under control.

    * Tribune | All things grow: Justin Peck is transforming Sufjan Stevens’ album into ‘Illinoise,’ a different kind of stage musical: Somewhere after the turn of the millennium, Stevens (who declined to be interviewed for this piece) came up with the idea of recording an album for every state in the union — an organizing principal, you might say, akin to August Wilson writing a play for every decade in the 20th century. But he only ever recorded two entries in his Fifty States project, later dismissing the whole enterprise: “Michigan,” a 2003 album with tracks about Detroit and the Upper Peninsula, but also Flint, Romulus (home of the Detroit airport) and Holland (Stevens went to Hope College). Not that he restricted himself to cities: there’s also “Wolverine” and the melancholic “Vito’s Ordination Song” about a friend of his, the Rev. Thomas Vito Aiuto, who became a minister.


  1. - TNR - Wednesday, Jan 24, 24 @ 2:45 pm:

    Go figure, another scheduling mishap for Vallas. He seems to agree to speak to a lot of groups he knows nothing about.

  2. - Michelle Flaherty - Wednesday, Jan 24, 24 @ 2:49 pm:

    Vallas snubs supporters

  3. - TheInvisibleMan - Wednesday, Jan 24, 24 @ 3:03 pm:


    Vallas seems intent on proving why Brandon Johnson is still a better choice.

  4. - Grimlock - Wednesday, Jan 24, 24 @ 3:05 pm:

    I seem to recall a news story this week about the state giving millions to private colleges for construction, did anyone ask SIU how they feel about that program?

  5. - Sooo - Wednesday, Jan 24, 24 @ 3:05 pm:

    So turning off the water when inmates are flooding their cells is bad? I don’t get it. Just let the bad behavior continue?

  6. - Nearly Normal - Wednesday, Jan 24, 24 @ 3:14 pm:

    McLean Chronicle gave Dan Brady a job change. He was a long time State Representative not a State Senator. That Brady was Bill Brady and no they are not related. Dan’s family came from the Chicago area and Bill’s from the Pontiac area.

  7. - ArchPundit - Wednesday, Jan 24, 24 @ 3:17 pm:

    —Vallas seems intent on proving why Brandon Johnson is still a better choice.

    I have some real issues with Mayor Johnson, but wow do I not miss LL and Vallas would have been even worse probably adding to the migrant moral panic on top of not dealing effectively with it.

  8. - Duck Duck Goose - Wednesday, Jan 24, 24 @ 3:17 pm:

    “Erickson is endorsed by retired State Sen. Dan Brady, a longtime political force in the Bloomington-Normal area.”

    They mean either retired senator, Bill Brady, or retired rep. Dan Brady. I think that one has significantly more clout these days than the other.

  9. - ArchPundit - Wednesday, Jan 24, 24 @ 3:19 pm:

    ===Bill’s from the Pontiac area.

    Bill was born and grew up in Bloomington. Not sure if his Dad was from Pontiac, but Bill has never left B-N.

  10. - Lincoln Lad - Wednesday, Jan 24, 24 @ 3:33 pm:

    As bad as Johnson had performed as mayor, there is at least some hope that he can get better. Can’t say that for Vallas, he’s been in decline for a long time already. Mayor Johnson, bring in some strength in those around you. You need smart and strong people to help you do this job… and you need to listen to them.

  11. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Wednesday, Jan 24, 24 @ 3:44 pm:

    Someone hacked Paul’s body.

  12. - LincolnCoNative - Wednesday, Jan 24, 24 @ 3:44 pm:

    That McLean Chronicle site fascinates me. At first glance, it resembled the pink slime “news” websites, but at the bottom of the webpage, it notes that the group that owns it is affiliated with the Illinois Press Association. It’s even won IPA awards. But the news seems to be all press release-based with some politics and the reporters don’t appear to be locally based but freelancers from elsewhere (this is not a slight against them, but just noting this because the group appears to cover 13 counties). All told, this makes it hard for me to conceptualize what this news site is and who it is trying to serve, especially when there are months-long gaps between published stories.

  13. - New Day - Wednesday, Jan 24, 24 @ 3:49 pm:

    “Mayor Johnson, bring in some strength in those around you. You need smart and strong people to help you do this job… and you need to listen to them.”

    You are assuming this is purely a staff problem. I agree that he has a huge staff problem, probably the worst I’ve ever seen. But in this case, I think the biggest problem is the guy at the top and that problem can’t be solved with better staff.

  14. - NIU Grad - Wednesday, Jan 24, 24 @ 4:03 pm:

    He must have been signed up by that same staffer that was using his Twitter account!

  15. - Amalia - Wednesday, Jan 24, 24 @ 4:09 pm:

    Paul Vallas deja vu all over again. I mean how does he do it? He keeps meeting people and not knowing who they are, what they do? he gets attention and just runs with it? it is a terrible waste of time. and at a time we need smart public discussion of issues. Chicago Tribune, you truly need to drop Vallas. He is not a serious person.

  16. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jan 24, 24 @ 4:21 pm:

    ===He keeps meeting people and not knowing who they are, what they do?===

    Jake said it best, I think

  17. - Amalia - Wednesday, Jan 24, 24 @ 4:50 pm:

    @Rich Miller LOL. did anyone ask with whom he arranged this event? what was it going to be, pre Blackhawks tailgate with Paul Vallas. The puck stops here?

  18. - Big Dipper - Wednesday, Jan 24, 24 @ 4:52 pm:

    Is Vallas experiencing cognitive decline? He has seemed befuddled so much over the last year or so.

  19. - Smoky Links - Wednesday, Jan 24, 24 @ 5:03 pm:

    Criticism of Paul Vallas is expected, but why is there virtually none for the Chicago Republicans who acted as the event organizers?

    The leaders of this group are capable of screwing up a one car funeral procession. Case in point:

  20. - Nearly Normal - Wednesday, Jan 24, 24 @ 5:57 pm:

    Bill Brady’s grandparents were from the Pontiac area. A cousin told me they came from County Cavan.

  21. - Lordy lordy - Wednesday, Jan 24, 24 @ 7:49 pm:

    The Chicago GOP is nothing if not an embarrassing collection of blunders. In 13 of the 50 Chicago wards no Republican even bothered to file to run for Republican ward committeeperson this year. Plus in 2 more wards challengers blew each other off the ballot during objection period, leaving 2 more vacancies.

  22. - Rabid - Thursday, Jan 25, 24 @ 3:36 am:

    GOP jilted by policy expert’s policy

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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