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Isabel’s afternoon roundup

Tuesday, Jan 30, 2024 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* Mike Miletich

* Politico

— Congressman Bill Foster is out with a new ad focusing on the Belvidere Assembly Plant and featuring members of the United Auto workers talking about how the plant was saved.

— The Illinois Federation of Teachers is out with its endorsements for the March primary. Read ‘em here. […]

— Carolyn Zasada has been endorsed by Democratic state Reps. Stephanie Kifowit and Theresa Mah in her bid for Democratic state Rep. Lance Yednock’s seat in the 76th District. Yednock isn’t running for reelection. Two other Democrats and two Republicans are also running for the seat. More from Shaw Media

* House Republican Organization…

House Republican Leader Tony McCombie is announcing new additions to her leadership teams. State Representatives Amy Elik (Alton) and Dan Ugaste (Geneva) will join McCombie in the new legislative year to continue to fight for better checks and balances in state government and to protect the rights and freedoms of Illinois residents.

* Press release

Nearly $55 million in state grants are being awarded for 111 local park projects throughout Illinois to help communities acquire land and develop recreational opportunities, Gov. JB Pritzker announced today.

For the second year in a row, the governor ensured funding was set aside for economically distressed communities, resulting in 32 underserved locations receiving $18.7 million in grants from the Open Space Land Acquisition and Development, or OSLAD, program. This is the 37th year for the program, which is administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

* And

* Here’s the rest…

    * Crain’s | Study shows how much of a boon Illinois’ film tax credit has been: The top-line numbers are eye-popping: The state averaged $404 million in direct production expenditure by Hollywood studios from 2012 to 2022, billions in additional economic benefits over that time and a $6.81 return on investment for every dollar the state spends on the tax incentive.

    * Peoples Fabric | Financial Wizardry: Paul Vallas Sues to Reveal Fraudster, Finds Another Campaign Error: Two days after last year’s mayoral election, Vallas’ campaign wired $58,001.80 to an account number at Chase Bank. The recipient’s account name entered on his team’s wire transfer was “Vallas for Mayor.” Vallas initiated a lawsuit against Chase to ascertain the identity “of the individual and/or entities that may be responsible in damages related to the April 6, 2023 wire transfer,” as Vallas had “never authorized the transfer.” … It appears the money was transferred to the correct account number, but accidentally listed the wrong accountholder name. Vallas’ campaign had paid $160,260 to the same company just a few days before the wire transfer in question. Since the beginning of the year, Vallas has filed ten amendments to correct previous campaign disclosures of various errors. … In November, a currency exchange filed a lawsuit against Vallas over a campaign check they had cashed for a third party, only for Vallas to later stop payment on the check and refuse to honor it.

    * Hyde Park Herald | 14 Parish gets $57M contract to supply meals for city’s migrant shelters: Hyde Park’s Caribbean fusion eatery 14 Parish received a $57 million contract with the city to supply meals to more than 7,000 migrants living in temporary shelters across the South and West sides. 14 Parish and Seventy-Seven Communities, a suburban caterer, will take over meal distribution for the city’s 28 shelters, according to a Wednesday press release. In it, the city cited a need to reduce the cost of its meal program and improve food quality as its reasons for choosing new vendors.

    * Tribune | Niles, Lincolnwood, Norridge pass ordinances to curb unscheduled bus drop-offs of migrants: The ordinances generally have the same language, giving administrative fines to companies that make unscheduled stops and drop off more than 10 people in the village’s boundaries. The three villages don’t have a Metra connection to the city of Chicago but border the city at multiple points and have Pace and CTA bus routes that connect them to the city.

    * Sun-Times | Chicago’s top cop halting initiative that has sent ‘scarecrow’ police cars downtown: But in an interview, Snelling raised alarms about the overtime spending and the strategy of placing cops at fixed posts. “When we’re putting overtime out there and there’s an overtime initiative, we want to make sure that we’re getting the most effective work from our officers with these overtime initiatives,” he said. “I don’t believe in the scarecrow policing, where it’s just serving as a deterrent.

    * Sun-Times | Chicago police officer charged with DUI in deadly crash outside House of Blues: Tangie Brown, 40, faces counts of aggravated driving under the influence, unlawful use of communication device, reckless driving and other charges in the Dec. 7 crash. Prosecutors said Brown’s blood alcohol level was .093 when she was tested about two hours after the crash. The legal limit in Illinois is .08.

    * WTTW | Native Mollusks Are Key to Freshwater Ecosystems. Here’s How One Group is Helping Build Mussel Mass on the Chicago River: Anyone who thinks of science as a sterile occupation should spend a morning hunting for freshwater mussels in the Chicago River. […] So why would anyone sign up for the job? To play a small role in the revival of Chicago’s once thriving waterway, which is still recovering from decades of abuse.

    * Daily Herald | Waived during the pandemic, student fees reinstated in districts 211 and 214: District 214 will charge $350 per student — less than the pre-pandemic $420 fee recommended for reinstatement by administrators — while District 211 will charge $75, which is less than the $170 amount students paid years ago.

    * Crain’s | Chicago and Detroit wealth management firms merge: Both firms are part of New York City-based Focus Financial Partners and are forming the second “hub” within the wealth management giant that went private last year in an all-cash, $7 billion-plus deal with private equity firm CD&R. Focus has invested in more than 90 firms across the United States.

    * Tribune | Chicago man arrested in massive $400 million ‘SIM swap’ scheme allegedly targeting company’s cryptocurrency accounts: SIM swapping is a technique in which attackers gain control of a telephone number by having it reassigned to a new device. Such attacks represent a growing security threat for government agencies and corporations because they can target not only finances but manipulate social media accounts to spread misinformation, authorities have said.

    * Politico | The anti-abortion plan ready for Trump on Day One: Many of the policies they advocate are ones Trump implemented in his first term and President Joe Biden rescinded — rules that would have a far greater impact in a post-Roe landscape. Other items on the wish list are new, ranging from efforts to undo state and federal programs promoting access to abortion to a de facto national ban. But all have one thing in common: They don’t require congressional approval.

    * WaPo | Want safer streets? Paint them: Asphalt art projects — collaborations between cities, community groups and artists — have taken off in the past decade, thanks to early-adopting cities such as New York, Seattle and Portland, Ore., with help from the National Association of City Transportation Officials and “tactical urbanism” firms such as Street Plans. They provide street designs that cue drivers to slow down, provide people on foot more interesting places to walk and create new local landmarks. They can even be used to widen sidewalks without digging up streets, giving space back to the public and making the whole street safer. To provide a road map for the increasing municipal interest, in 2019 Bloomberg Philanthropies produced the Asphalt Art Guide and launched the Asphalt Art Initiative (AAI), distributing grants to 90 projects in cities across the United States and around the world to produce and assess their own eye-catching street design projects.

    * Daily Herald | Got transponder fatigue? New tollway stickers are now at customer service centers, coming to Jewel and online in February: The upgrade is free and totally optional, officials noted. The tollway is gradually phasing in the new devices and I-PASS customers will not be required to switch if they have a working transponder. The stickers will work in other states that are part of the E-ZPASS coalition, which the tollway belongs to.

    * WCIA | Historic Lincoln Tree topples in Virden, damaging Civil War Era home: The tree towered over the home. It was planted nearly 160 years ago. Town historians say the woman who first lived in the house took the acorn from Oakridge Cemetery in Springfield on the day of Abraham Lincoln’s Funeral.

    * Chicago Mag | How a U. of C. Professor Wound Up a Prisoner of Iran: When he opened the door, the leader of the group pulled out papers bearing the stamp of Iran’s attorney general and thrust them at Alizadeh, as if presenting the search warrant were a mere formality and not a necessary legal procedure. As Alizadeh scanned the document, a single line stood out to him: He was being charged with espionage, a capital offense in a country rife with subterfuge surrounding its clandestine nuclear weapons program.

    * NYT | UPS to Cut 12,000 Jobs as Wages Rise and Package Volumes Fall: Carol Tomé, the chief executive of UPS, told analysts on an earnings call Tuesday that it had been a “difficult and disappointing year.” Revenue fell more than 9 percent last year, and profit dropped by a third. Ms. Tomé said most of the job cuts would be made in the first half of the year, reducing expenses by about $1 billion. UPS employs nearly 500,000 people.

    * NBC | Fake news YouTube creators target Black celebrities with AI-generated misinformation: YouTube videos using a mix of artificial intelligence-generated and manipulated media to create fake content have flooded the platform with salacious disinformation about dozens of Black celebrities, including rapper and record executive Sean “Diddy” Combs, TV host Steve Harvey, actor Denzel Washington and Bishop T.D. Jakes.


  1. - Blue Dog - Tuesday, Jan 30, 24 @ 2:39 pm:

    nothing better than Chicago style pizza

  2. - Amalia - Tuesday, Jan 30, 24 @ 2:50 pm:

    NY Pizza is boring.

  3. - JoanP - Tuesday, Jan 30, 24 @ 2:50 pm:

    That first story is a real shocker.

    14Parish is a good story. They opened just a couple of weeks before the pandemic shut everything down, but started doing take-out. And now they’ve opened a second restaurant, Dawn A.M. Eatery (despite the name, they’re open all day).

  4. - Sox Fan - Tuesday, Jan 30, 24 @ 2:51 pm:

    I agree with the Pizza tweet. Give me deep dish once a year, tavern style 10-15 times, and New York/Detroit/Quad Cities style the rest. Chicago is probably the best place to get good versions of all of those.

  5. - Give Us Barabbas - Tuesday, Jan 30, 24 @ 2:59 pm:

    I-Pass stickers could end up being used for other purposes like parking in the future. Might become a revenue stream besides tolls.

  6. - Dotnonymous x - Tuesday, Jan 30, 24 @ 3:04 pm:

    I detest deep dish pizza…as a pizza lover.

  7. - Timmy - Tuesday, Jan 30, 24 @ 3:24 pm:

    Dot, believe that makes you a PLINO. Pizza Lover In Name Only.

  8. - very old soil - Tuesday, Jan 30, 24 @ 3:34 pm:

    I agree with Dot. As my brother, a former manager of a well-known Italian restaurant (married to a Sicilian), Chicago deep dish is ketchup on white bread.

  9. - TJ - Tuesday, Jan 30, 24 @ 3:40 pm:

    Nobody cries about pizza not being exactly their way quite like New Yorkers. Oh no, a different part of the country makes pizza differently than you, time to spend an eternity whining over it, I suppose.

    In New York’s defense, their baseline for quality is admittedly solid, and a major positive on their end is that pizza is somehow dirt cheap in New York compared to Chicago.

  10. - New Day - Tuesday, Jan 30, 24 @ 3:54 pm:

    I have never agreed with Anne Caprara more than I do on this point. Chicago has great variety of great pizza. I love deep dish but it’s just too much so I eat it like once every few years. Tavern? Count me in like Chicago voting - early and often.

  11. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Jan 30, 24 @ 4:11 pm:

    Pizza is like sex. When it’s good, it’s great. And when it’s bad, it’s still pretty good.

  12. - Palamite - Tuesday, Jan 30, 24 @ 4:22 pm:

    I’m not at all against welcoming migrants to this country, however a $59 Million dollar contract for new arrivals is a slap in the face to struggling families that already live in the area. To give this contract the benefit of the doubt, it may take the pressure off of soup kitchens that were anticipating the influx of migrants.

  13. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 30, 24 @ 4:23 pm:

    ===a slap in the face to struggling families that already live in the area===

    Or, stay with me now, jobs.

  14. - Dotnonymous x - Tuesday, Jan 30, 24 @ 4:25 pm:

    47th Ward wins the argument.

  15. - Dotnonymous x - Tuesday, Jan 30, 24 @ 4:26 pm:

    47th Ward wins the argument …hands down or up…however you like it.

  16. - danray - Tuesday, Jan 30, 24 @ 4:46 pm:

    Despite the Eagles downfall, Anna brings the heat.

  17. - Big Dipper - Tuesday, Jan 30, 24 @ 5:04 pm:

    Man, Vallas not only lied about being hacked but is a deadbeat and files frivolous lawsuits. I hope Chase seeks sanctions for needlessly having to defend against his own error.

  18. - Just Me 2 - Tuesday, Jan 30, 24 @ 7:20 pm:

    I fixed it for them: House Republican Leader Tony McCombie is announcing new additions to her leadership teams. State Representatives Amy Elik (Alton) and Dan Ugaste (Geneva) will join McCombie in the new legislative year to continue to fight for better checks and balances in state government and to protect the rights and freedoms of Illinois residents who are male and will never get pregnant, straight and never live in fear of being themselves in public, and white and no idea what discrimination is like.

  19. - Suburban Mom - Tuesday, Jan 30, 24 @ 9:40 pm:

    I have a new colleague, recently arrived from Rwanda, who has been asking me a lot about Chicago pizza as he works up to taking his family out for deep dish.

    He was somewhat shocked to learn we ALSO have tavern-style, and that it is ALSO very Chicago-y.

    He and his wife and kids are all very excited to try deep dish since it’s “the” Chicago food everyone knows about. I’ve also been telling him about hot dogs and Italian beef and The Bear.

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