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Isabel’s morning briefing

Thursday, Feb 1, 2024 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* ICYMI: The Chicago Tribune’s unionized newsroom staff are on strike. Sun-Times

    - Over 200 journalists and production workers at seven newsrooms across the country are participating in the 24-hour strike to demand fair wages and that management not eliminate their 401(k) match benefits
    - It’s believed to be a first in Chicago newspaper history

* Isabel’s top picks…

    * Sun-Times | Developers eyeing new White Sox stadium at The 78 meet with state Democratic leaders: Developers did not ask for state money, but instead said they want the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority to rearrange existing bonds. They were also aware of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s disdain for using taxpayer funds for sports stadiums — which is viewed as politically unpopular despite its prevalence in other cities.

    * Crain’s | New effort aims to advance trauma-informed care in Illinois: The Jan. 30 launch of the Illinois Healing-Centered Task Force by Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton has been a long time coming and provides much-needed legislative support to a concept that began in Illinois some 20 years ago by “five or six innovative organizations,” said Colleen Cicchetti, executive director of the Center for Childhood Resilience at Lurie Children’s Hospital.

* Good news



Governor Pritzker will be at the South Shore Cultural Center in Chicago at 11 am to unveil an anti-violence initiative. Click here to watch.

* Here’s the rest of your morning roundup…

    * Sun-Times | State-passed online privacy laws are inadequate, advocate group warns: “It’s super-alarming how tech companies and others that rely on our data have infiltrated state legislatures with industry-friendly bills that don’t do much to protect people,” said R.J. Cross, consumer policy director and report author for Illinois PIRG.

    * Daily Herald | Suburban library adds political scientist to help patrons through 2024 elections: The Vernon Area Public Library in Lincolnshire has brought in an expert to serve as a political scientist in residence for the election cycle. Alexandra Filindra, an associate professor of political science and psychology at the University of Illinois Chicago, will lead discussions with patrons, write articles for the library newsletter and recommend reading material concerning the election and important issues.

    * In these times | The UAW Strike Saved Their Shuttered Plant, But the Fight Is Just Beginning: The revival of the Stellantis plant is a stunning reversal of fortunes for Belvidere, Ill. But workers say they won’t rest until they see the concrete being poured.

    * Crain’s | Interim CEO of National Association of Realtors to new competitor: Bring it on: The video landed a little over a week after two real estate agents launched a competitor to the 108-year-old Chicago-based Realtors group and amidst a bevy of lawsuits nationwide targeting the association’s alleged collusion to keep agent commissions high.

    * Farm Week | Legislation introduced to change Illinois estate tax: Supported by Illinois Farm Bureau, Senate Bill 2921, introduced by State Sen. Dave Koehler, D-Peoria, and House Bill 4600, introduced by State Rep. Sharon Chung, D-Bloomington, are identical bills that if passed would change the state’s estate tax, specific to farms. “Illinois Farm Bureau is proud to support the Family Farm Preservation Act because our policy supports the preservation of family farms and this is a bipartisan effort to keep farm families on the family farm,” said Brian Duncan, IFB president. “We are grateful and excited to see members from all four caucuses (lend their support for the legislation).”

    * WTTW | CPS Principal Files Police Report Saying Chicago Teachers Union President Made ‘Very Concerning’ Comments: According to a copy of the Jan. 26 police report obtained by WTTW News, William Hozian, principal of Stevenson Elementary School at 8040 S. Kostner Ave., reported that Davis-Gates spoke to attendees at a union meeting and said, “In talking to my Stevenson brothers and sisters, I told them they should punch their principal in the face.”

    * Sun-Times | Judge halts all proceedings before Chicago Police Board after City Council again delays vote on what cases can be heard in private: During Wednesday’s City Council meeting, Mayor Johnson’s allies used a parliamentary maneuver to push back a vote on whether cops facing dismissal or suspensions over one year can choose to have their cases heard by an arbitrator instead of the police board.

    * WBEZ | A Pilsen medical center that treats migrants is furloughing workers: “No services have changed or hours changed,” Rivera emphasized. She added that no one has been laid off, but also confirmed some employees have quit over the furloughs. She would not say how many total people have been furloughed, but said Alivio still has about 250 employees across seven clinics.

    * Crain’s | CPD chief aims to calm an anxious Chicago business crowd: Still, the LaSalle Street contingent remains unsettled by a continued spate of carjackings and robberies in Chicago. Just last week, masked gunmen shot and killed two high school students in the Loop at Washington Street and Wabash Avenue. Asked why Deputy Police Chief Jon Hein spoke to the media after the brazen incident and not the superintendent, Snelling explained that he wanted to report the facts as soon as possible in order to reduce the public’s fear that the shooting was a random act.

    * CNN | House passes bipartisan tax bill that expands child tax credit: The deal would provide a larger credit in the first year to the low-income families of roughly 16 million children, or more than 80% of those who currently don’t receive the full credit because their families earn too little, according to the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. The package would lift at least half a million children out of poverty and improve the financial situation of about 5 million more children who would remain below the poverty line, once the proposal is fully in effect in 2025, according to the center.

    * Jam Base | The Music Won’t Stop: Dead & Company Teases Return At Vegas Sphere: The confirmation of the band’s upcoming return comes on the heels of a New York Post report published earlier today indicating Dead & Company will perform a 14-show residency at the Vegas Sphere. Sources told the New York Post the run will begin in May with an announcement due this week. Meanwhile, Rolling Stone reports the publication has confirmation Dead & Co. “will play at least 15 shows at the Sphere.”

    * WTVO | Rockford Medal of Honor recipient on a mission to prevent veteran suicide: “Making sure that that are the values, that we fought for and that our buddies died for and were wounded for, stay our values. That’s our mission in life, to make sure that our friends did not die in vain. And we have to be here to do that,” he said.

    * CBS | Five years ago this week: Lows plunge below -20 during Chicago’s polar vortex cold snap: Surface temps fell to minus 23 – and then we got snow! We endured 52 hours of below zero temperatures, the fourth-longest such deep freeze ever recorded in Chicago. It was so cold, that experts warned people that they shouldn’t talk too much—or breathe deeply outside “to protect your lungs from severely cold air.”

       

18 Comments
  1. - JS Mill - Thursday, Feb 1, 24 @ 8:17 am:

    Davis-Gates should be immediately dismissed. If an administrator made the same statement, figuratively or not, they would be terminated and for good reason. She is an embarrassment to public educators.


  2. - low level - Thursday, Feb 1, 24 @ 9:28 am:

    Wouldn’t it make more sense to build a new White Sox stadium in a disadvantaged part of the city to stimulate economic development?


  3. - Stephanie Kollmann - Thursday, Feb 1, 24 @ 9:45 am:

    I’m still not convinced that the estate tax issue for farmers is quite what’s being claimed, but this attempt ($6m cap instead of $12m) seems much more reasonable, and the rhetoric has certainly improved from last year’s absurd claims


  4. - White Sox - Thursday, Feb 1, 24 @ 9:46 am:

    No, the White Sox are a private company that is going to make decisions that are in its bests interests. Its purpose is to make money, not stimulate the economy. If it is presented with a development proposal from a disadvantaged part of the city, I’m sure it will consider it, but what makes sense for the White Sox is not necessarily aligned with the interests of the city. If the city or state tries to force a location on the White Sox, they can just move to a different city.


  5. - Friendly Bob Adams - Thursday, Feb 1, 24 @ 9:50 am:

    I still don’t see how a new Sox stadium would work with essentially zero parking on site. Metra schedules after night games are not optimal. Most lines have once an hour, all-stop trains. Takes forever to get home.


  6. - supplied_demand - Thursday, Feb 1, 24 @ 10:01 am:

    ==I still don’t see how a new Sox stadium would work with essentially zero parking on site.==

    You can stop worrying because the plan has 4,000 parking spots on-site for the stadium. They could also build parking garage off-site.


  7. - Jerry - Thursday, Feb 1, 24 @ 10:10 am:

    The Sox already got a free stadium. No more government handouts. They are a private, for-profit business and can pay for their own facility without mooching off of taxpayers.

    Not. One. Cent.


  8. - RNUG - Thursday, Feb 1, 24 @ 10:15 am:

    == I’m still not convinced that the estate tax issue for farmers is quite what’s being claimed … ==

    While saving family farms is almost always a good thing, the fact is most medium sized and larger family farms have likely done a bunch of estate planning, including setting up multiple corporate structures, trusts, and even insurance to pay any inheritance tax bills. I see this as more likely fo help the land rich but cash poor smaller farmers.


  9. - James the Intolerant - Thursday, Feb 1, 24 @ 10:34 am:

    I am not sure what re-arrange existing bonds means, and I do not have a Crains subscription so I can’t read the article. Still have not seen anything about who is going to pay the bill. Not one cent. We already did this once.


  10. - cermak_rd - Thursday, Feb 1, 24 @ 10:39 am:

    The farmland tax limits I don’t see why they just don’t index them to the average yearly increase of farmland so they don’t have to argue about this every few years.


  11. - Paddyrollingstone - Thursday, Feb 1, 24 @ 11:00 am:

    God Bless Allen Lynch. We need more heroes like him.


  12. - James the Intolerant - Thursday, Feb 1, 24 @ 11:21 am:

    Oops, Sox article is in the Times. Not sure what working “creatively” in the current Finance Authority system means, I guess more will be revealed at some point.


  13. - low level - Thursday, Feb 1, 24 @ 11:25 am:

    ==. If the city or state tries to force a location on the White Sox, they can just move to a different city.==

    The White Sox are indeed a private company & are free to do as they please to maximize profits and increase the value of the team. The city and state are also free to end the sweetheart deals.


  14. - Donnie Elgin - Thursday, Feb 1, 24 @ 11:25 am:

    “I don’t see why they just don’t index them”

    If you read the accompanying article from Farm Week Now - the new bill would …

    “In addition, the measures tie the new $6 million exemption level to inflation and will be adjusted each year according to the increase in the Consumer Price Index”


  15. - Dirty Red - Thursday, Feb 1, 24 @ 11:58 am:

    = Wouldn’t it make more sense to build a new White Sox stadium in a disadvantaged part of the city to stimulate economic development? =

    It could. Where are you proposing, and what do you plan to tell the neighbors who won’t be able to afford their higher property tax bill after the project is done?


  16. - Frida's boss - Thursday, Feb 1, 24 @ 1:56 pm:

    In 2010 College of Dupage ran a referendum based on the theory that instead of reducing the levy, due to the bond expiration from a previous referendum some 20 years prior, to continue at the same levy as if the bonds were still there and make capital improvements within the college.
    So they were not asking for any new property tax money they just asked for the current tax money to stay with the college instead of reverting. It was pretty slick and won almost 55-45.

    My guess is the Sox are looking for a rework of current fund resources not to go away but rather shift them to a new location, thereby not officially increasing anything but still having the ability to carry that line of “capital”.

    Or I may not know how any of this is working at all. lol


  17. - Frida's boss - Thursday, Feb 1, 24 @ 2:32 pm:

    CTU President statements were brushed off by CTU last night on their Twitter account as no big deal.
    If a CPS Principal had said the same thing CTU would have been all over the internet losing their mind.
    This came out the same day the University of Chicago teacher and aide story came out of them laughing and threatening a special needs student. No word from CTU on one of their members doing that?

    Also any chance those audits for the last 3 years are coming out?


  18. - Common Sense - Thursday, Feb 1, 24 @ 5:58 pm:

    To Frida,

    Yes SDG comments are shameful and deserve at least a public apology even if they were clearly not meant to be taken literally .

    The charter school incident though is not a reflection on CTU. In fact, CTU is pushing hard to hold these schools accountable in large part due to their dismal treatment of diverse learners.


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