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Isabel’s afternoon roundup

Friday, Feb 9, 2024 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* ABC Chicago

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker spoke Friday about proposed plans for a new Chicago White Sox stadium in the South Loop. […]

“It looks beautiful, and obviously we want all of our professional teams to succeed in Illinois,” Pritzker said.

Despite seeming impressed with the renderings of an open-aired, half translucent ballpark, Pritzker voiced concerns about how the plan would be funded.

“We need to be careful about how we use public dollars,” Pritzker said.

* Better Elections for Illinois…

The state-mandated Ranked-Choice and Voting Systems Task Force met today for the first time to evaluate the current state of Illinois’ election systems and discuss the process of implementing Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) for Illinois’ 2028 presidential primaries. State Sen. Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) and State Rep. Maurice West (D-Rockford) were elected as co-chairs of the Task Force during the call.

The Task Force will facilitate an accounting for how the state certifies certain election systems and equipment because right now, 30% of Illinois’ counties are utilizing outdated voting machines and systems that are vulnerable to election security threats.

“We took a concrete step today towards creating a more inclusive election process that will benefit voters and candidates, while helping Illinois modernize its election technology and improve election safety,” said Murphy. “I look forward to our upcoming meetings and am proud to be on a team that is dedicated to making elections better in Illinois.”

Using RCV in presidential primaries ensures that nominees represent a true reflection of the will of the people. It helps reduce wasted votes, curb toxicity, encourage greater diversity of candidates, and empower voters to back their preferred candidate instead of feeling they have to vote “strategically” against another candidate. Four states and territories will use RCV in their 2024 presidential primaries, and over 60 cities and counties have adopted RCV for local elections.

* It’s bill filing deadline day!

* Here’s the rest…

    * WJBC | Study shows Illinois students have made a full recovery since the pandemic in English and language arts: Tony Sanders says a Harvard – Stanford study says Illinois is one of just three states making a full post-pandemic recovery in English and language arts. He is not surprised. “We actually have the best students in the nation. We really do,” said Sanders. “All the national reports indicate that Illinois is ahead of other states in our public education system. You look at the U.S. News and World Report report from last year that showed that we were ranked in the top ten in the nation for public education, K-12, you look at this report that Illinois continues to make gains.

    * Tribune | Illinois plans to add more than 1,000 new public EV chargers: In addition, more than 200 charging ports are slated to be installed on the state’s interstate highways by the end of 2025. “You’ll see a whole lot of chargers,” said Lakhchaura, and they will be installed relatively quickly, “to make up for lost time.”

    * SJ-R | Former state senator McCann taken into custody after violation of pre-trial release order: Central District of Illinois Judge Colleen Lawless said that the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of Illinois proved “clear and convincing” evidence that McCann had violated the conditions of his pre-trial release set back in 2021 when McCann was indicted on federal wire fraud, money laundering and tax evasion charges.

    * Block Club | ShotSpotter CEO, Public Safety Leaders Clash With Activists As City’s Contract Set To Expire: “This issue is not as binary as you are making it,” said Anthony Driver, moderator and president of the Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability, raising his voice after activists interrupted a commissioner’s turn to speak. “For people who have a ton of privilege … to dictate to communities that live under gun violence every day how they are supposed to feel … be respectful,” Driver said. “That is not OK.”

    * Capitol News Illinois | Misdeeds by Carlinville funeral home director spur legislative proposals: On Thursday, Sen. Doris Turner, D-Springfield, introduced legislation mandates that a funeral director must place a unique identifier on the deceased’s body, body bag, and any body part, organ, or tissue separated from the deceased to be used in nontransplant organ donation. A director must also maintain chain of custody documentation for all dead bodies and human remains.

    * WTTW | After 80 Families Received Wrong Remains From Downstate Funeral Home, Illinois Lawmakers Propose New Legislation: While Sangamon County Coroner Jim Allmon – who brought to light the misdeeds of August “Gus” Heinz, the funeral home’s operator – does not have a complete count of families affected, he said he knows of more than 80 cases where loved ones received the wrong cremains. To date, Allmon said, there have been at least nine exhumations, including the five at Camp Butler. Some of the cases go back to 2019.

    * Stateline | Car thefts and carjackings are up. Unreliable data makes it hard to pinpoint why.: And despite the greater availability of motor vehicle theft data, its reliability varies across different law enforcement levels, with some local departments failing to submit their data to federal agencies and others not collecting the information at all.

    * Block Club Chicago | David Ernesto Munar Stepping Down As Howard Brown Health CEO After 10 Years: Munar leaves the nonprofit amid negotiations with its union, which formed in 2022 and has gone on strike twice, accusing Howard Brown Health of bad-faith bargaining, including laying off 61 employees without negotiations.

    * Sun-Times | In twist on PPP, other COVID-19 relief fraud, recordings show Cook County Jail detainees claimed to reap tens of thousands of dollars: Despite months of plotting, though, none of the inmates was arrested or charged with fraud in connection with the schemes, according to Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart’s office, which, in response to a lawsuit filed by the Sun-Times, released hundreds of pages of investigators’ notes about recorded calls in which inmates were suspected of plotting to commit financial crimes.

    * WBEZ | An in-depth look inside the campaigns for and against a tax to pay for homelessness prevention: On one side are the progressive grassroots organizers, homelessness prevention advocates and unhoused people themselves who for years have been pushing for the Chicago City Council to pose the question to voters. On the other side are real estate organizations and commercial property owners, who are raising money for mailers and holding Zoom roundtables in opposition to the referendum.

    * Nieman Lab | Patterns in philanthropy leave small newsrooms behind. Can that change?: In the world of nonprofit news, it’s common knowledge that securing the funding to survive is an uphill battle. But the 32 nonprofit newsrooms that have joined the Alliance of Nonprofit News Outlets (ANNO) since last August, mostly comprising small, local newsrooms like the Ally and the Post, say that on top of that general difficulty, specific patterns in the way foundation funding is distributed disproportionately disadvantage their outlets.

    * Chicago Reader | Saving the South Shore Nature Sanctuary: The sanctuary is straddled by the Jackson Park and South Shore golf courses, and plans to expand both into a single, PGA-caliber one by Tiger Woods’s design firm have been in the works since 2016. Efforts to privatize the untouched landscape and its “money shot” view of the downtown skyline—one of the best in the city—for televised golf tournaments could eliminate the entire sanctuary. But not if locals can help it.

    * WBEZ | Looking back at the 1940 exposition that showcased Black art and innovation: Black people could pay to attend the 1893 World’s Fair, but as far as any other kind of participation, they could only work service jobs. The fair’s organizers didn’t approve any of the proposals for participation submitted by Black Americans. Borne out of the lack of accurate representation at events like the World’s Fair, Black organizers took it upon themselves to create expositions that presented Black history, Black achievement and Black innovation.

    * WBEZ | Start your engines: Chicago Auto Show returns to McCormick Place this weekend: Electric vehicles will be in the spotlight this year. With nine electric vehicle manufacturers set to attend, the show will feature not just opportunities to purchase these cars, but also information for potential buyers unfamiliar with electric cars.

    * WTTW | Forget Something? Drawings of Proposed White Sox Stadium Leave Nature Out of the Picture, Advocate Says: “Our job is to be ever watchful,” said Margaret Frisbie, executive director of Friends of the Chicago River, which has a seat on the task force. Among the group’s charges: “review of specific planned development proposals and potential site changes for buildings and properties along the river’s edge to ensure that new development is in line with the natural environment, recreation, and connectivity goals of the Chicago River Design Guidelines.”

    * Block Club Chicago | Barnes & Noble Is Coming To Prime Wicker Park Corner. What Does That Mean For Local Booksellers?: Volumes sits at 1373 N. Milwaukee Ave., less than a half mile from the soon-to-be Barnes & Noble. Other nearby bookstores include Myopic Books, Quimby’s Bookstore and Open Books Logan Square. Volumes has been in the neighborhood for almost a decade, but George said she’s worried it might not be able to compete with Barnes & Noble.

    * NBC Chicago | Illinois’ favorite Super Bowl food revealed in new study – and it’s not chicken wings: In Illinois and a staggering 42 other states, pizza was deemed to be the favorite Super Bowl food averaging nearly 6.2 million monthly searches. As for searches in the Prairie State, pizza averaged nearly 206,000 monthly searches.

    * NYT | 40 Years Ago, This Ad Changed the Super Bowl Forever: In recent interviews, several of the people involved in creating the “1984” spot — Scott; John Sculley, then chief executive of Apple; Steve Hayden, a writer of the ad for Chiat/Day; Fred Goldberg, the Apple account manager for Chiat/Day; and Anya Rajah, the actor who famously threw the sledgehammer — looked back on how the commercial came together, its inspiration and the internal objections that almost kept it from airing. These are edited excerpts from the conversations.

    * WSJ | Abraham Lincoln’s Unchurched Faith: The church came to Springfield slightly ahead of Lincoln. The town was surveyed in 1821, its first lots sold in 1823. The area was so undeveloped that one visitor described it as “a few smoky, hastily-built cabins, and one or two little shanties called ‘stores.’ ” John G. Bergen, a Presbyterian missionary, arrived in 1828 and two years later had built his first church.


1 Comment
  1. - Anyone Remember - Friday, Feb 9, 24 @ 3:48 pm:

    In 40 years, Apple has gone from being the thrower of the sledgehammer to the image on the screen. For example, their opposition to “right to repair” … .

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