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Isabel’s morning briefing

Wednesday, Feb 28, 2024 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* ICYMI: CTA President Dorval Carter grilled by alderman, public over service and safety. Tribune

    - Carter spoke before aldermen as part of a new requirement that CTA officials appear for quarterly City Council committee hearings.

    - The agency said it expects to add more buses and trains in April, when it next addresses service as part of a regular union employee scheduling process.

    - Carter outlined a plan to add 200 new train operators this year.

* Related stories…

* Isabel’s top picks…

    * Crain’s | Illinois’ nursing shortage may soon get worse: The report, which surveyed 385 Illinois nurses, found 34% plan to leave the profession in the next 12 months, primarily because of unsafe staffing levels and unresolved moral distress — the feeling of being unable to help people or operate at the highest quality level because of systemic industry issues. About 87% said they are experiencing moral distress and 32% say they have cared for more than six patients at one time. Only 27% said the nurse-to-patient ratio is adequate and safe and 98% cited unsafe staffing as a reason for why they were considering leaving the profession.

    * Sun-Times | Art Institute showed ‘willful blindness’ in buying Nazi-looted art, N.Y. prosecutors say: The 160-page filing by the Manhattan district attorney’s office lays out its case contending the work of art was stolen by the Nazis from cabaret star Fritz Grunbaum and later laundered through art dealers before arriving in New York. It accuses the Art Institute of failing to engage in “reasonable inquiry” as to the origins of the piece when it purchased it in 1966 and again decades later when questions arose about its provenance.

    * Chicago Reader | Illinois EPA must revamp its permitting process after Chicago activists file civil rights complaint: While the resolution does not say that the agency violated any anti-discrimination laws, the agreement does compel the Illinois EPA to make sweeping changes to its air permitting process. It’s a rare victory for community groups that cite race-based discrimination when it comes to pollution, especially when working through the federal government.

* The Peoria Police Department’s latest hiring ad. It was deleted on Twitter and Facebook around an hour after being posted…

Governor Pritzker will be at the Fields Studios to announce film industry capital grant awards at 10 am. Click here to watch.

* Here’s the rest of your morning roundup…

    * Sun-Times | Longtime Rep. Bill Foster, challenger Qasim Rashid face off in 11th District primary, differ over Gaza war: Rashid has lambasted Foster for no-shows at several debates and forums, but Foster faced his challenger on Jan. 24 — albeit briefly, before leaving to attend another town hall meeting. That exit prompted a Rashid campaign ad featuring Foster’s empty seat.

    * SJ-R | Pritzker introduces pension reform plan that could save taxpayers billions. Will it work?: Asked his thoughts on Pritzker’s proposal, [Gov. Jim Edgar] told The State Journal-Register the new plan is not a major difference from the one led during his first term as governor. “How you get out of this pension problem takes time,” he said in a recent interview. “And you got to be disciplined and not increase benefits

    * Crain’s: State Senate President Don Harmon specifically has told both [the Chicago Bears and the White Sox] there is little appetite in the General Assembly to approve separate stadium legislation. “I’m not planning to referee fights between billion-dollar sports franchises,” Harmon told Crain’s in a statement. “I hope the teams took heed of the governor’s expression of reluctance to use tax dollars to subsidize new stadiums.”

    * WTTW | Are Publicly Funded Stadiums a Good Investment? State Lawmakers Weigh in on Chicago Teams’ Plans: But as all these plans were being pitched, Gov. J.B. Pritzker seemed to call a time out. “I think I’ve been fairly clear about the fact that the taxpayers’ dollars are precious,” Pritzker said in response to a reporter’s question at an unrelated event. “And the idea of taking taxpayer dollars and subsidizing the building of a stadium as opposed to, for example, subsidizing the building of a birthing center, just to give the example, does not seem like the stadium ought to have higher priority.”

    * WCIA | Central Illinois superintendent of school, child tax credit advocates react to proposed early childhood budget investments: In 2020, the Rochester Community Unit District #3A had 30 kids in their early childhood education program. Now, they have 250. Dan Cox, the superintendent of schools for the district, credits Smart Start Illinois with helping the program grow. “It continues to support the research and evidence that giving children access to early education, early childhood education, only gives them the foundation for both success academically and socially,” Cox said.

    * Windy City Times | Advocates call for increased HIV funding amid state’s ‘disappointing’ pattern of flat funding: “It’s a mixed bag because we are absolutely on board with the investments in early childhood development and the elimination of medical debt for many Illinoisans,” said Timothy Jackson, senior director of policy and advocacy at AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC). “But it’s disappointing to see no new funding on the state level; it really stands in the way of us progressing.”Pritzker’s budget offers no increase to the state’s HIV Lump Sum, which is the largest source of funding for HIV testing, education, treatment and prevention. This marks the third fiscal year in a row that the HIV Lump Sum hasn’t seen an increase in funding, Jackson said.

    * KFVS | DCFS to hold hiring fair as it continues push to bring on more staff: During his State of the State and budget address on Feb. 21, Gov. JB Pritzker announced plans for the agency to eventually have 4,000 employees, which would be the largest number in two decades. “These are people who dedicate their lives to others in service,” said Jassen Strokosch, DCFS chief of staff.

    * Chalkbeat Chicago | Who’s the boss? Chicago principals report to many different people: Those unknowns — as the principals union takes root and the city moves to an elected school board — may disrupt an already complicated hierarchy. As it stands now, a Chicago principal’s direct supervisor is the head of their network — the geographic area their school is organized under — and they are also accountable to their Local School Council, or LSC, a unique-to-Chicago elected body at most schools made up of parents, teachers, students, and community members, that can hire principals. Both have different hiring and firing powers.

    * Crain’s | Before his last broadcast, Tom Skilling looks back on four decades as ‘Chicago’s Very Own’: “I was told early on that ‘you’re too technical, you’re too scientific.’ I do go into greater depth in describing the weather than a lot of folks do. I’m so fascinated by the way nature puts these things together. I just thought other people might find it interesting, too.” That attention to detail is why Skilling is the personification of Chicago’s weather, as one viewer described him during a nightly special celebrating the famed forecaster. Skilling carries with him a level of passion that makes him captivating to viewers. Having been doing weather reports since age 14, it’s a lifelong love of completely unknown origin.

    * SJ-R | Springfield’s only Black-owned dentist hopes to be an inspiration to the community: Crawford is approaching the one-year anniversary of when he purchased and began operating his own medical practice, Crawford Family Dental at 1900 E. Sangamon Ave., providing dental care to the North side of Springfield. “When I was a young kid they’d ask, ‘what do you want to be when you grow up?’,” Crawford said. “And I never said dentist, but I never had a dentist who looked like me. I always like to be in public and speak to people as much as possible just so I may inspire someone.”

    * ABC Chicago | Watch: Tornado spotted near Sublette, Illinois amid severe weather outbreak: The tornado is part of a system affecting much of northern Illinois on Tuesday, with turbulent conditions following record-high temperatures in the Chicago area on Monday and Tuesday afternoon. The storm system precedes a rapid cooldown which will see wind chill values drop to below 0 degrees in much of the region.

    * Block Club | From 76 To 27 Degrees, Chicago To Experience 3 Seasons In 24 Hours: Tuesday could break the record for being the warmest Feb. 27 in Chicago’s recorded history, with a high of 76 degrees expected, according to the National Weather Service. It’ll be mostly sunny, with wind gusts up to 20 mph. Rain will move in overnight, and there’s a chance for thunderstorms 6 p.m.-midnight, according to the weather service. There’s a chance for tornadoes, damaging wind and hail stones up to 2 inches.

    * Axios | WBEZ to scale back local programming: Chicago’s NPR station WBEZ is cutting down its locally produced, daily on-air talk programming to one hour. WBEZ, one of the largest public radio stations in the country, has scaled back its on-air local daily news shows from four hours roughly a decade ago.


  1. - charles in charge - Wednesday, Feb 28, 24 @ 8:10 am:

    That Peoria police recruiting ad is just nauseating.

  2. - 17% solution - Wednesday, Feb 28, 24 @ 8:34 am:

    The Peoria Police Dept. think they work in the film industry ?

  3. - Larry Bowa Jr. - Wednesday, Feb 28, 24 @ 8:38 am:

    That PPD ad is not unusual. In my suburb of 30,000 which has around 2 murders/year, the village magazine had a glossy help wanted ad for the PD in which the picture was not of a smiling officer but an M4 carbine, the hook being that every office gets one.
    The rifle is apparently more of an appeal than the six figure salary to be a suburban cop and walk around Walmart for half your shift.

  4. - Baloneymous - Wednesday, Feb 28, 24 @ 8:57 am:

    way to go Peoria police. turn your department into a first person shooter game with real people to attract new recruits. I’d also like to know who made that ad. what it in house or done by some local ad firm?

  5. - walker - Wednesday, Feb 28, 24 @ 8:57 am:

    Lotta wannabe military cosplayers these days.

  6. - Jocko - Wednesday, Feb 28, 24 @ 9:10 am:

    Call of Duty? Yikes!

    Why ’serve and protect’ when you can play dress-up and get your SWAT on? /S

  7. - Wisco Expat - Wednesday, Feb 28, 24 @ 9:23 am:

    I have second-hand embarrassment from that Peoria Police Department advert. The last time I saw officers from that police department in full gear like that, they were sweeping Bradley University after a threat was phoned in.

  8. - Michelle Flaherty - Wednesday, Feb 28, 24 @ 9:35 am:

    The last time I saw Peoria cops like that, they were knocking down the door of a guy who ran a spoof Twitter account making fun of the Peoria mayor.

  9. - froganon - Wednesday, Feb 28, 24 @ 9:41 am:

    So The Officer Friendly schtick is over? Talk about a toxic police culture. The kind of people this add attracts are the very last people we need to work in any community.

  10. - TJ - Wednesday, Feb 28, 24 @ 9:44 am:

    Pretty shameful on the Peoria PD to have an ad like that. I play videogames extensively, but they’re games and should not be used as any kind of glorification or analogy to actual police or military work.

    I can’t help but think of that tragic self-immolation a few days ago in DC, where one officer’s immediate response upon arriving at the scene was to draw their gun and shout and the man on fire to get on the ground.

    “When you train someone to be a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail,” as the adage goes.

  11. - We've never had one before - Wednesday, Feb 28, 24 @ 10:02 am:

    >>>>they were sweeping Bradley University after a threat was phoned in.

    How should they have responded?

  12. - Frida's boss - Wednesday, Feb 28, 24 @ 10:45 am:

    The PPD ad sparks the wrong tone as being let’s gear up and shoot people instead of let’s serve and protect.
    Now that said 99.9% of COD players couldn’t pass a physical fitness test anyway, nor are their face-to-face connections with people strong, so I think they’re looking for the wrong demographic.

  13. - Big Dipper - Wednesday, Feb 28, 24 @ 10:51 am:

    “Sergeant Winkle” sounds like a guy who plays video games.

  14. - Big Dipper - Wednesday, Feb 28, 24 @ 10:53 am:

    If the ad is any indication, only white chubby men need apply.

  15. - Baloneymous - Wednesday, Feb 28, 24 @ 11:03 am:

    === only white chubby men need apply.===

    I’m white and chubby and male, but I don’t play COD.

  16. - Will Colquhoun - Wednesday, Feb 28, 24 @ 11:32 am:

    I think it’s unintentionally funny that the police in the ad all look like Farva from “Super Troopers”.


  17. - Wisco Expat - Wednesday, Feb 28, 24 @ 11:59 am:

    @We’ve never had one before
    ==How should they have responded?==

    Exactly how they did. However, that should be a rare occasion in an officer’s duties, not the norm. Promoting employment with the use of heavily armed officers only promotes officers to respond to scenes with violence first.

  18. - Big Dipper - Wednesday, Feb 28, 24 @ 12:16 pm:

    ==funny that the police in the ad all look like Farva from “Super Troopers”==

    I am wondering if it is Winkle and Collins photoshopped in.

  19. - Bud's Bar Stool - Wednesday, Feb 28, 24 @ 12:33 pm:

    If the PJ Star or another Peoria news outlet had any resources remaining for basic investigative work, it could be interesting learn more through open-records requests about how that ad came to be: who approved it, who is the target market for that ad, what were the internal communications (and between whom) that predicated the ad, etc.? And as part of the story, how are public officials and community leaders responding after learning that this is the attitude of their police department?

  20. - Big Dipper - Wednesday, Feb 28, 24 @ 1:14 pm:

    Also who decided to yank the ad after one hour and why.

  21. - Sledge Hammer - Wednesday, Feb 28, 24 @ 2:27 pm:

    Dear Peoria Police, You need something big, bold to reach possible recruits, say like Team America World Police. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

  22. - Dotnonymous x - Wednesday, Feb 28, 24 @ 3:19 pm:

    - Lotta wannabe military cosplayers these days. -

    I hope they train their new officers to differentiate between gunfire and falling acorns…before the mag dump.

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