June 22, 2017

'People can't eat' / Metra's new seats / Dress codes besieged

‘PEOPLE CAN’T EAT.’ A Chicago pastor reflects on Cook County’s status as the U.S. county to lose more black residents than any other in 2016.

Greg Hinz in Crain’s: And the region is losing families overall.
The Sun-Times’ Mary Mitchell on downtown shootings: “The recognition that gun violence can happen anywhere in this city puts us a lot closer to solving this problem.”

HEALTH CARE REVELATIONS. Developing: Senate Republicans have released the Affordable Care Act overhaul they’ve been working on for weeks—a revision that would cut Medicaid benefits and taxes for the wealthy.
 Read the draft plan in PDF format downloadable here.
 FiveThirtyEight: Did Republicans keep the process secret to keep President Trump from butting in?
 Politico’s media critic Jack Shafer: Trump doesn’t want to be president. He wants to be communications director.
Trump promised to “drain the swamp” of special interests in government, but USA Today says his administration has hired more than 100 former federal lobbyists.

A Square advertiser

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METRA’S NEW SEATS. Coming to commuter rail cars on an ongoing basis: Armrests, headrests, built-in cup holders and better lumbar support—but no swiveling.
Metra is renewing contracts with six politically connected lobbying firms.
A Chicago alderman says the city Ethics Board was wrong to target her husband as an illegal lobbyist.

PAPER CHASE. Talking to the U.S. Senate about hackers’ theft of Illinois voter information, the state’s top election official said the states need state-of-the-art paper ballot-based systems — paid for with federal money.
The retirement of Cook County’s top elections official, Clerk David Orr, signals the start of what could be a crowded race to replace him.

DRESS CODES BESIEGED. To protest a ban on their wearing shorts—despite Europe’s heatwave—dozens of teenage British boys showed up to school yesterday wearing skirts.
… And male French bus drivers have been doing the same.
Danville, Ill., public schools will (still) ban blue jeans and hoodies.
Jimmy Kimmel let a high school valedictorian whose mic was cut off during his graduation speech finish the speech on national TV.

ANOTHER DAY, ANOTHER GLITCH. For reporting a word missing from Square’s emailed Wednesday issue, mercilessly attentive reader Mike Braden gets his name in this issue. (Hint: The missing word was “to.”) If you spot a mistake in any issue of Square, be first to email MessedUp@ChicagoPublicSquare.com and see your name here.
Soundtrack for production of this issue.

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