Water pain / Hold it / Worried about the WGNs?

WATER PAIN. The Tribune surveys what Chicago-area towns are charging residents for Lake Michigan water—and finds deep differences, especially for poorer communities.

Compare your town’s water rates with others’. (2010 photo: Bernt Rostad.)

‘A PATTERN OF DISTURBING INCIDENTS.’ The NAACP says recent reports from African-Americans flying American Airlines “suggest a corporate culture of racial insensitivity and possible racial bias,” and so it’s warning black passengers “to exercise caution … booking and boarding flights on American.”
American says it plans to meet with its critics.
NPR challenges you to guess what percentage of black Americans believe discrimination against them exists.

HOLD IT. The Illinois Transportation Department is considering rehabbing or closing some of its interstate highway rest areas.
But you can weigh in with the department’s online survey.
The Chicago alderman representing the Wrigley Field neighborhood is considering calling for an end to “surge pricing” at Wrigley-area parking meters.

HOLY DEVELOPMENT. A developer has revealed potential designs for what could be Chicago’s sixth-tallest building: A skyscraper on what now serves as the parking lot for Holy Name Cathedral. (Rendering: JDL Development.)
Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin compares it to NBC’s New York HQ, 30 Rockefeller Plaza.

‘THE SUN-TIMES NEVER SHOULD APPROVE A DEAL LIKE THAT WITH ANY POLITICIAN.’ Media critic and former Sun-Times staffer Robert Feder takes issue with columnist Mark Brown’s decision to room with a congressman on a trip to hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico.
How’d a two-person, two-year-old energy company tied to a member of President Trump’s Cabinet get a $300 million contract to help rebuild Puerto Rico’s electrical infrastructure?
Tesla brings solar power relief to a Puerto Rican hospital.

NEVERTHELESS, THEY DIDN’T PERSIST. Hours after retiring Republican Senators Jeff Flake and Bob Corker condemned Trump, they joined him to give financial institutions clearance, in The Intercept’s words, “to rip off their customers with virtual impunity.”
The Washington Post: That Flake and Corker feel liberated to speak their minds should terrify Trump. (2014 Photo: Gage Skidmore.)
But Trump sees a “love fest” among Senate Republicans.
An Arizona Republic columnist: Jeff Flake quit. Trump won. And civility lost.
RedState: Trump’s rhetoric “is probably the only thing left that could really hurt Republicans.”
The New York Times: What’s holding (most) Republicans together? Tax cuts.
… But one Republican leader is threatening to break Trump’s promise not to mess with 401(k) rules.

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‘RIGHT NOW, THERE’S A GOOD CHANCE THAT YOU … ARE BEING TRACKED.’ And so, the nonprofit Digital Privacy Alliance is calling on Illinois lawmakers to override Gov. Rauner’s veto of a bill that would require disclosure when smartphone apps are monitoring a user’s location.
Sun-Times columnist Phil Kadner: Now, Rauner’s “Mr. Public Education.”
A Chicago alderman wants city officials, candidates, employees and lobbyists to report ads they run in social media.

WORRIED ABOUT THE WGNs? If you’re of a mind to let the FCC know how you feel about Trump-aligned Sinclair Broadcast Group’s plan to acquire Tribune Media, parent of WGN-TV and Radio, the FCC site doesn’t make it obvious. Here’s how:
  1. Go to this page (where you can read others’ comments).
  2. Click on the “+ Express” link in the lefthand column.
  3. Make sure the docket number 17-179 appears in the “Proceeding(s)” field.
  4. Comment away.
At least the National Association of Broadcasters likes the FCC’s decision to kill a decades-old rule designed to keep TV and radio under local control: “We’re confident that cost savings realized … will be reinvested by broadcasters in better programming.”

The ever-alert Mike Braden was first to spot an errant pluralized word and to flag the missing movie title Groundhog Day in yesterday’s emailed issue of Square. You’ll find corrected text, as usual, on the Square website.
Thanks to reader Margie Fischer for suggesting a guide for filing comments with the FCC.

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