Chicago's lead menace / Ricketts' tax dodge / ‘Where were you when Mad needed you?’

Chicago’s lead menace. Facing a spike in brain-damaging lead linked to the project, Mayor Lightfoot has ordered a halt to Chicago’s aggressive water meter replacements.

The city is offering free water quality test kits.

Eco-unfriendly. In a lie-ridden speech one expert describes as “a true 1984 moment,” President Trump bragged about his administration’s record on the environment …
 … and he delivered it flanked by former lobbyists for the coal and oil industries.
Does the Chicago-area sky look hazy to you? Blame Canada.
As water levels rise, a Colonial-era coastal town ponders historic buildings’ fate: “We cannot save everything.”
A law prof writes for The Atlantic: America is … car-dependent by law.”

‘Epstein is a monster.’ The Tribune’s Rex Huppke says the sex trafficking charges against friend-of-Trump-and-Clinton Jeffrey Epstein “present us with a rare opportunity for bipartisan revulsion.”
The Miami Herald, whose reporting has driven the story: Trump Labor Secretary Alex Acosta—who, as Miami’s U.S. attorney a decade ago, made the “ethically challenged” decision to give Epstein a pass—should resign. (Cartoon: Keith J. Taylor.)
The Daily Beast: Epstein’s Sick Story Played Out for Years in Plain Sight.”
Politico: Prosecution of Epstein could rise or fall on one word.
The Onion: Defense Attorneys Vow To Present Irrefutable Evidence Proving Jeffrey Epstein Billionaire.”

Ricketts’ tax dodge. A Trib investigation finds Cubs co-owner Todd Ricketts is paying taxes based not on the showcase home he built in Wilmette—but on the much older and smaller home he tore down to make room for the new one in 2010.
In the year before a federal raid on her ward office, Chicago Ald. Carrie Austin spent 65% more than budgeted for her … wait for it … Budget Committee.

Elizabeth Warren’s surprise. She held no fundraisers in the second quarter, but more than tripled her first-quarter haul.
Warren is breaking the traditional campaign-ad model.
One of the many (many, many) Democratic presidential candidates is dropping out …
 … but, hey—here comes another one …
 … prompting Chicago political guru David Axelrod to tweet: “Now the two years of impeachment ads … make sense!”
Billionaire and two-time independent presidential candidate Ross Perot is dead.

Two people running down the street, handcuffed. That was what an off-duty cop says tipped him off to a situation that led to the killing in Chicago of a man suspected of their kidnapping.
A Chicago man has been arrested, accused of flashing a handgun when he was denied entry to a women’s restroom at an Evanston Burger King.
Lightfoot blames Chicago’s bloody Fourth of July weekend on the courts: “I can shoot up a crowd, and I’m going to be back on the street.”

Illinois against ICE. The state says it’s declined every Immigration and Customs Enforcement request to use facial recognition tech for sifting through the state’s drivers license photo archives …
 … technology that “raises questions about our Fourth and First Amendment protections.”

‘Where were you when Mad needed you?’ A veteran editor reflects on the magazine’s impending demise. (Illustration: Sergio Aragonés for your Square publisher in 1985.)
Founder William M. Gaines’ decision to make Mad ad-free—a policy that gave it liberty to give s#!t to the advertising biz—was inspired in part by Chicago millionaire Marshall Field III …
 … to whom Gaines gave credit in this 1978 Chicago interview (raw audio).

Funny Chicagoans. An NBC comedy contest series beginning tonight includes three Chicago acts among the 40 competitors.
A TV documentary airing later this month tells the story of “Chicago’s Deadliest Day.”
The Farm Aid 2019 benefit concert is coming to Wisconsin in September—featuring performances by Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews.
In Massachusetts, the Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger trolled Trump.
A federal appeals court says the president can’t block his critics on Twitter.

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