'Our country is on fire' / Naked city / Chicago's Halloween

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‘Our country is on fire.’ New York Times columnist Charlie Warzel reflects on the flames that have raged through the West: “Would Americans feel a greater sense of alarm about our rapidly warming planet and the disastrous, perhaps irreversible effects of climate change if everyone could experience a fire season in person?
CBS News: Weather across the that region is “bonkers” …
 … a series of dystopian weather events that are related—and exactly what scientists have been warning about for decades.
A new World Wildlife Fund report concludes humans are wiping out wildlife at an “alarming” rate.

Getting the lead out. Chicago’s finally moving ahead with a years-long pledge to replace poisonous lead water pipes.
Mayor Lightfoot was set to make the announcement at 11:30 this morning, in a news conference to stream on her Twitter page.

Naked city. Settling a lawsuit filed by a transgender woman, Chicago aldermen have removed gender references from liquor license ordinances, ending requirements for “pasties” on breasts for any performer.
The City Council has voted to ban the sale of flavored vaping products.

He wasn’t stupid. He was lying. As President Trump was assuring the nation early this year that the coronavirus outbreak was “going to be fine,” he was telling journalist Bob Woodward he knew it would be “deadly stuff.”

Hear the audio and read a transcript of that damning conversation. (Cartoon: Keith J. Taylor.)
Woodward’s old Watergate reporting partner, Carl Bernstein, calls it “the smoking-gun tape of the president committing … a kind of homicidal negligence.”
Mayor Lightfoot says Woodward needs to answer for his decision to “hold back” his recordings of Trump for six months, until publication of his new book, Rage.
Journalist John Stanton: “There is no ethical or moral defense of Woodward’s decision to not publish these tapes as soon as they were made.”
Woodward tells the AP that only in May was he satisfied that Trump’s comments were based on reliable information: “If I had done the story at that time about what he knew in February, that’s not telling us anything we didn’t know.”
CNN’s Brian Stelter: “What if this 9/11-level failure had been treated like a 9/11-level failure last spring? Would our children be back in school? Would some of our loved ones still be alive?

Masks up. New research, still in the theoretical stage, suggests masks may act as a sort of crude vaccine—allowing just enough COVID-19 exposure to trigger an immune response.
The Tribune: 10 things science has learned about the coronavirus in less than a year.
Clarkson University researchers on COVID risks as people move indoors with cooler weather: “There is no safe distance in a poorly ventilated room.”

‘It’s like the film Serpico.’ Ex-Chicago cops talk about just how tough life gets for whistleblowers in the Chicago Police Department.
The Chicago police union has formally endorsed Trump’s reelection.

‘It’s going to be pretty messy.’ A University of Maryland professor isn’t upbeat about a new poll suggesting a historic shift: Most Americans now plan to vote before Election Day.
The number of requests for mail-in ballots in Illinois suggests an Election Night that could last weeks.

‘Great news, fellow Americans.’ Trib columnist Rex Huppke sarcastically cheers: “Our tax dollars may now be used to help defend … Trump in a defamation lawsuit brought by a woman who claims Trump raped her!
Vice President Pence and other top Trump campaign officials are scheduled next week to address a fundraiser hosted by supporters of the QAnon conspiracy movement.

Abolished. Chicago’s Douglas Park, named after a slavery advocate, is no more.
The City Council has handed handed community organizers a win in their struggle to keep the Obama Presidential Center from displacing affordable housing in Woodlawn.
Equity advocates are calling on the Cook County Board to shift millions from the sheriff’s budget to health services and housing for the poor.
Arizona State University professors make the case for community land trusts to assemble property for the benefit of Black Americans.

‘Sometimes people just do evil things.’ Prosecutors have been at a loss to determine the motives of a man accused of stabbing and killing a Wicker Park Walgreens employee.
Five months after the murder of a couple of respected lawyers in their Oak Park home, police remain astonishingly mum about what happened and why.

Chicago’s Halloween. Mayor Lightfoot isn’t ready to ban trick-or-treating, but she warns, “It’s not safe for children. It’s not safe for adults.”
As the NFL season begins tonight, the Kansas City Chiefs are banning fans dressed up with headdresses or face paint.

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 Thanks to reader Pam Spiegel for typographical fixes in this edition. 

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