Trib’s ‘tremendous loss’ / Thanks, Amazon / ‘Pursue legal action’

Trib’s ‘tremendous loss.’ Among those leaving the Chicago Tribune as part of what one alumnus calls a “staggering” exodus of talent accepting buyout offers: Eric Zorn …
 … who tells readers he sees this as “a launching pad for new adventures,” inviting them to join his post-Trib email list.
Media watchdog Robert Feder calls Zorn “one of the most decent fellows you’d ever want to know.”
Zorn’s longtime frenemy, Sun-Times columnist Neil Steinberg, celebrates the “many times … Zorn wrote the column I was too scared to write” but can’t forget that Zorn left “the door unlocked so John Kass could sneak into professional column writing.”*
Also reportedly on a growing list of Trib departures: Columnists Heidi Stevens and Steve Chapman, and editorial board member Lara Weber. (Cartoon: Keith J. Taylor.)

‘A massacre.’ Questions far outnumber answers in the Englewood mass shooting that yesterday left four people dead.
The White House took notice. (Middle of today’s Politico Illinois newsletter.)
Late last night, another mass shooting wounded one woman and four men.
At least two children were among six people hurt when a porch collapsed in the Austin neighborhood yesterday afternoon.
A new study concludes the gap between the life expectancy of Black and non-Black Chicagoans is growing.

Salvation from the right. The Southern Baptist Convention has elected a new president who’s worked for racial unity …
 … averting what the Los Angeles Times calls “an ultraconservative takeover” …

‘There are emails that prove it.’ Popular Information surveys a trove of newly released documents that it says constitute evidence Donald Trump attempted a coup.
The Biden administration is pledging to step up government vigilance against domestic terrorism.

Thanks, Amazon. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ ex-wife, MacKenzie Scott, has given The University of Illinois-Chicago, Kennedy-King College and Palatine’s Harper College their largest individual-donor grants ever …
 … gifts that a Seattle University professor says provide a model for other donors.
A “blockbuster” New York Times report concludes Amazon’s practices have raised concern over racial inequity, generated a culture of fear and cost some workers their jobs in error.

Why houses are so expensive. A new report concludes a key factor in rising prices is that the nation is short 5.5 million places to live.
A 98-year-old Chicago hardware store is closing, to make room for an apartment building.
The Biden administration is wiping out $500 million in loan debt for students of the slimy ITT Technical Institute (2018 link).

‘Pursue legal action.’ The Illinois EPA is calling on Attorney General Kwame Raoul to consider charges against Chemtool, the company whose Rockford-area chemical plant exploded Monday morning, triggering air quality warnings for miles around.
The company is apologizing—and assuring its employees that, although the facility is lost, “nobody is out of a job.”

‘Tickets are going through the roof.’ A Chicago alderman is among those complaining about the hundreds of thousands of motorists dinged in the month after the city lowered the threshold on automated citations from 10 mph to just 6.
Amtrak customers headed west out of Chicago are in for some upgrades.

‘I’m an old Girl Scout.’ Mayor Lightfoot channeled her inner scout as she pleaded with post-pandemically emancipated Chicagoans to stop littering.
 Easing up on an earlier proposal, the mayor’s now proposing a permanent liquor sales curfew of midnight, not 10 p.m.

Lollapalooza, late. The aftershow lineup next month will bring live music back to Metro for the first time in more than a year.
Juneteenth celebrations won’t be hard to find this weekend.

The scoop on Neapolitan. Tedium spoons out the history of a three-flavor classic …
 … with a nod to this classic Simpsons cut.

Would you like this hat?
Your chance coming soon. Stay tuned.
  Thanks to readers Mike Braden and Eric Hochstein for making this edition better.

* Your Chicago Public Square columnist’s friendship with Zorn dates back to this 1993 column about “computer mail” …
 … and continues to this day, as he holds down the end of an alphabetical list of Square supporters.

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