Lolla alarm / Free college? / ‘Right project, wrong location’

‘Why is this not the lead story on every … front page right now?’ In a new edition of the Chicago Public Square podcast, music journalist Jim DeRogatis sounds an impassioned alarm about Lollapalooza: “We are … days away from Mayor Lightfoot inexplicably welcoming 100,000 people a day for four days to Grant Park for … this corporate music festival. If we have 5% of those 100,000 test positive for COVID, we’re gonna have to shut down Chicago again.”
Even with COVID-19 positive cases having jumped 70% in Chicago since last week, Lightfoot says the show should go on—but Lolla-goers should get vaxxed.
Amazon says it’s ending warehouse workforce tests for COVID-19, leaving employees to fend for themselves.
 Now returning to Chicago’s pandemic travel advisory: Three more states.

Sure—now. The Atlantic: Suddenly, Conservatives Care About Vaccines.”
CNN’s Brian Stelter: “An optimist might say … the Fox machine is raising awareness about vaccines while the Delta variant causes newfound alarm. … A cynic might say that Fox is trying to score PR points so that the Biden White House doesn’t name and shame them.” (Cartoon: Keith J. Taylor.)
A Tribune editorial pleads with vaccine skeptics: “The window against the pernicious delta variant is closing fast. … We respectfully hope you’ll reconsider.”

Free college for Illinoisans? As Gov. Pritzker aims for reelection, he’s calling for students from Illinois families earning up to the median income to qualify for $0 tuition at state institutions.
Calfornia this fall will permanently offer school lunches free to all students …
 … a notion that a Stanford University researcher says would benefit all states.
Pritzker says a legislative ethics bill headed to his desk doesn’t go far enough, but he says he’ll sign it anyway—because “you can’t go by the theory that perfect should be the enemy of the good.”

‘Unprepared.’ The Chicago Police Department’s Independent Monitoring Team concludes the department was just not ready for last year’s racial justice protests.
The report says the department must better position itself “to protect First Amendment speech; limit uses of force and violence toward people and property; and simultaneously, keep resources available … to prevent crime.”
At least 88 people have alleged in court that they were framed by an ex-Chicago police sergeant.
More than two years after Mayor Lightfoot took office on a reform platform that included a civilian oversight board for the police, the idea was poised for City Council approval today.
The FBI says it’s arrested the final suspect in the April murder of a 7-year-old shot as she sat in a car with her dad at a West Side McDonald’s.

‘Right project, wrong location.’ The founder of Chicago’s Pulitzer-winning Invisible Institute, Jamie Kalven, sees plans to locate the proposed Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park as part of “Chicago’s history of rapacious real estate exploitation.”
 The $3.8 billion “Bronzeville Lakefront” project was up for a City Council vote today, too.

Cash from on high. Newly returned to Earth, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos—the world’s wealthiest human—is giving two men $100 million apiece to spend on charity as they see fit.
Tedium’s Ernie Smith explores the origins of spacefaring rich guy Richard Branson’s “bold attempt to take on Coca-Cola and Pepsi. … It failed, but it did so stylishly.”

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