‘Groundhog Day’ / ‘We’re watching history’ / Ivory and ebony

‘Groundhog Day.’ That’s Mayor Lightfoot’s take as Chicago Public Schools canceled classes after a teachers’ union vote to return to remote learning.

The city’s response: Locking teachers out of virtual classrooms.
Chicago’s top doc says that, despite the surge in COVID-19 cases, the schools have been safe: “It really is concerning to me that we’re pretending like it’s February 2020.*”

Evanston has lowered the boom on an unapproved COVID testing site.
Planning a trip? Know that every state in the union is now on Chicago’s travel advisory list.
Indiana’s state health commissioner has COVID-19 for a second time.
The Associated Press sorts out why so many of the vaccinated are catching it.
Considering exposing yourself to the coronavirus just to get it over with? Think again.

‘My daughter asks me if the world is ending.’ Men Yell at Me blogger Lyz Lenz shares notes from a pandemic family vacation to Mexico.
The Sun-Times’ Neil Steinberg: “You’re not fine and neither am I.”
At least one Chicago pub is closing for the month because it doesn’t have the staff to check customers’ vax cards.

‘We’re watching history.’
The afternoon of Jan. 6, 2021, a panel of Chicago journalists—including your Chicago Public Square columnist—assembled online by now-Axios Chicago reporter Justin Kaufmann delivered live video commentary on what was unfolding at the U.S. Capitol. See it all here.
The AP looks back on “a national day of infamy, half-remembered” …
Lawmakers recall their trauma: “We were trapped.”

Chase’s lawsuit blitz. ProPublica says that, a decade after suspending the practice, JPMorgan Chase is again filing flimsy cases against struggling credit card customers.
The Conversation: Cybercriminals are turning paper checks stolen from mailboxes into bitcoin.
 New York City’s new mayor is whining about Wall Street banks and other big employers shifting back to remote work.

Library wars. Popular Information surveys a nationwide book-banning trend that conservatives bill as “parent involvement” but that is in truth “more about imposing cultural conservatism on every aspect of public education.”
Benedictine monks are breaking off from a suburban Catholic high school that hired a girls lacrosse coach with a same-sex spouse.

Ivory and ebony. Betty White’s birthplace of Oak Park will celebrate her life on what would have been her 100th birthday, Jan. 17 …
 … which happens to fall this year on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. (Update: The celebration has been moved to Jan. 15, King’s actual birthday.)

Correction. Yesterday’s Square got wrong the year in which an interview with U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush aired. It was 1997.
Clarification. As CNN’s Reliable Sources newsletter explains (middle of last night’s edition), Square’s mention of a record batch of new U.S. COVID-19 cases reported Monday should have noted that “the first report of the week includes a significant backlog of cases.”

* Someone please tell President Biden?

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