Don’t flush / ‘Absolute hell’ / ‘Almost everyone in the world will be identifiable’

Don’t flush. All that rain over the last day or so—plus snowmelt—threatens to flood Chicago-area water treatment facilities and pollute the waterways, so Friends of the Chicago River encourages you to avoid compounding the burden.
You can sign up for Overflow Action Alerts here.
President Biden travels to Ohio today to announce $1 billion for cleanup of the Great Lakes.

‘Asked for comment, COVID said Excellent!That’s jazz guitarist and contrarian blogger Charles Johnson’s Twitter take on news the Biden administration is “moving toward a time when COVID isn’t a crisis.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s chief: “We want to give people a break from things like mask-wearing.”
In Springfield yesterday, House Republicans fueled confusion by refusing to wear masks.

‘Enjoy your candidate for governor, MAGA.’ The Reader’s Ben Joravsky says billionaire Republican puppetmaster Ken Griffin’s endorsement of Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin for governor raises the question of whether support from Donald Trump’s Illinois fans can be bought.
Columnist Eric Zorn (middle of today’s dispatch) on Better Government Association president David Greising’s Tribune-published interview with billionaire Griffin: “It was all a little weird.”
A Sun-Times editorial supports an overhaul of campaign financing law to level the playing field for candidates who don’t have—or don’t happen to be—a sugar daddy parent.
Popular Information: Guess which big corporations that claim to support LGBTQ rights are stuffing cash in the pockets of politicians backing Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill to limit what teachers can discuss about “sexual orientation or gender identity”?

Hey, all that service and protection doesn’t come cheap. A Chicago City Council committee was set to vote today on $4.3 million in payouts to people that cops mistreated—including a woman attacked by officers outside Brickyard Mall in May 2020.
To clear the way for a new sales tax at the upscale Old Orchard Shopping Center, Skokie has designated the mall “blighted.”
A Trib editorial calls on Skokie’s mayor to scrap the tax—which it notes “will go directly to, wait for it, the private owner of the mall.
Online grocer Farmstead is officially up and running in the Chicago area, promising same-day free delivery with prices comparable to or lower than most supermarkets.

‘Absolute hell.’ A University of Illinois at Chicago law professor ousted over a final exam that contained a racial insult to an imaginary woman of color in a hypothetical civil case tells the Trib he never could have imagined the consequences.
A British man who joined a former Northwestern University professor in a brutal murder has been sentenced to 45 years.

‘Almost everyone in the world will be identifiable.’ The controversial facial recognition company Clearview AI, whose practices have been challenged under Illinois privacy law*, is moving full-speed ahead—reportedly telling investors it’s on track to collect and analyze enough photos to ID most of humanity.
Sun-Times critic Richard Roeper praises a “chilling” Netflix show for documenting how Chicago-based Boeing’s “greed cost hundreds of lives.”

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Correction. Yesterday’s edition left the key word “major” out of the sentence “Axios Chicago notes that no other major U.S. city gives the mayor power to fill vacancies on the municipal legislature.”
Thanks to Evanston Now publisher Bill Smith, who took the time to flag the error: “Only noticed … because we’re in the midst of selecting a replacement for a resigned alderman here in Evanston, and under state law, the mayors of towns of less than 500,000 population in Illinois also get to pick the replacement for resigned council members, although the pick in that case is subject to ratification by the City Council.”
Journalism critic Richard Tofel: The New York Times should have apologized to Sarah Palin.

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