Bikers’ big win / ‘I’m frustrated’ / Media layoffs

Chicago Public Square will take a few days to exercise independence from deadlines. Back July 5. Meanwhile, catch continual updates on the Square Facebook page. And now, the news:

Bikers’ big win. Chicago’s pledging to give all its protected bike lanes concrete barriers by the end of next year.
Streetsblog Chicago is not satisfied.
Updating an item cited in Monday’s Square: Under criticism from Streetsblog, WBEZ has retracted a claim that Chicago speed cams “don’t slow down drivers.”
 Update, July 4: WBEZ explains what went wrong.
A Sun-Times editorial demands action on McCormick Place’s decaying Lakeside Center, where a section of brick spilled onto the Stevenson Expressway Monday, damaging cars.
City Cast Chicago: How to improve your commute.

More $ in your pocket. Effective tomorrow, Illinoisans get $1.8 billion in tax relief—via a grocery tax suspension and a gas tax increase delay.
Chicago’s minimum wage tomorrow rises to $15.40 per hour.
Mayor Lightfoot pledges to expand city workers’ parental leave.

I’m glad not to have to tell that story any more.’ Music journalist Jim DeRogatis says he won’t miss writing about musician R. Kelly, sentenced in New York yesterday to 30 years for sex trafficking that DeRogatis’ reporting exposed …
 … but Kelly faces another trial in Chicago.
Hear DeRogatis on a Chicago Public Square podcast in July of last year: “Every system in this city failed … to protect these young black girls.”

‘I’m frustrated.’ Illinois Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger—one of two Republicans on the Jan. 6 committee—tells Stephen Colbert he wishes the Justice Department would move more quickly on indictments in connection with the insurrection.
Popular Information: How Wells Fargo’s political action committee, which pledged to “take into consideration the actions of elected officials who objected to the Electoral College vote,” became one of the top donors to Republicans who objected to the Electoral College vote.

‘What have Democrats … done to thwart … hyperpartisan democracy assassins? Fund them to the hilt!’ Conservative columnist Jonah Goldberg slams Gov. Pritzker for spending “$35 million to stop Mayor Richard C. Irvin of Aurora, a moderate Republican, while boosting nutty state senator Darren Bailey as his general election opponent.”
In a Politico interview, Pritzker’s running mate describes Bailey as “a Trump-supported right-winged extremist who wants to ban abortion even in the case of rape and incest.”
Sun-Times analysis concludes that departing Illinois billionaire Ken Griffin’s $50 million for Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin’s failed gubernatorial campaign translated into $418 per vote—the worst political investment in Illinois history.

What about all those judicial races? Illinois House Speaker Chris Welch’s wife was a Democratic primary winner even though she was rated “not qualified” (May link).
Injustice Watch rounds up other winners.

‘Dobbs’ is the new ‘Roe.’ As in Slate’s headline: “Democrats Finally Figured Out Their Post-Dobbs Message.”
Wired adds: Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act is the “last line of defense” against mass censorship of online content about abortion.
President Biden says he’d support Senate filibuster rule changes to extend abortion protection nationwide—even though Democrats don’t have the votes for even that.
Add Walgreens to the list of companies offering employees abortion travel benefits.

‘Serve it and charge her.’ A civil rights activist is calling for the arrest of a white woman in her 80s—named in a long-lost but newly found warrant in connection with the 1955 kidnapping and lynching of Black Chicago teenager Emmett Till.
Esquire’s Charlie Pierce: “The Supreme Court is still rigging the system against Black voters.”
At 11 a.m. Chicago time, Ketanji Brown Jackson will be sworn in as the nation’s first Black female Supreme Court justice …
 … joining an organization that CNN reports “is in turmoil.”
The court closed out its session today with rulings that limit the EPA’s power to fight climate change and that uphold the Biden administration’s efforts to kill Donald Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” immigration clampdown.

Cruz vs. Elmo. Sesame Street’s lovable red puppet got a COVID-19 shot this week, and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz objected.
Want to get into Canada? Through September at least, you’ll need proof of COVID vaccination.

If you could run a classified ad--like this one, right here--in Chicago Public Square for just $25, would you? Say the word.

Sun-Times’ new home. Under its new co-ownership with WBEZ, the paper’s offices are moving—for the third time in 17 years—to the Old Post Office.
Google’s reportedly in talks to buy Illinois’ downtown Thompson Center.

Media layoffs. Email newsletter publisher Substack axed 13 of its 90 workers yesterday …
 … and national local-news network Patch made cuts in Chicago and nationwide (middle of CNN’s Reliable Sources newsletter).
Northwestern University research concludes the U.S. is losing an average of more than two newspapers a week.
Chicago Public Square exists in part to demonstrate one way forward for journalists and journalism in America (2017 link). Your support—in any amount you choose—helps keep Square coming.
And mark Social Media Day by following Square on Facebook and Twitter.
The Onion shares social media guidelines for its reporters, “whose failure to follow them to the letter is punishable by death.”

Thanks. Chris Koenig, TV critic Aaron Barnhart and Patrick Egan made this edition better.

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