‘More unarmed guards, more crime’ / Alex Jones’ troubles / News that might suck

‘More unarmed guards, more crime.’ A Sun-Times analysis concludes the number of violent crimes on CTA trains and buses has reached a level not seen in more than a decade.
Police say witnesses’ refusal to cooperate is hindering their investigation of the stabbing of a 21-year-old man at the Red Line’s Roosevelt station.

‘It’s not a good place to work these days.’ A Chicago alderman says he’s considering joining a remarkable exodus from the City Council …
 … who’s announced the creation of 10 new pedestrian plazas—“spaces for recreation, performances, pop-up shops, gardening, and other neighborhood activities”—across the city.

‘The heart of gay Chicago’ on alert. WBEZ: As the Northalsted neighborhood gears up for this weekend’s Market Days celebration, monkeypox is triggering memories of the AIDS crisis.
The Conversation: Monkeypox won’t be the next COVID-19, but it is spreading faster than experts expected …
 … and the Biden administration has declared it a public health emergency.

Sweet surrender. A Lake in the Hills bakery scarred by vandalism and harassment will get to serve up a family-friendly drag-show brunch …
 … thanks in part to the ACLU’s legal threat to the village.

Alex Jones’ troubles. A jury’s award of $4.11 million in compensatory damages to the parents of a Sandy Hook Elementary School boy killed in a 2012 attack is just the beginning of legal and financial pain awaiting the lying conspiracy theorist.
A legal analyst tells CNN that, although that award falls short of the $150 million the couple sought, the jury may have taken into account all the other cases pending against Jones: “If the jury was to award enormous amounts of money … in this case, what would be left for the other victims? He’d be out of money and they’d be out of luck.”
Describing his oeuvre as a “collection of conspiracy theories … shouted at you by a man who sounds like his voice was run through a cheese grater,” Men Yell at Me columnist Lyz Lenz names Jones her Dingus of the Week.

Crayons, cheap. A 10-day tax holiday begins in Illinois today for back-to-school items including school supplies, shoes and clothes.
The state’s list of what’s covered reflects a 19th-century mentality: Neckties and pencil leads, yes; computers and computer supplies, no.

Politico, Facebook and Google are aiding in that deception.’ Heated columnist Emily Atkin warns that a fake pro-climate group linked to the Republican Party is running deceptive ads aimed at killing historic climate legislation …
 … which looks on-track for passage now that mercurial Sen. Kyrsten Sinema is seemingly on-board.
A Sun-Times editorial says the bill would be “particularly good news for Illinois” …
 … but environmental justice advocates also see provisions that, to avert global climate change, would force some communities to endure further harm from local pollution.

The Verge: “The combination of Roomba, Alexa, Ring doorbells, and Amazon’s other smart home products … will naturally lead to even more questions around privacy.”
Workers at a sixth Chicago-area Starbucks have voted to join a union.

‘Disastrous financial results.’ One of the nation’s largest newspaper publishers, Gannett—with 11 papers in Illinois—is bracing for layoffs.
After a tumultuous—but ultimately triumphant—four-year run as publisher of the Chicago Reader, Tracy Baim is stepping down.

Your support for Chicago Public Square makes possible …
Comprehensive, award-winning, independent, daily news updates.
Insightful Chicago-centric podcasts.
Timely voter guides.
An ever-growing collection of free-for-noncommercial-reuse photos of real Chicago in the Square Flickr group.

You help keep these things coming with your contributions—one-time (nice!) or recurring (nicer!)—here.

Subscribe to Square.