Lightfoot, ‘underdog’ / ‘Nothing happened’ / ‘Awkward postures … and long hours’

Thanks to everyone who voted in the nomination round, Chicago Public Square is a finalist in the Reader’s Best of Chicago balloting—for Best Email Newsletter and Best Blog, under the City Life category.

Balloting in the finals is on until noon Feb. 15.
Noteworthy: Mayor Lightfoot failed to make the cut for “Best Elected Official in Chicago” …
 … which brings us to today’s news:

Lightfoot, ‘underdog.’ Politico: “In a crowded field of candidates, the mayor might even be in danger of not making the April runoff.”
Records filed with the state show Lightfoot’s outspending more than all her challengers except one—but she spent twice as much as she collected.
On CNBC from the plutocratic Davos conference, Gov. Pritzker echoed Mayor Lightfoot: “Crime is coming down gradually in the city and across the state.”
All the candidates were scheduled to appear on WLS-TV’s digital sites tonight for a 90-minute, commercial-free debate.
Ahead of a series of interviews with the candidates, WBEZ wants your questions for them.

‘We’re talking about a billion-dollar company that got rich off the backs of slaves.’ A Chicago City Council member has blocked a railroad company’s plan to expand a South Side rail yard—a project that she says has already displaced 400 families in her Black community.
Illinois lands at No. 2 on a list of states ranked for green construction last year.
Lightfoot’s launching a pilot program under which city cameras will help catch drivers who block bus and bike lanes.

A busy council. A new ordinance will require a special license for—and impose limits on the locations of—Chicago businesses that get at least 20% of their income from vaping products.
Alderfolk also voted unanimously to expand protections for trans Chicagoans and those seeking abortions—although not at religious institutions.
ProPublica: Websites selling abortion pills are sharing sensitive data with Google.

‘Nothing happened.’ A Chicago alderman—and certified teacher of concealed-carry gun classes—is playing down the shooting of his adult daughter during one of his lessons.
Chicago police have charged a 23-year-old man with shooting himself and a 3-year-old boy and then lying about it.

Sheriffs behaving badly. A Sun-Times editorial calls out police leadership in dozens of Illinois counties for announcing they won’t enforce the state’s new ban on assault weapons.
A Tribune editorial: “Did they forget their oaths of office?
Gun lobbyists and retailers are suing.
CWB Chicago: Prosecutors say a homeowner held a burglar at swordpoint until cops showed up.

‘Men in hospitals are really big fat babies.’ Former Trib columnist John Kass reveals that he suffered a stroke.
Former Kass colleague and frequent Kass critic Eric Zorn: “I look forward to him outraging me again with a new column on his website in the very near future.”

At this point, it’d be more newsworthy if he told the truth—about anything. Contrary to a claim by U.S. Rep. George Santos (R-Bullshit), his mom wasn’t working in the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.
Jimmy Kimmel on Santos’ continued tribulations: “It’s always a bad sign when your former roommate is on CNN.”
Meanwhile: Donald Trump, who’s repeatedly insisted his sexual assault accuser E. Jean Carroll isn’t his “type,” mistook a photo of her for his ex-wife.

‘Awkward postures … and long hours.’ For the second time in two months, Amazon warehouses in Illinois and two other states have been cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for a long list of safety-related worker abuses.
Amazon’s cutting off a charity program it ran for a decade.

Nice work if you can get it. Netflix is hiring a flight attendant for its private jet fleet—offering an annual salary of up to $385,000.
Oscar Mayer is seeking candidates to drive the Wienermobile.
Deadline for applying is Jan. 31 here.

Drinking problems. Orange juice prices have hit a record high—and you can blame the climate.
R.I.P., Sierra Mist—although Digg editor Jared Russo says “the second option at every pizza party at an ice skating rink from your youth … wasn’t even as good as 7-Up, and nowhere near Sprite.”
A Tufts University environmental researcher: Solar-powered refrigerators for developing countries can cut hunger and slow climate change.

Thanks. Mike Braden made this edition better.

A Square public service announcement

Know a newsroom that could use an intern? The Chicago Headline Club and the Chicago Headline Club Foundation are accepting applications for grants to support internship programs. Nonprofit Chicago-area print, broadcast and online news organizations can apply here.

Best Buy is a Chicago Public Square advertiser.

At Best Buy, we work hard every day to enrich the lives of consumers. Through Thursday, save on TVs, laptops and more.

Subscribe to Square.