‘Make the suburbs … pay’ / California reeling / Top of the Oscars

‘Make the suburbs … pay.’ Chicago mayoral candidate and Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson is calling for a Metra “city surcharge” and restoration of the city’s “head tax” on big-company employees, regardless of where they reside. (Illustration: AI-generated by MidJourney.)
Chicago’s Board of Ethics is calling on the city’s inspector general to investigate Mayor Lightfoot’s reelection campaign over its recruitment of student volunteers through Chicago Public Schools and City Colleges in exchange for class credit.
In what the Tribune calls “a rousing debate” before its editorial board, Lightfoot accused Johnson of bringing “chaos” to the city with his leadership of Chicago Teachers Union work stoppages.

‘Let’s Go Brandon!’ The Girl I Guess progressive voter guide backs Johnson.
The Triibe’s Election Center includes interviews with the Black candidates for mayor.
A political reform group is calling on the City Council to OK public funding of political campaigns—“one of the most powerful tools we have to create a more just and ethical political system.”

California reeling. The state’s third mass shooting in three eight days left seven dead at two agricultural businesses.
A man credited with disarming that shooter later is being hailed as a hero.
See that video here.
The Los Angeles Times ran a controversial photo of the shooter later dead in his van.
Chicago police this weekend are stepping up security around Lunar New Year celebrations.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom, at wit’s end over gun violence, lays it at the feet of Fox bloviators: “It’s a disgrace … what these people say every single night.”
Chicago-area Democratic U.S. representatives are calling on DuPage County’s sheriff to take back his refusal to enforce the state’s new assault weapons ban.
Esquire’s Charlie Pierce: “America’s obsession with its guns is a sickness.”

Setting sail. Old Navy’s closing its store on State Street.
Add La Colombe cafe to what the Trib describes as Chicago’s “steady drip of coffee shop unionizations.”
A Trib editorial hails legislation Gov. Pritzker says he’ll sign, requiring employers to offer at least five days’ paid leave annually: “What took Illinois so long?

‘Avian flu is mutating.’ Your Local Epidemiologist Katelyn Jetelina explains what the deal is with eggs—and egg prices.
The FDA is proposing a once-a-year cycle of COVID shots.

January’s still here. And so brace for a more authentic dose of Chicago winter tomorrow through Sunday.
Wednesday morning’s rush hour could be a mess.

‘Twitter can’t handle the truth.’ Popular Information’s Judd Legum takes issue with Twitter’s taking issue with his reporting on Florida’s school book bans.
Twitter’s getting sued over rent unpaid on its U.S. headquarters in San Francisco and offices in London.
NewsGuard: AI chatbots could spread toxic misinformation at unprecedented scale.

Apple gadget security. If you need tougher safeguards for an iPhone, iPad or Macintosh, check out the latest free operating system updates
… including rare revisions for older devices.

Top of the Oscars. Everything Everywhere All at Once leads today’s nominees with 11 nods.
Michelle Yeoh is the first Asian nominee for Best Actress.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’s Angela Bassett is the first woman, the first person of color and the first Marvel Studios actor to be nominated for a performance in a comic book adaptation.

‘We definitely didn’t think it would break the internet.’ In something of a victory for Fox, Mars is backing away from the anthropomorphism of M&Ms—and going instead with Maya Rudolph.
Daily Show guest host Wanda Sykes mocked Donald Trump’s awkward eulogy for a Black woman who’d supported him unwaveringly.

‘An anachronistic anomaly in this era of preprogrammed playlists.’ A Trib editorial praises the late WXRT-FM host Lin Brehmer.
The station’s streaming yesterday’s hours-long tribute to Brehmer in a continuous loop here.

Don’t delay. Chicago Public Square encourages you to cast your ballot—for Square, of course, as Best Email Newsletter and Best Blog—in the Reader’s Best of Chicago poll.
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