Off to the races / Gas dismissed / Puppets!

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Now, the news:

Off to the races. With Chicago’s mayoral contest underway in earnest, Axios Chicago surveys the (nine!) candidates’ media strategies.
Newly elected Rep. Jonathan Jackson—Jesse Jackson’s son—is backing challenger Brandon Johnson.
Chicagoans also get their first vote next month in election of the city’s new police district councils—and the Reader has a guide to the candidates.
A Sun-Times editorial condemns the police department for shoddy investigations of cops tied to hate groups.

‘Everybody’s late and everything smells like weed.’ That’s how WBEZ sums up its survey of 2,000 CTA riders.
Here’s where you can pick among candidates including “Jean Baptise [sic] Point du Shovel” and “Sleet Home Chicago.”

Class dismissed. Faculty members at the University of Illinois at Chicago have launched a strike.
Among issues in dispute: Programs to support students’ mental health—which has suffered through the pandemic (Friday link).
The Conversation: U.S. parents’ alarmingly high rates of anxiety and depression during the COVID-19 pandemic directly affected kids.
 The end of this month brings the close of a state program offering mortgage help to homeowners who missed payments because of COVID.
Here’s where to apply.

Gas dismissed. Environmental and economic activists make a case in the Sun-Times for Chicago to abandon natural gas and go all-electric.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: “This isn’t about gas stoves, it’s about who stands in the way of protecting Americans—even when it’s other, un-informed Americans.” (Cartoon: Gas wars top cartoonist Brian McFadden’s roundup at The Nib of “Culture War Activities to Keep the Base Busy.”)
Columnist Robert Reich: “News outlets have no excuse” for temerity timidityin connecting tragic weather events to the undeniable, violent changes in the Earth’s weather.”

Forever poisonous. A new study in the journal Environmental Research warns that levels of PFOS— perfluorooctane sulfonic acid, one of the so-called “forever chemicals” that are widely used in nonstick and stain-resident resistant products but that don’t break down in the body or the environment—run much higher among fish harvested from the Great Lakes than among fish raised commercially …
 … a threat in particular to those who fish for sport and the poor and indigenous people who rely on freshly caught fish.
The New York Times spotlights an Arizona suburb’s ominous water shortage.

Republicans behaving badly. A losing “election denier” candidate for New Mexico’s state House has been accused in a string of shootings at the homes of state and local Democratic leaders …
 …including three bullets through a bedroom where a 10-year-old girl slept.
Columnist Lauren Martinchek: “Republicans have been dying at twice the rate of Democrats” through the pandemic—because Republican politicians have “told their base not to trust the vaccine.”
Popular Information contends Republicans are waging a “bogus war with corporate America.”

Not a dream. Eight people were shot—and at least one was critically injured—during a Martin Luther King Jr. Day event in Florida.
Columnist Parker Molloy rips a Maine newspaper for running a heavily edited and sanitized version of King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

Taliban ticks. The BBC says Afghanistan extremists have been buying Twitter Blue badges—previously reserved for “active, notable, and authentic accounts of public interest.”
The Washington Post: The Jan. 6 probe found—but didn’t report—plenty about social media companies’ failure to address the calls for violence that preceded the Capitol insurrection.
Apple talks a lot about protecting your privacy, but Wired explains how to limit all the data Apple itself collects on you.

Puppets! The Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival, opening tomorrow, gathers troupes from around the world for the nation’s largest such celebration …
 … to stage, among other things, versions of Frankenstein, Hamlet and Moby Dick.

Robin Randall and Mike Fainman made this edition better.

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