New gun safeguards / Safer water—maybe / A Taste of fall

New gun safeguards. Developing news: President Biden was set today to sign an executive order designed to move the U.S. “as close to universal background checks as possible without additional legislation” …

‘Not just a tech thing.’ Wired explains that the financial contagion sparked by Silicon Valley Bank’s failure is just beginning—because “most digital lives are rarely more than a single degree of separation away from a startup banking with SVB.”
An Indiana University economics professor: The crisis isn’t over yet.
Noah Berlatsky at the Editorial Board: “It’s hard not to notice how quickly the government moves when there’s a threat that the wealthy may lose some money.”
Sen. Elizabeth Warren blames bank failures on “leaders in Washington weakening the financial rules” …
 … but economist Umair Haque says it was also climate change.

Meanwhile …
The Chicago Housing Authority, whose mission is “to leverage the power of affordable, decent, safe and stable housing to help … low-income families increase their potential for … a sustained high quality of life” is turning land over to billionaire Joe Mansueto’s Chicago Fire soccer club for a training center …
 … despite objections that the deal smacks of an ethics violation.
The end of pandemic-era funding will put the squeeze on Illinois’ poorest.

Safer water—maybe. In a long-awaited move, the EPA is proposing to limit the drinking-water presence of cancer-causing “forever chemicals”—used for nonstick pans, among other things—to the lowest level tests can detect.
Local environmental groups are going to federal court to block expansion of a dump along the lakefront in Chicago’s economically depressed and environmentally polluted Southeast Side.

‘A project that derails his own climate goals.’ Environmentalists are up in arms over Biden’s approval of a huge Alaska oil-drilling initiative.
Esquire’s Charlie Pierce: “Drilling for Alaskan oil may be good politics, but it still ends badly for everyone.” (Link corrected.)
The Atlantic: The project “will be obsolete before it’s finished.”

‘For any reason.’ Gov. Pritzker’s signed a law making Illinois one of just three states requiring that employers offer paid time off—if workers give reasonable notice.
Popular Information: A decades-long campaign to weaken child labor protections has come to fruition with Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ signature on a law that makes it harder to ensure kids are working in safe conditions.

‘Language shared with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.’ Taking a close look at Chicago mayoral candidate Paul Vallas’ education platform, columnist Julie Vassilatos discerns “a belief that only parents are to be trusted regarding what their children learn, know and are exposed to.”
The candidates face off in a forum on public safety this afternoon from 4:30 to 6 p.m., and you can watch live here.

A Taste of fall. Bumped from Grant Park by NASCAR’s Independence Day takeover, Taste of Chicago’s moving to September.
Block Club: The city got just 16.8 inches of snow this winter, and science suggests it’s likely to see more rain than snow in winters to come.

‘It’s not all malicious.’ In a follow-up to the most-tapped link in yesterday’s Chicago Public Square, The Philadelphia Inquirer profiles political prankster (and sister to your Square columnist) Julie Ross—who reveals that, when she met Donald Trump in 2016, she gave him “a whole stack of snowflakes with words you probably can’t publish.”
Sale of those T-shirts will benefit good causes.
USA Today’s Rex Huppke offers information alternatives for Fox viewers newly aware of the channel’s lies.

 Jim Parks made this edition better.

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