Downtown ‘meltdown’ / Mary’s lament / Celebrate Chicago journalism

Downtown ‘meltdown.’ That’s how a Chicago City Council member representing the Loop, Brian Hopkins, describes the police response—or lack of response—to the weekend’s “mayhem.”
At least 16 people have been arrested in connection with violence that left three teenagers wounded.
Video footage and photos capture some of what happened: Here and here.
A state senator sees it as “a mass protest against poverty and segregation.”
WBEZ surveyed public safety experts for things Chicago could do to avert the chaos.
Ald. Jeanette Taylor suggests young people need more constructive diversions, but puts some burden on parents: “You can go to jail if you whoop your children. [But] some of them could use a good a__- whooping.”
A Tribune editorial warns that Mayor-elect Johnson’s tepid response to the violence—“It is not constructive to demonize youth”—“likely has already cost the city real money.”
Newcity publisher Brian Hieggelke: “Lucky for us white kids in the suburbs, our society did not demonize us.”
Chicago magazine’s Ted McClelland concludes that “Chicago’s economic diversity, political traditions, and demographic realities will keep it from following in Detroit’s footsteps.”
Meanwhile, a reminder that it’s not just kids: A 31-year-old Chicago woman had a date in court today, accused of a gas station confrontation that ended with an SUV flipped over on Harlem between Oak Park and Forest Park.

‘In his defense, the law is complicated, and he’s only a Supreme Court justice.’ Daily Show guest host Jordan Klepper offers a pass to Clarence Thomas for his failure to disclose decades of trips and gifts from a Republican megadonor.
Republican Sen. Mitt Romney on the Thomas scandal: “It stinks.”
Elsewhere on the corruption beat: More than 50 workers in the Cook County Clerk’s office have been fired or chosen to leave in an investigation of COVID-19 relief money scams …
 … and a Chicago City Council member apparently lacking the ability to read the room proposed—and then reluctantly yanked—a resolution declaring Chicago’s inauguration day, May 15, “Ald. Edward M. Burke Day.”

‘A federal assault weapons ban now.’ That was the demand of hundreds of Chicago-area residents who marched on Washington yesterday.

On this date in 1950. Columnist Neil Steinberg reflects on the issuance of U.S. Patent No. 2,504,679 to Chicago inventor Eddy Goldfarb for a toy your Chicago Public Square columnist just happens to keep at his desk: “Incredible! Talking Teeth.”
Speaking of things marketed to kids: Popular Information reports that Amazon allegedly sold “suicide kits” to vulnerable teens.

Mary’s lament. Columnist Mary Schmich apologizes—poetically—for putting her winter coat away too soon.
But we’re back to near 70 by Thursday.
Hear an interview with Schmich nine years ago, after she won the Pulitzer.

It’s showtime. The defamation lawsuit trial against Fox News for lies about the 2020 election finally got underway today.
Columnist Rex Huppke: “My friends at the network, of whom I have none, find themselves in a bind.”
Michael Hiltzik at the Los Angeles Times:Hate Fox News? Too bad—you still have to pay for it.”

Tax Day freebies. Thrillist rounds up stuff you can get free or cheap to ease the sting of filing income taxes before tonight’s deadline.
Hey Chicago notes also that Krispy Kreme will sell you a dozen donuts for just the sales tax.
McDonald’s is changing its hamburger recipe.

Celebrate Chicago journalism. You can join Square’s table for the Chicago Headline Club Lisagor Awards May 12 at the Union League Club (a $100 value) if you sign up to support Square at the quarterly Booster level or better by Friday.
Already a supporter at that level? Or want to level up from another plan? Email (Photo: A 2018 Lisagor.

Missing link restored. Yesterday’s Chicago Public Square omitted a link for this item: Why Republican culture warriors lost big in school board races in Illinois and across the country.
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