Winter, at last / Hey, Google? / Quiz / Last call

Chicago Public Square will take Monday off. Back Tuesday.

Winter, at last. Just when you thought Chicago-style snowstorms were out of fashion, the area was grappling with a potential foot’s worth of snow, with high winds to match.
 When’s the last time you needed the Emergency Closing Center?
 The National Weather Service: Reconsider travel.
 … as every state in the nation—even Hawaii—was under some kind of weather alert today.
 If you’re into national storm-tracker maps, here you go.

‘For God’s sake, hold those buses.’ A Tribune editorial issues a winter-storm appeal to Texas’ migrant-exporting Gov. Greg Abbott.
 A former Little Village CVS drugstore’s now a state-run shelter for up to 220 migrants.

R.I.P., I-PASS. The Illinois Tollway Authority is retiring those battery-powered transponders—to be replaced, as they expire or batteries die, with radio-frequency ID stickers.
 A former RTA executive says the CTA needs to hit the accelerator on its transition to electric buses.

‘As 27 women can tell you, Trump doesn’t take no for an answer.’ That’s Stephen Colbert on Donald Trump’s—to quote the AP—“six-minute diatribe before being cut off by the judge” in his New York civil fraud trial.

‘Do you renounce political violence?’ That’s a question Press Watch proprietor Dan Froomkin says reporters should ask every Republican.
 A University of Illinois at Chicago campus cop who’s been a dues-paying member of the extremist Oath Keepers has been banned from testifying in Cook County court cases.

‘His advice has been greeted by the current president with a private epithet.’ But, Politico reports, ex-Barack Obama presidential adviser David Axelrod has been unsparing in his “tough love” for Joe Biden.
 Axelrod on the first Square podcast, back in 2017: “I’ve fashioned my whole life so that I could tell anybody to go—you know …”
 Columnist Will Bunch: “Pro-Biden Democrats should be cheering the president’s hecklers.”

The Haley-Boeing link. The Lever reports that presidential wannabe and then-Boeing Co. board member Nikki Haley helped kill an initiative designed to force the company to reveal more about the cash it was spending to influence politicians and safety regulators in 2020—when the company was lobbying the FAA to clear its troubled 737 fleet to fly after two disasters.
 You know, the same 737s whose latest dysfunctions have prompted the FAA to—sure, now—intensify its oversight of Boeing production.
 Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility: “NASA mistakenly believes that the only environmental barrier to supersonic aviation is noise.”

Launder responsibly. Warning that laundry is a top source of microplastic pollution, a Rutgers biological sciences professor offers advice on how to clean your clothes more sustainably …
 … and she calls for regulation to require microplastic filters on new washing machines (October link).

‘Book banning will not stop at schools.’ Activist librarian Kelly Jensen says public libraries need to brace for the same repression happening now at student libraries.
 Ex-New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan celebrates grassroots activists fighting Florida’s latest efforts to keep dictionaries away from schoolkids.
 Lyz Lenz’s Dinguses of the Week: 15 governors (not Illinois’) saying “fuck them kids.”

 Ars Technica says the announcement highlights Assistant’s “ongoing death.”
 NBC News: Google and Bing are delivering nonconsensual deepfake porn atop some search result pages.

‘We will look back on today as a new beginning for our journalism.’ In the climax of a media drama, columnist Casey Newton explains “Why Platformer is leaving Substack.”
 One source assesses the withering Cheddar News service: “There is certainly a death happening.”
 NBC News laid off dozens yesterday.
 Media writer Tom Jones reflects on ESPN’s lousy month—which got lousier with this report yesterday from The Athletic.

‘Show us your rizz in this week’s news quiz.’ Past Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions winner Fritz Holznagel lays down that challenge for his latest creation.
 Take a bow if you top your Square columnist’s flaccid 5/8 score this week.

Last call. Midnight Sunday brings the end of the Reader’s annual Best of Chicago poll …
 … which means time’s almost up for you to anoint Chicago Public Square as Best Email Newsletter and Best Independent Website.
 Thanks for your support.

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