Forever—and everywhere / How Millennium Park happened / Peak cicada

Forever—and everywhere. In a finding the Tribune calls “alarming,” a new study finds poisonous “forever chemicals” on the rise in Lake Michigan and present in all the Great Lakes.
Your Local Epidemiologist dives deep into the environmental and medical pros and cons of sunscreen products.
The New Yorker recaps a University of Chicago course called “Are We Doomed?”, a survey of humanity’s existential risks—including climate catastrophe, nuclear annihilation, biothreats, misinformation and AI.
Heated: Mexico’s new president isn’t “a leftist climate scientist.”

‘Masturbation material for … wingnut constituents.’ Wonkette’s Gary Legum is unimpressed by Republicans’ protest of Donald Trump’s conviction—a refusal to help the Senate run smoothly.
Columnist Jeff Tiedrich: “Trump’s guilty verdicts have broken every Republican brain.”
In what smacks of witness tampering, ProPublica reports that Trump’s media company has been doling out significant financial benefits to nine witnesses in the criminal cases against him.

‘The news media has decided there’s really no such thing as reality.’ Daily Show host Jon Stewart ripped into political journalists who have been embracing nonsensical rhetoric like “two separate realities” in their coverage of the presidential race.
Stephen Colbert has an advent calendar counting down the days to Trump’s sentencing July 11.

Wisconsin’s Chesebro badgered. The state’s attorney general has filed felony forgery charges against two Trump lawyers—including the aptly named Kenneth Chesebro—and an aide who faked paperwork saying Trump had won there in 2020.

‘If He Wins.’ That’s Time’s cover story: An in-depth interview with President Biden …
 … accompanied by transcripts and fact-checking.

Disappearing donors. NOTUS: A drop in small-dollar political contributions is shaking up both parties.

How Millennium Park happened.
Chicago magazine assembled key players to reconstruct “a drama-filled inside account” of the creation of “one of America’s great urban parks,” which debuted 20 years ago next month. (2020 photo: Mary Warren in the Chicago Public Square Flickr group.)
Want to see your newsworthy or iconic Chicago photos in Square? Share them here.

‘Citywide sidewalk snow removal is unaffordable.’ A Trib editorial pours cold water on Mayor Johnson’s pilot program proposal.
A village board meeting in the scandal-scarred suburb of Dolton last night devolved into shouting and shoving.

‘It’s terrifying.’ A graduating UChicago student whose degree has been withheld because of her involvement with the university’s pro-Palestinian encampment is among those worried their exercise of free speech will haunt the job search.
The U.S. is urging the U.N. Security Council to back Biden’s Gaza ceasefire plan.

‘I’ve seen parts of this movie before.’ Media Guild of the West president—and former Tribune Publishing employee at the Los Angeles Times—Matt Pearce compares management changes at the Washington Post to Tribune’s dismal “Tronc” era.
One attendee at a Post staff meeting yesterday: “People are like, ‘What the hell is going on?’”
Former Post media columnist Margaret Sullivan mocked: “Each of our three newsrooms will be led by an outstanding white male.”
The union representing WBEZ-FM staff, SAG-AFTRA*, has filed an unfair labor practice charge against the parent company. (Story behind Crain’s nigh-impenetrable paywall.)

‘Savings will be illusory.’ As Comcast/Xfinity rolls out its StreamSaver package for Chicago-area customers—$15 a month for ad-supported Netflix and Peacock plus Apple TV+—Advisorator and Cord-Cutter Confidential columnist Jared Newman counsels that it “isn’t the value you might think.”
With Spotify prices rising, TechHive surveys five alternatives.
Tech revolutionary Cory Doctorow: “Ticketmaster is the endpoint of a series of ever-more corrupt mergers, waved through by ever-more pliable presidential administrations.”

Peak cicada. Illinois’ state entomologist tells WBBM Newsradio: “If you haven’t seen them yet, then you’re not going to” …
 … but those already making their presence known may linger another month or so.

* Of which your Square columnist is a member on honorable withdrawal.

Subscribe to Square.