Music-facing time / Solar screw-up / Trump, sharks and electric boats / Bean’s back

Music-facing time. Live updates: At Chicago Public Square’s email deadline, the City Council’s longest-serving (ex-)member, 80-year-old Ed Burke, was to be sentenced for his conviction on racketeering, bribery and attempted extortion charges.
 Prosecutors were asking for a decade.
 He’s the 40th council member convicted of corruption in the last 52 years.
 Career-long civic reformer Tom Tresser offers four commitments elected officials should adopt to earn the people’s trust.
 Seven-year Cook County Commissioner Dennis Deer is dead at 51—a year after a double-lung transplant (August 2023 link).

Solar screw-up. Commonwealth Edison’s botched launch of a new billing system has made a mess of what the Tribune calls “one of the state’s signature clean energy programs”—along with the bills for thousands of customers.*
 A Chicago allergist who tracked a 7-year-old boy’s breathing problems to pollution from the family’s gas stove calls for eliminating those appliances from new buildings.
 Tedium’s Ernie Smith looks back to a time when “we tended to believe that plastic bags were somehow more environmentally friendly than the paper equivalents.”
 Wired: “Everything’s about to get a hell of a lot more expensive due to climate change.”

Drink stink. A suburban man faces felony charges, accused of tossing something from a Big Gulp cup at Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx during a traffic confrontation Friday.
 CWBChicago: “People accused of far more serious attacks are routinely charged with misdemeanors.”
 Chicago’s weekend violence toll: At least 36 shot, two fatally …
 … including two 16-year-old Chicago Public Schools students shot and killed within 24 hours.

Trump, sharks and electric boats. Wonkette’s Evan Hurst scrutinizes another of Donald Trump’s incoherent campaign rants.
 Ex-Tribune and Sun-Times editor Mark Jacob ponders why actual “mainstream” journalists refuse to “sound the alarm that Trump is unhinged.”
 Jacob also samples The New York Times’ “long history of very wrong reporting.”

‘Not so fun when … somebody else is pressing their faith on your kids, is it?’ The Sun-Times’ Neil Steinberg suggests Louisiana’s law requiring public school classrooms to display the Ten Commandments should go further: “Shouldn’t the tablets be in the original Hebrew?
 Columnist Jeff Tiedrich has a new commandment for Louisiana’s governor: “Thou shalt not sit there like a useless sack … as the child you’re using as a prop faints and falls to the ground behind you.”
 One of The Onion’s fictional persons on the street: “I’m glad to hear Louisiana finally got schools.”
 Daring Fireball proprietor John Gruber’s done the math: “By my count Trump is batting .900 on the Ten Commandments.”
 Popular Information: South Carolina’s poised to impose a draconian censorship regime on school libraries.

Bean’s back. Chicago’s iconic Cloud Gate sculpture is open to the public again after spending nearly a year off-limits.
 So’s Buckingham Fountain after getting dyed red—apparently in a protest of the war in Gaza.

Meet the migrants. WTTW today launches Firsthand: Homeless—The Migrant Experience, a series sharing the stories of five individuals who explain why they left their home countries, the dangers they encountered and how Chicago’s treated them.
 How well do you know Chicago TV history? Axios Chicago’s Justin Kaufmann has assembled a quiz—on which your Square columnist scored a mediocre 7/10 score.
 Chicago historian Cate Plys looks back to celebrated columnist Michael Royko’s evolution into Mike Royko—and his long-running feud with TV anchor Walter Jacobson.

Google not-News. NewsGuard exposes Google News’ promotion of dozens of crappy AI-generated websites: “Imagine a puppy mill or a sweatshop, but for news articles.”
 NewsGuard’s identified at least 957—and counting—AI-generated news and information sites operating with little to no human oversight.

Square … has been nothing short of inspirational.’ Reader Robert S. Gold shares a photo of his new T-shirt …
 … and explains how this service has influenced his own newsletter, Key West Voices—to which you can subscribe free here.
 That quote on the shirt memorializes a 2020 unsubscribe note.
 Coincidentally, this non-T-shirtable epigram arrived in Sunday’s email (without the asterisks): “F**k you. You dirty left wing trash.”

Correction. An item in Friday’s Square misstated how long a report concludes it’s been since the proportion of Americans paying for news has been this high: Should’ve read “in years.”
 A handful of “Too far left for me” shirts remain—just Small and Medium—for those who pledge today at the Enthusiast level or more.

Thanks. Lisa Rivers and Ken Paulson made this edition better.
* Including your Square columnist.

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