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The [Friday] Papers

By Steve Rhodes / Posted on April 21, 2017

Programming Note: The Papers will be off on Monday and return on Tuesday.

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"When nature calls, rookie Ald. David Moore (17th) wants Chicago businesses to listen," the Sun-Times reports.

Moore wants every licensed business with a public restroom - including restaurants, bars, hotels and retail stores - to be required to make washrooms available to "individuals who have an emergency . . . without having to make a purchase" or pay a fee.

Moore introduced the ordinance at Wednesday's City Council meeting after running into a humiliated woman at a Subway restaurant two weeks ago who had just had an accident after being denied entry to a public washroom.

"A lady was in there crying. I asked her why. I noticed some water by her leg and she said, 'I had to go really bad.' She said, 'I promise you I'll buy something when I come out of the bathroom.' And they said, 'No. You've got to buy something first,' Moore said Thursday.

"As she was going through her purse, she couldn't hold it no longer. She ended up going to the bathroom on herself. I just felt bad . . . It was humiliating. I would hate to see anybody else go through that . . . For them to have to purchase something in order to go to the bathroom is inhumane."

Good for the alderman.

I saw a somewhat similar scene play out at my local Subway. A young woman of color came in obviously desperate to use the bathroom, and she was refused. The Subway employee told her the bathrooms were not working that day. I told her she could use the bathrooom at Logan Bar just a couple doors down, which I knew from my own observational experience.

After she left, I eyed the Subway employee suspiciously. He told me he just didn't want to clean the bathroom that day, and it would be available the next day. But doesn't he use the same bathroom?

Anyway, back to today's article:

Currently, public washrooms must be made available to non-customers for "medical emergencies only." Moore's ordinances goes further.

I would think a desperate need to use the bathroom would qualify as a "medical emergency," but Moore's proposal is much more explicit.

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"Illinois Restaurant Association President Sam Toia and Tanya Triche Dawood, vice-president and general counsel for the Illinois Retail Merchants Association, said the ordinance is well-intentioned, but goes too far, particularly downtown and near Wrigley Field."

Go on.

"Dawood questioned how store owners would distinguish between a genuine emergency and someone who just wants to hit the head without having to walk too far."

That's a judgement store owners have to make under the current ordinance. Somehow, they find a way to cope.

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And here's how the reporter, Fran Spielman, feels about it:

"If the full City Council goes along with the bathroom edict, it would add to the mountain of taxes and government mandates imposed on Chicago businesses in recent years. Businesses have likened it to death by a thousand cuts."

Spielman goes on to describe the "piling on" businesses are suffering under the Emanuel administration.

I'm sorry but my sympathies land with the woman Moore saw humiliated. As George Costanza once said, "You know, we're living in a society! We're supposed to act in a civilized way."

And when we don't, we legislate civilizing behavior.

Finally, Moore's proposal is really no different than any other public accommodation law, is it?

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On today's Beachwood . . .

Beachwood Photo Booth: Wyoming, Michigan
City of Vision and Progress.

America, We Need To Talk
A self-help book for the nation.

Filing: Walmart CEO Made $22.4 Million Last Year
A 13 percent increase over the previous year.

Trump's Disastrous FCC Chair
Everything Ajit Pai has fucked up in the last three months.

Beachwood Sports Radio: Blackhawks Blackout
Window half-closed or half-open? Plus: Unlike Blackhawks, Bulls Still In Playoffs; Is Something Wrong With The Cubs Or No?; Cracks Showing On South Side; Draft Fever; and Schweinsteiger!

The Week In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Welshly Arms, Morgan James, Vajra, Dane Rousay, and the Flaming Lips.

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BeachBook

Houston's Kuma Burgers Changes Name Due To Trademark Claim By Chicago's Kuma's.

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Kane County Road Project Stung By Judge's Endangered-Bee Ruling.

Btw, it's not clever to put "stung" in the headline; it's eye-rolling.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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Also, to a point in this piece, I think it was Chomsky who (rightly) said that the final quote often reveals the reporter's bias. It's the thought they most want to leave readers with.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Mission unaccomplished.

Permalink


MUSIC - The Weekend In Chicago Rock.
TV - Trump's Disastrous FCC Chair.
POLITICS - Filing: Walmart CEO Made $22.4 Million Last Year.
SPORTS - Teens Still Underreporting Concussions.

BOOKS - America, We Need To Talk.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Beachwood Photo Booth: Wyoming, Michigan.


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