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The [Monday] Papers

"In what appears to be another stumble in the city's transition to the new Ventra fare-collection system, thousands of young Chicagoans are paying more in train and bus fares than they should be this summer," Linda Lutton reported for WBEZ on July 4th.

Typically, students under age 20 going to summer school or jobs programs would pay reduced CTA fares - currently $0.75 per ride and $0.15 for a transfer.

But many have gotten a rude awakening this summer when they've used their student cards on buses or trains.

"I swiped it, and I had (added) a dollar. Usually a dollar is good for me to get over here, but it said 'insufficient fares,'" said student Cesar Fierro in the hallway of his high school, Noble Street College Prep. Fierro rides on a student Ventra card he purchased at school.

He's been paying $4.50, every day, to get to and from summer school - if he has the money.

"Like yesterday I had to walk all the way home," said Fierro. That's a 4.5-mile hike, from Augusta and Milwaukee to Fullerton and Kostner.

Please click through and read the whole thing.

Hookah Pookah
"Hookah use is increasing dramatically among U.S. teens, according to a new study in Pediatrics, published online Monday and in the August issue," the Tribune reports.

"The study, 'Hookah Use Among U.S. High School Seniors,' found the annual prevalence of hookah use was 18 percent, based on a national survey of 5,540 high school seniors."

Okay. But how prevalent did it used to be? After all, if use is increasing dramatically, we should have a previous number to compare to the new number. The Trib doesn't supply one.


According to USA Today, which merely has teens "gravitat[ing]" to hookah use, "Data for the study came from the University of Michigan's Monitoring the Future survey, which recently reported that hookah smoking among high-school seniors in the past year rose to 21%."

I find it hard to believe one in five high school seniors across America is hitting the hookah. Let's go to the study itself:

"Existing data based on the 2011 US National Youth Tobacco Survey indicated that [about] 8% of adolescents reported ever trying hookah, and 3% reported using hookah within the past month.

"The most recent data published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Review showed an increase of hookah use from from 4.1% in 2011 to 5.4% in 2012 among high school students, and recent work by our group found that nearly 1 in 5 adolescents in the United States reported having tried hookah before high school graduation.

"The most alarming statistic was recently reported from the Monitoring the Future (MTF) study, which found that 12-month hookah use significantly increased among US high school seniors from 18.3% in 2012 to 21.4% in 2013."

I don't know if I find that a significant increase, but what I do find significant is that Morbidity and Mortality Weekly found hookah use among high school students in 2012 to clock in at a very believable 5.4%, while the Monitoring the Future study found use at 18.3% for the very same year - and that's the data this latest report is based on.

To be sure, the study's authors say they used a larger sample than previous studies.

But I'm not about to buy stock in hookah companies just yet.

CLARIFICATION: The Morbidity study sample is all high school students, while the MtF study is limited to seniors.

Media Mayor
"Chicago Police Shoot 5, Kill 2 Over Weekend, But Mayor Isn't Talking."

That's because the last thing Rahm Emanuel wants is video of him responding to questions about the shootings going national - he refused to comment at an unrelated event where I presume cameras were on hand - at least until he can do so in a way that frames him as taking charge of the situation instead of being caught flat-footed.

Crime Context
"A bit more perspective: Indianapolis' homicide rate in 2013 was significantly higher than the murder rates in Chicago, Los Angeles or New York City." - Indianapolis Star


SportsMonday: The Cubs' Moneyball Madness
Team accountant is fired up!


Also: The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #7: Cubs Get Beaned.



* Cubs Trade Great For The Future; That's When You Should Buy Tickets.

* Samardzija Comes Up Big In A's Debut.

Hits 97 on the radar gun.




The White Sox Report: International Men Of Mystery
A Fourth of July melting pot.

The Weekend In Chicago Rock
Featuring: Hurray for the Riff Raff, Plaid, Zomboy, Robbie Fulks, Shellac, Thelma and the Sleaze, The Pedrito Martinez Group, Cosmos and Akasha, Eric Lindell, Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, the Pastaways, Shame Thugs, and JD3.


* Former South Sider Earns Fencing Honor.

* Meet Green Bay's Skateboard Cop.






The Beachwood Tip Line: Liberty on call.


Posted on July 7, 2014

MUSIC - Millions Of New Guitar Players.
TV - "One America News" is AT&T.
POLITICS - When Wall Street Came To My Mobile Home Park.
SPORTS - Tonyball, Bears On The Run, Eyes On The Sky & More!

BOOKS - China Holding Swedish Publisher.


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