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The [Thursday] Papers

"The city has not disconnected water service to any households since Mayor Lori Lightfoot issued a moratorium on water shutoffs last year. But the city has not created a plan to restore water services to the estimated thousands of households that had their water shut off before the moratorium," WBEZ's María Inés Zamudio reports.

Those are folks, apparently, who fell behind on their bills. But isn't it now a public health issue that everyone be able to, you know, wash their hands?

Besides the fact that maybe having access to water is a right, not a consumer choice.

"City officials told activists that they can't identify which customers are currently without water."

Really? That doesn't sound right. And if true, it sounds eminently solvable.

"It was shocking, it was surprising, it was disconcerting and it was disappointing," said Naomi Davis, founder of the environmental organization Blacks in Green. "The power of this pandemic is providing for us an opportunity to really see, first hand, what doesn't work."

What America needs now - or when this pandemic is over - is a Great Restructuring.


One might say, Make America Great.


"[N]ow the community organizations say they can't wait any longer for the city to reconnect water services to these families.

"Davis teamed up with Freshwater Future, a regional water rights organization, to identify those customers by launching a postcard campaign.

"The organizations reached out to WBEZ to obtain shutoff data from an investigation last year. The organizations used the data to mail out postcards in the ZIP codes hardest hit with water shutoffs over the last decade.

"Several community groups are also donating bottled water to any resident who might need it on Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. at the Blacks in Green office, 6431 S. Cottage Grove Ave."


"It is unclear how many Chicagoans are living without water during the COVID-19 pandemic. But a WBEZ investigation last year, found that since 2007, the city issued nearly 150,000 water shutoff notices - with nearly 40% of them concentrated in just five of the city's poorest ZIP codes on the South and West sides. That data also shows that during the 10 months prior to the moratorium, the city issued at least 2,700 shut-offs to households in areas where water has not since been restored.

"WBEZ filed a Freedom of Information Act request last month asking the water department for the number of water reconnections after Lightfoot was inaugurated, and the department denied that request stating that 'there have been no residential restores since May 20, 2019.'

"The Department of Water Management did not go back and restore water to customers whose water had previously been shut off. However, any resident who was previously disconnected due to nonpayment is encouraged to contact the Department of Finance and enter into a payment plan and have their service restored," wrote water department spokeswoman Megan Vidis, in a statement.

This is not the time to ask folks to enter into payment plans for essential needs.

I know you're "only doing your job," Megan Vidis, but you are Today's Worst Person In Chicago.


All In This Together
"A Tribune investigation found that residents at subsidized housing across Chicago have been told little, if anything, about COVID-19 cases where they live, even though they are generally older and in poorer health and therefore at higher risk," the paper reports.

"So far, 89 people in low-income housing in the city have died from complications linked to the novel coronavirus . . . They include seniors in at least 19 buildings managed by the Chicago Housing Authority, and residents in 51 buildings where apartments are subsidized by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development or the city of Chicago. About 70% of the people who died were black."


Illinois' Amazingly Awesome Unemployment Office
"With the release Thursday of weekly jobless claims from the U.S. Department of Labor, Illinois hit a milestone: Since mid-March, when the state's stay-at-home order took effect, closing nonessential businesses and sending people home, more than 1 million residents of the state have applied for unemployment insurance benefits," the Tribune reports.

"The state office that processes those applications says it has doubled the number of workers in call centers that assist those seeking jobless benefits."

Why would they need to do that if there's no backlog?


Church Bulletin
"Following through with Mayor Lori Lightfoot's promise to take action against churches that violate social distancing rules, the Chicago Police Department issued $500 fines to three separate houses of worship that held services over the weekend, city officials said," the Tribune reports.

That's more slap on the wrist than rap on the knuckles.

"Gospel singer and businessman Willie Wilson, meanwhile, released a statement saying he would pay the fines."


N'Digo's Hermene Hartman:

"His base, that he hoodwinks mostly white politicians with, are small storefront churches that he can control and he propagandas that with representing the Black church, the Black minister, and the Black community at large. But this is not true. He attempts to leverage his political candidate support for political power from his church base in the pretense of Black leadership.

"The white media falls for the gimmick, because they represent the Black community as a monolithic group, with a narrowly defined leadership. Some of Willie's ministers are reputable, all are not. Some are just more dependent on Willie than they are true Willie devotees. Willie has no church of his own. He speaks for the ministers with the 'Willie' voice.



"The question of the churches not being essential is a thoughtful one. The liquor store is considered essential. Why? Cannabis stores are considered essential. What is missing from the argument is the economics of the church. The Black church in the Black community is its largest business. The smaller churches receive weekly offerings that are their economics. The churches, all of them, need money to operate.

"This is a just argument. However, as the Mayor and Governor view churches, it is not the economics under consideration; it is the 'gathering' of people that puts the minister and his flock in danger mode of contracting and transmitting COVID-19."

Emphasis mine, because this is such an obvious point that it's hard to tell if those arguing otherwise not that bright or acting in bad faith.


I would add that it's not the spirituality either; it's not an anti-religion stance, it's a "we don't want you to die and/or kill the rest of us" stance. You are free to pray wherever you like, just not in a gathering of more than 10 people. Trust me, God understands.


Also from Hartman's piece, which I recommend reading in full:

"Whites won't write this, neither will mainstream media. They simply laugh and try to figure out the total Black experience. They fear being called racist or insensitive or something."


Me, on the late, great Beachwood Radio Hour, Feb. 15, 2015:

"The flip side of race: White media afraid to call out Willie Wilson as the clown that he is."


New on the Beachwood today . . .

Medicaid Providers At The End Of The Line For Federal COVID Funding
"State Medicaid directors say that without immediate funding, many of the health facilities that serve Medicaid patients could close permanently."

At a time when more people become eligible for Medicaid due to the plummeting economy. Perfect!


Seinfeld's Tired Take On Women And Marriage
"Maybe Seinfeld should try couples counseling instead of standup."


NASA Telescope Named For 'Mother of Hubble' Nancy Grace Roman
She left the University of Chicago after six years because they weren't about to give tenure to a woman.


Honoring Four Of Harlem's Historic Voices
Thank you, United States Postal Service.


The Origin Of MLB Trade Rumors
Another "what might have been (and still could)" story for legacy media.


Global Music Recording Industry Trajectory & Analytics 2020-2025
A lot of compound growth.



Each year, Chicago Park District staff and contractors grow flowers to plant in gardens throughout the city. In 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they are unable to hire the seasonal staff. You can buy and support the Garfield Park Conservatory, contactless pick up. from r/chicago





Albuquerque Nurse Travels To Chicago To Help COVID-19 Patients.


A sampling of the delight and disgust you can find @BeachwoodReport.




Michigan seems to be the microcosm for America in many ways these days.




The Beachwood Q-Tip Line: Pure Michigan.


Posted on May 21, 2020

MUSIC - Chief Keef Changed The Industry.
TV - Vizio's Best Product Is You.
POLITICS - UIC: Soda Taxes Work.
SPORTS - More McCaskey Malpractice.

BOOKS - All About Poop.


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