Chicago - Dec. 1, 2020
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A discount-store employee is time-warped to a medieval castle, where he is the foretold savior who can dispel the evil there. Unfortunately, he screws up and releases an army of skeletons. (tvguide.com)
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The [Thursday] Papers

"I read a remarkable statistic tonight," our very own Tim Willette wrote to me in an e-mail Wednesday. "If Biden wins the popular vote by less than a percentage point, 538 gives him a 6% chance of winning the EC. Six! I thought that it might be interesting if the Emmys adopted the EC rules for their awards show later this month or at least show how that criteria would change the award winners vis-a-vis the vote winners. Maybe better would be the People's Choice awards - person X won the popular vote, but still lost. The pop culture media would be scandalized, right? But when it comes to who rules the country, the stupidity is business as usual."

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Programming Note
There was no column Wednesday.

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Chicago Code Chodes
"The Chicago Code Blue Facebook page shared a meme mocking Jacob Blake, who was paralyzed after being shot in the back by a police officer in Wisconsin in August 2020," Snopes has verified.

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"We should note this is not the official Facebook page of the Chicago Police Department. However, previous investigations into this page revealed that many of its members are either current or former members of law enforcement."

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COVID Chovids
"Five businesses were temporarily closed this weekend for violating COVID-19 reopening guidelines," the Tribune reported Tuesday. (I'm just catching up.)

"Among them were four food and beverage establishments."

I'm gonna make you click through to see who got caught.

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"All business were closed for one night and allowed to reopen the next day."

For attempted manslaughter? Lame.

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"The enforcement team investigated 93 businesses, eight of which were at residential locations. Since June 3, BACP has conducted 1,488 investigations and issued 106 citations."

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A day before that report, the Tribune called the wahmbulance: 'It Feels Like We're Blocked At Every Turn' - With Threats Of $10,000 Fines For COVID-19 Violations, Some Restaurants Say The Punishment Doesn't Fit The Crime Of Endangering Lives.

They're right!

Er, I guess that headline ended at "Crime," so it doesn't mean what it could have meant.

Among the crybabies: Beermiscuous.

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But . . .

"Out of nearly 200 businesses cited for violating COVID-19 guidelines between June 5 and July 22, about one in five were food and beverage establishments, according to city records the Chicago Tribune acquired through a Freedom of Information Act request."

And frankly, the city isn't asking for much.

"More restaurants and bars have since been cited and, in some cases, temporarily shut down until they could present better safety strategies. Among them were Cork & Kerry in the Beverly neighborhood, Second Time Around and Barba Yianni.

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"Receiving a $10,000 fine would decimate a business, several owners said."

And receiving COVID-19 would decimate your customers, but you do you.

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"Others said they are frustrated that the officials they typically look to for leadership seem to be fumbling the reopening."

They should be grateful there's a reopening at all. I was against it; it was premature.

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"And as city officials continue to issue citations, the business owners say they're starting to see the city as less of a partner and more as a punisher."

Oh, wah!

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Virginia Thomas of Beermiscuous, you are Today's Worst Person In Chicago.

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Runner-up:

Turkitch, a Turkish restaurant in Lincoln Park, was one of the restaurants cited for violating COVID-19 guidelines. Owner Ozkan Yilmaz blamed an angry customer for catching the city's attention.

In his retelling, a customer came into the restaurant on one of its first days after reopening and got upset because indoor seating was not permitted, in line with city guidelines. The customer threatened to call inspectors as a way of punishing the restaurant, Yilmaz said.

When investigators came, they cited Yilmaz for not having enough social distancing signage posted. Yilmaz had already ordered more signs, but they hadn't arrived in time for the inspection, he said. He didn't receive a $10,000 fine, but Yilmaz said he can easily envision how such a fee would shutter a small operation like his.

Signs on order are not very effective! It's like keeping your mask in your pocket. If you don't have the signs, don't open your business. (And he wasn't even fined, c'mon, what's the problem, Ozkan, can't take a little gentle persuasion by a non-fining inspector?)

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"Turkitch has not received any loans or assistance from government relief programs, and restaurant staff work masks even before coronavirus, Yilmaz said."

Why not? Even I got an economic injury loan from the SBA.

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"But between uneducated customers, skyrocketing prices for kitchen and sanitizing supplies, and increasingly demanding landlords, reopening has been tough, Yilmaz said."

Yes, it's tough. We're in historic global pandemic that is well on its way to killing a million people. Have some fucking perspective!

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"Keeping abreast of the latest guidelines to ensure compliance is no small feat."

It's not? What's so hard about it?

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"At Beermiscuous, Thomas said she has worked with three aldermen to make sure she has the correct information - an experience that 'feels laughable and almost insulting,' as even the elected officials express having difficulty keeping up with each development, she said."

Laughable and insulting is a good way to describe most interactions with aldermen, but is her business simultaneously located in three wards? (And I know it's hard for aldermen to keep up, but regular people?)

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"Thomas wants to add a patio and get a food license for the beer cafe, but is worried about the additional costs it would put on top of the struggling business."

That's life - even without a pandemic! I mean, I would like to add those things to my struggling business too, but I'm not whining about it.

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"We only want good things for our customers and communities and our business, but we're just not being given the tools," Thomas told the Trib.

How about give them the good thing of not giving them a deadly disease. The city is giving you the exact tools you need to not do that.

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"Some restaurant owners, however, believe the $10,000 fine is fitting - and at times, even necessary."

Thank you!

Michael Lachowicz, owner of George Trois Group (Aboyer, George Trois and Silencieux) in Winnetka, said he's tired of hearing complaints from both inside and outside the restaurant industry. The mayor's office has supplied months' worth of briefings, which he said should be sufficient for any business owner to know what the rules are.

After consulting for bars and nightclubs in River North, he hypothesized that, for the spots that are normally huge money makers, a $10,000 fine would be seen as merely a "slap on the wrist."

"What I'd like to see happen is that we all help each other, not complain about being punished for doing something wrong," said Lachowicz, who has been in the restaurant industry for 35 years. "I don't believe that any of the problems we're having in our city or state (are) the problems of the guest. The problems are driven by irresponsible ownership."

With ample access to information from media reports and the Illinois Restaurant Association, business owners have little excuse for breaking the rules, he said.

Those who are fined for violations like being over capacity "were doing a cash grab to try to catch up," Lachowicz said. "And it doesn't work that way."

Congratulations, Michael Lachowicz, you are just the fifth recipient of our Today's Best Person In Chicago award. Amen.

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ChicagoReddit

Are we supposed to wear the mask outside? Do you? from r/chicago

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Wear your mask. Outside, too. The world's top scientists are still learning about this virus - and as one Redditor points out, you never know what kind of situation you'll find yourself in outside, like unexpectedly assisting someone who is hurt, or suddenly finding yourself in a crowd. You have nothing to lose except a minor convenience. Determining how far you can go to feel slightly more comfortable for a few minutes is a perverse way to calculate whether you will endanger the lives of others.

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ChicagoGram

View this post on Instagram

W 100th St. Beverly.

A post shared by Brick of Chicago (@brickofchicago) on

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ChicagoTube

King Anderson x Chicago Vibes

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BeachBook

#MissingNotForgotten.

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Emma Cline: "We Are Forced To Imagine What's Going On In The Minds Of Men."

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Sony Softened Concussion To Placate NFL.

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The Reason Pharmacies Are Usually Located In The Back Of A Store.

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

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The Beachwood McRibTipIsBackLine: Limited time only.



Permalink

Posted on September 3, 2020


MUSIC - The Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza.
TV - Newsmax On Fox News's Betrayal.
POLITICS - Dear Black Students ...
SPORTS - Beachwood Sports Radio: Losing Ugly.

BOOKS - Ralph Steadman's Life In Ink.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Cole Hauser's Last Champion.


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