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The [Wednesday] Papers

1. About That Cop Conspiracy Trial Judge . . .

If you didn't see the update yesterday, it turns out I somehow missed a Tribune profile of Domenica Stephenson despite what I thought was a deep archival dive. Take a look - it's Item 4 and it addresses the sense some - but not others - have that Stephenson has a pro-police bias.


Meanwhile, Stephenson said today she would issue her verdict in the bench trial on January 15, the Sun-Times reports.

Also, a nugget in the Sun-Times story that has obviously been mentioned before but that I somehow also seemed to have missed (hey, I've had some health issues recently that perhaps are impairing my brain): "After a year-long investigation, a team led by former federal prosecutor Patricia Brown Holmes announced charges against the three officers and included a half-dozen other officers as unindicted co-conspirators."

It was a cover-up. Whether the evidence meets the standard required in a court of law is another matter (as is Stephenson's willingness to find three Chicago cops guilty on all or any of the charges) but we all know what happened - and that it's Standard Operating Procedure at the CPD and the vast majority of police departments across the country.

2. Every Candidate In This West Side Race Might Get Knocked Off The Ballot (Once Again) - Except The Sitting Alderman.

"Despite initially facing a crowd of seven candidates, only the incumbent alderman's name appeared on the 28th Ward ballot in 2015: Jason Ervin," Block Club Chicago reports.

Thanks to some petition objections . . . Ald. Jason Ervin (28th) ran unopposed in 2015, after all seven of his challengers were knocked off the ballot, one by one.

And this election season, it could happen again.

Every one of the five candidates who filed to run against Ervin earlier this year are facing petition challenges, according to the Chicago Board of Elections.

There's a lot of meat in this story, and it goes beyond Ervin's ward, so give it a read.

3. Chicago's Black Community Needs An Equity-First Legalized Cannabis Policy.

"The prohibition of marijuana is nearing an end in Illinois, and the state is poised to become the next big market in the $9 billion cannabis industry. But will Illinois' black communities see any of the financial benefits - especially Chicago's black neighborhoods that have been ravaged by the war on drugs?" Richard Wallace writes in an Op-Ed for Crain's.

"Placing equity first should be [Gov.-Elect J.B.] Pritzker's commitment to right the wrongs of the war on drugs and bring about a new era of racial equity in the state of Illinois."

Read the whole thing to find out how Pritzker can do that.

4. What Could Possibly Go Wrong With Elon Musk's Loop?

Um, has anyone chosen "Everything" yet? Rich Miller on the call at his Capitol Fax blog.


But Laura Bliss at CityLab noticed something quite encouraging, if true:

Let's get one thing straight: The Tesla-in-a-tunnel that Elon Musk unveiled to reporters on Tuesday night in Los Angeles was not a "train," although that's what he called it on Twitter.

The Boring Company's 12-foot wide, 1.14 mile-long tunnel beneath a Hawthorne industrial park couldn't have fit anything bigger than a passenger vehicle, in this case a Model X that seats seven. There were no rails. There were rough-hewn gutters that theoretically allow said vehicle to roll through on a set of tracking wheels, but Tuesday's short ride was literally bumpy. This was not a frictionless high-speed trip aboard a sleek electric-powered "skates," as shown in earlier digital renderings. "We kind of ran out of time," Musk explained.

Rail fans may be laughing or hanging their heads at Musk's display, given the entrepreneur/inventor/CEO's tendency to make big promises, as well as his commitment to displacing more proven, efficient modes of transit from conversation. But it's hard to dismiss one key achievement of this project. Musk put a Tesla in a tunnel, and he did it for a potentially game-changing price: The demonstration tube cost $10 million a mile to dig.

That excludes costs of research, development, or equipment, the LA Times reported. Whether it factors in property acquisition or labor - which generally represents at least 30 to 40 percent of a project's cost - isn't clear. But even at $50 million per mile, it would still be a fraction of what comparable projects cost. If Musk's company has built what many tunneling pros have long thought unachievable - a boring machine that does the job cheaper and faster than the stalwarts of civil engineering thought possible - that could be a boon for underground transit systems in the U.S., which often struggle to justify their enormous construction costs.

So maybe instead of inventing the transportation system of the future, Musk invented the giant drill of the future. That's the kind of thing that should be made in Chicago.

5. CPS Closed Stewart Elementary School In 2013. Now It's A Luxury Apartment Building.

"[Leslie] McCray and [Michelle] Washington have more than 50 years of teaching experience between them," the Reader reports. "But at their current income level, paying the rent for the unit that was once their classroom - $2,755 - would be a serious stretch. It would also be a stretch for many people who are already living in the neighborhood: the median household income in Stewart's census tract is $39,076. But the white population of Uptown has increased 64 percent since 2000, while the average rent in the community continues to see a slow but steady increase."


Plus: Check out this Craigslist ad:


And what about the rest of the schools Rahm closed? See WBEZ's Vacant School Buildings Litter Chicago Neighborhoods After Mass School Closings.


New on the Beachwood today . . .

Nearly All Sexual Harassment At Work Goes Unreported - And Those Who Do Report Often See Zero Benefit
'New research shows nearly all sexual harassment goes unreported, and those who do report tend to face severe retribution and limited redress.'


This Chicago Prison Inspired A Popular TV Series
You'll have to watch this (brief) video to find out which and which.


The state mineral that Illinois no longer mines - and the town that mined it.


Recreating Ukiyo-e Hairstyles
They moved in the floating world.


Here Comes The Illenium
Straight outta Downers Grove.


It's Not Club Dub, Bub
Coffman doesn't believe in chemistry.



People sending NSFW pictures via Air-Drop on CTA from r/chicago





When I'm Gone / The Sunrise Gospel Singers Of Chicago Heights


A sampling.








The Beachwood McRibTipLine: Jacked up.


Posted on December 19, 2018

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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