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The [Wednesday] Papers

Our man on the rail Tom Chambers weighs in on the Uberpocalypse.

(Ubergeddon? Truth is, both suffixes are pretty stale at this juncture. Yesterday, I called it a Cluberfuck, but that's not entirely satisfying either.)

Anyway, Tom:

"They did stay very true to their business model. Flood small areas with people (cars), cause chaos, then charge a first-born to get people out of it.

* Is it possible, with what they get paid, all the Uber drivers were just plain hungry?

* The shot of cars on the street looked like this.

* With so many Uber cars in one area, doesn't GPS get overloaded? Telling them all to go to the same place? Meet me at the coal mine!

* Did the Uber drivers kick their three guests out of their cars then charge them ultra-surge pricing to get out?

"I hate Uber and will never use it as long as humanely possible. As a frequent pedestrian, they make my life miserable."


I didn't see any follow-ups to the Uber debacle, and it's not the most urgent story in the land, but I do think there are unanswered questions and fresh angles to pursue, some of which I flicked at on Tuesday. Here are some other seemingly relevant Uber stories, though, that have popped up in the last 24 hours:

* People's World: Communist Party USA To Hold 100th Anniversary Convention In Chicago.

"Interest in socialism is on the rise," [national] party chair [John] Bachtell says. "Millions of young workers face a future of Uber and Amazon jobs, part-time work, and are drowning in student debt. They increasingly wonder if there's a future with the rise of automation, big data, and robotics - and many are looking to the Communist Party."

* AP: Uber Tests Drone Food Delivery, Launches New Autonomous SUV.

"Uber is testing restaurant food deliveries by drone. The company's Uber Eats unit began the tests in San Diego with McDonald's and plans to expand to other restaurants later this year."

* CNN Business: Fly Inside Uber's New Air Taxi Cabin.

The company plans to offer aerial ridesharing in 2023.

* ValueWalk: Uber Sued For Discriminating Against Wheelchair-Users.

"Uber has been sued in cities around the United States for its violation of disability laws by failing to provide wheelchair-accessible service, yet it has continued its policy of denying that service.

"Carlson Lynch, LLP is a national class action firm which currently has 21 lawyers spread across offices in Pittsburgh, San Diego and Chicago. Since 2010, the firm has dedicated significant resources to litigation on behalf of individuals with disabilities. The firm is committed to pursuing impactful cases that advance the interests of the disabled community on the largest possible scale."

* Hit The Mute Button: Why Everyone Is Trying To Silence The Outside World.

Uber is trialing a feature that allows customers to stop their drivers from talking. But there's growing evidence that cutting ourselves off like this isn't healthy.

"The mute button was invented in 1956 by Robert Adler, an Austrian-born engineer working for the Zenith Radio Corporation in Chicago . . . "

* Tribune: Electric Shared Scooters Arrive In Chicago On Saturday: Here's What You Need To Know.


Previously in Uber:

* Uber Uber Alles. (Rated F for Funny)

* Uber's Surge Pricing May Not Lead To A Surge In Drivers.


Taj Obama

"Sign a CBA, replace the public park land, working with community. It isn't that hard!" - Bronzeville Regional Collective

It's not that hard if you really care about public parks and the community. If you don't, it becomes harder - but nothing that can't be overcome by a wily politician with an ego the size of a presidential library center that looks like a mausoleum.


Bone Zone
"The alderman who succeeded Daniel Solis in representing Pilsen and other neighborhoods wants an investigation into all license and permit decisions his predecessor made for years before it came to light he was wearing a hidden wire and cooperating with federal investigators," the Tribune reports.

"Ald. Byron Sigcho-Lopez, 25th, introduced a resolution to the City Council Wednesday, saying the investigation of Solis' decisions is needed because 'for over two decades the constituents of the 25th Ward have been subject to an unchecked pattern of patronage especially with regard to licensing and zoning.'"

That would be a massive lift, of course, but I'd love to see a city council cleansing; for example, I believe new finance committee chair Scott Waguespack should convene a truth commission that would lay bare what predecessor Ed Burke wrought in the decades he held the post. Chicagoans deserve to know the truth about the way their government has been run in their lifetimes - and that includes City Hall, too.


Summers Time
Former city treasurer Kurt Summers said a couple noteworthy things in an "exit interview" he gave to the Hyde Park Herald:

* "[T]he treasurer does not control Chicago's budget, revenue department or debt. In his opinion those entities should work in concert. The comptroller of New York City can audit municipal departments. The San Francisco treasurer is also the revenue collector. Washington's mayor appoints the city's chief financial officer whose term lasts longer the mayor's, meant to provide a degree of independence.

"For efficiency's sake, Summers urges a consolidation of all balance sheet debt liability and asset activities into one place. 'If you had that all along, that would be substantially more beneficial,' he said: As the Chicago treasurer has to invest based in large part on the city's big fiscal obligations, 'If the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing, then everyone's guessing - and that's clearly not efficient,' he said. Revenues and expenditures should not be divorced from balance sheet activity.

"I think that the benefit of having a separately elected financial office for the people in Chicago is significant," he said, calling the job "a separate fiscal watchdog and fiduciary independent of what the mayor's office does."

* "Every element of financial stability, prosperity and progress, we lag the nation in every category along racial lines," Summers told the paper. "There needs to be a disproportionate investment in the areas that are on the wrong side of that coin and have gotten the raw deal from this city since its inception. I think that we should be the leaders who support and drive that change."

* After namechecking several political colleagues he came up with, the paper said that "Summers was, however, conspicuously laconic about Preckwinkle, noting that he did not endorse during the mayoral election and declining to say whom he voted for. In December, he attacked Emanuel on Twitter for his supposed blame of Black Chicagoans' values for the violence in the community. Summers criticized Emanuel's closing of 50 neighborhood schools, mental health clinics and the Laquan McDonald cover-up. Asked for follow-up comment during the interview, he said he had nothing more to add."


New on the Beachwood . . .

Reversing Rahm's Mental Health Disaster
Re-opening clinics on the table.


Chicago's Katie Renshaw Is Diageo's U.S. Bartender Of The Year
Self-described hooligan stepped behind a bar for the first time just three years ago.


Blues Fest Highlights
Featuring: BettyeLaVette, ThornettaDavis, ToronzoCannon, JimmieJohnson, DonBryant, JoannaConnor, LarkinPoe, and Dom Flemons.


Lit Fest Highlights


The True Danger Of Reality TV
"Some of these shows have the ethics of a cash register."


Afghan Cricket Team Sentimental World Cup Favorite
See you at Old Trafford.


SteveBook Specials




What's the best way to deal with groping on the CTA? from r/chicago





1976 Bally OLD CHICAGO Pinball Machine In Action



Dementia Stopped Peter Max From Painting. For Some, That Spelled A Lucrative Opportunity.

An extraordinarily infuriating story on several levels, capped off by a suicide this week.


How Did WeWork's Adam Neumann Build A $47 Billion Company.

An extraordinarily infuriating story on several levels.


2020 Candidates Call Out McDonald's Over Sexual Harassment.


The Restaurant Owner Who Asked For 1-Star Yelp Reviews.


A sampling.




The Beachwood McRibTipLine: Doodle-ooh.


Posted on June 12, 2019

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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