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The [Wednesday] Papers

"Two months after President Donald Trump took office, U.S. Steel dumped a plume of cancer-causing metal into a Lake Michigan tributary 20 miles away from a Chicago drinking water intake," the Tribune reports.

"The company reported another spill of hexavalent chromium six months later, around the same time public interest lawyers dug up records documenting scores of other clean water violations at the northwest Indiana steel mill.

"Yet Trump appointees at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency declined to punish the company, rebuffing career staff who confirmed U.S. Steel had repeatedly, and illegally, released harmful pollution into the region's chief source of drinking water.

"It makes me want to weep," said Susan MiHalo, who has lived in nearby Ogden Dunes for more than 30 years and chairs the town's environmental advisory board. "In the back of my mind I'm always worried they are dumping pollution into the lake and nobody is going to tell us about it."

"The lack of enforcement against one of the biggest polluters on the Great Lakes marked an early example of the Trump administration's more lenient approach to policing industrial pollution.

"Well before the administration suspended a range of EPA enforcement activities during the COVID-19 pandemic, the downturn under Trump has been striking."

Go read the rest. It will make you want to weep, too.


Suburban Coronavirus Watch

* Des Plaines Has The Highest Number Of COVID-19 Cases Among Cook County Suburbs.

" Des Plaines had 458 cases. The village of Skokie, which has its own health department and is also able to report the number of deaths, said it had 335 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 15 deaths.

"Other suburbs with high numbers include Cicero with 426 cases, Evanston with 253 and Glenview with 215."

Of course, those are raw numbers, not per capita, and we don't know how many folks have been tested in each town, so I'm not sure if there's any meaning to be derived here.

* Mayor Declares 'Must Wear Mask Order' In Des Plaines.

Park Ridge, too.

Those suburbs join at least eight others with mask requirements: Deerfield, Evanston, Wilmette, Highland Park, Northbrook, Niles, Morton Grove, Skokie, Cicero and Glenview.

* Orland Park Pushes Ahead With Concerts As Other Suburbs Cancel Plans.

"The village's Market in the Park, which features food and alcohol vendors, will launch its season June 4 at the village's Crescent Park, next to the 143rd Street Metra station. Officials also announced a series of concerts at Centennial Park West, beginning July 18 with a lineup of performers that includes Tommy James & the Shondells, Ides of March and The Buckinghams . . .

"[Mayor Keith] Pekau said at Monday's Village Board meeting it would have cost the village more than $200,000 to cancel the bands, which had already been booked, and that if Orland Park had done so it faced the prospect of being 'blackballed' by musical artists in the future."

That's obviously absurd - no band is going to blackball a municipality for cancelling shows amid a global pandemic. Even more absurd is that the Ides of March blackballing your town in the 2020s is a loss.

(Chicago just canceled Blues Fest, Jazz Fest, House Fest and Gospel Fest.)

* Evanston's Popular Farmers Market Leads The Way In Making New Rules For Open-Air Shopping.

"[Chicago farmers markets] awaiting approval for their scheduled May openings include Logan Square, Daley Plaza and Oak Park farmers markets and the Green City Market in Lincoln Park."

The city has not yet decided how to handle outdoor markets.

* The Lake County Boating Season Is Preparing To Launch Amid Coronavirus Uncertainty. Tensions Are High.

"The Fox Waterway Agency has kept the waterways open during the state's stay-at-home order. But that could change quickly if users don't abide by safe social distancing rules. The FWA and law enforcement are keeping a close eye on the waterway."


The President's Lab Rats
Our very own David Rutter sends in this missive:

You can amaze yourself with new levels of shocked revulsion quite easily these days.

An example. When recent details emerged about testing the Prez's favorite new anti-COVID-19 drug, only three things caught my attention

First: Hydroxychloroquine doesn't work, which makes the time and anxiety of pandemic test subjects even more wasted.

Second: Rather than curing anyone, it contributed to some patients getting much worse. As in deceased. Hydroxychloroquine has perilous side effects, including making your heart stop, which is an eventuality I know something about.

Third: The test subjects were patients at VA hospitals, which means someone thought it was a good idea to try out a presidential crackpot theory cooked up by Fox News and sold to a credulous dope.

That means we as a country allowed those who served us to be sacrificed for Donald Trump's idle curiosity.

As a citizen, I wish to wash my hands even more briskly and frequently than I have been, which was a lot. Letting veterans in our care be harmed this way is a gross violation of our duty to them.

It's not even clear these clinical trials were related to Trump's enthusiasm, though the coincidence seems striking.

Why Trump was pumping the lupus/rheumatoid/malaria drug also remains unclear, though Trump often acts in moments of random inspiration from Fox personalities. Perhaps he only wanted credit for the cure as political coinage. This is not a political jab, only a reflection of known facts.

He's transactional, as we have heard for decades. Used car salesmen are transactional. Pavement princesses are transactional. We don't want the VA to be transactional.

Being given credit for stopping the pandemic is just the sort of transaction that would attract him.

On the other hand, Trump did not invent this potential horror. A quick check of history indicates the federal government has been using VA patients as lab rats ever since VA hospitals were invented after World War II. That started at Hines in Chicago.

To wit:



FYI: Free Food Distribution on 4/25 from r/chicago





When You Meet A Man In Chicago.



As People Stay Home, The Earth Turns Wilder And Cleaner.


Beewashing As A Branding Tool.


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





The Beachwood Q-Tip Line: State of mind.


Posted on April 22, 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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