Chicago - Nov. 15, 2018
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The Weekend Desk Report

"As a consumer, Reese Mathers is living the dream, according to the testimonials left on websites of businesses across the globe," Matthew Walberg reports for the Tribune.

The clothes always fit perfectly. The business advice was really helpful. The couples massage was relaxing and romantic.

But as a writer of online reviews for businesses in Chicago and around the world, Reese appears to be stuck in a bit of a rut.

"Two thumbs up," Mathers wrote in her review on the website for Dependable Flooring in Brunswick, Ga. "If you're in need of an honest, professional and reliable Flooring Service, then look no further than Dependable Flooring. I've relied on the service providers from Dependable Flooring on numerous occasions and have yet to be disappointed."

Reese wrote the same thing for AJ Truck Wash in Summit, Ill.

And for RYT Builders, a construction company in the Philippines.

And also for The Water Smith, a water treatment company in Chuluota, Fla.

In fact, a quick web search of Mathers' name and the phrase "two thumbs up" returns page after page of results showing Mathers' ubiquitous praise on company websites.

You'll have to click through to find out what's going on - and it's almost certainly not what you think.

Fox Con Air
"Illinois' Attorney General said on Friday she plans to sue the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for allowing a proposed Foxconn Technology Co Ltd plant in neighboring Wisconsin to operate without stringent pollution controls," Reuters reports.

"On Tuesday, the EPA identified 51 areas in 22 states that do not meet federal air quality requirements for ozone, a step toward enforcing the standards issued in 2015.

"An exempted area was Racine County, Wisconsin, just north of the Illinois border that is known to have heavily polluted air, where Taiwan-based Foxconn is building a $10 billion liquid-crystal display plant."

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Reminder from last week:

"[EPA Administrator Scott] Pruitt also pared back the list of counties with dirty air in Illinois and Indiana, a decision that could add to Chicago's chronic problems with pollution linked to asthma attacks, heart disease and early deaths.

"Tweaking the list of counties in violation of federal smog standards is the latest attempt by Pruitt to roll back or delay environmental regulations enacted during the Obama administration."

You no longer live in a region in violation of federal smog standards, but will die at a rate as if you did!

Thin Blue Line
"A former Chicago cop who was sentenced to federal prison for leaking sensitive police information to her gang-leader boyfriend was still able to land a job with the state of Illinois investigating doctors despite her criminal background, records show," the Sun-Times reports.

"[Tashika] Miner, now 41, was sentenced to 10 months in federal prison in 2007 after pleading guilty to participating in a drug conspiracy.

"In 2016, the state Department of Financial and Professional Regulation hired her as a health-services investigator with access to sensitive Blue Cross/Blue Shield insurance information, state records show."

Illinois' version of the revolving door is weird.

Seal Team Sex
"The commanding officer and the senior enlisted adviser of a Virginia Beach-based Navy SEAL team deployed in East Africa have been relieved of their duties because of allegations of sexual assault and harassment. In addition, 11 members of other East Coast SEAL units tested positive for drugs and face disciplinary action, according to a Navy official and two members of the special operations community," the Intercept reports.

Never meet your heroes.

ME Chicago
Nearly 100,000 people in Illinois have what used to be called Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and now known as ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis), notes the Reader's Megan Doherty.

"[That] would make the disease more common than Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis, or HIV/AIDS."

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ME is real, as anyone who knows someone who has it, like I do, can attest. It is absolutely brutal. Doherty, who suffers from ME, reports on the latest research out of Chicago; it's well worth the read.

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New on the Beachwood this weekend . . .

The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #200
A special All-Star edition recorded Saturday morning is in post-production!

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ChicagoGram

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ChicagoTube

Since Christ Left Chicago.

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Weekend TweetWood
A sampling.

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This is the appellate court that sits in Chicago; please click through to read the short thread.

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Particular Chicago relevance noted in this article.

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The Weekend Desk Tronc Line: The tough, the weird and the pro.



Permalink

Posted on May 12, 2018


MUSIC - Spring Awakening Wake-Up Call!
TV - Exclusive! Rahm's New TV Gig.
POLITICS - The Political Odds UPDATED.
SPORTS - NHL: CTE Not Our Fault.

BOOKS - Stan Lee, Flawed Hero.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Chicagoetry: I Am Iron Man.


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