WBEZ | Ventra card http://www.wbez.org/tags/ventra-card Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Transit fare-card fog thickens http://www.wbez.org/blogs/charlie-meyerson/2013-03/transit-fare-card-fog-thickens-106201 <p><p><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-rta-no-debit-option-on-reducedfare-ventra-cards-20130320,0,3355403.story" target="_blank"><img alt="VentraChicago.com illustration" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Screen%20shot%202013-03-21%20at%201.19.11%20AM.png" style="height: 177px; width: 300px; float: right;" title="VentraChicago.com illustration" /></a><strong>TRANSIT FARE-CARD FOG.&nbsp;</strong>Adding to confusion over the incoming Ventra card for Chicago-area transit, the&nbsp;RTA says its version won&#39;t include prepaid debit account functionality for senior citizens and people with disabilities. On one hand, that means they&#39;ll be spared <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-0320-cta-ventra-hidden-fees-gfc-eps-20130319,0,2656887.graphic" target="_blank">a bewildering array of debit-card fees</a>; on the other, a disability rights group executive tells the <em>Tribune</em>, &quot;Whatever options are available to the general public&nbsp;<a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-rta-no-debit-option-on-reducedfare-ventra-cards-20130320,0,3355403.story" target="_blank">should be available to persons with disabilities and persons over 65 who qualify for reduced-fare cards</a>.&quot;<br /><em>* Correction to something I said yesterday on WBEZ&#39;s &quot;Afternoon Shift&quot;&nbsp;</em>(at about 5:02 in <a href="http://soundcloud.com/afternoonshiftwbez/timeout-chicago-goes-all/" target="_blank">this audio clip</a>): According to the <em>Trib</em>, that $2.95 &quot;Reload on Internet&quot; fee applies <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-cta-ventra-hidden-fees-0320-20130320,0,2928286.story" target="_blank">only to money added to the retail (debit) side of the card</a>; not to recharges for the card&#39;s transit-fare side.</span></p><p><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>SCHOOL CLOSINGS ANALYSIS.&nbsp;</strong>As Mayor Emanuel&#39;s administration prepares to announce what could be&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/more-50-proposed-chicago-school-closings-expected-106202" target="_blank">the largest number of schools shut down by a city in a single year</a>, keep an eye on&nbsp;<a href="http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/The-312/March-2013/Two-Sites-You-Should-Be-Looking-At-As-CPS-Announces-Massive-School-Closure/" target="_blank">these data-driven websites</a>&nbsp;(including&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/content/mapping-10-years-school-closures" target="_blank">WBEZ&#39;s map of school closures</a>), featuring what&nbsp;<em>Chicago</em>&nbsp;magazine&#39;s Whet Moser calls &quot;vital&quot; tools for understanding the closings&#39; impact.<br />* Chicago charter-school operator UNO&#39;s boss has&nbsp;<a href="http://www.suntimes.com/18966110-761/embattled-boss-of-top-chicago-charter-school-operator-uno-has-three-relatives-on-his-payroll.html" target="_blank">3 relatives on the payroll</a>,&nbsp;<em>Sun-Times</em>&nbsp;reports.</span></p><p><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>KIDS DOCS BACK GAY MARRIAGE.</strong> The Illinois-based American Academy of Pediatrics says <a href="http://bigstory.ap.org/article/influential-pediatricians-group-backs-gay-marriage" target="_blank">stable relationships between parents, regardless of sexual orientation, contribute to children&#39;s health and well-being</a>.<br />* Gay-marriage opponent: &quot;To the extent that the other side is able to frame this as a vote for gay people to be happy, <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/21/us/politics/young-opponents-of-gay-marriage-remain-undaunted.html?pagewanted=all&amp;_r=0" target="_blank">it will be challenging for us</a>.&quot;</span></p><p><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>&#39;SURE. SEX AND THE PRIESTS, LET&#39;S BLAST IT ALL OVER THE PLACE. NEVER LET IT GO.&#39;</strong> The retired bishop of the Joliet Diocese reacts bitterly to <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-open-files-part-of-settlement-for-priest-sex-abuse-victim-20130320,0,1723064,full.story" target="_blank">release of previously secret papers detailing decades of sexual abuse</a> on his watch.<br />* Lawyer who won the revelations: &quot;<a href="http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/iteam&amp;id=9033945" target="_blank">At least 75% of the diocese ... had a sexual predator priest</a>.&quot;</span></p><p><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>LET PROSTITUTES WALK FREE?</strong> To ease a population crunch at Cook County Jail, several County Board members are asking prosecutors <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/18992826-761/county-officials-end-felony-arrests-for-prostitution-to-reduce-jail-crowding.html" target="_blank">to treat prostitution arrests as misdemeanors</a>, not felonies.<br />* On WBEZ, Sheriff Tom Dart criticizes mental health clinic closures:&nbsp;&quot;We as a society have decided to criminalize mental illness. ... We&#39;ve shut down all the facilities to treat people. <a href="http://soundcloud.com/afternoonshiftwbez/cook-county-sheriff-tom-dart" target="_blank">Where in God&#39;s name do you think they&#39;re gonna go?</a>&quot;</span></p><p><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>YOUR TAXES AT WORK.</strong><br />*&nbsp;<a href="http://www.suntimes.com/18993800-761/city-of-chicago-hit-with-578-million-tab-in-parking-garage-snafu.html" target="_blank">Chicago ordered to pay $57.8 million to parking company</a>&nbsp;for letting competing garage open nearby.<br />*&nbsp;<a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-cook-county-aclu-settlement-0321-20130321,0,2402817.story" target="_blank">Cook County to pay $646,000 to ACLU</a>&nbsp;in fight over law forbidding recording of cops on the job.</span></p><hr /><p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><span style="font-size: 18px;"><em><span style="color: rgb(128, 0, 0);"><strong>COMING FRIDAY: </strong>A fresh news quiz.<br />Limber up your quizceps by trying&nbsp;</span><a href="http://www.wbez.org/tags/news-quiz" target="_blank">these previous editions</a>.</em></span></span></p><hr /><p><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>COULD MAKE STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS AWKWARD.&nbsp;</strong>President Obama was caught on-mic and on-camera in Israel joking, &quot;<a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2013/03/20/obama-tells-netanyahu-its-good-to-get-away-from-congress/" target="_blank">It&#39;s good to get away from Congress</a>.&quot;<br />* Obama, Israel&#39;s prime minister <a href="http://www.politico.com/politico44/2013/03/obama-netanyahu-admonish-nbcs-chuck-todd-for-asking-159848.html" target="_blank">complain NBC reporter asks too many questions</a>.<br />* Conservative vs. conservative: &quot;<a href="http://www.politico.com/blogs/media/2013/03/oreilly-slams-bachmann-for-trivial-criticisms-of-president-159895.html" target="_blank">O&#39;Reilly slams Bachmann</a> for &#39;trivial&#39; criticisms of President Obama&quot; (Politico).</span></p><p><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>&#39;THE AMERICAN NEWS CONSUMER HAS NEVER HAD IT SO GOOD.&#39;</strong> <em>Slate</em>&#39;s Matthew Yglesias says, sure, it&#39;s a rough time for news producers, but <a href="http://stateofthemedia.org/" target="_blank">the doom-and-gloom reports</a> on the state of the news biz miss the key point that &quot;<a href="http://www.slate.com/articles/business/moneybox/2013/03/pew_s_state_of_the_media_ignore_the_doomsaying_american_journalism_has_never.html">today&rsquo;s readers have access to far more high-quality coverage than they have time to read</a>.&quot;<br />* Reporter who quit: &quot;<a href="http://allysonbird.com/2013/03/19/why-i-left-news/" target="_blank">Newspapers killed newspapers</a>.&quot;<br />* <em>Washington Post</em> nails <a href="http://www.poynter.org/latest-news/mediawire/207810/washington-post-busts-jane-goodall-for-plagiarism/" target="_blank">Jane Goodall for plagiarism</a>.<br />* CNN reporter allegedly <a href="http://www.thewrap.com/media/column-post/cnn-soft-rapists-steubenville-coverage-sparks-debate-81861?page=0,0" target="_blank">&quot;outraged&quot; over Steubenville rape trial coverage criticism</a>.</span></p><p><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>GOOGLE&#39;S NEW NOTE-TAKING SERVICE.</strong> <a href="http://thenextweb.com/google/2013/03/20/google-launches-evernote-rival-keep-for-the-web-android-4-0-and-above/" target="_blank">Google Keep</a> is aimed at services like Evernote, promising to &quot;save ideas and organize to-dos the moment they happen by creating notes, lists, photos and voice recordings right from your phone.&quot;<br />* YouTube now reaches <a href="http://thenextweb.com/google/2013/03/21/youtube-reaches-1-billion-unique-monthly-users-almost-15-of-planet-earth/" target="_blank">1 billion unique visitors a month</a> -- 15 percent of humanity.</span></p><p><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>THIS LINK UNSUITABLE FOR ALL AGES.</strong> Tired of the traditional NCAA bracket?&nbsp;<em>Deadspin</em> offers a 64-slot &quot;<a href="http://deadspin.com/behold-the-ultimate-curse-word-bracket-457043269" target="_blank">Swear Word Bracket</a>&quot; -- because &quot;68-team brackets are stupid.&quot;<br />* Tech Crunch: &quot;<a href="http://techcrunch.com/2013/03/19/google-march-madness-bracket/" target="_blank">Google Embeds March Madness Bracket In Search, Because Screw Sports Sites</a>.&quot;&nbsp;</span></p><hr /><p><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><em><strong>ANNOUNCEMENTS.</strong></em><br /><em>* Suggestions for this blog?&nbsp;<a href="mailto:cmeyerson@wbez.org?subject=Things%20and%20stuff">Email anytime</a>.<br />* Get this blog by email, free. <a href="http://feedburner.google.com/fb/a/mailverify?uri=feedburner/AELk&amp;amp;loc=en_US" target="_blank">Sign up here</a>.</em><br /><em>* Follow us on Twitter:&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/wbez" target="_blank">@WBEZ</a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/meyerson" target="_blank">@Meyerson</a>.</em></span></p></p> Thu, 21 Mar 2013 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/charlie-meyerson/2013-03/transit-fare-card-fog-thickens-106201