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Selina Chicago exterior

Selina Chicago, at 100 E Chestnut St., in Chicago’s Streeterville neighborhood will temporarily convert into a homeless shelter.

Anthony Vazquez

The Rundown: From boutique hotel to homeless shelter

Good afternoon! If you’re a fan of sunshine and mild fall temperatures then you’ll love the seven-day forecast. Here’s what else you need to know today.

1. A boutique hotel will become a temporary homeless shelter run by the city

Migrant families will not be among the people staying at the Selina Hotel in Streeterville when all 116 rooms are converted to shelters next month.

Ronnie Reese, a spokesman for Mayor Brandon Johnson, said in a statement that the property will be used “as shelter for Chicago’s unhoused through a grant from the Illinois Department of Human Services” for up to seven months.

Employees will be laid off when the hotel temporarily suspends operations, but some unionized staff will remain on-site to maintain the property.

Some workers protested outside the hotel Wednesday, saying they wanted to keep their jobs regardless of who runs the facility. [WBEZ]

“Why are we being kicked to the curb?” asked Angeyleah Campbell, a housekeeping supervisor at the hotel for 25 years. “I want to be able to keep food on the table and take care of my bills.” [Chicago Sun-Times]

2. A suburban Islamic school copes with fear and sadness after receiving a threat

It’s been two weeks since students at an Islamic school in the southwest suburbs were sent home because a hate letter was mailed to the school that threatened — in violent detail and using slurs — to kill Palestinian American and Muslim kids.

“It feels nerve-racking, and I’m scared most of the time,” one student told my colleagues Nader Issa and Sarah Karp. “We can’t leave our school. We have to be watched by bodyguards just to walk to our parents’ car. The bathroom doors are locked. It’s difficult.”

The kids are navigating hate at home while they remain worried and devastated for loved ones in the West Bank and Gaza, where Israel’s siege has killed at least 10,300 Palestinians — including more than 4,200 children.

The school’s administration has brought in grief counselors, hired private security, installed cameras, kept window shades down and taken other steps to help students feel safer. But they say the dehumanizing rhetoric against Palestinians, Muslims and Arabs scares them outside the building too. [Chicago Sun-Times/WBEZ]

Today Israel agreed to four-hour daily pauses in its attacks on Hamas in northern Gaza starting to allow civilians to flee. [AP]

3. Harvey residents have to make way for flood prevention

South suburban Harvey has weathered severe flooding for decades.

The city’s aged infrastructure is made up of sewers that are prone to overflowing during heavy rains and storms have caused long-term damage to buildings and roadways.

Now, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago is stepping in by building a stormwater detention basin — but it will cost some residents their homes.

Construction could start next summer on the project, which is expected to result in protecting 209 other houses from flooding.

Though the water reclamation district will send out appraisers and relocation consultants to help residents move to houses of equal value, some residents who would lose their homes say that’s not enough. [WBEZ]

4. Young workers are worried AI will one day replace them

The age-old fear of being replaced by technology has increased and is now being felt by younger employees.

A Gallup poll found 28% of people 18 to 34 years old worry about being replaced by technology — 11 percentage points higher than in 2021.

Though generative artificial intelligence’s skill is still limited and needs human oversight, it has the potential to automate or help with tasks across fields.

Tara Perman, a career coach in Chicago, encourages people to focus on skills like creativity, problem-solving, strategic thinking and interpersonal communication, areas in which humans surpass AI. [Chicago Sun-Times]

5. Now that the Hollywood strikes are over, when are our favorite TV shows returning?

Popular shows such as Abbott Elementary and The Last of Us are one step closer to returning thanks to a tentative agreement between striking actors and studios and streaming services.

The deal includes compensation increases, consent protections for use of artificial intelligence and actors’ likenesses, and a new “streaming participation bonus,” The Associated Press reports.

Because the screenwriters’ separate strike ended earlier this fall, allowing writers to resume work, TV productions could get back on the air once actors are also cleared to work. [AP]

Here’s what else is happening

  • Jason Benetti is leaving the White Sox’s TV booth for the Detroit Tigers. [Chicago Sun-Times]

  • Former Ald. Ed Burke’s federal corruption trial is on hold for a week after a lawyer tested positive for COVID. [Chicago Sun-Times]

  • Working in-person costs employees $51 per day compared to remote work, a survey found. [Chicago Sun-Times]

  • A U.S. commercial plant pulls carbon dioxide from the air to help fight climate change. [New York Times]

Oh, and one more thing …

The coolest music venue in the city is on the Chicago River — on top a concrete bridge pile, Block Club Chicago reports.

Ben Kinzinger, a 32-year-old self-proclaimed “River King,” came up with the idea in 2022. Since then, the concrete pillar near the Belmont Avenue Bridge has played host to several “Secret River” shows, each of which feature different bands, photographers, videographers and muralists.

The last show this year will be at 11:11 a.m. Saturday. [Block Club Chicago]

Tell me something good ...

What are your favorite cold-weather pastimes?

J.R. says:

“Surprising no one, my fav activity is gaming … particularly board games.

But as much as I love a great, meaty Euro game, one of my friend group’s

traditions is soup and Cribbage on cold days. Nothing is as comforting as

Cribbage and soup in front of a fire with friends!”

Terry says:

“I have 2 favorite winter pastimes. 1: Outdoor pickleball (as long as the

courts are dry, have no ice and aren’t snow covered)....just bundle up and

gradually unbundle as you heat up! Playing outdoor pickleball in winter is

so much more fun than indoor pickleball in my humble opinion. My second

favorite pastime is cross country skiing in the wonderful Forest Preserves

of Cook can’t be beat! Often you are blazing your own trail

and never meet another soul. The scenery is spectacular as is the animal

life. Love it!”

Send us an email and your response might be included in the newsletter this week.

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