Hey there, it’s finally Friday! If you need a reminder the sun exists, local photographer Barry Butler has you covered. Here’s what you need to know today.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot and eight challengers gathered last night for a 90-minute debate that focused heavily on crime. Lightfoot highlighted the city’s emergence from the pandemic and her plans for increased investment and improved public safety. Her opponents portrayed Chicago as a “crime-ridden metropolis in desperate need of an overhaul as taxpayers and business owners flee,” writes my colleague Mitchell Armentrout.
Lightfoot acknowledged “people in the city don’t feel safe” but said her administration has “started to turn Chicago around for the better.” [Chicago Sun-Times]
Some candidates accused Lightfoot of cherry-picking data to make her record appear stronger, the Chicago Tribune reports.
The challengers often disagreed on how to solve public safety issues, with some focusing on increasing funding to the Police Department and others scoffing at a tough-on-crime approach in favor of more money for social services. However, candidates didn’t offer many details on how they would pay for their public safety initiatives or investments in neighborhoods and services. [Chicago Tribune]
You can watch the debate online now or when it re-airs on ABC7 at 10:30 p.m. this Sunday. [ABC7]
Ron Onesti, the theater’s operator, said he received online threats because of an event hosted by the group Awake Illinois, the Chicago Tribune reports.
Awake Illinois “opposes gender identity and sexual orientation instruction in schools” and has called “kid-friendly suburban drag shows as ‘perverted,’ ” according to the Tribune. During Tuesday’s Des Plaines City Council meeting, some residents called Awake Illinois a “hate group.”
Last year, the group called Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker a “groomer” after he adopted new sex education measures for the state.
“What saddens me was the amount of hate that surfaced during all of this,” Onesti said in a statement. “People mailing bullets to me, asking their neighbors to fill my garbage cans with dog feces, countless hateful calls and outwardly targeting the Des Plaines Theatre, wishing its demise.” [Chicago Tribune]
3. A Northwestern University psychologist is among experts with a new theory on why Charles Manson ordered the 1969 killings
Experts are rethinking the idea that one of the most notorious American criminals of the 20th century was schizophrenic, my colleague Frank Main at the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
Tod Roy, the psychologist who originally diagnosed Manson in 1997, agreed at the time not to publish the materials from his evaluation until after Manson’s death.
Northwestern psychologist Alan Friedman and others recently published a paper saying the late criminal’s symptoms “were consistent with bipolar illness,” the Sun-Times reports.
“There has always been this controversy: Was he schizophrenic?” Friedman told the newspaper. “We found he was more on the manic end of the spectrum. He was an aggressive guy — antisocial, narcissistic, a psychopath.”
Manson didn’t demonstrate hallmarks of schizophrenia such as despair and feelings of alienation, Friedman said. [Chicago Sun-Times]
The 12,000 jobs cut represents about 6% of Google’s global workforce, NPR reports. Affected employees in the U.S. were notified Friday morning, while layoffs in other countries will take longer because of local labor laws, according to Google CEO Sundar Pichai.
It’s not clear how many of the job cuts were in the U.S. or in Chicago, where Google plans to buy and renovate the Thompson center in the Loop.
Tech companies including Microsoft, Amazon and Salesforce have been announcing massive layoffs throughout January.
As NPR reports: “The companies say they hired rapidly during the pandemic and now have to make serious cuts amid an uncertain economy.” [NPR]
Photographer Marty Perez has been capturing musicians on and off stages for decades. And his new book, Kill a Punk for Rock & Roll, highlights rock and blues in Chicago, Mark Guarino writes for WBEZ.
The photos not only show intimate moments, but all serve as time machines to the city’s long-shuttered music venues, including the Chicago Stadium, Lounge Ax and B.L.U.E.S. on Halsted.
Perez told WBEZ the stories behind seven of the photos. [WBEZ]
Here’s what else is happening
Cook County Commissioner Sean Morrison took $300K from a nonprofit linked to billionaire Ken Griffin. [Chicago Sun-Times]
T-Mobile says a data breach exposed 37 million customers’ personal data. [NPR]
Illinois is being sued for holding foster children in jail because of a lack of housing. [Illinois Answers Project]
Sunday is the beginning of Lunar New Year. Chefs around the U.S. shared what dishes they’re making to celebrate. [NPR]
Oh, and one more thing …
Are you a big fan of puppetry? It turns out Chicago is considered an international center for the art form.
The Chicago International Puppet Festival started this week and is the largest in North America, featuring more than 100 performances and artists from 10 countries, the Tribune reports.
Shows continue through Jan. 29 at venues throughout the city.
There will also be exhibits, seminars, workshops and a pop-up store by the Wrigley Building. [Chicago Tribune]
Tell me something good …
What are some ways you are making the most out of this winter? Are you trying anything new? Picking up hobbies?
“My father recently passed and as we were cleaning out his ratty garage I found my circa 1972 Lionel train set, in poor condition. I’ve begun trying to clean and repair everything which may develop into a new (expensive) hobby as I head into my 60s.”
Thanks for all your responses this week. I’m sorry we couldn’t share them all, but it was great hearing from everyone.