Monday, April 26, 2021

Illinois Supreme Court releases new juror orientation video

In another sign that maybe, just maybe, things are starting to return to normal, the Illinois Supreme Court's Illinois Judicial Conference (IJC) today announced the release of a new jury orientation video which will serve as an introduction to jury service for all 24 Illinois Circuit Courts. The new video is linked above.

The Court's press release today quotes Cook County Circuit Court Judge Celia Gamrath, Chair of the IJC PR Task Force, as saying, "We found that many circuits in Illinois didn’t have a jury orientation video. Also, some of the videos out there had become dated."

Yeah. About that: Lester Holt narrated the juror orientation video that has long been used in Cook County. His son, Stefan, pictured at left, was probably still in short pants at the time the Cook County video was made. Now Stefan Holt anchors the 10:00 News on Channel 5.

Stefan Holt's NBC5 colleague, Lisa Parker, narrates the new video. Appellate Court Justice David Ellis wrote the script. Urbana attorney John E. Thies was the chair of the IJC jury video subcommittee.

Guest Post: Looking at the Cook County Judicial Subcircuits as they currently exist -- and as they might be redrawn

By Frank Calabrese

Public Act 101-0477, signed into law last year, requires the General Assembly to “redraw the boundaries of the (Cook County) subcircuits to reflect the results of the 2020 federal decennial census.” While the final 2020 Census results are not yet available, redistricting drama is already in full swing, with Springfield Democrats likely redrawing legislative boundaries with the American Community Survey of 2019 (2019 ACS), since the 2020 Census will not be available until after the June 30 deadline set by the Illinois Constitution.

The 15 judicial subcircuit districts of Cook County were created by law in 1991, and the population patterns of Cook County have changed significantly since 1991. Using the 2019 ACS and the latest data and software, I will give a quick analysis of what the Cook County subcircuits look like today.

There is no modern map of the Cook County subcircuits available. If you search for a Cook County subcircuits map, you will likely find this image from 11 years ago. So I made a modern map of the Cook County subcircuits, here:

There are three challenges I identify in redrawing the subcircuits. First, Public Act 101-0477 requires that “the subcircuits shall be compact, contiguous, and substantially equal in population.” Currently, the subcircuits do not substantially have equal population. The current population range is 428,824 to 239,039, a difference of 189,87 people. The 8th Subcircuit has the most people with 428,824 and the 5th Subcircuit has the least with 239,039 people. The population mean of the 15 subcircuits is 346,514 and the median subcircuit is the 14th Subcircuit with 358,127 people. The 5th Subcircuit is over 44% smaller than the 8th Subcircuit, much higher than the 10% population deviation tolerated by federal courts. Karcher v. Daggett, 462 U.S. 725, 730-31 (1983); White v. Regester, 412 U.S. 755 (1973). See the graphs below on population deviation:

Second, the current subcircuits only have one majority Latino subcircuit, even though the overall population of Cook County is over a quarter Latino. The 6th Subcircuit was drawn to be a Latino district, but it is now a majority white district by voting population. The current voting population of the 6th Subcircuit is 37% Latino and 50% white. Of the 15 subcircuits, 10 subcircuits have whites as the largest voting blocks, with nine subcircuits being majority white and the 3rd Subcircuit being plurality white. There are four majority Black subcircuits. The 7th Subcircuit has seen its Black voting population diluted, but it is still a 57% Black district by voting population. There is only one majority Latino subcircuit, the 14th Subcircuit, which is 62% Latino. See the map below:

The last challenge is a political challenge. Out of 15 subcircuits, I believe there should be a subcircuit that can reliably elect Republicans. That can be achieved with a southwest subcircuit based in Orland, Palos, and Lemont Townships.

The northern subcircuits that were Republican in the 1990s are now Democratic. The 12th and 13th Subcircuits elected Democrats in 2020. Currently, running for judge in the 12th and 13th Subcircuits is very expensive because you have to run in a primary and a general election. The political trends will make the 12th and 13th subcircuits even more Democratic. However, southwest Cook County is very Republican and they should get their own subcircuit. This would allow for Republicans to become judges in Cook County without the expenses of a general election.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Four more employees of the Chief Judge's Office test positive for COVID-19

I've been pleased to report signs that the world is getting back to normal as COVID-19 vaccinations become more widely available.

But it's not over yet: The Office of the Chief Judge has today announced that four more employees have tested positive for COVID-19. A total of 310 employees of the Chief Judge's Office have now testied positive since the start of the pandemic, including 110 Juvenile Temporary Detention Center employees.

Of the four employees newly identified, one works for the Adult Probation Department at the Juvenile Courthouse, a second works for the JTDC, and two work for the Juvenile Probation Department. Of these last two, one was last in the Rolling Meadows Courthouse in mid-January, while the second was last at the Markham Courthouse earlier this month.

In addition to the 310 employees of the Chief Judge's Office, there have been 21 Cook County judges who have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, as well as 87 JTDC residents.

Advocates Scholarship Golf Outing set for May 14

The Advocates Society of Polish American Attorneys will hold its Second Annual Golf Outing on Friday, May 14, at Delbrook Golf Club, 700 S. 2nd Street, in Delevan, Wisconsin.

Golfers can check in at noon. The outing will be conducted in a scramble (best ball) format; shotgun start is at 1:00 p.m. The $100 per person ticket price includes lunch, dinner, 18 holes of golf, and cart access. There will be prizes in men's and women's categories for longest drive, longest putt, and lowest team gross. There will also be a raffle.

Reservations are requested by May 5. Checks payable to the Advocates Society can be mailed to Ann Melichar c/o Advocates Society 5214 W. Lawrence Ave., #4, Chicago, IL 60630.

Non-golfers are invited for dinner, beginning at 5:30 p.m. The dinner-only ticket price is $40. A cash bar will be available.

Sponsorship opportunities include:

  • A Tee Sign for $200;

  • Bar Sponsorship, which, for $500, includes a banner to be displayed at the bar, signage on the carts, and a complimentary foursome; and

  • A $1,000 Event Sponsorship, which includes your banners displayed during the golf event and at the dinner, signage on the carts, and two complimentary foursomes.

Donations for raffle prizes are also being sought and will be acknowledged accordingly.

For more information about sponsorship opportunities, or to confirm your sponsorship, call Steve Rakowski at (847) 204-4106 or Allison Pawlicki at (847) 942-4750.

Proceeds from this event will be used for the Polish-American Advocates Scholarship Foundation.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Chief Judge Evans: Trials and other criminal proceedings in Cook County have continued through pandemic

The following is a statement issued this afternoon by the Office of Cook County Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans, reproduced here in full.

Recent suggestions that the criminal courts have not held trials, or have been otherwise inactive, during the past 13 months of the pandemic are based on misinformation.

The Cook County Circuit Court has held hundreds of bench trials during the pandemic. Criminal jury trials resumed last month, after numerous precautions and preparations by the Office of the Chief Judge to ensure the safety of both jurors and court personnel.

It should be noted that the vast majority of criminal cases are resolved before they go to trial. Nationally, 92% of felony cases are resolved through guilty pleas or dismissal of charges, while just 5% go to trial, according to the National Center for State Courts. In Cook County in 2019, of all cases that did go to trial, 10 percent went to a jury trial while the rest went to bench trials.

Between March 17, 2020 and March 5, 2021, the criminal courts authorized to conduct trials of felonies disposed of 7,897 cases after a finding of probable cause by the court or a grand jury indictment, which means that the cases were resolved through trial, a guilty plea, or dismissal of charges. In addition, the courts disposed of 9,767 domestic violence cases, and the remaining criminal courts disposed of 39,967 criminal cases, including felony cases resolved prior to a finding of probable cause and misdemeanor cases. A portion of the felony cases filed in these courts were transferred to felony courts after a finding of probable cause.

While the coronavirus pandemic has created a challenge for the operations of the Cook County Circuit Court, as it has for all parts of our society, the court has continued to administer justice through the use of innovation and technology. With 400 courtrooms equipped for Zoom teleconference hearings, the court hosted nearly 1.5 million hours of Zoom court sessions with more than 1.8 million participants between March 17, 2020, and March 11, 2021, in all divisions and districts. The court has not been idle, and is increasing access to justice as the community begins to re-open, with all divisions and districts preparing to resume jury trials as of May 3.

Bail reform, instituted by the Circuit Court of Cook County in 2017, is based on the constitutional principle that people should not be punished by imprisonment before they are tried, unless they pose a significant danger to the community. Looking at individual tragic cases in isolation may contribute to the speculation that releasing individuals before trial rather than incarcerating them -- whether by placing them on Electronic Monitoring (EM) or other forms of supervision -- means an increase in crime. But a speculation based on isolated cases is not the same as a reality based on a complete picture. A Loyola University study last November confirmed a previous internal court study that bail reform has kept hundreds out of jail, while not contributing to an increase in crime, and saved Cook County residents from having to post more than $31 million in bail in just one six-month period.

Regarding criticisms of judges releasing some individuals charged with crime to EM, judges are guided by looking at the criminal backgrounds of defendants before them. Only those individuals judged to pose a clear and present danger to society are kept in jail before trial. In determining whether to confine an individual before trial, or to set restrictions such as EM as a condition of their release, judges consider multiple factors, including the facts of the case, input from the defense and prosecution, and the Public Safety Assessment (PSA) tool. This helps to assess danger to the public by calculating the risk of failure to appear, risk of new criminal activity and risk of new violent criminal activity. During the pandemic, judges have also had to balance the risks of incarceration to the health of jail detainees, corrections staff, and the greater community, with more traditional public safety considerations. EM is used throughout the country as an alternative to incarceration pre-trial.

Once defendants are convicted of serious offenses by trial or through guilty pleas, most go to prison. For example, for weapons cases that did not involve murder and attempted murder but may have included armed robbery and aggravated battery with a firearm, more than 90% resulted in a conviction, either through guilty plea or jury or bench trial, according to a recent Circuit Court data analysis. Of these weapons offenses that involved a victim, almost 72% were sentenced to a term in prison, with an average sentence of 80 months.

A sign, perhaps, that the world is slowly coming back to normal

The Illinois Judges Foundation has announced that its annual golf outing will take place this year on Friday, July 30, at the Odyssey Golf Course, 19110 S. Ridgeland, in Tinley Park.

Here is yet another hopeful sign that, despite new viral variants, and rising case numbers, COVID-19's stranglehold on our lives, our purses, and even our tortured dreams may finally be lessening: With hopes fueled by increasing vaccination rates, normal events, like golf outing fundraisers, are being announced for normal times.

I can hear the hue and cry from those who want all judges dragged into the courthouses yesterday, and chained to their benches, without hope of release until all backlogs are dissipated. These unhappy souls would say that judges should not be setting up social events until their work is entirely caught up. What these folks miss (other than the income they would have no doubt enjoyed had the courts stayed open lo these past 13 months) is that the announcement of a live, in-person, social event, complete with beer carts (presumably), also means that normal, everyday events like regular work schedules, even jury trials, are also coming back above the horizon. Because normality will mean a return to work as well as play.

Of course, the IJF has not put out this Save the Date announcement as a beacon of hope for the pandemic-weary.

Actually, as you'll notice, they are looking for sponsors: Interested persons should contact either Judge Helaine Berger (ret.) or IJF Auxiliary Board Member Dawn Gonzalez to learn more about sponsorship opportunities.

Monday, April 19, 2021

Virtual Vanguard Awards Event on April 28

This year's Vanguard Awards ceremony will be held virtually on April 28, starting at noon. To sign up for the event, click here.

The Vanguard Awards honor the lawyers, judges and institutions that have made the law and the legal profession more accessible to and reflective of our community. In alphabetical order, the 2021 recipients of the Award are:

Hon. Tommy Brewer
The Chicago Bar Association

Hon. Gloria Chévere
Puerto Rican Bar Association

Hon. Michael J. Chmiel
Advocates Society

Hon. Megan Goldish
Decalogue Society of Lawyers

Hon. Sophia Hall
LAGBAC, Chicago’s LGBTQ+ Bar Association

Maggie Hickey
Women’s Bar Association of Illinois

Hon. LaShonda A. Hunt
Black Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater Chicago, Inc.

Hon. Toi Hutchinson
Cook County Bar Association

John K. Kim
Asian American Bar Association

Vivian R. Khalaf
Arab American Bar Association of Illinois

Mary Carmen Madrid-Crost (posthumously)
Filipino American Lawyers Association

Juan Morado, Jr.
Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois

Tejas Shah
South Asian Bar Association of Chicago

Virginia Yang
Chinese American Bar Association of Greater Chicago

Chief Judge Evans establishes blue-ribbon committee to advise on best practices for juvenile detention

Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans last week announced the formation of a blue ribbon committee of experts to examine current Juvenile Temporary Detention Center procedures and outcomes, "especially as they relate to room confinement."

“We want the best possible results for the young people who are detained at the Juvenile Temporary Detention Center while awaiting the outcome of their cases. We want juveniles at the facility to have an opportunity to become better educated, better adjusted, and better able to become healthy and productive members of society once they leave the facility,” said Judge Evans. “To this end, we have asked esteemed members of our medical and justice communities to examine procedures at the JTDC and figure out what is being done right and what can be done better.”

The appointment of the committee came ahead of the submission on Thursday, April 15 to the Cook County Board of a report by the JTDC Advisory Board that makes recommendations concerning the Center. The report was requested by the board and follows a board hearing last December. The recommendations include holding hearings to examine how “punitive confinement” is currently used and stopping the use of “punitive confinement.” Citing independent reviews of the facility, JTDC leadership says that, as a matter of policy, punitive confinement is not used extensively at the center and is used only as a last resort.

The committee will gather information from other juvenile facilities around the country to determine best practices, as well as examine current academic research on the impact of trauma on the minds of young people.

The committee, which is in formation, will be chaired by Dr. Gene Griffin, a clinical psychologist and expert on childhood trauma with extensive experience working with children involved in the criminal justice system. He is a member of the Illinois Children’s Mental Health Partnership and the Illinois Childhood Trauma Coalition, and also chaired the Health Committee for the Cook County Chief Judge’s Juvenile Temporary Detention Center transition committee. A former Cook County assistant public defender, Dr. Griffin is a retired assistant professor with the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

Others on the committee were also members of the JTDC transition committee and are leaders in the health, education, juvenile justice advocacy, and legal communities. They include:

James D. Montgomery, Sr., J.D., committee co-chair
Managing Partner, James D. Montgomery & Associates, Ltd.
Assistant United States Attorney, Northern Dist. of Ill. (ret.)
Corporation Counsel, City of Chicago (ret.)

Paula Wolff, M.A., Ph.D., committee co-chair
Policy Advisor, Illinois Justice Project
Former Senior Executive, Chicago Metropolis 2020 and Metropolis Strategies (leader of the Justice and Violence Group)
Former President, Governors State University
Co-chair, Gov. Bruce Rauner’s Public Safety Transition Policy Committee

Honorable Larry Suffredin, J.D.
Commissioner, Cook County Board of Commissioners, 13th District
Chair, Legislation and Intergovernmental Affairs Committee and Rules and Administration Committee, Cook Co. Bd. of Commissioners

Honorable Richard R. Boykin, J.D.
Former Commissioner, Cook County Board of Commissioners, 1st District
Bridge Builders Consulting & Legal Services, LLC
Former Equity Partner, Barnes & Thornburg, LLP
Former chief of staff to U.S. Rep. Danny Davis

Beverly J. Butler, Ed.D.
Special Assistant for JTDC Transition, Office of the Chief Judge
Chicago Public Schools, Teacher and Administrator (ret.)

Frances G. Carroll, Ed.D.
Chicago Public Schools, Teacher and Administrator (ret.)
Member, Board of Trustees at the University of Illinois (ret.)

Edward Harrison, M.B.A.
President and CEO, National Commission on Correctional Health Care (ret.)

Marisel A. Hernandez, J.D.
Chairwoman, Chicago Board of Election Commissioners
Attorney, Jacobs, Burns, Orlove and Hernandez

Samuel V. Jones, J.D.
Professor, UIC John Marshall Law School
Police Officer and Judge Advocate, U.S. Army Judge Advocate General Corps (ret.)
U.S. Marines (ret.)

Dr. Barbara Radner, Ph.D, M.S.T.
Educational Consultant
Former Executive Director, Polk Bros. Foundation Center for Urban Education, DePaul University Chicago

Michael J. Rohan, M.A., M.S.
Director, Juvenile Probation and Court Services Department, Circuit Court of Cook County (ret.)
Interim Director, Juvenile Court Clinic for Forensic Clinical Services, Circuit Court of Cook County (ret.)
Instructor/lecturer, Loyola University, Chicago Police Academy, University of Illinois at Chicago and the Annie E. Casey Foundation

Bryan Samuels, M.P.P.
Executive Director, Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, a policy research center dedicated to improving the lives of children, families and communities

Dr. Robert T. Starks
Professor Emeritus
Founder, Harold Washington Institute for Research and Policy Studies
Northeastern Illinois University’s Jacob Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies, Politics and Economic Development
Chairman, Black United Fund of Illinois

Honorable Michael P. Toomin, J.D.
Presiding Judge, Juvenile Justice Division, Circuit Court of Cook County
Previous assignments: Judge, Illinois Appellate Court, First District; felony trial judge and Supervising Judge, Criminal Division, Circuit Court of Cook County

Illinois Judicial Council to co-sponsor Zoom symposium on restorative justice this Saturday

The Illinois Judicial Council and the Criminal and Juvenile Justice Clinic of the University of Chicago Law School will conduct a virtual symposium this Saturday, April 24, from 9:15 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. entitled "Beyond Punishment: Restorative Justice Practice, Policy, and Potential."

The event is free and open to the public. Registration is required; here is the registration link.

The symposium will explore how Restorative Justice can be implemented in schools, courts, and communities. Practitioners and theorists in those areas will discuss the state of RestorativJustice today and its potential. Judges, scholars, and community leaders are expected to participate along with "the Chicago community at-large."

The Criminal and Juvenile Justice Clinic provides legal representation to indigent children and young adults accused of delinquency and crime. The Clinic bills itself "as a national leader in expanding the concept of legalrepresentation to include the social, psychological, and educational needs of clients."

Here is the symposium schedule:

(If this schedule does not reproduce legibly on your device, try clicking here.)

For questions, or more information about the event, email

Friday, April 09, 2021

Illinois Bar Foundation to host "Virtual Authors' Q&A" on April 28

To be clear, both Appellate Court Justice David Ellis and Chicago attorney Christie Tate are actual authors; they will merely be appearing virtually for this one-hour Q&A, sponsored by the Illinois Bar Foundation, on Wednesday April 28, from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. John McNally, the Managing Editor of Chicago Lawyer, will moderate the event.

Tickets for the program are priced at $25 apiece. For $40, attendees gain access to the program and a copy of either Tate's memoir, Group, or Ellis' latest offering (with James Patterson), The Red Book (Patterson usually gets top billing but he is not a member of the Illinois Bar). For $50, attendees can get copies of both books.

Sponsorships are available (Gold - $1,000, Silver - $500.00, or Bronze - $250). For more information about tickets or sponsorships, click here and follow the links. Proceeds of this virtual event benefit the charitable programs of the Illinois Bar Foundation. Ticket purchases, donations, and sponsorships of this event are 100% tax deductible. For questions concerning the event, or more information, contact Jessie Reeves at (312) 920-4681.

The Illinois Bar Foundation was established in 1951. Its initial commitment was to provide aid to deserving members of the Illinois Bar who, because of age or infirmity, could no longer provide for their own care or support. Since then, the Foundation has expanded its scope to ensure meaningful access to the justice system, especially for those with limited means, and to assist lawyers who can no longer support themselves due to incapacity. For more about the IBF's mission, click here.

Well-Being Week in Law starts May 3

The Institute for Well-Being in Law, "a 501(c)(3) non-profit that evolved from the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being," is promoting "Well-Being Week in Law," running from May 3 to 7. The infographic above, taken from the organization's site, lays out a general schedule for the week.

Well-Being Week in Law (WWIL) is being promoted as an annual event, to occur in the first week of May this year and each succeeding year to "align with Mental Health Awareness Month in May." If you guessed it was tied into Law Day, you apparently guessed incorrectly.

Organizations participating in WWIL include the American Bar Association (ABA) Law Practice Division and its Attorney Well-Being Committee and the ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Program’s (CoLAP) Well-Being Committee. Judging by the email I received from the Appellate Lawyers Association, I would guess the ALA is in on this as well.

Your personal invitation "to be a well-being champion" can be found by clicking here.

Organizers of the week note, "Too many in the legal profession struggle with mental health and alcohol use disorders. Many others, while not dealing with a diagnosable illness, still are not fully well. The aim of WWIL is to raise awareness about mental health and encourage action and innovation across the profession to improve well-being."

Monday, April 05, 2021

Tragedy tomorrow -- comedy tonight! Well, actually, on April 28....

The Illinois Judges Foundation, the charitable arm of the Illinois Judges Association, is going to hold its first ever (and perhaps first annual) Judges Joke program on April 28 at 7:00 p.m.

The virtual program will be free (although a "good will" donation of up to $30 is encouraged). Registration is required, of course, and is available from this page of the IJF website (where sponsorship information can also be found). Registrations must be made by April 27. A link to join the live program will be emailed on April 28, 2021, in advance of the 7:00 p.m. curtain.

The event will feature current and former judges teaming with talent from the legendary Second City comedy troupe in an effort to bring cheer to the challenging days of the pandemic.

The IJF has recently announced its cast for the event. In alphabetical order, the judicial cast includes: Dan Locallo, a retired judge from Cook County, who serves as the Secretary of the IJF; Brian McKillip, a retired judge from DuPage County, who serves as the Treasurer of the IJF; Marty Moltz, who currently serves as a Cook County judge and as a Director of the IJF; Michael Otto, a Cook County judge and Co-Chair of the IJA Pension and Employment Benefits Committee; and Joan Smuda, a former Cook County judge and a Past President of the Advocates Society.

“Thanks to these wonderful jurists, who auditioned and were selected to work with talent from The Second City, to show the positive role of judges in our community,” says Judge Mike Chmiel of McHenry County, who serves as President of the Foundation.

The IJF is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation working to facilitate various benevolent and educational efforts, including those of the Illinois Judges Association. In the fall of 2020, the IJF had a record demand for scholarship help from law students, and doubled its awards. In this pandemic year, the IJF has also sponsored two virtual tours of the Illinois Holocaust Museum for the IJA, and an externship program of the American Bar Association.

“We thought it was especially important to provide our Judges Joke program free of charge,” says Retired Judge Mike Bender of Chicago, who serves as Chair of the Donor and Development Committee of the Foundation. “Several folks have already committed to sponsor the program and make free-will donations, to cover the cost of the program and help with the ever-escalating demand on the limited resources of the Foundation.”

Chicago will continue to lag behind the State of Illinois in opening up vaccine availability

So reports ABC News, in this article by Marlene Lenthang entitled, "Chicago mayor defies governor, refuses to open COVID-19 vaccine to all due to uptick in cases." An excerpt:

Lightfoot noted that the uptick in cases emerged primarily on the North Side of the city in neighborhoods like Old Town, Lakeview, Lincoln Park and Portage Park, especially among 18-to-39-year-olds.

"We're not going to see anything more significant in the reopening front until we see those numbers stabilize and start to come down," Lightfoot said.

She blamed the spike in infections on young people resuming life as normal as the warm weather moves in. She tweeted Tuesday, "Folks, the pandemic is not over. Warmer weather is not an excuse to make reckless decisions."

This is craziness, and must end in tears.

Yes, the Mayor is surely correct when she says the pandemic is not over. Yes, she is likewise correct when she says that people should not act foolishly just because the weather is getting better. People, even 18-to-39-year-olds, need to take responsibility for their own actions. And to recognize, I might add, their obligations, not only to themselves, but to the rest of society.

That said, the only justifiable rationale for rationing vaccines has been scarcity: We gave shots first to those most at risk -- seniors in nursing homes, then to other old folks, first responders, teachers conducting classes in person, grocery store clerks. Old folks were most at risk for severe complications; they were the most likely to tax our hospital resources. The rest were a priority because they were most likely to spread the disease, even unknowingly, because many might not even develop symptoms.

Now others, no doubt chafing like the rest of us from the year's worth of lockdowns, are venturing out and about. They shouldn't be jumping the gun.

But the City should not be imperiling all of us, especially with contagious new variants spreading, by not doing something about it.

Look... the City, bowing to the anguished howls of the restaurant and hospitality industry, and to its own incresingly desperate need for tax revenues, has started to ease restrictions on restaurants and bars and other places of public amusement. Essentially, then, the City has invited the 18-to-39-year-olds back into the streets, even while scolding them for doing so.

If cases really are going up, and there's no reason to doubt otherwise, the City can either close everything down again... or vaccinate the people in the street.

Vaccines are not as scarce as they were in January, and every day they are less so. City Health Department workers should be flooding the streets where people are congregating, offering vaccinations to those wandering in and out of newly reopened taverns. Register them as they meander down the public ways, and innoculate them immediately, preferably with the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine so no follow-ups are necessary. Turn potential super-spreaders into viral dead ends.

Doesn't the City ever want this to end?

Free IVI-IPO Zoom program tonight on the "myths of carjacking"

Since no further details are provided, I will not speculate on the myths that may be identified and dispelled. To join the meeting, follow this link to register.

Meanwhile, from the HeyJackass! website, here are some statistics about the explosive growth in carjackings in Chicago over time:

Thursday, April 01, 2021

There really is a company called TimeSolv. However... this can't be a good marketing idea

My late mother-in-law was overly impressed with personalized marketing.

Every time she'd get a solicitation from an insurer, or a company offering to lower her property taxes, using publicly available information in its pitch, she'd call to tell us. "They must know me," she'd say, often with some wonder in her voice. "They know all about me!"

Sometimes, in her view, this was a good thing; sometimes it was frightening. She always thought it noteworthy.

In the modern day and age, most of us have become immune to personalized pitches. Immune and/or mildly resentful. My wife had me looking up different types of yarn for some projects she was working on recently, and for the last several weeks, I haven't been able to read the news headlines, or browse Facebook, without pushing past a number of ads for yarns, knitting patterns, and crochet patterns. I don't know which annoys me more: That the Internet provides ads based on my browsing history or that the Internet doesn't understand that I'm not the least bit artsy or craftsy.

But I got a new one this morning: I received an email from a time management software outfit called TimeSolv. The graphic above is from the company's website. It's apparently a Thomson West spinoff, with an excellent BBB rating and positive reviews and all that good stuff. So what, you say. Another ad? Don't we all get dozens, even hundreds of ads every day?

Well... yeah. Except this wasn't an ad. This email was bannered "Welcome to TimeSolv" and purported to provide me with my very own user name and password. And it had a link to click to begin.

We've all endured seminars on Internet security, providing advice on how to avoid embarrassment, or even discipline, by being more vigilant online. I didn't see any of the telltales on this morning's emailthat are supposed to alert us to a possible scam -- no slightly off email address, a telephone number consistent with the Minnesota origins of the company, no glaring grammatical errors in the text of the email itself.

Are the Nigerian generals' widows getting that sophisticated?

Who knows? Maybe this morning's email was legit -- but just really badly timed. Maybe someone thought lawyers like me might stay with, and ultimately pay for, time management software if we were automatically enrolled -- and, Lord knows, I could be much more efficient -- but sending the email on April Fools Day?


Bad things can happen when you click blindly on 'click here' -- as today's edition of Brewster Rockit illustrates:

I marked the email as spam. I will have to become more efficient some other way.