Vacation travel advice, advice on the triple epidemic, expanding internet access

Vacation travel advice, advice on the triple epidemic, expanding internet access

Erin Allen: Hello, welcome to Friday. I’m Erin Allen and this is The Rundown.

Ready or not, the holiday season is upon us and I hope your travel plans, if you have them, come together as the extended turkey day travel period begins today and doesn’t stop not before November 27. And all of you, we are here. The Transportation Security Administration expects airport security checkpoints to be busier than they were last year and possibly close to pre-pandemic levels. TSA Midwest spokeswoman Jessica Mayle said Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday will be especially busy at the airport, both nationwide and in Chicago. Mayle says checkpoints move faster if passengers pack smartly. It’s you, pack smart. And if you’re traveling with Thanksgiving preparations, gravy and cranberry sauce are considered liquid, so put them in your checked baggage. Or maybe take the risk of buying them after landing? Up to you.

And the holiday season is also the start of flu season. This year, some medical professionals are particularly concerned about what they call a triple demic. Dr. Larry Kociolek of Lurie Children’s Hospital joins public health officials in warning people about COVID, RSV and influenza. There is no vaccine for RSV, but they urge people to get vaccinated against COVID 19 and the flu before the holiday season. Illinois health officials say we should be really concerned about children because of their lack of immunity and they expect infection rates to rise, which will strain hospitals.

Cook County commissioners yesterday approved a budget of more than $8 billion for 2023 with no new taxes, but they are concerned about spending related to the sheriff’s office. My colleague Kristen Schorsch has more on this.

Kristen Schorsch: Commissioners oversee an extensive justice and prison system. But they overwhelmingly supported redirecting money away from the police after the murder of George Floyd. At a board meeting, Commissioner Brandon Johnson voted against hiring social workers who would handle 911 calls during a mental health crisis. He supports the effort but does not want funding to go through the sheriff’s office.

Brandon Johnson: I find it difficult to support a measure that will continue to use the approach that many people in my community do not, they do not really trust.

Erin Allen: Other commissioners vowed to find another source of funding, but they also stressed that they wanted to go ahead and make the program work.

The Illinois State Board of Education yesterday voted to close the downtown campus of the former Urban Prep Charter School in Chicago. The council said the all-boys school, which focuses on black teenagers, has failed for years to meet its enrollment targets. The downtown campus has only 51 students. It will close at the end of the school year and students will be able to enroll at the other two Urban Prep campuses. These were recently taken up by the Chicago Board of Education after being cited for mismanagement and financial troubles.

So you’re using the internet to listen to this podcast right now. But you may be taking it for granted that internet access is not so accessible. My colleague Adora Namigadde says churches in Illinois are working to address this issue.

Adora I fell asleep: Comcast donated 200 laptops to pastors to promote federal Affordable Connectivity program. It can cover up to $30 per month of eligible household internet costs. Pastor Ira Acree of Greater St. John Bible Church in Chicago says it’s crucial that members of poorer congregations benefit from programs like this.

Ira Acree: And that might not seem like a lot of money to some people, but for the working poor, when you can put $400 a year back in their pocket, that takes care of some big bills.

Erin Allen: A study earlier this year found deep disparities in Internet access across Chicago neighborhoods.

And a few quick shots before we get to the weather. Former Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has said he will not run for mayor next year. And if you love records, the bad news is that Dave’s Records and Lincoln Park are closing after 20 years, since the building that houses the store is due for demolition, according to Block Club Chicago. The good news is that they have Buy One Get One sales on the records until next month. And construction of the Obama Center has resumed after halting because a noose was found on the site, but the investigation into who was responsible for the noose is ongoing.

Outside today, a bit cooler than yesterday, high in the upper 20s. A little snow this morning then a cloudy sky all afternoon. Tonight some low clouds around 20. And that’s it for this morning, this afternoon: a very special and hilarious Chicago and dropped by Navy Pier and sat with my little old self.

Annibale Buress: Hey wassup, it’s Hannibal Burris, Eshu Tune, and I make music.

Erin Allen: It was Eshu Tune, his music maker nickname, because in case you haven’t heard, Hannibal Burres has released a new single. I’ll talk to him about it and how he’s been making music for a while now. It happens this afternoon on The Rundown. I’m Erin Allen, speaking to you then.

WBEZ transcriptions are generated by an automatic speech recognition service. We do our best to correct spelling mistakes and typos, but mistakes do happen.

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