Welcome to the Reader‘s morning briefing for Friday, December 30, 2016. Have a great New Year’s weekend!
- McCarthy calls Chicago’s gun violence surge a “crisis”
Former Chicago Police Department superintendent Garry McCarthy says the way that the police are handling the massive increase in shootings and homicides is a “huge problem” and calls the issue a “crisis.” Police stops and arrests have decreased dramatically this year. “The police activity is horrific. Honestly. And there’s not an excuse that could be made in my book,” McCarthy told 60 Minutes in an interview set to air on CBS Sunday evening. “The noncompliance of the law is becoming legitimized. And the police are on their heels. . . . We’re reaching a state of lawlessness.” McCarthy was fired by Mayor Rahm Emanuel in November 2015 after the release of the Laquan McDonald video. [Sun-Times]
- Rahm considered a Chicago-only lottery to generate revenue
Mayor Rahm Emanuel considered launching a Chicago-exclusive lottery to help the city get out of its financial crisis, according to the recently released trove of his e-mails. Former Illinois Lottery director Michael Jones suggested the idea in a memo to senate president John Cullerton, who then forwarded it to Emanuel, who passed it on to deputy mayor Steve Koch and Chicago Public Schools chief Forrest Claypool. Jones believed that a lottery could generate $500 million or more in revenue for the city per year. A spokesman for the city told Crain’s Chicago Business that the mayor is also looking for “new ideas and creative solutions” to generate revenue but that “this particular idea is not being pursued at this time.” [Crain’s Chicago Business]
- Local tax and fee increases going into effect in 2017
Chicagoans will have to fork over more money in fees and taxes in 2017 as several new increases and fees go into effect. Property taxes will go up again, Metra fares will rise, a Cook County “sweetened beverage” tax will go into effect, a new 7-cent fee for disposable shopping bags, and a new water tax are coming, and that’s not all of them. [Tribune]
- Lyft names Navy Pier the top tourist destination in the U.S.
More Lyft riders rode to Navy Pier than to any other tourist destination in the U.S. in 2016, the ride-sharing service announced in its “Lyftie Awards.” Not surprisingly, Wrigley Field was the most-visited event venue in the city. The West Loop’s Parlor Pizza Bar was Chicago’s most-visited restaurant. [DNAinfo Chicago]
- Chicago Firehouse restaurant will return in 2017 with a new chef
Chicago Firehouse closed in December 2014 after a massive fire caused its roof to cave in. The “enhanced” South Loop restaurant will reopen in January with new chef John Caputo (formerly of LaBriola Ristorante & Café) and about 80 percent of its staff. [Chicago]
- The demolition of the Logan Square Megamall begins
The Megamall indoor flea market on Milwaukee Avenue in Logan Square is in pieces. As demolition on the building began Wednesday, nearby residents ventured to the site to grab souvenirs. “It was a lot of real good memories,” neighbor Peter Contreras told DNAinfo Chicago. “It’s very sad, but old things gotta come down and new things gotta come up.” [DNAinfo Chicago]