The Chatterbox | June 22
Chicago Public Schools is on fire in local news again this week with a couple of big votes by the new board coming down the pike. On the national front, a new study releases shocking news regarding food allergies and the New York Times reports a shift in attitude about divorce. Oh, and there's a new Muppets movie—we're super excited about that!
Is there a hot story you're following this week? Tell us about it in the comment section below.
- Residency issues are back in the news yet again. The Chicago Public School board will decide today whether to grant a waiver allowing interim chief operating officer Tim Cawley to become chief administrative officer, despite Cawley's intent to remain living in Winnetka with his wife and their 12-year-old daughter, adopted last year from Ukraine. Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who faced residency issues of his own during the election, has said he will uphold the three-decade-old rule requiring city workers to live in Chicago, "promoted by CPS as a measure to keep staff connected to the city, decrease absenteeism and encourage local spending that contributes to school tax revenues," writes Noreen S. Ahmed-Ullah of the Chicago Tribune.
- Also buzzing at CPS, the Sun-Times reports today that the board will be asked to approve six-figure salaries for five top executives, including new CEO Jean-Claude Brizard. If approved, Brizard will be earning $20 thousand more than his predecessor, Rob Huberman, and more than any other city executive—including Mayor Rahm Emanuel. This comes in the wake of the board denying 4 percent pay increases for CPS teachers.
- We already know allergies are a huge issue among kids today, and Monday the journal Pediatrics published a study that revealed a shocking statistic: Nearly 8 percent of U.S. children have a food allergy. That's about one out of every 13 kids, a significantly larger number than previously estimated. Of those, 39 percent have suffered a severe reaction. Dr. Ruchi Gupta, the lead author of the report and an assistant professor of pediatrics at Northwestern and doctor at Children's Memorial Hospital, was interviewed by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer about the study. (If you're one of the parents whose child has a food allergy, you might be happy to learn that some local restaurants know how to go that extra mile to make you and your whole family safe and comfortable eating out. We wrote about them earlier this spring.)
- Have you heard about the new federal guidelines concerning sunscreens? Although the FDA rules don't take effect for another year, The New York Times offers a thorough examination of which sunscreens do what—including an explanation of UVA versus UVB protection. Read the whole article, because you'll love this part: Some of the least-expensive sunscreens are the most effective.
- In other family-life news, NYT reports an interesting shift in attitude toward divorce among the upper-middle class. Once viewed as liberating, in some circles–particularly among well-educated parents who are children of divorce–it's seen as a sign failure and letting your children down.
- Finally, on a lighter note, after parody upon parody of trailers for other films, we've finally got the real deal for the new Muppet movie—and we couldn't be more excited! The upcoming release, timed for Thanksgiving, is one of many aiming to make this holiday season one of the biggest and best for kids' movies. Or should we say, kids' movies that adults will be equally as excited to see.