The opinions in and around Chicago that inform, analyze, hold power accountable and entertain.

A so-called “trial penalty” helps explain why, contrary to the impression left by movies and TV shows, criminal cases almost never go to trial, Jacob Sullum writes.
Ending the sale of menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars by the end of the year will save lives and protect our youth.
One in four Black girls will be sexually abused by age 18. Schools must give youth the knowledge and awareness not to fall prey to sex trafficking, a UIC professor writes.
Expanding sidewalks, adding curb bump-outs, making more bollard-protected bike lanes and raising crosswalks will do more than any new tech will, a letter writer says.
Too many innocent lives have been lost in Gaza, many of them children. Israelis have lost their lives as well, on Oct 7 and after. A cease-fire is an imperfect beginning, but if not now, when?
Do the Zach LaVine trade rumors and the new Ring of Honor capture your imagination? Didn’t think so.
The renovation would keep the atrium and have a more transparent facade and a new plaza. But we need to see more, architecture critic Lee Bey writes.
Newly released data show that nearly 50,000 Americans died by suicide last year. The national suicide rate of 14.3 deaths per 100,000 people hit its highest level since 1941.
The Urban League and other groups worked hard during the pandemic to raise vaccination rates among Black Americans. The gap is smaller, but Blacks are still less likely than whites to receive COVID-19 and influenza vaccines.
ComEd and Ameren are asking us to pay more to get less. As the state transitions to clean energy, the Illinois Commerce Commission should right-size electric utilities’ spending and limit the financial impact on customers.
Why is Shannon, the best player on the 16th-ranked team in the land, averaging 21.7 points, shooting 50.8% from the field and 42.4% from three and being talked about in All-American terms? Read on.
Donald Trump showed as president he did not want people telling him what he wanted to do was illegal. The country needs to be prepared if he returns to the White House, one letter writer says.
There’s the easy way; then there’s the Dobra Bielinski way.
Mental health crises are rising among girls and young women. Working on Womanhood, developed in Chicago, helped reduce symptoms of PTSD.
Proposed legislation would inject competition into the system of networks that process credit card transactions.
It’s that time of the year, and we can bask in all its gory — or glory.
Michigan’s commitment to fighting the pollution driving climate change is good news for communities of color that bear the burden of the effects of the crisis, but also for all Michiganders, Ben Jealous writes.
First-generation and low-income students often don’t feel like they belong on campus and face financial and other stress their peers likely do not, a vice president of Chicago Scholars writes.
People with multiple tickets should see if they qualify for Chicago’s Clear Path Relief pilot program by Dec. 31.
Technology should help media workers do their jobs, not impersonate them or actually carry out the tasks of real humans hired to dig for facts.
The 11U Cowboys were on a Pop Warner mission after finishing as national runners-up a year ago.
They were impressive in all facets against the Lions.
Holidays mean delicious food, and where better to find it than Delightful Pastries in Jefferson Park?
When financial advice doesn’t fully fit into our own circumstances, it’s up to us to fill in the blanks by learning from every personal mistake and success.
The entire city is aiming at their backs. The McCaskeys and Kevin Warren sitting back on some Al Capone vibe waiting on when to give the order. Fire v. Fired. Same thing.
Rabbi Barry Axler and his wife, Morene Dunn, of River North, are heading to Israel and near Gaza this weekend to feed members of the Israeli Defense Forces, which include two of his grandchildren.