Pilsen development plans, engaging citizen scientists, a new HIV treatment


Erin Allen: Good morning. Its tuesday. I’m Erin Allen and this is The Rundown.

So you saw that big empty lot in Pilsen, right? The one on 18th and Peoria, right up the street from Simone’s. It is approximately six acres the largest vacant lot in the neighborhood. And city officials and developers have fought over what to do with it, especially in light of so much gentrification in the area. But later this month, the neighbors will finally find out what the plan is, according to Block Club Chicago. A presentation and Open House on the future of the lot is scheduled for December 15 at Jungman Elementary. Residents will hear about three affordable housing development scenarios and can ask questions. There will also be an option for neighbors to participate virtually over Zoom, you can find more information at

The Illinois Department of Public Health will begin offering new HIV treatments in January. My colleague Mawa Iqbal has more.

Mawa Iqbal: Cabenuva will be the first long-term injectable HIV drug offered by the department. Jeffrey Maras, who manages the department’s HIV AIDS services program, calls this drug a game changer. Patients can get a monthly injection instead of having to remember to take a pill every day. Individuals enrolled in the state’s Ryan White program may qualify for partial or full coverage from Cabenuva.

Erin Allen: That was my colleague Mawa Iqbal.

And a story for all you environmental engineering nerds, a University of Illinois study suggests a hypothetical structure that could capture ocean water vapor and turn it into fresh water. Researchers evaluated 14 different water stress sites around the world and found that converting ocean moisture into fresh water would satisfy water demand at each one. The structure itself will be roughly the size of a cruise ship and will be anchored offshore. Praveen Kumar leads U of I study, says many places are on the verge of a water crisis and his research can help. Kumar says next steps will likely include building prototypes and exploring how the structure could be built.

The Chicago Red Stars owner says he is selling his stake in a team following an investigation that found emotional abuse and sexual misconduct were systemic in the National Women’s Soccer League. Arnim Whisler’s decision comes two months after the team’s board voted to remove him as president and ban him for participating in team operations. Players have also called on him to sell the team. Whisler said in a statement that he made the decision to sell after 15 years with subpoena, reluctantly. Former acting US Attorney General Sally Yates and the law firm of King and Spalding released the results in early October of an investigation detailing the range of abuses and misconduct that impacted more teams in the league.

I don’t know about you, but for me road salt is one of the most annoying/useful things about winter. Ok, so I don’t end up slipping and falling down any road. But my shoes get messed up not to mention the roads themselves get damaged. Hello summer construction? And we now know that road salt can end up contaminating rivers and streams as well. My colleague Indira Khera spoke to a local group and enlisted citizen scientists to monitor the problem.

Indira Khera: Road salt can increase chloride concentrations to levels dangerous to aquatic life. The Winter Chloride Watchers program trains anyone to use test kits to record chloride levels and watch ecosystems. Danielle Haake runs the Illinois River Watch, they run the program.

Danelle Haake: This is a really easy way to bring all the work that people do in science into something that anyone can do in their everyday life. Science doesn’t have to be menacing or big.

Erin Allen: Haake says the data can reveal how chloride affects water and he hopes it can be used in future watershed planning.

Before getting to the weather, a few quick hits. Narcan is now free and available in all Chicago public libraries. The city’s Department of Public Health says more Chicagoans die each year from opioid overdoses than from homicides and traffic accidents combined. Narcan is a nasal spray that can prevent a fatal overdose. And in all, more than 100 oppositions were filed yesterday against candidates for mayor, aldermen and the district police council. Candidates will have to defend their candidacy at the Chicago Board of Elections starting next week. And an encore, if you really wanted to see Michelle Obama last night at the Chicago theater but couldn’t, she’s back tonight. She will talk about her new book, The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times. And you can get tickets at

As for the weather, high in the mid 40’s today low in the low 40’s, cloudy tonight all the time. And that’s it for The Rundown today. I’m Erin Allen, see you tomorrow morning.

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


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Written by Natalia Chi

Chicago Popular; Chicago breaking news, weather and live video. Covering local politics, health, traffic and sports for Chicago, the suburbs and northwest Indiana.

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