Mayoral candidate Paul Vallas insists he’s a lifelong Democrat, but he’s backed by conservatives – Chicago Tribune newstrendslive

Good morning, Chicago.

Larry Bienz has been going to Promontory Point regularly since he moved to the Hyde Park neighborhood nearly a decade ago.

Like many residents, Bienz goes to the point to escape the chaos of the city, enjoying its seclusion in the winter and its access to Lake Michigan in the summer. Bordering DuSable Lake Shore Drive, its three other sides face only the waves.

“It’s my favorite place on the lakeshore,” Bienz, 37, said. “It’s a way to get away from the buildings. You feel like you’re actually out on the water and not just hanging out on a slab of concrete somewhere.”

Concrete has been at the heart of a decadeslong debate between residents and city and federal officials.

In the early 2000s, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers replaced much of Chicago’s shoreline barriers with concrete revetments to repair erosion caused by Lake Michigan. Because of an outcry by residents, Promontory Point is the only spot where the original limestone steps have been left in place.

Residents have been fighting to save the steps ever since. Now, the long-standing dispute may finally be coming to an end.

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Kim Bowman and mayoral candidate Paul Vallas pose for a photo at a Women for Vallas luncheon on Feb. 7, 2023, at Gibsons Italia in Chicago.

An encounter at a Southwest Side campaign stop highlights a thorny campaign issue for Chicago mayoral candidate Paul Vallas: As he makes his second bid for Chicago mayor and proclaims himself a “lifelong Democrat,” he’s pivoted to run on law-and-order and other themes that have drawn support from conservatives in the city and state.

While Vallas doesn’t want to lose conservative supporters — many on the Northwest and Southwest sides who could propel him past the Feb. 28 election into a runoff — he also can’t alienate the rest of the city if he wants to win on April 4.

CTA Blue Line passengers crowd into an O'Hare bound train at the Clark/Lake station during the afternoon rush Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023, in Chicago.

Six months ago, CTA President Dorval Carter unveiled a broad plan to address service, safety and other challenges the city’s transit system was facing. And by many of its own measures, the agency has improved.

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Bus and some train service is running closer to schedule, making wait times easier to predict, even though scheduled waits are in some cases longer. It also means so-called ghost buses and trains, which show up on digital trackers but fail to arrive in real life, are less likely. And the violent crime rate on trains dropped last year, although it remains well above pre-pandemic levels. But challenges remain.

Fernando and Margarita Ruiz visit their 15-month-old son, Ricky, on Feb. 6, 2023 at La Rabida Children's Hospital. Ricky, who was born prematurely and has a trach and ventilator, had been unable to go home without pediatric nursing care.

Across the Chicago area, children with complex, chronic conditions are finding themselves stuck in hospitals longer than they should be because it’s so difficult to find in-home pediatric nurses.

That, in turn, can mean fewer available hospital beds for all kids, something that became a serious problem in the fall as respiratory illnesses in children surged.

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) holds the trophy after their win against the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFL Super Bowl 57 football game, Feb. 12, 2023, in Glendale, Ariz.

Patrick Mahomes shook off an ankle injury, turned back into a magician and pulled out another comeback on the biggest stage to help the Kansas City Chiefs win their second Super Bowl in four years.

Mahomes threw two touchdown passes in the fourth quarter and scrambled 26 yards on the go-ahead drive before Harrison Butker kicked a 27-yard field goal with 8 seconds left to give the Chiefs a 38-35 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday night.

The pani puri at The Coach House by Wazwan restaurant on Division Street in Chicago on Feb. 2, 2023. It's a version of a popular spherical snack in India.

The Tribune’s Nick Kindelsperger writes that of the five Chicago chefs on the James Beard Foundation’s list of semifinalists for best chef in the Great Lakes region, Zubair Mohajir was the most unexpected, if only because he only opened his first restaurant in 2021. “It’s kind of surreal,” Mohajir said. “It’s definitely humbling. I wasn’t expecting it.”

For his first permanent restaurant, he didn’t open a single concept, but two: Wazwan and The Coach House by Wazwan. Both are BYOB and offer a menu rooted in the cooking of southern India, albeit with plenty of global detours.

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