(UPDATED) Beating All The Odds: Chicago Elected A Gay Black Woman As Mayor Last Night

(SEE UPDATE: Farther down the page...)

(I'm reposting much more than I should of this piece, as it is; but, there's a great story that I hope you'll take the time to read, in its entirety, immediately below.)

Add two to this year's list

 photo Chyna_Gibson-1488219408-640x630_zpsqz0w1sit.jpgChyna Gibson, 31, who performed under the name Chyna Doll Dupree in the pageant and ballroom community, was shot to death outside of a shopping center in New Orleans East on Saturday evening.

Residents of the area said that they hear 8 to 10 shots. Chyna died at the scene. Her body was found between to cars parked in front of a clothing store.

A very loving person. She didn't do nothing to nobody.

--Chyna's aunt

Chyna was currently living in California but had traveled to Nola to celebrate Mardi Gras with friends and family.

Sunday Train: An Ohio Universities Rail System, Part 1 (Southern & Central Ohio)

Well, the 2016 High Speed Rail unlock has been postponed to 2018 or 2020.

When transportation policy at the Federal level is grabbed with both hands by the Oil and Gas death lobby, we have to turn to the state level. Now, in Ohio, it might not look like that offers a prospect any better ... but unlike 2010 and 2014, in 2018 the Gubernatorial cycle will be in an election cycle with a President in the Republican party ... which leads to a predictable midterm backlash.

That midterm backlash tends to be strongest in the first midterm ... and it seems likely to be even stronger, given the character of the Republican who happens to occupy 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

And so bringing the focus of sustainable transportation policy from the Federal level to the State and Local level was in my head when I read: Oxford commits to funds, support for Amtrak stop. The City of Oxford, Ohio, the college town that hosts Miami University (not, of course, "the University of Miami") has committed $350,000 toward the construction of an Amtrak station for the Cardinal that runs through town three times a week to Chicago and DC/NYC. This matches the $350,000 committed by Miami University.

More about building up The Cardinal as a Knowledge Corridor, below the fold.

West Chicago

I guess all portents indicated my first essay upon returning from a bout of sickness would concern some death. The Lady Chablis died. Alexis Arquette.

But we're left to believe those were from natural causes. Chablis died after a month in a hospital fighting pneumonia. Alexis was in a coma at Cedars Sinai for four days before passing while listening to David Bowie's Starman.

Segregated Education -- Clinton Style

Former President Bill Clinton collected $5.6 million in fees from GEMS Education--

... a Dubai-based company. His biggest paycheck from the closely-held company — which is incorporated in the Cayman Islands — was in 2014 when he pocketed $2.1 million. GEMS even has two “international” schools in Chicago.

GEMS World Academy Downtown Will Charge $32,000 For Kindergarten

Chicago YMCA stirs the pot

YMCA of Metro Chicago has issued guidelines for accommodating transgender members and guests. They allow access to restrooms and changing areas matching gender identity.

The protocol was explained in a letter posted Wednesday on the organization's website. The YMCA of Metro Chicago said it also sent the letter to its 140,000 members at its 21 Chicagoland centers. The guidelines will cover all YMCA of Metro Chicago programs and services, from gym and pool facilities to summer camps and various classes. The policies wouldn't apply to some smaller, independent YMCA's in the Chicago area.

We recognize our commitment in support of the rights of all individuals can cause some to feel uncomfortable.. Again, it's our goal for all members to thrive at the Y, and this is why we will do our best to support each of you while maintaining an environment that reflects the inclusive values we share.

--Dick Malone, YMCA of Metro Chicago