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Polaris Week of 9/26/21

I’m Zayna, your newsletter editor, here to provide you with a weekly line to The North Star and the news. We’ll keep you updated about what’s going on right here in Naperville and break down the big stories. We’ll end with entertainment news, and remember to check out this week’s recipe!

Let’s take a look at this week’s local stories:

A new legislative map will restructure voting districts statewide.

On Friday, Sep. 24, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed off on a new legislative map that will restructure voting districts across Illinois. The current iteration that Pritzker has signed off on has drawn criticism from both Republicans and minority groups due to possible unfair representation.

  • Despite opposition from Republicans on grounds of gerrymandering and distress from reform groups stating a suppression of Latino and Black voices, Governor Pritzker firmly stood behind the newly drawn up maps, insisting they “align with landmark Voting Rights Act and will help ensure Illinois’ diversity is reflected.”
  • In the first preposition since Pritzker initially signed off on maps in May, Pritzker failed to follow through on the promise to veto any maps produced by politicians, a promise made during his time in candidacy in 2018. He instead shifted focus to vetoing “unfair” maps.
  • Republicans and numerous voting rights groups have requested Pritzker veto the latest map plan. They believe that the Aug. 31 vote came too quickly to determine the impact the new map could have politically, racially and ethnically.
  • In a statement, CHANGE Illinois, “a nonpartisan nonprofit that champions ethics and efficiency in government and elections in Illinois,” expressed disappointment in the Governor’s inability to properly represent Latino, Black and other Illinoisans who seek “equitable representation.”
  • CHANGE Illinois also noted that Latino groups who have filed lawsuits state that Latino representation has been diluted. Black activists state that the map does not form enough districts with a Black majority of voting age, and Jewish communities north of Chicago have been split.

Next, a grand show of cultures and traditions in Naperville:

On Sunday, the Naperville Neighbors United Organization hosted their very first Multicultural Day Event at Rotary Hill in downtown Naperville. The event featured various dances, singers, food and speakers in order to celebrate diverse demographics within the Naperville community.

  • Founder of Naperville Neighbors United, City Councilman Benny White, said that the event was an opportunity to “really celebrate the great diversity we have in the community.”
  • Some key speakers at the event were Judge Vincent Cornelius, the first Black person to be elected as circuit judge in Will County, and Regina Brent, committee member for Naperville Township.
  • Admission to the event was free, and attendees were able to register online in the days leading up to the event.
  • According to Naperville Neighbors United, the organization was “founded on the principles of fostering an inclusive community that celebrates diversity,” which the event’s organizers hoped would be reflected in this new event.

And a string of crime affects Naperville residents, including a robbery and a shooting.

Around 10 p.m. on Wednesday, Sep. 22, a Naperville jewelry store on West Jefferson Street was broken into. By the time Naperville Police arrived on the scene, the two suspects had already fled, along with an unknown amount of jewelry.

  • The suspects are described as black men in their 30s and were seen wearing jeans, masks and dark jackets during the robbery.
  • In a news release, Naperville Police stated that there were signs of forced entry at the back of the building and several display cases were smashed in the midst of the robbery.
  • The Naperville Police Department is currently still looking for leads on the suspects.

On Sep. 26, a Naperville man was fatally shot in Evanston. A Chicago man was also stabbed and authorities believe them to be related events. 45-year-old Van T. Ross died in the hospital about an hour and 21 minutes after Evanston police responded to the 911 call. While there are no suspects, police are investigating it as a non-random act. Police are asking Evanston residents for tips that may help the investigation.

From The North Star:

Are college applications stressing you out? We've answered all your questions and concerns here.

Polaris recipes: This traditional Norwegian dessert will show you that nothing is better than home-cooked food.

On the Record: Listen to Polaris' new weekly music podcast here.

Now, let's take a look at what's going on nationally.

Will COVID-19 vaccine shots become the norm?

Earlier this month, Pfizer and BioNTech released new data from a small sample of people proving that a third vaccination dose -- otherwise known as a booster shot -- may strengthen the immune response of individuals. The F.D.A. also approved these booster shots for senior citizens, the immunocompromised and those whose careers put their health at risk. What does this mean for the average population? Will booster shots soon become the norm?

  • Just like our vaccinations for the flu, measles and other viruses, a COVID-19 booster shot would be used to periodically “boost” the immune system to fight back harder against the virus.
  • Whether the COVID-19 booster shot will remain a one-time pandemic response or be a required yearly vaccination is currently unclear. Albert Bourla, the CEO of Pfizer, stated that the vaccine may be administered annually in the future.
  • If administered annually, the COVID-19 vaccine would be given to the majority of the general public. Bourla also stated that the amount of COVID-19 variants versus the original vaccine’s waning immunity will likely determine the role of the vaccine in coming years.
  • There is a level of skepticism when it comes to booster shots. However, data shows that some booster shots may be more than 90% effective when administered two months after one’s first dose, and that the Johnson & Johnson booster vaccine may also increase antibody levels by four to six times.

In celebrity and entertainment news...

The 2021 Tony Awards celebrated some of the year’s best moments in theatre.

The 74th Annual Tony’s Awards occurred on Sep. 26th. Unlike previous years, the show was broadcasted in two parts. The first two hours were streamed exclusively on Paramount+ and hosted by six-time Tony winner Audra McDonald. It featured the winners in all but three categories. The second half was aired on CBS and was hosted by Tony winner Leslie Odom Jr.. It featured lots of performances and the most anticipated awards of the night: Best Musical, Best Play and Best Revival of a Play.

  • Moulin Rouge won a total of 10 awards including Best Musical. Danny Burstein won his first Tony after seven nominations for his role as Harold Zidler. Adrienne Warren won Best Actress in a Leading Role for her portrayal of Tina Turner in Tina: The Tina Turner Musical. Lauren Patten had a controversial win for her featured role in Jagged Little Pill. The show received backlash after changing the character of Jo from a gender non-conforming character to a cisgender female. In her acceptance speech, she thanked her trans and non-binary colleagues for “engaging in difficult conversations.”
  • This year’s awards included performances from both shows currently on Broadway and recognizable Broadway legends. Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth came together for a Wicked reunion of “For Good” and Lin Manual Miranda’s hip hop group, Freestyle Love Supreme, rapped an entirely improvised performance. Audra McDonald and Brian Stokes Mitchell performed “Wheels of a Dream” from Ragtime, a show they did together in 1998. Moulin Rouge, Jagged Little Pill and Tina were some of the current shows that performed.

And lastly, Elon Musk and Grimes' new "semi-separated" relationship status:

After a relationship lasting three years, entrepreneur Elon Musk and Canadian singer Claire “Grimes” Boucher officially announced that they are now “semi-separated.” In an exclusive reveal to Page Six on Sep. 24, Musk stated that he and Grimes will continue to co-parent their son, X Æ A-Xii Musk. “We are semi-separated but still love each other, see each other frequently and are on great terms,” Musk said.

  • Incompatible distance and work schedules appear to be the main factors going into the decision regarding this split. Musk’s role as the founder of the companies SpaceX and Tesla require that he either be abroad or in Texas, whereas Grimes’ music career is based in Los Angeles, and a long-distance relationship does not appear to be in the works for either of them.
  • The specific details and living arrangements of co-parenting their one-year old son, referred to as “Baby X” by Musk, still remain unknown. However, at the time of Musk’s exclusive reveal to Page Six, it was made clear that both mother and son were still living together with Musk. At the time of his interview with Page Six, Musk revealed that Grimes was still staying with him while Baby X was in an adjacent room.
  • Elon Musk and Grimes were last seen together at the 2021 Met Gala, making for a bittersweet parallel to their first official appearance as a couple during the 2018 Met Gala. However, this year, Grimes made a solo appearance before Musk joined her inside the Gala.
  • This split with Grimes officially marks Musk’s fourth separation in a relationship. The entrepreneur was previously married to Canadian author Justine Wilson and married twice to Westworld actress Talulah Riley.

This week’s news was written by Zea, Grace, Faye, Maggie, Bella, Gracie and Jack

Polaris will be on break next week, but we will be back on Oct. 14!

Photo credits to Entertainment Weekly and Vulture