Happy Wednesday. It's National Black Cat Day, which Monica can sort of relate to as the owner of two finicky black rabbits.

  • Today's weather: Partly cloudy, with a high of 54.

Today's newsletter is 936 words — a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: Hawks GM resigns amid team’s sex assault scandal

Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman addresses reporters during a press conference in 2018. Photo: John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman resigned yesterday after the an investigation into the team's handling of a 2010 sexual misconduct case.

  • The independent investigation found the organization did not act appropriately when a player came forward with a sexual misconduct allegation against one of its coaches.

Backstory: A former Blackhawk player (anonymously referred to as John Doe) filed a lawsuit against the team in May 2021. He alleged that he was coerced into non-consensual sexual acts by video coach Brad Aldrich during the 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs.

  • When the allegation was brought to the team's executives at the time, they responded that they "did not want any negative publicity during the Stanley Cup Finals."
  • According to the investigation, the Hawks didn't act on the allegation for three weeks.

The latest: Blackhawks CEO Danny Wirtz met with reporters yesterday and said, “We deeply regret the harm caused to John Doe and the other individuals who were affected and our failures to address these allegations."

  • The NHL has fined the Hawks $2 million for "the organization's inadequate internal procedures and insufficient and untimely response in the handling of matters related to former video coach Brad Aldrich's employment with the Club and ultimate departure in 2010."

Between the lines: As general manager, Bowman was at the helm of all three of the Blackhawks Stanley Cup championships in 2010, 2013, and 2015.

The Fix: How to improve Chicago composting

Block Bins are green carts that can go in your alley or other community area for food scrap collection. Courtesy of Block Bins

Today we launch The Fix, a feature spotlighting possible solutions to big Chicago problems.

The problem: More than 90% of Chicago waste goes to a landfill even though 20% of what we throw away is food or plant waste that could be composted.

Why it matters: Organic waste in landfills creates powerful greenhouse gasses that drive climate change. When composted, that waste creates material that can be used to enrich soil.

State of play: Chicago already has private composting services that pick up buckets of food scraps from homes, but they cost at least $15 a month for monthly pickups, and most are for individual homes.

The possible fix: Block Bins composting program "allows residents to share bins and create their own community drop-off points to deposit food scraps," founder Dane Christiansen tells Axios.

  • "Proprietary software aids in route planning, making collection more efficient and thus reducing costs both to the environment and subscribers...[The bins] can be placed near homes, in alleys and in building lobbies."

The cost: Fees start at about $10 a month, which makes Block Bins the least expensive service in the city.

The track record: Over the last 18 months, Christiansen says, "Block Bins has placed 500 lifetime bins across 29 of Chicago’s 50 wards — and the service is growing. To date, Block Bins has diverted more than 500,000 pounds of food scrap from landfills."

What's next: The company is working on a process to collect "hard-to-recycle plastics in Chicago, while looking at exporting the service to municipalities across the country."

  • Check blockbins.com to see if there's already a bin on your block.

📬 Have a possible fix for a big Chicago problem? Send it our way, preferably broken into small chunks that fit into the categories above, and we might feature it.

3. Tips and hot links

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

💰 Chicago's City Council votes on the 2022 budget today. (WGN-TV)

💉 Here's how to get kids 5-11 vaccinated against COVID-19. (Block Club Chicago)

🏥 An inside look at the fight to save Mercy Hospital. (WBEZ)

🎙 Legendary stand-up comedian Mort Sahl died yesterday at the age of 94. (New York Times)

The Padres are interviewing Ozzie Guillen for their managerial vacancy. (Sun-Times)

4. Another side of the CPS experience

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

We've heard from a lot of parents, students and teachers who are still unhappy with crowded conditions and lax mask wearing at Chicago Public Schools.

State of play: The district has seen 2,197 COVID-19 cases this school year among staffers and students.

  • Enrollment in the opt-in weekly testing program for students is only at 7%.
  • And promised weekly tests are still not happening at all schools.

The other side: We also heard from at least one mom who says things aren't that bad.

  • "From what I hear from my kids and their friends, the kids and teachers are wearing masks. They really are. And the only way to make hallways less crowded in large high schools is to allow fewer students in the buildings, which is essentially promoting remote/hybrid learning. That was not successful for our kids' mental health or education. The best thing we can do for our children is to get them vaccinated, so they feel safe in school, even when it is crowded." — Sarah E

5. Illinois has surprisingly good drivers

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Despite how it sometimes feels, Illinois actually has some of the best drivers in the nation.

Why it matters: Better drivers mean fewer accidents. Plus, this distinction could help people forget that we rank No. 1 when it comes to states with the most imprisoned governors.

The criteria: Accidents, speeding tickets, DUIs and other citations.

Who beat Illinois: New Hampshire, West Virginia, Oklahoma, and Kentucky.

  • State with the worst drivers? Iowa.

The financial upshot: Having better drivers doesn't necessarily mean super low insurance rates for Illinoisans.

Rates can be heavily affected by insurance laws in the state, though Illinois still does OK there with the 12th lowest premiums nationally.

6. Give it up for older trick or treaters

Chart: Axios Visuals

We asked about your limits when it comes to handing out candy to teenagers and beyond on Halloween night.

Your answers: Most respondents said they're OK with more "mature" trick-or-treaters.

  • We agree as long as they have really good costumes. None of this "I'm dressed up as a person" baloney.

Our picks:

🚮 Monica is happy with her Collective Resource composting service but always happy to see more folks diverting food waste until, you know, the city finally starts doing it.

🎧 Justin just released the final episode of his "The Madigan Rule" podcast. Take a listen!

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