Dislike for the original comments system put in on this site last week was pretty much universal -- apologies to all -- so after a few days of complaining from all of us the folks at ChicagoNow have changed it back to something closer to what everyone wants.
The new system shows the number of comments for each post, and it will also show recent comments in the right margin below the ad. Readers who want to comment without giving any identifying information can provide district299reader as a generic username. (The password is district299.) Like so:
Or, use whatever name and email you prefer. Your email is only used to prove you're not a spambot -- it's not displayed to the public (or even to me). So you could create a profile with a pseudonym (West Side Parent) and an email, and appear as West Side Parent.
If you've already written comments during the last few days, thanks! It will take me a few hours to copy them over, but they'll be there by tomorrow AM at the latest. Thanks for your patience. I think this is going to work much better.