State Legislatures Consider Abolishing Biannual Time Change
In the past four years, eighteen states have passed legislation or resolutions making daylight-saving time permanent; twenty-eight are weighing bills this year, reports the Wall Street Journal. A neurologist says the time change is bad.
Uber Adds Fuel Surcharge
Uber has announced surcharges that will take effect March 16. “Depending on location, a fee of forty-five or fifty-five cents will be tacked on to each ride,” reports WGN-TV. “Uber Eats customers will see an additional thirty-five or forty-five cents added to their bill. Uber says one-hundred-percent of the surcharge will go straight to workers. ‘We know that prices have been going up across the economy, so we’ve done our best to help drivers and couriers without placing too much additional burden on consumers,'” said Liza Winship, Uber’s head of driver operations for the United States and Canada, in a statement.
Return Of Cold War Air Routes In Avoidance Of Russian Airspace
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, at least twenty-one airlines have rerouted flights to avoid Russian airspace or the western portion of Ukraine, reports Bloomberg. “The diversions are blowing a big hole in airlines’ commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.” The economic factors of extended routes include “additional jet fuel burn, extended duty times, and the potential for more crews being required on some longer flights. Airlines may face additional maintenance costs for heavier use of their long-haul jets and some new overflight fees from countries they may not have traversed previously. And, of course, there’s the extra time customers will spend in transit.”
Fleur Spring Greenery At Pendry
In a one-day event, Fleur, Logan Square’s woman-owned floral lifestyle boutique, will command Pendry Chicago’s ground-floor Billiards Gallery on Michigan Avenue to salute the coming of spring. “Fleur will offer an array of springtime plants perfect for windowsills and downtown balconies, as well as floral themed accessories and books,” Fleur says in a release. “While guests browse Fleur’s selection, Bar Pendry will serve a selection of plant-based cocktails to sip on like spicy Pepper Pots (gin, ancho chile liqueur, bell pepper, cilantro) and gorgeously green Mint Royalty (vodka, lemon, cucumber, mint).” The event takes place Saturday, March 19 from noon-4pm at 230 North Michigan. Further Fleur here.
Zoom > Electric Vehicles?
“Ridiculous but true fact: Zoom, the teleconferencing app, has done more to reduce emissions than electric vehicles.” Mahmood Hikmet, who makes autonomous vehicles at New Zealand’s Ohmio Automotion, has a brainwave about Zoom: “Electrification of the vehicle fleet isn’t the holy grail that a lot of people think it is. If you truly want to reduce emissions, then you should be looking at changing the way people use transport (or avoiding it altogether) rather than merely improving the fuel source… Maintaining private owned cars and only improving their fuel source is less ideal than avoiding or changing travel behaviour… I work with electric vehicles, I’m all for them. I’m not saying get rid of them. They have a part to play in the future. But if we want the future to be sustainable – we need to rethink our relationship with cars. Changing only the engine is shallow thinking.” (Hikmet recommends checking a concept called “Avoid-Shift-Improve” for more.)
How UPS Has Profited During Pandemic
UPS profits grew by ten times during the pandemic to a record high of almost $13 billion, including $5 billion in stock buybacks, the Guardian reports. “The company also cut wages for thousands of part-time employees by about $3 an hour… Its stock price hit a record high in February 2022. UPS is projecting more growth in 2022, with the expectation to hit 2023 financial goals a year early. The company approved a $5 billion stock buyback program in August 2021. Teamsters local unions at UPS have been holding protests against the pay cuts for part-timers, which have been up to $6 an hour in cuts for some workers.”
The New York Times’ Stuart A. Thompson shakes out Exxon’s vast billions in recent profit: “Exxon benefited from the Fed’s cheap debt stimulus plan during the pandemic. Now they’ve already paid off that debt, reported $23 billion in profit, just did $10 billion in stock buybacks, and gas prices are soaring. Sometimes I wonder about the benefits I can see from trillions in Fed stimulus but all I see are stock bubbles benefiting the rich, real estate surges benefitting the rich, stock buybacks benefiting the rich, record profits benefiting the rich, price hikes benefiting the rich. All it cost to get there was $4 trillion in stimulus, the highest inflation we’ve seen in forty years, the disappearing affordability of single family homes and the concentration of wealth among investors.”
Construction At 609 West Randolph Complete
“Exterior construction has reached completion for the fifteen-story high rise at 609 West Randolph in West Loop Gate. This mixed-use development by Vista Property Group consists of the aforementioned tower and a four-story nineteenth-century brick building directly to the east,” reports YIMBY Chicago.
DINING & DRINKING
Heray Spice Fights Fake Saffron On Behalf Of Afghan Farmers
“Our hustle is to empower these farmers so that they can survive,” says Chicago importer Mohammad Salehi to Chicago magazine. When the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, “they suspended flights to the United States, forcing Heray to reroute its goods through the Netherlands, which delayed shipments by more than two months… Salehi and his two partners grew up on Afghan farms. They started Heray five years ago to combat fake saffron (made of corn silk or safflower) and to give Afghan farmers an alternative to growing poppies.”
Mother’s Ruin Comes To Avondale
Popular New York City cocktail bar Mother’s Ruin has opened a satellite location on North Milwaukee, reports Eater Chicago. “That means a rotating cocktail menu with seasonal spiked slushies.” “Our intention has always been to create an irresistibly cool vibe with service at the forefront, cranking out high caliber cocktails without the suspenders and wait,” chef and partner Nick Pfannerstill said in a release. “We don’t take ourselves too seriously—a lot of the food is the stuff you wouldn’t take home to mom, but you can crush the salads and vegan options any day of the week. There’s something for everybody.”
“Partners were particularly excited about the space because of its strong resemblance to the space that eventually housed the New York original. Those qualities—exposed brick, original wooden floors, oversize mirrors, and menu boards—are all on display in the completed 1,200-square-foot space that seats sixty-five under a low, pressed-tin ceiling… Though they want the festive, high-energy ethos to remain central in each venue, the partners hope each will develop its own distinctive qualities by osmosis with the neighborhood.”
Illustrating An International History Of Square-Cut Pizza
“We’re not talking about Sicilian style and pizzas in a square or rectangular shape today, but ‘circular pizzas with a square cut,'” posts Doug Mack, author of “The Not-Quite States of America” in a densely footnoted, highly illustrated tweet storm. “You’ll also hear it called ‘party cut’ or ‘tavern cut.’ People outside the Midwest love to ridicule it. I went to college in a small town in Minnesota, and a pal from Baltimore would get LIVID about square-cut. I am here to tell you that square-cut pizza is a thing of beauty, all the more so when you know the multiple origin stories. Bars in Chicago began serving thin crust, square-cut pizza in the late 1940s as a freebie to get customers to linger. Square cut equals more pieces and different size options–you can have one bite or many. Over in Dayton, Ohio, square-cut pizza emerged independently a few years later, as a way to give people a sample of what was then an ‘exotic’ food… Eating pizza is often a social thing, whether that’s eating giant New York slices with friends in a city park, having dinner while jamming to some sweet organ tunes, or nibbling square-cut pizza in a Midwest bar or an ambassador’s gala. Square-cut pizza fits, uh, squarely into that framework. It’s not just a Midwestern thing but a party snack with a rich history in midcentury American entertaining, recommended in newspapers, served by dignitaries. It’s not ‘weird,’ it’s just meant for sharing. That’s lovely.”
Meanwhile, Clever, a real-estate data concern, ranks Chicago pizza at only number fourteen nationwide: “Our data shows Chicagoans value a wide mix of pizza styles.” The city ranks number one “in search interest for Chicago-style pizza—no surprise there—and number two for search interest in sausage pizza.” Riffs the Onion: the most popular dish in New York is Chicago-style pizza; “They have to get it delivered overnight in the mail, but it’s worth it to get a better slice than you can find anywhere in New York.”
The Case Of The Five Missing Doritos
Doritos removed five chips from each bag, Bounty trimmed its rolls by three sheets, and Wheat Thins determined that family size is now two ounces smaller—all for the same price as before. Quartz takes a look at how corporations boost profits by thinning their products. “Shoppers tend to be price-sensitive but they may not notice subtle changes in packaging, or read the fine print on the size or weight of a product. The result is that consumers are less likely to notice getting less if the price is the same.”
Girl And Goat And Au Cheval Among Yelp Fifty Most-Reviewed List
Each of the fifty eateries (with no more than nine locations) on Yelp’s fifty most-reviewed list has more than 6,000 reviews; Chicago’s five spots include Au Cheval at twenty-five and Girl & The Goat at number ten.
Rising Meat Prices: Profiteering, Not Inflation?
“A big reason for Tyson’s skyrocketing profits: its thirty-one-percent price hike on beef, twenty-percent on chicken and thirteen percent on pork,” reports the CBS Evening News, citing other corporations as well. “According to quarterly reports, the nation’s largest meat processor posted $3 billion in profit in 2021. It made over $1 billion in profit just last quarter… That means profits are up a staggering forty-eight-percent from the first quarter of 2021 compared with the same period in 2022… Food companies and some economists say pandemic disruptions, inflation and high demand are to blame.” But “‘you’re seeing just orders of magnitude greater profit that are not justified by the actual rate of inflation or their increased costs,’ Ricardo Salvador, a scientist with the Union of Concerned Scientists, a nonprofit advocacy group, told CBS News.”
FILM & TELEVISION
The Endangered Second-Run Movie House
“There’s a diminishing need for a cottage industry that provides filmgoers a middle ground between paying full price for early weekends and waiting months to watch a film in the living room,” writes the Hollywood Reporter. “’It’s surprising how quickly second-run has been [wrecked] and habits have changed,’ laments Regency Theatres president Lyndon Golin, whose company still operates discount theaters in Ventura and Moreno Valley, in addition to twenty-one first-run locations. ‘We were a communal experience that everyone could afford.’ While Wall Street’s interest in the theatrical business usually [focuses] on how COVID-19 has upended major chains like AMC, Regal and Cinemark, which operate more than 500 houses each, it’s the smaller, indie theater chains running fifty or fewer locations that are more vulnerable now.”
Filmmaker-Journalist Brent Renaud Killed In Ukraine
“Brent Renaud, an award-winning American filmmaker and journalist, was killed in Ukraine on Sunday while reporting in a suburb of the capital, Kyiv, according to Ukraine’s Interior Ministry,” reports the New York Times. “Renaud, 50, had worked for a number of American news and media organizations in the past, including HBO, NBC and The New York Times. The Ukrainian authorities said he was killed in Irpin, a suburb that has been the site of intense shelling by Russian forces in recent days, but the details of his death were not immediately clear. Ukrainian officials said another journalist was wounded as well.” Renaud worked most often with his brother, Craig Renaud, and won a Peabody award for “Last Chance High,” (2014) a Vice News documentary about teen mental illness at the Moses Montefiore Academy in Chicago.
Former Tribune editor and Nieman Foundation curator Ann Marie Lipinski said Renaud focused on “thoughtful stories about disenfranchised people”: “Our Nieman Fellow Brent Renaud was gifted and kind, and his work was infused with humanity. He was killed today outside Kiev, and the world and journalism are lesser for it. We are heartsick.” “Over the past decade,” writes the Times, “the brothers had covered the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the earthquake in Haiti, cartel violence in Mexico and youth refugees in Central America.” Link to the eight-episode “Last Chance High.” Here’s the Renaud brothers website. Renaud’s fellow journalist, Juan Arredondo, who survived the attack, kept his camera even as he was being evacuated on a stretcher, as shown in this video.
Jam Productions’ Fifty Years As Pillar Of Chicago Music
“One of the country’s longest-running and largest independent producers of live entertainment, Jam is a rarity in the music industry landscape, untethered to a large corporation, having built an empire taking risks on booking [new and up-and-coming] bands that eventually became megastars,” reports Selena Fragassi at the Sun-Times. “Founded in Chicago by Jerry Mickelson and former co-partner Arny Granat in 1972, with some employees who have spent decades with the company, Jam provides much of the behind-the-scenes that’s helped make Chicago an epicenter of live music. Now marking fifty years in business, Jam has given many local music impresarios cause to celebrate its efforts to making Chicago a world-class music city.”
Adds Miriam Di Nunzio, “‘It’s what we do. It’s trying to pick tomorrow’s superstars today.’ That’s how Jerry Mickelson describes the mission of Jam Productions, the Chicago concert promotion agency that he and his co-founding and now former partner Arny Granat started fifty years ago. Mickelson reflects on half-a-century in the business but also talks excitedly about what he calls ‘Jam 2.0,’ a planned rebirth after the pandemic shutdowns of the past two years. He’s looking ahead to ventures including Jam’s biggest undertaking: the renovation of the Uptown Theater, a $125 million effort also involving developers, that’s been in the works since being announced in 2018.”
Plus: Mitch Dudek gets Mickelson to pick standouts from the nearly 40,000 shows Jam has put on, including Radiohead at Hutchinson Field in Grant Park on August 1, 2001: “‘That show at Hutchinson Field might come as close to transcendent as it gets… The night was legendary among fans.’ It drew 25,000 people and was the first time a band was allowed to play at Hutchinson Field along the lakefront. It showed the viability of the space and paved the way for events including Lollapalooza… On that clear night, fans stood on softball fields to listen to the music with Lake Michigan and downtown’s skyscrapers as a backdrop.”
ARTS & CULTURE
Lightfoot Says City Will Not Be On Hook To Pay $29 Million In Hotel Tax Shortfall For Soldier Field Bonds
Mayor Lori Lightfoot has said “she’s determined to devise a longterm fix to keep Chicago taxpayers off the hook for payments on Soldier Field renovation bonds whenever hotel tax revenues fall short of the rosy growth rate built into the 2001 financing plan,” reports the Sun-Times. “We all know now after two years of a significant economic meltdown — particularly when it comes to very sensitive forms of revenue, the hotel tax being one of them—that tying ourselves to a single source of revenue to fund certain important initiatives is going to be a challenge. It’s a wake-up call for all of us,” Lightfoot told the Sun-Times editorial board.
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