Antiques Amassed By James Thompson Up For Auction
“Antiques collected by the late Illinois Governor James R. Thompson will be available at an estate sale in Winnetka Friday and Saturday,” reports the Tribune. “’He was a prolific collector of things,’ said Samantha Thompson, the governor’s daughter, who is hosting the sale… Thompson referred to his preferred pastime as ‘pickin’ and junkin’,’ said his daughter, who was brought along on those excursions from an early age. During his time in office, the governor would stop in at antique shops in the smallest of Illinois towns, she said. He created the Illinois Artisans Shops, one in downtown Chicago and the other downstate, to feature and promote the work of local artists.”
Milshire Hotel Neon Up For Auction
“Preservationists rush to save Logan Square’s Milshire Hotel sign after Mark Fishman puts it up for sale,” headlines Block Club Chicago. “The neon sign, believed to be about eighty years old, was listed on Live Auctioneers with a starting bid of $5,000, raising questions about the future of the long-vacant property.” An overhanging sign can be a nuisance to an owner of a disused building, much as was the case of the lamentable loss of the Double Door sign in Wicker Park. Reported Block Club after the 2019 removal and disappearing of the Milwaukee Avenue landmark, “Since the sign is in the public way, with pedestrians walking beneath it, it needs a regularly issued permit… Since no one has taken responsibility for the sign in more than a year, the city considered it abandoned.” Removal, or in the current trend of the Orange Garden neon auction to Billy Corgan and the sell-off of the Dinkel’s bakery signage, offers quicker results than seeking landmark status or paying the substantial, even crushing fees exacted by the city.
Landmarks Illinois Grants Funding To Preservation In Chicago, Granite City, Naperville, New Holland And Winnebago
Landmarks Illinois has awarded $24,500 in matching grant funds to eight preservation projects across the state through the Preservation Heritage Fund, the Barbara C. and Thomas E. Donnelley II Preservation Fund for Illinois and the Timuel D. Black Jr. Grant Fund for Chicago’s South Side grant programs. The grant recipients are located in Chicago, Granite City, Naperville, New Holland and Winnebago. In Chicago, PODER Learning Center receives $5,000 to help with restoration efforts at a former power station that the organization plans to use as its headquarters to offer English education and job training programs to Spanish-speaking adult immigrants. Also: Friends of Historic Second Church, Chicago will receive $1,500 from the Barbara C. and Thomas E. Donnelley II Preservation Fund to perform an envelope analysis of the church’s historic stained glass Oriel Window to determine the source of water infiltration currently causing damage. More here.
Google Solicits Illinois Residents For Class Settlement
Alongside the recent Facebook settlement of claims of violations of Illinois law about biometric data, Google has released a form to fill out for part of its own class action settlement. “A Settlement has been reached in a class action lawsuit against Google LLC,” its lawyers post. “The lawsuit alleges that Google violated Illinois law by collecting and storing biometric data of individuals who, while residing in Illinois, appeared in a photograph in the photograph sharing and storage service known as Google Photos, without proper notice and consent. Class Members who file valid claims will be eligible to receive a pro rata portion of the $100,000,000 Settlement Fund after deduction of Court approved fees, costs, and expenses. The actual cash amount that an individual will receive will depend on the number of valid claims and deductions for Court-approved notice and settlement administration expenses, attorneys’ fees, litigation costs and expenses, and service payments to the Class Representatives. You are a Class Member in this Settlement if, at any time between May 1, 2015 and April 25, 2022, you appeared in a photograph in Google Photos while you were an Illinois resident.” The form is here.
Metra Offers Discounted Monthly Pass For Three Months
Metra is offering a $100 monthly “Super Saver” pass, “valid for unlimited travel throughout the Chicago area. The new pass will be offered for a three-month pilot period, beginning in July. Metra will still sell the $6 Day Pass, valid for unlimited travel within one to three fare zones in a single day, and the $10 Day Pass, valid for unlimited travel systemwide in a single day.” “Metra’s recovery from the pandemic requires that we look at all the options on the table to reinvent our service by listening to My Metra riders, creating new schedules, and exploring fare incentives that allow riders to return or try our system at affordable rates,”Metra executive director and CEO Jim Derwinski says in a release. “We’ve been fortunate that regional sales taxes, which support our operations, have remained strong, allowing us to use some of our federal relief funding in more creative ways that directly benefit our riders.” (Discounted CTA passes are scheduled to end in September.)
Illinois Broadband Expansion Could Net 25,000 Jobs
“Illinois’ planned expansion of broadband internet access will create thousands of jobs, boost workers’ wages and help bridge rural-urban and racial divides in online access, researchers with the Illinois Economic Policy Institute and the Project for Middle Class Renewal at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign found in a recent study,” reports the Trib.
Abortion Pill Startup Choix Raises A Million In V.C. Investment
“A growing number of startups are seeking to provide abortion access through the mail,” reports Bloomberg. “Choix Inc., a startup that provides women with pills that induce an abortion, has raised $1 million in seed funding from venture capitalists, weeks after a report that indicated the Supreme Court was on the verge of overturning Roe v. Wade… For many women, abortion pills are a simple and safe way to terminate a pregnancy in the first ten weeks. Such pills have become increasingly common, even as some states move to restrict access. Choix, which is French for ‘choice,’ connects customers with a medical provider within 24 hours after they fill out a questionnaire. Then, for $289, it sends patients seeking an abortion mifepristone pills. The patients need to be 16 or older, and reside in California, Colorado or Illinois. [CEO Cindy] Adam said Choix has worked with about 3,500 patients since it launched in October 2020, and grew quickly during the pandemic as telehealth became more popular.”
DINING & DRINKING
Touring West Town’s Publican Quality Bread
“Eight years after Publican Quality Bread began as a small side operation in the basement of Publican Quality Meats,” reports Eater Chicago, it’s opening its own West Town space, which has served wholesale clients for several months, but opens Monday, June 6 to consumers. “In addition to PQB’s signature whole-grain breads, head baker Greg Wade and his team will also produce breakfast pastries—plain on weekdays, decadent on the weekends—along with tartines and sandwiches. The highlight of the sandwich menu, known as the Big Sandwich, is made from trays of Roman pizza crust stuffed with mortadella, Stracciatella, arugula, Vidalia onions, Dijon, and sour cherry spread and will be available by the pound. There will be pre-made sandwiches and salads [and the] coffee will be from La Colombe.” There are also plans for sidewalk seating.
George Trois Group Reopens George Trois and Aboyer
After months of interior, exterior and menu redesign, Chef Michael Lachowicz has unveiled both of his restaurants reimagined under one roof at his longtime outpost on Green Bay Road in Winnetka. “The major overhaul of both dining experiences comes after an enlightening last two years that inspired Lachowicz to get back to his roots and passion for French cuisine,” the group relays in a release. “George Trois, the intimate sixteen-seat dining room that functions as Lachowicz’s creative culinary workshop and the stage for his meticulously curated ten-course tasting menu, re-opens today with a new selection of offerings and a new interior aesthetic that blends minimalism and French opulence seamlessly. Aboyer has been transformed to mirror a classic French brasserie, one that celebrates retro French dining at its finest, with an all-new menu of classic preparations including some nostalgic throwbacks that nod to the early days of Michael’s tenure in Winnetka.” More here.
How Chinatown Restaurants Have Adapted
Restaurants in Chicago’s Chinatown “lost an estimated fifty-to-seventy percent in revenue from the pandemic,” reports South Side Weekly. After Governor Pritzker’s “executive order to shut down in-person dining at all Illinois restaurants, Chinatown dim sum restaurant Triple Crown’s revenue dropped seventy percent overnight. While other restaurants were pivoting to carry-out orders and outdoor dining, Spencer Ng struggled to do the same. As the owner of a banquet-style restaurant, Ng was faced with 200 seats that he couldn’t fill, and he couldn’t match that volume from carry-out and delivery orders. Also, Triple Crown’s location on the second floor by the Chinatown gate on Wentworth meant there was nowhere to set up outdoor dining.” More here.
FILM & TELEVISION
Chicago Filmmakers Opens Submissions For Workforce Training Program
Chicago Filmmakers has announced an immersive tuition-free in-person Workforce Training Program designed to provide twelve participants with the training and knowledge needed to land entry-level positions on motion picture productions. Created in response to a high demand for qualified workers in Illinois’ rapidly growing industry and to increase diversity in the field, the program aims to be a pathway for workers, especially from groups underrepresented in the film industry, to access entry level jobs in the feature film and TV sector. The program will provide over a hundred hours of coursework and hands-on film production training from mid-July through the end of August with evenings and weekend day class schedules. Students are required to attend eighty hours of core training plus one or more specialty workshops held at the Chicago Filmmakers’ facility in Edgewater. Applications are open through June 27 here.
Chicago Director Gabe Klinger, Nine Years Into A Career
Gabe Klinger, award-winning director of “Double Play: James Benning and Richard Linklater” and “Porto,” writes about the six-year gap between features at Filmmaker magazine. “In the summer of 2018, I found myself drawn to areas on the city’s South Side where the murder rates were rising. Through friends who were involved in social justice movements, I began working with a young woman named Dreyana Grooms, who had been wrongly accused of first-degree murder at the age of sixteen… Dreyana had just spent three years in jail awaiting trial and was found not guilty. Nine months later, she was about to go back inside on a gun possession charge. Working with her on a script about her life helped ensure her movement outside of the justice system, an outcome which already felt like an accomplishment… (Dreyana has referred to our script as a ‘hood trophy’)… Last summer we came incredibly close to shooting ‘Dreyana,’ but circumstances related to COVID and financing made it difficult. Dreyana and I went back to the drawing board, dusted ourselves off, and are now getting ready to shoot” this summer. “It will be the first time I’m back on a film set (as director) in six years—subtracting two horrible COVID years, that’s only four years, right? In any case, it’s not exactly how I pictured any of this would go. When I made ‘Double Play,’ the whole process took six months. We were in the black from day one. Producers happy, subjects happy, festival invitations flooding in… It left me starry-eyed for a minute. I remember confidently telling a filmmaker friend with twenty years on the art-house circuit under her belt that I was setting my sights on making one film per year, a la Soderbergh. How naive I must have sounded to her!”
Sun-Times Names Executive Editor
The owners of the Sun-Times have named Jennifer Kho, former managing editor of HuffPost and Guardian US, as the paper’s executive editor. She will be the first woman and the first person of color to lead the newsroom in the paper’s 178-year history. “Leaders of Chicago Public Media, which owns the Sun-Times, described Kho as a strategic editorial leader and digital innovator with a record of engaging audiences. She will start her new position Wednesday and relocate from Los Angeles in September.
Legendary City News Bureau Editor Paul Zimbrakos Was Eighty-Six
“Paul Zimbrakos schooled generations of Chicago reporters with the arched eyebrows of a knowing, skeptical editor but made fledgling journalists swell with pride when he bestowed them with his highest praise—an ‘Attaboy’ or ‘Attagirl,'” writes Maureen O’Donnell at the Sun-Times. “From 1958 to 2000, he worked for the storied City News Bureau of Chicago, which over the course of its 115-year history produced reporters and writers including Mike Royko, ‘Front Page’ co-author Charles MacArthur, Seymour Hersh and Kurt Vonnegut. Mr. Zimbrakos continued working, after a reorganization, for the renamed City News Service until it was shut down in 2005… As they worked their way through the ‘five Ws’—who, what, when, where and why—he taught [fledgling reporters] to get the news fast but, even more, to get it right. If a reporter forgot something, ‘He had very expressive eyes and eyebrows, and he could devastate you without saying a word just by arching an eyebrow and looking at you,’ City News alum John Holden. said. ‘You certainly didn’t want to let Paul down.'”
Posts Rummana Hussain: “So many fond memories of Paul Zimbrakos, including the look he gave when I told him I was vacationing in Turkey. An old school Greek, I felt like I was working for an Indian dad, so I listened to & absorbed everything he said. Wouldn’t be where I am professionally without him.” Gregory Pratt: “A true titan of Chicago journalism whose influence is immeasurable. What a legacy he leaves behind.” Mary Wisniewski: “Paul was my first boss in my first journalism job—City News Bureau. He was tough—he was dealing with kids and he knew he couldn’t take any BS. If you tried to call in sick, he’d tell you ‘Drink some tea!’ But he was also kind, and cared about getting it right. RIP.”
Magazine Supply Chain Also Endangered
“Making a magazine has always been a complex story of sourcing, sustainability, and logistics,” reports Mother Jones. “Paper manufacturing and transport are essential to the $760 billion global print market. The whole process—harvesting timber and hauling it to pulp mills, getting the ingredients to the paper machines, shipping paper to pressrooms, and delivering the finished product to readers—depends on an interconnected network that is vulnerable to global and local events.”
WXRT Adds On-Air Host
“A rare on-air opening at WXRT is about to bring a new voice to the full-time weekday lineup at the adult album alternative station,” reports Robert Feder. “Annalisa, a thirty-seven-year veteran of rock radio in Boston and San Francisco and self-described ‘music geek,’ will sign in at ‘Chicago’s Finest Rock’ June 13.”
Weasel Walter Flies In With New Local Projects
“Guitarist and drummer Weasel Walter, the ‘brutal prog’ purveyor best known as longtime leader of the Flying Luttenbachers, left Chicago in 2003 for San Francisco and later moved to New York—but he sure has been popping up around here an awful lot lately. This wolf is starting to suspect he’s living in our town once again!” A list of recent formations and apparitions is here, reported by Gossip Wolf (J. R. Nelson and Leor Galil) at the Reader.
ARTS & CULTURE
The Atlantic Advocates Nationwide Student Walk-Out Over Gun Massacres
“When politicians lack the courage to act, then young people are forced to lead; the Civil Rights movement is a prime example,” Arne Duncan posts, pointing to an Atlantic essay. “How can there be so much consensus among Americans about the need for stricter gun laws—63 percent want an outright ban on assault weapons—while we seem locked in this house of horrors, a schoolroom of slaughtered children around every turn, with no way out?” writes Gal Beckerman. “The children and parents of our country need to take the summer to organize locally, build a set of national demands, and then refuse to go back to school in the fall until Congress does something.”
Healthcare Futures Exchange Mooted For Chicago
“Chicago is the historic birthplace of futures contracts tied to grains, stock indexes, interest rates and sundry other assets. How about futures tied to medical procedures or promising new drugs?” reports David Roeder at the Sun-Times. “Investors and executives have filed for regulatory approval to form the first futures market tied to health care. They’re calling it the Intelligent Medicine Exchange, or IMX… Healthcare represents twenty percent of the U.S. economy, but it has no system for hedging financial risk, said James Plante, CEO of the proposed exchange and managing partner at Thynk Capital, the lead investment firm in IMX. He said pharmaceutical firms, insurance companies, hospital chains and large employers are among businesses needing protection from rising medical costs.”
Tribune Tallies Unionization Moves
“Workers ‘saw the willingness of their bosses to let them die.’” The Trib writes of the unionization wave in Chicago and elsewhere. Nine Chicago-area Starbucks have seen filings for union representation. “Baristas at two Starbucks in Edgewater won union elections, becoming the first in the city to unionize. Union elections for four other Chicago Starbucks are scheduled in June. Nationally, workers at more than 270 Starbucks have filed for union elections… The company has pushed back, [prompting] complaints from the agency alleging violations ranging from illegally firing workers who are seeking to organize to illegal surveillance… Chicago saw its first major museum union form at the Art Institute… Chicago employees at Intelligentsia Coffee announced they had filed with the NLRB to vote on unionizing with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, which also represents workers at Colectivo Coffee… Workers at Amazon warehouses in the city staged walkouts, as did employees at the El Milagro tortilla company… Workers at Moline-based John Deere went on strike, as did workers at snack-food giant Mondelez… Technicians at WTTW and graduate students at the University of Illinois at Chicago went on strike before both groups reached agreements with their employers. Workers at two city McDonald’s walked out in May.”
Private Fundraising Lifts Affluent CPS Schools
“All CPS schools get a set amount per student to run their buildings, with schools serving mostly low-income students getting extra — but it’s not enough. The state says CPS only has sixty-eight percent of what it needs in state and local dollars to properly fund its schools. To make up the difference, schools are increasingly turning to private money. But they don’t all have the same fundraising might. The majority of outside money is collected and spent by a small number of schools where less than half the students are low-income, WBEZ found in an analysis of private fundraising expenditures at district-run schools. These schools are primarily on the North Side in affluent neighborhoods. And the amount they’ve raised has skyrocketed over the last decade.”
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