Bears Owners Prepare Designs For Arlington Heights Stadium And Entertainment District
“Taking the next step toward building a new stadium, the Chicago Bears late last week announced an informational community meeting to discuss the potential purchase and development of Arlington International Racecourse,” reports the Tribune. “Team officials in a statement said they’ll present conceptual plans next week for a transit-oriented, mixed-use entertainment district anchored by a stadium in Arlington Heights that would be one of the largest development projects in Illinois history.” The Arlington Park complex would be built on 326 acres, where the former Churchill Downs-owned racetrack ended its racing business last season. The Bears issue an “open letter regarding Arlington Park“: “We envision a multi-purpose entertainment district anchored by a new, best-in-class enclosed stadium, providing Chicagoland with a new home worthy of hosting global events such as the Super Bowl, College Football Playoffs, and Final Four. Make no mistake, this is much more than a stadium project. Any development of Arlington Park will propose to include a multi-purpose entertainment, commercial/retail, and housing district that will provide considerable economic benefits to Cook County, the surrounding region and State of Illinois. The long-term project vision for the entire property is an ongoing work-in-progress, but could include: restaurants, office space, hotel, fitness center, new parks and open spaces, and other improvements for the community to enjoy.” The Trib reports the corporation expects public funding: “For the first time, the Chicago Bears confirmed that the stadium the team is considering building in Arlington Heights would be domed — but the team also called for taxpayer funding of a portion of the project, and noted the plan was still tentative.”
Black Union Members Honored At Pullman Site
The Sun-Times reports from the first anniversary of the restored Pullman site: “Standing in the shadow of the grand industrial complex that was once a center of George Pullman’s railcar empire, a top union official from Chicago credited ‘a lefty radical’ for changing the course of American history by organizing the company’s sleeping car attendants into the country’s first Black labor organization.”
Companies Enticing Employees Rather Than Forcing Post-Labor Day Return
“Most Chicago-area firms are adapting to COVID-19” this way: “Instead of giving employees hard deadlines to leave comfy home offices, most are enticing people back with new amenities and perks, including the option to stay home for a portion of the week,” reports the Trib. “It’s a big change from how the return to the office was first envisioned, according to market experts. Many companies planned to make a sharp break with the past after the Labor Day holiday, designating it as the date when workers finally returned. Similar hopes were pinned to the first two Labor Days of the pandemic.”
DINING & DRINKING
Taking The Measure Of Virtue
Today, writes Grimod in an exceptionally long history and consideration at Understanding Hospitality, “Virtue has all the plaudits, celebrity chef fandom, and weight of expectations it could ask for. [Chef Erick] Williams has even expanded just up the street, opening Daisy’s Po’ Boy and Tavern in order to offer the neighborhood grab-and-go comfort food and ‘create amenities that both support the community and support this idea of “kind hospitality.”‘ Relative to Virtue, Daisy’s would provide an outlet to retain and [build] his team ‘so that they can continue to elevate up the ladder,’ signaling that—perhaps—even further expansion is in store. This crest presents the perfect opportunity to assess Virtue in the prime of its operation and judge it both on the basis of its singular quality and against the great pantheon of Chicago hospitality you have labored to build. There can be little question of the buoyant spirit Williams has imbued his restaurant (and the wider community) with, but the nature of its execution—and the ability to successfully extend that hospitality more broadly—stand ripe for analysis.” Much more here.
Wormhole Coffee Closes Second Location
“Wormhole 2, a nineties-themed coffee bar at 1965 North Milwaukee [near Margie’s Candies] has closed because the rent was too expensive for the business to be sustainable, said Dan Weiss, one of the owners,” reports Block Club Chicago. “‘It’s always a really sad thing, closing down a coffee shop… It’s different from other kinds of businesses because it becomes so personal to regulars.'”
Pullman House Adding Coffee Shop
When it reopens, the 140-year-old Pullman House at the corner of 111th and South Saint Lawrence will house the Pullman Club Coffee Shop, reports WGN-TV. “It had been vacant for almost twenty years with no utilities in the house,” Pat Shymanski from the Pullman House Project told the station. “So a lot of, you know, peeling paint, mold, the plaster falling down.” Donations “from the shop will go to the ongoing restoration efforts.”
FILM & TELEVISION
Latest Work By Colette Ghunim At 2022 Gotham Project Market Slate
Chicago-based filmmaker Colette Ghunim [Newcity Film 50’s 2020 Filmmaker Of The Moment] is among the independent filmmakers who will be showcased at the 2022 Gotham Project Market Slate with “Traces of Home,” the Palestinian American director’s debut feature-length film, co-produced by Kartemquin Films. “Traces of Home” documents her journey back to Mexico and Palestine to locate her parents’ original homes, which they were forced to leave decades ago. Ghunim is also the co-founder of Mezcla Media Collective, a nonprofit organization that supports over 500 women and non-binary filmmakers of color in Chicago. More about “Traces of Home” here.
Reconsidering Jane’s Time And Place
Chicago’s underground feminist abortion provider, Jane, which operated from 1968-1973, is considered in the modern world by Moira Donegan at Bookforum. “HBO’s new documentary ‘The Janes’ joins a small canon of Jane histories and tributes.” The documentary “adds little in the way of new information, but it’s valuable in presenting the group to audiences at a time when their message is most urgent. On camera, the women seem newly animated about their past work, as if they’re writing down a dying language… During its existence, Jane facilitated more than 11,000 safe, illegal abortions [for Chicago women]. No one ever died from a Jane abortion; thousands were able to live freer, fuller, and more dignified lives. Jane did this all under the noses of both the mob, which wanted to monopolize the abortion market, and the cops, who wanted to eliminate it. Jane members did it without any institutional backing, they did it without any credentials, and they did it without anyone’s permission. They did it for years.”
Gatsby-Style House Built In Montauk With Millions From Alden
“This summer, the major topic of conversation among many longtime Montauk residents and vacationers [has been] the big house rising above Ditch Plains Beach,” reports the New York Times. “Public records show that its owner is 40 Deforest Rd LLC, a limited liability company that shares the same New Jersey mailing address as Smith Management, a company formed by the investor Randall D. Smith. The L.L.C. paid $4.8 million for the lot in December 2020… Mr. Smith is also a founder of Alden Global Capital, a hedge fund whose president is Heath Freeman, a Montauk resident. Alden operates some 200 newspapers across the country, including The Chicago Tribune, The New York Daily News and The Denver Post… Journalists have decried Alden’s strategy of slashing costs at daily and weekly publications, referring to the company’s leaders as ‘vulture capitalists.’ The publicity-averse Mr. Freeman… said in a rare interview with The Washington Post in 2020 that Alden rescues local papers that would otherwise go out of business… Limited liability companies that share a New Jersey address with Smith Management, the investment firm run by Mr. Freeman’s fellow Alden executive, bought two neighboring lots in the Montauk Colony subdivision, paying more than $12 million for them in 2021… All told, Mr. Freeman and LLCs affiliated with Alden and Smith Management have spent close to $20 million for a few acres of beachfront.”
DeRogatis Asks R. Kelly Subpoena Be Quashed
“Attorneys for longtime music critic Jim DeRogatis filed a motion Tuesday seeking to quash a defense subpoena to testify at disgraced singer R. Kelly’s federal criminal trial,” reports the Trib. “The motion, filed by DeRogatis and his current employer, The New Yorker, alleges that by subpoenaing the longtime journalist to testify, attorneys for Kelly’s co-defendant, Derrel McDavid, are trying to out his ‘newsgathering’ on trial.”
Columnist Steve Chapman Signs -30- After Forty-One Years
“Forty-one years ago, I began writing a regular column for the Chicago Tribune, which has been distributed by Creators Syndicate. Today, I’m retiring as a columnist. Thanks to everyone who helped me along the way, and thanks most of all to my readers,” writes Steve Chapman. From an editor’s note: “Aside from being a columnist, Steve Chapman was a member of the Tribune editorial board for forty years, from 1981 to 2021.” Concluding his final column: “It was once assumed that the story of America was one of steady progress in steadily improving our grand experiment in rule by the people. But nothing in this world is guaranteed to last forever, not even the world’s oldest democracy. If it is going to survive, Americans will have to save it—or else be remembered for our failure.”
Northwest School District Officials In Grand Island, Nebraska Eliminate Journalism Program As Well As School Newspaper
“In the latest snub to student journalists’ First Amendment rights, Northwest School District officials in Grand Island have not only eliminated the high school newspaper but also cut the journalism program in its entirety,” reports and editorializes the Lincoln Journal-Star. “Printed in May at the end of the 2021-22 school year, the final edition of the Viking Saga included two student editorials on LGBTQ topics and a news article titled ‘Pride and prejudice: LGBTQIA+’ on the origins of Pride Month in June and the history of homophobia… We would love to know what educational reason the superintendent and administrators have for censoring their student journalists, ending the Northwest High School’s newspaper… and shutting down the journalism program. Keep in mind, this is happening at a public school… It is narrow-minded, blatant censorship and shows total disregard for the First Amendment while also being based in anti-LGBTQIA+ sentiment… Northwest Superintendent Jeff Edwards said the decision to cut the paper and program was nothing more than ‘administrative.'”
Cox Enterprises, New Owner Of Axios, To End Daily Print Edition Of Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“The Atlanta Journal-Constitution will discontinue its daily print edition and go to a weekend print edition, but it will continue its digital news operation seven days a week,” writes that city’s SaportaReport. Senior editors of the privately owned Cox Enterprises publication were “told of the decision during a Zoom meeting on September 1. The meeting was led by Kevin Riley, editor of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and Shawn McIntosh, the newspaper’s managing editor… On August 8, Cox Enterprises announced that it had an agreement to buy Axios, the national news website, for $525 million. According to people close to the AJC, Cox’s decision to acquire Axios was not related to the decision to discontinue the daily print product of the AJC.”
Missouri Attorney General Wants Journalism School Records
“Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt has filed an open records request seeking correspondence between two journalism professors connected to the University of Missouri and the executive director of a fact-checking group,” reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “In a move that appears… unprecedented in Missouri, Schmitt, a Republican running for U.S. Senate, filed a request in June asking for three years of emails sent and received by the professors while they worked at the Columbia Missourian. Most correspondence generated at private media firms is not subject to the state’s open records law, but the Missourian could be because it is attached to the University of Missouri, which is a public entity.”
Salt Shed Noise Disrupts Essanay Studios
“Owners of nearby Essanay Studio and Lighting Company say the Salt Shed’s concerts threaten their ability to rent out their studios because the noise makes it harder to record sound,” reports Block Club. The sound “could force them to spend millions to soundproof their building and save their business.”
Raven Theatre Marks Forty Years With Revamp Campaign
As Raven Theatre begins its fortieth-anniversary season and notes twenty years in its Edgewater home, the company has launched a campaign to revitalize its eighty-five-seat East Stage theatre with new seating, along with upgrades to the lobby. Theatergoers are invited to sponsor a new, personalized seat for $500, which includes an engraved plaque. The campaign is being matched up to $50,000 with a generous gift from longtime Raven supporter and board president Stephen Johnson. For every dollar donated, up to $50,000–either through a purchased seat or a gift–another dollar will go toward supporting Raven actors, playwrights, directors, designers, teaching artists and creative team members. Reserve a personalized seat here.
ARTS & CULTURE & ETC.
Morton Arboretum Names CEO
Jill C. Koski, a former fundraising chief for the institution, will be the fourth leader in the hundred-year history of the Morton Arboretum and the first woman to hold the position, reports Crain’s.
Obama Center Pay Above Market
“While the economic benefits of the Obama Presidential Center remain in question, what has become clear is that the Barack Obama Foundation’s top staffers are commanding high-end salaries that are not only out of sync with the more modest pay earned by those living in the surrounding neighborhoods but also exceed salaries for counterparts at other presidential foundations,” reports A. D. Quig at the Trib. “Obama Foundation officials defended the salaries as the natural outgrowth of a blossoming enterprise that aims to attract top talent… [An] expert said, given the themes of Obama’s political career and the local pushback the center has received, Obama’s foundation should put more donor dollars toward public programming than pay. Higher-than-average pay for top staffers is particularly fraught for a center being built in a neighborhood where two-thirds of households report incomes below $50,000 and where neighbors have voiced concerns that building the center will price them out and take over a portion of a historic public park.”
Will It Be Possible For Weed Companies To Make Money?
Most cannabis companies continue “to hemorrhage red ink nearly a decade after Colorado and Washington became the first states to establish legal markets,” reports Politico. An analysis “of financial filings from two dozen of the largest publicly traded U.S. operators shows that they collectively lost more than $550 million in the first six months of this year on revenues of nearly $4.5 billion. ‘It all stems from federal illegality,’ said Anita Famili, who heads [a] cannabis and CBD industry group… ‘The cost of doing business for weed companies is just much higher than any other business.'”
A Quarter Of Flights This Summer From Midway, O’Hare Were Delayed
“Nearly one-quarter of all flights arriving at O’Hare Airport and Midway Airport between May and July—about 28,000 altogether—were delayed,” reports the Sun-Times. “More than 2,000 flights were canceled.” Bad weather accounted for eighty-five-percent of delays, according to the FAA, while “staffing shortages accounted for about seven-percent of the delay time in Chicago.”
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