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Lincoln Square’s Diplomat Motel Saved From Demolition As “Stabilization Housing”
“A City Council committee okays plan to buy the Diplomat Motel for $2.9 million and use its forty rooms to help people with mental health and substance abuse issues,” reports the Sun-Times.
Worldwide Move To Reuse, Not Destroy, Old Buildings
“Construction requires colossal amounts of energy and causes vast emissions, facts that have led to the belated realisation that it is better wherever possible to renovate rather than rebuild. The most sustainable building is the one that is already there, as the now-fashionable saying goes,” reports the Observer. From its British perspective, the paper writes, “While building regulations have much to say on the energy efficiency of buildings once they’re built, they’re silent about the energy consumption and emissions that go with construction. So there’s a void, on a subject of huge national and global importance, in which property companies, if they choose, take the lead. It’s much better that they do than that they don’t, but there’s a limit to what businesses, ultimately driven by their own interests, will achieve.”
Rockford City Council May Have Killed $430 Million Development
“A deal to transform a dilapidated former factory campus into a thriving neighborhood in a neglected area of the city may have unraveled at the finish line Monday night,” reports the Rockford Register Star. “Rockford City Council voted to approve an amendment that requires one of the largest development agreements in city history to include a project labor agreement on a vote of 7-6, putting the $430 million proposal at risk.”
Sharjah Boots Adjaye
More fallout from allegations of sexual harassment, relays Artforum: “The Africa Institute has announced the cancellation of a sprawling David Adjaye-designed campus that was to have occupied downtown Sharjah.”
DINING & DRINKING
Strike Halts Leinie Production
“For only the second time in company history, workers at the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Co. in Chippewa Falls are on strike,” reports UpNorth News. Workers say it’s over “subpar” wages. A Molson Coors rep said “We’ve made a competitive offer that exceeds local-market rates for similar unionized roles, and despite the circumstances, we’re hopeful for a resolution that benefits everyone. In the meantime, we don’t expect an impact to our product supply at retail.”
Thousands More British Pubs Endangered
“Britain now has 13,793 fewer pubs, bars, hotels, restaurants, nightclubs and other licensed premises than it had three years ago. This represents a twelve-percent contraction of the U.K. hospitality sector, and is more than twice the 6,400 net closures recorded in the three-year period before Britain’s withdrawal from the EU on 31 January 2020 and the onset of the pandemic a few weeks later,” reports The Independent. Local causes for closing also include impatient landholders.
Taste Of Randolph Called Out On “Donation”
“Taste Of Randolph organizers charged $10 cover online for free street fest, flouting city rules,” headlines Block Club. Julie Darling, president of the West Loop Community Organization, “said she believes the post advertising $10 tickets could have been a mistake made by an intern or assistant who ‘didn’t complete the information the right way.'”
FILM & TELEVISION
California, New Jersey Heighten Fray With Film Production Tax Incentive
Illinois has got big-bucks competition for film production, reports Variety. “California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill that extends the state’s $330 million tax incentive for film and TV production. The program will be extended for five years through 2030.” The move comes “after New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed a bill that significantly expands that state’s incentive for production infrastructure. The bill is designed in large measure to help Netflix build a new production facility at Fort Monmouth, a decommissioned Army base.”
Metro And WXRT Set Lin Brehmer Tribute
For the late Lin Brehmer’s sixty-ninth birthday, WXRT and Metro host a memory concert, WXRT posts. “93XRT would like to invite you to attend A Celebration of Lin Brehmer. We will honor our best friend in the whole world at one of his favorite venues, Metro. On August 19, some of Lin’s friends will gather to play, including Los Lobos and Bob Mould, the Linburgers, featuring Jon Langford, Kelly Hogan, and Michael McDermott. The evening will include special tributes from Terri Hemmert, Marty Lennartz, Annalisa, Ryan Arnold, Frank E. Lee and Johnny Mars.” Tickets, benefiting Intonation Music, and Nourishing Hope, go on sale Friday at noon here.
Daily Northwestern Broke Football Hazing Scandal
The original reporting piggybacked by other media began with Daily Northwestern journalists Nicole Markus, Alyce Brown, Cole Reynolds and Divya Bhardwaj here. Sun-Times sports columnist Rick Telander: “I guess the bottom line is that this scandal was bound to happen. The fuse was lit long ago. Above all, kudos to college journalism. God bless the Daily Northwestern. I met with J.A. Adande, an associate professor and the director of sports journalism at NU, on this gorgeous summer day. He said he teaches that the meaning of journalism is ‘to tell true stories that otherwise would not be told.’ He added, proudly: ‘The work of these student journalists exemplifies that.’ At least you got that right, Northwestern.”
Meanwhile, university president Michael Schill issues a statement praising the legacy of the coach deposed for allegations of tolerating sexual abuse: “There is no doubt that Coach Fitzgerald has had a tremendous impact on our institution, well beyond the football field. For nearly thirty years, he has given himself to Northwestern as a student-athlete, assistant coach and head coach, and he has positively [affected] the lives of hundreds of young men… However, as much as Coach Fitzgerald has meant to our institution and our student-athletes, we have an obligation—in fact a responsibility—to live by our values, even when it means making difficult and painful decisions such as this one. We must move forward.”
Meanwhile, the University’s plan to spend $800 million on revamping its Ryan Field could be paused. Crain’s: “A group of tenured Northwestern University professors has joined Evanston residents in calling on the school to ‘halt’ the new stadium’s progress until ‘the crisis is satisfactorily resolved.'”
Former Tribune Investor, Billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong, Sells San Diego Union-Tribune To Alden Global Capital
“Patrick Soon-Shiong bought the Union-Tribune and the Los Angeles Times in 2018, promising to invest in the papers the way Jeff Bezos did in The Washington Post… He bought the paper from Tronc, the newspaper company formerly known as Tribune Publishing, in which he was also a large shareholder… Now, a month after major layoffs in L.A., Soon-Shiong has sold the U-T to Alden Global Capital’s MediaNews Group,” reports Axios. Bloomberg: “The new owners plan to eliminate jobs as part of their takeover of the San Diego newspaper, citing the need to improve efficiency in business operations, distribution and production.” In a memo, the billionaire reportedly said, “Our intention now is to focus on the ongoing work of transforming the L.A. Times into a self-sustaining institution.”
Reports Joe Bel Bruno at The Intersect: “Although Soon-Shiong’s primary interest was in The Times, he expressed support for both newsrooms and made earnest efforts to rebuild and sustain them. Soon-Shiong bought the U-T by assuming about $90 million of pension fund liabilities, according to a person who was in the deal talks. That’s in addition to how much the billionaire paid to buy the company outright. Alden will now assume those pension liabilities for the company’s journalists.” Bel Bruno: “This is now sending panic throughout the LA Times newsroom, sources say and is fairly logical.”
New York Times Guild: Shutting Down Sports Desk Union-Busting Move
“As members of the New York Times Guild, we are baffled and infuriated by the Times proposal to dissolve our storied and award-winning Sports department. This announcement is a profound betrayal of our colleagues and of Times values,” the union posts. “Times leadership is attempting to outsource union jobs on our sports desk to a non-union Times subsidiary [The Athletic] under the preposterous argument that The Times can ‘subcontract’ its sports coverage to itself… Many members learned of the company’s decision in a Times news alert that popped up on our phones minutes into a meeting called to inform sports staff of our department’s dissolution… The company has weighed decisions about the future of Times sports coverage without any solicitation of our expertise… We will fight this flagrant attempt at union-busting with every tool we have. And we will work with our members in Sports to defend their rights under our union contract. Our standard is clear: Union work at The Times Company is performed by union workers.”
Bronzeville Neighborhood Jazz Fest Returns
The Bronzeville Neighborhood Jazz Fest will return to Martin Luther King Drive from 39th to 37th on August 5. Curated by music producer Frank Goss III, the festival pays homage to the historical neighborhood and its rich music history of jazz and blues. This edition will feature live music from up-and-coming Jazz musicians Buddy Fambro, Marqueal Jordan, Joan Collaso and Willie Fultz Band, featuring Skinny Williams, alongside products from local vendors. More here.
Gregory Mosher On Ticket Prices
On Twitter, producer-director Gregory Mosher raises an eyebrow: “I just looked to buy a ticket to what looks like a nice little show in a small-ish theater. I’d [like] to see the young cast, most of whom I haven’t had the pleasure of watching. Tickets were $103, including a meaningless $11 ‘service charge.’ This is madness, people. A few years ago I crowd-sourced… a fair price for a strong but not starry cast in a ‘classic’ play. The answer was about $37. So that’s what we charged. Sold out all 292 seats for 12 wks, could have run forever if the cast could. So many theater peeps came.”
Jeffrey Sweet Revises His 1978 Oral History Of Second City
“I originally wanted to have a new edition [of “Something Wonderful Right Away”] ready in time for [the Second City’s] fiftieth anniversary, which, of course, was more than a decade ago. [The Second City was founded in 1959. The fiftieth-anniversary celebration was held in 2009.] And I called up [my publisher] Limelight Editions, and I said, ‘I’d like to do a new edition.’ And they said, ‘We are not interested in spending the money to do that’,” Jeffrey Sweet tells Jack Helbig at the Reader. “I’d made a mistake in not interviewing Joyce Sloane, who was an important friend to me and who was the heart and soul of the Second City. But I had sort of thought, ‘Well, I’m just going to interview performers and directors.’ And, of course, Joyce was neither performer nor director. And by the time I was getting around to do a second edition, she was gone. That’s something I regret because I think it would have told more of the story. And she deserved greater acknowledgment.”
American Women Quarters Program Adds Maria Tallchief
The U.S. Mint has added prima ballerina Maria Tallchief to the American Women Quarters program. “Hailed for her ‘thrilling power of momentum,’ Maria Tallchief, was one of the twentieth century’s greatest ballerinas, key player in the art of George Balanchine and later a force in the history of Chicago dance,” the Tribune wrote in a 2013 obituary.
Chicago Dance Crash Adds Executive And Artistic Directors
After its twentieth anniversary season, hip-hop/contemporary performance company Chicago Dance Crash has added ensemble member Monternez Rezell to its board of directors, rehearsal director KC Bevis as artistic director and Jessica Leyva, a local performance industry development advocate, as executive director. More here.
Landmark San Diego Civic Theatre Likely To Be Demolished
“Once a symbol of San Diego’s stature among the country’s elite entertainment cities, the 3,000-seat Civic Theatre,” reports the San Diego Union Tribune, “finds itself at a precarious crossroads as the city looks to offload the land, as well as the blocks around it, and pave the way for a new era in downtown’s civic core.”
ARTS & CULTURE & ETC.
Northern Lights May Be Seen In Chicago
“The celestial spectacle known as the Northern Lights may grace the skies of Chicago starting Wednesday night into Thursday morning,” reports the Sun-Times. “Also known as aurora borealis, the lights may be visible on the low horizon in Chicago and seen overhead in Minneapolis and Milwaukee.”
Three-Hundred Drones Light Up Navy Pier
Navy Pier will ring in its 107th birthday with a “Sweeten Your Summer with Blue Bunny and Halo Top” drone light show on Saturday, July 15. Navy Pier’s first-ever drone light show will take place at 9:45pm, preceding the regularly scheduled Saturday fireworks display at 10pm. The free drone show will consist of ten minutes of ice cream-themed animations in honor of National Ice Cream Month (July) and National Ice Cream Day (July 16). More here.
Times Says It’s Hot Down Below Chicago
“Basements and train tunnels constantly leak heat, causing the land to sink and straining building foundations. Scientists call it ‘underground climate change,'” headlines the New York Times. “Underneath downtown Chicago’s soaring Art Deco towers, its multilevel roadways and its busy subway and rail lines, the land is sinking, and not only for the reasons you might expect. Since the mid-twentieth century, the ground between the city surface and the bedrock has warmed by 5.6 degrees Fahrenheit on average, according to a new study out of Northwestern University. All that heat, which comes mostly from basements and other underground structures, has caused the layers of sand, clay and rock beneath some buildings to subside or swell by several millimeters over the decades, enough to worsen cracks and defects in walls and foundations.” Northwestern summarizes the study here.
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