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Potential Of Vandalism Costs Museums
“Museums must pay for added security and the conservation of precious paintings. Now they are suing eco-activists for damages, and authorities are bringing serious charges,” reports the New York Times. In a “tipping point in the United States, prosecutors have brought serious federal charges against protesters who threatened the safety of art at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, which is a federal institution… Each charge carries a statutory maximum sentence of five years in prison and fines of up to $250,000. Climate activists have called the sentence ‘unjustly harsh.'” One of the charged activists told the Times, “It was not a call for everyone to rampage museums… It was a call for people to look deeply and think about what they cherish on Earth and what they can do to protect those things.”
Decades-Old Northern Plains Indian Art Market Cancelled
Sinte Gleska University has canceled the Northern Plains Indian Art Market for the first time in three decades, reports KELO South Dakota, “a major show in this region… because of financial reasons and dwindling interest.”
CTA’s Top Leaders Don’t Care To Use CTA
“Eight of the CTA’s top leaders, among the agency’s highest paid, used their unlimited work cards to swipe onto the system on less than fifty days each in all of 2021 and 2022, CTA records show,” reports Block Club. “One executive never used her pass in two years… CTA spokesperson Manny Gonzales said CTA President Dorval Carter and his executives ‘are fully attuned to the day-to-day transit experience’ and track the system through ‘dozens of managers,’ a 24/7 control center, security footage, daily ‘flash’ meetings about operational issues, real-time data and feedback ‘collected from customers, elected officials and other key stakeholders.'”
Dearborn Street Bridge Closed For Week
“The Chicago Department of Transportation is closing the Dearborn Bridge over the Chicago River to both cars and people starting at 6am Monday through Friday” for repairs, reports CBS 2.
City Sidewalk Snowplow Ordinance Advances
“Chicago could eventually be responsible for clearing at least some city sidewalks in winter, after aldermen advanced a proposal that could lead to a sidewalk snowplow pilot program,” relays the Tribune.
Rail Car Provider TTX Leaving Chicago
“TTX plans to move its headquarters from Chicago to Charlotte, North Carolina. The company manages 170,000 freight cars for major U.S. railroads,” reports the Sun-Times.
Cabrini-Green Redevelopment Could Comprise 742 Residences
The CHA has “filed a zoning application with the city for the nearly seven-acre [Cabrini-Green] site, revealing that the project will be split into three phases containing 742 residential units and 20,000 square feet of commercial space… The first set of buildings [will occupy] the center of the site, consisting of a ten-story and eight-story structure rising ninety-eight feet at its tallest,” reports Chicago YIMBY, featuring renderings and plans.
Sterling Bay Wants Two More Lincoln Yards Apartment Buildings
“As Sterling Bay tries to find a financial partner to breathe life into its stalled Lincoln Yards megaproject, the developer is proposing a pair of apartment buildings totaling 609 units nearby that would bolster a fast-growing residential plan it is eyeing for the North Branch of the Chicago River,” reports Crain’s. “A Sterling Bay venture is seeking the city’s approval to build a sixteen-story, 294-unit apartment building and a twenty-seven-story, 315-unit building next to each other.”
Office Buildings Worldwide Could Lose Almost A Trillion Dollars In Worth By 2030
“Remote work risks wiping $800 billion from the value of office buildings in major cities worldwide by 2030 as the post-pandemic trend pushes up office vacancy rates and drives down rents,” reports CNN. The relevant McKinsey Global Institute Report is here.
DINING & DRINKING
A Happy Hour Guide To The Loop
Chicago Loop Alliance has you covered.
Union Move At “World’s Largest” Starbucks On Michigan
“Workers at the giant Starbucks Reserve Roastery, 646 North Michigan, have filed for a union representation election. The announcement came Friday from Starbucks Workers United, part of the Service Employees International Union,” reports the Sun-Times. “SEIU has led a national campaign to unionize Starbucks retail locations across the country. More than 330 stores now have a unionized staff, but none has gotten a first contract. Starbucks has around 9,000 company-owned stores in the United States.”
“Owen & Engine and Bo Fowler made it through the pandemic’s worst as the acclaimed chef reopened her British pub in early 2022 after eight months,” reports Eater Chicago, but the fourteen-year-old establishment will close next month. “Final service will be on a Tuesday… the day Owen & Engine hosted its regularly scheduled burger, beer and bourbon special. The thick-cut burger, made with beef from Slagel Family Farm and a bap baked onsite, reigned as one of the city’s best burgers.”
Chefs Collaborate At Marisol
More offerings at Marisol, Jason Hammel’s restaurant at the MCA: “With its new Chef Collaboration Series, Marisol further embraces change and the city it calls home. Launched in May, the ongoing program aims to uplift local culinary talent by showcasing chefs’ signature dishes on Marisol’s lunch menu,” relays Lisa Shames at the Sun-Times. “The idea for this was to collaborate with and support our industry friends and spotlight their restaurants,” Hammel tells Shames. “It also challenges us here to do dishes we normally wouldn’t do.”
Streeterville’s British Pub Monarch And Lion Highlights Gin Corner
Streeterville’s newest British pub, Monarch and Lion, is featuring eighteen different gins from nine different countries including India, Scotland, Holland and Japan. Beverage Director Alex Lorenzen curated the “Gin Corner,” which also highlights six craft cocktails, including “Tomato, To-mah-to”: feta cheese infused Bombay Sapphire, clarified tomato, lemon, basil simple syrup, worcestershire and chili flakes; and “Kensington Gardens”: Hendricks gin, cucumber, mint, lemon juice, simple syrup, egg white, black pepper, Chartreuse spray. More cocktails here.
Gallica Wine Dinner at Boka
Napa Valley winemaker Rosemary Cakebread will present a wine-filled evening on July 19 at Boka. Cakebread leads the team at Gallica Winery, which has a mission to make elegant, single-vineyard, organic wines. Over the course of the evening, guests will taste a selection of Gallica wines, complemented by a five-course tasting menu full of summer flavors curated by Boka’s culinary team. Reservations here.
Pepsi Profits Pop After Price Push
“The maker of Gatorade and Lay’s, which nearly doubled its profit in its latest quarter, has been raising prices by double-digit percentages for more than a year,” reports The New York Times. “We’ve been able to raise prices and consumers stay within our brands,” the PepsiCo CEO said.
FILM & TELEVISION
Copernicus Foundation Will Operate Pickwick Theater
“Park Ridge’s 1928-vintage landmark Pickwick Theatre will become a venue for live performances as well as movies through a programming partnership with the nonprofit Copernicus Foundation,” reports the Trib. The arrangement will be dubbed “Copernicus @ The Pickwick.” “Pickwick co-owners Dino Vlahakis and Dave Loomos will retain their ownership of the building, whose exterior structure is protected as a Park Ridge local landmark and cannot be changed or torn down. The staff of the Copernicus Center will program the Pickwick’s main theater auditorium, also called Theater One or the big theater, with a focus on live theater and entertainment. The back four theaters… will continue to show movies under longtime General Manager Kathryn Tobias.”
Graphic Novel Inflames Hungarian Extremist Government
The rightwing government in Hungary has levied a $36,000 fine against a Budapest bookstore for displaying “Heartstopper,” a young adult graphic novel that depicts a LGBTQ coming-of-age story, reports EuroNews. “Child protection” is the rationale cited by the Orbán government: “Shortly before this fine was issued to the Budapest-based bookstore, Hungary’s largest bookseller Libri decided to start plastic wrapping all books that contain LGBTQ characters so customers are unable to open them in bookstores, in accordance with the recent law… that forbids the advertisement or distribution of materials that ‘promote or display homosexuality.'”
Music In Action Grants To Elastic Arts And Hey Nonny
The national nonprofit Live Music Society awards money “to help small venues take risks and build on their dedication to their music scenes,” writes the Reader. Among the seventeen grantees with a capacity under 300 splitting $500,000 are Elastic Arts and Hey Nonny. “Hey Nonny in Arlington Heights, founded five years ago as a small music venue and restaurant, strives to host local artists from a variety of genres. It’s receiving $30,000 from Live Music Society.” The full list is here.
Destinos, Sixth Chicago International Latino Theater Festival, Announces Line-up
Destinos, the Sixth Chicago International Latino Theater Festival, showcasing Latino theater artists and companies from Chicago, the U.S. and Latin America, returns September 28-November 9. This year’s line-up of seventeen productions all new to Chicago includes four world premieres, two North American premieres, one U.S. premiere, and five Midwest premieres. Tickets to most productions go on sale Friday, August 18 here.
DePaul Theatre School Awards 2023 Cunningham Commission For Youth Theatre
The Theatre School at DePaul has announced Jeremy Ohringer as the recipient of the 2023 Cunningham Commission for Youth Theatre. Jeremy will begin writing a play for families and young audiences that tells the story of fifth-grader Ben Isaac, who discovers a note that sends him on an incredible adventure around the city of Chicago. From meeting the giant Pacific octopus at the Shedd Aquarium to digging up pieces of Chicago’s history in Jackson Park, Ben will take young audiences on a journey to some of Chicago’s landmark locations. More here.
Public Theater Lays Off Fifth Of Staff
New York’s Public Theater, “a titan among nonprofit theaters, is suffering from the combined effects of falling revenue and rising costs plaguing the arts world,” reports the New York Times. “The move, which cost about fifty people their jobs, followed a thirteen-percent layoff at the Brooklyn Academy of Music and a ten-percent layoff at the Center Theater Group in Los Angeles.” The Off Broadway landmark is “by almost any measure a titan among nonprofit theaters—the birthplace of ‘A Chorus Line’ and ‘Hamilton,’ the originator and presenter of Free Shakespeare in the Park, and a creative anchor for some of the nation’s most influential dramatists. But the theater, like many others, is suffering from the combined effects of falling revenue and rising costs.” The next season “will feature five shows at its Astor Place building, down from eleven in the last full season before the coronavirus pandemic.”
Theatrical Touring Agreement Ratified
“The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) says it has reached and ratified an agreement with four producers over a new theatrical touring agreement,” writes the Hollywood Reporter. “Eighty-six percent of eligible IATSE members, who include technicians doing the electric work, carpentry and prop work on shows, voted to ratify the contract.” Various new forms of compensation include single room occupancy lodging while on the road.
ARTS & CULTURE & ETC.
Jesse Jackson Isn’t Retiring
The Tribune front-pages the Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr.’s plans at the age of eighty-one as he steps away from PUSH and the Rainbow Coalition: “The Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr., who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease eight years ago, is stepping down from the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, the influential Chicago-based civil rights organization he founded through its predecessor, Operation PUSH, more than fifty years ago.” Jackson told the paper, “I’m not retiring at all… I want to focus a lot more on economic justice, peace in the world. I’m just pivoting to a different platform.” Pivoting “means he will spend the majority of this time teaching about ‘how to fight the nonviolent fight’ when it comes to injustice. ‘I want to teach more, all what I’ve learned, to other preachers: How do you fight the nonviolent fight, focus on affirmative action, loan debt, focus on pulling gun shops down.'” The Sun-Times timelines Jackson’s career here.
Lack Of Contract From UPS Could Inspire Most Costly Strike In A Hundred Years
A ten-day UPS strike would likely cost the economy more than $7 billion, making it the costliest work stoppage in at least a century, reports Vox. “Our reliance on delivery gives the Teamsters union a lot more leverage in UPS negotiations.” That cost, estimated by a consultant, “includes $4.6 billion in losses to consumers and businesses that rely on UPS, as well as more than a billion in lost wages and $800 million in company losses.” (On Friday, UPS Teamsters of Local 705 and 710 held a practice picket and rally outside the Jefferson Street UPS Hub, a publicist advised.) Meanwhile, per the Sun-Times, UPS will be training replacement, nonunion workers.
New York City UPS workers are also ready to strike, reports Hell Gate. “If a new contract isn’t agreed upon come August 1, the 8,000 UPS workers represented by the New York Teamsters Local 804 will join their union siblings on actual picket lines nationwide, in what would be the second-largest strike against a single employer in United States history. UPS workers are demanding the abolition of a ‘two-tier’ wage system among drivers, which created a second class of workers that receive worse pay and fewer protections despite performing similar work; an end to supervisor harassment, excessive overtime and forced sixth days of work; and air conditioning and other heat protections in vehicles and warehouses.”
Bridgeport Bait & Tackle Coming To South Halsted
“Bridgeport Bait & Tackle is coming to 3549 South Halsted on the South Side. That fills the huge void left when Henry’s Sports & Bait, the iconic urban bait shop, closed in November on South Canal in Bridgeport,” reports the Sun-Times.
“Pure Michigan” Loses Funding
Tourism campaign “Pure Michigan” will cut the bulk of national advertising after a $15 million funding loss, reports Crain’s Detroit. “Governor Whitmer’s office said in a statement that drawing tourists is still a priority for the administration.”
Megachurches Reign As Smaller Flocks Fold
“At a time when empty pews are forcing churches across the country to shutter,” reports NPR, about 1,800 “megachurches,” churches with more than 2,000 or more members that are “mostly nondenominational houses of worship are… attracting younger, more vibrant and more diverse congregations.”
NASCAR Seen From The Pages Of A Literary Mag
“Why Chicago? When people ask why Chicago, of course, they mean why bring the stereotypical pastime of red-state Americans to right-wing media’s favorite object of fearmongering about crime-ridden urban hellscapes,” writes Jason De Stefano at n+1. “Despite NASCAR’s efforts to shake its popular associations… the Chicago Sun-Times dubbed the event ‘the epitome of a culture clash.’ The city government, for its part, pointed to the promise of tax revenue and tourism—a projected $113 million for the city. In reality, almost every surface of Grant Park was covered in ad copy. Spectators were greeted at one entrance by a souped-up Camry shrink-wrapped in a promotion for the Art Institute of Chicago’s summer exhibition, ‘Van Gogh and the Avant-Garde.’ The car sported giant daubs of blue, green, and orange paint and, on the driver’s side, a re-creation of the artist’s 1887 self-portrait. Next to Buckingham Fountain, the park’s centerpiece, a two-story outdoor club had been erected, sponsored by Cuervo Tradicional tequila; a margarita from one of its three bars cost $28 but was thirty-two ounces and came in a one-hundred-percent recycled agave cup. Throughout the grounds there were promotional tents with games, giveaways, and merch from the likes of the Air Force, WWE, a fintech startup called Olliv, and Lou Malnati’s deep dish pizza.”
Members Of Florida Guard Refuse Use As DeSantis Militia
Presidential aspirant Ron DeSantis’ hope for a personal militia faces resistance: “When the first recruiting class of Governor DeSantis’ new Florida State Guard showed up for training last month… many were told they would volunteer for a revived State Guard with a nonmilitary mission: help Floridians in times of need or disaster. Instead, the state’s National Guard trained the volunteers for combat,” reports the Orlando Sentinel. “Some recruits quit after the first training class last month because they feared it was becoming too militaristic.” Major Gen. John D. Haas, Florida’s adjutant general overseeing the Florida National Guard “said the State Guard was a ‘military organization’ that will be used not just for emergencies but for ‘aiding law enforcement with riots and illegal immigration.’… Unlike the National Guard, State Guard members can’t be deployed by the federal government. They answer only to the governor… Instead of being activated only during emergencies within Florida, they could be sent to any state to ‘protect and defend the people of Florida from threats to public safety.'”
Florida Isn’t Protecting Its Environment
“Florida is a bellwether for the rest of the nation; the surge water rise that besets Miami today will, soon enough, beset states ranging from California to New York. The state, of necessity, should be a leader in U.S. climate resiliency,” writes novelist and eco-activist Jeff VanderMeer at TIME. “But rather than acknowledge a crisis and build out a holistic approach to climate change, Florida, led by Governor Ron DeSantis, denies the urgency and applies a hodge-podge of contradictory initiatives designed for short-term applause. Some come with large amounts of money attached, while the state simultaneously ignores the peril of poorly regulated industrial-scale farming, ranching, and development that intensifies the crisis. Ruinous policy in Florida affects eleven million acres of wetlands, thousands of lakes, more than 1,300 miles of coastline, and hundreds of freshwater springs. From rock pine to salt marsh, from sandhill scrub to lush semi-tropical ravines and dozens of other unique ecosystems—the point lost on DeSantis and the Republican legislature is that these are not tourist sights housed in an amusement park, but vital parts of the actual world that humans occupy and need to thrive, perhaps even to survive.”
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