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Last Quarry With Joliet-Lemont Limestone Closing
“Some of Chicago’s most iconic buildings are made of Joliet-Lemont limestone. Now the last quarry that supplies it is closing,” reports Chicago magazine.
Agribusiness Conglomerate Leases Chunk Of Marshall Field Building
“One of the world’s largest food ingredient suppliers has leased a big new office at the redeveloped Marshall Field building in the Loop, a deal that more than doubles its workspace downtown,” reports Crain’s. “Olam International has inked a fifteen-year lease for nearly 80,000 square feet at 24 East Washington…The Singapore-based company becomes the largest tenant to date signed at the landmark property, [a large get] for Brookfield Properties, the Toronto-based developer that bought the upper floors of the Macy’s flagship on State Street in 2018 and turned them into 650,000 square feet of modern office space… Brookfield had filled up about [half] of its six-floor space to tenants including secondary ticket marketplace Vivid Seats, consumer-insights company Numerator, third-party logistics firm Spot and co-working provider Industrious.”
Commercial Players Oppose Property Transfer Tax
“Chicago’s commercial real estate advocates [were] ready to speak up against a proposed transfer tax hike Thursday when a policy espoused by Mayor Brandon Johnson is taken up by a city council committee,” reports The Real Deal. A past version stipulated a rate of “2.65 percent of the sale price for deals meeting the price threshold, up from 0.75 percent charged on all deals, … on top of transfer taxes already charged by the state and county governments, as well as a transfer tax dedicated specifically to CTA.”
DINING & DRINKING
It’s Happy Hour Lunch At Jinsei Motto
Jinsei Motto, the sushi and omakase bar located inside CH Distillery in the West Loop, has introduced a Happy Hour menu featuring $6 handrolls, cocktails and glasses of wine. Customers can enjoy specials from 11:30am-2:30pm during lunch Wednesday-Friday and from 4pm-6pm Tuesday and Saturday. The $6 Happy Hour Menu includes: Handrolls, Spicy Tuna, Spicy Scallop, Spicy Tako, Salmon Avocado and vegetable. Drinks include Watermelon Punch, Grapefruit Punch, Sake and glasses of red and white wine. Full menu here.
Supply Issues Clear Aldi Shelves
Aldi, which has had problems stocking its shelves around the world in past months, is having issues in at least some of its thirty-three Chicago locations, says Block Club, adding anecdotes from customers and workers in the stores. Signs were posted (and later removed in at least one store), reading: “Due to technical supply chain issues, product availability may be temporarily limited. Our teams are working to replenish shelves as quickly as possible. Thank you for your patience and understanding.”
FILM & TELEVISION
Mezcla Media Collective’s Colette Ghunim Named To Leaders USA Program From Obama Foundation
Mezcla Media Collective’s co-founder Colette Ghunim [Newcity Filmmaker Of The Moment 2020] has been selected as part of the Obama Foundation’s Leaders USA Program for her work to support women and non-binary filmmakers of color in Chicago. The Obama Leaders program is a six-month virtual program that supports and connects emerging leaders in the United States, Africa, Asia-Pacific, and Europe. Ghunim was selected to join the program for her work to cultivate a thriving ecosystem for women and non-binary filmmakers of color. The inaugural group of United States “Obama Leaders” comes from thirty-seven states; Washington, D.C.; American Samoa; Guam; and five tribal nations.
In co-production with Kartemquin Films, she is directing “Traces of Home,” her first feature-length film, documenting her quest to find home by traveling to Mexico and Palestine to locate the houses her parents were forced to leave decades ago. Ghunim is also co-founder of Mezcla Media Collective, a nonprofit that unites over 700 women and non-binary filmmakers of color in Chicago. More here.
Jim Vendiola Short, “Pretty Pickle,” Debuts Online
“If you tried to guess the trajectory of the young couple’s idyllic new relationship in Jim Vendiola’s wildly inappropriate yet incredibly close to the heart romantic short ‘Pretty Pickle,’ you wouldn’t even come close,” writes Directors Notes as they present the online premiere of his new black-and-white short. Vendiola [Newcity Film 50], “the award-winning Filipino American filmmaker, probes the perils of succumbing to our own insecurities as he takes us beyond that hot-and-heavy honeymoon period where the rose-tinted glasses start to slip and reveals what happens when we question our partner’s seemingly innocent quirks. Vendiola deftly builds up the tension before leaving you slack-jawed in its final moments.”
Compensate Creators, Says Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Why strike? “Generative AI cannot generate anything at all without massive troves of training data. Who produces that data? People do. And those people deserve compensation,” writes actor-director Joseph Gordon-Levitt at The Washington Post. “Actors, writers and the rest of us film and television professionals might be some of the first (but not the last) to have our jobs threatened by so-called artificial intelligence—technology that ingests enormous amounts of ‘training data,’ crunches the numbers and spits out new combinations of the data, following the patterns it was trained on. Tech giants, entertainment giants and every other profit-hungry giant will soon claim that AI can do human-level work at an astonishingly small fraction of the cost.”
Authors And Booksellers Sue Texas Over “Sexual Content” Ratings
“A group of booksellers, publishers and authors filed a lawsuit on Tuesday to stop a new law in Texas that would require stores to rate books based on sexual content, arguing the measure would violate their First Amendment rights and be all but impossible to implement,” reports the New York Times.
Illinois Bans Book Bans, But Not For The Incarcerated
“With Illinois being the first state to pass legislation enacting penalties for censorship in public libraries, those who are incarcerated aren’t included in the state’s victory,” reports South Side Weekly.
Chicago Reporter Adds Investigations Editor
At the half-century-old Chicago Reporter, “Cecilia Milmoe is taking on a new role as investigations editor, a position in which she will help launch and elevate some of our most consequential work,” relays the Chicago Reporter. “She will lead the Investigations Unit, a significant expansion of the TCR mission to ensure expert knowledge and [stories with impact] reach the widest public audience possible… She will also drive complex [long-form] journalism to strengthen the Reporter’s core competencies and ambitious work.”
Suburban Village Free Press Returns To Founder
“As part of an agreement reached between Growing Community Media and our former staff member, Michael Romain, ownership of the Village Free Press will return to Romain during the month of September,” reports Oak Park’s Wednesday Journal. “Romain is the founder of the newspaper which serves Proviso Township. In 2022, Romain brought the newspaper to Growing Community Media which agreed to take on its publication. Following his departure from the organization in January discussions ensued on how to return the newspaper to Romain. Village Free Press will continue to be published weekly by Growing Community Media until the transfer occurs. And Growing Community Media will continue to publish and grow Wednesday Journal of Oak Park & River Forest, the Austin Weekly News, Forest Park Review and Riverside-Brookfield Landmark.”
Delmark Moves Rockwell Blues & Jazz Stroll
Previously scheduled for Labor Day weekend, Delmark Records has moved its annual Rockwell Stroll to Saturday, August 26. “Seventy years before the late Bob Koester founded Delmar (later Delmark) Records and released his first record in 1953, many now-iconic figures in blues and jazz were everyday working musicians,” the label muses. “Seventy years on, Delmark, the oldest independent jazz and blues record label in the world, boasts a catalog with over 12,000 recordings by a who’s-who of jazz and blues.” Delmark will host their third annual Rockwell Blues & Jazz stroll, with music, food and fun at the studios and with area businesses on Saturday, August 26.
Out Of Space At Canal Shores In Evanston This Weekend
Out of Space returns July 27-30 for its fifth year of live music on the fairway at Evanston’s Canal Shores Golf Course. This year’s lineup features prominent indie acts and emerging talents, including the sold-out Lord Huron (July 28), Regina Spektor (July 29), and Andrew Bird (July 30), with opening sets by Allie Crow Buckley, Allison Russell and Uwade. Tickets here.
ARTS & CULTURE & ETC.
Chicago Live! Returns To Navy Pier
Navy Pier has announced the return of its free performing arts festival, “Chicago Live!”on Saturday, September 23 and Sunday, September 24. This year marks the third for the iconic event, which will present more than eighty distinct artists and cultural organizations in back-to-back performances on three stages. Performances span every artistic genre including music, dance, theater, spoken word, improv and vocal performances. This year, twenty-five new groups will join over forty returning organizations performing at Navy Pier. “I believe that the arts inspire us to live our best lives, and Chicago Live! has Navy Pier aspiring to its highest self, as the port of entry to Chicago’s richly diverse cultural landscape,” said Navy Pier president and CEO Marilynn Gardner. This year’s headliner will be Mavis Staples.
Logan Square’s Windy City Fieldhouse Closing After Quarter-Century
“Murrel Karsh, co-founder and president of Windy City Fieldhouse Events, said the company and Farpoint Development, the real estate company that owns the property, couldn’t come to terms on a lease agreement,” reports the Sun-Times. Karsh “would have liked to keep the large indoor multi-sports complex at 2637 West Logan open, [but] it has become increasingly expensive to operate in the city… Windy City Fieldhouse hosts basketball, volleyball, lacrosse, football [and] soccer… under one roof in a 55,000-square-foot facility.”
Black Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Won’t Hold Convention In DeSantis’ Florida
“The Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. will no longer host its convention in Florida, citing Governor Ron DeSantis’ alleged ‘harmful, racist, and insensitive policies against the Black community,'” reports Fox 35 Orlando. “The African American fraternity was scheduled to bring its ninety-ninth General Convention and 119th Anniversary Convention to Orlando in 2025. The fraternity said the [state’s new] K-12 curriculum ‘erases Florida’s role in slavery and oppression, blames the victims, and declares that African Americans who endured slavery benefitted from the horrific and torturous institution.'”
What’s To Like About The UPS-Teamsters Deal
“As meaningful as the Hollywood strikes are, the Teamsters not having to strike may have sent an even more profound message,” writes Hamilton Nolan at MSNBC. “UPS’ very decision to offer the Teamsters this deal tells us a lot about corporate America’s reading of the balance of power in our never-ending class war.”
Mayor Pitches Bears?
“Mayor Johnson has been preparing to work with the team to find a Chicago location for a new stadium if that’s what it takes to keep the team from leaving the city,” rumors Crain’s.
Broadway Armory Migrant Shelter As Of Next Week; Tensions Rise, Says Tribune
“The city is moving forward with the conversion of Broadway Armory Park into an emergency migrant shelter, prompting the relocation of some park programs and tenants from the facility,” reports Block Club. “The conversion will require the relocation of multiple park programs and services by Saturday, giving city officials time to prep the massive complex into a shelter.” The city-run senior center remains open, according to Tiernan Gordon, spokesperson for the mayor’s office. “The senior dining center will continue to serve meals, though the computer lab and ping pong room will be closed.”
The Tribune sees friction in the offing: “Tensions rise over migrant shelters amid conflicts with residents and canceled park programs,” the paper reports. “The community has been disrespected,” Alderperson Jeannette Taylor said during a Monday meeting, “but it is time for us to try to fix what has happened and know that we all have to work together. It’s never too late.”
Pritzker Deal To Consolidate Anti-Homelessness Efforts
Governor Pritzker “signed legislation Wednesday that seeks to effectively end homelessness in Illinois by marshaling the resources of multiple agencies into one effort,” reports WTTW. “House Bill 2831 codifies an executive order Pritzker signed in 2021 that established the Illinois Interagency Task Force on Homelessness and the Community Advisory Council on Homelessness. It centralizes programs across seventeen state departments and agencies to develop and implement a comprehensive plan to combat homelessness. At a bill-signing ceremony at Featherfist, a homeless services organization in Chicago, Pritzker said the goal of the initiative is to bring homelessness in Illinois to ‘functional zero.'”
Yellowstone Rangers Unionize
“Yellowstone National Park rangers have voted to unionize,” reports Jackson Hole News & Guide. The vote was 66-15 from about 350 eligible employees. “The vote establishes Yellowstone’s first chapter of the National Federation of Federal Employees, which represents National Park Service workers elsewhere, as well as U.S. Forest Service employees and the majority of federal wildland firefighters. Interpretive rangers, park guides, fee collectors, researchers and administrative staff now have the option to join the union. Organizers have said a union will allow workers to lobby Congress directly for higher pay and better working conditions.”
Mayflies On Decline Along Mighty Mississippi
“A recent study that found a significant decline in mayfly abundance over the past several years has raised concern about the river and its food chain, to which mayflies are essential,” reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “Since mayflies are the food source of many fish and birds on the river, declines also could spell trouble for the river’s food chain.”
Backpack X-Ray Machines For More Than A Hundred CPS Buildings
Updated X-ray machines to scan backpacks have been approved for more than a hundred Chicago Public Schools buildings, reports the Tribune.
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