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Issa Lampe New Exec Director Of U Richmond Museums
“Issa Lampe, an expert in university art museums with fifteen years of experience leading exhibition and engagement programs, is the new executive director of University of Richmond Museums,” reports Artdaily. Lampe “most recently served as deputy director overseeing academic and curatorial affairs at the Smart Museum of Art and director of the Feitler Center for Academic Inquiry at The University of Chicago.” Lampe has held positions in museums at Stanford, Yale and Indiana University.
Illinois Seeks Nearly A Billion For Union Station
Illinois leaders “applied for nearly $900 million in federal funding for a plan that would speed up rail service to and from Union Station and even create a direct connection between O’Hare Airport and McCormick Place,” reports the Sun-Times. “With about $218 million set to come from local governments and private investors to launch the start of the Chicago Hub Improvement Program, a project aimed at making it easier for trains from southern routes to reach Union Station, $873 million in federal assistance is still needed.”
Saluting The City’s Preservation Plan For Historic Signage
“Kudos to the City Council for passing an ordinance last month aimed at protecting… vintage retail signs,” writes Lee Bey at the Sun-Times. “Under the old law, a new property owner had to rip down old signs if the building’s previous owner let the city-issued sign permit expire… The new ordinance lets commercial signs that are at least thirty years old and have some proven ‘degree of character and nostalgia’ remain in place, subject to city review and a renewable five-year permit… The law might not yet be full-on preservation. But it’s a sign of progress.”
Meanwhile, the owners of a building at Armitage and Damen with a beautiful Schlitz Brewery “tied-house” façade have chosen to paint over its brick and limestone beauty with white paint. (Schubas Tavern is one of the remaining Schlitz buildings.)
Michael Reese Developer Nears Deal For Vacant Mag Mile Building
“A joint venture of Chicago-based Farpoint Development and Northfield-based Saxony Capital is under contract to pay just more than $40 million for the empty 117,400-square-foot building at 830 North Michigan… The building has been vacant since Japanese clothing chain Uniqlo closed its store almost two years ago.” The sale “would be another illustration of how badly fallout from the public health crisis and an uptick in downtown crime have hurt the city’s most famous shopping corridor,” reports Crain’s. The price “is minuscule compared to the $166 million that GGP paid for the six-story building in 2013, when fashion retailer Topshop and Columbia Sportswear had stores there.” The potential new owners are not expected to raze the building. (The same developer is “leading the transformation of the former Michael Reese hospital site on the Near South Side.)
Google Offering Workers $99-A-Night Special To Stay At Work; Also Prepares To DRM The Web
“Google is offering a ‘Summer Special’ for employees to stay the night at an on-campus hotel for a discount,” reports CNBC. “The company has been cracking down on office attendance… The company said full-time employees can book a room at an on-campus hotel in Mountain View for $99 a night… The special will run through September 30 in hopes it’ll ‘make it easier for Googlers to transition to the hybrid workplace.’ … Since the promotion is for unapproved business travel, the company will not reimburse their stays, but will require employees to use their personal credit cards.”
Google is also proposing to attach DRM restrictions to the web, reports TechDirt’s Mike Masnick, with an initiative called “Web Environment Integrity.” “One ‘side effect’ of this would be enabling Google to effectively block ad-blocking… Plenty of people will insist that that’s not a side-effect, that’s the end goal… It’s very clearly opposed to the principles of an open web, the kind of thing that Google used to be at the forefront of fighting for.”
DINING & DRINKING
City Sets Taste Of Chicago Eats And Sounds In Grant Park
The City’s listed the attractions for the reduced Grant Park edition of Taste of Chicago, which was moved to September 8-10 in favor of NASCAR over the Fourth of July weekend. Main Stage events are supplemented by SummerDance. Cash or credit card are accepted by all food vendors, so no food tickets will be sold. This year’s vendors are African Food Palace, Arun’s Thai Restaurant, Badou Senegalese Cuisine, Banato, Billy Goat Tavern, BJ’s Market & Bakery, Chicago Eats, Chicago’s Doghouse, Churro Factory (Xurro), Classic Cobbler Baked Goods Company, Connie’s Pizza, Cumin Club Indian Kitchen, Doom Street Eats, The Eli’s Cheesecake Company, Esperanza, Frannie’s Café, Gaby’s Funnel Cakes, Healthy Substance Kitchen, JJ Thai Street Food, Josephine’s Cooking, LC Pho Restaurant, Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria, Mr. E Chef Catering, The Original Rainbow Cone, Pies of London, Porkchop, Prime Tacos, Robinson No. 1 Ribs, Sapori Trattoria, Seoul Taco Chicago, The Sole Ingredient Catering, Tacotlan, Tandoor Char House, Yum Dum and Yvolina’s Tamales.
Strike At Berlin
Employees of Berlin, Lakeview’s “famed LGBTQ+ nightclub, who unionized in April, said owners Jo Webster and Jim Schuman have failed to negotiate on a contract that would raise wages and improve access to healthcare,” reports Block Club. “The bargaining committee has been able to make some strides in the past months [as they] worked with Webster and Schuman’s lawyer to develop a new set of training protocols designed to make working at the club safer for security and waitstaff.” Chicago’s hospitality workers union, UNITE HERE Local 1, provides picket line pictures and more here.
Tinley Park’s Dairy Palace, “The Home Of Thick Malts,” Turns Seventy
“Ice cream is something that breaks down all barriers. Can you imagine if they gave out ice cream sundaes at the United Nations?” Dairy Palace owner John Hoffmeister asks the Trib at Tinley Park’s oldest ice cream parlor on its seventieth anniversary. It’s known as Whitey’s, too, because of the top of his head, “the ninety-one-year-old owner said with a laugh, taking off his cap and pointing to his white hair. Before Hoffmeister bought the business it was Hot Dog & Suds. He’d been in the restaurant business before—running five Whitey’s Hot Dogs outlets from Tinley Park to Plainfield—as well as working forty years in construction… Hoffmeister had a rough start in life, growing up in the Angel Guardian Orphanage in Chicago, now known as Misericordia, and foster homes after losing both parents by the time he was five.” One of the parlor’s “claims to fame is its soft serve fruit ice creams, which Hoffmeister makes by hand. ‘We’re the only ones that have soft serve strawberry and soft serve banana.'”
After Seven Decades, Joe’s On Higgins Embiggens
“Joe’s on Higgins, which opened in 1952, has moved into a larger space with a bigger menu,” reports Eater Chicago. Their specialty is tavern-style pizza. “Takeout business was big, especially during Bears games. But in the ever-so-competitive restaurant world, with ghost kitchens and third-party delivery services threatening smaller businesses like Joe’s, changes were needed. Motorists would just cruise past the building without noticing Joe’s: ‘It had no curb appeal.'”
Ristorante Agostino Closes After Thirty-Eight Years
“After nearly thirty-eight years of serving Italian classics to generations of patrons,” reports Eater Chicago, Ristorante Agostino on the far Northwest Side has closed. “Agostino Fiasche and his wife Anna Longobardi Fiasche made the tough decision during the Montclare restaurant’s annual month-long break in July, Longobardi Fiasche says,” adding that “she will continue to supply her homemade tiramisu to her son Anthony’s Tempesta Market in West Town and Peanut Park in Little Italy, which her son and husband own with Dave Bonomi. Agostino Fiasche is currently at the family’s home in Calabria and was unavailable to comment.”
Wisconsin Brewery Says It’s Shuttered Over Political Beliefs
“A zoning committee has ordered a northern Wisconsin brewery that has supported Democratic political figures to close its doors,” reports AP. “The Oneida County committee revoked Minocqua Brewing Company’s permit [saying they had] violated prohibitions on outdoor sales.” Owner Kirk Bangstad “also runs the Minocqua Brewing Company Super PAC, which has purchased billboard ads attacking Republicans and raised more than $1 million during the 2022 campaign cycle.” Zoning committee chairperson Scott Holewinski said, “You keep [saying] we’re after you because you’re a liberal, because you’re a Democrat… You make this all up against us.”
FILM & TELEVISION
No Writers Guild Deal With Studios
Over the weekend, talks to agree to have talks between the film studios’ AMPTP and the Writers Guild fell apart, and the WGA West (WGAW) gives their side here. In These Times has a take: “This summer, Hollywood writers and actors are out on strike together for the first time in decades. Their demands go beyond wages and benefits—they’re challenging bosses’ authority to unilaterally decide what work looks like.”
Former president of the WGAW, Howard A. Rodman, explains the history behind the conflict and the stakes in a 4,000-word transcript from Jacobin Radio. “The work of the members of the WGAW and the WGAE have made the industry unprecedented profits. It enabled a business model far more successful and friction-free than… any business model capitalism has ever invented. Just using Netflix as an example, they have in their possession 230 million credit cards. Once a month, they press a little button and something like $3,600,000,000 appears magically, reliably and repeatedly in their bank account—there’s no invoicing, no showrooms, no salesmen, just ping. And that is due to the global success of streaming content.”
Plus: How does a company like Disney profit when it removes content you’ve come to expect as a subscriber? Meanwhile: Warner Bros. Discovery has bragged that not producing things or paying workers has “saved” the company “in the low $100 million range” in the last quarter. Pressure to cut the vulgar compensation of executives like WBD’s CEO-president David Zaslav is mounting, writes the Hollywood Reporter.
Cleveland International Film Festival Executive Director Steps Down Next Year
Marcie Goodman, executive director of the Cleveland International Film Festival, will step down in June 2024. “One year from now I will have been the Film Festival’s executive director for twenty-three years,” Goodman says. “It’s time for me to take a break and turn the page to the next chapter. The Cleveland International Film Festival is world-renowned, so I’m 100% certain the board will find someone with the right leadership skills, energy, and vision to keep CIFF going as one of the crown jewels of Cleveland’s arts and culture community [and to] prepare for CIFF’s fiftieth anniversary in 2026.”
New York Times Book Review Cover-Stories Local Author
Florida Book Resellers Flooded With Titles With Minority Characters
“Grappling with new law, fearful Florida teachers tossing books, resellers say,” headlines Tallahassee Democrat. “Joining the typical older, beat-up books are hundreds of newer titles, most of them children’s books depicting minority characters.” A Cocoa bookseller: “In some ways, it’s easier for [teachers] not to have a classroom library.” Meanwhile: Booksellers attempt to prepare for a Texas law that requires a survey and classification of all books to determine if they are “sexually explicit.”
New York Magazine Snapshots Governor Pritzker
“The most wired-in Democrats from Washington, D.C., to Chicago to Los Angeles expect [JB Pritzker] to be a paramount figure in the 2024 election,” New York magazine offers in a take on Illinois Governor Pritzker of just under 2,000 words. “This is in part due to his work in Illinois legalizing marijuana and raising the minimum wage and banning assault weapons, all while balancing the state’s budget and plowing resources into infrastructure projects. But it is perhaps more because of his willingness to use his enormous fortune. A Hyatt Hotels heir worth over $3 billion and the country’s richest officeholder, he’s spent hundreds of millions on Democratic candidates and causes (including his own) in recent elections. His status is thus politically complicated as both crucial ally to Joe Biden and potential successor if things go awry.”
Executive Director Of South Side Weekly Named
South Side native Damani Bolden will oversee the publication of the Hyde Park Herald and South Side Weekly as executive director of South Side Weekly NFP, the nonprofit that publishes the papers. Bolden tells South Side Weekly “he wants to offer South Siders a platform that ‘traditional media would never provide.'”
Apple Claims A Billion Subscribers
Apple claims more than a billion paid subscribers to its services, writes the Hollywood Reporter. “Apple services include Apple TV+, Apple Music, Apple Arcade, Apple News and iCloud+. It also includes subscriptions through apps on the app store. The company did not break out how many subscribers used which service, beyond the topline billion figure.”
Texas A&M Pays Million In Hiring Botch
Texas A&M will pay $1 million to journalism professor Kathleen McElroy in a settlement after pushback led the school to water down its offer. An internal report shows the university president was deeply involved, reports Texas Tribune. “Among the reasons McElroy was ‘unhired,'” summarizes NYU Journalism’s Jay Rosen: “her work to build diverse and inclusive newsrooms, her experience at the New York Times, the simple fact that she’s a Black woman, and outside pressure to turn Texas A&M into a factory for conservative journalists.”
Lolla Likely To Make More Money For Chicago This Year, But…
Lollapalooza has a new contract, “but some city officials and residents wanted more transparency before it was inked,” reports the Trib. “The deal to keep Lolla in Chicago for at least another ten years…allows up to 115,000 attendees per day, up 15,000 from the previous contract… Lightfoot touted a deal months before a contract was officially signed.” (Figures broken down at the link.) CBS 2 charts a possibly disappointing return to taxpayers from Lolla here.
Why Are Concert Ticket Prices So High?
“A 2018 GAO study shared by the White House earlier this year found service fees to hover around twenty-seven percent of the face value of a ticket, on average. But the soaring price of concert tickets isn’t just going away with a corporate vow of transparency and some senators sniffing around,” writes Pitchfork. “In a series of infographics and interviews, we break down the out-of-control ticket prices that make concertgoing an increasingly unaffordable experience.”
ARTS & CULTURE & ETC.
Luis Gutierrez, Losing His Vision, Returns To Politics
“Former Illinois congressman Luis Gutierrez is losing his vision,” he tells the Messenger. Macular degeneration is taking “his eyesight, and has already made reading and writing near impossible. But it isn’t stopping him from making a political comeback during what he sees as one of the most important moments in American history… for the 2024 election… Gutierrez is joining CASA… the largest immigration group on the East Coast, [with] 150,000 members in forty-six states and Puerto Rico.”
Medinah Temple Casino Opening Pushed
“Bally’s is pushing the opening date for its temporary casino at Medinah Temple back another month to September,” reports the Tribune. “It’s done, all the machines are installed,” Bally’s Chairman Soo Kim told the paper. “We’re in testing and regulatory mode. We’re just waiting to get through the final process so we can share it with the city of Chicago.”
Outdoor “Block Masses” In Chicago
“‘Outdoor Masses’—’Misas de cuadra,’ or ‘Mass on the block’—[are] a summer tradition for St. Agnes of Bohemia Parish in Little Village,” reports Chicago Catholic. “Former pastor Father Matthew Foley started them more than twenty years ago.” The ministry “schedules Masses on Tuesday and Thursday evenings in different sectors of the parish, finding volunteers on each block to provide electricity and having people visit each home on the block the day before the Mass so that everyone knows they are invited.”
Crackdown On Vendors Near Logan Square Farmers Market?
“Controversy surrounding an unofficial bazaar outside the Logan Square Farmers Market has grown in recent weeks as the un-permitted market continues to grow, rivaling the size of the official one,” reports the Sun-Times. “Some say the unofficial vendors are taking advantage of foot traffic to sell wares without paying the permit fee. Others say the unofficial market is a ‘beautiful’ example of the community coming together post-pandemic.”
“Northwestern”: “A Code Word For What Not To Do”; Watermelon-Eating Hazing Alleged
“‘Northwestern’ isn’t just a name on the schedule anymore. It’s also a code word for what not to do,” writes Steve Greenberg at the Sun-Times. “And that goes for meatheaded players preying on teammates, feckless coaches and staff members looking the other way and bumbling administrators handling their responsibilities to all students like hot potatoes.”
Headlines the Sun-Times: “Black Northwestern players forced into watermelon-eating contests, new hazing lawsuit alleges.” The Trib: Civil rights attorney Ben Crump, “who now represents seven Northwestern athletes, said he plans on filing more than thirty lawsuits involving athletes from a ‘variety of athletic programs and even mascots.'”
Pickleball Players Hurt Themselves
“A growing number of players who have taken a newfound liking to pickleball have suffered a sport-related injury,” reports the Sun-Times. “The medical costs from those injuries are expected to reach $250 million to $500 million this year.” The game, invented in 1965 as a children’s backyard diversion, can be found all around the city, lists the Sun-Times.
AP Psychology Courses Banned In Florida
“The Florida Department of Education has effectively banned AP Psychology in the state by instructing Florida superintendents that teaching foundational content on sexual orientation and gender identity is illegal under state law,” relays the College Board. “The state has said districts are free to teach AP Psychology only if it excludes any mention of these essential topics.”
United Buys Acreage In Denver
United Airlines “is making another investment in Denver, purchasing 113 acres outside the airport where it has a key hub,” reports the Tribune. “The carrier plans to use part of the undeveloped agricultural land, purchased for $33 million, to expand United’s pilot-training facility in Denver… But that won’t take up the entire piece of land, which also leaves the carrier options as it grows in Denver.”
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