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Richard Hunt Receives Art Award From Chicago Public Library Foundation; Colson Whitehead, Rebecca Makkai Also Honored
“Richard Hunt has this amazing sculpture at the Carter G. Woodson Regional Library called ‘Jacob’s Ladder,'” Rica Estrada-Bouso, Chicago Public Library Foundation’s marketing director, tells the Tribune. “It’s an amazing focal point of the library. We recently had an arts award added to our lineup of honorees, expanding from literature, doing civic awards and arts awards. Obviously one of the foremost people we have is Richard Hunt, who has had sculptures all over the world and singularly made the most number of contributions in public art across America.”
Writes Darcel Rockett, “Eighty-seven years young, Hunt’s hands are a work of art. While the world is all about branding, Hunt is humble… ‘One of the things about being an artist is you can go your own way. Some people have a different approach to what they want to produce,'” Hunt says. “‘They don’t have the relationship to a plan where the sculpture relates to some environment. Me doing something for Emmett Till, that’s one thing of putting something together and having a relationship with the environment. It’s not just making a nice sculpture.'”
The 2023 Chicago Public Library Foundation Awards are given at an October 24 ceremony and online on November 1, and include Colson Whitehead receiving the Carl Sandburg Literary Award and Rebecca Makkai getting the 21st Century Award. Details here.
Cranbook Names Deans
Cranbrook Educational Community announced that two deans have been appointed to senior leadership positions at Cranbrook Academy of Art. Lynn Tomaszewski has been named the Dean of Academic Affairs and Michael Stone-Richards has been named Dean of Programs and Partnerships. “As Dean of Academic Affairs, Tomaszewski will work with the senior leadership team to formulate, implement, and evaluate the academic policies and programs of the Academy. She will provide support to the Academy’s thirteen Artists-in-Residence/Department Heads while fostering an equitable and transparent student culture.
As the Dean of Programs and Partnerships, Stone-Richards will work in a curatorial role to increase representation within the graduate curriculum, and to expand audiences across the Academy. He will also conduct direct outreach to develop and support active partnerships in the City of Detroit and work closely with the Academy Director to steward major gift initiatives of the Gilbert Family Foundation.”
$300 Million Fulton Market Skyscraper Would Be Tallest West Of Kennedy
“If approved, the $300 million, 615-foot tower developer Crescent Heights plans to build on May Street would include nearly 600 apartments and more than 400 parking spaces,” erects Block Club. “The skyscraper portion of the building would be tapered, with various large terraces and amenity spaces spread throughout the building.”
White Sox Move Rumored
“The White Sox have begun quietly reviewing their options, too. Knowledgeable sources say Jerry Reinsdorf, the team’s majority owner and chairman, is considering moving the organization from… Bridgeport when the team’s lease expires” in six years, relays Crain’s.
Norfolk Southern CEO Says Future Of His Railroad Is Trucks
Norfolk Southern CEO Alan Shaw “has spent half of his tenure… trying to repair the damage to East Palestine—dredging wastewater and cutting checks to local businesses—and to his company’s reputation and business. Cleanup costs have doubled from early estimates to $800 million, the stock trades at a discount to its rivals, and Norfolk Southern’s trains are still emptier than they were a year ago,” Semafor relays in a Q&A. What’s next? “Trucks. The trucking market in the United States is about $860 billion. Together, all the big railroads, revenue is about $90 billion. So I’m not really interested in going out there and picking off share from other rail companies. I’m looking at that much bigger pie… The problem has been service… [V]olume is going by truck because of unreliable rail service. I want that volume back. Every time we have a service disruption, it costs us between $600 million and $800 million a year in revenue.”
Field Museum And Local Gardeners Saving Monarch Butterfly
“At a time when monarch butterflies are struggling for survival… over 400 home gardeners throughout the Chicago area… have participated in a four-year Field Museum research project aimed at understanding how urban areas can provide much-needed habitat for the iconic insects,” reports the Trib. “The gardeners, who range from beginners with one milkweed plant to veterans with hundreds, have collected detailed data on monarchs, eggs and caterpillars in their yards, decks, community gardens and balconies—contributing up to 1,800 records each summer.”
DINING & DRINKING
Who’s America’s Largest Purveyor Of Sushi?
It’s Kroger, owner of Mariano’s, reports Axios: “Kroger is the king of sushi sales in the United States, with over 40 million pieces sold last year… When chains like Kroger—which has some 2,700 stores all over the United States and sells sushi at two-thirds of them—turn foods from other countries, like sushi, into big business, they become dining table staples and change the national palate… Last year, grocery store sushi made up around fifteen percent of the sushi Americans ate… Sushi sales at U.S. retailers were up seventy-two percent over the last year.”
Narcan Comes To Bars
A national trend during the opioid crisis, noted by the New York Times: “As the opioid crisis in the United States continues to worsen—deaths from such drugs more than doubled, to 105,000 from January 2015 to January 2023, according to federal data—overdoses are now happening with regularity in or around social spaces like restaurants and bars. City officials and nonprofit organizations are working to get Narcan, which became available over the counter in March, to those businesses where it can be immediately useful.”
Britain Belly-Ups More Than A Hundred Craft Beers
In Britain, “more than a hundred small brewers have been forced out of business in the past eighteen months,” reports the Guardian, “hit by a combination of Brexit, the pandemic and the cost of living crisis and now threatened by changes to beer duty laws… Other issues affecting the industry have been the shortage of carbon dioxide following the early stages of the energy crisis, and Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine which raised the cost of barley and hops.” Lager is expected to rise above the moment: “The thing is that lager is like being naked on stage,” says one craft brewer (an American). “When you have an IPA, you’re smelling and tasting stuff. A flaw that exists in an IPA can be covered with a hop aroma. With a lager, it’s a much more delicate, balanced product.”
FILM & TELEVISION
Music Box Turns Ninety-Four: Get A Hat
“On August 22, 1929, the Music Box Theatre first opened our doors,” the theater posts on what was Twitter. “To celebrate this milestone, anyone who becomes a Music Box Member this August will receive a FREE Birthday Hat!” Details here.
Hollywood Strikes May Result In Antitrust Action; FTC Head Weighs In; Charlie Kaufman Highlights AI Threat
“The unions raised the need for antitrust enforcement, and the Biden administration’s top antitrust cops paid attention,” writes David Dayen at the American Prospect. One of several examples offered: “Amazon uses streaming as a perk for its e-commerce business. Through Amazon Studios and MGM, which it bought in 2022, it’s a producer, and through Amazon Prime and Freevee, it’s a distributor. But Amazon’s control of Fire TV, a streaming video device that’s tied for the biggest in the United States, is a bigger factor. Through Fire TV, Amazon can control which streaming channels get to viewers. Much like it does in e-commerce, Amazon strikes deals with smaller streamers in exchange for a cut of the profits, which can be as high as fifty percent of monthly revenues. By keeping HBO Max off Fire TV when it launched in 2020, Amazon deliberately slowed its growth.”
“By some basic metrics, there seems to be something that’s broken in the market,” notes FTC head Lina Khan at the Ankler, seeing “red flags” and a “doom loop.” “For us as the FTC, what’s really notable is just how many analogs and parallels there are between what’s happening in this industry and what we see across all sorts of other industries where again, we’ve seen consolidation, vertical integration, and the rise of dominant middlemen, intermediaries and gatekeepers that sometimes are not always serving the best interests of the customers or the producers that they’re connecting.”
At the Sarajevo Film Festival, Charlie Kaufman tells Variety that he fears “the end of creativity for human beings” if the studios are allowed to employ artificial intelligence to create their output. “If I read a poem, and that poem moves me, I’m in love with the person who wrote it. And I can’t be in love with a computer program. I can’t, because it isn’t anything.” At a festival masterclass, Kaufman says, “At this point, the only thing that makes money is garbage… It makes a fortune, and that’s the bottom line. It’s very seductive to the studios but also to the people who engage and become the makers of that garbage, especially if they’re lauded for the garbage because they don’t have to look inward or think long about what they’re doing.” (A federal judge has ruled that AI-generated “content” cannot be protected by copyright.)
Teachers Hide Their Books From Students In Florida
“Carol Cleaver, a middle-school teacher in Pensacola, said she is keeping her books locked away in her classroom because she doesn’t know if it is legal to show them to her students,” reports the Wall Street Journal. “One is the famous reference book of human anatomy called ‘Gray’s Anatomy: The Anatomical Basis of Clinical Practice.’ She used it in her science classes in previous years… Educators are under pressure balancing instruction and compliance with new laws… ‘What I continue to hear from teachers over and over again is, “Why can’t they just let us teach?”‘ said Florida Education Association President Andrew Spar. ‘They feel they can’t do that right now.’ The Florida Department of Education and the governor’s office didn’t comment.”
Missouri Withdraws From American Library Association
“Under my direction, Missouri was first in the nation to withdraw from [the American Library Association] due to their opposition to Christians [sic], embrace of marxism [sic], and refusal to protect our children. Texas joins ten other states in pulling their support & more are expected,” crows Missouri secretary of state Jay Ashcroft online. He’s responding to a Fox News dispatch on Texas making a similar move, which quotes a Republican representative, “This is a win for all Texans, and I applaud the courageous and decisive decision… Texas should be leading the fight against dangerous Marxist ideology [sic]–not subsidizing it with my constituents’ hard earned tax dollars. I’ll continue fighting to protect Texans from having their money weaponized against them, their values, and their children.”
Footage Released Of Kansas Police Raid Of Home Of Ninety-Eight-Year-Old Newspaper Publisher, Who Died The Next Day
There’s the video “from the Marion County Record showing the day police raided the home of the Kansas newspaper’s owner,” reports KSHB Kansas City. Ninety seconds from the video is here, via the newspaper, showing columnist-co-publisher Joan Meyer’s rightful resistance to what, before her death, she called “Gestapo tactics.” “This is my house, you asshole!” she tells the intruders. The longer video “begins with her asking her Alexa smart speaker to call her son, Eric Meyer, whose phone already had been seized and can be heard ringing in police custody.”
Rolling Meadows Holiday Inn Where Pete Townshend “Found God,” Wrote “Tommy” Lyrics, To Be Demolished
“It had a vibrating bed, fuzzy TV and smelly sheets and towels, but a Rolling Meadows Holiday Inn hotel room happened to be the perfect setting for Pete Townshend’s spiritual awakening,” reports the Daily Herald. “It was possibly even where The Who guitarist penned early versions of… the rock opera ‘Tommy.'”
ARTS & CULTURE & ETC.
Girl Giraffe Is Sixtieth Born At Brookfield Since 1940
Arnieta, a sixteen-year-old reticulated giraffe at Brookfield Zoo, gave birth to a female calf in the early morning hours of August 19. It will be a few weeks before the calf makes her public debut outdoors at Habitat Africa! The Savannah. This calf is the sixtieth giraffe born at the Zoo since 1940. The Zoo has had giraffes since it first opened in 1934.
Huge Settlement For American Airlines Pilots
“American Airlines’ pilots approved the new contract that includes an immediate twenty-one-percent pay bump,” reports CNBC. “The carrier is the second of the major U.S. airlines to seal a deal with pilots this year. American sweetened its contract offer after United’s union reached a richer deal with the airline.”
CVS Health Laying Off 300 In Illinois
“Nearly 300 CVS Health workers in Illinois will be affected by mass layoffs the pharmacy, health care and retail giant announced earlier this month,” reports Crain’s. The conglomerate “is laying off 5,000 non-customer-facing, corporate workers at its offices across the country, and recent layoff notices filed with the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity show that 294 workers will be affected at three Chicago-area offices.”
Wisconsin Prison Highlighted Amid Collapse Of U. S. Incarceration Standards
“Inmates who have been confined mostly to their cells [at Waupun Correctional Institution, a maximum-security prison in southeast Wisconsin] for more than four months describe unsanitary conditions and a dearth of medical care. Experts say dire staffing shortages are likely to blame and are leading to lockdowns across the country,” reports the New York Times. (A non-paywalled version is at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel here.) “Prisoners locked in their cells for days on end report walls speckled with feces and blood. Birds have moved in, leaving droppings on the food trays and ice bags handed out to keep inmates cool. Blocked from visiting the law library, prisoners say they have missed court deadlines and jeopardized appeals. Unable to access toilet paper, one prisoner tore his clothing into patches to use for tissue.”
“More than half of the prison’s 284 full-time positions for correctional officers and sergeants remain unfilled… The shortages have severely hobbled the facility’s ability to operate safely… What is happening in Waupun illustrates a reality at prisons across the country: Lockdowns, once a rare action taken in a crisis, are becoming a common way to deal with chronic staffing and budget shortages.” It’s endemic: “State prisons across the country have been denying inmates showers, exercise and timely medical care. In Mississippi, North Carolina and Texas, thousands of people have been kept in their cells as officials scrambled to hire more officers.”
Keeping Cash Legal
Representative Donald Payne, D-N.J., “introduced the Payment Choice Act of 2023 to require that brick-and-mortar businesses accept cash. The bill also prohibits stores from up-charging customers who do so. ‘It’s almost like they’re outlawing the American dollar, and that’s un-American,’ Payne told Semafor. ‘The dollar should be legal tender and accepted in this country.'”
Bank Lobby Says Punitive Fees Teach Consumers “Personal Responsibility” And Pay For Perks
“Consumer Bankers Association,” a corporate lobby, “will accuse policymakers of undertaking a ‘misguided political campaign to change how your credit card works, raising costs for consumers and taking away your rewards,'” reports Punchbowl. “The bankers are also appealing to ‘personal responsibility,’ arguing that current customer late fees—which hover between $30 and $40—are a fair way to fund reward programs and otherwise cover costs.” (Senator Durbin is involved in some of this legislation.)
Arkansas Department Of Education Cuts African American AP Courses, Demands Materials Be Turned Over; Little Rock Nine Denounce Decisions
The Arkansas Department of Education continues its attempts to remove African American history from schools. “They refused to pay to take the AP Exam, then they said they were going to refuse credits for the course,” reports Meidastouch. The education department under Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders—”who claims that the class teaches people to ‘hate America’… has sent out a letter demanding that every school hand over all books and course materials in their possession on African American history to the state.” (Letter at the link.)
Also: “Several surviving members of the Little Rock Nine, a group of students who in 1957 integrated Little Rock Central High School under threats of violence from white segregationists, are denouncing the Arkansas Department of Education’s restrictions on an Advanced Placement African American Studies course.”
DeSantis Coins His “Deplorables”: Republican Voters Are “Listless Vessels”
More misguided wordsmithing from presidential aspirant, Florida governor Ron DeSantis, reports Politico: “some of the former president’s supporters” are labeled as “listless vessels.” The Floridian has the quote: “The movement has got to be about what are you trying to achieve on behalf of the American people? And that’s got to be based in principle. Because if you’re not rooted in principle, if all we are is listless vessels that are just supposed to follow whatever happens to come down the pike on Truth Social every morning, that’s not going to be a durable movement.”
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