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Sudden Closure of For-Profit Art Institutes Leaves 1,700 Students Out Of An Education
“The for-profit network of colleges is closing its final eight campuses several years after it shuttered most of them,” reports the New York Times.
AIA Chicago DESIGNIGHT 2023 Award Winners Announced
AIA Chicago, “the second largest local chapter of the American Institute of Architects and the collective voice of over 4,000 licensed architects, emerging professionals, architecture students and allied professionals,” announced the winners for the 2023 Design Excellence Awards, Decarbonization Award, Roberta Feldman Architecture for Social Justice Award, the Lerch Bates People’s Choice Awards and presented the Lifetime Achievement Award. Among the nods, the Lerch Bates People’s Choice Award as the Navy Pier Flyover, Muller & Muller, Ltd (M2); Chicago Department of Transportation (Client), Chicago.
The Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Cynthia Weese, FAIA, principal of Weese Langley Weese Architects. “In awarding the Lifetime Achievement Award, the AIA Chicago Board of Directors noted that Weese is ‘a true pioneer and vanguard for the profession, city and women architects. Her portfolio, experiences and dedication to the profession is a fantastic example of true leadership. Cynthia has been an unwavering advocate for women in the professions and continues to inspire younger generations.'” More on the awards here.
River Forest Increasing Village Surveillance
“All of River Forest will be covered by street cameras after officials approved purchasing and installing cameras in the north section of the village,” reports Wednesday Journal. The village’s vendor, Griffon Systems, will install eleven Avigilon System street cameras. “The technology is phenomenal and this group is great to work with,” the police chief told trustees.
Meta Introduces $299 Surveillance Ray-Bans
The New York Post cuts to the chase: “Meta sparks privacy fears after unveiling $299 Smart Glasses with hidden cameras: ‘You can now film everyone without them knowing.'” “The 12-megapixel cameras can record up to a minute of video at a time at 1080p and can stream to Instagram or Facebook for up to thirty minutes,” reports CNet. “Privacy remains a concern, considering these glasses easily capture photos while looking nearly normal. And while they have an LED light that blinks when recording, is that enough?”
Blogs Meta, “In partnership with EssilorLuxottica, we’re launching a new generation of Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses, available for pre-order… Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses let you snap a photo or video clip from your unique point of view—allowing you to not only relive the moment, but really live in the moment, too.” (The word “privacy” does not appear in the entry.) Posts tech gadfly Paris Marx: “Open season on anyone wearing Meta Ray-Bans. It can’t be made socially acceptable to wear camera glasses now or ever.”
Trump Tower Sued Again For Discharge
“Trump’s skyscraper along the Chicago River is still sucking in massive amounts of water without a valid permit, Illinois Attorney General Raoul’s office alleged in a lawsuit that accuses the… organization of fudging its accounting of the withdrawals,” reports the Tribune. The fish-killing tower “is one of the city’s largest users of river water for its cooling systems. It siphons nearly twenty million gallons a day through intakes so powerful the machines could fill an Olympic swimming pool in less than an hour, then pumps the water back into the river up to thirty-five degrees hotter.”
Preservationists Say DePaul Shouldn’t Demolish Lincoln Park Heritage Row Houses For Another Sports Complex
“Row houses dating to the 1890s as well as a courtyard building built in 1925 would be torn down for a new basketball training facility. Preservationists want the school to consider another site,” reports Block Club.
DINING & DRINKING
The “Lost” Alinea Essays
In 2006 and 2007, writes Michael Nagrant at The Hunger, “I had the fortune of collaborating on the Alinea restaurant cookbook. As the only Chicago-based writer on the project, I was tasked with writing and documenting a lot of the aspects of the early years of the restaurant. A lot of these essays were meant for the book, but some essays were going to be in the online companion. The book publishing deadlines were accelerated unexpectedly, because the printers had to begin printing the marketing materials for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The only way to speed up publication of the book was to cut some sections and shorten the overall process. That means there was some writing about the restaurant that has never been released. Over the next few months I’m going to release these ‘lost’ essays for paid subscribers.”
A swatch: “The simple mechanics of deploying such a detailed wine and spirits program are painstaking. An Alinea tour menu might have twelve different pairings, and on an average night of service, this means 600 or more pours and a similar number of glasses for the dishwasher. The restaurant’s wine glasses are even separated from the rest of the serviceware and cleaned in a dedicated glass washer. The consideration given to the marriage of food and wine by Achatz and Catterson is singular and precise.”
Los Angeles Food Delivery Bots Provide Police Surveillance
“Food delivery robots are feeding camera footage to the LAPD,” reports 404. “Serve Robotics, which delivers food for Uber Eats, provided footage filmed by at least one of its robots to the LAPD as evidence in a criminal case. The emails show the robots, which are a constant sight in the city, can be used for surveillance.”
Starbucks Must Pay Raises To Union Members
“Starbucks broke the law by refusing to give raises to union workers, an NLRB judge found,” reports More Perfect Union (via Twitter). “The company sought to ‘manipulate employees’ free choice’ by making them choose between a raise and unionizing. Starbucks must give raises and back pay to thousands of workers.” Reports Bloomberg Law, this is “the first nationwide ruling against the coffee giant amid its resistance to a unionization wave that began two years ago. Starbucks violated the National Labor Relations Act in August 2022 by lifting wages to at least $15 an hour and providing benefits such as credit card tipping, increased training, and faster sick time accrual to all stores that weren’t unionized.”
FILM & TELEVISION
Chicago Super-8 Films By Bill Stamets Restored
With funding from the National Film Preservation Foundation, Chicago Film Archives (CFA) will be photochemically preserving four Super-8 films from the archives of Chicago filmmaker and journalist Bill Stamets, who often tagged along with political campaigns, including those of Harold Washington. The four films are “Harold is Gone” (1987); “Novo Dextro: Purity and Danger” (1982); “Rock Sox Disco Sux” (1979); and “[Rudy Lozano]” (1983).
“I started shooting Super-8 inspired by Tom Palazzolo, the 16mm documentary comic artist who let me project for his film classes at the School of the Art Institute,” Stamets tells Today In Culture. “Contrasted with Super-8, 16mm always struck me as too expensive and serious, especially among those competing for grants and wanting jobs teaching film. And the idea you could not easily re-edit your films in 16mm, I did not like at all. I always shot reversal stock, never negative, and always spliced and projected my originals, usually with my own projector. So it’s about time a few of them get 16mm incarnations.” More about the grants here and the films here.
How Does End Of Strike Affect Chicago Writers?
“‘It’s going to be a little while’ before we know how the agreement will [affect] Chicago productions, said Zayd Dorhn, a Northwestern University professor who has been a WGA member since 2011 and a Chicago captain since 2019,” reports Block Club. “Dorhn said resuming productions is still dependent on when the SAG-AFTRA strike—which began in mid-July and is ongoing—[comes] to an end… Productions like Dick Wolf’s ‘One Chicago’ shows, which [are produced] at Cinespace Studios… are likely already starting to get their writers’ rooms [in Los Angeles] together. If a deal is reached with actors soon, they could be ready to resume production within the next six to eight weeks or so.”
Netflix Seals Last Red Envelopes
Netflix has “shut down the DVD-by-mail rental service that set the stage for its trailblazing video streaming service, ending an era that began a quarter century ago when delivering discs through the mail was considered a revolutionary concept,” reports AP. “The DVD service, which delivered films and TV shows in the red-and-white envelopes that once served as Netflix’s emblem, mailed its final discs on September 29.”
Tavis Smiley Joins WVON
WVON 1690 Radio reports that author and talk show host Tavis Smiley will join its daily line-up in syndication, beginning today, October 2. The Tavis Smiley Show will air weeknights from 6pm-9pm. Smiley’s show returns, says WVON, after a “five-year hiatus.” AP’s coverage of misconduct allegations about Smiley’s time at PBS is here: Several years “after workplace misconduct allegations cost veteran TV and radio talk-show host Tavis Smiley his job and a national forum, he’s ending his silence.”
Gannett Gets A Thousand Applications For Reporting Gigs Devoted To Beyoncé And Taylor Swift
“USA Today parent Gannett made headlines earlier this month when it posted two unusual jobs: Taylor Swift and Beyoncé reporters,” reports the Wall Street Journal. in the past two weeks, Gannett “received close to 1,000 applications for the jobs—including from Emmy-award winning journalists, an influencer whose Beverly Hills agent reached out about the job and a reporter who currently works at the White House. Both job listings require applicants to provide a video cover letter, and plenty decided to get creative to stand out from the crowd. Fans flocked to social media platforms to make their case for the gigs, promote the postings to followers and see how this one ends.”
Muti And CSO On Eighth European Tour In January
Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra embark on their eighth European tour together in January 2024, marking the Orchestra’s thirty-fifth tour to Europe, its first since 2020, and the sixty-fourth international tour in its history. Part of the CSO’s 133rd season, the 2024 European tour includes fourteen concerts in seven countries from January 11-29, 2024, with performances in Brussels, Paris, Essen, Luxembourg, Frankfurt, Cologne, Budapest, Vienna, Turin, Milan and Rome. The schedule is here. More here.
CHIRP Record Fair In October
CHIRP Radio will present the Nineteenth Annual Record Fair & Other Delights at Chicago’s Plumbers Hall on Saturday, October 21, joining forces with the Andersonville Vintage Market, the local collective specializing in curated vintage and retro items. More here.
Bandcamp Sold Off By Epic Games, Home Of Fortnite, As It Fires 830, Or Sixteen Percent Of Staff
Epic Games, the maker of Fortnite, will lay off sixteen percent of its staff, or about 830 employees, reports CNN, in an attempt to reverse what its CEO calls “unrealistic” spending. Epic plans “to divest from the online independent music platform Bandcamp, which it bought last year and which will now be acquired by the music marketplace firm Songtradr,” reports Pitchfork. (Here’s Songtradr’s landing page, posted by Deerhoof on Twitter.)
Signal Records Expands To Wicker Park
Expanding from the first Signal Records in Avondale, “owner Blake Karlson’s second location will include inventory from Dave’s Records, which closed last year in Lincoln Park,” charts Block Club Chicago.
Northlight Construction Could Be Done By 2026
Construction on Northlight Theatre’s return “is expected to finish in the third quarter of 2026,” reports Evanston Roundtable. The venue “has been in the works since 2019, when Northlight received more than $900,000 from the state government and City Council unanimously approved the planned development. The project was delayed in 2020 when fundraising was paused at the start of the pandemic, but after the City Council gave the project $2 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds, Northlight purchased the project site in July 2021 and demolished the existing buildings in the summer of 2022.”
Are Theater Tickets Too Expensive?
“Box office isn’t the main revenue source for most nonprofit theatres, nor is pricing the biggest barrier for most patrons—but both sides of this exchange could benefit from more transparency,” reports American Theatre. “For many Americans, an increase of a few dollars per ticket can be significant… The New York Times raised an alarm about similar trends when it recently asked its readers if a $5 entrance fee increase for the city’s art museums meant that these museums were only ‘for the wealthy.'”
Curious Theatre Branch’s Jenny Magnus On Thirty-Five Years
“Cofounded by Jenny Magnus and her then-romantic partner Beau O’Reilly, Curious began as a ‘branch’ of their cabaret rock band, Maestro Subgum and the Whole,” writes Kerry Reid at the Reader. “‘Both Beau and I wanted to do more theatrical things in the band… I remember one time, in one song, I just wanted the whole band to lean to the left physically, as a visual aesthetic thing. And a couple of people in the band were like, “No, we’re playing music. That’s what we do. We’re not interested in these other things.” … Both coexisted quite a while in different iterations and the band eventually fizzled out, but the theater company sustained. I remember being surprised that the theater company sustained and the band ended.'”
ARTS & CULTURE & ETC.
DANK Haus Executive Director Steps Down
DANK Haus German American Cultural Center announces the departure of Monica Jirak. “Monica has served as our executive director for the past six years, during which she made an indelible mark on our organization and community. Under her leadership, we secured $1.56 million in Tax Increment Financing support for accessibility from the City of Chicago, received an additional $200,000 from Illinois Bond Fund to bolster the accessibility project; renovated the sixth-floor terrace; and raised $75,000 to relocate the original bar of the Chicago Brauhaus to the DANK Haus. Dr. Carina Staudte [is] taking on the role of the interim executive director.”
Seventy-Year-Old Oil Pipeline Endangers Great Lakes; Saltwater Could Get Into New Orleans Drinking Supply
“At the meeting point of Lake Huron and Lake Michigan, a combined system that forms the largest lake in the world, there is a seventy-year-old pipeline, battered and dented by dropped boat anchors,” reports the Guardian. “The pipeline pushes a million gallons of oil each hour through the heart of this vast ecosystem. The operators of this pipeline, which is called Line 5, want to embark upon an enormous tunneling project to burrow the exposed section that lies on the lakebed underneath the Great Lakes and prolong its life for another century.”
Also from the Guardian: The drinking water of thousands could be at risk. The New Orleans mayor “signed an emergency declaration for the city amid concerns about saltwater from the Gulf of Mexico that has been creeping up the drought-hit Mississippi River in Louisiana.” Saltwater is affecting “the river because it is at such low levels.”
United Will Pay Attention To Wheelchairs After Government Investigation
“United Airlines has agreed to improve air travel for passengers in wheelchairs after the federal government investigated a complaint by a disability-rights advocate,” reports the Sun-Times. “United and the Transportation Department said Thursday that the airline will add a filter to the booking tool on its website to help consumers find flights on which the plane can more easily accommodate their wheelchairs. The cargo doors on some planes are too small to easily get a motorized wheelchair in the belly of the plane.”
Amazon Antitrust Suit Begins
“The chair of the Federal Trade Commission wants to disrupt Amazon, whose founder built a trillion-dollar firm by disrupting retail,” reports the New York Times. “Jeff Bezos made his fortune with one truly big idea: What if a retailer did everything possible to make customers happy? His forcefully nurtured creation, Amazon, sold as many items as possible as cheaply as possible and delivered them as quickly as possible. The result is that $40 out of every $100 spent online in the United States goes to Amazon and Mr. Bezos is worth $150 billion.” FTC chair Lina Khan “made her reputation with a very different idea: What if pleasing the customer was not enough?”
“Amazon is precisely the kind of company that Congress had in mind in enacting America’s many antitrust laws,” writes author Cory Doctorow in a Times opinion piece (no paywall). “Amazon is the apex predator of our platform era. Having first subsidized end-users and then offered favorable terms to business customers, Amazon was able to exploit its digital flexibility to lock both in and raid them for an ever-increasing share of the value they created. This program of redistribution from platform users to shareholders continued until Amazon became a vestigial place, a retail colossus barely hindered by either competition or regulation, where prices go up as quality goes down and the undifferentiated slurry of products from obscure brands is wreathed in inauthentic reviews.”
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