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Saturday, April 30, 2016

'Runway to Reality' unites south-side fashionistas

Posted By on 04.30.16 at 08:00 AM

Street View is a fashion series in which Isa Giallorenzo spotlights some of the coolest styles seen in Chicago.

Nichelle, Ro and Dutch Davis attend the opening of "Runway to Reality" at the Washington Park Arts Incubator. - ISA GIALLORENZO
  • Isa Giallorenzo
  • Nichelle, Ro and Dutch Davis attend the opening of "Runway to Reality" at the Washington Park Arts Incubator.

Photographer Maurene Cooper and fashion designer Suzette Opara joined forces to present "Runway to Reality," a photo and garment exhibit on display at the Washington Park Arts Incubator until June 10th. Cooper's series, entitled "The Audition," portrays south-side kids going to the prom, a ritual she found fascinating. Her photographs are complemented by Opara's luxurious creations, which will be featured in a fashion show happening on June 5th at the Stony Island Arts Bank. Read an interview with Cooper and see more photos of the stylish opening attendees right after the jump.

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Friday, April 29, 2016

A sports reporter's better idea for basketball

Posted By on 04.29.16 at 08:00 PM

Too many timeouts? This reporter's got an idea. - AP PHOTO/TONY DEJAK, FILE
  • AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File
  • Too many timeouts? This reporter's got an idea.
Anybody who covers a sport for a living is full of bright ideas about how to make it better. Now and then they tell us what those ideas are.

Michael Powell treated himself to such an exercise this week in the New York Times. First-round NBA playoff series tend to be lopsided bores, he said. So make them best-of-five. Maybe even best-of-three!

Sure, why not? And if that idea doesn't grab you, Powell has others.

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From Jay Berwanger to Jared Goff—a lot has changed for the NFL and blue-collar work in 80 years

Posted By on 04.29.16 at 04:35 PM

Jared Goff essentially became a multimillionaire when the Rams called his name Thursday night. - (AP)
  • (AP)
  • Jared Goff essentially became a multimillionaire when the Rams called his name Thursday night.

When the newly minted Los Angeles Rams called his name first during Thursday night's NFL Draft in Grant Park, former Cal quarterback Jared Goff essentially became an instant multimillionaire—the latest addition to one of the richest corporations in the country in the National Football League. He hasn't signed a contract yet, but if recent history is a guide he'll likely get a multiyear rookie deal worth in the range of $20-$25 million.

Of course, Goff doesn't have to go to work for the Rams, but why wouldn't he? It's a laughable idea that he might say "nah" to the riches and fame of pro football and opt to join his father Jerry as a firefighter or be a wage slave at a factory. A football is ridiculously more profitable to carry than a lunch box. 

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Some standouts among the hodgepodge at SAIC's MFA show

Posted By on 04.29.16 at 03:30 PM

Orkideh Torabi's portraits are a standout in this year's SAIC MFA show. - COURTESY ORKIDEH TORABI
  • Courtesy Orkideh Torabi
  • Orkideh Torabi's portraits are a standout in this year's SAIC MFA show.

I'm of the belief that art can't really be taught—and yet, every year institutions of higher learning turn out thousands of graduates with degrees that certify them to be masters of art or "fine art." My alma mater, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, is responsible for setting loose more than 100 of them this year. In the close to 25 years since I got my bachelor's degree in painting, SAIC has mushroomed—the school occupies many downtown buildings (and has increased its tuition many times over). My present involvement with SAIC has been reduced to occasional letters from the alumni association seeking contributions. I haven't been to the school's year-end thesis show in at least a decade, but my long absence isn't entirely intentional—by the time I remember to check out the year-end exhibit, it's already been uninstalled. This year I decided to make an effort and see what the kids are churning out.

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Deerhoof's dynamic new collaborations include an album with Chicago's Ensemble dal Niente

Posted By on 04.29.16 at 02:00 PM

Deerhoof - JOE SINGH
  • Joe Singh
  • Deerhoof

On June 24, long-running and remarkably reliable art-rock band Deerhoof drop a new studio album called The Magic (Polyvinyl). And over the next week or so, two collaborative releases will prove just how busy the band and its members have been since Deerhoof put out La Isla Bonita in 2014. Today the band issued a long-in-the-works album called Balter/Saunier (New Amsterdam) that partners them with the great Chicago new-music group Ensemble dal Niente , and next Friday inventive Deerhoof guitarist John Dieterich will release a recording made with former Chicagoan Jeremy Barnes (A Hawk and a Hacksaw/Neutral Milk Hotel) named The Coral Casino (L-M Duplication).

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Three Dots and a Dash's Tiki Luau and Pig Roast, Baconfest, and more things to do in Chicago this weekend

Posted By on 04.29.16 at 11:26 AM

Go tropical at Three Dots and a Dash on Sun 5/1. - JEFF MARINI
  • JEFF MARINI
  • Go tropical at Three Dots and a Dash on Sun 5/1.

Time to plan the weekend. Here's some of what we recommend:

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State OKs money for colleges but not yet for programs that help young children

Posted By on 04.29.16 at 07:00 AM

Home visiting programs send nurses and social workers to coach mothers in nurturing their newborns. They also save the state money down the line. - THINKSTOCK
  • Thinkstock
  • Home visiting programs send nurses and social workers to coach mothers in nurturing their newborns. They also save the state money down the line.

While higher education in Illinois finally got some emergency funding last week, lower education is still rattling its tin cup and hoping the state will toss a nickel in it.

By "lower education," I don't mean elementary schools or even pre-Ks, because learning starts far before that. I'm referring to programs that help poor children in their earliest months and years. 

Illinois was among the first states to recognize the value of "home visiting" programs, in which nurses or social workers, trained in early child development, coach mothers in nurturing their newborns, infants, and toddlers. Most of the mothers are unmarried teens, and often the home visits begin when the teen is pregnant. Children in such programs are less likely to be abused or neglected, research suggests, and tend to receive their immunizations on time. Disabilities that might not be detected until a child is in school are noticed sooner, when intervention can be more helpful. 

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Police have taken almost 2,900 illegal guns off the streets this year, and other Chicago news

Posted By on 04.29.16 at 06:00 AM

Some of the guns confiscated by the Chicago Police Department in 2012 - RICH HEIN/SUN-TIMES
  • Rich Hein/Sun-Times
  • Some of the guns confiscated by the Chicago Police Department in 2012

Welcome to the Reader's morning briefing for Friday, April 29, 2016. Have a great weekend!

  • Weather: Slightly warmer with a bit of sun

After a cold and dreary week, Friday will be a little nicer, with a high of 52 and a low of 44. A little bit of sun will peek through the clouds. The temperatures will remain about the same over the weekend, with some rain and clouds expected Saturday and Sunday. [AccuWeather]

  • Police say they've taken more guns off the street than last year

Chicago Police have confiscated nearly 2,900 illegal guns in 2016, about a 30 percent increase over 2015 (although gun arrests are reportedly down and the number of shootings has skyrocketed). Many of the weapons have come from gun buyback programs, in which the police partner with the community to take guns in exchange for gift cards. The program has been very popular—268 guns were handed over in four hours during a recent buyback in Austin. [DNAinfo Chicago]

  • Processing the Hastert scandal proves difficult for man he coached

Gary Matlock knew former U.S. House speaker Dennis Hastert well when he was a student at Yorkville High School. Hastert was his wrestling and football coach, and taught him government, history, and economics. Matlock won the state wrestling championship in 1973 with Hastert as his coach. The now-disgraced politician even helped him get his first job. Now Matlock is having a hard time processing the stories about Hastert sexually abusing wrestlers. "I accept what the courts says. I'm trying to let it sink in," he told the Sun-Times. [Sun-Times]

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Thursday, April 28, 2016

New faces, same ugly: Blackened-sludge kings Lord Mantis drop the first record from their retooled lineup

Posted By on 04.28.16 at 12:00 PM

Lord Mantis: vocalist Dylan O'Toole, guitarist Scott Shellhamer, guitarist Andrew Markuszewski, bassist Will Lindsay, drummer Bill Bumgardner - ANASTASIOS KETSIOS
  • Anastasios Ketsios
  • Lord Mantis: vocalist Dylan O'Toole, guitarist Scott Shellhamer, guitarist Andrew Markuszewski, bassist Will Lindsay, drummer Bill Bumgardner

Early last year, Chicago blackened-sludge band Lord Mantis re-formed after the departure of front man and bassist Charlie Fell and guitarist Ken Sorceron (also of Abigail Williams). Since then, founding drummer Bill Bumgardner and lead guitarist Andrew Markuszewski have been joined by bassist Will Lindsay and vocalist Dylan O'Toole (bandmates with Bumgardner in the defunct Indian) and guitarist Scott Shellhamer of American Heritage.

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Dennis Hastert gets 15 months in prison, confesses to molestation, and other Chicago news

Posted By on 04.28.16 at 10:59 AM

Former House speaker Dennis Hastert leaves the Dirksen federal courthouse in a wheelchair after his sentencing Wednesday. - JOSHUA LOTT/GETTY IMAGES
  • Joshua Lott/Getty Images
  • Former House speaker Dennis Hastert leaves the Dirksen federal courthouse in a wheelchair after his sentencing Wednesday.

Welcome to the Reader's morning briefing for Thursday, April 28, 2016.

  • Weather: The cold and rain continues

It's going to be a dreary late April day, with a high of 47 and a low of 42 expected. It's likely there will be rain off and on all day. [AccuWeather]

  • Hastert sentencing hearing reveals bombshell identity of "Individual D"

Former U.S. House speaker Dennis Hastert was sentenced Wednesday to 15 months in prison by U.S. District judge Thomas Durkin, who termed the politician a "serial child molester." Not only did Hastert confess to the sexual abuse, but there was a mind-blowing revelation during the hearing. The accuser, previously known as "Individual D," is Scott Cross, the brother of former state representative and Illinois House minority leader Tom Cross. Hastert mentored his fellow Republican leader, who was unaware of the abuse his brother had suffered until recently. The former speaker had even asked Tom Cross for a letter of support. [Tribune]

  • What will happen if the Chicago Teachers Union strikes before end of semester?

Chicago Public Schools students might miss finals but will still graduate if CTU decides to strike before school ends in June. District officials are putting together a contingency plan, according to CPS CEO Forrest Claypool. They're still bargaining with the union, but a strike could happen as early as late May. [Sun-Times]

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