Medium.com, April 4, 2017 — Wallace Rice covered the floor of his living room with colorful rectangles. He’d spent six weeks combining shapes and symbols, trying to find just the right image to represent the city where he lived. He’d come up with hundreds of possibilities for a city flag design, and now he displayed his favorites on that floor. Anytime anyone visited Rice’s home in the Lincoln Park neighborhood — people including the author’s acquaintances as well as delivery boys and milkmen — he quizzed them: Which of these should be the city flag?
Make It Better, March-April 2017 — Read my recommendations for Chicago-area plays.
Underground Bee, February 20, 2017 — See my choices for the best films of 2016.
Illinois Issues, February 16, 2017 — The police took away a 70-year-old Moline woman’s car when her grandson drove it with a revoked license. “Why am I being punished?” Judy Wiese asked a reporter last year at the Rock Island County courthouse. After the story made headlines, a lawyer stepped forward and helped her out, pro bono — and the grandmother got her Jeep back. “There’s no way you can’t hear those stories and think something’s wrong with the system,” says Rep. Will Guzzardi, a Chicago Democrat, who has introduced a bill in the Illinois House that would overhaul the state’s civil asset forfeiture laws. Read the article and hear the Illinois Public Radio story at Illinois Issues.
Chicago magazine, March 2017 — Read my Q&A with filmmaker Steve James, part of an issue on the theme “Why We Love Chicago.”
Photo: Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune
Pioneer Press, February 9, 2017 — When Robbie Fulks began making his 12th studio album, he set a lofty goal for himself. The country-folk singer-songwriter-guitarist, who lives in Wilmette, recalls saying: “It’s boring doing the same thing over and over again. So how can we raise the game?” That’s when he decided he’d try to win a Grammy. Read the article at Pioneer Press.
Photo: Andy Goodwin
ABA Journal, February 2017 — In January 2013, Australian teen Matt Corby posted a photo on Facebook of a Subway “foot-long” sandwich he’d bought next to a ruler that showed it was an inch short. The post went viral—and within weeks, people across the United States began to file lawsuits, claiming they’d been shorted by Subway, too.
These disappointed sandwich eaters weren’t simply suing to get money for themselves, however. They wanted their lawsuits certified as class actions, arguing that millions of Subway customers weren’t getting what they paid for.
As this litigation made headlines, it became the latest flashpoint in the debate about whether class action is an important tool for consumers to guard their rights or a way for lawyers to shake down corporations. Like many class action lawsuits in the news, this litigation involves fast-food restaurants.
Chicago Tribune, January 29, 2017 — Too many of Chicago’s cops weren’t doing their jobs. Slouching in unkempt uniforms, they drank whiskey in saloons when they should have been walking their beats. And they ignored crimes happening right in front of their eyes. These were the findings of an investigation in 1904 called the Piper Report. “Chicago’s police department was given the most unmerciful raking in its history,” the Tribune reported at the time. Read the rest of this article at the Chicago Tribune.
Underground Bee, January 10, 2017 — Read my blog post about my favorite concerts of 2016.
Photo of Bill Callahan by Robert Loerzel
Make It Better, January-February 2017 — Read my preview of Chicago-area plays.
Photo: Goodman Theatre