Archive for February 2020

Other States Catching up to Illinois in March Towards Legal Sports Betting

Other States Catching up to Illinois in March Towards Legal Sports Betting
Last year Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed into law a bill that allowed for six more casino licenses in the state and to make horse racing venues able to provide casino games. This year’s horse racing season starts in March, but there's another, and much bigger, sports wagering event coming up this month. The NCAA Tournament, colloquially known as "March Madness," generates billions of dollars in wagering, according to the AGA (American Gaming Association). It's easy to see why Gov. Pritzker wants to get legal sports betting up and running in the Land of Lincoln in time for the tournament, which begins in earnest on March 19. If Illinois doesn't get going, they are likely to fall behind other Midwestern states...

Ford Hoping Drivers Will Forgo Privacy for Auto Insurance Discounts

Ford Hoping Drivers Will Forgo Privacy for Auto Insurance Discounts
No one will ever admit to being a bad driver, or a bad lover. In the case of the former, typically your driving record speaks for you, but now there is a new, additional level of monitoring and evaluation that has come along. It's not just Big Tech and online media companies that want to collect your data these days, the automotive industry is getting in on the act as well. After all, every new car these days is highly computerized, and any automobile with a navigational system is tracking you through satellite data. And Ford motor company is banking on the idea that you'll forgo some of your privacy in exchange for cheaper auto insurance...

Preservation Chicago Unveils City's Seven Most Endangered Buildings on Wed

Preservation Chicago Unveils City's Seven Most Endangered Buildings on Wed

It's the second most popular post in the past year on this website, and it's top five all-time in the three-year history of this blog. As February 14 neared in 2019, we examined how the site of the St. Valentine's Day Massacre is absolutely nothing today (it's just a green space with a couple trees next to a senior center parking lot), and why that's conflicted and complicated.

While it's obvious that the city would not want to celebrate gore and crime, this notoriously dark incident is still a big part of what many tourist cottage industries do in marketing their Al Capone-related wares to tourists. However, when it comes to Capone related buildings, the one that's truly missed is the Lexington Hotel (which used to be located at 2135 S Michigan Ave), and Ward Miller, Executive Director for Preservation Chicago, told me why.

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Go Green! Architecture Center Spotlights Chicago's Eco Friendly Buildings

Go Green! Architecture Center Spotlights Chicago's Eco Friendly Buildings

As all eyes were on Chicago last weekend, for the NBA All-Star Game, the telecast opened with an homage to the city that centered around a very ornate scale model of the city. Barack Obama, Michael Jordan, Common, Buddy Guy, Chance the Rapper, Dwayne Wade, Isiah Thomas and other celebrities with a local connection hovered the city model and discussed what Chicago means to them.

You can see that video embedded below, and you can view a model city exactly like the one in the video in person at the Chicago Architecture Center, which happens to be running some very compelling programs right now, including a presentation this Monday entitled: “Current Projects: Discover Chicago’s Best Green Buildings.”

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New Media Venture Aims for Unifying, Not Divisive Coverage

New Media Venture Aims for Unifying, Not Divisive Coverage
America is currently as divided as it has ever been at any point since the Civil War. A big part of that is our media landscape, which operates under intense pressure from the profit motive and is thus hyper aware of how conflict moves the needle.
It's across all facets of news, including sports, and perhaps Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Chris Paul said it best: "every time you see something in our league, on broadcast, what does it say? Oklahoma City vs. Portland. It always says 'vs.' So they almost always trying to put us against each other, never trying to unite and do things together."
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New Details Emerge Surrounding Ben Wilson Death as Family Forgives Killer

New Details Emerge Surrounding Ben Wilson Death as Family Forgives Killer

If you believe in the maxim that "time heals all wounds," then this event at Malcom X College on NBA All-Star Weekend, was exhibit A. There were five men on stage: an actor/rapper who is halfway to an EGOT (winning an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony), a former Secretary of Education, a man who went away for committing murder and the two brothers of the man he killed.

 Arne Duncan and Common co-moderated a special screening event of the forthcoming documentary, “Both Sides of the Gun: A Story of Reconciliation." Ben Wilson 's brothers and his killer told their stories of that tragic day, November 20, 1984 in a story of reconciliation, forgiveness and healing. Ben Wilson, 17, rated the number one prep basketball player out of Chicago’s Simeon High School, was gunned down senselessly in midday, the trigger pulled by 16-year-old Billy Moore. ...
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Charity and Chilly Air: Recapping Early NBA All-Star Week Events

Charity and Chilly Air: Recapping Early NBA All-Star Week Events

NBA All-Star Weekend encompasses a whole lot: the game itself, which showcases the best of the best in the NBA daily lineups, the Saturday night skills competition, the Friday night exhibition games and that's just the core events. You also have the parties, panel sessions, fundraisers and other periphery events.

There were two widespread prevailing themes from the early NBA All-Star Weekend events- philanthropy and the weather. Chicago suffered through the two coldest days of this on Thursday and Friday, with yesterday seeing the coldest Valentine’s Day since 1943. People braved the snow, ice and subzero wind chills to come out and attend NBA All-Star events staged for a good cause. 

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"Patriot Penalty:" Soldiers Hit with Higher Auto Insurance Rate

"Patriot Penalty:" Soldiers Hit with Higher Auto Insurance Rate
If you have to pick one television series that truly encapsulates the American ethos, perhaps it's CNBC's "American Greed." If you watch the docuseries regularly, you'll be constantly on guard against businessmen and businesswomen incessantly trying to hood wink you. With that mind, we give you the "Patriot Penalty," a relatively new scheme that involves auto insurance companies charging deployed armed services members higher rates than civilians. It's especially surprising, given how so many insurance companies wrap their branding in the American flag. While numerous companies within many industries love project an image of being excessively friendly to those who serve, insurance advertising often takes it up a notch...

NBA All-Star Week: Celebs, Parties and Great Philanthropy

NBA All-Star Week: Celebs, Parties and Great Philanthropy
NBA All-Star week, returning to Chicago for the first time since 1988, is about a whole lot more than an exhibition game and it’s periphery events. The week leading into the NBA showcase event consists of parties, events and something that publicists now like to refer to as “activations.” Despite my status as an “influencer,” I still don’t know what an “activation” really is, but I do know that a lot of these events are for great causes. Plus, I have had a lot of fun playing with the best indoor basketball hoops at these parties. Yes, there are a lot of celebrities at these events, and basketball royalty everywhere you turn, and that gets all the attention, but there’s a deeper meaning to it all too. Let’s run through some of the NBA All-Star events coming to Chicago this week and what causes they support...
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Stock Market, Economic Indicators Highly Politicized in 2020

Stock Market, Economic Indicators Highly Politicized in 2020

“It’s the economy stupid.” “The economy is doing great, except for the people in it.” “Are you better off today than you were four years ago?“ “We need an economy that works on Main Street, not just Wall Street.” "We are all Keynesians now."

In an election year, the cycles of the stock market will be meta-analyzed, and highly politicized, even more so than usual. The out of power party will paint a bleaker picture than reality suggests, while the incumbent party will propagandize the state of the union as stronger than it actually is. It's up to you the voter to vote in your own socioeconomic self interest, and for those that do, the economy and health care the major two issues. 

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