Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Today it can seem as if all of American culture comes out of New York and Los Angeles, but Thomas Dyja says that much of what defined the nation as it grew into a superpower was produced in Chicago. Between the end of World War II and 1960, Mies van der Rohe's architecture became the face of corporate America, Ray Kroc's McDonald's changed how we eat, Hugh Hefner unveiled Playboy, and the Chess brothers changed rock and roll with Chuck Berry. In The Third Coast: When Chicago Built the American Dream, looks at the city’s impact on modern America.
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
The Wall Street Journal’s Asia Editor talks about how the rape of a young woman in Delhi last year has touched off a national debate about women’s rights in India. Singers Darlene Love and Merry Clayton and director Morgan Neville discuss “Twenty Feet from Stardom,” a new documentary about backup singers. Historian Joseph J. Ellis looks at the events of the summer of 1776. Plus, we’ll find out about the pivotal role that Chicago has played in shaping American culture.
Friday, April 12, 2013
How are New York and Chicago fighting gun violence? The Brian Lehrer Show and WBEZ Chicago co-host a special call-in, live in both cities to discuss how the NYPD and CPD are trying to curb guns -- and how communities are reacting to different policing strategies. Listen to full audio and read a transcript of highlights now.
Tuesday, April 02, 2013
Improv comedy puts uncertainty on center stage -- performers usually start by asking the audience for a prompt, then they make up the details as they go. But two actors in Chicago are taking this idea to its absolute limit, and finding ways to navigate the unknown.
Thursday, March 28, 2013
Aleksandar Hemon talks about his first book of nonfiction, The Book of My Lives, about growing up in Sarajevo, moving to Chicago just as war broke out in Sarajevo, leaving him no way to return home, and about starting a new life and family in this new city. He writes of his love of two different cities, the bonds of family, the joys of soccer, and the feelings of displacement.
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Mayor Bloomberg was on a bit of a victory lap after his political action committee, Independence USA, helped Illinois politician Robin Kelly, a gun control advocate, win a hotly contested Democratic congressional primary.
Thursday, February 21, 2013
Elected to Congress in 1995, Jesse Jackson Jr. served Illinois's second district for seventeen years until his resignation last November. Chicago-based political consultant Delmarie Cobb worked for both Jesse Jackson Jr. and Jesse Jackson Sr. in the 1980s and 1990s.
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
(Lauren Chooljian - Chicago, WBEZ) Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants to make a deal with diesel truck owners in the Chicagoland area: give up your truck, and the city will give you a voucher that covers around 60 percent of the cost of a new electric one.
Officials say the project could help with air quality and even quieter streets across the city. By next spring, fleets in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will counties will be able to apply for the program.
“The city is encouraging companies to invest in electric vehicles in order to incrementally improve Chicago’s air quality while helping to advance these emerging transportation technologies,” Chicago Department of Transportation Commissioner Gabe Klein said in a statement. “By offering a voucher at the point of sale, rather than as a post-sale rebate, we hope that more companies will be encouraged to participate in the program.”
But not all drivers are jumping at the chance to trade in their truck. Phil LaPalermo, co-owner of All Ways Paving and Plowing, says he's not sure there's an electrical vehicle out there that can compare to the power of a diesel truck. LaPalermo said he likes the idea of using alternative energy sources, but the diesel engine is what keeps his fleet plowing and paving streets all over the city and suburbs.
"We’re hauling a lot of weight, and we’re making a lot of runs throughout the day. They’re very dependable and you get high mileage. I mean a diesel engine, you could get three to 400 thousand miles on a diesel engine," he said.
Samantha Bingham, CDOT Environmental Policy Analyst, said while the plan might not work for plows or pavement trucks, it would be great for a bakery delivery truck.
"There is no silver bullet when it comes to alternative fuels or traditional fuels," Bingham said.
Chicago Department of Transportation officials said they have enough federal funding to support about 250 vouchers to start. According to Joe Schwieterman, transportation professor from DePaul University, the city would need a couple thousand or so to really make a statistical change on emissions.
"At the same time, I think the city's going to show that we're this Midwest Rust Belt town, and we're gonna adopt technologies that you know other cities in the region aren't doing," Schwieterman said.
City Hall has used federal funding for other green initiatives in the past, including the installment of 202 electric vehicle charging stations.
Listen to the radio story below.
Monday, October 15, 2012
Shemkia Copeland's latest album, 33 1/3, evokes not only the revolutions per minute of LPs, but also her current age, and the record is filled with songs that don't hold back on opinions or emotions. Hear Copeland perform live in the studio.
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
The top contender for buzziest newcomer in hip-hop this year is Chicago's Chief Keef, the recording moniker of 17-year-old Keith Cozart. Chief Keef has steadily built a local following through a slew of mixtapes and viral music videos, notably "Bang," "I Don't Like," and "3Hunna," which each racked up millions of downloads and views online.
Rapper Pusha T (one-half of the duo the Clipse) stumbled upon the video for "3Hunna" on the website Worldstar Hip Hop and in turn brought the ascendant Keef to the attention of fellow Chicago native Kanye West.
West was entranced by the youngster's aggressive flow and true-to-life imagery that depicts the often violent and bleak circumstances of Chicago's South Side. When West and his G.O.O.D. Music collective remixed the track "I Don't Like" with Keef’s verse intact, Keef was catapulted from local star to the national stage. Since then, Chief Keef has since inked a deal with Interscope Records and kicked off a myriad of performances including 2012’s Lollapalooza music festival. Chief Keef's major label debut is slated for November 2012.
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Formerly a foreign war correspondent, Chicagoan John Gunther drew on his background to write the 'Inside' travel series, which included Inside Europe (1936), Inside Asia (1939), Inside Latin America (1941), and here, Inside Africa.
Friday, September 28, 2012
Here's a little update on how prevalent "dooring" accidents are: very.
When we reported on NYC's new initiative to stop taxi passengers from hurting cyclists by reminding people not to open the car door when a bike rider is passing, we mentioned that Illinois is -- we think -- the only state to track dooring accidents as its own category. The Illinois Department of Transportation didn't get back to us with a request for dooring data, but Chicago writer Steven Vance did and he has access to IDOT's Data Mart, their online transpo data distribution site. He generously sent over the dooring data for Chicago, but also crunched the numbers on his site, Grid Chicago.
The results are pretty shocking. In 2011, one in five bike crashes were caused by dooring.
- In 2010, there were 127 reported dooring crashes, for a rate of 0.35 doorings per day. Doorings made up 7.25% of all reported bike crashes.
- In 2011, there were 344 reported dooring crashes, for a rate of 0.94 doorings per day. Doorings made up 19.7% of all reported bike crashes.
- In 2012, up until August 29, 2012, there were 132 reported dooring crashes, for a rate of 0.55 doorings per day. Data for non-dooring crashes is incomplete and excluded.
Thursday, September 27, 2012
NFL referees have managed to do what public sector employees in Wisconsin and teachers in Chicago couldn’t: Inspire near-unanimous public sympathy for the demands of organized labor.
Monday, September 24, 2012
James T. Farrell, the creator of Studs Lonigan, is often thought of as a crude, dogged, naturalist writer; it's refreshing to hear the author speaking, in this recording from 1952, of what truly obsesses him: literature.
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Sunday, September 16, 2012
Chicago teachers uncomfortable with a tentative contract offer decided Sunday to remain on strike, insisting they need more time before deciding whether to end an acrimonious standoff with Mayor Rahm Emanuel that will keep 350,000 students out of class for at least two more days.