WBEZ | Public Radio http://www.wbez.org/tags/public-radio Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en This American Life to self-distribute program http://www.wbez.org/news/american-life-self-distribute-program-110244 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Screen Shot 2014-05-28 at 11.37.10 AM.png" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago Public Media&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.thisamericanlife.org/"><em>This American Life</em></a> will start independently distributing the radio show to more than 500 public radio stations, the company, along with show host Ira Glass, announced today.</p><p><em>This American Life</em>, which started in Chicago in 1995, and which went national in 1996, has been distributed by <a href="http://www.pri.org/">Public Radio International</a> since 1997. The radio show will now be delivered to radio stations by <a href="https://www.prx.org/about-us/what-is-prx">Public Radio Exchange</a>.</p><p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;re excited and proud to be partners now with PRX,&rdquo; Glass said in a statement. &ldquo;They&rsquo;ve been a huge innovative force in public radio, inventing technologies and projects to get people on the air who&rsquo;d have a much harder time without them. They&rsquo;re mission-driven, they&rsquo;re super-capable and apparently they&rsquo;re pretty good with computers.&rdquo;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>PRX launched in 2003 as an independent nonprofit public media company focused on using technology to bring stories to a wider digital audience. The digital distribution platform operates one of the largest content marketplaces for audio, including <a href="http://themoth.org/radio"><em>The Moth Radio Hour</em></a>, <a href="http://stateofthereunion.com/"><em>State of the Re: Union</em></a>, <a href="http://snapjudgment.org/"><em>Snap Judgment</em></a>, <a href="http://americanroutes.wwno.org/"><em>American Routes</em></a> and <a href="http://www.wtfpod.com/"><em>WTF with Marc Maron</em></a>.</p><p>&ldquo;We are huge fans of <em>This American Life</em> and are thrilled to support their move to self-distribution on our platform,&rdquo; Jake Shapiro, CEO of PRX, said in a statement.&nbsp; &ldquo;We&rsquo;ve had the privilege of working closely with Ira and team to develop <em>This American Life&rsquo;s</em> <a href="http://www.thisamericanlife.org/listen/mobile">successful mobile apps</a>, and are honored to expand our partnership to the flagship broadcast.&rdquo;</p><p><em>This American Life</em> will take over aspects of self distribution from PRI, including selling underwriting as well as marketing the show to radio stations.</p><p><em>This American Life</em> is produced by Chicago Public Media and hosted by Ira Glass. It has a weekly audience of 2.2 million people on the radio and more than a million downloads per week as one of the most popular podcasts in the country.&nbsp;</p><p><em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/users/takimoff" rel="author">Tim Akimoff</a> is the Director of Digital Content at WBEZ. You can follow him on <a href="https://twitter.com/timakimoff"> Twitter </a> and <a href="https://www.facebook.com/timakimoff"> Facebook </a></em></p></p> Wed, 28 May 2014 10:36:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/american-life-self-distribute-program-110244 New rules of the road possible for Chicago pedicab drivers http://www.wbez.org/news/new-rules-road-possible-chicago-pedicab-drivers-110106 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Screen Shot 2013-04-09 at 8.37.11 AM_0.png" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago pedicabs could soon have to follow new rules of the road, much to the dismay of many drivers. The City Council is set to vote Wednesday on a slew of new rules and regulations for bicycle rickshaws popular around Wrigley Field and downtown. It would be the first time the city sets any regulations on the growing industry.</p><p>Many pedicab drivers say they&rsquo;re for some regulation, but argue that the ordinance put forth by Ald. Tom Tunney (44) goes too far. Tunney&rsquo;s measure is years in the making, and requires pedicab drivers to get $250 annual licenses for their cabs, to buy insurance, post fare schedules, apply for &ldquo;chauffeur&#39;s licenses&rdquo; to drive the pedicab and other changes.</p><p>But it&rsquo;s the ban on driving on the downtown portion of Michigan Avenue and State Street, and rush hour restrictions in the Loop that has caused the most protest from drivers. At a joint City Council hearing Tuesday with the committees on License and Consumer Protection and Transportation and Public Way, many drivers testified that the bans would put a big dent in their finances, as downtown is not only where many of their patrons are, but it&rsquo;s where they want to be dropped off.</p><p>&ldquo;What health risk to pedicabs pose? What causes more traffic congestion - a double parked limousine? A 50 foot bus making a turn? Or a pedicab in a bike lane? Pedicabs should be part of the solution and not banned from downtown,&rdquo; Chicago Rickshaw owner Robert Tipton said.</p><p>Nikola Delic, owner of Nick&rsquo;s Pedicabs, is one of many drivers that argued that the ordinance discriminated against pedicab drivers.</p><p>&ldquo;If the horse carriages and cab drivers can pick up their fares in the downtown district, I don&rsquo;t see why the pedicabs wouldn&rsquo;t be able to do the same thing,&rdquo; Delic said. &ldquo;Because horse carriages are blocking the same amount of traffic as one pedicab [and] they&rsquo;re moving slower.&rdquo;</p><p>Drivers submitted a petition Tuesday with over 500 signatures. It requests that aldermen take the entire street restriction section out of the ordinance.</p><p>Tunney has said that he&rsquo;s open to changing portions of the ordinance, but the street ban is off the table.</p><p>&ldquo;The ordinance, I believe, will help legitimize the industry, increase public safety and improve the flow of traffic on our congested streets,&rdquo; Tunney said at the hearing. &ldquo;There are...many good and safe operators but we&rsquo;ve certainly had a few problems that this ordinance is designed to address.&rdquo;</p><p>Commissioner Luann Hamilton from the Chicago Department of Transportation said the department would support reducing the restrictions, and they aren&rsquo;t concerned by pedicabs riding on those streets.</p><p>Another sticking point for drivers is a rule that would cap at 200 the number of registered pedicabs allowed in the city. Drivers contest that this rule will kill off jobs, and that 200 is an arbitrary number, as there&rsquo;s no official measure for the number of pedicabs driving around the city. The ordinance would allow for the number to be changed by the licensing commissioner.</p><p>The ordinance sailed through the joint committee vote, with only two &quot;no&quot; votes from Ald. Ariel Reboyras and Ald. Brendan Reilly. Penalties for violating the act could range anywhere from $100 to $5,000, depending on the violation or number of infractions.</p><p>Other pieces of the ordinance:</p><ul><li>Drivers would have to get a doctor&#39;s note stating they&rsquo;re capable to operate a pedicab and pass a geography exam before receiving their &ldquo;pedicab chauffeur license&rdquo;</li><li>All drivers must be 18 or older</li><li>Pedicab operators must have a valid automobile driver&rsquo;s license - from Illinois or another state</li><li>Pedicabs aren&rsquo;t allowed on sidewalks</li><li>Pedicabs are only allowed to carry four passengers</li></ul><p>Tunney&rsquo;s ordinance does not set fares for pedicabs, regulate where they are able to park or designate certain places they can hang out and wait for fares.</p><p>If the ordinance passes the full City Council Wednesday, the new rules and regulations would take effect by June.</p><p dir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid-23d1776b-b381-d33a-af9d-cc36336fa4bd"><em>Lauren Chooljian is a WBEZ reporter. Follow her<a href="http://twitter.com/triciabobeda"> </a><a href="https://twitter.com/laurenchooljian">@laurenchooljian</a></em></p></p> Wed, 30 Apr 2014 11:32:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/new-rules-road-possible-chicago-pedicab-drivers-110106 Chicago's e-cigarette crackdown is officially underway http://www.wbez.org/news/chicagos-e-cigarette-crackdown-officially-underway-110101 <p><p>The city of Chicago&rsquo;s crackdown on electronic cigarettes officially begins Tuesday.&nbsp;</p><p>E-cigarettes, or vape pens, allow users to puff on nicotine vapor rather than real tobacco smoke. The Chicago City Council passed an ordinance in January that regulates the pens just like any other tobacco product. From now on, smokers won&rsquo;t be allowed to use any of these devices in the workplace or any enclosed public places like bars, restaurants, stores or sports venues.</p><p>The city policy also bans the distribution or sale of e-cigarettes to minors, and requires that stores keep them behind the counter, rather than out on the sale floor.</p><p>Mayor Rahm Emanuel backed the measure, and has been pushing restrictions on all forms of cigarette smoking - including boosting the cigarette tax and putting a prohibition on selling flavored tobacco products within a 500 feet of a school.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s been a long line of activities to protect our kids from both tobacco products, and more importantly, from the tobacco companies seeing [kids] as part of their bottom line. And they&rsquo;re not,&rdquo; Emanuel told WBEZ.&nbsp;</p><p>Opponents - including some aldermen - say e-cigarettes are safer than regular tobacco-burning cigarettes, and can actually help people quit.</p><p>The Food and Drug Administration issued a proposal last week that would extend the agency&rsquo;s tobacco authority to cover e-cigarette products, which would restrict companies from giving out free samples. It would also impose minimum-age and identification restrictions on e-cigarettes and keep them out of vending machines (unless they&rsquo;re in a facility that never admits kids) but it stopped short of regulating advertising.The proposed rule is now under a public comment period.</p><p>Dr. Bechara Choucair, Commissioner of Chicago&rsquo;s Department of Public Health, said the proposal is a good first step--and a step in the right direction--but the city&rsquo;s ordinance goes even farther.</p><p>Choucair said if anyone sees people smoking e-cigarettes in Chicago where they&rsquo;re not supposed to, they can call 311 to file a complaint.</p><p><em>Lauren Chooljian is a WBEZ reporter. Follow her <a href="https://www.google.com/url?q=https%3A%2F%2Ftwitter.com%2Flaurenchooljian&amp;sa=D&amp;sntz=1&amp;usg=AFQjCNHdY9Bg1Uv8cPtNPU3NCg2qmAExsQ">@laurenchooljian</a>&nbsp;</em></p></p> Tue, 29 Apr 2014 17:17:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/chicagos-e-cigarette-crackdown-officially-underway-110101 Why is it so hard to expunge juvenile records in Cook County? http://www.wbez.org/news/why-it-so-hard-expunge-juvenile-records-cook-county-105257 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Youth%20arrest.jpg" style="height: 423px; width: 620px;" title="File: Chicago police officer arresting a juvenile. (Carlos Javier Ortiz/WBEZ)" /></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F77582864%3Fsecret_token%3Ds-n2ukB&amp;color=ff6600&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>Thousands of kids get arrested each year at school in Chicago, and that might not be news to you.&nbsp;</p><p>But what might be surprising are what can be long-term consequences of juvenile arrests, even for comparatively minor offenses.&nbsp;</p><p>And how hard it can be for a young person to get out from under an early and damaging mistake.</p><p>We talked with one young woman about just such a story.</p><p>We&rsquo;re calling her Laura to protect her privacy.&nbsp; Laura&rsquo;s&nbsp; mom is a respiratory therapist, and a single parent. After she immigrated to this country she attended nursing school, but wasn&rsquo;t able to finish.&nbsp; When Laura was 12,&nbsp; she&rsquo;d help her mom study and she remembers that the material was &ldquo;really rigorous, like <em>really</em> tough.&rdquo;</p><p>At the same time it was super interesting to her. Laura says she knew <em>even then</em>, that her profession would involve working with people.&nbsp; And by the time she was 21, she&rsquo;d passed her board exams to become a registered nurse.&nbsp; Now she was just waiting for that envelope.</p><p>&ldquo;So we got the letter and we were just so excited. It was like. Okay. We got the license! We got the license!&rdquo; she recalls.&nbsp;</p><p>Turns out, it wasn&rsquo;t a license. It was a letter. From the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.</p><p>&ldquo;So I was reading the letter and basically it said that I was prohibited, like it was in bold &ndash; prohibited from practice. And I&rsquo;m like, whaaat?&rdquo;</p><p>The letter gave a date when Laura was in elementary school.&nbsp; A date when she&rsquo;d been charged with battery and bodily harm. Laura&rsquo;s thinking, <em>nooo</em>. But then she had a dim recollection from way back in 8<sup>th</sup> grade.</p><p>&ldquo;And basically we were fighting, police were around the corner,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;They came and picked us up. They didn&rsquo;t even put us in handcuffs, they just put us in the car, took us to the police station and had us cool off in different rooms. And we got our fingerprints done.&rdquo; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</p><p>Laura had what&rsquo;s called an <em>informal </em>&ldquo;station adjustment,&rdquo; informal because there was no admission of guilt. The incident is resolved right there. It isn&rsquo;t referred to the state&rsquo;s attorney&rsquo;s office, the young person doesn&rsquo;t even <em>go</em> to court.</p><p>But what Laura didn&rsquo;t understand at the time, and her mother apparently didn&rsquo;t understand, is that when she left that station, Laura had an arrest record.</p><p>Eugene Roy, commander of youth investigations for the Chicago Police Department, isn&rsquo;t surprised: &ldquo;Absolutely.&nbsp; If somebody is arrested - there is an arrest record.&rdquo;</p><p>He says if the child is older than 10 years of age and the offense is either a Class A or Class B misdemeanor, that child is photographed and fingerprinted.</p><p>To get that license to become a registered nurse Laura had to first have fingerprints taken for a criminal background check. That&rsquo;s where things got sticky. The FBI notified the licensing board in Illinois of Laura&rsquo;s early arrest, something Laura says she &ldquo;just <em>never</em> expected to happen.&rdquo;</p><p>Laura was arrested in &lsquo;04. By 2010 the law in Illinois had changed. Since then juvenile records are no longer sent from the state police to the FBI, which is the agency that dispenses information for criminal background checks.</p><p>However.&nbsp; Here&rsquo;s the problem:&nbsp; About ten years earlier a <em>different</em> state law permitted local police departments to send juvenile arrest data to the Illinois State Police&mdash;and <em>they</em> routinely forwarded it to the FBI.</p><p>In that decade, well over 170, 000 young people, 17 and under, were arrested in Cook County at least one time. It&rsquo;s anybody&rsquo;s guess how many of those records were forwarded to the Illinois State Police and ultimately the FBI.</p><p>Just like Laura, all those young people have been exposed to the possibility that a long-ago record could suddenly pop up in their lives. In a very negative way.</p><p>Mariame Kaba is the head of Project NIA, a grassroots group that works to reduce youth incarceration.&nbsp; &ldquo;I mean this to me is infuriating. And it&rsquo;s wrong. And it&rsquo;s unfair,&rdquo; she says.</p><p>Kaba&rsquo;s a friend of Laura&rsquo;s, and is the person Laura called when she first got that letter and panicked. Together, they gathered certified court documents and statements to answer the licensing agency&rsquo;s questions about the circumstances of Laura&rsquo;s arrest.</p><p>They made their case and today Laura is working as a nurse at a hospital right here in Chicago.</p><p>Just to be sure this <em>doesn&rsquo;t happen again</em>, they also expunged-- or cleared -- Laura&rsquo;s record.</p><p>&ldquo;I don&rsquo;t know many 20 year olds or 21 year olds who are going to be able to navigate this process on their own. The process is very difficult,&rdquo; Kaba says.</p><p>The first step is to retrieve the arrest history report from the agency that made the arrest in the first place, though she adds:&nbsp; &ldquo;But the police. Like, that&rsquo;s like a big entity. And many young people are <em>fearful </em>of the police.&rdquo;</p><p>And retrieving the arrest report is just the beginning.</p><p>Then you have to figure out the right court forms to fill out and file a petition to expunge.</p><p>Then get the forms to the Clerk of the Court&rsquo;s office.</p><p>Then wait. And maybe have a hearing.</p><p>Then if expungement is granted, pay $124 for every arrest. If you do it all correctly, the whole process can take two to three months.&nbsp;</p><p>It upsets Kaba that people have to go through this.</p><p>&ldquo;This tells you something about what we mean when we talk about the &ldquo;school to prison pipeline,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;The fact that schools are calling the police on young people, arresting them directly from school. Those young people go to the precinct. The precinct says: &lsquo;It&rsquo;s not a big deal.&rsquo; And that is the record that is following her now? What are we doing? We&rsquo;re actually making it much harder for those young people to be productive citizens later on.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>So what&rsquo;s the solution?</strong></p><p>Kaba says, &ldquo;The short version is, first and foremost, you should be able to expunge your record immediately. Okay, so you get arrested and nothing happens after that &ndash; you have a mere arrest? You should be able to expunge at any point in your juvenile career.&rdquo;</p><p>The way the law is now, even for an arrest with no conviction, a kid has to wait until 17 to try to clear a record.</p><p>If it&rsquo;s a more serious arrest where a judge declares a kid &ldquo;delinquent&rdquo; a young person usually has to wait until turning 21, or beyond, before a record can be expunged.</p><p>Here&rsquo;s an interesting statistic: About 40 percent of all youth arrested in Cook County <em>never get sent to court. </em>The kid was never charged, never stood before a judge &ndash;Kaba wants <em>automatic </em>expungement of those kind of arrests as soon as young people turn 18.</p><p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;re willing to accept that if you had a conviction then you&rsquo;d have to go through the regular process of doing an expungement. Fine. But for a mere arrest? Get rid of that.&rdquo;</p><p>Meanwhile, you&rsquo;d think there&rsquo;d be an awful lot of people lined up to expunge their juvenile records.</p><p>But, as it turns out, the juvenile expungement numbers around here are <em>grim.</em></p><p>In 2011, almost 17,000 juveniles got arrested in Cook County. Just about enough to fill the Allstate arena in Rosemont. And because some kids get arrested multiple times, the number of <em>arrests</em> was more like 30,000.</p><p>So!&nbsp; Thirty thousand juvenile arrests.&nbsp; Guess how many juvenile expungements ? Wrong. Guess again. No. The actual number?&nbsp; 67.</p><p>2012 wasn&rsquo;t much better: Over 25,000 juvenile arrests in Cook County . The number of juvenile expungements last year? 70.</p><p><strong>Why so few?</strong></p><p>Cost is part of it. And the hassle of gathering records. But also, people who follow this tell us, the process is so complicated, so daunting -- people start, but never make it to the finish line.</p><p>Kaba&rsquo;s group and others drafted legislation about a year ago to make it easier for a young person to expunge his record if he&rsquo;s been arrested, but hasn&rsquo;t been convicted.&nbsp;</p><p>The chief opponent was the office of Cook County State&rsquo;s Attorney Anita Alvarez. The bill died in a Senate committee last spring.</p><p>WBEZ wanted to ask the State&rsquo;s Attorney&rsquo;s office about their views on juvenile expungement. But a spokesman declined, saying that if a specific expungement proposal makes its way through the legislature in the future, they&rsquo;d reconsider talking with us.</p><h2><strong>Cook County Juvenile Arrests and Expungements</strong></h2><p>&nbsp;<img src="https://docs.google.com/a/chicagopublicradio.org/spreadsheet/oimg?key=0AmeeIak9d5GydFlvUDQ1NW13dkVQQlRqQnZNZzd4eEE&amp;oid=3&amp;zx=wjbaphcraftx" style="height: 223px; width: 620px;" title="Sources: Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority and Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County. See disclaimer below " /></p><p><em style="font-size: 11px;">Sources:&nbsp; Office of the State Appellate Defender and Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County*&nbsp;</em></p><p><em style="font-size: 11px;">Broken down by year, this chart shows the number of juvenile arrests in Cook County, the number of expungements (see definition <a href="http://www.state.il.us/defender/juv_exp_FAQ.html">here</a>) requested for juvenile records and the number of expungements granted.</em></p><p><span style="font-size:11px;"><em>Note 1: Expungements are recorded in the year that they are granted, not the year of the offense.<br />Note 2: As of Jan 1, 2010, 17 year olds in Illinois arrested for misdemeanor offenses are considered juveniles, not adults<br />Note 3: For an <a href="http://www.state.il.us/defender/juv_exp_qualify.html">explanation</a> of which juvenile records are eligible for expungement, see website of the Office of the State Appellate Defender.&nbsp;</em></span></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><em><strong>*</strong>General Data Dissemination Disclaimer by Clerk of Circuit Court:</em> <em>The information provided is a custom produced summary of the electronic court record that is maintained by the Clerk of the Circuit Court for internal and administrative purposes, from the paper documents with an understanding that the information is true and correct in as far as all aspects of the documents physically filed with the Clerk of the Circuit Court. The official court records are held and maintained in the hard copy paper files in the courthouse or other official Clerk&rsquo;s repositories.&nbsp; The Clerk diligently strives to maintain accurate, complete and timely data in its electronic databases but shall not be liable for any consequential, exemplary, incidental or special damages arising from or in connection with data or information produced in response to the request for custom programming. However, because of the many variables involved in producing customized electronic data reports, users should not cite the provided information as an official or authoritative source and are advised to independently verify all information.&nbsp;&nbsp; All Users are advised to independently verify any information or data obtained with official court information reposing in the court files (i.e., pleadings, orders, half sheets, file jackets and the contents thereof, etc.). </em></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 04 Feb 2013 05:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/why-it-so-hard-expunge-juvenile-records-cook-county-105257 Forget Justin Timberlake's new hairstyle, did you see his shirt? http://www.wbez.org/blog/forget-justin-timberlakes-new-hairstyle-did-you-see-his-shirt <p><a href="http://stylenews.peoplestylewatch.com/2009/12/01/justin-timberlake-shows-off-his-curls-love-it-or-hate-it/?cp=2"><img style="border: 1px solid black; margin: 7px;" title="JT" src="http://img2.timeinc.net/people/i/2009/stylewatch/blog/091214/justin-timberlake-300x400.jpg" alt="" width="300" height="400" /></a> <p style="text-align: left;">Our pals upstairs at <em>Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me!</em> <a href="http://twitter.com/waitwait/statuses/6273456371" target="_blank">found</a> this new photo of Justin Timberlake sporting an NPR t-shirt on a movie set. OMG! You can't imagine how excited this makes everyone at Navy Pier.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">If anyone can save journalism, it's JT. He brought sexy back for pete's sake! And now he's a supporting our cause?!?!</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Hold on though, he's on set... so there's a chance the shirt is a costume. Let's see, what movie is he filming now.‚  Ah crap, it's <a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1285016/" target="_blank">the Facebook movie</a>! He's probably playing some nerd who loves Fresh Air... So it's up in the air if he actually listens to NPR. I guess I know what to have Tim the Intern work on today...</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Until we get JT's agent on the line, let's do a speculative poll:</p> <p style="text-align: left;">[poll id="64"]</p></p> Wed, 02 Dec 2009 11:02:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/forget-justin-timberlakes-new-hairstyle-did-you-see-his-shirt 5 Questions with...Jesse Thorn, creator of 'Put This On' http://www.wbez.org/agill/2009/11/5-questions-with-jesse-thorn-creator-of-put-this-on/8222 <p><a href="/sites/default/files/archives/blogs/thorn.jpg"><img class="alignleft size-full wp-image-8279" style="border: 1px solid black; margin: 2px 5px;" title="thorn" src="/sites/default/files/archives/blogs/thorn.jpg" alt="thorn" width="229" height="191" /></a>Jesse Thorn is best known as the host of the podcast/public radio program <a href="http://www.maximumfun.org/shows/sound-young-america" target="_blank">The Sound of Young America</a>. He's made a name for himself by interviewing everyone from Bob Edwards to Bill Withers in his apartment in Los Angeles. But instead of conforming to the stereotypical podcasting look (i.e. pajamas), Thorn is notorious for his fastidious fashion sense. His sartorial notoriety has spread so far, that he and Adam Lisagor (of the podcast <a href="http://youlooknicetoday.com/" target="_blank">You Look Nice Today</a>) have launched a new web video project called <a href="http://putthison.com/" target="_blank">Put This On</a>. The <a href="http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1136753854/put-this-on-a-web-video-pilot-about-dressing-like" target="_blank">Kickstarter</a>-funded project officially launched yesterday. We asked Thorn five questions via email... <!--break--> <strong>AG: What's the idea behind Put This On? Are you trying to sell me clothes? Is this a pyramid scheme?!?!</strong> <blockquote>I'm not here to lie to you - Adam and I have been using an amazing new product called Herbalife, and we just want a few minutes of your time to explain it. In all sincerity, the idea, put simply, is a show for men who want to dress like grownups. Both of us are out of the Seth Rogen period of our life, and we know a lot of other men who are, too. Men who need a little bit of guidance so they're not dressing like a child - and so that they don't become a dress-up doll for their wives or partners. My friend Xeni Jardin called it "straight eye for the straight guy." We like to think we're for more than just straight guys, but I like the sentiment.</blockquote> <strong>AG: What makes you and Adam qualified to dispense fashion advice?</strong> <blockquote>I actually came to this subject because people were emailing me about it. I give out my email address on my radio show, and people who'd seen me wearing grown-up clothes, at live tapings, for example, were filling my inbox with questions - often questions about really important stuff, like what they should wear in their wedding. I started a thread on my message board called "Ask Jesse How To Dress Yourself," and it's pretty much the most popular thread in my message board's history. The demand came to us.</blockquote> <strong>AG: How do you afford a fashionable wardrobe as a public radio host who works out of his living room?</strong> <blockquote>I think you could ask this question about anything that a middle-class guy spends his money on. One of my best pals is an avowed miser, but has literally every current video game system. I make presenting myself well a priority. I think it's important, because it says to the people you interact with: "I care. I wanted to look my best because I respect you." I'm also careful about how I spend my money. I almost never pay retail, I buy at least half of my clothes second-hand, and I'm mindful of what I buy. I bought the suit I wore in my wedding at a thrift store -- it was bespoke, but for someone else. Our blog, I think, has reflected those values -- I've been linking to used and vintage clothes on Ebay a lot, for example. Most people in America spend a lot more money on clothes than they need to, and look pretty lousy after all that spending. Dressing well is about technique, not budget. Of course, having a big-ass budget helps.</blockquote> <strong>AG: Is there any journalistic element to what you're doing with Put This On? i.e. will the audience know when/if interview subjects have given you free clothes?</strong> <blockquote>This is really important to us. I think fashion "journalism" too often blurs the line between advertising and content in a way that I find very distasteful. I'm not against getting free clothes any more than I'm against getting free books for <em>The Sound of Young America</em>, but we will disclose any product we review or feature which has been given to us for free. We've actually got "Clothing Credits" for our first episode, that list everything Adam and I wear, and included in that list is the fact that we got a free pair of jeans from 4Stroke and free boots from Timberland Boot Company. (Shout out to 4Stroke and Timberland Boot Company.)</blockquote> <strong>AG: If you have any extra free clothes can you send them to me? Thanks.</strong> <blockquote>Did I mention that when I'm bored with clothes I sell them? That's another good way to save money on clothes - sell them for more than what you bought them for.</blockquote> <object classid="clsid:d27cdb6e-ae6d-11cf-96b8-444553540000" width="500" height="281" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=6,0,40,0"><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><param name="src" value="http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=7391362&amp;server=vimeo.com&amp;show_title=0&amp;show_byline=0&amp;show_portrait=0&amp;color=00ADEF&amp;fullscreen=1" /><embed type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="500" height="281" src="http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=7391362&amp;server=vimeo.com&amp;show_title=0&amp;show_byline=0&amp;show_portrait=0&amp;color=00ADEF&amp;fullscreen=1" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object></p> Tue, 03 Nov 2009 10:30:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/agill/2009/11/5-questions-with-jesse-thorn-creator-of-put-this-on/8222 Just who are these RealtyTrac people? http://www.wbez.org/jpower/2009/09/just-who-are-these-realtytrac-people/5995 <p>Practically every news organization, including Chicago Public Radio, cites foreclosure statistics from <a href="http://www.realtytrac.com/">RealtyTrac</a>.‚  And if you are like me, you have probably wondered <em>Just who are these RealtyTrac people? </em> American Public Media's <em>Marketplace </em>interviewed RealtyTrac CEO Jim Saccacio and Vice President Rick Sharga to find out--among other things--how the company's foreclosure reports got started.‚  Turns out the reports began as a way to "credentialize" the company's real business priority:‚  listing foreclosed properties on its web site. ‚  You can read the transcript or listen to the story <a href="http://marketplace.publicradio.org/display/web/2009/09/11/mm-realtytrac">here</a>. From that story, I found particularly interesting this comment from Rick Sharga. <blockquote><strong></strong>"I think what's changed dramatically and maybe permanently in the real estate market, is I don't think we'll have another generation of home buyers anytime soon that doesn't at least consider a foreclosure or a bank property when they're out on the market. And that simply wasn't true a few years ago."</blockquote> I have a couple of friends who purchased a bank property for their first home.‚  I've heard several others talking about it.‚  Have you purchased a foreclosed home?‚  How was the experience?‚  Add your thoughts to the comments section below.</p> Wed, 16 Sep 2009 13:28:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/jpower/2009/09/just-who-are-these-realtytrac-people/5995 Video: Steve Edwards jumps in the lake http://www.wbez.org/jkaufmann/2009/07/video-steve-edwards-jumps-in-the-lake/5095 <p>Quick update - our <a href="http://asoundfuture.org/">Campaign for a Sound Future</a> is wrapping up soon! We are about $3 million away from completing our goal. If I had a fundraising thermometer to show you , I would. The capital campaign's purpose is to raise money to pay for our beautiful studios (rebuilt in 2005) and to bankroll our neighborhood bureaus. Speaking of neighborhood bureaus... The campaign is about financing the existing locations and to add new locations to help cover under-served communities. Does Lake Michigan count as under-served? <object width="500" height="374" data="http://www.youtube.com/v/dbWTZXiRUoo&amp;hl=en&amp;fs=1&amp;" type="application/x-shockwave-flash"><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><param name="src" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/dbWTZXiRUoo&amp;hl=en&amp;fs=1&amp;" /><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" /></object> For fun, check out Steve's face between :14-:17 seconds. Best face in the <a href="http://www.wbez20.org">history of funny public radio videos</a>. The video was shot by <a href="http://www.youtube.com/user/sdelahoyde" target="_blank">Steve Delahoyde</a> and written/produced by <a href="http://www.schadenfreude.net" target="_blank">Schadenfreude</a>.</p> Tue, 28 Jul 2009 11:13:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/jkaufmann/2009/07/video-steve-edwards-jumps-in-the-lake/5095 Video: Glengarry Glen Torey Malatia?? http://www.wbez.org/jkaufmann/2009/03/video-glengarry-glen-torey-malatia/2133 <p>A few years back, we shot a little short promo for the pledge drive. Our filmmaker bud Steve Delahoyde put it together and our main actor was WBEZ's own GM Torey Malatia. He does his best Alec Baldwin impression from Mamet's great Glengarry Glen Ross. But instead of it being a cutthroat sales office, it's pledge central. Instead of Al Pacino and Jack Lemmon? It's Account Executive Steve Adler and the pledge drive volunteers: <object width="500" height="333" data="http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=3724245&amp;server=vimeo.com&amp;show_title=0&amp;show_byline=0&amp;show_portrait=0&amp;color=00ADEF&amp;fullscreen=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash"><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><param name="src" value="http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=3724245&amp;server=vimeo.com&amp;show_title=0&amp;show_byline=0&amp;show_portrait=0&amp;color=00ADEF&amp;fullscreen=1" /></object></p> Tue, 17 Mar 2009 15:24:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/jkaufmann/2009/03/video-glengarry-glen-torey-malatia/2133 Video: Portrait of an artist taken with a really bad camera (featuring Art Shay) http://www.wbez.org/jkaufmann/2009/03/video-portrait-of-an-artist-taken-with-a-really-bad-camera-featuring-art-shay/2090 <p>We caught up with Chicago icon and legendary photographer <a href="http://indianhillmediaworks.typepad.com/artshay/">Art Shay</a> this week. Shay is famous for (among other things) his photographs with Nelson Algren. Those photos gave us some of the best documentation of the city of Chicago to date. He came in for an interview on <em><a href="http://www.chicagopublicradio.org/Content.aspx?audioID=32831">Eight Forty-Eight</a></em> and we decided to clown around with him...on video. Cause that's how the WBEZ blog rolls. Here is our rough pitch for WBEZ's pledge drive with Art Shay. <object width="500" height="338" data="http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=3694441&amp;server=vimeo.com&amp;show_title=0&amp;show_byline=0&amp;show_portrait=0&amp;color=00ADEF&amp;fullscreen=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash"><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><param name="src" value="http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=3694441&amp;server=vimeo.com&amp;show_title=0&amp;show_byline=0&amp;show_portrait=0&amp;color=00ADEF&amp;fullscreen=1" /></object> If I haven't said it already, Art Shay is a pretty cool dude..</p> Mon, 16 Mar 2009 14:09:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/jkaufmann/2009/03/video-portrait-of-an-artist-taken-with-a-really-bad-camera-featuring-art-shay/2090