WBEZ | november 2012 http://www.wbez.org/tags/november-2012 Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Lawmakers shy away from calling for Rep. Ford to resign http://www.wbez.org/news/lawmakers-shy-away-calling-rep-ford-resign-104141 <p><p>Both Republican and Democratic lawmakers in Illinois are holding off on calling for the resignation of indicted State Rep. LaShawn Ford.</p><p>Federal prosecutors indicted Ford for bank fraud <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/politics/state-rep-lashawn-ford-indicted-bank-fraud-charges-104118">Thursday</a>, accusing the Chicago Democrat of lying about how he would use a line of credit.</p><p>In their indictment, federal prosecutors said the 40-year-old politician took a $500,000 line of credit with the now-failed ShoreBank to purchase and rehab some properties, but instead used the money to pay off expenses from his 2006 campaign.</p><p>Ford allegedly used the money for payments to a casino in Hammond, Ind., credit cards, car loans and mortgages he held at the bank. Prosecutors also allege Ford falsely inflated his personal income in obtaining the line of credit.</p><p>Ford is the second state representative to face federal charges this year.&nbsp;</p><p><a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/derrick-smiths-attorney-compares-him-jesus-thinks-feds-might-be-targeting-jesse-white-103749">Derrick Smith</a>, who maintains his innocence, was arrested earlier for allegedly taking a bribe and kicked out of the House.</p><p>&quot;I see them as two very, very different issues,&quot; said Republican State Rep.&nbsp;Jim Sacia, who helped lead the charge to oust Smith because the alleged bribe had to do with his official duties as a representative.</p><p>But Sacia said Ford&rsquo;s accusations do not involve his official office responsibilities, so he&rsquo;s not calling for his resignation.</p><p>House Republican Leader Tom Cross made the same distinction between the separate charges facing Ford and Smith.</p><p>&quot;It&rsquo;s just too early at this point to make a recommendation on House action based on information in the indictment and public statements from the U.S. Attorney&rsquo;s office,&rdquo; Cross said in a statement.</p><p>Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn also wouldn&rsquo;t say whether Ford should resign.</p><p>&quot;That&rsquo;s up to him,&quot; Quinn said. &quot;He has to follow his conscience.&quot;</p><p>Ford said Thursday evening that he&rsquo;s innocent.</p><p>In a statement sent to constituents, Ford said&nbsp;he&rsquo;s introducing a resolution asking his colleagues to remain neutral and allow him to continue representing Chicago&rsquo;s West Side in Springfield.</p></p> Fri, 30 Nov 2012 14:16:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/lawmakers-shy-away-calling-rep-ford-resign-104141 Photo of the day: November 30, 2012 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/photo-day/2012-11/photo-day-november-30-2012-104139 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/mambol/8231417322/in/pool-32855810@N00/" target="_blank"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" height="395" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/POTD_SmokeyWater.jpg" title="Smokey Water (Flickr/Jobet Palmaira)" width="620" /></a></div></p> Fri, 30 Nov 2012 10:54:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/photo-day/2012-11/photo-day-november-30-2012-104139 Illinois drinking water supplier deals with low river http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-drinking-water-supplier-deals-low-river-104134 <p><p>EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill.&nbsp; &mdash; The utility that supplies drinking water to more than 250,000 residents in southwestern Illinois is taking emergency measures due to the low level of the Mississippi River.</p><p>The Belleville News-Democrat <a href="http://bit.ly/Uw7gBt" target="_blank">reports</a> that officials with Illinois American Water say the measures are needed so that the water supply doesn&#39;t dry up for communities in Madison and St. Clair counties.</p><p>Spokeswoman Karen Cotton says Illinois American Water is investing about $400,000 at the East St. Louis water treatment plant. She says that will allow access to water at a much deeper level of the Mississippi River than the utility&#39;s usual intakes can reach.</p><p>Cotton says company officials believe the move will keep water flowing to customers even if the drought-stricken Mississippi River drops to record-setting low water levels.</p></p> Fri, 30 Nov 2012 10:30:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-drinking-water-supplier-deals-low-river-104134 Chicago church offers theater as therapy http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/chicago-church-offers-theater-therapy-104119 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Karma%20035_2.JPG" style="height: 398px; width: 600px;" title="The newlywed couple in happier times before violence tears them apart.(Photo courtesy of Derrick Dawson)" /></div></div><p>&nbsp;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="http://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F69368225&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>The stage at St. Martin&#39;s Episcopal Church is split into two halves.</p><p>On stage right, a newlywed couple crosses the threshold. On stage left, the same couple grows old and spiteful in their daughter&rsquo;s home, 30 years later.</p><p>The play, <em>Karma</em>, tells the tale of a couple&#39;s struggle with violence and alcoholism, and its ugly aftermath. It centers around double characters and a storyline that alternates between two time periods.</p><p>Playwright Senyah Haynes, said these dualities woven into her play are intentional. They are meant to remind the audience that people aren&#39;t all good or all bad. &nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;Lovely people do some really evil things. People who are really horrible can be really kind to a stranger,&rdquo; Haynes said. &ldquo;You can&rsquo;t just box people in.&rdquo;</p><p>Director Raina Long said the story is also meant to be a bitter dose of medicine for the surrounding Austin neighborhood.The area has seen ongoing gang violence and nearly 1,000 violent crimes so far this year, according to Chicago police statistics.</p><p>Long and parishioner Derrick Dawson started the theater at St. Martin&rsquo;s two years ago to offer artistic healing for the neighborhood and a safe place for its youth.</p><p>&ldquo;Arts funding on the West Side is very hard to come by,&rdquo; Long said. &ldquo;There aren&rsquo;t a lot of extra-curricular activities for young people on this side of town in general.&rdquo;</p><p>Austin&rsquo;s YMCA, a popular hangout for local teens, closed in October. Neighbors are worried that the lack of options could lead teens to other activities, like selling drugs on the corner.</p><p>&ldquo;Being able to see this story and then hopefully relate to it in some way, I hope will give the audience an opportunity to perhaps heal some of the hurts they may have going on,&rdquo; Long said.</p><p>In <em>Karma</em>, the characters Queen and Ezekiel have a painful memory that haunts them in old age: The young Ezekiel beats Queen, his pregnant wife, in a drunken rage. He mistakenly thinks the baby she&#39;s carrying isn&#39;t his, but the audience knows that Ezekiel is killing his own son. The lights dim on a bloodied Queen, lying on the ground.</p><p>Backstage, 19-year-old Jasmine Derosier is working the sound and lighting.&nbsp;When she watches the beat-down scene, she remembers experiences involving her own family. She saw her cousin&#39;s pregnant 16-year-old friend get beaten by her boyfriend.</p><p>&ldquo;He hit the girl with a bottle to her stomach, and the next thing you know, we saw this girl with blood going down her legs,&rdquo; Derosies said.</p><p>She said seeing the play and interacting with the cast has taught her to think before acting.</p><p>&ldquo;I can calm myself down by remembering some stuff from the play,&rdquo; Derosies said. Before, she said, &quot;I know I treat(ed) my little brothers like they&#39;re little rugrats, kick(ed) them around a little bit.&quot;</p><p>Now, she said, she tries to &quot;think about what you&#39;re doing before you do it.&quot;&nbsp;She thinks other people from the neighborhood could relate to the play and learn from it, too, like her mom.</p><p>&quot;The way she treats me and my little brothers, it&#39;s all this anger towards us. But here and there she&#39;ll be playing with us, then the next thing you know, she&#39;s back angry,&quot; Derosiers said. &quot;If you ask me, watching this play, she&#39;d just sit down and think about it.&quot;</p><p>St. Martin&#39;s parishioner Anita Haskell said she hasn&#39;t experienced the kind of physical abuse the play shows, but seeing it took her back to difficult relationships from the past.</p><p>&quot;It&#39;s very close to the bone, really,&quot; Haskell said. &quot;We had one congregation member walk out because he couldn&#39;t take it.&quot;</p><p>In <em>Karma</em>, Queen leaves Ezekiel and flees to Chicago to protect her daughters from their abusive father. Thirty years later, Queen and her old husband are stuck back together in their daughter&#39;s house because they can&#39;t afford a nursing home.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/karma cropped_0.JPG" style="float: right;" title="(Photo courtesy of Derrick Dawson)" /></div></div><p>Warren Feagins plays the older Ezekiel. &nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;He&rsquo;s a character who&rsquo;s like most of us,&rdquo; Feagins said. &ldquo;We appear to be mostly one thing on the surface, but underneath there&rsquo;s a lot going on.&quot;</p><p>Feagins said his character could help people understand the violent tendencies in everyone.</p><p>&ldquo;Sometimes I look out into the audience, and I really wish that there were more people here from the community,&rdquo; Feagins said. He grew up in public housing in Chicago at the Robert Taylor Homes and Cabrini-Green.</p><p>&ldquo;(There are) some people here that need to get the message but unfortunately don&rsquo;t know about it, or there are things going on in their lives that prevent them from coming,&rdquo; Feagins said.</p><p>The play manages to end on a positive note: It implies Queen and Ezekiel are able to end the cycle of domestic violence. After three decades of separation, Queen eventually forgives Ezekiel for his actions.</p><p><em>Karma</em> closes with a young bride&#39;s joyful laughter, and the two sides of the severed stage, the past and the present, coming together.</p></p> Fri, 30 Nov 2012 05:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/chicago-church-offers-theater-therapy-104119 Reporters finally get a look inside Illinois prisons http://www.wbez.org/news/reporters-finally-get-look-inside-illinois-prisons-104129 <p><p>Reporters visited Vienna Correctional Center Friday, a prison in Southern Illinois that Gov. Pat Quinn <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/quinns-half-measures-prison-openness-103540">had fought</a> to keep off limits.</p><p>And the prison has done some sprucing ahead of the visit. There has been lots of painting going on over the last few weeks. Workers were still painting a light pole outside the administration building just one hour before reporters are scheduled to arrive for a tour of the facility.</p><p>WBEZ spent much of the past year requesting a visit to Vienna, a minimum security prison where overcrowding has led to hundreds of prisoners being housed in large rooms crowded with bunks.</p><p>The building also has broken windows that have been simply boarded up in winter leaving inmates no view of the outside. Quinn kept reporters out citing simply safety and security.</p><p>With pro bono attorneys from Jenner and Block WBEZ threatened to sue Quinn and the Department of Corrections.</p><p>The department then announced it would give tours to reporters on three designated media days, and the first of those tours is today. Reporters, however, are not allowed to bring in microphones or cameras to document the conditions so the public still won&rsquo;t see what&rsquo;s happening first hand.</p><p>The Department of Corrections says reporters will be allowed notebooks and so-called &ldquo;flex-pens,&rdquo; and says that&rsquo;s more than the general public is allowed to bring in.</p></p> Thu, 29 Nov 2012 21:20:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/reporters-finally-get-look-inside-illinois-prisons-104129 Chicago artists help deck the halls at the White House http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/chicago-artists-help-deck-halls-white-house-104127 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/whitehouseart.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago artist and designer David Lee Csicsko is known for the whimsical mosaic characters greeting riders at the Belmont &quot;L&quot; station.</p><p>For the White House this year, he designed stained-glass medallions that look like wreaths for the East Corridor and 10-foot-tall white wooden trees for the East Garden.</p><p>A stained-glass rose he designed hangs in the window of the State Dining Room. While decorating the room, staff members took down a famous painting to avoid scratching it.</p><p>&ldquo;So all of the sudden I looked over at the back of the Lincoln portrait, and this rose I had designed was shining brightly on the back of the Lincoln portrait,&quot; Csicsko said. &quot;It was just this incredible connection to artistry and history. It was very, very special.&rdquo;</p><p>Csicsko got the chance to tell First Lady Michelle Obama about all of his designs at the farewell reception.</p><p>&ldquo;One of my friends shouted out that we were from Chicago and I had done the windows,&quot; chuckled Csicsko. &quot;She said she was very excited to show the President and her daughters all of the work on the house.&quot;</p><p>Paper artist Jami Darwin Chiang said seeing her work go from her studio in Chicago to the White House was an amazing experience. Chiang and other artists helped decorate the famed Blue Room Christmas tree with their designs. &nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;You meet so many people that are from all different parts of the country that literally join forces to transform the White House in five days,&rdquo; Chiang said.</p><p>Cscisko said seeing everyday people working together in rooms where heads of state normally convene was an enlightening experience.</p><p>&ldquo;It just really felt like this was the people&rsquo;s house,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 29 Nov 2012 16:13:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/chicago-artists-help-deck-halls-white-house-104127 Illinois high court upholds school funding system http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-high-court-upholds-school-funding-system-104112 <p><p>The Illinois Supreme Court has upheld a decision to toss a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the state&#39;s system of funding public school districts largely through property taxes.</p><p>The high court issued its unanimous opinion Thursday, agreeing with a lower court ruling.</p><p>Hundreds of public school districts are funded mostly through property taxes. The state sets minimum per student funding levels with specified tax rates for each district.</p><p>The 2010 lawsuit argued some residents in poorer districts whose property is worth less must pay a higher tax rate to reach funding levels of those in wealthier school districts. It called that unconstitutional and unfair.</p><p>Thursday&#39;s opinion says local communities themselves determine the tax rate. And it says any disparities that result aren&#39;t a direct result of the state&#39;s funding statute.</p></p> Thu, 29 Nov 2012 14:32:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-high-court-upholds-school-funding-system-104112 Uninsured patients sue Chicago nonprofit hospital http://www.wbez.org/news/uninsured-patients-sue-chicago-nonprofit-hospital-104105 <p><p>A lawsuit filed Thursday claims a nonprofit hospital in northwest Chicago failed to provide charity care to two low-income, uninsured patients, reopening a longstanding controversy in Illinois over whether hospitals are doing enough charitable work to qualify for lucrative tax exemptions.</p><p>Swedish Covenant Hospital repeatedly lost one patient&#39;s financial assistance application and threatened to send her bill to a collection agency, according to the lawsuit. The hospital incorrectly told another patient she was ineligible for assistance and demanded cash from her, the complaint alleges.</p><p>The practices amount to &quot;bureaucratic barriers&quot; that prevent eligible patients from getting free care, according to the lawsuit, and the hospital has a policy of attempting to collect from &quot;even the poorest of patients&quot; through bill collectors and wage garnishment.</p><p>The hospital gets about $8 million in annual tax breaks and owes the community a more reliable charity care system, the plaintiffs&#39; attorney Alan Alop of the legal services group LAF said at a press conference Thursday in Chicago. The lawsuit claims unfair practices under the Illinois consumer fraud law and seeks $50,000 in punitive damages and a change in hospital policy.</p><p>Swedish Covenant spokeswoman Leigh Ginther said Thursday she couldn&#39;t comment on the lawsuit, but she said every patient who is identified as uninsured is given an application for charity care and a personal explanation of the process.</p><p>&quot;It is the patient&#39;s responsibility to return the completed paperwork,&quot; Ginther said. The hospital reported $6.2 million in charity care expenses last year, nearly 3 percent of its net revenue.</p><p>Nearly 2 million Illinois residents are uninsured, or about 15 percent. The state constitution, court decisions and state law require Illinois hospitals that receive tax exemptions to provide charity care, but until this year the definition of charity wasn&#39;t clear.</p><p>The lawsuit comes as Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is writing new standards on hospital charity care as required by a law passed earlier this year.</p><p>A Chicago-based advocacy group, the Fair Care Coalition, wants Madigan to recommend that a standard, universal financial assistance application be used by all Illinois hospitals. The group also wants a thorough reporting mechanism so the public can check that hospitals are obeying the law, said Janna Simon of the coalition.</p><p>At the press conference, plaintiff Ramona Ortiz-Patino described filling out multiple applications for financial assistance and later being told the hospital hadn&#39;t received them. An unemployed diabetic, she was facing charges for emergency room visits for extreme pain in her right leg.</p><p>After Ortiz-Patino submitted a third application, a hospital employee telephoned her and &quot;let me know that my bill would be going to collections because I hadn&#39;t paid it,&quot; she said. &quot;I didn&#39;t understand why the hospital was threatening me when they knew I had zero income and I submitted three applications&quot; for financial assistance.</p><p>How much charity care should nonprofit hospitals provide? The issue has been brewing for years in Illinois.</p><p>In 2009, two large Illinois hospital systems settled class-action lawsuits that claimed they had overcharged uninsured patients. In separate settlements, Resurrection Health Care and Advocate Health Care agreed to pay refunds to tens of thousands of individuals.</p><p>Next, a 2010 Illinois Supreme Court ruling suggested nonprofit hospitals that behave like businesses shouldn&#39;t qualify for tax exemptions. Citing that court decision, the state Department of Revenue denied tax exemptions to three hospitals in 2011 and signaled more denials for other hospitals could follow.</p><p>That set off a storm of controversy the Legislature addressed this year.</p><p>Nonprofit hospitals won a broad definition of charity care from Springfield in a new state law that will allow them to continue their tax-exempt status. Hospitals were required to provide free care to patients of certain income levels, and the attorney general was directed to write standards for hospital financial assistance applications.</p></p> Thu, 29 Nov 2012 10:56:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/uninsured-patients-sue-chicago-nonprofit-hospital-104105 Chicago woman, 83, dies of cold exposure http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-woman-83-dies-cold-exposure-104102 <p><p>Authorities say an 83-year-old Chicago woman was the first cold-related death of the season in Cook County.</p><p>The Cook County Medical Examiner&#39;s Office says a relative found Florence Hawkins unresponsive in her bed. She was pronounced dead at her home on the city&#39;s South Side on Tuesday.</p><p>The medical examiner&#39;s office says an autopsy on Wednesday found Hawkins died of cold exposure and that heart disease was a contributing factor.</p><p>The National Weather Service reports that the low temperature on Tuesday was 17 degrees and Monday night&#39;s low was 23 degrees.</p><p>Authorities say there were at least seven cold-related deaths in Cook County during the cold season of 2011-2012 with the first reported on Dec. 3, 2011.</p></p> Thu, 29 Nov 2012 09:55:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-woman-83-dies-cold-exposure-104102 New 'Lost Chicago' book explores the city that once was http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2012-11/new-lost-chicago-book-explores-city-once-was-104048 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/9781862059924.jpg" style="width: 625px; height: 550px;" title="" /></div><p>Chicago is a modern city endlessly fascinated by its past.&nbsp;Although still relatively young compared to the Londons and Parises of the world, Chicago&#39;s demolished buildings, bygone places and long-ago world&#39;s fairs capture our attention and a fair amount of net traffic judging by the popularity of excellent sites like <em><a href="http://forgottenchicago.com/">Forgotten Chicago</a></em>, <em><a href="http://calumet412.tumblr.com/">Calumet 412</a></em> and the no-longer updated but still very good blog, <em><a href="http://dimbeautyofchicago.blogspot.com/">Bright Lights Dim Beauty of Chicago</a></em>.</p><p>Now comes a new hardcover book,<em> Lost Chicago,</em> that examines the way we were in this town. Written by John Paulett and Judy Floodstrand, the book looks at architecture that is no longer with us &mdash; places like the Henry Ives Cobb-designed Federal Building seen in the photo above&nbsp;&mdash;&nbsp;but also things we&#39;ve forgotten about (until we remember) such as those three-wheel motorcycles Chicago coppers used to ride.</p><p><em>Lost Chicago</em> is an immensely entertaining and beautifully illustrated book with great archival photography. (I&#39;ll show you some of it when the publisher sends the images to me, so check back later.) If the book has one drawback, its that is shares the title of a well-known book written on pretty much the same subject: <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Lost-Chicago-David-Garrard-Lowe/dp/0226494322">David Garrard Lowe&#39;s<em> Lost Chicago</em></a>. While Lowe&#39;s book is a stinging and much-needed rebuke of this city&#39;s dirty habit of demolishing great architecture, Paulett and Floodstrand&#39;s book is a wistful, but substantive look. Both have their place.</p><p>This week, I caught up with Paulett and Floodstrand to talk about their book, our preoccupation with our past . . . and the book&#39;s title.</p><p><strong>Q: Let&#39;s get this one out of the way first: Your book has the same title as writer David Garrard Lowe&#39;s famed <em>Lost Chicago</em>. Was this a concern?</strong></p><p><strong>JOHN:</strong> I love David&#39;s book. I think it is one of the best books about Chicago, not only about architecture but about the way Chicago has developed. I also think that David is a great scholar and you can really enjoy the fruits of his work. Our version of <em>Lost Chicago</em> is part of a series that includes <em>Lost New York</em>,&nbsp;<em>Lost San Francisco</em> and other books. I wondered about the title when the publisher proposed it, but we needed it to be included in the series &mdash; we absolutely did not want Chicago to be left out. I own David&#39;s book and I really hope people will consider buying both of them. I think they are very different and readers will enjoy each of them.</p><p><strong>JUDY: </strong>Yes, actually, I was a bit surprised that the titles were exactly the same. But Anova Books has a series of these <em>Lost</em> book from other cities and keeping the continuity of the series name was important to the body of work already published and those that might be covered in the future.</p><p><strong>Q: Your book has plenty of lost Chicago buildings, but you go deeper than architecture. You look at things like lost transit and signage. Why were these things important to examine?</strong></p><p><strong>JOHN: </strong>The architecture of Chicago is very important, but we were really interested in something of the smaller things that have been lost &mdash; often things that were taken for granted. Often, people read one of the sections of <em>Lost Chicago</em> and exclaim, &quot;Wow! I hadn&#39;t thought about that!&quot; For example, we have a section on the police riding three-wheel service cars. This may not be that historically significant, but generations of Chicagoans remember seeing these every day. I just had a Chicago native tell me how much he enjoyed remembering things like this. For some of the younger people, what might seem small comes as a great surprise. It doesn&#39;t seem that long ago that the Bears played at Wrigley Field, but it amazes many people. They love looking at the image of the ivy-covered wall just beyond the end zone.</p><p><strong>JUDY: </strong>The architecture really is the beginning of the adventure in imagining the life that went on inside of the structures and in the world around them. Living, breathing Chicagoans came and went to work in these structures. Goods were produced, laws were made, doctors cared for patients. When you take a few minutes to really sit down with these photographs, knowing and seeing these other small details really add to your understanding of the time.</p><p><strong>Q: Speaking of photographs, the images here are quite incredible. The clarity, but also views and images I&#39;d never seen before. Explain how you chose what photos made it in. And, are there any you wish had made the cut?</strong></p><p><strong>JOHN: </strong>The credit here really goes to Judy, who did the work researching and gathering the photographs. We were looking for photos that helped to tell the story. The entire book, including the text, was an attempt to tell interesting stories. Some, such as the Japanese laborers at the Columbian Exposition, are surprising and take us into the work that had to be done to begin the fair. Others, like the scene in front of the Regal Theatre, are just such compelling human pictures that we couldn&#39;t resist them. There were so many pictures of Riverview Park that we had trouble deciding. There were also some tragic photos of the Our Lady of the Angels school fire and the Eastland Disaster that ultimately did not fit the overall theme of the book. In general, Judy found the photographs and that suggested the chapter. She has a great eye for what will work. Our guiding phrase was to &quot;drive from the picture.&quot; Once we had agreed on a topic, I researched to try and find anecdotes and facts that might not be commonly known. We could probably fill another complete book with photos and stories that did not get into <em>Lost Chicago</em>.</p><p><strong>JUDY: </strong>Oh, there were so many photos to discover and access. The job of the final sorting and layout choices was made by the publisher. The book would have weighed two pounds if the decision had been left to me!&nbsp; Examples that come to mind are a collection of Chicago <em>Tribune</em> archive photographs of Riverview Park&nbsp;taken by Chuck Wlodarczyk that I just loved. Seeing people dressed up to ride the Ferris wheel really conjured nostalgic feelings about the past.<br /><br />We also could have done pages on the musicians that graced Chicago nightclubs; an amazing Yale Joel photo of Ella Fitzgerald giving an emotional performance at Mr. Kelly&#39;s in 1958 comes to mind. So many images stayed with me well past the deadline for the book.<br /><br /><strong>Q:&nbsp; Lost or forgotten Chicago locales and things are hot now. There&#39;s the <em>Forgotten Chicago</em> website, numerous new books on what once was, etc. What&#39;s going on here? What&#39;s pushing this, if anything?</strong></p><p><strong>JOHN:</strong> I have to plead a little guilty on that.&nbsp; I have two previous books about Chicago locales: <em>Forgotten Chicago</em> and <em>Printers Row</em>. After <em>Lost Chicago</em> and <em>Forgotten Chicago</em>, my sister asked me if I planned <em>Dimly-Recalled Chicago</em>. More seriously, I think the people of Chicago have a great pride in their city. They love seeing the buildings and people and institutions that have built it. <em>Lost Chicago</em> and books like it are great fun to look at together. People can share memories. I gave a talk to a group about Chicago history. The talk was scheduled for 45 minutes. I had decided to focus on the old train stations. At the beginning, I asked if anyone had any memories of the beautiful transportation palaces. I think those are the last words I said.&nbsp; People poured out their memories.</p><p><strong>JUDY:</strong> Hard to say, but Baby Boomers really have seen amazing changes in their lifetime. It really is another world reality that we are living in now, and who doesn&#39;t let themselves remember back to &quot;simpler&quot; less complicated times, before the iCloud, on occasion? Chicago&#39;s history is rich, and the details are intoxicating. Looking ahead is human nature keeping itself positioned for the future, but taking time to reflect and look back can have the restorative power of dreams. Something many of us can use during difficult times.</p></p> Thu, 29 Nov 2012 09:30:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2012-11/new-lost-chicago-book-explores-city-once-was-104048