WBEZ | politics http://www.wbez.org/tags/politics Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Here's Harold! (the robot edition) http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/heres-harold-robot-edition-112398 <p><p>A lot of folks who submit questions to Curious City take the call quite literally: What do you want to know about Chicago, the region or the people who live there? Questioner Jon Quinn put his own twist by submitting our first (and only) question about a <em>robot </em>&mdash; not just any robot, but the talking, animatronic likeness of former mayor Harold Washington that sits in a corner of the <a href="http://www.dusablemuseum.org/exhibits/details/a-slow-walk-to-greatness-the-harold-washington-story/" target="_blank">DuSable Museum of African American History</a>.</p><p>Jon had caught the robot&rsquo;s act and &mdash; like thousands of patrons before him &mdash; had learned that Harold Washington was a big deal: He&rsquo;d been a state representative and senator in Illinois, then a U.S. congressman, and Chicago&rsquo;s first black mayor. First elected as mayor in 1983, Washington won a second term with the help of multi-racial political coalitions that survived well beyond his death in 1987.</p><p>Jon was intrigued by the man, but his mind was fixed on the animatronic likeness:</p><p dir="ltr" style="text-align: center;"><em>What&#39;s that robot&#39;s story?</em></p><p>His question&rsquo;s informed by his observation that the robot is &ldquo;creepy,&rdquo; and it reminds him of an animatronic likenesses you can find at Chuck E. Cheese pizza restaurants or trips to Disney World&rsquo;s <a href="https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4130/5022492880_06ed142a4f_z.jpg" target="_blank">Hall of Presidents</a>.</p><p>&ldquo;I loved the Hall of Presidents but, um, it was terrifying,&rdquo; Jon says. (He knows a thing or two about Disney World, having grown up in Central Florida.)</p><p>To answer Jon&rsquo;s question, we put together the robot&rsquo;s origin story. Along the way, though, we couldn&rsquo;t help but ask: Is this a good way to portray the former mayor?</p><p><span style="font-size:22px;">Born from the mind of an ideas man</span></p><p>When Charles Bethea was appointed curator of the DuSable in 2002, the museum was looking to create a permanent exhibit about Harold Washington within a wing that had been dedicated to him back in 1993. Bethea was charged with bringing more oomph to the museum and keeping school-aged visitors interested. Any depiction of Washington himself would have to be new and life-like. Also, it should keep up with new technology.</p><p>&ldquo;With Harold Washington being this over-the-top, larger-than-life figure, we wanted to honor him in a specific way,&rdquo; says Bethea, adding that a museum should be considered a non-traditional classroom. &ldquo;You have to strike a balance between education and entertainment, especially with history museums.&rdquo;</p><p>Bethea and his team spent four years cycling through options, dispensing with staid life-sized statues made of bronze or others covered in resin. Eventually, someone mentioned that animatronic technology was dropping in price, with costs ranging between $10,000 and $30,000, depending on how large a figure&rsquo;s range of movement needs to be.&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;It was like, we could literally put him at his desk, we could literally bring video and audio into the presentation to make it that much more interactive,&rdquo; Bethea says. &ldquo;That&rsquo;s where the excitement came because it was like, &lsquo;What? We can actually get this!&rsquo;&rdquo;</p><p><span style="font-size:22px;">Translating Harold the man into Harold the robot</span></p><p>The DuSable team hired <a href="http://www.lifeformations.com/" target="_blank">Life Formations</a>, an Ohio-based factory of the life-like that&rsquo;s created everything from Abe Lincoln to a drum-playing gorilla. Bethea says the most expensive (and difficult) part of the partnership was the &ldquo;human sculpting,&rdquo; or coming up with a just-right Harold. Bethea gathered photos, interviews, and even an iconic <em>Playboy</em> magazine profile article to help Life Formations recreate Washington&rsquo;s likeness.</p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/harold%20washington%20playboy.jpg" style="height: 320px; width: 320px; float: right;" title="Harold Washington posing in Playboy Magazine, which is one image Life Formations used to replicate the former mayor. " /></div><p>Translating that material fell to a team that included designer and project manager Travis Gillum.</p><p>&ldquo;They gave us quite a bit of video footage that we tried to work from,&rdquo; Gillum says, adding that Washington smiled quite a bit. &ldquo;If [an animatronic has] to speak sternly as part of their character in final form, that becomes a little bit weird if they have a smile on their face.&rdquo; Gillum says historic figures such as Washington and Abraham Lincoln typically require special care.</p><p>&ldquo;That&rsquo;s a tough line to walk, especially with the humans,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;Obviously if you&rsquo;re not very realistic with the human, it can be somewhat disappointing and sometimes creepy. But at the same token, if it&rsquo;s ultra-realistic, that can be really creepy to people.&rdquo;</p><p>Gillum&rsquo;s nodding to the concept of the uncanny valley, coined in the 1970s by <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masahiro_Mori">robotics professor Masahiro Mori</a>. Even with that idea firmly in mind, Life Formations aimed to make Washington look realistic.</p><p>Bethea invited Washington&rsquo;s family to review the robot&rsquo;s development. Bethea says there was some back-and-forth, mostly around big-ticket items. For instance, some family members felt the early bust of Harold&rsquo;s head (still pigmentless and hairless at that point) actually looked like &ldquo;their Harold,&rdquo; but the museum gave the robot several hairdos because the curl pattern wasn&rsquo;t quite right and the grays weren&rsquo;t scattered accurately.</p><p>Another consideration: Washington died at age 65, but which time in Harold&rsquo;s life should the robot depict? Washington&rsquo;s hair greyed as he served as mayor, but he had also gained dozens of pounds during his terms. The family felt that the final body of the &lsquo;bot was too slim. Washington had weighed 284 lbs at his death, but Bethea says he took &ldquo;artistic license&rdquo; by representing a healthier Washington that looked closer to age 58.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="true" frameborder="0" height="377" mozallowfullscreen="true" scrolling="no" src="https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/14he2NjpKaf192vxiGf6zrIQXrRCuAizRRGk9ybEcLwU/embed?start=false&amp;loop=false&amp;delayms=3000" webkitallowfullscreen="true" width="620"></iframe></p><p>At the touch of a button, the Harold Washington robot gives three presentations, one each about Washington&rsquo;s mayoral campaign, his struggle to push a legislative agenda during <a href="http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/342.html" target="_blank">Chicago&rsquo;s Council Wars</a>, and his funeral and legacy. (A kicker: He invites patrons to check out <a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/chicago-home-fit-wild-parrots-108565" target="_blank">Chicago&rsquo;s population of green parrots</a> &mdash; a fixture of the South Side&rsquo;s Washington Park.)</p><p><span style="font-size:22px;">Did they get it right?</span></p><p>Bethea&rsquo;s a fan of the DuSable Museum&rsquo;s Harold Washington likeness (he calls it &ldquo;his baby&rdquo;), but not everyone is sold on how the robot turned out. Jacky Grimshaw, Vice President of Policy at the <a href="http://www.cnt.org/" target="_blank">Center for Neighborhood Technology</a>, and one of Washington&rsquo;s former advisors, says the Harold &lsquo;bot is okay for people who didn&rsquo;t know him, but it doesn&rsquo;t dig below the surface.<a name="video"></a></p><p>&ldquo;For me, it doesn&rsquo;t really get at who Harold was,&rdquo; she says.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="349" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/eibf4JJN4fQ?rel=0&amp;showinfo=0" width="620"></iframe></p><p>A young Grimshaw first knew Washington from Corpus Christi Church, where she saw the future mayor hobnob with Chicago aldermen and other politicians. While she was graduating college, Grimshaw&rsquo;s mother was involved in Washington&rsquo;s campaign for Illinois senator. It wasn&rsquo;t long before her mother set her up with a gig as a staffer. Later, she served in Washington&rsquo;s own mayoral administration, where she formed housing policy.</p><p>Grimshaw believes DuSable visitors don&rsquo;t sense Harold Washington as a person; it&rsquo;s not that a patron should know Washington preferred eggs or oatmeal for breakfast, but to understand him, she says, they need a heftier dose of his personality. He moved people, she says. Seeing him in action was like a 1983 edition of Obama&rsquo;s &ldquo;Yes We Can&rdquo; campaign.</p><p>&ldquo;He was such a magnetic person that you would know he was there,&rdquo; she says, adding that that was the case in small venues or in rooms of more than a hundred. &ldquo;That exhibit doesn&rsquo;t even begin to relay that kind of personality, that kind of magnetism, that interaction with people which I believe ... was nourishing to him.&rdquo;</p><p>For museum curator Bethea, the proof of the robot&rsquo;s effectiveness is its impact.</p><p>&ldquo;You gravitate towards it and it pulls you in, then you really start to think about that person&rsquo;s life; legacy and where they fit history and how hopefully you relate,&rdquo; he says.</p><p>Interestingly, that&rsquo;s exactly what happened for Jon Quinn, our questioner. After his encounter with the robot, he spent two months diving deep into Harold, his history and his legacy: He sought out This American Life&rsquo;s two part special on Washington&rsquo;s legacy, read the biography Fire on the Prairie, and he closely watched Chuy Garcia&rsquo;s 2015 mayoral campaign. Garcia campaigned for Washington and considered him a mentor. Garcia lost the 2015 race for mayor to incumbent Rahm Emanuel.</p><p>Quinn even thinks it should be a requirement that Chicagoans venture to the DuSable Museum.</p><p>&ldquo;As strange and odd as that [animatronic] was, it was a really important afternoon for me in this weird way because it got me thinking a lot about this person and his legacy and what things from his mayoralty are still with us,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;It went from this moment of eerie, uncanny valley creepiness to this fascinating exploration of the city&rsquo;s recent history and politics.&rdquo;</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Q%20ASKER%20JON%20QUINN%20PHOTO%20TOO.jpg" style="float: left; height: 347px; width: 260px;" title="" /><span style="font-size:22px;">More about our questioner</span></p><p>Jon Quinn, a philanthropic advisor who lives in Chicago&rsquo;s Logan Square neighborhood, grew up in Central Florida and went to Disney World &mdash; a lot. He geeks out about presidential history and political firsts, so when his first stopover at the DuSable Museum of African American History was underscored with an air-compressed politician, he was creeped out.</p><p>&quot;But then the amazing thing was, I got over that, and was deeply engaged,&rdquo; he says. Quinn and his friends were also thrust into <a href="https://curiouscity.wbez.org/" target="_blank">let&rsquo;s-ask-Curious City-land </a>with a ton of questions in mind.</p><p>Among them: whether contemporary politicians could find some inspiration.</p><p>&ldquo;The Harold Washington exhibit was probably my favorite place in the museum, in part because we just finished an election where a lot of commentary talked about whether or not Garcia could recreate the Harold Washington coalition,&rdquo; says Jon.</p><p>Jon was also troubled that in all his nine (non-consecutive) years living in Chicago he had never been to the DuSable Museum.</p><p>&ldquo;I even went to college at the U of C, right around the corner,&rdquo; he says. Transformed by his afternoon there, he now believes it should be a requirement that all Chicagoans visit the DuSable and all of the other history institutions the city has to offer.</p><div>&nbsp;</div></p> Wed, 15 Jul 2015 17:39:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/heres-harold-robot-edition-112398 Morning Shift: July 13, 2015 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-07-13/morning-shift-july-13-2015-112371 <p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/214564263&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Morning Shift: July 13, 2015</span></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Today on the Morning Shift, we take a look back at Chicago&#39;s 1995 heat wave that killed 739 people. We also hear about artistic responses to the disaster. Plus, the FBI has been ensnaring young Muslims in the Chicago area on terrorism charges. We look at the bureau&#39;s tactics and whether, in some cases, they may go too far. We&#39;ll look at a &quot;not-in-my-backyard&quot; tussle over renting vs. owning in the West Loop. And finally, we get a review of last weekend&#39;s Taste of Chicago.</span></p></p> Mon, 13 Jul 2015 15:54:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-07-13/morning-shift-july-13-2015-112371 Fiddlers of the world do battle http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-07-10/fiddlers-world-do-battle-112360 <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/Dennis%20Jarvis.jpg" style="width: 250px; height: 375px;" title="(Photo: Flickr/Dennis Jarvis)" /></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/214170111&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe><br />&nbsp;</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: 23.9999980926514px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: rgb(255, 244, 244);">Fiddlers of the world do battle</span></p><div style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><p>Behold the fiddle: the shoulder-mounted king of instruments. The fiddle is featured prominently in musical traditions from virtually every corner of the globe. And, for the past several years fiddlers have squared off at an annual Battle of the Bands, sponsored by the Fiddle Club of the World, to find out which global style reigns supreme. This year marks the 4th annual Battle of the Bands which you can catch that at the Old Town School of Folk Music&#39;s Square Roots Festival this weekend. But we&#39;ve got a preview today. Three different styles performed by six different Chicago-based musicians brought together by Paul Tyler, convener of the Chicago Chapter of the Fiddle Club of the World and instructor at the Old Town School of Folk.</p><p><strong>Guests:</strong></p><ul><li><em><a href="https://www.oldtownschool.org/teachers/Paul-Tyler/">Paul Tyler</a> is a fiddle teacher, ethnomusicologist, and convener of the Chicago Chapter of the Fiddle Club of the World.</em></li><li><em>Genevieve Harris Koester and Smith Koester play in the band <a href="https://www.oldtownschool.org/concerts/2014/11-21-2014-gdp-white-mule-830pm/">White Mule</a>.</em></li><li><em>Juan Rivera plays in <a href="https://www.facebook.com/LosCondenadosHuastecos">Los Condenados Huastecos</a>.</em></li><li><em><a href="https://soundcloud.com/izaki-metropoulos">Izaki and Sofiya Metropoulos</a> play in Jim Stoynoff&#39;s Greek Band.</em></li></ul></div><p>&nbsp;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/214170110&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe><br /><br /><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 23.9999980926514px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; line-height: inherit; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); background-color: rgb(255, 244, 244);">Negotiations with Iran continue</span></p><div style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><p>Negotiators from the P5+1 countries (US, France, UK, Germany, Russia, China) continue in talks with Iran in the hopes of reaching an agreement that would curb Iran&rsquo;s s nuclear program in return for the lifting of crippling economic sanctions. The main worry is that Tehran will develop the capacity to enrich uranium on an industrial scale &mdash; the fuel required for nuclear weapons &mdash; build more reactors, and be in a position to build a nuclear warhead in a short period of time. Several self-imposed deadlines have passed and it remains unclear whether a deal will be made. Iranian-Americans Nari Safavi and Ahmad Sadri join us to discuss to discuss the talks.</p><p><strong>Guests:&nbsp;</strong></p><ul><li><em>Nari Safavi is one of the co-founders of the <a href="http://www.pasfarda.org/default.aspx">PASFARDA Arts &amp; Cultural Exchange</a>.</em></li><li><em><a href="https://www.lakeforest.edu/academics/faculty/sadri/">Ahmad Sadri</a> is Gorter Professor of Islamic World Studies and Professor of Sociology at Lake Forest College.</em></li></ul></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/214170108&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe><br />&nbsp;</p><p><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 23.9999980926514px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; line-height: inherit; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); background-color: rgb(255, 244, 244);">&nbsp;Czech film fest turns 50</span></p><div style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><p>The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival is celebrating its 50th anniversary. The Czech festival showcases the work of Central and Eastern European directors as well as filmmakers from the former communist block countries. We&rsquo;ll check in with film contributor Milos Stehlik, who is there checking out this year&rsquo;s films.<br /><br /><strong>Guest:</strong>&nbsp;<em><a href="https://twitter.com/milosstehlik">Milos Stehlik</a> is the director of <a href="https://twitter.com/facetschicago">Facets Multimedia</a> and WBEZ&rsquo;s film contributor.&nbsp;</em></p></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 10 Jul 2015 15:37:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-07-10/fiddlers-world-do-battle-112360 Senator Dick Durbin talks heroin and train safety http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-07-07/senator-dick-durbin-talks-heroin-and-train-safety-112334 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/durbinphoto2.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/213655971&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 24px; line-height: 22px;">Senator Dick Durbin talks heroin and train safety</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">Here in Illinois, the need for heroin treatment is rising. Senator Dick Durbin&rsquo;s office says there were 1,652 drug overdose deaths in the state last year. Illinois&rsquo; senior senator is introducing legislation that he thinks could curb those deaths by making the overdose drug naloxone more available. We talk to Senator Durbin about those efforts, as well as what Congress should be doing to make rail travel safer.</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;"><strong>Guest:</strong> <a href="https://twitter.com/SenatorDurbin"><em>U.S. Senator Dick Durbin</em></a>&nbsp;</span></p></p> Tue, 07 Jul 2015 11:23:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-07-07/senator-dick-durbin-talks-heroin-and-train-safety-112334 Ethiopian elections http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-06-05/ethiopian-elections-112150 <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/R%20Hagel%20flickr.jpg" style="width: 497px; height: 375px;" title="(Photo: Flickr/R Hagel)" /></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/208999630&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 23.9999980926514px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; line-height: inherit; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); background-color: rgb(255, 244, 244);">Ethiopia appears set to remain a one party country</span></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">Ethiopia&#39;s ruling party appears to have won a landslide victory in the country&#39;s parliamentary elections. Opposition leaders accused the party of trying to intimidate and harass supporters of their parties. Girma Birru, the Ethiopian Ambassador to the United States, joins us to discuss the elections and the state of Ethiopian politics.<br /><br /><strong>Guest:</strong>&nbsp;<em><a href="http://www.ethiopianembassy.org/AboutEmbassy/AboutEmbassy.php?Page=Biography.htm">Girma Birru</a> is Ethiopian Ambassador to the U.S.</em></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/208999631&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: inherit; font-size: 23.9999980926514px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; line-height: inherit; background-color: rgb(255, 244, 244);">International films to see this weekend</span></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">Film contributor Milos Stehlik reviews two films showing this weekend&nbsp;<em>Rebels of the Neon God&nbsp;</em>by Taiwanese director Tsai Ming-liang, and <em>A Wolf At the Door</em>, the debut film by Brazilian writer-director Fernando Coimbra.<br /><br /><strong>Guest:</strong>&nbsp;<em><a href="https://twitter.com/milosstehlik">Milos Stehlik</a> is the director of <a href="https://twitter.com/facetschicago">Facets Chicago</a> and the WBEZ film contributor.&nbsp;</em></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/208999632&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: inherit; font-size: 23.9999980926514px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; line-height: inherit; background-color: rgb(255, 244, 244);">Weekend Passport: International storytelling fesitval and food truck social</span></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">Each week global citizen Nari Safavi helps listeners plan their international weekend. This week he&rsquo;ll tell us about the Black Ensemble Theatre&rsquo;s first ever International Cultural Festival and a food truck event in Pilsen.<br /><br /><strong>Guests:</strong></p><ul><li style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><em><a href="http://www.lindagorham.com/">Linda Gorham</a> is a performer and storyteller.&nbsp;</em></li><li style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><em>Nari Safavi is one of the co-founders of the <a href="http://www.pasfarda.org/default.aspx">PASFARDA Arts &amp; Cultural Exchange</a>.</em></li></ul><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 05 Jun 2015 17:26:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-06-05/ethiopian-elections-112150 Inauguration Day: New City Council faces serious financial problems http://www.wbez.org/news/inauguration-day-new-city-council-faces-serious-financial-problems-112042 <p><p>Inauguration day is here: Chicago&rsquo;s mayor, treasurer, city clerk and new class of aldermen will all be sworn in at the Chicago Theatre Monday morning. Of course, many of the people on stage will be familiar faces: Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Clerk Susana Mendoza and Treasurer Kurt Summers have already been serving the city, along with a majority of aldermen.</p><p>But thirteen new faces will be mixed among the returning class of politicians. Together, they&rsquo;ll be faced with a number of difficult issues, not the least of which is the city&rsquo;s dire financial situation.</p><p><em>Click below to hear about the members, the lessons they learned from the last election and more on the issues they&rsquo;ll be tackling this term.&nbsp;</em></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="100" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/205368904%3Fsecret_token%3Ds-PbDUk&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><div style="overflow: hidden"><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Brian-Hopkins.jpg" style="height: 150px; width: 150px; float: left;" title="Brain Hopkins (via Twitter)" /><strong>Brian Hopkins (2)</strong>: Hopkins is currently the senior budget analyst for the Cook County Board&rsquo;s Finance Committee, where he&rsquo;s also served as chief of staff to Chairman John Daley. Hopkins isn&rsquo;t planning to join a caucus; he thinks the city council should, &ldquo;get away from some of the factionalism that exists, and not break down into multiple, different caucuses.&rdquo;</p></div><div style="overflow: hidden"><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/greg-mitchell.jpg" style="height: 150px; width: 150px; float: left;" title="Gregory Mitchell (via mitchellforalderman.com)" /><strong>Gregory Mitchell (7)</strong>: Mitchell is a lifelong resident of the 7th Ward and worked as an IT Manager at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. He&rsquo;s likely to join the black caucus.</p></div><div style="overflow: hidden"><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/patric-daley-thompson.jpg" style="width: 150px; height: 150px; float: left;" title="Patrick Daley Thompson (via patrickdthompson.com)" /><strong>Patrick Daley Thompson (11)</strong>: Thompson&rsquo;s middle name is a familiar one for the Chicago political scene. His uncle is former Mayor Richard M Daley, and, of course, his grandfather is former Mayor Richard J Daley. Thompson recently ended his tenure with the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District&rsquo;s Board of Commissioners; and he <a href="http://www.burkelaw.com/Staff/Patrick+D+Thompson">practices real estate and corporate law</a>, which he says he&rsquo;ll continue while serving as alderman. Thompson says he currently has no plans to join any of the city council caucuses.</p></div><div style="overflow: hidden"><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/susan-garza.jpg" style="height: 150px; width: 150px; float: left;" title="Susan Sadlowski Garza" /><strong>Susan Sadlowski-Garza (10)</strong>: Sadlowski-Garza is a Chicago Teacher&rsquo;s Union area vice president and, most recently, worked as a counselor at Jane Addams Elementary, a position she says she&rsquo;ll leave when she becomes alderman. She will join the progressive caucus.</p></div><div style="overflow: hidden"><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/raymond-lopez.jpg" style="height: 150px; width: 150px; float: left;" title="Raymond Lopez (via electlopez.com)" /><strong>Raymond Lopez (15)</strong>: Lopez is the Democratic Committeeman in the 15th Ward, and recently retired from Southwest Airlines. At present, he isn&rsquo;t planning to join any caucuses, including the newly formed Gay Caucus. Lopez is one of five openly gay members of the current city council. Still, he&rsquo;s often included on rosters of the new caucus, but Lopez says he&rsquo;s &ldquo;often guilty by association before I know about it.&rdquo;</p></div><div style="overflow: hidden"><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/david-moore.jpg" style="height: 150px; width: 150px; float: left;" title="David Moore (via citizensformoore.com)" /><strong>David Moore (17)</strong>: Moore&rsquo;s family has been involved in the 17th Ward Democratic Organization since he was a kid--he went on to be precinct captain. Moore is currently an assistant to the commissioner of the Cook County Board of Review, a position he says he will leave once becoming alderman. Moore is a member of the progressive caucus, and plans to join the black caucus.</p></div><div style="overflow: hidden"><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/derrick-curtis.jpg" style="height: 150px; width: 150px; float: left;" title="Derrick Curtis (via twitter)" /><strong>Derrick Curtis (18)</strong>: Curtis is 18th Ward Democratic Committeeman and ward superintendent for the Department of Streets and Sanitation. He&rsquo;s likely to join the black caucus. &nbsp;</p></div><div style="overflow: hidden"><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/michaelscottjr.jpg" style="height: 150px; width: 150px; float: left;" title="Michael Scott Jr. (via Twitter)" /><strong>Michael Scott, Jr (24):</strong> Scott is an area manager for the Central Region of the Chicago Park District, but he says he&rsquo;ll be leaving his position to become alderman. His father is the late Chicago School Board President Michael W. Scott, Sr. He says he&rsquo;s likely to join the black caucus.</p></div><div style="overflow: hidden"><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/chris-taliaferro.jpg" style="height: 150px; width: 150px; float: left;" title="Chris Taliaferro (via 29thward.com)" /><strong>Chris Taliaferro (29)</strong>: Taliaferro is a former Marine and former sergeant with the Chicago Police Department. He currently works as a litigation attorney and partner at Nexus Legal Group. Taliaferro is a member of the progressive caucus and is likely to join the black caucus.</p></div><div style="overflow: hidden"><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Milly-Santiago.jpg" style="height: 160px; width: 150px; float: left;" title="Milagros “Milly” Santiago" /><strong>Milagros &ldquo;Milly&rdquo; Santiago (31)</strong>: Santiago is mostly known throughout the city for her work as a TV reporter for Telemundo. She most recently worked as communications manager for Illinois state agencies under the Central Management Services. Her name is rumored to be on the list for the progressive caucus, but Santiago says she hasn&rsquo;t yet made a decision.</p></div><div style="overflow: hidden"><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/gilbert.jpg" style="height: 150px; width: 150px; float: left;" title="Gilbert Villegas (via twitter)" /><strong>Gilbert Villegas (36)</strong>: Villegas was a former Marine, and currently owns a consulting company. He says he may continue to do some consulting while he serves as alderman, &ldquo;depending on the time.&rdquo; Villegas is joining the Latino caucus.</p></div><div style="overflow: hidden"><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/carlos.jpg" style="height: 150px; width: 150px; float: left;" title="Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (via carlososa.org)" /><strong>Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35)</strong>: At 26 years old, Ramirez-Rosa becomes the youngest aldermen on the current city council. He&rsquo;s a community organizer with the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee RIghts, and a former caseworker for Congressman Luis Gutierrez. Ramirez-Rosa is a member of the progressive caucus, Latino caucus and the gay caucus.</p></div><div style="overflow: hidden"><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/anthony-napolitano.jpg" style="height: 150px; width: 150px; float: left;" title="Anthony Napolitano (via napolitano41stward.com)" /><strong>&nbsp;Anthony&nbsp;Napolitano&nbsp;(41)</strong>: Napolitano is a former Chicago police officer and current Chicago firefighter. He hasn&rsquo;t joined the progressive caucus but supports an elected school board, one of their top issues.</p></div><p><em>Lauren Chooljian is WBEZ&rsquo;s City Politics reporter. Follow her</em> <a href="https://twitter.com/laurenchooljian">@laurenchooljian</a></p></p> Sun, 17 May 2015 08:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/inauguration-day-new-city-council-faces-serious-financial-problems-112042 Final votes tallied: Sadlowski Garza wins 10th ward race, Pope considering legal challenge http://www.wbez.org/news/politics/final-votes-tallied-sadlowski-garza-wins-10th-ward-race-pope-considering-legal <p><p>It&rsquo;s been two weeks since Chicago&rsquo;s runoff election; and as of Tuesday afternoon, every last vote has been counted.</p><p>One big story from the final tallies comes out of the 10th Ward on the far southeast side of the city, where Chicago Public Schools counselor and community activist Susan Sadlowski Garza beat longtime incumbent, Ald. John Pope. At the final unofficial count, Sadlowski Garza beat Pope by 20 votes. The Chicago Board of Elections doesn&rsquo;t issue their official proclamation of the results until Thursday, but elections officials said they don&rsquo;t anticipate any of these numbers to change before then.</p><p>Both Pope and Sadlowski Garza&rsquo;s campaigns filed complaints with the board, so Pope&rsquo;s team could still file a legal challenge over the results. His campaign manager Jake Breymaier said they haven&rsquo;t yet made a decision, one way or the other.</p><p>&ldquo;The fact that both campaigns filed briefs with Board of Elections--we believe that both campaigns want to see a fair outcome with all the votes counted,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>Breymaier added that the Pope team hopes to have a decision by the end of this week.</p><p>Meanwhile, some of the other aldermanic runoffs that were close--just not 10th-Ward close--have also been unofficially called. In the 31st Ward, on the Northwest Side, former reporter Milagros &ldquo;Milly&rdquo; Santiago ousted long-time incumbent Ray Suarez by 79 votes. Suarez chaired the Committee on Housing and Real Estate.</p><p>All of the unofficial results, for every runoff election, can be found at the <a href="http://www.chicagoelections.com/dm/general/SummaryReport.pdf">Chicago Board of Elections website</a>.</p><p>Inauguration of the newly-elected council is set to take place on May 18th.<br /><br />Lauren Chooljian is a WBEZ reporter. Follow her <a href="https://twitter.com/laurenchooljian">@laurenchooljian</a></p></p> Tue, 21 Apr 2015 18:33:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/politics/final-votes-tallied-sadlowski-garza-wins-10th-ward-race-pope-considering-legal Election results mean new power at beleaguered College of DuPage http://www.wbez.org/news/election-results-mean-new-power-beleaguered-college-dupage-111849 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/cod.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>College of DuPage Board Vice Chair Katharine Hamilton wants school President Robert Breuder to step down before his planned 2016 departure date.</p><p>And after Tuesday&rsquo;s election, she should have the votes to make that happen.</p><p>Breuder has been at the center of several recent controversies at the school, which is the largest community college in Illinois. In January, the Board of Trustees voted 6-1 to give him a $763,000 buyout, with Hamilton casting the lone no vote.</p><p>And the <em>Chicago Tribune</em> has reported that the DuPage County State&rsquo;s Attorney is <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-college-of-dupage-investigation-subpoenas-20150331-story.html">investigating lavish spending by Breuder and his staff</a>.</p><p>Hamilton said DuPage County voters were responding to those issues when they elected three new trustees.</p><p>Deanne Mazzochi, Frank Napolitano and Charles Bernstein secured the three available seats on the board in the consolidated election on April 7 out of a field of 12. All three of them ran together under the &ldquo;Clean Slate&rdquo; ticket supported by Hamilton. They beat two incumbent board members and a former state representative.</p><p>Together with Hamilton, the three will make up a new majority on the seven member board. The board will elect a new chair in May and Hamilton expects to replace current Chair Erin Birt.</p><p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;re gonna look at perhaps clawing back the excessive golden handshake that was provided to Dr. Brueder, and in addition to that, some reform policies that will restructure the college in a way that the board will have more power to lead the college,&rdquo; Hamilton said.</p><p>She called the recent controversies &ldquo;a symptom of the crisis in governance&rdquo; at the College of DuPage.</p><p>&ldquo;The failure of the current board to provide oversight is startling. So hopefully this new majority- and I&rsquo;m not just saying hopefully - I know that this new majority will be able to clamp down on those problems,&rdquo; Hamilton added.</p><p>Their plans include putting all of the college&rsquo;s transactions online for scrutiny by the public and creating a new audit committee.</p><p>In a statement, a college spokesman said the school looks &ldquo;forward to beginning a new chapter at the College of DuPage as we welcome the elected trustees to the Board.&rdquo;</p><p>Board Chair Erin Birt declined to be interviewed.</p><p><em>Patrick Smith is a WBEZ producer and reporter. Follow him on twitter @pksmid.</em></p></p> Thu, 09 Apr 2015 13:45:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/election-results-mean-new-power-beleaguered-college-dupage-111849 Emanuel wins re-election over Garcia in race for Chicago mayor http://www.wbez.org/news/emanuel-wins-re-election-over-garcia-race-chicago-mayor-111840 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/rahm for hp.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Rahm Emanuel won re-election Tuesday as voters in Chicago&#39;s first mayoral runoff decided that, despite his brusque management style, the former White House chief of staff was best equipped to deal with the many dire challenges facing the nation&#39;s third-largest city.</p><blockquote><p><strong>Map: <a href="http://interactive.wbez.org/elections/2015/runoff-map/" target="_blank">2015 Runoff Election Results</a></strong></p></blockquote><p>Emanuel was forced to campaign furiously across the city to beat Cook County Commissioner Jesus &quot;Chuy&quot; Garcia after failing to capture a majority against four other candidates in a February election. The mayoral runoff was the first since the city changed the way it conducts elections about 20 years ago.</p><p>&quot;To all the voters I want to thank you for putting me through my paces,&quot; Emanuel told supporters Tuesday night. &quot;I will be a better mayor because of that. I will carry your voices, your concerns into ... the mayor&#39;s office.&quot;</p><p>With nearly all voting precincts reporting results, Emanuel had about 56 percent of the vote compared to around 44 percent for Garcia.</p><p>&quot;We didn&#39;t lose today, we tried,&quot; Garcia told supporters gathered at the University of Illinois at Chicago. &quot;We fought hard for what we believed in. You don&#39;t succeed at this or anything else unless you try.&quot;</p><p>The incumbent highlighted tough decisions he&#39;s made since succeeding former Mayor Richard M. Daley in 2011, but admitted that his management approach too often rubbed city residents the wrong way. He portrayed Garcia as too inexperienced to handle the city&#39;s financial crunch.</p><p>Many of those heading to the polls Tuesday said the election should be a signal.</p><p>&quot;Hopefully he (Emanuel) takes heed of the runoff when he should have been a shoo-in,&quot; said Richard Rowe, a 50-year-old, who planned to vote for the incumbent.</p><p>Jesus Fernandez, a 44-year-old window washer who voted for Garcia, had the same view.</p><p>&quot;If he (Garcia) gets close, we might push Rahm to do something,&quot; Fernandez said. &quot;At least we push him a little bit.&quot;</p><p>Emanuel raised far more money than Garcia, plastered the airwaves with ads and had support from his former boss, President Barack Obama, who cast an early ballot for him from Washington.</p><p>The mayor faces huge obstacles in his second term, from fixing the worst-funded pension systems of any big U.S. city to stemming stubborn violence and confronting labor unions that just spent millions trying to defeat him.</p><p>Chicago&#39;s four pension systems are about $20 billion in debt, and the fund for Chicago Public Schools teachers is short about $7 billion of what&#39;s needed to pay benefits as promised.</p><p>If Emanuel can&#39;t work a deal with labor unions or get the Illinois Legislature to approve relief, the city is on the hook for an additional $550 million payment to the retirement accounts, bringing the total payment to about $1 billion. He&#39;s said that would be roughly equal to the annual cost of having 4,300 police officers on the street or raising property taxes by 150 percent.</p><p>Emanuel also must deal with ongoing concerns about crime, one of the areas Garcia hit him on repeatedly during the election. After a spike in homicides early in his first term, the number fell to the lowest level in a half-century though the number of shootings has climbed 12 percent.</p><p>&quot;I&#39;m proud of what we&#39;ve accomplished in these past four years, but I understand the challenges we face will require me to approach them differently and to work in a different fashion,&quot; Emanuel said. &quot;The only way to meet these challenges is to bridge the gaps between the things that divide us and start focusing on the things that unite us and bring us together.&quot;</p><p>Garcia, a former community organizer, alderman and state lawmaker, ran a campaign focused on the city&#39;s neighborhoods, with support from teachers and unions upset with Emanuel. He accused the mayor of being out of touch with voters and blamed him for the fiscal problems, while playing up the mayor&#39;s push to close about 50 schools and a gang violence problem that spiked during Emanuel&#39;s first term.</p><p>He also vowed to end Chicago&#39;s troubled red-light camera system, which some residents believe is discriminatory and focuses more on revenue than safety.</p><p>Election officials said more than 142,300 Chicago voters cast early ballots for the runoff, far outpacing early voting turnout in February and four years ago.</p></p> Tue, 07 Apr 2015 19:53:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/emanuel-wins-re-election-over-garcia-race-chicago-mayor-111840 The Road to Election Day http://www.wbez.org/news/politics/road-election-day-111832 <p><p>This is it: The conclusion of the historic mayoral runoff election in Chicago has arrived. WBEZ&rsquo;s political duo Lauren Chooljian and Tony Arnold have been following incumbent Mayor Rahm Emanuel and challenger Cook County Commissioner Jesus &ldquo;Chuy&rdquo; Garcia all around the city leading up to the April 7th election.<br /><br />On the last full day of campaigning, the candidates spent their time in the parts of the city where they&rsquo;re expected to do best. Emanuel ate breakfast in Lakeview and Garcia riled up supporters in Pilsen.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="450" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/199572170&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;visual=true" width="100%">&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/iframe&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;Listen to other snapshots of Emanuel and Garcia&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;rsquo;s days on the campaign path below.&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;</iframe></p><p>Listen to other snapshots of Emanuel and Garcia&rsquo;s days on the campaign path below.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="450" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/playlists/96308850&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><em>Lauren Chooljian and Tony Arnold are WBEZ political reporters. Follow them <a href="https://twitter.com/laurenchooljian">@laurenchooljian</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/tonyjarnold">@tonyjarnold</a>.</em></p></p> Tue, 07 Apr 2015 09:16:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/politics/road-election-day-111832