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Rendering of Lucas Museum (left) and New Bears Stadium (right)

In 2014, filmmaker George Lucas eyed land south of Soldier Field for his proposed Lucas Museum of Narrative Art. After public derision of the initial drawings, a revised design was unveiled the next year (rendering at left). Amid a legal challenge from Friends of the Parks, Lucas gave up and is building the museum in Los Angeles. Now, at the same site, the Bears want to build a new domed stadium. They released renderings (right) of the proposal in April.

The Rundown: The Bears' proposal vs. the ‘Star Wars Museum’

Good afternoon! It’s finally Friday, and there’s a new Billie Eilish album out. Here’s what else you need to know today.

1. Why the Bears believe their stadium plans will succeed — unlike George Lucas’s vision for the lakefront

The Bears’ proposed $4.7 billion lakefront development south of Soldier Field has been compared to the filmmaker’s failed 2014 plan for The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, known by many as the “Star Wars Museum.”

But as Fran Spielman reports for the Chicago Sun-Times, the Bears “evaluated three developments that have sparked the most notable lakefront legal battles since 2000, which they think bolster their case for a Museum Campus dome.”

That includes the successful expansion of Soldier Field in the early 2000s and the Obama Presidential Center now under construction in Jackson Park.

Any taxpayer could challenge the team’s proposal in state court, experts say, but all eyes are on advocacy group Friends of the Parks — which opposed Lucas’s museum.

“We’re still waiting to hear much more in detail from the Bears, and hopefully hear them say they’re ready for some kind of meaningful public dialogue on what they should do and what the location should be and what the … various contributions should be,” Friends of the Parks board member Fred Bates told the Sun-Times. [Chicago Sun-Times]

2. Protesters say they won’t apply for a city permit for a pro-Palestinian march during the Democratic National Convention

Organizers told the Chicago Tribune they had planned to get approval but changed their minds after Chicago Police cleared a pro-Palestinian encampment at DePaul University’s Lincoln Park campus yesterday.

“CPD messed it up today. So because of that, we are not filing (a permit),” said Nida Sahouri, chair of American Muslims for Palestine Chicago, as she tore the application at a news conference in front of City Hall. “We are going to be protesting no matter what.”

The march is planned for the convention’s second-to-last day, Aug. 21, from Union Park in the West Loop to the DNC site at the United Center.

As the Tribune reports: “The organizers of the newly planned protest said their ultimate goals are to stop U.S. support of Israel’s war effort in Gaza and to allow for aid to enter the war-torn region.” [Chicago Tribune]

3. Kim Foxx floats a plan to stop prosecuting gun cases tied to some minor traffic stops

A draft policy would direct prosecutors in the Cook County state’s attorney’s office to reject drug and gun charges stemming solely from some routine traffic stops, my colleagues at the Chicago Sun-Times report.

Under the proposal, Foxx’s office would decline to file drug, gun and theft charges in cases that begin with traffic stops for minor issues, such as having an expired vehicle registration, a missing license plate or nonfunctioning brake lights. However, the proposal continues to give prosecutors broad discretion on whether to charge cases.

Foxx told the Sun-Times the policy would be “a public safety enhancement effort” that would build trust in law enforcement by decreasing the amount of potentially negative interactions drivers have with police.

But some of her staff said they were caught off guard and were concerned about the implications. [Chicago Sun-Times]

4. Chicago Tribune journalists filed a discrimination lawsuit against the newspaper

The class action lawsuit, filed by seven of the company’s journalists, alleges violations of equal pay based on sexual and racial discrimination under current and former owners Alden Global Capital and Tribune Publishing Co., Kade Heather reports for the Chicago Sun-Times.

“This is a fair pay act, and what we want to make sure is that journalists of color and women get paid fairly for similar experience that they have, and similar backgrounds, for their skill that they’ve actually demonstrated in this position,” Michael Morrison of Alexander Morrison + Fehr, a California-based law firm that jointly filed the lawsuit in federal court with the Chicago-based KJC Law Group, told the Sun-Times.

The Tribune also used diversity recruitment programs to hire women and minority journalists into temporary yearlong positions at salaries “significantly less than their colleagues who performed the same work,” according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit seeks back pay for the disparities in wages, along with a restructuring of the Tribune’s compensation policies and practices.

Alden Global Capital and Tribune Publishing Co. couldn’t be reached for comment as of publication. [Chicago Sun-Times]

5. From Chicago headlines, an eminent composer births a new opera about Nazi-looted art

Before It All Goes Dark, a new work by in-demand composer Jake Heggie, centers on a middle-aged Vietnam veteran named “Mac” from Lyons, Ill.

Before It All Goes Dark follows a man seeking to reclaim artworks looted by the Nazis from a distant ancestor and coming to understand his own Jewish heritage in the process.

How Mac — who is based on Gerald McDonald, a real local veteran who died in 2005 — wound up a character in the opera starts with the reporting of Howard Reich of the Chicago Tribune, who in 2001 and 2002 was working on constructing the family tree of Emil Freund, a Czech Jew who died in the Holocaust.

Freund’s art collection was looted by the Nazis, and the pieces sat in storage in Czech museums. His closest heir was unknown. Reich worked from the survivors listed in obituaries to construct a family tree for Freund, leading him to ring Mac’s doorbell in the suburbs.

Catch Before It All Goes Dark at the Studebaker Theater on May 25 at 7:30 p.m. and May 26 at 3 p.m. [WBEZ]

Here’s what else is happening

  • World No. 1 golfer Scottie Scheffler was arrested after a traffic stop outside the PGA Championship in Louisville. [ESPN]

  • A new immigration court docket may mean asylum claims for newly arrived migrants get processed faster. [Chicago Tribune]

  • A first aid shipment from the U.S. arrived in the Gaza Strip thanks to a newly built pier. [AP/Chicago Tribune]

  • Here’s how Angel Reese has juggled her first month as a professional athlete with the Chicago Sky. [Chicago Sun-Times]

Oh, and one more thing …

This has been a great year for books, and even more phenomenal ones come out this summer, Nerdette’s Greta Johnsen says.

Some well-loved authors are back — Robin Sloan has Moonbound, Rainbow Rowell has Slow Dance and Kevin Kwan follows his Crazy Rich Asians series with Lies and Weddings.

2024 also boasts lots of highly anticipated second novels from authors with standout debuts, including Mateo Askaripour’s This Great Hemisphere and Claire Lombardo’s Same As It Ever Was.

See Greta’s full list in the link. [WBEZ]

Tell me something good …

What was the last song you recently discovered and had on repeat?

Susan writes:

“On Jimmy Buffet’s last album he has a fantastic version of Bob Dylan’s “Mozambique” (with Emmylou Harris). The other song: Lizz Wright’s version of “Who knows where the time goes” (Fairport Convention wrote originally and Judy Collins covered many years ago). They’re constantly on repeat in my car.”

Vivian writes:

“I am a very uncool mom of a sixteen year old girl. My musical taste is stuck in the eighties and early nineties alternative world. Last week my daughter played me HOT TO GO! by Chappell Roan and now I can’t get the song out of my head. It’s definitely catchy and fun. Would recommend.”

And JoAnne writes:

“I caught Kevin Bacon on late nite TV and he mentioned Megan Trainor’s ‘I Made You Look’ and dancing with his daughter. I can’t get that song out of my head! Love her.”

Thanks for all the messages this week! We couldn’t include all of them, but it was great hearing from everyone (and now I have lots of new songs to listen to).

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