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pride parade

A crowd holds rainbow flags as they watch the 48th Annual Chicago Pride Parade on Sunday, June 25, 2017 in Chicago.

G-Jun Yam

The Rundown: Your guide to Pride month in Chicago

Good afternoon! After a rainy start to the week, we should see a return to sunshine soon. Here’s what else you need to know today.

1. A guide to celebrating Pride month in Chicago

The Pride Parade on June 30 is the centerpiece of the city’s events, but you don’t have to wait until the end of the month to celebrate.

My colleague Phyllis Cha put together a guide with more than 50 Pride month events, from booze cruises to comedy nights.

This guide has every kind of LGBTQ+ event you can think of. Speed dating? Check. An escape room-style game featuring queer geek culture and trivia? Check. Queer prom at a museum? Also check.

Because there are so many options, they’re organized into categories: activities, culture, dating, dining, outdoors, parties and shows. [WBEZ]

There’s also a handy calendar if the timing of the events matters more than the content. [Chicago Sun-Times]

2. Four Chicago Police officers face dismissal for allegedly stealing cash and drugs, and lying about gun seizures

In one case, two of the officers are accused of taking cash and marijuana during a vehicle search, the Civilian Office of Police Accountability said in a report dated Jan. 26. GPS records show that after the search they drove to another officer’s block and the contraband was never inventoried, according to the report.

The officers are also accused of recovering a gun used in a slaying in Kentucky but letting the suspect go, my colleagues Tom Schuba and Frank Main report for the Chicago Sun-Times. COPA said that if the officers had searched his name in a law enforcement database, they would’ve discovered he had an active warrant for murder.

COPA concluded the officers engaged in a troubling pattern of misconduct and called for their dismissal. Chicago Police Superintendent Larry Snelling last month told the oversight agency he was setting in motion the process for firing the officers.

The officers’ attorney said they “were under an intense amount of pressure to get guns off the streets” and “were trying to do the right thing.” [Chicago Sun-Times]

3. A Chicago City Council committee pushes for safety standards for electric bikes, e-scooters and lithium-ion batteries

An ordinance that advanced out of the Committee on License and Consumer Protection today would allow fines for failing to meet safety certifications or for selling lithium-ion batteries that have been reassembled with cells from used batteries, my colleague Tessa Weinberg reports for WBEZ.

Ald. Debra Silverstein, 50th Ward and chair of the committee, pointed to lithium-ion batteries being one of the leading causes of fire in New York City. She said she would like to see Chicago require lithium-ion batteries follow advanced safety regulations like those in New York.

Though the Chicago area hasn’t seen a rash of fires on the same scale, investigators earlier this year found a Park Ridge house fire that caused $150,000 in damage was the result of a lithium-ion battery in an e-bike exploding while it was being charged.

Fires that erupt from the batteries are “not like a regular flame,” Patrick Cleary, president of the Chicago Fire Fighters Union, told WBEZ. “It propels itself and it continues. And then even after they’re put out they can start to regenerate heat again and start up again, especially with cars.” [WBEZ]

4. The Chicago Loop Alliance’s safety and hospitality ambassadors program expands for the summer

The advocacy group’s program will expand to the central Loop — beyond its focus on State Street in past years — during the busy summer tourism and festival season and the Democratic National Convention in August, Amy Yee reports for the Chicago Sun-Times.

Unarmed paid ambassadors wearing yellow and black uniforms are trained in de-escalation tactics and help prevent violence, illegal activity and “unwanted behavior.”

Loop Alliance ambassadors will cover the central Loop from Dearborn Street to Canal Street and Ida B. Wells Drive to Wacker Drive during afternoons and evenings, five days a week. They will supplement State Street ambassadors, who focus on State Street from Ida B. Wells to Wacker Drives seven days a week. The Magnificent Mile Association, another downtown advocacy group, also organizes an ambassador program. [Chicago Sun-Times]

5. Chicagoans are indulging in cicada snacks

Blanched cicadas apparently taste like asparagus.

Some bug enthusiasts see the periodical insects’ arrival as an opportunity to try a new snack and introduce people to cultures that eat insects regularly, Mary Norkol reports for the Chicago Sun-Times.

“Like any self-respecting American, I’m going to deep fry them in a little beer batter,” Geoff Marshall, an Albany Park nature lover who works in marketing, told the newspaper. “Anything’s good in garlic butter, right? I’m hoping it’ll be kind of like popcorn shrimp.”

Like crickets and ants, cicadas are edible — though people with shellfish allergies should avoid them as they could cause a reaction similar to eating crab or shrimp.

Cicadas can be prepared in numerous ways, including simple roasts to placing them on pizza. [Chicago Sun-Times]

Here’s what else is happening

  • Boeing’s Starliner capsule and crew launch into space. [NPR]
  • McDonald’s lost its burger trademark in the European Union. [AP]
  • United Airlines is hiring in Chicago — but slower than during the last two years. [AP]
  • Two Chicago Public Schools grads — and lifelong neighbors — are heading to Stanford in the fall. [Chicago Sun-Times]

Oh, and one more thing …

When Kim Gordon comes to Chicago on Saturday to perform songs off her new record The Collective, she won’t be appearing at Metro or the Riviera or even a summer music festival. Instead the iconic former leader of Sonic Youth, now two albums into an acclaimed solo career, is performing in a cemetery. In front of a mausoleum. Surrounded by 1,500 adoring and utterly alive fans, Alison Cuddy writes for WBEZ.

This is Gordon’s second time playing Chicago’s Bohemian National Cemetery. Both shows are part of a series called Beyond the Gate, run by Empty Bottle Presents, which has been bringing musicians to the North Side cemetery for more than 10 years.

“You’re confronted with the circle of life, with the finality of life, and it really is a unique tone for a concert,” Brent Heyl of the Empty Bottle and 16 on Center, who programs Beyond the Gate, told WBEZ. “There are artists out there where it makes absolute sense to appreciate their music within that setting and really reflect on, you know, perhaps it’s corny, but just to reflect on life in general. It’s a very deep experience.” [WBEZ]

Tell me something good …

What summer treats are you most looking forward to?

Joyce writes:

“The Hoagie Shop in Morgan Park has the most delicious tasting hand packed black walnut ice cream. Absolutely phenomenal !!!”

Jerry writes:

“Can’t wait for the summer stone fruit at neighborhood stores and Farmer’s Markets in various communities.”

Feel free to email me, and your response may be included in the newsletter this week.

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