This Is Your Life, Justin Kaufmann | WBEZ
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Afternoon Shift

Afternoon Shift: This Is Your Life, Justin Kaufmann

(Courtesy of Niala Bhoodoo)

This Is Your Life, Justin Kaufmann

You may know him as our Executive Producer of talk programming, or as a regular fill in host, but WBEZ staffers know him as doing practically every job here, including producing more than 20 different shows. Other folks in the media know him as that crazy guy who goes nuts at 16-inch softball matches, bowling games and trivia bowl. As Justin gets ready for a new gig, we send him off in style with this show honoring his career at WBEZ.


'Hawks eye top playoff spot and Wrigley restoration woes continue

The Blackhawks are flying high after a string of wins! They’ve gone from possible wild card contenders to having a real shot at winning the Central Division outright. Can they skate their way to the number one seed? As usual, we turn to WBEZ's Cheryl Raye-Stout for all things sports.

Guest: Cheryl Raye-Stout is WBEZ’s sports contributor. 

Divvy is expanding, but still skips over entire neighborhoods  

Chicago’s Divvy bike share system is expanding starting this month. Its 176 new bike stations will reach into the south and west sides of the city. But even with more than 1,500 new bikes on the road, there are entire neighborhoods that still don’t have access. Shawn Conley is the chairman of the Major Taylor Cycling Club, which has most of its members on the south side. He talks to us about what a southside expansion will mean for its members.

Guest: Shawn Conley is the chairman of the Major Taylor Cycling Club.

USPS is honoring Mexican-American Martin Ramirez with a stamp featuring his art

You may know him as our Executive ProducerNorman Rockwell, Georgia O’Keefe, and Frida Kahlo are all artists who have been featured on U.S. postage stamps. While the stamp may be small in size, it’s a big deal for an artist to have their work featured. The latest person to receive the honor is Martin Ramirez, a Mexican-American artist who spent most of his life in psychiatric hospitals and is known for his drawings and collages. His work shows scenes from his life in Mexico and it’s almost dizzyingly geometric. Victor Espinosa is a sociology lecturer at Ohio State University and has researched Ramirez’s work for his forthcoming book Martin Ramirez: Framing his Life and Art. He discusses Ramirez’s legacy.

Guest: Victor Espinosa is a sociology lecturer at Ohio University and the author of, “Martin Ramirez: Framing his Life and Art.” 

Front and Center: Ice stalls Great Lakes shipping

It’s the start of spring shipping season for the Great Lakes. It’s historically the busiest time of year for the more than 100 ports and commercial docks. But for the second year in a row, the season is off to a slow start. Ice still covers much of the lakes and most ports don’t expect to see international cargo ships for another two weeks. For Front and Center, WBEZ’s Claudia Morell has more.

Guest: Claudia Morell is reporting for Front and Center. 

Tech Shift: ComEd to use drones to inspect power lines

Drones are coming to Chicago this summer and they might just be flying in your neighborhood. ComEd has received approval from the FAA to use drones for power line inspections. It all starts in the south suburbs this summer. ComEd will use drones crafted by students and professors at IIT, the Illinois Institute of Technology. With cameras attached to them for video and photos, the mini flying machines are expected to provide an in-depth look at power line failures. Matthew Spenko is an associate professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at IIT and the director of the Robotics Lab. He joins us in studio.

Guest: Matthew Spenko is an associate professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at IIT.

Chinatown may be in store for a new supermarket

You may know him as our Executive ProducerPlans are in the early works for a new, massive supermarket near Chinatown. According to a Crain's Chicago Business report, investors say they want to build a new 47,000 square foot store within walking distance for the Chinese community. Crain's reporter Ally Marotti joins us with details on the proposed development.

Guest: Ally Marotti is a reporter for Crain’s Chicago Business.

Despite downward trends Chicago sees spike in gun violence 

It's been a deadly first quarter in some of Chicago's most distressed neighborhoods. Despite annual trends which have suggested an overall decline from previous years, gun violence has spiked through the first few months of 2015. Jeremy Gorner is a crime reporter for the Chicago Tribune and he unpacks the numbers and the concerns surrounding the issue.

Guest: Jeremy Gorner is a crime reporter for the Chicago Tribune.

Mayoral candidates respond to new crime stats

Crime in Chicago has become the topic of the day in the race for mayor. Incumbent Mayor Rahm Emanuel says he’d keep Garry McCarthy as Police Superintendent if he’s re-elected, though Cook County Commissioner Chuy Garcia criticized Emanuel as there’s been an increase in shootings in the city this year. WBEZ reporter Tony Arnold joins us in studio to break down the two campaigns’ response.

Guest: Tony Arnold is a WBEZ reporter.


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