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Chicago Pride

People watch the 50th Chicago Pride Parade on June 30, 2019.

Amr Alfiky/WBEZ

The Rundown: Chicago’s Pride Parade is this weekend

Plus, a new Navy Pier attraction aims to immerse guests in safari and space. Here’s what you need to know today.

Good afternoon, and happy Friday! There’s a chance for thunderstorms tonight into tomorrow morning. Here’s what else you need to know today.

1. What to know about this weekend’s Chicago Pride Parade

This year’s festivities will look a little different because of a new route and fewer organizations walking in the parade, Block Club reports.

The parade takes place 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, stepping off at Sheridan Road and Broadway in Lake View.

Several parking restrictions will be in place throughout the day.

Organizers encourage attendees to use public transportation to get to the event because of heavy traffic in the morning and afternoon. The Red Line’s Wilson, Sheridan, Addison and Belmont stops and the Brown Line’s Belmont, Wellington and Diversey stations are all nearby, along with multiple bus routes. [Block Club Chicago]

Looking for more ways to celebrate Pride? My colleague Phyllis Cha put together a list of more than 50 events, several of which take place this weekend. [WBEZ]

2. Speed cameras on the Kennedy Expressway and Illinois Tollway aren’t watching — no matter what the signs say

Drivers passing through construction zones are greeted by signs warning of “photo enforced” reduced speed limits.

But as Robert Herguth reports for the Chicago Sun-Times, there aren’t any speed cameras in work zones on the Tri-State or the other toll roads overseen by the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority. And the Kennedy hasn’t had any work zone speed enforcement cameras since construction began on the expressway early last year.

There have been few if any speeding tickets issued through the Illinois Department of Transportation’s speed cameras for several years, the Sun-Times found. State officials told the newspaper the camera equipment wasn’t working properly for some of that time and there was a gap at times between contracts with the private vendors that help run the program with the Illinois State Police and IDOT.

IDOT’s safety programs unit chief Juan Pava said catching speeders was never the signs’ aim.

“We’re not trying to give people tickets,” Pava told the Sun-Times. “We want them to slow down. The goal of this program has been compliance and safety from the get-go.” [Chicago Sun-Times]

3. Former Ald. Ed Burke’s campaign gave $100,000 to Catholic groups in the three years before he was indicted

Priests, nuns and lay church leaders were among those who went to bat for the former alderman by writing letters appealing for leniency in his corruption conviction, Robert Herguth reports for the Chicago Sun-Times.

Meanwhile, Cardinal Blase Cupich’s spokesperson said after Burke’s indictment in 2019 that they would wait to see if the former alderman would be convicted before deciding whether to return a $10,000 donation one of his campaign funds made to a Catholic charitable endeavor overseen by the Archdiocese of Chicago.

But now Cupich’s aides won’t say whether they’ve given Burke back any money after his December conviction on racketeering, bribery and attempted extortion, or if they plan to. [Chicago Sun-Times]

Burke this week was sentenced to 2 years in prison and given a $2 million fine [WBEZ/Chicago Sun-Times]

4. Hate crime levels remain stubbornly high in Chicago, a new report shows

The city reported roughly 60 annual hate crimes in the years before a surge in 2020 that has yet to subside. Last year, there were 303 — and we’re on track for another high total, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Global crises, heightened political partisanship, white nationalist propaganda and conspiracy theories may all be contributing to the increase, Chicago Commission on Human Relations Commissioner Nancy Andrade said during a City Council meeting yesterday.

And “the Israel-Hamas war is driving a sharp increase in antisemitic and Islamophobic hate crimes and hate incidents,” she added.

Jewish Chicagoans were targeted the most, followed by Black and LGBTQ+ residents, according to the report. [Chicago Tribune]

5. Navy Pier’s Illuminarium aims to immerse guests in safari and space

Visitors to the new attraction will get a 360-degree immersion into an African safari, as well as a tour through the Milky Way and far beyond — all of it projected onto the walls of an 8,000-square-foot warehouse-like space that previously housed Crystal Gardens, my colleague Stefano Esposito writes for the Chicago Sun-Times.

“Overall, we are fulfilling people’s dreams. … Most of the people who walk down Michigan Avenue have probably never been on safari, but they dream about going. It’s on their bucket list,” Alan Greenberg, Illuminarium’s co-founder and CEO, told the Sun-Times.

Meanwhile, the space experience features high-tech computer graphics that, in some cases, recreate NASA footage of the actual moon landings.

Guests wander around the space at leisure as the projected images change, and the accompanying soundtrack ranges from the Police’s “Walking on the Moon” to Strauss’ “Blue Danube.” [Chicago Sun-Times]

Here’s what else is happening

  • Here are four takeaways from last night’s presidential debate. [NPR]
  • A U.S. Supreme Court ruling made it harder for federal agencies to issue broad mandates. [NPR]
  • The former Uvalde schools police chief was indicted over his response to the 2022 mass shooting. [New York Times]
  • New census estimates reflect declining white and Black populations in Cook County. [WBEZ]

Oh, and one more thing …

Spoiler alert: If you haven’t finished watching the third season of The Bear yet, you may want to skip this section.

At the end of the last episode, Carmy (Jeremy Allen White) looks at his phone late one night and sees a review of his new restaurant, The Bear, in the Chicago Tribune. All we see are flashes of words and phrases, some seemingly good and some seemingly bad, and then Carmy says, “mother------,” and that’s the season.

So what does the review say?

NPR tried to decode the words that flashed across the screen to decide if the review was positive or negative. [NPR]

Tell me something good …

What are your favorite quick getaways in the Chicago area?

Lynn writes:

“Grand Rapids Michigan. Not too far, friendly people, lots of breweries/good beer, gorgeous Frederick Meijer Botanical Gardens and for history buffs or those who collect presidential libraries/homes as a hobby, the Gerald Ford Presidential Museum. Add a zoo, art museum, planetarium, children’s museum - there is something for everyone.”

Ann writes:

“The International Crane Foundation in Baraboo, Wisconsin, is a wonderful place to visit. It is the central clearing house for crane research world-wide and was fundamental to the saving of the whooping cranes. While much of their work requires that crane chicks not see human beings, they have at least one of every crane species on display. This is a place that lifts your heart. The last time I was there I saw a crane chick (nearly 5 feet tall by the time I visited in the fall) with its parents.

Also in Baraboo is Circus World on the original Ringling Brothers Circus site. Devil’s Lake State Park, with many recreational options, is nearby.”

And Renuka writes:

“Getaway to the Hindu temple in Lemont, IL (about 45 min off of 55) is spectacular! They’ve got the greatest pulihara (tamarind rice), idly and dosas! There’s a waterfall glen trail you can hike on after stuffing your face with yummy South Indian food!”

Thanks for all the responses this week! I’m sorry I couldn’t include them all, but it was great hearing from all of you — and now I have a long bucket list of day trips.

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