Monday, February 28, 2011

Spaces with Eva Bergant

There were nine closings in Bucktown/Wicker Park this week.
Two were detached single family homes and seven were attached homes:

1639 N Honore 4 bedroom 3 ½ bath 3 story home built in 1993 with garage $730,000

1912 N Hoyne 4 bedroom 3 ½ bath built in 2000 with garage and roof deck pergola $875,000

1857 W Armitage #3 1 bedroom 1 bath 1 parking spot, Foreclosure $82,000

1542 N Wood #1F 2 bedroom 2 ½ bath 2 garage spot, duplex condo Foreclosure $290,000

2300 W Wabansia #337 2 bedroom 2 bath 1 garage spot, duplex, penthouse condo $381,000

1404 N Paulina #A 2 bedroom 2 ½ bath 1 parking spot penthouse duplex condo $420,000

1725 W Division #302 2 bedroom 2 ½ bath 1 parking spot, duplex lofted condo Short Sale $440,000

1915 W Crystal #1 3bedroom 2 ½ bath 1 garage spot, duplex down condo $575,000

1736 W Le Moyne #1 3 bedroom 2 ½ bath 1 garage spot duplex down condo, new not occupied $614,400

These condos are all done with modern interiors.

*** Information sourced from MREDLLC; 2/27/11. Attached Property and Detached Property residential Bucktown (Ashland, Western, Fullerton, North) and WickerPark (Ashland, Western, North, Division)

Have a topic you'd like to see explored or a real estate question send it in.

If you have a topic you'd like to see explored, or would like more information on properties currently on the market, or selling your home, drop me a note at

About Eva:

Eva Bergant is a Bucktown resident and local Realtor with a community driven style. In addition to being the president of the Bucktown Community Organization (BCO), Eva has served as chair for the annual Bucktown Garden Walk for the past three years. You can reach Eva by email or at 312-543-6819.

Saturday Night: Phlash Shoots Congress Theatre, Cobra Lounge

I feel like it's Riot Fest all over again. Here is Phlash shooting a few bands this past Saturday night.

In no particular order are Dropkick Murphys at Congress, and Naked Raygun, who played earlier in the night at the Congress, and then ended their night at the Cobra Lounge.

Bonus Phlash Images

More images by Phlash.

This morning he drove me to work and we had a "team meeting," but not before he took a photo of me opening the car door...

I can't imagine the pipeline without Phlash.

Images from First Ward Election Night Party

Philin Phlash popped by First Ward Alderman Proco Joe Moreno's election night party at VLive this past Tuesday night.

Here's a few pics.

Phlash Shoots Rahm Election Day/Night

Photos by Philin Phlash shot this past Tues. Feb. 22, 2011.

WPC Membership Meeting, Wed. March 2

(all content, below, by the WPC)

WPC Membership Meeting
Field House, Wednesday, March 2, 7:00 pm

· 2011 Budget Proposal/ Approval

· P&D Presentation/Vote: 2127 W. Schiller

And, from last month’s cancelled meeting…. Come learn about the Center for Neighborhood Technology. CNT is a non-profit eco-tech organization that develops stainable strategies for Midwest communities. Come learn how much Wicker Park is a green, eco-friendly neighborhood. You can find CNT right here in Wicker Park at 2125 W. North Ave.!!

Join your neighbors for an interesting program, informative discussion and some food for the soul and for the stomach.

"Around and Around" Release Party:: Arts of Life Band at the Hideout

(Images courtesy of Ryan Shuquem of Arts of Life) VIDEO

DOWNLOAD mp3 1 –

DOWNLOAD mp3 2 -



CHICAGO - January 1st, 2010

The Arts of Life Band, the most exciting band made up of collaborating artists with and without disabilities in the United States, is set to release a new recording on March 10th.

They are releasing a t-shirt/ download card package to be sold for $12. The release show is March 10th at Chicago’s Hide Out at 1354 W. Wabansia. The door charge for this event will be $12 and include the t-shirt/download card package for FREE. The Arts of Life Band will also show their new video for the song “Shark Attack.” Support will be provided by Project Onward’s band, DHF Express. The headliner is Bobby Conn.

The Arts of Life Band makes danceable party music with a rock edge. It is an ongoing collaborative project between disabled and non-disabled artists in the Chicago area, based out of the Arts of Life community of artists. Local musicians participate from area favorites Lamajamal, Reddelicious, Loto Ball Show, and Mucca Pazza. The Arts of Life Band performs at local events and fundraisers, and does rock concerts at venues such as the Empty Bottle and the Double Door.

“Around and Around” will include two different recording sessions done in 2010 from two different studios. Coach House Sounds recorded a basement session one Saturday afternoon in September that is raw and full of boisterous energy. CPE Sound’s Tom DeFlumere worked with the band earlier in the year and did a more polished studio recording. CPE Sound is a one-stop shop for rehearsal space, last-minute gear purchases and rentals, and your recording and showcase needs. Coach House Sounds records quality live sessions of local Chicago artists that they’re interested in and broadcasts them over the web.

The T-Shirt is designed by Chicago artist Josh Davis using artwork from Arts of Life band members Jean Wilson and Mike Marino.

This will be the second self-released recording from the Arts of Life band. Their first record came out in October 2008. In October 2009 they were included on a compilation out of the UK called Wild Things, compiled by punk band, Heavy Load. Wild Things has over 30 bands with disabled members from around the world. With the release of the compilation, the Arts of Life band has become part of an international movement of rock and rollers with intellectual disabilities. Heavy Load has gained international recognition in the disability community and is inspiring hundreds of creative people with disabilities to start or join bands. The Arts of Life Band hopes to do the same in the United States and help to increase the presence and connections in this movement.


Mailbag: An Educator Responds to an Administrator

As a former resident of the 1st Ward and having been a former teacher at a CPS school and at a charter school, I’d like to “comment on the state of public education in Chicago” in response to the 1st Ward administrator at a charter school, who is also a resident of Bucktown.

First of all, you feel Pipeline didn’t do enough research, but I guess it’s okay for our new Mayor to get his facts wrong about the best-performing schools being charter schools. None of them are charter schools. What’s more scary is that this happened before Election Day and he still won.

I’m sure you didn’t mean to sound condescending when you made your suggestion to Pipeline about doing more research, but it sounded that way to a former educator from Chicago. You’re only an administrator, which means you have no clue what goes on in the classrooms. You wrote charter schools have “the freedom to manage [their] budget as [they] see fit, hire and fire teachers as [they] see fit, and develop curriculum and instructional methods, based on research, to educate [their] students.”

You say nothing about what’s best for the students. It’s all about how you see it. Not only do you get money from CPS, you also get “donations” from very rich benefactors, whose names are attached to the school. Therefore, you’re not being 100% truthful when you say that charter schools function on less money than CPS schools. I’ve seen administrators in charter schools use their money to decorate their offices with new furniture, pay for alcoholic beverages at holiday parties and retreats and use it for unnecessary non-student related expenses, while I’ve been asked to reconsider a text because there wasn’t enough money for it. Charter schools are all about profit, as are all schools, public and private. In all honesty, teachers and staff are let go for personal reasons and/or they’ve become too expensive, which is something CPS has started doing, as well, but they have to make sure to get rid of the teacher right before they reach tenure or blatant lies are made about them to get rid of them if they’re already tenured.

When I applied to be a part of the charter school system, I was assured that I’d be able to teach the way I wanted to teach, without the traditional constraints. Well, there were some serious constraints. I was also led to believe charter schools exist so that neighborhood kids had a better alternative for their education. You know what I saw? I saw special education students being treated like they didn’t matter. I saw regular education students treated like they didn’t matter and only those students who were exceptional were awarded for achieving high test scores, but realistically, there aren’t as many of those in low economically disadvantaged neighborhoods, and it has nothing to do with whether it’s charter or CPS. It’s only about money. Charter schools follow a "business model ," not a "teaching model" and teachers and staff are overworked and micromanaged, yet, the ones who believe in their students and always put students first, will ultimately pay in the end.

I’ve seen teachers and staff who always put students first and are phenomenal at what they do and they’re fired. There are so many teachers and staff at charter schools who are scared about losing their jobs that they’ll go with the flow, even though they disagree. They’ll even make up lies about their colleagues, if it’ll save their jobs. Yes, it’d be fantastic if all students could go to college, graduate and become successful, but that’s unrealistic. What about those kids who don’t want to go? I’ll tell you what happens to them. They’re pushed out to go somewhere else because charter schools don’t want those kinds of kids in their schools, which means the purpose of charter schools is not being followed.

I don’t want to say there aren’t any positives to charter schools, because there are. For instance, charter schools do provide opportunities for students to visit and help get into good colleges; they have state of the art computer equipment and healthier food choices. Charter schools also provide rigorous instruction in ninety minute classes where they’re supposed to sit still, in order to prepare them for college. For me, the best part of charter schools are the students. I’ve worked at CPS, so I can say that these kids are exceptional. Truly exceptional and yet, I’ve had administrators and colleagues say they are the worst, and that’s because they’ve never student taught or worked in a CPS school.

And if you really, truly believe that charter schools are not franchises? Again, you’re not being honest. If there’s one thing I’ve witnessed in the past few years are the number of new charter schools within networks that keep cropping up, but aren’t doing substantially better in test scores than other neighborhood CPS schools. It seems that no one at city hall or the government can figure it out. You have a former CEO of CPS in Washington D.C. in charge of our country’s education, who’s never taught. We’ve also had a former CEO of CTA who recently resigned from CPS who clearly wasn’t qualified to do either of the jobs, who also never taught. What it comes down to is quality teachers, administrators and staff who put students first. Students are students no matter what or where they’re from, and in my experience, you can take the worst student and make them believe in him or herself, and they’ll eventually get it because they want it. You can’t save them all, but even those kids who are privileged fail, too. At any educational level, without proper support, it fails.

I can’t tell you the number of stellar educators and staff who’ve been let go for personal reasons and not for their quality of work. Perhaps, you’re not like that, but if that were the case, your charter school would be in the top ten because teachers and staff will do anything for a boss who appreciates them and actually let’s them do their jobs. No one ever asks the students what they want, what works for them or how they feel. I’m always rooting for the educational system to overcome the obstacles that bring it down. It’s not the test scores that create the best person or worker in the future; it’s more than that. When that’s figured out, the state of education in Chicago will improve.

-Just an honest educator

Sunday, February 27, 2011

McIdea Today

Inspiration sometimes comes on a placemat. Just kidding. Well, I did have an idea to make the pipeline more fun today while sitting at McDonald's enjoying a Shamrock Shake and the Sunday newspapers.

2011 Nelson Algren Birthday Party Details

(All content, below, lifted from this site. I am hosting it here so I can link to it in listings)

The 2011 Nelson Algren Birthday Party will be March 26th, at Wicker Park Art Center... 2215 W. North Ave. at 8 pm.
10 bucks admission 7 for students with an ID and Seniors.... and if you're broke... come any way.

All are welcome, and there will be a cash bar. This year will feature stride piano champion Erwin Helfer, the band Chloe, writer Mike Jones, and the beautiful Delphine-as Simone De Beauvoir, and our own poet Charlie Newman. Actor extraordinnaire Richard Henzel. This years Algren award winners, and actor Gary Houston doing his impeccable Algren.
Video, photos, and art and Lots more- and we'll update as more comes in..
Spread the word. See you dere, the Nelson Algren Committee FOR MORE INFO CALL 773 235 4267
Warren Leming, Vice Chairman, The Nelson Algren Committee

Summary Report: The 21st Annual Nelson Algren Birthday Party, March 27, 2010

The Nelson Algren Committee, now in its 21st year, held what may have been its best birthday party ever under the auspices of Laura Weathered’s St. Paul’s Cultural Center, at 2215 W. North Avenue. It featured a rich and lively mixture of performance, literary discussion, anecdote, imagery, music and memory, brought together in an atmosphere of openness and spontaneity.

The evening was dedicated to the late Howard Zinn, author of A People’s History of the United States, who was honored by a poem and short presentation by Committee members Warren Leming and Hugh Iglarsh, respectively. Zinn not only wrote history, he also made it as a committed civil rights leader and anti-war activist. His work makes an interesting companion piece to Algren’s own Chicago: City on the Make, which is very much a people’s history of our own city.

The centerpiece of every party is the giving of the Nelson Algren Committee Awards to local artists and activists who have demonstrated “ a conscience in touch with humanity.” Award winners this year were green advocate Erika Allen, veteran film presenter and preservationist James Bond and stride piano legend Erwin Helfer. Each gave short, pointed talks on their work and its relationship to the Algren legacy. Helfer showed his gratitude by playing several crowd-pleasing piano compositions.

The academic community was represented at this year’s event by scholar and University of Michigan doctoral candidate Nathaniel Mills, who gave an informative talk on some of the more subtle political dimensions of Algren’s fiction. He was joined by prize-winning author and DePaul University creative writing instructor Bayo Ojikutu, who read from his hard-hitting, Chicago-based novel, Free Burning.

Poets Charlie Newman (also a Committee member), Paul Ryan and John Goode favored the audience with a rousing recitation of poetry in the Algren vein. They were joined by Walter Plumer, who read from his own work and spoke of his connection to J.J. Jameson/Norman Porter, the poet and Algren enthusiast who now languishes in a Massachusetts prison.

In what proved to be one of the most moving moments of the evening, Algren fan Orsolya Bene gave a short talk on what Algren’s work has meant to her, and issued an appeal for help with her research. Former UPI reporter Max Vanzi spoke of his debt to Algren and his long-term, long-distance relationship with the Committee. On his own dime, he came all the way from Sacramento, California to take part in the festivities. And past Algren Committee Award winner David Williams visited us from Madison, Wisconsin to discuss the importance of Algren in understanding the current situation.

French-born novelist Delphine Pontvieux gave a moving reading of Simone de Beauvoir’s letters to her lover Algren, and spoke about the relationship, one of the great romances of the 20th century – and soon to be the subject of a movie starring Johnny Depp as Algren.

Photographer and long-time Algren companion Art Shay, along with documentarian and Columbia College Professor Michael Caplan, spoke gently and graciously about Algren’s life and work, accompanied by photos and a trailer of Caplan’s upcoming film about Algren.

Actors Richard Henzel and Charles Richards did stellar turns as beatnik bard Lord Buckley and Algren respectively. They were joined by pianist Jonathan Menchin and author Kurt Jacobsen. The Algren dialogue, based on the book Conversations with Nelson Algren, was edited by Committee member Hugh Iglarsh, who also co-wrote the extensive program notes with fellow member Warren Leming.

Alice Prus and Nina Gaspich of the Committee provided birthday cake, song, goodwill and stellar performances at the sales table where tickets were taken and Algren wares and lore dispensed as the occasion arose. A non-documented but very real aspect of every Algren fest is the intense conversation that ensues, as performers and audience members join in discussions of the themes uncovered by the event.

John Garvey and Larry Jones provided offstage musical help and cheered the evening on. Webmaster Bill Bentley was able to get all the requisite information ready well before the event occurred. He – along with Ms. Weathered and the Committee – got the word out via conversation, advertisements, listings, radio, a poster or two, electronic signage and the Internet. The result was a gathering of over 100 Algren party veterans and novices – a mixed multitude from near and far, joined by their admiration for the author who understood Chicago like nobody else.

Max Vanzi is a retired writer/journalist living in Sacramento, California. Max covered the Far East and points between for the wire services as a foreign correspondent. Hes an Algren fan, and spent a weekend with the Committee during the last Algren Birthday party. He's done us the honor of a piece on the Committee, Algren's legacy, and his time in Chicago.

Newly available was the Nelson Algren “mugshot mug,” an unholy grail bearing the iconic jailhouse picture of Algren, along with the Committee’s URL. It proved to be a popular souvenir of the event. The mug project – along with the party itself – was in part made possible by the Wicker Park-Bucktown SSA #33, which has once again extended its generous support to our community venture.

As the guests departed into the Chicago night, most seemed exhilarated by their contact with Algren’s art and impressed by his continuing relevance. Like Algren’s best work, the party isn’t always slick but is every moment real. As one older partygoer noted enthusiastically, “I didn’t think things like this existed anymore” – a sentiment shared by many of those who attended.

And The Award for Best Storefront Display Goes To...

New Year, New Digs for Atomic Sketch

I'd first heard about Atomic Sketch, a monthly 'Drink N' Draw," from Kelly D. Pelka, an artist and youth art teacher with a studio in Oak Park.

Though it took me awhile to finally venture into a bar to cover something, when I did, back in September, it was obvious that Atomic Sketch is one of those gatherings which can draw a good crowd, and for good reasons.

Artists do a little drinking. And a lot of sketching. As they finish a piece, they tape it up to a wall, usually with a price-tag of $5 or $10, not to exceed $50.

The art then gets snapped up. 100% of the commission goes to the artist.

Three curators, including Brian who also works at D/Vision and always wears cool eyeglasses, manage the sales.

Held on the last Thursday of every month, the event recently moved from the evilOlive to the Green Eye Lounge, which is not too trendy, not too far away, and along my way home from daytime paycheck excitement. I think that's another way of saying win-win-win, to use CubeSpeak. In the next Pipeline (because we decided that it was too Sesame Street to have a thematic Alphabet letter guiding the issue, like "M" is for Magic), we are going to turn a spotlight on the color green, as well as under-the-radar people, places, and things. Thus, Atomic Sketch and the Green Eye will fit right in!

Following are a few images. The guy drawing in the v-neck sweater is John Ashton Golden.

Welcome to 2011: The Year of the Parking Pinch

Forget the Year of the Rabbit.

In Wicker Park, it's more like the Year of the Parking Space, or Lack Thereof.

Or, it could also be called The Year of the Displaced Historic Banks [thanks, Scott Trotter, for shedding light on the fact that everything but banks are moving into bank buildings these days]

Either way, now that the Election is over, it's safe to say that there's lots of Real Estate Development surfacing in the neighborhood's proverbial "pipeline," and where one stands on the matter is directly related to your WIFM ["what's in it for me?"]

Are you a restaurant who will benefit from the increased foot traffic and addition of a few hundred extra people to the neighborhood?

Are you a dry cleaner or doctor or pawn shop that would welcome foot traffic?

Are you a cabbie eager for a new drop off point?

Are you a resident who already has a difficult time trying to park your car?

Are you an existing local business whose clientele and bottom line could be directly affected by the erecting of a competitor within less than a block away?

Are you an existing business who has just lost your lease on a parking lot that your customers have been using for many years, so that a new development can be moved into the place where your customers used to park?

Are you a longtime renter afraid that the area's continued redevelopment will continue to raise your landlord's property taxes and eventually price you out of your own home, and the neighborhood you've been pretending to "cover" these past two years?

Are you a broker who will receive millions from the sealing of a new deal?

Are you a yuppie who wants more chain stores, and less unique places in Wicker Park you can't find anywhere else?

Are you a corporation from out-of-state eying Wicker Park's "demographics" and eager to put your brand in front of this market segment?

I guess it's all relative.

Change is part of life. But it doesn't always mean that we have to take it gracefully, especially when we're not sure about the forces that propel change forward. Transparency in government is important. On a local level, a lot of gunk can get in the way of reporting on the stories with the broadest scope and greatest ramifications for the neighborhood. Or, shall I say 'Rahm'ifications?

Let's begin with the Bloomingdale Trail.

We all agree it would be awesome. But is it necessary? Can we as a city afford to be spending millions of dollars on something that is not necessary in the midst of an economic crisis? Teachers and policemen are necessary. Trails are extraneous. And don't get me wrong, I love trails, and in particular I love the Bloomingdale Trail. Here is a shot of it at sunset, and an anonymous woman just playing around.

The Making of 'That Bitch'

I 'popped' into Pop Art Chicago on the second floor of the Flat Iron building this past Saturday.

Maybe more on this in the next pipeline, but here's PAC owner, Michel Balasis, working on 'That Bitch.'

Friday, February 25, 2011

Crosell & Co. Closing

More sad news on Damen...

Crosell & Co., 1922 N. Damen, will be closing its Bucktown store.

Click here for more info and substantial closing sale savings.

Spring into Virtu

Yesterday I whined here about being uninspired by politics.

Today I decided we'll focus on indie shops in the next pipeline.

Let's begin with Virtu.

Here's Virtu's latest news.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Cheers to Da Present

In the last pipeline I mentioned that interested parties could check out this blog later in the week for election day coverage.

Well, I'm going back on my word.

If I'm not inspired, I can't write. (But I can still write about what I'm not writing about and why I didn't write about it, if that makes any sense!)

This past election was not inspiring on many levels.

But that's just my opinion.

Even Phlash, who I'd go as far as calling Rahm's biggest fan, isn't as much for Rahm as he is for what Rahm represents: the mayor's office.

Here is Phlash lecturing me on Apathy, early in the election season, when Danny Davis was still in the running.

I guess whatever I'm trying to say, is that whoever is at the helm, ours is a city in pain.

Our neighborhood schools are undergoing what could only be described as a painful metamorphosis as good teachers are being laid off for the simple reason that there's not enough money in the budget to pay them for educating our children, whom, if you haven't heard, are the future.

Our local streets are safer than they used to be on many levels, but there is an element of danger in any city, especially a city in economic pain.

Our taxes are being used on city jobs and for extraneous services that we as citizens are not aware of, or do not have the time in which to report on due to the fact we have to have a job to do ourselves, and it has nothing to do with the neighborhood, but everything to do with providing my food and shelter, a fact I should tattoo to my forehead for inspiration lest I forget. Cause sometimes I forget.

The good news is that our elected officials and their challengers are done squabbling with each other-- or rather, I should say that the challengers to incumbent-turned-aldermen Proco Joe Moreno and Scott Waguespack, of the first and thirty-two wards, respectively, have presumably receded back into the gigs they had before the election season drove them into a campaign heavy sabbatical.

What this means for us average Joes and Jolinas, is that there will not be a run-off. Both said alderman remained confidant and kept any fistfuls of mud to themselves, enabling them to receive their lion's share of the voting public's vote-- see the percentages by which they won (props to Moreno for including this link in the 'Victory' e-newsletter he sent out yesterday)
so there will thankfully not be a 6-week Run-Off wherein the campaigners spend even more money on their marketing and advertising in hopes of winning over the majority through name recognition and PR.

But I digress!

We are thankful here at Pipeline 'HQ' that the two incumbents for the wards in our e-newsletter's "coverage area" retained their seats. As six-year residents of the first ward, we had no doubt in our mind that Ald. Proco Joe Moreno would win by a (caution: Stevie Nicks might explode onto your screen) landslide.

We are also glad that Waguespack retained his seat by earning a decent margin over the requisite 51%.

But, back to why so few of us citizens showed up at the polls.

Would it be incorrect to say that we didn't care?

Maybe we didn't see or feel the impact of WIFM?

WFIM means "What's in it for me?" and people only really muster the energy to do things when they see a benefit for themselves, no matter how much they insist otherwise.

I learned about WIFM at my cube job, but it's one of those universal lessons.

The historic election AND historic low turnout just means that most of Chicago didn't see our next Mr. Mayor as being able to do something for them. Chicago had about an 11% voter turnout, which of that Rahm received 5.5%, thus it was only a small fraction of Chicago which made Rahm "feel at home" by voting him into office. Rahm mustn't confuse being voted in with popularity.

We saw Rahm as able to do a lot for big business, for our president in Washington, for our mailboxes which he filled with slick full-color four page circulars, for our TV screens where we saw his face again and again as our news waves were dominated by a silly debate of whether or not this man is an actual resident of our city that he is trying to run.

If change comes from within, we need to strengthen our city's core.

If change comes from outside, our center may not hold.

If change comes at all, and it's for the better, I'll be surprised.

In four years, I'll want Rahm to prove me wrong.

In four years, I want Moreno and Waguespack to have done bigger and better things for the people of our neighborhood, so that more of us feel the WIFM and go to the polls to vote them back into their seats.

But that's the future, and one can only speculate.

All any of us has got is Today. And it really is the greatest day.

On this note, I scramble to my cubicle. Without knowing if anything I just wrote makes any sense at all, or if anyone is actually reading it. I just know it feels true to me, so I posted it into cyberspace. Whether or not it's true to anyone else is up for debate.

In any case, Happy Thursday.
Make it a day worth living.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Week Past, the Week Ahead

Our Feb. 22, 2001 issue actually came out on time today!

The reason is because I was in too much pain to wander on Sunday, so I got to work on the next pipeline and many contributors sent their stories in early.

Thus, I am super happy to have a chill Tuesday night.


Mailbag: A resident responds to last week's issue

In last week's pipeline I wrote a few lines on charter schools and received the following response from a fellow First Ward resident who is also a charter school administrator.

As a resident of the 1st Ward and an administrator at a charter school, I'd like to respond to your less than complete description of the state of charter schools in the City of Chicago. Charter schools are not like "franchises", they do not make a profit, and they believe in education public school students just as much as our colleagues at traditional public schools. Charter schools receive less money per pupil than traditional public schools, but do have freedom that traditional public schools do not have, like the freedom to manage our budget as we see fit, hire and fire teachers as we see fit, and develop curriculum and instructional methods, based on research, to educate our students.

In return for these freedoms (and less money than our traditional public school counterparts), Chicago Public Schools require that we show - through standardized testing like the ISAT and other approved assessment tools - that our students are learning. Often, those tests and assessment tools show that public students in charter schools are learning, and learning quite a bit.

I hope that you will do more research than just checking in the dictionary next time you comment on the state of public education in Chicago.

-Resident of Buckto

Art Opening: Impasto, Fri. March 4

Impasto, an exhibition featuring work by two Coalition Gallery artists for 2010-2011, opens Friday March 4.

An opening reception will take place from 6 to 9PM on the 4th.

Info on Impaso's Artists: Dimitri Pavlotsky (it looks like domain name for site just expired) and Jori Foreman

Curated by Allison Stites, Impasto is an exhibition featuring works by these two “painterly” painters. Both Pavlotsky and Foreman create works which thrive within the materiality of paint, referencing a number of sources, from traditional figure painting and Abstract Expressionism, to the street art of Chicago. Though Pavlotsky nods to representation while Foreman navigates abstraction, the painters share a fondness for process and layers which manifests in sculptural low-relief on the canvas.

Opening reception Friday, March 4, 2011 (6:30 – 9:00pm)
Impasto continues through Friday, April 8, 2011.
Pictured is "Young Gardener" by Dimitri Pavlotsky

Gallery Hours: Tuesday-Friday, 12pm to 5pm and Saturday, 12pm to 6pm, or by appointment. Ph. 773.772.2385. (Also open until 8pm on the first Friday of each month).

Coalition Gallery is located in Wicker Park at 2010 W Pierce Ave, Suite 102, Chicago. (One minute walk from Blue Line Damen El Stop.)

Monday, February 21, 2011

What Does Rahm's Body Language Say?

Today, as I took the bus to work, Phlash told me that he met Rahm over this past weekend.

While I could write about his reaction to Rahm, I do not want to give too much attention to a politician. Not during election season, speaking of which there is a big election tomorrow, which, by the time I send this email out, will probably be today.

Remember to type in your address and name and see if you are in active status, and where you can vote. If you have had a new name since the last election, bring, I'm guessing, your social security card. I wish I had time to look that up, but I have miles to go until Pat proofs the next issue, and I must start getting more sleep more often. Weekend sleep hours cannot be carried over into the workweek, though that would be fantastic.

Oh, back to the tag-line of this blog. Why is Rahm's left fist clenched so tight in both of these photos? An open palm on one hand, and a clenched palm on the other. Is this one way to restore order in our city? Or a leader of hard knocks and clocks? Is it common to clench one's fist while standing? I guess I need to do a bit more research on fist clenching and how it applies to body language in political candidates. Click on any photo to enlarge it.

OK, back to the other 90% of the Pipeline that is not Rahm. This week we introduce readers to Ron Baltierra, a candidate for First Ward Alderman who was somewhat under the radar, at least to me, until Phlash encountered Baltierra in an alley and snapped a few pics that I'm about to look at next.