Good morning, Chicago.
As a candidate for Chicago mayor in the Feb. 28 election, Paul Vallas is promoting himself as a hard-charging change agent who has turned around troubled schools in Chicago, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Connecticut and Haiti.
But a deeper look at Vallas’ long history in government and education shows a leader who has faced questions about the results he has left behind.
While Vallas has been praised by some for boosting student test scores, straightening out day-to-day finances and restoring discipline to a Chicago school system once deemed the nation’s worst, he also has been criticized for over-stressing the importance of test scores, and he’s been asked to defend his handling of the district’s pension payments and for expanding school privatization and charter schools — ideas that have aged less well as union power has grown.
The critical words haven’t just come from his mayoral opponents. They’ve come from across the country.
Read the full story from the Tribune’s Ray Long and Gregory Pratt.
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Fewer places have seen more high-profile gentrification fights than Uptown. Protests of the redevelopment of the Weiss Hospital parking lot led to arrests last summer. Other fights have broken out over a luxury development at the corner of Montrose and Clarendon avenues and the conversion of a former Chicago Public School building into high-end apartments.
All 16 candidates running in the North Side’s lakefront 46th and 48th wards have said housing affordability is a top priority.
A liberal Milwaukee judge and a conservative former state Supreme Court justice won Tuesday’s primary to face off in a pivotal Wisconsin Supreme Court race that will determine majority control with major issues looming.
Conservatives currently hold a 4-3 majority on the court and have controlled the court for 15 years. But an open seat this year gives liberals a chance to take the majority with issues like abortion access, gerrymandered legislative districts and voting rights heading into the 2024 presidential election at stake.
After debuting a new mission statement “to revitalize the great Catholic tradition of the arts,” changes at the city’s oldest continuously operating off-Loop theater have generated controversy among some small Chicago theater companies that once rented space there.
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Owned by the neighboring St. Alphonsus parish since its inception but operated independently for decades, the Athenaeum Theatre in Lakeview was long a hub for Chicago storefront theater, as well as music groups and dance companies that performed on its multiple stages.
Taking a luncheon break from what has been a life of considerable movement and accomplishments, Frank Sennett plunked himself into a booth at Club Lago, that pleasantly old-fashioned bar and restaurant in River North, and started talking about his three kids, his wife, his father and how he once wanted to be a stand-up comedian.
“It was either that or journalism,” he said. He chose wisely, writes Rick Kogan.
The Chicago Bulls crash-landed into the All-Star break on a six-game losing streak, having dropped to 11th in the Eastern Conference. The break offered a relief from their recent struggles as All-Star Weekend highlighted the growth of Ayo Dosunmu and the timeless greatness of DeMar DeRozan.
But the Bulls must turn their attention to the final 23 games of the season and the most pressing question: What happens now?
A comedy about the indignities of working as a cater-waiter, “Party Down” is back with a new season just a mere (squints) 13 years since new episodes last aired on Starz.
“This is actually the one time I’ll celebrate Hollywood’s obsession with reincarnating old IP,” writes Nina Metz. “When so much of TV’s output lately has been focused on crime or wealth — or the criminally wealthy (an oxymoron?) — it’s a breath of fresh air any time we get a show told from the point of view of working stiffs.”