Chicago Mosaic

Logan Square teens preserve their Latino culture

By Alissa Anderegg and Stephanie Rothman

Logan Square is a trendy, up-and-coming neighborhood that has seen thriving new businesses and rising rents. But gentrification is pushing out the Latino population that has lived there for decades. According to U.S. Census data, in the last 15 years, Logan Square has seen the most Latino displacement of all 77 Chicago neighborhoods.

Young teens at the Logan Square Neighborhood Association are getting involved to try to preserve their culture in the face of gentrification. These teenage activists are speaking out against the changes that are directly affecting their families, neighbors and local businesses.

Photo at top: An installation dedicated to the heritage of Logan Square families is on display at the XingonX Cultural Festival, sponsored by the Logan Square Neighborhood Association. (Alissa Anderegg/MEDILL)

Wicker Park Bucktown gets a new master plan

By Puja Bhattacharjee

The Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce unveiled a new five-year master plan for the Special Service Area (SSA) #33. It is an update to the award-winning 2009 master plan. The new plan will aim to improve pedestrian and cycling areas, and streetscape enhancement including public art elements below the Cortland/Ashland underpass. It also plans to create a new dog park on the vacant land along the south side of North Avenue by the Damen ‘L’ stop.

Photo at top: Intersection of Damen, North and Milwaukee (Puja Bhattacharjee/MEDILL)

In a combative world, Aikido teaches defense, not aggression

By Puja Bhattacharjee

Aikido is a non-violent and non-aggressive Japanese martial art form developed by Morehei Ueshiba in the early twentieth century.

It is a comprehensive system of throwing, joint-locking, striking and pinning techniques, complemented with training in traditional Japanese weapons such as the sword, staff and knife. At places like the Japanese Culture Center in Chicago, Aikido is taught as a way  to resolve conflict in a non-lethal, yet effective manner.

Photo at top: Instructor Tatsuo Toyoda (L) works with a student at the Japanese Culture Center in Lakeview. (Puja Bhattacharjee/MEDILL)

Making science fun for eighty years

By Puja Bhattacharjee

A unique store in the Northwest Side of Chicago is helping kids bond with science. American Science and Surplus has been in business for 80 years. It stores every scientific item one can think of. It is popular with parents of school going children who often come looking for items needed in school science projects.

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Boat show makes a comeback

By Puja Bhattacharjee

The winter and rain couldn’t dampen the spirits of the hundreds who attended the 87th Chicago Boat, RV and Strictly Sail show. The show hosted at McCormick Place from January 11-15, featured over 600 boats, a dozen RVs and over 200 boating and sailing seminars.

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Chicago Mosaic: Blistering politics, Bronzeville jazz and Asian karaoke

The mosaic of Chicago rocks with blistering politics, Bronzeville jazz, contentious CHA commercial deals and Asian karaoke. Protesters face arrest at the BP refinery. Artists paint outdoor murals right across the windows of vaulting city walls. And the Internet of Things hands you remote control over a galactic system or all your wireless networks. Find more facets of Chicago Mosaic here.

Anatomy of a Protest: The Break Free from Fossil Fuels Rally

Staving off superbugs—The battle against antibiotic resistance

What to do with Chicago’s vacant public housing land

South Side students face long commutes as Chicago City Colleges consolidate programs

Englewood thrives on community gardens

Low-income taxpayers most in need of tax reform this presidential election year

Internet of Things mushrooms in Chicago thanks to Midwestern industrial infrastructure

It’s your chance for stardom in your choice of style

Conceptual art museum opens its (floating) doors

From #NeverTrump to #NeverHillary

A mosaic of murals spring to life in South Loop

Photo at top: A night image of the city of Chicago from the International Space Station. Image credit: NASA.

Chicago Pastor Bruce Ray called to a ‘disruptive’ mission

Yingxu Jane Hao

The Rev. Bruce Ray never planned to become a pastor.

Son of a Kentucky pastor in a small town in northwestern Illinois, Ray longed to become a writer. So he went to the University of Iowa to study English with an emphasis in creative writing and a minor in social work. Though his life took a transformative turn from his plan, his passion in both served him well in his ministry at the Kimball Avenue Church in Logan Square.

On one Sunday, Ray preached a sermon about Pontius Pilate’s interrogation of Jesus to a small but attentive congregation. Ray, in a dark blue white-spotted sweater, speaks in a deep and vibrant voice full of emotion. His brown eyes peek down at the Mac screen on the podium occasionally, sometimes shining with a seriousness, sometimes with joy. His hand, holding a leg of his classes, waves to bring home his message from time to time.
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The deal with diet pills—Weight loss supplements remain a ‘Wild West’

By Neil Murthy

Meet Whitney—a 42-year-old wife and a mother living on the North Shore.  Her favorite pastimes include performing in musical theater, actively participating in her child’s PTA, volunteering with various local charity organizations and mentoring her 7-year-old daughter’s busy round of school, homework and sports.

She is also on a decades-long quest to lose weight.

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Hospital drug shortages: What is really causing them?

Valerie Lapointe

Most of us assume that a saline IV drip for dehydration or a nitroglycerin injection for heart attack symptoms would be available at any hospital any time in the U.S. Yet both are on a growing list of drug shortages.

Currently, the FDA’s Drug Shortage Program (DSP) lists 60 drugs, mostly generic injectables, that are in short supply. The DSP list is not comprehensive, relying on information provided voluntarily by manufacturers and distributors. The University of Utah Drug Information Service, which also tracks shortages, puts the number of drugs impacted at 156.

Most of the drugs on these lists would sound foreign to anyone outside of medical school, but a few like the saline drip should be familiar to even those with a basic understanding of high school chemistry or medical care. Sodium chloride (salt water), dextrose (sugar), electrolyte fluids, vitamin E, morphine, and lidocaine all appear on both lists, sometimes multiple times for different solution concentrations. How is it possible that hospitals in one of the richest nations in the world could be experiencing shortages of salt solution, sugar solution, electrolytes, vitamin E and basic painkillers?

“In a market economy we are not supposed to have shortages,” said Phillip Zweig, executive director for Physicians Against Drug Shortages, a small, nonprofit advocacy group. “The shortages that have now been running for over seven years are not only unprecedented in healthcare, but in post-U.S. World War II economic history. Shortages simply do not occur like this in a market economy without resulting from natural disasters, external political shocks, or trade embargos.”
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Why ‘Girls Who Code’ is just for girls

By Lucia Maffei

“You know, first prize is $10,000. It could be the first share of your college tuition.”

The 10-something girl with a cat ear headband sits at a computer desk at DePaul University’s downtown campus.  Two friends of hers work side by side.

It’s Saturday morning and every Saturday, Nancy and her friends Isa and Marissa attend the Girls Who Code club with 14 other young girls and six volunteer instructors and mentors. They log into the computers by using a special account created by the university and they start coding with Scratch, a free programming language designed especially for ages 8 to 16.

During the weekly meetings, they created an app that connects people who need clean water with people who can provide it. By the end of the month, the fully-functional app – now available on Google Play – will enter in a global competition called Technovation Challenge, giving Nancy, Isa and Marissa the chance to win the $10,000 prize.

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