Chicago’s mayoral race: maybe money can’t buy an election

By Alysha Khan

While Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s failure to win reelection outright has dominated the headlines, equally interesting is a look at the money all five candidates raised in the final weeks leading up the election.
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VIDEO: Parents continue to protest PARCC, push for HB 306

By Beth Werge

Called the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), the tests are supposed to gauge student achievement and readiness for college and careers. But parents and administrators alike are concerned for their students’ well being.

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VIDEO: Chicago campaign cash – a tale of David and Goliath

By Ezra Kaplan

The polls are closed and the results are in. For the first time in Chicago’s history, there will be a mayoral runoff. In the run up to the election, Rahm Emanuel raised almost $15 million while Jesus “Chuy” Garcia spent only $1.4 million.

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Health survey yields shocking results about HIV workforce

By Dawnn Anderson

A recent health survey revealed a significant number of the HIV workforce is ill-informed about the virus. Of the 135 AIDS workers in Chicago who participated in the HIV Workforce Study, they scored 63 percent, equivalent to a “D” average.

More than 3,600 people participated in the study nationwide and scored 61 percent. Officials at the Black AIDS Institute say it is too early to determine whether one’s lack of knowledge will directly affect clinical practice regarding prevention and treatment.

“Before, it wasn’t incumbent of the HIV workforce to know about science and treatment, because medical doctors were initially charged with the task of informing the public,” said Anthony Guitierrez, BAI’s mobilization manager. Continue reading

Review: Spike Lee’s ‘Da Sweet Blood of Jesus’

By Antoinette Isama

Spike Lee takes a stab at horror film with his first Kickstarter funded film, “Da Sweet Blood of Jesus,” which opened this week. A remake of Bill Gunn’s 1973 independent film “Ganja and Hess,” Lee offers an uncanny analysis of religion, art and sexuality through a story of vampirism and uncontrollable addiction — literally and figuratively.

Dr. Hess Green (Stephen Tyrone Williams), an anthropologist studying the ancient Ashanti Empire, encounters an ancient dagger that alters his life, which is centered on his quaint, inherited 40-acre estate in Martha’s Vineyard. The film’s pace picks up when his mentally unstable research assistant, Dr. Lafayette Hightower (Elvis Nolasco), attempts suicide, then struggles to murder Hess with the dagger. After stabbing Green, Hightower, shocked by his own actions, kills himself. Green then comes back to life with an addiction to blood.

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Controversy over Lucas Museum continues

by Constantina Kokenes

Plans to build the large Lucas Museum of Narrative Art on Chicago’s lakefront near McCormick Place have been controversial since filmmaker George Lucas decided to place his museum in Chicago last June. Though lawsuits have been filed, the museum was not a major issue in this month’s aldermanic campaigns. Candidates for alderman in the 4th Ward, where the museum would be built, vary in their response to the museums.

The candidates touched on the issue during their campaigns before Tuesday’s elections.

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VIDEO: Emanuel meets voters day after election runoff decision

By Adam Banicki

Mayor Rahm Emanuel wasted no time getting back out to meet voters on the streets. Tuesday night Emanuel conceded to a runoff with Jesus “Chuy” Garcia for the mayorship of Chicago. It is the first mayoral runoff in Chicago’s history. The two candidates have until April 7th to convince voters they should be Chicago’s mayor. Continue reading

First Laughs, Second Time Around

By Jessica Gable

When Greg Luick submitted his one-act play, Work in Progress, to Piccolo Theatre’s First Laugh One-Act Festival last February, he wasn’t expecting to win. In fact, he hadn’t even expected to finish the play.

“It was originally a revue sketch that didn’t really seem to have an ending,” Luick said. “I wrote most of it 15-20 years ago and it was just sort of filed away. Then when I read the criteria for the First Laugh Festival, I was just sort of thinking about it and the ending just sort of popped into my brain. So, I just added that ending onto it and made it a one-act play. And that was what won the festival.”

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Health professionals: more alcohol deaths than CDC report suggests

By Dani Anguiano

Several health care professionals have said that a recently released CDC report, which revealed that on average, six people die from alcohol poisoning each day in the United States, while jarring – doesn’t show the full societal cost of excessive drinking.

According to the CDC report released earlier this year, researchers found that the majority of people dying are middle-aged, white males who aren’t alcoholics.  Continue reading

Second City’s Evil Stepchildren

By Jessica T. Gable

Michael Pieper approaches the craft of acting from very serious, ancient traditions. For him, the craft is rooted in Native American shamanism and his method of accessing a character is anchored by a very strong sense of spirituality. But he applies those traditions as a teacher at the premiere comedy institution in the Windy City- Chicago’s own Second City.

“I was drawn to shamanism when I was searching for my spirituality in my late 20’s,” Pieper, now 51, said. “I was raised Catholic and it just wasn’t clicking with me so I started to study other religions and I loved how shamanism connects you to the elements and the world around you.” Continue reading