Emanuel proposes to transfer parkland for Obama library

By Margaret Anderson

Mayor Rahm Emanuel unveiled an ordinance Wednesday to provide land for the University of Chicago’s presidential library bid, despite protests from South Side residents who say the university should not get the library if it remains unwilling to open an adult level-one trauma center.

The ordinance brings the university one step closer to housing the library by strengthening its bid. It also comes in the wake of an Illinois Department of Public Health feasibility study released Jan. 2 that evaluated the capability of five South Side hospitals to open a trauma center.

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Artist Penny Pinch brings the street indoors

By Rachel White

Many artists limit themselves to a canvas to express their creativity, but for Chicago-based street artists, the city is their canvas. Local artist Penny Pinch is bringing his street art indoors at Galerie F in Logan Square.

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VIDEO: Blind chef Laura Martinez opens restaurant

By Joe Musso

Ever had trouble dicing an onion or getting your steak to the perfect medium rare?  Now close your eyes and give it a shot.  That gives you an idea of the challenges blind chef Laura Martinez has in her job. But slice and dice she does, and fast. And she is now living her dream on the near north side.

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VIDEO: Love on paper

By: Julie Woon

Just in time for Valentines Day, the Newberry Research Library has a new exhibit called “Love on Paper.” The free exhibit displays antique love letters, valentines and love-related memorabilia and demonstrates unique ways to convey the sometimes inexpressible feeling of love.

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VIDEO: Puppetry and play: Is it more than just make believe?

By: Julie Woon

The Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival has events for all ages – even adults. Puppeteers discuss why puppetry is still culturally relevant and describe other uses for puppets besides play. Audiences can witness the evolution of puppetry in festival performances through Sunday, January 25th.

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VIDEO: “Un-farm” produces local food in nontraditional ways

By Michaela Meaney

As locally produced food increases in popularity, new ways to grow it are also on the rise. FarmedHere is an indoor, vertical farm right outside of Chicago that uses aquaponics to grow USDA-certified organic greens.

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Experts cite Ebola’s indirect cost, urge public-private partnerships

By Jin Wu

Chicago health care and economic experts said the indirect cost of Ebola is enormous and partnerships between public and private sectors could be a solution for “the market failures” in Ebola prevention and treatment.

Dozens of people attended a public conversation called “The Cost of Health Crisis” Wednesday night at Chicago’s Harold Washington Library, discussing about the economics of pandemics, in this case, Ebola. Continue reading

VIDEO: Watch party discusses State of the Union address

By Meg Rauch

A small crowd gathered at Bridgeport’s Unity Center for a viewing party for President Obama’s State of the Union Address.  Guests at the event describe what they want to see from Washington in the next two years.  Continue reading

Event to examine aftermath of 2013 school closings on displaced students

By Taylor Mullaney

Two groups that explore public education in Chicago will join forces Thursday night at the University of Chicago Logan Center to discuss what happened to children displaced by the closings of 50 CPS schools in 2013.

The School Project plans to screen “Chicago Public Schools: Closed” as the second segment of its six-part documentary Web series. After the screening, the UChicago Consortium on Chicago School Research is scheduled to present its recent findings on where children affected by the closings are today. A panel discussion will follow.  Continue reading

CAIR-Chicago’s social media campaign generates conversation about Islam

By Ellen Kobe

Hasan Ahmad, or @hasanahmad80, as he is known in the Twitter-verse, sat on his computer Tuesday morning tweeting a series of photos with the hashtag #WhatAMuslimLooksLike. The 34-year-old in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, received 63 “likes” and 43 “favorites” (at the time of publication) on one photo of Salman Khan, the founder of Khan Academy, an online education platform.

Ahmad and Khan have at least one thing in common — they are Muslims. Continue reading