All posts by karinvandraiss

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Giving up the ghost: critics step into spotlight to stay relevant

By Karin Vandraiss

In January, Jonathan Gold of the LA Times became the latest restaurant critic to make headlines by revealing his long-protected persona to the public.

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Divided voters force runoff in citywide elections

By Karin Vandraiss and Matt Yurus

For the first time, Chicago’s next mayor will be determined in a runoff election as a group of challengers kept incumbent Rahm Emanuel from reaching the simple majority he needed for an outright victory.

The AP called the race “an embarrassment for the former White House chief of staff.”

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Top 6 Election Day Pseudo-Scandals

By Kate Morrissey and Karin Vandraiss

The Daley dynasty may be a thing of the past, but Chicago politics are still alive and well. Between questionable politicking and social media sass, this year’s election hasn’t disappointed when it comes to shenanigans worthy of the Windy City.

1. Doughnut-debacle 2015. Best enjoyed with your own Box O’Joe, some poll watchers from Patrick Daley Thompson’s campaign were observed offering voters coffee and doughnuts prior to casting their votes.

A table with free donuts and coffee was set up in the middle of a Bridgeport polling station this morning by poll watchers who told voters to vote for Richard Daley Thompson while they were standing within the anti-electioneering “campaign free zone.”
A table with free donuts and coffee was set up in the middle of a Bridgeport polling station this morning by poll watchers who told voters to vote for Richard Daley Thompson while they were standing within the anti-electioneering “campaign free zone.”

2. Snooze button struggle. Carol Ronen, Democratic Committeewoman of the 48th Ward, said that a judge showed up late to the polling location for the 27th precinct, which delayed its opening. Voters took to social media to express their frustration.

Gerald Farinas Facebook post
Gerald Farinas said via Facebook that he wants to vote for Willie Wilson, but his polling place was closed when he went before work. (Gerald Farinas/Facebook)

3. Like a good neighbor. Alderman John Arena (45th) seemed a little salty about the present left at his door. Residents responded with a mix of support and questions about proof.

4. Red light karma. A Chicago Tribune reporter caught the mayoral motorcade running yet another red light.

5. “A little mysterious,” but nothing serious. Willie Wilson called for an investigation into calibration issues with polling machines causing “voting  irregularities,” but The Election Board isn’t taking his claims too seriously.

6. Bear down, voters. Twitter user @charlescubfan wrote in Mike Ditka for treasurer and posted a picture of his ballot. The Election Board was not amused.

 

Photo at top: Mayor Rahm Emanuel at the Chinese New Year parade in Chinatown. (Ezra Kaplan/Medill)

 

 

Free doughnuts raise questions about electioneering at Bridgeport polls

By Dean DeChiaro

Just before 8 a.m. on Tuesday, two poll watchers at the Hamburg Athletic Club on South Emerald Street in the Bridgeport neighborhood told potential voters to cast their ballots for Patrick Daley Thompson, the former mayor’s nephew and candidate in the 11th Ward, and to help themselves to “free coffee and doughnuts.”

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Still time to apply for Top Chef Season 13

By Karin Vandraiss

Bravo’s hit series, “Top Chef,” wastes no time lining up new talent. On Wednesday LA chef Mei Lin won the title honors for Season 12, but the show has already started its annual, nation-wide scouting trip to cast the  upcoming season. Chicago’s live casting call was earlier this week, but even if you missed it, there’s still time to apply.

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South Side restaurants largely missing from Chicago Restaurant Week

By Karin Vandraiss

Restaurant Week, the annual winter event that offers Chicagoans the chance to eat at top-flight restaurants at relatively low prices, opens Jan. 30. But the imbalance between North Side (and north suburban) restaurants and South Side eateries is hard to ignore.

Since its launch in 2008, Chicago Restaurant Week has grown exponentially, from 44 restaurants to over 300 listed in this year’s lineup. Of those 300, however, barely two dozen are on the South Side or southern suburbs. Continue reading