City Council acts to limit pet coke storage in Chicago

By Sarah Kramer

The Chicago City Council acted Wednesday to limit the amount of petroleum coke entering the city and set daily storage limits on the Southeast Side facilities. The ordinance calls for these limits to be set by the City Council by March 31.

“Passing this ordinance is the new step in our continuing process to make clear that no one gets to make profits at the expense of the health, welfare and quality of life of Chicagoans,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel in a statement.

Petroleum coke, commonly referred to as pet coke, is a byproduct of the oil refining process. KCBX Terminals Co. currently operates two storage facilities in Chicago: the North Terminal, between 100th and 106th streets, and the South Terminal, between 108th and 112th streets. Both terminals sit on the banks of the Calumet River.
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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