Gone but not frog-otten

MEGAN KIRBY

  • MEgan Kirby

I watch a TikTok where the Rainforest Cafe frog sits on a trailer in a parking lot, dismantled. When I fall asleep, I dream I have adopted the frog. I am trying to convince my roommate we have the space. “You can use it as a plant stand,” I tell her. “Besides, think of the content!”

Cha Cha the frog stood sentry over Chicago for 22 years, peering out over Ohio and Clark streets with wide red eyes and a benign smile. Did you know their name was Cha Cha? I didn’t until I went to Rainforest Cafe for the first time, in August 2019. My buddy Jon and I like to go to theme restaurants and write zines about the experience. That late summer evening, our pick was Rainforest Cafe...

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O’Reilly Update Morning Edition, September 14, 2020

The COVID-19 blame game…

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Wildfire smoke breaks records, hangs on; ‘like living in a constant state of fog’

BREMERTON — Valarie St. Pierre is housebound, a prisoner to the thick stench of wildfire smoke that pains her lungs and has enveloped the Pacific Northwest.

A trip to the park with her grandkids late last week left her lethargic, huffing for air and ultimately on the way to the emergency room. St. Pierre, who suffers from asthma, came home with multiple medications and breathing devices to weather the smoke outside. On her lone open window, she’s attached a fan and two air filters that are already turning black at the shadow of the fan’s blades, like the footprint of an unwanted visitor. 

“I’m not going anywhere,” she said. “I just pray this ends soon.” 

Record-breaking smoke

Many residents like St...

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IRS approves Chicago Reader’s move to nonprofit model

CHICAGO—The new Reader Institute for Community Journalism, Inc. (RICJ) has received 501(c)(3) nonprofit status from the Internal Revenue Service. On January 1, 2021, RICJ will take over the Chicago Reader newspaper from its current owners.

RICJ is an Illinois nonprofit that was formed earlier this year to create an ownership structure for the Chicago Reader to move to once 501(c)(3) was conferred. RICJ will begin operations when the Reader’s assets are transferred next year.

Elzie Higginbottom and Leonard C. Goodman are currently majority owners of the Chicago Reader after purchasing it for $1 from the Chicago Sun-Times in October 2018. They have given significant support to the paper as it charts a path to a fully independent future. The Reader has also received extensive support fr...

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The O’Reilly Update, September 14, 2020

Two Deputies in Los Angeles critically injured in an ambush, dozens of people shot in Baltimore within one week, NFL ratings continue to decline, the far-left targets the Nobel Peace Prize, a boycott builds against a local restaurant after Kamala Harris shows up for lunch.

Plus, Bill’s Message of the Day, what does the future hold for the NFL and professional sports?

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Choking air from Western fires just won’t ease up

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Relief from putrid, dangerous air spewing from massive wildfires across the West won’t come until later in the week or beyond, scientists and forecasters say, and the hazy and gunk-filled skies might stick around for even longer.

People in Oregon, Washington and parts of California were struggling under acrid yellowish-green smog — the worst, most unhealthy air on the planet according to some measurements. It seeped into homes and businesses, sneaked into cars through air conditioning vents and caused the closure of iconic locations such as Powell’s Books and the Oregon Zoo in Portland, the state’s biggest city. 

“I don’t think that we should be outside, but...

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Noise-rock masters Uniform get even bigger, better, and darker on Shame

I’ve spent a lot of Reader ink gushing about Uniform and the previous projects of their members. With the release of their new fourth full-length, Shame, the band’s sonic assault continues—and so does my adoration. Formed in 2014 as a wildly abrasive industrial-noise-rock-drone duo of vocalist Michael Berdan (formerly of unreal noisecore trio Drunkdriver) and guitarist Ben Greenberg (who’s played in Zs and Pygmy Shrews and engineered records by every good band coming out of NYC), Uniform have continually streamlined their sound, toying with Wax Trax! industrial, straightforward punk, and electronic synth swaths—sometimes all at once. On 2018’s The Long Walk, they added live drums to their previously all-electronic rhythm section, recording with experimental drummer Greg Fox (...

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No Spin News Audio Excerpt, September 14, 2020

Bob Woodward goes on ’60 Minutes’; Two LA police officers shot.

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Wildlife officers hope to capture cougar that killed donkey in Olalla

OLALLA — State fish and wildlife officers are attempting to trap a cougar they believe killed a donkey early Monday and may be responsible for the deaths of two goats near the border of Kitsap and Pierce counties. 

The mountain lion, caught on camera at a home off Bandix Road, attacked the donkey around 3 a.m. Monday. While the donkey’s owners initially believed coyotes were responsible, their surveillance footage spotted the cougar and fish and wildlife officers later confirmed the puncture wounds and evidence the donkey had been choked in the way a mountain lion kills.   

The cougar may have also attacked two goats in the same area about a week prior, but fish and wildlife officers couldn’t examine the goats as their owners h...

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The Folded Map Project shows a segregated city

“I’m sure you’ve heard the words to describe Englewood are ‘Black, dangerous, poor, gun violence,'” says Tonika Johnson in one of the opening lines of her short film, The Folded Map Project. Englewood is where Johnson was born and it’s where she still lives. Englewood is home.

In her film, Johnson asks the viewer to think about how they came to live in the neighborhood where they live or to think about the neighborhood where they grew up. She asks viewers to think about how they decided to live where they do. Who did they talk to before making the decision?

My move from Hyde Park to Back of the Yards happened a year ago and I’m still thinking about my decision, why I chose to move, and what led to these changes...

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