The [Thursday] Papers
"Megabus.com, the first low-cost, intercity express bus service with fares from $1 via the Internet, [Wednesday] increased the number of trips between Chicago and Madison, Milwaukee and Minneapolis," the company announced.
"Spirit Air, which has been leading the charge when it comes to airfare add-ons, has one upped itself. Passengers will now have to pay $5 if the airline prints out a boarding pass for them."
And that's not all:
"Spirit isn't done with the charges," CBS8 in San Diego reports. "There's a $30 fee each way for carrying on a bag to put in the overhead compartment. If you want to pick out a window seat ahead of time, that's another $10 each way. Suddenly the fare, including one carry-on bag and a window seat is $269.40 . . . Most airlines charge for beer and wine, but Spirit charges for soda too, $3. And forget about free pretzels or peanuts - you can buy snacks starting at $2."
The Panacea That Isn't
"On Monday's Fresh Air, Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Martha Woodall details her ongoing investigation into Philadelphia's charter school system, where 19 of the 74 charter schools operating in the city are under investigation for fraud, financial mismanagement and conflicts of interest."
And on the ex-Cub front:
"Triple-A Iowa infielder Bobby Scales soon will be joining former Chicago Cubs teammate Micah Hoffpauir on the Nippon Ham Fighters after the Japanese team purchased his contract Monday."
I like the Cubs playing in Japan more than the ones playing here. Matt Murton is also over there.
End the NEA
"Chicago theater industry recipients are (in alphabetical order): Barrel of Monkeys Productions ($8,000), Chicago Children's Theatre ($20,000), Chicago Shakespeare Theater ($75,000), Child's Play Touring Theatre ($20,000), Goodman Theatre ($100,000), Emerald City Theatre Company ($10,000), League of Chicago Theatres Foundation ($10,000), Light Opera Works ($20,000), Redmoon Theatre ($50,000), Storycatchers Theatre ($7,000) and Trap Door Productions ($5,000).
"In addition, another 33 NEA grants went to institutions supporting music, dance, traditional arts, presenting and arts education ranging from the American Library Association ($20,000) to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra ($20,000) to the Jazz Institute of Chicago ($20,000) to the River North Dance Company ($10,000) and Sones de Mexico Ensemble ($35,000). Even the City of Chicago got some NEA cash, with a grant of $75,000 to the Chicago Cultural Center Foundation, a last legacy of the old Department of Cultural Affairs and its former Commissioner, Lois Weisberg.
"In all, Illinois organizations received 43 grants totaling $2,280,400."
You know what? I'm sure these are all fine organizations but maybe the NEA has outlived its usefulness. At the time it was established (1965), our nation's civic and cultural leaders were (presumably) concerned about supporting arts and media (such as public radio and television) that might not otherwise get seeded and nurtured within the confines of a capitalist economy. And that may have been the right move back then.
Let's just call it Mission Accomplished and move on. Because, for one, an awful lot of dollars go to elite institutions patronized mostly by elites. For two, who is the NEA to judge what projects are worthy of taxpayer support?
The world has changed. Over the years, the conservative critique of such public funding rang hollow, paranoid and small-minded; it never seemed to be about money.
But a liberal critique might ask whether we really need to kick in some extra dough to institutions such as the Goodman and the CSO instead of, say, struggling indie record labels (or to redirect the funds to a new initiative like green jobs or scholarships to turn poor city kids into computer programmers or to a program like this).
More to the point, the government needn't any longer be in the arts and media business. It was a good idea once; it worked as far as I can tell. Now it's time to move on.
Drink Up, My Friends
"People often ask me what the worst part about my job as a Wrigley Field beer vendor is. ('You mean, other than watching maddeningly mediocre baseball year in and year out?' I always want to ask.) For me, this is an easy one. It's not lugging my product up and down the aisles like some 21st-century pack mule. It's not even the drunk and sometimes staggeringly rude fans. Without question, it's the hour-and-a-half I'm forced to spend before each game mindlessly waiting for the day's assignment with my fellow grizzled and unwashed vendors."
Why The Cubs Can't Blame Injuries
The Beachwood Tip Line: Injurious.
Posted on June 30, 2011
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