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The Weekend Desk Report

"After a public flameout on the Chicago River last year, the organizers of the Great Chicago Fire Festival will attempt to hold a fire spectacle Saturday that's smaller in scope and in a less-prominent location," the Tribune reports.

"An estimated 30,000 onlookers witnessed Redmoon Theater having trouble igniting three model houses on the river last year to bombastically repurpose the Chicago Fire of 1871 before concluding the evening with a fireworks display. Redmoon executive artistic director Jim Lasko blamed soggy conditions and logistical difficulties with the electronic trigger system while one alderman dubbed the inaugural festival a 'fiasco' and questioned the use of city funding.

"On Saturday, the free festival will be held from 5-9 p.m. at Northerly Island in a space with a capacity for 10,000 attendees. There will be various dance and music performances and an artisan bazaar before the finale: The burning of one mansion sculpture larger than last year's model homes."

Rauner's mansion? 'Cause that's the only way I'm interested.


"Lasko said the chance for error is much less this year because the setup is powered by humans."

Sure, blame last year's fiasco on the robots.


"Still, Lasko has less money to work with this year to make the theatrics happen, compared to last year's budget of more than $2.4 million. For last year's event, the city's Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events provided $100,000 in funding from its 2013 budget and $250,000 from its 2014 budget, said Jamey Lundblad, department director of marketing and communications. The Chicago Park District chipped in more than $1 million, a Park District spokeswoman said."

Couldn't they have chipped that (taxpayer) money into CPS instead?


"Lasko said Wednesday that this year's budget is about $900,000, down from the $1.2 million budget he reported to the Tribune in July. More than 40 percent of the budget is going to 'pay people to lead, teach and create,' he said.

Lundblad said the cultural affairs department provided a $100,000 grant to support youth-engagement summer programs at Park District sites, as well as logistics advice for the event and in-kind promotional support.

"The Chicago Park District has been working more closely with Redmoon on this year's culminating event, as it is taking place at Northerly Island," a Park District property, Lundblad said in a statement. The Park District gave $75,000 for summer programming.

Lasko said the festival is also relying on backing from Allstate and the Pritzker Foundation, among other contributors. A monthlong Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign for $25,000 concluded Wednesday with $25,744 pledged among 121 backers. The Kickstarter money will go to busing performers to the site and other accommodations, Lasko said.

You know, I could literally keep this website going for about 40 years with that kind of dough. And I think what we do here is of far more service to the public than burning a mansion on Northerly Island.


"Lasko said representatives for Redmoon, which is based in East Pilsen, spent time in neighborhoods asking residents what they want to overcome."

Stupid festivals?


"The sentiments were written on shingles placed on the house. The burning of the house will represent overcoming obstacles and hope for the future, Lasko said."

And after it's over, nobody's lives will have changed - except those making bank on the whole deal.


"Lasko said he's heard Mayor Rahm Emanuel will be at the event, as he was last year, but a mayoral spokeswoman could not confirm Thursday that Emanuel will attend, only that he's been invited."

He's still gaming out the optics. Plus, his name is on a lot of those shingles.


The Beachwood Radio Sports Hour #70: The Blackhawks & Their Barbarous Fanbase
An opportunity for heroism missed. Plus: The Score's Finest Hour; The Psychology Of Bases & Fandom; The Devil's Manager; Seahawks Game-Planning A Slaughter; 'Night, Sky; Chicago Fire Fired; and The Chicago White Sox Are Still Playing For Some Reason.


Shining A Light On Imprisoned Coders, Bloggers
Activists targeted by governments need support from global digital community.


The Sound Opinions Weekend Listening Report: "This week, Jim and Greg talk to shock-rock legend Alice Cooper. Jim and Greg were very excited to speak with Cooper and discuss his on-stage persona, sobriety, music catalogue and relationships with other famous artists."


Weekend BeachBook


Local school makes the list - and it's not University of Chicago.

Posted by The Beachwood Reporter on Saturday, September 26, 2015


Weekend TweetWood




The Weekend Desk Tip Line: Whole lotta elotes.


Posted on September 26, 2015

MUSIC - Chief Keef Changed The Industry.
TV - Vizio's Best Product Is You.
POLITICS - UIC: Soda Taxes Work.
SPORTS - More McCaskey Malpractice.

BOOKS - All About Poop.


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