Afternoon Edition: June 7, 2022

Today’s update is a 5-minute read that will brief you on the day’s biggest stories.

SHARE Afternoon Edition: June 7, 2022
The Smoking Buddha Shop on Monday, June 6, 2022.

The city closed Smoking Buddha Shop, at 972 W. 18th St. in Pilsen, last month.

Tyler Pasciak LaRiviere/Sun-Times

Good afternoon. Here’s the latest news you need to know in Chicago. It’s about a 5-minute read that will brief you on today’s biggest stories.

This afternoon will be mostly sunny with a high near 71 degrees. Tonight will be partly cloudy with a low near 56. Tomorrow will see showers and a chance of thunderstorms with a high near 65.

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Afternoon Edition
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Top story

CPD cracks down on underground pot parties, seizing a kilo of weed and hundreds of grams of magic mushrooms

Chicago police busted five black market weed dealers for allegedly selling their wares at two unsanctioned events last week, seizing more than a kilogram of cannabis, other pot products and hundreds of grams of psychedelic mushrooms.

Underground parties where unlicensed weed is sold and consumed have become increasingly common in Chicago. Yet the events are now testing the limits of cannabis enforcement in a state that legalized recreational sales well over two years ago — but still has strict restrictions on who can sell and where users can smoke.

Although regulated dispensaries have sold more than $3.5 billion in medical and recreational weed to date, experts agree the black market remains king. Meanwhile, in other legal states, like California and New York, robust gray markets have emerged as officials have in some cases turned a blind eye to unlicensed sellers cashing in on the so-called green rush.

Margo Vesely, the executive director of the Illinois chapter of NORML, a nonprofit that advocates for cannabis-related reforms, said she follows people involved in the “underground trade” and recently noticed that some were closing up shop or requiring buyers to have a mutual point of contact.

Vesely remained neutral on the issue and wouldn’t take “one side or another,” but she empathized with those “from the illicit, legacy market” and said she hopes they can go legit.

“It’s a struggling world out there right now after this pandemic,” she said. “People are struggling to find the means to be able to afford the things that they need with the low pay that’s being offered by regular 9-to-5 jobs.”

Tom Schuba has more on CPD’s crackdown here.

More news you need

  1. A man has been charged with shooting a Chicago police officer on Sunday in Englewood — the second CPD officer shot in the past week. The 27-year-old faces two counts of attempted murder after allegedly opening fire on officers during a traffic stop, police said.
  2. A woman has been charged with reckless homicide weeks after she fatally struck a bicyclist in the West Loop and kept on driving, Chicago police said. She was stopped by witnesses who saw her continuing to drive after the collision, and held her against her vehicle until police arrived.
  3. Three years after two Chicago police vehicles collided on the West Side, killing an 84-year-old retired teacher, lawyers for the woman’s family say the city has done nothing to try to resolve a lawsuit filed in response to the tragedy. Audio of police radio transmissions before she was fatally injured reveals that a dispatcher told responding officers over and over to reduce their speed.
  4. The nationwide union organizing drive targeting Starbucks was dealt an unusual setback today in a ballot count for three city locations. Employees at 155 N. Wabash Ave. and 2543 N. California opted not to join Workers United, part of the Service Employees International Union.
  5. When Rep. Danny K. Davis was first elected to Congress, Kina Collins was in kindergarten. Now a 31-year-old gun violence prevention activist, Collins is making her second run against the 80-year-old Davis, this time with the backing of a national political action committee.
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A bright one

One woman’s mission to make Winnetka Music Festival a doorway to new music for all ages

If you believe recent studies citing surveys and Spotify data, researchers have allegedly pinpointed “33” as the exact age most people stop discovering new music. Val Haller, for one, takes issue with that statistic and is on a mission to change the idea that new music is simply a youth movement.

In 2007, the Winnetka mom of four and concert fanatic started her brand, ValsList, as a response to the advent of the “endless abyss” that was the iTunes library, narrowing down the millions of songs suddenly at listeners’ disposal by curating playlists with her personal picks for bands about to break. ValsList continues to thrive today as a music discovery site to help busy adults keep up with new releases and artists. But the platform has become so much more.

Haller’s modest venture soon turned into hosting emerging bands in her suburban living room with a tip jar on her dining room table that often pooled together more money than the bands would make at a club gig. And, after booking successful pop-up shows at the Chicago Botanic Garden and Wrigley Field’s Gallagher Way, today, the idea has extrapolated even further into the Winnetka Music Festival, expanding on Haller’s desire to link up artist and music fan that might not otherwise find each other.

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Val Haller and her husband/business partner Mark (right), along with business partner Scott Myers (left) are hoping fans will turn out for this year’s full-on Winnetka Music Festival.

Colette Wetzel

Now in its 6th year, returning after COVID stalled it in 2020 and diverting to a smaller footprint in 2021, the Winnetka Music Festival makes a full return on June 18 in the downtown Elm Street district, with a lineup featuring marquee acts like blues rock savants The Record Company, as well as ‘90s mainstays Guster, alongside up-and-comers Melt, Minor Moon, Abby Hamilton and more.

“We really built this out of nothing,” Haller says, noting that after word of the house concert series started getting out in the industry, “everything started going on auto pilot.” One of the regular patrons of her house shows happened to be on the village board and asked Haller if she was interested in doing something bigger.

“The Village of Winnetka is very open to new ideas and things in the arts and for community,” says Haller. “It ended up being a really good partnership and built it up really quickly.”

Selena Fragassi has more on ValsList here.

From the press box

Your daily question ☕

Chicagoans — what’s something you love about your neighborhood?

Send us an email at newsletters@suntimes.com and we might feature your answer in the next Afternoon Edition.

Yesterday we asked you: What’s something about Chicago that picks you up when you’re feeling down?

Here’s what some of you said…

“Chicago’s Skyline and its great food.” —Constance Causey

“Deep Dish Pizza from Lou Malnati’s and an Italian Beef with/ a Pepsi.” —Dewayne Smith

“Smelling the fresh air from the Lake after getting off the train at Union Station.” —Liz Kuhn

“Wrigley Field watching a Cubs game!” — Josie Mitchem

“The color of Lake Michigan on a sunny day.” —Flo Sarabia

“Going to the South Side, where I grew up. Eden Green, Fenger High School, Roseland and the Donut Shop. I love Chicago.” — Armina Robinson

“Going to Montrose and sitting by the Lakefront.” — Meeka Gemini Davis

“The cool lake breeze. Summer thunderstorms. The ability to walk down Michigan Avenue and hear five different languages in a block. The way the sun reflects off the skyscrapers in the early morning.” — Mary Girsch-Bock

“Seeing the skyline and just walking around. Especially in the summer. It’s my favorite thing to do.” — Amy Glaser

“Driving on DuSable Lake Shore Drive at night with the windows down.” — Elizabeth Brown

“Chicago has the world’s best house music DJs in the country. House music takes me to my happy place within me.” —Adrian Townsend

“Hanging out with the neighborhood friends laughing playing at the park or just going swimming or getting wet if the pump is on.” —Shirley Torres-Gonzales

“Talking with all of my neighbors when they walk their dog by my house. The best.” — Angela Goffrier Valentin

Thanks for reading the Chicago Afternoon Edition. Got a story you think we missed? Email us here.

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