A former gov’s attempt to ban renaming Soldier Field, Italian beef’s impact on ‘The Bear’ and more in your Chicago news roundup
Today’s update is a 5-minute read that will brief you on the day’s biggest stories.
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.
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Arguing that there is “no tasteful way” to attach a corporate name to a “sacred” war memorial, former Illinois governor Pat Quinn is reprising the fight he waged more than 20 years ago to preserve the name Soldier Field.
One day after Mayor Lori Lightfoot unveiled her $2.2 billion plan to keep the Bears at a domed and renovated Soldier Field, Quinn launched his campaign to deprive the mayor of the only funding source she has revealed so far to bankroll the ambitious project: selling corporate naming rights.
Quinn introduced yet another “citizens ordinance” to get an advisory referendum on the Feb. 28 ballot that would ask voters a loaded question:
“Shall the people of Chicago protect the good name of Soldier Field — which is a war memorial dedicated to the memory of soldiers who fought for our American democracy — by prohibiting the mayor, City Council, Park District or any other governmental entity from attaching a corporate name to Soldier Field or selling the naming rights to Soldier Field in any way?”
Quinn believes the answer will and should be a resounding “No.”
He argued a “solemn commitment was made” after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 to retain the name Soldier Field and that promise should be honored forevermore.
“Overwhelmingly the people of Chicago will say ‘no’ to selling the naming rights of Soldier Field or attaching the name of Soldier Field to, ‘Commonwealth Edison Park at Soldier Field’ or ‘Amazon Stadium at Soldier Field.’ It’s a sacrilege to do that,” Quinn said.
More news you need
- With a single gunshot, a man wounded the mother of his young child and killed her stepfather as he sought revenge against someone else during a party at his home in Back of the Yards, prosecutors said today. The 28-year-old was charged with murder and aggravated battery in the shooting, which occurred around 3:30 a.m. Sunday, authorities said.
- A case of monkeypox has been identified at the Cook County Jail, authorities announced today. The infected person is believed to have contracted the virus prior to being ordered into the facility’s custody, officials said.
- In a news conference today, Democratic leaders touted Chicago’s diversity, ability to attract union-friendly jobs and “unified leadership” in their pitch to secure the 2024 Democratic National Convention. The pitch comes despite an intramural feud over who should lead the state’s own party apparatus, our Tina Sfondeles explains.
- Former Illinois governor Pat Quinn is reprising the fight he waged more than 20 years ago to preserve the name Soldier Field, arguing that there is “no tasteful way” to attach a corporate name to a war memorial. It comes one day after Mayor Lori Lightfoot unveiled her $2.2 billion plan to keep the Bears at a domed and renovated Soldier Field, and sell corporate naming rights to help bankroll the project.
- Members of the International Union of Operating Engineers ratified a three-year contract today, ending a seven-week strike that has curtailed road projects throughout northeast Illinois. Our David Roeder has more on the details of the contract here.
- In early June, the Board of Trustees at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum elected Erin Amico to become the museum’s first Black president and CEO in its 165 years of operation. Amico described her first week on the job as surreal in an interview with the Sun-Times, noting how she’s been coming to the museum since she was a child.
A bright one
Chicago’s iconic Italian beef sandwiches continue to put the city on the culinary map — this time via “The Bear,” a half-hour drama series now streaming on Hulu.
Jeremy Allen White stars as Carmen “Carmy” Berzatto, a James Beard Award-winning chef who returns home to the Windy City following his older brother’s suicide to run their family’s sandwich joint, The Original Beef of Chicagoland.
The kitchen is a chaotic mess on so many levels for Carmy, whose also dealing with a heap of unresolved emotional issues. His first order of business is to literally scrub the place clean and restructure the way the kitchen operates, which demands a new level of dedication from his crew. It’s a powerful lesson in a kitchen’s workflow. Think: dedicated stations.
“I don’t think a lot of people get how a kitchen works, with people doing one thing [at one station all day],” White said. “The repetition is something. I have so much respect for kitchen, cooks and chefs.
Getting all the subtleties, all the nuances of Chicago’s Italian beef culture, as well as the look and feel of a real Chicago Italian beef shop was paramount to “The Bear” creator Christopher Storer. The kitchen’s interior, for example, will look eerily familiar to fans of The Original Mr. Beef on Orleans.
“Chris Zucchero [the owner of Mr. Beef] has been a dear friend of mine since we were kids, so I’ve spent a lot of time at Mr. Beef over the years. ... A lot of [the culture] is rooted in tradition and in family, which are the same themes the show deals with. Every family, or restaurant, has their own unique way of doing it. Their own recipes, their own secrets,” said Storer, who grew up in Chicago and admits Italian beef is really his favorite sandwich.
From the press box
- It’s an emotional time for Willson Contreras as the longtime Cubs catcher contemplates what may be his final homestand on the North Side, Maddie Lee writes.
- The same goes for Ian Happ, who told reporters he doesn’t want to leave Chicago “without absorbing it and taking it in.”
- Bears training camp kicked off today with Robert Quinn, Roquan Smith and Jaquan Brisker in tow despite concerns about holdouts.
Your daily question ☕
Where can you find the best Italian beef sandwich in Chicago? What makes it the best?
Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we might feature your answer in the next Afternoon Edition.
Yesterday, we asked you: What do you think of Mayor Lightfoot’s proposal to keep the Bears in Chicago by putting a dome over Soldier Field?
Here’s what some of you said…
“They’ve made it clear they aren’t staying, she’s posturing for re-election.” — Dave Pietruszka
“The Bears keep saying no. Why even bother? They won’t stay for many reasons. She’s going to remodel? How much will that cost the taxpayers?” — Lizz Peralta
“Good idea because it would be a lot warmer inside for everyone too and everyone won’t be freezing their buttons off during the game either.” — Rosemary Tyszka
“It would be cheaper to tear down the stadium and build a new one.” — Ryan Harms
“Whatever it takes to keep the Bears!” — Jay Thrash
“It does not solve the fundamental problems of the facility: too few seats, skinny concourses, and in a location that is very difficult for fans to access.” — John Mueller
“Great Idea, should’ve been had one!” — Kendrick Brooks
“It will not work. Too little, too late. Arlington Heights is the perfect locale, parking, public transportation, everything!” — Judy Dziedzic Mascolino
“Let them go. We could get a peewee football team that plays better than the Bears.” — Greg LaVeau
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