News RoundUp • CSU Students Protest Budget Cuts, Jordan Brings Out Sneakerheads & More

Chicago State University Students Shut Down Dan Ryan

Since Bruce Rauner was signed in as Governor of Illinois last year the state  has been making slashing budget cuts across the board, most notably with institutions of higher learning. While a budget standoff causes schools like Western Illinois and Chicago State to dig into cash reserves, things are nearing a breaking point as the accounts run dry. 

In protest to the current budget practices which are putting the largely African-American student body of Chicago State in jeopardy, students took to the Dan Ryan Expressway early this morning to shut down the thoroughfare during the early rush hour in a show of stopping traffic the same way government servants are blocking their ability to get an education near their homes. If something isn't figured out by the end of January, the school is likely to run out of cash reserves and have to close.

In a powerful show that is only the latest in a series of protests that have raged across the city in response to everything from closed elementary and high schools to police-involved shootings to charges of misconduct in City Hall and beyond. The budget shortfalls at CSU also come as state universities like University of Illinois in Champaign continue to shell out millions to a series of chancellors and presidents that have come and gone like a revolving door, most accused of embezzlement, misconduct or a series of other issues which got them a slap on the wrist and a fat severance pay.

But hey, that's how thing go in America's heartland where even the government operates like street hustlers. 

Loyola Students Charged After Protest

Students on the campus of Loyola University on the city's northside are fighting back against school administrators after a peaceful protest earlier this week ended in four students being charged for harassment, disruption of university facilities and disorderly conduct.

In an open letter announcing his resignation, Student Body President Michael Fasullo explained what happened, saying that he could no longer serve his role in the current environment. 

On Nov. 20, SGLC reserved the Damen North Lawn to allow dining hall workers and students to express their concerns about worker rights on campus. Following the demonstration, a large student contingent brought its concerns to Aramark executives in the Damen Dining Hall. The delegation was peaceful, but in response the Office of Student Conduct & Conflict Resolution (OSCCR) is charging four student organizers, including myself, and SGLC in its entirety with harassment, disruption of university facilities and disorderly conduct.

As a result of my role in planning the demonstration, I was tried and censured by the SGLC Judicial Board on accusations of violating my oath of office and having the intent to break Loyola’s demonstration policy. In many senses, this outcome has troubled me. Loyola’s demonstration policy is in a state of moratorium, meaning I was charged with breaking a policy that no longer exists.

Chicago Neighborhood Named 'Hottest in US'

Chicago has been frotn and center more and more in the news and this time it's for something less than negative. Redfin announced this week that Chicago's Ukrainian Village on the city's near west side as the 'hottest neighborhood in America'.

According to DNAinfo the calculation was based on page views, searches and other factors measured on Redfin's website and app during the second half of 2015, according to a news release.

Following the local ranking close behind Ukrainian Village was West Town and East Village, areas which have benefitted heavily from the burgeoning business-base in the area that includes Google and a slew of high-end restaurants, boutiques and attractions. 

"For someone who wants a single-family home while still enjoying city life, the location is ideal. Much of Ukrainian Village is landmarked, so you’ll find brick and stone housing built in the late 1800s, rather than the trendier (and more expensive) new construction condos nearby and on the neighborhood’s main thoroughfares," Redfin real estate agent Niko Voutsinas said.

Jordan Shoes Bring Out Sneakerheads

Some people just have time and money to waste. To see this phenomenon in action simply head to the Jordan Store on South State St. downtown where fans of the famed shoe brand have been braving winter weather in Chicago to cop a pair of the $650 Jordan "Just Don" sneakers. Having been waiting since Monday to  cop, it's essentially a perfect storm of marketing, millenial malfeasance and internet-age collecting addiction taking place in real time on our city's streets. Show up Saturday and you might even get to see a fight. 

Double Door Back In Court

The man continued trying to keep the Double Door down this week as the owners of the Wicker Park bar and venue were back in court this week to solve the issue with their current landlord who has been trying to evict them since October. 

According to the Chicago Tribune, lawyers for the landlord delayed the proceedings as they continue to look into a letter from a co-owner requesting a lease extension. The landlord is claiming he never received it, something that will be centerstage when the two side reconvene on February 29.

While the landlord continues to give tours of the space to prospective buyers, Double Door owners have booked shows into April. 

16,000 Hoverboards Seized in Chicago

Chicago Authorities seized upwards of 16,000 hoverboards that arrived in town with forged trademark logos and health issues. The seizure is equivalent to about $60 million.

According to the Tribune, the hoverboards are powered by lithium-ion batteries and have been known to explode or catch fire while users were riding or charging them. The merchandise, which arrived from China has fake Samsung markings and trademarks on them and had battery issues that could translate into explosions or fires.

These "hoverboards", simply segways without the stick, have become a sort of hot-button issue since exploding onto the scene last year via rapper's instagrams and Justin Bieber. While not actually hovering, the wheeled devices have come under increasing fire. Some Illinois universities have banned or restricted the use of hoverboards on their campuses. Metra and U.S. airlines have prohibited the devices.