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Fake ‘police’ patrol riverfront filming

  • Salvage continues following barge sinking
  • Nouveau Tavern in Alderman Reilly crosshairs
  • Settlement conference scheduled in Hotel 71 lawsuit
  • Dearborn & Ontario among city’s most dangerous intersections
  • 1871 expands at Merchandise Mart
  • Five interesting facts about Wallenda walk from a Discovery VP
  • Wallenda’s precise path confirmed
  • Wallenda finishes last practice walk
  • Wallenda TV exec: Contingency plans in case of failure
  • Street closures, viewing areas announced for Wallenda event
  • Barge and crane leaving State-Dearborn stretch of Riverwalk
  • More stories
  • Wallenda dad still helping to channel son’s energy
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    Wallenda camera wires hang over river
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    Wallenda ringmaster at his own circus
    Read this story

    Smile, Chicago River, you’re on Google!
    Read this story

    Five bridges raised for low-flying filming
    Read this story

    Photo by Steven Dahlman 20-Oct-14 – If you were told to move along Saturday morning near the Chicago River by what looked like a police officer, you may be surprised to learn it was just a movie location assistant.

    (Left) A location assistant, not related to this story, watches a helicopter film along Michigan Avenue on Sunday.

    Shortly before a low-flying helicopter filmed along the Chicago River, a man wearing a yellow safety vest labeled “POLICE” on the front and back was seen telling people to move away from the river.

    When asked by a reporter if he was a police officer, he said he was not, that he worked for the production company, and that he was given the vest by a police officer.

    Later, when asked for his name, the man refused and defended wearing the vest, saying again that a police officer had given the vest to him and others.

    The response from the Chicago Police Department was immediate.

    “It is not the policy of the Chicago Police Department to issue and/or borrow out any part of our prescribed uniform or equipment,” said a spokesperson. “Situations like [this] pose a threat to anyone in need of actual police assistance. The Chicago Police Department takes impersonation very seriously and we encourage all citizens to report any such abuse.”

    Rich Moskal, director of the Chicago Film Office, did not respond to a request for comment.

    The location manager, Maria Roxas, declined to comment.

    Puck Productions, LLC, is listed as the production company on filming notices that were distributed last week. Located in Santa Monica, California, Puck Productions is a subsidiary of Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. The Chicago address listed for the company in the filming notices is for Cinespace Chicago Film Studios.

    The filming on Saturday was for Insurgent, the sequel to Divergent, which filmed in Chicago in July 2013 and was released in March 2014. The production company refers to the new movie as Mineral.

    Five bridges over the Chicago River from Dearborn Street east to Columbus Drive were raised to accommodate the helicopter. Filming continued on Sunday morning on the north side of the Loop. The same helicopter flew low over Michigan Avenue between Lake Street and Wacker Drive.

    (Right) A helicopter films between buildings in downtown Chicago on Sunday. Michigan Plaza in background. (Click on image to view larger version.) Photo by Steven Dahlman

     Previous story: Five bridges raised for low-flying filming

    Shoreline Sightseeing

    Photo by Steven Dahlman

    (Above) On the south branch of the Chicago River north of the Randolph Street Bridge on Monday, a salvage crew works to resolve a barge that has been half-sunk since Friday. Seen from the Lake Street Bridge, a Seadog tour boat passes through a narrow channel at left. (Click on images to view larger versions.)

    21-Oct-14 – Under the watchful eye of the United States Coast Guard, a salvage crew is still working on the construction barge that sank on the Chicago River on Friday.

    Just south of the Lake Street Bridge, the barge was moored at the construction site for 150 North Riverside. Clark Construction Group was loading the barge with clay that was going to be used at the nearby Chicago Riverwalk site. At about 12:35 p.m., a witness heard “a loud snap” and the barge quickly took on water.

    There were no injuries and, according to the Coast Guard, no reports of any pollution.

    Until salvage operations are complete, the Coast Guard is enforcing a “safety zone” from the Lake Street Bridge to the Randolph Street Bridge. Boats have a 50-foot-wide channel through which to pass but must do so single-file.

    Photo by Steven Dahlman

    (Above) View of the barge from the Randolph Street Bridge.

     Previous story: Construction barge sinks on Chicago River

    Nouveau Tavern

    (Above) Nouveau Tavern on West Ontario Street. Its interior was designed by D+K Architects of Chicago. (Click on image to view larger version.)

    22-Oct-14 – A restaurant/bar that has annoyed its River North neighbors for eight months may have finally annoyed one neighbor too many. 42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly, whose Constituent Services Office is about two blocks away, took to his weekly newsletter on Tuesday to say he has had about enough of Nouveau Tavern.

    Fights, illegal handguns, an assault on a police officer, underage customers. And that’s just last weekend.

    On Friday, according to Reilly, a fight at the tavern at 358 West Ontario Street spilled onto the street. When police arrived, they faced aggressive patrons as well as the tavern’s security guards. Four people were arrested on Friday and two more on Saturday. On top of that, the tavern was issued four citations.

    Reilly says Nouveau Tavern gets numerous 911 calls and, at his urging, the area is getting extra attention from police.

    “Like most neighbors, I am incredibly frustrated with the multiple steps of ‘due process’ that has been afforded this establishment as they continue to violate city laws and negatively impact quality-of-life for residents.”

    He says addressing the safety, nuisance, and other chronic problems with Nouveau Tavern is a “top priority” for his office.

    Nouveau Tavern Nouveau Tavern describes itself as a New Orleans style restaurant serving Southern cuisine. According to its owners, it is also the only black-owned nightclub in River North.

    In August, racist graffiti was spray-painted on the front of the restaurant.

    19-Oct-14 – A settlement conference has been scheduled in the lawsuit filed by an Air India pilot against the owner and operator of Hotel 71.

    Pankul Mathur Pankul Mathur (left) is suing Hospitality Properties Trust, the real estate investment trust that currently owns the hotel – now known as Wyndham Grand Riverfront Hotel – and Wyndham Hotel Management, Inc.

    The settlement conference has been scheduled for November 18.

    The 46-year-old airline captain says while staying at the Wacker Drive hotel on April 15, 2013, a large African-American woman pushed her way into his room and robbed him. As the woman fled, he says employees of the hotel refused to help him.

    Both parties have completed most of the discovery phase of the lawsuit but need more time to collect depositions. In case the conference does not result in a settlement, they have asked the judge to extend the discovery deadline to January 30, 2015.

     Previous story: Air India pilot reiterates robbery at Hotel 71

    Google

    (Above) Google Street View of North Dearborn Street as it intersects with West Ontario Street in River North. (Click on image to view larger version.)

    15-Oct-14 – An organization that advocates for safer transportation has released its list of Chicago intersections it says are the most dangerous – and one of them is in River North.

    After studying state and city accident data and more than 800 suggestions from the public, Active Transportation Alliance selected the following Chicago intersections on which its “Safe Crossings” campaign will focus...

    • Milwaukee Avenue & North Avenue & Damen Avenue
    • Cicero Avenue & Chicago Avenue
    • Halsted Street & Lincoln Avenue & Fullerton Avenue
    • Cottage Grove Avenue & 79th Street
    • Dearborn Street & Ontario Street
    • Ashland Avenue & 63rd Street
    • Cicero Avenue & Madison Street
    • Ashland Avenue & Cortland Street
    • Martin Luther King Drive & 63rd Street
    • Elston Avenue & Western Avenue & Diversey Avenue

    The alliance wants the city to spend more money to improve street design and increase enforcement of traffic laws at major intersections.

    “Our streets are valuable public spaces and crossing them shouldn’t require putting your life at risk,” says executive director Ron Burke.

    78 percent of all traffic accidents involving pedestrians happen within 125 feet of an intersection, according to the city. In Chicago, pedestrians accounted for 33 percent of all traffic fatalities in 2012, compared to only 14 percent statewide. 69 percent of all pedestrian fatalities in Illinois that year happened in Chicago.

     Related story: ‘Open Streets’ group wants Mag Mile car-free

    1871

    (Above) Pat Quinn (wearing the tie), J.B. Pritzker (right of Quinn), and Howard Tullman (right of Pritzker) cut a ribbon on Tuesday morning to officially open new space at 1871. (Photo obtained from 1871. Click on image to view larger version.)

    17-Oct-14 – Big ideas need lots of room. River North’s technology incubator has opened new space at Merchandise Mart that increases its size from 50,000 to 75,000 square feet.

    Governor Pat Quinn, philanthropist and venture capitalist J.B. Pritzker, and 1871 CEO Howard Tullman officially unveiled the space on Tuesday at a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

    The new space will house tech companies that have outgrown their current space, along with venture capital firms and hundreds of other organizations.

    The cost of the new space was paid for by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

    “Since its inception, 1871 and its alumni companies have created more than 1,000 jobs and this new space will allow the hub to expand and create more high-tech companies and good jobs right here in Illinois,” said Quinn.

    The entrepreneurial hub for digital startups was launched in 2012 on the 12th floor of Merchandise Mart.

     Previous story: Emanuel to 1871: 300 jobs down, 40,000 to go

    Trump International Hotel & Tower

    Discovery Channel

    (Above) Professional daredevil Nik Wallenda studies Marina City from the roof of Leo Burnett Building. (Click on image to view larger version.)

    30-Oct-14 – According to Howard Swartz, vice president of production and development at Discovery Channel, quoted Wednesday in the entertainment trade magazine Variety...

    • Two world records are within Wallenda’s reach. He could break the record for the high-wire walk with the steepest incline and the highest walk while blindfolded.
    • Two screens-within-a-screen during the walk between Marina City’s towers. Discovery Channel viewers will see Wallenda on one screen and commercials on the other.
    • Five miles of electronic cable.
    • Ten-second delay between what is happening live and what Discovery Channel shows.
    • Several condominium units are being used to secure some cables and the television production company, Peacock Productions, had to negotiate with each owner individually.

     Previous story: Wallenda’s precise path confirmed

    Photo by Howard Swartz

    (Above) Stages are being built on the 61st floor observation decks of both Marina City towers and some equipment has been added to the top of the west tower mechanical penthouse. This image was captured late Wednesday afternoon from the roof of Leo Burnett Building by Howard Swartz, Vice President of Production & Development at Discovery Channel. (Click on images to view larger versions.)

    29-Oct-14 – Nik Wallenda will walk a high wire from the tiptop of Marina City’s west tower mechanical penthouse to the roof of Leo Burnett Building. For his second stunt, he will walk blindfolded from the observation deck of the west tower to the observation deck of the east tower.

    Even after the stunt was announced on September 16, Wallenda’s exact path was still being determined. But with television production crews now building sets on the tops of Leo Burnett Building and both of Marina City’s towers, Discovery Channel, which will broadcast the event live to 220 countries, has confirmed the details of the route.

    The penthouse is an extension of the tower’s core, topping out at 588 feet above ground. It is 47.5 feet to the outer edge of the main tower three stories below.

    Also on Wednesday, there was more information on the lightweight cables that have been strung across the river.

    There are two such cables between the northeast corner of the Leo Burnett Building roof and the southwest corner of the AMA Plaza roof. One of the cables is for a camera that will track alongside Wallenda as he walks to Leo Burnett Building. The second line has reflectors and is required by the Federal Aviation Administration to alert any air traffic of low hanging wires.

    The cables stretching from Marina City’s west tower to Leo Burnett Building, and between Marina City’s two towers, are fiber optic cables over which video will be sent for the live broadcast.

    Photo by Howard Swartz (Left) Preparations on the roof across the river at Leo Burnett Building. (Photo by Howard Swartz.)

    Late Thursday night, the main high wires and supporting cables will be raised. A lighting rehearsal is scheduled for Friday night, a production rehearsal on Saturday night, and the event will happen on Sunday starting at 6 p.m. Central Time.

     Previous story: Wallenda finishes last practice walk

    Fox 13 WTVT-TV

    (Above) Video frame of Nik Wallenda on his last practice walk in Florida before traveling to Chicago. (Click on images to view larger versions.)

    28-Oct-14 – Nik Wallenda took his last practice walk on a high wire in Sarasota, Florida, on Monday morning. His crew then packed up the rigging to bring to Chicago for a stunt that could earn the daredevil two more world records.

    From the wire, which was at a relatively low height but still overhead of a crowd that showed up at his practice facility to watch, Wallenda spoke live to a television news show in Tampa.

    He says the biggest challenge about Chicago is going to be the weather and in particular, the wind.

    “I have trained immensely here in Sarasota and am more than prepared physically and ready to go. But the unknowns are, of course, Mother Nature and that’s really the one thing that we can’t control. I do my best to train in it here in ‘real world’ weather. I’ve trained in 20 to 30 mile an hour winds. We’ve brought in wind machines and created 60 to 80 mile an hour winds. So, I’m feeling very, very confident.”

    Extreme weather is not in the forecast for Sunday’s walk across the Chicago River, followed by a walk between the two towers at Marina City. Jim Cantore of The Weather Channel, who will co-host the live broadcast on Discovery Channel with two NBC News personalities, has told Wallenda “things are looking good.”

    “I won’t take that first step on the wire,” says Wallenda, “if the winds are over 50 miles per hour. We’re going to be well under that.”

    Discovery Channel

    (Above) Nik Wallenda on the roof of Leo Burnett Building on September 16. The top of Marina City’s west tower is at left.

    Wallenda says he walks to inspire others.

    “Not necessary to walk the wire but continue to push themselves to be better at whatever they do. If I want to inspire others then I better continue to push myself to be better.”

    Last Sunday, lightweight wires on which cameras will ride were strung between Marina City, Leo Burnett Building, and AMA Plaza. The main cables for the walk will be installed on Thursday night.

     Previous story: Wallenda camera wires hang over river

    Google Maps

    (Above) Map showing in red the area that will be closed and viewing areas in green. (Click on image to view larger version.)

    19-Oct-14 – Nik Wallenda will have a lot of elbow room when he walks a high wire from Marina City to Leo Burnett Building on November 2. The area 588 feet below him will be closed to pedestrians, vehicles, and boats.

    According to information from the Chicago Police Department released on Friday, the Chicago River bridges at State Street and Dearborn Street will be closed from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Between State and Dearborn, Wacker Drive will be closed on the south side of the river along with Marina City’s riverfront plaza on the north side.

    The river itself will be closed to watercraft from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The event will be broadcast live on Discovery Channel during that time. Wallenda will begin his walks around 7 p.m. and the entire stunt – Marina City to Leo Burnett, then Marina City’s east tower to its west tower – will take 30 to 45 minutes.

    The police will decide when streets can re-open and say it could be later than 9 p.m.

    There will still be access to Marina City from State and Dearborn, access to the Renaissance Hotel, and to Leo Burnett Building’s Catch 35 restaurant. However, Marina City’s parking ramps will be closed from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

    Public viewing will be on Wacker Drive – from Clark Street to Dearborn Street to the west and from Wabash Avenue to State Street to the east.

    Musco Lighting will have equipment in the north lane of Wacker Drive between LaSalle Street and Clark Street, and between Wabash Avenue and Michigan Avenue. Production staging will take place on the north sidewalk and curb lane of Wacker Drive between Wabash Avenue and State Street and on the east sidewalk and curb lane of Dearborn Street between Kinzie Street and the bridge.

    A memo from Marina City’s residential property manager on Friday asks residents to not have balcony lights on during the event and to refrain from grilling or using laser pointers, camera flash, and drones – and not yelling or making “loud disturbing sounds.”

     Previous story: Damage, cost top concerns during Wallenda negotiations

    27-Oct-14 – The Chicago Riverwalk will soon have no use for a construction barge and crane west of State Street. They will move off site this week after eight months of service.

    Photo by Steven Dahlman (Left) A Chicago Water Taxi passes a construction barge and crane building the Chicago Riverwalk between State and Dearborn Streets on Saturday. (Click on image to view larger version.)

    On the stretch of Riverwalk called Marina Plaza, between State and Dearborn Streets, a layer of granite will be installed over the raw concrete.

    Also this week, according to Chicago Department of Transportation, workers will continue installing...

    • The floor and overhead parts of the walkway below the Dearborn Street Bridge.
    • The concrete blocks that will make up the walls of longer passageways.
    • Wooden forms that will hold the concrete over the river wall and make walls, stair footings, and planters.
    • Other concrete forms and rebar.
    • Electrical conduits.

    They will also continue getting water out of the spaces between the old and new river walls.

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    Average price $52.36 $0.71 from previous day

    Steven Dahlman Steven Dahlman is editor and publisher of Marina City Online and Loop North News. He has 36 years of experience as a professional journalist – writing for websites, newspapers, magazines, radio, and television – and has been a professional photographer for the past 15 years.

    Steven was a radio news director, reporter, and anchor for more than a dozen stations and networks. From 1984 to 1990, he was a regular contributor to ABC Radio Networks. He is a frequent contributor to Chicago’s Skyline newspaper, published by Inside Publications, and a part-time news writer/anchor for Rivet News Radio, an Internet radio news service located in the West Loop.

    He is married to Dr. Carol Pandak, director of Rotary International’s global effort to eradicate polio. They live at Marina City in the River North neighborhood of downtown Chicago.

    Please send comments, complaints, corrections, news tips, suggestions, and questions to: news@loopnorth.com.

    40 °

    Saturday
    Partly cloudy. High 43F. Winds NNE at 10 to 20 mph.

    Saturday Night
    Clear. Low 36F. Winds WNW at 5 to 10 mph.

    Sunday
    Sunshine in the morning followed by cloudy skies during the afternoon. High 51F. Winds SSW at 10 to 20 mph.

    Sunday Night
    A few clouds. Low 42F. Winds SSW at 10 to 20 mph.

    Chicago Weather from Weather Underground

    November 1 – Landmarks Illinois presents the 2014 Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Preservation Awards. 6 p.m., InterContinental Hotel, 505 North Michigan Avenue. Cocktail reception at 4:30. RSVP by October 29 to Nick Harkin at nickh@carolfoxassocaites.com. Map.

    November 2 – Nik Wallenda. More info.

    November 2 – Poetry Off the Shelf: Eileen Myles. Chronicling the life of the writer in a queer, funny, feminist, and ultimately provocative way has made New York poet Eileen Myles’s readings a mix of stand-up, Zen talk, and poetry. Myles discusses Afterglow, her new fantasy and dog memoir about her longtime companion, Rosie. 2 p.m., Poetry Foundation, 61 West Superior Street. Map. More info.

    November 5 – Chicago-based dance company The Seldoms will perform segments from their latest dance work RockCitizen and discuss the multi-disciplinary, creative process behind their work. Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, Madlener House, 4 West Burton Place. Map. More info.

    November 6 – Author Garrett Caples lives in Oakland and is an editor at City Lights Books, where he curates the Spotlight poetry series. In this talk, Caples discusses surrealism and contemporary poetry. 6:30 p.m., Poetry Foundation, 61 West Superior Street. Free admission. Map.

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    Downtown Chicago Crime Report

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    Tue Oct 21 2014 9:00 AM
    THEFT - POCKET-PICKING
    200 S STATE ST
    OTHER
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    $14.3 million
    259 E ERIE ST
    • STRUCTURAL REINFORCEMENT TO 18TH FLOOR OF AN EXISTING HOSPITAL PER PLAN. STRUCTURAL PEER REVIEW
    $14.0 million
    259 E ERIE ST
    • SELF-CERT: INTERIOR ALTERATIONS TO 22ND AND 23RD FLOORS OF NORTHWESTERN MEDICAL GROUP NMG FACILITY AS PER PLANS. **SELF-CERTIFICATION PROJECT - CONDITIONAL PERMIT: SUBJECT TO AUDIT & FIELD INSPECTIONS**
    $6.985 million
    259 E ERIE ST
    • SELF CERT: INTERIOR ALTERATIONS TO THE 12TH FLOOR OPERATING ROOMS 7 AND 8 OF THE EXISTING NMH OUTPATIENT CARE PAVILION AS PER PLANS.
    $6.449 million
    320 N DEARBORN ST
    • REPLACE EXISTING FINISHES IN 424 GUESTROOMS. TO INCLUDE REPLACEMENT OF FLOOR AND WALL FINISHES. NO CHANGE TO ROOM OR WALL LAYOUT. REPLACE WALL AND FLOOR FINISHES IN HALLWAYS.
    Recent Failed Health Inspections
    UNDERGROUND WONDER BAR
    710 N CLARK ST
    • CANVASS
    Oct 22
    DOUGHNUT VAULT
    111 N CANAL ST
    • LICENSE
    Oct 17
    ORIGINAL MEATBALL VAULT
    131 N CLINTON ST
    • LICENSE
    Oct 16
    JIMMY JOHNS - LASALLE
    180 N LA SALLE ST
    • CANVASS
    Oct 9
    BELLO TEA
    131 N CLINTON ST
    • CANVASS
    Oct 9
    MCDONALDS
    29 N WACKER DR
    • CANVASS
    Oct 8
    MAXIMS RESTAURANT INC
    20 N CLARK ST
    • SHORT FORM COMPLAINT
    Oct 8
    PEETS COFFEE AND TEA
    10 S LA SALLE ST
    • LICENSE
    Oct 3
    OAK + CHAR
    217 W HURON ST
    • LICENSE
    Oct 2
    OAK + CHAR
    217 W HURON ST
    • LICENSE
    Oct 2
    SUBWAY
    304 W HUBBARD ST
    • COMPLAINT RE-INSPECTION
    Oct 1
    WISMA
    131 N CLINTON ST
    • CANVASS
    Sep 29
    SUBWAY SANDWICHES
    500 W MADISON ST
    • CANVASS
    Sep 29
    SUBWAY
    304 W HUBBARD ST
    • SUSPECTED FOOD POISONING
    Sep 29
    W CHICAGO - LAKESHORE
    644 N LAKE SHORE DR
    • CANVASS
    Sep 26
    TROPHY ROOM
    170 W ONTARIO ST
    • LICENSE RE-INSPECTION
    Sep 26
    SOPHIES AT SAKS FIFTH AVENUE
    700 N MICHIGAN AVE
    • CANVASS
    Sep 26
    DUNKIN DONUTS
    117 S CLINTON ST
    • CANVASS
    Sep 26
    DUNKIN DONUTS
    500 W MADISON ST
    • CANVASS RE-INSPECTION
    Sep 26
    NOMI
    800 N MICHIGAN AVE
    • CANVASS
    Sep 25