Mason Johnson

(Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

Illinois Ranks Low In List Comparing Gun Laws, Gun Ownership And Gun Deaths By State

With Chicago’s hyperbolic reputation when it comes to gun violence, data like this can be perplexing. If this data is right though, Illinois ranks rather low when it comes to gun deaths when compared to other states.

06/25/2014

Amara Enyia (Photo Credit: Obari Cartman)

Mayoral Candidate, Dr. Amara Enyia: Chicago Has A ‘Political System That No Longer Works For The People’

“This is about the state of our democracy, and in order to have an effective democracy, you’ve got to be willing to look at individuals for who they are and question ‘What are their values?’”

06/18/2014

Dr. Amara Enyia, who’s running for Mayor of Chicago.

Mayoral Candidate: Mayor Emanuel Is The ‘Typical Candidate,’ And That’s The Problem

Her political and community experience, not to mention a law degree and PhD in Educational Policy, make her seem like a viable candidate for Mayor of Chicago. Yet to many, Dr. Amara Enyia just won’t seem conventional enough for the Chicago political machine.

06/16/2014

Kusanya in swahili roughly means "to gather." (Photo Credit: Mason Johnson)

Englewood Cafe Succeeds Where The ‘Chicago Political Machine’ Fails

Looking at Kusanya Cafe, which serves great coffee and food and acts as an anchor for the Englewood community, the path to improving Chicago’s impoverished and violence-plagued neighborhoods becomes clear.

06/05/2014

I guess that's an old computer... ? (Photo by Mike Lawn/Fox Photos/Getty Images)

The Illinois Politicians That Want To Take Your Internet Rights Away From You

With net neutrality effectively neutered, Internet service providers (ISPs) starting to do as they please and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) attempting to create new rules for broadband Internet, now is a good time to take stock of those who support an open Internet and those who don’t.

05/13/2014

What a sweet computer, bro! No, this wasn't the best photo we had, I just liked it. (Photo Credit: ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

A Quick And Dirty Guide To Net Neutrality

Net neutrality is a simple concept: it’s the idea that big companies that provide Internet have to treat all websites as equals. What does this mean for you and me?

05/13/2014

An assortment of Hot Doug’s hot dogs & sausages (Photo Credit: Dave Johnson)

Hot Doug’s To Close Permanently In October

It looks like Hot Doug’s, the holy temple of hot dogs located in Avondale, is closing. Not to be hyperbolic, but this may be the worst news. Ever.

05/06/2014

(Photo Credit: Mason Johnson)

Happy May Day! The Minimum Wage Still Hasn’t Been Raised… So Let’s Create A Maximum Wage!

If the government doesn’t raise the minimum wage soon, should they instead create a maximum wage for the rich? One writer thinks so…

05/01/2014

(Photo Credit: Sonic Drive-In Chicago, Uptown’s Facebook)

Sonic Drive-In Opens Uptown Restaurant Ahead Of Schedule

Before today, Chicagoans had travel outside the city to indulge in Sonic, a drive-in fast food restaurant established in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Well, the wait for one within Chicago’s city limits — and it was a long wait — is finally over. The Sonic Drive-In in Uptown opened its doors to the public Thursday.

05/01/2014

Local writer Don De Grazia poignantly explains how Malort is a metaphor for life at the Underground Wonder Bar.

Documentary Being Made About Chicago’s Worst Liquor, Jeppson’s Malort, Due Out This Summer

Jeppson’s Malort is a Chicago liquor known mostly for its painfully bitter, awful taste. Its taste starts off innocent enough, a little citrusy with a hint of honey, but then the wormwood punches you right in the face. Malort’s even spawned a ritual in which locals convince out-of-towners to down a shot in the hopes of seeing their “malort face” — an expression of horror and pain.

04/07/2014

Read the poem in full in the about section of the video's YouTube page.

Youth Poetry Team Obliterates Mayor ‘Wreck-It Rahm’ In Viral YouTube Video

Mayor Emanuel’s loudest opponent isn’t a local politician or the Chicago Teacher Union’s Karen Lewis. That honor goes to the teens in the slam poetry group TEAM Englewood, whose latest poem verbally eviscerates the Mayor.

03/14/2014

(Photo by Paula Bronstein /Getty Images)

Here’s Why Your Heating Bill Has Been So High (It’s Not Just The Cold)

Has your heating bill gone way up the last few months? Especially compared to last year? There’s a reason for that. Actually, there are many reasons, and not all of them have to do with the terrible cold that’s caught Chicago in a mercilessly frigid headlock.

02/13/2014

(Photo Credit: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

Chicagoan Asks Kickstarter To Fund His $8 Project: ‘Graphing The Deliciousness Of A Chicken Burrito!’

Kickstarter is usually the tool artists use to fund their dream projects, asking strangers on the internet to give a little bit of cash to help their big ideas come to fruition. Individuals have used Kickstarter to fund movies, graphic novels, photography books… and now, a Chipotle burrito.

02/10/2014

Will Guzzardi (Photo Credit: Christopher Dilts)

State Rep. Candidate Turns To Reddit For Q&A, Claims State Rep. Toni Berrios ‘Simply Hasn’t Been On Our Side’

Will Guzzardi, a Democrat running for Illinois State Representative, turned to the popular website Reddit on Thursday to have a direct discussion with voters.

01/30/2014

Taser & Sharpie (Photo Credit: romprescue.com / Puppy Bowl X)

Puppy Bowl X To Feature Two Chicago Puppies

The Bears may not have made it anywhere near the Super Bowl, but there are at least two Chicagoans you’ll be able to cheer for on February 2nd: Sharpie and Taser, two puppies from ROMP Italian Greyhound Rescue. The pups will be appearing in Puppy Bowl X…

01/24/2014

The Ghost Burger from Kuma’s Corner. (Credit: Kuma’s Corner)

Chicago Burger Makes Time Magazine’s ‘Most Influential Burgers of All Time’ List

There was a time when burgers were judged solely by taste. Well, according to Time magazine, you can now judge them by influence. Chicago has made Time’s recent Most Influential Burgers list with a burger that, in true Chicago fashion, caused quite a bit of a stir.

01/15/2014

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

With Ventra Back On The Rails, Transition To The New Fare Payment System Could Soon Resume

According to the Chicago Transit Authority, there could be a new transition schedule for the Ventra fare payment system as early as next month. This comes after the CTA set three performance standards for Cubic Transportation Systems — the company behind Ventra — back in November. As of January 1st, the CTA says Cubic has met these standards.

01/13/2014

(Photo by Tim Boyle/Newsmakers)

Craigslist Ad Sells ‘Dibs’ Chairs Collected From Chicago Parking Spots

One Chicagoan has done exactly what many have been dying to do. This person has been going from neighborhood to neighborhood and taking dibs chairs — chairs saving parking spots for people — from saved spots.

01/08/2014

(Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

CTA Auctioning Off Bus Stop Signs, Rail Ties And Even Two Entire ‘L’ Train Cars

If you have the cash to outbid the competition, you can soon purchase your very own Chicago L train. No word yet on whether it comes with angry passengers complaining about Ventra.

12/12/2013

A view of a family decorating a Christmas Tree.  (Photo Credit: Carlos Javier Ortiz)

Photographer Seeks Funds For Book Chronicling Youth Violence In Chicago

To some, youth violence in Chicago is nothing more than statistics taking up time on their nightly newscast. Carlos Javier Ortiz — in his upcoming book titled We All We Got … — hopes to show you more than a bunch of numbers. He hopes to show you the victims, families and communities plagued by violence, and he hopes you’ll see just how human they really are.

12/06/2013

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