Friday Field Notes

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By Dan Haley

Editor and Publisher

  • Self-checkout lanes are disappearing from local Jewels. Already gone from 8 stores, including the River Forest store on Lake Street. Jewel's spin is that they want to provide better customer connections and that self-checkout is the antithesis of connecting. In a report from Medill News Service, though, the floral manager of the Jewel in River North says rampant shoplifting is the real motivation for the change. "People pay for one thing and put two in the bag," says the fellow.
  • Today's Robert Feder media column notes this is the 25th anniversary of the launch of V-103, now the top-rated radio station in Chicago with its urban contemporary music format. Feder talked about the station's launch as a replacement for WBMX (The Black Music Experience). The column does not mention that the station is licensed out of Oak Park or that at its launch it was still broadcasting from high atop the Oak Park Arms retirement hotel at Washington and Oak Park Avenue. From some very cramped and curious offices in "the penthouse" of the Arms, V-103 cohabited with WOPA, an AM signal featuring brokered ethnic programs. The station long ago moved to studios in the Loop but its roots remain in Oak Park.
  • We're breaking the news this afternoon that State Rep. Chris Welch is leaning hard toward supporting the Marriage Equality law in Illinois. Our Deb Kadin interviewed Welch earlier this week and got his views. Like many black legislators, Welch has been under heavy pressure to oppose gay marriage from a block of South Side African American ministers. Deb will also be live blogging the pro-gay marriage rally for the Journal next Tuesday. She'll be riding an Oak Park Temple bus to Springfield and reporting in through the day.
  • Is the William Winslow House, one of Wright's earliest commissions, about to hit the market? That's the rumor on the web and in town. The River Forest home has not been sold since the 1950s.

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