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Thursday, May 4, 2006 07:29 am

The Hype

Drinking competition; Wiki whack; equality in marriage

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Drinking, competition Just think: apple martinis at Apple River Fort; Jack-and-Cokes at Cahokia Mounds — delicious, educational, and an additional source of revenue for Illinois. Senate Bill 2454, which allows booze to be sold at private soirees at facilities under the purview of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, is awaiting the signature of Gov. Rod BlagojevicH. Previously, only nonprofits could hawk spirits at such hobnobbing functions. Pasfield House owner Tony Leone won’t drink to that idea. He believes that the bill creates an uneven playing field between smaller, more intimate private venues such as his and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. But Dave Blanchette, a spokesman for Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, says that the IHPA, which lobbied for the bill, doesn’t consider itself a competitor with small-business owners such as Leone — especially when you consider that renting the ALPLM runs between $500 and $4,000 per event. “We hope there will be a net increase in business,” Blanchette says.
Wiki whack What blogging did for journalism, Wikipedia is doing for scholarship — and that ain’t necessarily a good thing. Archdiocese of Chicago volunteer John Powers is in the midst of a Web war of words over the Wikipedia entry for U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-8th. Last August, when Schakowsky’s husband, Evanston businessman Robert Creamer, pleaded guilty to a charge of writing bogus checks, Powers added the Creamer information to the congresswoman’s Wikipedia article. Several days later, another user removed the information. Power adds information on Creamer when news breaks; shortly thereafter, someone takes it off, he says. Since August, more than 30 Creamer-related edits to Schakowsky’s entry have been made. Powers says that he’s tried to create separate Creamer entries, but they, too, keep getting deleted. “I’m tired of it; I don’t care about Jan Schakowsky,” he says. “I’ll wear out before them because I have better things to do.”
Equal marriages Rick Garcia, public-policy director for the Equality Illinois, the state’s largest gay-rights advocacy group, called for immigration reform on Monday at a rally in Chicago. According to a press release, the organization is concerned about undocumented partners of gay and lesbian American citizens. Because neither the federal government nor most states, including Illinois, recognize same-sex marriages, illegal-immigrant partners of gay citizens may be deported, they fear. So throughout May, Equality Illinois, the Illinois ACLU, Equal Marriage Illinois, and Lambda Legal will hold training sessions on “Making the Case for Full Marriage Equality in Our Lifetimes” in Naperville, Aurora, Joliet, Rockford, DeKalb, the Quad Cities, and Carbondale.
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