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Stories by Erica Gunderson

Ask Geoffrey: How Does Edens Expressway Stay Billboard-Free?

Most Chicago-area expressways are littered with billboards. How did one expressway escape the same fate? Geoffrey Baer drives by with the answer to that and other viewer questions in this encore edition of “Ask Geoffrey.”

Conversion of Logan Square Church into Apartments Sparks Gentrification Debate

The now-closed Church of the Advent, 2900 W. Logan Blvd., in Logan Square.

As religious congregations shrink, churches all over the city are being shuttered and converted into luxury residences. But not everyone is happy with the results. 

Chicago Couple Opens Lakeside Resort in Wisconsin’s Northwoods

Chicagoans Darren and Genevieve Coady opened Coadys’ Point of View in Wisconsin last year. (Courtesy Genevieve Coady)

Chicagoans Darren and Genevieve Coady are getting ready for their first summer as owners of a lakeside resort in Wisconsin’s Northwoods. 

Researchers Find Microplastics in Illinois Groundwater

(Courtesy of the University of Illinois)

We discuss the latest science headlines with Rabiah Mayas, associate director of the Science in Society program at Northwestern University.

Ask Geoffrey: What’s ‘Heinemann Studio’ Building in Back of the Yards?

When walking through Chicago’s older neighborhoods, you can often find hints about the history of their buildings just by looking up. Geoffrey Baer looks back – and up – at some architectural gems.

The Implications of Six Flags Biometrics Ruling on Silicon Valley

(NEC Corporation of America / Flickr)

What an Illinois Supreme Court ruling about biometrics privacy could mean for Google, Facebook – and everyone else.

American Auto History Shines at Chicago Vintage Motor Carriage

Chicago Vintage Motor Carriage’s 1932 Ruxton at the Geneva Concours d’Elegance. (Credit: Bill Ficht)

Travel through American automotive history with a glimpse at an extraordinary private collection of vintage cars.

New Nonprofit Gives Old Furniture – and People – Second Chances

Meet the founders of the Chicago Furniture Bank, which offers people in need an apartment’s worth of gently used furniture, including beds for each family member, for just $50.

Snow Much Fun: Cool Activities for Cold Weather

(fensterbme / Flickr)

Why should summer get all the love? We explore the wonderland of winter adventure to be had in Chicago – both indoors and out.

Unlimited Paid Time Off: Too Good to Be True?

(StartupStockPhotos / Pixabay)

For most of us, the idea of taking as many paid vacation days as we want sounds like a dream. But reviews of unlimited PTO from the rank and file are not all raves.

#DeleteFacebook: Is It Time to Say Farewell to Facebook?

(LoboStudioHamburg / Pixabay)

After a year of security breaches, data privacy concerns and political intrusions, some Facebook users are pulling the plug. Should you?

New Nonprofit Gives Old Furniture – and People – Second Chances

Meet the founders of the Chicago Furniture Bank, which offers people in need an apartment’s worth of gently used furniture, including beds for each family member, for just $50.

Ask Geoffrey: What Happened to ‘World’s Greatest Newspaper’?

Geoffrey Baer has some newspaper history hot off of yesteryear’s presses, and dives deep into the fishy story of storm drain covers in this encore edition of Ask Geoffrey.

How Older Investors Can Avoid Financial Scams

(sabinevanerp / Pixabay)

It’s estimated that financial exploitation of seniors may cost as much as $3 billion every year. Joel Levin, director of the SEC’s Chicago regional office, shares tips for avoiding financial scams.

Ask Geoffrey: Was There an Egg Factory in Bronzeville?

(Courtesy of the Glessner House Museum)

A viewer says her uncle used to swipe eggs from a factory in Bronzeville in the 1940s or ‘50s. Chicago history eggs-pert Geoffrey Baer has the surprising answer to that and other questions.

New Book ‘Art of Logic’ a Guide to Having Better Arguments

(rawpixel / Pixabay)

Do you want to avoid illogical arguments over the holidays? In her new book, “The Art of Logic in an Illogical World,” Eugenia Cheng explains how to apply the art of logic to debates.

American Auto History Shines at Chicago Vintage Motor Carriage

Chicago Vintage Motor Carriage’s 1932 Ruxton at the Geneva Concours d’Elegance. (Credit: Bill Ficht)

Travel through American automotive history with a glimpse at an extraordinary private collection of vintage cars.

Ask Geoffrey: What Became of Artist Behind These 1970s Murals?

(Credit: LUNA, University of Chicago, George Stahl Mural Collection)

A viewer remembers helping an artist paint vivid rainbow stripes on the walls of Lower Wacker Drive as a teenager, but she can’t recall the artist’s name.

Ask Geoffrey: What Happened to Andy Frain Ushers?

For many years, sports fans in Chicago were welcomed to games by clean-cut and friendly Andy Frain ushers. The story of the man behind the house of ushers in this encore edition of Ask Geoffrey.

New Podcast ‘The City’ Digs Up Dirt on Old Chicago Scandal

We speak with Robin Amer, the creator of a new podcast from USA Today that takes a broad look at the events that led up to the so-called Operation Silver Shovel scandal – and the fallout that continues to this day.

Turnover and Turmoil at USA Gymnastics

In this July 24, 2018, file photo, Kerry Perry, president of USA Gymnastics, speaks during a Senate Commerce subcommittee hearing in Washington. (AP Photo / Susan Walsh, File)

Scandals plague USA Gymnastics in the wake of the Larry Nassar sexual abuse catastrophe. USA Today columnist Nancy Armour has the latest.

Is Rent Control the Fix for Affordable Housing in Chicago?

Chicago voters overwhelmingly favor lifting the state’s ban on rent control, but is it really the way to more affordable housing?

Ask Geoffrey: The History of Houseboats on the Chicago River

Geoffrey Baer floats through a bygone colony of houseboats that once populated our city’s favorite Y-shaped waterway in this encore edition of Ask Geoffrey.

The Promise and Pitfalls of CBD Oil in Medicine

Bottles of cannabidiol (Vaping360 / Flickr)

Cannabidiol, or CBD oil, is increasingly being used to treat a range of ailments, from basic pain to rheumatoid arthritis to, in one Schaumburg child’s case, epilepsy.

Public Health Chief Addresses Lead Contamination in Chicago Homes

(Pixabay)

The city acknowledges elevated levels of lead in some homes. How concerned should Chicagoans be about the safety of their tap water?