TIME Food & Drink

Saturday Will Be the Best Day Ever if You Love Pizza (But Only if You Live in Chicago)

Pizza
Getty Images

Domino's will offer $1 pies across the area to celebrate its 100th Chicago location

Great news: on Saturday, you can get a whole lot of Domino’s pizza for super-duper cheap. Sadly, though, this comes with a few caveats. First, this only applies if you will be in the Chicago area, and second, the deal only lasts from noon to 1:40 p.m.

The chain is offering one-topping medium pies for $1 to celebrate the grand opening of its 100th Chicago location, the Chicago Tribune reports. (That means each pizza costs 100 cents and the deal is available for just 100 minutes. Get it?) Oh, another caveat: there’s a limit of five per customer, but that feels pretty reasonable.

TIME Transportation

Cities Have Found a New Way to Take Your Money

Yellow Traffic Light
Getty Images

Watch your speed at those yellow lights

Correction appended, Oct. 15.

All yellow traffic lights are not created equal, it seems. Especially in Chicago.

Earlier this year, the city began issuing tickets to motorists who drove through yellow lights that turned red fractions of a second shorter than the three-second city minimum. The change was slight, but the effect for the cash-starved city was real: nearly $8 million from an additional 77,000 tickets, according to the city’s inspector general.

All of those $100 tickets were issued after cameras installed at intersections caught the drivers as they passed through. These systems, known as red light cameras, are an increasingly controversial tactic for policing roadways. Established in the name of public safety, critics contend the cameras have become little more than a way for municipalities to funnel money into their coffers.

“If the machine is set to catch more people and generate more revenue, then it does not really seem to be about safety but about revenue,” says Joseph Schofer, a professor of transportation at Northwestern University.

Chicago isn’t the first municipality to benefit from shorter yellow traffic lights. In 2011, the Florida Department of Transportation secretly reduced its policy on the length of yellow lights, likely bringing millions of dollars in additional revenue to the state.

There is no federal rule for how long a yellow light should be illuminated, but the U.S. Department of Transportation recommends three to six seconds. Nationwide, a minimum of three seconds is generally considered standard. John Bowman, a spokesperson for the National Motorists Association, which opposes the cameras, says the organization routinely gets calls from people saying they received a red light camera ticket, believing the yellow light was too short.

“I don’t think you’re ever going to get a public official on the record saying, ‘We shortened them to make more money,’” Bowman says. “But I think that clearly goes on.”

Red light cameras gained popularity in the 1990s after New York became the first U.S. city to install a network. The initial motivation was safety, says Hani Mahmassani, the director of the Northwestern University Transportation Center. The hope was that cameras would deter drivers from running red lights if they knew it would lead to a ticket. But in the 2000s, as the popularity of the cameras grew, cities and the companies that manufactured, installed and helped operate the cameras adopted a revenue-sharing model. The more violations caught by the cameras, the more money the city and the businesses stood to make.

“That’s when it became a greed thing,” Mahmassani says.

By the end of the decade, red light camera networks were in hundreds of municipalities. Today, 499 towns and cities have adopted them, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

While the potential for profit is clear, the public safety value of red light cameras is fuzzy. Studies on whether red light cameras actually enhance safety are mixed. Several studies conducted by IIHS, which supports the cameras, show that crashes have not only decreased in intersections that utilize the cameras but that vehicle-related deaths have declined in those cities as well. But other research has shown that the cameras actually increase rear-end collisions because they force drivers to stop more quickly over fear that they’ll run the light and get ticketed, causing tailing motorists to smack into them.

And many of the systems have had other problems. In New Jersey, 17,000 motorists never received tickets for running a red light, while in Chicago, a former city official and the former CEO of Redflex Traffic Systems have been indicted as part of an alleged bribery scheme. There have also been reports of unexplained spikes in tickets given out by the system.

All of which has led to a growing backlash against the cameras. Red light cameras are currently banned in seven states, and others are considering outlawing them. In New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie says it’s unlikely he’ll extend the state’s red light cameras beyond their expiration date at the end of the year. In Ohio, state lawmakers are looking at banning them by requiring speeding or red light tickets to be handed out in person by officers. And in Chicago, the city said it will no longer ticket motorists who breeze through the shorter yellow. But it’s keeping the money from the ones it already issued.

Correction: The original version of this story misstated the relationship between the length of Chicago’s yellow lights and the city’s ticketing policy. Chicago began issuing new tickets for traffic violations after the city started using a different red light camera vendor earlier this year.

MONEY Budgeting

Guess Which U.S. City Is the Most Expensive

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Nikreates—Alamy

Hint: It's not NYC.

On average, American households spend the largest share of their annual expenditures on housing. The average family spends $16,887 on housing per year, equating to 33% of the average household’s annual expenditures. But how much do those expenses vary from city to city, and which places are the most expensive?

Well, the Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released a report (link opens PDF) detailing Americans’ average annual expenditures on housing and related items. And contrary to popular belief, New York City is not the most expensive city to live in. Two U.S. cities have overtaken it.

A breakdown of housing costs

The BLS took a deep dive into all the costs of housing, rather than simply comparing the cost of rent or average mortgage payments. Their analysis also took into account utilities (electric, water, and natural gas), household furnishings and equipment (textiles, furniture, floor coverings, appliances, and the like), housekeeping supplies, and other household expenses. What they found was that average annual expenditures on housing were far higher in both Washington, D.C., and San Francisco than in New York.

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The data is current as of 2012, and housing costs in the District of Columbia and San Francisco have risen since then. In D.C., the rise in housing costs is being led by the redevelopment and gentrification of the downtown area, which in turn is being triggered by the high relative number of government and government-related jobs, particularly in the defense contracting sector. Baby boomers are also moving from the suburbs into the city.

In San Francisco, housing costs have always been high, but they’re spiking because of a confluence of factors. The continued boom in technology companies in Silicon Valley — most notably Apple, Google, and Facebook — means that a growing cadre of high-paid employees want to live in the area. Add in a longtime lack of housing development in the city, and you have a rise in housing prices that has become a contentious issue in the San Francisco Bay area as longtime renters are priced out of the city. TechCrunch’s Kim-Mai Cutler provides a great, in-depth piece on San Francisco’s housing problem.

The difference in annual housing costs between the two most expensive cities and the national average is a staggering $10,000. Excluding New York City, the difference between the two most expensive cities and other major U.S. metropolitan areas is over $5,000 annually. If you’re thinking of moving, it’s smart to compare costs carefully before moving to one of the most expensive cities in the U.S.

National differences in housing cost

While the above data is just from major U.S. cities, we have other data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis showing the real value of housing dollars in each state compared with the national average.

real-value-of-housing_large

You can see that generally, coastal states are more expensive than non-coastal states, as many people enjoy living near the ocean. You can also see that the Northeast on average is more expensive than the rest of the country except for California. These high costs, coupled with better weather and low to no income taxes, are why many retirees move south to Florida, Texas, etc.

If considering moving to a more expensive city, you should be sure the benefits will be worth the extra expense. For instance, while I pay a high cost of living to live in New York City, the quality of life that I get in the city makes it well worth it, in my opinion. While New York state is ranked poorly in terms of the happiest states in the U.S., New York City is ranked in the top quartile by happiness among U.S. cities, according to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index.

The most important thing is to live in a place where you are happy. While the main determinants of happiness are the same for everyone, the specifics vary. Be sure that an increased cost of living comes with an increased quality of life.

TIME National Security

Chicago Teen Arrested for Trying to Join ISIS

The FBI intercepted him at O'Hare as he was allegedly on his way to join the militant group

A Chicago teenager was arrested at O’Hare International Airport over the weekend while allegedly attempting to go to Turkey to join the militant group Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), officials said Monday.

Mohammed Hamzah Khan, 19, was arrested by the FBI before he boarded a flight to Vienna on his way to Istanbul, and has been charged with one count of attempting to provide material support to a terrorist organization, according to a criminal complaint filed Monday by the Department of Justice. Khan is a U.S. citizen.

While he was at the airport, the FBI executed a search warrant at Khan’s family home and found handwritten documents expressing support for ISIS and a desire to fight along side the group, according to the criminal complaint filed in federal court. The documents included travel plans, drawings of the ISIS flag and flags of other known terrorist organizations, and a page that included writing in Arabic that, using another name for ISIS, said: “Islamic State in Iraq and Levant. Here to stay. We are the lions of war [unintelligible.] My nation, the dawn has emerged.”

Law enforcement also found a letter written to Khan’s parents that appeared to explain his thinking. He told them not to contact the authorities, that he was intending to “migrate” to ISIS “now that it has been established,” and that he was upset that his taxes were being used to kill his “Muslim brothers and sisters.”

Khan was in federal court Monday and was ordered held at least until a detention hearing on Oct. 9, the Associated Press reports. If convicted of attempting to provide material support to a terrorist organization, Khan could face up to 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

TIME Aviation

Flights in Chicago Slowly Return to Normal After Control Center Fire

Flight Cancellations Continue At Chicago's O'Hare After Yesterday's Fire
The arrival and departure display at O'Hare International Airport shows a list of cancelled flights on Sept. 27, 2014 in Chicago. Scott Olson—Getty Images

More than 2,000 cancelled flights and delays

The Federal Aviation Administration said Monday that it expects a Chicago-area air traffic control center to be fully operational in a couple weeks, after a fire there Friday led to thousands of canceled and delayed flights.

The fire at the air traffic control center in Aurora, Ill. led to more than 2,000 canceled flights on Friday at Midway and O’Hare airports. By Sunday, O’Hare Airport was about 60% operational while Midway was about 75% operational, according to the FAA, after Aurora-based traffic controllers relocated to facilities across the Midwest. Delays continued to persist on many flights.

The air-traffic controllers will continue to work at other facilities until the Chicago center is fully operational, which is expected to happen by Oct. 13

TIME faith

Pope Francis’s Winds of Change Cross the Atlantic

Pope Names Blase Cupich As New Archbishop Of Chicago
Archbishop-Elect Blase Cupich speaks to the press on September 20, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. Cupich, who served as bishop in Spokane, Washington, will succeed Chicago's Francis Cardinal George, who has been fighting a long battle with cancer, to become the 9th archbishop of Chicago. This is the first time in the history of the Chicago Archdiocese that a new leader has been appointed while the former is still alive. Scott Olson—Getty Images

In naming Blase Cupich Archbishop of Chicago, he's sending another big message

Over the weekend, Francis named Bishop Blase Cupich of Spokane, Washington as the next archbishop of Chicago. Cupich’s stunning promotion from a diocese with 90,000 Catholics to the ​third-largest diocese in the country with over 2.2 million Catholics was considered a long shot to most Vatican insiders.

By choosing Cupich in his first major appointment to the United States, Pope Francis has signaled that the pastoral revolution that has marked his papacy will be institutionalized long after his tenure ends as the Bishop of Rome.

So what exactly makes a “Pope Francis bishop” and how does Blase Cupich meet the criteria? Francis himself has named three things that are needed for an effective bishop: closeness to the realities of the people, a simplicity of life and a humble engagement with society.

In one of his first homilies after his election, Pope Francis said that bishops need to be so close to their people that they come home with the “smell of the sheep.” Blase Cupich apparently got the memo. Even before Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected Pope Francis, Cupich was practicing the art of accompaniment with considerable success.

In 2012, when the Obama Administration introduced a troublesome healthcare mandate that required all Catholic employers to provide contraception for their employees, many bishops threaten to shutdown Catholic soup kitchens and social service providers rather than abide by the mandate. While Cupich too opposed the mandate, he thought the threats to close Catholic providers were too extreme. He realized that these ministries were crucial to the people in his community and thought the idea of closing them were unnecessary “scare tactics.”

Another key characteristic of a Pope Francis bishop is simplicity. Francis has derided bishops who live with the “psychology of princes.” He even fired the German “bishop of bling” Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst who spent over 40 million euros renovating his residence. Cupich currently lives in a room in his diocese’s seminary and owns no furniture. One of his first major decisions as the archbishop of Chicago will be whether or not he wants to sell the diocese’s luxurious mansion in Lincoln Park. Based on Cupich’s past, it wouldn’t be surprising if he did in fact spurn the archbishop’s mansion.

The final characteristic of a Francis bishop is a humble engagement with society. Francis—rejecting the “cultural warrior” paradigm of religious leadership—says: “[r]eligion has the right to express its opinion in the service of the people, but God in creation has set us free: it is not possible to interfere spiritually in the life of a person.” When the State of Washington was considering same-sex marriage at the ballot box in 2012, Cupich—while opposing the measure—affirmed the viewpoint of those who supported the initiative:

“Proponents of the redefinition of marriage are often motivated by compassion for those who have shown courage in refusing to live in the fear of being rejected for their sexual orientation. It is a compassion that is very personal, for those who have suffered and continue to suffer are close and beloved friends and family members. It is also a compassion forged in reaction to tragic national stories of violence against homosexuals, of verbal attacks that demean their human dignity, and of suicides by teens who have struggled with their sexual identity or have been bullied because of it.”

Cupich, like Francis, has instead chosen to use his political capital to lead on economic inequality. At a conference in Washington, DC last June, Cupich joined other Catholic leaders in denouncing libertarianism as antithetical to Catholic social values. “Realities are greater than ideas,” Cupich said at the conference. “Instead of approaching life from the 30-thousand-feet level of ideas, [Pope Francis] challenges policy makers and elected officials — indeed all of us — to experience the life of everyday and real people.”

Jesus says in the Gospel of John that the Holy Spirit is a “wind that blows where it will.” If that’s the case, it’s no surprise that the new spirit enlivening the Catholic Church made its first major American stop in the Windy City on its trans-Atlantic adventure from Rome.

Christopher Hale is a senior fellow at Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good and the co-founder of Millennial. He helped lead national Catholic outreach for President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Football

Chicago Bears’ Brandon Marshall Addresses Domestic Abuse Claims

Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall looks on from the sidelines during a game against the Buffalo Bills in Chicago on Sept. 7, 2014.
Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall looks on from the sidelines during a game against the Buffalo Bills in Chicago on Sept. 7, 2014. Scott Boehm—AP

"We have to gather all the facts before we play judge and jury"

Pro football player Brandon Marshall defended himself Thursday against allegations that the National Football League had mishandled Marshall’s alleged 2007 assault of his ex-girlfriend.

Celebrity attorney Gloria Allred claimed the NFL had failed to properly investigate Marshall’s arrests on suspicion of domestic abuse and misdemeanor battery in 2007 and 2008.

“We have to gather all the facts before we play judge and jury,” the Chicago Bears star said at a press conference. “Because there are two sides to a story. And there are some thing that we don’t know.”

Marshall has insisted he never “put a hand to” ex-girlfriend Rasheeda Watley, and demanded an apology from ESPN, which resurfaced allegations of domestic abuse in a televised profile.

Still, he acknowledged that his relationship with Watley had been rocky and said that he has been attending therapy sessions since. “We argued every single day. We treated each other bad. We had no business being in a relationship,” he said.

While defending himself, Marshall said his life had been touched by domestic violence growing. “I grew up in a house, in an environment, in a neighborhood where it was volatile,” he said. “Domestic violence is serious. I saw how it affected my mother.”

The wide receiver’s remarks come the day after the Chicago Bears issued a statement defending the player.

 

TIME society

These Are the 25 Best Museums in the World

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The Art Institute of Chicago Charles Cook—Getty Images

Chicago's Art Institute tops this list by Trip Advisor, with Mexico City's National Museum of Anthropology close behind

If you’re booking vacations for the holidays, take note: TripAdvisor has released a list of the 25 best museums in the world.

The rankings — part of TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice awards — are based on millions of reviews from travelers across the globe over the past 12 months.

Coming in at number one is the renowned Art Institute of Chicago. Founded in 1879, the popular Windy City destination houses more than 300,000 pieces of art, including famous works like Grant Wood’s American Gothic, Claude Monet’s Stack of Wheat and Georges Seurat’s A Sunday on La Grande Jatte. (You’ll also remember this museum from that awesome scene in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.)

Other top museums on the list include the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City, the State Hermitage Museum and Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, the Getty Center in Los Angeles and the Musee d’Orsay in Paris. The full list is here.

Oh, and if these museums seem a bit too quotidian for you, check out our list of the 10 weirdest museums in the world. You know, for some variety.

 

TIME Accident

Chicago Church Sorry for Falling Gargoyle That Killed Mom

Chicago Cityscapes And City Views
The Second Presbyterian Church in Chicago, Illinois on April 1, 2011. Raymond Boyd—Getty Images

Second Presbyterian Church remains open

A historic Chicago church apologized Friday to the family of a woman who was killed Thursday when she was struck by crumbling pieces of a gargoyle that fell off the church steeple.

The church said it is “deeply sorry at the death,” Reuters reports. Sara Bean, 34, was walking to lunch with her fiancé Thursday when the gargoyle pieces fell on her. She was a nurse’s aide and a mother of two boys, ages 10 and 14. The fiancé, her longtime boyfriend, is the children’s father.

Second Presbyterian Church, located in the South Loop neighborhood near downtown Chicago, dates from 1873 and is one of the oldest buildings in the city. It moved quickly to put protective scaffolding around the structure, Reuters reports.

The building has no outstanding complaints but in 2011 failed an inspection due to problems that included a failure to maintain exterior walls. After repairs were made that case was dismissed. The church was made a historic landmark last year and will remain open despite the tragedy.

[Reuters]

TIME celebrity

Chris Pratt Messes Up First Pitch at Cubs Game, Is Completely Charming About It

He was in Chicago filming Parks and Recreation

We’ve finally found the one thing Chris Pratt cannot do perfectly: throw a baseball. He took the mound at Wrigley Field yesterday to throw the first pitch on behalf of the Cubs — and while it wasn’t a complete disaster, it definitely wasn’t great:

As expected, though, he totally pulled a Chris Pratt and was adorable and charming about the whole thing. The Parks and Recreation star, who was in Chicago filming the show, just threw his hands in the air, shrugged it off, smiled his Chris Pratt smile, and moved on with his life. Then he took selfies with fans because he’s the best:

To be fair, the pitch wasn’t nearly as bad as some of the other first pitches we’ve seen — but even if it had been the worst one of all time, we’re confident that Pratt would have found a way to make it adorable.

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