AUSTIN IN BRIEF
Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd) is demanding a new Walmart in the West Loop hire locals to work on and at the store.

At a groundbreaking for a new police station on the Near West Side two week’s ago, Fioretti said he’s been meeting with representatives from the company to talk about their plans for the store.

“It wouldn’t matter who they were – they have to hire from the community,” Fioretti insisted. “Not just Walmart, but Target, Costco, all the groups. That way, we have people working, walking to work in our communities.”

He said he was drawing up a list of things he wanted to see Walmart offer to the community. Earlier at the same event, outgoing Mayor Richard M. Daley lambasted the city’s aldermen for fighting the Walmart influx, and the relative quiet that’s surrounded the Presidential Towers store.

“We fought six years for Walmart, and everybody loves Walmart now. I don’t get it. … We’re building one at Presidential Towers, no one says anything.” Daley said. “All the aldermen … now they all want ’em. It’s like, you know, they want ice cream, and they want it bad, they want it right away, and so it’s really kind of sad.”

The proposed store would be one of Walmart’s Neighborhood Markets, essentially a grocery store.

A Walmart spokesman did not return calls for comment.

New film transports literary classic to Chicago’s

Sherwood Anderson’s 1919 novel, Winesburg, Ohio, is considered one of 20th century American’s finest literary moments. Through a series of 22 vignettes, the book follows the fractured lives that inhabit a small, fictional burg, particularly a young man as he grows into adulthood and his interactions with his family. The work has influenced and inspired such writers as Ray Bradbury, Henry Miller, and H.P. Lovecraft.

A new film, Chicago Heights, throws its hat into adapting the novel.

Director Daniel Nearing moves Anderson’s stories from Ohio to the film’s namesake, a city situated southwest of downtown Chicago-a far cry from rural Winesburg.

Change ripples into the players, as well, with mostly African American characters replacing Winesburg, Ohio’s white populace. The film begins as Anderson’s does, with an aged writer lying alone in his bed reflecting upon his life in a family of “grotesques.” The reference runs throughout, signifying a distortion of truth. These distortions unfold in intertwining sequences that snake through and around the Walker family- a stern father, a terminally ill mother, and a teen with aspirations of becoming a writer. Also present are their local pastor, a young college instructor who serves as both inspiration and temptation, and boarders who inhabit the Walker home.

Chicago Heights presents these stories in an experimental manner, eschewing a straight linear narrative in favor of weighty bursts that emphasize emotional pull. The film is hot in crisp black and white photography, with brief flashes of vivid color.

Nikki Giovanni to speak at HWL

Nikki Giovanni, author of more than 30 books for adults and children, will appear from 2-3 p.m. Saturday April 30 at Harold Washington Library, 400 S. State.

– Compiled by Austin Weekly News and Chicago Journal