Our secret sauce is our writers
Loop North News

Dispatch

(Above) A typical photo from a previous incarnation of Loop North. It shows a 1980 Grand Prix Pontiac taking a flying leap off the 17th floor of the parking ramp at Chicago’s Marina City for the Paramount Pictures film, The Hunter.

16-May-22 – In the grand tradition of self-indulgent forewords from the editor, I offer you Dispatch, as a guide to our place in the Chicago metro news universe.

Later this year, Loop North turns 15 years old. Our beginnings could not have been humbler. After being out of the news business (local, regional, and national) for about ten years, I decided to turn my interest in Chicago’s Marina City into one of the very first “hyper-local” news sites. Marina City Online covered a whole city block in downtown Chicago.

My first story was about the quixotic claim by Marina Towers Condominium Association that they owned the copyright of “Marina City” and therefore I could not have a website that included photos of Marina City or with those words in the name.

I swear I’m not making that up. Fortunately, my attorney, Thomas Rosenwein, an expert on intellectual property, was able to explain the law to the condo board, and Marina City Online continued until 2015. It was then split into two websites, marinacity.org, which is all about all things Marina City, and loopnorth.com, which has now published more than 3,100 news stories.

Enough about me. I want to introduce our writers, whose voices craft our brand of metro news – which is news for people who don’t have a lot of time on their hands and in the time it took for them to read these four paragraphs, could have been doing something more productive.

Don DeBat – Real estate

Everything I know about real estate and 16-inch softball, I learned from Don DeBat. Don was covering real estate news, and playing full-contact softball with Mike Royko, when I was writing for my high school newspaper. Don has a straightforward, no-nonsense style and decades of experience in real estate, as a writer and as a homeowner.

Photo by Jim Frost

He will keep you informed on news and trends that impact your bottom line.

(Left) A younger Don DeBat rounds the bases after hitting a homer in the 1979 Grant Park Tournament of Champions game. Photo by Jim Frost.

Pamela Dittmer McKuen – Travel

I’ll try not to gush, but Pamela is a gifted writer and road warrior who brings to life travel destinations that are perfect for cooped-up Chicagoans. From the history of a location to practical travel recommendations, you will get up-to-speed on a place you may have heard about but have not yet visited.

In just the past year, Loop North readers have practically been, up close and personal, to Jonesborough, Tennessee; Fredericksburg, Texas; Hot Springs, Arkansas; Yellowstone National Park; and Nashville.

(Right) Pamela with a notorious visitor to Hot Springs, Arkansas.

Photo by Pamela Dittmer McKuen

Elisa Shoenberger – Metro

Elisa has a knack for finding interesting stories that are off the beaten path. Did you know one of the largest manufacturers of chocolate has headquarters in River North? I had no idea!

Elisa Shoenberger

She has also written about the foods of St. Patrick’s Day and Chinese New Year, birdwatching in downtown Chicago, changing COVID-19 guidelines, and COVID’s evolving impact on Chicago restaurants.

Mira Temkin – Theatre

I am so insanely jealous of Mira and let me tell you why. She gets paid to attend some of the best shows in a city known for its world-class theatre. She doesn’t tell you what your opinion of the show should be, but through her well-crafted reviews, encourages you to see for yourself and make up your own mind. Why can’t I have a job like that? Why do I have to be the editor?

(Right) Mira as a mind-bending optical illusion at the Museum of Illusions Chicago in 2021. Photo by Darryl Temkin.

Photo by Darryl Temkin

Howard Tullman – Business, Tech & Sage Advice

Writer, lecturer, educator, venture capitalist, serial entrepreneur, art collector. One thing is clear – Howard Tullman cannot keep a job. Howard doesn’t just cover business and tech, he is at the center of business and tech. We share Howard with Inc. magazine. I read him mostly for his outspoken views on the changing workforce, anchored by his decades of experience with changing the workforce.

Photo by Gregory Rothstein

(Left) Tullman (right in photo) and this editor in 2016. Photo by Gregory Rothstein.

Plus valuable coverage by Peter von Buol, Jim Vail, Patrick Butler, CWB Chicago, Cook County Record, and Courthouse News Service.

Stakeholders are who we are reaching. The business owners, the condo unit owners, the people who live and/or work in downtown Chicago. We will always value well-written stories, illustrated by captivating images, over “breaking” news. And our motto will always be...

You are busy, not easily impressed, and we are not going to waste a second of your time.

• Contact Steven Dahlman at sdahlman@loopnorth.com

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