This may be your time to shine

DAN MORAN: Have you ever wanted to be an actor? A model? A subject in a video clip that is trending on social media for reasons other than humiliation or disaster? Well, the looming summer tourist season is bringing with it an opportunity to star in a locally produced commercial for all things Lake County, and your casting call is coming up next month.

’Tis the season for casino talks

DAN MORAN: If it is almost May in Illinois, then it is time to start talking about casino expansion, whether or not it ever will happen. At the very least, the final month of the current legislative session is a time when observers on the gaming front tout the details of the latest and greatest expansion bill, hoping everyone has forgotten how these things usually end with stalled vote, a governor’s veto or a similar whimper.

A stranger in a strange land

DAN MORAN: Luol Deng looked lost and lonely, not participating in game action but still wearing the unfamiliar crimson and yellow of the Cleveland Cavaliers instead of the Chicago Bulls red he wore for many above-average years.

Remembering a theater ‘visionary’


DAN MORAN: Ray Shepardson died this week, 10 years after the theater preservationist departed the Genesee Theatre restoration project in acrimony and left behind a story of civic struggle and success that unfolds to this day.

Accident victim thankful for EMTs

DAN MORAN: No one wants to become a headline in an unplanned way, especially in the middle of a volunteer community event that you would prefer to have all the attention.

‘Generation Next’ talks about pot

DAN MORAN: Back in the 1970s, when not only Cheech but also Chong were household names, legalization of the duo’s trademark substance seemed to be days, if not hours, from happening.

Timely tip: Get your kicks on Route 37

DAN MORAN: Get hip to this timely tip: When you make that Kenosha trip, get your kicks on Route 37. Not exactly the catchy rhyme penned by Bobby Troup and crooned by everyone from Nat King Cole to the Rolling Stones.

Yellow ‘petals’ a sure sign of spring

DAN MORAN: A sure sign of spring is the appearance of tulips as they tentatively poke their heads through the rough post-winter soil — or maybe it’s an unsure sign, because they sometimes get dumped on by a freak April snowstorm.

Oak Creek Canyon: A Life List must

If the Grand Canyon and the Rocky Mountains had a baby, it would look like Oak Creek Canyon, a collection of kaleidoscope-colored bluffs and hardy pine trees around a tumbling river near Sedona, Arizona.

North Chicago No. 14 on ‘Safest Cities’ list

DAN MORAN: In an age where the Internet spreads information faster and farther than a sneeze sends out a cold, civic leaders hold their breath whenever they see a headline like “100 Most Dangerous Cities in America.”

Grit teeth when navigating detour

DAN MORAN: Last week was spring break for most if not all of the Lake County academic community, and evidence that it had come to a crashing halt could be found in two key realities.

Who’s to blame for low voter turnout?

DAN MORAN: After uploading the final numbers on Primary Day 2014, Lake County Clerk Willard Helander posted the following good-night message on Facebook: “All done; thanks to all who worked and those few who voted.”

Gripes from an occasional Metra rider

DAN MORAN: You’re no doubt as surprised as anyone to find out that there’s a real, live election taking place today, primarily for the purpose of justifying Bruce Rauner’s complete and total control of your television set for the past six months.

Route 53 tucked away in Tollway report


DAN MORAN: Just in time for the St. Patrick’s Weekend shopping season, the Illinois Tollway is out with a perfect stocking stuffer: Its 2013 Annual Report, titled “Building a Better Future … 60 Years and Counting.”

We may be in for an extreme spring

DAN MORAN: It’s still mid-March, but I have an April Fool’s joke for you. Or so we must hope.

Missing the thrill of navigation

DAN MORAN: If you grew up in or around Chicago and are of a certain age, you might remember when the S-Curve was truly an S-Curve — and the mix of thrill and terror from driving through it.