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Circuit owner retracts public statement after shaming landlord

Feb. 14, 2016 - , In what appears to be an exact repeat of Circuit Nightclub's turmoil in 2012, owner Mike Macharello is retracting a very public shaming of his landlord following Circuit's closure earlier this month.

The club's website displays a graphic that reads, "Circuit Nightclub is closed." The public notice further explains that Friedman refused to sign a lease agreement with Macharello.

"If Frank would give me a lease, I could open Circuit right now, "Macharello told ChicagoPride.com last week.

However, now Macharello is changing his tune, releasing a new statement that harks back to the same shaming-and-retractment routine from the club's closure in 2012.

"I would like to retract a statement I made that the landlord Frank Friedman of Sterling Properties 'will not sign a lease with former tenant Mike Macharello, President/CEO Circuit Corp,'" read a statement Macharello provided to ChicagoPride.com. "It was erroneous on my part to either state or infer that Frank Friedman and Sterling properties would not rent to me. 

"It was further erroneous of me to either state or infer that Frank Friedman or Sterling Properties was the cause of the closing of Circuit Night Club.

"Throughout my 18 year relationship with Circuit Night Club, Frank Friedman of Sterling Properties has always done his utmost to work with Circuit Night Club. I would like to take this opportunity to apologize If I have said or inferred anything which was looked on as detrimental to Frank Friedman and/or Sterling Properties."

But when Windy City Times asked if the statement cleared the air, Friedman replied, "I think the retraction speaks for itself. If you go by the building today, the signs there say, 'For Rent.'" Friedman added the issue was with Macharello and his co-owner, Patrick Harms. 

Circuit Nightclub, located at 3641 N. Halsted St., opened in 1996 under the name Halsted Street Cafe. Over the years it has grown to become one of the area's largest dance clubs, consuming 12,000-square-feet of North Halsted real estate. 

As for Boi Magazine, Macharello's other venture, it is apparently still staying in business despite recently losing its editor and sales manager. 

"Everything is great on this side," Macherello told ChicagoPride.com. "Our first issue of the year is about to hit the streets. It's a great issue, one of the biggest yet." 

Boi Magazine has been in circulation since 2000. Macherello took over as publisher in 2001.

Justice Antonin Scalia dead at 79; Obama to nominate SCOTUS replacement
Feb. 14, 2016 - , Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died on Saturday in Texas. He was 79.

According to various reports, Scalia died of natural causes.

The associate justice was found dead by a person associated with Cibolo Creek Ranch in West Texas after he failed to appear for breakfast. Scalia attended a private party on Friday at the luxury resort with about 40 people.

An unnamed federal official told the San Antonio-Express News that there was no evidence of foul play.

Conservatives immediately announced that they would attempt to block President Barack Obama from appointing Scalia's successor. Republican presidential candidates Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio and Ben Carson said that the "next president" should name his replacement.

CNN reported that Obama will nominate Scalia's replacement and that a likely candidate is federal Judge Sri Srinivasan, 48.

Scalia, the longest-serving member of the Supreme Court, is known for his strict interpretation of the U.S. Constitution. Last year, he lashed out at the court's majority decision striking down state bans on gay marriage. It was "the furthest imaginable extension of the Supreme Court doing whatever it wants," he said.

Obama proud of Ellen DeGeneres for helping change hearts and minds on gay rights
Feb. 14, 2016 - , Appearing Friday on Ellen DeGeneres' daytime talk show, President Barack Obama thanked DeGeneres for helping change hearts and minds on gay rights.

"I can't thank you enough for what you have done for the gay community," DeGeneres told the president. "So, thank you."

"It's one of the things I'm proudest of," Obama responded. "Because my whole political career has been based on the idea that we constantly want to include people and not exclude them."

"But ...changing hearts and minds, I don't think anyone has been more influential than you on that. That's true."

"You being willing to claim who you were, then suddenly empowers other people. And then suddenly it's your brother; it's your uncle; it's you best friend; it's your co-worker. And then attitudes shift and the laws followed, but it started with folks like you. I'm so proud of you," Obama added.

Always the comedian, DeGeneres joked that she wasn't really gay: "I just thought it would work and had to stick with it because people responded."

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