Creative Thinking In Chicago

When it comes to municipal penny pinching, the Second City is full of firsts. Money is so tight in Chicago that city officials, facing a $220 million budget shortfall for 2005, are breaking new revenue-collecting ground. Last week the city's department of cultural affairs launched a two-week "Great Chicago Fire Sale," hoping to raise at least $250,000 for its financially strapped arts programs via an eBay auction of Windy City items, including an original Playboy-bunny costume, lunch with Oprah's decorator and a chance to dye the Chicago River green on St. Patrick's Day.

And that's just the start. Over the past...

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