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"If you watch TV for a very long time, day in, day out," writes Barbara Ehrenreich in Mother Jones (April 1988), "you will begin to notice something eerie and unnatural about the world portrayed therein. . . . you will see people doing many things--chasing fast cars, drinking lite beer, shooting each other at close range, etc. But you will never see people watching television." It would be just too dull. "We love television because television brings us a world in which television does not exist."

"Cook County leads the state in deer-vehicle accidents and Lake County places second," according to Jim Witham of the Illinois Natural History Survey (Illinois Resources, February 1988). INHS has been studying what to do with the multiplying numbers of metropolitan deer, a number of which live around O'Hare. You may not be safe even while shopping: "A couple of years ago, a deer plunged through a travel agency window, but it survived and was returned to its habitat, Witham said. Another one staggered into a grocery store after being hit by a car and ended up in the produce section before it was captured."

"This budget slams the door on our children and the state's future," writes U. of I. president Stanley Ikenberry in response to Governor Thompson's no-tax-hike state budget (At Chicago, March 2). "The University of Illinois alone already has an operating budget of some $18 million less than last year, not including the impact of inflation. This budget proposal removes another $6.2 million. . . . We are losing valuable faculty--the key to educational quality--at twice the normal rate. It is now 19 months since our faculty and staff have seen a pay raise of any kind. . . . Backed by the citizens of this state, we will resist all efforts to push education further down the path to mediocrity."

"I have run into people who would never have voted for Harold Washington for mayor, because he was black, who are now for Jesse," writes Jon-Henn Damski in Windy City Times (March 10). "I guess their reasoning is that the White House is not in their neighborhood."

"You can spend 15 to 20 bucks to see a rock and roll band play in a sports arena where the stage seems miles away and the music sounds like the speakers are under water (and where you might miss half the show waiting in a long line for an over-priced drink)," writes Andis Robeznieks in Chicago Jazz & Blues News (March 1988), "or you can spend $6 to go to a crackerbox-sized movie theater to see a bad 90 minute film that will be out on video within two months, and spend another $4 on popcorn and drinks; OR you can go to a nightclub (where the cover charge is usually $5 or less) and see some of the finest jazz and blues musicians on earth up close and personal (with little time spent waiting in lines because people actually bring drinks to your table). Taking all this to account, it's hard to understand why Chicago's music scene isn't more popular."

Don't demolish Cabrini-Green, turn it into a condo, advises Chicago banker Craig Fisher in a Heartland Institute paper. If tenants owned their building, they would have an incentive to do what needed to be done, he says, including screening out gang members. "Could the new owners afford monthly assessments on a condo or co-op? Actually, today's Cabrini-Green rents are no less than average assessments on condos of the same size."

The third stage of AIDS, according to the World Health Organization's Dr. Jonathan Mann (Action for Children, #3, 1987), has little to do with the virus: "We are witnessing a rising wave of stigmatization, against Westerners in Asia, against Africans in Europe, of homosexuals, of prostitutes, of hemophiliacs, of recipients of blood transfusions. . . . How our societies treat HIV-infected persons will test our fundamental values and measure the moral strength of our cultures."

"The U.S. has fewer and fewer surplus foodstuffs that can be given to the poor," reports the Community and Economic Development Association of Cook County, which helps distribute food to more than 20,000 suburban county households a month. With smaller government subsidies, farmers are producing less, and "supplies of cheese and nonfat dry milk will not be sufficient for May, 1988 distribution."

And Jim Thompson would be king. From our governor's recent congressional testimony: "If Illinois were a country, it would rank Canada's third largest trading partner after the United States and Japan."

"Them are no emergency shelters for homeless youth in this city or state, period," says Les Brown of Travelers & Immigrants Aid of Chicago, in TIA's newsletter In Transition (Winter 1988). "Yet, it's a crime to place a kid in an adult shelter." Unless an adolescent under 18 first approaches the police, it's a Class A misdemeanor to provide him or her with any kind of shelter. "But it's not a crime and there's no accountability for when that kid under 18 is living out there on city streets." TIA will try to change the law this spring.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): illustration/Carl Kock.

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