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My neighborhood is a fruit.

From the "Rogers Park Builder" (Spring): "For years the market for condos and rental units in Rogers Park was waiting like a ripe apple ready to be plucked. The time for plucking is now." One enthusiastic property owner is said to be "getting $350 per month per unit for a SRO property west of Sheridan Road, for which there is currently a waiting list."

"Compared to many other programs, participation in CAPS [community policing] has been sustained in many of the places needing it most," according to a recent report published by Northwestern University. "Beat meeting attendance rates are highest in predominately African-American areas, while rates of participation in largely white areas are lower....In general, attendance rates are higher in lower-income areas where people do not have much education. Attendance is also somewhat higher in areas where test scores for the city's public school students are low and truancy rates are high, and more frequent where residents have health problems. Finally, participation is highest in high-crime areas....Interestingly, attendance rates were only slightly related to voter turnout rates for beats."

The media did it. "Violent crime is also occurring at record levels in countries such as Canada, Australia, Sweden, Belgium, France, and Hungary," writes Lieutenant Colonel Dave Grossman in U.S. Catholic (June). "While guns do prevail in our society, violence is also rising in nations that have draconian gun laws. And although we should never downplay child abuse, poverty, or racism, there is only one new variable present in each of these countries, bearing the exact same fruit: media violence presented as entertainment for children."

Or on themselves. Keep your dog leashed in Lincoln Park, warns the May issue of "LPAC Insights," newsletter of the Lincoln Park Advisory Council. Police are ticketing violators, and "if the owner mouths off at the policeman, they are often cited with the City ordinance for not having a muzzle on the dog."

"The more vegetation in a common space [at Robert Taylor Homes], the stronger the neighborhood ties near that space," according to a recent press release describing a study by University of Illinois and University of Chicago researchers published in the American Journal of Community Psychology. The researchers write, "Compared to residents living adjacent to relatively barren spaces, individuals living adjacent to greener common spaces had more social activities and more visitors, knew more of their neighbors, reported their neighbors were more concerned with helping and supporting one another, and had stronger feelings of belonging."

Questions you never thought you'd hear, as recounted by Kathleen Fuller of Saint Margaret Mary Parish in suburban Algonquin in the winter issue of Horizon, reprinted in Martin Marty's "Context" (May 15). When Fuller's son decided to become a priest, "an old acquaintance and a normally polite woman" asked her, "Do you think he'll stay in the priesthood?" Fuller muses, "I know priests leave the priesthood. I also know lots of marriages end in divorce. Yet next June, when I walk through the reception line at her daughter's wedding, I will probably not ask if she thinks her daughter's marriage will last."

Gypsy moths--the time is still not yet. Rex Bastian of Hendricksen the Care of Trees writes in "Arbor Topics" (Spring/Summer) that the long-expected gypsy moth defoliation attack has yet to arrive. The state Department of Agriculture trapped almost 50,000 adult moths last year, more than ten times the number in 1996, but "the threat of severe defoliation is low....While the numbers of moths caught may seem high to those unfamiliar with this pest, they are very small when compared to areas where gypsy moth is an established pest."

According to women workers, some of the guys there would also qualify in that category. The Environmental Defense Fund ranks Mitsubishi's Diamond-Star auto assembly plant in downstate Normal "among the worst 20% of all facilities in the US in terms of the amount of toxic waste it produces."


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