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Sorry 'bout that. "Many mediation clients need help to offer a proper apology," writes Suzi Schrader in "Caucus," newsletter of the Center for Conflict Resolution on East Adams. "Carl Schneider, in his article 'What It Means to Be Sorry: The Power of Apology in Mediation,' identifies three core elements of an apology. The first element is acknowledgment on the part of the offending party that an injury occurred and acknowledgment of the offending party's role in inflicting the injury. The second element is that the offending party must be visibly affected personally by what he or she has done. The third element of an apology is what Schneider labels as vulnerability: the offending party offers the apology without defense.... Through apologies, the powerful 'offer their vulnerability...[and] through recognition, the humiliated are empowered.'"

Coals to Newcastle. A one-day workshop has been scheduled for companies in Green Bay, Wisconsin, on January 24 and 25, according to the Midwest Renewable Energy Association (www.the-mrea.org/events.htm): "Optimizing Refrigeration Performance."

"I never heard from people on the left. My bosses never heard," former 20/20 producer Danny Schechter told his audience at a Chicago Media Watch conference last September ("Chicago Media Watch Report," Winter). Because progressives don't let the media know when they spot problems in reporting, he added, "We don't have watchdogs. We have lapdogs."

Anybody for a police state? The Harper's Index (December) notes that, of the 614 arrests of protesters at the presidential nominating conventions last year, just four have led to criminal convictions.

Patronage heaven. Number of Chicago Public Schools employees earning over $100,000 a year in 1995: fewer than 15. Today: more than 300 (Substance, December).

First Church of Drive-Thru. "It's not surprising to find highly personal spirituality replacing institutional religion," writes Reverend Donna Schaper in the Chronicle of Higher Education (August 18), quoted in Martin Marty's "Context" (December 15). "Religion, and its many imperfect institutions and spiritual expressions, promotes belief through its ancient practices and liturgies. Religion steeps people in its long history of reflection on ethics. At its best, religion offers time and space for spiritual experience. Spirituality gives us a quick fix that fits into our fast-paced, insular lifestyle."

Contrarian. "Gangs are sensationalized and made to look like crazed animals," complains criminal justice professor John Hagedorn of the University of Illinois at Chicago (www.uic.edu/orgs/kbc). "Gang members both resent the distortions, but also respond to media images, like everyone else does" ("UIC News," November 22).

One year of school = 65 extra pounds, according to University of Michigan economist John Cawley, in an August National Bureau of Economic Research working paper (number 7841). He found that white women who weigh more earn less. "A difference in weight of two standard deviations (roughly sixty-five pounds) is associated with a difference in wages of 7%. In absolute value, this is equivalent to the wage effect of roughly one year of education, two years of job tenure, or three years of work experience."

Only four states are consistently ahead of Illinois when it comes to the availability of tax and business forms on-line, the ability to file tax returns and apply for business permits and licenses on-line, and the availability of on-line help, according to two separate surveys reported in "Fiscal Focus" (May/June): Wisconsin, Kansas, Washington, and Alaska.

Give me your rested, your wealthy, your young professionals yearning to breathe freer than in Singapore..."Measures commonly thought to deter emigration--foreign investment and the promotion of export-oriented growth in developing countries--seem to have had precisely the opposite effect," reports Saskia Sassen of the University of Chicago in the August/September issue of Front Table, magazine of the Seminary Co-op Bookstore on South University. "Among the leading senders of immigrants to the United States in the 1970s and 1980s have been several of the newly industrialized countries of South and Southeast Asia whose extremely high growth rates are generally recognized to be a result initially of foreign direct investment in export manufacturing."

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