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Dept. of Californication. Press releases we wouldn't dare make up: "Dicks of America, the internationally recognized club for individuals with the birthname of Richard, have . . . declared the month of May 'Be A Dick' month. It seems that since the San Diego, CA based organization's inception, there has been a large demand on the part of people not named Dick to join the club." Says cofounder Dick Monaco, "Up to this point in time, we've tried to keep the club exclusively for Richards, however, due to demand we're opening it up in May to anyone who thinks they can cut the mustard and be a real Dick."

"In Oak Brook, a committee oversees painting schemes of all new homes, and must give its approval of chosen paint colors before a real estate deal closes," writes Kenneth Prazak for the libertarian-oriented Heartland Institute. "Move on to Western Springs--but not in a pickup truck, Any parked truck visible on any resident's property is strictly verboten. If a no-parking zone exists where a tradesman is doing work, he must obtain special parking permission, rather than park in the driveway. . . . Indian Head Park outlaws unattached garages . . . along with tool sheds, dog houses, and tree houses. Arlington Heights frowns on 'excessive' bird feeding. Morton Grove forbids outside laundry." Prazak prefers neighborly toleration to preemptive regulations. But such bureaucracy runs rampant in these Republican outposts only because property owners believe that it enhances their property values and their self-interest. Can libertarians allow suburbanites the freedom to restrict their own freedoms?

What a party! Nova (March 1988), the newsletter of the Aurora-based Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, reports on the school's "Equinox to Solstice" program last fall: "The audience first gathered in the school auditorium for presentations of musical selections," and then moved outdoors, "where other IMSA students performed movements depicting the molecular movement of photosynthesis."

"Banks just won't take chances," complains John Rubeo, owner of Milwood Tool & Manufacturing Company on the northwest side, quoted by Jean Pogge and Elspeth Revere in Chicago Enterprise (March 1988). His firm has sizable assets and cash, but "in 1986 I had a heck of a time [getting a loan]. The bank wanted lots of security, cash as collateral, everything but my firstborn son. Then, after I met all their demands, the bank could not close the loan by the end of the year, which I wanted to do for tax purposes. Milwood is a good solid company that can get a loan. But a company in desperate need would have a very difficult time getting money."

Yeah, he's got a real iced-tea belly. Sports Injury Forum (March 1988) informs us that a 12-ounce can of Lipton iced tea (which comes very heavily sugared) contains 130 calories, comparable to a beer, which has 150.

Why do private-school kids often do better? Among students of the same background starting at the same level, private-school students take tougher courses and improve more in English and math than do public-school kids (on the average), writes University of Chicago sociologist James Coleman in the Education Digest (April 1988). "The courses taken are the result of a negotiated compromise between the student, who is often interested in finding the easiest path through high school, and the parents and teachers, who no longer have behind them the social capital of strong families and communities." In public schools, this often means "an extensive set of easy substitutes for standard courses in algebra, geometry, and trigonometry, as well as in English composition and literature." But in religious private schools, "The community and its central institution, the church . . . can give the school staff and the family the support necessary to discourage youth in their care from merely taking the easiest path through high school."

The runners' world starts at the city limits. The Chicago Area Runners' Association had 73 winners in age categories ranging from "14 and under" to "65 and over" last year. (CARA holds a 21-race circuit during the running season.) According to the list in Windy City Sports (January/February 1988), however, only 17 of the winning runners hail from Chicago proper.

Audience participation came to Waukegan last month, or so it would appear from that city's park district's announcement of Mozart's The Impresario and Gustav Holst's The Wandering Scholar: "Sung in English, these two short operas offer audiences a colorful view into an impresario's problems, and a romp in the hay with a fair lady and a not so fair priest."

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

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