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"I knew a foreign woman who moved to Chicago back in the 1960's. When she moved back home, she asked me how she could take WFMT with her," writes William J. Leahy in Leahy's Corner (July 1989). "Well she might ask. When I later lived in London, Dublin, Paris, Cairo, and elsewhere, I found that only Chicago had a 24-hour classical music station. The BBC has a radio channel playing such music, but it signs off at night. France has the same, but you hear much more Debussy and Rampal than anyone can take. . . . This city surely has the largest population of musically literate people anywhere, as a direct result of the efforts of WFMT. I am grateful. And it has all been free."

Say yes to bureaucracy. "It is time to turn the corner in the war on drugs," says U.S. Senator Alan Dixon. His, er, prescription? "Include the Director of National Drug Control Policy, or 'drug czar,' in the White House Cabinet" (Report to Chicago, June 1989).

...And zee only sing uglier zan zee Americains was zeir cars. Jerry Burton, editor of Corvette Quarterly (Summer 1989): "I'm not old enough to know, but I often wonder what it must have felt like to be an Allied soldier during World War II, rolling through French villages while watching the townspeople come out to greet the liberators. The feeling must have made one's skin tingle, watching the waving hands and the awed faces. I recently got a taste of what that might be like, having been part of the press entourage for the introduction of the Corvette ZR-1. We had the enviable task of driving a fleet of 13 ZR-1s from Geneva, Switzerland, through the French Alps . . ."

Apathy central. According to a recent Chicago Urban League study, the two Chicago wards with the largest numbers of unregistered potential voters are on the far north lakefront--Wards 48 (14,762) and 49 (14,153).

Demography is not destiny--stick 'em up! "The 'crime-prone' years were always thought to be the late teens and early 20s," writes Teresa Vlasak in the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority's Compiler (Summer 1989), "which led some experts to predict a drop in prison populations during the 1980s and 1990s as the 'baby boom' generation aged. But the increase in [prison] admissions from the over-30 group--the largest age group in the general population--and the corresponding rise in prison population are proving the experts wrong."

Can downstate support a "resort conference center" at southern Illinois' Carlyle Lake? A consultant to the state Department of Conservation says yes: "We . . . conclude that the subject can materialize in physical form." They tend to get more revenue that way.

"Heaven forbid you go out in a public media and state an obvious fact about Vietnam," Mike Gold tells Michael Flores in the Psychotronic Film Society's It's Only a Movie Best of #2--The Interviews. "That is, the Vietnam war turned more people on to illicit drugs than anything else in our society. Tens of thousands of soldiers come back from Vietnam after being exposed to vast quantities of marijuana far superior to anything from Mexico at the time. They did not simply return and stop. That will never be on 'China Beach.' Instead they would show 1 soldier with 'a problem' that everyone else would try to help. Yeah, sure. It's bullshit. There wasn't a fighting man in Vietnam who hadn't at least been exposed to marijuana. To this day, it's still pegged on hippies and peaceniks! But there weren't any hippies in most states--just returning vets! The war turned more people on to illicit drugs than a lifetime of Grateful Dead concerts!"

Try and stop it, Jim. Our favorite 1990 campaign phrase, from Jim Edgar's August 8 announcement for governor: "Let the future begin."

"Poverty isn't just money," says Dr. Robert Gatson, medical director of a community clinic at Robert Taylor Homes, in the American Academy of Pediatrics report Barriers to Care. "I know people in Robert Taylor Homes who don't have any more money than the people next door, but their kids' shots are up to date. The difference between these two families is that this person still believes that they have control over their lives."

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

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