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Let's hope it was fast food. The state Department of Professional Regulation suspended the license of a downstate dentist for two weeks and put him on one year's probation "after he left his dental office to get something to eat, leaving a patient in the dental chair who was in pain."

The most diverse national park between the Appalachians and the Rockies is just an hour southeast of Chicago. According to Singing Sands Almanac (Fall 1989), the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore "has been found to have the fourth-highest number of plants overall of any national park." (Top three places are, in order, Great Smoky Mountains, Grand Canyon, and North Cascades national parks.)

Yes we can. "I went around talking to all the aldermen about planning for the neighborhoods," former city planning commissioner Elizabeth Hollander tells Inland Architect (September/October 1989). "Dorothy Tillman picked up on it and she managed to get half a million dollars to put into the renovation of the boulevards in the Third Ward.... Harold Washington said to her, 'Dorothy, with all the problems in your ward, what do you want to put this money into the boulevards for?' And she said, because you need a physical symbol to show people the possibilities, and the boulevards will do that."

Fred Roti can go on being First Ward alderman as long as he wants, writes David Fremon in New City (September 14-27), at least if recent history is any indication. "Despite fielding such unusual candidates as the nephew of reputed mob boss Sam Giancana, a man who was forced from office when it was shown he didn't even live in the city, and a banker who resigned because he claimed that being 1st Ward alderman was harmful to his reputation, the 1st Ward Democrats have not lost an aldermanic election in memory. Furthermore, they have been unopposed on the ballot for more than 30 years."

"A foster mother gets more money, almost twice as much money in Illinois, for taking care of a child than the child's mother receives in public aid," says Bernardine Dohrn in a Human Rights interview with Vicki Quade (Summer 1989).

But my beads are sparklier than yours. The Evanston-based Nuclear Energy Information Service takes a dim view of the state of Illinois' attempt to stick a "low level" radioactive-waste facility in the southern Illinois towns of Martinsville or Fairfield, described as "economically depressed, sparsely populated, politically under-organized." Says NEIS's president, David Kraft, "The only thing that seems to have changed since the time of the Indian land grabs seems to be that the price of beads has gone up."

"The 1970s weren't that bad nor the 1980s that good," says U. of I. economist Case Sprenkle. "In the 1970s, the average real growth of the gross national product (GNP) was 2.75 percent; average inflation rate, 7.25 percent; and average unemployment rate, 6 percent. In the 1980s, real growth rate was 2.5 percent; inflation rate, 5 percent; and unemployment rate, 7.5 percent."

"Black contractors are going out of business now," Cleveland Chapman, president of Midwest Contractors for Progress, a Chicago-based association of black contractors, tells the Chicago Reporter (September 1989). "They just can't get the work. If a majority [white] contractor is looking for a minority subcontractor, they'd just as soon go with a woman they know, not one of us." Since the 1987 federal highway bill added women to the list of "minority groups" eligible for 10 percent of road contracts, writes Michael Selinker, "the money going to women in Illinois more than doubled, while funds to blacks were cut in half."

A new slant on school reform, from Maggie Helwig in Hungry Mind Review (September 1989): "There is an audience out there. There are many quite ordinary people who are willing to work hard at poetry, who can be excited by it, who understand it a lot more than most literary types. The problem is that most of these people are firmly convinced that they Don't Understand Poetry. This I blame partly on grade-five English teachers and partly on the poets themselves.... Everyone knows about the grade-five teachers, and I am not sure how much can be done about them, other than raising children who will not pay attention."

"If I were just talking politics, I wouldn't be where I am now," says WXRT DJ Terri Hemmert in Salt (October 1989). "There are a great many moral values in the music. Rock gets the juices flowing. It can make people active, make them speak out, do things. Make them ask for lists of how to help.... It's because I'm playing rock records. I just couldn't have the same influence if I were doing social work." How about an on-air interview with Allan Bloom?

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

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