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Now, let's line up all the horses from coast to coast... According to the Hooved Animal Humane Society (national headquarters in northwest suburban Woodstock), September is "Hooves Across America" month, an occasion for promoting local "ride-a-thons" that will benefit the organization's rescue operations.

Sorry, boss, I can't get you that memo this week. I've come down with a bad case of illiteracy. Campaign proclamation by would-be secretary of state George Ryan: "Illiteracy in Illinois is a disease which affects one out of every five of us..."

Twelve units of scattered-site public housing in Edgewater? Fine with us, says the 48th Ward Progressive Network. "The Edgewater Community Council [which opposes the housing] talks about Edgewater's 'share' of scattered-site housing. Edgewater has 2% of the City's population. 2% of scattered-site units would be only 22 units; but 2% of all CHA units would be 850 units. When Edgewater has 850 units of CHA housing, we can talk about the fair share."

Why drill for oil in Alaska when you can drill in every suburbanite's garage? asks the Alliance to Save Energy. A bill introduced in the U.S. Senate would require new cars to get 40 miles per gallon by 2001, "resulting in savings of 2.8 million barrels of oil per day by the year 2005. Boosting the efficiency of U.S. automobiles is the most important single step toward increased American oil independence"--and a step away from having to manage medieval Middle Eastern megalomaniacs.

"The national economy depends not only on systematic price-fixing and noncompetitive bidding but also on the guarantee of government intervention," writes Lewis Lapham in Harper's (September 1990). "The federal treasury at the moment supplies 45 percent of the nation's income. Nearly three in every ten Americans live in a household receiving direct payments from the government....The government subsidizes the growing of the nation's crops as well as the building of the nation's houses and the maintenance of the nation's roads. The television networks receive from the FCC the license that grants them (free of charge and without any risk) the use of the broadcasting frequencies. The commercial banks borrow money from the federal government at an interest rate two or three points below the rate they charge their best customers....The theory of the free market works at the margins of the economy--among cabdrivers and the owners of pizza parlors, for small businessmen who make the mistake of borrowing $20,000 instead of $20 million --but the central pillars of American enterprise rest firmly on the foundation stones of state subsidy." Are you listening, Poland?

Amount paid by residential customers for 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity in July 1990 in various cities: New York, $137.26; Chicago, $124.12; Detroit, $98.22; Saint Louis, $93.07; Indianapolis, $60.31; Milwaukee, $57.69; Seattle, $28.81 (Texas Utilities Electric Company).

"Presently, I do not recommend a bright student become an ecologist," says UIC biology professor Henry Howe. "There is no future in it." According to Howe, ecology as a profession is ill equipped to meet the enthusiasm of Earth Day because the Reagan administration cut federal funds that had supported research and graduate programs. Howe is the cofounder of a committee promoting National Institutes for the Environment, an environmental equivalent of the National Institutes of Health.

Minorities are well represented in state government employment, especially at the bottom, according to the Illinois Commission on the Future of Public Service, which recently held its first meeting. "Minorities comprise nearly 25 percent of the state's workforce, but hold only 11 percent of the top executive jobs." But "Hispanics are not well represented at any level of government. Overall, they comprise 2.24 percent of the state workforce."

Quick answer of the week, from Greenpeace, which has been demonstrating at Du Pont factories to protest the company's continuing to produce ozone-destroying chlorofluorocarbons until 2000. According to Investing for a Better World (August 15), Du Pont offered to drop charges against demonstrators if Greenpeace would quit. The group's response: "Tell them we'll phase out actions over the next ten years."

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

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