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Fur-wearing vegetarian Tripti Shah Kasal writes that she has consulted "some of my friends who have the opposite contradiction--they believe in eating animals but not wearing them. I've only become more confused.ÉBut in the meantime, while we all figure this one out, I promise that when I walk into a restaurant and someone is eating meat I won't spray paint his steak, and hopefully he will stay away from my coat" (Today's Chicago Woman, January 1991).

Affirmative action within Chicago's black community? "Even the two most prominent social service agencies that advocate for African Americans have few West Siders on their boards," write Laura S. Washington and Curtis Lawrence in the Chicago Reporter (December 1990). "Among the 20 black members of the 35-member board of the Chicago Urban League, only board president James W. Compton lives west. And Nancy Jefferson is the only West Sider who sits on the national board of Operation PUSH. Compton said the disparity is an 'oversight' he will correct. 'The entire Chicago community must accept the challenge to redevelop the West Side of the city and look to its residents for input and leadership,' he said."

Bankrupt Cities Anonymous. Tom Teague in the Taxpayer's Federation of Illinois publication Tax Facts (November/December 1990): "In 12-step recovery programs, successful patients first acknowledge they've hit bottom. Appealing to a higher power for help, they then seek renewed control of their lives. As a city, East St. Louis is at last taking these steps for itself."

Conservatives might not care for the good old social teaching of the Catholic Church in the 1940s and 1950s, suggests Catholic Theological Union of Chicago teacher Sister Jamie T. Phelps, O.P., interviewed in Salt (January 1991): "What really struck me, even then, about church social teaching is that it says we must make our economic decisions not on the basis of profit but on how they affect the life of the poor. Church teaching poses for us an alternate criteria of judging success: not the profit motive, but the impact of your livelihood on the human community.ÉWhen people talk about being 'traditional Catholics,' I say to them teasingly, but very seriously, that we need to deal with the whole of our tradition."

Some culture to go with your new fillings? "The Cultural Center has been a hub of art and life," says critic Sue Taylor in the New Art Examiner (January 1991), "a non-elitist institution which made culture available to people getting off the bus, during lunch hour, on the way to the dentist, warming up from the cold, or borrowing a book. And it has rightly been for years a source of civic pride, at least for those who care whether Chicago is itself a cultural center or merely a cultural backwater."

The endangered airport, as told by Karen Edwards in Illinois Aviation (January/February 1991): "In 1946, 52 public use airports [as opposed to commercial airports like Midway and O'Hare] operated within a fifty-mile radius of downtown Chicago. During the 44 years since then, only 30 new ones have opened while 58 have closed....The State Department of Transportation, Division of Aeronautics, predicts that by the year 2000 only 12 general aviation airports will remain open anywhere in the Chicago area....Why are they closing? Economics is a large factor....Income from fuel, hangar space and instruction cannot hope to approximate the profits to be gained by a shopping mall, for example, on the same site. Development of an area, which an airport encourages, forces up real estate values, and with them property taxes and insurance rates paid out by an operator." And if the cash squeeze doesn't get them, the neighbors will: "Sometimes municipalities do not zone appropriately. And when land surrounding an airport is developed for residential use, conflict is sure to follow."

How times change. Note on the calendar for February 28 in the Chicago Historical Society's Past Times (January/February 1991): "1912: Physical education instructors agree that the typical Chicago businessman has flat feet, round shoulders, and a paunch."

Save the (white) earth. From an interview in the November 29 Galesburg Zephyr with downstate white supremacist Matt Hale: "What do you think of the ecology movement?" "I'm all for it. We've got to do something. I've found that a lot of racists are really in touch with the environment. A lot of them are natural type people..."

Press releases we didn't finish. (1) From the Civic Arts Council of Oak Park: "The attrition rate for bomber pilots and crew members during WWII was an incredibly fatalistic 82 percent." (2) "The beach potato isn't becoming extinct. It's just that more and more people want to pack a little more into their lives. And The International Adventure Travel Show will wet their appetite."

The long road back. The LaSalle Financial Planner (December 1990) gives the top marginal income tax rates for the richest U.S. taxpayers, by year, in percent: 1980, 70; 1985, 50; 1988, 28; 1991, 31.

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

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