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"So many activists who want social justice can't tolerate a little sin and scandal in their 'churches,'" Chicago labor lawyer Thomas Geoghegan tells Bill Droel in Salt (January). "So they walk away in a huff. As a practicing Catholic you can't do that. You don't give up on your church even if--as in the Middle Ages--a Jackie Presser or Jimmy Hoffa becomes the pope."

Arabic, Armenian, Assyrian, Tagalog, Korean, Lao, Thai, Vietnamese, Spanish, Russian, Polish, Romanian, Greek, French, Italian, Hebrew, Yiddish, and English are the 18 languages spoken by employees of Peterson Bank (3232 W. Peterson) in the course of business.

Translation: somebody's primary campaign needed a quick shot of steroids. From a November 22 press release: "WASHINGTON, D.C.--Senator Alan J. Dixon today diagnosed health care in America as 'critically ill' and in need of 'major comprehensive surgery.'" But instead of endorsing any of several long-discussed prescriptions, "Dr." Dixon announced a public hearing in Chicago in late January or early February--in the middle of primary season.

"Someone recently told me that her eight-year-old daughter heard live music for the first time, played by a pianist," writes Mark Howe in the Introit (October), newsletter of Saint Luke's Episcopal Church in Evanston. "The daughter had never seen a person play a piano, and was amazed that it was possible, indeed that it was a human activity rather than a disembodied auditory experience flowing from a loudspeaker. Surrounding ourselves with recorded musicÉhas caused many of us in some measure to forget that music is an elemental human activity--not the product of an electronic elite, but an activity as natural as a baby gurgling with pleasure, as human as the rise and fall of the voice in conversation, as homely as the calm of a lullaby."

Why was the number of local school council nominations down 53 percent, and voters down 45 percent, in 1991 compared to 1989? According to Patrick J. Keleher Jr. of TEACH America, "Chicago public school reform lost its momentum because it offered only half the loaf of empowerment, the political half available through local school council participation. But the financial half of the loaf stayed with the [public school] monopoly, which has no intention of handing it over to parents. The financial half would entail parental power to walk away, to take their business elsewhere if the public schools weren't educating their children."

Yeah, but consider the alternative. "Imagine a roomful of people wearing scratched yellow goggles, garden gloves with tongue depressors in the fingers, and cotton in their ears. There are giggles and looks of surprise as they try to eat cookies, open pill bottles, retrieve money from coin purses and listen to each other speak." It's not a party, it's a "Taste of Aging" sensitivity workshop offered to Mount Sinai Hospital employees (Record, Fall).

Was it good for you, Lord? An additional announcement Mitch Finley, writing in the Chicago-based U.S. Catholic (December), would like to see in your parish's Sunday bulletin: "Attention married couples: please make love often. God appreciates it."

"Chicago's move toward privatization may save the city money, but it also may spell disaster for many black city employees," writes Barry Scholl in the Chicago Reporter (December). In part, that's because city employees laid off are disproportionately black and the employees of private contractors who replace them are not. "Only one of the nine firms the city said have been awarded contracts through privatization since 1989 is a registered Minority Business Enterprise. While city law requires that 25 percent of all city contracts go to MBEs, it does not include provisions for newly privatized services."

Boys aren't learning to do housework, and girls are learning to expect them to, according to the summary of New Families, No Families? coauthored by U. of C. sociologist Linda Waite (Chronicle, November 21). Men with traditional views of marriage will have trouble finding women willing to take on full responsibility for a household, says Waite. And women who discover that they can live well independently may be less likely to marry--"thereby increasing pressure on males of the 1990s and beyond to be desirable as husbands."

"I don't think it's changed much in Chicago," model, business owner, and volunteer Dori Wilson tells Today's Chicago Woman (December). "I don't think there are any black models here making big bucks, and you still see only one or two black faces. But I see the same thing in my social environment. Very few events I attend are integrated. I frequently go places where I'm the only black. It's horrible. The charitable scene is incredibly segregated. It's either all black or all white."

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


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