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"Political stickering is a fun, effective, and cheap way to promote messages," advises the Madison, Wisconsin, newsletter Nukewatch Pathfinder (Fall 1991). "Stickers like these [This product causes cancer or this teaches killing] will stick to almost any surface and are small enough to carry in a pocket....The act of stickering is illegal as it defaces property, but prosecution is very unlikely as it is a minor offense and you must be caught red-handed. Experience has shown, however, that store owners do get upset when stickerers completely plaster over products they don't intend to buy...[and] car owners become very irate, especially if you block the view on their front windshield."

Surely once was enough. From a local hospital newsletter's profile of an employee: "She is also an avid Elvis Presley fan and has been to Graceland where Elvis was born[!] several times."

"In politics, you are what you eat," explains Barbara Ehrenreich in Mother Jones (July/August). "One-thousand-dollar-a-plate meals produce one type of [candidate]; Danish and coffee on a plastic tablecloth produce quite another."

Those who love sausages and the law should never watch either one being made. Illinois legislators "have given up much power to their leaders" in the past 20 years, writes Jim Nowlan with characteristic understatement in Illinois Tax Facts (June). One indication of this is the increase in vehicle, or shell, bills. "These bills are introduced with the innocuous purpose, for example, of changing an 'a' to 'the.' The majority party guides vehicle bills through both houses. Then, near the end of the session, legislative heavyweights can put substantive changes onto the bills without the necessity of open committee hearings....The contract lobbyists, often partners in major Loop law firms, actually duck the early stage of the legislative process as much as possible, to avoid showing their hands about issues they want to graft onto vehicle bills."

Political incorrectness for first-graders. Writing in Salt (July/August), Marya Smith quotes Mary Heidkamp, an Illinois mother: "Although my idea was to dress her in jeans and comfortable clothes, my 6-year-old daughter wouldn't wear anything but a skirt or dress from the time she was 3. As far as she's concerned, the frillier the better. I used to be embarrassed to have her meet my feminist friends. But I learned to let go and let her do things in terms of her own interests."

"School closings will save relatively little money, and consolidations will save none," according to a new study by the school-reform group Designs for Change. "Based on the central administration's own analysis, the actual savings from school closings last year was at most $200,000 per school--which would hardly make a dent in the $175-million-dollar deficit." Worse yet, Chicago public elementary schools may already be too large. Research shows the optimum size is at most 300 students--and over 90 percent of the city's elementary schools have more than that.

"The Loop is a feast for the eyes, but less kind to your stomach," according to the Oak Park-based Vegetarian Times (July). "For the most part, this is old Chicago, full of steak houses, burger joints and Italian restaurants that haven't heard of meatless spaghetti sauce." Vegetarian Times recommends that el-riding herbivores get off at the Ravenswood's LaSalle Street stop for Edwardo's, the Merchandise Mart stop for Convito Italiano and the Star of Siam, the Howard line's Addison stop for the Chicago Diner and the Bread Shop, or--"probably the best all-around vegetarian restaurant in the area"--the Dempster stop in Evanston for the Blind Faith Cafe.

Tons of newsprint consumed by Illinois newspapers during 1991: 445,000. Percent that was recycled fibers: 23. Percent required to be recycled fibers in 1992: 25 (Illinois Department of Energy and Natural Resources).

Campus notices we'd love to see. The Mormon magazine Sunstone (November) reprints a flyer passed out by a women's group at Brigham Young University: "NOTICE. Due to the increase in violence against women on BYU campus, a new curfew has been instated. Beginning Wednesday, November 20, men will no longer be allowed to walk alone or in all-male groups from 10 p.m. until 6 a.m. Those men who must travel on or through campus during curfew hours must be accompanied by two women in order to demonstrate that they are not threatening."

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


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