The City File | City File | Chicago Reader

The City File 

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

See you for lunch about Batcolumn past the Picasso. The newsletter of the Landmarks Preservation Council of Illinois (May) describes Chicago graphic designer Anthony Ma's creation: a $175 "Chicago Watch" with 12 local landmarks instead of numbers.

How do you think they made it to 90 in the first place? From a survey of nonagenarians: "None of the seniors ride dirt bikes or play football."

The political kiss of death? Recently JustLife News, based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, issued its tabulations of House and Senate members' voting records on what it calls "consistent-life-ethic issues." Highest rated were those congressmen voting for "justice" (civil rights, family leave, Legal Services Corporation funding), "life" (against abortion), and "peace" (against Desert Storm and the B-2 bomber). Five Illinois congressional representatives voted with JustLife on 13 or more of its 15 test votes: Marty Russo and Frank Annunzio in the Chicago area, and downstaters Terry Bruce, Jerry Costello, and Glenn Poshard. And guess what? Three of the five have already lost their seats.

Newness junkies. "You cannot expect the media to champion your issue," David Hunt, executive director of the Chicago Rehab Network, warns activists in Active Voice (Summer). "When they get tired of your issue they will cast you aside ... the press is constantly looking for the next big thing."

"Children are coming to school sicker than ever before," according to Chicago Public Schools records cited by Lisa Capitanini in the Chicago Reporter (May). "Chronic illnesses in school children have risen by 55 percent, from 10,968 in May 1990, to 17,051 in April 1992." But CPS school nurses have caseloads that are almost triple the 750 recommended by the American Nurses' Association. "Nurses' caseloads ranged from 1,793 students per week for Cherie Campagna, who covers four elementary schools in Morgan Park, Beverly and Roseland, to 5,128 students per week for Sally Nusinson in Rogers Park and North Center."

Bubba's primary. A southern Illinois official explains in Illinois Issues (June) that Bill Clinton got more than 80 percent of several counties' primary votes in March because "our boys don't vote for anyone whose name they can't pronounce or someone who sounds like he is from another planet."

"As the only woman litigator in a department of men, I notice inherent differences that operate both positively and negatively," writes Carolyn Schurr in the Chicago-based Barrister (Spring). "The language of litigation tends to be tough, aggressive, and direct.... [Its oral language] tends to be infested with curses and negativism. Never have I heard such argumentative speech as what is to be heard in the elevators at the courthouses.... For better or worse, the speech is something that I cannot--or maybe will not-- pick up. It often catches my adversaries off guard when I treat them with respect and politeness. At least one client thought that my calmness in the face of aggression was a great weapon."

"The shelves are thinning and the coffers are empty..." And so far there's no book-buying money for 1992. So the Friends of the Damen Avenue Branch Library (2056 N. Damen) have put out a call for donations, "nonfiction or fiction, child or adult, hardback or paperback (in any language)," some to be added to the shelves, others to be sold at a fund-raiser.

"Everyone thinks that the modern era is the only time we are experiencing crisis in family life," University of Chicago history professor Richard Saller tells the U. of C. Chronicle (May 28). "But that was common in the Roman era as well. Divorce was common and it was not unusual for a Roman [man] to have four or five wives. There were all kinds of combinations of step-siblings that resulted, which led to tensions within the family. When we talk about this I know from the expressions on my students' faces that this is an issue they can relate to."

"If your company had to choose between two equally qualified candidates for a promotion--a man and a woman--who do you think would get the job? Of 400 women executives at large corporations polled in Business Week (June 8), 51 percent predicted that the man would be promoted, 36 percent weren't sure, and 13 percent predicted the woman.

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


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Harold Henderson

  • The Recyclable House

    The Recyclable House

    If Ken Ortiz has his way, no one in Chicago will ever simply "demolish" a building again.
    • Jul 24, 2008
  • Sympathy for the Devil?

    Sympathy for the Devil?

    Progressive scribe Rick Perlstein made his reputation finding the good in conservatives. Then they really started screwing up the country.
    • Jan 24, 2008
  • Dynamic Flash for Democrats

    Dynamic Flash for Democrats

    Wanna raise funds to run for office? Nag Schwarzenegger about health care? Or just make fun of Bush? Call Articulated Man.
    • Jan 10, 2008
  • More »

Agenda Teaser

Galleries & Museums
October 22
Lit & Lectures
October 22

Tabbed Event Search

Popular Stories