Shameless bipartisan piggybacking. Richard Durbin and Peter Fitzgerald sent out a press release on January 13 with the headline “Jordan’s Senators React to Retirement Announcement.”

“Everyone was completely covered with the dust” when four lakefront CHA high-rises were imploded early on December 12, reports Wateka Kleinpeter in the “Residents’ Journal” (December). “The buildings were more than bricks and mortar. The dust that spread from the implosion site is made up of the lives of the people who used to live there. People coming and going. People sleeping and eating. Going to the store and going to school. Everything that people do in their lives was represented in the ashy dust.”

Total of grants for programs for the homeless in 1995, according to Chicago-area foundations that responded to a recent Donors Forum questionnaire, noted in a recent press release from the organization: $3.9 million. In 1997: $7.6 million.

Who says money can’t buy peace of mind? “Should we try to buy all of Russia’s deadliest weapons?” asks Stephen Kotkin in the New Republic (January 25), reflecting on that country’s continuing descent into anarchy. “One often hears that Russia is special, because Russia has nukes. The United States has spent more than $40 billion on SDI research and development, yet there is still no prospect of achieving an adequate missile defense system. Why keep paying for an unrealizable shield against Russian missiles? Why not just buy the missiles? That would leave only a dozen or so Chinese ICBMs to defend against, and we could offer to buy them, too.”

“I remember sitting with Dizzy Gillespie and he was telling me funny stories about Louis Armstrong,” Chicago entertainment lawyer Tillie Malnak tells Student Lawyer (January). “I can’t imagine a tax attorney who’s having this kind of fun.”

Some would consider that a demotion. Our culture is as religious as ever, contends humanities professor Michael Lieb in a recent University of Illinois at Chicago press release. For some technology lovers, “God has been transformed into a spaceship commander.”

“Out of 58 beat meetings in 17 different police districts, six involved the problem solving model originally used by CAPS [the Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy] and CANS [the Chicago Alliance for Neighborhood Safety] to train police and residents to participate,” writes Rebecca Anderson in the CANS newsletter “Neighborhoods” (Fall). “As described by the city’s training manual, the problem solving model involves community and police identifying and prioritizing problems, analyzing the problem to come up with a strategy followed by evaluating the impact of the strategy and then celebrating the successes of the group.”

A painful discussion. “I can bang my hand on the table and tell you the worst thing you can do is hold kids back, that it’s bad for self-esteem and leads to dropouts,” Melissa Roderick, associate professor at the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration, tells the Joyce Foundation’s newsletter “Work in Progress” (January). “I can also bang my hand and say the worst thing you can do is send kids to high school doing math two years below grade level.”

OK if we do it in the dark? The Natural Resources Defense Council concludes in its January 11 “Legislative Watch” newsletter that the just-folded 105th Congress “was most remarkable not for the legislation it enacted, but for its willingness to routinely abandon the usual open and public legislative process on controversial environmental issues. Ultimately, seven times as many environmental measures were enacted as riders on budget bills as were moved into law with freestanding legislation.”