“Landlords must accept Section 8 vouchers and certificates from tenants,” according to a recent press release from the city’s Human Relations Commission, “unless the landlords have a legitimate non-discriminatory reason not to do so.” The city’s fair-housing ordinance prohibits discrimination based on source of income, and Section 8 vouchers and certificates, which often serve as the lifeline for public-housing residents trying to move into the private-housing market, are considered a source of income.
The farmers did it. A “nitrogen budget” prepared by Mark David and Lowell Gentry of the University of Illinois “shows conclusively that agriculture is by far the biggest source of nitrogen in the state,” they write in the current issue of Illinois Research, Teaching, Outreach. Farm fertilizer and nitrogen-fixing crops produce 89 percent of the 3.5 billion pounds of nitrogen added to the land every year. Everything else is tiny by comparison: lawns and golf courses contribute 2 percent, rainfall 9 percent. Excess nitrogen is strongly suspected of polluting waterways and killing marine life outright in the Gulf of Mexico, and these figures leave little doubt where most of it is coming from.
“Only 15% of Chicago’s elementary schools have what could be considered stable classrooms,” Laurene Heybach reminds us in the spring issue of “Homeward Bound,” newsletter of the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless. “A typical classroom receives about 5 new students each year. In 37% of the schools, fully one-quarter of the students are gone a year later!”
“Moses and Paul were murderers, Jacob was a swindler, King David was an adulterer, and Judith used sex to lure Holofernes to his death. Is this really a book we want our children to read?” That’s Barbara Brown Taylor writing in “Circuit Rider” and quoted by Martin Marty in the Chicago-based newsletter “Context” (May 1). “Contrary to popular opinion, the Bible is not a book about God-fearing men and women who made the world a better place.”
Only if he can get his pants unstuck. From the Illinois State Bar Association’s “Bar News” (March 15): “Harold W. Sullivan, the glue that has solidified the stature of the Illinois Judges Association since its formation in 1971, will leave the bench…”
“Having assisted more than 7,200 public housing families–more than 20,000 individuals–move to 115 non-segregated communities throughout the six county region, this program [Gautreaux] came to a quiet and untimely end” last September 30, writes Aurie Pennick in the winter newsletter of the Leadership Council for Metropolitan Open Communities. “Despite the expiration of the consent decrees [under which it operated], with more than 18,000 public housing units scheduled for demolition over the next few years, the Gautreaux program of motivating public housing families to move to areas of economic and racial diversity is needed more than ever.”
Chicago places that made the Landmarks Preservation Council of Illinois’ list of ten most endangered landmarks in the state, according to a recent press release: Saint Boniface Church and School, 1348 W. Chestnut/860 Noble, a vacant 97-year-old structure owned by the Chicago archdiocese; Tree Studios/Medinah Temple block, 4-5 E. Ohio/600-630 N. State, which is caught in the path of Near North redevelopment; and the Pullman Car Factory and Village, 111th and Cottage Grove, the former model industrial district hit hard by fire in December.
“Families in the barrios and ghettos have for decades asked the same questions now circling throughout the nation,” writes Patrick Osio Jr. in “Politico” (May 3). “But no one outside the community listened. Local news media always carry the reports of the killings, but the tragedy is expected and becomes repetitious. Shootings are only treated as national news when a stray bullet kills a young child, or an elderly person. The barrio and ghetto deaths are not a national concern. They mostly serve as a warning to avoid those neighborhoods.”