“Despite four decades of job suburbanization, Chicago still has 11% more jobs than employed labor force (ELF), or workers living in the city, and the suburbs combined had 2% fewer jobs than ELF,” reports Roosevelt University’s Pierre deVise in a recent press release. “Economic interdependence between Chicago and its suburbs is undiminished….

The suburban affluent continue to depend on the high quality jobs downtown, and Chicago’s low skilled workers depend on suburban factory and service jobs.”

“Living near a major airport is like having an oil refinery as a neighbor,” writes Paula Cowan in the newsletter of the Alliance of Residents Concerning O’Hare, quoting the Natural Resources Defense Council, “except that refineries are subject to stronger pollution control and disclosure requirements.” She adds that the EPA “must be given authority to set and enforce standards for reducing aggregate airport emissions. Since most severe nonattainment areas for ground level ozone contain one or more airports, all the other businesses in that area have to severely curtail their emissions while allowing airplanes to pump out all the VOC’s. This is totally unfair.”

Next year: a T.S. Eliot action figure with your McNuggets. The Academy of American Poets distributed free copies of The Waste Land to last-minute taxpayers in Chicago and other cities on April 15 because the poem–which is not about taxes–begins, “April is the cruelest month.”

Mao! Mao! Mao Tse-tung! “The story of Chinese civilization…can be told in an upbeat, even celebratory mode,” says University of Illinois historian Patricia Buckley Ebrey, author of The Cambridge Illustrated History of China, quoted in a recent press release. But in telling the story of modern China, she says, “it is difficult to avoid the language of victimization from creeping in occasionally.”

One question: does he have an IRA? Later this year the fundamentalist Christian publishing house Zondervan will publish 50 Remarkable Events Pointing to the End: Why Jesus Could Return by A.D. 2000, by pastor Ed Dobson of Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Smaller people tend to live longer, says physiologist Andrzej Bartke of Southern Illinois University, quoted in a press release.

He adds that “humans who want to live longer shouldn’t try reducing growth hormone in order to reduce their size….They’d be better off following standard medical advice: Stop smoking, start exercising, eat more fruits and veggies.”

Oh yes, she was immortal–in her day. Writing in a recent issue of the Greek Star, Alexander Karanikas praises Helen Papanikolas’s short-story collection The Apple Falls From the Apple Tree as “a new classic in American literature.” He urges his readers to purchase her books “before they go out of print and become very hard to find.”

Bald eagles sighted in Illinois last year in the state Department of Natural Resources’ annual survey: 1,733. This year: 2,459.

Twenty percent of zero is…”In 1991, [developer Gerald] Fogelson agreed that if the city would grant him a TIF [tax increment financing] designation to help along his Central Station development project at 14th Street and Indiana–a favor that would amount to a $11.5 million public subsidy for the infrastructure to support his luxury townhomes–he would set aside 20 percent of any rental housing he developed as affordable housing for low and moderate income Chicagoans,” states an article in the Network Builder (Winter). “In the years since then, Fogelson has sidestepped this commitment…by not developing any rental housing there at all. Fogelson says it is ‘impossible’ for him to build rental housing because the housing market will not support it.”

Chicago is still far behind Madison, Wisconsin, in community-supported agriculture, reports head farmer John Peterson of Angelic Organics in far northwest Boone County. Nevertheless, the organic-biodynamic CSA farm is investing in new machinery this year, and the farm’s city-based Core Group (312-409-2746) is taking on administrative chores. It calls Angelic Organics “a small family farm being pressed on one side by Rockford-area development and on the other side by the competition of low-priced foods mass produced by huge agribusiness with elaborate machines.” Weekly delivery of a three-quarter-bushel box of fresh herbs and vegetables (June to November) runs $420.

“78 percent of the one-dollar bills in the suburban Chicago area are in fact contaminated with cocaine,” report Argonne National Laboratory researchers (Frontiers: Research Highlights 1996-97). Older bills and bills in Miami and Houston tend to have more cocaine on them.