Oh, that’s just the tap water talking. Social-work professor Larry Bennett of the University of Illinois at Chicago notes in a May press release that “in 75 percent of all [domestic violence] battering incidents, neither party had been drinking.”

CPS Follies, volume MXMVII: On April 10 Gladstone Elementary School OK’d its school-improvement program. On April 11 principal Gary Moriello received a “remediation team report” that had been due from the central office in February–along with a letter urging him to use the report to “develop your school improvement plan.” According to Elizabeth Duffrin’s account in Catalyst (May), “Moriello is displeased not only with the report’s timing, but also with its content….For example, Gladstone was praised for a phonics program which it never used and criticized for a vacant lunchroom position which the board itself eliminated after switching to privatized food service.”

Priorities. University of Illinois transportation authority John Due notes in a May press release that one mile of urban expressway costs an average of $140 million in Illinois. In contrast, total state funding for Amtrak is less than $10 million a year.

Dr. Orfield’s Dubious Diagnosis? “Among the supposedly ‘poor’ communities [in the Chicago area identified by Myron Orfield] are the rural communities around the metropolitan area,” writes planner Gary Reschke of north-suburban Lake Zurich, in Planning magazine (May). “For example, he compares rural McHenry School District 15 to the Northbrook School District on school expenditures per student ($3,350 to $10,029) as an example of fiscal disparities that need to be addressed. But McHenry is a target for future suburban growth and will have ample opportunity to transform itself from a rural to a rich suburban school district. It doesn’t need help, doesn’t want its future growth curtailed, and it probably doesn’t want to shift some of its future revenues toward Chicago and inner suburbs.”

Things conservatives don’t want to know, from the Chicago Urban League’s proposal for a state earned-income tax credit: “The majority of the poverty population lives in households with one or more workers.”

“I was trying to do all of the right things,” writes Janet Penley in the Chicago-based Moments (May). “I have an MBA and was working in marketing and I wanted to succeed at work and home. I would prepare the perfect birthday party with matching cups and plates and a theme and my son would come in and rearrange the plates and I would scream, ‘Can’t you see that I am planning the perfect birthday party for you?’ Then I realized something was very wrong.”

Millionaires in Illinois, according to state personal income tax returns filed in 1986: 2,000. In 1995: almost 10,000 (from a May press release put out by the state comptroller’s office).

Take me back! Old days! Typical listing from the Utne Reader’s listing of the “most enlightened” town in each of the 50 states and 10 provinces (May-June): “Ohio, Athens–A college town stuck in the ’60s, which is not such a bad thing at all.” Fully half of the places designated as “enlightened” are immediately identifiable as college towns, especially around the midwest: Ann Arbor, Madison, Bloomington, Bloomington, Iowa City.

Still running for mayor? City Clerk Jim Laski became “the first elected official in Illinois to endorse stronger protection for insurance consumers,” says former state treasurer Patrick Quinn in a May press release from the Consumer Insurance Board, “when he agreed to piggyback one million Consumer Insurance Board inserts into his office’s annual vehicle sticker renewal notices.”

“Undergraduates are like clay,” says accountancy professor John Simon of Northern Illinois University (“Northern Today,” April 21), “and I am a sculptor who can help them shape their destinies.”

“A Location-Efficient Mortgage [one that allows borrowers to buy more expensive houses close to transit, on the grounds that they won’t have to support a car] would require borrowers to use pre-application counseling services, buy monthly transit permits, and report key household information for research purposes,” writes Ed Finkel in the Chicago-based The Neighborhood Works (May/June). Why such careful surveillance? “‘If you qualify for a mortgage and you sign the papers, what stops you from going out and buying a car tomorrow?’ says Jeffrey Johnson, general manager at R.E.G. Development, a community development corporation in Chicago’s Lawndale neighborhood. ‘[Lenders] need to keep constant vigil on these individuals so you make sure you’re not putting someone in a house that they can’t afford.’ Lenders would examine applicants’ past lifestyles, predicts [Diane] Pyshos [of Mid Town Bank]. ‘I’ve always had a car; I’m not going to go to not having a car,’ she says. ‘Banks will want to know whether people have typically driven. I think we should do a title check to see if a car was ever in their name.'”