Where is the world’s largest gum ball factory? According to the Greater North Pulaski Development Corporation, at Leaf, Inc., 1155 N. Cicero.

Watch out: the “garbage crisis” may spawn the “breathing crisis,” according to the Environmental Defense Fund. “Incinerators that burn ordinary garbage are emerging as a major source of air pollution and hazardous waste. Foisted upon landfill-wary state and local bureaucrats by a burgeoning industry, trash incineration is touted as the solution to the solid waste crisis.” (Sounds familiar.) “The virtually unregulated proliferation of mass burn incinerators threatens to turn our solid waste problem into even bigger problems of toxic air pollution and toxic ash.” Federal regulations so far are lax. Will Mayor Sawyer promote recycling any more effectively than Mayor Washington did?

Many University of Illinois women “dread the very thought of having to learn to use computers,” according to research involving more than 3,000 students in dormitories equipped with personal computers. Men made up 77 percent of the residence-hall computer users, women 23 percent–figures that could bode ill for the future success of women in computer-dominated workplaces.

“There is a prevailing opinion that the U.S. could have won in Vietnam,” Chicago author Larry Heinemann (Paco’s Story) told the National Book Awards dinner (Chicago, January 1988). “I don’t know where this idea comes from. It certainly didn’t come from any bravo grunt I ever knew. That’s saying we didn’t fill our hearts with enough hate; we didn’t frag them or napalm them enough or zippo enough of their villages or turn enough of their women into whores or bomb them back into the Stone Age. If we allow the same thing to happen in Central America, it will be the shame of our lives.”

“We have to do something to convince the public that we have standards,” State’s Attorney Richard M. Daley told the Chicago Bar Association last month. According to Chicago Daily Law Bulletin reporter Katherine Schweit (December 17), “Members of the audience snickered when Daley said he would like to see CBA support for enactment of a professional misconduct law.”

Fish oil won’t stop heart disease, according to research conducted by cardiologist Stuart Rich at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Why, then, do fish-eaters like the Eskimos have a low risk of heart disease? Rich suspects that it’s the absence of beef and dairy products from their diet, rather than the presence of fish or fish oil. “The notion that we can stay healthy by adding some fish oil to our diets rather than making the effort to restrict our consumption of beef and other animal products is an attractive one,” he says. “Unfortunately, it does not appear to be true.”

“A black student is about four times more likely to be stopped [by university security] than a white student,” reports the University of Chicago Chronicle (November 25), summarizing a report by a faculty-staff-student committee. “Of those stopped, more than half the black students but none of the white students were asked to show identification.” The committee noted that these figures are based on a relatively small sample, but acknowledged that “black students . . . bear a highly disproportionate share of the burden of law enforcement in our community.”

Chicago schools could do better, says Fred Hess, executive director of the Chicago Panel on Public School Policy and Finance in testimony published in Substance (December 1987). “The Pittsburgh school system, in 1980, was about as far behind national norms as is Chicago’s today. . . . Through strategies which involved teachers in designing the improvement efforts, students in the Pittsburgh system are now performing at the national norms. But this administration dismisses that achievement because the proportion of poor students is slightly lower in Pittsburgh than in Chicago.”

“Charges of discrimination filed with the Illinois Human Rights Commission are running nearly double what they were a year ago,” says the Chicago Reporter (December 1987), “while its budget is down as a result of legislative cuts and line-item vetoes caused by the state’s financial situation.”

Reform via T-shirt. “On my very first day [as city planning commissioner in 1983], I was brought a possible design for the Department of Planning softball team T-shirt, recalls Elizabeth Hollander in One City (December 1987). “It said, ‘Department of Planning Lounge, 121 N. LaSalle St.’ and it had a beer-sign shield that said, ‘Old Hollander.’ I told them that I didn’t want to be a bad sport, but I think a lounge is the worst possible symbol for a city department. Old Hollander? Well, at least ‘Hollander New Style!'”

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