Nails in the CTA’s coffin. Loop parking spaces in 1986: 14,377. In 1993: 23,745 (Gary Rubenstein, system development coordinator for the CTA).

“Almost overnight, Cicero has become a Latino suburb,” writes Rob Paral in Illinois Issues (June), pointing out that the percentage of Latinos in Cicero has risen from 8.6 in 1980 to 37 in 1990. And it seems that the suburb’s legendary white racism has taken a new direction, with nasty nativist letters in the local paper and a town ordinance allegedly directed against overcrowded housing. Paral (himself a Cicero native) observes that, ironically, Cicero’s Latinos “exemplify many American values more than the non-Latino Cicero residents. According to the U.S. Census Bureau: The traditional two parent family is more common among Cicero Latinos [76 percent] than non-Latinos [71 percent]….Latino median household income in Cicero is more than that of non-Latinos, $30,822 compared to $26,288.”

She’s baaaaaack! From Harvard University Press’s description of feminist legal scholar Catharine MacKinnon’s new book Only Words, due out in September: “MacKinnon depicts a society caught in a vicious hypocrisy. Words that offer bribes or fix prices or segregate facilities are treated by law as acts, but words and pictures that victimize and target on the basis of race and sex are not.” Hmmm–is it too late to file a First Amendment appeal on behalf of Fred Roti?

“When I was a medical student [in the early 1940s], there were fewer ways of prolonging death and fewer ways of treating acute illness. The result was that physicians did not expect to be able to confer immortality,” says Dr. Leonard D. Fenninger in the Chicago-based PAACNotes (April), magazine of the Physicians Association for AIDS Care. “I think fewer physicians felt defeated by death, and more of them were more accepting. And being more accepting, they tended to deal more comfortably with families and to spend more time with patients.”

Michael Pfleger of Saint Sabina parish, a white priest who has served an African American neighborhood for 11 years (In These Times, June 14): “It’s in the white community that he feels most like an outsider. ‘The black community never made me make a choice, but the white community did.’…After his ordination, says Pfleger, white friends from the seminary bid him goodbye. ‘They said, “If we’re going to meet, it’ll have to be our place, because we’re not driving down there.” And I said, “Fine. Then we’ll never see each other again.” And we didn’t.'”

Keep on cutting, Bill, you’re not through the fat yet. “The nuclear targeteers at Offutt Air Force Base have begun to run out of targets for their thousands of ICBM warheads,” reports John Isaacs in the Hyde Park-based Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (June). “While the United States is in the process of reducing the current stockpile of longer-range nuclear weapons from about 8,700 today to 3,500 early in the next century, there are still too many missiles all dressed up with no place to go. The former Soviet Union provided numerous military, political, and economic targets in its vast territories. But the ICBMs cannot target empty missile silos, inoperative factories, and shuttered bases.”

Are men cost-effective? According to the 1992 DUI Fact Book, last year “males age 21 to 24 had the highest DUI arrest rate (22.0 per 1,000 licensed drivers).” The arrest rate of all other drivers was only 6.4 per 1,000.

“From a strategic economic perspective, legalized gambling activities are recessionary in nature and by definition,” writes U. of I. School of Business Administration professor John Kindt in a statement quoted by the Public Welfare Coalition. Among other things, Kindt estimates a casino will drain 10 percent of current tourists from existing city attractions.

Brother, are you saved? Robert Lonsdorf in Natural Area Notes (Spring): “We’ve probably all imagined what it would be like to wander through pre-settlement Illinois. It is a haunting idea…a poetic, soul-nourishing landscape, a kind of ecological Garden of Eden. Illinois was one 36 million acre natural area ….Then, like a Big Bang, came settlement and the Fall.”

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