No more bedroom suburbs. In 1990, for the first time, the census found that more people commute into Du Page County to work than commute out of it (Transportation Facts, June).

“The aroma of pork you smell is not coming from weekend barbecues,” warns NEIS News (July/August), newsletter of the Evanston-based Nuclear Energy Information Service. “It’s coming from the closing days of the Congressional session before summer break. In an unexpected and totally surprising development, our own Illinois Senators Paul Simon and Carol Moseley-Braun seem to be laying on the spare-ribs in a way that helps the nuclear industry, promotes nuclear proliferation, and thwarts renewable energy and conservation. They both have come out in support of the controversial Argonne Integral Fast (Breeder) Reactor (IFR) program.” And you thought it was safe to go on vacation when Congress isn’t.

“Although rainfall has been heavy in the upper Mississippi Valley this summer, it is not historically out of line with other wet periods over the past half century,” according to University of Illinois geographer Bruce Hannon. But now there are 6,000 miles of levees to wall off former wetlands from the river and dams on tributaries, which transfer flooding upstream. These measures have been worse than futile: in constant dollars, flood damages 1951-’85 were more than double damages 1916-’50. Says Hannon, “No one has mentioned that with the estimated cost of over $10 billion in damage from the latest flood, the government could buy a large portion of the Mississippi bottomlands. The removal of levees in rural areas would greatly relieve the threat of flooding in populated cities, such as at St. Louis.”

“The large majority of all ‘teenage’ pregnancy is caused by adults,” writes Mike Males in In These Times (August 9). “National vital statistics reports show that 70 percent of all births among teenage women are fathered by adult men over age 20; one in six by men over age 25….Of some 5,000 births among California junior-high girls, ages 11-15, only 7 percent were fathered by junior-high boys. Four in 10 were fathered by high-school-age boys, ages 16-18, and more than half by post-high-school adult men ages 19 and older…. Adult-teen sex is also widespread among homosexuals. A 1978 survey of 500 male homosexuals found one-fourth admitted that, when over age 21, they had sex with boys age 16 and younger.” So much for all those campaigns against “peer pressure.”

Stop that acculturation! UIC community-health scientist Noel Chavez has found that the longer Hispanic immigrants live in the U.S., the worse their eating habits become, as they replace traditional fresh foods with cheap processed foods. For both Mexicans and Puerto Ricans, Chavez found that “consumption of fruits and vegetables rich in vitamins A and C was inversely proportional to length of U.S. residence.”

“WTTW has a secretive, hauteur way of doing business these days,” according to the IVI-IPO Action Bulletin (August). “The station is overseen by a board which meets quarterly,” is self-perpetuating, and allows no public comments at its meetings. “While the station has isolated itself from the community it is supposed to serve, it has become increasingly commercialized. Nowhere is this more apparent than its policy of running commercials but not public service announcements (PSA’s). The station has slowly, by increments, worked commercials into its programming. Beginning with brief mentions of sponsorship, the station now runs full fledged commercials one after another, commonly called a commercial break. The results of commercialization are predictable. WTTW has steadfastly refused to play Deadly Deception, an academy award-winning documentary on the mismanagement of a nuclear facility by General Electric. GE is the largest single donor to WTTW, giving over two million every year, a sum large enough, apparently, to turn public TV into a private concern.”

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