It just keeps going, and going, andÉ Loyola University sociologist Philip Nyden, coeditor of Challenging Uneven Development: An Urban Agenda for the 1990s: “The new Calumet airport is the Chicago growth machine gone bonkers” (Loyola World, March 26).

“Have you ever been the object of unwanted sexual advances, propositions, or sexual discussions from others who worked with you?” In a February random telephone survey of 400 Chicagoans by Northwestern journalism students, 31 percent of women and 18 percent of men said yes, and most of them said it had happened more than once. About two-thirds of the time a man harassed a woman. In 19 percent of the incidents a woman harassed a man. And 17 percent involved same-sex harassment. More than two-thirds of the reported episodes involved “unwanted conversation.”

When she leaves town to work for First Indiana Corporation, then we’ll worry. “Chicago will probably no longer be the guiding star of the Midwest,” First Chicago Corporation senior regional economist and vice president Diane Swonk tells Chicago Enterprise (April), “because it’s starting to see a lot of competition from its sister cities–Indianapolis is an example.”

“I’m glad to hear people of color are doing better [in newsroom-hiring figures],” reporter Don Terry tells Neil Tesser in the Chicago Reporter (March). “But how often are they treated like human beings in the stories themselves?”

“Most people are victimized at a time when they are taken completely unaware,” says University of Chicago Police Department director Rudolph Nimocks (Chronicle, April 2). “They did not see the offender, they had no idea that he was around. If you talk to criminals who have been apprehended, they will tell you they are looking for the person who appears not to be aware. They are not looking for a person who has looked them straight in the eye or has noticed their car passing by and looked at their car license number as he circles the block. They are looking for the person who did not see them in the first place.”

Teacher’s pets. “In a Chicago public school that struggles with truancy, [DuSable High School biology and horticulture teacher Emiel] Hamberlin’s greatest challenge is getting the students to attend school,” according to the Dolores Kohl Educational Foundation’s description of teachers who won its 1992 International Teaching Award. “And that’s where the animals come in”–a goat, a macaw, a boa constrictor. “During the lab two times each week students work on their assigned projects [and]…can learn math by calculating the amount of rats needed to feed the boa constrictor for a week, month or year.”

I thought that’s what suburbs were for. The Independent Writers of Chicago recently held its first out-of-city meeting, in Des Plaines. According to IWOC board member Barbara Goodheart, some suburban writers told her that they can’t attend its regular near-north meetings but still “want the fellowship and networking that cut down on the isolation independents sometimes feel.”

“Image Police: The Case of the Diminutive Sidekicks.” Writing in Place N Time (Spring), Jamil C. Knost calls attention to “a disturbing phenomenon” in animated features: “an unexplained tendency to depict African-American children– specifically boys–at a smaller stature than their peers. Do these same artists ever wonder how Black boys manage to become the Michael Jordans, Bo Jacksons and Magic Johnsons of the world if they spend so much of their lives being over a foot shorter than their non-Black companions? Is there a sense of security in keeping us small? Grow up, guys. We do.”

Politically abled. In Illinois Issues (March), Mike Ervin quotes Access Living vice president Jim Charlton on the Americans With Disabilities Act: “ADA is only a crowbar and we better have some muscle to use it.”

Dept. of incentives. “Two years ago the ‘hot’ issue was hunger in America, remember? Last year it was homelessness. This year it’s health care,” writes Joseph Bast, president of the Heartland Institute, in the Heartlander (Winter). “The real problem is poverty and the many things that cause poverty, but the public policy establishment (with help from a wholly gullible news media) has made sure we debate only one facet of that problem at a time. The fear, I guess, is that one look at the big picture will make clear the futility and immorality of ever trying to end all of the discomforts caused by poverty.”

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