“Each issue will ask a controversial question about some aspect of the sport of running…known to have sparked serious debate through the years,” writes Diana Riegler in Finish Line (October/November/ December 1990), the magazine of the Chicago Area Runners Association, about its new publication, Chicago Runner. First serious controversy: “Do you feel strongly about being called a ‘jogger’ instead of a ‘runner’? Why?”

Warning: religious conversion may be hazardous to your morality. A survey described in the December 11 Gospel Herald suggests that having a “born again” experience is followed by a deterioration in behavior in the three categories studied: marital infidelity (2 percent before, 5 percent after), use of illegal drugs (5 percent before, 9 percent after), and driving while intoxicated (4 percent before, 12 percent after).

Predators keep Great Lakes off balance. The Great Lakes ecosystem is not in natural balance and probably never will be, in part because state fishery managers have created a monster, according to the Great Lakes Reporter (November/ December 1990). Most salmon and trout caught in the lakes are reared artificially in state hatcheries and dumped into the water for anglers to catch. By stocking these nonnative species in great quantities, fishery managers have encouraged ecologically naive anglers to expect great fishing every year. “‘There are too many fish being taken out,’ [U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service official John] Quam said, particularly the popular game fish, which are caught just when they reach peak spawning size. Efforts to re-establish [native] lake trout, in particular, have been hampered by voracious angler demand…”

The parties’ favorite wards. According to the Cook County Republican (December 1990), 3 of Chicago’s 50 wards exceeded the vote goals set for them by the party in State’s Attorney Jack O’Malley’s November win: the 10th (southeast side), the 50th (far north), and the 42nd (Lincoln Park). On the other side, David Fremon (New City, December 13) reports that three wards showed more than 20 percent straight Democratic ballots: the 11th (Bridgeport), the 13th (southwest side), and the 33rd (Logan Square).

Words by George Bush, lip-synching by Ted Koppel. “The footage Iraq produced of Saddam Hussein mingling with hostages obviously was propaganda, and was labeled as such when rebroadcast on U.S. television. But the media constantly disseminated material carrying the U.S. government agenda, based on government sources and often reported under conditions of U.S. military censorship. It is this ‘propaganda,’ much more skillful than Saddam Hussein’s, that made up the bulk of reporting on the Gulf crisis. Unfortunately, it carried no labels” (Extra!, November/December 1990).

State enterprise zones have had no discernible effect on employment, according to a study sponsored by the Taxpayers’ Federation of Illinois (Chicago Enterprise, December 1990). Perhaps that shouldn’t be a surprise: when business owners and managers were surveyed, “approximately one-third of all downstate respondents and one-half of all Cook County respondents were not aware their businesses were located in an enterprise zone.”

Percentage of sexual harassment charges now being filed by men: 10 (McMinn and Associates, Palatine).

Washington Library thoughts, from Leahy’s Corner (July-November 1990): “If Hitler had a mausoleum, this would be it. It curves upward and outward as though it’s built to be sieged. The sidewalks are so narrow that Chicagoans will suffer generations of pedestrians being soaked in winter and children being lost to the traffic, especially on the Eisenhower side. However, none of this would bother me if there are books put into it, an assumption that we must never take for granted when the city’s mayor is named Daley.”

Trickle down. “You can get the neatest deal in the world on a rental right now,” Tim Wiley, owner of Chicago Apartments & Condos, tells Kathy Cantillon of Real Estate Profile (December 7). “Developers are saying, ‘Get me anything. I need help. The interest is killing me.'”

“Gasoline prices would have to quickly double, even treble, before they would force today’s typical middle-class family into substantial economies,” writes James Krohe Jr. in Inland Architect (November/December 1990). “Now, as then, drivers are far more likely to lower their transportation energy costs by improving efficiency (switching cars) than by reducing travel distance (changing houses)….Developers know what planners are loath to admit–people like sprawl.”

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