Percentage of Cook County criminal defendants who are represented by the Public Defender’s Office: 85 (Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, September 5).

“Tap [dancing] is the perfect example of a positive outcome of cultural hybridization,” Chicago choreographer Lane Alexander tells Effie Mihopoulos in Chicago Dance Coalition (Fall). “No single culture can claim sole credit for it–the mixture of African and Irish rhythms and African and Irish techniques is inseparable. Tap didn’t evolve in Africa or Ireland, but in America. For every great African-American hoofer, there was a great American Irish tap dancer.”

So you want the good old 1950s back? Here’s how: “Marriage preparation programs would make natural family planning an integral part of their instruction. Contraception would not be presented as a personal choice.” Human Life International expounds on how it would celebrate the 25th anniversary of the 1968 papal encyclical against “artificial” birth control, in Social Justice Review (July/August), published in Saint Louis. “We would hold a three-day conference for all the clergy of the diocese with the bishop present during which reputable theologians faithful to the Magisterium would explain the encyclical….The clergy would build a consensus which is faithful to the Church as well as intelligent….The same policy on the sexual ethic would be presented throughout the diocese. Any form of contradictory plurality would not be tolerated. Catholic moral teaching would not vary from parish to parish….Married couples who contracept would be encouraged to make frequent use of the Sacrament of Reconciliation and the Eucharist as they begin to dislodge the sinful habits of contraception….Catholic colleges and universities in the diocese would come under close scrutiny on the entire Catholic sexual ethic. Religious teaching in the diocese would be asked to teach the Catholic sexual ethic or to leave.” But it would all be worth it: “Our families would be strengthened. Divorce rates would decline. A greater spirit of love and self-sacrifice would appear. There would be a diminishing of promiscuity, STD’s, AIDS, teenage pregnancies, divorce, abortions and their terrible aftermaths…. With the example of loving parents and rich family life, resulting in larger families, vocations to the priesthood and religious life would inevitably reappear.”

“What I like are developments in which you can’t tell poor folks from anybody else,” says Fourth Ward Alderman Toni Preckwinkle in One City (July-August), explaining her opposition to the CHA’s rehabbing four lakefront high rises in her ward. “Last October I went to a meeting at 4030 Lake Park at which [CHA chairman] Vince Lane talked to the home-owning neighbors about the property. Although he was very gracious, as he always is, and cordial, it was quite clear that he was going to proceed with his plan regardless of what the community residents want. That’s the kind of contempt for the local community he would never show in a predominantly white community where he was trying to sell them on scattered-site housing. I think that because north Kenwood-Oakland is predominantly an African-American community he thinks that he can do what he wants. And the only person that can stop him is frankly, Mayor Daley…”

Vacant lots in the Loop? No problem, says Howard Decker in Inland Architect (September/October): “Even temporary structures could deal with the open site issue: my partner and I once proposed a temporary market for the State and Adams site, and we received many phone calls from people wanting to rent space.”

“So many interesting records [are] not available on compact disc or cassette,” says Jim Mayhercy, owner of the north-side 2nd Hand Tunes stores, which sell used records. “Just today I sold ‘The Brady Bunch Album,’ ‘Bob Dembroski’s Bowling Tips,’ ‘Lesbian Seagull and Other Hits by Tom Wilson,’ ‘Jerry Lewis Sings,’ and ‘How to Talk to Your Plants.’ Try finding those on C.D.” That’s OK, we’ll pass.

“For every dollar we charge, we receive $.41 in payment,” says South Shore Hospital president John Harper. South Shore treats all patients regardless of ability to pay, and thus suffers from inadequate state funding for the poor. “We cannot pay $.41 for each dollar of salary owed to our nurses, our dietitians, our pharmacists.É Commonwealth Edison, Peoples Gas and other providers of supplies and food will not accept $.41 for each dollar they charge.”

Why the schools are in trouble. Successful entrepreneur Barbara Burrell in Today’s Chicago Woman (September): “I left teaching to go into advertising because I wanted to do something where I could earn money commensurate with my output, not according to rules and regulations. In teaching, I was going to get the same raise as the teacher next door regardless of whether I was excellent or poor, and I didn’t care for that at all. So I quit.”

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