Above the law. A member of the Chicago Police Department’s Area Two School Patrol, quoted in Trends and Issues 91: “We had an incident on the last day of school. The principal called us into his office and said, ‘Here, I want to turn this in.’ He handed me a .38 revolver. When I asked him where he got it, he said he took it off a kid two or three months earlier, but he didn’t want to do anything about it at the time. I told him, ‘If I take this gun, I’m taking you too.'”

“As a group, we Illinoisans are inured to the plight of intelligent creatures trapped in useless confinement,” writes James Krohe Jr. in Illinois Times (October 10-16). “Conventional wisdom blames this indifference on our farm heritage but I think it has more to do with our politics. Any state that does not weep to see a Dawn Clark Netsch in the comptroller’s office will not shed a tear for a whale in a tank.”

“My experience as an Italian-American Catholic girl in no way resembles the ridiculous stereotypes presented in the media and believed by some people who call themselves progressive,” writes Rose Romano in the Chicago-based Christian feminist magazine Daughters of Sarah (Fall). “As I was growing up in a Catholic grade school, the real world was run by women. Men had control of distant things, like history, war, business, and major sports events like the bocce ball games under the El on 39th Street. But women were in charge of near things, important things, such as food, family, home, school, and love. And the woman who runs everything, who’s the boss of the whole world and not just of one family, the woman who has always protected me, is the Virgin Mary.”

Evidently the next great research university will be headquartered in Du Page County. According to The University of Chicago Faculty: A Centennial View, John D. Rockefeller endowed the U. of C., but still urged founding president William Rainey Harper “to find other sources of funding from the local elite….The placing of the University in the Hyde Park-Kenwood neighborhood had a salutary effect on this pattern of fund-raising as faculty members married into wealthy local families.”

Can you really get drug users to stick with sterile syringes? No problem, says Dr. Donald DesJarlais, as quoted by the Physicians Association for AIDS Care on West Grand. “It’s really much easier to motivate behavior change in drug injectors than in politicians. Drug injectors are concerned about AIDS.”

A full-employment program for health workers until at least 2200. “Optimal health clearly is more than the absence of disease,” according to the United Way of Chicago’s June report, “Towards Better Health for Chicago: Challenges and Opportunities.” “Comprehensive health policies, therefore, must eradicate negative social and environmental impacts; promote the enfranchisement of all people regardless of social class, area of residence, or level of physical and mental functioning; provide the education and training necessary for informed choice; and develop well-defined standards of accountability for health services delivery.”

“I think Chicago is a design town,” veteran designer Hayward Blake tells Chicaigao (Summer), a publication of the Chicago Chapter of the American Institute of Graphic Arts. “It always has been. It is probably more of a design town than, say, New York, or even the West Coast as a whole. Because New York is basically an advertising and fashion town, a town based on what’s new. I would say that’s even more true of the West Coast–based on fashion and what’s trendy. And Chicago isn’t that.”

Transients. “The city’s annual [employee] turnover rate is about 8 percent. Among professionals, the rate is 10 percent, among entry level librarians, it is 12 percent and among public health nurses it is 18 percent,” reports the Illinois Commission on the Future of Public Service. “The departments of Health, Streets and Sanitation, and the Chicago Public Library have the greatest number of professional vacancies, many of which are categorized as hard-to-fill jobs.”

“To date, the debate over the trolley (or ‘central area circulator,’ as it’s officially called) has been relatively tranquil,” notes Ed Zotti in Chicago Enterprise (October). “It may not be much longer.” For one thing, the Navy-Pier-McCormick-Place people-mover would be “enormously expensive–almost $600 million and possibly far more. A dedicated busway, which has also been studied, would cost one-sixth as much.” Two key questions Zotti says will add octane to the argument: “If streetcars are such a great technology, why were all the tracks in Chicago torn up 35 years ago?” And, “If the North Michigan Avenue business community is so gung-ho about trolleys, why don’t the tracks run down North Michigan Avenue rather than the residential streets nearby?”

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