Help for the underprivileged. This past winter, according to the Chicago Academy of Sciences newsletter Newscast (Spring 1990), “the Academy presented its Dino-Rama! exhibit at four suburban shopping centers in a cooperative agreement with JMB Properties Urban Company. This special outreach program gave families who may not visit the city’s museums very often a chance to learn about prehistoric life and see the same giant moving, growling dinosaurs that appeared in the Academy’s 1988 Dino-Rama! exhibit.” Gosh– maybe it will attract some of those timid suburbanites back to Lincoln Park to see the rest of the academy, not to mention a real giant moving, growling city.

You probably got those parking tickets because you were in a hurry– now you won’t have to slow down, even to pay them off. The Parking Ticket Payment Service will stand in line for you–for $3 per ticket.

Press releases we didn’t want to read the rest of: “Imagine your home or office from a fire’s point of view.”

“Underinformed, underappreciated, and underpaid”–that’s how many University of Chicago humanities professors feel, according to a recent campus Humanities Commission report (University of Chicago Record, April 12). The university has not released exact information, but the salaries of humanities faculty fell behind in the 1970s and never caught up. Only now, at some schools, is a hiring revival in progress: UCLA “this year made thirteen new faculty appointments in English alone, the kind of recruitment that has not been undertaken since the mid-1960s.” Duke has been recruiting faculty at $100,000 a pop. “Some now rate them No. 1 in English…. Other universities that have competed for top Humanities talent only sporadically or halfheartedly before–Emory, Florida, Texas, Vanderbilt, California-Irvine, Rochester, Ohio State, Rutgers, Rice–have begun to build first-rate faculties by offering similar salaries and presenting a similar sense of vision.” The U. of C.’s competitors “have come after some of our best and brightest faculty, and they will be back…. The University of Chicago is in danger of being left further behind by those ahead of it and of being passed by many who have always been behind it.”

“Right now, you can get a better tax break by raising thoroughbred horses in Illinois than for raising kids,” says state treasurer candidate Pat Quinn, arguing for his package of state tax reforms, especially an increase in the personal exemption–as opposed to “quick-fix tax propositions that don’t actually reduce taxes and leave Illinois’ unfair tax code intact.”

Maybe these outfits should get together. Among the winners of the recent fourth annual Governor’s Pollution Prevention Awards were two suburban firms: United Technologies Automotive of Wheeling converted its degreasing unit from Freon 113 to 1,1,1-trichloroethane, and Four Star Tool of Rosemont converted its degreasing operation from 1,1,1-trichloroethane to a nontoxic citrus-rind extract “capable of separating oils and greases from any surface.”

You can work here, but good luck living here. According to the Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission, in 1986 eastern Du Page County had 117,642 lower-income jobs (less than $425 a week then) and just 11,584 units of lower-income housing, for a jobs-to-affordable-housing ratio of more than 10 to 1. The ratios were 8.87 to 1 for northern Cook and 8.55 to 1 for southwestern Lake. By contrast south-suburban Cook County had a ratio of just 1.79 to 1 (Planning in Northeastern Illinois, Spring 1990).

“Tell me about yourself.” That’s how Gary Wolfson recommends that a recruiter start off an initial interview with a prospective employee (Business Edge, April 1990). “If a candidate responds to your opener with purely job-related information, he may be telling you something about his personality. Maybe he’s a single-tracker who is somewhat rigid in his orientation.” (Like the sort of person who refers to all job applicants as men?) “If he provides a more open response, this may indicate that he is a broader thinker.”

Illinois’ three greenest congressmen, according to the League of Conservation Voters Earth Day scorecard, are downstater Lane Evans, whose score on LCV-selected votes has averaged about 95 percent proenvironment during the last five years; veteran north-sider Sidney Yates, 91 percent; and south-side controversy magnet Gus Savage, 86 percent. The most antienvironment legislators have been suburban Republicans Henry Hyde and Dennis Hastert (around 19 percent). The ambitious Lynn Martin of Rockford has scored less than 50 percent overall since 1985; on the ten important 1989 votes selected by LCV, she seems to have been especially soft on the issue of liability for oil spills.

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