That reminds me, is it lunchtime yet? From the Ethics Observer (Fall 1990): “It’s no secret that ‘Ethics’ and ‘Politics’ in Chicago have historically gone together about as well as peanut butter and pickles.”

Gas guzzlers are not the problem, cars are the problem, argues Daniel Lazare in In These Times (November 7-13): “Better mileage means cheaper driving which in turn means more driving, more congestion and more suburban sprawl…. It’s as if the U.S. had tried to tackle the heroin problem by imposing tough federal heroin-efficiency standards that enabled junkies to get more bang for the buck. As a result, addicts would use less heroin per session and might have to steal less to support their habit. But falling prices, an inevitable byproduct of such a policy, means they’d be tempted to shoot up more often.” Worse yet, the government subsidizes this heroin: “The net subsidy for the private automobile [in highway and pollution costs] may be anywhere from $4 to $9 a gallon of gas, or $400 billion a year or more for the entire U.S. economy.” Lazare’s solution: eliminate the subsidies and promote sane alternatives such as mass transit and locating jobs within walking or train distance from workers. “Meanwhile, groups such as the Sierra Club should cease running full-page ads…calling on Congress to lower prices at the pump and adopt tough new fuel-efficiency standards in order to conserve energy. Like anyone else, yuppie backpackers would like to have their cake and eat it too in the form of a cleaner environment and cheaper gas. Like everyone else, though, they can’t.”

“The portrayal of blacks in local television newscasts is nothing short of abysmal, and most intelligent black Chicagoans deeply resent it,” writes Keith W. Bromery of WLS TV in the Chicago Headline Club News (November 1990). “In all of this black men fare the worst. It seems the only time we see an African American male on the small screen is when he is murdered, with pictures of his remains being carted away in a body bag, or when he murders someone, with his handcuffed form led away by the police.”

What the music means. Nighttime WVVX DJ Scott Loftus on his station’s plan to tape his heavy-metal, hard-rock show and send the tapes to U.S. servicemen in the Middle East: “Believe me, if these guys are thrust into combat action, they’ll be much more motivated from listening to the aggressive, hard-driving American rock of Megadeth, Metallica and Motley Crue…”

Trouble: Harl Cox of 1440 S. Kedzie is indicted for allegedly running a lottery game from his apartment using the winning numbers drawn in the Illinois State Lottery. Real trouble: The state lottery sponsors the 1990-91 season of WTTW’s Wild Chicago; lottery director Sharon Sharp calls this “a great opportunity…to reach potential new players.”

A question of identity. “I’ve been called the black Mike Royko and black Don Rose,” Nathaniel (Nate) Clay of the Chicago Metro News tells the Chicago Reporter (October 1990). “But I’m the black Nate Clay.”

“You ought to judge Chicago by where the young people of the country want to live and I think Chicago comes out very well on that,” Donald S. Perkins of the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago tells Janet Kalbhen in Chicago Enterprise (November 1990). “I don’t see any decline in the interest in Chicago on the part of recent college graduates and MBAs–very talented people….They’re hedging their bet between quality of life and breadth of opportunity. We may not be in first place on either one, but when you put the two of them together, Chicago is very high.”

Give, and it shall be given to someone else. “I remember Cardinal Cody telling the inner-city parishes to pledge hundreds of thousands of dollars to build new churches in new suburbs,” writes Helen Rhodes to U.S. Catholic (November 1990). “We did. As those parishes flourished, the inner-city ones were closed. The same poor parishes that helped build churches for their more affluent brothers and sisters lost their own churches. Where were the affluent when we needed them?”

You may remember this, but you don’t have to admit it. The late developer Arthur Rubloff on the near north side in 1945: “Because of the times, the whole area was depressed. You could shoot a cannonball down North Michigan Avenue and not hit anyone” (from the program for Rubloff’s posthumous induction into the Chicago Board of Realtors Realtor Hall of Fame, October 24).

“It’s the squeaky wheelchair that gets the grease.”–Larry Gorski, Mayor Daley’s special assistant for people with disabilities (Salt, November/December 1990).

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