Q. What’s the difference between Waste Management and most hospitals? A. Waste Management only dumps garbage. Dr. David Thomasma, of Loyola University Medical Center, reminds us that 38 million Americans don’t have adequate health insurance: “You know as well as I do that despite a federal law forbidding ‘patient dumping,’ it goes on all the time once a health care facility learns the patient’s insurance has run out.”

Restaurant reviews you’ll never read in Chicago magazine, from William J. Leahy’s visit to Acorn on Oak (Leahy’s Corner, December 1988): “The food was very expensive and not nearly as good as my own dreadful home cooking. I had a cheeseburger, which tasted like congealed mush inside a case-hardened black crust. My companion chose a tuna sandwich, which, unbelievably, consisted of a rocky piece of toast which was topped with the contents of a can of tuna, a blob which bore the exact shape of the can. This compacted bulk looked like a pink hockey puck.”

“Powerful political and economic forces have created a vision for the future of Chicago and its neighborhoods,” writes Kim McReynolds of the Northwest Community Organization in One City (November/December 1988). “Currently, corporate leaders, politicians and real estate developers are envisioning a dramatic shift in Chicago’s population that would extend the Loop and neighborhoods for professionals and returning suburbanites to Western Avenue on the west, North Avenue on the north, and 18th Street on the south.This shift would force low-income residents and minorities from the neighborhoods surrounding the Loop and push them further west, south and northwest to neighborhoods nearer the suburban communities. This population shift will erode the political power and economic power of low- and moderate-income and minority residents. More than 25 years ago, corporate leaders in the city and Mayor Richard Daley created this vision for Chicago’s future. This vision became the Chicago 21 Plan. Today the plan might have a different name. It might be called ‘The New Chicago’ or it might have been called the ‘1992 World’s Fair.’ Regardless of the name, the desire to expand the Loop is a well-documented fact.”

“Every professor in the United States is a free agent,” laments U. of I. president Stanley O. Ikenberry. According to Tom Andreoli in Chicago Enterprise (November 1988), because of uncertain state support for higher education, “More than half of 246 faculty members at the university’s Urbana and Chicago campuses who received competing job offers in 1988 have accepted them. That’s double the system’s normal rate of attrition.” Hardest hit? Engineering, medicine, and business.

North-side condo rents may not have to go up much as a result of the recent property-tax assessment hikes, according to Real Estate Profile (December 16-January 12). “Many condominium owners are saying the assessments remained the same while they skyrocketed on other types of North Side properties.”

Haven’t they heard of the Geneva Convention? According to a recent news release, “The Heart Associ-ation has vowed to take no prisoners in its war on heart disease.”

“The best constitutional law firm” in the city is the Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago, according to U.S. District Judge Prentice Marshall (LAFC News, December 1988). “Remarkably,” writes LAFC board president Douglas Fuson of Sidley & Austin, “this ‘firm’ consists of lawyers who have little hope of being paid at any time in their careers as much as a new lawyer can receive his first year at a major law firm.” LAFC gives legal help to more than 30,000 poor people a year.

Hi, I’d like you to meet my famtu-mom. Northbrook clinical social worker Taube Kaufman wants to replace the word “step-family” with “famtu,” in an effort to avoid the negative connotations that she says “too often” doom remarriages before they begin.

Deregulation means more competition, right? Wrong: Business Week (December 19) reports that United Airlines controls 53 percent of all passenger boardings at O’Hare, compared to 29 percent in 1977. Nationwide, the five biggest airlines now control more traffic than they did before the government deregulated the industry, and fares are expected to go up in 1989.

Despite his bumbles, Dukakis didn’t do badly at all in Chicago’s 14 black wards, reports the Chicago Reporter’s Karen Snelling (December 1988). He pulled 96 percent of the vote in those wards (265,434 ballots) in November, compared to Walter Mondale’s 1984 total of 95 percent (264,661) and to Jesse Jackson’s March primary figure of 95 percent (221,296). Evidently it was not black stay-at-homes who put Illinois in the Bush league.

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