Zazz, mine makes a strange clunking sound when I try to start him on cold mornings. “When women write, they want to know what makes men tick, and how to ‘fix’ them when things go wrong,” writes Sun-Times advice columnist Jeff Zaslow in Today’s Chicago Woman (May 1989). “Since men don’t come with a user’s manual, women write to me as if I’m the men’s service department.” So far he’s not offering any warranties.

Press releases we were afraid to finish: “Child Care Is Crawling From Playroom Into Boardroom…”

Eyeball to eyeball with the patronage system. CHA director Vincent Lane tells Chicago Enterprise’s Patrick Barry (May 1989) about his first meeting last year with the agency’s senior staff: “There were about 25 people in the room and I asked some questions about projects and timetables and priorities. All I got was blank stares. I didn’t know it was that bad; I thought at least people would acknowledge they were responsible for getting something done by a certain date, but that just didn’t exist.”

“Chicago was an extremely segregated city with great racial contrasts before the civil rights revolution and, with small but important exceptions, has remained so,” writes the University of Chicago’s Gary Orfield in his contribution to the recently published The State of the Region: Background Papers. “Blacks, whites, and Latinos tend to live in separate societies with separate educational systems, with job markets that are separate to a considerable extent, and with few institutions that are successfully multi-racial. If there were either evidence that the separate societies were becoming more equal, that they were successful on their own terms, or that separation was being cured, the problem would not be so serious. We would be moving toward equal opportunity, at least for those blacks and Latinos who have met certain standards, something most whites believe has already happened. The best evidence on the Chicago area, however, shows the continuation of a powerful self-perpetuating cycle of inequality for most nonwhites throughout life.”

“Chicago has over 150 housing co-ops,” reports the Co-op News (Spring 1989), which is published at Truman College, “over 150 food co-ops, over 20 child care co-ops, and over 5 worker co-ops.”

Sue me again–it feels so good. “We know of cases where the [polluting] company has gone to the state and begged to be sued,” says James Simon of the Natural Resources Defense Council in NRDC’s Newsline (March/April 1989). “They’re afraid we’ll be too tough on them.” Apparently these companies were afraid the NRDC would be more vigorous in its attempt to enforce the Clean Water Act. “In fact, there have been some cases where the company had to bid with the state to encourage them to sue them. The company offered some amount of money to the state, but the state said it wasn’t enough, so the company had to offer more.”

Annual income $4,001? Pay up, folks. According to the Public Welfare Coalition News (Winter 1989), Illinois is the only state that taxes the income of a family of four whose income reaches only $4,000.

What God would have said if s/he had a degree in psychobabble. “The whole Bible is about survival and quality of life formation,” writes Delores Williams in the Chicago-based Christian feminist magazine Daughters of Sarah (May/ June 1989). “What is the covenant with Abraham about except survival? What are the Ten Commandments about but quality of life formation? What is the Sermon on the Mount? It’s quality of life formation.”

One of those books with 200 blank pages inside? Loyola University law professor Norman C. Amaker has just published a new book, Civil Rights and the Reagan Administration.

“I simply do not understand why the Mafia in this country is not classified as what it is,” writes William Leahy in Leahy’s Corner (April 1989): “an extreme form of capitalism, a sort of pure form which encourages the fiercest of competition and dashingly does away with the slightest hint of government intervention.”

Stories we didn’t want to hear the end of, from Animal Crackers (Spring 1989): “Betty Watt cleans offices at the Industrial Council of Northwest Chicago Building on West Carroll Avenue in the city. Her shepherd mix, Champ, accompanies her on her rounds during evening and weekend hours. Champ loves his work, and can’t wait to get there….Champ’s favorite activity, other than having his picture taken, is helping to clean the restrooms.”

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