“Let’s face it,” says Glenn O’Brien in Interview, quoted in Utne Reader (July/August 1989). “Reprieved chickens and ducks wouldn’t be wild animals; they’d just be unemployed animals, homeless animals, animals whose enforced mutations mean that there is no going back. There’s no wild to go back to. If everyone were vegetarian, chicken would be an endangered species…. Chickens are successful as a species solely because of their ability to appeal to our appetites. They and other so-called domesticated species need us to supply the apartments and antibiotics essential to their survival. They’ll never make it on their own.”

Why Com Ed needs some competition, according to former city administrator Robert Mier (One City, May/June 1989): “Other utilities are able to lower their customers’ bills without sacrificing comfort and service by helping people use less energy. In the process they help themselves by avoiding the need to construct expensive new generating capacity. Southern California Edison, for example, gives its customers light bulbs which use 70% less energy than traditional bulbs, because the utility has found it cheaper to buy energy-efficient light bulbs and save energy than to build more plants to produce energy. This helps keep customers’ bills down and ensures an adequate supply of electricity. In contrast, Common-wealth Edison helps its customers use more electricity by providing customers with subsidized, energy inefficient light bulbs.”

Don’t call us, we’ll call you. From a recent press release: “Mrs. Katz is available for gratuitous seminars to organizations.”

“Recently I was reminded of South Works by the hubbub over what to do with Fort Sheridan after the U.S. Army vacates the 695-acre facility in 1995,” writes Merrill Goozner in Chicago Enterprise (June 1989). “North of the city, developers, open-space advocates, municipal officials and others are jockeying to determine the fate of that square-mile lakefront tract. But on the Southeast Side”–where U.S. Steel’s once-proud South Works occupies a square mile of prime lakefront between 79th and 92nd streets–“no developers are begging for a shot at turning this underutilized city asset into a mega-million-dollar project. No mayoral task force has been appointed to sort through ideas for returning this site to productive use.”

The Reagan evolution. According to a study just released by the Center for the Study of American Business in Saint Louis, the 1990 federal budget includes 21 percent more money for federal regulation (in constant dollars) than did the 1981 budget.

“As long as his political future is uncertain, he can be pressured,” writes David Moberg of Mayor Daley in the Neighborhood Works (June/July 1989). “He may listen most intently to the swing neighborhoods. Black protests will be partly discounted, except to the extent that they jeopardize Daley’s need to show middle-class liberals that he is uniting the city; Daley need not win majority black support. On the other hand, the impact of white ethnic neighborhood protests will be muted: those voters will probably stick with Daley against any black or more progressive rival…. Hispanic and lakefront community groups are thus likely to have more protest leverage, even if they are not insiders.”

We do it all without you. “News of the agreement to merge [U. of I. Hospital with Michael Reese] back in December caught the community, hospital staff, and other key bodies–including the University’s faculty senate–completely by surprise. ‘They never consulted with the community,’ said [Carmen] Vega [executive director of the Hispanic Health Alliance]. ‘When forced to testify at public hearings they couldn’t prove that they had reached out to anyone in the community before signing this agreement'” (Latino, June 1989).

Showing true colors in a changing neighborhood. Hank De Zutter writes in the Chicago Reporter (June 1989): “Since the first black family came to Northeast Austin in 1975, [Mary Johnson] Volpe said, about 75 percent of the community has changed from white to black. ‘When the first black family moved in around here, the pseudo-liberals, the cocktail-table liberals, the brotherhood-club liberals were the first to move out. And some of the bigots, those who were most vocal against integration, stayed to become friends and genuine neighbors of the blacks who moved in. The hypocrisy was unbelievable.'”

Embalming fluid works better. The state Department of Professional Regulation reports that it recently fined a southern Illinois funeral director $200 “after he performed the embalming…with an expired embalmer’s license.”

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