“Business communications” firm whose name we wouldn’t care to have: “Creative Executions Ltd.” of Glen Ellyn.

President Bush has ordered air strikes on the tobacco fields of North Carolina. The U.S. surgeon general reports that more people in the U.S. die from smoking each year than from AIDS, heroin, crack, cocaine, alcohol, fire, murders, and car accidents combined.

“Brothers and sisters who are the victims of neglect and abuse are frequently separated by DCFS [the state Department of Children and Family Services] and placed in different foster homes,” says Cook County Public Guardian Patrick Murphy. “While at times this is unavoidable because of the lack of adequate resources, what is avoidable is the fact that DCFS prevents brothers and sisters from visiting one another.” Murphy just won a Chicago federal-district-court case establishing siblings’ constitutional right to visit. “All too frequently, the only strengths children who have been abused by their parents have in the world are each other. By separating brothers and sisters and preventing their visiting and communicating with one another, DCFS often acts more cruelly than the neglectful parents.”

“No scientist has ever received a Nobel prize for discoveries in solar energy,” complains Leo Seren in Heliographs, newsletter of the Illinois Solar Energy Association (Summer 1989). Seren, a retired nuclear physicist, was present when the first sustained nuclear reaction was achieved at the U. of C. in 1942. “No medals, no prizes, no awards are at present given to those who work on solar and wind power. The print and electronic media has almost totally ignored solar and wind energy. When this great undertaking does get underway, it should be given the highest priority, at least equal to that of national defense. The shift to solar and wind power can save civilization from smothering itself.”

The best credit-card deals in the area, according to Bankcard Holders of America: Amalgamated Trust and Savings Bank in the Loop (15.5 percent interest), Bank of Elmhurst (15.9 percent interest), and First National Bank of Chicago Heights (15.96 percent interest).

How many feet in a mile? If you know, you’re doing better than 8 of the 12 graduate students in urban and regional planning who recently interviewed for a job with the local consulting firm of Lane Kendig, Inc., writes Patrick J. Meehan in Planning (September 1989).

“Various times over the past 25 years we have considered moving to the suburbs,” Bruce W. Johnson tells the Greater North-Pulaski Business Times (June/August 1989), “but each time we’ve chosen to stay…. Chicago offers us the best combination of access to goods and services, transportation, and labor.” Johnson’s Chicago Dryer Company makes machines that dry, iron, and fold sheets and table linens for institutions. “Many of our employees walk or bicycle to work, and I have to keep their welfare in mind, too. I concentrate on making our product well, not on chasing across the landscape after tax windfalls.” Ultimately, though, a firm’s location has most to do with the boss’s own preferences: “I really do like Chicago, and even if I could make more money in Puff Bluff, Arkansas, I just don’t want to live there.”

The relative dollar value of a college diploma is growing; the value of working is not. Research published in the College Board Review (Summer 1989) and reprinted in Education Week (September 20) shows that a 30-year-old male high school graduate averaged $24,388 a year in 1973 (in 1987 dollars, conservatively adjusted for inflation) and only $18,257 in 1986. A 30-year-old male with a college degree earned an average of $28,157 in 1973–and just $27,309 in 1986.

True colors. Members of an antiabortion group called “Pharmacists for Life,” based in Pennsylvania, have begun removing condoms and other birth-control devices from their stores (Gospel Herald, September 19).

“An academic Sears store” is how James Krohe Jr. describes the University of Illinois in Illinois Times (September 7-13): “It is the kind of place where people may be trained to run the world; it is not the kind of place that might produce the people we need to change it.”

“If honesty were a national license plate policy,” writes Molly Ivins in the Progressive (October 1989), “we’d see: RHODE ISLAND– LAND OF OBSCURITY….


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