Excuse me, I have a library appointment about some diagnostic tests. Suburban author (Sweet Reprieve) Ginny Maier: “I believe you could literally put yourself through medical school, with the exception of practicing surgery, by studying medicine at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library.”

Promises, promises. In December 1993 Mayor Daley said the Chicago Department of Housing would create 4,888 new affordable housing units during 1994. The DOH now says it created 4,276–but Michael Leachman’s analysis of city data, published in the Chicago Rehab Network newsletter Network Builder (Winter 1995), claims the actual figure is 3,209. Among Leachman’s findings: “All 276 units [at 6 N. Hamlin] received funding through the department’s Multi-Family Rehab program. So, DOH counted 276 units created. In addition, the project received Tax Credits through the department. DOH took credit for creating 276 more units. Finally, 70 of the units in this project were subsidized by DOH through their Low-Income Housing Trust Fund. DOH counted 70 more units. In total, DOH claimed to have created 622 units,” instead of the actual 276.

Peas in a pod. According to Common Cause (Spring), two Illinois U.S. representatives have pledged not to accept financial favors from lobbyists: suburban conservative Republican Henry Hyde, and downstate progressive Democrat Lane Evans.

“Teachers and administrators undergo periodic training institutes. Why not parents?” asks Stuart Kenney in the IVI-IPO Action Bulletin (March). He thinks that compulsory training must come before the increased freedom of school vouchers. First “we must try to spread this ‘culture of education’ which leads parents to desire choices and make sacrifices for education….Section 10-22.18d of the School Code already authorizes parental institutes (with teacher approval), but the provision has never been used, at least by the Chicago system. It is time to make parental institutes mandatory. This will seem harsh to some. But public education is a large benefit bestowed by taxpayers and it is fair that parents be required at least to learn about their responsibilities and how to fulfill them. Moreover, it is likely that many parents would welcome such input and assistance.”

“I don’t think there’s any place for a novelist in a university community,” writes Morris Philipson in An Unsentimental Education: Writers and Chicago. “If he has no success, and he has no otherwise-justified status in the faculty, then he is considered an embarrassment. If he is successful in any way, then he is considered a danger.” How so? “Before [Sinclair Lewis] became alcoholic and completely lost, when he was still doing serious writing, he was invited somewhere to be a writer-in-residence for a year–maybe at the University of Iowa. He found himself isolated. He was cold-shouldered. No one would talk with him–no one would risk becoming known by him — because they didn’t want to end up caricatured as one of his characters in a novel.”

“Any black kid who wants to go to college can go to college,” Silas Purnell, who heads the educational services division of Ada S. McKinley Community Services, told the Trust News (Fall). “It’s a question of going where he fits and going where he can get the resources that are necessary….I began to notice kids wearing high-school rings working at soda fountains. I said, ‘You didn’t go to school to work behind a soda fountain. How come you didn’t go to college?’ They all said the same thing: ‘My folks can’t afford to send me to college.’ I asked, ‘If I find the money, will you go?’ They said yes. So I started attending college meetings to ask if they had funds available to help poor kids, and surprisingly enough, most all of them did. I found more opportunities than people ever thought about.”

“Most people don’t think about trees having sex,” says UIC ecology graduate student Beverly Dow, who is comparing the DNA of acorns with that of adult oak trees in a 15-acre study site. “It’s a complicated thing, actually, because plants are rooted in place.”

The dangerous time. According to a recent UIC press release, a study at Rush-Presbyterian-Saint Luke’s Poison Control Center found that the peak time for suicide calls from all ages is about 7:45 p.m.

Should corporations be allowed to cosponsor Earth Day? E (March/April) asked around.

No: “We demand: a massive and enlightened redistribution of the world’s wealth and land; a drastic reduction in the developed world’s rate of consumption; democratic cooperation to deal with those elements of environmental stewardship that require it; and reducing to local stewardship, local economics and local democracy those that don’t. Needless to say, you won’t find a corporate executive outside the Body Shop, Ben and Jerry’s, Tom’s of Maine or the like who even knows what I am talking about here.” –Andre Carothers

Maybe: “If a company wanted to be a sponsor of Earth Day 1990, the principal criterion we used was the giggle test, which meant that everybody in the room couldn’t break out laughing when the company was mentioned.” –Denis Hayes

Yes: “One problem with the 1970 event was that corporations didn’t get involved. We won’t achieve our goals unless every political and economic interest is on board….We have 8,500 lakes and trout streams in Wisconsin and each of them is more important than all the greenwashing in the world.” –former U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson.

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