Just say no to your pharmacist. From Harper’s “Index” (December 1986): “Percentage of drug-related deaths caused by prescription drugs: 70.”

Little League vs. street gangs, as Association House Little League Commissioner Joe Alvarado sees it (?Que Pasa?, September 1986): “If you get a nine-year-old or ten-year-old to play on a team that’s mixed from different neighborhoods, in six or eight years that kid will be sixteen or eighteen years old and that is when he is going to be getting wild. I’m pretty sure that if that kid were to walk into a different neighborhood at that time a lot of kids would try to jump him. But, if a few kids from that neighborhood were to recognize him from when they played ball together, they might save his life.”

“‘Coming out’ as an ACOA”– an Adult Child of Alcoholics– “can stir up a wide variety of feelings,” writes Carlton McAvey in the Grant Hospital Chemical Dependence Pro gram Quarterly (Winter, 1986). “It’s like having an emotional IRA account –you have the initial investment plus the interest.” And a tax-penalty for early withdrawal?

An ounce of prevention . . . “In some countries, the regulatory philosophy seems more like that of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration than that of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,” says the U. of I’s Clark Bullard, chair of the Central Midwest Compact Commission on Low-Level Radioactive Wastes, in CBE Environmental Review (Summer 1986). “That is, the burden is on the developer of a new technology to prove that it is safe before the technology can go on the market, instead of the burden lying with the government to prove the technology is unsafe and force its removal from the market. The former approach has saved the United States in the past from such tragedies as thalidomide, while the latter has left us with the legacies of DDT, leaded gasoline, and countless superfund sites. During the next few years, Illinois will have to decide what kind of regulatory approach it wishes to implement for radioactive waste.”

“A city within a city” is how Timothy Samuelson describes the area around 35th and State in the early years of this century Chicago’s “Black Metropolis” (Historic Illinois, December 1986). A growing black population gave black entrepreneurs the opportunity to serve the city’s burgeoning “Black Belt” from Van Buren to 39th Street along State. The Binga Bank, the Overton-Hygienic Manufacturing Company, the Chicago Bee newspaper, and the Knights of Pythias were among the organizations that erected their own buildings there, making 35th and State “the Wall Street of the black community.” It hit the skids following the Depression, the slowing of black immigration from the south, and the discovery by white investors that everyone’s money is green.

Old at heart. “Discharged managers 50 and over are winning new jobs almost as quickly as those under 50. That trend is continuing… and we see no reason why it will not continue,” says James Challenger, president of the Chicago-based “outplacement” firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

Verbicide of the week. “Loan packaging by the consortium has impacted over 7,000 jobs for Chicago,” says a local small business development center. To “impact” is to “pack firmly together”: maybe they’re saving rent by explaining how to jam employees into smaller and smaller spaces?

Roughing the spectators — 100 yards. According to some domestic violence counselors, a good day for football is a bad day for battered women. Apparently the TV-screen violence is catching. “Even fans of winning teams are not immune,” reports Mother Jones (January 1987). “Candace Rios, a counselor at a Chicago battered women’s shelter, remembers a rush of women who complained of being beaten up after last year’s [Super Bowl] game, which the hometown Bears won.” Don’t ask what happened in Boston.

Who’s Who in Technology? The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. UIUC led all universities with 324 scientists and engineers listed in the fifth biennial edition of Who’s Who in Technology.

There’s room for more women and blacks at Washburne Trade School without imposing any controversial new guidelines on the apprenticeship programs there, suggests David Moberg in The Neighborhood Works (December 1986). “Richard DeVries, a carpenter who for several years worked with the 18th Street [Development Corporation] pre-apprentice training, notes that roughly 122 slots of a typical yearly enrollment of 400 carpenters are committed to referral programs run by the Board of Education, Job Corps, and two community centers. But last year, he said, only 22 students were referred.”

“Essays remain a form of civilized conversation,” but they require some public fund of shared knowledge, writes James Krohe Jr. in Illinois Times (December 4-10, 1986). “What happens, then, when the only knowledge shared is of who is bedding whom on General Hospital?… I suspect that years from now, when the People photo caption is being taught on campuses as the preferred literary form, and the community of curious, informed people has shrunk past the size needed to keep even a small magazine alive, when graffiti will be printed in the magazines and it is the essays which will have to be painted on the walls, the essayist will find his reader somehow.” Happy New Year, and see you in the public rest rooms!

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