Percentage of people boarding Orange Line trains daily who used to drive instead, according to a survey by the CTA’s market research department: more than 25 percent.

“Chicago would have to host nearly three Democratic National Conventions next year to equal Loyola’s 1994 billion-dollar impact,” according to the school’s own report. “That impact also translates into 4.5 World Cup soccer tournaments, 10.5 Taste of Chicago food festivals”–and probably with less need of police presence.

How much more you would pay per gallon of gas if Chicago-area cars were not supported by general taxes, according to calculations in a recent Metropolitan Planning Council newsletter: 12 cents.

“Chicago has become a potent force in American culture,” Sarah Solotaroff of the Chicago Community Trust tells Ronald Litke in Trust News (Winter/Spring). “Artists of all kinds come here–and stay here–to hone their work. We used to lose so many people to the coasts. We still lose a few, but they are often replenished quickly. …It’s very much like the 1890s: an influx of new peoples, new art forms, new thinking, new theories on how culture relates to society at large.” And the last we noticed, the 1990s are threatening to be like the 1890s in a few other ways too.

With 349 black graduates in the 1991-’92 school year, Southern Illinois University, according to a recent university press release, ranks eighth among traditionally white schools in the United States for awarding bachelor’s degrees to African-Americans (first is CUNY-City College). Other Illinois schools in the top 50 are the U. of I. at Urbana (with 305 black graduates), National-Louis (with 254 black graduates), Roosevelt (with 202 black graduates), and UIC (with 199 black graduates).

“Although more affluent as a group than Protestants, America’s 59 million Catholics today contribute, on average, only 1.1 percent of their per capita income to the church,” writes Mary Oates in the Chicago-based Critic (Summer). “This represents half their rate of giving in the 1960s, as well as half the current rate of Protestant giving. This disparity between Protestants and Catholics, while apparently at every social class level, is particularly evident among the wealthy. While church-going Catholics earning over $40,000 gave, on average, 1.1 percent of their annual income to the church in 1984, Protestants in the same income bracket were contributing 4.4 percent. In contrast, giving by Catholics without a high school diploma earning under $15,000 nearly matched that of their Protestant counterparts.”

This isn’t personal, but…Chicago-based The Neighborhood Works (June/July) quotes Portland, Oregon, trainer Guadalupe Guajardo: “People of color generally understand racism as institutional, while to white people, white privilege is virtually invisible, and they see prejudice as being something personal. Sometimes the hardest thing is to get people to face the reality that racism does exist, even though polite people don’t make racist comments anymore.”

“Poor nutrition is killing people with HIV/AIDS, yet we are saddled with a nutrition model that is all wrong,” writes Bob Long in a letter to Positively Aware (July/August) on West Belmont. “We must work with people where they are, with what they have, supplement it if we can, and help them to move on to something better. Your recipes [published in an earlier issue] were interesting, but a ‘blender’? People don’t have hot water or heat, and you tell them to ‘whip it good in a blender.'” He suggests that the magazine “publish materials that will help people to eat well out of cans (tuna, pasta, beans) and, if necessary, out of a dumpster. Not pretty? Well, neither is the sight of someone losing 30 percent of body mass.”

Sweet Aristotelian Home Chicago.

U. of C. historian Robert Richards tells the university’s Chronicle (June 8) about his one-semester sojourn as a visiting professor at Harvard, where he lived and ate with students: “I don’t think an intellectual topic came up for discussion at mealtime more than once during the whole time I was there. But here at Chicago you have Aristotle with your corn flakes.”

I Love Me. A word to the semiwise from Syracuse political scientist Thomas Patterson, in Tomorrow’s News (Summer), a newsletter for political journalists: “For every minute the [presidential] candidates spoke on the network evening news in 1992, the reporters who were covering them talked 6 minutes….In 1960, the average continuous quote or paraphrase of a candidate’s words in a front-page New York Times story was 20 lines. By 1992, the average statement was only 7 lines and was typically buried in a narrative devoted to the reporter’s point of view….Of all evaluative references to Kennedy and Nixon in 1960, 75 percent were positive. In 1992, only 40 percent of reporters’ evaluative references to Clinton and Bush were favorable.”

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