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The City File



The nine wards where independents are still battling it out in runoffs with other candidates are (IVI-IPO endorsed candidates in italics) the 4th (incumbent Timothy Evans vs. Tony Preckwinkle), 10th (former alderman John Buchanan vs. Clem Balanoff), 20th (incumbent Arenda Troutman vs. Dino McNeal), 27th (incumbent Sheneather Butler vs. Rickey Hendon), 29th (incumbent Sam Burrell vs. Iola McGowan), 31st (Regner Suarez vs. Gloria Chevere), 37th (incumbent Percy Giles vs. John Baggett), 46th (incumbent Helen Shiller vs. Michael Quigley), and 49th (incumbent Robert Clarke vs. Joe Moore). For the record, IVI-IPO endorsed 22 other candidates in the primary, only four of whom (the incumbents) won.

Lest we forget. From Ron Weinstock's review in Living Blues (January/February 1991) of the CD reissue Blues in the Mississippi Night, featuring Big Bill Broonzy, Memphis Slim, and Sonny Boy Williamson I: "The performances are really secondary to the conversation, dominated by Slim and Broonzy, and the chilling recollections of the Jim Crow South. Stories about the rigors of the levee camps and the chain gangs are mixed in with a recollection of how, at the places where the Chicago Defender was read, people would keep a lookout in the event it should be necessary to put the Defender in the stove and burn it."

"My love is like a fat chunk of styrofoam," writes Rosemary Harold in Student Lawyer (March 1991), trying to describe romance among law students: "I think the image is apt. Students sometimes cling to a mate as a shipwreck survivor would a life preserver in rolling seas. A source of affection, comfort, and distraction, a lover can buoy up the battered ego and soothe the ruffled id."

How about a simulated salary while we're at it? From a company offering "video resumes": "Career Videos goes to your place of business and photographs you there. This gives the employer a sense of your work ethic. . . . If you are not currently employed, Career Videos will simulate a working environment in your area of expertise."

What, no cluster bombs? From a January 18 letter from the General Accounting Office to U.S. Representative Nick Rahall: "The Secretary of Defense can make available for humanitarian relief purposes any nonlethal excess supplies in DOD's system."

"It is not an exaggeration to say that the average viewer watching the network news during early 1990 would learn more about the economic hardships and yearnings of people in Eastern Europe and the Baltic states than about similar matters in the United States," write Northwestern University's Robert Entman and Donna Leff in a Chicago Council on Urban Affairs report on Chicago TV and newspaper coverage of poverty. "This focus almost certainly reflects the attention and priorities of the executive and legislative branches in Washington rather than any bias or preference of news organizations. . . . And obviously this situation is self-reinforcing: political leaders fail to talk about poverty, a dearth in TV coverage of poverty results, so the public fails to see poverty as a pressing issue, which discourages politicians still more from speaking about poverty."

Reality is for people who can't handle drugs. "Overheard on a Chicago bus" and printed in a Planning (February 1991) issue on New Orleans: "I hated the French Quarter. Too dirty. But I loved New Orleans Square in Disney Land."

"Students used to joke that Circle, just a short distance from the Eisenhower-Dan Ryan-Kennedy spaghetti bowl, was the only university in the world named after a highway interchange," writes Ed Zotti in Chicago Enterprise (March 1991). "To many it seemed fitting--only a highway engineer could love the school's moonscape of concrete and asphalt. Focus groups organized a while back by Roberta Feldman, an assistant architecture professor at UIC, confirmed what most people already knew--faculty, staff and students on both campuses loathed their physical environment. If they had the choice, they'd bomb the east campus into oblivion and start over."

Dept. of perfect clarity: (1) From a Chicago PR firm trying to keep business humming: "Research conducted during and after recent recessions demonstrates . . . that downturns are the single most effective time to strike out." (2) From the Illinois Department on Aging, warning about the flu: "Symptoms of the three influenza strains include fever, chills, coughing, sneezing, headaches and body aches. Recovery usually takes a week to 10 days. However, if symptoms do not begin within a few days of onset, a physician should be contacted . . . "

But the program notes were the best part! "I would say that 75% of every audience forgets what they just read, when the house lights go down. Generally, I don't remember the title of what I'm looking at" (Daniel Nagrin in Chicago Dance Coalition, Spring 1991).

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

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