City File | City File | Chicago Reader

News & Politics » City File

City File

by

comment

"My company used to be in the Sun Belt," said one north-side business owner who was overheard by North Business and Industrial Council executive director Carl Bufalini (NORBIC Network, February 1988). "The incentives we initially received were great. But it did not take long before there were schools and roads to be built. When a waste treatment plant had to be built they counted on us as a major source of funds. Before you knew it, it was costing us even more to operate than it did in Chicago. So we moved back."

Don't count Jesse out, advises Jeff Alson (In These Times, February 17-23, 1988). "In 1964, Barry Goldwater's landslide loss was considered to be the death knell of the Republican right. Instead, it laid the foundation for the right to build upon, culminating in victories in 1980 and 1984 by a man who a mere decade earlier was thought to be far too extreme to be taken seriously as a national candidate. Jackson's candidacy may have equally historic importance."

The secret ingredient in the Wrigley Field lights controversy? According to Ron Dorfman in Chicago Times (March/April 1988), it's homophobic Cubs fans. "Gay-baiting and -bashing are already a problem [in the neighborhood], and would be even without the ballpark. . . . To be blunt, the concern is that thousands of besotted young yahoos from the outer nabes and burbs will pour out of the ballpark at ten p.m. looking for action. What they will find, on any random summer night, is thousands of gay men and lesbians going to and from their homes and the scores of bars, restaurants, clubs, and theaters on the Halsted, Clark, Broadway, and Belmont strips."

Average number of children in an AFDC family, according to the Public Welfare Coalition: 2.

And, Lord, deliver us from the Chicago school of economics. "Can a nation afford this exclusive rule of competition, this purely economic economy?" asks Wendell Berry in a sermon delivered last fall (Harper's, March 1988). "The great fault of this approach to things is that it is so drastically reductive. . . . Rats and roaches live by competition under the law of supply and demand; it is the privilege of human beings to live under the laws of justice and mercy."

"The victims aren't filing charges," even though increasing numbers of Hispanics are subject to racial harassment, a police official at the Belmont area headquarters tells Rod McCullom of the Chicago Reporter (February 1988). "We pressure them but usually they won't do it. A lot hope that it will die down, and many feel that's the price one must pay to move into a better neighborhood." The Chicago Commission on Human Relations counted 253 cases of "racially motivated incidents" citywide last year, a 14 percent increase over 1986. The most dangerous neighborhood? Far and away, it's southwest-side Chicago Lawn, with 30.

Why should Chicago settle for recycling a mere 25 percent? "Recyclable materials are not even classified as 'waste' in Japan," says the U. of I's Solid Waste Management Newsletter (February 1988). "Approximately 50 percent of paper is recycled there, and 66 percent of all bottles are recycled an average of three times. In contrast, 25 percent of paper and only 7 percent of glass products are recycled in the U.S."

The most extensive selection of Vietnamese literature in the United States outside of Washington, D.C., will soon be available at the Bezazian branch of the Chicago public library, 1226 W. Ainslie.

"Is Simon a dead donkey?" asks the Save Our Neighborhoods, Save Our City Coalition (SON/SOC News, January 1988). They've been fuming ever since U.S. Senator Paul Simon reversed field and distanced himself from their guaranteed home equity campaign in a December 10 letter. Northwest-sider Joyce Zick: "If Senator Simon wants the support of voters in our communities, then he must provide the leadership necessary to get Home Equity passed."

Bad weather accomplishes what the school board can't. "My 32 seventh graders really fill up a room," Blaine School teacher Roberta Motanky tells Substance (February 1988). The class rows go all the way to the back wall leaving no room for group tables, only desks. Lack of physical space makes art and other enrichment activities nearly impossible. When so many kids were out on those cold days [in early January] the first thing we did was push desks around for better space. Then I had some kids in the back painting while I worked with others. Everyone got a turn. It was amazing!"

Three gay supporters of Bob Dole and one of George Bush--all slated by CARGO, the Chicago Area Republican Gay Organizationhave been forced by the candidates they support to run as "uncommitted" convention delegates in the March 15 Republican primary. Judging from a Windy City Times report (February 4, 1988), none of the four has suffered any misgivings about his choice of candidate, or party.

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

Add a comment