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Lest we forget. U.S. Senator Carol Moseley-Braun in "Poverty Issues...Dateline Illinois" (September 4): "This poverty issue has been caught up in the fiction and demagoguery surrounding the issues of poverty in this country. We end up legislating based on fantasy."

Kids--don't try this at home. From Field Museum publicity for its Archaeopterfest: "Watch as a Field Museum ornithologist skins a bird and discusses the structural similarities between birds and Archaeopteryx."

How to maintain a thousand-year-old pile of dirt. "The ancient earthen wonder"--Monks Mound near downstate Collinsville--"looks as immovable as any mountain," writes William Iseminger in Historic Illinois (August). "But in battles with nature, it has sometimes yielded. The slumping on Monks Mound, caused by internal water buildup following several wet years, is exacerbated by an elevated water table in the base of the mound. Following three very wet years in the early 1980s, the mound became saturated, and major slumps occurred on the east and west sides of Monks Mound in 1984 and 1985....Repairing these slumps is not as easy as shoving the dirt back up the slope. Monks Mound is an archaeological monument, and it is important not to disturb even the portions of it that have moved on their own. For the fan-shaped east slump, archaeologists and engineers decided instead to haul in new soil of a different type than that composing the mound (different soil so that future researchers will be able to distinguish the ancient mound from the modern repair work); they then bulldozed it up the slope to fill in the scarred area."

Is the glass one-third full or two-thirds empty? Caroline Hendrie reports in Education Week (September 10) that the Chicago Public Schools' $34-million "summer bridge program" required 40,949 students to attend summer school. Of that number, 14,491 (35.4 percent) passed the test in August.

Probably not quite what he meant to say. From the Executive Office of the president: "White House Drug Policy Director Barry R. McCaffrey announced the selection of Kurt F. Schmid as the new Director of the Chicago High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA)."

Supply and demand. Fred Woods House, named for a former Chicago House board member, is a "nine-flat facility with one, two, and three bedroom apartments for families with at least one adult with HIV or AIDS," we learn from "Mosaic" (Summer), a Chicago House newsletter. "In early June, we accepted applications from 53 families seeking housing at Fred Woods."

All right--who's been editing with the spell checker? From "Industrial Chicago" (Summer): "Two of the many projects coming out of the shoot are..."

It's our first--but please don't do it any more. The state Department of Children and Family Services headlined a September 8 press release "DCFS Receives First E-Mail Child Abuse Call" and noted in the third paragraph, "we strongly discourage the use of e-mail to report child abuse or neglect....E-mail messages sent during evenings, weekends or holidays will not likely be read until the next business day. And there's always the worry about unauthorized Internet users gaining access to e-mail systems." Call 1-800-25ABUSE instead.

Things great-great-grandma would have had you horsewhipped for doing. The Galena Historical Society, according to a press release, recently sponsored a fashion show consisting of "petticoats, pantaloons, hoops, bustles, corsets, camisoles, and nightgowns" from the mid-19th century through 1910, all "tastefully presented on live models."

Chemophobia comes home. Debra Shore writes in the fall issue of "Brush Piles," newsletter of the North Branch Restoration Project, "In early August...the [Cook County] Forest Preserve District's Board of Commissioners adopted a resolution requiring posting of signs 24 hours before and after herbicides are applied at restoration sites. This far exceeds any requirement by the Environmental Protection Agency (none), the Illinois Department of Agriculture (none), or the product manufacturer regarding posting of signs for herbicide use in restoration."

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