City File | City File | Chicago Reader

News & Politics » City File

City File



For one thing, her teeth have come in. Heard on WBEZ FM the morning of October 27: "All eyes have been on Hillary and how she's changed over the last half century."

"Some white Democrats are apprehensive about having three African Americans running for the top federal (Carol Moseley-Braun), state (Roland Burris), and county (John Stroger) offices in the fall election," write Victor Crown and Karen Nagel in Illinois Politics (September). "Others have attacked this motivation as racially inspired since white Democrats have never expressed any concern over Democratic tickets heavily dominated by Irish men. For over 150 years, from the time Illinois became a state in 1818 to 1976 (when Cecil Partee won Democratic Party backing for election to the Office of Attorney General), the Democratic Party of Illinois always had a federal, state, and county general election ticket headed by white males."

Advice for broadcasters, from Merv Block's book Writing Broadcast News (quoted in "Literary License," newsletter of the Chicago-based Society of Midland Authors): "Don't talk about 'our troops' unless the radio station maintains its own militia."

Is time the answer? Paul Vallas in "School Reform News" (October): "It's not uncommon for children in urban school districts to receive about 200 minutes of instruction [per day] in the core subject areas, like math, science, reading, language arts, and social studies. On the other hand, children in the suburbs spend as much as 300 minutes in the core curriculum areas....It's no wonder the kids can't compete. It has less to do with societal conditions and more to do with the fact that these kids are getting short-changed on the instructional end."

"Homeless services were somewhat popular projects for funding ten years ago, but now funders are willing to do less and less," writes Kathleen Ahler in "The Rest of the Story," newsletter of Residents for Effective Shelter Transitions (Summer). Even now, "while city crews move up and down Lawrence Avenue breaking up old sidewalks and curbs to replace them with new concrete and handicapped accessible curbs, dozens of homeless men and women camp out in the parks along Lake Shore Drive because there are not enough shelter beds for everyone during the summer. Merchants install new facades to their buildings, new awnings, new signs, wrought iron fences and bushes. Nearly every vacant lot has brick condominiums being erected on it. At the same time, men line up one to two hours early at REST's Men's Shelter to ensure that they will not have to spend the night in the park."

I was going to compose a symphony, but then I decided a cookie mold would be a better medium. On display until Dec. 12 at Concordia University in suburban River Forest: "Imported European cookie molds...

portraying everything from religious images and fairy tales to nature and reflections on the human condition."

Percentage that corporate revenue has grown since 1980, according to the Internal Revenue Service: 128. Percentage increase over the same time in executive pay (not including stock options or other forms of deferred compensation): 182 (Area Development, October).

"The handling of suspected tipplers on staff has emerged as one of the trickier ADA [Americans With Disabilities Act] areas," laments Walter Olson in the Washington Monthly (September). "Especially vexing for the employer is the question of when, whether, and how to confront a suspected abuser. Courts had already ruled that the federal government as an employer had a positive duty to confront," in the case of a fisheries employee who missed 389 days of work in three years. "Of course, if employers do lead glazed-looking workers into the personnel office and pull out a breathalyzer, they set themselves up for suits over privacy invasion, defamation, and similar outrages. In a 1988 case, an employer confronted a worker who'd been performing poorly and whose wife had expressed concern about his drinking, only to be hit with $100,000 punitive damages when it turned out his problem was depression rather than booze. Thus it seems necessary for firms to address problems without identifying them, hinting heavily, and getting their meaning across through the use of significant pauses, like a fine stage actor."

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  →