"When you add it all up, what you get is a picture of [a future] Chicago with no poor people between 67th St. and Evanston, and between Interstate 90 and 94 on the west and the lakefront on the east," says Adolph Reed, a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, in Chicago Ink (August). "You know the statue down on South State St. in Bronzeville, of the black migrant with his suitcase in his hand and the big, wide-brimmed hat? I wouldn't be surprised to see the Mayor go turn it around, and face it the other way."
Speak softly, but don't forget to carry a big stick. According to a recent press release, two U. of I. economists, Madhu Khanna and Lisa Damon, have found that the EPA's voluntary "33/50" program worked pretty well. Initiated in 1991 to encourage chemical companies to reduce their pollutant emissions by 33 percent by 1992 and 50 percent by 1995, the program resulted in a reduction of 41 percent by 1993. The economists found that companies weren't motivated only by civic-mindedness, but also by the threat of Superfund penalties. "Voluntary initiatives alone are unlikely by themselves to generate the desired changes in corporate behavior...[and] should be regarded as complements to rather than substitutes for mandatory environmental regulation."
Ironic policing strategy. According to the summer issue of "Neighborhoods," newsletter of the Chicago Alliance for Neighborhood Safety, "discouraged community policing activists" have their doubts about what the city calls the "most participatory community policing program in the country." Chicago's program, they say, "systematically does not involve youth, does not reward and promote officers on the basis of working with the community and does not have a uniform policy on public access to vital crime fighting information."
Paper or plastic? The "heritage attractions" are already in place in the Fox River valley, according to Diane Ramsay of the Elgin Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, who says, "It's a matter of repackaging which will benefit the traveler" ("Ventures," Summer).
Newt Gingrich sent out El Cinco de Mayo greetings to Mexicans and Mexican-Americans in the U.S., writes Juan Andrade Jr. of the Chicago-based U.S. Hispanic Leadership Institute in a recent issue of the institute's newsletter, "USHLI Quarterly Update." Gingrich's staff identified him "as 'El Hablador de la casa'! The word 'hablador' can be translated to mean anything from 'loudmouth' to 'liar' and, being perfectly honest, I wish I could tell you which translation the Speaker's office had in mind!"
Mysteries of child care. Suburban-based Pediatrics (September) reports on federal data on 4,400 children under ten who were involved in a crash in which an occupant of the car died. The older the car, the less likely the kids were to be appropriately restrained in a car seat or seat belt: overall, 56 percent of them were restrained, but only 33 percent of those riding in pre-1976 cars were. Kids in pickup trucks were protected only 42 percent of the time, and "less than a quarter of all children who were passengers of vehicles that crashed between the hours of 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. were restrained."
"Coverage of homelessness [in Chicago media] rose significantly in the late '80s and early '90s, peaked in 1992, and has steadily declined since then," according to Kari Lydersen, LaRisa Lynch, and Greg Orlowski in StreetWise (September 1-14). They quote Hank DeZutter of the Community Media Workshop at Columbia College: "Public issues are treated by the media the way records are treated by radio stations. The media gets tired of problems before they're solved."
Hucksterism. Who are the 52 million U.S. Internet users? "Fiscal Focus" (August) reports that a recent study found that "43% were women and 46% lived in households with annual incomes over $50 thousand, and 49% had at least a college associate degree." Or, to put it in terms that would be natural to anyone except a marketing maniac, the majority of Internet users are guys (57 percent), people with household incomes of $50,000 a year or less (54 percent), and people who don't have a college degree (51 percent).